Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
The Passing of the E 2
When Glenn Farnum came down from Gardiner in January and sold his cows, through the Miles City Auction Company at the sales yards west of town, there passed from the range one of the oldest brands in eastern Montana. Some time ago Glenn disposed of his land holdings here to his son Abner, and moved to Gardiner. Glenn and Mrs. Parnum have recently returned to Miles City and are now living among us again.

The brand referred to is the E 2 and the E 2 bar. The E2 was on the left thigh for horses' the E 2 bar on the left ribs for cattle. These brands were originally registered in the name of the Concord Cattle Company, New Hampshire.

The Concord Cattle Company was organized in 1880, having been promoted by Ephriam Cowles, who sold the idea of a cattle company in Montana to a group of people in Concord, New Hampshire. For his services in the organization of the company, he was given stock in the company and was made its manager.

In 1881 the Concord Cattle Company put in a herd of cattle on Tongue River in what is now the upper part of the SH Ranch, which was later owned by John Clay and Kenneth McLean and more recently sold to John A. Matthews of Abiline, Texas, by Ed Love.

It was in 1882 that Abner R. Farnum and Joseph E. Farnum, who were reared in Concord, and who had purchased small shares in the Concord Cattle Company, came to Montana to learn the cow business. The company was still located on Tongue River when the Farnums came.

Mrs. Ab Farnum often related the story of her introduction to Miles City. She arrived from Concord in the spring of the year, bringing her son, Hi, who was then an infant, with her. Her husband was to meet her in town and take her to the ranch, but on account of high water, caused by the spring breakup of the rivers at that time, Mr. Farnum was unable to come to town, so Mrs. Farnum. registered at the McQueen House and was assigned a room adjoining one occupied by a gentleman who was in the habit of imbibing too freely, and it seems that on this particular night this occupant had, what was termed in those days, the "snakes" and raised quite a disturbance, keeping Mrs. Farnum awake most of the night.

A further part of her experiences was that, with the rivers breaking up, high water flooded the south part of what is now Riverside Park, and the ice was practically up to the porch of the old McQueen House.

It was not long after Mrs. Farnum came to Miles City that the company moved to what is familiarly known as the Mary Murphy ranch, near the mouth of the Mizpah, which is now owned by Frank M. Sparks.

They then built a camp on Cottonwood Creek, near Shirley, which became to E2 headquarters, and about the same time built a camp on Powder River, near the mouth of Coal Creek, which was later homesteaded by a fellow by the name of Sutherland, and later owned by W. J. Whalen of this city.

Frank Murphy had in the meantime located a scrip on McNeal Creek, which runs into the Yellowstone between Shirley and Blatchford. The cattle company traded the camp at the mouth of the Mizpah to Murphy for this McNeal Creek location, and the ranch near the Cottonwood remained the headquarters from that time on.

Joe Farnum became bookkeeper for the company when it was located at the Murphy place. He then moved to Miles City, built his home, and kept the books for the E2 Bar; The Northern Cattle Company, which was operated by Joe Scott and whose brand was the SH; and for Henry Tusler, who operated the place now owned by Elmer Brink, just as you go into the hills east of Miles City on Number Ten, and who branded the Lazy Jays.

As has been stated, the first manager for the Concord Cattle Company was Eph Cowles. Mr. Cowles later moved to a place on the Boulder River near Big Timber, and we believe he passed away there a number of years ago.

The first wagon boss for the Company was Jess Garland, for whom Garland Post Office was named, and whose ranch was about twenty-five miles up Tongue River from Miles City. Ab Farnum became wagon boss in 1884, and Henry Tusler became manager. Ab Farnum succeeded Tusler as manager and Nate Spangler became wagon boss. Following Spangler as wagon boss was Albin Burke. Mr. Burke later had quite a ranch over at Kinsey and is the father of Phil Burke, who lives here in Miles City. Charley Furman became wagon boss in 1902 and was succeeded a little later by Hi Farnum, the oldest son of Ab Farnum and a brother of Glenn. Hi remained as wagon boss until 1906, when he and his father bought out the remnant of the cattle and the brand.

Hi Farnum was later sheriff of Custer County for several terms and now is temporarily in California.

It might be mentioned at this point that Glenn Farnum went to work for the outfit when he was ten years old in 1902.

The E2 range was the lower Mizpah, both sides of Powder River, and that territory between the lower Powder River and the Yellowstone. Ab and Hi Farnum bought the ranch on Cottonwood in April, 1907, and the next stockman to acquire title to these holdings was Charley Riley, who acquired it in 1933 and who sold it to W. H. Grieve, the present owner, in 1945.

Besides the ranch holdings, the company bought half a block of ground in Miles City and built a substantial residence in which the Ab Farnum family lived for many years. This house was located on the northeast corner of North Twelfth and Palmer Streets, but the original dwelling has been torn down, and the ground is now occupied by the residences by the residences of Frank Cook, Harry Schultz, Mrs. George F. McKenzie and the Guy W. Johnson apartment house. Joe Farnum's residence was on the southwest corner of Twelfth and Palmer, on the property now occupied by Dr. M. L. Freese and Jack Evans.

The other brands run by the company were the J Muleshoe and Muleshoe on the left hip, which is now owned by Bill Billing of Van Norman, grandson of Ab Farnum; 12 on the left hip, which is now owned by Glenn Farnum, as well as the E2 and E2 Bar brands mentioned previously.

The company also ran cattle for several other people, among which were Colonel F. M. Malone who branded UL Bar on the left ribs; George Miles, who branded 41 on the left ribs, and William Rearan, who branded a Reverse B Swinging R on the left thigh. For a number of years the company ran cattle for the W. W. Johnson Lumber Company of Minneapolis, who branded H7 on the left ribs, with a 7 on the left thigh. During the hard winter of 1886-87 this company had about 3,000 head on the range and lost nearly all of them. The H7 brand was later purchased by Glenn Farnum.

The Abner Farnum family consisted of the two boys already mentioned, Hi and Glenn, and two girls, Edia, who is now Mrs. Reg Billing, and who lives at Van Norman, Montana; and Edith, who is now Mrs. John Milroy, and who resides in the Valley near the Kircher School House.

The Joe Farnum family consisted of one daughter, Lucretia, who is now Mrs. John C. Evans, Miles City; Guy Farnum of Seattle; and Scott Farnum, who was killed in an automobile accident several years ago.

Among the cowboys who worked for the E2 during the companies' operations were such fellows as Dave Peden, Allie Ward, Jimmy Gibson, Ray Tarbell and Johnnie Milroy. Dave Peden, Allie Ward and Jimmie Gibson have all gone to their reward; Ray Tarbell lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, and Johnnie Milroy lives in the Valley east of Miles City. W. J. Bradshaw, the father of Allie Bradshaw, was cook for the outfit for a good many years.

Johnnie Milroy came to the United States from Scotland in 1894, with a letter of introduction to a firm in Central Illinois' which firm dealt in draft type stallions. Johnnie had the idea that he would like to get into the stock business, but the Illinois location offered him no more opportunity than his native Scotland. Upon mentioning this to the manager of the Illinois firm, the manager told him that he would give him a letter of introduction to the foreman of a cattle ranch in Montana which his company owned. This ranch was the ranch known as the old 44 Ranch, on Powder River and was operated at that time by Eri Coggshall, father of Charley Coggshall, the maker of the famous Coggshall saddles. That is how one of the E2 cowboys came to locate in Montana, and he has lived here ever since. There is a little story connected with Johnnie Milroy's introduction to Miles City, but if you want to hear it, Johnnie will have to tell it to you.