However, he was still interested in timber. And when he heard Mrs. Angelo talking in a restaurant about the Humptulips country he made a trip into the valley. That was in 1886. Then, in 1888 he selected a claim on the river, four miles from Angelos, or about two miles beyond the Prairie.
After filing on his claim (first as a preemption and later as a homestead) Gust felled a cedar tree, rived the lumber, and dressed it by hand. Then he carried it on his back three-quarters of a mile through the woods and built a nice board and batten house. Later he put on hand-made weather boarding. Meanwhile his father was staying with him and doing the cooking.
On Feb 13, 1890, Gust married Kate Hottois who had preempted a claim adjoining his upriver.
Mrs. Murhard says:
"Although he could have taken in forty acres of timberland, Gust preferred a forty acre piece of agricultural land, which was much less valuable. Later, he discovered that he did not have a full 160 acres, as someone had filed on a part of it. The settler had deserted and never proved up, but the filing was on record in Washington, D.C.. Gust decided to contest it, but he knew it would take a long time before the records in Washington could be changed.
In the meantime, claim jumpers came in and jumped it along with other claims. Gust had an argument with them. He had gone over to the Johnson place back of us, and when I heard a shot and someone yelling I felt sure those claim jumpers had shot him. So I yelled and screamed, but Gust didn't answer. He figured someone was bothering me, and hurried home, to catch them. We both were mistaken.
However, rather than go to court about the contested forty. Gust bought off the claim jumper. Later he sold a small parcel of land to William Cogdill, so that he could have an 80 acre piece.
During the years that followed Mr. Murhard cleared land, farmed, located prospective settlers, did some timber cruising, and freighted supplies up river. He was considered the best canoeman on the river, and made his own canoes.
After an unusually big freshet washed out the upper jam in the Humptulips and the lower one was dynamited Gust began hand-logging for himself, floating his timber down to the boom at the mouth of the river. Then his health failed and he made a deal with Jim Newberry to log off some more timber."