Early October, 1931: A dinner party, Mrs. Oscar Fred, hunting season – and Thomas Edison

black-woman-girl-thinking-white-cartoon-writingOctober 9, 1931

Dinner at Annie L. Julian’s, Mrs. Ed Shaftnet, Mrs. Jess Cannon & daughter Delia Julian, Mrs. Alb. Schaffer [Mary], Mr. and Mrs. Louis Julian and Miss Annie Derring.

October 10, 1931

I was in Helena to see Mrs. Oscar Fred1. She’s in bed from a [redacted] operation. Jay H. Ames (brother-in-law to Rob Anders of Canyon Creek) was buried to day.  Alb. [Albert] and Christie are both sound asleep, we just came from Helena.

October 15, 1931

Christie Schenck got the first deer this hunting season. Others getting one are Clinton Shea, Jno [John] Chapels.

October 18, 1931

Mrs. Oscar Fred age 51 died2. Thomas A. Edison, age 83, one, if not the greatest man of inventions for ages. His employee John F. Ott died after hearing of his death from shock [and] was buried under the same shade of an oak tree3.


  1. A little research at Ancestry.com revealed that “Mrs. Oscar Fred” is Anna “Annie” Johnson Fred born in about 1878 in Sweden
  2. Annie is buried at Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, MT. See FindAGrave Memorial #26623672
  3. Click here for a newspaper article about the death of Thomas Edison on October 18, 1931. The article includes a picture of John F. Ott and Thomas Jefferson. I located numerous newspaper articles which mentioned Mr. Ott’s death as being attributed to shock on learning of Mr. Edison’s death. Mary’s journal entry seems to indicate they are buried under the same oak tree but none of the articles make reference to Mr. Ott’s burial. The articles do report, however, that Mr. Ott’s crutches and “invalid chair” were placed next to Edison’s casket at the inventor’s funeral. Also, see FindAGrave Memorial #156961048, which appears to be the burial location of John F. Ott.  Edison is buried at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park.

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On this day in 1931: hard work, a suicide, buildings “tore down”, and the Bald Butte mine

black-woman-girl-thinking-white-cartoon-writingOctober 2, 1931

I sure have been sick from pain in my whole body from too much heavy work. Joe Walsh died in N.Y. last wk & his wife died a few yrs ago in Butte. [Name redacted] of Helena took his life. J. Traufler’s house is tore down. Betor’s barn, Theo Shed’s home, Geo. Hart’s blacksmith shop, Stevenson’s Chas. house.1 Jack Walker [has] moved to Helena for school term. Jim Lee, Jr. died in Missoula the 29th [of September]. The Bald Butte mine is making good again since it worked last in 1906.2


Bald Butte Mill (no date)
Bald Butte Mill (no date)

Mill at Bald Butte_back


  1. I think Mary means to say that in addition to J. Traufler’s house, this list of buildings have also been torn down.
  2. Click here for a history of the Bald Butte mine, including reclamation efforts.

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Late September, 1931: regrets, another funeral, and a walk to the Shannon mine

black-woman-girl-thinking-white-cartoon-writingSeptember 26, 1931

Annie Deering told me how the people give me credit for all I’ve done for myself and the big ideas I had in store for education and the upbuilding to and from my children, but it was a failure for some unknown reason. It’s sure a nice day and Oh! such beautiful moonlight nites. Nature is grand, only I regret seeing too little of it.

September 27, 1931

Cid-Francis Dalin & family, Carl-Maud Rasmusen & family – and brother Jno Rumping were up from Helena. Mrs. Bill Murry died in Butte, was buried in Helena by Clara, Tom, Mr. and 3 smaller children.1 Pallbearers were Jno Korting, Jack Brunskel, Mike Mellen, Geo. Padbury Sr., Blibol Beator, Jess Cannon.

September 28, 1931

L. E. Julian2 took their daughter Nellie up from the graveyard here, being dead 26 yrs and buried her in Helena.3

September 30, 1931

I walked to Shannon mine, got rhubarb roots, & 4 new evergreen trees.

  1. Based on minimal research at Ancestry.com, familysearch.org, and FindAGrave.com, I believe this woman to be Minnie A. (Cullen) Murray who was married to William R. Murray. She is buried in Helena at Forestvale Cemetery. Her plot is described as “Valleyview 85” (see FindAGrave Memorial #121067415). Also located at Valleyview 85 are graves for the following: Thomas C. Murray (1900-1918) – see FindAGrave Memorial #121067423; Clara Murray (1895-1914) – see FindAGrave Memorial #121067405; William R. Murray (?-1899) – see FindAGrave Memorial #121067419; Margaret Murray (?-1904) – see FindAGrave Memorial #121067412; and Minnie Murray (?-1894) – see FindAGrave Memorial #121067414.
  2. Based on records located at Ancestry.com, I believe this is “Louis E. Julian”.
  3. See FindAGrave Memorial #86040036 for more information.

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September 18, 20, and 22, 1931: hard work, “Lindie” in Japan, and the weather

black-woman-girl-thinking-white-cartoon-writingSeptember 18, 1931

I worked from 10-7 [10 minutes to 7] A.M. to 5-15 P.M. at the chicken house. Ate nothing all day. Sure fagged out & sore hands. I chopped, packed and sawed boards for kindlin all day and fixed the chicken house, cleaned the goose barn. Mrs. Beaver, Jno Anderson, Archie Burns are on the sick list. Lindie and his wife are in Japan.1 She’s the first woman2 to cross the Siberian end of the Pacific Ocean. Annie Deering told me not to work so hard. I told her it wasn’t any harder than being in the house alone. She knows how hard and what I went thro as a child at home & after, getting married included.

September 20, 1931

2 airplanes just flew over Marysville 3-15 P.M. Came in by Canyon Creek or Beckman’s slaughter house and rite over Bald Mountain. Sure nice to hear them and brave hearts to face the strong wind that’s on.

September 22, 1931

Gee, but I am having dizzy spells. It was 90 degrees in Chicago yesterday in the East. 32 degrees out in Montana & 17 ins. of snow above Neihart and snow here.

  1. In the summer of 1931, Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh flew from Long Island, N.Y. to Alaska, and then on to Siberia, Japan and China, with support from Pan American World Airways head Juan Trippe. Following his flight to Paris, Lindbergh and Trippe became interested in creating an air route across Alaska and Siberia to China and Japan. For various reasons, however, the route did not become available to commercial flights until after WW II. Source from Wikipedia article on Charles Lindbergh
  2. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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