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PowerPoint & PDF Presentations of Interest

(Presentations are summaries taken from the various research documents noted elsewhere within this website’s articles, as related to the subject matter)


Released November 29, 2012


File Name

(Approximate file size)


Big Horn County

(22 Meg)

The Bi-Centennial Committee of the Big Horn Historical Society created a history of the county up to 1940. It was presented in a small booklet “Looking Back”. It is a remarkable recreation of the very early days, has a large collection of photos and stories. This is a true gem and references to this booklet are rare! Compiled from a Big Horn Scrap Book at the Parmly Billings Library.

Big Horn County Scrapbook

(46 Meg)

This scrapbook was created in 1932, and covers a lot of interesting tales. Not all collections are dated. An index is provided,

Bozeman Trail

(27 Meg)

There were eight separate trail variations established to connect Virginia City in Montana Territory, with the supply routes leading from St Louis. The one frequently referred to as the “Bozeman Trail”, created by John Bozeman, is one of them. This presentation identifies all eight. The town of Bozeman is on these routes. The full trail was established by the military’s chief guide (Major Jim Bridger in 1865), and starts at Fort Kearny, NB. This trail passes through the Twin Monuments located adjacent to the Yellowstone County’s highest point. This is the trail defined explicitly by Col Carrington in his future presentations to Congress and the British Parliament following the Fetterman Massacre.

Census Briefing

(3 Meg)

Presented in 2006 as part of a genealogy training program established by the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum in Billings, MT. Depicts some techniques that can be used to help definitely locate pre-1920 US Census Record persons by actual name; and not simply a “number of persons”. The technique requires that each person listed be given an unique alpha-numeric number that can be used to trace that person forward or back in time. This system completely eliminates duplicates, or the possibility of having incorrect family ties. It is an exhaustive work, but well worth the time and energy. During the generation of each census extraction, all of the probable associated related documents are examined: registries, wills, deeds, land and other records to ascertain proper identification of names. Sometimes the nationality of the scribe has to be considered, as they might have applied their own interpretation of the person’s name, spelling or locale.

Coulson Montana

(In progress)

The small town alongside of the Yellowstone River, had a historic past, and a collection of articles about it are being re-established in this presentation. In 1909, this town and its streets, was formally integrated into the City of Billings. [When the Billings Plat was finalized in January 1881, consideration was thought to have been made for future Coulson street addresses; so that this small town might later be incorporated into Billings.]

Early Billings

(16 Meg)

Collection of some buildings not usually presented elsewhere. Details of the Yellowstone County Historical Museum on the north rims, by the airport, are provided from 1880 photos taken in Junction City; and the Sanborn fire map definitions when the cabin was used as a residence in Billings. The museum log cabin was originally constructed in 1879, and then moved to Billings after Junction City vanished.

Early Billings Photo Collection

(60 Meg)

Presented in Adobe PDF 9+ this 3-D rotational file has several choices to enlarge and download any of the numerous photos and documents presented. [Please note that there are a few typos – not my fault, the pc failed to follow instructions!] The file system takes a wee bit of time to learn the commands; but home is always: “the home icon symbol at the upper left of the screen”. Use arrows to rotate the scenes and select those of interest by simply clicking on the image. Enlargement is easy – once you become familiar with the commands. The one in the center is the one to select for enlargement.


Exploration of Montana Rivers and Area – 1859


The Secretary of War instructions to organize an expedition for the exploration of the region of country through which flow the principal tributaries of the Yellowstone River, and of the mountains in which they, and the Gallatin and Madison forks of the Missouri, have their source. [ie, The Raynold’s Expedition”. " The objects of this exploration are to ascertain, as far as practicable, everything relating to the numbers, habits and disposition of the Indians inhabiting the country, its agricultural and mineralogical resources, its climate and the influences that govern it, the navigability of its streams, its topographical features, and the facilities or obstacles which the latter present to the construction of rail or common roads, either to meet the wants of military operations or those of emigration through, or settlement in, the country.”

Fetterman Massacre – Official Report



A resolution of the House of January 29, 1867, relative to Indian massacre of United States troops near Fort Phil. Kearney.

FEBRUARY 5. 1867. --Referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs and ordered to be printed. [Note: The ‘Crazy Horse Autobiography” provides a clearer definition of the attack plan, and how it succeeded. ]

GenRoom PC

(77 K)

Simple summary collections of some materials pre-loaded into the computer as of 2005, and are available to all persons interested in genealogical research about persons and places in the county. This installation is maintained by the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum (YGF). It is located on the 2nd floor of the Parmly Billings Library in the GenRoom. Many new lists and services are being added on a continual basis. This summary only defines the initial items.

Germanic Script

(3 Meg)

Early German script handwriting is not easy to decipher, but this presentation tries to assist a person to read the writing as it was written at a point in time, not the way it should have been written today. Due in part to changes in the scripting of the letters over centuries, it is very important that a person translates each word according to the time when they were written. Failure to do so causes simple translation errors such as: “creating CARL as a name, when it is really EARL”. When researching family members from records originally written by a Germanic script, and subsequently translated and then printed, be alert to the fact that you might need to investigate variations of the printed name letters in order to locate your ancestor’s real name. This small report is compiled mainly from the Kimmel Ancestry records dating back to 1391, and accompanying historical recreation of upper and lower-case scripting letters (A – Z) over several centuries.

Great Western Sugar Plant

(7 Meg)

Historical perspective on the plant’s creation and early operation. Details on the Big Ditch over a century ago were used to provide water to the farmers is described. Prepared for the 100th Centennial.

Great Western Sugar Beet Video

(77 Meg)

Repeat of above slides (5-second transition), followed by early sugar beet farming methods video – narrated by Taylor Brown. Caution: certain Windows Media Player versions might not reproduce the Sony Beta video reproduction– but sound is okay, and some background details are still somewhat visible. I haven’t yet been able to determine why the video is scratchy.

Great Western Sugar Beet Growers-1906

(500 K)

Listing of sugar beet growers in the local area at that time the factory was founded (MS Word file).

Great Western Sugar Factory Ledger Book – 1906

(28 Meg)

Ledger books from the factory, currently retained by the Western Heritage Society – Billings, MT (pdf file). Extensive details on growers and payments.

Indian Affairs Licenses – 1820

(6 Meg)

Congressional records issued to the Senate in 1820 describe the fur trade efforts in the Louisiana Territory, plus various other activities by the DOI/BIA and the President.

Immel & Jones Massacre

(6 Meg)

Billings Gazette Anniversary publication of the event that occurred May 31, 1823 at the base of the North Rims; probably very close to Indian Rock at 6th Ave N and Main Street, (destroyed when the irrigation ditch leading into the Heights area was created.) The full article is contained on three pdf pages due to the large size of the original 1960 re-publication. Manuel Lisa’s fort is also mentioned.

Manuel Lisa’s 1807 Fort

(23 Meg)

Prepared in a pdf rotational slide preview format. Lists various slides and documents used to assist the researcher in pin-pointing the fort’s location. This is a companion presentation that can be used to accompany the Manuel Lisa Fort on the Yellowstone Book, published 2012 by Kimmel. The images presented in the book can be separately selected and enlarged as needed to view. This is not a ‘stand alone’ usage document, as narrative is not applied. Note: The fort’s location is definitively located “in pencil sketching” by William Clark on his 1810 map of the Big Horn & Yellowstone confluence map originally presented in the L&C Journals (Re-identified in 1814 as Map of the Big Horn Country). That map resides in the Missouri Historical Museum and is the only place the site is depicted. Pott’s Establishment, related trails & mileage markers are also noted .This map is not to linear scale. The fort is depicted as being on what we now call Government Island, a Public Usage Site.

Manuel Lisa’s 1807 Fort Location

(26 Meg)

Detailed identification of the Fort’s location and trails/roads created that lead to the site. Founded a short distance east inland from the south bank of the Yellowstone River near the top of Government Island. (Island is Public Use only). Coordinates are provided. Location established from compilation of 1806, 1808 & 2010 maps.

Creation of Government Island

(12 Meg)

Additional details on Manuel Lisa’s Fort location, GLO / BLM survey maps, various records, and definition of how Government Island in T5N R34E was created – and that the ownership is currently verified as Public Use. The three documents in this portfolio support the Manuel Lisa 1807 Fort Location Book defined above.

Montana Genealogy Websites

(10 Meg)

Created in 2007 to provide a “snapshot” of the local area genealogy websites inter-connected with the Montana State Genealogy Society (MSGS); depicts their location and material contents offered to the researcher. This specific document isn’t maintained, but simply depicts the organization as it was. There are numerous changes occurring daily by the individual societies; as well changes in the web addresses. Current address for MSGS is:

Some Montana Early Schools

(10 Meg)

Collection of photos – by no means complete, but simply a sample to start with! There are about 100 more to add for the local area.

Montana Maps & Trails-P1

(808 Meg)

Part 1 collection of maps and trails from 1775 to 1902. Presented in Adobe pdf this list doesn’t include the Mr Sid or Tiff maps. Most maps can be enlarged w/o loss of details. Included are over 20 early trail maps that define where a specific explorer traveled on an explicit date(s).

Monument Trail

(6 Meg)

Monument Trail passes through the Twin Monuments, follows eastward along the rocky edge of South Hills (all in Yellowstone County), and descends along Monument Creek. This leads to a crossing of Pryor Creek and continues on through Devil’s Gap and on to Monument Peak in WY. It is part of the Bozeman (Military) Trail established by Major Jim Bridger in 1865. This report only shows the part that follows Monument Creek. This trail is essentially closed to visitors (w/o rancher permissions). It is a primary route used by the Blue Creek Fire Department for access to the Crow Reservation. Small monuments exist along the trail leading from the Twin monuments to the place where it descends to the valley floor. There were two other large rock cairns on this trail, but road and farm restoration in the early 1900’s has removed them.

NPR Billings

(2 Meg)

Short summary of how NPR created the town of Billings; keeping it a secret from the local folks (excepting for a few like Perry McAdow) for almost two full years before 1882.

NPR Land Grant

(10 Meg)

Detailed description of the NPR route and line construction, its managers, and how the funding was changed from governmental sources to private. The corridor of land assignment (odd-numbered section corridor boundaries were changed from 80 per mile to 120 per mile). Much of the land acreage that was assigned had gravel within it and because of this a change in the definition of MINERAL by the GLO most boundary land was exchanged for timber land in northeastern USA.

Presettlement of Yellowstone County

(8 Meg)

Lists various significant event overviews that lead up to the creation of Billings: i.e., explorers, surveys and the Josephine Riverboat excursions.

Shoshone Ice Cave

(13 Meg)

Located about 45 minutes west of the Craters of the Moon is a 4-1/2 mile long lava tube. The average circumference is about 100 feet. Water collects, and a very low airflow creates ice formations. Currently the front end has about 22 feet of ice. Vandals destroyed part of the tube, and the remainder is almost to the tube ceiling. It was purchased by the Robinson Family in 1926 after the government virtually destroyed the site through mismanagement. In the 1800’s it was used as a source of ice for chilling beer in Shoshone (pronounced as SHOW-SHON). The interior temperature is about 27 degrees year round. Since it is so difficult to travel to the site, the webmaster presents this for your enjoyment.

Steamboats on the Yellowstone

(16 Meg)

Origination of riverboats (steamboats - steamers) that tried to get to the Yellowstone River and those that did. About 25 photos are provided. Of interest is the steamboat “Josephine”. Its journeys and corrections to its travels presented in numerous books, and the BLM map locations about this boat and its adventures are described. Because the boat was contracted for use by the government, the various journeys have been erroneously over-lapped on events that occurred. Origins of many landmarks within the Yellowstone River are defined. Note the upper deck changes after 1873 to the Josephine. (Refer to the Joseph MV Cochran – Nez Perce files for definitive clarification of the Josephine Riverboat journeys into Coulson listed on the Title Page for Yellowstone County GenWeb.)


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