Monday, February 28, 2011



Looking northeast over Noxon from a promontory up Pilgrim Creek. Circa 1919. Note how the forest crowds in on the little hamlet nestled at left of photo in the valley carved by the glaciers that created the Clark's Fork River drainage from Lake Missoula centuries before. The river runs right to left through the photo near the base of the mountains in the background. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.

Noxon had grown into a closely knit little community. Perhaps half a dozen residences, a like number of businesses and a schoolhouse, aligned along the Northern Pacific Railroad which paralleled the Clark's Fork River in generally an east-west direction.

Noxon, circa 1919-'21. East to west: Finnigan's Saloon, Hay and Grain Store, Maynard's Saloon, Peek's Store, Buck's Store (building in the rear) Mrs. Baxter's Hotel (later known as Sheldon S. Brown's Pool Hall, and then Straberry's Pool Hall.) Courtesy William Finnigan collection.
East and west of it were like hamlets, plus a few depot-only railroad stops. Surrounding each hamlet were little creek valleys, in which homesteaders had laid claim to 160 acres each, mostly forested land. None of the valleys exceeded two miles in width, with the exception of wide level areas around Heron and Whitepine.

Little distinguished the settlers from each other, but all were elevated above transient lumberjacks. Entree into the family circles could only be gained through exemplary behavior at community dances, which were open to everyone; or, through invitation from a homesteader/logger.

By and large the population was predominantly eager to dance and socialize. Ready for any opportunity to gather together.

The area was opened to settlement by the NPRR in 1883. A few called Noxon "home town" in 1917. Most arrived to homestead after 1904, thus having been in the area scarcely a dozen or more years.

During that time, some families joined ties through marriage. Some of these inter-related groups, settled in and around Noxon, included the Bauers, Greers and Gordons; Saints, Fulks', Bartholomews, Higgins' and Berrays; the Huffmans, Hammons, Bucks and Ellis'. Baxters and Weares united through marriage, too, as did Evans' and Raynors.

Individual families were numerous, including Hampton, Brown, Engle, Lyons and many other early settlers whose entry into the area are told in Volume I of this three part history series. The early settlers included many young people, now grown to young adults, with babies, and working to stay and prosper.

(insert picture)

Caption: Depot agent and lady at Eddy, Montana at Northern Pacific Railroad Depot. Circa late 1880s. Courtesy Ruth McKay Tauscher collection.

Most had lived through the devastating holocaust of the 1910 fire and found the courage, or the desperation, to remain. The majority lived in log homes, used kerosene lamps, outhouses, icehouses, and enormous woodpiles. They grew and preserved sizeable gardens, shot and ate venison, caught fish and gathered and preserved vast quantities of wild berries from the surrounding mountains.

Although much was made of appropriate dress, in the woods, farming or working in sawmills, men wore functional garb. Family men enjoyed advantages. Their clothes were washed regularly. 'Floaters' were limited to their 'bindle'. Attendance at a Parents-Teachers meeting, church, wedding or funeral, mandated wearing coat, hat and tie. And a suit, if they owned one.

The maps included in Behind These Mountains show the locations of known settlers. Vignettes of many of them and the part they played in settlement and development are included in this series.

Josephine Bunn all dolled up for a costume for party
in Noxon, Montana. Circa 1908. Courtesy Edna Evans
Cummings collection.

Zenus Carmichael, a harness maker, came to Noxon in 1915. He settled back at the base of the mountains in Bull River, built the bridge linking his 160-acre homestead with Caspar Berray's and LaFaun's places. He kept a good root cellar, well stocked. After the forest service arrived, in 1906, and began installing lookouts, Zenus spent some time on the Squaw Peak Lookout.1.

Dennis and Bridgett Daly left Wallace, ID in 1916 with their little son, John. They came over Thompson Pass headed for Bull River, stopping to spend the night in the old Ginther house alongside the trail. The house had a reputation for being haunted.

Upstairs were some five-gallon cans. During the night packrats began hopping around on the cans. The Daly's hitched up their wagon by lantern light and lit out for Bull River in the middle of the night, not stopping until they got there. Dennis settled his family on a homestead on the mountainside behind John Connelley's place on the North Fork of Bull River.

He returned to Wallace, working there, and coming home to his place on Bull River sporadically. He died soon after moving his family to the valley. Two nephews, Bob and Joe Daly, whose mother had died, came to live with Bridgett and her three children, growing up in the mountains of Bull River.2.

When a settler was found dead in his log cabin, the sheriff rode up. But the man had committed suicide. He'd shot his dog, set the house on fire and shot himself. The forest service came to put the fire out. George Jamison and John Connelley buried him right there. They rolled him up in a blanket and buried him four feet deep and put the dog on top of him.3.

Harriet and Henry Raynor, a Yankee Civil War veteran, came to Noxon by wagon train from Yankton, South Dakota and were well established on Rock Creek with a large clan of relatives surrounding them.4.

Henry Raynor wasn't a logger. He lived on what the family produced on their homestead, augmenting it with his $75 a month veterans pay. They raised and butchered their own cattle, had chickens, a milk cow and a big garden.

Harriet Raynor's aviary. Harriet
raised a variety of special birds.
Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings

Harriet Raynor on the Raynor
homestead on Rock Creek, cira
1920. Courtesy Edna Evans
Cummings collection.

Shelves in the cool, dark cellar stored the shallow tin pans in which Harriet poured her milk so the cream would raise and could be skimmed to churn into butter.

One day Harriet, who also enjoyed her aviary of prize birds, beat the dickens out of Mrs. Beals' in the store at Noxon because Mrs. Beals made some snide comment about the butter Harriet churned from their cow's milk. Harriet didn't take any guff from anyone.

David Evans, his wife and daughter, Edna, lived on the east side of Pilgrim Creek. Five-year-old Edna had a big rag doll. Johnny Skelton and his sister, Nellie, children of a schoolteacher, lived on the west side of Pilgrim Creek. Mrs. Evans played ragtime music on the phonograph. Johnny and Edna danced around under the big tree, hollering "ragtime," "ragtime."

Lillian Raynor Evans, Harriet Raynor, seated with granddaughter, Edna Evans, and David Evans at their home on Pilgrim Creek, Noxon, Montana. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.
Mrs. Evans was a self-taught photographer, developing and printing her own pictures. She also raised rabbits. David Evans worked on the railroad bridges and operated the ferry. David Evans wore a long heavy overcoat in February, to keep warm. One time he fell in the water and his coat froze stiff before he made the mile from the ferry to his house in Noxon.

David and Lillian Evans home in Noxon, Montana. Circa early 1900s. Edna Evans seated on a chair. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.

Lillian Raynor Evans and her rabbits at Noxon, Montana. Circa 1915. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.
David's parents and brother cut cedar posts and shipped them out on the railroad. Grandfather Evans had one of the first cars in Noxon, a Reo.

Insert pix William Evans' Reo, the first Reo car in Noxon, Montana. Circa 1918. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.

Ed Hampton, who'd settled in Noxon shortly after the NPRR was completed in 1883, left Noxon and returned to Canada. His daughter, Mary, stayed behind to work in Buck's store. His brother, Arthur, and his wife, Florence 'Fanny' Hampton, also remained at Noxon. David Evan's sister, Clara, and her husband, Al Prinze, bought the Hotel Montana from Ed Hampton.

Lillian dressed little Edna in white eyelet dresses, white socks, white shoes, a put a big bow in her hair. All fixed up, they walked the mile west to the two story frame Northern Pacific Section house that sat alongside the railroad tracks, where Andrew and Mary Knutson lived. Andrew was the NPRR section foreman. Mrs. Evans did ironing for Mary Knutson while Edna played with the two Knutson girls, Ruth and Rhoda, and their brothers, Johnny and Charlie. Henry Larson, who clerked in the nearby Peek's General Merchandise Store, often gave Edna a big long stick of licorice candy just to see her get dirty.
"We went to Golda Fulks one day I remember well," Edna said. "Momma and she were friends. Golda had an Aladdin lamp and, curious like kids are, I was walking around looking at things. The mantles on the lamp were hanging down and I had to touch. It [the fragile mantle] all fell to pieces and I was in trouble!
"Raynors crossed the Clark's Fork River by row boat to go to dances where they danced all night until five o'clock in the morning. it was daylight when they started home. David (Edna's daddy) called square dances from a book he had.
"He and Momma both played the harmonica. They called it a mouth harp. Momma played Red Wing very well, as good as the record on the Edison phonograph."5.
* * * * *
American railroads had flooded European countries with glowing advertisement for settlers. Over five million immigrants flocked to America between 1911 and 1920. Train loads of them rumbled into eastern Montana seeking land. But Albert Sanda moved onto Pilgrim Creek, less than twenty miles from the state's western border with Idaho.

Ernie Raynor, making cedar posts on Rock Creek in Sanders County near Noxon, Montana. Circa 1917. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.
While President Wilson was taking America into war, in a single day in 1917, a record number of farmers took up new land in Montana. Two engines pulled eighty-four carloads of settlers, their families and effects west over the Great Northern railroad (the High Line) to Montana.

The immigrant settlers scattered to points along the Havre line, Shelby line, and the Billings line. The Milwaukee railroad averaged over ten carloads a day for all of March, while the Union Pacific railroad brought still more. The peak of influx wasn't expected for another thirty days.6.

Noxon men quickly found this a new and lucrative market for the cedar posts they hewed from inexhaustible stands of virgin cedar in Rock Creek, Dry Creek and Bull River, north of the Clark's Fork River.

However, the post splitters soon tired of waiting in line to ferry their wagonloads across to the south side of the river to the NPRR railhead at Noxon. They wanted a bridge.

'Launched' isn't the right word, because the club 'revolved' into a serious attempt at self-government, the first beginnings of an entity that would spllit appar the county, shattering many friendships.
"The people living in the vicinity of Noxon are conducting an experiement," was the way the newspaper reported it.
March 8, 1917
"A community club, elaborate in its purpose and organization is to be formed out of a rather loose association known as the "Forum" which is in turn the outgrowth of an old debating society. While the club is a successor to the old debating society in a general way, its immediate purpose is the conduct of the ferry at Noxon.
"The community owns the ferry, which is operated on a forest service cable. The people by popular subscription pay a part of the cost of running the ferry.
"The society was called together for the purpose of uniting in a common plan to provide funds for the ferry and the officers take charge of the annual subscription."
The Friday meeting was called by Forest Supervisor, Stevens, to discuss a closer organization because the forest service owned the ferry cable.

Some time before, Stevens had submitted to the members an outline of a constitution and by-laws, which would be used as a pattern for regulations adapted to local needs.

Several alternative plans of organization were proposed at the meeting. Folks agreed to meet again in a month. In the meantime, a committee, J. W. Hammons, Earl Engle and George Buck, "will draft a constitution and by-laws" the next meeting could act on. The current officers were William Ellis, president, and his father-in-law, George H. Buck, secretary. The object of the meeting:
"To consolidate local needs and form a united movement to satisfy these needs.
"Somewhat the same purpose that a town or village organization serves in the way of police, fire protection, road and sidewalk maintenance, protection against trespass ..."

"Agreements with the forest service and with the county or state will be within the province of such an organization. Perhaps out of it may also grow some more extensive forms of co-operative work, such as marketing and purchasing. Both men and women will probably be eligible to membership."
They met again the middle of April, "and drew a large crowd of people from all over the vicinity of which Noxon is the center."

Noxon ferry, which homesteaders had to use to move their products to the NPRR for shipping, circa 1913-22. Courtesy William Finnigan collection.

William Ellis presided as Chairman, and George Buck acted as temporary secretary. A constitution,

"... so drawn that the association can act thru an executive committee and yet is free to govern itself entirely as it sees fit," resulted. A broad stated object "provides for future expansion."
For 10 cents monthly dues anyone living in the community or having interests there "is eligible to membership" but "could be expelled for conduct unbecoming a good citizen." "The election of officers drew a lively interest.

G. J. Gordon, S.S. Brown, Walter V. Lake, J. W. Hammons, Arthur Legault, H. C. Minton, J. C. Colvin, P. H. Scheffler, Jack Pilik, James Miller, Mrs. S. S. Brown, Frank McKiernan, Frank Connaly, Harry Kirschbaum, H. J. Beal, Mrs. H. C. Minton, Mrs. E. Engle, C. L. Maynard, Bryant B. Bunn, Mrs. Z. W. Jamison, Wm. Ellis, Earl Lockman, Geo. R. Jamison, W. C. Finnegan, Chas. Mercer, F. M. Anderson, C. R. Weare, C. L. Crawford, Marion Larson, Harry Talmadgen (sic), Marion Cotton, B. F. Saint, Earl Engle, F. E. Harris, Mrs. F. M. Anderson, LaFern Saint, Geo. H. Buck, Elizabeth E. Buck, Ethel Weare, Henry Larson, Edna M. Dillon, Sue Ettien, Georgiana Emard, Amber Divers, Mrs. A. Knutson, Jos.Bauer, Wm. Geske, Mrs. Alice Fulks, Wm. Fulks, Arthur Hampton, John Knutson, E. E. Thompson, Solon Ellis became members and signed the articles of association that Saturday night.

Several candidates were nominated for each office and the votes were fairly well divided. J. W. Hammons was elected president, Marion Cotton, vice-president, and Marion Larson, secretary (for which he'd be paid $5 per year). The regular meeting - May each year; "but special meetings may be called at any time."7.

Early in 1917, Governor Samuel V. Stewart created the Montana Council of Defense. It ran for almost a year as a quasi-legal body before the Extraordinary Session of the 15th Legislature made the council a state agency.

A Community Club at Thompson Falls pushed a movement for a countywide patriotic organization.
"When the county-wide organization is formed, it will undertake the task of making a complete inventory of Sanders County's resources... It will assist the government in gathering any facts it may desire regarding this county," the newspapers advised its readers.
"It will also urge upon all farmers and town residents the planting of as much foodstuff as possible and perhaps aid farmers who are lacking in funds to procure cheap money for the planting season."8.
Everyone with tillable soil MUST plant it to crops such as potatoes, cabbage, turnips, beans, oats, wheat and corn, that store well for a year or more; urge the NPRR to release right-of-way land through town for crop planting to anyone who wants it, the editor wrote.

As snow melted from homestead garden plots the axe, grub hoe, and dawn to dark bonfires enlarged them. Many women cracked the whip over the horses plowing deep furrows in the virgin soil. Spades, hoes and rakes, blisters and backaches, created the larger gardens demanded by the nation at war.

Harriet, Fred, Bessie, Sherman,
Roy, Wesley, and Gilbert Raynor
at early homestead on Rock Creek,
Sanders County, east of Noxon,
Montana. Henry and Harriet moved
with their family, Fred, Arthur, Ed,
Lillian, Ernie and Sherman, and
Harriet's son, Frank Allan, from
Rathdrum, Idaho. A baby, Harold,
had died earlier and was buried at
Rathdrum. Courtesy Edna Evans
Cummings collection.

Food conscious communities took note when ten carloads of Chinook salmon fry from Anaconda were placed, as an experiment, in the lake behind the Thompson Falls dam.9.
The patriotic club had still more ideas.
"If war developments continue and this country actually places men in the theatre of battle, the organization would provide supplies assisting the Red Cross with bandages and other necessities of the soldier in the field and act as the receiver of contributions of various kinds."10.
Snow was not the only thing flowing from the valley. Gone was the trusting community camaraderie of January's funeral group. Differing ideologies emerged as Noxonites began taking their first plunge into wars unfamiliar waters.
Those pushing for a county club said,"important work that the county club may perform is the observance of any persons who may be suspected of disloyalty and the cementing of the entire county into a united body to support the country in whatever need may come."
Instead of uniting neighbors, the defense council caused flagrant and wide-spread disregard of President Wilson's dictum that the country was not against a people: The Germans.

Desire for land? For community standing? For power? For any reason at all, "patriotism" became a weapon of abuse.

As anti-Germanism fever gripped the valley even nature's creatures were singled out for destruction. The war made .22 rifle ammunition scarce. Small boys no longer enjoyed their 'chore' of plinking a shot through the furry body of the pesky gophers. Instead, they helped spoon moistened oats or ground wheat, laced with Kill-Em-Quick, into the ground holes of the rodents.

April 15, 1917

"Gophers are enemies of the United States government and of the people of the United States."
"Use KILL-EM-QUICK gopher and squirrel poison. The minute Mr. Gopher smells Kill-Em-Quick, he starts right in to commit suicide - it gets them all for 1 cent an acre - saving enormous losses. It is estimated that gophers cost the state of Montana as much as $40,000,000 per year on the basis of 1916 wheat production for the state.
"In some sections they rob our nation of 50% of the crop. Montana has too many of these pests, which by destroying a portion of our food supply, are offering aid and comfort to our enemies.... every farmer who fails to take some action against them is allowing himself to be robbed of a portion of his profits.
The next week the editor was informing readers that animal pelts were desperately needed, but it was fur from larger animals than gophers he referred too; rabbit, mink, racoon coyote, martin, fox, wolves and such.

November 22, 1917
"There is a chance for Montana boys to do their bit in helping clothe the boys in Europe by spending some of their spare time trapping and capturing animals, whose pelts are needed by the government in lining aviators' coats and for caps and coats for all branches of the military and naval service."
(500,000 dog pelts were bought by the American Air Service before the Armistice of WW1. With aircraft soon reaching altitudes of 18,000 feet, only twelve years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight, pilots were experiencing frostbite. Better flight suits were being sought after and developed.)

Raynor with team of horses, putting
up hay on Rock Creek homestead near
Noxon, Montana. Circa 1920. Courtesy
Edna Evans Cummings collection.
C. R. Weare recognized in the story a way to augment incomes. The allied governments recently bought 790,000 pelts on the closing dates of the St. Louis fur sale. Skins sold for 30 and 40 cents each, and exceptional pelts brought as much as $1.00.11. Weare was out early and late, tending trap lines. Lantern light often spilled from his barn windows across the snow-covered acres of his homestead. Skinning beaver, martin and muskrat, then properly dressing the hides, often kept him up long after his family was asleep.

War imposed activities invaded the narrow valleys in many ways. The government established wheat standards; advertised for all experienced ship carpenters to,

"register with the emigration service as it is believed they may be needed to assist in organizing and training workers for the national shipping board;"

and ordered the discontinuance and dismantling of all private wireless apparatus "while a state of war exists only plants under government supervision can be operated."

The Thompson Falls Power Company fell victim to orders calling not only for shutting down the wireless plant but also requiring,
"that all of the apparatus outside of the building be pulled down and that the coils and other devices inside the building be packed up and sealed. A government agent will be here soon to see that the orders have been carried out."12.
Following close on the heels of labor disputes, espionage became a major concern for the county sheriff. Evidence of a spy wireless was found on the highest peak near Paradise, MT only sixty miles east of Noxon.

Some people in Noxon speculated, and cast suspicious eyes on neighbors and travelers alike for evidence of pro-Germanism. Patriotism was loudly touted as the Red Cross Society met and gave a dance at Peek's hall, the undeveloped upstairs room under it's flat roof popular for gatherings.13. Sarah Cobear played piano. Bob Jenkins played fiddle.

A picture of the Kaiser someone had posted on a pole across the street attracted attention. One lady said,
"Give me a gun. I'll shoot the son-of-a-bitch."14.
(insert photo)
Henry and Harriet Raynor's hay barn on Rock Creek, near Noxon, Montana. Circa 1920. Courtesy Edna Evans Cummings collection.
Changes at Noxon due to the war occurred almost imperceptibly. On April Fools Day 1917, Harry Tallmadge staged a dance above Peek's store. Marion Larson, a gay young blade always popular with everyone, laughed and swung the girls until they squealed. He paid special attention to Madelaine Brown as the young ladies served midnight supper of sandwiches, cakes and coffee.

Beneath the veneer of gaiety sober suspicions lurked and certain reserves tinged conversations. McCann's orchestra, hired from Trout Creek, played gay two-steps, polkas and waltzes. David Evans called square dances. However, cautious, speculative glances were exchanged, especially between the businessmen present.

Harry, recently intrigued by photography, brought his camera. During supper intermission he grouped everyone for pictures. The only light available, lamplight and candles, flickered across them. Would these men, laughing in the photos, soon be going off to war?

Off to one side, out of hearing of the ladies, Eddie Gore, the little man who delighted everyone with his circus acrobatics, recounted memories of the stench and mutilation he'd witnessed five years ago in the Philippine war. Bob Larson, who came by train often to Noxon's dances, and his brother, Henry, who worked in the drug store at Thompson Falls, listened closely, being interested in Noxon's future and its gay ladies.

April Fool's Day dance, 1917, photographed by Harry Tallmadge in dance hall over Peek's Store using light from kerosene lamps. Courtesy Harry and Sarah Tallmadge collection.

(insert photo)Caption: Arthur Hampton, Eugene Green, Marion Larson and Frank King, the Noxon School Board. Circa 1909. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.

Arthur Hampton, who was now clerking in Buck's store, spread the word that a free dance would be held in Peek's hall six days hence, on school election night.

On April 7, dancers clustered around Andrew Knutson, NPRR section foreman, congratulating him on his election. Andrew received all but four of the thirty-one votes cast. He succeeded George Phillips, joining two other school board members, Mrs. Mary E. Divers and Joe Hammons. Marieneas "Marion" Larson was acting clerk of the board.

As could have been expected, a short time later someone (probably one of the four who voted against him) contacted the State Superintendent of Schools to protest Andrew's election to the school trustee seat. A law enacted by the last legislature required that at least one school trustee in a third class school district must come from "outside the territory of the large school of the district."

In the case of Noxon, this meant having a trustee who resided in the Bull River valley. Other trustees from other Montana school districts were facing the same objections to their seating, but Noxon's situation was slightly different than the others. Knutson was the only candidate. No one from the Bull River School would accept the office.

Eddie Gore posing in a richshaw when he was in the US Armed Forces, serving in the Phillipines. Courtesy Douglas and Mary Smith collection.
April 5, 1917

"$7,000,000,000 WAR LOAN IS A REALITY"

The newspaper headlines brought gut-wrenching worry to readers. Every businessman, every homesteader struggling to make ranching with chickens, cattle, hogs and hay a supporting proposition, were hit hard as taxes to support the war increased.

A new dimension was added to Montanans spending habits when the copper penny was introduced to the state, replacing nickels and dimes.

Clinging to their toehold on security, was it jealousy, fostered by suspicion that a neighbor was less jeopardized? Or the broad mixture of nationalities? Or human nature under stress?

Things came to such a state in Sanders county that the editor was prompted to admonish his readers.
"Lets be big enough Americans to forget our dislikes for each other and merge in one great, loyal body beneath the colors of the union.
"Petty little neighborhood differences and personal quarrels are shamed to suppression by the big common interest that the war now holds for all of us. There are too many things for the citizens of Sanders or any other county to do to waste their time in bickering over their little enmities.

 "T'would be a dull world - If we didn't have differences of opinion. As one old man, untaught by schools, but wise in a gentle philosophy that the storms of life has taught him, says; "'Why if everyone in the world thought just the same as I do, they'd all want my old woman.'"15.
An unidentified man and woman, possibly homesteaders in the Bull River valley, circa 1918. Since the Pilik School was the only frame-lumber building I know of in the valley, I think picture may be on the back porch of Pilik School. The photo was in the Essie Thompson Mercer collection sent me by her daughter, Ruth Mercer McBee. It contained several Pilik School photos.
Next: Chapter 3

  1. Dad's Peak is named in honor of Zenus Carmichael. Grace Carmichael Nelson and Glen Nelson (January 1988 USFS record.)
  2. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, tape-recorded oral history.
  3. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, tape-recorded oral history.
  4. Edna Evans Cummings, April 13, 1987, tape-recorded oral history. Joel Raynor and two other Raynor men came to the US from England. Sherman and Henry were descendants of Joel Raynor. Sherman was in the war of 1812, receiving $8 a month pension from it. Harriet Foland was a daughter of Mellisa Foland, born in England.
  5. Edna Evans Cummings, April 13, 1987.
  6. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 5, 1917.
  7. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 15, 1917.
  8. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 15, 1917.
  9. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 15, 1917.
  10. Sanders County Independent Ledger,April 15, 1917.
  11. Sanders County Independent Ledger, Nov. 22, 1917.
  12. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 19, 1917.
  13. Sanders County Independent Ledger, Nov. 8, 1917.
  14. Stewart Hampton, oral history 1965.
  15. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 19, 1917.  


  1. Mona,

    Thanks for the wonderful stories. Volume 2, Chapter 2 is very dear to me. The stories and photo's of my great grandparents "Harriet and Henry Raynor" are wonderful.

    Can't wait to see all of Volume 3 posted.
    -Thanks again
    Tracey Lewis

  2. Tracey,

    It's such a joy to know homesteaders' descendants like you find stories directly from their ancestor's lives in these three volumes. You can read all 22 chapters of Volume 3 by clicking the links to them in the right pane.

    At this point, I'm uncertain whether I'll publish the remaining pictures online or not. I'm in the process of publishing ebook editions, to make them available in as many venues as possible. However, if I decide to create Kindle versions also, Amazon's contract may require me to remove these online books.

    Thanks for contacting me about the haying picture, and stay tuned ~~

    Mona Leeson Vanek

    1. Thank you for this gift of Family and how they Lived The Photos are wonderful!