Friday, February 8, 2013

The James Stuart/Hope Mill

We, yesterday, were familiarly accosted by that urbane and polite gentleman, Superintendent Countryman, and informed that the machinery of the St. Louis and Montana Mining Company's mill would be set in motion at the sound of the steam whistle, about 2 o'clock P.M. We took the hint, as we always do on such occasions, and made ourself visibly present punctually at the hour. There we found a large mill filled with visitors - a moderate sprinkling of ladies, and a large representation of miners, mechanics, and other trades and professions. After about a half hour's run, the batteries were silenced, and upon a general invitation to the first floor, we were brought in contact with a table loaded with champagne and other refreshments, behind which we recognized the familiar faces of Justices Van Hagan and Barnard - the former acting as Chairman, the latter as Secretary  of a meeting called by the citizens to express their gratification at the energy of the proprietors and the skill of the mechanics, in erecting and producing a mill that reflects great credit upon the owners, executors, and the district.

The first toast, given by E.B. Waterbury - 'The St. Louis and Montana Mining Company: May continued success crown their every effort to develop the resources of the district.'

.... Mr. T.C. Lloyd proposed the name of 'Mr. James Stuart, for the first mill erected at Flint Creek;' which sentiment was received with three rousing cheers.

.... Mr. J.F. Steele then gave: 'Mr. Horace Countryman - architect, constructor and superintendent of the 'James Stuart Mill.'

.... The next toast, by Dr. Bell, was; 'The ladies of the district.' Mr. Waterbury replied in behalf of the ladies briefly, being evidently but little acquainted with the subject.

After which the Terpsichorean part of the performance commenced and proceeded until the shades of evening began to gather around, when the dancing ceased, only to be renewed at eight o' clock, in order to  make a night of it. The ladies looked their sweetest, God bless them, they always do look sweet, and the gentlemen, as neat as circumstances would permit in a new mining camp. 

Dispatch to the Weekly Independent,  October 21, 1867


  1. I would love to read more dispatches by this reporter---delightful language. Do you know his name?

    1. He signed his stories 3.11.33"
      I don't have this byline deciphered (yet)!
      I feel pretty sure we haven't heard the last of him, though.

    2. I suppose if, we found an Independent reporter that was 34 years old in 1867, we'd likely have the guy.

    3. Perhaps the same reporter also wrote a dispatch to the Montana Post.

    4. Based on the Post article it seems the mill started up on Oct 15, 1867.