A look back at Laurel history - 10/12/17

Park City students collect over 10,000 pounds of scrap metal in six days
Get prepared for a long winter with a ton of coal for just $3 in 1917.
Beet season is here although shipping methods have changed since 1917, when the Laurel Trading Company urged haulers to look into new horse harnesses.

Compiled by
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor

25 years ago
Oct. 7, 1992
The birth of Matthew Anthony Garcia was announced.
Laurel postal employees Jack Budge and Judy Cherry put away their walking shoes last week and took out their loafers, but loafing is not high on the list of things these two plan to do with their free time. Budge, a letter carrier for 37 years and Cherry, a former letter carrier and postal clerk for 24 years, both retired Oct. 2 from the Laurel Post Office.

50 years ago
Oct. 18, 1967
Approximately 60 Yellowstone County Federation of Womens Club members attended the fall meeting of the federation held in St. Anthony Parish Hall. The Laurel Womans Club was the hostess club for the day-long sessions. Mrs. William C. Bascom, YCF president, conducted the business sessions and introduced the guest speaker, Mrs. Barbara Ring, a missionary to Pakistan, who showed slides and told of the “Moslem Woman.” Special music was provided by the Laurelettes. The afternoon program was presented by Mrs. Amy Vadnais of Laurel who showed films of her summer trip to Europe and the Holy Land.
Ken Olson was installed master councilor of Norman C. Johnston Chapter, Order of DeMolay, at installation ceremonies held Tuesday evening in the Masonic Temple. Installing officer was Olson’s Father, Kenneth E. Olson, who was assisted by Gaylord Easton, installing senior councilor; Doug Easton, junior councilor; Jerry Shay, marshall; John Goodman, senior deacon; Rod Easton, chaplain; and Nicky Cashmore, musician.
“Jesse Stuart, the famous author?! He’s coming? I can’t believe it!” Yes, it is true. Jesse Stuart, world-renowned author, speaker and teacher is going to speak at English luncheon at the Northern Hotel tomorrow and we’ll be there. None of this would have been possible without the help of Laurel Senior Highs English and Journalism teacher, Mrs. Lois Elda Larson. How did it come about? When Mrs. Larson was state president of the Montana Teachers of English in 1959-60, she asked Mr. Stuart to be their speaker at the state convention. Unfortunately he had the honor of being selected visiting professor in Cairo, Egypt that fall and had to write a late refusal. He did say, “Ask me again,” and Mrs. Larson filed the letter, “for the famous  signature.” A few years later he was the featured speaker at the National convention in San Francisco and Mrs. Larson was among the many to speak with him. Noticing her Montana badge, he said, “Montana, you WILL ask me again.” In Lady Blue J’s own words, “How pleased I was to know that this famous man hadn’t forgotten, that he would come to our thinly populated but wonderful Montana. Immediately other teachers were pressing for his time but his publisher took me aside and later Stuart, the publisher and I walked up a San Francisco hill to the hotel.” The Laurel Leaves staff are special guides and hosts for his visit. Laurel High School is very proud of the fact that Mrs. Lois Elda Larson was responsible for Jesse Stuart’s visit to Billings and to us!
The Laurelaires, a senior high school singing group under the direction of Miss Carol Rein, will provide special music for delegates at the District 11 American Legion and Auxiliary meeting planned Sunday at the Legion Hall in Riverside Park.

75 years ago
Oct. 14, 1942
Laurel’s 85 percent completed disposal plant, brought to a standstill by Pearl Harbor, may yet survive and become operative. Capt. B.D. Baker of district No. 8, U.S. public health service, Denver, spent Monday here investigating the status of the Laurel plant, amount of critical materials needed to complete it, and whether it had any valuable relation to the war effort. He told City Engineer C.H. Storms he would recommend its completion as a public health measure. It is not in a war production area, but operation of railroads is a necessary part of the effort. Work on the plant, authorized at a special election, began last year before the Japs decided the time had come to satisfy an old grudge against Admiral Perry and at the same time keep alive a waning political faction. After Dec. 7 the national program became devoted to one objective, the war effort. Engineer Storms said Wednesday that although Baker’s visit guaranteed nothing, it did show that Laurel had not been forgotten and there was some hopes for completion at a fairly early day.
Adverse weather this week stopped the beet harvest dead in its tracks, and F. H. Suddith, Great Western fieldman said he did not expect work to resume before Friday or Saturday. Despite serious shortage of labor, with business men, school boys and others acting as stop-gaps, the harvest had been moving along fairly well in most of the localities in the Billings factory district. Suddith said Wednesday he understood the Montana State College at Bozeman would close to permit students coming into this section to assist with the beat harvest. He said 150 to 200 were expected in this district. For the Laurel vicinity he requested 27.
Residents of Laurel are asked to keep tin cans separate from the rest of their garbage, to permit the cans being collected separately for salvage. C. H. Storms, city engineer, said this week that city trucks would keep them separate, piling them in windrows about 12 feet apart at the municipal dump in anticipation of a baler coming to package them for shipment.
Mrs. Clyde Bray is in receipt of a letter from her brother, Sergeant Forrest Lyons, who is in Australia, stating that after not having received any mail for some time, eight letters, a postcard and a package from him arrived in the same mail. He enclosed a snapshot of himself and also one he took of two men holding up one of the Australian bats which appeared to have a wing spread of five or six feet. Sergeant Lyons is in the infantry, second battalion.
The Park City grade students began their scrap metal drive Oct. 2, and in the first six days piled 10,200 pounds on the school ground. The students are honored with army ratings based on the amount of metal collected. High ranking students are George Schulz, major general, who brought in 1,400 pounds; Mary Altice, Catherine Scott, Charles Rymer, Billy Guide, colonels; Raymond Frank, major; Howard Smith and Lyle Rupp, captains, Ralph Rees, first lieutenant; Marlene Eastlick, Donna Grubaugh, Wayne Hedges, second lieutenants; Jimmie Schreiner, sergeant and Billy Lierow, corporal. The high school students, now aiding in the beet harvest will join the scrap drive as soon as the high school opens again.

100 years ago
Oct. 10, 1917
Difficulty is still being experienced by the drillers at the oil well on the Schauer ranch, one mile west of Laurel, where it was announced last week that oil had been struck. A piece of casing remains stuck in the bottom of the well and all efforts so far have failed to remove it. Considerable time and money, amounting to between $3,500 and $4,000 have been spent in an endeavor to pull the damaged casing out or drill past it. The lodgment of the casing is of a very serious nature and if it cannot be removed operations may have to cease on the present well. In case drilling is abandoned here temporarily, work will be commenced on a well at Hesper where a rig is already on the ground.
The Northern Pacific depot at this place was the scene of one of the boldest holdups that has ever been staged here between 1 and 2 o’clock Thursday morning. Miss Mina Anderson was on duty at the time and the contents of the cash drawer, amounting to $40.40, was taken by the robber at the point of a gun. The third trick operator had gone from the firemen’s dance and was ready to go on duty . The door had been unlocked by Miss Anderson to let him in and it was left unlocked for a few minutes. The robber entered from the waiting room and calmly demanded the contents of the till. Miss Anderson and the third trick operator could do nothing but sit still while the money was being taken. The robber was clad in a pair of overalls and had his face covered with a hand kerchief. As soon as he took his departure the officers were summoned and a thorough search was made by Chief of Police F.M. Quinn and Night Watchman Ernest Wilson, but the robber had made his getaway. The quick manner in which the news spread is evidenced by the following, taken from the Reed Point paper: “All the excitement shortly after 2 o’clock Thursday morning among the boy and girl brass pounders of the Northern Pacific, according to Local Operator F.M. Harlan, when it ticked over the wires that a bold bad man with a red handkerchief tied over his face entered the Northern Pacific depot at Laurel with a six gun in his hand and demanded the key of the cash drawer from the pretty little third-trick operator, Miss Mina Anderson. Miss Anderson, who is a favorite among the knights and ladies of the key, saw the robber first and threw the key in a waste basket. When it was demanded at the point of a gun in the hands of the robber, she said that she did not have it. The man then shot the lock off the cash drawer and secured $44.40 in cash and made his getaway. He was seen later by the conductor on No. 3 making his way towards Billings. When it was ticked over the wires that the Laurel office had been held up, the wires were kept busy by that popular young heroine’s fellow workers along the line, asking for the particulars and congratulating Miss Anderson upon her heroic stand.”

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