Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Repeated in the Glacier Reporter 10-30-69

October 9, 1925

In the center of the beautiful valley of Willow Creek nestles the little town of Browning. With a population of more than 1,000 and the necessary complement of business houses, civic, religious and social activities, it is indeed a pleasant place to live. A spirit of progressiveness seems to pervade and when anything comes up for the betterment of the town or the people, an unanimity of effort is apparent.

To the newcomer, the glad hand of good fellowship is extended and everything is seemingly done to welcome "the stranger within the gates" to make him feel at home to want him to remain: hospitality being Browning's middle name.

One of the noticeable things in Browning and vicinity is the educational facilities. The big high school which stands on a slight eminence in the town, the government agency school five miles north, the Holy Family school 15 miles south, and the rural schools at Babb, Peskan, Heavybreast, Camp Nine, Swingly, McKelvy, Old Agency, Douglas, Many Glacier, Little Badger, Hamby's, Galbreath's, and Clark's, all in District 9, are evidence that the best criterion of a civilized people, their education, is not neglected in this part of our great country.

Three church organizations, each active and all doing good, are in Browning: the Catholics, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists.  Each organization has a neat church and each a resident pastor.  Father Halligan ministers to the Catholics, Rev. Tweed is the Presbyterian minister. Rev. Macklenburg looks after the spiritual welfare of the Methodists -- all good men, striving hard, giving their best to inculcate the teachings of the Great Master.

A stand pipe with a tank of 75,000 gallons capacity is the source of the protection of the town which has fire hydrants at convenient places on the street corners in case of need, the water coming from the tank by gravity at a high pressure. The water is pumped into the tank from a deep well and the pump can also be connected direct to the water mains if necessary. A efficient fire company exists of which J.C. Aubert is chief. 

The records show that John Bird was the first settler on the land upon which Browning stands, but for what reason he had for so doing, the records sayeth not. Perhaps he arrived here in the evening and his horses being tired, he decided to go in business. It may be that the rich looking loam attracted his attention and surely the luxuriant grass and the pure water of Willow Creek looked good to him and had much to do with his decision to remain. He may have had a prescience that here would rise a beautiful city, and so, he builded him a house, going to the timber to the west of here for the material, and soon others came and were attracted by the place and the town grew.

About this time, the United States government placed the Blackfeet agency here, and the first Indian agent, Captain Cook, named the town Browning, in honor of the then Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Later the United States Reclamation Service established headquarters office in the new town.

During these years, merchants and professional men located in Browning, and the town kept growing. In 1915 a bank was established and in 1920 the place began to take on city airs and incorporated.  Chas Devereaux was mayor, Messers Chas A. Burd, T.E. Tweedy, A.B. Jones and Geo. Schmidt were the first aldermen; August Lohl was treasurer. Earl Sullivan, clerk, and Fred Gerard, marshall. Since that time the town has had a healthy growth and today has more than 30 business houses and as many professional men as required for a town of that size.

Browning Newspaper Notes 1953 - 1956

Oct. 30, 1953
First TV sets arrive in Browning.

January 1, 1954
(Tom Busey, Publisher)
One individual, believed to have been heated up with wine, sought entrance to the Thad Scriver home through the front door. Kicking out the lower panes of a four-pane glass door, the intruder immediately awakend Mr. Scriver. Hearing the crashing of glass, Mr. Scriver came rushing in his pajamas, a shiny loaded revolver in hand. Within five feet of the intruder, who had one foot on the inside of the doorway, Scriver pulled the trigger. But for the fact that the shell “jammed” there would have been either a seriously wounded or dead intruder. Running to the side of the building where Mrs. Scriver from another vantage point could see him peeking through the window, where he hesitated for a moment and then disappeared down an alley.

Janury 8, 1954
Julia Wades-in-the-Water dies. Nora Spanish is her daughter. Mike Madman is her nephew.

February 12, 1954
Albert Mad Plume dies.

February 19, 1954
Termination talk. [Eisenhower was much in favor of closing down all reservations.]

March 26, 1954
KFBB comes online but though many gather at Fitzgeralds in front of a TV set, there is only the faintest reception.
Talk of the highway bypass again. (New highway going outside the town location.)

April 2, 1954
Joe McCarthy now on his way out -- much scoffing.
Janet Boyd’s sixth birthday party.

May 7, 1954
Bad fire at Fitzgeralds in the pharmacy dept. Suspicious. Insured.

June 4, 1954
Winold Reiss’ ashes scattered on Red Blanket Hill just off highway 89, 2 -3 miles north of Kiowa. Often medicine lodges here. [relationship to the Sweet Pine Methodist church?]

June 11, 1954
Fitzgerald Drug reopens with much hoopla.
Tom Kehoe advanced to curator.
Talk of closing the boarding school, but where would kids stay?

June 18, 1954
First planning for KW Bergan school. (Baby boomers are beginning to hit first grade.)
Eddie Big Beaver Sr. has a baby pet badger which he’s feeding with an eye dropper.

July 2, 1954
Article by Howard Hays about how the Museum of the Plains Indian came about.

August 13, 1954
Last Star is in “The Big Sky,” the movie made from the A.B. Guthrie, Jr. book.

August 20, 1954
John Self buys the Glacier Reporter.

Noted Artists Visit at Local Art Studio
John Clymer & Bob Lougheed, noted commercial illustrators of NYC. spent two delightful days at Scriver’s Taxidermy Art Studio last week. Both artists found Bob’s work much to their interest and spent their two days visit sketching and painting his scale model animal figurines and taxidermy work for future reference in their illustrations. Mr. Clymer has done many of the covers for the Saturday Evening Post and Redbook magazine. Mr. Lougheed’s latest illustration can be seen on the cover of the August Reader’s Digest. Before leaving Mr. Clymer gave Bob and Jeanette an 8X10 oil painting of Jim Whitecalf and a pony and Mr. Lougheed gave the Scrivers a black and white sketch of a black bear’s head. Mr. Scriver is very honored and pleased that such famed artists should go out of their way to visit him and his work.

October 8, 1954
Joan Kennerly working at Browning Merc.

October 15, 1954
Move Studio to East Glacier
The building which formerly housed the Scriver Studio was moved this week to its fourth location in about as many years. It seems the studio was originally built at St. Marys. The following year it was moved to Browning next to G.V. Johnson’s. Then in about a year it took up residence between Teeples Market and Todd’s Steak House. This week it was on the road again -- the Scrivers declare this is positively the last time -- when it was moved to East Glacier, across from the Mountain Pine Motel. The Scrivers plan to operate it next spring as well as their studio here.

December 3, 1954
Renshaws’s “West of North” published.  (It was a very bad cowboy novel Renshaw paid to have published.)

Dec. 17, 1954
Big prairie fire east of town.


January 6, 1956
Overview of ‘55
JL Sherburne died.
Morning Gun well comes in with big oil.
June 14: Norman Halseth dies.
June 13: Margaret Starr retires from Browning Merc after 25 years.
Both Morning Gun and Mittens (HB) oil wells plugged.
Mary Ground: has her entire family to supper, a thirty-pound turkey. Mrs. Angeline Heavyrunner was a special guest
Fitzgeralds sell to Frank Greco of Lewistown.
Aug. 19: William Kipp dies.
Julia Wades-in-the-Water dies.
Sept. 9: Kehoe announces discovery of artifacts
Sept. 16: Dr. King opens clinic

Jan 20, 1957'
Les Aubert’s gas station burns.
Marriage license to Eddie Costel and Stella Whitegrass
Mrs. Mamie Hinkel Burns : 280 acres on rez, NW of Babb brought bid of 91,000. Her son is Ted. Parents were Geo & Rosie Candlaur Hinkel. Geo Hinkel was a Union soldier and a POW at Salesburg, SC. He, Liver-Eatin’ Johnson and 2 others came upon a mortally hurt Indian boy and killed him to spare him further pain. Rosie, when not quite 13, rode from Deep Creek to Fort Benton to warn of the Nez Perce coming. Mamie’s stepfather was Joe Cobell. Wanted Bobbie to be a school teacher.

Feb. 10 
John Tatsey column begins.

Feb. 24
Joe Boussie, 19, struck and killed by Dr. and Mrs. King. (Three were walking at the edge of the road. Doc King honked. Two jumped off the road, Joe jumped towards the middle. King swerved but hit him anyway. It was night and icy. The doctor tried to save him but couldn’t.)
Town library to be built.

March 9
Victor Pepion (47) dies in house fire at Harvey Pepion home in Cut Bank on March 4. Gas stove exploded. Father: John Pepion; Wife: Lucy Goes in Center (Sioux); bros: LeRoy, Willard, Alfred, Daniel and Harvey, Herbert in Chicago. Sis: Mrs. Geneva Fisher, Mrs. Laura Powell, Coleen Pepion. Buried at Holy Family. Studied for two years with Winold Reiss. Another two years at Art Institute in LA. Murals at the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning; Oglala Boarding School in Pine Ridge, SD; His master’s thesis was a wall mural in a ballroom at Highland University in Las Vegas: “Dances of All Nations.” 

Blizzards, high winds, 15 slides by the goat lick! (Marias Pass)

March 16
City buys a paddywagon (used).

March 30
TV relay finally works.
Work started to overhaul city water system.
June Tatsey teaching at MadPlume School (District 7, Created in 1931)

April 27
Mrs. Ina Childers -- Browning Art Group sponsor. Dan BullPlume #2, Howard Pepion and Gary Schildt.

May 4, 1956
Ernest Gray running for JP.

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