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James Conlon – Oldest Catholic - Survivor Big Hole Battle – Cedar Creek Miner

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James Conlon – Oldest Catholic - Survivor Big Hole Battle – Cedar Creek Miner

Death Is Sudden To James Conlon

James Conlon, pioneer resident of Missoula county and one of the few survivors of the Big Hole battle and the oldest Catholic parishioner in Missoula, died suddenly at his home, 517 East Main street, about 6 o’clock last evening. Mr. Conlon had been enjoying his usual good health yesterday and had been up town. Returning home shortly after 5 o’clock he started a fire in the kitchen stove and sat down in a chair in the kitchen. A few moments later he sank lifeless. His sudden death was a shock to the members of the family.

Mr. Conlon was a native of Ireland, born at Castle Bar, 83 years ago. At an early age he came to America and located in Chicago. In 1864 he crossed the plains into Montana. He came to this state in a party which left Des Moines, Iowa, in three divisions of 100 wagons in each division, and was three months making the journey over the plains.

Upon his entrance into Montana in 1864, he located at Alder Gulch, but later that year went to the gold mines in British Columbia, and from there to Portland, where he remained for two years and came back to Montana in 1866, where he was in several of the mining camps of the day, including Last Chance gulch at Helena, and also at Cedar Creek.

In 1870, which was 53 years ago, he located on a ranch at Lolo, which was his home until 10 years ago, when the family moved to Missoula. In January, 1881, at Batavia, Ill., he was united in marriage to Miss Theresa Garvey, and they started back to the Montana home, arriving in Butte just 42 years ago yesterday, while on their way to Lolo.

When the Nez Perce Indians became dangerous during his early residence in the Bitter Root, Mr. Conlon was one of the party who engaged in the battle.

Until the death of “Uncle Dave” O’Keeffe in Missoula last August, who was the oldest Catholic parishioner, Mr. Conlon was second, but Mr. O’Keeffe’s death placed Mr. Conlon at the head of the list in years, and according to members of his family, he was looking forward to the Golden Jubilee which will be this month.

Mr. Conlon was a member of the Society of Montana Pioneers. Besides his wife he is survived by his wife and four children, two sons, Thomas P. Conlon of Missoula and James M. Conlon of Los Angeles, and two daughters, Miss Anna Conlon of Missoula and Mrs. John J. Patterson of Baton Rouge, La. The body was taken last evening to the Lucy undertaking place.

Funeral arrangements will not be made until the son in California, and the daughter in Louisiana have been heard from. It is expected they will be here for the funeral.

The obituary above appeared in The Daily Missoulian  on June 1, 1923.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 15:18