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THE RIVER PRESS.
Published every Wednesday morning by the River Press Publishing Company. JERRY COLLINS. W. J. HARBER. Editors and Managers. All letters and communications containing matter in tended for publication in this paper, should be addressed to "The River Press," and the name of the writer must be given to insure attention. Local advertisements will be inserted in these columns at the rate of fifteen cents per line from transient and ten cents per line from regular advertisers. FORT BENTON'S FUTURE RAIL ROADS. Any one who has taken the pains to construct an imaginary map of the future iron thoroughfares of Montana cannot help being impressed with the belief that one of the great centers for these roads must be at Fort Benton. Any general map of the northwest will present its natural advantages to the ordinary obseryer as well as to the railroad magnate. - One hundred and fifty miles to the south of us lies that great transcontinental route, the North ern Pacific. About 175 miles to the north of us runs the Canadian Pacific. This leaves an immense gap of 325 miles, '~,hose only direct communication with eastern markets is by steamboat naviga tion on the Missouri river, which, of course, is not available during the win ter months. Fort Benton's position, near the center bf this gap and at the head of navigation on the Missouri, would necessarily make it a'n objective point for the new east and wed through line, that the opening of the ni rthern reservation will soon demand. must not be supposed that because t)ik rail roads have heretofore shunned this im mense section of country it is a wor less and barren region; on the contrary, it is conceded by all., without exception, to have more varied, naturalresources than any other part of the west. As a proof of this statement take the exports from Fort Benton for the three months, May, June and July, last summer.--1,200, 000 pounds of wool, representing the fleeces of 200,000 sheep; 300,000 pounds of bullion, which show only prospective ly the mineral wealth of the Belt moun tains; 50,000 pounds of hides, furs and peltries. Here are the immense cattle ranges of the upper Missouri, Teton, Marias, Sun River, Judith and Mussel shell. Of the 475,000 cattle credited to Montana this country can safely be said to range two-thirds of the entire number, and with the immense Indian country north of the Missouri still a blank, as far as productiveness is concerned. The finest sheep and horse ranges in the west are to be found in this same coun try, as is well demonstrated by the herds and bands of stock now running hog-fat on the immense pastures of native bunch grass, in the winter at that. All the beef steers that are marketed in the east are driven to Miles City and Billings and sent to the eastern cities, via the Northern Pacific. Major Wyman, chief roadmaster of the Yellowstone division of the railroad, states that 1,768 carloads, or about 33,500 beef Steers, were shipped east from that section of the road in the shipping season of 1883, and that 943 car loads, or about 12,500 stock cattle, were shipped in from, the states. Most of these cattle shipments would have been made by the proposed road further north,, as it wodld be right in the cen ter of the cattle country of Montana in stead of south of it, as is the case with the Northern Pacific. This country, which is now railroadless, is one vast net work of fine valleys, whose agricul tural resources are unbounded-oats, wheat, barley, potatoes, peas and garden vegetables of all kinds here grow in lux uriance. The valleys that are best suit ed to ranching are Sun River, Judith, with its numerous tributaries,Highwood, the smaller streams emptying into the T'eton, Marias, the lower Milk river and the Missouri river bottoms. Railroad construction would be easy-no moun ta1h ranges to cross nor expensive tun e, ls to blast out in coming up the Mis souri from Bismarck until you strike Milk river, and then up the wide bot tomns of that river to a point north of the Bear's Paw, from there up the Big San dy, and on to Fort Benton. That it is a natural and feasible route is shown by its adoptiof by all, from the roving redskins to the heavy government andl private transportation of the preseit day. From Fort Benton to Buford thel distance is 400 miles, from' Buford to Bismarck 200 more, making only 800 miles -a short n tlroad in these days. Look at the mountains, would ye nort. Terhe r alpo# ther . A hsy,, .rkerss bl and 44it I tego and i yer produIcers of M that at have i0 fill ; 1 _ _ _ _ Ir -ý _ ____I f ] 11 _ _______I__. - ' ,. I _ __i I I I I I i I lli e . . _ I I ! _I,, - .t* N K N .Q 111 I I t tI ýý l _;=:"e~/·pj -_ ----5= --- -_ - - -- ·=-=- --- = ---ma .-" ý ,ýý -- -: ._.. _ _:._ ý. all Montana to themselves are both con scious of the splendid possibilities of this country as a feeder for their linen- the Utah & Northern having a line sur veyed from Helena and the Northern Pacific from Billings, via the Judith Ba sin. It is only a question of time that both of these roads will be constructed, as well as a through eastern line. Fort Benton's great natural advan tage as a possible railroad center is that here lies the head of navigation on the mighty Missouri. This fact alone will compel railroads to come to us. As Min neapolis and St. Paul, situated at the head of navigation, are destined in a short time to be the metropolis and rail road center of the upper Mississippi val ley, so Fort Benton similarly situated on the Missouri will some day be the lead ing business center of the vast region drained by the upper Missouri and its numerous tributaries. Railroads are built to make money, andto do this they strike for the point where there is freight to handle and passengers to carry. Would the Utah & Northern ever have built a track to the bald hills upon which Butte now stands if it had not been for the vast mineral deposits contained in them, and which furnish copper matte and rich ore by the train load every day ? Let us take sa ook at the freight which a railroad here would have a chance to compete for. In 1883 there was received at Fort Benton by the Missouri river about 20,500,000 pounds of freight. The ship ments destined for this point show an increase of 4,000,000 pounds over the sea son of 1882. The down stream shipments from Fort Benton show over 4,000,000 pounds. We have no means of finding out how many pounds of freight are shipped by the Northern Pacific and then brought by bull and mule trains from Billings and Helena during the winter months when navigation is closed. The quantity of goods that comes into this'country that way is im mense, and, of course, this freighting would be all absorbed by a home rail road. FUFURE STOCK INTERESTSb OP TWHE BLACKFEET RESERVATION. While summing up the possibilities of the Indian country as a mining and ag ricultural region we can not very well overlook the business that will be, para mount to all-the.tock interests. Every one of the old-timers that give you an estimate of the probable worth of that northern country puts its capabilities for stock raising first, before either mining or ranching. It, it well known among buffalo hunters that the Milk river coun try has always been a favorite pasture ground for those bhuge bands, which ised to blacken the Montana prairies. Stock mfen have found oitt by long experience at*at n'rtge ited by th fia 0A at ni etarly'day aie now first cIass +ws for be&4 and droves of doiestibc anIs. Cat le, ee' and horsey thrive on he : aq ange. and are able to, face Oesame wiry 4 tblis ;a the aborlgine -h: i44leb A}esc e Thluk; of the t3u~sand 4 qJipqthat have ben ship ;p4# frta V;t#d an4 ths trading ltI;e r te lasty rprelo By tis wecan form some estimate of the number of animals in the vast herd which once roamed over its vast solitudes. It would be safe to estimate that an equal num ber of cattle could be fed from the same range, besides an equal number of sheen and horses, as domestic animals, do not roam so much and will eat a range closer than buffalo would. Governor Crosby, in his annual report to the secretary of the interior, estimates that on October 1st, 1883, there was the following num ber of head of live stock and their value in Montana: Cattle, 475,000, at $30 a head, $14,250,000; sheep, 700,000, at $3 a head, $2,100,000; horses, 90,400, at $7 a head, $6,780,000. A prominent stock man has estimat that the Blackfeet reservation is capab e of supporting as much live stock there is in Montana, so we can jud what an enormous gain would be made in the Montana assessment rolls as'soon as this wonderful stock country comes to be filled by droves of cattle and herds of sheep. The live stock now in Montana, according to Goy. Crosby's report, foots up the snug little sum of $23,130,000. If a like estimate be put upon the future stock valuation of the Indian country here we have an increase of over $23.000, 000 of capital in the territory. It must be remembered, too, that the most of this increased wealth would be in Choteau county and its trade would be tributary to Fort Benton. Judging from the last assessment, which represents probably about two-thirds of the actual wealth of the county, Choteau could foot up now about $5,000,000. We could take only half of the estimated increase and still have over $11,000,000 added to the county's assessment. The northern country will not have to wait long, after the act of congross throwing it open to the whites is signed by the president, before there is a regular stampede by stockmen from all over the west for the new pastures. Stockmen know too well the value of a new range to let the chance go by without securing their share of the prize. SPRING- STAMPEDES. As things now stands, says the Helena Independent, it looks as if there will be a strong stampede to the Coeur d'Alene mines, with the prospect that about one n a hundred will make a good sueess. There will also be a stampede to the Bear's Paw mountain, another to the Little Bockies, and still another to the Sweet Grass hills. These three localities %re in the Black feet reservation and all ire as yet forbidden ground and c.nse 4uently calculated to create agreater de sire to explore them. This region possibly be opened to settlement b the May suns shine upon these oromised lands. Be this as it may, many : will go ,these localities regardless oftomahawk: ealping :knives and blue coats. Maki v us stories ; have beend told of nuggets l goldd sandes, and .quartz rich in ýpreiou~ etals, found in these regions.. Such attractitns will overcome all reserv ed rights and powers of all theBlaekfeet la the-country. t Even. Uncle Sam will. havew a fult job to to p astampede i search ofsuch E1 Dorados asthese mun tains and hills are generallysujppose4 to contain. - MOIITANA CATTLE RAISING. What an Investment of $20,000 Will Bring About in Ten Years. Interesting Facts and Figures Applying to One of Our Profitable Industries. Gee. R. Tingle, one of the many suc cessful stock growers of eastern Montana, and an accepted authority on all matters pertaining to the industry in which he has been successfully engaged for years, has prepared an exhaustive table of increase, etc., a herd of 600 cows and 30 bulls will show in this Territory, sup posing the herd to be now on the range and the inventories to be taken ten years hence, or in 1893. The figures of Mr. Tingle, submitted to Addison Myers, C. J. Neal, well known cattle men of eastern Montana., and to numbers of the prominent stock owners of Montana, are unhesitatingly endorsed by them all. The following is an intelligent presen tation of the exhibit made, the stears not being divided as to age, as are the cows: ,Total Y'rly Cows. incr'e. Steers loss. Years. 3 2 1 1, 2, 3 At 5 yrs. yrs. year. > and 4 per Syrs. cent. 188.........100 200 300 . .. 1884......... 285 285 114 228 1141 30 1885 ......... 542 108 217 484 325 40 186 ......... 618 206 2231 447 533 59 1887 ......... 783 212 329' 659 836 79 1888 ........ 945 313 3781 756 1,07T 105 1839 ......... 1,195; 359 478 956 1,325 165 1990 ........ 1,456i 454 590 1,181 1,668 196 1891......... 1,815! 561 726 1,452 2,042' 261 1892 .... ..... 2,257 690 903 1,806 2,535 320 1893 ......... 2,800 858 1.120 2,240 3,239 396 Totals........ .... .... 10,159 1,651 The increase of steers would give, in 1887, a total of 98 four-year-olds, which the computer marks to sell at 5 cents per pound gross, on an average weight of 1,350 pounds. In 1887, then, the ranch man would have 98 to sell, amounting to $6,615. In 1888, 186, amounting to $12,555. In 1889, 191, for $12,892,50. In 1890, 282, for $19,035. In 1891, 324, for $21,970. In 1892, 409, for $28,707.50. In 1893, 506, for $34,355. 'Or a total in the last seven years of the decade of 1,196 four-year-old steers, bringing at 5 cents per pound, $136,130. Taking an inventory of stock on hand in 1893, the ranchman would have of cows, three years old and past, 2,800, worth $40 each; total, $11 0000 // ) V Two year old and past, 858, at $30, worth $25,740. One year old and past, 1,120, at $20, worth $22,400. Of steers, one year old and past, 1,150, at $20, worth $22,400. Two years and past, 858, at$30, worth "$25,740. Three years and past, 655, at $50, worth $32,750. Bulls, one year old and past, 200, at $75, worth $15,000. Total value of cows, steels and bulls, $256,030. Add sales during seven years of $136, 030, and the total money realized and value on hand foots up $392,160. From this is to be subtracted the cost of the plant ($19,615) and the expenses for the ten years ($39,010), given at $58, 625, leaving a total net gain of $333,535. To this may be added the horses and other personal property accumulated in ten years. From the table and figures given above the following deductions are made: Amount of stock to start, 630, including 30 bulls. Total at end of ten years, 10, 789, less 1,996 beeves sold and the 5 per cent. loss, amounting to 1,651, a total of 3,647, leavifg on hand 7,302 head of stock, the increase of bulls making their total 160. The average income for the ten years would be $13,613, and the aver age yearly expenses $3,600, leaving a net yearly income of about $10,000. and showing a net per centagelof gain on the original investment of $20,000 of 50 per cent. per year. Of course all the above deductions are predicted upon the sup position that the ranchman is unvisited during the decade by any general calam ity, such as disease or loss by flood or storm. It is fair to call attention to the fact that Montana has enjoyed since it first became noted as ,a cattle raising country, an immunity from wholesale or even serious loss i herds, which neighboring states and territories 4o the south cannot boast. ' if Maiden's Mines. A paper devoted' to the resources of orthern Montana would be incomplete hout some notice of the richk mining ons of this camp. Attention was to this district by the discov er ground in the gulch in the Good pay was struck and some large nuggets owingg to the scarcity of able quarts that was soon s omnipresent; pros peitor, a iverted from the pacer ech. Aenaame mines, of this district too much space for a --sho ti as it w-al take the w o to do justice to allt which for the greater part yet lie unde. veloped to any considerable extent. The Collar mine and mill deserve the first place in any article devoted to the mineral resources and developments of this promising camp. The mine shows a remarkably large lead of silver bearing free milling rock. It has been developId by a shaft and tunnel, with levels and cross cuts, and all the developraeints made so far go to show a permanent tis sure vein with large bodies of 'good are, Last summer a fine 20-stamp mill ws erected, at a cost of over $100,00(, aulil commenced pounding away on tthir rich silver rock on the 1st day of Nove;ij. ber. The cold snap that came on the last of the month unfortunately fr',ze up their flume which brought in w\vter to the works. This obliged the mill to shut down after a short run. The value of the bullion realized is not known, iut is understood to be quite satisfactory to the officers and stock holders of tlje company. The Montana and Oro Cache tiin,,es are owned by Hauser and Holter, ft' Helena, who have had them well (hdvtel oped this last summer. The mines show large bodies of very rich ore-the quartz of the Montana mine running more to silver and the Oro Cache to gold. .\ Hunntington oscillating mill, with two stamps, was erected in 1882, and lhas done good work in cr ushing ore, show ing a capacity of over ten tons a day. The appliances for saving the gold and silver seems to be wanting, as in ()October only 24 per cent of the gold was saved, over three-fourths of the precious mnetal running into the tailings. Even with this terrible wastage, the 330 tons of ore crushed during the month gave $9,o00i worth of bullion and a net profit of $7,000. One can realize what the profits would be if works were erected with a capacity of 100 tons a day which would save a decent percentage of the gold and silver in the rich ore. Negotiations are now pending for the sale of this property to a wealthy English company for a quarter of a million dollars. ' If this sale is not consummated the present owners intend to.put up extensive and suitable machinery this coming summer, so that the ore can be worked at a big profit to the company. Many of the mines and some of the business portion of Maiden lie on the Fort Maginnis military reservation, but without doubt the 48th congress, now in session, will curtail the reservation so as to leave the mountains and mines free to the rustling prospector. The Cone Butte district, only a few miles from Maiden, shows large leads of rich silver rock, which have been work ed on a great deal this last summer. The owners of the leads are confident they have valuable claims which will mealize them a fortune at some future day. The merchants and other business men of Maiden feel assur:ed of the future of this promising camp, and have shown their confidence by erecting good store buildings and laying in big stocks of goods. The Minerel Argus, published at Maiden, is a live weekly newspaper devoted to the mining interests of the camp and the stock and agricultural re sources of the surrounding country. Though the youngest, it is one of the spiciest papers in the territory, and has the best wishes of the RIVER PRESS for a long and prosperous existence. Maiden is something less than ninety miles from Fort Benton, and in conse quence of this being the natural supply and shipping point for that camp, the river metropolis is greatly interested in their welfare and success. Benton has always done a large business in selling to the merchants, miners and ranchmen of that section. Our old time businuess men understand to a dot the wants of western people, and propose by low prices and liberal treatment to merit the patronage of Maiden and the surround ing country. Utah & Northern Extension. BozE6.,,', December 24.-The engi neers of the Utah & Northern (the nar row gauge branch of the Union Pacific road) are here surveying the Gallatin extension of the National park branch of that road through Bozeman, where the company has recently acquired large coal interests at Gallatin City, near the headwaters of the Missouri. It is under stood that the Park branch will be built early in the spring and that it may possibly be extended to Fort Benton, at the head of navigation on the Missouri, and to a connection with the Canadian Pacific. In the meantime the Northern Pacific company is making inquiries as to the feasibility of a line from Helena to Benton with the view of heading off' the northern connection of the Utah & Northern with the Canadian Pacific. This would give the Union Pacific at other outlet east in anticipation of an allianee bptw-een the Northern Pacific and' the hicagq, Burlington & Quincy road. The best and most complete assortment of fail and winter clothing can be found at flirhberg & Nathan's.