From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
Grandma Lynch arrived in Montana in a three-wagon caravan of Gaffneys and Lynchs in 1883 traveling up the Rosebud valley. They drove to the Clem Pierce ranch where his sister Fannie was keeping house for him. Later Fannie married Gus Stohr who was a boss farmer at Lame Deer. He started a small store there. Their next stop was at Straws; Sarah Straw went to their wagon and invited them in and they slept in a feather bed like in Ireland.
Going up the Rosebud, they wondered where the buffalo were. Uncle Jack said, "there were lots of them when I came in 1879. I'll show you pictures L. A. Huffman took during the time he was here." He said he knew Huffman when he and a partner of his ran a dairy a mile or two above Camp Merritt. Huffman's partner married an Indian woman. Huffman said he left a sweetheart back where he came from. Uncle Jack then told of living in a dugout covered with brush and dirt; he pointed out the spot above Lame Deer. One day when he came to camp there wasn't any smoke. A male buffalo had seen the mound and started pawing around and fell through on his back. "We shot him and pulled him out, but he had spoiled our mulligan stew, wrecked our stove and broke our dishes. "
The caravan arrived and Grandma Lynch began moving into her new home at Lame Deer. She said, "Now, here in my bedroom is where I want my little altar. Hugh make me a little table, and I shall get out my statues of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph. and the Holy Child." She and my grandfather would say the rosary together. In later years, they sat side by side as they prayed the beads one after the other. We always made a practice of going up to Grandpa's to spend Christmas. The candles were lighted and we all said our prayers.
My mother Mary Lynch was born Feb. 22, 1868, to Patrick Lynch and Margaret Callan Lynch. Her mother was born Dec. 24, 1841, in Coolkill, County Cavan, Ireland. Her father was born May 7, 1827, in Bally James Duff, Ireland. They were married in 1866. Their children are Mary, Katie, Rosetta, Lena, Hugh, Alice, Maggie and Annie.
My father John Mahoney and his twin brother Mike were born May 17, 1859, in Waterford, Ireland. They later moved to Skullsburg, Wis. His mother's maiden name was Mary Toomey. John Mahoney married Mary Lynch Aug. 15, 1889, and they moved to Butte, Mont. He found work in the Lexington mine. Their children are Margaret, Katie, John, Rosa, Thomas, Maurice and Hugh. Hugh and John both finished the 8th grade but didn't go on to high school.
In the spring of 1893 my parents moved to an acreage of land off the Reservation about five miles below Lame Deer and built a oneroom house and here they lived the rest of their lives. My father left our home in October, 1899, to visit his parents in Skullsburg, Wis., for a few short weeks before we would move to Lewistown, Mont., where my father had been promised a good job in the mines as a carpenter. Before leaving he took us all out to gather some dry pine wood and he hauled coal and so on as mother was expecting a new baby in February of 1900. We all waved good-bye to my father but before he reached his destination he had emergency surgery at Miles City, infection set in and early on Thanksgiving morning my father passed away. He was buried high up on the hill in the old Catholic Cemetery. After the funeral, my mother returned to the Lame Deer country to be near her parents and to raise her family. Henry Bailey. a young rancher who later married my Aunt Alice, had bought our place and all our cattle and horses. Father had been away a great deal of the time working over at the Mission and down to John Davidson's. He had already told John McKay to drop in once in awhile to see how we were getting along. Maurice was drowned in the Rosebud river, July 19, 1909. Grandma Lynch died May 26, 1905; Grandpa died May 30, 1907.
In 1905 1 completed my 8th grade and Mother Amadens told mother she must let me go to the Ursuline Convent, that they had a staff of nuns who were wonderful teachers. Uncle Hugh brought me to town; I was green as a gourd that first year. The next year my sister, Katie, and Frances and Beatrice Tucker came and several new girls. In April, 1908, 1 tried for my first teacher's certificate and passed but did not sign for I wasn't 18 yet. I was 18 in June and was issued a second grade certificate and I taught the Otter Creek school. I received $50 a month and $15 went for board and room.
Eben Daily and I met at a dance at Willow Crossing. Agnes Grady was teaching this school. She was having dinner at Tuckers when Uncle Hugh Lynch and Uncle Lee came in from visiting. "Is supper ready?" asked Uncle Lee. Uncle Hugh poked his head into a little window and said, "My Heavens, who owns that N----- Preacher's layout out there?" Quick as a flash, Miss Grady came to the opening, poked her head in and said, "I am not the owner of that N----- Preacher layout; it belongs to Pete Daly. I am just the driver. I agree with you that it isn't the most elegant outfit but it is all I have until I can obtain a better nag. I must ask you one thing more. Will you take the N----- Preacher out fit to the barn, feed the nag and water him?" "Oh, I sure will," said Uncle Hugh. "I am sorry that I made such a remark." All was silent, then everyone laughed. Christmas came and Agnes had a Christmas play. During intermission she asked me to recite a poem or give a reading. I came bravely forward and recited "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe. Someone asked who I was and was told I was a country teacher. then asked to be introduced to me. Old Charlie Allumbaugh began to laugh, "Easy old boy, you are getting your foot in a rope ... .. I don't care," said Eben Daily. "If I don't catch her, nobody else will." I danced the supper waltz with Eben and Home Sweet Home. We were married by the Rev. Fr. J. J. O'Carroll in Miles City, Mont., June 26. 1911. My sister, Katie, and Beatrice Dunning were the witnesses at our wedding. Our first child, Lena Cecilia. was born April 21, 1912. Our next child was born Oct. 21, 1913: we named her Lora Genevieve. They finished the 8th grade at the Eastfork school. Lena had a corresponsence course which gave her credits for a junior high school course. She entered Ursuline Convent at Great Falls and graduated in 1928. Lora had a correspondence course in Miles City in typing. arithmetic and so on. She went to the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls for her freshman and sophomore years, but changed to Custer High her last two years. She enrolled in Eastern and completed two years. After Lena's secretarial course, she enrolled in nurses training and met Floyd Larsen, a native of Waterman, 111. He and Lena were married Nov. 12, 1930. Lena died Aug. 18, 1966. Lena and Floyd had eight children. Lora married Kirk Badgett of Ashland. They have one girl and two boys.
Eben and I lived on a cattle ranch on Eastfork of Otter Creek. We moved to Billings where he worked in the stockyards. Eben passed away in 1955. Eben Daily's early life story is told in the Daily history.
I had always wanted to see my mother's people and not too many years before we left the ranch, Uncle Hugh Lynch brought Margaret and Alice to see me. Lena and Lora were married then but Lena came to see them and brought her children.
Just before the funeral procession of Hugh Lynch was to start from the Lynch home at Lee, a light spring wagon carrying six Cheyenne Indians drove from Lame Deer to the Lynch home. They had bells strapped to their ankles. I don't think they had any war bonnets on. They had a peace pipe. They asked if they might come in. They were told they could and as soon as they were grouped around the body. they began chanting the Indian lament. "Hi Yi Hi Yi," the most mournful sound you ever heard in unison. They would say, "He is our brother, he is our brother Hast a powa Moccie Gusawa, very fine big tall White Man." They kept perfect time. In about three minutes. they were done with their ceremony. I saw one of the men wipe tears from his eyes as he left. This funeral was in December, 1940.
I taught at many schools before I retired, namely, Home Creek, Ashland school, Ursuline Convent, Eastfork school and Otter Creek school. I was born June 21, 1890. in Butte, Mont. I belong to Little Flower Altar Society, Catholic Daughters of America since 1928, Royal Neighbors, charter member of the Range Rider Reps, Pioneers of Eastern Montana 80 years, Montana State Wide.
I maintain my own home here in Billings, 14 Jefferson Street.