Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
First Two Story Dwelling in Miles City
Our story to-day will be about what is believed to be the first two story house erected in Miles City. In the early days, few two story dwellings were built in this region because the old timers believed that high structures would not withstand the high winds which then occasionally swept the valley of the Yellowstone. How untrue this belief has proved to be--for the subject of our story is still standing in Miles City, although not in its original location by any manner of means. In fact, it has occupied three locations, having been moved twice since it was originally built. In the year 1882, a carpenter by the name of William H. Hunt built a real nice two story house on the corner of Palmer and North Tenth Street, on a portion of the property now occupied by the Washington School. Hunt had obtained title to the ground in 1880 from Luther J. Whitney who had made an early day filing on an 80 acre tract in the northeast corner of section 33, which was a part of the Northern Pacific Land Grant. The Trustees of School District No. 1 had purchased two lots to the west of the site of the Hunt dwelling, and desiring to square up the half block for the purpose of enlarging the school grounds, purchased Hunt's property in the fall of 1883. Besides the deed from Hunt, the Trustees also obtained a deed from the Northern Pacific in order to perfect the title. With the purchase of this property, the trustees offered the dwelling house for sale to someone who would move it from the premises. At that time there was residing in Miles City, a man who will be remembered by many of the old timers, especially the old time stockmen. His name was W. D. Smith, and from his official position was well known as Billy Smith, the Stock Inspector. Mrs. Smith's father, Judge Joseph Miller, was then a resident of the Black Hills, but made frequent trips to Miles City in the practice of his profession. On one of these trips, he purchased this dwelling house and had it moved to the lots on the corner of Pleasant Street and Prairie Avenue, which had been purchased for that purpose, as he had decided to make Miles City his home. The new location of the dwelling will be readily identified by present residents as the Tom Butler home, now owned and occupied by Jack Carr and his family. Soon after the removal of the house to that location, Judge Miller became ill and passed away. The title to the property become involved with having been mortgaged and several mechanic's liens filed against it, so that it was subjected to foreclosure proceedings. As a result or these proceedings, the lumberman and stockman, Colonel T. J. Bryan, became the owner. The Bryan family retained title to the property until 1903, when it was sold to Ed Arnold, the tailor. Mr. Arnold had working for him at that time a tailor by the name of F. X. Huss, who was the grandfather of our fellow townsman, Dewey Huss. It is presumed that Arnold purchased the property for Mr. Huss, for a few months later Arnold deeded it to Mr. and Mrs. Huss. The property remained in the Huss family until 1909, when it was sold to Dr. C. E. Simmons, the veterinarian. It was then that the house was moved to its third location in Miles City, having been purchased by Attorney Jerome Parks. Doc Simmons only retained title to the Pleasant Street property about six months when he sold it to Fred Savage, from whom Tom Butler purchased it and built the present brick dwelling in which Carr now resides. Attorney Parks had the two story frame dwelling, which was originally built on the Washington School site, moved to its present location at 620 North Lake Avenue, where it is occuppied by the Art Althous family. And the strong winds of the Yellowstone valley do not seem to have had such a detrimental effect upon the stability of the structure as the old timers feared it would.