Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Miles City's Cigar Factories
Perhaps it is not generally known that it was not until recent years that cigars were machine made, but it is true that prior to that time all cigars were made by hand. As a consequence nearly every town of any size boasted of a cigar factory. Miles City was no exception. There were three such factories that stand out in our memory. The first man to "roll the big black smoke" in Miles City was John Kostelak. He operated his shop in the nineties in a building on the location now occupied by the Montana Bar. His residence was on the site of the Cook Apartments on North Eleventh Street. We do not recollect the names of the cigars he manufactured. Around the turn of the century he moved to Great Falls with his family. Then came A. J. Freeman who, for a while had his shop "up town" but later moved it to his residence on Tatro Street. Mr. Freeman was here for several years before and after 1912. He moved to Forsyth, plying his trade there, and also while a resident of Forsyth became quite a noted dispenser of justice in the Justice Court he presided over for several years. Miles City's last cigar manufacturer arrived from Iowa in the early part of 1908, while Mr. Freeman was still here with us. This was Frank Stark, who had his factory in the basement of the building now occupied by the 600 Cafe. The basement was in the rear and on the floor just above it was the Railway Express office, with Al Freeburg in command. A singular part of this story is that we cannot remember the names of the cigars turned out by either Kostelak or Freeman, but Stark's brands were The Speaker and The Little Speaker. There may have been others in Miles City who followed the trade, but these are the three that we remember best. Stark continued in business until 1917. And, with the passing of the local factories, we are inclined to believe that the significant wooden statue of the Indian Chief will no longer grace our streets.