Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Our Town 125 and 100 Years Ago...October, Part I

125 Years Ago, October Part I: The Jefferson Valley Zephyr reported plenty of area news in early October 1897. Livingston suffered its worst fire when an abandoned building on Second Street caught fire. A new $40,000 theater opened in Anaconda called The Margaret. A sawmill 27 miles west of Missoula was burned to the ground at a loss of $15,000 not counting the production of 65,000 board feet of lumber per day and the jobs of 55 men. Miles City lost the MacQueen house to fire with a loss of $50,000. Many guests narrowly escaped the flames. In Butte, there were multiple suicides reported and the Florence Crittenton home closed due to poor management and misappropriation of funds. The home was used to sober up all the old "lady bums" in Butte. In our area, there were similar events although a might bit tamer than Butte. The following news items are taken as written In the October 1 and 8, 1897 Jefferson Valley Zephyr.

HOME NEWS: William R. Gordon of Silver Star and Miss Winnie B. Whitmore of Hartford, Iowa were united in marriage at Butte on Monday by the Rev. M.L. Streator. Henry Wisner, while loading shells on Saturday, pushed one of them a little too strong and an explosion took place, which came very near blinding one eye for him. As it is, his face is well sprinkled with powder, and the doctor picked out a lot of pieces from his face. A.J. McKay went to Norris on the train Monday noon, returning Tuesday morning on his wheel. A gentleman whose name was not learned, but who owns a claim and resides near the Mayflower, lost a horse Sunday while fording the Jefferson River. He and his wife narrowly escaped drowning. Mr. and Mrs. John B. Welcome have deserted Creeklyn, their summer home near this city, and returned to Butte for the winter. The school at Cold Springs opened on Monday with T.A. Brown as teacher and two dozen pupils in attendance. Miss Carey, superintendent of schools, will conduct the teachers' institute for this county at Boulder in the latter part of this month. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Steeples of Gaylord, on Sept. 30, a ten-pound girl.

AN EVENT AT PARROT: On Monday afternoon work on the new flume of the Parrot ditch below Point of Rocks was practically completed and on Tuesday morning the water was turned on the first time, arriving at the smelter site at 10:40. The pipes were allowed to fill up and the wheels in the powerhouse were set in motion. The work was done under the direct supervision of Supt. G.F. Bartlett, Electrician C.A. Coolage, W.L. Packer, superintendent of the ditch, and Dan Foringer, chief machinist.

The Fisher children of Butte, three in number, were taken to the Orphans' home at Twin Bridges last week by Mrs. Hare, matron of the Silver Bow poor farm.

The contract for the care of the convicts in the penitentiary and the patients in the insane asylum for the next two years were let at Helena on the sixth. There are now 400 inmates in the insane asylum and the actual savings to the state in two years at 65 cents a day per patient as compared with the last two years, will be more than $70,000. Conley and McTague cared for the convicts last year at 38 cents a day and their bid of 40 cents is an advance over the former rate. There are 300 convicts now in the state prison, and the increase means something more than $10,000 to the state during the two-year life of the contract.

Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Weingardt are pleasantly located in the little town of Rochester, twenty miles from Sheridan. Mr. Weingardt has bought a comfortable home in that town and proposes to settle down in matrimonial contentment.

100 Years Ago: By 1923, Whitehall was moving into the modern age. The main streets in town (Legion and Division) were paved, motor vehicles were rumbling throughout town yet horses were still an important part of transportation. The Jefferson County Fair was still being held here, people were moving and building, kids were in school and business was growing. The following articles are based on notes made by Roy Millegan, Sr. from editions of Jefferson Valley News, October 1, 11, and 18, 1923. The photo shows the Whitehall school bus in the Fair parade heading south on Division Street.

Do not be alarmed when you hear a strange new sound in town later this week. Our firemen are placing the new siren on top of the bell tower in the park and will do a test once the power is hooked up. This will prove to be a very valuable tool in alerting our volunteers that their help is needed to squash a fire in town. The bell has served us well but is simply not loud enough to alert all the men needed for many fire emergencies.

Our local ladies are celebrating ten years of friendship and improving our community. The Whitehall Women's Club has accomplished much over the last decade and the members have set their sights on having a community library available to all by next year. Other towns in the area have a library and they feel it is time that books are available to those in the community who do not venture into a classroom on a daily basis.

Our young men at Whitehall High School are still learning the new sport of football. Their scores are more up and down than the rollercoaster at Columbia Gardens. They lost to the boys in Butte 96 to zero but toppled the Sheridan team 103 to zero. The Twin Bridges team also fell to WHS. The win was not as large; but, large enough to show those boys south of here they are no match for our proud warriors.

Team members are Needham, center; Wolverton, right guard; Black, left guard; Covert, right tackle; Carney, left tackle; Porter, right end; Miller, left end; Rafferty, quarterback; Murphy, right half; Lovelace, left half; and Potter, fullback. Substitute team members are Westmoreland, Rochester, Bricker, Brite, Bryan, Halvorson, Severtson, Baker, and McDonald.

There are a few items in local business news this week. Mr. McGlynn is still charging only $3.00 for horseshoeing. The Whitehall Trading Company is having a big sale but it will not last forever, so stop by for great prices. George McLeod just could not make enough at the pool hall in the National Bank building and has had to close the door. Mr. Chris Bigler reports that the Waterloo Creamery is going full bore. They receive about 2,000 pounds of milk daily which helps to produce 200 pounds of American cream cheese every day. The Sanitary Dairy and the Riverdale Dairy have announced their price increase for this fall, beginning on the 15th. Milk will be 12½ cents per quart and a quart of cream will be 60 cents. Those who have chickens might want to keep them under lock and key as there are many reports of chicken thieves working the valley.

There is exciting news coming from the Silver Star area. Looks like there will be a new place to take a hot dip besides Point of Rocks or Pipestone. Mr. Barkell is building a plunge near his residence. The concrete pool will be 27 feet wide and 63 feet long with depths ranging from three to seven feet and will be fed from the natural hot springs there.

The ladies of the Liberal Culture Club are hosting a Father and Son banquet on the 17th at the Palm Hotel. Mrs. B.M. Bowman is chairing the event and Mrs. R. E. Tait will handle the invitation committee. It is preferred that sons be over the age of 11 to maintain proper decorum during the dinner. The cost will be 75 cents for two reserved seats.


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