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Danvers

Central Montana, which had long been blacklisted as the 'Great American Desert,' was settled by people who seemed to ignore this established tradition. – Anna Zellick1

With the passing of the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909, which increased the number of acres per homestead from 160 to 320 acres, railroad companies encouraged settlement of Central Montana. To entice settlers from the East and Midwest, railroad companies published pamphlets. One pamphlet from the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad, encouraged settlers to come to the region, stating, "the soils of these Fergus County lands smile a welcome to the practical farmer" and "Montana summers are the most delightful of any in the world." The company advertised that the gently rolling prairie of Central Montana was fertile and in need of more farmers who practiced diversified farming techniques.2

Along with several other town sites, Danvers was platted by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad during construction of the route through Central Montana in 1912-1914. The town was originally called Warwick, but in December of 1913 the name was changed to Danvers, reportedly after a town in Massachusetts. The Milwaukee Road came through Danvers in 1913, making transportation in and out of Danvers much easier, faster, and less expensive. The Milwaukee Land Company laid out the town site and sold lots.

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Credits

Excerpted from St. Wenceslaus Church, Danvers, MT; National Register of Historic Places Nomination form by Kate Hampton and Jeana Ganskop, 2012. On file at Montana Preservation Alliance.

1. Zellick, Anna. A History of Fergus County, Montana. (II-1)
2. Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad Company. Fergus County, Montana. Pamphlet, 1, 21, 24
3. Linse, Lillian. "Danvers History as told by Former Residents," 30. And Snyder, Louis (Dolph). "Danvers Montana History and Hogeland Family History." In the Lewistown Public Library Local history area.