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 JACK IMAN

      The Iman's Woodside Stock Farm is a combination of the old and the new. Four generations of Iman men have lived and worked there. Five generations of Imans have called it their home. John Saul Iman came to Montana in 1909, living in Butte and Missoula before coming to the Bitter Root valley in 1911 and settling on a farm at Woodside. He was born in Illinois in 1861 and died June 25, 1931. He is buried in the Riverview cemetery in Hamilton.

      Jack, third generation, and his son, J.R., fourth generation, are carrying on the family tradition of combining modern technology with years of farming experience as they care for their 600 acre spread and the commercial cow operation. In the winter, they feed quite a few cattle. They keep a few of their own, but custom-feed cattle for others. In years past, they had swine, but when the packing houses left Montana, marketing became extremely difficult.

      Over the years, they upgraded their equipment and have tried a lot of different things. Now, most of the land is sprinkler irrigated.  There was a time when they used a lot of teams with horses and a lot of men. Now they hire sprinkler changers to move the sprinklers, but mostly have automatic sprinkling systems.

     They are currently involved in a Bonneville Power irrigation program. It is sponsored through the local R.E.A.. It is a scheduling system for soil monitoring. There are test sights in the fields which provide information to help you with your own irrigation scheduling. By measuring subsoil moisture levels, you learn when to start your sprinklers. The program helps conserve energy by NOT overwatering. It may prove economically advantageous if enough people are involved in it.

     The Imans are diversified. They raise small grains and cattle, have hay, pasture, and sell a little timber. And, they raise and sell dried flowers for a mail order business they have established. They have an old CASE Wheat Binder that is in "brand new" condition and still has the owner's manual in it. It reads: " 'B' Series Grain Binder, Left Hand 6,7,8 foot. With Repair Parts list." It is dated, its vintage year, 1915!

     Hugh McKillop, a former Woodside area resident hat it. He keeps really good care of his machinery. You can see the binder in use in the late summer. It is then, after the wheat is headed out, and before the heavy dew in the fall that they harvest with the binder the wheat for wheat weaving which they sell all around the country.

     Jack, the senior member of the group, says he is committed to the fact that he was born in the Bitter Root and will probably die here. He looks to his son, J.R., to carry on the family tradition. Young Trevor follows closely in the steps of his great, great grandfather, John, who came here at the turn of the century.
                                                                                                                             The Bitter Root Star
                                                                                                                             June 10, 1987