Postal worker suffered from ‘lagrippe,’ 100 years ago

A look back at Laurel history

War was on everyone’s minds at the end of 1941. This reminder from Montana Power sends a message on the importance of buying war bonds and stamps to support the military.

A New Year greeting from Dutch Mill invokes an informal Montana motto, “high, wide and handsome,” in wishing customers a good 1942.

Compiled by
Kathleen Gilluly
Outlook managing editor

25 years ago
Jan. 1, 1992
“An American Tale: Fievel Goes West,” “The Addams Family,” and “For The Boys,” was playing at the Movie Haus.
The Laurel Volunteer Fire Department received two calls for service over the week. According to Fire Chief Darrell McGillen, firemen were called to the First Avenue home of Ken and Peggy Miller when passers-by reported smoke around the home Friday evening. McGillen said the smoke was from the Miller’s fireplace and was held close to the ground by atmospheric conditions., At 5:30 a.m. Saturday, firemen were called to the Conoco C-Store West. McGillen said the call was the result of a malfunctioning smoke detector.
The children at Foxy Loxy’s Preschool held their Christmas program, Winter Wonderland at the First United Methodist Church. Participants included bell ringers, Chelsie Branstetter, Jessica Hagmeister Jesse Goodpaster, Willie Fife, and Thomas Moran. Suzy Snowflake was played by Sara Jennings.
Suanne Popp and her horse, Jetty, won the title of Champion Barrel Racer at the Coors Country Barrel Race at the Metra during Nile. She won a Crates Barrel Saddle, a sterling silver trophy buckle and a jacket. This is the second time Popp has won this honor. She won the 1990 saddle on a different horse. She is a 1991 graduate of Laurel High School.
The severed fingers of a former Laurel resident were reattached. Andy Blohm was reportedly working in a Kalispell wood shop on a Christmas gift for his daughter when the accident happened, according the the man’s brother, Mike Blohm of Laurel. A little after noon Sunday, his wife Janet received a call from the Kalispell hospital. Blohm asked his wife to to go to the shop and retrieve his severed fingers and take them to the hospital. Janet and their daughter found the fingers, packed them in ice and rushed them to the hospital. The Blohms took an emergency flight to a Seattle hospital where Andy Blohm underwent 10 hours of surgery to reattach two of the three fingers. The prognosis for the fingers is bright. “They sewed on two of his fingers. He said they were pink,” said his brother.

50 years ago
Jan. 4, 1967
Mrs. Conrad Weschenfelder of Park City was a patient at St. Vincent’s hospital in Billings several days last week.
Mr. and Mrs Jake Frank and family of Park City were guests of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sorg of Laurel for Christmas dinner.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce are asked to get Christmas decorations down Sunday in time to get to Church. Chairman Myron Erb of the Laurel Chamber decorations committee said this week the men are asked to attend a breakfast at the Owl Cafe at 7:30 a.m. Erb stated that in years when few turn out to do the work they have finished by 11 a.m. With an adequate crew, Erb said the job can be done in time to allow all to get home in time to attend church. The chairman is adamant that if there is not sufficient help, some other arrangements to handle downtown decorations would have to be made next year.
Army Major Mitchell Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Thomas, Joliet, was assigned to Headquarters, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Maj. Thomas was last assigned to the 34th Infantry in Germany. He is a subsector advisor in the Advisory team 86, aiding the Vietnamese Army.
College students home over the holiday season included Rex Easton, Harley Fatzinger Kay Barness, Robert Vannice, Nancy DeFrance and Kay Menello, all students at the Montana State University at Bozeman; Robert Ulschak, Joanne Menello, Ole Hedstrom, and Mary Anne Peterson from the University of Montana at Missoula; Bill Perrigo, Gonzaga University, Spokane.

75 years ago
Dec. 31, 1941
Mrs. Christine Gunter received a letter this week from her son, Oscar. H. Gunter, who is in the U.S. Navy. Censorship in effect since the beginning of the war restricts such communications to a few permissible statements of no value to the enemy. However, the young man said he is in good health and that morale of the armed forces is high. They want to be up and at ‘em.
Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Price, parents of Louis Price, received a telegram from him Monday. This was the first word since Dec. 7 and said he was enjoying good health.
Plans for home defense measures in the war as applied to the Laurel Volunteer fire department were discussed by members at a business meeting following the department’s annual steak dinner at the Owl café. The plans are to be submitted to the city council for approval and include appointment of fire wardens with authority to act in war emergencies.
The 10 high growers of sugar beets in the Billings factory area were guests of honor of the Great Western Sugar company one evening last week at a dinner attended by company officials and interested citizens. Among those attending were Gottlieb Nauman, Christ Zent, Carl Nauman, Enos J. Erb, Jake Hergenrider, C.O. Stout and John Nauman.
The teachers and pupils of the Trewin school gave a Christmas program at the school house Tuesday evening which was largely attended. An operetta and a dialogue were the main features along with a number of recitations and singing of Christmas carols. At the close of the evening a treat was distributed to the children.
Mr. and Mrs. Amos Flood, Mrs. Lucia Bongiani and children, Mr. and Mrs. John Rupp, Mr. and Mrs. Neal Gunnel, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Grubs and Mr. and Mrs. Mike Beslanowitch and families were in Park City Monday night to attend the Christmas program.
The Park City Panthers met their first upset of the season on the Red Lodge floor Friday evening after defeating the same quintet the week before on the local floor. In the first three minutes of the game Fink and Fox made six points. At the half Carbon led 18 to 16 and 32-24 at the end of the third quarter. the Panthers rallied in the fourth quarter, but failed to catch up. The final score was 34 to 31.

100 years ago
Dec. 27, 1916
Laurel Outlook readers will recall the report of the arrest of Mrs. Lulu Day, formerly of this city, who was arrested a short time ago in Jamestown, ND, on information from San Diego officials that she was wanted in that city for larceny and kidnapping. A dispatch from Jamestown on Friday had the following to say relative to the matter: “Mrs. Lulu Day, charged with the theft of nearly $3,000 worth of jewelry and the kidnapping of a child, left here today for San Diego in the custody of a police matron and deputy sheriff. The jewelry is alleged to have been taken from the home of Mrs. Jennie A Rodgers, San Diego, and the child, a baby, from Mrs. A. Schneider, Mrs. Rodgers’ cook and general maid. In an interview here today Mrs. Day denied all the charges, asserting that she could prove that the child was her own and that all the jewelry in her possession rightly belongs to her and was bought and paid for. Mrs. Day and her husband came to this city last July. They formerly lived at Laurel, Mont., and San Diego. The case is being conducted by San Diego authorities.
Guy Rose of Coombs Flat was in Laurel Tuesday afternoon and took out 900 pounds of coal in his big Paige automobile.
Miss Vivian Darrow, one of the efficient clerks in the Laurel postoffice is confined to her room suffering from an attack of lagrippe.
The ice jam at the railroad bridge south of Laurel grew so large that the Northern Pacific was obliged to dynamite it the last of the week. J.F. Jackson was ready to begin his ice harvest, but the jam cause the water to take a new course and it swept out his ice pond where he always cuts ice from.
William W. Branstetter, who has been suffering from a stroke of paralysis for the past several weeks, passed away at his home on the Spear-Mason ranch Friday. At the time of his death he was 69 years, 5 months and 21 days old. The deceased was born in Pie county, Missouri, July 1, 1847, and was united in marriage to Mrs. Selina Branstetter, his surviving widow. There was born to this union nine children, five of whom are now living. The deceased with his family moved to Carbon county in 1905 and four years ago they moved to the Spear-Mason ranch, northeast of this city. Mr. Branstetter was one of the highly respected residents of this county. He had many friends who mourn his loss. The funeral was held at the ranch home and interment took place in the Laurel cemetery.

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Poll

What are your thoughts on the Firefighters Memorial moving to Helena from Laurel?
It can move.
32%
It should stay here.
68%
Total votes: 38