Sunday, January 23, 2011


William Milner Robert's camp and NPRR survey crew at Pend Oreille City (Circa 1869.) Davidson Collection, Western History Division, Denver Library, Denver, CO. Courtesy W. R. 'Chuck' Peterson collection.
Northern Pacific Railroad Company was granted right of way through public lands 200 feet on either side of the railroad, plus forty odd-numbered sections of non-mineral land for each mile of railroad line completed. The grant was made in 1864 when President Lincoln signed the Act of Congress. At this time the western half of the United States was firmly in the hands of hostile Indian tribes. The west coast needed to be protected and the United States was a nervous young nation just recovering from the Civil War. It badly needed transportation to move military supplies and soldiers into the west if it was to hold the nation together.1.

Congress added a condition to its grants. It required Northern Pacific and other land grant roads to haul all government property and passengers for half their regular rates and mail for 80 percent of regular rates.

But the land was of little or no value without the railroad. And much of it belonged to the Indians who still had them in physical possession. Nor did the land serve as a stimulus to the selling of stock to raise money to build the railroad. Additionally the Act specifically forbade the company from issuing bonds or imposing mortgages on its property.

In 1869 William Milnor Roberts, a Philadelphia born Quaker, who was the chief engineer for the company, came west and located the route. Roberts preferred the Deer Lodge Pass to the Mullan Pass for crossing the main divide of the Rocky Mountains, which put the line through the Clark Fork valley.2.

Six years after Lincoln signed the Act, the funding impasse was resolved when, in 1870, Congress authorized the Northern Pacific to issue bonds to aid in construction and to secure the bonds by a mortgage on all of its property and rights of property, including its franchise as a corporation. Bonds were issued and the banking house of Jay Cooke and Company was appointed to sell the bonds and handle the company's finances. A number of European and U.S. investors would put up the money and accept the lands as security.3.

On February 15, 1870 ground was broken for the line at Thompson Junction, Minnesota. First stirrings of activity on the west end of the projected transcontinental line came at about the same time. East and west worked to join each other. The railroad building era began creeping to the west - at a turtles pace. Twelve years would elapse before they reached the Clark Fork valley.4.

The great financial panic of 1873 brought failure to Jay Cooke and Company and bankruptcy to the railroad.3. Five years passed before new financing could be obtained and progress resumed. In the valley of the Clark's Fork of the Columbia winter snows continued to bury fur trappers cabins, spring floods raged over the river banks, tearing away soil and goliath trees to fling them onward toward the ocean. The valley embraced few save migrating Indians and lone prospectors and trappers who roamed at will through it leaving nothing of themselves behind to be remembered other than the remnants of a few tiny log cabins widely scattered in the mountain wilderness.

Shafts of summer sunlight filtered eerily through enormous stands of virgin forests. Fall frosts made golden spires of the tamarack trees and stained the leaves of deciduous trees vibrant reds and oranges before sending them all fluttering to carpet the earth before winter snows began the cycle over again. Again and again.
* * * * *
A little grading was done in 1879 on the railroad that was to span the continent but operations were not vigorously begun until early 1880. The Northern Pacific line progressed eastward that year as far as Rathdrum, Idaho. That broad flat area, enormously rich, thick with stands of the finest white pine timber, soon became the major supply area. It quickly acquired population and a town sprang into being.2.

It was under the dynamic leadership of Henry Villard, who became president of the Northern Pacific in 1881, that the lines began surging toward each other from either side of the continent.6.

Villard's entry into the transportation field came on a visit to Germany where a group of European financiers persuaded him to represent them in protecting their investments in American railroads. He soon organized his own company which eventually led to control of the Northern Pacific Railroad.6.
The railroad grading did not reach the shore of Lake Pend d'Oreille until January 9, 1882 because of the difficulty in getting ties and timbers to locations.2.

Montana cedar trees in Rock Creek, Montana prior to 1910 fire.
Courtesy Earl and Katie Engle collection.
During the construction operations, the portion of the road between Sand Point on Lake Pend d'Oreille and the crossing of the Flathead River, seven miles above the junction of that stream with the Missoula (the two forming the Clark's Fork or Pend d'Oreille, a distance of 130 miles) was called the Clark's Fork Division.2.

The valley was not to admit intrusion easily. It was by far the most difficult division of the entire Northern Pacific line to construct. And much the most expensive. The forest was "of phenomenal density, the trees standing so close together that they seemed almost to form a solid rampart of trunks. Pine, fir, spruce, cedar and tamarack consituted this remarkable growth. A thick undergrowth covered the ground. Interlaced branches overhead made a sombre twilight of the brightest noonday glare".2. To the railroad men, the valley proper seemed formed by river, "which flowed for about a hundred miles through a tremendous gorge.

"The mountains rise abruptly from the edge of the swift green stream, in some places in towering walls of slate rock, in other in exceedingly steep timbered slopes. Here and there in the canyon elevated benches of a few miles in length occur, which were eagerly occupied by the engineers as welcome respites to the enormous labor of digging and blasting a roadbed out of rocky walls or precipitous and treacherous slopes; but a considerable part of the line is steep side-hill work or blasting through places where the mountains thrust bare shoulders of rock into the river."2.

Horse and buggy in Montana cedar trees
in Rock Creek, Montana, prior to 1910 fire.
Courtesy Earl and Katie Engle collection.
 Newspaper columnist Mel Boyd said, " ... the valleys were so narrow that the dogs wagged their tails up and down. The farm fields were so steep that men kept falling out of their cornfields. And the mountains were so high that the southbound geese had to hike part of the way!"7.

The surveyors, or locators, of the railroad arrived first, tents on pack trains, equipment roped securely down. They were engineers and instrument men with tents for living in, tents for cooking in, and the office tent holding a knock down drafting table, high stools and a chest for storing engineering and office supplies.

The cook tent held a cook stove, dining table, supplies, work tables, and the cooks bed. It was a larger tent than the others. The cook was the royalty of the crew and much catered to. Woe to anyone who would offend a cook for it was his contribution of pancakes, butter, syrup, ham, bacon sausage, eggs, stewed fruit (apricots, peaches or prunes), oatmeal, coffee and canned milk that started each day. And the day, no matter how productive or how terrible, would conclude with ham or fresh pork or beef when available, or lamb, boiled cabbage, boiled spuds, coleslaw, stewed tomatoes, butter, preserves or jam, bread, canned apricots, plums, cherries or peaches, pie and coffee. If the cook had been put into an irascible disposition by the lonely life, the impossible conditions, or a complaining crew, he could just walk out on them. Damnation to the man who dared cause that. Cooks were a premium. So what if some succumbed to temper tantrums, drink, or spewed verbal abuse. He was the guardian of their needs. Humor him. Please him if you could with a present of fresh picked mushrooms, wild strawberries or huckleberries. Anything to contribute to his creative happiness was not too dear a price to pay for this indispensable person.8.

Following the surveyors was a small army of woodcutters opening space for the railroad grade. Graders were stationed at various points, largely with pick and shovel and wheelbarrow, filling the spaces between them with rock and dirt. Following these men came the tie cutters, working all along the line making and decking the ties in piles ready to be laid when track laying began. Sawmills were erected at strategic places to cut bridge timbers and timbers for trestles. All the white canvas tents reminded of an army in the field.

Instead of letting contracts for the work, the railway company did it with Mr. H. Thielsen, chief engineer of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, the supervising engineer of the Clark's Fork Division. J. L. Hallett was hired as Superintendent of Construction. Acute shortages of labor and materials occured. Fifteen thousand Chinese were imported from China, providing over half of the 25,000 laborers employed. Because of a domestic steel shortage, rails, tie plates and spikes were imported from France and England.2.

On the Clark's Fork Division, Superintendent Hallett's crews were 6,000 Chinese and 1,700 whites. The Chinese were divided into gangs of 50-100 under white 'herders'. While Caucasian men cleared trees and split ties the Chinese were used for the meanest of labor, clearing of the line and the grading.9. Wheelbarrows and pick handles were their lot as they struggled to level the earth and lay ties. They'd signed a twenty-five year contract to come to the United States to work. Fifteen cents of each coolie's daily pay went to the contractor who had paid their passage from China.10.

Most of the work through the woods and swamp along the shore of Pend d'Oreille lake was done in the winter of 1881-82. In November Small Bros. of Walla Walla had their contract continued to clear the right of way and furnish ties and lumber for the 100 miles east around Lake Pend 'Oreille and up the Clark Fork River to near the present Thompson Falls. Up at Cabinet Landing where the Clark Fork fed in from the east, the engineers aimed for 25 miles of grade to be completed by the time track got around the lake.11.

Chinese Laborers on NPRR, 1890 along the Clark's Fork River. F. J. Haynes photograph, Haynes Foundation collection, Courtesy W. R. 'Chuck' Peterson collection\ Montana Historical Society.

The 1872 survey markers along the river were long gone, swept away in spring floods. New ones had to be made. All the engineers and surveyors, who had been spread all along the line to Horse Plains with cabins built for the winter, were called into Spokane Falls where the new construction boss, J. L. Hallet was introduced. The Flathead Indians had stopped the survey across their reservation.11.

The right-of-way clearing through the land of trees "like a solid wall" ... along the Clark Fork River which "had no valley for it ran through the well known Cabinet Gorge" was nearly to the first crossing of the Clark Fork. The weather was mild and mosquitoes beset Small's crews early in 1882. A rumor sprang up that Hallet was about to resign. But this cleared up and Hallet was soon breaking an ice jam on the lake in late January.11.

The weather had changed. February brought heavy snowfalls and snow was six feet deep along the Clark's Fork grading. Thousands of men were engaged at times in shoveling the snow from the line in order that the grading and track laying could proceed.2.

As soon as spring brought relief from snow clogging the horses hooves, burying supplies, and all the other complications, high water on the river brought worse troubles. It became an obstacle to building bridges. Frost that had hardened the surface of the wagon road to a concrete-like surface all winter melted into a quagmire of mud with warmer temperature. The road which had been built at great labor and expense to transport supplies to the grading camps got into such bad condition that four horses could barely draw a load of one thousand pounds. In addition, most of the animals had to be withdrawn for a time from work on the grade to haul food and forage.2.

A little steamer, built on Pend Oreille Lake, was invaluable to the operation at this time. The HENRY VILLARD hauled supplies but could only run about twelve miles up the river, to the Cabinet Gorge.2.
The Cabinet Landing 'Front' of the Northern Pacific Railroad construction crew. Henry Villard Steamboat in foreground. Courtesy W. R. 'Chuck' Peterson collection\ Davidson collection, Western History Division, Denver Library, Denver, CO.
In rock work, Mr. Hallett employed a method new in railroad construction, according to early records. Instead of beginning at the top of a roadbed along the face of a cliff, drill small holes, and blow off the rock, little by little down to grade, Hallett began at the bottom, a little below grade. He made a number of T-shaped tunnels, filled them with great quantities of powder, and touched them all off at the same moment by electricity provided by a battery. The effect was stupendous. The whole side of a mountain lifted up and hurled into the river saving time and money for the company. He used a similar method through cuts by means of perpendicular shafts and lateral galleries. One cut twenty-four feet deep by four hundred feet long was excavated by a single blast, most of the rock thrown entirely out.22.

The work began in earnest in April. Work done during the early winter had to be re-done when melting snow washed away part of it. A hundred and fifty six men had been working on the 6,500-foot long Pack River bridge, completing it by April 25th. The advance grade crews were over the Montana line. A wagon road was started between Cabinet Landing and Thompson River as the snow melted. In early June, Cabinet Landing was referred to as the 'Front'. Hundreds of tents were strung along the river for the workers. The temporary town had 33 saloons. One, reported to be formerly of Delmonico's of New York, belonged to Al White. Called 'White's Hippodrome,' it included bar, restaurant and theatre. Four men and four women put on a free show nightly.12.

There were, "six other restaurants, a fearful hotel, a worn lodging house and other stores, plus the usual Wells Fargo. Hawkins and Co. Duboise ran a big store for the Chinese and King ran the large wooden commissary for the NP and purchased much of their produce from the Walla Walla area, which was the closest region for such items. The NP maintained several shops and stables for their well-cared-for horses."12.

The hospital, Hallett's quarters and quarters for Kingsbury, the engineer-in-charge, were on the north side of the river. This aggregation supported 2,600 Chinese and 1,400 Whites and 535 horses. This 'Front' was located on the Montana line at the 2,175-foot elevation. Just beyond was a 600-foot rock cut 27 feet deep. The advance force was 12 miles beyond Cabinet and by the end of July this location would be a ghost town, the 'Front' towns being even more transient than the mining camps.12.

The track was ten miles beyond Cabinet in mid-July and going slowly. It was completed to Heron Rapids August 12, 1882 and by late August only a little over ten more miles were in with trains running to Noxon.12.

While the railroad was being built there was a place at the mouth of Elk Creek called Russellville after a man named John Russell. At a place called 'Hyrooginville' which was between Russellville and Rock Island a saloon quenched thirsts.13.

Bob Martin took this picture, circa 1895, of the steam engine, at Hope, Idaho on the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks , courtesy W. R. 'Chuck' Peterson collection.
The 'Front' had moved to Rock Island. There were five trains daily between Sand Point and end-of-track bringing materials forty-four miles. Small wood burning American Standard steam engines were the train's motive power. They had difficult times when there was any snow. They also ran very poorly on soggy wood.12.

The second river crossing was the end of the track on November 23rd, 1882, 312 miles from Wallula. It was made on falsework. The bridge would have three Howe trusses and two 180-foot approaches. It was to be a delaying factor until the spring of 1883. The weather until mid-November had been good with only an inch and a half of snow. It then turned cold and work had to stop on the depots, which were completed to Noxon, and wood shed work took priority so that they would be ready that winter.14.

NPRR trestle three miles west of Tuscor (in background on right.) Courtesty Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
The reason for the first two crossings of the river were to avoid the Blue Slide, an immense sliding mass of clay soil 1,000 feet high, and impossible to pass with a railroad.

Between the first and second crossings the road passed through extensive clay deposits for about forty miles, known by early travelers as the Bad Lands, which caused sliding problems. One of these slides was probably unrivaled in its extent and suddenness by anything known in the history of railroad building.

In April, 1883, a surface area of forty acres, covered with trees, slid off into the river, carrying the track with it and partially obstructing the river. The track sunk down to a depth of sixty feet below the grade and created a 1,300 foot-long chasm.2.
* * * * *
Steam engine on round table, ca. 1894 Hope, Idaho. Grace Pretre photo, courtesy W. R. 'Chuck' Peterson collection.
In 1881 or 1882 Tom Greenough and his brothers had a store at Noxon built alongside the tracks, on the south side. It was Noxon's first building, begun to supply the construction crews of the Northern pacific railroad and to supply Greenough's tie making camps.15.

Greenough had the contract to supply bridge timbers to the railroad and made millions of dollars on it, and before long he received a letter from the General Land Office of the U.S. Government advising him he had cut and removed timber amounting to 701,918 railroad ties from the vacant public lands along the Clark Fork River, Sanders County,
"You are liable for full market value of timber at the time of it's sale by you, thirty five cents a tie."16.
By June of 1882 the railroad bed was being graded from Cabinet Landing to Rock Island. A boat was being built at Rock Island to run to Thompson Falls. Headquarters of the Clark Fork division, under Superintendent Hallett, had moved to Rock Island by July. The boat to Thompson Falls was scheduled to begin running by August lst. It was 130 feet long.

Newspaper accounts next placed the size of the stern-wheeler to be 140 feet long with a 30 foot beam. Completion date was moved back to August 20. Contractors, Ellis and Small, at Rock Island were advertising for axe men to work from the island to the river crossing.17.

A serious problem was the need for law enforcement at Rock Island, where the track ended, to adjust disputes and to marry folks. The "largest moving city in the world" consisted of "five thousand men working between Idaho and Weeksville and but only 25 women."18. There wasn't even a justice of the peace in the area.

Their camp in the dense forest was comprised of numerous individual tents, shanties, wickiups and also 12 boarding tents, 12 store tents and about 15 saloon tents. The tents ranged in size from 8'x12' to 16'x40'.18.

In August, Superintendent Hale was appointed deputy sheriff at Rock Island. Captain David McKinney was running the S.S. Missoula side-wheeler between Rock Island and Thompson Falls. But an error of the builders of this second steamer made her draft too great for her to be of service at a low stage of water. She ceased operation.19.

Steam engine #152. Courtesty W. R. 'Chuck Peterson collection.
1882 the Northern Pacific tracks were completed to Noxon and the following buildings were built of frame lumber: Passenger depot, 22' x 40', $1,000; Coal house, 10' x 16', $33; Section house, 12 ' x 14' and 16' x 36' (a two story frame house in an el shape), $1560; Chinese section house, 15' x 18' and 12' x 12', $525; Tool house, 14' x 20', $30.20. The section house was located at the foot of a forested hill about a block east of the railroad depot and on the south side of the tracks. The depot sat on the north side of the tracks between them and the Clark's Fork River, about three miles downstream from Rock Island and the rapids below it that were beginning to be called Noxon Rapids.

The house where the Chinese lived was further west and on the south side of the tracks, also. The hill climbed rather steeply southward, bounded on the east by a swift creek that supplied the water for the steam engines. Deep forest surrounded the tiny complex of buildings near the banks of the Clark Fork River.

By September 8th things had gotten along considerably. The railroad was advertising the "Missoula and Pend 'Oreille stage to head of navigation to connect with S. S. Katie Hallett at steamboat Landing below Thompson Falls." The following schedule was published:
"Portland to Bonneville, by boat, 64 miles, 6 hrs; Bonneville to Rock Island, by rail, 462 miles, 32 hrs; Rock Island to Thompson River, by boat, 34 miles, 4 hrs; Thompson River to Missoula, by stage, 120 miles, 15 hrs; Missoula to Billings, by stage, 426 miles, 83 hrs; Billings to St. Paul, by rail, 900 miles, 50 hrs."21.
A passenger could travel the transcontinental route for a total of 2,006 miles in only 190 hours! What the prospective passengers didn't know was that the S.S. Katie Hallett was grounded at the mouth of Graves Creek. Water flow was too low to allow its passage.22.

Another fact they were ignorant of was the lawlessness of the area where they would be changing from rail to water, horseback, stage or foot travel: Rock Island was in need of "a lynching society."22.

In one week twenty men were missing and twelve were found in the river with broken skulls. T. W. Roberts was accused of attempting to rape a child, Emma Gibbs, at Rock Island and reportedly gave her syphilis. Deputy sheriff, George Miller, went to get the father and child and a Negro witness but after he'd spent a night at Shannonville, a rough tent town thirty miles upstream, the father vanished so Roberts was "held over" by the court in Missoula.22.

As Supt. Hallett's crew moved on up the valley of the Clark's Fork to Weeksville the lower towns became deserted. But not all the men moved on. Some stayed and squatted the land. People traveled west on the railroad looking for land, prospecting for gold and seeking opportunity. The adventuresome and the desperate stayed to start from scratch; to build a new life; to make a town.

At Noxon, as the railroad building crews moved eastward, quiet returned to the valley. Felix Evans settled on a homestead at the mouth of Pilgrim Creek, and Dan DeLong (called by a later generation, Red Buck Dan, wild son of a wild country), stayed on.23. The Montana Company put in a shingle mill.24. The railroad operated a section house where their crews boarded and roomed.

Noxon Northern Pacific Railroad section house. L-R: School teacher, Charles DeNoyer; Mary Knutson; Andrew Knutson; Jim Finnigan; Nels Anderson; George Jamison; Bill Finnigan; unidentified; Herman Manicke. Front row: Mary Knutson' Rhoda Knutson' Ruth Knutson; Johnny Knutson. Circa early 1900s. Andrew Knutson was section foreman. Courtesy William Finnigan collection.
Greenough continued to operate his building as a supply house for tie hackers. Population fluctuated around fifty.24. The NPRR had a huge woodshed and what men there were in the area supplied wood for it.

As the railroad builders moved on, several Chinese employed on the section crew remained at Noxon. They lived boxcars, and tiny log cabins. One was called Sandy because he lived in a cave hand dug into the sandy banks of the river. They grew tremendous gardens, preserving the produce by a special drying process not understood or used by the whites. When they got together to play cards they smoked opium. They had their own whiskey shipped to town from China in flasks and made a Chinese gin from rice. It was heavier and more syrupy than the whiskey they drank. Along with the whiskey, gin and opium, they also brought some excellent cooking and some old country customs. When a death occurred, the burial ceremony included scattering coins and corn or wheat along the path to the place of internment. Evil spirits would then be delayed so the departed could be safely sent on his journey.25.

The railroad construction moved on up the valley. The firm of Washington Dunn and Bennett had the grading contract from near Horse Plains to Missoula. Since much of the distance was through the Flathead Indian Reservation Dunn's Mormon workers were a valuable asset to harmony. With these sober, hardworking people cutting the swath for the railroad tracks to be laid on, there was little trouble. As 1883 dawned in Montana the firm had finished their work in preparing the right-of-way on the Little Blackfoot and Hellgate sections of the railroad and had transferred 100 teams and 150 men to work west of Missoula. Track had been laid as far east as Thompson Falls.21.

Winter settled whitely over the river valley. Three trains became snowbound between Sand Point and Trout Creek. The line was opened January 8th when a special train left Portland with three government commissioners, Western Chief Engineer Thielsen, J. M. Buckley, assistant general manager for the western section, H. W. Fairweather, and W. T. Small, assistant supertintendent of machinery. The Train consisted of the sleeper Petrel, a diner and coaches. Speed averaged, 50 mph.14.

Vigilante actions had occurred at Weeksville in late January where Halletts crews continued to be as uproarious as the old mining camps. Restlessness to see Hallett and these tough, rowdy, lawless workers leave had set in. Raw winter weather frayed tense nerves. The town was on its last legs as a construction camp. Soon there was to be one final camp move to the east to a camp referred to as 'Last Chance', near the mouth of the Missoula River.14.

No trains were able to get through for seven days in February due to heavy snows. Late February saw the weather abating and the track was twenty-three miles east of Thompson Falls and was soon to arrive in Paradise. Horse Plains was the headquarters for the 'front' and would remain so for three months. There was to be no liquor now that the grade crews were on the Indian Reservation. Paradise, six miles upstream from Thompson Falls, was the first town in that reservation and it was a failure due to that restriction.14.
Plains, Montana saloon, circa 1890s. Courtesy William Finnigan collection.
The Clark's Fork Division was to have been completed as March ended. On April 1st, however, Hallet, his main assistant, Fordyce, and his bridge assistant, Wm. Clucas, plus the entire work force under them was discharged. The force consisted of about 800 whites and 900 Chinese. Most of the workers went west by boxcar to Baker City, Oregon to work on the Oregon Short Line Railroad.14.

Horses and construction material were to have been turned over to NPRR Engineer, Weeks. Instead of an orderly turnover, 650 horses were let loose and had to be rounded up. Construction material was left strewn up and down the right of way. The parting was stormy between Weeks and Hallett and Co. Later, aspersions were cast on Hallett's work methods and quality.21.

At Heron's Siding, six miles from Idaho, 125 men cut timber all winter for the railroad.26. Nature clobbered the workers that final spring of railroad building in the valley. In late March, two steam shovels were working between Noxon and Heron where the clay banks continued to slide. Also, on March 26th, there was a bad storm that held up work and caused a heavy rockslide between Cabinet and Noxon, which stopped trains. On April 1st the section from Sand Point to Heron was turned over to the operating department and Buckley and Thielsen put a force to work getting the section in first class shape. Late in April there was another washout at Heron.21.

In early spring the work force at Heron began building a twelve stall roundhouse.26. The railroad had decided to move their division point from Sand Point to Heron, much to the displeasure of the former town. Terminal facilities were planned for Heron and it was reported to have the best spo for a town since Westwood, near Rathdrum, Idaho. Beaver Creek provided a fine water supply for the railroads water tower.14.

Regular passenger train service went into effect on April 22nd. Although Montana was not yet a state, residents in the valley could easily travel to the county seat at Missoula, spend a day or two, and then board the return train in Missoula at 8 a.m., have dinner at Horse Plains and be back to Heron by supper time. Meals were 50 cents. Fare from Missoula to Heron was $10.55.27.
NPRR officials said, "During the construction operations the portion of the road between Sand Point on Lake Pend d'Oreille and the crossing of the Flathead River, seven miles above the junction of that stream with the Missoula (the two forming the Clark's Fork or Pend d'Oreille), a distance of 130 miles, was called the Clark's Fork Division. It was by far the most difficult division to construct of the entire Northern Pacific line, and much the most expensive ..." At 3 p.m. on August 23, 1883 the rails met and completely joined east to west. Michael Gilford of the western group drove the last spike. It was a time of great celebration. It was the ending. The valley of the Clark's Fork of the Columbia ceased to be uninhabitable for lack of access.28.
The railroad could freight in supplies. Supplies could make settlement possible. The rich timber resources could be freighted out. The ore could be mined and shipped. Cattle could be raised on the fine grasses. Men, women and children could grow and prosper in the excellent climate of pure air and water. It was the beginning.

Chapter 3

1. Railroad Lands In Montana, The Montana Railroad Association. Reprinted from The Montana Stockgrower.
"There was the immediate problem of taking the grant lands away from the Indians. There was also the problem of protecting settlers whom the government hoped would be attracted to the new West by public and railroad granted lands.
"Later, because many of the odd-numbered sections of land granted the railroad had been appropriated, the government gave NPRR the opportunity to select other government lands as replacement, or "in lieu" lands. Some of these selections were necessary because all mineral lands were excluded, although coal and iron were not considered minerals. Initially, disposal of lands at any price was difficult and the government gave away millions of acres to settlers under the Homestead, Timber and Stone Acts.
"Northern Pacific, as directed by the grant terms, sold the major portion of its lands, largely to farmers and ranchers who moved in from the Midwest, disposing of most of them by the early 1920's. In 1940, the land-grant provisions were amended so the reduced rates applied only to military freight and passenger movements and in 1946 the rates were wiped out entirely so the government now paid published rates on its traffic. At that time Congress found the savings to taxpayers in the reduced rates enjoyed on all land-grant roads amounted to 10 times the value of the grant lands. The nation had provided badly needed transportation facilities to its west coast without cost to the taxpayers and made a profit of about one billion dollars besides." (Source-Montana Railroad Association reprinted from The Montana Stockgrower).
2. History of The Northern Pacific Railroad by Eugene V. Smalley.

3. Northern Pacific: First Northern Transcontinental. Burlington Northern Railroad, public relations-advertisement department.

4. Spokesman Review. In 1871 the first white settlers, Scranton and Downing, dismounted from their horses, set up their tents, and built a sawmill by Spokane Falls. James Glover arrived in 1873 and purchased their land and began Spokane's first industry: 'Papa' Glover's Mill. Gradually the area was becoming more important as a trail confluence, river crossing and trade center.

 5. History Of The Northern Pacific Railroad by Eugene V. Smalley.
"A little grading was done in the fall of 1879, but operations were not vigorously begun until early in 1880. During that year the grading was completed from Wallula as far eastward as Rathdrum, 189 miles, and track was laid from Wallula to the south bank of the Snake River, and from Ainsworth, on the north bank of that stream, 48 miles further, to Twin Wells. At the close of the season the grade was 124 miles in advance of the track; an unusual thing in railroad building in a new country, where the advancing track is the only base of supplies. This circumstance resulted from the delay in procuring ties and bridge timber. The country traversed by the line was bare of trees, and the nearest available forests were on the Yakima River, a stream which empties into the Columbia above the mouth of the Snake River.
"Parties of workmen were sent up into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the winter of 1879-80, to cut ties, piles, and bridge timber, ready to be floated down the Yakima in the spring freshet. The "drive", for some reason, did not come down, and was left stranded up the river, so that there were no ties all the summer of 1880, and supplies for the grading camps had to be hauled in wagons. In the spring of 1881 the "drive" was got afloat, and came rushing down pell-mell, on top of a powerful freshet, which broke the booms, and scattered the ties and timbers all down the Columbia River. Much of the material was picked up, but a portion was carried out to sea.
"Enough was saved to complete the track to the forest region east of Spokane Falls, where there was no lack of good timber for railroad uses. The track reached the shore of Pend d'Oreille January 9, 1882.
"The crossing of Snake River at Ainsworth is at present effected by a transfer boat which carries an entire passenger train. A bridge is in process of construction, however, and will be completed before the high-water season of 1884, and, next to the Bismarck bridge over the Missouri River, will be the most important structure of the kind on the entire Northern Pacific line. Its length is 1,541 feet, and it is composed of a span of 125 feet, a draw span of 350 feet, with 158 feet of clear waterway on each side of the pivot pier, three spans of 250 feet each, and two spans of 158 feet each. The piers are of granite, and are seven in number, including the pivot pier, their average height being sixty-two feet. They rest on a solid rock foundation. All were built in open caissons except two, for which pneumatic caissons were required. The abutments are also of granite, and are forty-three feet high. The superstructure is an iron truss of the most approved pattern, the lower line of which is twelve feet above the extreme known high water mark. The Spokane River is crossed east of the town of Spokane Falls by a single span Howe truss bridge 200 feet long, with an open truss approach on either side sixty feet long. As the railroad approaches Lake Pend d'Oreille from the west, the country becomes broken with ridges and deep ravines, and much trestle and piling are required. Within three miles of the lake there are three trestles.... then comes the long pile bridge across an arm of the lake to Sand Point, the end of the division, which is 8,400 feet long, with a draw of ninety-four feet. Six hundred feet of this structure runs across such deep water that piles of from 90 to 100 feet in length are required.
"During the construction operations the portion of the road between Sand Point on Lake Pend d'Oreille and the crossing of the Flathead River, seven miles above the junction of that stream with the Missoula (the two forming the Clark's Fork or Pend d'Oreille), a distance of 130 miles, was called the Clark's Fork Division. It was by far the most difficult division to construct of the entire Northern Pacific line, and much the most expensive.... "
6. Destined to become one of the most colorful figures in American history, Henry Villard had emigrated from Germany in 1853 at the age of 18. He studied law and subsequently became a distinguished journalist. He reported the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the Chicago convention where Lincoln was nominated for president. In Washington he covered the political front for a syndicate of newspapers and as a war correspondent he chronicled important engagements of the Civil War.

7. L. M. Boyd, columnist, Spokesman Review. Undated clipping, circa 1980.

8. Northern Trail Adventure.

9. Missoulian, August 1882.

10. Idaho Senator, Don Maynard, tape-recorded oral history.

 11. The History of The Northern Pacific Railroad, by Louis Tuck Renz. J. L. Hallett was originally an OR&N man and had been in charge of much of that road's construction.

 12. The Construction Of The Northern Pacific Railroad Main Line During The Years 1870-1888, by Louis T. Renz.

 13. Unidentified news clipping.

 14. Northern Pacific History, by Louis T. Renz.

 15. Clifford R. Weare and Idaho Senator Don Maynard, tape-recorded oral histories.

 16. Letter from General Accounting Office files - undated. Greenough later went to Missoula and built a mansion close to the Northern Pacific hospital. Years later Greenoughs two sons had a grocery store in Spokane on Second or Third Avenue. Some of Noxon's residents bought supplies there, having them shipped to Noxon by railroad. Missoula County Times, Dec. 8, 1886 reported that T. L. Greenough was warned by NPRR General Manager, Oakes to stop cutting ties on NP land in the "lower end of the county".

Thomas Lockman Greenough had four brothers who came west. Joseph W. stayed in Missoula many years before moving to Spokane. John Brush and Wilbur Drake were in Mullan and then in Spokane.

 17. The Missoulian, June 30, 1882; July 7, 1882; July 21, 1882; July 28, 1882.

 18. The Missoulian, July 14, 1882; July 21, 1882.

 19. The Missoulian, August 1882.

 20. Letter from Northern Pacific Railway Company, March 7, 1962, L. M. Lorentzsen, Spokane District Superintendent of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

 21. Construction of Northern Pacific Railroad Main Line During The Years 1870-1888, by Louis T. Renz; The Missoulian, Sept. 8, 1882.

 22. The Missoulian, Sept 15, 1882; Sept 29, 1882; Dec. 1, 1882.

 23. The Buzzer, Noxon High School, Noxon, MT, September 1928.

 24. History of Montana, by M. E. Leeson. (1885).

 25. Idaho Senator Don Maynard, tape-recorded oral history.

 26. The Missoulian, April 27, 1883.

 27. The Missoulian, August 24, 1883.

 28. Montana In The Making, by Newton Carl Abbott.

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