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)