Roush Grave at Big Prairie

Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Roush and their two-year-old daughter spent the winter of 1923-24 at Big Prairie. Roush was looking after the Flathead National Forest stock wintered there. In January the daughter became very ill.

Roush snowshoed out to Missoula to get medical advice and medicines. This is a distance of about 100 miles, much of it over Forest trails. The trip was made in the least time possible under these conditions, but when he returned to Big Prairie he learned the sad news that his daughter had died just a few days after he left. The grief-stricken parents buried their only child on the small knoll that overlooks the Big Prairie Ranger Station site and the South Fork of the Flathead River. Flathead Forest personnel plan to put up a permanent marker in the near future.

There are two Indian graves on the hill back of the old powder house west of Big Prairie. They are just north of the present trail bridge across the South Fork, near the north end of this ridge. They have been there for many, many years and are unmarked. Local folklore is that the graves are of an Indian woman and a small boy who died while an Indian party was camping in the Big Prairie meadows.

Henry Thol, longtime Ranger in the Flathead National Forest, related this information to me in 1940.