My Great Uncle John…

One of my favorite things to do when I was growing up was to listen to my Dad tell me about his uncle John.

John Dumdai was my Grandma’s Brother. His exploits filled my youth and he was always larger than life to me.

He came to Montana to stay with his brother Mike on a homestead north of Gildford, Montana. This homestead became our farm later on.

Well in the winter Great Uncle John amused himself by running coyotes with a saddle horse and dogs, mostly greyhounds. He did this with the neighbors north of Great Uncle Mike’s by the name of Aageson. They must have had a grand old time in the middle of the winter in the early 1900’s chasing across the prairie and the Milk River breaks in wild pursuit of coyotes.

Uncle John Dumdai

One time in the depth of winter Uncle John rode his saddle horse from north Gildford, Montana to Arnegard, North Dakota a distance today on good ol’ Highway 2 of 360 miles.

On the way to North Dakota he stopped one night on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Northeastern Montana. He was invited to stay with a very hospitable Indian family. They invited him to stay the night as well as share their supper. Great Uncle John was grateful and when the stew pot was set before him his host told him to..

Dig down, puppy in bottom.

Yes my Great Uncle ate..

In his later years he was hired to kill coyotes for a cattle association. When he didn’t shoot them he used a device which was called a “coyote-getter”. It was a device which used a primer which projected powdered cyanide into the coyotes’ mouth when they took the bait. As he was setting one of these traps it went off in his face. My Great Uncle nearly blinded by the blast of cyanide crawled well over a mile to his pick-up and drove himself to the hospital,

He was a man who had vast interests, he taught himself taxidermy, he was a rock collector, and always had dogs, pigeons, hogs, cattle and sheep. He was an older man when I went with my parents to meet him in North Dakota. I was in awe all the time I was there.

I still am.

Proud to be of his lineage..

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  1. William Collins says:

    Russ, I know working on the Railroad for 47 years that I worked with men who were larger than life. You always wanted to listen to tales of their feats and accomplishments.
    Little did I know that my own Dad was one of these characters. I lived in awe of him but did not realize his legacy until he was gone. He was wound tighter than a two dollar watch. He always had a smile.
    I still meet people today that knew him.
    Thanks for stirring memories of these larger than life people.
    It is appreciated, Russ.

    • Slim says:

      Thank you Billy for comin’ by and reading and commenting.. If you are your Dad’s reflection I sure would have loved to meet and listen to him.. Take care my Friend..

  2. Janet Lucke Hinkle says:

    My aunt and uncle, Walt and Irene Stuart wheat farmed north of Gildford. Their son Reid and I would spotlight jackrabbits and he turned the feet in for I think .25 This was in the 50’s, good memories.

    • Slim says:

      Hey there Janet Thanks for your comment.. I remember Irene very well.. Keep comin’ back.. Thanks again..

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