Author Jim Harmon . Photo courtesy of Hamon

Local first time author pens book, ‘The Sneakin’est Man That Ever Was – Headline Stories From Montana’s Early Days’

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…She took potshots at my grandfather and Clem West, a surveyor for the Neil’s company, when they were crossing the Kootenai to Dunn Creek on the other side, to drop off some dynamite and survey stakes for logging in the area.”

Dunn Creek was named for a family of homesteaders, the Dunn’s, around 1898. Harmon continued, “I didn’t know, or couldn’t remember, all the specifics of those run-ins until my father, on his death bed (literally), agreed to tell everything he could remember about old logging roads and rail spurs, to John McBride in a taped interview. John was trying to document as much logging history as possible, and my dad had spent much of his younger life driving up old logging roads-recalling the history of the area-frankly boring the hell out of us kids. I just wanted to go fishing.” Harmon’s sense of humor is evident in both his titles and his style of story writing.

He credits his interest in Montana history to a wonderful man he wished he had a chance to know, K. Ross Toole, who was instrumental in the early days of the Montana Historical Society. Toole’s lecture series at the University of Montana was captured on video tape and in turn, it captivated Harmon.

Harmon’s family history, itself being both an intricate and interesting part of western Montana history, adds to the real-deal flavor of his book in a very important way. Continuing on about McBride’s interview with his dad, Harmon said, “It was during that interview that John asked my dad about Nell, and the stories came gushing out.

I followed up on those personal recollections with as much written history as I could find in books, magazine articles and U.S. Forest Service histories written by retired foresters, until I felt I had a fairly good grasp of the real Sara Theodocia (Docia) Yeary (aka Dunn Creek Nell).”

Harmon liked that Toole told his version of the unvarnished truth about Montana’s love / hate relationship with mining and timber capitalists. And that Toole loved Montana and its land, and hoped future generations would have the guts to protect it. Any bookstore wishing to carry the book can contact Harmon at, and it is available for purchase directly at his website: The books are mailed the day the orders are received, and so far the shipping time has been three days tops to those who have ordered so far from the Libby area.

When asked if he had anything else he would like to add, Libby born Jim Harmon said, “I’d just like to say, for a first time author, I’ve been humbled by the interest in the book and the feedback from readers. Folks have been very kind.”

By Brian Baxter, The Montanian.


2021 Libby
Area Chamber of Commerce Awards
Nominations now open
deadline for submissions: Dec. 20

Voting has officially begun for the 2021 Annual Libby Area Chamber Awards. Now more than ever it feels important to support our local businesses and the Annual Chamber Awards are just one more way to show your area businesses, organizations, their employees and community volunteers how much they are appreciated.

In years past, the Chamber has presented a pre-determined list of nominees from which to choose potential award recipients.  This year the slate for nominations is wide-open for community input and all are invited to write-in their suggestions in each of seven separate award categories: Business of the Year, Customer Service Excellence, Medical Facility of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Medical Provider of the Year, and Outstanding Leadership in Libby.

How it works?  Nominate one person, business or organization for each category by completing the 2021 Nomination Survey here:

Nominations may also be submitted in-person by visiting the Libby Chamber of Commerce Office during regular hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The Libby Chamber Board of Directors will then select the winners from nominations received on or before Sunday, December 20.  A live video will then be released in late-January and feature this year’s top winners.

For more information, please contact the Chamber office at 293-4167 or email

By Stacy Bender, The Montanian

Counseling Hotline
Unveiled In Response to Covid-19
Impact on Mental Health for Montanans

On Tuesday, December 1, Governor Steve Bullock announced a new crisis counseling hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant is now available to aid Montanans struggling with their mental health due to the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 public health emergency.

“We know Montanans in every corner of the state have been impacted by this virus in various ways,” Governor Bullock said.  “I encourage Montanans to use the hotline in order to receive confidential assistance and get connected to the appropriate services in their community.”

The Montana Crisis Recovery hotline is funded and available for at least the next nine months.  Those in need of crisis counseling can call 1-877-502-0833 to receive free and confidential services from trained crisis counselors Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

This service is meant to help people navigate feelings of isolation, loss, fear, uncertainty, depression and/or anxiety which they might be experiencing during these uncertain times.  Healthcare workers, first responders, school officials, veterans, elderly individuals, Native Americans, farmers, ranchers, and/or any Montanan feeling affected by stressors related to the Covid-19 virus.

Oher mental health resources already in place and available to Montanans include the Montana Crisis Text Line, Montanan Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Montana Warmline and Thrive by Waypoint Health.

The  Crisis Text Line is available 24/7 by texting MT to 741 741; the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-TALK (8255); the Montana Warmline is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturday – Sunday, Noon – 9:00 pm at 877-688-3377; and information about Thrive by Waypoint Health, an online cognitive behavioral therapy for those actively working to manage anxiety and stress, is available at

By Stacy Bender, The Montanian