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Mail Tribune 100

March 8, 1917

MONTANAN AMAZED BY INDIFFERENCE TO MINERAL WEALTH

H. L. Townsend, who has been enjoying a visit in Jackson and Josephine counties for some weeks to avoid the rigors of Montana winter, having for years been a resident of Butte in that state, declared last evening that he had not been able to find a satisfactory explanation of the indifference of the people of this region to the fact that they have untold wealth all about them in the mineral deposits in the immediate neighborhood of Medford and several other less pretentious business centers in this county.

"I am amazed to find so much superficial evidence of the existence of large mineral areas in many of which sufficient development has been done to show rich ledges of large extent, and yet so little real attention devoted to them," said Mr. Townsend. "They are sufficiently attractive to cause a stampede in any other county, if substantial development proved that the indications found in initial work were reasonably permanent," he continued. "As a matter of demonstrated fact, the more substantial and thorough the development, the more substantial and attractive are the results in this case.

"I read with much interest your Mr. Brown's statements about what they are doing in Arizona, where mining is much more expensive and even with the added expense, much more difficult and uncertain that it could be here, with all of your natural advantages; and I thought I perceived a reason for the comparisons made in your own comments thereon; but it is difficult for me to believe that your citizens know the value of your mountains of ore of several kinds here and yet remain passive in the matter of development. Ignorance is not excusable in statutory law; hence, I cannot conceive of a condition in which it ought to be excusable in moral law where opportunity and duty are so manifestly related as in this case, for I take it that, where God has given so freely of his bounty, man's duty is to go to some pains to prepare it for his uses."