DR. DON L. BYAM- Born in Auburn, New York 1814 son of Oliver Hale Byam and Polly Steele, he had four brother and one sister. Received his early education in New York. He attended William and Mary College in Virginia but did not graduate. He later graduated from one of the eclectic medical schools, then numerous in the country at that time. He began practice in Ohio and continued in the East for many years. He married Frances A. Slider of Dayton , Ohio in March 25, 1840, and to them five children were born, two daughters and three sons. Margaret Jerusha, Charles S, Henry Clay, Oliver Oscar and Minerva (Minnie). Margaret married Theophilus Muffly (a Lawyer by profession and a Montana Pioneer). Charles went to the Klondile and was never again heard from. Oliver was killed in a coal mine accident in 1884, Henry Clay died in Billings, Montana and Minerva married Grant Condit. Dr. Byam moved with his family to Iowa in the 1840’s and moved again to Colorado with the Pike’s Peak gold rush; he arrived in Bannack March 1, 1863. He was more intent on mining than on Medicine and began working a claim. The claim was jumped by bandits, and he went to Nevada City in Alder Gulch. There he began mining was promptly elected judge of the miner’s count. As a judge he attained great fame. He presided at the trial of George Ives, a notorious leader of the road agents, charged specifically with the brutal murder of a harmless and well liked Dutch man named Nicholas Tbalt. Behind the trial was the fiasco of the pardoned murderers of Dillingham, and the known record of Ives as a highwayman and killer. Byam was assisted as judge by one man, and there were twenty-four jurors. The principals occupied wagon boxes placed on Main Street in Nevada City, a short distance west of Virginia City. The trial lasted three days in the latter part of December, 1863, and the jury found Ives guilty as charged. Judge Byam sentenced him to be hanged immediately and supervised preparation for execution. He watched the drop and quickly pronounced the man dead from a broken neck. The Vigilantes were organized soon after this spectacular trial and, although the list of members has never been published, it is probable that Dr. Byam was associated with this organization. Dr. Byam remained in the Madison County area as a Physician and miner until 1869. Then moved to Gallatin County and lived there for the remainder of his life. He was mentioned at Middle Creek, where he lived for a while as a rancher and Doctor. He had two ranches and prepared for farming on a large scale. Seed was shipped from Salt Lake City at great expense, but for two successive years grasshoppers destroyed the crops. Dr. Byam was financially ruined and moved to Bozeman about 1873, to resume the practice of medicine. His professional card appeared in the Bozeman Avant Courier from 1872 to August, 1876. While there he published an article in the Avant Courier setting forth his views as an eclectic physician. The physicians who followed the old established practices criticized this system as without diagnosis and with no specific method of treatment. Dr. Byam set forth his own philosophy. In 1875, he contributed to the Avant Courier an article on an epidemic of what he called “cerebrospinal meningitis or spotted fever” which had been prevalent in the county. After describing the symptoms in detail, he wrote: “The last case I treated (a child six months old) had spots on the limbs of purple color and some very dark.....We have had it,” continued the article, “in the form of influenza, cynanche-malagna, catarral fever, relapsing fever, severe neuralgia, and last by the affection of the nerve centers.” This article probably did harm to the doctor. His eclectic practice had been under criticism for some time by orthodox physicians, and this broke out into the open and apparently injured his practice. The next year he left Bozeman and moved to Emigrant Gulch on the Yellowstone, where he again engaged in mining. About 1880 the family settled at the village of Riverside, across the river four miles from Emigrant. It was on the road between Bozeman and Emigrant, and the doctor operated a ferry, a store, and the post office, and practiced medicine. Near there he discovered the Trail Creek Coal Mine, and it seemed possible that he had unearthed the fortune he had sought so many years. He died soon after this discovery, on March 25, 1882. His widow went live with her daughter, Mrs. Theophilus Muffly, and twenty years later went to Illinois to live with her grandson Lorenzo Leslie Muffly, where she died in 1905 at the age of eighty-five. Dr. Byam died a poor man and an unsuccessful physician although he had a competent mind. He left a brilliant record in the war against crime and did a great work in making Montana a peaceful and law-abiding territory.
Provided by Jerry McCune or visit his web site at www.axs4u.net/home/jmccune/genealog.htm
THEOPHILUS MUFFLY Theophilus Muffly was born October 22, 1833 in Hubbensburg, Centre County, Pennsylvanla the first child born to Lucas Henry Muffly and Nancy Davis Eckert. Theophilus left Pennsylvania and settled in Burlington, Iowa for a time, that is where he met his wife Margaret Jerusha Byam, they were married April 09, 1862 in Bellefountain, Iowa. Thier first child was born in Burlington, Iowa August 22, 1863. Departing Burlington, Iowa the next year for Montana, the route traveled was across the plains via Bridger Cut-off, arriving in Virginia City July 10, 1864.
An Lawyer by profession, was president of Madison County Pioneers, 1889 and Sec. of Society of Montana Pioneer, 1896-1898.(from "Montana Pioneers" Vol 1). From "Montana , Its Stort & Biography" - Lawyer - among those who arrived in Montana about the same time of its organization as a territory, one of the lawyers that was at openingof the Districk Count of the Judicial District, 1st Monday of December 1864 at Planters House dining room corner of Idaho & Jackson Sts, in V. C. Obit, Madisonian January 1, 1887 to December 30, 1898. Died at Helena home, funeral at 2PM Sep. - Burial at (Forestvale) cemetery by side of his daughter (Ann) who died a few years before. Was Mason before he came to MT and had Masonic connections in V.C. and Helena. Became member of the Bar 1888. Had been clerk of Court, Attorney. Register in Bankruptcy. Probate Judge, Justice of Peace and Police Magistrate. He and father-in-law Don Byam owner various mining claims around V.C. Nov. 29, 1870 he bought property, Lot 1, Blk. l98, 25 ft. front on Idaho St. extending back to alley for $500. (From Madison Cty. Courthouse files.) Theophilus was a partner in the law firm, Sterling & Muffly (1891-1984, MT).
Provided by Jerry McCune or visit his web site at www.axs4u.net/home/jmccune/genealog.htm
HEZEKIAH STEBBS TEMPLETONHezekiah Stebbs Templeton, was born in Wooster, Wayne County Ohio, enlisted in the Union army at Fairfield Iowa, in 1861. In April of 1862, he fought at the Hornets Nest, in the Battle of Shilo in eastern Tennessee, the hottest fighting of the battle. He was wounded or became ill. He was with the 2nd Iowa Infantry, Company E. He left Corinth Mississippi in August of 1862, with a surgeons certificate of disability. After recuperating for a year at his sister Charlottes, in Iowa, he left for Montana.  He lived in various towns around Madison County, finally settling in Twin Bridges. He was believed to be a member of the Vigilantes up around Ruby Gulch, Virginia City and Nevada City. He produced a number of children whose decedents currently live in Montana. He did not become famous or infamous, just a good hardworking solid man, with a love for family and his faith. He is buried with his wife Catherine Galligher Templeton, in the Twin Bridges cemetery. I believe this is the type of person that truly made Montana the great State that it is today. He is my husbands gg grandfather.  Provided by ?.
THOMAS J. POWELL was probably born in Wales in 1821, however, other family information suggests possibly born in Utica, NY. Married a Mary J. SUMNER in Michigan. Located to Erie County, PA as early as 1840, Rock Island County, IL around 1851, and Keokuk County Iowa by 1856. Children of this union were: William, Rocksilland, Arthur, and James. After the death of Mary SUMNER POWELL in 1874, Thomas marries a Catherine GRANTIER in 1875. One son born to this union: Jonathon White POWELL. Sold land in Iowa by the late 1870's and made their way to Montana via the train to the Dillon, MT area. They are first referenced in Madison County by 1881. Homestead claim initiated 1882 and land grant issued in 1889. From: Jim Powell at jpowellmt@attbi.com
CHARLES VETTER was the second of his family to come to Montana. His uncle, John G. Vetter, ad arrived in 1863. Charles bought a ranch on Jack Creek from Mr. Walsh in 1888. About 1900 he sold to his brother, John, and purchased the Horace Bull ranch on Jack Creek bench, then he moved to the Lowe Ranch, which later became part of the Granger Ranches. He sold the Lowe Ranch in 1905 and moved his family to Canada. His wife died during the first winter in Canada. His daughter Nell brought he younger sister, Loula, back to the Madison Valley where she was adopted by her aunt, Minnie Vetter Paugh. Charles died in British Columbia. His children were: Omar, who married Elizabeth Daems; Olive, who married Harry Baker; Nellie, who married Steve McGuire; Carl, who married Hattie Smith Keller; Justina, who married Russell McLees; Bert, who married Josephine Daems; and Loula, who married Robert Wilson.
Minnie Vetter and her sister Mary came West by train to Bozeman in 1888 to join their brother Charles. He had a job for them at the mining camp of Red Bluff. One sister worked in the Tanner home and the other worked at the hotel which is the stone building at the Montana Experimental Farm at Red Bluff. The girls worked there for almost a year until Mary cut her hand seriously. When she recovered both girls worked in the home of Myron D. Jeffers. Minnie later cared for Mrs. George Watts when Jack was born. In 1891, Minnie married Erastus Paugh and Mary soon started keeping house for her brother John.
John Vetter worked for L.S. Briggs when he came to Madison Valley. The Briggs ranch was north of the present channel, Dude Ranch. John kept this position until he had saved $1000. Mary, his sister, was often in the Briggs home where she delivered one of the children while Mr. Briggs was trying to locate the doctor.
Ernest and Florence came after their father married a widow with family of her own. Ernest spent his first winter in Montana with his Uncle John at Warm Springs, as an attendant at the hospital. In summer, he took his brother John’s job herding sheep for L.S. Briggs. He saved enough money in two years to buy the Erastus Paugh homestead in 1901, and his sister Florence became his housekeeper. IN 1903, he had 200 head of cattle and he bought 150 head of range horses from L.S. Briggs in 1904.
Florence married Jefferson R. Allenburg “Jeff” in 1911 and move to the Clarence Jeffers Ranch which he managed until Austin Jeffers took it over when discharged from the Army after World War I. Jeff was from Carthage, Missouri, and came to Montana early enough to have had his first job working for William Ennis. The Madison climate made him so hungry that he was embarrassed to satisfy himself at the table and bought extra food at the store. He was a tall robust man. He worked for the VF Ranch and took up a homestead in the Varney area. Jeff was a relative of Mrs. Dan Thornton whose ranch was on Cedar Creek. After Jeff died in 1926, Florence made her home in Jeffers.
Before World War I, John Vetter sold his ranch on Jack Creek to his brother Ernest who had married Josephine Daems. John moved to Bozeman with his sister Mary in 1917. He bought a lot on the corner of Wallace and Mendenhall where he had a gasoline station. He also acquired a ranch near Belgrade. John died of influenza in 1919. Mary died in 1934. They are both buried in the Bozeman cemetery.
Ernest Vetter ran his ranch as a hay and cattle operation. He kept a hired man on the ranch he bought from John and usually had one at his main ranch. In 1929, he sold his land and livestock to Wetmore Hodges, which became the Jumping Horse Ranch. At the time when he sold, he had 1260 acres of land, 600 cattle, and 80 head of horses.
Ernest retired to Ennis where he and his family ran a tourist court and the Ennis Café. When his wife “Josie” died in 1948 he retired to his daughter’s home in Butte where he was joined by his sister Florence. He died in 1959, and Florence in 1959. Both the Vetters and the Allenburgs are buried in the Madison Valley Cemetery.
Ernest had one daughter, Buena Belle, who married Dale Koelzer and lives at West Yellowstone. The children of Josie and Bert Vetter were raised in Ernest's home. Ernest W. “Tim” lives in Seattle, and Berta is deceased.
From: Diane Evans at upsmann@home.com
JOHN G. VETTER was born in Wurtenberg, Germany, December 22, 1833. He came to America with his family in 1857. He built his first business in Pacific City, Missouri, where his property was estimated to be worth over half a million dollars when the Civil War wiped him out. He was a shoemaker by trade and invested the $3000 he was able to salvage in an ox-drawn freight wagon and supplies to take to the Idaho Mines. He had the leather goods needed to start his shoe shop and much general equipment. He had medical supplies and when the doctor for the wagon train did not have what he needed to take care of an emergency, he supplied what was needed. The doctor was so impressed he told John his medical kit had the best possible selection of drugs to carry West.
Mr. Vetter arrived in Virginia City and started his shoe shop in 1863. He was the first of his family to move to Montana, and it was twenty years before his nephews and nieces started to follow him. Except for a brief unsuccessful marriage to the wide of Dr. Lev Daems, he lived alone. He was a Mason, having joined the order in Pacific City, Missouri in 1858. He was elected to membership in Virginia City Lodge No. 1, April 14, 1866.
Mr. Vetter’s Virginia City shoe shop was prosperous. He had as many as fourteen shoemakers working for him. he was proud that when Acting Territorial Governor Thomas Francis Meagher disappeared at Fort Benton he was wearing a pair of boots from his shop that had not been paid for. He like to tell about the shoes his shop made for the hurdy-gurdy girls. He personally set the 25 cent coins in the heels so that they would ring properly when the girls danced.
When Helena became more prosperous than Virginia City, he moved. The Helena shop was replaced three times because of fires, but each new building was larger.
History says that in 1877 Doctors Armistead H. Mitchell and C.F. Mussigbrod made a contract with the Territory to take custody of insane persons. Oral tradition in the Vetter family said that Doctors Mussigbrod and Scanland asked John Vetter to be their partner in this venture, but he did not like the project. He loaned them the money to build their hospital, and started to work for them when his investment was in danger. His load was paid, and he continued to work there until Warm Springs became a State institution in 1912.
Ernest Vetter, a nephew of John, came to stay with him while he was at Warm Springs. Ernest had just left his home in Ohio and worked with him during the winter of 1899. Young Ernest was depressed by the hospital but was impressed with the way his Uncle John’s quiet strength calmed the patients. He was enormously strong with very long arms, and rather than use a straight jacket, he picked up patients bodily and carried them to their quarters, or quieted them.
When John developed an incurable throat cancer which he had diagnosed at Rochester, he lived in the Jack Creek home of his nephew and niece, John and Mary Vetter. He died in 1913 and was buried in the Virginia City Cemetery.
From: Diane Evans at upsmann@home.com
JAMES WILLIAMS - Born: 1-9-1834 in Pennsylvania... Died: 2-21-1887 in Madison County, Montana. He married Elizabeth Ledford - Born: 1-9-1843 in Missouri... Died: 4-26-1915 in Madison County, MT? The couple were married on 12-27-1866 in Virginia City, MT. James Williams was captain of the vigilantes of MT, and the father of Charles Robert Williams, who was my grandfather.
From: Sheila R. Niemela at sheila@teleport.com

Return to MTGenWeb Site

Jane Colmenares - County Coordinator
Copyright © 2006-present for the MTGenWeb Project, All rights reserved.