Old Settlers Days is set for Saturday and Sunday

Jean Skillman

The 41st annual Shields Valley Old Settlers Days will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28, in Clyde Park.

Saturday events start with the Firemen’s breakfast at 7 a.m. at City Fire Hall. 

The car show, a tribute to Bob Olmstead, begins at 8 a.m. Entrants will be eligible for a People’s Choice Trophy. Entry forms may be obtained by calling Kevin Olmstead at 220-3197. There is a $10 entry fee to cover costs including the dash plaque each car owner receives. 

The quilt show starts at 8 a.m. in the Community Hall. Quilts may be brought to the Community Hall in Clyde Park after 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, or by 8 a.m. Saturday. The Hunter family is awarding first- and second-place gifts. The places are selected by viewers. For Quilt Show information, call Mary Karell at 222-1728.

Vendors, arts and crafts are open at 8 a.m. in the Community Hall and along Miles Street. The Clyde Park Women’s Club will have a coffee bar in the Community Hall. A silent auction will be going on until 3:30 p.m. at the Community Hall.

The museum and history area is at City Hall and opens at 8 a.m. Call Helen Cassidy at 222-6325 to learn more about participating in the museum displays.

Registration for the Old Settlers Ranch Run starts at 8 a.m. at Holliday Park. The 10K starts at 9 a.m., the 5 K at 9:15 a.m. and a 1-mile walk/run begins at 9:30 a.m. Runners of all ages are encouraged to enter. The fees for the run are $2 for children and $5 for adults. Prizes are planned for the winners of the Ranch Run. It’s called a ranch run because, in addition to part of the trail going along the streets of Clyde Park, another part is in a rancher’s field. For more information, contact Annie Beaver at 224-3117.

The Old Settlers rifle raffles are for a Henry 17 and a Ruger 10-22. Look for the booth to buy tickets near the Community Hall.

There will be entertainment all day at the patio near the Community Hall.

Area groups and organizations are urged to plan a float for the 11 a.m. Saturday parade. The theme is “Tribute to Yellowstone.” Entries should gather at the high school about 10 a.m.

There is special seating for past grand marshals on the north side of the Town Hall for the parade, but if the weather is bad it will be at the Community Hall patio.

Lunch of pulled pork, coleslaw, chips and a drink, and an ice cream social is available at noon at the Shields Valley United Methodist Church. Music, with an open mike, will take place there from noon until 2 p.m. The Methodist church also has a country store from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. selling baked goods, homemade articles, cutlery, jewelry and collectables.

Also at noon, hamburgers and hot dogs will be for sale at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church. 

The Shields Valley Bible Church will have a booth at Old Settlers Days with information about the Awana program that starts in September.

Doc Allison and Patch Work Band will start playing about noon on the patio. There is also a pie auction at 1:30 p.m. Contact Teresa Lehman at 220-2958 about donating a pie. After the pie auction, Open Range Duo will perform at the patio.

Conversations with “Old  Timers” starts at  2 p.m. at the City Hall, and at 3:30 p.m. the talent show begins at the patio. Bring some music, dramatic reading or other talent to share. 

A pork barbecue will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Community Hall with Cindy Hicks and Highway 89 playing from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the dance following dinner. 

Watch for the Bracketteer 4-H Club members with Rubber Ducks for that race.

At 10 a.m. Sunday in Holliday Park there will be a non-denominational church service, sponsored by the Old Settlers Committee. Bring a chair for a time of music and devotions. Speakers are Fred Amborn of Shields Valley United Methodist Church, Lois Olmstead of Time Out Ministries, and Glenn Heilig of Shields Valley Bible Church. There will be no services at the Shields Valley United Methodist Church and the Shields Valley Bible Church Aug. 28.

At 11 a.m. the Bracketteer 4-H Club Rubber Duck Race starts. 

A potluck picnic begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Community Hall, with a program honoring Grand Marshals Jean Bowlds and Bonnie Swandal. The program will also include a raffle drawing and giving of awards.


Farmers Market

The Shields Valley Farmers Market starts at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, at Holliday Park in Clyde Park. The special music for the evening will be TJ Casey. This is the last Farmers Market for the season. Watch for information on the Oct. 23 Harvest Dinner.


Little Bird Preschool

Little Bird Preschool, a kindergarten readiness program for children ages 3 through 5, opens Aug. 29 at 47 Indian Creek Road. It will run from 8:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is operated by Mandy Johnstone, an experienced elementary and preschool teacher. For more information, call 578-2088 or look for it on Facebook.


School open houses

Shields Valley Schools Open Houses will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the junior high and high school in Clyde Park and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 at the elementary school in Wilsall.



• The Clyde Park Bridge Club met Aug. 17 at Clyde Park Tavern and Cafe. with Ken and Kathy DeBoer as hostesses. Prize winners were Shirley Wilson, high; and  Penny Arnold, bingo.

• Wilsall Women’s Pinochle Club met Monday afternoon at the Shields Valley Senior Center. Prize winners were Mary Sarver, high; Jean Landers, low; and Betty Burdette, traveling.

• Winners of the Aug. 23 Senior Citizens card party were Georgia Hogenson, first; Jean Skillman, second; Jean Landers, low; and Marie Smith, traveling.


Guests, visits

Steve and Sharon Peters, of Belton, Missouri, have been visiting her parents, Jim and Audrey Winkley, this past week.

Lance and Sarah Bistranin and sons, of Mount Vernon, Washington, are spending several days with his grandmother Georgia Hogenson while visiting family and friends in the area.


School schedule:

• Aug. 26: The varsity football team plays Broadview/Lavina at 7 p.m. in Wilsall.

• Aug. 27: The varsity volleyball team plays in the Lone Peak Tournament in Big Sky starting at 9 a.m.

• Aug. 30: There will be an open house for the junior high and high school from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the Clyde Park school.



Following are profiles of this year’s Old Settlers Days grand marshals.


Jean O’Neil Bowlds

Jean Bowlds was born June 5, 1927, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to John Patrick and Charlotte Franek O’Neil. She moved to Montana with her family in the late 1920s. They first  lived on Canyon Creek and then on other places in Park County as her father farmed. 

She attended school at Clyde Park elementary, at the Sumner School and at St. Mary’s in Livingston. She graduated from Park County High School in 1945. She joined the Cadet Nursing Corps and was trained in Helena and Billings. There was a polio epidemic then and she took care of polio patients in Billings.

She and her sister Pat worked for Earl “Slim” and Pearl Bowlds on their ranch, where she got better acquainted with their son Hal. She had first met him in Clyde Park when she was 4 years old and he was 7 or 8. While working, they attended dances at Chadbourne and Clyde Park. 

Jean and Hal were married Feb. 12, 1947, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Livingston and went to work for his parents. They took over the ranch in the 1950s and stayed there until 1973. 

Jean was active in St. Mary’s and St. Margaret’s Catholic churches, and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (the Catholic Church Women). She served on the election board and is a 61-year member of Park Post #23 American Legion Auxiliary. 

In 1997 Jean moved to Helena, where she still lives.

Jean’s son Jim and family live in Laramie, Wyoming, and son Mark and family are in Helena.


Bonnie Brogan Swandal

In 1940 at the age of 10, Bonnie came to Wilsall with her father, Webb Brogan, stepmother, Edna, and siblings Pat, Dick, Virginia, Jim, Bob and Tom. Half brother Mike was born after they moved to Wilsall. 

Bonnie attended school in Wilsall, graduating from Wilsall High School in 1946.

She married Austin Swandal in 1946 and moved to his ranch in Potter Basin north of Wilsall.

In 1963 she enrolled in the LaSalle law study course and passed the Montana Bar exam in 1967. She opened an office in Livingston, which later, with the addition of two partners — Kent  Douglass and Brenda Gilbert — became Swandal, Douglass and Gilbert.

Bonnie and Austin had a son Robert die in infancy. Her husband died in 1971.

Over the years she has been a member of Shields River Lutheran Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Farm Bureau, and Montana Bar Association. She has served on the Board of Directors for Alcohol and Drug Referral Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Montana Bank of Livingston.

Bonnie now lives in Helena.

Bonnie’s son Patrick is a retired contractor living in Maine. Son Stuart is still working in his business, Watersmith Inc. in North Dakota. Son Nels is working with his daughter Becca in Livingston. Daughter Cynde is a claims examiner for the Montana State Workers Comp in Helena. Her foster son John Schmock is retired and lives in Great Falls.


Jean Skillman may be reached at 578-2570.