Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey was born August 16, 1892, in
South Byron, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, and died
February 4, 1951, in Montana State Tuberculosis Sanitarium, Galen, Deer Lodge Co., MT, at age 58. Buried in Missoula
Cemetery, Missoula, Missoula Co., MT. He was in the hospital for 628 days. He is the son of
Charles Washington Abbey of South Byron, Fond du Lac
Co., WI, and Cora Adella Armstrong of Baraboo, Sauk Co., WI.
Edna May Morgan was born April 22, 1895, in
Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT, and died
January 28, 1951, in Missoula, Missoula Co., MT, at age 55. Buried in Missoula
Cemetery, Missoula, Missoula Co., MT. She is the daughter of
Norton Morgan of Fort Benton, Chouteau Co., Montana Territory, and Ophia
Ufrates "Opha" Rider of Valparaiso, Sanders Co., NE. John B. Morgan
(killed by a band of Sioux Indians November 14, 1868) and Rose Mary Labrush (Lebreche?
the parents of Henry Norton Morgan. Beyond Spirit Tailings: Montana's mysteries,
ghosts, and haunted places.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey and Edna May Morgan were married
November 26, 1914,
in Ovando, Powell Co., MT.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey and Edna May
(Morgan) Abbey had two children:
- Katheryn May Abbey: Born November 20, 1915, in
Ovando, Powell Co., MT; Died
March 24, 1995, in Marcus Daly
Memorial Hospital, Hamilton, Ravalli Co., MT (age 79). Buried in Philipsburg
Cemetery, Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT. Married November 26,
1936, in Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT, to Virgil Wilmer "Chick" Brooks: Born November 3, 1914, in Helena, Lewis and Clark Co.,
MT; Died May 12, 1992,
in Spokane, Spokane Co., WA (age 77). Buried in Philipsburg Cemetery,
Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT.
- Herbert Wayne Abbey:
Born January 29, 1921, in Missoula, Missoula Co., MT; Died February 20,
1991, in Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT (age 70). Buried in Philipsburg
Cemetery, Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT. Married (1) August 30, 1945,
in Missoula, Missoula Co., MT, to Leona Mae Lawrence: Born June 4, 1923, in
Missoula, Missoula Co., MT; Died Unknown. Married (2) June 26, 1949, in Anaconda, Deer Lodge
Co., MT, to Shirley Marie "Shammie" Superneau: Born June 26, 1929, in Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT;
Died January 30, 2011, in Laurel, Yellowstone Co., MT (age 81). Buried in
Philipsburg Cemetery, Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT.
Henry Norton "Harry" Morgan was
born January 6, 1863, in Fort Benton, Chouteau County, Montana Territory.
C. "Opha" Rider was born March 5, 1870, in Valparaiso, Sanders Co., NE
The Montana Post, Virginia
City, Montana Territory, November 27, 1868
At Fort Benton, M. T., on the 14th
of November, John B. Morgan, aged 53 years. Oregon and Iowa papers please
The 1870 U. S. Census taken on July 27,
1870, shows S. J. Perkins (age 32) born in Connecticut is an Auctioneer and is
living in Benton City (Fort Benton), Chouteau Co., Montana Territory. Living
with him are: Katy Perkins (age 28) born in Canada to Foreign-born parents, who
Keeps House; Katy Perkins (age 2/12, May) born in Montana; and Henry Morgan (age
6) born in Montana, who is 1/2 White and 1/2 Indian.
The 1870 U. S. Census taken on
1870, shows James S. Glick (age 31) born in Virginia with Personal Estate of
$2,000 is a Doctor and is
living in Helena, Lewis and Clark Co., Montana Territory. Living
with him is Fletcher W. Conine (age 30) born in New York with Personal Estate of
$500, a Stone Mason.
On November 26, 1883, Charles W. Abbey received
a Homestead Land Grant for 7.8 acres of land in Minnesota, Document No. 2787.
Five or six weekly notices, The
Stevens Point Journal, March/April 1885. First Publication March 8 --- W4.
Cora Abbey, wife of Chas. W. Abbey, has
left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, and everyone trusting
her must do so on their own responsibility.
Chas. W. Abbey
Milladore, Wood County, Wis.
Henry Norton "Harry" Morgan and Ophia E.
C. "Opha" Rider were married
August 27, 1885, in Montana.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey was
born August 16, 1892, in South Byron, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey Birth Record.
Leigh Larson note: This Affidavit of Birth was given by his mother, Cora
(Armstrong) Abbey, in Beulah, ND, on November 13, 1943, when she was 83 years
old. Please note that the year was not typed, which probably means that she
could not remember the year of his birth, and that it was filled in afterward.
His actual year of birth is 1892. It is also interesting to note that the
Wisconsin State Registrar, Carl N. Neupert, M. D., is likely the son of
Dr. Carl von Neupert, who successfully operated on Cora's daughter in Wisconsin
in June, 1896.
Edna May Morgan was born April 22, 1895, in
Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT.
Edna May Morgan Birth Certificate.
The 1895 Wisconsin State Census taken on June
shows C. Abey is the Head of Household and is living in Carson Twp., Portage Co.,
There are a total of 3 Males and 4 Females living there, all born in the United
The Stevens Point Gazette, Stevens Point,
Portage Co., WI;
February 19, 1896
B. Smith, who for the past number of years has been
pursuing the show business, has of late disposed of all his truck and concluded
to lead a more pious and christian life. He is now an ardent worker of religion,
and by faith he will be looked upon as the father of the new Union church of
Milladore. His efforts are rewarded by the following subscriptions, a total of
C. W. Abbey.........$1
The Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point,
Portage Co., WI;
Saturday, June 13, 1896
A successful operation was performed by Dr. Carl von
Neupert yesterday on the 3 year old daughter of C. W. Abbey of Junction City.
The child's side was opened and a quantity of pus removed.
Leigh Larson note: Junction City is a small
village in Carson Twp., Portage Co., WI. It is located 4-1/2 miles east of the Village of Milladore, Wood Co., WI. The family lived to the north of the village.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 6, 1900,
shows C. W. Abbey
(age 38) born August 1861 in Wisconsin to English Canadian and English-born parents is a
who is renting his home and is living in Milladore Twp., Wood Co., WI. Living with him
is his wife
of 17 years, Cora Abbey (age 33) born September 1866 in Wisconsin to English Canadian
and New York-born parents, with all six of the children born to her still alive.
Also living there are his five children, all born in Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born
14) born June 1885; Samual Abbey (age 7) born August 1892; Phebe Abbey (age 5) born August 1894; Ida Abbey (age 3)
born January 1897; and Orin Abbey (age 9/12) born October 1899.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 1, 1900,
shows Harry Morgan (age 32) born January 1868 in Montana to Montana-born parents is a
Day Laborer who is renting his home in South Philipsburg
Pct., Granite Co., MT. Living with him is his wife of 15 years, Opha E. Morgan (age 29) born
March 1871 in Nebraska to Kentucky and Illinois-born parents who has 5 of the 7
children born to her still living. All 5 children are at home, born in Montana
to Montana-born parents: Henry C. Morgan (age 13) born March 1887; Mary D.
Morgan (age 11) born October 1888; Rosa R. Morgan (age 9) born August 1890; Edna
L. Morgan (age 5) born April 1895; and Harry Morgan (age 1/12) born April 1900.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 5, 1900,
shows James P. Barber
(age 41) born June 1858 in Wisconsin to Ohio and English Canadian-born parents is a
Farmer owning his farm with a mortgage and is living in Eau Pleine Twp.,
Portage Co., WI. Living with him
is his wife
of 14 years, Mathilda Barber (age 31) born August 1868 in Wisconsin to German-born parents, with
one of the two children born to her still alive.
Also living is his son, Evin Barber (age 12) born February 1888 in Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born
parents. Also living there: a Boarder, John Norton (age 56) born August 1843 in
New York to English Canadian-born parents, an unmarried Day Laborer; and a
Servant, Clara Abba (age 12) born in Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born parents, a
Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point,
December 1, 1900
First publication Oct. 20-00-w7
Notice for Publication.
Department of the Interior. Land Office at Wausau,
Wis., Oct. 16, 1900.
Notice is hereby given that the following named
settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his
claim, and that said proof will be made before the clerk of the circuit court at
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, on December 8, 1900. viz: Colman F Cotesworth, who
made H. E. No. 7,723, for the N E 1/4 N E. 1/4 sec. 20, T 24 N, R 6 E.
He names the following witnesses to prove his
continuous residence upon and cultivation of said land, viz: Chas. W. Abbey, of
Milladore, Wis. John Cisler, of Junction City, Wis. John Harndena, of Junction
City, Wis. Matthias Jacobson, of Stevens Point, Wis. EDGAR T. WHEELOCK,
The Marshfield Times,
June 20, 1902
Mrs. C. W. Abby and children left Tuesday for
Baraboo, where they will reside in the future.
The 1905 Wisconsin State Census taken on June 1,
shows Chas. Abbey (age 45) born in Wisconsin to English-born parents is a
Drayman who is renting his home and is living in the 1st Ward, City of Baraboo, Sauk Co.,
Living with him is his wife, Cora Abbey (age 38) born in Wisconsin
to New York-born parents. Also there are his
six unmarried children, all born in Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born parents: Sammy Abbey (age
12); Oran Abbey (age 5); Maude Abbey (age 19); Clara Abbey (age 17); Phoebe
Abbey (age 10); and Ida
Abbey (age 7).
The 1905 Wisconsin State Census taken on June 1,
1905, shows S. B. Armstrong (age 82) born in New York to Canadian and
Connecticut-born parents is a Retired Farmer who owns his own home free of a
mortgage and is living in Baraboo Twp., Sauk Co., WI. Living with him is his wife,
Lois Armstrong (age 74) born in Michigan to Ohio-born parents, who is a House
The Daily Northwestern,
Tuesday, August 15, 1905
NEWS OF MENASHA.
The new arrivals at the Langaff hotel are: Chas.
Hemseler, Milwaukee; Paul Yoergers, Escanaba, Mich.; H. Awe, Oshkosh; H. Nelson,
Milwaukee; S. C. W. Warrin, Grand Rapids; W. E. Gannon, Detroit, Mich.; R. E.
Malady, Fond du Lac; C. W. Abby, Fond du Lac and C. M. Ricker, Chicago.
In 1906, Charles removed near Beulah, Mercer Co., ND, and farmed south of
the city. He was one of the pioneer settlers of Beulah.
The Evening News, Baraboo, Sauk Co., WI,
January 15, 1907
AT THE ALTER OF HYMEN
Miss Clara Abbey of this city, has received
a letter from Glen Ullin, N. D., announcing the marriage of her sister Maude, to
Orin Sovereign on Dec. 30. The Abbey family went to Dakota some months ago where
the bride took up a claim. Her husband also has a claim in that state.
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on May 4, 1910,
shows Charles Abbey (age 48) born in Wisconsin to English-born parents is a Farmer living in Twp. 142, Mercer Co., ND.
Living with him were his wife of 26 years, Cora Abbey (age 43) born in Wisconsin
to New York and Canadian-born parents, with all 6 of the children born to her
still alive. Also living there his five unmarried children, all born in
Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born parents: Clara Belle Abbey (age 22), who works in a
Woolen Factory; Samuel Abbey (age 17); Phoebe Abbey (age 15); Ida Abbey (age 12); and Oran
Abbey (age 10).
His daughter, Helen Abbey, is crossed off the list. Leigh Larson note: Clara B.
Abbey (age 22) is also listed as living in Baraboo, Sauk Co., WI on April 20,
1910 as a lodger in the Charles Burdick household. She is a Drawer in a Woolen
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 22, 1910,
shows Harry N. Morgan (age 44) born in Montana to Missouri and Montana-born
parents is a Forest Guard for the Government renting
his home at 903 Cherry Street, Ward 1, Missoula, Hellgate Twp., Missoula Co.,
MT. Living with him is his wife of 25 years, Ophia M. Morgan (age 40) born in Nebraska to
Kentucky and Nebraska-born parents, with 6 of the 8 children born to her still
alive. Five of his children are living at home, all unmarried and born in Montana to Montana
parents: Henry E. Morgan (age 23), an Odd Jobs Laborer; Mary D. Morgan (age 21),
a Dressmaker at Home; Edna M. Morgan (age
15); Claude H. Morgan (age 10); and Ernest H. Morgan (age 7). Three Lodgers also
live in the household.
On July 2, 1914, Charles W. Abbey received a
Homestead Land Grant for 160 acres of land in North Dakota, Document No.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey and Edna May Morgan were married
November 26, 1914,
in Ovando, Powell Co., MT.
The WWI Draft Registration Report dated June 5, 1917, shows
Sam B. Abbey (age 24) born August 16, 1892, in Baraboo, WI, is a Miner who is employed by
Brooklyn Mining Co. in Princeton, MT, and is living in Maxville, MT. He is
married and has one child. He has had one year of military service with the National Guard,
Company K, Dixon, ND.
The 1920 U. S. Census taken on January 13, 1920, shows Sam B.
Abbey (age 26) born in Wisconsin to Maine and Wisconsin-born parents is a married
in a Silver Mine on his Own Account and is living alone in the Village of Black Pine, Stone Precinct, Granite Co., MT.
The 1930 U. S. Census taken on April 10, 1930, shows Samuel B.
Abbey (age 36) born in Wisconsin to United States-born parents and first married
at age 21 is a Metal Miner renting
his home for $15/month and is living on Sutter Street, 2nd Ward, City of Philipsburg, Granite Co., MT. Living with him is
his wife, Edna M. Abbey (age 34) born in Montana to Montana and Nebraska-born
parents and first married at age 19. Also living there are his children, both
born in Montana to Wisconsin and Montana-born parents: Katheryn M. Abbey (age 14); and Herbert
W. Abbey (age 9).
The 1940 U. S. Census taken on
May 18, 1940, shows Harry Morgan (age 76) born in Montana, and 5 years ago was
living in the Same Place, with 4 years of School, is a Game Warden for the State of
Montana who owns his home worth $650 and is living in Ovando, Monture Twp.,
Powell Co., MT. Living with him is his wife, Ophia Morgan (age 69) born in
Nebraska, and 5 years ago was living in the Same Place, and with 6 years of School. Also living there are: his son-in-law, Samuel B. Abbey (age 46) born in
Wisconsin, and 5 years ago was living in Missoula, MT, and with 7 years of School,
a Mining Miner; and his daughter, Edna M. Abbey (age 44) born in Montana, and 5
years ago was living in Missoula, MT, and with 7
years of School.
In 1941, Herbert Abbey was living in
Lincoln, Lewis and Clark Co., MT.
C. "Opha" (Rider) Morgan died January 2, 1943, at her home, Ovando,
Powell Co., MT, at age 72.
C. "Opha" (Rider) Morgan
Monday, January 4, 1943
Rites For Mrs. Morgan 1:30 Wednesday
Services for Wife of Ovando
Deputy Game Warden in Missoula.
Funeral services for Mrs. Harry
N. Morgan of Ovando, will take place at 1:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at the
Marsh & Powell chapel. Rev. Walter B. Spaulding will officiate and burial will
be in Missoula cemetery. Mrs. Morgan, 72, died suddenly at her home at Ovando
Saturday. She was the wife of Harry N. Morgan, deputy game warden in the
Blackfoot country for many years. She had been in poor health for many months,
but the end came suddenly at her home. Mrs. Morgan was born March 5, 1870, in
Nebraska. She married Mr. Morgan 57 years ago at Philipsburg. The couple moved
to Ovando in 1913, and had resided there since. Besides her husband, she is
survived by three sons, Claude H., Ovando, Carl H., Junction, Ore., and Ernest
W., Seattle; three daughters, Mrs. Harry D. Johnston, Three Forks; Mrs. Rosa R.
Miller, 802 Russell street; and Mrs. Edna Abbey, of Lincoln; six grandchildren
and nine great-grandchildren and one sister, Mrs. Della Roske, Baker, Ore.
Edna May (Morgan) Abbey died
January 28, 1951, in Missoula, Missoula Co., MT, at age 55. Buried in Missoula
Missoula Co., MT.
Edna May (Morgan) Abbey Death Record.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey
died February 4, 1951, in Galen, Deer Lodge Co., MT, at age 58. Buried in
Missoula, Missoula Co., MT.
Samuel Benton "Sam" Abbey Death Record.
Henry Norton "Harry" Morgan died
August 2, 1957,
Missoula rest home, Missoula, Missoula Co., MT, at age 94.
Buried in Missoula Cemetery,
Missoula, Missoula Co., MT.
The Montana Standard, Butte-Anaconda, MT,
Saturday, August 3, 1957
State's Oldest Native, Harry Morgan,
Montana's oldest native, Harry Morgan, died Friday at a Missoula rest home. He
was the first white child born at Fort Benton, during the Civil War, and came to
western Montana when he was 10. Morgan, a past president of the Society of
Montana Pioneers, was a veteran deputy game warden, serving the Blackfoot
country from 1913 through 1947. His recollections of Montana's early days, of
Indian fights, gold strikes and stockmen's wars, made him a prime favorite of
Treasure State historians. He was born Jan. 6, 1863. His father, Capt. John
Morgan, had come up the Missouri River a few years before with a company of
Union soldiers, to take charge of Ft. Benton, the end of navigation for
steamboats on the Missouri. Settlers, prospectors and supplies all reached
Montana by that route. There were a few white men in the territory. After
Morgan's mother died, an Indian took him to rear. Capt. Morgan was killed in a
battle with a war party of Blackfeet Indians, and Dr. J. S. Glick of Helena took
the youngster when he was 7. Three years he went to Philipsburg to reside with
Henry Schnipel. He grew to manhood in that Granite county town during its
turbulent mining days, working in the town and on ranches. From 15 on, he was
"on his own," riding the range, hauling ore, cutting wood and mining. Later he
was employed by the forest service, and spent much time as a guide for hunting
parties. He was married to Ophi Rider on Aug. 27, 1885. The ceremony was
performed by the late Frank D. (Sandbar) Brown, another moved to Ovando shortly
before he became deputy warden. Mrs. Morgan died in 1943. Ten years later he
moved to Missoula to make his home with a daughter, Mrs. E. G. Haugh. Other
survivors are another daughter, Mrs. Mary D. Johnson of Three Forks; two sons,
Henry Carl Morgan of Drewsey, Ore., and Ernest W., of Burley, Idaho; nine
grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Funeral
services will be at 2 p. m. Monday (MST) at Lucy's Sunrise Chapel.
The Daily Independent, Helena,
MT, Sunday, Aug.
Death of Dr. Glick.
Our community was shocked yesterday morning upon
learning that Dr. Jerome S. Glick was dead. He
had been seen late on the preceding evening riding through the streets apparently in his usual health.
At about 5:15 o'clock on Friday evening he returned from
a horseback ride, and dismounted at the
livery stable of Piatt & Young. Almost immediately upon
alighting he fell to the floor in a fit, caused by
a sudden attack of cerebro spinal congestion. He was promptly removed to a comfortable sleeping
apartment, and Drs. Steele and Atchison summoned to
attend him. All that these skillful physicians
could do was done to restore the patient, but in vain.
He never recovered consciousness, and at
4:45 o'clock yesterday morning died. Dr. Glick was born
in the year 1832 at Harper's Ferry,
Virginia. Before attaining his majority he was appointed
to a cadetship in the West Point Military
Academy, but left that institution without graduating.
He entered McDowell Medical College,
St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated therefrom with high
honors. Soon after he was commissioned
as an Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Army, and in that
capacity served in Colorado and Kansas.
He, however, resigned this position on the breaking out
of the rebellion and went to Colorado, where,
on account of his Southern sympathies he was arrested
and for awhile imprisoned in Denver.
Upon being released he went to New Mexico, and from
thence in 1862 came to Montana, stopping
first in Bannack, where he entered upon the practice of
medicine. He afterwards moved to
Virginia City, and in 1866 came to Helena, where he has
since made his home. Several years ago
he married a daughter of Wellington Stewart, formerly a
member of the Montana bar. The deceased
leaves a wife and three children, who are now residing
at Carson city, Nevada. For the past three
years Dr. Glick has been in poor health, and has given
but little attention to his profession, spending
a large portion of his time in California and Nevada.
The deceased, while in health, had a reputation
as a physician and surgeon coextensive with the
Territory. His many noble traits of
character won for him a host of warm friends, who will
cherish and honor his memory.
Missoula City Cemetery,
The present Missoula
Cemetery, located 3 miles Northwest of the City’s center, was first surveyed and
platted by H. V. Wheeler, who filed the official plat in Missoula County on the
21st day of January, 1885, under the direction of a corporation known as the
“Missoula Valley Improvement Company,” consisting of Judge Frank H. Woody, W. H. H.
Dickinson, T. C. Marshall and Dr. Isidore Kohn. They bought 16 acres of land from
the Northern Pacific for $168. F. S. Worden and A. B. Hammond became owners later.
In 1901, the City Council passed an ordinance accepting the cemetery for $1 and
provided for a Board of Trustees, consisting of six members. The biggest sale of
graves came in 1903, as the Northern Pacific Railway purchased two blocks, with
nearly 400 graves sites. The immediate reason was that the railway company could
move about 100 bodies of Japanese laborers who had been buried by the company at
Plains. Many of these burials are not marked and about 25 have stones with
Japanese writing. For the past four years, relatives of these workers from Japan
have visited these graves. It is estimated this is the largest cemetery in
Western Montana. Many well known Missoula residents such as Greenough,
McCormick, Hammond, McLeod, Paxson, Rankin, Woody, Toole, Brooks, Bonner, Pattee,
Kohn, Dickinson, Bell, Higgins and Worden are slumbering here.
Eleanor Vera Glee
James C Jr
James C Sr
Thomas C Jr
Near the locality mentioned by the
Indians there lived one John B. Morgan, a squaw man, married to a Piegan woman.
Some few days before, a party of Indians of the same tribe, numbering at least
four, had come to his house and were his guests. He treated them well, making
them feel quite at home, and having been assured that they were perfectly safe
with him, they put aside their guns. Shortly after, there also arrived at his
place a party of white, led by one Charles Carson. They were a squad of the
volunteers who under the proclamation of the Acting Governor, General Thomas
Francis Meagher, had been enlisted with the object of sending
them against the Blackfeet Indians. But they were soon after disbanded, their
organization having been disapproved by the Government of Washington, D. C.
Did Morgan send for his new visitors? Did
he bring them to his home? We cannot say. But certain it is that the could not
have behaved more treacherously than if he had been in entire collusion with
them. As he afterward boasted of doing; he gave his Indian guests over to the
Carson crown, telling them: "Now, boys, right here is a chance for you; some of
the redskins you are after are in this house.
The doomed Indians were in an adjoining
room eating what Morgan had set before them. Suddenly attacked, they were
quickly overpowered, and dragged out and hanged to a couple of trees near the
premises. The bodies, still warm, were cast into the river, through an opening
hastily but in the ice. The tragic ending of these poor fellows was witnessed by
two of their companions, who had remained hiding in the underbrush close by.
Either they distrusted Morgan, or some other reason not known led to their
hiding. They now stole away unperceived, and hastened to bring the news to their
fellow Indians, camped near Old Agency. No wonder that these had become
Nor were they slow in giving vent to
their desire for revenge. They attacked the New Agency, a few miles from
Morgan's, where they killed one of the men; whilst another owed his escape
merely to the accidental explosion of some powder in the building, which
frightened off the assailants. Simultaneously, too, they killed a white man,
whom they caught outside; and but for the rest having fortified themselves with
the premises, all would have fallen victims to Indian vengeance.
Notwithstanding his being married to an
Indian woman of the same tribe, Morgan had good ground to feat for himself and
his family. hence, he hastened to the Mission, and sought to obtain there
shelter for them, on the plea of the general insecurity of the country about,
and because he had to go to Helena on most urgent business. The man was soon
suspected by the Indians and believed to have had some part in the hanging of their people at his place. Hence his mere
going to seek protection for his family at the Mission was apt to bring odium on
the Fathers. We have seen above that distrust of the missionaries had already
crept into the mind of some of them, and the tragedy at Morgan's could not but
add to it.
This became more apparent day by day.
Acts of hostility such as wantonly shooting down the Mission stock, several head
being killed or maimed, plainly showed the temper of the savages. But worse:
about Easter, John Fitzgerald, whom the Fathers employed as herder, was shot
dead, hardly a quarter of a mile from their premises. There was not telling what
the next day might bring on.
Father Giorda, the general Superior, was
at this time at Alder Gulch or Virginia City, whither he had gone to give the
many Catholics in that large mining camp the opportunity to make their Easter
duties. A messenger was dispatched to him; and without a moment's delay he set
out for St. Peter's Mission. On reaching the place, he viewed the situation with
no little concern, and tender-hearted as he was, broke into tears.
We shall see directly that a new site for
the Mission had been selected a year before, and that preparation for the
removal to the new place had been going on for several months. Hence, "Father
Giorda felt considerably relieved," writes Father Kuppens, "when we told him
that things in the new place were practically ready."
These search terms will result in the
information below. Beyond spirit tailings: Montana's mysteries,
ghosts, and haunted places, By Ellen Baumler
The Hoo Doo Block, Pages 33 - 39.
montana perkins morgan
In the History of the Northwest
A small X,
in a dry coulee, a quarter of a mile west of our fence, marks
the spot where John Fitzgerald, our herder, was killed, April 6,
1866. Cross (X), No. 2, on the incline north of the Mission,
marks his grave, R. I. P. Cross (X) No. 3, marks the grave of
Mr. Johnston, who was brought to the Mission sick, and after a
few days asked for baptism and died a Catholic. His grave was
the first on the hill. R. I. P.
Three small cabins outside
of our place toward the east were occupied as follows: in the
one nearest to the Mission lived a Flathead Indian with his old
spouse. Both were good Catholics; and their children were
married and lived in the camp. The middle cabin was occupied by
a Blackfoot Indian, with his two wives and six children. he had
rescued Father Giorda from the river, and took good care that
every guest at the Mission should be acquainted with all the
details; he never forgot them. The farthest cabin toward the
east was the home of Mr. Viel, a French Canadian married to a
daughter of a Blackfoot chief. He had four children and all
practiced the duties of religion. They were a happy family.
Cross (X) and cross (X) 5
in the river mark the place where Father Giorda broke through
the ice, and where he was rescued. (The spot is indicated by the
space between the two crosses.)
The accompanying map
(continued father Kuppens) may perhaps five a faint idea of the
buildings of St. Peter's Mission on the bank of the Missouri.
The first glance at the houses should convince a person that the
inmates were not cave-dwellers, nor should they be ranked among
the cliff-dwellers either. We sometime had a discussion as to the style
of architecture that had been adopted; it was neither Greek nor
Roman nor Byzantine nor Gothic; nor either an imitation of
California Mission. It was Montana
Rooms Nos. 1 and 2, and
Nos. 3 and 4, had been erected at the first beginning of the
mission, in February, 1862. Rooms Nos. 5 6, 7, were built during
November and December, 1864. All the buildings were well
matched, all of the same material, green cottonwood logs, the
same degree of finish; they were not squared and the bark had
not been removed. The walls were about seven and a half feet
high. The interstices and chinking were plastered with clay. The
roof was made of rails laid close together, overlaid with a
heavy layer of clay. There were no ceiling to any of the rooms;
and as to floor, we had, when the buildings were new, a most
delightful velvet green carpet of the very dense sod. When that
carpet was worn out, as the very best will do in time, we walked
on a clay floor.
There was a porch, about
five feet wide, along the whole length of this incipient
rectangle. In after life, I have often wondered that these could
be so much interior peace and consolation in poor surroundings.
These were all the accommodations at St. Peter's in 1864.
But I must not forget two
useful adjuncts, a stockade coral, faced by the windows of rooms
No. 1 and 2, for the ponies of our guests. These were borrowed
sometimes during the night, to the great annoyances of ourselves
and our guests. By this arrangement, each guest could have an
eye to his pony whenever he awoke. Another stockade coral was
along the eat side of the building, for our cattle and horses.
This saved a great amount of trouble.
The time of the accident
to Father Giorda was at the very beginning, whilst they were
preparing the foundations and laying the logs. At my arrival at
the Mission, Father Giorda himself whilst showing me the points
of interest about the place, pointed out to me where he had
broken through the ice and was saved from the waters. He also
introduced me to his rescuer. A week after the accident, Father
Giorda set out for the Gros Ventres camp, where he had another
adventure, narrated in the book (Indian and White in the
The site and premises
described and illustrated by Father Kuppens show us the Mission
of St. peter, as it stood on the banks of the Missouri. But it
did not remain there long, hardly five years, since in the
spring of 1866, as we shall seem it was removed to another
location, the one it occupies today. Nevertheless, its short
existence by the Missouri appears to have been spiced with
As Father Kuppens was
returning one day from a missionary excursion, an Indian stopped
him in the middle of the road, a few miles from the Mission.
Somehow, the Father's mount had caught the eye of the redskin,
and he offered to swap it for his own bronco. As the Father
would not consent to the bargain, the Indian seized the hose by
the bridle, as if determined to take it by force. Upon this,
Father Kuppens gave the fellow a good whack across the face with
his whip, and off he galloped as fast as the hose could take
him. Twinkling of an eye, the Indian had recovered from his
surprise and with bow and arrow shot at the Father, hitting him
in the calf of the right leg, where the missile stuck, till it
was extracted by Father Ravalli at the mission.
Father Kuppens makes no
allusion whatever on his notes to the occurrence. Ina a personal
letter to the writer he makes light of the whole thing and
laughs it off, as not worth mentioning.
At first quite a number
collected in the new place. But they did not, nor could they
remain any length of time. So far, "the buffalo" as Father
Kuppens tells us, "was their only support, and they moved their
camp to the source of their food supply."
It also came to pass that
unusual dry weather prevailed three years in succession at this
period: and it did not tend to impose the
favorably with the locality. Hence they left "regretfully,"
according to some; "dissatisfied and in disgust," according to
Father Kuppens takes us
to task for having stated in the first edition that the dry
weather had destroyed "the crops three years in succession."
Indians and the Mission had no crops for three successive
years," says the father, "but they had not planted anything";
for they had neither seed not any means to plant it with.
Accordingly, historical accuracy would have us say, not that the
dry weather destroyed the crops, but that it would have done so
had there been any to destroy. For, according to Brother L.
D'Agostino, who also lived there at the time, hardly any green
grass could be seen thereabouts during the prolonged dry spell.
With 1862, had begun what
may be called the gold-digging period of
deposits of the precious metals being discovered at Bannack, Gold
Creek, Alder Gulch, and shortly after at Silver City, Last
Chance and several other places. This brought many whites into
the country and kept them also in a feverish state of mine, with
constant expectation of new diggings being discovered. Crowds
would rush or stampede, as goes the word, in this or that
direction, at the first rumor of gold being struck. However,
very often such rumored discoveries proved ill-founded, bringing
nothing in their train save disappointment and hardship.
A wild stampede of the
kind occurred in the winter of 1865, when somebody spread the
news of a big find in the Sun River country. It was during a
blizzard in one of the coldest winters ever experienced in
and many a brave, bur unfortunate miner has his ears, nose,
hands or feet frozen. A number found their way to St. Peter's
Mission, whose poor and scant accommodations were thrown open to
them by the Fathers. Were it not for this, and the medical skill
and unsparing devotedness of Father Ravalli, several would have
"I remember the Sun River
stampede," writes Father Kuppens, " and whilst the Sun River
country received the brunt of the inundation, we on the Missouri
received an overflow far above our capacity to accommodate."
But the discovery of gold
had other aspects far more serious than stampeding, and none
could be more serious then the strife which it brought about
between the whites and the
and which promised little good for the latter.
The natives had been from
time immemorial the sole possessors of all these regions, and
naturally enough they resented seeing them invaded by the pale
faces. On the other hand, the discovery of gold was bringing in
the whites by the thousand from every quarter. Nor could they be
stopped in their rush any more than an avalanche can be stayed
by means of a few straws. Yet, the
imagined that they could hold back the white man by force. Hence
the state of guerrilla warfare that prevailed, especially in the
northern part of
at this time of our history.
Detached bands or war
parties of Blackfeet would fall on groups of miners,
prospectors, teamsters or travelers, and mercilessly rob and
murder every one of them. The whites retaliated. Hence it came
to pass that innocent persons were often made to suffer for some
one else's misdoings; and many a harmless white man, and many a
peaceful native perished during this lawless and bloody strife.
A reprisal of the kind
occurred along the Marias about this time, when four peaceful
ere murdered by whites. As a sequel and in revenge, some whites
were killed by
shortly after. Matters grew rapidly worse, and from 1865 6o
1869, the Blackfeet appeared to become desperate, and bent on
exterminating every white man found in the country. The highway
to Fort Benton,
particularly, became so infested with marauding bands of
that the life of no white man traveling over that road was
secure. it is asserted that in the summer of 1869 fifty-six
white people were killed, either from ambush or in the open,
along that road, by Indian war parties.
conditions are referred to as follows by Father Kuppens:
The summer of 1866 was
full of excitement and rumors of Indian wars, and many lives of
both whites and
were sacrificed, and the Mullan road from Fort Benton
became very unsafe. To protect this thoroughfare to the gold
Fort Shaw was established, late in the summer in the
immediate vicinity of the second location of the Mission (on Sun
The murder of Malcom
Clark, at the mouth of Prickly Pear Canyon, twenty-five miles
from Helena, brought things to a climax. It led to what has been
called the Piegan War of 1869-70, when Col. Baker and his
command slaughtered two hundred and thirty-three Indians,
fifty of whom were women and children.
And now, for the history
of St. Peter's. We must retrace our steps, and return to the
year 1865-66. In the Fore part of that winter Father Kuppens
went to visit the Indians,
who were then camped on the right bank of the Missouri, some
thirty miles below
During his visit he found that they were bent on mischief
against all white people in general, and even against the
Mission and the Fathers. A number of the
were clearly under the false impression that every white man was
an enemy. They had, therefore, resolved to treat as such even
the Black Robes.
All this was communicated
to Father Kuppens by a personal friend of his in the tribe. So
far the missionaries had not had the slightest sign of any
feeling against them on the part of the Indians.
The information came as a surprise to the Father; and the more
so as he could not doubt the veracity of his informant. He left
the camp rather sadly, and as he was retracing his course toward
the Mission he met with a very trying visitation, becoming
snow-blind and totally helpless. Most providentially, there
happened to come his way a kind-hearted miner, by name John
Dougherty, who took care of him and led him safe to Old Agency,
some eighteen miles from the Mission. Here, with rest and proper
care, he gradually regained his sight, and had also for some
time the company of a confrere, Brother D'Agostino, sent to his
relief from the Mission.
There were several Indian
lodges camped about Old Agency at the time, and when the Father
began to see and move around, he went to visit and instruct
them. He noticed, however, as did others, that the
had suddenly become strangely reticent and sulky. He wondered
what the cause might be, and having inquired, they told him that
four of their people had been hanged by the whites near Sun
River Crossing, and that the bodies had been thrown into the
river, through a hole cut in the ice. And there was only too
much truth to the ghastly tale.
Near the locality
mentioned by the
there lived one John B. Morgan, a squaw man, married to a Piegan
woman. Some few days before, a party of Indians
of the same tribe, numbering at least four, had come to his
house and were his guests. He treated them well, making them
feel quite at home, and having been assured that they were
perfectly safe with him, they put aside their guns. Shortly
after, there also arrived at his place a party of white, led by
one Charles Carson. They were a squad of the volunteers who
under the proclamation of the Acting Governor, General Thomas
Francis Meagher, had been enlisted with the
object of sending them against the Blackfeet
But they were soon after disbanded, their organization having
been disapproved by the Government of Washington, D. C.
Did Morgan send for his
new visitors? Did he bring them to his home? We cannot say. But
certain it is that the could not have behaved more treacherously
than if he had been in entire collusion with them. As he
afterward boasted of doing; he gave his Indian guests over to
the Carson crown, telling them: "Now, boys, right here is a
chance for you; some of the redskins you are after are in this
were in an adjoining room eating what Morgan had set before
them. Suddenly attacked, they were quickly overpowered, and
dragged out and hanged to a couple of trees near the premises.
The bodies, still warm, were cast into the river, through an
opening hastily but in the ice. The tragic ending of these poor
fellows was witnessed by two of their companions, who had
remained hiding in the underbrush close by. Either they
distrusted Morgan, or some other reason not known led to their
hiding. They now stole away unperceived, and hastened to bring
the news to their fellow
camped near Old Agency. No wonder that these had become
Nor were they slow in
giving vent to their desire for revenge. They attacked the New
Agency, a few miles from Morgan's, where they killed one of the
men; whilst another owed his escape merely to the accidental
explosion of some powder in the building, which frightened off
the assailants. Simultaneously, too, they killed a white man,
whom they caught outside; and but for the rest having fortified
themselves with the premises, all would have fallen victims to
Notwithstanding his being
married to an Indian woman of the same tribe, Morgan had good
ground to fear for himself and his family. hence, he hastened to
the Mission, and sought to obtain there shelter for them, on the
plea of the general insecurity of the country about, and because
he had to go to Helena on most urgent business. The man was soon
suspected by the
and believed to have had some part in the hanging of their people at his
place. Hence his mere going to seek protection for his family at
the Mission was apt to bring odium on the Fathers. We have seen
above that distrust of the missionaries had already crept into
the mind of some of them, and the tragedy at Morgan's could not
but add to it.
This became more apparent
day by day. Acts of hostility such as wantonly shooting down the
Mission stock, several head being killed or maimed, plainly
showed the temper of the savages. But worse: about Easter, John
Fitzgerald, whom the Fathers employed as herder, was shot dead,
hardly a quarter of a mile from their premises. There was not
telling what the next day might bring on.
Father Giorda, the
general Superior, was at this time at Alder Gulch or Virginia
City, whither he had gone to give the many Catholics in that
large mining camp the opportunity to make their Easter duties. A
messenger was dispatched to him; and without a moment's delay he
set out for St. Peter's Mission. On reaching the place, he
viewed the situation with no little concern, and tender-hearted
as he was, broke into tears.
We shall see directly
that a new site for the Mission had been selected a year before,
and that preparation for the removal to the new place had been
going on for several months. Hence, "Father Giorda felt
considerably relieved," writes Father Kuppens, "when we told him
that things in the new place were practically ready."
But of this in the next
The Blackfoot civilization had that
sense of accomplishment. The people were happy and free in their
homeland. It took violence and fraud and bribery to push them back
into a reservation. The colonizers were successful. By the end of
the 19th century, the Blackfoot civilization had largely been
overrun by American savagery. This savagery included military
repression, the whiskey trade, residential schools and cattle
ranching. The details of how this took place will be the subject of
my next post.
SOURCES: Long Standing Bear Chief, "Ni-Kso-Ko-Wa:
Blackfoot Spirituality, Traditions, Values and Beliefs" (This can be
ordered from Spirit Talk Press in Browning, Montana
George Catlin, "North American Indians," Penguin, 1989
John Ewers, "The Blackfeet: Raiders of the Northwestern Plains,"
University of Oklahoma, 1958
George Bird Grinnell, "Blackfoot Lodge Tales: The Story of a
Prairie People," University of Nebraska, 1962
Marshall Sahlins, "Stone Age Economics," Aldine de Gruyter Press,
Reporter (to Mahatma Gandhi): Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.
Beginning in the mid 1800s and coming to a climax in the
post-Civil War period, rapacious gold prospectors, fur trading
companies and ranchers invaded Blackfoot territory. They came in the
same fashion that profit-oriented barbarians have come to the Amazon
rainforest in recent decades, with plunder in their hearts and a
willingness to exterminate anybody who got in the way.
It should come as no surprise that the US Army defended the
invaders on the basis of protecting private property and
"civilization." In the summer of 1865 the Pikuni (Southern
Blackfoot) signed a treaty in Fort Benton,
pushed their southern boundary north to the Teton River. They
received annuities of $50,000 a year for a period of twenty years.
If the United States did not have the benefit of a superior armed
force, the Blackfoot never would have signed such a treaty since it
amounted to theft. As Woodie Guthrie once said, some men will steal
your valuables with a gun while some will do it with a fountain pen.
The United States used both gun and fountain pen.
Clashes with gold prospectors continued, who refused to respect
Blackfoot rights within the newly redefined territory. When some
prospectors under the leadership of the racist thug
killed four Pikuni men just for sport, Chief Bull's Head organized a
large revenge party and the prospectors got their comeuppance.
In 1868, when a Pikuni elder and a small boy were in Fort Benton on an
errand, white racists shot them down in the street. Alfred Sully,
who had responsibility for upholding the law in the tense area, said
that because of tensions between the two groups he could not convict
the killers in any court. This gave other white settlers a license
to continue killing. When the Pikuni resorted to self-defense, the
authorities decided that some kind of state of emergency existed and
called in outside help.
Having decided that the Indians rather than the rapacious
invaders were at fault, the army ordered Colonel E. M. Baker to put
down a rebellion led by Mountain Chief. "Strike them hard" were his
instructions. He pulled together four companies of cavalry,
augmented by fifty-five mounted infantrymen and a company of
infantry, and marched on the Indians. On daybreak of January 23,
1870, the US army under Baker's command attacked a village on the
Marias river. They killed 173 Indians, seized 300 horses and took
140 women and children into custody. There was only one problem.
This was not Mountain Chief's village, but one that was friendly to
the United States. Many of the villagers were sickly victims of a
recent smallpox epidemic. To add to their misery, the troops burned
the lodges and camp equipment.
This was a Blackfoot My Lai. The eternally sanctimonious New York
Times editorialized on February 24, 1870, "The question is whether a
wholesale slaughter of women and children was needed for the
vindication of our aims." One wonders if the New York Times keeps a
file of such sentiments recyclable for suitable occasions, such as
the recent bombing of a medicine factory in Sudan.
The consequences of this mass murder were as would be expected.
It panicked the Pikuni into signing another compromised treaty. The
whole purpose of military repression was not to restore "law and
order" but to push Pikuni into the marginal portions of the state of Montana. All
of these treaties from the 1860s and 70s lack legitimacy and should
be reviewed, just as the annexation of Hawaii is being reviewed by
the United Nations today.
The information that appears above is drawn from John C. Ewers's
flawed but essential history, "The Blackfeet: Raiders on the
Northwestern Plains" (U. of Oklahoma, 1958). Its flaw is visible in
its very title, which depicts the Blackfeet as "raiders." Ewers
draws a picture of Blackfeet (the Blackfoot people prefer not to use
this term since it refers to "feet" rather than people) as warriors
who enjoyed stealing horses from Indians and white settlers alike.
In the very chapter where he decries the massacre at Marias river,
he refers to the problems involved in "the pacification and
civilization of western Indian tribes." This is said without irony.