Powder River Examiner -

30 Years Ago

From the Examiner Files


Thursday, March 8, 1990

Elsie Malley honored on 100th birthday

About 55 residents attended a celebration at Henry Malley Memorial Library last Monday night, honoring facility benefactress Elsie Malley for her one-hundredth birthday.

The library was decorated with balloons for the occasion and artwork by Elsie Reeder, on display, made an attractive background. Don Heidel read Mrs. Malley’s biography and those attending the celebration were served cake and punch from decorated tables, after they had sung “Happy Birthday”. Ann Carroll videotaped two weeks of activity at the library with busy librarians and guests included. On the tapes also are two story hours with pre-schoolers; a visit to the library of the second-grade classes of the Broadus schools where they sang “Happy Birthday to Elsie,” and a tour of the town including the short-time Malley home there. The tape also shows Mrs. Malley’s portrait at the library complimented by a floral arrangement and draped with an appropriate slogan.

Monday’s birthday party concluded the tape, with librarians, board members and other interested members speaking words of appreciation and greetings. The tape was mailed to Mrs. Malley in time for her birthday. Guests at the library for the week of February 20 through the 26 were asked by librarians to sign a book which was also being sent, along with a birthday card signed by those attending the party.

Mrs. Malley, from the proceeds of her late husband’s oil wells, donated to the original library building. When the addition to the building was competed, in 1975, she gave $30,000 for furnishings on the condition that the facility be known as the “Henry Malley Memorial Library.”

In May, 1985, Mrs. Malley set up a revocable trust fund for monthly payments to the library of $1,000, still active through February, 1990.

Prices mostly good at spring antique auction

Collectors paid high prices for items of individual interest at the spring antique auction held at the Community Center on Sunday March 4 and conducted by Mills Auction Service. On the other hand, some very fine items went begging; a tiny cast iron carbide camp stove, about six by ten inches, brought only $12 and a mule bridle in supple, like new condition sold for five dollars. A display of solid oak chests of drawers and wardrobes, all vintage styles but with some repair work here and there as Mills mentioned, brought less than $200 each. The oak church pew did a bit better at $220. One walnut chest of drawers did no better than the oak. That was all solid old hardwood! Reason for the slow bidding was “No room in the house for it.” The children’s pieces were hard to resist at that price.

Two priceless life-time personal collections, Della Greslin’s fruit jar and stone-ware jugs, and Ray Amende’s coins were sold. While there was a good crowd, there just aren’t that many serious and knowledgeable coin and fruit jar experts for collections of that magnitude in any one area.

Mrs. Greslin’s 58 assorted antique fruit jars, with six or more of the 18th century wax seal types and a couple dozen turn-of the century shoulder seal, and stone-ground lip, plus four turn of the century stoneware small mouth jugs with stoppers and wire bale, sold all in one set for $320. However, many of the brand names were not in the pricey range, and the price might be considered adequate, averaging at about five dollars each.

The jar collection was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Michell of Forsyth. The jars have been admired by jar collectors county-wide and enjoyed by visitors at the Greslin’s shop in Broadus.

Sale of the coin collection went on for a long time and Ray Amende of Boyes who had spent a lifetime in perfecting the collection must have felt a bit like he was selling part of his family. There were 150 silver dollars dating from 1978 to 1935, plus 15 books of coins, plus cigar boxes full of rolls of coins to number over 2500 coins in all. It became a glutted market with only a few buyers, toward the end. Both collectors expressed satisfaction at the prices, feeling that they would have been unable to sell the collections personally.

Sales of glassware seemed out of sight to those not involved in that hobby. Some prices that might persuade people to go home and lock up their old odds and ends for safekeeping were: kerosene, bail-type lanterns, $25; kerosene lamp, $27.50; graniteware coffee pot (chipped) $20; old Indian moccasins with holes, $65; Indian oval rock grain-grinder minus the rock bowl, $25, and an old cavalry saddle, dating way back beyond the McClellan and beyond use, 143 dollars.

The fascination of an auction sale, the warm day with all doors open, adequate seating for everyone, lunch served throughout, and the entertainment and participation in the bidding all combined to make the day the social event of the spring season. There was, however, a lot of yawning and tired eyes for those who had returned from the basketball tournament in Billings at a late hour the night before the auction.


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