Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Idaho Helps Montana
Last week, our story was concerning early day Montana history. We told you that it was on May 26, 1864, that President Lincoln signed the bill creating Montana Territory. And since we told of the creation of the territory, it might not be amiss to pass on some information concerning the creation of the first counties in Montana which has just come to our attention. In glancing through "Montana Directory of Public Affairs", compiled by Ralph E. Owings and published last year, we find the statement was Montana Territory was organized on May 26, 1864, with the counties established by the Lewiston, Idaho, legislature, January 16, 1864. These counties were Missoula, Deer Lodge, Beaver Head, Madison, Jefferson, Chouteau, Dawson and Big Horn. The first Montana territorial legislature, meeting at Bannack, December 12, 1864 to February 9, 1865, accepted these counties, but incorporated Dawson into Big Horn and created Edgerton and Gallatin. At first glance it might seem strange that an Idaho legislature would be establishing counties in Montana, but it must be remembered that practically the entire territory now comprising the state or Montana was at one time in Idaho Territory. However, the Montana legislature in December 1867, changed the name of Edgerton county to Lewis and Clarke--Clarke spelled with an "E". The "E" was afterwards dropped by legislative action. So here we have the story of how Idaho helped Montana "set up in business."