A business place in Montrose. Mabel Stutsrud in white scarf and sister Hannah back of her; ladies under big hats are Mrs. Akre & Miss Ellingson.
Paddington 1909

Montrose and Paddington


Taken from the Wildrose Golden Jubilee Book 1910-1960:

   While Wildrose dates its origin to 1910, we have to go back a few years and briefly mention two small inland towns that played a big part in the in the growth of Wildrose. Previous to 1906, there had been very little farming done. The few older settlers were following the ranching business.

   In February 1906, Mrs. Palmer with her daughter Maud, came to live on their claims, about a mile north of the present Wildrose. They were twenty-three miles from the railroad, and six miles from the nearest post office, Stordahl, which received mail twice a week from Ray.  Some homesteaders were forced to walk a distance varying from two miles to fourteen miles for their mail since many had no conveyances. The Thought struck Mrs. Palmer, a widow of a Civil War veteran, that she probably could do something about bettering this condition, so as soon as the weather permitted she set out with a petition for signers, asking she be given the commission of postmistress.  The government was agreeable to this and gave her the honor of naming it.  She chose the name of Montrose, after a town in Minnesota by that name. A post office was established in the kitchen of her home in July, 1906. She hauled the mail from the Fortier Ranch, using a sleigh and horses in the winter, and a buggy in the summer. In Sept., 1906 she put in a small stock of groceries, followed by a line of dry goods, and her business prospered.  She could fill any order from toothpicks to a keg of nails. Many business places sprang up both on her land and on Martin Borstad’s farm.

   There were eleven business establishments. This lively and enterprising little town prospered and exited for four years.

   In 1905 The United States Government established a Star Route from Ray on to Stordahl, then on to the Fortier Post Office. Here the mail carrier kept extra horses so he could change teams before he continues on his way to Crosby. Meals were also served at the Fortier Ranch for the convenience of the carrier and his passengers. With no roads, only stony trails, the trips were hard on the horses and the expense of replacing them became a problem; therefore no one carrier remained in that position very long. The route ended in 1907. Previously the Great Northern Railway had been investigating the possibility of running a branch line out of Stanley and west. In the fall of 1907 a crew was sent out to begin surveying for a line to run about twenty-five miles north of the main line. The first survey was made north of the Fortier Ranch where the crew camped over the fall and winter.

   Surmising that the Railway would be coming through at this point, a new town sprang up on the West ½ of N.W. ¼   Sec. 17, Twp. 160R. 96, on land owned by S. A. Paddon. Even though the railway was not being built there, a new town flourished and grew. The post office was moved from Fortier, and named Paddington, in honor of Mr. Paddon, its first postmaster. This town was located one mile north of Mr. Evju’s place. Mail was now hauled from Kermit through Noonan and every rig conceivable was used by the carriers who had no road except stony trails to follow. I has been related that John Thompson even resorted to the use of a stone boat, in the worst weather, while serving as carrier. Paddington was proud of its General Store run by E. J. Harbig, a bank managed by W.B. Mathews and A. C. Hess. C. J. Ranney operated a printing shop where the Plainsman was published. Funds were raised by the community and a public hall was built for meetings and social gatherings. E. J. Klebe had a photography studio.