- Billings, Harry, 1913-1990
- Harry Billings Montana Power Company Collection
- 1939-1970 (inclusive)19391970
- 0.75 linear feet, (2 boxes)
- Collection Number
- Mss 041
- Harry Billings was a newspaper editor in Helena, Montana. The collection documents his allegations that the Montana Power Company took part in unfair actions, including rate increases, tax cuts, and overcharges. The materials were used by Russell L. Doty, Jr., in the course of his research for his master's thesis in political science at the University of Montana--Missoula.
- 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
- 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.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Harry L. Billings was born in Somers, Montana, in 1913; his father worked in the lumber mill. His mother was a homesteader and early day schoolteacher in the Hot Springs, Montana, area where he was raised. He was a graduate of Thompson Falls High School and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Montana--Missoula in 1933. His wife, Gretchen Garber Billings, was a native of Whitefish, Montana, whose grandparents homesteaded in the Plains area in the mid-1880s. The Billings jointly edited the farmer-labor owned newspaper The People's Voice in Helena, Montana, from 1946 to 1969, resigning after a lengthy dispute with organized labor over support of the Vietnam War. Billings opposed American involvement in Korea and Vietnam. As managing editor of The People's Voice, in the 1950s and 1960s, Billings took the Montana Power Company to task for rate increases, tax cuts, and overcharges that Billings and others felt were unfair actions on the Company's part. During the Montana sales tax fight of 1971, Harry coordinated the successful opposition to enactment of the proposed tax, and then spent two and one half years as Director of Education and Research for the Montana State AFL-CIO. He was also a member of the Montanan Bicentennial advisory council in the mid-1970s and in 1983 was awarded the University of Montana's distinguished alumni award.
The Billings retired first to their home in Thompson Falls and then moved full-time to Apache Junction, Ariz., when Harry began suffering respiratory problems. He died on April 23, 1990.
Russell L. Doty, Jr. served in the Montana State House of Representatives for Great Falls, Cascade County. He earned an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Montana--Missoula in 1970.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The collection documents Billings' allegations that the Montana Power Company took part in unfair actions, including rate increases, tax cuts, and overcharges. The materials were used by Russell L. Doty, Jr., in the course of his research for his master's thesis in political science at the University of Montana--Missoula. The collection contains correspondence, clippings, articles, reports, legal papers, and notes produced by Billings and collected by him in the course of his research on the Montana Power Company. Frequent correspondents include Mrs. S. Rae Logan, Senator Lee Metcalf, and Vic Reinemer. Reports in the collection were produced by the Montana Power Company, the Montana Public Service Commission, and the Federal Power Commission.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
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.
[Name of document or photograph number], Harry Billings Montana Power Company Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The materials were in Harry Billings' possession until about 1970, when they were acquired by Russell L. Doty, Jr. as research materials for his 1970 M.A. thesis in Political Science at the University of Montana, Consumers' Council: Countervailing Power to Montana Power?
Gift of Harry Billings through Russell L. Doty, Jr., ca. 1970.
The original processor arranged the collection and produced a brief finding aid. In 2004, the finding aid was expanded and encoded.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
|1/3||Clippings, Congressional Record||1963-1964|
|1/8||Montana Senate report||1939|
|1/9||Federal Power Commission hearings||1950-1965|
|1/10||Montana Public Service Commission, briefs and exhibits||1953|
|1/13||Montana Power Company reports||1953-1965|
|1/14||Harry Billings news stories||undated|
|2/2||Pacific Northwest Power Bulletin and ECIC Newsletter||1964-1968|
|2/3||Articles, flyers, brochures||1940-1968|
|2/4||Montana Power Company, claim sheets
to state of Montana
Acquired by Russell Doty for his research.
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Corruption investigation -- Montana
- Public utilities--Corrupt practices--Montana
- Logan, Rae, 1885-1970--Correspondence
- Metcalf, Lee, 1911-1978--Correspondence
- Reinemer, Vic, 1923---Correspondence
- Montana Power Company--Corrupt practices
- University of Montana--Missoula--Alumni and alumnae
- Montana--Politics and government--20th century
- Newspaper editors -- Montana--Helena
- Political activists -- Montana--Helena
- Doty, Russell L.
- Montana Power Company
- Montana Public Service Commission
- United States. Federal Power Commission