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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10149

Title: Russell Reid 

Dates: 1900-1967

Collection Number: 10149

Quantity: 5 feet, 31 canisters

Abstract: Consists of correspondence, notes, financial records, research notes, photographs, maps, bibliographies, and publications dealing with administration of the State Historical Society and state parks, ornithology, and research on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Sully Expedition; manuscript articles, poetry, and short stories by Clell Gannon; information on the origins of North Dakota place names; records of Friends of Our Native Wildlife, 1919-1921; including minutes, constitution, annual reports, and a membership roster; and records of the Ladies Auxiliary to Company A, including correspondence and minutes.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the 16mm films from Lee Aide, grandson of Doris Aide who had been Russell Reid’s secretary for many years, in April 2000.

Property Rights:
The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to 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 or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

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.

Books and periodicals were transferred to the library collection and photographs can be found in Photo Collection 200.


Russell Reid was born February 6, 1900 on a farm near Hannah, North Dakota. His father, Peter Reid, settled in Cavalier County in 1886 and his mother Henrietta Balfour, came there in 1889. Both parents were immigrants from Canada. The family moved to Langdon in Cavalier County in 1905 and then to Bismarck in 1913 where Reid graduated from high school.

Russell Reid began working at the State Historical Society of North Dakota in 1917 while still in high school when the museum occupied the basement of the old Capitol. After high school Reid worked as a surveyor and at the Bismarck Public Library. In 1923, after returning to full-time work for the Historical Society, he was appointed Museum Assistant. In 1928 he received the title of Curator and in 1929 succeeded Lewis F. Crawford as Superintendent of the Historical Society. He served as Superintendent of the Society until his retirement in 1967. About the time of his appointment as Superintendent the depression hit. Reid kept the Society alive until the development of the CCC and WPA projects began to preserve and develop historic and scenic resources in the state. Reid was federal procurement officer in North Dakota for the National Park Service between 1935 and 1938. Out of the efforts of these years grew the State Parks Committee on which Reid served effectively for twenty years. This committee eventually became the North Dakota State Park Service.

Reid was a member of the National Conference of State Parks and was a senior fellow of the American Institute of Park Executives. In 1954 he was awarded the Pugsley Silver Medal for outstanding achievement in state park development and historic site preservation by the American Scenic and Historical Preservation Society. In 1958 he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from the University of North Dakota. Among the more outstanding accomplishments of his administration was the creation of the nation’s first National Memorial Park in memory of Theodore Roosevelt in the North Dakota Badlands, the Chateau de Mores Historic Site (a gift from the son of the Marquis), the international Peace Garden, and the construction of innumerable public facilities and markers at parks and historic sites throughout the state.

The Yellowstone-Missouri Fort Union Commission scheduled the transfer of the deed for Fort Union to the National Park Service to coincide with Russell Reid Day, in order to recognize Reid’s unique contribution. The transfer marked the official beginning of the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.

Salvage archaeology a program conducted in cooperation with the National Park Service designed to save priceless archaeological information from the flooding of giant dam reservoirs, began during Reid’s administration. This was the only official and systematic archaeological program ever conducted in North Dakota, a state unusually rich in plains archaeological sites.
Reid was editor of the North Dakota Historical Quarterly from 1945 to 1965. He was first vice president of the International Peace Gardens, Inc., a member of the American Association of Museums, member of the North Dakota Wildlife League, the ecologist’s Union, and former officer and founder of the Missouri Slope Chapter of the Isaac Walton League and a national director of the League.

Russell Reid served his community with energy also helping to start the Bismarck-Mandan Executives Club and serving for many years on the Bismarck Public Library Board, the Board of Trustees of the Bismarck Hospital, and the Girl Scout Executive Board. He was a member of the Bismarck Rotary Club, the Bismarck Art Association, and the Garden Club. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Reid’s contribution to the state is inestimable, not only because of the articles he wrote, the many museum specimens he personally collected, and the thousands of photographs he took, but also for the great respect in which he was esteemed by his colleagues, for the encouragement he gave to all interested in the preservation of history and wildlife, and his modest dedication which provided an example to those who knew him and made a favorable impression with the many visitors to the state he loved so intensely. Russell Reid died July 9, 1967.
Written by Craig Gannon for a Historical Society banquet honoring Reid. 


Box 1:
1 Friends of Our Native Wild Life – constitution, minutes, annual report, resolutions, membership 1919-1921
2 Ladies Auxiliary to Company A Minute Book 1917-1919

3 Atkinson Expedition of 1825 1926-1927
4 Bailey, Vernon and Florence 1919-1935
5 Bent, A. C. 1923, 1928
6 Bruening, Joe 1922-1924
7 Connolly, Delta R. 1927
8 Dakin, Dorothy 1927
9 Dickson, Allie 1923-1925
10 Edwards, S. M. 1923, 1928
11 Fisher, Clyde 1927-1932
12 Frazier, Pearl 1923-1925
13 Friends of Our Native Wild Life 1921-1921
14 Funk, Nettie S. 1925-1929
15 Gannon, Clell – Christmas Cards 1922-1945
16 Gilbert, Elise C. 1929
17 Gilmore, Melvin 1920-1927
18 Hastings, Walter E. 1922-1925
19 Heath, Fannie M.
20 Herron, Eva M. 1927-1928
21 Judd, Elmer T. 1920-1929
22 Kitchen, Merrill 1933-1947
23 Libby, O. G. 1920-1929
24 McDowell, Mrs. G. D. 1924-1930
25 Nelson, E. W. 1920-1924
26 North Dakota Game and Fish Commission 1919-1923
27 Oberholser, Harry C. 1920-1927
28 Saunders, Helen E. (Mrs. R. B. Woodelton) 1927-1944
29 Seton, Ernest Thompson 1927-1947
30 Sievers, Herman A. 1927
31 Stephens, T. C. 1928-1929
32 Stevens, O. A. 1927-1929
33 Stryker, Carol 1928-1929

Box 2:
1 Wallace, Henry C. 1923-1924
2 Weber, Neal 1927-1929
3 Wheeler, G. C. 1927-1928
4 Wilson Ornithological Club 1921-1927
5 Wood, Norman A. 1921-1925
6 Yoder, A. H. 1919-1928
7 Zahn, F. B. 1928-1929
8 Correspondence 1917-1919
9 Correspondence 1932-1929
10 Correspondence 1940-1958, n.d.
11 Christmas Cards 1932-1940, n.d.

Literary Productions
12 Bibliography of North Dakota Ornithology n.d.
13 “Birds and the Farmer” by Lester Vetter n.d.
14 “List of North Dakota Fishes” by H. L. Hankinson 1928
15 “Birds and Mammals Observed by Lewis and Clark” by Russell Reid and Clell Gannon n.d.
16 “Conservation of Our Natural Resources” by O. A. Stevens n.d.
17 Dates of Establishment and Abandonment of Forts in the Department of the Dakota 1937
18 “Down the Missouri,” by Clell Gannon n.d.
19 “The Gypsy Trail,” by Clell Gannon n.d.
20 “History of North Dakota” by Elwyn B. Robinson (draft) 1958
21 “J. D. Allen – the Man and his Work,” by Clell Gannon 1924
22 “The Killdeer Mountains as a Game Refuge and Park” by Vernon Bailey 1937
23 List of Troops Under General Sully in the Indian Campaign of 1864 n.d.
24 “Little Missouri Trip” by George F. Will 1925
25 “My Experiences and Investments in the Bad Lands of North Dakota and Some of the Men I Met There” by A. C. Huidekoper
26 “Natural History Notes on the Journals of Alex Henry,” by Russell Reid and Clell Gannon n.d.
27 “A Report on the Faunal Notes Found in the Records of Early Expeditions in North Dakota” by J. Edwin Carlson” by J. Edwin Carlson n.d.
28 “Report on the Game Situation in North Dakota” by Raymond Fischer n.d.
29 “Russell Reed – Naturalist,” by Clell Gannon 1924

Subject Files
30 Artesian Water 1933
31 Bird Migration 1920-1922
32 Birds 1926, 1930, n.d.
33 Birds of Burleigh County 1919-1925
34 Folk Sayings about the Meadowlark, n.d.

Box 3:
1 Books Published by Usher Burdick Books 1940, 1957
2 Card Index: Railroads & Taxation, Shiloh Battlefield in 1895, William Reed Account of Minnesota Uprising 1862, Money Appropriated by Congress for Surveys 1880-1894
2 Collection of Mammals 1920-1923
3 Copies of Letters to Indian Agents and Special Orders, Standing Rock Agency (originals offered for sale by William J. White, Fort Yates, ND were given to Mrs. Davis for transaction 1-31-39) 1876
4 Lewis and Clark 1927
5 Maps of the Little Missouri River from Marmarth to Medora n.d.
6 North Dakota Place Names 1945-1947
7 Town and County Names and Origins 1947-1948
8 Charles Reynolds Journal May 17-June 22, 1876
9 Journal of Alexander Brown, Sergeant Co. G 7th Cavalry July 1-Sept. 10, 1876

Printed Materials
10 Bismarck Bird Club News 1955-1956
11 Newspaper Clippings – birds, conservation, nature 1900-1938
12 Newspaper Clippings – WPA Place Names 1939-1940
13 Bismarck Garden Club Program 1941
14 Certificates, Membership Cards 1932-1966
15 1st Thanksgiving Dinner of Battery F 338th Field Artillery at Camp Dodge, Iowa November 29, 1917
16 Food and Gas Ration Stamps and Tokens 1942-1945
17 Guest Book [from SHSND dinner in his honor 1967?]
18 North Dakota State Corn Show 1927, n.d.
19 Publications by Enos A. Mills 1921-1931

Oversize Material
“Down the Missouris” Photograph Album  of trip down the Little Missouri and Missouri Rivers with Clell Gannon and George Will from Medora to Bismarck in 1925
Fauna and Flora of North Dakota Photograph Album n.d.
Badlands Photo Album n.d.
High School Diploma
Commemorative Letters on 25 Years at the State Historical Society 1949

Bibliography of 16 mm film        
Times are approximate.

Russell Reid film collection
Core 1 (38:17)

0:00 1. Allis Chalmers track-type tractor moving bricks (cleanup) from site of old capitol, November 11, 1932 (Liberty Memorial building shows in background); mallard ducks at Sterling, ND, November 16, 1932; railroad wreck (derailment) on Northern Pacific near Sterling.

4:30 2. Bull snake; Governor George Schafer breaking ground for new capitol; unveiling of Pioneer Mothers project at capitol groundbreaking.

7:05 3. Badlands and Little Missouri scenes; workers (CCC or WPA?); rattlesnake; flowers. Reid appears to be in some pictures, walking on roadway.

11:35 4. Cornerstone laying for new capitol, 1932. Governor George Schafer and others speaking; installation of time capsule.

16:06 5. Constructing steel framework for capitol.

20:43 6. Excavating capitol basement; dragline operating; brief railroad segment.

25:20 7. Pouring concrete for Capitol roof; includes view from Capitol showing Liberty Memorial building and surrounding area; boating on river; fishing with nets.

29:50 8. Fishing (apparently continued from previous segment); pelicans; Capitol almost complete; view of Capitol probably from Liberty Memorial building; segment identified as “Nishu” with people dressed as Native Americans playing a game or enacting a ceremony.

34:19 9. Power shovels excavating basement of Capitol with some of the dirt being hauled by horse-drawn wagons, August 25, 1932.

36:36 10. Missouri River bridge; boating on the Missouri at Bismarck; three people by car; motoring through wooded area (River Road?); same three women by trees.

Russell Reid film collection
Core 2 (36:28)

0:00 1. No title. Begins with work area in Liberty Memorial Building; unidentified woman; group outside which includes Reid. (2:03)

2:03 2. Airplanes landing; large number of cars parked (possibly for Capitol groundbreaking event?); baby snake. (1:56)

3:59 3. “Indians laying cornerstone of Capitol”. This appears to be part of segment “Nishu” (core1, #8) with tree planting possibly at On-a-Slant village at Fort Abraham Lincoln; 1933 cornerstone laying; time capsule going placed in stone; Governor William Langer and others troweling mortar; short skunk segment. (4:18)

8:17 4. “Jeanne & Grandma Aide Jan & Apr 1932.” Hockey game and people skating on same outdoor rink; woman in office (same person as in #1; other unidentified individuals; sheep; girls by car, then on hillside. (4:27)

12:44 5. “Parade, Grandma Aide, Bittern, Yellow-headed blackbird, __.” (4:30)

17:14 6. “Richardson’s ground squirrel, Bismarck, ND May 1, 1932.” Finished film showing flickertail. (3:18)

20:32 7. Men digging and constructing earth lodge at Fort Abraham Lincoln. (3:31)

24:13 8. “ Ground squirrel” More flickertail antics. (0:31)

24:44 9. “Black and white teal duck and young.” (0:39)

25:23 10. “Rattlesnake” Close-up footage of rattlesnake. (2:37)

28:00 11. Whooping crane photos taken from airplane, Dawson, ND, September 30, 1932. Harry Potter, pilot. The film is badly damaged from projectors. Also shows aerial views of Bismarck, ND. (3:42)

31:42 12. Whitestone Hill. Film starts with pelicans and has short segments on a “big ox” and birds in a house. The Whitestone Hill segment is likely the 1942 dedication, at which a plaque was dedicated to honor the Indians who died during the fighting at Whitestone Hill, and the Indian couple shown are likely the descendants of the Two Bear family who were present to represent the Dakotas. (4:43)

Russell Reid film collection
Core 3 (21:58)

0:00 1.“DeMores” (color- kodachrome film) Follows a group of four people and shows Roosevelt Park sign; Badlands (park) views; DeMores Park; Medora; DeMores statue; packing plant signs; pan of Little Missouri; Chateau, exterior and interior. ca. 1941-43. (4:36)

4:36 2. “Felling trees – WPA or CCC workers.” Film shows cutting of large trees; laying rocks in ditch (this goes with segment 7 of core 2). (3:22)

8:02 3.“Lake Metigoshe.” (color – Kodachrome film) Film pans lake and area and shows lodge; boating (some badly out of focus); and a bag piper. ca. 1941-43. (4:34)

12:36 4. “Flood, Mandan CCC camp.” Shows flood (Heart River?); ice moving; diking to hold flood water from CCC camp; ice flowing on Missouri River with bridge visible. (4:40)

17:04 5.“Setting up large earth lodge at Fort Lincoln – flood at CCC camp Sp 3” Shows flooded out camp; pan of workers. 1935? (4:54)

Separate films in collection:
1. “Indians.” Shows encampment; dancing; traditional activities. (11:35)

2. “Capitol Fire.” Film of December 28, 1930, fire which destroyed the North Dakota Capitol. The film was shot by S. W. Corwin. There are two copies of the film, one of which is a “master” intended for use in duplication only. Titling is more complete on the “master.” (10:50)

3. “Birds of North Dakota Prairie Lakes. Gulls, Cormorants and Terns. Photographed by Russell Reid. June 1931. (17:06).

4. Untitled. American Indian activities, possibly MHA Nation. Begins with shot that includes large lodge and an encampment; men swimming in river; woman beading or doing quillwork; more shots of the encampment; creating fibers (for weaving?). This film has sprocket hole damage. (4:31).

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