Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Creek to Williams Creek
Blaine County and Phillips County, Montana

Status = Denied

Description stream, 17 miles long, Heads 0.5 miles south of Eagle Child Mountain at 47°55’18”N, 108°41’05”W, flows generally west then southwest to enter Cow Creek
Location 47°51’17”N, 108°57’11”W
PLSS Location Townships 24-25N, Ranges 22-23E
Proposal to change a name believed to be offensive and to apply a new commemorative name
Proponent Lorri and Gerry Williams, Dodson, MT
Not Squaw Creek
Administrative area Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (Bureau of Land Management)
Previous BGN Action None
See also 41501
GNIS ID 777127
Local Usage None Found
Published Squaw Creek (USGS 1954, 1971, 2011)
This proposal is to change the name of Squaw Creek, a 17-mile-long tributary of Cow Creek in Blaine County and Phillips County, to Williams Creek.  The downstream portion of the stream flows through the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.   The existing name has appeared on USGS topographic maps since 1954; the origin of the name has not been determined.  The proposed replacement name was submitted by Gerry and Lorri Williams, land owners along the creek, in response to a proposal by the Fort Belknap Community Council to change the name to Kills at Night Creek. All of the proponents agree that the Squaw Creek name is offensive and should be changed, in accordance with the 1999 Montana House Bill 412 "Squaw Name Change" law.

The new name is intended to honor Francis Wysoski Williams (1894 – 1990). Francis was born on her parents' ranch in the area and homesteaded nearby property with her husband Edgar in 1920. Francis, in addition to raising her own five children became the 'midwife' of the area, because the nearest doctor was in Malta, 65 miles away. She delivered over 50 infants for mothers in the surrounding areas, never losing a single baby. She would stay with the new mother as needed and provided her service free of monetary charge

The Williams Creek proposal is endorsed by the Phillips County commissioners and a petition signed by 32 local residents. The Kills At Night Creek proposal has been endorsed by the HB412 Advisory Committee, the Blaine County commissioners, and four local residents. The State Names Advisor endorses the Kills At Night Creek proposal because state law MCA 2-15-149 requires state agencies to use the names selected by the HB 412 Advisory Committee.

Comments Received by the Montana Geographic Names Advisor
Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Oppose (Friday, February 13, 2015)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, September 10, 2015
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve the proposal for Kills At Night Creek.

13 in favor
2 against
0 abstentions

The negative votes were cast in support of Phillips County’s endorsement of the Williams Creek proposal.

Page History