A look back at Laurel history - 10/29/17

Montana State Senator banished with wife battles leprosy
By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
Prices may have gone down for long distance in 1967, but even at the new rates calls had to be kept short or dialed after midnight to be affordable.
A Billings’ sanatorium offered the standard water and electrical treatments to patients in 1917, promising to help with everything from appendicitis to nervous diseases.

25 years ago

Oct. 21, 1992

An accidental gunshot sent a 34-year-old Laurel man to a Billings hospital late Tuesday morning. According the the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Department, officers were called to a residence on the 1600 block of 8th St. just outside of city limits. Lieutenant Bill Caton said it was unclear exactly what happened. Caton said the victim and a friend were in a barn of the property when the victim reached for a .38 caliber revolver that discharged into his arm. The bullet went through the victim’s left forearm and did not appear to have struck any bone.

The birth of Derek Andrew Budge was announced.

A 10-year-old Laurel girl has been charged with theft, and police are questioning other suspects in connection with items stolen from the Laurel High School girls locker room. According to Sergeant John Rosenberg, police were notified that items stolen from the high school had been recovered by administrators at Graff Elementary. Rosenberg said that investigation revealed that clothing, jewelry and other personal items had been taken from at least three high school girls. Not all the items were among those recovered. The Sergeant said it appeared that the suspect, possibly accompanied by others, entered the girls locker room at the high school during after-school sports practice and stole the items. Only one girl has been charged, but police have other suspects in the incident.

 

50 years ago

Nov. 1, 1967

Five Garden Clubs attended the Beartooth District fall meeting at the Owl Cafe in Laurel with a no-host luncheon Oct. 18. The Unity Garden Club was in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Justin Cassity gave the invocation and Mrs. Walter Hoffman greeted approximately forty members and introduced Mrs. Cela Reimann, out going district director. After a brief speech Mrs. Reimann introduced Mrs. Eugene Bray of the Park City Garden Club and newly-elected district director. The meeting concluded with a question and answer period.

The Park City Garden Club held its annual guest night and pot-luck dinner at the Civic Center. Bingo was played and vegetables were given as prizes.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Story of Park City were dinner guests Sunday of their son and family, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Story of Laurel.

Laurel can be proud of their Fire Department. We appreciate the promptness and courtesy that was shown us Tuesday when they were called to 610 Juniper Ave., where we live. Also our thanks to the wonderful neighbors who sent in the evening meal. Lodging for the night was offered us, and many neighbors called and wanted to help clean up. Your kindness will always be remembered. Juniper Ave. isn’t such a bad place to live after all. Mr. and Mrs. Reinhold Schatz, Linda, Jerry and Mrs. Rose Schatz.

Reduced rates and a new economy calling period for long distance telephone calls between states are effective Nov.1, according to J.G. Olsen, local manager of Mountain States Telephone Co. This will be the 22nd major cut in rates since coast-to-coast service was inaugurated in 1915, he said. The new economy calling period has been established for direct distance dialed calls between midnight and 7 a.m. The rate for the first three minutes is 75 cents or less for a call within the continental United States. In towns not having direct dialing, as yet, the new rate also applies on station-to-station calls placed with the operator.

 

75 years ago

Oct. 28, 1942

Voluntary meat rationing is now in effect, with the hope that by voluntarily keeping their meat consumption within 2 1/2 pounds a person per week the people will not be required to abide by an enforced rationing order “Not more than 2 1/2 pounds per person weekly” is the message of a sign prominently displayed in some stores. Dealers say that really the requested limitation is not a hardship on most people and that there are many who do not normally exceed that amount. The 2 1/2 pounds includes bone in the meat.

Although an increasing number of sugar beet growers in this territory report completion of the harvest on their farms, about seven producers with approximately 135 acres were still without labor at the beginning of the current week. To meet the emergency created in the industry by an unprecedented shortage of help and with the calendar and weather threatening the loss of a considerable percentage of the crop, Laurel high school went on a half-time basis Tuesday to permit students to work afternoons in the beet fields. The action conforms to an announcement last week. A storm since the announcement, and arrival of colder weather, were construed this week as demanding assistance from the students. Nearly 70 volunteered at the high school. They have been formed into teams and began work Tuesday afternoon at 1 o’clock. Their first afternoon’s performance was credible, although most of the workers had had no previous experience. Given two weeks fair weather, it is believed the beet situation will be remedied. Men teachers of the high school accompany their students to the fields acting as sponsors and leaders. Other sponsors are supplied from the commercial club for which business men volunteer. Transportation is also voluntarily provided. For the first day’s work, 68 students were scheduled for three teams—24 girls in No. 1, 24 boys in No. 2 and 20 girls in No. 3. Sponsors slated for the week are B.V. Friedman, R.H. Sterrett, T.H. Friedman, T.H. Bennett, Paul Wold, C.T. Tharalson, Chester Scott, J.W. Fry and Walter Mauritson. A team of 12 boys and three girls is working at the E.W. Coombs place. Most of the students went to the Richardson, Phillip Knaub and Bernhardt farms.

Bert Kucera of the marine corps arrived in the city Sunday night from Chicago to visit Laurel relatives and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Kucera, at Bridger. He recently graduated from an aerial torpedo school.

Ensign Charles E. Wagner vows the navy will do the job, but Private Thomas R. Wagner scoffs at this, and says it’ll be up to the army. The man who says he really knows who is going to haul down the Japanzi emblems and raise Old Glory is brother Joseph, who this week received his gold bars as a second lieutenant in the United States marines, according to information from the marine corps school at Quantico, Va. It’s a friendly rivalry, however, between the three Park City lads, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wagner, and each is doing his own job and doing it well.

Sgt. Herschel J. Franzen has written from Ireland to his brother, Lou Franzen of the Laurel police force. He says he is having a wonderful time. The people are very friendly and he attends many dances. Everything is done for the soldiers’ pleasure and comfort.

 

100 years ago

Oct. 24, 1917

Isolation on a mountain ranch in Mineral county in company with his bride of less than a year—barred from visiting friends and forbidden to receive anyone in their home during the rest of their lives—is the fate which has fallen on Senator O.G. Willetts and his young wife. An examination recently made at Mayo hospital, Rochester, disclosed that Senator Willett is hopelessly afflicted with leprosy, believed to have been contracted during his army service in the Philippines and Hawaii. Senator Willett served with the First Montana regiment in the Spanish-American war and later enlisted in the regulars and for a time his command was stationed near the leper colony in Hawaii. He was one of the active members of the state senate during the recent session and and it was while he was serving in Helena that his marriage occurred. He had suffered for some time with a mysterious ailment from which he unsuccessfully sought relief at various health resorts. His condition finally became such that an examination by the Mayo brothers was decided upon, but he was not told the bitter truth until just before his departure from Rochester. Dr. W.G. Cogswell, secretary of the state board of health, has returned from Alberton, where he investigated the case. As to whether Senator Willett will later be sent to a leprosarium will not be known until after the case has been taken up with the federal authorities.

The American army transport Antilles, homeward bound under convoy, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the war zone Wednesday. About 70 men are missing and probably are lost. This tragedy of the sea, the first in which an American ship engaged in war duty has been lost, is the first of its magnitude to bring home to the people of the United States the rigors of the war in which they have engaged against Germany. 

C.W. Laird is putting in a basement for a new residence he is erecting on Fourth Avenue.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Lamb of Helena came down Saturday evening and spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Lamb. Earl is working for the Northern Pacific at Helena and they are so rushed that his vacation of a week was cut to one day.

Fay May, proprietor of the Malcom hotel, was taken to Billings Monday morning by Deputy Sheriff F. M. Quinn, where he was charged with permitting gambling to be conducted in his Laurel hotel. The bail for his appearance at the October term of the district court was fixed at $750. In default of the necessary bail he was lodged in the county jail at Billings.

E.L. Fenton has completed the school census for this district and the returns show a big increase over last year. Last year there were 211 boys and 230 girls of school age in the district and this year there are 265 boys and 283 girls, a total increase of 107 children of school age.

The basketball season will open in Laurel Monday night at the high school gymnasium when the high school team will play a team composed of the Alumni association. The game is scheduled to start at 8 o’clock. An admission will be charged. The lineup is as follows: Alumni—W. Warfield and Clifton Royalty, forwards; Vinton Shay, center; Leslie Sheets and A. Warfield, guards. High School—George Kenyon and A. Richardson, forwards; Loren Kenyon, center; Edward Paulson and Walter Gummow, guards.

John Griffin, the chicken thief who provoked Laurel poultry raisers by taking some of their choicest fowls, was in court again Saturday morning. On this occasion he was charged with the theft of a perfectly good overcoat that he sold for 50 cents. In order to rid the community of him he was given five minutes to leave the city, which he did. In order to make sure that he went Chief of Police F.M. Quinn was deputized by Judge W.L.G. Unger to escort Griffin to the west limits of the city and give him a start.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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