The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is hosting a program entitled A Montana Legacy: the Goms and Morris Families, presented by author Richard H. Goms, on Tuesday, June 24, 6:30 PM at the American Legion Hall, 112 N. B Street, Livingston.

The stories and history that Goms shares in his book, A Montana Legacy, are the basis of the program, and encompasses much of Montana. The lives of two early-day families, Reuben B. Morris and his descendants, as well as Bertha A. Goms and her descendants, are explored in detail using photographs, documents, newspaper articles, and more. From the arrival of the transcontinental railroads and through their brochures and advertising, specifically the Northern Pacific Railway and the draw of Yellowstone National Park, as well as the Great Northern Railway that traverses Montana’s Hi-Line, the program spans 1889 to 1907 in Livingston, 1890 to present-day Havre, and 1907 to 1919 in Malta, with time also spent in Butte, Helena, Lewistown, and Red Lodge. Family stories are shared, including a long-forgotten family skeleton in the closet and a scandal that affects the family. Chronicles of drought, irrigation issues, economic depressions, as well as their dyed-in-the-wool Republican political activities, are included. The author conducted research across Montana.

Reuben B. Morris arrived in Livingston in 1889 by train, lured by the railroad’s massive advertising effort in the east as they had just completed their line to Seattle. His first Livingston property transaction took place in 1889. Morris owned a hotel and also owned and/or managed several restaurants in town. He also owned a cattle ranch west of Livingston on Billman Creek. Morris was active in politics and belonged to several fraternal organizations. Richard Gom’s grandmother, Reuben’s daughter, was born in Livingston in 1894; she would meet his grandfather in Havre at a later date. The family stayed in Montana until the 1920s.

Goms began his creative writing career in the historical fiction and non-fiction genres in 2010 after spending more than 26 years as a computer programmer and several more in retail sales. He is an accomplished genealogist, amateur historian, and author. His research has required extensive travel, visiting courthouses, archives, museums, cemeteries, battlefields, libraries and historical societies from California to Vermont, and Canada. Goms is currently finishing a novel set in 14th century France, a turning point in Earth’s history, preparing the world for the Renaissance and Reformation in the following century. Goms lives in Utah and is a member of the League of Utah Writers and the Silver Pen Group in Salt Lake City.
The program is free and refreshments are provided. Please note the new venue.

The next program, Tribal Perspectives on the Anzick Discovery, Research, and Repatriation, is slated for July 24. Dr. Shane Doyle, a Crow Tribal member and historian, gives a program about the ongoing story of an ancient tragedy that unfolded 12,600 years ago. In 1968 contractors discovered the burial site of a young boy near present-day Wilsall, Montana; recent DNA analysis revealed that the boy is an ancestor to most American Indians. The program is at 6:30 PM at the Park High School in Livingston. The museum is also sponsoring the program in Wilsall on August 7 at 6:30 PM at the Wilsall Dance Hall, 105 Clark Street.

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