Montana Council Of Defense Records, 1916-1921  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Montana Council of Defense
Title
Montana Council Of Defense Records
Dates
1916-1921 (inclusive)
Quantity
6 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
RS 19
Summary
The Montana Council of Defense was established during World War I to coordinate county war efforts. It also investigated cases of alleged disloyal activities. Records (1916-1921) include minutes, correspondence, subject files, testimony and exhibits for hearings and special investigations, membership lists, and correspondence of various county councils of defense. Correspondence has been digitized and is available on the Montana Memory Project.
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Access Restrictions

Collection open for research

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Montana Council of Defense was established in response to an order by President Woodrow Wilson which set up the National Council of Defense and requested each state to set up a state Council. Initially Governor Samuel V. Stewart appointed the Council by executive action. However, because of the lack of clear legal authority,the difficulty county Councils of Defense had in enforcing their regulations, and the desperate need for the state to purchase seed grain, the governor called a special session of the legislature in February 1918. The legislature officially established the Council in an act passed on February 20, 1918. The Montana Council of Defense was empowered, until the end of World War I, to "do all acts and things not inconsistent with the Constitution of laws of the State of Montana, or of the United States, which are necessary of proper for the public safety and for the protection of life and public property... and perform all acts and things necessary or proper so that the military, civil and industrial resources of the State may be most efficiently applied toward maintenance of the defense of the State and nation... and toward the successful prosecution of [the] War...." In order to carry out its duties the Council was put in charge of all organizations in the state that were involved with war work, including charitable associations. The Council was required to terminate its affairs within three months of the end of the war.

The Council was composed of the Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture and Publicity, serving ex officio, plus nine citizens appointed by the governor, at least three of whom had to be farmers. The Council was empowered to appoint a three member council in each County to coordinate local work.

Initially the Council concerned itself primarily with agricultural production which increased by 30%. The Council also promoted patriotic local meetings to boost enthusiasm for the war to counteract Montana's strongly anti-war labor unions, radical farmers, and large immigrant population. It was this war propaganda campaign which gradually led to the suppression of all dissent with which the Council eventually became identified. Many sedition trials were held and people identified as radicals or of questionable loyalty were publicly ostracised. Many of the problems of agricultural production for the War were drought-caused and could only have been solved, if at all, by direct government action. During 1918 the decline of Montana agricultural communities which culminated in the early 1920s, began. In spite of efforts by the Council to encourage agriculture, farm failures increased and the economy which agriculture supported also declined.

With the Armistice signed in November 1918, the Council quickly ceased active functioning although it was not formally dissolved until July 1921 after the United States had signed a treaty with Germany.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The bulk of the records consist of general correspondence and subject files. The correspondence (1917-1920) of the statewide office of the Montana Council of Defense is primarily with the National Council of Defense and with county councils, concerning their day-to-day work. There is also some correspondence with a variety of individuals, county agricultural extension agents, and state agencies. the subject files cover the broad range of the Council's activities, including agricultural programs, patriotism, war relief, conscientious objectors, the German language, loyalty and sedition, and demobilization. In addition there are financial records, minutes (April 1917-August 1921), proceedings, testimony in the Von Waldru case, and miscellany.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of the Montana Historical Society. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collection. In some cases permission for use may require additional authorization from the copyright owners. For more information contact an archivist.

Preferred Citation

Item description and date. Collection Title. Collection Number. Box and Folder numbers. Montana Historical Society Research Center, Archives, Helena, Montana.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1 / 1
A (correspondents include Allyn and Bacon, American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief, American Committee for Devastated France, American Electric Railway Association War Board, American Protective League, and American Railway Express Company,
1917-1919
1 / 2
Beaverhead County Defense Council
1917-1918, undated
1 / 3
Big Horn County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 4
Blaine County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 5
Broadwater County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 6
Ba-Be (correspondents include M. D. Baldwin and J. G. Bates)
1917-1919
1 / 7
Bi-Bri (correspondents include Parmly Billings Memorial Library, Bitter Root Valley Irrigation Company, and the City of Bozeman)
1917-1920
1 / 8
Bro-By (correspondents include Broadwater County officials, Fred O. Brose, and John G. Brown)
1917-1919
1 / 9
Carbon County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 10
Carter County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 11
Cascade County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 12
Chouteau County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 13
Councils of Defense (other states)
1917-1919
1 / 14
Custer County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 15
Ca-Cl (correspondents include W. A. Campbell; Cascade County officials; Chicago Daily News; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, and Choteau mayor)
1917-1920
1 / 16
Co-Cy (correspondents include Commission for Aid Civil and Military, and Custer County Bank)
1917-1920
1 / 17
Dawson County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 18
Deer Lodge Defense Council
1917-1919
1 / 19
D (correspondents include The Dakota Farmer, E. C. Day, and M. M. Donohue)
1917-1920
1 / 20
E (correspondents include Eagles (BPOE) and John M. Evans)
1917-1919
1 / 21
Fallon County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 22
Fergus County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 23
Flathead County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 24
F (correspondents include Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Farm Products Limited, T. F. Finch, and Fox Film Entertainment)
1917-1918
1 / 25
Gallatin County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 26
Granite County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 27
Ga-Gl (correspondents include H. C. Gardiner, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Glasgow)
1917-1918
1 / 28
Go-Gy (correspondents include Grand Army of the Republic, Sheridan Post; Grandin Investment Company; City of Great Falls; Great Falls Commercial Club; Great Northern Railway Company; and A. L. Grinnell)
1917-1918
1 / 29
Hill County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 30
Ha-Hi (correspondents include Walter G. Hanna, Hardin Chamber of Commerce, W. F. Henningsen, and Hill County officers)
1917-1918
1 / 31
Ho-Hu (correspondents include Norman B. Holter and Charles H. Hunt)
1917-1919
1 / 32
I (correspondents include First National Bank of Ismay)
1917-1918
1 / 33
Jefferson County Defense Council
1917-1918
1 / 34
J (correspondents include Albert Johnson)
1917-1919
2 / 1
K (correspondents include F. S. Kalberg, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Charles J. Kelly of Daly Bank & Trust Company, George R. Kirkpatrick, Karl Knudsen, and Elmer Kuros)
1917-1920
2 / 2
Lewis and Clark County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 3
Lincoln County Defense Council
1918, undated
2 / 4
La-Le (correspondents include the League to Enforce Peace, N. T. Lease and Lewis and Clark County Attorney Lester H. Loble)
1917-1920
2 / 5
Li-Ly (correspondents include Libby Patriotic Defense League, F. S. P. Lindsay, Sidney M. Logan, and Frank S. Lusk)
1917-1920
2 / 6
Madison County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 7
Meagher County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 8
Mineral County Defense Council
1917-1918, undated
2 / 9
Missoula County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 10
Musselshell County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 11
Montana - County Extension Agents
1917-1919, undated
2 / 12
Montana - various State Boards and Agencies
1917-1920
2 / 13
Mc-Ma (correspondents include J. B. Martel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
1917-1920
2 / 14
Me-Mi (correspondents include Melstone officers, Merchants National Bank, Mildred State Bank, the City of Missoula, and the Missoula Chamber of Commerce)
1917-1920
2 / 15
Mo-My (correspondents include the Montana Lumber Manufacturers Association, the Montana State Press Association and Henry L. Myers)
1917-1918
2 / 16
N (correspondents include the National Security League, the State of North Dakota, Northern Pacific Railway Company, and L. A. Nutting)
1917-1918
2 / 17
O (correspondents include Odd Fellows and I. D. O'Donnell)
1917-1919
2 / 18
Park County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 19
Phillips County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 20
Powder River County Defense Council
1919
2 / 21
Powell County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 22
Prairie County Defense Council
1917-1919
2 / 23
Pa-Pe (correspondents include the Park County Chamber of Commerce, Charles V. Peck, Herbert M. Peet, and Lewis Penwell)
1917-1920
2 / 24
Ph-Pu (correspondents include A. J. Plumer)
1917-1919
2 / 25
Q
1917-1918
2 / 26
Ravalli County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 27
Richland County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 28
Rosebud County Defense Council
1917-1919
2 / 29
R (correspondents include Jeannette Rankin, American Red Cross, Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce, O. E. F. Redfern, W. B. Rhoades, Richland County Attorney, Anna Ridgeway, and Ronan State Bank)
1916-1919
2 / 30
Sanders County Defense Council
1917-1919
2 / 31
Sheridan County Defense Council
1917-1919
2 / 32
Silver Bow County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 33
Stillwater County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 34
Sweet Grass County Defense Council
1917-1918
2 / 35
Sa-Sl (correspondents include C. H. Sands, Samuel Sanburn, Security State Bank, and Sheridan County officers)
1917-1920
2 / 36
Sm-Sy (correspondents include Stillwater County officers, J. Stanley Smith, and Sweet Grass County)
1917-1919
3 / 1
Teton County Defense Council
1917-1918
3 / 2
Toole County Defense Council
1918-1919
3 / 3
T (correspondents include L. P. Teague for Telephone Society, Jessie S. Thompson, and Thompson Falls Community Club)
1917-1920
3 / 4
U. S. Agriculture Department - Commerce Department
1917-1919
3 / 5
U. S. Council of National Defense (A-F)
1917-1919
3 / 6
U. S. Council of National Defense (G-Po)
1917-1918, undated
3 / 7
U. S. Council of National Defense (Pu-W)
1917-1919, undated
3 / 8
U. S. Food Administration - Labor Department
1917-1919
3 / 9
U. S. Federal Loan Bank - War Industries Board
1917-1919
3 / 10
U (correspondents include Union Pacific System, United Mine Workers of America, and United Spanish War Veterans)
1917-1919
3 / 11
Valley County Defense Council
1917-1920
3 / 12
V (correspondents include H. E. Vomhoff)
1917-1919
3 / 13
Wheatland County Defense Council
1917-1918
3 / 14
Wibaux County Defense Council
1917-1918
3 / 15
W (correspondents include Woodrow Wilson, Thomas J. Walsh, Flathead County War Congress, United Committee on War Temperance Activities, West's history, B. C. White, City of Wolf Point, Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and Lincoln Working)
1917-1919
3 / 16
Yellowstone County Defense Council
1917-1919
3 / 17
Y - Z (correspondents include Young Women's Christian Associations and Young Men's Christian Associations)
1917-1919
3 / 18
unidentified and form letters
1917-1918

Subject Files Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3 / 19
Agricultural Programs
1918
3 / 20
Alien Property
1918
3 / 21
Amalgamation
1918
3 / 22
American Protective League
1918
3 / 23
Americanization
1918-1919
3 / 24
Armenian and Syrian Relief
1918
3 / 25
Building Permits
1918
3 / 26
Buying Campaign
1918
3 / 27
Chain Letters
1918
3 / 28
Children
1918
3 / 29
Choruses and Community Singing
1918
3 / 30
Civil Rights Bill - Soldiers and Sailors
1917-1918
3 / 31
Conscientious Objectors
1918
4 / 1
Coordination
1918
4 / 2
Councils of Defense, Community
1918-1919
4 / 3
Councils of Defense, County
1918
4 / 4
Councils of Defense, State
1918-1919
4 / 5
Crop Destruction
1918-1919
4 / 6
Demobilization
1919
4 / 7
Demobilization, Vocational Training
1918
4 / 8
Desertion and A.W.O.L.
1918-1919
4 / 9
Draft
1918
4 / 10
Economy and Thrift
1918
4 / 11
Exemption Boards
1917
4 / 12
Espionage Law
1918
4 / 13
Field Division
1918
4 / 14
Food Storage Houses
1918
4 / 15
Ford Tractors
1918
4 / 16
Four Minute Men
1918
4 / 17
Fuel Conservation
1917-1918
4 / 18
Gardens
1917-1918
4 / 19
German Books and German Speaking
1917-1918
4 / 20
Health, Sex, and Venereal Disease
1918-1919
4 / 21
Honor Rolls
1918
4 / 22
Highway Transportation
1918
4 / 23
Housing
1918
4 / 24
Labor
1918-1919
4 / 25
Labor Day
1918
4 / 26
Labor Shortages
1917-1918, undated
4 / 27
Labor Shortage Laws
1918-1919, undated
4 / 28
Legal Committees
1918
4 / 29
Libraries and Schools, German Book Removal
1918
4 / 30
Liquor
1918
4 / 31
Loyalty and Sedition
1918
4 / 32
Mayors - Public Speaking Ordinances
1918
4 / 33
Motor Transportation
1918
4 / 34
Newspapers, Weekly
1918
4 / 35
Nurse Reserve Campaign
1918
4 / 36
Orders
1918
4 / 37
Patriotic Meetings
1918
4 / 38
Photographs
1918
4 / 39
Photographs, Members of Defense Council
1919
4 / 40
Posters
1918
4 / 41
Predatory Animals
1918
4 / 42
President's Mediation Commission
1918
4 / 43
Public Information Committee
1918
4 / 44
Railroads - Order No. 4
1918
4 / 45
Retail Merchants
1917-1918
4 / 46
Soldiers' Property Rights
1918
4 / 47
Soliciation of Funds
1917-1918
4 / 48
Speakers' Bureau
1918
4 / 49
State Fairs
1918
4 / 50
Professor Walter Templeton Case
1918-1919
4 / 51
Threshing Machines
1918
4 / 52
Transportation Taxes
1918
5 / 1
U.S. Army and Navy
1918-1919
5 / 2
U.S. Commercial Economy Board
1918
5 / 3
U.S. Council of National Defense; Bulletins
1918
5 / 4
U.S. Council of National Defense; Circulars
1918
5 / 5
U.S. Council of National Defense; General Letters
1918
5 / 6
U.S. Council of National Defense; Women's Division
1917-1918
5 / 7
U.S. Federal Reserve
1917
5 / 8
U.S. Forest Service
1918
5 / 9
U.S. Interior Department; Bureau of Education
1916-1917, undated
5 / 10
U.S. Labor Department; Boys' Working Reserve
1917-1918
5 / 11
U.S. Shipping Board
1918
5 / 12
U.S. War Industries Board
1917-1918
5 / 13
United War Work Campaign
1918
5 / 14
War Chest Campaign
1918
5 / 15
War Defense Fund
1918
5 / 16
War Legislation
1918
5 / 17
War Risk Insurance
1918-1919
5 / 18
War Savings
1917-1918

Clippings Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5 / 19
Miscellaneous
1918, undated

Financial Records Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5 / 20
Statements and miscellaneous accounts
Nov., 1918-July, 1919

Organization Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5 / 21
Minute volume
Mar., 1918-Aug., 1921
5 / 22
Minutes, orders and resolutions
Apr., 1917-July, 1918
5 / 23
Minutes and orders
Aug. 12, 1918
5 / 24
Minutes, orders, petitions, testimony and communications
Sept. 9, 1918
5 / 25
Minutes, testimony, agreements and communications
Oct. 7, 1918
5 / 26
Minutes, statements and testimony
Nov. 25, 1918
5 / 27
Minutes, report and communications
Feb. 10, 1918
5 / 28
Minutes, resolutions and communications
Jul. 26, 1918
5 / 29-32
Miscellaneous communications from meetings
1918-1919, undated

Exhibits Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5 / 33
Oscar Rohn Case
1919 May-June

Proceedings Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5 / 34
Joint Sessions, State and County Councils
1918 May 27-29
6 / 1
Carbon County Defense Council meeting
1918 July 1

Legal Documents Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6 / 2
William Dunne Case, subpoena
1918 June 3

Testimony Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6 / 3
Von Waldru Case, testimony (vol. 1)
1918 May-June
6 / 4
Von Waldru Case, testimony (vol. 1, duplicate)
1918 May-June
6 / 5
Von Waldru Case, testimony (vol. 2)
1918 May-June

Miscellany Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6 / 6
Forms, memoranda, notes, etc.
1917-1918, undated

Ephemera Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6 / 7
British Houses of Parliament Reports
1915-1918
6 / 8
National Defense Council Proceedings
1917
6 / 9-10
Various state council pamphlets
1917-1919, undated
6 / 11
Miscellaneous
1918-1919, undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Censorship
  • Civil defense
  • County agricultural agents
  • German Americans
  • Germans
  • Patriotism
  • Sedition
  • World war, 1914-1918--Censorship
  • World war, 1914-1918--Public opinion
  • World war, 1914-1918--War work
  • Geographical Names :
  • Beaverhead County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Big Horn County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Blaine County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Broadwater County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Carbon County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Carter County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Cascade County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Chouteau County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Custer County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Dawson County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Deer Lodge County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Fallon County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Fergus County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Flathead County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Gallatin County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Granite County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Hill County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Jefferson County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Lewis And Clark County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Lincoln County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Madison County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Meagher County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Mineral County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Missoula County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Musselshell County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Park County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Powder River County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Prairie County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Ravalli County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Richland County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Rosebud County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Sanders County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Sheridan County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Silver Bow County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Stillwater County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Sweet Grass County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Teton County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Toole County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Valley County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Wheatland County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Wibaux County (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Yellowstone County (Mont.)--Politics and government