Dec. 31 – On this day in Montana history in 1918 the Helena Independent had a front page story bemoaning the death of “King Barrleycorn.” The town was abuzz with people marking the end of legal liquor and the beginning of prohibition. It was reported that most saloons had sold out their liquor supplies even before they had to close their doors at midnight.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Dec. 30 – On this day in Montana history in 1905 the dedicated the current Montana Club in Helena, replacing the former home of the exclusive club that burned two years before. It cost $117,00, which was a hefty amount in those days. Ironically, given the host of wealthy men who belonged to the club, it took nearly 40 years to pay off the new building.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Dec. 29 – On this day in Montana history in 1927 prohibitionists meeting in Helena were outraged at what they claimed were rampant violations of the national Prohibition Law by doctors and druggists. The law allowed permits to be issued to doctors and druggists to provide drinking alcohol to patients. It wasn’t clear exactly who was “drinking” to their health, but prohibitionists found it a sobering problem.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Dec. 28 – On this day in Montana history in in 1889 Ella Louise Knowles Haskell became the first woman admitted to the bar to practice law in Montana. She had already become the first woman to be a notary public. In 1892 she ran unsuccessfully for the office of state attorney general. Throughout her life she was a major voice for the right of women to vote.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Dec. 27 – On this day in Montana history in 1894 the famous outlaw known as Kid Curry killed his first man, Pike Landusky, at Jake Harris’ saloon in Landusky. The details are sketchy, but most accounts say Landusky’s last words were: “My God, Kid, let me up. I have enough, Kid, I never done anything to you.” Curry went on to ride with the famous Hole in the Wall Gang.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Dec. 26 – On this day in Montana history in 1928 one of the most important photographers in Montana and western history died. Evelyn Cameron. She came to Montana in 1890 leaving behind a comfortable life of British gentry. She took up photography and took an incredible collection of life on the Montana frontier from a woman’s perspective. The collection and her diaries are at the Montana Historical Society.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Dec. 25 – On this day in Montana history in 1856 came a lesson of what Christmas is. Frank Woody had come into the Missoula Valley from Ross’ Hole. Fort Benton was the nearest established town. On Christmas day he and six other men worked on their cabin in the morning and then took time off to celebrate the season. “All we had to drink that day was water, coffee,” he wrote later. They sat on a cured buffalo hide. “There was no linen and no silver, but it was a merry meal, and we all enjoyed it.” They had some laughs and told stories about Christmas past.