Laurel ends 1920 as it ends 2020, in semi-lockdown

Compiled By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, December 31, 2020
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At the beginning of 1921, Laurel was under lockdown orders by the Board of Health. Although several stories in the paper allude to the lockdown, it wasn’t made clear if it was due to the winter spread of the Spanish Flu or for another cause.

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This sign for Tubman’s grocery was uncovered during the recent remodeling of the Mabel’s Restaurant building. Read about how Tubman’s took over for Perry’s grocery in 1946 in today’s history column.

25 years ago

Jan. 3, 1996

Following the latest in a series of pilferings, thieves have now cut and stolen more than 17 miles of electrical communication wire from alongside Montana Rail Link tracks in this area. On Dec. 27, 16,000-foot section of wire was stolen between Billings and Laurel, according to MRL. This section of wire alone has a replacement value of about $16,000. The first theft was reported Sept. 27. So far, thieves have swiped more than 17 miles of copper wire worth $40,000 from Yellowstone, Stillwater and Sweetgrass counties.

The holiday cheer ended quickly for the Kerr and Keller families on Locust Avenue in Laurel last week. Dec. 27, Jack and Christine Kerr and Jo and Lia Keller looked downstairs to see sewer water flowing into their basement living areas. Again. A blockage in the main sewer line in the vicinity of Elm, Fir and Hazel Avenues caused the backup this time, said the City of Laurel’s utilities director, Dave Michael. It was the second time in less than eight months that a backup had flooded the two families’ homes. The first occurrence on May 12, 1995 left two to three inches of raw sewage in their basements. The birth of Cadie Jean Frickel was announced.


50 years ago

Jan. 6, 1971

Despite a number of persons, 15 to be exact, attending the council meeting Tuesday night, in protest to a proposed ordinance amendment, councilmen voted 6 to 2 in favor of amending the city zoning ordinance allowing new modular or prefabricated construction move-ons that otherwise meet the building code requirements in R1, 2, 3, and 4 zoned districts. The amendment paves the way for the modular construction, termed the “coming thing” in home building. The new homes meet building code requirements except that they are built at the C and M Construction factory site near Billings and are brought in two pieces and placed on the waiting foundation—thus a move-on. Residents in the area became irrate when the modular homes were placed on the foundations, in two instances, before the amendment was legally in effect.

The Park City Garden Club met at the home of Mrs. Anna Eisenman Monday. Seven members and one guest, Mrs. Laurel Atamus enjoyed a chili dinner. Center piece for the dining table was an arrangement of evergreens, birds and popcorn. Napkins with printed Christmas Carols at each plate had been a gift to the hostess years ago, by Mrs. Nelle Wells. She was the founder of the Park City Garden Club in the year 1927. After dinner the group sang Christmas Carols and spent the remainder of the afternoon reading garden club year books from 1934-71.

Last Wednesday, the Laurel Jaycees held their first of an annual event, Laurel Jaycees Business Appreciation Night. The Jaycees were host to some forty businessmen and their wives at the dining room of the Owl Cafe.

Thirteen members attended the December meeting of the Billy Price Post No. 3177, VFW Auxiliary held Wednesday evening in the home of Mrs. Ann Gaub. Mrs James Huff presided. General orders No. 4 were read and a thank you note from the VA hospital at Sheridan. It was reported 13 packages had been sent by the auxiliary to Laurel servicemen serving in Vietnam.


75 years ago

Jan. 2, 1946

Melvin Trewin, 65, a pioneer former resident of Park City, died suddenly Christmas day at San Jose, Calif., of a heart attack. When a small child he accompanied his parents, Mar. and Mrs. Henry L. Trewin, to Montana as a member of the Ripon, Wis., colony that settled Park City in 1882. According to information received by friends, he had gone Christmas day to shave a friend who was ill. Trewin was stricken while sitting at the bedside. Mr. Trewin’s father homesteaded a farm a few miles east of Park City in an area now known as Trewin school district. Also he built the Trewin hotel at Park City, which the family operated for many years after leaving the farm.

The Northern Pacific is harvesting 119,135 tons of natural ice, an all-time high for the railroad. In addition, company officials said, 142,226 tons of artificial ice will be manufactured for N.P. use this year, making a total of 261,395 tons available for refrigerator service and passenger cars in 1946.

Mr and Mrs. Charles Perry have sold the Perry grocery store to John Tubman, son of Mrs. Petty, who recently returned from the service. Tubman took charge of the business Jan. 1. Mr. and Mrs. Perry will continue to operate the tourist cabins in the vicinity of the store and will reside in their present home. The new proprietor of the grocery has renamed it Tubman’s Food Mart. The Park City ex-basket ball players have made up an independent team, all of them returned soldiers with the exception of two. Thursday night the team met the Worden independents on the local floor and defeated the visitors 47 to 37. Friday night in a fast game the team defeated the Joliet independents. Park City boys playing were Richard Fox, Delbert Jensen, Herman Frank, Kenneth Eastlick and Harold Fink, with Monk Williams, Sidney Otis, Harry Sands and Donald Harris as substitutes.

Relatives received a call from Seattle from Bud Arnold advising them that he had landed in the States after serving two years with the army engineers in the Pacific area.


100 years ago

Jan. 5, 1921

The Laurel Woman’s club met Monday afternoon with Mrs. J.F. MacDonald, and the program which was on the Philippines, was very interesting. The club voted to send $10 to the Literary Digest’s Hoover fund for the European sufferers. The topic committee chosen for the new year was Mr. W.L.A. Calder, chairman, Mrs. G.W. Fenton and Mrs. John Wold.

Charles Dixon, one of Uncle Sam’s soldier boys who was injured in the service so that he is not able to do heavy work, has been assigned by the government vocational board to learn the shoemaking trade with John Schwertley in Laurel. Mr. Stevens, of Billings, who is representing the vocational board for this district was here last week to make arrangements.

The luncheon which was announced the Royal Neighbors had planned for the 12th, following the usual work of the lodge meeting of that night has been called off on account of the sickness that is so prevalent at the time.

Fuller’s Cafe which has been located in the room on First avenue formerly occupied by the Montana Power company, has moved to the Candy Land store room on Main street which was necessary in order to give room to handle the growing business. Mr. Fuller previously ran a restaurant at Park City and is well known to the public.

Mrs. Carrie Erb who is teaching a very successful school in the Coombs flat, was in Laurel during the past week for several days enjoying her holiday vacation among friends. She reports her school giving a very fine Christmas program.

C.P. Linger, the well known Lake Basin farmer was in Laurel last Friday. He reports that he is still holding his wheat, having 4,000 bushels that he is not willing to let go until the market price is more nearly equal to the cost of production.


Upcoming Events

Monday, February 1, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Monday, February 8, 2021
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, February 8, 2021
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Monday, February 8, 2021
Free, 2nd Monday, 3-5 p.m., Frontier Cancer Center, 1315 Golden Valley Cir., Billings, 800-227-2345
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel


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