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November 14, 2013

This Week in Tribal History

Mary Rogers, Tribal Preservation Department

November 14, 1873 from The Missoulian: "The Guilty parties arrested in Bitter Root Valley! One of them tells the Story of the Bloody Deed. It is More Atrocious than any ever Committed by the "Road Agents". Ref. To excitement in the Bitter Root Valley during the past summer caused by "the stealing of a large number of horses, and the sudden disappearing about the same time of some five or six men from the valley, among whom were James N. Gash and Pete Matte. "Parties last heard from near Ross Fork, on Snake River. 10 days ago, an Oregon man was murdered on the Snake River by Gash and Matte. The two were arrested at the residence of Gash's mother in the Bitter Root. Matte, "who is a bright and intelligent half-breed" confessed. "Matte is about 16 years of age and the son of Louis Matte of Stevensville, a man near seventy years old and extensively known to the early settlers as a man of sterling worth and honesty. This blow has almost crazed and broken the heart of the old man, who cannot long survive the grief brought upon him by this misguided and guilty son . . . ."

November 13, 1889 from The Weekly Missoulian: Maj. Ronan was in the city yesterday in the company of Lt. Hayborn, U.S.A. Lt. Hayborn has just made the trip from Fort Shaw over the mountains to the Flathead Indian agency, having for a guide a noted hunter named Hannan. On his journey Lt. Hayborn gathered data for a map of the route taken. He was sent out by Gen. Roger to discover the various mountain passes and the most direct route to the Flathead country. He will start on his return trip today and he will take a different route over the mountains than that which he took first while coming. Gen. Carrington has completed his labors in the Bitterroot valley and yesterday telegraphed Secretary Noble to the effect that in the spring the Indians in the valley will move onto the reservation. Maj. Ronan states that the 38 families that reside in the Bitterroot valley will soon move onto the reservation, and that Gen. Carrington has nearly completed his mission of securing titles to their lands.

November 15, 1901 from The Plainsman: “Fossee, the Indian arrested some time ago for disturbing the peace and who escaped from the officers with the handcuffs on returned to Plains this week. And after making himself obnoxious was arrested by deputy Sheriff Hammons and will be tried today. He is a bad Indian and ought to be given the limit.”

November 13, 1903 from The Plainsman: "The coroner's inquest over the death of George Mailet has been indefinitely postponed."

November 13, 1903 from The Plainsman: "R.J. Holland, chief clerk of the Flathead Reservation, was down Saturday and Sunday to look into the death of George Mailet. Major Smead could not come."

November 10, 1910 from The Plainsman: Wellington Rankin of Helena was hired to defend Joseph Paine. Paine was charged with killing Frank Lillacelle. This was a federal case due to killing being on the reservation.

November 10, 1910 from The Plainsman: Kootenai chief Scoos-ta-ta (Koostatah) stocking up provisions for fall hunt

November 10, 1911 from The Plainsman: “The local justice of the peace made an order discharging August Finley from custody and exonerating his bondsmen. Finley was arrested and given a preliminary hearing on a grand larceny charge. It was claimed that he sold two horses belonging to Charley Coppedge a reservation settler. A large number of witnesses was examined for the defense. Major Fred Morgan, superintendent of the Flatheads being one of the principle witnesses.”

November 15, 1970 from The Great Falls Tribune: A Tombstone engraved with a cross, a six pointed star and the profile of a rabbit was found by BIA foresters near Polson bearing the name Hershman and the date 1717.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Mary Rogers at 675-2700, ext 1320, or Communication Director, Rob McDonald at ext. 1222. Newspaper articles may be suggested for the Preservation archives if the article includes the newspaper name, date and is from 1975 or earlier.

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