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Rocy Mo0untail Hlsbani man.
R. N. SUTHERLIN, Editor. THURSDAY, MAY 18, 1876. JAMESTOWN, CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N. Y. March 11, 1876. J Dear Sir : I wish to learn about your sec tion of country, the character of its soil, timber, water, the general surface of coun try, the cash value of lands, both improved and unimproved, and town property. What inducements can be held out to actual set tiers of limited means, and to capitalists? If you can give me the desired information, or the name of some party who will, I will es teem it a favor. Yours truly, C. UNDERWOOD. THE above letter, written upon a postal card, and directed to the register of deeds, was handed us a few days since by Mr. T. E. Collins, our County Clerk, and evidently means business. Having settled in Montana with a view to make it a permanent home, we consider it our duty to answer all such inquiries to the best of our ability. It is to our advantage to labor for the best interests of the country, and when one has a country, such as Mon tana to tell about, that duty becomes apleas ure. It being more than likely that Mon tans is possessed of all the natural ad vantages sought, and the strong probability df having to stand face to face with the writer of the letter, would restrain us withinr proper limits, even werewe inclined to paint the country in its brightest colors; but de siring to win and retain the confidence of such as we may induce to take homes here, we shall confine ourself to a plain, brief statement of facts as they exist, and as we ean make apparent when parties who read this may come among us. Meagher county, though it claims no su periority over many other counties of Mon tana, is, perhaps, possessed of as many of the great natural facilities for building upon, stippofting a popnlous and prosperous com munity as any other section, and since the inqmry is of this section, we will confine S9pprself to this county alone. Meagher county extends from the Mis souri river'on the west to the Mssourf river on the east; thus, embracing withli'its br-= der, th#ýpinciple portion of that region ly :ing within the great bend of the Missouri, an area of over 10,000 square miles, embrac jag mouptains, v;alleys and plains, a vast re &glo of mineral, timbered, pastoral, and ag xicultural lands. The county contains about 050 voters, and the taxable property is val ued at $700Q000. The principally settled val iay of the county, is the Missouri Valley, on the west end of the county. This valley sets ina few miles below the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek, the southwestern corner of the .ooity, about twenty miles from the Three RJorJcs, orsouroe of, the Missouri, and ex tends north along the river, a distance of f9rty miles or more. The eastern half lying .withln .eagher county, varies in width from four to ten miles, with an extensiVe range of foot-hills of equal extent, affording luxuriant pasture^. The grass upon these .hills. q called bunch-grass, consisting of sev eral varieties. It is not a coarse, heavy growthb,such as is found upon the prairies of Texas, western Missouri, Iowa, or Min nesota, but the quality is. very fine, and. growsin bunches upon the ground, from slx to elghteen inches in height, all owing to the season. It will bear moderate pas * tuing the year round, and not kil out, but .winterrange should not be pastured in sulim mer, as stock do so muchbetter. We know of sheep ranches that have been in constant use fotam or fve years, and the yield of grass in.~creases instead of diminishes each year, all depeada upon system and management. T'his gisas cures in the summer and is fine feed for stook in winter as prairie hay ofothereountries, andwhen cut and stacked, will fatten stock etual to the hay and grain bothL of the States. ,:This broad and beautifl valley is dotted with quiet, happy homes. Its farmers find market fthteir produce.in the various mim alug camps in the county, aud in Helena, the 4 ·pta. o t the Territory, which is foB twen t~~irL ety miles distant. There is upont this val1e,, kem nl0 to 300 square miles* of til~ ble land that is unoccupied, and such: of it as is notheld by the railroad claim can be had at government prices. The railroad claims the odd sections of about one half the valley. This vast area is not fiur" nished with water, but a canal can be cut from the river that will cover every foot of it. One sufficient to answer the purpose for watering the entire valley, would per haps cost $10,000, but there are portions that can be watered at much less expense. Improved farms are variously estimated much depending upon their location, im provements and natural advantages. A farm situated in the most fertile portion of the val ley, with excellent water facilities, and all under fence with log dwelling upon it, con taining 160 acres, smooth, level, and un broken by a ravine, sold this spring for $1,900. Another fine farm of 160 acres, all under fence, good soil, water right etc., sold a short time since for only 600. A water right, (we mean by this, a ditch: already cut into a farm with sufficient wa ter to irrigate from 160 to 200 acres,) is val ued at from $400 to $600. To this.add gov ernment price of land,' $1.25 per acre, and about half the cost of improvements, and you have the value of improved farms in Montana. Yet it is often the case, that farms are sold for even much less than what the above would aniount to. Parallel with this valley, rising from the foot-hills, runs a lofty chain of mountains, though the most rugged and highest in the county, is known as the Little Belt Range. Along the mountains is an inex haustible supply of pine timber for all pur poses-building, tncing and fire-wood. Along this chain, are nine or ten gulches which have yielded large quantities of gold, and which still abound in placer mines that are being worked extensively, thereby, add ing largely to our circulating medium each year. There are also half a dozen streams or more putting down across the vally that afford execellent facilities for water powers. There are numerous ledges, of gold, silver, copper and lead bearing quartz in thesemoun tains, but none of them are developed to any great extent.. There is one quartz mill run ning regular at the present time upon ore that yields on an average about $28.00 per ton. East of this range, is Smith's river, or Deep Creek, (better known as Smith's river, as there is another Deep Creek in thq.pun-, ty). This stream rlses In the Belt moun-' tains and runs north bynorthwest and emp ties into the Missouri riverat the north west corner of the county, not many miles from where that stream comes forth from the'can yon and winds away through undulating plains, and only a short distance from the the great falls. The upper valley on this stream, is about thirty miles in length, and ten or more miles in width. There is a large body of agricultural land in this val ley, upon which grain and other crops are grown. But the altitude of the valley, is great and rather frosty, hence, it is settled almost exclusively by stock-growers and dat. rymen. The pastureage is exceedingly fine. Cattle keep fat here the year round, without care or shelter, or feed, other than they can gather for themselves. This region is particularly adapted to wool-growing. There are at least 17,000 head of sheep, there now, owned by differ ent parties, that winter without hay, and come out in the spring fat. Notwithstand ing the. ranchm et are, most of them well supplied with this comodity, as wild grass that grows upon their meadows without cai'e,.makes an excellent quality of hay, with only the expense of cutting. The lower valley is more extensive than this,, and is principally used for pasturage; yet, it is generally admitted to be one of the best agricultural valleys in Montana. There are l1rge bodies of land here that are unoccu pied, with good water facilities that ban be cheaply utfliked. Tender vegetation can be raised here very successfully., Wild plum bushes are said to be growing among the willows that skirt the streams. This is an excellent location frr a colony. East of Smith's river is the.maima Belt range, which is also we timbered.. The well-known Copertopolls. mines are located in this range. They are rich anmi vuable, but development progreases; silowl ;r only a few men at work in the alisk t. Pasaing over from Upper Smeth safver east, we come out upon the Muoalshel. This val ley stretches away to the east for about aev enty miles, and is an inviting field for immPi gration.. t is good for both farming and atock-growing. There are nuuneroushodies of tillable lands, with water rights, which can not be excelled, interspersed with high, roll ing platteaus, affording free pasture to any who have stock to eat it. This region em braces from 1,000 to 2,000 square miles, and at present, there are but a dozen;or two ranches located on it, which are near. the head of the valley. North of this, running eastward, are the Blue and Little Snowy ranges of mountains. These also, afford timber and water in abundance. t The only drawback to this country, is its being upon the frontier, and unprotected from raids of hostile Indians; yet no raids of a serious na ture have occurred. But the establislunent of the post on the Yellowstone at the mouth of the Big Horn, will render life and proper ty as secure here as it is any place, and con sequently, this region will settle up rapidly. Northward. through the gap, between the Blue mountains and the Little Snowies, we come out up6n the Judith Basin. This is also an immense tract of country, beautiful as ever the eye beheld. There is more rain here than in other portions of Montana. Still, if this fail, nature has furnished a good supply of water that can be turned on much of the land with little effort. Passing down the Judith and its tributaries, we leave the mountains behind, and timber gets farther and farther away. This country as well as the Muscleshell, has been surveyed, and much of it is laid down as first-class agricul tural land. Stock winter well here, as in deed they do in most of the valleys of Mon tana; but the Muscleshell being quite windy, is known far and near as having had less snow lying upon it in winter, than any oth er valley in the whole Territory. There is no settlement, except a trading post at Camp Lewis, on the Judith. Coal of excellent qual ity, equal to Brierhill coal of Pennsylvania, has been found on the Muscleshell and Ju dith, but little work has yet been done to de velop the extent of the deposits. Eastward, between these grassy plains and the Mis souri river, is a belt of country from twenty to thirty miles in width, known as the Bad Lands." This is a kind of sand and lime formation of a grey'ecolor, almost baren of vegetation, and. is'the only land in the coun ty that is not valuable. Thus we have given a brief outline of the principal valleys and mountain ranges of the county, without entering into thq details of mentioning the different cozy locations on tributaries that put into the different streams, etc. One acquainted with a mountain country, can, from what we have said, form some idea of the general surface of this section. This embraces a variety of soil and climate. Every valley contains different qualities of soil, and is adapted to different products. The cereals, such as wheat, oats; rye, barley, and buckwheat, grow here and yield abund ant crops. Fields yielding forty bushels on an average, are not uncommon, sixty and 'seventy having been raised; but these are issolated cases. Oats has also reached the extraordinary yield of 100. bushels per acre. Corn is only grown for table use, but there are localities in which it is grown very suc cessfully. And we believe we are justified in the'assertion, that no country excels Mon tana for vegetables. The yield per acre is good, and the flavor exceeds anything we ever knew before. Small fruit is beginning to be introduced, and are flourishing. The yields are in many instances remarkable. We wonld not be understood to say that all vegetable crops are a success; melons are Sraised more for novelty than profit, hut to matoes, pumpkins, squash, and many of the tenderest garden plants grow in great abun dance. \Ye know of no place in America where a poor man could get a goodhome easier than in Montana. All that is.reiuired is a little manhood and determinatlon. The climate, .supplies thehealth, and nature has done the rest.. If there isa country on earth where a poor, industrious man can, prosper, (the thriftless, shiftless, would not prosper even in a garden of Eden), that country is ours. But that which is good for the poor, is also good for the rich, and while a man with a family and not a dollar to his name can do well, the capitalist has also abroad teld tor speculation. The stock business offers a broad field of operation. Cattle, horses and sheep, live and grow fat the year round, upon our grassy foothilla from one years, end to another. It •is useless for us to. flg~ure on theseany intel. ligent man can do that. The Eastern stock grower can easily draw hi~s ownconclusions. Add to the cost of wool or beef there, the cost of transportation from Montana, then subtract the cost of pasturing and feeding there, and you have it. Then the stock grower feeds or pastures on his own prem ises the year round. Here, he is not com pelled to feed at all, nor own his pasture lands. Besides our stock interests, are our mines, tfat offer inducements, nowhere to be ex celled. There are plenty of quartz leads in our mountains. We know of a dozen with in a " sabbath day's journey" of our sane tuin, unclaimed, that are as liable to be true fissures ot paying ore as any in the Territo ry, and there are rich leads in the Territory, developed to the depth of 400 feet. Besides those, we have manufacturer's fa cilities, etqpal to any part of the Continent. Mountain streams in their headlong passage to the sea, afford the cheapest power in the world, all that is needed, is machinery and operatives. 'Woolen mills, paper mills, beet-sugar refinerie, and other manufactur-. es may be engaged in with profit. There are none of the above named mills in the country. Neither is there a flowering mill in Meagher county. Yet there are thousands of pounds of'grain raised, and good mill-sites, convenient to the best agricultural districts. As to town lots, we would say, that so far as Ieagher county is concerned, there seems to be but little opening. The county has not at present, any business center, except Dia mond, and we are so hemmed in with moun tains here, that we could not build a metro politan city, even did we so desire it. How ever, as the county improves there will be a commercial center for the county, built not many miles from this place. We have been far too brief to do justice to the country, but will take pleasure in giving further particulars on the subject, or any particular locality in the Territory, for we have trav eled through all the principal valleys, an0d are personally acquainted with their natu ral facilities. We will commence a tour of the Territory about the middle of June, and will give a hasty glance at what ever may come before us in the shape of facts, unLte rial advantages, etc. Let all who wish to learn of the resources of Montana, subscribe at once for the Hus BANDMAN. Every farmer and every citizen of Montana, should send a copy to the States, so that the outside world may get a glimpse at our resources. Every branch of industry, the herds, flocks, fields, mines and work shops, are all well and faithfully represented. NECESSITY is the mother of' invention. We learn from the, Colorado Farmer, that Mr. John 0. Brewer, of Platte Valley, broth er of James Brewer of this county, has in vented a machine for the extermination of grasshoppers. The machine is made of sheet iron, the front occupying a space of some ten or twelve feet, the furnace being about two feet deep. From this front'two wings of the same dimensions divergenat an angle of about twenty degrees. The whole ma chine is supported by four wheels, two in front and one at each extremity of the flan ges. The machine is driven forward by a team, and the furnaces being supplied with fuel, catch the grasshoppers, as they are disturbed and rise from the ground. In front of each furnace is a grate, which catches all grass hoppers which may rise, after being disturb ed b~y the noise of the machine. Between the wings is a fan, driven by a band, attached to the axle of the front wheels, which forces all tihe grasshoppers in its course to rise, where they are drawn into the furnaeef The machine has been thoroughly tested by Mr. Brewer and others, and a patentAs now pending. WVE publish this week the first of a series of letters from our special correspondent, W. H. Sutherlin, who has been traveling among the stoek-growers of the Sun River country. AoLOG~emC.--The quallty of the paper we are using at present is very poor. Our circulation having exceeded our expectation, the old stock is entirely exhausted and we havy been compelled to purchase an Interior article, but we are in luck, however, to get any as the supply in the Territory is re markably short. We have stock an roatk..