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Valley County, Montana 1921

Valley County, created March 1, 1893, is one of the northeastern counties of the state and is bounded on the north by the Canadian line and on the south by the Missouri River. It is no miles long north and south and 73 miles wide east and west. Its land area is 5,447 square miles. From west to east the county is traversed by the Milk River, the valley of which will be almost entirely under irrigation when the Government Milk River Reclamation Project is completed. Private irrigation is also carried on. The farms on the rolling benches north and south of the Milk River Valley are not irrigated. With the exception of the Milk River Valley, several low spurs of hills and the brakes along the Missouri River in the southern part, the surface of the county is a rolling prairie. Practically all the land north of the Milk River Valley is suitable for cultivation. The soil consists of light and dark loams with either a gumbo or limestone base.

The principal stream is Milk River, which is fed by many smaller streams flowing both from the north and the south. Many of these streams have a large spring run-off, and when reservoirs are constructed at available storage sites more land will be placed under irrigation. Cottonwood is found along the streams, but there is no commercial timber in the county. Lignite is plentiful in the county and the discovery of oil is a possibility of the future.

At present the chief industries of the county are agriculture and stock raising. The principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, corn, flax, speltz, blue joint hay and alfalfa. Alfalfa seed is raised in considerable quantity and excellent vegetables are grown in abundance. Milk River Valley blue joint is rated one of the best forage feeds in Montana and even a stronger feed than alfalfa. Improved irrigated lands can be bought for $50 to $75 an acre, improved non-irrigated lands from $25 to $50 an acre, non-improved cultivable lands from $20 to $40 an acre, and grazing lands at $10 to $15 an acre. There are 40,000 acres under irrigation in the Milk River Valley Project. These lands have been but little improved but are capable of extensive development, and experienced farmers, especially those who understand irrigation, can purchase land at reasonable rates. There are also good opportunities for farmers with capital on the non-irrigated lands.

Glasgow and Other Towns

Glasgow, the county seat, is an established town, the center of trade and shipping for a large section of the rich Milk River Valley. It is the seat of one of the ten United States land offices in Montana. The city has electric lights, water works, a public library, a good modern high school which gives a course in agriculture, two newspapers and substantial business houses; also, a 400-barrel flour mill, and other evidences of a solid town. The 1920 census published its population as 2,059, making it the leading urban center of Northeastern Montana.

Outside of Glasgow, the principal towns of the county are Hinsdale, Frazer, Theony and Oswego. Both the rural schools and those in the different towns number seventy-five throughout the county.

The Milk River Valley is traversed through the county by main line of the Great Northern Railway. From Glasgow auto stage lines run north to Glentana, Opheim and Baylor. The Theodore Roosevelt Highway passes through the county, following the railroad and touching the towns of Oswego, Frazer, Nashua, Glasgow, Tampico, Vandalia, Hinsdale and Beaverton. In 1920 Valley County voted $200,000 worth of bonds for the construction of highways under the federal aid act.

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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