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Mary Luella Boatman Townsend
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Birth: Dec. 1, 1859
Pleasant Green
Cooper County
Missouri, USA
Death: Dec. 28, 1958
Ravalli County
Montana, USA

Martin, Mary Luella Boatman (Townsend):

Thomas Martin was a prominent figure in the early days of Madison County and later Beaverhead County, of Montana Territory, especially involved in the mining district spawned by the vast wealth of the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company. The following family history is best told as presented here in its entirety and as prepared by Thomas' wife for the benefit of his grandchildren and future descendants of his family.

As written for grandchildren in 1948

Thomas Martin was born February 12, 1852 at or near Delaware, Ohio. His parents were of Welsh ancestry and each had been married previously. Both had had girls by these marriages. Three boys were born to them in the last marriage, William, then Benjamin and the youngest was Thomas who was your grandfather. Thomas's father's name was William and his Mother's name was Elizabeth, They owned a farm near Delaware where the boys attended grade and high school. The parents must have been well along in years when they were married to each other as I have heard your Grandfather say that his Father was blind or nearly so when the boys were small youngsters. One of their jobs was to go with him and lead him about the farm or wherever he wanted to go. I think they must have been a mischievous bunch for when they were far enough away from the house they would sometimes run away from him leaving him helpless to find his way. I never heard him say what happened to them when they got home. They had an old grey mare too old to do farm work and her job was to take the family to church every Sunday morning. Every other morning of the week she would be waiting at the gate to be the first one into the barnyard when they went out to drive the horses in. Just as surely as Sunday morning came she would be off in the farthest corner of the pasture and have to be chased in. Your grandfather said he could never understand how she knew the difference between Sunday and week days. The boys liked to tease "Old Kate," I think they called her and one day your grandfather was outside the little window in front of her stall in the barn making faces at her and pretending to fight her. He got a little too close and she grabbed his hand and nearly bit off a finger. He carried that scar as long as he lived.

Your Grandfather was a good horseman and his hobby was horses and more horses, A few years ago at one of the Montana Pioneer Meetings I met a man who knew him in the Ruby Valley. He made the remark that he thought there were not very many horses in that part of the country that Tom Martin had not owned at one time or another. His older brothers, Will and Ben were grown when their parents passed away while your grandfather was still in his teens. After the death of their parents the three boys went to Salisbury, Missouri where I believe they had relatives. After a time Will and Ben married and settled there. Tom was sent out west in the company of a man named J. C. Rogers who was a lawyer from Missouri. Both were in search of a more healthful climate. For some time they lived at Denver, Colorado then later came to the Ruby Valley in Montana in the early seventies and remained till 1878.

The first winter they were in the valley Mr. Rogers taught school in the old Bock schoolhouse. He was well educated but had developed tuberculosis and had come to the mountains where he was successful in regaining his health.

Before Mr. Rogers and Mr. Martin came into the community there was not much to do other than dancing. Nearly all of the people in that settlement were French and Irish Catholics and about their only recreation was dancing. The second winter they were there Mr. Rogers and Tom with several of other young men of the neighborhood got busy and worked up a Christmas celebration at their own expense. Our schoolhouse was small so an old building that had been a store and bar was cleaned out and a stove put in it. Then the tree with lighted candles and ornaments was put up with gifts for all underneath. That was the first Christmas tree the children of our family had ever seen. I was about fifteen or sixteen, I think. Parents came and brought their children. Everyone had plenty to eat and had such a good time that they weren't on their way home until half the night was gone.

Your grandfather and Mr., Rogers spent one summer working at Placer Mining for a Mr. McKay who owned mines at the head of Bivins Gulch. Next he bought the Silver Springs Ranch from a man named Virden and a couple of years later sold it to J. D. Bock who had owned the land where our schoolhouse stood.

In 1878 or 1879 he and Rogers went to Glendale where your grandfather and Sam Page, also from Ruby Valley bought a grocery store. After a few years the partnership was dissolved. Your grandfather continued to operate the store for a while then sold it to go into the contracting business of hauling ore from the Hecla mines to the smelter in Glendale.

On January 14, 1880 Thomas Martin and I, Mary Luella Boatman were married at the home of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. George T. Boatman, in the Ruby Valley, Rev. Win. Shannon read the marriage service and sister Sarah and Elmore Terry, whom she married within the year, were our attendants. We then went to Glendale and made our home there or near there for eight years except for one and a half years spent at the home of my parents in the Ruby Valley when your grandfather farmed the Boatman place.

Your grandfather's elder brother, Will had two children by his first wife, a son and a daughter. The daughter's name was Elisabeth, but I do not remember the son's name. He married again and had other children, some of them live in Chicago at the present time so Annie Martin said.

The first summer after we were married your grandfather's brother Ben had a long illness which I think was typhoid. They sent for Tom who stayed there for several weeks. After Ben passed away Josie, his widow and two children Willie and Annie (now called Bennie) returned with Tom. They stayed a little over a year with us then went back to her people. Some years later she married again.

Our first child George Benjamin was born January 8, 1881 at our house in Glendale. Harry Thomas was born May 24, 1883 on the Boatman place in the Ruby Valley where we spent a year and a half, while Tom farmed the place. We moved back to Glendale where Bessie was born March 15, 1885. Robert William was also born at Glendale June 12, 1887. He died there at the age of six months. His father died a month later January 16, 1888. Tom and Robert are buried in Glendale cemetery. George died in Butte May 5, 1904 and is buried in Maplewood cemetery at Stevensville. Harry died April 2, 1941 and is buried beside his brother George.

Your grandfather lacked two months of being seven years older than I. At one time Mr. Rogers gave him a gold ring set with an amethyst stone, the birth stone for February. The amethyst is supposed to bring good luck so your grandfather loaned it to a friend who was going hunting in the mountains. Never heard whether he got any game but he did lose the ring. He replaced it with a plain gold one and the year that we lived at my parents home he gave this ring to my sister Laura who was in her early teens. This ring and your father were about the same age. I believe Laura eventually gave the ring to Harry, but I do not know who has it now.

One of our mares died when her colt was very young. It became a great nuisance when it was brought to the yard at the house where Laura took care of it and fed it. Before we returned to Glendale Tom gave her the colt. Years afterward when Laura and John Brundage were married and living in the Centennial Valley this same mare was the family "standby" and also the foundation for quite a herd of horses.

Your grandfather was both a Mason and an Odd Fellow. He was a lifelong Republican.



By Mary Luella Boatman Martin Townsend

After Thomas Martin and I were married in January of 1880, we went to Glendale to make our home. I have been told that the town at that time had a population of about five thousand people. It was a lively place where a great deal of business was transacted.

My husband and Sam Page, both of whom had been residents of the Ruby Valley, had established a grocery store some two or three years before under the firm name of Martin and Page.

There were many new homes in Glendale and many others in course of construction. Both Martin and Page had purchased partly constructed houses in order to have a place to live.

A smelter with a very tall smokestack was erected down by the creek. This same smokestack was still standing in 1949 when I saw it and was apparently in as good a condition as it was when we lived there.

Mr. Knippenberg was head of the mining company at Glendale with George B. Conway as bookkeeper. Other prominent persons in the company were Mr. Earle and Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Earle owned a ranch not far from Glendale on the Big Hole River close to Brown's Bridge. Mr. Armstrong had a large ranch only a short distance from Twin Bridges where he raised blooded horses. He trained these horses for use on the race track and shipped them all over the country. Their speed and endurance was attributed to the superior quality of Montana's oats, hay and pastures. I have heard that oats and hay from Montana were shipped with the horses whenever they were put on the racetrack in other parts of the country.

I do not know the number of men employed in the smelter and mining operations, but the place was a regular beehive for several years until the Cleopatra, which was the main mine of the group began to run out of ore. After that work was not so plentiful.

As I remember, Dr. Schmalhausen from Virginia City was the first doctor. Later doctors were Dr. Gleason formerly of Bannack, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Waterous who came last of these four doctors.

J. B. Losee had a general dry goods store while L. Kaufman sold principally men's clothing.

Losee's, Conway's and Page's all lived in Highland Park near where we lived for the first few years. Later we bought a house farther down the hill and it was in this home that my husband died. Johnson's lived next door on one side and Sharkey's on the other side. On the opposite side of the street lived the Van Wart's, Bason's, Dr. Matron's, Armstrong's, Miller's, Clarke and others. The Vance and Lacy's lived nearer town.

A Visit to Trapper Gulch June 22, 1949

Bertha Martin, my son Harry's widow, came out from Minneapolis for a long promised visit. Grace brought her up from Missoula and she visited both here and in town until Bessie came from Seattle on Monday. On Wednesday Grace and John came from Missoula and took Bessie, Bertha, Pearl and me for a trip to the Ruby Valley where I was raised and where my two sisters still live. Pearl stopped at her home in Butte while the rest of us went on to Sheridan. I stayed all night with ray sister Laura who at that time was in the home of her daughter Reta, Bertha, Bessie, Grace and John went on to Virginia City where they took in the sights and where they stayed all night. It was a home coming for Bertha as she lived in Virginia City when a small child.

The party came back to Sheridan Thursday morning to pick up Laura and me and to take us up to see Etta at York Ranch above Alder, Montana, We took a picnic lunch as Etta had not been very well. We visited there three or four hours before returning to Sheridan where we left Laura. Our next stop was Butte where I stayed all night with Pearl and Bertha. Bessie, Grace and John went to a motel for the night. Leaving Butte for the Bitter Root we arrived home Friday morning with Pearl in our company.

One of the places we drove to on this trip was from Melrose on up to Trapper Gulch where the town of Glendale flourished seventy years ago. Here my first husband and I lived all of our married life, except for one year and a half spent on my father's farm in the Ruby Valley.

The man who directed us said the town site was about five or six miles up the creek. However the road was so winding and rough it seemed more like eight or ten miles. Bessie, Grace and I got out of the car and walked about for an hour or so trying to find the location of the house where we and our neighbors had lived. Our house was the one farthest up the hill from town, then Losee, Page, Kearney, George B. Conway and the Armstrong residences a little farther down the slope. Other neighbors were the Clarke's, Bason's, Dr. Watrous, Johnson's, Sharkey's and Thomas and Miller families. Highland Park was the name of the neighborhood where we lived and Knob Kill was the name given to the butte with a knob on top. That hill was the only thing that I saw that looked exactly as it did seventy years ago.

Only two buildings that were standing were livable, one being the old Knippenberg place which was farther down nearer town. Still standing at the foot of the hill was the large livery barn used by my husband when he had the contract for hauling ore from the mines in Hecla to the concentrator at Glendale. They used 13 or 20 horse teams to pull those wagons. In those days horses and wagons provided the only means of transportation as there were no railroads. However, within two years after we moved to Glendale the railroad was built from Dillon to Melrose, to Butte and then on to the west coast.

The old smelter smokestack was still standing straight and tall as if-keeping watch over the once teaming and prosperous town of Glendale. Other names that I remember are Dr. Schmallhausen, Pond and Al White, a teamster who worked for ray husband.

Since Bessie had been born in Glendale, she thought it would be interesting to see the place where she was born and to "buy" a souvenir. All the roads and paths up the hill where we had lived had been overgrown with sagebrush and weeds. Mother nature seemed to have done her best to erase even the scars where once houses had stood and children had played so many years ago. I picked up a small horseshoe which I presented to Bessie for a souvenir of her visit to the town of her birth. The day was warm so we did not climb up as far as Highland Park.

One could hardly believe that a town of that size could have disappeared so completely from the face of the earth leaving hardly a trace to show where so many homes had stood. Snows and rains of the many years had washed the once usable street clean of the piles of rubbish that had decorated the town when I first saw it. One of my memories was the heaps of lemon rinds littering the streets each morning. I presume they were removed before the following night. I do know there were plenty of saloons in town and that lemons were used in mixing drinks for thirsty inhabitants.

A man who owned the property around there told us we could not cross to the little cemetery on the opposite hill for water was standing in the meadow. He did say that the grave markers were still standing. However we could see that the enclosure was much neglected. It was good to know that the "City of the Dead" had not been obliterated.

As I stood looking out over the place where the 'town had been^ the warm spring sunshine made me feel a peace and restfulness which was definitely lacking when Glendale was a thriving mining town.

My children and I continued to live in Glendale for a year following the death of Mr. Martin in January of 1881. Then we moved to Dillon where we rented a house. Later I bought some land near to the folks out of Dillon and Father built a log cabin for us. We lived there in the summer moving to town in the winter so the children could attend school. One summer we spent on Uncle Henry's farm where I cooked and kept house.

We attended the Methodist church in Dillon where I met Joseph Boyer Townsend whose wife had passed away some time before. We were married May 10, 1891 at the Methodist Parsonage by Rev. Wilkes. My sister Laura and her husband, John Brundage attended us. The Townsend ranch was on the bench ten miles north of Dillon in the Beaverhead valley. There were my three children and Pearl, Nora and Arthur Townsend who were still at home. Clara and Etta were married and Ira was no longer at home.

We lived on that ranch until July of 1898 when we moved to a farm on the North Burnt Fork about three miles east of Stevensville in the Bitter Root Valley.
Family links: 
  Thomas D Martin (1852 - 1888)
  Joseph Boyer Townsend (1843 - 1923)
  Robert William Martin (1887 - 1887)*
  Mary Grace Townsend Hightower (1893 - 1990)*
  Joseph Boatman Townsend (1895 - 1954)*
*Calculated relationship
Maplewood Cemetery
Ravalli County
Montana, USA
Created by: Jason Townsend
Record added: Jul 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39816802
Mary Luella <i>Boatman</i> Townsend
Added by: Joseph Townsend
Mary Luella <i>Boatman</i> Townsend
Added by: Joseph Townsend
Mary Luella <i>Boatman</i> Townsend
Added by: William Yates
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