JOHN A. SUMMERS
John A. Summers, a prominent and successful
stock raiser of the Bitter Root Valley was born in Taney County Missouri,
August 22, 1849. In an early day, his ancestors came from England to the colony
of Virginia and they were Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. The grandfather
of our subject, John Summers, was born in Virginia, but in an early day removed
to Kentucky where he was among the brave pioneers. His son, Henry L., the
father of our subject, was born in that State in 1824, was married in Missouri
to Miss Mary Olive Samuel, a native of Tennessee, and they had seven children.
Although of Southern birth, Mr. Summers was
a Union man during the late war. His death occurred in 1861 from the effects
of a severe cold. His wife is still living, aged sixty-two years. John A.
their eldest child, received his education in the public schools of his native
State. At the age of eighteen years he began learning the blacksmith's trade
and two years afterward made the journey to Montana. He came by rail to Corinne
and walked the remainder of the distance paying $10.00 for the privilege of
joining a party who carried his blankets for him.
After arriving in Montana, Mr. Summers worked
as a journeyman at Deer Lodge for three years, receiving $5 a day; next conducted
a blacksmith shop at Blackfoot City two seasons; traveled through Oregon and
California; in the following spring returned to Montana; conducted a shop
at Missoula one year; followed that occupation in Corvallis from 1875 until
1883; and in the latter year came to what is now the town of Grantsdale. Mr.
Summers purchased 480 acres of his present farm and has since been successfully
engaged in raising, buying and selling cattle. He has added to his original
purchase until he now owns 800 acres on which in 1888 he erected a beautiful
and commodious residence. Mr. Summers was married January 6, 1878 to Miss
Judie Chaffin, a daughter of Elijah Chaffin. She was born near Fort Scott
Kansas and came with her parents to Montana in 1864. To this union have been
born six children: Mary M (deceased at the age of three years), Viola Inez,
Maggie F., Nettie Edith, Frederick and Herbert L.
History of Montana, by Joaquin Miller, 1894