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Full text of "The church on the changing frontier; a study of the homesteader and his church"

THE CHURCH ON THE 
CHANGING FRONTIER 



HELEN 0. BELKNAP 



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THE CHURCH ON 
THE CHANGING FRONTIER 





BIG HOLE KIVLR, MONTANA 



COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS SURVEYS 

TOWN AND COUNTRY DEPARTMENT 

Edmund deS. Brunner, Director 



THE CHURCH ON 
THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

A STUDY OF 
THE HOMESTEADER AND HIS CHURCH 



BY 

HELEN O. BELKNAP 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 
MAPS AND CHARTS 



NEW xSr YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



COPYRIGHT, 1922, 
BY GEORGE H. UORAN COMPANY 



PRIN ri:D IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



PREFACE 

THE Committee on Social and Religious Surveys was organ- 
ized 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 cooperates 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 bv 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. \\'arren H. \\^ilson * and adopted by the 
Interchurch World Movement. These regions are : 

I. Colonial States : All of New England, New York, Pennsyl- 
vania and New Jersey. 

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, Colo- 
rado, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and western Montana. 

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

* See Wilson, "Sectional Characteristics," Homelands, August, 1920. 

vii 



PREFACE 

The oriiijiiial surveys were conducted under the supervision of 
the following : 

Beaverhead County — Rev. Charles T. Greenway, State Survey 
Supervisor of the Interchurch World Movement for Montana. 'Jlie 
County Leader was Rev. Thomas W. Bennett. 

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

Sheridan County — Mr. A. G. Alderman, State Survey Super- 
visor of the Interchurch A\'orld 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 cooperation 
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 Foundation. 

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 \\'orld Movement. 

X'^aluable help was given by the Home Missions Council; by 
the Council of Women for Home Missions through their sub-Com- 
mittee 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 cooperating 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 Util- 
izing Surveys are : 

h'cprcsciiliiuj the Federal CoiDieil of Cliiirelies 

Anna Clark C. X. Lathrop 

Roy 15. fniild U. L. Mackey 

A. E. Holt A. E. Roberts 

F. lu-nest Johnson l-'rcd B. Smith 
Charles E. SchaefTer 



PREFACE 

Representing tJic Home Missions Council and the Council of 
■ IVomen for Home Missions 

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. Ouinlan 

C. E. Burton W. P. Shriver 

A. E. Cory Paul L. Vogt 

David D. Forsyth Warren H. Wilson 



INTRODUCTION 



THE POINT OF VIEW 



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 accom- 
plishments 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 Mon- 
tana, 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 com- 
plete 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 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

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 
afYect 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-liturgi- 
cal. 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 de- 
voted 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 evaluated. 

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 th<. 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 
eni]:)loyed. 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. 



CONTENTS 



M'TER 



PAGE 

19 



I The Range Country " 

II Economic and Social Tendencies .... 40 

III What of the Church? 55 

IV The Church Dollar yi 

V To Measure Church Effectiveness . ... 77 

VI The Preachers' Goings and Comings ... 90 

VII Negro and Indian Work ...'.. 96 

VlII Non-Protestant Work 98 

IX Seeing It Whole 102 

Appendices 

I Methodology and Definitions . . . 121 

II Tables .' . . 125 



ILLUSTRATIONS, MAPS AND CHARTS 

ILLUSTRATIONS 
Big Hole River, Montana Froiitispicce 

VAC.V. 

The Town Lock-up 23 

Loneliness in Union County 25 

After Some Years 25 

Two Community Centers 27 

A Spanish-American Type and a Typical Adobe House 

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 

A Neglected Outpost of Christianity .... 75 

Not a Store but a Church 78 

A Case of Cooperation 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 

XV 



ILLUSTRATIONS, MAPS AND CHARTS 

PAGE 

Waiting at the Church 107 

Hitting the Trail 

The Family Mansion 

A Real Community House 

A Church that Serves the Community 



MAPS 

Montana and Wyoming 20 

South Dakota and New Mexico 22 

Church and Community Map of Hughes County, South 

Dakota 54-55 

Community Map of Sheridan County, Wyoming . . 59 
Map Showing Churches and Parish Boundaries of 

Sheridan County 59 

Church and Community Map of Beaverhead County . 60 
Map Showing Churches and Parish Boundaries of 

Union County, New Mexico 61 

Community Map of Union County, New Mexico . . 62 
Roman Catholic Churches and Parishes, Union County, 

New Mexico 99 



CHARTS 

I Analysis of Protestant Church Members 

H Churches Gaining in Membership .... 

HI Active Church Membership 

IV Churches with Less than 50 Members . 

V Relation of Size of Church Membership to Gain 

VI The Church Dollar 

VII Frequency of Church Services 

VIII Number of Pastors During Past Ten Years 

IX Residence of the Ministers 



THE CHURCH ON 
THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



THE CHURCH ON 
THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

CHAPTER I 

The Range Country 

AVAST 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 \\'yoming, are not far distant 
one from the other. Both are partly mountainous, rugged in con- 
tour, with wide valleys rimmed by mountains, and miles of undu- 
lating 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 w'atered by the two 
principal rivers, the Big Hole and Beaverhead, and by their tribu- 
taries, and here, too, the Missouri River has its source. Beayqr- 

19 




MONTANA 

15 so W to >J 

Scale of Miles 



■] I 



--,__.n-J ^1 -U 



H 




WYOMING 



MONTANA AND WVOMINC. 

T.ocatiiig Beaverhead and Shcridau Counties. 
20 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

head County embraces 5,657 square miles or 3,620,480 acres. Of 
this area, 1,365,000 acres are inckided 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. 
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 numer- 
ous, 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 Z,7?>7 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 ex- 
ception 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 sunshine. 

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 north- 
west to the southeast corner. It covers 485,760 acres of high and 
rolling prairie, with river and creek bluffs and bottom lands. Sev- 
eral creeks and small rivers flow directly through Hughes, and it 

21 




50UTH DAKOTA 



20 40 60 eo 



6cale of h/liles 




NEW^^ MEXICO 

Scale of ivtiles 



SOUTH DAKOTA AND NKW MEXICO 
Locating lluglics and Union Counties. 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

is on the whole one of the best-watered counties in South Dakota. 
Pierre, the county seat, is the capital of the state. 

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 TOWN LOCK-UP 

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

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." 

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.* This was on 
August 17, 1805. \\'hite 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. 



*A monument to Sacajawea was erected in Armstead in 1915. 
23 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 cahins. 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-organ- 
ized gang of "roughs" from all over the West, began to rob the 
stage-coaches travelling between Bannock and Virginia City. "Inno- 
cent" 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 sherifif. Their choice fell upon a certain Henry Plummer, 
who was also sherifif 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 "Vigi- 
lantes," 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 be- 
coming the first capital, and in the same 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 dis- 
aster. On the twenty-first day of December, 1866, at a point on 
Sheridan's soutliem boundary now known as Massacre Hill, eighty- 
two officers and men sacrificed their lives to the hostile Sioux and 

24 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 



.I^V 




LONEUNCSS IN UNION COVNTV 
The black sptt in the center of this not very attractive picture is 'a fquattcr's lir.t 




R ^(iMi. ^ I 



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



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG FROXTIER 

Cheyennes in attempting to open a road across the country from 
Fort Laramie to Montana. 

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 Sc)iti)icl, 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 gaP.ant General Phil Sheridan, whose army, in 
the 1881 expedition, camped on the site of Sheridan City. 

L'nion County, in centuries past the camping grounds of van- 
ished tribes, is now white man's country, but it did not become 
so until the Santa Fe trail opened the great Southwest. \\'ith 
the Rabbit Ear Mountains to guide settlers the old trail came 
across Union County, untravclled until 1822, and finally, two years 
later, the first wagons crept slowly westward, facing in that jiioneer 
mood now become historic the hardships of climate and the perils 
of hostile redskins. In Union County the story survives of a mas- 
sacre 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 develop- 
ment which began with Clayton a year later. In February, 1893, 
the Territorial Legislature incorporated into L^nion County parts 
of Colfax, Mora and San Miguel. The original boundaries of 
Union County were not changed until 190.S, 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 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 con- 
tinuous settlement after that. At the conclusion of the Red Cloud 

26 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 








TWO COMMUNITY CENTERS 

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



27 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

War of 1866-68, the Laramie Treaty with the Sioux Indians es- 
tabhshed 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 horthwest, 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 Con- 
gregational 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 stejil 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 Pine; Sheridan the Chicago, 
Burlington & Ouincy ; Hughes the Chicago & Northwestern ; and 
Union the Colorado & Southern. Three counties also have small sec- 
tions 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 ade- 
quate train service. The distance from markets thus becomes an acute 
problem in certain parts of all four counties, but especially in Beaver- 
head, Sheridan and Union on account of their greater distances. 

Each county has at least one good stretch of road. A large 
28 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

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. Ap- 
proximately $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 ; Beaver- 
head 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 im- 
proved. 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 
29 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

this great primeval region of the West, rich in natural resources, 
is shown hy the following figures of population : 

Beaverhead Hughes Sheridan Union 

1870 712 

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 
2).Z and in Union 3. 

The \\'est 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 \\'yoming, 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. 

SO 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 





A SPANISH-AMERICAN TYPE AND A 
TYPICAL ADOBE HOUSE IN NEW MEXICO 



SI 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 W'yoming. 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 "com- 
munities," 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 thev 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 tlic fine times we once had." Transiency is usual in home- 

32 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

steading country, many people only remaining long enough to home- 
stead 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 per- 
manent 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. 





WHERE MAIN STREET MIGHT HAVE RUN 
The hut of a lonely homesteader. 

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. 

County interests tend to become concentrated in increasing pro- 
portion in the county seat. Dillon, the Beaverhead County seat, 
is fairly well located in the central eastern section. It is con- 
sidered 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 popula- 
tion 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 

33 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 chang- 
ing, 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 home- 
steader 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 irri- 
gation, 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 com- 
paratively 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. A'ery 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 

34 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

every month in the year. In the entire forest, only about a dozen 
tracts have been taken under the homestead laws, averaging a Httle 
over one hundred acres each ; all have been abandoned, except a 
few used as summer resorts. 

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 




A WYOMING RANCH 
The home of a well-to-do rancher in Sheridan County. 

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 

35 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

little mining- has been done since the war on account of low prices. 
A large amount of coal is jiroduced in Sheridan County. Stretching 
out one after the other in a comi)act 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 ot farmers and ranchmen are lucky 




A MOXTAXA MIXING CAMP 



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 print- 
ing 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 

36 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

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 ha? three 
"Dude" ranches, the largest of which is the Eaton ranch, estab- 
lished in 1904. 

The Young Idea 

Good school systems have been developed in the comparatively 
short time since these counties were organized and running as 




WHEN OIL IS FOUND 
The Snorty Gobbler Project at Granville, N. M. 



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 difificult 
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 

37 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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. 

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, ofifer 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 ofifers 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 afifair 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 trans- 
ported in motor trucks. Bedsides four earlier issues of school bonds, 
totalling $79,000, the people have voted, in this year of hard times, 

38 



THE RANGE COUNTRY 

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 In- 
dian 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 inaccessibilit> 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 a'l 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. 



39 



CHAPTER II 

Economic and Social Tendencies 
Growth of the Farm Bureau 

NC) 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 cul- 
tivation, was a needless expense. As one rancher remarked, "We 
did not want some one w'ho knew less about our business than we 
did." As an index to the success attending expert farm advice, 
one entire comnumity 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 
completely. 

The Farm Bureaus not only improve agricultural methods, but 
are creating local leaders and a comnumity 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 w^hich must precede cooperation. 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." 

40 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 

Each Farm Bureau has county leaders or a board of directors, 
each member speciahzing 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 




A FARM HUKKAU DEMONSTRATION 
The County Agent for Sheridan is making grasshopper poiscn. 

Day by donating $3,300 worth of work on the roads. Seventeen 
communities were organized; twelve have ccmmunity committees. 
Nothing can better create community spirit and enlist cooperation. 
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 
Poultry Market eggs 



Livestock 



Organize pig 

club 
Organize calf 

club 



Accoinplishvicnts 

to Date 

Letters written 

for markets 

Two talks 
Two leaders se- 
cured 



Work Still To Be 
Done 

Prices not suffi- 
cient to warrant 
shipping as yet 



41 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



Program of Work Goal for 1921 

Home beautifica- Plant trees, vines 
tion and shrubbery 



Accomplishments Work Still To Be 
to Date Done 

Planted 



Road 
Rodent 

Coyote 



Fix bad places 



Rodent poison 
demonstration 



Secured county 
aid. Got 
bridge 

11 poisoned 



Keep at it 
Eradication 



'Kill 'em" 



Nine put out co- 
yote poison and Complete it 
killed 48 co- 
yotes 




A HOME DKMOXSTRATIOX A(,EXT 

Here is a Woman's Club at an all-day meeting in I'ninn County receiving instuctions in 
the workings of an iceless refrigerator. 



The Farm Bureau works with the County Agents, the Home 
Demonstration Agents, and the Boys' and Girls' Chib leaders, 
wherever such agents exist. The County Agents are giving them- 
selves 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 re- 
]:)orts 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 work. 

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 

■1-2 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES- 

in Sheridan County may be cited. Hot lunches were estabHshed 
in six rural schools in cooperation 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 con- 
venience demonstrations were given ; five pressure cookers were 
purchased; twenty-five flocks were culled; twelve American cheese 
demonstrations were given, and 500 povmds 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 ofifered. In 
Sheridan County, the county club champions are sent to the "An- 
nual 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 efiforts 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 Cooperation 

Irrigation means cooperation, but cooperation in buying and 
marketing is comparatively a new development. Cooperation, how- 
ever, is a necessity because so many farmers are distant from the 
trade centers and shipping points. CooperatTon is the prime in- 
terest of the Farm Bureaus which, in some counties, undertake 
cooperative buying and selling. The Hughes County Farm Bureau 
has been especially effective in promoting cooperative enterprise. 
Says the County Agent : 

43 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

The Medicine Valley Farm Bureau has done considerable work along 
different lines, but the most outstanding has been the promotion of a 
Farmers' Cooperative 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 cooperative shipping instruc- 
tions 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 coopera- 
tive 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 Com- 
munity 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 




A TRUCK FARM IN HUGHES COUNTY 

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 approxi- 
mately si.x 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 estahHshed 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 w(M-k for a 
road from the Big Hole over into the Bitter Root \^allcy. The 
Forest Service was willing to help huild the road if Beaverhead 

41 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 

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. Be- 
sides 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 




4 



FRUITS OF THE EARTH 
The Community spirit expresses itself in friendly rivalry at Union County Fair. 

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. 

Largely through the influence of the Farm Bureau, two co- 
operative 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 cooperative at present, a Telephone 
Company at Mount Dora, capitalized at $3,000. A state-wide 
marketing association has 280 L^nion County members who pro- 
duced in 1920 one-third of all the products marketed through the 

45 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

organization. Besides the marketing associations, Hughes has a 
cooperative Farmers' Lumher Company. 

All these counties have cooperative stores. A cooperative store 
in \\'isdom in Beaverhead County has fifty stockholders. Lima 
had a cooperative store in 1919-1920 which failed through poor man- 
agement. Two Rochdale Cooperative 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 
cooperatives of their own in March, 1921. Sheridan City for the 
past eight years has had a cooperative 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 cooperative 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 witli the merchant gives 
the latter an unfair advantage over them, that the merchant thinks 
he can pay any ]:)rice he wants when purchasing from the farmer. 

46 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 

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 con- 
structive meeting ground. In Sheridan and Pierre, the Commercial 
Clubs have been very ready to cooperate in any movements that 
wouM 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. 




UP-TO-DATE REAPING ON THE PLAINS 
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 difiicult for farmers and ranchers. They have suf- 
fered 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 

47 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 hitter. 
They feci 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 TJic Sun^cy 
Magaciiic, gives the farmers' position : 

Af ontana 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 
farm.ers 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 ap- 
preciable 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 Demonstra- 
tion 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 
newspa])ers come from Denver, Kansas City, Butte or Omaha, 
depending upon location. Four newspapers are published in Beaver- 
head, two in the county seat, and one in each of the two villages. 
Rural Sheridan prints but one newspaper, 71ic Tongue Rhcr Nc%vs, 
at Ranchester. Two dailies are published in Sheridan City. Three 
communities in Union, and three in Hughes County, ]Mtblish their 
own papers. The town of Clayton has the Exa^niucr and the 
Tribune, as well as a paper printed in Spanish. Grenville and 

48 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 

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 

^ ■'"W'^mam 




WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED 
The Community House at \\'isdom, Beaverhead County. 

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 libraries. 

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 lead- 
ership, especially in remote sections, should become the concern 
of this country. As Hart says in his book, "Community Organiza- 
tion," "the destiny of civilization is wrapped up in the future of 

49 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

community life. If that life becomes intelligent, richly developed, 
democratically organized, socially controlled — the future of civiliza- 
tion is secure. . . . The determination is largely one of leadership." 



Community Spirit 

Red Cross work, during the war, did a great deal toward bring- 
ing about a unified spirit. The Farm Bureau is working in tliis 
direction. When real needs arise, a community spirit is born, and 
unsuspected qualities of loyalty, cooperation and leadership develop, 
as happened in one community in Sheridan County, when that com- 
munity 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 com- 
munity 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 com- 
munities have a real ccmmunity spirit, i.e., a willingness on the 
part of the people to work unselfishly, cooperatively, 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 interests. 

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 communi- 
ties. 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. 



50 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 





^ »4 ^ f^ 




%^ 



CAMPING IN SHERIDAN COUNTY 
The colored cook, at least, seems to delight in her surroundings. 



51 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 
"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. Danc- 
ing 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 com- 
munity dance in the evening. It is held in the hall over the pool- 
room. 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. Xo 
country square dances here ; nothing older than the very latest 
dancing, and the most modern of ear-capped coififures ! 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, ansemic 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 be- 
yond 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 com- 
munity 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 tield 



ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TENDENCIES 

days with sports belonging to ranch Hfe, 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 




The Barbecue 



FRONTIER CELEBRATION 



:in institutim typical of the Range Country and 
frc m far and near. 



attended by settlers 



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 de- 
lightful 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 
mountains. 




I 2 



KEY AND SYMBOLS 



g>^' 



• Par.,* Bo, 



S Ch-r.h.C.lo-.J 



CHURCH AXD commuxitv mai of 



54 




HUGHES COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA 



55 



CHAPTER III 

What of the Church? 

WHAT country landscape is complete without the church 
spires? hi this spacious western region, in the heart of 
awe-inspiring natural scenery, the church spires are guide- 
posts 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 ])ast 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. Mission- 
aries 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 cowbov 

56 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH? 

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 




A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS 
The M. E. Church at Mcsquero, Union County, N. M. 

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 home- 
steaders, recently come from other parts of the country where 
the church was more available, are more eager for church and 
Sunday school. 

Development and Distribution 

The differences in religious development and psychology accord- 
ing to the time of settlement are well illustrated by these counties. 
Generally speaking, Beaverhead grew up before the Church had 

57 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 de- 
veloped county of the four, still has a marked "church conscious- 
ness." 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 




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

saloon. 

with frontier habits. Hughes, on the threshold of the West, re- 
tains the frontier sentiment of all the other counties. 

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 suc- 
ceeding decades. The first Protestant church was organized in 
TTughes 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 re])ort. Dillon, the county seat, has four churches, 
or one Protestant church for about every 675 persons. Outside 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH? 



s 

I 




, / L J 






^*\. 






y 



/I \^A [:zJr^~ / ^ 




'•TAD^Zyj 



COMMUNITY MAP OF SHERIDAN COUNTY, WYOMl 






k. 



•\-r-. 




Par.sh Boundoru 



KEY /^ND SYMBOLS 



3 Church -Col 



S>fi 



,t Church-IVhrfe 
■ Church-Colored 
nature Church 






MAP SHOWING CHURCHES AND PARISH BOUNDARIES OF SHERIDAN COUNTY 



59 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 




W''-r'^ 







" ""~~~*N»ighborhood Boundary 

Parish Bcuxdc'f 

\q PorfshA Church Connrct'nj 

'^ CircuU of Po.tor 



KEY AND SYMBOLS 



® Town. o«.r 5.000 

□ Church -Wh.'t. 
I Church -C.l.r.d 

S Church -WhUe »ith Posfori Rt„ 
3 Church -Colored. whh Pa.torj R>i 



^>^ 



Clreuit 



4 Poster-, Rfjldcnco »;fhout Churth-lV> 
4 Postor J Rtjidtnct w;th»ut Chureh-Celo 
■ Abondoncd Church. 3 Inodi.e Ch. 
E Sundo, School without Church -Whit, 
El Sundoij School without Church - Colorec 
n Church uS.og School Sld^ 



CHURCH AND COMMUNITY MAP OF BEAVERHEAD COUNTY 



60 




Count, Boundorj 

.M.— Community Boundory 

- ------Nvtghborhood Boundary 

Parish Boundory 

Poruh* Church CSnntct.nj t.« 

Cu-cu.t of Posto' 



KEY A>-D SYMBOLS 



® Town -over 5.000 
D Church -White 
8 Church -Colored 

6 Churth- White with Postor'j Residence 
S Church -Colored.with Poifori Relideiico 



g>6> 



Postor-j Residence mthout Churchlthitc 
4 Posters Residence vrithout Church-Colored 
■ Abandoned Church. B Inacli.e Chunh 
Church -White 
Church -Colored 



(S Sundai^ School » 
gj Sundoy School * 
$ Church ueing School Bldj. 



MXP SHOWING CHURCHES AND PARISH BOUNDARIES 
OF UNION COUNTY, NEW MEXICO 

61 




/ 



\ 



\ 



r~z:^^f^-~^:rzz: i 

A I 1 \ 

5^D!IS MOlMu.S y / \ __i 

.^^^ / / 

V V Crr//ic,V/civ 

>x \ '^^^'^ I Op.,/,,,, / Yayto 

i -^ ""n y « i 




-J 



/eyeros 



^Albert 



7i;)Aa/<V7 O 



I Cone \ 

\ Roicbui. 






Ami^iad ' 






\ 



\ 



■gos 






COMMUXnV MAI- OF UNION COUNTY, NICW MEXICO 

62 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH? 

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 out- 
side 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 live Catholic 
churches, a Mormon, a Christian Science, and a Theosophical or- 
ganization. 

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" 

63 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 




EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND PARISH HOUSE 
Beaverhead County, Montana. 

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. 

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 remi- 
niscent of New England forbears. Many of them look barren and 
mikemjH. Standing forlorn uj^jou the ]:)lains. most of the open 
counlrv churches are unrelieved by any sign of trees. Little or 
no eiTort has been made to make them attractive. Thirty buildings 

64 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH? 

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 moun- 
tain 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 other- 
wise might have no outing. 

Church property is valued at $592,323, and it is noteworthv 
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 par- 
sonages, 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 build- 
ings, 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 ofi^ a debt often brings church members 
together into a unified w^orking group. The interest paid ranges 
from 4 to 8 per cent. 

65 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG FROXTIER 

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, §20. Active mem- 
bers number 3,956, or 68 per cent., while 1,013, or 17.4 per cent., 



ANALYSIS OF PROTESTANT CHURCH MEMBERS 



TOTAL ROLL 



RESIDENT ROLL 



* An inactive member is one who does not 
attend church or contribute to its support 



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 pro- . 
portion 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 member? 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." 

66 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH 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 character- 
istic of this country, it would seem to be a matter of prime im- 
portance for churches to keep track of the movements of their 
members. This matter concerns not only local churches and their 



CHURCHES GAINING IN MEMBERSHIP 



Per Cent Gaining 

20 40 60 



City Churches 
Town Churches 
Village Churches 
Country Churches 



denominations, but also calls for cooperation among different de- 
nominations. 

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 

67 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

to help from the outside. This is the prevaiHng attitude: the men 
are not antagonistic, but they are indifferent. .Ml 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. Milages 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. 

llie 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 : 

AVERAGE ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP 

Cotiittrx Vilhu/c Tozun City Az'craqc 

Beaverhead 8 " 6 81 49 

Hughes 8 39 109 59 

Sheridan 2>?> 62 185 117 

Union 16 ii 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. l'\)rty-nine of the seventy churches 
have fifty active members or less, and thirty-six, or 51.4 j^er 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 cither in villages 
or in the open country. All the churches of more than 100 mem- 
bers are either town or city churches. 

It is an acknnwlfdgrd 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 clunxli 
on the Range has been a necessitv because of the small and scat- 

68 



WHAT OF THE CHURCH? 



ACTIVE 
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP 



lurches 

n C hurche s 

w n 



0-50 50-100 tOO-150 Over 150 

MEMBERS 



Nearly three-fourths of the churches 
have less than 50 members 



CHURCHES WITH LESS THAN 50 MEMBERS 



Country Churches 
Village Churches 
Town Churches 
City Churches 



Per Gent 

25 50 75 



i 



69 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

tered population. It is only the larger centers that have been able 
to support good-sized churches. Even with the coming of irriga- 
tion, 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 W'est are surrounded with large 
unchurched areas and on that account their churches should be 
strategic centers for a radiating religious work. 

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 



RELATION OF SIZE 
OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP TO GAIN 

OF 42 CHURCHES OF 28 CHURCHES 

with memberships of less than 50 with memberships of 50 or more 

DID NOT GAIN ^^^^k 

-SMAU. CHURCHES- -LARGE CHURCHES- 

(During past year) 



CHART V 

the year and seventeen showed a net loss. Thus. 3 per cent, of 
all the churches remained stationary, 24 per cent, lost in member- 
ship 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 mcm1)crs were taken in 
during the year. Forty per cent, of these were taken in Iw 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 follows: 

Adult male 31.0% 

Adult female 42.4% 

Rovs 11.7% 

Girls 14.9% 



70 



CHAPTER IV 

The Church Dollar 

ONE way, though l)y 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 subscrip- 
tions 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 pay- 
ments. 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* 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- 

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

71 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

tenth, by collections, and the balance of the $17,197.00 by mis- 
cellaneous 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 activ- 
ities. 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 member- 
ship 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 
329.63 ; the countrv members, with fewer buildings, fewer services. 



THE CHURCH DOLLAR 



HOW IT IS RAISED 
COLLECTION 




HOW IT IS SPENT 



MISSIONS & 
BENEVOLENCES 
S3°/o 




CHART VI 
Figures refer to total amuunt raised and spent, including Home Missidn Aid. 



and less resident ministers to maintain than the members in the 
centers, pay $16.12 each. 

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 com- 
munity, and has it an adequate and worth-while ministry? After 

72 



THE CHURCH DOLLAR 

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 aver- 
ages $6.27 a year. All the money spent averages $24.67 per resident 
active member, a good record indeed for a homesteading country. 

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 pro- 
portioned, 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. 

73 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 re- 
ceive $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 de- 
nominational 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 sel- 
dom 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.* 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 
money. 

Another test is whether the field is a "strategic service oppor- 
tunity" — either allocated to this denomination or a field presenting 
a unique need. Some of the churches fall within such a classifica- 
tion. A total of about $207,170 has been received, given by eleven 
denominations. City churches have received $40,850, town churches 

* Sec Tal)lc XXIII. 

74 



THE CHURCH DOLLAR 

$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 com- 
munities with other churches, at least one of which in each case 
is aided. 



A NEGLECTED OUTPOST OF CHRISTIANITY 

A village church in the center of a large uncvangelized area, served by a minister living 
thirty-tive 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 dis- 
proportionate 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 

75 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

churched area. In other words, the pohcy has been one of de- 
nominational expansion rather than ot' denominational concentra- 
tion 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. Ikit. wlien 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, wcll-churchcd 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 denomi- 
nation since 1919, so that other churches are keeping their hands 
off. Yet this church, which had a resident pastor vmtil 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 zvcck-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 tlie 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 prin- 
ciple of allocation. 



7G 



CHAPTER V 
To Measure Church Effectiveness 

A UD members contributing to the support of an organization to 
h\ 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. 
\Miat 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 across"? 

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 Beaver- 
head County. The hall in Glendale, a busy place then, with banks, 
restaurants, even a paper, was filled with a rough-and-ready audi- 
ence 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. \\'hen the preacher ended 
his talk and the hall lighted up not a soul remained but himself. 
The next dav, 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 neces- 
sity, 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 

77 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 hecause they unite regularly with other churches 
near them, hoth of which hold two services a Sunday. 

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 serv- 
ices, while the majority of churches with less than two services a 
Sunday are country churches. Yet most of these are holding the 




NOT A STORE BUT A CHURCH 
Cliristian Church at Dcs Moines, Uninr 



County. 



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 meetiiigs 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 at- 

78 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 



tendance 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 mem- 
bership per church, which is about fifty-six. Average seating 
capacity, active membership and attendance compare as follows : 



FREQUENCY OF CHURCH SERVICES 




Regular 



8 6 4 2 1 

SERVICES PER MONTH 
43% of the churches have 2 services or less per month 



Country Village Toivn City 

Churches Churches Churches Cliurches 



Total 



77f 


285 


436 


233 


36 


91 


196 


56 


37 


72 


112 


65 



Average seating capacity 129* 

Average active membership. . . 18 
Average attendance at services 34 

* 17 country churches have buildings. 

t 13 village churches have buildings. 

It is evident from the table above that the churches are only 
about one-fourth filled on the average. Nothing is more dishearten- 
ing 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 cooperation 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 Thanks- 
giving Day services and in fewer instances, for Chautauqua, Bac- 
calaureate, Memorial Day, and summer evening services. In two 

79 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG FROXTIER 

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. 




A CASE OF COOPERATION 

The M. E. Cluircli at Blunt, S. D., which bt-ing pastorless joined with the Presbyterian 
Church for preaching services. 



Evangelism 

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. 

80 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 

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 ob- 
tained 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 chil- 
dren 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 d-enominational 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. 

81 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

The importance of the Sunday school is hrought out in a com- 
parison hetween Sunday school enrollment and resident church 
membership. 

Country rUlage Toivn 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 Sun- 
day 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 enrollnient. 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 member- 
ship. 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 coun- 
try schools, nineteen for the village, and twelve for the town 
schools. The average city church membership, however, exceeds 
average Simday school enrollment by 105. 

When Sunday school enrollment is higher than church mem- 
bership, it is ordinarily encouraging as a promise of future growth. 
Rut the large discrepancies between village and open country church 
membership and Sunday school enrollment, coupled with the low 

82 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 

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 ex- 
ample, 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 at- 
tendance. The various methods used are contests such as a com- 
petitive 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 proba- 
tioners 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 member- 
ship. 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 leader- 
ship 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 

83 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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. Seven- 
teen 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 janitor." 

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, si:ch 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 Associa- 
tion and Sunday school athletic teams in three town churches which 
play competitive games. Twenty report no social life of anv sort 
in connection wMth their schools. They do not even have a picnic 
to liven things up. 



84 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 




HAPPY LITTLE PICNICKERS 
The Baptist Mission at Klecnhurg, Wyoming, does good work for the kiddies. 




A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL 
A Sunday School class picnic in Union County. 



85 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 
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 organi- 
zations 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, con- 
trary 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 coach. 

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 mem- 
bership are enrolled. One is a Friendly Society, and the rest arc 
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 s]iecial clubs for their boys. The enrollment is sixty-nine, 
or abotit 21 ]X'r cent, of all the boys under twenty-one enrolled 
in city and town church membership. Roys 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 

86 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 

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, Bap- 
tist 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.* 

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 meet- 
ings 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 year. 

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 afifecting 
human welfare. 

Participation on the part of the audience from the Forum Floor w^hether 
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 Prob- 
lems." "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 

* The membership of the separate bovs' and girls' organizations cannot be 
added here because it vi^ould involve duplication. 

87 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

is no more encouraging sign of community interest in public ques- 
tions, 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 

f B&SEET PICNIC 1 

I JULY 4th I 

U) iJi 

I Hayden Park I 

J \ 500 People Will Be There | 

\i Every body comel Plenty of Nice Shade, Fresh ili 

It, Water and a Good Time for Every Body \b 

4, •' -' yj 

;{; SOMETHiNG DOING ALL DAY $ 

Uj Refreshments for sale on the Grounds, at reason- ^ 

iJ; able prices. No Hold-Up Here. A Square Deal on ^ 

^ every hand. J 

^ Speaking and Musical 9:30 * 



^ Tournament at 11:15 ^ 

^1, , Dinner to be spread on big table at 12 - j^ 

li/ f-. Big Platform Dance, .11 ihtrnoonSc night 9-. (ir 

U< \M Foot Race 1 to 1:30, Entrance Fee J I «\^ tf* 

Jj' m Cigar Race 1:30 to 2. ^ * 

y* Y 300>d.ponyrace2to2:30,Entr.nce»2.50 Y W 

J2 Pack Race 2:30 to 3. Entt.nee J2.50 Jf 

^ Barrel Race 3 to 3;30 Entrance $100 ^ 

Htl Bovs Pony Race 3:30 to 4 Entrance »l Hi 

\tl Relay Race 4 to 4:30 Entrance $ I Hi 

\l/ Balance of the time will be given to Roping and Pough Riding ||^ 

<*' All Entrance Fees to be In by 1 :00 o'clock >*f' 

<l> Hi 

^ Ask anyone who ever attended our Picnics as to jjj 
* "us" giving you a Good Time '^ 

PROGRAM OP' A COMMUNITY RALLY 

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 comnumity Ladies' Aid which works for the church, although 



TO MEASURE CHURCH EFFECTIVENESS 

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 or- 
ganization 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 or- 
ganizations. 

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. 



89 



CHAPTER VI 

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 sc. 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. Rut 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 

90 



THE PREACHERS' GOINGS AND COMINGS 

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. 

Lapses between pastors are revealed. The changing has meant 



NUMBER OF PASTORS DURING PAST TEN YEARS 




Two-thirds of the churches have had four or more posLors 
during the last ten years 



CHART VIII 



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 

91 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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, there- 
fore, 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 averages. 

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.* 

Preachers 

Preachers zvith No Other zi'ith Other 

Occupation 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. H 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 )ii)ic communities have one or more resident ministers serving 
a single church on full time. One of the.se commimities is the city, 

* The caiiital letters in parentheses in the Table indicate the respective 
counties, Beaverhead, Hutches, Sheridan, Union. 

92 



THE PREACHERS' GOINGS AND COMINGS 



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 resi- 
dent 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 



RESIDENCE OF THE MINISTERS 



C hurche s 



n 



Only about every other church 
has a resident minister 



CHART IX 



miles away, one sixty-five and one 120 miles. Four pastors live 
outside their counties. 

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. 

93 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

Pastors' Salaries 

The question of ministers' salaries is iniijortant. Inadequate sal- 
aries have undouljtedly caused some of the restlessness among the 
ministry. Salaries vary as the minister is on full or on j)art time, 
as shown in the following table. The full-time one-church man 




A PAR.SOXAC.I: BUT NO CiiURCH 

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

commands a wage higher than the man with more churches, or the 
man with another occupation. 











Minister 








Full Time 


7cith Other 




Full Time 


Part Time 


Minister 


Occupation 




Minister 


Minister 


7iw7/; Afore 


and More 




with One 


with One 


Than One 


Than One 




CJnirch 


Church 


Church 


Church 


Maximum salary . . 


. $2,650 


$1,550 


$3,250 


$1,900 


Minimum salary . . 


600 


840 


880 


100 


A.verage 


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 varicnis denominations as to the educational 
qualifications of the ministers vary. Eighteen of the forty-one 

94 



THE PREACHERS' GOINGS AND COMINGS 

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. 



95 



CHAPTER VII 

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 com- 
munity 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 c^f Sheridan are hard-working and in- 
dustrious. 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 associa- 
tion. 

Colored Churches 

There are two colored churclies— 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 build- 
ings is $3,500, of the parsonages $500. The Baptist church has 
recently been rebuilt. Both churches use weekly envelopes for 

96 



NEGRO AND INDIAN WORK 

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 mem- 
bership 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 semi- 
nary. 

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. 

97 



CHAPTER VIII 

Non-Protestant Work 

Roman Catholic 

THE Roman Catholic work is the strongest non-Protestant 
religions activity in all the four counties and naturally has 
a large number of foreign-born and Spanish-American com- 
municants in its parishes. There is a total of twenty-four organized 
Catholic churches. Beaverhead County has two, Hughes three. 




The grounds in whi 



AN OASIS IN THE DESERT 



tliis Catliolic Church and parsonaRe stand make this tlie 
in a barren waste ex'ending for miles on every side. 



vSheridan five and Union fourteen, llie city of Sheridan, and each 
of the towns supports a Catholic church ; eight are located in vil- 
lages, 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. 
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 

98 




KEY AND SYMBOLS 



g>^' 



I Aboriigntd Ch.rth. Q Inii 






ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES AND PARISHES, UNION COUNTY, NEW MEXICO 

99 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG FROXTIER 

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 ec[uals 77 
per cent, of the enrollment. There are seventeen other organiza- 
tions, 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 Beaver- 
head. 

Penitentes 

There are about five groups of Penitentes in Union County, with 
an average of twenty-five members each. X"o women belong. The 
Penitentes are all Spanish-.Vmericans and arc largely sheep and 
cattle herders. Their small adobe and stone buildings are called 
"morada." Meetings are held in Pent, on the last three days of 
Holy Week. During the ceremonies, members inflict personal pun- 
ishment, often carrying it to an extreme. This sect, which was 
at one time distributed over the whole territory of Xew Mexico, 
since 1850 has retreated towards the north. As to their origin, 
Twitchell in his "History of X^ew Mexico" says: 'Tt is possible 
that the Penitentes, particularly by their scourging themselves with 
whips made of cactus, come from the order of Flagellants which 
was a bodv of religious j^ersons who believed by whipping and 
scourging themselves for religious discipline they could appease the 
divine wratli against their sins and the sins of the age." The 
Penitentes are not recognized by the Catholic Church. 

100 



NON-PROTESTANT WORK 
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. 

Theosophical 

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. 



CHAPTER IX 

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 som- 
brero 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 popula- 
tion 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 A\'est to 
establish homes and with determination are doing so. Of course, 
there are the habitual drifters who have always been failures be- 
cause 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 be- 
coming less transient on this account. Afore people are staying 
because there is no luore free land, and no other newer frontier. 

\\'h;it, then, has the survey sliown of tlie Range? How has it 
fared in its 100 years of growth? \\'hat are its assets as well as 

102 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

its needs? In a word, what has it made of itself? The very pres- 
ence 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 




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

tended every day for the first five years. A home on the plains 
means more sweat and toil and efifort than a home anywhere else 
in our country. 



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 

103 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

the Canadian farmer. Until the comparatively recent development 
(^f county agent services and the r\'irm 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 
afYord to have the men on the land as hard pressed as these men 
have been. Too large a proportion of the farms have been mort- 
gaged for the economic well-being of a nation. 




A COMMUNITY RENDEZVOUS 
Often the general store is the cnly gathering place for neighbors miles apart. 

Made up largely of people from the Middle \\'est, this country 
has taken on some of the characteristics of that region — in the de- 
velopment 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 ^^'est. 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 

104 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

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 organi- 
zations 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 pros- 
perity 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 every- 
thing. 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 ad- 
vantages 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 dissen- 
sion, and conduces to economy and efficiency. The average school 
board has no standards by which to judge an applicant for teach- 
ing. 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, 

105 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

takes over most of the duties which the various (hstricts 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 







MARY, CALL THE CATTLE HOME ! 

'Mary" is a homesteader's wife and the Range is a long way from the Sands 
o' Dec, and "Mary" herself is iisually a long way frein anywhere. 



lack of social life. Social organizations are fairly al)undant, l)ut 
they are almost all city or town aiTairs. Living on the land is a more 
solitary afTair for w^omen 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?" Hie other lady answered: "Yes, 
but 1 hardly know Mrs. Denis." They had lived there for more 
than ten years, near neighbors for the Range country, and yet barely 
acquainted ! 

106 



SEEING IT WHOLE 
The Part of the Church 

Finally, there is the duty of the Church. "The churches per- 
formed an inestimable social function in frontier expansion," says 
John Dewev. "They were the rallying^ points not only of respecta- 
bility but of decency and order in the midst of a rough and tur- 
bulent population. They were the representatives of social neigh- 
borliness and all the higher interests of the communities." The 
Church has played an important role 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. 

The immense distances and scattered population have, of course. 



- _Mj%^S^^ ' ajbm 



WAITING AT THE CHURCH 

A Christian Church in Union County which draws its congregation fr 



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 loneli- 
ness. Of course, a homesteader is absorbed by his place. Unless 
he is simply proving up on his claim for the purpose of selling it, 

107 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 




HITTING THE TRAIL 

W'iW tliis settler find a church welcome in his new home? 

neighbors are largely of a common mind. So the absence of church 
has become a habit. 

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 in- 
dividualistic. If directed into right channels, it should be an asset 
instead of a drawback. 

108 



SEEING IT WHOLE 
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 per- 
haps 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 com- 
munity. 

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. 
\\"ith 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 

109 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG EROXTHJl 

afford to use the time to go back. Yet, to succeed, church niinisiry 
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 communitv houses built with organized social activities and 




rC^s^^^.^ 



THE FAMILY MANSION 

^^'ith the family and the Union County doctor in front cf it. The family 
is Spanish-American. 

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. 



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- 

110 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

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 actu- 
ally hostile toward religion or the Church. Here was the oppor- 
tunity and the challenge. 

The work centers in Collbran village, where there is a Congre- 
gational church organization and building. There are two men 
on the staff. The pastor has charge of the church school, the Chris- 
tian 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 achieve- 
ment of the modern socio-religious program. The completed build- 
ing 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 

111 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHAXGIXG FRONTIER 

Church Building Societ)^ 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 headciuarters 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 after- 
noon, 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 cooperation 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. 
\\'ithin 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 organiza- 
tions. 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 

112 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

lawyer, banker, doctor, contractor, editor, merchant and rancher. 
The other two denominations in the valley, the Methodist Epis- 
copal and Baptists, are cooperating in the effort. The small Metho- 
dist 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 cooperative 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 re- 
ligion 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 pro- 
gram 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 com- 
munity 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 oflFers advantages like those 

113 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 





A REAL rOMMl'NITY IIOUSK 

Members of tliis rrcsbylcrian Cluircli at Slicridan buiUiinij their nwii community house 
under the leadership of the pastor. The wi men of the church proviiled tlie cats. 



Ill 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

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. 

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 







iiiiilas n -M 









lirRClI THAT SKRVl 



THK COMMUNITY 
The M. E. Church and parsonage at Clearmont, \\'yoming. 

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. 

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. 

115 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 
The Montana Plan 

It is even possible for a whole state to make a united plan 
for churcli work. Montana has had its area, community by com- 
munity, county by county, or valley by valley, "allocated" to the 
religious care and undisputed responsibility of one or more denomi- 
nations. 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 in- 
crease and enlarge the w^ork 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 cooperation 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 environ- 
ment, and with elastic yet inclusive programs really become com- 
munity 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. \\'hile 
the social and economic life of these "centers" naturally over- 
shadows 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 peo]:ile 
at hand but of reaching just as thoroughly the people in the sur- 
rounding 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, 

116 



SEEING IT WHOLE 

resident pastors that are needed, with a belief that the rural task 
is worth their lives. 



Cooperation 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 cooperation. This is the key to the whole situation. 
Business, though still competitive and on an individual basis, com- 
bines for the community good, as in the case of Rotary and Civic 
Clubs. The churches might well emulate this example in organi- 
zation. 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 ineffec- 
tiveness lie in non-cooperation. Ministers have stayed too short 
a time to relate themselves to their parish and their people ; de- 
nominations 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 

117 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 cooperate 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. 



118 



APPENDICES 

I: METHODOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS 
II: TABLES 



APPENDIX I 

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 particulars : 

1. "Rural" was defined as including all population living out- 
side 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 com- 
munity, 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 w^as mapped and studied. 
Iliis was an entirely new departure in rural surveys. 

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

1. The determination of the community units and of any sub- 
sidiary 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 

121 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

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 : 

Geographical 

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

Toii'ii — 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 Ham- 
lets and Open Country. 

Toi^'n and Cou)itry — 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 character- 
ized 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 — .\ recognizable social grou])ing having certain 
interests in common, but de])endent for certain elemental needs upon 
some adjacent center within the comnnuiitv area of which it is 
located. 

Rural f nd usi rial-^VcrUnnhv^ to any industry other than farming 
within the Town and Country area. 

122 



APPENDIX I 

Population 

Foreigner — Refers to foreign-born and native-born of foreign 
parentage. 

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



The Church 

Parish — The area within which the members and regular at- 
tendants of a given church live. 

Circuit — Two or more churches combined under the direction 
of one minister. 

Resident Pastor — A church whose minister lives within its 
parish area is said to have a resident pastor. 

Pitll-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 an- 
other church also, or devotes part of his time to some regular occu- 
pation 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 ; gener- 
ally, 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. 

AV/- 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 de- 
nominational or other benevolences are injcluded in the forecast and 

123 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

canvass, it is said to operate on a budget system for all monies 
raised. 

Adequate financial System — Three chief elements are recog- 
nized 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 an- 

nual pledges. 

b. Collections, that is money received from free will offer- 

ings at public services. 

c. All other sources of revenue, chiefly proceeds of enter- 

tainments and interest on endowments. 
Salary of Minister — Inasmuch as some ministers receive, in 
addition to their cash salary, the free use of a house w^hile 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. 



12 1 



APPENDIX II 



Tables 



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125 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



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126 



:~ -yi n) ^ ;i 
S*" £ rt S 












APPENDIX 11 



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HH 



APPENDIX II 



RACIAL COMPOSITION OF POPULATION OF THE RANGE 
COUNTIES ACCORDING TO FEDERAL CENSUS OF 1920 

Beaverhead Hughes Sheridan Union* 

Number Rank X umber Rank Number Rank Number Rank 

Total population . . 7,369 
Native \\ hite, Total 6,261 
Native parentage . . 4,454 
Foreign parentage . 1,024 
Mixed parentage . . 783 
Foreign White,Total 1,035 

Austria 69 

Canada 150 

Czecho-Slovakia .. 11 

Denmark 121 

England 98 

Finland Zi 

France 17 

Germany 107 

Greece 11 

Hungary 4 

Ireland 106 

Italy ii 

Jugo-Slavia 27 

Mexico 

Norway 2ii 

Poland 2 

Russia 13 

Scotland ii 

Sweden 80 

Switzerland 43 

Syria 

Wales 7 

All other countries. 47 

Other than white.. 7i 

* 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 





5,711 




18.182 




16,680 






5,155 




15,058 




16,376 






3,752 




11,454 




15,512 






778 




2,314 




414 






625 




1,290 




450 






462 




2,895 




278 




7 


15 


9 


90 


12 


5 


14 


1 


49 


2 


126 


9 


26 


3 


14 


4 


11 


90 


12 


7 


12 


2 


42 


3 


44 


17 


6 


13 


b 


38 


4 


194 


4 


19 


5 


11 


3 


12 


66 


13 







12 


6 


10 


51 


16 


5 


14 


3 


118 


1 


541 


1 


49 


1 


14 


4 


11 


53 


15 


10 


10 


16 


1 


14 


107 


11 


10 


10 


4 


?? 


6 


56 


14 


12 


8 


9 


3 


12 


240 


3 


8 


11 


10 







169 


7 














192 


5 


13 


7 


9 


49 


2 


38 


18 


3 


1.S 


17 


2 


13 


290 


2 


11 


9 


13 


20 


7 


181 


6 


28 


2 


9 


3 


12 


108 


10 


10 


10 


6 


i7 


5 


143 


8 


15 


6 


8 


18 


8 


15 


20 


6 


13 














22 


4 


15 


3 

25 
94 


12 


22 

79 

229 


19 



13 
26 





In Sheridan, the "New Americans" are in the 
ties, they are on the land. 



ines ; in the other coun- 



129 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

VI 

AGE AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN THE RANGE COUNTIES 

ACCORDING TO THE FEDERAL CENSUS FOR 1920 

Bcaz'crhcad Hughes Sheridan Union 

Xuin- Per Xuni- Per Xum- Per Xitin- Per 

her cent. her cent. her cent. her 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 vears . 213 ... 201 ... 564 ... 700 

Attending schooL . 195 91.5 191 95 495 87.8 590 84.3 

16 and 17 vears . 206 ... 216 ... 531 ... 655 ... 

Attending school.. 137 66.5 153 70.8 286 53.9 337 51.5 

18 to 20 vears 

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. 

VII 

ILLITERACY IN THE RANGE COUNTIES ACCORDING TO THE 
FEDERAL CENSUS FOR 1920 

Beaverhead Hughes Sheridan Union 

Xum- Per Xnni- Per Xum- Per Xum- Per 

Ten Years and Over her cent. her cent. her cent. her 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 ... 49) ... 2 8?R ?76 

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 Inclii- 

Total """' 508 ... 522 ... 1,359 ... 1,501 ... 

Illiterates 2 .4 1 .2 9 .7 44 2.9 

llliteracv 21 ]'ears 
and Over 

Males 42 1.4 8 .5 276 4.2 211 4.6 

Native Whites . . 11 16 ... 205 ... 

Foreign Born 

Whites 18 ... 5 ... 2.-.2 ... 6 ... 

fSs ::::::::: is ■:8 u ".7 ul 3.2 350 c).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. 

130 



APPENDIX II 







Number Now 


. . .CO • 


ro 






huicfne 








-J 








oi 


o 


Number Now 


(MiO -^ro 


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Number Now 
Active 


(>J ^ On O CN 


g 


o 








Pi 




Total Number 
Chu relies 


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Number Now 


. • • ■— 1 . 


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o 




Inactke 






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Number Now 


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Abandoned 










Number Now 


■^ rC C^CO 


T-1 


W 




Active 


.—1 


"^ 


m 










o 




Total Number 
Churches 


:^ '^cN 


o 














Number Now 


. . • fV) . 


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Inactive 






O 


Q 


Number Now 


.^ -^ 


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Abandoned 






< 


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N 


a: 


Number Nozv 


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1 '^ 




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Active 






y^ 








M 




Total Number 
Churches 


• roior^o 


1 CN 






Number Now 








Inactive 






p^ 


t^ 








P 

K 


S 


Number Now 


. 


I— 1 


tj 


Abandoned 






u 


o 












Number Nozv 


.— 1 t^ ■— ' .— 1 u-j 


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Active 






^ 










< 




Total Number 


^ZC^^iTi 


1 <3 


H 




Churches 






CA! 










W 










o 




Number Now 






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Cti 










Oh 


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Number Now 


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Number Now 


.— 1 -^ . rvj . 


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H 


^ 


Active 


• 




^ 










W 




Total Number 


r— 1 t^ • ^1 


1 ^ 


§ 




Churches 






Oh 










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1 • ■ ! ■ ! 




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5 lA 



'O ■ - OO CO 'CO ON C^ 
CL, 

131 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHAXGIXG FROXTIER 



IX- A 
DISTRIBUTIOX OF CHURCHES AMOXG DEXOMIXATIOXS 



Denominations 

Baptist, Xorth 

Baptist, South 

Church of Christ or Christian.... 
Church of Christ ( Unprogressivc) 

Congregational 

Evangelical Association 

Lutheran : 

Xorwegian Lutheran of America 

German 

Swedish 

Polish 

Others 

Methodist, Xorth 

Methodist, South 

Xazarene 

Presbyterian in U. S. A 

Protestant Episcopal 

Seventh Day Adventist 

United Brethren 

Total 







CIm 


■dies in 






iiitry 


1 'illagc 


Toz.-n 


City 


Total 





1 




9 


1 


4 


3 


1 




1 





5 





1 




1 


1 


3 


2 


1 










3 


3 


(t 




1 


1 


s 










1 


() 


1 





n 




1 





1 










n 


1 


1 













1 


1 





1 







n 


1 





1 










1 


.1 


t, 




3 


1 


23 


() 













6 


1 













1 


3 


9 




1 


1 


7 










7 


1 


3 


1 










1 


7 


2 













2 



34 



70 



IX— B 

Denominations Beaverhead Hughes Sheridan Union Total 

Baptist Xorth 1 1 2 4} ^ 

Baptist South 5 5 ," ^ 

Church of Christ or Christian 1 1 1 3 
Church of Christ (Unpro- 
gressivc ) n n n 3 3 

Congregational 2 3 5 

Evangelical Association 1 1 

Lutheran : 

Xorwegian Lutheran of 

America 1 l"! 

German 1 1 

Swedish 1 1 ^5 

Polish 1 1 

Others 1 ij 

Methodist Xorth 2 6 5 10 2,i / 

Methodist South 6 6 .- 29 

Xazarenes 1 1 

Presbyterian in U. S. A 3 1 1 2 7 

Protestant Episcopal 1 1 1 3 

Seventh Dav Adventist 1 1 2 

United Brethren 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. 

\32 



APPENDIX II 



X— A 



RESIDENXE AND ACTIVITY OF CHURCH MEMBERS BY TYPES 
OF COMMUNITIES 



Country 

Xet active members 616 

Inactive '" 129 

Non-resident " 152 

Total enrollment 897 

Average per congregation 26 



Ch 


u re lies in 






'illage 


Town 


City 


Total 


497 


1,178 


1,665 


3,956 


66 


221 


607 


1,013 


60 


186 


453 


851 


623 


1,575 


2.725 


5,820 


45 


121 


303 


83 



X— B 

BY COUNTIES 

Churehes 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. 



XI— A 

CHURCHES CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO SIZE BY TYPES OF 
COMMUNITIES 



Churches with a net active 
membership of : 

25 or less 26 

26 to 50 7 

51 to 100 1 

101 to 150 

Over 150 

Total 34 



Country Ullage Tozvn City 



Total 



7 


2 




36 


4 


1 




13 


3 


5 




10 





3 




4 





2 




7 



70 



XI— B 



BY COUNTIES 

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

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 2 5 7 

Total 7 15 17 31 70 

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

133 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



XII 

HOW THE CHURCHES HAVE GROWN DURING A ONE-YEAR 
PERIOD BY TYPES OF COMMUNITIES 

Country J'Ulagc Tozk'ii City 

Churchrs Churches Churches Churches Total 

A'uiii- I'er Xuiii- I'er Xuiii- Per Kitiii- Per Xu)ji- l^cr 

her Cent her Cent her Cent her Cent her Cent 

Gained . . . 

Stationary 
Declined . 



u 


35 


7 


50 


in 


77 


8 


89 


^7 


53 


9 


27 


6 


43 


1 


8 








16 


23 


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 com- 
munity. 



XIII 

MEMBERSHIP GAIN OF THE CHURCHES ORGANIZED TEN 
YEARS OR MORE, DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS 



Year 


Xine 
Country 
Churches 


Seven 

J'iUagc 

Churches 


Thirteen 

Toien 
Churches 


Eicjht 

City 

Ch u rcli es 


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%. 



NIV 
AGE AND SEX OF RESIDENT MEMBERS 

By Coujities 
Beaverhead Hughes Sheridan Union 

Men over 21 24% 31 % 31% 33% 

Women over 21 55% 45% 47% 47% 

Young men and boys under 21 S'r 10% 9% 7% 

Young women and girls under 21.... 13% 14% 13'"'r 13% 

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



134 



HP 



APPENDIX II 

Union ^.^t^^^^^^ 

Sheridan ^-^^^^^ 

Hughes ^^iU:::^^ 

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THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



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APPENDIX II 



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137 



THE CHURCH ON THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

XVII-A 

THE AAIOUXT OF MOXEY RAISED AXD SPEXT 

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 



$97,571.98 

XVII— B 

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 i2. 

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

Per cent. 

Salaries $54,356.29* 49. 

Missions and benevolences 24.657.55 2}i. 

Upkeep and all other expenses 31,366.51 28. 

* 76.37% of this amount was raised l)y local churches. The rest came 
from the denominational boards. 

Of the entire church dollar, about 12 per cent, comes from Denomina- 
tional Boards. 

XVIII 
RECEIPTS PER CHURCH 

Country J'illagc Toz^ii City Total 

Thirty-one Fourteen ■ Thirteen Eight Sixty-si.v 

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 
XIX 


$2,685.29 


$5,017.16 


$1,478.36 




RECEIPTS 


PER ACTIVE MEMBER 






Country 


J'illage 


To'u'n 


City 


Total 




Thirty -one 
Churches 


Fourteen 
Churches 


Thirteen 
Churches 


Eight 
Churches 


Si.rty-si.v 
Churches 


Subscription $12.39 

Collections 3.05 

All other methods .68 


$14.07 
2.85 
7.95 


$21.77 
2.81 
5.05 


$18.65 
1.75 
4.07 


$18.04 
2.41 
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. 
138 



APPENDIX II 

XX 

EXPENDITURES PER CHURCH 

Country I'illagc Tozcn City Total 

Thirty-one Fourteen Thirteen Eight Sixtv-six 

For: Churches Churches Churches Churches Churches 

Salaries $220.12 $366.43 $1,247.31 $1,637.50 $625.28 

Missions and Be- 
nevolences .... 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 

XXI 

EXPENDITURES PER ACTIVE MEMBER 

Country Village Tozvn 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 Be- 
nevolences .... 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 

XXII— A 

HOW A TYPICAL DOLLAR IS R-\ISED AND SPENT BY THE 
LOCAL CHURCHES 

Cou)itry I'illagc 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 

XXII— B 

Country J'illage Tozvn City Total 

Thirty-one Fourteen Thirteen Eight Sixty-six 

For: Churches Churches Churches Churches Churches 

Salary % .72 $ .39 $ .46 % .33 $ .43 

Missions and Be- 
nevolences .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 
benevolences. 

139 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 



XXIII 

GRADING FOR HOME MISSION FIELDS— PRESBYTERIAN 
CHURCH IN U. S. A. 

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. 

XXIV 

NUMBER OF CHURCH SERVICES 

Number of Services Country J'illage To-aii City 

a Month Churches Churches Churches Churches Total 

Eight 3 3* Uj 7 :S 

Seven 

Six 1 1 

Five 

Four 6 6* 2 14 

Three 

Two 9 3 U 

One 12 12 

No regular service .... 2 2 4 

Services in sum:ner only 2 2 

Total 34 14 13 9 70 

* One church in each of these groups unites regularly with a church 
holding eight services. 

t One church in this Troup also has four week day services. One church 
has its four services on week day nights and has no Sunday services. 

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. 

XXV 

ATTENDANCE AT SERVICES COMP.ARED WITH SE.VTING 
CAPACITY AND ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP 

Beaverhead Huc/lies Slierician Union 

Average seating capacity .... 1^7 277 2Sfi 160 

Average active membership .. -"^ .'^9 117 24 

Average attendance at services 52 50 SO 67 

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



110 



APPENDIX II 






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141 



THE CHURCH OX THE CHANGING FRONTIER 

XXVIII 

RESIDENCE OF PASTORS IN RELATION TO THEIR CHURCHES 

Country Village Town City Total 
Churches with : 

Pastor resident in parish 8 8 * 10 8 34 

Pastor resident in community but 

not in parish 4 4 

Pastor resident in other community 

in same county 12 2 14 

Pastor resident in another county 3 10 4 

No regular pastor '. 4 4 2 10 

Supply pastor 3 1 4 

Total 34 14 13 9 70 

* One church in this group has two resident social workers. 

About half of the churches have their ministers resident among the 
members. 



XXIX 

SALARIES OF MINISTERS ACCORDING TO PROPORTION OF 
TIME DEVOTED TO THE MINISTRY 





Ministers Giving 




Ministers 




Full 


Time 


to 




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6 




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Total 


18 




14 




8 



* Including $250 rental value of parsonage if there is one. 

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. 



142 



APPENDIX II 



XXX 



GAIN AND LOSS IN MEMBERSHIP AS RELATED TO 
RESIDENCE OF MINISTERS 

(One year period) ' 

Churches with : Country Village Town City Total 

Resident minister 8 8 * 10 8 34 

Number gaining 4 5 7 7 23 

Number stationary .... 2 3 2 7 

Number losing 2 1 1 4 

Non-resident minister ... 19 2 1 22 

Number gaining 5 2 1 8 

Number stationary .... 17 7 

Number losing 7 7 

* One church in this group has two resident social workers. 

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 survey. 



143 



UNIQUE STUDIES OF RURAL AMERICA 
TOWN AND COUNTRY SERIES TWELVE VOLUMES 

MADE UNDER THE DIRECTION OP 

Edmund deS. Brunner, Ph.D. 

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

Description Publication Date 

(i) 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 arc fiyic f'lrccs of work and exam firs of what zve 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, Gcnl. Secy., Federal Council of the Churches 
of Christ in America. 

Published by GEORGE H. DOR.\N COAIPANY, New York 

FOR 

COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS SURVEYS 

111 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 



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