A BETTER AND HAPPIER
CLASS OF PEOPLE
The Man With The Hoe And The Men With The Rope Were Visited By A Post Representative Last Week -- Ranchmen Are In Good Spirits -- The Range Is Good And Stock In Better Condition Than For Ten Years -- Much Good Beef Will Go To Market At Once -- Grass And Grain Crops Are Fully Up To The Average Or Better -- Farmers Will Have Lots Of Wheat, Oats And Hay
Last week a Post representative was upon Big Goose creek north of Sheridan, lower Tongue river, Young's creeks, Badger creek and Prairie Dog creek. He found that the range was still green and good, that the cattle and horses brought in from the roundups were in excellent condition for the market, that haying was in progress with good yields and fair quality, that the large acreage of wheat and oats was heavy, and indications point to a satisfactory harvest less than a month hence, and that the ranchman and farmer has every reason to shake hands with himself. The only anxiety that he might have is in regard to the market, and we are all praying that prices may be induced to take wings before he gets his beef cattle, horses, grain and hay on the market. Some horses have been shipped, and Wyoming and Montana cattle will be found in Omaha and Chicago in large numbers in a very short time
The first ranch below Sheridan, on Big Goose creek is the Dietz place. This is a good ranch, and is leased to Marvin Bros. Bishop Bros. are now engaged in putting up the 200 acres of fine hay for Marvins'.
The Wrench ranch is just this side of Dietz, and is owned by Mrs. G. W. Holdrege. It is one of the most productive places in the county. Of the land under irrigation this year, 400 acres is in hay, and is yielding well. Three hundred and fifty acres of grain is also grown. This is a horse ranch. Some fifty head of horses are kept on the place, and of these there are 24 fine brood mares and a good Percheron stallion. A thoroughbred Hereford bull and nice bunch of cows are also kept on the place. W. F. Jones is foreman of the Wrench ranch.
Harry Stork is holding down a small, dry ranch just below the John Hecht place.
Dr. J. W. Stover and his daughter, Minnie, have a fine quarter section of land on Tongue river, where Big Goose empties into that stream. The writer found Mr. Stover, sixty-eight years old, stacking hay for two buck rakes. His first crop of alfalfa amounted to eighty tons, and the second crop will weigh out sixty or seventy tons. Mr. S. irrigates seventy acres, and besides raises wheat, spuds, etc. Miss Stover finds ready market to the Carneyville miners, of all the chickens, butter and vegetables she can produce.
R. T. Williams and a force of mechanics were busy moving his former house to the site where he is erecting a modern ranch home. The old part will be put on the rear, and used as a kitchen. When completed Mr. W. and his estimable family will have a very convenient ten-room house, costing $1,800. He has a section of good Tongue river land, and raises hay and grain. This year Mr. Williams also planted three acres of potatoes and six acres of corn. He has fifty head of cattle.
Jake Schreibeis is one of the greatest workers and most successful farmers in Sheridan county. He now owns two good farms, comprising 880 acres. Two hundred of this is well watered, sixty acres being sown to grain this season. When the Post man called Mr. Schreibeis was irrigating his wheat and getting ready to begin haying. Mr. S. has four acres of young fruit trees, a few dozen of which are bearing.
Chas. S. Schreibeis is a brother of Jake, and has a good homestead in Tongue river valley, where the water never fails. He has been on the place twelve years, irrigates 45 acres, and raises horses and cattle.
W. E. Wagner ranches extensively, having a large body of good Tongue river land. He has been in the country 22 years, owns 2,500 acres, 500 of which he irrigates. This year he has in 100 acres of grain, the balance being wild grass land. Just now Mr. W. is putting in a centrifugal water pumping plant, which will irrigate 300 acres. He has 100 each of cattle and horses.
Simon J. Evans, formerly the postmaster at Dewey postoffice which was located at his 360-acre ranch at the Tongue river bridge, irrigated 160 acres of hay and grain land. He has been on Tongue river 21 years, and is one of its solid ranchers.
O. Oberreich last spring sold his Young's creek, Montana, ranch to Mrs. Scullins of Dietz and in turn bought the John Demmon ranch of 160 acres, adjoining his former place. This year he is farming both ranches. There has been considerable controversy over the right to the waters of Young's creek, and in a suit a year or two ago, the ranchmen on Tongue river who claimed a prior right to the water were sustained by the court, and the Demmon ranches were refused water. Notwithstanding this decision water has been so abundant this season that Mr. Oberreich and other Young's creek ranchmen have had ample water to irrigate their crops. He expects to construct a storage reservoir the coming fall.
Robert Herland is a young single man, who has been in the country eleven years. He has a nice homestead on Tongue river, just below the Simons ranch. Mr. H. thinks that the Sheridan girls do not use the ranch boys rightly, when they leave them to cook their own meals, and go off and marry soldiers and other fellows who have nothing to do but court.
Arthur Roush, who came to Sheridan ahead of the railroad, is holding down a half section of land on Little Young's creek, where he constructed a reservoir and raises vegetables, hay, grain, etc. Mr. R. is one of the men who are meeting with some degree of success in trying to make an originally dry ranch productive.
Frank Kimmel is a former Sheridan boy who is deserving of credit for the hard work he has performed and the success he has attained. At the head of Little Young's creek, where but a very small stream of water flows he constructed a reservoir and has made sage-brush land produce whatever he has sown or planted. Besides alfalfa and tall wheat and oats, the writer saw bright red cherries and other fruits growing at his nice little ranch. He has been on the place nine years, but the young orchard is but half that old.
Ten years ago J. A. Milne took up his 300-acre ranch on the main fork of Young's creek, and has been successful in raising a good crop of grain and hay each season, without the aid of reservoir water. He waters from the creek, and also has ditches on the hillsides so that they will run water upon his land. By this means he has generally been able to raise a second crop of alfalfa. When the writer was there Mr. Milne was cutting alfalfa, which was so heavy it had tired and laid down, so that it could be cut only one way.
Abner L. McKinley, formerly of Sheridan, and E. D. Conley, each have 160-acre ranches on Young's creek, where they have fifty acres watered and in hay and grain. Mr. Conley has the contract for carrying the mail from Dietz to Pearl, Mont., twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Tuesday and Friday evening Post are delivered at Pearl at 2 o'clock the following day. Ranchmen living along the route may have their mail left at their places by putting up boxes and furnishing cloth sacks. Mr. Conley is reported to be very careful with the mail, so that the service is good.
H. L. and O. P. McKinley have a 320-acre horse ranch on the head of Young's creek, where they have been located four years. Last Wednesday they shipped three carloads of good horses of their raising from Sheridan to St. Louis, and were not at the ranch when the Post man called. Mr. Obley drove two carloads of Cheyenne ponies to town for shipment with the McKinley horses.
Thos. Rogers is a substantial ranchman, and goes about his work in a careful, energetic way. He has a good storage reservoir, which he fills each year for the purposes of late irrigation. He claims he can make at least five bushels of wheat extra by irrigating only a short time before harvest. Mr. Rogers has a half section of land. He waters twenty-five acres each of hay and grain, which are good this year. The Pearl postoffice is at Mr. Rogers' ranch., five miles from the Dewey-Tongue river crossing.
Miss Etta Demmon lives by herself and is holding down a homestead on Young's creek, where she tends a patch of garden truck.
Christian Dick is a good-natured Dutchman, who saw something of the world when young. He has been on E. A. Whitney's lower Tongue river ranch since 1898. This place comprises 540 acres, 90 of which are watered. Mr. Dick has a good crop of grain and hay. When the writer called he was getting the haying machinery in condition for the campaign of 1905.
Across the creek from the Whitney place, A. R. Frisbie has 600 acres of nice bottom land, 200 of which is watered, forty acres being in wheat and oats this season. Mr. Frisbie has taken particular pains to get his ground level, and now irrigates whole fields without the aid of lateral ditches, which are quite a nuisance in harvesting hay or grain. Mr. Frisbie and his good wife have lived on Tongue river thirteen years. They have a nice patch of strawberries and other fruit.
The Adams ranch, one of the best of Tongue river, is vacant this year, having been in litigation for a long time.
Ed Foss is a young man who is making a nice ranch on Tongue river by grubbing out and leveling up his land and putting water on it. He has 100 acres, fifty of which he irrigates. Mr. F. will harvest forty acres of heavy grain.
Jack Boyle is not only an old bachelor, but he is an old-timer, having lived in this section twenty-one years. Mr. Boyle says he is a democrat, but he finds no fault with anyone else for being a republican. He has a 200-acre ranch just south of the Montana Wyoming line. Of this he irrigates 100 acres.
Henry Verley is a young bachelor who has a nice 220-acre Tongue river ranch, sixty acres of which are watered, and half of this in grain. Mr. V. has an excellent field of wheat. He was busy haying when the writer called.
Geo. Foss lives just across the line in Montana, where he has eighty acres of bottom land and waters sixty-five of the same. Mr. F. formerly lived on the Gallagher place on Prairie Dog creek. He showed the writer a fine patch of beardless barley, which promises to yield well and be a good kind of grain to raise in this country.
Dennis H. Willey, formerly sheriff of Sheridan county, now owns and occupies a good 300-acre ranch just over the line in Rosebud county, Montana, where he has become a hard-working farmer. Mr. Willey waters 120 acres of his land, has in thirty acres of grain and puts up considerable hay. He has some stock. Mrs. Willey is a bright, cheerful lady, and they have a nice family of three children.
The Inter-State irrigation canal, which covers seven good Tongue river ranches, was completed and water turned in about the 4th of July. This ditch is 5 ½ miles long and seven feet wide at the bottom. It is taken out of the Tongue river at W. E. Wagner's place, and Dennis Willey's is the last ranch covered by it.
P. McCarty is an eccentric bachelor, who has lived on Tongue river since 1880. Mr. McCarthy has his own peculiar way of turning down every stranger who happens along in a buggy, but after getting him thawed out he proves to be quite congenial and well-informed. He has 500 acres of land, practically all watered, and cuts a lot of good native hay.
P. D. Cotton and family live on a dry ranch, below Mr. McCarthy's place. Mr. Cotton has been on the place seven years. He works for other ranchmen.
Across the river from P. D. Cotton his brother, T. A. Cotton, has 200 acres, lying on both sides of the state line. Mr. Cotton has been in the country 25 years, but he has not "disturbed nature, in the way of fostering irrigation enterprises." He raises plenty of hay on Tongue river bottoms without the aid of it. Mr. Cotton has the contract for carrying mail between Sheridan, Decker, Birney and Kirby. He runs the line between Sheridan and Decker himself, and has sublet the Kirby and Birney lines to J. G. Parker. All of these country places have three mails each week.
W. H. Jones is a bachelor, with a new 240-acre place on Squirrel creek. He has ditches on 120 acres, and contemplates the erection of a system of reservoirs in the future. He raises hay and grain. Squirrel creek empties into Tongue river at the Cotton place.
The family of W. M. Chidester is holding down their 200-acre place on Squirrel creek, while he works for wages in the mines at Kendall, Montana. They water 100 acres, which is in hay.
Geo. A. Powers and his two sons, Al. and Frank, run quite a ranch on Squirrel creek. It comprises 480 acres, nearly 400 of which is under the ditch. They have a large reservoir, which is usually well filled at this time of year, but the rains this year have fallen too far down the creek, until the one which came Wednesday night, when the writer was at their ranch. That night several feet of water was caught in the big basin. The Powers people, put up lots of hay, raise alfalfa for seed, and this year have 30 acres of grain, besides a good patch of corn. They have the best success with the "flower" corn, a white, hard variety, which matures quickly. Edward Buttles of Michigan, a printer by trade, and his young daughter are spending a few months at the ranch. Mr. B. is a brother of Mrs. Powers.
W. F. VanGorder and his son Claude each have homesteads on Squirrel creek where they irrigate some land and raise some stock. They expect to build a reservoir the coming fall. A short time ago the elder VanGorder had his collar-bone broken, when thrown by a horse, but he is recovering quite rapidly from his injury.
P. G. Fraser, brother of Tuman Fraser of Sheridan, has a good hay and stock ranch at the head of Squirrel creek. He has constructed reservoirs, and waters 160 acres, most of which is in hay, of which he puts up a large quantity. Mr. F. was busy at this work when the writer called.
James McCoy of Dietz has a homestead just below the Fraser ranch, but does not live on it all the time. Chas. Brandt also has a homestead, adjoining that of McCoy He works with sheep in Johnson county part of the time.
Last spring Andrew Hassey, who worked at Dietz during the winter, bought and moved onto the Barnfield 160-acre place, just below the Powers reservoir. He has eighty acres in grain and hay, and intends to do some reservoir building in the fall.
Chas. Muller of Tongue river has the record for one thing. He is the father of twelve sons, and they are all workers. Two of them, Leo and Ernest own good hay and stock ranches on Badger creek, while several of the boys are at home with their father on his 400-acre farm. Mr. M. has made a success of irrigating by means of a large centrifugal pumping plant. He raises the water 14 feet, and irrigates 60 acres of grain and hay, besides ten [acres] of beans. His pump is run by means of a wheel which is driven by the current of the stream. The high, cut banks near Decker make it difficult to take water out of the river by means of dams and ditches, and some have adopted the pumping plants instead.
J. J. Bentley of the Bank of Commerce has a dry ranch, which is used as a stage station, by J. G. Parker, who runs the Kirby and Birney lines. Mr. Parker and his son James, have a dry horse ranch on the head of Badger creek, where they keep about 100 animals. The young Mr. Parker has his wife with them at the stage station.
C. A. Evans has a series of small reservoirs on his 480-acre Badger creek ranch, where he raises some stock and puts up considerable hay. He is now hauling to Sheridan some of his last year's crop of hay. Himself and family have been on the ranch 12 years. Until last spring they have been without school advantages. During the winter Mr. Evans, with the aid of neighbors, put up a stone school house, and during the spring months a very good term of school was taught therein by young Rowland of Beatty's gulch.
Besides the ranches of Leo and Ernest Muller and C. A. Evans, 'Rash Burns, J. B. Kendrick and C. W. Wulfjen and son, have stock ranches on Badger creek, where they all put up considerable hay. Finding that none of these men were upon their ranches except Mr. Wulfjen, the Post man did not take the time to visit the place above the Evans ranch, but changed his course to the northward, again striking Tongue river at Wm. Munson's ranch. Mr. M. had just returned from a round-up on the north side of the river, with Captain Joe Brown's outfit, and reported the cattle to be in better condition than he had seen them for ten years. Mr. Munson has 480 acres of ground, and expects to take a ditch out of Tongue river soon. He runs quite a bunch of cattle and horses.
B. F. Shreve has lived on Tongue river 17 years. He has a half section of fine land which is nearly all under ditch and growing big crops of hay and grain. Mr. Shreve has a good wife and eight bright children, with a good home for them.
O. J. Shreve is a brother of B. F., and has been in the country 22 years. He has no family, but has a half section of nice land, with some stock. This year he has 20 acres of rye, which is very heavy. Mr. Shreve is a close reader of current events, especially of the local papers. He says he finds much that is of value to him, particularly in land office matters and the proceedings of the county commissioners. Like his neighbors, Mr. S. lives in Montana, but like most of the Tongue river ranchmen as far down as Birney, sixty miles from Sheridan, does his trading at this place.
W. H. Walling, two years ago, came from the Judith basin in Montana and bought and moved onto the Big Springs ranch, thirty miles from Sheridan. This place contains 280 acres of deeded ground, 75 acres of which is watered by means of the Big Springs. A nice, large house is also on the ranch. Mr. Walling is a United States commissioner. When the writer called, Mr. W. and family and Miss Mae Stover, the children's teacher and governess, had gone to the head of Tongue river, for a two weeks' outing in the Big Horn mountains.
Jesse Cook is a newly-married man who owns a good, little ranch just across the river from the Big Springs. The writer did not find him at home.
Olaf Person is not a Dutchman or an Irishman, but he has a good, 280-acre ranch on Tongue river and raises some stock. He has a fine crop this season.
The new school in the Decker district is situated one and a half miles northeast of D. H. Willey's place. It is a good building, and is kept by Miss Inez Moore, who takes pride in keeping the interior neat and attractive. She formerly lived in Iowa, but has been west five years, long enough to have fallen in love with our country. She is reputed to be an excellent instructor, and has been engaged to teach another year at Decker. This district is quite large. Mr. Walling lives eight miles from the school. The district has enough money on hand to run the school another year, without making any levy for this year.
Quite a water spout occurred on Tongue river about 12 miles below the Decker postoffice Wednesday night of last week. The roads were very badly washed. Some hail accompanied the water, but no material damage was done to crops.
Robert F. Stone is running a 400-acre ranch on Lower Prairie Dog creek which is owned by Bennett & Green of Minneapolis. Mr. Stone irrigates eighty acres of hay, which he was harvesting when called upon. About 800 head of cattle are kept on the ranch. The young son of Mr. and Mrs. Stone has been ill with scarlet fever, but has about recovered.
After leaving the Bennett & Green ranch, the Post man discovered Mr. & Mrs. J. B. Kendrick, Surveyor C. E. Worthington and Miss Geneva Messick camped in a shady place where they had just finished their dinner on their way to the OW ranch, owned by Mr. K., and being located on Hanging Woman creek, twelve miles south of where it empties into Tongue river. The place is fifty miles from Sheridan. Mr. Kendrick is not only one of our very large stockmen, but [is] one of our best men in many ways. Mr. Worthington was going out to run some line for Mr. Kendrick, and Miss Messick was on her way to spend a week or two at the OW ranch.
Ira W. Nash is running a 640-acre ranch he and W. H. Walling own on Prairie Dog creek, seventeen miles northeast of Sheridan. This year he has irrigated forty acres of grain and sixty of hay. The firm keeps quite a bunch of cattle at the ranch.
Chas. Evans is working the Dr. Newell ranch, of 400 acres, about half of which is under the ditch, and this year forty acres are in grain. The place cuts 250 tons of hay, and is a good ranch.
J. E. Glenn, who was "grasshoppered out" in Montana, contested a fine homesteaded claim of 160 acres which formerly belonged to the Newell ranch and won it. He is now irrigating eighty acres, has up a frame house and other buildings, and will have a good home in his declining years. This is Mr. G.'s first year on the place. He has been in the country 20 years.
Don Rowland and his two grown sons were busy cleaning out and enlarging ditches and watering land on the J. W. Lightly ranch, where they had just finished putting up the first crop of alfalfa, which was exceedingly good. This place [contains] 320 acres, 180 of this being irrigated, with 20 acres in grain and the balance in hay. Mr. Rowland's home place is on Beatty's gulch, where he is making a success of dry farming. He plows the ground eight inches deep early in the fall, lets it lie rough during the winter, plants corn, wheat and oats in the spring, discs and harrows the ground well, and raises good crops.
John Rose has been in this section 22 years, and is one of our substantial farmers. He has a quarter section of land, waters 100 acres, raises a lot of good hay and some stock.
James Enochs and his force of men were busily engaged in bucking in and stacking a heavy piece of hay. Mr. Enochs is one of the old-time cowmen in this section, having been here 25 years. Now he keeps but 200 or 300 head, only what he can feed on the ranch during the winter. Mr. Enochs has 280 acres of deeded soil, of which he irrigates 100 acres.
E. M. Weltner is one of the well-to-do ranchmen of Prairie Dog creek. He has 500 acres of land, and raises large crops of timothy hay, which usually sells at high prices in town. When the Post man called Friday night Mrs. Weltner was still confined to her bed, as a result of bruises sustained in being thrown from a lumber wagon with her husband, by a runaway team, Wednesday morning. Mr. Weltner was able to be about, but was not feeling well.
H. S. Robertson has been living on his Prairie Dog ranch, eight miles from Sheridan, twenty years. He owns 140 acres, 108 of which are watered. Most of the place is covered by meadows of timothy and clover. The hay is very heavy this year, and Mr. Robertson expected to begin harvesting it on Monday of this week. He has a nice home and family.
The people of Prairie Dog creek and Tongue river expect soon to have the convenience of telephone line, which is being constructed from Birney, Montana, to Sheridan. The poles are being gotten out and the work of building the line is progressing at the Birney end.
Last Updated April 2005
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