Wednesday, February 28, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #12 – Arrival of the Great Northern Railway – In 1886 the settlement was nothing but a mass of tents and shacks. The construction of the Great Northern was going on and the town was crowded with people. These were some of the most exciting times recorded. Money was plentiful and everybody reaped a rich harvest. It was a banner day in the history of the settlement when the first train pulled into town. A few years later the Soo Line came through town and from that time the city has grown in leaps and bounds. The following year the Great Northern built more than 500 miles of road west of Minot. All material was shipped here and distributed to points as far west as Great Falls, Montana. Section houses were even built on flat cars and shipped out. Minot was a typical town of the west with everything wide open. It was not until the year 1887 that the county seat was removed from Burlington and established in Minot.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #11 – How Minot Became the County Seat – The fight between Minot and Burlington for the county seat is an interesting time in the history of Minot. About this time there were hundreds of railroad employees in the town. A committee of citizens traveled to Burlington and literally stole the records from the county seat. The Burlington men immediately proceeded to take out an injunction to prevent the Minot men from leaving town. While the necessary papers were being prepared the Minot men had started on their return trip home, taking the trail on the South side of the Mouse River. As soon as the papers were ready the Burlington men, who by this time had grown to an angry mob, gave chase. They made a fatal mistake and that mistake would cost them the county seat. They took the trail North of the Mouse River and in consequence failed to overtake the men from Minot. The case was taken up in the courts and voted upon. Pressure was brought to bear on the railroad employees and Minot polled a vote of 900 in a village of les then 500 souls. This proves that “Padding the Ballot Box” was not unknown in the early days. Thus Minot became the county seat and was incorporated the same year. …. A side note (as depicted in the drawing), the votes of the men at a rather large railroad camp at Lone tree were included in the Minot count).
Monday, February 26, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #10 – The First Grand Jury – The meeting of the first Grand Jury was held in a schoolhouse at Burlington. Judge Francis presided and Steve Whitbeck was appointed foreman of the jury. The trials were conducted in a rather careless manner. As each juryman arrived he deposited his whiskey bottle in a straw-stack behind the schoolhouse. The court opened and one by one, the prisoners ranging from cattle thieves to murderers were brought before the judge. “Are you guilty or not guilty?” asked the Judge. “Not Guilty,” replied the prisoner. “This court is adjourned for consultation,” said the Judge. “And to attend to the needs of nature,” added Steve. One by one the jury filed out to the straw-stack. The Judge grew tired of waiting for the jury to reach a decision, dismissed the prisoners, and joined the consultation himself.
When Minot was a third-class Post Office, the Postmaster’s salary was derived from the cancellation of postage stamps up to a certain amount. When the postmaster had cancelled sufficient stamps to pay him his salary, he would ship the balance of the mail to neighboring postmasters in order to enable them to earn their salary
Friday, February 23, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #9 – The First Board Meeting – The first State’s Attorney was one Preston, by name, and strange to relate, a lawyer without political ambitions. He was elected in 1885. The election took place in the office of the Occidental Hotel. To avoid being elected, Preston sneaked upstairs to his room and went to sleep. When he awoke, he started to descend the stairs, (as the elevator was out of order), but he tripped and fell the entire length to the bottom. One of his friends rushed over to assist him, at the same time remarking, “You had a narrow escape from getting you neck broken.” Preston replied, “Yes, I reckon it was the will of God.” He was helped to his feet and informed of his appointment. Looking over the assembled crowd he solemnly replied, “That’s the will of God also, but I guess the Devil had a hand in it.”
The first man to hold the seat of Mayor in Minot was James Scofield. He was elected in the spring of 1887.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
February 21, 2018:
1915 Tales From Old Timers #8 – Horse Thieves – As in all western states, horse stealing was a crime punishable by death. Since it was a profitable business, many people took “chances”. Some fell by the wayside while others came through without a scratch, and went on to become prosperous and well respected citizens.
Two individuals, Ravenwood and Bates were part of a band of reckless outlaws who invaded eastern Montana and western North Dakota. In 1885 the two men arrived in the settlement with several head of horses and went to work for J.L. Colton. All was well until a party of 16 men and 32 horses arrived from the west and camped just below Jim Johnson’s farm. Word circulated that they were trading so Ravenwood and the blacksmith, McDonald, went to the camp to make a trade. When they saw the brand on his horse he was ordered to throw up his hands and he was made prisoner. The group was a Vigilante Committee and then went after Bates. ….In the meantime, Bates heard of the fate of his partner and barricaded himself into an old shack, preparing to resist arrest. After a fierce gun battle, Bates was captured and made prisoner and the camp moved south. Bates was a large man and had the reputation of wearing the largest boots of any man in the settlement. A few months later a pair of size 12 boots was found in Snake Creek. The assumption was made that Bates and Ravenwood met the fate of all horse thieves who were caught with the goods.
Mr. A. McDonald settled in Minot in 1884 and was appointed Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Coleman in 1887. His duty was to transport prisoners to Burlington and lodge them in the county jail. They were transported in an open wagon and a pair of horses. Only the worst characters were handled in this manner. Of course they did have an armed escort also.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
1915 Sponsors From The Old Timers 7b– Vaulker’s Minot Greenhouse – The “Florist” to their highnesses, the Old Settlers. “Buy your flowers from the largest floral company west of Milwaukee. .. Larson & Co. – General Merchants – They carried high grade groceries, dry goods, shoes and men’s furnishings. They paid the highest prices for produce. A E Boynton – Harley Davidson Agent – The motorcycle making the Minot to San Francisco trip (handing out the history books) was purchased from this company. Western Realty Company – Offices in Minot, Plaza and Glasgow, Mt. – “Buy Land – the world’s best asset” … None better than the Mouse River Loop.
Valker - Christenson delivery truck
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #7a – Enforcing the Law – Few serious crimes were committed that the perpetrators did not receive their just rewards. The settlers, in many cases, would take the law into their own hands. A certain farmer named Bailey, living near Minot, became envious of the worldly possessions of his neighbor, Woodruff. Woodruff was considered a wealthy man and also had a wife. Bailey decided the easiest and quickest way out the situation was to remove Woodruff, which he did. He then appropriated his neighbor’s wealth, including the wife, and attempted to leave the country. He was followed and shot by another farmer while crossing the Mouse River on a raft.
Friday, February 16, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #7 – Enforcing the Law in the Early Days – One of the toughest men of his time was Hennessey, a bully feared by all, and afraid of no man. When arrested for stealing a watch, he was arraigned before Justice of the Peace O’Rourke. He was ordered by the court to lay aside his weapons. He refused so the Judge gave instructions to the Chief Morrison to disarm the prisoner or he would have to adjourn court. Hennessy, the prisoner said, “Very well, court is adjourned” and calmly walked out of the courtroom. In spite of the lawless element that always invades a new territory, women were perfectly safe. The toughest character would show respect and chivalry for members of the opposite sex.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #6 – Minot’s First Murder – Whilst today (1915) Minot is to all intents a “Dry Town”, in the early days of construction the sale of liquor was conducted openly and on an extensive scale. Every third building is said to have been a saloon and at one time no less than 27 saloons existed in a community of 500 people. The winters were very severe and early settlers had great difficulties to contend with. Crap shooting, shell games, rolette, faro, chuck-a-luck and other gambling games were going strong every hour of the day and night. Minot never went to sleep. Soap men, tin-horn, gamblers and desperados found this country profitable territory. One of the most notorious killing episodes in the early days was when Roxie Queal shot and killed Shang Foster in the White Elephant Saloon (Jack Doyle’s Saloon) during a gambling argument.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
1915 Sponsors #5 – Tales From The Old Timers – Scofield Livery Stable – 120 First Street South East (now Central Avenue) Day and night service … Thatcher – Wysong Company – commercial printers and office outfitters – They Always Hurry – Charles Gordon – General agent for Scandia Life Insurance Co.
Scofield Livery Stable - Muus Brotheres on Horseback
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #5 – A Brave Marshall – During O’Rourke’s term in office there is an interesting story about an individual named Morrison, who held the combined offices of Chief of Police, Sergeant ad Constable. He was of unusual height and Proportions. He was 6 feet 8 inches tall in his bare feet (he never wore stockings) and weighed only 118 pounds. His ludicrous appearance was emphasized by his clothes which were too small for him and his very large boots. One day a free for all fight broke out on Main Street. Morrison attempted to restore order and someone struck him a severe blow. This angered Chief Morrison so much that he left the fight and started a hasty retreat up South Hill. When told there was a fight down town and his presence might be needed he replied… “No, they struck the majesty of the law and I quit!!”
Monday, February 12, 2018
1915 Sponsors #4 – Tales From the Old Timers – The Rural Messenger – Published weekly in the interests of the Farmers of Ward and adjoining counties. $1.00 a year to subscribe. They also printed everything from cards to books. H W Gillespie – Dray Line – Dealer in Hay, wood and the best Noonan Coal. Robert S Gillespie – General insurance and a house rental agency in Minot … Dr. C C Nugent – Dentist – located in the Fair Block ….Skrivseth’s Studio – Photographer located in the Second National Bank Building.
Inside back cover of history book
Friday, February 9, 2018
1915 Tales From Old Timers #4 – A Timid Justice of the Peace – If a citizen was generally disliked, not effort eo disguise the fact was made, as in the case of one Justice of the Peace O’Rourke. This man was by no means popular, and a silent vote was passed to rid the community of his presence. O’Rourke was of a timid disposition, a fatal thing in those days. Although he was mortally afraid of firearms, as a protection he carried a rifle with him at all times night and day. A small whiskey keg was filled with gunpowder and placed under his residence as a gentle reminder that he was not needed. Although the bomb failed to explode, the scare was sufficient enough to cause O’Rourke to look for a new home. Shortly afterwards he left the district. Although unpopular O’Rourke held the office for many years.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
1915 Sponsors Tales From Old Timers – West Hotel – 126 First Ave Southeast – Rates 50 cents and 75 cents …. Phone 506 Blue ….. A E Boynton – Harley Davidson Agent …. Campbell Mercantile Co. .. Dealers in Quality Groceries, Crockery, and Household Necessities…. Foster & Connolly Plumbing and Heating…Repair work a specialty and estimates furnished on request. R W Duvall – exclusive leather goods store – trunks, bags, suitcases and Harness. Specialty Sales Co. – sales agents for the world’s best lines of specialties. W R Lemonnier – farm lands and city property … loans rentals and general insurance located in the Brauer Block in Minot. E H Boyer – Clothing and furnishings for men and boys.
Cover of the History Book
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Churches were not as plentiful in those days and services were often held at unusual places. A certain Methodist preacher came to town and wanted to hold services in one of the saloons. Someone named Jack Ware promised to make all the necessary arrangements. On the appointed day, the preacher arrived at the saloon and inquired of the proprietor if he could hold the service. “Sure” replied the saloon keeper, “ yer kin preach here, mister sky pilot, providing yer don’t disturb the poker game that’s agoing on
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
#3 – Large bands of horses and cattle bound for the Eastern Markets would pass through Minot every year. The peaceful city became the scene of many a cowboy brawl. Horse racing, bronco busting and gambling were the main forms of entertainment. Friendly competitions and all personal disputes were usually settled on the main thoroughfare. In the rear of the where the Scofield Block is was a huge corral. As late as 1900 it was used as an exhibition ground. Cowboys and settlers would congregate in the evening when bronco busting and other sports were indulged in much to the amusement of the gathered crowd. One of the more prominent “punchers” at the time was a well known Minot man named Jack Nichols.
Monday, February 5, 2018
#2 – Up until 1885 the only form of government was a Vigilante Committee. In 1885 the settlement began to assume some importance so they decided to elect a Sheriff to preserve law and order. That election took place in a barnyard at Burlington which wasthe county seat at that time. There were two applicants for the position. Amos Tracy was the favorite and elected unanimously. His competitor disputed the validity of the election on the grounds of miscount and even attempted to prove he was the better man by physical force. The case was taken to court, but by the time his charge was upheld, Tracey’s term had expired. This was probably the first instance of political influence in Minot.
While the sportsmen of 1915 had to be satisfied with Prairie Chickens and other small game, in the early days, deer, antelope and buffalo were plentiful and formed the chief source of fresh meat.
Friday, February 2, 2018
1915 Sponsors #1a – Tales From Old Timers Russel Miller Milling Co – The “Occident” Guarantee – Buy a sack of “Occident” flour and make as many bakings as you wish. If you are not satisfied that it is better than any other flour you have ever used, return the sack or unused flour and Get Your Money Back!!.. Cost more --- Worth it! ….. LC Smith & Brothers Typewriter Co. – Featuring LC Smith Typewriters with Ball Bearings … a longer lasting machine …. Rental and second hand machines available.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
1915 – Tales From Old Timers 1a-- from the Independent in July 1915 The North American Publicity Bureau has just issued a very unique booklet, "Tales from Old Timers," dealing with the early comic history of Minot, together with some facts concerning the city as it is today , (1915 ). The cartoons were drawn by H. J. Linney, who has displayed unusual ability. Associated with Mr. Linney is T. S. Kipping, who had charge of the descriptive matter and the advertising. Many of the business and professional men are represented in the advertising columns. Many of these books will be distributed between Minot and San Francisco. Mr. Kipping and a partner will leave in ten days for the west by motorcycle, stopping enroute, to dispose of these books.