The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Arcylle Shaw
Contributing Writer 



October 18, 2017

God’s paint brush has been at work changing the trees and bushes into such gorgeous colors. They won’t last long with the wind stripping the leaves. (It would be handy if the same wind would blow those leaves out of the yard.) Indian Summer is wonderful! God promised in Genesis 8:22 that the seasons would continue as long as the earth remains. God keeps His promises.

We live in a transient society. Sometimes people move into a community and out of it without ever meeting others. However, that will not be true of the Nieskens family.. They purchased Dennis and Val Houtzel’s house and out buildings and plan on staying! Hannah Nieskens is the Principal of the High School in Whitehall and her husband, Kelly, will be coaching the Varsity Lady Trojans this season. They have three children - a son who serves in the military in Arizona, and two daughters, Charity and Hope who are students in Whitehall. The Houtzels quietly left our community to live nearer their children in Havre and Canada. They improved the Altenbach property with a new house and out buildings. Definitely they left the property better than they found it.

Marion Poff hosted the Whitehall Pinochle Club last week. Carol Tichenor won High, as well as Pinochle. Evie Ellis was Second, and Joyce Held placed Low. Guests for the afternoon were Erv Hedegaard and Aileen Shaw. Florence Weyer will hostess next time.

The Jefferson Valley Community Foundation awarded grants to each of the non-profit entities that applied. Each of the recipients contribute to the community of Whitehall in a unique way. The Foundation is to be commended for such generosity. It deserves support financially in order to continue to help worthy projects in the area.

In less than a week, Paul and Cheri Shaw traveled 4,000 miles, got some training and toured woolen mills in Ohio and Michigan. With a woolen mill of their own in the revitalized old barn on their property in the future, they took advantage of the time of year to acquire some equipment and learn about the business. At the first stop in Grand Rapids, Ohio, they were greeted by a widow lady that was helpful and encouraging as she gave them a tour of her century old mill and equipment that was still working! The training and touring continued in Frankenmuth, Michigan. This was a town founded by a Lutheran missionary and was named for a town in Germany. ‘Muth’ means courage and seems fitting for the missionaries that braved the frontier. This was also a place to enjoy German food, which they did. All total they visited 4 woolen mills and gained much needed instruction. Combining a small vacation with business, they drove north and crossed the Mackinac bridge - a ‘small’ 5.6 miles long - a suspension bridge at that. Driving along Lake Superior down to Duluth Minnesota was an experience they will long remember. It was so beautiful, according to Paul. (I’m sure Cheri would agree.) Before leaving Michigan they visited a Christmas Mall. It was the size of the Billings mall and was overwhelming with every kind of Christmas item you could think of. Their goal was to arrive home in time for the Trojan vs Columbus football game and they managed that a day early. Probably the only place they actually ate was in Frankenmuth. Paul said, “If you want to lose wait, travel with me. I don’t stop for meals.” Cheri said “The best thing about this venture has been the great people that we have met along the way. They have been amazing.” Come Spring, perhaps the Shaw Woolen Mill will be in business.

Break Away Youth Ranch’s Fall Fun Day was a huge success. The crowds grow bigger each year. This year they started with a chili cook-off with twelve entries. The dessert table was loaded, too. Activities included apple cider making, games played to garner points from each station with a winner (or two). Old fashioned dancing helped to ward off the cold created by the blustery wind.

The Youth Ranch provides healing to emotionally hurting kids and this year their schedule was full. Young people are in training to learn to be mentors, not only with horsemanship, but helping the children spiritually. Amanda Reichman gave a report of the year’s progress. Break Away Youth Ranch is located in Milligan Canyon and is free.


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