First Chance-Last Chance Saloon

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(Created page with "Its name referred to its proximity to the depot, it was the First Chance to wet your whistle when you arrived and the Last Chance when you left. It was managed by combinations...")
 
 
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Its name referred to its proximity to the depot, it was the First Chance to wet your whistle when you arrived and the Last Chance when you left. It was managed by combinations of three people for a few years before going out of business. It was owned by Chris Hehli who was a barber and offered hot and cold baths. The saloon was run by Hehli, George/John "Dick" Deckert, George Reitz & A. J. Maxwell at times. It burned down in the Oct '83 fire, rebuilt in brick, with pipes bringing in artesian well water (Well #2). June of '84 the saloon closed briefly with an aborted attempt to sell it. Maxwell took over the saloon and Hehli focused on the barber shop. In '85 they called themselves a bank, offering check cashing. Baths were two bits, or you could buy eight tickets for two bucks.
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Its name referred to its proximity to the depot, it was the First Chance to wet your whistle when you arrived and the Last Chance when you left. It was managed by combinations of three people for a few years before going out of business. It was owned by Chris Hehli who was a barber and offered hot and cold baths. The saloon was run by Hehli, George/John "Dick" Deckert, George Reitz & [[A. J. Maxwell]] at times. It burned down in the Oct '83 fire, rebuilt in brick, with pipes bringing in artesian well water (Well #2). June of '84 the saloon closed briefly with an aborted attempt to sell it. Maxwell took over the saloon and Hehli focused on the barber shop. In '85 they called themselves a bank, offering check cashing. Baths were two bits, or you could buy eight tickets for two bucks.
  
 
Chris Hehli was born in Switzerland, learned the brewing craft, came to the US in '66. He went from PA to MN to Bismarck, where he called himself "King of the Barbers" (1872-77). Heads west to Fort Benton, south to near Bozeman, then east again in a mackinaw to Old Town in Oct '78. He left his Bismarck barbershop (now "King Barber Shop" to Thomas H. Deckert and W. A. Franklin. He moves to the new townsite in December, opens another "King of the Barbers" barber shop (with baths) on Park Street in '79, just south of Prof. Bach's saloon. Dick Deckert is in partnership by the summer of '80, leaves Hehli to manage Comer's Barber Shop, but is back the next year when Hehli adds a saloon onto the barber shop. The next year, a new building is mentioned (the First Chance-Last Chance). It is unclear whether there were two buildings at the same time. If so, the original one either had a saloon added, but was primarily a barber shop / bath house, or the new saloon was actually the addition that took almost a year to complete.
 
Chris Hehli was born in Switzerland, learned the brewing craft, came to the US in '66. He went from PA to MN to Bismarck, where he called himself "King of the Barbers" (1872-77). Heads west to Fort Benton, south to near Bozeman, then east again in a mackinaw to Old Town in Oct '78. He left his Bismarck barbershop (now "King Barber Shop" to Thomas H. Deckert and W. A. Franklin. He moves to the new townsite in December, opens another "King of the Barbers" barber shop (with baths) on Park Street in '79, just south of Prof. Bach's saloon. Dick Deckert is in partnership by the summer of '80, leaves Hehli to manage Comer's Barber Shop, but is back the next year when Hehli adds a saloon onto the barber shop. The next year, a new building is mentioned (the First Chance-Last Chance). It is unclear whether there were two buildings at the same time. If so, the original one either had a saloon added, but was primarily a barber shop / bath house, or the new saloon was actually the addition that took almost a year to complete.
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There was another George, George W. "Fatty" Reitz. These people seemed to try various combinations of partnership. Hehli & Maxwell. Reitz & Maxwell. Then just "Reitz's Saloon". Reitz served customers in their boats during the great flood. Reitz and Maxwell had a dog "Chub" who had a notorious sweet tooth. The fire of '85 did some damage, but the brick walls protected the business well.
 
There was another George, George W. "Fatty" Reitz. These people seemed to try various combinations of partnership. Hehli & Maxwell. Reitz & Maxwell. Then just "Reitz's Saloon". Reitz served customers in their boats during the great flood. Reitz and Maxwell had a dog "Chub" who had a notorious sweet tooth. The fire of '85 did some damage, but the brick walls protected the business well.
  
A. J. Maxwell had a full plate and varied career history before and after his collaboration with Hehli and Reitz.
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[[A. J. Maxwell]] had a full plate and varied career history before and after his collaboration with Hehli and Reitz.
 
He was a major player in the MC to Deadwood stage coach lines and had a commercial building where Foster's Drug store later stood.
 
He was a major player in the MC to Deadwood stage coach lines and had a commercial building where Foster's Drug store later stood.
  
 
(Get some more info from the Hoopes article)
 
(Get some more info from the Hoopes article)

Latest revision as of 22:50, 19 May 2014

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