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53 Mont. L. Rev. 1 (1992)
Frances C. Elge - 1906-1991

handle is hein.journals/montlr53 and id is 7 raw text is: IN MEMORIAM*
Frances C. Elge
1906- 1991
Frances C. Elge was a pioneer Montana woman attorney. She
is, and will be, remembered as an integral part of the history of the
law in Montana.
Born in Helena, Montana, on December 28, 1906, Fran, as she
preferred to be called, attended public schools in Helena and then
the University of Montana. After receiving her law degree in 1930,
she returned to Helena where she maintained a private law prac-
tice and was elected the Public Administrator of Lewis and Clark
County. In 1934, at the age of twenty-seven, she became Montana's
first woman county attorney. In 1939, she successfully lobbied for
jury service for women in Montana.
Fran went on to serve as Administrative Assistant to her
friend Jeanette Rankin in the United States House of Representa-
tives and then to work on regulatory law and admiralty litigation
for the War Shipping Administration and Maritime Commission.
In 1954, she began a distinguished career as an Administrative Law
Judge for the United States Department of Interior, presiding over
hearings on twelve Indian reservations, probating the estates of tri-
bal members. For many years, she was the sole woman in such a
Throughout her life, Fran maintained a deep and abiding in-
terest in and dedication to the pursuit of human equality. She
achieved success through being, in her words, positive and aggres-
sive without being abrasive. When she left this life on September
24, 1991, she left behind a legacy of spirited advocacy on behalf of
women, and ultimately on behalf of all humankind.

* The following memorial was prepared by the Montana Supreme Court and entered in
the public record on January 21, 1992.

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