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□ a a □ u 0 □ £S VOLUME II. EKALAKA, (CUSTER COUNTY) MONTANA, FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 1910. NUMBER 1 EKALAKA, MONTANA A Brief Description of The Town and The Peo ple Who Are Interested In Its Welfare And Future. Forty-two miles southwest of Baker, in the valley of Russell ('reek lies the town of Ekalaka. It is an inland town, off from the railroads and the beginning of its history as a town dates back to to the early eighties. Ekalaka <^wes its name to the deceased wife of D. H. Russell whose Chritian name was "Ekalaka" and who was the first woman here. The first building in town was built by Claude Cartèr in 1885 and was used as a saloon. In '86 Harry Yomin started a road ranch and then bought out Carter. The hard winter of '86 forced the closing of the saloon the following spring which was not opened again until late in the winter when Whit Terrell pur chased the property. The first few years of its existence it was recongnized as the headquarters for the large cattle outfits that were then numerous in this part of the country. The cowboys would come to town and make themselves, merry spending their money freely. In later years these companies soon passed out of existence and today the coun try is gradually settling up and with the rush of the homeseekers heading this way, it is regarded as the coming agricultural and farming section of Montana. All the land will soon be taken up and those who have and are settling have no regrets to express for the step taken. The range is being fenced up and within a few years the "open range" which was the making of many a fortune, will be no more. Ekalaka today has a population of nearly 400 people and is prospering and thriving under the most promising con dition. New people are taking up their residence in town, several new business enter prises have been added during the past two years and more are contemplated at this date. The business houses include two gen ral merchandise stores, one con fectionery and postoffice store, one exclusive hardware store, two prosperous banks two hotels, one boarding house, two livery barns, one blacksmith shop, one barber shop, one dentist office, two saloons, one shoe makers shop, and a newspaper all of which are enjoying a good busi ne< s. A new $8000 school house is now in the course of construc tion and will be completed within 1 a short time. Four teachers, F. L. Funkenbusch,Clarence Yokley Miss Lucy Markin, and Miss Anna Olesen, being employed to instruct the younger gener ation. The affairs of the - school district are well cared for by the school board, consisting of John Oliver, Wm. Freese, Robt. Yokley and Mrs. J. Oliver, clerk. Among other organizations and establishments in town are, three lodges, the I. O: O. F., Gertrude Rebebak, and Modern Woodmen of America, one Union Church with Mrs. F. D. Bohr as the present pastor, a firedepirtment a telephone co'y, a band, and an industrious Commercial club. Ekalaka is connected with the outside world by three different telephone lines, one running to Camp Crook, S. D. where con nections are made with a newly constructed line to the Black Hills, another running to Baker where telegraphic communi cation are &ent and received, and the third coming from Miles City affording us communication with the county seat. The U. S. mail is carried to and from the town via three different routes, one coming from Ismay a distance of about 50 miles another from Camt) Crook a diitince of 52 miles and the tjiird going to Ewalt a distance of nearly 35 miles. A private express line is also operated by Jolly Bros, between Baker and this point. All these lines arrive here on Monday's, Wednesday's and Fri day's, and leave on Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturday's. R. C. Charters Co. One of the pioneer stores whose business has kept pace and even anticipated the needs of the town is that of The R. C. Charters Co. The history of this store dates back to 1885 when Geo. Cartright built the log shack that now sets south east of the present establishment. This was the first store erected in town and was later sold to Fountian Bros. J. H. Brummet then bought out the Fountian boys and later organized a stock company that operated the busi ness under the name of the Ekalaka Merc. Co. This organ ization proved to be a "white elephant" to the stock holders and the store was then taken over by Reno Swift. R. C. Charters became the next owner and the business continued under his name until May 11, 1907 when a stock cumpany was again organized, with C. H. Emerson as President, R. H. Beazley, vice president E. F. Emerson, secetary and H. D. Ruttell, general manager. Under this management the R. C. Charters Co. is being operated today and doing a good business. A full line of general merchand ise is carried in stock to supply the needs of the residents of the country. W. H. Peck. One of the most active and industrious young men of Custer county is W. H. Peck whose versatility and energy makes him an esteemed and valued citzens of the town. Mr. Peck came here from Ansonia, Conn, in 1889 first working as a clerk for Reno Swift and later for R. C. Charters. He worked as a clerk for several years and then in partnership with Lorin Gilman operated the ranch now owned by Geo. Boggs. On Oct. 19,1904 he started his present business securing the building formerly occupied by A. W. Lucas as a saloon. Mr. Peck served as deputy county assessor in 1901-2 3 and as deputy county treasurer in 1904. He also acted as Justice of the Peace here in 1900-4. Mr. Peck carries an excllont line of general merchandise and draws trade from many miles around. Mr. Peck is one of the leading members of the Odd Fellows lodge and in Custer Canton No. 6. he now holds the office of Captain. Besides being a member of the Odd Fellows he is also interested in many other orders of the town. Jay E. Wilson. The subject of this sketch came to Ekalaka in 1890 and in July 1897 embarked in his present business—an up-to-date confectionery and notion store. In October of the same year he was appointed postmaster by Posmaster General James A. Gary, which office he has held ever since giving the patrons of his office the best of service. Mr. Wilson occupies today the same building that he began business in 13 years ago and carries a large supply of goods. At present he is assisted by one clerk, S. W. Davidson who has been with him for over two years. Wm. Freese. Wm. Freese started ; n the hardware business in '97 buying out J. C. Charters. A few years later he succeeded John Craft as U. S. weather observer which position he still holds. Mr. Freese is an enthusiastic worker among the Odd Fellows and now holds ths office of H. P. in the Ekalaka Encampment. A. W. Lucas. A. W. Lucas came to Ekalaka in the spring of 1901 from Camp Crook. After working for wages for some time he bought out H. W. Ewalt in the snloon business and on July 10, 1904 went in partnership with J. H. Booth who at that time run a saloon here also. The saloon continued under the name of Booth & Lucas until Novl of last} < ar when Mr. Lucas assumed on:ire control. "Dad" as he is familarly known draws a good fade and his friends and aquai tances are Ekalaka Bank. The Ekalaka Bank first com menced business in it's present location in 1904 being then owned and operated by R. C. Charters. On May 11, 1907, articles of agreement were drawn up between R. C. Charters R. H. Beazley, J. W. Hiscock, E. F. Emerson, and C. H. Emerson for the establishment of private bank. These gentlemen still control the insititution and consitute the board of directors. The officers consist of C. H. Emerson President R. H. Beazley vice president and G. G. Grant, cashier. A. E. Dague. On Sept. 14, 1908 E. C. Meth eny and A. E. Dague formed partnership in the saloon now known as the Kids Place. On the morning of the 17th of that month they opened up for busi ness continuing as partners until Oct. 19 of the last year when Mr. Dague assumed entire control. This establishment en joys a good patronage and carries a full line of wines, liquors and cigars. Ekalaka Hotel. The Ekalaka Hotel bears the destinction of being one of the first buildings erected in town. T. J. Martin the present landlord purchased the property in Feb. 1907 from Joe Ebert and since has enjoyed the best of patron age. The hostelry was built by J. O. Speelman and later sold to Mrs. Hattie Kinsey who des posed of it to Mr. Ebert. Be sides being landlord of the hotel Mr. Martin is at present the Justice of the peace, which office he has held with general satis faction to all since 1906. Mr. Martin is a member of the Odd Fellow's lodge being Clerk of Uanton No. H.. He came to Ekalaka in Julj 1903 from Ash grove, Mo. and like many others is a true booster for the town and country. J. H. Booth. Among the old timers still re siding here is J. H. Booth. Mr. Booth came to Custer county in the spring of 1891 from Buffalo, Jonnston county, Wyoming and when to work as a cowpuncher for the LX— outfit. He con tinued working for them until July 3rd, 1894 when he built a saloon in town. On the night of May 31st 1900 his place was destroyed by a fire which con sumed besides his place, the Whit Terrel hotel and another saloon owned by W. H. Bullard. He then constructed a new build ing and in 1904 went into part nership with A. W. Lucas who on Nov. 1st of last year took over the entire business. Mr. Booth settled on a claim on Box Elder in 1900 and in partnership with M. A. McLean has one of the finest ranches in Custer county. Ekalaka Commercial State Bank. The Ekalaka Commercial State Bank was goranized in the sum mer of 19é8 with a capital of $20,000. The officers of the in stitution consist of H. N. Sykes, Pres., Septon Cady, Vice Pres., and John Oliver, Cashier. The bank occupies its on building and has a commodious vault of steel and stone erected in the same. The directory at present consists of the following well known gent'-men; R. L. Yokley, J. T. Smith, Septon Cady, H. N. Sykes, and Kenneth McLean. Ciher Old-Timers Among the first settlers and old timers that are still making Ekalaka their postoffice may be mentioned D. H. Rüssel, Dr. J. P. Hedges, Fred King, C. H. and E. F. Emerson, R. H. Beazley, Jacob Speelmen and Amos Lambert, Sr. Mr. Russell is one of the first settlers of the country coming here in 1881. He is engaged in stock raising and farming and has a modern ranch south of town. Dr. Hedges has a up-to-date dentist office here and is known over the country as a skilled workman. He first came to this country in 1884 building the first ranch on Box Elder that was then known as the "Running M." In later years he moved to town and has been a resident here since. Mr. Hedges was recommended for the appoint ment of county commissioner last week and it is more than probable that he will secure the position. Mr. King is now a resident in town and is interested in the care and raising of live stock. He was appointed the first deputy sheriff in this part of the county, this being in 91, 92, 93. C. H. and E. F. Emerson are located on ranches north of town on Little Beaver. Both have cattle and are interested in the welfare of the town. Mr. Beazley is residing in town and has a very modern home. He is interested in the Ekalaka Bank and the R. C. Charters Co. "Dad" Speelman came to Ekalaka in the early eight. s when he spent most of his time hunting buffalos. In later years he built the present Ekalaka Hotel later selling out and going into the live stock business. He now has one of the finest residents in town and with his wife intends to live in comfort in his (-Id age. Another "Dad" of whom Ekalaka is justfully proud is Mr. Lambert. He first came here in 1893 leaving Denver, Colo, at the time of the Cleveland panic. Besides being interested in live stock he is now holding the office of the justice of the peace here.