A look back at Laurel History - 7/6/17

Train holdup men arrested at Laurel depot 100 years ago

Compiled by


Outlook managing editor


25 years ago

July 8, 1992

For the first time in 41 years, Laurel’s annual July 4 fireworks display was postponed—but only for one day. Thundershowers in Laurel dumped an estimated two inches of rain in Laurel Saturday, July 4, forcing members of the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department to scramble in an effort to reschedule this event. But true to their tradition, the firemen pulled off the best fireworks display in the state and thrilled the 20,000 to 30,000 spectators that joined Laurel residents for the event.

Originality and showmanship seemed to be the watchwords for those who entered this year’s Fourth of July parade. KUUS Radio in Billings won for Best Patriotic Entry, with Dan Miller and the float, “It’s Time to Clean Up America.” This trophy was sponsored by the Laurel Worden Creamery. Best Commercial entry was won by Wood’s Powr-Grip. The Laurel Federal Credit Union sponsored this award. Best Western Entry was awarded to the Rocky Fork Free Trappers and Cheerio Bar for their mountain man float. The Fifth Ave Deli sponsored this trophy. Coast to Coast’s entry, Tim Harmon and the Seventh Ave. Band, won best Musical Entry, sponsored by the Palace Bar. Best of Parade, sponsored by Ben Franklin, was awarded to the Hardin West End Merchants. This entry was a replica paddle wheeled boat, “Far West,” sponsored by 21 merchants. It’s construction included 30,000 napkins.

Births were announced for Emmett Page Wester, Tyler Sean Summers, Allison Elizabeth Neff and Jordan Michele Stevens.

Chapter 57 of the Experimental Aircraft Association will hold its 3rd annual Laurel Airport Day. Experimental, antique and classic aircraft will be on display along with various displays by the Billings Flying Mustangs, Civil Air Patrol and Montana Pilots Association. Chapter 57 will provide breakfast and lunch through the day, along with aircraft rides for a $5 donation. 


50 years ago

July 12, 1967

The crews of Big John and Little John, operated by Loyd Shay and Lawrence Branstetter, picked up 33 people between Livingston and Laurel during the annual Yellowstone River Float last week end. The value of equipment they salvaged and returned to owners is estimated to have been worth several thousand dollars. Shay, who praised the Fish and Game Department personnel for their efforts in patrolling the river, was in turn praised by Don Lenhardt, Laurel, when Lenhardt credited Big John and Little John as being the two rescue boats of the fleet. “Some of the contraptions on that river are pathetic,” Shay said after stating the only safe way to float the river is with the best equipment available and with the necessary know how. Some of the accidents made it clear that equipment alone is not enough, Shay observed. Lenhardt was in the party that saved companion of Phillip Lewis, Billings, who drowned near Youngs Point.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Eisenbraun received word this week that their son, Ships Serviceman Third Class Alvin H. Eisenbraun, U.S. Navy, helped provide heavy gunfire cover for Marines and equipment being landed 17 miles south of DaNang, Vietnam, as a crewman aboard the destroyer Harry E. Hubbard.


75 years ago

July 8, 1942

John Beslanwitch, 42, veteran of the first World war has relisted in the regular army of the United States. He was given preliminary acceptance for service at the Billings recruiting station and was sent to Missoula for advanced physical examination. Passing that, he will go to Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, for final examination. He will be classified at Fort Douglas for assignment to a regular army outfit. He had been rural mail carrier here since 1928. Previous to that he had worked for the Northern Pacific as car repairman.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Easton of Fromberg were guests Saturday of Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Easton and family in Laurel.

Mr. and Mrs. Lou Franzen were hosts last Wednesday at a dinner for Rev. and Mrs. H.E. Chappell, who were leaving for Whitefish. The occasion was also the thirty-third wedding anniversary of Rev. and Mrs. Chappell.

After a two-week vacation spent with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Graff, Miss Dorothy Graff returned Monday to Great Falls to resume nursing at the Deaconess hospital.

Montana driving has sometimes occasioned the amazement of easterners and has caused concern by enforcement authorities. But those days are gone for the duration of the war. Governor Ford last week fixed the state speed limit at 40 miles an hour for the duration. We can be certain our efficient highway patrol will do a good job of enforcement. 

There is no cause to be optimistic about the rubber situation. At the best, even with a great response to the call for scrap rubber, even with ahead-of-schedule production of synthetics, most of us will have to make our present tires last another two years.

For Sale-Milch cow. 2nd house south on east side of road, south of the South Side school.


100 years ago

July 4, 1917

Reed amendment prohibits shipment of liquor into State where sale is prohibited. Twenty-three states now dry; Montana will be affected December 31, 1918. Twenty-three states were bone dry after midnight Saturday, the effective hour of the Reed amendment prohibiting shipment of liquor into any territory where its manufacture or sale is prohibited. The legislation has been hailed by temperance advocates as the greatest single step toward abolition of the liquor traffic in the nation’s history.

The N.P.  depot at this place has been connected with the city water and sewer system. A drinking fountain has also been installed in the waiting rooms for the convenience of the traveling public.

A crew of workmen are now employed excavating for the basement of the apartment house which will be erected by Messrs. McCauley and Spencer.

Three holdup men were taken from a Burlington freight train Sunday about noon and lodged in the city jail by Deputy Sheriff John Berkheimer and F.M. Quinn, assisted by some of the railroad men. The trio boarded the train at Greybull, Wyo., early that morning and first took it upon themselves to “frisk” all of the other hoboes.Then one giving the name of Jim Kincaid did the strong arm act by confronting all side door “Pullman” passengers with a big 31-caliber revolver. At various stages of the trip he lined them up inside the cars and his companions went through them and took all the spare change they had in their pockets. The train crew had telegraphed ahead to Mr. Berheimer that the holdups were on the train and to be at the depot. The officers were shown the car the holdups were in and as soon as the train stopped Mr. Berkheimer leaped into the car and covered them with his gun and the revolver was taken from Kincaid. Deputy Sheriff Quinn and a large number of citizens from town went over and the trio were marched to the jail and searched. They all carried the by-laws of the I.W.W. organization. They succeeded in getting less than $10, but they will face prison terms for their acts.

The Montana Garage sold to George Kurrock last week a Pullman touring car. Mr. Kurrock is a conductor on the Northern Pacific and resides here in Railroadtown.


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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