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.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kate Price Dingwall

Lucy Coberley's  grand daughter Kate (Catherine) Price arrived with her brother John in the Deer Lodge Valley at the age of eighteen. She first stayed with Aunt Fedelia on the Stark ranch then went to live with Grandma Lucy at her hotel near Gold Creek. She attended school at New Chicago for a short time, before marrying William Dingwall.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Removing the Stamp Mill at the Royal Mine

Here are some pictures from Larry Hoffman (bottom) and Jim Waldbillig (top two) of the removal of the stamp mill components at the Royal Mine in 2013. This is the stamp mill battery and other equipment that is being reassembled at the Hope Millsite in Philipsburg. Crew was Larry Hoffman, Jim Waldbillig, Phil McDonald, and Dave Harris.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Phosphate Mining at Douglas Creek

Phosphate mining was an important component of Granite County's economy from the 1940s through the 1960s. The mines were in Permian Phosphoria formation several miles up the Douglas Creek drainage near Hall.  The geologic conditions are favorable as the formation is folded into an anticline and faulted so there several exposures of the main ore bed in a small area.

At first mining was conducted by the International Minerals and Chemical Corp. The phosphate rock is lower grade than the large mines near Garrison, and upgrading by flotation was necessary. The mill was next to the highway near the mouth of Douglas Creek. In the 1960s Cominco operated the mine with a mill part way between the mine and the highway. The spur to the mine and mill were named "Elephant" after Cominco's brand of phosphate fertilizer. Dave Harris worked in the mine for a time and says the mine was believed to have 40 years of reserves above the tunnel level. However after just a few years of operation the mine was shut and the mill equipment was moved to a Cominco mine in Greenland. According to Cominco's Montana manager, the mine simply could not match the costs of the big open pit phosphate mine at Vernal Utah. That mine is now owned by Simplot and is still operating.

Extensive records of the mine are located in the archives of the University of Montana.  Environmental issues related to phosphate dust are discussed in some detail in the Clancy Gordon papers at UM.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Building of the first Road through Northern Granite County


As you speed down I-90 at 80 miles per hour to your shopping spree in Missoula,  have you ever thought about the perils and labor expended when this valley was first traveled? The selection of developing this route is chiefly credited to Captain John Mullan (1830-1909). Arriving in the area with Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens in 1853 to survey a northern railroad route, Mullan was left with a small group of soldiers and laborers near Fort Owen during the winter of 53-54.  He was given  broad orders to explore and develop  wagon routes  “which in time should lend themselves as aids to the construction of our railroad lines” (Mullan Journal). After gleaning much information during the winter, Mullan left the Bitter Root with a small group on March 1, 1854 (on horse back); crossed the Rocky Mountains on the 10th; reached Fort Benton on the 14th.  Left Fort Benton on the 17th after fitting up a wagon train and re-crossed the range, reaching the Bitter Root Camp again on the 31st.  

A later trip synopsis provides a good descriptor of the geography: “…reaching the Big Blackfoot, we crossed to its left bank on the first and second (of July) by means of a wagon-boat and a small bateau…Our location up the Hell’s Gate this season involved eleven crossings of this stream in fifty miles; the first was ferried; the rest forded. This stream is from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty feet broad; its current rapid, and its course very serpentine over the distance that we followed it. Its valley is from one to four miles broad, and mostly timbered with open pine….We reached no point of much difficulty until making the eleventh crossing of the Hell’s Gate, where a spur involved a cutting of half a mile to enable us to pass it. This was completed by the ninth of July, when with rapid marches we hurried forward to the mouth of Gold creek…The upper portion of the valley of Flint Creek may be found suited to agriculture.”

After the first exploration and clearing of a route between Walla Walla and Fort Benton, Mullan was transferred to a command position in the east during the Indian Wars. When he returned to the area, in 1859,  his focus was no longer on the railroad but to develop a Military Road. Mullan was able to lobby Congress for  $30,000 and set about this task. Mullan sent men out to various spots where they made camp and worked all winter on their designated area.   

Mullan then set out to review his road and determine mileage and the dollars he needed to appropriate from Congress to finish paying  for the road. This journey began in 1860 and was very different than his 1853 -54 trips as the land was now becoming settled. The daily journal details the geography  all the way from Walla Walla. 

This article will quote only those days from Missoula through Granite county: Twenty eighth day-Move to Higgin’s and Worden’s store, at Hell Gate (Missoula),…road excellent, wood water and grass here; good place to rest animals for a day or two; blacksmith shop at Van Dorn’s and supplies of all kinds can be obtained, dry goods, groceries, beef, vegetables and fresh animals if needed. Twenty ninth day- Move to Blackfoot bridge, eleven miles; road good; wood water and grass abundant. Thirtieth day- Move to Campbell’s camp, fifteen miles; road excellent; good wood, water and grass abound. Thirty first day- Move to Lannon’s camp, nine miles; road excellent; may have to double team to Beaver Tail Butte; wood, water and grass abundant (near present day Bearmouth). Thirty second day- Move eleven miles to Lyon’s creek, crossing enroute Hells Gate Bridge; road good; wood water and grass at camp (south side of the river following the current Mullan Road). Thirty third day- Move to Flint Creek, distance eleven miles; road somewhat hilly but still not steep; wood water and grass at camp. Thirty fourth day-Move thirteen and one half miles to  Gold Creek or American Fork of Hell’s Gate river; road excellent; wood, water and grass at camp. Supplies of all kinds to be had here.”

The way Mullan measured miles was by running a single wheel with a handle in front of him and knowing how many wheel turns equaled a mile he computed the daily trip. The group arrived at Fort Benton August 1st and on August 7th the first and last major military expedition moved out over the newly completed route.

From then on, although not maintained, gold miners and cattlemen used the trail and in later years, the railroads followed part of the route, as did Highway 10, then interstate 90.

Captain John Mullan in the early 1860"s from the John Mullan Papers at Georgetown University Library, Special Collections Research Center Washington D.C.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Gun Registration in Montana during WWI

        One day George Byrd summoned me into his antique shop in downtown Philipsburg and showed me an early 1900s era Sheriff's log recording such items as investigations and arrests. Also in the log was a detailed but undated list of gun owners in Granite County along with the model and serial number of every gun in each person's possession.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mettle of Granite County, Chapter Seven, The War is Over (Part three)

The Great War is over

 Table of Contents

The war is over
Trying to get back to normal 

"Patriotic demonstration"headlined the newspaper article reporting Philipsburg's celebration of  the end of the Great War. Mayor S.E. McClees declared November 11 a holiday in celebration of the signing of the Armistice. An impromptu parade was formed, headed by a soldier and a sailor, carrying an American flag between them. A band and The Red Cross members in uniform followed them, and that was followed by about thirty cars. They stopped at the homes of J.W. Duffy, then the home of Harry Parfitt Sr. “in honor of the young man from each home who gave his life while fighting for Democracy.”  At both homes the band played the Star Spangled Banner. The "Kaiser" was hauled to his last resting place, a scaffold erected over a huge pile of boxes and wood, by a truck bedecked with War Campaign literature. Six small boys, riding donkeys acted as pallbearers. They were Edwin Carmichael, William Duffy, Humphrey Courtney, Emil Perey, Thomas Gorman and Chadweid Shaffer. At eight o’clock the flames of a large bonfire started mounting the scaffold upon which a dummy of the abdicated Kaiser was resting. When the dummy dropped into the flames the crowd cheered wildly.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One, Chapter Seven, World War I (Part Two)

World War I

As the troubles in Europe began to ferment and our young men began signing up for the military frequent letters were published in the Mail from George Cartier. He was a member of the Seventh Division U.S. National Guard, of Pennsylvania, stationed in El Paso, Texas. “George is the only Philipsburg boy known to have been called for military duty on the Mexican border” stated the Philipsburg Mail, September 8, 1916.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One, Chapter Seven Part One (Civil War)

Chapter Seven

Patriots of Granite County: From Civil War through World War I


Civil War Veterans

The history of patriotism in Montana is well documented. Prior to immigration to Montana a large portion of the population was involved in the Civil War. This is apparent in the disagreement over the name of the first territorial capital.
 Varina was the name chosen by some of the Confederate sympathizer’s among the miners; even though they were far removed from the battlefields of the Civil War these men were, for the most part, intensely interested in the conflict and had definite allegiances. Since Jefferson Davis was as much a hero to those whose sympathies were with the south as Abraham Lincoln was to the others, it occurred to the town company to name the new camp after Davis’s wife. The papers were presented to Dr. Bissell (Giles Gaylord Bissell of Connecticut had been named Judge on June 12, 1863), whose sympathies were just as strong for the northern cause. According to the Bissell family legend, the doctor struck his makeshift desk and exclaimed, “I’ll be damned if I’ll sign it that way”. Crossing out Varina he substituted Virginia, allegedly with the further remark that “…no such blot as this shall stain the honor of the camp.[i]

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One Chapter six

Chapter Six

More businessmen, merchants and miners

Table of Contents

Bowen, Thompson and Murphy......................................................1-7Haverty.................................................................................. .....5

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Chapter Five Businessmen, Merchants and Miners

Chapter Five

Businessmen, Merchants and Miners

Table of Contents

McDonald Cont'd
J.C. Duffy

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One Chapter Four

Chapter Four

More merchants and businessmen

Table of Contents



A merchant and political family that has been promoter’s of Granite County, without exception are the Huffman’s. They began their history here with A.S. (Addison) and C.T. (Cosmo). References are found in the Citizen Call, in 1893 and 1894, demonstrating, the family was established in the community at that time.  They were also having financial difficulties, during the silver crash.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Table of Contents

W.E. Moore.....................................................................................7

 Merchants and Businessmen

 The discovery of gold and silver was the reason people immigrated to the remote western region in the 1880’s. These miners needed supplies and sustenance and the need was filled by stalwart entrepreneurs, not afraid to take a gamble. Often they were also miners or invested in the mines. I will attempt to describe some of those people and their descendants in this chapter.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One Chapter Two (Part Two)

                                        Mettle of Granite County 

                                                        Book One

                                         Chapter Two (Part Two)

                                  Loraine M. Bentz Baker Domine

This is a continuation of the previous blog post.

Table of contents

Page family................................
O'Neil, Hickey, Hunt families........................................

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Book One Chapter Two

Table of Contents 

Titus, McKenzie, Harrington……………………………….11-13 Stephens…………………………………………………….13-14 Shodair………………………………………………………14-16 Politics………………………………………………………17-25
G.W. Morse.............................................................................18-23
Ringling…………………………………………………….25-26 Ballard………………………………………………………26-28 Endnotes…………………………………………………..

 Chapter Two (Part One) More influential Pioneers and Politicians

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mettle of Granite County Chapter One

The first book of this History series is sold out so I have decided to post it on this blog. Areas that have been further researched since it was published in 2009 are either updated or linked to articles on this blog or internet that provide further information. If as you are reading an area is highl;ighted, click on the highlight and it will take you to more information.                                          

                                           METTLE OF GRANITE COUNTY
                                                           BOOK  I

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mettle of Granite County, Book 1 Introduction

                    GRANITE COUNTY
                            BOOK ONE
                    DETAILING THE LIVES OF
                     INFLUENTIAL PIONEERS,
                                WORLD WAR I


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Oro Y Plata placer mine

The Oro Y Plata placer mine in the lower part of Henderson gulch has a complex history dating to the late 1860s, part of which is told in a 1911 court case over water rights and in an undated, unsigned report in the Frank Brown archive at UM. Thos. Smith is said to have started a ditch to wash the ground in November of 1868 and finished it the following  year. Ferguson bought the ground in about 1876 and sold it to Quong Lee 4 years later who then sold it again to Deer Lodge merchant Buck Jim  and You Hoy. The Chinese miners eventually sold it to Dominic Byrne, and subsequently was acquired by Philipsburg hardwaremen Gannon and Neu. It was at this stage (approximately 1905) that the Frank Brown archive report was written. In 1907, former Anaconda Co. President Scallon took a crack at the mine. Some of the Oro Y Plata ground was no doubt mined by the big Henderson bucket-line dredge during and after WWII.

The bench east of Sherryl crossing (between Maxville and Hall) has been extensively washed for gold. The gullied ground is now tree covered, apparently as a result of the mining. In Gold Placers of Montana (1949), Lyden suggests that the mined bench is an extension of the Henderson gulch placer deposit in an old channel now on the opposite side of Flint Creek. This is an eminently reasonable interpretation! This mine is sometimes locally called the Chinese diggings and it's history is a bit obscure. Part of the ground was initially developed by the experienced placer miner James Batterton and associates operating as the Deer Lodge Ditch and Mining Company in 1872 and 1873.  Batterton had been involved in Pioneer and Cable and had done well in both places. Apparently an even earlier mine on this bar had been developed by Winchell and Co (see 1873 link). Winchell's interest was sold in 1874 to John Wilson of Blackfoot. In 1875 it was said to be yielding $20 a day to the hand, an excellent result. Perhaps  the most appropriate name for these workings would be the Winchell mine.

Friday, August 12, 2016

In the Beginning

There has been very little researched information available about the early Native Americans in Granite County. This article will attempt to collect and discuss what is known about tribal history, anthropology, and archaeological documentation. Because the information is constantly changing with all the new DNA evidence and newly discovered artifacts, plus identification of the mineral compositions and sites, this article could easily be outdated by the time it is published. Fortunately because it is in a blog format, changes can be made as new information is confirmed.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

4th Annual Seminar and Field Trip 2016

Thirty three people attended the June 17th evening seminar at the Granite County Museum.
Archaeologist Patricia Flint Lacey PhD presented a slide show of her discoveries at Bearmouth and the Weaver Ranch during the time she was working on her Master and Doctoral education beginning in the 1970's. She showed slides of the pictographs drawn by Vision Seekers in the Bearmouth area and replicas of knifes and arrows made from the Eyebrow "Flint" located near Henderson Gulch. The artifacts Dr. Lacey found are all at the Granite County Museum. I am certain the staff at the Museum would be thrilled to show them to you.

Marlene Chor, owner of the Budel Homestead and ranch, where her mother was raised, presented the history that started the lower Fred Burr archaeological dig. Artifacts were found in 1989 and from about 2006 to present has been an active site most every summer. 

Kenneth Schmidt (anthropologist) that is the site manager presented artifact information. This site has shown evidence of habitation by people as early as 4,000 years before the present date to the late prehistoric stage. Evidence consists of knife's, awls, arrowheads, pottery, maize (possibly brought in from Utah Wasatch Front natives), tally bones, large amounts of animal bones, post holes, hearths and charcoal. There is at least one white Shoshonian knife/awl in the numerous artifacts. These artifacts are currently stored with the landowner and will be placed at the Museum at a later date.

Ted Antonioli presented a brief history of the Fur Trappers (Peter Skene Ogden) and mountain men that traversed the Flint Creek Valley in the early 1800's. Hugh Monroe (Rising Wolf) who lived many years with the Blackfoot Indians may have been the first white man in the valley and Peter Skene Ogden was in the valley from August 2 through the 18th in 1825, as documented in his Hudson Bay Journals.

June 18th at 8am thirty four people were at the James Stuart Stamp Mill site. The Historical Society's Stamp mill being restored had a pulley belt attached and ran the camshaft for a short time. Parts were being delivered that would allow the stamps to run later in the day. Unfortunately none of the tour was present when the stamp mill was run at 1pm.

Thirty One people traveled up the mountain to the Algonquin where Ted Antonioli gave a presentation of the history of the mine and mill. A tour was made of the current building still standing. Gina Vale, owner of Hasmark presented information on the settlement of Hasmark and the old saloon building she is restoring.

Twenty six people continued on to the Georgetown and Cable City area. Bruce Cox, geologist with the Trust that currently owns the Cable mining claims gave an excellent tour of the placer's, mine and Chinatown.

The evening was spent at the Waldbillig Ranch eating barbecued hamburgers and watermelon.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Granite County Historical Society Fourth Annual Seminar and Field Trip

Update: We are pleased to announce that we have finalized a speaker to tell us about the Fred Burr archeological site. Ken Schmidt of Anaconda has participated in the site excavation from the beginning and will answer questions about the progress of the dig and interpretation of the site.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"This is the Kaiser House and I am The Kaiser"

The story goes that Melchoir (Michael) Kaiser used to sit in front of the Kaiser House repeating the above phrase late in his life. By that time he had contributed a great deal to the community of and around Philipsburg.

Michael was born December 21, 1827 in Switzerland. He immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1846. Trained as a shoemaker, he set up a shop in St. Louis. Michael married Louisa Wagoner (Wagner) in 1850 and they moved to California in 1852. In California Michael worked in the market business around San Francisco and Marysville. Next they moved to Virginia City, Nevada in 1860 where they operated a butcher shop, grocery and supply store. In 1866 Michael, Louisa and children John and Hermann moved to Helena, Montana. In Helena, Michael built the Planter Hotel. In 1867 they moved to Cable where he built the International Hotel. Michael ran that business until 1878 when he moved to Philipsburg.

I am uncertain as to when the original frame structure known as the Kaiser house in Philipsburg on the corner of Montgomery and Broadway was built. The New Northwest in July 1881 stated:
The enterprising people of  Philipsburg, with an unmistaken confidence in the future, are building costly houses, both public and private. The new three story brick hotel, to replace the frame structure long and favorably known as the Kaiser House, is nearly ready for the roof.
The Rocky Mountain Husbandman, October 13, 1881 had the following article:
Of the  two hotels, the Keizer House, kept be M. Keizer is worthy of special mention. The House is receiving an extensive addition in the shape of a two story brick with a large basement. The house was planned and the thereof supertended by Hector S. Horton, Philipsburg's principal mason. It is sightly located on the corner, along side the old hotel building. It is tastily finished and especially arranged with the design of economy, convenience and ventilation. The front porch is also two stories high and extends halfway around the building. In the large basement Mr. Keizer will open a fine bar and billard hall. When completed Philipsburg will be next to Helena in the way of fine hotels, and it will be a great addition and credit to the town.
 Louisa's obituary states that she had  lived in Philipsburg continuously since 1873, which leads me to believe that she ran the Philipsburg business while Michael ran the Cable business. Also their son, John is credited with arriving in Philipsburg in 1869.  In 1888 the Kaiser House Annex on North Montgomery was added to the establishment.

On May 4, 1893, Michael was named  the first Alderman for Philipsburg and in the May 11, Philipsburg Mail, was the statement:
The Kaiser Brothers have been so busy superintending the work on the new water system of late that they have been obliged to delay proceedings on the proposed resumption of operations on the East Granite; but they expect it will be carried on as soon as the water plant is completed and they can devote time to starting it the right way.
Although the article states brothers, I believe that Michael was also involved with John and Hermann in  setting up the water company.  The operation was a major undertaking and built a pipe system to provide water to the growing community. The system was described in the Citizen Call December 25, 1899:
The water from the South Fork of Boulder is conducted a distance of two and a half miles over the divide, through a series of heavy pressure pipes and flumes, the pipes being a distance of 8,000 and the flumes for a distance of nearly 10,000 feet. The two lines laying in the form of a Y, bearing from different heads and emptying into one receiving tank. The water is then conducted by flume from the receiving tank and emptied into the water of Stuart Gulch (note the spelling). From the head of Stuart Gulch  the water is conducted through flumes and pipes a distance of  three and three fourths miles to a larger reservoir located one and one-fourth miles north of Philipsburg. This reservoir is eighty feet long, thirty feet wide and twelve feet deep and holds 149,000 gallons. From the reservoir the water is conducted  through iron mains to the city of Philipsburg, a distance of  one and one-fourth miles. This reservoir is located at an elevation of 357 feet above the corner of Montgomery and Broadway indicating a pressure at that point of 165 pounds to the square inch... The Water Works  system was constructed at a cost of $55,000... The owners of this system operate under a franchise granted by the city of Philipsburg to furnish water for a period of ten years at the rate of $100 and $112.50 per hydrant per year.
By 1896 the water company was referred to as The M and J K Water Company with Hermann Kaiser President and J,W, Suppinger Secretary, according to stock holder meeting minutes. One of the major votes during 1896 was whether to sell out to the Philipsburg Water Company.  Obviously the vote was negative because the company  continued ownership into the early 1900's.

Maintenance of the system was frequently cited with notices published in the Philipsburg Mail that water would be shut off while a water main was repaired or the crew could clean the reservoir. Also, the City Council in 1896 ordered the Water Company to remove all private street and alley hydrants. This was to be done by the first of May at owners expense and the hydrants would now have to be placed in the consumers homes or yards. After a notice of water being turned off for a reservoir cleaning in 1901, the City of Philipsburg bought out the Kaiser Water System but I have not determined the exact date.

The Kaiser Family were members of the Philipsburg Pioneer Association founded in 1880. At the founding meeting there were nine bylaws adopted by the members, of which I will quote two:
Sixth: we reserve the right to get decently drunk and to recognize a social game of cards, where money is not staked, as a necessary of our daily lives;
Ninth: we want no legal advice; no long winded set of bylaws, nothing but good fellowship and lasting friendships; and as the flume is all clear, we lift the head gate and start to work on discovery. 
The bylaws were signed by 30 members, all who had arrived in Montana on or before 1865; California on or before 1849 or Idaho on or before 1860.

The Kaiser's also had a saloon located at an unknown location in Philipsburg which they asked to build an extension onto in May 1893. The Board of Aldermen, after reviewing "ordinances No. 42 and 48, relating to the fire limits decided that the request could not be granted."

Michael died on January 29, 1903 at the age of seventy-six years one month and eight days. He had been ill for several days when John  took him to St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula on January 17th. He was diagnosed with a bowel obstruction and they could not save his life. The body was brought home on the evening train and Michael was laid to rest on February 1 after a funeral service in the Kaiser House Annex.

Louisa had been in poor health for some time and declined rapidly after Michael died.  She succumbed to an intestinal stigmatism and heart failure on November 28, 1903 at the age of seventy-seven years, six months and eleven days. Her funeral was at the Kaiser House Annex and she is buried next to Michael in the Philipsburg Cemetery.

A Philipsburg Mail article on January 27, 1972 about Wilma Bruns, has memorabilia describing the Kaiser House "Bill of fare" from the late 1880's. They served such foods as "top sirloin steak for 50 cents, ham and eggs for 35 cents, pork chops, mutton chops, pig feet (plain or breaded), veal chops and others all at comparable prices"

John Kaiser, born in Marysville, California on August 18, 1857 arrived in Philipsburg in 1869, according to his obituary.  His obituary also stated they homesteaded the Kaiser ranch on Ross' Fork in 1904. This is in error as I have found references to the ranch as early as 1895. John married Jennie Suppinger in Highland, Illinois on November 20, 1889. To this marriage was born: Robert in 1890; John Walter on July 22, 1892; Edward on March 10, 1894; Mary in 1895; Jennie in 1897 and Harold on April 30, 1907.

John was an active community member which included serving  as Granite County Commissioner. His obituary states he served two terms but I was only able to find him winning against John D. Kennedy in 1916. He was also involved in supplying lumber for the West Fork Bridge in 1925, which was authorized by the County Commissioners, so maybe he served on the county road crew. His obituary stated he retired from public life in 1930. He died from a lingering illness at the family home on June 12, 1934. Pallbearers were his four sons and two son-in-laws: Frank Conley and Theodore Saurer. His brother Hermann was residing in San Diego, California at the time of John's death.

On January 17, 1895 The Philipsburg Mail states :
The Kaiser Brothers and Charles Williams, who own some valuable mining property on the north slope of Red Hill, just north of the Hope Mining Company's ground, this week resumed work by putting several men to work in their tunnel. A new blacksmith shop has been built and the equipment installed, which would indicate that extensive development of the property is contemplated. They have a vast body of iron ore carrying from 3 to 8 percent of copper and some silver values. It is one of the best properties in Flint District, and according to the theory of experts, has every indication of developing into a great mine. The property is situated two miles from Philipsburg.

I also found a news article dated July 10, 1914 stating:
Herman Kaiser at one time had a company partly organized to operate placer mines in Stony Creek and located about forty claims along its course. The project at that time called for a drain tunnel by means of which the water was to be drawn from bedrock so that shafts could be sunk and mining carried on by means of drifting along bedrock. The tunnel was to start at a low point north of the Wyman place and pointing south, cut through the hogback or ridge extending down to the Wyman house and into the channel of Stony Creek. For one reason  or another the project was abandoned, principally on account of shortage of funds.

I know that Herman was married and had a son Clifford who contracted Typhoid Fever in 1907. But most of the available history is about John's children.  John Walter know as Walt was involved with E. M. Poese in the Hardware business and was in partnership with Charlie Carpp at the Sapphire Mines on West Fork of Rock Creek in the 1950's. (Refer to the Sapphire article earlier on this Blog)

This article was adapted from "Mettle of Granite County" Book One pages 15, and 47 - 52.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pioneer bucket-line gold dredges

As can be seen in the index map below (from Pardee's USGS Bulletin) , the Pioneer District overlaps Powell and Granite Counties.

We've recently had occasion to gather together some information on the three bucket-line gold dredges that are known to have operated in the district, near the town of Pioneer. An excellent source of information on the dredges and other district history is the thesis Jeff Loen wrote on the district in 1986.

The first is said by Pardee to have operated in 1905 and 1906, and to have achieved only poor recovery. This dredge is likely the "Stewart" which is shown in this picture in the UM photo library.  The scan lacks good resolution but the copy in the library clearly shows the word "Stewart" at the top of the dredge. Very likely this dredge was constructed and operated by the Gold Creek-Montana Co., Ltd. We can't find any person named "Stewart" connected to Pioneer though of course the name "Stuart" is intimately associated with the district's history. Perhaps, as at Philipsburg, the name was mis-spelled.

The second dredge was a large Yuba named the "Mosier" that operated from 1933 to 1941 (according to Pardee) and is responsible for most of the dredging at Pioneer. The Mosier burned in the late 1960's and the bull gear and other equipment have been visible in a pond below Pioneer. The Mosier dredge had a wooden hull and several pictures of its construction are archived in the photo collection of the University of Montana library. Below is an image of the Mosier from the Pardee report.

The third dredge was a small Yuba that operated in Reservoir Gulch just west of Pioneer in the mid-1950s. Jeff Loen reports that the years of operation were 1955-1957, and that the operator was the Montana Gold and Chemical Co. of Seattle. Placer miner Jim White reports that he worked with the welder for that dredge, Marion Clemens, and learned the history of the dredge from him. The Dredge Master was Buck Lightfoot. This dredge is still in place and largely intact. It has a steel hull, and we refer to it informally as the "Iron Dredge". Pix to follow.

Multi-faceted Newsman Lawrence Hauck

The Hauck name was mentioned in the Kroger family blog posted earlier. Lawrence was born December 22, 1867 in Schweinfurt, Germany to John and Lena Hauck. He immigrated to America at the age of sixteen. Dora Kroger Hauck's obituary states that she met Lawrence the year he came to America, at the Golden Spike Ceremony at Gold Creek, in 1883. The young man worked on ranches around Deer Lodge and attended Montana College during the school year. He moved to Philipsburg in 1889 and worked at the Shodair Green Grocery for a year, then moved to Virginia City to work for S.R. Buford and Company. Returning to Philipsburg after three years, Lawrence became employed with Freyschlag, Huffman and Company. Two years later after that company had financial difficulties, Lawrence began work in a clerical position at First National Bank.

While still with Freyschlag, Huffman and Company, Lawrence wed Dora Kroger on August 24, 1893. The February 1, 1901 Philipsburg Mail stated "A daughter was born Tuesday morning at 11:30 am to the wife of Postmaster (Lawrence) Hauck. The mother and child are getting along nicely." This was the families second child and named Catherine. I did not find the birth announcement for their first born Herman, in 1894. Elsie was born on August 13, 1902, and then the birth of Dora (1905) and John (1910) followed.

Some time prior to 1898 "The Missoulian, after a struggle of eight months, sells to the Fruit Grower Publishing Company. An important deal in Missoula newspaperdom, which has been going on for some time, was closed this forenoon whereby the Fruit Grower Publishing Company became the sole owner of the Missoulian, heretofore operated by Bryan Bros., Wilcox, and Hauck and later by Bryan, Wilcox and Hauck. This newsclipping was found by Jean Hauck Fullerton attached to her grandmother Dora's obituary and has no date on it (2007). The article also stated that previously published as a weekly the paper would now be published as a morning republican newspaper. Sometime around June of 1898 Lawrence purchased an interest in the Philipsburg Mail, and the letterhead became Owners: Bryan Bros. & Hauck. Then in 1902 Hauck became the sole owner.

Also in 1898 Lawrence became the Treasurer of the City of Philipsburg and was sworn in as an officer of the Hope Chapter 10. Then on May 4, 1900 as chairman of the Silver Republican County Central Committee, Lawrence posted the following notice:
To the Silver Republicans of Granite County-It having come to the knowledge of The Silver Republican County Central Committee that attempts will be made by certain Democratic politicians to issue calls and make public announcements purporting to be authorized by the Silver Republican Committee, all Silver Republicans of Granite County are hereby advised to pay no attention whatever to any such announcements that are published in the Citizens Call,  the Democratic organ of this county. By order of the Silver Republican County Central Committee, Lawrence Hauck, Chairman.

While involved in many community positions, Lawrence was appointed Postmaster of Philipsburg in 1899 and served for eighteen consecutive years.  A. H. Neal was recommended to President Harding to fill the vacant position, according to the Associated Press, in Anaconda, on November 4, 1921. According to family documents, Lawrence resigned the position due to increased responsibility from his other businesses.

Hauck was quick to file a law suit when the County Commissioners in early 1907, decided that outgoing commissioners could not sign contracts that carried over into a new term of office and voted to send their printing elsewhere. Immediately Hauck has a restraining order placed on the Commissioners and according to the March Court documents Judge Winston handed down a written opinion and the Commissioners were given five days to answer. There were no more comments written in the Mail, and the county records show payment over the years continued to be made to Hauck for the printing of County documents, so obviously the Commissioners resumed his contract.

Always a staunch republican and never afraid to state his opinion the newspaper is filled with articles and editorials written by Lawrence that relate to the local concerns and issues that surrounded the citizens of Granite County. One example is the following on October 30, 1908:
Proves quite a boomerang...Mr. D.H. Morgan's long promised circular made its appearance Wednesday. The lateness of the date renders it impossible to show up in detail the matter at issue and get it before the people by election, so the best the republican committee, can do is publish a reply which necessarily must be brief. The statement is made that no one has been found willing to "father" the circular issued by the Republican Committee October 7. Mr. Morgan's and Mr. Duffy's search in that particular can not have been very thorough; none of the republican committee has left Granite County. They are all here and prepared to back up every assertion; it is all a matter of public record at the court house and Mr. Morgan's circular does not deny it. The fact remains that contracts were let contrary to law and behind closed doors. 

There was also an article by Mr. Morgan questioning the duties of Hauck as Postmaster, to which Hauck assured him that the records are all there if Morgan wants the Postal Inspectors to investigate.

Lawrence died February 18, 1923 and the Mail published only a black box with scripted name, birth and death dates inside and underneath a column detailing the scriptures read and songs sang at the funeral. Fortunately the family documents contained a typed obituary with the following information: " His constitution, weakened by severe attacks of stomach trouble, was further impaired by the labors and responsibilities in carrying on his duties as President of the First State Bank during the recent depression in this community."

The above document also stated that Lawrence served on the Republican Committee for twelve years; was a member of the Masons and Eastern Star; the Sons of Herman and the Knights of Pythias plus President of McLees Jewelry and a partner in the Philipsburg Hardware.

After Dora and Lawrence married they built a stately brick home on the south end of Broadway. The property was purchased from the Philipsburg Real Estate and Water Company, owned by Dora's brother Walter Kroger in 1917. The family lived there throughout their marriage. Then the property was sold to Robert Metcalf from 1930 to 1940, L.B. Manning from 1940 to 1957; Roy McLeod 1957 to 1961; and then three different County Attorney's, the last being Allen Bradshaw (according to 2007 Philipsburg Territory).  After the home was sold, Dora lived with her son John in Butte until she was hospitalized. At the age of  eighty-five, after a long illness, she died in St. James Hospital (Butte) in March 1957.  Her children Elsie (1902-1928) and Herman (1894-1956) preceded her in death. Son Herman as stated in the Newspaper Blog took over the Philipsburg Mail. Daughter Catherine was married to John Taylor and lived in Missoula; Dora M. lived in Vancouver, Washington; son John lived in Butte.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Captain James H. Mills


In Memoriam
Deer Lodge, September 5, (1904)--Honorable James Hamilton Mills died at six o'clock Monday morning, at the age of sixty-seven years...The Funeral will take place from the Presbyterian Church, Tuesday afternoon September 6, at 3:30 o'clock. The Republican County Convention which meets here at noon on Tuesday, will adjourn and attend the service in a body. Lifelong friends from over the entire state are arriving this evening to attend the funeral.
Captain Mills was born in New Lisbon, Ohio December 21, 1837. Seven generations preceding him have lived in America. James received his education in Ohio and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and then worked in mercantile and mechanical pursuits until the Civil War. He enlisted on April 27, 1861 at the age of 24 years in Company G, the eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves (Fortieth Pennsylvania Infantry) as a private soldier.
With his regiment he participated in twenty seven general engagements of the Army of the Potomac, and for "gallant conduct on the field" he was promoted to corporal, first sergeant, first lieutenant and captain and for "heroic conduct in the Battle of the Wilderness and Bethesda Church" he was commissioned brevet-major and brevet-lieutenant colonel. He was mustered out of service at Pittsburg on June 13, 1864.
For a time after his service James engaged in a leather business at Pittsburg and then came west in the spring of 1866. He began mining in Yellowstone where he belonged to a group that opened a hydraulic claim at Emigrant Gulch.  After the group gave all of their money to a packer to obtain provisions in Bozeman, and he  swindled them out of their wealth, they had to give up the claim. When James arrived in Virginia City he possessed ten cents in postal currency. He was able to immediately obtain an accounting job and when an article he published in an eastern journal came to the attention of D.W. Tilton, James was hired as editor of the Montana Post. Thus he became the third editor of the Post (Professor Dimsdale and Judge Blake preceding him.) Staying in this position until July 1869, the Captain then founded the New Northwest at Deer Lodge, which he was editor and publisher for, until November 1891. James was the first President of the Montana Press Association. He married Miss Ella M. Hammond in 1875 and to this union was born three children: Mary E., Nellie G. and James H. Jr.

Captain Mills was a lifelong Republican who attended the constitutional convention of Montana in 1884 and was appointed by President Hayes as Secretary  of the Territory. He served one term and declined reappointment. In 1889 James was nominated by the convention to formulate a state constitution but declined, to accept the appointment of collector of internal revenue for the district that included Montana, Idaho and Utah.  In this office James served until February 28, 1893 at which time he was appointed commissioner of the state bureau of agriculture, labor and industry. That position he filled until January 1897. In 1895, James had accepted an appointment as receiver of the Northern Pacific Railroad and in 1897 was appointed receiver for The Helena Consolidated Water Company. There James served until February 1 1901. At that time the Captain became Clerk and Recorder for the newly formed Powell County.

Fraternal Organizations  the Captain was a member of included The Loyal Legion, Grand Army of the Republic (Past Senior Vice-commander), United Workmen (Past Grand Master Workman), and Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Montana (Past Grand Master) (excerpt from The Butte Miner Tuesday September 6, 1904).

From the Philipsburg Mail: ...No man could be truer to the higher purposes of statehood than Capt. Mills, in whose heart lay the most loyal sentiments of the commonwealth. He was a tireless worker for the public good, a man of great abilities properly directed to the better ends of life, and he never forgot the exactions of duty in carrying out the responsibilities of public trust...
The above information was published in the Montana Historical Society Contributions Volume V, 1904, pages 264-272.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Newpapers and Politicians

Fortunately research and this blog does not have to rely on oral history. Early newspapers in the Territory and State of Montana have provided invaluable resources for the later generations to learn and understand the history. But one must remember that the newspapers were owned and operated by politicians, political parties, labor unions, social organizations and those with self interests from the earliest days.

The first newspaper in Deer Lodge county was the Weekly Independent whose first publication was on October 12, 1867. Originally owned by Frank Kenyon, the paper was bought out by Hugh McQuaid, A.L. Smith, __Kerley and __Hathaway in 1868. McQuaid had been a printer in Virginia City at the Montana Post since 1864.( MHS Contributions Vol.V, 1904)

The New Northwest began publication in Deer Lodge on July 9, 1869, under the helm of James H. Mills. It was a weekly publication until 1870 when it was published daily during the summer of 1870 and 1871. Publications were weekly during the winter due to weather conditions causing poor mail delivery. Daily publications ceased after the summer of 1871.

Being in competition with the Independent was not working out. Fortunately when the Independent's sister paper The Gazette, burned down in Helena,  the Independent moved to Helena. At that time L.F. LaCroix purchased the interests of Smith and Hathaway (March 22, 1874.) This move left The New Northwest the only Deer Lodge area publication. Records indicate that H.C. Kessler had an interest in the paper in 1873 and in 1879 John S. Mills had one-half interest. Otherwise Captain Mills was the sole conductor from the papers inception. In 1885 the paper employed five men and served 1,600 people with the company valued at $8,000. There are papers from the New Northwest on microfilm at the Montana Historical Society through April 30, 1897.

The Philipsburg Mail was a Republican newspaper and began publication on January 28, 1887, under the ownership of Lombard and McCoy. Lombard then sold out to Mark Bryan at an unknown date, with Bryan operating as manager and McCoy as editor. Next, McCoy was bought out by Thomas Congdon and the name changed to Bryan Brothers and Congdon. Between the August 31 and September 6, 1894 edition the name changed to "The Mail Publishing Company." During 1897 The Mail carried the comment that M. H. Bryan was Editor and Manager. The next ownership change was June 1898 when the company name was "The Firm of Bryan Brothers and Hauck." Lawrence Hauck (Husband of Dora Kroger Hauck) had purchased an interest in the paper. In 1902 the Mail  became the sole property of Hauck and remained under his ownership until his death in 1923. His son Herman Hauck was the business manager of the paper at the time of Lawrence's death and took over the newspaper.

According to family history (Lornie Hauck and Jean Hauck Fullerton), Herman was unable to make payroll in 1930 and Roy Neitz, working for the paper in the Drummond office assured Herman that was alright. Later the issue was taken to court and the end result was Roy Neitz was awarded ownership of The Philipsburg Mail. Listed ownership was under Herman through the July 12, 1929 issue, then that section of the paper was blank until January 9, 1931, when the original letterhead reappeared with the line Roy A. Neitz publisher. Research of all the papers during this time period failed to reveal any news articles about this issue or announcement of the change of ownership. Lornie Hauck stated to me (2008), that it was devastating for his father Herman, who had to pack his lunch box and head off to work at the same mine that had recently claimed the life of his relative Wilford Kroger.

Roy Neitz continued publishing the paper until his death in 1953. His wife and son Dean then took over the paper. When Dean married Trilby Horrigan in 1955 they then took over the paper and operated it until 1992 when they sold to Patricia Broman Kane. Kane sold it a year later to Jim and Lee Tracy. They operated it for six years and sold to Brian Eder in 1999. Eder sold to the current owners "Philipsburg Mail Inc. in 2004. The owner is Ann M. Mullen (Philipsburg Mail, January 4 2007).

The Citizen Call was the Democratic newspaper of the late 1880's and was owned and operated by Lon   and Abe Hoss. The first issue was published  prior to 1893. The name was legally changed to The Philipsburg Call in 1901 and continued publication through 1905. The paper had been referred to by the local population as The Philipsburg Call as early as 1897. The last news article found about the Hoss family was  when Lon Hoss became ill and resigned his position as personal secretary to the Governor on February 2, 1906. He had served in that position for five years.

Another community paper was The Granite Mountain Star which began publication on June 22, 1889 and suspended publication during the 1893 silver crash. They notified subscribers that The Philipsburg Mail would be sent to them during the suspension. The Star was owned by W.J. Swartz who was also a barber in Granite. The last publication was in 1894. In the Montana Historical Research Library there are only a couple  of months on microfilm but the records indicate that the original papers are in the University of Montana Library.  W. J. Swartz also served as Postmaster of Granite and resigned on May 14, 1897.

A number of newspapers had short and sporadic lives. The Rock Creek Record and Quigley Times were published during the period the town of Quigley was populated in 1896. The Quigley Times was owned by T.C. Congdon and the first issue was published May 17, 1896. The Rock Creek Record  was the official paper of the AF of L and first published on Saturday May 16, 1896. (see "Mettle of Granite County" Book Three pages 127-140 for many quotes from these two papers). The Gregorian was published from 1905-1907, by that religious organization. The Philipsburg Press during the years 1913 and 1914.; The Drummond Call during 1905 and 1906; The Granite County News from 1912 through 1916 and the Drummond News in 1918.  I also found an article in April 1916 stating that the News in Drummond was being bought by  Charles Anderson who had learned the trade at the Mail. The research Library does not have any record of that paper, but articles state that Roy Neitz was the manager of the Drummond News in 1921. The Hauck family believe this was an extension of the Philipsburg Mail.

(This article was adapted from pages 27-29 "Mettle of Granite County" Book One)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pioneer Brewers: The Kroger's

Charles Kroger was born in Holstein, Germany on November 5, 1832. He began work as a brakeman at the age of 16 on the Keil Railroad. In 1862, he emigrated to the United States, then walked across the Isthmus of Panama to  California where he worked in the salt ponds for two years. Charley then moved to Boise Basin in Idaho and worked as a miner. In 1865 he moved to Baker City, Oregon, then Portland, Big Bend, British Columbia, Walla Walla and finally Montana. In the Federal Census of 1870 Charles Kroger is in Beartown, Montana Territory with $2,000 in assets and working in the occupation of Brewer. He was living in the same household as Henry Wolf also a brewer and William Wolf a bookmaker.

On November 17, 1870 Charles married Anna Rusch. Anna and her sister Dora had traveled from their home in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany to visit with their uncle, a US Senator in Iowa, in 1869 and then traveled to Deer Lodge to visit friends, where she met Charles.

After their marriage Charles and Anna lived in Beartown and then in 1874 traveled to Germany to visit family. They returned to live in Beartown until:
Charley Kroger of Beartown, bought a lot of ground from Major Graham in the Waterbury addition to Philipsburg, last week and built a brewery in the eastern end of the Broadway Gulch. (New Northwest, August 17, 1875)
 The 1880 Federal Census shows the Kroger family living in Philipsburg with Charles age 48, Anna age 35, Dora age 9, Walter age 7, Henry age 5 and Fred age 1. The Brewery by this time had become a permanent fixture in the city of Philipsburg and sold its product under the name "Silver Spray".  The family was very active in the social life of Philipsburg.  Charles was a member of the Flint Creek Lodge  of the Masons from its inception in 1878 and held the office of Treasurer. The family was deeply involved in the building (1880) and maintenance of the Episcopal Church (Jean Hauck Fullerton). He was also a member of Pearl Chapter No. 14, Order of Eastern Star; Cable Lodge No. 9 I.O.O.F. where he was elected treasurer January 1897 and Golden Encampment  No. 2, I.O.O.F who stated:
During his residence here, by strict economy and untiring industry, he built up the extensive brewing business which bears his name.
During October 1895 brewery competition appeared to be coming to town when it was announced by the Centennial Brewery of Butte that they were going to open:
a branch house here occupying the building just completed by George A. Cartier and will be in opposition to the water company by selling beer for five cents. Mr. Eck of this place will take charge of the business.
In the next issue of  The Philipsburg Mail, George Cartier vehemently responded, stating that in no way was his building going to house a brewery. To demonstrate how well the brewery was doing, in 1896 taxes for Charles Kroger were $139.18. Then as a comparison taxes for the Charles Kroger estate in 1904 were $229.238, according to the December 30, 1904 Philipsburg Mail.

One of the bright spots in the depressed year of 1893 was the announcement of the pending marriage of Dora Kroger to Lawrence Hauck. Lawrence was the well known bookkeeper for the Freyschlag-Huffman store. The wedding occurred on August 24 at the Kroger residence. The newspaper described the wedding in minute detail including every gift presented to the newlyweds. No honeymoon was planned due to the difficulties being experienced by Lawrence's employer. The Sheriff placed the store in receivership during the first week in October.

 Charles became ill with asthmatic problems and after five weeks of poor health he died on July 28, 1898. Anna and three of his children were at the bedside when he died.  Fred arrived from his job at Gregson (Fairmont), before the funeral. On Sunday July 31 the full body of Mason's marched from the Mason Hall to the Odd Fellows. Then the two bodies marched to the Kroger residence where an impressive service was held. The Order of Eastern Star performed all of the songs. At the Philipsburg Cemetery the Odd Fellows conducted a service by George Suppinger and William Ripple. Next the Masonic Rites were administered by Acting Worshipful Master R. Getty, followed by songs sung by the Order of Eastern Star.

Frequent news articles were found about the family such as in January 1900 when the Kroger's delivery team ran away scattering empty beer kegs. The wagon ended up caught on a fire hydrant causing some sign damage, but no one was hurt. In 1905 Henry Kroger moved back to Philipsburg from Boulder after completing representation work for his brother Walter. In February 1910, the Kroger Brewery began harvesting their ice crop at Kroger's Pond, with a large number of teams hauling ice to town. The ice was 12 inches thick and very clear. (these squares of ice were placed in an ice house full of sawdust which kept them frozen through most of the summer and was used as refrigeration. )

An employee of the Kroger Brewery has a headstone in the Philipsburg Cemetery which reads:
Aged 50 years, 9 mo. 28 days,
 Blum George W.
Killed in a runaway
at Philipsburg, Montana
June 5, 1903
A native of Koenbringrn Boden, Germany
The story describing his death in the June 12, 1903 Philipsburg Mail follows:
George Blum and John Hopp of the Crystal Saloon were out driving a spirited horse. They stopped to call on friends at Tower and were returning down the steep grade when the horse ran away with the buggy, which resulted in the buggy overturning and the occupants being thrown out and over the side of the grade. Assistance arrived shortly after the accident and found both men unconscious. It was thought Mr. Hopp had the serious injuries due to a large cut on his head, bruises and a sprain of the ankle. But shortly after the men regained consciousness, it was realized that Mr. Blum was suffering from internal injuries and Dr. Power was called to the scene. Dr. Conyngham (a Dentist) was also in attendance before the evening wore on and all was done at the injured mans home that was possible. He continued to decline and was dead shortly after midnight.
George had a wife and family in Sandy, Utah but had not lived there for a number of years, although he provided support for them. The family when notified asked that he be buried in Philipsburg. He was buried by Lodge 12 of the Sons of Herman, with a large service and internment at the Philipsburg Cemetery. An insurance policy from the Lodge  of $500 was immediately sent to his family in Utah.

Anna lived in the home by the brewery until 1912. She then purchased a residence on Broadway and lived there until her death, February 25, 1928.  Born on November 23, 1844 she was almost eighty-four when she died. Anna was a charter member of O.E.S. Pearl Chapter No. 14 chartered in 1894 and was the oldest Past Matron at the time of her death.

Son Henry was credited to be the first baby born in Philipsburg on October 25, 1875. Henry married Ruth Smith in January 1899. Ruth was the daughter of the late Eugene Smith who died in 1890. She was raised by her step mother "Miss Kate" who is detailed in an earlier Blog. To Henry and Ruth was born: Walter, Charles, Eugenia, Marguerite and twins Dorothy and Wilford. Ruth died during the flu epidemic on December 12, 1918. Henry remarried in 1935. The wedding ceremony to Mrs. Jane Dunn was held on April 20th in Richmond, California with his daughter Eugenia and husband Frank Bird as attendants. Daughter Dorothy died in the Murray Hospital in Butte on October 26, 1926 and her twin Wilford died after a mine accident on January 14, 1937. Apparently after drilling a round of holes, Wilford was  picking loose rock to lay a plank  and  his pick struck a missed hole which exploded. After  basic treatment at Dr. Knight's Hospital he was transferred to Murray Hospital in Butte where he died later in the same day. Henry was a Forest Ranger from 1910 to 1917 and helped establish the fire lookout on Mt. Amerine (Emerine).  He served two terms as Granite County Treasurer. After leaving the Forest Service, Henry worked the graveyard shift at a local mine. On November 9, 1937 while at work he  became ill; left work early, visited his physician and went home. He died in his sleep about 3:30am at the age of sixty-two. 

Son Fred was in the first graduating class of Granite County High School in 1898. Fred built a golf course on the edge of Philipsburg probably where the city park is now located. Being an ingenious person he then built a siphon irrigation system to water the grass. The system started at the Kroher Pond and visible evidence is still apparent where the ditch was dug along the hillside above the Forest Service Station. (information from Lornie Hauck) Fred died on February 5, 1935 in California and is buried there.

Walter born in Beartown on July 11, 1873 graduated from The College of Deer Lodge, the first institution of higher learning in Montana. He was also listed as one of the Philipsburg men who volunteered to serve in the Spanish American War. He was active in creating a reading room in Philipsburg and served as a delegate at the Woodsmen of the World convention. He was a Republican member of the Montana Legislature in 1906-1908. He was one of the founders of the First State Bank of Philipsburg and served as cashier and President for two different periods. In 1928 Walter moved to Olympia, Washington and was involved in the Security Bank and Trust. After his wife Sarah (Tracy) died, he moved to Ponoma, California to be close to Fred. He died eight days after Fred and his ashes were interred beside his wife in Oakwood Cemetery at Sturgis, Michigan.

The Kroger Brewery was operated by the family until August 1, 1912 when it was sold to Joseph Eichert a current employee and John Knoch of Bozeman. Eichert would be in charge of the "Silver Spray" while Knoch operated other businesses in Bozeman, Dillon and Idaho, according to the August 4, 1912 Philipsburg Mail.

When the prohibition law went into effect it impacted the brewery business. The following article was found in the December 6, 1918 Philipsburg Mail:
Complying with the order made by President Wilson that all breweries in the United States discontinue the use of barley for making Malt Liquors after December 1 (1918), the local brewery practically closed its doors at Midnight Saturday so far as the manufacturing of the famous Silver Spray is concerned...
The final toll of the liquor business was described thusly, by the January 3, 1919 Philipsburg Mail:
Funeral Well Attended--In spite of extremely cold weather the demise and burial services Monday night of the well known old-timer, John Barleycorn, was well attended by a large gathering of sorrowing and despairing friends. The end came without a struggle, although it could not be said to be peaceful for the air was rent at times with shouts of unrestrained joy. Whether the yells were joyful because of the death of their bosom friend or otherwise can best be determined by the individual. By the narrowest of margins a tragic ending for one or more of the celebrants was averted about nine o'clock in the evening when a drunken discharged bartender pulled a gun on another bartender who attempted to quiet the inebriate in one of his wild gyrations. As luck would have it the hand that held the gun was grabbed and held in the air until the gun could be taken away, but not before one shot was fired through the ceiling and into the office rooms of the Beaver Creek Mining Company, missing one of the occupants by only six inches....
This Blog would appreciate any added history or pictures of the Kroger family to add to this article.
The article was adapted from Book One "Mettle of Granite County" authored by Loraine Bentz Baker Domine in 2008.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mining Law in 1865

In the earliest days of mining in Montana, from 1862 to 1864, each district had its own rules for the staking of mining claims. Generally these rules were focused on placer claims, and allowed claimants 200 feet long along a gulch, extending completely across the channel. In late 1864, the territorial legislature passed a new law governing mining claims, mostly copied from statutes then in force in California. This law - quoted below - governed the staking of the Cordova and other lodes in the Philipsburg area. The rules created a "lawyer's paradise", generating numerous tangled lawsuits relating to such issues as whether the Hope claim was on a vein that was a "spur" of the Comanche

In 1867, J Ross Browne reported to Congress on the Mines and Minerals West of the Rocky Mountains. By this time, a new Federal statute governed mining claims, which was hardly an improvement over the territorial law. Browne gave a colorful description of the interaction of geology and law in the Comstock district in a Harper's magazine article titled "Washoe Revisited". The Congressional Report the following year contained extensive critiques of the 1866 Federal mining law by W.S.Keyes and Rossiter Raymond. Keyes reported on the operation of the law in Montana, which he regarded as dysfunctional. Raymond's report is a treatise on the history of mining from ancient times to the present and the laws governing mining through time and in various jurisdictions. He is critical of the current mining law but not so scathing as Keyes.

My thanks to John Koerth for pointing out the problems generated by the use of the phrase "dips, spurs and angles" in early mining law. The federal Mining Law of 1872 improved matters somewhat by making claims wider and getting rid of the terms "spurs" and "angles". Most litigation after the 1872 act had to do with miners following a vein on the "dip". If a vein outcropped or apexed on a claim, the claimant could follow the vein down the dip outside the boundaries of the claim. Because of the way veins may complexly branch (much like a braid), it was often difficult if not impossible to determine which branch of the "braid" controlled an ore body. Faulting added additional complications, both geological and legal.

AN ACT relating to the discovery of gold and silver quartz leads, lodes, or ledges, and of the manner of their location. (Approved December 20, 1864.) 

Be it enacted by the legislative assembly of the Territory of Montana, That any person who may hereafter discover any quartz lead, lode, or ledge, shall be entitled to one claim thereon by right of discovery, and one claim each by pre-emption. 

SEC. 2. That in. order to entitle any person or persons to record in the county recorder s office of the proper county, any lead, lode, or ledge, either of gold or silver, or claim thereon, there shall first be discovered on said lead, lode, or ledge a vein or crevice of quartz or ore, with at least one well-defined wall. 

SEC. 3. Claims on any lead, lode, or ledge, either of gold or silver, hereafter discovered, shall consist of not more than 200 feet along the lead, lode, or ledge, together with all dips, spurs, and angles emanating or diverging from said lead, lode, or ledge, as also 50 feet on each side of said lead, lode, or ledge, for working purposes : Provided, That when two or more leads, lodes, or ledges shall be discovered within 100 feet of each other, either running parallel or crossing each other, the ground between such leads, lodes, or ledges shall belong equally to the claimants of said leads, lodes, or ledges, without regard to priority of discovery or pre-emption. 

SEC. 4. When any leads, lodes, or ledges shall cross each other, the quartz, ore, or mineral in the crevice or vein at the place of crossing shall belong to and be the property of the claimants upon the lead, lode, or ledge first discovered. 

SEC. 5. That before any record shall be made, under the provisions of this act, there shall be placed at each extremity of the discovered claim a good and substantial stake, not less than five inches in diameter, said stake to be firmly planted or sunken in the ground, extending two feet above the ground ; that upon each stake there shall be placed, in legible characters, the name of the lead, lode, or ledge, and that of the discoverer or discoverers, the date of discovery, and the name of each pre-emptor or claimant, and the direction or bearing, - as near as may be, of his or her claim ; said stake and the inscription thereon to be replaced at least once in twelve months by the claimants on said leads, lodes, or ledges, if torn down or otherwise destroyed. 

SEC. 6. Notice of the discovery or pre-emption upon any lead, lode, or ledge shall be filed for record in the county recorder s office, of the county in which the same may be situated, within fifteen days of the date of the discovery or pre-emption ; and there shall at the same time be an oath taken before the recorder that the claimant or claimants are each and all of them bona fide residents of the Territory of Montana ; and there shall be deposited in the recorder s office, either by the discoverer or some pre-emptor, a specimen of the quartz, ore, or mineral extracted or taken from said" lead, lode, or ledge, which said specimen shall be properly labelled by the recorder and preserved in his office. 

SEC. 7. That any person or persons who shall take up or destroy, or cause the same to be done, any of the said stakes, or who shall in anywise purposely deface or obliterate any part or portion of the writing or inscription placed thereon, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof- before any court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than 1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

SEC. 8. "That the amount of ground which may be taken up upon any lead, lode, or ledge, in addition to the discovery claim, shall be limited to 1,000 feet along said lead, lode, or ledge in each direction from the discovery claim thereon. 

SEC. 9. All lead, lode, or ledge claims, taken up and recorded in pursuance with the provisions of this act, shall entitle the person recording to hold the same to the use of himself, his heirs and assigns ; and conveyances of quartz claims shall hereafter require the same formalities and shall be subject to the same rules of construction as the transfer and conveyance of real estate. 

SEC. 10. That if at any time previous to the passage of this net, claims have been taken up and recorded in the recorder s office of the proper county, upon any actual or proper lead, lode, or ledge of quartz, ore. or mineral, the owners or proper claimants o f said respective claim shall hold the same to the use of themselves, their heirs and assigns. 

SEC. 11. That the act relating to the discovery of gold and silver quartz lodes and the manner of their location, passed by the Idaho legislature and approved February 4, 1864, and all other acts, or parts of acts, inconsistent with this act, be, and the same are hereby, repealed. 

SEC. 12. This act shall take effect from and after this date. 

Again, by an act approved January 17, 1865, it was enacted that quartz mining claims 
and water rights " shall become part and parcel of the county records, and shall be evidence 
in any court or courts of competent jurisdiction ;" thus placing the titles to quartz claims on 
the same footing and making their transfer subject to the same formalities as those to real 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ledgers of Fred Burr and other Cattle traders

Thanks to Blog follower, Sheri Wysong we have been privileged to view many Utah Archives concerning Fred Burr and other early Pioneers. Sheri copied pages from the Camp Floyd account books showing Burr and other Montana pioneer account ledgers. Thanks muchly to Sheri.

Camp Floyd was established on November 9,  1858 as a military base and commanded by Albert S. Johnston. The fort was the first established in Utah Territory. The location was south of present day Salt Lake City off of the current I-15 freeway. The fort provided protection for the Emigrant Trails and Pony Express during their times of service. They also provided much needed supplies and financial accounting for the wagon trains and men trading with the migrating population. Multiple people such as Fred Burr and Tom Adams bought worn out oxen and cattle from the travelers, took them to the Deer Lodge and Flint Creek Valley for the winter and returned to trade the revived bovine to the new trains traveling through the next spring.

As evidenced by the account ledger there were very large accounts for Fred Burr's half-brother young David Burr and his business partners, Hockaday and Mogo. Mogo and Burr had accounts carrying balances for as much as $3,356.62, that was paid off in August 1860. Burr and Hockaday carried a balance as high as $4, 667.78 that was paid off in November 1859.

Fred Burr and John Powell had an account  in October 1858 (before the Camp was designated as a Fort). John Powell was an early resident of the Deer Lodge area and is the namesake of Mount Powell and Powell County. Their ledger lists items such as 2 dozen oysters, calico cloth, pepper, rice and gloves plus cash and vouchers in the amount of  $263.92   In April of 1859 the full amount then totaling $400 was paid off. At that date another $175.50 worth of supplies was also bought and paid for in cash. Obviously the men had traded fattened cattle for cash from the wagon train travelers.
There is one ledger page for just Fred Burr with a balance of $95.75 on November of 1859. All though no other ledger page was copied, I doubt that Burr left any balance unpaid. A page with just Powell listed has an account of $284.64  charged from November 1859 through March of 1860 and was paid off in full on March 20, 1860. A ledger page for Thomas Adams consisting of items such as 5 spools of thread (.50), 12 yards of calico ($3.60), 1 plug of tobacco (.75), $50.00 cash,  totaling $338.30 charged during January, February and June of  1859. This account was paid in full by Adams and Hereford on another ledger with both names and an account totaling $2,957.03 by July of 1860. 
 Hugh O'Neil had an account ledger with items consisting of a hair brush $2.50, 100 pounds of flour $13.00, 1 dozen tin bowls $4.50 charged during June through October 1858 and February 1859. Family history and the Virginia City accounts always referred to Hugh as Major. This ledger establishes that he found Johnston whom he was looking for when O'Neil originally arrived in the Hell Gate area in November 1857 and was a teamster for the military when he met his future bride in 1858. Hugh O'Neil ran against Fred Burr for Sheriff of Deer Lodge County in 1865 and lost by 47 votes. Hugh is the Great-Great-Great Grandfather of my children and will be discussed on a later blog post. His life is covered also in "Mettle of Granite County Book One" pages 72-88.
Obviously the cattle trade along the wagon train trails was a profitable business for many pioneers and the Fort provided the traders supplies and cash advances that would otherwise not been available to the early pioneers of the land later known as Montana Territory.