Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cowboy Legacy -- Montana stump ranch 1912

Frank Bailey, my granddad, was living in Montana by 1910.  Two of his brothers were also in the Kalispell, Montana area about the same.  His brother Marcus married Verna Woolford there in March 1910.  Another brother David was often Frank's hunting companion in Kalispell .  In September 1912 granddad married Lydia Corrina Brown, who had resided in nearby Creston, Montana.

Frank Jackson Bailey was born in Liberty Township, Valley Co., Nebraska April 29, 1886.  He was the son of David Jackson Bailey and Lillian Amanda Pierce.  Frank died March 15, 1968, in Los Angeles, California.

Lydia Corrina Brown was born in Sioux City, Iowa, September 13, 1891. She was the daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown and Neva Genevive Plympton.  Lydia died December 25, 1971, in Granada Hills, California.

About the time of their marriage Frank and Lydia filed on an 80-acre homestead in Kalispell.  The place had been "proved up'" and was signed off by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

In the photo above (taken 1914) grandma is holding baby Opel who died a year later, and granddad is holding the family pup.  Below is another 1914 photo of grandma with her sister Olive.  Graddad's homestead appears to be prospering as there is no shortage of fat cattle and well fed draft horses. 

Granddad described himself as a "stump rancher" who made his living raising horses and cattle, logging, growing a vegetable garden, and hunting deer and elk to provide for his family.

As a young man, granddad must have learned logging from his father Jackson.  Before moving to Kendrick, Idaho, in 1903, Jackson had lived in Nebraska, where there wasn't a forest for more than 100 miles.  

Granddad's logging operation included cutting and splitting some of the logs for firewood, as you can see in the photo above.  Brother David is operating the small steam engine while granddad (second from the left) is piling wood.

After the wood was split, it was stacked on wagons and delivered to customers.  Those old pioneers had a lot of work to balance just to eek out a living in the harsh conditions of early Montana.

The photo above (one of my favorites) is of mom who was born in Kalispell in October, 1914, and younger brother Vernon who was born there in October, 1917.

All those old pioneers are long gone now, but they left some indelible footprints on Montana's landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment