25th Infantry Regiment (1866-1947)

When the U.S. Army was reorganized on July 28, 1866 for peacetime service after the American Civil War, six regiments were set aside for black enlisted men.  These included four infantry regiments, numbered 38th through 41st.  The 25th Infantry was created during a reduction in March 1869 by … Read More25th Infantry Regiment (1866-1947)

William McBryar (1861-1941)

William McBryar was a biracial buffalo soldier whose received the Medal of Honor for his participation in the 1890 Cherry Creek Campaign in Arizona Territory. McBryar was born on February 14, 1861 in Elizabethtown, North Carolina to Rose McBryar, an African American, and a white father whose name is unknown. McBryar attended … Read MoreWilliam McBryar (1861-1941)

Geraldine Washington Travis (1931- )

Geraldine W. Travis is the first African American elected to the MontanaState Legislature House of Representatives.   She worked actively to promote civil rights for African Americans, women, and children, and to break down racial barriers in Montana from 1967 to 1989. Geraldine Washington Travis was born in Albany, Georgia on September 3, … Read MoreGeraldine Washington Travis (1931- )

25th Infantry Bicycle Corps (1896-97)

The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps was a unit of black soldiers commanded by a white officer, Lt. James A. Moss, which was formed in 1896 to test the combat viability of bicycle-mounted troops by riding from Missoula, Montana to Saint Louis, Missouri. Moss, a West Point graduate and … Read More25th Infantry Bicycle Corps (1896-97)

Alma S. Jacobs (1916-1997)

Librarian Alma Smith Jacobs was the first African American to serve as the Montana State Librarian. She was a lifelong advocate of free access to library resources and was active in local and state civil rights causes. Alma Victoria Smith Jacobs was born in Lewistown, Montana on November 21, 1916. … Read MoreAlma S. Jacobs (1916-1997)

Millie Ringold (1845-1906)

Millie Ringold was a gold prospector, boarding house proprietor, and long-time resident of the Yogo mining district in the Little Belt Mountains of central Montana. According to the 1900 census, Millie Ringold—whose names are variously spelled Molly, Ringo, and Ringgold—was born a slave in 1845 in Virginia. By the 1870s she … Read MoreMillie Ringold (1845-1906)

The Colored Citizen, Helena, Montana (1894)

The Colored Citizen published weekly in Helena, Montana, for a little over two months during the electoral campaign season, September to November 1894. The paper proclaimed its purpose to become “the mouthpiece . . . to educate the public to a full appreciation of our [African Americans in … Read MoreThe Colored Citizen, Helena, Montana (1894)

The Montana Plaindealer, Helena, Montana (1906-1911)

On  March 16, 1906, Joseph B. Bass printed the first issue of The Montana Plaindealer in Helena, Montana, a community that included more than 400 African Americans, or about 3% of the city’s population. Bass came to Helena a veteran newspaperman, having worked on the Topeka Plaindealer in Kansas … Read MoreThe Montana Plaindealer, Helena, Montana (1906-1911)