Family Legacy Ties Generations of Loyal Griz

When Kyle Hendricks ’84 refers to his family’s "track record" at UM, he means it literally: the family legacy includes notable achievements in track and field. And football. And baseball. And a five generation list of accomplishments that continues to grow. On top of that, the family’s roots are just as strong within the larger community of Missoula. Notable Missoula landmarks are named after Hendricks’ ancestors, as was one of Missoula’s most-beloved watering holes.    

"My great grandfather, Harry David Maclay, was on an early Grizzly football team," Hendricks explained. "He was a son of one of the early settlers, and he was first at the University sometime between 1906 and 1910. Digging through the records, I saw a football roster from 1910 that included his name." If that last name sounds familiar, it’s likely you’ve seen it attached to landmarks in the Missoula area, including Maclay Bridge and Maclay Flats.

If "Harry David" sounds familiar, it’s likely you enjoyed a beverage at Harry David’s, one of Missoula’s most-loved bars named for the patriarch who started the family legacy at UM. The bar was established by David Maclay, who was one of Harry David’s grandsons.

"My grandfather was Grant Maclay, who was Harry David’s son, and was a local businessman and a strong advocate for the University and Missoula," Hendricks says. "In fact, I lived with my grandparents and went to high school at Sentinel. We lived on the property that is now a Shopko and Rosauers, where my grandparents owned a corner store, Maclay’s Market, and ran a Union 76 gas station."

Grant Maclay also had a great interest in both the history and fate of Fort Missoula, and shared his thoughts regarding the landmark in the Grant Maclay papers, spanning 1868 to 1966, which are now in the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library’s Archives and Special Collections.

The next generation continued the strong family legacy. "My dad, Robert Hendricks ’56, played on the university’s baseball team. His brother, my uncle Blaine "Butch" Hendricks ’63, earned ten letters in baseball, basketball and track and field (javelin) — a pretty amazing accomplishment," Hendricks says.

Asked about his own time at UM, Hendricks laughed. "I joked with my dad that there was an athletic gap and an education gap. Almost the entire family in his generation attended The University of Montana and played sports. My generation came along and it was just me." While Kyle Hendricks downplays his accomplishments, he went on to succeed in the world of banking. Currently, he’s Vice President of Idaho Independent Bank in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. There’s certainly no education gap among the next generation, as all three of Kyle’s children are currently enrolled at UM. Katie is a senior with a double major in psychology and social work set to graduate December 2012. Sarah is a junior in the Davidson Honors College studying biology (Pre Med). Allen is a sophomore in the School of Business Administration.

Katie admitted she found out about the long family legacy in an odd way: when she applied for scholarships at UM. "My sister and I were applying for scholarships, including one for children of UM alumni. That’s when I found out about my grandfather, and my uncle, and all the past ties to the University."

And did her parents encourage her to attend UM to continue the long-standing legacy? "No," says Katie. "Even though they both went to UM, they were very hands-off with all of us, letting us make our own decisions. It’s kind of funny because while we were growing up, said we wouldn’t go to The University of Montana. Now all three of us are here, and we love it," she says.

Katie points to an interesting connection with her parents, and her great grandfather Grant Maclay: the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, where the Maclay papers are now housed. "I remember my parents talking about going to the library to study and heading to a secluded table way in the back on the second floor. Now I go to the library to study often, and I found I just naturally go to the same floor and what could be the same table in the back."

Considering the long tradition of the Maclay and Hendricks families, it is easy to imagine the next generation finding themselves on the second floor of the library, studying and continuing the Hendricks family legacy.