November 17, 2016

EXTRA! Montana Newspaper Stories 1864-1922: Helen Piotopowaka (The Bird That Comes Home) Clarke

Born the daughter of a prominent Scottish-American and his Blackfeet wife, Helen (Nellie) Piotopowaka Clarke spent most of her childhood at a Catholic school in Minneapolis, returning to Montana a polished and well-educated young woman. She worked as an actress, a schoolteacher, and an Indian agent for the U.S. government. She was the first woman elected to public office in Montana, becoming the superintendent of public schools for Lewis and Clark County at age 38.

Key dates

1846—Born at the mouth of the Judith River.
1869—Father murdered by a group of Blackfeet men.
1875—Takes a teaching position in Helena.
1884—Elected Superintendent of Schools for Lewis and Clark County.
1889—Leaves Montana to work for the Indian Bureau as an allotment agent.
1909—With her brother, Horace, is granted tribal membership and allotments.
1923—Dies at East Glacier Park Village, Montana.

From the newspapers

To find more

Search for these terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases: helen clarke, nellie clarke, malcolm clarke, horace clarke