From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By Helen Badgett
Billie Curts was born Feb. 20, 1890, in one of the midwestern states. He landed at Culbertson, Mont., in May, 1905. He went to work as a horse wrangler for a pool consisting of Luke Sweetman, Dan Steel and Lou Gridley in 1906. Between that time and 1914 he worked for the Evans Brothers, J. L. Boardman and finally for Bob Reid at Poplar. In 1914 he took 200 head of mares on shares from Reid's outfit. During the period between 1914 and 1917, Bill Curts acquired some land and also rode horses for the Government at Fort Keogh. In 1917 he was drafted into the Army and served in France, returning home in November, 1919. The spring of 1920 was a busy time for him as he branded a two-year colt crop. During the winter of 20-21, Billie investigated the glories of California and Mexico. He then returned to Montana and expanded his land holdings on the Missouri River. bought cattle and remained there. When the Fort Peck Dam was built in the 30's, Billie's ranch was one of those covered with water. He took a lease on the Ramer ranch south of Miles City in 1938 moving his cattle and horses there. In 1939 he trailed to the Crow Reservation with all his stock. He finally returned to the north side of the Missouri around Zortman, Mont., in the 40's and he operated a gold mine for a time after disposing of his livestock. Billie Curts, expert horseman and a poet of considerable talent, now resides at Parkdale, Ore. Those people who were fortunate enough to see the early Range Riders' parades will still remember a horse herd with Billie's palomino bell mare in the lead.