Exhibit: Swaney Family Papers
Mildred A. Swaney
Born Mildred Buckneberg in Keene, North Dakota, it was Mildred’s bookishness, and ardent love of adventure, that drew Alexander to her.
She was a habitual writer; she kept diaries, wrote poetry, essays, and short stories. More than once she won essay contests: once in high school for the Woman’s Auxiliary of the American Legion and another for a washing machine company that won her a free Bendix washing machine.
While a high school student, she was involved in glee clubs, literary societies, and graduated as valedictorian. She attended Concordia College in 1926 through 1930 and graduated with a Baccalaureate in English. She taught English, and supervised glee clubs, in several high schools all over North Dakota and Montana before settling in Helena.
She met Alexander in 1935, and by 1940 she had retired and married. During their 7-year marriage, the couple had countless adventures: remodeling their home, camping trips, skiing trips, dog sledding, horse racing, and performing in horse shows. During this time, both Alexander and Mildred wrote and had several pieces published: Mildred in the newspapers, and Alexander in "The Western Horsman", a still wildly popular American living magazine.
Their happy marriage came to an abrupt end when Mildred suffered a fatal head injury in a horse riding accident in 1947.