Newspaper Page Text
Fergus County Democrat.
Vol II. No. 10. LEWISTOWN, FERGUS COUNTY, MONTANA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1905. HOW MR. NOBLE STRUCK OIL While Cutting Sprouts a Fergus County Rancher Chopped into Some~Typical Oil Rock. OOK UP STUDY OF GEOLOGY Did Not Make Any Attempt to Ex* ploit His Discovery Until Over Eight Years Later. If Fergus county should ever be come an oil producing region, which is by no means an improbability, the story of the first discovery of oil will certainly be of all consuming interest to all who live in this com munity. It is not unlike the story of many other strikes which ultimate ly become famous the world over, the story in which merest chance plays a big part. Ten years ago, R. W. Noble, a ranch in the foot hills of the Snowy mountains, about 20 miles from this city, was making a new road across his place and the work required that some sprouts be cleared from the ground. With one stroke of his axe, he struck into a rock and broke the bit of the axe half in two. He was greatly worried over the ac cident, as it meant that he should have to make a trip all of the way into Lewistown after a new axe. Curious to know the exact extent of the damage, he reached down and picked up the broken piece. As he raised the piece up to his face he easily detected an unusual odor. I' ex actly resembled the smoke from burn ing oil and its origin was a source of mystery to the rancher. He went home and told his wife about the accident, not forgetting to mention the peculiar odor which he observed when he picked up the brok en axe bit. She told him that it might be oil. He thought little of the matter, but having a little idle time a day or so later, went out to that spot and dug up the rock which his axe had struck. It was evidently saturated with oil and upon being broken op en, it was found to contain a cavity with the capacity of about a gill, full of oil. Even this showing did not excite Mr. Noble, as he had never given any thought to the oil business and was in no wise informed as to the modes of the production of that every day necessity. He decided, however, to go into the matter more thoroughly and at-once secured some geological literature, and from time to time, picked up differ ent publications describing the pro cesses of oil production. The more he read, the more convinced was he that he had on his ranch the best sort of indications of oil deposits. He kept his knowledge to himself until about two years ago, when ha brought into this city some samples of the rock. These samples were found to be so saturated with oil that they would blaze if heated by an ordinary match, and the odor arising from them was unmistakable. Mr. Noble did not disclose the place of his discovery until he and his friends had located a large amount of the ground. There are now three com panies, each comprising eight men, about ready to be incorporated for the purpose of systematically and thor oughly exploiting the ground. These companies have located, altogether, something like 3,600 acres of land In the foot hills of the Snowy moun tains, the ranch of the original dis coverer being in the center of this tract. A few months ago, Ira Myers, of Great Falls, a gentleman who has de voted a number of years -to the oil business, came down and, in company with Frank Moshner, who is also in terested in one of the companies, drove out to the Noble ranch and very thoroughly investigated the grounds. Upon his return, he gave to The Dem ocrat an interview st iting that the in dications of oil were far better than those which were first found in the Tc-*on countv and Alberta llelds. In fact, Mr. Myers stated that, from the best of his knowledge, the outlook for a paying oil field is brighter, far brighter than that which caused the first Beaumont prospector to spend thousands of dollars in drilling for the first well in that now world famous region. Prominent capitalists of the east have been interested in the mat ter and it is confidently believed that a drill will be placed on the ground sometime in the spring. Mr. G. W. Noble, the man who dis covered the indications, has undergone the usual vl§issitudes of a Montana rancher, and his friends hope that he may speedily realize something from his prospet. Arrested For Larceny. Evan R. Williams, a young man who, it will be remembered, played on the Lewistown base ball team and worked in the local wool warehouse summer before last, was arrested by Sheriff L. P. Slater last Thursday up on information furnished by Manager J. Ward Huse, of the Donovan-Me Cormick company, of Billings, charg ing the young man with having stol en a number of shoes and a large number of pairs of hosiery from the store in Billings. Williams at first denied, sweepingly, his guilt when in ormed of the charge by the sheriff, but while on his way to his room with the sheriff and Manager Symmes, of the Power Mercantile store of this place, he confessed that the things were in his trunk. His trunk was searched and four pairs of good shoes and 27 pairs of men's hosiery were found. It was not until these things were found that he was arrested. His bond was fixed at $200 and he gave a check for that amount, a Billings bank having wired that the young man had money on de posit there. To his friends, Williams stated, that while he was caught with the goods on him. he was in no wise responsi ble for their larceny. He said that he was employed as a bookkeeper in the Donovan-McoCrmick store and had no opportunity to get the things, but that a young man who was with him on this trip and who works in the clothing department of the same store, stole the articles and placed them In his (Williams') trunk. This young man, Wilson by name, left for Billings the middle of the week. Williams ar ranged a bond by wire for his ap pearance in Billings and left for that place, unaccompanied by any officer, yesterday morning. Williams' friends were greatly sur prised at the difficulty into which he appears to have gotten himself. Dur ing his stay here, he made a large number of friends among the young people by his gentlemanly behavior and genial ways. He left Lewistown in the fall of 1904 and worked in the Continental National Bank of Chica go the ollowing winter. Early in the spring, he came back to Montana and secured a good position in Billings. This he held until a couple of weeks ago, when he was sent up to this city by the manager, Mr. Huse, to canvass with a model pantry contrivance which was recently invented. His friends hope that he may prove him self innocent of the charge preferred against him as he says he will upon his return to Billings. HODGDON WILL BE TRIED HERE Case Which Has Attracted Grert Deal of Interest Remanded to District Court. The supreme court, through an opin ion written by Justice Holloway, last week annulled the action of Judge Cheadle of the district court of this ju dicial district in dismissing the appeal of C. G. Hodgdon from the judgment of the justice court, and ordered the noted license case tried on its merits in the district court. The Hodgdon case is one which has attracted wide attention throughout the state and threatens to continue li the limelight of judicial investigation for some time to come. Hodgdon, ac companied by another man, came in to Fergus county early last spring and commenced to canvass the county in the interest of an Iillinois manufactur ing concern. He sold a number of buggies and vehicles throughout the county before he was arrested on the charge of violating a statute passed at the last session of the legislature, the provisions of which require that outside concerns must put up in each county, a license of $300 before they can peddle their wares about the coun ty. Hodgdon refused to pay this fine and upon being tried before Justice Mc Farland was found guilty and fined $130 and costs. Hodgdon appealed from this judgment, filing as an ap peal bond, a certified check for double the amount of the fine. After a legal battle in which some of the best at torneys of the state were engaged, Judge Cheadle dismissed this appeal on the ground that no undertaking on appeal had been filed. The defendant appealed from this decision of the dist rict court and the supreme court now holds that an undertaking is not neces sary and orders the case tried here. County Attorney Roy E. Ayers, assist ed by Attorney Oliver W. Belden rep resent the state in the case and Hun toon, Worden & Smith and H. Leon ard DeKalb are the local attorneys for the defendant. The case will prob ably come up for hearing at the next term of the district court. BACKFR0M CALIFORNIA. G. W. Cook and Wife Return From Visit to the Coast. George W. Cook and wife returned last night from an extended' trip to cities along the Pacific coast, having spent the greater part of the time in San Francisco, the guest of their son, Will, who now has a responsible po sition in the office of the Southern Pa cific R. R. company. On their way home Mr. and Mrs. Cook stopped at Portland, Seattle, Tacoma and Dillon, having visited their daughter. Mrs. Dr. Stephens in the last named place. To the Demo crat, Mr. Cook stated that, in his opin ion. none of the country which he vis ited is to be compared with Montana in natural resources or as a place in which to live and for that reason he was rather glad to get home. CROPS WITHOUT HELP OE RAINS Professor Atkinson, Agronomist at Montana Experiment Station Writes Good Paper. OF INTEREST TO FERGUS PEOPLE Deep Breaking and Prompt Cultiva tion Are Two Prime Essentials of Dry Land Farming. The following paper on the subject "Dry Land Farming," was prepared by Prof. Atkinson, the ivell known ex pert who is connected with the Mon tana Experiment station at Bozeman. This copy is furnished to The Dem ocrat through the kindness of Rev. Henry Quickenden, who, during his visit to Bozeman last week had an in teresting talk with Prof. Atkinson on this subject, which is of such impor tance to the ranchers, or a larger number of them, of Fergus county: A glance at the physiographic clas sification of land areas throughout the semi-arid west reveals the fact that the location of millions of acres is such as to preclude all Irrigation possibili ties. This land contains all the es sential plant food elements for the growth of maximum crops. The dif ficulty that confronts the farmer here is the apaprently insufficient moisture supply and when this land is farmed it must be under the system known as "dry land farming." During the past ten years considerable of this land has been devoted to crop growing, and in many instances good returns were gained for the money invested. With this existing possibility, it may not be inappropriate to consider the essentials to success in this class of agricultural practice. While plants require a large amount of water for growth, some as high as 500 pounds for each pound of dry mat ter produced, yet when we figure the water required to mature a crop in terms of inches rainfall it appears to be very slight. Seven inches precip itation conveys enough Water to the earth to grow a good cereal crop. Since the average annual precipitation of this area is not less than 12 inch es and in some cases as high as 18 inches, it is evident that if half this moisture were saved, paying crops could be grown. In preparing the soil for a dry land crop the first essential is to have a seed bed that will store the maximum amount of water. When land is to be broken for the first time experience seems to indicate that this can be best done in the spring or at least not lat er than June. As to the depth, little definite experimentation has been car ried on to determine this, but the gen eral practice is to break from 4 to G inches deep. The deeper the soil is broken the first time, the greater re servoir of loose earth there will be to hold moisture later. The soil will be harder to work down for a year or two, but better results seem to attend deep breaking eventually. As the breaking is being done it is important to keep the land cultivat ed. A good plan is to disk the part plowed during the day before leaving the field in the evening. The land will work down more easily when in this condition than if the land is al lowed to remain untouched for a time; and since the disking fills the crevices and forms a mulch on the surfacee; any moisture that may be present is prevented from escaping. If the fur rows are allowed to remain just as the plow leaves them, hard and com pressed, with spaces between them such that the air circulates frfeely, ev ery particle of moisture present either in the furrows or the underlying soil escapes. This leaves the soil hard to work into seedbed condition, and since moisture is lacking the humus or veg etable matter that has been turned under does not decompose. Early spring cultivation ought to fol low on land that has been fall plow ed. An experiment reported by King of Wisconsin in his "Physics of Ag riculture" brings out the value of this. He determined the spring moisture content of a piece of fall plowing as soon as the soil was in a condition to be cultivated. He then had a por tion of the ground cultivated while a similar portion was allowed to re main untouched. Seven days later moisture determinations on the two areas showed that there was a slight gain in the percentage moisture in the surface foot of the cultivated area, while on the uncultivated area, six pounds of moisture, an equivalent of an inch and three-quarters precipita tion had been lost from the surface foot. This shows the necessity of ear ly cultivation, especially in dry land farming. When the atmosphere be comes warm enough to evaporate wa ter from the surface, moisture that has been deposited there during the fall and winter goes very rapidly. With the soil in a packed condition as we find it in the spring water moves through it rapidly from particle to par ticle. This movement is from the wet to the dryer parts and as the dry place is at the surface, the water brought to the surface passes off in to the atmosphere. When the surface soil is stirred and the compact condi tion broken up, the moisture cannot move through and is accumulated a few inches below the surface. This accounts for the increase in moisture on the cultivated area in King's ex periment. When the plowing is done in the spring the cultivation ought to follow imemidately for the same rea sons as in the case of breaking. Cultivation should be continued throughout the summer and at no time should the summer fallow be allow ed to become packed on the surface. The year the field is being summer fallowed it gives no returns, and since the onlj object in allowing it to re main without the crop it to accumu late to insure good crop returns the following year, the cultivation should be kept up so that this advantage will be surely gained. In addition to careful moisture con serving cultivation of the soil, care must be exercised in selecting the crops to be sown. Only those crops that possess characters which fit them to cope with conditions of scant mois ture supply ought to be planted if the highest success is to be attained. These crops must be vigorous grow ers, able to make full use of all mois ture that may be present. They must be deep rooted in order that food may be drawn from a wide area. They must be early maturing so that their growth will be gained before all the moisture is used up. Lastly when grain is desired the seeding must be then so that all the moisture will not be used in leaf and stem production. Fall sown crops seem to give the best returns on the dry land, as what ever growth there Is in the fall is just that much gain over spring sown grains. Amongst these crops, fall rye seems to be one of the best to plant. It it a rapid grower with vigorous feeding powers. This crop ought to be sown the latter part of August or the early part of September. It is fre quently cured as hay and when intend ed for this purpose ought to be cut as soon as it comes into head, in order that its palatability may be retained. About 50 pounds of seed per acre is required. Fall wheat grows well on dry land and ought to be sown about the same time as fall rye. Thinner seeding is advisable in the case of this crop, thirty pounds usually being suf ficient for an acre. Amongst spring sown crops possi bly the most profitable yielder is spring rye. It gives a good grain yield and also is valuable when cut for hay. Like all spring crops it does best when seeded as early as it is possible to get ii seeded. Macaroni or Durum wheats seem to be admir ably fitted for the dry land. These wheats were imported from Russia by the U. S. department of agriculture, where their environment developed them into valuable dry land crops. They are strong growers and though the grain has not been regarded with favor by millers in the past it is com ing more and more into common use. It is also in demand for the manufac ture of macaroni and is an excellent stock food. This crop should be seed ed early at the rate of about 45 lbs. per acre. Hulless barley does well as a dry land crop. It matures early and gives a good yield of excellent feed. Flax is sown in some sections and promises well in this connection. Ear ly maturing oats give fair returns when sown early. Kmmor, sometimes known as speltz, is a crop that has been developed for the dry land ami merits a trial. It yields well and the food is of good quality. Potatoes when cultivated regularly yield an average crop and the quality is especially good. Under dry land conditions the on ly difficulty connected with alfalfa growing is in getting the crop start ed. The summer fallow seed bed should be in good condition and the seed ought to be sown as early as pos sible in the spring at the rate of about 20 pounds to the acre. Fall seeding has given good results and is recom mended by some. The young crop will need cutting back a couple of times the first year to allow the alfal fa to gain a foothold over the weeds that may come up. The spring of the second year the ground ought to be thoroughly harrowed. This stirs the surface, forming a moisture-holding mulch and admitting air. After the first crop has been removed another harrowing has a good effect. Begin ning the spring of the third year the alfalfa field responds to a thorough disking as soon as the ground is fit, and again after the first crop has been removed. In addition to conserving moisture and admitting air the disk ing splits the buches of roots and causes the outgrowth of more shoots. To the uninitiated it may appear that the severe disking would have a disas trous effect on the alfalfa. This is not the case, however, and the good effects from this treatment soon demonstrate themselves. By always keeping a por tion of the farm in alfalfa the soil is kept in good condition and good for age is provided for feeding purposes. In conclusion, the essentials to sue- i cess in a system of dry land fanning j may be summed up as follows: Through an immediate cultivation of the soil after breaking or spring plow-1 ing. Early cultivation on fall plowed land. | Summer fallowing each alternate j year and cultivating frequently espec ially after a rain. Early sowing of crops that have a known value on the dry land and thin seeding when grain is desired. Those crops are: Fall rye, fall wheat, spring rye. hulless barley, macaroni wheat, early matuhing oats, flax and potatoes. Growing alfalfa on different parts of the farm to keep up the nitrogen supply. To gain the highest success in the production of this crop harrowing and disking are essential. FIVE DOLLARS ON THE SURFACE Important Discovery on the Ground of the (ledges Gold Mining and Milling Company. PREPARING TO PISH WORK Rich Lead Will Be Followed Up With out Delay-Prospects Are Most Promising. The Democrat is reliably Informed that the Hedges Gold Mining and Mill ing company have recently made an other Important discovery on one of the claims of their group of mining properties located Immediately west of the Kendall company's property and Joining that well known producer. Re turns from some assays of samples taken from three different places on the surface of one of the claims, eacli place being 150 feet apart, show $3.10 in gold. These showings have greatly encouraged the members of the com pany who were already certain that they had a valuable property and, ns a consequence, the work of developing the property will be carried on with renewed energy. The Hedges property consists of seven claims and was acquired by Dr. M. M. Hedges of this city, Clarence M. Goodell of Philbrook and others about four years ago. They Immediately commenced, through their attorney, J. E. Wasson, to secure patents on the property and lids was necompllshei several months ago. The company was organized with a capital stock <>r $1,500,000 of which 500, 000 shares of a par value of $1 each, were set aside as tivusury slock. Fm the purpose of raising money for the development of the ground, Ibis stock was placed on the market at f> cents per share. A great deal of the stock was readily sold at this price, but ow ing to recent show ings, the price of the treasury stock has been raised to 10 cents tier share. A working shaft, 75 feet In depth, has been put down on the Mary claim and the assays of ore taken from this shaft run from $12 to $20. More recent assays have gone as high as $21.40. The new discoveries are 700 feet from this shaft. A hoist will be put up and a shaft sunk at the latest point of dis covery. It is the intention of the com pany to put a diamond drill in the property in the spring and exploit it. in ibis modern manner. An Apppeal to the Friends of the County School. rrememoei nun you me ii-'jut-rm-u m be present at 7:30 o'clock, Thursday evening in the assembly room of the High School building. COMMITTEE. "Doc" Ivans Invests. E. G., popularly known as "Doc" Iv ans, city editor of the Argus, like most strong minded people, has a hob by, which Is second only to his predi lection for scooping an opposing news gatherer. "Doc" will walk around several blocks to gaze upon a dog which is said to possess a drop of good hlood. While he doesn't actually ab hor the ordinary mongrel tribe, speci mens of which infest the back door, he Is particularly fond of high bred canines and most especially Scotch collies. "Doc" has made a study of that par ticular variety of dogs for a number of years and lias a reading acquaintance with every notable Scotch collie ken nel product in the west. A few years ago he was fortunate enough to pick up Montana Thistle, a member of the Minto family and the very "blue blood ost" dog in Montana and one of the finest dogs in the entire west. Mon tana Thistle is a beauty and her points could not escape the most obtuse ob server of canine qualities. But the dog owning habit Is cumu lative. For a fellow who loves a dog for the dog's own sake, one bone pick er does not entirely satisfy. "Doc" tried manfully to down his desire for Every citizen of L •w Hti wn s aware that i Ik •re will be 111 1(1 in our :ily this week, a con volition of all the educut ors of l he county. t seems i iost ap propria e that the )«•< P l. of 1 he city should manifest tin Ir int crest in our schools which arc i Oil SO n uch for 1 heir cl ildren. An oj (portunity w ill Ii • g Veil to everyon ■ to show ill is int .-rest Next Thursday i-v <n the County High Sc hool will op( n its door s to the public ml everyone u •ged to lie present promptly at 7 MO o'clock and plan to remain unti 1 10 1 ' C1 < M k. The i n st ruct ors of the it Stl tut • an 1 all of the tea filers of the (• >UI ty will la* present and it seeim rnos rnt ng that a large crowd of L ;w St( wn citizens should ie there to r ■ce i vo and become acquain ted with th eir guest i. The county' superintende nt \vi ii in highly pleased if this ai)pe il m eets with a hearty response. another dog, but when he read in a Spo) me paper that Glen Tana Lady wn> adjudged the best dog shown at tlie xhildtion arranged by the Spo ken ■ kennel club and held in that city at the time of the Interstate fair, he immediately threw caution to the wind and wrote to the owner of that dog. It v as all off from that moment and tlie nopular newspaper man announc ed i > latter part of the week that he had dosed the deal for Glen Tana L.uiy, having purchased her of T. F. Griffith. A pedigree of ids latest acquisition shows that Glen Tana Lady Is a lady both in name and by birth. Her par ents and her grand parents and her progenitors for even two or three gen erations further back were ladles and gentlemen of the most unadulterated blood. Whn Glen Tana Lady arrives, which will be within a very short time. "Doc" will have two of the finest bred dogs In the west. Their actual monetary val ue will be more than a half dozen packs of ordinary dogs and the satis faction which n true canine enthusi ast feels In possession of such highly bred stock will be something to the newspaper man. TO INCORPORATE SUNRISE GROUP Articles of New Mining Company All Prepared and Ready to Be Tiled This Week. LOCAL MEN OWN PROPERTY Seven Claims Upon Which Excellent Showing Has Been Made, |0wned By the Company. Attorney II. L. DeKalb lias prepared and ready for filing, llie articles of In corporation of the Sunrise Mining company, the organization of which was effected recently by local men. The Incorporators are S. D. Anderson, J. li. Shaw, W. M. MeC'lean and H. L. DeKalb. The capital stock will lie $10,000 of which Anderson and Shaw have each subscribed $12,000 worth and MeCleun and DeKalb, $soo worth each. The remaining 24,400 shares will be set aside as treasuiV stock and placed on the market for the purpose of raising money for development work. The company owns seven claims one and a quarter miles Ibis side of Maid en In the Warm Springs district. S. D. Anderson located the ground about three years ago, since which time there lias bet n approximately $2,000 worth of work done, consisting of tunnels and shal' s. On t io 1 file claim a good body of cya nidi* ore, assas s from whir 1 W eS as hitfh as $ 2 has icon op elied UJ). 11 as says high from t tn grass roots am 1 imp ■ovos will depth (m (lie sane ol;i im a fin** vein of Ida ek ore. a Hsu 'llitf $27, has |''C|| si ruck Th * on mpan y wi I go to wo •k on a t ima 1 Ol i the first. Th* y will run in. cut l Hi \ eln a id sink on the oi e. TWO shaft s will be >ut l 1 WO k and the de veloi mol l pus bed is n pidly ns pos slide. Thi pr< perty of t ie m w com pany is most fu\ oi aid y loe itcil, being almost surro und •d by pro icrtii s whii Ii have been kno wn as koc d pi( idueers in the past IIHl upon wide h (ini show ngs are being rna de al this ime. On olio side if tin •in is the K its and Deyo pro icrty upon whit Ii a fine strike was roof ntly madi . Ei intern experts exau iriof the prop -rty i few months since an* mad e lie owi ers, A ulerson and Shaw, an offer of $ 20,000 in cash ed, however, as the owners believe that they will make many times that amount out of it within a very few years. Extend fire Alarms. At a special meeting of the city coun cil held last Wednesday evening in the office of Alderman Frank E. Smith, the matter of extending the system of fire alarms was discussed fully', '"hose present were Mayor Binkley and Al dermen Laux, Tub)), Sloan and Brown. Chief J. C. Belli of the local fire de partment stated tHat the rapid growth of the town makes an extension almost absolutely necessary. At present there is but one alarm box, that situated at the corner of Main street and Fourth avenue and much time is frequently lost getting to this place to turn in the alarm. E. D. Porter, a well known electrici an, made a proposition to the council to pul in the additional boxes and ex tend the system for the bare cost of the work. Four boxes would do for the present and then the system could be extended as necessity requires. This plan of Mr. Porter was favorably re ceived by the council and City Clerk H. L. DeKalb was instructed to adver tise for bids. Chief Bebb also brought up the ques tion of electric wiring and the city at torney that he had under consideration an ordinance covering this point.