1u-valcartierdoc Documents of the Valcartier LeVallee/LeValley family

from A History of Montana (1913)

    DAN LEVALLEY.  The various changes that have marked the advance and development of Montana from an untamed wilderness to civilization and commercial and industrial activity are vividly illustrated in the career of Dan LeValley, one of the leading business men of Miles City.  Coming to this state more than forty years ago as a hunter and trapper, he subsequently drifted into the cattle business, and when the value of this section as a sheep growing locality was demonstrated he cast his fortunes with the pioneers in this line, and is now widely known in the sheep raising industry.  LeValley is an excellent type of the sturdy, industrious class of men who have brought the state to its present prosperity.  He was born on his father's farm, twenty tittles from the city of Quebec, in the Province of Quebec, Canada, January 15, 1819, and is a son of John and Jennett (McCartney) LeValley.

    John LeValley was born on the Isle of Guernsey, in the English Channel, in  1817.  His parents, Daniel and Mary LeValley, being of French birth.  [Wrong]  When he was still lad he was brought to America, and his education was secured in the schools of the Province of Quebec, where as a young man he was engaged in fishing, often traveling up the coast as far north as Labrador.  In his later years he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, and his death occurred on the old homestead, December 14, 1908.  Mr. LeValley was a home-loving man, rarely ventured beyond his own estate, and never rode on a steam-boat, railroad train or electric car in his life.  His wife, who was born at Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1822, lived to be seventy years of age.  Of their nine children, eight still survive as follows: Dan, John, Thomas, Jennett, James, David, Benjamin and Alexander.

    Like many farmers' sons of his day and locality, Dan LeValley divided his youth between the farm and the district schools, attending the latter until he was eighteen years of age, at which time he left the parental roof and went to Detroit, Michigan.  Subsequently he went to Alpena, Michigan, on Lake Huron, where for three years he worked in the lumber camps, then removing to Omaha, Nebraska, where he spent a  short time.  From Omaha he went to Salt Lake City, Utah, and on May 3, 1870, left the latter place with a party of ten or twelve men, having a small mule team to haul their goods, while the men traveled on foot.  About the last of May, 1870, this little party reached Helena, Montana, and at that city Mr. LeValley secured employment chopping wood for the United States government to supply Fort Shaw.  After working on the Missouri river for about six months, he joined several others and went to Fort Benton, where a party of about a dozen was organized, and during the next six or seven years Mr. LeValley was engaged in hunting in the United States, British Columbia and the Alberta country in Canada, and also carried on considerable trading with the Indians.  His next employment was carrying the mail for the Northwest Mounted Police from Fort McCloud, Canada, to Fort Shaw, Montana, but after about six months gave up his position, came down the Yellowstone river, and assisted in building Fort Custer, on the Bighorn river.  When the fort had been completed, Mr. LeValley continued in the employ of the government for some time in hay cutting, but later again turned his attention to hunting, and became very successful in securing hides of buffaloes and wolves.  In 1883 he invested his small capital in a bunch of cattle and for a number of years ran his stock on the range on Powder river, in Custer county, but with the advent of the sheep herders he sold his cattle and gave his attention entirely to the sheep business in Dawson county, in which he is engaged at the present time, owning three fine bands.  Although Mr. LeValley makes his home in Miles City, he still superintends the running of his sheep and gives his careful attention to every detail of his business.  He has interested himself in a number of business enterprises, and it a director of the Commercial State Bank of Miles City, in which he owns considerable stock.  Politically he is independent, and takes but a good citizen's interest in public matters, his own enterprises always having claimed too much of his attention for him to enter the political arena.  However, he is always ready to assist in advancing movements for the betterment of his community, and can be relied upon to give his influence to anything that promises to be for the public welfare,

    On December 5, 1891, Mr, LeValley was united in marriage with Miss Amelia Pitcher, in Miles City, she being a native of England, and a daughter of Robert Pitcher.  Three children have been torn to this union: Mina, who died when two years old, John and Thomas.  They also have a step-daughter, Annie, who became a member of the household when three or four years old.

    BEN LEVALLEY.  The efficient and popular sheriff of Custer county, Montana, needs but little introduction to the citizens of this part of the state, for he has been identified with the business and public activities of Miles City and the vicinity for more than twenty years, during which time he has proven himself an excellent representative of the best types of western citizenship. Born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, on his father's farm, situated about twenty miles from the city of Quebec, August 23, 1867, he is a son of John and Jennett (McCartney) LeValley, and a grandson of David and Mary LeValley, of French birth.

    Mr. LeValley's father was born on the Isle of Guernsey, in the English Channel, in 1817, and when still a lad was brought to the Dominion of Canada, his parents settling in the Province of Quebec.  After obtaining a common school education, John LeValley turned his attention to fishing on the coast as far north as Labrador, and after leaving the ocean took up his residence on a farm, and the remainder of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits, his death occurring in 1908, when he had reached the advanced age of ninety-one years. His wife, who was a native of Ayreshire, Scotland, died in 1892, when seventy years of age, and of their nine children, eight survive: Dan, John, Thomas, Jennett, James, David, Ben and Alexander.

    Ben LeValley remained at home, working on his father's farm and attending the district schools, until he was eighteen years of age, at which time he removed to Price county, Wisconsin, and was there employed in the lumber woods during the winter months, also driving logs down the Flambeau river.  He spent four years as a lumberman, and in 1890 first came to Miles City and secured employment as a cowboy.  After eight or nine years spent in that occupation he went into the sheep business with his brother Dan in Dawson county, but after five years as a sheepman sold his interests to engage in the livery business in Miles City.  This venture proved a successful one, but in November, 1910, when he was elected sheriff of Custer county on the Republican ticket, Mr. LeValley sold his business in order that he might give his whole attention to the discharge of the duties of his office. As sheriff Mr. LeValley has proved himself efficient, active and courageous, and in addition is one of the most popular men who ever held the office.  His administration of affairs has been marked by conscientious performance of duty at all times, and no man is held in higher respect or esteem.

    On March 4, 1902, Mr. LeValley was united in marriage with Miss Laura Carlotta McBain, who was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, daughter of William and Anna (Brown) McBain, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of the  Province of Quebec.  Mrs. LeValley's parents had a family of nine children, of whom eight are living, she being the fourth in order of birth.  Mr. McBain came to the Province of Quebec as a young man, and has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits.  Sheriff and Mrs. Levalley have three interesting children, namely: Lila, Wallace and Harold.

from Ripley's Believe It Or Not

    DAN LEVALLEY (1847-1937) of Garfield County Montana, given the opportunity to withdraw his fortune of $110,000 from a bank on the day before it closed, took out only $50 and left the balance to aid other depositors--explaining that at the age of 90 he didn't need much money.

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