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

Jefferson Valley Museum 

Our Town 100 Years Ago: April Part I


April 13, 2022

April 1896 & 1922 Part 1

In April 1896, people were eagerly awaiting the actual start of spring weather. Things in national headlines were not too different than now – murder-suicides, kidnapping plots for a prominent person, political bantering. The Battleship Iowa was launched from the Cramps’ shipyard. The following is local news, as written in the April 3rd and 10th editions of the Whitehall Zephyr.

Mining: Another small shipment of ore has been made from the Golden Valley; the last came within a few cents of netting $120 per ton; it is thought that this one will go higher still. Joe Sweazrath was out inspecting the Zephyr copper group Wednesday and has given his opinion, sub rosa, that the ore is high grade—about 60 percent sulfide of lunacy and 40 percent pyrites of bankruptcy.

Opinion: An election for school trustees will take place tomorrow, Saturday, April 4. Candidates do not seem to be numerous, and at this writing, Walter Brooke is the only one we have heard mentioned for the office. We think, in the interest of education, Walter would be the right man in the right place.

Notice: One white workhorse, about 12 years old; no marks or brands visible; came to my place, one and one-half miles east of Gaylord about December 1; the owner is requested to prove property, pay charges and take away. - J.J. Ossley

News from Gaylord: The larger part of the mammoth smelter building has been enclosed; it goes without saying; almost, that roofing a building of the dimensions of this in a region where the zephyrs not only blow for all, but all the time, especially where the roofing material is composed of large thin sheets of copper and of corrugated iron, is a slow, difficult and dangerous task. Many men are constantly coming to Gaylord in quest of employment which unfortunately is not there for them; until recently many were allowed to secure meals there, free of charge, but the number increased so rapidly the practice had to be discontinued. Men not already promised and booked for work in their turn may as well not go to Gaylord in quest of it.

Personal Chat and Zephyrettes: Mrs. Dr. Davis and Miss Mamie Morris, accompanied by Harry Dobyns, had the pleasure of being caught in a howling snowstorm while crossing the divide between here and Boulder recently. Ed Kennedy, of the Perry Canyon Sawmill Company, is a man of good fortune as well as beauty; he came down Tuesday evening to help bridle the fiery and untamed Masonic goat and incidentally bought a chance for 15c to win a saddle horse, and of course, he won it. Ed will get along in the world—on horseback. Miss Nina Black met with a sad misfortune last Tuesday afternoon, while in town from the South Boulder ranch; she was fortunate enough to be the possessor of a $20 banknote, and afterward so unfortunate as to lose it. Mr. and Mrs. Zinc have gone to Spire Rock to take charge of the stone-quarry boarding house at that point.

A Dastardly Deed: A short time since a young son of Mr. Richards, of Camp Golden, was engaged in shooting at a mark with a shotgun, using some of Mr. Honnaker’s cartridges for the purpose. One cartridge, in particular, was noticed to be lighter than the others, but it was placed in the gun, and the lad went out to shoot; the wind was blowing so hard that the youngster could scarcely stand or get a steady aim and his father finally bade him come in the house; this fact probably saved the boy’s life. A neighbor came for the gun and cartridges the next morning… Mr. Richards and the neighbor cut the (light) cartridge open and found it to be loaded with giant and a little black powder, thus ensuring the certain death of the person shooting it. It is supposed to have been surreptitiously placed in Honnaker’s belt by some person with the purpose of “getting” him.

In 1922, the girls’ high school basketball team had just finished a great season. The high school boys’ track team (see photo) was getting ready for the spring season. The following news from 1922 is based on notes made by Roy Millegan, Sr. from the April 6th and 13th editions of the Jefferson Valley News.

The school election was held last week with 546 people casting their ballots. That is 39 more than last year. Mr. Ike Pace and Mr. Covert have been elected as new school trustees and the 5-mill levy was soundly defeated. The school board members are now misters Alexander, Irvine, Stanley, Pace, and Covert. Although the first three gentlemen indicated they would resign, they are obviously still in their seats. There has been controversy about Superintendent Lowry and it appears that he will now be retained. A second vote on the levy is planned with a reduction from 5 to 3 mills with the hope that this will be approved and the schools can be kept in operating mode.

The Whitetail Irrigation Project may be re-organized under the Service Commission. It is currently under the 1909 law, Chapter 146. Bonds were offered for sale but no one offered a bid. The irrigation company was originally incorporated for $150,000 and offered 3000 shares at $50 each. Only 2,250 were sold. The Whitetail dam is ready for the water. The base of the dam sits at an elevation of 7200 feet. The current plan is to store 10,000 acre-feet of water and cover 1449 acres of land. If another 38 feet of height is added to the top of the dam, the storage would increase to 20,000 acre-feet; but, the addition will likely only be 33 feet. The drainage area for the dam is 18 to 22 square miles.

No matter what your church affiliation, you will find inspiring sermons being offered this Easter Sunday at the Christian, Methodist, and Catholic churches.


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