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Kenneth McLEAN

Anne M. McKENZIE 466

  • Born: 12 Mar 1867, Stillwater, Washington Co., Minnesota, USA 466
  • Marriage: Kenneth McLEAN on 28 Apr 1886 in Residence of the Bride's Parents, Miles City, Custer Co., Montana, USA 466
  • Died: 28 Jan 1950, Miles City, Custer Co., Montana, USA at age 82 466
  • Buried: 31 Jan 1950, Miles City, Custer Co., Montana, USA

bullet   Cause of her death was Cerebral arteriosclerosis with olf hemiplegia due to terminal pneumonia.466


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Anne McKenzie pronounced her name "Anna".

"Fanning the Embers"

Anna McKenzie McLean Story

given by Bruce Brown

Her writings are taken from the Miles City Daily Star.

The first cattleman was Abraham, in Genesis. His cattle ranged on the grassy hills across the River Jordan. The first cowboys were employed in Egypt. Pharoah instructed Joseph to pick out the men of activity for rulers over the cattle. George Washington had the first brand on the North American continent, a "GW" on the left shoulder.

The first cattle in Custer county was a bunch of cows owned by Charley Brown, in 1878. The first dairy was located two miles up Tongue River. The animals were brought from the west.

An adventure into a new business and into an unknown country had a lure for many people. The timid hesitate to follow the fickle guide called Fate. Her uncertainty keeps one guessing and a good guesser never grows old. Did you ever see an Old Cowboy? Call him an "Old Time Cowboy" for he may have worked a long time.

Pharoah's men of activity are with us still. Bring up a good saddle horse and our "old time cowboy" will step in the stirrup, mount and ride off with the grace of a young lochinvar. He is weather hardened. The dangers of his work make him always ready for any emergency. He smiles when he is hungry. He whistles goodbyes and crosses "The Big Divide" with dry tears in his eyes.

Mrs. W. W. Alderson (Little Sweetheart of the Half Century Club) writes this of the cowboy: "I have been dependent upon them for courtesies, protection and kindness and have always received it in the fullest measure."

Riding and Cattle Days

The following are some of the accounts of my early knowledge of riding and cattle days:

The first herd came up from the South. They were poor and did not survive the winter of 1880. (We came from Minnesota and nearly froze to death too, ate buffalo meat shaved off with a drawknife, until we were all buffaloed thinking spring would never come). The few guests we entertained were queer characters. One in particular. "Wall-Eyed Scout." He said his real name was McDonald. I think it was changed to whatever nationality the company he wished to cultivate. He brought a pack horse load of tanned deer hides of which he wished my mother to make a full suit of buckskin, even to six pairs of socks. He had moccasins beaded, the like of which I have never seen. He spoke three Indian languages, was a sharp-shooter, and could ride a barebacked horse, on the opposite side without being observed in the distance. All of which my father said had a meaning. He claimed he had forgotten the taste of an egg and would pay a dollar to see one. He would have been safe to have offered a thousand dollars. I remember him well, for I blistered my fingers cutting fringe for his suit, while he told the wildest stories.

The following years many herds came over the trails - up to the Big Cattle Days of 1886. In 1884 the Stockmen's association was formed to arrange for the dividing of boundary lines ridden by boys of the different ranges ("The Line Camp", by Hallie Bowles Jacobs), and setting dates for roundups and branding, the anniversary of which we are celebrating this year. The old buffalo trails were deep, leading to water, but the Texas trail herds replaced them.

In the summer of 1880 my father bought two ponies from an Indian. Their names were Red Bird and Black Bird. The latter stands in a picture by L. A. Huffman. "A Day's Hunt". Mr. Huffman came to the ranch when he heard my father planned a trip to the north side of the Yellowstone river to get a load of buffalo meat. The hunters took only the hides and tongues. Mr. Huffman was to take the pictures.

A Difficult Task

Few people realize the task it was for Mr. Huffman to take the buffalo pictures that hang on many walls. He camouflaged in true Indian Style. It was necessary to wear heavy clothing on account of the extreme cold weather; therefore, strips of heavy gunnysacks were wrapped around outside of overshoes and long German socks to protect and to keep the crusted snow from cutting and wearing out the clothing. He had a muskrat cap, with visor and ear-laps, and gauntlet gloves, the fur reaching to the tip of the fingers. They were issued to the soldiers who sold them to citizens. There was nothing warmer nor as light in weight, no better tan has ever been manufactured. With all these on, Mr. Huffman rolled in deep snow, sometimes fastening twigs of sagebrush to complete his disguise, carrying a heavy, large, square camera and glass plates, when he managed to get near enough to the wild hunted buffalo to get time exposures by cautiously crawling near, on the windward side.

Extremely Cold Weather

The weather was extremely cold. The snow was deep. Word came that the buffalo were drifting in toward the river. They took my Indian pony to help break the trails. This pony was of medium size, but could plunge through snow where larger horses would lie down on the job. I never dreamed that in sight of where these pictures were taken, 53 years later we would greet a son-in-law, Sherman Hunt, making a round trip from Dallas, Tex., in a flying machine.

Texas brings back visions of the old Jersey red Texas cow which I chased more miles than it would take to put 500 head across the continent. She was long in body, horns, tail, legs and stride, and could run like a deer. She was raised on the open range, and like Big Nose George, was always on her way to the border lines.

My father met the foreman of the first big trail herd to see about getting a milk cow. In the distance there were fine looking jersey colored cattle. Father discovered they were all steers, but the foreman said: "We picked up a fat cow with a yearling. She is over yonder. I reck'n she has milk."

She seemed to have forgotten that she was a cow away back yonder and Mr. Foreman didn't reck'n the amount of man and horse power it took to get the milk. I don't know how much my father paid for her, but whatever it was, it was too much. The foreman and two of the cowboys brought our purchase to the corral. They said she was wild and we might need help to get a rope on her and before this act was accomplished I thought we would need the outfit and all the buffalo hunters we knew. To my knowledge that rope was never removed as she eloped with a trail herd that fall wearing the same neck-tie. She was very touchy about her head, when she rolled her eyes and blew her nose, it meant "safety first". My mother said, "Good riddance to bad rubbish", when old Red ran away.

I learned cattle terms through my association with Old Red. During the summer 10,000 head came over the trail to be turned loose on the north side. Old Red prepared to depart with every herd that came. Pulling up and breaking down everything she was tied to, posts, iron picket pins, sage brush, besides dragging rope, log and chain.

My horse was saddled at sunrise and Col. Sheetz, C. B. Towers, Harry Fearnall and William P. Flynn never surveyed the country between Miles City and Buffalo Rapids more than I did looking for that critter away back by the old lounge hill, as we called Signal Butte.

I was told to be cautious about the Badland, where it was reported there were horse-thieves' rendezvous. In some of their caches, between the Black Hills and Canada, like Jackson Hole, you were met by a committee, turned back or made to join the gang of horsethieves.

Father-Horse Doctor

One early morning I was looking for Old Red: a young man rode up and said, "Good Morning, Little Cowgirl." I was shocked to realize, because I was always looking for Old Red, that he called me a cowgirl. I showed I was annoyed. He smiled, introduced himself and begged my pardon, as he lifted his hat, looked well groomed and was riding a beautiful horse, all of which helped his apology. He inquired if I knew where he might leave a pet horse, that had been badly hurt, and could not return with the outfit to meet another trail herd. We rode home together. I told him my father was quite a horse doctor, which seemed to please him. Jack Hart brought his wounded horse over from camp and said if he got well I might ride Cortez. Also that he was one of the best "cut horses" any outfit ever saw. I thought that a strange way to talk about the poor animal but I learned later what he meant when I rode Cortez after Old Red. She was in the habit of galloping, no, I should say loping, and when going at full speed would stop and dodge back of my Indian pony and gain time in another direction. This day I became interested in Cortez' movements. His head was almost over Old Red and he turned instantly when she did and in an instant all motive power stopped, but I went on, over "The Strawberry Roan's" head, the cow too I think, and landed not far from China on a cactus bed. From that day I knew a "cut horse" was educated to attend strictly to business, pick your animal and in a short time they will cut out from the herd, the one you selected.

Trail herd number three arrived and was browsing near where the Kircher school is located. It was the noon hour and the boys were at the mess wagon. The rider on guard was lying down, cowboy fashion, with his saddle horse near at hand. A camper on the river bank sauntered over to get a better look at the cattle, and all of a sudden a big steer spied Mr. Man, who started to meet and inspect the stranger, the herd following. There were neither trees, house or fences in the valley, (the only objects above the sage brush were the line of government telegraph poles much smaller than the poles of today). One big steer whistled for him to wait, but Mr. Man stepped on the gas (so to speak). His reserve speed carried him to the nearest object, he climbed the tall, slick telegraph pole. He was clinging to the top while wild-eyed steers threw dirt up from the bottom.

The boys came to his rescue, drove back and got the herd quieted down. They offered the pole climber all the money in the outfit to do it again, but he failed.

I have read that athletes have discovered unknown latent powers within themselves at critical moments. This runner found his.

One cold rainy morning as I watched the boys don their yellow slickers, nearly every horse pitched. The cook decided to go to town. He saddled up an old white bell horse. And if he didn't buck, it was a case of "bronco for breakfast". The scene was recalled to my mind a few years later in St. Paul, the day this pitcure of Russell's was on exhibition.

Roundup cooks had a cooney rawhide fastened under the ness wagon to carry extra pots and pans. When the team started, such a noise was never repeated until the old Model H Fords started to locate inside drains. A night wrangler conceived the idea of making a sleeping berth under the bed wagon. He fastened a cow hide, hammock fashion, under the bed wagon. All went well until they started to cross Powder River. Hogan, the driver, heard him holler. Hogan shouted, "Shut your mouth, Kid, or you'll drown. I am shipping up, ain't I?" The fact was he had forgotten his pullman passenger, and was whipping up on account of quicksand.


The cattle they got frightened
and rush in wild stampeded.
The cowboy tried to head them,
riding at full speed".

I saw two stampedes and care not to see another. The boys finally shot the leader. Another stampede was caused out on Fallon. A windy evening the outfit had made a big drive, cattle, men and horses were all tired. As the cook poured the pound of Arbuckle coffee into the coffee mill a breeze whipped the paper sack into the air. Away went the herd, pell mell. It was dusk, the tramp of those frightened cattle, their hoofs creaking and their horns knocking would put fear into a mountain lion. Horses and riders risking their lives every minute of the run through coulees. "Thundering Herd" is well named and I believe one could see lightning when the horns of the steers struck. The opposite picture is a herd bedding down just before sunset and the riders singing a lullabye. Each cowboy has his favorite song, "Sweet and Low", "Lie Down, Old Brindle, Lie Down", etc., and some of the boys play mouth harps.

The breakfast call in camp was two dutch oven lids rubbed together by the cook. You imagine this noise-unrolling a tarp- and raising hair on a bald man's head.

Roundup No. 2 roused the boys out so early. Craig McDowell said Tommy Doyle described the situation when telling a man didn't need a bed. All he needed was a lantern to catch a fresh horse.

A herd arrived early one afternoon. The men were anxious to return to meet the following outfit. All these herds were turned loose.

Across the Yellowstone River, the journey's end. They were stubborn and refused to cross. Men and horses worked without success. Someone came to watch the herd and said an Indian scout at Fort Keogh managed stock in the rivers. He was brought but as soon as he arrived at the place of action, poo-hooed, saying, "No cross strange water, sun shining in eyes." Sure enough, next morning they crossed over without much fuss.

I watched many herds cross. A man that could manage a herd crossing a swimming stream cannot be found, better than Bill Case. One herd arrived when the river was bank-full and dangerous looking. On this side near the old town the boys began to prepare for crossing. They looked like circus riders in all colors of underwear. As each man loosened his saddle cinches, a young chap who had never ridden in swimming water, tightened his-just another case of thinking the little things of life don't count. Find out all there is to know about the business you give yourself credit for knowing.

The herd was crowded off the bank into the treacherous looking stream. When part way over the leaders tried to turn back, forming a mill. Some horses, like men, became seriously calm-looking when they sense danger. The shouting ceased; cattle, men and horses all realized what might happen as they drifted.

Bill Case seemed everywhere, he and his horse giving each other confidence as they tried to break the mill. A shout went out, "Hey, the Kid's gone down". His plucky horse swam until the tightened cinch cut his wind off. Case managed to go where he saw him last, as his head appeared he shouted, "Grab a steer's tail". The silent churning animals took action. The old steer seemed to think he had a crocodile on his tail and made for shore.

Case kept shouting, "Swim high". The boy was bouncing high when that old steer started for the bog cottonwood trees, on the other side. He looked like a weight on the tail end of a kite when he landed on shore. He let loose and began climbing a tree as the herd's hoofs cracked over the stones through the trees and up the hillside. Dripping wet but happy, the kid dropped on the horse with the first rider to reach him.

His saddle horse drifted, came out away down opposite, where Leon Park is now, his ears hanging down, having filled with water when he sank, until he looked like a German dachhund-then the tightened cinch was discovered.

A "Running" Dream

As I am writing, a young man on the radio is singing "Did you ever see a dream walking?" No, mine was always running. When Gabriel blows his horn to awaken us from the big sleep, I'll not be surprised to hear, "Wake up quick. Your horse is saddled. Old Red is gone."

Strange, our T-bone cowtown served roast pig at stockmeeting. The opposite of what we possess seems most desirable, and often disappointing. Stockmen resign to Fate. If old hard winter claims their all, when spring comes, and grass grows, they take a new lease on life, commune with nature in the silent places. A peace that passeth understanding and the song of the meadow lark thrills and makes him feel: "Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree."

The spirit of the West prevailed, and friendliness with an air that you are no better than your actions denote, and everyone was taken at his face value. A young man from abroad had arrived and while impatiently waiting for his baggage to be loaded to go to the ranch, he told the old baggageman in charge at the N.P. depot, thus:

"My man! I am So and So, son of So and So, and I wish my bags jolly quick!"

The old man replied, "That is nothing against you; in this country you'll get your bags when your turn comes."

Remittance Boys

Mrs. Malone mothered the remittance boys at the old MacQueen House. The story is told that one of the boys after hours of entertainment, exclaimed, "London is a bloody fool compared to Miles City." To prove his good nature, when his friends played a joke on him by turning on the water in the tub where he was sleeping with all his clothes on, he aroused and said, "Jolly good luck, don't you know! I'm here in time for the flood."

The flooding of the town every spring was the main excitement of the year. Little Dorothy Snell, a day out from New York on a visit to England, looked through the porthole and shouted, "Mother, the flood is here."

Speaking of this young man brings to mind a number of English, Irish and Scotch young men from the other side, from families of wealth and culture. They were mostly interested in horses, and made a striking picture in their trim riding outfits and dancing thoroughbred saddle horses.

Some of these boys were called remittance men. They spent money freely and always paid when their remittances came quarterly from home.

Mrs. Stacy wrote when a girl in her teens on their ranch, she enjoyed contact with people from all over the world, cultured people from Boston, Philadelphia; Lords and Dukes from England; many delightful southerners from Kentucky to Texas.

Fifty years ago, the social side of life in Milestown was over shadowed by Fort Keogh. Officers, their families, and a fully equipped army post were in a position to banquet and entertain guests in regal style.

They attended parties at the MacQueen House, and club rooms, the officers in full uniform, their wives in trained gowns fashioned by leading modistes. Dr. and Mrs. Gerard were a handsome couple. She was blessed with a fine singing voice. Mrs. Joseph Leighton and Mrs. Sam Gordon were the most graceful dancers I ever saw in a ballroom. A picture in a formal gown, with description, was given in an eastern magazine of Mrs. Joseph Leighton at an inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Sam Gordon at a governor's ball in St. Paul, Minn.

Charming people gathered at the MacQueen House. It stands out in the minds of old timers in a sense like the old Waldorf Astoria did in New York, having sheltered people of renown and high position. Our little town played host to General Miles, Major Dawson, President Teddy Roosevelt, every governor of our state, Sousa of the Marine Band, Henry Ward Beecher, Earl of Portsmouth, Major Allen, Major Liggett, who ranked high in the late war, Father Lindersmith, Rev. Ritner, 1st and 2nd chaplains of Fort Keogh, U.S. Senator, ex-Governor Joseph M. Dixon, cowboy artists, Russell of Montana and Bill Gollins of Wyoming. Buffalo Bill, Capt. Joe Brown of the Spanish American Cowboy company, all the officials of railroads, John Clay, president of the National Stock Show, Chicago. The late U.S. Senator Kendrick of Wyoming, on his last visit to Miles City, expressed the wish that the completion of the North and South railroad would bring together again the stock meetings of early days.

The shades of night are closing for many "riders of the purple sage." Two brothers reminiscing said: "What ever became of Ed?" (One of their early range pals). The answer, "I'm not sure, Grant - he is dead or gone to California."

Remembers Roosevelt

On the ranch at Fallon creek - I was the only woman for miles around, and was shown much attention. From one to three delegations called to invite us to dinner at the mess-wagons. I was escorted to the throne of honor - the spring seat of the wagon placed on the ground - my tin plate filled with roast beef, baked beans and hot biscuits, the riders sitting tailor fashion on the ground, their crossed legs making a table for their plates. The cook flourished his cleanest dish towel, pouring coffee, the boys farthest away taking sly glances through the spokes of the wagon wheels. On one occasion I was surprised to have one of the boys ask, "Who was that guy you ate dinner with, who had his chaps on backward?"

I answered, "That was Roosevelt of Medora." He was wearing brown corduroy, leather-seated riding breeches.

In after years Teddy greeted us with the same hearty handclasp in Washington, D.C., introducing us to officials as his good friends of the West. When President, he proved the good friend of the West, saying he would veto a bill that had been framed in Iowa, to have all cattle dipped before being loaded on trains; such a law would have been impossible in the West.

There are near tragedies of the range. Mine was a social tragedy, the Stockman's Ball to be given at the MacQueen House, a new dress, three invitations, and a father that did not realize he had a grown-up daughter. One young man braver than the others came with a fine livery team and buggy and said, "Let me speak to your father." But he forgot England had tried dictating to Scotland, before.

This young man told me that at the ball was the Marquis de Mores, his wife, Medora Hoffman, and parents, the multi-millionaire Hoffmans of New York. Their private car was on the side-track at the Northern Pacific station. It was understood that Hoffman furnished the funds whereby the Marquis build the ice-houses and packing plant at the Old Town, with the idea of shipping dressed beef to eastern markets. I was reminded of all the men he put to work when I saw the PWA workmen last winter.

Mrs. John Holt looked after the LO boys from their ranch. Mrs. O. C. Cato the XIT from Texas, tall boys who looked as if they had been cradled in a saddle.

The Cowboy

In his picturesque togs, large sombrero, colored shirt, chaps, riding boots, silk kerchief tie, and mounted spurs, he is modification of the Spanish Cavalier. His horse's movements give him grace, putting him through "daily dozens". The man of 40 as a rule is no more bow-legged than the 14-year-old beginner.

As for entertainment, say all the pretty things you can think of about his horse and soon he will expound the merits of his mount. If he comes in the house do not ask for his hat or he is lost and will not remain long. He rolls his hat, readjusts the hatband, looks at the lining, and for the first time discovers the name Stetson. His parting salute is, "Well, I must be hittin' the trail - So Long", or "Adios".

My father thought they were a wild bunch and did not encourage their acquaintance.

One day a cowboy found a book we had lost on the way to school. We were the only family in the valley-he naturally returned it to the house.

On relating the call that evening, my father said, "He is a fine lad, Ann." I asked, "How do you know?" He answered, "I discovered I knew his grandparents in Scotland."

My father was right, and if the Lord is willing we will celebrate our Golden Wedding in the spring of '36.


Anne married Kenneth McLEAN, son of Alexander McLEAN and Margaret MacKAY, on 28 Apr 1886 in Residence of the Bride's Parents, Miles City, Custer Co., Montana, USA.466 (Kenneth McLEAN was born on 25 Dec 1859 in Muir of Ord, Urray, Rosshire, Scotland,466 died on 24 Dec 1944 in Miles City, Custer Co., Montana, USA 466 and was buried on 27 Dec 1944 in Custer County Cemetery, Miles City 466.) The cause of his death was Coronary Sclerosis, Cardiac Decompensation due to Auricular Fibrillation.466

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