Ranch history spans the centuries | TSLN.com

Ranch history spans the centuries

Photo by Jan Swan WoodAt 84 years young, Margaret "Toots" Schriner continues to enjoy time in the saddle on her 12 Mile Ranch. Riding beside her is ranch partner Larry Fiala.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

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Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

The road winds through a grassy valley with pine clad ridges on both sides. Snow blankets the ground in the shaded areas and a light coating still endures in the deep grass.

It’s a beautiful winter scene that one can imagine being even more breathtaking in the warmer seasons. No small wonder that when Joe Heumpheus saw it, he wanted to settle there and build a ranch.

Though originating in Missouri, he came north in 1876 with a Texas trail herd. His intentions to leave Missouri for good were apparent when he rode back home from Texas to kiss his mother goodbye before leaving on the trail drive.

He staked out his ranch using rocks, ridges and other natural landmarks and by squatter’s rights, he stayed in what would later become Custer County. The land he settled on became known as 12 Mile Ranch because of its distance from Custer. Nearer was Four Mile, where there was a cavalry fort.

Soon after Joe Heumphreus had gotten settled on his place, a young lady named Sarah McLaughlin decided to move to Custer, then the Deadwood area, to cook for her brothers who were working the goldfields. Her trip to the Black Hills was by train from Iowa to Pierre and then stage from Pierre to Custer. That part of her journey alone took eight days and the mud was so bad that the passengers had to disembark from the stage and push to help the horses through the worst spots.

Sarah and Joe Heumphreus soon met and then married. Their daughter Mary was born on French Creek, followed by a son, Ford, who was born in 1888 or 1889 on the 12 Mile Ranch. When these two children were about 18 months and nine months of age, there was an Indian uprising and Joe took Sarah and their babies to the fort at Four Mile where they would be safer. Joe and his hired man went back to the ranch to try to defend it and took shelter in a cave until the danger had passed.

Two more boys, Don and Mont, were born in Custer and the family continued to build and improve the 12 Mile Ranch as the young family grew up. It became a stage stop for the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage, and was also a stopping place for other travelers as well.

As time went on, it also became a place to vacation for several renowned doctors from the big cities. The Heumphreus became friends with many noted people, including Teddy Roosevelt. Another well-known person who stayed for a while on the ranch was a friend of Joe’s hired man and it wasn’t until he had left the area that they found out he was Jesse James. He had stayed in a cabin up in the hills while hiding out from the law.

The ranch was also a place for the area cowboys to winter when they were laid off from the ranches. They did chores and chopped wood to earn their keep. None were ever turned away. The bunkhouse was often full of men who had nowhere else to go until spring works started.

editor’s note: tri-state livestock news will feature century ranches and farms throughout 2009. if you or your neighbor operate a century ranch or farm and would like to be featured in tri-state livestock news, contact tsln editor aaron nelson at 877-347-9117 or email anelson@tsln-fre.com.