Big Horn County MT.

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Hosted by Jo Ann Boyd Scott and as your host I try to post as much data online online as possible in order to make it freely available to all.      I grew up on a ranch near  Wyola. This county is a special place.   e-mail me at [email protected]l me for questions and  lookups in First Familes, Vol. 1 and Vol.2
.  BHC Newspaper


-2012 includes all  contents including photos. Submitters retain all  copyright, along with the host. Graphics© Jo Ann Scott. Many photos on  this  web  site were donated by a local photographer Joe, data contributions are  very  welcome. E-mail   [email protected]

About Big Horn County, Montana (DO NOT CONFUSE WITH Big Horn County WYOMING!!

bighorncounty        This county is the Crow Indian Reservation. There are the following towns, south to north...Wyola, Lodge Grass, Hardin, Rosebud, Pryor. St Xavier,



                              CROW COUNTRY

“Crow Country is good. The Great Spirit has placed it exactly in the right place. While you are in it, you fare well, whenever you go out of it, whichever way you travel, you fare worse. There are snowy mountains and sunny plains, all lands of climates and all of the good things that each season offers.

When the summer heat scourches the prairies, you can move toward the mountains where the air is sweet and cool the grass fresh and the bright streams come tumbling out of the snowbirds.

There you can hunt deer, elk, whit bear and mountain sheep when they skins are fit for dressing.

In the autumn when the horses are fat and strong from the mountain pastures, you can go down in to the plains and hunt the buffalo or trap beaver on the streams. When winter arrive, you can take shelter in the wooded bottom lands where there is cottonwood;

Crow county is exactly in the right place and everything good is found here.

There is no country like Crow Country”

(source, 1832, Crow Chief Arapooish)


Adjacent counties:  Carbon County, Montana west; Yellowstone County,  Montana northwest; Treasure  County, Montana -north; Rosebud County,  Montana northeast; Powder  River County,  Montana - east, Sheridan  County,...Wyoming - south



The tribal elders and the annual Crow Tribal Fair began in early 1900s and continues to this day. It is usually the third weekend in August. Google Mrs. E. A. Richardson's vivid account if one of these tribal celebrations. Shortly thereafter, Washington BIA Office urged eleven other tribes to have similar shows and, as a result, there are such fairs all over the Indian country now.

At one of these Crow Fairs—1906 I think—Coach {Pop Warner of Carlisle was present looking for football id track material. When the 100 yard dash was called, :h of the seven districts of the reservation sent forth runners. This race was to determine who was the test sprinter among the Crows. All runners were stripped down to their breech clouts, bare-footed, as punning spikes were unknown in those days. The |runners standing on the starting line to start with the pring of a pistol; Pop Warner holding a stop watch to what time the runners would score. The gun popped the runners all dashing off and Coach Warner islanding on the finishing line with Mr. Reynolds to score the winner's time. He did, and when the race was  Mr. Warner turned to Mr. Reynolds and said, Mr. Reynolds, the world' record is broken. Were this tee a regular and official race, a new record would be declared." The Black Lodge District was the proud owner of the Reservation title. Thus, sports and all ponds of athletic contests have been a main feature of the Crow Fairs.

Now as for the social life activities of the white employees of the Government and their families at Crow (Agency and in the seven districts.

| At Crow Agency, the white employees were a happy bunch. There were a large group of them here during Mr. Reynold's administration and among them was much musical talent. For instance, Mr. Elmer Dove was a fine musician who organized a fine brass band among the Crows and  white employees, which compared with any band in the State of Montana at that time, as it was sprinkled with ex-Carlisle band players who were highly trained in  Carlisle's Band of National repute, also, among the | white employees and others were many fine singers and pianists and other instrumentalists such as Mrs. Jack JCornwall, who was a professional harpist and also a professional pianist, as was Mrs. Henry Ketosh and with the vocalist singers, there was organized a mixed choir which sang at the Church services of the Reverend |James H. Burgess, who was a Congregationalist ยง Missionary to the Crows. His Sunday evening services |were as outstanding as any in this area between  Sheridan, Wyoming and Billings,Montana. His sermons were very high class and were comparable to any of the modern preachers that I have had the privilege to hear any where in the United States. Thus, from the freligious angle, there was nothing lagging at Crow f Agency. He baptised a great many of the Crow Indians, including myself, and when he died he left a big void in the lives of the many Indians and whites that he ministered to. He lies buried by his church at Crow Agency, a shrine to all of the old Crows and whites who, also, have passed on. Thus, the social life of all whites who lived at Crow Agency at that time was greatly allayed, calmed and mitigated by the religious and social influences herein portrayed. I still remember those good old days with much reverence and satisfaction as the best period of my life as they helped me to view life in its true perspective. They were the molding years of my life, and have kept me in an understanding mood.

Law and order on the Crow Reservation

As previously stated, there were five substations, agencies and districts on the Crow Reservation. They were as follows:

1.Pryor, on the extreme west end of the Crow Reservation, 87 miles from Crow Agency, under the charge of a boss farmer, and a sizable number of Crows who lived there with chief Plenty Coups.

2. The Black Lodge District, immediately north of Crow Agency and extending to the mouth of the Big Horn River, thence up the YellowstoneRiver to Billings.

3. The Reno District, immediately south of Crow Agency, and extending halfway to Lodge Grass on Sand Creek, with its headquarters at Garryowen.

4. Lodge Grass District from Sand Creek to the Montana-Wyoming boundary lines, with its headquarters at what is now Lodge Grass town.

5. The Big Horn District on the Big Horn River valley to its confluence with the Little Horn River.

These were the sub-divisions of the Crow Reservation with their district headquarters under a boss farmer in charge, reporting to the Agent in charge at Crow Agency by a policeman courier who carried his messages by the police on horseback. This was the administrative, law and order system of the Crow Reservation since 1884 when the two previous Crow Agencies at Livingston and Absarokee, near Columbus, were disbanded and removed to Crow Agency number three.

The government of the Crows in those days was lodged in one person, the U. S. Indian Agent, called "Major" so and so. He was the supreme commander of the Crow Indian Reservation, being Judge, Prosecutor and Jury all at the same time, with no appeals from his decisions which were based on whim, with none of the constitutional guarantees of "The equal protection of Law" no "Due Process" allowed him by the "One Man Rule Agent". This was "Autocratic" and "Absolutism" forcibly injected in the rule of a conquered people, approaching the "Spanish Inquisition"—the most brutal of human treatment in the history of the world—which was the basis of the complaints of the thirteen Colonies lodged against King George, recited in their "Bill of Particulars" in their "Declaration of Independence", which brought on eight long years for the political freedom which we, in the United States today, enjoy.

This constitutionally guaranteed basic human right was continuously denied the Crow Indians ever since they were reservated on their Reservation here until the closing days of the Reynolds' Administration, due to charges of mal-administration by a woman, Helen Pierce Gray, of the Omaha Bee, which stirred up such a controversy that forced Congressional and Interior Department investigation that completely over-turned Indian Department rule of the Indian Tribes to what we see now.


One of the highlights of autocratic rule on the Crow Reservation was: If any Crow wanted to visit friends or relatives in any other district on the Reservation, he had to go through the Boss Farmer in charge and secure a written permit; if his request was granted, setting forth the number of days granted and the reasons for his visit, and deliver it to the Boss Farmer in charge of the District he was visiting so that he could be watched and checked upon by the Boss Farmer and his police to see that the time granted was not violated. This autocratic rule over the Crow Indians also, made the Constitutional guarantee of "Human Freedom" the Equal Protection of Law, on Indian Reservations a false deception, and, thus, the Constitution, a dead letter on every Reservation in the land. This assertion of Government might and power reverted back to the days of the ''Spanish Inquisition" and the exercise of autocratic power to the nth degree, and how the Indian Bureau got away with it under all of the Presidents of this country has been a mystery to me. Let some officer of the Government try to enforce such arbitrary rule today and see how quickly he is hailed into court to answer charges of felonious conduct and sentenced to pay by imprisonment. Today, the Indians like any other citizen, under the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution, can go to the Courts to compel the guarantee of the civil rights the same as any other person in this country. What a change under respect I existing law and its enforcement!

A new day has dawned for the American Indians and it is up to them to organize and become potent! politically so that their civil and constitutional rights-will always be respected. They must remember that things and questions of policy and administration are decided politically at Washington and at the State! Capitol, and this means that the Indians must organizes and become politically potent if they ever expect to have their civil rights respected by the administration in power at Washington.

Respectfully submitted to all Indians and their friends, Robert Yellowtail, a Crow Indian of Montana Editor's Note: Robert Yellowtail was the first Indian to be superintendent of any reservation in the United! States. In 1933 he was appointed Superintendent of the j Crow Reservation and served in that capacity until 1945. In 1917, when a very young man he was chosen by the Crow Chiefs to answer Senator T. J. Walsh who wished to open the reservation to non-Indian ownership. He made an eloquent plea and the reservation was saved for the Crows. Later he ran for Congress and also for the Senate but lost both elections by 1}200 votes. General Eisenhower offered him the post of Commissioner of Indian Affairs but he declined. Yellowtail dam is named for him, despite his opposition to its construction (source, Lookin Back, out of print.)

more added very soon. Jo Ann



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