By M. DeMar Teuscher and Will Fehr
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--A series of massive earthquakes turned mountains into rubble in Southern Montana and eastern Idaho early Tuesday, killing at least 16 persons.
No true estimate of the death toll can be made, officials said, until the debris from various slides can be cleared away. However, the death toll could go as high as 50 or 60, they said.
The powerful tremors, which ripped six to 10 feet-wide fissures in the earth, brought a mountainside tumbling down seven miles below Hebgen Dam in Montana's Madison Valley. The mammoth slide has completely blocked Madison Canyon from rim to rim, backing up the waters of the Madison River into a lake.
Mountain Tumbles On Six
Four members of a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, family were reported killed when the earthquakes split the mountain and sent rock and earth sliding down into the canyon. Two other persons also died in the slide.
In another slide at Reynolds Pass on the South Fork of the Madison River in eastern Idaho, eight persons were reported dead. Rescue teams said they had recovered six bodies, but did not have the equipment to recover the other bodies.
In another slide at Cliff Lake, 12 miles west of Hebgen Lake, two more campers were reported killed.
Paramedics Flown To Area
Meanwhile, helicopters and paramedics from Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Pacific Northwest states were being flown to West Yellowstone to aid in rescue operations.
About 150 vacationers were reported trapped between Hebgen Lake and the slide area seven miles downstream. Four paramedics left Hamilton Air Force Base north of San Francisco for West Yellowstone Tuesday morning. Mission Commander Capt. Andrew S. Champion of Novato, Calif., said the paramedics would parachute into the area, if necessary.
A Tucson, Ariz., ham operator said he had received a message from a doctor who had visited the slide area below Hebgen Dam. The doctor said that "about 12" persons were seriously injured. A number of other persons had minor injuries.
The doctor requested that ambulances be standing by at Bozeman, Mont., Airport because the injured required immediate treatment. The injured were taken up-river to the base of the dam where helicopters were to pick them up and fly them to Bozeman.
Gallatin County Sheriff Don Skerritt, who flew over the Madison Valley area, said Hebgen Dam, which backs up water for 20 to 26 miles, was still intact although it had suffered some damage.
SOS Signals Laid Out
He said he saw a number of people in the dam area, who had laid out SOS signals.
"A tremendous mountain slide has occurred about seven miles below the dam," he said. "It appears that an entire mountain has collapsed to create a towering natural dam. The dam is higher than the man-made one."
He said that although many persons were trapped between the slide and the dam, they could easily get out by heading for high ground on foot.
The earthquake, he added, apparently started a huge fissure which "may be nearly 40 miles long."
"The fissure starts on the north side of the dam and runs around the north side of the lake over mountains, through roads and summer homes and into the park area of West Yellowstone," he said.
The fissure was six to 10 feet wide and had destroyed roads and bridges. Some summer homes were under water and others were split in two by the earthquakes.
Slides Seal Off Roads
The first quake, which was felt also in Salt Lake City, hit at 11:39 p.m. (MST) Monday, with a magnitude of 8 on a scale of 10. The disastrous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 had an intensity of 8.25. Jolting after shocks followed at 12:59 a.m., 1:44 a.m., 3:08 a.m. and 8:28 a.m. (MST).
Rock slides closed roads throughout most of the west half of Yellowstone Park.
In West Yellowstone, hardly any large windows were left intact. Most of the curio shops had the appearance of being ransacked, with goods scattered all over. In grocery stores, canned goods were scattered about. At a service station, a gas pump was leaning like the Tower of Pisa. Along one side of a schoolhouse, bricks had fallen to the ground.
"I felt like I was on a roller coaster without any control," Mrs. Laura Schauer, Los Angeles, Calif., said. "I lost my balance, staggered out of a restaurant and fell to the ground, cutting my leg on glass and gravel."
Number Of Others Hurt
A number of other persons also suffered cuts and bruises, but none received serious injuries.
The Old Faithful Hotel was shut down when a water main broke.
Other major landslides occurred at Gibbon Falls Yellowstone and West Yellowstone. Three bridges on U.S. Highway 191 between Bozeman and West Yellowstone had caved in.
Telephone Service Wiped Out
Telephone service was knocked out in West Yellowstone and most of the Madison Valley area in Montana.
The State Capitol in Boise was rocked by the earthquakes and at Montana's historic Virginia City many old buildings were damaged.
At Butte, chimneys toppled, fireplaces and windows cracked. A chimney also toppled at the City Library in Dillon, Mont.
At Ashton, Idaho, operators at the Utah Power and Light Co. plant on the North Fork of the river also felt a decided shock.
Lavell Chatterton, on duty during the earthquakes, said the first tremor tripped the switch on the power line to West Yellowstone.
Second Tremor
His first thought, he said, was that something had happened to the dam and he went outside to inspect it. He said he found no damage and returned to the station.
A second tremor hit, he said, forcing him to hold onto the door to keep from falling down.
At the Ashton Hospital, three patients were admitted who received injuries at West Yellowstone. Anthony Smith, 39, of San Diego, Calif., told of grabbing onto a post in a West Yellowstone establishment when the earthquake hit. A piano rolled across the floor and struck his thumb, almost severing it.
Others Hurt
Mrs. Bertha Wilson, 69, West Yellowstone, received a severely cut leg. Robert Lavelle, 9, of Nampa, Idaho, also was brought to the Ashton Hospital after complaining of pain in his stomach after the tremors were felt.
At the Ashton Hospital the tremor awakened patients, causing a degree of excitement, but nothing was broken.
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]


Here are the latest important happenings in the West Yellowstone earthquake story.
  • Sixteen persons known dead.
  • Twenty-one persons known injured.
  • Mayor Charles Bower, Ennis, Mont., says death toll may rise between 50 and 60.
  • About 150 campers trapped between Hebgen Dam and rock slide in Montana's Madison Valley.
  • Huge fissure, extending from Hebgen Dam into West Yellowstone, opened by earthquakes.
  • All roads closed to Yellowstone Park. Train service to West Yellowstone halted until track damage is determined.
  • Helicopters rushed from Utah, Montana, and Idaho to aid in rescue operations.
  • Landslides reported at Gibbons Falls, Yellowstone, Madison Junction and West Yellowstone.
  • Three bridges on U.S. Highway 191 between Bozeman and West Yellowstone reported caved in.
  • Telephone service knocked out in West Yellowstone and most of Montana's Madison Valley.
  • All buildings damaged to some extent in West Yellowstone.
  • Chimneys cracked and windows broken at Virginia City, Butte and Dillon, Mont.
  • Little damage reported at Ashton, Idaho.
  • No damage reported to Palisades Reservoir near Idaho Falls.
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]


Here is a partial list of persons who have been reported killed and injured in the massive earthquakes which rolled across southeastern Idaho and Montana late Monday and early Tuesday.
In addition to those victims who have been identified, there are at least 10 others known dead. Eight of these are in Reynolds Pass in eastern Idaho where six bodies have been recovered.
Purley Bennett, 43, Coeur d'Alene, killed in mountain slide while camping seven miles from Hebgen Dam on Madison River.
Carol Bennett, 17, daughter.
Susan Bennett, 5, daughter.
Tom Bennett, 11, son.
E. H. Stryker, 39, San Mateo, Calif., killed in rock slide at Cliff Lake.
Mrs. Stryker, his wife.
Mrs. Laura Schauer, Los Angeles, cut leg when thrown to ground in West Yellowstone.
Anthony Smith, 39, San Diego, crushed thumb when hit by skidding piano in West Yellowstone.
Mrs. Bertha Wilson, 69, West Yellowstone, severe leg cut when hit by glass in West Yellowstone.
Ray Painter, Ogden service station operator, injured in landslide near Hebgen Dam.
(At least 20 other unidentified persons have been reported seriously injured.)
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]

Quake Area Report

Surprise, shock and a picture of nature gone wild was sketched Tuesday by persons who were eyewitnesses to the havoc caused when two powerful earthquakes jolted the southeast Idaho and western Montana area.
Much of the damage was concentrated in the West Yellowstone region and Madison Valley in Montana.
Here are some of the comments by persons in the quake area:
Gallatin County Sheriff Don Skerritt, who flew over Madison Valley early Tuesday morning--"The whole area around Hebgen Dam is a mess. A lot of tourists were trapped in the area when the roads were wiped out.
"A mountain slide has occurred below the dam. It appears that a whole mountain has collapsed. It's the biggest slide I have ever seen.
"A crack in the earth runs for miles from the dam toward West Yellowstone. It is six to 10 feet wide, and has totally ruined roads, bridges and summer homes.
"I saw one building which was split right in two by the fissure and both halves shoved apart. The damage is unbelievable and many tourists are trapped in the area. They can get out on foot, but they'll have to leave their cars and everything."
Phil Bennett, 16, who survived the landslide on Madison River with his mother. The slide killed his father, two sisters and a brother and several other persons--"Suddenly there was a huge roar. I looked up and saw the mountain cascading down upon us."
Lavell Chatterton, operator on duty at the Utah Power and Light plant on the North Fork of the Snake River in southeast Idaho--"The first tremor tripped the switch on the power line to West Yellowstone.
"At first I thought something had happened to the dam and I went outside to look. I was on the way back to the station when another shock hit and I had to hold onto the door to keep from falling down."
Anthony Smith, a San Diego tourist, was in a West Yellowstone building when the quake hit--"I grabbed hold of a post to keep from falling down. The jolt sent a piano skidding across the floor and it smashed my thumb."
Charles Melaney, Madison County deputy sheriff--"Three bridges on U.S. Highway 191 are caved in, rock slides have closed other highways from Ennis to West Yellowstone, and all telephone wires are down. Communications are very poor."
H. J. Morris and his wife, residents near Rigby, Idaho--"We woke up with a sensation of being carried on a wave in a boat. The shock had carried the mattress to the floor.
"I went outside and the whole countryside was alive with the sound of crowing pheasants. When we turned the water on in the morning it ran bright red for nearly an hour."
Gilbert C. Orme, lumber and hardware store owner in St. Anthony, Idaho--"We knew it was a good jolt because the chimes in the clock downstairs rang out three times.
"That first shock hit St. Anthony Monday about 11:45 p.m. We were asleep, but the ringing of the clock chimes and the rumbling and creaking throughout the house had us wide awake.
"There were four other distinct shocks during the night, the last one seven minutes before 2 a.m."
Mrs. Laura Schauer, Los Angeles, who was coming out of a cafe in West Yellowstone when the shock struck--"I saw the lights start swinging and the glass from the front window fly out.
"I felt like I was on a roller coaster without any control. I staggered out of the cafe and cut my leg when I fell on gravel and glass."
Air Force Warrant Officer Victor James, El Centro, Calif., was parked in his trailer about 75 yards from where mountain collapsed in Madison River--"I heard a terrible rumble and looked up. I saw the whole mountain crumbling. It was awful. I saw a lot of fighting in World War II, but I've never heard such a roar."
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]


Rail transportation to Yellowstone Park was disrupted by the earthquake that hit the western United States Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Union Pacific Railroad Co. officials said Tuesday morning the Yellowstone Special into the park was held up temporarily at Ashton, Idaho, because of quake damage to the company lines between Ashton and West Yellowstone. However, the 46-mile line from Ashton to Victor, Idaho, was not damaged. This is the railhead for Jackson Hole area and south entrance to Yellowstone Park.
Railroad men routed the train passengers to Victor and planned to convey them 80 miles through Jackson Hole country to the south entrance to the park where park company buses will pick them up if transportation into the park is permitted. Until this is determined passengers will be housed at Jackson Lake Lodge.
Passengers coming out of the park by train Tuesday were to be brought to the south entrance and then by bus to Victor and on the U.P. line to Ashton, Idaho Falls and into Salt Lake City, it was announced.
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]


The jolting earthquakes which rolled across Idaho and Montana Monday night were also felt in Utah, where a Salt Lake family fled into the night as the tremors shook their house.
Harry and Catherine Evans, 828 Washington St., their four young children and a niece scrambled out of the house as it "felt like it was slipping off the foundation."
Mrs. Evans said the children were asleep when the first shock came. When they noticed the lights starting to dance and the house creak and groan, they roused the children and fled outside.
"The children were getting dressed as we went out the front door," Mrs. Evans said.
The brick house split in several places apparently as a result of the quake. The family spent the night with some relatives.
Several neighbors also were roused by the shock and came outside with flashlights in hand to check for damage to their homes.
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]

Reporter At Scene

(Editor's note: Deseret News Staff Writer M. DeMar Teuscher and Chief Photographer J. M. Heslop flew over southern Montana and West Yellowstone early Tuesday morning. Mr. Teuscher describes the extent of damage in the following story.)

By M. DeMar Teuscher
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--We flew over the Hebgen Dam in southern Montana early Tuesday morning. Along the north shore of the lake created by the dam opposite West Yellowstone, we could see tremendous cracks in the hillside.
In at least five places along the lake east of the dam, the road has dropped into the lake. In one section, 100 yards of road has slipped under water.
The dam is holding although there are cracks along its top. It did not appear to us that there was any immediate danger of the dam bursting.
About seven miles downstream, a mountainside has fallen and completely filled in the Madison River Canyon. The slide, started by the earthquakes, is about 40 to 50 feet deep and about a mile in length. It fills the canyon from rim to rim.
River water is backing up behind the slide to create a new lake in the canyon. On the downstream side of the slide, the river is about dry.
Upstream from the dam about a mile we saw three summer homes. One of them was completely under water and the other two had water running through the windows.
[Deseret News; August 18, 1959]

Two Utahns Reported Among Known Dead

By M. DeMar Teuscher and Don Beck
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Rescue workers Wednesday began digging through a massive slide seven miles below Hebgen Dam in southern Montana's Madison Valley where as many as 50 or 60 persons may be buried.
So far, 10 bodies have been recovered from slide areas. Among those reported dead were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mark Stowe, Sandy, Utah.
Minor earthquake tremors continued to be felt Wednesday.
The biggest slide occurred seven miles below Hebgen in southern Montana's Madison Valley where an estimated 50 million tons of rock and earth split away from an 8,000-foot high mountain and thundered down upon the Rock Creek camping area below. The massive slide completely blocked the Madison River, backing the river's water into a lake.
60 May Be Lost
Campers in the area told reporters that it was possible that even more than 60 persons were lost in the slide area.
"There might be 100 people under that slide or there might be only a few," Madison County Sheriff W. H. Bowman said. "Probably we'll never know."
Stuart W. Wall, Forest Service information officer, said, "We feel we will find more bodies in this area. They may have been washed down from the campgrounds below the dam."
To Release Water
Officials said they hoped to cut a channel through the slide area to release the lake water building up behind it.
There was no equipment in the area yet capable of doing anything about the slide.
"There's more dirt in there than they took out of the Panama Canal," Harvey Robe, forest ranger, said.
Meanwhile, Air Force planes and helicopters continued to comb the area around Hebgen Dam in an effort to locate further slides or lost campers.
Campers Stranded
Jim Stradley, Montana pilot, said there are many campers stranded high on mountains surrounding the Madison Valley slide area.
"I've seen slides still going on in a 15 to 20 mile area from the disaster site," he said. "There are a man and a woman in one mountain area who will have to go 40 to 50 miles to get out safely."
Mr. Stradley, as well as Air Force pilots, are dropping notes to stranded campers telling them how to get out of the area.
Tours Area
Montana District Fish and Game Manager Joe Townsend said, "There's no telling how many people are stranded. We have spotted quite a few and know that there are more."
Lt. Gov. Paul Cannon, of Montana, who toured the disaster area, said minor tremors continued to be felt every half hour or so.
In Salt Lake City, Dr. Kenneth L. Cook, professor and head of the Geophysics Department, University of Utah, said the department's seismograph recorded a major aftershock of 10 minutes duration Tuesday at 9:05 p.m.
A minor aftershock was recorded at 4:05 a.m. Wednesday, he said.
Since that time over a dozen minor aftershocks of little consequence have been recorded up until noon Wednesday, Dr. Cook said.
"The whole seismograph record indicates that the ground up there is still in a state of considerable unrest," he said.
Hebgen Dam, which was weakened by the flood, was still intact Wednesday. However, Mr. Cannon said, the lake was higher than he had ever seen it.
Dam May Hold
Engineers said the dam would hold if there were no more severe shocks.
Upwards of 60 persons were injured in the slides.
Most of the injured were flown out of the Hebgen Dam area late Tuesday afternoon by helicopter. They were taken to West Yellowstone, where they were transferred to transport planes and flown to Bozeman, Mont.
Minor Injuries
Many of the injured were treated for minor cuts and bruises and released.
Sixteen persons, however, were still hospitalized at Bozeman, some of them in serious condition. One person was being treated at a Butte Hospital. Three or four injured persons were believed hospitalized in other Montana cities.
Marines and volunteers searching the area around the Madison River recovered such items as children's clothes, women's undergarments, camping equipment, purses and shoes.
Clothes Ripped Off
Campers who survived the terrifying slides said clothes were ripped from people in the rush of rocks and earth.
Automobiles began coming out of the Hebgen Dam area Tuesday at 8 p.m. and an estimated 150 persons moved out of the area to Bozeman, over roads that were hacked out of the mountains by bulldozers of the N. K. Construction Co., Billings, Mont.
Officials also said Wednesday that the north end of Hebgen Lake apparently slipped eight feet during the tremors while the south end of the lake rose eight feet.
Homes Submerged
On the north side of the lake, summer homes have been submerged by water.
The Idaho State Highway Patrol, which reported Tuesday that eight persons were killed at Reynolds Pass along the Idaho-Montana border said Wednesday this report was not correct.
State Police Superintendent A. E. Perkins said the report of eight dead was confused with the victims of the slide near Hebgen Dam.
Montana Civil Defense Director Hugh Potter also said that through an error, deaths were reported twice.
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE--A night of sheer terror in which he feared for the lives of his wife and children was related Tuesday afternoon by an Ogden man seriously injured by the massive earthquakes which ripped this area.
Ray Painter, 46, an Ogden service station operator, with his wife, Myrtle, were two of several seriously injured persons evacuated by helicopter from near Hebgen Dam.
Mr. Painter told his story here after the helicopter had set down and he and his wife were waiting to be taken to another plane for transfer to a hospital at Bozeman.
Helicopters Busy
Several other seriously hurt campers were also airlifted out by helicopters. All the others are from Billings, Mont.
Mr. Painter said his family was sleeping in a trailer at the foot of the dam when he felt the trailer shake. His first thought was of bears, and he ran out to see what was going on.
"The noise was terrible. I looked up and saw everything was moving, then it occurred to me that it was an earthquake."
He said that when he realized what was happening, he tried to make it to his car. "Suddenly the water mushroomed, and I was hurled back about 50 feet against some trees."
Pinned By Tree
One of them fell across him, pinning his leg and inflicting a severe injury.
"I heard my children and knew that some of my family were still alive. I didn't know about my wife."
Mr. Painter said he kept pleading for help, but that it seemed like "an eternity" until some men lifted the tree from his leg.
He then found his children, and they knew where his wife was. The children were unhurt but he and his wife both suffered severe loss of blood in addition to other injuries.
Others Brought Out
Others brought by helicopter included:
Warren Steele and his wife, Esther, of Billings, Mont. They were camped with Mr. and Mrs. Tony Schriber of Billings. The Schribers' daughter, Bonnie, 7, received a cut on the head.
Mr. and Mrs. Verno Holmes, Billings.
A doctor aboard the helicopter said there were 10 critically injured in that immediate area and 10 less seriously hurt.
A helicopter was trying to reach trapped campers and tell them how to walk out to reach cars which are not far away.
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]


The West Yellowstone earthquake Monday night knocked the University of Utah seismograph off scale for four minutes and then kept the needle dancing off and on the rest of the night and Tuesday morning recording four aftershocks.
The heaviest aftershock came at 8:26 a.m. Tuesday.
The California Institute of Technology estimated the magnitude of this aftershock at 6.5 on the Richter Scale of 10. The magnitude of the original quake has been estimated at between 7 and 8.
Heaviest In 2 Years
Dr. Kenneth L. Cook, professor and head of the geophysics department at the U. of U. said this is the heaviest earthquake in the Rocky Mountain region since the Dixie Valley quake in Nevada two years ago last December.
The West Yellowstone quake approaches the devastating San Francisco quake in 1906 when the magnitude was placed at 8.25. The heaviest quake ever reported on the face of the earth was 8.7, Dr. Cook said.
By measuring the amplitude of marks of the last aftershock on the chart, he placed the quake region at 400 to 500 miles away from the Salt Lake area.
'Great Unrest'
"The state of the ground up there is in great unrest," he declared.
The original quake usually is the heaviest, Dr. Cook said, but aftershocks will continue in the area for days and possibly weeks.
He likened it to throwing a pebble into the water and having the waves spread out. The same thing happens in a quake. The ground keeps shuddering out from the center of the break.
Only A Fraction
While the earth movement was probably quite pronounced in the West Yellowstone area, the ground in Salt Lake City probably was moving only a fraction of an inch, Dr. Cook said.
"Everything was going along fine until 11:38 p.m., Monday," he related, "when we got the first manifestation of the quake. The chart broke completely. For four minutes it was dancing back and forth so far it went off the scale.
"Then little marks started coming in and we started getting a reading although it was still swaying. The marks on the chart, which go along in a straight line when all is quiet, showed an amplitude of three to four inches.
Marks Diminish
"The marks started diminishing then and had dropped down to between one and two inches at the end of 20 minutes.
"Then at 12:56 a.m. Tuesday came the first aftershock and the marks jumped to an amplitude between two and three inches. This continued for about 10 minutes and then diminished during the next hour.
"The second aftershock came at 1:43 a.m., sending the chart marks to an amplitude of two to three inches and lasting about five or six minutes. After that there were small minor tremors for the next couple of hours.
Third Aftershock
"The third aftershock came at 4:05 a.m. and then things were quiet for the next four hours when the fourth and largest aftershock sent the needle dancing again.
"This aftershock was continuing when we pulled the record off at 8:45 a.m." Dr. Cook said. This major aftershock showed marks with an amplitude of about three inches on the chart.
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]


Yellowstone National Park (UPI)--Yellowstone National Park visitors accepted a series of earthquakes which wracked the park Monday night and Tuesday as a "big adventure," according to Supt. L. A. Garrison.
The first and worst tremor hit Yellowstone at 11:40 p.m. Monday. Others of lessening severity continued every half-hour.
"But they were very, very light," and most persons don't notice them, he said.
The quakes, the Park Service insists are being treated as the biggest added attraction staged during the park's 87 years as the nation's oldest playground.
Damage Minor
Damage to park facilities--natural and man made-- has been written off as minor. Hardest hit was the Old Faithful Inn at Old Faithful Geyser. The geyser continued to spout every 63 minutes. It was not roped off, as was reported.
Only one person was injured according to the official count. An unidentified woman broke her ankle when she ran outside when the first and hardest temblor hit her hotel.
Most persons, Garrison said, woke with the first earthquake. Then they stayed up through the night to compare reactions.
The park's 12 hotels and motels made the night one long coffee hour. "The savages"--college students employed in the park for the summer--were assigned the job of dispensing coffee and doughnuts to the gaily chattering guests.
Inn Was Closed
Old Faithful Inn was closed when the first shock broke pipelines in the sprawling structure. The entire inn was closed during the day because of water damage and fallen plaster.
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]


(Editor's Note--Geraldine Ost, 13, and her sister, Shirley, 6, daughters of the Rev. and Mrs. Elmer Ost of The Queens, N.Y. survived Monday night trapped between Hebgen Dam and a landslide seven miles downstream. Their father is pastor of Bethany Congregational Church in The Queens, N.Y. Here is Geraldine's account of the night.)

By Geraldine Ost
As Told to United Press International
ENNIS, MONT. (UPI)--We laid our tents and had been asleep, I guess, for some time. We awoke with a start when we heard and felt that terrible big shake.
Somebody yelled, "It's a cyclone" and I thought of both twisters and, gosh, I was worried about being sucked up into the air.
My dad shouted at us to grab a tree.
"(We sure held on tight, believe me," little Shirley interjected.)
The water hit us like a big tidal wave and poured over us. We heard the water rising so we hit for higher ground. We heard those rocks crashing around us all night long.
We stayed awake all night. Somebody lighted a big fire. We all huddled around the fire. It got pretty cold.
My father helped rescue many people by guiding them to higher ground. I would say he is a brave man.
In the morning we cooked our breakfast over the fire. We had a breakfast of--what do you call those things?--oh, yes, scrambled eggs with potatoes.
("Boy, that was good," Shirley added.)
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]


Mrs. Clarence D. Scott of Fresno, Calif., was one of those camped between the Madison River slide and the Hebgen Dam Monday night when earthquakes ripped through the Yellowstone National Park area. From a hospital bed in Bozeman, Mont., where she and her husband were taken for treatment of their injuries, Mrs. Scott described to United Press International what happened to her in this terrifying night.

BOZEMAN, MONT. (UPI)-- "It was horrible. Children were screaming and crying for their mothers. And husbands were begging for their wives to answer."
That's the way Mrs. Clarence D. Scott, 57, Fresno, Calif., described the scene that greeted her when she was thrown out of her house trailer in the area where a landslide, triggered by a violent earthquake, slammed millions of tons of rocks into the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.
Everything was confusion, Mrs. Scott said from her bed in a Bozeman, Mont., hospital. It was dark and cloudy with thunderstorms in the area and nobody could see anything after the quake hit, she said.

At Rock Creek
"We were camped at Rock Creek, seven miles down from the dam. We were in our house trailer. And we were in bed.
"There was a terrific shaking of the trailer and the television thing (antenna) fell off and hit me.
"There was a huge noise. It sounded like a thousand winds going through a thousand trees. But not a tree was moving.
"Then something struck the trailer and pushed it against a tree. A side and the end of the trailer fell out. And my husband was gone.
"Then I fell out.
Children Screaming
"It was horrible. Children were screaming and crying for their mothers. And husbands were begging their wives to answer.
"Someone was screaming for help from someone who could swim. I looked where there had been trailers and tents. There weren't any."
Mrs. Scott explained that she and her husband Clarence, 59, had come to Yellowstone for the camping and fishing. The place they picked to park their trailer is one of the best and most famous fishing spots in the northwest. It is nationally known to fishermen. Anglers and other campers flock to the area during the vacation season and dot the entire valley with their tents and trailers.
Sheets Of Water
Although Mrs. Scott could not tell it at the time she was thrown from her trailer, a large part of an 8,000-foot mountain thundered down into the river. The resulting splash shot sheets of water for hundreds of yards, probably explaining the call for a swimmer that Mrs. Scott reported.
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]

Heartbreak, Joy

Tales of terror and desperate struggles for survival were related Tuesday by persons caught in the earthquakes which triggered an avalanche of death and destruction in Montana near Yellowstone Park.
Heartbreak and heroism were mixed in a night which could only be described as terrifying.

John D. Sanders, 2276 Redondo Ave., Salt Lake City:
"I was at the Old Faithful Lodge in West Yellowstone with my wife, two children and a neighbor girl, Mary Lee Grandy. We were watching a beauty contest with about 500 people when the quake hit. We all ran outside and headed back to the motel. When we got there we saw people jumping out of windows wearing towels and bathrobes. Water was spurting from broken pipes.
"We sat in the car all night and it kept shaking every now and then. It was the most terrifying experience we had ever had. We didn't know what to do. Old Faithful was spouting very hard and we thought the whole ground around us might blow up any minute. I was never so glad to see anything as our front room when we got home. I could have kissed every square inch of the floor."

Jack Goodnough family, Adlion, Wash.:
"At first I thought it was a train and then the tent began to shake and I thought it might be a bear so I jumped out, ripping out the front of the tent. I could see and hear rocks falling in an avalanche across the lake.
"Within seconds water was filling the tent. I grabbed my children and at that moment the water hit us and carried us 300 feet before we were stopped by a tree.
"I ran the children to shore and rushed back for my wife. I thought she must have drowned, but fortunately an air bubble had formed in the tent, keeping her alive."

Angelo Fuoco, 1823 Lake St., Salt Lake City:
"I wanted to get camp set up because we had a reservation at Rock Creek camping area, but my wife insisted that we stay at a motel for the evening.
"I cannot describe the feeling I had when I learned that a mountain had fallen on the Rock Creek area. I'm thankful to be alive."

Grover Mault, 71, Temple City, Calif.:
"My wife and I were parked with our car and trailer in a camping area near a reservoir when we heard a terrible roar and rocks were tumbling all around us. Our trailer turned every which way and then we landed in the water.
"When the trailer stopped bouncing, we got on top and I managed to grab a tree limb. It broke and then I grabbed hold of the tree itself and pulled us to safety."

Henry F. Bennett, Cottonwood, Ariz. (Wheelchair polio victim.):
"I was asleep in my sleeping bag when the major quake struck. I don't know how I got out, but when it was all over my chair and I had survived the storm."
[Deseret News; August 19, 1959]

Divers Probe Water; Crews Comb Slide

By Reed Madsen
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--An underwater search by skin divers in the murky depths of Hebgen Lake Thursday failed to turn up any additional victims of the earthquakes which shattered the Madison River Canyon Monday night.
The still trembling canyon is being scoured by air and ground crews in an effort to locate more bodies of campers who may have been caught in the huge avalanche touched off by the quake.
Four skin divers and six others using light Navy diving equipment had been searching for a car and trailer believed to be in the lake, but the search was called off indefinitely because of the shifty and muddy water stirred up by continuing tremors.
After-Shock Hits
Two hard after-shocks ripped the area Thursday morning sending persons running from buildings in West Yellowstone not far from the canyon where the big slide cascaded down Monday night.
There are 10 persons known to have been killed when a 50 million ton section of mountain was sent roaring into a popular camping and fishing spot just below Hebgen Dam in Madison Valley.
A crew of 15 men was organized at Bozeman, Mont., and sent into the valley to walk the area of the slide to see if they could locate any more bodies, cars, license plates or anything which might lead to identification of possible victims.
May Be Buried
Authorities expressed fears that occupants of an estimated 30 cars and trailers may be buried under the mountain of rocks and dirt which crashed down Monday night.
The skin divers were probing the water of Hebgen Reservoir seven to 15 miles above the slide area for cars which may have been hurled into the water when the earthquake struck.
Sections of Montana State Highway 1, which goes around the reservoir toward West Yellowstone, were plunged into the water by the shock of the quake.
Saw Car Tumble
One eyewitness claimed that a car and trailer carrying several people had tumbled into the lake.
Divers went underwater to depths of 50 feet Wednesday night and managed to locate the trailer. However, it contained no occupants. No trace has been found of the car.
Tremors continued to shake the disaster area Wednesday night increasing the danger of continuing landslides.
Montana highway crews attempting to open roads in the Madison Valley region were pulled off the job Thursday because of slide dangers.
Temporary Road
They managed to construct a temporary road from West Yellowstone to about as far as Hebgen Dam some seven miles above the mountain slide before being taken off the job.
Danger is slowly mounting because of a lake which is filling up between the huge slide and Hebgen Dam.
The dam was damaged in the earthquake, but officials expressed hope that it would hold. If it went all at once, the landslide might not be able to hold the rush of water, they feared.
7 Miles Long
The growing lake is presently over seven miles long and more than 60 feet deep and still rising. It may eventually go through the slide which is blocking its path and threaten small communities downstream.
Officials said there was no immediate plan to cut through the slide and slowly release the water backing up behind it. Geologists and survey teams have been flown into the slide region to study the situation.
The community of Ennis, Mont., 50 miles below the dam had been evacuated right after the quake.
Mayor Charles Bauer told the 600 residents Wednesday they could return from their high ground exile--but he advised them to keep their bags packed.
A siren signal has been set up to warn residents to evacuate if the water should break through the slide.
Federal and state officers were expected to confer with Montana Gov. J. Hugo Aronson in Helena Thursday to discuss what could be done to recover possible victims from the ruins of Madison Canyon.
Confined To Fringes
Lt. Gov. Paul Cannon said Wednesday night that there was no present plan to try and move the huge mountain of dirt in the canyon and that any digging operations probably would be confined to the fringes of the slide.
"There might be 100 people under that slide--or there might be only a few," said Madison County Sheriff V. H. Brown. "Probably we'll never know."
[Deseret News; August 20, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE--Man, and an earth-fill dam, created Hebgen Lake many years ago.
Nature, in a few earth-shattering hours Monday night, changed the whole face of man's handiwork.
Hebgen Lake Wednesday was a vastly different body of water from what it was Monday before the quake. The lake shore is different. The water level is different.
Imagine Saucer
Imagine holding a shallow oval shaped saucer in your hand, filled with water. Turn it so that the ends are roughly facing east and west.
Now tip the saucer so that the southeast end rises and the northwest end sinks. That's what happened to Hebgen Lake.
The northwest shoreline dropped roughly eight feet. The southwest end tilted up about six feet. That's the way the "new" lake will be, unless capricious nature shakes the ground again like it did Monday.
Only One More
And one more shock like that might eliminate Hebgen Dam and turn the whole lake loose on the massive rock slide which still blocks Madison Canyon about seven miles below the dam.
Along the north shore of the lake, summer homes and cabins suffered extensive, although still undetermined damage. The ones to the east were less damaged than the ones nearer the dam.
Only one cabin was under water about six miles west of the dam. Nearby, two others were dropped from a high point and into water which rose three or four feet along the walls.
Rest High, Dry
The rest of the cabins are high and dry--and shaken badly. Stoves, refrigerators and dishes are scattered all over, according to cabin owners who managed to get out of the area.
Cabins on the south shore seem less damaged, but must have been shaken badly by the quake. You cannot reach them either. The forest roads have wide cracks in every direction.
Where many boats once floated, filled with fishermen, Hebgen Wednesday showed only drifting debris and muddy water.
Time will heal the scars. But Hebgen will be a different lake from now on.
[Deseret News; August 20, 1959]


By M. DeMar Teuscher
WEST YELLOWSTONE--There are still plenty of tourists in the Yellowstone Park area but you would never know it in West Yellowstone--once the most popular port of entry to the park.
West Yellowstone is not quite a ghost town, but it comes close.
Crazy rock and roll jigs of the earth since Monday night proved quite a deterrent to the tourists who usually throng the pine-lined streets of this community.
But the fact one can't go anywhere from here except back to the west and south has proved even more of a hurdle. That and highway patrol road blocks set up along U.S. Highway 91.
The Bozeman road to the north is still blocked, twisted out of shape by the grinding earth shocks. The once-busy Yellowstone Park entrance is blocked by a large barrier. It is blocked even more effectively a few miles further on by tons of earth over the park highway leading to Old Faithful.
In West Yellowstone itself, things are still confused. A small army of Air Force, Red Cross, civilian volunteers and peace officers is set up at the airport, the nerve center.
What tourists are left throng the fringes of the airstrip, watching, asking questions of anyone who looks as if he might have some information.
In town storekeepers Wednesday started to set their stores in order.
The grocery stores were open and most of the goods back on the shelves.
In one combination curio shop and drug store, an unshaven newsman asked for a package of razor blades.
"Just be patient," quipped the pretty clerk. "They are here somewhere."
She pawed through a considerable pile of miscellaneous goods on the counter and came up with the blades. The curios were even more mixed up.
Forced to Move
Another curio shop owner stood in his doorway.
"When are you opening up again," asked a friend.
"Don't know," came the answer. "But it won't be in this building."
He gestured behind him and upward toward the ceiling. A two foot wide section of the ceiling, clear across the room, was gone. It looked almost as if the scar had been cut with a saw. The plaster was neatly piled below on the floor. The timbers of the roof were the only things not straight. They were somewhat out of line.
Yellowstone Park Superintendent Lemuel Garrison reported from Mammoth that the tourist business in his park was still booming, with every entrance but West Yellowstone open.
Busy Elsewhere
Down the highway to the south, at Island Park Lodge, Macks Inn, Pond's Lodge, Big Springs and other places, the tourists were still much in evidence.
But at West Yellowstone, once the tourist mecca of the area, things are rather quiet.
A sign on one motel typifies the "new look."
"Gone to Ogden," it reads. "Be back when the quakes quit."
Above this little sign, a bigger one reads "Vacancy." In August, you don't usually see such things in West Yellowstone.
[Deseret News; August 20, 1959]

New Jolts Threaten Dam, Slide

By Reed Madsen and M. DeMar Teuscher
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Planes again took to the air Friday to scour the quake shattered mountainside of Madison Canyon for survivors who may be trapped by broken roads in high elevation campsites.
In the valley, the slowly rising "Lord's Lake" forming behind the massive 50 million ton rockslide which spewed death and terror Monday trembled murkily as tremors continued to rock the area.
Rescue teams abandoned virtually all hopes of finding more victims in the devastated camping areas near the slide.
Immovable Tomb
The huge, ugly slash of the fallen mountain appeared to be an immovable tomb which may never give up the secret of how many bodies lie crushed beneath it.
Five Air Force helicopters and two Fish and Game Dept. aircraft took to the air Friday after a heavy fog blanket lifted, searching for more campers possibly marooned way in Monday's upheaval. The planes also were keeping a close watch on cracked Hebgen Dam, and the swelling lake below it.
A major concern was the possibility of a second major quake which might knock out Hebgen Dam, seven miles upstream, or which might breach the tremendous slide and send part of the new lake roaring downstream on the communities of Ennis and Virginia City.
Identified Dead
The death toll Friday stood at nine identified and one unidentified woman.
Latest addition to the death list was Mrs. Myrtle Painter, 42, of 4345 Porter Ave., Ogden.
Mrs. Painter died in a Bozeman hospital Thursday at 11:30 a.m. She was evacuated from the slide area Tuesday by helicopter. Her husband, Ray, is still in the hospital. The couple's three daughters, Carol, 16, and twins Anne and Anita, escaped injury.
Mrs. Painter is the second Utahn known to have died in the quake disaster.
The other identified dead Utahn is Mark Stowe, 31, of Sandy.
Mrs. Marilyn Stowe, his wife, is believed dead, but her body has not been recovered. Her father, Rex K. Whitmore, 8060 7th East, reported from Virginia City that he was continuing to search even though the organized hunt for bodies has been called off.
Sandy Residents
A carload of Sandy residents, friends of the Stowes, left Thursday night for the slide area to help look. Two more carloads left Friday.
Madison County Sheriff Lloyd Brooks said Friday there "doesn't seem to be any use making a more organized search below the slide."
It was in this area that the body of Mr. Stowe was found as well as bodies of four members of the Purley Bennett family of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Chances Slim
"Our chances of finding any more bodies are slim," Sheriff Brooks said. "The only way we will find any more is when and if this slide is shifted to allow the water to come through."
On the upstream side of the slide, Gallatin County Sheriff Don Skerritt also called off search activities in face of the gathering lake behind the slide.
Divers who probed the murky depths Thursday without success reported the continuing tremors were "strong enough to turn us upside down in the water."
Sheriff Skerritt concurred in the opinion that no other bodies would be found in the slide area until some way is found to move the slide or drain the growing lake.
And removal of the tremendous landslide was termed "a complete impossibility" Thursday night at a meeting of state, federal and county officials in West Yellowstone.
Hugh Potter, Montana civil defense director and coordinator of various agencies engaged in further protection of life and property in the quake-devastated area, said that there are no plans current to try to do any reconstruction work in the slide area.
May Trim Slide
Some engineers said that if the water backed up behind the slide area, the top of the slide might be trimmed to gradually release water down stream.
Mr. Potter Friday organized a "sensible demobilization" of various agencies.
Major concerns of officials Friday were improved communications, police protection in the area to stop some reported vandalism, Red Cross activity in trying to help locate missing persons and surveys to determine property damage and earth damage in the area.
Missing Persons
The problem of missing persons continued to be a large part of the task facing the officials.
The American Red Cross in Bozeman, deluged by calls from all over, sent out special appeals to everyone who had been in the disaster area and who had not contacted their family to do so at once.
Meanwhile, volunteer and regular Red Cross workers have set up a full-scale field office in Bozeman to try to help locate persons believed to have been in the area.
4 Miles Long
Water has backed behind the 50-million ton rock and land slide to a point nearly four miles above the slide area.
Two trailers were discovered in the new lake Thursday, but neither contained any bodies. Another was checked out by boat Friday, but no bodies were found.
Reports that the body of a small boy had been found Thursday were not confirmed. In fact, both Sheriff Brooks and Sheriff Skerritt said there had been no bodies found.
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]

On-Spot Study

WASHINGTON (UPI)--A group of congressmen and government officials will fly to Montana Saturday to inspect earthquake damage in the southwestern part of the state.
The trip was arranged by Chairman James E. Murray (D-Mont.) of the Senate Interior Committee. The group was scheduled to take off at 6 a.m. EDT for Bozeman, Mont., spend Saturday night at West Yellowstone in the quake area and return to Washington Sunday.
The inspection party will include Sen. Frank E. Moss (D-Utah), member of the Senate Interior Committee and Reps. Lee Metcalf (D-Mont.), LeRoy Anderson (D-Mont.) and Gracie Pfost (D-Idaho).
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK--Tourist activity at Yellowstone National Park was just a few notches below normal Friday despite a nerve-wracking and ground-wrecking earthquake which spread death and destruction near the park's west entrance Monday.
All highways into the park, except those at the west entrance, were open, undamaged, and being used by an estimated 12,000 tourists per day.
Those roads which are presently closed as a result of the quake will be quickly cleared by road crews as soon as the earth stops shuddering in the disaster area.
There are still tremors going on and seismologists have moved into the park area to set up portable seismographs. They will measure the frequency and intensity of the shocks and try to make some kind of prediction as to when the tremors will end.
"Road crews are not going to start repair work until those people can recommend what to do," said Lemuel Garrison, park superintendent. "It would be foolhardy to go into the slide areas now while the ground is still shaking."
At present the east entrance to Yellowstone on U.S. Highway 20 at Cody, Wyo., is open; the northeast entrance on Montana Highway 12 at Cooke City, Mont. is open; the north entrance on U.S. 89 at Gardiner, Mont. is open, and the south entrance on U.S. 89 from Jackson Hole also is open.
The road from Bozeman, Mont., to West Yellowstone is repaired and open to traffic on a limited basis but the roads from West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs in the north and to Old Faithful in the south are both blocked by slides.
It is possible to reach West Yellowstone from Ashton, Idaho, but further progress is impossible into the park. It is also impossible to reach the west entrance from anywhere inside the park.
Aside from the roads, the only other park facility which is damaged is the Old Faithful Inn. Broken water pipes and a collapsed chimney have shut down most of the inn, but the west wing, containing some 150 rooms is still open.
"Once the tremors stop, we should have the park back as good as new within a few weeks," the park superintendent declared.
The only permanent change can be seen west of the park in Madison River Canyon, once a popular camping and fishing area. There, a half of a mountain collapsed and stands as a silent tomb to a number of unknown dead beneath its massive tons.
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Fifty million tons of dirt and rocks make a tremendous natural barrier across Madison Canyon, seven miles downstream from Hebgen Dam.
But the size of the slide is no guarantee of its permanency, officials warn, particularly if Hebgen Dam should break and 26-mile-long Hebgen Lake pours against the massive landslide.
The people of Jackson, Wyo., can give evidence that great landslides do not always hold back water for long.
Twenty-five years ago, an avalanche roared across Gros Ventre Canyon, northeast of Jackson, setting up a natural barricade that residents said would "last forever."
Three years later the lake backed up behind this barrier cut a path of flooded destruction in the Jackson area and wiped out bridges hundreds of miles downstream on the south fork of the Snake River.
It is fear of just such an occurrence which is keeping engineers and geologists working full time trying to devise a way to drain water from behind the Madison Canyon slide as soon as possible.
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]

In Case Of New Quakes

By Reed Madsen
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Radio equipped crews from the Montana Power Co. Friday were keeping an around-the-clock watch on the Hebgen Lake dam--just in case.
Officials of the power company said they are confident the dam itself will hold, unless another major earthquake hits.
There are no cracks on the earth fill dam along the lake side of the structure. This was determined Thursday by divers.
But there are cracks in the concrete core of the dam on the downstream face. No water is coming through any of these cracks, even though the roadway atop the dam has dropped as much as seven feet.
One huge concrete spillway pillar received considerable damage.
Harry Cochrane, who designed the dam in 1913, said that the grinding quake Monday and the tremors which have rocked the area since, have had the effect of settling the earth fill around the concrete core even more solidly.
Three tremors rocked the region Friday morning between 6:07 and 7:15 a.m.
There was concern expressed Thursday afternoon about seepage on the earthen fill of the dam about 25 feet below the crest. But purple chemicals put into the water above the dam and traced showed the seepage coming from the spillway, and not through the face of the dam.
Meanwhile, a complete network of warning systems was set up to make sure that everyone would know if the dam did start to go.
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]


Forty Utahns were included among vacationing and camping families and groups listed Friday as "unreported and missing" and believed in the Madison River Canyon area at the time of the huge earthquake caused slide Monday night.
Among them were a Bountiful family of eight and a Fairview Explorer Scout party of 11.
With no word received from many persons since they left for the Yellowstone Park, Madison River and Hebgen Lake areas, the Bozeman, Mont., office of the American Red Cross continued its plea for such persons able to do so to contact relatives immediately.
"We probably won't know for weeks how many are missing," a Red Cross official at Bozeman said.
The Bountiful family still not heard from since they left for Yellowstone Park Monday morning is that of Fred Simons, 38, and Donna Haycock Simons, 38, and their six children: David Fred, 17; Richard, 15; Donna Lynn, 11; Christa, 7; Clark, 3, and Drew, 2.
Relatives said they were driving a light blue 1957 Ford station wagon with a commercial license plate, Utah 031001.
The Fairview, Sanpete County Explorer Scout party, is under the charge of Don C. Hansen, listed in his 50's, and Wendell Christensen, about 40. The scouts, all between 15 and 16 years of age, include Richard Llewellyn, Douglas Bench, Rodney Coates, Dean Carlston, Roger Christensen, Gary Mower, Johnnie Bigler, Vaughn Garlick and Brent Tucker.
The party left Fairview at 5 a.m. bound for the west entrance of Yellowstone with sleeping bags and fishing equipment. They were believed traveling in a green pickup truck.
Other late additions to the list of unreported include the following:
Mr. and Mrs. Mack Leonard, 1503 19th East, and two sons, Michael, 17, and Gregory, 11. They are reported by a sister of Mr. Leonard, Mrs. M. J. Coldesina, 623 G St., to have planned to leave Monday morning and drive through the west entrance of Yellowstone and on to Glacier National Park.
Mr. and Mrs. Warren E. Mulcock, 2800 E. 4510 South, and their five children: John Ernest, 13; Margaret, 12; Stephen, 11; Thomas, 10, and Rosemary, 5. They left Sunday morning with a house trailer bound for Yellowstone Park.
Mr. Mulcock, a son of Sidney E. Mulcock, foreman of the Salt Lake County grand jury and a Salt Lake businessman, and his family were on their way to Yellowstone Park by way of the west entrance.
Mrs. Thompson said she and her husband had been away on vacation and returned when they heard news of the Hebgen Lake disaster.
Mr. and Mrs. Osmond LeCheminant, 870 N. 4th East, Bountiful; children, Randall Scott, 7, and Leslie Ruth, 5, and Mrs. LeCheminant's mother, Mrs. Vera Haycock, also of Bountiful.
According to Mr. LeCheminant's mother, Mrs. Lionel LeCheminant, 3780 S. West Temple, the family left early Sunday for a fishing trip into Yellowstone Park. She said they probably were traveling in two cars, a blue 1958 Chevrolet sedan and a white 1955 Chevrolet sedan, one of them hauling a rented house trailer.
Mr. and Mrs. Ross Burke Jenson, Brigham City, and their four children: Lynn Burke, 10; Bruce, 7; Janet, 4; and Brent, 19 months. Mr. Jenson, manager of the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co. at Brigham City, and his family left Saturday morning for the Yellowstone area and expected to do some fishing on the Madison River.
They were traveling in a two-tone gray 1953 Buick sedan.
Thad A. Carlson, commercial representative for MST&T at Brigham City, said Mr. Jenson said he would call Tuesday, and that the call has not been received.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Jenson, Sandy, parents of Mr. Jenson, and Mr. and Mrs. Shirley Haywood, Kaysville, parents of Mrs. Jenson, also reported they have not heard from the family.
[Deseret News; August 21, 1959]

S. L. Patrol Joins Hunt For Victims

By Reed Madsen
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Earthquakes continued to jolt this area Saturday with at least eight tremors being felt during the night.
Air search operations were called off as apparently all campers who had been marooned in high elevation campsites have reached safety.
However, the Air Force was scheduled to fly a congressional party over the disaster area Saturday afternoon.
Although official agencies were halting search operations, many private groups, including twenty-one members of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Patrol were still scouring the devastated areas near the slide in search for missing relatives.
Frequent Tremors
In officially ending search operations, Madison County Sheriff Lloyd Brock said. "All we can do is put up a monument to the unknown dead there."
"We felt more earthquakes last night than we've felt since the initial shock," Mrs. Bess Kelly, operator of the Hitching Post Motel, West Yellowstone, said Saturday.
The last tremor, she said, was felt at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
"There was a real good one at 6:30 a.m.," she added.
No Damage Reported
No damage was reported from the aftershocks.
Nearly 400 tremors have jarred the West Yellowstone-Hebgen Lake area since the initial earthquake which terrified vacationers and residents last Monday night.
Hugh Potter, Montana Civil Defense director, said air searches were no longer necessary over Southern Montana's Madison valley area.
"We can safely say there is no one in high country timber," he said.
Congressional Tour
Air Force officials said helicopters and three C-47's would be used to fly members of a congressional party over the earthquake area.
The congressional party, led by Sen. Frank E. Moss (D-Utah), was scheduled to arrive at Bozeman, Mont., at 1:30 p.m.
Montana Gov. J. Hugo Aronson was scheduled to join the 21-member party at Bozeman.
Gov. Aronson said he had asked President Eisenhower and Defense Secretary Nell H. McElroy to immediately order army engineers to survey the stricken area and "take whatever steps may be necessary" to protect the life and property of the Madison Valley.
Major concern was the possibility of a second major earthquake which could destroy Hebgen Dam.
Also, a lake was forming behind the massive slide blocking Madison Canyon, seven miles below Hebgen Lake.
"The immediate great danger may be flooding," the governor said.
Ten persons, nine identified and one still unidentified, were killed in slides triggered by the earthquakes. Many more persons are believed buried under the 50-million tons of rock and earth blocking Madison Canyon.
Geologists and engineers who have surveyed the slide believe it's almost impossible to move it.
"It's just like moving a mountain," one geologist said.
Meanwhile, Red Cross officials at Bozeman were still trying to determine the number of persons missing since Monday's earthquake.
George Montag, director of inquires for the Red Cross, said his office has been swamped with calls from anxious relatives throughout the United States.
"We had 1,500 telegrams come in last Thursday," he said.
He said that it was almost impossible to compile a list of lost persons until "a lot of people can be worked out of our files who are safe. That will take several days."
Seismologists from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and Montana State University were scheduled to go into the Hebgen Lake area Saturday with instruments to measure the continuing aftershocks and trace the pattern of Monday night's mammoth tremor.
[Deseret News; August 22, 1959]


(Editor's Note: Rex A. Bateman of Magna was with his family at Hebgen Lake last Monday and Tuesday when the area was rocked by earthquakes. Here is the story of the family's frightening experience.)

"It was a beautiful moonlit night and then three big shocks hit us."
This is how Rex A. Bateman, 3201 S. 8000 West, Magna, describes the first terrifying moments when an earthquake jarred the Hebgen Lake area in southern Montana Monday night. Mr. Bateman was staying in a cabin at Camp Fire Lodge, about 500 yards below Hebgen Dam with his wife and four children, Lance, 17; Layne, 15; Greg, 14, and Mark, 11. Also staying with the Batemans were Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Mander, Idaho Falls, and their children, Sybil, 17 and Jackie, 6.
When the first tremor hit, Mr. Bateman was standing outside the cabin.

Dives for Auto
"I felt the first shock at about 11:40 p.m.," he said. "I immediately knew it was an earthquake. I ran and dove face forward across the hood of Mr. Mander's car. I was afraid of the earth opening up. I hung onto the radiator ornament and cut my hand.
"The earthquakes increased in intensity. 'My God,' I said to myself. 'How long can this last.' Rocks along the cliffs started breaking loose and coming down. I thought it was the end of the world. I thought the mountain would disintegrate," Mr. Bateman said.
"There seemed to be a terrific pressure in the air and there was a lot of noise. We didn't get hit by the tidal wave of water breaking over Hebgen Dam although we were within 20 feet of the river. Everybody thought the dam was going to break," he said.
Head For High Ground
Mr. Bateman said both families piled into their cars "and headed for high ground." Most of the families met in an area of flat ground about 500 yards above the Madison River, Mr. Bateman said.
"Everyone was wonderful," he said. "We used station wagons as ambulances and started bringing the injured in. People gave away everything they had. When people came in without clothing, other people would give them what extra clothing they had. Several people were practically unclothed.
"What really made it bad during the night were the aftershocks which kept coming every few minutes. We kept waiting for another big one," he said. "I was sure that the dam would break. About three o'clock in the morning, we got a report that the dam was definitely going out. Big black clouds came over and we had lightning, thunder and rain. We were able to crowd everyone into cars and we waited out the night. It was a long night.
"The next day planes started flying over the area. One dropped a message saying that helicopters would fly in to remove the injured. Six firefighters from Missoula, Mont. parachuted into the area. Two men jumped during high winds and they were almost blown into the cliffs. The plane also dropped supplies. The firefighters had walkie-talkies and communicated with the plane," Mr. Bateman said.
"During the day, we cleared an area of sagebrush for the choppers to land on. We still didn't know whether or not the dam would break. When the helicopters came in, the injured were loaded aboard and taken out. The Air Force also came in with tents, food and water. A doctor came in," he said.
Later that day a construction company cut a road around the northeast shore of Hebgen Lake and the Bateman and Mander families were able to drive out of the area. After spending another night at Duck Creek, they drove to West Yellowstone and then to Idaho Falls.
The families brought out two children of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Armstrong, Victoria, B.C., who were hospitalized at Bozeman, Mont. for injuries. The children stayed at Idaho Falls with Mr. and Mrs. Mander until Friday when they were taken to Bozeman.
Asked if he wanted to return to the Hebgen Lake area, Mr. Bateman said:
"I'd go tomorrow if I could see the slide in Madison Canyon. However, I don't think I'll ever feel safe camping below that dam."
[Deseret News, August 22, 1959]

'Had No Idea'

Several Utah families were rejoicing Saturday as missing relatives returned home from the West Yellowstone quake area or sent word that they were safe.
Most of the vacationers were dismayed to learn of all the concern over them. They were in areas which were not badly shaken by the earth tremors and said they did not realize the extent of the damage until they got back home.
There were no newspapers in the park, they said, radio reception was poor and there were no notices posted in the park which gave them any cause for alarm.
Lot of Excitement
Sidney E. Mulcock, 1240 Harvard Ave., said Saturday he had received a postcard from his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Warren E. Mulcock, 2800 E. 4510 South, that they and their five children were safe. They were in Jackson Hole when the big quake occurred, but went into Yellowstone Park later to finish out their vacation. Their only comment on the card, Mr. Mulcock said, was "There was a lot of excitement."
Mr. and Mrs. Osmond LeCheminant, 870 N. 4th East, Bountiful; their two children and Mrs. LeCheminant's mother, Mrs. Vera Haycock, Bountiful, returned home Friday at 7 p.m.
At Canyon Village
They were at Canyon Village about 40 miles west of West Yellowstone when the big quake hit. "It shook real bad, but no one was hurt," Mrs. LeCheminant said. "We were in the trailer house and we thought a bear was shaking the trailer," she said. "But it kept it up all night, and pretty soon we figured out what it was."
"We finished out our vacation. There hasn't been any mail or phones up there and the rangers didn't tell us we should notify our families. We really didn't know how bad it was until we got home. When my relatives heard my voice on they phone, they started crying," she said.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Simons, 1518 N. 350 West, Bountiful, who arrived home Friday about 4 p.m. with their six children, also were dismayed when they learned of all the worry they had caused.
They were at Fishing Bridge some distance from the main quake. "You could feel the jolts pretty well there, but nothing really serious," Mrs. Simons said.
Had No Idea
"We had no idea how serious the quake was until we got home. The rangers didn't suggest that we even leave the park or notify our families; people were still coming in and going out," she said.
"My husband and I were sleeping in the car when the quake started. It shook quite thoroughly. The next morning there was one about 9 o'clock. It was 'seasick' motion. There was no panic at all. People all around us were talking and laughing about it. We heard rumors and we knew some people had been killed, but there were no postings in the museums and no one seemed very concerned."
Scouts Return
A Fairview, Sanpete County Explorer Scout party, including Don C. Hansen and Wendell Christensen, in charge; plus Richard Llewellyn, Douglas Bench, Rodney Coates, Dean Carlston, Roger Christensen, Gary Mower, Johnnie Bigler, Vaughn Garlick and Brent Tucker, also came out of the park safely.
"We didn't even know that extensive damage had been done until we saw a copy of the Deseret News at Jackson Thursday morning," said Mr. Hansen. "Then we hurried home to let our families know we were safe. There were 11 joyous families and a grateful community on hand to greet us."
They had come through the Old Faithful area early Monday morning and were camping Monday night about a mile from Fisherman's Bridge.
"There never were as many bears in Yellowstone Park as were being blamed for the strange rock and roll sensations of campers near us," Mr. Hanson declared.
"Wendell and I were sleeping in the truck and the boys were nearby in sleeping bags. When we were roused by a rocking sensation, we thought the kids had put some food under our truck to bait the bears. It wasn't long until we heard women from nearby camps calling to their husbands to get the bears away.
All Woke Up
"The boys all woke up and thought it was the natural activity of the earth around Yellowstone, so we didn't worry very much about it. Everybody was calm.
"The next day as we were walking along the road toward a fishing hole we heard a muffled roar and thought there was a truck behind us. It turned out to be one of the aftershocks.
"No news of the extent of the quake reached us until we were outside the park. The only information available to campers at Fisherman's Bridge was sketchy bits posted on bulletin boards in the post office and store," Mr. Hansen said.
Ross Burke Jenson, his wife and family of Brigham City, also were safely back in the Salt Lake area Saturday.
Relatives were especially worried because his favorite fishing spot was by the Hebgen Dam. However, this time he did not go there, but to another area where the jolt was not severe.
[Deseret News; August 22, 1959]


Most Utah families who had been reported missing in the Montana earthquake area were reported safe Saturday.
However, a Salt Lake woman, a Clearfield couple and eight Provo persons have still not been heard from.
Mrs. Elizabeth McMillan, 153 N. 5th West.
Mr. and Mrs. Ken Horton, Clearfield.
Dr. and Mrs. John Rupper and four children, Provo.
Mrs. Stella Rupper, Provo.
Michael Rupper, Provo.
Persons reported missing but now accounted for:
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Simons and six children,
A Fairview, Sanpete County, Explorer Scout party,
including two leaders and nine scouts.
Mr. and Mrs. Mack Leonard and two sons,
1504 19th East.
Mr. and Mrs. Warren E. Mulcock, and five children,
2800 E. 4510 South.
Mr. and Mrs. Osmond LeCheminant and their two
children, 870 N. 4th East, Bountiful. Also Mrs.
LeCheminant's mother, Mrs. Vera Haycock, also
of Bountiful.
Mr. and Mrs. Ross Burke Jenson and their four
children, Brigham City.
[Deseret News; August 22, 1959]

Montana Governor Calls Conference

WASHINGTON--The Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee Monday urged Montana Gov. J. Hugo Aronson to declare the quake-stricken West Yellowstone-Hebgen Lake sector a disaster area.
About the same time as the committee was sending the Montana chief executive a wire urging his action, Gov. Aronson called a Friday conference in Helena to determine whether or not to seek a disaster area label for the region.
Gov. Aronson said he would call in Army Engineers Corps officials, U.S. Forest and Park Service representatives, Montana Power Co. executives, Montana State Highway experts and officials of Madison and Gallatin counties for the 10 a.m. Friday meeting.
Governor's Decision
Only the governor of a state is empowered to designate disaster areas in his state and to request the President to declare the disaster, making an area eligible for federal fund aid.
Members of both the House and Senate Interior Committees who toured the quake-ripped corner of Montana Saturday and Sunday said federal aid would be available for a major portion of the cleanup job.
The Senate committee wire to Gov. Aronson urged him to take action in terming the region a disaster area so that federal funds could be extended to the state and to private individuals for repair work.
Heads Tour
Sen. Frank E. Moss (D-Utah), who headed the joint House-Senate tour of the quake area over the weekend, said that the U.S. Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service would bear the brunt of the cost of rebuilding roads and bridges, since most of the damage was on lands administered by one or the other of these two agencies.
But, he noted, the state of Montana will also have extensive road repair and construction costs in the area for which federal funds would be available if the region was labeled a disaster area.
Also, federal disaster loans to private individuals for rebuilding of six or eight private homes and to repair lesser damage to other homes can be made if the region is designated as a disaster area.
Dam Still Sound
Sen. Moss added that he doubted if the Hebgen Dam, owned by the Montana Power Co., would require any major repair aid.
Meanwhile, in West Yellowstone, officials clamped down restrictions on tourist travel into the quake area as tremors continued to rock the region.
Several smaller earth slides rumbled from shock-weakened heights in Madison Canyon and in Yellowstone Park Sunday and several dirt roads leading to private summer homes in the Hebgen Lake area buckled under the stress of the latest shocks.
Curious Tourists
Small armies of curious tourists flocked into West Yellowstone over the weekend to see the area first hand, prompting officials to set up new blockades to limit the influx to a number that would not interfere with the work going on in the area.
Engineers and survey crews continued to probe and poke at the massive land and rock slide which Monday night spewed dirt, death and destruction across the mouth of Madison Canyon, 15 miles northwest of this tourist mecca.
As they probed, engineers revised their estimates of the size of the slide. First estimates placed the amount of rock and rubble at 50 million tons.
Wendell E. Johnson, chief of the Omaha division of the U.S. Army Engineer's office, said Sunday the slide is between 85 and 100 million tons in scope.
Lake Backs Up
Meanwhile, the new "Lord's Lake" continued to back up behind the quake-formed slide barrier at a rate of about one foot each two hours.
Mr. Johnson estimated it would take between 30 and 40 days before the new lake would begin to pour over the top of the slide.
So far, no plans have been announced for methods of trying to let some of the trapped water downstream before it reaches the slide crest.
Confer At Length
The Congressional delegation conferred at length Saturday with Gov. Aronson and Montana Civil Defense Director Hugh Potter regarding conditions in the disaster area before returning to Bozeman and then to Washington.
But three of the group, Sen. Frank E. Moss (D-Utah) and Reps. LeRoy Anderson (D-Mont.) and Lee Metcalf (D-Mont.) stayed over a few extra hours to make a personal inspection trip of the quake-ripped region of the slide and nearby Hebgen Lake.
"I am appalled at the magnitude of this slide," Sen. Moss said. "It is almost unbelievable."
Disaster Sector
He indicated he was in favor of declaring the area a disaster sector and "giving some federal assistance." He added that "the sooner all the facts are in the sooner we can act."
Sen. Moss and the House members of the inspection team were slated to confer with Montana Sens. Mike Mansfield and James E. Murday, both Democrats, in Washington Monday. Then the full House and Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committees will be briefed Tuesday.
Gov. Aronson asked the Congressional groups "not to leave Washington until we get some sort of help."
Rep. Gracie Pfost (D-Idaho) said she did not know whether or not the region could be termed a disaster area but said that its close proximity to Yellowstone Park and because of the forest lands "it is important we give every consideration to possible federal aid."
Meanwhile, curious tourists started replacing newsmen, volunteer rescue workers and peace officers in West Yellowstone.
Officials still will allow no unauthorized persons into the slide area or near the Hebgen Dam.
Dam Still Holds
The dam itself shows no signs of weakening and concern that it might go out have lessened. But officials want no one poking around in the area.
However, flights regularly leave West Yellowstone airport as enterprising pilots fly over the dam and slide area, giving tourists a birds-eye view of the new lake and the barrier which created it.
In West Yellowstone itself, most of the damage caused by the quake has either been repaired or is under repair. Only a few business establishments are still closed.
Roads Precarious
Tourists still cannot get from West Yellowstone into the Yellowstone National Park and the road north to Bozeman is still precarious.
For this reason, and to cut down on the flow of the curious, officials have started cracking down again on road blocks to try to limit the influx of visitors to a degree which can easily be handled in the area.
All other entrances to the park are open and facilities are limited only by the fact that many of the college students who work summers at the park are returning to school, causing some accommodations to be curtailed.
Praises Activities
Mr. Potter, praising activities of all persons connected with rescue and search operations in the hectic days following the earthquake, told the Congressional delegation that some sort of law was needed to bring various agencies under one head in event of future disasters.
He pointed out that all agencies worked through the offices of the Gallatin and Madison County sheriff's offices, but that because the slide separated the two counties, it was difficult to coordinate activities.
[Deseret News; August 24, 1959]


WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--Montana Civil Defense Director Hugh Potter reported Monday that no Utah residents appear to be still missing in the Madison Canyon Slide area.
He said his office has at least 10 names listed by relatives as "pretty definitely" being in the slide area. These people are mostly from the Midwest, he said.
Mr. Potter stressed, however, that it is still impossible to tell how many persons might be under the slide and said he expected more inquiries to come in as persons fail to return home within a reasonable time.
Three Utahns, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Stowe of Sandy, and Mrs. Myrtle Painter of Ogden, are known to have died in the slide-ripped canyon.
[Deseret News; August 24, 1959]


By Larry D. Finnegan
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT.--A simple, moving prayer, offered in the shadows of a 85-million ton landslide across Madison Canyon 15 miles northwest of here, Saturday marked the end of a sorrow-choked search for the body of a 24-year old Sandy, Utah, woman.
About 40 friends and relatives of Mrs. Marilyn Whitmore Stowe listened with bowed heads and tear-dimmed eyes as Bishop John C. Richards of the Sandy First Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conducted a simple religious service.
Towering above the sorrowing searchers loomed the giant slide which a week ago snuffed out the life of Mrs. Stowe's husband, Thomas Mark Stowe, 30, and covered the body of Mrs. Stowe.
As the sun started to go down Saturday, weary searchers, including neighbors and friends of the Stowes, Mrs. Stowe's father and other family members and members of the Salt Lake County Sheriffs Jeep Posse, gathered at a point near where Mark Stowe's body was found.
Bishop Richards, kneeling in the silent circle, offered a short and simple prayer.
"If Marilyn's body is not found," he said, "we ask thee to accept this as her final resting place." Then he offered a moving plea for God's solace for her loved ones.
The search itself was called off by Mrs. Stowe's father, Rex G. Whitmore, 8060 7th East, Sandy.
Mr. Whitmore arrived at the slide scene Wednesday, the day after searchers found the body of Mark Stowe, one of the identified disaster victims.
He dug at the slide area until his hands bled, then called upon his Sandy neighbors for help. They responded magnificently.
But Saturday afternoon, his face gray with weariness, Mr. Whitmore admitted defeat. Searchers who combed the riverbed below the slide had uncovered Marilyn's sleeping bag, her purse and some clothing identified as hers. But there was no body.
"I had a feeling that if we did not find her this afternoon, it was no use," Mr. Whitmore said as he called off the search.
He tried to thank each of the searchers, but words failed him. Silently he moved around the circle of dusty, tired men, giving each a handshake.
"There wasn't one of us who didn't shed a tear," reported Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriff C. W. Brady, one of the jeep patrol members.
Even while the searchers dug at the rocks and rubble Saturday in the hunt for the body, aftershocks of Monday's disastrous quake continued to rock the area.
While men dug below, one man constantly watched a high point to the north of the canyon rim opposite the mountain which split in half to form the slide for any further evidence of falling rocks and soil.
After the simple ceremony marked the end of the search, members of the party climbed silently into their various vehicles and drove away.
Nothing more could be done.
Formal funeral services for Mark and Marilyn Stowe will be conducted Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Mt. Jordan High School auditorium, 9360 S. 400 East, Sandy.
[Deseret News; August 24, 1959]

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