Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Rae Bruce

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  • This Month in Montana History: May

    RAE BRUCE|May 24, 2023

    May 20th, 1862, 161 years ago: President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862. Under this new law, an American citizen could claim 160 acres of Federal land, provided they "prove up" and reside on the land for at least five years. Many of Montana's first settlers claimed land under the Homestead Act, totaling 151,600 homesteads of 32,050.480 acres of land (about 34% of the state). However, shaping Montanan land proved difficult, causing many homesteaders to fold early and sell their plots...

  • This Month in Montana History: April

    RAE BRUCE|Apr 26, 2023

    April 12th 1864, 159 years ago: The American Civil War begins. Montana would not become a territory until three years later and played little role in the Civil War itself. Despite this, several Montanans enlisted in Union regiments during this time, and a company of "Galvanized Yankees," primarily made up of former prisoners of war, were stationed at Fort Benton. April 1st 1873, 150 years ago: The Coinage Act is enacted, ending silver standard dollars and causing a crash in the silver industry....

  • This Month in Montana History: March

    RAE BRUCE, Contributing Writer|Mar 29, 2023

    March 1st 1872, 151 years ago: The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act is signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant, establishing Yellowstone as the first national park in the United States. March 21st 1888, 135 years ago: The first issue of The Age was published in Boulder. The Age was the second paper to be published in Boulder; the first being the Jefferson County Sentinel, which began publication in 1885. The two would later combine to make the Age-Sentinel but suffered from...

  • This Month in Montana History

    RAE BRUCE, Contributing Writer|Mar 1, 2023

    February 2nd 1865, 158 years ago: The Territory of Montana creates nine original counties: Jefferson County, Beaverhead County, Big Horn County (later renamed Custer County) Chouteau County, Deer Lodge County, Edgerton County, Gallatin County, Madison County, and Missoula County. On the same day, the Historical Society of Montana incorporated at Virginia City, Montana. February 28th 1889, 134 years ago: The Jefferson County Courthouse is completed. The building was designed by John Paulsen, with...

  • This Month in Montana History: January

    RAE BRUCE, Jefferson County Museum|Feb 1, 2023

    January 10, 1864; 159 years ago: Sheriff of Bannack and head of the road agents Henry Plummer is publicly executed by Montana Vigilantes. 17 more road agents will be killed by vigilantes throughout the month. January 23, 1870; 153 years ago: Under command of Major Eugene Baker, the US Army kill nearly 200 Piegan Blackfeet people, mostly children, and women. The public outrage resulted in the United States taking steps to move towards a "Peace Policy", most notably moving the Bureau of Indian...

  • This Month in Montana History

    RAE BRUCE, Jefferson County Museum|Oct 26, 2022

    October 3rd, 1825, 197 years ago: Thomas J. Galbraith is born in Pennsylvania. He became the first elected Judge for the Fifth Judicial District of Montana in 1889 and served until 1893. October 17th, 1855, 167 years ago: The Judith River treaty is signed by representatives of Piegan, Blood, Blackfoot, Atsina, Salish, Kalispel, and Kootenai tribes, making areas in the northeast and southern Montana, including what would become Jefferson County, common hunting ground. October 13th, 1863, 159...

  • This Month in Montana History: July

    RAE BRUCE, Jefferson County Museum|Jul 20, 2022

    July 4th, 1803, 219 years ago: Under President Thomas Jefferson, America purchases 530,000,000 acres of land from France in the Louisiana Purchase. Although negotiations had been taking place months prior and the official territory was purchased on July 1st, it was first announced to the public on the 4th, coinciding with the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is also worth noting that France only controlled a small portion of this land, with most of it still belonging to Native tribes. July 4th, 1899, 123...

  • This Month in Montana History: June

    RAE BRUCE, Jefferson County Museum|Jun 29, 2022

    JUNE June 5, 1901 (121 years ago): The Montana School for the Deaf and Dumb in Boulder honors its first graduates, Lena Flesher and Blaine Hurst. At the time, the school was referred to as the Montana Deaf and Dumb Asylum, reflecting accurate terminology of the time, but by our standards, it is more accurate to call it by its later name of a school. Here, blind students learned various manual industries and deaf students learned lip-reading, in addition to standard academics. June 11, 1880 (142...