The following was extracted from The Philipsburg Mail, Philipsburg, Montana, Thursday, February 21, 1889, Page 4, Columns 1-2:
John Shively, one of the early settlers in Montana, was found dead in his bed at the Metropolitan last Friday morning, by his room mate, Mr. Wakefield, who supposed him to be sleeping and attempted to awaken him about 9 o'clock, when he was horrified to find his friend cold in death. It was evident that Mr. Shively had died early in the evening and was dead before Mr. Wakefield retired, as he heard no noise from Mr. Shiveley's bed during the night. He stated to the coroner's jury that he took off his shoes outside the door and went in very quietly to bed without striking a light through fear of waking his room mate, whom he knew to be nervous and easily disturbed when sleeping. Mr. Shively had been subject to fits of apoplexy for some time past and every indication went to show that he died while struggling in one of them. The coroner's jury returned a verdict accordingly. He was 56 years old and has lived in the west since '52. His only relative in this country is a brother who lives at Black Pine.
The death of John Shively recalls a very remarkable incident and adventure of his life in connection with the Nez Perce Indian troubles in 1877. During the fall of that year, Mr. Shively attempted to cross the country from the Black Hills to Philipsburg, and had made his way with his pack animals and all his belongings to the National Park. When night came on he pitched camp and retired for the night, but was soon disturbed by a band of Indians who came suddenly upon him and made him their prisoner. After they had searched and taken all his belongings, they completed him to ride a horse and guide them through the Park, as they claimed they had lost their way and wanted to get to the British possessions. On the second day of their travels they came upon a party of tourists, consisting of about a dozen people, and the Indians at once opened fire on them, killing the men and taking some of the women prisoners. The names of all the party cannot be ascertained, but the ladies who were taken prisoners were a Mrs. Dr. Carter, her sister, and a daughter. Dr. Carter was shot in the head and was seen to fall from his horse to the ground. From this the party proceeded through the Park with their fair prisoners and Mr. Shively as guide. After reaching the Yellowstone, Mr. Shively, who fortunately could talk their language, persuaded the Indians to let the women go, and they were given ponies at set at liberty. They made their way to Helena, and to their surprise found Dr. Carter there ahead of them, with only a slight wound in the head. The family are all living now, and supposed to reside near Radersburg, Montana. Mr. Shively, however, remained their captive, the Indians claiming that he knew too much about the country to let him go; but he finally made his escape by jumping over and embankment in the night, and reached Helena after two days and nights of travel, without any food, except two potatoes and one egg. From there he wrote his old friend, John G. McLean, of Philipsburg, who informed him in return that the party he had so nobly rescued were safe under his roof, to which place Mr. Shively had directed them before they were released from the savage tribe.
It is known from the following source that John Shively was a brother to Sim Shively. Sim Shively was the son of John Shively and Mary Spahr who lived in Guernsey County, Ohio. The following was extracted from The New Northwest, Deer Lodge, Montana, Friday, September 14, 1877:
Life With The Nez Perces
The Capture And Adventures Of A Prospector As Guide To Joseph
Thirteen Days In The Nez Perces Camp, Showing The Other
Side Of the Picture
A Prospecting Tour That Led To Joseph
On Tuesday of this week Mr. John Shively, a brother of Sim Shively now of Deadwood, arrived here from the Nez Perces camp via Bozeman and Helena, he having escaped from their camp 10 or 15 miles from Clark's Fork ones, on or about the 3d of September, after having been captured by them and taken along thirteen days as a guide. His adventure furnish a remarkable and interesting chapter in border life give us and inside view of the Nez Perces campaign and being now of universal interest we give his narration of the circumstances as fully as possible.
Nearly all old-time West Siders know John Shively. He is a man on the sunset side of life, of sturdy build in heart and body, has been twenty years on the frontier, is a gentleman of strict veracity and high character. His recital may be relied upon as absolutely correct. Mr. Shively was a resident of this county for six years, is a mill-wright, and built or assisted in building both the mills at Cable, the Ray & Hendric mill at Butte, one at Blue Cloud and one at Indian Creek.
Journeyings And Propectings
In 1871 Mr. Shively left Montana for Arizona. Remaining there six or seven months he came to Ploche Nevada, where he stayed two years. Thence he went to Eureka, Nev., remaining one year. From thence he went to Benton, Mono county, California, and left there in February, 1877, for Deadwood. After prospecting there a party was organized to prospect the Big Horn, Powder River, and Wind River countries. The party numbered thirty-one men. Mr. Shively was elected Captain. They were all experienced miners, many of them having spent several years in the mining States and Territories. They protected carefully up the eastern branches of Powder River, some eighty miles to the Big Horn mountains.
(This story continues but this portion is included to establish some family history for John Shively.)