March 14, 1873
Galatin County, Montana
To John Biard Brockmire
I have your letter at hand. Was glad to hear from you. I am well and doing pretty
well. Had a letter from home sometime ago. They were all well. There is not much for me
to write about myself that would interest you. You wanted me to give you a sketch of my
travels. Now that would take me some time. As I did not leave the states till '66, was
traveling most all the time. Was in Chicago, some months in St. Louis. In fact all the
western cities and most of the towns.
I did not think then of leaving the states. I came west as far as St. Paul,
Minnesota. I left there the spring of '66, went to the Dakotas Territory. There is
nothing going on in that territory, only trading with the Indians. And that is a
dangerous business. I stayed one year trading with the different tribes.
I suppose I was amongst most all the different tribes in that year. There is
great profit in the business. But there had been company men killed in the time that
I was among them - that I thought it better to go where I could sleep and not be afraid
of waking some morning and finding my scalp gone. Though as long as I was with them I
must say that I was treated in a kind manner. But I will tell you more some other time
about my time amongst the Sioux Indians and the other tribes.
What you feel most interested in is what kind of a place this Montana is. You can't
form any idea of it in your one mind so I will try and give you some idea of what it is
In the first place Montana can raise more grain to the acre than most any of the
states. Also potatoes and all other vegetables.
Montana is more conspicuous than any of the western states as the climate is adapted
to the growth of fruit, such as apples, plums, pears, cherries, and many other fruits.
She will in time herself equal to any of the border states. While as a country with a
pasture for grazing horses, cattle, and sheep she far surpasses them all. As a country
abounding in lead - coal - iron - gold and silver and men that know how to work it.
With the Montana Pacific Railroad which we hope to have here soon, labor will in a few
years make Montana the greatest gold and silver producing country in the world. With
all these elements and prosperity a certainty of an early construction of the North
Railroad through the very center of the territory, furnishing the farmer and the
stockgrower a sure and steady market for their grain, beef, mutton, wool, horses and
mules, and cheap transportation to the miner for his ores.
Let our people with steady hand and brave heart hold to their possessions and bide
their time that the coming of the good time when all shall rejoice that their lines were
cast in pleasant places and particularly in the golden fields of Montana.
I think I told you in my first letter that I had two farms. There is 320 acres in
them. They lay all in one piece now. Land is not high at present. It soon will be.
Just as soon as we can get the country filled up a little bit. That is the thing that
makes all western countries.
As soon as the railroad is built then I can let you know what I will do. Whether I
will come back to that rocky state or I will bring you out here.
With reference to the girls at home. You must keep an eye on them and I will send
them money from time to time. I wish they were out here. But that is impossible at
present. On account of the country you would have to come. There is not more than one
woman to twenty men out here and they came with their husbands.
No more now - Write soon
With reference to your trying to place Henry Brockmire I think you will fail. I
know plenty of people that have lived in Salt Lake and I could never find out anything.
The man that lives in St. Louis is not the one for I know his brother-in-law. He is a
clerk on a steamboat that I once traveled on. When I put my name on the register he
asked me if I had a brother in St. Louis. I told him all about Henry. He also said he
would tell him when he went back about me. If he is the man he must be rich and I think
if he was he would write home. I have forgotten the clerk's name but you will have no
(troubles) finding out all about the man if he is in the office.
That is all the information I can give you.
A. W. Brockmire
Lineage of Cheryl Ann Shrum is Presented and Maintained by
TECHNET Enterprises of Florida
Last revised November 30, 2003
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