Sunday, August 30, 2015

WILBUR (BILL) BILLINGTON-life sketch-part 1

Wilbur Ray Billington was born on January 10, 1920 being the first child of Sidney and Eva Billington. We don't know if he was born in a hospital or had a midwife attend his birth at their home. His mom and dad did regular ranching chores at Layne's place out in the country near Livingston, Montana at the time he was born. As a baby, he was often put in a buggy and pushed out to the barn so that his mother could help milk the cows. Her midnight feeding included milking the cow, so the milk would be warm for Billy!

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Blondie in front, Billy in back

Blondie Billy ElDee and Stella
Friend and Eva in back

His siblings arrived within six years ... Estelle, Blondie, EIDee and Jo. Being the oldest, Billy was always put him in charge of his little brother and sisters. He kind of liked being the boss. He watched out for them all right, but were not sure about the time they went to fetch water in the middle of the winter. They had to go about a mile to Bracket Creek where they lived in a little log cabin on the Bridgemen Place, about a mile from the one room school house. Brackett Creek was located about halfway between Livingston and Bozeman. As they had no running water, the kids were use to fetching buckets of water, but this time they went swimming in it clothes and all, before coming home. When Grandma saw her little stiff kids coming home with their clothes frozen and stuck to them, she said, "If you're that dumb, you can just freeze!"

Billy was the first to start the country school. His dad would take him by
horseback until he was old enough to ride by himself. Billy started out 
with a pony that would do fine until he was out of sight from the house, 
then he would buck Billy off and Billy would come a'wailing home. Sid
would give the pony the devil and walk the pony and Bill all the way to
school. In the winter Sid would hitch up the horses and take the kids to 
school in the sleigh until they were old enough to take it by themselves. 
Some times they walked to school with snow shoes or skis.

Jo Blondie Stella and Bill

Billy was only twelve years old when he was asked by
his Dad o hitch up the sled and go into Clyde Park, 17 miles away, 
to find a doctor and bring him back to help his mom deliver Carol, 
who was born Jan 28 at home in the middle of the night before                         
the doctor could get there. Estella told Donna that was just a 
sheep bleating, not a baby crying, to keep her down stairs until
it was time to show the new baby to the family.

When Bill got out of eighth grade, he went to high school in Bozeman
because the Brackett Creek country school only had eight grades. Then the family 
moved to Dixon for two years where he attended high school, and they later
moved to Arlee, where he graduated.

Wilma Lucille Matson and Bill were sweethearts in high school. 
They corresponded when he went into the Army and they were
married Nov. 20, 1944 when Bill was home on leave. They
were sent to Atlanta Georgia, until his tour was up. They then
stayed on the ranch in Arlee until Eva sold it, then settled in 
Missoula where their first two children were born. Wilbur Ray Jr.
was born Dec. 25,1947 and Gerald Lee was born May 18,1951.

Bill was a lineman for the Pacific Telephone Co and was sent to a lot 
of little towns in Montana while they were installing telephone lines. 
They just moved their trailer around to wherever Bill was assigned. 
They finally settled in Butte Montana where there next two children 
were born. Rodney Wayne was born May 13, 1953 and Sidney Lysle 
was born Nov. 21,1957.

Bill became a foreman for the telephone company for the remainder
of his life. He spent his weekends up at their cabin with the family. 
He loved taking the boys fishing, hunting or horseback riding. 
They had three horses on their place and brought a trailer up to live
in on vacations and weekends. During summer vacation they liked 
to go camping in various places around Montana.

Jack, Sid Bill and Lyall
Bill Lana Billy and Jerry

In September of 1967 Bill suffered greatly from a brain aneurysm 
and was not able to get help in Montana. He was flown to Portland 
and even there the doctors said it was too big and massive to
save him. He died Sept 7 at an early age of 47. Wilma had to 
sell the property they loved so much and go to work to support the boys.
Rodney also passed away at an early age of 35of arthritis. But still Bill's 
family has grown. Billy has four children: Scott, Jodi, Kerri, Jeremy.
Rod has two: Heather and Kevin. Gerry has one: Kris, and Sid has three:
April, Bradley, and Chase. Bill was well known for his kind quiet manner 
and sense of humor. He was well liked and respected by everyone who knew him.

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