Neenah, Russell's Old Saddle Horse, Died Last Week
Charlie Russell, the Montana art
ist, lost one of his old friends last
week, and his heart was saddened.
It was Neenah, his saddle horse for
the past 18 years, who left Russell's
corral and departed over that lonely,
dark trail of mystery that man can
not follow, but which leads, Russell
believes, to green ranges where the
feed is always plenty and where the
creeks always run clear and cool.
Neenah was getting old, for it is
nearly 20 years since Russell bought
him from Young Boy, a Cree Indian
of Little Bear's wandering tribe, and
the horse was then around six years
old. Since Russell has had him, Nee
nah has led what might be called a
sheltered life, with light work, good
pasturage in the winter and plenty
of oats and hay when he was kept up
during the summer months,
his 26 years did not bear heavily up
on him, and aside from a growing un
steadiness on his feet, he was still a
serviceable animal and usually made
pretense that he was going to buck
whenever Russell saddled him up.
this refuge amid scenes similar to
"A rock slid away disclosing a
ed other bones—here a skull, there
a thigh, a jawbone or a leg.
whole hillside was littered with the
bones of men."
In this manner a Butte newspaper
describes his visit to the Twin
Buttes of Horse Prairie valley, sit
uated about 30 miles west of Arm
stead, and 100 miles southeast of
Tha Horse Prairie valley, In which
Lewis and Clark spent several days
while on their historic expedition,
contains other evidence of inhabita
tion by primitive races, for this valley
once was famous for its fish and
game and delightful climate and was
the happy hunting grounds for the
Indians of Montana.
Here they lived and died, and
fought in the savage wars
sometimes exterminated whole races.
The Twin Buttes which rise
abruptly out of the prairie at the
juncture of three small creeks prob
ably once witnessed a savage and
sanguinary battle, for, according to
tradition and mute testimony of de
caying bones, hundreds were slain.
Tribe Fled From Foes
From the pinnacle of the old bat
tleground, one can gain an unob
structed view of the surrounding
country for miles and miles and to
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This, however, was only a little joke
between Neenah and Russell, for the
horse had a gentle disposition and no
Russell had not ridden Neenah
since last spring, when the old horse
put his foot in a hole and fell, throw
ing Russell and breaking his right
wrist. However, as it looked like a
hard winter, Russell got Neenah in
from his pasture and kept him in the
barn and corral at his home in Great
Falls, where the old horse was found
dead one morning a week ago.
Russell has had several other fa
vorite saddle horses that he has kept
until old age claimed them. One was
Monte, a Pinto Indian pony that Rus
sell bought from the Blackfeet about
1880. Monte lived to be nearly 30
and died In a pleasant pasture near
Great Falls. Then there was a sorrel
horse, Red Bird; and a gray called
Gray Eagle. If the Indian belief is
a true one, these old friends of the
artist may be grazing together some
where on the prairies of the shadow
land, awaiting the coming of their
master to the happy hunting grounds.
those which have been made famous
in Russell's painting, a tribe once
fled to evade its foes.
Whether or not any escaped prob
ably will never be determined, for
history contains no mention of the
conflict. Only the skeletons remain
to tell of the tragedy.
The majority of the bones have
been burled beneath sliding rock, but
here and there, a hand, a foot or a
skull projects from the loose stone.
An occasional moccasin, a piece of
blanket, beads, eagles' claws, elk
teeth and arrow heads can be found.
When a Butte newspaper man vis
ited the old battlefield five years ago
scores of eagles' claws, arrow heads
and pieces of human bone were dis
covered and carried away as sou
Mrs. J. W. Scott of Armstead, who
has spent several years In Investi
gating Indian legends and in tracing
down obscure ends to early Montana
history, when told of the discovery,
said that the late H. H. Brown of
Grant, a little town which nestles in
the center of Horse Prairie valley,
once told her of passing the Twin
Buttes shortly after the battle or
"My attention was first attracted
to the buttes," Mr. Brown Is.report
ed having said, "by hundreds of buz
zards which were circling above the
hill. I watched them as they swoop
ed down and arose in droves. When
I came closer I saw that the hillside
was covered with bodies of Indian
Noted for Indian Relics
One of the skulls which was shown f
to a physician was, according to the
man of science, that of a youth, prob
ably not more than 10 years of age.
This Indicates that not only the war
riors, but. a whole tribe was mass
The Horse Prairie valley is noted
for its Indian relics. Near Armstead
there are traces of an old wall. Only
the tumble down ruins remain of
what once may have been fortifica
tions or some peculiar device for
slaughtering buffalo. West of the
Metlen ranch home either nature or
the hand of a redman has carved the
figure of a gigantic man upon the i
face of the hill-side. From a distance
of 10 miles the face of the redman,
with his war bannet and right hand
raised in defiance, is plainly discern
ible. Although the figure is believed
to be a freak of nature, man could
hardly Improve upon the picture,
which covers the entire side of the
MINER SETS TRAP
TO GUARD CABIN
FEARS FOR SAFETY OF OLD
TIMER CAUSES DISCOVERY
OF MAN KILLING DEVICE
Rifle Arranged So That Opening of
Door Would Pull Trigger and Send
Bullet Into Visitor; Proposed That
Any Thief Who Came .to Pilfer
Would Not Go Away.
Discovery of one of the greatest
man-traps and fool killers ever re
corded in the western states was
made by Joe Spurzem, chief of the
Helena police, Tom Daly, fire chief,
and two of his assistants, when they
entered the cabin of Jim Abbott, on
the site of the barn of the old Mosh
er dairy which a score of years ago
nestled against the slopes of Mount
Helena, 200 yards north of the "First
Cave. 1 '
Abbott had been missing a week
when it was severely cold and some
of the friends of the old prospector
wondered if he had been lost. The
city authorities went to his cabin to
see if he was there.
A sign on the door in neatly print
ed letters said: "Don't knock here.
Danger." The officials took the tip
in good faith, and it was wise that
they did SO. Instead of standing in
front of the door, they stepped to
one side and broke it down with a
fence post. The door went in with
a crash and as it fell the muzzle of
a 45-90 old-style Winchester repeat
ing rifle came into view.
The weapon was loaded, but not
cocked. It was arranged with a
piece of wire a quarter of an inch in
diameter, a circular spring and piece
of string, and when set would dis
charge the rifle at the lightest tap on
the door. It was believed by the po
lice, who did not find Abbott there,
that he put up the trap because of a
number of cabins which had been
broken into and pilfered.
After diligent inquiry it was learn
ed that Abbott left Helena for Kan
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DOOLEY IMPLEMENT CO. A. T. BERG,
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THE DOMESTIC ENGINEERING COMPANY. Maker* of Delco-Ught Product», DAYTON, OHIO
REVIEWS ITS WORK
GREAT FALLS PISH HATCHERY
IS BEING BUILT; WILL BE
COMPLETED NEXT SUMMER
Field Stations for the Collection of
Native Trout Eggs to be Opened
on Upper Madison Soon; Five Mil
lion Brook Fry to be Distributed
The members of the state game
and fish commission, at a meeting
held in Butte recently, reviewed the
work of the year.
The members of the commission
are J. L. DeHart of Helena, J. L.
Kelly of Anaconda, "Bud" Story of
Bozeman, M. D. Baldwin of Kalispell
and Thomas L. Marlow of Missoula.
Marlow succeeded William Bickford
of Missoula, who resigned prepara
tory to spending the winter in Cali
More than 5,000,000 brook trout
eggs are expected to be secured in
the course of the coming year, ac
cording to Superintendent of Hatch
eries Kelly. Plans for improvement
of the various stations were discus
sed at the meeting to care for the
increased scope of the work.
Among the improvements planned
a new water system for the Hebgen
dam hatchery, and a new grayling
battery for the Anaconda station. The
new grayling battery will enable the
station to handle four or five times
the number of grayling handled in
It was also voted to start construc
tion of a residence for the foreman of
the station at Emigrant in Park coun
ty, as soon as weather conditions will
permit. A garage, ice house, work
shop and a store room for fish food
will also be built.
Work on the new Great Falls sta
tion, the gift of the Montana Power
company to the state, is progressing
satisfactorily, Mr. Kelly said, and is
expected to be completed next sum
Field stations for collection of
eggs of native trout will be opened
on the upper Madison and its tribu
taries soon, Mr
Another field si ition will be opened
near the Emigrant station.
He gave out some interesting fig
ures on the number of fish liberated
by the various hatcheries during the
last year. The Anaconda hatchery
liberated 3,340,000 fry, 169,000 Chin
ook salmon, 2,304,000 brook trout,
1,730,000 native trout and 1,264,000
rainbow trout. Through the cooper
ation of the United States bureau
fisheries, the McAllister hatchery
liberated 445,800 brook trout, plant
ing them in Meadow lake. The Heb
gen hatchery liberated 60,000 native
and rainbow trout. The report from
the Somers station has not yet been
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