Wash.) Western Historical Publishing Co. (Spokane.

An illustrated history of the Yellowstone Valley : embracing the counties of Park, Sweet Grass, Carbon, Yellowstone, Rosebud, Custer and Dawson, state of Montana online

. (page 1 of 108)
Online LibraryWash.) Western Historical Publishing Co. (SpokaneAn illustrated history of the Yellowstone Valley : embracing the counties of Park, Sweet Grass, Carbon, Yellowstone, Rosebud, Custer and Dawson, state of Montana → online text (page 1 of 108)
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nT is impossible to mention individually each one who has assisted to
produce this book, therefore we make use of this general method of
extending our thanks to each and ever}- one who have so kindly given
information or pointed out where we might obtain it. The hearty and
ready responses to our requests lead us to believe the people are deeply
interested in having the history correct. To this end we have labored as
faithfully as as we could do and trust the results will be found worthy of

One of our presidents has said: " The best heritage the pioneer can leave
to future generations is the simple yet powerful story of his life; of hardships
endured, of dangers passed, and the final victory over wilderness and desert
plain." In the spirit of this excellent quotation our work has been carried
forward and we now pass it to a generous and intelligent public.

The Publishers


Livingston, Montana.
Having read, in manuscript form, the histon,' of Park county, Montana, which is to be a part of the
volume entitled, "History of the Yellowstone Valley," to be published by the Western Historical Publishing
Company, of Spokane. Washington, we certify that, to the best of our knowledge and belief, the work is sub-
stantially accurate, authentic and complete, forming a standard and reliable record of events from the earliest
.days of exploration and settlement to the present time. .\s such we endorse it and commend it to the people
of Park County.



Frank Henry,
Alfred Myers.

Big Timber, Montana.
W.'. the undersigned, a committee of citizens of Sweet Grass county, have read, in manuscript form,
that part of the "History of the Yellowstone Valley" relating to Sweet Grass county, to be published by the
Western Historical Publishing Company, of Spokane, Washington. The work bears evidence of extensive
research and a careful compilation of data relating to the history of our county, and is a clear, comprehen-
sive and accurate record of events in this county from the arrival of the first white men to the present time.
As such we endorse and commend it as substantially accurate.


Thos. K. Lee,

A. G. Yule,

Mrs. C. T. Busha.

Red Lodge, Montana.

We. tlic undersigned citizens of Carbon county, hereby certify that we have examined with care that
portion of the "History of the Yellowstone Valley," that relates to Carbon county, which is to be published
by the Western Historical Publishing Company of Spokane, Washington, and we cheerfully endorse it as
being a true and comprehensive narration of facts as they occurred, to the best of our knowledge.


W. A. Talmace,
D. G. O'Shea,



Billings, Montana.
The undersigned, a committee of Yellowstone county. Montana, citizens, have examined so much of the
"History of the Yellowstone Valley" as relates exclusively to Yellowstone county, which work is to be
published by the Western Historical Publishing Company, of Spokane. Washington. We find the history to be
a substantially accurate and comprehensive record of events of this county from the time of the earliest ex-
plorers up to the present day, and as such we endorse it.


Fred H. Foster,
J. M. V. Cochran,
J. D. Matheson.

Forsyth. Montana.
We, the undersigned citizens of Rosebud county, Montana, having examined that part of the "History
of the Yellowstone Valley," which relates to Rosebud county, and is to be published by the Western Histor-
ical Publishing Company, hereby certify that it is a true and comprehensive narration of facts, and as such we
endorse it.


Jereml-\h F. Crimmins.
T. J. Thompson,
Thos. Alexanper.

Miles City, Montana.
We, the undersigned citizens of Custer county, Montana, having been selected as a committee to ex-
amine the manuscript of the history of this county to be published by the Western Historical Publishing
Company, hereby endorse it as an authentic and comprehensive record of events from the earliest days of set-
tlement of this county to the present time; and we cheerfully commend it as reliable and worthy.


W. F. Schmalsle,
H. C. Thompson,
Mary E. Savage.

Glendive, Montana.

We, the undersigned citizens of Dawson county, Montana, certify that we have examined that portion
of the "History of the Yellowstone Valley," which relates to Dawson county, and which is to be published by
the Western Historical Publishing Company, of Spokane, Washington, and we hereby endorse it as an
accurate and comprehensive record of events as they occurred in this territory.


D. R. Mead,
H. S. Davis,
Henry Dion.





Dawn of Discovery.

Spaniards First White Men to Visit Montana— Cabezo de Vaca 1535-36— John of Padilla 1537— Francisco
Vasqiiez de Coronado 1541 — Juan Roderiquez Cabrillo in the Waters of the Smiling Pacific 1543 —
M. de la Verandrye, French E.xplorer. Penetrates Country to Near Present Site of Helena T743 —
Pierre Coquard. Historian of Verandrye E.xpedition— Expeditions of 1752-53— Jonathan Carver's
Explorations 1766-68 i


Mississippi to the Co.^st.

Personnel of the Lewis and Clark Party — .Ascent of the Missouri Begun May 14, 1804^ Wintering at the
Mandan Village— Sacaj a wea, the Bird Woman— At the Mouth of the Yellowstone— Up the Missouri—
The Big Muddy— Milk River— The Musselshell— Windsor Creek— First View of the Rockies— Ju-
dith's River — Slaughter River — Indecision as to the Right Course at the Mouth of Marias River — ■
.\rrival at the Great Palls of the Missouri— Through the Gates of the Rocky Mountains— .At the
Three Forks — Up the Jefferson— .\cross the Continental Divide— Find the Headwaters of a Tributary
of the Columbia — .'Xcross the Bitter Roots — To the Pacific Ocean — Return to Travelers' Rest June 30,
1806 — The Return Journey .Across Montana 4


The Indi.\n W,^RS.

Most Disastrous Indian Battle nn Record, the Custer Massacre— Cause of the War— Force Sent to Sub-
due tlic Hnsliles— Sioux Chiefs Sitting Bull. Crazy Horse. Gall. Black Moon and Low Dog— General
Sheridan Conducted .Ml Directions— Plans for the Campaign— General Custer with the Seventh
Cavalry Proceeds .Against Sitting Bull's Forces — Fighting bv Major Reno — Custer's Entire Command
Killed— Not One Left to Tell the Story— Lieutenant Godfrey's .\rticle on the Battle— Fixing the Re-
sponsibility-General Miles' Campaign After the Battle of the Little Big Horn— Defeat and Surrender
of the Hostiles— The Messiah Craze of 1890— Death of Sitting Bull— The Nez Perce War- Cause of
the Breaking Out of Hostilities— Thirteen Settlers Killed— Joseph Defeats Colonel Perry in First
Battle— General Howard Engages the Nez Perce in Battle— Joseph's Masterly Retreat— He Defeats
General Gibbon in Big Hole Valley— Captured by General Miles Near Bear Paw Mountains— De-
portation to Indian Territory— Return to Northwest 22


The Fur Tk.\ders.

Manuel Liza. First Montana Fur Trader, Leaves St. Louis in Spring of 1807— Establishes Fort Liza at
Moutlh of Big Horn River— The First Buildifig Erected in Montana— The .Adventures of John Colter-
Organization Missouri Fur Company. 1808-9— Fort at the Three Forks of the Missouri— The Com-
pany Goes Out of Business— Rockv Mountain Fur Company Organized 182J— Posts Built at Mouth
of Yellowstone and Mouth of Big Horn— Government's Expedition Under C.eneral Henry Atkm.son
1825 a Failure— Changes in Management of the Rockv Mountain Fur Company and Disorganization
—John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company Begins Operations in Montana 1828— Establishes Fort
Union— Description of Fort— Winning the Blackfeet's Friendship— Estaljlishment Fort Piegan— .At-
tacked by Bloods— Fort McKenzie— F. A. Cheardon Massacres Piegan Indians— Fort Cheardon—
Fort Lewis— Fort Benton— Fort Campbell— Fort Van Ruren— Fort Cass— Fort .-Mexander- Fort Spary
—Other Fur Companies and Trappers— Operations of the Hudson's Bay Company in Montana 34


From Beaver Pelt to Ballot Box.

Catholic Missionaries Take Up the Work in Montana— Father P. J. DeSmet Visits the Flathead Country
1840— Comes Again Ne.xt Year, Accompanied by Fathers Nicholas Point and Gregory Mengarmi—
Establishment St. Mary's Mission— Fathers Peter DeVoss and Adrian Hoeken Arrive 1843— St.
Mary's Mission Abandoned 1850— John Owen Purchases the Property and Establishes Fort Owen— St
Ignatius Mission Founded 1854— Settlers of the Early Fifties— Life in the Settlements in Bitter Root
Valley and Hell Gate Ronde During Fifties— The Stuarts Arrive in Montana— Early Settlers East
of Mountains — First Towns — Fort Benton — LaBarge City — Deer Lodge City — Bannack City — Virginia
City — Helena^Butte — Philipsburg — Pioneer -Bozeman — Transportation and Emigration 47


The Political Divisions.

Montana Formed From Original Territory of Louisana and the "Oregon Country" — Louisiana Pur-
chased by the United States — Territory of Orleans and District of Louisiana — Later Divisions of
Original Louisiana Territory — Creation of Nebraska Territory , Dakota Territory, Idaho Territory —
West of the Rockies — Tlie Oregon Controversy — -Creation of Oregon Territory — 'Washington Territory
— ^Montana Territory Created May 26. 1864 — Those Instrumental in Creation of Territory — Bitter Root
Valley Saved to Montana — Counties Formed by Early Washington Legislatures — Western Montana
a Part of Clarke, Skamania. Walla Walla. Shoshone, Spokane and Missoula Counties — Montana
Counties Created by Idaho Leoi-I.iturc — Counties Formed bv First Montana Legislature — Missoula —
Deer Lodge — Beaver Head — Ma.li-ini — Ji-ffcrson — Edgerton (Lewis and Clark) — Gallatin — Choteau —
Big Horn — Indefiniteness of C'luniy I'm nimlaries — Meagher — Dawson — Custer — Silver Bow — Yellow-
stone — Fergus — Park — Cascade — Flathead — \'alley — Teton — Ravalli — Granite — Carbon — Sweet Grass —
Broadwater — Powell — Rosebud — Sanders 60


History of Montana's Mines.

Character of Montana's Mineral Deposits — Coal — Precious Stones — Presence of Precious Metals Known
at Early Date— ■'Benetsee" the Discoverer of Gold in Montana— Prospectors of 1856— John Silver-
thorne, the Mvsterious Miner — The Stuart Partv — "Gold Tcm" — Discovery of the Grasshopper Placers
—Placer Mine's Found on Big Hole River. Xnrth Boulder Creek, Gold Creek, Deer Lodge— Rush to
the Grasshopper Dicgings and Fnmidingof Bannack — Discoverv of the .-Mder Gulch Placers — Ex-
tract from Henry Edgar's Diarv-The Big Stainprdc-The Most Pmlit^c Placer Ever Discovered on
Earth— Founding of Virginia Citv— Population -t Ten rii,.usan,l Wiilini Xmety Days— Other Set-
tlements in Alder Gulch— More Placer Discuiries ni \-icinity— Disc-viTv nf Last Chance Gulch-
Story of the Discovery by R. Stanley — Rush to the New Mines — RattlcMiake District Formed — Found-
ing of Helena — Selection of the Name — Other Gulches — Oro Fino. Grizzly. Nelson, Confederate.
Ophir. McCIellan, First Chance. New York, Montana Bar— Placer Discoveries in the Butte Neigh-
borhood-German Gulch— Elk Creek, Bear. Lincoln and Highland Gulches— Placers on Cedar Creek
-Hydraulic Machinerv and Ditches- Amounts Taken from Placer Mines— Famous Nuggets-
Quart? Miiiins:- First' Lode Worked— Mines and Mills of Bannack. Helena. Virginia Citv— Trout
Creek, Tr^iw Creek. Silver Bow. Blackfoot and McCIellan Districts— Silver Mining— First E.x-
periment Near Bannack— First Silver Mill— First Smelter— Lull in Mining Operations— History of
the Butte Mines — Other Early Mining Districts— Montana's Production of Gold and Silver 71


The Reign of Terror.

Condition of Society in Early Days— Arrival of Vanguard of Desperate Characters, Henry Phminier.
Charlie Reeves, "Cyrus Skinner and .Augustus Moore— Organization of Road Agent Band— Personnel
of the Band— Methods of Operating— Character of Henry Plummer— First Atrocity to Arouse Pub-
lic Indignation to an Extent of Attempting to Mete out Punishment— .A Remarkable Trial— Toughs
Control the Town of Bannack— Plan to Kill All Participating in the Trial— Murder of Dillingham
—Miscarriage of Justice in Dealing with his Murderers— Graphic Description of Life in Bannack and
Virginia City— Murder of Nicholas Tbalt by George Ives — Indignation of People .^roused- Trial and
Execution o'f Ives— Effect of the Execution 93


The Vigilantes.

A Reversal in Conditions— List of Men Executed by Visilantes- Organization of the Vigilance Society-
Oath Taken— Pursuit of the Murderers Begins— Confession of Yager (Red)— Execution of (Jeorge
Brown and Erastus Yager — Consternation Among the Lawless — Bannack Citizens Co-operate with the


Virginia City Organization — Plummer, Ray and Stinson Attempt to Leave tlie Country — Their Arrest
and Execution — Public Opinion Approves Work of Vigilantes — Spectacular Execution of Jo Pizan-
thia — Dutch John Wagner Meets the Fate of His Comrades — Capture and Execution of Jack Galla-
gher, George Lane (Club Foot George), Boone Helm, Frank Parish and Hayes Lyons — Steve
Marshland Hunted Down and Hanged — Bill Bunton the Next to Suffer the Penalty for liis Crimes^
Executions of George Shears, Cvrus Skinner, AKc ('.utcr. lohnnv Cooper. Bob Zachary and William
Graves (Whiskey Bill)— Bill Hunter, the Last AKnilHi- mi I'lummer's Gang, is Dealt with by the Vig-
ilantes — End of the Reign uf Teirnr — F.nconiiiim- I )in i\w Vigilantes — Langford's and Dimsdale's
Opinions— Later Work of the Vigilance OrganizatiMii^ 105





Captain William Clark's Party First White Men in the County — Evidences nf White Man's Occupancy
—Jim Bridger's Story of the Elk Horns— Creating the Crow Reservation— Ca[)tain Raynolds Expedi-
tion Discovery of Gold in Montana — Prospectors Visit Park County— The James Stuart

Party— The Discovery of Gold in the Emigrant Gulch— The Opening of liuzcnian Route— Boze-
man and Bridger Emigrant Trains— Other Trains— The Rush to Emigrant Gulch— The Curry
Mining District Formed— The Shorthill Party— Sharthill District Formed — Laws of the District-
Founding Yellowstone City — Description of "Town — Social Life — Living on 'Meat Straight' — Prices of
Provisions— (Sold Found on Shields River— Discovery Hunter's Hot Springs— Indian .\ttack— Many
Leave Emigrant Gulch— Curry District Deserted— Emigrant Gulch Abandoned— All Flee for Safety-
Resumption of Mining — Discovery of Gold in Bear and Creice Gulches — Amount of Gold Taken from
Emigrant Gulch— First Farming' in Park County— John Bozeman Killed by Indians— Operations of
Territorial Militia in Park Countv — The Mutiny — New Boundaries Crow Reservation — Crow Agency
on Mission Creek— Benson's Landing— Early Stock Raisers— the Folsoni Party— Washburn— Doane Ex-
pedition Through the County —Dr. Hunter Settles at the Hot Springs— Dr. Hayden's Expedition-
Discovery and Earlv Historv Clark's Fork Mims— Murder of Dr. Frost— Dr. Hunter's Place At-
tacked—Removal of Crow .\gencv— Tallin Iliij:i ■ Killed — Pursuit of the Murderers— -Alfred Myer's
Relief Expedition— Fight With theiii.l:!^ >' mmhs by Nez Perces— Attack on Henderson's

Ranch— Crows Finallv Cede Park Cmii i , ! ^h of Prospectors to Newly Opened Clark's

Fork Mines— Building the Northern


P.^ssiNG Events — 1883 to 1907.

Beginning of a New Era— Earlv Countv Formations— First Attempt to Create ViUard (Park) County-
National Park Branch Completed— Bozeman Tunnel Finished— Congress Asked to Create Park
County— Refuses to Act— Plans to Secure the Gallatin County Representation in Legislature of 1885—
Results in Defeat— Death and a Special Election Give East Siders One Representative— .•\lmost a
Sectional Feud Over Countv Division Question- .'Kbortive Attempt of Bozeman tn Give Part of
County to Yellowstone— Bridger (Park) County Bill Introduced— Stubborn Fight— Bill Defeated—
Reaction from Boom Davs— Return of Prosperous Times— Severe Winter of 1886-87— Early Prepara-
tions for Campaign in Legislature of 1887— A Strong Petition— Park County Bill Passes Council and
House— News in Livingston— Gov. Leslie Signs the Bill— Boundaries of New County— Provisions of
Bill— Organization of the County Government— The First .Assessment- County Seat Contest— -Abortive
Attempt to -Annex Red Lodge Countrv to ^■^l!-wslMnc Oninty— Fir^t Attempt to Build Court House-
Bonds Defeated— Census of 1890— -Anotlur .Attempt to Cut Off Red I^d.ge Oiuntry— Fight for Pos-
session of the Ceded Crow Lands— Park C>.uu{\ Rested by Yellowstone— County Grows in Wealth
and Population— Voters -Again Decide .\t;ain-t Building Court House— -Attempt to Create Sweet Grass
County Defeated— Panic of iSg.^ Hits Park Countv Hard— Every Bank in County Fails— Business
Paralyzed— The Great Railroad Strike— Northern Pacific Completely Tied Up— Stranded Passen-
gers -Appeal to President Debs— .And are Refused Relief— Railroad to Hold Park County Responsible
for Damage to Propertv— Tempnrarv Mail Facilities— Engine Leaves Livingston for the West— Engin-
eers Go on Strike— Engine Returns to Livingston— Writs Issued Out of United States District Court
Served on Strikers— Strikers Withdraw Protection to Company's Property— Prevent the Pulling Out
of a Train— Failure of the Company to Enlist Deputies— Superintendent Appeals to Park County for


Protection — Gets Little Satisfaction — Fort Yellowstone Troops Guard Muir Tunnel — Northwest
Placed Under Martial Law — Arrival of Train Guarded by Government Troops — Assault by Captain
Lockvvood — Soldiers Patrol the Town — Indignation of Citizens — Protests to War Department and
Governor of Montana — End of Strike — Whitewashing Captain Lockwood — Execution Robert Ander-
son — Loss of Territory by Formation Sweet Grass County — Also Carbon County — Desperate Strug-
gle to Defeat These Bills — Court House Litigation — Voters Finally Approve Construction — Building
Completed — Return of Prosperous Times — Murder of Sheriff Young — The Man Hunt — Census of
1900 — Murderer Martin Zidmair Suicides — The Park County of Today 131



Towns and Postoffices of Park County — Location of Livingston — Its Scenery — .'\s a Commercial Cen-
ter — The Advance Guard of Railroad Construction — ^Benson's Landing — Founding of Clark City (Liv-
ingston ) — Rapid Growth of that Village — Platting of Livingston Townsite — Proves Death Knell of
Clark City — .^11 Move to New Townsite — Business Enterprises in December, 1882 — The Boom Year
of 1883 — Why the Railroad Shops Were Built Here — .Active Building Operations — First Business
Houses — A Fire Company — Education and Religion — Organization Congregational Church — Meth-
odist — Episcopal — Early Secret Societies — Review of the Year's History — The Reaction of 1884 — First
National Bank Fails — A Year of Fires — Vigilantes Drive Out "Tough" Element — Better Fire Protec-
tion — .Another Fire — Rebuilding — Recovery From Hard Times — Prosperous Years — Livingston Ranks
Seventh .Among Cities of Montana — Population in 1888 — Incorporated — First Municipal Election — City
Government Begins — Electric Lights — 1889 a prosperous Year — Early Postofifice Business — First Regu-
lar Election — Census of 1890 — Water Works — Substantial Improvements in 1891 — New School Build-
ing — Other Improvements in 1892 — Panic of 1893 — Livingston National, Merchants and National
Park Banks Go Under — Bankruptcy — Business Paralyzed — The Yellowstone Out of Its Banks — ■
Cloudburst Brings Disaster — Peoples Party Enters Municipal Politics — Opera House Burned — City
Hall Built — Livingston Begins Prosperous Era — Census of 1900 — Turn Down Municipal Ownership-^
County High School — Election 1900 — Improvements by Railroad Company — Great Activity in 1901 — •
Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Invested in 1902 — The New Depot — Real Estate Values — More
Fires— High School Building— Worst Fire in City's History— E.xcellent Showing in Census of 1904—
Carnegie Library— Flood in 1905— Livingston in Late Years— Livingston's Churches— Secret Socie-
ties — Unions I4g

Other Towns.
Gardiner — Located at Entrance to Yellowstone National Park — The Name — Why a Town was Built at
the Mouth of Gardiner River — Its Founding — First Business Houses — Contest for Possession of the
Townsite — Railroad Does Not Come to Gardiner — Ed Stone Secures Title to Site — Townsite Platted
— Litigation — Uncertainty as to Title — Expecting Railroad to Extend — During the Eighties — Wiped Out
by Fire — Rebuilding — .Activity in 1895 — Railroad Extends in 1902 — Followed by a Boom — L^nsuccess-
ful .Attempts to Incorporate — Electric — Formerly Horr — Camp of a Coke Company — Postoffice Es-
tablished — Early History — Rapid Advancement in 1900 — Fire — Name Changed to Electric — Strikes
— .Aldridge — Coal Mining Camp — Founding — Townsite Platted — Cooke — .A Mining Camp — Oldest
Town in County — Visit of Jay Cooke, Jr., and Associates — Naming the Camp — Rush to the Camp in
1882 — Rapid Building of the Town — A Typical Mining Camp — Platted — Town Lot "Jumping" — Pro-
posed Change in Name — Mining Operations in Middle Eighties — Long and Continued Struggle for
Railroad — Defeated by Congress — Depressing Effect — Title to Lots Finally Cleared — Quiet for Many
Year.s — Mining Resumed in too; — Present Status of Cooke — Jardine — Gold IMining Camp — Com-
paratively Xiw T>i\vii - K:ipiil Muilding — Large Sums of Money Expended — Fridley — First Known
as Emmrani Siahnii- Sriil.d m ]SS6 — Shields — Clvdepark — Springdale — Hunter's Hotsprings — A
Noted Ilcalih Ri-Mii-|),.CMMiv -f the Springs— Dr. A. J. Hunter Settles There— Building of Sana-
torium — Sale 01 Propertv — Inipriivement in 1886 — Platting Mendenhall Townsite — Later History- —
Cokedale— Formerly a Thriving Village— Founded in 1886— A Lively Camp— Townsite Platted— Post-
office — Census of 1890 — Disastrous Fire — Mine Closed — Town Depopulated — Mines Reopened — -Again
a Prosperous Village — Fire Destroys Business Part of Town — Permanent Shutdown of Mine — Death
Knell of Cokedale — Cinnabar Station — Founding the Town — -Slow Growth — .Attempt to Boom the
Town — A Second Attempt — Extension of the Road to Gardiner a Death Blow to Cinnabar — Chico —
The Warm Spring.s — Chicory — Was to Have Been the Site of a City — Looked Fine on Paper — Muir,
the Tunnel Station — Historic Ground — History of Muir City — The Tunnel Town — Its High Altitude
— Rockcreek — Myersburg — -Lat — Bruffeys — Contact — 'Pinecreek — Chimneyrock — Miner — Brisben — Trail
Creek — Daileys — Sphinx — Muhlerin — Coal Spur — Hopper.s — Mission — Elton — Maxwell — Hoflfman —
Hicks Crevasse— Cowles—Cleora— Bryan 160

Early Political Hi.stor> - -Part of Gallatin County— First County Officials Named by Legislature-Appoint-
ments Caused by Resignations— Minor Officers Named— Conventions in 1888-First Election Precincts
—first Election— Shows Park County Republican— Election of Delegates to Constitutional Conven-


tion — First Election Under State Auspices — Nearly a Clean Sweep for the Republicans — Election

Online LibraryWash.) Western Historical Publishing Co. (SpokaneAn illustrated history of the Yellowstone Valley : embracing the counties of Park, Sweet Grass, Carbon, Yellowstone, Rosebud, Custer and Dawson, state of Montana → online text (page 1 of 108)