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An Historic Missoula Birthday - 1940

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Missoula's 75th birthday received special treatment in the commemorative August 18, 1940 Sunday Missoulian, with an eight page special edition titled "Jubilee Section - Years from 1865 - 1940."

Across the top of the first page stretched a blue banner headline, "Seventy Five Years of Progress in Missoula," - not garish, but written in simple blue cursive. Just below was a drawing of a lone pioneer leading a prairie schooner, pulled by a team of oxen toward the far side of the page where an auto and airplane are moving toward what is likely Mount Sentinel.

The special section featured a host of informative articles delving into Missoula history. The themes covered a lot; including forestry, parks, streets names, the new swimming pool, road building, the county fair, horse racing, football and sports of all types, churches, and schools. Some of the articles not only answered questions regarding historical topics, but also provoked them. Was Missoula County High School really kicked out of its own Interscholastic track meet for a couple of years after 1908, and who was responsible - the ringer, Gish? Who sponsored cock fights in our fair city and where were they held? Who was the "fire bug" who burned down the Northern Pacific depot in 1896?

Even the creative advertising reflected the history theme:

Star Garage advertised: "The Oldest Garage in Missoula ... Celebrating Our 25th Year of Service! Oldest Car in Missoula See the Goodrich Silvertown equipped 1905 Haynes-apperson on display at our Garage during "Diamond Jubilee Days" and fair week." Established in 1915 at 149 West Front - W. W. Wickes and Tom A. Wickes - automobile repairs, storage, and supplies.

The Mercantile: "Partners in progress since the days of covered wagons - Missoula's oldest, largest, and best store 1867 - 1940. The Mercantile is now serving the fifth and sixth generations of those sturdy pioneer settlers who helped make Missoula and Western Montana the garden of the Northwest."

Westerner's Men's Outfitters: "In the West, a hat is a "Stetson," a gun is a "Colt" ... and copper - riveted waist overalls are "Levi's." In Missoula and Western Montana men's outfitting headquarters is Westerner's ... for 25 years the choice of the men and women of the west."

Missoula Drug Co.: "Since 1897 - Remember ... when a band of copper wire was worn around the wrist or ankle to ward off rheumatism? A string of amber beads to cure goitre; an asafoetida bag to be worn around the neck to keep away sickness, (it kept people away)? An ordinary door key for nose bleed; and then last but not least, that spring Nemesis, sulphur 'n' molasses?"

Montana Power: "Gone is the wheezy steam engine that turned the mill, gone are the days of industrial accidents due to poor lighting, gone are the kerosene lamp and the semi-annual beating of rugs hung over the clothesline. No longer is the woodpile found in every back yard, no longer are perishable foods kept in cellars. Electricity has brought a more efficient way to work, a better way to live, within the reach of everyone."

John E. Hightower - General Building Contractor - 734 South 1st. Street, West - Builder of Missoula County High School - Student Union Building - Journalism Building - Montgomery Ward - Hamilton High School - New Chevrolet Building - J. C. Penney Story - Montmartre Cafe - New Fireproof Missoula Hotel Annex - Grill Cafe - Nybo & Co. Building - Bon Ton Bakery Building - Buttrey New Store - Cummins Store for Women - Pony Cafe - The Beautiful Lennes Hotel ... and 150 Missoula Residences... : "While the men felled trees, and carried logs and built cabins, the women cooked and baked and the children carried water - and thus the city of Missoula grew out of the unity and cooperation of its pioneers."

You can tell the city was having fun with the event. Below are some of the featured articles from this terrific commemorative edition of the Missoulian.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 17:30