Remember When?


March 14, 2019

40 YEARS AGO • MARCH 6, 1969


Traffic over Highway 35, the Paradise-St. Regis cutoff was halted for almost two days Thursday and Friday by a huge rock slide four miles north of St. Regis.

First word of the slide came after a Superior woman, Cheryl Doherty, crashed into the rocks about 5 a.m.

After treatment for cuts and bruises in the Mineral County Hospital, she was released later Thursday.

Employees of the Rehbein Contracting of Plains, who were working on Interstate 90 at St. Regis brought in a large front-end loader to remove the rocks from the highway. The State Dept. of Highways did not have equipment in the area of sufficient size to handle the job.

Two boulders rolled across the highway and down on to the mainline tracks of the Burlington Northern. They were pushed aside however, and rail traffic was not interrupted.

Efforts to clear the rock slide from the highway were slowed by other rocks dribbling down the mountain side. The slide occurred at the first major cut north of St. Regis.

Most of the debris was removed from the main roadway surface late Thursday evening, but the road was not reopened then because of the continuing danger of additional falling rock.

Bill Cuddy said some of his loggers drove to Missoula to reach their work.

The slide stretched about 1,000 feet along the highway and contained an estimated 2,500 yards of material, according to a spokesman for the highway maintenance crew at Superior.


Ralph E. Heare of Red Lodge has purchased the Johnson shares of the First National Bank of Plains. This will be the first time since 1904 when E.L. Johnson came to Plains to start the bank, that there hasn’t been a Johnson in the Plains bank. Personnel will not be changed except for the retirement of R.B. Johnson.

Sanders County Ledger canvas prints

March 12-16 the First National Bank will celebrate the retirement of Bob Johnson after 33 years and the new owners. They invited everyone to come in, look around, have a piece of cake and coffee or tea, meet the new owner and greet the Johnsons.

Edwin Leonard Jonson was born about 1885 Center City, Chicago Co., Minnesota to C.J. Johnson and Marie Molin.

E.L. Johnson, who recently arrived from Minneapolis, has taken a position in the First National Bank Feb. 22, 1906 as assistant cashier.

Edwin married Marie Louise Jackson May 25, 1910 in Plains Montana and they had the following children: Charles G. Kathyrne (Coe), Robert ‘Bobby’ Brook.

E.L. Johnson was listed as the mayor of Plains in 1913.

The Plainsman, Plains, Montana July 1, 1937, front page: The Montana Bankers Association elected E.L. Johnson as president of the association. He has been a resident of Plains for the past 31 years, always a leader in civic affairs and has served as mayor of Plains, chairman of the school board and head of the Chamber of Commerce.

E.L. died September 11, 1973 with burial in the Plains Cemetery.


The spring burglary season is about to start and Thompson Falls citizens should report any unusual movements, Town Marshall Harry Petersen advised the City Council Monday night.

Petersen noted that Plains has experienced six recent burglaries with the drug store being the most recent victim there. Five other recent burglaries were solved by Deputy Sheriff Jim Doxtater and Chief of Police Clint Spindler.

“Spring is here, so be cautious,” Petersen advised.

The law officer reported to the council that he had received 19 calls during February and conducted two investigations.


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