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Missoula and many other Montana Cities
Missoula is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluence with the Bitterroot River in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus is often described as the “Hub of Five Valleys”. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university.
LDS Members make up 4.46% of the population of Missoula. In the state of Montana there are 46,484 members in 11 stakes, 78 wards, 42 branches, 1 mission, and 1 temple in Billings.
In 1856, Utah Church member E. W. VanEtten began hauling freight between Salt Lake City and mining and logging camps in Montana. That same year, Minnie Miller, another Latter-day Saint, moved to Jocko, Mont., with her husband to help manage the Indian Agency there. After gold was discovered in Montana in 1862, increasing demand for food and supplies in the mining towns drew other Latter-day Saints into the freighting business along the “Montana Trail” between that territory and Utah. During the last few decades of the 19th century, small numbers of Church members moved into Montana, seeking work in the mines and on the ranches.