Howard, Joseph Kinsey, 1906-1951

Variant names

Hide Profile

Joseph Kinsey Howard was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on February 28, 1906. He went with his mother to Great Falls, Montana, in 1919. After completing high school, he joined the staff of the Great Falls Leader in 1923 as a reporter. Three years later he was named news editor and continued in this job until 1944, when he resigned to become research associate for the Montana Study, a project of the Rockefeller Foundation and Montana State University in Missoula. He left this project after two years to devote full time to writing. Howard was the author of Montana: High, Wide and Handsome, a history of Montana which won wide critical acclaim and went into eight editions in its first three years. He also edited Montana Margins: A State Anthology . At the time of his death he was completing \ul Strange Empire , a history of the Metis of the northwestern United States and Canada from 1860 to 1890. Howard wrote numerous magazine articles, most of them concerning Montana. He delivered lectures for writers throughout the East and the Midwest, and was twice recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships on creative writing. He reviewed books for the New York Times, and was editorial correspondent for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, as well as Montana news correspondent for Time and Life\ulnone magazines. He was a staff member of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference held annually in Vermont and directed the annual writers' conference at the Regional Arts Roundup at Montana State University from 1948 to 1950. Joseph Kinsey Howard died August 25, 1951.

From the guide to the Joseph Kinsey Howard Papers, 1927-1954, (Montana Historical Society Archives)

Author, newspaperman, and historian, of Great Falls, Mont.

From the description of Joseph Kinsey Howard speech, 1948 Mar. 11. (Montana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70924345

Joseph Kinsey Howard was born February 28, 1906, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He moved to Great Falls, Montana, in 1918 when he was 12 years old. Howard spent the rest of his life in and around Great Falls. After high school graduation, he worked for the Great Falls Leader, an afternoon daily newspaper. At age 20, he was promoted to copy desk editor, and he stayed in that position until he left the newspaper in 1944. In 1936, Howard led the successful effort to start the Great Falls Newspaper Guild, a union that secured higher wages and improved benefits for its members.

In the late 1930s, Howard began writing articles about Montana for Survey Graphic and the Progressive . Yale University Press noted these articles and offered him a book contract for a history of Montana. After five years of work, Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome was published in 1943. The book harshly criticized the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's domination of Montana, won him critical acclaim and went into ten printings.

In 1944 and 1945, Howard worked with sociologist Baker Brownell on the Montana Study, an effort to improve cultural life in Montana's rural towns. This inspired his second book, Montana Margins: A State Anthology . He continued writing for national magazines. In 1947, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that enabled him to write his last book, Strange Empire: A Narrative of the Northwest . Kinsey helped form the Montana Institute of the Arts and planned writing conferences at The University of Montana. Kinsey died of a heart attack in Choteau, Montana, at the age of 45 in 1951.

From the guide to the Joseph Kinsey Howard Collection, 1937-1945, (Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections)

Joseph Kinsey Howard was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on February 28, 1906, the son of John R. and Josephine "Howdy" Kinsey Howard. In 1911 John accepted a position as the mine manager for the Canada West Coal Mine in Taber, Alberta, and the family moved to Canada. Around 1917 John Howard deserted his wife and child, and Josephine moved to Lethbridge. In December 1918 Josephine and Joe moved to Great Falls, Montana. Joseph Kinsey Howard graduated from Great Falls High School in 1923, and immediately thereafter took a job with the Great Falls Leader. By the age of 20, Howard had become the news editor, a position he held until 1944, when he left the newspaper to become co-director of the Montana Study. The Montana Study was a three-year project sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation that sought to bring college education to people living in Montana's rural areas, to raise the state's "appreciative and spiritual" standard of living, and to stabilize community life. The Montana Study proved to be controversial and when the grant support was exhausted, it was not renewed. During the 1930s Howard produced many manuscripts for short stories and articles for magazines.

In 1943 he published his first book Montana: High, Wide and Handsome, which acquired immediate national critical acclaim. Using material gathered around the state while involved with the Montana Study, Howard published Montana Margins: A State Anthology in 1946. Howard provided the initial introduction and the introductory essays about each of the contributors and the work itself. In 1947 Howard recieved a Guggenheim Fellowship to gather research materials for a study of the 19th-century Metis rebellions in Canada. The result was published posthumously as Strange Empire in 1952. Jean MeReynolds, a friend of the Howards, who lived in San Francisco, California, was called "Doody" by Joseph. Joseph Kinsey Howard died of a heart attack on August 25, 1951, at his cabin near Choteau.

From the guide to the Joseph Kinsey Howard papers, 1883-1959, (Montana Historical Society Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Joseph Kinsey Howard Papers, 1927-1954 Montana Historical Society Archives
referencedIn Joseph Kinsey Howard: Writer of Place and Transborder Crusader Conference (1998). Proceedings, 1998 Sept. 17-19. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn University Of Montana (System) Records, 1915-1958 Montana Historical Society Archives
referencedIn De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. Bernard De Voto papers, 1918-1955 (bulk 1944-1951). Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Montana History Conference (36th: Great Falls, Mont.: 2009). Proceedings, 2009. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn A. B. Guthrie Jr. Papers, 1901-1991 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Bernard Augustine De Voto Papers, 1918-1955 (inclusive), 1944-1951 (bulk) Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Joseph Kinsey Howard papers, 1883-1959 Montana Historical Society Research CenterArchives
referencedIn Richard B. Roeder Papers, 1949-1995 MSU-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
referencedIn Guthrie, A. B. (Alfred Bertram), 1901-1991. A. B. Guthrie Jr. Papers, 1901-1991. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Clark, Archie L., 1896-1987. Archie L. Clark papers, 1936-1982. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Verne Dusenberry Papers, circa 1885-1966 MSU-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
referencedIn Roeder, Richard B. Richard B. Roeder papers, 1949-1995. Montana State University (MSU) Library, MSU Library; Renne Library; MSU Library - Bozeman
referencedIn Dusenberry, Verne, 1906-1966. Verne Dusenberry papers, ca. 1885-1966. Montana State University (MSU) Library, MSU Library; Renne Library; MSU Library - Bozeman
creatorOf Howard, Joseph Kinsey, 1906-1951,. Joseph Kinsey Howard speech, 1948 Mar. 11. Montana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Joseph Kinsey Howard Collection, 1937-1945 Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Butte (Mont.)
Montana
Canada
Montana
Subject
Publishers and publishing--Montana
Literature--Montana
Metis
Riel Rebellion, 1885
Literature
Labor and laboring classes--Montana
Native Americans
Copper mines and mining--Montana
Hutterite Brethren
Indians of North America--Education
Montana
Art--Societies--Montana
Indians of North America--Art
Authors--Montana
Red River Rebellion, 1869-1870
Cheyenne Indians
Blackfeet Indians
State universities and colleges--Finance
Occupation
Authors, American--Montana--Great Falls
Activity

Person

Birth 1906-02-28

Death 1951-08-25

Canadians

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6k36gx9

Ark ID: w6k36gx9

SNAC ID: 45076418