Ernest Whitney Haight
Due to my sudden decision to slap my Haight history together and get it to the Iowa Haight reunion in July of this year 1959 I am unable to include history to be written by Ernest Haight and his son Lyle. Will try to mail it later for it should be one of the most interesting. I shall try to briefly in a few words tell what E. W. Haight
did from birth to 1959. It won't be much or good.
No one seems sure if Ernest Haight was born at Glenn Alphine Home in the hills, where his parents Fred and Laura Haight were living at the time. It is kind of the general opinion that Ernest was born at his grandparents house in Elk Twp., at his grand parents Grandma and Grandpa William J. Haight.
Anyway he was born that is for sure.
He grew up in the hills at Glenn Alphine Home helping with the many chores a farm boy had. He had an older brother to guide (?) him as well as his parents.
He attended the same Brook Center school the other Haight Bro's attended in years to come.
It is my opinion that Ernest as a youngster, and a young boy, was one of if not the easiest son, of the Fred Haight's eight sons. "to bring up". He was even tempered- - not to daring - kind - considerate and usually did what he was told.
He attended High School at Linn Grove for some time.
Then in 1905 or 1906 or both went to Cedar Falls Iowa to go to the state college. No doubt had to make up some high school work. Lather he batched with some others to go to more school.
He meet when in Cedar Falls one fine girl - , who latter became his wife. Her name Maude Thompson who was born near Cedar Falls in 1882. They were married in Lewistown Montana Oct. 10- 1910.
Back to school days. Ernest got out of school and tried teaching. He taught different schools near his old home in Brook Twp. Iowa (I visited his school and did the kids like him?) (He had a way of letting them do as they wished as long as they did their schoolwork ) Teaching about 50 years ahead of his time. For that is the
was schools are now run in 1959. Good? Bad? I don't know.
Anyway along about this time 1909? He decided to go west take a homestead and become a farmer. ( Fifty years latter he is still farming home in Montana).
His girl friend Maude Thompson had taken a school at Brook center school and was a good teacher. ( I know for I, Dwight L. Haight went to school to her ).
Earnest took a homestead about 35 miles north of Lewistown Montana being the first of the " Haights" homestead. It was wide-open country. He can tell many early day experience when he get to it.
He broke most of his native sod with three horses and a walking plow. (Foot burner they were known ). He horses names were - - Smoky - Prince and ? Crops were good but only a few Areas could be planted and so times were hard for them. Money? They did not know what that was.
Though his wife Maude (Thompson) Haight who he had married October- 10- 1910 in Lewistown Montana took a Job teaching the Donkey Ridge school which helped some. Also Maude's mother took a homestead adjoining their (Ernest's) homestead and E. H. later brought it and it became part of the E. H. Haight spread.
Ups and downs until 1918. Then they built a new house standing and lived in by James Hamilton now in 1959.
Earnest - Taught- Mazdeis - School - at Donkey - Ridge- Montana - days - she - was - sick or - in - bad - weather.
For 1918 Ernest built a good house. I, Dwight Haight worked for Ernest and Maude that summer and helped build on the house a well as work in the fields.
Came the winter of 1918 and 1919 - - and the dry summer of 1919 which broke most all farmers. Freed - and hay was sky high. Those who did not loose their stock in the hard winter found them not worth but a few paltry cents in the spring. Far less than the feed they had bought.
How anyone lasted through the following years in Montana is a mystery. Perhaps ninety percent did not. They just quit. Ernest did not. They tightened their belt a few notches each year and kept on. Ran - out - of- 8 punched - new - holes - in - Belt.
Lets see here I missed a couple important events.
Lyle Francis Haight - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1 was born at Suffolk Montana on June - 8 - 1914.
Beryl Margaret Haight. - 1 - 2 -2- 2. was born same place July - - 12- 1917.
Came the early thirties or late twenties and E. W. had a sale moved to South Dakota. (Aberdeen) Harder times than ever. No work and Lyle had six months to a year of hospitalization. Eventually recovered enough to go to school but has never really been a wall man since.
Beryl was a constant companion of her fathers and an out door girl. Rode horses - did chores and was a natural farm girl wife and woman.
Beryl went through high school and college and married Everett Peterson 6/6/1938/ having three children. One died of cancer when seven years old. Beryl and Everett Peterson lived on various farms. Then she was stricken with cancer and passed away in Missoula hospital after a years misery, taken with all the courage in the world. She died 5/24/1957 and is buried at Helena Montana near her son Terry.
Lyle went through college - - joined the weather bureau and has worked five years or so on Cape Hattaras - five or so at Butte Montana. Five or so at Great Falls Montana and has now been in the Helena Office for five or so years. Have a few too many years but they are approximate, Lyle never married. Has lots of fun just doing the
things he wants to do. - Fly Model airplanes - Tinker with Steam Engines - Pictures by the thousands - -
re - modeling a house he bought and? Chasing women. Not enough I am afraid for it looks like he is doomed to bachelorhood. Good? Bad? Who knows ? He seems to like it.
Lets skip back to E. W. and the dry thirties when we left him in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
He and his family came back to the ranch in about 1928 or thereabouts and again started farming from scratch. Taxes had taken most of their land. They had the land where the building stood, They bought a milk cow or two. Got a few horses - planted grass - hay and got a started in cattle.
Latter crops again became good. They sent their kids to college bought a better car and things looked real good, Then Maude became ill quite sudden and for several years Ernest had to care for her. It was not easy.
Came triple A. A. A. and more crop payments and more and better prices with World War - 2 - and then in 1946 his wife Maude passed away and is buried in Lewistown Montana.
Ernest lived alone - buying cattle in the spring - running them in the summer and selling in the fall. Thus no need of winter-feeding. He made some money.
Along about or on 6/11/1949 Ernest married (Second) Sylvia Haight. Sylvia Haight had been Mrs. Rex Haight but Rex had died in 1943 leaving Sylvia widow with two kids * ( Scott and Hardy ) .
Sylvia was teaching in Missoula Montana about 300 miles from where Ernest was living and farming. Not so nice for newly weds. So after a couple of years of this Earnest sold the Suffolk spread and bought an irrigated one fifteen or twenty miles north of Missoula - Montana on an Indian reservation. He continued to buy cattle in the spring run them through the summer - - sell them in the fall - at a profit. (Most of the time.) Sylvia continued with her teaching job at the college. A job formerly held by her first husband - - Rex Haight - -.
Now in 1957 she quit - maybe 1957 it was - anyway she quit, started to college, and got her Masters degree. Why? To prove she could I guess for it is their intention to move onto the ranch north of Missoula and kind of semi retire. Sylvia to paint, write, raise chickens, garden and sleep; in other words just do as she wants to do. Ernest likewise but you will no doubt find him out in the hot sun with a shovel irrigating or running after some steer that got through the fence - or digging post holes - building a coral - or some other job to hard for us younger punks to do.
However now May 1959 he just got out of hospital and several operations and this may slow him down some. If any Haight (Unless it is Howard or Kenneth) can take things as they come Ernest Haight can. No complaining - just grinning and looking on the brightest side of everything.
Written by Haste or Dwight L. Haight - May -27 -1959.
Lyle Francis Haight
I was born June8, 1914 in a log cabin on a farm in Fergus County, Montana where my father had homesteaded in 1910. My parents were Ernest Haight and Maude (Thompson) Haight who were both born and raised in Iowa.
Some of my first memories are of the excitement and confusion attending the moving from the top of the hill down to where the folks were building the new house, this must have been the summer of 1917. I can remember Uncle Dwight driving a wagonload of furniture and sitting in a kitchen chair instead of the regular wagon seat. I also remember being kept away from the blasting for the cellar. Remember too, the women folks sending me out to tell grandfather Haight he shouldn't be carrying bundles of shingles up the ladder to the roof.
Remember also the sleigh rides in the winter, to Herbert's, Ray's and to Burl's after a long day of visiting the wonderful sleep you got snuggled in the straw with the creaking of the runners and the sound of the horses hooves for a lullaby. Also remember listening to Aunt Eva play the phonograph over the telephone, especially the record "Cohen at the Telephone".
The excitement that attended the annual freight shipments from Sears and Wards, everything from groceries to Christmas presents.
Trips to Lewistown in the Model "T" in the early days was a two day trip as we "Saved" our business until we had enough visits to the dentist, doctor, clothing stores, etc. to make the trip worthwhile. Usually the county fair was included as part of the fall trip, what fun that was!
Also remember the 4th of July picnics such immense piles of fried chicken, salad, pies, cakes, ice cream we ate until we couldn't move but before you knew it us kids wee back to see what was left for a snack!
First schooling was received partly at home and partly over at the "Corner" in a little one room shack with either mother or Aunt Mable as teacher, Slid under a barb wire fence one winter and nearly scalped myself, still have the scar. Dr. Sears in Winifred sewed up the wound. In the fifth grade Miss Mae Strong taught. Then in 1925 we moved to Aberdeen, South Dakota where I entered the 6th grade, quite a change from a little country school. That spring I became ill with a chest infection and very nearly didn't pull through.
Mother and I spent the summer of 1926 in Iowa with Aunt Lena (Mother's sister) and Grandmother Thompson, while Dad went back to the ranch in Montana. In the fall Dad came back to Iowa and we moved up to Rochester, Minn. Where I entered the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Harrington removed 7 ribs in my right chest in what for that time was very radical chest surgery. I was all winter recuperating so missed a year of school. We moved back to the ranch in the spring of1927.
In the seventh grade, back in the "Corner" school, Mrs. Alice Hamilton was the teacher. Had a 4-h club that next summer raised corn as our project. Cecil and I gave a demonstration on "The Methods of Curing and Storage of Seed Corn" at the County fair in Lewistown and won a trip to the State Fair in Billings, where we won the silver cup for Champion Boy's Demonstration Team.
Uncle Ray moved to Lewistown the fall of 1928 so Gertrude could start High School. I boarded with them and Cecil and I went to the 8th grade at the Junior High School.
More 4-H work the summer of 1929 and Kenneth Clary and I competed in the corn-judging contest at the Fergus County Fair. Our team won a trip to the Sate Fair, so Kenneth and I took the train to Billings for what I believe was my first extended trip away from home alone. As I remember Kenneth and I placed second in the Billings competition.
Started High School and in De. 1929 Gertrude and I along with 54 other Montana 4-H Memberstook a trip to the International Stock Show and 4-H Congress in Chicago. What an exciting trip that was, the Montana Delegation had a special Pullman and did we run that poor porter ragged!!
Continued on through High School without too much excitement. Took part in most all of the Class Plays and Music Dept. Operettas, either in the cast or as a member of the stage crew. Was on the Student Council as Class Representative for all four years. Graduated in June 1933 and was one of the lucky seniors to be elected to the National Honor Society.
That summer the family took a trip to Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman and the Yellowstone Park.
In the fall of 1933 I enrolled as a freshman at the University at Missoula, living at the Boy's dormitory. Several of my High School chums were living there also so I did not feel too lost.
In my Junior and Senior years I worked as laboratory assistant in the dept. of Physics. After the earthquakes of 1935 at Helena a special seismograph was installed at the University to record any more severe shocks that might occur. I was nursemaid to the machine but it never operated, as there were not more severe quakes.
Mother had moved to Missoula my sophomore year so I lived at home my last three years. I graduated in June of 1937 with a degree in Physics and Mathematics.
In the fall of 1937 was unable to get a job so went out to Yakima, Washington and worked in the orchards and fruit warehouse during the fall. Was back home for Christmas and then taught the month of January as a substitute teacher in a little town in Wyoming. In February 1938 I went to California and visited Uncle Burl at Palo Alto for a few weeks then went back to Missoula. There I joined the staff of the WPA Correspondence school that supplied courses for the boys in the CCC Camps. I also took some courses at the University that I had not had time to take before. The WPA school was taken over by the State Dept. of Public Instruction when they established a Correspondence School for the grades and High School. I continued to work at the school until Feb. of 1940 when I was offered a position with the U.S. Weather Bureau in Butte, Montana. I bought my first car, a Plymouth coupe (used, of course), and took off for Butte and a life as a Weather Forecaster.
I spent two and 1/2 years at Butte and was then transferred to Savannah, Georgia. Before leaving Butte the Draft Board grabbed me but as soon at the doctor saw the scar where the 7 ribs had been removed he said, "Don't ever finish undressing. You just flunked your physical". After about six months at Savannah I was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia for about four months. In July 1943 I was transferred to "Far Famed" Cape Hatteras on the North Carolina Coast. The Cape is a long (8 miles) narrow sand bar running along through Atlantic Coast. The island averages 1/4 of a mile to 3 miles in width. The highest spot on the island is about 90 feet above sea lever but most of the island is only about 5 or 6 feet above sea level. The island is populated by people of English descent who settled the area about 300-350years ago. They are of the same stock as the "hill billy's" of the Carolina-Kentucky Smoky Mountain region and both groups still speak Elizabethan English. At least the older folks do, the young folks travel more and listen to the radio so they are losing the distinctive accent.
In 1944 I was almost in the center of one of the most violent hurricanes of history. I. R. Rannehi II, the famous authority on hurricanes said in 1952 concerning the "Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944" that "there is no definite proof of a more violent hurricane in the records". The pressure at Hatteras dropped over tow inches (from 30.09 to 27.85) during the passage of the storm. The winds reached estimated velocities of 134 miles per hour. (The wind instruments blew down at 30 miles per hour before the storm really got going good) The amount of rainfall was impossible to measure as the rain gauges were completely covered by the sea-tide during the height of the storm. Hundreds of thousand of dollar's worth of damage was done to the coast but the loss of life was very low considering the violence of the storm.
To go back a moment when I first went to the island in 1943 the German submarines were still operating off the Eastern Coast. I did not see any torpedoed boats as many Hatteras people did the year before but I did hear and feel many explosions, either torpedoes or depth charges or both. I used to see the blimps on the sunrise anti-sub patrol whenever I was on the early morning shift.
In 1948 I was transferred to Great Falls, Montana where I worked until January of 1951when I transferred to Helena, Montana, where I am a Forecaster in the State Climatological Office. In the fall if 1957 I bought an old small house and am keeping busy trying to fix it up. I spent this last winter making like a plumber, installing a new hot water tank and all new copper pipes. The next project is to replace the old obsolete electric wiring. Its lots of work but a welcome change from office work.
Written May30, 1959 at Helena, Montana
Beryl Margaret Haight
Beryl Haight met Everett Fred Peterson at Missoula, Montana in the spring of 1934 when Everett was attending a track meeting at Missoula. T hey both attended the State "U" at Missoula. Beryl going the full four years and graduating in June 6, 1938. Everett going but two years and working at various jobs until Beryl's graduation.
Beryl Haight graduated from college at Missoula at two P.M. June 6, 1938. At Five P. M. the same day she was married to Everett Peterson at the First Methodist Church at Missoula, Mont. By the Rev. Vande Mark.
Everett and Beryl leased and ran a service station in Missoula until the spring of1939. Worked on construction until fall of 1940.
Worked at Assay Office in East Helena at the Smelter Beryl keeping the house and Everett bringing in the bacon.
Worked for stock rancher Harry Shaw at Cardwell, which is near Whitehall, Mont.
They moved back to Helena where they lived and worked on various ranches for about three years.
1948-1949 Again worked at the smelter in East Helena for about one year.
Rented a 320A. irrigated farm two miles north of East Helena where we for five years lived a happy life. Raised spuds, cattle, wheat, etc.
Lived first on our farm we had bought just north of Townsend, Mont. The Canyon Ferry Dam flooded much of the place and we had to move into the town of Townsend. Tried to farm parts of the place not flooded & still trying it in 1958.
Beryl and Everett Peterson took a vacation going to New Mexico, Las Vegas and other point's south. Both were very well as far as they knew. Upon returning to the ranch Beryl (Haight) Peterson suddenly learned she had cancer.
For over a year she was in and out of the hospital at Missoula Mont. Staying part of the time with her father, Ernest Haight in Missoula and when possible going home to Townsend, Mont. Ernest and Sylvia Haight lived in Missoula and were very kind to Beryl. Sylvia Haight once said "I never had anyone around who had the pleasant personality and disposition that Beryl had even though she was very sick person". Those are not Sylvia's exact words but it washer thought.
Beryl died in the St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula, Mont. 5-24-1957. She was laid to rest at the cemetery 3 miles north of Helena, Mont. Known as the Forest Vale Cemetery.
Beryl and Everett's eldest child Terrence Everett Peterson is buried in the same cemetery.
Everett Peterson with his two living children continued to live for a time in Townsend selling machinery and the children _________________________________________________________________________________________keeping house. Late in 1958 Everett with his two children, Bonnie and Fred moved a hundred or so miles east to White Sulphur Springs where he is in partnership with his brother Keith Peterson in an up-and-coming hardware store. Bonnie is finishing her last year in high school. Fred is going to school and working part time in the store. Well he is helping anyway.
Beryl (Haight) Peterson and Everett had three children.
Terrence Everett Peterson born E. Helena Mont. 12-13-1939. He died of cancer in the hospital at Great Falls, Mont. At the age of six on 5-11-1946.
Bonnie Margaret was also born in E. Helena 10-14-1941.
Fred Ernest Peterson the third and youngest was born E. Helena, 12-24-1946.
(It could be any or all were born in Helena and not E. Helena)
A LITTLE ABOUT BERYL'S HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY
Everett Fred Peterson was one of three sons all born in or near Forsyth, Mont.
Leonard Gordon 5-11-1913
Everett Fred 9-26-1916
Keith Irving 8-9-1919
The parents of these three boys were Fred Lewis Peterson 2-2-1885 in Kansas and Mable Westaby 8-8-1889 at Forsyth, Montana.
They were united in marriage 8-26-1911 at Forsyth, Montana. Fred Peterson, Sr. parents came from Denmark to Kansas. He with his wife and children made the trip from Kansas to Montana in 1889 by covered wagon drawn by oxen. The family walked the most of the distance to lighten the load. They settled on Horse Creek. Fred Peterson's parents homesteading. Fred going to school and finally to college. (Pullman in Washington for one place). He obtained a good education returned to Forsyth taught homesteaded and married 8-26-1911 to the daughter of the ferry operation a certain Mable Westaby. This ferry operated across the Missouri River. She well remembers fear of Indian raids and being bundled up and rushed to a safe place. (They hoped) This was not far from where the Custer Massacre took place and not long afterwards.
Fred Peterson taught Montana School from about 1902 to 1953 almost fifty years. He retired as principal of the East Helena School in that year to the quiet life on a farm south of Missoula near Corcalis, Montana. He has one son living near there Leonard and Grace Virginia (Haight) Peterson.
Signed this day Nov. 30, 1958, by a son of Fred Peterson and husband of Beryl (Haight) Peterson
COPY OF LETTER FROM BERYL MARGARET HAIGHT PETERSON
OCTOBER 2, 1956
ST. PATRICK'S HOSPITAL
DEAR DWIGHT & ANN,
YOU ARE VERY FAITHFUL WITH YOUR LETTERS AND I APPRECIATE IT A GREAT DEAL. SURELY DID ENJOY THE VISIT WITH YOU IN MISSOULA, THOUGH WAS VERY PROVOKED WITH MYSELF FOR NOT ASKING ANN ABOUT THAT WONDERFUL NEW GRANDCHILD DOWN IN BOZEMAN!
LYLE WAS IN GREAT FALLS LAST WEEK BUT MISSED SEEING BOTH OF YOU. HE HAS SOME FINE PICTURES OF THE COUSIN REUNION IN MINN.
WE WERE INTERESTED IN YOUR QUOTES FROM THE BOOK YOU ARE READING. OF COURSE, MY RESPONSE TO X-RAY HAS BEEN SO GRATIFYING FROM THE VERY BEGINNING THAT WE HAVE HAD HIGH HOPES. AS FOR THE MEDICAL EXPLANATION OF "SPONTANEOUS REMISSION" I PREFER TO CALL IT DIVINE HEALING BECAUSE I KNOW IN A FEW CASES PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO DRAW ON THE POWER OF THE LORD TO THAT EXTENT. IN FACT I AM SURE THAT IN MY OWN CASE ABSOLUTE FAITH AND CONCENTRATED PRAYER HAVE SAVED MY LIFE. I BELIEVE IN IT, AND HAVE HAD AMAZING HELP FROM FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO PRAY WITH ME. ANYONE WHO HAS EVER GONE THROUGH THE OVERWHELMING EXPERIENCE OF A DIVINE BLESSING CAN NEVER DOUBT AGAIN WHAT CONTROLS OUR LIVES.
WELL, WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN WAY OF INTERPRETING THINGS. I KNOW YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT DEAL TO HELP ME, TOO. YOU HAVE BEEN EXTREMELY THOUGHTFUL AND IT MEANS AN AWFUL LOT TO ME. WHEN A GUY GETS DOWN HE NEEDS THAT HELP.
COME SEE US.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------THIS IS ONE OF THE LAST LETTERS WRITTEN BY BERYL BEFORE SHE PASSED AWAY AT A TIME SHE WAS ENJOYING LIVING SO MUCH. OR SHE WAS UNTIL STRICKEN WITH CANCER.
(DWIGHT L. HAIGHT)
1.) Earnest and Lyle Haight
Descendants of Ernest Whitney Haight 5-22-1884 Elk Twp., Buena Vista County, Iowa married 10-10-1910to Maude Isabelle Thompson at Lewistown, Montana. She was born 10-13-1882at Bristow, Iowa and died 9-25-1946 at Lewistown, Montana. Buried at Lewistown, Montana.
Lyle Francis Haight 6-8-1914 at Suffolks, Fergus Co., Montana
Beryl Margaret Haight 7-12-1917 at Suffolks, Fergus Co., Montana married 6-6-1938 to Everett Fred Petersonat Missoula, Montana. He was born 9-16-1916 at Forsyth, Montana. Beryl died 5-24-1957 buried at Forest Vale Cemetery, 3 miles north of Helena, Montana.
Beryl and Everett Peterson
Terry Peterson 12-13-1939 Helena
5-11-1946 Great falls
Bonnie Peterson 10-14-1941 Helena
Fred Ernest Peterson 12-24-1946 Helena, Montana
Ernest Second Marriage was 6-11-1949 to Sylvia (Ufford) Haight at Missoula she was the widow of Brother Rex Cassiday Haight, deceased brother of Ernest.
Haight Family Photo Album