HORACE AND CHARLOTTE BROADDUS
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
I, Horace Broaddus, was born Jan. 2, 1907, on the home place on Powder River. Seventy years ago, my father, Oscar Broaddus, and Uncle John, established the Broaddus post office Feb. 6, 1900; early settlers later shortened the name to Broadus. My father and other Broaddus brothers came from Kentucky and Missouri. Once my father had some important mail at the post office at Pinto, Mont., over across the Powder River and it was bank full. He tied a long soft twist rope around my waist; in case the horse refused to swim, he'd pull me out. I was 11 or 12; 1 enjoyed that swim. I thought I had done something great, but I had been used to swimming my saddle horse across the river to get the milk cows. I worked as a cowboy at one of the best ranches in the Powder River country, namely the JO ranch at the mouth of Beaver Creek, owned by Julian Terrett and son. I hired out to the United States General Land Office Survey as a head teamster and top packer. Those days they used mostly pack horses and wagons instead of trucks. One time I was packing out of West Yellowstone Park to a spike camp and I noticed a bull moose about 50 feet ahead of me, with his head down, ready to charge. When he charged me I dropped my rope that I was leading the pack horse with and whirled the horse around. The moose missed me but hit the pack horse on the side and knocked him down and kept on running. I learned afterwards that it was mating season and they were very dangerous during this time. I re-packed and made it back to home camp that night and made a new start the next morning. Another time we left Forsyth with about 50 head of horses headed for the Cheyenne reservation hauling supplies. I was driving the four horses with two mules as wheelers and two green horses on a mess wagon; they were spoiled and plenty wild. We had to go through Forsyth and one of the mules reared up and rubbed his blind bridle off and the horses ran right through Main Street, hitting several cars on the back end. I hung onto the lines and down the street we went, knocking down the barber pole. The barber came running out, blade razor in hand, towel in the other, and yelled, "That man's hands are froze to the lines!" Three horses piled up on the street and I had lots of help getting things straightened out. That summer I spent on the Cheyenne reservation. I stayed at this job six years, then went to work for Frank Wilbur. Charlotte Wilbur and I were married in 1936 in Miles City. We have one daughter Mrs. Helen Gerleman. In 1937 we moved to the Bob Fudge place. Bob had worked for many years for Frank Wilbur. When Charlotte was a little girl she used to ride with Bob Fudge on the roundups and he became very fond of her, In his will he left part of his ranch to her and we bought the rest. The ranch house is sort of a landmark; it was built of logs, stockade style with the logs sawed on both sides and stood on end. It was the only house in the country built that way. It was one of the best hay ranches for its size on Powder River. We used to have brandings at our ranch; 30 or 40 neighbors and their children came to help brand and enjoy the big roundup dinner. We used to give youngsters calves and brand them. I love ranch fife and livestock, but I developed a chronic health condition I have to live with that made it hard for me to operate the ranch. I don't think there is a day goes by that I don't think about the Powder River country. I love it. Charlotte has loved the outdoors since she was a little girl and became a very good horsewoman and never failed to ride when she had a chance. We have been traveling for 19 to 20 years. We visited the largest privately-owned ranch in the world, the King Ranch in south Texas, consisting of 11,250,000 acres. We have traveled and visited all the states except Hawaii. We have helped our community many ways with building projects, had a deep water well drilled in the cemetery in Broadus.