CHARLES DALY
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Mollie Daly Burke
Charles Daly arrived in Montana in 1875 in the month of October, and found employment with Poindexter, Orr, and R. A. Reynolds at Dillon, Montana. There he remained until the fall of 1880, when he helped trail cattle to the Liscomb ranch on Liscomb Creek, where he stayed till the spring of 1881. In the spring he trailed 600 of his own sheep to Powder River and stayed there one winter. Upon the arrival of spring he again moved to what is now called the SY ranch, where he took a squatter's right and built himself a dugout. But on traveling around he found the place he liked the best, which became the Daly ranch at Stacey.
There he homesteaded and built himself a log cabin 18 by 18 feet, with a dirt floor and roof, one door, and no windows. In the winter of 1886 and 1887 he built a new home out of logs on the south side of Little Pumpkin Creek.
On July 26, 1887, he was united in marriage to Abigail E. Payette of Miles City. Her father was Louis Payette Sr., first postmaster of Miles City, Montana. Abigail came here when she was eleven years old with her mother and the rest of the children on a steamboat up the Yellowstone River in June of 1880. Mr. Payette came here before his family in 1876. When the family came they brought the first piano to Montana. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Daly: Marian (Mrs. Valentine Loesch), Lucille (Mrs. Robert Chesworth of Miles City), Frank, and Mollie (Mrs. Phil Burke of Miles City.)
In the fall of 1907, Mr. Daly built a new home on the ranch which was not completed till 1908. The new home was made out of hewed logs and covered with siding and lined with compo board on the inside. This home was 60 feet long. It had four bedrooms, front room, dining room, a long screened porch on the south side, and a frame kitchen was built on.
There was a log barn and chicken house on the north side of the creek and on August 18, 1909, it all burned to the ground. Lost in the fire were ten sets of harness, seven saddles, most of the chickens, and 125 tons of alfalfa hay that was stacked behind the barn, and 14 head of horses. The fire burned for three weeks.
There were only two saddles left on the ranch after the fire. How that happened to be is as follows: Mr. Daly was over on Big Pumpkin, having ridden there on horseback. Mollie, who was quite small at that time, had been to Stacey after the mail, and when she came home she put her white pony in the box stall of the barn, but left her saddle on him as she was going to use him right after dinner. Mrs. Jerry Clifford of Miles City, who at that time was Miss Margaret Carter, was visiting at the ranch and she had a new saddle. She had been riding with Mollie that morning, using Mr. Daly's top horse. When she put her horse in the box stall she took the saddle off of him and hung it on one end of the manger. She said she felt sorry for him, and would saddle him again after dinner. When the fire broke out, Mollie ran to the barn and opened the box stall for the horses to go out. They were so afraid they wouldn't leave the barn, so Mollie grabbed a pitch fork, went in, and ran them out.
At one time, the ranch consisted of 23 sections of owned and leased land. In the early years, Mr. Daly ran nine bands of sheep. He also had Hereford cattle, Thoroughbred horses, and some draft horses. There was one pasture that was fenced that contained 6 sections, where the cattle and horses were pastured during the summer in later years. During the first World War he sold an average of 100 head of horses a year to the U. S. Government, France, and England.
In the summer of 1910, he was offered $100,000 for the ranch alone, without the stock. In those days that was quite a price.
He was one of the first ones in the country to have pheasants on his place, starting out with 12 hens and 2 roosters. He never let anyone kill them until they had been planted there over five years. He was also the first one to start raising Liscomb alfalfa in that locality. At one time he had 300 acres in.
In 1929, he sold the ranch to Bill Combs of Terry.