A look back at Laurel History - 7/13/17

Laurel boy survived battle of Coral Sea, sharks in 1942
By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
This campaign ad for Brad Molnar from 1992 shows that attacks on lawmakers are nothing new.
This campaign ad for Brad Molnar from 1992 shows that attacks on lawmakers are nothing new.
In 1942, learning tricks to cook under wartime conditions was important.
In 1942, learning tricks to cook under wartime conditions was important.

25 years ago

July 15, 1992

Births were announced for Tristan Matthew Kennedy, Rebeca Marie Schultz, Lukas Lyne Lohof, Coe Anthony Golden and Bryce Robert Thomson.

Traci Ames, Park City FHA member, participated in the Student Taking Action for Recognition program at the National Leadership Meeting of Future Homemakers of America in Chicago. Ames, who will be a junior at Park City High this fall, received a three star medal, presented at a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. She competed in the illustrated Talk Event in which she spoke on the topic of Nursery Rhymes.

 

50 years ago

July 19, 1967

“Very good—excellent—the best crop in many years,” describes the 1967 bumper wheat crop in areas around Laurel. Harvesting is expected to begin about Aug. 1, Kenneth Christian, agricultural representative for the Yellowstone Bank, said. Because of increased government allotments, more wheat than barley is expected this year, Kenneth Hageman, local elevator operator, explained, and noted the harvest is running a little behind previous years. No wheat problems have been reported thus far this season. There has been no report of wheat rust and although there was hail between Molt and Laurel, no damage has been reported.

Airman Jim Lee Kerr, son of Mrs. Dorothy Kerr of 521 Birch Ave., is home on leave from the USS Kearsarge. Jim is a graduate of Laurel High School, class of 1966. He has been a member of the crew of the USS Kearsarge, CVS-33 since January of 1967, where he works as an aviation storekeeper. 

Major and Mrs. Donald R. Schessler and family, who recently returned from a three year tour of duty in Ludwigsberg, Germany, have moved into the home formerly occupied by the Robert Dantic family. The Schesslers hope their Laurel friends will call during the next two week period before Aug. 1 when Major Schessler will leave for Vietnam where he will complete his second tour of duty. His family will remain in Laurel during his overseas assignment.

The Park City volunteer firemen were busy Saturday evening with two fires to fight almost at the same time. A grass fire at the Park City cemetery was the first call and before they left there, they were called to the Louis Gathier farm where a haystack was on fire. Better than 1,000 bales of hay was burning. Thanks to plenty of volunteers they were able to save the buildings close by. The Gauthier’s were very thankful for all the help and the efficiency of the firemen.

 

75 years ago

July 15, 1942

When the Sims went down, buckled in half in the battle of Coral sea, some American lad in one of the gun turrets let loose a final shot at Japanese aircraft overhead—just before waves closed over the gun muzzle. Doug Nelson of Laurel, son of Mrs. C.C. Ferguson, afloat in the shark-infested waters, saw the final shot. When Signalman Nelson—he who had marched along the halls of Laurel high school to go to and from classes—and Electrician’s Mate E.A. Flaherty of St. Louis got to San Francisco after the battle they were interviewed. The newspapers throughout America have retold the story. Here is what they told about the battle’s aftermath: From the lips of two United States navy enlisted men, heroes of the battle of the Coral sea came a story of heroism unsurpassed in war or peace—how 12 men on the crew of the stricken dive-bombed navy tanker Neosho sacrificed their lives so their wounded shipmates might live. The two survivors, E.A. Flaherty, 22, and D.J. Nelson, also 22, from Laurel, Mont., revealed that after the tanker’s crew took to whaleboats 15 uninjured men voluntarily leaped into shark-infested waters to make room for the wounded. Of the 15, only three were rescued. They told, too, of a youthful third class pharmacist’s mate who swam from one whaleboat to another, from life raft to life raft, treating burned men with healing tannic acid—swam until he became exhausted and quietly sank beneath the waves without a plea for help. And they paid tribute to the brave crew of the destroyer Sims which circled the Neosho, putting up a barrage of antiaircraft fire to protect the tanker, until the destroyer herself was sunk by bombers. Regular “American kids,” the two youths ended their story of the frightful battle on a humorous note. Asked if they saw any sharks, Nelson replied: “One guy sure did. He’s an assistant machinist from Georgia, name of J.T. Nix. He’d never have made a raft,” Doug said, “except that he was chased by a shark.”

 

100 years ago

July 11, 1917

About 1,000 people gathered at Antelope Point hall near Park City to celebrate the Fourth. The weather was fine and the people were treated to a varied program beginning immediately after a picnic dinner. County Attorney Barney Berg of Columbus delivered an address, followed by a short talk by J.H. Leuthold. Several numbers were rendered by the orchestra, after which the outdoor sports began. There were several races and a bucking contest winding up with a ball game between Antelope Point and the Country club teams, which resulted in a score of 8 to 6 in favor or Antelope Point. In the evening a large crowd remained for the dance. There were several cars from Park City among the number here. Charles Story, John Mohland, John Corwin, Nathan McCreary, John Barr, Joe Bessette, Max Miller, Ralph Story, Finch Brown and Mrs. Sheppard among them. It was estimated that there were over 200 autos present beside a great number of other vehicles and saddle horses.

The meeting of the board of Yellowstone County Commissioners met July 2. There were present F.X.N. Rademaker, Chairman; Johns S. Todd and D.J. Phelan, Commissioners and F.E. Williams Clerk. Among the bills presented, approved and warrants ordered were: O.M. Wold Co., supplies $22.00; L.M. Allard, autopsy, $25.00; Montana Power co., expense $53.60; D.J. Phelan, per diem and expense, $266.65; and Mame E. Kerr, salary $20.00.

 

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