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Meagher County, Montana 1870-1888

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Meagher County extended from the Missouri River on the west to the Musselshell River on the east, and was sandwiched between Gallatin and Choteau Counties. It contained 20,000 square miles, embracing mountain ranges clothed in forest, and veined with mineral deposits, high grazing lands, and low agricultural lands.

The valleys of the Judith, Musselshell, Smith, and Missouri Rivers aggregated 2,000 square miles. The population of the county in 1880 was 2,743. In 1884 its livestock was valued at 7,000.000; $750,000 being in horses.

The mines of Meagher County by 1886 produced over $10,000,000 in gold from the gulches, while the deposits of silver, lead, copper, gold, and coal waited longer the open sesame of capital. Mineral springs of great medicinal virtues were found in this county, the chief of which was the white sulphur group on the north fork of Smith River.

The county seat was removed from Diamond City to White Sulphur Springs, a noted health resort, in 1879, by a general election. Neither were towns of any size. A newspaper, the Montana Husbandman, was published at Diamond. In 1882 Townsend was laid out near the Missouri River crossing of the Northern Pacific railroad, and is the nearest station to White Sulphur Springs. In 1883 it had a population of 350, and being the centre of a large and productive farming and mining region, its prosperity was assured.

The other early settlements of Meagher County were Andersonville. Arrow Creek, Bercail, Big Elk, Brassey, Brewer’s Springs, Camp Baker, Camp Lewis, Canton, Canyon Ferry, Cavetown, Centreville, Chestnut, Clendenning, Cooper gulch, Dennison, El Dorado, El Dorado Bar, Flatwillon, Fort Logan, French Bar, Gardenland, Garrison, Graperange, Hellgate, Hoover, Hopely Hole, Hughesville, Judith Junction, Langford City, Linn’s Cave, McKewen’s Bar, Magnolia, Magpie, Maiden, Martinsdale, Merino, Neihart, Nelsonville. New York, Oka, Olden, Old Trailing Post, Onondaga, Oregon, Otter, Overland, Parker, Philbrook, Rader’s Ranch, Readsfort, Sawmill, Stanford, Thompson gulch, Townsend, Trout Crock, Ubet, Unity, Utica, Whites, Wolfdene, and Yago gulch.


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