Monday, April 06, 2015

The Years at Pompey's Pillar

As any of my family knows, Pompey's Pillar is a large rock close to the Yellowstone River that was large enough in the landscape for travelers to use it as a marker.  Many early explorers and travelers carved their names in the rock.  It was named for Pompey, a black man who made up part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  William Clark is the most famous grafitti artist on the monument.

My Dad was born at Pompey's Pillar, Montana, the town.  This town  now consists of a few trailers, a couple of houses, a few old buildings and a Post Office.  But when Dad's parents, O.D. Robertson and Maude Brodock Robertson  moved there in the early 1900's, it was an up and coming place. A riverboat made runs from Billings to Pompey's Pillar and back. There were businesses and a bank.

John, Les and Winifred Robertson in front of the Pompey's Pillar homestead

Huntley Irrigation Project, completed in 1907, encouraged settlers to homestead this area.  The Crow Indians ceded reservation lands for settlement.  O.D. owed Indians fees on his homestead, which was close to the Pompey's Pillar Monument.  His dairy and stock farm was traversed by fly creek and the railroad.  Every morning a train bound for Billings would stop and O.D. would load milk onto it.  

I don't know if O.D. and Maude set their sights on a homstead in Pompey's Pillar when they were married January 20, 1904.  But by 1906 they were making plans to homestead there. When they arrived, they had two children, John and Leslie.  Robert Theodore (Teddy), Winifred and Sidney were all born at the Pompey's Pillar Homestead.  

1906 Certificate showing O.D. Robertson  was eligible to file for a homestead.

When Maude and Dunc lived in the area, Pompey's Pillar had a Community Club - the card makes me think it was like a Chamber of Commerce
Uncle John's Report Card
Mr and Mrs Davis.  Mrs. Davis taught school in Pompey's Pillar

1 comment:

MT Missy said...

And I can say I've been there! How great to know more of the history. Thanks for sharing, Mom.