1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montana

MONTANA (see 18.752). In 1920 Montana had a pop. of 548,889, an increase of 172,836 or 46% during the decade. The urban pop. was 172,011 or 31.3%, the rural 376,878 or 68.7%. In 1910 the ratio was 35.5% urban and 64.5% rural. The relative increase of rural pop. over urban was due largely to the immigration of an agricultural pop., particularly to the eastern part of the state. The total number of foreign-born whites in 1920 was 93,620. In 1920 there were 12 cities with a pop. of 5,000 or more, of which 6 had over 10,000. These 6, with their increase in the preceding decade, were as follows:—

1920 1910  Increase 
per cent




 Butte  41,611   39,165  6.2 
 Great Falls  24,121  13,948  72.9 
 Billings 15,100  10,031  50.5 
 Missoula 12,668  12,869  -1.6 
 Helena 12,037  12,515  -3.8 
 Anaconda 11,668  10,134  15.1 

In 1910 Montana had 28 counties, in 1920 54. In 1920 only 16 counties had cities of more than 2,500 population. Most of the new counties have been formed in the eastern part of the state by the division of the large counties of Teton, Chouteau, Valley, Dawson, Custer, and Rosebud.

Agriculture and Irrigation.—By the census of 1920 there were

57,677 farms in Montana with an aggregate of 35,070,656 ac., of which 11,007,278 ac. were improved. This contrasts with 26,214 farms, containing 13,545,603 ac., of which 3,640,309 ac. were improved in 1910. The value of all farm property in 1920 was $985,961,308 as compared with $347,828,770 in 1910. Of the improved land only about 4,000,000 ac. were under cultivation and the remainder was used for pasture or allowed to lie fallow. More than 3,000,000 ac. were planted to wheat and hay. In 1919 the value of all crops was placed at $69,975,185. For the 10-year period 1909-18 the average yield per ac. was 21.8 bus. for wheat, 40.6 bus. for oats and 140 bus. for potatoes. Farms reporting land with drainage in 1920 numbered 756, or 1.3% of total; farms needing drainage numbered 1,728, or 3%. Approximately 1,700,000 ac. were under irrigation, but projects were under way to irrigate about 30,000,000 ac. of tillable land of Montana, of which about 7,000,000 ac. are capable of being irrigated. Of the area covered by these projects about 1,000,000 ac. were included in seven great Federal reclamation districts, the total outlay on which was estimated at $16,000,000. Under the Carey Land Act the state has undertaken to irrigate 162,285 acres. About half of this land was under irrigation in 1920, and about 25,000 ac. were open to settlement. In 1921 there were no large bodies of irrigable land such as would attract the attention of the Federal Government or of capital under the Carey Act, and further development of irrigation must be by small units. In 1919 the Legislature provided for a State Irrigation Commission to advise and assist in the development of irrigation in districts where the farmers wish to carry on such projects. In 1920 the Commission estimated that under

this law a beginning had been made to bring 200,000 ac. under
irrigation. Stock-raising in general retained its importance during

the decade ending with 1920, but the open range was largely superseded by the fenced ranch. The number of sheep declined from 4,959,835 in 1910 to 2,082,919 in 1920 but the number of cattle increased from 860,521 to 1,268,516, and the number of horses from 304,239 to 668,723. The total value of all live stock in 1920 was $150,000,000. The clip of wool for 1919 was valued at $10,229,632, and the dairy products at $7,534,413.

Forests and Lumbering.—One-sixth of Montana, or 15,957,196 ac., is included within the national forests. The state owns about 500,000 ac. of forest land and there is about 5,000,000 ac. in private hands. The total stand of lumber is estimated at 58,071,000,000 feet. A part of this forest area is also valuable for agricultural land and will be so used when the timber is removed. The remainder

will be reforested as the old trees are cut.
Mines.—The World War gave a great impetus to the production of

copper and other metals, but after the Armistice mining suffered an acute decline. The output of copper decreased from 323,174,850 lb. in 1918 to 180,240,000 in 1919, a decrease in value from $80,000,000 to $34,000,000. The production of lead increased from 37,135,875 lb. in 1918 to 42,163,000 lb. in 1919 but its value decreased from $2,636,000 to $2,411,000. In 1918 the output of zinc was 209,258,000 lb. and in 1919 it was only 176,000,000 lb. Its value decreased from $19,000,000 to $13,000,000. Silver-mining continued active and in 1919 the value of the output was $15,000,000. The value of gold decreased from $3,104,000 in 1918 to $2,272,000 in 1919. At the end of 1920 it appeared that mining must undergo a still greater depression. Natural gas is found at Havre, Glasgow and Baker. Oil was found in Elk Basin, Carbon county, in 1915. In 1919 a new and promising field was opened up in the Cat Creek district of Fergus county. At the close of 1920 the total oil production of the state was about 6,000 bar. per day. Many new wells were

projected for the spring of 1921.
Manufactures.—The vast supplies of water-power in Montana

give hopes of great industrial development. The hydro-electric plants in 1920 had a capacity of 300,000 H.P. Much of this was used for the operation of electric trains. In 1920 Congress passed a bill authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to lease the undeveloped power sites and the completion of such enterprises will add greatly to the electric power available for manufacture. In 1909 the total value of manufactures was $73,000,000; in 1919 it had increased to $200,000,000. In 1920 there were 195 lumber-mills, 75 flour-mills, 31 creameries, 7 cheese factories, 2 canning factories, 1 sugar-beet factory, 1 factory for the manufacture of acid phosphate fertilizers, 1 dynamite factory, and a number of brick and tile plants. The most promising field for manufacture appeared to be products of copper and wood. One plant for turning out copper rods and wire had a capacity of 6,000,000 lb. of copper per month. Montana mills produced only about one-half the lumber consumed in the state. High freight rates have retarded the shipment of Montana lumber

to eastern markets.
Education.—In 1920 the Russell Sage Foundation of New York

ranked the Montana schools as first among all the public school systems of America. The public-school fund belonging to the state amounted (1921) to about $20,000,000 and was increasing by the sale of school lands and by grants from the state. There were still unsold about 4,000,000 ac. of school land. The income from this endowment and from leases of school land was nearly $1,000,000 each year. In 1910 there were 60,678 children attending school out of a school pop. of 93,371. In 1919 there were 120,000 in school out of a school pop. of 161,626. In 1920 there were 81 accredited district high schools and 18 county high schools in the state. In 1912 Pres. E. B. Craighead, of the State University, started a campaign for the consolidation of all the state institutions of higher education into one university. His plan was defeated, but all the institutions were placed under one administrative head called the chancellor. Edward C. Elliott became the first chancellor of the “greater” university of Montana. In 1920 the people voted a tax of 1.5 mills on the dollar for the support of this university and a bond

issue of $3,750,000 for buildings at the various institutions.
Legislation.—In 1921, when the new administration took charge

of the Government, the state faced a deficit of $2,500,000. Governor Dixon proposed to relieve this by an income tax and by a tax on the production of oil wells and of coal and metal mines. The Legislature opposed these recommendations as radical, but finally agreed to a small tax on oil and coal production. The state has made steady progress in labour legislation. In 1911 the Legislature provided an eight-hour day for miners. In 1914 the state limited the working-day for women in factories, laundries, and stores to nine hours, and in 1917 reduced this to eight hours. By a law of 1919 children under 16 years who have not finished the eighth grade must remain in school. In 1915 a Workmen's Compensation bill was enacted which relieved those engaged in hazardous occupations from the necessity of suing for damages in case of injury. Farm legislation has been enacted to meet the more serious complaints of the farmer. In 1915 provision was made for state inspection and grading ef grain, and a Farm Loan Act was passed. In 1917 the state provided insurance against hail for farmers. In 1921 the Legislature established a state Department of Agriculture with the understanding that a “real”

farmer should be at its head. In 1911 the Legislature authorized
cities to adopt the commission form of government, and in 1917

sanctioned the commission-manager plan. In 1912 the people established through the initiative a system for direct primaries for the nomination of all state and local officials and to express their preference for presidential candidates. They also passed a rigid Corrupt Practices Act limiting campaign expenses, providing for their publicity, and forbidding electioneering on election day. In 1914 the people ratified an amendment to the constitution to provide for woman-suffrage. The most important social legislation between 1910 and 1920 included the following: A rigorous White Slave Act to check commercial vice within the state and an Act raising the age of consent to 18 years; a stringent pure Food and Drug Act; a Mothers' Pension law supported in part by a tax on bachelors; a Teachers' Retirement Pension law; an Act to provide for the establishment and maintenance of county libraries, and

state prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquors.

History.—Montana entered upon the second decade of the 20th century under very prosperous conditions. A new railway had just been built across the state. Mines were operating successfully, and there was a growing demand for Montana lumber. Great irrigation projects were under way, and in many sections of the state dry-farming was proving a success. The World War stimulated the mining and lumber industries, but it put a stop to the great reclamation works. During the later years of the decade drought seriously hampered the dry-land farmers and there was a decline in farm production. In 1910 there was a strong opposition to the national policy of conservation. Many people believed that the prosperity of the state depended upon the rapid exploitation of the power sites, the forests and the mines. They urged also that these natural resources should belong to the state. On the other side the conservationists urged that if the Federal Government turned over the natural resources to the state they would soon pass into the hands of a small group of eastern capitalists. They believed also that Federal administration would more nearly assure all the people of a share in them. The larger business interests have in general opposed the Federal conservation policy, particularly as applied to power sites and mineral lands, and most of these have passed out of Federal control. The people, however, came to approve the policy of the national forest service. State politics have largely hinged upon matters of taxation, particularly the taxation of mines. The constitution provides that mines “shall be taxed at the price paid the United States therefor,” although the “net proceeds. . . shall be taxed as provided by law.” The mining interests maintain that, since mining is a speculative business and the mines are being gradually exhausted, the net proceeds should be taxed at no higher rate than real estate or personal property. Their opponents maintain that since practically no tax is imposed on mines as such, the tax on “net proceeds” should be much higher than the property tax. Farmers complain that when business is poor the mines escape taxation by curtailing production, while poor crops and bad markets in no wise relieve them of their tax burdens.

During the World War a new radical movement spread over the state under the name of the “Non-Partisan League.” It started first among the farmers but soon extended among the labour groups. In 1918 it elected a number of members of the state Legislature. In 1920 the farmers and labour men went into the Democratic primaries and nominated a former U.S. district attorney, Burton K. Wheeler, for governor. The Non-Partisan programme demanded for the labourer a more liberal workmen's compensation law and better sanitary conditions in lumber and construction camps. For the farmer it demanded exemption of farm improvements from taxation and a farm-bank system. The merchants and other business interests organized the Montana Development Association to oppose the Non-Partisan League. This organization supported Joseph M. Dixon, former senator and manager of Roosevelt's campaign in 1912, for governor on the Republican ticket. The Republican platform declared for a Conservative programme, and on this issue the entire Republican ticket was elected. In 1914 Jeanette Rankin was elected representative to Congress as a Republican, the first woman to be a member of that body.

For the World War Montana supplied in the neighbourhood of 40,000 soldiers, and subscribed in Liberty Bonds and Victory Notes $87,406,650, as compared with an allotment of $56,165,450. The governors of Montana after 1910 were as follows: Edwin L. Norris (Dem.) 1900-13; Sam V. Stewart (Dem.) 1913-21; Joseph M. Dixon (Rep.) 1921-.

See Helen F. Sanders, History of Montana (3 vols., 1913), and the

annual reports of the Montana Department of Agriculture and

Publicity on Resources of Montana.

(P. C. P.)