Copper, Coal and the Empire Builder
Bill & Jan Taylor
By 1883 Canadian born James Jerome Hill had become successful shipping grain and developing railroads in and around St. Paul, MN. 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 in Minnesota. Hill bought mining property, silver options near Rimini, and invested in Gibson's Great Falls Townsite Company. He met with Marcus Daly, 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 territory's 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.
176 pages, paperback, 11 x 8.5