Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

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50 YEARS AGO • MAY 1, 1969


Miss Eileen Marie Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle J. Smith of Thompson Falls, was married Saturday evening to Charles Joseph (Chubb) Garrison, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Garrison, also of Thompson Falls in a single-ring ceremony performed in Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Missoula.

The bride chose a street-length white brocade dress with a headpiece of white bridal net. Her bouquet was of white carnations and yellow roses.

Mrs. Duane Vaught was matron of honor and wore a mint green brocade dress with a matching headdress and a yellow rose corsage.

Duane Vaught attended the groom as best man.

Mrs. Garrison is a senior at the University of Montana where she is majoring in elementary education. Garrison is engaged in logging and served two years in the U.S. Army with overseas duty in Korea.

They plan to reside in Thompson Falls.

Happy Anniversary Chubb & Eileen!


From Pioneer and Early Settlers of Thompson Falls, Montana

Lyle was born July 7, 1924 in Thompson Falls, Montana to Leonard and Kathleen Smith.

The family moved to Burke, Idaho when Tuffy was only 3, there he attend grade school and graduated from Wallace High School in 1942.

He was a long time employee of the Montana Power Company, beginning with the company in 1941 as a part-time employee. Leaving the company in 1943 when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in World War II, the Air Force Reserves and the Korean conflict. He was discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1952.

Lyle and Carolyn Castle were married March 20, 1945 in Sioux City, Iowa. The couple moved to Thompson Falls in January of 1952 with their two children, Eileen and Tim. That same year he obtained work again with Montana Power Company.

In 1961 the family purchased a ranch north of Thompson Falls where he raised polled Herefords. Though residing in Thompson, the family would spend much of their time at the ranch. He also operated an outfitting and guide service and wrote about his experiences for outdoor magazines. He was proud of the fact that he often had repeat clients, a testimony to his ability and honesty as a guide.

The February 2, 1978 issue of The Sanders County Ledger ran a picture of Lyle “Tuffy” Smith receiving a 35 year pin with three diamonds from the Montana Power Co.

Lyle Smith died 1985 with burial in the Fraternal cemetery, Thompson Falls, Montana.


Joe, Chubb Garrison’s grandfather, stepped off the train at Belknap in 1905. Fellows nowadays frequently comment that he “bought his land when it was cheap.”

If you compare per acre prices with those today, Joe did buy his land cheap. But that’s only part of the story. Those who think he got it cheap don’t recall all the work that went into clearing and developing the land.

Most of the Belknap flat was thick with trees, when Joe arrived. “The Britton ranch had only three or four acres cleared,” recalls Joe. The same applied for his ranch and most of the other land in the area.

In a story his granddaughter, Lucy (Roe), wrote for her children she noted: ‘Great-Grandpa Joe lived some of the adventures that others just read about. He was a stage coach driver in eastern Montana, also a great horse man. I guess “horse trader” describes him best. He and his brothers raced horses, often on the streets of towns as there were no paving and only board walks if there were any at all. He and his brothers helped build a race track for their hobby only to have it incorporated into the present highway which now runs through Belknap. In addition to horses, he also raised cattle and hay and a family at Belknap.


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