A look back at Laurel History - 6/15/17

Two Laurel boys missing in action in 1942
Outlook managing editor

25 years ago

June 17, 1992

Runoff from heavy rain in the Laurel area overflowed irrigation ditches in town and caused flooding of streets and basements. Unofficial reports show that between 3.4 and 3.8 inches of rain fell in Laurel by the time the rain had stopped this week. The Laurel A&W restaurant and parking lot, and neighboring property was flooded by runoff water which overflowed the Italian Ditch. The ditch runs behind the A&W property to the west, curves around on the south side of the building and continues under First Ave. South through the ConoMart lot and east. A&W was forced to closed Monday evening due to the rising water.

Births were announced for Ryan Michael Perkins, Tanner David Mostad, Shelsea Diane Schwartzkopf and Dalton James Elmore.

Laurel and surrounding area law enforcement officers took a one day school on car theft at the Laurel Police Department last week. Instructor Neil Wagaman of the National Insurance Crime Bureau taught the students about different methods of car theft and how to identify stolen cars. Wagaman said that a car is stolen every 20 seconds in the United States.


50 years ago

June 21, 1967

Vandals were busy over the weekend when the Red and White Grocery in east Laurel was broken into and a rock hurled through the Montana State Liquor Store window. Entry was gained into the grocery store sometime Saturday night by breaking a small hole in the door window, then turning the doorknob. Some cigarettes and stamp money was taken, police said. The window of the liquor store was broken but vandals did not gain entry, police said.

Mrs. Carol Johnson of Fairbanks, Alaska visited recently in the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Karl George and sister, Janie. Additional houseguests in the George home while Mrs. Johnson visited included Miss Sheila Wiley of Manderson, Wyo., a former college roommate of Mrs. Johnson’s; Dr. Euste of Lebonan, Kan.; Mrs. Pauline Yates of Fishtail, Mrs. Taylor and her niece from Scotland; and Mrs. Ann Norris Bailey and her five-year-old daughter, Denise from Helena. Before her return to Fairbanks, the Georges, Mrs. Amy Vadnais and Mrs. Johnson toured the Big Horn Canyon by boat, a trip George and Mr. Vadnais’s son, Bruce had taken just prior to the building of Yellowtail Dam.

John W. Pokarney, once widely known in this area as a shutout pitcher, died at the age of 70. He was a brother of Mrs. P.A. Johnson of Laurel. Pokarney played ball in high school at Fromberg, and was a community hero when he went to the top of local ranks in ball clubs in Billings. A handbill on yellowed newsprint announced “Pokarney Day!” in Fromberg as June 18, but does not give the year when Fromberg was to meet Laurel. Pokarney played all or part of almost every season with his hometown team after graduation from high school, according to the handbill that continued by stating, “He is a home boy, having been born and reared on a farm one mile north of town, hence the dedication of this day by his team mates and friends.”


75 years ago

June 17, 1942

Automobile tax stamps in the denomination of $5 were placed on sale in all post offices and offices of internal revenue last week. The stamps, when affixed to cars, indicate payment of the tax for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1942, and must be purchased on or before that date. The issuance and use of gasoline rationing books will rely on the identification number printed on the tax stamp. 

Nine Laurel grocery stores announced this week that beginning next Monday delivery of goods to the residences of customers will be restricted to one delivery a day, at 2:30 in the afternoon. Customers are admonished to include all wanted items in their orders to the store, for the next delivery will not be made until 24 hours later. Gone are the days of the old free-and-easy, when delivery boys thrust folding boxes of foodstuffs into your back porch or kitchen at almost any hour, or came roaring up in a truck with a loaf of bread you had forgotten to include. The rubber that used to be so easy to get is going into tires for jeeps that the boys are driving in Australia, India and (this is a secret) European and into artillery tires, rubber boats, airplanes, gas masks and a lot of things that really are secrets. Grocerymen, realizing that the end is in sight for the tires they now have and wishing to make the delivery service extend over as great a period of time as possible, have gone to the one-a-day basis.

Official word has been received by the parents of two Laurel men that they are “missing in action.” They are Ellis Slater, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Slater and Albert Brickman, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Brickman. Both families live in the Spring creek community south of Laurel. The two men enlisted in the army about a year ago. When last heard from, which was several months ago, both were in the Philippines. Mr. and Mrs. Slater have two other sons in the service. Eugene is in the navy and Warren, at last accounts, was in Australia.


100 years ago

June 13, 1917

The commencement exercises were held Thursday evening at the gymnasium. There was a large crowd in attendance to greet the 11 graduates who were given diplomas as an attestation that they had completed the course prescribed in the high school of this state. Heretofore the girls have outnumbered the boys in the graduating class. This year there are five girls and six boys. A number of the class graduates are from the rural districts near Laurel and after completing the common schools have come into this city to take the four-years course in the high school. Those who completed the work and were graduated were: Ruby Nicholas, Dorothy Turner, Daisy Munyon, Alta Fritz, Gladys Mainwaring, Alfred Warfield, Wallace Warfield, Leslie Sheets, William Hartley, Robert Richard and Amos Flood. O.M. Wold, as chairman of the board of education, in very appropriate terms presented the diplomas to the members of the class.

The first machinery to be used in the prospective oil field west of Laurel arrived Sunday from the National Oil Well Supply company of Billings. Work will begin at once on the erection of the derrick and buildings to be occupied as a camp. If the weather conditions are favorable for work it is thought that actual drilling operations will be commenced in about 10 days. The first well will be drilling on one of the sections to the F.W. Schauer ranch. The prospect is being made by B.F. Hoyt of Billings, who has Baltimore capitalists associated with him in the undertaking. He is doing considerable work in the Carbon county fields to the south. One well is being drilled at the present time west of Silesia. They have reached a depth of 800 feet there and it is reported a flow of gas stronger than any heretofore been struck was encountered. This is claimed by oil men to be very favorable indications.


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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