Joe Hughes describes cowboying during the 1910s in Eastern Montana, including working on ranches such as the Horseshoe Bar and the Antlers Ranch, which was owned by a German immigrant named Heinrich who leased land on the Crow Reservation for his cattle. Hughes discusses how he broke his neck and several other bones, breaking broncs, noting that he just kept on working and didn’t know his neck was broken until many years later. Hughes talks about reading and writing poetry at an early age, and notes that most cowboys were skeptical of anyone who appeared educated or interested in books, assuming this meant they couldn’t work cattle or ride a horse. He recites several poems about cowboy life, and tells stories about cowboying, including trailing cattle to town so they could be loaded on train cars and shipped. He recalls what cowboys typically wore to combat the cold weather including silk handkerchiefs that could be pulled over their face and ears, wool chaps, and wool underwear.
Cowboys, Montana; Ranch life, Montana; Crow Reservation; Mark Real Bird; Eastern Montana; PN Ranch, Montana; Horseshoe Bar Ranch, Montana; Antlers Ranch, Montana; Cowboy poetry; Robert W. Service; Shooting of Dan McGrew; Broncos; Breaking horses
Montana Settlers and Homesteaders Oral History Project, OH 052, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral History Number
1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (23 p.: 28 cm.)
Hughes, Joe, "Joe Hughes Interview, January 21, 1981" (1981). Montana Settlers and Homesteaders Oral History Project. 4.