Yellowstone County MTGenWeb







Yellowstone County Biographies



 

“The Peckham Family”

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Peckham family is inter-related with the Walk, Newman and Cooper “Eastern Montana Pioneer Families” of Yellowstone County. Following is a short bio and photo collection of this family and some of the important people in his life and the fun they had achieving their goals. Samuel Hall Peckham, owner of the Rocking Horse Stables is the main subject of this article. [Click on small photos to bring up a more detailed information sheet copied from the family album*.]

 

 

 

FIRST GENERATION

 

1.  Alice Walk PECKHAM was born on October 31, 1935.

               

 

SECOND GENERATION

 

2.  John Walk PECKHAM (Jack) was born on August 29, 1912.  He died on September 9, 1987 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.  John was a salesman for E. M. Birley Company in 1935. He and his wife Dorothy resided at 624 N 31st Street, Apt 14. In 1937 the moved to 2815 - 7th Ave N, Apt #3. He managed the Peckham's Nash Comp any, 1201 1st Ave N in Billings. His wife, Dorothy was Sec-Treasurer, and his mother; Alice (widow of William B. Peckham) was Vice President. In 1956 Jack was residing at 2418 Sunnyview Lane. When Jack enlisted in the Navy for WWII the family moved into the Hedgemere Apartments located at 2815 - 7th Ave. N, in Billings. (Owned by W. B. Peckham.) [Ref: POLK Directory]

 

3.  Dorothy Lucille SMART was born on January 5, 1912.  Resided in Gillette, WY (2005) with daughter, Alice Bratton. 

John Walk PECKHAM (Jack) and Dorothy Lucille SMART had the following children:

 

              1                      i.    Alice Walk PECKHAM.

                                     ii.    Dorothy Ann PECKHAM was born on January 22, 1941.

 

 

 

THIRD GENERATION

 

4.  William Blanchard PECKHAM was born on February 7, 1882 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  He died on January 4, 1948 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.  William was a manufacturer jeweler. He lived at 1860 Poly Drive (considered to be a summer home). After living in New York for 26 years after his marriage, he and Alice returned to Billings in 1935, after the stock market crash.

 

Died from (Coronary Thrombosis) and is buried in Mountview.  He was married to Alice Jean WALK on November 25, 1909 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.

 

5.  Alice Jean WALK was born on March 6, 1879 in Riverbend, CO.  She died on October 16, 1959 in Columbus, MT.  1954-1855 Alice was president of the Billings Chamber of Commerce. Shortly after her birth she arrived in Yellowstone Valley with her parents.  After attending the Billings area schools, and attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart at St. Louis, MO. She returned to Billings and received her teaching certificate in 1898. She taught at the Elder Grove, Klein (out of Roundup), and the Newman Schools. She resided on a homestead south of Laurel. She then enrolled in the Boston Conservatory of Music in Boston. To assist her in music, her father had a miniature Steinway Grand Piano shipped from Chicago, and she began to teach voice and piano. It was tin Boston that she met William B. Peckham; William was in the jewelry business in North Attaboro, MA. Together they returned to Billings and were married in her family home 707 N 28th Street. They returned to New York, where they spent 26 years. She made annual trips back to Billings each year. (From Jack Peckham)

 

She was a member of the Pioneers of Eastern Montana, holding several positions and became President in the 1954 election year. She went by the name of "Alice Walk Peckham" in honor of her ancestry causing some confusion with the naming of her daughter "Alice Walk Peckham." After her death, she was buried in Mountview Cemetery on Oct 19, 1959.

 

 

Reference: Death Certificate record. (Birth listed sometimes erroneously listed as 9 March 1875)  William Blanchard PECKHAM and Alice Jean WALK had the following children:

 

              2                      i.    John Walk PECKHAM (Jack).

 

 

 

FOURTH GENERATION

 

8.  John Hathway PECKHAM (Jack) was born on July 15, 1856 in Newport, RI.  He died in 1941 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  NOTES FROM PERSONAL RECORD WRITTEN BY J H PECKHAM (Provided by Michael Brown - 2005)

 

“John Hathaway Peckham Born Newport, RI July 15 1856 Left there June 6 1873 Went to New York to read law. Not for me-although stuck to it for 5 months and realized I was not fitted for it. Came to No. Attleboro for a visit in Aug 1874 and connected with a job (F.B. and C. F. Rich ards) as an apprentice in a plate shop for 3 years at 10 cents-12 1/2 cents-15 cents year (ho ur?). E. Ira Richards Sr came into the firm on Jan 1st 1875. Told I might have to pick apple s for a while but did not. Raised to 11 cents after six months. Proud of this as it was unsolicited. Worked there 3 years, although I never heard of any other apprentice in a plate shop- 10 cents per hour-59 hours per week-$5.50 per week for board. 1876-Sept-Had Typhoid fever-wen t to Newport for one month. Delirious when I arrived there, Sept 1st. returned to No Attle. S ept 30. Tom Short had gone to Centennial in Philadelphia for one week, but stayed for 3 weeks. When I returned from Newport, Mr Frank Richards thought I better work in the office for a while, as I was rather weak. NY office saw different handwriting on the bills, and when they learned the cause, Mr E Ira Richards Sr fired me, which provoked Mr FBR.  Put in as assistant foreman about this time and figured cost of goods. At end of apprenticeship was paid 22 cents per hour. It was about here somewhere, that E Ira Richards fired me because I went to work for E F (J?) Franklin Co to make lockets. Worked for them 14 month and went back to E Ira Richards Co. Worked 18 years in all for E Ira Richards and Co. Apr 5 1881- was called in office to take the place vacated by Tom Short. Married Dec 24-1878 E I F and Co. Out of work three months following marriage. 1893-Left E Ira Richards and Co to start business. Bought bankrupt business of Sandland Palmer and Co for 10,000, which was supposed to pay all bills and have 1000 dollars in bank to work with. Gave E Ira Richards and Co a week notice. Worked it out and left. Signed up with Sandland Palmer and Co for 8 years, supposed to be backed by Riley (Roley?) and French. (Backing was at the start only). After working the week notice with E Ira Richards and Co went to the S and Palmer place. Found the 10,000 dollars-all paid out and balance of 2500 dollars balance of unpaid bills. Checks signed by Sandlands. Sandlands Palmer and Co was making silver novelties. Bad panic all the year 1893. Bought the French and Franklin business for 4,447 dollars. This was one of the R and F concerns. Found backing was no good and realized that we would be unable to buy any new silver dies for samples (this was for retail trade) and decided our only salvation to make jewelry for jobbing trade. Changed to jobbing trade and built up a business which required 48 hands when the 8 years expired, and when after 8 years among the trade was fairly well known, I guess R And F got the impression they would like to have the business, which they got, BUT NOT THE NAME. They learned this when too late. So I was out again with 100.00 dollars. Went to Chicago. Thinking I had had enough of No Attleboro, stayed there 3 weeks. Came back and started John H Peckham and Sons April 15 1901- backed financially by Nile? Fisher (24,000 dollars without security or interest), which was paid back to him later.[Note: He went by the name of Jack, and took several pictures of the Billings area in the 1900's.]  He was married to Harriet E BLANCHARD (Hattie) on December 24, 1878 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.

 

9.  Harriet E BLANCHARD (Hattie) was born about 1858 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  She died in 1930 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  John Hathway PECKHAM (Jack) and Harriet E BLANCHARD (Hattie) had the following children:

 

                                      i.    Infant PECKHAM was born in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  He (or she) died in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.

                                     ii.    Charles Sherman PECKHAM was born in 1880 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  He died on October 11, 1935 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  The 1910 Census reports his age to be 27, and living in Fall River, Ma. On the 1930 Federal Census, Charles S. Peckham is listed in Bristol, Massachusetts, and District 198. Age 50, Born in Massachusetts, and reported to be Head of Family. Rev. Lewis J. Davison married he and Hazel Hall at the University of Pennsylvania Parsonage. According to his Obituary (Attleboro News paper (January 1931):

 

                                            "CHARLES PECKHAM DIES AT CAPE (copied as written)

 

                                            Death claimed a revered North Attleboro citizen and an outstanding figure in the jewelry world this morning when Charles Sherman Peckham, member of the J H Peckham & Sons, Inc., passed a way at his summer home in Pocasset, Ma. The end came after an extended illness of several months. Me. Peckham, who had been an active, progressive and energetic businessman, suffered a breakdown in health early in the year and gradually declined, death coming peacefully to him i n the early hours of the morning. Members of his family were with him at the time of his death.

 

                                            A native of North Attleboro, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Peckham, he spent practically al l of his life here. In his youthful days he loved adventure and was a graduate for the Nautical School, The Enterprise. Love of the sea always claimed him and his recreative days were spent in Pocasset on the Cape.

 

                                            He entered his father's jewelry firm after leaving school and for several years was on the ro ad for the concern. He later took over the business and supervised it upon the retiral of hi s father.

 

                                            There was no more likable, popular or esteemed man in the jewelry business then "Charlie" Peckham, as he was familiarly known. Those who travelled with him, cherished his companionship: those who competed with him in business, admired him for his integrity and fair dealing, an d those who worked for him, appreciated his kindness and selfcitude.

 

                                            A friendly man of outstanding qualities, he leaves behind a legion of bereaved friends. Frate rnally he was affiliated with Bristol Lodge of Masons and North Attleboro Lodge of Elks. He l eaves his father, John H. Peckham: a son Samuel Hill (Hall) Peckham: a sister Mildred Peckham, and two brothers, John H. Peckham Jr. of North Attleboro and William Peckham of New York."

              4                    iii.    William Blanchard PECKHAM.

                                    iv.    Mildred PECKHAM was born about 1886 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  She died on June 23, 1969 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.

                                     v.    Harry T PECKHAM was born about 1888 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  He died in 1919 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.

                                    vi.    John Hathway PECKHAM Jr. was born about 1896 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.  He died on August 16, 1970 in North Attleboro, Bristol, MA.

 

10.  John Jacob WALK [1880 - Canyon Creek] was born on October 18, 1847 in Harrison County, IN.  He died on October 4, 1935 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.  John was the youngest in the family, and his father refused to let him enlist, so he decided to go west. By 1871 he had saved enough money to buy a team and wagon. He joined up with his brother Martin at Liberty, MO, where an emigrant train was forming. It was there that he met his future wife, Emmaline Davis, who was travelling with her sister, Mrs. Martin Walk. Within two weeks they married, and honeymooned on the trek to Pueblo.

 

Immediately after marriage, the two couples (John & Martin Walk and their brides) continued west in a prairie schooner. They were on the trail west for three months, and after reaching Pueblo, Co settled down for a while. There his wife had her first terrifying encounter with an Indian: "While resting, an Indian came into her home. She awoke, and started to laugh. This startled the Indian, and in his departure he said, Heap, brave squaw." In 1880 they came to Montana, and within two months located in Billings.

 

Note: Another biography (undated and unsigned) states that he "came west by wagon train from North Carolina in 1871. On the wagon train he met and married Emmaline Davis (from Virginia.) He settled in Colorado, but came to Montana in 1878. He and his family first lived in the Canyon Creek area on what is now the Hesper Farm. He was in the cattle business. ... Later, in 1883 he moved to Billings, building a house at 708 N. Broadway." According to Alice Peckham's bio provided from same source, she arrived in Montana in 1878. These arrival dates are in error and should be 1880. Refer to Alice Walk Peckham bio in the Gazette (two pages) - date c 1940.

 

At first they settled in Canyon Fork, the land of which later became part of their ranch when the nearby town of Canyon Creek vanished. Settling the area, along with them at Canyon Creek, were George Danford, Dan Sullivan and Frank Summers. They were all neighbors of "Calamity Jane ." For a short while the town had a post office, stage stop, a boarding house & saloon operated by Sid Erwin, two other buildings, and the blacksmith shop owned by W. A. Allen. It was probably from this shop that Allen first noted the Indian tree burials to the east of Sacrifice Cliff-probably just north of the Indian Caves. (Allen personal note file.)

 

They built their family home at 708 North 28th Street in 1884 and were one of the first to do so. Water was delivered by Ed. O'Donnell for $.50 a barrel. (Is this I.D.?) Occasionally there were fish in the water! The first social event in their new home was the marriage of Miss Lucy Baker, school teacher at Canyon Creek, to Samuel R. Salsbury, rancher. John and Ellis started a cattle roundup, called "Yellowstone Round-up", where, each spring and fall the local ranchers would collect (roundup) the calves for branding or for market. They had corrals located in Lake Basin. They finished up the drive by crossing over into the Crow Reservation, and driving back the strays that wandered over. Sam Garvin was foreman on many of these treks. John was an experienced roper, and few could beat him at the game.

 

John became a close friend of Chief Plenty Coups, and early in his marriage he forgot to tell his wife, that any time he came to visit, it was okay. He had arranged a' private signal' with her so that his wife would know all was okay. The signal was for the Chief "to show his watch." This meant that all was fine, and he could enter their home and eat. Unfortunately, John failed to tell his wife about the arrangement! His wife, whom had been plagued with begging Crows, didn't permit Chief Plenty Coups in upon his first visit. Obviously, the Chief was greatly offended! When John found out about the error he made, he explained it to his wife; they invited the Chief over for dinner, saving their friendship. The two became very good friends. When their daughters were old enough to enjoy luxuries, the Chief fixed their hair in the manner of the Crow maidens, and added a yellow paint mark down the parting. This he called "Itsek Bot-sets," meaning Crow for "very good."

 

When the Northern Pacific Railroad came to the area in 1882, John secured a contract to provide beef to the construction crew for $16 a head. There was little profit from the adventure since buffalo hunters would provide cheaper meat. In Lake Basin, things got real bad, and the rabbits ate virtually all of the range grass. This forced the cattlemen to find other range lands. During this tile frame Nelson Story brought in 1600 head followed by the Cook Brothers and Dan Flowree herds. After the rabbit incident many of the cattle were found foraging on leased Crow land in the Blue Creek and Pryor Creek areas (South Hills). In addition to the cash payments, the Indians expected "gifts" of fresh beef. To remain in good graces, this was an accepted custom. In 1886 John constructed the Grand Hotel, the city's first brick hotel. This hotel was later renamed the General Custer Hotel, and sold to David Fratt.

 

John and partner, A. A. Ellis, in 1880 brought their first herd of cattle from Oregon to the Lake Basin, taking more than three months to trail the herd into Montana. The herd was the first to be turned loose onto the "Open Range" land in Yellowstone Valley. [Arriving a year earlier in 1879, was Thomas McGirl & Hoskins trailing their first cattle herd into Montana. ] Their families stayed in Bozeman while the men herded the cattle into Montana. His brand was called W-bar, and resembled a "W". His herds of horses on the Canyon Creek area were branded 16 -. After settling in, John hunted buffalo to get a little more cash. His record kill was 38 in one day. For the hides, after curing, he received $2.75 each. The place where he cured the hides became known as "Walks Camp. " It was located at the headwaters of the Republican River. In 1883 he and his partner trailed another 2,000 head of cattle into the territory. [A.A. Ellis later moved to Red Lodge, establishing his residence there.] His first land acquisition was located in S29, T1S, R25E. After two years there he sold the property to Frederick Billings. His next land acquisition was N1/2SW Section 28, T1N, R26E.

 

In the 1890's, he and Fratt went to the Boulder Mining boom, and became interested in the North Star Mine. He spent one winter there, supervising two crews of workers. He also established a stage line from Big Timber to the three relay stations that led to the mines. At one time, there were 1,500 men at the mines. In 1893, hard times hit again, and the mining boom collapsed. John said "the only thing I got out of the mine was a gold ring for me and my wife, and a cough that I've had ever since." He sold his stage line that led to the Dakotas, but the money he received was so little that he had to borrow money to get back home.

 

[The above biography was compiled in part from the personal interviews conducted by I.D. O'Donnell in 1929, and the historical background of his life presented in "History of Montana, by Joaquin Miller, 1894"]

 

John grew to manhood in Indiana, where he received a common-school education. In 1866 he went to Kansas, where he was engaged for four years in farming and stock raising.   He was married to Emmaline DAVIS [1880 - Canyon Creek] on February 16, 1871 in Liberty, MO.  She and her sister, Dorena, were married in a double ring ceremony at the same time.

 

11.  Emmaline DAVIS [1880 - Canyon Creek] was born on October 26, 1849 in Sisterville, VA.  She died on May 17, 1937 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.  She died in her daughter's home (Mrs. Sayer) at 703 North Broadway. She had been quite ill for some time. When she first came to Montana, she waited for her husband to bring the cattle from Oregon through. When she saw him approaching the Gallatin River she rushed over, and in the excitement, became dizzy and fell into the swift moving stream. Two cowboys, on the others side, saw her fall in and rushed over to the other side and brought her to safety.

 

MT State death Certificate #35858. Mountview records have typo as April, should be May.  John Jacob WALK [1880 - Canyon Creek] and Emmaline DAVIS [1880 - Canyon Creek] had the following children:

 

                                      i.    Edith E. WALK was born on February 6, 1876 in Walk Camp, CO.  She died on October 1, 1964 in Billings, Yellowstone Co., MT.  She and her parents arrived in Yellowstone valley when she was four years old.

              5                     ii.    Alice Jean WALK.

 

 

 

FIFTH GENERATION   had the following children:

 

          8       i.        John Hathway PECKHAM (Jack).

                                ii.             Abraham WALK was born in North Carolina.  He was born and reared in North Carolina, where he married, and in 1812, with his wife moved in a cart to the Territory of Indiana. He took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe under General Harrison.

                                iii.            Joel NEWMAN was born on March 22, 1778 in Deleware County, New York.  He died on October 6, 1866.

                                iv.            George Frederick COOPER was born in 1759 in York, PA.  He died on October 27, 1841 in Monticello, VA.  He enlisted in the Revolutionary forces under Captain Lart, at York, Pennsylvania, in 1777, a t the age of seventeen. See AFN:Inquery-4df. Details match the Oregon Book on the Coopers. He ha d 10 children. Henry was the 6th.

 

18.  Herbert Hartwell BLANCHARD. 

 

19.  Sarah Jane THURSTON.  Herbert Hartwell BLANCHARD and Sarah Jane THURSTON had the following children:

 

              9                      i.    Harriet E BLANCHARD (Hattie).

 

20.  Joseph Alexander WALK was born in Indiana.  He was born and reared in Indiana and reared a large family. Two of his sons, Andrew and Martin, served in the Federal Army during the Civil War, in the Army of the Potomac, and in the Third Indiana Cavalry. Another son, Francis M. served during the Civil War in the Twelfth Indiana Battery, which was stationed for a time at Fort Negley. Later, he was transferred to a steam-powered war vessel on the Mississippi River.

 

Note: Children order of birth not corrected! John was noted as being the youngest,

 

21.  Mary Olive CRANDALL.  Joseph Alexander WALK and Mary Olive CRANDALL had the following children:

 

            10                      i.    John Jacob WALK [1880 - Canyon Creek].

                                     ii.    Peter WALK was born in Germany.

                                    iii.    Samuel WALK was born in Germany.

                                    iv.    Cinderilla Ellen WALK was born in 1864 in Indiana.

                                     v.    Martin WALK. 

 

22.  Samuel DAVIS.  In 1871 the family traveled to Missouri, and became members of the Congregational Church. Sam uel was a native of Pennsylvania and a farmer and stockman. He had two sons, Frank and James , who enlisted in the Federal Army and one son (Hiram) a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army c ommanded by Sterling Price. Frank was shot from his horse and killed by a bushwhacker while t he animal was drinking near Paris, Missouri.

 

23.  Mrs. (DAVIS).  Samuel DAVIS and Mrs. (DAVIS) had the following children:

 

            11                      i.    Emmaline DAVIS [1880 - Canyon Creek].

                                     ii.    Frank DAVIS died in Paris, MO.  Killed by a bushwhacker near Paris, MO.

                                    iii.    James DAVIS. 

                                    iv.    Hiram DAVIS died in Paris, MO.

 

 

 

SIXTH GENERATION

 

40.  Abraham WALK was born in North Carolina.  He was born and reared in North Carolina, where he married, and in 1812, with his wife moved in a cart to the Territory of Indiana. He took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe under General Harrison.  He was married to Mrs. Abraham (WALK) about 1812 in North Carolina.

 

41.  Mrs. Abraham (WALK).  Abraham WALK and Mrs. Abraham (WALK) had the following children:

 

            20                      i.    Joseph Alexander WALK.

 

 

 

SEVENTH GENERATION

 

 

From the Peckham Files, the following was obtained:

 


Winn E. Dowlin, born November 12, 1872 in Dayton, MN (son of William Morrell Dowlin-NH, and Louisa Kimball-OH) arrived in Billings before 1914, and soon thereafter entered into partnership with CW Seig to manufacture bricks. Their plant was located about one mile east of the “East Bridge” that crossed the Yellowstone River. Their firm was called “Dowlin & Seig.” Dowlin roomed at the Commercial Hotel. Two years later William Lavelle acquired Seig’s share of the business firm, and the name was changed to Dowlin & Lavelle.” Three years later he owned the yard outright, and had established another one in Forsythe, operated by his brother. He moved his lodging to the Hedgemere Apartments. He then married Fannie Anderson on March 11, 1917 in Livingston and in or about that same year joined the Billings Commercial Club. He was its 2nd president. From 1917 to 1937 he was Chairman of the Club’s “Good Road” Committee. In 1921 he was elected State Representative for Yellowstone County, and in 1923 was made Chairman of the Republican Committee. He sold his Billings’ brickyard in 1941, four years before his death on January 13, 1945. At time of his death he was co-owner of the Sylvan Lounge[1] in Billings with Thomas Thain, where Samuel Peckham, subject of this article, attended bar.

Alvin Adelbert Parshall born 26 Jul 1915 in Manderson, WY (Son of Ray Alvin Parshall, NE and Gertrude Mauga Kunsch, MN) enjoyed the difficult sport of Bronco Riding. Shy as he was, you can tell he has his mind set on getting onto Gold Dollar, one of the finest horses in the county. On 10 July 1950, while competing for prize money at the Turk Greenough Rodeo Grounds, one mile east of Billings, he suffered a spinal injury, and died on the spot.

 

           


Alice Greenough busted broncos and busted ranks in the macho world of rodeoing. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and named to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. She was, hands down, the first rodeo queen. Born in 1902 in Red Lodge on her family's horse and cattle ranch, Greenough learned to ride horses from her father, whose philosophy, she was fond of telling reporters, was: "If you can't ride 'em, walk." She first began riding bucking horses at public venues in 1919 on a dare by a handful of cowboys at the Forsyth rodeo. "These cowboys decided I ought to ride a bucking horse, so they brought over a gray bronco and saddled him and turned me loose in front of the grandstand," Greenough wrote in a personal essay. "I didn't buck off." That was the beginning of Greenough's lifelong wild ride that would take her to rodeos in New York's famous Madison Garden, to Boston, and on to trick riding around the world. Alice won titles in America, Australia and was invited to Europe to ride steers there - she thought," said Coy Huffman, a close friend of Greenough's. "But when she arrived in Spain she found the word Toro meant bull. But Alice kept her contract ... and rode the bull." Her skills as a horsewoman gained her an international following that included royalty, and the friendship of American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey and well-known socialites, including Cornelius Vanderbilt. She bumped into the Hollywood set when she performed trick riding in numerous westerns, including a 1937 film, "The Californians," and did stunt work on the TV series "Little House on the Prairie."
Alice died in 1995 at the age of 93.
By BETSY COHEN of the Missoulan Monuments


Pictured on the left, Alice is talking over the exciting rodeo events with her friend, Sally Rand

Jack Bisenius just completing his maintenance task.

Irma Grill in Cody had a real sponsor in the ‘30’s. This is Irma before she could cook!

Jack Peckham took this picture in the early 1900’s. Notice how easily the Crow Indians cross the Yellowstone River. The location was not recorded, but was presumably in the Billings area, near to Bitter Creek. In 1894 the original South Bridge was constructed in January by the Billings Business Company. This was the only bridge for foot and wagon crossings in the area until 1905 when the first East Bridge was built. Normally during the low water times, people would ford the river at convenient places. The more prominent ones were: near the Bitter Creek confluence walking across the remnants of Ramsey’s Rapids (Hell Roaring Rapids), near to the old James Cooper place east of the old South Bridge (not too far from where Josephine Park is located)[2], and near to where the Washington Street (South Bridge) was later constructed.

Alice Jean Walk, [provided by Jack Peckham], when she was a teacher at the Newman School. It was shortly after this that she went to Boston to further her music career. (See above for biography.) Picture taken 1897 when she taught at the second log cabin school. The school was located on Charles Newman’s farm,

Sam Peckham (from his album) took this picture of Northwest Airlines Flight after departing from Billings for St. Paul on Friday morning, 9 July 1938. The twin-engine Electra-14 (Lockheed Zephyr) stalled during takeoff and pilot Walt Bullock, veteran of 22 years flight experience, was unable to control the craft. It crashed into the side of the rims. The Safety board listed one death; the Gazette reported that two had died in the crash.

 

 

* Photos and Family History courtesy of Michael Brown, San Antonio, Texas 2005



[1] The Lounge was located at 20 N 27th Street. It had various occupants over the years: 1927-AW Doyle, soft drinks; Ludwig Haberreiter, restaurant; Joseph Stepanik, barber. 1929-30:  vacant. 1932: Martin Steph, soft drinks. 1934:vacant. 1937: Great Western Inn & beer parlor, Lou J. Johnson, restaurant. At 14 27th Street the Cozy Theater was operating in 1927.

[2] At this crossing, in the late summer of 1946, the water level was about one foot deep and easy to cross.  The river rocks had a lot of moss on the, making the trek very slippery.

by Cleve Kimmel




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