History of Granite County



Granite county was created in March 1893, and was named for a mountain which contains the Granite Mountain Silver Mine.  It has an area of 1,728 square miles and is located north and west of the Continental Continental Divide. The area was originally called Flint Creek Valley.  The county seat is Philipsburg.
The officers appointed to conduct the county business were:     
  • Sheriff: John H. Cole
  • Treasurer: Arthur A Fairbairn
  • Clerk and Recorder: George A. Reck
  • Assessor:  William Albright
  • County Attorney: Wingfield Brown
  • Clerk of District Court: Josiah Shul
  • Superintendent of Schools: Mrs. Abbie W. Wilkinson
  • Coroner: Dr. William Ray
  • Public Administrator: R.M. Ferguson
  • County Surveyor: George Wilson
  • County Commissioners: George B. Cain, E.C.
  • Freyschlag, and George W. Morse
Only months after Granite County's formation, silver mining came to an end when the price of silver plummeted in the panic of 1893. All but one of the major silver mines closed, banks failed, homes and businesses were abandoned in a major depression that hit the whole country but hit Granite County particularly hard. Within a decade, mining and Granite County would make a comeback.
The early records of Granite County were copied from the records of Missoula and Deer Lodge County in 1893. The earliest records from Deer Lodge County were filed at Silver Bow, the county seat from 1865 to 1867. In 1867, the county seat was moved to Deer Lodge. Anaconda became the next county seat and records were moved again. Some records pertaining to Granite County are still in either Anaconda, Deer Lodge or otherwise missing.