Harry John Tuma, Sr.

written by Ellen M. Rohr

Harry John was born 15 Aug 1892 in Maribel, Town of Gibson, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (although we have not yet found his military service records).

Harry moved out to Montana to farm. According to the Bureau of Land Management records he purchased 320 acres of land in Glacier County on April 31, 1921. He purchased additional land in 1944 (40 acres), and 26.99 acres in 1954.

Harry’s primary crop was mustard seed. I recall as a child going on a family facation to Montana. Our local butcher, Paul Skwor used Montana mustard seed in his sausage. We filled coolers with sausages of different kinds and took them with us on our Montana visit so Harry could taste the sausage with Montana mustard seed.

From the Helena Independent 25 September 1938
Big Mustard Crop in Sweet Grass Farming Region

Sweet Grass, Sept. 24-Farmers of northern Toole county have harvested one of the largest yielding crops of commercial mustard this fall that has ever been grown in this region, giving them a neat income under the growing contract with the seed houses, which is said to be four cents a pound. Amil Klinert’s mustard crop, east of sunburst, threshed out 1,500 pounds to the acre, and the Farr brothers crop, west of town, ran 1,250 pounds, and a number of other farmers in the territory report yields of a 1,000 pounds and over to the acre. The past few years, since this new crop has been grown here under contract by the farmers, a field that produced 1,000 pounds or better to the acre was an exceptionally good one, with about 500 pounds rated as an average yield.

Many fields of spring wheat sown on good summer fallow here in some of the border districts in Toole county are running from 40 to 50 bushels to the acre, it has been learned. Among the local farmers who report these bumper yields are Harry Tuma, Rudy Juderman and Ole Berkram. This goes to show the skeptics that Toole County land here is still very productive after being under cultivation all these years, when the weatherman provides favorable moisture and growing conditions throughout the summer months as he did this year.

In 1923 Harry married Hazel A. Heiland in Cut Bank, Montana. She was born 16 Jun 1906 in Maryland. Three children were born to the marriage, two sons and a daughter.

Harry Jr. was born 12 Apr 1926 and died 06 Oct. 1993 in Cut Bank. Harry served in the US Army in World War II. He served in the 10th Infantry. He left the service in August 1946. As a civilian his occupation was a geographer and also did crop dusting part time.

Harry Sr. died of cancer 31 May 1969 in Columbus Hospital in Great Falls, Montana, leaving his wife and children to survive him. He was known by many as a modest man. Hazel died 07 Apr 1986 also in Cut Bank.

Harry Sr.’s Obituaries
(edited for living)

Manitowoc Herald Times (Manitowoc, Wisconsin) 1969 June 6

Tuma Funeral
Funeral Services for Harry John Tuma, 76 of Cut Bank, Mont., a native of Maribel, Manitowoc County, who died May 31, were Tuesday at St. Margaret Catholic Church with burial in the Crown Hill Cemetery, Cut Bank, Mont.
Mr. Tuma was the son of the late Wenzel and Anna Tuma, and moved to Montana in 1916 where he farmed the last 26 years at Cut Bank. He married Hazel Heiland in 1923, and she survives with two sons, and a daughter; four brothers Louis, of Essex, Mont., Adolph of Mishicot, Doolan, of Rt. 2, Two Rivers, and Arnie of Cut Bank; two sisters, Mrs. Lillian Radey and Mrs. Violet Mirkes of Manitowoc. 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Doolan Tuma and Mrs. Radey attended the rites.

The Western Breeze, Tuesday Afternoon, June 3, 1969
Harry Tuma Passes

Harry John Tuma, 76, died of cancer Saturday at Memorial Hospital at Cut Bank. Funeral services were held today, June 3rd at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Father Johnson officiated. Burial was in Crown Hill Cemetery with Burns Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.
The deceased was born August 16, 1892, at Marribel(sic), Wisc. and came to Montana and Glacier County in 1916 and farmed since then, 26 miles North of Cut Bank. Harry married Hazel Heiland in Cut Bank in 1923.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Survivors include – his wife, Hazel; two sons of C.B.; one daughter; four brothers, Louis of Essex, Jim of Mischicot(sic), Doolan, of Manitowac(sic) and Arnie of Cut Bank. Two sisters survive: Lillian Rady and Violet Merkes, both of Manitowac(sic). Sixteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren also survive.
Pallbearers were Fred Weiss, Fred Berkram, Herman Vermulm, Ray Thompson, Tom Eney and Herb Sammons. Honorary Pallbearers were Ike McClanahan, Oswald Bradley, Ray Finley and Ed Baumann.
The family has the sympathy of the community in this time of sorrow. Harry will long be remembered as a quiet modest man, with many friends.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the American Cancer Association in memory of Harry Tuma, may do so by sending contributions to the Bank of Glacier County.

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