City of Choteau News Highlights from 1912
Teton County Montana
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A 2013 Centennial Project

"Summarized from the Choteau Acantha Newspaper with their permission by Nancy Thornton, Choteau, Montana. All rights reserved." Copyright 2013-present by Nancy Thornton. This file may be freely copied for non-profit purposes.
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Nov. 13, 1912. Choteau Acantha. Public Meeting.
--Pursuant to the request of the required number of members a meeting of the Choteau Commercial Club is called for Monday evening, Nov. 25, 1912, for the purpose of considering the matter of the incorporation of Choteau, and any other matters that may be brought before the meeting.
--All citizens of Choteau, whether members of the club or not, are urged to attend this meeting, if they are interested in the incorporation of the town. H.A. Prescott, Secretary.

Nov. 21, 1912 Choteau Acantha. A.B. Guthrie, Proprietor. Editorial.
--The good people of Choteau should bear in mind that on next Monday evening at the county court house a public meeting will convene for the purpose of discussing the matter of incorporation of the town. All possible publicity has been given to the approaching gathering, and few, if any, residents of the town can plead ignorance of either place or date as an excuse for not attending.
--Surely indifference at this time as to the subject to be considered cannot exist in the minds of Choteau people. It should not, if it does. The Acantha is under the compelling conviction that every citizen of Choteau who is not unavoidably prevented should be present to hear the discussion and take a part therein. In this way, the wise course will be ascertained. This paper, while favoring incorporation at this time, has not made a campaign of agitation on the subject, because it has not thought that to be necessary or expedient. The people of the town are well able to decide the question without instruction or urging. It is necessary, however, that the meeting should be well attended. No course of action for the town should be decided by a few. And still no citizen interested should be heard to complain at any conclusion reached by the meeting if he does not attend.

Dec. 4, 1912 Choteau Acantha. Incorporation Petition Circulates.
--The petition for the incorporation of Choteau is being circulated and will be presented to the county commissioners this week. So far, little or no opposition to incorporation has been apparent.
--The petition calls for the incorporation of a square mile, which is in the form of an exact square and includes the original townsite, the different additions and four tracts which are being or soon will be platted. The petition divides the town into two wards, all north of Hamilton street and its continuations to be the first ward.


Dec. 11, 1912. Choteau Acantha. A.B. Guthrie, proprietor. Editorial.
--In some way, the spelling of the name of the county seat of Teton county should be made uniform. At present the situation is confused and confusing. Locally, in the county offices, and through the county generally the spelling of C-h-o-t-e-a-u. That was the original pioneer spelling. It is what the old-timers got used to. The other spelling, adopted a few years back by the post office department, apparently without consulting anybody, is C-h-o-u-t-e-a-u. Outside of the postal department, the spelling is used by very few people except newcomers and certain others who would conform to the authority of the department.
--The start of all this mix-up came a few years ago when the descendants of Pierre Choteau, the early day French fur trader down at old Fort Benton, decided that their family name properly contained another “u”, that being the accepted spelling in the most exclusive circles in St. Looie, y' know. They petitioned the Montana legislature to change the spelling of Choteau county, not the town, accordingly, and the petition was granted. Then the postoffice department did what it could to change the spelling of the name as applied to the town also.
--Confusion is the result, confusion in a number of ways. The condition has been more keenly noticeable since more attention has been attracted to the town by the railroads. It is much more an inconvenience to people living away from here. Not long ago a visiting railroad official emphasized to one of our citizens the urgent necessity of petitioning the postoffice department to change back to the former spelling.
--Either this should be done or the people should accept the new spelling. It is very doubtful if they could be induced to do this.
--Speaking for itself, the Acantha favors the old spelling. We know very little about French, our use of that language being confined to rare occasions on press days, when there are sentiments which sound less harsh in an unfamiliar tongue; but we do believe that C-h-o-u would be pronounced “shoo” and that is too fly. What we want is “show” and that is spelled C-h-o. It is fixed in all local usage. Historically, it is probably true that the old family name has been spelled both ways from time immemorial, just as it is today, according to St. Louis city directories. Furthermore, it is difficult, for example, for a person who has been known as Smith to become established in the public mind as Smythe, however much improved fortunes may justify the change. It is as good as certain that old Pierre didn't care a rap how people spelled him, so long as the noble red man would barter beaver pelts for beads. Sacre! No!
--The Acantha respectfully suggests that the commercial club appoint a committee to prepare and circulate a petition to the postoffice department, praying for the restoration in postal usage of that spelling which has become honored with the passing of the years, and necessary, like the face of an old friend, C-h-o-t-e-a-u. That's what this is all about.

Last Updated   6/26/18

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