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THe SWEET GRASS HILLS.
Col. Ilges' Opinion of This Wonder ful Portion of Montana. A Paradise for the Stock Man and a Good Field for the Hardy Prospector. Knowing that Col. Ilges spent a por tion of the past year at the summer "anmp in the Sweet Grass hills, a coveted portion of the reservation, a RIVER 1'in:ss representative recently inter viewed him in reference to the country ·an- w.as fortunate enough to secure the flilovwing statement, based upon actual ,l)se.v:ttion froml a pretty thorough sur y:e alld examination of the field: lThe Sweet Grass hills are a much cov ete : portion of the great Indian reser vatio il ,'xecite(t to he thrown open by .:re.;sitna act ion (luring the present on(iHl) olf (.(oleross. They are situated th)(iUl , i. le·is northwest of Fort Benton anii te. (.illlltry in'luded in what is knwn iby tlU, name of Sweet Grass biii!l: is more extensive than one would ~i fr'l:ii a survey of the maps extant. }Ti .v i"lir 'ii, Wild Horse lake west 1\-n.,t :',; : distance of about 2.5 miles, :tll'4 :1'~re .' ct( ) i chailt of buttes and 'i~tg' (.)vored with a bountiful supply , Hi', spr.hil, ' aper and scrub cotton w\:O, 1 lie latter along the sides of the ul,"('H. iF rom the south to the north they eext' i(l all The way from ten to fifteen Sn le -. The hills are well watered, and Iearly every gulch has little watery :.tr.imt1ea*ts, which unite to form Willow, '1plar and Tootsie creeks, flowing off to Milk river. Lo,,kiing from the highest peak over tlhi surrounding country to the north ;:tMll west, lakes, by the hundred, can be ise'tt as fthr as the eye reaches. These lak es swarm with ducks and geese at the plroper season, and the water, unlike many other lakes in Montana, is but slightly alkali. The grazing in the hills and neigh I.orliood is excellent, the grass being of tlict nutritious bunch kind, although the soil is of a gravelly nature. In the gulchlles and along the bottoms of the creeks which do not run dry the vegeta tiii is rank and the flora would delight the eye of a botanist. Wild clover, sweet pea, wild geranium, Datura Stra ioniumI and the highly poisonous bella donna keep watch, as it were, at the en trances of the canyons to keep away the seaucher after the mysteries and pre cious deposits in the hills, while pure springs of water ripple down out of solid rock a nd from the hillsides in every di rection, making the picture one of sur passing beauty. The hills are a perfect wonderland, even without the addition of the mineral wealth accredited to themi-just the place for a poet or a stud ent of botany or any of the kindred sciences. At the foot of the two principal buttes the 18th infantry established a summer camp early this year, and from here many successful raids upon horse thieves and marauding.Crees were planned and executed. While there the military erected an immense corral, which is now abandoned and which would cost any private party at least a couple of thousand dollars. There are no other buildings there, but a great many "dug outs" that might be made available. Capt. O'Brien, of the 18th infantry, prospected the hills somewhat last sum mier, and found gold and silver bearing quartz, which, when assayed, proved to l, valuable. He has staked off some claiiiis, but of course cannot hold them ui(ler the present condition of affairs. B.ack of the soldiers' camp and within two miles of the foot of the hills, easily accessible by wagons, there crops out, andcl visible to the naked eye for miles around, an immense marble quarry. Speucinens examined by experts have beeu pronounced as the most perfect marble known; hard and flinty, with blue and red veins, and equal, if not superior, to the best Italian varieties. The vein at present exposed is larger than the Grand Union hotel. Tradition has it that cinnabar has been found in the Sweet Grass hills, but of this I know nothing; but I do confi dently believe that thousands of stock men, ranchers and miners will swarm the hills and make fortunes there. There are not many more desirable portions of the great reservation. But comparatively little of the valleys are available for agricultural purposes, but the hunter will find plenty of game, of small and large desctip;ion, from the snipe to the grizzly bear. The stock man, however, will find an inviting field. To me the Sweet Grass hbills seem a veritable wonderland, and I am cer tain that he who lecates there early, taking advantage of the natural resour ces of the country, will find a fortune awaiting him. The colonel $s a close observer, and his very favorable opinion of this pr-i tion of northern Montana will hasten its occupation, once it is opened to set tlement. NEW MINERAL D.IlTRIETS. The ventursome prospector is like the old warrior, ever sighing for new worlds to conquer, and the report of an unex plored mountain range showing signs of mineral wealth brings gladness to his heart. We suppose that the only ranges or spurs in Montana that have not been thoroughly prospected are the Bear's Paw, the Sweet Grass hills and the Little Rockies, all lying in the Blackfeet Indian reservation to the north and east of us. At an early day when all Montana was indiscriminately an Indian country these detached groups of mountain peaks were inaccessible on account of the massacre that was sure to follow any small party's invasion of the heart of the red man's country. Their situation is similar to the Black Hills and we all know how late in the history of mineral discoveries 'their inexhausti ble treasurers were utilized by the ever conquering Caucasian-this delay, too, in the face of rumors and authentic sto ries, both from the Indians and Father DeSimet, of the yellow golden nuggets to be picked up there. It used to be the fashion to laugh at these floating tradi tions as the vagaries of a wondering sav age or the imagination of a religious enthusiast. The rich placers of Dead wood gulch and the inexhaustible gold quartz quarries of the overhanging mountains gave the lie to the doubters and showed that the thousandth part of the naked truth had never been told. The hostile Sioux composed for a long time the same living barrier to the Black Hills that the Blackfeet did to our contiguous northern country. For the last few years as the tribes waned in number and strength the government has stepped in with the "blue coats" and said to the daring prospector: "Don't intrude. This is left as a hunting ground for the original owners." It is only in the last few months that we could see any prospect of this restriction being re moved. From all accounts of travelers, scouts and hunters what a harvest it will be for the thoroughbred prospector! One will not be confined to any single class of mining alone, but placer and gold guartz, silver, coal mines and mar ble quarries in profusion will engage his attention. It would be strange, indeed, if many richly paying mines were not opened up the first summer in.a section of the country where so many rich prospects have been struck by only tran sient travelers. There seems to be a variety of opinions as the comparative value of the Sweet Grass hills, Little Rockies and Bear's Paw as eventually precious mineral pro ducers. One old-timer and boomer tells us that the Sweet Grass hills are worth more than all the rest of the country put together; rich gold and silver quartz is to be found there in profusion. He says besides the gulches, which pan out big, also a quarry which has in it the finest of variegated marble in immense quanti ties. Other prospectors say, look at the beautiful silver bearing galena that has been found in large quantities in the Bear's Paw. The gold nuggets and dust that has come from its rocky ravines will be sure to bring it into future prom inence, and the immense coal viesw that crop out in the surrounding .foothills will furnish fuel some day to warm shivering victims. The oldest of the old timers,, if a comparison is allowable in such a case, still remember the sad fate of the massacred Keyes:and his compan ions. They think that in the Little Rockies still slumbers that golden secret which he was about to solve when mur dered by the red fiends. Even as late as last summer roving parties of white men have found fine silver bearing float scattered over the hills many places. With all these facts staring us in the face is it any wonder our prophesying the ever fortune hunting and never dis pairing prospectors will make a grand rush for the new mineral districts as soon as they are thrown open by con gress to exploration and settlement? Coal Mines. We are informed that several parties have been prospecting for coal on the Indian reservation not far from Fort Benton and we are glad to say with the best of success. Both at the eight and twenty-four mile coulees;-the other side of the Marias, Jake Groff and other par ties here found two feet of excellent cropping right out of the ground, with`a prospect of a much thicker veii' as they gain on the lead. Down the Missoturi; at the Cal Banks, Dave Ogle has tua neled in 16 feet, showing up:four 'feet of finer and brighter klti g - , aIl thib was ever brought <to Fort Bentonm With the reservar~ to thrown pcen thi .eans a fortune to the luck..y owr of these coal nds, nd or J.ort Be nton hese place aro t twenty-four 35 mles from dty respectively. . theenea ` is now thirty,-live miles aWay, on Belt Mreek, any one can see there would be a big Saving in ost of d ass t . the pene of Aie . it that costs $l6 laid down cost $4 at the bank, the other $12 being for the haul ing Every one interested in Fort Benton's welfare will hail cheaper fuel with delight, as it means an increased population and additional prosperity for our now thriving city. The high price of fuel in the past has deterred many, especially those of limited means, from settling here, and we are glad to see there is a prospect of this objection being overcome. The Blackfoot Reservation. The following is from Secretary Tel ler's report and shows that he has a cor rect idea of the condition of the Indians in this section : The number of Indians on this reser vation is about 12,000. Until recently they have been able to support them selves largely by hunting, but the dis appearance of the buffalo is lilkely to cause great suffering among them dur ing the coming winter and spring if an additional appropriation is not made for them. Inspector Howard reports from Fort Belknap, on the 17th of October, 1883, that for the first time in the history of the agency the buffalo have failed to visit that region. Heretofore the buff.lo meat and hides secured by the Indians have been sufficient, with the limited aid given by the government, to give them fair support. If the Indians fail to secure butfido, as it iy now quite cer tain they will, there is great danger of starvation a.long them. They must certainly starve unless they live off of the stock in the vicinity of the agency, but not on the reservation. If the In dians are driven by hunger to kill cattle on the ranges belonging to herders who are rightfully in that section of country, there will be great danger of collision between the herders and the Indians, and if such collision does not occur there will be a great loss of property, for the Indians will doubtless destroy more than they use. These Indians have a fine grazing country and some good agricul tural lands that can be utilized by irri gation.. A suitable appropriation should be made for their immediate wants, and provisions made for stocking the range with cattle, and they will become self supporting from the growth of such herds. The JAackfeet Nation. The following is from an elaborate article on "Life among the Blackfeet," published in Forest and Stream, and from the pen of J. Williard Schultz, a constant and interesting contributor to that journal: It is not the purpose of this paper to give a history of the Blackfeet since the discovery of their country by the whites. It is enough to say that like most all oth er Indians they have bitterly opposed the march af civilization and have been defeated, and that the "Piegans," one of the tribes of the Blackfeet yet remaining on United States territory, are in as des titute a condition as is possible for a peo ple to be. According to tradition, the first white men the Blackfeet ever saw were a de tachment of the Hudson Bay company, which established a trading post on the Saskatchewan at the close of the last century. In the journal of Louis and Clarke's expedition, the narrator men tions meeting the Blackfeet when the expedition were on this side of the main range. Blackfoot tradition, however, makes no mention of this fact, and the writer is inclined to believe that some other tribe must have been mistaken for Blackfeet. Surely such an important etent as the first visits of white men to their country would'have been included in their traditions, and in their unwrit ten history Mr. Jos. Kipp has the honor of being the first white man they ever saw south of the Saskatchewan, he hav ing come up the Missouri to the mouth of the Marias river with an expedition of the American fur company's men in 1832. At the time the American fur compa ny established its post at the mouth of the Marias, the Blackfeet nation was in its prime. At thattime it is said to have numbered some 2,500 lodges, or 25,000 people. It was the largest and most powerful body of Indians in the north west. Together with its allies, the Sar cees and Gros Ventres, some twenty hos tile tribes were without difficulty kept beyond the boundaries of its vast hunt ing ground. -H ),~~rc~r-o(-,4 -. ; Gold and Silver. We are indebted to L. A. Walker, as sistant assayer in charge of the United States assay offiCs at Helena during the absence of Assayer Harrison, for the following exhibit of the gold and silver received at Helena for the year 1883, and since the establishment of the assay of fice, in 1876: 1883. . Gold. Silver. January .........................$ 4,618 88 $6,785 89 February ..................... 26,821 03 844 51 March .................... ....24,5 18 ±97 04 ........................... 38,611 86 96 87 f ................. . ... 409489 69 1,11 39 nJune ........................... 74,43 8 2 ,706 87 July... ..................... 108,1283 T 175448 A gust ........................ +, 73 1, 26 r...................... 3,8T8 1,99 45 c....................... .8,41_ 1,219 7W y.. ...I...w. ......... 103, 36 94 Dce a r(eti .ted..!..... 4,500 00. 00 dO Tftal..................77 trs 17 asT9 48., Vu at(o sad stver bullion at the U tt4 , ... d1) .,ofrom Jan Oad. Silver. e tRgDec. 81, 17...$ R$81 1, " 1818. S,881 sure. " " .188... PIS ,8R 1 - Tatal ..4 ,s tts i uite a Are on the th batg destroyed. W. J. MJYINAR, - RU IST - AND Pharmacist, FRONT TRiEET, FT. BENTON, - . lYONTANA. DUALEB IN Paints, Oils and Varnish, Keep always on hand a full and most complete stock of tine STATIONERY, Perfumery, Toilet A rticles, AND NOTIONS. FINE CICARS Of the choicest and most popular brands are kept constantlvin stock., Choteau House The Leading Hotel! -o Season of 1883. The Reputation of this widely known Hoase for Careful Management! Neatness! -AND THE Best Table in the City! -Shall be maintained.- JERE SULLIVAN, Prop S* * * * * * * * * * * * * SHlllDAN & BIRK[R, HELENA, The Fashionable Tailors OF MONTANA. Have the Latest and Best Styles in Foreign and Domestic Woolens. Also a full line of Gents' Furnishings. -o I TOrders by mail promptly attended to. Samples sent on application. M. A. FLANAGAN, ruggist and Pharmacist BENTON, MONTANA. -Dealer in Paints, Oils, Varnish, Stationery Perfumery, Toilet Articles, Notions, And a complete stock of DRUGS OF ALL KINDS. I have the Largest and Best Selected Stock of WALL PA PER In Jlontana. MY S1OCK OF PLAIN AND FANCY LAMPS, CHANDELIERS, ETC., IS LARGE AND VARIED. Cigars and Smokers' Coods Of all kinds. Orders by mail promptly attended to. M. A. FLANAGAN, POST OFFICE BUILDING. BENTON, M. T. C. M. LANNING DIEALER IlN Watches, Clocks, Jewelry, Silver Ware SEWING MACHINES, ETC. Having moved into my new quar ters on Front Street and -added largely to my stock, I res pectfully invite the in spection of my goods. GeealRepTiar of Watesa, Cfoe Plat, BwtinT g Xachie, Etc., prsoptly attendd to. Orer Uby mapi wrill roeve prmpt W tOnstics,. arAzaws Tw~klrl' 'T,, YEABS Od·F Ollg~nOR :ao lec· oea~. %l roEtisa fin~Ea book and good cosandealeabit ··L- -socea.ak pto-,4 p. STOCKMEN LOOK HERIE WM. GLASSMAN Fort Benton, M. T. Manufacturers of and .ea1orn in HAR ESS, S DLES B RIDLES, Chaps, Spurs, Bits, Etc. Mr. Glassman is the original owner of the patent e,. Trade Mark, wh'ch consists of a horse or cow en- I graved on the saddle, with a fac simile of the purchas er's brand. This patent trade mark was all the rage while Mr. Glassman was of the firm of Roberts & Glassman, of the Cheyenne Saddle Shop, at HIelena. STOCK SABDDL8 a SPECIALTY Give us a call; we will put up as good saddles as can be found in Montana. Orders by mail will re ceive proipt attention. PARK STABL ES HARRIS & LEWIS, Prop. Livery, Sale and Feed Stables. Light and Heavy Turnonts, by the day, week or month. Fine Teams a Specialty. Horses, Wagons, Buggies and Harness on hand at all times and for sale at reasonable prices. MONTANA STABLB Upper Main St., Benton. Mon. Sale, Feed and Livery STABLES The Montana Stables have recently been enlarged and otherv.ie improved, affording ample accommo dations foe ill business in our line. N"- RATES REASONABLE._j CHAS. CRAWFORD. Prop. RELIABLE INSURANCE, Always Cet the Best! rIHE FOLLOWING COMPANIES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. Queen, of Liverpool. City of London, of London. Scottish Union and National, of Edinburg. Phoenix, of London. Hartford, of Connecticut. Western Assurance, cf Toronto. Fireman's Fund, of S&n Francisco. South British and National, of New Zea land. British America, of Toronto. T. A. CUMMINCS & CO. dec3-tf Benton Monfana. MEAT MARKET! Main Street. Call and see us at our new market, next to Baker a DeLorimer's store. We are now better prepared than ever to supply the public with Beef, Mutton, Pork, Fish, Andevery article in our line the market affords. Meat delivered to all parts of the City. KENNEDY & ' KELLY New Meat Market, Next doorto W. S. Wetel's, PRaNT ST., ORTf BENTON. Beef Cattla, pepllCt Pr Of tever kind, gar, etc, , purchased, ? 4 #hars of the frade is repetft p. t T. m. '' I'A