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The river press. [volume] (Fort Benton, Mont.) 1880-current, January 02, 1884, Image 9

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XI s
The Climatic and Other Influences
That Render Northern Montana
the Stockman's Paradise.
How Fortunes are Made in the Business-
Two Instances Cited--The Fascin
ations of the Life.
The advantages offered by northern
Montana for cattle raising have often
been descanted upon, but a short pre
sentation of facts relating thereto may
prove interesting to the un informed.
Jocularly called the " banana belt,"
metaphorically the "golden belt," It is
in its climatic conditions the terrestrial
paradise of horned stock. The suprem
acy of Texas in the cattle industry has
successively been disputed by Colorado
and Wyoming, and now the sceptre is
passing from the middle districts to the
more benign region of the north. The
latter term may seem paradoxical; by
the word benign is meant environment
in its broadest sense. It has been dem
onstrated that each 1,000 feet of altitude
is in mean temperature equal to a degree
of latitude, and that the great plateau
along' the eastern base of the Rocky
Mountains rises from north to south,
whereby the 49th parallel experiences
no more rigorous weather than is felt in
Colorado. But it is not upon this fact
alone that the success of the business
depends. The scope of country from
Bow river, in the British Northwest
territory, south to Wyoming, is es
pecially under the influence of the super
heated air brought to America's' north
west shores by the great Japan current,
which air, rising high over forests and
mountains, descends upon the eastern
plateau to break in a few hours the
strongest fetters that the ice king has
put upon the land. This is not an Oc
casional incident, but unfailingly comes
at the time of the stockman's greatest
need, giving to Montana winters a di
versity no where else experienced,
breaking it into a succession of cold but
invigorating periods and spells of spring
like balminess.
The rugged character of the territory
in general is" another advantage that
stockmen will recognize, because moun
tail spires and hills and coulees afford
Ishelter for the hardy herds, enabling
themn to weather the- severest storms
without perceptible loss. The grasses
are the most succulent known to the
grazier; cured by the drying winds that
commence to blow in August, they re
tain all their properties unimpaired in
the form of hay standing as it grows.
Without water, the necessary food sol
vent, the bestof grass may grow in vain,
but on this point as on others northern
Montana reigns' supreme; everywhere
broad, deep rivers, shallow", rippling
rivers, dashing streams, rills, springs
and lakes abound. 1
It is only within the past few years
that the possibilities of stock raising In
northern Montana haVe eome to - :it
understood. Mainy f the
have, in less than a dieca4, gro rI
almost by accident, beeuq Ftheq tgv
only in a slight deg.O9 pltledbli~si
principles to thl, ooadatof their ater.
Under the. better order of"i t~. s.ti I
now obtains, the ranges are ey
trolled by otatina, * y
mony is introduQed . nto tl hamd~aag
of stock at a minimum: of ep aua~
the small owne.rs sha"8 th i*
portion. The herds
by disease, as in tou ear
nor are h;hy t.1
screw worims and ( a
The averae
is abou.t 3a . F. ?,
about 80 per j
bearing ,ows .
in quality that are marketed from any
part of the plains, because they are the
ddscendants of animals brought 'mostly
from the states and graded up by many
fine bulls. The cost of raising a three
year-old steer varies upon the different
ranges, according to the system prevail
ing, and upon the size of an individual
herd. In Choteau county, which is con
ceded to be unsurpassed in grazing facil
ities and the character of its herds, the
average cost is in the vicinity of $4 per
head. The past year, three-year old
steers sold at $47.50 upon the range, and
the superannuated cows at $40 to $45 per
head. The writer knows of many for
tunes rapidly acquired in the cattle
business in this county with a facility
and freedom of life that could not be
enjoyed in any other occupation. One
investment of $1,000 ten years ago has
made the happy man king among kings
upon his range, with a comfortable for
tune of nearly $200,000; another person,
totally inexperienced, has in five years
sold $13,500 worth of beef and acquired
a herd worth $40,000, on an investment
of $12,000.
At first the life of a stockmaq may
se m very uncouth to the uninitiated.
None but those who have tbh nerve to
mount the festive cayuse and face the
elements in all their manifestations of
sunshine and storm, can know what a
fascination it possesses. It has aptly
been said that 0' this favored region is
the home of the cattle king; his throne
is the saddle, his scepter the stout lariat,
his kingdom the unconfined leagues
over which he rides free as the wind,
and his source of wealth, more fruitful
than the goose that laid the golden egg,
well merits the title of Queen Cow." ./
Montana Statistlcs
The assessment rolls of the several
counties -of Montana for the year 1883
were as follows:
Beaverhead ........................... 2,198,006 00
Choteau................................ 3085,037. 00
Custer ...............8...,............. . 4,.,845; 00
Dawson ... ...................... 91,414 40
Deer Lodge............................ 2,77,766 00
Gallatin ............................. 4,94S,f00 60
Jefferson ....................... 2,241,408 00
Lewis and Clarke ..... .. . . ,,99 00
Msadison ........... ..;........... 2,471,V00 -0
Meagher .................. ... ... ... ,7 00
Miesoula........ .................`. ..: , 6441 00
Silver Bow. ..........-......0.,6, ...*M -00
Yeljwstone ............ ... .. ...1,66`i. 31
Total....... ..... ..........,9m118 28V
The tax levy in the several counties
of Mont .na for the year 1883 Was as
No. Mills,
Beaverh .......... . ......... ** ... .....18
:hoteau.........*.. *.. ............... ...1
s ................... ..... . ........... *
D-weoR. .............................ý.9
Deer . .....e......... "........ .............16
Gallet r n ..............* .17********** ********** **
'refou................... .............0.
Sa Clark ......................................... ............. ...... 1
E~a.g'.....,+......,,.. ............ . ...... 1.i
ilverlow ........................ ..............13
Yelow toe .......................................18
T 8$ tre ...... ...-... .1*
The expensestof the peaj ntian r for
the year endtng r:= a , 1883., were
$20.016 50.
Th expetes o he 44e y m for
-7he ..e.r en - .oe... ..e '0 1. +, .er
.t.. o i.. ..,.ch _+ Faye+
" 'ý j fix 'ý'ý ý .i ý
Meteorological ata for the Year ernditg Deoembr $ st, I888.
U- S. S1 L n O Ft F1 8, 13.
Actl: for uHighest. I"
Jan uary r ....... ST.m1 30.196 3o.77$m 9. 8 0 10 .75
`..,"March...........', - 2.72 3.S -0.641 - , ) SQ . o6 4 1,,.a 4767
April... ...... 21., . St,093 | 9.959 / 0.566 29.4 43.24 O' 17 5 5 1.08 5288
May.. ............... 27.175 29.965 30.335 29.570 0.7 '8 97 9 9 83.41 149L29
June .... ........... 2..154 29.924 30.195 29 706 63.6 98 37 10 0 1,93 4499
July................ 27.9.25 29.93 30.913 28:743 695 91 43 3 0 .16 3961
Agust .............. 27.251 30.041 30.236 29.721 t10.2 P1 4! 2 . 1.01 8360
September.......... 27.295 30.155 80.748 29.828 58.2 83 S 2 0o ,93 2054
October ............ ST.199 30.109 30.537 29.521 41.1 6T 25 3 4 1.64 3428
November .......... ST 165 30.126 s30.674 29.685 80.7 6 1 -22 0 6 .36 5105
December ......... 27.236 30.236 30.833 29.51 32.4 60 -4 0 o .09 4153
Mean Barometer for the year. 30.10.
Mean Temperature for the year, 43.4.
Total Rainfall for the year, 12.99 Inches. THOMAS MORGAN,
Observer. Signal Corps, U. S. A.
Canses that Operate to Render the Climate
of Montna so Delightfnl.
In connection with the meteorological
table presented herewith (compiled by
Signal Service officer Thomas Morgan,
of this city, from his annual report to
the department) we desire to present the
following facts in reference tQ.the alti
tude and climate of Montana, which
fully account for the very favorable fig
ures presented. in the table: Even the
passes over the highest ranges in Mon
tana usually have an altitude of only
about 6,000 feet above the sea level-no
greater than the plains of Cheyenne,
Wyoming.. Iearly all the arable Mon
tana valleys average from 500 to to 2,000
feet lower than the most fertile ones of
Colorado or Uitah. Montana's highest
peak would hardly reach timber line in
Colorado. The tables compiled by Prof.
Gannet, of the Hayden survey, show
that 51,000 square miles of Montana's
area are less than 4,000 feet above the
sea, while only 9,000 square miles of Col
orado's area and none of Utah's are at a
less altitude than 4,000 feet. Montana
also possesses valley and bench lands
covering an area of 40,700 square miles,
at a less altitude than 3,000 feet, while
neither Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
nor Wyoming contains an acre of sur
face as low as 3,000. The official reports
referred to make the mean average
height of Montana above the sea, 3,900
feet; that of Nevada, 5,600; New Mexi
co, 5,660; of Wyoming, 6,400; and of Col
orado, 7,000. Montana possessing an
average altidude of 2,600 feet less than
the general average of the before named
states and territories, equal to more than
seven degrees of lower latitude, and
thus compared with them, the lower al
titude of the grazing lands of Montana
more than compensates for their higher
Coming more directly to the question
oefclimate, we find that the isothermal
line of 500 Fahrenheit, which passes
through the wheat growing districts of
southern Russia, through southern
France and westward through Harris
burg, Cleveland and Chicago, in our own
country, rises north of, Montana in the
British posessions. This apparently ex
traordinary phenomenon is readily ex
plained by the influence of the great
Japan ocean current flowing northward
from the equator with a temperature of
860, which pours its heated breath
against the low coast lines of Oregon and
Washington and thence inland, over
plains and mountain tops, even east of
3Montana's eastern border. This warm
wind from the Pacific, known as the
"Chinook," often causes the deepest
snow on the benches and valleys of Mon
tana to disappear in a single night. The
westernly winds are more prevalent in
the winter than those from the cold
northeast quarter and those from the
cold northwest quartbr and therefore
the country, as first observed by Gov.
Stephens, in his survey, although so far
inland, partakes of the well knowrn
milder climate of the Pacific coast.
·- - 4- > W· *ti
The ark ear mini n dstriet is stuated
about sixty mlfI8es south of Fort9 Baton,
in the Litt1 Belt montains., lke all
qiz-t't csw. ; 4elopment. Jns been
0.0prato sow.: Capital to any
great axtent had iot yetcone in, and
,yam t .''
i~P;ATa- pacAtr fir t&: eam
' +s hag didgi %'M *wo;.
C ýrr r "·
,. y&A ]c . ^4 I
had been developed to any considerable
extent. As a result the company, from
the start, labored under great disadvant
ages in the matter of securing ore, and
it was. not until recently that this em
barrassment was overcome bythe pur
chase and development of the Silver
Belle mine, which gives forth abundant
promise of being a real bonanza.
Just at this time, however, an un fore
seen and unexpected calamity occurred,
in the failure of H. C. Tillinghast, of
Chicago, that gentleman being largely
interested in the smelting company.
His failure caused the temporary em
barrassment of the smelting company at
Barker, but we are pleased to be able to
report that such an arrangement has
been effected with the creditors as will,
within the next ten days, result in the
resumption of operations at Barker, up
on a substantial basis, and with most
encouraging prospects for the company.
Mr. H. D. Burghardt, the manager of
the company, is entitled to great credit
for bringing about this good result. To
this end he has labored incessantly in
the face of almost unsurmountable ob
stacles, never losing confidence in the
ability of the company to make good its
every obligation. It the results antici
pated are accomplished, and we have
no doubt they will be, it will be due in a
large measure to the perseverance and
indomitable energy of Mr. Burghardt.
It is not our intention so make special
mention of the numerous fine properties
in these districts, as to do so would re
quire more space than we have at com
mand. It is sufficient to say that there
are a great many fine prospects in the
Barker and adjacent districts that in due
time will be heard from as bullion pro
The Silver Belle, Wright & Edwards
and _Barker mines have had the most
( yýi - i i 4I I I ,=_ I r' dl i 1'` [ - IiI
A Montana Captain Payne.
Henry Kennerly, the acknowledged
leader of the party that is soon to invade
the reservation for the vurpose of locat
ing mineral or agricultural claims, left
Kor his home on the Teton a few days
since. A Riva PRESS reporter met
him just as he was about to start, with
1his wagon well loaded down, with pro
visions, and naturally enougfitaqiu id
if he, was bound for~tbet ervtion.; ;
'"N, pot this ttpri4 wasthe respor e.
:tamlaying in a asupply of grub at
hOei now, but .expOt to return 1n ai
.eek or two ate; p aefor tM trtpf,
'tYouea.tut.&bt m ' R."
t"With od
Tan, 4
p of 40 rbe led 1,. .c
work done upon them, and the first
named is the one upon whioh the smelt
ing company now depends for its dre
supply: and it. Is a pretty safe r.isance.
The mine is now tanped at three or foar
different places, and shows up an im
mense body of high grade carbonates.
It is in splendid condition to be worked,
and the ore can be secured in any quan
tity desihed almost at a comparatively
small- cost for mining. This property
was purchased by the smelting company
the past summer, at a cost of about $30,
000, and before the close of 1884 it will
have paid for itself many times over.
The Wright & Edwards and Barker &.
Grey Eagle mines are now idle, but can
not long remain so, as they are known
to be splendid properties. To work them
properly will require extensive machin
ery, but by sale or other arrangement
we may look to see them producing
plenty of good ore in the very near fu
ture. The general development of the
camp or the advent of a railroad in that
region will render them too valuable to
lie idle.
The Montana district, only a few miles
from Barker, can show some of the finest
prospects in Montana, and the mine
owners are diligently at work devepop
ing their properties. There is an abund
ance of free milling ore in this camp,
and the time is not far distant when nu
merous mills will be in operation in the
Some rich strikes were made on Snow
and Carpenter creeks (between the Bar
ker and Montana districts) the past sea
son, and so far as developed these new
discoveries are not excelled in the Belt
mountains. The Snow creek ore is free
milling, and there is every prospect of a
good camp at this place.
The mineral districts of the Belt
mountains are only now in the first sta
ges of development; in fact, they have
not been thoroughly prospected as yet.
The era of ore and bullion-producing on
a large scale with the attending progress
and prosperity is yet to come, and the
time is not very far off. Already Fort
Benton, which as the natural supply and
shipping point for these many districts,
derives ,an extensive trade from that
quarter w5 ",ch will grow each successive
year with the development of that grand
mineral region. And here might be
pointed out the great advantage of Fort
Benton's location. It does not depend,
upon any one industry alone, as do other
towns of the territory, but derives trib
ute from the great stock ranges, fine
agricultural region and mining districts
at its door-the three great resources of
down there, but there are choice loca
tions, of course, and we expect to 'catch
on' to them. 'That is about all there is
is it. In my opinion the expedition will
b.e a success, and those who join it, prt
pared for a seige, will 'never regret it."
Henry is in "deadearnest," and if this
nice weather continues will be on hi~
w#y to the lands- .of. pr~omiw.i.i be
Long, with, doubtlese, a oods14erabe fol
,' a .. . . 14?.
. . . .t ..........:nt. ... - see
r` ý ý ý. ý tr
31Y Y ;

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