Alvin Eugene “Gene” Miller Interview, September 30, 2009


Alvin Eugene Miller


Suzanne M. Vernon



Download Audio Interview (39.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Alvin Miller Interview (379 KB)


Alvin “Gene” Miller discusses being part of a community agriculture project in Kankakke, Illinois, during World War Two because he had registered as a conscientious objector. He talks about his passion for gardening, growing up in the Swan Valley, and how he was one of the first in his family to attend college. Miller describes other Swan Valley residents such as Chris Sorenson who was a settler from the late 1800s and Mary Harris who came from the Midwest. He recalls how hunting during the 1930s and ‘40s was less regulated because the Valley was less populated, and he discusses how the Valley changed after World War Two. Miller discusses issues with bears attacking livestock and how trapping in the valley affected deer populations. He also talks about the ways that logging created more ideal habitats for elk. He recalls the old Native American sites he discovered as a child and discusses the strong prejudice towards Native Americans at that time. Miller remarks on the how the culture of the valley changed when Louis Krause opened a bar in the valley.


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Document Type

Oral History


Swan Lake, Montana; Swan Valley, Montana; Logging; Ranching; Forestry; Farming; Hunting Chris Sorenson; Mary Harris; World War, 1939-1945; Wildlife populations; Elk habitats; Native Americans populations, Montana; Louis Krause; Conscientious objectors

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Upper Swan Valley Oral History Project, OH 422, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 422-210, 211

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (21 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:47:22 minutes

Local Filename

OH_422_210_211.mp3; OH_422_210_211.pdf

Alvin Eugene “Gene” Miller Interview, September 30, 2009