On the banks of the Little Missouri River, in the extreme southeast corner of Montana, is the tiny town of Alzada. Settled in the late 1870s by cattle ranchers, the town was established in 1880 under the name of Stoneville, in honor of Louis Stone, who owned a saloon there at the time. There was some confusion, however, because another Montana town had a similar name, so in 1885 the town was renamed Alzada, in honor of Mrs. Alzada Sheldon, the wife of a pioneer rancher who came to the area in 1883.
Alzada was a stage stop on the route between Deadwood, South Dakota, and Miles City. In its early days, it was renowned for the "Shoot out at Stoneville," when the famous Exelby Gang met their match in 1884. The gang had been running roughshod over the area since it was formed in 1877, rustling cattle and horses, and generally making life miserable for the residents. The shoot-out culminated in a series of arrests and led to the ultimate breakup of the gang.