Here’s what that top part says, and then below that is the complete list cut together from a few photos.
Of course, with the numbers of people we’ve had since statehood in 1889, and the numbers from territorial Montana in 1864, and the numbers since Lewis and Clark came through in 1804, and the numbers since the native people came…oh, I dunno…and I think you get the idea.
Most of the people are involved with the arts, or causes, or passions. You don’t see a lot of politicians on there, though there are some, and there are some businessmen too. Of course, if you are a politician and we think you do a good job, you might get a cool bust.
You’ll also find the Spanish-American War memorial to those that died in that conflict, right by the doors that head to the main steps.
That’s how we can learn about people like Sam Gilluly, a Montana journalist that lived from 1908 to 1984.
Well, actually…we can’t. There’s no listing for him, or many of the other names on the site. Why this is, I can’t say, except that the Historical Society is spending more time worrying about new buildings than telling the state’s history. That’s what I’ll go ahead and assume, because honestly, what other state workers are supposed to write historical accounts for state government?
Beats me, but that’s the case. So if you want to learn about some of the people that the State of Montana has honored in the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans, you’ll have to look elsewhere. I’m confident that past inductee, and former director of the Montana Historical Society, K. Ross Toole, would say that’s a shame.
So newspapers were in Sam Gilluly’s blood, and it’s likely why he enrolled in the University of Montana School of Journalism, graduating in 1930. After that it was to the Great Falls Tribune, until 1932 when he became editor of the Glasgow Courier. Guilluly held that position until 1960 when he moved to Helena to work for the Montana Chamber of Commerce as a publications editor. In 1967 he became director of the Montana Historical Society, retiring in 1974.
He wasn’t done yet. His daughter-in-law, Sue Hart, recounts him serving on a panel “on weekly newspapering with Montana’s two Pulitzer Prize winners, Bud Guthrie and Mel Ruder.” (Fifty Years, p 157)
He also served as the executive secretary of the Montana Press Association for five years.
Gilluly wrote The Press Gang: A Century of Montana Newspaper, which was released in 1985. Montana historian Michael P. Malone said it was “full of anecdotes and historical vignettes.” (A History of Two Centuries, p 442)
Sam Gilluly died on May 20, 1984. He was 76 years old.
The Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame was created in 1958 and each year honors one deceased Montana journalist who “made outstanding contributions to the profession, the arts and their community.” Notable names that you might recognize include:
- Arthur L. Stone, 1958
- Thomas J. Dimsdale, 1962
- Joseph Kinsey Howard, 1967
- Miles Romney, 1969
- Tom Stout, 1973
- Miles Romney, Jr., 1982
- A.B. Guthrie, Jr., 1994
- Harold G. “Hal” Stearns, 2011
There are lots more, but I don’t know who they are. I bet you don’t either. Oh well.
Montana newspapers have fallen off a lot recently, and that decline isn’t going to slow.
Farr, William E. and Bevis, William W. (eds.). Fifty Years After The Big Sky: New Perspectives on the Fiction and Films of A.B. Guthrie, Jr. Zadig: Helena, 2001. p 157.
Malone, Michael Peter; Roeder, Richard B.; Lang, William L. Montana: A History of Two Centuries. The University of Washington Press: Seattle, 1976. p 442.
The Spokesman Review, 22 May 1984.