Newspaper Transcripts for Sanders County
Some Pre-Date the County


The Times (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 28 Apr 1884, Mon
(Before Sanders county was created)

Wonderful Discoveries of Gold.

Thompson's Falls, Montana, April 27,--Wonderful discoveries of gold are made daily at the Coeur d'Alene gold fields. Two hundred ounces were shipped outward via Thompson's Falls on Saturday.


Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) 18 Jun 1884, Wed
(Before Sanders county was created)

At Thompson's Falls Montana, the rope of a ferry boat broke and the boat was sent over the Falls. The following is the list of the drowned men: J. Stout, Paul Ducharme, and a Frenchman by the name of Denaut.



The Delta Herald (Delta, Pennsylvania) 20 Jun 1884, Fri
(Before Sanders county was created)
South and West.

Eleven men were crossing the river in a small boat at Thompson's Falls, Montana, when the cable parted and the boat was swept over the falls. Nine of the eleven men were drowned, and two other men on shore in attempt to rescue them also lost their lives.


The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) 1 Sep 1905, Fri


Special Dispatch to the Standard.

Helena, Aug. 31- Attorney General Galen to-day handed down an opinion relating to the power of county commissioners to contract indebtedness before the legal existence of a county. The commissioners of Sanders county desire to purchase books of record before the date of the creation of the county. Mr. Galen says the commissioners may act informally in the purchase of the books and supplies needed before the date fixed for the beginning of the county government, and afterward they may approve the indebtedness and order the bills paid.


The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) 24 Oct 1905, Tue




Will have charge of the ceremonies attending placing of corner stone of an edifice at Thompson Falls. School children to help.

Missoula. Oct. 23-- Improvements still continue to be made at Thompson Falls and since the creation of Sanders county the town has undergone so many changes for the better that it seems to be entirely new. Among other things, a new church is to be built by the Methodists, and the date has already been set for the laying of the corner stone. The Sanders County Ledger has the following to say regarding it:
"The arrangements for the ceremony of laying the corner stone for the new M. E. church at Thompson next Tuesday are practically completed. Rev. Edward Smith of Helena, presiding elder of this district will be in Thompson on Tuesday, Oct. 21, to officiate at the ceremony. The ritual as provided by the Methodist church will be used, and it is expected that he will deliver an address. The ceremony will take place about 3:30 p.m., and music for the occasion will be under the supervision of D.V. Herrlott. The school children, under Prof. F.M. Vanell, will be present in a body, and the event will doubtless attract a large gathering.
"The elder will deliver an address in the evening at the Odd Fellows' hall at 8 o'clock, and it is confidently hoped that all who are interested in the building or the church here will be present at this meeting. The elder is a fine speaker, and will undoubtedly be greeted by a most satisfactory attendance."



Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) 28 Feb 1906, Wed

Sanders County to Become the Twenty-Seventh in the State Tomorrow -- County Seat is Thompson.

The County Officers

Thursday, March 1, the county of Sanders, the latest child of Missoula county, will assume its own government and the appointed officers will take up their duties at the temporary county seat at Thompson. Everything is in readiness for the reception of the county officials there and the citizens of Thopson propose tomake the occasion a memorable one. Sanders county was created by an act of the Ninth legislative assembly, which provided both for the temporary county seat and the officers to serve until the next regular election.

The officers named, all of whom, with possibly one exception, willaccept the appointment and take up their dutied Thursday, are: W.R. Beamish, C.H. Rittenour, both of Plains, and W.A. Beebe of Heron, county commissioners; S.L. Vanderpool of Plains, treasureer; C.F. Baker of Plains, sheriff; D.W. Brown, Trout Creek, assessor; L.E. Smith of Plais, clerk of the court; H.R. Stephens of Plains, county clerk and recorder; H.C. Shultz of Plains, county attorney; Miss Beulah Wheeler of Plains, superintendent of schools; L. Helterline of Plains, public administrator, and Dr. C.B. Lebeher, coroner.

Col. J.A. McGowan of Plains has been rightfully styled the father of Sanders county, as he began the agitation as early as 1884. Principally through his efforts the matter was brought to a head by the state legislature last year, and, although his plans were not adopted in detail by that body, the main features as he had outlined them were accepted. One of the changes which has met with general approbation was in teh anme, that of Pradise, as proposed, being changed to Sanders, in honor of the late Wilbur F. Sanders.

Six years ago Colonel McGowan started an agitation for the creation of a new county out of the west end of Missoula county. He got no encouragement, but with bulldog tenacity held on to the proposition, believing that the territory was so remote that it would be advantageous to the old county as well as the new, and in 1904 J.M. Self was elected a representative from the west end practically on this issue. A strong effort was made during the session of legislature for county division, but the proposition was defeated.

Colonel McGowan, realizing that the measure could not be brought about through the republican party, was successful in having a resolution put through the democratic party convention held in Missoula in 1904 pledging the movements of the democratic party if successful at the polls to support for county division. This put the republican party up against the real thing, the result of which was the creation of Sanders county.

In organizing the new county the manager of the republican party insisted on a fair division of the spoils, and Sentator Donlan was given his choice of taking the temporary coutny seat or naming the officers. He accepted the former proposition, making Thompson the temporary county seat, and Colonel McGowan named the officers.

The assessed valuation of Sanders county is 21 1-20 per cent of that of Missoula county, but the fraction will probably be dropped and 21 percent used as a basis for the final settlement. This means that Sanders county must meet 21 per cent of the indebtedness now standing against both counties less 21 per cent of the agreed valuation of real and personal property which Missoula county will retain, this property, consisting principally of the courthouse, jail, pesthouse, detention hospital and county poor foarm, estimated in rough figures to be of the value of $45,000.

According to the financial statement of Missoula county, issued November 30, 1905, including the county expenses of the last quarter, the total indebtedness of the county was $216,125. The difference between the receipts of the county and its expenses, during December and January, 1905, and Januart, 1906, will be added to this amount, making the total indebtedness on March 1 approximate $225,000. Twenty-one per cent of his amount, less 21 per cent of the value of the property which Missoula county will retain, will make the total indebtedness to be assumed by Sanders county approximate $35,000.

Thompson, the town which will be the county seat of Sanders county, at least until the next general exection in November, 1906, when the matter is to be determined and a permanent place selected, is one of the most picturesque little towns of the west, with about 300 inhabitants. Situated on the banks of the Clark's fork of the Columbia river and only a few hundred feet from the falls from which the place derives its name and which hum a constant lullaby to the inhabitants, speaking of power which is destined to be harnessed and used to advance various enterprises of the community. Thompson is admired by many from the west end and is held before the public as a place which is surrounded by so many natural resources that it must in time become a city of considerable size.

Thompson came into existence and became known as a town in 1884 during the Couer d'Alene maining excitement, and was at that time a great outfitting point for that district, there being more than 2,000 inhabitants in the town at that time. When this excitement died out the town of course dwindled away, for no attempt was tehn being made in this portion of the country to develop any of the natural resources, such as timber and agriculture. The last five years, however, have seen a great change in the town, and many business men have shown their faith in its future by building up the business district with substantial brick blocks, the building brick having been manufactured at the Thompson pottery plant, another of the natural products of the place.

The building which has been fitted up for the county courthouse occupies an imposing site in the north part of the town on a rise of ground overlooking the whole valley.

The largest and most progressive town of the new county is that of Plains, situated on the main line of the Northern Pacific, about 80 miles west of Missoula. The town is the center of a large farming area and will be the gateway to that ortion of the Flathead reservation soon bto be thrown open which lies in Sanders county. The population of Plains will easily reach the 500 mark, and the fact that it maintains four large general merchandis stores, two hotels, a nation bank and many other small enterprises speaks for the volume of business which is transacted at this point. Until the last few months the business district of the place has been confined to one street on the east side of the railroad, but recently a new business street has been building up on the west side and eight new store buildings and a large flour mill have been constructed here. The business men of Plains believe their town to be the logical point for the permanent seat of the new county and are already planning a hard fight to secure the selection of their town when the matter will become a principal issue of the next general election there next fall.



Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) 15 Mar 1906, Thu


Member of the Sanders Family Has the First Warrant of County Named After Their Father.

Special to The Daily Tribune.

Helena, March 14.--James U. Sanders is the proud possessor of warrant No. 1 issued by Sanders county, the youngest of the sisterhood of Montana counties, and which was named in honor of his illustrious father.

Mr. Sanders went from Helena to Thompson at the time of the official creation of the new company as a representative of the Sanders family. He was more than delighted to receive through the mails today the first warrant issued by the county. The warrant is for "services rendered," and in amount calls for $1.

The warrant has on its face a splendid likeness of the well known citizen-statesman after whom the county was named, and is signed by the officials as required by law. While it would undoubtedly be accepted at its face value at any bank in the state, it is highly improbable that the new county will ever be called upon to pay it, Mr. Sanders having announced his intention of keeping it as a memento of his visit to Thompson.



Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) 23 Apr 1915, Fri


Missoula, April 22.-- Gerald Yound former county attorney of Sanders county and democratic candidate for state senator from the same county last fall, was found to be insane at a hearing in Thompson Falls, his home, today. Before the hearing there was a near tragedy enacted when Young became violent and attacked County Attorney Wade Parks.



The Leavenworth Post (Leavenworth, Kansas) Sat, Oct 2, 1909


An Entire Family is Arrested for Counterfeiting.

Thompson Falls, Mont., Oct. 2. The Sheriff's officers of Bonner county, Idaho, and Sanders county, Montana, have raided a cabin near Trout Creek, Mont., and discovered a quantity of counterfeit money and a complete counterfeiting plant as a result of which J.S. Lee, president of the Burnt Forest Mining company, his wife and son, John, were arrested.

Another son, Henry was arrested in Sand Point, Idaho, several days ago for attempting to pass bad money and his arrest led to the unearthing of the counterfeiting plant five miles from Trout Creek on the Big Trout Creek. The wife and son, John, were arrested at their home in Trout Creek and Lee, senior, was found in the counterfeiting cabin. He is said to have confessed to the officers.


Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) 08 Apr 1915, Thu


Kills One Man at Thompson Falls and Seriously Wounds Another in Holdup.

Special to The Daily Tribune.

Missoula, April 7.--Word was telephoned here from Thompson this morning that Elmer Heffley, an engineer employed by the Thompson Falls Power company was shot and killed last evening about 9 o'clock and a Mr. Woods desperately wounded by two highwaymen.

The killing occurred on the street just opposite the residence of Attorney Ainsworth, and between the county jail and the power company's camp.

Messrs. Heffley and Woods were accosted in the street by two tall men, wearing beards, and their money demanded.

While it is impossible to get a full account of the facts surrounding the killing, the supposition is that Heffley refused immediate compliance with the demands, and was shot down in cold blood.

At an early hour this morning no trace had been found of the two men who did the killing.

Sheriff Hartman was in Plains at the time of the killing, but immediately returned to Thompson and wired in every direction such description of the two murderers as it was possible to obtain.

Mr. Heffley, the dead man, formerly lived on Camas Prairie. He was one of the original homesteaders on the Flthead reservation, but for the past few months had been engaged in the construction of the big dam at Thompson. The excitement there is intense, and fear is expressed that the murderers will be severely dealt with if apprehended.



Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana) 22 Jun 1915, Tue


Men Lose Lives at Thompson Where Construction of Dams Are in Progress.

Missoula, June 21.-- There were two tragedies at Thompson Falls today resulting from the heavy blasting of the Thompson Falls Power company in clearing away some temporary dams built at the beginning of operations, which has resulted in the harnessing of the Clark Fork river there. One of the victims was William Penn Cunningham, well known here. He was a carpenter and was working along side a new carpenter shop when the force of the blast loosened a heavy timber on the roof. It fell upon Cunningham and cut off his left arm and caved in his left side, killing him instantly. A little over a year ago Cunningham married Elizabeth Rock, of Lolo. Their first baby was born last Saturday. Cunningham was 225 yards from the blast.

Fifteen minutes before this accident, a rock from another blast struck Philip Nels, an Austrian, on the head, and killed him instantly, the rock fracturing his skull.

With the two today, three lives have been sacrificed in the construction of the Thompson power plant.



The Evening Star (Independence, Kansas) 29 Jun 1915, Tue


Bessie Ellis, who resides with her parents at Caney, has filed suit for divorce from Charles Ellis, charging extreme cruelty, gross neglect and abandonment. He now resides in the vicinity of Noxon, Montana. They were married July 17, 1904, and lived together in Kansas, California, and Oklahoma. At Tulare, California, June 25, 1913, Ellis abandoned her. They have three children, one with her and two with their grandmother, Mrs. Almenda Ellis, at Noxon. She asks that she be given a divorce, custody of the child with her, and that the custody of the other children be determined by the court.

S.M. Porter and George Wark are her attorneys.


The Enterprise (Harlem, Montana) 09 Sep 1915, Thu

Ernest B. Clark, a forest ranger, was shot and instantly killed near Thompson Falls, Saturday. Two men gave themselves up for doing the shooting, both claiming they mistook Clark's dark khaki clothes for a bear in the bushes. The deceased had been in the forestry service for seven years.



The Ronan Pioneer (Ronan, Montana) 12 Nov 1915, Fri

Horse Thieves Nabbed

Bert Stroud and Jack Parker, who stole two saddles near Ronan the latter part of last week, and then appropriated two horses at St. Ignatius, were caught Saturday by Sanders county officers a short distance west of Thompson Falls. They were taken to Missoula and lodged in the county jail to await trial.



Woodland Daily Democrat (Woodland, California) 15 Sep 1921, Thu


Congresswomen and lady aviators have long been with us, but Sanders county, Montana, has the unique distinction of having the only woman county farm bureau president in the United States. Mrs. Lizzie Lynch was elected to this office a year ago and filled the office with such efficience that she was unanimously re-elected for the ensuing year. Mrs. Lynch has been a resident of Plains Valley for the last 35 years and is a farmer and stock raiser. She has personally superintended the "Lynch Ranch" for the last 20 years, and has made it one of the best hay ranches in the state.



The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) 30 Nov 1932, Wed


Mrs. Mattie Monaghan, nee Larson, was born at Dram, Norway, September 25, 1862. Later she came to the Untied States and was married to Anthony W. Waits at Butte, Montana, May 27, 1890.

Mrs. Monaghan was admitted to the Montana Soldiers' HOme from Plains, Sanders county, Montana July 8, 1931, and died November 25, 1932, aged 70 years. She is survived by a sister residing at New London, Minnesota.



The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) 29 Sep 1944, Fri


Word has been received here of the death of Mrs. C. Engle, mother of Mrs. Golda Taylor, formerly of Somers. Funeral services are being held Saturday at Noxon, Montana.



The Maryville Daily Forum (Maryville, Missouri) 18 Nov 1947, Tue

Edits Montana Paper

George A. Perrin, formerly of Maryville, who for several years has been priinter instructor in the boys industrial school at Miles City, Mont., has become editor of the Plainsman, published at Plains, Sanders County, Montana. The paper is owned by Capt. W.W. Scott who left Nov. 2 for duty in Germany.



The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri) 18 Feb 1954, Thu


Ice Gives Way Under Animals in Western Montana.

Thompson Falls, Mont., Feb. 17 (AP)--Sixty deer and elk plunged to an icy death in the Clark Fork river near here when the ice on which they were crossing collapsed.

Sheriff Wally Britton of Sanders County, Motana, said at least twenty elk and forty deer drowned in the freezing waters.

The mishap occurred Monday about one-quarter of a mile below the junction of the Clark Fork and Thompson rivers in extreme Western Montana. Four of the animals were saved by the sheriff's party.