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Montana oil and mining journal. [volume] (Great Falls, Mont.) 1931-1953, January 18, 1941, Image 7

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86075103/1941-01-18/ed-1/seq-7/

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Steamer Yellowstone, in One Trip to Fort Pierre,
Lifted Barrier of Inaccessibility From Missouri
A steamboat and a man opened
the wpper Missouri river country
in este epochal voyage more than
a ce nt ury ago. The i
Chouteau, head of the American
For Co., went on to business sac
fame and fortune. The
man, Pierre
steamboat, the Yellowstone, sim
ply di sap p ea red, at least so far
as the upper Missouri was con
cerned. after two or three trips.
The writer is indebted to James R.
Mullens of Port Worth, Tex., for add-;
ing an interesting chapter to the his
tory of the steamer Yellowstone,
which, in one voyage to Port Pierre,
In 1831, lifted the barrier of inacces
siblllty from the upper Missouri
Pierre Chouteau was a man with
an idea—the idea that steamboats
could successfully navigate the Mis
souri river, at least as far as Port;
Union, bring down the vast shipments!
of furs from that great territory, and,
more Important, carry supplies to the
upper Missouri trading posts, and end
forever the drudgery of hauling a few
hundreds of pounds of trading goods
by sheer manpower a thousand miles
and more against the tugging current
of the Missouri river.
In common with all men with an
Idea, Chouteau met resistance from
the conserv a tives, who insisted that
the American Pur Co. was making
money fast enough anyway, that his
wild idea could not possibly succeed.
But the stubborn Frenchman argued
and worked, and finally, drew up the
plans for the Yellowstone—a side
wheel steamboat which drew five feet
of water loaded. The boat was 130
feet long, 1» feet wide. It was built
at Pittsburgh, Pa., In the winter of
Made Tri
Pierre l
down to St. Louis, and left that city
on April 16, 1831, bound for the upper
Missouri with Indian trade goods
aboard. Lowest water In years held the.
Yellowstone at Fort Pierre that year,
and the scoffers undoubtedly believed 1
their case was proven. But Chouteau
had cause for optimism, for the Yel
lowstone, commanded by the expert
enced Captain Bennett, returned safe
ly to St. Louis In July, with a big
load of furs, and 10,000 dried buffalo
ip 119 Yean Ago
Chouteau's boat was brought
tongues, a delicacy for the eastern
markets. That one trip did more than
a whole fleet of keel boats could have
The following year, bucking flood
waters the Yellowstone carried the
house flag of the American Pur Co.
clear to the river for which it was
named and Port Union employes
hilariously greeted the first of the
"mountain boats."
And the "fire boat," as some In
dlans termed it, had another remark
able effect of empire-shaking Import
ance. Scared half out of their wits
by the fire-breathing monster, entire
trlbes of Indians took one horrified
look and ran for their lives. Some
what surprised at finding themselves
unpursued, the aborigines turned to
marvel, and the American Pur Co.
had gained an entirely unsuspected
victory. i
The fame of these whites who could j
drive such a giant boat against the
current of the powerful Missouri
spread over the inland empire. The
far-off Previously hostile Blackfeet |
listened to the tales, and reconsidered
their attitude toward the American
company. Far to the north Hudson's
Bay factors raged at dwindling re
turns, saw their southernmost posts
th» f a^xvptî?h*reader*1ri an
"^ d ,.rÄL nnrtv,™^ d 11
grasp upon the northwest.
The Yellowstone made another trip,
in 1833—a disastrous one. But it was
one which made one ot the greatest
captains on the upper Missouri. Cap
tain Bennett was taken off the boat
for some reason, on the downward
trip, and young Joseph LaBarge, a
oub pilot, left In charge. Cholera
struck at the crew, killed half of it,
and young LaBarge, short-handed,
eventually brought the boat safely Into
St. Louis—an exploit which brought I
the young man—he was about 18—
approval of the company, and
fim command.
soon a
New Chapter Added
of the Yellowstone is well
ose Interested in the Mis
to th
souri traffic, up to this point, but
Mullens adds an interesting and im
portant chapter to the boat's history.
This is the account he sketched brief
ly in a letter:
The Yellowstone was loaded out for
New Orleans in that fall of 1833. and
went into the New Orleans and Bayou
Lafourche sugar trade. Then again
there was a hiatus In the steamer's
history, while events which led to two
wars were taking place In the south,
The Texans, irritated beyond endur
ance bv Mexican Interference with
their affairs, were talking revolt. At
thls distance in space and years it
seems that Mexico was merely trying
to control an unruly province, peopled j
largely by foreigners, but to the !
s mmmmmxwmwÊamwm m m m mmrn æ
Had a hard day?.
5 &k*rj
and enjoy
the whiskey thaïs
i >
»115 SuraYBROOK*
This whiskey is 4 YEARS OLD • 93 Proof
Copyright 1941, National Distiller. Prod. Con»- N.T.
The Impossible
Has Happened
em world are now eight:
Representative William Castles
of Mineral county voted "no" when
the house of representatives or tnc
Montana legislature iras consider
ing the $165, 0M appropriation bin
to pay legislative salaries and ex
He explained his vote this:
"I promised the Mineral county
Townsend clubs and the old pio
neers of Mineral county I wouldn't
vote for any appropriation bUi until
the relief bill (providing fonds for
payments under the social security
program) was passed. But I had
forgotten this measure would be
the first to come up."
As this year of violence ended, the
American Red Cross announced that
it had provided $10,090,000 of relief
in cash and supplies to war victims
and refugees In 13 nations.
The largest sum, $8,972,000, Includ
ing commitments for January ship
ment. went to Great Britain. Finland
received $1,879,000; France, $1,838,000;
Greece, $1.069,000; Poland, $996.000;
China, $923,000; Canada. $70.000, for
a Canadian hospital in England; Bel
gian refugees, $57,000; Norway. $45,000;
The Netherlands, $25,000; Switzerland,
$11,272, and the international commlt
tee of the Red Cross and the League
of Red Cross societies in Geneva,
When Germany Invaded the low
countries last May the American Red
Cross campaigned for $30,000,000. A
total of $21,789,000 was raised,
Texans, largely migrants from the
United States, the actions which led
up to the war for Texan Independence
were tyranny, pure and simple,
And into the chaotic Texan waters
in February, 1836, steamed the Yel
lowstone. It is easy to suspect
the boat carried arms for the revo
lutionlsts, probably also Americans
coming to join in the fight.
San Felipe, on the Brazos, saw the
Yellowstone arrive on Feb. 27, 1836.
She went to Galveston in April, and
conveyed the Texans* constitutional
government from Galveston up Buf
falo bayou 75 miles to Houston, and
returned with Gen. Sam Houston
Sometime in May, 1836, General
Houston took the captured Mexican
general and dictator, Santa Ana,
aboard the Yellowstone, bound for
Galveston, where they were lodged in
Port Travis as prisoners. Santa Ana,
several times Mexican president, and
m command of the Mexican forces at
the battle and death struggle at the
historic Alamo, had been captured by
Houston's men following the Mexican
disaster at San Jacinto. |
The Yellowstone continued her use-1
fulness to the newly-formed republic;
ofjrexas throughout the summer of
1836 ' In August carrying munitions,
J™ 1 " ^Iveston to Columbia for the j
k 0116 ® tar r J-P ul) Iic.
.A December the Yellowstone was
the fun ® ral carriage for Stephen Aus- ,
tin, father and founder of the new
republic. His body was carried from
Columbia on the Brazos to Peach
po^t f 0 r burial with full military
... , __ ,,
ceremonies, at the order of President i
Houston. I
And at this point, so far as the |
writer is concerned, the Yellowstone j
disappears again. Her bell and a pic- j
ture, according to Mullens, hang in i
the historic Alamo museum, as part
of the record of the events which
went to make up, first the republic,
then the state of Texas.
Mullens states that he Is trying to
find out what became of the boat £
eventually. He also says that as a boy
in Helena, Ark., he witnessed part of
the greatest steamboat race ever run, j
when the Robert E. Lee and the ;
uly 2, 1870, steamed past *
St. Louis. The old Missouri
Natchez, Jul
Helena for
river boats are not merely names to
Mullens, but well-remembered friends.
BUTTE—Charles J. Bessette, who as
boy played In local orchestras, and
later went to war, is now being
claimed as the world's greatest drum
mer. This is according to
from New York city where Bessette,
according to a letter, "is conducting
one-man swing back to good old
fashioned Americanism via his drums."
He is booked for a lecture at Car
negle hall on March 1 on the fine
points of drumming.
Big Town*s Dog 'Extra'

P 1
Tt *

- s

W %

* »
Already an inseparable part of the "Big Town'' family cn CBS network
"Rags," big friendly canine ragamuffin shown here with Ona Munson. "Rags"
was heard with Edward O. Robinson and Miss Munson in their broadcast of
"The Trial in Tom Belcher's Store," a touching drama of a dng's devotion
to a boy.

fr *■
Earlj-Day Resident Was
Booster for Aeronautics
Twcntv-two vears »o next Aorll
MadLn Square Garten in New
York was *»,. the rreat
wt exhibition of »Manes^and
^vLtfon naraohernaluthlt has
been'ISSibhS ta America,
aviators from all over the
W0 , Jd w *re assembled thwe One
nUht tato the urei room of the
exposition, where newspaper and
m Si„e writere rep^SSrtfng the
publications !Tfhe wM
gathered, strolled an old. vener
able appearing man, who gave his
name as David B. Weaver, and
who yave an Interesting account
ot how he tried to awaken the
David B. Weaver, Early-Day Character
and Discoverer of Gold in Emlsrran'
Gn'ch Attended Aviation Meet 22
Yean Ago Next April In Garden.
country to the possibilities of aero
nautics with heavier-than-air ma
chines 30 years earlier.
The old man caused quite a sensa
tion when his story had been told.
and he put a toueh of real romance
into the exposition when it was
learned that this aged dabbler in the
science of aviation was also the oldest
living Montana gold miner, the last
survivor of the party of three who
first discovered gold on the Yellow
stone In Emigrant gulch,
The newswriters seemed dubious.
Weaver produced credentials
r0I |} Senator W. A. Clark, with whom
had been associated In rile pioneer
®y s ot 016 west. It developed that
e _ aver ^e party which |
discovered the fifth gold placer min-s
n Montana.
Good Discovery
Weaver, David R. Shorthill and
Prank Garrett found color in Emi
grant gulch of the Yellowstone valley
Au &- , 186 ?- „45 <**7* the
discovery of Last Chance wealth.
This recitation of pioneer adven
tures did little to convince the press
crowd of the validity of Weaver's
claims that he was included in the
list of aerial adventures as well asi
mixed up with Montana's pioneers be
fore the days of the Vigilantes. But
ent proved the claim advanced by the
old man. When thc newspaper men
learned he had nothing to sell, they
accepted his statements as absolutely
"When I was talking of aerial navi
gation In 1890," said Weaver, '♦people
thought I was crazy, When I had
patented my inventions and attempted
to organize a company, my family
discouraged me. 'You are making
fools of us/ said my wife, 'and I wish
you would stop/
Thought Him Crazy
"One firm where I visited with an
Idea of raising money for the develop
ment of my scheme, tried to have me
arrested and sent to an asylum. Even
the public authorities looked at me
with question."
The patent which Weaver produced
was issued for an improvement on
"elevated railroads."
"I tried to have the patent issued
for an 'aerial railroad, " said thc
speaker, "but even Washington
wouldn't stand for that. No such thing
was possible, they said, and they to
ted on classing my patent as you
see It here."
Letter With Patent
Accompanying the letter of patent
was an article from "The Herald." a
little paper printed in Saxton. Pa.
dated March S, 1890. This paper, said
Weaver, was the only one which would
look at bis plans without thinking
the Inventor crazy. They saw in the
device which Weaver bad, a practical

thing which would revolutionize trans- 1
porta tlon.
The article was as follows:
Question of Rapid Mail, Passenger,
and Express Traffic Believed to Be
Solved by Weaver's Air Car.
"For several weeks past there has!
been considerable excitement manl- !
fested over a remarkable invention
put forth by D. B. Weaver near Sax- 1
ton, and a Herald reporter was dl- !
rected to interview the Inventor and
present such facts for public Infor
mation as were attainable, and also
procure a photograph of the Invention
and one of the Inventor. In this we ;
were partially successful, as it shown
by the portrait heading this article,
and the following description of what
is destined to be the most notable
invention of the day.
Electric Aerial Car
"The invention Is an electrical ele
voted or aerial car. The car consists
passengers, the second contains the
motor and the third is for mall and
express. The center apartment con
tains a cable cylinder and an elec
trical motor which
current conveyed from stationary dy
namos or generators at the terminus
of the line by insulated side bars !
along the track. A cable is strung the |
entire length of any
secured at both ends,
wrapped around a drum cylinder ini
the motor part of the car and while;
not colling around the cylinder the'
cable lies in the center of the track.
The track is one of the important
and peculiar parts of the construc
tion. It is comprised of two bracket
rails facing each other, sup
on single pillars at an eleva
tion of six or eight feet from the
are securely
Another re- !
is operated by a
proposed road. {
This cable 's
d. These pluars
and implanted,
markable and novel feature is an at
tachment above the car. It is a broad
horizontal surface, secured pivotly to
the center, at the ends are vertical
guide posts. This board surface being
swung to the middle and free at each
it is operated, that either end is
and lowered at will, by means
of sliding guide- rods attached to the
ends. This air board acts as an ele
vator or wing to the car while in
transit. The car rides the track on
flanged wheels similar to the present
style of car wheels.
The object ot this invention Is to
give the public better fac ll itl ee in the
Fédérais Find Stills
In Haugan District
Investigators of the federal alco
hol tax unit in co-operation with
the Montana liquor control board
reported they arrested Georye Bol
feta and Nick Aikovich on char yes
of operating an illegal still on a
ranch about two miles north of
Haugan. Both were taken to Mis
soula. where they were held pend
ing a federal grand Jury.
The officers said they seized two
stills, one 100-gallon capacity, the
other 409 gallons, 18 gallons of
moonshine whisky and 70 gallons
of mash.
I Gregory Rice was named winner of
the 1940 Sullivan award, annually
I presented to the athlete who was
Judged to have done the most during
I the year to advance the cause of
Rice, former Notre Dame runner
; who holds the American record at
I two and three miles, was the over
! whelming choice of the 600 sports
leaders who participated In the voting,
The Montanan—his home was at Mis
, soula when he enrolled at Notre
Dame—polled 1,013 points, more than
xt two rivals combined.

i II ... „ ,, isntsirl
woman rviliea in
TPffnn-i in A ooiot I rtrI
FjI 1 0ll IU /Affalai mjUU
fftirt in A rridcnf
Isj"**' 1 ' 111
j A Flathead county farm woman's
ftt<*t to aid a 9-year-old boy Injured
ln the P* leu P at tw ? SL* 0 "
1 ft horse-drawn sleigh cast her life
Mrs. C. A. Weaver, resident of a,
his ne
. ... ... „ ,
died following amputation of one leg
: below the knee. She was crushed be
, tween the bumpers of two cars as
i she was assisting Gerald McWilliams.
j hurt in a collision between thc
Weaver car and the sleigh.
The boy, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. V.
- McWilliams of Somers, was in a
critical condition from shock and in
temal injuries.
Highway Patrolman Ray Bryan said
slippery road conditions and a dense
fog contributed to the accident. H<*
said the Weaver car struck the sleigh,
proceeding with lights, from the rear
and the boy was pitched out.
While Mrs. Weaver sought to help
the boy, Bryan said, she was pinned j
between her car and that driven by
Henry Ballenger coming from the op
posite direction.
. . I
way of passenger, mail and express!
traffic. One especial feature is that i
by its use it is possible to give com
munltles remote from railroads ad
vantages in these departments of
traffic, at a small cost, as thc expense
of constructing such lines or elevated
roads Is far below that of railroads,
The Inventor expects to obtain a very
high rate of speed, not less than 50
or 60 miles an hour, with the possl
blllty of still greater. This line can
be constructed where railroads cannot
go—over mountains, vales and plains,
y any topographical situation
impossible for Its construction. !
"Should Weaver realize his expec-l
tarions in this invention, and success
Is prominent and promising, the mat- !
ter of rapid transit at cheap rates will j
have been obtained.
"This Is not Weaver's first attempt!
In the development of his inventive;
faculty, but it is the third ' invention I
on which he has secured letters of |
patent. He Is a gentleman of wide,
and comprehensive views, quick of I
observation, and a much-traveled;
man. During the 50 some years of hl» !
life he has visited and resided in :
nearly every portion of the. United!
states and the experience thus gained !
^as been appded to practical use. HI*
,ast Invention is destined to place]
hls name on the lht of 'he great in
pernors of America, and also give to
him rank as a prominent benefactor;
0{ his day."
GREAT PALLB—Frank Strauss. 35.
will recover, doctors said here, from
a shotgun wound In the side whlcn
Police Capt. A. L. Anderson described
as self-inflicted. Strauss was shot at
a ball park, and managed to stagger
quarter of a mile from the scene,
where a passing motorist gave him
"Throw Your Jacks
In Gunny Sacks
Unskinned White Jackrahhits
Cash on the Nose
14 Cents Each
Don't bother skinning—Ship by freight or haul them in
—One rabbit, a sackful, or a truckload. Remittances
mailed same day your shipment arrives.
Beckman Bros.
Special Prices
Paid for Large
Great Falls . . . Montana
Arthur H. Mueller, son of a
prominent pioneer family of Butte,
has Joined the Rrltish-Ameriran
Ambulance corps and Is await
ing orders to proceed to the
F.gyptian Sudan, where he will
serve as a driver on war duty. In
a telegram from New York city,
received by Alf C. Kreroer. the
Mining city native said that he
and a group of 25 members of the
corps are receiving Intense army
drill, first aid instruction and
practice with ambulances.
It was originally planned that the
group would leave New York on Dec.
but, according to the telegram,
I there has been delay In shipping am
; bulances. They may leave this month
j by plane, or In February by ship. It
I was reported.
j The drivers will serve with Oen.
Charles Do Gaulle's "free" French
! forces
; Mueller Ls 32 years old. He is a
i son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Arthur
H. Mueller, widely known early day
Butte residents He was born In the
Mining city His parents died when
j he was a child, but he and his broth
i er, Charles, now a resident of Los
Angeles, attended Butte schools, grad
j uatIng from Butte high school.
; Arthur Mueller, after leaving high
; school, attended Columbia university
! at Portland,
Ore., and later went
j abroad to study medicine, living in
Munich. Germany, for some time. He
1 then returned to the United States
and enrolled at Columbia university
in New York city. Later he returned
to Europe to do postgraduate work.
iWhen war was declared he was forced
1 to leave Munich, leaving his posse*
j skins and returning to the United
! States by way of India and the
( He visited In Butte for some time
»«riv ia« t
Mueller is expected to be valuable
j n the ambulance corps, as he speaks
German, French, Italian and Spanish,
i n addition to English, according to
KcckOnCU Sentenced
n\- vr •
10 t lît€€n I COTS in
In order to join the ambulance
corps, Mueller found it necessary to
get clearance through draft board No.
3 of Silver Bow county, as he was a
registrant under that board. His order
number is 50. Draft board officials
gave him permission to volunteer for
service in the ambulance corps.
Mueller's father had extensive in
terests In Butte, including ownership
of the old Centennial brewery.
Prison for Robbery
Alexander Keckonen. 38, ex-convict
of Montana and Utah prisons credited
with robbing of finance companies in
five Montana cities in recent months,
was sentenced to a 15-year full-term
sentence In the state penitentiary,
Judge C. E. Comer of Missoula
passed sentence In district court after
Keckonen had pleaded guilty to a
charge of robbery resulting from the
Sept. 10 holdup of a Missoula finance
company and to other crimes in this
state and Utah.
The Judge informed Keckonen the
sentence could not be suspended due
to two previous convictions on felony
H the sun were a hollow sphere,
thcre would be room to spare for the
to make it monthly trip around
the earth . inside of It.
..-■ -
Mother—Give Year CHILD
This Seme Expert Carol
At the first sign of the Dionne Quin
tuplets catching cold—their chests and
throats ara rubbed with Children'!
Mild Mueterole
promptly relieve the DISTRESS of
children*! colds and resulting coughs.
The Quints bava always had the
best of care, to mother—you may be
assured of using just about tho BEST
product mads when you nae Musterole.
ROHE than an ordinary "salve"—
warming, soothing Musterole helps
break up local congestion. Also made
in Regular and Extra Strength for
those preferring a stronger product.
a product made to

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