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The Montana Central: Copper, Coal and the Empire Builder
The Montana Central: Copper, Coal and the Empire Builder

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by Bill & Jan Taylor

By 1883 Canadian born James Jerome Hill had become successful shipping grain and developing railroads in and around St. Paul Minnesota. In 1884 his friend Paris Gibson, founding father of Great Falls, invited him to visit Montana. While there, he toured the Rocky Mountain front between Great Falls and Butte looking for investment opportunities and future traffic for his St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway (predecessor to the Great Northern Railway) which was in the process of building west in Minnesota. Hill bought mining property, silver options near Rimini and invested in Gibson's Great Falls Town site Company. He met with Marcus Daley, Butte s future copper baron, and Charles Broadwater, Helena banker and railroad promoter. Hill's visit was to have far reaching consequences for him and the territories development.

This is the story of the construction and the early operations of the Montana Central Railway between Great Falls and Butte, which was to become an integral part of Hill's Railroad Empire.

Paperback, 170 pages

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