December 7, 2018
Yes, I know I haven’t had a “Memories” article since Nov. 2, but let me explain.
On Oct. 27 we received a telephone call that our daughter Arlene and her husband were cleaning the eve troughs on their house. The ladder tipped and she fell 12-14 feet onto the basement cement entry. She was taken to the Twin Falls emergency room where they found a head injury with some bleeding that required seven stitches. She was airlifted to Boise, Idaho for more treatment. The head bleeding stopped, but she had two broken vertebrates in her lower back that required a back brace for six weeks. While she was in the hospital, her husband fell while taking a shower and cracked some ribs.
After three days in Boise she was returned to the Twin Falls hospital for treatment and care.
Learning of this, we traveled to Billings for eye doctor appointments and then on to Twin Falls where we saw Arlene in the hospital.
She was dismissed on Nov. 6 to return to her home and continued to do very well.
We left family on Nov. 16, traveling on bad roads with poor visibility from the Idaho border to Billings. The next day we went on home to Ekalaka.
On Nov. 20 we welcomed granddaughter Michelle, great granddaughter Isla, and husband George from Las Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with us. They returned to Vegas on Nov. 24.
As you can see, we have been quite busy.
Enough about us and now to another neighbor who lived across the street from us in a small house. That individual was Henry Harms and may not be known to many of you readers. Page 94 of the “Shifting Scenes Vol. III” has a very interesting article about this man written by Gay Griffen Ness.
Henrick (Henry) Harms
By Gay Griffen Ness
Henry Harms was born Feb. 15, 1882 at Langwedel, Germany. When he was twelve years old he was put into a camp for boys. He was forced to learn the trade of bricklaying. Henry said they worked long hard hours. One day a wall gave away that was being laid up and killed one his co-workers and crushed Henry’s right hand. With no medical attention, three of his fingers were stiff for the rest of his life.
In 1909, not liking the political situation in Germany, Henry left for the US through Antwerp, Belgium. He sailed on the “Grand Trunk R Y” arriving in Quebec, Canada, Nov. 1, 1910. Then he traveled to Port Huron, Michigan Nov. 12, 1910, with the destination Chicago, Illinois. However, he went to Rapid City, South Dakota instead.
Henry Harms applied for United States citizenship in Rapid City, South Dakota, and received it in Ekalaka, Montana Feb. 4, 1918 with I.R. Schults. Roy Kopp, Robert Van Hook and Charles Keith as witnesses.
One of his first jobs in Montana was for a sheep ranch north of Albion, Montana. One morning as he moved the sheep to a divide, he came upon a fresh grave that hadn’t been there the day before. He became frightened and, not knowing the way of the west, he just walked away. He headed toward Chalk Buttes area and herded sheep for whomever he could.
Henry homesteaded about thirty-two miles southwest of Ekalaka in the Chalk Buttes area. He built a two room log house and raised cattle. He had some very hard winters and had no feed. He asked my grandfather, “Mine Youst do you think spring will ever come?” That winter the Little Missouri Bank of Camp Crook and Henry both lost out! He proved up on the homestead Feb. 18, 1925 with Frank C. Dahlberg, Chalk Buttes, and Frank Evans, Ekalaka, as witnesses. He then lost this homestead to the bank, and Carl Inez Griffin bought it in 1926.
Still herding sheep and getting a few of his own, he lived various places, one of them being a place at Dry Creek west of the Buttes. He always walked to herd the sheep. A neighbor brought a horse over for him to use, but Henry just kept on walking, so the horse was caught and returned home! He then moved to the Newbary place northwest of the Chalk Buttes. He later sold this place to Odis Harkins and moved to the Cy and Vi Bradshaw place, which was formerly the Dahlberg homestead, back in the Chalk Buttes.
Henry always had his mail left at our house, and he would pick it up at his convenience. I remember one package that came for him. My mother put it on the piano with the rest of the mail and by the time Henry came for the mail we were having quite a time with the smell! We later found out it was Limburger cheese, of which Henry was quite fond!
Another time, after the second World War (he was very afraid of being sent back to Germany for the war -- he said he liked the USA), there came an envelope edged in black from Germany. He later told my dad that it was of the death of his sister, the last of his family. This was the only time I ever saw a letter edged in black.
Henry was quite helpful as a neighbor. One time my folks were building a chimney for their house and it was going up with a few curves in it! Henry drove into the yard and spent the rest of the day laying bricks, a very neat job! He surely hadn’t lost the technique after more than forty years.
In January of 1945, when there was much deep snow, Henry was working for a neighbor whose daughter was to get married. Henry obligingly pulled the young couple’s car with a team of horses for nearly eight miles through deep drifts to get them started on their way.
In 1958 he sold out to George Kreitel and moved into Ekalaka. He bought the Carl Potter home on the north side of town. He lived a very active life here among friends and neighbors, until Feb. 23, 1973. He died at Ekalaka and is buried at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Ekalaka, Montana.
The money left from his estate was willed to the schools of Carter County for the children to use, as Henry was very fond of children and had no family.
Henry Harms, 91, of Ekalaka, Montana passed away on Friday Feb. 23, 1973 at Dahl Memorial Hospital in Ekalaka.
He was born Feb. 15, 1882 in Germany, and spent two years in the German army. He worked his way to South America, and then back to Belgium, later he came to Canada and then to Alzada, Montana where he worked for Joe Oliver and Dick Selway.
He came to Ekalaka on horseback to receive his naturalization papers and in 1912 homesteaded in the Chalk Buttes area where he lived until his retirement in 1959.
He entered Dahl Memorial Hospital in 1971 for medical assistance then entered the Rest Home where he passed away.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1973 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptists Church of Ekalaka, with Rev. Wayne Griffith officiating.
Viola Stenseth accompanied Gloria Preuss, who sang “Beyond The Sunset,” and “Blessed Jesus.”
Pallbearers were Clayton Holly, David Ness, Sy Bradshaw, Bill Elmore, Cap Keith and Don Schultz.
Burial was in I.O.O.f. Cemetery. Putnam Funeral Home of Ekalaka was in charge of arrangements.
He leaves a host of friends.