Charles Allard (Charles Allard, Sr 1852-1896) was born Aug 29 1852 Gervais Oregon. He first married Emerance Brown (1860 – 1887) She was the daughter of Emily (Gauche) Goetsche (aka Emily Pend d’Oreille & Sem-lem-tch or Tchlose, the daughter of Louis Pascal (le Gaucher) Kouilqaausi. Called a chief of the Upper Pend d’Oreille or Kalispel) and Louis Brun [Brown] a French-Canadian from Quebec.
She died at age 26 after having had six children, only two of which survived to adulthood. She married Louis Charles “Chi-cha-li” Allard in 1875 at age 14.
His second wife was Louise Courville, a tribal member on the Flathead Reservation, was born in Colville, Washington, a part Indian French Canadian. They had two daughters between 1892 and 1896. In 1897 she married Andrew Stinger and they had three children. Louise died in Ronan, Lake County, Montana.
Clinch Valley News , February 10th 1893
Besides the Omaha herd there are a few others in captivity, some kept for breeding purposes and others for exhibition. Mr. Charles Allard, in the Flathead Indian Reservation, has thirty-seven head.
The Anaconda Stanard – January 29 1896
F. M. Corey, the man who is ‘believed to be a bogus government agent was arraigned this morning before United States Commissioner Smith and was placed under bonds to await examination next Tuesday, when United States Attorney Leslie will be here to conduct the examination.
Corey has retained Hal S. Corbett as his attorney. He sent this evening fo,r Charles Allard. at whose ranch he made his headquarters during the round-up. It is not known what he wants of Allard. but it is supposed that he has some papers and documents there.
Buffalo Meat is Good – Missoula, Dec. 31.-1896
On the day before Christmas, Charles Allard and Michel Pablo killed one of their herd of buffalo on the reservation. The creature was skinned and dressed and the meat was presented to the chiefs of the reservation tribes. There was a feast on Christmas day, such as has not been enjoyed on the reserve since the days when the shaggy buffalo roamed free over the rolling plains of the Flathead. The skin and skeleton of the buffalo were preserved and will be sent to some museum for mounting and exhibition.
The Anaconda Standard – March 31 1896
Charles Allard, the buffalo king, is in town to-day on a business trip. Mr. Allard is not recovering as well as his friends would desire from his recent injury to his knee.
The Ravalli Republican – June 3rd 1896
Charles Allard, of Ravalli, who was confined to the Sisters hospital more or less during the winter and spring, on account of an injured leg, is now in Chicago at St. -Joseph’s hospital for treatment. He had an operation preformed May 29th with satisfactory results so much so that he expects to return home fully Cured
While in Chicago seeking treatment for a leg injury. The injury was not treated in time and he died, he leaves his half to his heirs, many sold by them to US zoos and game farms. Some 150 head. Despite this, the herd now owned by Charles Allard Jr (1878-1930) and brother Joseph (1876-1964)
The Anaconda Standard July 22 1896
DEATH OF CHARLES ALLARD
The Owner of the Large Herd of Buffalo – He Died in Chicago
The sad news of the death of Charles Allard was received here to-day. The death occurred this morning In the hospital at Chicago, where Mr. Allard had been for some time receiving the treatment of experts for an injury to his knee. The wound was received some months ago in a fall with a horse and the bone was so bruised that the trouble became serious and finally developed Into tuberculosis, which affected even the finger Joints. Mr. Allard was one of the best known men of Western Montana. He w as best known throughout the state as the owner of the large herd of buffaloes on the reservation, in which he was Interested with Michael Pablo. He was about 42 years old and was the son of Joseph Allard, a Canadian Frenchman, and an Indian women. he was one of the best men on the reservation and was upright and honorable in all of his business. He was heavily Interested in cattle and horses and had made some of the largest shipments that were ever made from this section. It Is not possible at this time to place any accurate estimate on the amount of his property, as he had so many Investments that his money is scattered about In several places. He owned one of the finest ranches on the reservation and had made many extensive Improvements on It. He also owned a large herd of cattle and many horses. His buffalo herd Is now on the islands In Flathead lake. His remains will be sent to the
Mission for burial and the funeral will be held at ,St. Ignatius church at the Mission Sunday afternoon. There will be a large attendance from thls city and Frenchtown. Mr. Allard leaves two sons, Joseph and Charles, who are young men. he had also a little daughter by his second wife. Charles, the younger son, was in Missoula when the sad news of the death of his father was received.
The Anaconda Standard July 28th 1896
Charles Allard Funeral
The funeral of the late Charles Allard was held at St. Ignatius Mission church yesterday , the venerable Father Daste preaching the funeral sermon. There was a large attendance of the friends of the dead man from all parts of the reservation and from Missoula and vicinity. There were nearly 1,000 Indians at the Mission.
Charles Allard Jr
The Anaconda Standard Nov 26 1899
Allard’s Famous Herd of Buffalos Snapped by Standard’s Camera.
“Dere’s tree bull,” said the guide. We looked in the direction that he indicated, and there, on the north slope of the Big Butte, were three magnificent buffalo bulls. They were half a mile distant and had not noticed our approach. Two of them were lying down and the third was standing with his head toward us, sleepy and indifferent. None of the rest of the herd were in sight. “De breeding time, she’s over and dese bull, he run alone,” explained Joe when we asked where the rest of the animals were. “But dass all right,” he continued, “de herd she’s not far.”
We had driven 30 miles since breakfast from the hospitable home of Alex DeMers at St. Ignatius mission to the Allard ranch on Mud creek. The drive had been a pleasant one, though more than half of it was through a morning fog that was so dense that it was at times impossible to see beyond the heads of the horses. The road was along the foot of the splendid Mission range of mountains, crossing at frequent intervals the beautiful streams that make the Mission valley a paradise. We had passed Indian farms that loomed suddenly out of the fog and as suddenly disappeared, the stolid half breed on the front seat of our wagon pounding the cayuse team along at a rate that would have alarmed a man unaccustomed to the capacity of these little runts of horses. They kept up in their collars all the way and the 30 mile drive was made in three hours. Now and then we would meet an Indian rider who grunted a salutation to us as we emerged from the haze of fog and would look at us wonderingly as we swung along past him. From the yards and corrals of the Indian farms the cur dogs of the reserve would rush out at us, snarling and yelping. There was always something to break the monotony of the drive through the fog and it was not Irksome.
As we neared Mud creek the fog lifted and the sun came out clear and bright. It was a good day for pictures and if we could find the buffalo the trip would be an interesting and profitable one. The cayuses made a final spurt and we swung up in front of the old Allard ranch, familiar to all who crossed the reservation in the old staging days. This was the feeding station in those days and here the Allard stages changed horses. There has been many a sharp race across the Mud creek flat between the big six-horse stages and the excitement was always high when the passengers were eating at Allard’s. The opposition stage would probably pass them there and that meant a hard chase up the hill to the divide that overlooks the Flathead lake. We changed horses here, too, and we also got dinner. With a fresh team and Joe Houlle at the lines we started, immediately after eating, to look for the herd. Joe knew where they were, he said, and we set out across the valley to the Big Butte, where we expected to find the buffalo.
The natural habitat of the buffalo more properly, the bison-was between the Allegheny mountains on the east and the foot of the Rockies on the west. It was not often that any of the big animals were found on the west side of the main range of the Rockies, and each year the Indians of the valleys that are now in Western Montana, Idaho and Washington made pilgrimage to the “Buffalo Country” for hides and meat. This annual buffalo hunt was one of the great occasions in the calendar of the Western Indian. It was attended with much pomp and ceremony and occupied often nearly a quarter of the year. It furnished the Indians with much of their winter meat and with skins for blankets and for tepees. The medicine men made their incantations: the chiefs exhorted their subordinates; the novitiate warrior frequently won his plume on these expeditions across the range. The buffalo country was then the range in the eastern valleys of Montana and the pilgrimage across the mountains was an important event. Whole villages of the Indians traveled together and the sojourn in the valleys of Eastern Montana was exciting and full of danger. Bloody battles were often fought on these pilgrimages-encounters with hostile tribes who were on the same errand. But these dangers did not deter the Indians from making the trip. It was of too much importance to them. It meant meat and shelter and that was practically everything in those days.
Yet it is-in one of these valleys of Western Montana that the largest herd of buffalo extant now exists and thrives in its new surroundings. The Allard herd was started by Charles Allard, the well-known cattleman of the Flathead reservation, who died a few years ago. From a small beginning, by breeding and by purchase the herd has increased till it now numbers about 290 head. These buffalo have free range on the open pastures of the Mission valley, their favorite place being in the neighborhood of the Big Butte, a familiar landmark to those who have visited that portion of the reserve. The big animals do not range in one large herd, but divide into small bands, averaging about 25 to 40 head. These small bands are generally under the leadership of a big bull and the mastery of a herd is frequently the cause of a battle between two of these big fellows. Those who have seen these contests say that the struggles are magnificent in their exhibition of strength.
In the Mission valley and the lower Flathead valley these animals find a climate and forage that seems to be satisfactory, for they are breeding well and the herd is steadily increasing. Not all of the buffalo in the Allard herd are from the northern stock. In 1893 Mr. Allard purchased the famous Kansas herd of Buffalo Jones, which was brought to Montana and driven to the Flathead range. At that time the animals were exhibited in several of the larger Montana towns. Some of the Kansas buffalo had been partially broken to wagon and those who visited the buffalo show will recall the display of awkwardness that these “trained” buffalo gave at that time. In the Kansas herd, too, were some “cataloes,” as they are called-crosses between the buffalo and the range cattle.
These are homely creatures, neither buffalo nor cows, and did not seem to promise much for the attempt to produce a marketable animal from this system of cross re! ling. The experiment has been continued on the reservation, but it has not been very successful. There is now on an island in the lower Flathead lake a band of these half-breeds that numbers about 125, but they are not considered of much value, aside from being curiosities. They have not furry hides, nor is their meat of much value. Nowhere can the buffalo be studied to better advantage than in this herd on the Flathead reservation. There the animal is to be seen in almost a natural condition. He has a free range; the country. though not his own, is admirably adapted to his habits and he thrives there. The sight of this herd is no novelty to those old-timers who have seen bands that numbered hundreds of thousands, but to the man who has never seen a buffalo on the range, the visit is an extremely interesting one. The animals are sluggish and not as easily stampeded, perhaps, as those that used to roam at will on the Eastern prairies, but they are not at all as sociable and do not readily cultivate human acquaintances. As we approached these vagrant bulls on this afternoon, the problem was as to whether or not we could get within shooting distance of them with the t camera. Joe Houlle said that this would be easy, but the half-breed driver who had accompanied us had his doubts C and expressed them freely.
“You’ll see dass bull, he ran. Mebbe you get close dass bull he fight. Dass be bad, eh?” That would certainly be bad, but we accepted Houlle’s opinion as the correct one and the camera was unpacked and set up for action. Houlle 1 drove his horses to within 50 feet of 1 the big fellows and they paid no more attention to the team than to look inquiringly at it. One bull that was lying down arose lazily and another wallowed in the dust, but none of the four manifested any desire to leave. Then t it occurred to us that the half-breed’ prediction might have been the correct one and that the bulls were only getting ready to charge us when the camera should be set up. But we hat to take the chances. Alighting on the farther side of the wagon, the camera was made ready and was focused upon the ungainly animals. Still they paid no attention to the camera or its operators. One exposure was made and then another. The buffalo seemed to like it. Then, emboldened by success, we approached to within 30 feet of the big fellows. They looked curiously at us, but that was all and we made some more pictures. It was easier than photographing Indians and the buffalo did not ask for copies of the picture. We were able to get within 30 feet of the biggest bull in the bunch and he stood there like a trained model. He turned his head toward the camera and stood there like a statue till the shutter was dropped. He was the best subject that we found.
When we had made half a dozen pictures of these big animals we set out to find the larger band. Houlle was certain that we would find them somewhere around the Big Butte. We had seen them there two days before and was sure that they had not left that part of the valley. So we drove around the Big Butte. We looked at it from the north, the south, the east and the west, but we found no buffalo. “Dass funny,” said the half breed, and Houlle said that he thought that it was funny too, but he didn’t look as if he spoke the truth. We drove about 20 miles over the prairie following cattle trails most of the way, hunting for those buffalo.
Houlle’s stag hounds followed us ranging here and there for signs of coyote. This photograph business was too much for them. They could only imagine that we were after coyote and yet the wagon was a queer thing to chase coyotes in. Still they ranged and, on the south Elope of the butte standing on a ridge overlooking a runway to the river, the half-breed spied one of the sneaking beasts. He showed the animal to Houlle and the latter hallooed to the hounds. They were off like bullets and the coyote took the hint. He settled down to business It was well that he did. The yellow stag hound, Dewey by name, ran like a quarter horse. His black companion trailed him closely and then ensued as pretty a chase as anybody ever witnessed. The coyote did his best and hunted the other side of the butte. It was useless to attempt to follow with the heavy wagon and the hounds, discouraged by the absence of their master, relinquished the chase, after having given the wolf a run of three miles. Mr. Coyote escaped, but the incident served to cheer up Houlle who took up the search for the buffalo in better humor than he had manifested for an hour. But he constant ly lamented the fact that the hounds had not killed the coyote. He would have had a dead wolf if he had only brought along a saddle horse. That was all that the dogs needed.
While he was thus lamenting he espied the buffalo, a band of 50 or more. They were slowly working their way up from the lower valley, where they had been for water, and were bunched when we saw them, on the slope of the butte that we had passed an hour before. In this band were a few bulls, a lot of cows and a number of calves. The presence of the calves made the cows a little shy and we did not have as good success in approaching them as we had with the solitary bulls. Still, they were not alarmed by the camera. Whenever it was set up for action the tows would crowd their youngsters into the middle of the band so that it was not easy to get a view of the bunch that would show the little fellows properly. We walked around with the team as a screen and the buffalo posed till we had all the pictures that we wanted. The half-breed Insisted that we took too long a chance and his frequent yells of warning, given whenever he saw a quick movement on the part of any of the herd, disturbed the animals more than anything that the camera did. The herd moved slowly, so that we were able to secure several excellent pictures of this bunch. Finally, when we had but one plate left, we sent, the half-breed around the bunch with instructions to yell and wave his coat. He did this and the herd broke into a lumbering gallop. The camera was leveled upon them as they sped pest and a snap was taken. It did not result very satisfactorily. The figures were distinct enough, but too small. That was the only failure that we had in all the plates. On the brow of the slight hill that lay back of us, the herd stopped and looked back to see if the half-breed was still after them. Seeing that he had desisted, the buffalo stopped and watched us move away.
We were 13 miles from the Allard ranch and the sun was getting low. Houlle turned his horses toward Mud creek and we bumped over the rough prairie at a rate that threatened the demolition of the camera and the destruction of the members of the party. But Houlle knew the country and, just at dusk we pulled up at the ranch once wore. Trowbridge packed up his machine while the team of the morning was being brought out, and in a few minutes we were on the road back to the mission. Those cayuses did even better than they had done in the morning, and in less than three hours we were back at the De Mers table eating supper.
The pictures that are given on these pages are the results of that 80 miles of ride over the reservation. There are many things that are much more difficult than photographing buffalo. There are, too, many places that are less satisfactory to visit than the pleasant valley where these buffalo range. The herd is soon to be divided in the partition of the Allard estate, and this is probably the last season that it will be seen in one band.
The Kalispell Bee
Kalispell, Mont. Feb 10, 1903
BUFFALO HERD OF FLATHEAD
Allard and Michael Pablo Imported the Stock From Nebraska.
COLONIZED WILD HORSE ISLAND
But the Buffalo Did Not Choose to Remain in This Sequestered Wilderness and Swam One by One to the Mainland. Two Miles Away— Like to Mix With Other Stock.
So much scientific interest centers in the fast disappearing and almost extinct buffalo that a few words on the herd now roaming the plains in the Mission valley may not be out of place.
The buffalo herd ranges in the Mission valley, west of the main traveled road. They may be on either side or both sides of the Pend d Oreille river. West from Stinger’s ranch, 12 miles from the lake, is a large butte rising from the plain. Near this, some of the buffalo are quite likely to lie found. Leaving the read at or near Stinger’s, the visitor may sc the herd with a couple of hours’ travel. It is not likely the entire herd may be seen in one place.
Eighteen years ago, in 1884, Chas. Allard and Michael Pablo bought of an Indian named Samuel ten head of buffalo, which the Indian brought from east of the Rocky mountains. From “Buffalo” Jones, in Nebraska, they purchased 44 head. 18 of which were graded stock. From this beginning of 36 full blooded and 18 graded animal, the present herd has descended.
At the present writing, February 1902, there are on the reserve 220 full blooded and 65 graded animals. During the past year, there have been sold nearly 100 animals. In the years past others have been sold, but the number is not determined.
Twenty-seven head were sold to Conrad of Kalispell, and are now cared for on Conrad’s ranch. Between 40 and 50 are said to have been sold to a company, the majority to stay on the reservation, the others to be used in the show business. Several were sold to Iowa parties.
In 1901, 65 calves were added to the herd. About half of the cows are said to have calves each year. The cows do not have calves until they are four or five years of age. It is claimed that the fertility of the herd is not decreasing. A portion of the calves die or are killed, about the same proportion as for ordinary cattle on the range.
A calf not over 30 seconds born was upon its feet, and not over 20 minutes old showed fight, as stated by Joseph Allard, who owned it. Half-breed cows are fertile, either with buffalo or cattle. Half-breed bull’s have not been tried and are not reported.
The stags show many differences in build from hulls. The principal difference is to be noticed in the horns, which are longer, probably larger, standing out farther from the head.
Twenty-seven of these animals were recently taken to Plains, in other that two might lie selected from the number. Five men were driving the animals, and even then half a dozen got away. They would not follow the road but went up and down hill as they pleased. They are sure-footed, quick and nimble. The cows are always on the alert to see an opportunity to escape and move very quickly. After escaping they immediately return to the herd.
The animals paid little attention to barbed wire fences and went through them on many occasions. After they were put into the high fenced corral at the stockyards they mashed down the gate, several escaping.
In crossing a river on the ice. It is necessary to make a good trail with horses, so the tracks may be visible, otherwise, they will not cross. They look first at the near side and then at the far side, then dash across. An old bull will probably lead when all will follow. They are sure-footed and take ice as easily as a shod horse. They plunge into water without hesitation when separated from
the herd and are returning, and swim easily and rapidly. The cows are much harder to handler than the bulls.
They usually range in two main herds, but the winter of 1901 they were in three herds. These are further split up into small bands of from a few to several dozen.
The range of the buffalo herd is along the Pend d’Oreille river, in the Flathead Indian reservation. Occasionally they wander into the cultivated fields of the Indians and squaw men. They range over a territory 8 to 10 miles long and about as wide. With them are many herds of cattle and horses. It takes a practiced eye to tell whether a speck on the horizon is a herd of buffalo, of cattle or of horses.
A herder is kept with the animals continually. He knows where they are, keeps note of the increase, looks after the calves and the herd generally, much more closely than for domestic cattle.
To make a visit to the herd is not difficult, and any number of photographs may be secured.
The country over which they roam is near the Pend d’Orielle river. The soil is sandy, held from blowing by vegetation. There are numerous coulees and a few high buttes. To the east, the Mission range, snow-capped in winter and clothed in dark green during summer, makes an imposing view. Occasionally in winter, when the river freezes, the. herd crosses the river and give much trouble.
In the large bay of Flathead lake, extending west from the main body of water is a large island, named Mild Horse island. Several years ago about 75 half breed buffaloes and four full-blooded bulls were placed on this island and left to roam. The island is several miles long and not quite as great in width. It is well timbered and rises several hundred feet above the lake. The writer has not been on the island but has been around it on the water. No one lives on it. Rarely is it visited, even by Indians. It is entirely within the Flathead Indian reservation.
The buffaloes stayed on the island for a couple of years but did not like it They began swimming to the mainland, a mile and a half away, continuing thus until but a few were left on the island when they were removed.
This short record shows what can be done by private enterprises, and the work of the Indian. In 20 year’s s a herd of 36 has increased to more than 50, or ten times the original number, with no record of the many sales that have been made during most of this time. In 20 years the number of calves is given at 65 per year, more than double the original number. The range on which the herd is kept certainly does not exceed 70 to 100 square miles, and they could no doubt be kept on a smaller range than this.
There is this notable difference lie between the Allard-Pablo herd on the Flathead reservation and the herd in Yellowstone park, to which so much attention has been directed and which has done so much toward forming an opinion in the minds of men adversely to save to the world a herd of these noble animals. The Allard Pablo herd has a man with it constantly. The animals are therefore accustomed to man and are not alarmed at his approach. The park herd were rarely seen by man, and were not carefully looked after. The park herd were placed at a high altitude, over 7.000 feet, where snows were deep, winters long and severe, and where it was very difficult, perhaps impossible, to give them aid in case of scarcity of food. The Allard Pablo herd has a range at altitude below 3,000 feet, where deep snows do not occur, and where poachers cannot molest without fear of discovery. Moreover, hay or grain may be taken to the herd in a few hours in case of necessity. While they range in a treeless valley, they have in the range coulees, morainal depressions, rivers and creek banks, which offer shelter. Several high buttes offer protection from the wind while the river, creeks and ponds supply abundance of water.
From a careful study of facts it will become apparent that congress should not cease in its efforts to save the buffalo from extinction. An appropriation of $8.000 will purchase 25 cows and a dozen bulls. If purchased from several different herds there is little danger from inbreeding. This is as large a herd as Allard and Pablo had in the beginning. With the same care exercised over this herd in 20 years the increase from 25 cows and 12 hulls should make the herd number between 400 and 500. Now there are large tracts of land leased annually for small sums to large cattle dealers. There are large tracts in Indian reservations which can be used for some such purpose more legitimately than if lease to cattle men for stock. If a tract of land containing from 50 ro100 square miles were set. apart for this particular use, with an appropriation at the beginning of $15,000, and an annual appropriation of $5.000 there certainly should be no difficulty whatever of in developing a herd from a small beginning to one that would be a credit to the nation.
The government and care of the herd should be placed under the jurisdiction of the biological survey of the department of agriculture. The men in the survey are keenly alive to the importance of an attempt to save the buffalo from extinction and may be relied upon to look after the animals as carefully as they are looked after in any zoological park. It is hardly to be expected that the animals will thrive in the Yellowstone park, where the winters are long and severe, the summers short and concentrated, and where protection is likewise afforded to the wild animals which prey upon the calves. The buffalo unlike the deer and elk, seems to remain in a limited territory. With a range in Montana, Idaho, Arizona or New Mexico, as above mentioned, with a small herd under the care of the biological survey of the government, a small appropriation will, with proper handling, produce a large herd in 15 or 20 years.
It is to be hoped that the recent small appropriation made by congress for the preservation of the buffalo will be sufficient to protect it from extinction. It is doubtful, however, whether they will ever thrive in the Yellowstone park without much care in the winter. A lower altitude, with less snow and longer summer, similar to that of the Flathead Indian reservation, will insure the safety of the herd with small amount of attention and expense. M.J.Elrod.
The Minneapolis Journal
Minneapolis, Minn. March 28, 1903,
NUCLEUS FOR A BUFFALO HERD IN STATE OF IOWA
Fifteen Animals Taken From Native Wildness in Montana to Luana, Iowa, Where They Will Roam and Multiply Undisturbed—’,’Buffalo Trust” Dissolved by the Death of Allard—Real Buffalo Hunt.
Special to The Journal.
Luana, Iowa. March 25.—From the greatest herd of buffaloes in the world and the only herd living in native wildness, fifteen animals, caught after a wild chase by forty full-blooded Indians in full paint and feather, have been brought to this place.
In their honor the Milwaukee railroad proposes to change the name of the town to “Bison Valley” and Burgess & Hanson, the owners of the bison, plan to keep their herd inviolate and wild until it rivals the great herd of 320 full-blooded buffaloes which a Montana Flathead Indian acquired after twenty years of care and husbandry.
“It is not that we ourselves hope to profit by the investment,” says T. W. Burgess. “We have bought them that our children or their children may profit by the venture. We will follow the course of Merrs. Pablo and Allard and let the buffalo roam, feed and increase undisturbed,”
The recent death of Allard has resulted in the dissolution of what may legitimately be termed the “buffalo trust.” The farsightedness of this Flathead twenty years ago gave him more than half the full-blooded buffaloes of the United States. Upon his death, his share of this collection was divided among his heirs. His widow sold her portion of forty-seven bead to C. E. Conrad of Kalispell, Mont. Burgess & Hanson were soon in Montana and called on Allard, son of the great ranchman and purchased the beginnings of their herd.
Other Herds of Importance.
Prior to the death of Allard, Sr., the only other herds of consequence were owned by “Scotty” Philips of Pierre, S. D., “Buffalo” Jones of Kansa s and Charles Goodnight of the Panhandle country, Texas These three ranchmen owned in all about 120 full-bloods and many more strains.
Messrs. Burgess & Hanson have been convinced of the wisdom of the plan of Allard and recognize the coming value of the buffalo. This is why they have determined to produce at this point what will become the greatest herd of buffaloes in America. Good bulls now sell for $1,000, their heads alone being worth $200 to $300 for mounting.
It was in 1883 that Allard, the Flathead, rode his pony over the mountains to the Flathead valley, driving seven weary buffaloes before him. Here they were kept by Allard and Pablo until eighteen years later, the seven buffaloes had become 320. With thousands of cattle, they roamed the Flathead valley, sixty miles wide, safe from the outside world under the protection of the mountains and the ubiquitous Indians. They were never disturbed and none was sold despite tempting offers.
A Buffalo Hunt.
T. W. Burgess thus describes his experiences when he went to the Flathead valley to buy the first of his buffaloes:
“When Charles Allard,’ Sr., died, his half was divided among his heirs, and some of the heirs were selling their share. When Mr. Hanson and myself heard this,’ we boarded the train and journeyed over the mountains to see the Indians who had buffalo to sell.
“On reaching the reservation, the first thing to do was to get a permit from the agent to enter and trade with the Indians, for had we traded without a permit or paid any purchase money, the Indian, if he was so disposed, could keep the part payment and also the goods, and we would have nothing but the experience. After receiving the permit, we hired saddle horses and started for the Allard ranch, which was reached the next day. Mr. Allard said he would trade buffalo for money. The next morning found us in the saddle in pursuit of real living buffalo.
“After a ride of about twenty-five miles and six miles below the foot of Flathead lake, we gained the first sight of the big herd. With Allard as guide, we managed to select four cows for immediate delivery.
“Here we chanced to be present at a settlement for a bunch of cayuses. As each cayuse passed through the gateway, it was represented by a kernel of corn. Each kernel of corn was represented by three beans and each bean by a dollar. The beans were put in piles, and the purchasers had to cover them with an equal number of dollars.
“The day for the delivery of the buffaloes had arrived, and a round-up party of forty Indians, dressed in full paint and feathers, and two white men, all on the best thoroughbreds in the valley, owned either by the Indians or the government, gathered at the ranch to participate in ma the buffalo hunt.
“Allard led the small army toward the feeding ground. When the party approached the massive beasts, they were seen to be suspicious, and as we drew near, they lumbered off in a very ungraceful gallop which indicated anything but speed.
But when two of the Indians were directed to give chase and, if possible, cut out a portion of the herd, that the four cows might be selected, the speed of these monsters was fully revealed. The only way that a cut-out could be made was by putting fresh horses on the trail at intervals of an hour or two, and by so doing they finally succeeded in cutting out a bunch by getting them started up. a different ravine than the one chosen by the main herd. This was after eight hours of furious riding that exhausted several relays of horses but apparently did not tire the buffaloes at all. The bunch cut out was constantly pursued until by nightfall they were driven in the nearest, corral, four cows cut out, and the remainder given their freedom.
Long, Hard Chase.
“The following morning, before the sun had peeped over the outline of the mountains, every horseman was in his saddle for the final chase. When the gates of the corral *were thrown open the buffalo rushed out as though inspired by a last determined effort to free themselves from their pursuers.
“Each buffalo took a separate course at full speed, each followed by a group of horsemen. By noon, after six hours of riding, they were farther from the railroad station than when they started, and still apparently fresh.
“By everlastingly sticking at it, the four animals were at last rounded up and started in a diagonal course from, the feed ground to the shipping point. When landed at the station, three days and nights had been required to make the drive.
“The cows were put in car s having trap-doors, where they stayed during the ten-day journey to Luana.
“The buffalo, when running at full speed, keep their heads close to the ground, never turning to the right or left. There is more danger pursuing them from the rear than from any other point, or when they are closely pressed they will plant their forefeet on the ground and swing their hind parts around as though on a pivot, and they have you on their weapons of defense instantly.”
Crossing With Cattle.
“Scotty” Philip, “Buffalo” Jones of Kansas and Charles Goodnight of Texas, are experimenting on a large scale with cattle, or hybrid buffalo. The cattle are more prolific than the bison and. herein lies one of their advantages. The seven-eighths and upwards cross make fine robes and resemble the buffalo to a certain extent, making a fair counterfeit, but they shed the long hair of the foretop, beard, lower mane, and forelegs. Taken on the whole cross with full-blooded cattle Is a failure, for a large percent of the cows miscarry at seven months, and die. In the second place, a herd of the first cross has a resemblance to a bunch of old-fashioned scrub, cattle, brindle, yellow, line-back, pointed-behind, with horns.protruding.in any direction and without a semblance of the buffalo except a little extra size in the forequarters. As they are bred up, they: naturally more nearly, approach the true .species of .buffalo.
Conrad’s Early Experiences.
C. E. Conrad of Kalispell, Mont., who bought the “Widow Allard’s share of the Allard buffaloes, says:
“I came to Montana when a young man in 1868, and for fifteen years lived at Fort Benton, then the shipping entrepot for the entire northwest. I had a line of trading posts throughout Montana and in Canada, and from these I handled a large portion of the buffalo hides shipped out of the northwest. I have seen millions of buffalo on the plains, and often when passing up and down the Missouri river on steamers, I have been compelled to stop the boat and await the crossing of large herds of buffalo at points selected for fording places. I have placed the forty-seven buffaloes I bought from Mrs. Allard in a 200-acre field one mile from Kalispell.”
Never Thoroughly Tamed.
Mr. Burgess believes that it is impossible to domesticate a buffalo entirely and will make.no attempt to do so.
“I have known of a buffalo captured when a calf and kept tied in a barn for five consecutive years,” he says, “watered from a pail and fed from a box. But his vicious disposition was never subdued so that it was not dangerous to remove old hair in the spring even, with a garden rake. I also knew of a calf kept with tame calves in a box stall, but it fought till it died. I want to correct the popular impression that buffalo ‘wallows* are made by wallowing in the mud. The buffaloes are particularly tormented by flies because they shed in the spring. They roll in the dust to fight them, and this makes.the wallows. They never lie down in the mud.”‘