Circle Historical Marker

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102 B Avenue,Circle 59215,Northeast Montana

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Historical Markers/Interpretive SignHistoric Sites
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General info

Major Seth Mabry, a Confederate Army officer, came to the Redwater Valley about 1883, driving a herd of longhorns from Texas. President of the Mabry Cattle Co., he branded with a plain circle iron. From the brand, the operation became known as the Circle Ranch. They sold three to four thousand beeves each fall for about 13 years.

Other cattlemen ran the ranch until about 1900 when Peter Dreyer and Hans Grue bought it and used it as a summer camp for sheep and as a stopover for themselves and other ranchers going to and from Glendive. Two bachelors ostensibly cared for the ranch, but actually, they started a saloon there. Since strong drink spoiled the sheepherders’ work habits, Dreyer and Grue offered the place to Dreyer’s brother-in-law, Peter Rorvik, in 1903. During an absence of the saloonkeepers, the Rorviks and their six children moved in. The next summer saw 100,000 sheep on the Redwater River. The herders and ranchers needed a supply source, so Rorvik opened a store on the ranch.

So began the town of Circle about a one-half mile southeast of here. In 1907, the surrounding lands were opened to homesteading and the area has been producing grain as well as livestock ever since.

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