By Jack Gilluly
Letter To The Editor 

Revisiting A Photo Of FDR Visiting


Courier reader Ann Hanson recently requested a higher quality copy of this photography of President Franklin Roosevelt at Fort Peck Dam, and Jack Gilluly is happy to oblige. This picture is cherished by both families with rich Glasgow histories. Jack offers his thoughts on the photo in the letter above and right here: "Because it has so many symbols in it, Gillulys regard this as a favorite family photo. Sam Gilluly, third from left (wearing cap), then a young reporter for The Glasgow Courier, was among an entourage of officials accompanying President Franklin Roosevelt on his Aug. 6, 1934, tour of Fort Peck Dam in Northeastern Montana.Identified from left are Ernest Immel, Great Falls Tribune political reporter; Sam Gilluly; Montana Gov. Frank H. Cooney (leaning on auto); President Roosevelt; Col. T. B. Larkin (wearing helmet), Fort Peck Dam District Engineer; George H. Dern, U.S. Secretary of War; John Roosevelt (in black hat), the president's son; and with arms crossed, unidentified. Montana Congressman Roy Ayers is reported to be in the photograph, and that possibly is him at far right. After the president's three-hour tour, he spoke to the large crowd for about 20 minutes. “Sam told me he interviewed President Roosevelt for a story, either on this occasion, or another in 1937,” said Don Fredrikson of Helena, Sam's friend from Glasgow days. Roosevelt visited the Fort Peck Dam project two times.

Dear Editor:

John Schroeder of Scottsdale, Ariz., a 1950s Glasgow Courier employee, mailed your July 17 report and photo to me about President Franklin Roosevelt visiting Fort Peck Dam Project in 1934. John and I were Courier co-workers decades ago, and we remain in contact.

A copy of that original Roosevelt photograph that my dad Sam Gilluly owned was acquired in 1984, when he died. Before he died, my father had identified persons in the photograph (see enclosure). Or perhaps identification was provided by the late Don Fredrikson of Helena, who once lived in Glasgow, and was Sam's friend. Symbolically, the 1934 photo says considerable about 1930's American history.

On a related incident, at one time there was a serious effort to return the Glacier Park touring car shown in the photo to be permanently displayed at a museum in Fort Peck. How that project ended is not immediately known.

Ann Hanson, whom you quote in your story, remains in my memory, along with her father and mother, who were all Glasgow citizens. Perhaps at one time Ann lived in Colorado. Regardless, I am curious to know the whereabouts of Ann's brother, Dave Hanson, who was a high school and college acquaintance. The last time we visited, I believe, was 1964 at Helena, Mont.

Interestingly, some years ago, the original photo negative of your July 17 Courier picture of President Roosevelt remained on file at Corps of Engineers facilities at Fort Peck, along with other negatives depicting the President.

Producing black and white photo prints from negatives is a difficult chore these days, because photo dark rooms are abandoned in this digital technical age. Life moves on. Therefore, as an alternative if Ann wishes, I will mail her a copy of the original photo (see enclosure). The photo is in “faded” condition, but perhaps better than the one she has.

Thanks for helping a nostalgic old-timer. More on the President Roosevelt topic, as it pertains to Glasgow, can be explored another time.

Jack Gilluly

Anaconda, Mont.


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