From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By Mary Zuelke
John Henry Bohling was born at Hanover, Ger., on Oct. 18, 1858, the son of John Henry and Anna Dietrich Bohling. He was an only son and had two sisters.
At the age of 14, he took up the life of a sailor, which he followed for about four years. He then landed in New York, where he learned the cook and baker trade. After four years, he came west up the Yellowstone by boat in June, 1879. Mrs. James Coleman and John S. Truscott were passengers on the same boat.
He joined the army and was in Company C of the Fifth Infantry which was known as Captain Butler's Company. Mr. Bohling also served under General Nelson A. Miles for whom the town of Miles City was named.
After a long campaign against the Indians, he was discharged at Fort Keogh in 1884. He then became cook at the well known MacQueen Hotel until it burned down. It was while working there he became acquainted with Teddy Roosevelt.
In the late 1880's, he started a bakery shop with a fellow named Kleinen. It was known as the Miles City Bakery. Their delivery vehicle was a two wheel cart. Later he ran a butcher shop until he became steward at the Miles City Club. After ten years there he had to quit because of his health and he then went to work for 0. C. Cato. During his latter years he worked for the Montana Lumber Company.
In 1885, he went back to New York and married Margaret Fox to whom four sons were born; J. Henry, Edward, Charles and Frank. Edward passed away while still a baby. Mrs. Bohling passed away in 1892 and in 1895 he married Ellen Jane Kelsh, who came west to visit her friends, the Westabys, and liked it here so well she stayed. She was a dressmaker and milliner and also worked at the Reform School when they kept girls there.
Two daughters were born to this marriage; Mary, who is now Mrs. H. E. Zuelke, and Margaret, who is now Mrs. William Curry. Mrs. Bohling passed away in 1904. In 1908 he married Louise Kling.
Mr. Bohling was always interested in the civic life of the community and was active in the Trades and Labor Council. He served as alderman of the first ward. He belonged to the Knights of Pythias and the Masonic Lodge. He loved to play chess and taught several folks the game, "so he could beat them" he would say. He was affectionately known by many as "Uncle John."
He passed away Nov. 30, 1919 after a long illness.