The Making of a Good Woman: Montana and the National Florence Crittenton Mission

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The Florence Crittenton Mission, founded in 1883 to offer sanctuary to "fallen women and wayward girls,” came to Montana in the late 1890s. Crittenton Home Circles formed across the state to refer girls to the home in Helena. The matron’s daybook from 1900 to 1915 and photographs of anonymous girls—their backs always to the camera—provide a backdrop for this unusual program. Dr. Ellen Baumler, the Montana Historical Society’s interpretive historian, explores uncharted territory in women’s history in Montana, tracing the national and local evolution of an organization that is as vital today as it was a century ago.