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Photographs - Collections - 0001-00050 - #00030-I

Title: Ben Innis
Dates: ca. 1880

Collection Number: 00030-I

Quantity: 16 items

Abstract: Singles and group photos of officers and women at Fort Buford (D.T.).

Provenance: Ben Innis loaned the photographs to the State Historical Society of North Dakota to make copies for the collection in April 1970.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.       

Related Collections:       
MSS 10236 Ben Innis
MSS 10250 Fort Buford Post Office

From the Williston Daily Herald, Tuesday April 9, 1985

Ben Innis, author and nationally known historian on the Upper Missouri, died today in Williston following a long illness. He was 64.

Mr. Innis wrote several books on the history of the Upper Missouri, focusing particularly on the confluence area of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. He was the first writer to fully explore the history of the region. “It’s a piece of work long overdue to introduce some of the people and events which shaped our regional destiny,” Mr. Innis wrote in “Dakota Makoce,” a collection of historical accounts published in 1976 by the Williston Daily Herald. Mr. Innis’ interest in area history led him to organize the Fort Buford Sixth Infantry Regiment, a historical reenactment group in 1962, and the Fort Union-Fort Buford Council in 1975. His work in promoting the restoration of the Fort Union Trading Post and Fort Buford was instrumental in having Fort Union placed into the National Park system. Mr. Innis continued to campaign for the restoration project until his death.

Mr. Innis contributed a great deal of time and writing to “The Wonder of Williams,” a history of early days in Williams County, and contributed to the Sidney, Mont. History, “Courage Enough.” Mr. Innis was a six-year member of the Board of Directors of the State Historical Society of North Dakota and was named a Special Fellow of History by the Society in 1973. His first book, “Sagas of the Smokey Water,” was recently completed and will be published this spring. Mr. Innis worked on the book for more than 20 years, gathering information and researching. “Saga” is being published by the Williston Centennial Commission, the first of three books on area history the group plans to publish for its 1987 celebration.
Mr. Innis wrote for several magazines including North Dakota History, North Dakota Horizons, as well as authoring many booklets and feature articles for other publications.

One of Mr. Innis’ books was a translation of a two-part diary he traced from its origin in Fort Buford to a college library in the East. The diaries, written by Pvt. Wilmont P. Sanford, were an account of Sanford’s Army career at Buford from 1873 to 1877. Mr. Innis completed the first book alone and collaborated with Michael Hill, then a Williston resident, on the second. Hill, now living in Lisbon, said he was inspired to become involved in historical writing by Mr. Innis. “He was a great person and a fantastic friend,” hill said. “I learned so much from working with him and I’m really going to miss him.”

Mr. Innis worked as a radio broadcaster and news director at KEYZ-KYYZ in Williston for a number of years. Erwin Miller, Williston, was a colleague and friend of Mr. Innis who worked at the radio station with him. “I always admired Ben,” Miller said. “He was always rarin’ to go, even after his illness got to him. And he was always willing to help out wherever he could. He will be a real loss for the community.”

Mr. Innis was born in Wolf Point, Mont. On Aug. 17, 1920 to Ben Innis, Sr. and Petra Innis. He moved to Williston as a child. He attended Williston schools and served in the Army in World War II in Europe. He attended Idaho State College and began his career as a radio broadcaster in Marshfield, Wisc., where he met and married Jane Miller.

He is survived by his wife, his mother Petra, two sons, Jock and Mark, both of Williston, two daughters, Jennifer and Martha of Billings, Mont., a sister, Jeanette Faust of Gillette Wyo., and a brother, Jim of Long Beach, Calif.


00030-I-00001    Thad Turner Group, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00002    Professor Boyer Band leader, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00003    Captain L R Loughborough 1st Company E 25th Regiment Infantry, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00004    Captain George D Sanderson Commander Company C 11th Infantry Reserves Fort Buford (D.T.)  1880
00030-I-00005    Captain George H. Evans Commander Company D 10th Cavalry Reserves, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00006    Aggie Kelly Ben Innis collection  Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00007    Leighton Jordan and Heddrick Trading Post and Living Quarters, Fort Buford (N.D.) 1866-1895
00030-I-00008    Farewell Hop Given For Colonel Joseph Nelson Garland, Fort Buford (D.T.) October 1886
00030-I-00009    Mrs. Finley Wife Captain James A Finley Post Surgeon, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00010    Forbes Hop, Fort Buford (D.T.)   1880
00030-I-00011    Mrs. E. H. Webber wife 1st Lt Edwin H. Webber, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880
00030-I-00012    Group on steps, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1885
00030-I-00013    2nd Lt. James F. Bell Co L 7th Cavalry, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1884
00030-I-00014    Group Villa Militaire, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1886 Lyon & Son photo
00030-I-00015    Fort Buford (D.T.) 1885
00030-I-00016    Gus Hedderick, Fort Buford (D.T.) 1880

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