Youst of Belfry Montana


Posted by: Lena Seng on

     Some of the horse races seem to be over for awhile. (They were held where the highway goes toward Bridger.) You can tell form the looks on their faces who won and who lost. Among them is Bill Nelson who is marshal for the day. He is usually busy as a carpenter. He built the hardware for Jack Holland last year and the blacksmith shop this year for Frank Davis. The blacksmith shop was one of the first business buildings in Belfry and the hardware building will be the scene of the big dance to be held later on in the day. (The blacksmith shop stood across the street from the present fire station and the hardware store on the site of Aldrich Lumber Company.) Claude Youst, manager of the dance, has worked all night with a crew getting the floor ready for the dance.

       You will see a lot of Bill today. He has quite a job on his hands keeping order. All the cowboys in the country seem to be here. A rodeo is being held (south of the highway which cuts through the town) along with some target shooting. These ranch hands are out to win and the crowd is enjoying the fun.

       Charles Burt, owner, of the livery stable, is here. (The livery was located where Hall’s Garage is now.) He takes the children to school in his surrey. The first school was built of drift logs in 1897 on the Claude Youst place then owned by Chick Bomie. Jennie Blanchard taught there. Some of the former teachers are here today. They were Miss Rook, Mary Bailey, Belle Griffith, Jennie Emboden, Curtis R. Beeler, and Mrs. John Holland who taught when she was the Miss Zela Clark. There’s Mrs. Charles Burnes who will teach this fall. The school has been located out of town, but there is talk of building a frame schoolhouse in town.

     The crowd is getting larger now. That looks like Mr. and Mrs. N. D. Hall, (Parents of the present Roy Hall). She was named Belfry’s first postmistress last year. They own a general store (located in the building housing Johnny Ungefug’s store). Whether you need a sack of flour or a letter mailed – these are the people to see. That looks like little Roy Hall who has been down at the depot to see the train come in. Jack Matson over there had the first grocery store (located between the bar and old telephone office) and with him are the owners of the first saloon, John Printz and Rocky Hatfield. Saloon stood where the bean elevator is now.)

       Gilford E. (Dick) Youst was the first man to settle on the bottom land near Belfry. (He was the father of Claude Youst). He was with some of the survey crews in Wyoming and Montana. The Youst family and the Nathan Chance family had been in New Mexico and Wyoming together and joined up to come to this valley in a wagon train. (The Chance family chose the land where his son, Quince, lives today. This was in 1893 and there was no Belfry as such. Youst homesteaded the present Allen Snyder place. Mrs.Youst and her daughter spent the summer of 1893 on their homestead and did not see another woman all that time.)

       The William Rae family are here today, also. They came in the fall of ’93 after the Youst family came in August. Youst and Rae put in the Youst Ditch which brought the first irrigation water to the valley.

       I also see Mr. and Mrs. John Holland with their baby, William, in the crowd. They did not want to miss seeing the train arrive either. John and his family came originally overland from Pennsylvania to Wyoming and to Red Lodge in 1889. His brother, Fred, came to Belfry in 1893 and the rest of the family followed a year later. Mrs. Holland taught school last year and now she is a wife and mother.

       Hazel, Myra, and Bill Rich are probably among the children playing around the speakers stand. Their father was the advance man who brought up the right-of-way for the Yellowstone Park Railway. (The Rich family lived in the present John Webb home. Myra is no Mrs. Paul Pierce of Bridger. After the railroad began making regular runs to Bridger Miss Laura and these children would ride in a log railroad car to Bridger to church and Sunday School. These were the first children that played on the streets of Belfry.)

       Owen Hancock and his brother-in-law, Ed Darnell and John Ashben, and Black Ogden and his son, George, started out from Lexington, Illinois and ended in Belfry in 1896.

       Charles Carlson homesteaded a place by the river (now the Mrs. Goldie Youst farm) in 1894. C. B. Clark had the place north of town (now the Paul G. Lose ranch).

       There were other pioneers who came to this country, but were unable to work their land or went to the gold rush and then others took over their places in the valley.

       Warren Sirrine operated a ferry (near the present Chance Bridge). He charged 25 cents for a team or two horses and 50 cents for four horses.

       It looks like they are getting an early start on the dancing while they are waiting for the speeches. The music for the dance will be provided by an Italian Band from Red Lodge. The names of all the members of this group are not available, but they say that Ralph Lumley will be on the drums. The charge for the dance will be ten cents a dance. So the men better have a good supply of dimes if they want to dance with all the pretty girls.

     This morning a train whistle pierced the clear blueness of the sky. People jammed the streets. The engine snorted smoke as it pulled in with five cars of passengers from Billings. The excursion train came into the town of Belfry for the first time and it is the Fourth of July, 1906.

       The young town of Belfry has split its seams today with 2,000 visitors. It is a gay holiday crowd that congratulates F. A. Hall for he is seeing his dreams actually take shap. He still has more plans for this part of the young state of Montana which has only been a state for 17 years. This short railroad from Bridger is just the beginning. He plans on the railroad going on to Cooke City with a smelter at the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon and a branch up to Bearcreek. In his mind he visualizes a bustling industry running competition to Butte.

       Mr. Hall came out here years ago and saw the possibilities so he went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in order to get some backing for this railroad. In the east he inspired others to invest in the future of Montana. He received the financial backing he needed and returned to the west to put his hopes and ideas into actual practice. He couldn’t find room in Bridger to set up a tent for a temporary office. So they came on the Belfry and built a small shack for his office and a place for Miss Laura Salzberg to do the bookkeeping. There you see Miss Laura, the girl who does all the office work for the newly formed Yellowstone Park Railway. All who know her, love her for she is a very fine person. She has worked for Mr. hall since he started the railroad.

       After the surveyors had decided where the road should go, the grade was built in 1905. A group of these rough and ready men are in Belfry to see the results of their work. A crew came through in 1899 to resurvey for homesteads after the first survey had been rejected. Other crews were in the surrounding area making surveys for other railroads. This hardy breed of men are the real trail blazers who decide where the railroads will be and thus where the towns will spring up and industry will flourish, bring more people out west.

       They started laying the steel on January 1, 1906 and were hard to put to finish the job by today. At the same time the round house and water tank were constructed. (This round house was destined to burn down four years later.) Then the train crew took over. Here we see the crew with brought the train in today. George Garber, engineer, Charles Burns, and Jess Newman are very happy to have been on the first run.

       Mr. Hall realized that if he built a railroad, a settlement would grow up in the same vicinity. So as early as 1895 he bought land for a town site from J. M. Woodcock. In the same year the first house in this locality was built. (That house is occupied by Mrs. Bertha Andrew today.)

       A real surprise has been planed by Mr. Hall for today. People are all talking about how he has spruced up the community. The sidewalks were laid in time for this celebration. (They were laid on both sides of main street from the depot to the present school buildings.) A lot of work went into going up into the mountains to gather up some evergreen trees. These were then planted in kegs and placed along both sides of main street.

       Some of the residents and visitors are curious where the name of Belfry came from for this town. It was named after a Doctor Belfry in Lancaster who believed in hall and was one of the stockholders in this venture of his. Hall also thought this name was appropriate because belfry means a tower which guards the peace.

     The Yellowstone Park Railway engine picked up the five railroad cars of merrymakers from Billings in Bridger and together with their coach, flat cars, and caboose full of other holiday visitors came on to Belfry. Still others came horse and buggy or on horseback. Calamity Jane probably came by horseback today from Red Lodge along with her friend, Wild Bill Hickock. It is said she can out ride any man or out drive whim with a team while he can out shoot any man. She should be tired after the trip over the hills, but then they say she has the muscles of a blacksmith, the vocabulary of a mule skinner, and the heart of a priest. One of her other purported accomplishments is to be able to hit a cuspidor at twenty paces.

       L. L. Smith (father of Mrs. Dominic Obert and Mrs. Charles Sinnock) is managing the hotel for Mrs. Powe (this hotel was located where Paul Travis has his station at the present time). This hotel is doing a booming business attempting to feed some of the people. Most of the people, however, are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and are enjoying picnic lunches along Bearcreek where Mr. Hall has started a park. There will be fruit trees and grass planted along the creek making a beauty spot for the community.

       The people are beginning to gather to hear a speech by the judge. (The speaker’s platform stood where the Carl Ungefug home is now.) There in the crowd are F. A. Hall and Miss Laura. The community is all a buzz with the talk that this business relationship will soon blossom into romance and eventually marriage. They all wish this happy couple good wishes.

(A clipping from the Bridger Times)
Interesting account prepared by Jetta Regan and presented at Pioneer Day at Belfry School in 1925.

The ranches in the Belfry community are, with their owners, the following: The Claude Youst ranch, the Albert Youst ranch owned at present by Mr. Toothaker, the Bomie ranch owned by J. O. Higham; and the John Woodcock place owned by Mr. Andrews; the Dew place; the Robert Ray place; owned by Mr. Ogden; and the C. B. Clarke place.

The first school in the vicinity was located in what was know as the Youst District, then in possession of Bomie, but now owned by Claude Youst. The house was built of drift logs.  Jennie Blanchard taught there in 1897.  The horse was moved up near the Higham house where it burned in the summer of 1924.  In 1898 the district was divided into the Silvertip and Riverview districts. The first hotel in the Silvertip district was built on the opposite side of the river near the mouth of Bearcreek, and was taught by Miss Rock in 1898 an by Mary Bailey in 1899.  In 1900 the Kose building was built on the opposite side of the road from its present location.  It was taught by Miss Bella Griffith, Miss Emboden, Mr. Curtis R. Beeler, Mrs. Zela Clark Holland and lastly, Mrs. Charles Burns.  Charles Burt took the children to school in his surrey. The frame school in town was built in 1909. The first teacher was Professor Tibbs, then Henderson, Mr. Kelso and Miss Rosebrooke, Miss Peck, Mrs. Burns, Miss Jennie Munroe and Mrs. Limbaugh succeeding.  Our present building was erected in 1921 and 1922.  The contractor was Mr. Buffington. Mr. Moe and Mr. Prates did the inside work.  The cost was about $40,000.00.

The company which was formed to construct the Yellowstone Park Railway was organized in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with Mr. F. A. Hall as president.   L. S. Sears and H. R. French was acting superintendent when McClain left.  Mr. A. R. Clement succeeded Mr. Sullivan as trainmaster and was also head clerk. Mr. Maguire and Mr. French were appointed receivers.  Mr. Maguire was the next superintendent and Mr. F. S. Gannon was the next president.  Then Mr. Zoot was made president, (they called him Ma Zook), with Mr. W. H. Bunney as vine-president and general manager.  Mr. Bunney took up residence here in Belfry where he could observe everything that was going on.  The railway grade was made in 1905, but the steel rails were not laid until 1906. The first engine to come to Belfry was “Little Fifteen”, and it was brought by engineer George Garver and fireman Charles Burns on January 10, 1906.  Mr. Garver was the first engineer, Jess Newman was first engine fireman, Pat Dolan succeeded him and was killed September 25, 1907. Charles Burns was the first brakeman.

The first train brought three cars of passengers from Bridger.  The second brought five coaches from Billings with 800 people, to the wonder of wonders, Belfry!  There were probably 2,000 people in Belfry that day and it was the biggest day Belfry has ever seen. A big carnival from Billings and a public dance were the big attractions.  Posters in Billings read, “Big Fourth of July Celebration at Belfry; Last year a wheat field, this year a city with cement sidewalks.”  The excursion special left Belfry at 10:00 p.m. that same evening, July 4, 1906.

When Gannon was made president, he changed the name Yellowstone Park Railway to Montana, Wyoming and Southern M.W.S. it was called. That was in 1909.  The railroad was 25 miles long.  125 men worked on the road.  The train had 125 cars, all freight cars, but one passenger coach, so people could come to Belfry and back by train.  In 1919 a Keen motor car was brought (always called the “Submarine” or the “Gallipin Goose”) to take care of the passenger trade.  It was a lovely car and rode like a rocking chair, but it was discarded in the early thirties, as almost nobody rode it any more in favor of the automobile which almost everyone had by this time.

They had to ballast the road with slack at that time and the rails were on the light side, so then a big rain or a thaw came from the big snow and a big long train of coal was coming down the hill it would squash out, and there would be a big wreck.  There were also sun kinks in the rails and the engine would hit that, then there would be another wreck. The wrecks on the M.W.S. got to be quite a joke, even though they were not allowed to run over 12 miles an hour, but fortunately in all the years of the life of the M.W.S. only three men were killed.  Dolan, mentioned earlier, in 1907, Mr. McKinsey killed in the early fall of 1917, and Edwin Kose, killed March 31, 1922.  When McKinsey was killed and was buried from the church; his wife was very heartbroken over it.  The president went to her and asked her what she wanted, and she said $25,000 which was a large fortune at the time, but they told her it would be granted.  When the president took the check to her, he told her she would have to produce a marriage certificate. She said she did not have one … that they were never married.  She left at once for Denver. So, be sure your sins will find out, Moses.  When he got killed he was in the safest place on the train, the caboose or the crummy, as all the men called it.  Crummy is right.  The train was coming from Bridger and the little was coming along, hicke0ty, hickety, hickety, hick.   As they were coming by the river into the railroad yards, it jumped the track.  Mr. McKinsey jumped off on the opposite side to save his life, of course, but the crummy jumped right back on the track and jumped off again an the side that McKinsey had jumped off, and it was “Good Morning, St. Peter”, for him. It mashed his brains out and C. A. Andrew scooped them up with a shovel and threw them in the river.  He was the seventh person burned in the Belfry cemetery.

Once when some Japanese were changing some rails (Japanese did the section work), they forgot to put up the red flag and the engine and train load of coal hit the ties.  The engine began to rock, then old No. 6 turned over in the river.  It was going slow and turned over so slowly that the Engineer, Charles Burns, and the fireman, George Miller, jumped in the river, so no one was hurt…..but the engine was up-side down in the Clarks Fork river with its wheels sticking up in the air.

The father and mother of Edwin Kose only received $7,100.00.. ..the smallest amount that could be paid in case a man got killed on the railroad.  Nobody saw him get killed, so nobody knew just that happened. They found him under the train, cut square in two.  As was McKinsey, he was on the safest place on the train.  The train was pulling into the yards to tie up when the engineer saw a sun kink and shot the air, only going about five miles an hour.  He was putting down the retainers prior to stopping, so they thought if he was stooped over and they shot the air, of course it would throw him as sure as the world.  The father and mother were certain that was what happened, as was everyone else, but dead men tell no tales.  Within two weeks they were trying to collect $25,000, but they didn’t have any luck.  Charles Burns was the engineer, and C. A. Andrew was the other brakeman.  They tried to bribe Andrew to swear that the shock was the cause of his death.  He ordered them off the place.  Kose was an only son.  When he was killed, the father had come into town to take him home, as he did each.   He did not know why the boy was not in town to go home with him.  Someone called across the street and said, “‘Hey, old man.  Did you know Edwin got cut in two a while ago?”  That poor old man went up the street screaming and crying.  Edwin was in the first World War.  When he had to go to war, his mother went berserk.  She was found wandering around out in the hills, crazy.  However, she did come out of it.  The boy came home without a scratch and was so handsome.  They were so proud of him; then he got killed on the M.W.S., but after all the common saying was “the Clark Pork Valley was such a healthy place to live, they had to kill a man to start a cemetery and keep it going.”

Mr. Hall planned to make Belfry a second Butte, a smelting city for which Cooke City would furnish the ore and Bearcreek the coal.  He intended the miners should live here an so seventy-five percent of the population of Bearcreek and Washoe would have resided here.  He also planned to have a waterworks here in 1910.  While in Lancaster, Pa. in 1907, he suffered from an illness which eventually robbed him of the use of his legs.  He sold out his shares in the railroad, which had changed its name in 1909, and he gave up his work here.  He was living in Long Beach, California, an invalid confined to his chair and to whom much more credit would have been due had he been spared to finish his work here.  It is said that prospects for extending the railroad to Cooke City had not been abandoned in 1925.

The first round house and water tank was built in 1906. The round house burned down in 1910, but was quickly reconstructed.  (The Japanese laughed and said, “Glee Clist, square round house!)  Foley and Crow had the contract for the depot which was built in 1906.  As houses began to mushroom up all around, Mr. Hall decided it was time to give the new town a name.  For all the bookkeeping and writing to be done for the new rail-road, he needed a stenographer.  The girl that took the position proved to be all and more, too, than was expected, in more ways than one.  Her name was Belle.  Since all the railroad men and everyone loved her, including Mr. Hall, they decided to name the new town Belfry. The friendship between Belle and Mr. Hall ripened into a beautiful romance and they were married.  He was quite a little bit older than she, and the talk went around that she just married him for his money.  That proved to be an untruth, for when he became ill she stayed right with him and nursed him.  When he became helpless, she put him in a wheel chair and took him to health resorts and did her best to help him get well.  She was a strong believer in her wedding vow (Until death do us part) for at the last she died before he did.  It was always hoped that he would get well and come back and complete his plans for Belfry, but he never did.

The first house in Belfry was built by John Woodcock in 1894, before Belfry was even thought of, on the 12 acres that C. A. Andrew bought in 1919.  It was built of logs with a dirt roof.  The first building was a saloon built by John Prints for Roaxie Hatfield, which was situated where the elevator is now.  When the town was platted, it was moved to its present location behind the restaurant and used as a dwelling.  Later, in partner-ship with M. M. Moore, he built a saloon on the opposite side of the street between the grocery store of Jack Matson taken over by Browny and Spires, and the store owned by Mrs. W. O. Sirrine.  These three buildings were destroyed by fire in 1913.  Jack Holland started a hardware store in 1905 and sold it to the Baldwin Lumber Company in 1917.  It is the store in which the dance of the Fourth of July was given. Mrs. N. D. Hall started a grocery store and post office in the present barber shop, of which Mrs. Hall was the first postmistress in 1905.  The succeeding men who operated the store were Henry Held, Mr. Beckstrom, Mr. Pilcher, who had it during the war, and Mr. L. O. Walker, who took over from Filcher some time after the first World War was closed.  Mr. Violet had the barber shop at that time and continued to keep it for about 35 years.  Mr. Smith had a meat market and C. W. Sinnock had a harness shop in the building occupied now by Mr. and Mrs. George Wentz.  Mr. Sinnock sold his equipment to Mr. Walker in 1916 and he sold out in 1918.  In 1906 the first Yellow Hotel was built by Mrs. Ed Lester, now of Fromberg, who at first served meals in a tent.  The Hotel was run by Millers and is now run by Buffingtons.  Another building owned by a man by the name of Antone Ludwigson was built in 1910, of cement blocks.  It was used as a drug store by Paul Michel and as a pool hall by J. D. Nidy and a restaurant called “Peg Leg Inn” was run by John Todd.  He had a wooden leg.  Belmont Moore was in the building for a while, then a Mr. Man Kirby took it and used it as a lunch room, pool hall and ice cream parlor, now in 1925, it is used as a butcher shop by Mr. Brown.  Mr. Charles Burt had the livery stable built in 1906 and also built a nice home.  After cars became so numerous, the horse barn was no longer needed, so Mr. Ingram, Mr. Stearns and the Roach Seed Company succeeded in possession.  The blacksmith shop was built in 1906 by William Nelson, and has been run by Davis, Kennedy, Goldsmith, Walton, Robertson, Funga and Siep, respectively. Henry Rector built a saloon where Frank Ingram is now.  Underwood and Ray had a saloon as did Underwood and Stearns, then Mr. Ingram started a store.  The barber chair was thenlocated in the saloon.  Davis was the first Barber.  “Doc” Bulwar was the second, and then Mr. Violet is running the present shop.

Mr. McCormicks built the establishment owned by Mr. Hancock, which Mr. & Mrs. Freebury ran as a hotel and rooming house.  After the McCormicks had it, the Freeburys ran it and called it the Freebury Hotel.  When the Freeburys left Belfry, Mrs. Dayton and Mr. Hancock were married and took it over, but it burned to the ground on Friday, the 13th, in September, 1935.  Mr. Kose built the Clark Fork Building. It started out as a restaurant, but soon sold out to Mr. Francis who started the Clark Fork Trading Company, a big general store, with all kinds of dry goods, shoes and a large stock of merchandise stored in the upper story, and a big grocery stock in the basement.  One could buy almost anything on the market there.  Different managers were Mr. O’Shea, Mr. Orr, Mr. Green, and Mr. Art Watson.

The elevator was built by The Occident Elevator Company in 1919.  Mr. Roach ran it for quite a while, and was followed by Mr. Chales Lange.  Mr. Nash had the contract for the cement sidewalks, which were laid in 1906.

The First Presbyterian Church was organized in 1908, and the building was built and completed in 1910.  The Rev. Mr. Clark was the first pastor.  Other pastors were Rev. Warne, Sloan, McCullough, Walker, Joe Tope, Warner, Hood, Baine, Hamilton and Ferdine.

The first doctor in Belfry was Dr. Prints, the second Dr. Dodge. Dr. Chiloott came in 1910 and stayed until 1920.  Dr. Theckston, a 300 pound man, came, but did not stay long, as the examination in Montana for a doctor is stiff, and he could not pass it.  After him, Dr. Reedwas the doctor up to 1925.  All of the doctors were railroad doctors who were stationed here in Belfry.

The dentists who have made short stays in Belfry were Dr. Marcus and Dr. Shinn.

The Carmount Hotel was built by Mr. Boliver in or around 1909. The beet dump was built in 1909.  Perkins Savage Lumber Co., and Hardware Store was put up in 1914 and sold out in 1923 to the Baldwin Lumber Co.

The first dances were held in the upper part of the blacksmith shop.  Mr. Whitten, called “Old Black Joe”, played the violin and the first musicians were theSirrine brothers.

The Hall Garage was built in 1919 and was destroyed by the same fire that burned the Hancock Hotel in 1935 (September 13)

Mrs. Lena B. Holland had the first automobile.  It was much like a buggy with high wheels and hard rubber tires.  It was a Brush mode.  Mr. Hall refused to ride in it.

The first town well was on the John Woodcock place, now owned by C. A. Andrew.  The first well to serve the main part of town was dug in front of Antone Ludwigson’s building, which is now the saloon, with the sidewalk laid over it.

The first child born in Belfry was Velda Belfry Youst, the next was Jack Higham.

The first bank was a portion of the hardware store.  Mr. J. O. Higham was cashier and Jim Rich was assistant cashier.  W. L. Reno deposited the first money in the bank.  Soon the new building was completed and the bank was moved. The building was made of cement block, and housed the bank for about 25 years.

The first telephone was installed by Mr. John Tolman, as his own private phone, owned and operated by him at his own expense of about $2,000.00.  He owned and operated the Grove Creek sheep and cattle ranch about 12 miles southwest of Belfry and needed a phone for business reasons.

Some of the men who have been around the Belfry vicinity for years are: George Garver, Mr. Claude Youst, Mr. George Youst, Mr. Albert Youst, Mr. Elea Ogden, Mr. John Todd, Mr. Hancock, Mr. Hall, Mr. J. 0. Higham, Mr. Burns, Mr. Antone Ludwigson, Mr. Carrington, Mr. Violet, Mr. John Tolman, Mr. Bob Rowland, Mr. Kirk and Mr. Bill Combs.  Most all this has happened before 1925 and almost all except two or three mentioned have gone to their reward.

The first person to be buried in the Belfry Cemetery was a child by the name of Beil, pronounced Bell.  When the Child died, the man came to Claude Youst and said he did not know what to do with her, so big-hearted Claude gave the town a good-sized platt off of his farm for a burrying ground.  Now, in the year 1962, it is full and another platt has been added and started to fill up.  Oh, yes, the boy stood on the burning deck, but the old grim reaper goes on forever with his scythe.

The M.W.&S. Railroad that everyone loved so much was closed in 1953 by a man that was president at that time, William Gullickson.  It had done land-office business for years, hauling approximately thirteen million tons of coal in the 47 years it had run.  It was often said, it was not as long as some of the big roads, but it was just as wide.  The rai1road made this little town of Belfry.  We have now three church buildings and one of the best school systems in the state.  A gym was added to the first structure in 1928, and we, the people of Belfry, had the pleasure of seeing our basketball team take the state championship three years running.  The shop and lunchroom were built on in the last part of the forty’s, where our children are served a hot lunch every day for the very small sum of 15 cents per meal.

The Yellow Hotel burned down in the early 30s, as did the Freebury Hotel.  The Carmount Hotel was torn down and moved away.  Belfry is now a quiet little burg, with lots of retired people….but in its heyday, it was rip roarin.  One of the saloons was called “Bucket of Blood’.  It had the right name, as a man was shot in the belly.  There were no cars and no way to rush him to the hospital.  Dr. Morius and two other men threw him on the kitchen table and took his guts out, fixed them and put them back and today, 50 years later, the man is still living, but the good doctor has long since gone.  He was the one that said “the good die young”.

In the days of prohibition, they had to have something to drink so they made moonshine and what they called White Mule.  It was not ready to drink until it was stiff enough to take the enamel off the sink.  When they would get to having too wild a time and the man that sold it got to making too much money, someone would report it to Billings.  They would send the officers out to pull it, but before they could get here, someone would phone and tell that the officers were coming.  Quickly they would get everything out of sight and when the officers arrived, there would not he a sign of anything, other than a pocket full of money.  Of all the bootlegging there was out of Canada, one man who had the money gave another man $350.00 to go into Canada and bring him enough good whiskey to last a while.  The man stuck the $350.00 in the bottom of his jeans and hit for parts unknown.  That was a nice purse.  A man killed another man over his wife. There were lots of drifters, so it made the little town wild and wooly and the -years passed in front of the doors.

Now in this year of 1962, the M.W.S. is gone, even all the rails were taken up and shipped to Chicago.  The beautiful depot that was the pride of the valley is now the legion hall.  The round house stands quiet and desolate. Oh, little town of Belfry, how still we see thee lie.

by Jetts Regan up to 1925 and Mrs. Bertha Andrew up to 1962

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