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The N-Bar Ranch, located on the east side of the Snowy Mountains at Flatwillow Creek's head, was established by the Montana Sheep Company in 1880. By 1885, Thomas Cruse from Helena had acquired the company, including its land and livestock. In 1888, Cruse purchased Newman Brothers' cattle in Montana, which were based near the Wyoming line on Powder River and bore the N-Bar brand. Consequently, the ranch was renamed N Bar Ranch, with its headquarters on upper Flatwillow Creek in southeastern Fergus County.

In 1913, Cruse sold his ranch and livestock to the Judith Farms Company, formed by the Bolter family, Al Smith of Helena, and Austin Warr, Sr., of Lewistown, to manage the ranch as small farms. In the fall of 1929, E.B. Milburn bought Austin Warr Jr.'s stake in the company, and his brother, Jack Milburn, became the ranch manager. Jack introduced a registered Angus program. For three generations, the Milburn family worked the ranch, making significant contributions to the cattle industry. Under Tom Elliott's ownership, the ranch gained fame for producing the notable Black Angus bull, N Bar Emulation EXT, known for his maternal influence and carcass values.

(photos: Montana Historical Society)

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