Albert Gallington Lewis 1826-1901

1850 Federal Census shows the Albert G. and Mary Ann (Walter) Lewis family in Volga twp., Clayton Co., IA: Albert, age 26, farmer, born in Illinois; Mary, age 20, born in Ohio; and Samuel, age two, born in Iowa.

Albert G. and Mary Ann’s children:

1.                  John I., b. 15 JUL 1847, Elk twp., Clayton Co., IA; d. 28 MAR 1849; the first white child born in Elk twp.;

2.                  Samuel, b. 12 AUG 1848, Elk twp., Clayton Co., IA; d. 22 MAY 1879, Elk twp., buried at Mount Harmony Cemetery, Clayton Co.;

3.                  Child, name unknown, b. 12 MAR 1850; d. 12 MAR 1850;

4.                  Pleazzy, b. 11 JUN 1851, Elk twp., Clayton Co., IA; d. 7 FEB 1927, Edgewood, Clayton Co., IA, buried Mount Harmon Cemetery, Clayton Co., m. first Levi W. Fishel on 3 MAR 1870 at Edgewood, Clayton Co.; Levi b. 19 JAN 1850, Liberty, Hancock Co., OH; d. 15 JAN 1911, Elk twp., Clayton Co., IA. Pleazzy  m. second Eli Livingston. Pleazzy d. 7 FEB 1927 also at Edgewood. She was listed in the 1920 federal census for Columbia township, Flathead Co., MT, in the household of her brother Allen B. Lewis, 66 and his son James A. Lewis, age 9.  Plezzy Fishel was listed as Allen's sister, 68, a widow. Pleazzy must have only visited brother Allen Lewis for a short time, because she was back in Iowa and married to Eli Livingston by 15 SEP 1925, in Elkader, Clayton Co., IA.  It was the second marriage for Pleazzy and the third for Eli.  Pleazzy was 74 and Eli was 79.  Eli was born MAY 1846 at Straban, Adams Co., PA. Children of Levi and Pleazzy Fishel were Stella Irene, b. 10 JUL 1871;  Martin William, b. 3 DEC 1873; Mary C., b. 1874; James A., b. 9 NOV 1877; Albert G., b. 20 DEC 1878; and Bertha Sarah, b. 10 MAY 1882;

5.                  Allen Brown, b. 21 MAR 1853; d. 3 MAR 1929; buried Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, MT. Allen lived in Kalispell and was mentioned in brother Solomon Walter's obituary at the time of brother's death. 1920 Federal Census for Columbia township, Flathead county, lists: Allen B. Lewis, head, 66, farmer; James A. Lewis, son, 9; Plezzy Fisher, sister, 68, widow, housekeeper.  Down the road lived brother Solomon Walter Lewis and his family.  (Solomon was the census enumerator);

6.                  Albert G., Jr., b. 2 JUN 1856; d. 9 SEP 1883; m. Emma Riniker. He was 27 at the time of his death;

7.                  Walter Solomon (Bob), b. 29 AUG 1861, Elkport, Layton Co., IA; m. Anna Ella Dieken, 27 JUN 1897; d. 3 OCT 1928, Bad Rock, Flathead Co., MT. He and Anna were the parents of eight children;

8.                  William E., b. 25 OCT 1868; lived in Kalispell, MT, and was mentioned in brother Solomon Walter's obituary at the time of brother's death.

Solomon Walter (Bob) Lewis  1861-1928

In 1878, a 17-year-old boy arrived in the Flathead area of northwestern Montana on horseback with a gun and a dog.  That boy was Solomon Walter "Bob" Lewis.  The family story goes that young Solomon enjoyed playing the violin.  His father was deeply religious, offended by the music and eventually broke the boy's violin over his knee.  The boy took off west with his gun and his dog.

Solomon Walter drove a freight wagon in the Flathead area for years, bringing freight and passengers from the foot of the lake (Flathead Lake) to Jocko Valley.  He drove up to Tobacco Valley to Eureka, too, according to daughter Edith Lewis Taylor.

Land records show that "Bob", listed as a resident of Missoula Co., MT, purchased 160 acres of public land 7 JAN 1893.  This original homestead was in the Bad Rock area about a mile south of the place his children were later to call "the home place," outside Columbia Falls.  Missoula County at the time included everything from Missoula up to the Canadian border.  Several counties, including Flathead, were later to be carved from it.

A Dieken/Freese family moved to the area from Illinois, by way of Marysville, MT, in 1894.  They arrived by train to the Jocko Valley; took a boat from Polson to the head of the lake; and were picked up by horse and buggy there.

Bob married Anna Ella Dieken 27 JUN 1897.  He was 31 and Anna, 18. Anna was too shy to be married in the new chapel; so the couple were married at the home of the minister.

(Walter S. Lewis lists his age as 31 on his marriage license application, his name as Walter S., rather than Solomon Walter, and his place of birth as Elkport, Clayton Co., IA.)

Bob built a log house and he and Anna began to farm and raise a family. Bub installed a bell atop the family barn and whenever Anna saw Indians, she rang that bell until the family came running.

Bob Lewis tried to keep up with all the new developments of his time. He built the first steam grist mill in the area and he purchased the first piano in the area for his family.

Bob was rather partial to his second little girl, Claudia.  In fact, the family tells stories about when he would wake up early in the morning before anyone else, saddle Claudia's pony, and have it waiting for her when she got up to go to school.  Lewis would also meet his daughter at the end of the lane when she returned in the afternoon and take care of the pony's needs while she went about her chores.

Another story tells of the time Lewis drove his wagon to town to get supplies, including some meat.  On the way home, he met a pack of wolves. He kept his team well ahead of the wolves until the horses had to pull the wagon up a steep hill.  The wolves got closer and closer – so Lewis began to toss out the meat to divert their attention.  The animals were diverted, gobbled  up the meat, and Lewis got himself and the team home safely.

Two of the Lewis girls, Ella and Claudia, often worked at the expansive and rustic Lake McDonald Hotel, nestled in the beautiful area of the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park, which surround the Flathead Valley.  The hotel was built and operated by their father's cousin, John E. Lewis.  Actually, it was John Lewis' wife Olive who did the real work of the annual opening and closing of the lodge, says Claudia.  The hotel, now called a lodge, is still in operation and is owned by the Great Northern Railroad.

Bob Lewis died 2 OCT 1928 at the age of 67.  He had been bedridden for 18 months following an operation.  He is buried at the Fairview Cemetery, Columbia Falls.  He and Anna had eleven children, eight of whom survived infancy.

Solomon Walter Lewis was the enumerator for his district for the January 6, 1920 federal census, Columbia township, Flathead County, Montana: Solomon W. Lewis, 58, farmer;

Anna, wife, 40; Harry A., 22; Everett C., 20; Albert G., 19; Ella A., 14; Claudia I., 11; Walter H. 8; Edward, 6; and Edith, 6.

Claudia Irene Lewis became the wife of John Willard O’Connell.

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