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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my dear family.  I am doing this post because Face Book just doesn't cut it when it comes to history and pictures.  I could say lots of bad things about FB, but why should I?  I need to remember it is just a colorful chat room, and not a place for serious writing!  Anyway, I wanted to remember our "Granny" Dutton on this Irish day.  She is on the far right in the picture below, with family and the Robertsons, who were old time neighbors.  

 Margaret's parents in the Herron family Bible.
The nine Herron children--Margaret is listed as "Maggie."

Granny is actually Margaret Herron.  She was born August 22, 1882 in Donaghadee, County Down, Northern Ireland.  .  Her parents were William, and Sleana Sloan Herron.  Sleana is how her mother's name is spelled in the family Bible not Selena.  She was one of nine children; three died in childhood.  Her mother died when Margaret was eight years old.  Margaret was a gutsy girl, in my opinion.  When she was only 24 she came to the "New World".  She was the first one in her family and the first female from her town to emigrate to the United States.  On June 7, 1907 she sailed from Liverpool on the mail boat called the Virginian, and  went into Canada.  She  worked as a domestic to pay for her passage.
She came to work for the Liffitons of Lachine, Quebec for a monthly salary of $12.00 with room and board, and stayed for three and a half months until her passage was paid.  Essentially she was an indentured servant, but this was the customary procedure at the time.

Next she worked for a year for Mrs. Adams of Montreal, whose husband was a former mayor of the city.
After this, Margaret waited tables for the Fir in Toronto, and then went with Mrs. Keeler to Kansas City, Missouri.  Mr. Keeler worked for Miss Cox, a commander in the Salvation Army.  Margaret worked there for a year.  Her wages were $2.50 a week.  Granny got terribly homesick after she came to the New World.  She scrubbed the floor on her hands and knees and cried because it reminded her of how they scrubbed the floors in Ireland.  Someone told her to save her money to buy her passage back to the old country, and by that time she wouldn’t be homesick.  She started saving her money and by the time she had enough to go back to Ireland, she was fine and stayed.
In June of 1910 Margaret came to Melstone, Montana where her brother William “Butch” H. Herron had already arrived about a month before.  She worked in the dining room for Mrs. Grant, and then for Miss Rooney at the Grant Hotel.
On November 29, 1911 she married Bruce Allen Dutton in Miles City Montana.  The newlyweds went to the Gates place on the Musselshell River.  In March of 1912 they moved to the Greening Place.  In May 1912 they moved from the Greening place to Margaret’s homestead near Alice, Montana which was just a post office in a neighbor’s house (Sid and Alice Hall).
 Bruce and Margaret Dutton had seven children:
            Mary Selena, September 22, 1912, in Melstone, Montana
            Margaret Ruth, October 25, 1914, near Burgoyne at John and Bessie Fitch’s
            Bruce Allen, Jr, August 1, 1916, near Melstone at Maggie and John Dougall’s
            William Grove, July 16, 1919, in Sumatra, Montana
            Joseph Moody, August 18, 1921, at home on Margaret’s homestead in
             Garfield County
            Orson Henry, June 3, 1925, at home on Margaret’s homestead in Garfield
            Hazel Noreen, March 23, 1928, in Sumatra, Montana  
There is so much more, and I am writing it all up for a book.  Now, all you cousins need to get started on your own family book.  Thanks to Mom, we have a good bit of information about Granny.  Mom sat down and interviewed her before she died, and Mom said Granny seemed pleased that she was doing this.  Take this bit of information and get started today!  Ya' hear me?  Happy St. Patrick's Day to y'all!  


  1. William and Selena were my grandparents, too! Now I live in Ohio, after moving here from Northern Ireland in 2000. Such a pleasure to see these photos and documents, thank you!

  2. Also, whatever happened to the Herron Bible? I had no idea we even had one :)

  3. Oh my goodness! I am so elated to hear that I have a long lost cousin. Who were your parents? What are you doing in Ohio? Yes, the family Bible belongs to one of our cousins in Billings, Montana. Please tell me more.