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Something Different At The Heritage

I was at the Marias Heritage Center last evening (Tuesday) to read some Montana History. We usually read a complete book over the course of 4 to 6 weeks but last evening, for a little change in pace, I read a couple of selections from a presentation entitled “Gold Dust to Dollars”. What it is, is a history of federal tax administration in Montana from 1864 to 1993 and there are a couple of articles of real interest. One is a piece on Nathaniel P. Langford. Langford, already well known in many of the frontier mining communities, was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as the first tax collector for the Territory of Montana. Talk about a job and then some! We also came across a great description of some of the zany events that transpired here in Shelby in the infamous 1923 Dempsey-Gibbons fight. One of the things that I took away from the tale was that Jack Dempsey’s manager Jack Kearns did NOT, as some reports have it, run for the train when this debacle was over. He merely sauntered down the street with his suitcase full of money! If you’re a fan of the Dempsey/Gibbons brew-ha-ha, you might want to check this out. We’ll be starting a new book next week about a pioneer doctor lady who left her husband in Iowa and came out here to Montana to practice frontier medicine. Details on a future Puffman Blog. See you next Tuesday evening at 6 at the Heritage.

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