Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Our Undersheriff Holds a News Conference
The story today was probably not censored by the Chamber of Comerce if there was such an organization here in 1881. It is taken from a copy of the Helena Independent published in late October, 1881, and is perhaps better told if we just quote the publication. Undersheriff Johnson, who is in town, says that Miles City is booming, so far as increase in population is concerned. The newcomers are generally pilgrims and they don't seem to have the snap and knack of making money circulate freely as is the case with Montanians from way back. But nevertheless they contribute to the general enjoyment by figuring conspicuously as butts for western jokes. Miles City is oppressed as every booming town is, by a superabundance of pure cussedness; pure cussedness and booming seem to go hand in hand. Every night is marked by free fight or something else of a lively nature, and if one night passes without some such occurrence, a sort of funeral sadness is cast over the place. The county commissioners have been invited by the grand jury to resign on account of having traded off the county buildings and other county property in town for a block of lots on the outside, but they have not handed in their resignations as yet however. That is the end of Johnson's interview with the Independent reporter. The allusion to the county commissioners trading property evidently refers to the trade which the commissioners made with Luther J. Whitney for the present courthouse site. The property traded for this block of ground was in the vicinity of the Reid barber shop, as this was where the first courthouse was situated and the jail property consisted of a stockade across the alley where Cotton's Second Hand Store and office is.