Montana; it's a State of Love...

Remember when I said I would do Part Two of Organized Elopements?

Well, what a better time then now?

It all began with this post  Here

When Abby & David 
said they wanted to get Married in Montana, 
it all made sense.  
Montana is where they met (at Griz UM College!) 
Montana is where David grew up,
where Abby's family moved to, 
Montana makes it easy for people to get married!

Yep, they make it really easy;
They have whats called "Marriage of Declaration"

Pull up a margarita and a box of chocolates 
Let me tell ya a story...

Back in the days when it was trying to become a State (1889), 
all of a sudden 
The Federal  Homestead Act of 1862 
became very important.

Without people, it makes it kinda hard to be a State.

 Montana even today
 is in the top three States of lowest population density! 



Anyhow,The Homestead Act was a Federal Decree
that stated anyone could own 160 acres
if it was unclaimed,
if you managed and lived on it 
5 years.

With all these people coming in trying 
to make a homestead of 160 acres,
(later 320 acres)
It brought a lot of womenfolk into the equation.

Single women could homestead property in Montana! 

In fact, 
Did you know Montana 
was one of the Ten States in 1914 
to first ratify the right
for Women to Vote?

the First Woman in Congress (1916), 
Jeanette Rankin, 
was from Montana?

the first Homestead Claim in Montana
in 1868
was filed
By a Woman?

Women are People in Montana!


And heads up you Canadian Readers,

Did you know that many single Canadian women 
came to homestead in Montana 
due to the fact 
Women couldnt own land in Canada until the 1930's?

photo by William Crawford

With all this influx of women coming to homestead in Montana, 
one of the most largest, remotes states ever,
It meant that people werent just friendly,
they were lonely.

A whole lotta loving going on.




Because Dang it, us women love romance,
especially when it involves 
land, plows, cattle, cats, dogs and horses.


But the problem was,

There wasnt enough Justice of Peace's and Preachers around 
with all that remoteness!!

 So the 

"Marriage of Declaration"

was born.

This is a legally binding contract
drawn up by BOTH parties!

photo by William Crawford

In the Homestead Act years, 
every new county was developing their own District Court.
The Clerk of the District Court's Office
 is where you went to file your Homestead claim.

guess what?

In Montana,

Your Marriage of Declaration!

This way, a marriage contract was recognized as legal,
property rights shared,
without all the fuss and muss.

All busy women appreciate that!

Especially those who that were working hard developing their land
blending two homesteads into one!


photo by William Crawford

Here's just another great thing about Montana;

still to this day Montana recognizes 

"Marriage of Declaration"



(residents, LGBT community, non-residents)

can get

Married in Montana!



Montana is the State of Love.

Both of my Daughters filed these Declarations with their Spouses.

not just because
they did it for Love.

Cant forget Love.

But they also did it
because they love Montana,
Montana's History.

Montana's Herstory.

photo by William Crawford

Montana, the State of Love.

For all the right reasons!


References for you fussy ones and MORE READING MATERIAL *YES* :

Montana Law Review Volume 10 Issue 1 Spring 1949,
United States Senate, Senate History-Jeannette Rankin
Yellowstone Co. Montana Government, Declaration of Marriage.
Flathead Beacon, Nov.5, 2014, Dillon Tabish
Montana Women's


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