Guide to the Patricia O’Connell Papers
1884-1991

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: O'Connell, Patricia, 1920-1996
Title: Patricia O'Connell Papers
Dates: 1884-1991 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3.8 linear feet
Collection Number: Mss 613
Summary: This collection includes researcher Patricia O’Connell’s notes and documents related to the arrival of Ursuline nuns, especially Mother Amadeus, in Montana in 1884 and their work at missions on the Indian reservations.
Repository: University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Contact Information: Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
59812-9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
library.archives@umontana.edu
Languages: Materials are in English 

Biographical Note

Patricia O’Connell was born on October 9, 1920 in Watkins, Minnesota to Joe and Helen Finley. She attended grade school in Carthage, South Dakota, high school in Billings, Montana, and graduated with a teaching degree from The University of Montana in Missoula. She taught grade school in Ennis, Montana for one year before marrying C. J. O’Connell in 1946 in Missoula. The couple moved to Bozeman at that time. After her husband passed away in 1971, she moved to Billings for a short time and then to Polson where she lived from 1975 to 1994. She then moved to Wenatchea, Washington where she lived at the time of her death on April 29, 1996.

Mrs. O’Connell was a member of several historical groups and did research on the exploration and settlement of Montana. She was particularly interested in the arrival and work of Ursuline nuns in Montana, primarily at the missions on reservations, and especially the life of Mother Amadeus.

Content Description

The bulk of this collection is correspondence, photocopied documents, news articles, interviews and research notes related to the arrival of Ursuline nuns, especially Mother Amadeus, in Montana in 1884 and their work at missions on the Indian reservations. The collection also contains some class notes, drafts of unpublished stories and articles, and miscellaneous including a small amount of correspondence as well as articles and essays about religion, primarily Catholicism.

The collection has been divided into five series. Series I, Research, contains materials related to the background of the Ursuline nuns in the United States, the arrival of the Ursuline nuns in Montana beginning in 1884, prominent Ursuline nuns including Mother Amadeus and Mother Angela, specific research on Mother Amadeus’s secular family, the Dunnes, and the Ursuline missions mostly located on Montana’s Indian reservations. Series II, Correspondence with Mother Amata, contains O’Connell’s initial correspondence with Mother Amata Dunne, the niece of Mother Amadeus, regarding the life of Mother Amadeus and the history of Ursuline nuns. It also contains later correspondence in which O’Connell addresses Mother Amata more as a friend and spiritual advisor. Series III, Class notes, contains English, labor history, general U.S. history and writing class notes as well as research about writing and miscellaneous topics. Series IV, Drafts of stories and articles, contains O’Connell’s original drafts of unpublished stories and articles, the latter related to Montana history. Series V, Miscellaneous, contains miscellaneous correspondence, magazine rejection slips, articles and essays about religion, particularly Catholicism, and some Catholic related ephemera. Series VI, Publications, contains books annotated by O'Connell, most are on American Indian or American history topics.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana--Missoula.

Restrictions on Use :  

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright status unknown.

Preferred Citation :  

[Name of document or photograph number], Patricia O'Connell Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The collection is divided into five series:

Series I: Research, 1.8 linear feet, 1884-1971

Series II: Correspondence with Mother Amata, 0.4 linear feet, 1957-1971

Series III: Class notes, 0.2 linear feet, 1944-1969

Series IV: Drafts of stories and articles, 0.4 linear feet, undated

Series V: Miscellaneous, 0.2 linear feet, 1944-1972

Series VI: Publications, 0.8 linear feet, 1960-1991

Custodial History :  

Patricia O’Connell gathered and wrote the materials in this collection until her death when the collection was delivered to the archives by her son, Dan O’Connell, at her request

Acquisition Information :  

Donation following death at the bequest of Patricia O’Connell, 1996.

Processing Note :  

This collection was maintained in an approximation of the existing order that consisted of envelopes holding topically similar materials. Correspondence was put in chronological order and research materials were separated by type but maintained in the original categories. Loose materials were filed within original categories and where necessary, new categories were created.

Related Materials :  

An oral history interview conducted by Patricia O'Connell with Mother Amata Dunne is housed at the Montana Historical Society (OH 1388).


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Research, 1884-1971
1.75 linear feet

This series contains materials relating to the background of the Ursuline nuns in the United States, the arrival of the Ursuline nuns in Montana beginning in 1884, prominent Ursuline nuns including Mother Amadeus and Mother Angela, specific research on Mother Amadeus’s secular family, the Dunnes, and the Ursuline missions mostly located on Montana’s Indian reservations.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
1/1 Notes from interview with Mother Amato undated
1/2 Notes including questions to ask Mother Amato undated
1/3 Timeline of Ursuline nuns in Montana undated
1/4 Article titled "Departing Ursulines," Toledo Blade 1884
1/5 Research correspondence about Mother Amadeus 1957
1/6 Research correspondence about Mother Amadeus 1958
1/7 Research correspondence about Mother Amadeus 1959
1/8 Research correspondence about Mother Amadeus Dunne and the Ursuline order in Montana 1960
1/9 Correspondence regarding the writing of the Mother Amadeus story 1958-1964
1/10 Research correspondence and notes about Mother Angela, the former Florence Lincoln 1960-1994
1/11 Mother Angela, the former Florence Lincoln, photographs undated
1/12 Research correspondence regarding Ursuline nuns 1957-1958
1/13 Travel research notebook 1958
1/14 Notes from Ursulines of the West undated
1/15 Notes from Life of Mother Amadeus of the Heart of Jesus: Founder of the Ursuline Missions of Montana and Alaska undated
1/16 Notes from Tom Nash’s paper undated
1/17 Descriptions of Mother Amadeus undated
1/18 Drafts of chapters on Mother Amadeus undated
1/19 Notes about nuns and missions in Montana from various publications undated
1/20 News clippings and articles about Ursuline nuns 1927-1960
1/21 History of the Cleveland Ursulines undated
1/22 Note about Marie (Tours) of the Incarnation undated
1/23 Draft of chapter about Ursuline nuns undated
1/24 Notes on trip to New York and Ursuline convents undated
1/25 Research notes about nuns undated
1/26 Holy card from funeral of Mother Amadeus 1919
1/27 Research correspondence on Dunne family 1957-1959
1/28 Research correspondence on Dunne family 1960-1961
1/29 Research correspondence on Dunne family 1963-1964
1/30 Research correspondence on Dunne family 1967
1/31 Notes on the Dunne family and Mother Amadeus undated
1/32 Notes from manuscript titled "Historical Memoir of the Dunne and O’Dunne families in Ireland and the U.S.A. 1957
2/1 Research on Irish background of Dunne family 1964-1967
2/2 Correspondence regarding the Holy Family Mission, Browning, Montana 1957-1966
2/3 The Ursuline Building at the Holy Family Mission near Browning, Montana photographs 1960
2/4 The Ursuline Building at the Holy Family Mission near Browning, Montana photographs 1959
2/5 Brief research notes on the Blackfeet tribe undated
2/6 "Out of the North: A Brief Historical Sketch of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe" by Frank Linderman undated
2/7 "The Story of the Blackfeet" by John C. Ewers 1952
2/8 Correspondence regarding Mother Amadeus and St. Ignatius 1958
2/9 St. Ignatius interview and research notes 1958
2/10 St. Ignatius and miscellaneous research notes undated
2/11 St. Ignatius news clippings undated
2/12 St. Ignatius Centennial Historical Pageant undated
2/13 "100 Years in the Flathead Valley: The St. Ignatius, Centennial" 1954
2/14 A History of St. Ignatius Mission by Reverend William L. Davis, S. J. 1954
2/15 Correspondence regarding St. Labre’s Mission, Montana 1957-1968
2/16 Reminiscences of Sister St. Angela Abair of St. Labre’s Mission 1938-1961
2/17 Research and interview notes about St. Labre’s Mission undated
2/18 "Race of Sorrows" newsletter about the history of St. Labre’s Mission 1956-1957
2/19 Clippings and articles about the Northern Cheyenne and St. Labre’s Mission 1958-1963
2/20 Research regarding George Yoakum and the early St. Labre’s Mission 1958
2/21 Correspondence regarding the arrival of Ursuline nuns in Miles City, Montana 1958
2/22 Research notes on Ursuline nuns arriving in Miles City, Montana undated
3/1 Correspondence regarding St. Paul’s Mission, Blaine County, Montana 1957-1958
3/2 Research on St. Paul’s Mission undated
3/3 Travel and interview diary of trip to St. Paul’s Mission 1958
3/4 Photo and description of St. Paul’s Mission on Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana circa 1890
3/5 News clippings and articles about Fort Belknap Reservation and St. Paul’s Mission 1952-1961
3/6 Unidentified photo of three nuns standing in front of building, probably at St. Paul’s Mission undated
3/7 Unidentified photos taken on Fort Belknap Reservation undated
3/8 Draft of chapter on St. Paul’s Mission undated
3/9 Yearbook for Mission High School, Hays, Montana 1958
3/10 Notes on articles and interview about St. Peter’s Mission near Cascade, Montana undated
3/11 Correspondence with former St. Peter’s Mission students 1957
3/12 Interview with Mrs. McCartney about St. Peter’s Mission undated
3/13 Novices, Sisters, and Mothers at St. Peter’s Mission undated
3/14 Miscellaneous notes on St. Peter’s Mission undated
3/15 News clippings and articles about St. Peter’s Mission 1958-1959
3/16 Notes from Edward Albright’s 1949 thesis titled "St. Peter’s Mission" undated
3/17 Buildings and partial structures still standing at St. Peter’s Mission, photographs undated
3/18 Draft of chapter about Mother Amadeus and St. Peter’s Mission undated
3/19 Correspondence regarding the Crow Indians and St. Frances Xavier Mission 1957-1959
3/20 Interview notes on St. Frances Xavier Mission at Crow Agency, Montana undated
3/21 Research notes on St. Frances Xavier Mission at Crow Agency, Montana undated
3/22 News clippings regarding St. Frances Xavier Mission undated
3/23 Draft of chapter on St. Frances Xavier Mission and the Crow Reservation undated
3/24 News clippings regarding the Crow Indians, the Crow Reservation, and the Battle of the Little Big Horn 1960
3/25 News clippings about nuns and convents in Montana undated
3/26 Correspondence regarding research about priests in Montana 1958-1964
3/27 Research notes about priests in Montana undated
3/28 Jesuits in Montana by Wilfred Schoenberg, S.J. 1960
3/29 Articles about priests outside of Montana 1958-1963
3/30 News clippings about Catholic institutions in Montana 1954-1960
4/1 Research notes about Indians in Montana undated
4/2 News clippings about Indians in Montana 1958-1972
4/3 Correspondence about Indian housing 1958-1959
4/4 "Indians of the Montana and Wyoming Billings Area" by the BIA 1957
4/5 "Indian and Archaeology Information" by Carling Malouf and Verne Dusenberry undated
4/6 Research notes about Indians in the U.S. undated
4/7 Clippings and pamphlets about Indians in the U.S. 1957-1971
4/8 Unidentified photo postcards of Indians undated
4/9 Correspondence related to Montana historical research 1957-1958
4/10 Montana history research notes undated
4/11 News clippings about Montana history 1960-1971
4/12 Brochures and articles about Montana history and locales undated
4/13 Miscellaneous news clippings about Montana 1965-1971
4/14 Postcards of Montana undated

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Series II:  Correspondence with Mother Amata, 1957-1971
0.5 linear feet

This series contains materials correspondence with Mother Amata, including O’Connell’s initial correspondence with Mother Amata Dunne, the niece of Mother Amadeus, regarding the life of Mother Amadeus and the history of Ursuline nuns.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
4/15 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1957
4/16 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1958
4/17 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1959
4/18 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1960
4/19 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1963
4/20 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1964
4/21 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1965
4/22 Correspondence to Mother Amata 1969
4/23 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1957
4/24 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1958
4/25 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1959
4/26 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1960
4/27 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1961
4/28 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1962
5/1 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1963
5/2 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1964
5/3 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1965
5/4 Correspondence from Mother Amata 1966-1971
5/5 Correspondence to Marc O’Connell from Mother Amata 1964
5/6 Correspondence to and from others at the Ursuline Convent, St. Ignatius, Montana 1963-1969

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Series III:  Class and Research Notes, 1944-1969
0.2 linear feet

This series contains English, labor history, general U.S. history and writing class notes as well as research about writing and miscellaneous topics.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
5/7 English class notes 1944
5/8 Labor history class notes undated
5/9 General U.S. history notes undated
5/10 Writing class notes 1969
5/11 Class and story structure notes undated
5/12 Miscellaneous story research undated
5/13 Miscellaneous research notes undated
5/14 Miscellaneous research resource notes undated
5/15 News clippings and articles about writing undated

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Series IV:  Drafts of Stories and Articles, undated
0.3 linear feet

This series contains O’Connell’s original drafts of unpublished stories and articles, the latter related to Montana history.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
5/16 "The Fabulous Place" undated
5/17 "First Family" undated
5/18 "Lafcadio Hearn" undated
5/19 "Maunie" undated
5/20 "Me ‘n Cinderella" undated
5/21 "Old House – New House" undated
5/22 "The Road West" undated
6/1 "The Stranger" undated
6/2 "To Grandma with Love" undated
6/3 Chapter Two, "Montana, Its Geography and History" undated
6/4 Chapter Three, "The Pioneers – Tell Me a Story" undated
6/5 Untitled story about family life and a Catholic retreat undated
6/6 Untitled story undated
6/7 Untitled story undated
6/8 Untitled drafts and notes undated
6/9 A fifteen minute suspense drama undated

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Series V:  Miscellaneous, 1944-1972
0.25 linear feet

This series contains miscellaneous correspondence, magazine rejection slips, articles and essays about religion, and some related Catholic ephemera.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box/Folder
6/10 Miscellaneous correspondence related to writing 1955-1957
6/11 Magazine rejection slips undated
6/12 Personal notes and letters 1944-1971
6/13 Correspondence and personal essays about religion 1957-1965
6/14 Miscellaneous correspondence 1964
6/15 Essay on The Liturgy of the Mass 1972
6/16 Miscellaneous notes about religion undated
6/17 Prayer cards and missals undated
6/18 Two unidentified photos, one of pageant participants and the other of a nun and a first communicant 1957
6/19 Six photos of unidentified Ursuline house and surrounding area undated
6/20 News clippings and articles about contemporary nuns and convents 1955-1964
6/21 News clippings and articles about assorted Catholic and other religious issues 1957-1962
6/22 Magazines and pamphlets about religion 1960-1963

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Series VI:  Publications, 1960-1991
0.8 linear feet

This series contains 16 books owned by Patricia O’Connell. Most of the publications relate to her historical research and interest in the history of the American west and American Indian history. Many of the books have annotations written by O’Connell and a single folder of undated notes is also included.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
7 Books 1960-1991
8 Books and Notes 1960-1991

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Subjects

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Personal Names :
  • Amadeus, Mother
  • Corporate Names :
  • Catholic Church--Missions--Montana
  • Ursulines--Missions--Montana
  • Subject Terms :
  • Indians of North America--Missions--Montana
  • Missions--Montana

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