to the 1899 Montana Pioneer Register, ninety individuals are known
to have settled in Montana Territory who came over the Bridger Trail.
They came from many states
and had widely varied occupations. Many of those that
came to try their luck at gold mining soon turned to more traditional
ways of making a living, and in doing so, contributed to the settlement
of Montana towns and ranches.
For those ninety emigrants who took
the Bridger Trail, the occupations listed in the pioneer register
are overwhelmingly oriented toward agriculture (farmers and stockmen
23.3% and 12.2%, respectively, and 4.4% who practiced both, for
a total of almost 40%). Occupations in the mining industry came
in a distant second (10%). Women, whether wives or unmarried young
women, accounted for a larger number of the population than miners
(14.4%). Other occupations listed included merchants (5.6%), freighters
and teamsters (3.3%), ministers (3.3%) lawyers (2.2%), and carpenters
(2.2%). Bankers, physicians, blacksmiths, wagon makers, editors,
brewers, and real estate speculators, each made up approximately
1.1% of those who arrived via the Bridger Trail (see Table). These
ninety emigrants made up 5% of the 1,808 pioneers listed in the
register, representing a diversified cross section of those settlers
who made Montana their home.