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The river press. [volume] (Fort Benton, Mont.) 1880-current, January 02, 1884, Image 8

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The Commodore Has Something to
Say About the Opening of the
And the Booming Effect It Will Have on
Fort Benton,
During the recent sojourn of Mr. T.
C. Power in the city, a RIVER PRESS
reporter interviewed him briefly in ref.
erence to the Big Reserve--the proba.
bility of a portion of it being opened ur
to settlement by the present congress,
and the effects of such action upon Fort
Benton. The notes then made have not
been utilized until this time, as the in
formation sought was for use, primarily,
in the Holiday "reservation edition"
It might be well to state in the prem.
ises that there are few men in the north
west possessed of greater business fore.
sight than T. C. Power, as is best shown
by his unfailing success in extending
his business in northern and eastern
Montana. Fort Benton, the commer
Vial center and future metropolis of the
territory, is the headquarters and depot
of suppihed of the firm of T. C. Power
& Bro., with branch establishments in
various outlying sections, and in every
case strong points have been selected,
as is fully shown by their rapid devel
opment and business growth. Reeds
fort, Lavina, Belknap, Clagett, Dupuyer
and Junction City are a few of these
points which are rapidly developing
into 'important trade centers. Int estab
lishing branches, and hence calculating
upon the business importance of these
points, Mr. Power has seldom made an
error. His judgment will do to bani
In answer to the inquiry of the
porter as to the prospect of the openi'
of the reservation, Mr. Power said:
"There is no doubt in my mind but
that favorable action in regard to this
matter will be taken during the present
session of congress. There are no
grounds of oppositicn ver, while
every consideration ( to
the Indians and th~ ~ p na,
demands a reduction of tiq# ion,
and a big reduction, too." -
"What effect will its, opening have on
Fort Benton ?"
"When that is done look out for the
big Fort Benton boom. It will set this
town on fire, so to speak, and with other
influences at work make it the town of
the territory, as I have always main
"What do you know of the character
of the country to be opened to settle
'I have beenfover portions of it, but
not enoughito indulge in a description
or to discourse intelligently on the ad
vantages and resources of the country.
Gen. Ruger said to me not long age that
it is the finest portion of Montana, not
even excepting the magnificent Judith
Basin. There are somejfavored spots in
the latter region, but in the Milk river
country can be found single valleys that
contain more agricultural lands and can
support a greater population than the
whole of the Basin. This is the differ
ence. Besides being a fine stock coun
try, the reservation, when opened up,
will develop into a great farming see
tion, and in time will be the home of
thousands of prosperous ranchers."
0'Do you know anything of the min
eral resdources of that region ?"
"Nothing, except from hearsay. I
have no doubt there will be some good
mineral found in the mountains, but
apart from this consideration, the agri
cultural and pastoral resources of the
country will render itjin time the most
populous and prosperous portion of the
territory. Of this there can be no
Mr. Power was quite enthusiastic on
the subject and is looking forward to the
favorable action of congress with a great
deal of interest. So, in fact, is the en
tire population of northern Montana.
XoQatea Wool.
In the last issue of the Bulletin of the
National Wool Manufacturers' Associa
tion, a quarterly magazine devoted to
the interests and published by the wool
manufacturers of the country, Mi., Gib
son's excellent address before the Mon
tana Wool Grower's association, deliver
ed last summer, is published in full., Is
is spoken of very highly by the editor,
sand calls the attention of manufactur0s
to the recommendations made and the
line future for Montana wool. This .
an excellent word from the right qua#
ter and cannot help doing ,tr cfor our
wool by drawing in such a :P dunid
manner the attention of anuatfa tur> s
it. Mr. Hayes, the seoresa y of the
ational Wo l Mifactuers' assoc
on said4 editor of the qu erly, hes
uxbllat$ a `pamphlet devotd attl
tas st~Qptp~oke
tn' 4 t'
We are almost ashamed to present to
our readers the above poor cut of one of
the finest military posts in the United
States, but as it is the only view at hand
we will have to make a virtue of neces
sity even if it does not do justice to the
beautiful post. Every one who has had
the pleasure of visiting the fort praise
the magnificept location and fine view
that the many elegant buildings make.
The main structures are built quite com
pactly around the four sides of a rectangu
lar parade ground, which is about half a
mile long and a quarter wide. As you
look at the cut the right hand side is fill
ed in with officers' quarters. These, for
the most part, are built double, for two
ocupants, and are elegant two-story
buildings, with mansard roofs. Neat
fences have been erected around each
building, and a substantial sidewalk
runs the whole length of the row. It
only needs the street lamps to complete
the illusion, and then the stranger would
think he was strolling in one of the fash
kinable suburban residence portions of
Qhicago or Cleveland, instead of being
Vas an eastern writer would put it) far
beyond the outskirts of civilization, and
in the heart of a hostile Indian coun
try. On the left hand side of the view
you can see in the foreground the stone
guard house, where the naughty boys
are kept in "'duranee vile" for a longer
or shorter term, according to the magni
tude of their respective offences.
Stretching away in the dim perspective
you will notice the two-storied soldiers'
quarters, with spacious verandas in front
running the full length of the buildings.
Each company's quarters have a dining
room and kitchen on the lower floor, the
upper story being used as sleeping apart
ments. A stroll through these rooms
with one of the officers would surprise
an uninitiated civilian. The perfect
discipline that you see displayed among
all the men is in striking contrast to the
tumult and uproar which would be seen
when the same amount of business was
transacted in private life. The cleanli
ness everywhere displayed, from the
cooking range to the cots In the dormi
tories, would put to shame many so-call
ed first class hotels. The upper floor of
of the verandas are used every week for
short range target practice; this, taken
in connection with the magnificent field
target practice, has developed many fine
marksman in the post, as is shown by
the large number of officers and soldiers
wearing on their coat collar the square
buttons with concentric circles..
A fine gymnasium stands at one cor
ner of the parade ground and is filled
with trapezes, ladders, pulling machines,
Indian clubs, dumb bells, a bowling al
ley and all the other appliences usually
found in a first class institution of this
kind. The large room can be easily
cleared of these aids of muscular devel
opments and then used as a lecture h 11
or ball room. A fine stage was erected
at one end of the room, so that local as
well as traveling theatrical talent have
here a chance to show off before admir
ing audiences. The upper floor of this
building is used by the post band to prac
cice in. The Assinaboine band is noted
in Montana for its fine musicians and
the firstolass music they produce. Stand
ing at the further end of the parade
ground is the large comomdious structure
for the reception of the sick ones. If
there is anything that would alleviate
the misfortune of being an invalid we
think the having a fine place like that
to be nursed in would do it. The build
ing has two large wards on the lower
floor and an isolation ward up stairs,
making in all,, accomodations for about
fifty patients. Capt. H. G. Burton, post
surgeon, is assisted by Drs. Cline and
4anms in attending to the health of the
The elegant Gothic chapel has been
prqnounced by good judges to be the fin
sat }building for that purpose in Mon
tana. The oIwer floor of the building
contains two school rooms--attendance
at the day school for the children of en
te4 men is compulsory. A night
sceio.s kept open during the wirntr
mon!ths for #i el sted men, which shows
the lerge atta 4ance of from ifty to six
ty men, who wisely think "they are
sever too ok4 tolearn." Classes are here
ofore .uf In al the common English
brancheas, beldes courses of lectures B
k1g given byghe post chplain in hist.
spiritual and educational welfare of the
Host. Divine services are held ever3
Sunday morning, which are said to b.
well attended. The general reading
room of the post, under the charge o:
Adjutant Bates, seems to be well supplied
with newspaper and magazine literas
ture, and to be well patronized by the
men. There are also several company
reading and library assoeiations which
must do much good in dissemiaating
useful knowledge.
The buildings of the post are insured
against the fire fiend by a good system
of waterworks. A Blakis steam pump
lifts the water out of Beaver creek into
an elevated reservoir, having a capacity
of 61,800 gallons. The water is carried
all through the post in iron pipes and
in case of fire the water could be thrown
either by the force of the engine or the
presure of the water in the reservoir
clear over any of the buildings. The
large brick buildings used in the com
missary and quartermaster's department,
also the stables and teamsters' quarters
lie behind the soldiers' quarters and so
can not be seen in the acoempanying
view. R. L. Culloh's fine residence
and the large stone building of Broad
water, McCulloh & Co.s' are not shown,
but Assinaboine would be a dull old
place without the store, restaurant, sa
loon and club room, which are all under
one large roof.
One thing that gives the post such a
citified look is the material with which
the buildings are constructed-being all
brick, witli the single exception of the
stone guard house, which, from its use,
is built with a view to solidity. As logs
and Montana shingles are the building
material for most of our forntier struc
tue , by a largemajority, it is rathersur
prising after a long ride of seventy miles
through a lone country with nothing
but three stage stations the whole dis
tance to run upon such a cluster of im
posing brick structures. It took 7,000,
000 brick, which were made of clay near
the post, to put up the buildings. Good
wood for fuel is found in the Bear's
Paw mountains, which lie to the south
of the post. Very fair timber, for lum
ber, is also procured there and sawed up
at the post mill. The immense coal
fields of the Milk river country, not far
from the post, will doubtless revolution
ize the fuel question, or should do so at
least, as the quantity of accessible tim
ber in the mountains is limited, while
from all accounts the coal supply is prac
tically inexhaustible. Future settle
ments in that country will need all the
timber for fencing and building, and it
3hould be left for that purpose.
The country in that vicinity is one
vast stretch of slightly undulating table
and cut only by depressions for the
rtreams running from the mountains to
the Missouri and Milk river, with their
•ut and deep coulees as you approach
:he larger streams. These plains were
ance the pasture land of the buffalo,
whose bleached cranium is still a famil
Lar sight all over the "Great American
Desert," as the maps of our school geog
raphies used to have this country labled.
A few years hence and droves of cattle
rnd flecks of sheep will fatten, the year
round, on the nutritious bunch grass
growing everywhere in luxuriance.
Fort Assinaboine will probably for a
long time be one of the permanent posts
of our country as its position near the
British line nmakes it a necessity. Rov
ing bands of Indians find it quite easy
to lay claim to.a choice band of horses
and decamp with them across the inter
national boundary line. They know
that there they are safe from pursuit un
less the authorities of the other govern
ment wishes to take the matter up and
punish them.
Col. Coppinger, who has been appoin4
ed to the command of this important
-ten company post, to take Col. Ilges'
place, probably will not arrive from the
east before spring, and in the meantime
Major Klein is in command..
If the military would scare some of
the horse thieves off the reservation as
well as the Aonest folks that are their to
hunt up a bhome they would have the
thanks of all., the surrounding country.
who suffer from their lawless -raids.
Parties in from the reservation tell us it
is not safe to trust a good horse out of
your sight, as the lovers of good horse
flesh are on the watch for valuable ani
ials all over the reservation. Cyprian
Mat, who lives at the Warm Springs at
the foot of the Little Rockies, lost aof
his' horses lately and has not been to
recover them as yet.
Gen. Howard's Mission in Northern Mon
tana and What it Will Probably
Result In.
Mr. Stateler. of the firm of Stateler &
Lilly, hias just returned from Northern
Montana. He says a good deal of inter
est is felt at Benton and vicinity in ref
erence to the proposed cutting down of
the Piegan reserve. He says this reserve
contains a vast amount of splendid
country for both farming and stock
growing, and in the event of a portion
of it being opened for settlement, there
is sure to be a great stampede in that di
rection. This, of course, would result
in much good to Benton, which is bound
to remain the supply point for all that
portion of the territory.
Gen. Howard, United States Indian
inspector, visited the Piegan reserve
two or three weeks ago, and it is under
stood in Benton that he will recommend
opening a large scope of Indian land
for settlement. As is well known, al
most all of northeastern Montana is at
present reserved for the Indians (prin
cipally the Piegans and Gros Ventres).
Gen. Howard will recommend that the
Indian territory be cut down by restor
ing to the public domain a tract of coun
try roughly estimated to be 200 miles
wide (east and west) and about 120 miles
north and south, containing about 15,
0-0,000 acres. This would be almost an
empire in itself, and possessing as it does
all the requisites (agricultural, mineral
and otherwise) for developing into a
prosperous country, its being open for
settlement would not only be good for
Benton, but for the whole territory.
The proposed cut-off lies east of the
Piegan agency, north of the Marias and
Missouri rivers, and extends to the east
ern line of the territory.
The Piegans ari not entirely satisfied
with the arrangement and the price, but
the pressure is so great that they will
have to make themselves content with
what they can get, so General Howard
It is generally believed up north that
Maj Young, the Piegan agent, will soon
Reservation Raiders " Beounced."
Word was brought in last week by Mr.
Groesbeck, of the Teton, that two par
ties were escorted off from the reserva
tion and across the Marias, Sunday, by
a military escort from Fort Assinaboine.
They were informed that a repetition of
the offense in invading the sacred do
mains of the Blackfeet would lead to a
confiscation of the trespassers' personal
effects. They were captured in the vici
nity of Bear's Paw, and though they
protested that they were on their way
to the Canadian Pacific, it availed them
nothing, as the military thought they
were too far from the right road for that
to be the case. There were six men in
one party and seven in the other, fully
equipped with pack horses, gruo, and
everything necessary to make a good,
long stay, wherever their destination
may have been. A gentleman in'the city
who claims to know says the invaders
were sent out by influential and wealthy
parties to locate ranches, and when cap
tured were headed for Birch creek,
which flows from the south side of the
Bear's Paw into the Missouri near
The Prospective Stampede to the Reserva
The indications are that there will be
a stampede of mine hunter. to the Sweet
Grass hills and Bear's Paw mountains,
lying north of the Missouri river, next
spring. The statements published in
the Benton papers seem to determine
beyond a doubt that veins bearing both
gold and silver exist in that country,
but whether in paying quantities, of
course, remains to be tested. The FBear's
Paw mountains are doubtless a portion
of the Snowey and Judith ranges of
Meagher county, cut off by the Missouri
river and in all probability they abound
with equal mineral richness. At this
writing, this country of the proposed
new El Dorado lies within the limits of
an Indian reservation, and on that ac
count must rest unmolested. But should
the reservation be curtailed, as is propos
ed during the prekent session of con
gress, (and we have reason to hope, it
may) the Bear's Paw will be thronged
with mine hunters next year. That fine
agricultural districts lie withih the coun
try which it is proposed to cut off from
the reservation and open to settle
ment by the whites Isa well conceded
:fact, and should the sdheme be accom
plished, room may be found for a thous
and or more farms, and double as many
herds and flocks. There is no necessity
of booming the country, however. Em
igrants will go in and take up the land
rapidly as soon as the reservation is open
ed to settlement. The tlllable land
should all be taken up by actual settlers
under the homestead and pre-emption
laws. The RHusbandman does not coun
tenance monopolies of any character,
and especially is it oppod to naidt mo
"" "~J
nopolies. 'he'taking f large tracts by
associations and companies is not good
for the country. There are thousands
of homeless people in America, who
could live and prosper if located upon
our vacant lands, and we maintain that
every possible advantage should be
opened to them for the taking of homes
under the existing laws. There is no
necessity whatever of companies form
ing to invade and gobble up the lands.
Many stock raisers will seek fresher
pastures and locations in the new land,
and it is all right enough for those con
templating a change, or to engage in the
business, to look it over with a view to
good locations, but by all means let t he
herds and flocks be owned by actual res
idents and tax-payers of the territory,
and not foreign corporations. The Hus
bandman looks forward to the settle
ment of the reservations at the north
with much interest, for it seems to be
the only movement that can save Yel
lowstone, Custer and Meagher counties
from being overcrowded with flocks and
Neihart Notes.
From Duncan McDonald, who is just
in from the prospective mining metrop
olis of the Little Belt mountains, we
glean the following facts:
There are two quartz experts and as
sayers from Helena wintering in Nei
hart. They say that the ore which has
been shipped east from the Montana
Belle will assay over 800 ounces of silver
to the ton. This will surely leave a good
margin for the boys who have been
rustling so hard to get it out and hauled
to White Sulphur Springs over to'e
mountain road. Thi boys have kept
the mountain road over to sheen creek
open so far by hauling ore that way, and
they propose to keep it up all winter.
We wish them success in their enter
prise of shipping ore, as that will fully
demonstrate that it can be worked at a
big profit by a mill in the gulch.
White and Sykes, two practical min
ers, have taken the contract to sink 75
feet on the St. Julien for the ore taken.
out. They had the misfortune to have
the shaft house and all their tools burned
up about December 1st, but are now all,
fixed Again and expect to realize hand
somely from the rich ore for their labor.
Miller and McNeale are running a
feed stable in the gulch.
The Massachusetts has now a 70-foot
shaft and shows four feet of rich galena
and carbonate ore. A load of the quartz
is now being taken to the railroad for
shipment east. M. L. Lohmire, who
was reported badly injured in this mine,
by an accidental rap on the head from a
sledge hammer ih the hands of a fellow
workman, has fully recovered from the
effects of the blow.
John Lead and McDonald expect to
go down 100 feet on their fine prospect
the Deadwood.
The store is running at full blast, with
Capt. McIntosh at the wheel. The
misfortunes which have overtaken the
parent business house at Barker has had
no effect o'n the gallant captain, who
still deals out baking and giant powder
to the boys in about equal proportions,
though for far different purposes. Both,
though, are warranted-one to raise
rocks and the other to raise bread.
Tuck Lambert and Frank Lewis are
working like beavers on the IXL, which
shows still more of that rich gold and
silver rock as they go down on the lead.
The extension to the Flora, on Snow
creek, will soon have a shaft sunk on it,
as Buchanan & Fitzpatrick have got
their shaft house built and will turn
themselves loose on this valuable pros
pect about January 1st.
Notwithstanding. the backsets the
camp has received, our informant, who
is a practical miner,.seems well pleased
with the outlook at Neihart and prophe
cies a busy camp there in the near future.
This camp has always been credited
with rich ore, and, plenty of it. This
being the case, it is only a question of
time when Montana, district will come
to the front, as those two things are all
that is necessary to make smelters-and
quartz mills at Neihart payizig institu
A. Rich Find.
MINNEAPOLIS, December 23.--A spe
cial from Billings says that Jack Meyer
has re-discovered. the lead lost in the
Big Horn mountains, in Montana,
which is immensely rich. It is located
near the headwaters of the Big Horn
river. This mine, which three old
timers discovered early in the territorial
times, two of whom were murdered by
the Indians and, the survivor became
insane,Leould never be traced, and since
then the discovery had passed from ter
ritorial tradition. The lode is reported
to run over into the- river at one point,
where the surface indications show a
width of 520 feet and a height of sixty
feet. Meyer claims to have trailed the
lode twenty-five miles, and in some
places found it 600 feet wide. It is free
milling quartz, and every pan shows
good prospects. Meyer, his father and
uncle have gone to their claim to devel
op it.

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