Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
A Word Picture of Miles City in 1879
F. M. Wilson wrote an article for the April 3, 1879, issue of the Avant Courier, published at Bozeman, entitled "Miles City" and states that his article is a full description of the rapidly growing city -- its commercial and other interests. Quoting Mr. Wilson:

"On the south bank of Tongue River, surrounded by a grove of magnificent cottonwoods stands the town of Miles City. We had expected to find a place such as Bismarck was in 1873, a collection of log and canvas buildings with a preponderance of saloons, gambling and dance halls, but in this we were disappointed. The town is built on two sides of a square (now Riverside Park) and the buildings are principally substantial frame structures, neatly painted and well kept. Some are of hewn logs, but the canvas element is entirely lacking. We were fairly surprised at the amount of business done, the large and complete stocks of goods kept by the merchants and the population of the place. Already the town has 700 inhabitants, a population nearly as large as Bozeman. The heaviest line of goods is kept by Broadwater, Hubbel and Company, who have a fine two story building and a large warehouse, in both of which every inch of spare room is closely packed with merchandise. It had been our intention to give the amount of money the various firms had invested in their goods, but we are reminded that, even in this young community, the assessor makes his rounds, and for fear we may assist him in his calling, this item of intelligence is omitted. Paul McCormick & Company also have a fine two story building, neatly painted. Their store contains a little of everything, from confectionery to bed quilts, and in the labyrinth of supplies which crowd the shelves and counters, we notice clotheslines, neckties, watered ribbons and fine robes. Savage and Ninninger have a varied assortment of goods beginning with groceries and running up through clothing, fire arms and ammunition, terminating finally in spiritual things in the shape of liquid comforts for the inner man. J. J. Graham, who formerly held a responsible position in the Paymaster's corps of the Army, discovered this to be one of the busiest points in the west and consequently resigned his position, and has occupied a two story building with a fine stock of groceries, clothing, wines, liquors, cigars and gents furnishings. He showed us a sample of California pears which had been brought up from Bismarck overland, and which seemed to be in as good condition as when picked on the Pacific Coast. In fact we were so well pleased with the flavor of those pears that we told him confidentially that we would eat them at all hours of the day and night as long as he made no charge.

But with a great deal that is good, there is still much that is evil in this young city. One evening, we were attracted by the music of a violin and piano to a building which we found to be a dance hall and in full blast. The air was lively, and the dancers evidently bent on having a good time. The men, judging from the fringed buckskin jackets, army blue and California overalls, belonged to a class of hunters and "bull-whackers", which is a large element here, while the blue is supplied by the garrison at Fort Keogh. The ladies, perhaps, were good, but not beautiful. One fair one we observed had a black eye and another appeared to have been recently at war. We did not take part in that dance. Things seemed a little too uncertain. We were not ambitious of sticking plaster, and so far as our our teeth are concerned, we didn't want to part with any of them for, as an article of diet, they are not desirable. There are many faro banks in operation, and the click of the chips is constant day and night. One of the popular saloons is kept by William Reece, who makes a specialty of fine quality champagne, wines and liquors. A Steinway piano, under the skillful fingers of an excellent musician, is a great attraction, while papers of many kinds help to pass the tedious hours away. Chris Hehli, the tonsorial artist of the place, will shave a man, or scalp him, as the case requires, guarantees a neat job, and charge a reasonable price. One of the pressing wants of the community has been lumber with which to erect suitable buildings and because of its scarcity much work has been deferred. Some lumber has been supplied by the government sawmill, but the supply has been entirely inadequate to meet the demand. This want, fortunately, will be obviated another season. Messrs Broadwater, Hubbel & Company, with commendable enterprise, have determined to erect a sawmill at once. During the winter, logs will be cut on the headwaters of the Tongue River and driven down the stream early in the spring, a distance of about 100 miles. The steam boat business is very important in the commercial prospects of the town. The number of boats arriving from Bismarck and other points on the river below during the season was 54. The first to arrive was the General Sherman, and the last was the F. Y. Batchelor. For a large part of the trade, the town depends on the garrison at Fort Keogh. Some idea of the large amount of money disbursed at this post may be had from the fact that this season the government purchased 3,200 tons of oats and corn, 5,800 tons of hay and 7,500 cords of wood. The grain was brought from the east, but the coming season a large portion of it will be raised in the valley."

Here we have given you a word picture of conditions in Miles City in 1879. We trust you have enjoyed it.