My Genealogy Cornelius R & Betty Jean Myres Bartholomew :Information about Louis Bernard Leon
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Louis Bernard Leon (b. July 13, 1888, d. September 13, 1971)Louis Bernard Leon (son of Benard Leonae and Caroline Fileberto) was born July 13, 1888 in Providence of Turino Italy, and died September 13, 1971 in Miles City, MT.He married Mary Frances Reed on January 15, 1938 in Broadus, Montana, daughter of William John Reed and Lucinda Wiley.
Notes for Louis Bernard Leon:
Certificate Number 533894.Louis Bernard Leonnaturalized November 24, 1915 at Great Fall, Montana, Age 28, five foot five, white, dark complexion, gray eyes, black hair, single.
His parents lived in Turino, Italy an owned a combination clothing & grocery store with a bar and post office housed in a L shaped building with family living quarters upstairs.Louis attended grade school and one year and three months at Don Bosco Schoolat age 15.Louis and his older brother Dominic left Italy before their visa for America was approved because Dominic was being drafted into the Italian Army.
They settled in Buenos Aires, South America and stayed one year.They sailed for New York in 1905 and worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and then inIllinois.They then worked for the Great Northern Railroad as it laid tracks to the West and settle in the Great Falls area of Montana in 1909.They worked in a smelter and as a brick layers until purchasing a bar at Von, Montana near were the Gibson Dam was being built.When they sold the bar they again worked at the smelter in Great Falls, Montana.
Louis and his brother Dominic homestead 320 acres north of Great Falls in the Sun river country.Their herd increased until it was too large for their ranch.They shipped the cattle to Miles City, Montana and homestead two sections and paid $10,000 for an additionalfour sections near Knowlton, Montana where they built a house.In 1919 a dry year, they shipped their cattle to South Dakota and a blizzard that winter forced them to sell cattle at four an a half cents a pound. According to Mr. Louis B. Leon as quoted when the Leon Park Burned, "They lost $50,000 when they sold their cattle."
Louis went to Texas to study the oil business and Dominic went to Chicago to get into real estate.Dominic originated the idea for an irrigated project along the Yellowstone River which later became the Kinsey Project.When the brothers returned to Miles City they invested $15,000 to drill for oil and really went broke.
Moving to Miles City they helped build the road bed for the North south Railroad to Connect Denver, Colorado to Canada.The builders went broke.Part of the road bed is visible south of Miles City. Leon Brothers then build a golf course near Signal Butte which later became the Elks Golf Course.The Brothers then operated a cafe and cigar store on Main Street, Miles City.
When the building housing their business was torn now they bought ten acres east Miles City along the Yellowstone River.Kircher Creek divided the property.On the east side they built a white stucco house with pyramid corners which became their living quarters.On the west side of Kircher Creek they laid a dance floor and named it Leon Brothers Amusement Park.
The Brothers enclosed the dance floor using willows and opened a picnic area. Later they constructed the large white stucco buildingwith pyramid points on each cornerusing railroad ties, boxcar siding and sawdust for insulation. The Park became popular spot for large lodge picnics and political rallies and they sold pop and candy.Louis also wrestled a tame bear for amusement.
With the appeal of Probation the Leon Brothers applied for and received a beer license.They purchased a dollar slot machine. Latermore slot machines, poker and 21 tables, punch boards, pin ball machines andChuck A Luck were added.The Brothers constructeda Paper-mâché back bar with a traincircling it.The Brothers constructed an Ice House and in the winter cut ice from the Yellowstone River.They packed the ice in sawdust and it lasted through the summer.A hamburger stand was added west of the front entrance and Leon Park attracted big named bands and entertainers.
Jan Garber, Earl 'Fathah' Hines,Joe Brill, a great trumpet player, Henry Morgan,Johnny Hidler and Hoot Gibson played at the Park.Local bands, Pop Conkright, Texas Slim and Dear Little Ruth and the Comstock played regularly making the Park a popular dance hall.During World War II, they obtained a liquor license.In 1946, they extended the length of the building and installed a hardwood dance floor.Leon Park became the largest dance hall in Montana.
Louis Leon sold the Park to Oscar Maier in 1958 who later sold it to Harley Robinson.The Leon Park burned to the ground in early morning on March 3, 1968 under suspicious circumstance.
Leon Brother's brand:(Underlined Leo).
More About Louis Bernard Leon:
Fact 1: SS#516-38-8296.
More About Louis Bernard Leon and Mary Frances Reed:
Marriage: January 15, 1938, Broadus, Montana.
Children of Louis Bernard Leon and Mary Frances Reed are:
- +Caroline Frances Leon.
- +Mary Louise Leon.