Teton County, Montana 1921

Lying northwest of the central part of Montana, on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, Teton County has a land area of 2,044 square miles, and a population (1920) of 5,870. It was organized, originally, from Chouteau County, March 1, 1893, since which a part of its territory was attached to Toole County in 1914, and other portions were added to Pondera and to form Glacier (entire), in 1919. Originally, it extended from the Dominion of Canada to the present southern limits of the county, and was one of the largest political divisions in the state. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation then occupied its northwestern corner.

It is estimated that about one-third the area of Teton County is adapted to irrigation, which has been already applied to about 100,000 acres. All of the central and eastern portions of the county are tillable, while the extreme western and southern portions are about equally divided between arable and grazing lands. A small area of the grazing land in the Rockies partakes of the mountainous nature of its surroundings. The soil on the lowlands is a sandy or clay loam, while on the uplands or benches the subsoil is partly gravel and limestone formation. The county is favored with an exceptionally good water supply. The principal streams are the Teton, Spring Creek, Willow Creek and Sun River, the last mentioned of which furnished water for the irrigation of 30,000 acres in what is known as the Government Sun River Project, near Fairfield, in the east central part of the county. A supply of good well water may be obtained in most places at depths ranging from 60 to 100 feet Indications of coal and oil have been found but as yet little has been done to develop mineral resources. Agriculture and stock raising are the chief industries. Most of the timber of commercial value is found in the western part of the county, where 250,000 acres are contained in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Cottonwood and willows are found along most of the streams.

Wheat is the principal farm crop, but barley, flax, alfalfa and sweet clover are grown in considerable quantities. Silos are becoming more common, corn and sunflowers being grown for forage. Irrigated land may be purchased for $75 to $100 an acre, while improved non-irrigated tracts bring from $20 to $100 an acre. The cost of grazing land is from $8 to $15 an acre.

The mountainous sections of Teton County are replete with grand and beautiful scenery and the tourist may there find excellent hunting and fishing, especially if he is content to travel part of the way on foot with a pack outfit and thus reach those places the least affected by the settlement and development of the county. Railroad facilities are afforded by branch lines of both the Milwaukee and Great Northern railways. The main trunk highway of the county is the Park-to-Park Highway, which passes through it from north to south, and is gravel surfaced.

The demands of education are met by sixty schools, including the county high school at Chouteau, accredited for a four-year course. This latter institution is housed in a handsome new building, equipped in modern style, which was erected at a cost of $100,000. Chouteau, which also enjoys the distinction of being the county seat, is an old established town, with modern improvements. Its commercial interests are served by three banks, which have a combined capital and surplus of $200,000. Its altitude is 3,810 feet. There are other good towns and market centers in the county, those on the Great Northern Railway being Bynum, Pendroy, Power, Dutton and Collins, while the Milwaukee has Fairfield, Farmington and Agawam.

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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