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Russell L. Keene Papers

Identifier: M2134

Scope and Contents

Collection contains copy of Keene's memoir: Grandpa's Stories (1998) and Mountain Troops and Medics (n.d.); correspondence (1999); Blizzard article: Goldbrick Medicine (1991).


  • 1991-1999


Language of Materials

Material is in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The imply Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Russell Keene was born in Illinois September 20, 1909 to a Congregational minister and his wife. The family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho in 1915 where Russell worked as a smoke chaser for the U.S. Forest Service and ran a trap line for furs. After moving to California to continue his work with the Forest Service, Keene enlisted in the Army in Fresno, California on December 18, 1942 and joined the newly established 10th Mountain Division. He began his training at Camp Hale, Colorado where he was assigned as a medic to the 86th Infantry Regiment’s Medical Headquarters unit. He continued his training with the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Swift, Texas before being sent to Italy during World War II. Keene was one of the first casualties of the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, suffering wounds from an exploding mine on January 6, 1945 while aiding another mine casualty. He also received a Bronze Star for his actions during combat on April, 18, 1945. Keene returned to California after the war, having attained the rank of T/3. In California he worked as a hydroelectric operator and did surveys measuring mountain snowpack and water. After retiring in 1967 he returned to Idaho and began operating a tree farm. Keene enjoyed giving lectures and demonstrations on the construction of igloos and snow caves. He was widowed twice, first by his wife, Lily, and then by his second wife, Zelpha. Russell Keene died on September 13, 1997.


1 envelope

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; Unknown; Unknown.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.

Linking Entry Complexity Note

Forms part of: 10th Mountain Division Resource Center Collection.

Russell L. Keene Papers
Keli Schmid
June 1, 2021
Description rules
Anglo American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States