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Judith Basin County formed from parts of Fergus, Cascade

Lewistown News-Argus **
Sunday, December 15, 1991 Christmas Edition

   Judith Basin County was created in 1920 from western Fergus County and eastern Cascade County.

    Its name comes from the Judith River which Meriwether Lewis named in 1805 for his cousin, Judith Hancock.

    It was prime buffalo hunting ground for Indians according to Richard Roeder, a Helena writer and historian.

    This included tribes from west of the continental divide who made periodic trips into the Sun and Judith rivers.

    Not surprisingly, the Judith country also provided outstanding range for some of the early open range cattle and sheep operators. This is Charlie Russell country.

    As is indicated by the date of the county's formation, the Judith Basin was invaded by large numbers of homesteaders, and livestock largely gave way to grain farming.

    Stanford is the county seat. The first sheep grazed the area in 1880.

    The Stanford post office opened in 1882 and was also a station on the Fort Benton-Billings stage line. This town was known as Old Stanford and was named for a town in New York state.

    In 1892, the town consolidated with Debuque at the present town and post office.

   The Stanford area was the home range of Old Snowdrift, a legendary outlaw wolf.

   Hobson, originally called Philbrook is named for S.S. Hobson, an early day rancher and state senator. The name change was made when the Great Northern completed a branch line in 1907-08.

Copyright 1998-2006 - Ann Kramlich and Betty Distad - All Rights Reserved

** Consent to post the stories and photos for non commercial use from the Lewistown News Argus was graciously granted by Dave Byerly owner and Publisher. These stories and photos may not be used by any commercial entity for any reason without consent from the  Lewistown News Argus.