FUNERAL RITES CONDUCTED FOR O.A. ROBERTSON
Early Day Freighter, Miner and Rancher Dies at Advanced Age
Oscar A. Robertson, resident of Montana since 1964, who sluiced more than a half a million dollars worth of gold from the famous gulches of the territory and who later freighted and finally became a rancher, was buried Tuesday afternoon in Highland Cemetery. The services were held at the W.H. George chapel, the Rev. S.C. Williams of the Presbyterian church officiating. Mr. Robertson died June 6 at his home at 2007 Seventh avenue north [sic].
Norfolk, Va., was the native place of Oscar A. Robertson. [This is inaccurate. Alexandria, Virginia is the place he was born, according to O.A. himself.] He was born September 20, 1843. When the gold rush began in Montana he drove a six mule team from Omaha to Denver, then to Virginia City, arriving July 9, 1864. He had a claim in the famous Alder Gulch from which was taken out $300,000 in gold dust. In the spring of 1866 he went to Last Chance gulch, [sic] the present site of Helena. Then he moved to Diamond City, east of Helena, one of the most productive camps in the west, and then to York gulch, north of Helena, where his placer operations brought him $25,000. Also he acquired a mining claim at French bar near York, where he was in partnership with Samuel Hauser, an early day governor of the territory, and T.H. Kleinschmidt of Helena. From this claim he took a large amount of gold dust.
February 8, 1872, Rose Byrd of York became Mr. Robertson's bride, and from this union two sons, O.D. Robertson and J.B. Robertson of Helena, were born. Mrs. Robertson died at French Bar, March 17, 1878.
Following the mining operations, Mr. Robertson was engaged in freighting from Corrine, Utah to Helena and from Helena to Fort Benton, having several 16 mule teams engaged in this business. He later obtained extensive interests in quartz mines in the York district and in other mining camps.
In 1887, Mr. Robertson moved to the Smith river country, settling near Millegan, where he went into the cattle and horse business. April 12, 1913, Miss Jennie B. Johnson was married to Mr. Robertson, who resided with him on the Millegan ranch until they recently moved to Great Falls.
In his freighting enterprise Mr. Robertson had an experience as an Indian fighter. This occurred in a canyon in Idaho when the redskins attacked his wagon train. As a follower of mining, he participated in the stampedes at Sun River, Karabo, Yogo and Virginia City, Nev. In the Sun River stampede the temperature dropped to 40 degrees below zero and several men were frozen to death.
Mr. Robertson was the proprietor of a meat market in Helena in the early days. The market adjoined the old Gazette building near where the R.C. Wallace store now is. He also had a meat market at York from 1871 to 1872. He is survived by the widow and two sons.
|O.A. Robertson's Meat Market in Helena between Watson Brothers and J.H. Curtis businesses. Although the picture date is 1865.|