302 South Sixth Street East

University Area Historic District

White Sulphur Springs businessman Harvey Spencer bought this newly constructed Queen Anne “Free Classic” style boardinghouse in 1902. The cross-gable roof and side bay window represent the Queen Anne form, while the pedimented porch entry and eave returns evoke the classical style. Of the many tenants who lived here, three important women stand out. In 1903, University of Montana (UM) English professor Frances Corbin rented the house. She spent twenty-six years teaching at UM and served as dean of women. Before she retired, Corbin Hall was named in her honor. From 1904 to 1906, Spencer’s daughter, Clarissa, an English major, lived with the Corbins. Clarissa later earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, taught high school English, and was director of Missoula’s Socialist School. Her colleague Martha Plassmann rented rooms here in 1907 and 1908. Plassmann taught music lessons, wrote a column titled “Socialist Notes” for the Missoulian, and supported the radical Industrial Workers of the World labor union. In 1911, Plassmann moved to Butte to manage Socialist Louis Duncan’s successful mayoral campaign.

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302 South Sixth Street East, Missoula, Montana ~ private