Their Stories

Mary Frances Garrigus

Mary Frances Garrigus was an Apsáalooke (Crow) woman who grew up on a Stillwater County ranch during the early 1900s. Her father, Will Garrigus, a white man, owned a mercantile store and grazed sheep on the family ranch. Mary’s mother, Margaret Hundley Garragus, supplied the land for the family ranch, as she was one quarter Crow, one quarter Piegan, and owned an allotment on the Crow reservation. Mary was a thoughtful, ambitious young woman. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in 1916, and went on to become the first Indigenous woman to graduate from U.M. Law School in 1918… [Continue Reading]

The Wades in the Waters

In late September, 1918, a 3-year-old Blackfeet child, Woodrow Lazyboy, collapsed with fever. After a long and difficult night, he died as the sun rose. His parents would not be the only Blackfeet to lose a loved one. The Amskapi Piikani had lost many to smallpox over the previous century. Tuberculosis further decimated their numbers during the first two decades of the twentieth century. They would not stand by and allow another epidemic to tear at the fabric of their culture… [Continue reading]

Hazel Yoder

Hazel Leonard Yoder was no stranger to hospitals. In 1910, at the age of twenty, Hazel survived surgery for appendicitis. Inspired by those who gave her expert care, she trained as a nurse at the Wyoming State Hospital in Sheridan from 1911 to 1913. She never dreamed that she would perish just four years later in a Northern Pacific Hospital in Missoula, MT, victim to the 1918 influenza… [Continue Reading]

Header photo credit: The epidemic was global. This picture of three people wearing masks was taken in New York City. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.