Horse thieves captured near Laurel, graduation for 11 and Rebekahs host meeting for 300 in 1921

A look back at Laurel History: May 13, 2021
Compiled By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, May 13, 2021

25 years ago

May 15, 1996

A sting operation conducted Monday by the Laurel police led to three arrests of convenience store clerks for allegedly selling alcohol to minors. An underaged person cooperating with police tried to buy beer at eight stores in Laurel Monday afternoon. The man was turned away at five places, but three store employees didn’t even ask for identification before completing the transaction, according to Officer Mitch Connors. “There’s an obvious problem if you can go into three of eight stores and they’ll sell (alcohol) to juveniles,” said Connors. The three clerks were all charged with unlawful transaction with a minor.

How many pennies laid end-to-end are needed to cover a mile? The students at West Elementary School in Laurel know the answer; it takes 84,480 copper coins. And this mound of money will send one of their classmates to a summer camp for children with muscular dystrophy. The West fifth-graders are sponsoring the fundraiser for Shauna Quilling, who has the neuromuscular disease. The students were inspired following a speech by a Muscular Dystrophy Association representative, who mentioned the penny drive idea as a successful way to raise money. The goal of the school is to collect $844. West students have collected over half this amount since the drive started on April 26. Five-hundred dollars will be used for Quilling’s tuition, and the extra money will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help sponsor another Montana student.

Dick Hatfield, a 64-year-old ex-minor-league pitcher with a ready grin and a thumbs-up attitude, masterminded Saturday’s Jumpathon to benefit the Laurel Public Library. The concept is simple. People pay to go tandem-skydiving, harnessed to an expert jumper, and others pledge money if they actually take the plunge. The pledges all go for books and other library materials. Hatfield who organized two previous jumpathons, always volunteers to go first. “Statistically,” he informed the group of seven skydivers, “if anything goes wrong, it’ll be on the first run.” The senior citizens who participated in Saturday’s event each needed a signed medical release to jump. “Max Long is healthy and can jump from a plane,” said Dr. Robert VanNice’s note, “… should use parachute.” The oldest jumper at almost 71, Long was also the steadiest and stayed aloft the longest.

Births were announced for Tatianna Nichole Hoffmann and Samantha Jo White.

 

50 years ago

May 19, 1971

Duane Steinmetz is Locomotive of the Week for his fine performance in the Discus throw. Steinmetz placed two firsts this past week. He is also a good shot putter.

In a regular council session, presided over by E.H. Ebersviller, Sr., aldermen heard a negation proposal from Employees Local No. 316 seeking a 25% across the board wage increase, plus a $2.50 per month increase in the city’s participation in group health insurance; a $100 per month or $75 per month plus gasoline pick-up allowance of the water plant superintendent; a shift differential for afternoon and midnight shifts; a $25 per month waste increase for the assistant water plant superintendent; the cartoons of an assistant chief of police with a $25 per month pay differential; and equalized pay for all department superintendents.

Tim Miller broke the school’s high hurdle record with a 14.9 running, ran a 10.5 first place in the 100 yard dash, placed first in the low hurdles, and captured first in the 220 yard dash to pace Laurel past Billings Central and Hardin in a Quadrangular Track Meet held here last week.

A futile attempt to halt erosion of the south bank of the Yellowstone River a short distance downstream from the mouth of the Clarks Fork River was in progress Thursday as two men were seen pushing car bodies into the river channel. The practice is to become illegal July 1 under the terms of legislation passed this year. Car bodies are not an effective means of controlling erosion, conservationists state. They add that the bodies are often carried away from their original position and create another problem at some other place in the river.

 

75 years ago

May 15, 1946

By saving a little right now in their food consumption, families in Yellowstone county and throughout the country can help save lives in the worst food shortages that the nations in Europe and Asia have suffered in modern times, said W.H. Jones, county agent, in explaining the urgent need for food supplies to be shipped abroad. The effects of war and severe drought have reduced food supplies in those stricken countries to far below the minimum necessary to maintain human life, Jones said. Americans are being asked to voluntarily reduce wheat consumption by 40 per cent and fats and oils by 20 percent.

Miss Gloria Holliday, granddaughter of E.Tl Hays of Laurel, a retired employee of the Farmers Union refinery, is to marry Hall Peary, the “Great Gildersleeve” of radio and motion pictures. Published announcement was made May 7 in the Los Angeles Herald and Express which carried a two-column story and pictures of the principals. “Gildersleeve” (Peary) authorized the statement, “You can say we’re engaged and that we will be married after my wife secures her divorce.”

Merritt William of Laurel who is serving with the First cavalry division in Japan was advanced to first lieutenant last month and received the following letter from Brig. Gen. W.B. Bradford, commanding. “Camp Drake, Tokyo, Japan, April 26, 1946. Please accept my heartiest congratulations on your recent promotion to first lieutenant. This well-deserved advancement is the result of your hard work and ability and is a tangible indication of the confidence that we all place in you. I am proud that you are a member of our famous First cavalry division, which was the first to fight its way into Manila, and was selected by General MacArthur to be the first to enter Tokyo. I wish you good luck and continued success in your army career.”

 

100 years ago

May 18, 1921

The week beginning Friday, May 20, and ending on the following Friday will see the closing activities of pupils and teachers of the Laurel schools for the year and now rapidly approaching a finish. It is a week brought with many events of importance for all the school executives and pupils, but more especially for the graduating class of the Laurel high school. This year the graduating class will be composed of 11 members, quite an increase over the first years following the establishment of a high school in Laurel. Those who will receive diplomas will be Wilbur Vaughn, Paul Wold, Arthur Scheidecker, C. Franklin Parker, Nona Haggler, Sarah Hopkins, Hazel Lanman, Lynn Jordan, Edith Mitchell, Vera Arnold and Christine Van Nice.

Arrest of alleged members of a “rustling” ring who are said to have been engaged in stealing horses in this section of the state for the past two years followed quickly last week as the climax to an attempt to drive off between 30 and 40 head of stock belonging to ranchers a few miles south of Laurel. The sheriff’s office in Billings is of the opinion that the band has been broken up as a result of the arrests. The activity of the operators resembles somewhat the work of rustlers of early days, say old timers of the district.

Three hundred delegates and visiting Rebekahs, representing the 12 Rebekah lodges of the district of which the local lodge is a member, met in district assembly here Tuesday afternoon. The visitors were the guest of Evergreen Rebekah lodge of Laurel. The meeting was called to order in the lodge room in the Wold building at 1 o’clock and a greater part of the remainder of the afternoon was devoted to the district lodge’s work. Beginning at 5 o’clock an elaborate banquet was served in the hall proper and the long tables that had been arranged were loaded with delicacies which the local ladies had prepared. The guests when assembles around the festive board was indeed a merry crowd.

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Upcoming Events

Monday, June 28, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Monday, July 5, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, July 8, 2021
2nd Thursday, 6 p.m., Council Chambers

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