Another Visit to Montana in 2010: The sites of Montana, Part II

The rest of our trip to Montana in 2010, would be to enjoy the sites and attend the wedding that would take place in Bozeman.

Our first stop, after leaving Miles City, was at the Rosebud Rest Area. It was on a cliff above the Yellowstone River and the view was incredible.

Rosebud Rest Stop

Rosebud Rest Stop and the Yellowstone River

I wanted to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield again, even though I had seen it on the last trip in 2003.  It is really very interesting and they are now featuring both sides of the conflict.

http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm  Here is what I wrote in my travel journal about that experience:

We got their about 1 pm.  The first thing was to go and hear the ranger talk.  This time it was a young lady who I think was new. After, we then went into the visitor center and they said a film was to be shown soon. I looked a look at the gift shop which had a lot of books on the history of the battle, Custer and the Indians.  We found seats for the film.  It was an interesting presentation of the battle giving a little more detail and showing the areas that they were talking about so it added to the Ranger talk.  Once that was over we went through the museum which featured some information and artifacts from Custer’s life donated by his wife who lived 54 years after his death.  What the soldiers worn and used and the mix of their heritage.  Some could not speak English they were new immigrants.  There was information about battle tactics. They had a machine in the back that had selections on the different groups that were involved in the battle and you could search them if you new a name.  They were the soldiers, the officers, the Indians and more.  The had a collection of the guns that were used by the soldiers. 

Ranger Talk at Little Bighorn Battlefield

Ranger Talk at Little Bighorn Battlefield

We then walked up to Last Stand Hill where Custer was killed along with his two brothers Tom and Buster and all the others in his outfit.  He is not there anymore having his remains placed at Annapolis. Others are buried in a mass grave under the big monument.  When they buried them at the time of the battle they did not have the proper tools to bury them and the graves were shallow.  An archaeological dig was done in the 1980’s after a fire had burned the area and they found a lot of artifacts like bullets and other things.  They could track a soldier by his bullets. There is still a lot of conjecture about the battle and the maps show that with the dotted lines. We visited the Indian monument.  They are adding tombstones for the Indian’s in a different color which is good.  They are honoring the Indian’s and trying to show both sides of the battle at this time.  I think that is a good thing.

Indian Exhibit Little Bighorn Battlefield

Indian Exhibit Little Bighorn Battlefield

We then returned to the car to take the road to the other sites which defines the movements of the officer by the name of Reno.  You drive for 5 miles along the ridge through private land.  The rain was upon us by that time with a big cloud and it was not fun so we had to stay in the car.  We arrived at the other end of the road and the rain opened up by then with the big cloud right over us.  I did manage to get the monument and the battle plan of Reno but that was about it before it started to rain. 

A Monument to the Battle

A Monument to the Battle

I think that the battlefield is haunted and it is always raining when I visit. What does that mean?

Our next stop was Billings where we stayed in the Dude Rancher Hotel.  I thought it would be good idea from the description online and have a western flare.  It was interesting.  Later it was on the TV show Hotel Impossible to get a revamp.  http://www.duderancherlodge.com/

I had really enjoyed my visit to the Western History Cultural Center in Billings on my first trip, so I wanted to stop and visit this archive. http://www.ywhc.org/

We arrived at the Western History Cultural Center about 11 a.m. and I figured we would put in two hours but we did about 2.5.  We had to park on the street and use quarters.  It was not like it had been 8 years ago and it was a little disappointing but I enjoyed what was there.  They had the lady photographer’s collection.  Alan had purchased a CD of her work so we have a selection of her photographs and can study them.  All black and white and she was doing this at the turn of the century and early 1896 to 1900’s.  Amazing dedication.  The Cheyenne Exhibit was sad but very interesting.  The oral histories that they have collected from the Indians is a good thing.  I guess you can access them.  The other exhibits were other oral histories of several musicians.  There were paintings and sketches as well.  They saved a sketch book of one of the Indians at one of the forts who had been shot with his sketch books with him and they are wonderful drawings, somewhat childlike but wonderful.

If you like Train Depot’s you might want to check out the one in Billings.  http://www.billingsdepot.org/  http://www.billingsdepot.org/history-depot/

We had to move on so we headed to Livingston arriving a the Train Depot with only fifteen minutes to view it.  The other museum was closing a 5 pm as well.  http://www.livingstonmuseums.org/depot/index.html  My timing on this trip was off a bit.

Livingston, MT

Livingston, MT

From Livingston we made it to Bozeman and found our Comfort Inn without too much trouble and settled in.  The next day was Friday so we had most of the day to dally and would later go to the wedding rehearsal picnic.

My goal was to find the gravesite of Armindo Spracklin the wife of Charles E. Spracklin a 1/2 brother of my great-grandmother Amarilla. The story is she wanted to be buried in the mountains so her son took her to Bozeman to live. This is what happened when we visited the cemetery, from my 2010 travel journal.

Armindo Spracklin's gravesite in Sunset Cemetery, Billings

Armindo Spracklin’s gravesite in Sunset Cemetery, Billings. Me standing about where it would be but no headstone.

We headed first to the Sunset Hills Memorial Park Cemetery and the office for the cemetery.  A nice man in work clothing was in the office and he helped located where Armindo Spracklin wife of Charles Edward Spracklin was buried.  He instructed me that we could follow him for it was a little difficult to find.  He drove thru the cemetery gates in his big truck that had dirt in the back and made his way through the cemetery.  This cemetery is huge so going to the office is a good idea. He came to an area in a shady part of the cemetery and tried to find the grave but there was no stone.  He finally decided it was next to this tree and this other person.  I was a little disappointed but not surprised for her husband’s marker was one of those metal tags. Find A Grave has a memorial and picture pretty much like mine for Armindo.

I wish I had money to do stones for family, maybe I can work something out, but I do have a long list.  Armindo made up a pedigree outline with the names and dates of our family history and I wanted to at least try to find her and pay my respects. I publish that on the Solomon Goss Blog with the title: Ancestor Outline by Armindo Spracklin, August 5, 2011.

Our next stop was the museum where I wanted to see if I could find any information on my great-uncle William Barclay, 1/2 brother to my George A. Barclay. http://gallatinhistorymuseum.org/  I write more:

The Gallatin County and Pioneer Museum which is right next door to the Gallatin County Courthouse.  We went inside and the museum was on the right and the archive center was on the left.  We paid the $5.00 admission fee.  I looked at books and then went into the archive area and was greeted by a nice lady but I was not allowed beyond a certain point.  I didn’t prepare myself for this type of archive and should have known better. 

Gallatin Historical Museum

Gallatin Historical Museum

I gave her William Barclay’s name and she brought me an obituary file but I didn’t find him listed.  I was thinking that if his wife had died in 1919 before him and his baby son had not survived he probably was going to be hard to find and the obituary I wanted would not be done.  She showed me on the map where Pony and Willow Creek were located south of Three Forks and we will go there tomorrow when we go to the Lewis and Clark Caverns.  She told me of a the Headwaters Heritage Museum in Three Forks and that they might have more local information.  He was a miner and poultry farmer in Pony, then Hot Springs and then Willow Creek were he died.  I tried online to see if I could find him in the cemeteries but he is not showing up.  So I will need obituary notices, family histories, cemetery information in the area when I get to the historical society. 

The lady told me that probate and deed indexes and information would be in the courthouse and I thought about going but decided I could call or email them for his probate if there was one.  He had some money and owned the farm in 1930 so he just might have given his inheritance to his brother or something like that? I then toured the museum which was on several floors and they had a chronology of the businesses in the area.  A flip chart of the different communities in the county like Willow Creek which I took a picture of.  Lots of information and artifacts.  A map of the trails to Montana and a little about them like the Bozeman Trail.  

When you travel with your hubby you do have to find activities they will enjoy.  He discovered that there was a Computer Museum in Bozeman.  http://www.compustory.com/

American Computer museum in Bozeman

American Computer museum in Bozeman

It is called the American Computer & Robotics Museum and it was on the south side of town at Kagy and 19th road in a group of buildings that looked like condominiums. We arrived with only about 30 minutes to view the museum and the nice docent gave us a quick tour around and then turned us loose to study the exhibits.  It was a great museum with awards for Computer Pioneering offered to many people.  They had the history of the telephone, TV, telegraph and all technologies that led up to the computer and cell phones. I teased them about a mag card typewriter and MTST which I used in my profession as a secretary.  Apparently they have a warehouse with a lot of stuff in it.  My hubby said they are the biggest computer museum in the country and very prestigious.  We didn’t have much time but at least we now know it exits and I highly recommend it to you. 

We were off to a picnic which was the rehearsal dinner where we gathered at a park in Bozeman.

Rehearsal Dinner picnie

Rehearsal Dinner picnic

Because I had enjoyed the Lewis and Clark Caverns so much I wanted my hubby to see them.  So, the next day, we headed up to the park. The wedding was later in the day. I wrote about this visit in my 2010 travel journal.

The Jefferson River Valley, Yup another river....

The Jefferson River Valley, Yup another river….

The scenery was spectacular.  We came to Three Forks about 40 minutes later and turned south on Highway 2 for the caverns.  It is a semi-circle from the west to the east. We were following the Jefferson River.  There is the Missouri Headwaters Park to the north of I-90 and it is where the Jefferson, Madison and the beginning of the Missouri River meet.  We would not have time to go to the park and see the rivers merge. 

The Sign

The Sign

The entrance to the caverns park has a new visitor center.  We stopped to see what was there. 

Visitor Center at the entrance

Visitor Center at the entrance

We then headed up to the visitor center at the top near the cavern opening.  I remember the climb up is about 2 miles with views of the Jefferson River valley.  We arrived and immediately went to see when the next tour was and we were in luck for it was about 9:45 and the next tour was 10 am. Our guide was young man and fun. He gave us the rules and we walked to the cavern entrance.  This took about 30 minutes to walk the path which is very steep.

The Ranger tells us the rules

The Ranger tells us the rules

At the entrance to the caverns our guide told us the story of the man who promoted the caverns. It turned out he did not have rights to it for it was railroad land and so that began a competition of locking the entrance door and cutting the locks between the man and the railroad company. This went on till his death in 1932 when the railroad gave the land to the State of Montana.  We had to be quiet the first couple of rooms so as not to scare the bats and no flash.  It was really hard to adjust to the lack of light in the caverns. 

We entered the caverns and the stairs going down were dark, but wide enough and there were hand railings in some areas.  The guide would walk us along through the caverns and then stop in a room and give an explanation of the specific room.  The was temperature was cool inside. We went down stairs, through tight tunnels and there were cave formations all around.  Some of the stairs were very steep and in one area we had to slide down on our butts. The formations were spectacular in each room and as we went along the rooms got bigger and bigger. The guide would turn off the lights behind us and turn on the lights ahead.  They had first used wooden steps and they rotted within 2 years and now it was cemented.  All work had been done by candlelight.  

The Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns more

More views…

In one room the guide turned off the lights and it was so dark you could not see your hand before you. In the last room it had these huge formations. The very last part was a long tunnel with two doors to prevent the wind coming into the cave. 

We were done and it was out into the sunshine again and the wonderful view of the Jefferson River Valley.  We took our time getting back to the visitor center.  I decided to get a hot dog to help with keeping me happy. We headed back down in the car and stopped at a couple of vistas to take pictures. 

Jefferson River Valley

Jefferson River Valley

Before heading back to the motel, we took more time to do research on my great-uncle William Barclay, brother to George A. Barclay.  http://www.tfhistory.org/

Headwaters Museum

Headwaters Museum

We drove back the same way and turned onto a gravel road that took us to Willow Creek where William Barclay, half-brother to George, had homesteaded and died.  We then went on up the road to Three Forks where the Headwaters Heritage Museum was located.  We found it at Cedar and Main in an old bank building. There was a nice lady that greeted us and offered to have her son look for an obit on William Barclay so I gave her some information.  I doubt I will hear from them.  She did loan me the Three Rivers history book but he was not in that either.  The museum was wonderful with vignettes on the upper floor of a dentist office, military sets, trains and more. 

It was time to return to Bozeman and get ready for the wedding. Finding the location proved to be a challenge, because GPS was not working. It was set in a lovely forested area southwest of Bozeman.

The Wedding Venue

The Wedding Venue

The guests gathered out on a lovely grass field as the rain clouds began to gather. A little into the ceremony we started to hear the sounds of thunder.  We were stoic but finally the bride gave the word when the rain started to come down. Everyone made it back to the lodge area very quickly and gathered into the area that the tables were set up for the dinner.  The ceremony resumed as the rain came down outside.  It was a fun wedding and most everyone was there from my husband’s side of the family.

Guests gather

Guests gather

The next day, was our last day in Montana.  We decided to take in the Museum of the Rockies:  https://www.museumoftherockies.org/

We arrived at the Museum of the Rockies which is at the south side of Bozeman on Kagy and it was a lot bigger than I expected.  The parking lot was pretty much full.  In the lobby we found a line waiting for tickets. 

Museum of the Rockies

Museum of the Rockies

DSC06496

 

I wanted to see the dinosaurs and so we headed in that direction. We only had about 2 hours to tour the museum so we needed to move along quickly.  The dinosaur display was wonderful. 

DSC06495

Predators are the little guys

This museum states that T-Rex was a scavenger and not a predator. Scavengers are a more common animal, while predators are not.  I was not aware that they had done so much research since I was interested in Dinosaurs in my childhood. I didn’t realize that they have found dinosaur bones in 48 of the 56 counties.

They had an Indian exhibit, a western exhibit which had some really nice wagons but I could not take pictures. They also had the DaVinci Exhibit we had seen before. Pretty amazing. 

On this trip we had flown into Billings Logan International Airport. http://www.flybillings.com/

Rather than backtrack to Billings, we would fly out of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which is north of Bozeman.  http://www.bozemanairport.com/ I recommend that you go to an airport’s website because they have so much information on them and are truly helpful when you are planning a trip.

Here is what I wrote in my journal in 2010:

It was off to the airport which neither one of us believed was really there because we could not see it from the freeway. It was north of the town in Belgrade. It is a very small airport and there are not many flights out.  Again it was the propeller type airplane like the one we took to Billings. Everyone who had attended the wedding the day before was slowly trickling into this airport, so the wait was fun to have family around to visit with.

After getting our tickets and checking our luggage my hubby headed to the Hertz desk to check in the car. We had done 706 miles for this trip. We headed through security and they made me take my video camera out of the camera bag.  Our gate was about ten steps from the security gate. 

More of the family trickled in as we waited. It was decided that there were about thirteen people on our flight who had attended the wedding.  It was fun to hear them chatting away as we waited for the plane. When the time came to board the plane we walked down some stairs and then climbed into the airplane. The ride was a little bumpy but we arrived safely at SeaTac and were only about fifteen minutes late.  

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Seattle's Downtown area

Seattle’s Downtown area

On this trip we visited with relatives from both sides of the family.  We attended a wedding.  Went to and walked through many museums of a great variety of topics. Took the time to enjoy the beautiful State of Montana.  I was able to learn about and view several rivers and did a little genealogy research regarding my great Uncle William Barclay. As you can see my trips are busy, filled with adventures and complicated.

Another visit to Montana 2010 – A visit with Cousins! Part I

In 2010 my husband’s niece was getting married in Bozeman.  She had been living there training to be a doctor. She met a nice young man who was a policeman for the city.  They had planned their wedding at the Woodlands which was southwest of the town.

We decided to fly to Billings, rent a car and drive to Miles City and visit with Bertha again. This time my husband would get to meet her and see the ranch near Jordan.

From Billings we head east to Pompey’s Pillar National Monument. When you are in Montana you have to stop at the Lewis and Clark historical sites along the way.

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/pom.htm

Wm Clark signing at Pompey's Pillar, MT

Wm Clark signing at Pompey’s Pillar, MT

Pompey's Pillar, MT

Pompey’s Pillar, MT

A little bit about our visit to this historic site from my 2010 travel journal:

We watched the little movie they had in the center and then walked around looking at the displays and getting a lesson on Lewis and Clark’s trip to the Pacific Ocean. Wm. Clark had stopped at Pompey’s Pillar on his way back and he carved his name in the rock.  It is now preserved as the only real physical evidence that he had passed this way.  In the Visitor Center were maps and little bios of the two men and what they each brought to the project.  I have seen the History or Discovery TV channel presentations on this journey and there is very little evidence of the trip.  Apparently Clark named the rock Pompey’s Pillar after Sacajawea’s Son.  It was his pet name for the child.

We walked up to the signature by way of wooden stairs and a walkway and then to the top of the rock to see the view.  It was steep but I was glad I did it.  The Yellowstone River meandered to the north of us but it was shrouded in trees.  

The walkway around Pompey's Pillar

The walkway around Pompey’s Pillar – look closely and find the person standing and go to the right.

My hubby wanted to check out a bridge that looked like a train bridge with no tracks.  So we went down the road a bit. I could see that there was no real highway but I spotted what looked like the best entrance and got lucky.  It was gravel road with a fishing access to the river.  The bridge was blocked off and went nowhere.  Apparently the old metal bridge was abandoned.  A highway was built next to it that was relatively new with a new bridge. 

Iron Bridge & Yellowstone River

Iron Bridge & Yellowstone River

Back out on the highway we continued on H-94 to Miles City.  The road was pretty straight and not too challenging. The scenery was ever-changing as we drove along, with buttes and mounds. Some fields were plowed and cultivated.  I tried taking photos out the window of the car as we speed along so I apologize for any fuzziness. 

Montana Roadside views

Montana Roadside views

Montana roadside

Montana roadside

Montana countryside

Montana countryside

The Yellowstone River again

The Yellowstone River again

We arrived in Miles City about 5 pm.

My cousin was not home so I called her cell phone and she was about 10 minutes way.  The air was pleasant so we waited. The grasshoppers were jumping around as we walked in the grass by her house.  The home was further north in the city than I remembered. She soon drove up in a large van that was dusty and dirty, typical of Montana.  She climbed out and we greeted each other warmly with a hug.  Her hair was no longer curly but looked pulled back.   I introduced her to my hubby. She introduced her little dog “Lady,” of four years.  Apparently Bear had died.  It made me sad.  I liked that little dog. 

The next day we headed up to Jordan and the ranch.  We were going to meet up with Bertha’s niece Gloria who was in the area fossil hunting.  I wanted them to get together.  This time I sat next to Bertha on the passenger side as she drove so I could hear her talk about the history of the area.

As we drove along to Jordan my cousin told us about the people who had lived there. The first ranch was the Moore family 5 miles out who moved into an old school-house at first.  There were the Rooney’s by Rock Springs. She mentioned McDonald’s. They lived there Sept-Nov over two years on the Belinkey Ranch and worked for Giddon Bickel brother to her brother-in-law. 

A view from the ranch

A view from the ranch

She called the different land formations “buttes” and mentioned that there were lots of snakes in them.  One was specifically called Snake Butte. She mentioned the creek’s along the way Upper and Lower Sand Creek, Dry Creek. Deadman’s Road where several dead men had been found, but it was not known what happened to them and how they died.  As we sped past the little towns she would mention the Post office.  Angela was not very big and had two buildings but it was considered a town.  There is Cohagen another town.  She pointed out the Sheepherder monument that had been put on top of one butte. 

On the way to Jordan

On the way to Jordan as the car is moving….

Clouds threatening

Clouds threatening

On the way to Jordan, a little reflection off the car windows.

On the way to Jordan, a little reflection off the car windows.

The land changed every five miles or more into something different.  As you leave Miles City you climb up a hill over the Yellowstone River bridge.  It travels passed the airport which is on the top of the hill over to the left as you go north to Jordan. Garfield county was carved out of several counties of which Dawson is the main one.  She told us that Garfield County was the biggest in the state and the least populated. 

She pointed out the community centers in the towns and the schools that were now all abandoned. She had walked five miles to school, to and from, in all kinds of weather as a child.  Rock Springs is were she held her wedding dance in one of the halls.

The highway signs counted down the miles to Jordan which made it easy to get a feel for our travel time.  I only saw one antelope by a fence that morning. There were lots of cattle out on the land, lots of fields that you could see where wheat was being cultivated and lots of different bales of hay and some were straw. My cousin explained that you could mix hay with straw to feed the cattle. Cattle can dig in the snow about six inches but any more than that and they have to be fed.  She mentioned that land could only handle some cattle or it would be overgrazed and it did affect the value of the land.  If the land was left alone it would come back in a year. 

While we waited to caught up with my cousin’s niece, we had a little tour of Jordan. Our goal was the Hilltop Cafe in Jordan for lunch and visiting.

The Courthouse in Jordan

The Courthouse in Jordan

We toured the town of Jordan. The courthouse was in red brick. Apparently there was a fire in 1997 and it almost took the records but a great many were stored off site so that helped a lot.  

We met up with the son who was at a table in the Hilltop Cafe. He was dressed in a T-shirt, flannel shirt, cowboy hat and seated.  He was a bit soiled in his clothing. I immediately went over and gave him a hug and greeted him.  He had claimed a big table and it would prove to be a good move on his part.  We all ordered coffee and I explained to waitress that we were expecting others so we would wait a while before we ordered. The son was trying to do the haying on the ranch but the rain was causing a slow down. 

Just as we started to order, the others arrived at the Hilltop and I was able recognize my cousin by her smile from a photo she had sent me.  Their trailer as having trouble so her husband was going to have to get that fixed.  We all went around and introduced each other and I hugged Gloria.  Note:  The Hilltop Cafe is on Facebook.

They were in Jordan searching for fossils.  They talked about the fossil hunting and what they were finding. I guess they removed them from the rock and then prepare them for sale?  They are trying to find a complete animal like a T-Rex.  They have found many bones – teeth, frog fossils etc.  

After lunch which we all went our various ways.  I went with my cousins in the van. We piled into the van with Lady and off we went to the ranch.  It is 20 miles from Jordan. As you come to the ranch you can see it and the road comes up past the corrals.  It was very muddy from the rain and there were big potholes filled with water that made the van slide around a little.  

My two cousins chatted away as we drove up the road. They talked about the schools, where there had been family picnics.  I talked about my research and trying to find out more about the Spracklin family in England.  Both cousins are into genealogy and the niece was working on the other side of the family lines that married into the Spracklins like the Heiss, Kibbee and more.  She had a book about the Kibbee family with her and shared that with us.  It was called the Kibbe Genealogical Note.

The ranch was as I remembered it minus a few buildings that had been burned down.  Amos’s homestead we toured but it is not safe and it will have to be destroyed.  It was a hard thing to do but necessary for it was falling down and not safe.  It was built in the late 1800’s and Amos had added the kitchen, porch and later the living room.  

On the Way to Jordan

The view from the Ranch

Our visit to the ranch was short and we returned to Miles City that evening.  This gave us time to do a little exploring of our own and I wanted to go back to the Range Rider Museum and take a good look.

The Range Rider Museum was opening at 10 am so about 10:30 we head out.  It was getting a little dark and raining some. We started in the gun collection and I studied the Winchester rifle and a Colt 45 which were supposedly the guns that might have killed my great-grandfather George A. Barclay.  So I tried some more photos but the glare from the overhead lights was too much.

Colt pistol

Colt pistol

 I returned to the main room and wandered about.  I went into the hallway and studied the faces in the great hall which are the inductees who are along the wall.  I took some pictures. 

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Black and White photo boards of the Indians

Black and White photo boards of the Indians

I then went into the other part where I saw the Indian photos all in b&w of the Indian squaws, along with the Indian Chiefs and others. There was information about Fort Keogh, the rancher photos in the way back area, a whole area about brands of the ranchers, tools, a town scene of Mill Town and other dioramas. I went through the flip boards in the middle island that I missed the last time and there is a lot on bronco riding and rodeo in them as well as in the museum, articles about the Range Rider museum history. There was a saddles display and other cowboy items on display.  They did have book on the History of Custer County on the case.

We headed outside and saw the inside of another building with a wall devoted to the nurses of Holy Rosary up to about 1960. Hats and boots of various people, some ethnic families, ads of a saddle making shop. The last building housed old carriages and large pieces of equipment and furniture. 

Outbuildings at the Range Rider Museum

Outbuildings at the Range Rider Museum

I talked with Bob Bartholmess the director and asked a few questions. He said that the brands are assigned and you pay $100 then renewed every 10 years.  If a person dies their brand is only continued if the descendants renew it.  If not then it is reassigned. 

I told you there are different Barb wire configurations

I told you there are different Barb wire configurations

Brands

Brands

To become a member of the Hall in the back you need to be deceased, have family write a biography which is then reveal at an induction ceremony in June.  I am told you pay $300 in addition.  You have to be born before 1915 to get into it. I asked him how someone could get the information about the inductees and he said that they call him and he will give it a try.  It might take a while but they might be able to find something.  So it does take some time to dig into their files.  All inductees are in a book in the corner of the great hall.  http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/

I wanted to get a tour of Miles City so we headed out to drive around and see the area.

Custer County Courthouse

Custer County Courthouse

The Park

The Park

The Olive Hotel

The Olive Hotel

We parked the car and tried walking in the downtown area of Miles City but the storm cloud was brewing and it started to rain as we headed for the Olive Hotel.  We went into the lobby and looked around. We asked if there was any rooms we could view but were told no. We then walked down to the Montana Bar and it was very beautiful inside with a dark wooden bar and booths.  The sky opened up at that time and just poured.  So we hung around hopefully waiting till it gave up but it was persistent, this cut short my tour.  The Montana Bar is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/montanabarmcmt/

I had not realized that the Yellowstone River passed through Miles City, so we went in search of it.  My hubby really liked the Art Center in Miles City so we went to see that as well.

Miles City's version of the Yellowstone River

Miles City’s version of the Yellowstone River

We decided to try for the sandbar further up on the other side of the bridge that crossed the Yellowstone. There was a narrow dirt road with ruts that we eased the car onto and we managed to get down onto the rocky sandbar and I was relieved for you can get suck.  There were others with their cars parked on the sandbar.  It had a lot of rocks in it.  We walked over to the Yellowstone River and enjoyed the view.  The water was warm to the touch but it was shallow there at the shoreline.

The Art Center and how it looked when we were there.  http://wtrworks.org/  Apparently they have fixed it up from the photo that is on the website.  It was very nice inside so don’t let this photo discourage you.

WaterWorks Art Museum in Miles City

WaterWorks Art Museum in Miles City

The time had come to say goodbye to my cousin and we did that after breakfast. It was time to head west to Bozeman for the wedding.  It had been good to see my cousin again and as usual visiting with her is an adventure.

The Yellowstone River:  It does start in the Absaroka Range (Longmire fans note the reference). When I travel I like to follow the rivers.   http://www.britannica.com/place/Yellowstone-River

A map of the rivers of Montana – http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/states/montana/montana-river-map.html

NOTE:  Well I messed up and published part II before part I.  So if you get a little confused just look for the Roman numerals and read in order I and then II and it will make sense.

The Family of Amos and Iva Heiss Spracklin….

Amos Earl Spracklin was a son of Reed and Julia Siler Spracklin.  He was born on the 28th of August, 1899 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa.

Amos Spracklin in 1919

Amos Spracklin in 1919

He died on the 12th of December, 1983 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. He is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City Montana.

Amos & Iva's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos & Iva’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery in Miles City

Amos married Iva Myrtle Heiss on the 26th of July, 1924 in Miles City, Montana.

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Kafroth & Mary C. Heiss

Iva was born in Baldwin, Burleigh Co., North Dakota. She was the daughter of Kafroth Rodney Heiss, Jr. who was born 31 May, 1858 in Erie, Erie Co., Pennsylvania and died 6 December, 1928 in Warms Springs, Deer Lodge, Montana.  Her mother was Mary Katherine Unzen born 14 February, 1879 in Minnesota and died 20 June, 1973 in Miles City, Montana. She was the daughter of Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth Morris.

Joseph Unzen and Elizabeth are buried in the Saint Leo Cemetery in Yellow Medicine Co., Minnesota. Find A Grave has a photo of their tombstones and a memorial with links.  It is possible from the Find A Grave information that Joseph’s father was Nicholas Unzen born 2 August, 1788 in Germany and died 18 February, 1872 in Le Sueur Co., Minnesota.

Mary K. Heiss is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City with her son Rodney. Find A Grave has a tombstone photo and memorial for both.  There are other Heiss buried there but the relationships are not clarified.

Kafroth’s father was Kafroth Rodney Heiss Sr. who died 12 August, 1858 in Fairview (probably a township), Erie Co., Pennsylvania. The mother was Mary Ann Long born in Fairview, Erie Co., Pennsylvania.  There is a memorial at Find A Grave for a Kafroth Heiss with no information and no tombstone.  There are other Heiss buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

We find the family of Kafroth and Mary Heiss living in Wason Flats, Garfield County, Montana in the 1920 U.S. Census. The name is under Kafront R. Heiss. He is 71 years of age in this census. Wason Flats is east of Cohagen in Garfield County, Montana.

Source:  1920 U.S. Federal Census, Wason Flats, Garfield Co., Montana, School Dist#33, SD#2, ED#123, Sht #5B, enumerated on 21 February, 1920 by J. Budd Kaus. 

Line 76, Farm, 114, 114, Heis, Kafront R., Head, 1, 0, F, M, W, 71, M, all able to read and write, several in school, born Pennsylvania, parents born in Pennsylvania, yes, farmer, general farm, 110.

Heiss, Mary wife, F, 2, 41, M, born Minnesota, parents born in West Prussia

Heiss, Rose, daughter, F, W, 18, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur, son, M, W, 15, S, born Minnesota, maid, housework

Heiss, Iva, daughter, F, W, 13, S, born North Dakota, 

Heiss, Elizabeth daughter, F, W, 11, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Roddy son, M, W, 9, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Joseph son, M, W, 5, S, born North Dakota

Heis, Deloris, daughter, F, W, 2, S, born Montana

According to my information Kafroth and Mary had about nine children, including Iva:  Bob, Joe, Art, Rose, Delores, Ann, Rodney died 1961, Iva Myrtle and Elizabeth Susanna 1908 to 2001 who married Harley Grover Spracklin.

So I went back to 1910 and find Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss living in North Dakota.

Source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Menoken Twp., Burleigh, North Dakota, SD#2, ED#35, Sht#1A, enumerated on 18 April, 1910 by Ole Sather.

Line 1, 1, 1, Heiss, K. Head, M, W, 53, Married 12 years, born in PA, parents born in PA, English, Farmer

Heiss, Mary K. wife, F, W, 31, Married 12 years, 5 born 5 living, born Minnesota, parents born Germany, English, house farm

Heiss, Annie Mary, daughter, F, W, 10, S, born Washington

Hessi, Rosy Elmirel, daughter, F, W, 8, S, born Washington

Heiss, Arthur Floyd, Son, M,W, 5, S, born Minnesota

Heiss, Iva Mary, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born North Dakota

Heiss, Elizabeth Susanna, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born North Dakota

We have added a couple more children for Kafroth and Mary K. Heiss to the family group.  I am not finding them in the 1900 U.S. Census but it looks like they were in Washington State at that time.

Here are is another photo of Amos and Iva’s homestead, which is now owned by a daughter.

Amos' Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin

Amos’ Homestead near Jordan, 2003. It is probably torn down by now it was going to ruin ad was dangerous.

In 1930 Amos is living near his father Reed and mother Julia.

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Amos and Iva Spracklin and one of their girls, probably Margaret

Source:  Reed Spracklin Family and Amos Spracklin Families, 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Sheldon Twp., Garfield Co., Montana, School Distr #41., Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, Mar 22, 1930, #T625-971.

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos. E, Head, yes, M, W, 30, m, 24, No, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother, born Nebraska, yes, Farm, laborer, Farm, 2. 
Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife – H, F, W, 30, M, 24, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa and mother Minnesota. 
Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, no, born Montana
Spracklin, Alice, M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, no, born Montana

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed, A. Head, yes, M,W,, 61, M, 39, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, Farmer, farm, 3.
Spracklin, Julia A, wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, No, yes, born Nebraska, father Indiana, mother Iowa
Spracklin, Roy, Son, M,W, 16 S, yes, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Everett, R, son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, born Iowa
Spracklin, Forest, E, son, M, W. 12, S, yes, yes, born Montana
Spracklin, Clara L., daughter, F, W, 10 S, yes, yes, born Montana

Amos and Iva are residing in the Sawtell area of Garfield Co., Montana in 1940.

Source: Amos E. Spracklin Family, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Sawtell (School District), Garfield Co., Montana, SD #3, ED 17-25, Sht# 1A, Enumerated April 24, 1940 by Donald M. Zimmerman. 

Line 6, 2, R, 4, yes, Spracklin, Amos L., Head, M, W, 40 , M, No, 44, born Iowa, all same house, farmer,, farm.
Spracklin, Iva, wife, F, W, 34, M, No 8, North Dakota. Spracklin, Margaret, daughter, F, W, 13, S, yes, 6, Montana, Spracklin, Alice, daughter, F, W, 11, S, yes, 5, Montana, Spracklin, Betty, daughter, F,W, 9, S, yes, 4, Montana, Spracklin, Bertha, daughter, F, W, 7, S, yes, 2, Montana, Spracklin, Dorothy, daughter, F, W, S, Montana, Spracklin, Helen, daughter, F, W, S, Montana.  

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Amos and Iva in 1967 at Thanksgiving

Iva Heiss Spracklin passed away on November 24, 1969.

Mrs. Iva Myrtle Spracklin, 63, wife of Amos E. Spracklin, former Jordan area rancher, died Monday, November 24 at her home in Hamilton. Funeral services for Mrs. Iva Spracklin were held, Friday afternoon in the Chapel of Stevenson, Miles City Funeral Home with the Rev. Leland Rubesh of the First Presbyterian Church officiating. Music was under the direction of Mrs. Marian Pinkham. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Baldwin, N.D. on October 16, 1906, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. K. Heiss. As a young girl she moved with her family to the Cohagen area where they homesteaded. She received her schooling in Miles City. She was married to Amos E. Spracklin on July 26, 1924 at Miles City and following their marriage they moved to the Jordan area where they farmed and ranched. They retired from the ranch in 1964 when they moved to Hamilton and have made their home there since. Surviving are her husband of Hamilton and six daughters. Mrs. M. Roberts of Hamilton, Mrs. F. Bickel of Rock Springs, Mrs. D. Cole of Miles City, Mrs. B. Roufley of Jordan and Mrs. D. Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Fishell of White Sulphur Springs. Also surviving are her mother Mrs. Mary K. Heiss of Miles City, and three brothers, Bob Heiss of Garden Grove, Calif., Joe Heiss serving in the U.S. Army and Art Heiss of Miles City; four sisters, Rose Pembrook of Lewiston, Idaho, Delores Rogers of Roundup, Ann Larson of Lewiston, Idaho, and Elizabeth Spracklin of Miles City; 25 grandchildren and seven great grand children. She was preceded in death by one brother, Rodney Heiss in 1962 and one daughter, Mary Ann Spracklin in 1923 near Jordan. Pall bearers were: Martin Derenburgen, Donald Weeding, James Rogers, Waldo Bentley, George Spracklin, Roy Spracklin, Thomas Billings, Pete Ronning and Bob Phipps. Burial was in the family plot in the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Miles City.”  Note: There were issues with the water table at Sunset and so the casket was moved to the Custer County Cemetery next to her husband Amos in Miles City, MT.

Amos lived fourteen more years beyond his wife and passed away on 12 December, 1983 at the age of 84 years old.

Obituary for Amos Earl Sprackin
“Amos Earl Spracklin, 84, longtime rancher of the Jordan area, died Monday at the Garfield County Hospital in Jordan of a long illness. He was born Aug. 28, 1899 in Calhoun Co., Iowa the son of Reed Spracklin and Julia Siler. Mr. Spracklin came to Montana with his parents in 1915 when he was a young man. They homesteaded on Lone Tree Creek, 19 miles west of Jordan. On July 26, 1924, he married Iva Myrtle Heiss at Miles City. They continued to ranch west of Jordan until 1964 when they moved to Hamilton. In 1974 he moved to Mill Iron where he lived until 1978 when he entered the rest home at Jordan where he lived until his death. Survivors included six daughters, Mrs. Clint (Margaret) Vial of Portland, Oregon; Mrs. James Roufley of Brusett, Mrs. Ferdinand  Bickel of Mill Iron, Mrs. Delbert ole of Alzada, Mrs. Jesse Euell of Bozeman and Mrs. Jacob Fowler of Hamilton; three brothers Clifford of Hamilton, LeRoy of Roundup, and Forest of Washington; one sister, Clara Monger of Lewistown; 27 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Iva on Nov. 24, 1969 at Hamilton. Funeral services will be held Friday, 2 p.m., in the chapel of Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home. Rev. Leslie Payne of the First Christian Church will officiate. Burial will be in the family lot of the Custer County Cemetery.”  source unknown, probably Miles City newspaper. 

Amos and Iva had the following children:

Amos and Iva's Girls

Amos and Iva’s Girls

  1.  Mary Anna Spracklin, born 14 August, 1925 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died on the 15th of September 1925.  My understanding is that Mary is buried on the homestead property.
  2. Margaret Rosailie Spracklin was born 18 October, 1926 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 22 December, 2012, in Jordan. Margaret married about five times 1) Daniel L. Ward on 5 April, 1945 in Miles City. They divorced in 1961. Daniel was born 1911 and died 1963. 2) She married Alexander Kline on 17 November, 1961 in Roundup, Montana and they later divorced.  He was born about 1916. 3) The next was Ira Clayton Lewis on 1 February, 1964 in Vancouver, Washington. 4) Henry C. Roberts on and Margaret married on 20 December, 1967. Henry was born about 1906 and died 1966.  5) She married Clinton F. Vial on 5 April, 1974 in Vancouver. Clinton was born 1907 and died 1983 in Washington.  Margaret had several children from her first marriage. She is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana. Find A Grave has a nice memorial for her but no tombstone photo at this time.
  3. Alice May Spracklin was born on 9 December, 1928 in Brusett, Garfield Co., Montana and she died on the 28th of January, 2015 in Billings, Montana. She is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana. Alice married a Ferdinand Herbert Bickel on 7 October, 1945 in Miles City. He died on 2 January, 1998 in Ekalaka, Carter Co., Montana. He is also buried in the Custer County Cemetery. Find A Grave has tombstone photos a memorial and links for this couple. Ferdinand and Alice had several children and a long married life together. Alice was married briefly before to a C. Yungk but it was annulled.
  4. Betty Jean Spracklin was born 23 October, 1930 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana. Betty died on the 10th of February, 2013 in Miles City from a heart attack. Betty was married twice. She first married to a Henry Francis Stocker on 3 June, 1948 in Miles City and had several children with this man.  They divorced in 1960 and she remarried to a Donald Delbert Cole on 21 March, 1961 in Glendive, Dawson Co., Montana. Donald was born on 18 September, 1925 in Terry, Montana and died 7 April, 2000 in Miles City. Betty is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. Find A Grave has a memorial for her but does not have a tombstone photo at this time.
Betty Spracklin Cole

Betty Spracklin Cole

5.  Bertha Evelyn Spracklin born 27 July, 1932 in Jordan, Montana. Bertha was married on 18 September 1948 in Miles City to James Everetts Roufley.  They had four children together one son and three daughters.

James was born 17 August, 1918 in Stanton, Mercer Co., North Dakota.

James with brother Harold

James with brother Harold

James fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

James Roufley after basic training Fort Ord.

He died on 12 July, 1991 and is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City.

James Roufley's Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James Roufley’s Tombstone, Custer Co. Cemetery

James’ parents were James Franklin Roufley who died 2 February, 1972 and Ethel May Percy born 21 November, 1893 and died 21 September, 1978 in Miles City.  Ethel is buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. James had a brother name Roy who died in 9 September, 1981 in Yellowstone Co., Montana.

Bertha and James settled on the land that was formerly Amos and Iva’s homestead.

6.  Dorothy Josephine Spracklin was born 1 January, 1935 in Garfield Co., Montana. She married twice first to a Jesse Bernard Euel on 21 Mary, 1951 and later to a Mr. Tucker.  Dorothy was living in Bozeman at the time of her mother and father’s deaths.

7.  Helen Marlys Spracklin was born on 23 June 1937 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and died 6 April, 2014 in Spokane, Washington.

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen Spracklin Fowler

Helen married three times.  The first was in April of 1955 she married a Leon W. Seniba. They later divorced in 1961.  Another marriage was to a Mr. Fishel.  She later married a Jacob E. Fowler born 8 March, 1934 and died 3 July 1981 in Miles City. Jacob and Helen had about seven children together.

Both Helen and her husband are buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. Jacob has a tombstone picture and memorial at Find A Grave.

If you would like more information about any of these individuals, just leave a comment and I will be happy to contact you.  As always please double check the information presented above.

Traveling to Montana to meet Amos Spracklin’s family, a son of Reed and Julia Spracklin – 2003

About 2002, I received an email from a cousin and this individual suggested that I talk to another cousin who had done quite a bit of research on the Spracklin family back in the early and mid 1980’s. This cousin was my half cousin.  She was a descendant of the second family of Daniel D. Spracklin and his wife Sarah.  She lived in Miles City, Montana and I decided to go and visit her.

So in 2003, my sister and I, drove to Miles City in my 1995 Aerostar Van to visit our cousin. Neither one of us had met her before so it would be a great adventure.  We would stop at motels or hotels as we got close to the end of the day and use the coupons you get in those newspaper booklets they distribute at rest stops. Usually I book my motels and lodging in advance because I don’t want to mess with it while driving around.

As usual my genealogy research trips are very complicated and involve many facets.  On this trip it would be researching Spracklins, Mc/MacDonald’s, meeting family and visiting museums and various sites along the way.

We left Seattle about 11 am on Tuesday September 2nd and made it to Rathdrum, Idaho.  It takes about five hours to get to Spokane if you don’t stop at all the rest stops for coffee and cookies.

The view from Twin Lakes in Idaho.

The view from the cabin on Twin Lakes in Idaho.

We were going to meet up with a childhood family friend.  Mickey had lived with our Aunt Vivian, our father’s sister, when he was a boy. He was her nephew on her husband’s side and a member of the McKanna family.  He had a cabin near a lake just across the border from the Spokane area in Idaho and we were stopping there for the night.  We knew him when we were kids and he is part of my Mac/McDonald family memory and I wanted to see him and have him tell me more stories. I had reconnected with him several years earlier.  He had kindly loaned me a photo book that was formerly my Aunt Vivian’s, I had scanned all the photos and have used many of them in my posts on my blog: The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  McKanna’s actually came to Miles City and Mickey asked me to see if I could find out anything more about them.

The next day we headed further east and stopped at Wallace.  I was hoping to find out something about my great Uncle Angus McDonald so we stopped at the museum. I was trying to place him in the area but it was not going to happen.  Angus was my grandfather’s older brother.  http://wallace-id.com/  The Wallace District Mining Museum had city directories and there were McDonald’s listed but it was hard to tell if they were my McD’s.  http://wallaceminingmuseum.org/

We arrived in Missoula, Montana where we stopped for lunch.  We asked about the forest fires and decided to go a different route to stay as far away from them as possible.  We could see and smell the smoke.

Here is a little excerpt from an online paper about those fires.

By most measures, the fire season of 2003 was historic for Northwest Montana. Not since 1910 had there been such an array of wildfire in the region, not to mention the rest of the northern Rockies.

By mid-September there were 16 large fires in Northwest Montana that ended up covering more than 300,000 acres.

Individual fire acreages were impressive: the Robert Fire covered 57,570 acres, Wedge Canyon 53,325 acres, Little Salmon Complex 88,000 acres, Rampage Complex 24,488 acres, Blackfoot Lake Complex 29,836 acres and Middle Fork Complex 11,851 acres.

Combined, the 2003 fires accounted for roughly half the acreage burned on the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park over the previous 20 years.

“The year 2003 will go down as a very historic fire year,” declared Steve Barrett, a fire ecologist who has studied long-term fire histories across Northwest Montana. – By Jim Mann Daily InterLake, December 27, 2009. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/members/a-monster-year-for-fires/article_e529a93c-f2a6-11de-8498-001cc4c03286.html

We left Bozeman around 8:30 am on Wednesday September 3rd.  We headed for the Lewis & Clark Cavern’s which was a very amazing experience.  This is what I wrote in my travel journal in 2003:  http://www.visitmt.com/listings/general/state-park/lewis-and-clark-caverns-state-park.html

Once inside the park we traveled a wiggly waggly road for about 4 miles before reaching the parking lot for the caverns.  We paid for our tickets and checked out the little gift shop at the café.  After a wait of about 30 minutes we started up the trail to the caverns.  It was hot and so the trail up was warm but pretty easy except for the steepness of the grade.  The vista was beautiful of the Jefferson River in the valley below.  We waited about 15 minutes at the cavern entrance before the guide came and started with guidelines to the caverns.  He was a young man who reminded me of friend but a bit shorter.  He was very nice and friendly and cracked silly jokes. I was not prepared for the caverns at all but was truly amazed at what we found.  It was a wonderous place and a world all its own. The stairs were tight to walk down in the dim light but I managed well.  There were stalagmites and stalactites and strange formations that only a cave can create from the action of the water dripping down.  Each area that we stopped in was unique and had its own eerie beauty.  Several of the areas were large caverns with these incredible formations that had taken millions of years to make.  Unfortunately damage had been done by guests of earlier years and you could see the ragged edges of the broken pieces that were left behind.  The cave was supposed to have bats but there were not very many at this time of the year.  It took the 2 hours that they said it would to view the caverns but it was well worth it especially the part that we had to get down on our butts and slide down a section of the trail.  There was a lot of ducking of the head and I banged mine several times.  The walk was mostly down and the steps took us to this cavern they called the Cavern of the Gods and it was like descending a long beautiful twisting spiral staircase. All great things come to an end and this little adventure found its own conclusion down a very long tunnel with two doors.  The doors were there to prevent a wind tunnel effect that would rush the air in and cause the caverns to dry out.  In 2010 I visited these caverns with my hubby.  He is tall so it was a challenge for him. 

Lewis & Clark Caverns

Lewis & Clark Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The trail to the Caverns

The Caverns

The Caverns

Further along our trip we took in the The Western Heritage Center in Billings, Montana which had a wonderful exhibit about the history of Montana and provided me with a basic history of the area when Reed Spracklin migrated there.  We visited an old pioneer cemetery on Boot Hill and drove to the Pictograph Caves which are southeast of Billings. http://stateparks.mt.gov/pictograph-cave/.

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City Water Towers

Miles City is about two hours from Billings. We arrived in Miles City on Friday about 5 p.m. to be warmly greeted by Bertha at her trailer.  We spent the evening chatting and settling in.  We made cheese sandwiches to fill ourselves up.  I gave the research copies of research from my trip to Iowa and more to her and she spent some time reviewing them.  I spent a lot of the time at her kitchen table that week studying her research and learning about the Spracklin family and getting to know my cousin. She had done a lot of work and had gathered a lot of information by writing letters to family members and research archives seeking information about the family.  She was very generous with her research and shared all that I wanted.

Miles City

Miles City

During our stay we visited the Custer County Community Cemetery where various family members are buried including Amos and Iva Spracklin, Bertha’s parents.  This cemetery is in Miles City and Find A Grave has a listing for most of the cemetery.

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

Custer County Cemetery in Miles City

We also visited the Range Rider Museum which is amazing.  They have newspapers in flip displays, display cabinets filled with artifacts, black and white photos of the Indians that are outstanding, photographs of the ranchers in the area who are placed on their wall of fame. http://www.rangeridersmuseum.com/.  The buildings outside house wagons, automobiles and more.

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

Wall of Fame Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

The Gathering Hall, Range Rider Museum

Unfortunately, Miles City’s genealogy society did not survive so you have to visit historical societies or go to museums like the Range Rider. We did visit the Miles City library where we did some obituary research. I did not go to the courthouse in Miles City another stop if you have ancestors there.  It was a busy visit so I had to pick and choose and my focus was the research that my cousin had done.

The Library in Miles City

The Library in Miles City

Several days later Bertha took us to her ranch, west of Jordan, Montana.  It was a two-hour drive from Miles City to Jordan and then about thirty minutes to the ranch.  As we drove along I realized that Bertha was the rancher. She was raised in Montana and became her father’s right hand man. Amos and Iva’s children were all were girls. Amos of course, had wanted a son to help him with the ranch but it didn’t happen.  So Bertha took on that role. She knew everything about the ranches along the highway and chatted away telling us the history of the area and story of the families that lived there.  She knew about barbed wire and what each type was for and she could recognize individual cattle something her father had trouble with.

Jordan, Montana in the rain

Jordan, Montana in the rain

We arrived in Jordan the county seat of Garfield County.  They have a the Garfield County Museum which we visited briefly.

The ranch is not too far from Jordan.  You go west for about 20-30 minutes…

The Ranch near Jordan

The Ranch near Jordan

We approached a fork in the road and she mentioned the 1996 FBI standoff with the Montana Freemen that was located 20 miles up the road from the fork.  The left fork in the road was the road to Bertha’s ranch.  She said that we needed to go over several cattle guards before we got there and I think she said it was about 5 miles from the fork in the road.  As we drove along she pointed out where her land was describing it to us and telling us she had 4850 acres all paid for.  The road had become gravel a while back. 

We passed a big pile of wood on the right and on the left were metal buildings that were the barn and corral.  The house was up on a slight hill.  Cars, trucks and other buildings were scattered about the land.  We climbed out of the van.  Bear, Bertha’s small white poodle, jumped out and was running around checking out the area and leaving his calling card.  There was a beautiful Border Collie named Hey who was on a chain and he turned out to be a very friendly and a gentle dog.  He was the black and white typical of that breed but his eyes were like a wolf’s.  We entered the ranch house by way of the basement door.  Ahead of us was a wooden staircase that lead up to the main floor of the double wide mobile home that Bertha had installed on a cement foundation.  I later noticed the metal strip and the bolts along the lower part of the mobile home.   The other thing that I first saw was the head of an antelope on the basement wall. 

We headed for the stairs to the main floor of the house.  We turned a corner and found the son in the kitchen preparing dinner.  He was standing over a large pan of sliced potatoes.  I found myself wandering out to the deck area that had a vista of the land around the ranch.  I wasn’t sure of the deck area but it seemed sturdy. The view took in the barn area and the land that stretched out before me.  The wind was hot on my face and was blowing bits of dirt about.  There were buttes in the distance and cattle out on the land grazing.  There was much talk about wayward buffalo coming onto the land.  

Dinner was served and the barbecued ribs just melted off their bones.  They were delicious.  The potatoes were also good and I ate two helpings.  Everyone was gathered around the two tables in the kitchen area. Everyone ate heartily.  

We then went on a tour of the ranch again, from my travel journal in 2003:

The Ranch

The Ranch from the house

Bertha and son took us on a tour of the ranch showing the house that she grew up in.  It was in a sad state of deterioration.  It was also filled with farm things.  The floor was rotting out and the ceiling was coming down. There were old torn and tattered pieces of furniture scattered and piled about.  There was a stove or two.  There were even jackets still hanging on hooks by the door.  The house had only three rooms in the beginning but was later expanded to include the kitchen area.  Amos and Iva slept in the bedroom on the first floor while kids slept upstairs.  Behind the old farmhouse was the shed that was used for several tasks.  The right end was for the chickens and the left end was used for the milking cows.  The backside was used as the granary.  It was showing its age and they were planning to tear it down.  There were at least three round tower like structures now used for grain.  They were better and easier to use.  We then made our way down to the barn area and we walked around there.  Bertha talked about repairs and rotted posts and what needed to be done to fix things up.  They explained how the gates worked and walked us through the barn, pointing out their saddles and showing us the initials on the stalls for the horses.  You had to walk carefully because there were cow piles all about and even a carcass of an antelope left to rot.  I may not know much about ranching but it seemed to me to be a never-ending task. 

Amos, his homestead

Amos, his homestead, now owned my Bertha

The Lights of Jordan — I mean Jordan in Montana from my 2003 travel journal:

The evening was not yet over and the major event of the night was about to take place.  Bertha wanted us to see the lights of Jordan from a bluff on her land.  So just before dusk we all piled into her son’s big black truck.  I had to climb up and in.  We started out the gate of the ranch past the barn area and onto the gravel road crossing it towards the south.  We picked up speed and so far things seems pretty okay and I would say he went about 4 miles then he make a sharp turn to the left off the road and we were as it is called “bushwhacking.”  We bumped along over sagebrush with bunnies hopping frantically out-of-the-way.  Bertha and her son discussed the route up the hill in their usual feisty way.  He reminded her he knew the way as good as she did.  I probably will never know how he knew the way in the dark but they both seemed to know exactly where they were and where every bump and creek bed was.  I actually did pretty good although I was tossed around quite a bit. Just when I thought he was going to go over a big cliff and he stopped the truck and turned off the motor and pointed to the lights of Jordan in the distance.  Then Bertha pointed to the house lights of the ranch. The son remembered and said that he used to come up to this hill with his Dad (Jim) and sit and look out for fires till 2 a.m. in the morning.  Lighting was playing out its game to the right of us and sending strikes out but so far no rain.  Within about 10 minutes or a little more he started the engine and proceeded to go straight ahead. The cliff that loomed before us was not as bad as I had thought but we did go pretty straight down for a bit.  The drive back to the gravel road was a little less wild and bumpy and we actually seemed to get back to the road faster. As we drove along Bertha was pointing out deer and we couldn’t see anything. So the truck abruptly stopped by a big piece of farm equipment and out came a spotlight.  They held up the spotlight and we then started to see lots of animals.  First you see their eyes flashing in the dark and then you can make out there form. We were told that you can tell the type of animal by the color of their eyes.  We saw lots of deer, the most I have ever seen in my life.  It was great. We made it back to the house in one piece and I headed for bed.  It was very hot. 

On the way back from the ranch, the next day, we stopped at the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan where Reed and Julia Spracklin are buried along with other family members.

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

Pioneer Cemetery Overview, Jordan, MT

We stayed in Miles City for about a week and then headed out.  Our goal was to visit Yellowstone but we were going to do that in a little different way by viewing the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Park and then driving to Sheridan and across the Bighorn Mountains to Cody and from Cody to Yellowstone.

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

Big Horn Battlefield, tombstone

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

The Lecture by the Ranger at the Big Horn Battlefield

I drove to the battlefield.  It was raining and the wind was blowing so the weather was not really great. We almost missed the battlefield because we got on the wrong road.  We found the Crow Wing Agency sign and we doubled back and headed to the East until we caught up with the main road and it was just a little farther to go. 

The wind was really cold at the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  We arrived at around 3 pm.  It took a lot longer than I anticipated to get there. We were able to attend a lecture by the ranger about the battle even though the wind was cold and the big nasty rain cloud threatened above.  I was listening to the ranger talk but became quiet fascinated with the mud on his boots which was caking up and then falling off as he worked his way closer to the shelter as the rain came down on him.  http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

Custer’s last stand was definitely a broader and larger military maneuver than I had imagined. The events took place over a very big area stretching to the Wolf Mountains to the south.  Custer’s part of the battle took place in a small area close to the visitor’s center.  To see the rest of the battlefield we had to drive a road for about 3-5 miles.  The formal cemetery was near the visitor center. They said that the Indian village stretched two miles in the valley below.  That must have been a site to see.  The Little Bighorn River Valley was beautiful to look down on from the hills where most of the fighting took place.  Apparently this is the only battlefield that has tombstone markers scattered about the fields.  The men were buried where they fell. 

After our visit to the park, we headed to Sheridan in Wyoming.  There were very ominous clouds in the distance but we made it before they dumped on us. We started up the highway to the Bighorns but decided it was getting too dark and we better find a place to stay.  Sheridan was not far and found this wonderful old style hotel with creaky floors and a big steep staircase.  The hotel room was lovely and old-fashioned making you think of bygone days. Spracklins lived in Sheridan, they are the descendants of Peter Spracklin a brother to our second great-grandfather Daniel D. Spracklin.  So it was good to see the town.  I didn’t have time to do any research there.  If you want to know more about Peter and his family go to the blog Solomon Goss in Fearing Twp. for information.

After breakfast we made our way to the highway that takes you over the Bighorn Mountains.  I am a big fan of Longmire having read the novels and watched the TV show. So when the show came on I was remembering the area. Absaroka County does not exist, but it is in the area on the west side of the Bighorns.  The show is actually filmed in Arizona.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836037/

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Burgess Station Big Horn Mountains

Free Range Cattle

Free Range Cattle

Leaving the Bighorns

Leaving the Big Horn Mountains

The next morning after breakfast and gas for the car, we set out for the Bighorn Mountains. What an experience.  The road winded up the side of the foothills going steeper and twisting around the sides of the hills.  You could look ahead and see the road winding up the side of the mountain and could look back and see the valley below and get an incredible vista.  The height of the passes in the Bighorns were 9000+ feet and we climbed and climbed up to a wonderland of trees and ground lightly laced with snow. The road itself was clear but the hills were snowy.  Cattle are allowed to roam freely so we came upon some migrating down to better pastures.  I will never forget the one white cattle that came at the car with such determination and with its power.  I have never been in direct line of  a large animal so it was cool to see it move toward us.  They moved off the road toward the trees in order to avoid the car. There were about 20 coming down the road.  They may have been domesticated animals but they were a site to see in this high mountain area.  We came upon more of them along the road and had to stop, I believe one more times. 

Arriving at the visitor center and we got out of the car.  It was cool and crisp. The quiet and the stillness were almost soft.  It was beautiful. We spent some time in the visitor center reading the exhibits.  http://www.bighornmountains.com/  I bought a Smokey Bear doll as a memento he was very special to me when I was a kid. 

As you get to the western side of the road you start going down and the scenery gets more barren and rocky. We chose to go the Shell Canyon route and that took us through some real magnificent geological formations of rock that had pushed up from the earth’s core.  They looked like someone had laid then on their side.

We came off the Bighorn Mountains onto the Bighorn Plateau where the road took us to Cody, Wyoming.  It took about 50-60 miles to traverse this big fertile plain which was rather flat, barren and straight.  After awhile my sister, who was driving, became restless and wanted a curve in the road.  As we approached the foothills to the Rockies we started to see more step formations.  Cody lies at the base of these foothills before you head to Yellowstone. 

We stopped in Cody and had some dinner and found a place to stay.

The Buffalo Bill Museum

The Buffalo Bill Museum

Apparently Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody and lived near it.  The Buffalo Bill Museum is actually 4-5 museums.  We spent time in the Plains Indian’s Exhibit.  I took quick tours of the other exhibits and almost lost my sister in the first. http://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

We had rented a cabin in Yellowstone near the main lodge so we needed to get there by Sunday night.

I had not been to Yellowstone since the mid 1950’s when we went their with our parents.  I didn’t remember much except Old Faithful and the bears.  There was one that my dad named Professor. He was a little black bear who was able to walk around the rim of the garbage cans.  My mother and I sat in the car, our food was up in the tree on a rope. This type of behavior in bears is now discouraged for their safety as well as the visitors. I was about seven years old at that time.  We also drove down to the Grand Tetons and I do remember them.

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

One of many signs for the Continental Divide

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

The Yellowstone Sign on the eastern side of the park, Hwy 14 west of Cody

We found our cabin behind the main lodge and settled in.  I called my hubby to check in and a coyote ran by as I was talking to him.  http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Yellowstone Lodge

Yellowstone Lodge

While we were at Yellowstone we participated in several Buffalo Jams. A Buffalo Jam is where the buffalo get on the highway and you have to stop and wait.

A Buffalo Jam

A Buffalo Jam one of several…

It  was rutting season so the males were being distracted and butting heads. They made this guttural puffing sound.

Bison fighting

Bison fighting

We saw a coyote eating a wolf kill.  He was very cautious because the wolves would kill him if they found him.

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

A Coyote at a Wolf Kill

There was elk and one male was herding his females across the river.

Male Elk herding his females

Male Elk herding his females

I did remember the lake for it was big:

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone has abundant geysers and we explored.  Unfortunately I did not keep careful records of where we went, so I have pretty geyser pictures but I am not sure what geyser areas we were at.  You can walk out over some of the areas to get close up on these board walks.

There are boardwalks you can travel on to get closer

There are board walks you can travel on to get closer

One of many geisers

One of many geysers

There is a lot of texture in the geysers, steam, heat and the smell of sulfur.

Lots of Texture at the geisers...and steam

Lots of Texture, steam and heat.

The pools are many and beautiful…

The many pools with steam are beautiful...

The many pools with steam are beautiful…some a very blue

I did remember the mud pots because I thought they were funny back when I was a kid. The sound was gulp gulp. Trying to get a picture of them erupting is very difficult, this took a bit of time.

Mudpots...

Mud pots exploding

Of course you cannot miss old Faithful which I do remember from my childhood visit.  This time I got to sit on the veranda of the lodge with a nice glass of wine to watch the spectacle.

Old Faithful 2003

Old Faithful 2003

MoreOldFaithful

We headed back to Seattle a couple of days later and just made the drive from Yellowstone to home.  It was a good trip. I was pleased. The trip was about 2427 miles with little excursions here and there.  My Aerostar Van did great.  This might be my longest car trip for it beats Ontario.

MAKE A JOURNAL OF YOUR TRAVELS, a little advice…

About 2003 I started to journal my trips, both genealogical and vacation, because I realized that I was forgetting.  A journal of our trip to Yellowstone in the mid 50’s would be amazing to have now.  Some of the trips I had taken required me to backtrack and recreate what happened.  Currently, I journal at night before going to bed each day of the trip.  It is still fresh in my mind.  I learned this from our cousin Paul Goss who did a lot of research on the Goss family in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.  He traveled to many places and met relatives and interviewed them about the Goss family but he didn’t realize that his trips were actually sources and important, especially when he talked to family and got their stories.  Going back to my early years I wish I had journals of those trips, not to mention photographs.  It is difficult for me to remember when and where we went on all the camping trips with my parents.

I would like to encourage you to journal your trips or at least write out an outline of the days events.  You would want to put in your journal the following. Here are a few suggestions and don’t forget to take pictures.

  1.  What you saw that day like a bridge that was really cool, a valley view, a river, what towns you passed through a picture of the sign announcing the town. A town’s water tower. A museum, library or archive you visited. A ferry you took. I wrote in my Ontario journal that I was in Paris, Paris in Ontario.  I also drove across the Thames river several times.  The Thames is a river in Ontario that flows through London, Ontario.  What road were you on, what was the weather like. My trip from London to Strathroy in Ontario it was pouring rain and getting into my hotel was a big experience.  I was driving in western Ontario and there were these amazing windmills coming out of the ground.  The only thing I didn’t do was get a good picture.
  2. When driving you can get lost and that can be an interesting experience.  Or there is a really scary part of the road like the round about in Montreal that I barely made it through.
  3. Where you stayed.  I have had some really interesting experiences at motels.  The one I stayed in Hartford, CT the first time was really bad so the second time through I found a better place south of that city in a lovely B&B. One man had a toupee on and I noticed this as he was checking me in. What was the place like?  I like Bed and Breakfasts and they can be really beautiful or it is a beautiful old hotel.
  4.  What you ate and where you ate it.  Yes, really, so if you go back you can find that same restaurant especially if you liked it.  We did this in Hawaii and I did this in Ontario.
  5. Who you met both family and people you encounter.  At Niagara Falls my waitress at the restaurant overlooking the falls was very knowledgeable and we chatted about the falls.  She told me many interesting things.  I spent a lot of great time visiting with cousins and close cousins and I tried to write out what was talked about.  Now, not all encounters a great and I write about them in my journal.
  6. I have several large binders with my trip itineraries, journals, maps and memorabilia and I frequently refer to them.  My Aunt Miriam went to Russia with my mother. She did a journal but there was no mention of my mom or other people, just the facts.  She did mention me taking them to the airport.  What I would give to get her impressions of the people she interacted with.
  7. Yes, I post my travels online with photos.  I also journal my trip in a Word.doc which allows me to write a more personal version.  They are all saved on my G drive under Genealogy trips Vol. I, Vacation Vol. II in my binders.

What I have written above is a short version of the actual trip to Montana in 2003 and this particular trip I did not post online because I didn’t start blogging till about 2010.

Reed and Julia Spracklin’s Children…

Julia and Reed Spracklin had nine children, two of their children died young: Jimmy and Willie. Seven of their children were born in Iowa and the last two where born in Montana. Forest was born in March of 1917 so this tells you about when they made the final move to Montana from Iowa.

Reed and Julia Spracklin and family.

Reed and Julia Spracklin and family.

1.  James Franklin Spracklin was born 24 September, 1898 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and died on 4 October, 1899 in Cedar Twp. Calhoun Co., Iowa. James or rather Jimmy is buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery in Calhoun Co., Iowa. There is a picture of his tombstone at Find A Grave. The tombstone has the day of birth the 26th of September and the death April 10, 1899.  It does state that his parents are R.A. and J.A. Spracklin.

Source:  Calhoun County, Iowa Cemeteries pg. 3, 19, Cedar Twp. Cemetery, Published by the Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines, Iowa Spracklin, Son of R.A. & J.A. Died April 10, 1899 6 mo. 16 day. Willie son of R. & J. 1901-1902

2. Amos Earl Spracklin was born 28 August, 1899 in Greenfield Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa and died on 12 December, 1983 in Jordan, Garfield County, Montana. Amos would marry Iva Myrtle Heiss (1906-1969) and have seven children – all girls.  Both Amos and Iva are buried in the Miles City Cemetery, in Montana.  There will be more about this couple in the next post.

3. William Laurence Spracklin was born 7 May, 1901 and died 18 March, 1902 in Cedar Twp., Calhoun Co., Iowa. Willie is also buried in the Cedar Township Cemetery near Rinard, Calhoun Co., Iowa.  Find A Grave has a picture of his tombstone.

4. Oliver Martin Spracklin was born 9 February, 1903 in Calhoun Co., Iowa and died 18 July, 1934 at Ft. Peck Dam in Montana.  According to his father’s obit he was killed at Fort Peck but I cannot find any obituary for Oliver to tell me what happened.  UPDATE: 4/22/2016 A reader was kind to share with me the following obituary for Oliver:

The Jordan Tribune, 26 July 1934, page 1

Oliver Spracklin, age 31, met a horrible death at 2 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, a short time after he had started on a new job at Fort Peck Dam. While attending to his duties as oiler of a long conveyor belt connected with one of the tunnels his hand or clothing was caught in the coupling and his body dragged about 50 feet on the belt until it became wedged under a roller. No one else was present when the accident happened, and until the body became clogged in such a manner as to stop the machinery, workers in the vicinity were not aware of what had happened. Harley Spracklin, a brother of the deceased, happened to be in the vicinity of the dam shortly after the accident, but exact details could not immediately be ascertained. In fact, Harley had started on his return to Jordan and did not know that it was his brother who was the accident victim until he reached Haxby. The body was then being brought to Jordan. The supposition is that Oliver’s hand or the bib overalls he wore at the time caught on one of the belt hooks which dragged him across the 32-inch belt and to his death. Funeral services attended by a large number of people were held at the Presbyterian Church, the Rev. W. W. Landis officiating.

Oliver Spracklin was born in Calhoun Co., Iowa, Feb. 9, 1903. In 1914 he came to Garfield County where he has since resided. He is survived by his wife and one son, Chester, his father and mother and five brothers and one sister.

The sympathy of the community is extended to the bereaved wife and relatives.

He married Edna Louise Hollenbeck on 14 March, 1930 in Butte Creek, Garfield County, Montana.  However, the marriage license reads Williams for her last name.

Source:  Marriage Record, State of Montana, County of Garfield, Oliver Spracklin, white, age 27, born Calhoun Co., Summers, Iowa, father Reed A. Spracklin, mother Julia Ann Siler, white. Edna Williams, white, residence Butte Creek, Mont. father William Williams and mother Carrie Boughton, Oliver Spracklin 14 March 1930, Guy L. Scott, clerk, H.L. Davis Deputy. She was 19 years, born at Miles City in Custer Co., Montana. Married 14, March 1939, Oliver Spracklin to Edna Williams, witnesses were Mrs. Carrier Williams and A. E. Spracklin. Chas, C. Kite, JP.

They had 1 child together named Chester.

In 1930 Oliver and Edna were living in School District 51, Garfield, Montana.

Source:  Oliver M. Spracklin Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, School District 51, Garfield Co., Montana, ED# 17-48, SD#7, Sht#1-B, enumerated 16 April 1930, by Vern Parish. 

Line 98, 24, 25, Spracklin Oliver M, Head, O, $1000, yes, M, W, 27, M, 27, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Iowa, yes, farmer, farm, yes, no, 25. 

Spracklin, Edna L, wife, F, W, 18, m, 18, yes, yes, born Montana, father born Nebraska, mother born Montana, yes, none. 

Oliver's gravestone in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Oliver’s gravestone in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Edna remarried to a Clifford Godfred Hawkinson on 4 January, 1936 in Jordan. He died 25 July 1945 and she may have married a John Adams, Jr. Something happened and she married again to Jerome Henry Saylor on 10 March, 1950 in Hardin, Big Horn Co., Montana.

In 1940 Edna was living with Clifford and Chester and more children in Minnesota.

Source: Clifford G. Hawkinson, 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Harris Village, Chisago, Minnesota, SD#3, ED#13-9, Sht#6A, enumerated on 15 April 1940 by Robert G. Smith. 

Line 8, 115, R, 5, No, Hawkinson, Clifford, M, W, 38, M, No 8, born Minnesota, R, Garfield, Montana, yes, no, no, yes, 26, laborer, farm, PW, 32, 240, No, 66. 

Hawkinson, Edna, Wife, F, W, 28, M, no, 8, born Montana, R, Garfield, Montana, no, no, no, H, o, o, no. 

Hawkinson, Caroline, daughter, F, W, 4, S, no, o, born Montana

Hawkinson, Arthur, Son, M, W, 2, S, no, o, born Wisconsin, 

Hawkinson, Dorothy, daughter, M, W, 3/12, S, no, o, born Montana

Spracklin, Chester, step-son, M, W, 9, S, no, o, born Montana, Garfield, Montana

Edna’s parents have been given as Virgil A. Hollenbeck and Carrie Ellen Broughton yet the marriage record above says William Williams and Carrie Boughton as well as her obit below. Apparently a bit more research is needed regarding the life of Edna and clarifying some of the events.

Edna was born 7 July, 1911 in Jordan, Dawson Co. (Garfield), Montana and died 1 December, 1960 in Jordan. She is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana. Find A Grave has a picture of her tombstone.

Death and Services – Mrs. Jerome Saylor
Mrs. Jerome (Edna) Saylor, 40 of Brusett died at a Miles City hospital Thursday morning. She had been admitted on Nov. 14. Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. Monday in the Presbyterian church in Jordan with burial in the Pioneer Cemetery the Rev. Archie McPhall will officiate. Graves Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Mrs. Saylor was born at Jordan and had spent all of her life in the Jordan and Brusett communities. She attended Snow Creek Schools and was married to Jerome Saylor in 1950. Mrs. Saylor was a member of the Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her husband; her parents, William and Carrie Williams; the following sons and daughters; Chester Spracklin of Garden Valley, Idaho, Frances Hawkinson of Jordan, Arthur F. Hawkinson of St. Paul, Minn. Mrs. Charles (Caroline) Schweers of San Antonio, Texas, and Mrs. Harlan (Dorothy) Krinkle, Minneapolis; and five grandchildren. Also surviving are the following brothers and sisters: Joe and James Williams of Jordan; John Williams of Tacoma, WA.; Mrs. Morris. Source: Miles City Daily Star, Friday, Dec. 2, 1960 pg 2.

Obituary – Hawkinson Rites to held Saturday at 2 pm at Jordan, Announced. Funeral services for the late Clifford G. Hawkinson of the Jordan community will be held on Saturday tomorrow afternoon from the Presbyterian church at Jordan, commencing at 2p.m. The Rev. William G. Johnson, minister of the congregation will officiate at the final rites and have charge of the committal services in the Jordan Cemetery where burial will be made. The late Mr. Hawkinson met death by drowning on Wednesday in Snow Creek, an arm of Fort Peck Lake.  Source: Miles City Daily Star July 25, 1945, pg. 8.

5. Harley Grover Spracklin was born 12 February, 1906 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa. He died 2 July, 1964 in Garfield Co., Montana.  He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Harley's tombstone in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Harley’s tombstone in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

He married Elizabeth Susanna Heiss on 16 February, 1925 and they had six children.

Elizabeth was a sister to Iva, wife of brother Amos. Elizabeth was born 26 September, 1908 in Bismarck, Burleigh, North Dakota and died in 2001. Elizabeth is buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Stevensville, Ravelli, Montana. Find A Grave as a picture of her tombstone.

Source: Harley Grover Spracklin Family, 1930 U.S. Federal Census, School Dist. No. 1, Garfield, Montana, ED#17-1, SD#7, Sht#7-B, enumerated 30 April, 1930 by Thomas L, Harvey.

Line 51, 172, 172, Spracklin, Harley, Head, R, 12, No, M, W, 24, M, 19, no, yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Nebraska, Tractor service man, retail farm [mchy], employed yes, vet no

Spracklin, Elizabeth, wife-H, F, W, 21, M, 16, no, yes, born North Dakota, father born PA, mother born Minnesota

Spracklin William, son, M, W, 3 10/12, S, no, born Montana

Spracklin, Robert, son, 1 10/12, S, no, born Montana

Spracklin, Ruth, daughter, 2/12, S, no, born Montana

Spracklin, Rose, daughter, 2/12, S, no born Montana

Note:  Harley and Elizabeth may have two more children: Donald D. and Ronald K.

Harley had an unfortunate end to his life.  He was killed in an auto accident.

Harley Grover Spracklin killed in auto accident.

Harley Grover Spracklin killed in auto accident.

A transcript of the article above:  Accident: Jordan Man 114th Highway Fatality:
A one-car roll-over five miles north of Cohagan about mid-day Thursday took the life of Jordan mechanic and house mover Harley Grover Spracklin 58. Spracklin was traveling about 60 MPH according to investigating patrolman E.H. Metzenburg when his vehicle went off the east side of the road and traveled for about 350 feet. The car went back on the roadway, traveled for another 120 feet and went into the west barrow pit and rolled another 130 feet. Spracklin who apparently was killed instantly, was thrown from the vehicle, which rolled over him, about half-way through the last roll. The car was traveling toward the Garfield County seat and was on a straight and level stretch of road when the mishap occurred. — Photo by Mitzenberg. (Miles City Star Friday-Sunday, July 3-5, 1964. There is also a picture of the destroyed car on its head.)

Spracklin Killed in car mishap – Miles City Star
Harley Grover Spracklin, 58 of Jordan was killed Thursday afternoon in a one-car accident (shown above) five miles north of Cohagan on Highway 22. According to the Montana Highway Patrolman Ernie Metzenberg, the car was heading toward Jordan when it went off…..same as above article….Mr. Spracklin was born in Calhoun County, Iowa, Feb. 12, 1906 and moved to the Jordan area with his parents in 1914. He attended schools in Garfield County and was married Feb. 16, 1925 in Miles City to Elizabeth Heiss. He was engaged in construction and mechanical work. Surviving are his widow, Elizabeth; four sons, William of Glendive, Robert and Donald of Montclair, Calif., and Keith, who is serving with the U.S. Navy; twin daughter Mrs. Ruth Slabbekorn, Montclair, Calif. and Mrs. Rose Gehlen, Anchorage, Alaska; four brothers, Leroy and Amos of Jordan, Clifford of Forsyth and Forrest of Washington State; one sister Mrs. Clara Derenberger of Cohagen, and 13 grandchildren. Funeral services will be held in the Presbyterian Church in Jordan, the time to be announced after relatives are contacted. Graves Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

From the Miles City Star Tuesday, July 7, 1964, Buried 6 July 1964
Harley G. Spracklin – Funeral services for Harley Grover Spracklin of Jordan where held Monday afternoon from the Presbyterian Church in Jordan with the Rev. John B. Fitz of Miles City officiating. Verna Schmidt and Tudy Newland san duets with Mrs. Laura Patterson as organist. Mr. Spracklin was killed Thursday afternoon in a one-car accident five miles north of Cohagen. Surviving are his widow, Elizabeth; four sons….Glendive….etc. same as above article. Active pallbearers were Pete Ritter, Phil Fellman, Fred Hinther, Marvin Haliberg, Floyd Osborn, and Thomas Graham. Honorary pallbearers were Jack lee and Ray Schillreff. Burial was in the family lot in the Pioneer Cemetery at Jordan. The Graves Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

Elizabeth Suzanne Spracklin
Elizabeth Suzanne Spracklin 92, of Stevensville, died at her home on Sunday, May 6, 2001. She was born in Bismark, N.D., on Sept. 26, 1908, to Kafer and Mary (Yunger) Heiss. She married Harley Spracklin in 1925. He preceded her in death in 1964, as did two sons Robert in 1986 and Donald in 1995 and one great great grandchild. Elizabeth moved to Stevensville in 1989. She had worked as a cook many years and at one time owned her own restaurant in Jordan. Survivors include two sons, William (Rita) Spracklin of Glendive and Keith (Irene) Spracklin of Denver City, Texas; two daughters, Ruth (Bill) Maynard of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. and Rose (Gene) Gehlen of Stevensville. Also surviving is a brother Art Heiss, 22 grandchildren and numerous great and great-great grandchildren. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, May 8 at 2 p.m. at Community Baptist Church in Stevensville with Pastor Earl Hargis officiating. Burial will follow at the Maplewood Cemetery. The Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville is in charge of arrangements.  Source: Ravalli Republic, Monday, May 7, 2001 and the Missoulian, Monday May 7, 2001 B3.

6. Clifford Ray Spracklin was born 6 January, 1911 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa and died 23 January, 1986 in Hamilton, Ravalli Co., Montana.

He married Viola Christine Rose (Long) on 10 November, 1936 in Jordan, Montana and they had four children together. She had been married about three times before and brought several children to the marriage.  Adam T. Hieb married April 2, 1918 in Miles City, one child Adam T. Heib. Albert Jack Long, married 6 December, 1920 in Miles City two children: Marie and Warren. A possible Hugo O. Bougaty was another marriage, no children?

Source: Marriage License, State of Montana, County of Garfield, Clifford Spracklin, white, residing Jordan, Montana, age 25, born in Desmoine I, not previously married, father Reed Spracklin mother Julia A. Silver. To Viola Long, white, residing Jordan, MT, age is 34 years, born Lakeville, Iowa, father is George F. Rose, mother Heneriatta Rudolph, 10 November 1936, Geo. H. Heatherington, Clerk of the District Court. 

Viola was born on 23 August, 1902 in Lakeville, St. Joseph, Indiana and she died on 28 June, 1977.  Her parents were George F. Rose and Henrietta Rudolph.  I believe that Clifford’s name was confused in the 1930 census and was written as Everett R.

Brothers Amos, Clif, Oliver and Harley

Brothers Amos, Clif, Oliver and Harley

Source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Clifford Spracklin Family, School Dist. #34, Sartwell, Garfield, Montana, SD#5, ED#17-25, enumerated 24, April, 1940, Sht#1.

Line 31, 6, R, 5, yes, Spracklin, Clifford, Head, M, W, 29, M, No, 8, born Iowa, same house, 48, farmer, farmer, farm, OA, 52, 0, yes, 6. 

Spracklin, Viola, wife, F, W, 25, M, No, 5, born Illinois, no, no, no, no, H, o, o, no.

Spracklin, Clifford, Jr. Son, M, W, 6, S, yes, o, born Montana

Clifford Joe Spracklin

Clifford Joe Spracklin

Spracklin, Mabel, Daughter, F, W, 1, S, No, born Montana

Spracklin, Marcella, daughter, F, W, 10/12, S, no, born Montana

Clifford is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, Montana:

Clifford's Tombstone in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Clifford’s Tombstone in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

7. Leroy Dare Spracklin was born 8 December, 1913 in Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa and died 9 September, 1994 in Miles City, Custer Co., Iowa.

He married Elizabeth Jane Cooper on 16 January, 1942 in South Mills, Camden Co., North Carolina.  They had one son Stewart O. born in Massachusetts.  Elizabeth was born about 1922 in Plainsville, Massachusetts and was the daughter of H.W. Cooper and Caroline.

He later remarried to a Lorraine Dolly Normandy.

Leroy was in the Navy from 1938 about 1947.  He muster in on 31 Mar 1939, BB-41, Mississippi, also 30 June, 31 Aug, 30 Sep, 31 Dec., Naval Receiving.

Leroy's tombstone in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, MT.

Leroy’s tombstone in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, MT.

Leroy's Obituary and remembrance

Leroy’s Obituary and remembrance

8. Forest Irvin Spracklin was born 21 March, 1917 in Jordan, Dawson Co., Montana. He died 28 November, 1988 in Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington.

Obituary for Forest I. Spracklin
Forest I. Spracklin, 71, of Puyallup, died November 29, 1988. Mr. Spracklin was a resident of Puyallup since 1960. He was a retired accountant at the Rainier State School in Buckley (State Mental School). Survivors: sons, Charlie, Tacoma, Jerry, Larry and James Spracklin, Puyallup, August Grein, Anaheim, CA, Leroy Grein, Kent, daughter, Lorraine Canham, Arizona, one brother and one sister in Missouri; numerous grand and great-grandchildren. Memorials to the Tacoma Masonic Lodge. Funeral services Monday 2pm, Hill Funeral Home Chapel, Interment, Woodbine Cemetery. Tacoma. SourceThe Morning News Tribune. (Dec. 1, 1988 B-4).

He married a Josephine Alma L. Schultze 17 September, 1942 in Spokane, Washington.  They had four children.  She had been previously married to an Albert Grein (1901 to 1978) and brought several children to the marriage. Josephine was born 19 September, 1912 in Kalispell, Montana and died 20 August, 1982 in Puyallup. Find A Grave has memorials and a photo of their tombstone at the Woodbine Cemetery, Puyallup, Pierce Co., Washington.

9. Clara Ellen Spracklin was born 28 March, 1919 in Jordan, Garfield Co., Montana and she died in 2006.

Clara Ellen Spracklin

Clara Ellen Spracklin

She married Martin A. Derenburger on 23 December, 1934 in Jordan, Montana.  Martin was born 25 November, 1910 in Sugar Creek, Jackson Co., Missouri and died 25 December, 1972. Clara is buried in the Calvery Cemetery in Miles City.  They had four children together.  She remarried about 1977 in Miles City to Stanley Monger born about 1918 and died 3 June, 1989.

From the location of births and dates of birth you can see that Reed and Julia started in Calhoun Co., Iowa, moved to Dayton Twp., Iowa Co., Iowa and then to Jordan, Montana.

The research on Reed Spracklin and his family is a little of my own and a great deal of my cousins who descend from this family. They have kindly shared their findings with me and pictures as well.  I had the opportunity of meeting them in 2003 and then again in 2010 when I visited Miles City, Montana, it was quite the reunion in a Jordan, Montana restaurant.  Of course, as always, more research can be done on the above families.  If you are interested in any of these families please feel free to leave a comment and I will get in touch with you, I do have more information about each family to share.

Iowa to Jordan Montana – Reed and Julia Spracklin’s migration

Daniel D. Spracklin passed away on the 9th of March, 1915.  I have written about the end of Daniel’s life in past posts on this blog.  So I won’t review that here.

Sometime around or after Daniel’s death Reed and Julia headed to Montana.  In 1915 Reed was 47 years old.  Julia was about 37 years old.  They were not young and they had several children with them.

It must have been an epic journey. Dayton Twp., Iowa County, is on the eastern side of Iowa.

Map of the States - Iowa to Montana

Map of the States – Iowa to Montana

According to his granddaughter, Reed took the cattle and other items to Montana by train. Now it was probably a mix of driving the cattle and then getting on a train, exactly how he did it would have been a very interesting story.  If you look at the RR map below you see that he probably had to go east and then northwest and through North Dakota if he did the train.  It would stop above Jordan and then he would go south.  This is all speculation of course, the actual story of how they migrated to Montana is shrouded in time.

Deep River, Poweshiek Co., Iowa to Jordan, Montana is 1000+ miles

Deep River, Poweshiek Co., Iowa to Jordan, Montana is 1000+ miles

The Great Northern RR in 1920.

The Great Northern RR in 1920. How did he take all the animals to Montana?

My understanding is that they lived in a tent the first winter in the Jordan, Montana area, brrrrrr…..!  I do have to admit Spracklins are a hardy bunch.

Near Jordan Montana, 2010

Near Jordan Montana, 2010.  It even looks cold in August.

Montana is a beautiful state, I have traveled across it twice. The first time in September of 2003 and then again in late August of 2010.  It takes 5 hours to drive from Seattle to Spokane.  Traveling through Idaho is very quick because I-90 travels through the neck area of that state.  The western part of Montana is very mountainous and there is one very big pass among several that you travel through to get to Missoula, Butte then Billings.  From Billings it takes about 2 hours to get to Miles City.  From Miles City it is another 2 hours to drive to Jordan, Montana which is northwest of Miles City. I could have flown to Billings and then driven to Miles City but by driving the state I was able to get the feel of Montana and, of course, follow the Yellowstone River and explore Lewis & Clark’s route west.

It would take 13 hrs and 46 minutes if you drove straight through from Seattle to Miles City and 962 miles.  On my first trip we went south to Wyoming stopping at the Battle of Little Big Horn park (it is haunted) and down to Sheridan (Spracklins lived here) and up through the Big Horn Mountains and if you are a Longmire TV show fan it is about the area where the story takes place on the western side of the Big Horns as you exit the mountains, beautiful country and area.  Our goal was Yellowstone, my traveling companion was bored crossing Wyoming till we got to Cody where a wonderful museum is located.  I almost lost her there.

This PDF Titled How the West was Settled is very good:

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2012/winter/homestead.pdf

Distinctly Montana has a great article about homesteading in Montana.  The 160 acres was not enough in that state.  Reed had challenges and you will note that one individual quoted mentions stock farm.  Eastern Montana is cattle country.

http://www.distinctlymontana.com/montana-history/04/04/2007/frontier-homestead

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Seattle to Miles City, MT

Yellowstone River west of Billings

Yellowstone River west of Billings and along the way are places to stop and explore Lewis & Clark’s route.

Reed’s land in Montana.

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

BML Summary of Land of R.A. Spracklin

Reed A. Spracklin Patent 24 September 1919 Garfield Co., Montana Land Office.

Land Office: Miles City, MT. #039055, AS#708105, 320.33 acres.
SW, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No., Montana PM, MT, Garfield
W1/2SE, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield
SWNE 2/ 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield
2, 2/, 18-N, 35-E, No, Montana PM, MT, Garfield

Reed's Land Patent

Reed’s Land Patent

 

Reed's Land in Montana, northwest of Jordan maybe 30 minutes or less to the land from Jordan

Reed’s Land in Montana, northwest of Jordan maybe 30 minutes or less to the land from Jordan:  Twp 18-N, Range 35-E

 

Reed and Julia Spracklin's Home near Jordan, MT.

Reed and Julia Spracklin’s Home near Jordan, MT.

What is left, back in 2003, of Reed and Julia's home.

What is left, back in 2003, of Reed and Julia’s home, now owned by another family.

Reed's Barn, built of rock and wood

Reed’s Barn, built of rock and wood, a special tour by the granddaughter.

IMG03

We find them in Montana in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census:

Source: Reed Spracklin Family, 1920 U.S. Federal Census School Distr #41, Garfield Co., Montana SD2, ED 122, Sh#5a, enumerated by Joseph Jarrett, Mar 22-24, 1930, #T625-971. Reed was under the name “Bud” when I searched for this census.

FM 145, 145, Spracklin Reed head 1 O.M. M, W, age 51, M, ues. yes, born in Iowa, father born in Ohio, mother born in Indiana, farmer, general farm. Julia A. wife, F, W, age 41, M, yes, yes, born in Nebraska, father born in Indiana and mother born in Iowa.  Amos son, M, W, age 20, S, born Iowa. Harley G., son, M, W, age 13, S, born Iowa. Clifford R. son, M, W, age 8, S. born Iowa. Leroy son, M, W, age 6, S, born Iowa. Forest J. son, M, W, age 29/12, S, born Montana. Clara E. daughter, F, W, 9/12, S, born Montana. 

In 1930 they are still residing in Montana. There is a mystery because the name Everett is written below and I think it is really Clifford Ray who was born in 1911. I cannot find anything about this Everett that makes sense.

Source:  Reed A. Spracklin and Amos Spracklin Families, 1930 U.S. Census for Montana, School Dist. 41, Sheldon, Garfield Co., Montana T626-1256, ED 38, 12/30/02, sht 1A, enumerated on 9 April, 1930 by George H. [         ].

Line 3, 2, 2, Spracklin, Amos E. Head, yes, M, W, 30, M, 24, No, Yes, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Nebraska, farm laborer, farm, no, 2. Spracklin, Iva, M, Wife-H, F, W, 23, M, 17, No, Yes, born North Dakota, father born Iowa, mother born Minnesota. Spracklin, Margaret R, daughter, F, W, 3, S, born Montana. Spracklin, Alice M, daughter, F, W, 1, S, born Montana. 

Line 7, 3, 3, Spracklin, Reed A. Head, yes, M, W, 61, M, 29, no, yes, Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Indiana, farmer, farm, no, 3. 

Spracklin, Julia A. Wife-H, F, W, 51, M, 29, no, yes, Nebraska, father born Indiana, mother born Iowa. 

Spracklin Roy, son, M, W, 16, S, yes, yes, Iowa

Spracklin, Everett R (Ab), son, M, W, 19, S, no, yes, Iowa, born in Iowa. (probably Clifford Ray Spracklin). 

Spracklin Forrest E., son, M, W, 12, S, yes, yes, Montana

Spracklin, Clara L, daughter, F, W, 10, S, yes, yes, Montana

Reed died on 18 July, 1938.  He was buried  in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Reed's Obituary 1938

Reed’s Obituary 1938

Obituary – Spracklin Rites Held in Jordan
Jordan – July 21 – (Special to the Star) – Reed A. Spracklin died Monday evening at the Good Samaritan hospital in Jordan. Mr. Spracklin was born Aug. 24, 1868. His early life was spent in his native state where in 1896 he married Miss Julia Siler. In 1915 with his family he moved to Garfield County settling on a homestead seventeen miles west of Jordan where he continued to make his home until failing health compelled him to move to Jordan. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Spracklin. Six survive all of whom were with him when the end came. Amos E., Harley, Clifford, Forrest and Mrs. Clara Derenberger, all of Jordan and LeRoy with the U.S. Navy. Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church on Wednesday at 2:30p.m. the Rev. William G. Johnson officiating. Burial took place in the Pioneer Cemetery. Mr. Spracklin died on the evening of July 18, exactly three years from the time his son, Oliver, was killed at Fort Peck. Source:  Miles City Daily Start, Thursday, July 21, 1938, pg. 10.

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan, MT.

Julia followed in 1942 and she is also buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Jordan.

Julia Spracklin's Death 1942

Julia Spracklin’s Death 1942

Obituary – Mrs. Julia Spracklin of Jordan Community Dies here Thursday – Mrs. Julia Spracklin, widely known matron of the Jordan community passed away in Miles City at a local hospital on Thursday evening following a brief illness. Mrs. Spracklin was born in Nebraska on Sept. 30, 1878, where she grew into young girlhood. She had been a resident of the Garfield Co. region since 1914. Surviving in the immediate family circle are the children, Amos, Harley and Clifford Spracklin of Jordan, LeRoy now in the U.S. Navy, Forest Spracklin of Spokane, Wash., Mrs. Clara Derenberger of Jordan and the following brothers and sisters: Henry Siler and Alfred Siler of Snohomish, WA, Albert Siler of Colfax, Wis., Mrs. Ida Grover of Maumee, Ohio, Mrs. Olive Reid of Moracco, Ind. and Mrs. Eva Amundson of Colfax, Wis. The final rites for the late Mrs. Spracklin will be held in Jordan on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16, where interment in the Pioneer Cemetery will also take place. The remains will be taken on Sunday morning to Jordan by the local Graves Funeral Home. 

Source:  Miles City Daily Star, Friday, August 14, 1942, pg. 8.

Reed and Julia's gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Reed and Julia’s gravesite in Jordan, Pioneer Cemetery

Reed and Julia’s burial is also listed on Find A Grave.  I am their sponsor.  I see I need to get more children connected to them.

I have a special place in my heart for Reed.  He has helped me in so many ways to learn about my great-grandmother Amarilla’s full and half families, and to learn more about the father and mother Daniel and Sarah Spracklin.

I dedicate these pages to his granddaughter Bertha, who welcomed me into her home and took me under her wing.