A look back at Laurel history

Owners of Laurel Red Light District ordered to close up

Compiled by
Kathleen Gilluly
Outlook managing editor

25 years ago
Jan. 22, 1992
Births were announced for James Vernon Holt and Corey Daniel Bummer.
Opening the Laurel Middle School campus is a hot topic, as was evidenced last week when nearly 45 adults and at least a dozen students attended the school board meeting. Principal Richard Trerise went to bat for the proposal, which has strong support among Middle School PTA members. According to the principal, the school has a number of problems because of the closed campus. He explained that there are too many students for the size campus the middle school has and there is not enough for the students to do when they are dismissed for lunch. He compared the conditions to those of an inner city school. He said a limited open campus would teach students responsibility. Trerise suggested opening the campus beginning with one grade one day a week and then expand.
Several students from Laurel and the surrounding area were on the Eastern Montana College honor roll for exceptional academic performance. Among them are Carol Feuerbacher, Linda Gillette, Jeanne Groll, Randy Heiser, Michael Nordstrom, Tracy Prston, Yvonne Riojas, Tracy Lubbers Steinmasel and Steven Willis.
Last week the Laurel Saddle Club had a public pinochle card party at the Owl Diner. Winners of the games were Don Popelka, Roscoe Branstetter, Fran Huff and Doris Roberts.
Sign-up for men’s spring contact football league will be Saturday at Curt’s Saloon.

50 years ago
Jan. 25, 1967
Linda L. Lorash ranked first in a written homemaking knowledge and attitude test given to senior girls and becomes Laurel high school’s Homemaker of Tomorrow, it has been announced. Miss Lorash will be awarded a specially designed silver charm, and she remains in contention for the state and national scholarship awards ranging from $500 to $5,000.
After 52 years associated with the grocery business in Laurel, R.A. (Bud) Kilpatrick is retiring. Jan. 28 will mark the last day of his employment with the firm he has been associated with for the last 47 years. He was first hired by the O.M. Wold Co. in 1920 and served as a delivery boy. This was not new work for the young Kilpatrick as he had been employed as a delivery boy for various local merchants since the age of 13. During the four years he was a delivery boy for O.M. Wold, groceries were delivered in an open-air delivery truck and one cold Montana winter, Kilpatrick recalls, he resorted to a bob sled pulled by a team of horses.
Bales of hay blown onto an electric fence started a fire at the John Sitzman farm south of Park City Thursday. The fire raged out of control for several hours, threatening farm buildings, but was finally brought under control when a truck from Northern Tank Lines delivered 8,000 gallons of water to the scene to nurse the Park City and Stillwater County fire trucks. Approximately 200 tons of hay and the straw from a 40-acre bean field were lost in the blaze. Three corrals, a chicken house, some grain and a bull were also destroyed.
The Laurel Locomotives return home following a disasterous two weeks on the road which saw them win one and lose three. Lewistown invades the Laurel gym next. Coach Peterson, still experimenting with his starting lineups is expected to start Wayne Evans at center, Darrell Ehrlick and either Bob Crow or Mark Lackman at forward. Wayne Bickford will be at a guard and probably John Perrigo at the other.

75 years ago
Jan. 21, 1942
Two Indian boys of the Crow tribe who helped entertain tourists stopping at the Northern Pacific park when their father, Max Big Man, was museum curator here, have joined the nation’s fighting forces. With appropriate old ceremonies, accorded to young braves going to war, the venerable members of the tribe invoked the strongest medicine to insure bravery, protection and many coups. Edgar big Man, 22, left the reservation some time ago and is now in the flying service. His brother, Max Big Man, Jr. 21, left Tuesday night with the expectation of also serving in some branch of the air services. His father, Max the elder, with other members of the family saw him off at the Billings depot. Those left behind, wearing the beads and feathers that are part of their regular attire, waved adieu. About 41 Crow boys have gone to war, Max the elder said. “This is still the Indian’s country, and as we have always done we are ready to defend it and throw back the enemy. This is a different kind of war to any we knew in the old days. But before the boys left we told them to be brave, to look both ways, and never surrender.
The following proclamation was issued this week by Governor Sam C. Ford: Whereas, The president of the United States, acting in accordance with the terms of the selective training service act of 1940 as amended, has issued a proclamation calling for registration on Monday, Feb. 16, 1942, of all male persons within certain ages residing within the United States and the Territories of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. All male persons shall present himself for and submit to registration before a duly designated registration official if such male citizen or other male person has attained the twentieth anniversary of the day of his birth and has not attained the forty-fifth anniversary of the day of his birth.
About 360 farmers and wives from the territory around Laurel attended O.M. Wold company’s annual Power Farming show here Wednesday. The attendance was the largest here in recent years at at the the Billings store Tuesday between 200 and 300 more were present. Guests began arriving about 10:30 Wednesday morning at the farm machine store on West Main St. They viewed the exhibits and interestedly listened to the descriptions and asked questions. A lunch was served at the store at noon. In the afternoon they were entertained at a program and show at the Royal theatre, which continued through most of the afternoon. A motion picture showed United States marines in action, another was on how, “The Strong Shall Be Free, and the third was an animal comedy. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Blood, artists of the screen and radio, presented several vaudeville acts.
In news from Trewin, Miss Jean Bongiani of Billings spent the week end with her mother, Mrs. Lucia Bongiani and family. Mr. and Mrs. George Sparks and son, Tom and Miss Ruby Livergood were Billings visitors Saturday. Zella Grubs is absent from school with an attack of whooping cough. Mrs. and Mrs. Godfred Harding and Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Grubs were shopping in Laurel Saturday. Miss Emma Harriet Grubs had as her dinner guests Sunday Miss Jean Bongiani and Leo Bongiani. Joe and Frank Kapple, John Eisenman and Joe Herold were all successful in getting an elk on a recent hunting trip.

100 years ago
Jan. 17, 1917
Sheriff. S.W. Matlock of Billings was here Saturday evening and served notice on the owners of the rooming (?) houses in the south portion of the city that they would be required to close up and girls occupying the houses would be required to leave the city within 24 hours. This action of the sheriff’s office was taken following instructions from Attorney General S.C. Ford of Helena, who has announced that the restricted districts of the state must go. His instructions have gone forward to all the county attorneys of the state to notify the inmates that vice districts would not be longer tolerated. That unless they were closed the county attorneys were instructed to proceed against the owners of the property. Sunday was the closing day in Laurel. The ultimatum of the sheriff was delivered in person late Saturday evening and Sunday evening the outgoing trains carried the inmates of the Laurel district to new fields. The order of the sheriff was for them to not only leave Laurel, but to proceed beyond the boundaries of the state. The landladies began packing their furniture and it will be disposed of at once. Male admirers of the inmates were in evidence Sundery and were very solicitous of the destination of the girls.
In this issue of the Outlook there appears a notice to dog owners that all licenses on dogs must be paid for 1917 by the first day of February. This is a step in the right direction and it is the intention of the chief of police to follow up this notice and kill all dogs whose owners do not pay the fee by that time. An interesting thing about 1916 is that only 18 licenses were paid. Some are inclined to believe there were some overlooked. It is certain that there are more than that number in the city at the present. Some neighborhoods are visited with packs in which there has been 13 seen on one lawn. If the plans that are now contemplated are carried out there will either be more money accrued to the city or fewer dogs will be seen on the streets.
In local news, Mike Hickey disposed of his house and lots in Germantown to Fred Feurbacher. The property is the old Henry Lackman house and the consideration was $590.
H.A. Carlisle has disposed of his drug business to the Heinz Bros. Drug company. J.B. Heinz and his wife arrived here Thursday from Helena to take charge. Mr. Carlisle will still keep his jewelry business. Both the drug and jewelry business will be conducted in the same building with the same employees as before, except that the drug department will be under the direct supervision of Mr. Heinz.
On account of the Big Horn county jail at Hardin being crowded with prisoners Yellowstone county’s bastile is serving as an overflow prison. Howard Poor Thunder, a Crow Indian and his half sister, Emma Poor Thunder, were yesterday placed in the the county jail here by Sheriff Kifer to await trial in Hardin county court.
Vernon Adams, an itinerant lineman, was arrested here Wednesday by Chief of Police Ed Lamb and Sheriff Quinn when he refused to pay for a meal he had eaten at a local restaurant. A charge of vagrancy was preferred against him and he was given 60 days in the county jail. After his arrest it was discovered that he had a pocket knife that had its point broken off when an attempt was made to break into the rear door of the office of the Montana Power Company the night previous. While this may not be sufficient evidence to warrant his being tried his case will be investigated during the period he is in jail. The point of the broken knife blade was found near the back door of the office of the power company by the officers after it had been reported an attempt had been made to enter the building.
Mac Hibberling, a well known character of this city, was given a gearing and drew 30 days in the county jail on a vagrancy charge. Mac and work did not get along very well and during the past few weeks he had done very little of it and annoyed people by pestering them for drinks. The rest in the county jail will in all probability cure him of some of his indolence.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 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, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


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