City of Choteau News Highlights from 1956-57
Teton County Montana
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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Compiled by Jennie Garramon on Aug. 13, Nov. 7, 2013 from the files of the Choteau Acantha.

1/5/56 City bought pumice block City Shop from Howard Truchot for $14,000, 45x96, originally built in 1946 as an apiary.

1/12/1956 News on upgrades to the pavilion. City Council denies request for bowling alley franchise here. Bids were opened for improvements at the city park pavilion by the council. R.F. Zion, Choteau, submitted two bids on the general construction of rest room facilities at the pavilion. One for hip roof type at $3,428 , the other for a semi-flat room at $2,597.

1/19/56 Hobson Addition sewer project awarded to Abercrombie Const. of Cut Bank for 16,964.40.

1/26/56 Local group including Ed Schiller (school admin.) Dr. Crary & dentist Dr. Boussard approach city about fluoridation of Choteau's water.

3/1/56 Helena Dale & Rita LaRance announced plans to open Choteau Nursery School in room of the Choteau Women's Club Library on North Main.

3/8/56 Council met with Obert Peterson regarding water main extensions & drilling a new well in the northwest section of Choteau. (Sheriff Dellwo announced Sheriff's office will be open 24 hours a day.

4/5/56 More talk with council about fluoridation. Property owners in the Hobson & Swanson additions asked for installation of sidewalks. Beer and bar room owners petitioned city for 2:00 a.m. closing on Sat. nights rather than midnight. Council authorized an up-to-date map showing sewer, water mains & special improvement districts.

4/12/56 Bob Zion began a 40x36 addition on Bond's Grocery. (presently K's Auto?)

4/19/56 Ted Halverson was the Mayor.

5/10/56 P. 1 City council decided to circulate a petition for public opinion on 2:00 p.m. bar closing on Sat. night. New well tested and had flow of 1 million gallons in 24 hrs.

5/17/1956 Bowling alley permit issued to Bob Zion

6/71956 Lutheran & Methodist churches petitioned against the late bar hours

6/21/1956, Page 1. 6,500' sewer line completed in Hobson/Swenson additions for $18,000.00

6/28/56, all page 1. Sudden gust of wind topples 25 arches in bowling alley under construction.
New Addition to Pavilion is being Built. An addition to the city park pavilion, costing $4,600, now is under construction by Irvin Moon. The addition consists of men's and women's restrooms, a kitchen and cloakroom for the pavilion. Located on the northwest corner of the pavilion, the 50 by 14 foot addition will be completed in about two or three weeks. It will include wiring and plumbing facilities, all financed by the city of Choteau, which owns the pavilion.
Plans set for July 4 celebration including 2 rodeo performances, competition parade, 2 dances, and a rodeo night show. The following week the paper said 2,500 attended the rodeo.

7/5/56 Page 1. 36 signed a petition to nullify the recent Cowgill annexation to the City. The property owners who signed believe that taxation and other costs are too high for the good that would be derived from being included in the City.

7/12/56 Dr. Haiberg opens a doctor's office on the ground floor of the Russell Building.

7/19/56 Grand opening for Bonds Grocery (in the present K's Auto building.)
Golf course shows high activity this yr.
Consulting engineer for the City said the Hobson-Swenson addition's sewer project is complete

7/26/2013 4-Room addition being added to the Crary Medical Clinic

8/2/1956 City was renting, to possibly buy, a street sweeper
City soon to adopt new zoning ordinance - see article you took a picture of today

8/9/1956 Big headlines at the top of the page: Hail Wipes out many crops in County, I believe this storm hit our town areas. City budget was 46.5 mills = $49,248.10

8/16/1956 St Board of Health submitted report to Council denying landowners' petition to exclude Cowgill addition from annexation. Decision appears to have been based on sanitation/ septic tanks, etc.
City DID buy the street sweeper
Mr. Fischer said he would examine the City boulevard trees and give an estimate of the cost to trim all the trees.
Obert Peterson submitted estimate on extending water connections in the cemetery from within the cemetery to all portions of its outer limits @ $1602 for the entire project.
The Choteau Square Dance Club wants to find organizations to help finish the inside of the pavilion addition. It is only bare walls so far. They want it nicely finished because the Great Falls Elks pay a considerable annual fee for use of the park.
ST Board of Heath denied the Coghill petition to withdraw from the City - Sewer, sanitation implications.
Water extension plan in the cemetery, to cover more area, cost $1602.00.
MT Power wants to buy some lots in the Hirshberg addition for a substation
Permit granted for a detention ward addition to the Teton Memorial Hospital in the Looney Tract.
Dr. L.S. Crary received a permit for an office addition.

8/23/1956 Council adopted resolution of intention to construct sewer in Dist 30, Coghill Addition, 23,000.00. Will take comments at a public hearing.

8/30/1956 Choteau Bowling Lanes to open this Sunday.
Young men urged to investigate National Guard unit at Choteau, unit will resume weekly drill practice Sept 5 after 2-mo summer layoff. More than 40 men now in Company F of 163rd Armored Calvary Regiment at Choteau. Practice held at old grade school bldg every Wed 8-10 p.m. (I find this very interesting - had never heard of this being here in Choteau)

9/16/1956 Alderman George Henderson rolled 1st ball at A&K Lanes for Mayor Ted Halverson who was out of town.

9/13/1956 Bowling leagues forming.

9/20/1956 Lions Pool had a good year, 11,000 swims. Picture of new teachers for this school year, includes a handsome picture of Stan Rathman.
More than 50% of residents of Coghill addition sign petition opposing sewer district. Only 40% required to nix the project for six months, so will not move forward at this time.
Started talk of a Corbett Addition just south of Swenson addition.
City sold lots 18 & 19 Hirshberg Addition to MT Power (at auction) for $600 for a substation.

9/27/1956 Joe Anderson bought Chevy dealership from Kenny Thompson; Sheriff Dellwo got a "fine gold watch from" WA for his excellent help in apprehending a murderer.

10/4/1956 Log Cabin changed hands, Harriet Mathison bought from Ed & Hazel Jacobson
City news - overhead door & heater improvements to be made on new city garage
Big block ad for AB Guthrie's new book “These Thousand Hills” for $3.50

10/11/1956 Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph establishing office in new phone bldg. on 1st St adjacent to MPC office.

10/18/56 Still lists Ted Halverson as Mayor

11/11/1956 Seven-week dry spell broke when received 4 inches of snow

11/8/1956 Ray & John Nordhagen bought appliance firm from John L. (Chick) Sulgrove.

11/15/1956 City called special election for $150,000 bonds for rehabilitation & extension of water system. Funds wanted to reconstruct and improve trunk line and additions; new line from pump house to reservoir on golf course hill needs replacement @ $70,000.00; new systems to be installed in Coghill, Hazlett 2nd, Hirshberg, & Hobson additions; and develop two wells recently drilled.

11/29/1956 Alderman George Henderson talked at a public meeting about the need for water system upgrades including a leaking trunk line. Other councilmen mentioned in the article: Carl Field, Ray Davidson & City Attorney was Leo Murphy. It was mentioned at the meeting that there were some comments about inequities in the water charges & whether to install water meters was questioned.
State Board of Health reviewed and approved an 8" sewer line in Coghill addition, had to be approved by State Health Dept. engineers prior to construction.

12/6/1956 Stores to be open Fridays until 9:00 to accommodate Christmas shoppers. Malcott Body Shop opened. New office addition opened on north side of county jail. Texaco Bulk plant taken over by Jake Luinstra
Voters turned down the bond election 124 - 86; voted down improvements to water systems. Lagoon issue failed because insufficient electors cast ballots so ballot invalidated

12/13/1956 High winds toppled power poles.
Approval given to create Special Improvement Sewer Dist #31 in Cowgill, cost $9,000.
Numerous building permits - Frontier Motel to add a couple more rooms (Now the Big Sky Motel); Hazel Taylor to erect a Drive-Inn & fountain building on Lot 9 Block 11 Hirshberg, & I personally got a kick out of 8 people getting permits for TV antennas - what a sign of the times!
Moose Lodge advertised drive for kids toys underway
Russell Building advertised in a block ad for sale for $57,500 if sold in the next 30 days - by Babe Russell

12/20/1956 Bob Maloney took over the Standard Oil Bulk plant
Zoning committee met regarding the Nimbo Motel building
At 12:01 the telephone system is changing the "2-5" system to INGERSOLL 6. Change will facilitate direct distance dialing by a company long distance operator. At a future time customers will be able to dial their own long distance
Phillips 66 station taken over by Glen Stoudt
Police court collected $5 fine from Richard Arensmeyer for operating a vehicle in a careless manner by driving on the court house lawn.

Compiled by Jennie Garramon on Feb. 13, 2014, from the files of the Choteau Acantha.

1/10/1957 City considering two annexations - Corbett Trace east of city limits & a small tract E of Coghill north of city limits - this one includes city water plant.
Council sanctioned completion of ceiling, wall & floor of new addition to pavilion.

1/17/1957 Choteau is first city in Montana for phone change system in the new year - to the new "2-5" system (Ingersoll 6) on 1/20/57 @ 12.01 a.m.

1/24/1957 - phone change system now accomplished.

1/31/1957 - Cold weather spell broken - was -37.

2/7/1957 Council approved running a revenue bond election again in April for water improvements. Vote on same issue previously failed.

3/21/1957 Leonard Sheble filed for the council seat of Dick Fabrick. Fabrick filed for mayor, Ted Halverson current mayor. Carl Field and George Henderson refiled for their seats. Fred Barribal is the other nominee.

Revenue bond election to upgrade the water system had a big ad on page 3. Also news article encouraged voters to approve to insure a dependable water supply is maintained, it would provide reliable fire protection, & lower fire insurance rate. More reasons in block ad.

4/4/1957 Revenue bond passed almost 2 to 1, was previously voted down on 11/29/1956. Water rates to double.
City Fathers this term:
Dick Fabrick-mayor (Ted Halverson declined 3rd term as mayor)
Council: Leonard Sheble, Carl Field, George Henderson, Fred Barribal.
Bob Gronberg- city treas.
James Sulgrove - police magistrate

4/18/1957 Dr. McAuley met with the council & discussed the need for an ambulance because Larry Banks had announced suspension of his ambulance service. Council deferred a decision to talk with the commissioners first.

Council talked about a dog ordinance - about dogs running at large during the growing season of 5/1 - 10/1.

4/25/2014 Milton McNea of the Choteau Drug Co. said he would maintain ambulance service for up to 6 months or until other arrangement are made. Larry Banks donated some ambulance equipment to the hospital. (Larry quit the service because of surgery he had.) McNea will put the equipment into his own personal station wagon to be used as an ambulance. Options for ambulance service: operate a service with the police dept; county take on the operation; community buy one and have volunteers operate it.

5/2/1957 Need a permanent ambulance plan soon so that McNea can have the use of his private car again. He has had to borrow a car for his own use since his family station wagon is designated as an ambulance. Had 35 ambulance runs last year, 25 of them in the City of Choteau.

5/9/1957 - Talked about the dog ordinance at the council meeting. Approved policy that unlicensed dogs are subject to police disposal & owner subject to cost of damages caused by animals during the growing season.

5/9/1957 Pretty extensive year-by-year history of the Lion's Club from 1927-1957; pages 1 & 8

5/16/1957 New buildings coming in Choteau area:
Ben Chalmers - Choteau Garage, 84-100
ED Oberholte Furniture store, 60x120 next to Chalmers
Forest Service, 1 mile north of Choteau (across from Double Arrow Vet), moved building in from Tiber Reservoir project

5/23/1957 City approved aerial spraying for mosquitos

5/30/1957 Fire siren will sound to denote end of morning watering hours, as has also been the practice at 9:00 p.m. to end evening watering period. Hours are 7-10 a.m.; 5-9 p.m. As usual, residents requested to turn off when a fire occurs

6/6/1957 Chamber of Commerce - at meeting decided to have a public auction & dance on 6/22 to raise funds for a fair building to be built at the rodeo grounds.
Last paragraph of above article said motion carried to contact Boosters in Fairfield & Dutton Lions for support in appearing before the Co. Commissioners to protest the purchase of articles & materials available in Teton Co., outside of the County.
City accepted Cadillac ambulance from hospital board ambulance committee - funded through dance $$.
MPC had meeting with the council about improving the street lighting system for the City.

6/27/1957 - City announced aerial mosquito spraying. Expect to use 600 gal. of DDT over the city. Would be effective 2-6 weeks, depending on additional rains. Time of spraying to be announced around the city from loudspeakers on cars. Housewives advised to bring in washing from the clotheslines. (I remember this happening when I was a kid. Every summer there were a few mornings that we were woke up by the spray planes. They sprayed the Teton River all the way out to here too.-J.B.G.)

7/4/1957- Choteau unit of the National Guard Company F of 163rd Armored Calvary won the Mitchell Trophy for recruiting.

7/11/1957 Cowgill addition sewer on the agenda & council approved 40-hr work week for city police as provided by state law. Set new police schedule, shortened their workweek, no police beat from 6-10 a.m.

7/18/1957 Spinning rod won by a kid for eradicating the most magpies. He also won $16.52 as his bounty at the rates of .05 per magpie, .03 for young birds, .02 for eggs. He killed over 500. Intercom system installed in the school to connect the office with all classrooms, cafeteria, etc. Most recent extension to Cowgill sewer gives the addition 75 percent coverage.

7/25/1957 New city well will provide an additional 450,000 gal./day. Article on front page about a doctor from St. Louis having a car accident in Choteau and he raved about the local hospitality.

8/1/1957 Earliest harvest on record when farmers took grain to GTA elevator on 7/27. Lots of articles about the Lutheran Church 50th anniversary

8/8/1957 New replacement MT Power gas lines going in some alleys. Bickering over who has to pay for the street lighting in Choteau, adjacent landowners or the whole city. Council decided those landowners served will foot the bill. As new sections are lit up, those landowners will join the pool.
8/15/1957 Small front-page article about the iron ore being taken from the area-found on the ridges between Choteau & Bynum. Dr. Crabtree opened an optometry business in Dr. Haiberg's office.
Big block ad on an inside right hand page said:
Don't Faint
A store that doesn't advertise still needs two to carry out the other who faints when a customer comes in.
Advertising is the life blood of business
Use the columns of the Choteau Acantha
"It Pays"

8/22/1957 Bids let for 1,156 feet of 8-inch sewer pipe -Coghill addition. Council received request for some sidewalks being installed. Council working to redo the sign ordinance so business owners are allowed to put a sign on a metal post out front to advertise their business.

8/29/1957 Montana Power Company replacing some gas lines in town. Lions Club moving ahead on plans to put in an ice rink/tennis court.
Article on Page 1 & Editorial on Page 2 about trouble..........Seems the Elks Club from Great Falls came to Choteau annually for a number of years for a picnic in the Choteau Park. They left it such a mess it took the city crew several days to clean it up so the city said the club wouldn't be given permission to use it any more. The Jaycees wrote that they were ashamed of the rudeness and would take on the cleanup detail in the future....& they think the club should be allowed back.

to be continued

Last updated 6/28/18

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