City of Choteau News Highlights from 1977-78
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.

Teton County Home Page

Teton County, MT Message Board

Compiled by volunteer Nancy Thornton April 8, 2013

1977 Highlights/Acantha recap.
Controversy over doctors' clinic. County buys land near the front entrance of new hospital for a building, after hospital board turned down the doctors.

Spring. New dog ordinance requiring owners to leash them or keep enclosed.

August 1977 TMC Opened. Henry and Ralph Bouma purchased old hospital building for $73,000, opened Teton Christian School there.
Department of Health, Education and Welfare designated the Choteau area as a flood plain. Residents outcry, claim damage in 1975 was from seepage.
Chamber cancels winter carnival due to lack of snow. Moisture for year 10.35, normal 12.11 inches.
Bill and John Hoyt remodeled the old Choteau Club into a pizza and beer place called “John Henry's”.
Old Safeway store remodeled, renamed Gary's IGA store.
Bob and MarSue Jensen opened Jensens of Choteau. Lions Club celebrated 50, honored only surviving charter member D.P. Fabrick.
Superintendent Robert Gormley retired after 30 years. Dr. James Keef, principal at Shelby to his replacement.


1978 Highlights/Acantha recap.
January 1978 CHS music department presented Annie Get Your Gun.

July 1978 First annual 4-H Livestock show and sale a success, plans in works to expand as Teton County Fair.

11/9/78 Several nights of 90-95 mph winds. First time in history, special mill levies to finance the operation and maintenance of schools were voted down. Took two more elections and budget cuts to pass voted levies.
Choteau has largest levy in history, council adopted without a voter election. City-County Master Plan in development.
Dr. C.W. Boussard retired after 46 years as dentist. Honored with potluck picnic in city park, band.
Lions Cub auction raises $14,000 for new bathhouse, plus donations, to reach $17,000 by end of week. Marion Branvold and David Trexler discovered a nest of baby dinosaurs, controversy when find is shipped to Princeton University.

last week of December 1978 One of the worst blizzard in history, all roads closed.

December 1978 CHS music department to present Broadway musical, “Oliver!” under direction of Tom Mollgaard.
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Compiled by volunteer Nancy Thornton April 10, 2013.

1/5/78 Vandals shoot out runway lights at airport, items, gasoline stolen, snowmobiles illegally using runways, manager John Nordhagen reports. Snowmobilers also damaging golf course nearby.
Funeral Home operator G.L. “Larry” Banks dies in freak auto accident on U.S. 287 south of Choteau.
Citizens State Bank announces it will no longer be open Saturday mornings, but will install a night depository.
(Photo) Choteau has biggest building boom in years, a dozen new hours, mostly in the County Club and Rice additions on Choteau's east side.

1/12/78 CHS presents Annie Get Your Gun. National Farmers Strike, calls for a national grain audit to address claims that the country has a huge surplus.
Linda Smith, new manager at A&K Lanes, replaces Steve Larson.
City running short of funds due to increased costs and a decrease in the taxable value. Flood Plain court action to remove Choteau from Flood District designation. Vigilante Satellite Services to install cable TV service during 1978.
Snow removal is an issue, some homeowners not doing it, in other cases, city is doing it. More than 8,000 feet of new streets in town, issues with whether owners should share cost of oil.
Soil Conservation Service to install small flood dike north of Choteau.
TMC Auxiliary elects officers, Mrs. Geraldine Smith, president. Name changed from Teton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, reported.
(Photo) More new houses in Choteau.

1/19/78 Forest Service proposed multiple uses for Rocky Mountain Front's 451,000 acre area. Choteau Jaycees host bosses banquet. “Annie Get Your Gun” runs extra night at CHS.
(Photo) Olympic skier Billy Kidd visits Teton Pass.

1/26/78 Jaycees award distinguished service award to Jay Cole, Outstanding Educator award to CES Sixth grade teacher Lee Reynolds, Arnold Hanusa Memorial award to the late Al Heckerman; Boss of the Year to City Clerk Jim Dellwo, Outstanding Young Woman to Gwen Anderson of Power.
TMC fund drive at $58,459 of $65,000 goal, funds to be used for needed furnishings.

2/2/78 (Photo) Dr. James Schwedhelm to practice in Choteau. Sheriff George Anderson begins a monthly police report in Acantha. Many complaints about snowmobile use in city limits.
As of May 11, all FHA and veteran loans are required to have flood insurance if location is in a flood plain. Soil conservation Service has not yet built dike northwest of Choteau, as planned, to divert high water.
Earl Armstrong, city worker, passes water and sewer operator certification tests.
January closes with 15 days when temperature was below zero, low was -12, high 40. Eight consecutive days when night time temperature dropped below zero.

2/9/78 City considers implementing a business license, partially to discourage out of town peddlers. Chamber plans special meeting Feb. 21 to discuss it.
(Photo) Choteau Boy Scout Troop No. 51, unveils plaque that lists all Eagle Scouts since 1951.

2/16/78 TMC opens rural medical clinic in Augusta. Herb and Betty Owens on Feb. 12, sell Choteau Bar and Steakhouse to Brad Durocher, Walt Armstrong and Wayne Durocher. Remodeling taking place for café and supper club.
Dept of Health and Environmental Sciences in Helena says revised regulations allow that Choteau's sewage lagoon now meets the standards, appears $20,000 engineering study unnecessary.
Ordinance allows Vigilante Satellite Services to operate in Choteau. TMC provides new public health program for Teton County, well child clinics, hypertension program, health education and home health care. Nurse Elizabeth Veign is public health nurse.

2/23/78 Dr. bob Corbett joins Dr. Robert Lee in Double Arrow Vet Clinic.

3/2/78 Clayton Ketcham appointed resident county supervisor at reopened FmHA office in Choteau. Jandons of Choteau appointed dealer for Radio Shack. Chamber members show very little interest in store licensing ordinance that council proposes.

3/9/78 (Photo) Combined choir from eight schools participate in CHS Choral Festival. Methodist Church installs ramp at north entrance. Chamber President Jim Fisher says survey is 44 against 8 in favor, of city's proposed business license ordinance.

3/16/78 (Photo) Jack Staley sells his interest in the Log Cabin Drive-Inn to Clarence ruff of Dillon. Other half owned by Harvey Wilt. Teton County Saline Seep Day held in CHS auditorium March 7.
Council delays approval of snowmobile ordinance. Council drops proposed store license ordinance due to Chamber opposition. Council agrees to use $500 donation to add more pole fence around city park.
Easter Egg Hunt set for March 25, businesses to donate three dozen eggs each. 55 mph law helping motorists to slow down.
(Photo) Archival. Group of Teton County men leaving to serve country in WWII.

3/23/78 Kimmet's Kiln opens in Crabtree building. Emile and Sharon Kiln, owners, sell ceramic products, shop is former Choteau Photo building. Community Easter Sunrise Services set for Sunday at Priest Butte, high school youth fellowship of UMC, sponsor. (Photo) Rapid thaw leaves fields under water. 250 attend Rocky Mountain Front development plan in pavilion, U.S. Forest Service host.
Police department has 14 calls in February, says chief's report.
Legion birthday party, honors WWI vets; 10 years ago 13 WWI vets in a photo, since then 7 of 13 died. Five of remaining six present, listed.

3/30/78 (Photo) Egg hunt, area children gather 150 dozen eggs.
(Photo) Dr. C.W. Boussard announces retirement after nearly 48 years of dental practice in Larson building. Cost of bathhouse much higher than original estimate. Morrison Mairle Inc, city engineers, finish two year study of lagoon system. Soil Conservation Service backs away from any type of diking for protection from runoff. 23 citations for violations of dog ordinance.

4/6/78 Lions Club to sponsor auction as fundraiser. April is cleanup month. Forest Service delays decision on Rocky Mountain Front land management plan until after January 1979.
TMC Auxiliary pays for new blood machine at TMC.

4/13/78 Jake Lunstra, Texaco distributor at Choteau for 22 years, sells distributorship to Breen Oil Co. Council to apply for HUD Small Cities Block grant to place sewer services in Jackson Addition. Council agrees to purchase 80 acres for city landfill dump from Les Otness.
Don Hofeldt replaces Arvid Sundet as fire chief. Council agrees to lease the cable company as parcel 50x60 near airport for $240 a year for tower and small building.
Rick Ashworth installed as Choteau Jaycees president.

4/20/78 (Photo) Ray Anderson family donates 1903 house to Teton Trail Village for use as ice cream parlor and antique display room. National Flood insurance now available in Choteau. Lions Auction to include two-story, five-bedroom house to be moved off Jim Crawford ranch.
Montana Supreme Court upheld a district court judgment forcing the commissioners to approve withdrawal of a corner of the county from the county wide hospital district. Marjorie Cannon awarded silver medal as state winner in the Great Quilts of American contest. Stan Rasmussen elected Lions Club president.

4/27/78 Council to write a mobile home park ordinance.

5/11/78 (Photo) Lions auction nets $14,707.50 for pool. TMC Hospital Administrator Tom Dunlap sets open house in honor of National Hospital Week. Soroptimists donate steam table for city pavilion.

5/25/78 CHS graduates 58 seniors. Swim pool bathhouse goal is within reach because of $25,000 grant, now match needed. Dog at large fine increased to $300. Parking from 5 to 8 a.m. on Friday mornings prohibited, now per council ordinance.

6/1/78 Fireworks fundraiser underway to raise $1,000.

6/8/78 Leo Pierre receives Boy Scouts Silver Beaver award, one of the highest, the first Choteau man to receive it in 26 years. Teton Christian School holds open house in old Teton Memorial Hospital building. Mrs. Bob Nauck installed as Soroptimist president.

6/15/78 Lack of master plan halts further annexation to Choteau. Because of no bathhouse, Choteau swimming pool program to take place at Dutton pool. Dr. C.W. Boussard Day set for Sunday, potluck in city park.

6/22/78 (Photo) Teton Village ice cream parlor has grand opening. $300 grand prise to be offered for July 4 parade, Chamber announces.

6/29/78 Vandals slash eight tires on 13 vehicles in city. Glenloyd Hotel operator Stan Gunther reports someone shooting. Bullets into front window. Special school levy voted down, second election to be held.
(Photo) New clinic building next to TMC now in use with offices of Dr. M.A. Johnson, Dr. John Wilcox, and Dr. James Schwedhelm. Teton County owns the building and rents the space. Council meets with commissioners to discuss a city -county master plan. Flood elevation study underway at Choteau.

7/6/78 (Photo) Richem family float wins grand prize at July 4 parade. Rodeo crowd 500 less than last year.

7/13/78 Council sets preliminary budget at 63.5 mills, 65 last year.

7/20/78 Elementary levy passes, high school levy fails. Sunday hail storms damage crops in area. School board sets third election on July 31.

7/27/78 TMC sponsors rural healthcare survey. City reports lowest taxable value since 1971 at $1,478,746, legislature action partly to blame for allowing reduced taxes on merchandise, banks, etc. city denied HUD funds to place sewer in Jackson Addition.

8/3/78 (Photo) Cornell Hotel and café sold. Mr. and Mrs. S.P. Schoonmaker sell to Robert “Mike” Young, and his sister, Mrs. Barbara Maher. Once known as Beaupre Hotel. High school levy finally passes.

8/10/78 Dr. Ron Nelson joins Double Arrow Vet Clinic. Planner Jim Yeager of Great Falls to do master plan for Choteau.

8/17/78 Marian Brandvold and her son Dave Trexler of Bynum credited with big find of century, 15 baby dinosaur skeletons. Bob Makela and John Horner dig them up and transport them to Princeton University for further study.

8/24/78 Mike Clark reopens former Dan's Barbershop in Larson building. 11 building permits approved. Controversy brews because baby dinosaur skeletons moved to Princeton University. No dino specialists in state, say scientists. Choteau Police Department answered 184 calls for service in June and July. Biggest problem is vandalism, Chief says.

8/31/78 Cornell Hotel to open as the new Teton Valley Inn, after complete renovation. Annie's Country Collectibles opens in Teton Trail Village with operators Annie Dyer, Deanna Styren and Lyla Erickson.

9/7/78 Choteau School enrollment declines to 587. (Photo) New bridge over Teton River on Highway 287. Some one ran over a fire hydrant near the Art Anderson residence about 2:30 a.m. and before the shut-off valves could be located, the 100,000 gallon water tank had been drained. $1,000 to replace hydrant and wages.

9/22/78 Council and city-county planning board hold meeting on comprehensive plan, with goal of orderly future growth..

9/28/78 (Photo) Archival. 1932 Teton County oldest Settlers meeting.
Teton Trail Village has 5,550 visitors. Dirkes burglarized and a new 1979 Camero taken, but abandoned a short distance later. H&H Implement aslo burglarized, several guns taken. Zion Construction awarded low bid contract for bathhouse, $46,829.
(Photo) Archival. Choteau's first phone service, article.

10/5/78 Bathhouse contract negotiated down to $42,975.55. Add another $13,500 for engineering fees and some labor already performed.

Last updated 6/28/18

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