WILLIAM H. "TAT" CAIN
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
I was born at our ranch April 15, 1926, being the 12th of 15 children born to Horace and Bessie Cain. My mother and dad came to Montana from Texas where they homesteaded our ranch, which is ten miles south of Volborg, on the Big Pumpkin Creek. My brothers and sisters in the order of their birth are: Joe, Oscar (Sal), Jessie, Myrtle, Henry (Bullet), Mike, Roy (Fat), Name, Charles (Short), Anna Maude (Gertie), Buster, William (Tat), Ruth (Tudor), Onie and Edith. All of the childhood nicknames have remained with each person to this day. During the fall of 1926 most of the family moved back to Texas, but we only stayed until the fall of 1930, and then returned to Montana, bringing four head of milk cows and several horses. My father died in the fall of 1934, during a visit in Miles City, and this was undoubtedly the worst year our family has ever seen. With the drought and the depression, our father's death and the only thing that would grow was Russian thistles and grasshoppers, my mother was left with seven children to raise alone. During the next few years the county dried out and the Mormon crickets invaded us, and the worst hail storm I had ever seen cleaned us out. This happened on July 25, 1935. The winter of 1935 and 1936 got so cold that you couldn't even find out what the temperature was because our two thermometers that registered 40 degrees below zero both broke during the cold weather. I went to the country grade school, and then to Broadus for my high school years. While three of my brothers were in the service I helped mother run the ranch and then I did get two years of Junior College in Miles City. I was married in August, 1949, and shortly afterward I served in the U.S. Army for two years. Upon completion of my service, I worked in Billings, Mont. as a salesman, but in 1961 we purchased the Miles City Saddlery and came home to live and work and raise our family. I am at present, vice chairman of the Montana State Horse-racing Commission, past president of the Miles City Club, past president of the Sage Riders Club and a member of the Elks Lodge, Eagles Lodge, the Range Riders, Cow Capital Turf Club, the Al Bedoo Shrine, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Miles City Town and Country Club.