My father, Ira Carey, was born in Henry County, Iowa, in 1876. About 1883 the family moved to Nebraska in a wagon; they used oxen about then. Dad said he drove them when he was a boy and as he could never remember which direction gee or haw meant, he just turned them with a whip.
Dad came to Miles City, Mont., in 1896. Other members of the family, including my Grandmother, lived here at different times, Dad was the only one who came at that time.
He worked for many of the old cow outfits, both north and south of the Yellowstone. Some were and . Part of the time he worked as a horse wrangler and I understand that with some of the larger outfits this job paid more money than the regular cow hands earned. He worked on the north side of the Yellowstone when cattle had to swim the river to get to the Miles City Stockyards and was with one of the first herds to cross the bridge when it was built.
He made extra money hunting And trapping. Besides money from the state bounties, most of the big cow outfits would come up with $5 or $10 if someone killed a wolf or dug up a den of wolf pups. Dad showed me a caved-in den where he crawled in the length of a 30-foot rope to get pups. The rope was tied to his feet so his partner could pull him out in case he got stuck. A candle stuck on the end of a shovel was pushed ahead for a light.
Ike Shy told me that in 1907 or 1908, while working at the SL, he and Dad never drew any wages for a year, as they were saving their money to get their own outfits started. They dug out some coyote pups to get bounty money, $2.50 a piece, for gloves and tobacco. At the end of the year they drew $480 dollars a piece, $40 dollars a month.
Thegbrand, first recorded to Dad in 1902, is still in the family, but the talley book shows only two calves for that year. He continued working and the cattle ran on open range for several years. In 1909, he paid Billy Crawford $500 dollars for his buildings and fences, a 25/35 rifle and two boxes of shells. We still have the outfit and the rifle. Dad filed for a homestead along with a desert claim and later an additional homestead.
In the spring of 1920 Dad married my mother Bessie Trainer.