CM & Sst. P Railway
Posted by Gail Barbitta (+7) 17 years ago
Yesterday, I received my gt grandfather's death certificate. He had homesteaded in Rock Springs, but moved to Miles City after his wife's death. His residence is listed as N. Milwaukee Shops of the CM & St. P Ry in 1915. I was wondering if anyone knew--did the railway provide living quarters for its employees? If so, I'd love to see a picture if one is available. Was the location on Milwaukee street? or elsewhere? I've looked on the internet and located some info about the railway but nothing about possible living quarters. Thanks, Gail.
Posted by Betty O'Brien (+119) 17 years ago
Gail: I maybe can answer part of you inquiry about the Milwaukee RR as my husband worked for them for 34 years, my father-in-law for 44 years and my grandfather for about 40 years. I know they did provide housing for the "officials" in earlier days but not the regular employees that I know of, anyway. I no longer live in Miles City but am sure maybe someone else may help you out with the living quarters you are asking about. Good luck in it.

Betty O'Brien
Posted by Dave Roberts (+1511) 17 years ago
The only thing that I can figure is that he may have received his mail at the shops while employed there and stayed at a hotel or rented a bachelor apt.

Through freight from Chicago to Tacoma started July 4, 1909, the first Olympian came through May 28, 1911. Both halves of the roundhouse and both shops were built before the Olympian ran so the construction camp for the masons who built the shops was gone long before 1915 (I'm pretty sure that the camp was just north of where the creosote tank is now).

The 'Road did own the St. Paul hotel, but it was mainly for travellers and has it's own address.

The part that I'm wondering about is "N Milwaukee Shops" as the shops and roundhouse were arrayed East/West and in pictures as recent as 1910 there is *nothing* north of the shops. The streets aren't even graded out. So if "N Milwaukee Shops" means "North of the shops" it must have been faily new construction and probably before the streets over there were platted (Amorette might have dates for the streets I think)
Posted by Myron E. Timmons II (+7) 17 years ago
Hello, Having lived for many years next to the railroad I will give you my guess.
My Dad Myron E. Timmons was employeed by the Melwaukee RR for 45 years most of the time in the Power House.
The Power House and many other shops were situated North of the main line and switching lines. We always referred to them as the North shops as the Main depot was on the South side. This is where the passenger trains would stop. Dad would send my brother and me outside to listen for the Train whistle so we would know it was coming into town proper and was time for us to walk across the field from 811 North Custer where we lived. This way we didn't have long to wait to catch the train out of town. Since we didn't own a car the train was our main method of travel. And with Dad's free pass it was the only way we could afford to go anywhere. A lot of work trains travelled thru the area and I recall Dad trying to locate train crewmen as he was a Union rep. Possibly he was working on one of the System crews that was working there way thru Miles City repairing bridges, replacing ties, etc. It was a most exciting time with all the Locomotives of various sizes and shapes coming thru town.
Posted by Gail Barbitta (+7) 15 years ago
Hi Betty, Dave and Myron. Thanks for your input. (Sorry for the delay of this reply--I mistakenly thought I'd be notified if there were any answers like some other sites I've visited. Not so here!) Since I've only visited Miles City twice (I live in California), I'm quite ignorant about the railroad as well as the town in general. Since I'm sure my gt grandfather was NOT an official, the suggestion he may have received mail at N. Milwaukee Shops of the CM & St. P Ry while living at a hotel or bachelor apt. is a possibility. Myron's statement about shops situated north of the main line and switching lines certainly indicates a work site. I doubt he was a train crewman. He had been a farmer at the homestead in Rock Springs. He was probably doing some basic labor in one of the shops. It's unlikely he was working his way through Miles City--he had married daughters in Rock Springs, Miles City, and North Dakota so he was probably staying in the area. However, the daughter in Miles City was married with several children. I would think if he was living there, the death cert would have given her address. Soooooooo, where was he living? Ah the mysteries our ancestors leave us with! Thanks again for your input. If anyone else has any ideas, would love to hear them. By the way, are there any records available (especially online, since I'm out of state) listing employees of the railroad? His name was Anders (Andrew) Berglof. Thanks again. Gail
Posted by Les Snavely (+19) 14 years ago
Hello Betty O'Brien, I just read your note of 2004 on the Milwaukee Railroad. Could you give me the names of your father, grandfather and father-in-law? I'm writing about the Milwaukee; especially about the PEOPLE who worked for the railroad. Hope you can help. Thanks. Les Snavely
Posted by Betty O'Brien (+119) 14 years ago
Hello Les:

My grandfather's name was Everett Zwolle and he worked on the section out of Lewistown, MT and also was out of some town southwest of Spokane at one time too. My Father in-law's name was D. C. (Claude) O'Brien and he started working as a Perisble Freight Inspector back in Minneapolis and working many places in the midwest until transferring out to Miles City in 1939. He retired in the same capacity in 1958. My husband, Eugene C. O'Brien also worked as a PFI starting in Miles City and transferred out to Othello, WA in 1958 when they closed the icing & heating stops in Miles City. Then in March 1980 the Milwaukee went defunct here in Washington. End of story - all three have since passed away. Hope this will help you if not contact me again and I will be glad to help you in any way I can. Betty Carter O'Brien
Posted by Terry L. Gunther (+14) 14 years ago
Hi Betty. My name is Terry Gunther and I would like to talk with you about the railroad. Please send me your phone number or address as my e-mails are not going through. Thanks, Terry.