D E L RANCH (DELBERT HANSON)
From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Mrs. Delbert Hanson
The DEL Ranch, which is made up of numerous homesteads, plus a railroad section, is owned by Delbert Hanson. Delbert's parents were Grace and Lee Hanson. Edna, oldest of the children, left home when she was 17.
Perry and Florence live a mile east of the home place.
Edward bought the Billy Paine place on Marvel Creek. This is northwest of Home Creek Butte, and three miles east of the home place. Delbert has later purchased this ranch.
Delbert remained at home and helped run the home ranch. When he was about 19, it was turned over to him and his mother.
Delbert and I, Virginia Dede Murray, were married in 1934 and built a house near the folks. The house, which Delbert built, was a frame building. Most of the lumber used came from the Bidwell sawmill, operated at that time by Clayton Bidwell. He also sawed the shingles for the house.
We lived here until 1947, when we moved to the Dunning place which adjoined it. We bought this from Ruby and Mansfield Dunning. It had been homesteaded by Ollie Reed. The barn, built by him in 1901 is still standing and in use. Reed sold out to B. J. Gentry who settled there in about 1903. Gentry also bought the Chatfield place which joined it.
Mansfield and Ruby Dunning bought the place in the 1920's from Ben Gentry. Ruby taught school for many years, and they lived there until 1947. They then moved to Ashland, where they operated the Post Office.
Another piece of land which we acquired was the Siliven Ranch on Beaver Creek. This was in the 1930's. No one lived on it while we owned it, nor for many years before.
The 160-acre ranch on Three Mile Creek, purchased from Paul Fetter, was originally the homestead of Mike Smith. The fences were all taken down and it was thrown open to the Forest in exchange for pasture land nearer to our home.
The ranch commonly known as the Colwell place was homesteaded by N. A. Wolfe. He operated a sawmill and put up a rather large two-story frame house, since he had 6 children. This house burned in the fall of 1923. The Roy Wilds family was living there at the time of the fire. There was no one home at the time it burned, but it was thought that the fire started from coals -where the ashes were emptied, followed the board walk, and set the house afire. John Colwell bought the ranch about 1927. Mabel and Roy Kelsey, his daughter and son-in-law, lived there for a good many years while John was a guard at the Montana State Prison. After John Colwell's death, Delbert bought the ranch.
The Mosgar ranch, which was made up of eight homesteads, was purchased from Izzy Mosgar. His father and mother, Antone and Minnie Mosgar came here from Texas. Their children were: Isodore (Izzy, now deceased); Carrie (Mrs. Mike Smith of Forsyth, Montana); Charles of Spokane, Washington; and Jerome (deceased). Antone bought the homesteads of Ray Selles, Sr.; Ed Kyle; and Alec McCurry, whose story is told separately.
After Antone's death, Izzy lived on the ranch with his mother. He added the Roberts homestead. Hort (Fatty) Roberts lived with his mother on East Fork just below the Dailys. He taught various schools in the community, and is mentioned especially in the Home Creek School story. His mother, Mrs. Roberts, later married Ben Gentry.
Izzy also bought the Lynal Poole (also called Lionel Phool) homestead on East Fork. Lynal was a step-son of an "old timer", Tug McKelvey, who lived in the Tongue River country in Rosebud County in the early 1900's. Lynol attended Willow Crossing School. He is best remembered for breaking horses.
On Daley Creek Izzy got the Jack Disbro, Fred Benbrook, and Hugh Daily homesteads. Fred Benbrook was a school teacher from Illinois who taught the East Fork School for two terms. He is remembered for the many school programs he put on every 2 or 3 weeks, providing entertainment for the entire neighborhood. The Hugh Daily homestead was sold to Allan Mallett. Charley Mecklenburg lived there for several years.
Delbert bought the Mosgar ranch in 1949 and Izzy and his mother moved to Ashland, where he was a partner with Francis Schonenbach in the F & I Grocery Store. After Izzy passed away his mother, Minnie, lived in their home for several years. She then made her home with her daughter, Carrie. She now lives in Spokane, Washington, near her son, Charles.
The Archie Stabio family lived in the Mosgar place for several years after we bought it. Raymond Schonenbach, who moved there in the fall of 1956, still lives there.
The Young place was homesteaded in 1915. The A] Young family was putting up logs for their house when the Hanson family came by on their way up the creek to their new home near the head of East Fork. Al Young lived near where the steps are carved in the Camel's Hump hill. About 1922 the Youngs left and went to Ashland and later went back East. The Young place was then leased to Clyde Noaker, who owned the adjoining place. He leased it until the time that he sold his place to Felix Borel. School was held in the Young house for a few years with Chloe Daily as teacher. D. A. Murray leased the ranch in 1933 and lived there about a year. In the fall of 1934 he moved back to Iowa where he had lived all his life previously. No one has lived on the Young ranch since Delbert bought it. It is used for pasture. Floyd Daily tore down the house for the lumber which he used in building his ranch.
The Delbert Hansons have three daughters: Jeanette, Della, and Faye Ellen. Jeanette married Jack Penrod and has five children: Lee, Marty, Jodie, Kathy, and Twila. Della married Bob Kramlich and has four children: Darcy, Kerry, Shanna, and Karen. Faye Ellen lives in Miles City.