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REPORT

OF THE

GOVERNOR OF MONTANA.

THE TERRITORY OF MONTANA,

Governor's Office, Helena, October 24, 1888.

SIR: It affords me great pleasure and much satisfaction, in making my annual report to you in regard to the condition and prospects of the Territory over which I have the honor to preside, in response to your request of recent date, to be able to speak of the continued prosperity which cheers and excites the hand of industry in these mountain homes. The record shows a marked advancement in all directions during the period that has elapsed since I submitted my last review in 1887. I assume that Montana has the brightest and most promising outlook of any of the Territories for the future. There is no need for me to sound its praises or exaggerate its advantages. The fame of Montana has spread abroad all over the land. The people of the entire country are familiar with its offering chances for profitable investment of capital and the accumulation of fortunes. The immense increase in the volume and scope of the mining business, and the activity in entering lands and occupation of sections of country heretofore sparsely settled, the notable increase of commercial enterprises and investments in real estate, and other great improvements, are conclusive evidences that Montana's progress is of no merely ephemeral character. It is on a solid basis; its onward march is steady and irresistible. As governor of such a magnificent section of this great country I feel a pride in calling attention to its advantages, and in the accompanying report have given in detail some facts and suggestions which may be read and studied with profit, not only by those looking westward for homes, but by many others who would thoroughly comprehend this great American domain. There has been no enumeration of Montana's people since the taking of the census of 1880, therefore perfect accuracy in statements of the numbers now will not be expected. It is a well-known fact that there is now, and has been for a number of years, a large stream of immigrants pouring into this Territory, and not one in fifty that comes ever goes away. A very few days lingering in this country ripens into permanent citizenship. With a view of arriving at a reasonable certainty as to the number of our population, I have consulted the assessors of the several counties, and asked their careful consideration and opinions touching the entire population of their respective counties; and, taking

as a basis their answers to me, it would appear that the present popu lation of the Territory is 140,000-an increase of 10,000 over my estimate of last year. Every State and Territory of the United States is represented amongst the citizenship of this Territory. Almost every nationality of civilization can here find one or more who speak the dialect of their country. The people of this Territory are contented and full of prosperity, and as a rule are free from financial convulsions and cramping stringency in the flow of business and commercial affairs of the country.

In the matter of taxation I feel that you and the country at large will be interested in knowing that the citizens of Montana have no onerous burdens to bear. The rapidly increasing population and the marvelous development of all the varied industries of the Territory naturally tend to swell the value of taxable property and increase the revenues. While the expenses may also grow in some measure-such is a necessary incident to the growth and progress of all new countriesyet it is gradual, and more than overbalanced by the contributions of a prosperous and contented people, whose success in their different avocations enable them to meet their obligations without financial embarrassment to themselves or neglect of duty to the Government. The condition of the masses of the people in this respect, I am gratified to be able to say, is most satisfactory, and is evidence of their thrift, energy, and contentment.

The principle objects for which the Government of Montanna levies and collects taxes from the people are, the education of the children, the execution and enforcement of the criminal laws, and the care of the insane. The expenses incurred in administering the affairs of these im portant divisions of the Territorial government consume a large proportion of the revenue derived from the tax-levy; but even these expenditures, and all others, are by no means extravagantly heavy. Footing up the entire expenses of the various departments of this Territorial government the showing made is highly satisfactory. The financial condition of the Territory demonstrates the fact that it is founded on a sound and stable basis; it enjoys the enviable distinction of being entirely free from debt, owing not one dollar, and there is plenty of money in the treasury. The Territorial taxes are very light, which is a persuasive inducement to immigration.

All the industries of this division of the great Northwest have been active and highly prosperous during the period which this repor covers. Striking advances in progress have been made above the re sults of the year preceding. There has been a marvelous stride for ward in agriculture, astounding to the people who have been skeptical as to the value and capabilities of Montana soil for farming purposes. The results achieved by the sturdy ranchmen who have settled in the valleys and upon lands all over the Territory have manifested the capacity of these lands for successful culture and production of agricultu ral crops, remunerative in the highest degree. It can be stated in truth that the average yield per acre of wheat, oats, Irish potatoes, and cult ivated grass in Montana, for the year 1887, was not equaled by that of any other Territory or State. This great foundation interest of all others in this American country is here in Montana rapidly extending and growing in importance. These rich, cheap lands have attracted the attention of the student farmer seeking a home, and in their culture and trial they have demonstrated to the world that this is not only the country of grass and valuable minerals, but is the farmer's country as well. The increasing accessions to this most of all wealth-producing

avocation is giving strength to the force and skill of its widening

course.

The Territory abounds with the most plentiful supply of timber, stone, and water. There is probably no section in any part of the world in which finer building stone or marble can be obtained. Immense quantities of each are used all over the Territory in the construction of some of the finest public and private structures, which compare with the choicest to be found in the metropolitan cities of the East. The great abundance and superior quality of this item of riches in Montana render it certain that in the early future its shipment to points all over the country will become a great and profitable industry.

The water-power in the valleys is another of Montana's wonderful resources. Not only is there the fullest supply in the valleys, but high up on the sides of the mountains and down among the foot-hills great and noisy streams of the most beautiful waters burst out among the rocks and course their way. On the crest of the rising plains, in the bosom and on the top of the tall mountains, great lakes of clear and sparkling water are set in stone, and full of the finest fish. Many of these lakes should rank as inland seas, being of great depth and miles in length, some of the smaller ones on the high mountains 4,000 to 9,000 feet above the level of the sea. Multitudes of hot-water springs of every temperature are constantly flowing out from the mountain sides and boiling up from the plains.

Montana possesses admirable facilities for manufacturing enterprises, especially for men of small capital, who are compelled to operate at a low rate of expense. There is plenty of wood and inexhaustible fields of coal, and this is the easiest and cheapest country for fine roadways of every class.

The climate is unsurpassed in America. There is no epidemic or pulmonary trouble attaching to this country.

As an evidence showing the taste and confidence of a large body of people in the agricultural capacities of this empire, the fact may be stated, as shown in the land offices of this Territory, that there was from June, 1885, to July, 1888, almost 2,000,000 acres of these fine farming lands homesteaded, or taken up through some of the other processes provided by law, and are now under settlement and cultivation.

Three great trunk lines of railroad stretch out and over this entire Territory, affording the quickest transportation to the East, the South, the West and the North. Branch roads have penetrated into the im portant mining sections. There is now in process of building and projected a number of other branches, which will encourage the settlement of new agricultural sections and the investment of heavy amounts of capital in mining properties leading to their development.

A somewhat careful inquiry into the trade and commerce of this Territory the past year enables me to say that the commercial operations of this people, through the last fiscal year, amount to $49,000,000. The product this year of the mines, the income from the sale of wool, sheep, cattle, and horses, with the receipts for surplus agricultural products, foot up $47,000,000. The total assessed value of the taxable property in the Territory this year is $69,600,000. The mining properties are not taxed.

EDUCATION.

The subject of education is a favorite theme in every household in Montana. The people are united and have one common spirit of the largest liberality and eager willingness in sustaining and advancing

their public schools. Every child of school age in the Territory is on the school-roll and is at school nine months of the year. In this Territory there is in each of the cities and large towns the very best and higbest class of graded schools, and in all the schools of the Territory the very best class of teachers, superintendents, etc. Moutana has no public school fund, amounting up to millions, as have the people of the States. The school fund for public schools in this Territory is in the hearts of the people and taxation of their property. The entire fund, supplemented by a small amount derived from fines, is raised from year to year by direct taxation. No one complains of it. And yet there is more money paid out per capita for public schools by Montana's people than is paid by the people (including their assistance from their great school funds) of any of the States. Besides these public schools for the children that can see, hear, and talk, the Territory has provided by law (and it is being done) for the education of all the blind children and deaf-mutes between eight and eighteen years of age in the Territory, at the very best institutions for that afflicted class in the United States, and pays for their education and transportation, under care of a paid escort from their homes.

The support of future public schools in Montana is liberally provided for by the action of the General Government heretofore, in setting apart and donating one-eighteenth of the public lands within the Territory for the benefit of the schools, and in pursuance of that law the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections have been so set apart and desiguated as school lands for Montana's people. But this grant is withheld from the possession or use and benefit of the people and children of Montana until such time in the future when it may be deemed proper to pass them into their possession and control. It is a matter of grateful pride with these people, through these years of waiting, as they anxiously look forward to the time when they shall be allowed the force of this great accession to their educational facilities; but it is painful, and a source of regret and humiliation to this people, to see and know of these lands being seized, fenced, occupied, appropriated, sold, and conveyed, and the timber cut and consumed, in the greed and reckless grasping of combined capital and avarice of individuals, without let or hindrance. It is now less than a quarter of a century since this Territory was organized into a white man's government, and less than a dozen years since law and order, clothed in strict civilization, commanded the full confidence of the people. The citizens of this useful common wealth are faithful and prompt in the highest liberality supporting the Govern ment and answering to every call of duty. No government in America covering jurisdiction over a like number of people, scattered as these are, and so far separated, can boast of less crime and vice amongst its citizens, nor is there any government in which the laws of the country are more respected and rigidly enforced against crime than here in Montana. It will be a great blessing to the children who in the future are to be entitled to the accruing help of said lands, if they could be now placed under the oversight and care of Montana's people, or some of them. This, or some other effective agency, needs to be put into execution, in order that this great treasure may be the better protected from trespass and spoliation, being, as it is, scattered over this vast extent of country; and I do most earnestly ask that such be done.

LABOR.

The industries of this Territory need and command the services of many thousands of laboring men having the highest type of educated

skill of every grade, and the ordinary willing worker as well. It is a matter of great encouragement that the supply is always plentiful and ready. The laboring people of Montana constitutes a large majority of her population; and it is the subject of much pride to this people that here in this Territory that honorable and deserving class of citizens are paid higher wages for their labor, and they are better contented, than elsewhere in the United States. No capitalist here hesitates to invest his money in enterprises of venture on account of apprehended strikes and boycotting; and hence the millions of dollars in former years, and additional millions the past year, put into great enterprises which are growing and pushing forward, spreading riches to the country and affording the greatest encouragement to the laboring man. Some of the rich fruits of this order of things may be seen in the thousands of happy homes standing out as inviting lights all over the Territory, the result of industry and frugality.

There are very many of Montana's men of to-day who handle their hundreds of thousands, and some of them millions, and who command long lines of railroads, stand at the headship of banks, counsel and give direction to commerce, shape public policy, and rank in the highest circle of statesmanship, that were here in these mountains laboring men less than twenty years ago, and not one of them has ever yet forgotten to sympathize with and encourage the laboring man.

INDIANS.

The control and oversight of the Indians upon the reservations within this Territory through the past year deserve the highest praise and commendation of those in charge of that important trust. With the exception of a few days' noise and unrest to the citizens in the neighborhood of the Crow Agency, on account of some trouble there with a few of the Indians, the people have been free from annoyance and apprehension on account of their presence in the Territory.

Their government and quiet advance in civilization on the Flat Head Reservation is a speaking witness of the wisdom and efficiency of the agent in charge, and the value and success of "St. Ignatius Mission," in possession and control of the fathers and sisters. Located as it is,. in the midst of the Indian settlements, on those reserved lands, this institution is a most delightful and charming home, with all the improvements and attachments needful for its purposes-elegant residences, large and commodious school rooms, work-shops, church buildings, gardens, mills, beautiful lawns, decorated with the choicest collection of flowers. In this institution there are now almost two hundred Indian children, girls and boys, for tuition and preparation to enter the walks of civilized life. I made a personal inspection of the place, the buildings, and all their apartments, and saw the Indian children, and heard them fully examined and tested in their studies and work. No one need have any doubt of their capacity and advancing scholarship, which is most marked and impressively encouraging. And so of their success in mechanics, harness-making and saddlery, blacksmithing, shoe-making, carpentry, etc. This institution has been and is now a great agency and power in the progress of civilization amongst the Indians. There is a capacity in buildings for larger numbers than are there. They are placed there and put under the discipline, instruction, and training of the school by the voluntary choice of their parents, and seem as delighted and happy as other children. They are taught to speak and are instructed in the use of the English language.

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