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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10149
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10149

Title:     Russell Reid

Dates:   1900-1967

Collection Number: 
Mss 10149

31 canisters

The major portion of the collection is described under Archives and Manuscripts/Family and Local History. This finding aid just lists the films from the collection primarily dealing with animals, birds, the original and current North Dakota Capitol buildings, and CCC projects.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the 16mm films from Lee Aide, grandson of Doris Aide who had been Russell Reid’s secretary for many years, in April 2000.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Biographical Sketch

Russell Reid was born February 6, 1900 on a farm near Hannah, North Dakota. His father, Peter Reid, settled in Cavalier County in 1886 and his mother Henrietta Balfour, came there in 1889. Both parents were immigrants from Canada. The family moved to Langdon in Cavalier County in 1905 and then to Bismarck in 1913 where Reid graduated from high school.

Russell Reid began working at the State Historical Society of North Dakota in 1917 while still in high school when the museum occupied the basement of the old Capitol. After high school Reid worked as a surveyor and at the Bismarck Public Library. In 1923, after returning to full-time work for the Historical Society, he was appointed Museum Assistant. In 1928 he received the title of Curator and in 1929 succeeded Lewis F. Crawford as Superintendent of the Historical Society. He served as Superintendent of the Society until his retirement in 1967. About the time of his appointment as Superintendent the depression hit. Reid kept the Society alive until the development of the CCC and WPA projects began to preserve and develop historic and scenic resources in the state. Reid was federal procurement officer in North Dakota for the National Park Service between 1935 and 1938. Out of the efforts of these years grew the State Parks Committee on which Reid served effectively for twenty years. This committee eventually became the North Dakota State Park Service.

Reid was a member of the National Conference of State Parks and was a senior fellow of the American Institute of Park Executives. In 1954 he was awarded the Pugsley Silver Medal for outstanding achievement in state park development and historic site preservation by the American Scenic and Historical Preservation Society. In 1958 he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from the University of North Dakota. Among the more outstanding accomplishments of his administration was the creation of the nation’s first National Memorial Park in memory of Theodore Roosevelt in the North Dakota Badlands, the Chateau de Mores Historic Site (a gift from the son of the Marquis), the international Peace Garden, and the construction of innumerable public facilities and markers at parks and historic sites throughout the state.

The Yellowstone-Missouri Fort Union Commission scheduled the transfer of the deed for Fort Union to the National Park Service to coincide with Russell Reid Day, in order to recognize Reid’s unique contribution. The transfer marked the official beginning of the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.

Salvage archaeology, a program conducted in cooperation with the National Park Service designed to save priceless archaeological information from the flooding of giant dam reservoirs, began during Reid’s administration. This was the only official and systematic archaeological program ever conducted in North Dakota, a state unusually rich in plains archaeological sites.
Reid was editor of the North Dakota Historical Quarterly from 1945 to 1965. He was first vice president of the International Peace Gardens, Inc., a member of the American Association of Museums, member of the North Dakota Wildlife League, the ecologist’s Union, and former officer and founder of the Missouri Slope Chapter of the Isaac Walton League and a national director of the League.

Russell Reid served his community with energy also helping to start the Bismarck-Mandan Executives Club and serving for many years on the Bismarck Public Library Board, the Board of Trustees of the Bismarck Hospital, and the Girl Scout Executive Board. He was a member of the Bismarck Rotary Club, th4e Bismarck Art Association, and the Garden Club. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Reid’s contribution to the state is inestimable, not only because of the articles he wrote, the many museum specimens he personally collected, and the thousands of photographs he took, but also for the great respect in which he was esteemed by his colleagues, for the encouragement he gave to all interested in the preservation of history and wildlife, and his modest dedication which provided an example to those who knew him and made a favorable impression with the many visitors to the state he loved so intensely. Russell Reid died July 9, 1967.

Written by Craig Gannon for a Historical Society banquet honoring Reid. 

Bibliography of 16 mm film.

1.  3 Untitled Reels [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
2.  Bull Snake, Bismarck;  Breaking Sod for State Capitol;  Pioneer Mother Project. [16 mm film]. ; Aug 4,  1932
3.  Burning of Capitol [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
4.  B-W Teal Duck & young [16 mm film]. ; n.d.  
5.  Caterpillar tractor at old Capitol, Ducks at Sterling, ND [16 mm film]. ; Nov. 11, 1931
6.  De Mores [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
7.  Excavating Capitol Cornerstone [16 mm film]. ; n.d.  
8.  Falling Trees WPA or CCC workers [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
9.  Fish Pelican, Capitol, Nishu [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
10. Flood Mandan CCC Camp [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
11. Flood Mandan CCC Camp [16 mm film]. ; n.d.  
12. Ground Squirrel [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
13. Ground Squirrel [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
14. Gulls-Upside down [16 mm film]. ; n.d.   
15. Gulls-Upside down [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
16. Indian? [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
17. Indians-laying Capitol Cornerstone [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
18. Jeanne & Gramma Aide, Jan. & April [16 mm film]. ; 1932. 
19. Lake Metigoshe [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
20. Laying Cornerstone of Capitol [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
21. Parade, Gramma Aide, Bittern, yellow-headed Blackbird Avocet? [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
22. Pouring cement on Capitol roof, Fishing with nets on Heart River [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
23. Power shovels at work on ND Capitol, working on basement about 20 feet, hauling dirt. [16 mm film]. ;  Aug 25, 1932 
24. Rattlesnake [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
25. Richardson's Ground Squirrel Bismarck, ND [16 mm film]. ; May 1, 1932
26. Sending up steel work on Capitol Bldg. [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
27. Setting Up large Earth Lodge at Fort Lincoln, flood at CCC camp SP3 [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
28. Untitled [16 mm film]. ; n.d.   
29. Untitled [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
30. White Stone Hill, Pelicans Big Bx [16 mm film]. ; n.d. 
31. Whooping Cranes [16 mm film]. Sept. 30, 1932 


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