Elizabeth Mundy: Cook for Bozeman Madam (and General Custer)

Posted: May 15, 2020 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

Montana history is full of fascinating people, including Elizabeth Mundy. Elizabeth grew up enslaved on a southern plantation. She fled the plantation in 1863 and was hired by Libbie Custer, the wife of General George Armstrong Custer, as a cook. She worked for the Custer family until 1875 when she left their service to live in Bozeman and Helena. While in Bozeman she worked as a cook for one of our infamous red-light Madams, Lizzie Woods. Her descendants still live in Montana and her recipes have been passed down. Here is her recipe for vegetable soup, give it a try and let us know what you think!

“1 quart of stock, 1 quart of boiling water, 1 cup each of chopped onion, carrots and celery, ½ cup each of chopped turnip, parsnip and cabbage, 1 cup strained tomatoes, 1 tablespoonful chopped parsley, 1 teaspoonful sugar, 1 teaspoonful salt and 1 teaspoonful of pepper. Use all or as many varieties of vegetables as you wish, or if you have only a few, add macaroni, rice or barley. Fry the onions and carrots. Then add all the ingredients, except seasoning. Serve without straining. Always add sugar to all mixed vegetable soups.”

The_Billings_Gazette_Sun__Jun_26__1960_Elizabeth Mundy
  1. Samuel Phillips says:

    Most interesting. There was a similar lady who lived near Fort Maginnis, Maiden and Yogo in central Montana who was a cook, a babysitter and ran a successful laundry. I would have loved to have met these ladies.

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