GOLD RANCH HISTORY
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Mrs. John Gold Sr.
What is now known as the Gold Ranch was originally settled in 1884 by Mrs. Charles Daly and her son, Stephen.
Julia Ebbertt (Mrs. Daly) came to America from Ireland as a young woman. She was married to James M. Hamilton in David City, Nebraska. There were three children born to this union: James M. and Mary (Mrs. Charles Decker) who were twins, and John T. After Mr. Hamilton passed away, Mrs. Hamilton was married to Charles Daly and had three more children: Stephen C.; Peter F., and Anna R. In 1884, Mrs. Daly brought her last three children to Montana. Mrs. Daly and her son, Stephen, took up homesteads on Pumpkin Creek near Stacey. They built a three-room log house, wagon shed, barn, and a large sheep shed. They ran sheep and horses which were branded with the (T-4). The place consisted of about one section of land.
In 1897, Stephen moved to Moorcoft, Wyoming, where he also ran sheep. Peter, whose place is now owned by Bill Trusler, homesteaded on Otter Creek above Ashland. Anna was married to Lewis Griffin in 1889.
After her sons were gone, Mrs. Daly made her home with her daughters, Mrs. Charles Decker and Mrs. Lewis Griffin until she passed away in August of 1904.
The Daly house was used for a school house for three years until the present South Stacey School was built in 1900. This school is located on the Gold ranch and has been in continuous operation every year since it was built. It is now the oldest school house still in use in Powder River County.
After serving as an apprentice seaman, John Gold came to America in 1902. His boyhood friend, Tom Davidson, had come to the Stacey area in April and was working at the Cap Marvel ranch. Tom had a job with the Kelsey Brothers at $30. per month waiting for Jack when he got here. In December, Jack rode, walked, and ran from Miles City with Cap Marvel. He worked for the Kelsey Brothers three years, and on the Powder River for one year, before purchasing the Daly ranch in 1907.
Mr. Gold purchased cattle from the Stephen G. Hotchkiss Estate along with the 44 Bar brand in 1908. Cattle were trailed to Miles City, Rosebud, or Belle Fourche, and then shipped to the Chicago market with the four-year-old steers bringing four cents per pound.
John Gold and Evva Griffin were married in 1910, in Miles City, Montana, making the trip with a team and wagon. That same year, Mr. Gold hired a Mr. Williams to help him build one of the first frame houses in the area for his bride. Five children were born to them: Anna (Mrs. Lynn McFarland), resides near Miles City; Eva (Mrs. Alvin Howard), resides at Volborg; John, Jr., now runs the ranch; and Mae (Mrs. Eugene Wood), resides at Volborg, and Jessie (Mrs. Albert Jensen), who passed away in 1955. Her children are: Al, owns a resort lodge at Big Bear Lake, Calif., John, a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, currently serving in Vietnam. Don lives in Glendale, Calif., where he is employed by a trucking concern.
They were able to increase the ranch from its original size by taking a homestead, two desert claims, and purchasing several sections of railroad land. They also purchased one homestead from Anna Ford, who came to Montana in 1917 to teach the South Stacey school, and proved up on a homestead while teaching. Later, they acquired a forest permit when the Custer National Forest was founded.
Mrs. Gold was postmaster of the Stacey Post Office which was moved to the ranch in 1929, until 1949, when it was moved back to its original site at the Eugene Wood ranch and was discontinued in 1959.
Mr. Gold made one trip back to England, in 1906, and brought back his brother, William, with him. He came to work for Arthur Kelsey, but not liking it, stayed only one day and returned to England. Mr. Gold has one sister, Mrs. Tom Davidson, of Powderville, living in the United States. Two of his sisters and a niece, along with her husband, all from England, have visited the family here.
Mr. and Mrs. Gold retired in 1950, and moved to Miles City, where they now reside. Mr. Gold celebrated his 80th birthday in October of 1964, and Mrs. Gold her 74th birthday in December. They enjoyed a large family reunion and open house on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1960. Both are in good health and enjoy city life. They have twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
John Gold, Jr., married Mary Uffelman of Miles City, in May of 1936, and brought her to live in a remodeled homestead house on the ranch. They moved into the main house when his parents retired and purchased the ranch from them.
They have two daughters: Marjorie and Joyce. Marjorie taught Willow Crossing School near Ashland for two years and Foster Creek School, near Volborg for one year, before moving to Miles City to take a job there for one and a half years. She was married to Roger Bundy, of Miles City, in January of 1963. and they also reside on the ranch. They have one daughter named Stacey Lynn. Joyce followed a business career, and is now married to Douglas Gnoit, who is stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base at Rapid City.
There have been good years and bad. Some of the driest years were 1903, and 1934 to 1936. The Golds had
only 41 head of cattle left in the spring of 1935, but were able to build their herd up again, as many other ranchers were forced to sell their stock. Hard winters were 1919, 1949, and 1964. Brands now used are: U bar U, (U M), and XIT.