THE PAINE FAMILY
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Edward Q. Paine
My father, Charles E. Paine, and my uncle, William H. Paine came to Montana from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in about 1896. They arrived at Miles City, and worked for various cattle ranches until about 1908, when my Uncle William took up a homestead near Home Creek Butte. My father stayed with my uncle part of the time. In the meantime, my granddad moved out from Rhode Island and took up an adjoining homestead. He only stayed a few years, then moved back to his former residence. My father met my mother, Ellen Quinby, who taught school for a while at Busby, Montana, where most of the pupils were Indians. (I still have some Indian relics which were given to her at that time.) She also taught school at Willow Crossing School. My father and mother were married at Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1910. 1 can remember my father telling that they drove from Sheridan back to my uncle's place by the way of Ashland by horse and buggy. They moved in with my uncle in his log cabin where I was born July 4, 1911. My father then took up a homestead on Marvel Creek, close to where it meets the East Fork of Little Pumpkin Creek. There he farmed and raised cattle on a small scale. Here my sister Mary Josephine Paine was born in July, 1912. She lived only a few months, and was buried on the homestead. William George Paine (my brother) was born here December 13, 1914. My brother and I went to school the first few years at the Ed Travaskis place in an unfinished new house that had one room partitioned off for a school room. My first teacher was Mrs. Maude Travaskis. My brother and I walked to school two miles each way, summer and winter. In 1921 my mother passed away and was buried at the cemetery close to the old North Stacey School. The school was abandoned at the Travaskis place. So my brother Will and I went to the South Stacey School, riding horse back six miles each way every school day. My uncle William bought an old Model T Ford about 1920. He was very good about taking us along whenever he went anywhere. This was about the only time we ever got away from home. I was about 10 years old when I made my first trip to Miles City. After I finished the eighth grade I stayed around home for a year or so. About this time my father bought and learned to drive his first car, a Chrysler touring car. One of the high points I remember was in 1925 when we went to Crow Agency to the 50th anniversary of the Custer Battle of the Little Big Horn. I also remember that Bill Hart, the famous movie actor, was there and we took a picture of him. Then I started out on my own, going to work in 1926 for Howard Merchant, who had a ranch close by. I worked on ranches in the Stacey vicinity for a few years. Then I spent two winters going to Auto Mechanics School at Fargo, North Dakota. In the meantime my father got married again to a "grass widow" named Anna Frary. During the depression in 1934, my brother Will decided to go to Alaska. After he was there a short while he wrote me a favorable report on the country. He had found work, so I followed shortly. I worked at various jobs until I finally got steady work on towboats. My father passed away in 1937 from injuries received in an auto accident near Broadus. Montana. My brother worked at various construction jobs and drove Caterpillar tractors. Then he took up flying. When he got his license he became a pilot for the Wier Airline of Fairbanks. He had a fatal crash in 1942 near Nulato, Alaska, while enroute from Nome to Fairbanks. He had married June Denham of Fairbanks about one month before the crash. He is buried at Birch Hill Cemetery at Fairbanks. My uncle, in the meantime, sold his homestead and moved to Miles City where he lived until he passed away in 1956 at the age of 86. The old family homestead was split up and sold. My stepmother moved to Miles City where she passed away in 1964. In 1951 1 was married to Bess Stepkin Pierce. We settled in Seattle, Washington, where I operate towboats between Washington and Alaska for a large tow. boat company. The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Mrs. Charles Paine: "Billy, the children, and myself went to Ashland to see the dentist. Billy had to get false teeth, so he took me instead of Charlie. "I had a dandy time. Saw lots of my best friends. "It got cold and a storm came up. Started home in my spring wagon. Two or three miles out, double tree snapped, leaving us in middle of big snow drift. No shovel, but thank the Lord, lots of wraps. "Borrowed" wagon double trees at deserted ranch. Billy and I tramped and dug with hands to make path for horses. Were there about two hours, and children yelling with cold. Three miles beyond we stopped and got thawed out some and I gave children hot milk. We had all sorts of experiences until we pulled into Daily's at 5 p.m. and 10 below zero. "The trip home the next day with no mishap. Children didn't even get frostbitten, but got colds. I've been pretty well laid up, but better. Tramping snow, walking in snow, and riding holding heavy kids new experience to me."