Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sheriff Levi Johnson

 Levi was a deputy sheriff for the newly developed Granite county while John Cole was sheriff. Levi then ran for the office of Sheriff as a republican against incumbent John Cole and Samuel Snyder in 1896. Election results in November were as follows: Cole 180 votes; Johnson 357 votes and Snyder 172 votes. Thus, Levi became the second sheriff of Granite County. 

The term of sheriff was for two years and Levi was involved in many ventures besides filling the office of sheriff. After serving the 2 year term as Sheriff, he did not run for re-election. Levi did run for Sheriff again in 1900 and lost to George Metcalf. 

 As stated in an earlier article, Johnson was involved with George Babcock in the discovery of the Golden Sceptre. With the building of Quigley, Levi constructed a sawmill a short distance up Rock Creek that was put into operation on May 28, 1896. According to “Up the Creek.” written by Darlene Olsen, after the fall of Quigley, Johnson opened a sawmill on 160 acres he bought near the junction of Willow Creek and Rock Creek. Research does not reveal that Levi owned property on this Willow Creek. His ranch was located on Lower Willow Creek where he was operating a sawmill at the time of his death. 

 Levi’s funeral notice in the Philipsburg Mail states that he died at the Conn ranch on Willow Creek and under the headlines “Johnson’s Death Statement” in the March 28, 1902 Mail is the following description: 
The trial of Thomas J. Wilson charged with murdering ex-sheriff Levi C. Johnson in November last, was commenced in the District Court in this city… On the morning of November 27th last, at his saw-mill near the Conn ranch on Willow Creek, Levi C. Johnson was shot and mortally wounded by Thomas J. Wilson, his engineer. Two days later the injuries proved fatal.
 Leading up to the tragedy there was some little misunderstanding concerning a ratchet breast drill that was missing and Johnson accused Wilson of getting away with it. What occurred in the bunk house no one knows as the two men were alone.
 As the trial began the state produced plats of the Johnson saw-mill camp where the shooting occurred and the dying statement of Levi C. Johnson, which follows: November 27, 1901. I, Levi C. Johnson, believing that I am about to die, do now make my declaration to the facts that led up to my receiving the wound of which I am dying. I believe that I cannot recover and that I will die from the effects of the wound from which I am suffering.
 About nine this morning, in the bunk house at the saw-mill on Willow creek, Thomas Wilson, the engineer, was packing his effects preparatory to leaving. He had quit and I had settled with him and paid him off. I went into the bunk house and told him to leave that breast drill that he had taken from my camp at the dam at Georgetown Flats. He said that he would not do it; that he had no breast drill that belonged to me or the company; that the drill he had he had bought from the Missoula Mercantile Company and had paid for it. I told him that I had been informed different. He said that he would take it with him. I said he should not. We had a kind of clinch and he put his hand in his hip pocket and pulled a pistol and fired three or four shots... After the shots were fired I walked out of the bunk house and said to Thompson and some more of the men around there: “Boys, he has killed me, or shot me, or something like that,” when I saw the hole in me… I have now told all that occurred at the bunk house between me and Wilson as near as I can remember and the foregoing statement I solemnly make in the belief that I am about to die from the effects of the wound received at the hands of Thomas Wilson.

 L.C. Johnson Levi died two days later on November 29, 1901, at the Conn ranch at the age of 46. His remains were brought to the Odd fellow’s Hall in Philipsburg where the body was guarded around the clock by the membership. Internment was in the Philipsburg cemetery. Levi’s headstone states he was born on February 4, 1855 but research does not detail his birthplace. 

The jury found Wilson not guilty after Dr. Conyngham testified he had multiple defense wounds which demonstrated he fired in self defense.

Stella and her girls

 On August 22, 1896, in Quigley,  the Rock Creek Record headlines were about the arrest of Stella Gray, “…one of the bedecked and bedizened blondes whose palace was on Paradise Alley, on the northern limits of the city.” The article contained the story of Stella and four young girls: Gail Bound, Laura Kreba, Mary Knox and Frances Svaboda, who were apparently the victims of Stella, the procurer. This article was from a Spokane paper as detective Bringeld and Sheriff Waller, both of Spokane returned by train with the five females who had set up a “house of ill repute” in Quigley after Stella had removed the girls from Spokane. Mary Knox, sixteen and the oldest of the girls was released from the reform school only to be spirited away by Stella via the railroad to Bonita and then they traveled the 9 miles up the road to Quigley. Gail showed the deputies a picture she had of a young man in Quigley that she was quite enamored with and the paper commented they were sure he was not pleased with her showing his picture around, as he was a prominent business man of the city. 

Interviewed in their jail cell in Spokane the writer stated “The girls are of tender age, but it is evident they are ‘old in vice.’” As soon as they were used as witnesses against Stella and set free they were returning to Quigley, according to the reporter.

The Rock Creek Record (September 26, 1896) stated Ole Anderson, arrested for aiding and abetting Stella Gray was tried in Spokane and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary. Stella was out on bail and had returned to Quigley. When interviewed Stella stated she had no idea why Ole had pleaded guilty to such a charge and felt certain she would be found innocent when her trial was called some time in the next month, at Spokane. 

 When Stella was called to trial she failed to appear and forfeited her bond of $750 cash and $250 surety. Washington state paid the young girls, (for their time and restraint in jail as witnesses) the following: Laura Kreba $50.00, Francis Svaboda $30.00, Gail Bound $11.00 and Mary Knox $60.00. Mary received the most as she was held in jail the entire time due to her inability to post bond. 

The Philipsburg Mail on December 31, 1896 carried the following Summons: John Yank, Plaintiff versus Stella Gray, Defendant The State of Montana sends greetings to the above named defendant. You are hereby summoned to answer the complaint in this action which is filed in the office of the clerk of this court, a copy of which is herewith served upon you, and to file your answer and serve a copy thereof upon the plaintiffs attorney within twenty days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the date of service… The said action is brought to recover of you, the said defendant, the sum of three hundred dollars, alleged to be due and owing by you to plaintiff upon a promissory note, dated August 26, A.D. 1896 and payable on or before November 26, A.D. 1896, and to obtain a decree of foreclosure of the mortgage given to secure the said note upon Lot No. twenty-five [25] in Block No. six [6], Town-site of Quigley, county of Granite, state of Montana, and also, the following described personal property: four [4] sofas, two [2] rocking chairs, four [4] upholstered chairs, one [1] piano, one [1] parlor stove, one [1] center table, six [6] lamps, four [4] bedsteads, four [4] bureaus, four [4] wash stands, four [4] chamber sets, four [4] rocking chairs, four [4] cane seated chairs, four [4] mattresses, four [4] bedsprings, six [6] carpets, also all bedding, bed clothes, chamber and cooking utensils and other furniture whatsoever contained in the house described in said mortgage; and also to recover of you the further sum of one hundred [$100] dollars, alleged to be a reasonable attorney fee for foreclosing the said mortgage and costs; and also to recover of you the further sum of one hundred and two and 87-100 [$102.87] dollars, alleged to be due and owing by you to plaintiff upon a promissory note, dated September 22, A.D. 1896, payable one [1] day after this date, with interest in the rate of one [1] percent, and for cost of suit, which said last above mentioned promissory note is set out in plaintiffs second cause of action in the complaint filed herein. witnessed with the seal of Court this 21st day of December, A.D. 1896, Josiah Shull, Clerk; John W. Cotter, Attorney for Plaintiff. 

 Research fails to reveal any collection of Stella’s debt or of her continued business in Quigley.

The Murder of Yank

 The June, 1896 headlines in the Philipsburg Mail, Quigley Times and Rock Creek Record were the murder of “Yank’ the Chinese laundryman. Yank, whose real name was Sam Hank had been a resident of Granite county for a number of years before he located in Quigley. He first lived with Ed Moore and although received threats from some in the community was left to his work. Also the threat of Ed Moore using his Winchester on anyone that bothered Yank helped keep him safe.

Some time after the threats Yank bought a lot in the Quigley town-site and erected a small one room building to ply his trade in. He was found on June 1st by two carpenters who had heard a muffled shot during the night but did not investigate it. These same carpenters went over to Yank’s the next morning and found him dead. Yank had a bullet wound in the top of his head and was partially clothed on the floor. A half full can of coal oil was found about one hundred feet from the building. Three corners of the building were soaked with coal oil (Kerosene), causing the assumption that Yank surprised someone intent on burning down his building. 

Justice E. L. Proebsting was to conduct the investigation according to the Times. Yanks body was taken to Bonita on Wednesday morning by Charles Dinsmore and transferred to the express company for transport to Philipsburg where he was turned over to his “celestial brethen” for burial. 

The final supposition was who ever did the deed, had planned on soaking the corners of the building with coal oil and setting it on fire. This would cause Yank to run out the front door and leave town. Bur apparently, Yank heard the men and grabbed his Bull-gun and started outside to see what was going on. 

 Because of the feelings about the Chinese during this time period, I was unable to deduce much more about the investigation of his murder except that Sheriff Levi Johnson and Judge Nicholas Connolly traveled to Drummond the next week to hear the coroners report and Judge E.L. Proebsting had resigned his position that same week according to the Quigley Times

 Information available states that Sam was threatened several times while living in Golden before he decided to set up his business in Quigley. He was survived by a brother in Deer Lodge and another in San Francisco. They were both members of the Chinese Six Companies according to the June 5, 1896 Quigley Times. 

The only other references regarding Chinese and probably referring to Yank was a short excerpt from The Missoula Evening Republic published in the June 5, 1896 Mail: Chinese are a nuisance in a community, and if by peaceful means they can be driven out, it is a proper thing to do. Murder and arson, however, are none the less criminal when a celestial is a victim. The guilty men in the Quigley affair deserve vigilante justice. 

The following resolution was published on June 6, 1896 in the Rock Creek Record: Whereas, It having come to our knowledge that a Chinaman, known by the name “Yank”, who was conducting a laundry in Quigley, was foully murdered some time during the night of May 31, 1896; and Whereas, we have heard, with deep regret, it rumored that this union was in some manner responsible for his being killed; therefore be it Resolved, By Quigley Union No. 6696, American Federation of Labor, in special meeting assembled, that we denounce the rumor as false. Resolved, That while this union, desiring to rid the camp of “scab” labor, does not believe in underhanded work; and denounces the murder as the work of a coward. Resolved, That this union is willing, nay anxious, to cooperate with the authorities in ferreting out the cowardly assassin, and will give said authorities all the aid in its power in furthering the ends of justice. Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this union, and a copy be handed to the Anaconda Standard, Missoula Missoulian and Rock Creek Record, with a request that the same be published. Signed Committee on Resolutions. 

 Sadly, research does not produce any further comment about Sam’s murder. The resolute continued working in Granite county. In 1901 there were the following licensed for business in Philipsburg: Woo Hee (Laundry), Wah Lee (Restaurant), Woo Kee (Merchandise), Yick Sing Lung (Merchandise), Quong Lee (Laundry), Yuen Lee (Peddler), Wing Wah (Laundry), Sing Chung (Restaurant) and Tom Sing (Restaurant). The Philipsburg Mail, July 15, 1932, stated Tom Yen, who died July 14th was the last Chinese to live in Philipsburg. 

The Granite County Historical Society has marked the Chinese section of the Philipsburg Cemetery.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Mining Town That Sprang up overnight

The mining camp named Quigley was built almost overnight and was established more on rumor than fact. Although stories abound that the ore was really “salted”, the only documented reference to this is in the book “Up the Creek” by Darlene Olsen. She states the most popular story was Levi Johnson and George Babcock loaded shotgun shells with gold from other mines and shot this into the walls of the Golden Sceptre tunnel. Then Johnson gave Babcock $1,200 to go east and find investors. These investors sent independent assayers to Quigley. The assessors obtained samples and were then wined and dined by George Babcock. While the festivities were going on George switched the ore samples. But one assayer, weary of the partying took his ore sample and went back east with the original ore. 

Newspapers were set up in a matter of days: The Rock Creek Record was operated by L. Molinelli and Robert G. Bailey out of Bonita, Montana; The Quigley Times was managed by T.C. Congdon and according to the Philipsburg Mail on May 14, 1896 the operation would be run out of a tent while the office building was being erected. 

 In that same issue of the Mail  were the following articles: The road between Quigley and Bonita was lined with freighting teams. In one sighting there were eight six horse teams, six four horse teams and as many single teams all loaded with freight.. The 100 stamp mill was being built and they had a line of tunnels into the mountain –one above the other- showing ore for about 3,000 feet. The sawmill was running two shifts and found it almost impossible to keep up with the lumber needed for building. Grading for the roadbed to establish an electric railroad from the mill to the mine had started and the flume needed above the mill was to be built within a few days. Tom Walsh was building a meat market 18x40 feet for Charles Bonner and the slaughter house has already been completed so the killing of animals had begun. 

 The first Rock Creek Record was published on Saturday May 16, 1896. They were the official paper of the A.F. of L. The office of the Record was located in the James building adjoining the Quigley stables and carried a number of newsy quotes plus at least one poem in it’s first issue. 

Contentment Purty far away from town an’ the ‘lectric lights; 
Solemn, when the sun goes down, an peepers chirp o’ nights; 
Missin’ lots o’ things they say- City folks so slick- 
‘Druther stay an live my way, At Quigley, by the crick. 
‘Mericky is talking fight; Europe says the same. 
Folks is settin’ up at night Guessing on the game. 
Them as holds excitement dear; Finds it growin’ thick; 
Atmosphere jes’ suits me here, At Quigley, by the crick.

ther quips included: “This is a Union Camp and will continue to be so”; “This paper has no politics save the advocacy of free silver and its policy will be the legitimate advancement of the town.” 

Wages were as follows: laborers received $3.00 a day; carpenters $4.50; stone masons and bricklayers $5.00 to $5.50; teamsters and team $6.00 to $6.50; four horse teams $10.00; freight rates from Golden Sceptre to Quigley (nine miles) were 40 cents per 100 pounds; stage fare was $1.50 one way and $2.50 roundtrip; board and room averaged about $7.50 a week; workers could labor a day, week or month and work was allowed on Sunday if the laborer desired. 

 The Post Office was located in Brabazon & Co. store and Addison M. Sterling was to be Quigley’s Nasby. William Lynch was soon to have ice ready for market. There was plans to build a great water system and electric light plant to serve the community. The Records current furnishings were a nail keg and pine stump while they awaited their furnishings of “plush chairs and mahogany tables” by slow freight. 

 The May 16th Record described the building of the camp: currently a population of 500 people were busy erecting a 100 stamp mill with a cost of $150,000.00; an electric railway which was to cost $40,000.00; a flume at the cost of $30,000.00; and $35,000.00 for the purchase of additional mining property for the Golden Sceptre; all told it was believed that nearly half a million dollars would be expended by the time snow falls. 

 One of the first births: Edna born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry N. Morgan April 25, 1895. One of the first deaths; her sister Elnora age four May 24, 1896. 

By May 16, 1896, Mr. William Quigley of Wilmington, Delaware one of the investors and namesake of the camp was in Quigley and planned on staying during the summer. People were most pleased with his manner and he was pleased with the people. Tom Ward was the head bookkeeper for the company; W. Masters was the general foreman; Frank Smith was the foreman of excavating and railroad work; Cralle, Wilson and Cralle were the civil engineers. A. E. Robinson was the time keeper; James Burlingame was foreman of the flume construction; Tom Dougherty was book and timekeeper at the sawmill; Rom Coulter was foreman of the mine; and Wm. Brabazon was the boarding house landlord and also was the proprietor of W. Brabazon & Company General Merchandise located on Emmons Avenue in Quigley. 

The store carried dry goods, groceries, hardware and miner supplies according to the large ad displayed in the June 5, 1896 Record. Manheim and Lewis also had a large ad for their gents furnishing goods. They carried boots, shoes, clothing and underwear and were located at 2nd Street and Emmons Avenue.

Dr. F.C. Carney who had been chosen for the Company Physician was to begin erection of a hospital building and residence on the corner of Higgins and Second Avenue directly behind the Times office. 

Other ads in the Records newspaper listed F.E.J. Canney as physician and surgeon (Probably Dr. F.C. Carney). Alfred Ballard traveled from Philipsburg to Quigley and immediately got a job hauling Golden Sceptre freight to Bonita. A dozen men working on the electric road grade had been taken ill and were being attended by Dr. Carney for gastric symptoms caused by the water they were drinking. 

The water main had been partially laid on Emmons Avenue and it was reported that pure water would be available to the camp people within the next two weeks at a reasonable rate. Joseph Mansolf had moved his family from Missoula to a residence close to his bakery and restaurant business. L.C. Johnson had let a lease to Frank Lynch for the cutting and scaling of all logs supplying the sawmill. 

In the May 28th issue of the Quigley Times was an article stating a new company had been formed in Butte under the name of the Quigley Developing Mining Company. The named incorporators were Miles J. Cavanaugh, Daniel Hanley, L.O. Evans, and T.D. Farrow. The same men filled the offices of President, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and general manager in that order. The capital stock of the Company was $100,000 divided into 100,000 shares with a par value of $1.00 each. The purpose of the company was to assist in developing paying mines that seemed promising and whose owners did not have the capital to do this for themselves. Mr. Farrow was at present in Quigley setting up an office and he would soon offer a prospectus providing the full particulars for the companies proposed transactions. 

The Golden Sceptre filed suit against C.H. Eshbaugh, George Brown and H. Copley asking Judge Brantly to condemn their property so The Company could have right of way access for their electric railroad. By July 25th appraisers had been appointed and returned to the court with the following verdict. A.A. McDonald, A.S. Huffman and Mel McGee found for the contestants and against the Company in the sum of $757.90 for the Brewster Claim, The Golden Claim and improvements to the Golden Claim. The Contestants refused the offered sum from the Company and are taking it to court for a $10,000 settlement. 

 The July 27, 1896 Rock Creek Record announced R.G. Bailey had sold his entire rights, title and interest of The Record to Fred G. Pearson. On July 4th the Record carried a Philipsburg Mail article that stated: " During the past ten days considerable gold has been brought to town from the Rock Creek District for shipment. The Merchant’s and Miner’s Bank shipped over 381 ounces, valued at over $5,700, during the period, which all came from that section [I believe this was from the Basin Gulch, not Quigley]. The gold was distributed amongst the following and is all placer gold: Hamp Allen, George W. Spees, John Landers, J.T. Pardee, W.G. Harper, John White, Sim Shively, and John B. Miller. A couple of the nuggets were as big as a man’s thumb." 

 A petition was being circulated for a good road between Philipsburg and Quigley, down the Rock Creek route. The petitioners felt that the County Seat should be connected to the Golden Sceptre to open up the area to other investment interests, as currently all the business was being routed to Missoula instead of staying in Granite county.

On August 21, 1896 the Quigley Times announced that: “M.C. McFayden has secured the Racket Building from Dan Cavanaugh which he will at once furnish in a suitable manner for conducting a private primary school. The general merchandise firm of Cleaver & Cormier has been dissolved and Mr. Cleaver is now sole proprietor of that business.

The case of Game Warden J. S. Booth against Starbard and Green charging them with allowing sawdust to flow into Rock Creek is set for trial in the Justice Court on August 26th.

Mrs. F. Cyr has arrived at Quigley from Missoula, to make her home with Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Cyr. Mrs. Cyr is a practical dressmaker and she will engage in that profession here.

J. A. Melvill, who was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of having caused the breaking of Delema Melvill’s arm, was acquitted at the trial last night on the testimony of the woman, who swore that the fracture was accidental.”

 The Quigley Times article on September 25, stated “Bookkeeper Thomas F. Ward and his assistants of the Golden Sceptre companies office have been busily engaged since Wednesday night in making the monthly payments of the company, which was delayed this month from the 15th to the 23rd, on account of delay at the home office in sending the money. The payment this month was made in currency instead of checks and as a consequence the town is now livelier than it usually is on payday.

During the 7 days the company was awaiting the arrival of the funds considerable rumor was afloat and of the character which usually prevails when the financial condition of a concern like the Golden Sceptre seems doubtful, but all friends of this worthy company are now gratified in being able to say that all is well with them and that all the wild reports concerning the condition of the company was founded on imagination.


The political candidates from Granite county all visited Quigley in October, The candidates were: Dr. J.M. Sligh running for state senator, J.K. Pardee a former state legislator now running for county treasurer, D. H. Dunshee of Combination and D.W. Hennessey of Flint running for county commissioners and Thomas Glina of Combination running for the state legislature.

The Record announced the election results on November 14 as follows: J.K. Pardee as treasurer, Findlay J. McDonald as sheriff, Thomas Glina and Israel Clem as legislators, D. H. Dunshee, James McDonel and D.W. Hennessey as county commissioners.

 The November 14, 1896 Mail stated that a request was made for W.S. Quigley to be appointed as receiver of the Golden Sceptre. Papers attached the Golden Sceptre for $21,000 by Brabazon and Sterling. Quigley filed a bond in Philipsburg and Sheriff Johnson turned the property over to him. By December 31, Quigley had left for New York City to transact business and find capital to continue running the mine.

January 8, 1897 the Philipsburg Mail carried the following notice: “All persons having claims against the Golden Sceptre Mining Company of Wilmington, Delaware must present the same, duly attested, before the expiration of sixty days, at the Company’s office, Quigley, Montana. signed W.S. Quigley, Receiver.” .

On March 13, 1897 the Rock Creek Record carried an article describing the dwindling population and the fact that W. S. Quigley was resigning as receiver. Although locals expressed support for Mr. Quigley they knew his staying or resigning was not going to help the state of unpaid claims. Attorney Dixon from Missoula announced that The Company was sending representatives from back east to pay the laborer’s claims in full. “Of course this payment may not necessarily indicate that other claims will at once be paid. But with these out of the way, it will enable the Company to arrange with other creditors in a manner acceptable to all concerned, which will in turn naturally permit it to proceed with the work of completing the mill and railway—all it desires to do—as owners feel that once the works are started, enough gold can be produced to pay every claim against the concern within 90 days from the date that it started.”

Joseph M. Dixon was representing the majority of laborers and said that the President of the Company, a Mr. Emmons, and one or more of the principal stockholders were to be in Missoula the first of next week to meet Dixon and by Thursday would be in Quigley “and it is assumed to vsquare up then.” The article continued on in a positive manner believing that the representatives arriving had full power to start the operations back up while they were present.

On August 21, 1896 The Quigley Times announced that: “M.C. McFayden has secured the Racket Building from Dan Cavanaugh which he will at once furnish in a suitable manner for conducting a private primary school. The general merchandise firm of Cleaver & Cormier has been dissolved and Mr. Cleaver is now sole proprietor of that business. The case of Game Warden J. S. Booth against Starbard and Green charging them with allowing sawdust to flow into Rock Creek is set for trial in the Justice Court on August 26th. Mrs. F. Cyr has arrived at Quigley from Missoula, to make her home with Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Cyr. Mrs. Cyr is a practical dressmaker and she will engage in that profession here. J. A. Melvill, who was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of having caused the breaking of Delema Melvill’s arm, was acquitted at the trial last night on the testimony of the woman, who swore that the fracture was accidental.”

 The Quigley Times article on September 25, stated “Bookkeeper Thomas F. Ward and his assistants of the Golden Sceptre companies office have been busily engaged since Wednesday night in making the monthly payments of the company, which was delayed this month from the 15th to the 23rd, on account of delay at the home office in sending the money. The payment this month was made in currency instead of checks and as a consequence the town is now livelier than it usually is on payday. During the 7 days the company was awaiting the arrival of the funds considerable rumor was afloat and of the character which usually prevails when the financial condition of a concern like the Golden Sceptre seems doubtful, but all friends of this worthy company are now gratified in being able to say that all is well with them and that all the wild reports concerning the condition of the company was founded on imagination.

The political candidates from Granite county all visited Quigley in October, The candidates were: Dr. J.M. Sligh running for state senator, J.K. Pardee a former state legislator now running for county treasurer, D. H. Dunshee of Combination and D.W. Hennessey of Flint running for county commissioners and Thomas Glina of Combination running for the state legislature. The Record announced the election results on November 14 as follows: J.K. Pardee as treasurer, Findlay J. McDonald as sheriff, Thomas Glina and Israel Clem as legislators, D. H. Dunshee, James McDonel and D.W. Hennessey as county commissioners.

 The November 14, 1896 Mail stated that a request was made for W.S. Quigley to be appointed as receiver of the Golden Sceptre. Papers attached the Golden Sceptre for $21,000 by Brabazon and Sterling. Quigley filed a bond in Philipsburg and Sheriff Johnson turned the property over to him. By December 31, Quigley had left for New York City to transact business and find capital to continue running the mine. January 8, 1897 the Philipsburg Mail carried the following notice: “All persons having claims against the Golden Sceptre Mining Company of Wilmington, Delaware must present the same, duly attested, before the expiration of sixty days, at the Company’s office, Quigley, Montana. signed W.S. Quigley, Receiver.” .

On March 13, 1897 the Rock Creek Record carried an article describing the dwindling population and the fact that W. S. Quigley was resigning as receiver. Although locals expressed support for Mr. Quigley they knew his staying or resigning was not going to help the state of unpaid claims. Attorney Dixon from Missoula announced that The Company was sending representatives from back east to pay the laborer’s claims in full. “Of course this payment may not necessarily indicate that other claims will at once be paid. But with these out of the way, it will enable the Company to arrange with other creditors in a manner acceptable to all concerned, which will in turn naturally permit it to proceed with the work of completing the mill and railway—all it desires to do—as owners feel that once the works are started, enough gold can be produced to pay every claim against the concern within 90 days from the date that it started.” Joseph M. Dixon was representing the majority of laborers and said that the President of the Company, a Mr. Emmons, and one or more of the principal stockholders were to be in Missoula the first of next week to meet Dixon and by Thursday would be in Quigley “and it is assumed to square up then.”

The article continued on in a positive manner believing that the representatives arriving had full power to start the operations back up while they were present.

As the population of Quigley anxiously awaited payment of wages and outstanding bills, the March 20, 1897 Rock Creek Record announced that Mr. Edmonds had arrived from Philadelphia and met with Attorney Dixon. It was immediately apparent no money would be paid at that time for any liens. The parties outside of the present Company were investigating all claims. This did not set well with the laborer’s but Dixon advised them to be patient as even if the Company liquidated all assets it would be at least 90 days to 6 months before payment and there was a chance the stockholders would be able to advance money for the claims before that. Emmons announced that he had invested his entire fortune in the scheme, plus many of his friends.

Also that Mr. Quigley was financially broke and would never return to Montana. The headlines in the April 24th Rock Creek Record were Golden Sceptre pays percentage on the liens: nothing more. Larger creditors must wait until September next, at least. The article explained that Mr. Colburn paid 75% of the laborer’s claims. The other 25% would be settled in the fall, if the Golden Sceptre could be sold for $350,000. Mr. Colburn was planning on returning east and trying to organize a new company so that his large investment could be saved. He claimed his investment was $250,000 and had completely broke Mr. Mullan, Quigley, Emmons and a half dozen others. Mr. Quigley was now only an ordinary employee in the immense business he had established in Delaware forty years prior, and had lost all his ambition in life.

 Those still living at Quigley realized there would not be any work the summer of 1897 unless a new investor could be found. That was the golden straw that kept some hanging on. None of the big creditors such as Brabazon, Campbell and the contractor Johnson would be seeing any of their claims paid until the Company was sold.

The last issue of the Rock Creek Record available in the Montana Historical Society is Saturday May 1, 1897. The Philipsburg Mail carried an article headlined “Quigley may revive” on July 23, 1897. L.C. Johnson (no longer sheriff) and Harry Campbell currently in charge of the Golden Sceptre property were seen in Missoula meeting with J.A. McDonald a former president of the Seattle and Lake Shore railway. He was currently representing a number of eastern capitalists and had spent several days in Quigley. The article went on suggesting that he was involved in some type of investment and that he had recently returned from Scotland where he could raise $3,000,000 within a few days to purchase the Golden Sceptre. Men finding out about his visit to Missoula were traveling there to ascertain what may be about to happen. Obviously, L.C. Johnson was still involved in the venture.

The Court section of the Philipsburg Mail September 24, 1897 carried a settlement for Arthur Colburn vs Golden Sceptre Gold Mining Company in favor of Thomas Ward to be paid the fixed rate of $200.00 per month for a period of 114 days, plus the sum of $54.50 for money expended by him and that Donald Welsh be paid $90 per month for 114 days.

 A full column article was excerpted from the Engineering and Mining Journal and printed in the Mail October 29, 1897. The sale of Golden Sceptre was to be made under foreclosure on November 6th at Philipsburg. The judgment for the entire property was $430,000. This included machinery, money advanced, materials and supplies, wages and everything else. Fraser and Chalmers had judgments between $40,000 and $50,000; Arthur D. Colburn had a claim for $220,000. The plan was to reorganize the company and pay a percentage of the claims and give the claimants the remainder in stock or bonds of the new company. Seems the dream of making fortunes was still in full force. The article ended with the statement that if plans were carried out the operation would be in full force by the opening of the next mining season.

 The population of Quigley which at its peak, according to various articles, ranged from 500 to 2.000 people was down to 54 people in 1900 and only 19 in 1910 (Mail, May 5, 1911). They still had a school district in 1919 which was paid $256 for the school year of 1919 (Mail, December 26, 1919). This gold rush did produce one good mine, “The Goldconda”. The Golden Sceptre Mining Company in 1896 sunk a shaft to the 100 foot level without any paying ore discovered. In July of 1897 the Alps Mining Company took over the property with J.W. Opp as supervisor

George H. Babcock, spoken of in the beginning article about Quigley was first discussed in The Philipsburg Mail in April 1894 making deals with New York investors for placer ground on Upper Gold Creek. By May 23, 1895 “The well known mining man of this district” had made a $30,000 deal in the Harvey Creek District to a syndicate of New York capitalists. He received a check for $3,000 to be given to Hammond and Gwin as first payment on the property and the syndicate signed papers for full possession of the property.

 Research has failed to give a lifetime picture of George. When he arrived in Granite County is not apparent nor exactly when he left. It is known that he was married to Tom F. Hynes’ sister and had two sons: George E. and Fred A. A marriage announcement or death notice has not been found in the decade or more that I have been researching him.

The following is what research has revealed: By June of 1895 George and associates were planning on building a large boarding house at Quigley that was to be completed in two to three weeks. John Campbell was going to run the business. According to the Mail July 25, 1895, George had bought the Peterson ranch on lower Rock Creek. The family had been camped with the Ed Moore family on Rock Creek all summer. Next on September 12, 1895, was found were George had bonded four claims from W.T. Hull and James Calhoun for $45,000. $200 to be paid now and $2,800 in October then $42,000 by July 1896. These claims were the Mountain Ram, Ethel, Alvina and an unreadable name, all located 14 miles from Philipsburg on the south fork of Antelope Creek. Ore was running $4 to $124 in gold and averaged about $20 to $30 a ton. The news article also stated “The prior month, capitalists, Mr. Babcock represented had come from the east to inspect the Golden Sceptre.”

 By October 24, 1895 George had been named Superintendent of the Golden Sceptre. The March 5, 1896 Mail stated he was building a two and one-half story high, fifteen room home on his ranch near Bonita. George then seemed to be nameless as the gold and money disappeared at Quigley. At an unknown date he became General Manager of the Hope Mining Company and resigned on April 28, 1887. W.W. Adams replaced George as the managing officer of the Hope on May 5, 1887.

In June of 1887 the Sultana had been bonded by E.D. Holland, Kaiser Brothers and Tom Hynes to George Babcock. The bond was for nine months at $50,000 and work was to commence in forty-five days. The New Departure and Piano locations were also included in this bond. The Mail announced George was thinking about buying a house in Helena from which to supervise his mining interests on September 8, 1887 and stated he bought the Winscott property in the September 15, Mail. 

In January of 1888, Mrs. George Babcock was over from Helena visiting the Hynes family and George was on a trip to the Castle Mountains looking at claims for Kansas investors. Ten years later, he moved the family from Quigley to the Hammond cottage on the corner of California and Kearney in December 1898, so the children could attend school. By July of 1899 the family had moved to the Elkin cottage near the depot.

The Missoula notes in the Mail on September 1, 1899 stated that George had been appointed receiver to the Bloomington Mining properties in the vicinity of the Royal gold claims. Then in the December 1901, Mail, Mayor Charles Boyd sent out mining men, J.R. Williams, George Babcock and G.A. Day to Stuart Lake. The news sources then dry up until The Thomas F. Hynes obituary in March 1913 stating his sister Mrs. George Babcock was living in Butte.

 A high point of the Quigley “humbug” was the Golden Sceptre Mining Company sunk a shaft in the Goldconda claim about 100 feet in 1896 without paying ore discovered. In July 1897 the Alps Mining Company took over the property. It was rumored that this company had heavy financial backing by investors from St. Louis. J.W. Opp was put in charge of the mining operation and ore was almost immediately discovered. The shaft was sunk to the 125 foot level with ore assaying at $200 a ton. The ore body was determined to be 18 to 20 feet wide so a $5,000 bond was taken out on the adjacent Gold Bug mining claim. The Alps operated until at least 1912.

Also, mining records shows oxidized copper ore shipped from the Alps to the Anaconda Smelter in 1931. More of the Quigley 

A Man of poetry

Following is the first poem research found written for the Philipsburg Mail September 29, 1899 by Francis Cumming:
Thou still sublimity of God’s great art that silent looms against the eternal sky,
How vividly thou show’st the Master’s heart of patient peacefulness that will not die.
Here from afar with wondering delight I gaze, and solemn gladness stirs my soul;
And with the gloom of still increasing night I feel the power of Him who does control.
How like a king thou sit’st with crested head; Eternal whiteness wreaths thou rugged brow;
Or, like a lofty monument to some great dead, before whose splendor we would tamely bow.
Great sentinel of day, and night, and time;
How loveable thy huge and stately form That makes the music of my soul to chime, and all the coldness of my bosom warm.
In God’s great studio wherein we dwell (with freedom to behold his works most grand) Of tranquil mountains and rich blossomed dell,
Thou art the masterpiece of His great hand.

 Although the poem is not titled it describes to me the wonderful Pintler range of mountains and the beautiful upper Flint Creek Valley that probably was visible from Francis’ home at Philipsburg.

 A second poem by Francis was written on November 12, 1899 and published in the November 17, 1899 Philipsburg Mail. Titled “On the Death of a Friend” the verse follows:
Hence, comrade, day’s morning shall break not thy slumber’ Nor eventide’s splendor invite thee to roam.
No more shall the trials of manhood encumber Or darken the pathway that guided thee home.
Asleep where the river’s sad requiem of sorrow Is bent with the dirge of forest and gale;
Asleep, til the dawn of eternal tomorrow Disperses the shadows that shroud the death vale.
Together we roamed in the garden of childhood, And gazed on the hills of proud manhood serene; Together we wandered in youth’s happy wildhood,
 Nor saw the dark cloud that must soon intervene.

Oh, could I recline on the mound that inurns thee, And kiss the cold clod that press’d on thy brow: Oh, could I but weep with the mother that yearns thee, And share the sad anguish that burdens her now.
Brave comrade, farewell. Now thy spirit shall guide me; Along the dim pathway I walk not alone; Still hoping, whenever in life may betide me, To meet thee at last in the soul’s happy home.

There are no obituaries in the November 17th issue of the Mail, leaving one to wonder who the dear friend was that Francis was writing about.

There is a Margaret Cumming buried in the Philipsburg cemetery that was born on October 6, 1863 and died at the young age of 34 on August 13, 1898 that may be Francis’ wife. Research does not reveal an obituary for Margaret.

In the Christmas Benefit Edition of the Citizen Call published December 25, 1899  on the fourth page of the booklet is a picture of E. Francis Cumming and the following poem titled “Thoughts” also known as “Closing Time”:

How sweet to rest at eventide by yonder lilied lake so fair and watch Dame nature calm preside, without a seeming care.
Or where the stream’s translucent flow meanders merrily along.
Kiss’d by the tender moonlight glow, to listen to it’s murmur-song.
Or in some sylvan dell to lie, where flowers scent the Zephyr breeze;
To hear the forest’s breathing sigh.
 And intertwine my soul with these.
 To breathe the sweet, unsullied air On some high hill, remote-alone-
 And leave behind this wordly care That elfish mortals seem to own.
 To count the stars that gem the sky,
 To hear the symphonies of night,
 To see the misty moonlight die
 When Phoebus dawns with fuller light.
 To gaze on some lone, placid lake,
 And see heaven-beauty mirror’d there;
 With happy solitude to wake
 And all her deep-souled music share.
 To live in deeper moods of life;
 To nobly, gladly watch and pray;
 To let one happy thought be rife,-
 To-morrow is not here today.
 Philipsburg, October 27, 1899

 The Mail December 15, 1899 states “The gentle poet of Philipsburg seeks fortune further west… His verses have aroused considerable curiosity and comments among lovers of song, and more than an ordinary degree of merit has been conceded to his productions. Mr. Cumming will probably settle in Spokane or Seattle.” 

Obviously, he returned to Montana as Hugh T. Cumming’s diary noted Francis’ death at Butte on October 30, 1918. Hugh’s grandson Murray had no other reference to Francis nor what relationship if any to Hugh’s family. But there is a good chance that knowing Francis was in Montana was why Hugh traveled to Granite in March of 1889.

From Nova Scotia to Montana State Legislator

The following are excerpts from the diary of Hugh Thomas Cumming compiled by Raymond C. Cumming (Great Grandson) with minor editing May 1998:
 At Nova Scotia: 10/17/1879 “left Goldenville. At M. Archibald’s. To a dance, good time.” 10/18/1879 “To Sunnie Brae, Stopped at Brother William’s, very fine day.”
At Leadville, Colorado: 10/28/ 1879 Arrived Leadville, hunting up friends, glad to meet them.” 11/25/1880 “Left Leadville for Old Mexico, employed by Amey Mining Co., our fare paid.”
The diary goes on to detail working at mines in Mexico and returning to California 7/29/1881. He then spent time with Maggie Tease and her mother while working in local mines until deciding to return to Nova Scotia in June 1896. Instead he ended up in a mine at Jackson and after a cave in left for a lease on a silver mine in New Mexico. 

In August 1887 he received a letter from Leadville and returned there. By December he learned his sister Isabel had died and in March 1888 his sister Jessie arrived from Boston.
March 4, 1889 “Left Leadville for Granite, Montana. Had a good time on my way, lots of fun.” By January 1890 Hugh had bought 2/3 interest from Angus McDonald et al in the Elgin Quartz Lode and 5/6 interest in the Isabella Quartz Lode from Allan McDonald according to the New Northwest. 

In 1891 his brother Jim arrived at Philipsburg from Boston and Maggie Biggar, the former Maggie Tease came from Iowa.
5/22/1891 “Put Maggie Biggar to work in Dining room; we were old friends.” Brother William arrived from Nova Scotia the week of July 16, 1891.
Obviously Hugh was already managing the Moore Hotel (Granite) though he doesn’t mention that until 9/11/1891 “Bargaining for the Moore Hotel; it costs a lot of money.”

Then on April 28, 1892 “Margaret Biggar and I were married today.” Boss at the store and Sister Jess” stood up for them. Maggie brought her child Will (Biggar)with her to this marriage. She turned twenty four in May and Hugh bought her a “nice little saddle horse” in August.
The next entry 7/18/1895 “Sister Jess married today” but there was no entry of here husbands name. The diary is devoid of entries again until 1913.

Gleaned from the newspapers in this interim, Hugh was very active as a citizen of Granite. Both he and Maggie were active in the Mason’s and Eastern Star. Maggie traveled east and Hugh to Spokane in 1893; Hugh attended the republican meeting April 26, 1894 and was on the Granite Republican Central Committee. He was treasurer of the Granite Miner’s Union in March 1896. Hugh was the Mayor of Granite in 1898 and was the Past High Priest officiating at the Hope Chapter # 10 for officer installation January 1, 1898. He bought a new buggy from Valentine Jacky in June and by July of 1898 had leased the Moore Hotel to Buchner and Deveny.

Hugh was appointed the census enumerator in Granite for the 1900 census and in 1901 served as the Deputy Sheriff of Granite. Hugh was elected to the State Legislature in 1908, then lost by 206 votes to John Hickey in his re-election in 1910; lost to John Page by 144 votes in 1912.

Son John Everett born July 16, 1907 died May 30, 1910 and is buried in the Philipsburg cemetery. By 1913, Hugh, Maggie and the boys (Will, Finlay, Ray and Forest) had moved from Granite to Drummond. There Hugh again mounted a campaign for the state legislature and on 11/3/1914 “election Day. I lost out for the legislature by six votes.” (again to John Page) The next entry in the diary: 7/21/1917 “ Trying to save my diary, so much of it was lost in the fire. (1895 to 1913 were lost in the fire.)
9/10/ 1918 “I was elected president of the Drummond State Bank.”
6/12/1919 “ Poor Margaret passed to her long sleep, died at 11:10 am.”
6/16/19 “ All the boys are home; Brother Jim and sister Jessie are with us.”

The Drummond Chapter of Eastern Star #47 was named in honor of Margaret Cumming. November 1920, Hugh was elected Public Administrator and Justice of the Peace of Flint Creek Valley. He was re-elected as Public administrator in 1922 and 1926.

2/15/1927 “My insurance business is growing everyday.”
7/27/1929 “ tried Dishman brothers and Powell (bad men) They are guilty.”

Hugh continued serving as Justice of the Peace for the Elk Township until he retired at age 90 in 1947. Hugh’s son’s married, had children and his siblings died; Hugh stayed active in the Mason’s with his last entry
10/31/1947 “I feel thankful for friends. Thank God.”
Hugh’s long sleep began October 23, 1948.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Temptation of Silver Bullion at The Bi-Metallic

As stated in the previous blog article, John Boyd was arrested in 1899, on charges of theft at the Bi-Metallic and the charges were vacated two years later, due to lack of evidence. The lack of evidence, according to the Daily Inter Mountain newspaper in Butte, was due to the following: Albert Maley had been arrested and held in jail as a witness. According to the records Maley had been released on a $500 bond but there was no evidence that a bond had ever been put up. The jail records showed Maley was still incarcerated, but he was not in the jail system and was no where to be found. It was unclear why his “bondsmen” were exonerated or why Sheriff Patrick Regan of Silver Bow County had released Maley. 

Born in Iowa in 1863, Albert Maley arrived in Granite County about 1888. He spent the next 45 years mining and trapping. Numerous news articles discuss his arrests by the game wardens for poaching of beaver and other fur bearing animals. Each arrest always ended up with a jury trial finding Al not guilty and returning to the Sapphire Mountains. Al was an employee of the American Gem Mining Syndicate. Maley Gulch on the Sapphire Mines property was named in his honor.

Obviously several thousands of dollars of silver bullion just sitting around at the Bi-Metallic was a great temptation and was again too much for some individuals in September 1904. On September 9, the Philipsburg Mail carried the following event: 
“ A bold and desperate attempt was made between 12 and 1 o’clock Saturday morning to rob the bullion vaults at the Granite Bi-Metallic Consolidated Mining Company, where at all times there are stored several thousand dollars of silver bullion. Two men appeared near the retort room at the mill where the vaults are situated and there met watchman George Johnson. They ordered him to throw up his hands and upon his refusal to do so they knocked him down and beat him over the head with the butt of a revolver. The men then carried Johnson to a barn nearby and bound him hand and foot and gagged him also. The robbers then returned to the bullion room, where they met George McGuire, an electrician in the employ of the Montana Water, Electric Power and Mining Company, who had come into the room for some supplies for his department. He was also commanded to put up his hands. McGuire at first thought the intruders were joking, but they soon convinced him that they were in earnest. McGuire was also knocked down and carried to the barn where Johnson lay bound and gagged. He as well was tied hand and foot and a gag placed in his mouth. The robbers then again returned to the bullion room and set to work to effect an entrance to the vaults where the bullion was stored. They had tools with them for breaking through the brick walls to the interior of the vault and tools also for boring the iron portions of the vaults and they worked vigorously at their enterprise for a time. In the meantime Johnson, lying gagged and bound in the barn, somehow managed to work his shoes off and slip the ropes from his feet. He then got out of the barn and gave an alarm. The robbers evidently saw their game was up and quit, leaving their work only started and the tools they had been using on the ground near the vault. James Thompson and Arthur Smith were arrested the next morning, having been suspected of being connected with the affair. Smith has since been released, there not being any evidence against him, but Thompson has so far been unable to satisfactorily explain his whereabouts on that night and is still in jail. Hank Noble and Jack Boyd have been arrested, the complaint charging them with burglary, for which they have been placed under $5,000 bonds each. A second complaint charging them with assault in the first degree has been preferred and $6,000 bonds each. making a total of $11,000 each in bonds. Both say they are innocent.”

 By March of 1905 the trial had been scheduled and a jury selected. One of the defense witnesses was the superintendent of Silver Bow Schools who had sat next to Mr. Boyd at 10:30 pm in the Chequamegon CafĂ© in Butte the evening of the burglary. Other witnesses included three members of the Butte Police Force who had seen Mr. Boyd that same evening. Both Boyd and Noble were found not guilty of burglary and the assault charges were vacated. 

Pictured is the bullion displayed semi-weekly as it was readied for shipment by the Bi-Metallic.
Unfortunately the names of the men pictures is not certain.


Freighter Sheriff and Senator: George Metcalf

As stated in the Colonel and Major Blog article when Major John Morse died, Charlotte rented their home out to Senator and Mrs. Metcalf and went to Pennsylvania. She suddenly “returned Monday and moved into her old home.” Mrs. Metcalf realizing Charlotte was not thinking correctly left the house and notified officials. Adjudging her insane, Sheriff Kennedy and attorney W.E. Morse accompanied her to Warm Springs (December 3, 1909 Mail). Senator Metcalf was attending the state legislature at the time of this occurrence. 

Anthony George Metcalf was the second of ten children born to Anthony and Mary Reeder Metcalf in Brigham City, Utah. He left home at the age of fourteen and worked in mines around Utah then moved to Idaho and was a freighter with ox teams from Idaho to Montana. In 1876 he moved to Virginia City and operated his own freighting business until 1880. 

George married Sarah Richards in Malad, Idaho September 18, 1880. Then freighted from Wood River to Challis, Idaho for two years. Their next moves were to Marysville then Anaconda where he worked for the Anaconda Copper Company. He next worked a contract for the Butte and Gallatin Railroad and moved to Philipsburg in 1891 to build a branch railroad from the depot to the Bi-Metallic Company.In 1893 he bought a ranch on upper Trout Creek. He also, may have lived in Granite in 1885. 

Established as a successful rancher by 1898, George ran for Sheriff on the Republican ticket and won by two votes over Findlay McDonald. George was sworn into office on January 2, 1899 and appointed J.D. Kennedy as his undersheriff. In 1900, George was re-elected by 278 votes in a race against Levi Johnson. 

A major arrest while George was sheriff involved a large amount of retort stolen from the Bi-Metallic. The Philipsburg Mail September 1, 1899 carried the following account: 
Sheriff Metcalf took John Boyd into custody when he received news from Butte that Boyd had been charged with Grand Larceny. Boyd was alleged to have stole from the Bi-Metallic while he was a watchman at the Company somewhere between $10,000 and $70,000 worth of retort. The company had become aware of a continuous loss over the past fourteen months and Paul Fusz offered Boyd a $500 reward to discover the guilty party. Detectives were also employed by the Company. Apparently Mr. Boyd visited Butte the week prior and around the same time $30,000 worth of retort was found with a man named Max Meyer (an assayer) and was identified as coming from the Bi-Metallic. Mr. Meyer was also taken into custody. John Boyd was transferred to Butte to face the charges.
 Mr. Boyd, the brother of Mayor Charles Boyd and liverymen, A.J and David Boyd had an excellent reputation. John was released on a $10,000 bond. In 1901 the case was vacated, lacking evidence. 

While serving as Sheriff, George also served as President of the District I School Board. He bought the 320 acre Yandell ranch that adjoined the original ranch in 1900. By 1904, George was elected State Representative out of a field of seven candidates that included Thomas Hynes. He remained a State Representative until elected State Senator in 1906. 

During his legislative years George was very active in water rights and agriculture issues that concerned the Flint and Trout Creek valleys. In November 1913 he ran against A.R. Dearborn for re-election and lost by 375 votes. He then became president of the Board of Directors for the Granite County Milling and Elevator Company. This mill produced Grantana flour but had a short life as competition was steep from the eastern side of the divide. Next George was a member and probably president of the Trout and Rock Creek Grazing Association. His final employment was as President of the Philipsburg State Bank until 1922 when poor health forced him to give up that position. He went to California for medical treatment and after having surgery died there on May 20, 1923. He is buried in the Philipsburg cemetery. 

Born to the marriage of George and Sarah were nine children: Three boys died as infants: C.E aged six months, Baby William and Baby Charles are all buried in the Philipsburg Cemetery. Four sons and two daughters survived childhood and are named as follows: W.E. known as William, Will and Bill married Annie Bowen then after her death married Agnes Courtney and a few years later married Lola Page; C.A. (Cleveland Anthony) known as Cleve married Mary Pauline Sauer and after her death married Margaret Eckley Nicolaysen. R.D. (Robert Drew) known as Bob married Mamie “Dolly” Burton; George known as Lee married Jessie Olney; Mary known as Mollie married Roy Burditt; and Margaret married Rueben Huffman. 

These children continued service to the community. 

From left to right: Senator Metcalf, Cleve, Lee, Will, Margaret, Mollie, Bob and Sarah

Friday, April 6, 2018

Colonel George and Major John Morse

 George W. (1838 –1922) and John W. Morse (1832-1909) were brothers, born in Lincoln County Maine. Stories abound about the Colonel and hopefully this account will put some of them to rest. 

Numerous articles state George ranched on Rock Creek. Research has failed to disclose any property registered to the Colonel on Rock Creek. Tax records show him paying taxes on property in the Flint Creek Valley, both in the Philipsburg and Drummond Townships.. Anne Luthje in “Upper Willow Creek” spoke of the Colonel residing on Upper Willow Creek and that his brand was 71, as that was the year he arrived there. The brand registered to the Colonel is 17 and the Major registered 16 as his brand. The Colonel could have easily grazed his cattle in the summer on Upper Willow Creek and Rock Creek and he refers to the area he lived as Rock Creek in a following article. This maybe the cause of the confusion. His voter registration address for 1912 is Section 31, Township 11, Range 13, which is located southeast of Bearmouth. The Colonel sold 320 acres of his 2,200 acre ranch and residence in 1919 for $65,000. His estate in 1923 listed 8 different properties in Philipsburg and Drummond for a total tax bill of $261.92, and another listing for John Hagg and George W. Morse for Lots 1 and 2 and SW1/4NE1/4 and W1/2SE1/4 section 5, T9, R14 for $39.06. This section is located near the Lower Willow Creek Reservoir on McLean Creek. The John Hagg obituary states that John was in a partnership with the Colonel on the ranch. 

The title Colonel was earned by George during the Spinet Lake Massacre with the Sioux Indians in Minnesota. A volunteer company was organized and George was elected to be their Colonel. The following are excerpts of his history he narrated to A. J. Noyes (date unknown) and is archived at the Montana Historical Society. 
I went to Minnesota in 1855 from Maine (St, Anthony)...I left St. Anthony and went to New Orleans but when gold was discovered at Pikes Peak I returned to Minnesota and sometime in May, I think, ’59 left for Colorado. We had horses. There were four of us…we landed on the Platt before Denver was started…took a contract to drive logs down the river..then went to Gregory to haul quartz…almost a year. In 1862, in May there was a party of us that started for Florence, Idaho (Col. McLean, Wash Stapleton, Lou P. Smith and myself) John White who discovered gold on the Grasshopper was one of our party but had horses and could get about better…we had cattle…We thought by going to the Salmon River we could go to the mines…When we arrived at Lemhi, we saw how impossible..so we went to the Deer Lodge valley. We were down on the Little Blackfoot when we got news that gold had been found on the Grasshopper (August 5, 1862). Wash and McLean went to Bannack and I with some others continued on our way to Orofino…I remained in Idaho til ’65 then came to Montana to Bear Gulch,…Blackfoot City…Helena…Musselshell..then back to Elk. I struck Weasel and Bilk Gulches…this was a rich little gulch…Am I married? Say young man what do you take me for to live all my life in a country like this and stay single. I was married in ’79 in Ogden. Met my wife (Nettie Milliken) in Beartown and was taking her east but had her fooled so by the time we arrived at Ogden she married me and we have two boys (George A. and Averril P)…In 1872 I went to Nevada and Utah for cattle. I bought 700 head and began ranching on Rock Creek… After remaining for several years in the stock business in the Rock Creek country I sold out and took some sheep to the Milk River country. I also had sheep in the Bitterroot…I made money in the cattle business and put it into quartz from which I never have made a dollar but have always made something out of placer.
 Lesson’s “History of Montana” states the Colonel and four others removed $250,000 worth of gold from Bilk Creek. 

 Major John arrived in Montana after his first wife’s death in 1877. Children Frank D. and George W. and Mrs. James Rogers followed their father to Montana. The title Major was probably attained as a teamster. John married Charlotte Emmell January 16, 1890. The Major was elected Alderman of the First Ward at Philipsburg in 1893. His business partnership, Morse and Bradshaw operated at Philipsburg for many years. 

In 1909 after John died, Charlotte rented their home to Senator and Mrs. George Metcalf and moved to Pennsylvania. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Frank D. "Sandbar" Brown




 A person enmeshed in the affairs of Charles McLure and Paul Fusz was “Sandbar” Brown. He was a manager for McLure at Combination in 1901 when financial woes caused a sheriff sale and Fusz bought most of the Company property stock for ten cents a share. Documents in the Montana Historical Society Archives (Antonioli Donation) then show Brown working for The American Gem Mining Company and numerous communications from Fusz unhappy with Brown’s behavior. He repeatedly bought supplies from Gannon and Neu against Fusz’s direction. Then about the same time as Fusz sent Sandbar notice to “deliver all books, papers, plats, letters, letter books, check books and other property you have belonging to this company to O. F. Featherman” in 1906, the claims he had patented for The American Gem Company were found to be invalid. In 1904, there was also a charge filed on Sandbar for branding a stolen colt with the Fusz brand. Judge Connolly threw the case out of court due to lack of evidence.

As early as 1881 articles were published in the New Northwest newspaper penned by “Sandbar” and to display his colorful prose is the following example on July 18, 1881:
 …As your correspondent of the future, I feel a delicacy in attempting to explain away certain occurrences of the past, neither creditable to the camp or the people thereof, providing of course, that the protection of one’s property is to be considered discreditable, for I think with you that a disagreeable reminiscence should never be recalled. I can therefore dismiss the past in the light of a more hopeful future. In my next letter I will give your readers a review of our good mines, and of those prospectively such. Of matters relating to our district and the surrounding country it is my intention to speak ex cathreda or not at all. I have conscientious scruples against lying, and cannot, therefore speak of my own property, but will endeavor to place that of others in a light that will never call my veracity into question.
 These mining articles were often lengthy but not always as current as Brown maintained. A good example was his reports about the Algonquin going well, when it was actually being closed for lack of funds during March of 1881. Sandbar published many articles in the Philipsburg Mail and may have spent time as an Editor for the paper. Numerous online statements and articles in The Mansfield Library at the University of Montana describing his papers state he at one time owned the Mail. Ownership of the Philipsburg Mail is well documented and there is no evidence F.D. Brown ever had ownership of the paper.

Frank was born on the James River in Virginia, November 21, 1845. At the age of sixteen he enlisted in the Confederate Army and his Battalion fought the last battle of the Civil War on Virginia soil. He was formally pardoned at the end of the War and with government supplied transportation headed for St. Louis. He had become friends with a man during the war that regaled him in stories of the west, so knew he wanted that experience. Frank immediately signed on with the Missouri Steamboat service and was on the maiden voyage of the Adelaide which landed him at Fort Union, September 29, 1865. 

The winter of 65-66 was spent with a Frenchman trapping the Yellowstone River and after selling his furs that spring in Bozeman, he moved on to placer mining in Radersburg. The following years were spent trapping, cutting wood, driving teams and then mining in many of Montana’s early camps. In 1875 Sandbar was a government scout on the ill fated Baker Expedition down the Yellowstone. He was at Prickly Pear, Last Chance, Bear Gulch, and one “fruitless” season prospecting in Utah. 

The story goes that Brown’s first experience with Indian fighting was in the autumn of 1866. He was a government teamster out of Fort Laramie and involved in repelling the Sioux from closing the Bozeman Trail. Frank was also involved in Indian skirmishes at Prior’s Creek and around Fort Benton. Near Fort Benton is where his nicknamed “Sandbar” was obtained. 

According to the Philipsburg Mail January 23, 1931: 
He and two companions had come upon evidence of the massacre of a wagon train; they successfully evaded a large band of Indians and were fording the Missouri with their pack train, when Brown, as they rested on a sandbar in the river, discovered three Indians in war paint following them. He killed all three of the rods before his companions knew that anything had happened. The bodies of the Indians were thrown into the river and the pack train completed the ford.
An exaggerated account of this tale was published May 4, 1923 in the Great Falls Leader: 
…Not vouching for the story, but telling it as it was told to me in the days when every man had something tacked onto the name his folks gave him, it relates to Mr. Brown and the red brothers of the day when scalp locks were more fashionable in the Indian village than short skirts to the rail bird brigade of today. Mr. Brown was rather sudden with a gun in the early time, and also a chief clerk of a large institution, between prospecting and hunting trips. The Henry Rifle, predecessor of the present Winchester had just come into use and Mr. Brown grabbed the first one off the boat…Mr. Brown was traveling along innocent like near the Missouri River one gladsome summer day and was jumped by about 20 red brothers all howling for ruddy gore and riding hell bent for a taste of it…Mr. Brown rode his horse across the river at a convenient ford, leading his pack horse. On the side where he came out was a long spit of sandbar reaching into the river and Mr. Brown rode up the sandbar to the bank, tied his horse and walked back to the open. Lo! The poor Indian had a cheerful habit of drawing the fire from the white man’s smoke stick and then charging in before he could reload; ...predicted upon the proposition that the white man had a single shot rifle and all necessary to success was to dodge the first bullet and then wade in. With twenty Indians coming across the river whooping Mr. Brown was to be made an example of... But Mr. Brown was a different kind of medicine than the red brother had ever met in his scalping entertainments as he kept right on firing while Indians kept tumbling to the sandbar in a most disconcerting fashion---the charge broke up and the Indians headed for the other shore, with seven down and Mr. Brown still shooting for good measure. Then he untied his horse filled the magazine of the little Henry and went on his blithesome way.” Mr. Brown said “Hell, I could have kivered the whole damn sandbar if they’d just kept coming!” when asked about the inequality of 20 Indians to one white man.
 This article was written at the time that Sandbar became secretary to the Society of Montana Pioneers. Frank was also the Historian for the Society for many years and “…was pioneer extraordinary as well as plenipotentiary to every ghost city of the west”, according to the May 4, 1923 Mail. 

In 1878 Sandbar and his wife Anna moved to Philipsburg where he accepted the position of Superintendent of the Northwest Company at Tower. Anna and Frank were married in 1873 in Helena, Montana. To this union was born two sons: Edward and James and three daughters: Minnie (Werning), Tina (Parker) and Amy (Spencer) plus two infants that are buried in the Philipsburg cemetery. 

For a number of years the family lived on the Brown homestead at the mouth of Brown’s Gulch on Upper Rock Creek. The first mention found of the family moving to town for the winter was October 4, 1893 in the Citizen Call. 

Earlier, Frank was also “determined to be a competent man” and because there was no Justice of the Peace in Philipsburg he was appointed Notary Public and prepared to perform such duties as lies with in that office.”(New Northwest August 5, 1881). 

He was appointed “…land commissioner for this district (June 13, 1894, Citizen Call). Also in 1894 he began writing articles for the Butte Tribune. Frank and Anna moved into Philipsburg after the youngest daughter Minnie married John Werning and the newly weds took over the Ranch. 

Frank was an agent for the Standard Fire Insurance Company, beginning in 1891, and sold real estate. He was named the Official Visitant to Camp Lewis during World War I by Governor Stewart. Anna died of cancer October 6, 1914 and Frank continued on, being very active in the Montana Society of Pioneers. He was responsible for marking all of the Mullan Trail with monuments. Other “Sandbar” monuments are also visible such as Gold Creek, Emmetsburg and headstones in the Philipsburg Cemetery. 

In December, 1918, still regarded as a mining expert, “Sandbar” and Robert McDonel were inducted to attend the American Mining Congress, attempting to stabilize manganese production. Dying “of sheer old age” January 16, 1931 in Missoula at daughter Tina’s, his wishes were honored to be buried beside Anna in the Philipsburg cemetery. His legacy: eighty-five years of history.


One cannot close this subject without also recognizing his poetry. His style is very well illustrated in the following poem published in the November 4, 1921, Philipsburg Mail.
                                               The Pass called Skalkaho
Just west of this low pass there is a gorge whose towering walls
Throw shadows dark on angry waters that ceaselessly flow
Over the witched bones of dead men, of red men, the Nez Perce,
And over these ghastly relics a requiem is even sung by stormy gales,
The coyotes whining cries and the lions fierce scream.
But for those who died there it matters not.
For they are dead, and
Forgotten, tho’ their bones gleam deadly white within the stream bed
The stalwart firs, the clinging, snakey vines there—if they could Speak—could tell the story of these white bones within the stream.
For they have kept silent watch and vigil over the litter of its bed
These many years.
And the greenward beside it, the moose and her calf
Step lightly there.
Deep hidden lay those bones of the redman.
Loftily over them storm
Clouds drift, clouds that sunshine never lifts.
Where silence is profound
And I sought this gorge again, as in years agone
I had sought it once
Before.
Then the white bones did not lie there, on the greenward or in the streambed.
I recall here now a memory, of Chief Joseph and his men.
Of the Nez Perce.
Of the men who never returned to where their skin lodge stood.
In them women wept for the warriors who had ridden away to lay their
Bones in the shadowy gorge whose waters cross the trail of the Skalkaho.
The greenward, where the moose cow and her calf, under the sailing
Moon I saw them there, dimly outlined in the gorge’s twilight gloom,
Out in the forest, and from the precipice came the rifle fire of white men.
And they held the trail until all was silent there, save the murmur of
The clear waters of the Skalkaho.
A battle bravely fought, won and lost In the
Moose glen, where the grinning skulls of red men lie to this day.
I speak of the day and time, when an Indian sign made
white men drop pick
And pan for a Winchester gun.
A war party was out in a country it
Knew all about.
It came in the night to ranches, and the gulches
Where the gold sands run.
No lights flashed from the mountain top.
No curling smoke to the sky.
No warning gave the warriors save the beat of unshod hoofs on age-worn forest paths.
From the whispering
Winds of the Northland was borne the coming of the Indian on the trail.
Beside it stood the lonely cabin of the miner, the ranch house of the
Settler, and within them lay the stark and naked forms of the dead.
And with the scalp locks of the white men, women and children, the red men
Rode away to the gorge over the low pass of the Skalkaho, where their
Bones now lie and they fell upon the greenward, along the pathway,
Where running waters leap and play, and their bones lie white to
This day.
Over the low pass, swept to bedrock by the northwest
Gale, runs the trail of Skalkaho, and in the deep gorge to its west
Along its stream and upon its greenward, in the
Moose glen, is what is
Left of the war party of fifty years ago.
And now you know the reason
Why in and out of season the shadowed waters of the gorge show white
Under the moon’s yellow glow, for here and there in the stream bed
Shows a thigh bone or a leg, and scalpless skulls lie
in the greenward below the windswept pass of the Skalkaho.

This poem is in reference to the time in 1878 when a band of renegade Nez Perce warriors came through the West Fork of Rock Creek. They were returning from Canada where they had escaped to after their Chief, Joseph was captured in the Pear Paw Mountains the year before. There are no records of any of the Nez Perce being killed during this episode, when Elliott, Joy and Hayes were killed in McKay Gulch and “Nez Perce” Jones escaped. But obviously Sandbar felt differently.

In July 1917, Sandbar was instrumental in getting headstones erected for these three men in the Philipsburg cemetery. Sandbar’s printed pamphlet, included the following: “…’The days of old, the days of gold.’ This testimonial was the gift of the lamented John G. Morony a resident of Philipsburg from his boyhood and a youthful friend of Elliott.”

Another St. Louis Man: Paul A.. Fusz



Paul A. Fusz's  investments are very important in Granite County history and his contributions continue to serve the citizens of the county. As a staunch Democrat his name was often cited in a positive manner by The Citizen Call newspaper, while he was raked over the coals by the Republican paper The Philipsburg Mail. Documents show where he was first treasurer of the Granite Mountain Company, then became president of the Bi-Metallic Mining Company. Soon after the Granite Mountain Company and Bi-Metallic Company consolidated in 1898 Paul was chosen president of the new company (Granite Bi-Metallic) and held that position until his death. 

Although he gave Granite as his permanent residence from 1889 he did spend intervals in St. Louis. A major development for the area was Flint Creek Dam built by the Montana Water, Electric power and Mining Company owned by Paul A. Fusz et al. The company was incorporated in May of 1899 with principal stockholders being: Paul A. Fusz, M. Rumsey, C. Jagels, and L.M. Rumsey, all major stockholders in the Granite Bi-Metallic Company. They bought out Baker and Harper who had struggled with a dam concept since 1891. The area known as the Georgetown Flats would be flooded with the dam and was ranched by four families. Fusz somehow acquired land in the upper Rock Creek Valley and moved the Charles and William Puller, W.T. Hull and John Sanders ranches from the Flats to the Valley. Fusz knew that if he could generate enough electrical power to run the Bi-Metallic Mill there would be consistency in operations and not only would the Company benefit but so would the employees who often had to be laid off due to lack of power. A secondary advantage to the dam was the preservation of irrigation water for the Flint Creek ranchers. Paul’s dream of generating power was realized in August of 1900 when the Dam and Power House were completed and “the use of steam at the Bi-Metallic was discontinued and electricity generated by the waters of Flint Creek seven miles distant was substituted.”

Documents in the archives at Montana Historical Society Research Library (donated by the Antonioli Family) show Fusz as a micro manager and very detail oriented especially in his operation of the American Gem Mining Syndicate on the West Fork of Rock Creek. Incorporated for $300,000 on August 1, 1901, members were: Paul A. Fusz one share, D. Jankower 299,996 shares, Moses Rumsey one share, Auguste Ewing one share and Charles McLure one share. Fusz took over presidency of American Gem along with his other duties. Prior to this, Fusz and McLure were also involved in direct operations of the Smith and Kent Property on Ross’ Fork of Rock Creek. Fusz Lake, in the Sapphire Range southeast of Stony Lake was named for Paul and is misspelled Fuse on the Forest Service maps. 

Paul was born in Hericourt, France in 1847 to Francis H. and Marie Regina (Tachaen) Fusz. They immigrated to America when Paul was six. As a youth, Paul worked for the firm Chouteaux, Harrison and Vaile of St. Louis as a billing clerk. At the age of 17, Paul and friends Butts and Cole ran away and joined the Confederate Army to fight in the Civil War. Fusz and Butts were captured by the Union Army while smuggling quinine and some valuable papers to the Confederates. Rather than surrender the papers they chewed them, then swallowed the debris. Butts was hanged but Fusz considered still a youth was sent to Jefferson City where he was imprisoned by a ball and chain. Later in life Paul bought up all the balls and chains he could find to assure he owned the ones that had restricted him. One of President Lincoln’s last acts was to issue a pardon to Fusz for his incarceration as a Confederate soldier. The day after the War ended Paul went back to work for his former employer and ultimately became manager of the company known as the Laclede Rolling Mills.

Paul married and became a widower about the time he moved to Montana. No children were born to this marriage. Devoted to the Great Army of the Republic (GAR) Paul was Major General for the Northwest Division of the Confederate Veterans and presided at conventions like the one at Helena, September 29, 1908. 

Long suffering from Pernicious Anemia, Fusz returned to St. Louis in the fall of 1909 and died there on February 16, 1910. His body, dressed in the uniform of Major General of the Confederate Army, laid in state at his brothers home, guarded by his 94 year old mother. Burial was at the Calvary
 Cemetery in St. Louis,  next to his wife.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Charles D. McLure



Charles D. McLure is well known in Granite County lore for the wealth of Granite Mountain, which he acquired title to on October 18, 1880. Earlier articles told of Estill, Holland and Merrell, being the locators of the Granite Mountain lode claims in 1875. The claims were originally located in 1872 then were allowed to lapse. They were thought to be “good prospects” but due to their location the claims had very little work done on them prior to late 1880, when McLure assayed a specimen and gave a power of attorney to Charles Clark to find investors. These investors, (many from the Hope directorate where Charles was the Superintendent) came mostly from St. Louis and included Clark, Louis Duestrow, August B. Ewing, Oliver B. Filley, Samuel Gaty, Edwin Harrison, Jesse, L. January, John H. Lionberger, Lewis M. Rumsey, Moses Rumsey, Augustus F. Sharpleigh and Charles Taussig, with McLure retaining the largest interest of the syndicate. 

Arthur L. Stone states “When the history of Montana is written there should be a long chapter given to the story of Charles D. McLure. He took many millions out of Montana ground. A large portion of the wealth went to make the famous St. Louis group millionaires. Mr. McLure retained some of it. A vast slice of it went back into the development of the State’s mining industry and there are many mills among the Montana Rockies which are monuments to the courage of this remarkable man, many hoists which are testimonials to his daring. When he was confident that there was ore to be found he never hesitated a minute to risk his all to find it. The harder he had to fight the better he fought. And it stands today that he was almost invariably right” (Following Old Trails). 

Charles was born at Carrolton, Missouri February 22, 1844. He was raised in St. Louis, Missouri and at the age of sixteen left to join a freighting company that traveled from Nebraska to Denver. Three to five years later Charles arrived in Virginia City, Montana Territory (1863-1865). Charles discovered the White Cloud Mining claim in 1866 in the Bitter Root Valley and John Owen states in his Journal November 11, 1869: “Mr. McLure the discoverer of the Wht Cloud Lode retd today from a prospecting tour of some 7 Mos---Found nothing to warrant any further examination---has returned to his Lode on 8 Mile Crk.” 

Sometime after this Charles decided he required more knowledge and returned to St. Louis to study geology and metallurgy. Charles was thirty-three when he returned to the Philipsburg area. Besides the Granite Mountain Syndicate he also formed the Bi-Metallic Mining company in 1882 with eighty percent of the stockholders of the Granite Mountain Company. The Bi-Metallic was originally located on an extension of the Granite Mountain lode named the James G. Blaine claim, acquired by Charles for $1,200. Granite Mountain was offered the claim but turned Charles down. In 1888 the Bi-Metallic Company built a 50 stamp mill and mining office on Douglas Creek. Later another 50 stamps were added. 

According to news articles, Charles was involved in mining the Harvey Creek District (Hidden Treasure); the Henderson Creek District (Combination, Healy Brothers, and Sunrise), Bunker Hill, and Gold Hill (Lost Cabin Claim at Princeton); Rock Creek District (Basin Gulch); West Fork Sapphire Mines; Cadel Properties at Moose Lake on Middle Fork; and Smith and Kent Mines on Ross’ Fork. 

Also, according to the Butte Daily Bulletin March 18, 1919 his estate included one hundred fifty thousand shares of the capital stock of the Cascade Silver Mines and Mills, near Great Falls. Plus he re-opened the Moulton Mine in Neihart in 1896. 

More than once Charles was low on money with one of the most noteable instances being the Merchant and Miners Bank trying to recover $5,000 on a promissory note the bank allowed McLure to pay labor claims in September 1896. When the sheriff received the complaint “he made a hasty trip to Drummond to get service of the summons upon the defendant but instead of going the way of Drummond Mr. McLure went overland to Anaconda so the papers were not served” on him (The Mail.) 

Charles married Clara Edgar at St Louis in November, 1883. Born to this marriage were Park, Edgar, William R., Marianna, Clara E., Charlotte and Charles II. 

Charles moved to St. Louis after the Bi-Metallic closed, investing his money in several business ventures such as the Eads Bridge across the Missouri, at St. Louis and a financial disaster which was a street car system. In later years Charles returned to Missoula, where he died May 21, 1918. His funeral was at St. Andrew’s with burial at the Philipsburg Cemetery.

His descendants have continued to live in Granite County and contribute to the mining, business and political history.