Gibson-Russell friendship program is July 22

A program featuring the friendship between two of Great Falls’ most prominent citizens, Paris Gibson, founder of Great Falls, and Charles Russell, cowboy artist, will be presented 7 p.m. July 22 in the newly refurbished Cordingley Room of the Great Falls Public Library.

The program is sponsored by the Paris Gibson Celebration Month Committee and is free and open to the public.

Featured speakers will be Suzanne Waring, local writer and historian, who has published a monograph about the Russell home and its caretakers (descendants of Paris Gibson); and Bill Dakin of Bigfork, great great grandson of Paris Gibson who will give details of the friendship between the two men. Bill Bronson, a local attorney, who has portrayed Charles Russell in all eleven Waking the Dead tours at Highland Cemetery, will read an illustrated poem Russell wrote to Gibson on his 86th birthday in 1916 and a letter he wrote to Gibson on June 29, 1916 which was published in Good Medicine.

A game will be played to see how many in the audience can list the places in Great Falls and Montana named after Paris Gibson.

The mayor proclaims July as Paris Gibson Month each year since Gibson was born July 1, 1830. He died in 1920 at the age of 90.

A question and answer period will follow the program and refreshments will be served.