Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Who Owned the First Auto in Miles City?

For the past two weeks, we have related the story of the automobile dealers in this community from the advent of the first auto until the present time. To-day, we will give you some more interesting facts concerning the early automobile industry as related to us by Ross Calvin Sr.

There is some question as to who was the owner of the first car in Miles City, but among the first were:

  • Hank Greenway - with an Oldsmobile
  • George Burt - with a Winton
  • Carl Calvin - with a Mitchell
  • Harry Fearnall - with a Winton
  • Ollie Reed and Sydney Sanner - with Buicks.

The first carload of automobiles shipped in by Lakin Brothers, were sold to George Farr, C. B. Towers and Dr. J. H. Garberson. Farr and Towers each purchased an EMF and Dr. Garberson a Flanders.

Jim Griffin, a Milwaukee machinist, was the first man in town to claim to know anything about the inside of the automobile motor. And was he in demand!

The first repair shop was operated by Sol and Rolla Heren at the corner of 5th and Pleasant Streets - the site of the present Montana Truck and Implement Company. This shop was closely followed by Nason & Roberts, who were located in a building that occupied the present site of the Nance Motor Company. Roberts had quite a reputation for being able to start a stalled car--all he needed was a little ether and a little sweet talk--perhaps what Roberts said in those days is the background of the vocabulary of the present day auto mechanic.

Shade Tree Bill recollects that his first car trip out of town was to Forsyth and return--travelling the road on the north side of the Yellowstone and crossing the bridge at Rosebud. This trip was made in an EMF.