The Old Frontiers with Charles M. Russell

In the mid-1910s famed “Cowboys and Indians” artist Charles M. Russell began a new phase of his storied career – contributing illustrations and tales to newspapers, mostly for local Montana papers through the Montana Newspaper Association (MNA). The MNA offered Montana papers a four page ready print insert of Montana news and related stories, allowing the small papers to compete with the larger ones’ news and features. C. M. Russell contributed to the MNA effort with stories and art.



A collection of some of those stories proved to be a good seller.



Cheely and Raban then formed their own syndicate separate from the Montana Newspaper Association and in 1922 – 1923 distributed, nation-wide, a series of historical tales written by W. W. Cheely and H. P Raban and illustrated with a large pen and ink drawing by Charles M. Russell.



above are excerpts from Charles M. Russell: The Storyteller’s Art
by Raphael James Cristy via the Google Books preview.


Here is a selection of some of those Back-Trailing on the Old Frontiers newspaper illustrations of 100 years ago as taken from The Virginia City (Montana) Times via

Clicking on the images will embiggen, a second click will supersize.

One thought on “The Old Frontiers with Charles M. Russell

  1. I was surprised, some years ago, to learn how little time Remington had actually spent out West and how much of his work was done, at best, from memory.

    By contrast, Russell was embedded in the West, and respected enough to have provide illustrations for Roosevelt’s work on Western life, as well as Frank Linderman’s collections of native folk tales.

    Ol’ Charley was the real deal.

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