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Ida S. Patterson manuscript, circa 1950

Overview of the Collection

Patterson, Ida S.(Ida Smith), 1903-1954
Ida S. Patterson manuscript
circa 1950 (inclusive)
1 folder
Collection Number
Mss 226
This typescript and manuscript reminiscence is Ida Patterson's first-person story of Emma Magee, and is apparently based on interviews with her.
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.

Additional Reference Guides

Finding aid in the repository.


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Historical NoteReturn to Top

Ida S. Patterson was born in 1903. She was a resident of Polson, Montana, when she wrote this manuscript about Emma Magee. Patterson died in 1954.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Emma Magee was born in Montana Territory near Hell Gate in 1866. Her mother was born to a Native American woman and a Spanish man in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana; her father was Dutch and came west for his health. He served as the surveyor of Missoula County from 1865 to 1880. Magee describes many details of her youth, including home life, food, schooling, the Bison Range, and travelers and new settlers. She recounts how her father spoke with the band of Nez Perce at Lolo Creek as they fled from U.S. forces in 1877. Magee also worked in the C. P. Higgins household as a housemaid. She married Thomas Waymack in 1882. She and her husband traveled into Canada, but returned to the U.S. to settle in the Flathead Valley, near Kalispell, Montana. They later moved onto Thompson Falls, Montana, where her husband mined gold in the Murray gold camp. He also worked briefly in the Drum Lummon Mine near Marysville, Montana. They had two children who they lost when the family cabin burnt to the ground in 1887. They attempted unsuccessfully to homestead in the Bitterroot Valley, then moved on to High River, Alta, Alberta. Magee returned to Missoula, divorced her husband, and gained employment as a housekeeper.

In 1895, Emma married Andrew D. Magee, and they moved onto the Flathead Reservation for a time the following year. They later purchased a ranch up Lolo Creek, Montana. In 1908, she claimed her tribal allotment of eighty acres on the Flathead Reservation, and they later moved into St. Ignatius, Montana. In 1940, she moved to San Pedro, California, where she separated from her husband, then returned to St. Ignatius in 1942. She died in 1950.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Published in Montana memories: the life of Emma Magee in the Rocky Mountain West, 1866-1950 Pablo, Montana, 1981

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], Ida S. Patterson Manuscript, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

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