Team And Wagon Deadly In The Night (The Sander's Family Ranches)Ike Sanders, born in Wasa, Finland in 1867, moved to America after marrying Johanna. His brother John immigrated with them. Ike, John and another brother Herman worked on the original Sanders ranch on Georgetown Flats. These families were moved by Paul Fusz et al, when the Flint Creek dam was completed. In the family documents are quit claim deeds for the property in 1899 and then homestead claims for the same property in 1904. Apparently, they filed homestead claims on the property Fusz deeded to them to assure they had a clear title.
Ike’s brother John, born in 1854 came to America and located in Grand Rapids, Michigan before he brought his family to America in 1893. Wife Johanna, children: Ella, Mathilda and Edward (12) made the trip on the cheapest passage: a cargo ship taking months to arrive in New York. After a short time in Michigan, John, moved first to mine at Superior, Montana and then Southern Cross Mine. John then staked a homestead on Georgetown Flats. Both John and Ike’s wives were named Johanna. The Rock Creek ranches were established with Ike’s ranch on the west side of the road and John’s on the east side.
Their lives’ were happy until August 3, 1912 when John went to town for supplies and started home in his wagon with his brother Charles who lived in Tower and had agreed to come out and help put up hay. The wagon loaded heavy with sugar, flour, seed wheat and canned goods weighed about 1400 pounds. Traveling up Marshall Creek the night was very dark making it hard to see the road. They stopped and tied the team to a fence for a while, but grew impatient and decided to travel on. Starting down the west side of the grade the wagon wheel got off the rut and hit a large rock, throwing both men from their seats. The brothers got into a discussion about who should be driving the team. It was agreed that John owned the team so he should be in charge of them, but Charles refused to travel any farther in the dark, so he found a comfortable place to lay down and go to sleep. John proceeded on: “…the tracks made by the wagon showed that he got back into the road just where it crosses the spring. There is a little bridge made of poles over which he drove diagonally and got the near horse up on the bank of the grade on the left side. The left wheel followed and a few feet farther on the wagon was turned completely over into the middle of the road and Mr. Sanders was caught under it. The back of the seat caught him across the lower part of the abdomen and pinned him to the ground”. John was found by F.A. Taylor coming in from The Crescent Mine, Sunday morning [August 4]. Life was then extinct. He saw the horses still hitched to the overturned wagon, one of them lying on his back with the wagon tongue between it’s legs so it could not get up. Cutting the horse loose and away from the wagon, he attempted to get the dead man out from under it but could not, so hurried on to summon help. The first person he met was John Peterson’s eldest son [Mathilda Sanders was his mother] who hurried home and got his father and they hastened to the scene with Mr. Taylor going on to town to report the accident. Judge F.D. Sayrs (coroner), County Attorney D.M. Durfee, J.J. Carmichael and several others went to the scene.
In the meantime, Prof. F.L. Houston (teacher at Spring Creek School) found the overturned wagon with the man underneath and as fast as his horse could run, rode back down to the Rupp/Greenheck ranch for help. They all arrived shortly after Peterson and his son. The wagon was righted and the dead man laid out. Charles was found asleep where he had left the wagon to camp and did not know his brother John had been killed only a short distance below where he had left him in the night.
Survivors were: wife Johanna, son Edward, daughters: Mrs. John (Mathilda) Peterson of Marshall Creek and Mrs. Joseph (Ella) Conquist, of Michigan; brothers: Ike of Rock Creek, Herman, Charles and Alfred of Tower and one sister in Finland.
Johanna Kvevlander Sanders born August 11, 1854 lived on the ranch until about 1918. She then sold her share of the ranch to Edward for fare to “the old country” and lived with a sister in Wassa, Finland where she died September 4, 1941 at the age of eighty-seven.
When John died his son Edward took over the ranch on the east side of the road. He had married Ida Elizabeth Anderson Ernst on April 26, (1906?)1907. Ida brought two children to this marriage: Jennie and Charles whom Edward adopted and they then had: Arthur, Leonard, Walter and Esther Elizabeth who died age two months June of 1918. Mrs. Edward (Ida) Sanders died at her aunt’s (Mrs. Mary Carlson) home in Anaconda. The cause of death was a blot clot that occurred after a surgical procedure on November 16, 1939. Ida was fifty-eight years of age (December 12, 1889 in Finland). She had been married for thirty-three years and lived in Granite county for thirty years. Survivors were: husband Ed, five children; six grandchildren and her aunt Mrs. Carlson in Anaconda.
Ed, born March 14, 1881, came to Montana at the age of eleven and died from a heart attack at his ranch home on May 18, 1952. Survivors were: sons: Leonard on the ranch, Walter of East Fork, Charles and Arthur of Anaconda; daughter, Mrs. William (Jennie) Mitchell of Anaconda and twelve grandchildren: Edith, Charlene, Robert and Elizabeth (children of Charles); June and John Thomas (Tom) (children of Leonard); Helen and Naomi (children of Walter); Dora and Mary Ann (children of Arthur) and Arcile Vicicich and Edward Toole (children of Jennie). Mrs. Philip Schneider and Mrs. Hans Scheiffle of Philipsburg were nieces.
The Mail, June 4, 1937, stated “V.C. Hollingsworth, liquidating agent for the Banking department, presented a petition asking authority to sell certain real estate known as the Van Norman lands [George Van Norman homestead]. Ed Sanders was the highest and best bidder and the court authorized the sale of the lands to Mr. Sanders for $800.00, the buyer to assume the payment of delinquent taxes.”
Son, Leonard married Florence Peck of Underwood, North Dakota on July 16, 1945 and they had a son and daughter: June and Thomas. Leonard died June 25, 1996 at the Anaconda Community Hospital after a short illness. He was born at the family ranch on Rock Creek August 21, 1914 and ranched his entire life. At his funeral, “Home on the range” and “Remember Me” were performed by Fay and Ed Howery on the fiddle and guitar and “The old Rugged Cross” and “Somewhere My Love” were performed by Edward and Hans Bohrnsen on accordion and guitar. Florence had preceded Leonard in death on October 26, 1968 in Philipsburg.
Tom told me (2008) the only original building on the ranch is the main house built of lumber from a hotel in Granite. The lumber was hauled by wagon twenty some miles and added on to the one room cabin. That cabin is currently the kitchen. The barn was built in 1914 by Ed Sanders and Oscar Anderson (Ida’s Uncle).The family brands are Bar over KT and an X standing S.
On the west side of the road, the ranch owned by Ike was ran by him until he retired from ranching in 1918 and moved to Philipsburg. His son Wilbur operated the ranch with Ike returning in 1928. He died at the ranch on May 17, 1930 after being in poor health for about a year. Survivors were his wife, son Wilbur, brother Herman of Philipsburg, sister, Mrs. Mary Knip in Finland and nephew Ed Sanders and family of Rock Creek and niece Mrs. Peter Olson of Philipsburg. Ike’s wife Johanna was born on March 16, 1869 in Finland and they were married before immigrating to Montana. After Ike died their son Wilbur helped her run the ranch. Named only as Mrs. Ike in her obituary Johanna died at her ranch home on May 23, 1939, after living in Granite County for fifty years.
Wilbur Sanders married Goldie Nebecar and lived on Ike’s ranch with their sons Monte and Gene. Wilbur, born August 22, 1909 died on May 19, 1953 at the age of forty-two in the Granite County Hospital. His headstone mistakenly has his death date as 1952.
Goldie and her parent’s (who changed their name to Marker) inherited Ike’s ranch. They sold it to Harold and Bob Kaiser. In 1955, Kaiser’s sold to Chuck Nicely from Anaconda. In 1998 Tom and Barbara Sander’s bought back the original Ike Sanders ranch.
Tom and Barbara had a son Carl and daughter June. Carl and wife Kayla have Beklan age seven and Delaney one and a half which makes six generations now living on these ranches.
June married Don Farwell. Now a widow June and children: Jennifer and Jess live in Washington. Jess married Julie and have daughters: Katie and Lily.
Barbara lost a valiant battle with cancer May 31, 2019 leaving Tom and his son Carl and wife Kayla running the ranches.