Not long ago, Shade Tree Bill, who has been in these parts for more than 70 years, dropped into the office and posed a question for the folks working there. He asked "What state has for one of its nick names 'The Stubtoe State'." Not one of the force has ever heard of a Stubtoe State, so we turned to the old reliable "Uncle Sam's Almanac" and sure enough right there on page 35 was the anser -- Montana. Still rather confused, for there are five native Montanans employed in the office, we appealed to the Haskin Service in Washington, D.C. for more information. And we give you the answer:
The nickname "Stubtoe State" is one of three generally applied to Montana, according to Dr. George E. Shankle in his book "State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers", published in 1934. This book gives the following information: Montana has the three following nicknames: The Bonanza State, The Stubtoe State, and the Treasure State. Concerning the origin of these names, the State Librarian affirms that the names Bonanza and Treasure are typical of the mining area of the state, and Stubtoe of the western section of the state; but there is no official reason to give for their adoption.
King's handbook of the United States, published in 1891, gives the nickname as "The Bonanza State" and mentions that this "pet name" was given to Montana by Judge John Wasson Eddy on account of its many bonanza mines, and that it had been generally accepted. "The Treasure State" has in recent years been the most widely publicized of Montana's nicknames and apparently is the one preferred at present. "Land of the Shining Mountains" is also used to some extent on descriptive and travel material published by the state.
There you have it -- where Shade Tree Bill got the dope -- well, he just didn't tell us.