Tales My Grand Dad Told

My favorite story is about the elk he shot in 1907 (left). It was a Montana record at the time and hung in a Kalispell bank until someone stole it.

I remember lots of the tales my granddad told me. Some were about his boyhood days in Nebraska where he lived in a sod house.

He told me about his life as a homesteader in Kalispell, Montana.. He had, what he called, a stump ranch and made his living off the land by logging, raising cows, growing a garden, and hunting in the local forests.

He told me about his grandfather, David Solomon Bailey, who lost his leg in the civil war and about his father, David Jackson Bailey, who was an early homesteader in Kendrick, Idaho about 1901. David Jackson Bailey tried his hand at farming in Valley County, Nebraska between the 1880s and 1900. In Idaho he farmed and logged to make a living.

Granddad, Frank Jackson Bailey, made his living with a team of belgium horses. His favorite team was named Dick and Nell. He always had some great stories about the things he could do with them.

He used his team of belgiums to do Logging in the winter with a sled.

And he used his draft team to haul firewood, water, ice, and bale hay.

Another tale granddad told was about the time he and his brother were hunting in Montana. Granddad was in a small meadow surrounded by thick lodgepole pines. He thought he was shooting at the same running deer until the action was over and he discovered he had actually shot seven deer.

Granddad told me about the time he and his brother joined the Montana Militia in 1916.

And about the 4th of July when his sister Meda wore the Stars and Stripes.

Granddad had a brother named Clyde who was also a cattle rancher in Montana.

In 1918 granddad moved to Idaho and began wheat farming. He had a huge investment in draft horses and wagons.

He told me about my mother's visits to grandpa Brown's home in Montana, and the big horses they rode.

During the 1950s we took lots of trips back to the family home in Montana. On one of those trips I met Uncle Lon who was an expert horseman and lived on his own stump ranch near Kalispell, Montana. Uncle Lon was my grandma's brother.

Grandma had some great stories of her own to tell about growing up on a homestead in Creston, Montana.

Creston homestead
This is the original Creston, Montana homestead about 1920. Notice the new barn under construction.

Grand dad always called grandma his "little huckleberry," because they met while hunting for huckleberries near her family home. Frank, and Lydia his "little huckleberry" about 1912 Montana.

Cayuse Prairie School
Grandma (second from the left in the front row) attended Cayuse Prairie School near Creston, Montana. This photo was taken about 1907.

Log school house
Grandma's sister Stella, and her students at another rural Montana school near Creston, Montana about 1910.

Bear cubs
There was always something interesting going on during those pioneer days. Here's a pair of orphaned bear cubs that grandma's father tried to tame.

Grandma's dad
Later when grandma was living in Idaho her children would often visit their grandpa Brown on the old family homestead in Creston, Montana. This is a photo of Abe Brown with his dogs, Mugs and Lady taken about 1929.

Little sister Hazel
Mom's sister Hazel riding grandpa Brown's cow about 1929.

My 1950 trip to Montana
Jerry on Lon's horse "Brownie" in Kalispell, Montana -- summer 1950. Mom, dad, and me (Jerry) getting ready to go fishing at Strawberry Lake. Uncle Lon took us on the best fishing trip ever. I'll never forget it.

Pack horse
Uncle Lon took us over trails so narrow we had to hold our horses tails to keep from falling off the mountain. Of course I caught the biggest fish,.and the trout uncle Lon had promised were really tasty! Thanks to granddad and uncle Lon I'm keeping the family tradition alive today. There is one big change though - today I'm known as "Cowboy Grand Dad."

Thanks to granddad and uncle Lon I'm keeping the family tradition alive today. There is one big change though - today I'm known as "Cowboy Grand Dad."


© Jerry England 1989 - 2007

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Back Trail of a Western Family - Bailey Family Genealogy

British Trail of a Western Family - Head Family Genealogy