BioM: Goste, Mary (1935)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Goste, Strukel

----Sources: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.)14 Feb. 1935

Marriage Licenses

Jerry J. Strukel, Red Lodge, Mont., and Mary Goste, Willard.


Red Lodge, Montana History

The town of Red Lodge was officially established in 1884. But long before the arrival of permanent settlers, this valley was Crow country, serving the Crow Indians each summer as a place to worship, rest and hunt.

When the Rocky Fork Coal Company opened the area’s first mine in 1887, hundreds of immigrants – Finns, Scots, Irish, Italians and Slavs – arrived and dug in. During this boom time, Red Lodge was a lively place, with 20 saloons and a burgeoning population.

John “Liver Eatin’” Johnston lived here then. According to legend, Johnston was a “giant in stature and a grizzly bear in appearance” who earned his name by gouging out and consuming the livers of those who crossed him. (A reputation that surely served him well during his stint as the town’s deputy sheriff.) Johnston’s log cabin now stands next to the Red Lodge Visitor’s Center on the north end of town. 

In 1897, guests of The Pollard Hotel witnessed the Sundance Kid rob the Red Lodge Bank across the street. Buffalo Bill Cody, William Jennings Bryan, Calamity Jane and Frederic Remington are among those on the hotel’s long and colorful guest register.

The advent of strip mining in southeastern Montana in the 1920s signaled the beginning of the end of the Red Lodge coal boom. In 1924, the West Side Mine closed. The Great Depression forced more mines to close, and in 1943 an underground explosion killed 74 men at the Smith Mine in Bearcreek four miles east of Red Lodge, devastating the community and effectively ending coal mining in Carbon County.

Not to be outwitted by the national economy, Red Lodge denizens came up with a worthwhile alternative to coal: Following the Depression, locally produced bootleg liquor – or “cough syrup” – replaced coal as the town’s lucrative export, supplying “patients” from the Midwest to the California coast. With the decline of mining, the town also began to look to tourism as an answer to its economic woes. Early efforts to draw visitors to the area include the See ‘Em Alive Zoo and the construction of the Beartooth Scenic Byway to Yellowstone National Park, which began in 1931.

By the mid-20th century, tourism, recreation, and ranching replaced coal (and bootlegging) as the town’s main source of income. Today, Red Lodge is still a working agricultural town. Thanks in no small part to the town’s preservation of and appreciation for its colorful past, it’s also a fascinating destination where history is not so much a thing of the past as it is a vibrant part of the present.

1920 Federal Census, Crawford, Kansas, sheet number: 13

Mary Gaste, 28 yrs. (1892, Austria), white, married, female
father's birthplace: Austria
mother's birthplace: Austria

Household Members
Head:John Gaste M 36y Austria
Spouse: Mary Gaste F 28y Austria
Son: Albin Gaste M 8y Kansas
Son:John Gaste M 3y9m Kansas
Daughter: Sly Gaste F 2m Kansas

1930 Federal Census, Hendren, Clark, Wisconsin, enumeration district # 0016, family # 82

John Goste, 45 yrs. (1885, Yugoslavia), White married male
immigration year: 1909
relationship to head of household: Head
father's birthplace: Yugoslavia
mother's birthplace: Yugoslavia

Household Members
Head John Goste M 45 Yugoslavia
Wife Mary Goste F 38 Yugoslavia
Son Albin Goste M 18 (1912 Kansas)
Son John Goste M 13 Kansas
Daughter Sylvia Goste F 10 Kansas
Daughter Velma Goste F 8 Wisconsin



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