George Lyon Ranch On Ross' Fork And His FamilyGeorge and Ida Lyon owned the ranch above John Naef on Ross’ Fork Road going to Medicine Lake. This family is not to be confused with the George Lyons family that lived in the Lower Flint Creek Valley. George was born in Idaho Territory October 2, 1886. His parents were from West Virginia and Wisconsin according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. At the age of eleven he traveled with his family by covered wagon to Montana. They settled first in Jefferson county and then moved to Butte in the early 1900’s. George married Ida Bachie in 1907 at the age of twenty.. She was nineteen years of age and born in Tacoma, Washington. Ida’s parents were from Switzerland and Washington according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
While in Butte, George helped lay the original sidewalks. He also operated a freight and mail route with his father between Jefferson Island and Mammoth. He moved to Southern Cross and Georgetown Lake in 1917 and then in 1922 to Ross’ Fork, where he engaged in ranching until 1969.
George then sold the ranching business to Charles Nicely. George continued to live on the ranch and died there on April 11, 1971. He was preceded in death by Ida in 1953, son Jesse in 1943 and Arthur in 1959. Survivors were: daughters, Ceal Haggard, Jean Anderson and Faye Howrey of Anaconda and Shirley Wight of Missoula; eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; brother James M. of Anaconda and sister Madge Des Jardin of Seattle. The funeral service was held at the Wilson Funeral Home with Rev. Kenneth Wooten of the Community Church presiding. Pallbearers were: Lum Wanderer, O.H. Christensen, Eli Christensen, Billy McLean, Robert Munis and Bob Neal. Honorary pallbearers were: Henry Hull, Charlie Anderson, Fred Splitt, Bob Christensen and Woodrow Carey. All of these men except Lum (the grocery man) were his neighbors on Rock Creek. George is buried in the Philipsburg cemetery.
Jesse Lyons the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Lyon, bought the Fred Splitt Place in Eagle Canyon on the Middle Fork after the 1930 Federal Census. Miss Erna Hoyendahl and Jesse were married in Anaconda during the last week of December 1936. Erna was the daughter of Olaf and Doris Hoyendahl of Philipsburg. She had attended Philipsburg schools and was a member of the Rainbow Girls. Wedding attendants were: Mr. and Mrs. Leonard (Jean Lyon) Anderson of Anaconda, Miss Anne Hoyendahl, Vernon Steffan and Art Lyons of Philipsburg.
The marriage ended sadly. Jesse was cutting stulls at the Jow Kanduch camp west of Anaconda when he was taken ill. He died from a ruptured appendix at St. Ann’s Hospital in Anaconda, on November 1, 1943. Survivors were: wife Erna and two daughters: June Lorraine and Pauline Dora; his parents; and four sisters: Mrs. Leonard (Jean) Anderson of Anaconda, Mrs. Dallas (Shirley) Hosbrook of Drummond, Mrs. Forrest (Cecelia) Haggard of Rock Creek and Miss Fay Lyons of Rock Creek. Burial was in the Philipsburg cemetery, after services at the Masonic Temple. Erna then married James Hess of Nevada in June, 1945 and the girls grew up there under the name of Hess.
Arthur and wife Emily (McClain) moved onto Jesse’s property. They had a girl named Lesa Marjorie who lived with her grandmother Abbie McClain at Georgetown Lake. Art and Emily’s marriage was short lived with Emily living as a single woman on the “Old Fred Splitt” place until her death in 1989.
Ceal Lyon married Forrest Haggard in the early 1930’s and they bought the place Ritchmeyers’ were leasing, at the base of Kaiser Hill, near the confluence of Middle Fork and East Fork, right before the beginning of Eagle Canyon. Richtmeyers’ then bought the original Amerine Homestead from Walt and Annie Sanders and Sanders’ bought the Allen Webb Ranch (The original Tom Parks Homestead) in 1948.
Ceal and Forrest had son George in 1934 who died as an infant; Lee, born in 1936 and Joe, born in 1938. Lee met his wife Sumiko while in the military. She died in 1989 and Lee was buried next to her when he died in 1997. Joe operated the White Front Bar for several years. He and wife Phyllis had a baby that died and Phyllis died in 1983. Joe was also married to Kathy Mehr. He moved to the Lolo area in 1978 and died in May of 2019. He was survived by wife Becky of 30 years; children- Jolynn, Leanne, Joe Jr., Sarah and Danielle plus grand and great grandchildren.
Faye (Howrey) had a son Edgar and died in 2000 at Anaconda; Shirley (Wight) died at Missoula in 1993; Jean (Anderson) died at Anaconda in 2007. Gone is the Lyon Ranch. Most recently, I am told the property was bought by the Country Music Star Kelly Clarkson and her husband.