Welcome to the Official Site of the:

      Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers 


Big Sky Country!  

Greetings from the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers

A Short Introduction of our Historical Beginning

We hope to make this a public stopping place for our members and all interested people. Events, meetings, and news stories concerning the Sons and Daughters can be found here, along with other information of historical significance, a link to our quarterly newsletter -- The Pick and Shovel, application forms to join the Sons and Daughters, the new Pioneer Heritage Book, and information about our board of directors. We hope you benefit from our website and accept our invitation to enjoy the history of the great State of Montana -

Feel free to drop a line and let us know what you would like to see here. Michael (Cowboy) Russell is your Webmaster here, and if any of you have historical pictures to incorporate on this site, please send them. If you email Mike, he will send you a mailing address. His email is located at the logo below.

This picture was taken in Helena in 1892, when the first
chapter of Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers was
founded during a meeting of the Society of Montana Pioneers

The first group assembled on the steps of the county
courthouse with the founders, Mrs. T. H. Kleinschmidt,
standing left third row, and Mrs. P. B. Clarke, who stands
next to her.

Seated in the first row, left to right, are
Will Curtiss, Albert Loeb and Lewis Penwell; second row,
Charles Dahler, Ada Deegan, Mae Curtiss Cone, unidentified,
Dr. Charles Reinig, Gertie Hickman Thompson, Frances
Jurgens Toby, Theodore E. Kleinschmidt, Marie
Kleinschmidt Southworth, Alma Sanford,
Frances Esker Woodman, Bessie M. Whitcomb,
a Merrill boy, Jacob Lissner, Bessie Kirdendall,
Mrs. P. B. Sanford, Edward Horsky, Dr. Ben Brooke,
a Merrill boy, unidentified, Toby Hedges, and unidentified.

Third row, standing left to right, Mrs. T. H. Kleinschmidt,
Mrs. P. B. Clarke, Tot Millegan, unidentified,
Albert Quirk Dygert, Reta Clarke Hauser,
Kady Kirkendall Shepard, Nona N. Brown, a Stewart,
Nettie Redding Little and Mary L. Burns.

Last row, Aurile Keeler, Charles English, unidentified,
a Merrill boy and the last man is unidentified.


Click on this link to send us an email

Society of Montana Pioneers – 130th Anniversary Pin 

As can be seen on the pin mock-up above, the oval top (magnet attachment) has the Sons and Daughters Logo with the wording “The Society of Montana Pioneers” (antiqued copper).  The linked charm has three parts:  The left is the 38 star U. S. flag of 1884 (in color), the middle circle is the Society of Montana Pioneers Seal with an eagle holding a shield (antiqued copper), and the right circle is The Seal of The Territory of Montana that was in use in 1884 (in color).  The Montana Historical Society and the Montana Secretary of State’s offices graciously gave us permission to use The Seal of The Territory of Montana.  The wording on the white ribbon: “130 Years 1884 – 2014”.

 The price of the pin is $20.00.   Anniversary Pin Order Form above (click on Anniversary Pin).   The cost for mailed pins will be $25.00 each ($20 for the pin and $5.00 for shipping and handling). Don’t miss the opportunity to own one of these limited-edition, one-of-a-kind pins for you and your family members. 

https://www.facebook.com/SonsAndDaughtersOfMontanaPioneers/  Join us on Facebook


James has established along with the University of Montana Western a "HISTORY EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP"  This Scholarship is only available at the UMW to all qualified and enrolled SENIOR History Majors planning a career in teaching history or GRADUATE Students already employed in History Education.
We started our awards in  2016-2017, and we welcomed all eligible students to apply before January 2, 2016.  Applicants will be evaluated on foinancial need, community, school, and church activities, grade point average (4.0-2.49), and (but not required) military service, and a SDMP member. The awards will continue on each year using the same timeline.
You may not have participated in all of the above activities, but dont hesitate to apply for our scholarship.
If your family came to Montana before December 31, 1868 and you are a direct descendant of a Montana Pioneer, you are eligible to join the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers Society. However, as stated above that is not a requirement for this Scholarship.  For an application write to:
SDMP Scholarship
PO Box 1051
Helena, MT 59624
or check out this website below for an application.
For a scholarship application please contact:
UMW Foundation ATTN: Roxanne Engellant
710 S. Atlantic
Dillon, MT 59725 (406) 683-7305
Thanks for your participation in the James P Kovatch and SDMP scholarship


HELENA — April Wills, a fifth-grade teacher at Bainville Public School in Bainville, Mont. is the winner of the Montana Statehood Centennial Bell Award honoring the Montana History Teacher of the Year at the 4th-6th grade level for 2020-2021.

In her nominating letter, Samantha Keefner, a fellow teacher at Bainville School, said: “April has worked very hard to bring the history of our state into the classrooms of many other educators. Without April’s expert lead, I would have never known to utilize the many wonderful traveling trunks that the Montana Historical Society has available to schools with different focuses in Montana History. Her passion and excitement for Montana History is present in everything she does.”

“My favorite part about the Montana History unit was getting to pick a famous person from Montana and making a movie about them. I chose Charlie Russell. It was really interesting learning about his life and the impact he had on Montana,” said Wills student Tally Berwick.

A native of Columbus, Mont., Wills graduated from Broadwater High School in Townsend, Mont. and received her Elementary Education degree from the University of Montana in Missoula. She received her Master’s Degree in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. She is a Montana Teacher Leader for the Montana Historical Society presenting Montana History to Montana History teachers across Montana.

Chosen by a panel of Montana History experts, Wills is the 32nd winner of the award. Montana history teachers at the 4th-6th grade levels are chosen on uneven numbered years. Montana history teachers at the 7th-12th grade levels are chosen on even-numbered years.

She will receive her prizes on Statehood Day, Nov. 8, 2021 at a ceremony at the State Capitol in Helena at 10:00 a.m. Sponsored by the Montana Television Network, the Montana History Foundation, Sons & Daughters of Montana Pioneers, the 1889 Coffee House in Helena, in cooperation with the Montana Historical Society, she will receive $4,500 which may be used for the purchase of Montana History materials, field trips, guest speakers and anything else that will enhance her teaching of Montana History. She will also receive a plaque.


Links to Applications and information

in order to read the Pick and Shovel you must have Adobe PDF Reader, click here to download it.  Its free and easy




Membership Application

Membership Dues

Board Members 2022 Contact Page

Sale Page

            We are now making available video's and slide show presentations that were made during the 1942 thru 1963 Conventions, slide show DVD's range from 1965 thru 1973, also, Video's of 1987, 2000, 2001, TV coverage of 2001 Book Signing and 2010 video titled "Montana Poor Farm".

If you are interested in purchasing any of these please email us using the link above or below

Free Guestbook
Our Guestbook 

If you have inquiries about your ancestry, please do not ask about them in the
guestbook, please email us with your questions and we will get them answered that way.

click pen well to email inquiries

This page copyrighted 2-98 - 2019
by Michael Russell..aka Cowboy

Page updated June 15, 2020

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