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Special Collections: Willard E. Fraser Collection

Mayor Willard E. Fraser (1907-1972)

Mayor Willard Fraser

Willard E. Fraser mayoral papers (1963-1969 & 1971-1972) contain the alphabetized file folders, letters, political campaigns, proclamations, memos, and his correspondence.  Mayoral papers of Howard Hultgren (1969-1971) and Thompson T. Rowe (1949-1953) are also contained within this collection. 


Biography Willard E. Fraser (1907-1972)

Willard E. Fraser was Mayor from 1963-1969 and 1971-1972, and he was mayor of Billings for six terms. He was one of the most popular and most colorful mayors Billings has ever had. He died in office of a heart attack on September 21, 1972.

Fraser was described as a “dreamer, clown and politician extraordinary,” a man who biked to work wearing a Panama hat and white suit, sometimes presided over city council meetings in a sweatshirt, and loved sirens and flashing lights.

Fraser was also a visionary who loved Billings and its people – and the people returned that affection. Among his dreams: a tunnel through the Rims to ease traffic problems in the Heights; a large manmade lake where Billings residents could fish, sail and swim, and a tram car from the airport to downtown hotels.  In 1999, a bridge on the bike path near Two Moon Park in the Heights was named the Willard Fraser Memorial Bridge in his honor. (Stevens, K.D. & Redman, D.A. (2000). Billings A to Z. Montana: Fenske Companies.)

Yellowstone River Boat Float

River Rats

Indian Caverns (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Caves (Pictograph Cave State Park)

Indian Cave Water Supply Cistern letter from David W. McCullough, P.E., President of Billings Engineer's Club

Indian Cave Water System