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Title: The Church on the Changing Frontier - A Study of the Homesteader and His Church
Author: Belknap, Helen O.
Language: English
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  COPYRIGHT, 1922,



The Committee on Social and Religious Surveys was organized in January,
1921. Its aim is to combine the scientific method with the religious
motive. The Committee conducts and publishes studies and surveys, and
promotes conferences for their consideration. It coöperates with other
social and religious agencies, but is itself an independent organization.

The Committee is composed of: John. R. Mott, Chairman; Ernest D. Burton,
Secretary; Raymond B. Fosdick, Treasurer; James L. Barton and W. H. P.
Faunce. Galen M. Fisher is Associate Executive Secretary. The offices are
at 111 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

In the field of town and country the Committee sought first of all to
conserve some of the results of the surveys made by the Interchurch World
Movement. In order to verify some of these surveys, it carried on field
studies, described later, along regional lines worked out by Dr. Warren H.
Wilson[1] and adopted by the Interchurch World Movement. These regions

I. Colonial States: All of New England, New York, Pennsylvania and New

II. The South: All the States south of Mason and Dixon's line and the Ohio
River east of the Mississippi, including Louisiana.

III. The Southern Highlands Section: This section comprises about 250
counties in "The back yards of eight Southern States."

IV. The Middle West: The States of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois,
Wisconsin, Iowa and northern Missouri.

V. Northwest: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and eastern Montana.

VI. Prairie: Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

VII. Southwest: Southern Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.

VIII. Range or Mountain: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Idaho,
Wyoming, Nevada and western Montana.

The Director of the Town and Country Survey Department for the Interchurch
World Movement was Edmund deS. Brunner. He is likewise the Director of
this Department for the Committee on Social and Religious Surveys.

The original surveys were conducted under the supervision of the

Beaverhead County--Rev. Charles T. Greenway, State Survey Supervisor of
the Interchurch World Movement for Montana. The County Leader was Rev.
Thomas W. Bennett.

Hughes County--Mr. C. O. Bemies, State Survey Supervisor of the
Interchurch World Movement for South Dakota. The County Survey Leader was
Rev. H. H. Gunderson.

Sheridan County--Mr. A. G. Alderman, State Survey Supervisor of the
Interchurch World Movement for Wyoming and Utah. The County Survey Leader
was Rev. M. DeWitt Long, D.D.

Union County--Rev. H. R. Mills, State Survey Supervisor of the Interchurch
World Movement for New Mexico. The County Survey Leader was Professor A.
L. England.

In the spring of 1921 the field worker, Miss Helen Belknap, of the
Committee on Social and Religious Surveys, visited these counties,
verified the results of the survey work previously done, and secured
additional information not included in the original study.

Special acknowledgment should be made to the ministers, county officers
and others in these counties for their helpful coöperation and assistance
in the successful completion of the survey.

The statistical and graphical editor of this volume was Mr. A. H.
Richardson of the Chief Statistician's Division of the American Telephone
and Telegraph Company, formerly connected with the Russell Sage

The technical advisor was Mr. H. N. Morse of the Presbyterian Board of
Home Missions, who was also associate director of the Town and Country
Survey in the Interchurch World Movement.

Valuable help was given by the Home Missions Council; by the Council of
Women for Home Missions through their sub-Committee on Town and Country,
and by a Committee appointed jointly by the Home Missions Council and the
Federal Council of Churches for the purpose of coöperating with the
Committee on Social and Religious Surveys in endeavoring to translate the
results of the survey into action. The members of this Joint Committee on
Utilizing Surveys are:

_Representing the Federal Council of Churches_

  Anna Clark                    C. N. Lathrop
  Roy B. Guild                  U. L. Mackey
  A. E. Holt                    A. E. Roberts
  F. Ernest Johnson             Fred B. Smith
               Charles E. Schaeffer

_Representing the Home Missions Council and the Council of Women for Home

             L. C. Barnes, Chairman
           Rodney W. Roundy, Secretary
  Alfred W. Anthony             Rolvix Harlan
  Mrs. Fred S. Bennett          R. A. Hutchison
  C. A. Brooks                  Florence E. Quinlan
  C. E. Burton                  W. P. Shriver
  A. E. Cory                    Paul L. Vogt
  David D. Forsyth              Warren H. Wilson



This book is a study of the work of Protestant city, town and country
churches in four counties on the Range. It discusses the effect on the
Church of the changing conditions in the Rocky Mountain States, and the
task of the Church in ministering to the situation which exists to-day.
This survey, therefore, does not attempt to deal directly with the
spiritual effect of any church upon the life of individuals or groups.
Such results are not measurable by the foot rule of statistics or by
survey methods. It is possible, however, to weigh the concrete
accomplishments of churches. These actual achievements are their fruits
and "by their fruits ye shall know them."

The four counties studied in this book are Beaverhead in Montana, Sheridan
in Wyoming, Union in New Mexico and Hughes in South Dakota. Many
considerations entered into their choice. For one thing, it must be borne
in mind that this book, while complete in itself, is also part of a larger
whole. From among the one thousand county surveys completed or nearly
completed by the Interchurch World Movement, twenty-six of those made in
the nine most representative rural regions of America were selected for
intensive study. In this way it was hoped to obtain a bird's-eye view of
the religious situation as it exists in the more rural areas of the United
States. All the counties selected were chosen with the idea that they were
fair specimens of what was to be found throughout the area of which they
are a part.

In selecting the counties an effort was made to discover those which were
typical, not merely from a statistical viewpoint, but also from the social
and religious problems they represented. For example, the four counties
described in this pamphlet were chosen because they are representative of
large sections throughout the Range area.

It is recognized that there are reasons why exception may be taken to the
choice of counties. No area is completely typical of every situation. A
careful study of these counties, however, leads to the conclusion that
they are fair specimens of the region they are intended to represent.

All these studies have been made from the point of view of the Church,
recognizing, however, that social and economic conditions affect its life.
For instance, it is evident that various racial groups influence church
life differently. Germans and Swedes usually favor liturgical
denominations; the Scotch incline to the non-liturgical. Again, if there
is economic pressure and heavy debt, the Church faces spiritual handicaps,
and needs a peculiar type of ministry. Because of the importance of social
and economic factors in the life of the Church the opening chapters of
this book are occupied with a description of these factors. At first
glance some of these facts may appear irrelevant, but upon closer
observation they will be found to have a bearing upon the main theme--the
problem of the Church.

Naturally the greatest amount of time and study has been devoted to the
churches themselves; their history, equipment and finances; their members,
services and church organizations; their Sunday schools, young people's
societies and community programs, have all been carefully investigated and

Intensive investigation has been limited to the distinctly rural areas and
to those centers of population which have less than five thousand
inhabitants. In the case of towns larger than this an effort has been made
to measure the service of such towns to the surrounding countryside, but
not to study each church and community in detail.

The material in this book presents a composite picture of the religious
conditions within these four counties. Certain major problems, which were
found with more or less frequency in all four counties, are discussed, and
all available information from any of the counties has been utilized. The
opening pages of the book, however, summarize the conditions within each
county. While this method has obvious drawbacks it is felt that the
advantages outweigh them, and that this treatment is the best suited to
bring out the peculiar conditions existing throughout this area. The
appendices present the methodology of the survey and the definitions
employed. They also include in tabular form the major facts of each county
as revealed by the investigation. These appendices are intended especially
to meet the needs of church executives and students of sociology who
desire to carry investigation further than is possible in the type of
presentation used for the main portion of the book.


  CHAPTER                                       PAGE

     I THE RANGE COUNTRY                          19


   III WHAT OF THE CHURCH?                        56

    IV THE CHURCH DOLLAR                          71



   VII NEGRO AND INDIAN WORK                      96

  VIII NON-PROTESTANT WORK                        98

    IX SEEING IT WHOLE                           102


   I METHODOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS                 121

  II TABLES                                      125



  BIG HOLE RIVER, MONTANA                   _Frontispiece_


  THE TOWN LOCK-UP                                      23

  LONELINESS IN UNION COUNTY                            25

  AFTER SOME YEARS                                      25

  TWO COMMUNITY CENTERS                                 27

  IN NEW MEXICO                                         31

  WHERE MAIN STREET MIGHT HAVE RUN                      33

  A WYOMING RANCH                                       35

  A MONTANA MINING CAMP                                 36

  WHEN OIL IS FOUND                                     37

  A FARM BUREAU DEMONSTRATION                           41

  A HOME DEMONSTRATION AGENT                            42

  A TRUCK FARM IN HUGHES COUNTY                         44

  FRUITS OF THE EARTH                                   45

  UP-TO-DATE REAPING ON THE PLAINS                      47

  WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED                                   49

  CAMPING IN SHERIDAN COUNTY                            51

  A FRONTIER CELEBRATION                                53

  A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS                             57

  NO ROOM FOR BOTH                                      58

  EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND PARISH HOUSE                     64


  NOT A STORE BUT A CHURCH                              78

  A CASE OF COÖPERATION                                 80

  HAPPY LITTLE PICNICKERS                               85

  A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL                            85

  PROGRAM OF A COMMUNITY RALLY                          88

  A PARSONAGE BUT NO CHURCH                             94

  AN OASIS IN THE DESERT                                98

  WATERING HER GARDEN                                  103

  A COMMUNITY RENDEZVOUS                               104

  "MARY, CALL THE CATTLE HOME!"                        106

  WAITING AT THE CHURCH                                107

  HITTING THE TRAIL                                    108

  THE FAMILY MANSION                                   110

  A REAL COMMUNITY HOUSE                               114

  A CHURCH THAT SERVES THE COMMUNITY                   115


  MONTANA AND WYOMING                                   20

  SOUTH DAKOTA AND NEW MEXICO                           22

  SOUTH DAKOTA                                       54-55


  SHERIDAN COUNTY                                       59


  UNION COUNTY, NEW MEXICO                              61


  COUNTY, NEW MEXICO                                    99



    II CHURCHES GAINING IN MEMBERSHIP                   67

   III ACTIVE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP                         69

    IV CHURCHES WITH LESS THAN 50 MEMBERS               69


    VI THE CHURCH DOLLAR                                72

   VII FREQUENCY OF CHURCH SERVICES                     79


    IX RESIDENCE OF THE MINISTERS                       93



The Range Country

A vast expanse of endlessly stretching plains, dun-colored table-lands,
mysterious buttes against a far horizon, and "always the tremendous,
almost incredible distances"--this is the typical Range country. There are
a sweep to it and a breadth, and such heavens over the earth! In the East,
unless some crimson sunset attracts indifferent eyes, the sky makes less
of the picture than the earth. But this is sky country.

Roughly, the Range area comprises the states between the Middle West and
the Far West, and includes a wide variety of landscape. Contained in this
picturesque area are eight states with parts of others, a million square
miles over which are spread four million people about a third less than
are crowded into New York City. The four counties here studied, each in a
different state, provide fair samples of a great deal of the country.
Beaverhead County, in Montana, and Sheridan County, in Wyoming, are not
far distant one from the other. Both are partly mountainous, rugged in
contour, with wide valleys rimmed by mountains, and miles of undulating
range land and low-lying hills traced by rivers. This is the country where
"the smoke goes straight up and the latch-string still hangs on the
outside of the old-timer's cabin," where still the "sage-hen clucks to her
young at the water-hole in the coulee ... with lazy grace, the eagle
swings to his nest in the lofty pinnacle and the prairie dog stands at his
door and chatters."

Beaverhead is in the extreme southwestern corner of Montana, slightly
northwest of Yellowstone Park and straight south from Butte. It is bounded
by Rocky Mountain ranges on the west, south and northwest. On the south
and west it faces the State of Idaho. The county is well drained and
watered by the two principal rivers, the Big Hole and Beaverhead, and by
their tributaries, and here, too, the Missouri River has its source.
Beaverhead County embraces 5,657 square miles or 3,620,480 acres. Of
this area, 1,365,000 acres are included in the Beaverhead National Forest
Reserve scattered over the north, west and southern parts of the county. A
small part of the Madison National Forest also extends into the county on
the west. The altitude at Monida, in the southern part of the county, is
about 6,500 feet above sea level.


Locating Beaverhead and Sheridan Counties.]

The Wyoming county, Sheridan, lies in the extreme north central section of
the state, about 110 miles east of Yellowstone Park, Montana forming its
northern boundary. Sheridan is about 100 miles long and thirty miles wide,
the total area being 2,574 square miles, or 1,647,360 acres, less than
half the area of the Montana county, Beaverhead. The Big Horn Forest
Reserve covers 383,493 acres of Sheridan County. Rivers and creeks are
numerous, the chief ones being Tongue River, Powder River and Big Goose,
Prairie Dog and Clear Creeks. The city of Sheridan, the county seat, has
an altitude of 3,737 feet above sea level.

The other two counties, Union in New Mexico and Hughes in South Dakota,
consist largely of plain lands. Union lies in the northeastern corner of
the state of New Mexico, with three states, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas,
to the north and east of her. Union included 5,370 square miles, or
3,436,800 acres, at the time this survey was made. About one-sixth of the
southwestern part of Union County has, however, been added to part of Mora
County, to the southwest, to form a new county named Harding which was
formally inaugurated on June 14th, 1921. The land consists mainly of dry,
level plains and mesas, although there are some mountains and isolated
hills or buttes. Aside from the mountainous area, which is wooded, there
are scarcely any trees with the exception of a few along the larger creeks
and those cultivated around ranch houses. The northwestern corner of the
county is the most mountainous. The county is drained chiefly by Ute
Creek, flowing southeast through the western and southwestern sections
into the Canadian River, and in the northern part by the beautiful
Cimarron. There are a number of small streams, but many are dry during a
large part of the year. Union has exhilarating, bracing air and radiant


Locating Hughes and Union Counties.]

Hughes is a small county almost exactly in the center of the State of
South Dakota. It has the shape of a right-angled triangle with the
Missouri River forming its hypothenuse from the northwest to the southeast
corner. It covers 485,760 acres of high and rolling prairie, with river
and creek bluffs and bottom lands. Several creeks and small rivers flow
directly through Hughes, and it is on the whole one of the best-watered
counties in South Dakota. Pierre, the county seat, is the capital of the

Early Days on the Frontier

The story of these counties is bound up with the discovery and subsequent
history of the West. It is, as Viola Paradise says, "the story of Indians
and early explorers; of hunters and fur traders in the days not so very
long ago when the bison ranged the prairies; then of a few ranchmen,
scattered at great distances; of great herds of cattle and sheep,
succeeding the wild buffaloes; and of the famous cowboy; then of the
coming of the dry farmer with his hated fences; and of the crowding out of
the open range cattlemen and the substitution of the homesteader."

[Illustration: THE TOWN LOCK-UP

This primitive jail at Bannock, once chosen as the capital of Montana, has
held some rough characters in its time, but is now abandoned.]

It was at Two Forks, in Beaverhead County, near what is now the village of
Armstead, that Lewis and Clark, at a critical point in their expedition,
were met and befriended by the Shoshones, the tribe of their Indian girl
guide, Sacajawea.[2] This was on August 17, 1805. White fur traders soon
followed in the track of this famous expedition, and after them came Jason
and Sidney Lee, in 1834, the first missionaries to reach Montana.

The next landmark in the county's history is the "gold strike" on
Grasshopper Creek, in 1862. News of the find spread like wild-fire. Miners
rushed to the creek and set up their tents, shacks and log cabins. Unlike
Rome, this first town of Montana, called Bannock, was built in a single
night. Soon after the gold seekers had settled down to work in earnest,
the road agents, a well-organized gang of "roughs" from all over the West,
began to rob the stage-coaches travelling between Bannock and Virginia
City. "Innocent" was their pass-word; mustaches, beards and neckties tied
with a sailor's knot, their sign of membership. After a succession of
miners, homeward bound with their gold-dust, had dropped from sight, never
to be heard of again, those who remained decided to elect a sheriff. Their
choice fell upon a certain Henry Plummer, who was also sheriff of Virginia
City. Plummer, however, never seemed to arrest the right man, a
circumstance which was explained later when it was discovered that he was
the chief of the gang of road agents. The funeral of a miner who had died
of mountain fever, the first man for some time to die from a natural
cause, gave the community the opportunity to organize secretly the
"Vigilantes," and finally to round up the road agents, either hanging them
or giving them warning to leave the country.

Montana was established as a territory in 1864, Bannock becoming the first
capital, and in the sane year the first county seat of Beaverhead County.
The capital was removed to Virginia City in 1865, but not until 1882 did
Dillon become the county seat. The boundaries of Beaverhead changed very
little until 1911, when 938 square miles of Madison County, 600,320 acres
in all, were annexed. Men began settling on the land west of Bannock as
early as 1862; stock men mainly with herds. A few farmers also began to
take up choice bits of land along the rivers. The railroad, then the Utah
Northern, entered from the south in 1879. As it was being built, tent
towns were established every fifty miles. One of these towns was never
moved and grew into the present town of Dillon.

The first attempt to open up to the white man the land along the Powder
and Lower Tongue Rivers, in what is now Sheridan County, was made by
General Patrick E. Conner on August 29, 1865, and was eminently
successful. He attacked the Arapahoe Indians with a force of 250 regular
soldiers and successfully routed seven hundred warriors. The next effort
ended, however, in disaster. On the twenty-first day of December, 1866, at
a point on Sheridan's southern boundary now known as Massacre Hill,
eighty-two officers and men sacrificed their lives to the hostile Sioux
and Cheyennes in attempting to open a road across the country from Fort
Laramie to Montana.


The black spot in the center of this not very attractive picture is a
squatter's hut.]

[Illustration: AFTER SOME YEARS

In contrast with the top picture is this one of an attractive farmhouse
which shows what can be done on the plains of New Mexico.]

The first claim ever taken up in this region was in 1878, on Little Goose
Creek, near Big Horn, and the first irrigation ditch was constructed the
next year. Big Horn was laid out in 1880, and the first store opened. The
first newspaper in the county was the Big Horn _Sentinel_, and the first
agricultural fair was held in Big Horn in 1885. The first cabin was built
on the present site of Sheridan City in 1878. Sheridan was laid out in
1882 and incorporated as a city in 1884. Until 1881, the territory
contained in Johnson and Sheridan Counties was unorganized and had no
county government, but lay within the jurisdiction of Carbon County
courts. It became Johnson County in 1881. In 1887 it was divided by
popular vote, the northern portion being named Sheridan County in memory
of the gallant General Phil Sheridan, whose army, in the 1881 expedition,
camped on the site of Sheridan City.

Union County, in centuries past the camping grounds of vanished tribes, is
now white man's country, but it did not become so until the Santa Fé trail
opened the great Southwest. With the Rabbit Ear Mountains to guide
settlers the old trail came across Union County, untravelled until 1822,
and finally, two years later, the first wagons crept slowly westward,
facing in that pioneer mood now become historic the hardships of climate
and the perils of hostile redskins. In Union County the story survives of
a massacre by Indians, which accounts for the tardy white settlements in
this region.

In 1870, there were about a dozen homes of white settlers in the whole
area. The railroad, in 1887-88, encouraged development which began with
Clayton a year later. In February, 1893, the Territorial Legislature
incorporated into Union County parts of Colfax, Mora and San Miguel. The
original boundaries of Union County were not changed until 1903, when 265
square miles were added to Quay County. Beginning in the northern part of
the county and gradually working southwards, stockmen took up claims close
to water and used public land for grazing. Up to about 1900, most of the
territory remained open range land in which cattle were raised on a large
scale, but since that time, it has gradually been homesteaded.



The local store and the school of De Grey community, Hughes County, S. D.,
the only meeting places for widely scattered "neighbors."]

The section around Pierre, in Hughes County, was the oldest settlement in
the State of South Dakota. Fort Pierre, across the river from Pierre, was
established in 1817, and there was continuous settlement after that. At
the conclusion of the Red Cloud War of 1866-68, the Laramie Treaty with
the Sioux Indians established a great Sioux reservation embracing all the
land west of Missouri, from the Niobrara River on the south to the Cannon
Ball River on the north and northwest, to the Yellowstone. This
reservation lay unbroken until 1876, the year when the Indians surrendered
the Black Hills. When the gold rush to the Black Hills began, Fort Pierre
was the nearest settled point and the traffic center. Because the railroad
had no right of way through the reservation, the line could not be
extended to the Black Hills.

The first permanent American settlement in Hughes County was made in 1873,
when Thomas L. Riggs established the Congregational Indian Mission at
Oahe, where he still continues a church. When the railway reached Pierre
in 1881, there came the first "boom" in the history of the county. All
sorts and conditions of people took up half sections, and Hughes County
was almost homesteaded between the years 1881 and 1883. The second boom
came in the years 1899-91, later followed by a reaction and slump. About
the year 1903, Pierre was selected as the State capital. All sorts of
efforts were made to steal the honor for some other town until in 1905 a
bill provided for a capitol building at Pierre which was completed in
1913. The railway began in 1906 to extend to the Black Hills. Thereafter,
until 1910, all the region west of Missouri was settled, and practically
all of these new settlers came through Pierre. In 1911 the construction
was finished, people were out of work, and there came another slump. There
was also a drought during the period 1911-12-13.

Transportation and Roads

There is practically no competition between railroads in any of these
counties. Each has one main line running through it, along which are
located the county seat and other smaller centers. Beaverhead has the
Oregon Short Line; Sheridan the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Hughes the
Chicago & Northwestern; and Union the Colorado & Southern. Three counties
also have small sections of branch lines, and Sheridan has twelve miles of
trolley line giving city service, and reaching all but one of the mining
camps to the north of Sheridan City. None of these counties has really
adequate train service. The distance from markets thus becomes an acute
problem in certain parts of all four counties, but especially in
Beaverhead, Sheridan and Union on account of their greater distances.

Each county has at least one good stretch of road. A large proportion of
the crossroads have never been improved. Many of them are only trails.
Beaverhead has 2,365 miles of roads, of which 1,500 miles are improved and
865 are unimproved. Approximately $278,147.00 has been spent on roads in
the last five years. The combined length of public roads in Sheridan
County is 796 miles. Five miles are hard-surfaced, five are red shale,
seventeen are gravel, 150 are State Highway and 410 are legally
established traveled roads, sixty-six feet wide and dragged when
necessary. There are also 200 miles of unimproved roads known as
"feeders." During the last five years, approximately $310,000.00 has been
spent on county roads, not including the amount spent on State roads. Both
Sheridan and Beaverhead are fortunate in their location on highways
leading to Yellowstone Park; Beaverhead is on the Western Park-to-Park
highway, and Sheridan is on the Custer Battlefield highway.

During the past four years roads in Union County have improved. The
Colorado to Gulf highway from Galveston to Denver, enters the county at
Texline and continues for seventy-five miles to the Colfax County line
northwest of Des Moines. This is graded road and it is maintained partly
by the Federal Government, which pays 50 per cent., and partly by the
State and county which pay 25 per cent. each. There are 180 miles of State
highways in the county for which the State and county each pay 50 per
cent. Two Federal Aid projects are also under way in the county at
present. Something over 650 miles of roads are maintained by the county,
and there are about 2,000 miles of community roads which are dependent
upon local care.

The total road mileage of Hughes County is 978, with no hard-surfaced but
with four miles of gravel roads, and 175 miles of other improved roads.
There are also 799 miles of unimproved road. Forty-five miles of highway
have been built by the State between Pierre and Harrold and are maintained
by the county.

The People

All these counties were settled chiefly by homesteaders who came from all
over the United States, but chiefly from the Middle West and Southwest.
Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma are the states most
widely represented. A great many are children of original homesteaders.

The breathless haste with which settlers occupied and developed this
great primeval region of the West, rich in natural resources, is shown by
the following figures of population:

            Beaverhead  Hughes  Sheridan  Union
  1870          722
  1880        2,712       262
  1890        4,655     5,044     1,972
  1900        5,615     3,684     5,122    4,528
  1910        6,444     6,271    16,324   11,404
  1920        7,369     5,711    18,132   16,680

The greatest period of growth for Beaverhead was from 1870 to 1880; for
Hughes from 1880 to 1890; but both Union and Sheridan made their largest
increase from 1900 to 1910, while Beaverhead during those years has made a
slow, steady gain.

Hughes has had "booms," and has gained and lost population in succeeding
decades. Sheridan and Union, the newer counties, have forged rapidly ahead
of the others in population. Sheridan, on account of her city, has made a
rapid urban increase, but her rural increase has been slow and steady.
Union is a large county with no Forest Reserve area and has been
homesteaded rapidly. Although, in 1903, 265 square miles were taken away
from Union, the population in 1910 was 11,404, or an increase of 151.9 per
cent. during the decade from 1900. The density of rural population per
square mile in Beaverhead is 9.8, in Sheridan 3.5, in Hughes 3.3 and in
Union 3.

The West has a smaller percentage of foreign-born population than the East
or Middle West. In three of the states represented, Montana, Wyoming and
South Dakota, the percentage of foreign-born has decreased in the last
decade. In Montana, it decreased from 24.4 per cent. to 17 per cent.; in
Wyoming, from 18.6 per cent. to 13 per cent.; and in South Dakota, from
17.2 per cent. to 12.9 per cent. New Mexico, with the smallest proportion
of foreign-born of any of the four states, went from 6.9 per cent. in 1910
to 8 per cent. in 1920.

Sheridan, with 15.9 per cent., is the only one of the four counties
studied whose foreign-born population remained constant. In Beaverhead,
the proportion fell from 18.1 to 14, in Hughes from 11.4 to 8.1 and in
Union from 2.2 to 1.7. The total number of foreign-born in all four
counties is 4,670, or 9.7 per cent. of the total number of people. Germans
predominate in Union, Hughes and Sheridan. In Beaverhead, the
predominating nationalities are Danes, Swedes and Austrians. The New
Americans in Beaverhead, Hughes and Union are largely on the land; in
Sheridan County, the majority are in the mining camps.



Less than one hundred Indians are reported in the combined four counties,
and the number has been diminishing in every county except Union.
Sixty-nine of the eighty-one reporting are in Hughes County, a small
section of which is included in the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. But
Hughes had 169 in 1910. Spanish-Americans in Union, a cross between
Mexicans and Pueblo Indians (the Spaniards brought no women with them for
400 years), equal between one-fourth and one-third of the total
population. They live chiefly in the south-central and southwestern
sections of the county, and together with their habitations remind one of
picturesque Mexico. Sheridan County has the largest proportion of negroes
of any of the four counties--147 out of a total of 214; but these western
states in general have only a small percentage of negroes in their
population, varying from 1.6 per cent in New Mexico to 9.7 in Wyoming. The
Chinese and Japanese in the four counties number, all told, less than 150.

Wide Spaces and Few People

County areas ordinarily group themselves into so-called "communities,"
where individuals share common social and economic interests centering in
a definite locality. In this country, with its scattered pioneer
population, community groupings are less definite and permanent than in
the East or Middle West. Here they are usually determined by topography,
and especially by the rivers and creeks and the railroad. Along the
railroad are trade centers which serve the entire county. The majority of
these communities are of small population and large area, with a small
trading center containing stores, hotel, school, possibly a church or two
and some houses huddled together. The county seat largely centralizes the
life of each county.

Outside the trade centers and the open country area included within their
community boundaries, the counties fall into certain social groupings.
Where the land is good, and is being intensively developed, there are
well-defined permanent communities. Some have even grown staid and
conservative. In other sections the story is pathetically different. One
lonely family, a forlorn row of claim shacks along the horizon, are all
that is left of a real social life that existed only a few years before. A
woman standing at the door of the only habitation in a round of sky and
stretch of plain, tells how "all the good neighbors are gone and us left
grieving for the fine times we once had." Transiency is usual in
homesteading country, many people only remaining long enough to homestead
their land. In Beaverhead and Hughes, which have been longer homesteaded,
there is a larger proportion of residents of more than fifteen years than
in the other two counties. But in all four counties, there are temporary
groups of people with some social life at present, which may or may not
have significance in the future. On the whole, present development tends
to be permanent because most of the desirable land in Beaverhead, Sheridan
and Union, and all of the land in Hughes has long since been taken up. All
community limits are more or less indefinite. For example, a rancher
living near the boundary of two communities may go to two or more centers
for trade. And a dance or barbecue will bring people from any number of
the communities.


The hut of a lonely homesteader.]

County interests tend to become concentrated in increasing proportion in
the county seat. Dillon, the Beaverhead County seat, is fairly well
located in the central eastern section. It is considered one of the best
business towns of the state, drawing trade from every point in Idaho.
Dillon is a retired ranchers' town, conservative and wealthy. Community
spirit is not manifest. The old settlers run the town and are not friendly
to the ideas of others. Even a Commercial Club has found it hard to
survive in Dillon. Sheridan City, the county seat of Sheridan County, with
a population of about 10,000, is wide-awake and progressive. Although
there are a number of growing industries and it is a division point on the
railroad, Sheridan is also dependent to a large extent upon farming.
Clayton, the county seat of Union, a town with a spirit of "boost,"
informs travellers by means of a bill board that it is "the smallest town
on earth with a Rotary." Clayton's large proportion of transient
population is at once typical of the frontier in its nonchalant spirit, in
its cowboys with sombreros, jingling spurs and high-heeled boots that
click along the pavements; it typifies the Range country in the
canvas-covered wagons, coming in provided with camping outfits and rations
to last for several days because "home" is far away. But all this is
gradually changing, and Clayton is becoming more of a farming center, less
like the frontier and more like the Middle West. Pierre, the Hughes County
seat and State capital, is a busy town. It has a number of industries and
is the center for an extensive farming and stock-raising region, but the
capitol overshadows the rest of the town in importance.

Means of Livelihood

Cattle were once raised on a large scale in this country. That was the day
of the cowboy. But with the coming of the homesteader and his fenced land,
stock has had to be raised in smaller herds and more restricted areas. In
the old days, there was a great deal of open range land. Most of this has
now been homesteaded. Naturally the rancher has resented the steady
appropriation of his "free range" by the farmer.

While cattle raising is still the chief source of income, there has been a
steady gain in the relative value of farming, especially since the
introduction of irrigation and dry-farming methods. About half the farm
land in both Beaverhead and Sheridan is under irrigation, and there is
some irrigated land in the northern part of Union, but practically no
irrigation in Hughes County. Some dry farming is carried on in every
section of each county. General farming and dairying rank next to stock
raising. Hay and forage are the chief crops. Considerable farm land is fit
only for range land for cattle; it is too broken or dry for crops.
Dairying is comparatively a new development.

Forest Reserve land in Beaverhead and Sheridan is allotted to ranches for
cattle range. In Beaverhead National Forest, 10,530 acres have been
homesteaded and seventy-five claims have been listed, chiefly in 160 acre
tracts. Very little homesteading has been done in the Big Horn National
Forest because the entire area is above the practical range of farm crops,
and killing frosts occur every month in the year. In the entire forest,
only about a dozen tracts have been taken under the homestead laws,
averaging a little over one hundred acres each; all have been abandoned,
except a few used as summer resorts.

[Illustration: A WYOMING RANCH

The home of a well-to-do rancher in Sheridan County.]

As is usually the case in frontier country, a large majority of the farms
and ranches are operated by owners. South Dakota, at the threshold of the
West, has a larger proportion of tenancy than any of the other states
represented. The percentage in South Dakota is 34.9 per cent., in New
Mexico it is 12.2 per cent., in Wyoming it is 12.5 per cent., and in
Montana it is 11.3 per cent. In Beaverhead tenancy has decreased from 10.2
per cent. in 1910 to 7.2 per cent. in 1920. In Sheridan, it has remained
about the same, 20.5 per cent. in 1910 and 20.4 per cent. in 1920. Hughes
has had a marked increase--from 16.6 per cent. in 1910 to 30.9 per cent.
in 1920. Tenancy has increased 11.9 per cent. in Union during the past
decade. This has been partly because so much of the land is held by
absentee owners who have proved up on the land, moved away, and are
waiting for property to go up in value; also because on account of the
high taxation some cattlemen find that they make better profits by renting
instead of owning.

Beaverhead County is rich in minerals, including gold, silver, copper,
lead, ore, graphite, coal and building stone. Comparatively little mining
has been done since the war on account of low prices. A large amount of
coal is produced in Sheridan County. Stretching out one after the other in
a compact series, there are six large mines north of Sheridan City, set in
the midst of an agricultural area and having little relation to the rest
of the county. There is also a small coal mine being operated at Arvada in
the eastern part of the county. A number of farmers and ranchmen are lucky
enough to have small coal veins on their land, and mine their own coal
with pick and shovel.


Oil is thought to be present in both Hughes and Union, but very little has
been done with its development. There is some coal in the mountains in
Union, and building stone and deposits of lime and alum are found in some
communities. There are numerous gas wells in Hughes County. Many ranches
have wells giving sufficient gas for all domestic purposes.

Each county has a number of smaller industries, such as printing
establishments, lumber yards, etc. Sheridan City has several large plants,
including an iron works, flour mill, sugar beet factory and a brick and
tile plant. All the counties benefit from the summer auto-tourist trade.
The city and towns all have camping grounds for tourists. Sheridan has a
tourist building, with a sitting-room, fire-place for rainy days and rest
rooms, in her city park. Sheridan also has a park in the Big Horn
Mountains. Both Beaverhead and Sheridan have a small number of resorts.
Sheridan has three "Dude" ranches, the largest of which is the Eaton
ranch, established in 1904.

The Young Idea

Good school systems have been developed in the comparatively short time
since these counties were organized and running as active units of group
life. Buildings are almost all fairly well built. Teachers receive good
salaries. Of course, the schools are nowhere near ideal. The isolation and
distances present serious school problems. Small rural schools persist
where distances are great. Union is the only county of the four with any
consolidated schools. The problem of supervision is great. Each county has
local school districts and a local board of trustees in each. The county
superintendent, a woman in each county, has a difficult time visiting the
more remote schools and does not reach them often. Many roads and trails
are practically impassable during the largest part of the school year.
Because of the isolation it is often difficult to find a teacher or to
get a place for her to live, when one is secured. School terms vary from
five to nine months, the longer terms predominating. Only six communities
in the four counties have active Parents' and Teachers' associations.

[Illustration: WHEN OIL IS FOUND

The Snorty Gobbler Project at Grenville, N. M.]

Besides the two elementary schools in Dillon, used as model schools by the
State Normal which is located there, Beaverhead County has forty-six
elementary schools. Two of these, the schools in both villages, Wisdom and
Lima, offer one year of high school. The only four-year high school in the
county, located at Dillon, has sixteen teachers and a student enrollment
of 185. The entire school enrollment in the county in 1920-21 was 2,671;
the total number of teachers, 100; the total cost of school maintenance
$510,006.00. The State Normal had an enrollment of 561 during the summer
of 1920; 190 in the winter of 1920-21 and 620 in the summer of 1921.

There were seventy-four schools running in Sheridan County in 1920-21, not
including the city schools. In addition to the Sheridan High School, there
are five schools in the county offering some high school training. Big
Horn has had a four year course, but this year (1921-22) is sending her
third and fourth year high school pupils to Sheridan City in a school bus;
Dayton offers two years of high school, and Ranchester, Ulm and Clearmont
each have one year. An annual county graduation day is held in the
Sheridan High School. It is an all-day affair with a picnic in the park in
the afternoon. The total number of pupils in rural schools in 1920-21 was
1,850, the total cost of maintenance, $264,647.21. The Sheridan High
School with its enrollment of 522 is the largest in the state. The total
school enrollment of the county, including the five Sheridan City
elementary schools and the high school was 4,772. There was a total of 173
teachers, of which ninety-six were employed in the rural schools. A
parochial school in Sheridan City has an enrollment of about 180 and four
teachers. The city also has two privately owned business colleges with a
total enrollment of 150.

In Union County, there are 108 elementary schools outside of Clayton, with
a total enrollment of 4,500 and a force of 170 teachers. Nine schools have
some high school work. Five have a two-year course; two have a four-year
course. Several elementary schools have been consolidated within the past
few years, and occupy new buildings to which the children living at a
distance are transported in motor trucks. Besides four earlier issues of
school bonds, totalling $79,000, the people have voted, in this year of
hard times, an additional issue of $88,000. Clayton has four elementary
schools with seventeen teachers and an enrollment of 723. The Clayton High
School has twelve teachers and an enrollment of 225. It has a new
well-equipped building.

Hughes County has thirty-nine rural schools outside of Pierre. Four
schools offer some high school work, two offering one year, one two years
and one three years. Pierre has three elementary schools. The Pierre
four-year high school has 220 students. The total school enrollment of the
county, including the schools in Pierre, was 1,530, the total number of
teachers seventy and the total cost of maintenance $130,199.35. There is a
Government Indian Industrial School located just outside Pierre.

The lack of opportunity for high school training in so large a part of
each county, brings about an increasing migration into the county seat for
educational advantages. Many families leave their ranches and move in for
the winter instead of sending a child or two. Some come in for elementary
schools, because of bad roads and the inaccessibility of their country
school. This is one of the greatest factors in the growth of these
centers. To illustrate the number of pupils from the country, 150 of the
522 pupils of the Sheridan High School are non-resident and all but about
ten are from Sheridan County. In Union County, fifty of the 225 pupils in
the Clayton High School come from all over the county, the majority coming
from ten miles around Clayton. The number of county children attending
Clayton schools is increasing at the rate of about 15 per cent. a year.
These children have certain marked characteristics. They are older for
their grade than the town children, they average higher marks, and are
anxious to make the best of their opportunity. In other words, they do not
take education for granted, like the town or city child.


Economic and Social Tendencies

Growth of the Farm Bureau

No greater laboratory exists for scientific farming than in this western
country. A Farm Bureau, popularized through county agents, is an asset of
prime significance to a region that will endow the rest of the country
with the fruits of its development. Hughes, in 1915, was the first of the
four counties to organize a Farm Bureau. Sheridan and Union followed in
1919. Beaverhead County has no Farm Bureau. A County Farm Agent was
employed for eight months in 1918, but did not have the support of the
ranchers. They felt that an agent, in a stock raising county like
Beaverhead where hay flourished without cultivation, was a needless
expense. As one rancher remarked, "We did not want some one who knew less
about our business than we did." As an index to the success attending
expert farm advice, one entire community in Beaverhead attempted and
abandoned dry farming, whereas in other counties where Farm Bureaus and
agents have given service and advice no entire community has failed so

The Farm Bureaus not only improve agricultural methods, but are creating
local leaders and a community spirit. The Farm Bureau offers a definite
program that is rewarding if adopted. It develops in the individual
community a spirit of independence and self-respect which must precede
coöperation. The Sheridan Farm Bureau records a typical objective: "to
promote the development of the most profitable and permanent system of
agriculture; the most wholesome and satisfactory living conditions; the
highest ideals in home and community life, and a genuine interest in the
farm business and rural life on the part of the boys and girls and young
people.... There shall be a definite program of work ... based on the
results of a careful study of the problems of the county. It shall be
formulated and carried out by the members of the organization, with the
assistance of their agents and specialists as may be available from the
State Agricultural College."

Each Farm Bureau has county leaders or a board of directors, each member
specializing in and promoting some particular project, as poultry, cattle,
marketing of grain, dairying, roads, child welfare, clothing, food and
county fair. During 1919-1920 forty-three Farm Bureau meetings were held
in Sheridan County, with a total attendance of 1,321. Twenty extension
schools or courses were given with a total attendance of 261. Two
community fairs were held, and six communities put on recreation programs.
The Farm Bureau upheld Governor Carey's announcement of Good Roads Day by
donating $3,300 worth of work on the roads. Seventeen communities were
organized; twelve have community committees. Nothing can better create
community spirit and enlist coöperation.


The County Agent for Sheridan is making grasshopper poison.]

Each community also adopts a program of work of its own under the
leadership of the community committee. A community program for Union
County, which is inaccessible to the railroad, is as follows:

  Program of Work    Goal for 1921  Accomplishments  Work Still To Be
                                        to Date           Done

  Poultry            Market eggs    Letters written  Prices not sufficient
                                      for markets      to warrant shipping
                                                       as yet

  Livestock          Organize pig   Two talks
                       club         Two leaders
                     Organize calf    secured

  Home beautifi-     Plant trees,   Planted
    cation             vines and

  Road               Fix bad        Secured county   Keep at it
                       places         aid. Got

  Rodent             Rodent poison  11 poisoned      Eradication

  Coyote             "Kill 'em"     Nine put out     Complete it
                                      coyote poison
                                      and killed 48


Here is a Woman's Club at an all-day meeting in Union County receiving
instructions in the workings of an iceless refrigerator.]

The Farm Bureau works with the County Agents, the Home Demonstration
Agents, and the Boys' and Girls' Club leaders, wherever such agents exist.
The County Agents are giving themselves whole-heartedly to their jobs, and
the demands for their services keep them busy driving through counties for
purposes of demonstration or organization. The Hughes County agent reports
the following schedule: fifty days on animal disease, thirty-seven and
one-half days on boys' and girls' club work, thirty-seven days on
organization, twenty-three days on marketing and 116 days on miscellaneous

Sheridan and Union have Home Demonstration agents, energetic women, who go
out over the county organizing groups of women and giving demonstrations
and talks. Some of their achievements in Sheridan County may be cited.
Hot lunches were established in six rural schools in coöperation with the
Public Health Nurse; some phase of health work was carried on in four
communities and in Sheridan City schools a clothing school was held; 200
women were taught the Cold Pack method of canning; four home convenience
demonstrations were given; five pressure cookers were purchased;
twenty-five flocks were culled; twelve American cheese demonstrations were
given, and 500 pounds of cheese made.

Boys' and girls' club work is carried on in every county except
Beaverhead. The boys and girls all over the county are organized into
clubs and work on various kinds of projects. Union County's record for
1920 is notable:

  Kind of Club   Total Membership  Value of Products, 1920
  Pig Club            83                  $8,107.00
  Calf Club           39                   1,568.00
  Poultry Club        30                     367.00
  Cooking  "          36                     220.00
  Serving  "          36                     310.00
  Bean     "          13                     165.60
  Maize    "          10                     120.00
  Corn     "          25                   1,765.00
                     ---                 ----------
    Total            272                 $11,622.60

Pure-bred hogs and cattle owned by boys and girls are sold under the
auspices of the Farm Bureau. Prizes are offered. In Sheridan County, the
county club champions are sent to the "Annual Round-up" at the State
University. In Hughes, three teams of three members each were given a free
trip to the State Fair as a reward for their efforts and achievements. One
member of the Cow-Calf Club won a free trip to the International Live
Stock Show in Chicago as a prize for his exhibit at the State Fair.

Development of Coöperation

Irrigation means coöperation, but coöperation in buying and marketing is
comparatively a new development. Coöperation, however, is a necessity
because so many farmers are distant from the trade centers and shipping
points. Coöperation is the prime interest of the Farm Bureaus which, in
some counties, undertake coöperative buying and selling. The Hughes County
Farm Bureau has been especially effective in promoting coöperative
enterprise. Says the County Agent:

    The Medicine Valley Farm Bureau has done considerable work along
    different lines, but the most outstanding has been the promotion of a
    Farmers' Coöperative Elevator. Most of the stock in this enterprise
    has been sold and work will be started very soon on the building....
    The Harrold Live Stock Shipping Association was promoted by the Farm
    Bureau Community Club south of Harrold. Several meetings were held by
    this club on marketing. Members were supplied with coöperative
    shipping instructions and information. At the present time, most of
    the stock shipped out of Harrold is shipped through this organization.
    It has proved a success. This community club was also instrumental in
    the promotion of a coöperative elevator at Harrold ... in addition to
    the organization projects on marketing, considerable buying and
    selling in car-load lots has been done by the different Farm Bureau
    Community Clubs. The Snake Butte Community Club has bought four
    car-loads of coal for its members, with a saving of at least $200.
    They have also bought a car of flour, a car of apples and a car of
    fence posts, all of which has effected a saving of another $200. Three
    other community clubs have bought supplies by the car-load. These
    purchases have netted members of the county a saving of approximately
    six hundred dollars.... (The Farm Bureau through its exchange service
    has located 4,550 bushels of seed flax, 495 pounds of Grimm alfalfa
    seed, 200 bushels of seed wheat, 100 bushels of rye and 800 bushels of
    seed corn.) One thousand, six hundred and eighty-five pounds of wool
    was also directed to the state pool of the National Wool Warehouse and
    Storage Company at Chicago, Illinois.


Beaverhead County has three active stock-growers' associations, the most
active of which is the Big Hole Stockmen's Association which established
stock yards at Wisdom and at Divide, their shipping point. They finally
induced the railroad to help pay for the yards. This association was
founded chiefly to work for a road from the Big Hole over into the Bitter
Root Valley. The Forest Service was willing to help build the road if
Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties would also help. Beaverhead County did
not favor the project because it feared competition from the Bitter Root
products. But the Big Hole Valley wanted the road on account of the
business it would bring in. The Stockmen's Association raised about $7,000
towards it and the county finally put in $3,500. Besides their
contribution of money, the members of the Association donated time and
teams. One reason why they have held together so well and so long was
because they shared the debt. It has been hard sledding, but they have won
out. Their wage scale, which is established annually, was successfully
operated for the first time last year (1921), when all but two ranchers
stuck to the prescribed wage of $2.00 per day for hay hands. They have
fixed up the Fair Grounds at Wisdom and give a Pow-wow there every year.

[Illustration: FRUITS OF THE EARTH

The Community spirit expresses itself in friendly rivalry at Union County

Largely through the influence of the Farm Bureau, two coöperative
organizations were recently started in Union County, the Union County
Farmers' Mutual Hail Insurance Association and the Registered Live Stock
and Pure Bred Poultry Association. There is only one other active
coöperative at present, a Telephone Company at Mount Dora, capitalized at
$3,000. A state-wide marketing association has 280 Union County members
who produced in 1920 one-third of all the products marketed through the
organization. Besides the marketing associations, Hughes has a coöperative
Farmers' Lumber Company.

All these counties have coöperative stores. A coöperative store at Wisdom
in Beaverhead County has fifty stockholders. Lima had a coöperative store
in 1919-1920 which failed through poor management. Two Rochdale
Coöperative stores were started three years ago in Ulm and Clearmont in
Sheridan County. When the central organization took the surplus earnings
of the branch stores to make up failures in other stores in the chain
instead of declaring dividends, both the Sheridan County stores withdrew
and organized coöperatives of their own in March, 1921. Sheridan City for
the past eight years has had a coöperative store in which ranchers and
farmers from nearby communities have most of the shares. There is also a
Miners' Store in Sheridan City. Hughes County has one coöperative store
with 150 stockholders.

Urban and Rural Rivalry

All the centers are service stations for the farmers. In some places the
old, deep-seated antagonism between town and country is noticeable. There
is the feeling that the merchants overcharge, that big business sets the
prices, that capital is to be distrusted. Most of the merchants have been
of the old individualistic type which places the dollar higher than the
community, an idea which the Commercial Clubs are altering. This is
especially noticeable in Union County, where the feeling between country
and town has been very bitter. The farmers unfortunately are unfriendly to
and distrustful of the merchants and business men. Each group is really
interdependent, but 'such' a feeling retards progress and development. As
one leading farmer put it, "The prejudice between the farmer and business
man _must_ be overcome. There is no limit to the results if we can just
get together."

The farmers feel that the average merchant in buying farm products has not
discriminated between a good and a bad product so far as price goes. In
short, the honest farmer does not want to sell bad eggs or sandy maize,
but he doesn't like to get a poor price for a good product. Farmers feel
that the merchants have overcharged them for goods and obtained high
profits and they are undoubtedly right to some extent. The farmers believe
that the fact of their charging goods on credit with the merchant gives
the latter an unfair advantage over them, that the merchant thinks he can
pay any price he wants when purchasing from the farmer.

Chambers of Commerce and Commercial Clubs are working toward a better
understanding. Get-together meetings have been started. The first Union
County meeting prepared the farmers by letters and visits, in order to
suggest a more friendly and constructive meeting ground. In Sheridan and
Pierre, the Commercial Clubs have been very ready to coöperate in any
movements that would benefit the farmer. An example of happier relations
between farmer and merchant is the rest room for farmers' wives maintained
in Dillon by the Good Government Club.


Answering the World's Prayer for Daily Bread.]

Hard Times

In the history of this Range area the last three years have been the most
difficult for farmers and ranchers. They have suffered acutely from the
sharp drop in prices of stock and farm products. Part of the Range section
has had a severe drouth. Beaverhead has had several dry years. Last year
(1921), thousands of dollars' worth of hay had to be shipped into the
county as feed, and much livestock had to be sent out of the county to
graze. In addition to drouth, grasshoppers, fairly plentiful before,
became a scourge in part of Sheridan the summer of 1921. The farmers,
helped by the Farm Bureau, worked hard to exterminate them with poisoned
oats. Simultaneously with the drouth and grasshopper scourge in certain
sections, the decrease in prices has led to hard times and much
suffering. Whereas a rancher was "well off" a few years ago, he now
considers himself lucky if he is "in the hole" for only a few thousand.
The farmers are bitter. They feel that something is wrong with the
"system." One can hardly blame them when crops bring no profit, while
taxes seem to be higher than ever. The hard times have made ranchers and
farmers do more serious thinking about taxes, farm conditions, and the
marketing of farm products than they have ever done before.

E. T. Devine, writing on "Montana Farmers" in _The Survey Magazine_, gives
the farmers' position:

    Montana farmers are much like other American producers, urban and
    rural, but they are even harder hit than most of their fellow
    countrymen, except, of course, unemployed town workers. They share in
    the general calamity of relatively low prices for agricultural
    products and they have also just passed through several years of
    unprecedented drouth. Freight rates are high and burdensome, and the
    things the farmers have to buy are still high in proportion to the
    prices which they get for their grain and stock. These farmers are
    therefore in debt, and are borrowing more than they can. They are
    actually and not merely in a chronically distorted imagination, having
    difficulty in paying their interest and taxes; and if their equity is
    small they are losing it.... The farmers are not seeking fundamental
    or permanent solutions. What concerns them is to get immediate and
    appreciable relief from taxes.

Hard times, as in Union County, usually strike our best assets. The county
first had a County Agent in 1915, a Home Demonstration Agent in 1917, and
Assistant County Agent in 1918 and a Club Leader in 1918. Unfortunately,
the hard times forced upon the country a program of retrenchment. In 1920
the Assistant County Agent and, early in 1921, the Club Leader were
removed. At present, there is a determined effort in some quarters to
dispense with the other two workers.

Social Agencies

Country folk keep track of things. County papers as well as outside
newspapers are read in all communities. These outside newspapers come from
Denver, Kansas City, Butte or Omaha, depending upon location. Four
newspapers are published in Beaverhead, two in the county seat, and one in
each of the two villages. Rural Sheridan prints but one newspaper, _The
Tongue River News_, at Ranchester. Two dailies are published in Sheridan
City. Three communities in Union, and three in Hughes County, publish
their own papers. The town of Clayton has the _Examiner_ and the
_Tribune_, as well as a paper printed in Spanish. Grenville and Des
Moines, two villages in Union, also have local papers. In Hughes County,
Pierre has two papers, and Blunt and Harrold one each. The editors are
almost all progressive and up-to-date, and vitally interested in the
welfare of their communities.

More and better libraries are an urgent need of all these counties.
Sheridan, Pierre and Dillon all have splendid Carnegie libraries. The
majority of the schools have small school libraries. But there is only one
public library in Beaverhead County, besides that in Dillon, in the
community house of Wisdom village. Sheridan has no other library in the
whole county. The only libraries in Union County are a collection of books
for public use in the office of a village lumber yard and a small
travelling library. Hughes County has a town library and three circulating


The Community House at Wisdom, Beaverhead County.]

Good leadership is always essential to progress. Every one of these
counties is fortunate in having some splendid county-wide leaders who are
devoting themselves to their county's progress. Wherever a county has a
Farm Bureau, leadership is developed by that organization. But in rural
sections where distances prevent people from coming together, leadership
is wanting. Each ranch is a small isolated world and by the very nature of
things there are few community undertakings. The development of local
leadership, especially in remote sections, should become the concern of
this country. As Hart says in his book, "Community Organization," "the
destiny of civilization is wrapped up in the future of community life. If
that life becomes intelligent, richly developed, democratically organized,
socially controlled--the future of civilization is secure.... The
determination is largely one of leadership."

Community Spirit

Red Cross work, during the war, did a great deal toward bringing about a
unified spirit. The Farm Bureau is working in this direction. When real
needs arise, a community spirit is born, and unsuspected qualities of
loyalty, coöperation and leadership develop, as happened in one community
in Sheridan County, when that community wanted the State highway: they
canvassed every load of wheat that went to Sheridan City from their
community to show how much their road was used. Another splendid example
of community spirit was the pageant staged by Armstead Community, in
Beaverhead County, to celebrate the anniversary of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition. Every one in the community, even the babies as Indian
papooses, took part. About half of all the communities have a real
community spirit, i.e., a willingness on the part of the people to work
unselfishly, coöperatively, for the best interests of the community. This
spirit, fostered by the Farm Bureau or by war work, has directed
communities to concern themselves with their roads, schools, methods of
farming and the creation and strengthening of all community bonds and

The results of this spirit are shown in social and educative agencies like
Lodges and the local branches of the Farm Bureau. Of the sixty-eight
Lodges only seventeen are for women, and their total enrollment is about
7,000 members. While women have fewer Lodges their attendance is more
enthusiastic and regular than in the case of the men. There are Commercial
Clubs in the city and towns, and in a number of the villages. The American
Legion has five branches in the four counties. Eight communities have
Literary Societies meeting regularly. Then there are the many clubs and
societies which are purely social. These include sewing clubs, card clubs,
athletic clubs and similar organizations which are found in the city and
towns, and in about one-third of the other communities. There are musical
organizations in seven communities, and four communities have community
singing. These organizations, together with the schools and churches, give
the inspiration for most of the social life.



The colored cook, at least, seems to delight in her surroundings.]

"Movies," Motors and the Dance

All the larger centers have moving-picture theatres. With the coming of
the "movie," and the general ownership of cars, there is a growing
tendency to go into the centers for amusement. Dancing is the most popular
recreation. If an event is really a success, it ends with a dance. In many
communities a dance is the only thing that will "go." One reason for this
is the lack of leadership; a dance needs no planning to speak of, which is
not the case with other forms of indoor recreation. Dances attract people
from great distances and are generally held on Saturday night, lasting
until Sunday morning, with a feast at midnight. Perhaps the Farm Bureau
has an exhibition during the day, and there is a community dance in the
evening. It is held in the hall over the poolroom. An orchestra of three
army veterans plays good lively jazz. The latest tunes and dances of the
city are as familiar in these remote communities as are the latest modes
and fashions. No country square dances here; nothing older than the very
latest dancing, and the most modern of ear-capped coiffures! Whole
families attend, and parents take the floor along with the young folks.
There is a great friendliness. The young men are well set-up, muscular and
tanned, and some of them even wear spurs which clink together as they
dance. Feminine noses are not as white as they might be, though powder
puffs are here, very properly concealed. Most of these girls ride
horseback as well as their brothers, and both young women and men, with
their athletic supple figures, their innate sense of grace and rhythm,
might put to shame our tired, anæmic city dancers. At midnight, there is a
supper of fried chicken, sandwiches and real cake brought a few dozen
miles more or less by team or car. Everything tastes good because it is
made at home. Afterwards, the tireless feet continue the intricate,
graceful measures. But outside the brightly lighted hall, and beyond the
sound of laughter and music broods the silent, mysterious night of a
spacious country. How many city dancers know the homeward drive through a
big country, the moon perhaps lighting the river, the contours of plain
and butte, and the sleeping hamlets?

The most popular forms of outdoor recreation are the community barbecues,
frontier days and pow-wows. Only those who live this free, healthy life in
the heart of nature have appetites worthy of a barbecue. At noon the
delicious beef, roasted all night over a deep trough of coals, and basted
with real butter, is a social meal that many of us envy. There are
frontier field days with sports belonging to ranch life, such as horse
racing and broncho busting. The day usually ends with a big dance. Even
the "dude" ranches in Sheridan hold Frontier days, and great events they
are, too, with many spectators. In sections of Sheridan and Union
Counties, but especially in Beaverhead, there is the beauty of the country
which furnishes recreation in itself. Nature has lavished upon them every
gift of line and color. The mountains and the streams, the woods and the
canyons, hold a hundred delightful possibilities that are within the reach
of almost every one. It is a playground as varied as it is perfect. On
Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, car after car, packed with camp
equipment and home-made delicacies, head for the health-giving hills and


The Barbecue is an institution typical of the Range Country and is
attended by settlers from far and near.]



What of the Church?

What country landscape is complete without the church spires? In this
spacious western region, in the heart of awe-inspiring natural scenery,
the church spires are guideposts to almost 50,000 people. This land is
new. It has been the changing frontier. Tremendous developments have been
in process. The country is in a transition stage between the stock-raising
past and the agricultural future. Population has increased rapidly;
population has been shifting. The whole background has been kaleidoscopic.
The Church has faced bewildering changes and growth. The burden of
increasing its service and equipment has been heavy; it has not been able
to "keep up" with the pace of civilization.

The story of early church growth in the cowboy country is one inspiring
loyalty since it eloquently traces the faithfulness of a few in a country
where God was easily forgotten. One of the first things to be read of
rough-and-ready Bannock, among the earliest mining towns on the Range, is
that church services were held there. The Church migrated with its
congregations. Missionaries from the East came through with the fur
trappers and preached the word of God. When the land began to be taken up
by settlers, impromptu meetings were held, and Sunday schools were started
in many places which had no ministers. Some of these points of worship
gradually developed into organized religious bodies so that at present
there are churches which have grown up with the country.

A Difficult Field

The Church in this frontier country has always faced great difficulties.
Chiefly, there is the vast area of it, with a scattered and transient
population. Homesteaders are a restless, uncertain, human quantity. Some
are engrossed in getting a start. Others move on as soon as they have
"proved up" on their claims. All are poor; there is always an economic
struggle going on. The old frontier spirit of "let have and let be"
survives from the cowboy days. This free and easy spirit says: "Boys
drinking?--well, boys have to have their good times. Streets weedy?--well,
they might be worse." The same spirit says: "No churches?--well, we're
just as well off and our money is better in the bank than paying for a
minister who never gets out and does an honest day's work."

"Good-bye, God, we're going to Wyoming," said a little Boston girl as the
family was starting west. This typifies what happened as people from the
East and Middle West moved out to the frontier. In the desperate struggle
for existence homesteaders had little time for Christian enterprise.
Because of the great distances and scattered population, adequate church
ministry has been difficult if not impossible. People had for so long
lived without a church that indifference developed. The longer they stayed
the less they took the church for granted. The older the section, one
finds to-day, the less likely it is to want church ministry. Newer
homesteaders, recently come from other parts of the country where the
church was more available, are more eager for church and Sunday school.


The M. E. Church at Mosquero, Union County, N. M.]

Development and Distribution

The differences in religious development and psychology according to the
time of settlement are well illustrated by these counties. Generally
speaking, Beaverhead grew up before the Church had made much headway. It
is conservative. The general attitude is the wary one of "Let the Church
alone." Men class churches among those feminine luxuries with which a
real, red-blooded man has little to do. On the other hand, Union, the most
recently developed county of the four, still has a marked "church
consciousness." The majority of the people have not yet broken with the
habits and customs of the more closely settled and churched Middle West
from which they came. The other two counties combine these two conditions.
Part of Sheridan is like Union, a region newly homesteaded. Part of it is
like Beaverhead, old and settled with frontier habits. Hughes, on the
threshold of the West, retains the frontier sentiment of all the other

[Illustration: NO ROOM FOR BOTH

The Presbyterian Church at Melrose, Montana, and its next-door neighbor, a
deserted saloon.]

Church work has been going on in these counties since 1867, when
Protestant work was started at Bannock, in Beaverhead County. Churches
were organized in the other counties in succeeding decades. The first
Protestant church was organized in Hughes between 1870 and 1880, in
Sheridan and Union Counties between 1880 and 1890. In this comparatively
short time, some churches have gone under. Beaverhead has had nine
Protestant churches, of which six are now active. One church, located just
outside the border of the county in Melrose, a small hamlet, is included
in this report. Dillon, the county seat, has four churches, or one
Protestant church for about every 675 persons. Outside Dillon, the
habitable rural area of the county has two Protestant churches, or one
church for about every 1,800 square miles and for about every 2,300
persons. Roman Catholics have two organized churches in the county,
Mormons have one active and one inactive church, and there is one
Christian Science church.






Sixteen Protestant churches have been organized in Hughes County, all but
one of which are now active. Pierre, the county seat, with six of the
churches, has a Protestant church for about every 535 people. Outside
Pierre and the section occupied by the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, the
rural area of the county has one Protestant church for about every
seventy-three square miles, and for every 300 persons. There are three
Catholic churches outside the Indian Reservation.

Sheridan County has had twenty-two Protestant churches, of which seventeen
are now active and two are inactive. The city of Sheridan has nine
Protestant churches, one church for about every 1,020 persons; outside
Sheridan, the habitable area of the county has one Protestant church for
about every 220 square miles, and for about every 1,130 persons. The
county has five Catholic churches, a Mormon, a Christian Science, and a
Theosophical organization.

The newest county of the four has the most churches. Thirty-nine
Protestant churches have been organized in Union County, thirty-one of
which are now active. Clayton, the county seat, has four churches, one for
about every 625 persons; outside Clayton, the rural area of the county has
one Protestant church for about every 280 square miles and for about every
525 persons. There are five organized Catholic churches.

The four counties now have a total of seventy active Protestant churches
representing eleven different denominations, but there is an acute need of
a more strategic distribution. Churches located in the city of Sheridan
will henceforth be referred to as "city" churches; churches located in the
towns of Dillon, Pierre and Clayton will be referred to as "town"
churches; those located in villages, a classification applying to all
centers with a population of 250 to 2,500, will be referred to as
"village" churches; and those located in hamlets of less than 250
population or the open country will be known as "country" churches.
Classified in this way, nine, or 13 per cent. of the total, are "city"
churches; thirteen, or 19 per cent., are "town" churches; fourteen, or 20
per cent., are "village" churches, and thirty-four, or 48 per cent., are
"country" churches. Other than Protestant churches will be discussed in a
separate chapter.

God's Houses

A live church organization should have a building of its own. It is hard,
indeed, to preach the reality of religion without a visible house of God.
Yet nearly one-third of the organizations have no buildings and must
depend on school houses, homes or depots. Some of these churches, located
in strategic places, acutely need buildings and equipment if they are to
hold their own in the future. For others, however, the possession of
buildings would be a tragedy, since they would thus become assured of a
permanency which is not justified. All the city and town churches have
buildings, as well as twelve of the fourteen village, and fifteen of the
thirty-four country, churches. In addition, two inactive organizations
have buildings which are available and are used to some extent.


Beaverhead County, Montana.]

The majority of the buildings are of wood; fourteen are of brick, cement
or adobe. Unfortunately, the Range has no typical pioneer architecture of
its own. Most of the buildings are reminiscent of New England forbears.
Many of them look barren and unkempt. Standing forlorn upon the plains,
most of the open country churches are unrelieved by any sign of trees.
Little or no effort has been made to make them attractive. Thirty
buildings are lighted by electricity. Twenty-two churches are of the
usual one-room type, eleven have two-room buildings, four have three
rooms, three have five rooms, six have six rooms or more. A few possess
special facilities for social purposes. One town church has a parish
house. Nine have extra rooms and some special equipment, including three
gymnasiums. Stereopticon outfits have been installed in one city and in
two town churches. One other town church borrows a stereopticon once a
month from a public school, and one town church occasionally borrows the
county moving-picture machine.

A new kind of community house was built last summer by the Sheridan
Presbyterian Church. It is a summer camp on a mountain stream not far from
the Big Horn Mountains, about twenty miles south of Sheridan. The building
is used for kitchen, dining room, rest room and general headquarters. Each
family brings its own tent when using the camp. The purpose is to make it
a place for tired people, and especially for those who have no cars or
other means of taking an outing during some part of the hot weather. The
community idea expresses itself in a plan whereby those owning cars shall
sometimes transport a family that otherwise might have no outing.

Church property is valued at $592,323, and it is noteworthy that the
churches have acquired property of such value in so short a time. The fact
that church growth is a present-day phenomenon is illustrated by the two
splendid buildings erected since this survey was made, and the
preparations for a third which will cover an entire block. The highest
value of any city church is $70,000, of any town church $75,000, of any
village church $7,000 and of any country church, $4,000. Twenty-eight
churches have parsonages, their total valuation amounting to $61,300, or
an average value of $2,189.

About one-third of the churches carry some indebtedness on their property.
Twenty-five churches report a total debt of $57,695, of which amount
$28,500 was borrowed by six city churches, $21,700 by four town churches,
$2,905 by five village churches and $4,590 by eight country churches. The
money was spent for new buildings, new parsonages, repairs and, in one
case, for a garage to hold the preacher's Ford. Curiously enough, instead
of being a hardship, working to pay off a debt often brings church members
together into a unified working group. The interest paid ranges from 4 to
8 per cent.

Church Membership

Even more important than the material assets of the churches are their
human assets--their members. The total number enrolled in Protestant
churches in the four counties is 5,820. Active members number 3,956, or 68
per cent., while 1,013, or 17.4 per cent., are classed as inactive, i.e.,
they neither attend church services nor contribute to church support, and
851, or 14.6 per cent., are non-resident. The country and city churches
have the highest proportion of non-resident members--16.9 per cent. and
16.6 per cent., respectively; the town figure is next at 11.7 per cent.,
and the village percentage is 9.83. These people have moved, or else live
too far away to come to church services. In addition to the enrolled
membership, there are members of distant churches who have never
transferred to local churches. They are scattered through all these
counties, and their number is, of course, not known and cannot be
estimated. Some may have been asked to join local churches, but it is
certain that some have not, and that no one knows or seems to care if they
have been members of some church elsewhere. They may attend local churches
occasionally, but it is more likely that they do not. Some of them feel
like the little hard-working ranch lady who said, "I was a church member
out in Iowa, thirty-five years ago, but I've never done lifted by letter
and I've been here so long now, I guess I never will."

[Illustration: CHART I]

The Protestant church member who moves away is not followed up by his
church as a general thing. This is partly due to frequent ministerial
changes, partly to the lack of well-kept church records, and partly to
lack of interest. Of course, the fault is not only with the churches on
the Range; it is a shortcoming of the churches everywhere. Since, however,
a transient population is characteristic of this country, it would seem to
be a matter of prime importance for churches to keep track of the
movements of their members. This matter concerns not only local churches
and their denominations, but also calls for coöperation among different

[Illustration: CHART II]

Most of the churches are in the larger centers. Of the total resident
church membership nearly 43 per cent. belong to city churches, 28 per
cent. to town churches, 11 per cent. to village churches and only 15 per
cent. to country churches. As the center decreases in size, the more it
draws from the surrounding country. Thus, 93 per cent. of the total
resident families of city churches live in the city and 7 per cent. live
outside; 87 per cent. of the total resident families of town churches live
in the town and 13 per cent. live outside; 62 per cent. of the total
resident families belonging to village churches live in villages and 38
per cent. live outside.

Somehow the Church has failed to appeal to the men. A prominent man who
never came to church in one of the towns in the counties studied, said to
a minister: "Here is a hundred dollars. For God's sake, don't let the
church go down!" This man realized that the community needed the church,
but he chose to help from the outside. This is the prevailing attitude:
the men are not antagonistic, but they are indifferent. All the counties
have a higher proportion of men than of women in the population; each has
a higher proportion of women than men in the church membership.
Beaverhead, preponderant by 58.3 per cent. in males, has the lowest
proportion of adult men in the church membership, 23.8 per cent. Union has
the highest proportion of men, 32.7 per cent. For all the churches of the
four counties, 30.5 per cent. of all church members are males over
twenty-one, 8.6 per cent. are males under twenty-one, 47.5 per cent. are
females over twenty-one and 13.4 per cent. are females under twenty-one.

A larger proportion of young people are enrolled in the city and town
churches than in those of the village and open country. City and town
church memberships have 9 per cent. boys, and 14.36 per cent. girls.
Villages have 6.75 per cent. boys, and 12.26 per cent. girls. Open country
churches have 8.19 per cent. boys, and 9.26 per cent. girls. One reason
for the small number of young people is that many grew up without the
Church. The children now growing up have better church opportunities. The
hope of the Church for the future is to reach the children.

The small church prevails on the Range, the average active membership
being only about fifty-seven. For the various groups, the active
membership is as follows:


               Country   Village   Town   City   Average
  Beaverhead     8          6       81              49
  Hughes         8         39      109              59
  Sheridan      33         62              185     117
  Union         16         33       66              24

The country churches have an average of eighteen, the village churches
thirty-five, the town churches ninety-one and the city churches 185
members each. Forty-nine of the seventy churches have fifty active members
or less, and thirty-six, or 51.4 per cent., of these have less than
twenty-five each. Twenty-one churches have each more than fifty active
members. Forty-four out of the forty-nine churches of less than fifty
members are either in villages or in the open country. All the churches of
more than 100 members are either town or city churches.

[Illustration: CHART III]

[Illustration: CHART IV]

It is an acknowledged fact that the size of membership has a good deal to
do with church efficiency; in a word, that the small church is a losing
proposition. Until the present, the small church on the Range has been a
necessity because of the small and scattered population. It is only the
larger centers that have been able to support good-sized churches. Even
with the coming of irrigation, this Western country will never be as
thickly populated as the East or Middle West. Nor can a fair comparison be
made between the churches in the larger centers in the Middle West and far
West. A different policy is likewise needed here because many of these
centers in the West are surrounded with large unchurched areas and on that
account their churches should be strategic centers for a radiating
religious work.

[Illustration: CHART V]

In the matter of gain or loss in membership, it is to be noted that,
during the last year, a little more than half the churches made a net gain
in membership, sixteen churches broke even on the year and seventeen
showed a net loss. Thus, 3 per cent. of all the churches remained
stationary, 24 per cent. lost in membership and 53 per cent. gained. Of
the churches with 50 or more members, 82 per cent. gained; of those with
less than 50 members only 33.3 per cent. gained.

Seven hundred and sixty-four new members were taken in during the year.
Forty per cent. of these were taken in by letter, the rest on confession
of faith. This gain by confession was about 13 per cent. of the previous
net active membership. Gain was distributed according to sex and age as

  Adult male      31.0%
  Adult female    42.4%
  Boys            11.7%
  Girls           14.9%


The Church Dollar

One way, though by no means the only way, that the Church can judge of its
successful work is by the financial support that it receives. In this
Range country nearly all of the Church dollar is raised locally, except
about twelve cents donated toward church work by denominational boards.
Various methods are used by the local church for raising the other
eighty-eight cents. Half the churches use a budget system. That is, they
set down at the beginning of the fiscal year an itemized budget of the
amount which they need, on the basis of which amount subscriptions are
obtained from each church member or family. Twenty-five churches finance
all their work this way and ten churches budget only their local needs.
Thirty-two churches make an annual every-member canvass, i.e., every
member is asked regularly each year to contribute something toward the
church. Weekly envelopes, in single or duplex form, are used in
twenty-four churches. Forty churches can be said to have a system of
regular, frequent payments. The rest of the churches depend upon various
combinations of quarterly or annual payments, plate collections at
services, bazaars and other money-raising devices.

Incidentally, the Ladies Aid and Missionary Societies are real stand-bys
in the matter of church upkeep and benevolences. In fully half the
churches, women's organizations undertake to raise some part of the church
expenses in various ways, from regular weekly contributions to
distributing bags to be filled with pennies for every year of the
contributor's age, or by making gayly colored holders at three cents each.

Nearly one hundred thousand dollars were raised by the 3,956 active
members in the year of the survey. This is the "real thrill" of the church
dollar. The total amount of the budget raised on the field by sixty-eight
of the seventy churches[3] was $97,571.98. Of this amount $70,910.74, or
little less than three-fourths, was procured by subscriptions; $9,464.24,
or slightly less than one-tenth, by collections, and the balance of the
$17,197.00 by miscellaneous means. This is an average amount per church of
$990.25. Here again it is clear that the larger the membership of a
church, the greater the impetus from within for further growth and
activities. This condition is evident in the various church campaigns. The
city churches raise more than twice as much as the churches in the town,
village or country, but with their larger membership there is not a
corresponding drain on the individual. Thus, the city and village church
members give about the same, $24.87 and $24.47 respectively per year; the
town members give $29.63; the country members, with fewer buildings, fewer
services, and less resident ministers to maintain than the members in the
centers, pay $16.12 each.

[Illustration: CHART VI

Figures refer to total amount raised and spent, including Home Mission

Considering that nearly half the churches raise their money haphazardly,
the average contribution per church and per member, in these four counties
on the Range, is most encouraging. Of course, it must be borne in mind
that 1919-1920 came at the end of the fat years, and hard upon this
prosperous period followed the lean one of high freight rates and low
prices for farm products. Church finances depend in part upon the
practical presentation of the financial needs of the Church, and upon
education in Christian stewardship--i.e., in learning the value of church
work at home and abroad. But there is another side to the question which
is quite as vital. Is the Church rendering a real service to the
community, and has it an adequate and worth-while ministry? After all,
people cannot be expected to give more than they receive in service.

Not quite all the money was spent. In each group there was a small
surplus; $85.00 for the country churches, $64.24 for the village, $64.00
for the town, and $365.89 for the city churches. Of the total amount
spent, $41,268.79, or about 43 per cent., paid salaries, $24,657.55, or 25
per cent., was given to missions and benevolences, and the remaining 32
per cent. was used for local expenses and upkeep. The total amount given
to benevolences averages $6.27 a year. All the money spent averages $24.67
per resident active member, a good record indeed for a homesteading

The question of benevolences is important because many churches offer no
other means to their members of learning and practising unselfish giving
and service. One of the standards adopted by the Interchurch World
Movement was that the amount given to benevolences should at least equal
25 per cent. of the total amount spent. The proportion of all money raised
which is used to pay salaries and local expenses is higher in country and
village churches, while the proportion given for missions and benevolences
is lower than in the town and city churches. In other words, the country
and village churches have less surplus over and above their running
expenses. Benevolences receive 14.3 per cent. of all money raised by the
country churches, and 12.75 per cent. of all money raised by the village
churches. Town churches, on the other hand, give 23.84 per cent. of their
receipts to benevolences, and the city churches give 33.65 per cent. The
finances of city churches are well proportioned, almost an equal amount
going for salaries, missions and all other expenses.

Home Mission Aid

It has already been stated that about twelve cents of the church dollar
come from the denominational boards in the form of Home Mission aid. The
total amount given to the local churches in the year preceding the survey
was $12,937.50, which went to forty-one churches in amounts varying from
$50 to $750. Two more churches would have been receiving aid if they had
had a pastor, and still another church had there been a resident pastor.
Of the forty-one churches receiving aid, two are city, seven are town,
seven are village and twenty-five are country churches.

Of course, some of these churches, in their turn, hand back money to other
boards in the form of missions and benevolences. All the city churches
give $13,382.04 in benevolences and missions and receive $2,100; all the
town churches give $8,304.96 and receive $3,035; the village churches give
$1,650 and receive $3,650, and the country churches give $1,320 and
receive $4,152. By counties, Beaverhead gets back 46.8 per cent. of what
she gives, Hughes gets back 47.3 per cent., Sheridan 37.2 per cent., while
Union is the only county which receives more than she gives--24.4 per
cent. The churches which receive aid send back to the boards $2,872.79. In
a word, the churches send money to the church boards, who in turn remit
this money. This would seem a strange story to some one not versed in
church ethics and denominational procedure. But giving and serving is one
of the fundamental ideas of the Christian religion, and money given for
missions and benevolences is good training as well as definitely a service
to humanity.

The Range has always been Home Mission territory; justifiably too, because
homesteaders have not been able to pay for religious ministry. A
homesteader's "bit" is hard earned enough, and seldom adequate to his
needs. Nevertheless, the problem of financial aid is always a serious one.
Subsidization of persons as well as institutions must be wisely handled or
moral deterioration is likely to set in. The Y. M. C. A. never subsidizes
a county for its rural work. If the county cannot pay, it must do without
the work. Ordinarily, several counties combine for rural Y. M. C. A. work
and have one secretary among them.

An excellent grading system for their aided fields has been worked out by
the Presbyterian Home Mission Board.[4] One of the first questions
considered is the prospect of self-support. How far has it been the policy
of the Boards to help a church to a status of self-support? Forty-four of
the seventy active churches have had aid during the last thirty years.
Only four of these churches are now self-supporting. It has already been
pointed out that three churches did not receive aid during the year
preceding the survey because they lacked pastors. Development toward
self-support has evidently not been a criterion of the Boards in granting

Another test is whether the field is a "strategic service
opportunity"--either allocated to this denomination or a field presenting
a unique need. Some of the churches fall within such a classification. A
total of about $207,170 has been received, given by eleven denominations.
City churches have received $40,850, town churches $67,465, village
churches $47,430 and country churches $51,425. Of the total amount,
$44,980 has gone to fifteen strategic service churches. In addition, four
of the aided churches receiving $27,000 serve special groups of
population, of which one is Swedish, one Norwegian, and two are German
Lutheran churches. There remain thirty churches receiving $136,190. Three
churches, receiving $6,830, are the only ones in their community. All the
rest are in communities with other churches, at least one of which in each
case is aided.


A village church in the center of a large unevangelized area, served by a
minister living thirty-five miles away.]

Aid Misapplied

Some aid has very evidently been granted without a definite understanding
on the part of the board as to whether other churches were concerned,
whether the community could really support a church, whether, after all,
it was good sense to assist a church in that particular situation. Not
very much money has been spent. More could have been used to advantage. As
H. Paul Douglass says in "From Survey to Service," "It is in the nature of
the case that the conquest of distance by the Gospel will take very
disproportionate amounts of money compared with other forms of missions.
It can be cheap only when it is adequate." The policy has too often been
to help keep alive a great many struggling churches which did little to
justify support, rather than to develop a smaller number of churches in
greater need of help in a poorly churched area. In other words, the
policy has been one of denominational expansion rather than of
denominational concentration and demonstration. Home Mission aid too often
creates futile competition within a community by supporting a church for
selfish denominational purposes. Some of these churches were better dead,
and they would have died of natural causes but for Home Mission aid.

There are good and bad instances of denominational help. One denomination
has aided three churches for thirty years, but has not helped any one of
them for the last ten years. They had reached a self-supporting status.
But, when a denomination lavishes $18,000 of Home Mission aid in keeping
alive a church in a village of 150 population, where there is also another
church, and when the village is situated near to a large, well-churched
center, such aid is wasted. The same denomination fails to give with
liberality to a far needier case, the only Protestant church in a small
village, a railroad center, located fairly in the center of a large
unevangelized area. In one of its valleys, a resident recently remarked
that they had heard no preaching for twenty years. This instance of
neglect is in Montana, and the territory has been allocated to this
denomination since 1919, so that other churches are keeping their hands
off. Yet this church, which had a resident pastor until two years before
the time of the survey, is now being served by a pastor of a town church
living thirty-five miles away who preaches there on a _week-day_ night. No
preaching on Sunday, no pastoral work, obviously no community work in the
village and no touch at all on the districts outside of the village! How
well could the lavish aid of $18,000 have been put to use in this
churchless area! This desperate condition needs as much aid every year as
_all_ the Boards give _all_ forty-one aided churches at present. Instead,
this church has been allocated to one denomination, and is now getting
less attention than before. This case constitutes an abuse of the
principle of allocation.


To Measure Church Effectiveness

Add members contributing to the support of an organization to a probable
minister and possibly to a building and you have the ground-plan of the
average church in this Western country. What, then, is the church program?
How are the churches attempting to serve their members, and just how much
are they contributing through their program and activities to the life
about them, toward bringing about a genuine Christianization of a
community life? Religious values, it is true, are spiritual and cannot be
tabulated in statistical tables. This fact is as fully recognized as the
corollary that circumstances often limit ideals. What the churches are
doing, however, ought to be a fair test of their underlying purpose. In a
word, then, what do they consider their job and are they "putting it

Opportunities for Worship

All the churches have services for the preaching of God's word, but it has
already become evident in the preceding pages that in certain sections of
the Range country the Church, even as a social factor, is regarded rather
as a curiosity by the men. An amusing story with a Bret Harte flavor is
told of an early meeting in Beaverhead County. The hall in Glendale, a
busy place then, with banks, restaurants, even a paper, was filled with a
rough-and-ready audience of miners and cowboys listening to a lantern
lecture. Vastly delighted over the trick, one man after another quietly
rose from his seat and stepped out of the window. When the preacher ended
his talk and the hall lighted up not a soul remained but himself. The next
day, however, his audience made it right. They passed a hat and collected
$300 for him.

As has been noted, more than half of the church buildings are adapted to
preaching and nothing else, nineteen churches, of necessity, holding their
meetings in school houses. The frequency of services varies. The larger
centers have an abundance of church meetings. All but two of the town and
two of the city churches have two preaching services each Sunday. But only
three country and two village churches are so fortunate. Two additional
churches, one a village and one a town church, have the advantage of two
services a Sunday because they unite regularly with other churches near
them, both of which hold two services a Sunday.


Christian Church at Des Moines, Union County.]

Forty-five of the seventy churches have less than two services a Sunday.
Of thirty churches, twenty-five country and five village churches, each
has less than four services a month. Those located in the larger
well-churched centers have an ample number of services, while the majority
of churches with less than two services a Sunday are country churches. Yet
most of these are holding the only service in their community.
Seventy-three and five-tenths per cent. of all the country churches have
less than four services each month, and 44 per cent. have only one service
or even less. All but one of the eighteen churches with only one service
or less per month are country churches. Ten churches hold special musical
services. Mid-week prayer meetings are held by sixteen of those which have
two services each Sunday, but by only one of the forty-five churches in
the group holding the fewer number of services.

Except in winter, the chief handicap to attendance in Beaverhead and
Sheridan lies in the rugged landscape. Country members in all the counties
have real difficulty in getting to church throughout the year. Most of
them have long distances to go, and the roads make travel difficult in
winter and early spring. In summer, haying is carried on very generally
seven days of the week, and church attendance is a problem even if the
church service is held at night. The aggregate monthly attendance is
18,337 and as the total number of services is 286, the average attendance
per service is about sixty-five persons, low enough, but higher than the
average active membership per church, which is about fifty-six. Average
seating capacity, active membership and attendance compare as follows:

[Illustration: CHART VII]

                              Country    Village     Town     City
                              Churches   Churches  Churches Churches  Total
  Average seating capacity     129[5]     177[6]     285      436      233
  Average active membership     18         36         91      196       56
  Average attendance at
    services                    34         37         72      112       65

It is evident from the table above that the churches are only about
one-fourth filled on the average. Nothing is more disheartening than a
church three-quarters empty in which the echoes of the minister's voice
reverberate over the vacant seats.

Union Services

Tangible evidence of coöperation and good-will among churches of different
denominations is found in "union" services, which thirty-eight churches
might reasonably hold in these counties. Just twenty-one of these churches
do unite, the majority for Thanksgiving Day services and in fewer
instances, for Chautauqua, Baccalaureate, Memorial Day, and summer evening
services. In two instances, two churches, Methodist and Presbyterian, are
uniting for services and Sunday schools, their other organizations meeting
separately. Since the time of the survey, two churches, located in an
overchurched hamlet, have also temporarily put this plan into effect.


The M. E. Church at Blunt, S. D., which being pastorless joined with the
Presbyterian Church for preaching services.]


A greater portion of the evangelistic work is done through revival
meetings, although less than half of the churches hold them. Of all the
members admitted on confession of faith by all the churches during the
year, 76 per cent. were converted in revival meetings, and joined one of
the churches holding such a revival. Thirty-one of the seventy churches
held or united in thirty such meetings, one being a union meeting of two
churches. Pastors conducted fifteen meetings, in three of which a
neighboring pastor or evangelist assisted. Fourteen meetings were held by
visiting clergymen. The meetings were well attended, extending from seven
to thirty-five days, the average meeting lasting thirteen days.
Eighty-seven per cent. of the 385 converts and the thirteen who were
reclaimed joined the churches holding the revival. This gain amounted to
72 per cent. of the total gain in membership made by these same thirty-one
churches during the entire year. Forty-four per cent. of all the churches
held revivals, and while they represent only 45 per cent. of the total
harvest by confession and letter, yet three-fourths of all the gain made
by confession of faith were obtained by these churches.

The country churches held seventeen meetings, averaged four new members
each, and made 20 per cent. of the total gain. The village churches held
five meetings and the town churches held four meetings, both averaging
five new members each, the village churches making 8 per cent. of the
total gain and the town churches 6 per cent. The city churches held only
four meetings, averaged about fifty-seven new members each and realized
one-third of the total gain made.

Children and the Churches

Sunday schools are the big hope of this country. Young people and older
people are not so much interested in the Church and religion because so
many have grown up without it, but the children have had more chance to
know the Church. Sunday schools are to-day the most frequent form of
church work in these Western counties. They are especially hopeful because
so many of them over-ride denominational lines and unionize; also because
they persist when all other church spirit seems to be dead.

Fifty-six churches have Sunday schools of their own, and one city church
has a mission Sunday school in addition to its own. Two groups of two
churches each combine their Sunday schools. Only three churches neither
maintain their own Sunday schools nor help with a union school.

Thirty-seven union Sunday schools are being carried on in the four
counties, nine of which have the assistance of church organizations
meeting in the same building. Three are located in mining camp villages,
the rest in small hamlets or open country. These union schools have a
fourth of the total Sunday school enrollment. People on ranches and far
from town start Sunday schools under local leadership without waiting for
churches to be organized. When a newcomer sends his children to Sunday
school it is often the only contact made with religious activity in the
new country. The independent Sunday school has, therefore, in a sense, a
greater responsibility than the church Sunday school.

The importance of the Sunday school is brought out in a comparison between
Sunday school enrollment and resident church membership.

                                 Country   Village   Town     City    Total
  Number of churches                  34      14       13        9       70
  Number of Sunday schools            56      14       12       10       92
  Total resident church membership   745     563    1,389    2,272    4,969
  Total enrollment of church
    Sunday schools                   897     731    1,430    1,475    4,533
  Total enrollment of all Sunday
    schools                        2,373     829    1,430    1,475    6,107
  Average enrollment of all
    Sunday schools                    42      59      119      147       67
  Average attendance of all
    Sunday schools                    28      40       79      104       50

The enrollment of church Sunday schools is larger than the total church
membership in Union County, and larger than resident church membership in
Beaverhead, Hughes or Union. The total enrollment of all Sunday schools is
23 per cent. higher than the total resident church membership. Without the
Union County Sunday schools this enrollment equals only 91 per cent. of
the resident church membership. Thirty-five churches have a larger Sunday
school enrollment than resident church membership; all nine churches
helping with Union Sunday schools have a smaller membership than the Union
school enrollment. This discrepancy is high in some churches. For example,
a country church has thirty-five enrolled in the Sunday school and only
eight church members; a village church with sixty-five enrolled in its
Sunday school has seven church members; a town church has fifteen church
members and 150 enrolled in its Sunday school.

Country and village Sunday schools show the best record. The total
enrollment of all country Sunday schools, including the Union schools, is
more than three times as high as church membership. The enrollment of all
village Sunday schools is about 47 per cent. higher than village church
enrollment. There are no Union Sunday schools in the towns or city. Except
in the city the average Sunday school enrollment exceeds average resident
church membership, the advantage being twenty-two for the country schools,
nineteen for the village, and twelve for the town schools. The average
city church membership, however, exceeds average Sunday school enrollment
by 105.

When Sunday school enrollment is higher than church membership, it is
ordinarily encouraging as a promise of future growth. But the large
discrepancies between village and open country church membership and
Sunday school enrollment, coupled with the low percentage of young
people in their church memberships, show that these churches are not
recruiting new members from their Sunday schools as they might. Nor are
the churches relating themselves to any extent to the separate Sunday
schools in outlying sections. This _can_ be done, and is most successful
in a few cases. For example, the Apache Valley Sunday School, which meets
on Sunday afternoons at a schoolhouse in Union County, is being "fathered"
by two ministers from Clayton, six miles away, who go out on alternate
Sundays. This Sunday school is live and flourishing. It maintains a high
percentage of attendance and carries on various activities.

Attendance in general is good. The percentage of enrollment represented in
the attendance on a typical Sunday varies from 66.7 per cent. for the town
to 70.8 per cent. for the city schools. Yet only twenty-five schools make
definite efforts to increase their attendance. The various methods used
are contests such as a competitive Boys' and Girls' day, a fall Rally Day,
cards, rewards and prizes, a Banner Class, a Look-out Committee and the
Cross and Crown System.

During the year preceding the survey, 168 pupils joined the churches from
the Sunday schools, and there were seven probationers at the time the
survey was made. Decision Day was held in four country, one village, five
town and four city schools. The results were meager. Only thirty-five
declared for church membership. Nine town and city schools have classes to
prepare for church membership, eight schools have sent twenty scholars
into some kind of Christian work during the last ten years. A country
Sunday school in Hughes County has shown what can be done in this respect.
It has sent five young people into Christian service during the last ten
years, and five more in the whole history of the school. It is significant
that one consecrated pastor has served this Sunday school and church
during this entire time.

Cradle Rolls are another excellent method of enlistment. Yet these are
kept in only twenty-six schools. The total enrollment is 473. One of the
greatest needs of this country is more local and better trained
leadership, not only for Sunday schools but for the community at large.
The only definite training for leadership is eight Teacher Training
classes, held in two city, four town, one village and one country school.

Mission study is carried on in seventeen schools more or less frequently,
several additional schools annually presenting the cause of missions. One
city school has a four-day institute for the study of Sunday school
methods and missions. Twenty-nine schools make regular missionary
offerings, and seven take them once a year. Twelve schools have libraries
with an average of seventy-three volumes each. Eighty-three schools give
out Sunday school papers. There are 507 classes, an average of about
twelve per class.

Proper preparation is one of the greatest needs of the Sunday schools in
these counties. Much of the instruction is haphazard and indifferent. Men
teach 123 classes and 26.6 per cent. of the total enrollment. Ordinarily,
the man teacher, if there is one, takes the adult class at the expense of
the growing boy who needs him more than the adults. Graded lessons are
used exclusively in ten schools and twenty others use them in some
classes. Seventeen schools have organized classes. Sixty-six schools are
open throughout the year. The pastor is superintendent in six schools,
teacher in fifteen, substitute teacher in one, "helps" in nineteen, is a
student in two, and in one reports his job as "superintendent; teacher and

Social events for the Sunday schools mean picnics, class parties, and
sometimes a real ice cream sociable. About one-third of the schools have a
reasonable amount of social activity, while sixteen report a great deal.
Fifty-seven schools have picnics, and great events they are, too, with
more cakes and pies and goodies of all sorts than the community is likely
to see again for another year. One or more classes have socials, parties
and "hikes" in seventeen schools (four village, nine town and four city).
The "Anti-Kants" is an interesting class of young women. Every time one of
the class becomes engaged, there is a party and a shower, called a
graduation. Twenty graduations have taken place in the history of the
class. About half of the schools have programs for special days,
especially for Children's Day, Christmas and Easter. One Union school has
an Easter picnic and egg-hunt. Nineteen schools have mixed socials, such
as parties, indoor picnics, ice cream suppers and entertainments. One town
school has a weekly social. The only special Sunday school organizations
are a Choir Association and Sunday school athletic teams in three town
churches which play competitive games. Twenty report no social life of any
sort in connection with their schools. They do not even have a picnic to
liven things up.


The Baptist Mission at Kleenburg, Wyoming, does good work for the


A Sunday School class picnic in Union County.]

Other Church Organizations

Various other organizations have been developed within the churches for
business, educational and social purposes. Women have a great many, men
have very few. Fifty-six women's organizations are carried on in
thirty-seven churches, of which nine are village and nine country
churches. There are twenty-eight Ladies' Aids, thirteen Missionary
Societies and various Guilds, Circles, Auxiliaries, a Manse Society, a
King's Daughters, an Adelphian and a Dorcas. The total enrollment is
1,682, or about 70 per cent. of the total female resident church
membership over twenty-one, and 17 per cent. of the total female
population aged from eighteen to forty-four, in the four counties. The
attendance averages about twenty-one to each organization.

In sorry contrast to this array, men's organizations number only seven,
and all are connected with city or town churches in Pierre, the county
seat of Hughes County. The enrollment is 300, or 27 per cent. of the total
resident church membership in city and town of males over twenty-one years
of age, and only 3 per cent. of the total male population between the ages
of eighteen and forty-four in the four counties. Men and women have two
organizations in common. One is a missionary society which, contrary to
custom, shares its endeavors with men, the other is a dramatic club for
any one old or young who has dramatic ability. This interesting
organization gives a splendid amateur show every year. A former
professional actor, who also coaches dramatics in the high school, is the

Boys Left Out

There are only eight organizations for girls in seven town or city
churches. Two hundred and twenty-two, or 42 per cent., of all the girls
under twenty-one in the town and city resident membership are enrolled.
One is a Friendly Society, and the rest are various kinds of guilds. But
boys are the most shabbily treated of all. There are only four
organizations especially for them, all in town churches and two in one
church, so that only three churches have special clubs for their boys. The
enrollment is sixty-nine, or about 21 per cent. of all the boys under
twenty-one enrolled in city and town church membership. Boys and girls
together have two organizations in two town churches with a membership of
seventy-three. One is a Junior League, and the other a Junior Baptist
Young People's Union. Young people have twenty-eight organizations in ten
country, three village, nine town and six city churches. Eight of them are
Epworth Leagues, eight are Christian Endeavors and the rest are various
Young People's Societies, Baptist Young People's Unions, Mission
Volunteers, Young People's Alliances, two Choir Organizations and one
Purely for Fun Club. Their total enrollment of 834, together with the
membership of the mixed boys' and girls' organizations, equals 84 per
cent. of the total church resident membership under twenty-one.[7]

More people in the community are reached through the meetings of these
organizations than by any other single church activity, with the exception
of the celebration of special days. These meetings are often community
affairs, especially in the case of the women's organizations. In twenty
organizations, the attendance exceeds the enrollment. The men's clubs work
for the church, and several do practical community work. Their programs in
all but two cases include dinners, either at every meeting or at special
banquets during the year. One club puts on a Father and Son banquet every

Men's Forum and Ladies' Aids

The most interesting outcome of the work of any of the men's organizations
is the Men's Forum, recently developed in Sheridan by the combined Men's
Clubs of the Congregational and Protestant churches. This was the first
open forum held in Wyoming. The attendance at the meetings averaged 400.
The principles of the forum are as follows:

    The complete development of democracy in America.

    A common meeting ground for all the people in the interest of truth
    and mutual understanding, and for the cultivation of community spirit.

    The freest and fullest open discussion of all vital questions
    affecting human welfare.

    Participation on the part of the audience from the Forum Floor whether
    by questions or discussion.

    The freedom of the Forum management from responsibility for utterances
    by speakers from the platform or floor.

Among the subjects presented have been "Community Problems," "The Church
and Industrial Conflict," "The Golden Rule in Business: Is It
Practicable?" "The Farmers' Movement in America," "Bolshevism," "Feeding
the World: Is It America's Job?" There is no more encouraging sign of
community interest in public questions, and a conscious effort on the part
of the Church to develop a public opinion on social, economic and
religious problems.


The Ladies' Aid is often the only woman's organization in the community.
Most of these clubs meet once or twice a month, with regular programs for
Bible study or missions, organize sewing and quilting bees, and bazaars,
etc. The help they give in church finances has already been appreciated.
Any such common interest and responsibility holds many an organization
together. Several promote social welfare work. One organized a Teachers'
Training Class to improve material for Sunday school teachers. One village
has a community Ladies' Aid which works for the church, although only a
few are church members. The community woman's club in a small hamlet is
studying missions as a part of its program. In one community, the Ladies'
Aid of the only church, which is pastorless, meets regularly and holds a
yearly bazaar to pay the occasional supply preacher and keep the church in
repair. At the "Frontier Day" given by a Dude Ranch, the Ladies' Aid from
a nearby hamlet had a booth for selling hamburgers and lemonade. In one of
the mining camps, the Ladies' Aid of the Mission church sent out
invitations for an afternoon tea to raise money for a new piano for the
Kindergarten. It turned out to be a great social event attended by women,
many of them foreign, from all the camps in the vicinity. Here is another
Ladies' Aid, the only organization in all that part of a sparsely settled
country, and many miles from town which holds eight socials a year and
every social is a supper. Those suppers bring out whole families, and are
the biggest annual events. Is it any wonder? The woman on the Range has a
lonesome time of it. Ranches are far apart. She rarely sees her neighbors
and less frequently goes to town. This woman needs social activities more
than her town sister. Yet only nine out of thirty-four country churches
have women's organizations.

Young People's Meetings are generally held Sunday nights, and the majority
hold an occasional social. One town Young People's organization has a
successful Bible Study Class. The Purely for Fun Club, as its name
implies, is purely social and meets twice a month. It has a special garden
party once a year. This club is one of the activities of a M. E. community
church located in a new dry-farming community which is having a struggle
to make both ends meet, but is doing good work in that community. The
people are loyal, even enthusiastic. There is not, however, even a church
building, let alone any equipment for social activities. A building is
desperately needed for church and community center, nor can the members
provide it themselves. Cases of this kind represent possibilities for the
most effective sort of home mission aid.


The Preachers' Goings and Comings

This is a field that challenges a preacher. The love of a new world has
drawn his potential flocks and with them a pastor may come to new pastures
where the satisfaction of creative pioneer work is not its least
attraction. Settlements have grown up almost over night. People have come
from all over the East, Middle West and Southwest. Many families live far
from their neighbors. Leadership is the challenging need and it is
primarily the task of the Church to furnish and develop it. The initial
handicap is that here people, from a matter of habit, do not yearn for
church ministry as they do in other parts of the country. Their traditions
do not include it. It is the preacher who must "sell" the idea of religion
and the Church. No one else will do it. He must be a "builder of something
out of nothing--a pioneer of the Gospel, creator as well as evangelist."

The Vagrant Minister

One of the most startling facts brought out by this survey is the degree
to which the ministers have been transient. Always a detriment to
effective work, this lack of permanency is especially unfortunate in a
country of such rapid growth and so transient a population. It takes more
than average time to win people's confidence because they do not accept
the Church _per se_. There are problems enough to be met when a preacher
"hog-ties," as the Western slang puts it, meaning when he stays on the
job. But the preachers have come and gone along with the rest. Three of
the forty-five churches organized for ten years or more have had the same
preacher throughout the period, and five more churches have had only two
pastors. But seven churches have changed pastors three times, ten have
changed four, seven have changed five, six have changed six, five have
changed seven, one has changed eight and one has changed nine times during
this period. About half of the country and village churches, 38 per cent.
of the town, and one-fourth of the city churches have had five or more
pastors during the last ten years. Of the churches organized within the
last ten years, ten have had one pastor, eight have had two, one has had
three, three have had four, one has had six, one has had seven and two
have had no regular pastors during the entire time. These men have indeed
had the spirit of wanderlust. They have scarcely stayed long enough to get
acquainted with their task.

[Illustration: CHART VIII]

Lapses between pastors are revealed. The changing has meant loss of time
to three-fourths of the churches. Thus, of the group of churches organized
ten years or more, city churches have been vacant 2.5 per cent. of the ten
years, town churches 6 per cent. of the time, village churches 11 per
cent. and country churches 17 per cent. of the time. The churches
organized in the last ten years, of which the majority are in small
hamlets and the open country, have been vacant 20 per cent. of the time.
Again the churches in the larger centers fare better.

Distribution of Pastors

The churches in the four counties are at present being served by forty
ministers who have been a long time in church service, but only a short
time in their present fields. Their average length of time in their
present charge is only two and one-third years. Twelve of the forty-one
present pastors have been in their parishes less than a year, and fourteen
more have been serving from one to two years inclusive. Thirty-two
ministers give their entire time to the ministry. Eight have some other
occupation in addition to their church work. One is a student, and the
rest are ranchers. These eight men serve eleven churches in the four
counties and eight churches outside. Thirteen churches were without
regular pastors at the time of the survey, but five churches were only
temporarily pastorless--transiency caught in the act! Four of the thirteen
were being supplied by local or travelling preachers, one a woman
homesteader. The remaining fifty-seven churches, therefore, were being
served by forty regular ministers, and two resident social workers who
take care of a Baptist Mission at a mining village in Sheridan County. The
regular ministers also serve twenty churches in other counties, making a
total of seventy-seven churches, or 1.87 churches per man. This is a
slightly lower proportion of ministers per church than the region

How the ministers are divided up so that they will go around is shown in
the following table. The sixteen preaching points and missions which these
same men also serve are not included because in general they do not take
the same amount of time as a regular church.[8]

                          Preachers with No Other      Preachers with
                                Occupation            Other Occupation

  Serving one church      18  (B-3, H-5, S-8, U-2)     3  (H-2, U-1)
  Serving two churches     9  (B-1, H-3, S-2, U-3)     1  (..., U-1)
  Serving three churches   3  (..., H-1, S-1, U-1)     2  (..., U-2)
  Serving four churches                                2  (..., U-2)
  Serving five churches    2  (...............U-2)
                          --                          --
  Total                   32                           8

The denominational basis of church organization, as a preceding chapter
shows, leads to an uneven distribution of churches and ministers. If it
were not for denominational lines, it would be possible to make a better
distribution of the ministers so as to give a larger proportion of the
communities a resident minister. The centers have an abundance of
ministers, but outside the centers there are too few. Thus, thirty-three
of the churches have resident preachers, but twenty-two, or _two-thirds_,
of these churches are located in centers which have other resident
ministers. More than half of the churches with resident pastors are town
or city churches. Only _nine_ communities have one or more resident
ministers serving a single church on full time. One of these communities
is the city, three are the towns, one is a village community in
Beaverhead, one the mining town with the two social workers, and three are
country communities. Only eighteen communities have such full-time
resident pastors. Ten other churches have pastors living adjacent to their
buildings, but in each case the pastor also serves other churches, or has
other occupation. Fourteen churches have pastors living from five to
eighteen miles distant, four have ministers living from eighteen to
thirty-five miles distant. One has its pastor living fifty miles away, one
sixty-five and one 120 miles. Four pastors live outside their counties.

[Illustration: CHART IX]

An adequate parsonage is one means of keeping a resident pastor. About
half of the churches have parsonages. Of the forty churches with
buildings, thirty-four have parsonages and one country pastor has a
parsonage and no church building. Three parsonages were not being used at
the time of the survey.

The residence of pastors and the distribution of pastoral service have a
clear relation to growth. The pastor is ordinarily responsible for the
evangelistic success of the church. If a pastor is non-resident or has too
large a territory to serve, his personal contribution is lessened. Of the
churches having resident pastors, two-thirds made a net gain. Of those
with non-resident pastors, only one-third gained.

Pastors' Salaries.

The question of ministers' salaries is important. Inadequate salaries have
undoubtedly caused some of the restlessness among the ministry. Salaries
vary as the minister is on full or on part time, as shown in the following
table. The full-time one-church man commands a wage higher than the man
with more churches, or the man with another occupation.


The M. E. pastor shown here with his wife and baby has a house but no
church building on his circuit. He preaches in three school houses.]

                                           Full Time   with Other
                   Full Time   Part Time   Minister    Occupation
                   Minister    Minister    with More   and More
                   with One    with One    Than One    Than One
                   Church      Church      Church      Church

  Maximum salary    $2,650       $1,550     $3,250      $1,900
  Minimum salary       600          840        880         100
  Average            1,835        1,195      1,507         610

These average salary figures may be compared with the average salary of
the Y. M. C. A. county secretaries for the entire United States which was
$2,265 in 1920.

Training of Ministers

Standards of the various denominations as to the educational
qualifications of the ministers vary. Eighteen of the forty-one pastors
are graduates of colleges and theological seminaries; six others are
college graduates, three are graduates of seminaries or Bible Schools, but
have no college training. One minister is going to seminary. Ten ministers
have had no special training for the ministry.


Negro and Indian Work

Racial Cordiality

In this Range country, there are not many negroes in proportion to the
white settlers, and the relations between the races are cordial.
Beaverhead County has twenty-eight negroes in Dillon and Lima communities.
Sheridan County has a total of about 295. A small neighborhood, Cat Creek,
six miles west of the city of Sheridan has about 250 negroes. There are
six negro farm owners at Cat Creek with farms of 320 acres each.
Considerable community spirit has been developed, which is manifested by
increased friendliness and by pride in the farms. The Plum Grove Club has
sixteen members, and meets twice a month for discussions on crop welfare
and for social times. There is a Sunday school, with an enrollment of
fifteen and an average attendance of ten, which is kept going for eight
months of the year. Preaching services are held occasionally.

The negroes in the city of Sheridan are hard-working and industrious. They
are mainly laborers, but some have small businesses. Organizations include
a Mutual Aid Society with fifty members and three lodges which are all
inactive at present. The National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People has a local branch with 100 members. A recently organized
Athletic Club of fifteen members hopes to branch out into a regular
athletic association.

Colored Churches

There are two colored churches--a Methodist Episcopal and a Baptist North.
The Methodist Episcopal was organized in 1908; the Baptist in the
following year. Both churches have resident pastors, serving but one point
each. Each denomination has a church building and a parsonage. The
combined value of the church buildings is $3,500, of the parsonages $500.
The Baptist church has recently been rebuilt. Both churches use weekly
envelopes for raising their money which amounted to $2,887.14 last year,
$1,164.25 of which was by subscription, and $680 by collection. There was
no surplus or deficit. From this fund $938.79 was spent for salaries,
$142.17 for missions and benevolences, and $1,500.04 for rebuilding and
repairs. The Baptist church receives home mission aid of $600.

The Methodist church has thirty-six members, having made a net gain of
seven in the year preceding the survey. The Baptist church has twenty-six
members whose membership has remained constant. The total net active
membership of the two churches is fifty-one.

Each church holds eight Sunday preaching services a month. Both have
Sunday schools. The Methodist Sunday school, with an enrollment of
sixteen, is kept going the year round; the Baptist Sunday school, with an
enrollment of twelve, meets for only seven months. The Methodist church
has three other organizations--a Woman's Missionary Society, a Willing
Workers and Ladies' Aid, and a Literary Society for both sexes with a
membership of fifty. The Baptists have one organization, a Christian Aid,
with a membership of twelve, to which both men and women belong.

One church has had six, the other five, pastors in the last ten years. The
present pastors are graduates of both college and seminary.

A friendly feeling exists between the white and colored people in
Sheridan, which is manifested by a willingness on the part of the white
churches to help the colored. The colored ministers are included in the
Sheridan Ministerial Union.

Indian Missions

Part of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation extends into the southeastern
part of Hughes County, and about 70 per cent. of the people living in this
section of Hughes are Indians. All are farmers owning their own land.

An Episcopal Indian Mission was established here in 1892. The pastor, who
lives in Fort Thompson, conducts one morning service a month. There are
twenty-six members, of whom twenty-one are active. There is no Sunday
school, but a Ladies' Aid with five members meets every week and has twice
as large an attendance as it has enrollment.

There is also a Catholic Mission located near the Episcopal Mission, which
was started about 1911. The priest comes from outside the county and holds
one mass each month. There are about fifteen families in the membership.


Non-Protestant Work

Roman Catholic

The Roman Catholic work is the strongest non-Protestant religious activity
in all the four counties and naturally has a large number of foreign-born
and Spanish-American communicants in its parishes. There is a total of
twenty-four organized Catholic churches. Beaverhead County has two, Hughes
three, Sheridan five and Union fourteen. The city of Sheridan, and each of
the towns supports a Catholic church; eight are located in villages, two
of which are in Sheridan mining camps, and twelve in small hamlets. Nine
priests, seven of whom live in these counties, serve the twenty-four
churches. Four churches, two in villages and two in small hamlets, are
served by priests living outside the county.


The grounds in which this Catholic Church and parsonage stand make this
the only spot of verdure in a barren waste extending for miles on every

Each of the twenty-four churches has a building. There are six priests'
houses, valued at $21,000, and two parochial school buildings. The value
of church buildings is estimated at a total value of $98,800. The total
value of church property, including land, is $211,025. None of the
churches have any social equipment. The total receipts of all the churches
last year amounted to $23,157.56 and this amount was spent largely on
salaries and church upkeep. The only churches receiving aid are two in
Union, each of which received $500. The average salary is $892.


The total membership is about 5,152, which is within 668 of the total
Protestant figure for seventy churches. The average total membership is
215 per church. Only three of the twenty-four churches have as few as
fifty members or less.

Thirteen churches have Catechism and Confirmation classes, with a total
enrollment of 416. Attendance is high; it equals 77 per cent. of the
enrollment. There are seventeen other organizations, three for men, ten
for women, one for boys, one for girls and two for young people. The total
enrollment is 771. The church in Sheridan has a parochial school.

Catholic church membership increased more rapidly than the Protestant in
Beaverhead and Hughes and less rapidly in Sheridan from 1890 to 1916,
according to the United States religious census. In Union, from 1906 to
1916, the Protestant membership increased more rapidly than the Catholic.
Catholic membership is greater than Protestant membership in every county
but Hughes. There are a total of nineteen Catholic mission centers in
Union and Beaverhead.


There are about five groups of Penitentes in Union County, with an average
of twenty-five members each. No women belong. The Penitentes are all
Spanish-Americans and are largely sheep and cattle herders. Their small
adobe and stone buildings are called "morada." Meetings are held in Lent,
on the last three days of Holy Week. During the ceremonies, members
inflict personal punishment, often carrying it to an extreme. This sect,
which was at one time distributed over the whole territory of New Mexico,
since 1850 has retreated towards the north. As to their origin, Twitchell
in his "History of New Mexico" says: "It is possible that the Penitentes,
particularly by their scourging themselves with whips made of cactus, come
from the order of Flagellants which was a body of religious persons who
believed by whipping and scourging themselves for religious discipline
they could appease the divine wrath against their sins and the sins of the
age." The Penitentes are not recognized by the Catholic Church.

Latter Day Saints

Dillon, in Beaverhead, and the city of Sheridan, each have a Mormon
church. There is a church building in Dillon, and the one in Sheridan is
now being erected. There is also an inactive church at Lima, organized in
1900. The Mormon membership is eighty-five in Dillon and thirty-six in
Sheridan. Both churches have Sunday schools, with a total enrollment of
seventy and relief societies with a total membership of thirty-five.

Christian Science

There are two Christian Science churches, located in Dillon and in the
city of Sheridan, both organized in 1919. The Dillon church meets in an
office, but the Sheridan church has a building valued at $2,500. The
church membership is about 170. Both churches have Sunday schools, with an
enrollment of about thirty in Dillon and about fifty in Sheridan.


The city of Sheridan has a Theosophical Society which meets in a real
estate office. The membership is seventeen. Six new members were taken in
last year. Meetings are held every Friday night. Two meetings a month are
for members only, and two are public lectures.


Seeing It Whole

The Range, our last real frontier, has grown up. Round-ups are miniature
and staged. All the land is fenced. The cowboy is passing, if not gone.
Even "chaps" and a sombrero are rare, unless worn by a "Dude" from the
East. The last 100 years have seen a remarkable growth and change in this
country. The cattleman and the cowboy have largely given way to the
homesteader, and he in turn has become a regular farmer or, as he prefers
it, "rancher."

The Land of the Homesteader

The cowman used to insist that no one could make a living on the semi-arid
Range. For many years "there was no sign of permanent settlement on the
Plains and no one thought of this region as frontier." Then the
Homesteader came. "And always, just back of the frontier," says Emerson
Hough in "The Passing of the Frontier," "advancing, receding, crossing it
this way and that, succeeding and failing, hoping and despairing, but
steadily advancing in the net result--has come that portion of the
population which builds homes and lives in them, and which is not content
with a blanket for a bed and the sky for a roof above."

Homesteaders are good stock upon which to build a civilization. Many of
them are sturdy folk who have come to the West to establish homes and with
determination are doing so. Of course, there are the habitual drifters who
have always been failures because they never stayed long enough anywhere
to succeed. But they prove up on their claims and then go elsewhere,
drifting still. Others leave, holding their land as an investment, because
they have not found the land or the circumstances up to their
expectations. The free land has gradually been taken up, so that there is
very little of it left in any one of these counties. The population is
becoming less transient on this account. More people are staying because
there is no more free land, and no other newer frontier.

What, then, has the survey shown of the Range? How has it fared in its 100
years of growth? What are its assets as well as its needs? In a word,
what has it made of itself? The very presence of real farm-houses on dry
farming land and mesas speaks in itself of a small world conquered. Of
course, there are farm-houses in the valleys. But sheer grit is all that
achieves a house and a barn and a wind-shield of trees out on the mesa.
Lumber is expensive and must be hauled from the nearest market. Trees, so
wary of growing there, must be watched, watered and carefully tended every
day for the first five years. A home on the plains means more sweat and
toil and effort than a home anywhere else in our country.


This homesteader of ten years' standing has succeeded in cultivating an
attractive garden patch even in the thirsty soil of New Mexico.]

Self-Help the Rule

The development of the Range has been haphazard. Any Land Company has been
able to work up a "boom" at will. Not even misrepresentations and
uncounted, unlimited hardships have stirred the Government to form and
follow any better colonization policy for its unoccupied lands than its
"Homestead laws." The western farmer has never been cherished by his
Government as has been the Canadian farmer. Until the comparatively
recent development of county agent services and the Farm Bureau, he has
had to work for everything he got with very little help from any one.

An intense economic struggle is behind the homesteaders. They begin from
the bottom up. Some are just now beginning, but for the majority the
difficulty of getting a start is over. But the last few years have been
hard for every farmer and rancher on the Range, old settler and new alike.
No part of the country can afford to have the men on the land as hard
pressed as these men have been. Too large a proportion of the farms have
been mortgaged for the economic well-being of a nation.


Often the general store is the only gathering place for neighbors miles

Made up largely of people from the Middle West, this country has taken on
some of the characteristics of that region--in the development of small
and large centers, and in the improved roads and schools. But on account
of the nature of the soil, it will be many years before the Range becomes
a second Middle West, if ever. The land will not support as many people
per square mile. Much of the area will remain, for years to come, a land
of large distances and comparatively few people. The future of the Range
is not to be summed up by saying, "Go to, this country will soon become a
second Middle West. Just give it time."

"If you want to see neighbor Adams, you'll find him in town on Saturday
afternoon, most like round Perkins' store." Such will be the advice given
in regard to meeting almost any farmer living in almost any part of these
counties. As roads have improved, and autos have come to be generally used
by the farmers as a means of transportation, the trade centers along the
railroads, especially the county seats, have increased greatly in size and
importance. This growth of the centers is characteristic of the whole
United States. Until after 1820 less than 5 per cent. of the American
people lived in cities of 8,000 population and over. In 1790 there were
but five cities in the United States having a population of 8,000. Now a
majority live in the cities; but the West does not yet have the urban
development of the East.

Importance of the County Seat

As the county seats are coming gradually to have more of a direct
relationship to the country around them, they should assume more
responsibility toward their counties. Through their organizations and
Civic Leagues of business men, these centers are just waking up to the
fact that the towns are dependent upon them. As one farmer in Union County
said, "There is no permanent prosperity except that based on the farmer.
If our town is big and top-heavy and the farmers are taxed heavily to keep
the town up, it is killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. The 1,000
farmers tributary to Clayton must pay the bills of everything brought in
because, ultimately, the products of the farm have to pay for everything.
When conditions are bad, the farmer has to pay the bill and keep going
besides." If the development of the future is to be sound each side will
do its best to understand the other.

A Centralized School System

School systems are becoming better. People realize the advantages of
education. More and more young people are being sent to college. But as
distances are gradually being overcome, schools should be administered
wholly from the county seat. The County Unit plan does away with the local
school district boards. This system equalizes burdens and advantages,
minimizes dissension, and conduces to economy and efficiency. The average
school board has no standards by which to judge an applicant for teaching.
One disadvantage of the district system is that so often daughters are put
in as teachers. The county unit plan means centralized control. The county
superintendent, who is selected solely because of education, training and
successful experience, takes over most of the duties which the various
districts now have. This means a comprehensive and efficient plan of
education for the whole county.

Social Needs

Other great needs are a better organized social life and more recreational
activities. Outside the larger center, there is a great lack of social
life. Social organizations are fairly abundant, but they are almost all
city or town affairs. Living on the land is a more solitary affair for
women than for men. The men drive to town, but the women stay home week in
and week out with few diversions. A postmistress in Montana told about two
women living on large cattle ranches about six miles apart, a small
distance in that country. She said to one of them: "There is Mrs. Denis at
the door just going out. Did you see her?" The other lady answered: "Yes,
but I hardly know Mrs. Denis." They had lived there for more than ten
years, near neighbors for the Range country, and yet barely acquainted!

[Illustration: "MARY, CALL THE CATTLE HOME!"

But this "Mary" is a homesteader's wife and the Range is a long way from
the Sands o' Dee, and "Mary" herself is usually a long way from anywhere.]

The Part of the Church

Finally, there is the duty of the Church. "The churches performed an
inestimable social function in frontier expansion," says John Dewey. "They
were the rallying points not only of respectability but of decency and
order in the midst of a rough and turbulent population. They were the
representatives of social neighborliness and all the higher interests of
the communities." The Church has played an important rôle in the past, but
its position in this same country to-day is disappointing. For some reason
it has not become essential to the landscape.


A Christian Church in Union County which draws its congregation from a
wide area.]

The immense distances and scattered population have, of course, been a
great problem. All the country west of the Mississippi makes up 70.9 per
cent. of the total area of the United States, while the western area has
only 30 per cent. of the total population. In 1850, it had only 8.6 per
cent. of the population. The average density per square mile in the United
States is 35.5 persons. Illinois has 115.7 people per square mile, but
Montana has an average density of only 3.8, Wyoming of 2, New Mexico of
2.9 and South Dakota of 8.3 persons.

Much of the Range has never had the chance to go to church, and one result
of the lack of church facilities in the past is that it is difficult now
to create a church spirit. Homesteading is no fun. It means being away
from doctors and comforts, getting ahead little by little, facing
set-backs, discouragements and loneliness. Of course, a homesteader is
absorbed by his place. Unless he is simply proving up on his claim for the
purpose of selling it, he must be absorbed if he is to succeed. He broke
with most of his home ties before he came and, after arriving, has not had
time to go adventuring for any but those simple things which he must have.
"Church" is one of the things he left behind. Church services have rarely
followed him, and generally he has been too busy to seek them. Even if he
were minded to hunt them out, it takes more than average courage to be
"different" when one's neighbors are largely of a common mind. So the
absence of church has become a habit.

[Illustration: HITTING THE TRAIL

Will this settler find a church welcome in his new home?]

But probably the greatest hindrance to church work has been the shifting
population. Churches have trained lay leaders only to have them leave "en
masse." Out of the fourteen churches which have been abandoned in these
four counties, nine have gone under because their members melted away.

The carrying over of the care-free frontier spirit often makes for a
general slackness. This spirit has in it the freedom of the West, the
perfect democracy of the cowboy, and is essentially individualistic. If
directed into right channels, it should be an asset instead of a

What the Frontier Church Is

Five sentences sum up the Church on the Range. It is a church of the
center. It is, in the main, a church of the middle-aged. It has been a
church with haphazard leadership. It is a church of past achievements and
of unlimited future possibilities, provided it has an inspired and
sustained leadership. It is a church which needs a social vision.

It is natural that, where the centers along the railroad have been the
only "sure" things in a country of constantly shifting settlements, the
largest number of churches have been established in such centers. But
these churches have not reached the great unevangelized areas around them.
The "isolated, unattached Christian," who lives perhaps only a few miles
from town, has been neglected by the church in the center.

It is natural, too, that this should be largely a church of the
middle-aged. What is there to attract the young people? Many of the church
organizations have no buildings. With few exceptions, buildings are
equipped for little else but preaching and listening. Nearly half of the
churches have less than four services a month. The Sunday schools are not
well organized. With the start the Sunday schools now have, possibilities
are unlimited if they can be conducted on a more business-like basis. Yet
these young people and children are the great hope of the church. No more
wide-awake, vigorous young people are to be found. "If only the Church
could work out something that would last through the week," said one of
them, "it would seem more real." But in many communities the women's
organization is not only the sole organization in the church, outside the
Sunday school, but the only one in the community.

The work has been haphazard. Home Mission aid has been spent out of all
proportion to fitness. The same amount now received would go further,
eventually, if spent in fewer places. With means and leaders adequate for
a small area only, the general idea of some denominations has been to
hold, but to do little with a large area. There has been some unnecessary
over-lapping of work. With their large fields, the ministers cannot be
expected to do more than they are doing at present which is, in most
churches, occasional preaching. A missionary pastor said, concerning one
of his charges in a neglected community in Union, "The second time I went
to preach no one came. Do you think I'd go back?" Under the present system
of many points and long distances, this pastor could hardly afford to use
the time to go back. Yet, to succeed, church ministry must be steadier and
more long-suffering.

There are some New Americans in each county, but they are in larger
numbers in Sheridan and Beaverhead. A large number of the
Spanish-Americans in Union are not provided for by the Catholic church,
and the only Protestant work for them in the county, a Spanish American
Mission in Clayton, has been given up. In Sheridan County there is great
need of a comprehensive program that shall include all six mines. There
should be at least two community houses built with organized social
activities and evening classes; the staff to include a domestic science
teacher. With the exception of one class for half a dozen Italian mothers
in one of Sheridan's mining villages, no Americanization work is being
done in any county. The churches should enlarge their vision so as to
include the New Americans.


With the family and the Union County doctor in front of it. The family is

What the Frontier Church Can Be

It is possible for the Church to serve this kind of country with its
scattered people. It is difficult but it can be done. Certain
denominations have succeeded with what they call a "demonstration parish."
The plan is exactly the same as that of the experimental farms conducted
by the Government. A comprehensive seven-day-a-week plan, which has in
mind the whole man, mind, body and soul, in place of the old circuit-rider
system, is the program of the Congregational Demonstration Parish in
Plateau Valley, Colorado. Six thousand feet up on the western slope of the
Rockies, this valley is shut in on three sides by rugged, white-capped
mountains. It is thirty miles long, from one to six miles wide, and
contains about 150 square miles of territory. This is a small world in
itself, self-contained by the nature of its environment. Of the 3,500
people, 750 live in the four small villages of Collbran, Plateau City,
Melina and Mesa. The one great industry of the valley is stock-raising.
Farmers have devoted themselves chiefly to raising beef cattle, but an
interest in dairying is increasing. Pure-bred stock is now the goal of
their efforts.

This beautiful mountain valley was chosen as a "model parish" to show what
could be done by the Church throughout a large, thinly settled area.
Although there were five church buildings in the valley, the church-going
habit seemed to have been lost or never acquired, possibly because
religious privileges had been meager and not altogether suited to the
peculiar needs of the people and the country. It is doubtful if 250 people
living in the valley were church members or attendants, while not more
than 200 children went to Sunday school regularly. Few persons, however,
were actually hostile toward religion or the Church. Here was the
opportunity and the challenge.

The work centers in Collbran village, where there is a Congregational
church organization and building. There are two men on the staff. The
pastor has charge of the church school, the Christian Endeavor, and the
work with men and young people in Collbran village. He also does visiting
throughout the valley. The Director of Extension Work has the
responsibility for establishing and maintaining out-stations, financing
the local budget, and supervising the activities and the building of the
Community House.

This Community House is to be the center and great achievement of the
modern socio-religious program. The completed building will have rooms and
equipment for an ideal church school, kindergarten, game room, library,
rest-room and men's club. The gymnasium will have a floor space
seventy-five by forty feet and a gallery; it will also serve as an
auditorium, while a stage, dressing-rooms and a moving-picture booth form
part of the equipment. The basement will have billiard room, bowling
alleys, lockers, baths, dining room and kitchen. The entire cost of the
building will be approximately $25,000, to be financed in part by the
Congregational Church Building Society and in part by local pledges. This
is Home Mission aid well spent.

The first and second units were completed and opened for use on Christmas
Day, 1921. The first unit is the auditorium. The second unit contains the
library, assembly room, men's room, women's room, large billiard room and
two offices which are to be used as headquarters for the boys' and girls'
organizations. The third unit will be completed in the summer of 1922. The
pastor and extension man have office hours in the morning. In the
afternoon, the women's rest room, with its easy chair, lounge and cribs
for babies, and the men's club are open. The billiard and reading rooms
are open from one to five-thirty and the library is open from three-thirty
to five. This library already has 1,200 books, and there are shelves for
3,800 more. The library service is probably the most appreciated part of
the work for it fills a long and sorely felt need. In the evening, the
men's and women's rooms are open, and the reading room and billiard room
are open from seven to nine. The privileges of the Community House are for
each man, woman and child in the valley irrespective of church or creed.

So far as possible, everything enjoyed at the center is to be taken to the
furthest circumference of the valley. The equipment for the extension work
consists of a truck, auto, moving-picture machine and a generator. The
community truck is used to furnish group transportation and to promote
inter-neighborhood "mixing" in competitive and other ways. The Extension
Director is organizer, social engineer and community builder. He has a
regular circuit of preaching appointments and Sunday schools. His program
includes a one-hour visit to four schools every week. Ten minutes are used
for physical exercises, thirty minutes for public school music with the
coöperation of the teacher and twenty minutes for religious education. He
takes out library books and Sunday school papers to the teacher, and once
a month shows educational moving-pictures.

The people are already responding to this constructive program. Within
four months, the Collbran Church School has increased nearly 150 per cent.
in average daily attendance. The Christian Endeavor Society includes
practically all the young people of the intermediate age. The Scouts and
Camp Fire organizations are very active and recently held a dual meet with
the Mesa organizations. Wrestling, basket-ball, hog-tying and three-legged
races were some of the events. Within the year, thirty-seven members were
added to the Collbran church, among whom were the leading lawyer, banker,
doctor, contractor, editor, merchant and rancher.

The other two denominations in the valley, the Methodist Episcopal and
Baptists, are coöperating in the effort. The small Methodist Episcopal
church at Plateau City has come into the movement by arrangement with the
Methodist Episcopal Conference, and has become part of the larger parish.
This church and community will unite with the Congregational church on a
common budget for the support of general work. There is now Methodist
Episcopal work in the extreme end of the valley, Baptist in the central
part, and Congregational in the extreme west. Each church sticks to its
own territory; each urges members of its own denomination to work with
churches in other sections. But the larger parish equipment serves all in
the extension program.

The work is only begun. The larger purpose is to break down distinctions
between neighborhoods, as well as between village and country, and to weld
all people living over a wide area into one large community with community
spirit and a common loyalty. This cannot be done by the Church alone;
doctors, visiting nurse, school teachers, county agent and farm bureau
will gradually be called into a coöperative team play. This, then, is the
Church not merely aspiring to leadership, but utilizing its opportunity
with a real program. Asking no favors because of its divine origin, it is
determined to make itself a necessity in the community by virtue of what
it does. It is the Church "actually practising a religion of fellowship,
giving value for value and serving all the people and all of their
interests, all of the time."

The Larger Parish Plan

This Larger Parish plan is the old circuit rider system brought up to
date, and given an all-around significance through the use of modern means
of transportation and an equipment suited to a religio-social program. The
minister is no less a preacher and man of God because he is a community
builder. His measure of "success" is his ability to work out with his
people a genuine program of rural and social service.

With its community church and program, the Larger Parish plan seeks to
make the church both a religious and a social center. Under its own roof,
if necessary, or better, with an adjoining community house, it has
equipment which provides for ideal worship, a modern church school and
well-supervised social and recreational activities. It amounts to a church
that offers advantages like those of the Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. By
means of this program, the rural church puts itself at the center rather
than at the far circumference of rural life, and becomes one of the most
active agencies in the community.



Members of this Presbyterian Church at Sheridan building their own
community house under the leadership of the pastor. The women of the
church provided the eats.]

This plan remedies a characteristic disability of the average rural
minister and his church--the neglect in farmstead visitation. Especially
on the plains, isolation and loneliness persist despite modern
improvements. There are country homes near to villages or towns into which
no minister or church visitor goes from one year's end to another. Within
reach of almost any church on the Range, and over great stretches of
country, children may be found who are growing up without any religious
training. In the face of this need and its challenge, the Larger Parish
plan need not wait for people to come into the Church. By means of a
well-equipped extension program the Church, and everything it stands for,
is taken to all who need its ministrations.


The M. E. Church and parsonage at Clearmont, Wyoming.]

Preaching is essential. But when a minister and congregation can "brother"
scattered peoples, they are most helpful in bringing the Kingdom of God to
rural America. There may be some justice in the excuse that "the farmer
and his family might easily come in to services in their automobile," but
it is true that a "house-going minister makes a church-going people." The
Larger Parish plan furnishes the minister the equipment and help to do
just this thing. It views the church as a service institution.

The Montana Plan

It is even possible for a whole state to make a united plan for church
work. Montana has had its area, community by community, county by county,
or valley by valley, "allocated" to the religious care and undisputed
responsibility of one or more denominations. For this new and progressive
policy the people of the State were themselves responsible, and its
development will be watched with intense interest. Unfortunately one of
the fields in the only Montana county in this survey is not receiving the
attention it should from its "allocated denomination." This is the work in
the southern part of the county, now served by a non-resident pastor. A
glance at the map will show how effectively the larger parish plan could
be applied.

Two tasks face the churches in these counties: First, to increase and
enlarge the work of the churches already established, and, secondly, to
reach and serve the great unevangelized areas. The former is a problem for
the individual church and community. The latter is a problem demanding the
coöperation of all religious forces on the field, for "there is religious
need enough to tax the best energies and resources of all." The churches
in this new western country must keep pace with their rapidly changing
environment, and with elastic yet inclusive programs really become
community churches.

The county seat towns should assume more responsibility for their
surrounding areas; in other words, they should plan and develop larger
parishes. Especially in Beaverhead and Hughes, this area is unchurched and
to a great extent neglected. While the social and economic life of these
"centers" naturally overshadows a great portion of the county areas, yet
the churches minister very inadequately to their needs. The church
parishes on the map represent few members. The centers are growing, their
influence is ever widening, so that the Church, in building up her work at
the center with the idea not only of serving the people at hand but of
reaching just as thoroughly the people in the surrounding areas, will
naturally fulfill her destiny.

To reach areas outside the influence of the church work at the centers,
colporteurs should be employed. A Sunday school missionary could give
permanence to all Sunday school work and help to organize new schools in
Union and possibly in Sheridan County. Some additional churches should be
established; others might very well be closed. But it is chiefly
up-to-date, educated, resident pastors that are needed, with a belief
that the rural task is worth their lives.

Coöperation the Solution

The psychological and religious differences in these four counties have
already been shown. All should not be treated alike. Every county is
different. Every county demands individual study and treatment. Such
conditions call for the survey method and for intensive coöperation. This
is the key to the whole situation. Business, though still competitive and
on an individual basis, combines for the community good, as in the case of
Rotary and Civic Clubs. The churches might well emulate this example in
organization. There are competent Ministerial Unions in Pierre and
Sheridan City. What is needed now is a Council of Religion in each county
with a program enlisting every minister and every church, and including
every square mile of occupied land in the county. All problems are
related. The causes of church ineffectiveness lie in non-coöperation.
Ministers have stayed too short a time to relate themselves to their
parish and their people; denominations in establishing new churches have
not been curious enough about the lay of the land; the various component
parts have been unrelated--the preacher to the church, the fringe areas to
the church in the center and, finally, the Church to the people.

The Frontier of the Future

Yesterday the Range population was busy settling down. To-day it is
haphazardly here, and still coming. And what of to-morrow? Franklin K.
Lane wrote at the end of his term of service in the Department of the
Interior: "We are quickly passing out of the rough-and-ready period of our
national life, in which we have dealt wholesale with men and things, into
a period of more intensive development in which we must seek to find the
special qualities of the individual unit whether that unit be an acre of
desert, a barrel of oil, a mountain canyon, the flow of a river, or the
capacity of the humblest of men." Here is fertile ground for well directed
and progressive development.

The East is crystallized into its habits and customs. The West is more
plastic because it is in the social making, and is willing, at need, to
change its ways. The social baggage of the eastern states is only partly
unpacked in this region. The young West is developing a flexible social
and institutional life in keeping with its phenomena of time and place.

Great possibilities are ahead. A real welding process has begun during the
last few years as the population tends to become more static, or as it
learns to coöperate in such agencies as Red Cross work during the war and
the work of the Farm Bureau. A new social spirit is developing. The Church
has counted for a great deal on the Range and has done some good,
fundamental work. But in order to keep abreast of the new development and
to help bring to the Range a "satisfying community life which is
profitable, sociable, healthful and full of culture and charm and, above
all, full of God," the Church must make its ministry broader, steadier and
more available.





Methodology and Definitions

The method used in the Town and Country Surveys of the Interchurch World
Movement and of the Committee on Social and Religious Surveys differs from
the method of earlier surveys in this field chiefly in the following

1. "Rural" was defined as including all population living outside
incorporated places of over 5,000. Previous surveys usually excluded all
places of 2,500 population or over, which follows the United States Census
definition of "rural."

2. The local unit for the assembling of material was the community,
regarded, usually, as the trade area of a town or village center. Previous
surveys usually took the minor civil division as the local unit. The
disadvantage of the community unit is that census and other statistical
data are seldom available on that basis, thus increasing both the labor
involved and the possibility of error. The great advantage is that it
presents its results assembled on the basis of units which have real
social significance, which the minor civil division seldom has. This
advantage is considered as more than compensating for the disadvantage.

3. The actual service area of each church as indicated by the residences
of its members and adherents was mapped and studied. This was an entirely
new departure in rural surveys.

Four chief processes were involved in the actual field work of these

1. The determination of the community units and of any subsidiary
neighborhood units included within them. The community boundaries were
ascertained by noting the location of the last family on each road leading
out from a given center who regularly traded at that center. These points,
indicated on a map, were connected with each other by straight lines. The
area about the given center thus enclosed was regarded as the community.

2. The study of the economic, social and institutional life of each
community as thus defined.

3. The location of each church in the county, the determination of its
parish area, and the detailed study of its equipment, finance, membership,
organization, program and leadership.

4. The preparation of a map showing, in addition to the usual physical
features, the boundaries of each community, the location, parish area and
circuit connections of each church, and the residence of each minister.

The following are the more important definitions used in the making of
these surveys and the preparation of the reports:


_City_--A center of over 5,000 population. Not included within the scope
of these surveys except as specifically noted.

_Town_--A center with a population of from 2,501 to 5,000.

_Village_--A center with a population of from 251 to 2,500.

_Hamlet_--Any clustered group of people not living on farms whose numbers
do not exceed 250.

_Open Country_--The farming area, excluding hamlets and other centers.

_Country_--Used in a three-fold division of population included in scope
of survey into Town, Village and Country. Includes Hamlets and Open

_Town and Country_--The whole area covered by these surveys, i.e., all
population living outside cities.

_Rural_--Used interchangeably with Town and Country.

_Community_--That unit of territory and of population characterized by
common social and economic interests and experiences; an "aggregation of
people the majority of whose interests have a common center." Usually
ascertained by determining the normal trade area of each given center. The
primary social grouping of sufficient size and diversity of interests to
be practically self-sufficing in ordinary affairs of business, civil and
social life.

_Neutral Territory_--Any area not definitely included within the area of
one community. Usually an area between two or more centers, and somewhat
influenced by each, but whose interests are so scattered that it cannot
definitely be assigned to the sphere of influence of any one center.

_Neighborhood_--A recognizable social grouping having certain interests in
common, but dependent for certain elemental needs upon some adjacent
center within the community area of which it is located.

_Rural Industrial_--Pertaining to any industry other than farming within
the Town and Country area.


_Foreigner_--Refers to foreign-born and native-born of foreign parentage.

_New Americans_--Usually includes foreign-born and native-born of foreign
or mixed parentage, but sometimes refers only to more recent immigration.
In each case the exact meaning is clear from the context.


_Parish_--The area within which the members and regular attendants of a
given church live.

_Circuit_--Two or more churches combined under the direction of one

_Resident Pastor_--A church whose minister lives within its parish area is
said to have a resident pastor.

_Full-time Resident Pastor_--A church with a resident pastor who serves no
other church, and follows no other occupation than the ministry, is said
to have a full-time resident pastor.

_Part-time Pastor_--A church whose minister either serves another church
also, or devotes part of his time to some regular occupation other than
the ministry, or both, is said to have a part-time minister.

_Non-Resident Member_--One carried on the rolls of a given church but
living too far away to permit regular attendance; generally, any member
living outside the community in which the church is located unless he is a
regular attendant.

_Inactive Member_--One who resides within the parish area of the church,
but who neither attends its services nor contributes to its support.

_Net Active Membership_--The resultant membership of a given church after
the number of non-resident and inactive members is deducted from the total
on the church roll.

_Per Capita Contributions or Expenditures_--The total amount contributed
or expended, divided by the number of the net active membership.

_Budget System_--A church which, at the beginning of the fiscal year,
makes an itemized forecast of the entire amount of money required for its
maintenance during the year as a basis for a canvass of its membership for
funds, is said to operate on a budget system with respect to its local
finances. If amounts to be raised for denominational or other benevolences
are included in the forecast and canvass, it is said to operate on a
budget system for all monies raised.

_Adequate Financial System_--Three chief elements are recognized in an
adequate financial system: a budget system, an annual every-member
canvass, and the use of envelopes for the weekly payment of subscriptions.

_Receipts_--Receipts have been divided under three heads:

    a. Subscriptions, that is monies received in payment of annual

    b. Collections, that is money received from free will offerings at
    public services.

    c. All other sources of revenue, chiefly proceeds of entertainments
    and interest on endowments.

_Salary of Minister_--Inasmuch as some ministers receive, in addition to
their cash salary, the free use of a house while others do not, a
comparison of the cash salaries paid is misleading. In all salary
comparisons, therefore, the cash value of a free parsonage is arbitrarily
stated as $250 a year, and that amount is added to the cash salary of each
minister with free parsonage privileges. Thus an average salary stated as
$1,450 is equivalent to $1,200 cash and the free use of a house.




FOR 1910 AND 1920

                           Beaverhead            Hughes

                        1920      1910       1920    1910
  Approximate land
   area (acres)      3,620,480  3,020,160  485,760  485,760

  Land in farms
   (acres)            637,009     461,315  284,907  165,069

  Improved land in
   farms (acres)      270,603     275,530  144,237   62,531

  Woodland in farms
   (acres)   7,142      3,088       7,032    2,521    8,741

  Other unimproved
   land in farms
   (acres)            359,264     182,697  133,638  100,017

  Per cent. of land
   area in farms         17.6        15.3     58.7     34.0

  Per cent. of farm
   land improved         42.5        59.7     50.6     37.9

  Average acreage
   per farm             992.1       860.7    784.9    440.2

  Average improved
   acreage per farm     421.5       514.0    397.3    116.7

       Sheridan                Union

    1920       1910       1920       1910

  1,647,360  1,648,000  3,436,800  3,436,800

  625,796    421,543  2,515,522    814,011

  113,385     95,368    273,748     72,630

    7,269     51,634      1,854

  503,670    318,906  2,190,140    739,527

     38.0       25.6       73.2       23.7

     18.1       22.6       10.9        8.9

    643.8      527.6      948.5      423.3

    116.7      119.4      103.2       37.8

The average acreage per farm in Beaverhead and Sheridan has increased very
slightly in the past ten years, while the improved acreage per farm has
decreased. In Hughes and Union, however, there is a decided increase in
both the acreage per farm and the improved acreage per farm.



  _Farms Operated by Owners_                        Beaverhead
                                                 1920        1910
  Number of farms                                 559         456
  Per cent. of all farms                         87.1        85.1
  Land in farms (acres)                       490,453     324,248
  Improved land in farms (acres)              214,638     194,592
  Value of land, buildings (dollars)       12,753,847   6,021,007
  Number of farmers owning entire farm            506         439
  Number of farmers hiring additional land         53          17

  _Color and Nativity of Owners_
  Number of native whites                         385         305
  Number of foreign-horn whites                   174         151
  Number of non-whites                              0           0

  _Farms Operated by Tenants_
  Number of farms                                  46          55
  Per cent. of all farms                          7.2        10.3
  Land in farms (acres)                        42,489      43,196
  Improved land in farms (acres)               18,536      25,565
  Value of land and buildings (dollars)     1,410,170   1,056,695

  _Color and Nativity of Tenants_
  Number of native whites                          37          38
  Number of foreign-born whites                     9          15
  Number of non-whites                              0           2

  _Farms operated by managers_
  Number of farms                                  37          25
  Land in farms (acres)                       104,067      93,871
  Improved land in farms (acres)               37,429      55,373
  Value of land and buildings (dollars)     2,900,920   1,520,630

           Hughes                 Sheridan                 Union
      1920        1910        1920        1910        1920        1910
        245         308         734         626       2,282       1,891
       67.5        82.1        75.5        78.3          86        98.3
    151,684     124,686     455,057     302,076   2,043,800     716,506
     69,052      45,675      68,729      63,631     216,881      70,047
  6,291,101   3,136,356  10,454,136   6,742,704  22,052,531   3,973,909
        165         219         591         503       1,670       1,822
         80          89         143         123         612          69

        187         224         595         519       2,241       1,809
         47          64         131         105          38          77
         11          20           8           2           3           5

        112          63         198         164         344          22
       30.9        16.8        20.4        20.5          13         1.1
    117,163      34,283      86,147     108,233     292,004      14,305
     65,200      16,136      28,832      28,922      37,362       1,705
  3,459,605     933,680   3,663,700   2,616,525   3,424,668      88,840

        396          57         173         150         289          20
        141           6          24          12          54           2
          0           0           1           2           1           0

          6           4          40           9          26          10
     16,060       6,100      84,592      11,234     179,718      83,200
      9,985         720      15,824       2,815      19,505         878
    352,500     103,560   2,483,650     240,200   1,834,472     306,210

As is usual in districts that have been homesteaded, the proportion of
ownership is high. But because of absentee ownership, land companies
operating over large areas and high taxes, the rate of tenancy is



                                Beaverhead                 Hughes
  _Cereals_                   1920        1910       1920        1910
  Corn                                              10,740       4,352
  Oats                       4,118      15,255       2,891       3,684
  Wheat                      2,157         763       4,499       3,761
  Barley                       903         225       1,560         131
  Rye                           47          96         962          96

  _Hay and Forage_
  All tame and
    cultivated crops        36,243      26,996       4,667         827

  _Special Crops_
  Potatoes                     198         408         219         272
  All other vegetables           9          87          25         132

                          Dollars     Dollars     Dollars     Dollars
  Value of all crops    $3,883,480  $1,529,830  $1,141,939  $  225,315
    Cereals                200,733     414,539     539,471      78,654
    Hay and forage       3,597,990   1,080,093     505,323     103,592
    Vegetables              80,421      33,622      49,673      15,336
  Dairy products            64,083      41,176      71,379      29,162

            Sheridan                 Union
        1920        1910        1920        1910
         292         200      51,077       3,220
       2,916       8,043       2,819         431
      11,466       9,898      14,094         377
         801       1,601         552           3
          93         224         618          10

      35,067      35,766       7,925       2,688

         267         808         619         157
          35         367         142         365

    Dollars     Dollars     Dollars     Dollars
  $1,655,937  $1,108,967  $5,198,986  $  295,293
     335,719     368,205   3,050,879      84,410
   1,036,246     596,473   1,092,554     152,494
     109,670     110,087     110,700      18,687
     174,759      85,512     313,632      18,230

The most important crops are hay and forage in Beaverhead and Sheridan; in
Union cereal crops; in Hughes, both in nearly equal proportions. Dairying
is a comparatively new development.



                                  Beaverhead        Hughes
                                 1920    1910    1920    1910
  Distribution of population:
    Rural population             4,668   6,446   2,502   2,615
    Rural increase 1910-1920     27.6%           -4.3%
    Urban population             2,701           3,209   3,656
    Urban increase 1910-1920                    -12.2%
    Total population             7,369   6,446   5,711   6,271
    Total increase 1910-1920     14.3%           -8.9%

  Density of population per sq. mile:
    Rural density                  .8      1.4     3.3     3.4
    Total density                 1.3[9]   1.4     7.5     8.3
    No. of dwellings             1,832   1,493   1,301   1,419
    No. of families              1,937   1,561   1,387   1,492

     Sheridan         Union           Total
   1920    1910    1920    1910    1920    1910

   9,007   7,916  16,680  11,404  32,857  28,381
   13.8%           46.3%           15.8%
   9,175   8,408                  15,085  12,064
    9.1%                           25%
  18,182  16,324  16,680  11,404  47,942  40,445
   11.4%           46.3%           18.5%

     3.5     3.1     3.1     2.1
     7.1[9]  6.3     3.1     2.1
   4,169   3,376   3,768   2,961  11,070   9,249
   4,492   3,186   3,956   3,093  11,772   9,632



                    Beaverhead       Hughes        Sheridan      Union[10]
                   Number  Rank   Number  Rank   Number  Rank   Number Rank

  Total population  7,369          5,711         18,182         16,680
  Native White,
    Total           6,261          5,155         15,058         16,376
  Native parentage  4,454          3,752         11,454         15,512
  Foreign parentage 1,024            778          2,314            414
  Mixed parentage     783            625          1,290            450
  Foreign White,
    Total           1,035            462          2,895            278

  Austria              69    7        15    9        90   12         5   14
  Canada              150    1        49    2       126    9        26    3
  Czecho-Slovakia      11   14         4   11        90   12         7   12
  Denmark             121    2        42    3        44   17         6   13
  England              98    5        38    4       194    4        19    5
  Finland              23   11         3   12        66   13         0
  France               17   12         6   10        51   16         5   14
  Germany             107    3       118    1       541    1        49    1
  Greece               11   14         4   11        53   15        10   10
  Hungary               4   16         1   14       107   11        10   10
  Ireland             106    4        22    6        56   14        12    8
  Italy                33    9         3   12       240    3         8   11
  Jugo-Slavia          27   10         0            169    7         0
  Mexico                0              0            192    5        13    7
  Norway               33    9        49    2        38   18         3   15
  Poland                2   17         2   13       290    2        11    9
  Russia               13   13        20    7       181    6        28    2
  Scotland             33    9         3   12       108   10        10   10
  Sweden               80    6        37    5       143    8        15    6
  Switzerland          43    8        18    8        15   20         6   13
  Syria                 0              0              0             22    4
  Wales                 7   15         3   12        22   19         0
  All other countries  47             25             79             13
  Other than white     73             94            229             26



                     Beaverhead       Hughes        Sheridan      Union
                     Number  Per   Number  Per   Number  Per   Number  Per
                            cent.         cent.         cent.         cent.

  Under 7 years       1,057   ...    847   ...    2,779   ...   3,217   ...
  7 to 13 years
    inclusive           850   ...    790   ...    2,395   ...   2,909   ...
  Attending school      789  92.8    714  90.4    2,225  92.9   2,594  89.2
    14 and 15 years     213   ...    201   ...      564   ...     700   ...
  Attending school      195  91.5    191  95        495  87.8     590  84.3
    16 and 17 years     206   ...    216   ...      531   ...     655   ...
  Attending school      137  66.5    153  70.8      286  53.9     337  51.5
    18 to 20 years
    inclusive           302   ...    306   ...      829   ...     846   ...
  Attending school       68  22.5     82  26.8      147  17.8     140  16.5

The proportion of children in school is high through the age of sixteen.
Beyond that age the ratio of attendance falls off rapidly, Sheridan and
Union having a smaller proportion in school than the other two counties.



                      Beaverhead       Hughes        Sheridan      Union
                      Number  Per   Number Per   Number  Per   Number  Per
  _Ten Years and Over_       cent.        cent.         cent.         cent.

  Total                5,950   ...  4,520  ...   14,320   ...  12,123   ...
    Illiterates           59   1.0     20  1.4      437   3.1     668   5.5
      Native Whites    4,863   ...  3,982  ...   11,284   ...  11,830   ...
        Illiterates       13    .3      2   .1       33    .3     652   5.5
      Foreign Born
        Whites         1,023   ...    460  ...    2,828   ...     276
        Illiterates       29   2.8      9   2.      393  13.9      14   5.1
      Negro               14   ...     23  ...      131   ...      12   ...
        Illiterates        3   ...      1  ...        4   3.1       1   ...

  _16-20 Years Inclusive_
  Total                  508   ...    522  ...    1,359   ...   1,501   ...
    Illiterates            2    .4      1   .2        9    .7      44   2.9

  _Illiteracy 21 Years and Over_
  Males                   42   1.4      8   .5      276   4.2     211   4.6
    Native Whites         11   ...    ...  ...       16   ...     205   ...
    Foreign Born
      Whites              18   ...      5  ...      252   ...       6   ...
    Negro                  2   ...    ...  ...        3   ...     ...   ...
  Females                 15    .8     11   .7      148   3.2     350   9.2
    Native Whites          1   ...      1  ...        9   ...     341   ...
    Foreign Born
      Whites              10   ...      4  ...      137   ...       8   ...
    Negro                  1   ...    ...  ...        1   ...       1   ...

The rate of illiteracy is higher in Sheridan and Union than in Beaverhead
and Hughes.



    A BEAVERHEAD Total Number Churches    K SHERIDAN Number Now Abandoned
    B BEAVERHEAD Number Now Active        L SHERIDAN Number Now Inactive
    C BEAVERHEAD Number Now Abandoned     M UNION Total Number Churches
    D BEAVERHEAD Number Now Inactive      N UNION Number Now Active
    E HUGHES Total Number Churches        O UNION Number Now Abandoned
    F HUGHES Number Now Active            P UNION Number Now Inactive
    G HUGHES Number Now Abandoned         Q TOTAL Total Number Churches
    H HUGHES Number Now Inactive          R TOTAL Number Now Active
    I SHERIDAN Total Number Churches      S TOTAL Number Now Abandoned
    J SHERIDAN Number Now Active          T TOTAL Number Now Inactive

  Period of organization:
             A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T
  1871-80    1  1 .. ..  1  1 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..  2  2  2 ..
  1881-90    7  4  3 ..  8  7  1 ..  3  2  1 ..  1  1 .. .. 19 14  5 ..
  1891-1900 .. .. .. ..  1  1 .. ..  5  5 .. ..  3  3 .. ..  9  9 .. ..
  1901-10    2  2 .. ..  1  1 .. ..  7  4  1  2 15  9  5  1 25 16  6  3
  1911-20   .. .. .. ..  5  5 .. ..  6  6 .. .. 21 18  3 .. 32 29  3 ..
            -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  Total     10  7  3 .. 16 15  1 .. 21 17  2  2 40 31  8  1 87 70 14  3

About one-sixth of all the churches which have been organized are now
either abandoned or inactive. Population has shifted; communities have
changed; the churches sometimes have not survived.



                                                 Churches in
  _Denominations_                 Country   Village   Town   City   Total

  Baptist, North                     0         1        2      1      4
  Baptist, South                     3         1        1      0      5
  Church of Christ or Christian      0         1        1      1      3
  Church of Christ (Unprogressive)   2         1        0      0      3
  Congregational                     3         0        1      1      5
  Evangelical Association            0         0        1      0      1
    Norwegian Lutheran of America    0         0        1      0      1
    German                           0         0        0      1      1
    Swedish                          0         0        0      1      1
    Polish                           0         1        0      0      1
    Others                           0         1        0      0      1
  Methodist, North                  13         6        3      1     23
  Methodist, South                   6         0        0      0      6
  Nazarene                           1         0        0      0      1
  Presbyterian in U. S. A.           3         2        1      1      7
  Protestant Episcopal               0         0        2      1      3
  Seventh Day Adventist              1         0        0      1      2
  United Brethren                    2         0        0      0      2
                                    --        --       --     --     --
    Total                           34        14       13      9     70


  _Denominations_               Beaverhead  Hughes  Sheridan  Union  Total

  Baptist North                     1         1         2       0     4}
  Baptist South                     0         0         0       5     5} 9
  Church of Christ or Christian     0         1         1       1     3
  Church of Christ (Unprogressive)  0         0         0       3     3
  Congregational                    0         2         3       0     5
  Evangelical Association           0         1         0       0     1
    Norwegian Lutheran of America   0         1         0       0     1}
    German                          0         0         1       0     1}
    Swedish                         0         0         1       0     1} 5
    Polish                          0         0         1       0     1}
    Others                          0         1         0       0     1}
  Methodist North                   2         6         5      10    23}
  Methodist South                   0         0         0       6     6} 29
  Nazarenes                         0         0         0       1     1
  Presbyterian in U. S. A.          3         1         1       2     7
  Protestant Episcopal              1         1         1       0     3
  Seventh Day Adventist             0         0         1       1     2
  United Brethren                   0         0         0       2     2
                                   --        --        --      --    --
  Total                             7        15        17      31    70

With so many denominations at work in the field, every square mile of
inhabited area ought to be reached. But large areas and many people are
not even touched by the church.



                                          Churches in
                             Country   Village   Town   City   Total
  Net active members           616       497    1,178  1,665   3,956
  Inactive      "              129        66      221    607   1,013
  Non-resident  "              152        60      186    453     851
    Total enrollment           897       623    1,575  2,725   5,820
    Average per congregation    26        45      121    303      83



                                        Churches in
                          Beaverhead  Hughes  Sheridan  Union  Total
  Net active members           345       884    1,988    739   3,956
  Inactive     "                96        74      646    197   1,013
  Non-resident  "               94       108      496    153     851
    Total enrollment           535     1,066    3,130  1,089   5,820
    Average per congregation    76        71      184     35      83

The non-resident member is an "unattached Christian" and no one looks out
for him.



  Churches with a net
    active membership
    of:                 Country   Village   Town   City   Total

     25 or less           26         7        2      1      36
     26 to 50              7         4        1      1      13
     51 to 100             1         3        5      1      10
    101 to 150             0         0        3      1       4
    Over 150               0         0        2      5       7
                          --        --       --     --      --
      Total               34        14       13      9      70



  Churches with a net
    active membership
    of:                 Beaverhead  Hughes  Sheridan  Union  Total

     25 or less             3         7        4       22     36
     26 to 50               1         2        5        5     13
     51 to 100              2         3        2        3     10
    101 to 150              1         1        1        1      4
    Over 150                0         2        5        0      7
                           --        --       --       --     --
      Total                 7        15       17       31     70

Scattered and transient population together with denominational
competition has resulted in a large proportion of small churches.



               Country      Village       Town         City
               Churches    Churches     Churches     Churches       Total
             Number  Per  Number  Per  Number  Per  Number  Per  Number Per
                    Cent         Cent         Cent         Cent        Cent

  Gained       12     35     7     50    10     77     8     89    37   53
  Stationary    9     27     6     43     1      8     0      0    16   23
  Declined     13     38     1      7     2     15     1     11    17   24
               --    ---    --    ---    --    ---    --    ---    --  ---
  Total        34    100    14    100    13    100     9    100    70  100

The gain in church membership increases with the size of the community.



             Nine     Seven    Thirteen   Eight
           Country   Village     Town      City
  Year     Churches  Churches  Churches  Churches  Total

  1910       257       166      1,197     1,012    2,632
  1915       303       278      1,385     2,011    3,977
  1920       326       271      1,575     2,660    4,852

Village and Country Churches Increased 41% Town and City Churches
Increased 92%.



                                           By Counties
                               Beaverhead   Hughes   Sheridan   Union
  Men over 21                     24%        31%       31%       33%
  Women over 21                   55%        45%       47%       47%
  Young men and boys under 21      8%        10%        9%        7%
  Young women and girls under 21  13%        14%       13%       13%

The churches are not winning the boys and girls. They need better
recreational methods and broader programs.



      A CITY Beaverhead         K VILLAGE Sheridan
      B CITY Hughes             L VILLAGE Union
      C CITY Sheridan           M COUNTRY Beaverhead
      D CITY Union              N COUNTRY Hughes
      E TOWN Beaverhead         O COUNTRY Sheridan
      F TOWN Hughes             P COUNTRY Union
      G TOWN Sheridan           Q ENTIRE COUNTY Beaverhead
      H TOWN Union              R ENTIRE COUNTY Hughes
      I VILLAGE Beaverhead      S ENTIRE  COUNTY Sheridan
      J VILLAGE Hughes          T ENTIRE COUNTY Union

  Number of churches  with:
                         A B C D E     F G H I J K L M N O  P Q  R  S  T
  Budget for all monies  0 0 5 0 2[11] 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 4 4  3 2  9  9  5
  Budget for local
    expenses only        0 0 1 0 1     3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0  2 1  4  1  3
  Annual every member
    canvass              0 0 6 0 3[11] 5 0 2 0 4 0 1 0 3 4  4 3 12 10  7
  Both budget and every
    member canvass       0 0 6 0 3[11] 5 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 3 4  3 3 11 10  5
  No budget and no every
    member canvass       0 0 3 0 0     0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 1 11 0  0  4 16
  Total number of
    churches             0 0 9 0 4     6 0 3 2 5 2 5 1 4 6 23 7 15 17 31

A fair proportion of the churches are using modern methods of financing
their work.



  A Number of Members
  B Per Cent of Total

                              Churches Located in

                        CITY        TOWN     VILLAGE   COUNTRY      ENTIRE
                       A    B      A     B    A    B    A    B      A    B

    Retired farmers                 6   5.7                         6   5.3
    Operating farmers              28  26.6                        28  24.8
    Farm renters
    Farm laborers
    Business or
      professional                 51  48.6   2   40    2  66.7    55  48.7
    All others                     20  19.1   3   60    1  33.3    24  21.2
    Total reporting
      occupations                 105  100    5  100    3  100    113  100

    Retired farmers                 6   2.8   1   1.7               7   2.5
    Operating farmers               8   3.8  34  58.7   6  75      48  17.2
    Farm renters                             12  20.7   1  12.5    13   4.7
    Farm laborers
    Business or
      professional                114  53.5   6  10.3             120  43
    All others                     85  39.9   5   8.6   1  12.5    91  32.6
    Total reporting
      occupations                 213  100   58  100    8  100    279  100

    Retired farmers    16   2.3                                    16     2
    Operating farmers  49   7.2                        41  51.8    90  11.1
    Farm renters        8    12                        15    19    23   2.8
    Farm laborers       5    .7                                     5    .6
    Business or
      professional    179  26.2                         6   7.6   185  22.9
    All others        426  62.4              49  100   17  21.6   492  60.6
    Total reporting
      occupations     683  100               49  100   79  100    811  100

    Retired farmers                                     1           1
    Operating farmers              13  16.4  41  622   46  80.1   100  49.5
    Farm renters                                        3   5.1     3   1.5
    Farm laborers                                       3   5.1     3   1.5
    Business or
      professional                 36  45.6  11  16.6   3   5.1    50  24.7
    All others                     30  38    14  212    2   3.6    46  22.8
    Total reporting
      occupations                  79  100   66  100   57  100    202  100

Of the four counties, Union is the only one with a higher percentage of
farmers on its rolls than of men in other occupations. Yet over half the
churches in the four counties are country churches.



The amount raised by the local churches is $97,571.98.

                                              Per cent.
  Subscription                  $70,910.74      72.68
  Collections                     9,464.24       9.7
  All other methods              17,197.00      17.62


The amount spent by the local churches is $96,992.85.

                                             Per cent.
  Salaries                      $41,268.79      43.
  Missions and benevolences      24,657.55      25.
  Upkeep and all other expenses  31,066.51      32.

The entire amount spent for church purposes is $110,080.35.

                                              Per cent.
  Salaries                      $54,356.29[12]   49.
  Missions and benevolences      24,657.55       23.
  Upkeep and all other expenses  31,066.51       28.

Of the entire church dollar, about 12 per cent. comes from Denominational



                  Country     Village      Town      City        Total
                 Thirty-one   Fourteen   Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
  From:           Churches    Churches   Churches   Churches   Churches

  Subscription     $235.45     $526.51   $1,972.93  $3,824.04   $1,074.41
  Collections        57.99      106.57      254.35     358.49      143.40
  All other methods  12.96      297.42      458.01     834.63      260.55
                   -------     -------   ---------  ---------   ---------
    Total          $306.40     $930.50   $2,685.29  $5,017.16   $1,478.36



                  Country     Village      Town      City        Total
                 Thirty-one   Fourteen   Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
                  Churches    Churches   Churches   Churches   Churches

  Subscription      $12.39      $14.07      $21.77     $18.65      $18.04
  Collections         3.05        2.85        2.81       1.75        2.41
  All other methods    .68        7.95        5.05       4.07        4.37
                    ------      ------      ------     ------      ------
    Total           $16.12      $24.87      $29.63     $24.47      $24.82

The average active member is generous in the support of his church.



                   Country    Village     Town      City        Total
                  Thirty-one  Fourteen  Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
  For:             Churches   Churches  Churches   Churches   Churches

  Salaries         $220.12    $366.43  $1,247.31  $1,637.50    $625.28
  Missions and
    Benevolences     42.59     117.85     638.84   1,672.75     373.60
  Upkeep and all
    other expenses   40.95     441.63     794.22   1,661.18     470.70
                   -------    -------  ---------  ---------  ---------
     Total         $303.66    $925.91  $2,680.37  $4,971.43  $1,469.58



                   Country    Village     Town      City        Total
                  Thirty-one  Fourteen  Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
  For:             Churches   Churches  Churches   Churches   Churches

  Salaries         $11.59      $9.79     $13.76     $7.99      $10.50
  Missions and
    Benevolences     2.24       3.15       7.05      8.16        6.27
  Upkeep and all
    other expenses   2.16      11.80       8.76      8.10        7.90
                   ------     ------     ------    ------      ------
      Total        $15.99     $24.74     $29.57    $24.25      $24.67



                   Country    Village     Town      City        Total
                  Thirty-one  Fourteen  Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
  By:              Churches   Churches  Churches   Churches   Churches

  Subscription        $.77      $.57      $.74       $.76       $.73
  Collections          .19       .11       .09        .07        .10
  All other methods    .04       .32       .17        .17        .17
                     -----     -----     -----      -----      -----
    Total            $1.00     $1.00     $1.00      $1.00      $1.00


                   Country    Village     Town      City        Total
                  Thirty-one  Fourteen  Thirteen    Eight     Sixty-six
  For:             Churches   Churches  Churches   Churches   Churches

  Salary             $.72       $.39      $.46      $.33        $.43
  Missions and
    Benevolences      .14        .13       .24       .34         .25
  Upkeep and all
    other expenses    .14        .48       .30       .33         .32
                    -----      -----     -----     -----       -----
    Total           $1.00      $1.00     $1.00     $1.00       $1.00

On the average, these churches devote one-fourth of their receipts to



  A. Promising Field:
     1. Prospect of self-support.
     2. Strategic service opportunity.
  B. Problematic Field:
     1. Uncertain of community development.
     2. Denominational responsibility uncertain.
  C. Field to be relinquished:
     1. Should be self-sustaining.
     2. Work should be discontinued.

This would be a good test to apply to every aided church on the Range.



  Number of Services    Country    Village      Town       City
       a Month          Churches   Churches   Churches   Churches   Total
  Eight                     3          3[13]     12[14]      7       25
  Seven                     0          0          0          0        0
  Six                       0          0          1          0        1
  Five                      0          0          0          0        0
  Four                      6          6[13]      0          2       14
  Three                     0          0          0          0        0
  Two                       9          3          0          0       12
  One                      12          0          0          0       12
  No regular service        2          2          0          0        4
  Services in summer only   2          0          0          0        2
                           --         --         --         --       --
    Total                  34         14         13          9       70

About three hours a week set aside for church services and Sunday school
means six days a year; only twenty-five out of seventy churches have as
large a number.



                                  Beaverhead   Hughes   Sheridan   Union
  Average seating capacity            197        277       286      160
  Average active membership            49         59       117       24
  Average attendance at services       52         50        80       67

An average attendance one-third less than the seating capacity means many
empty seats.




                Men            Women          Grown-up      Young People
           Number Members  Number Members  Number Members  Number Members

  Churches in:
    Country   0       0       9     171       0       0      10     239
    Village   0       0       9     166       0       0       3      81
    Town      2      74      22     710       0       0       9     314
    City      5     226      16     635       2      40       6     200
             --     ---      --   -----      --      --      --     ---
      Total   7     300      56   1,682       2      40      28     834

       Boys            Girls      Boys and Girls
  Number Members  Number Members  Number Members

    0       0       0       0       0       0
    0       0       0       0       0       0
    3      54       5     128       2      73
    1      15       3      94       0       0
   --      --      --     ---      --      --
    4      69       8     222       2      73

Women's organizations are numerous; men have only one-eighth as many. Less
than half of the churches have young people's organizations.



      A  One Pastor        F Six Pastors
      B Two Pastors        G Seven Pastors
      C Three Pastors      H Eight Pastors
      D Four Pastors       I Nine Pastors
      E Five Pastors

  Churches in:   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H    I
    Country      1   1   2   2   2   3   1   0    1
    Village      1   1   1   2   1   1   3   1    0
    Town         0   1   3   4   2   2   1   0    0
    City         1   2   1   2   2   0   0   0    0
                --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --   --
      Total      3   5   7  10   7   6   5   1    1

The turn-over on the part of the ministers has been high. Two-thirds of
these churches have had a new minister every two and one half years or



                                  Country  Village  Town  City  Total
  Churches with:
    Pastor resident in parish        8       8[15]   10     8     34
    Pastor resident in community
      but not in parish              4       0        0     0      4
    Pastor resident in other
      community in same county      12       2        0     0     14
    Pastor resident in another
      county                         3       0        1     0      4
    No regular pastor                4       4        2     0     10
    Supply pastor                    3       0        0     1      4
                                    --      --       --    --     --
      Total                         34      14       13     9     70

About half of the churches have their ministers resident among the



                             Ministers Giving       Ministers
                               Full Time to         with other
                                 Ministry           Occupation

                          With One   With More Than
                           Church      One Church

  Pastors receiving:[16]
    Over   $2,000             6            3
    $1,501-$2,000             4            3            2
    $1,201-$1,500             5            3            0
    $1,001-$1,200             2            2            0
    $  751-$1,000             0            3            1
    $  501-$  750             1            0            0
    $  101-$  500             0            0            2
    $  100 or less            0            0            1
    No salary                 0            0            2
                             --           --           --
      Total                  18           14            8

With the high cost of living, it is difficult to sustain adequate family
life on many of these salaries. It is not strange that eight of the
ministers must earn part of their support at other occupations.



  Churches with:        Country  Village  Town  City  Total
    Resident minister       8       8[17]  10     8     34
      Number gaining        4       5       7     7     23
      Number stationary     2       3       2     0      7
      Number losing         2       0       1     1      4
    Non-resident minister  19       2       1     0     22
      Number gaining        5       2       1     0      8
      Number stationary    17       0       0     0      7
      Number losing         7       0       0     0      7

About two-thirds of the churches with resident ministers made a gain in
membership; of the churches with non-resident ministers only about
one-third show a gain. Fourteen churches were either pastorless or were
served by a supply. Six of them made a gain during the year preceding the


[1] See Wilson, "Sectional Characteristics," _Homelands_, August, 1920.

[2] A monument to Sacajawea was erected in Armstead in 1915.

[3] Three country churches raised no money during the year and one city
church, which tithes, did not have financial figures available.

[4] See Table XXIII.

[5] 17 country churches have buildings.

[6] 13 village churches have buildings.

[7] The membership of the separate boys' and girls' organizations cannot
be added here because it would involve duplication.

[8] The capital letters in parentheses in the Table indicate the
respective counties, Beaverhead, Hughes, Sheridan, Union.

[9] In deriving these figures the Census Board has included the forest
reserve territory. The following figures were obtained by excluding this
area (with the exception of the inhabited portion of Beaverhead):

  Total density per square mile of Beaverhead  2.1
  Total density per square mile of Sheridan    9.2

On the Range the development of centers is just beginning.

[10] The Census does not give Spanish-American separately. They are of
course native-born and are included under that division.

  Per cent. of native increase is 20.7 in Beaverhead for 1910-20
   "    "   "    "    decrease "   4.1  " Hughes      "  1910-20
   "    "   "    "    increase "  12.1  " Sheridan    "  1910-20
   "    "   "    "      "      "  32.2  " Union       "  1910-20

In Sheridan, the "New Americans" are in the mines; in the other counties,
they are on the land.

[11] Two federated churches have a single budget and a single canvass.

[12] 76.37% of this amount was raised by local churches. The rest came
from the denominational boards.

[13] One church in each of these groups unites regularly with a church
holding eight services.

[14] One church in this group also has four week day services. One church
has its four services on week day nights and has no Sunday services.

[15] One church in this group has two resident social workers.

[16] Including $250 rental value of parsonage if there is one.

[17] One church in this group has two resident social workers.





What the Protestant Churches Are Doing and Can Do for Rural America--The
Results of Twenty-six Intensive County Surveys

  _Description_                                         _Publication Date_

  (1) Church and Community Survey of Salem County, N. J.             Ready

  (2) Church and Community Survey of Pend Oreille County,
      Washington                                                     Ready

  (3) Church and Community Survey of Sedgwick County, Kansas         Ready

  (4) Religion in the Old and New South                        Forthcoming

  (5) The New and Old Immigrant on the Land, as seen in two
      Wisconsin Counties                                             Ready

  (6) Rural Church Life in the Middle West                           Ready

  (7) The Country Church in Colonial Counties                        Ready

  (8) Irrigation and Religion, a study of two prosperous
      California Counties                                            Ready

  (9) The Church on the Changing Frontier                            Ready

  (10) The Rural Church Before and After the War, Comparative
       Studies of Two Surveys                                  Forthcoming

  (11) The Country Church in Industrial Zones                        Ready

  (12) The Town and Country Church in the United States        Forthcoming

"_They are fine pieces of work and examples of what we need to have done
on a large scale._" Dr. Charles A. Ellwood, Dept. of Sociology, University
of Missouri.

"_I am heartily appreciative of these splendid results._" Rev. Charles S.
Macfarland, Genl. Secy., Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in

Published by GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY, New York




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