Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Commissioners' Trials in 1883
These stories are usually dated when the family laundry was done in the home on the old washboard and wringer principle. We have been telling recently of the troublesome times for the commissioners of Custer county early in 1883. We told how the elected Board was removed from office by an act of the legislature, and how, in that act, an interim Board was appointed until a special election could be held. We also told of some of the steps the elected Board took to prevent the appointed Board from taking over the reigns of government in the county. To-day, we'll endeavor to tell of some of the trials and difficulties encountered by the appointed Board in getting possession of the county records and property. These three gentlemen, Thomas J. Bryan, George M. Miles and William Van Gasken, met at the courthouse, after filing and approval of their official bonds as commissioners, and proceeded to organize by electing Van Gasken as chairman. Miles was appointed clerk until such time as the Board could procure a clerk. They then requested the regular county clerk, George E. Stillwell, to act as clerk for them, but he refused to recognize them as a Board. George Myers was then appointed clerk pro tem. During the afternoon session of the Board there must have been considerable confusion, as the records show that the Chairman requested silence while the clerk read the provisions of the recent legislative act to two of the members of the old Board who were present. After the reading of the act, demand was made upon the two members of the old Board for all the books, papers, documents and all other property belonging to Custer county. Hubbel and Robertson, the two members of the old Board, refused to consider the demand inasmuch as it had not been made in writing. Five days later the interim Board met again and ordered written notice to be served upon the old Board for the delivery of the county seal and books and papers pertaining to the office of the county commissioners. They also ordered written notice to be served upon the county clerk to turn over the books and papers in his office pertaining to the commissioners' office, and requested him to act in conjunction with them as clerk of their Board. They further issued a summons to the old Board to appear that afternoon at four o'clock to make a report of their proceedings as such Board, and to produce and deliver at that time all books, records and other property of the county in their hands or under their control. In executing this summons, the members of the Board signed the same, and had it attested by the acting clerk but because the seal of the county was being withheld from them, they caused a scroll to be affixed to the summons.