Jersey Lilly Ingomar Montana

Jersey Lilly

The present day Jersey Lilly had its beginning as a bank in 1914, known as Wiley, Clark and Greening, Bankers. On Jan. 1, 1918, the bank was reorganized from a probate bank to Ingomar State Bank; it received a federal charter, and operated as the First National Bank of Ingomar from January until July 21, 1921, when it closed. On October 13, 1921, the bank went into receivership. In June, 1924, William T. Craig was charged in Federal Court in Billings with misapplying certain funds of the bank. Craig was found guilty and sentenced to 16 months and fined $1,000. In April, 1925, the Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed the Montana decision and the indictment was ordered quashed. Craig was dismissed. The money lost by the bank customers was never repaid.

In 1933, Clyde Easterday established the Oasis bar in the bank building; Bob Seward took over the bar in 1948 and named it the Jersey Lilly after Judge Roy Bean’s bar of the same name in Langtry, Texas. Bob’s son, Bill, purchased the building in 1958, and the Jersey Lilly continued under his ownership, serving as the local watering hole, cafe and general gathering place for area residents until August, 1995, when it was purchased by Jerry J. Brown. The Jersey Lilly is internationally known for its beans and steaks. The cherry wood, back bar of the Jersey Lilly is one of two which were transported from St. Louis by boat up the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers and installed at Forsyth in the early 1900s. This bar was stored at Forsyth during Prohibition, sold to Bob Seward, and installed here in 1933; the other back bar was destroyed in 1912, when the American Hotel burned in Forsyth.

The original frame school building, the Jersey Lilly and Bookman Store were all placed on the National Registry of Historic places in September, 1994. Both the original frame school building and the Milwaukee Depot are now privately owned.

Ingomar retains its post office and one rural route with mail delivered every Friday in spite of snow, rain, heat or gloom of night.

Area residents banded together to construct a rodeo arena, which has become the home of one of the best NRA rodeos. Rodeos are held throughout the summer and early fall.

Across the street from the Jersey Lilly, the local 4-H club has constructed a park with horseshoe pits and picnic tables for public use.

A campground with hookups is open throughout the year. If you are planning a stay in Ingomar, call the Jersey Lilly at 358-2278 for information.

From the grazing of buffalo to Texas cattle to early sheep men and through the homestead era, this land has completed a cycle, bringing it back to its primary use, production of natural grasses. Ingomar survives today because of the social needs of the people of this vast and sparsely populated area.

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