John (Jack) Brooke Herford was born in England (Yorkshire West Riding) in 1858 to Reverend Brooke Herford and his wife Hannah. He had eight brothers and sisters: William, Helen, Lucy, Mary, Oliver, Laura, Hannah, and Beatrice. Jack's oldest brother, William, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1870's, settling in New Mexico and starting his own sheep ranch. In 1876, the rest of the Herford family followed suit, settling briefly in Chicago, Illinois. Jack worked on his brother William's sheep ranch for a time, but by the 1880's had established a ranching operation of his own on the Musselshell River.
Around 1885, Jack married Ms. Susan Whitney, daughter of Billings Post Master, Lucius Whitney. The couple would eventually have three children: Helen, Whitney, and Brooke. Jack studied for and passed the bar, serving as the Yellowstone County Attorney from 1894 to 1896, and the Yellowstone County Sheriff in 1908. He would eventually move the family to Billings 1911, practicing law there until his death. Jack also served in the Third United States Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish American War, and in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Jack died in Billingsin 1923.
Helen Herford studied in Germany and Massachusetts before returning to Montana to teach school and work on her parent's ranch. In 1929, she and her cousin Helen Underwood Wellington formed a partnership to create a dude ranch near Limestone, Montana. The Swining H Ranch, as it was called, operated until 1937. By 1940, Helen was working as an independent artist in Limestone. Helen Herford died in Stillwater County in 1971.
Whitney Herford worked as a bookkeeper in a bank in his 20s, and served in both World War I and World War II. By 1930, Whitney had moved to Lake Grove, Oregon, where he worked as a truck drive for a fuel company. He married a women named Lucia and the couple had four children: Beatrice, Ruth, Lucius, and Jack. Brooke, the youngest of the Herford children, served in World War I, like his older brother Whitney. After the war, he moved back to Billings and lived with his mother Susan and sister Helen. He was still living with them in Billings in 1940, working for an estating crew there. No death date could be found.
This collection consists of out-going, general, and miscellaneous correspondence (1862-1953) between John and Susan Herford and their children, and some written to and from Beatrice Herford; financial records (1899-1952) including bills, receipts, and the final Will and Testament of Reverend Brooke Herford, John's father; a subject file Beatrice Herford (1918-1931), which includes play reviews, some typed copies of Ms. Herford's monologues, and a few pieces of material published by Ms. Herford; the writings of John Herford, including poetry, and a piece entitled "Cow Camp Sketches on a New Range;" and miscellany (1900-1950), which includes a photograph of John B. Herford.
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open for researchRestrictions on Use :
The Montana Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any reproduction use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.Preferred Citation :
[item description and date]. Name of Collection. Collection Number. [box and folder number]. Montana Historical Society Research Center. Archives. Helena, Montana.
Arranged by series.
Detailed Description of the Collection
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Montana Historical Society Archives catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search under these terms.