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Glad to see you come, and glad to see you go!


John Nicholas Pyle

1853 - 1938

An excerpt  from Marge CoombsVincent's

Biography of Flossie Pyle - Vincent,

A Ribbon in Her Hair"

Chapter 2, Early Montana Years

“Glad to see you come, and glad to see you go!”

John Nicholas Pyle


John Nicholas (1853 – 1938) and Mary Catherine (1855 – 1941) Hamner - Pyle moved from Jerico Springs, Missouri to Montana twice. Their first move was to a little farm near Racetrack, in the Deer Lodge Valley in 1892, near where Mary’s brother, John Wilson Hamner lived. Their second, and final migration was in 1916, after Flossie’s high school graduation; John was 63-years old, and Mary Catherine was 61-years old.


Their home at 415 Chestnut Street, Anaconda, Montana was always well painted and the front yard, which was about 3’ by 4’ square on each side of the front walk, was well kept behind its wrought iron fence and gate. The limited space was always amazing to the older Vincent children (Marge, Frank and Herb) who had acres of land and spacious lawns at their home in the Bitterroot Valley upon which to roam, whoop and romp.

Mary Catherine kept a neat house and a well-stocked kitchen. Summer visits there were always memorable for the feasts that we had. Grandfather (John Nicholas) must have really been hard pressed to provide so much, but nothing was spared and, of course, the Vincent’s brought the garden “truck” with us, from the ranch, to help out. There was always an abundance of cookies, cakes, pies and candy as well as fresh fruit—always watermelon. Loading up on all of these “goodies” often resulted in old fashioned “bellyaches” for small children. Flossie was always provoked when her Dad would innocently comment after one of these bad nights that “Flossie sure has sickly kids.”

Grandmother (Mary Catherine) was a very serious person which made the “kidding” from Grandfather (John Nicholas) that much more fun! He sat and rocked in his favorite chair, placed near the kitchen range, and enjoyed immensely his past time of teasing her.

One of her hobbies—besides beautiful needlework—was house plants. The front of the house was extended and glassed to provide a growing place for these. How fashionable Grandmother would be today! Winters in Anaconda were severe and long. Having green, growing things helped relieve the monotony and boredom.

Upon our departure, after our annual trek from Hamilton to Anaconda, Grandfather would always stand beside his front gate and say, “Glad to see you come and glad to see you go!” Grandmother was horrified each time. She and our Mother and Aunts were always weeping copiously, and Grandfather must have been trying to relieve some of this sadness. Over the years, it has become a humorous way for the family to remember him. Bless his heart - after the disruption of his serene routine, he doubtless was glad to see us go! - he was really honest about it.

For The Next Story

"Old Kate"

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