James J. Flaherty, Sr. Papers, 1960-1979

Overview of the Collection

James J. Flaherty, Sr., 1890-1979
James J. Flaherty, Sr. Papers
1960-1979 (inclusive)
0.5 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 095 (collection)
James J. Flaherty, Sr., was a Great Falls, Montana, businessman and community leader who had close contact with many important Montana and national politicians.
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
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.

Funding for creating this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

James J. Flaherty, Sr., was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 23, 1890 and graduated from LaSalle Institute. He came to Montana in 1913 and co-founded the Great Falls Paper Company with his brothers in March 1931. He married Sibyl Elsie Fogarty of Chinook in 1919; she died in 1971. At the time of his death, Mr. Flaherty was Chairman of the Board of the company. He died on November 11, 1979, at the age of 89.

Mr. Flaherty was a community leader and a long-time booster of Great Falls. He was active in civic and political (Democratic) affairs locally and statewide. He maintained a personal relationship with such known Montana politicians as James Murray, Burton K. Wheeler, Wellington Rankin, Mike Mansfield, and Lee Metcalf.

He served as President of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1939 and President of the Montana Chamber of Commerce in 1946, 1947, and 1948. In 1971 and 1972, Mr. Flaherty was associated with farmers and ranchers in an effort to get all-access roads paved in the Triangle Area near Great Falls. These roads were being used for the construction of the Safeguard system which contained Minuteman missiles. For many years he was Chairman of both the Canadian Relations Committee and the Military Affairs Committee for the local chamber. He was a Life Member of both the Lethbridge and Calgary Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Flaherty was regarded by many as Montana's unofficial ambassador to Alberta and was an Honorary Chief of the Blood Indian Tribe, known as the Kainai Chieftainship, (Blackfoot Confederacy) in Cardston, Alberta. He was Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the St. Gerard Church

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains general and personal correspondence of Mr. Flaherty from the years 1960, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, and 1975-1979. He corresponded with U. S. Congressman Lee Metcalf, Montana; U. S. Senator and Ambassador Mike Mansfield, Montana; U. S. Representative John Melcher, Montana; U. S. Representative Richard Shoup, Montana; U. S. Representative Ron Marlenee, Montana; Casper Wienberger, U. S. Treasury Department; Hugh Dempsey, author; Paul Hatfield, Mt Supreme Court; Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; Peter Lougheed, Premier of Alberta; Governor Tom Judge, Montana; Cyrus Vance, Sec. of State; U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, Alaska; numerous Montana State legislators; numerous editors of Montana papers; and Milton Friedman of the Hoover Institute in California.

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. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], James J. Flaherty, Sr., Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is divided into two series:

Series I: Correspondence, 8 folders, 1960-1979

Series II: Printed Materials, 1 folder, 1960 and 1971

Acquisition Information

Gift of James Flaherty, Jr., 1980.

Processing Note

This collection was originally organized by date. It was reorganized by subject matter into folders, alphabetically, then in ascending order by date, and a new finding aid was prepared in 1999.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Correspondence , 1960-1979Return to Top

8 folders

This series contains correspondence regarding issues in Great Falls and Montana. There are numerous letters between Mr. Flaherty and the Montana delegates to Congress relating to the effort to get the roads in the Triangle Area (around Great Falls) paved. The series houses correspondence dealing with the close contact Mr. Flaherty had with Canada, both personally and professionally. The personal letters associated with Canada regard his honorary membership into the Kainai Chieftainship, of which Prince Charles of Great Britain became a member. Mr. Flaherty's involvement in the chambers of commerce of many cities in the province of Alberta, Canada composes the majority of his professional involvement with Canada.

Container(s) Description Dates
Great Falls
Kainai Chieftainship, Blood Indian Tribe, Canada
Special Committee for Paving All-Access Roads in the Triangle Area
1971 and 1972
Special Committee for Paving All-Access Roads in the Triangle Area

Series II:  Printed Materials , 1960, 1971Return to Top

1 folder

This series only contains two items, a program and a tribute book. The program is for the Montana Governor's Prayer Breakfast in 1971 to which Mr. Flaherty was invited. The tribute book is in honor of the retirement of Senator James E. Murray of Montana in 1960. Senator Murray was one of Mr. Flaherty's closest friends.

Container(s) Description Dates
Program, Montana Governor's Prayer Breakfast
Tribute to Senator James Murray, Montana

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Legislators--Montana--Correspondence
  • Newspaper editors--Montana--Correspondence
  • Politicians--Montana--Correspondence

Personal Names

  • Dempsey, Hugh Aylemer, 1929--Correspondence
  • Friedman, Milton, 1912--Correspondence
  • Gravel, Mike, 1930--Correspondence
  • Hatfield, Paul Gerhart, 1928-2000--Correspondence
  • Judge, Thomas L.--Correspondence
  • Lougheed, Peter, 1928--Correspondence
  • Mansfield, Mike, 1903--Correspondence
  • Marlenee, Ronald Charles, 1935--Correspondence
  • Melcher, John, 1924--Correspondence
  • Metcalf, Lee, 1911-1978--Correspondence
  • Shoup, Richard Gardner, 1923--Correspondence
  • Trudeau, Pierre Elliott--Correspondence
  • Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917--Correspondence
  • Weinberger, Caspar W.--Correspondence

Form or Genre Terms

  • Personal papers--Montana--Great Falls