The Great Falls Leader (Great Falls, Mont.) 1888-1900, March 25, 1890, Image 4

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2 G R E A T F A L L S A N D E N V I R O N S . per cent. Can it be doubted that these immense bodies of coal, iron and limestone which are found within a few miles of our city will, in the near future, give employment to thousands of men? Iron is rapidly supplanting wood in the construction of bridges, public buildings, railroad ties and fences,and will soon be used for the frame work of dwelling houses. Its increasing demand is certain to attract English or American capital to Great Falls, where it can be pro­ duced more cheaply than at any other place in the northwest, if not elsewhere on the continent. Still another work of great importance to our town has just been commenced and will be completed before the close of the pres­ ent year. We refer to the dam across the Missouri river at Black Eagle falls. This improvement of the water power, although primarily intended to furnish power to large reduction works, means at the same time the establishment at Great Falls of many and varied manu­ factories, such as flouring mills, woolen mills, paper mills, etc. The distribution of the water power here over a distance of three miles by a succession of falls affords the most ample space for the estab­ lishment of large works and for the distribution of power; and over this entire distance will stretch the great smelters and refineries required to treat the ores of this mineral domain. The person does not live who can realize the gigantic interests that will center around this spot when the wealth and enterprise of the next generation shall open out the vast mineral deposits of our mountains. We are fully convinced that, among all the promising towns between St. Paul and the Pacific coast, none equal Great Falls in resources for the steady employment of large numbers of men. Upon this broad basis rests our faith in the future growth and prosperity of this city at the base of the mountains. In its topographical location , as it came from the hand of the Crea­ tor, nothing could be more beautiful than Great Falls, and certainly at no other place can be found a more healthful climate or purer water. The population of this young town is energetic, law-abiding and fully alive to its educational interests. The town, as yet, is comparatively treeless; but a broad, generous policy has been adopted as to parks and the planting of trees upon its avenues. As a result the only feature which at present impresses the stranger as wanting will in a few years be fully supplied. The geographical position of Great Falls is such as to make it an important trade center. The railroads connecting it with the mountains in every direction will insure to it an immense mining trade, while it can have no rival in northern Montana as a distribut­ ing point over the rich agricultural and grazing country that stretches from the Mussel Shell valley to the international boundary. As a commercial town, it is already five times as great as Minneapolis was as late as 1865. Not only will Great Falls become the largest trade center of Montana east of the mountains, but it must become the most important commercial city in the state. No one who is familiar with this country can resist this conclusion. As a railway center , Great Falls, young as it is, is scarcely second to Butte and Helena; and before the close of another year, the lines of four different railway companies will center here.' The building of these railways in Northern Montana is affording the chief essential required for the development of this country, which is now known to possess unsurpassed wealth in coal and minerals. It must be apparent that not only Great Falls, but the entire stretch of country along the eastern base of the Rocky and Belt mount­ ains is on the eve of extraordinary development. When measured by its agricultural, pastoral and mining resources combined, the country directly tributary to Great Falls has no equal in the United States. To industrious people from the crowded sections of the east, this part of Montana offers the present advantage of free lands and the certainty of the best of home markets for all future time. The site of the city is one of the pleasantest imaginable. Lying with an inviting contour and gentle slope back from the broad Mis­ souri flowing by, the founders of the Cataract city displayed a far- reaching foresight and accuracy of taste that has never been questioned. Five years ago “ The plain was grassy, wild ancl bare, Wide, wild and open to the air, s Which time had built up everywhere An under roof of doleful gray.” But the possibilities of adding to nature’s gift were marked with sure lines. The rough outline was here, which could be made into the fin­ ished picture; and as the shack has given way to the well appointed dwelling, the store to the business house, results have indeed made a verity of hope.

The Great Falls Leader (Great Falls, Mont.), 25 March 1890, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/sn86075267/1890-03-25/ed-1/seq-4/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.