Page 21 - March 2018 MFM W
P. 21

Montana Freemason                                             March 2018                                 Volume 94   Number 2
        $51.30. And by November 9, they had contracted for yet   “The fi rst lawsuit in Helena, before Squire Miles was
        another claim at $750, payable in monthly installments  an action of forcible entry and detainer over a jumped
        as it came out of the ground.                          town  lot,  in  which’  Cornelius  Hedges  as  a  regular
                                                               editorial  writer  on  July  4,  1872,  and  as  the  Justice
          In  spite  of  the  long,  hard  days  of  toil,  there  was  reserved  his  decision,  not  being  very  clear  either  as
        diversion,  and  occasionally  a  few  bright  spots.  On  to the law or the facts, the lot in the meantime, by a
        October 22, because the ditch broke and he could not  sort of a compromise, was sold for the benefi t of the
        work, Hedges went to town to hear Samuel McLean  attorneys.”
        and  Wilbur  F.  Sanders  debate.  Even  though  still  a
        Democrat, Hedges confi ded                                Hedges also worked a mining claim in the summer
          “Liked  Sanders  best,  almost  persuaded  to  vote  for  of l865 to supplement his law income. It was located
        him.”                                                  in the Mount Hope Lode on the east side of Grizzly
          As it turned out, he did not the fi rst time, but that day
        did begin a life-long friendship which ended only with   During l865, Hedges also became chiefl y responsible
        Sanders death in July 1905. The election returns resulted    for  organizing  a  Masonic  Lodge  under  dispensation,
        in only a one-seat majority for the Republicans in the  with the able assistance of Mark A. Moore. It was only
        Territorial Council (Senate), a one-seat majority for the  the  third  Masonic  Lodge  organized  in  Montana,  and
        Democrats in the House, and the election of Democrat  it was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Colorado as
        Samuel McLean as Territorial Delegate.                 Helena City Lodge No. 10 in the same year.

          One of the happiest days of the year for Cornelius     “The  inestimable  Cornelius  Hedges,”  as  William
        was November 22, when he received news of the birth  C. Campbell referred to him, was chosen Worshipful
        of another son on October 28, at Southington, Conn,  Master upon organization and again at the election in
        and his response was:                                  December, l865, he was elected to  serve another year
          “How thankful for such good news.” The new-born  as Master of his  Lodge.
        was named Henry Highland because Hedges was then
        working in Highland Gulch.                               During  April  of  1865,  near  its  close,  “news  was
                                                               received  in  town  of  Lee’s  Surrender,  and  the  Union
          Problems  continued,  in  mid-December,  due  to  folks, then in a minority, determined to celebrate the
        disputes over water rights and side ditches, could not  event, but not fl ag was to be found in the country. There
        get  the  necessary  water  to  work  their  claim.  But  to  was no little trouble in fi nding enough Union women
        off set that, “lady luck” smiled in time to give them an  to make a fl ag, but it was fi nally accomplished and the
        early Christmas present - three days of good run. On  fl ag run up on a tall pole in from of Perkins and Hughes
        the  22nd,  they  took  out  $98,  with  one  nugget  worth  auction store, just above the Cosmopolitan Hotel.”
        $11.10, they cleaned up $30.85 on the 23rd, and just
        $22.50 on the 24th. His fi rst Christmas day in Montana   “I was living nearly opposite and there were a dozen
        was marked by a visit from Tim Wilcox.                 resolute men there watching that fl ag-pole, for many
                                                               extreme  southern  sympathizers  of  which  the  country
          In January 1865, Cornelius Hedges moved on over  was full at the time, had sworn sulphurous oaths that
        to Last Chance Gulch and the infant settlement called  the fl ag would not remain there till morning. Perhaps
        Helena City, arriving in town on January 16. Thus he  the  sight  of  some  gun-muzzles  protruding  from  the
        took up residency in a town he was to call home for  windows  opposite  moved  a  reconsideration  of  that
        more than 42 years. The town grew to be the capital  resolution. At  any  rate  this  fi rst  fl ag  of  our  country
        city, and it also grew to appreciate Cornelius Hedges  that  ever  fl oated  to  the  breeze  in  Helena  was  “still
        and      his  unselfi sh  contributions  to  its  development.  there” to greet the rising sun and cheer the hearts and
        Soon  after  arrival,  he  “stuck  out  his  shingle,”  and  eyes of loyal men. The Union men, although greatly
        opened a law practice with a library containing only  outnumbered were resolute and respected, and let it be
        one book, Everybody’s Lawyer, so he was to later tell  said to their credit there were southern men like Edwin
        his former townsmen at Independence, Iowa.             Warren Toole and others, who used all their infl uence
                                                               to restrain the more reckless and rampant from the note
          He was admitted to the Montana Bar by the Montana  of violence.”
        Territorial Supreme Court in 1865,  and in the same
        year began serving his fi rst term as U.S. Attorney.      “They  confessed  that  the  war  ended  with  Lee’s
          In  1875,  Cornelius  commented  on  his  fi rst  case  in   surrender and that it was worse than useless to keep
        Helena:                                                alive the bitter feelings that the war engendered.”

                                                                                                              Page 21
   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26