Herbert Hale Haight
Herbert had a siege in the hospital but is O. K. now. (May, 1959)
The above picture was take in 1945 of Herbert and Mable Haight. They have changed little in appearance 14 years later or 1959. Have no 1959 picture. Herbert H. Haight wrote the following history, his wife Mable (Chamberlain) Haight adding a little as did their eldest daughter Grace Virginia Haight Peterson. The second daughter Laura Haight died in infancy. The third child Katherine Haight Day who with her two children live here at 312-13th St. N. Great Falls, Montana, added a couple of pages. Neil, Herbert's fourth child and youngest is busy moving from New Mexico to Herbert Haight's farm in Montana so is unheard from. Maybe can send you dope from him later on. He has two kids.
May 27-1959 Dwight L. Haight
Herbert H. Haight
This is written to comply with a request of Brother Dwight Haight. They tell me I was born on Sept 2-1882 in the upstairs of Grandfather Williams Haight's house in Elk Township Buena Vista county, Iowa, where my parents were at that time living. I believe the section number is 18. The house was and is located less than 1/2 mile from the Cherokee County line.
Grandfather had come from the Hudson River area to Ohio and was married there (8-27-1846) and my father was born in that state. They moved, from near Sandusky, Ohio, I believe, to a farm near West Liberty, Muscatine County in 1861. From there they drove overland to Storm Lake, also in Iowa, (1869) and, after some scouting for a homestead, filed on the above mentioned 80 acres of land. I do not know how the rest of the family made the trip.
My mother was born Laura Cassiday (10-4-1861) on a farm in Poweshiek County, Iowa. I have visited the place and would estimate it is about 1/2 mile north and two miles east of the inland community center named Jewart. Her parents brought her to Elk Twp., where they too filed on a homestead. Mother taught school for a time before her marriage. I remember well both my paternal grandparents. My Grandmother Cassiday I remember lived her last years and passed away in my parent's home in Brooke Twp., Buena Vista County. My only recollection of Grandfather Cassiday is seeing him carrying a surveying instrument across the barnyard of his then Brooke county farm which must have been in either section 12 or 13.
Before the birth of Earnest, my next oldest brother, my parents moved to a location "in the hills" in Brooke Twp., which I believe is in section 15. Spent our first few days, I've been told, with an upside down wagon box for a house. Some of my early recollections are the two room stone house that served after quiet some time. Later a "lean to" kitchen at a lower floor level was built on to connect the stone house with a building called the "coal house". In one end the coal was stored. Mother did her washing in the other end. In the step between the stone house and the long and narrow kitchen we boys were allowed to drive nails. I suppose to keep us out of something else. Anyway that step finally acquired a decidedly speckled appearance. The family ate in the kitchen and because of the narrowness of that room those located (I use the word advisedly because the right sized boys ate while standing) at the end away from the outside door had to crawl under the table. If they wished to make their exit before those on the other side of the table had finished eating and vacated room for a pathway out doors. There was no standing on ceremony or asking to be excused. When a fellow finished eating he simply "beat it". Most of them did. There was a lot of crawling under that table. I know for my place was at the west, and far end of that table. We boys had a trundle bed in the early stages, that was pushed in under our parents bed in the day time when not in use. During the discussion between mother and father of this bed that was going to be "pushed in under our bed" I can recall considerable anxiety on our part on how much room there would be in a bed "pushed under ours". As we grew older and the tribe increased (ten finally and all boys) we graduated up into the attic of the stone house. The entrance was a stoop to enter door in the east gable, reached STORY STOPS HERE AS IF IT WERE CUT OFF.
As boys we did the usual things, maybe sometimes some of the unusual. As boys, to it seems to me we got along unusually well together. I think some of them sometimes accused me of being bossy but necessary for some one to take charge.
I watched while Father and Grant Lord, who lived over near the north gate on the Uncle Frank Martin *80*, drilled a hole in big granite rock near the top of a hill some 60 or 70 rods southeast of our house. I had great anticipation of seeing what would happen when they fired the blast, they were going to load in that hole when it was finished. I did not see the darned thing though as they sent me clear over the other side of the hill when things were about set. They did not see a thing either as they came high tailing it over that hill faster than I had. We waited what seemed to me along time before we heard the boom.
A favorite sport of us boys was throwing rocks for distance. I do not remember on ever being thrown by one boy at another boy. The chickens, though, got awfully good at dodging. Father told us when he was a boy back in Ohio the rocks were scarce so they threw apples. I did not see nor could I imagine a place where they could be that many apples. Apples at our place consisted mostly of sour seedlings the folks would get from the Vasco Bradfield trees down in Elk Twp. A barrel of store apples would be bought in the fall. Later on the folks planted apple trees but none bore during my time at home. When there were about seven of us boys a maple tree was set out south of the house, one maple tree for each boy. My maple tree was the one farthest southwest of the house. Along about apple buying time in the fall the folks would also lay in a supply of several boxes of soda crackers and one box of gingersnaps. The boxes were made of wood and were about the size of a 45-pound box of apples. Once they failed to keep those gingersnaps properly guarded and I have never again cared much for that kind of cookies.
Wintertime we did a lot of sliding down hills, it looked like a whale of a big one then, and also hunting rabbits. No guns wee allowed in our family as long as I was at home but we could and id make bows and arrows and usually had a dog. The dog however would be inclined to gradually loose enthusiasm as the day wore on. Once I really shot and killed a rabbit with my bow and arrow. Measured in degrees of ecstasy I am certain that has, so far, been the high spot of my lifetime. Once when I was going to break a colt to ride we got him all fixed up for his first lesson. Just as I was about to get on him I decided that Ernest needed a riding lesson. Events proved that he did. Some of finally learned to swim a bit and either Rex or Trevor wanted to be taught how. We tried to convince him that the way we learned was to let someone poke a water hose down our necks and then turn the water on. We never got him really convinced on the cold water. The motions he made would certainly have kept him from drowning anywhere and anytime. Once an event took place that was embarrassing. Father had a hired man and Mother was boarding a teacher lady. Our house not having modern toilet convinces it was an invariable routine for all of us to be chased out of doors just before going to bed. Perhaps on account of my age I was through before some of the others were. In those days even baby diapers were spoken of in a hushed voice. Imagine the consternation when Ray busted into the house yelling "Mama, Herbert chased me and made me do half of it in my britches". That teacher lady suddenly had to leave the room.
The first school I attended was in a tent pitched near our "west gate". (The "West Gate" was where the road left our place and went into the Lindlief place. It was slightly over eighty rods west of the home of on the Fred Haight farm known as Glenn Alphine Home.) The teacher was D. A. Hamm. I never went a lot to the Brook center school. (The Brook center school followed the tent spot and was about eighty rods south of where the tent stood. This school house most of the Haight Brothers attended and was there forty to fifty years.) The teachers there did not seem to cooperate well with me. I went a term or two to the "Hulser" school located two miles north of the Brook center school. I went most to the school located two miles west of the Brook school. I believe Nellie Thomas, later Nellie Elliot, was always the teacher while I went there. She saw to it there was always the proper cooperation, and no fooling. with the exception of my parents I feel she had more influence on my life than any other individual. She passed away in Denver in 1957. I believe that Father and Mother were somewhat in doubt about the wisdom of me pursue my education, further but were willing to take a chance and sponsor my attendance in High School. I, however lacked interest and the matter was dropped for
the time being, and for quite some time.
I helped around home and worked for some of the neighbors. First money I ever earned was 25 cents for plums I gathered and sold as a boy. I spent it for a cap. (Must have had some suggesting.) First full time man sized job I ever had was hauling manure for Randall LeVander at $18.00 per month. (The summer I was 17 I worked for Grandmother Haight who was living alone on the William Haight farm eight miles S.W. of G. A. Home in Elk Twp. Some cousins of mine and some neighbor youngsters did no riotous living but I am sure Grandmother Haight got less attention that she deserved. Next year when I was 18 I worked for Uncle Jim Haight a mile south and a mile east of G.A. Haight where I grew up. Took a shine to a Swedish neighbors daughter and next year rented a part of her dads place, he furnished the farming equipment. My children do not know how nearly they came to being half Swede. That winter I accepted an offer of neighbor Victor Beckman to go to Little Falls, Minn. and clear stumps, from some land he had bought there, at so much per acre. I knew nothing about grubbing stumps and learned little for before I got even close to absorbing any stump pulling education I realized the financial consideration was way, way below parity. Worked for him awhile and then went to Osakis, Minn. where Gens Larson, a Brook Twp., Iowa neighbor had settled. Got a job with a contractor who was building a store. Lost it in a few days because he very correctly guessed I was no carpenter. Went to Hadley and worked on a farm for a guy named Ed Dye. Next I went picking corn for Mr. Anton Larson. By that time it had grown wintry and corn was poor so I got half for picking the corn for my wages. Anton Larson had a brother "Bill" who had spent some time in Colorado mining camps. That and ever since I picked up some "Garden of the Gods" literature in the depot at Linn Grove, Iowa I had in the back of my head the idea that if I could ever live to see that apparently wonderful place I would have experienced the ultimate. Sometime along in the winter I went back to Iowa and rigged up with my cousin Clarence Haight to head for Colorado.
Some place along the way I have missed a trip I took out into Dakota where I apprenticed myself to the owner and printer of a paper in Montrose I believer. I believe it was the fall after I dissolved our partnership farming. Anyway I got just plain homesick and I terminated, who knows what.
Clarence and I left for Colorado via self paid railway fare in the spring of 1903. Could be an error in that date. It can be checked by the date of a bombing on the Independence depot in Cripple Creek, Colo. area for we arrived in Colorado Springs the day after the bombing. Fourteen people had been killed. We were looked upon with some suspicion
but were allowed to go free, after some explanations. First thing was to head for the "Garden of the Gods" via a horse driven vehicle. As we neared what is known as the Gateway, the stone over the top of the rocks. Remembering how good I thought I was at this rock throwing business I volunteered. But in spite of several trails I never got a rock as far as the base of the gateway rocks.
We were driven to the Balance Rock where we had our pictures taken while seated on Burros. I still have this picture of myself and my cousin Clarence Haight on those burros. The driver left us in Colorado City from which place we had embarked and which town was even closer to the site of the independence depot bombing than was Colorado Springs. Things were in a real turmoil. Our efforts to get at least one of us hooked up with a revenue producing occupation got us no where so we decided to move on. Decided we would have a good look at the mountains and knew we could get work there, for want that where the mines were? We got us a railway timetable and from the map decided that a place named Fisher was in what seemed the most mountainous country the railroad ran through. Bound to be there so we bought a ticket for that place. Along about three O' clock in the morning the brakeman informed us that Fisher was the next stop and to step lively as the train would not stop long. So off we went, into a snowstorm and not a light in sight. A little reconnoitering explained why, not a building in sight either, for there was none there. We started hoofing it down, no up, the track. We were still on the east side of the Continental divide and we were not going to head back out of the
mountains and those jobs in the mines. We finally met a section had who informed us that there was a rock quarry over the ridge that sometimes wanted men. We went there, got not job, but did get our breakfast (free) and the information that the only way to get back on the train would be to walk to Granite, the closest place where a train would stop, which we did, and it did. By now my money supply was getting low and I was beginning to do some serious thinking about future eating. The Joe Longaker family, friends and neighbors of our parents back in Iowa, had not long before moved to Grand Junction, Colo.
This was at the foot of the main range of the Rockies on the west side. They were farmers, not miners, but we were sure they ate regularly. we had done more hunting for mine jobs than I have catalogued here and had concluded that maybe we would do something else for awhile anyway. We walked four or five miles out to the Longaker place the next day. Clarence Haight, got work there and I went to work for the Matlack family a couple of miles away shortly afterwards. Raised garden stuff and fruit. Plenty of work and also plenty of time to think. The result was that in the fall I went to Fruita, the first town west where I did not know a soul and started back to school. I had just had my 21 St. birthday but they put me in the 8th grade along with the usual kids of that caliber, just the same. I had the fastest promotion ever given any 8th grader though when they saw how well I would fit into the High School football team. Did various jobs that winter. Made up apple boxes, janitor a church or two, took care of a Dr.'s horses, worked in a drug store and took care of among other things a telephone exchange. Next summer I went to work for W. A. Merriell in his lumber yard and hardware store.
Joined the Methodist church but quit after they had expelled a member for attending a dance. Hooked up then with the Congregationalist. To bring that angel down to date I transferred by letter to the Presbyterian church in Colorado Springs and later to the same denomination in Lewistown, Montana where I was for a time one of the elders. Because of distance and for other reasons asked to be relieved of the job. Think I am still a member in good standing though.
The Merriell's had a son attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs and he and they persuaded me to go there and enroll in the academy connected with the college in the fall of 1904. Again it seemed eating was going to be a problem of the first magnitude but it hardly worked out that way. My first job was oiling floors in the library at 25 cents per hour, my last job was working as an instructor in a dancing school at $1.00 per hour. In between I did a lot of different things during the seven years I spent in the Academy and the college but tending furnaces was my steadiest job. Washed allot of dishes and beat a lot of rugs. Two summers I worked in the San Luis Valley, once on the Sylvester farm and once at a summer resort near Wagon Wheel Gap. One summer I went back to Fruita and on another I drove mail and passenger stage our of Woodland Park, Colo. Some years I was in Iowa. In the Academy I was on the football and track team. In college I made the football squad but could never be sure I was going to play. It was some satisfaction to me to have the fellow who was my toughest competition put on the mythical "All Colorado Team". Belonged to Pearson's Literary Society and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Tried several times to make the debating team of the former but never did. Did however get third place (and a safety razor) in some sort of college declamatory contest. In the Academy I had been in that schools representative in a state contest held at Montrose. Did not place by participated, and won, some sort of a like contest while in Fruita. Still have the boos I received for first place. In recounting my various college jobs that of table waiter for special occasions at the then very snooty Antlers Hotel should be all meant be mentioned. Anyone who had , or will have, a look at that fancy joint should get a lot of reflected glory from having had a relative who once worked there. One summer I was night cashier at the McRae Cafe then also the snootiest of its class in that town.
Another summer I worked at a tourist store and cafe out at Seven Falls. I was manager of the Kinnikinnik (spelled the same forward or back) a college story magazine of my time and was assistant editor of the college paper called the "Tiger". Tried to be editor, but no soap. I took a liberal Arts course and majored in History. Colorado College was a tip Mitch school and had a eminently high-class faculty. That is not just hindsight talking either. I had taken care of the E. C. VanDiest furnace and upon graduation went to work for him in the Central Construction Company. First on a water line for the Santa Fe Rail Road down south of Pueblo near Rye and later with a crew that was doing coal mine survey work near Colorado Springs. Got caught behind a cave in one day. Got us outside before 24 hours but before that long I had decided I wanted no more coal mines or even a speaking acquaintance with any outfit that as much as even looked down a shaft. Some college mater were working on a proposed irrigation project out near Hillrose in Eastern Colorado. Went there hoping to get on . Did but as a farm hand for "Colonel" Link. along in the fall I packed and headed east to Iowa.
When I got there Mabel Chamberlain was teaching summer school at Brook center, about a half mile from my patents home. could be I had some inkling of this as I had had an occasional letter from her. Anyway first thing I knew we had made arrangements to start housekeeping as a joint undertaking. In the fall she went back to her teaching job in Seattle and I rented Uncle Lafe's place (This was the grandfather William Haight place where I was born). Do not know why but changed my mind on that and begged off and again headed west, this time for Montana, where my brothers, Ernest, Ray, Burl and Elgar had all homesteaded. Rex and Dwight came out alter. Read Woodrow Wilson's first inaugural speech on the way out. It seemed good to get back in the west again. By means of information from my brother Ernest located a "vacant" 160 A. and filed on same, a few days after. N. 1-2 of N. 1/2 of S. E. c29, Twp. N., Range 18 E. M. P. M. For a long time it looked like the Haights would eventually take over Salt Creek. Now in 1958 just Mabel and I are Left.
Insignificant events sometimes have a wide influence on our lives. While Ernest and Maude were students at Iowa Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa they became engaged and planned to marry and take teaching jobs in, I think the Philippines or Hawaii. They had to take a special examination. Maude passed, Ernest did not. So they had to make some new plans and decided on a Montana homestead which Ernest was to come out and locate in advance of the wedding. He was headed for the area west of Billings and as he walked down to the depot to make a start west, when he met a man he knew who had just returned from working with a surveying crew in the Judith Basin. This persons recommendation resulted in a lot of Haight's and several other people becoming "Salt Creekers" instead of "Yellowstoners". If Ernest had passed that exam what might have happened to each of us, and to the Phillipinos?
On the way to Montana I traveled by train, via Mitchell and Aberdeen South Dakota and Harlowton, Lewistown and Hilger, Montana. Hilger was at that time the end of the railroad and about 20 miles from Ernest's. From Hilger I rode on a horse drawn stage driven by Mr. Border who lived down on the Judith River. Dan Whitmore came in on the same stage as did I think the Stevens girls. To give the horses a break Border had all the passengers walk up Gilsky Hill which is just out of Hilger and a couple of miles long. His advice to prospective homesteaders was to "Pick out some land that's got good grass on it" that was and is good advice. There were many professionals (and some semi-professional) "locators" anxious for a good stiff fee, to guide the land seeker to land still open for filing. They had learned that it was not grass that prospects wanted but land level enough to plow and these "locators" were acting accordingly. That is why there is so much evidence of a failure to make a go of it on some of these flat benches to the Northeast. Failure to succeed was often claimed to be because there were too many schoolteachers and secretaries, barbers, miners and they trying to be farmers. Add to that the fact far too many had located in the wrong spots and that the then allowable 160 A. was very inadequate in size and you had to many possible situations. Of course some came expecting to do only what was necessary to "Prove Up" and get title and then either sell out or move on and sit tight and wait developments. Others were employees of the old time stockman who for and held their jobs by proving up on a claim and then turning it over to the boss. Most of the big outfits got a substantial acreage in this way. But in the majority of cases the homesteader was looking for a home. Some succeeded. Many, many more left a homestead shack, crumbled ambitions and blasted hopes, maybe a few horses and a walking breaker plow, likely a mortgage and moved out and on.
By the time Border had got down to the Robinson place about where Blake Dawson now lives a couple of miles south of what is now Suffolk. He stopped and had dinner and he made his regular change of horses. No road, just a trail with gates in the few fences. A little later on there was 18 gates from where I now live to Hilger. At the now Suffolk and at the time it was known as Swope, a Mike Riser had anticipated civilization and was already setting up a saloon business in the new and only building. The railroad was mostly built on down Dog Creek from Hilger via Moulton and Christina with horsepower, in the summer of 1913. Swope (Suffolk) quickly acquired a second saloon and eventually a hotel, blacksmith shop, livery barn (Run and owned by Willis Anderson) hardware store, lumberyard, a depot with an agent, two grain elevators, separately owned. William Rice was first manager of the lumberyard and I ran it one winter. The first grain elevator was built the summer of 1913-14. My brother Burl and I worked on it and boarded with Mrs. John (Leah) Kelly who were living on the Swope place. Ollie White owns and lives at that place now in 1958. Kelly's later built the Kelly Hotel, the
kitchen end of which is now the Vernon Smith home. The rest of the hotel is west of Great Falls near Simms on the Claude Evans home and Mrs. Harve Adair lives in this home yet-1958. Mr. and Mrs. Wiley who homesteaded east of Suffolk ran a restaurant. There were two stores-one the "Reeves and Day" an annex to their Winifred store run by Lee Day. There was a community hall and of course a post office. Clara Nelson a sister-in-law of Wiley the restaurant man and later becoming Mrs. Chas. Warren, was the first postmistress. The stage road ran along the west side of Dog Creek for a short distance and then took off Northwest. The town site of Suffolk for the most part was from the homesteads of Willis and Ollie Anderson brothers and both early day Suffolk families.
This said stage road went through the "Gap" some seven or so miles N.W. of Swope or Suffolk, about a mile or two from Ernest's place. This I did not know then so got off the stage at Swope and walked the six or so miles to my brother's place. The Ernest and Maude Haight homestead. Was chinooking and I had trouble with water in the coulees. Mr. and Mrs. "Preacher Brown" and their two daughters were living a mile east of my present home and at the top of what was known as the "Brown Hill".
My brother Ernest and his wife Maude did the locating -minus the fee- and I felt I was a landowner. I was one of the last to file in this immediate area. There had been some fieldwork done before the first of March that year (1913). Burbridge, north of the "Gap" had seeded oats in into the fields again.
I worked the summer of 1913 on the Parker and Montgomery ranch, managed by a bachelor John Montgomery. He was the best sourdough bread and hot cake baker I ever ate after. Later in the summer upon my recommendation he wrote a cousin of mine-a Viola Fordyce at Alta, Iowa, near where I came from and hired her as a housekeeper. Ethan or Turk as he later became known was a little guy and was with her. Wages were $45. per month. My co-workers in order that summer were, "Indian John-Jim Andrews-and Gus Schubert, an ex-Rhodes Scholar and one time lawyer was herding sheep nearby. During the summer I hooked my ear on a nail while helping catch a pig and had to hunt medical aid a couple of times. First time I went to Hilger via a saddle horse and got it tended to but the M.D. drunk and the tending did not take. Next time I went to the hospital about sixteen miles south in the Mts to a mining town known as Kendall. (Now Kendall is a ghost town-1958)
Bought three colts off the Vanek brothers about 25 miles south toward Lewistown at a place known as Brooks that summer. Ernest broke one for the use of him. Ernest and Maude got leaned on a lot those first years. As I noted I worked on the Suffolk elevator that winter. One of my jobs was to sharpen all saws-and I had never before sharpened one or even seen one sharpened-when I first took the job. I did most of the work on the office building, which still stands. The reason I held down my job was because the boss was either drunk or gone-or both-most of the time. The elevator building however is still standing. During the fall of 1913 I had bought a second hand set of harness, a grindstone, and a wooden tooth harrow from James Fergus. (James Fergus and his brothers were pioneers of Fergus County and a county bears their name). Later I bought from the Montgomery Ward catalogue, a walking sod bottom plow. In the spring of 1914 I broke those other two colts and I was a in those days, farmer. In them days there was just two classes of people-"The Old Timers", always called-"Ranchers" and the "New Comers", always called-farmers, or nesters, or honyockers, or tenderfeet, or something or another, but in any case if the calling were being done by an "Old Timer" it was in a "Look-Down Upon" attitude.
On July 23rd 1914 the Winifred preacher who came to Suffolk by train and then borrowed from O. B. White a mule team to come out the five miles to my place married Mable Chamberlain and me. He got $5.00.
It was my first and I learned latter it was the preachers first wedding to . As also It was Mable's first, so it was a "First" all the way around. We set up housekeeping In the 10-by-14 building now tin roofed and used as an oat granary. It was located on the hill about 100 rods south west of our present home. An indication of what weather can mean is the fact that pieces of boards left lying there 44 years ago are still solid and sound at this time. (1958) Treated the same way in Iowa they would have been rotted in less than that many weeks. Mable, my wife had filed before she was married on land that joined mine on the south and our cabin was located as it was, so that we could comply with the then law and move it across the line after I had proved up on mine, and live on hers until she had proved up on it to. By law though she had to establish residence on her place before marriage in order to hold it after marriage, This she did by staying one night-ALL ALONE** in a dugout but cozy little place I had dug in a south side hill. Walls were mostly made of logs and poles and the roof was dirt. I had, though, provided an honest to goodness very prominent out door "Bath Room" made entirely of brand new lumber. No roof but I figured that she would likely have a parasol. Seems now that it the bath room - was a heck of a lot of work for just one night's possibilities but I did not mind it then. Maybe there was really some reason for the "Old Timer" calling us "Tenderfeet". From that southwest hill we could see a lot of lights at night. Fred Hiningers, Ray Haight's, Ernest Haight's, Mrs. Thompson, (Mrs. Ernest Haight's mother). Andrew Anderson's, George Evans, Fred Baralou, Granvile Clary, the two Browns ( preacher and Windy), Tierneys, and Kurtses were those close at hand with a whole lot of them that were unknown. The 160 A. homestead law caused, in addition to some things not inspiring, a lot of lights. As the number of lights began to diminish Uncle Sam raised the "Ante" first to 320 A. and later to 640 A. that one could homestead. Both were to late to do the most amount of good. There was and is a good view of the Mts. From that ridge to. At that time very little plowed land was visible from that spot. I recall looking west from there, toward Salt Creek area where the only plowed land we could see was a potato patch on the Tierney place and some cultivated ground on the Fred Shell claim and saying to Mable - "I will bet you we will see a lot of farming done over that way some day". We have.
Either because the financial future had a dismal aspect or because of her deep interest in her profession- Ex School Ma'am Mable (My Wife) was not contented to continue an Ex. She began teaching and kept it up whenever she could and whenever babies did not interfere. Her first school was on the Henry Wheeler - Now Stanslie )) * place. She taught the second term of school held in a log schoolhouse in the later Balky Horse District. She also taught there many years later when our son Neil attended, She taught, Salt Creek, up at Dealaneys, in some down a half mile from here near the Hininger corner. She taught in Winifred seven or so miles N. E. from here and she taught at home. Except when after Neil (our youngest son) was big ennui to drive the car to Balky Horse, and when she taught at Delaenys, and in Winfred, - she traveled horseback and was home for the usual housework.
It was a shame that so completely dedicated teacher was ever talked out of the classroom and into a kitchen. Farm income was decidedly scanty and I do not see how we would have lived without the admittedly low pay she got. I believe she taught one nine-month term for less than a total pay of $300.
Our first means of transportation was walking or bumming rides with neighbors, friends, or relatives. We made a horse trade with Ernest and got one that we could ride, which we did both single and double. When I got those colts so they could be hitched we for awhile rode on a stone boat. (Boards nailed across top poles made to drag around to loadstones on easily. ) Later we acquired an iron wheeled wagon from "Uncle Monty" (Montgomery and Ward ) but no box. In place of a box we conjured up some poles that answered the purpose. A brand new Peter Shuttler wagon came next and it is yet a good wagon. I still have it. Next we got hold of a sort of a buggy to get around in. Along about 1917, Burl, who was then staying with us, and I traded 40 A. of land we jointly owned to Ray for a new Model "T" Ford car. (We thought we had something and we did). Built a garage for it after sagely reasoning the cars would get bigger and acting accordingly by building it higher, but not longer. Of all the various cars we have had the Ford Model "A" has best filled the bill.
At first there were absolutely no roads, only trails, and with gates in the many fences. The more homesteaders, the more fences, the more gates.
The first wheat to be marketed in Suffolk (was Swope ) was from the Parker and Montgomery place and was hauled in by Walter Wooten. He came via the Bar-L ranch on Salt Creek, forded Salt Creek half way between the Bar-L, and the Tierney place (Knudsons now came up the coulee on our place one half mile south of the present road, up over the Fleming bench, and out to the Dog Creek trail (Lewistown Winifred road ) near where Balke Dawson now lives. (A mile or so south of Suffolk). The elevator was not quite in shape to take grain the day he arrived so he camped overnight and unloaded the next day. The wheat was all in sacks as was the way of handling all grain in those days. A Mr. Quaintance hauled wheat from Bear Springs on the west side of the Judith River crossing that stream at the Brooks place and on to the elevator at Hilger. (Must have been thirty to forty miles) . He stopped at the Montgomery ranch where I was working and I helped him grease his wagons. (Remove the wheels and smear Axle grease on the axle and re-place the wheels ). He had two wagons each drawn by four horses. They had "doubled up" that is used eight horses on each wagon taking them one at a time - to the top after crossing the Judith river. (This hill is some three or four miles long and STEEP . roads were slow in being "laid out" and slower in getting work done on them. An early trail to Winifred was across the Gaylan place and out by Wells coulee. Our first route to Suffolk from here was up Cottonwood creek to the stage trail that went through the gap and took a left on it to Swope or now Suffolk.
Ray Haight, who homesteaded just east of me a mile or so early took the bull by the horns and circulated and presented the petition for our present road. It followed much of its present course except that it kept on the west side of Dog Creek and crossed the present schoolhouse.
I got my idea from my first homestead cabin from my brother Ray's rock homestead house. It was sort of a half-and-half affair built some 60 rods southeast of the "Twin Gates". (Those gates are around a half-mile west of my present home on the road to Knudson's. A gate on the south and one directly across the road on the north). Dug a hole in the hill above the present reservoir that provided drinking water. Darned thing caved in and still has buried my tin cup, about the only dish I had at the time. My only furniture was a bed-and that was made of pine boughs. It was not long until I built the cabin on the hill where we doubled up. Added a sod hen house (still well remember how tickled we were when we got our first egg), a bathroom and a pole fastened to the tops of a couple of posts which was our barn. It served the purpose all right but sometimes had a lot of trouble finding the horses to put in it. Not much around in the way of fences and plenty of open range. No feed to keep the saddle horse up to ride for the horses-so lots and lots of walking after the workhorses. Frequently it would be nearly noon before I could find them. Once it was three p.m. and they were on Salt Creek just below the present bridge over Salt Creek at the Knudson place. (M. Tierney place then and now, 1958, is the L.C. Knudson place). They were grazing just below the now Knudson Bridge. These and other accounts may sound as if we endured a lot of misery. It was not so. Firstly all these conditions did not last long and secondly it did not seem like
misery and was not.
We traded Fred Hininger 40 acres (Mable's) for the west 25 acres of his 40A. upon said 25 A. are is where our buildings now stand. We moved the cabin down from the top of the hill to where our present home is in 1914-the fall. With Orrin Fordyce's help I had previously built a sod barn located around half way between the present well and the present hog house. (Said sod barn served as a barn for about 25 years). These two buildings were the beginning of the homestead. The cabin was located right in front of the barn door and less then 20 feet from it. We lived there that winter while we were building the "house" which was and is, the main part of it, the house located just west of the groves of trees, west of our present house. (Our hired help lives in this house now-1958). When we built it in 1914 it was then situated on the spot where the little lawn is, just south of the dining room in our present house. When we built in 1914 we were going to make it a one story affair but Fred Bareslow talked us into a second story and we have never been sorry. (Fred Bareslow was a neighbor homesteader who lived where Leonard Brooks now lives some mile or two N.E. of our place). Both Fred Bareslow and my brother Burl J. Haight (b. 1888) helped a lot getting it built. With some small additions we lived in that house a long time - (Around thirty years).
When we had little need for more room we took on our present three decker in which we rattle around like a couple of dried peas - (A large part of the present house was made by moving my brother Ray Haights house from a mile or so east to its present location.) And by spending several years of work and some nine or ten thousand dollars to put it in its present condition) (A large part of Rays house was made from lumber the Haight Bro's bought from the School Dist and was formerly a Lewistown school building.)
It has however been easier to Modernize. In the foundation of this present house is a brick made by my grandfather Cassiday, (Mother's - Father) for a house he built near Montezuma, Powsheik county Iowa at or about Civil War time - 1860 or thereabouts. Think I am repeating. Have no copy at hand of the earlier written part of this - Herbert Haight History I am writing.
After the first well caved in I, and we, carried water from Cotton Wood Spring. (Almost a half mile north of where we lived. It seemed like ten miles for it was hilly between the spring and our house.) Next came a barrel on a stone boat and then two barrels in a wagon. (The stone boat was two poles with boards across with a barrel setting on the boards. We used a team or a horse to draw the stone boat.) Come to think of it I guess it was nearly a mile we carried water for a time - by hand - before we got the barrels. After we moved down from the top of the hill to where the buildings now are, I, with the help of Gus Shubert (A neighbor to the west - a bachelor - and still living - 1958) dug a well some 50 feet deep in the coulee - south - and above the present hog house. Not much water but enough for a real scare. Mrs. Sam Hamilton (Neighbors two three miles S.W. of our place) with her little daughter Florence (Now 1958 is Mrs. Jo Yaeger of Glenngary Mont.) stopped to visit. We used a windlass for a pump hence the well was not covered. In the middle of the afternoon Henry Brooks came out to the field to tell me that the little girl, Florence, had become lost. (Henry Brooks lived some eight or so miles west on the Judith river.) When I got in there were several neighbors hunting for her. I was just getting ready to go down in this well and I was sure fish her out of the water, when Jimmy Andrews showed up with her. (Jimmy was another homesteader and neighbor some four or so miles west of here) He had found her asleep in
some brush over on the first place east of ours - the Fred Hininger place. Later we found tracks where she had started rolling a round rock - the only way a rock would roll - down hill.
There have been many other wells at other times and at other places but none I remember as well as this well which gave me such a scare.
Our first live stock, in addition to the colts mentioned above were five heifers also purchased from Vanek Brothers at Brooks. We Haight's bought numerous cattle and horses from Vaneks and I think without exception gave a note in return which they always took willingly. Eventually they always got their money. In 1914 there was still a lot of unfenced (although not much unclaimed) land which was still open range. Only fences I had was a sort stretch put up to keep stock out of the ten acres of wheat I had hired plowed and seeded in the fall of 1915. No pasture so I turned the heifers out on the range and figured to watch them till they got settled down. Might have worked too but I took time off to sleep and the very first night they pulled out. Next morning I took off too and caught up with them --- contentedly chewing their cuds on the Vanek ranch at Brooks. Not all cattle that moved, or got moved, around were always so easily located. Rustlers were a
problem, harassing, and numerous. Some of the slickest operated from headquarters only a few miles away. Some closer even than that. Spent two weeks hunting an unbranded bull we had and found him fenced up in a box canyon at the mouth of Plum Creek. In the same enclosure were 17 head of P N cows with their brands very plainly worked over into other brands. My unbranded bull by this time had a neatly done hair plucked hip brand. One of the men involved was the brother-in-law of a neighbor who lived about a mile away and ate supper there the night he helped to abscond with the bull. (It should be said here that both the neighbor and the brother-in-law have long ago departed from Salt Creek.)
An annoying procedure of the expectant cattle thief was to keep stuff stirred up and moved around. One night he maybe would move a bunch from coulee No 1 over into coulee No 2 and then bring back some others from No 2 to No 1, He was careful never to get in a spot where any wrong doing could be tied to him even if he had stolen stuff really in his possession he was careful to admit neither the stealing nor the possession. By and by some one maybe got some cheap dressed beef. In the case of cows they might be let run and raise calves. Well-reworked brands, after they were well healed over, would get by stock inspectors and get marketed in the regular way. It was extremely hard to get the right kind of evidence. Losses were numerous but convictions were few. They even assembled over 40 head on Three Mile, west of here, and drove them out in broad day light on a trip that took them eventually clear up on Flatwillow Creek and got away with it, for the time being. We finally sent two of them to Deer Lodge. I have laid out with the cattle at nights but with no results other than a cold the next day. They had wave of fighting back in addition to keeping your cattle scattered. Long after it was done I was told of a couple of them who slit the hide of a unbranded heifer, inserted a quarter, and turn her with my bunch which by that time were running in a pasture, If I claimed her and put on my brand instead of selling her as a stray I could now be leading revolts over in the Deer Lodge Retreat.
As cowboys got cars and with the passage of the Volstead Act a lot of the careless - with -a - rope gentry began to explore other fields in which late night horseback ridding was involved. The second still to be found and destroyed by Federal agents in Fergus County was on the Lockwood place and less than a half mile from our land.
Our first telephone was a three-part line running between Ernest's, Ray's and us. For a line we used the barbed wire of the fences. Set up poles at the gates and went over them with baling wire that we picked up at the Winifred "Livery Barn" (That institution bought and sold, broke, fed, and rented horses and for a time did a lot of business.) In 1919, encouraged and AIDED by Father and Mother we increased our coverage and built a honest to goodness two wire line with a switch at Suffolk by which we could be connected with the Bell system, which out here is called the mountain states. The barbed wire line was mighty hand and worked well too except when some old cow got involved. We used no insulators where the wires were fastened to the posts and it could short our if it got wet or icy. Some time after the line in to Suffolk we extended it to the west as far as Burls over on Paradise Heights and south to the Heldt, Sam Hamilton and the Bar-L ranches. Mrs. Clow got busy and promoted a line over in that area which later on was connected with ours by a switch at Sam Hamilton's. Theirs was a one-wire line. Because two wires are much more difficult to keep up and going than one wire ours also was cut back to one wire. We had been charging rent of the patrons as we owned all the equipment and at least theoretically, kept it going. As there got to be more and more "charging" and less and less paying the up keep slowed down too, or vice versa with the result that we donated the use of the line to the community. In the fifties the community decided it wanted still better service and bought materials and with donated labor built a new two-wire system serving some two dozen phones all hooked one-one circuit. This again, on the part of some, left something to be desired with the result that several joined up with the dial system (nearly 200 phones) that was installed in the north and of the county in 1958. This house has of this date three phones, one on the dial system, one on the community line and a private line between the employee house and ours. Our road got a shot of W. P. A. gravel in the thirties and R. E. A. came in the late forties, think it was 47. Of course we have radio, and some have T.V. (A school bus from Winifred started making this route today) Now that we have dial phones it could seem there is nothing else to want. Wrong assumption. Next thing in a mail route, unless so many get killed off in the fight over the project that there is no one left to carry mail to. In past years there has been very little discussion and neighborhood quarreling in the community. It would be a good present and future procedure.
Prices we have paid for land we have bough and dates we have acquired it are as follows.
1.) My homestead filed on in 1913.
2.) Mable's " " " ".
3.) W. K. Turner place @ $13.50 per acre
4.) R. A. Brown 160 @ $22.60 per acre
5.) Of Ike Tyson the Cottonwood 160 @ $23.00 per. Too high at the time but on account of the water the best buy we ever made. Sold E. W. two acres with the spring on it for $80.00 per acre.
6.) I had sold Burl and 80 of the R. A. Brown land and he had "scripted" and additional 40. We had bought the Boshen place which we traded to Burl for his land here. Anyway that is the way I remember it although my records tells a different story. Plenty of room on the back of this for Burl to set the record straight.
7.) 320 acres of the Salt Creek pasture bought of the about to go ker-flunk old Bank of Fergus County for $10.00 per acre. This was a contract deal. The bank later offered to and did settle for 50 cents on the dollar for cash. And it was not because I was not keeping up the payments either.
8.) Galyan 320 @ $10.00 per
9.) Miss Wetmore 160 @ 5.00 per
10.) Earl Irwin 480 in 1948 @ $8.00 per (one half for the land and half for the water)
11.) 680 acres from Ray Haight in 1943 for $3000.00
12.) 333 acres from Fred Hininger for about $900.00
13.) In 1931 bought the Malloy 160 of the Hilger bank for $240.00 later sold 120 acres of the same to Frank Clow @ $1.00 per acre. I got an abstract, he did not.
14.) A.S.C. office shows present acreage 3590. I believe the abstracts show more. Do not quite see how but some way we got it all paid for (total nearly $30,000.00).
While still a student ? in college a classmate, Floyd Jardine (now living at 11696 Plateau Dr., Los Altos, California about seven miles south of Burls Palo Alto) and I filed on homesteads in the San Louis Valley some six or eight miles north east of Center, Colorado. Some one had been around before because there was a good flowing artesian well on one of the place. Had to dig only 50-80 feet to get such a well. The valley was so well equipped with water that in places it had begun to "sour" the ground and caused it to go to what is called "seep". We were located in such a spot but were lured there by I discovering the little known fact that it was open to entry, 2, by an offer of friend John J. Sylvester to finance the building of cabins etc. for a half interest in the proved up claims, and 3 by the hope and belief that a drainage ditch was going to be dug that would rehabilitate the area. We got the cabins built and proceeded to establish residence by living in them. Our equipment was decidedly scantly. Only thins I recall are a small pot bellied stove and a two gallon water jug. Reason for that is that on what I still believe has the most uncomfortably fold night I ever was spending I finally thought of building a fire, heating water, filling that jug, and the wrapping myself around it. I did not "wrap" very successfully then, either. Cannot now refigure out why I did not try warming up that cabin via that stove. Could have been lack of fuel and could have been it would have been too much like trying the heat up all outdoors. Not sure I had a door. For a window had just a hole where I intended to put one. In the absence of a keyhole say with which to cut a stovepipe hole in the roof I ran the stovepipe out this to be window. Having things in what we thought was hunk dory shape and having established residence at least to our own satisfaction, we went back to college contemplating mean while the nice little was we were eventually going to get out claims. Then like a bolt form the blue came a summons from the U.S. land office at Del Norte notifying us to appear and defend ourselves. A saloon keeper from that town had got the idea that he also would like to take a change on owning that nice flat piece of land with the fine artesian well. He also had the idea, and said it right our, that we were not honest to goodness homesteaders, that we had no intention of living on the land otherwise we would not have run the stove pipe out of the window that we were just a couple of Bozo's trying to out one over on Uncle Sam. In fact he ever suggested we had some deal on with one John Sylvester and that we would fold our tents and steal away in the night, like the Arabs, as soon as it became financially profitable for us to do so. That saloonkeeper was wrong about that stealing away in the night business. For we would not have waited nearly that long if the heal had closed up earlier in the day. Anyway the other fellow got the land and the drainage ditch was dug, and I am told the project (flat piece of land we wanted) is now a really going farm. Never learned for sure but I suspect that, the liquid refreshment man, was not a permanent fixture either. The Sangre De Christo mountain range on the east side of that valley is the finest sight I have ever seen. The Mission Range in the Flathead country in N.W. Montana is, I believer, its closest competitor. Colorado has, I think, the most, the best, the biggest mountains of any state in this U.S. A. I have walked to the top of Pikes Peak may times and have driven a car to the top once. I believe the driving was harder on the car than the walking was on me.
One summer I drove stage horses from Woodland Park which is at the foot of the peak on the northwest to the summer resort at Manitou Park. Colorado College, in my time, had fewer buildings and students than now. When I hit the campus in 1904 Palmer hall had just been completed. The only other building were Cutler Academy, Perkins Hall, Coburn Library, Hagerman Hall, the boys dormitory, Ticknor and McGregor Halls for the girls. What is not Monument Valley Park was then "The Jungle" and that is what it really was too. A good thing the "Jungle" cannot talk. Along about 1910 I wrote a history of the college for the "Tiger" college paper, I though_________________ (cut off Sue 2001).
Since this area was practically all settled up by homesteaders and under the 160 acre per homestead law there were once a lot of people here. Something like half of them from the dwindling mines at Kendall, Maiden, and Gilt Edge. The other half was made up of people of many former occupations and from many places. The fact that so many lacked farm experience is often pointed to as the reason for so many failures. It sometimes was a contributing factor and, in some cases, the real cause but there were other reasons more fundament why so many did not make things go. No matter what ones back ground nor how much he knew about farming he almost certainly found that it did not apply here. No one knew for sure what this land would and would not do, especially that up and away from the creek bed bottoms, for the very good reason that there was no existing knowledge about it. A major and often times first (no matter how much he knew or did not know about farming) consideration of the land seeker was level land that therefore could be plowed. It was not know then that some of the poorest land in the county is the level-est. Information about soils was not available even to those who realized its importance. One big first mistake made by every one was to try to raise a crop on the some ground every year. We did not know what crops would and would not grow. Seed corn was brought from the eastern corn belt. In short we tried to farm here as we had in areas of mare rainfall from which most had come. We even went one better and tried "stubbling in" or raising tow crops with one plowing. it was not the "miners and milliners, the bankers and bakers" who took the lead in that direction either.
The 160 limit to a homestead was way, way too small. Increases later allowed were still too small and came too late to help much anyway. Just about everyone lacked capital many lacked even the money to get enough food for the family. So they stick it our way for the 14 months it took until one could "commute", that is take a short cut and by paying $1.25 per acre get title to the land without waiting the regular five years. We probably got the $1.25 per acre somehow because he was going to (and did) mortgage the place and get a loan. Said loans wee customarily made at a interest rate of at least 10 % with usually an extra commission of 8% for the local representative of the loan company. The abstract of our place shows mortgages that drew 18% interest. No farming anywhere could stand such interest rates. The loan companies were sticking their necks out just as far as the homesteaders. They too were short on information about what could and could not be done with and in the country, no matter what the background of the homeseeker.
The "come on's" of some of the promotional groups were wrong and too often a disgrace. One favorite was a strapping well fed young fellow striding down a furrow behind an couple of prancing also well fed young horses hitched to a plow that was turning real dollars and lots of them right up out of the virgin so! If some of these promoters eventually found themselves in possession of mortgages on a bunch of abandoned horses funning wild on abandoned homesteads they were only repeating what whey sowed. These "wild" horses eventually became so numerous that they got allot of attention in one way and another but the dreams and hopes that had been left behind by the evacuating homeseekers got little notice.
Some of this is at least partly repetition and may not seem to check with an earlier remark that Mable and I did not find any misery in homesteading. Mable might take exception to that statement. In any case we got several good breaks. We were just about the last to file in this area. Those who had come before us had already learned some things and we profited by their experience. Ernest and Maude who were the fist to take up residence here had picked an unusually good location when they chose Salt Creek. We rode in on their coat tails. But perhaps the fact that we had a school ma'am in the family did more than anything else to keep us solvent and going.
When I was a small boy going to town with father we met a man likewise riding in a horse drawn wagon going in the opposite direction. As was very customary and usual in those days they stopped to talk. Even if the travelers were trotting along in a buggy they were not always above slowing down at least long enough to pass the time of day. Father I am sure was especially thus inclined. Aside from a willingness and likely a desire to be friendly there was another influencing reason. Without exception roads were strictly one-lane affairs. When you met another rig you passed by pulling the right half of you own out of the road and where the going was likely not good . You always slowed down automatically and the other fellow did too. The stopping came easy. I have heard Mother tell Father that his horses knew so well what was going to happen when they met another rig that they stopped of their own accord. It should be mentioned that when you met a woman driver you pulled clear out of the road and gave her the right of way. Because of the opinions of some moderns it should also be mentioned that you pulled out because of chivalry and not because of fear. In the course of the conversation the other man suggested that Father run for the Legislature but Father refused to agree with the idea. I was disappointed. As remarked earlier "insignificant events sometimes have a wide influence". That meeting resulted in me wanting to go to the Legislature when I got old enough and I do not believe it ever got out of my head. Iowa, at least in those days, was not only organized as counties as is Montana but each six-mile square township was a unit of government and had its officers. Father held some of these most important of which was township treasurer. I well remember how angry Father got when a man asked Father to make him a personal loan of from these township funds. While he would not be a candidate for the Legislature he did run about this time for county treasurer, I believe on the Populist ticket. He was a enthusiastic member of that party. Early day Grangers, the Farmers Alliance, and a group known as the Greenbackers were the influences back of formation. In some ways was looked upon then in about the same way as the Farmers Union is now after both the Populists and Democrats nominated W.J. Bryan President it was not long before the former went out of existence. At least three of its planks were adopted by the Democrats - - a graduated income tax, adoption of the initiative and referendum, and direct election by the people of the United States Senators. The above wandering around touches at times on some of the things that had a later influence upon my activities. In college I took some interest in campus politics but almost always did no better than second best. In fact that became so much the rule that for a time my nickname was "Presque" which is French for "almost". An early Montana Political activity was to take an active interest in a local election of a school trustee. I was promoting one man and Ernest another. The election was held in the Donkey Ridge schoolhouse which was located on the Cellars Brothers place. We had the election and counted the votes and it was a tie. Ernest suggested that he go and get one of the Cellars Brothers to vote and break the tie. He did. Win Cellars voted , and my man lost. I have never wondered why. Next thing along that line was to get myself appointed judge of election in this precinct. Walked over to the voting place at Suffolk. Remember I made it in just an hour. Mark Tierney was another judge, I do not recall the third. Before time for the polls to open Mark instructed the other two of us to go to the lumber yard and get a twelve inch board and to the store an and get some cloth and make a voting booth. We did but I was a little peeved that night when Mark loaded up that board, cloth and all, and hauled it home. I was peeved worse than when I later learned that he had presented a claim and drawn pay for a days work as a carpenter for building a voting booth in the Suffolk precinct, I also later learned that he had done only what was a common practice. One precinct that used three booths presented a claim for carpenters wages for two days cash. It is no wonder that so many people think that Legislators, with all the opportunity they have, must be grafters.
Along about this time, maybe even before, I got Ernest to get me appointed a Justice of the Peace for this Judicial township which at that time at least, extended from Hilger to the Missouri river. I gave Ernest as a reason for wanting the job a desire I had to get hold of a copy of the Montana laws that were furnished to Justices of the Peace. I did. And I still have them! (Further reason for opinions about Legislators.) With the same breath with which the Commissioners appointed me they also made a Constable out of Jess Ford. I think I may have been a bit hesitant as a judge but there was nothing hesitating about Jess as a Constable, any way after he found out the lay of the land. We had a case in Winifred in which a jury was demanded and I sent Jess out to gather one in. After awhile he came back and reported that nobody wanted to come. I informed him he had authority to bring them in whether they wanted to come or not. With some remarks that had best not
be set down here out he went and soon was back shooing in front of himself what must have been the first six men he saw. Included was Roy Cranston, the editor of the local paper, and some other of the towns big shots. Do not remember now but I will bet Jess was packing a gun.
Had some interesting cases. One day a big husky woman came riding into the barnyard in a buggy driven by her husband. She did all the talking. She was from the so-called "reservation" Northwest of Winifred and wanted a neighbor woman put under bonds to keep the peace. In response to questions she said she "didn't like the ----- -------. Yesterday when she came driving her cows down the road in front of my place I got right out in front and stood my ground till she got right up close and then I let her have it right on the nose." She further said that if I did not put the ----- ------- under bonds to keep the peace she would take the law into her own hands and as proof pulled a six gun from under the buggy seat. I figured that arguments it dissuade would be better that efforts to disarm and acted accordingly. Another case required the service of an interpreter for which the attorney for the litigant made provision. I later concluded that the man the attorney had provided bar to it that his interpretations were, when necessary, doctored up to do the most good for his side, and further concluded that he had been acting under before trial instructions. My final conclusion was that next time I needed an interpreter I was going to pick him myself. I heard an assault and battery case in the Suffolk schoolhouse in which one of the parties had retained the services of the famous or infamous (depending on your point of view) Attorney Jack Wasson of Maidens. His side lost. Not long before that time Attorney Wasson had been the victim of a hanging because of the displeasure of some Maiden miners. Only reason it was not fatal was because they gave the rope some slack just before his last gasp. When the term for which I had been appointed expired I made no effort to get reappointed. Apparently no one else made that request either. Any way that Legislature idea was still hanging around.
Ernest and I were both candidates for the Democrat nomination as member of the Legislature in the same year along in the mid twenties. He was and I was not. In thus times aspirants in the primary were allowed to have a slogan printed under their names. His was "For fewer and better laws", mine was "Keep your eyes on the stars but your feet on the ground. Ernest was defeated in the general election. In those days Fergus County was strongly Republican.
In 1930 I was again a candidate for that same Democratic nomination and was successful and was elected to be a member of the Legislature in the general election held that fall. At that time Fergus County had four members in the House. For the session they were, beside myself, Democrat Roy Cranston and Bert Rap loge and Republican Dave Salverds. Sam Teagarden had been elected State Senator but died before the Session opened. Tom Stout served as sort of a synthetic substitute, having no official (Note: 2001 Sue this page was cut off)
that capacity. There was no provision in law for the filling of a vacancy which had occurred in this manner. This defect was remedied in that session and the county commissioners given the power of appointment. I served as member of the Legislature continuously for 20 years, eight in the House and 12 in the Senate. It included 11 sessions as there was a special session called by Governor Cooney in the winter of 33 and 34. This Extraordinary Session was convened by the Governor for the primary purpose of passing legislation for the relief of the large number of citizens who were in desperate financial difficulty. He included ten recommendations in the call. From time to time he set additional ones for a total of 21 and upon a wide variety of subjects. Cooney had been Lieutenant Governor and had succeeded to the job when Governor Erickson resigned. He the appointed the then Ex. Governor Erickson to the vacant seat in the United States Senate caused by the death of Senator Walsh. Very plainly a "deal" had been made. The session dragged along for 54 days. However Because there was no adjournment deadline to meet, as in the regular 60-day sessions, it is my opinion that proposed legislation got better attention. In special sessions the only matters that may be considered are those submitted by the Governor--- with one exception- impeachment. On the 51st day of the session, ? according to the Page 461 to the Journal Representative Haight of Fergus moved that the house "proceed forthwith to cause to be done all things necessary to effect the impeachment and removal from office of Frank H. Cooney,. Governor _ _ _ _ _ _". After allot of scheming and skirmishing by a lot of people (and the lost of a lot of sleep by myself) the motion was finally defeated by a vote of 50 to 41. Page 486 of the Journal. My position at that time as set out in pages of the Journal 397 to 401. Illegal acts had been committed and I thought then that the penalty should be impeachment. I have since changed my mind-- not about the illegality of the acts but about the severity of the penalty that should have been imposed. A green hand had his sights set too high. There is a too generally held opinion that there is a high percentage of playboys, numbskulls and grafters among members of the Legislature, as a matter of fact the percentage of the above mentioned traits among Legislators is considerably lower then among the voters who send them there. To argue otherwise is to argue that our Democratic process are a failure. Considering the circumstances under which they work, Legislators and Legislatures on the whole do a good job. Our form of government is cumbersome and expensive but we know of no other we would trade it for. I served at one time or another on most of the important committees. Money committees are the toughest and one does not know what sessions are all about until he has the experience there. While a member of the House, that body created a new committee, the Committee on Economy, and (I cannot now recall any accomplishments that amounted to much) was made Chairman. I was particularly pleased with having been a member of a couple of special committees that did accomplish a lot. In 1931 I was appointed a member of a special committee of three that was given the job of overhauling the High School laws. Under the old system of census distribution of school funds the smaller High Schools were being killed off along with the taxpayer who was trying to support them. Among other things we devised a new system of distributing school money and of levying High School taxes that was and is fairer to both the schools and the taxpayer and resulted in a better High School. In 1949 a like job of overhauling was undertaken for the elementary schools. They had long been in trouble and it was getting worse. Some districts were rich and had lots of money. Some were poor and so were their pocketbooks, as an illustration in Fergus County the richest one room district had a taxable valuation nearly ten times that of the poorest district. This time I was made Chairman of a select committee of three that was given the job. In both these cases the legislation we recommended was passed and is still on the books. Any changes have been forward and not backward.
Mable C. Haight
School has always summed up my chief pleasure in life.
One afternoon my mother put the finishing touches to a little red calico dress, tied my new matching sun bonnet and started me down the one half mile road-watching me until I bobbed into the schoolhouse door-a little four year old delighted to be permitted to enter. And after a bribe of a blue stationery box with a red pen pictured thereon, I quit telling my teacher "I knew that long ago", and went to work on my first reader which I ate up and had to have a new one. Often the big Maple washed out the bridge approaches and Father walked that far and carried me trembling across a plank while a muddy torrent surged below.
My Alta (Iowa) High School was a pleasure. Finished in three years with class honors leading me to enroll in Buena Vista (Iowa) College the following year with a scholarship.
My pleasure one year in country school teaching was marred only by the struggle with a pot-bellied (depot type) stove. The fire was slow, the roof bitter cold and I patted hands and stamped feet declaring I'd stay at home if I ever got there.
But next autumn my father had to urge me to temporarily abandon teaching and enter Buena Vista College. After the happiest year in my college career I took a Normal Diploma which entitled me to teach in the grade in the Sac City schools.
Then my sister was entering a Methodist College. My father insisted I accompany her. Three years here and I took my A.B. at Morningside. (1907-Sioux City, Iowa)
The highlight in my career was a twelve-month sojourn in Pachuca, Old Mexico. Here a real scare when the principal of the school contracted smallpox in his room just beneath mine and died in a mine hospital up in the mountains. A joy in a Christmas spent in Quernavaca in an old Spanish castle where I wandered about in a garden called Carlotas Garden (built for Maxmillian's favorite wife) trying to find names of every known plant found amid its formal bricked paths. It was the day of liveried coachman and it was a real thrill to visit Mexico City, sixty miles away, to watch carriages from "Caloma Roma", the American Colony, visit the museum and the Cathedral built by Cortez with its altar of gold and its other altars of solid silver. It was before the day of "The Peacock Loses His Tail" so I saw the real haciendas (gone now) as they were then and many of the ancient customs with them. The Mexican observance of Christmas-a rite we saw enacted in Quernavaca and to the final breaking of the "Petate" and the resultant scrambling for sweets on Christmas.
When I came home I taught in Sioux City, Iowa and Seattle, Washington, spending summers in country schools (Larabee and Glen Alpine Home).
At the end of three years in Seattle, Washington, I came to Suffolk, Montana to file on a homestead and married H.H. ( Herbert Hale Haight, born 9/2/1882) August 23. 1914.
We lived in a typical shack with a path down through the center-a sheepherders stove for cooking. In late autumn I learned of a school and took it riding five miles almost straight north chiefly without fences.
Dressed in blanket-linked trousers, sheepskin coat, cap and overshoes, I discarded them for more ladylike apparel behind a sheet hung across one corner of the tar papered shack. They were homesteader's children. I with a mind filled with good reference books told them stories. Knowing I'd stop that if I found unlearned lessons, they studied and we both loved it. Next summer my house was done and I waited for my son who turned out to be a girl in Missouri where she was born the morning after my favorite sister died. When she was ready for school I took the school Maude Haight had to give up. In a building E. W. Haight meant for a chicken house, we carried on. Katherine Haight was small and I felt if the Board would let me put her to play in back of the room she'd be better off than to have a girl who refused to make her mind. If the grade work is not well done, other work I s useless and on this principle I worked.
Since my heart has not been good, I have not taught. At 74 I am out anyway so the younger women can go on. Electricity has given us lights. Gas heats our home. Two telephones stand on our desk. The freezer is full of meat and vegetables a far cry from the root cellars of homestead days. Cars and pickups have replaced the lumber wagon. Horses are used chiefly for feeding cattle and sheep. A school bus passes our door and a mail route is to come three times a week after January 10th. Truly we have seen a great change. About two pages written by Mrs. Mable (Chamberlain) Haight.
Above a very brief sketch of Mable Chamberlain who became the wife of Herbert Haight in 7-23-1914 at Suffolk on the ranch. As of 4-5-1959 both Herbert and Mable Haight are not in very good health but are together on the above ranch after 45 years of married life on this ranch. Dwight L. Haight
Grace Virginia Haight Peterson, born June 4, 1916, Written 12/9/58
I am "back home" (Suffolk- Montana) at the ranch tonight staying with Mother while the doctor has a look-see at Daddy's hip. As we drove out from Lewistown on a well plowed albeit snowy road, I found myself " remember when-ing": When it was graveled from Lewistown to here (ten of the forty miles). When they graveled the Gilsky Hill. When Uncle Ray backed the Model T up this hill. When the road used to come up that hill-well Daddy, Gertrude and I were enroute to town for a school Board meeting and music lessons. Left Suffolk about six that spring evening. Got that far and couldn't make the hill. Daddy unloaded the horsehides and carried them up, one by one. We walked and he and the Model T made it only to have to repeat the process on Gilsky Hill. Was past midnight when we got to town.
Enroute to (Lewistown-Winifred) Montana, tonight, we met a train! First I'd seen on those track in years. As a kid, the thrill of those dirt green plush coach seats as we on occasion rode, in style, on the car connected to the nearly daily freight train to Winifred. And at the ranch, if we listened carefully about noon one might be rewarded by the far away whistle of that train.
The Suffolk of my youth had two stores-Sedgwicks and -Vane. The latter contained the Post Office and home of the owners. Sedge lived above the store and entrance was by an outside stair over the back of the store-something that impressed me unduly. (Later they built a house that since had been moved to the Clow ranch.) A boardwalk extended from the Post Office to the depot. It held special interest for me with its big-wheeled cart and raised platform and gay orange paint on the building.
Our Post Office box was always the big double one at the bottom of the rows. Suspect the six was to accommodate those Herford Journals and Congressional Records that were a part of the mail as the daily paper. (The Congressional Records joined the Monkey Ward catalogue for an infamous end-too young to follow me?) Ever been locked in one of those places? A dirty trick that results in claustrophobia. Paid to keep a foot in the door.)
Then Suffolk Montana had a couple of beer parlors, a hotel, lumberyard, livery stable besides two elevators. I can remember Sedge getting his bakery bread off the train in big covered wooden boxes and all the discussion concerning folks who didn't bake. Dried prunes were sold in wooden boxes and we always had a #25 ( I suspect) box on hand. If you dug around you might find a sweet soft fresh one that tasted really good, raw.
There were numerous farms after one turned west on the Salt Creek road. Leach lived just east of Dog Creek and I believe my first remembrance of alfalfa was their patch near the road. The Kellt place was on the hill where the road again branched for Winifred. Just before one got there, the old road made two definite right angle turns. The second was at the bottom of a hill. One of the first trips Daddy made home with the Model A-luxury, let me tell you-he reached for the brake pedal and instead hit the accelerator. We made it, though. Trouble was, the gas feed on the new car was where the brake was on the Model T.
I was often told of the time Daddy (Herbert-Haight) got stuck somewhere near the Kelly place and he had to pace me-a toddler-the four miles home on his back. The vane Lans had two homes along it and connected on the south end to the "washboard road" that took one back to Suffolk. But to go home we went on to the "Brown Hill" down past Uncle Ray's, Hiningere, past "THE corner" where our mail was often left in a big barrel and where the road branched to Uncle Ernest's, Clary's and Barslows.
The first school I attended stood atop a hill with a good view-we could sometimes see two lights at night if Uncle Rays and Uncle Ernest's had their kerosene lamps in the right windows ! (Is it any wonder that I continually marvel at the myriad of lights we can see from our Bitter Root home. Hundreds of them, actually). Beyond us was the Tierny place (now Louis Knudson's) and Turk Fordyce's-Once in awhile saw a light there. And to the South of the Tierney's were the Murray's on the Bar L ranch. Hamilton, Alleys, Clows, Jones, Hordycee (J.B.), Shells and Schuberts. Brookses lived down on the Judith River. The Balkey Horse school was above the river and the Salt Creek School, "over south".
There was the marvel of the threshing machine and the binder and seeing wagon after wagonload of wheat going to town each pulled by four or six horses.
Sunday School (precious picture cards given weekly) and church at the Community Hall in Suffolk; Bible School at the Suffolk school-oh, those special swings-usually headed by Mr. Cotton.
Community meetings at the Balky Horse school. Babies lay on the teacher's bed and ride milling everywhere. Women fixed lunch in the teacher's kitchen. School desks were pulled around to fit the needs of the group. A big old wood-coal furnace in one corner heated the room. Noise, excitement, kids, and eats. No wonder there was a new teacher every year.
My first grade was mostly done at the kitchen counter of the old house. Bold blue and white checked linoleum on the floor. Mother taught the school situated between our place and Uncle Ews the next year. I will always remember the Cave Ten, sand tables and especially the rickshaws of that year. Cooling saws, too, and camel hair water color brushes of which I have seen no equal, since. That's where I first ran into the expression "a teacher has eyes in the back of her head". At recess we climbed in the "wash out" in the coulee and thrashed their dirty way making even deeper the wash. Can be sure today's children have seen no such sight in that area. A tribute to conservation practices in the drainage.
The next year, I was to attend Winifred schools. Whether other got a job to teach in the High School so I could go there to school or whether I went because she had the job, I do not know. We boarded at Huntere (I still detest squash, as a result) and spent most of the year abed with asthma. Can remember asking Mother if I was going to die.. I made it to school on occasion and had my initiation to rocks on snowballs. One gooey morning, Daddy stopped by school to tell me Auntie Verniece had had twins, a boy and a girl. After school was out Mother, Katherine and hiked down to Rays-still living in the shingled house - - and saw the babies through the windows.
Had another year of my Mother's teaching so I could make up the third year and an the fourth grade together. Attended there for the fifth and most of the sixth grades. Yes a "cousin" school with Kenneth and Karle Clary the outsiders. We took lunches in gallon tin eyras buckets, dug for moles, played "Goat" on the cliff below the Hininger house and, in season, did lots of sledding.
Alice Hamilton taught us the year Neil was born. I could hardly wait until my parents brought him from the hospital. I had special permission to go home. When I saw them coming Katherine wouldn't leave school for such an unimportant thing - -suspect a slightly bent nose.
We moved to Cocoran Street where I was a seventh grader and bet the Fifth Avenue South house when I was in the eighth grade. I attended the departmentalized Junior High and found adjusting from the ways of country school a bit difficult. When we graduated from the eighth grade, each girl wore a white middy and white pleated skirt with either red or black tie.
My High School years were marked by absence after absence. First Scarlet Fever, then , mastoid, measles, and what have you. But managed to make an occasional honor roll and eventually to graduate. Girls wore white dresses as the parenting the early thirty's had no money for caps and gowns and annuals.
Because I was sixteen when I graduated, my folks saw to it that I took a post graduate course.
Up to then, my summers were filled with Four H work - - mostly sewing - - and bouts with heyfever, My first 4H sewing brought no awards but eventually I made an outfit that won first in Fergus, first in the state, and was entered at a Coutland fair. I gave many a demonstration but just wasn't cut out for public speaking.
The fall of 1934, I entered Montana State University and lived at the dorm. It was a great experience and although my college days were marked with no great successes. I would not change them and know they resulted in many privation to the rest of the family.
Through a case of mistaken identities, I dated a Leonard Esterson in the fall of my freshman year and before long was going steady- - a condition that lasted through my remaining three and a half years of college and ended June 11, 1938 in wedding vows at the ranch.
We lived in a trailer house (not a common situation or the near luxury state of today) at the Larry Chew ranch near Cardwell, Montana. Leonard did general farm work. We walked to town or bummed a ride. Our company slept in the hayloft of the Shaw barn and washed clothes at the edge of the creek. Happy days.
Next year we rented a farm where Leonard milked twelve cows by hand. Then we went to a logging camp where Leonard skidded logs with a horse. It was a little outfit. All got out logs for awhile and then all ran the mill for a spell. Leonard went to work for the Highway Department as an engineer and we moved continuously. We were in Lincoln County when wee broke out and the fellows were notified that Highway work would be short and they should get other jobs as fast as possible. So Leonard went to work for J. Neil's doing scaling and later running the unloading crane at the Nerland landing. That crane was considered quite a piece of machinery in 1940. We lived in the old Harper logging offices. Present summer as Dispatcher at the Ranger Station doing dispatching and whatever else I was needed for.
Minence of a strike made us pull stakes and heard for the Bitter Root where Leonard hoped to farm. He worked for a couple of farmers before we rented and eventually bought a place. He aimed for a Grade A dairy and eventually milked forty-nine cows, We had probably the most modern milk parlor in the valet, including a pipeline milker and 500 gallon bulk tank. But I was a big job, a fellow met Leonard's price and we sold the cows. That was just a month ago. Where we go from here, no one knows. We have thirty-five head of young she stuff left and land isn't at this point, listed for sale.
As for our offering, there just aint none. Leonard says it was lack of priorities during those war years,
Grace- Virginia- Haight Married now Mrs. Leonard Peterson
I arrived in this world at my parents ranch near Suffolk, Mont. on July , 16,1920. My Dad, (Herbert H. Haight) remembers the year because it was then be bought his first Purebred Hereford Cattle. The country doctor who came from 18 miles away to officiate went out to the barnyard to look the cattle over while waiting. Sometime later when he got to the county seat (Lewistown) and casually recorded a batch of births, he got mine one day off and I live in horror of having to explain this to some official in our modern age of time; tables and schedules with which I never feel very comfortable anyway. My parents had lost a baby girl (Laura Edith) a year or so previously (from some ailment which could no doubt have been prevented by present day medical methods). They had no intention of loosing another and I am told I lived a pampered life during my first months.
Early memories include snuggling down on a bed of straw under a warm buffalo robe in a wooden sled happily watching the frost grow on the horses' shaggy coats and on my fathers fur cap as he was taking us home for a vacation from the small town of Winifred 9 miles from the ranch, where we spent the winters so my sister (Grace Virginia) could have the advantage of a better school.
Another winter memory is of the morning when Mother stood in our kitchen doorway receipting "Snowbound" which seemed incredibly beautiful. There was also the rhythmic whine of the cream separator and the smell of a kerosene lantern on the back porch which often worked me of a morning to the comfortable assurance that the chores were done, breakfast would soon be ready, and if I hurried I might have the privilege of brushing "Daddy's hair". The cellar door on the back porch was a fine place to play. Unfortunately my enjoyment of the dirt cellar was tempered by the fact that it was inhabited by a dragon. In later years this shrank to a family of green and yellow salamanders of who I grew quite fond. I recall, well, the big dinner bell on the back porch was the envy of neighbor children and made lovely loud clanging. Just off the same porch was a closet in which Mother kept her Mexican souvenirs. (She having taught school in Old Mexico before she was married to Daddy).
In the pasture each spring yellow bells and shooting stars arrived in time for May baskets. Wild roses and a few Sand Roses soon followed. Still later wild sunflowers adorned the roadsides in a riot of color. There were lots of hollyhocks and we vied with each other to find the first blossoms of the season.
Pets were important: cats, dogs, rabbits, Babe and Babita, the saddle horses and even a very wild "pet goat".
It was a treat to ride out into the pasture behind the saddle on my fathers horse. We pulled bunches of "Fan Weed" to be later burned and we scattered poisoned oats in and near gopher holes. In the fall we might cut off a branch of Choc-cherry or buffalo berry as we rode along. Along one of the creeks we sometimes saw half-eroded potholes, where the Indians used to cook over campfires.
A sod barn still stood in the barnyard when I was very small. How we enjoyed watching the new wooden chicken house and the hog house going up. The carpenter always let us dress up with shavings for curls to cover our severely bobbed hair.
Hired meant, and occasionally hired girls, were much a part of farm and ranch life. I especially remember: Mable, who was a calm and kind assistant mother, Blackie, who used to hide my desert, Uncle Joe (name only) who was to old to work anymore but who remembered and told about the California Gold Rush of 1848. There was a blue eyed Indian who tied a horned toad by our door to catch flies, teen aged, Ralph, who brought snake rattle to my sister, Jim who cut my hair and Mart who teased my cats and me unmercifully (no doubt Mart was Martin Noel). These people who talked off handedly of Dakota or Kansas seemed sophisticated world travelers and brought sparkle and interest to a rather quiet life.
The shelterbelt was a fine place to play hide and seek with the "Knudson Kids" who lived down the road, or with some of the cousins. I loved walking barefoot in the garden. There were tunnels under the lilac bushes. Rose hips made bracelets. Our open air play house contained real stove taken from a homesteaders deserted cabin. On hot days we could dangle our feet in the cool water of the horse troughs. Drinking water from the wooden barrel that stood by the windmill was always cool and fresh. Wind and sun and sky and sunsets and stars were much of our scenery. There was no obstruction to our view of the Milky Way or the Northern Lights.
At summer's end the county fair was a big event and we almost burst with pride when father's corn won the blue ribbon.
School almost always meant moving to town and leaving father to "Batch" at home. I regularly wept in protest but just as regularly lost my battles. In fact, thought it sometimes seemed my parents disagreed briskly on most subjects, they agreed thoroughly on the importance of an education and developing "Good Attitudes". After a few years of bitterly resenting the public school system I was convinced school and town were inevitable easier each fall and eventually school at Lewistown (40 miles away) became the center of my life. There were music lessons, orchestra, debate, and bit parts in plays, but little other social life. Twice I was allowed to miss school to visit the State Legislature where my father was serving as a legislator.
In summer as I grew older there was 4-H Club work, horseback riding, housework and best of all community picnics where we benefited from the efforts of many good cooks to out do each other. These neighbors were of a solid sort and though I spent more time in town than at the ranch, town neighbors never meant as much to me.
Mother was often away during part of the summer and my older sister and I took great pride in being or trying to be housewives. My brother Neil Haight, six years younger than I, sometimes thought we bossed him a bit to much. From the time I was 2 years old, our family never spent a full year together, and yet, possibly partly because of this, we always considered family ties of prime importance.
During my high school years the drought and depression were at their worst. I remember being frightened when I saw a dead cow bogged down in the creek. I was frightened again when grasshoppers demolished a row of lettuce intended for lunch in a few hours, one morning. Yet all in all we were fortunate for there was always food in the cellar though I did tire of rhubarb. And there seemed to many times to be clothes in the attic that could be made over.
Grandmother Haight (Laura Cassiday Haight) stayed with us sometimes and though she had grown forgetful and occasionally dwelt in the past her gentle humor and wholesome philosophy were good influence.
In 1937 I set off for Whitman college in Walla, Washington. The next four years were busy and happy. I belonged to the sophomore honorary, was president of our independent women's club, became a member of "Phi Deta Rappa". I earned part of my expenses as a "hasher", desk clerk, reader and paper grader for Dr. Penrose, who was blind and was our college "Prof." of Philosophy. Next I went to Washington State College at Pullman where I was a teaching assistant in Sociology and later a research assistant. This work was fascinating and I was proud to see my name in print on some bulletins and in two articles in professional magazines.
I had some especially happy times at Washington State and while there met a Robert Winwood Day, who was an intelligent and handsome red head to whom I was married two years later after a courtship consistence of almost entirely of letters, wires and phone calls. He was the son of RLG Day and Ruth Diehl Day both of Spokane. His father's family were railroad builders and speculator in the Black Hills area in South Dakota. His maternal grandfather was a Los Angles attorney. Bob himself was the oldest of five children. We were married in Albuquerque, New Mexico and lived also in Tampa and Savannah before he went overseas as a B17 bombardier in July of 1944. Our daughter was four months old before he saw her on his return from a German prison camp. (Carol Ann Day)
Next we lived in Spokane, Seattle and later at Suffolk, Montana while Bob went back to college and spent some time in hospitals.
Carol Anne Day 2-11-1945 in Spokane and Alan 8-19-1948 both have their fathers red hair. Both are good students and enjoy school and get on well with other children. Carol is giving up the violin but likes to sing. Alan Herbert Day the youngest is happy with his baritone horn. Is happy practicing.
Bob and I were divorced in 1950 and we have seen him just once since. The children and I have lived in the teacherage at Suffolk, at Billings where I taught briefly before going back into welfare work, in Denver where I got a second Master's Degree, and in Great Falls, Montana where we are at the present time. My jobs as Child Welfare Worker is interesting, rewarding, frustrating. Leisure time is taken up with Congregational Church, P.T.A., bridge club, visits to the ranch and drinking coffee with friends and neighbors.
Signed Katherine (Haight) Day.
Carol Ann Day
Following written by Carol Ann Day - July - Aug. - 1959
I was born at Fort George Wright, an army hospital at Spokane, Washington, on March-11-1945. My parents are Mrs. Katherine Laura Day and Mr. Robert Windwood Day. I will tell you briefly some of what I know about each of them.
My father was born in Spokane, Washington. He got quite good grades in school. His quick temper and wanting to do everything perfectly no matter how long it took were a hindrance to his school work. It is just within the last year that he got up enough patience to write the thesis which enabled him to get his degree and become a teacher in Priest River, Idaho. When I have seen him he has been very kind to me and I have liked him very much. There was a time when I was just about four years old that I did not feel this way. I still remember that at this time my only brother, (Alan Day) was a small baby and his crying, wetting diapers, etc. irritated my father to no end.
My mother and father were divorced when I was four and my father has since re-married and has two children. He once had red hair though it has darkened now and he is very tall and slender. He flew an Air Force "B" 17 and was in a German prison camp for nine months during the second World War.
My mother is shorter, heavier, and has black hair. She is a child welfare worker and has been a -teacher -welfare-case-worker-in the past. She like my father is very intelligent (although sometimes I wonder) and she has two Master's degrees. She was born near Suffolk Montana-7/16/1920-and grew up with what I think must have been nearly the nicest parents possible. She spent her summers on the ranch and in the winter they lived and went to school in the county seat town of Lewistown Montana. The ranch on which she grew up is a very wonderful place to live and you get to do things like, riding horses, picking buffalo berries, watching cattle being branded, gathering eggs, feeding pigs, cats, or sheep and milking cows, which a city child does not get to do and misses very much.
I think mother is an extremely wonderful person and love her very much. I do not know how I could have had a more patient or understanding mother and I rely on her more and more when I have problems. This does not mean that there aren't ever times when I would like to "beat her up". I am sure the feeling is mutual for she must feel the same way yet all in all I consider myself very lucky to have her.
NOW FOR THE MENACE OF THE FAMILY: My brother Alan Day was born in St. Joseph Hospital at Lewistown, Montana on August 19 1948. At the time I am starting this- Autobiography-May 11 1959 and he is not quite ten years old yet. He (Alan) has red hair as I do. His however, is much brighter, intense red and his face is more freckled than mine. He is tall and rather slender. His chief ambition during the past year has been to become a farmer or a jet pilot. He is the best student in his class and likes school. History, science and gym are his favorite subjects. He loves sports and especially running-ping pong, badminton and football. He (Alan Day) plays baritone horn, likes it, and does a good job of it. He and I get along very well together now but there was a time in the past when we could not stand each other. His personality has improved no end in the last few years and through much hard work on his part he has learned to control his
My earliest memory is of the time in Seattle, Washington, when I was being squirted in the mouth with a liquid that tasted terrible. Mother tells me, now in 1959, it was a way back when I was being given vitamin, Abdec. We next moved to Suffolk, Montana, where my mother taught in an eight-grade country school. I was then three. My brother, Alan was born at about this time. A lady whom I thoroughly hate as I look back on her took care of us at the time. AI was afraid to hate anyone. She was the only person available in this small country community to "baby sit". Although she meant well my brother and I were terrified of her and what she may have meant to tease us with-hurt us deeply and no end. Her name was -H____ (I better not say). We lived in a one-room teacherage and in the winter Mother would pull us on a sled to HE___n's. At the school ground and with the play ground equipment we had a gay time. Surprised at finding my pants wet I once told my mother-"Some one has wet my pants".
After my parents divorce we moved to Billings, Montana. We lived there for four years, the longest we have yet lived in one place. We rented a basement apartment in the home of a very likable family called the "Peterson's" . The parents had five girls. The youngest two, Karen and Mary, were exactly the ages of myself and my brother Alan. The family, and especially those two girls were very close to us kids because mother worked and we stayed with them in the day time and also because we lived so very near to each other, The Peterson's were a very kind family and although they believed in discipline I think my stay with them was good for me. I was by nature very quiet and did not like going outside or taking a nap. Hated naps the most of the two so when I had a choice of "Napping" or going out side, I went outside and came to enjoy the outdoors more and more and became fairly fond of things such as climbing trees, picking and eating green
apples, floating, and wading, playing hopscotch, racing, hide and seek, etc.. Mary and Karen Peterson were as tough and tomboyish a pair as you'll ever find and it took every ounce of my energy to keep up with them.
The five things I hated most or was most scared of were First -- Bruce Elliot-- who was a bully Second-The Dark----Thirdly-Kidnappers-Fourth: seeing chickens flopping around after their heads were cut off and Fifth and last; ---Mother going out evenings.
In my life I have been glad twice some one died, both of which was when we lived in Billings. The first had to do with some unfriendly folk's of the Peterson's who I liked. There was an extremely bitter property dispute between the Peterson's and the Kobers. Mr. Kobe started digging a ditch on the land the Peterson's claimed and was rightly theirs. I had magnified the bad things I had heard about him (Mr. Kober) and thought of him as next to a murderer because I was sure one of us children would drown to death in the ditch he was starting to dig. When digging the ditch he had a fatal heart attack and died I was glad.
The other death I am sure that others to rejoiced. Joseph Stalin died and as I listened to it over the radio I told mother about my feelings. She explained to me that it was not good to be glad about such things even though the persons seemed cruel to me.
These were milestones in my life because for the first time I saw how hateful I could be if I wanted to. I got into my little head that you have to try to understand and forgive people. We all make mistakes. I have never lived that way but I started to learn what I should do. Also Mother helped me to start a process of learning not to be afraid of death which it has taken me about seven years to complete.
In kindergarten, that year I made things with clay, sang songs, listened to and acted out stories and had a very pleasant school year. First and second grade went well fir me and I enjoyed them. I literally day dreamed the third grade away and was so slow at my work that the girl next to me would ask me what number problem I was on, then she would whisper it to the person in back of her, and so it would go all around the room and everyone would laugh at how slow Carol Day was. I was rather a tomboy but was so embarrassed of it that when the teacher asked who's three pair of Jeans that were found that I refused to claim them although they really were mine and I knew it. Much to my poor Mother's dismay I never got them back.
We once in a while had great fun putting on a free circus for the neighborhood. Mother furnished marshmallows and kool aid for refreshments and we sang songs. Had a baton and aerobatics acts, with master of ceremonies. A grand time was enjoyed by all.
We had a small red playhouse, all our own. We would climb on the roof. I wanted to be a nurse and I adored playing hospital.
In 1945 when I was nine years old we moved to Denver, Colorado. Mother had a stipend to attend Denver "U" and get her second Masters degree. We lived in the campus dormitory for bachelors and for married couples or families. About this time I became interested in writing and development of my abilities along that line. My ideas were used in two plays for assembly.
I sold four and one half dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies by going around to different dormitories. The seminary for ministers was a real cinch to sell them. I knocked on the locked doors and one of the apparently influential ministers took me around to the apartments of everyone who was home and told them that his "Little Friend" was selling some delicious Scout cookies and of course they'd like to buy some- - - wouldn't they? It was the easiest sale job I've ever had.
At night I would play ball with Alan, watch Sheriff Scottie on T. V., read the newspaper funnies or talk with Linda, my baby sitter.
The campus of Denver University was very beautiful when the trees flowered in the spring. The clumps of trees made wonderful hiding places and the steep hills were lots of fun fir skidding. We would also race up and down the dormitory stairs and through all the complicated winding halls in the basements of the buildings. I knew foreign students from about ten of fifteen countries. One of my best friends was Jewish and I met a man who's father had been imprisoned with Mahatma Gandhi.
My brother, Alan, spends most all of his summers at my grandfathers ranch and we have a wonderful time visiting them over the weekends. (This grandfather is my mothers father and mother- namely- Herbert and Mable Haight) (And the ranch is thirty-five or so miles north of Lewistown Montana and five miles west of Suffolk Mont.)
The summer before I entered the sixth grade we moved to Great Falls Montana. We lived here in Great Falls now in this year 1959. It is early summer and I will tell you a little of myself as I am now. I am fourteen years old and I just passed the eighth grade. I enjoy school very much and get mostly A's and B's for grades. English and Social Studies are my favorite subjects and I like singing also. I play violin but I believe I will quit it soon. At least I do not want to be in the orchestra next year although I may practice some at home. Among the things I enjoy doing in my spare time are cooking, swimming, writing, ping pong, basket ball, running, reading, watching some T. V. programs, drawing, if I am in the mood, listening to records and to the radio and taking care of small children.
My religion means quite a bit to me and I am a member of the First Congregational Church. I am in its rhythmic choir and Pilgrim Fellowship. I was initiated into Job's Daughters about a month ago. It's ceremonies are very meaningful and I am glad I joined.
I have light, medium length, red hair, some freckles, blue eyes and I am very short for my age, am medium weight. I am 4 feet ten inches tall. I am generally quite serious and thoughtful for my age. I have always been that way and I am not so much now as I used to be. I live a little bit by moods. Wither I will be very very talkative or I'll be quiet and say almost nothing. It is usually the first. I am usually fairly happy and some days I will be just bubbling with joy. Even so, I am more sensitive that I wish I were and my feelings are easily hurt so that I will cry or be very unhappy. I have a fault of becoming jealous very quickly of some one who has better grades than I do or is more popular. I try not to do this but I know that I do. I have a slow temper and I don't show my anger except at home, usually. I bring most of my problems and feelings home. I am not very nervous. I am friendly to the kids I know and I like most of them. I think I am like all teenagers in
wanting to have friends.
When I grow up I would like to either get married and raise a family or be a Social Studies or English teacher. Or be a Social Worker or a school guidance worker or be a director of Christian education - - or maybe do some kind of writing. I am going to college. My future is a question mark and you can guess it about as well as I.
(August-1959)- - Signed Carol Ann Day
Neil Haight -born November 29, 1926. at St. Joseph's Hospital, Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana. Parents: Herbert H. Haight and Mable J. Haight, (nee Chamberlain). First acquaintances -two overbearing sisters: Katherine and Grace Virginia, and Babe a horse of ancient vintage. Spent the formative years (pre-school) on the family ranch at Suffolk, or more specifically Salt Creek, winters in. Lewistown where the mentioned sisters were attending school also attended kindergarten and the first three grades of school at the now condemned and demolished old Lincoln grade school in Lewistown. The fourth, fifth and sixth grades were attended at Salt Creek school four miles from home, transportation was by horseback and old Babe was still hanging on to do the job part time. Other horses used were principally pintos, which had the habit of running away with me, I rode bareback and usually with a halter rope rather than a bridle, this was the best way to make good time to school without violating speed restrictions imposed by Dad but also resulted in being unseated at least once a day whereupon I developed the unique ability to fall from a horse at any angle and any speed without injury (usually). Seventh and eight grades were at Balky Horse school, seven miles from home and as Mother was teaching the school, I became a chauffeur operating under a strict 20-MPH speed limit, drove a Model-A Ford and then a 1938 Chevrolet to school. For high school, I roomed and boarded in Lewistown, attending Fergus County High School, took some piano lessons, learned to play coronet in the band warbled some in the choir joined the Future Farmers of America and 4-H Club, and played a precarious piano in the Alkali Sifters a small school dance combo sponsored by the FFA& Because of numerous credits from extra curricular activities, graduated from high school in three years, 1943. This was my time of supreme brilliance and despite a number of years of college education since that time, I have found that I know the answers to a few less questions each day. Naturally, it was difficult to stay at home with such a superior intellect, so during the summer of 1943, without the knowledge and consent of my parents, this worthy set forth to give the world the benefit of himself. Jobs included farm. work. newspaper boy, swamper in restaurants. apprentice aircraft mechanic. section gang. canning factory (LeSeur, Minn.) bellboy. hatcheck girl, busboy 6 cab driver, telephone solicitor for a. mortgage company, companion for a paralytic with whom I saw my first major league baseball game. Meantime, I entered North-western University at Evanston, Illinois, and was regularly ejected at the end of each quarter because I was much too interested in making what was then big money driving cab and in general learning what the big city of Chicago was all about. In the summer of 1944 I returned to the ranch and after Dad returned from the legislature in the winter of 1945 entered the Army, voluntary induction, I believe they called it, whereby a person might have a chance to get in the Navy. Induction was at Fort Douglas, Utah, basic training at Camp Wolters, near Fort Worth, Texas, where I learned that I and the military were irreconcilably incompatible, then to Japan for occupation duty, first station at Rakurazuka, the Japanese opera center between Kobe and Osaka, then a signal corp. outfit. The numerals of which I can't recall, between Tokyo and Yokahama, and finally a long sought transfer to parachutist training with the 11th airborne Division at Sendai. Said training scared me more than I have been before or since or hope to be again. Finally home by plane via Guam, Johnston Island and Hawaii for terminal leave and discharge on 1 December, 1946. Entered Montana State University at Missoula, Montana, in January, 1947. And after being in and out of school and acquiring three years of credits without having the slightest idea what I would do with them, entered Law School in 1949, and in 1952 acquired a B.A. and an LLB. Jobs in school included swamping (again), tending furnaces, waiting tables at dorms, taking night calls for a mortuary, night shift at a beet factory, and bartending, also became a ski enthusiast, debated, played in the University band and occasionally with a dance band, joined Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Also met and married Betty Randles. After school, we spent a year on the ranch but finally yielded to the urge to practice law. In 1953 moved myself, wife and daughter, Leslie Lynn, and 1949 Ford to New Mexico. First stop, Albuquerque where for the first time in my life I learned that hustling does not necessarily get one a job and the employers are quite suspicious of foreigners with law degrees. Tried creative selling (that's a nice name for the door to door stuff), worked for Household Finance Company taking loans and then trying to collect on them, then in 1954 moved to Carlsbad as an adjuster for Farmers Insurance Group. In Oct., 1954 entered law practice in Farmington, New Mexico, a booming oil and gas area, with Oscar Donisthorpe, a boyhood neighbor. Law practice proved quite successful financially but not temperamentally. Served 18 months as Assistant District Attorney handing San Juan County, acquired a house, a half interest in some irrigated farmland, and in 1957 a boy Rand (Herbert Randall) who has since been doing his best to demonstrate all the known and a few unknown problems in raising children. In August, 1958, left law practice, worked briefly with a pipeline construction company, then back to insurance claims with U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Company. As this is written we are preparing to move back to the family homestead at Suffolk, Leslie Lynn is completing a successful first grade term. Wife Betty was born and raised at Missoula, Montana, (parents Archie R. and Pauline Randles), she was born on the 5th of November but I have forgotten the year and she won't tell me anymore, she attended school at Missoula, also business college and one quarter at the University, is now a crackerjack secretary who can pinch hit for the family income if needed.
Signed Neil Haight
Herbert Hale Haight 9-2-1882 Elk Twp., Buena Vista County, Iowa, married 7-23-1914 to Mable Chamberlain at Suffolk, Montana, she was born 11-11-1884 in Buena Vista County, Iowa.
Grace Virginia Haight 6-6-1916 Drexel, Missouri, married Leonard Peterson 6-11-1938 at Suffolk, Montana, he was born 5-11-1931 at Forsyth, Montana. Their children In April, 1958, none, and no sign of any.
Laura Edith Haight 10-4-1917 Suffolk, Montana, died 5-7-1918 at Suffolk, Montana, buried in the cemetery located one mile south of Winifred, Montana.
Katherine Laura Haight 7-16-1920 Suffolk, Montana, married 10-30-1943 to Robert Day at Albuquerque, New Mexico, he was born 10-??-1917 at Spokane, Washington. They divorced in 1950). Their children:
Carol Ann Day 3-11-1945 Spokane, Washington
Herbert Michael Allan Day 8-19-1948 Lewistown, Montana
Neil Noble Haight 11-29-1927 Lewistown, Montana, married Betty Jane Randles at Missoula, Montana, she was born 11-5-1932 at Missoula, Montana. Their children:
Leslie Lynn 12-22-1952 St. Joseph Hospital, Lewistown, Montana.
Herbert Randall 5-20-1957 San Juan Hospital, Farmington, New Mexico.