William J. B. “Ike” Melton and Clarence “Cy” Young Interview, circa 1965


Ernest Kraft



Download Audio Interview (163.4 MB)

Download Transcript of Ike Melton and Cy Young Interview (700 KB)


William “Ike” Melton chronicles moving to Montana in 1912 and homesteading on the Flathead Indian Reservation. He discusses how he came to work at the Bison Range and describes the buffalo disposal program. Melton talks about the increase in buffalo, how the animals were handled when they were killed, and tells the story of the first buffalo he shot. He recalls working for Frank Rose, the Range manager, and describes their working relationship. Melton discusses working on the Range during the filming of The Big Trail in the summer of 1930. He tells how Frank Rose was fired after the shooting of the film due to animals being injured and dying during the process. Melton details managing his own private bison stock beginning in 1948, then deciding to sell after he suffered a stroke in 1961.


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Document Type

Oral History


Homesteaders, Montana; National Bison Range; Buffalo herds; Bison herds; Range management; Livestock management; Albino elk; The Big Trail; Bison behavior; Frank H. Rosel Trisky Creek; Andrew Hodges; Charlie McLaughlin; Heiney Helgerson; Bryon Nowlin; William Randolph Hearst

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

National Bison Range Oral History Project, OH 149, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 149-004c

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 reel-to-reel: analog + 1 transcript (57 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

02:12:54 minutes

Local Filename

OH_149_004_c.mp3; OH_149_004_c.pdf

William J. B. “Ike” Melton and Clarence “Cy” Young Interview, circa 1965