College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Dr Tom Rust

Tom Rust  



  • Ph.D. - University of Leicester (UK)
  • M.Ed. – Montana State University Billings
  • M.A. - University of Denver
  • B.A. - University of Minnesota


Dr. Tom Rust is a Professor of History at Montana State University Billings and a native Montanan. He graduated with a B.A. in history in 1992 from the University of Minnesota. He received his M.A. in history from the University in Denver in 1995 where his work in American military history, more specifically Fort Ellis, has been published in the journal “Military History of West” and recently the monograph Lost Fort Ellis: A Frontier History of Bozeman, Montana. He went on to receive a M.Ed. from MSUB in 1999 before completing his Ph.D. at the University of Leicester in 2006. He has conducted and published both historical and archaeological research in a variety of areas from ancient Rome to the American West. He has been the primary investigator on over 20 archaeological projects and from 2011 to 2014 he lead the multidisciplinary effort to verify the location of the Clark Canoe Camp on the Yellowstone River near Park City, MT which was published in journal Archaeology in Montana and We Proceeded On.  Rust has taught at MSUB since 1999.


Current Research

  • Military Experience in Yellowstone National Park
  • "An 'Undesirable Station':  A Social History of the Military at Fort Yellowstone and the Creation of the National Park Service Rangers, 1886-1918,” Montana Magazine of Western History (forthcoming)
  • East Gallatin Cemetery Project – Geophysical specialist


  • “William Clark’s Yellowstone Canoe Camp: A Final Assessment,” We Proceeded On: Journal of the Lewis and Clark Trial Heritage Foundation, 43(1), 2017,  pp. 11-24
  • “A Possible 1806 William Clark Site on the Yellowstone,” Archaeology in Montana 58(2), 2016, pp. 1-46
  • Lost Fort Ellis: A Frontier History of Bozeman, MT. (History Press, 2015) ISBN 978-1-62619-979-8
  • Architecture, Economics, and Identity in Romano-British ‘Small Towns.’ (British Archaeological Reports S1547 2006; Oxford) ISBN 1-84171-760-6
  • Fort Ellis: A Documentary History, 2nd ed. (Edited with Introduction) (Gallatin County Historical Society, 2014) ISBN 1-59247-742-9
  • “Losing its Sharp Edge: Changing Group Identity in the Gravestones of Montana Dutch Calvinists, 1890-2008” Markers: Journal of the Association of Gravestone Studies, Vol. 29 (2014), pp.78-107.
  • “Wind, Rain, and Barbed Wire: Clark Canoe Camp Archaeology Project.” We Proceeded On: Journal of the Lewis and Clark Trial Heritage Foundation, 37(4) (2011), pp. 26-29.
  • “The History and Preservation of a Historic Inscription from Capitol Rock National Landmark." (co-authored with Tim Urbaniak). Archaeology in Montana. 51 (2) (2009), pp. 43-51.
  • “Settlers, Soldiers, and Scoundrels: Economic Tension in a Frontier Military Town.” Military History of the West, Vol. 31, no. 2 (Fall 2001), pp. 117-138.



Dr. Rust on C-Span


Courses Taught

  • HSTA 102 Survey of United States History after 1877
  • HSTA 200 Historian as Detective
  • HSTR 492 American Military Experience
  • HSTR 365 History of the Ancient Near East, 
  • HSTR 302 History of Ancient Greece
  • HSTR 304 History of Ancient Rome
  • HSTR 305 Europe in the Middle Ages 
  • HSTR 317 History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe
  • HSTR/Hon 420 Archaeology of the Classical World
  • HSTA 428 Historical Archaeology of the Americas
  • HSTR 499 Historical Methodology/Capstone