From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Doug Davidson
My father, Francis Deserette Davidson, better known as Dess, was born in Utah, and as a young man decided to be a cowboy. He spent some time at this in Arizona and Texas, and came up the trail with a herd in 1879 to Montana. He returned to Texas and helped gather another herd and he and his brother, Brigham (known as Jim) came up the Trail again in 1882, and they both stayed. Brigham (Jim) took up a homestead on Little Pumpkin Creek, known later as the Henning and Suepke place, now owned by Loy Green. Brigham was killed when he was kicked by a horse, a few years later. A brother, Robert, came later, and stayed with George Farr, an attorney in Miles City, and went to school. Robert surveyed the telephone line through from Miles City to Ashland. He became a Captain in the U. S. Army, and served 25 years in Washington D. C., with the government. My father married Georgia Long Nelson in 1898, a widow with three children, Lula, Ila, and Ervin. Her brother Doug Long homesteaded the ranch later owned by Rodgers Brothers, on Big Pumpkin Creek. John Betz married Charlotte Davidson, in 1890. He homesteaded the ranch now owned by Elmer Allen, once owned by John Viall. I was born in a log cabin, just west of the spring on the YT ranch, on June 17, 1900. A few months later my parents decided to move to the Robins place, south and west of the YT, and somehow, while moving the cook stove into the house my mother was hurt, which caused her to lose an expected baby, as well as her own life. Leo Gaskill took me to his parents, Grandpa and Grandma (J. C.) Gaskill. They lived on a place at the foot of Liscomb Mountain, on Gaskill Creek. No one could have been treated better. I was taken in as one of the family by all, and no better people ever lived. (The J. C. Gaskills later made their home at Stacey with their daughter, Mrs. J. T. Hamilton, until their deaths.) I got most of my schooling at the Stacey Schools. Speaking of Stacey, it was quite a town at one time, owned by J. T. Hamilton. Many a good time was had there. People would come for miles to celebrate the 4th of July. They were called roundups in those days, with top cowboys, and top horses, both racing and bucking. There have never been any better. I saw Sky Rocket buck there. He bucked into the fence used for a back stop for baseball. I only knew the man that rode him by his nick-name, Chufee. Lloyd Coleman rode a roan cow, after she had bucked Alex Campbell off and broke his foot. Roy Griffin, one of our native boys of Stacey, rode a big buckskin horse. I don't remember the name of the horse any more, but it was as pretty a ride, by as good a cowboy as ever come down the creek. One thing for sure, it has never been where you had to go out of the county to get top hands. They have always been and always will be there, in any walk of life. My father filed on a homestead on the Mizpah Creek in 1907, seven miles due east of what is now the- Coalwood Post Office. I was married to Agnes Hazzard in 1920, and we moved to my father's homestead in 1922. He lived with us till he passed away in 1931. To Agnes and me was born a son, Francis Alvin, in 1924. He is now living in Billings, Montana. Ruby Pugh and I were married in 1938, and we have three children: a daughter, Louise Marie, in 1942; Dallas Douglas, in 1943; and Chester Lynn, in 1952. We sold our holdings in Powder River County in 1959, and bought a ranch northwest of Custer, Montana. We sold that ranch, moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, and bought a home. We have Chester with us. Other than missing our old friends, we are real happy.