Big Hole Breezes (Jackson, Mont.) 1898-1915, August 08, 1913, Image 1

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B U T T E W I S D O M & • P A C I F I C R A I L R O A D Interesting Article From the To tile Editor of T he B reezes : You won’t object to my taking a little of your valuable time once to a while, will you? As we get older we live much in the past and . little thing* of the present bring to our uakde thoughts of those other days aad their very pleasing experiences. I recently picked up T ub B kbezbs , also the Dillon Ex­ aminer, and noticed that you had another railroad running into the bask. At all places must have a history, and claiming to be some­ what of an historian myself, I thought I would write you some of the remarkable occurrences that have taken place in the upbuilding of tha lovely valley to which a wise providence guided your footsteps. You may have heard that I went to the Big Hole in 1882 and settled on the banks of the “bab­ bling streamlet\ and waited with aa assurance that 1 would live to ^ see a steam horse come prancing ^ we were to go up the canyon, along to put fear into the hearts of man Bryant, Bobby Shultz, I explained to him that we might work it so gradually that the Danes would become in time used to it and not hide every time the cars came in, and that we might get a rope on some of the more in­ telligent ones like Nels and Soren Nelson, Anton Jackson and Martin Sorenson, lead them up and show them that it would not hure them if they would stay off the track. He agreed to go in under Ijaose circumstances and we met in his office in Dillon. I proposed that we put the line through the can­ yon on a water grade and save as much of our capital as possible so that we could go to the California Brewery and get a glass of beer to refresh us after our strenuous labor in producing such a needed im­ provement. He “hocked\ right there. He said, \We can't leave out the CL ranch. That would never do in the world. Besides, if old and parison With Beautiful Big Hole our undisturbed denizens. (Now the nearest I ever came to that in reality was S trowbridge’s steam plow.) I had probably lived there five or six years when one morning very early I heard the whistle of a locomotive aad rushed out to see a train of cars pull up just back of where Joe Loss's stable is now, and found my old friend Si Brag- don the chief push and whole crew It bothered me to find out h^d fi­ nanced a railroad Bjg Hole «nd could get it there right on to my ranch without my having kfcnard a word concerning it until he Was actually at my door, because prior to that time if Si wanted to get any place he either went on foot or ’‘borrowed\ a horse. It did not worry me for Jong because toy wife Jacked me and said “lay over,” and I found it only a dream. That was R. R. No. 1. * Quite * riember of years after I happened to make my hopie in Dillon. Mr. Bancroft, then a su­ perintendent on the Great North­ ern railroad, called into J. E. Morse l office and among other things said that his people were contemplating the change—s much talked of but never yet done—of making an easier grade by going toward the Point of R ods, thence Op the Big Hole, and so cut out j in it for me than running Apex hill. He remarked at that'over an easy grade, see!” time that they would show more wisdom by using the light rails they had on hand and the cost that would be required to make the change and the cash that would be required to make the change, if they would actually build up the river to Wisdom. He asked me, on the advice of Mr. Morse, to se­ cure all the data possible on the subject, send it to him at Pocatello, and he would take the matter up with those k authority. I attend­ ed to the matter, sent everything obtainable and there was “nothing dotty/’ That was R. R. No. 2. Then there came a time w heal found a man who was sorely cap­ able of being the chief engineer of a big scheme. This was Geo. Met- Jen. I proposed that we spe right of way, e tc, and put a raal- tbe Big Hole. George U Sttfe at first arid s I am afraid that sea wodda’t know M: Iim slar, the* the Bill Madison would kick because we would have to go across the river from Dewey and then, an­ other thing you never thought of, it would rum Ralston's dinner sta­ tion and bust Geo. Gronn com­ pletely Never do, Skinny, never do.\ “Well, what do you pro­ pose'\ I asked. “We will go from Redrock to CL, then to Bannack, Polaris and Etkhorn, thence along the line or divide between . Wise river and Big Hole, via the Marten mine, and down Steele creek to Wisdom. That’s the way to go,\ he said. \That will catch every­ thing.” \What about Mt. Torrey?” I asked. \Are you going to leave that out?” \No he said, \we will build a scenic road up that peak and make our road one of the grandest on the continent.” \What’s your idea in wanting to go over the most impossible and impracticable section of Beave; head county when you could g</up the Big Hole river for a^rry'small percent of what the/road would cost the way you have laid it out?” I asked. \Well that’s easy,” he replied, \I am an engineer and an engineer wants to go over the most impossible places in order that peo­ ple may know he is an engineer, and besides, there is more money a line Yes, I saw, and as I was the one that had to furnish the money or hot air to get it, I made up my mind right then to quit and let the CL, Bald mountain and Wise river go to h—, or some warmer place. You see, I had figured out exactly where / ex­ pected to get my money. I was going to draw a check on B. F. for ten or fifteen millions, get Dr. Poindexter and L. J. Price to en­ dorse it, have “Horse” Smith take it over to Harry Gilbert and tell him that if he could get the gover­ nor to cash it he corid be treasurer. But, as before intimated, George wanted to make too modi out of the pre&mnary, aad the ti went to smash. That was R. R. No. 3. Now, Griff, we did not have any more railroads built into the Big Hole until Bob Jones, Jim Murray aad s o m e Spokane m e n got the peopfe into the notion of b a n d i n g s r i mortgaging their land for atari < i per acre ia order to To fm3d the? « n Now that was a afire thoorirt, be-1 Value of Ranch Lands Will be Greatly Increased he only time in his life that did) that it would be the thing to do. But Jim was dead and 1 was out, so it fell to Murray and Jones to bring about the desired result. They went to work one winter (dose to stove in Murray’s hotel in Wisdom) and built a line leading to the outer world, but the damphools didn't use very good judgment in their right of way. The track must have been laid on the ice, as not a sign of it could be found aft­ er the break-up next spring. That was R. R. No. 4. / Now No. 5, and not the least by any means, begins to work. How many years ago 1 do not know there was born on the banks of the turbid French a little boy who was destined to grow, like the jack pines of his native clime, tall and slender. 1 do not say that he re­ sembled the jack pine in every par- really | was soon to be overshadowed and overcome by the great Washoe smelter. He did not, like Nick Bielenburg and Walter Staton, “kick against the \pricks.\ The little ranch was only a secondary affair in the schemes crowding his think tank He dreamed of mines, railroads and political positions that would place him above want an<j| worry. To antagonize the gr^pt copper interests would mean political suicide, and so he made bsebf them instead. Tall fir trees glrew on the mountain sides* near his beloved French and they were needed for the mines of Butte. If he could not get enough to go ahead and develop his mines, he could, by furnishing these stulls to the mines, make both ends meet, always with a future for his own honest advancement. If he could get a railroad to his mines and called \Shorty be would have been looking from a different angle and would no doubt have solemnly sworn (he did swear sometimes) that that was a \right smart” hill to climb Now, I do not wish to make any comparison between these two friends of mine, but it was a sure thing that Owen Ellis' bar, even with a glass of beer on the hither edge, was an insur­ mountable obstacle to “Shorty,” while Bill, without any effort, could reach over and help himself from the back bar. I don’t say that he did. So jf ou see It was a simple difference in the angle of vision that cost us this new rail­ road, because the engineers soon found that Bill had overlooked some of the inequalities in actual conditions. Now this did not dis­ courage him. He made up his mind to mix a little more in polit Old Method of Trailing Will be Done Away With ticriar, for he differed from it in! haul the ore to the Washoe, he that he did not grow to a peak nor! would be independent. He went was he rooted in the soil. It was natural for him to love his native hills and gulches, so he never got but a few miles from French Gulch, from choice. He believed that to the legislature from old Deer Lodge and was not the least of them by any means. He met many influential men and at last put up the matter of a railroad to there a \mother” lode corid be the Big Hole, the great feeding found, from which the placer gold {grounds of southwestern Montana, had been taken in his infancy and boyhood. So strong was his faith that he would find it that he trade via French Gulch. So Big Hole was to have another railroad. It was to begin at Anaconda and desperate struggles to see that his; cross the French Gulch divide of dreams would come true. So he did find leads and lodes and work­ ed to make his dream a success. But it it dot a s easy thing for a man with ataaS capital to develop a prospect into a paying On the batiks of the Broody that tile main range of the Rocky moontatns Our tall \Jack Pine” had stood on the trifi at the Wash­ oe aad looked across the interven­ ing space to the top of the divide aad dedared there was hardly any grade. Now, had it been our old friend Sanaa Dunbar, sometimes ics and was even brave enough to accept the second place cm the Re­ publican ticket with Ed Donl&n as running mate against Ed Norris, a man never beaten but once (by Judge Conger for county attorney) since he came from the Bluegrass section of Kentucky. Bill was suc­ cessful, and tins gave him weH- eamed prestige that he would use, if at all, for the upbuilding of that particular section that first welcom­ ed his boyhood. This prestige and position introduced him to the people of the smaB easrerd villages of New York and Boston, and as lieutenant governor of the great state of Montana, he corid teO them of a vaBey that worid rival in scenic J Bosh ! Compare the Big Hole and j the Mohawk! Better compare the j North Star, the great guide of the ! universe, with some dead sun, whose last lingering ray left the earth years before our Savior was cradled in the manger a t Bethle­ hem ! The Big Hole and the Mo­ hawk! Oh! ye gods! When one looks at the lazy, sleepy stream that \gently glides down the wood­ ed vale of the Mohawk, and then looks at the snow-capped mount­ ains that, forming a crescent, pierce the vaulted dome itself, and sees, clasped in their embrace, the pent- up snows which move at the com­ mand of the springtime sun into flowing rills, that go singing joyful­ ly singing on their way to join with others from every hill and moun­ tain side, until they together fora a stream that goes rumbling, tumbling, never grumbling, toward the goal let for it by the Creator as long ago as when the \morning stars sang together,\ is it any won­ der that the Big Hole is beautiful enough to be a resting place for the gods ’ Is it any wonder that many beautiful flowers dot the green carpet of Mav and June, and dying, leave their perfume to an* rich the wild grasses that frugal man uses to temp the appetites of the white faces of sunny Texas? This is not a digression. It is sim­ ply a small, crude comparisol of the Mohawk and Big Hole. So once again we begin our rail­ road. It is to come up rav river grade that Metlen would m l listen to. Bill is mm getting nearer tha truth than ever to v n M e n Standard states, it is going up Wire river to Elkhom. Good thing! It will make Mike Steel, the discover­ er of Steel and Elkhorn, turn over in his grave and say, \I told you so.\ They say it will build to Jackson and then maybe to the Pa­ cific My advice is, “Don't let it go by Jackson.” Of emaaurtfm*. Dark Horse psoptrmigfct lot it their tunnel to tha Salman side, or maybe Paul Jahnke would enlarge their, tunnel so the cart could go through- Then again, Morse might block out some more ore in the Ajax toward tha Idaho side and let them go through. Any­ way, there will be lots of places where they can hit the Salmon, and it is a cinch that if they ever do get to the main range and don’t take extra precaution, they will hit the Salmon, only to be useless, as far as Big Hole transportation is concerned1. 1 am glad that you are have a railroad. It looks like it now than ever before. Bill Allen is a bigger man than ever he was before and the mines of French Gulch, Elkeom, Wise river and the Big Hole are not vain images, wov­ en in the woof of an illusive dream, but realities that will one day make the world take notice of old Bea­ verhead. So accept my prayer that this may be the \last act;” that when the curtain is rung down it will be aa accomplished fact that glitter­ ing bands of steel connect now Infant valley with the marts of all other lands. A jax . Fishing is Fine Fishing the wise river is reported ezedeat. Dr. Herdert D. las tier and party visited that sectiont Sunday and had fine sport- The roads a n lady good, mid the country ed never lodred more heuanoltiMat a umnaer cx river at the present time.— 1 going to >ks more C

Big Hole Breezes (Jackson, Mont.), 08 Aug. 1913, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.