Yellowstone County MTGenWeb

Yellowstone County History

Extracted from the original hand written field notes of deLacy’s survey of Clark’s Fork Bottom in 1878.


(BLM Yellowstone County Office Files)



General Description (Tp 1S 26E) W.W. deLacy Field Notes. Oct 22, 1878.


“This fractional township is situated at the Eastern end of Clark’s Fork Bottom. It is bounded on the South and East by the Yellowstone River which has been navigated by a steamer in 1877 to a point within this township and a little above the town of Coulson. The land is partly bench and partly bottom land. All of which is 1st rate land, on which have been grown vegetables of all kinds. There are several settlers in the Township who are acquiring farms. The only timber in the township is Cottonwood along the banks of the River and on the Islands I numbered. The lands are agricultural.”


“On the South boundary of Section 34 (Tp 1N, Rn 26E) McAdows Saw Mill at Coulson bears North 44 ¼ E (4. 90 chains distance = 323.4 ft) and house at Coulson bears North 38 ¾ E.”  The Section BaseLine is at 45 deg 47 min North, and forms the bottom border for the section. This places the saw mill in the SE corner of the land, near the river’s edge.” McAdow’s Desert Land Claim.


Caldwells house faces north about 3.00 chains (198 ft) from river. Taylor’s house is at 3.00 chains distant from river.


General Description (Tp 1N 26E) W. W. DeLacy Field Notes. Oct 17, 1878.


“This line (Baseline) passes over the East end of Clark’s Fork Bottom, supposed to be the head of navigation on the Yellowstone. The land is of first rate quality and there are several settlers in the Township South. It should therefore be sub divided. The Township North of this line embraces the town of Coulson and some good land and should be sub divided.”


A sandstone slab 18x18x4 to12” buried about a foot in the ground typically marked corners of adjoining Sections, and a mound of earth was raised over it to a height of 2 to 2 ½ feet, with a 4 ½ ft base on each side. If land couldn’t be dug, a stone palisade marker was raised. Other markers were trees or posts when either these two methods failed.



De Lacy notes, page 49:


“Tree marked by steamer “Josephine” bears N 50 links distant (33 feet west of his fence on east side of property. Places it below Cochran’s house about same distance. There was no lake on the property in 1878.). The highest point ascended to by steamboats. Cochran’s house lies North of tree 4.00 links. Leave timber at end of River.” [Oct 22, 1878]


Blinky’s Island lying partly in Sec’s 16, 20 and 21. Note: The main stream of the river passes on the south side of the island.


De Lacy Section Map, T1S R26E, Oct 18-22, 1878


“+Highest point recorded by Steamboat 1877.” Noted and positioned on the map at the location noted above for “Josephine.” There is no mention of day or month. The river channel is equally narrow and confined within its banks throughout its passage through the section. This confinement condition exists on the adjacent maps until upstream at Duck Creek; where the channel becomes chopped into many pieces, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to traverse.

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Katy Hestand
Yellowstone County Coordinator

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