Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/574

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.




the Big Hole and his masterly retreat, followed by his capture in the Bear Paw Mountains in 1877 by General Miles.

Resources. — The industry which gave rise to the original settlement of Montana was mining. In 1863 gold valued at $8,000,000 came from the sluices. The next year produced double that amount. The total production of gokl up to and including the year 1S76 is conservatively estimated at .?U0,O(X),00O. At about that time silver mining began to a.'fsume para- mount importance, but aliout ISltO it yielded pre- eminence to copper, which is at present the chief metal produced. Tho copper mines are at Butte, while the smelters are locatcfl at Anaconda and Great Falls. A silver and lead smelter is in operation at East Helena. In 1907 there was produced copper to the value of §44,021,758, silver $6,149,619, and gold $.3,286,212. Montana's stores of coal are very great. Estimates made by the authorities of the ITnited States Geologi- cal Survey give the area of bituminous and lignitic- bituminous coal at 13,000 square miles, and the lignite areas at from 25,000 to 50,000 square miles. Coal- mining is extensively carried on in the counties of Carbon, Gallatin, Cascade, and Fergus. Lumbering is an industry of the western portion of the state, where there are dense forests of pine, fir, larch, cedar, and hemlock. It is, however, by no means confined to that region, as all the mountains of any consider- able height bear a more or less abundant growth of timber. Nearly 20,000,000 acres of the public lands within the state, of which there are about 50,000,000, are included within the national forest reserves.

Stock-raising early assumed an important place in the business life of the state. Vast herds of cattle, horses, and sheep were reared and matured on the open range with little or no provision for feeding even in the depth of winter. The appropriation of the pub- lic domain by settlers has progressed to such an ex- tent, however, as to enforce a radical change in the method by which the business is carried on. Provision for feeding is now almost imiversally made, but, ex- cept in stormy weather, sheep especially thrive with- out much regard to temperature on the native grasses that cover the plains and foot-hills, cured by the hot sun of the svmimer season when comparatively little rain falls. The annual production of wool in the state is about 40,000,000 pomuLs, the clip of approximately five and a half million sheep. The numl>er of cattle in the state is in excess of 600,000. Agriculture is under- going a marvellous development, both as to the area under cultivation and the methods of farming. All the cereals yield bountifully. Recent immigration to the state has been markedly to the more promising agricultural sections which, within the past two years, have received an influx hitherto unknown. In earlier years irrigation was universally resorted to, but more recently great areas have been cultivated with marked success by the "dry farming" system. Eight great works of irrigation are being carried on, or have been completed by the government reclamation service. The state is directing others under the Carey Land Act, and private corporations are engaged in many similar enterprises. Montana produced in 1908: 3,703,000 bushels of wheat on 153,000 acres; 10,556,- (KK) bushels of oats on 2.54,000 acres; and 875,000 bushels of barley on 25,000 acres. Fruit^raising is a profitable business in many parts of the state, particu- larly in the counties of Ravalli, Missoula, and Flat- head, where it is extensively carried on. Apples are the staple fruit crop, the quality being excellent and the yield large. The culture of sugar beets has been stimulated by the construction of a factory at Billings, which has been in operation since 1896. It will be supplied (in 1910) with over 115,000 tons of beets. The abundance of sunshine and the character of the soil gives to the Montana beet an exceptionally high percentage of saccharine matter. Manufacturing is

still in its infancy, but is destined to a great growth owing to the extent of available water-power. Three power dams now turn the flow of the Missouri River, !uid three more are in process of construction. An- other large dam utilizes in part the energy of the Madison River. The Flathead River tumbles over seven miles of cascades, as it issues from Flathead Lake, offering stupendous opportunities for power development.

St.\te Institutions. — The capitol at Helena was erected in 1900 at a cost of $350,000. The growth of the state is shown by the fact that additions were authorized by the last session of the legislature to cost half a million dollars. The funds for the original con- struction, as well as the work now to be undertaken, are derived from lands donated to the state on its ad- mission to the Union by the general government. The state maintains a university at Missoula, an agricul- tural college at Bozeman, a school of mines at Butte, a normal school at Dillon, a soldiers' home at Columbia Falls, a deaf, dumb, and blind asylum at Boulder, a reform school at Miles City, and a penitentiary at Deer Lodge. The insane are cared for at a private in- stitution at Warm Springs. The usual system of public schools prevails, and nearly all the towns of conse- quence maintain public libraries.

Educatiox. — In 1908 there were enrolled 61,928 of the 77,039 children of school age. The total expense for all school purpo,ses was $2,178,322.90. The aver- age monthly salary paid to male teachers was $99, and to female ti'achcrs ?(i( ). The educational interests of the state are under the direction of a state .superintendent and a state board of education, consisting of that offi- cer, the governor and the attorney-general, and eight other members appointed by the governor. County superintendents supervise the administration of the school system in the rural communities, and city super- intendents in the municipalities. The chief revenues are derived from taxes collected by the coimty treas- urer. The school fund consists of the revenues from grants of lands made by the general government, and other grants from the federal authority, the avails of escheated estates, and fines for violations of various laws. The fund must be kept intact and only the income used. The state university has a grant of 45,000 acres from the nation, which may be sold at not less than $10 per acre. The avails constitute a fund the income of which only is subject to use. For the year 1909 there were appropriated for its support $67,500, and it has other revenues amounting to about $75,000 in all. Its corps of professors numbers twenty. In 1908 it had 184 students, exclusive of those doing special work and not including those taking the course at the biological station, which is maintained in con- nexion with it.

Early Missionaries and Missions. — It is not im- probable that Father C. G. Coquart, S.J., accompanied the V6rendyre brothers on their expedition into Mon- tana. He was a member of the party when they set out from Montreal on their great enterprise and is quoted as saying that the Verendyres on some of their excursions went beyond the great falls of the Missouri, and as far as the Gate of the Mountains near Helena. The establishment of the early missions has been men- tioned. Besides those referred to, the Holy Family Mission among the Blackfeet, originally a dependency of St. Peter's, became a fixed establishment in 1885. St. Paul's, another offspring of St. Peter's, was estab- lished about the same time among the Gros Ventres and Assiniboines on the Fort Belknap Indian Reserva- tion. St. Labre, the mission among the Cheyennes, dates from 1884, when Rev. .Joseph Eyler came from Cleveland with six members of the Ursuline Sister- hood, with Mother Am.adeus at their head in response to a call issued by Bishop Gilmore at the appeal of Bishop Brondel, lately appointed to the newly created See of Montana. St. Xavier's, among the Crows, dates