Documents from Darris

I got a handful of documents from Darris Flanagan the other day – one was an ego booster . . . a copy of an article from 1980 in the Montana Farmer Stockman, telling about the gravity sprinkler systems we’d been setting up as we built new siphons for Glen Lake Irrigation District.  It had a picture of me, pointing out a gushing leak on the Sinclair Siphon.  I was younger then.  The quotes from Dick Brinton brought memories back of an old friend.  If I had an “I love me wall” I’d think about posting it.

Another was notes taken by Shirley Farley from a visit with my mother.  There was some information that was new to me, and some that was foggy.  The notes on Trego School might be a bit confusing, but they’re what we have:

“Herrig was the teacher in 1924 and for several other years.”  (I assume this was the wife of Ant Flat’s first Ranger, Fred Herrig)  Leola was an Ingram.  She married Phil Delager and then Walt Ritter. (Leola was Trego’s school clerk in the sixties)

Mr. Belmont taught in the new white school across the road from the present school ball field.

The lunch room cooks rotated shifts for 2 weeks.  They received no pay, but their children did not have to pay for their hot lunches.

There were 5 schools in Trego:

            First: Brown Log across from present ball field.

            Second:  White in same location.

            Third: White across the road from the first two – where present ball field is located.

            The first 3 schools burned.  The third one burned in 1945.

            Fourth: White school in the same location as the one that burned in 1945.  Abandoned when tunnel was built.

Fifth: Present school on top of hill behind teacherage.  Location selected by Loretta Johnson Todd.

She took notes on the old families:

Dexter Schemerhorn built a small cabin on a stream by the Fortine Place.  He was one of the first settlers.  (Now following that story might lead into Eureka’s politics)

Also the Homiers were among the first settlers.  There were 3 Homier brothers: Trifle, Eli and Frank.  It is believed they came from Quebec.  Eli married a girl named Anne who had previously been married to Isaac White.  Ann and Isaac had a son named George who lived in Trego until he moved his family to Helena in 1959 so he could be near the VA hospital at Fort Harrison for diabetic care. 

Trifley had a daughter named Lorraine.  She married Joe LaBelle.  Two brothers live in Libby.

(As we were getting the house built by the pond, in 2015, one of the drivers delivering material explained his family had been early residents of Trego.  He introduced himself as O’Mier, and since I’d met George Homier when I was really young, I knew the H was silent.  During the 20th century, the family appears to have gone from French-Canadian to Irish.)

Thanks, Darris – occasionally fragments of stories can provide more data

1 thought on “Documents from Darris”

  1. Mike,

    Mac told me several years ago that the reason that mom (Loretta Johnson Todd) chose the site of the present school was because she was the bus rider (which she drove for many years with her father, Jim Johnson being the first to bring is a school bus to Trego.) Mac said that she did not feel that the bus should have to go up and down the hill which was icy every winter. Mac was a knowledge of information.


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