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Bar U Ranch

The famous Bar U Ranch, or the North-West Cattle Company as it was officially known, experienced many difficulties, but unlike many of the other large ranches of its day, the Bar U continued to make money and survive despite many problems.

William Winder had come the North West in 1873 as a member of the North West Mounted Police, but after he retired he decided to take up ranching. With the help of his father-in-law, he set up the North-West Cattle Company in March 1882. Fred Stimson, Winder's brother-in-law, was appointed manager, and went to Chicago in 1881 to look over and select appropriate bulls coming to market from western ranges. On the trip up to the Highwood River area, a snowstorm hit, but Stimson allowed the cattle to drift south to the Old Man River area, where they could graze. The blizzard that had nearly destroyed the Cochrane Ranch herd was not to destroy the cattle of the Bar U Ranch. Despite the first hard winter on the range, the cattle at Bar U were to thrive over the years. Stimson's new foreman George Lane devised the famous U brand to replace the former double circle symbol. The Bar U became noted for its hospitality, and was favourite spot for travelers from England and eastern Canada. Stimson himself was well-liked, even among the Indians. He was reported to be fluent in the Blackfoot language and collected native handicrafts and artifacts.

Bar U Ranch cowboy

Bar U Ranch cowboy

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