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Havre of the Past: A new barber shop, the Silver Panic and drought

 

September 13, 2013

Photo from Al Lucke Collection, MSU-Northern Vande Bogart Library

People watch a parade of elephants on what is now 1st Street in downtown Havre. The Merchant's Hotel is on the left with a gaslight in front. The hotel is roughly where the Palace Bar or Northern Home Essentials is today.

This week, for the 36th installment of this series celebrating Havre’s 120th anniversary, we return to 1893. It is too bad the previous two week’s issues were not on microfilm, as I would have liked to see the newspaper’s reaction to Havre’s incorporation on Sept. 5 of that year. We start up again with the Sept. 12 edition.

Due to the Silver Panic of 1893, there were a few articles on that subject throughout the paper. Here is one on Montana’s outlook of the situation.

Great Is Montana

In a recent interview on the financial situation, the Hon. E. D. Edgerton, of Helena, is credited with the following:

While it is useless to deny that favorable silver legislation would be beneficial to Montana, yet I do not share the opinion of those who think silver is the only thing this country possesses and I also think we shall gain some good from these hard times forcing us to consider other resources which we have neglected. The trouble with us is that we don’t realize what we possess. We do not realize our own surroundings or, if we do, we do not realize them in a practical way. I believe I am telling you the exact truth when I say there is not a state in the union with the same number of people that has the same resources, or the same products from earth. We are supposed to be simply a mineral region, and still we actually produce more than the same number of people at any other place on earth. For instance, take upon the basis of population, we raise more wheat than Dakota or Minnesota, more and better barley than Canada, and more cattle than Texas, more sheep than Ohio, and more gold than California-bearing in mind that my statements are always based upon the question of population and not area or entirety.

In local news, of course the really good information is contained in the “City and State” social pages. This week’s entries include, complete with grammatical errors and misspellings:

Charles Arnaud has opened up a barber shop in the building lately vacated by Justice McNally.

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Beaver creek is now as dry at the Sahara desert. Milk river has yet enough running water to float a cork.

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Labor Day was not very generally observed in Havre; there being but one business house that closed its doors upon that day.

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Messrs. A. J. Broadwater, Purnell and Coffee, the three mighty duck hunters of the Milk river valley, enjoyed a days’ hunting last week’ bringing back with them enough of the feathered tribe that were an angel to see the result of their days’ sport, it would shed tis wings, return to Mother earth and join these three Nimrod’s.

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Last Wednesday evening there was quite an excitement in the neighborhood of the Merchants’ hotel. It seems that a railroad employe, Tom Austin by name, after indulging in an unlimited quantity of “elegant red liquor” suddenly came to the conclusion that he was a modern Sampson and endeavored to impress the same belief upon his audience; forgetting that there were other Sampson’s in Havre. Austin, not placing that implicit confidence in himself as did Sampson of Bible times, hied himself to another quarter of the city and “heeled” himself. When Austin returned a crowd had gathered in and around the Merchants, and with renewed “spirits” Tom turned three shots loose at the crowd of bystanders, not hitting any of them.

Austin believing that he had committed a wholesale slaughter ran in direction of the depot and has not been seen since. Officers are camping on his trail, and should he be captured, there will be one resort left him, viz: to hold a council of war with Judge DuBose.

The Merchant’s Hotel was located on the south side of First Street between Second and Third Avenues. Judging by the picture for this article, it would have been in the vicinity of where the Palace Bar or Northern Home Essentials is today. In the late 1890s, the Merchant’s Hotel installed Havre’s first street light, powered by acetylene gas. It was privately owned and can be seen in front of the hotel in the picture, if one looks to the left center of the photograph where the sign board extends out over the sidewalk. The Ringling Brothers circus was in town at the time the photograph was taken, thus the parade of elephants to the right of the picture.

An Alias Summons was published in the newspaper this week. E. T. Broadwater and Simon Pepin, co-partners as Broadwater & Pepin were plaintiffs against the defendant John Eastman. Seems the Broadwater & Pepin Company sold Mr. Eastman some goods he did not pay for, and they were seeking payment.

 

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