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Celebrating History: Security Bank reorganization and saving the fort

By Emily Mayer

Editor’s note: Due to printing issues and an early printing deadline, this was not included in this week’s print edition of Havre Weekly Chronicle. Celebrating History should be inlcuded in the print edition in future issues.

The reorganization of the Security State Bank was nearly complete, which, if successful, meant good news to the people of Havre 100 years ago. This news was carried in the April 27, 1924, edition of the Havre Daily Promoter.


“Just when the reorganization of the Security State bank will be completed, depends entirely upon the time required to secure the signatures of the depositors and creditors to

“It would take only a few days, according to officials, to bring about the reorganization and the opening of the new bank if the signatures were completed.

“Work of signing these signatures is progressing rapidly and it was estimated last night with it only started that more than $100,000 of the liabilities had already been signed.

“There are over 2000 of the depositors and therefore everyone should immediately sign and not wait to be asked if the work is to be facilitated.

“Contracts have been left at the following places for signature: Havre hotel; Promoter office; J. P. Grady; Bronson, Lange and Runkel; Peck’s Drug Store; Montana Power company; Wiltner’s Meat Market; Gourley’s Bakery; Security State bank; Louis Bay; Freight office; G. A. Hulfish company; Granier and Morelli; E. G. Wood store.

“Creditors should stop at any of these places and sign a contract or better, sign the contract received in the mail and return it at once. It is not necessary to know the amount of one’s balance in the bank. The figures will be furnished by the bank officials and the sum may be adjusted any time within one year.

“’Excellent progress has been made so far,’ said President R. G. Linebarger of the Organization of the Depositors and Creditors, last evening, ‘but we are anxious to have the work completed just as soon as possible. If there is any phase of the contract that a depositor may not understand or may desire to ask about any of the executive committee of the association or the officers of the old bank or the deputy in charge of the bank will be glad to explain it. No matter how small a balance may be the depositor should sign up at once.’”

The state was making noise about dismantling Fort Assinniboine and using materials to build structures at the School of Mines in Butte, now Montana Tech. Various pieces of equipment had already been moved, but the Promoter and the local Rotarians had other ideas. This article was printed in the May 2, 1924, edition:


“Determined, if possible, to stop the slow dismantling of buildings at old Fort Assinniboine and to prevent the removal of equipment there to the sate school of mines at Butte for use in a new building, the members of the Havre Rotary club took up the matter last evening and instructed the public affairs committee, of which E. C. Carruth is chairman, to act.

“Attention of the Rotarians was called to the matter by Frank Merrill, who called the attention of the club to the news that it was proposed to remove some of the radiation from the fort for use in a new building to be constructed at the state school of mines in Butte.

“Another speaker pointed out that the people of Havre had lead in the agitation and the passage of the law that transferred the property to the state for a small sum with the understanding it was to be used for school purposes and that diversion of any of the property for other purposes, even though the transfer does not mention the fact, is not in the spirit with which the building were acquired.

“The club went on record as endorsing the effort being made to improve a road from Havre to the Canadian boundary and a committee was named to work with committees from other organizations on the subject.

“It was stated that the cost of constructing such a road would be around $100 per mile.

“F. A. Buttrey spoke to the club on the value of good roads and showed a map of Northern Montana and southern Canada and the need for roads connecting Canada and Montana in this section.

“The faith of Mr. Buttrey in the future of Havre and the agricultural development of this district was emphasized by the statement that he expected to see at least 36 families living in every township.

“Robt. Lucke told of the plans for a Fourth of July celebration incidental to the Elks’ State convention and the American Legion reunion, and outlined a program for July 3, 4 and 5.

“Reports of the outgoing officers were made by President Emslie, Secretary Brainerd and Treasurer Anderson, retiring officials.”


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