Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

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March 26, 2020

70 YEARS AGO • MARCH 15, 1950


The Hot Springs Sentinel, a newspaper published at Hot Springs, Montana, made its debut last Wednesday, a copy of which was inserted in each post office box in Thompson Falls.

Published by Kenneth F. Knight and Kenneth Knight, Jr., who came to Hot Springs from Tekoa, Washington. The first issue of the Sentinel was very interesting, giving the early day history and showing the growth of Hot Springs in the last few years. The ten-page paper was chuck-full of advertising, of a congratulatory nature, showing that the Hot Springs merchants are behind the new venture.


An advertisement for bids on the construction of a new bridge over the Clark Fork River at Trout Creek, one of the largest bridge jobs in western Montana in years, is appearing in this issue of the Ledger. This project is scheduled for March 28 federal aid highway contract letting.

The new bridge will be 727 feet long, replacing a county bridge in use for many years. At that place the average daily traffic through the year is 300 cars, it is reported.


APRIL 3, 1970


Funeral services were held Saturday at Plains for Mike Vulles, 83, Perma rancher since 1915 who died Tuesday at a Missoula hospital. Burial was in the Plains Cemetery.

Mr. Vulles was born in Yugoslavia and came to the United States after 1900. He moved to Perma in 1915 and a year later was married to Daisy Meljie August 28, 1916 in Butte. Mrs. Vulles died in April 1965.

Mr. Vulles was employed by the railroad for many years.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Dorothy Wallbridge, Mullen, Mrs. Darlene Rummel, Plains; five sons, Sam, Plains, Steve, Thompson Falls, Vladimir, Perma, Melvin, Polson, George, Dixon; and 11 grandchildren.

From Pioneers and Early Settlers of Thompson Falls, Montana

Steve & Marie (MacDonald) Vulles

Steve Vulles was born March 3, 1923, Perma, Montana to Mike Vulles and Daisey May Meljie.

Steve served in the Navy during World War II.

He married Marie Frances MacDonald May 8, 1948, in Thompson Falls and they had the following children: Robert Steve (Bob), Michael Burns (Mickey), Lynda Marie, Larry James and Timothy Allen.

Marie was born Jan 22, 1924, Superior, Montana to Burns MacDonald and Alice Brown.

Marie had been previously married to Woodroe McDaniel and by this marriage had two sons: Weston Lee and Clinton Lyle.

Marie was the first baby born at what was then the ‘new’ Superior Hospital. She grew up and attended school in Superior, graduating in 1941.

Marie attended Montana State College, now MSU-Bozeman prior to joining the U.S. Army in March 1944, where she served as a medical and surgical technician. She was a Civil Air Patrol volunteer during World War II and was a frequent blood donor.

Steve and Marie lived in Perma, Plains and Paradise before moving to Thompson Falls.

Marie and Steve purchased a ranch at Perma in the late 1950s, where they ran primarily purebred Hereford stock. The cattle and all they entailed were a primary focus for the family. They also owned and operated Marie’s Cash Store, a small business and gas station east of Thompson Falls in Pyattville, which was open evenings and weekends, a novelty at that time. The area east of the High School turn-off was called Pyattville for many years, named after Charles Pyatt who operated a sawmill there and sold lumber. Marie worked for many years at Mulick’s Mercantile in Perma, where she also served as assistant postmaster. She graduated from Montana Beauty College in 1969 and did hair for many years at home. Marie and Steve owned and operated the Pair-a-Dice Bar in Paradise for several years in the 1980s. She and Steve purchased the Lodge Motel at Thompson Falls in 1974, which was a continuation of a family hospitality tradition since her grandmother had owned the Superior Hotel, in Superior, where the Gideon Society placed the first Gideon Bibles in rooms there in 1908.

Marie died February 8, 2010.

She was an exceptional woman, strong willed, self-made and very forward thinking.


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