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12 G R E A T F A L L S A N D E N V I R O N S . JVIOriT K flF i’S f^ECOfyD FOt} 1889 . The new state of Montana has during the past season made gigantic strides in prosperity. Originally one of the most remote and least known of the political divisions of the country, the history of its development reads like a dream, so magnificent are the results attained by a community until recently practically cut off from the world. Created a state at the same time as Washington and North and South Dakota, it has a future of brightest promise. Within its boundaries are concentrated every resource required for the needs of man. In her mountains are found both the precious and base metals in great abundance, while her valleys produce the largest average crops of grain known in this country, and her plains are fast being occupied by vast bands of cattle, horses and sheep. CATTLE. Cattle came through the favorable winter of 1888-89 in splendid plight. At shipping time they were in the best possible condition for market. The cattle interests of the state were never more promising than they are to-day. S H E E P . The wool growing interests of Montana are experiencing a decided boom. The number of sheep has largely increased during the past year. As high as twenty-three cents a pound was paid for wool at Great Falls and Fort Benton during the past season, thus netting large profits to the flock masters. The lamb crop was larger than usual, the increase being estimated at fully 100 per cent, and the sheep have wintered in unusually good condition. The wools of Montana, by reason of their superiority of staple, lead the lists of territorial wools, being two cents higher per pound than the Oregon and Washington staples; four cents higher than the Utah, and six cents higher than the Texas. The increase in numbers of both sheep and cattle has been largest in Choteau and Cascade counties, in the great tract of government land recently thrown open to settlement in the Milk and Missouri river valleys. It is estimated that 75,000 sheep and 25,000 cattle have been placed upon ranches in the vicinity of Chinook, Mont., within the last six; months, H O R S E S . The profits made in horse raising in Montana are beyond pre cedent. Horses having never been known to perish from stress of weather in Montana, little or no risk is here taken in horse breeding. Montana stockmen are directing their attention to the grading of their horses as well as cattle and sheep. In his annual report, Gov. White makes the following estimate of the live stock in Montana, for the year 1889: cattle, 1,250,000; sheep, 2,150,000; horses, 220,000. The wool product of 1889 is given as 12,000,000 pounds. The yield of the grains in North Montana is so large as to be almost incredible to eastern farmers. Wheat without irrigation fre quently produces fifty bushels to the acre; oats, eighty, and other grains and vegetables in proportion. M IN IN G . The mineral output of Montana for 1888 was supposed to have reached high water mark when the products of her mines amounted to the almost incredible sum of $40,000,000; but this is likely to be largely exceeded by that of the present year. Mining operations have been carried on with great vigor during the past twelve months, and 1,000 new mines have been opened up in regions of great prom ise. The Belt mountain mining districts, southeast of Great Falls, one of the most important of the new mining localities, is being rapidly developed, and is pronounced by experts to be fully equal in richness to that of any mining section on the continent. Gigantic min ing operations, involving the investment of millions of dollars, are under way during the present season at and near Great Falls, which must soon become one of the most important mining centers of the world. A branch line of the Great Northern railway is now under con struction from Great Falls to the Neihart and Barker districts, sixty miles southeast of the city. This branch railway will also tap the great deposits of iron ore, the Sand Coulee and Belt Creek coal mines, already partially developed, and the gold, silver, copper and lead veins of the Little Belt mountains, pronounced by experts to be the most promising mineral region in the United States. By reason of her exhaustless mines of coal, and her matchless water power Great Falls is rapidly becoming the center of extensive works for the reduction of the precious metals. The great Boston & Montana Copper & Silver Mining Company are erecting reduc-