What We Have Done So Far

Fergus County Red Cross Parade, Courtesy of Montana Historical Society (MHS) photographic archives.
  1. Secured a letter of support from Montana PBS. Director of Content, Paul Heitt-Rennie, would like to see the finished film to consider it for broadcast. He writes, “I wholly support the project and your search for production funding.” The full copy of his letter is below.
  1. Researched over 60 Montana newspaper articles, 1918-19, which address the influenza epidemic and explored archives at Montana Historical Society, Helena and Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula. Connected with people in Forsyth, Montana, who have stories to tell.
  1. Researched photographic archives from major repositories such as the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT; the Mansfield Library, University of Montana, Missoula; and the Montana Historical Society, Helena, MT. Identified photographs that tell stories about the 1918-19 pandemic n Montana.
    – Still to do: Explore photographic archives in Billings, as well as county historical societies and Amskapi Pikaani and Absalooke cultural centers.
  1. Studied scholarship about the 1918-19 pandemic in Montana and the United States, as well as background works on Montana and her Indigenous communities during the first three decades of the twentieth century.
Red Cross Nurses standing in front of Havre Commerical Co., Courtesy of Montana Historical Society (MHS) photographic archives.

  1. Organized pre-production research assignments for students, to expand on the preliminary work described above.
  1. Still to do: Organize a series of film development assignments for students to translate their research into the elements of a documentary film, including student creation of storyboards, voiceover scripts based on firsthand narrative evidence, narration scripts, and shooting scripts. See Production Plan.
  1. Still to do: Organize a series of film production and post-production assignments for students to build the documentary, such as directing film shoots at relevant locations, voiceover coaching and recording, conducting filmed interviews, directing filmed reenactments, logging and editing footage, sequencing rough cut, and refining the rough cut into a finished film.
  1. Created this crowd-sourcing website to raise funds to meet production costs. See Budget. So far we have crowd-funded $2,600 toward the costs of production. We also have applied for grants to Treasure State Studios for in-kind services, the Roy W. Dean Fund for a $3,500 production grant, and we are currently working on an application to the Greater Montana Foundation for funding.


Albright, Peggy, with Foreword by Joanna Cohan Scherer. Crow Indian Photographer: The Work of Richard Throssel. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1997.

Barry, John. “How the Horrific 1918 Influenza Spread Across America.” Smithsonian Magazine (November 2017): 1-12.

Barry, John M. The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. New York: Penguin Books, 2018.

Child, Brenda. “Jingle Dress Dancing is Rooted in Another Historic Pandemic.” Minnesota Star Tribune. December 18, 2020.

Farr, William. The Reservation Blackfeet: A Photographic History of Cultural Survival, 1882-1945. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1987.

Garrett, Thomas. Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. St. Louis, MO: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2007.

Harwell, Todd; Holzman, Greg; and Helgerson, Steven.  “No More War, No More Plague: The Spanish Influenza Pandemic Toll in Montana.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Summer 2018): 27-44, 93-4.

“Influenza Comes to Missoula, 1918.” Montana Memory Project. Montana Historical Society, Helena, MT.

Kent, Susan, Ed. The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19: A Brief History with Documents. Boston, MA: Bedford Books, 2012.

Mullen, Pierce and Nelson, Michael. “Montanans and ‘The Most Peculiar Disease’: The Influenza Epidemic and Public Health, 1918-1919.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 37:2 (Spring 1987): 50-61.

“Narrative of Mark Owen Bean.” More History of Beaverhead County (Dillon, MT: Beaverhead County Museum, 1997): 96-7.

Olberding, Janelle. Butte and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2019).

SATC Student. “A ‘Fluey’ Diary, 1918.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 37:2 (Spring 1987): 62-65.

Steele, Volney. “The Flu Epidemic of 1918 on the Montana Frontier.” Journal of the West 42:4 (Fall 2003): 81-90.

Trahant, Mark. “American Indians in the Great Flu Pandemic.” Indian Country Today. May 24, 2020.

Tschudy, Elsie. “Reports on Army Nurse Mrs. Hazel Yoder. Montana Kaimin. Nov. 25, 1919.