Collection: Bancroft Works

Jefferson County, Montana 1870-1888

Jefferson County, lying north of Madison, and divided from it by the Jefferson fork of the Missouri, contained 5,000 square miles and 2,500 inhabitants. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now It was, after mining, chiefly a dairying county, though there several farming settlements sprang up in the valleys of Prickly Pear, Boulder, Crow, Pipestone, and other streams. In 1878, 50,000 lbs of butter and 20,000 lbs of cheese were produced. The farmers raised 50,000 bushels of grain, and there were about 10,000 acres of improved lands. The sawmills in the county cut about 1,500,000 feet of lumber. The stock of the county consisted of 25,000 range cattle, 2,000 milch cows, 10,000 horses, and 15,000 sheep. The pioneer Woolen-mill of Montana was established in Jefferson County, and was completed in 1878. Strahorn’s Montana, 67. The first woollen-mill begun was at Virginia City in 1877. Madisonian, Oct. 27, 1877. The property valuation of the county in 1884 was about $1,000,000. Radersburg, situated in the valley of Crow Creek,...

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Gallatin County, Montana 1870-1888

Gallatin County, containing 10,000 square miles, was divided between the two valleys of the Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers, and the Belt and Snowy ranges of mountains. The three forks of the Missouri met within its boundaries, making a remarkable and beautiful combination of river and meadow scenery with bench land and mountains. The basin formed by the Gallatin Valley, from the earliest settlement of eastern Montana, has been a favorite resort for home seekers with agricultural tastes. From its lesser altitude it is more generally productive than the country to the west, and became more thickly settled, having a population of 3,500 at the census of 1880. It produced 1,000,000 bushels of grain in a season, with other vegetable products in proportion. Farm machinery of the best models was employed. Six flouring-mill converted wheat into flour. The first flour made for market in eastern Montana was in 1866, at the Gallatin Mills of Cover & McAdow of Bozeman. Virginia and Helena Post, Oct. 23, 1866. Like every part of Montana, it was also a good grazing country, and supported large herd, upon its native grasses. In 1878 there were 45,000 cattle, 8,000 horses, and 10,000 sheep on the ranges. There were marketed 5,000 cattle, 100,000 pounds of butter and cheese, besides a large amount of wool. The taxable property of the county was valued at $1,386,340 in 1878. The...

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Deer Lodge County, Montana 1870-1888

Deer Lodge County, also west of the Rocky Mountains, and the second settled, was much less in size than Missoula, containing 6,500 square miles, but fully equal in attractions and natural wealth. It had 25,000 acres under improvement, and raised 130,000 bushels of grain in 1878, made 150,000 pounds of butter, produced 50,000 bushels of potatoes, 1,200,000 pounds of garden vegetables, 75,000 of wool, and manufactured 1,000,000 feet of lumber. Its population was 9,000, and taxable wealth $2,341,268. In 1884 its livestock alone was valued at $1,000,000. Deer Lodge City, the county seat, situated on the east side of Deer Lodge River, contained 1,200 inhabitants. It is the commercial and educational centre of a large area of mining and farming country. It had a fire in 1872 which destroyed a large amount of property, and caused the organization of a fire department, in educational facilities were a collegiate institute, erected in 1878 at a cost of $22,000, a graded public school, and a Catholic boarding-school, conducted by the Sisters of Charity. The New Northwest newspaper, not excelled by any in Montana, was published here. The penitentiary was located here. The Catholic, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches were tasteful and creditable structured, and the general style of architecture was pleasing. Seen at a proper distance for perspective. Deer Lodge presents an inviting picture, with a mountain background contributing to its scenic...

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Dawson County, Montana 1870-1888

Dawson County, owing to Indian wars and other causes, remained unorganized down to a late period, and although having an area of 32,000 square miles, and good stock ranges, contained in 1880 only about 200 inhabitants. It occupied the northwestern portion of Montana, and was divided by the Missouri River, and crossed by the Yellowstone, Musselshell, and Milk Rivers. Its assessable property in 1884 was about $2,500,000. Glendive, the principal town, was founded in 1881, and named by Lewis Merrill after Glendive creek, which received its name from Sir George Gore, who wintered in Montana in 1856. It was the first point where the Northern Pacific railroad touched the Yellowstone, and the terminus of the Missouri division. It occupied a sloping plain facing the river on the south bank, and was sheltered from the winds by an abrupt range of clay buttes, resembling these of the Bad Lands, 300 feet in height, and half a mile distant. The soil about Glendive, the altitude of which is 2,070 feet above sea level, was a rich sandy loam, and produced plentifully of grains and vegetables. The railroad company made extensive and substantial improvements, and the town soon had 1,500 inhabitants, a bank, schools, churches, hotels, and a weekly newspaper. The settlements early made in Dawson county were Allard, Cantonment, Fort Galpin, Fort Kipp, Fort Peck, Gray’s Wood-yard, Hodges, Iron Bluff, McClellan,...

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Custer County, Montana 1870-1888

Custer County occupied in 1884 an area of 25,500 square miles, divided by the Yellowstone River, which is navigable, and watered by numerous large and small tributaries. It formerly included the Crow reservation, a 5,000,000 acre tract, which was surrendered to the government in 1882, and thrown open to settlement in 1883. Several mountain ranges separated the principal valleys and gave diversity to the scenery. It was possessed of a superior soil, and the bench lands furnish every variety of nutritious native grasses, including Bluegrass, wild rye, and wild oats. The lower portion of the Yellowstone Valley was favored by a climate where corn, grapes, hops, melons, and fruits of various kinds flourish. Although later settled, it soon ranked as the second agricultural county of Montana. Its taxable property in 1878 was valued at $329,231, with a population of 2,510 in 1880. In 1884 its livestock alone was assessed at $7,150,000. Miles City, the county seat, situated near the mouth of Tongue River, contained in 1880 a population of 2,500, and was a thriving town. In 1878 there were thirty-five arrivals of steamers with freight for the citizens and Fort Keogh, two miles distant. Public schools, two daily and weekly newspapers, a church, theatre, banks, and large business houses were a proof of its prosperity. The incipient towns of Custer county were Ada, Ainshe, Beeman, Beach, Big Horn, Birney,...

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Choteau County, Montana 1870-1888

Choteau County, containing 27,380 square miles, the first inhabited on the east aide of the Rocky Mountains, having their summits for its boundary on the west, and the vast, unorganized area of Dawson county on the east, the British possessions on the north, and Lewis and Clarke and Meagher Counties on the south, was a grazing country, with a few agricultural valleys of considerable extent, the stock-raisers usually cultivating farms also. In 1884 its livestock was valued at $2,000,000, and 50,000 pounds of wool sent to market. The population of the county was 3,058. Fort Benton, the county seat, was the head of navigation on the Missouri, and consequently a place of importance. To this point, for twenty years came freight worth millions of dollars annually, and from it departed the treasure of the mines. It was also the depot of the fur trade after the original fort or fortifications were abandoned. Before the opening of the Northern Pacific railroad fifteen steamboats, costing $400,000, were employed carrying freight to and from Benton. These boats were owned by several companies. The Coulson line lost a fine steamer, the Montana, in a storm, July 2, 1879. The Dakota was also damaged. Helena Independent, July 10, 1879. I. B. Baker owned the Red Cloud and Colonel McLeod. St Louis Times Journal, March 11, 1879. The Power brothers owned the Helena, which was...

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Beaverhead County, Montana 1870-1888

Beaverhead County, where the first town of eastern Montana was laid off in 1802, contains 4,2110 square miles. More than any other part of Montana, it reminds the traveler by its nomenclature of the journey of Lewis and Clarke in 1805, containing Horse Prairie, Willard Creek, Beaverhead Rock, and the pass by which these explorers crossed the Rocky Mountains. It is a mountainous district interspersed with a few fertile valleys, and furnishing excellent stock ranges on the bench lands between the valleys and the high ridges. Its population was less than 3,000 in 1880. In 1884, its taxable property was valued at $4,500,000. The number of farms in the county was small. Bannack, which was for a short time the capital and the metropolis of Montana, and the county seat of Beaverhead, was later but a small town containing 250 inhabitants. Glendale, the seat of a large mining interest, had in 1885 a population of 678, and Argenta also was a thriving mining town. The county seat was removed to Dillon, which as a business centre ranked next after Helena and Butte. The other settlements made in Beaverhead County were Allerdice, Apex, Barratts, Beaverhead Rock. Burnt Pine, Darling, Dell, Dewey’s Flat, Edgerton, Fairview, Glen, Glendale, Grayling. Hecla, Horse Prairie, Hot Spring, Lyon City, Mervenstoe, Montana, Pine Butte, Poindexter, Red Rock, Rock Creek, Ryan, Soap gulch, Spring Hill, Terminus Creek,...

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Members of the 4th – 14th Legislature of Montana

Members of the 4th Legislature The council consisted of: Charles S. Bagg, president John W. Corum, W. E. Cullen, Alexander Davis, Sample Orr, Jasper Rand, Thomas Watson Secretary, Thomas B. Wade Asst. Secretary, C. C. Menaugh Clerks, H. H. Showers, D. B, Jenkins Sargeant-at-Arms, Stephen R. Elwell Doorkeeper, John Thompson The members of the lower house were: Wellington Stewart, Speaker J. M. Anderson, N. C. Boswell, H. R. Comly, W. H. Edwards, James Gallaher, H. A. Kennerly, F. E. W. Patton, J. W. Rhodes, John A. Simms, W. Tennant, J. R. Weston, Samuel Word Clerks, H. A. Barrett, F. A. Shields, J. G. McLain, William Butts Sergeant-at-Arms, O. P. Thomas Doorkeeper, H. J. Hill Mont. Jour. Council, 4th sess., 4. Members of the 5tb Legislature Councilmen S. Russell, president Charles S. Bagg, J. W. Corum, W. E. Callen, W. B. Dance, Alexander Davis, Thomas B. Edwards, H. W. English, A. G. P. George, A. H. Mitchell, Sample Orr, Jasper Rand, Thomas Watson Secretary, C. C. Menaugh Asst Secretary, W. F. Kirkwood Clerks, H. H. Showers, R. P. Vivian Sergeant-at-Arms, Stephen R. El well Doorkeeper, John Thompson House of Representatives A. E. Mayhew, speaker R, D. Alexander, J. P. Barnes, A. W. Brison, H. R. Comly, Andrew Cooper, John Donnegan, J. M. Ellis, Simeon Estis, R. K. Findlay, J. H. Hicks, C. W. Higley, J. C. Kerley, M. P. Lowry,...

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1863 Settlers to Madison County, Montana

John Willhard, born in Germany Sept. 28, 1838, came to the U. S. in 1854, and crossed the plains with a mule-team in 1860, to Colorado, where he mined and farmed until May 1863, when he followed the immigration to Montana. After mining one season at Virginia City he took a farm of 640 acres in the Beaverhead Valley, a mile below Twin Bridges. In company with Lester Harding he discovered Carpenter’s Bar. Carl Rahmig, born in Germany Oct. 3, 1837, came to the U. S. in 1858, locating in Iowa, where he remained until 1862, when he went to Nevada with a horse-team. After a short stay there and in Cal. he went to Idaho, and thence to Montana. His first residence was in the Prickly Pear Valley, after prospecting and mining until 1870 he settled on a farm in the valley of Willow Creek, between the Madison and Beaverhead Rivers, and raised stock. O. W. Jay, born in New York May 2, 1844, removed with his parents to Wisconsin and Illinois, being raised a farmer. At the age of 17 years went to Colorado, returning the same season to Illinois. In. 1863 went again to Colorado, and the same year to Virginia City, where he mined until 1870, when he secured a farm of 1,100 acres. He married Ella J. Wilcox in 1874. Wilson Butt, Fish Creek,...

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1863 Settlers to Beaverhead County, Montana

William B. Carter, born in Ohio April 23, 1840. At the age of 223 years he came to Montana with a horse-team, and established himself on Alder Creek, freighting goods from Salt Lake for 4 or 5 years, in company with E. C. Bennett, who came with him from Ohio. Bennett died. Carter married Anna B. Selway in 1868, and settled at Dillon. Frederick Temple, born in Germany Aug. 14, 1840, came to America an infant and lived in Ohio and Missouri until 20 years of age, then went to Colorado, following the rush to Montana in 1863. Mined in Alder gulch and Prickly Pear Valley until 1866, when he went to Indian Creek. In 1867 he took a farm near Radersburg, and married Sorate Richards in 1874. Archie Macumber, born in New York Dec. 1, 1838, removed to Mich, when a boy, and resided there till 1859. Went from Colorado to New Mexico, and returning, went to the Salmon River mines. Made some valuable discoveries, and spent the winter of 1862 in Salt Lake, retuning to Virginia City in 1863, and going into freighting for two years, then selling groceries. Went to the Lemhi mines when they were discovered, and finally settled at merchandising, but sold out and secured a farm of 320 acres near Radersburg. In 1870 he married Mrs Martha Kennon. John Brady, Bowlder Valley, born...

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1863 Settlers of Gallatin County, Montana

George E. McKinsey, born in Indiana Aug. 22, 1822. In 1854 he removed to Nebraska, remaining there until 1863, when he went to Montana with an ox-team, and mined for three years at Alder gulch. In 1866 he removed to Madison Valley, and established a ferry, but went back to mining the following year, and in 1869 returned to Middle Creek, settling finally near Bozeman in 1871. He married Sarah Anna Wilson in 1850. Andrew Cowan, Hillsdale, born in Ky March 1834, and raised on a farm. Went to Salt Lake from Missouri by stage in 1863, and from there to Virginia City. Engaged in freighting for one year, after which took a farm of 480 acres in the Gallatin Valley, and raised cattle and horses. He married Rachel C. Tribble in 1872. Henry Heebe, Central Park, born in Pennsylvania Nov. 17, 1840, was bred a fanner. In 1856 went to Kansas, where he resided until 1863, when he proceeded to Montana. In 1864, together with William Coly, William Riley, and Clarke, he discovered the celebrated Pony mine, and the McDonald and Strawberry mines. Heebe sold his interest in the Pony for a trifle, and settled on a farm on the Gallatin River. C. Etherington was born in England June 25, 1831, and emigrated to the U. S. in 1854. After 3 years spent in Pennsylvania, went to Kansas,...

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1863 Settlers in Lewis and Clarke County, Montana

Nicholas Kessler, Helena, born in Germany, May 26, 1833, immigrated to the U. S. in 1854, going first to Ohio and then to Illinois, where he was in the grain, flour, and general produce business. In 1800 he went to Pike’s Peak, Colorado, where he mined in different localities until 1803, when he went to “Virginia City, where he kept a bakery and a drinking-saloon for a few months. In 1864 went home to Germany, returning to Montana in 1804 and establishing a brewery within two miles of Helena. He also made brick at the rate of 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 yearly, with old-fashioned hand-moulds, employing in brewery and brick-yard 45 men, at wages varying from $40 to $210 per month, with board and rooms. Used 9,000 bushels of barley in 1883, most of it raised in Montana, some coming from Cal. Made 2,852 barrels of whiskey. There being no facilities for education, his school district being poor, Kessler erected a brick schoolhouse at a cost of $700, and employed a teacher at $65 per month. William James English, Prickly Pear Valley, was born in Ireland, in August 1834, and emigrated to Canada at the age of 9 years, removing to Nebraska 3 years afterward. From Nebraska he went to Colorado by mule-team, and thence “to Virginia City in 1863. Was employed mining at wages, which were from $6 to...

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1862 Montana Settlers, Forts and Valleys

Fort Benton Settlers in 1862 Andrew Dawson was Agent in Charge George Stull and M. Carroll, Chief Clerks Hunick, Sub-clerk Henry Bostwick and Francis Veielo, Interpreters Benjamin De Roche, Joseph Spearson, Charles Choquette, Peter Choquette, Michael Champagne, and Henry Robert, Interpreters and Traders Vincent Mercure and Joseph Laurion, Carpenters John Nubert, Tailor Henry Martin, Blacksmith George Weipert, Tinner Paul Longleine, Overseer of Workmen Antoine Burdeau, Clement Cournoys, Charles Cournoys, Charles Cunand, Edward Cunand, Milton Foy, Joseph Hule, William Keiser, John Largent, Joseph Lucier, William Truesdale, Isaiah Tremblez, Employees Daniel Carafel, a Freeman Philip Barnes and Henry Mills, Negro Employees James Vanlitburg, Negro Cook Con. Hist. Soc. Montana, 347-8. At the Blackfoot Agency, 1862 The agent at this time was Henry W. Reid The farmer was J. A. Vail, whose wife and sister-in-law, Miss O’Brien, who was the only white women resident in Montana previous to 1862. Another person on Sun River was James M. Arnoux At Gold Creek in 1862 Thomas Adams Reese Anderson A. Cook Stephen Fernier Joseph Howard Mrs Hewins Peter Kishner and partner Linn Peter Martin Amelia Martin Robert Nelson Henry S. Pond Parker R. A. Thompson and Job Townsend. At La Barge City, whose first name gave place to Deer Lodge City, were: Henry Beauregard Anthony Cosgrove Calvin Carroll Mrs Carroll David Contoi Frank Cabbau Louis Demars Dionisio Louis Descheneaux John Dayton William Fairweather Louis...

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Brief Bios of Washington Senators and Representatives

John S. Baker was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 21, 1861, and removed to Tacoma in 1881. L. B. Clough was born in Waterbury, Vermont, May 12, 1850. He removed to Vancouver, Washington Territory, in 1877, and engaged in fruit raising. He was elected sheriff in 1884, and served two years. In 1888 he was elected representative from Clarke County, but the legislature not assembling, he was elected state senator. Henry Drum was born in Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois, in 1857, and educated at the Illinois State University. He removed to Hebron, Nebraska, where he was a banker, and also engaged in stock raising until 1883, when he removed to Tacoma, where he, with Walter J. Thompson, purchased the Bank of New Tacoma, which was reorganized as the Merchants’ National Bank, of which he was, when elected to the senate, vice-president. He was president of the school board of Tacoma, and was elected mayor in 1888, serving one year; and was director in several commercial enterprises. A. T. Farris was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, which he left in 1867, and removed, to Washington in 1883, where he engaged in hardware business at Pullman. He was elected to the legislature in 1888, and state senator in 1889. C. E. Forsythe was born in Pennsylvania, in 1850, and received a common school education, with an apprenticeship at carpentering. In 1875...

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First Senators and Representatives of Washington

These are the names of the first state senators, with their counties: Adams, Franklin, and Okanagan County, F. H. Luce Asotin and Garfield County, C. G. Austin Chehalis County, C. T. Wooding Clallam County, Jefferson, and San Juan, Henry Landes Clarke County, L. B. Clough Columbia County, H. H. Wolfe Cowlitz County, C. E. Forsythe Douglas and Yakima County, J. M. Snow Island and Skagit County, Thomas Paine King County, W. D. Wood, J. H. Jones, 0. D. Gilfoil, John R. Kinnear, W. V. Rinehart Kitsap and Mason County, W. H. Kneeland Kittitas County, E. T. Wilson Klickitat and Skamania County, Jacob Huusaker Lincoln County, J. H. Long, Lewis; H. W. Fairweather Pacific and Walikiakum County, B. A. Seaborg Pierce County, John S. Baker, L. F. Thompson, Henry Drum (Drum was the one democrat in the senate) Snohomish County, Henry Vestal Spokane County, Alexander Watt, E. B. Hyde, B. C. Van Houton Spokane and Stevens County, H. E. Houghton Thurston County, N. H. Owings Walla Walla County, Platt A. Preston, Geo. T. Thompson Whatcom County, W. J. Parkinson Whitman County, John C. Lawrence, J. T. Whaley, A. T. Farris First Representatives of Washington Adams County, W. K. Kennedy Asotin County, William Farrish Chehalis County, R. L. Nims, J. D. Medcalf Clallam County, Amos F. Shaw, John D. Geoghegan, S. S. Cook, Clarke; A. B. Luce Columbia County, A. H....

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