Cattle Drives to Montana

The men that stayed in Glacier and Pondera Counties.


The cattle drives mostly started in Texas and the cattle were brought to Kansas City and then to Custer County, Montana.

My great grandfather, John Hall was one of the men who came north to Montana in the 1880's with the cattle drives. He worked for a foreman by the name of John Lee. Other men who came with him were: Jake Williamson, Charles Davlin, Charles "Bowlegs" Buckley, Frank Orr, Sterling Cross, Sam Benson and Bill Humble. The cattle were for the DHS Ranch owned by Granville Stuart and partners in Montana.

Charles H. "Bowlegs" Buckley was shot in card game in Robare, MT in 1899. He died April 1 and is buried at Robare Cemetary. Charles "Bowlegs" Buckley was born 1861, Wise County, TX. his parents were: Samno and Elizabeth Montgomery Buckley. "Bowlegs" married Matilda Smith in 1897, at Holy Family Mission, Blackfeet Reservation, MT.

Frank Orr moved to Dupuyer, MT and raised his family there until he moved to Nampa, ID. He was married to Jeanette Spivey Meade. Their had the following children: Edwin Orr; Eugene Franklin Orr, b. 7/27/1888,died 1959, Homedale, ID; Fred Orr b. 1/1/1891; Ted Francis Orr, b. 4/16/1894; Gustava "Gussie" Jeanette Orr b. 3/21/1898, died 8/4/1974, Boise, ID married to Samuel Allen Henson; Frank James Zedrick Orr.

Charles Davlin was born 1861, Corpus Christi, TX. Father: C.C. Davlin, Mother: R.N. Fraswell. Charles Davlin married Mollie Wright, December 21, 1893 at Robare, MT. Mollie Wright was born 1872 at Fort Benton, MT. Charles Davlin owned the bar in Robare that Charles "Bowlegs" Buckley was shot at. Charles Davlin left Montana and went to New Mexico in the early 1900's. Charles Davlin died in Rowland, NV about 1910.

Jacob "Jake" Williamson was born 1861 MS, died 8/20/1926 Cut Bank, MT. Parents: William Williamson b. 1835 MS and Mary E. Lee b. 1842 MS. Jake married Margaret "Maggie" Allison on August 20, 1901 Great Falls, MT. They lived on the Blackfeet Reservation at Flat Coulee about 9 miles west of Cut Bank. They had the following children: Harvey Williamson b. 1902 d. 10/27/1967 wife: Helen Babcock; Parker Williamson b. 5/6/1904 d. 8/7/1957 wife: Mary Ann Elizabeth Bremner, Angeline Agnes Brown, Nancy Sophia Bremner; Guy Russell Williamson b. 12/5/1905 d. 3/28/1956, unmarried; Mildred Williamson b. 1907, husband: Al Faulknwe; Madeline Marion Williamson b. 3/30/1909 d. 1912; Ruby Williamson b. 6/19/1911, husband: Ole Brekke; Eleanor Williamson b. 4/5/1915 d. 4/22/1961; Murray L. Williamson b. 12/5/1918 d. 1/13/1995; James Williamson; Shannon P. Williamson b. 10/29/1922 d. 7/20/1974; Edith Williamson b. 4/7/1925 husband: Gail Cobell.

Sterling Cross went back to Texas and lived there in Granberry, Hood County, Texas. Sterling Cross married Ariminta Watson on May 1, 1845, Navarro Co. TX. They had nine children: Pocahontas, b. 1846, Mary, b. 1849, John J, b.1852, Mac, b. 1854, Bolevia, b. 1856, Sterling C. Jr. b. 1859 Rhoda, b. 1863, Jefferson Davis, b. 1866, William "Bun" , b. 1867.

**Sterling Cross, Jr is probably the man who came with the Cattle Drives to Montana, with John Hall.


O Lord, I've never lived where churches grow;
I've loved creation better as it stood.
That day you finished it, so long ago,
And looked upon it and called it good.

Just let me live my life as I've begun!
And give me work that's open to the sky;
Make me a partner of the wind and sun,
And I won't ask a life that's soft and high.

Make me a big and open as the plains;
As honest as the horse between my knees;
Clear as the wind that blows behind the rains;
Free as the hawk that circles down the breeze.

Just keep as eye on all that's done and said;
Just right me sometime when I turn aside;
And guide me on the long, dim trail ahead -
That stretches upward toward the Great Divide.
Author: Unknown

I've met a heap o'cowboys and some was real top hand,
I saw a million cattle, and read a lot o'brands.
I've seen some hard old winters, when nearly all the cattle died.
I've rode some cuttin' horses that could turn right out of their hides.
I ate may share o'beefsteaks and drunk some whiskey too.
An' did a little dancin with nothin else to do.
Been bucked off old outlaws that I couldn't start to ride.
An' saw some fine old buddies go over the Great Divide.
With friends and family now I'm makin' my last stand.
An' hopin' to be horseback when I reach the Promised Land.
Author: Unknown