A look back at Laurel History - 8/31/17

Teachers’ strike keeps school buildings close to empty at year’s start
By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
In 1917, The German Grocery Store in Laurel was selling Irish Chocolate.
In 1917, The German Grocery Store in Laurel was selling Irish Chocolate.
The spirit of Labor Day, 1942, “is the spirit of a free America determined to preserve its freedom, whatever the cost and the sacrifices may be,” according to this Yellowstone Bank ad.
The spirit of Labor Day, 1942, “is the spirit of a free America determined to preserve its freedom, whatever the cost and the sacrifices may be,” according to this Yellowstone Bank ad.

25 years ago

Aug. 28, 1992

The Laurel Outlook printed a special edition to cover the teachers’ strike on Friday, Aug. 28. 

The strike continues. Laurel school employees and the Laurel school district did not reach an agreement after another lengthy day of mediated negotiations. However, school trustee, John Berg, said he had some reason for hope after the evening meeting ended at 11 p.m.. Berg said that the mediator, Paul Melvin, told the district the union would have a comprehensive offer by Friday afternoon.

Laurel schools opened on Thursday, Aug. 27, despite a strike by the district’s teachers and support staff. Parents who support the union and those who are concerned for their children’s safety have kept their children out of school. The district enrollment for the first day of school showed that only 14 percent, or 255 of the 1,800 enrolled students, attended school on opening day. Total substitutes reporting in the district numbered 66. Superintendent Wayne Severtson explained that the substitutes did not replace the district’s teachers. Under ordinary circumstances there are 106 teachers in the district. “We do not have the normal number of teachers, but we don’t need that many,” he stated. While the initial enrollment seem to reflect strong support of the union, an informal poll by the Laurel Outlook showed that the numbers of students attending the school will increase if the strike lasts into next week.

 

50 years ago

Sept. 6, 1967

A seat on a rail of the Northern Pacific’s east-bound main line brought death to a hobo in the Laurel rail yards Tuesday night. Clovis C. LeBlanc, who had been seen earlier in the day in the yards, was sitting nearly under the wheel of a freight car parked on the track, according to Ken Powell, special officer for the NP. Powell told investigating officers that when he tried to get LeBlanc to move away from the dangerous spot the man rose up with a knife in his hand and attacked Powell, who was slightly cut on the left hand and arm. The knife was described as being hammered out of a kitchen knife, having a sharp, ragged edge. According to Powell he was moving backwards attempting to get out of LeBlanc’s reach and stumbling over the rails and ties when he found it necessary to draw his pistol and shoot LeBlanc. Investigating county officers believe LeBlanc to be a resident of Fairmont, N.D. Records in his possession indicate he was born Dec. 4, 1914.

Fire Chief Gaylord Easton was playing water on a burning storage shed when his feet got so hot they had to be cooled. It was a case of taking the only major source of water off the fire, or calling in assistance. Dave Powers came to the rescue with an Indian hand pump and cooled the chief’s feet while he kept the pressure line aimed at the burning boxcar. The water was being pumped from a Northern Tank Lines unit that brought water to fight the blaze. The grass fire, believed to have started on the NP right-of-way west of Laurel swept through an auto wrecking yard belonging to C.W. Jelly. Jelly stated Tuesday he estimated the loss at $4,000. 

 

75 years ago

Sept. 2, 1942

Although beset by the uncertainties of war-time conditions, Laurel schools will open as scheduled for a nine-month year on Tuesday, Superintendent Fred W. Graff said this week. As customary, the first day of school will follow Labor Day and will consist largely of registration, assignment and organization for work. The teaching personnel has undergone considerable change during the summer, caused by resignations. The condition here is prevalent throughout the nation as result of the war.

Mrs. Sam Frank reported receipt this week of a V-mail letter from her brother, Fred Feuerbacher, Jr., somewhere in Australia. Mr. and Mrs. Feuerbacher, Sr. received a cablegram Saturday. Wednesday the father received cabled birthday greetings. The letters and message reveal young Feuerbacher has been moved to a new location in Australia. The soldier received eight cartons of cigarettes at one time from Laurel friends. The Laurel Outlook reaches him, usually in bundles of several copies.

Corp. Clyde S. Freund, son of Samuel L. Freund, was married to Miss Rita Catherine Mueller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Mueller of Billings at a ceremony in Springfield, Ill. Mrs. Freund is a graduate of the Billings high school and St. Vincent hospital school of nursing. corporal Freund is a graduate of the Laurel high school and of the air corps technical training school at Chanute Field, Ill. Mrs. Frund has returned to Billings and will make her home with her parents for the duration.

Harold Frank, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.Y. Frank, left Friday for Anaconda to visit his brother, Reuben Frank, while en route to California where he is stationed at Mather Field, near Sacramento.

 

100 years ago

Aug. 29, 1917

The first touch of the reality of the war in which the United States is now plunged was felt by Mrs. McKim, of Park City, when she received a message from Canadian headquarters in France stating that her husband, Roy McKim, was killed in the trenches on the 16th. Further details are lacking. McKim, for several years a resident of this section of the state, enlisted something like a year ago in one of the Canadian regiments, and his wife visited at the training camp in Canada before he left for the European battlefields. Mrs. McKim has a son and a son-in-law enlisted in the service of the United States.

In the neighborhood of 300 people attended the dance given by Messrs. Morris & Ege in their new store building at Molt Saturday evening. There were over 50 cars parked around the store building and everyone present reported a splendid time. The music was furnished by a three-piece orchestra under the leadership of George Matheson. Refreshments, consisting of ice cream and cake, were served by the hosts at midnight and dancing continued until 3 a.m. Among the Laurel people attending were Messrs. and Mesdames O.M. Wold, Ahlstrom, Moody, Settergren, Powell, Richardson, Mrs. Kenyon, Mrs. Brager; Misses Kenyon, Carlton, Newton, and Messrs. Swain, Westbrook, Lloyd and Ray Blinkensop, Nutting, Solso and Tharalson.

Supt. D.S. Clinger, who has been out of the city for three weeks, returned home Thursday evening. While gone he visited in Chicago. He says conditions in the middle west are about the same as in Montana. In some portions of that section there are numerous German sympathizers. With this exception war conditions there are the same as in this state. 

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