Telephones prove popular in postwar Laurel with over 900 in service in 1946

A look back at Laurel History: August 19, 2021
Compiled By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, August 19, 2021

25 years ago

Aug. 21, 1996

Montana Power Company customers were without electricity for 24 hours after violent winds blew through the area Saturday and knocked over eight utility poles east of Laurel. About 350 customers were affected in the area between Laurel and Billings, including those in the Montana Meadows subdivision and the Pelican Truck Plaza.

Births were announced for Sarah Nicole Barnes, Zachary Venditti, Landon Philip Gates and Cheyenne Marie Brown. A District Court judge in Dillon extended his ban on enforcement of the state’s contractor registration law indefinitely last Thursday. Judge Frank Davis issued a temporary injunction against the law, replacing an earlier restraining order that had been extended twice before. The injunction will be in effect until Davis rules on a lawsuit brought by state Rep. Brad Molnar (R-Laurel) an unregistered contractor who claims the law contains 41 violations of the state constitution. In his ruling, Davis noted, “the State’s contemplated enforcement of the Act will result in great and irreparable injury to the Plaintiff and others similarly situated.”


50 years ago

Sept. 1, 1971

Despite state laws requiring open meetings and open records for public agencies in all but a few specific instances, almost all papers responding to the press association survey say they have problems. More than a dozen Montana —from larger dailies to smaller weeklies—report they have been denied access to records and meetings of public agencies in recent months. C.C. Calvert of the Laurel Outlook says his reporters and the public have been turned down on requests for current city ordinances. Jack Gilluly of the Shelby Promoter says that some public agencies in his area are failing to publish the required legal notice informing the public of hearings and meetings.

Rick Dieterick has been chosen as the Locomotive of the Week. Rick is a 150 pound senior fullback. He has shown a tremendous amount of hustle and spirit throughout the preseason practice period. Rick is also a fine defensive back, and if he can stay healthy the coaching staff is looking for 48 minutes of play per game from the hard working senior. Dieterick has improved steadily in his basketball play and when the winter rolls around Rick has been found playing guard on the Frosh, B and JV basketball teams. Rick’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dieterick who reside at 520 Fourth Ave.

The student body at Park City high school elected officers for the 1971-72 term last week. Heading the senior class is Vincent Story, president. Other senior officers are Verna Stephens, vice president; Joan Bekker, secretary-treasurer; and Jeff Kober and Julie Hergett, student council representatives.


75 years ago

Aug. 21, 1946

The growth of Laurel and the increased tempo of business activity in this area is forcefully shown by some telephone information released today by R.B. Packard, Laurel manager of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph company. Companywide information prove similarly that business activity is at an all-time high in the entire Mountain States territory. Although many people believed that the end of the war would see a definite leveling off, is not a decline, in demand for telephone service, the eleven months since V-J day have witnessed unprecedented new demands for service, as well as record-breaking usage of telephones by subscribers. In Laurel, there were 647 telephones in service June 30, 1941. Although wartime demand for new telephone service was very great, material shortages held down the gain in telephones, and in June, 1945, this number had increased only to a total of 810. At the present time, with almost all orders filled, there are 971 telephones in Laurel. Thus, in one year, this exchange has gained almost as many telephones as in the four preceding years. Continuing the program for

Continuing the program for restocking the Yellowstone river with trout, the fish and game commission with the assistance of the Laurel Rod and Gun club planted 19,000 No. 2 size loch lavens west of Laurel Tuesday, states C.P. Lawless, secretary of the Rod and Gun club. In recent years, since inauguration of restocking, the catches have become better for anglers, In early days the Yellowstone teemed with trout, virtually all being the native variety.

The Laurel Farmers Union baseball team downed the Yellowstone Post team of Billings in a sparkling contest, 6 to 3, Tuesday night. With C. Hoffman, Laurel slab artist, turning in a classy three-hit performance, the local sluggers scored four times in the first inning and were never headed. This is the fifth straight win for Laurel in league play, against no defeats.

Mr. and Mrs. Casper Schmidt received a telephone call Tuesday night at 10:15 from their son, Sgt. Robert M. Schmidt of headquarters signal service battalion in Tokyo. The conversation was very distinct and lasted six minutes. Sergeant Schmidt has been in the service three years and said he expected to be discharged in October. He told his father to have his hunting and fishing equipment ready for use when he arrives home. During the conversation Mrs. George Fahy and daughter exchanged “Hellos” with Sergeant Schmidt.


100 years ago

Aug. 24, 1921

While swimming in the Clarks Fork river here Sunday, W.C. Gardiner, local agent for the Northern Pacific, was drowned. He had accompanied the Edgar troop of Boy Scouts, of which he was the scoutmaster, to the river. The body was recovered within about 10 minutes after the drowning. Gardiner leaves a wife and two small sons. His wife is grief stricken as a result of the tragedy and the whole community is deeply moved. The drowning occurred in water of no great depth, and was caused by cramps it is generally believed. Efforts to resuscitate him were made, but proved fruitless. Gardiner had returned a few days before from an extensive trip through the east and west and had been absent from Edgar several months.

Wheat Basin, Aug. 23—The biggest single wheat crop produced in this district this season is that of Mr. Louis which amounts to 11,000 bushels. The quality of the wheat is excellent and most of it will command No. 1 price. Mr. Louis contemplates a still larger crop next year and is already preparing the ground.

An exciting chase of automobile thieves which culminated in the wounding and escape of one of the hunted parties, was enacted early Wednesday morning on the public highway between Laurel and Park City. Deputy Sheriff Levi Colgrove of Park City brought the fugitives to a stop on the main street of that place by use of a 30-30 rifle and succeeded in wounding the man who eventually escaped and who has not yet been apprehended. The Laurel car which was stolen belongs to B.L. Price and was recovered. The two operators consisted of a man and a woman and evidently were accustomed to the business. The woman, giving her name as Fay Smith, was locked up in the Park City jail and was later removed to the Yellowstone County jail at Billings. A large touring car belonging of Mrs. Pearl Frazier was also stolen last week.t



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