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HT Ranch

4/8/2015:

Arthur Clark Huidekoper was a rancher and cowboy of great renown around the turn of the century in North Dakota. From Pennsylvania originally, he was enticed out to the western portion of North Dakota, where he set up a ranch and business alongside contemporary, famed rancher Marquis de Mores.

Huidekoper and Sidney Tarbell established the H-T Ranch, named so for their own names, about ten miles west of Amidon in Slope County. In 1883, Huidekoper also established the Little Missouri Cattle Company. In 1887, he turned from cattle to horses, forming the Little Missouri Horse Company. He started with 600 horses. In 1889, he expanded to include show horses. By 1900, he had four thousand horses, and he sold them to farmers and to cities for use in conveying street cars.

The ranching operations were at their peak in the 1890s, but eventually, the ranch corporation dissolved.

On this date in 1906, residents of the area were surprised to learn that the ranch had transferred over to Fred Pabst, a millionaire brewer out of Milwaukee, the owner of the Pabst Brewing Company. The brewing company was already considered one of the world's largest, and Pabst was always looking for new ways in business. His company added artificial ice machines in 1880, incandescent light in 1882, and was one of the first breweries to open for tours.

Pabst's acquisition of the ranch was one of the largest land purchases in North Dakota for those days – $300,000 dollars for 65,000 acres, the buildings, and equipment.

Although Mr. Pabst was "an enthusiastic horseman" and would be importing Russian Orloff trotters and purebred Percherons and other stock, the land did not stay long in his hands, and was parceled out and sold by a land holding company, reducing the ranch's land to 5,000 acres.

Today, the H-T Ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places, serving as a testament to an industry that helped shape the history of western North Dakota.

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker

Sources:

Persimmon Hill, Volume 17, No. 2, Summer 1989

"http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/85001491.pdf" http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/85001491.pdf

Dickinson Press, April 7, 1906, p1

"http://www.pabstmansion.com/history/pabst-brewery.aspx" http://www.pabstmansion.com/history/pabst-brewery.aspx