City of Choteau News Highlights from 1920-21
Teton County Montana
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A 2013 Centennial Project

"Summarized from the Choteau Acantha Newspaper with its 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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Compiled from The Choteau Montanan by volunteer Nancy Thornton on 7/12/13.

1/2/20 (Photo) Sheriff I.S. Martine and Deputy Sheriff Reiquam and the Bill Harris still. Federal census underway with Bert Christie in charge of the Choteau population.

1/9/20 Commissioners deny request to have a nurse stationed at the public school. Ladies Industrial Society elects Mrs. E.N. Haugen chairwoman. Queen Rebekah Lodge elects May W. Connor Noble Grand. C.S. McDonald is president of Stockmens State Bank of Choteau. Royal Theater offers a movie every night.

1/16/20 Order of Easter Star elects Mrs. Effie Bateman as Worthy Matron. American Legion elects Roy Pillings as Commander. Public School enrollment is 210 including 114 boys and 96 girls. Citizens State Bank Cashier N.E. Roberts, and directors James Eckford and Wm. Hodgskiss report $50,000 of capital stock paid in and resources of $515,482. Stockmens State Bank reports $50,000 in capital stock paid in and resources of $142,271. Choteau also has a third bank, the First National Bank. Jos. Hirshberg & Co. sells groceries, shoes, read-to-wear clothing and dry goods.

1/23/20 A defective flue caused a fire at the Acantha office on upper Main street yesterday, only a small financial loss.

1/30/20 Choteau Commercial Club elects Roy Pillings of the Pillings Lumber Co., as president.

2/6/20 Hirshbergs celebrate 34 years in business in Choteau. In February 1886, or just 34 years ago this month, Julius Hirshberg of the firm of Jos. Hirshberg & Co., Choteau.

2/20/20 Ninth annual meeting of the Teton's Oldest Settlers takes place in Hodgskiss hall in Choteau. A.J. Flynn of Choteau who had been appointed a county commissioner recently, has resigned and E.D. Forrest appointed in his place.

2/27/20 Choteau Lodge No. 44 hosts second annual Masonic Ball.

3/5/20 C.P. Crane calls a meeting in the courthouse of the Farm Bureau Gopher Committee to draw plans for a more systematic and effective campaign.
Consultant Hall reports on the feasibility of a proposed water gravity feed line for the present water works system, in response to various problems in the reliability of electricity to the pumps, among other things.

3/19/20 Registered voters in the county, 2,275, including Choteau Ward 1, 211; Ward 2, 248; Choteau outlying, 191. The Choteau Flower Shop will open in the rooms in the rear of the Stockmens State Bank on April 1 with Mary Gray in charge. Soo Son intends to reopen his restaurant on lower Main Avenue about April 1.

3/26/20 County surveyor Freeman Daley resigns over dispute with Commissioners.

4/2/20 Fire threatened Choteau House Hotel, one of the oldest frame and log structures in town. Started in basement in boiler room. Fire department has sufficient water to put it out although flames reached the roof.

4/9/20 City voters elect J.C. Morgan, as mayor; Wm. Hodgskiss Ward 1; John G. Jackson Ward 2.

4/16/20 Jeannie Cain of the Womans Club of Choteau asks every one in town to donate a book to the library collection.

4/30/20 Fire in basement of the school house put out on Saturday. Probable cause matches from boys smoking in manual training room. two lines of hose operated by the fire department put it out.

5/7/20 Twelve seniors graduate from Teton County High School. May 14 is the date set for the laying of the cornerstone of the new Teton County High School building.

5/14/20 A.B. Hamilton, 82, the first storekeeper in Choteau and also the first sheriff of Teton County dies at the home of his daughter on Cut Bank Creek near Browning.
Choteau City Council issues warning to all dog owners that unless license tax is paid on or before June 15, it is the intention of the council to order the destruction of each and every dog within the corporate limits, no exceptions, per City Clerk John W. Hall.

5/21/20 Cornerstone laid at the high school.

5/28/20 Choteau hosts Memorial Day Program on May 30, with a parade that starts at the public school and march along First Street and Main Avenue to the courthouse. Veterans requested to attend. Public to bring flowers to be deposited by the American Legion on the graves of the soldier dead.

6/18/20 Group forms Teton League of Woman Voters. Choral Society formed. A kindergarten is established in the public school with Mrs. F.M. Anderson in charge.
(Photo) Article on Fort Whoop-up, Al Hamilton and John J. Healy.
The Beaupre Hotel advertisement, J.M. Weaver, prop. First class rooms moderate rates, café in connection, headquarters for commercial men and farmers.

6/25/20 The Threshermen's association of Teton County puts on a thresher school at Choteau. Boys attend the Boys' Better Farming Camp at Choteau. Choteau Rifle association meeting at the Smith & Liptak insurance building elect officers. Choteau Baseball Club elects manager W.H. Gorham at a meeting at the Power-Morgan store. High School Board seeks proposals to employ a number of teams to grade around the new high school. Preference will be given to farmers. Nine dollars for nine hours.
George C. Core of the Rexall drug store received a commission as Choteau postmaster.
Members of the Jolly Matrons club of Choteau spent Sunday at the Frank Salmond ranch on Willow Creek.

7/2/20 Fire at the Milwaukee depot quickly put out by the Choteau fire department. Corner stone of the Connor garage was laid Thursday. Thresher school fails to draw local farmers. Old Settlers Association to hold basket picnic at city park.

7/9/20 A.C. Burbank resigned as voluntary weather observer for Choteau and has turned over the instruments and office equipment to C.E. Trescott, who will take the readings in the future at Trescott's home.
Farm Bureau to hold picnic at the Iowana Ranch on Deep Creek. Admission $1.
The Choteau Montanan notes its 8th year in publication and its now being published in a new cement block building on 1st street NW, a block and a half west of Main.
Choteau Old Timers picnic was held in the Great Northern park.
Choteau has four doctors, two dentists and two hospitals. The Choteau Hospital has Dr. H.T. Rhoads in charge with Dr. H.W. Bateman, MRC, U.S. Army; McGregor Hospital, Dr. H.J. McGregor in charge; Dr. E.B. Maynard, homeopathist in the Larson building' Dr. C.J.B. Stephens, dentist; Dr. E.J. Crary, dentist in the McDonald building.

7/16/20 Choteau physician H.T. Rhoads elected president of the Montana Public Health association. Assessed valuation of city of Choteau is $1,727,803. High school board announces that girls and boys desiring room and board at the dormitory for school this fall should make application. Post office department advertises for new quarters somewhere close to the main part of town, to be at least 800 square feet and well lighted.
Advertisement: For your Haying needs see us, Choteau Hardware Company.

7/23/20 A chapter of Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion is to be organized in Choteau.

7/30/20 Fire quickly put out after discovered in the basement of the post office store, undoubtedly started by a young boy playing with matches. Between 80 and 90 kids ages 7 to 13, left Wednesday morning by a dozen autos for Great Falls to spend the day “taking in” the John Robinson circus.
Ad: Choteau Mercantile Company says its prices are lower Sears Roebuck, offers the motto, “gives most of the best for the least.”

8/6/20 Ad: Citizens State Bank, “to save your money and make your money safe.”
Ad: C.H. Swaine, “the only Choteau tailor” in the Bair building on Main.
Ad: Lumber Prices Drop, Pilling Lumber Co., yards in Dutton, Power, Bole, Agawam, Choteau and Farmington.

9/10/20 Census figures announced. County had 5,800 in 1900; 95,546 in 1910; but county divided since then. Teton now at 5,870, with Choteau school district 1,339.
(Photo) New Teton County High School building.

9/17/20 Ad: Beaupre Café, Guaranteed Coffee, Royal Corona Registered Blend.
Choteau Merc. Co. hosts annual grand fall opening on Sept. 25.

10/1/20 Wm. Hodgskiss gets the contract to provide Choteau with a new post office. He will build a new brick building on the lots adjoining the pool hall on north Main Avenue in front of the Houck tin shop.

10/8/20 The C.H. Connor building on Main avenue north is being rapidly brought to completion, and will be ready for occupancy in a few weeks. Will have lodge rooms and an undertaking parlor.

10/15/20 (Photo/artwork) Royal Theater has a special, new Mark Twain Paramount Artcraft picture, Huckleberry Finn. Oct. 20-21, Admission 50 cents, kids 25 cents. Ross Houck moved his tin shop from the Hodgskiss building to the Bateman building on South Main. Fred S. Doege has the contract for construction of the post office building owned by Wm. Hodgskiss.
Last Saturday at the jail enclosure, Sheriff Martine and deputies destroyed 225 bottles of booze per court order, the public was invited to watch.

10/22/20 Large crowd fills high school auditorium to hear Sen. Joseph Dixon, candidate for governor, speak on state issues. Girls who are living at the dormitory are in need of games to fill the social hour.
(Photo) Harmon T. Rhoads, physician formerly in Teton County, candidate for re-election as state representative.

10/29/20 Former Teton County commissioner L.C. Marsh died last Sunday at his Shelby home of apoplexy.

11/5/20 Armistice Day, Nov. 11, observed on Choteau with big parade of all ex-servicemen, football game, the Choteau Legion Post vs. Great Falls (later canceled); and grand ball in Moose Hall in the evening. Ad: Haugen's to have on hand all times home made candies, made at home and from pure sugar, fruits and nuts.
Minstrel Show at Royal Theater Nov. 8

11/12/20 Even Forrest, appointed commission when Flynn resigned a year ago, is defeated in election, won by W.J. Crittenden. Armistice Day reported to include a banquet for ex-service men at the Hodgskiss Hall, given by the Commercial Club. A dance was then held at the high school. Twenty-one cars of cattle were loaded at the Choteau stockyards the first of the week for shipment to the Chicago market.
Ad: Choteau Drug Co., for sale on easy terms, The New Edison Diamond Disc Phonographs and Records.

(Photo/artwork) Ad: Stockmens State Bank of Choteau, “True Community Spirit”
Ad: Mozer Shoe Repair Shop, west of Stockmen's State Bank, now open for business, with genuine rubber heels.

11/19/20 Ad: J.J. Hannan store, Bargains in Boys' goods, serges, cordorys and Khaki.

11/26/20 Oil Companies who intend to develop oil fields west of Choteau intend to build a warehouse in Choteau to store their well drilling equipment.

12/3/20 Montanan launches big subscription contest. Ad: W.J. Roulston, the jeweler, Larson Block, “Gifts that Last.”Grand prize Latest style Hudson Seal coat, with squirrel collar and cuffs, worth $400. Old Clothing is wanted by the Red Cross in Choteau.

12/10/20 Choteau Mercantile Co. surplus stock to be sold at public auction to affect a quick settlement of the affairs of the company; $26,000 worth of merchandise to be offered to highest bidder. Dec. 16. Stock to be sold by order of E.J. Dailey. S.T. Wiprud, owner.

12/17/20 Four cars of well drilling machinery arrived in Choteau this week on the Great Northern railway for use of the company. Will have three different rigs in the Choteau territory at once. Warehouse being built next to GN track.
Choteau Rod and Gun Club to hold meeting at the Looney barber shop to discuss changes in game law. Dr. Bateman elected American Legion Post commander.

12/24/20 Ohio Oil Co. rumored to have ordered 16 carloads of oil drilling machinery for use here. Log article on oil exploration. Stockmens Bank acquires Bole State Bank and consolidates business in Choteau. Promotion of oil syndicate companies begins. Sells “units” an undivided interest in an organization formed under common law instead of corporate law. The Durham Oil Co. have now six car loads of machinery and equipment in Choteau and plan to prospect this coming year with the prediction that by July 1, 1921, oil will be flowing from the wells in Teton County.

12/31/20 Article on reasons for oil activities. 10th carload of drilling machinery arrives in Choteau. George Burrell buys the Club, a soft drink emporium, from H.C. Peters. Ice from 25 pounds to a car load available from Billy Miller's pond. See Lewis Thompson for particulars.

Compiled by Nancy Thornton on July 13, 2013 from the Choteau Montanan.

1/7/21 A number of Choteau businessmen now organizing the Choteau Oil and Gas Co. to drill on the Willow Creek structure west of Choteau. City Council asked to furnish an outside company with a franchise for oil and gas. City engineer John W. hall moves his desk and papers from the rooms formerly occupied in the Larson Block to new quarters in the rear of the Stockmens State Bank building. Another carload of oil machinery delivered to Choteau.
Great Falls druggist Fred Woehrner sells his interest in the Rexall drug store to R.E. Nelson of Minot , N.D.

1/14/21 Durham Co. of W.V., and Ohio Co. continue to receive oil machinery equipment. The prospects for 1921 are very bright. Whooping cough sickens 25 percent of first graders and 22 percent of second graders.

1/21/21 Heavy wind storm resulted in some damage throughout the city last Friday. Before noon electricity out when lines went down six miles southeast of Choteau and not fixed until Saturday morning. High school considerably damaged, the wind blowing off the stone coping from the top of the buildings, and damaging the walls somewhat. About 30 feet of the coping was blown down. The glass front at Thompson's bowling alley was blown in and roof damaged. Other windows were blown in in other parts of town. Commercial Club elects J.M. Baker president.
Hammond Beauty Shop opens in McDonalds building.

1/28/21 Graphic drawing of the Willow Creek structure where oil might be found. Choteau Merc Co. back in business with new merchandise. Rexall Store offers S. and H. Green stamps. Hirshberg's does also. The public invited to Womans Club dance to support the library that costs $40 a month to keep up.
New post office nearly finished on Main next to the Sterling Cigar Store. Ad: Coffey-Oulton Co. offers units to investors.

2/11/21 Ad: Teton Syndicate , offers 150 units, $100 per unit for interest in drilling in the Willow Creek anticline. Shipment of apples arrives on Milwaukee tracks, all welcome to buy.

2/18/21 Rainbow Oil trust formed. New Scenic highway to pierce the heart of Glacier Park. Z.T. Burton, founder of the Burton Bench irrigation scheme died on Jan. 15.

2/25/21 Pilling Lumber Co. sold its Choteau yard on Feb. 5 to Monarch Lumber Co.

3/4/21 Jack Rabbit hunt successful, organizers ship 409 rabbits by auto truck to the Salvation Army in Great Falls to distribute to the needy. Real prospects now in sight on Willow Creek. Large trucks haul machinery to drilling sites.

3/11/21 New poles for the electric light company are being placed in position this week to give citizens in the eastern portion of the city the benefit of electric lights in their homes, which was petitioned for several months ago.

4/1/21 City candidate nominations filed for April 4 election. H.E. Adams ward 2, Horace Upman Ward 1, W.B. Butchart city treasurer, J.E. DeHaas, police magistrate.

4/8/21 City election, Adams, Upman, Butchart, DeHaas, elected. I.G. Lestrud, general blacksmithing and horseshoeing, located next door to Montanan printing office.


Deal is Closed By Choteau Company to Bore Big Tract.
Choteau, April 7, 1921.-Through M.E. Smeltz, a broker of Denver, a deal has practically been consummated whereby the major portion of the Adams property on Willow Creek passes into the hands of the Choteau Oil & Gas company.
--Adams is under contract to develop the prospecting permit lands of Robert Gray, Charles Wilson Grady, Wm. Irons and F.A. Oulton. He is under $5,000 bond to drill to completion a deep test well on the Oulton permit beginning not later than 90 days after April 15, when the permits will probably be issued. His contract provides that in case he assigns the Oulton permit to other parties for development, a bond of $20,000, to be approved by Oulton, must be furnished.
--It is understood that the Choteau Oil & Gas company is preparing to furnish this bond and that it will have no trouble in doing so. It is also stated that its camp and derrick will be erected at once on the lands included in the Oulton permit and that the well will be started soon after the permit is issued.
--Among the holdings of the Coffey-Oulton company is a two percent royalty on this land.
--The consideration paid for the Adams holdings sold is reported to be $12,500 cash. The leases carry 5 percent royalty to the government and 12.5 percent to the parties in which in whose names the permits will issue.
--It is understood that the Choteau Oil & Gas company contemplates the sale of $50,000 worth of additional stock in order to fully carry out the necessary program for the development of the newly acquired holdings. [Roundup Record-Tribune & Winnett Times April 15, 1921]

4/22/21 Ad: Choteau Creamery announced season for ice cream is now at hand.

4//29/21 Choteau Clean Up Week announced by Mayor J.C. Morgan. Squads will be appointed for each block. All citizens requested to clean up their premises.

4/13/21 Choteau Montanan urges community to hold a July 4 celebration, instead of heading out to other towns.

5/27/21 Durham Oil Co. announces it will spud three wells. American Legion to host Memorial Day program including grave decoration, a march to the cemetery in uniform, and a speech at the courthouse.

6/3/21 Mrs. Nat Collins dies, Teton's first white woman. American Legion to celebrate July 4 with mammoth parade headed by the Teton County band, followed by speaking, races, bucking broncos, baseball game and other sports. large display of fireworks, shows and dancing in the evening. Out of town visitors will find the park along Spring Creek which has been fitted with tables, seats and swings, a most pleasant place to rest and have a picnic dinner.
Estimate that 600 people went out to Willow Creek to witness the spudding of the first well.

6/10/21 Girls dormitory is self-supporting under management of Mrs. M.P. Davis. Girls given good food, pleasant home-like place to stay, and well taken care of. Hope in near future a building can be provided for boys. Petroleum Exploration well No. 1 will be put down to 4,000 feet or until oil is struck. Two other wells are looking for gas.

6/17/21 Choteau Oil and Gas Co. lets contract to F.M. Grey Co. to drill well. American Legion to build hall to be used for community purposes. It to be a frame building 50 by 100 feet with a hard maple floor and will be erected in the park. Hope to have the building ready for July 4. Mrs. K.B. Cohoe's piano students gave a recital at the Moose Hall. Article about Mrs. Nat Collins' who died two weeks ago.

6/24/21 Great Confidence in Willow Creek indicated by numerous deals for royalties and acreage. J.G. Johnson opened a plumbing shop in the old building on the Hodgskiss property back of the Stockmen bank. Work on the Legion hall is progressing rapidly. first floor is of pine, and building will be enclosed in a few days. Legion asked for volunteers to come help.

7/1/21 An S-O-S called by Legion to finish the hall in the park, Needs to have finishing touches for opening dance. Ad: Beaupre Café, ready for July 4, Jno. W. Oppie, proprietor.

7/8/21 Largest crowd ever seen in Choteau at the July 4 celebration, 400 to 500 autos parked around the baseball diamond, 4,000 to 5,000 people estimated. Called a “perfect day,” except for airplane crash with injuries only. Parade from the courthouse to the park, boxing contest, races, ball game between Choteau and Fairfield, (Choteau won, 7-4,) bucking horse contest, fireworks and dancing in the new hall.

7/15/21 Chautauqua set for Choteau Aug. 4-9.

7/29/21 About 400 people attend the Masonic picnic in park. Chautaqua to take place in new “pavilion.”

8/12/21 Charles E. Trescott dies after a long illness. obituary and photo. Was in the newspaper business for years, brought the Acantha from Dupuyer to Choteau in 1904 and was the publisher of the Choteau Montanan when he died. More articles on oil drilling activity.

8/19/21 All Choteau anxiously awaits well results. City council sets 19 mill levy for the year, done from 20 mills last year. Mrs. C.E. Trescott becomes Choteau Montanan publisher with R.M. Trescott as manager.

8/26/21 Choteau Oil and Gas to spud well Monday. The ladies guild of Choteau will serve lunch at the company's camp between noon and 1 p.m. the time of the spudding. Choteau band will play a short selection. Work on the auditorium at the public school is progressing rapidly. Will have an up to day moving picture machine installed in the new room. It has a stage with foot lights and a curtain.

9/9/21 Teton County High School expects largest enrollment ever at about 200.

9/30/21 Oil Prospects are Bright. Good progress on the Loretta well.

10/7/21 Mr. and Mrs. Soo Son have leased their café and bakery to Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Ashworth. He had cooked for the Beaupre House before starting his own café several years ago.

10/21/21 Legion to host dance at pavilion to pay off some of the bills on their pavilion.

11/4/21 Residence of Phil I. Cole badly damaged by fire.

11/11/21 Legion hosts Armistice Day event with big parade from courthouse to high school, address by A.B. Guthrie at schoo, prayer service at the M.E. Church, two minutes of silence starting at noon, taps sounded from roof fo courthouse just before that; football game at 2:30 Fort Benton v. Teton County High School, community singing at high school auditorium and big dance in high school gym at 9:30.

11/19/21 Well drillers having trouble with broken equipment they cant recover from the bore holes.

12/2/21 E.N. Haugen has been making toys and has them for sale at his store.

12/16/21 Drilling suspended due to extreme winter conditions. High winds damaged structures around the city and county. The oil derrick of the Western Petroleum Co. on Willow Creek was blown down and very much demolished. Gus Depner's barn near Farmington was greatly damaged and the Adams Oil Co. warehouse there was destroyed. One of the plate glass windows of the Bowling Inn in Choteau was blown in and smashed and a window pane at the court house and in several dwellings in town. The electric light wires were broken and Choteau was without lights for several hours.

12/23/21 St. Stephens Episcopal Church holds Musical Program and Christmas services.

12/30/21 Dr. Stephens this week added an up to date x-ray machine to his dental parlor.

Last Updated   6/26/18

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