Judith Basin County, Montana 1921

Judith Basin County, politically created December 10, 1920, lies in Central Montana and contains within its area the great Judith Basin from which it derives its name, and which is recognized as the best non-irrigated farming district in the state.

Stretched out in the northwest part of the county are the Highwood Mountains, which, with the Little Belt Range along the southern border, form areas of rough and broken land. The eastern half of the county is drained by the Judith River flowing northward, a direction followed by all the numerous mountain streams which traverse the county. In many districts are found springs of pure water, and an additional supply can usually be obtained from wells at a depth of 15 to 75 feet.

Judith Basin County is pre-eminent in its opportunities for non-irrigated farming, the eastern two-thirds being the richest agricultural district. The top soil is a brown or chocolate colored loam, with a subsoil of clay, both intermixed with lime. Wheat, oats, barley and hay are the principal crops. These are distributed according to location and the character of the land, hay and root crops being grown along the streams, grain on the bench lands and timothy and native grasses in the foothills. Stock raising is carried on successfully and is one of the chief industries. Grain lands range in price from $50 to $125 an acre; stock ranches and diversified farms bring $25 to $50 an acre. In some parts of the county coal is found and has been commercially exploited. About one-fifth the area of the county is included within natural forests.

Judith Basin County is dotted with many small towns and villages, most of which by their big grain elevators and scenes of business activity give practical indication of the agrarian wealth held in the bosom of the surrounding country. Crop failures are few, and the farmer who knows his business has success within his grasp. Stanford and Hobson are the principal community centers, the former being the temporary county seat. In each of these two villages is a high school accredited for the two year course. A third high school, accredited for the two year course, is located at Moccasin. At Lehigh is a coal camp. Other towns are Mendon, Windham, Spion Kop, Benchland and Utica.

The Great Northern line from Billings, used by the Burlington for its transcontinental trains, enters the county near the southeast corner and runs north to Junction, whence a branch line runs east to Lewistown, the main line continuing across the continent in a northeast direction. Highways connect the county with Lewistown, Great Falls and points south.

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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