Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Our Town 100 Years Ago: June 1922 Part I

June 1896 in the Jefferson Valley: Whitehall is a growing community, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the official start of summer. But rain is making the rivers rise and threatening cropland. Nationally, there are questions about election results in Oregon, a severe storm in St. Louis has left 120 people missing, our government was calling for stricter surveillance of meat being imported into the U.S., and a cannery is burned to the ground by militants in Astoria, Oregon. The local news items are taken as written from the June 5 and 12, 1896 editions of the Jefferson Valley Zephyr.

A recent issue of the Boulder Age contains the following: "A Helena paper notes that Mr. Page, the state land agent, has been there after spending some weeks appraising 20,000 acres of land in Jefferson County. He has been working along P.P. Creek and as far up as Wickes, states that it is a fine mineral district, and is surprised to find it in Jefferson county, as it should be in Lewis and Clarke. We will try to have the next legislature confer upon Mr. Page the privilege of arranging the counties of the state to suit his notions."

High Water: The water in the Jefferson is rising again, and last night it was within a few inches of submerging the railroad tracks at the long siding between here and Gaylord. A few days since there were grave apprehensions entertained for the safety of the Howe truss railroad bridge at Gaylord, and but for the prompt dumping of about 60 carloads of rock around the piling it probably would have gone, as it was settling and twisting out of shape.

Zephyrettes and Personal Chat: Fifteen carloads of cattle were purchased and shipped from here this week by the Murphey Cattle Company, to their ranch on the Big Hole. Is Whitehall advancing? Well, new buildings are constantly being erected, still, there are no vacant residences. Alex McKay was one of Butte's distinguished guests this week. Mr. McKay reports Butte very quiet; he was very glad to get home again, where there is some life and stir.

There were no regular Decoration Day ceremonies in Whitehall, but friends and relatives decorated graves at the cemetery. "Old" Meyers, a veteran of the war of the rebellion, who was buried in Whitehall cemetery about a year ago, was remembered with a floral wreath by Postmaster Davey.

An Accident: Mrs. H. A. Richards, of Camp Golden, was badly injured by being thrown from a wagon yesterday, through a breakdown, followed by a runaway. Fortunately, no bones were broken. Dr. Dobyns attended to her and apprehends no serious results.

Reese Wampler, well known as one of Madison county's successful miners and ranchers, spent a few days in town this week, delivering cattle for shipment and taking in the sights of the town. He was chaperoned by Jap Jordon, captain of the Fish Creek Salvation Army, who was trying to convert and make an army recruit of him. At last account Jap was in despair and averred that he feared Reese's soul was forever lost.

In June of 1922, Whitehall was a bustling community with visions of rapid growth even though a number of large ventures had failed over the past couple of decades, like the smelter at Gaylord and the sugar beet factory on the south side of town. National headlines included the amazing world record for the highest altitude jump from an airplane by U.S. Army Captain A.W. Stevens and Roald Amundsen has set sale in the schooner Maud on an expedition to the North Pole. The accompanying photo shows the old McKay and Carmichael building, now housing Tona's Treasures. The news items are based on notes made by Roy Millegan, Sr. from June 1 and 8, 1922 editions of the Jefferson Valley News.

Splendid Memorial Day exercises were conducted earlier this week. Music was provided by the Whitehall band and Commander Speck presided over the event with great dignity. The invocation was given by Reverend Gist while Miss Schuette conducted the grade school chorus in a series of patriotic songs. The key address of the day was presented by Reverend Gilmore. The following graves were decorated in memory of our local veterans and those who came to our valley after their service. In the old Whitehall cemetery: Joe Steele, Henry Marsh, Hickman, Tom McCall, J. Wolverton, J. Daniels. In the old cemetery on Waterworks Hill: Alfred Myers. At the Fish Creek cemetery: T.D. Townsend, Chris Switzer, Harrison Jordan, Frank England, Bechtol, Pierce. In the Whitehall town cemetery: Winfred Scott Pierce, D. Ray Zigler, Hubert Cummings, Thomas J. Whissiel. Special recognition was given to surviving local Civil War veterans L.C. Pace, Mahlon Smith, C.W. Hatch, and Samuel Campbell. Since Mr. Pace could not attend the ceremonies, the band performed several tunes outside of his home on Main Street. Three of our local citizens are on their way to Fort Donaldson, near Salt Lake City, to participate in citizens military training. They will be gone most of the summer. The new Whitehall company of the National Guard will muster up on June 8th. There are 41 members, 30 still in high school.

A mystery is being investigated after the Whitetail Irrigation Company lost one of their trucks, an International, to a fire. It will cost at least $2600.00 to replace the truck and contents. The two company men left the truck about five miles from the Whitetail dam and hiked in since driving further was not an option. When they returned, the truck along with surveying instruments, clothing and groceries were all a total loss.

The Cosmos Club had their party for 30 couples at Pipestone Springs just in time. Last week they enjoyed a great dinner at the hotel followed by dancing until 3:00 AM with some taking a dip in the pool to cool off. Just a few days ago, the Pipestone hotel burned beyond repair. Mr. McPherson, who is leasing the hotel, along with Mr. Alley and the other owners are building temporary tent-houses and other buildings to accommodate the current and soon to arrive guests. The property was valued at $40,000. A second fire in the area, on Pipestone Road, took the home of Wilhelm Woll.

Now that the class of 1922 has officially left our wonderful school, here is their report on plans for the future: Clarence Young will head to Troy to farm with his father; George Bryan will keep his merchant job but plans to attend Montana State College; Allan Bryan will stay on with Regal Cleaners; Johnny Smith plans to spend the summer in Great Falls with his mother but wants to attend Oklahoma University and study law; Clem Davidson will spend the summer at the family place in Cardwell and might enroll at Montana State; Cecil Thomas will be doing carpenter work in Bozeman and maybe take some classes at MSC. Henry Painter hopes to attend the University of Illinois for a pharmaceutical course; Bernard Johnston will be on the North Boulder ranch; Maude Jayne will be in Cardwell this summer and then attend Dillon Normal in the fall; Melvin Davies is in Piedmont but will be studying medicine in Missoula; Elizabeth Miller has already enrolled in the Gregg Shorthand school in Chicago; Irma Thomson may go to college; Helen Harrington Carter is enjoying married life; Archie McDonald is working as a carpenter and the remaining class members have not yet made up their minds.


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