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WM. H. (BILL) BARTLEY
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana

Wm. Bill Bartley


Mary and Bill Bartley

He was born June 25, 1887, and lived on a farm in East Central Illinois, attending the one room neighborhood school as school buses had not been invented at that time. Later he went to school in Champaign, Ill., and ended his schooling at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, S.D.

As he phrases it, he did not reach Miles City until 1910, and so does not consider himself an "Old Timer." He entered the service of the Milwaukee Railroad in September, 1911, and during his years with that company was in attendance at seven sessions of the Montana State Legislature as a lobbyist for the four Train Service Brotherhoods, as Secretary of their State Legislative Committee.

In 1933 he was appointed Collector of Customs for the District of Montana and Idaho by President Roosevelt, headquarters at Great Falls. In 1941 he was requested by Henry L. Morganthau, Secretary of the Treasury to form a state wide volunteer organization to sponsor the sale of what was then known as Defense Bonds. Later he was appointed Director of the War Bonds Committee and directed the intensive War Bond drives that were held during the War period. After the War he was asked to join the Washington Staff of the Bond Sales Organization, and from there went to San Francisco as Regional Director of the Western States. During his various services he maintained his legal residence, voted and paid his taxes in Custer County.

On July 4, 1906, he met Miss Mary Maitland at a house party at Elkhart Lake, Wis. After due deliberation on her part they were married at her home town, Two Rivers, Wis., May 12, 1913. She arrived in Miles City, July 4, 1913, during the Roundup, and finding the streets full of gun carrying cowboys and horses, thought the West a bit more than she had expected.

Of this union there were five children, Patricia graduated from the College of Great Falls, Kathleen, Bill and Jean, University of Montana, and John, Rocky Mountain College. There are 11 grand children and eight great grandchildren. Mrs. Bartley passed away in 1967 after fifty-four years of marriage.

He is a member of the Range Riders and the Half Century Club, and still does not consider himself an "Old Timer."

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