June 20, 1873
Galatin City, Montana
To John Biard Brockmire
Burning Springs, W. Va.
I thought I would write to you a few lines this morning. Have not received but one
letter from you since I first wrote, although I have written several times. You must write
oftener and let me know how you are doing. And in return I will tell you something of this
territory and we will try to keep up a correspondence in the future.
I will now try to give you an idea of Montana. In the middle of the continent,
lies between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean in the heart of the New Northwest.
The character, extent and resources of which the people are beginning to appreciate.
There are about fifty thousand square miles of tillable land within its limits. And
this land under a simple process of irrigation is of unsurpassed fertility, yielding
in the greatest abundance. I have seen samples of wheat that yield eighty bushels to
the acre. The average yield is 30 to 40 bushels. This exceeds the famous wheat fields
of Minnesota and is 3 times as great as the crop of Ohio. Oats and barley produce
enormously. The yield of vegetables is very large. The lands for grazing purposes too
are of vast extent and of the best quality. Of the mineral wealth of Montana all the
whole world has learned. Not less than 12 million dollars worth of gold dust was taken
from the mines last year. Iron, copper, and other minerals exist in exhaustless abundance.
I suppose the thing about the New Northeast that most surprised the public is the
climate, different as it may seem from the prevalent idea regarding it. It is nevertheless
true that the climate of Montana is milder that that of New York, while the purity and
dryness of the atmosphere makes the variations of the climate less noticeable. The old
theory of the father north you go the colder the environs - Scientific men sent out here
by the government have shown by instrumental tests that the same temperature exists here
that does at Washington. The winters are generally open as may be inferred from the
cattle grazing without shelter all winter. In the mountains snow falls very deep in
winter. The elevation of valleys and plains of Montana above the level of the sea is 3000
feet. This fact alone explains the milder climate.
Now the only thing we want is a railroad to ship out our produce.
The North Pacific railroad now building will be here soon and is destined to
traverse from east to west the entire territory. This road will drain our richest valleys
and furnish an outlet for the surplus productions. The North Railroad will enable the
stock raiser to compete with Illinois and other western states. We have 62 towns now in
the Territory. The population will increase rapidly. The Road proposes to furnish free
passes for families when the head of the family buys land of the company. The terms are
low and they give 6 or7 years to pay for it. So all you folks that are tired of living
back there in that rocky old state will soon have a chance to change. The company has not
an office out here yet. When I know the particulars I will let you know.
No more now.
I remain your brother
Lineage of Cheryl Ann Shrum is Presented and Maintained by
TECHNET Enterprises of Florida
Last revised November 30, 2003
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