MARY DAYHOFF COOLEY
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
My parents, H. C. and Martha Dayhoff and Grace, Clarence and his wife Bertha, John Dayhoff and I came to Montana in August, 1911. We settled on a homestead near Rock Springs and Grace and I returned to Sioux City and worked that winter, came out here again in May, 1912. The second week after we arrived, came a three-day snow storm, drifts ten feet high. If I could have done so, I would have returned to Iowa and stayed there.
I was born Sept. 2, 1888, in Nebraska, came to Montana by train at the age of 24.
Grace, John and I slept in a tent the first summer and there was lots of rain. One night a hard wind storm and rain came up and it blew our tent down; we got soaked. We helped with the farm and ranch work, rode horseback, without a saddle.
The first time we came to Miles City was July 4, 1913. My husband-to-be whom I had met in April had a spring wagon and he brought Grace, John and I to the Roundup. It was a real Western Roundup; the last day 75 riders or more tore up Main Street, yelling and firing guns in the air, a real thrill for us.
Sam and I were married Oct. 14, 1914, by my father who was a retired minister. The license would have to be obtained in Forsyth, as they lived in Rosebud County. He had sent horses to Ft. Keogh to be sold, did not get to Forsyth but got the license in Miles City. My folks lived on the county line, so we just stepped across the line into Custer County. We rode over to his place in a big wagon, with all the old shoes anyone could find tied on behind.
We had neighbors within two miles; Joe Ashley's, Jim Van Winkles, Hartwicks and an old bachelor, Nick Johan.
We had two children, Glen, born May 30,1917, and Helen, born May 10, 1919. The fall of 1923, Sam was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis and was unable to work. Our neighbors were very good to us, putting in the crop and harvesting it. The spring of 1925 we moved to Miles City, where I worked at odd jobs. In 1927, Ernest Sorenson was assessor and gave me a job in his office. From then on until 1943, 1 was on a rotating job, working in the County Clerk and County Treasurer's offices. That year I was appointed Deputy County Treasurer and in 1945, the County Treasurer resigned, and I was appointed to that position. I was elected to the office in 1946. It was a four-year term. In 1950, I was elected City Treasurer and held that office until I retired in December, 1957.
My schooling was in Lathrop, Mo. and Sioux City, Iowa.
My father passed away in 1915, Mother in 1932, Clarence in 1950, my husband in 1945, John in 1962 and Grace in 1966.
I have four granddaughters, three grandsons and one great grandson.
Helen Cooley married Ed Dawson and they live in Helena, Mont. Glen Cooley married Betty Doebele and they live at Jordan, Mont.
I am still leading a very active life, bowling, doing volunteer work at the V. A. Hospital, church work, and I belong to the Rebecca Lodge, Range Riders Reps, Half Century Club and Garden Club, holding offices at various times.
Sam Cooley is a Charter Member of the Range Riders and a Life member. He was born near Springfield, 111.
He came to Miles City, Mont., in 1900 and went to work for the LU. He worked there until they closed out, and then worked for the W and then for himself, and brands until they closed out.