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Lou Blachly Papers

Identifier: MSS-555-BC

Scope and Content

This is a small collection of Lou Blachly's materials. It is divided into three distinct series. Series I includes materials relating to a manuscript that Blachly wrote about Frank Burris. This manuscript was commissioned by Burris' children for $300. Series II contains materials relating to Montague Stevens, including correspondence and publicity for Stevens' book Meet Mr. Grizzly, as well as notes, transcriptions, and manuscripts from the Pioneers Foundation recorded interviews between Blachly and Stevens. The transcripts are neither complete nor are they necessarily verbatim transcriptions of entire reels, but rather, they appear to be selected stories, as if Blachly was collating materials for a prospective publication. Finally, Series III consists of one folder containing a partial manuscript (chapter 2) relating to Burro Springs. This manuscript might have been generated from the first Pioneers Foundation interviews which were with Caesar Brock.


  • 1942-1953 (bulk 1951-1953)
  • 1952-1960.


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Louis Bradley Blachly was born on November 5, 1889 to Andrew True Blachly and Adelle Bradley Blachly on a farm near Delta, Colorado. In high school, Lou was class president, debating team leader, and manager of the football team. He was fascinated with history, and especially with the oral pursuit of the historical record. He didn't finish high school because of illness, but nevertheless was accepted to Oberlin College in 1911. Family responsibilities forced Lou to quit Oberlin College that same year. In 1912, he continued his college education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison pursuing a degree in economics. Again, family responsibilities disrupted his college education, but in 1919, he received an A.B. degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

In 1922, Lou Blachly married Natalie Norton, with whom he had 2 children. Much of Lou's professional career was with the federal government. His position with the Land-Lease program required frequent moves and extensive time overseas, straining his marriage. In 1947, when forced to make a choice between his marriage or his career, Lou chose his career, and he and Natalie were divorced.

Blachly received a disability retirement from the government in 1949 at age 59, and then moved to Silver City via Albuquerque upon retirement. Blachly worked for the Silver City Enterprise until 1950, where he began a column called, "I'll Never Forget," featuring recollections of old timers. Lou's childhood fascination with history and oral history was resurfacing. He was intrigued that there were still people alive who remembered the "frontier experience" and he felt an urgency to record their remembrances.

In 1951, Blachly successfully met with some of Silver City's prominent businessmen to plead for support in forming the Pioneers Foundation, an organization which would record the reminiscences of the remaining "pioneers." Caesar Brock was the first of more than 150 individuals who were interviewed by the Pioneers Foundation. By 1955, Blachly had become discouraged with the Pioneers Project, and focused his attention elsewhere.

Blachly moved to Tucson in 1957, where he produced 2 books,Picture Guide to Southwestern Arizona Wildflowers (1963) and Mammals, Snakes, and Lizards of the Southwest (1964). Lou Blachly died at home in Tucson on March 5, 1965. His remains were cremated and scattered in the desert near Tucson.


2 boxes ( .52 cu. ft. )

Related Material

Louis Bradley Blachly Papers. University of Arizona, Tucson. Pioneers Foundation. Oral History Collection. 1952-1960. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Southwest Oral Histories. Southwest Archives. Western New Mexico University Museum, Silver City.

Relevant secondary sources

  • Dinwiddle, Douglas M. Louis Bradley Blachly and the Pioneers Foundation(Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1989).


Finding Aid of the Lou Blachly Papers, 1942-1953 (bulk 1951-1953)
Processed by CSWR staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 555 BC::Lou Blachly Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss555bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131