Sunday, September 20, 2020

Paddy Ward and the Senate Mine

Published in “Gold on a Shoestring” is a poem by Rev. John G. Hay (1979) 

                                                           THE MINER 
The Senate was God’s copper rainbow 
That prospectors left behind 
High in the mountains, it exacted a toll, 
A will to believe in the sign. 
Paddy Ward said “yes” to fifty years
Of snow, cave-ins and water, 
Drilling, mucking, cursing, freezing, 
Matching the strength of the mine. 
Veins vanished-but, like old friends, 
Who leave without a good-bye, 
They reappeared unceremoniously ¬ 
Renewing the hopes that bind. 
Late, but not too late, 
The Company arrived ¬ 
 Piercing veins with diamond bits, 
 Marking every slender core; exposing 
 A giant of low grade ore. 
 And Paddy, the clown of the mountain ¬ 
 Weathered, old and worn, retired to a place 
 In the valley -not rich, but strangely warm. 
 Paddy died on Independence Day in 1979; 
 His ashes were spread where he labored ¬ 
 Near the tunnel that followed the sign 
 In the hope, that years and years from now, 
 When the copper is scarce and the price is high, 
 Something of Paddy will be waiting there… 
 Mixed with the earth when the blasting begins 
 To reopen the old Senate Mine. 

 Paddy Ward was another visitor at my grandparent's ranch during haying season and when the need to replenish his staples in the winter was crucial. His attire was in sharp contrast to Price Townsend. During the winter I doubt that he could sneak up on anyone as he had a very distinct odor that encircled his being and as a small child I made comments that were shushed by my grandmother and mother. I remember a tiny person but what sparkling blue eyes he had. He had a dream that the Senate mine had value and that someday it would pay off. How much money he put into it is anyone’s guess. 

The 1934 patent has the names Martin (Moose Lake) Johnson, Patrick E. Ward, Elizabeth Rood, and Cathie Leary as the owners. Although Paddy lived at Moose Lake, the Senate mine is located in the Pintler foothills about ten miles south of the lake. Prior to patenting the Senate Mine, Paddy had worked with his uncle at the Senate group of claims. His uncle John Ward’s obituary on May 22, 1914 stated he was: “a pioneer miner and prospector of the state, 46 years old [and]died at …his cabin at the Senate group of claims about 5 miles from Moose Lake. For 20 days he and his nephew Patrick Ward, had been snowed in and during most of this time Ward had been sick. The snow in the mountains was too deep for the nephew to get out and summon a doctor. The nearest people were at Moose Lake. Ward’s condition became serious Friday morning and Patrick left him alone, to try and get a doctor. Saturday, Ward was removed by ox team to Moose Lake, and Sunday morning medical assistance arrived from Philipsburg, but it was too late. The miner died in the afternoon.” The body was taken to Anaconda to be shipped to his old home in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. Wards Peak near DeBorgia, [Montana] was named for John F. Ward who discovered and owns a number of mining claims there. For 25 years Ward had been a miner in Idaho and Montana… "

During WWI Paddy fought in France, under General George Mac Arthur and returned to Montana on April 4, 1919. But I found no reference of Paddy being enlisted or drafted from Granite county so he must have enlisted from another location. After the War he went to work in the copper mines in Butte and found himself a wife named Minnie. The story goes that his health was too poor to work underground so he and Minnie moved to a small cabin on the Middle Fork of Rock Creek and he began prospecting. Records reveal that Paddy and Minnie filed the first mining claim and named it “Boots” in 1932.  

Then in the summer of 1933 Minnie sold her sewing machine to Pauline Carpp for $5 and her rocker for $1 and was gone. Pauline remembered her as a very nice woman. The story continued on to say that he had become a hard drinker then was in a car accident and supposedly got his ear bitten off in a fight before he quit drinking liquor. He never lost his thirst though and always stopped at Porter’s Corner when he went to town for an “Orange Crush.” The Orange Crush I know to be true, as he was the person that introduced me to my first taste during haying season at Granny’s. Oh, such a biting sharp flavor it had and to be given an entire bottle for my own, was just grand. 

When Emil Jarvi died in 1942 Paddy became caretaker at Moose Lake and from then on lived in a cabin on the Dunn-Musselman land along the eastside road. The Forest Service bought the Musselman property where Paddy’s cabin was located in 1966. They promised Paddy that he could live in his cabin until he died then they burned all of the other cabins. He soon became confused and forgetful and after some stays in Granite County Memorial Hospital and Fort Harrison, Paddy was placed in a Nursing Home in Deer Lodge, Montana at the age of eighty-five. Paddy died there a few days after his ninety-first birthday and his ashes were scattered on each lot around Moose Lake and at the Senate Mine according to Elizabeth Hauck in “Gold on a Shoestring.”

The Early History of Moose Lake

Much was written in the early newspapers about the Moose Lake district. The Mail on February 5, 1897 stated: “The Moose Lake sector of Granite County is destined to attract considerable attention during the coming season owing to the rich discoveries made in gold bearing quartz, which have been made in the past few months….and during the winter months a number of men have been proving up their claims…Messrs. Casper, Kramer and Company, of Anaconda, who own some of the valuable quartz claims in the district are sacking ore for shipment which is said to run $300 on average in gold per ton… The owners contemplate shipping their ore to Anaconda as soon as the roads are in sufficiently good condition for travel.” 

On March 4. 1897, the headlines are: “IT PUZZLED THEM”. Followed by this account: “…To build a six stamp quartz mill, putting everything into position for operation, tear it all down and haul it out of the camp, all inside of eight or ten weeks, is a feat that razzle-dazzles the modest population of Moose Lake mining district, says the Standard. That is part of the Lake’s history of very recent date. During the winter Hicks, Highland & Troy agreed to build a mill at the Lake and treat ores from then Cadle, Dunn and adjacent lodes. The mill, a six stamp affair, was erected and only a few weeks ago it was announced that all was in readiness for the start. A few tons of Hopkin’s samples were run through it, but the result of the test is unknown. However, none of the ore for which the mill was built to treat was tested in the mill. Mr. Hicks, the reputed backer of the enterprise, has been for some time and is still in the east. On last Saturday the whole outfit was loaded on several six-horse wagons and taken out of the camp…the destination of the machinery is not known by men who have just arrived from the lake. The mill referred to arrived in Philipsburg last Tuesday and is now in the possession of the Wilson Mercantile Company who attached it for a debt and at once took possession of the property. In June of 1897 the miners in the Moose Lake camp held a meeting and decided to ask Anaconda to help them build a road to the lake from Anaconda. At the present time they were traveling forty miles across a private ranch that forced them to open and close eleven different pairs of bars (gates). The rancher was not very happy about them using his property for a road either according to Harry Conn of Meadow Creek near Moose Lake.” (excerpted by the Mail from the Anaconda Reporter June 18, 1897.) 

The article continued stating the miners would ask Deer Lodge county commissioners to help them build it but that six miles of the road needed to be built is in Granite County. Over forty miners agreed to contribute money and believed it would cost them about $300 to $400 in cash. The Philipsburg people recognized that Moose Lake is rapidly coming to the front and with considerable enterprise made a proposition to the miners to build them a good road to that town free of charge provided the miners will agree to trade in that city. “The miners however, many of whom are old residents of this city [Anaconda] would prefer coming here if it can be arranged.” At that time it was forty miles from Moose Lake to Anaconda by the route they were taking or fifty miles if they used the highway to Philipsburg.” 

On December, 24, 1897, Messrs. George W. Smith and M.F. Kent, produced five samples of ore from their claim The Look-out, about ten miles west of Moose Lake. When assayed by W. Kroger they showed: No. 1: silver 142.6 ounces, gold $44; No.2: silver 65 ounces, gold $56.80; No.3: silver 38 ounces, gold $24.80; No.4: silver 290.3 ounces, gold $42.40; No.5: silver 3203 ounces, gold $52.40; with the explanation that numbers 1,4, and 5 were taken from the ore pile and numbers 2 and 3 from the waste dump. During the fall the Anaconda Company sought to bond the property for $150,000 and the deal was about consummated “...but when they got to Anaconda with the intention of signing the bond…they found the terms so rigid and one sided that they refused to sign it and the deal was declared off…in addition to the samples noted above Mr. Smith showed us one that was literally covered with silver and gold. He put it in a stove and large blisters of the precious metals bubbled out all over it.” 

Much was written in the early newspapers about the Moose Lake district. The Mail on February 5, 1897 stated: “The Moose Lake sector of Granite County is destined to attract considerable attention during the coming season owing to the rich discoveries made in gold bearing quartz, which have been made in the past few months….and during the winter months a number of men have been proving up their claims…Messrs. Casper, Kramer and Company, of Anaconda, who own some of the valuable quartz claims in the district are sacking ore for shipment which is said to run $300 on average in gold per ton… The owners contemplate shipping their ore to Anaconda as soon as the roads are in sufficiently good condition for travel.” 

In the Mail on May 6, 1898 was a column dedicated to Moose Lake and signed with the name “Senority” that stated: “Charles Hardtla who has been amalgamator in the new mill, has gone to Anaconda; Harry Coleman, the Philipsburg engineer, is running the engine in the new mill…; Will Calhoun was to the Lake this week, collecting bills for his father; Thomas McGraw has gone to Anaconda to purchase some grub for the summer; Quincy Murley has gone home to Anaconda for a few days. He is going into the “shop” for general repairs; Mr. Coyle has gone to the Smelter City for general repairs and to see a physician; Ben Morgan is leaving Moose Lake. He intends to join the commissary department of the United States Army if he can secure a position; William Stevens came in with “Seniority”. He has gone home to Chicago. He has been in at Moose Lake about eight months. . 

The Mail on March 22, 1906 wrote an extensive article concerning another big mining deal at Moose Lake. A gentleman named Stillman from New York had taken over legal possession of the Senate group of claims and posted bond in the amount of $130,00 to be dispersed in payments of $20,000 in ninety days; $30,000 by one year; and $80,000 in eighteen months. These claims were known to be high in copper but because they were located more than thirty-five miles from the nearest railroad had been unable to find funding for the operation. The claims had been located at least twelve years prior and were owned by Thomas Leary and several other Anaconda residents. The article went on to describe the other mining operations in the area: J.P. Dunn and Company were engaged in shipping high grade gold ore from the Lincoln Group of claims to Philipsburg, about thirty miles away. There the ore is loaded onto railroad cars and shipped to the smelter. The Moose Lake Mining Company had property the adjoined the Lincoln Group of claims and they had a small crew digging a tunnel and drifting on a vein at the present time. A number of Anaconda people were interested in the property and it was believed a large amount of ore would be removed from the area in the coming summer. 

In November 1925, there was a gas tank explosion at the Montana Prince, injuring Marcus Nevling. He died from the injuries three hours later. Marcus was operating a gasoline hoist and it is believed that he used a match to investigate the fuel supply which became ignited, as he was heard to call for help, a short time before the explosion took place. After calling for help it is thought he went back into the engine room to try to extinguish the blaze and he received the full effects of the explosion which completely demolished the engine and engine room and hurled him some distance from the building. Marcus born August 29, 1883 was always a miner and spent most of his life in Granite County. Survivors were: an uncle in Pennsylvania, a niece Mrs. Montana (Walters) Zbinden and a nephewGeorge Walters of Butte. The funeral was held from the Red Men’s Hall with Rev. Fred Anstice conducting the service. Judge D.M. Durfee and Fred Rickard conducted the Red Men’s service at the grave site. Pallbearers were: John M. Warner, Charles Sprague, Emmett Hoehne, Frank Beley, George Scheiffle and Rod McRae. 

Published in “Gold on a Shoestring” is a poem by Rev. John G. Hay (1979) 
                                                             THE MINER 
The Senate was God’s copper rainbow 
That prospectors left behind 
High in the mountains, it exacted a toll, 
A will to believe in the sign. 
Paddy Ward said “yes” to fifty years 
Of snow, cave-ins and water, 
Drilling, mucking, cursing, freezing, 
Matching the strength of the mine. 
Veins vanished-but, like old friends, 
Who leave without a good-bye, 
They reappeared unceremoniously ¬ 
Renewing the hopes that bind. 
Late, but not too late, 
The Company arrived ¬ 
Piercing veins with diamond bits, 
Marking every slender core; exposing 
A giant of low grade ore. 
And Paddy, the clown of the mountain ¬ 
Weathered, old and worn, retired to a place 
In the valley -not rich, but strangely warm. 
Paddy died on Independence Day in 1979; 
His ashes were spread where he labored ¬ 
Near the tunnel that followed the sign 
In the hope, that years and years from now, 
When the copper is scarce and the price is high, 
Something of Paddy will be waiting there… 
Mixed with the earth when the blasting begins 
To reopen the old Senate Mine.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Price Townsend: Forest ranger and Miner

                                   Price Townsend photo from "The Philipsburg Story"

A personality worth mentioning is Price Townsend. One of ten children, he was born Augustus Price Townsend October 23, 1887 in Luray, Missouri and arrived in Montana in the early 1900’s where he attended the University of Montana Forestry School. An article in the Mail, December 31, 1920 stated that Price received an “assignment to Mather Field Sacramento, California for a course of instruction on aerodynamics and radio aerial observation.” Then a second article on February 25, 1921, stated Price returned from Mather Field February 22 and reported he had successfully passed the test for liaison officer and got through the “stunts” without mishap. Next, in September, 1921, “Price who was in charge of the local office of the Missoula National Forest left for Missoula where he would be headquartered while doing grazing survey work for the northwestern part of the state.” 

The next week’s paper stated: “Deputy Forest Supervisor A. Price Townsend, who has been in charge of the Philipsburg District for the past 18 months has been selected as an aid to prepare sample reports and instruct the various rangers of the Missoula Unit regarding this grazing reconnaissance work. He will be occupied with his new duties for an indefinite period of time.” 

Photographs of Price show a very handsome bareheaded, light-haired young man. Bus Hess believed Price lost his forest service job because he took off for the Dempsey-Gibbons fight in Havre while there was a fire he should have been present at. This caused the Supervisor to become aware of his absence. The Dempsey-Gibbon’s fight was the fourth of July 1923, in Shelby, Montana. The chapter about Price in “The Philipsburg Story” described his employment period as 1920 through 1924 for the Forest Service. Price probably did attend the fight, but that is not the likely reason he left the forest service. An article in the Mail on May 8, 1925 that described mining operations in the Frog Pond Basin stated “Mr. Townsend, until the first of the year was district ranger at Philipsburg for the forest service but resigned to go into the mining business.” He was now president of the Frog Pond Development Company, backed by capital from South Dakota. Two other companies: Montana Prince, a New York Syndicate and Miller Brothers backed by local capital were mining in the basin at this time and the groups hoped to be able to build a road “…under the supervision of the government on the Granite county side as a continuation of the road from Moose Lake. It is understood that another road is to be completed into the Basin country from the Ravalli side.” 

In September, 1904, there had been “BIG STRIKE AT FROGPOND A mammoth gold lead, said to be 1200 feet in width, is reported to have been discovered in Frogpond Basin, near the Moose Lake District, by Dave, Lou and Ed Miller. Some samples from the lead run as high as $100, but the average is about $7 a ton.” This strike had continued to be mined at intervals every since. By March,1929 Price was involved with A.D. Stoddard in mining operations at Black Pine with the great development in Frog Pond Basin put on hold. Then in July,1935, when his sister Greta Settle arrived from Rapid City, to visit with Price, he was back in Frog Pond Basin. 

“The Philipsburg Story”, stated Price ran for Sheriff of Granite county but got drunk on Election Day and: “Even up there they got so disgusted with him for getting pie-eyed right before election that he lost out.” Research of the 1920’s failed to identify Price ever running for office. 

My first memories of Price were in the early 40’s and he was a very handsome man who wore light colored well pressed trousers and a narrow brimmed hat. He was a hermit that would come out in the summer to help my family hay. 

Price had many little lean-to’s throughout the Ross Fork and South Fork areas plus his cabins in Frog Pond Basin and Table Mountain. Price liked to be called “Table Mountain Townsend.” He became disoriented from so many years without social contact in about 1950. Someone contacted one of his sisters and he was taken back east until he recovered. In 1953 Price returned to Philipsburg and became the liquor vendor on January 1, 1960. Bus recalled that Price was removed from that position when he began sampling the wares and was serving the customers in an inebriated state, clad only in his long-handled underwear. 

In 1959, at the age of seventy-two, Price was “found dead at the Geiger House” and Mortician, Roy Wilson believed he died around December 30. He was interred in the Philipsburg cemetery.

A Game Warden of Note


                       Al Wanamaaker and Harry Morgan on Upper Willow Creek before 1900

Harry Morgan was named frequently in the Philipsburg Mail for his Forest Service work and helping hunt down fugitives. I spoke of him  when he assisted Deputy Wyman in the case of Frank Brady.   A quote I found from Morgan in the Montana Wildlife Bulletin, August 1944 states: “In November, 1905, the officers were after Frank Brady, a notorious horse thief who took his stolen stock to Dakota. He was hiding out on Lower Rock Creek and we located him at Welcome Gulch. I was appointed to go with a marshall. I suggested that we both go inside the cabin and grab Brady but the marshall figured we would both be  killed. We stayed there all night.  At the barking of his dog Brady came out of the cabin with a gun in his arms. When the dog started barking I ran behind a tree and the marshall behind a rock. Brady pulled up to shoot but I was ready and let him have it. Brady’s shot fell 20 feet short of us. Brady tried to shoot again but I beat him to it and he died on the door steps. I looked around for the officer but he was gone. I hollered and he answered a quarter mile away.”

Born on July 6, 1863 to Captain and Mrs. John Morgan, Harry was the first white child born in Fort Benton at the old Doby Fort. His mother died in the spring of 1871 and then his father was killed by a war party of Blackfoot Indians. The story goes that after his mother died he was taken in by an Indian woman but Harry states  “Dr. J.S. Glick of Helena came to Fort Benton and took me back to Helena with him… In the fall of 1873, Henry Schniple (Schneple), a stockman from Philipsburg, made his annual trip to Helena for supplies. I went to Philipsburg to work with him on his ranch and remained there until 1876. Then I left and attended school in Philipsburg for one year.” After bouncing around working with other ranchers and trading posts Harry returned to work on ranches around Philipsburg in 1881. He also drove team for Jack Hall and then began hauling wood and railroad ties for the railroad to Philipsburg and cord wood props for the mines.  

Harry married Orphie Rider on August 27, 1885. They raised three girls and three boys. At the time of the silver crash in 1893,  Harry went to Butte and worked in the Pennslvania Mine. He then returned to Philipsburg and in 1906 was appointed Forest Guard; in 1907 was appointed Assistant Forest Ranger a post he resigned from in February, 1913. On April 1, 1913, Harry was appointed Deputy Game Warden and was assigned the northern part of Powell County and the Clearwater and Swan River drainage in Missoula County with headquarters in Ovando.

In “Cabin Fever”, by Mildred Chaffin (1988), Harry is described as “an early day game warden of note. Those who remember him well say that he tempered his method of enforcing the law with an old time consideration for those in need.” Warren Skillicorn stated: “He never snooped. He never came into anyone’s home looking into steam kettles or dipping his hands in the flour bin looking for meat like some of them did….Harry would ask peoples names and inquire about their employment situation and their families. If someone was ‘down and out’ , no job, no money and no meat, he would look the other way, saying ‘Don’t watch me, watch your neighbor. If someone reports you I have to take you in.”

Another Mildred Chaffin’s statement quotes Harriet Whitworth of Arlee: “He was my friend”. As a very small girl she accompanied her mother,  relatives and friends when the Indian Bands made their annual treks into the South Fork of the Flathead for their winter meat and buckskins to tan.” Meeting Morgan on the trail they would exchange greetings during which time Morgan would take the little girls hand, put something in it and close her fingers tightly. As soon as they were on their way she would open up her hand to find something there. ‘Maybe a dollar’, she remembered smiling.”

 Orphie died in 1943 and Harry retired in 1947. He later moved to Missoula to live with  daughter Mrs. E.G. Hough. He died in a Missoula Rest Home on August 2, 1957. The funeral was performed by Frank “Sandbar” Brown with burial in Missoula. Survivors were: daughters Mrs. E.G. Hough of Missoula and Mrs. Mary D. Johnson of Three Forks;  sons, Henry of Oregon and Ernest of Idaho; nine grandchildren, one being Herbert Abbey of Philipsburg; twenty-two great grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren.  


Monday, August 3, 2020

Pearson An Immigrant Enterpreneur




                                          Flume and Water Wheel at Mill Creek


I am not certain when the Nels Pearson ranch was established in the Philipsburg valley. Judy Pearson Bohrnsen gave me a copy of an article written by Arthur C. Howard, her maternal uncle that discussed Nels. This information was told to Art by John W. Pearson Sr. The date of the article is unknown, but describes John (born in 1912) and wife Alice (born in 1911), as senior citizens when it was written.

 Nels Pearson was born in Skane, Sweden November 3, 1867. He saved his money to come to America and arrived here at the age of thirteen. He was first known to be in Leadville, Colorado where he tried mining. Stories he heard about Butte were the reason he came to Montana in 1886. His first job was pushing a wheelbarrow full of slag from the Parrot Mine and Smelter to the dump, for the wage of $2.75 a day. Nels’ next pushed a wheelbarrow hauling coal in Havre, Montana and bought some stock in the company from money he saved. Apparently he did not see any future in manual labor so moved to Whitefish and staked a homestead there. Not happy with this life he sold the homestead for $3,000 and thirteen head of horses. With this stake he went into a logging business near the Anaconda Copper Company. Nels assembled a logging crew and began cutting in the hills south of Gregson Hot Springs. According to Nel’s obituary he set up residence in Anaconda in 1891. Research does not find him in the 1900 Census. In the 1910 Census, he has been married to Anna for one year and they are living in Deer Lodge School District # 9. The 1930 Anaconda census shows them with three children: Lillian (19), John (17) and Dorothy (12).

 When a sister in Sweden died, leaving a family of two girls and four boys orphaned, Nels brought the children to America. They were unable to speak English but worked hard in the logging operation. about this same time, a logging operation ran by the Anaconda Copper Company at French Gulch was being mismanaged and the local Anaconda men suggested the Company get in touch with the Swede’s logging at Gregson. Nels was contacted by Con Kelly of the Company and asked if he could leave his crew and assist the Anaconda operations. Nels left the crew with his foreman Oscar Nordberg and for $15,000 a year, a seven passenger Stevens Duryea car and all expenses he went to French Gulch and straightened out the logging operation. According to Art’s story Nels wore out the Stevens-Duryea, then a Chandler and then a Peerless, which were all seven passenger open touring cars.

 The Anaconda Copper Company had two logging camps: one at French Gulch and another at Mill Creek Junction where a fifteen mile long flume spilled logs, stulls, and cordwood onto ramps and a storage area where they were loaded onto B.A.& P. Railroad cars for the smelter and Butte. When logs became scarce at Gregson, Pearson’s crew was moved to French Gulch. After logging operations ceased in French Gulch and Mill Creek, some time before 1920, Pearson moved the crews to the Georgetown Lake area. The major part of the logging operation was at Grassy Point with forty, four horse teams stabled at the sawmill camp and as many as three hundred horses rotated for use. The logging was carried out across the lake. The downed logs were then skidded and pulled up a steep one-half mile incline by a “Donkey engine”. At the lake side the log booms were towed across the lake to the Grassy Point mill site by a steam tug, named Miss Anaconda. When the lake froze over the booms were moved by four horse teams pulling bob-sleds. This major operation “petered out” about 1928.

During all of these years, Nels had accumulated several properties and ranches in the Twin Bridges and Sheridan area and a ranch he operated near Philipsburg. The ranch “home was located just at the southwest corner of town and the property stretched far back into what is known as antelope country.” It was described as covering about ten sections of land with fifteen miles of woven wire fence that divided a cattle and sheep operation. They also pastured many other ranchers cattle. The home was destroyed by a fire shortly “after surviving a lightening storm that sent a ball of lightening across the living room floor.”

 Nels died March 17, 1936 from pneumonia at an Anaconda Hospital and besides the ranch owned a sawmill near Maxville. His wife,  Anna A. Pearson died at the age of seventy-three, during the last week of January 1952.

 As stated in the Nels Pearson article, a large portion of his business enterprises were dependent on the teamster, horse and wagon or skidding apparatus. They were the only means of conveyance to handle logs, people, freight and ore for the various business establishments. Art Howard describes them thusly: The men were called: Hostlers, Teamsters, Grooms, or Stablemen. The teams were: Two and Four, Six, Eight or more. There were buggies, spring wagons, buckboards, low-beds, ore wagons, and stage coaches. They came in as many combinations as the trucks of today. The connotations such as Two and Six indicated the number of wagons pulled by a given number of animals.

 To operate such a business as Nels had it meant moving where the timber was. Envision a nomadic type of caravan: hundreds of horses, wagons, buildings, shops and personnel at two to three miles per hour moving over a period of days (such as from Mill Creek to Georgetown). Then the reassembly of the entire operation and the adoption of a new method under the supervision of Nels and his foremen.

 According to Art Howard, there were fights, drunks to bail out of jail, equipment breakdowns, sickness to handle, men to feed and horses to be shod and fed. Without iron will management and instant decisions, confusion would have reigned. An emergency bank-roll, iron fist, very little hierarchy interference or union intervention won the assault at the new logging camp.

 Those remembering the Georgetown Lake operation either had transportation to or stayed at the camp. It was operated both from the Big and Little Trout Creek sites on the far side of the Lake and the sawmill, blacksmith shop, stables, corrals, bunk houses, mess hall, horses and grazing pastures were on the Highway 10A (Now Hwy 1) side of the Lake at Grassy Point.

Forty, Four-Horse teams were stabled at the sawmill camp and as many as 300 head of horses were in use altogether because of the need to rotate due to shoulder sores and injuries. Just imagine the size of the stables, the hundreds of harnesses, the wagon sheds, the amount of horse wrangling and all the other details to meet daily needs.

Across the lake where the Choppers did the falling, logs were loaded by use of skid horses, man power and improvised cranes onto heavy wagons in good weather and onto bob-sleds in the winter. An endless cable hooked into a blacksmith forged heavy ring in the end of a wagon or bob-sled tongue and a steam powered engine (known as a Donkey Engine) operated by an engineer guided the load, horses and all, up two tough ½ mile climbs. The teams being unable to negotiate the steep climb sat back on their breeching harnesses and did only enough walking to stay on their feet while the Donkey and cable pulled the load up the hill. At the top the Donkey was unhooked and another device eased the load down the incline. The well trained horses seldom fell and animal accidents were few.

Very similar teaming occurred at the many mines and mills operating mines in the area. All of the sapphires from the Ewing, McLure and Fusz site on the Skalkaho and Rock Creek were teamed to Philipsburg often by Fred Barbour. The Metcalf’s, Bauer, McDonel, Hammond’s, Keim, Kennedy & Scherring, O’Neil, McLeod, Rohn Teaming and Alec McDonald were all involved in freighting ore, timbers or stage coaching passengers from camps at Garnet, Quigley, Sunrise, Gold Coin, Pioneer, Granite, Rumsey, Cable, Combination and Black Pine. I am certain their were many more teamster I have failed to mention.

 The picture of the team and coach states on the back: “Black Six” owned by Rohn Teaming Company 1917-1918 at Old Tower Grade near Brewery. Wheelers named “Sharkey” and “Dorkey” killed driver near George Town Lake. Driver Alec McDonald. 5/8 buttonhole; ¾ button (apparently this describes the harnessing).  I have failed to find any mention of the killing incident in the newspapers so do not know when the incident happened only some time after this picture was taken.

The next generations of the Pearson"s were:


                                                           John Pearson Senior WWII

                                              Alice Howard Ballard Pearson circa 1940's

When the Georgetown operation “petered out” about 1928, Nels Pearson and his son John then operated several smaller operations employing about ten to twenty men. One of these was at Hidden Lake; one at Storm Lake and one at Twin Lake. In 1934 John married Alice Howard Ballard and they supplied these camps with needed food and clothing. Alice frequently moved from camp to camp assisting John by cooking and supervising the different operations. She told many stories about the men bathing in the flumes and the fast water tumbling them about a mile before they could get out.

Alice, born on December 3, 1911 in Great Falls moved to Anaconda as a child. John W. Pearson Sr. was born on May 5, 1912 in Anaconda. He attended school there and after marriage to Alice in 1934 they moved to the Philipsburg ranch. John served in the 184th Infantry during WWII and was awarded the Purple Heart. John also worked for the Trout Mining Company and with his logging business supplied timbers for the mines to the company. He was an active member of Flint Creek Lodge No. 11 AF&AM and the VFW No. 2935.

John and Alice managed the ranch while raising their family and operated several timber camps and the stull and timber loading siding at the Lime (Brown’s) Quarry. As many as twenty car loads of timber a day were shipped to the mines and smelter from the Quarry site. The Quarry was a small community until as late as 1940.

Alice brought a son, Gordon Ballard into her marriage with John. Gordon, born on May 22, 1930 to Alice  and Judd Ballard from Utah, was given the nickname “Squeak” Pearson, after the Pearson marriage. The August 8, 1952 Mail, stated, Gordon had been ill with jaundice for the previous two months at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Mares Island, California.

Gordon married Ferne Graham on October 24, 1953. and became a thirty-year career Navy man. Gordon and Faye had three daughters; Bonna Jean was killed in a motorcycle accident in Morocco while Gordon was stationed there. A mountain was named after him in Anartica when Gordon was one of the first person’s to winter over in the south pole. After traveling the world Gordon and Ferne retired in Albany, Oregon. Gordon died February 22, 2001 in Oregon. He was preceded in death by his daughter, parents, and step mother Fontella Ballard. Survivors were: his wife, daughter Jody Ballard and her husband Colonel Roy Panzarella, and daughter Susan Lindsay and husband Ralph; five grandchildren; brother John and wife Sylvia and sister Judy Bohrnsen; and many Grahams and Ballards. Services were held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with burial in the Philipsburg cemetery.

Alice’s mother, Mrs. James A. Howard died at the age of fifty-nine on February 20, 1943, in Anaconda. She was born on July 22, 1883, in Virginia City and lived her life in Montana. Survivors were: husband James; sons: Arthur and Bud Howard of Portland and Jimmie T. Howard an ambulance driver in the U.S. Army in Texas; daughters: Mrs. Alice Pearson, of Philipsburg and Mrs. Lucille Verlanic of Texas; and eleven grandchildren.

John and Alice’s son, John W. Jr. was a teacher in a Junior High School in Albany, Oregon when his uncle Art wrote the article. Their daughter Judy married John Bohrnsen and had five children: Niki Hardin and Heidi Annau who lived in Great Falls, Dan Bohrnsen in Seward, Alaska, Mark Bohrnsen of Denver and Chris Bohrnsen of Seattle. Judy worked until retirement as a District Clerk in the Forest Service Office at Philipsburg. She lived her last few years in Great Falls with her daughters and died there at the age of 73 on April 30, 2011 from ALS.

Alice died at the Galen State Hospital on June 7, 1978. She was an active member and Past Matron of the Eastern Star; the American Legion and VFW Auxillary and the St. Andrew Episcopal church. Survivors were: son Gordon Ballard of Hermiston, Oregon and John Pearson of Albany, Oregon; daughter Judy Bohrnsen of Philipsburg; two brothers: Art of Helena and Jimmy of Deer Lodge; sister Lucille Verlanic of Deer Lodge and eight grandchildren. She was given Eastern Star burial rites with internment in the Philipsburg cemetery.

John died from lung cancer at his home on February 21, 1988 at the age of seventy-five. His funeral services were held at the Masonic Temple with Father M.M. Beatty officiating. His cremated remains are interred in the same plot as Alice. Besides those listed when Alice died, John was survived by: sister Dorothy Pearson of Anaconda and Ken and Karen Pearson; great grandchildren, Chelsey Annau, Nicki Hardin, Allison and Ryan Panzarella.




Sunday, July 12, 2020

Circle A Ranch: Ed Heimark

Ed and Bea Heimark

Edward S. Heimark was born November 19, 1894 at Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota. At the age of fifteen the family moved to Kalispell where they owned a meat market, grocery store and ranch. Ed married Lennie Sykes in 1918. In 1933 the family moved to Philipsburg and bought the Shoblom ranch, which was the original J.D. Kennedy ranch and had also been owned by Featherman prior to Shoblom. The Circle A ranch on Section 13, T 6, R.14 was 2220 acres east of Flint Creek and south of Fred Burr. 

Lennie Elizabeth Heimark, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Sykes of Philipsburg, was born in 1895 in Virginia. She died at the ranch on February 5, 1936 of metastatic cancer. Survivors were: husband Ed, and children: Edmond, Jack, Shirley and Richard; and her parents all of Philipsburg. Lennie’s father, John Willis Sykes died just twenty-four hours after Lennie from cardiac failure. The two bodies were taken to Kalispell for a double funeral. 

On April 13, 1939, Ed married Bea Porter Houghton in Missoula. Bea was born on February 23, 1914 in Eureka, Utah to Esther Mae (Dalton) and James W. Webb. The family moved to Butte when Bea was a small child. When her parents divorced her mother married Joe Porter and she lived the rest of her childhood at Porter’s Corner. Bea graduated from Granite County High School in 1934. She married Elmo Houghton on Christmas eve of 1934. Born to this marriage were Patrick and Elmonda who were both born in Utah. Ed brought his children Edmond, John, Shirley and Richard to the marriage and adopted Pat and Elmonda, making it yours, mine and ours. Ed and Bea then had two sons: David and Daniel. 

During the early 1950’s a new home was built on the Circle A ranch. A community minded citizen, Ed served two terms as a Granite County Commissioner and was a member of the School Board. I found where Ed and Bea attended her father’s funeral in Eureka, Utah. James Webb died at the age of sixty-seven after a long illness. Danny and David accompanied their parents to the funeral according to the June 5, 1953, Mail. T

They leased the ranch to Mitchell and Rosalie Munis in 1955/1956, then in 1959 they sold the ranch to Munis and moved into a new home by the Forest Ranger Station in Philipsburg. Ed died at the age of eighty-six at Granite County Memorial Hospital on October 15, 1981. Survivors were: wife Bea, sons: Jack of Philipsburg, Edmond of Spokane, Richard of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, David of Boise and Pat of Missoula; daughters: Shirley Hight of Vienna, Missouri and Elmonda Carlson of Midvalle, Utah; plus twenty eight grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren. Allen Bradshaw the branch president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints performed the funeral service. The grave was dedicated by Pat Heimark. Preceding Ed in death were: sons Jack and Dan, grandson John Heimark and Jerry Merrifield and granddaughter Denise Carlson. Pallbearers were: B.G. Paige, Zane Murfitt, Nick Munis, Bill Metesh, E.R. Winninghoff, and Dave Kesler. 

After Ed died, Bea remained in their home until 1988 when she moved to a retirement Home in Missoula. Bea died on January 13, 1993 in Missoula. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Survivors were: Son Pat and his wife Joan of Missoula, stepsons Edmond of Spokane, Richard of Rockford, Washington; daughter Elmonda Carson of Midvale, Utah; stepdaughter Shirley Hight of Velma, Oklahoma; and sixteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by sons David, Daniel and Jack. 

Their son John E., known as Jack was born December 8, 1919. He was married to Elza Budel on October 26, 1946, according to his obituary and 1947 according to Ancestry. To this marriage was born John and Marilyn. Jack served in the U.S. Army in WWII and died December 1, 1975 of crush injuries to the back and chest when a tree fell on him while logging twenty miles north of Seeley, Montana. 

Edmond (known as young Ed) was born in 1918 and married Shirley Rule March 13, 1942. A son Lee was born to this marriage. Ed, next married Wilma Hunt December 31, 1948. Mrs. Norma Howard, sister of the bride was the maid of honor and Ray Budel was the best man. The wedding was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Helmer Engrav, sister and brother-in-law of the bride. They had two children Eileen, known as Randy (Baile) and Russell, known as Rusty. Ed was Philipsburg Chief of Police and resigned July 1, 1956. He later moved to Umatilla, Oregon where he died on March 6, 2005.

A Major Horse Ranch: Hickey Brother's

Photo from Ray Ham's Book "Horses and Saddles..."

Another prominent ranch on East Fork was owned by John Hickey and his brother James Hickey. They lived their entire life in Granite County. Parents, James J. and Mary A. Grey Hickey came to Philipsburg in 1874 where John was born on April 26, 1876 and James May 8, 1881. 

There was more than one prominent John Hickey in Granite County, so I will attempt to keep them separate by referring to this John as rancher although he was involved in mining. The other John Hickey was nicknamed “The Rock” and was married to Jane O’Neil, my children’s Great-great-grandmother. 

The mine known to be owned and operated by John was the Moorlight, incorporated in 1918. Known originally as the Kroger-Hickey Leasing Company it became the Moorlight Mining Company in 1916. John was still the president when he died in 1945. The Moorlight, was originally patented by Hickey, Anderson and Williams and later acquired by Taylor and Knapp. Since Kroger was the first name I assume the investment was weighted by his money. John was employed by the Philipsburg Mail from 1889 until 1900. He then began ranching with his brother and specialized as breeder of fine saddle and Belgian work horses. 

Some of the property Hickey’s bought was homesteaded by “Uncle” Jack Hall, who came to Granite County in 1863 and had the first contract to haul wood to the Granite mine. After selling, he moved to Willow Creek where he died of pneumonia October 15, 1915. The ranch, totaled over 6,000 acres and was located in sections 7 and 18, T.5, R.14 W. 

Known for it’s fine line of horses, they owned the black trotting stallion “Diamond” secured in 1906. The following description was in the June 6, 1906 Mail: “…a fine looking, coal black stallion, 5 years old, stands 16 hands high, weighs 1200 pounds and is perfectly proportioned… sired by Bitter Root record 2:18, he by Lord Byron, record 2:17. Bitter Root was bred and raised by Marcus Daly… Diamond was raised at Hamilton and while never raced, has every appearance of speed and staying qualities of his sire.” 

James, married Nellie Parks the second daughter of Thomas and Mary Parks on September 29, 1907, and died on November 15, 1913 after being injured by a falling tree near their ranch home. Aside from a broken leg his injuries did not appear serious at first, and he hoped to be about again in a very short time. But the next day he became unconscious. In addition to the family physician who was in attendance, two physicians from Butte were brought to the ranch. After several consultations it was decided that his condition was due to a blood clot on the brain and that the only hope was a surgical operation. Arrangements were at once made to remove the patient to Butte and it was decided the safest way was was to carry him on a stretcher from the Hickey home to the Strom place on Georgetown Flats where a big automobile was waiting to take him to Butte. The distance from Hickey’s to Strom’s is about six miles across hill and dale. Anyone that has traveled around the south side of Georgetown to the East Fork can attest to that. This arduous task was accomplished with thirty neighbors assisting, who carried James, six men at a time, changing at short intervals. The trip from Strom’s to Butte was made by the machine in one hour. Six surgeons were unable to correct the fractured skull injuries and James died at 720 in the evening without ever regaining consciousness. 

Survivors were: his wife and two children, brothers: John, and Thomas; sister Mrs. W.B. (Maggie) Calhoun; half brothers: W.W. Williams and E.H. Thompson and a half sister, Mrs. Eva Staph, of Alhambra Springs. The funeral took place at the Masonic Hall and the funeral procession “…was one of the longest ever seen in the city.” There were no names of the children in the obituary, but I found this comment from a court reporting, in the March 1, 1918 Mail: “…. estate of James Dale Hickey and Howard Ralph Hickey, annual account.” 

James is buried in a plot next to his mother, Mrs. M.A. Hickey, who does not have a headstone. In the same block but a different lot is another unmarked grave for his father, James Hickey. James’ widow Nellie, then married Paul R. Neal June 25, 1916. Paul was the proprietor of the Montana Grocery and they lived in the Atwater cottage adjoining the Presbyterian Church. They later moved to Spokane, Washington.

After James’ death John was left to run the ranch alone until 1917 when he married Effie Barker on March 18, 1917. She was born at Stevensville April 7, 1895, to Mr. and Mrs. R.N. Barker. Effie and John had a baby boy named John Robert on January 8, 1918 and he lived only one day. Effie died of pneumonia from the Spanish Influenza on October 14, 1918 at the age of twenty-three years. Effie and son are buried in the family plot in the Philipsburg cemetery. Survivors were: John, her parents and three brothers and three sisters. The obituary named her brothers as: J. E. Barker fighting the war in France, Charles working in the Seattle shipyards and Paul living in Stevensville but did not name the sisters.

John Hickey then married Cereta (Rodda) Richards on Thanksgiving Day November 30, 1926. The wedding took place at the James Rodda home on Rock Creek. Witnesses were: Mr. and Mrs. James Rodda.

John Hickey’s taxes for the year 1927 were $137.48, comparable to neighbor C.C. Edwards at $133.84. As a very active member of the community, John was Past Master of Flint Creek Lodge No. 11, A.F. and A.M., a member of the Helena Consistory-Algeria Shrine, The Philipsburg Rotary Club, The Montana Stock Growers Association, and the Mining Association of Montana. He also served one term in the Montana legislature and was active in political affairs in the local community. Newspaper accounts have him winning saddle horse races as early as 1894.

Ray Ham, worked the Hickey ranch breaking horses in the winter 1941/42 and in his book “Horses and Saddles” stated he broke fifty head of saddle and fifty head of work horses that winter. The work horses were broke as follows: Once they could harness them they were hooked up to a bobsled in an alley way then one man would hop in the sled and the other would open the gate and out they would lunge into deep snow. The goal was teaching them to rein so they cut figure eights in the snow. They rode the saddle horses out in the deep snow chasing rabbits. The Army would send out buyers throughout the country looking for certain types of horses; light colors would show up in battle, so were not bought.

Ray Ham on Hickey horse he broke for WWII Remount

John died on September 30, 1945 at the ranch. Survivors were: wife Cereta, brother Thomas of Missoula, sister Mrs. W.B. (Maggie) Calhoun of Seattle. John is interred in the Philipsburg cemetery. In an eulogy the following quote was received from the Mining Association of Montana: “Officers and members of the Mining Association of Montana were shocked and grieved to hear of Mr. Hickey’s death and several of the officers and members attended his funeral. John Hickey took a great interest in the affairs of the Association, having been first vice-president from 1941 to 1943 and president from 1943 to January 1945. At the time of his death he was a member of the important Executive Committee of the Association. Resolution of his death will be drafted by a committee to be appointed by Robert P. Porter of Helena, who succeeded Mr. Hickey as President in January.”

I remember being at the Hickey ranch auction where all the horses were sold after John’s death. During the auction a horse reared and came down with his hoof on a young girls clavicle, lacerating the brachial artery and the girl bleed to death. I have never been able to find any news articles about this accident or the victims name.

The ranch land was bought by the Howard Lord (Section 7) and Ralph Buchanan (Section 18) families. I found where Ralph Buchanan purchased the south half of the Hickey ranch from Dr. McCaffery in November 1949. The families had been land owners in the Geraldine and Fort Benton area prior to buying in Granite county.

Tom Hickey died at his home in Missoula in April, 1949. His was in partnership with brother John and J.C. Harrah during the development of the Moorlight Mining Company. Survivors were: daughter Ruth Thomas; granddaughter Mrs. Frances Peck; and sister Mrs. Maggie Calhoun in Seattle. He is buried in the family plot in Missoula.

The Williams spoken of as an individual on the original Moorlight patent was W.W. Williams a half brother of John Hickey. W.W. Williams died in Los Angeles, California, during the week of March 20, 1925, at his daughter Montana’s home, and his body was returned to Philipsburg for burial. His funeral service was at the Methodist Church with the Mason’s performing the graveside service. He was born fifty-seven years before, in Basin, Montana and had been Secretary-Treasurer and General Manager of the Moorlight Mining Company until two years prior, when he sold out to his partners.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The Luthje Family of Upper Willow Creek

According to Anne Luthje, author of “Upper Willow Creek”, Hans Luthje, born in Ohe-Schleswig-Holstein, Germany October 14, 1860, lost his mother at the age of two and shortly after, his father left baby Hans and his siblings to travel to America. In 1881 Hans then traveled to Philipsburg, Montana to join his uncle Nicholaus who had lived in America for ten years and was sponsoring Hans. Hans arrived at Ellis Island and after processing traveled by train to Corrine, Utah. From there he traveled by stagecoach. 

Hans and his uncle traveled extensively (even by horseback) to California and New Mexico where Hans worked in butcher shops and on ranches. When Hans returned to Philipsburg he worked at Kroger’s Brewery and at the bar in The Kaiser House. During this time they were also working a placer mine along Sawpit Gulch, where they built a small cabin. By 1890, Nicholaus and Hans decided it was time to settle down and they bought 160 acres from Jacob and Eliza McConkie on Willow Creek for $2,000. Deciding they both needed their own place in 1898, Hans bought the south one-half of a Railroad Section from Northern Pacific Railroad adjacent to the original 160 acres and he and Nicholaus became neighbors. 

 At the age of forty, Hans returned to Europe, attending the World’s Fair in Paris then traveling to his childhood home where he met Margaretha Bohrnsen and after a one month courtship the twenty-five year old agreed to return to America with Hans and become his wife. The couple married in Omaha on May 8, 1901 at Margaretha’s cousins home and the couple then traveled on to Philipsburg where they were met by Nicholaus and his wife “Mina Nick”. After being introduced to the lively town of Philipsburg, Margaretha was taken by wagon on a bumpy ride to her “Castle” a hand hewn one room log cabin with a dirt floor. Years later she “admitted to her daughters that if she’d had the money and a way to go she would have closed the door on that dirt floor and America and returned to her home in Germany” states Anne Luthje. 

Margaretha (Bohensen) and Hans (Sr.) Luthje 1901

Their first child, Hans was born February 2, 1902; the second child Marie (Mary) (Hollings, Sanders), August 30, 1903 (1976); the third Anna (Superneau), September 19, 1905 (1960); the fourth Margaret (Hayes), November 1, 1907 (1986); the fifth Henry, May 6, 1910 (died in WWII Combat in Germany,1944); the sixth Catherine, February 26, 1912 (1978); the seventh John, January 29, 1914 (1999); the eighth Elsie (Reinoehl), March 17, 1917 (2019). (Hans took Margaretha by horse and sled to Philipsburg; then by train to Butte where Hattie the Midwife now lived for this birth. Hattie had delivered the other seven at the ranch) 

To make the land a home and prosperous ranch, life was filled with hard work. Family members immigrated to the area, including Bohrnsen siblings. As the Luthje children grew they attended school at Spring Creek as did the cousins and neighbors. 

Hans Sr. age 81, died of a ruptured gangrenous appendix at St. Anne’s Hospital August 9, 1942. Margaretha lived on at the ranch until dying in 1965. 

Years after young Hans graduated from Spring Creek and was working at the Sapphire Mines, he met the newest school teacher Marcia Lester in 1927. Marcia, born in North Dakota graduated from High school in 1924 and attended Teacher’s College in Billings. She was hired directly out of school by the Granite County School Board. The couple were married in Thompson Falls on December 22, 1929. Anne Luthje states “Martha would always proclaim that when they married she had money in the bank while Hans had nothing.” and with a smile Hans would reply “I had a 1923 Buick, a fine horse named Red Bird, a Miles City Association saddle with matching bridle and spurs with inlaid silver.” (A rancher always keeps his priorities straight!) 

Hans (Jr) and Marcia (Lester) Luthje 1929

Hans and Marcia had two children, Loren, September 22, 1934 and Trilbe (Fortunati), April 30, 1936 while Hans continued working in Philipsburg for The American Gem and Bi-Metallic Mining Company. Shortly after Trilbe was born they bought the “old Grant Place”, on Willow Creek that had been taken over by the bank during the depression and took up the family life of ranching. 

Hans died February 9, 1996 at the age of ninety-four. Marcia retired from teaching in 1973 and lived on the ranch until two weeks before her death in 2003, at the age of ninety-seven. 

Loren, widowed, continues to live on the Luthje ranch; Trilbe lives in California; Loren’s son Tim owns the Willow Creek “Mungas Ranch” and leases the Luthje meadows; daughter Lori (Ruch) lives with her family in Helena.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Carey Family: Engineer, Millwright, Homesteader and Politician

William P. Carey, originally a stationary engineer with the NP Railroad, came with his family from Elkhorn, Montana in 1890 and located in Rumsey where William accepted a job as engineer at the Rumsey Mill. When the mill closed he relocated to the Trout Creek homestead. William’s wife, Ellen or Helen (Grady) was born August 3, 1849 in Indiana. She lived in Montana from 1883 until she died on July 18 1899. She had suffered for three years from kidney and liver trouble. Their only daughter (Gertrude) died on December 3, 1906 of pneumonia. She died at the Emmett Carey home where she had kept house for her brother. Gertrude, born in Elkhorn, Montana on February 15, 1887, was escorted by her high school classmates on her journey to the Philipsburg cemetery. 

William Carey made his home at the ranch until his sons grew up, then left them in charge of the place and sought employment in his trade as a mill engineer. For a number of years William was engineer of one of the big sawmills west of Missoula and other places. Prior to becoming ill he held a position in Utah. William came back to the ranch to recuperate but his health did not improve and he was brought to town so medical attendance could be provided at the Silver Lake Hotel, where his end came at six o’clock Saturday morning December 4, 1909. 

A native of Tipperary, Ireland William was survived by five sons, William, Emmett, Sargent, Thomas and George who all resided in the upper valley. After a service at the Catholic Church internment was in the Philipsburg Cemetery next to his wife and daughter. 

George Carey born October 19, 1880 died February 4, 1945. He is buried in the Philipsburg cemetery. At this time I have not found an obituary for him. 

I found a marriage license issued to S.W. Carey and Ida L. Smith for May 4, 1893 but no marriage notice in the newspapers. There is a possibility Sargent’s middle initial was W, even though many articles list his initials as P.S. 
Photo from Tiny Johnson

Sarge, was believed to be the last surviving member of the Old Rumsey Mill crew (Tiny Johnson). Although most of his years were spent on the Trout Creek Homestead and his tax assessment for 1927, was $246.50, Sarge (1873-1958) lived on the south side of East Fork on the Bill Carey Ranch when I was a child. His headstone is engraved “Philip Sarg”. His great-great nephew, Joel Carey states that the family called Philip "Sarch" and he believes the Haacke family began calling him "Sarge".  So when he died, nephew Woodrow put "Sarge" on the tombstone because that was the name the citizenry knew him by.

 Miss Gertrude Maurer married Emmett Carey at their cozy home on California Street on January 17, 1907. Mr. Carey the son of W.P. Carey was employed at the Walker Commercial Company of Philipsburg. With the headline “HAD CLOSE CALL” the following incident is recounted in the Mail April 18, 1913: 
 “Mrs Emmett Carey and Mrs. Oscar Nelson had a rather exciting experience Sunday evening, April 13, while returning home from Georgetown flats where they had spent the day at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Strom, Mrs. Nelson’s parents. The ladies were accompanied by their five small children and were driving a team of heavy work horses belonging to Mr. Nelson, hitched to a sleigh. There is much snow up there and a sleigh is better to get around than a wagon. At the head of Trout Creek the road crosses a dry gulch which was filled with snow and slush ice. They had crossed it in the morning and it was alright, but the day had been warm and when they drove into it on the way home the horses broke through and got down in the water and became tangled up in the harness. Mrs. Nelson attempted to free the team and was thrown into the water but managed to get out. Then the two ladies removed the children from the sleigh to high ground, and while Mrs. Nelson and her children stayed there, Mrs. Carey carrying her baby ran all the way to her home to call [for] help. By the time Mr. Carey reached the scene of the accident one horse was drowned and the other while still alive was so badly chilled in the cold water that it died after being pulled out. Mr. Carey had to wade into the water nearly up to his arm pits to get the horses loose from the sleigh. The accident happened about 6:30 p.m. and it was nearly 10 p.m. when Mr. Carey returned home, pretty much chilled himself…. The team was valued at $400.00.”

The Mail, September 14, 1917, stated Emmett Carey sold his Trout Creek ranch to Mr. Sutherland of Arlee, Montana. Research did not reveal anymore articles discussing the Emmett Carey family. 

Thomas Carey (1882-1944), was a active political figure in the State of Montana. Born in Livingston, Montana, the family moved to Elkhorn sometime after his birth and in 1890 the family located in Rumsey. As a young man Thomas lived in Anaconda where he was president of the Mine, Mill and Smelterman’s Union and president of the Hibernian Lodge of Anaconda. As an active Catholic he studied at Carroll College in Helena and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters in Helena. Thomas became a resident of Helena in 1920 and was first elected to the position of State Treasurer, in November 1928. He was elected to the Montana Railroad and Public Service Commission in 1932 and served until 1939. In 1940 he was again elected to the office of State Treasurer a position he held at the time of his death, in a hotel room in Spokane, Washington. 

Lala and Bill Carey Circa 1930's from Joel Christensen Collection

William M. (Bill) (1878-1963) born in Bloomington, Illinois, homesteaded in 1900 on the east side of Eagle Canyon and spent his entire life running that ranch. Bill married Frances Blanche “Lala” Parks (daughter of Tom and Mary (Wight) Parks) on January 3, 1906. Bill and Lala became parents of seven children: Woodrow, Paul, Lawrence, Mary Helen and Chloe lived to adulthood. He received assistance running the ranch, from his children as he aged. A write up in the January 6, 1956 Mail described the party celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Neighbor, Opal Richtmyer had decorated a large cake for the occasion. 

Obviously the Carey Brothers ran a large establishment even in the early years as evidenced by taxes: In 1912 the Carey Bros. taxes were $318.95 and William was assessed $299.78 for the year 1927. 

Bill died after a lengthy illness at St. Ann’s Hospital in Anaconda. Survivors were: wife Lala; sons, Paul, Woodrow and Lawrence; daughters. Mary Helen Christensen of Ross Fork of Rock Creek and Chloe Owens of Miami, Florida; and fifteen grandchildren. 

Lala (Parks) Carey (1883-1964) was born at Stone to Thomas and Mary (Wight) Parks. She moved with her family to the Park’s East Fork homestead in 1902. Lala taught school as a young woman at the East Fork School prior to her marriage to William. She was an ardent gardener; belonged to the VFW Auxillary and was of the Methodist faith. Of their seven children, two died in infancy. I know that at least one, “a girl” was buried in the side yard of the Carey ranch. I was playing baseball with the Christensen and Carey kids, when we got in real trouble from Lala for moving a stone to make it home base. I remember sobbing to my mother that we would have never moved the stone if we had known it was a headstone. 

Lala, died at St. Ann’s Hospital in Anaconda after being a patient there for six days.  

The Bill Carey children continued to contribute to the ranching community: Lawrence W. P. Carey (1907- 1967) served as a Corporal in the U.S. Army in WWII. He lived his life on the Bill Carey ranch. His brother Thomas “Woodrow” Carey (1914-1997) lived on the ranch his entire life. 

F. Paul Carey(1910-1975) wed Mrs. Olga (Terkla) Rogan in 1936 and had a daughter Delores “Bunny” (Fuhrman). Paul then married Valerie Sheldon a local school teacher and they had seven children. Paul worked outside the ranch to bring money home to assist with running the ranch business. Daughter, Delphine (Driver) shared, that Paul worked on the tunnel under Moose Lake as one of his many jobs. 

Chloe (1916-2003) married Rex Owens in 1936 and they had a son and daughter. Chloe died in Missoula. 

Mary Helen, (1918-2006), married Robert Christensen on August 19, 1937. They celebrated their fifty-eighth anniversary prior to Bob’s death. Preceding her in death were her parents, brothers, sister, daughter-in-law Rosalie and grandson Jeffery and two infant siblings. Survivors were: Helen (Robert) Loran of Walla-Walla, Washington, William (Sharon), James (Jan Ritschel), Steven (Ginger), all of Granite County and adopted daughter Marilyn and husband Albert Silva of Anaconda; plus 14 grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. 

Many of the properties were sold after Mary Helen died. The new owner demolished all the buildings including the original homestead cabin. I do not know what happened to the baby grave(s)?

Our Youth and Cowboys in World War I

Frank D. “Sandbar” Brown, President of the Montana Society of Pioneers, was appointed the official Governors Representative, to visit Montana youth training at Camp Lewis and report back to Governor Stewart. Excerpts of the report written for the Philipsburg Mail published May 24, 1918 follows: 
“Conditions at Camp Lewis astounded me. I found there a vast multitude of perfect young men, physically and mentally the flower of the youth of the country. And I found them spontaneously patriotic and ambitious to serve the country. The very atmosphere of the camp breathed democracy. ..It is my candid belief that every high school and university should, as part of their curriculum, teach the young men in them to be proficient in the duties of a soldier. Not only will the students health and manly bearing be the primary elements of its development the most noticeable, but neatness, freedom from intemperate habits, courteous language, respectful demeanor, and an avoidance of the profane and vulgar, its equally as beneficial effects… They will find the slouchy, awkward boy that left them in tears, erect, graceful in his movements, and wearing his well-fitting uniform with the aplomb of a West Point graduate…signed Frank D. Brown Governor’s Visitor to Camp Lewis”. 

The May 31, 1918, Philipsburg Mail, announced Fort Keogh, was to be made into “one of two National Calvary Training Depots. The Fort is currently a remount station near Miles City where range horses are broken and sent to Eastern stations for finishing.”The article continued on to say several hundred bronco busters have been employed on the Fort Keogh reservation. 

A reference regarding horse training, June 28, Philipsburg Mail, stated “Montana Cowboys training horses for the army at Camp Lewis: let her buck”. 
 “The muster rolls of the companies of busters read like a program of one of Guy Wedick’s stampedes, and all the old champions are there, except Fanny Sperry, who is barred from being a horse soldier by reason of her sex, but who could do the work as well as any man in the service. Tom Three Persons, the Canadian half-breed champion of the world is there, riding better than he has ever ridden before in his life, and among the other busters are many who won fame at Calgary, Pendleton, Cheyenne, Missoula, Billings and Havre in the Wild West shows and rodeos.
 The description of cowboys attempting to be foot soldiers is colorful: 
“Most of the cowboys came into Camp Lewis in the draft and were transferred to the remount depot after having done some training service in the infantry. They couldn’t all be transferred immediately, of course, and those obliged to drill afoot for a time were in a hard way….You see, a cowboy is not built for purposes of pedestrianism. Years of riding get his legs properly squeegeed to fit the curves of the horses back; but the slant is wrong for walking. During the unfortunate moments of his life when it is necessary for him to walk, he teeters around precariously in boots with heels high enough to satisfy a broadway flapper on parade. The result is that in his maturity, while he has more legs and feet than a whale, they’re not much more use to him if you peel him away from a horse and call upon him to circulate around on his own. So a cowboy in the infantry has this in common with a fish in the Sahara desert: he’s manifestly out of place…They drilled around in flat heels for a few days, and the first free hour they got they stampeded for the remount and begged Captain Jackson for transfer to the remount depot. ‘Cap’n, I’d rather be shot at sunrise than walk on these feet o’ mine another day’ ‘If I knowed they’d shoot me for sitting, I’d do something to deserve it; but I’m afraid they’d make me stand up; and it’s too much for my brain to think of, standing on my feet and getting shot at the same time. They gimme shoes ‘thout no heels to ‘em, that set a man back on his spine so’s every time you step your back bone rattles like a box full of dice, an’ then they make me walk... No, sir. I walked my legs off clean down to the knees, an’ I’m working on the thigh bones now… Please, you get me transferred up here where I can pour myself into a saddle and be human again! “ 

The cowboy was busy at the work he understood and when a fieldpiece rumbled by in the clatterous wake of a sturdy well-trained line of obedient horses, you knew that the work of the American cowboy counted.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Why Wilma : Thomas Parks

When you drive west on the Skalkaho Highway over the Mungas Hill and down Trail Gulch to the valley, you arrive at the original Parks homestead. The house and barn were located on the left (south) side of the road just as you come out of the gulch.. The ranch was settled by Thomas and Mary (Wight) Parks in 1902. 

News articles state Catherine Wight was Tom’s sister. Research shows all of Catherine’s children listing her maiden name as Haeger and I now realize that Tom married Catherine’s sister-in-law. Because all of the ranchers from East Fork, Middle Fork, Ross’ Fork and West Fork, had to travel to Philipsburg to pick up their mail, Tom petitioned for and became a postmaster. He named his post-office Wilma and located the log building on the north side of the current Highway 38, in the box draw just west of the mouth of Trail Gulch. 

The post office was short lived and served from 1903 to 1905. The reason why he named the area Wilma obviously was left for us to ponder. I found where the Post Office Department was advertising for bids for carrying the mail from Philipsburg to Wilma a distance of eighteen miles twice a week in the August 11, 1905 Mail. The term for carrying the mail was from September 19, 1905 to June 1906. The schedule would be: leave Wilma Tuesday and Saturday at 7 a.m. and arrive in Philipsburg at noon. Leave Philipsburg at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Saturday and arrive at Wilma at 6 p.m. A bond of $4,800 would be required for each person bidding. Since the Post Office closed in 1905 one has to assume that there were no bids for the contract from September to June 1906. 

Tom was very active in Granite County and ran on the Democratic ticket for state representative in November 1908. He received a total of 381 votes; Hanifen received 455; George Maywood received 311; and Hugh T. Cumming the republican won the office with 488 votes. 

Tom was born in Clayborn County, Tennessee on July 29, 1846 and married Miss Mary A. Wight on his birthday in 1880. Two years later they moved to Montana and located on a ranch near Stone Station. They lived at Stone for ten years then homesteaded the property on East Fork. Tom died July 29, 1923 after suffering a stroke while he tended to the ranch irrigation. At the time, Tom and Mary were living in town and motored out to the ranch where he went to work on the irrigation ditches. When he failed to return to the ranch house at the expected time, Mary became alarmed and notified their daughter, Mrs. William (Lala Parks) Carey. She lived on the adjoining ranch just west of her parents. Tom was found on his side in a small irrigation ditch. He was unable to speak but conscious. A physician was summoned and the stricken man was brought to the family home in South Philipsburg. All measures were used to save his life, but were unsuccessful. 

Tom died on his seventy-seventh birthday and forty-third wedding anniversary. Survivors were his wife and two daughters: Mrs. William (Lala) Carey of the adjoining ranch and Mrs. Paul (Nellie Parks Hickey) Neal of Sandpoint, Idaho. The funeral was held at the family home in South Philipsburg on August 1. Rev. W.H. Calvert of Wibaux, Montana officiated. Pallbearers were: C.E. Kennedy, Claude Russell, Vatis Page, A.J. Murray, Dr. W.I. Power and Robert McDonel with internment in the Philipsburg Cemetery. 

Tom’s widow Mary A. Parks was buried next to him when she died in 1934. After leaving the ranch Mary resided at the home in Philipsburg until infirmities forced her to move to her daughter Nellie’s home in Sand Point, Idaho. Nellie was the widow of James Hickey who with his brother owned the Hickey ranch on Mungas Hill. Mary died in Sandpoint on September 30, 1934. Survivors were: daughters Lala Carey and Nellie Neal; nine grandchildren and one great grandchild (not named in the obituary) and sister-in-law Mrs. Catherine Wight. The funeral was held from the family home in Parkerville on October 2. Rev. Smith performed the service. Pallbearers were: Vatis Page, John Murray, C.E. Kennedy, Frank Richards, S.R. Seelos and Olaf Sandin. 

Thomas McLeary Parks (Photo from Joel Christensen Collection)
The Parks homestead ranch was bought by the Allen Webb family after Tom’s death in 1923. After Webb sold the ranch to step-daughter Annie (McCale) and Walt Sanders in 1948, the log post-office was moved across the road to the ranch and remained as a bunkhouse. The ranch house had been rebuilt and burned down in 1934. Neighbors helped rebuild it and that house was demolished a few years ago. At that time the log post-office was still standing. This property is owned by the same people that own the original Sandin ranch so no one lives on the homestead.