Broadwater County, Montana 1921

One of the smaller counties in size, but not in importance, in Montana, is that which bears the suggestive name of Broadwater, this doubtless having been derived from the Missouri River, the largest stream of the county, which enters in the southeast end and pursues an irregular course northeasterly into Lewis and Clark counties. While the land area of Broadwater is only 1,248 square miles, the county, which lies in the west central part of the state, is one of the richest agricultural sections of Montana, and within its borders are raised cattle, sheep and hogs of prize-winning quality. Bounded by Lewis and Clark, Meagher, Jefferson and Gallatin counties, the county is so situated that it offers opportunities in several fields of industry. The crest of the Big Belt range of mountains marks the eastern border and the Elkhorn range is found on the western side. Here, in the upland mountain country, are found numerous springs and abundant feed, and during the summer month's large herds of sheep, cattle and horses are pastured. Between these two ranges flows the Missouri River, the valley of which is rich and fertile, and between the mountains and the valley are benches. The soil in the valleys is a black loam and on the benches a clay loam. In addition the Crow Creek Valley furnishes fertile lands for agriculture, and Crow Creek, Dry Creek, Deep Creek, Grayson Creek, Ray Creek, Gurnett Creek, Duck Creek, Confederate Creek and Indian Creek serve to furnish water for irrigation purposes and are used on the farm lands in the valleys and upper bench lands.

In the lower regions of the county there are found large tracts of irrigated land, where crops of hay, grains and other feeds are grown. The upper bench lands are devoted in the main to dry farming, principally wheat and barley. In addition, dairying is rapidly becoming an important industry and the county possesses one of the best equipped and most modern creameries in the state, as well as an up-to-date flour mill. The mining industry is also a leading one and gold, silver and lead are taken in large quantities from the mines at Radersburg, the Iron Mask and Silver King mines near Townsend, and the Diamond mines, near Diamond. In the mountainous region, pine, fir and cedar timber- are found, and there is an abundant growth of cottonwood along the numerous streams.

Broadwater County has two transcontinental railways, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway crossing its southern end, while the Northern Pacific runs east and west across the county. Likewise good service is securable through interurban lines which connect various points, and the Park-to-Park and Montana Electric highways run in an east and west direction across the county. To tourists the county offers some of the most beautiful scenery to be found in the state, the trip down the Deep Creek Canyon being an exceptionally attractive one. Convenient camping sites are to be found on all the leading creeks heretofore mentioned, where good hunting and fishing may be had.

A number of enterprising communities serve to act as trading centers for this rich agricultural county, among the leaders being Toston, Winston, Lombard, Canton, Diamond, Radersburg and Townsend. The last three-named are also mining centers of some importance, while Townsend is also the county seat and a growing and prosperous little city. The county high school and graded school are located at Townsend, the other fifty-two schools of the county being of a rural nature.

Montana Counties 1921

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Source: Montana its Story and Biography, by Tom Strout, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, 1921

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