Montana GenWeb Archives
I.D. O'Donnell, a prominent rancher of Yellowstone County was born in Canada in 1860, a son of Daniel and Margaret McIntoch O'Donnell, of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The family located in 1866 in Saginaw County Michigan where Daniel O'Donnell became a practical farmer and held many responsible county positions. He had been engaged in mercantile pursuits prior to settling in that state. I.D. O'Donnell, our subject, grew to manhood on his father's farm in Michigan. In 1882 he located in Miles City Montana which was then the temporary terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Deciding to experiment in mining, he accordingly went to the Maiden Mines but soon becoming dissatisfied with that occupation, entered the employ of I.J. Horse Ranch Company, of which he soon became foreman. In 1886 he came to Billings, as manager of the Billings Ranch and three years afterward purchased the interest of Mr. Billings in the company and is now an equal partner with Edward G. Bailey. Mr. O'Donnell is resident manager of their large land and stock interests. Hesper Farm, known as their home ranch is the finest in the Yellowstone Valley, situated ten miles west of Billings and contains 1280 acres, well stocked and supplied with appropriate buildings. They have successfully demonstrated that fine apples and all varieties of small fruits can be produced in this county. About 2,000 tons of alfalfa and timothy hay were harvested on the place in 1892. The company owns large tracts of grazing land on which they have a number of springs and are raising cattle, sheep and horses. Their landed estate amounts to 5,000 acres. Mr. O'Donnell is superintendent of the M & M L.I. Company, irrigation canal having that position for five years. He has a comfortable home in Billings, surrounded by one of the most beautiful lawns in the city. In October 1887 he was united in marriage with Louise Roeser, a daughter of Gustave and Louise Roeser. Her father was a pioneer and prominent citizen of Saginaw County Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. O'Donnell have two daughters.