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Prairie County, Montana 1921

Prairie County lies in Eastern Montana, midway between the northern and southern boundaries. It was created February 5, 191 5 and has a land area of 1,742 square miles. Its maximum length east and west is seventy-two miles and its maximum breadth twenty-one miles. In the northwestern part of the county are the Mountain Sheep Bluffs and the surface is more or less broken. In the remainder of the county it is rolling.

The principal stream is the Yellowstone River, which flows in a northeasterly direction, bisecting the county, and is fed by a number of tributaries, the most important of which on the south, in Prairie County, is Powder River. Stock raising and non-irrigated farming are the chief industries. The prevailing type of soil is a chocolate loam and the principal grain crops are raised including wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn and flax. Alfalfa and considerable wild hay are also raised, and some attention is being given to corn and sunflowers for silage purposes. Considerable reclamation is projected, including the irrigation of 30,000 acres from the Yellowstone and Powder rivers. Farmers on the non-irrigated lands are devoting their chief attention to live stock. Xon-irrigated land can be purchased at from $10 to $75 an acre and grazing land from $7 to $15 an acre. Cottonwood is found along the creeks, but there are no commercial stands of timber. A considerable quantity of lignite coal of good quality has been found in the county, and some prospecting has been done in districts thought favorable for oil and gas. The population of Prairie County in 1920 was 3,684.

The transcontinental line of the Northern Pacific traverses the county, keeping close to the Yellowstone River. The main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul enters the county from the southeast and from Cato west follows the Yellowstone. The Yellowstone and Red trails cross Prairie County from east to west, merging into one trail at Fallon. At Terry they are joined by the Powder River Trail, extending from Moose Jaw, Canada, to Denver, Colorado. The roads out of Terry, Fallon and Mildred are graded.

The county seat of Prairie County, which is also the principal town, is Terry. It is situated in a natural artesian basin along the Yellowstone River between the mouth of Powder River and Fallon Creek. Its altitude is 2,250 feet. In 1920 it had a population of 794. Terry is served by the Northern Pacific and Milwaukee railroads and is the chief distributing center of the county. It is a modern, up-to-date town with a community club and a community church, and is the headquarters of the Farm Bureau, the County Fair Association and the Roundup.

Mildred and Fallon are growing Towns

Mildred on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad and the Yellowstone Trail, and Fallon on the line of the Northern Pacific at the junction of the Yellowstone and Red trails. Terry, Fallon and Mildred have good graded schools. Terry also has a high school accredited for a four year course and at Mildred there is a high school with a two years' course. Forty rural schools are distributed throughout the country districts of the county. The bench lands in the vicinity of the principal communities have been well improved, but there are large areas of railroad and other lands available for purchase.

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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