The C.M. Russell Memorial and Those Who Lived There
An ordinary-looking house in Great Falls, Montana, is the setting for a connection between two prominent pioneer Montana families. Charles Russell and his wife, Nancy, built the house and lived in it during the years that Charlie was becoming a famous western artist. After Russell’s death, the daughter-in-law and other family members of Paris Gibson, the founder of Great Falls and a U.S. Senator, kept the story of Russell alive for almost a quarter of a century by living in the Russell home and caring for the memorial that bore Russell’s name. Until now this account of the connection between these two prominent Montana families has all but been forgotten.
When a professor made the statement in a college class, that history was made of stories mainly about people, the whole concept of history changed for Suzanne Waring, and she has enjoyed doing historical research and writing since.
Maintaining that interest through volunteering, she serves on the Great Falls/Cascade County Historical Preservation Commission in Great Falls, Montana, and is involved in restoring the home where Brother Van lived.
As her avocation, she writes for regional magazines on topics such as agriculture and people who live in the area. She tries to get in a historical article whenever possible.
Waring holds a B.S. in secondary education with a major in social science from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas; a M.A. in English from the University of Montana, Missoula, Montana; and an Ed.D. in Adult, Community, and Higher Education from Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. When she isn’t writing, Waring enjoys gardening. She and her husband, Leonard, of over fifty years, often travel to see their family, which includes driving to Alaska.
About Bill Dakin:
Bill Dakin is a retiree living near Bigfork, Mt. A Gibson descendant, his memories of childhood visits to his “grandparents’ house” in the early 1950’s were the inspiration for this research project. He earned a B.S. in History at MSU (’71) and an M.A. in Anthropology at UM (’81). He was a Road Crew leader in Glacier National Park for a dozen years, and owned a RE/MAX brokerage in Columbia Falls. He was appointed by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee to the National Park Service in 2000-02 to recommend a strategy for the reconstruction of the Going-To-The-Sun Road. He is a lifelong Montana history buff and is happily unable to stop exploring our glorious state and learning the stories of its people and places.