"Oh, my goodness, the world is empty!" was the reaction of Mrs. Adda
Eyer when she stepped off the train in Glendive and saw how much there was
with nothing in it.
Coming from Eyersgrove, Pennsylvania, in 1907, the only attraction for
Mrs. Eyer in Montana was her husband. Adda Miller and Moore Eyer had grown up
together, and even as little children when they played house and 'dressed up',
he was always her 'beau'. As a young man he spent some time in Iowa, then came
to Glendive to visit his two brothers, Clark and Wilson.
When he went back to Pennsylvania to marry his childhood sweetheart,
she had declared, "We're not going West!" But here she was. The West had cast
its spell upon him, and he had come back to Glendive in 1906, then returned to
Pennsylvania to bring his family. Now Mrs. Eyer, with five-year-old Claude and
three-year-old Alton, was here with him, but she shared none of his enthusiasm.
Their first home in Glendive was on the corner of what is now Anderson
and Hughes. The next, most vivid in Mrs. Eyer's memory, was a little log hut
on Barry Street. Exclaimed Mrs. Eyer, "We spent seven months in that purgatory
place!" Following this, they made two moves on the north side. While they lived
in the alley back of what is now the Chevron Station, the Indians, who often
camped on the present Buttreys Store site, would come up town right through
this alley. If the milkman had brought the milk, they'd take the bottle right
from the porch, even if you stood and watched them!
Claude's interest in the city's engineering department goes back a
long way. When the boat which brought Glendive's first sewer pipe about 1909
or 1910 was docked here, Claude decided to investigate and played on the boat.
His interest at that time was not encouraged, however, and he recalls that he
got a licking for it!
Montana just didn't bear much resemblance to Pennsylvania with all the
relatives and friends. Mrs. Eyer was homesick after they came, and so was
Claude. He wanted to go back to Grandma's house and 'go upstairs' so the year
after they came to Glendive his aunt took him back for a visit. While he was
there he contracted typhoid fever. Mrs. Eyer hurried to be with him, and they
were able to nurse him back to health, but when Montana was mentioned, he just
wasn't interested in going back - that is, until he saw his daddy. When Mr.
Eyer came to get them, Claude ran to put his arms around him, and told him,
"Yes, Daddy, I'll go back with you."
In spite of her reluctance to come to the West, Mrs. Eyer found herself
becoming attached to Glendive, and when death claimed her husband in 1922, she
withstood the pressures of her family back in Pennsylvania to 'come home' and
stayed on in the town that had so won him. Mrs. Eyer clerked for 29 years in
the Douglas-Mead store and is widely known throughout the Glendive area.
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