Mary Frances Garrigus ’18

University of Montana School of Law, Class of 1918
First Native American Woman (Crow) to graduate from UMSL



+++++22 August 1891, in Columbus, Montana


+++++William Brewer Garrigus and Margaret Elizabeth Hundley Garrigus Porter


+++++1 brother and 2 sisters


+++++Billings High School Class of 1912

Undergraduate Education:

+++++University of Montana , 1912-

Legal Education:

+++++LL.B., University of Montana School of Law 1918


  • Assistant in Law Library
  • Nurse


+++++30 November 1918, in Red Lodge, Montana, of the Spanish flu

4 December 1918 — Carbon County Journal — “Teacher at Carbon High is Claimed by Influenza”

+++++“Miss Mary Frances Garrigus, instructor in shorthand at the Carbon county high school, succumbed Saturday afternoon to pneumonia following an attack of influenza. Miss Garrigus has been serving voluntarily as a nurse at the emergency hospital in this city since its organization and contracted the fatal malady in the discharge of those duties. She had been ill only four days.
+++++In the death of Miss Garrigus the high school loses a valued member of its staff and the community a ready, willing and capable worker. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Garrigus of Billings and came to Red Lodge last September to accept a position with the high school. The remains were taken to Billings Sunday for burial, accompanied by the bereaved father.
+++++Miss Garrigus was born at Stillwater, which is now Columbus, August 22, 1891. She attended the Billings high school and was graduated with the class of 1912. Later she took the law course at the University of Montana at Missoula, graduating from that institution last June.
+++++In her will and as a last request, Miss Garrigus requested that her remains be taken to Missoula for interment as she considered that her home. Beautiful floral offerings from the Red Cross here and from many friends in this city and elsewhere in Montana attested the high esteem in which she was held.
+++++Besides her father and mother she is survived by a brother, Arthur R. Garrigus, who is now in the aerial service with the American expeditionary forces in France, and two sisters, Mrs. Dorothy Friedrich of Billings and Mrs. Margaret E. Winters of Ringling.”

28 November 1918 — The Missoulian — Mary Frances Garrigus is Seriously Ill at Red Lodge

+++++Miss Mary Frances Garrigus is reported ill at Red Lodge, with influenza. Miss Garrigus received her degree from the law department of the University of Montana last June. A few weeks ago she went to Red Lodge to teach in the business department of the high school in that city. During the epidemic she has been employed as night nurse in the emergency hospital at Red Lodge, where she contracted the disease. Word received by friends in the city yesterday states that she is seriously ill but that hopes are held out for her recovery. Miss Garrigus was president of the Catholic Student association of the university, and has many friends in the city who will be sorry to learn of her illness.”

+++++“Mary Frances Garrigus was born at Stillwater, Mont., on August 22, 1891 to William Brewer Garrigus and Margaret Elizabeth Gasia Garrigus. The family moved to Billings sometime prior to 1910 where Frances graduated from high school in 1912. She studied at the University of Montana during the academic year 1914-1915. In June 1918, she was one of three women to graduate from the law school at the university. By the September 1918 she was working as an instructor at the Carbon County High School in Red Lodge. During the influenza outbreak Frances served as a volunteer nurse at the emergency hospital. She contracted the disease while there and died of pneumonia on November 30, 1918.”

+++++“Mary Frances Garrigus was a nurse from Missoula, and received a degree in law from The University of Montana in 1918. She died of influenza November 30, 1918, and was buried December 3, 1918 in the Mountain View Cemetery in Billings, Montana.”

“Frances Garrigus:

+++++If you take advice from Frances
+++++You can never come to harm;
+++++For she goes about campus
+++++With a law book ‘neath her arm.”

University of Montana Yearbook, 1916

One thought on “Mary Frances Garrigus ’18

  1. Hi, Bari,
    Just found out about the site in the state bar magazine! Love it and want to read it all. But Jeannette Rankin is 2 “N’s”!
    What a great project!


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