Laurel business woman plans to reopen Owl Cafe in 1996

Compiled By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, February 11, 2021
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Hageman’s Elevator was a long-standing structure in Laurel. One-hundred years ago, shoppers could save by picking up their groceries at Hageman’s or phoning in orders to phone 96 for delivery.

25 years ago

Feb. 14, 1996

Buffeted by a powerful wind, the Davenport family watched helplessly from a hilltop south of Laurel Friday afternoon as the Yellowstone River swallowed their home and livestock. Their animals and several farm cats were missing, and the family dog had last been seen perched atop a pile of railroad ties. Snow melt-off caused by sudden warm temperatures and extensive ice jams spread the river beyond its natural boundaries last week. Its unstoppable wake devastated the ranch of Doris and Jim Davenport Jr., their son Jim III, and his family. They lost 70 pigs and 10 calves on North Whitehorse Bench Road. Doris reminded them of their blessings: “It’s only material things. We’ve got our lives. Her son agreed,” As long as we’re alright, that’s what matters.”

A local businesswoman is close to completing a deal that would lead to the re-opening of a Laurel landmark. Linda Frickel says she is awaiting work on a Small Business Administration loan before she can wrap up her plans to buy the former Owl Cafe on East Main Street. There have been many rumors about the plans for the building, where the Owl closed two years ago after 70 years in the business. But Frickel emphasized that she intends to run a family-style restaurant, although with a new name. Major renovations will be required to bring the building up to safety codes.

The births of Brett Victor Berry and Levi Michael Gribas were announced.


50 years ago

Feb. 17, 1971

In a relatively short council meeting Tuesday night, the city council voted to draw up an ordinance creating a salary increase for the mayor, aldermen and police judge; requested a progress report of the cable television situation in Laurel; and questioned the worth of the city’s membership in the Montana League of Cities and Towns. The city clerk will write a letter to the Big Timber Cable TV firm that holds a city license for cable television in Laurel, requesting a progress report on the project. Mayor Kenneth E. Olson reported that the last time he talked with the company representative, proceedings were being held up pending a decision from the F.C.C. “Well, I wish somebody would come in here with cable TV,” First Ward Alderman Louie Yovetich, said. “I’m getting credit for keeping it out of Laurel—I wish I could have; but it passed this council,” he explained.

“I’m Proud to be an American,” was the program presented by the Park City High School faculty and students given in conjunction with citizenship month. Mrs. Melvin Dilbeck, National Honor Society sponsor, gave the welcome. Marsha Linger led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Marie Wells and John Mohr each recited a poem. The Montana State song was sung by the Classical Peace chorus and the audience. Donnaleen Amen and Dan Weschenfelder told of “Famous People of Montana.”

The annual banquet and meeting of the Yellowstone Bowmen was held in the dining room of the Owl Cafe last Wednesday. Awards were presented to the successful hunters, who downed big game with bow and arrows. Jim Foster shot two buck deer, Pat McFate shot one buck deer, and Bob Heiser and Burl Baty each shot a doe deer.

Harold Sterns, publisher and editor of the Harlowton Times, and long active in communitybuilding affaires, will be guest speaker at the Laurel Chamber of Commerce membership dinner to be Monday. The dinner will be in the Masonic Temple and will feature Montana beef, properly roasted, according to Pres. W.A. Freeborn. Tickets are $3.


75 years ago

Feb. 13, 1946

A Guadalcanal native is badly in need of a 1946 calendar, and has written a request for one to Sgt. Thomas Schessler, who is on his way home but has not yet arrived here. Apparently the writer is one of the natives Schessler knew on the island. The letter indicates several things, one being that missionaries have been working a long time in the islands that were little known by most white people until the war focused attention on them. The missionaries taught Christianity, the English language and social politeness. Accompanying the native’s note was a brief letter from Tech. 4 John Arnolfo, dated Jan. 21, who said: “One of the Guadalcanal natives gave me the enclosed note and asked me to mail it to you. I don’t know you and I don’t know the native, but there’s one thing I do know this native wants a calendar bad, so you better send it to him.”

Entertaining for their husbands the Laurel Federated club gave a Valentine party Friday evening at the L.L. club. In charge of the event were Mrs. Herman Schessler and Mrs. Leonard Ferrin, hostesses and Mrs. W.G. LaFlesch and Mrs. Duane Maxson, entertaining.

When the county Red Cross chapter’s canteen closed recently in Billings there came an end to wholesale cookie baking in Laurel, after four years. The number of cookies the Laurel ladies made for distribution among service going to the canteen totals up to the astonishing figure of approximately 60,000.

A new American Legion post, No. 100, was instituted Feb. 10 at Park City with a membership of 28, most of whom are veterans of World War II. Officers of the new post, who were installed by J.T. Annin of Columbus, commander of the department of Montana, are R.J. Harris, commander; Allen Whitcanack, first vice commander; Stanley Pearsall, finance officer; Mark Goodall, chaplain; Herbert Dove historian; and Robert Story, service officer.

The Trewin P.T.A. held a meeting at the Trewin school house Friday evening. There was a good attendance. Bingo furnished the evening’s entertainment. Lunch was served at the close of the meeting.

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Beslanowitch, Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Grubs and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Grubs attended the International Harvester show put on by the O.M. Wold company Wednesday.


100 years ago

Feb. 16, 1921

All remaining stock of the Laurel Meat company was purchased last Friday by Walter Libecap, who, since his residence in Laurel, has held the position of manager for the company. Since coming here he has owned 45 per cent of the stock, the remainder being the property of the Yellowstone Packing company of Billings. Since the transaction, Edward Murray, who has been employed for some time as meat cutter, has become a stockholder and director.

The Farmers’ Mutual Telephone company held meeting at E.L. Fenton’s office last Saturday. Officers elected were A.G. Rich, J.W. Coombs and John Wold as trustees. A. G. Rich was chosen president and E.L. Fenton, secretary-treasurer. The company owns about 11 miles of line.

W.W. Shoot, one of the well known farmers of this vicinity was in Laurel Monday. He is planning to begin his spring plowing soon. Sugar beets is one crop he intends to put in this season if favorable conditions prevail.

The little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mack Harrison was on the sick list the past week from whooping cough, but is reported better.

The annual firemen’s ball is to occur next Tuesday evening. Many visitors from other cities and towns are expected to be in attendance in addition to the large number of Laurel people who are planning to be present.


The Laurel Outlook


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