Maurice R Hilleman Day?
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 13 years ago
So is there enough interest in Miles to work toward creating a Maurice R Hilleman Day to recognize this man?

For those not familiar with Hilleman - see:
http://milescity.com/foru...fpid=10019

If there is interest in this - August 30, his birthday, seems like it would a good day for it - but I suppose any day would be better than none.

I don't know if would be the mayor, the council, or both who'd have to issue a proclamation (or whatever) making August 30 Maurice R. Hilleman Day in Miles City - but approaching city government seems like a logical way to get the ball rolling. (it might be worth trying to bring the county commissioners on board too - and I don't know if it's something the Chamber, and other groups should contacted about - that's something those in Miles who are interested in this would have to decide).

I suspect that if Miles City were to grant recognition to the man, it wouldn't be too difficult to persuade the Governor and legislature (if needed) to come up some sort of state-wide proclamation recognizing Maurice R Hilleman Day.

If we put together an information packet to educate them on who Hilleman was and the significance of his work . . . if we circulated a petitions and gathered a few signatures . . . I think politicians would be falling over themselves to get onboard a drive to have Montana recognize this man.

I suspect that if we put our minds to it, within a couple years August 30 (or whenever) could be Maurice R Hilleman Day in Montana.

Once that was done, it would not be unimaginable that we could work for some kind of proclamation / recognition at the D.C. level. Again, what politician isn't going to want to be associated with honoring a man who saved millions of lives?


But, if nothing else . . . if we put our minds to it, we should be able to create enough buzz to find a place in Miles to mount that memorial plaque that Frank Masterson created (unless we've already delayed too long and lost that opportunity):
http://milescity.com/foru...0019#16835

Then, if we built up that much momentum, we could probably create a web site and put together some educational materials for teachers if they wanted to mention the man in their classes.

Perhaps we could even eventually establish something along the lines of a memorial scholarship fund for graduates of Custer High.

But it seems to me that this has to / should start in Miles, if it's going to happen.

And I think if it's going to happen, it's going to take more than asking the mayor about it on this bulletin board - those of us who are interested in this are probably going to have to actually do something. Dumping it in someone else's lap and then grumbling that nothing is being done . . . well that's probably not the path to success

I'd be more than happy to help put together an information packet (if one is needed) to use in the effort to get things started in Miles.

If we decided to push on the stare level, I'd be very happy to help circulate petitions and "lobby" some politicians that I have connections with.

If anyone is interested in this, contact me privately (neander97 [at] yahoo.com) . . . we'll see if we can assemble a group of interested folks and see if we can make this happen.


[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 5/7/2006).]
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 13 years ago
You can count me in, Hal. His life story should be a movie. It is truly amazing that many of us have not heard of this man. Anything that I can do just ask.

Brady Stone
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9865) 13 years ago
Sonja Woods at the Miles City Public Library is a big Hilleman fan, mostly because of his chicken obsession. Well, . . .not obsession but he said he owed his success to his chickens. Funny guy, as well as brilliant. I think he grew up on Fouth Street. I'll to look into it. . .

Amorette
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 13 years ago
Hal this is some infromation I compiled off of the internet. I know it is to long, sorry. I had to delete some of it because it was to long to post.



In the middle of a night in March 1963, a feverish 5-year-old named Jeryl Lynn wandered into her father's bedroom in Lafayette Hill and woke him up, complaining about a sore throat.

Her father, Maurice R. Hilleman, a microbiologist, took one look at his daughter's swollen glands and realized she had the mumps.

Back then, mumps was one of the most common diseases of childhood - approximately 200,000 children in the United States came down with it every year. The disease, caused by a virus that grows in the salivary glands and in the back of the throat, is usually benign. About half the children with mumps develop a mild case of meningitis, an infection of the brain. In a fraction of those cases, that could lead to permanent deafness, even death. Forty years ago, between 20 and 30 children died each year from complications of mumps.

Hilleman, who was conducting research on the infectious diseases of childhood at what is now Merck & Co., comforted Jeryl Lynn the best he could. Then he seized the opportunity to learn from her misfortune.

Even though it was past midnight, Hilleman drove to his laboratory at Merck's research facility near Lansdale, where he picked up cotton swabs and beef broth. Back home, he took the swabs and gently wiped the back of his daughter's throat, collecting the mumps virus growing there. Then he immersed the swabs in the broth, drove back to Merck and put the exposed broth in a freezer. He worked quickly, because in the morning he had to leave for a business trip to South America, and by the time he returned Jeryl Lynn's infection might have cleared.

The swabs taken by Hilleman that night more than three decades ago had a far-reaching impact.

When he returned to his lab, Hilleman used the frozen specimens to isolate the mumps virus. By growing the virus in the cells of chicken embryos, he was able to produce what is known as an attenuated form of the virus: It was too weak to cause disease but still strong enough to trigger the body's natural defenses and make a person immune.

By 1967, Hilleman had turned his daughter's virus, dubbed the Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps, into the world's first live vaccine against mumps. Soon, mumps became a disease of the past in the United States.The names Jenner, Pasteur, Salk and Sabin are likely to register with people. Not Hilleman. Even though he is the godfather of the modern vaccine era. Even though he has, in a career that has spanned six decades, developed nearly three dozen vaccines - more than any other scientist.

Even though it is no exaggeration to assert, as many leading scientists do, that Maurice Hilleman has saved more lives than any other living scientist.

His credits include not only the preventive vaccine for mumps, but also vaccines for measles, rubella (German measles), chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, flu and hepatitis B. Every time an American mother takes her child to the doctor for a well-baby checkup, she likely encounters the fruits of Hilleman's labor - vaccines that have put an end to longtime scourges of American childhood.

Many of the diseases that Hilleman's vaccines helped bring under control have been all but forgotten by a well-immunized generation of Americans. But not that long ago in this country, these diseases not only kept children home from school, they also sent them to the hospital and even the cemetery. Today Hilleman's measles vaccine alone prevents an estimated one million deaths around the globe every year.

Hilleman, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the Univesity of Chicago, has also made notable discoveries in basic science. He figured out the pattern of genetic changes in the flu virus, enabling epidemiologists to give people advance warning of pandemic flu, and his discovery of an unknown monkey virus in the early 1960s eventually led scientists to find the most common genetic mutation involved in human cancers.

"Dr. Hilleman is one of the true giants of science, medicine and public health in the 20th century," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during an awards dinner for Hilleman last year. Given Hilleman's work, ranging from immunology to cancer research, Fauci said, "One can say without hyperbole that Maurice has changed the world."

Hilleman himself is embarrassed by all the accolades heaped on him by other scientists. "Colleagues," he said, "make things happen."

At 79, Maurice Hilleman is a lean man with thinning hair, deep-set eyes and reading glasses that slip down to the end of his nose. When he thinks, he frequently buries his face in his hands and falls silent, as if communing with the muses. Then he jolts you with the first words out of his mouth, which are often profanity.

"Goddamnit," he told me as he broke one of these private seances, "science has to produce something useful. That's the payback to society for support of the enterprise."

I met Hilleman a year ago when I arrived in his office at Merck to tap his memory about the early quest for a polio vaccine. He sat at a long work table and recounted, in exacting detail, the scientific challenges of conquering a virus that brought terror to virtually every American home with children during the height of the polio epidemics in the 1950s.

Although Hilleman wasn't centrally involved, he knew the key scientists who were - Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin and Hilary Koprowski among them. Their pioneering work has now put the world on the threshold of a landmark achievement: the eradication of polio virus everywhere on the planet, possibly by the end of next year.

For Hilleman, the successful international effort to immunize the world's children against polio illustrates the ultimate power of vaccines. Not only can vaccines control infectious diseases, they can also eliminate them in their natural state. That's what happened with smallpox in 1979 and that's what is about to happen with polio.

"The wave of the future," Hilleman told me, "is to get rid of disease."

Although he officially retired from Merck in 1984, Hilleman still keeps regular office hours, culls through stacks of medical journals every week and is a consultant to myriad national and international vaccine advisory committees and public-health organizations. On his many international trips, he is often accompanied by his wife, Lorraine, a retired nurse. Besides Jeryl Lynn, now an executive with a California research firm, he has another daughter, Kirsten, and four grandchildren.

Ever since 1944, when he received his doctorate in microbiology, Hilleman has been an advocate of science in the public interest. Science, he insists, must serve society, not the reverse.

His bedrock belief in the responsibility of scientists to make the world a better place to live may be the only thing to survive his upbringing in the ultraconservative Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, which his German-immigrant ancestors helped found.

Though Hilleman professes to have rebelled against their fundamentalist teachings early on ("When I was 4 years old, I decided it was all mythology"), the Lutheran church left him with an enduring belief in the importance of being his brother's keeper. "It is always back there in your computer when you are first putting together pieces of information in your head," he says.

Much to the chagrin of his mentors at the University of Chicago, who wanted him to pursue an academic career after graduation, Hilleman took a research job at E.R. Squibb & Sons, the big pharmaceutical company. "I wanted to do something useful," Hilleman explains. Within a year, he had developed a vaccine to protect American troops in the Pacific from Japanese encephalitis, an often fatal infection of the brain.

Apart from a nine-year stint at Walter Reed Army
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Posted by Mayor (+142) 13 years ago
A proclamation is an excellent idea as a start in honoring Dr. Hilleman's service. But it helps to have some action items with which to back it up, i.e. a day of honor, memorial dedication, boulevard or street naming, raising of funds, etc.

I'd be happy to work up a proclamation in concert with the city council but would prefer for it to be comprehensive.

This is a job for a task force of citizen volunteers. If you'd like to participate, please put your names down in this thread and we'll take it up during the regularly-scheduled city council meetin in June.

So far, we have...

Brady Stone
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 13 years ago
The Maurice R Hilleman (MRH) Society discussion group

For those interested in the Maurice R Hilleman Day idea and promoting awareness of the man's work and achievement in other ways - I'd like to suggest that we consider using something like this to pursue our goals:

The Maurice R Hilleman (MRH) Society discussion group
http://groups.yahoo.com/g...H_Society/

In the past I've found that these yahoo groups can be a great tool in for networking and organizing. I set this group this morning as an example of what can be done.

I'd like to stress that this doesn't mean that I think I should be the head honcho of this or any other Hilleman group / organization. This is just an example of what can be done. I'm just hoping to help get the ball rolling and then step back and work with others on it.

I'm really hoping . . . .

--that if we go with this example, others will step forward to moderate or at least help me moderate the discussion group
--that we can elect (or somehow choose) some folks to run things
--that we can come up with some goals for the group, i.e. promoting a Hilleman Day, developing educational packets for the classroom, etc
--etc. & etc

For the time being, this group is set up with restricted membership - - that is, the moderators must approve members before they can join . . . my experience has been that if membership is wide open, spammers will flock to the group and pretty much ruin things. For the moment, messages are moderated -- the moderators must approve them before they go out to the group - again that's to cut down on spam. But all of this can be changed, depending on the wishes of the members. None of this, except for this particular group's url is set in stone - and heck, we can delete this group and start from scratch if that's what's needed.

Anyway, if this is something you are interested in, please click on the link and see what you think.
http://groups.yahoo.com/g...H_Society/

My hope is, whether using this group or something else, we can round up at least a couple dozen folks (half in Miles and half elsewhere) who are willing to pursue this - please fill free to share this links with anyone you think would be interested. If you've questions, feel free to contact me privately (neander97 [at] yahoo.com).

--Hal
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 13 years ago
>>This is a job for a task force of citizen volunteers.

If you can use a volunteer in Missoula sign me up. I'd be happy to work on drafting information packets or other such things that can be done from a distance.
--Hal
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 13 years ago
For those who are interested, I gathered up some of the information on Dr. Hilleman that's been posted on the various threads here and put it in one location. Maybe it will be easier to access and to share if you know of those who might be interested in learning more about the man.

http://www.geocities.com/...tes-2.html
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9865) 13 years ago
It's at the wrong end of the state but it's something to consider. Make Miles City's presence a bit more known as well as honoring Dr. Hilleman:


-----Original Message-----
From: Lambert, Kirby
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 1:52 PM
Subject: Gallery of outstanding Montanans

FYI and please forward to anyone who might be interested:

Since 1981 niches in the wall of the State Capitol's west wing have provided an opportunity to pay public tribute to Montanans who have made especially significant contributions to their chosen fields of endeavor, including science, medicine, the arts, education, economics, the law, business and politics. Inductees in this Gallery of Outstanding Montanans are honored on a rotational basis, with two new individuals being so initiated every biennium. To learn more about this program, and to view a list of current and past honorees, visit: http://www.montanacapitol...ndex.html.

Nominations for future inductees into the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans are currently being sought. Nominees must have been born, raised or lived a significant period of time in Montana. No living persons are eligible for nomination. Nominations should include the following information:

Name of nominee
Birth and death dates of nominee
Montana association (place of birth, place of residence, place of work etc.)
Field of endeavor
Specific contributions and achievements
Any supporting documentation or additional information
Name and contact information for person submitting nomination
Date nomination submitted

Return nomination to: Curator of Art, Montana Historical Society, P.O. Box 201201, Helena, MT 59620-1201, or [email protected] Call 406-444-4711 for more information. Nominations are due September 15, 2006. Honorees will be announced in November 2006.


Kirby Lambert, Curator of Art
Montana Historical Society
P.O. Box 201201 / 225 No. Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1201
406-444-4711
www.montanahistoricalsociety.com
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1276) 13 years ago
Here's my idea....

In the park on Main Street, plaques that are like the ones with history of the buildings.... hang them on the wall of the Montana Bar with information about people that made an impact on the city, state, country or world. You could put up this guy, Custer, Nelson Miles, early founding fathers....

I think this would be a great way to honor people in town.
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Posted by frank Masterson (+16) 13 years ago
This refers to your suggestions on how to memorialize other persons in addition to doing something for Dr. Hilleman.

I made a plaque commemorating Henry Clay ("Colonel") Thompson, one of Miles City's first citizens. It's located in the Range Riders Museum--look him up in the Museum's "Masterson Gallery." Also in that gallery is one I did of Nelson Miles, commemorating his last encounter with "Little Chief" of the Northern Cheyenne.

A portrait I did of Laura Zook, pioneer educator and librarian, may still be hung on the wall of the Miles City Library.

Shake a leg and go have a look at what's in the Masterson Gallery. It's primarily the location of Jim Masterson's cartoons depicting early characters and events in Montana history. These are the original cartoons which first appeared in the Miles City Daily Star and subsequently were published by Uncle Jim in book form under the title of "It Happened in Montana."

Frank Masterson
Fredericksburg, VA
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+34) 13 years ago
Yes, it would be nice to have a memorial to Dr. Maurice Hillemann but I am prejudiced as he was my Uncle! Also, I need help in changing my e-mail address, it was [email protected] and now it is [email protected] I can't seem to get into this site to change it, could someone please help me, thanks.
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 13 years ago
Frank, the two plaques that you sent me are at their finale destination. One plaque is hanging in the Library at Custer County District High School and the other is hanging in the Montana Room in the Miles City Public Library. Frank the plaques are beautiful and you truly are an artist.

I would like to thank Sonja Woods the Public Library Director, Jack Reagan the School Superintendent, Joe Whalen the Mayor and Hal Neumann the keeper of Montana History. You all made the plaque project of Franks easier. Lets hope that we have all raised awareness among Montanans and Miles Citians on the life and death of Dr. Maurice Hilleman and his contributions to our society.

The fact that Dr. Maurice Hilleman has been inducted into the Gallery for outstanding Montanans is a direct result of Hal Neumann's persistence on this subject.

I am not positive but I believe that the Mayor is searching for a way to commemorate Dr. Hilleman. If anyone has any ideas email Joe.

My vote is to name a Street after him or maybe Pumping Plant Park could be changed to honor him since that is where he grew up, in one of the houses beyond the Pumping Plant.

For all that have helped on this subject have a very Merry Christmas.

Brady Stone
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Posted by Mayor (+142) 13 years ago
Thanks for keeping this issue fresh, Stone.

Dr. Hilleman was born on August 30th. Would there be any objection to proclaiming that date as "Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman Day" in Miles City? That much is easy.

But there's more that we can do to honor him beyond a proclamation. His day should be recognized statewide. The governor should be here. Ralph Nader, a champion of Dr. Hilleman should be invited to speak. Our hospitals, schools (including MCC), and libraries should be actively involved in celebrating his life on that day.

And there should be a tangible reminder of his legacy marking the connection between Miles City and Dr. Hilleman - a re-named building, a statue, a special library collection, and/or signage acknowledging his birthplace to travelers.

I'll contact Governor Schweitzer, Merck Corp., Ralph Nader, MSU, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to enlist their participation. As for a permanent way to landmark his birth and a schedule of events for the day, we need a task force.

Brady, I'd like to appoint you as the chairman of that group. Are you interested?
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 13 years ago
I'm literally heading out the door to leave for King Salmon, AK, as soon as I send this off and pack up my computer. But I want to thank Brady Stone, Frank Masterson and everyone in Miles who cooperated with the plaques. I'm pleased to hear that they've found a good home in Miles. And Brady . . . you are "The Man" - so far as I'm concerned - many thanks for taking the lead and seeing that this happened.

Joe, I think approaching the Gov and some of Montana's legislators about a recognition at the state level is an excellent idea. I hoped to travel to Helena this winter and speak with folks in person about the idea, but I won't be able to do that. However, once I'm moved and settled in, I'm up for doing some networking online to help move this along in Helena and elsewhere.

Happy Holidays to one and all,
--Hal
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+34) 13 years ago
Now I am thoroughly confused. My husband said that my e-mail address should be [email protected] Yet when I enter that in some web sites, I get a message that says it is invalid. Anyway, I would like to go to Miles City, see the places where my relatives lived, such as my Uncle Maurice Hillemann. Thanks for all your genealogy help and Miles City news and history.
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 13 years ago
Mayor, This is the first if seen of your post but I will have to regretfully decline your request of me. I am very busy at the moment. I will help when and where I can.

Brady Stone
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Posted by Dr. Robert L Jacobson (+13) 12 years ago
Art Larson and Marie Larson Jacobson are son and daughter of Elsie Hilleman Larson, Maurice's older sister.
Art and Nancy are well known ranchers in Miles City.
Nancy plays the violin at the bucking horse sale quick draw contest.
She is active in music at Miles college.
Maybe they would help roundup some support for a recognition day for Maurice. With so many brothers, there must be many nieces and nephews.
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Posted by Craig L. Hillemann (+25) 12 years ago
/* With so many brothers, there must be many nieces and nephews. */

Yes, but aside from Art Larson, all of them live 800 miles or more from Miles City.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 12 years ago
Once Miles has decided how it's going to honor Dr. Hilleman, I'd like to move on to Helena and see about having the state proclaim August 30 as Maurice R Hilleman Day.

Aside from granting state-wide recognition to the man, this would open up several avenues to explore:

--Preparation of a "learning packet" on the man and his science that could be used in the classroom by Montana teachers.
--Publicity and leverage to help establish an endowment for a scholarship or two for Custer High grads who want to pursue a career in the sciences.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1276) 12 years ago
I know this will require outside the city input, but how about a medical building or the county clinic? Or the library? It doesn't have a 'real' name I don't think....I also think that a street is a great idea.
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Posted by Greg Slamowitz (+4) 12 years ago
Kirsten Hilleman (Maurice's second daughter and my wife) and I would like to thank all of you for your enthusiasm and kind words for Maurice. He loved to talk about Montana and Miles City. It was truly part of who he was.

An excellent book about Maurice was recently written by Dr. Paul Offit. It is entitled "Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases". You can find it online at www.amazon.com. It is a fascinating story about his life. The New York Times obituary, which appeared on the front page of the New York Times, is also a great synopsis of Maurice's life.

Again, thank you.

Greg Slamowitz
New York City
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9348) 12 years ago
Is there any chance that someone could take pictures of the plaques at the high school and library and post them here?
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Posted by Ellen Compton (+34) 12 years ago
Dear Mr. Slamowitz:
Dr. Maurice Hillemann was my Uncle. I am doing our family genealogy. Since I was a child I wanted to go back East and visit him but my parents wouldn't allow it. So now that I have a lawyers bookcase full of our genealogy, books and publications involving our family, and my own car, I can finally do some traveling to our relatives. I would like to correspond with you and your wife if you would be so kind as to give me your address. My e-mail address is: [email protected]
Sincerely,
Mrs. Compton
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Posted by Bart Freese (+930) 12 years ago
"Maurice Hilleman has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, and yet most people do not even know his name."

That is the first line of an item in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). Pretty impressive. Too bad the guy didn't play ball . . . we'd have a statue built for him by now.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/...98/16/1946
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Posted by Larry Brence (+136) 7 years ago
Dr. Hilleman was profiled in the most recent Mountains and Minds magazine from MSU. A link to the article follows.

http://www.montana.edu/mo...icle=11470
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+2943) 7 years ago
Great article. Thank you!
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 7 years ago
Thanks, Larry.

"Given his humble roots and the keen pragmatism he grew up with--Hilleman often credited the chickens he raised as a child with his successful use of chicken eggs for vaccine development--Lorraine Hilleman said she hopes her husband is also remembered as being one other thing: "A Montanan.""

It is to bad that his home town does not recognize him the way the world does.
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Posted by Stone (+1588) 7 years ago
To: The Mayor and City Council of the City of Miles City

We the undersigned request of the Mayor and Council that Pumping Plant Park be renamed to honor and recognize Dr. Maurice R. Hilleman, a native son of Miles City.

In so much as Dr. Hilleman was born and raised on the family farm at the confluence of the Tongue and Yellowstone rivers. In so much as the house in which he was born as raised still stands on Pumping Plant Road. In so much as he attended school in Miles, graduating from Custer County District High School. In so much as the formative years he spent in Miles City played an influential role in his personal and professional life. In so much as Dr. Hilleman's work as vaccinologist is credited with saving the lives of tens of millions.

We the undersigned feel it appropriate to rename the park near his childhood home
Maurice R. Hilleman Park.

Her is a petition that Hal Neumann and I ran a few years back.
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Posted by Craig L. Hillemann (+25) 4 years ago
Can nothing be done to help preserve the house where Maurice Hilleman grew up?

A cousin reported from her visit to Miles City this summer that the abandoned house has broken windows boarded up and covered with obscene graffiti. Apparently the property has become a hangout for juvenile delinquents.

If the house were in a city, it would be condemned. Suppose it is still outside the boundary of incorporated Miles City.

A question, with no obvious answers...
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Posted by Craig L. Hillemann (+25) 4 years ago
... and the other (larger) house on the property, also in deteriorating condition, is noteworthy as the place where Maurice Hilleman was born.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9865) 4 years ago
The Hilleman houses are RIGHT next to the dike. Flood issues. I'm not sure who owns the land now--and they are outside the city limits--but I'm not sure anyone would want to build or rebuild that close to the river.

Somebody came through and filmed for a documentary on Maurice a couple of years ago but haven't heard if it ever got finished. We went down and walked around by the houses and it was a high water year so the area was distinctly swampy.

[Edited by Amorette Allison (9/27/2015 10:14:07 AM)]
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Posted by Craig L. Hillemann (+25) 4 years ago
The houses had survived in reasonably good condition for almost a century. The issue is more of preservation, rather than suitability of the property for construction.

The houses are unfortunately now more threatened by vandals than by floods.

Sadly, from a financial standpoint, the reality is that the houses are too far from major population centers and too far from major tourist destinations to provide a sufficient flow of visitors to justify preservation and maintenance in memorial to a Montana-born scientist who merely saved millions of lives.

The documentary is still being completed.

Obviously, the deplorable condition of the houses (particularly vandalism) would make current depiction embarrassingly unsuitable for inclusion in the documentary.
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