From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Maretta Zook
I came to Miles City, Montana, on September 21, 1908. My uncles, John T. Hamilton and Leo Gaskill came to visit my mother, Mrs. (Margaret) Chas. T. Brayton, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and persuaded her to come out to Montana for a visit which lasted 45 years.
People were dying because of the heat in Chicago. When we landed in Miles City it was sleeting and everything seemed to be covered with ice. We went to the St. Paul Hotel, the closest place to the Milwaukee depot, where one could obtain housing, and stayed for about two weeks.
Uncle John finally decided to start out for Stacey, Montana, where his house and store were. We traveled about 12 miles the first day, stopping at a road ranch called Corbins. On our next day's trip we reached Stacey, where Aunt Emma Hamilton had a wonderful meal ready for us. We had traveled by team and spring wagon, as was usual in those days.
Stacey was quite a place. The Post Office was in the store building. There was also a blacksmith shop. Hamilton's house was where everyone in town stayed for meals, if unable to get home for mealtime.
One remarkable thing about the Stacey Store was that one could get anything from a needle to a threshing machine through it, even though it was 65 miles from a railroad.
Uncle John was in the process of building a Post Office. He promised Mamma that she could have the running of the hotel. He also persuaded her to file on a homestead or claim on 160 acres about 3 miles north of Stacey. We were living in the old store building at this time, and Mamma did sewing and helped Aunt Emma at busy times.
In 1909 Mother went back to Fond du Lac and had all our worldly posessions shipped out to Stacey.
In December of 1909 she became ill and Sam Jarvis, who broke horses for Uncle John, took Mother to Miles City. They were married in Miles City on December 31, 1909.
Soon afterward we moved to Mother's homestead where we stayed until the spring of 1910, when we returned to run the Hotel after Henry and Laura Ervin quit.
We three girls, Nellie, Gae and I, went to school at the South Stacey School until the North Stacey School was built.
I attended the Ursaline Academy (as it was called) the last three months of 1911, and went home for Christmas. Sam Jarvis met me with a team and bob sled at Beebe. The snow was very deep, in fact so bad that I didn't return to school.
In the fall of 1912 1 went over to Uncle Dan Gaskills and taught school in the bunk house.
In 1914 my sister Gertrude (Gae we called her) and I attended school at Montana State Normal College in Dillon, Mont. Gae returned home in 1915 in February. I stayed until summer school ended, but couldn't return for the fall session, so I taught school on East Fork of Little Powder River at the Osgood School.
I came back to the ranch the last of June, 1916, to learn that Mother and Sam bad bought the road ranch at Beebe and were moving there July 1.
July 3, 1918, 1 was married to Fritz V. Zook, and soon afterward my folks sold out at Beebe and moved back to Stacey.
I don't remember how long the folks lived at Stacey before they moved to Miles City to live for the rest of their lives.
Mamma died in January of 1953, and Sam was murdered on June 10, 1953.
One of the best memories I have of the early days is the smell of the crushed sagebrush beneath Grandpa Gaskill's buggy wheels.