One of Baker’s oldest residents celebrated a milestone birthday.
He rang in his 100th year with friends and family April 4. Bob Dahlman turned 100 years old April 6.
In 1915, Woodrow Wilson was president, the one millionth Ford automobile rolled off the assembly line, and a gallon of regular unleaded gas cost around 15 cents. It was also the year Bob was born, delivered by a veterinarian near Angela, Montana, 25 miles northwest of Miles City.
Bob’s father immigrated from Germany to Iowa where he met his bride-to-be. They homesteaded in Montana at Angela. Bob and his siblings, a brother and three sisters, grew up helping on the farm and attending country school. They rode horses to school, and the boys attended until eighth grade, the girls through high school.
One of Bob’s special memories was helping his mom tend her acre of garden.
At age 20, Bob came to Baker to haul lumber and build cabins for Leif Holmlund, who first started Baker Furniture.
Bob married Irene Pitsor in 1937, and they had a son, Bruce, in 1938. Soon after they bought a motel from Holmlund, and Dahlman Motel was in business. Bob started with just a few buildings but kept adding on.
In 1943, Bob and Irene took in two girls, Sharon and Dorothy, and raised them.
The motel was sold in 1955. Bob then pursued a business partnership, D & A Chevrolet, with Gary Agler. In 1968, he bought Agler out.
In 1968 Sharon went away for nurse’s training and Bob and Irene took in her son, Steve Baldwin.
Bob’s first granddaughter, Lisa, was born in 1970, and that same year Irene passed away. He remarried in 1977 to Rosemarie.
Bob retired and sold the D & A Chevrolet business to Stan Erlenbush in 1985, keeping the building. In 1987, Steve took ownership of the building.
Bruce passed away in 1988, and Dorothy in 2009.
While operating other businesses, Bob never had a time when he didn’t farm. Even into the 1980s, he wasn’t ready to give it up.
Advice to others to reach this milestone: “hard work”.