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Celebrating History returns: Search for prison escapee


August 7, 2020

By Emily Mayer

After a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is my great pleasure to resume my column in the Havre Daily News. I missed reading the news from 100 years ago and sharing it with you. As the year goes on, I have a lot of catching up to do, but for now we will check out what was happening this week a century ago.

The Hill County Democrat reported Hill County rancher A. B. Livermore escaped prison. The Democrat printed in its Aug. 5, 1920, edition:


A. B. Livermore, a rancher from near Inverness, who was waiting in the county jail to be taken this morning at 3 o’clock to the state penitentiary at Deer Lodge to serve a sentence from 10 to 20 years, following his conviction in the district court on a charge of grand larceny, escaped from the county jail last night at about 8:20 o’clock.

Livermore requested one of the trustees in the jail to permit him to use a telephone. The request was granted and no sooner was he out of the cell than he pushed the trusty aside and rushing out the jail door, ran eastward through the alley and disappeared in the darkness.

The trusty suffers from asthma and one blow in the stomach was enough for Livermore to put him out of commission. As soon as he recovered, he notified Sheriff McLain and the pursuit of the escaped man was immediately taken up.

Sheriff McLain has offered a reward of $100 for the man.

Livermore was convicted in the district court in the spring of 1919 on a charge of petit larceny, and was sentenced to from one and one-half to three years in the state penitentiary. He secured a new trial before Judge W. B. Rhoades and was tried again this past spring and was found guilty of grand larceny and drew a sentence of from 10 to 20 years. This case in up on appeal to the supreme court.

The crime with which he was charged was that of stealing a saddle, harness and wheat from a man named Hyslop, a rancher near Box Elder, a few days before Christmas, 1918.

Other cases to come before the court included several lawsuits looking to recover financial losses, as well as three divorces. All three were filed by women.

Times were tough and getting tougher. When, just a few short years prior, the Legal Notices were full of proud homesteaders giving legal notice they were proving up on their homesteads, now the same column is chock-full, and even overflowing onto other pages, of homesteads going up for sheriff’s sale.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom. A picnic, tea party and wedding were all included in the same issue.


Members of the local Masonic fraternity will hold their annual picnic this year on Labor day at Fort Assinniboine. It will be a joint picnic given by members of both the local blue lodges and invitations will be extended to all visiting Masons to attend.

The members of the Eastern Star and the families of Masons will be invited guests at the picnic.

Preliminary arrangements for the affair will be discussed this evening at the regular meeting of Havre lodge No. 55.

The annual Masonic picnic has become a regular event in local Masonic life, this being the third of the kind.

Dr. A. L. Ward, who is an officer of the grand lodge, and Walter Bing, W. M .; Percy Doles, J. W .; and George J. Bonine, S. W., will leave about August 17 to attend the grand lodge in Missoula. At the same time the officeof the visiting young ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. During the afternoon about forty guests thronged the prettily decorated rooms.

Mrs. O. G. Skylstead presided in the dining room where ices and cake were served, with Mrs. E. T. Broadwater and Mrs. C. B. Wilson assisting. Mrs. Max Kuhr presided at the punch bowl.

In the receiving line were the Misses Marion Schlick, Kathryn Donahue, Florence Dixon and Beatrice Deschamps of Missoula, Helen Saunders of Helena, Eunice Whiteside of Kalispell, and Anna Skylstead, Ann Wilson and Kathryn Broadwater.

A very quiet but pretty wedding took place Sunday, at the home of Mrs. John Foster, when Thelma Bagley became the bride of William Anderson of Chinook. Rev. R. H. Stone performed the ceremony, using ring service.

The bride wore a dainty gown of white satin and carried a large bouquet of roses. Thelma Olson, the bridesmaid, wore a beautiful pink dress of Georgette and carried a bouquet of sweet peas. Dewy Anderson, brother of the groom, was the best man.

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson left on No. 1 for an extended tour of Glacier national park.

The bride is a graduate of the Havre High School class of ’19 and is one of Havre’s accomplished vocalists. Mrs. Anderson is a very popular young lady and will be greatly missed from Havre when she goes to Chinook.

The groom was formerly of Havre but is now connected with a leading mercantile business in Chinook. Prior to moving to Chinook he was engaged in the mercantile business in this city and was very popular in the social circles.

The out of town guests were Mr. and Mrs. George Foster and Archie Anderson of Gildford.


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