Sunday, December 31, 2017

Two Bullets Do Their Deadly Destruction

 When I first began researching Granite County history, almost twenty years ago, the first news article I found was the above headline. Research at that time, consisted mainly of going to the Montana Historical Society Research Library and reading the available newspapers on microfilm. Wonderful strides have been made since and one can now sit in their home and read a large amount of downloaded articles archived on the internet. But with all of these changes there are still some questions, I have been unable to answer. After reading this, maybe one of you can provide the answers. 

The Philipsburg Call May 11, 1893 began their story “ Joe Gird’s Murder-Two bullets do their deadly destruction. J. Brown fires both shots. The population of Granite County was startled last Saturday evening with the news from Flint Station to the effect that a shooting scrape had taken place there in the saloon of Brown & Clay and that Joseph A. Gird, an old and respected resident of Willow Creek, had been the victim at the hands of a cold blooded assassin in the person of J.W. Brown, one of the proprietors. On the receipt of the news in Philipsburg, Sheriff (John) Cole started at once for the scene of the trouble. On arriving there he found Gird lying dead in the saloon with two bullet holes in his body and his face blackened with powder from another shot that must have been fired when he and Brown were in close conflict. Upon inquiring for Brown, the sheriff was informed that he had started on foot to Philipsburg for the purpose of giving himself up. With this information Sheriff Cole dispatched a deputy to go down the track from Philipsburg to meet Brown, which was done, but the murderer was no where to be seen, and then the officer became suspicious that the criminal was making his escape. All night the sheriff and his deputies kept a lookout up and down the valley, but no trace of Brown was seen and his whereabouts is still a secret, probably to himself alone, yet it is the general belief that his partner Clay assisted him to escape and if anyone knows where Brown is, Clay is the one.” 

James Campbell and Eugene Sifton were the only witnesses and they both related the story that Gird, Brown and Campbell had traveled by train to Philipsburg earlier in the day and upon their return went to the stable to pick up their saddle horses. Campbell asked the group as they were leaving the stable if they wanted to stop for a drink and agreeing to the invite the group hitched the horses to the fence near the saloon and settled in to have a drink and shake dice for who payed for the drinks. Gird and Brown then began to play poker and a disagreement over a dollar bet ensued. Next Brown got up and Gird took Brown by the shoulder saying” You had the best of me once with a Henry rifle, didn’t you Brown?” without answering Brown walked behind the bar and took out a gun and began shooting. Gird started to run and was hit in the chest then as he turned was shot in the back under the left shoulder blade. Gird went to his horse and attempted to get on but asked Campbell who had followed to assist him. Gird then fainted and Campbell ran back to the saloon for help. Brown and Sifton helped carry Gird back to the saloon and Campbell then mounted his horse and rode three miles to Horton’s to report the shooting and telegraph Philipsburg for a doctor. By the time Campbell returned to the saloon, Gird was dead, a crowd had formed and Brown was no where to be seen. Dominic Byrne, Gird’s father-in-law was about seven miles from the scene and hearing of the trouble headed for the saloon. He came upon two men and recognized Brown. Asking whether he had done the shooting Brown said no and when questioned drew his revolver “and with gun in hand ready to shoot spurred his horse and rode off into the valley.” 

Gird, age 33, was buried in the Philipsburg cemetery beside his mother and child. He was survived by wife Mary and five small children. Four of the children’s names (I think) were Ella, Joseph, Emmett and Dominic. The only surviving headstone at the cemetery is Dominic’s. 

Shortly after Joseph Gird’s funeral the Granite County Commissioners offered a $250.00 reward for J.W. Brown’s capture believing that would entice anyone knowing of his whereabouts to come forward. A friend of Brown who had been in Boulder Gulch claimed to have seen Brown and talked with him. Brown said he did not plan to leave the county or become a fugitive, but thought knowing the feelings against him by Gird’s friends it was best for the time being to “remain in a prison he had selected for himself until the heat of excitement had passed.”

No article was discovered in the newspapers about how or when J.W. Brown was found or turned himself in. But the July 20, 1893 Mail carried the article that the trial for J.W. Brown had started. Fifty men were interviewed before a jury of twelve men without bias were determined. The jury went out to deliberate at 8pm on Saturday and returned with a verdict at 8:30 am on Monday morning. Two witnesses disclosed that Gird had told them a few months prior that he wanted to kill Brown and this caused the jury consternation as to whether the killing had been cold blooded murder against an un-armed man. J.W. was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to ten years in the State Prison. The August 3, 1893 Mail stated Brown was taken to Deer Lodge by Sheriff Cole via horseback.

A man named John Roberts was in the Granite County Jail for check forgery in September, 1893 and it was believed that he used a gun, meant to be given to J.W. Brown to escape, as the vehicle to commit suicide. The September 14, 1893 Mail stated “ George Suppinger, the jailer rushed into the cell and there on the floor lay the prisoner Roberts, in a pool of blood issuing from a bullet hole in his head.” A letter was found in Robert’s pocket when the body was being prepared for burial that requested his father be notified of his death but not to disclose he had died by his own hand. “The gun I shot myself with was given to me on coming out of the court house. I would have shot the jailer too but he was not worth the lead.” The gun was determined to be the one the jailer had lost two or three months before while J.W. Brown was a prisoner. The gun was searched for at length and it was finally determined that some prisoner had taken it out of the jail after serving their sentence.

The Anaconda Standard carried an article on June 3, 1894 that the saloon where the murder took place was burned to the ground and it was believed the fire had been deliberately set. Right after Joseph’s death his wife began filing estate notices. By 1895, Mary Gird had leased the Sharp Boarding House and was opening a first class restaurant. In January,1898, she returned to the ranch and by September 23rd announced the ranch was up for rent on a two to four year contract. The ranch was identified as a 320 acre tract of land on Willow Creek with 180 acres fenced, with the address Stone Station.

It is unknown if the ranch was rented but by January, 1900 The Mail carried an announcement that the Gird ranch would be sold at a private sale on February 5. Also beginning in February Mary had a notice of private sale of water rights posted in The Mail. One right was a one-fourth interest in 125 inches conveyed in “The Little Ditch” from Willow Creek to Elkhorn Bar and the second right was for sixty inches of the water of Willow Creek awarded May 15, 1871.

A November 8, 1900 article stated “Fugitive who killed Sheriff Young of Springdale is believed to be J.W. Brown, the murderer of Joseph Gird in 1893.” Obviously he was released for good behavior early!

 Helen Gird married Harry B. Miller in 1910. Was she the fifth Gird child? William Gird living in the valley attended Joseph’s funeral. Was he a brother? The 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Joseph age 20 living with other boarders in New Chicago. This census lists Lucy Gird age eight as an orphan living with Joseph and Isabella Henderson and Louisa Gird age twelve and William Gird age four as adopted by Joshua and Sarah Donegan. Research has failed to identify who these three Gird children belonged to. How many children did Joseph’s father A.J. Gird have?

We know the family transferred from the Bitter Root before Kate Perry moved from Philipsburg to the Gird Ranch in the fall of 1867. Does anyone know the date the Gird's left the Bitterroot?

Father, A.J. Gird originally arrived in the Bitterroot Valley in the winter of 1862 with George Orr, when Joseph was two years old. Research does not disclose whether the family followed later or was with A.J. and George at the original time of arrival. The Gird family operated an inn named The Travelers Rest in the Bitterroot and it appears used that or a similar name at their rest stop that Kate Perry worked at in the winter of 1867 in the Lower Flint Creek valley near the present Gird Creek.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Bowen Brother's Enterprises

 Fred C. Bowen, was one of the Town’s first Aldermen. According to William’s obituary they were born in Wales and immigrated to America in 1861, After moving west from Ohio to Butte they settled in Philipsburg in 1887. William had married Charlotte Parfitt in 1886 in Ohio. Research has not revealed when Fred married Anna. Upon arriving in Philipsburg the brothers set up Philipsburg Iron and Machine Works. The July 2, 1891 Mail stated Philipsburg Iron and Electric Light Company was the town’s biggest enterprise, disclosing that the Company had expanded into furnishing electricity.

By May of 1893 the Philipsburg Iron and Machine works was paying out $1,500 to $2,000 per month in wages. Apparently they also had a similar operation in Marysville as the Citizen Call November 14, 1894 stated after a small fire in the foundry of Bowen Bros. and Thompson “that it has been but a short time since the firm’s works were destroyed by a fire at Marysville.” 

Research does not establish the exact date Ezra R. Thompson joined the Bowen Brothers, so whether he was with them from the beginning or joined them in 1894 is not certain. He married Nellie Farrell in 1894. The Helena Independent March 27, 1892 announced that the “Philipsburg-Granite Electric Light Company is putting in the rest of the arc lights for which the Council contracted and soon we (Philipsburg) will have 2,000 candle power lights to illuminate our streets.” so obviously the Iron Works and Light Company had become separate entities. 

The November 23, 1893 Mail carried the results of a jury trial of the Philipsburg-Granite Light Company against the Flint Creek Club. Apparently the Secretary of the light Company J.R. Cox had received more than the bill (73.75) as he took possession of the Club property which was worth more than $300. The owners of the Company were identified as Messrs Bowen, Gannon, Wilson and others. The jury verdict allowed the Electric Light Company payment of their bill less what Cox owed the Club. 

The P-GEL Company extended their circuit to the Bi-Metallic Mill for the purpose of supplying the Mill with necessary power during the shutdown” (Oct.26,1893 Mail), referring to the “Silver crash.” Then by April of 1894 the paper carried a notice that Cox was no longer connected with the Company, signed by Geo. P. Durham President. By July 28, 1894, The Mail announced that “Philipsburg-Granite Electric Light Company are serving all night, lights to those of their patrons that desire them now.” On January 17, 1895 The Mail carried an article stating that “Fred Bowen, Will Bowen, and E.R. Thompson had incorporated The Philipsburg Iron works with a capital stock of $45,000.” 

On April 29, 1898 Charlotte Bowen, wife of William died at the age of forty-two. Survivors were her husband and seven children: Thomas, Lizzie, Fred, Lottie, Annie, Will and Charles plus her brother Harry Parfitt. 

Also in September 1898 the Light Company was paid $66.25 for the Court House and Jail quarterly light bill. The Philipsburg-Granite Electric Light Company discontinued lights at Granite and the wires were being taken down with the assumption that the Bi-Metallic would probably furnish the town lights with the dynamo placed in the Bi-Met Hoist according to the June 9, 1899 Mail. 

George Durham was still President of the Company in 1901. Obviously the Company went through many ups and down such as in March 1908 when Mr. Bowen of the Philipsburg Iron Works appeared before the City Council (explaining) that his firm had taken steps to resurrect the electric light plant and was making new estimates for machinery replacement.. Then in August the City Council “gave notice which is to be final, to the electric light company to remove their poles and wires from the streets of the city.” Apparently this did not happen because at the January 9, 1909 City Council meeting they announced to Bowen, they could not award a contract for a term of more than three years without a vote of the people. 

By 1915 Bowen Brothers Electric submitted the only bid and in 1917 rates were reduced by $3.00 from the $202 per month 1912 rates for city service. By 1914 The Bowen Hardware Company was also in business with young William. C. involved. 

William C. married Mary (Mae) Huffman. Their children were Leonard and Lucy Mae. As an adult, Leonard owned the Bowen Service Station on the west end of Broadway.  

William Sr. was vice-president of the Light Company when he died January 7, 1930 and the Light Company was bought out by Montana Power in late 1930. Prior to this, Fred became ill, sold out and moved to Portland, Oregon where he died in January 1929.
The above picture is of  Fred Bowen, Bill Bowen and Charlie Bowen sitting on the running board of  a Maxwell sedan in about 1916.

The rest of the Porter Story

When A.H. (Alex) Porter died at the age of 42 he was survived by a wife Jennie (Spencer) and four children: Forrest, Spencer (Joe), Nova and Mae Francis (Frankie). The family had been living in town at the time of the shooting, but shortly after Jennie and the children moved back to the ranch. Frequent references are in the newspapers about “Mrs. A.H. Porter being in town from her ranch” during the next couple of years. In April of 1899 Jennie requested the Philipsburg Mail to please correct a statement in the Citizen Call saying she attended a party at Newt Schillings. She was at Mr. and Mrs. Clawson’s that evening as were Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Schilling. “Only males were at the Newt Schilling party.”

Frankie who was staying in town in 1900 went to the ranch to care for her mother when she was ill in February 1900 and visited school friends at St. Mary’s Academy in Deer Lodge in August 1900. Forrest went to Tabor, Iowa to attend the Academy there in October 1900. In July,1901 an auction notice was in the paper for “95 head of cattle-cows, calves and steers to be sold at the Porter ranch on East Fork of Rock Creek. 

In August of 1900, William Schuh’s wife Ollie died leaving her husband and four young children. William’s ranch was next to the Schuh Homestead located at the confluence of Trout Creek and Flint Creek. Being in close proximity to the Porter ranch it was a natural occurrence for Jennie Porter and William to marry in 1902. August 16, 1904 Forest H. Porter died of pneumonia at the Schuh ranch. He was eighteen and survived by his mom, brother Spencer (Joe) and two sisters: Mrs. P.W. (Frankie) Merrifield and Nova Porter. The Schuh marriage was of short duration because William died of blood poisoning September 12,1906 from wounds he received in July while cleaning up the barnyard. 

The next information found in the newspapers was that Jennie married Sidney A. Kelly on November 8, 1908 at her home in the upper Flint Creek Valley. Kelly owned property on Fred Burr Creek. Jennie and Sidney bought a ranch south of Plains, Montana on November 2, 1909. They moved again in about 1915 to Ledham, Washington where S.A. died in 1924 and Jennie died on April 4, 1925. Her daughter Mrs. D.J. (Nova) Birran of Philipsburg had been with her since December. Nova was living at Ledham when sister Frankie died in 1949. 

Spencer, known by Joe ended up with the property identified as Porter’s Corner. Part of the land owned by Jennie Porter Schuh was sold to August Greenheck in 1907 and it is possible that Joe and Frankie were heirs of the remainder as they both lived right across the road. For many years “Porter’s Corner” was a destination where good music, food and drink were enjoyed by people from near and far. Dancing with live music such as “Charley Pride” was an event most every weekend and on more than one occasion trouble erupted when reveler’s had too much alcohol mixed in with “out of towner” animosity. 

One such time was in 1927. “Herman Cardinal, Anaconda youth, was shot and fatally wounded early last Sunday morning (August 14) at the close of a dance at Porter’s Corner, six miles south of Philipsburg, when a delegation of Anaconda and Philipsburg men engaged in a free-for-all fight. According to reports of the affair there was a fight early in the evening between an Anaconda man “Pinkey” Walsh, and a man from Philipsburg. The men were separated by an Anaconda man and there was no more disturbance until the “Home Sweet Home” dance. As the dance was ending several men entered the hall and in an instant the big fight was under way. Pop bottles, chairs and loose objects began to fly in all directions. It is said, Joe Porter, owner of the roadhouse and store tried to stop the disturbance…It is alleged that Porter went for a gun to protect himself and wife (Esther)…Anaconda men told Sheriff Mahoney of Deer Lodge County, that they saw Cardinal fall and that Porter fired the shot…They said that Porter did not fire the first shot that was heard.” Joe drove the wounded man to Dr. Knight in Philipsburg and then met an ambulance near Georgetown that rushed Cardinal to St. Ann’s where he had surgery. Cardinal died on Monday; an inquest was held and several men were arrested. 

Ultimately, Joe was charged with murder; denied guilt; posted a $7,500 bond; and was acquitted after one day of testimony and forty-five minutes of jury deliberation. 

 Joe was an Army Private in WWI and wrote many letters to his sister Frankie who had the Philipsburg Mail publish them. In the late 50's Joe and his wife Esther leased out Porter's Corner and moved to town where he  operated an electrical business for many years.

Joe died October 4, 1974 and is buried in the Philipsburg Cemetery.
This picture is of Ole Sandin, Joe Porter and Jack Guianne playing cowboy and robbers in the early 1900's.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Do Not Beat your Neighbors

When Alex Porter’s father George Porter died, John Rains was named administrator of his estate, but The Mail carried a notice on July 16, 1896 regarding the sale of the George Porter 160 acre property stating A.H. Porter was the Administrator. This homestead was located in Section 22, Range 15 W, Township 5N which locates it on the East Fork of Rock Creek. This is pertinent because A. H. had a ranch near that location also. There is nothing in the newspapers about who bought this property. 

Always the prospector, Alex and James P. Valley had discovered the Granite Bell Syndicate made up of the Granite Belle, Lehigh Fraction and Buckeye that assayed at 4,378 ounces in silver and the New Northwest stated in April 1887 that Porter et al was given a $100,000 bond for the deed by James Patten. By January 1888, The Mail stated St Louis capitalists had paid $75,000 for the claims located 1200 feet north of Granite Mountain with James Patten in charge of working the claims. 

By July 30th Alex and George Rowe (Roe) had found a gold lead 100 feet wide near Gibbonsville, Idaho and a silver lead with copper and gold close by. Then in August Alex was busy with rich claims in the Blackfoot country north and slightly west of Drummond. There were 13 claims in all known as the Tiger and Copper Groups and Porter said they assayed as high as 50 to 80 percent copper to the ton. He announced he had a big company behind him and the area “will be another greatest mining camp on earth.” 

In 1893 Porter was going to plant carp in the fishless Potato Lakes. Two lawsuits: Porter vs Newt Schillings and Porter et al vs Claud Duncan were stricken from the court calendar and Lockey McDonald and Porter had a bare-fisted fight in a basement on Broadway that lasted nearly one hour and stopped when both agreed to call it a draw on August 4,1893. Some misunderstanding had existed between the two for a long time. 

Then on August 10 “The McPhail vs Porter trial began after Archie (married to Annie Porter) swore out a warrant for Alex’s arrest. Archie was living on a ranch adjoining Alex’s and to reach their home in coming and going it was easier to cross Porter’s land. Porter decided this was no longer going to happen and proceeded to thrash McPhail with a heavy strap. Two men traveling the road pulled a gun and fired a shot with Porter firing back and the men rode on. Porter then continued thrashing McPhail until he agreed to not cross this way again. Porter lost the jury trial; was fined $10 and court costs. Porter took the case up to the State court and lost there also in May 1894. 

Alex was foreman of the Henderson Mine and was presented with a fine shot gun and leather case by Charles McLure, in 1895. In 1897 he was working the Gold Dust Placer’s in the Moose Lake District.  
The final feud was detailed in the Citizen Call and Philipsburg Mail the last of June 1897. “The final net in a series of troubles between A. H. Porter and H. A. Conn…came Monday night when the latter shot the former to death in the Crystal saloon (with) a 44 caliber Smith and Wesson.” About two months prior two Porter employees brought suit against Porter for wages amounting to $109. Harry Conn was a witness for the men and Porter was less than pleased. Porter then began abusing and terrifying Conn. Conn had bought a ranch from Porter and did not receive a title to it. Conn decided to round up his cattle and leave the country. When Conn began travelling down the public road with his cattle, Porter chased him with a gun and a tug rope. After much abuse Conn rode around the property and came to town to swear out a warrant against Porter. The next day, Porter had a surveyor come out to survey a road right through the middle of Conn’s house. Conn went to town to see a lawyer about the road on Monday and Porter kept following Conn around town. Finally the two ended up in the saloon where Porter slapped Conn and made a motion like he was pulling a gun. Conn pulled his gun and fired hitting Porter four times. Conn gave himself up to the sheriff and Porter died soon after. 

Justice of the Peace J. B. Miller reviewing testimony “decided insufficient evidence” and Conn was released from Jail. The moral of the story: Do not beat your neighbors. Witnesses may not provide sufficient evidence to convict the neighbor who killed you.

Pioneer , Pugilist, Teamster, Lawman and Prison Warden

Another man who was a pioneer of Montana and Deer Lodge/Granite County was my children’s Great-great-great grandfather, Hugh O’Neil. Born in Loughgee County of Antrim in Northern Ireland in 1831, he was proud of his family lineage and claimed descent from Red Hugh O’Neill. Hugh told his grandchildren of the banner of the O’Neil’s emblazoned with a bloody hand, and their battle cry “Red Hand to Victory”. 

In preserved Montana history, the first mention of his name is in The Historical Sketch of Louis Maillet, which stated: Maillet spent the summer of 1857 in the Bitter Root, part of the time working on the new Fort Owens. In November, Hugh O’Neil and a man named Ramsey came from Walla Walla, on their way to Fort Bridger. They wished to reach Colonel Johnson’s (Johnston’s) command, but were ignorant of the way, and moreover were afraid of the Mormons.. O’Neil and his party therefore engaged Maillet to guide them to Fort Bridger. (In the course of travel they met Jacob’s) ….Jacobs gave such a terrible account of the Mormon scouting parties that O’Neil and his companions became discouraged and decided not to go on…O’Neil and Ramsey concluded to remain with Jacobs. This account is continued in A Sketch by Frank Woody, stating: …in the fall of this year, Hugh O’Neil and a man named Ramsey, came to Hells Gate from the Colville mines on the Columbia River, and were employed by Mr. Brooks to put up two buildings with the timber cut the previous winter. 

The National Archives for Military Service Records was unable to find any record of service by Hugh O’Neil. He was referred to as Major which probably occurred because he was a freighter out of Fort Laramie, Salt Lake and Fort Floyd. Records show he ran an account at Fort Floyd at the same time as Fred Burr and Tom Adams. 

All accounts, affirm that Hugh was a man of large proportions and possessed great strength and fortitude. This fact is further evidenced in his bare fisted boxing match with Con Orem, in Virginia City on January 2, 1865. A round by round description of all 185 rounds can be read in the historical writing titled The Frightful Punishment, (Warren J. Brier, 1969). The research for this book came from the published description of the pugilists endeavor written round for round by a reporter for the Montana Post, January 3-4, 1865. 

Hugh was a true pioneer and as such, a politician and negotiator. One such instance where his skills were instrumental was in 1863 at Grasshopper Gulch. The story goes that he problem solved a rumor started by two Frenchmen that about two hundred Bannack Indians were stealing from a small group of miners. Fearing that the Indians would go on the warpath a relief party was sent out to escort a freighter outfit from Salt Lake that was due with sorely needed supplies. Hugh was elected Captain of the group. When they came upon a group of Indians, all disappeared except three, which included Pete and Jim, two Indians that had been employed with the freighter company. Buck Stinson and the other road agents in the party wanted to execute the Indians right there. Stinson it was believed would have killed O’Neil with a stray bullet during the execution. O’Neil was aware of the danger and the fact that the killing of the Indians could lead to an Indian war. O’Neil was able to convince all of the group, but the road agents, that the Indians were innocent and should not be killed. The Indian war was prevented, but the road agents did not forgive Hugh O’Neil. One of them later tried to kill him, during a boxing match in Helena. This story was cited in full in the February 27, 1895 Anaconda Standard. 

Hugh was a devote Catholic, and credited with finding a place for Christmas Mass at Virginia City in 1865. The story told many times was documented in The Montana Magazine of History. Hugh O’Neil felt “it would be an everlasting shame if the Catholic religion could obtain no place for worship on Christmas Day”. Hugh went to the Acting Governor, Thomas Meagher and they formed a plan. By the end of the day, they found a building, remodeled it so well that it could no longer be a theater, and notified everyone in the area of the upcoming mass. The citizen’s of Virginia City and the surrounding area had a Christmas Mass in 1865, and had a church established and paid for by raw gold mined from this virgin earth, after the collection plate bought the building. 

Hugh O’Neil ran for Sheriff of Deer Lodge County in 1865, and the election results were: Hugh O’Neil 788, Fred Burr, 835, C.S. Williams, nineteen. Newspaper articles state he served as Deputy Marshall for Missoula County (May 18,1874, Helena Herald) and as Warden of Deer Lodge Penitentiary (The River Press, June 29, 1881; New Northwest , November 25,1881). The June article states he was a guard at the prison before his appointment as Warden. Hugh also provided support for the Missoula sheriff as evidenced in this news item: “Fight or Run---Last week W. C. Taylor took it into his head that he could run the town. He managed to do so until shut off by Hugh O’Neil and Sheriff Pelkey…He was put under $500 bonds for assault with a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace (Missoula Pioneer, February 2, 1871)”


Family history says Hugh killed an Indian while trying to bring him into custody during his service as the Indian Agent in Missoula Montana in 1871. The fact he was an Indian Agent has not been verified. 

Hugh married Margaret Pitt Meredith in 1858. She was born to Joseph Meredith from London, England and Marguarite Pitt Meredith from Wales, in Glen Morganshire, Wales, on June 18, 1844. Accounts in Montana historical documents of Margaret’s death cite they came to Montana by horseback in 1858. She is credited with being the first white woman to ride into Montana on horseback. The family story is that Margaret’s family was on a wagon train coming west, when they were attacked by Indians in what was believed to be present day Colorado. The only survivors were some of the young members of the wagon that had been hidden in the woods. These survivor’s, including Margaret were picked up by a Mormon wagon train and “one of the Mormon men wanted to add her to his already numerous list of wives.” The army was sent out to protect the wagon trains after the Indian attack and found the children, with the Mormon’s. They were taken back to Fort Bridger, where Margaret began a relationship with Hugh. They were married in Fort Bridger in 1858, by the military, then a Methodist minister they encountered (at an undocumented date or place) and finally by a Jesuit Priest. I assume that the Priest was Father Giordia in Virginia City. An article in the Butte Miner, January 24, 1915, declares her the first white woman in Montana, which is not true. 
                                                                Margaret O'Neil

Margaret and Hugh had eight children: Jane, John, Mary Ellen (Ellen), Hugh, Mary, Adelaide or Adaline (Addie), Elizabeth (Liddie), and William (Willie).Willie died at the age of three years and five months, in 1877, from pneumonia. He is buried in the Philipsburg cemetery. Hugh and Margaret separated some time after moving to Philipsburg in 1875. and Hugh apparently lived in Philipsburg with daughter Jane and John Hickey, and in Deer Lodge. 

The New Northwest, in Deer Lodge stated: “Mr. Hugh O’Neil and H. S. Neal are building substantial residences. The latter is on the west side, near the bridge, and the former in the southern part of town”, on July 15, 1881. In the Philipsburg items of The New Northwest, in 1882 was the statement: “…now under our new and elegant Kaiser House is the billiard hall and sample rooms presided over by Herman K., who as a very apt pupil of Hugh O’Neil, has attained such admirable proficiency, in the manly art as to make himself a terror to amateurs in the fist cuff line.” Then in October 1884, Hugh and Margaret were summoned for the sum of $700.00 for lack of payment on Lots 11 and 12 in Block 60 with improvements, at Deer Lodge, by Peter Valiton (New Northwest). The sheriff sale of the property has not been found. 

Hugh, died of cancer at St. Patrick’s Hospital and was buried February 23, 1895, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Missoula, Montana. The Democrat obituary had Hugh’s last name misspelled as O’Neal, but the history recited belonged to O‘Neil. “The deceased was a man of powerful frame in his younger days and many are the feats of strength, heroism, and endurance credited to him by his old time friends.” The February 28, 1895 P’Burg Mail, described Hugh’s funeral and family members that attended: “Mrs. L.C. Degenhart (Ellen) and sister Lydia O’Neil went to Missoula last Friday to attend the funeral of their father, Hugh O’Neil who died in the Sister’s hospital in that city last Thursday at the age of 64 years. The deceased was one of the best known pioneers of Montana having come to the state in 1861 (1857), and has ever since been associated with Montana history.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Pioneering Hynes Family

 A prominent miner, businessman and rancher of Granite county was Thomas Hynes. Born in County Galway, Ireland, Tom came to America as a small boy and the family located in Kentucky, then moved to California during the gold rush. Tom arrived in Montana during 1864 or 1865 and mined at Cedar Creek. His next move was to Cable and then Philipsburg where he built Hynes Hall in 1867. (I am not certain if the Hynes Hotel [House] ended up located in the same building. The Hynes Hotel is drawn on the Sanborn Insurance maps beginning in 1889 and located in the third building on the North side of Broadway immediately west of the James Stuart/Hope Mill site.) 

 The Hynes House was built as a boarding house in 1880 and was operated by Honora Hynes (Tom’s sister-in-law) until the silver crash in 1893. This building was bought and renamed the McGurk House sometime after 1893 and rooms were rented there until 1930. Honora died at the age of eighty July 13, 1911 and is buried at the Philipsburg cemetery. 

Mining property acquired by Tom is evidenced in the newspapers such as the sale of claims owned by Tom, John Whiting and William Burke to the Gold Coin on July 25, 1895. The actual sum of the sale was not published in the P’Burg Mail article. During the probating of Tom’s will at least three city lots were auctioned at Sheriff sales from claims by the Merchant and Miner’s bank. Numerous mining claims were taken over by his nephew Thomas F. Hynes. 

The Citizens Call newspaper stated Tom died at his ranch two miles south of town after being ill only a few hours on September 29, 1895. He was 63 according to his obituary but 64 according to his headstone. Survivors were nieces, Mrs. George H. Hancock, Mrs. Ed Moore and Miss Katie Hynes and nephews: Thomas F. Hynes and William P. Hynes. Nephew Thomas F. Hynes applied for letter of administration in the estate of Thomas Hynes according to the October 23, 1895 Philipsburg Mail

Thomas F. Hynes arrived in Philipsburg in 1877 from Louisville, Kentucky. Born to Peter and Honora (Fahey) Hynes, Tom was the oldest of seven children. Mother Honora and at least three siblings also moved to Montana. Tom’s bride to be Annie M. Schwartz (1859-1938) arrived from Louisville early in 1878. Their marriage took place on October 15, 1878. 

For the first six years Tom worked in the mines around Philipsburg then took up mining on his own and accumulated a number of very good claims. They also owned a ranch one and a half miles south of Philipsburg. To this marriage was born twelve children: Mary, Louise, Kate, Nora, Emma, Alice, Julia, William Bryan, Virginia (1892), Thomas (1882-1883) and Elnore (1880-1881) (research does not reveal any record of the twelfth child). There is a grave without a headstone for Henora Hynes in Block 19 Lot 40 grave 8, next to Baby Thomas, that may be the twelfth child.
This photograph of the Thomas F. Hynes family was taken in 1901. Back row from the left is: Nora, Julia, Alice and Emma. Front row: Kate, Annie Hynes holding infant William Bryan, Louise,  Thomas F. Hynes and Mary.

Thomas F. Hynes foreclosed on a $54,225.00 mortgage of the Puritan Mining Company December 21, 1894 according to the New Northwest, so obviously he was extending credit to major mining companies. He ran as an Independent for County Assessor in 1898 against J.K. Wells the Democrat and lost the race. Tom’s name was not on the ballot and instead of having the voter’s write in his name they were provided with “pasters” that had his name printed on them. The poll counters refused to count at least 125 “pasters” with the vote being 414 to 462. Tom contested the election results but did not win the office. 

In 1900 he again ran for Assessor under the Federalist Party against Democrat T. L. Penrose and received a plurality or 151 votes. His pay was $300 a month according to wages published in 1901. As Assessor, Tom raised the county taxes which included more than $700,000 increase to the BiMetallic Mining Company. The Company took their complaint about the increase to the County Commissioners and they excused the BiMetallic from paying the excess. This caused Tom to take the case to the State Board of Equalization. The Board decided they had no authority to change the figures of the County Board (August 20, 1901). 

The City named Tom as Patrolman in June of 1901 and during the next few years news reports show him continuing to do improvements on numerous mining claims. They left the ranch and moved into Philipsburg where, after several months of illness, Tom died on March 2, 1913 at the age of fifty-seven. Survivors were: Annie, son Bryan and eight daughters, three sisters and nephew W.P. Hynes of Granite. 

Mining seemed to be the basis for the early income of the Hynes family in Granite County, but it is difficult to determine exactly which member of the family owned the individual claims. Newspaper articles detail where Thomas F. Hynes did his share of improvements and advertised this to co-owners of The HIRD Lode and the Sam Quartz Lode (1888), and his co-owner of the claim in Stony on the Katie Lode did the same back to Thomas (1896). The San Francisco Company was working two claims that had been bonded to them by Eli Holland, James Patten and Thomas Hynes in October 1886. Also Thomas Hynes was co-owner with John Ulery and Caplice of the Sam Quartz Lode in January 1889. Thomas was improving the Skykill Lode in January 1889. Thomas made application for patent on the Sultana Lode with Eli Holland and Herman Kaiser and they sold the claim to Granite Mountain Mining Company for $3,000 on February 1, 1889. Thomas F. and Honorian (sic) Hynes made patent application for the Piano Lode on September 27, 1888 and sold that claim to GMMC for $5,000 on February 7, 1889. 

A lengthy account was published in The Helena Weekly Herald on July 28, 1887 titled “The Philipsburg affair” that detailed a story by F. L. Currie. Mr. Currie had until a few days prior been the superintendent of the North Granite Mining Company. Mr. Currie had chose to leave town after a mob requested he do so. The article alluded that even a strangulation had occurred but Mr. Currie said he had not witnessed that. The discontent arose over accounts of various claim jumping projects in which the community considered Mr. Currie involved. Mr. Currie wished to make his side of the story known. "In 1883 Thomas F. Hynes located the Katy Lode. A bond was given on it to Lewis Demars but expired in 1894 without being taken up. In April 1885, Hynes and his wife deeded the Katy Lode to the former’s mother, Mrs. Honora Hynes for $1,000 and the title thereby passed to her. In October 1886, Thomas Hynes and his wife gave Phil M. Saunders a bond on the property for $50,000 under which a company was formed and $8,000 worth of development work was put upon the property. I was superintendent of the NGMC and found out the above conditions of affairs viz: that Hynes and his wife had given Saunders a bond for property not owned by them, and that the claim was open to jumping. I explained the situation to Joe Sorenson and he relocated the claim under the name of The Parrot Lode, agreeing to transfer it to the company for a small consideration…There had been various rumors previous to this about my being interested with Lewis Demars and Samuel Tolman in the jumping of the Granite Belle, The Young American and the Nelson Properties. These claims were without foundation. I was allowed to suffer a never-to-be-forgotten indignity at the hands of men who personally were my enemies, regardless of jumping causes.”

In 1890 there were two lawsuits set for trial: One Maroney vs Hynes and the other Charles Clark vs Hynes. Research did not reveal the outcome of either trial. Then the October 6, 1894 Mail posted notice of an auction of “The Old Hynes Hall” and that a daughter was born to Thomas Hynes. The newspapers carry few articles about the Hynes family after Thomas was appointed City patrolman, other than marriage notices of the daughters and Bryan. 

Then Bryan’s wife Hazel died in December 1928 and four days after her funeral Beth Smith died of meningitis at grandmother Annie Hynes house. Bryan was working as an electrician in 1923 when he married Hazel Stella Cutler. They had a daughter, Mary Catherine (1928-1980). Five months after the birth, Hazel died of Flu-pneumonia at the age of twenty-eight. Hazel was survived by Bryan, Mary Catherine and her parents. Her father was engineer for the Drummond Branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad. 

Bryan was engineer for the Algonquin mine when the May 28, 1937 Mail stated “Emma V. McCarthy of Fargo, North Dakota announces her daughter Mary Ellen married (William) Bryan Hynes on August 27, 1934.” The late announcement was because Mary’s teaching job had not allowed teacher’s to be married. 

Mary and Bryan had a son Thomas D. (1939-1995) and a son William (1940- 1941). Bryan was elected Granite County Sheriff in 1942 and served the citizen until 1952 with Nick Munis as Under-sheriff.
                                          Campaign card courtesy of grandson John Hynes

 Bryan died in the Granite County Nursing Home on November 22, 1980. Mary (my seventh grade teacher) died in 1989. This concludes another important Granite County family history.

From Mining Camp to Town

Sporadic work in the mines and mills caused hardship for the residents and businesses of Philipsburg and a flux in population, but it did not stop the camp from becoming a town. Previous articles have discussed the huge drop in population in 1870. My theory is that once the James Stuart Mill became the Hope and the Stuart, Dance and Company stores were no longer the major mercantile in the camp, it was no longer a “Company Town.” Granted the BiMetallic Mine and Mill frequently was the only work in town during a number of sparse periods, so was a contributor in keeping the population present, but I think the existence depended greatly on the stability of the ranchers. Businesses knew that they needed to extend credit to the ranchers, but were almost guaranteed, come fall all the credit would come off the books. Flood irrigation was the only option during that period and water rights were sacred and used judiciously. Research does not reveal any season where there were not adequate hay crops in this fertile valley and once the agriculture began moving into planted crops, most seasons were bumper yields. This view is also expressed in the sociological fiction titled “Small Town Stuff”, written by Albert Bluementhal (1932). 

After watching the mining camp survive for 20 more years, politically active citizens of Philipsburg wrote articles of incorporation in October of 1890. Elections were held the first week of November and a positive vote formally declared Philipsburg was now a town. The town’s first mayor was pioneer James McDonel, known to his friends as “Uncle Jim.” Serving with the Mayor were: Messrs. Charles Kroger, (?) Smith, W. T. Allison, Angus McIntyre, Frederick Bowen and C. F. Jacky. Research does not reveal an election so there must have been a town meeting with an election. The Anaconda Standard stated “Philipsburg Board of Aldermen had their first meeting tonight. Mayor McDonel and every member was present and they proceeded to transact business with the precision and depth of veterans.” This meeting is where Town Marshall David Laughrin was appointed and a ballot was taken between J.C. Bateman and Nicholas H. Connolly for appointment as Police Magistrate. Judge Connolly won the vote. Next the Committee on Ways and Means reported that a tax of three mills was to be levied to raise the necessary money to run the town. By April 30, 1891 the Town Ordinances were published in the Philipsburg Mail and by May 12, 1891 an election notice was published and new members nominated by a Citizen’s Convention. The election date was set for May 16th and the election results published were: Mayor- James McDonel; First ward-Charles Kroger and William Weinstein; Second ward- Angus McIntyre and John Rains; Third Ward- Frederick Bowen and Frank J. Wilson. Police magistrate: Nicholas H. Connolly; Town Marshall: David Laughrin; Policeman: John Elkins; Street Commissioner: George W. White; Health officer: Dr. William Ray and Fire Marshall: Frank D. Brown. There were no vote tallies published, only the names and the length of terms. David Laughrin had previously been a policeman in Anaconda and John Elkin served as Constable of Garnet after his service to Philipsburg.

The first Mayoral report published on July 2, 1891 gave thanks to the Council members that had served and for the year of ordinance development. Being new to politics it did not take long for problems to arise. August 13, 1891 Alderman Weinstein presented a petition to the Town Council meeting signed by a number of citizens preferring charges and asking for the removal of Town Marshall David Laughrin. The same meeting David was paid $100 for his monthly salary. The article did not state any reason for the petition. 

The September 10, 1891 P’Burg Mail carried this headline: “The Town Father’s: Full minutes of several meetings-they exonerate the Marshall. They reconsider their actions of a previous meeting and find him not guilty.” The article detailed how during several day and evening meetings the Aldermen had removed David Laughrin from his office of Marshall. The Mayor refused to approve this action as evidence did not justify the verdict. The Aldermen then considered charges against officer Elkins. In executive session they returned a unanimous decision of acquittal, fully exonerating the officer and severely censuring any recommendation of charges founded on such frivolous basis. The original charges: illegal arrest, conspiracy and retaining money of a prisoner (who was intoxicated.) All such matters hereafter were to be handled by the police committee. Marshal Laughrin was exonerated from all charges.


Following is the history of the first Mayor and two of the aldermen. Jim McDonel (1843-1927) was raised on his father’s farm in Wisconsin. In 1864 he left home and worked for a company that crossed the plains by mule teams to Nevada. Jim worked with friends in Nevada about nine months and then set out for Montana, arriving at Virginia City in the spring of 1865. After working in Blackfoot City, Jefferson City, and Carpenter’s Bar, Jim settled near Gold Creek. With two partners he built a $2,000.00 bridge and set up a toll service to cross the stream now known as the Clark’s Fork River. The first five weeks of business netted $1,500 in toll fees. James bought out his partners after five years and continued to operate the toll service for two more years. Next he opened a livery stable in Pioneer and ran that for six years. In 1879 he sold that stable and moved to Philipsburg where he engaged in operating another livery stable for five more years. James then moved to Granite where he platted the town, sold town lots and erected the first business house in Granite. Poor health caused Jim to move back down the hill to Philipsburg where he operated a saloon for six months, then went into real estate and ranching. Jim served four years as constable of Philipsburg before it was incorporated. He also served two terms as Justice of the Peace. 

After serving two terms as the town’s mayor, Jim was elected as a Deer Lodge County Representative to the State’s Legislature. During his term in 1893, Jim presented House Bill No. 110, which created Granite County. He ran for Granite County Commissioner in November 1896 and won, but the election was deemed invalid by the State of Montana. The original 1893 County creation law had designated October 1898 as the first election date. He was then elected in 1898 as County Commissioner and served one term. James died at the age of eighty-four on November 18, 1927 at his niece Clara McDonel’s house. Survivors were: Nieces Clara (Philipsburg)and Mrs. John (Mary) Cole (Anaconda) and Nephew Robert McDonel (Philipsburg). He is buried in the Philipsburg Cemetery. 

William Weinstein came to the United States from Poland in 1855. He lived in Leavenworth, Kansas then migrated west until arriving in Montana in 1865. His first business venture was a small store at Cable. He moved this store to Philipsburg in 1867 and it became one of the largest in the state located at 210 E. Broadway. He is credited with opening one of the first general merchandise stores in Granite in 1885. He also ran a small store in Corvallis with a partner named Block for a short time. When the Algonquin Mine shut down in 1882, William secured a judgment for about $8,000. He was Vice-President of the Merchant and Miner’s Bank at that same time. As stated previously, William was elected Alderman of Philipsburg in 1891. 

Sadly on July 2, 1893 William was injured when his horse and buckboard were involved in a run-a-way. William had invited John Foley to ride with him down the hill from Granite. John tied his saddle horse behind the wagon and the two started down the hill. Just below the BiMetallic the horse started to run away. William got him under control, then shortly after the horse broke out in full speed. Foley jumped from the wagon and his saddle horse broke free. William was carried with the run-a-way horse and wagon down near the Roadhouse where there was a rut in the road. When the wagon hit the rut William was thrown in such a manner that his head was either struck by the horses hoof or the wheel. He was picked up and taken into the Roadhouse and examined by Dr. Heine. Deeming the scalp injury not severe enough to be life threatening, although he remained unconscious, he was placed in a wagon to take him home. William died on the trip to the family residence. 

A large contingent of The Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows escorted his body from the family residence after the funeral to the train. He was buried in Helena after the performance of Jewish Rites. 

John Rains was born in Norway and immigrated to the United States in 1849. He lived in California until moving to the Philipsburg area in 1863. He married Harriet a sister of A.H. Porter. Her initials were H.E. which is on the tombstones of their children Minnie and Johnnie. This marriage produced seven children. The only living child (daughter age 6) was with the George Brown family in Anaconda when John died suddenly on February 20 1896 at Golden. She inherited a large estate. 


John was originally in a partnership with Joseph Daddow in a livery and stagecoach business that ran routes between Pioneer and Deer Lodge until he sold out his interest in 1874. John Rains’ name is signed in ads in the New Northwest during 1874 as Director of Montana State Prison, where they were asking for bids on various supplies and services. He was in Philipsburg dealing in Dry Good by 1885 and running a saloon by 1887. May 19, 1887 the ‘Mail announced that John had adopted Carrie Simpson and his wife was in Granite the same day and adopted a young boy. “So that stacking on up that night, Mr. Rains and wife found themselves the happy possessors of two adopted children.” Their son Johnnie died at 5 months of age in January 1884 and daughter Minnie died at the age of 7 months in January 1885, according to their headstones. Harriet currently has no headstone and her obituary has not yet been found. 

In July of 1887 Rains sold his house on Stockton and was building a brick home in the Wilson Addition. Health Officer James Carten made a complaint against John Rains and H.L. Turner for dumping refuse matter in the alley in the rear of John Rains saloon in July of 1887. The jury acquitted Rains and the judge fined Turner $10. O’Mara and Maloney took over Rains saloon in August 1887. John was elected an alternate to the Republican Convention in May 1888. 

Hannah Porter (mother of Mrs. John Rains) died July 5, 1888. James Reynolds sold his saloon to Rains in December of 1889. Frequent ads are in the Philipsburg Mail during 1889 for horses for sale. He was involved with J.B. Risque, James Patten, A.S. Huffman, E.C. Freyschlag, Joseph Hyde and W.W. Adams in the Bell Flower, Viola, Pyrennes and other claims located near Black Pine in November 1889. Archie and Annie (Porter) McPhail moved to the Rain’s ranch south of Philipsburg after their wedding November 1890. 

During hunting season in 1893 the ‘Mail carried ads “No hunting or killing of game on the John Rains Ranch.” Also in 1893 the paper carried frequent references to the John Rains building. In 1894 John patented the Silver Eagle Lode with James McDonel and A.A. McDonald. 

John was the administrator of his father-in-law, George W. Porter’s estate in December 1895. A.A. McDonald bought 10 feet of Rains property so he could build the Opera House Theater “deeper” in 1896. John co-owned the United Quartz lode with Vernon Curtis at the time of his death and was still involved in the Golden Sceptre Company with C. H. Eshbaugh and H. Copely when the estate was being settled. 

Of major interest is the fact, as Alderman, John resigned his chairmanship of the Streets and Alley Committee on August 13, 1891. Then on August 27th this Committee’s Report was brought forth, read and adopted by the City Council. The following report was signed by John Rains, F. J. Wilson and Charles Kroger: “Gentlemen:..matters relating to the placement of a flume through the town of Philipsburg, have carefully examined all subject matters pertinent thereto and would respectfully submit: First—We find that the cost of a flume…would be per foot, 57 cents…the extreme cost for laying this flume should not exceed $1.25 per running foot…I would advise that the flume be laid so as to constitute a sidewalk along the north side of the alley south of Broadway, from the east to the west end of town, commencing…where it joins the Hope Mill site and ending in any suitable place in Pardee & McDonald’s addition on Camp Creek…From a sanitary point of view it is absolutely necessary. Its present condition is not only a menace to the health of our people, but an eyesore and disgrace to our town. A brick sewer costing $4 per foot can also be built.” A synopsis of the continued report concerning the nuisances reported by the Chairman of the Board of Health stated “the privy in the rear of the Capital saloon (Hyde was owner) while in a filthy condition is so arranged as to be almost incapable of being removed.” The rear of the Hynes Hotel mess was not the tenant’s fault. The ground was so saturated with the drippings of manure that the smell would stay even if more soil was removed. "Assess Mrs. Hynes the bill for the Street Crew soil removal and applying lime". The Committee did not recommend a title system sewer in the Camp Creek flume. So goes the business of moving from Mining Camp to an incorporated town many years later. 

Looking at the beautiful little creek bubbling its way in front of the Pioneer apartments one would never believe it was once used as the city sewer.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

People living in Philipsburg in 1870

The U.S. Federal Census of 1870 affirmed the population in Philipsburg was less than robust. The month and day of the census taken by Wm. W. Jones is left blank and he numbers 195 residences in the town. At the time Jones made his tally there were only 30 people interviewed. In contrast there were 137 people living in 81 residences in Emmetsburg, with 24 buildings vacant. Cable had a large population with 250 men, women and children. This number included 68 Chinamen and 7 Chinese women. There were 46 residences vacant the day (unrecorded) the census was taken. While thinking about this data I decided to determine who the 30 residents in Philipsburg were and if their families remained in the area. The first person registered had a name that was hard to decipher. Fortunately, when I researched the resident living in the second dwelling, somehow it was recorded with the first family and allowed me to determine the correct spelling. A name that looked like Conn, Cunn, or Carin was recorded as Caven. His first name was Jeheil or Jehiel. At the time of the census he was 40 years old with an occupation of Toll House Keeper. Mr. Caven was born in Ohio and gave his personal wealth at $600. He was married to Flora age 24 whose birth place was England and they had three children all born in Montana Territory: Kate age six, Thomas F. Meagher (honoring the Territorial Governor) age three and Maude one year of age. Caven was in Wayne, Ohio and single in the 1850 census, but no other census years disclose Jeheil (Jehiel) Caven, spouse Flora or the children. There are no records in the Philipsburg or Valley cemetery with the name of Caven. The resident living in dwelling number two was Hugh Bell. He was born “on the sea”. His age was 27 and occupation was Druggist. “Find a grave” has a record of a Hugh Bell born in 1843 and died in 1934 at Eau Claire, Wisconsin with burial at Lake View Cemetery. An obituary has not been found for Hugh. Henry Inkamp was living in the 18th residence. Born in Prussia, occupation saloon keeper, He was 37 with a monetary worth of $1,700. In the 1880 census Henry is still in Philipsburg working as a saloon keeper and married to Caroline aged 24. They have a one month old baby girl named Lilla. Henry arrived in Philipsburg in 1867 probably from California. The Pioneer Association records state he arrived there in 1856. Henry built the Inkamp building in 1887 in what was referred to as a business block. While researching Book One of “Mettle of Granite County”, I found where that block in 1892, included a Gentlemen’s Clothing Store, a Grocery store, a Grocery and Fruit Market, A Tailors Shop, Doctor Offices, Printing Office, Utility Office and Post Office. Reviewing Sanborn Insurance maps of 1890 this could be referring to the block on the north side of Broadway between Montgomery and Sansome. Newspapers at various times reported Henry to be the only resident present in Philipsburg. He made certain that traveler’s had the opportunity to rest and wet their whistle before riding on down the trail. On August 27, 1875, the New Northwest referred to Henry as “running the best saloon west of Deer Lodge.” In this same article the writer stated that in 1869, “silence and solitude reigned almost unchallenged. Of 1500 people, only three remained: Henry Inkamp, E.B. Waterbury and J. M. Merrill.” At this time no obituary or grave site has been found for Henry. Josiah Merrill (Merrell), spoken of in a previous paragraph was interviewed while living in the ninety-sixth dwelling in the 1870 census. His worth was $1,000. He was born at New York in 1834 with the occupation of grocer. When the Philipsburg Pioneer Association was formed in 1880 the roster stated Josiah M. Merrell arrived in California in 1848. He was known to the townspeople as “Doc” and had a shop with supplies for the ‘sick and infirmed.” Josiah was also credited by the Anaconda Standard, to be the “mill assayer” when the ore for the Hope Lode was discovered in 1867, In October 1893 Merrell bought the entire stock of the Freyschlag, Huffman and Company from the Granite and Philipsburg store at a sheriff sale for about $27,300. the property was to be sold later and obviously bought by Merrell. In November Merrell placed Frank Durand as general manager at the Philipsburg store. It is believed the property remained in Merrell’s possession until his death in Groveland, California on April 28, 1913. Earlier Josiah Merrell (Merrill) was discussed and I omitted the fact that while still “the assayer of Philipsburg” he ran for Joint Councilman July 1874 and lost the race to William Graham by 716 to 926 votes. Walter Kroger, active at the First State Bank as cashier and vice president, managed Merrell’s businesses and property after Josiah moved to California around 1900. The obituary stated Merrell made fortunes out of the Granite Mountain when he sold it at $45 a share. He was survived by a wife and children that were not named in the news article. Archives disclosed 22 newspaper articles on Henry Inkamp, also discussed earlier. Included was information Henry sent a 48# brick of silver worth $800 to Helena to be shipped by Murphy, Higgins and Company to the east, in the December 25, 1873, Weekly Herald. On September 29, 1876, Inkamp was elected to be chairman of the Committee on Credentials for the Democratic Convention. In 1881, 1884, and 1885 Henry was still running a saloon. He left Philipsburg for St. Louis on a long needed vacation from the saloon on December 20, 1888. The last article found was written by a correspondent regarding Philipsburg and a Mr. Carson who was credited for setting up the Good Templar’s Lodge. Henry Inkamp, E. Holland, G. Hammond and M. Kaiser were blamed for the whiskey that the correspondent felt caused the demise of the Lodge. Where Henry’s obituary is one can only wonder. Maybe in a newspaper that has not been archived. The 1870 Census listed as residing in dwelling number 121, Edwin B. Waterbury, (spoken of earlier as one of three lonely residents in 1869), born in Connecticut; aged 27 and “Justice of the Peace” in 1870. There were no assets of value listed during his interview. Edwin had been elected an officer of the Third District Council at the House of Representatives Montana Legislative Assembly in October 1866. He continued to be involved in Justice and Politics and in 1876 won an election against William Graham for Joint Councilman at the Democratic Convention by a vote of 48 to 37. In August of 1876 the property of lot 9, Block 4 in Philipsburg was transferred from Bryne to E.B. in the amount of $97.50. Plus Edwin sold to J.M. Merrell part of the Algonquin Lode for $1,000 and another part of the Algonquin, plus parts of the Franklin and Acquilla Lode for $4,000 during this same time period. Edwin was superintending along with the Brown brothers and others in developing the Boulder mines, according to the Helena Herald, April 27, 1876. In September 1878 he was elected Council with A.H. Mitchell and Joseph Hyde at the Democratic Convention in Deer Lodge. Edwin was on the Committee for Credentials for Silver Bow at the Territorial Democratic Convention according to the Butte Semi-weekly September 6, 1882. Judge Waterbury was public administrator of Silver Bow County in 1882 and 1883. He was a member of the First Constitutional Convention in 1884. Waterbury ran ads in the Butte semi-weekly May 9, 1885 for his business of Notary Public and Conveyancer. Judge Waterbury served as Police magistrate in Anaconda and held the office of school trustee. Judge Waterbury’s obituary in the Anaconda Standard September 19, 1893, stating he arrived in Montana about 1863; mined in Alder Gulch; conducted a successful business in Helena; mined in Elk Creek and arrived in Philipsburg with the first settlers. Moving to Butte he was in real estate with Judge Caleb E. Irvine. He died in his residence at the age of 69, on September 18th in Anaconda. The Judge had been in failing health for some years. He was a widower with two children surviving: E.A. Waterbury and Mrs. S. A. Kinnicott, both of Anaconda. The funeral was held at St. Mark’s Church on the 20th. Homer Cogswell lived in dwelling 46. Born in Pennsylvania, miner was listed as his occupation and he was 44 years old. His worth was valued at $100. I have been unable to find him in any census before or after 1870. Maybe this name was an alias. Dwelling number 47 lists Hugh Drummon (Drummond). Hugh, age 44, with assets of $150 was born in Connecticut. Hugh has been credited as being the namesake of the town of Drummond and described as an old trapper. Research has failed to substantiate this story. Census results for 1850 show Hugh living in Blackfish, Crittendon, Arkansas, age of 26 with spouse Mary age 24. At this time I have been unable to find an obituary or grave for Hugh. Interviewed in Philipsburg residence 40 for the 1870 census was Isaac Davis. A miner from Wales aged 33, Issac claimed no assets. He was living in San Francisco in 1880 and married with 9 other adults living in the household. Obviously the life as a miner was not paying very well. Living in residence 66 was George Sandy, a 42 year old grocer worth $700, whose birthplace was Washington D.C. By the late fall of 1870 George was running a “gin mill” in Superior, Montana according to Leeson in “History of Montana.” Research fails to disclose anymore information about George. William Barrett was interviewed in dwelling 120. His occupation was listed as “mail carrier” with $100 in assets; age 19; born in Ohio. The August 1870 census in Lewis and Clark County shows William as a “Herder” living with the Downer family. I found two William Barrett’s in the 1880 census. One was living in Kentucky with the occupation of printer, married to Josie with a male child under one year of age. The other Barrett was in Columbus, Ohio, married to Anna with the occupation of “Saloonist.” Research fails to show any history of William remaining in Montana. Cole Sanders was living in dwelling 156 when interviewed for the 1870 census. Cole age 31 was born in Missouri and with the occupation of miner listed assets as $3,000. In 1870 Cole secured property from Charlie Frost and Dan and Sandy (Emmanuel) Brown that included the Speckled Trout for $15,000. The Imperial Gold and Silver Mining Company was incorporated with New York investors and Cole was elected trustee. Operations were commenced for the Trout ore by a smelting process. This process did not work so they built a five stamp mill. In 1874 this area was re-organized into the Northwest Company and the five stamp mill was torn down according to two different articles in the Philipsburg Mail (1889 and 1901). Cole was a passenger on the Steamer Lacon and Guidon according to the Montana Post June 12, 1868. The passengers had left St. Louis on April 16. Cole must have been traveling for his merchandise as numerous advertisements are in the Montana Post during 1867 for Cole’s Novelty store in Helena. The Helena Weekly Herald listed Cole and his wife as passengers from Corinne, Utah on June 14, 1873. He was also not afraid to speak out against the governor of Montana concerning the possibility that the Governor was really not opposed to the railroad schemes. Granville Stuart as representative for the estate of James Stuart filed lawsuits against Cole for $4,500 in unpaid debt on April 18, 1874 (The New Northwest). Research fails to disclose the results of this lawsuit. By 1881 Cole was very involved in placing many valuable mines around Helena into the hands of capitalists (especially from New York). The last news articles research revealed about Cole was June 22, 1883 (The Helena Herald) when Cole was made trustee of the Alta Mining Company composed of New York investors. Obviously heavily involved in mining ventures, Cole probably made a large amount of money, but research does not uncover his obituary or grave anywhere in the Montana archives. Emmanuel “Sandy“ Brown was interviewed in dwelling 178. A miner age 50, born in Pennsylvania, Sandy and his brother Dan arrived in the Philipsburg area with Charlie Frost shortly after Hector made his Cordova discovery. They were discussed in an earlier article. We know Emmanuel and Dan had cabins that were used as claim locators in early claim documents, but do not know what happened to “Sandy.” Dan is the only one of this group of prospectors buried in the Philipsburg Cemetery. The Granite County Historical Society has placed a granite engraved plaque on his grave as there is no longer a headstone. Charlie Frost lived in dwelling number 157 in 1870. He was a miner born in Michigan aged 22 with no assets claimed. Apparently the deal with Cole Sanders had not yet occurred, because he should have had a share of the $15,000 paid the group for the Speckled Trout. Charlie moved to Santa Rosa, California by the 1880 census and was a mining engineer. Married to Kate age 28 they had children: Jennie, five, Walter, two and Arthur 2 months of age. By the 1900 Census Charlie was divorced, working as a real estate agent, with children Arthur (in the military) age 20 and Katie age 16 living with him. He was a California Democratic delegate in 1892 and 1898 and a registered voter through 1912. So far research has failed to find an obituary for Charlie. Continuing the list of names on the 1870 Philipsburg Census: Louis Schenple (Schnepel) was interviewed in dwelling 76. Born in Hanover, with both parent’s foreign born, Lewis was 19 years old, with the occupation of “Herder”; no assets were reported. When trying to reproduce the 1870 data the name comes up as Louis Schenplr. Obviously the data recorder misinterpreted the E as an R. It stands to reason that Louis was related to Henry and Henrietta Schnepel, but I am unable to research any information about him before or after the 1870 census. Henry and Henrietta came west from Missouri in 1862. They resided first at Bannack, next Virginia City and then Last Chance Gulch in Helena. About 1866, they moved to the lower Flint Creek Valley as “squatters” where the Alex Wight Ranch now is, by Hall. In 1867 the family moved to Philipsburg and in 1868 homesteaded a part of Section 26, T7N, R 14, which is the section adjoining Philipsburg. Also in 1868 Henry leased and operated the North-west Mill in Tower, plus owned numerous mines. The saying goes “He mined hard and fast but not always successfully. He sank money into mines almost as fast as his wife, who operated the ranch could make it.” Henry died in 1886 and the homestead was sold to the St. Louis and Montana Company. By this time the family had moved to the “upper ranch.” Henrietta was an astute business woman and resolved all the mining debt and claims; her grandsons legal problems, plus operated a successful ranch. She insured the ranch would continue in the family by selling it in 1899, to J.J. McDonald the husband of her niece Louisa. Henrietta died in 1908 at the age of 80. The ranch continues to be owned by family, currently John “Pat” McDonald and his wife Esther. They continue to use Henrietta’s cattle brand, one of the earliest in the area. The Schnepel family are buried in the Deer Lodge cemetery. Interviewed in dwelling number 32 was Benjamin and his brother Lee Degenhart. Both were listed as “Stable Keepers”; born in Prussia; total assets $800.00. Ben was 35 years of age. Ben came west in 1852 and arrived in the Philipsburg area in 1867. He owned and operated a ranch at the mouth of Spring Creek for a number of years. This property is currently part of the Mitchell Munis Ranch, three miles south of town. Research revealed a law suit in April 1879, where Ben was defendant and plaintiff, Patrick Donahan. The suit was heard in the District Court December 1879 with the following comment found in the April 9, 1880 Philipsburg Mail: “Among the latest arrivals we note that of the very fortunate individual Benjamin Degenhart. By the reception he gets from former friends and neighbors we judge his stay will be short.” Research has not revealed what the suit was over or who won. Ben is listed in the 1880 census as living in Pipestone, Jefferson County, Montana with Mark and Margaret Delany and their one year old son Mark. He never married. Ben died in a Butte hospital on July 22, 1911 of paralysis at the age of 78. His brother Lee was with him at the time of passing. Survivors were: three brothers (the only known residence was Lee’s in Philipsburg) and a sister that lived in Tacoma, Washington. Ben was buried by the Modern Woodsmen at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Butte. Lee Degenhart was 26 years old at the time of the 1870 Census. He was one year old when his parents immigrated from Prussia and settled in Fountain, Wisconsin. Lee joined the Wisconsin Volunteer Army when the Civil war started, serving in Company F of the Sixth regiment as a Corporal under Captain Henry Schildts. He was honorably discharged July 14, 1865 and returned to Wisconsin to join the harness trade with brother Peter. In 1868, Lee left for Montana via the Missouri River route to Fort Benton; then continued on to Philipsburg where his brother Ben was. On arrival he owned a saddle horse and had twenty five cents in silver. Lee married Mary Ellen O’Neil (daughter of Hugh and Margret O’Neil) on December 31, 1877 in Philipsburg. While freighting from Helena, Deer Lodge and the Bitter Root, Lee established a ranch near Philipsburg and became very involved in horse racing. Retiring from ranching in 1913, he continued in banking and real estate (example: The Degenhart Building). Lee died after a run-a-way horse accident March 25, 1922. Burial was a Military funeral (as the second to last Grand Army of the Republic member) at the Philipsburg Cemetery. Son Chris sold the ranch to the Dupont’s and Veitor’s in 1952. As I was attempting to replicate Henry Timbermaster’s record in the 1870 census archives, I uncovered two other Timbermaster names living in Philipsburg. Low and behold when they are searched for, two more pages of names for the P’Burg, next to Pikes Peak and Pioneer interviews appear. Research always is a humbling experience. So instead of only 30 people living in the ‘Burg there are 69 and 263 total dwellings. The Timbermasters were: Henry (20), born in Baden, Germany, in dwelling 181; Henry (21), born in Missouri a miner and Frederick his father (50), born in Hanover also a miner, in dwelling 224. Included in the new names are Henry, Henrietta and twelve year old Matilda Schnepel (spelled Scneple on the record) living in residence 241. They were discussed in week twenty-nine. Assets claimed were $10,000 for both Henry and Henrietta, with Henry listed as a “drover.” Living in dwelling number 158 was William whose last name is difficult to read. Could be anywhere from Burwin to Eurwine, and I am unable to replicate the report. He was a miner born in Tennessee, age 32 , without assets. Besides the first Timbermaster listed without an occupation there was Samuel Fishel (26) from Bavaria; Alfred Greew (40) from Indiana; and Augustus Sherman ( 33) from New York with $500 in assets. Augustus Nen age 35 from Poland is without assets or occupation but I thought maybe the name was Neu instead. Nen is the spelling registered for 1870 and is not available in any other census, nor does research produce any Augustus Neu. Dwellings 196 through 224 lists eighteen miners: John Calling age 33 from Ohio; Patrick Shew (?Schuh) age 24 from Illinois; David Haacke age 27 from Canada; the two Timbermaster’s; Frank McAndrews age 38 from Ireland with $150 in assets; Elias Lytle age 40 from Ohio; John Daly age 32 from England with $75.00 in assets; Elias Eihinge ( ? spelling) age 39 from Georgia with $50.00 in assets; Samuel Swan age 24 from Scotland; George Calderwood age 46 from Maine with $500.00 in assets; Charles Gaylord age 45 from England with $200.00 in assets and his twelve year old son Terry also listed as a miner born in Illinois; Jefferson Niles age 40 from Michigan with $400 in assets, who had moved to the Bitter Root and was married to Josephine (age 27) with Maggie age six and Wallace age one, by the 1880 Census; James Wilson age 35 from Kentucky (there was also a James Wilson in Lincoln and at Blackfoot in the 1870 census. None remained in Montana by 1880); William Reed (30) and Edward Smith (32) were both from Illinois without assets; and Samuel Keating age 28 from England with $100 in assets. Eli Holland and his partner James Estill, both miners will be detailed later. James Martin (34) from Ireland was a stone mason; John Crutchfield (45) from Ohio was a millwright; Henry Rowley (62) from New York was a carpenter; Henry Sherman (31) from Hanover was a farmer (unknown if related to Augustus); Ferdinand Kennett age 30 from Missouri was a book keeper with assets of $1,000. Somehow he became manager of Granite Mountain, Hope Mining Company, for a short time, when Horace Countryman left. According to the April 25, 1889 Mail story he had little or no knowledge of silver mining; Charles H. Hagar (31) was an engineer from Vermont, with $75 in assets; John Sanders (40) living with Holland was a blacksmith from Pennsylvania and apparently not the Johan Erik (John) Sander’s buried in the Philipsburg cemetery as he was born in 1855; and two were “keeping house” (Henrietta Schnepel [42] and Lydia Gaylord [40] ).Matilda Schnepel (12), born in Missouri did not have an occupation listed. Miner, Eli Holland (40 ) from Ohio with $750.00 in assets is a familiar name. He was important to the Flint Creek Mining history along with his frequent partner James Estill (34), in dwelling 205, without assets. Eli, James and Josiah Merrell (Merrill) spoken of earlier, were the original claimants of the Granite Mountain lode. The story goes that the silver lead was first found by Eli while hunting elk in 1873. Nothing was done with the discovery until Eli, James and Josiah recorded the claim on July 14, 1875. Apparently there was to be a fourth owner added named William McIntyre, if he would dig a fifty foot shaft. “The shaft was sunk fifty five feet and the contract thrown up in disgust” (Philipsburg Mail, November 14, 1889). The deeds show Charles McLure acquired title October 18, 1880. Eli remained in Philipsburg after the 1870 census and was living with John Brophy when the 1880 census was taken. The census records were not correct on Eli’s birthplace. He was born in Alabama in 1832 and in the 1850 Census his parents William and Sarah were living in Panola, County, Texas with Eli and his three siblings. By 1900, Eli had been married for 16 years to Annie, maiden name unknown and was residing in Deer Lodge. After selling the Granite Mountain claims, Eli continued in mining. He sold the Salmon and Cliff Lodes to the Algonquin Company for $25,000 in 1880. Then by 1887 was involved with the Little Tom Mine; in 1888 with the Henrietta Silver Mining company; then by December 1888 was superintendent of the Hatta in the Dunkleberg District. According to the New Northwest, Eli was an incorporator in the BiMetallic Extension Mining and Milling Company in December 1892. His partners were John A. and J.B. Featherman, Joseph Hyde, Josiah Shull and E.C. Freyschlag with the capital stock valued at $4,632,500.00. At that time Eli paid taxes of $9,400. Eli, John Duffy, Parker, Leavens (and others) sued the Granite Mountain Mining Company over the Company running mill water down Douglas and Frost creek. They won with a $5,000 settlement according to the New Northwest , December 24, 1886. There were numerous ads in the Newspapers about Eli and James Estell’s livery stables in Deer Lodge and in March of 1883, Eli dissolved his interest and James took over all of the business. In September of 1889 a news article stated Eli was building two four bedroom cottages on B street between third and fourth and then the newspapers are very quiet about any happenings with the Holland household. Eli was an active Mason and is buried in the Deer Lodge Hillcrest cemetery. He died on September 24, 1908 at the age of 78. Research has failed to produce an obituary or photograph of Eli. He surely had an estate yet the archives do not reveal anything about it or his wife Annie’s whereabouts after 1900. James apparently did not continue in the mining business after he sold his part of the discovery claims one and two east of the Willard Lode to Holland et al for $100 in April of 1880. He married Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Levengood of Anaconda in 1874. They had at least six children. Four of the children excelled in school and were on the Deer Lodge school honor rolls every semester during the late 1800’s. Besides the livery stable, James also owned a barber shop and there are want ads for a barber at the shop during the 1880’s. In 1884 James (and others) filed a lawsuit against D.C. Irvine over water rights in Tin Cup Joe Creek and this was settled on June 6, 1890. The final judgment was published May 16, 1891 in favor of Irvine for his court costs. James was a democrat and involved in all of the democratic conventions. Often he served as delegate or alternate. He was a founding member of the Democratic Cleveland and Hendrickson Club and elected a member of the Bylaws and resolutions committee. In 1896 the New Northwest listed 125 members of the BiMetallic Free Silver club with James Estell listed as one of the 125 members. He sold his Transfer Omnibus to Warfiled and Company of Butte in January 1885 and in April 1888, in The New Northwest, offered up for sale all of the horses and equipment from the livery stable, 400 acre ranch, 30 head of stock and his personal residence. In 1889, James purchased a ranch from Peter Valiton. The Estell family moved to that ranch south of Deer Lodge in August of 1890. Obviously James wanted to get his family settled before his death, as he died of “Dropsy” at the age of 50 years and 6 months on November 15, 1890. The funeral was held at the family residence south of Deer Lodge. Mary placed a notice of sale in the July 16, 1892 New Northwest, listing: work horses, brood mares, single trotters, yearling colts, multiple ranch and farm equipment plus “I also have four fine ranches” to sell. James once a miner without assets left a large estate and the Estell name continues to live on in Deer Lodge.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Granite County Seminar, Stamp Mill Demonstration and tours

      Wonderful  audience at the stamp mill demonstration by Dave Harris and Jim Waldbillig.

There was at least 119 people attending the 130 pm demonstration and about 50 early risers came to the 9 am demonstration. Both demonstrations were on June 24th before the Tours.

After the stamp mill viewing, Jim Waldbillig led a walking tour of at least 21 people through downtown Philipsburg with handouts of the 1894 Sandborn Insurance maps detailing the businesses and buildings present at that time. Positive feedback has been received from tour attendees!

Ted Antonioli led a group by motor vehicles to the Ghost Town of Granite where at least 17 individuals and a group of 24 with  Katie McDonald were provided with a walking tour. This group also received Sandborn Insurance map handouts of the town of Granite in 1889. A history of Granite was provided by Ted Antonioli. A lesson in local geology was provided by Katie McDonald and Ted Antonioli detailed the mines. Steve Neal provided a picture story of the early structures and persons who resided in Granite during its heyday.  Feedback said the tour was enjoyed by everyone.

On June 23 an interested audience of 41 people heard Robert Carriker speak on "Father Peter DeSmet, well known in the 19th Century and little known in the 21st Century." 
Next Ted Antonioli spoke about Father DeSmet's "Eldorado" at Henderson Gulch.
Then Bill Taylor detailed the "Railroads to Silver and Gold." 

As always the audience was comfortable in the Granite County Museum conference room.

At the Philipsburg 150th Birthday Party on June 22,2017  the huge audience spilled over from the Old Fire Hall onto Sansome Street. Many speakers welcomed the crowd prior to Ted Antonioli detailing the discovery of silver by Hector Horton and the reason the town was named Philipsburg not Deidiesheimerburgh.






Monday, May 1, 2017

Granite County Historical Society Seminar and Field Trips, June 23-24, 2017

The Granite County Historical Society will help celebrate Philipsburg's 150th birthday with events on June 23 and 24.

June 23, 6 pm at Museum. Granite County Historical Society seminar featuring Robert Carriker, Professor Emeritus of History at Gonzaga University, discussing "Peter John De Smet: Well-known in the Nineteenth Century, Not so Well-known in the Twenty-first Century." Ted Antonioli will then talk about "Father De Smet's El Dorado - Flint Creek".  We will conclude with a talk on the Drummond and Philipsburg Railroad by Bill Taylor, author (with Jan Taylor) of excellent books on the "Railroads to Gold and Silver" in Montana.

June 24, 1:30 pm, half day Granite County Historical Society plus guests from the Natural History Institute will meet at the James Stuart/Hope millsite at the east end of Broadway at 1:30 pm for an introduction to area history by Ted Antonioli and area geology by Katie McDonald. A demonstration of a stamp mill by Dave Harris, Jim Waldbillig and helpers will follow. We will then break into two groups for tours of Granite (by Ted) or Philipsburg (by Jim). 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nancy Flood, Daughters and Granddaughters

                         

After the Civil War many women were widowed with large families. Because of the law of the land, other than finding another man to marry, very few options were open to support their families. Men on the east coast were few due to the casualties of war and westward immigration. Mary, the widowed mother of Nannie, Julia and Rozenia Gasper was left to support seven children on $7.00 a month government pension.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lannon and Commerce at the Mouth of Bear

     

In Captain John Mullan’s  Report on the Construction of a Military Road From Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton is a list of petitioner signers on December 15, 1859.   The forty eight men desired that the new county in Washington Territory be named “Bitterroot”, but the legislative body chose the name Missoula. On this petition is the name Lannon, but there is no first name.