RAVALLI COUNTY OBITUARIES
MYRTLE EAST KEIRNS
October 2, 1881 - November 3, 1963
Keirns Rites Held in Stevi
Funeral services were held in the Whitesitt Chapel in
Stevensville Thursday afternoon for Mrs. Myrtle Keirns, 82, Stevi area resident
since 1904 who died Sunday at a rest home. Rev. John T. Hall officiated and
burial was in Victor Cemetery.
Mrs. Keirns was born October 2, 1881 in Jasper County,
Indiana and came to the valley in 1898. She married Abe Keirns in Victor
in 1902 and the family moved to the Stevi area in 1904.
Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Hazel Cunningham,
Portland, Oregon, and Mrs. Bessie Dunlap, Seeley Lake; a son, Gerald; sister,
Mrs. Ivy Dwyer; one grandson and two great grandchildren.
Ravalli Republican, November 7, 1963
CLAUD L. KELLY
February 4, 1890 - January 27, 1974
CLAUD KELLY PASSES ON, THURSDAY RITES
Claud L. Kelly, a former Stevensville resident, died Sunday
at St. Marie's, Idaho, at the age of 83. He was born February 4, 1890 in
Geneva, Kansas, and spent his early years in Kansas and Oklahoma. He served
during the Mexican campaign and during World War I with the U.S. Army.
Kelly and Margaret Becker were married in December of
1919 at Lamar, Colorado. His wife died in 1963 and he was married to Helen
Smith of Whitefish in 1966. She died in 1971.
Survivors include three sons, Robert of Missoula, Earl
of Fernwood, Idaho, and Earl of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a daughter, Mrs.
Garth Longbottom of Spokane. Several grandchildren and great-grandchildren
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at Whitesitt's
Chapel. Rev. E.J. Ruff will officiate and burial will be in Riverview cemetery.
Abstract from: Ravalli Republic, January 29, 1974
October 11, 1840 - April 16, 1906
Mrs. Anna Kerchner, mother of Mrs. Ella Thompson and Mrs.
William (Lucy) Dinneen, died April 16 at the age of 66. She has been a resident
of the Bitterroot Valley since 1877 and was the mother of four children.
She was born in Germany in 1840 and came to America in 1861. She was a member
of the Presbyterian Church, uniting with that denomination when residing
in Stevensville, many years ago.
The funeral was held Thursday, Rev. J.E. Burkhart of the
Presbyterian Church officiating, and the body was interred in the Riverview
The Western News, April 25, 1906
Pioneer Is Frozen in Snow Storm
James Kerlee of Darby, While on Way to Spend Thanksgiving With His Family
Perishes in Snow Storm
Darby, November 29 - James Kerlee, 67, pioneer resident of the Bitter Root
valley, was a victim of the storms of last week. His frozen body was found
today, 30 miles south of here, by Lew Conner, trapper, where Kerlee had sunk
to the snow-covered ground from exhaustion while on his way to Darby to spend
Thanksgiving with his family.
Conner, who also had been caught in the storm, was almost
exhausted when he found the body at 4 o'clock this afternoon on the Nez Perce
trail through the Deep Creek section. Through Ranger Roy Witter, Conner got
word to Bert Kerlee, a son, over the forestry telephone to the Darby Mercantile
company here, and came on to the Allen Ranger station, while Witter returned
to remain with the body till help arrived.
Jack Kerlee, son of the dead man, and a party of eight
men left Darby late this afternoon for the Deep Creek section to get the
body. They were equipped for a hurried trip and will return late tomorrow
night or Thursday. The trip through the hills will be made on snow shoes.
Kerlee had been in and out from the mine for the last
30 years, but for about nine years had been working it. The mine, "Daisy"
is located about 40 miles south of Darby and members of his family here knew
of his plans to be in Darby for Thanksgiving.. This he started out to do
and, after having gone over the ridge and down into Deep Creek Canyon, was
overcome in the deep snow. When found, his dog was still at his side. He
was making the trip on snow shoes.
At 5 o'clock this afternoon, Conner had arrived at the
Allen ranger station, according to word received here, and his condition
is reported as better.
Kerlee is survived by his wife and 10 children, seven
of whom live in Darby, while three are in Missoula.
The Western News, December 1, 1921, page 1
LEWIS BERTEN KERLEE
August 27, 1887 - February 1, 1954
BERT KERLEE RITES TODAY, PASSED AWAY IN MISSOULA.
Funeral services were held this afternoon at the Dowling
chapel in Hamilton in tribute to Bert Kerlee who passed away in a Missoula
Hospital Monday. Interment was made in Lone Pine cemetery. Pallbearers were
E.E. Hart, William Daw, F.V. Scudder, Denny Gray, Robert Nicholson, and Ray
Lewis Berten Kerlee was born at Hot Springs, Arkansas August
27, 1887, a son of the late pioneer couple James and Mary Kerlee. The baby
boy came to the Bitter Root with his parents, and other members of the family,
in April 1888, and the family settled in the Tincup area upon a homestead.
Mr. Kerlee was married to Anna V. Rhino June 28, 1909.
The widow and their foster daughter, Mrs. Ronald Bibler, both of Darby, survive.
Mrs. Bibler's children Helen, Douglas and Gerald are also survivors as are
the following brother and sisters: Ben of Salem, Oregon; Miss Floss L. Kerlee,
Warm Springs; Mrs. Bessie K. Monroe, Hamilton. There are a number of nieces
Abstract from: The Western News, February 4, 1954
EDWARD J. (JACK) KERLEE
June 5, 1878 - July 25, 1952
JACK KERLEE, WELL-KNOWN OLD-TIMER OF DARBY AREA, PASSES.
Funeral services for Edward J. (Jack) Kerlee who died
at a Missoula hospital Friday, were conducted by Rev. R.J. Kennedy at the
Baptist church in Darby Tuesday afternoon and burial was in Lone Pine cemetery
there, near the graves of his wife, Eva, and their sons, Arthur LeRoy and
James David. Pallbearers were E.E. (Wood) Hart, Charles Rouse, Curt Ray,
Curt Matteson, Floyd R. Neill, and Fred Wilkerson. Many friends who had known
Mr. Kerlee throughout the 64 years of his life in the Darby community, gathered
to attend the rites. He was a member of the Baptist church and of the Darby
Odd Fellows and Rebekah lodges.
Born at St. James, Missouri, June 4, 1878, Mr. Kerlee
was the oldest son of James and Mary Kerlee.The marriage of Jack Kerlee and
Eva Claire Helt took place June 10, 1902 at Corvallis, Rev. W.D. Lear performing
the ceremony. Their home, until Eva died in 1924, was always in the Darby
community. Six children were born to them, four surviving. These are Clarence
of Butte, Robert and Quentin of Darby, and Ruth Morfort of Santa Barbara,
California. Others to survive are the brothers, Ben Kerlee of Salem, Oregon;
Bert of Darby, and three sisters, Bessie K. Monroe of Hamilton, Rose L. Henderson
of Hubbard, Oregon, and Floss L. Kerlee of Butte. There are several cousins,
nephews and nieces in the Bitter Root valley, and Mr. Kerlee is survived
by seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Abstract from: The Western News, July 31, 1952
ANNA E. COLLINS KERRIGAN
April 29, 1877 - February 1, 1950
FUNERAL SERVICES TO BE SATURDAY FOR MRS. KERRIGAN, BURIAL IN VICTOR
Mrs. Anna E. Kerrigan died early Wednesday morning at
St. Patricks hospital in Missoula following a long illness. Funeral services
will be conducted at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon in the Dowling chapel with
the Rev. Beryl Furr officiating and burial will be in the Victor cemetery.
Pallbearers will be John Greenfield, Adam Hornung, J.E. Babbitt, J.A. Butcher,
Orville Buker, and W.C. Thrailkill.
Mrs. Kerrigan was born April 29, 1877 at Diamond, Utah
and to the valley when she was four years old with her parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Thomas N. Collins. Mrs. Kerrigan was married to James F. Kerrigan in 1904
at Gibbonsville. He preceded her in death on February 22, 1947.
Survivors include a sister-in-law, Mrs. Lavinia Collins,
and nieces, Mrs. C.K. Moore and Mrs. Clara Peters, all of Hamilton; a brother-in-law,
Claude Treece of Missoula; and two nephews, Clarence Collins, Alpine, Oregon,
and Sidney Treece, Burns, Oregon.
Abstract from: The Western News, February 2, 1950
Former Darby Man Drowns In California
The double tragedy which claimed the life of a former
Darby man, James Krinock and his 12-year old son, Warner, at Weed, California,
has been reported to Darby and Hamilton relatives. The report said that the
Krinock father and son were with two other men in a fishing boat on a lake
near Wee, when the accident occurred. One man was able to reach the shore,
but the three others were drowned. The man who escaped said James Krinock
tried to save his son, himself drowning in the attempt. Burial was made the
following Wednesday at Ashland, Oregon, where Mrs. Krinock's father, Warner
Laird and other members of the former Darby family reside. James Krinock
was at one time a soldier at Fort Missoula. He was about 40 years of age
and is survived by his widow, a daughter and a son. He was engaged in defense
work at Weed.
The Western News, Thursday, May 13, 1943, page 1
August 12, 1853 - March 23, 1923
AUGUSTA KURTZ PASSES TO REWARD.
Mrs. Augusta Kurtz died last Friday at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. Louis Wirth. Heart disease was the cause of death. The funeral
was held Monday from the German Evangelical church and was largely attended.
Rev. Gustav Mertz conduced the service.
Mrs. August Kurtz was born August 12, 1853, in the province
of Posen, now a part of the republic of Poland. She came to America in 1868
when 16 years of age and while a resident of Indiana, married Mr. Kurtz.
They emigrated to Minnesota where they lived for a number of years, coming
to Montana about eight years ago. Her husband died in 1918. She is survived
by six children: Mrs. William Strange, Mrs. Elbert Kuether of Minnesota,
Mrs. L.J. Wirth and John, Paul, and Ed C. Kurtz of Hamilton. Mrs. Kurtz was
a devout Christian, a most estimable woman who is mourned by a wide circle
The Western News, March 29, 1923
March 7, 1869 - February 14, 1954
Rites Conducted Yesterday For Gus Kuster Who Passed Away Here Saturday
The funeral for Gust Kuster was held yesterday afternoon
at the Dowling Chapel in Hamilton. Interment was made in Riverview Cemetery.
Those serving as pallbearers were T.H. Sherwin, Nick J. Kramis, Wilford Poppie,
Buford Kaa, Edward F. Grimes and Milton D. Byrd. Death was due to a heart
Mr. Kuster retired from active work when he, with his
family, moved to Hamilton to make their home in 1933. The illness which resulted
in his death Sunday noon at Daly Memorial Hospital was of but short duration.
Gus Kuster was born march 7, 1860 in Germany. He came to the United States
with his parents and his 11 sisters and brothers, when he was 14 years of
age. The family settled at Grand Island Nebraska. He and Mrs. Kuster were
united in marriage December 15, 1901 at Evanston, Wyoming.
Mr. Kuster worked for 14 years as a railroad engineer
for the Union Pacific in Wyoming and later for four years out of Missoula
in a similar capacity for the Northern Pacific. He came to the Bitter Root
in 1907, during the Big Ditch-McIntosh Red Apple Boom days, and acquired
farming property south of Victor. After operating the farm there, he moved
to another farm located east of Corvallis in 1929. He operated that farm
until coming to Hamilton. Mr. Kuster was a member of Hamilton lodge 1651,
Survivors, other than the widow, are his son, Col. Kenneth
F. Kuster, who, after service in Korea, is now quartermaster in charge of
the 16th Army Corps, stationed at Sandai, Japan; his daughter, Bess Kuster
of Los Angeles, California; a stepdaughter, Hilda Holley of Hamilton; two
grandchildren: Mrs. Donna Crago, Edwards, California, and Douglas Kuster,
who is music instructor in the Browning, Montana high school; and two great
granddaughters. Also surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Henry Hahn and Miss
Wanda Kuster, both of Grand Island, Nebraska. Mr. Kuster’s twin sister passed
away four years ago. Among his parent’s children were three sets of twins.
Here to join Mrs. Kuster and Miss Helley for the last
rites came Bess Kuster from California and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Kuster and
their child, Terry Lee. The Douglas Kuster family left this morning for Browning.
Abstract from The Western News, February 18, 1954
CRISSIE M. KYLE
March 21, 1865 - December 1, 1942
Mrs. John Kyle, 77, a resident of the valley for 55 years,
died in her apartment at 719 North Fifth Street about 6:30 pm Tuesday. Death
was attributed to heart disease. She had been in ill health for several years,
but her passing came as a surprise to her many friends.
She was born March 21, 1865 in Marshalltown, Iowa, and
came to the valley from there with her husband and children in 1887. They
first located on a ranch in the Rye Creek area near Darby. Later, they ranched
in the Como and Darby areas and came here from Darby, where they had made
their home for several years, about a year ago. She was a member of the Christian
Her Widower; daughter, Mrs. Leslie Wheeler, and son, Ray,
Hamilton; daughter, Mrs. Vera Hassan, Los Angeles, California; son,
Lynne, Gunnison, Colorado, and sisters, Mrs. Mattie Greelee and Mrs.
Alta Mouchka, Belle Plain, Iowa, survive. The body is at Dowling's.
Ravalli Republican, December 3, 1942