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My brother, Joe, with hopes of fame, Homesteaded this land upon the plain; As time went by, his hopes did fade, The wealth he hoped for Wealthy man Hilger Montana never made. The good old days have come and gone, The birds in the nest have flown; Like all things upon this earth, It sits lonesome and alone.
With the sun at my back, I stand here now, your picture to take To put along with the rest I've got-- A great big album to make. I reminisce of days gone by And things that might have been. I leave you now, old homestead shack. I may not come this way again. Alan Wiedman -- December The Armells community which lies about 25 miles northeast of Lewistown on Highway is rich in pioneer history. Many of the ranches in this area were once a part of the Fergus family holdings, which took in land bordered on the southeast land owned by Johnny Wurtz, the Steve Gilpatrick ranch, part of the Bud Lipke property, the Max Maberry ranch, Yaeger families, and the famous Horse Ranch.
This ranch was the horse range for the Fergus Ranch, now owned by the Vernon Taylors. Eighteen miles from Lewistown on Highwayis the old Townsend ranch which took in the first homestead of Shorty Becraft, stage driver and miner. This ranch was later the home ranch and headquarters for the George Gilpatrick sheep ranch; who came to this area in The grandparents, Mr.
When this pioneer couple was in their eighties, they took up a homestead on which the Steve Gilpatricks now live, and the log cabin still stands. They lived there for several years, happy and contented in their mountain home, making a modest living, raising a wonderful garden and living until they were 98 years old.
Other pioneer families who lived in the valley near the Judith Mountains were the Emory Stowell's, the J. Kelly's, the Goods, the Chandlers, the Hiatts and the Hosiers, whose land is now part of the Wiedman and Gilpatrick ranches.
In the spring the old-fashioned Iris which still blooms in the tall grass and the rhubarb, which planted perhaps 50 years ago bring back a bit of nostalgia of the hopes and dreams of these early rugged homesteaders. Among the early pioneers was one Tim Carey, a dashing young Irish bachelor, who homesteaded, and then was on his way to other surroundings. This area, too, had its good and bad sides, as does our modern world.
During prohibition days, several flourishing bootleggers turned out some of the best and worst liquors. Notorious characters, too, lived in the area, including one Jack Maher, who was driven Wealthy man Hilger Montana of Cripple Creek, for murder. A sheep-herder for the Fergus Ranch, went on a wild shooting spree one night and killed Jack Barclay and others in the old bunk house which still stands on the ranch owned now by the Yaeger families. The Rev. George Edwards was the early Presbyterian missionary minister who held the first church services in the home of James Fergus and the Chris Wiedmans, with many pioneer families attending.
Mining, too, had its day, in a small way, this side of the Judith Mountains. Several placer miners worked the area. A crew of ten men dug water ditches by hand and spent the winter taking out a fair amount of gold on Armells Creek on the Wiedman Ranch. This area is also rich in Indian lore. The Blackfoot tribe had their winter camp at the head of Armells and tepee poles were still standing on the bottom land which is now the Wiedman hay meadows. The Wiedman ranch was homesteaded by the grandfather, Chris Wiedman, in the fall of and the original log cabin still stands at the present building site.
The apple orchard planted then still bears much fruit, and one of the oldest trees now bearing is 75 years old. The first school in the area, for which the registration books are still in the files at the Wiedman Ranch, was held in the log ranch house.
A few years later a log school house was built on the banks of Armells Creek, a short distance from the house. The two pupils listed on the school attendance records for the first two months were May Biggerstaff and Alan Wiedman. Later many more pupils came and a larger school was built nearby. Mail was delivered via this route in four and one-half days; freight fifteen days, and freight from Chicago in thirty days.
This trail was not in use for a few years, due to Indian attacks. The trail can still be seen through the Lipke, Gilpatrick, Maberry, Wiedman ranches, and down through the Yaegers property. One of the oldest pioneer ranches was the James Fergus holdings. This ranch was a sort of headquarters for many homesteaders.
Mail was handled here in the early days and a commissary was run at the ranch. After the hard winter ofmany pioneers who suffered severe losses were helped out by James Fergus. They paid back their loans with butter, eggs, oats, etc. During the depression of the 's part Wealthy man Hilger Montana this ranch was sold to the Yaeger family. Telephone service was maintained by a group of ranchers who built their own line into Lewistown in Wm.
Later they sold their franchise to the Bell Telephone Co. Later the rural line for Armells, with the switchboard in the Wiedman kitchen, served the area until about During many winter storms, when the new modern phones were often out of order, the P. The line was kept up by willing ranchers who all did their share in a good, old-fashioned way. Postal service was furnished by the Armells Transportation Co. Gilpatrick as proprietor and H. Brown as agent.
The stage left Lewistown Wednesdays and Saturdays at a. The postmaster at Box Elder was Mrs. Odin Romunstad, with the home serving as her office. Later the post office was moved to Armells and located on the property now owned by the Yaeger families. During the time Hazel Fergus was in charge, the building burned to the ground. All patrons then received their mail at Fergus.
In the years to during the gradual closing of the Kendall mines, many of the hard rock miners came into the area to take up homeste. Many of these homeste are now part of the larger ranches, and some are still in the family with the second and third generation living on them. Much land was plowed and grain was raised in abundance in the area until 's when most of the ranchers became convinced the area was really adapted to the raising of cattle.
Due to the Wealthy man Hilger Montana of rainfall received, many of the acreages have been re-seeded to pasture grass, and once again the sheep and cattle eat and grow fat as they graze in this paradise. Another pioneer ranch in the area is the Will Landru property. The Landrus took up homeste inand the property is still occupied by the second generation. Other ranches were Gladys Hunnewell Hall, now Mrs.
In this area, too, was the huge sheep shearing plant which was owned first by Jim Wilson where ranchers brought their sheep many miles in June and July to have them sheared. As many as thirty shearers were able to shear from to sheep per day each, these being a small Rambouillet, Merino breed.
The shearing plant was run by a one-cylinder engine and part of the old shearing machinery is still stored on the Wiedman and Maberry ranches. We of the pioneer families are happy and proud to carry on the work started by our ancestors, and truly enjoy living in a wonderful community with fresh invigorating air to breathe, Wealthy man Hilger Montana skies, lots of space and neighbors who believe in working together. We truly think we are lucky to live in such a wonderful part of the Treasure State.
The trustees were A. Weideman and Edward Dougherty. Other families in the area were W. Lamphier, John Cravens, J. Sullivan, Thos. Herbert, Jas. Craig, Reid Biggerstaff. The first teacher was Marie Singleton. Some of the other teachers were L. The last teacher was Grace McClenning Beattie. The last school term ended November 20, The district was abandoned in and attached to 56 Hilger.
She had a homestead in Kansas before coming to this area. Her daughter, Keoka, was born in a hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, inenroute to Lewistown, Montana with her husband and her mother, Mollie Anderson. Rose divorced her husband and homesteaded near Fort Maginnis.
She sold that homestead and next homesteaded on Armells Creek when Keoka was about eight years old.
During the school year Keoka stayed in Roy with her grandmother, who was a nurse and was taking care of Cap McCullough's mother. Rose and Keoka left here in a team and wagon and went to Shepherd, a trip that took a week's time. Keoka is now living in Deming, New Mexico.
Rose passed away in He worked in the White Sulphur Springs area for about two years, before becoming associated with W. Parrett in the sheep business on Armells Creek.
Parrett and Blanchard were in business together until when Parrett moved north of the Missouri river. Blanchard, a bachelor, died in January of at the age of His death wa caused by an abcess on the brain which was undoubtedly the result of an accident that had occurred eight years ly. He had been run over by a wagon and had received considerable head injuries and never fully recovered, suffering from headaches, melancholia and a change in disposition. In a brother of his came to Montana and bought a team, wagon and harness and headed for the Springs.
The first night out on the road, while leading the horses from water, he became entangled in the rope and was dragged to death. Herbert was the last survivor of four children. His father had died years before.
His mother was listed as a "wealthy woman of Boston". He was well known and universally admired in Fergus county and was one of this areas most prominent woolgrowers. His ranch, now owned by Glen Rindal, was known for many years as the Beatty Ranch. An interesting article appeared in the February 6, issue of Fergus Co. Argus following his death. It re as follows: "The recent death of Herbert Blanchard reminds us that of the eleven white men who have died in the settlement north of the Judith mountains since what is now Fergus county was first settled, his is the first from a natural cause originating here.
One was hung at Judith Landing for horse stealing; one was drowned while crossing the river, Doyle killed Howard at the Howard ranch near Box Elder, Herbert Atkinson killed Pool in self-defense on the divide coming from Maginnis, a sheepherder was pounded and clubbed to death by two rowdies at John Butterfield's, one man was frozen to death last winter at Oscar Stephens' ranch, a young man left Armell creek on foot for the North Moccasin some four winters ago and his body was found next spring on Deer Creek, about the same time a man left lower Dog Creek for the Bear Paw's and was seen by a sheepherder off the road going in the wrong direction and has not been seen since, a sheepherder in the employ of Wealthy man Hilger Montana Bros.
This list shows that the blizzard has cost us four times as many lives and the gun and club three times as many as natural causes. Edward P. Chandler and his cousin, Will, came to the area in They were engaged in the sheep business in the Deer Creek area.Wealthy man Hilger Montana
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