The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

The Midnight Rider


The husky homesteader astride his horse realized he would need to pull in for the night. A prairie snowstorm was developing. Snow was coming down fast and furious – stinging the man’s weathered face deep in the sheepskin collar.

As anyone familiar with horses realizes, a good horse will keep his bearings and return his rider home in good shape. With the dropping temperatures, the man decided that to continue on was too risky for man or beast.

A building was barely visible, but no matter, these were the days when the welcome mat was out 24 hours a day! This was the windswept prairie of Montana.

No light shown from the windows. Shrugging his shoulders in the frigid night air, he knocked on the door while stomping his feet on the step. The man repeated his now-urgent pounding.

Locating the door knob, he cautiously opened the squeaking door, announcing his arrival. Striking a wooden match on the doorjamb, the little flame revealed that the room was occupied with people lying quietly on the floor. He blew out his little flame, shivered, and exited the small structure.

It hadn’t taken him long to figure out the event leading up to his discovery. It would be one of many tales to write home about.

He had just left the Regina Catholic Church unused for services during winter, now serving as a temporary morgue. The flu, a devastating disease following World War I, was relentless in its scope and had reached even the most remote communities.

Helen DePuydt is a regular contributor to the Courier and a member of a homesteading family in the Saco area. All of her stories are true.


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