Life on the Montana Frontier

Life on the Montana Frontier – Montana Series Book 2

Joe and Kate Goodman with their young son Andrew moved from their home in Detroit in 1931 after Joe lost his job at the Ford Motor Company during the depression.  They were partners with Charlie Davis on a ranch in the rolling hills of Montana.  When they travelled west by train, Jeannie Henderson came along with them as she was to marry Charlie in a week’s time.

In the three years since they first met, Charlie had worked hard on the ranch making it into a very successful place.  He was building a second house for himself and his new wife to live in.

Joe and Kate’s parents kept up a regular correspondence with their children and shared about the clouds of dust hovering over their city and their concern for those in Montana.  Joe and Charlie were always thinking ahead and trying to learning from mistakes of others and had followed closely the causes of the dust bowl.  They made some changes to their own farming methods to alleviate something similar happening to them.

Joe and Charlie often saw people in need when they went into town, people who had lost their farms and had travelled west.  They often discussed what they might be able to do to help.  When Jim Robertson arrived with his wife, Sarah, and four children and knocked at the door, Kate welcomed them in and sat them right down for a hearty vegetable stew.  Joe and Charlie agreed to hire him.

Joe came to the house to see Jim who was already out working at weeding the vegetable garden.  Jim saw something that needed to be done and he eagerly went for it in thanks for the meal they had enjoyed.  Joe offered them the use of the large tent for them to sleep in, and they could have their meals with his family.  They couldn’t afford to pay him a wage, but shelter and food and clothes would be provided.  There were always extra jobs to be done around the farm.  The Robertsons, Goodmans, and Davis’ all got along well.  When cooler weather was coming, Charlie and Joe decided it was time to build another house as Jim planned to stay around as long as he could.

During the winter months when his duties were less, Joe looked after their two children so that Kate could continue with her writing.  She was able to have drafts completed of three books by the time her parents arrived for their first Montana visit.  Another big excitement of the visit was Kate and Jeannie both about to give birth to babies.  The grandparents were so happy to be a part of that wonderful time.


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