Tuesday, April 8, 2008


This photo was in Bernard (Sullivan's) collection. It is titled "Coal mining in
Montana." Does anyone recognize any of the people in the photo? Dan Sullivan - Omaha, Nebraska 8 April 2008

Patrick Walsh (Jr.) left home to go prospecting in the state or territory of Montana, and was seldom heard from again. He lived somewhere near Miles City, Montana.
William T. Fecht noted in 1973 that "Uncle Patrick Walsh", his mother's half brother, had visited his parents Elizabeth Ann (Walsh) and William C. Fecht at Mexico, Missouri, when Bill Fecht was very young. He stated that Patrick had written his sister from Montana. He sent a photograph of himself and a bronco horse, on which he was mounted. Note: This photograph may be in the possession of Donald Shire.

Dan Sullivan's parents homesteaded in Montana c. 1917 - 1918. Several of Florence Sullivan's siblings also homesteaded there, as well as her Aunt Hannah Walsh (Johanna). Several of Mildred Fecht's relatives also homesteaded near the Sullivans. So, unidentified photographs may have several possibilities. One figure in this picture may be a woman. Children and women often did sorting and loading work at the entrance of mines. Note the two others in the photo have miners' hats.
Coal was expensive and difficult to come by. Unlike Missouri and Indiana, where our folks were from, little wood was available either. Mildred Fecht told of how the "stokers" on the Great Northern Railroad would throw clumps of coal to the side of the tracks for poor children to take home to their families in Minot, North Dakota.

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