GLENN M. CHAFFIN
Glenn Chaffin is a descendant of one
of Montana's oldest families. His great grandfather, Balaam Chaffin, came
to Bannack from the middlewest settlements in 1863. His grandfather and grandmother,
Elijah Chaffin and Margaret Mitchell Chaffin, accompanied by several brothers
and their families, drove an ox team from Kansas to the Bitterroot Valley
in 1864. Elijah was the leader of an extensive clan and played a big part
in transforming a western wilderness into a stable and progressive community.
The book "The Last Horizon" written by Glenn, tells a wonderful story of the
Chaffin and Mitchell families.
Glenn's writing career started
in 1917 as a second year student at the University of Montana in Missoula,
Montana when he became a reporter for the "Daily Missoulian." After serving
in the U.S. Navy during World War I, Chaffin completed his third year at the
University, then resumed his newspaper career as a crime reporter for the
Oregon Journal in Portland, Oregon.
In succeeding years, Glenn became a gold miner
in Alaska, a reporter for the Great Falls Tribute, and a motion picture press
agent in Hollywood, California. Here he also wrote star interviews for motion
picture fan magazines and resumed his newspaper work briefly as a motion picture
newsman for the Jimmie Fidler radio show.
He authored several comic strips, one a highly successful
feature of the twenties and thirties entitled "Tailspin Tommy." He spent a
year on the writing staff of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in Culver City where
his wife Mae was a secretary to Louis B. Mayer, studio general manager. Glenn
also wrote a thirteen weeks' dramalogue for the National Broadcasting Company
and devoted a year reporting motion picture news for the Jimmie Fidler radio
Tiring of the motion picture "rat race" in 1940,
the Chaffins moved with their 2 children to a country home near Corvallis,
close to the place of Glenn's birth. For several years, Glenn continued sporadic
reporting for the Bell Syndicate in New York. In 1944, the syndicate assigned
him to cover Army Airforce activities in the United States and Navy air bases
as a war correspondent.
In 1948, he took a "temporary" jog as the combined
secretary-manager of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Ravalli County
Fair. He held those positions for 14 years. During the years 1965-1971, he
was a seasonal staff writing for the Montana Advertising Department, doing
travel-vacation newspaper articles.
Up to the end of his life, his great love
was writing. Through the years, he authored several books and contributed
to several publications. In later years, Glenn and Mae sold their home and
settled in a house trailer on a piece of the old Chaffin property, north of
Corvallis. It is there that Glenn died on February 28, 1978. Mae passed on
a year later, September 25, 1978. Both are buried in the Corvallis Cemetery.
Leda Reed, The Song of the Bitter Root, 1986