H. E. and Lillian Kirkemo papers, 1883-1998  PDF

Overview of the Collection

H. E. and Lillian Kirkemo papers
1883-1998 (inclusive)
2.0 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 532
H. E. Kirkemo was a Missoula, Montana, residential and commercial architect who drafted and designed many prominent buildings in western Montana and northern Idaho. The collection contains photographs, clippings, business records and a very small amount of personal correspondence from Lillian Kirkemo.
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.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Henry Elmer “Kirk” Kirkemo was born in 1894. Kirkemo was hired by Missoula, Montana, architect Ole Bakke as a draftsman in 1920 and he became a licensed architect in 1924. After Bakke retired, Kirkemo continued the architectural firm under his own name. Formally trained, Kirkemo created innovative designs using modern architectural theory and materials. He was a pioneer in the field of ‘Lift Slab Construction.’ Kirkemo designed hundreds of public and private buildings throughout Western Montana and Idaho. The Wilma building and St. Patrick’s Hospital are two of the most noteworthy Kirkemo projects, but he also designed many area schools in western Montana and buildings in Wallace, Idaho.

Lillian Fellows was born on September 6, 1898 and spent her early years in Vermillion, South Dakota. She moved to Missoula on November 1, 1920 and married H. E. Kirkemo on July 30, 1921.When H. E. Kirkemo retired in the early 1960s, his son, James W. Kirkemo, took over the business.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes photographs, personal and business-related correspondence, and other records. Of particular note are many clippings, articles, and photographs relating to Missoula’s Wilma Building and St. Patrick’s Hospital. Also included is H. E. Kirkemo’s estimate/billing book and photographic portfolio of completed projects. There is information, personal correspondence, and a few photographs relating to the Hilger family, a pioneer family that settled in the Gates of the Mountains area near Helena. The majority of personal correspondence in the collection is from Lillian Kirkemo.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

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], H. E. and Lillian Kirkemo Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Arabian Nights novel belonging to Lillian Kirkemo 1907
1/2 Building Photographs 1921-1954
1/3 Clippings and articles 1931-1998
1/4 Correspondence, Personal 1969-1988
1/5 Correspondence, Professional 1926-1961
1/6 Elks Club brochure and newsletter 1947-1950
1/7 Hilger family information and correspondence 1967-1985
1/8 H. E. Kirkemo architectural portfolio 1922-1931
2/1 H. E. Kirkemo Business Ledger and project list 1923-1961
2/2 H. E. Kirkemo photographs undated
2/3 Miscellaneous photographs 1883-1986
2/4 Missoula Country Club 1948-1979
2/5 Saint Patrick’s Hospital clippings and information 1944-1984
2/6 Wilma Building clippings and information 1978-1988
2/7 Good House Keeping Medal for merit undated
2/8 Miscellany undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Hospitals--Montana--Missoula
  • Personal Names :
  • Hilger family
  • Kirkemo, H. E. (Henry Elmer), 1894-1987 (creator)
  • Kirkemo, Lillian Fellows, 1898-1990 (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • St. Patrick's Hospital (Missoula, Mont.)
  • Wilma Building (Missoula, Mont.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Missoula (Mont.)--Buildings, structures, etc
  • Occupations :
  • Architects--Montana--Missoula
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Kirkemo, H. E. (Henry Elmer), 1894-1987 (creator)
    • Kirkemo, Lillian Fellows, 1898-1990 (creator)