13 July 2008

A Lot of Fort Benton History

If you are researching early Fort Benton or Choteau/Chouteau County History, you may have discovered a site called "A Little Fort Benton History." This is a flawed site!

While this site has usefull biographic sketches of early Fort Benton, it fails to show source attribution. It is taken, without credit, from Michael Leeson's History of Montana. Rather than using this "pirate site," I'd recommend you use the valuable University of Montana Digital Collections. These digital collections provide easily searchable access to both Leeson's History of Montana and the later Progressive Men of the State of Montana.

Access the UofM site at: http://www.lib.umt.edu/research/digitalcollections/default.htm


A history by Michael Leeson of Montana's discovery and settlement, social and commercial progress, mines and miners, agriculture and stock-growing, churches, schools and societies, Indians and Indian wars, vigilantes, courts of justice, newspaper press, navigation, railroads and statistics, with histories of counties, cities, tillages and mining camps; also personal reminiscences of great historic value; views characteristic of the territory in our own times, and portraits of pioneers and representative men in the professions and trades.

This book, originally published in 1885, is a 1,367 page reference exploring topics such as the exploration and occupation of Montana, Indian history, wars, trading and military posts, mining, newspapers, churches, and societies during the time between 1735 and 1885. The book includes treatments of 13 Montana counties as well as personal "reminisciences" from several notable Montanans. The book also contains over 500 illustrations of people, buildings, farms, ranches, and natural features of the era.

Progressive Men of the State of Montana ca 1903

This book was originally published about 1903. It is an 1886-page reference work containing over 2500 biographies, nearly 200 of which are illustrated with portraits. From Charlie Russell to all the early governors, there are biographies of most people who were prominent in Montana history between the 1850's and 1900.

This computerized edition shows images of every biographical sketch and picture, just the way they looked in the original book. The whole book is also indexed by last name, Montana county, and Montana city. The "Search" link searches words in all indexes, but does not search the text of biographies. It's good for finding first names.