Newspaper Page Text
R. N. SUTHIERLIN, Editor.
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 1879. ONE OF THE most urgent needs of our ter ritory at present is more adequate military protection. The experience of Minnesota and Idaho should teach the government the one important lesson that there is nothing better calculated to lead to Indian wars than opportunity. Every outbreak of modern times can be traced directly to this cause. The Indian naturally regards the white man as his enemy, and is ready to strike him a blow at any time there is an opportunity offered, The present unsettled state of affairs in Idaho is due to this fact, and ad nmodlshes us that if we would not have a repetition of the scenes enacted in our sister territory we should be prepared. More efficient protection is demanded long oar. northern border. Fort Missoula should be strengthened. A new post, or at least a summer camp, should be established near Bannack, and a new post at Henry's lake, in Madison county. Tnis would give us a good line of defense west and south. The posts east and north should also be strengthened.' Neither Forts Ellis, Shaw or Logan could spare one hundred men in case of an emergency. Their garrisons should be increased ; and to make a line of defense for eastern Montana complete a new post is essenti.1 in the Musselshell region. It is near 250 miles from Fort Keogh, on the Yellowstone, to the point where Fort Assin iboin is to be built this summer. Raiding parties from over the border can pass east ward around the Milk river garrison and come upon our Musselshell settlements without fear of being discovered. The larg est Indian trail in North America lies just east of the:Little Snowy mountains. The Indians, in their transit from the far North to the Platte, have traveled this trail for ages, The recent raiders on the lower Mtusselshell and Yellowstone came and went on this trail,. and small parties from Sitting Bull will continue to harrass the set tiers of this region until there is military Protection afforded. 'Old Montanians and western, raised men may brave such danggrs withgqt a murmur, t but the immigration now sett ig in is from " the far away states where ridlan wairfaire is unknown,.. and.. they are loth to settle where there is the least shadow of a chance for their wives and children.to be murdered,. We believe it is a duty the general govern ment owes to the people ,who buy its .lanas to throw around them such safeguards as will make them feel secure both in life and property. The tide of immigration Is moving toward eastern Montana, and if a military post t could be erected in this region this summer the beautiful valleys of the Musselshell and Judith would be as thickly settled as any r section of the territory within the next two years. MESSRS. MARSHALL ANID COLLINS, after an examination of. the proposed freight road from upper Smithl river, valley to Fort Ben ton,. report that with an expenditure of from $2,000 to $2,500 a first-class frelght road can be built--one that will equal .auy road in the territory of the same length. The road bed will be solid-free from mud--she year around. The route passes through as fine a .pastoral and agricultural country as is in the territory, and only needs the building of this road to develop its vast resources and populate its many little valleys. The distance is' less than ..one, hundred miles, estimated as follows : From Camp Baker or Diamond, City to Beaver creek...........................1 m's. Beaver creek to Rock creek............. 7 " Rock creek to Freeman creek........... 2 " Freeman creek to Spring creek......... 6 " ?Spring creek, to Trout creek............ 7 " 'Trout creek toS8mith river at mouth of Clark's creek, .................:........10 " Smith river to Miug's cooley............ s " Ming'secooley to Sand cooley............ 6 " Sand cooley to Box Elder ................. 5 " Box Elder to Belt river...................... 8 " Belt river to Fort Benton.................22 ' Total........................................ 92 " Thy. think the road can be madei within 95 miles. The distance from Helena, by way of; Canyon Ferry and Magpie gulch, would not exceed 120 miles, and the distance from Hel ena to Benton by way of Spokane bar, Ben ver creek and Hound creek, over a good road bed, with plenty ot grass and water along the route, would not exceed one hun dred miles.. Either of these roads can be built at less cost than it took to repair the Prickly Pear canyon a few years ago, and would be far better in every respect than the present Helena and Benton road for freighting and other purposes. It is indeed surprising that the Helena merchants and freighters have not built a road by way of Beaver creek long ere this. The accruing benefits in cheap freights and quick delivery to merchants, and the total saving in toll to freighters, would in one year fully pay for building the road. The building of the Fort Benton and Camp Baker road would open up a direct and natural route to the valleys on the head waters of the Yellowstone, Bozeman, Fort Ellis and surrounding country. The dis tance from Fort Ellis and Bozeman, by way of Camp Baker, to Benton is about 160 miles, or 80 miles shorter than the present road by way of Helena, and 165 miles shorter than the road from Bozeman to Miles City, the virtual head of navigation on the Yel lowstone. Benton has everything to gain and noth ing to lose by building the road. The country in the immediate vicinity of Benton and all along the route of the road will settle rapidly; the wholesale, and a great part of the retail, trade of Smith river valley, from its mouth to its head waters, will seek the Benton market, and its great and increasing wool crop will center there; a large part of the trade of the upper Yel lowstone and Gallatin valleys, now supplied by the Yellowstone river and the railroad, will be turned to Benton. It would be a paying investment to Benton from the start, and it is surprising that the wide-awake and energetic business men and citizens of: Ben ton have delayed so long in the matter. The wool-growers of upper Smith river valley are greatly interested. The Benton mar ket, with a good road, is about as near to them as the Helena market; it wiiisavd them 115 miles travel over a bad road in transporting their wool. They should and1 no doubt will, subh " 'm y and The only grading to be done is into Rock creek, into and out of Spring creek, out of Trout creek and into and out of Smith river valIey, and one or two cooleys. There is no heavy grading on the whole route. . Most 'of it can be plowed and scraped. Six then, in three months, with teams and inmple ments, would put the road in good condi tion for freighting. Benton should take the initiative in this matter. The citizens of that place should show by acts and deeds and not by wotd* we have had enough of, talk-that they mean business. They should set men to work on their end of the road at once. The opening of the Smith river and Ms selshell roads will do more to make Be. on a metropolis and settle the valleys of teau and northern Meagher than any er enterprise that can be started. The millry authoritid at Logan, Benton and Assiniin should alone, open up these and other rids through the country, as the settleret of the country will be of great benefit to eem in the peaceable ending of the vexed It ian difficulties. They, no doubt, would fu~ish men and teams if properly applied to. Benton should at once appoint a co nit tee to receive subscriptions for buildinEhe road, with authority to employ expe to locate the route and survey grades, t m ploy men at,once to commence work o the same, to petition the military authoriti for assistance, and to. do all things necess. to the completion of the road this sum me If the start is made at the other end o the road, Gen. Smith and party will view, tate and begin work . on this end, and the ad will be done by the first of August. en ton is vitally interested and should . the preliminary work, and inaugurate the ter prise at once. Mr. Marshall iS thoroughly acclu lted with the route, and took Mr. Colline ver the same. so that he, (Collins), could ride Gen. Smith, C. W. Cook, L. D. But and a others of the committee appointed the board of. County Commissioners, hen W fthey get ready ta go, whicl~,will,be ft the. lambing season, or about the middle of May. . Mr. Collins is ready to start at any time the chairman of the committee may designate. In the mean time the Benton people should be up and doing. VISIT TO THE FLATHEAD AGENCY. Iaving accepted an invitation from Mr. Harry Lambert, head farmer of the Flat head agency, to visit the reservation and witness the Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations which promised to be of more than usual interest, I had the (ood fortune to secure a seat with Messrs. l)Daniel W ,elch and John Hayes, on the 10th nilt., for the trip. The seat was easy, and mounted in an elegant new spring wagon, to which was hitched a splendid team. With the reins in the hands of Jack, who, for short, is usual ly called "Mulligan." we 4litded out of Missoula and across the level bench land, viewing some pretty farms and many acres of unclaimed lands. Eleven miles fronm town we faced toward the north, passing the premises ot C. C. O'Kiet, an old resi denter, known here as "Baron O'Kief." As we sped up the valley toward a gate in the mountains the story of how Mr. O'Kief got the title of "Baron" was listened to with in terest, but it will be enough to state that the title still clings to him, and that the cas tle in which he lived in early days still stands; that his farm of 200 or more acres is well improved, for he still reigns in a manner suited to his making-kig-king of the hills and herds thereon. Into the gate of the mountains and along the pebbly road we went, but slowly, for it was up hill. Mulligan asked me "what col or were my stockings," and I told him they were not striped. Then he said something about pedestrians, but I told him I had no love for them. Then he said "walking Is pleasant and healthy," and I was about to -tell him that my health was splendid when he said, "its fashionable and prolitable, too; women do it." "This is too much," said W. "Can't stand the press," and I was too fill for utterance. So we all dismounted and walked, though there was none who could do 3,000 quarter mniks in 3,000 quar ter hours. The top was reached and we en tered the reservation. At this point a-low, leýealain called Cama"s ra ldrki pine /-t-;. -e x- dl i ig-"iigh apt+Fe..io. l. tains on all sides. The prairie is marshy, produces good hay, and is a noted place of summer resort for Indians who spend the fall season in gathering Camas roots, a sort of potato-like vegetation that grows abund antly here, and which, when cooked, has a palatable taste, answering to some extent as a substitute ior bread. It was here that Col. Medary, when Indian agent, built a hog ranch, the remains of which still stand. His design I suppose was to utilize the res ervation by feeding his hogs oni the Camas root. Several prairies were passed through, when we descended a long grade cut around the mountain and through a grand pine for est, crossing a gay little stream at the foot. The banks of this stream are noted as hay ing been the scene of many hard fought bat tles by the contending Indian tribes years ago. The last battle of which there is any record happened in 1SM.( or about that time, when, it is said, a great lrave chief was killed. The only "record" is-a circle ol round stone lying uponl tlheplace, showing where he fell, and two long rows of stone stretched out. across the flat representing the lines of battle.' A historian distinguish ed for his long residence iq.thege parts tells an interesting story of the battle and the 'victory. The only strange thing about it is, that twentyflve years ago those stones lay on top of the ground, and now they are nearly covered in the earth. lie can't see why the only record of the event should be so obliterated, and that in the face of eye witnesses, for he has been .there otten. A minute's drive took tus out on the level land, the beautiful valley of the Jocko, and a ten minutes' drive further, landed us at the Flathead agcneey, the home of Major P. Ronan, where we were kindly cared for and remained until tlhe following day. The Jocko valley varies in width from two to six miles and is about 12 miles long. The land is level trom the river rising slightly to the mountains which are very high and rise up abruptly without foot-hills. Just back of the agency which is near the head of the valley the scenery is the most charm iag I haj c ever, beheld. The land is. level, rising only a little until the mountain is reached, then a :ski rt of timber covers their base when they rise in majestic splendor, scolloped and fluted, pointed and oval, part ly covered with green pines, then craggy, draped in snow so far up that their summits seem like great pillars proping up the ethe rial heatvens. It was a pleasant view I had Ironm the porch at the valley below, for it is one of the prettiest I have seen for many a (tlay. Not only did I see the winding river, shady forests anndgrad snov -clad moun tains overlooking thlm, but tine farms, and comfortable hoines dotted the plain as far as I cared to look. The farms were not large, few of thenm not covering more than 80 acres, yet none were less than 30 acres, but they were the property and the homes of Indians. The thrms are enclosed with spit rail fencecs, and the dw;ellings made of logs, except occaiounally at a newv location the tepee is used. The l;ud:insidle the fields was nearly all broken, the seeding sea;Loa being well nigh through, but busy Indians could be seen making frence, hauling logs, wood and doing other work,just as is done in other parts of the country. The soil is deep, free of stone, and very produlctive. The Indian farmers raise wheat, oats and vegetables; grow their own pork and beef, aad raise horses. Many of them own sever al hundred head each. The entire estimate of cattle belonging to Indians on the reser vation is 6,000 head ; hoirses, 2,600 to 3,000, and about 500 hogs. The number of acres under fence and farmed is about 2,600. The product raised last year was 10,000 bashelk of wheat, 5,000 bushels of oats, and 1,500 bushels of potatoes. The reservation is provided with a threshing machine, which the Indians use, helping each other withl that work. There is also a saw mill and flouring mill on the reservation, and the flourinng mill has run constantly through the fall, winter and spring, but still has grain on hand. I did not learn the number of Indian farmers, but was informed that the agency blacksmith put 93 plows. in re pair this spring. I believe these Indians are as prosperous as any people nteed be. The more they work the more they are en couraged by a retu'rn for it, and I am con vinced that they can be civilized. They ,hal-~cQa l 1 Ic i~ .LJsrtf r wa: L ; he teach es them how to work and helps them wllhen they need help. Hie is their judge, mediator and benefactor. lie settles their disputes and they abide by his decisions. To-morrow we go to the muission, twenty miles distant, Major Ronan, his estimable wife, Hoit-some-high and the Sho-sho-to-ma accompanying us. WILL. " - . . . ,.,.I . ,.i I,.. . . . T'IE Butte Miner has information that the Utah & Northern railroad is to be pushed forward to the Montana line, at which place it is to halt until, our .territory manifests a more friendly feeling towards it. If. this means subsidy, it may as well go iuto cam p, for the present people of Montana will never vote a subsidy, howwver insignificant, to any railroad. A NEw YonK dispatch says that the Northern Pacific railroad company has ne gotiated a loan of $2,000,000 on six per cent. bonds to enable them to extend their road 'two hundred wiles west from Bismarck this season. This road completed to the Yel lowstone will cause eastern Montana to loom up as if by magic. . U--- EASTERN MONTANA COLONY. Tihe Montana Improvement company held a meeting on Wednesday for the election of olticers and other business, when it was de cided to postpone the election, and the offi. cers will be chosen at a meeting to be held at 8 o'clock, p. m., April 30th, at the Mer chants hotel. As most of the colony will leave St. Paul May 1st, this adjournment will accommodate all. Much important business was disposed of and several new memlbers admitted. As a matter of some interest to our readers we may mention the fact that such men as II. M. Loomer, M.. Wescott and S. W. Frisbie, of Shawano, A:. D. Lectra, of St. Croix county, D. Merghen, of Marathon county, and A. J. Hayward, of this city, are among others who have "joined the band" lately. The company have taken. rooms in the sec ond story of Beaudette's brick building, ad joining Goddard & Chisholm's drug store, to facilitate the transaction of. business in the shorttime left to prey r.e to depart,-. Ch1ippewua( (Wis.) k crald.