Lost for almost half a century and never before published, When Montana and I Were Young is a remarkable primary account of a child’s life in the early part of the twentieth century. Margaret Bell (1888–1982) was a rancher and horse breaker whose memoir tells the story of a frontier childhood on the high plains of Montana and Canada. Hers was not a typical childhood. Bell was barely seven when her mother died, and her stepfather, Hedge Wolfe, moved Bell and her three younger half-sisters far from their nurturing grandmother to the Canadian plains and a life of extreme poverty, hardship, and abuse.
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