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Radersburg Cemetery

The Radersburg Cemetery is an active cemetery located southwest of Townsend in Radersburg, Montana: Township 5 North, Range 1 East, Section 21, Lat. N46o 10' 34", Lon. W111o 36' 45".

The Macomber Field Cemetery is an abandoned cemetery located about three fourths of a mile ESE from the Radersburg Cemetery. All of the wooden markers were destroyed by a fire. Some of the people from this cemetery were transferred to the higher ground of the Radersburg Cemetery. There are graves remaining in the Macomber Field.

For a listing of the gravesites in the Radersburg / Macomber Field cemeteries click on Radersburg Cemeteries

Notable Obituaries 

Click on the link to read the obituary

 

 


Henry B. "Old Doc" Barkely

"As the wind blows on January 6th, so will it blow for 40 days, never being out of its course for more than 24 hours at any time during the 40 days."

The saying regarding the weather for a forty day period following January 6th emanated from Dr. H.B. Barkley, a pioneer physician and weather prognosticator. The Sixth of January sometimes even today among some of the old-timers is referred to as "Barkley Day". It is said that only one time during his lifetime in the mountains of Montana did Dr. Barkley's prophecy fail. Upon this occasion, January 6th was a fine, clear day giving promise of beautiful, open weather for the ensuing 40 days. However the weather upset all precedents and on the following day, January 7th, a bitter cold wind came down from the north and the thermometer dropped and for the following month hovered generally around 40 degrees below zero.

Dr. Barkely was a Kentuckian who served for three years as a surgeon in the Confederate Army. In the 1860s, about the close of the Civil War, he came to Montana and located at Radersburg where he practiced his profession and also engaged in placer mining. He frequently made prophecies regarding the weather, many of which were published in the few newspapers, to which prophecies he signed "TICA - Radersburg". By this signature he became generally known through this section of the state.

On April 21, 1884 Dr. Barkely was murdered while at work on his mining ditch at the head of Indian Creek. He had gone out alone for the purpose of repairing the ditch and while thus engaged was shot down. His murderer was never apprehended, although several persons whose enmity he had aroused were under suspicion.

His death was productive of considerable newspaper controversy at the time. One Helena newspaper, taking the position in  a most unusual controversial article that his passing might be considered a blessing to the community. Following a brief account of the murder, the Helena Daily Independent, April 23, 1884 commented as follows:

Dr. Barkely was an old citizen of Montana having come to the Territory from Missouri in 1865. He was a good physician and a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence. For several years past he has attracted much attention through the Territory by reason of his weather predictions, some of where were singularly accurate. These were given to the public under the nom d plum of "TICA-Radersburg". He was a man of strong prejudices and convictions which often led him into antagonisms. Honest in the assertion of his rights, he was unyielding in the maintenance. Years ago, he acquired certain valuable water rights in Indian Creek, Jefferson County, but he found much difficulty in securing their recognition and was involved in litigation with miners in the at vicinity. He met death at last, we presume, in the very ditch over which he has so long disputed and litigated. While a bitter, unyielding foe, entirely devoid of a sense of fear, he was a true friend, faithful and devoted to those who once secured his confidence and esteem. He had no family and no kindred in Montana, but leaves a married daughter now residing in Missouri and Kentucky of which latter state he was a native.

 


Nancy (Boyles) Easterly

Townsend Star, 9/25/1924: 

OLD WOMAN FOUND DEAD 

Mrs. Nancy Easterly was found dead in her home in Radersburg last Sunday morning where she lived alone. It was thought the aged woman had been dead for three or four days. Mrs. Easterly is a pioneer of Radersburg having resided there in the days when the little city was a lively mining camp. Funeral services were conducted on Monday afternoon and internment was made in the Radersburg cemetery.

 


Allen M. Easterly
-First Sherriff-  

Allen M. Easterly, a native of Jackson County, Michigan, moved to Minnesota in 1856 and from there to North Dakota where he operated a land office. About 1866 he came to Montana spending a few months in Last Chance Gulch then coming to Jefferson County where he mined on Indian Creek until 1877 after which he became engaged in politics.

He married Miss Nancy Boyles of Ohio, on July 9, 1860 to which union was born George Burton ("Burt"), Allen ("Al") and Ida Luemma. Allen and Nancy were later separated and after a time he married Mrs. Mary Warmkessel a widow with one son, Charles.

Nancy Easterly spend the remainder of her life in a small cabin across the road where she died in 1924.

In 1877 Allen M. Easterly was appointed sheriff of the country for one and a half years after which he was elected for two terms and during the fall of 1882 was elected assessor. He retired from this office in 1884. 

Two Interesting events happened during his early life in Radersburg:

  • While acting as sheriff Mr. Easterly executed the first man who suffered this penalty of law in Jefferson County (Radersburg's First Hanging)
  • Allen Easterly, Sheriff, and Tom Murray (Jailer) had arrested three horse thieves. They were jailed at Radersburg with Tom Murray on guard when they staged an attempted escape. Murray was blind in one eye. In the attempt at escape he shot one of the prisoners, but a small mirror in the fellow's pocket turned the bullet. One of the others threw pepper in Murray's good eye and they were busily beating him up when Mrs. James Wood heard the racket. She gave an alarm and upon the arrival of Easterly and reinforcements, Murray was in pretty bad shape but the prisoners were overpowered and re-jailed.

Mr. Easterly was a member of the Masonic Lodge and was living at the Masonic Home in Helena at the time of his death. He was an old man of about 85 at the time of his death in the fall of 1927. He is buried in the Resurrection Cemetery in Helena.

An undersheriff under Easterly was Doric G. Warner who resided in Radersburg with his wife for three years and when elected Judge the moved to Boulder in 1883.

 


Myrtle (Bennett) Holling 

Mrs. George Holling, 29, Attacks Husband with Axe in his sleep cutting away the entire upper part of his face; Mrs. Holling is found later after she hangs herself.

Holling in Critical Condition in Hospital

Mrs. Holling is found after all night search at the base of a tree from which she hung herself; sleeping children are undisturbed.

A tragedy unequalled in the history of the county occurred in Radersburg last night when Mrs. George Holling, 29, took her own life after she had attempted to murder her husband as he lay sleeping in his bed. The weapon used in the attempted homicide was a double-bitted axe which struck the man full in the face cutting a deep gash through the bridge of the nose and through the upper jaw. She later hung herself from a tree from about one-half mile from the home on a lonely county road.

At the blow Mr. Holling jumped from the bed and his wife vanished from the room. A five year old boy sleeping with the father was undisturbed. Mr. Holling, half-stunned, rushed across the street to his mother's home and Dr. Frank Nash and Sheriff Normac C. Bruce were notified. Mr. Holling is reported resting as well as could be expected but in a critical condition at the Carroll Hospital in Townsend according to Drs. Bayles and Nash in whose clinic he was treated following the tragedy.

An all night search was made by Sheriff Bruce for the missing woman and as daylight broke they found her body slumped at the base of a large cottonwood tree about one-half mile this side of Radersburg near a shack on land leased by her husband where he had been feeding stock. Evidence showed that she had wandered out into the night taking a straight course down the middle of the highway; her steps alone leading across the space from the road to the tree where she stepped to the fork of the tree, tied a cord around her neck and to the limb of the tree and stepped off into space. The noose used was an electric lamp cord and after about two or tree hours, it was estimated by those who made an investigation that the cord pulled loose and the body fell to the ground. She died instantly it is reported. She was fully dressed and word a black top coat with fur collar. Her remains were brought to Townsend to the Connor's Mortuary.

Mrs. Holling was the mother of three children, all boys: Edward (5), Tommy (4) and Buddy (2 1/2). She had been suffering at times during the last few years with periods of despondency according to Sheriff Bruce and Mrs. E. H. Goodman, probation officer who had been called to make investigations. The greater part of the time Mrs. Holling seemed normal.

Her maiden name was Myrtle Bennett and she leaves, beside her 3 children and husband in Radersburg where she had spent the greater part of her ten years of married life, a mother and brother in Billings and two sisters in Spokane.

Funeral services are pending word from the relatives.


Edmond Hossfeld 

Townsend Star, Saturday 1/21/1889

I, Edmond Hossfeld, hereby serve notice to the public that I positively refuse to pay any bills contracted by my wife, as she deserted me in time of sickness and has ever since remained away from my home.

Signed Edmond Hossfeld


John H. Kennon

The following letter is a courtesy of Pauline Webb. It is dated Oct. 24, 1937 written by "Aunt Kate" (reported to be the second white child born in Helena).

"Tales of Pioneer Life" told me by my mother Martha Kennon:

My parents, John H. Kennon and Martha Borton were born at Fairview County, Ohio. My father's mother was a Giffe from Scotland. My father's father was a native of Ireland. They were married in Ohio. Their first son, in infancy, died there. In 1858 they went to Rising Sun, Kansas. Another son was born to them at Tepeka, Kansas. He, little Johhny Kennon, died when he was two years old. A daughter Mittie M. was born at Topeka.

My father, John L. Kennon, went through a Quantrill raid at Topeka. Near an open window in a building he was lined up to be shot. A boy friend from Ohio came into the room, recognized Pa and exclaimed "What are you doing here?", pretending he did not know Pa. He then gave Pa a shove sending him through the open window.

That day Pa had come into Topeka on business from his farm home at La Compton, a suburb of Tepeka. That night when Pa did not come home, Ma was frightened; so she sent Jimmy Woods, a boy ten years old, to Topeka to look for Pa. When Jimmy returned he said "Mrs. Kennon, Mr Kennon was not shot. I looked at all the dead men and none of them had gold in his teeth". It took Pa three days to reach home. He covered his tracks by walking through streams when he could and for hours he hid in brush. On reaching home he and Ma rushed to gather a few possessions together; hastily harnessed their sorrel team; then loaded their belongings into a covered wagon and with little M. fled from Kansas.  

They traveled at night and hid during the day, until Kansas was left behind them. Then they fell in with a party of emigrants headed for the gold strike in Alder Gulch, Montana. Their faithful sorrel team brought them all the way across the plains to their destination.

One time ahead of them there had been an Indian raid. Ma said that a feather bed was smoldering and wagon hubs are still smoking and she saw Indian signal fires burning on a hill. Every night she feared an Indian raid on the little party; but they were unmolested. For weeks Pa was sick with typhoid fever. Ona feather bed in the back of the wagon he lay and Ma drove the team and gathered buffalo chips for fuel.

On July 4, 1864 they got to Alder Gulch. Mittie was found years old and Pa had 64 cents in his pocket. With flour at $150.00 / sack and other provisions equally high priced, Pa had to find work at once. Moving a hurdy-gurdy from place to place ws the first work he got. They always had cash to pay so in that way Pa found support for his family.

By the way of Boulder City, in the spring of 1865, Pa, Ma and little Mittie M. moved to Last Chance Gulch at Helena. On this trip Ma said the wagon was full, so she spread their blankets on snow banks. After their arrival at Last Chance, Pa build a log cabin on the site where now stand the First National Bnak. The floor was dirt -- there was no window nor door in the cabin. Ma hung burlap curtains for door and window. Ma often said Mittie M. looked like a litte nigger after she played on the dirt floor.

In this little cabin on June 26, 1865 Sunday at noon, I was born. As I was the second white child born in Helena, the miners carried Pa to a saloon. One miner shouted "What shall we call the baby?". Another miner shouted back, "Call her Kate!". And Kate I was called. Ma said when my baby clothes were hung on a line, the miners passing would whoop and hurrah. One old miner, Mr. Cowan, delighted in carrying me up and down the diggings to sow me to the other miners.

In the fall lumber and nails were shipped in, then Pa bought a window, made a door and put a board floor in our cabin.

In mystical lore, coming events cast their shadows before here as on this lot where now stand the First National Bank, Ma had a bank of her own. A board in the floor was raised and Ma deposited buckskin bags of gold dust. The miners brought her the bags with their names attached and after each clean-up more gold dust was brought to her for safe keeping. When a miner was ready for his trip to the States, he would come to his bank and from his store of gold would give Ma a generous pinch of dust for her service.

Often and always at night, Ma said men pleading for their lives were led by Vigilantes past her cabin door, across a ridge to Hangman's Tree. Every morning Mittie M. went to the ridge and looked over to see how many men were hanging to a short limb of the pine tree, called Hangman's Tree. Returning home, she would say "I saw one man or two men today" which ever was the case. One morning in a serious mood she said, "Ma, I would not mind hanging if they let me have something to put my feet on". To her the limp, dangling bodies must have looked like as though they needed a foot rest.

One time, during 1865, while Ma kept a couple of boarders all she had for their meals was old oxen meat and dried apples brought by her across the plains. There was no flour to be bought in Helena then. Ma had five or six pounds on hand but the miners would have none of it. Ma must keep that flour for Mittie M. as she was a delicate child. The miners told Ma to make flag jacks for her, but in the miners language they were jack asses to Mittie M.

The End

 


M. H. Parker

After the marriage of Mittie Kennon and M. H. Parker in 1884, they came to the Missouri valley where he taught school and later established his law practice in Townsend. They had two children, Katie, who later became Mrs. Johnson and who was a talented vocalist and a son, Warren Kennon Parker. In 1887 the family moved to Radersburg and then to Boulder. Mrs. Parker died in 1888 at which time he was co-partner in a firm of George Cowan. He had a second marriage years later.

Both Warren Parker and his sister Katie died within a few months of each other in1952. Mr. Parker was survived by his wife, Mary Geraldine Leary, who died in 1963. They married in 1910 and it fell to their lot carry on the affairs of the ranch. Warren, like his forebears, was sought out to hold public office and represented his County in the State Legislature. It was their wish that their ranch foreman, Earl Webb, be given first privilege to buy the ranch. Mr. and Mrs. Webb and family are now the owners and occupy the former Katie Winslow residence.

All members of these first families are interred in the Radersburg Cemetery, located on high ground just west of the Parker house. The remains of John H. Kennon were removed from the Macomber field cemetery as were many others, including Mr. T.P. Sherlock. The cemetery in the Macomber field served for the first old-timers. Two stones, badly weathered, still bear the Masonic emblem and the names of Charles Boyle 67 years old and John Allison. Both died in 1877.


Baker and Dr. Mann 

From Tom Moore:

 

In the earliest days of Radersburg as well as Keatingville, there were many altercations, some of which proved fatal. One occasion in Keatingville, in 1871, two men known as Baker and Mann  became enemies. Later, as Mann was entering a boarding house, Baker stabbed him, which resulted in his death. Baker was then taken to Radersburg, found guilty of murder, and there not being a jail, was placed in a little cabin with a guard who had a gun in a position of being pointed at the prisoner. Relief guards were changed quite often. Authorities decided to take Baker to Helena for further trial, as was a custom in those days.

The prisoner was placed on not too good a horse, and was accompanied by a posse of 10 or 12 men, all of whom were riding good mounts. After getting to Hog'em(4), a ride of about 15 miles, the posse decided to return to the pace where this fellow Mann was killed. Later that afternoon the posse could be seen in the distance returning with the prisoner. My mother said, "Just look, they are bringing the prisoner back. My God, they sure are gong to hang him!". This is the way they did it. They had Pete Schaler, who owned a span of mules and a wagon to drive directly under a beef scaffold. A big dry goods box was placed on the wagon, a rope suspended from the top of the scaffold, then placed around the neck of the prisoner -- the lower end of the rope was securely fastened near the ground. Then Pete was given the signal to drive on, which left the body hanging. Your writer remembers seeing the body hanging in mid-air.

From Beeson's History: "Execution of Baker 1871"

In August or September 1871, a man named Baker stabbed Dr. Mann, who died the next day. It was a cool and seemingly unprovoked murder. All medical aid could do was done to save the doctor, without avail, and the citizens of Radersburg dealt a summary vengeance on Baker by executing him.