OCR Interpretation

Montana oil and mining journal. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1931-1953, March 20, 1937, Image 6

Image and text provided by Montana Historical Society; Helena, MT

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075103/1937-03-20/ed-1/seq-6/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for PAGE SIX

and Fin
"Nothing but blood or ground
Those were fighting words among
the placer miners on Bear creek
in western Montana in 1867. As a
result of them being bandied back
and forth among a group of pros
pectors that year. Bill Berry, an
old-timer in the region and for
many years afterward a resident
of Missoula, always claimed that
according to the records he was
in jail at Deer Lodge and not walk
ing about the streets of Missoula
as he seemed to be.
Bill, as a matter of fact, was fined
$50 for contempt of court, along with
a number of others, by Judge Wiliis
ton at Deer Lodge. The men were also
ordered to pay $46 costs each, and were
ordered to jail until the fines and
costs were paid. However, there was no
Jail—there wasn't one in the territory
at that time—and the boys just nat
urally paid no attention to the item
of costs. They walked from the court
room where the judgment had been
rendered, mounted their horses and
went on home.
Early in the
Missourians had
on Bear creek, .and were having
trouble holding it. An Englishman
named William Ely held the creek
claim at the same place, and under
the mining law as it was being admin
istered at that time, was therefore the
rightful owner of the bar claim also.
The Fighting Claim
The Missouri, ans offered Berry a
quarter interest in their bar claim if
he would help them hold it. He told
them that he would take them up if
they would obey his orders. They agreed
to that, and Berry took command. The
claim was long afterwards known as
spring of 1867 three
located a bar claim
"the Fighting Claim" because of the
legal battles which were waged over
it. There w,as never any actual shoot
ing, although the situation looked se
rious several times.
After Berry and his partners started
working the claim, Ely went to Deer
Lodge and obtained from Judge Wil
liston an Injunction intended to halt
their operations. Berry said afterward
that Judge Williston's injunction was
a queer looking document—written on
rough paper and not official looking.
Also, It was served on him, as boss of
the claim, by a private citizen named
Williams, who had no authority to i
serve it. Berry told him so and he and
his partners kept right on working.
On Ely's claim there was an almost
perpendicular raise of bed rock. The
law was that all creek claims should
run from summit to summit and take
In all bars. Upon that legal definition
Ely claimed the ground which Berry
and his partners were working.
Legal Battle Started
Berry, however, refused to see it
that way.
Ely hired a big Irishman named Mike
Sullivan to work for him.
Both sides kept on working on their
respective claims ,and finally Ely pro
posed they submit their dispute to a
referee. Berry stood Ely off for a time,
but finally decided to acquiesce to the
request. He found Sullivan, Ely's man,
in Jim Talbot's saloon one night and
"Mike, tell Ely that we'll leave the
case out." (The manner in which a
referee proceeding was referred to at
that time.)
"No," replied Sullivan, "you'll not
leave it out. Nothing but blood or
ground goes."
"Well, that suits me," replied Berry.
"Now know where stand."
The next morning Berry and his Mis
sourians tore down a small log cabin
located about 200 yards from their
ground, and which was unoccupied, and
moved it to the bar. They marked the
logs as they took them from the build
, ing and speedily erected it again in
its new location, after dragging the
logs there with horses.
While the four were moving the
cabin. Ely and Sullvain were out rust
ling fighting men. Berry also recruited
several. When, next morning Ely and
Sullivan approached the cabin there
were 15 men in it. all armed and with
plenty of ammunition. The cabin was
about 20 feet wide. 30 feet long and
the walls were 15 feet high. It had no
roof. The only way the attackers could
get to the men Inside was either by
crawling under the sides or climbing
over the top.
Ely and Sullivan walked around the
place and looked it over, while the 15
men inside watched them through the
chinks and made pointed, personal re
marks to and about them, pushing the
muzzle of a rifle or revolver through
a chink now and then just to give
emphasis to their words. Ely and Sul
Mvan retired to their own camp and
sent three men up under a flag of
truce to talk the situation over. The
conversation was carried on through
il QUICK SAFE A* .4«
UB Bred for large eggs, dap
big birds, high production,
low mortality. Blood test
ed, state certified or approved.
.. "It's Quality That Counts"
Bozeman, Mont.
Get the Most for Your
Fuel Money!
i I
In fact you will find everything you expect in coal—in
For Sale by
Dealers in Cities, Towns and Co mmuni ties in
Montana and throughout the northwest.
Mined and Shipped by
The Roundup Coal Mining Co.
Roundup, Montana
Montana College Bobcat Band Completes 27th Annual Tour of Treasure State
The 27th annual tour
of the Montana State
college Bobcat band,
taken March 17 to 25.
was named the Golden
Jubilee tour by students
at the college in honor
of the 50th
handwork in Montana
by its director—Lou
Howard. A total of 17
concerts were played
Montana cities and
towns during the band's
1937 tour.
According to the
Golden Jubilee band
program, Mr. Howard
played the first note of
his 50-year band career
in Dillon in 1886. He
spent several years in
Butte and blew the
bugle that announced
the birth of Montana
as a state. He organ
ized Montanas first
boys' band at Bozeman
■ ; ■
r *
7 r
. yyymmm «fàm è»ê0
year of
. w
6k-, •'
n -■/
# -4 $
I m
t £
I i r . „
i t
( : -
■ ;
'vmMà 2
in 1892 ,and became the state's young
est director at the age of 12 when
he led the Bozeman city band. For
a time Mr. Howard directed the band
at Montana State university but re
turned to Montana State college in
1907 to become its band director, a
position he has held since.
It was Mr. Howard's boys' band that
played during the cornerstone laying
ceremonies for Montana hall, present


Golden Tour Leader
Lou Howard, director of the Bobcat
band at Montana State college, who
this year enters his 50th year of band
work in Montana.
the chinks in the log fortress. The
enemy wanted to settle. Berry refused,
"Nothing but blood or ground goes,"
he said
m n
j n „Ti v Jji hl hS omiiP
! na * y withdrew, and having had ample
Seventh Man Hard to Find
Berry chose as his representatives
Henry Mulkey, John Downes and a
Frenchman whose n,ame is lost to his
tory. They argued with Ely's men for
a long time but couldn't agree on the
seventh man. Finally Downes proposed
that each side send one man to the
mouth of Bear creek, that these two
men ride either up or down the Deer
Lodge valley and that the first man
they met who didn't live on Bear creek
should be the seventh man on the jar
bltratlon board.
opportunity to see the murntions of war
stored in Berry's fortress, also with
drew their forces. Berry's men waited
for the attack, but it didn't come.
Finally Ely's committee returned and
proposed that the m,alter be arbitrated.
Terms of the agreement were that each
side select three men, the six to name
the seventh of an arbitration board, the
decision of which was to be final.
Berry's crowd didn't like it. but Berry
kept them in line and agreed to the
Ely, however, wouldn't agree to that.
Instead he wrote out a new agreement
to govern the arbitration proceedings
and gave it to Downes to submit to
Berry. Berry, standing on a pile of
timber near his windlass, took the
paper, read it, tore it into pieces and
threw them ,away.
"That settles it," he said. "Nothing
but blood or ground goes."
The other side, however, didn't want
blood. But they did want the ground.
Ely mounted a mule and rode to Deer
Lodge. There he got the injunction
that Williams tried to serve and which
! administration building at the state
: college. When he became director of
the college band in 1907 the organ
{izatlon had but eight members com
pared with more than 100 members
today. He h^s taken the Bobcat band
into every comer of the state during
its tours and this year 41 musicians
are making the Golden Jubilee tour,
strument are : Ben Brumfield, piccolo.
Members of the band and their in
resulted in Berry and the others being
fined and sentenced to jail if they
didn't pay.
Berry and his men paid no attention
! to the injunction. Then came a war
! pant for their arrest. Fred Burr was
I the sheriff and he brought the war
rant over from Deer Lodge to Bear
j gulch himself.
j He met Berry that night in Jim Tal
! bot's saloon.
"Where'll you be in the morning,
Bill?" he asked.
"On the claim, at work, of course,"
replied Berry.
"I'm coming down to see you."
"All right, you'll find me at the
Next morning Burr and Tom Beebe,
a constable, went to Berry's claim to
gether. For some reason Burr had
given the warrant to Beebe to serve,
while he himself stood by.
The constable handed Berry the war
"Read it," said Berry. "I'm busy and
don't want to stop and keep the boys
waiting below."
But Beebe's hands trembled so that
he couldn't read it. So Berry called to
the boys in the hole to stop work, and
he himself read the warrant.
"BUI. you've got to go," said the
"We can't do it," replied Berry.
"We're so busy we have no time for
lawsuits. We can't go."
"Then I'll have to get men enough
to take you," said the sheriff.
"You can't find enough on Bear,"
replied Berry.
Then the sheriff asked that Just one
of Berry's party go. Berry parleyed
with his friends. They decided that
none could spare the time.
As Burr started back to Deer Lodge
alone, he asked If one of them would
come if the Judge made a fuss about
the matter. Berry told him to wait and
see if there was any fuss.
As the sheriff disappeared from j
sight Berry told his partners that the |
next day about 1 o'clock they would ]
see Burr coming down the hill on a
gallop. They did.
"BUI," he shouted as he slid his
lathered horse to a stop, "get ready. I [
got hell from the judge."
"I knew you would." replied Berry.
"Boys," he called to his partners, "We |
got to go with Fred."
Sheriff's Orders Obeyed
"Get yoUr horses reiady," he said !
to Burr, "and well start with you." I
While Berry and his partners were
getting their camp in shape to leave, !
Burr went to rustle horses to carry j
the party to Deer Lodge,
ing camp he found Tobacco George I
with his pack train and the sheriff
hired six of his cayuses. The under- |
standing between the sheriff and To- i
bacco George was that the horses were
to be ridden to the mouth of Bear, from
where they would be returned to him,
and the party would take a team the
remainder of the way to Deer Lodge.
But at the mouth of Bear there was
no team available and Berry and his I
partners rode the horses all the
to Deer Lodge. The bill for horse hire I
was $80 and as Tobacco had told Berry
to look out for his horses, the sheriff (
paid Berry the $80 upon their arrival
at their destination.
Next morning the sheriff and his
prisoners reported at court in the log
courthouse. There were six in Berry's |
party, all in their shirt sleeves, arms
bare to the elbows and with six-shoot
ers strapped to their belts. The Judge
didn't even order the guns taken ,away
from them. Berry had hired Lawyer
Jim Brown to defend him and his
friends. They had no defense, except
that Berry said he didn't think the in
junction that had been served on him
was genuine because it wasn't gotten
up in legal form. The matter was dis
cussed at length by the court and
"This is the first time in my ex
perience," said the Judge finally, "that
I have encountered a group of men
who set themselves up against a court.
But I am disposed to be lenient."
He then fined them $50 each plus
$46 costs apiece and ordered them
jailed until the fines and costs were
paid. The men walked from the court
room, mounted their horses and rode
back to Bear creek. There was no Jail
and the sheriff made no attempt to
restrain them. They paid neither fines
nor costs.
Berry and his men worked all that
summer on the claim unmolested. The
next June, however, they were sum
moned to appear to answer to a suit
filed against them for possession of
the property. It was a Jury trial and
the sheriff picked up the first eight
men be encountered on the street to
form the panel. One of the men who
had had a similar case himself and
settled it with a shotgun, hung the
Jury and it was dismissed. Another
Jury was empanelled. It beard the evi
dence. was out 10 minutes and re
turned a verdict foe Berry and his
Berry and his men worked the claim
the remainder of the su mmer , cleaned
it of all its gold, and abandoned It.
At the mln
Bozeman; Robeson Allport, oboe. Bill
ings; Eugene Liebe rg, flute, Helena;
Robert Fransham, Milton Chauner,
William Hess, Bozeman; Edmund Kelly,
Hardin: Norm,an Donaldson, Great
Falls; Jesse Knoll. Roundup; Charles
Mather, Lewis town, all clarinets.
George Sime, Bozeman; Thomas
Leedham, Glasgow; Harlan Bixby, Poi
son; Carl Pfeiffer, Helena; Roland
Breed, Helena; John Robison, Choteau;
Payments to policyholders and their
beneficiaries by the Montana Life In
surance company have averaged more
than a million dollars a year ever
since the company began business In
1910, according to its annual state
ment. In 1936 it
policyholders and
the past 26 years has paid a total of
Notwithstanding that It carries its
? uarter of a million dollar Home Of
ice building at Helena in its assets
at only $1, the statement shows an
increase in assets over 1935 of more
than half a million dollars. "For each
$100 of obligations," says the state
ment, "the Montana Life has $120 in
resources." Not a single bond was in
default December 31, 1936, and the
market value of the company's hold
ings substantially exceeded the current
In 1936 the Montana Life gained
nearly a million dollars of insurance
in force, and increased its unasslgned
surplus from a million to a mUli
and one half dollars.
The statement shows the company
has on deposit with the state Insurance
paid $1,039,144.00 to
beneficiaries and In
commissioner of Montana $1,742,030.00
Twenty-Seventh Annual Statement
Helena, Montana
Present Worth of Outstanding Policies... $10,715*74*0
(Legal reserve)
Home Office Building.
(Cost $245,516.22 in 1924)
$ 6,735,906.06
Present Worth of Balance Due Under
Claims Being Paid in Installments.... $
U. 8. Government... .$1,020,818.78
State. County and Mu
33 *
Notice of claims received but proof not yet
Set aside for any possible 1938 claims not re
ported by December 31, 1838.
28 * (.87 *
26 * !
* 25,532.00
BBB 10 *"j
BB 1 * 112.5%
Interest Paid in Advance
(Not yet earned)
Premiums Paid in Advance
(Not yet due)
0.5* J. 0.5*
Taxes (for 1936 but payable in 1937)
Current Expenses.
$ 2*41,178.07
$ 160,500.00
First Mortgage Loans
Real Eaftate .
Balance Due on Beal Estate
Sold .
(Being paid for in Installments)
Loans to Policyholders.
Other Resources .
Cash ..
Interest earned
Current net premiums
and other Items
$ 192*97.51
$ 3*00*54*8
$ 485,018*1
$ 2*33*81*0
Surplus to Policyholders..
Capital stock .
Voluntary contingency surplus.
* 500.000.00
* 137.524.31
I 107,317.92
t 240.175.78
For each $100 of obligations, the
Montana Life has $120 in resources.
bonds owned by the Montana Life , of Interest earned Included In the
December 31, 1936, substantially ex- statement of resources does not in
ceeded the values shown In this dude Interest in any case where It
statement. Not a single bond was in is more than 30 days post due.
- Because Home Office buildings
Mortgage loans are confined to cannot be used to pay death and
improved city and country property, other claims, the beautiful Mon
In amounts not more than 50 per- tana Life building Is carried as an
cent of a conservative appraisal. Of asset in the sum of only $1.00. All
these loans, 90 percent provide for other real estate Is listed conserv
the payment of Interest monthly atlvely, demonstrated by the fact
and a reduction in the amount of that ah sales In 1936 were for
the loan each month. The amount amounts in excess of the book value.
Under the law of Montana the
present worth of ah policies of Mon
tana insurance companies must be
kept on deposit with the State In
surance Commissioner. The Mon
tana Life has on deposit with him
$12,457*04.40 which is $1,742,030.40
or fourteen percent in excess of
what the law requires.
The market or actual value of
Surplus to Policyholders Including Voluntary Reserve
Over $2,200,000.00
Paid Policyholders and Beneficiaries in 1936,
Since Organization,
R. B. Richardson
Carl Rasch
Executive Vice President
Edward Sullivan, Stevensville; Chester
Abbott, Conrad, all cornets.
George Cline, Richard Warner, Ralph
White, Bozeman; Perry Chisholm. Hel
ena; Vincent Irle, Glasgow, all horns.
James Finn, Great Falls; Ray An
derson. Deer Lodge; Ben Veldhuis,
Wolf Point; Cecil Haight. Howard
Hess, Bozeman: Cecil Haight, Howard
Glendive; Andrew Spranger, Libby,
all trombones.
in excess of the legal reserve the law
requires of $12,457,304.00.
In his annual report to stockholders,
R. B. Richardson, executive vice pres
ident of the Montana Life, says the
immediate major problem confronting
insurance companies is the investment
and reinvestment of funds in the face
of continued low interest rates and
rising taxes. "Many companies already
have been affected," he continues. "A
number of eastern non-participating
companies have already found it nec
essary to increase their premium rates
and most mutual companies have been
compelled to cut dividends to policy
holders. How far these conditions will
affect operations, it is impossible to
say at this time."
Poison Sheepman Fed
Stock 2,000 Tons Hay
"Yes, it has been a long, hard winter
—for the sheepman," said C. D. Small,
sheepman of Poison. Mr. Small, who
maintains a band of 15,000 sheep In
the Lake county district, reports that
he has fed 2,000 tons of hay dining
the winter.
Mr. Small said the situation has not
ended In this district, as the feeding
operations are still going on. Snow on
the hillsides is about eight Inches deep,
and almost solid ice. The sheep, he
said, can not get down to spring graz-
ing until the snow is gone and the
grass starts.
- $
A full grown blue duiker antelope
In Fleishacker zoo, San Francisco, is
only as large as a rabbit.
Richard Timmel, Billings; Milton
Voelker, Kalispell; Ralph Smith, Big
Timber, all baritones.
Howard Hoffman, Earl Fertig, Boze
man; Fred Orton, Helena; Bert Bad
ham, Miles City, all basses,
Clifford Davis, Judith Gap; Willard
Willis, Plains: Ray Purdy, Bozeman;
William Steinberger, Deer Lodge, all
President Andrew Jackson was im
peached for alleged usurpation of the
law, but was acquitted.
• • #
East or West
Regular Daily Stops—
Write, Wire or Phone for—
Fares - Schedules and Reservations
19| Broadway. Billings
107 East Broadway, Butte

xml | txt