Howard Eaton

Raised in a wealthy Pittsburgh family, Howard arrived in Medora, North Dakota, in 1879 to start a ranch. He was 28. Later his two brothers, Willis and Alden, joined him.

Mr. Eaton has had a remarkable career during his years of Western life. He is a native of Pittsburg. Penn.,  He is a fine specimen of physical manhood, tall, athletic and fearless.  The present home of Eaton is at Medora. N D., which is known as the Bad Lands, where so many fights have taken place with the Indians. The place was named for Medora, the wife of Marquis da Mores, who was killed in Egypt. Mr. Eaton is a modest man and he reluctantly told some of the tales of his experiences in the wildest of the wild West.Howard Eaton as a young man

I found in reading about Mr. Eaton, that he was a fine man and honest, not a braggart, although he had many things in his life he accomplished that he could brag about and had his name in the papers much more frequently. He has done a lot for the saving of our bison, I think he has placed many more bison over the country than others that are named more frequently. He was more about the animals than getting his name in the papers. In other words, he was getting it done, while others were talking about getting it done whether the stories they told were true or not.

In describing how Howard could “keep a crowd entertained for a year with stories of Indian fights, buffalo running, big game hunting, and tales of interesting characters he has met and acted as a guide for,” a 1920 Outing Magazine profile noted, “His experiences would fill a book.”

But Howard never wrote that book. Into his 70s he was still riding, camping, guiding, joking, befriending—living. He created the template not only for Western hospitality but also for taking the fullest pleasure in a rugged outdoor life.

“I was familiar with the names of the people who greeted Roosevelt in the fall of 1883. I knew the old cantonment well, including “Kutklux” Merrill, the commandant. I knew the Moores, Paddock, and Howard Eaton particularly. The latter’s stories are remembered yet. He was a practical joker back in Pittsburg, his old home, and an assassin of grizzly bears in his new one. His first grizzly encounter is as thrilling as any our courageous President ever passed through. Ask Howard to write you a story.”  Col. Launsbery in Record


Bismarck Weekly
Bismarck North Dakota Dec 14, 1894

Howard Eaton, the Medora ranchman, has shipped twenty-eight elk east to Pittsburgh for a private park.


The Anaconda Standard
Anaconda, Montana 11 Jan 1895

Here Is a New Argument Upon the Question.
To the Editor of the Standard: Not long ago an agent of Howard Eaton of Medora, Dakota, came to Hennery’s Lake and purchased a carload of live elk, shipping them over the Utah Northern destined for Pittsburg, Venn. It is understood that they were to be turned into the city park. Now, what strikes many people in this section of Montana as a wonder is that certain others are doing their utmost to get a bill passed in the legislature prohibiting the catching of wild game.

Vic Smith, who bears the reputation of having been the boss buffalo hunter of the plains and who undoubtedly, stands to-day without a peer as a hunter and who is accounted the best rifle shot In Montana, was interviewed on the subject of capturing game. He is the first man to attempt to capture wild elk on snowshoes, a practice which others speedily acquired. Mr. Smith, in partnership with another gentleman, ran a large game farm up at Hennery’s Lake, Idaho. They caught and shipped about 150 elk to Austin Corbin and they were placed by Mr. Corbin in his famous game preserve. Mr. Corbin states that when elk have disappeared in the west he will have a large band roaming over his place.

Smith sold outfits interest in the game business when he discovered that others competing in the capture of game had cut the prices. Smith stated that not more than one elk In 20 lost his life in captivity, whereas not more than one in 10 escaped when the Indians or unscrupulous hunters got after them. Furthermore, they are naturally of domestic tendencies and there is no reason why if properly handled they should not roam the hills and be as gentle as the reindeer of Lapland.

Smith claims that 7,000 elk were killed last year by Indians in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The settlers of Jackson’s Hole, to a man, agree that 15,000 elk at the least winters in that section, and that 1,500 elk died there last winter owing to the scarcity of feed owing to the very severe winter. At this rate in a few years, elk, like the buffalo, will be a thing of the past or will have reached the proverbial scarcity of hen’s teeth, and it looks to reason that the only way to preserve our game is by captivity.

Smith says that as far as his knowledge extends he knew of but one moose, grown, to survive capture and that was the property of himself and partner. Some live three or four weeks but they generally last about two days. They will sulk, lie down, hold their breath as long as possible and death soon overtakes him. He claims that elk and mountain sheep caught grown are as hardy as cattle, but moose, deer, antelope, and mountain goats, to thrive, must be taken young.

It is lamentable to think that while the game is being slaughtered by the Indians and a good many potted on the quiet by men who do not observe the law,  that anyone should contemplate for a moment pushing a bill through to deprive our noble and fast disappearing game of its only protection. Instead of preventing the capture of wild game the practice should be fostered and eventually all parks could have a good band. The bison became practically extinct for the want of protection. Then why not raise game like other animals so that the coming generation may feast their eyes upon that which otherwise they could not. 

Pittsburgh Post
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Jul 9 1895

Howard Eaton, a former Pittsburgher, now of Dakota, is in the city arranging for the shipment here next fall of a lot of wild animals, which are intended to grace Schenley park, and which are likely to attract much interest. The lot will include a fine buffalo bull, a lot of antelope, several deer, a large lynx, and several magnificent swans.


The Anaconda Standard
Anaconda, Montana 11 Oct 1895
Game for the East
Antelope, Deer, Goat, Lynx, and Eighteen Nice Swan.

Special Correspondence of the Standard. Livingston. Oct. 8. Howard Eaton, a wealthy cattleman of Medora, S. D., shipped a carload of wild game from this city yesterday, the destination being Pittsburg and Philadelphia. The consignment consisted of two elk, one antelope, one black tall deer, one mountain goat, one lynx, and 18 swans. The game was purchased toy, Mr. Eaton, from Dick Rock, whose wild game ranch at Henry’s lake, about 20 miles west of the Yellowstone National park. Is one vast zoological garden, being stocked with nearly every known specie of Rocky mountain game. The animals secured by Mr. Eaton were brought to this city overland by team Sunday and attracted much attention while at Miles Bros. feed corral awaiting shipment to the East. To the Standard correspondent, Mr. Eaton stated that he had sold the game to Supt. Arthur E. Brown of the Fairmount Park Association of Philadelphia and that a portion of it would be added to the collection of wild animals in Fairmount park and the balance placed in the Schenley park at Pittsburg.

The two elk were born in captivity last spring on Dick Rock’s ranch, the lynx was trapped a few months ago and the mountain goat deer and antelope were captured last winter in the mountains, about 10 miles from the National park line. The method of effecting the capture of these animals is very simple, being accomplished in the wintertime when the snow is deep. The hunters, equipped with snow shoes, start out on their expedition and experience but little difficulty in driving game into deep snow, thus placing the animals at the mercy of the hunters, who bind the captives with ropes, load them onto toboggans and haul them home.


The Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania May 9 1896
Buffalo for the Zoo

George H. Welshons, mayor’s clerk, received a letter from Howard Eaton, stating that he expected to get three buffaloes for the proposed zoo at Highland park.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 09 May 1896
Buffalo for the Zoo

Director Bigelow hopes to add two buffalo cows and a bull to the zoo in the near future. Buffalo are hard to get and there are none on the market, but in a letter to George Welshons, mayor’s clerk, Howard Eaton thinks he can buy at least three.


Minneapolis Daily Times
Minneapolis Minnesota June 16 1897

Howard Eaton who passed through here Saturday night with the two buffaloes obtained from the Allard herd on the Flathead reservation and four elks raised in Gallatin county reports the loss of one buffalo out of the stockyards at Medora and offers a reward for its recapture. He was taking them to Pittsburgh.
Later…..After an exciting chase, Howard Eaton recaptured his two buffalo on Tuesday in the Bad Lands. This enabled Mr. Eaton to complete his car of buffalo and elk. The shipment was started east Wednesday, Charles Eaton in charge.


(The three Allard daughters retained their interest until last spring. Then 27 had increased to 65, and were then sold Howard Eaton, at $255 each, on the range. )


The Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Feb 1899

Howard Eaton, an old Pittsburgher, who has been located at Medora, North Dakota, for a number of years, is in the city. Mr. Eaton has just returned from Florida, whither he went to deliver a carload of game to be used in stocking the preserve of Dungeness, owned by the heirs of T. M. Carnegie. Mr. Eaton will spend some time here looking up old friends.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 04 Oct 1900
Votes out of Bryan’s Ranch

“Usually these men of the range take no interest in politics, not even voting at presidential elections, but this year every one of them will cast his ballot, and it will be for the ticket that bears Teddy’s name. Bryan cannot touch that vote.
“The ranch adjoining the Maltese Cross belongs to the Eaton brothers. Howard, Alden, and Willis, who are former Pittsburghers. Pittsburgh people are to be found there at all time of the year. They call this ranch the “Custer Trail.” on account of Gen. Custer having camped there on his way to the Little Big Horn. On the ranch are the remains, of an old mail relay station used in the day of the stagecoach. The whole country was full of Sioux Indians and as the scene of many Indian battles, but nowadays it is quiet, and Howard Eaton says that he supposes he will have to move farther west in order to enjoy again the old wild free life.”


The Dickinson Press
Dickinson North Dakota Aug 10 1901
Eatons Dudes

Glendive Independent: A party of twenty-three tenderfeet from Howard Eaton’s “dude farm” near Medora, N. D., under the guidance of one of the Eaton boys and several other experienced plainsmen, camped at Glendive Creek Thursday evening and pulled into Glendive Friday, with eighty-six saddle horses, a large mess wagon and plenty of bedding. The party is composed of the sons of Pennsylvania capitalists, who come west to take the course of roughing it at the Eaton ranch, where men are taught to shoot and ride. The cavalcade after an hour’s stay in Glendive swam the Yellowstone River on horseback on their way to the Fort Peck Indian Agency, where they want to see and, examine some real live Sioux Indians, and they will probably be given the chance by the obliging Indian Agent, Major C. R. A. Scobey.

December 1901

Indian Goods of all Kinds 1901

The Bismarck Tribune
Bismarck North Dakota March 13 1902

The Medora Little Missourian says: “Howard Eaton has gone to the Flat Head Indian reservation, where he has purchased several buffaloes from the famous Allard herd and will have them shipped east and distributed among the various parks and zoos.”


The Anaconda Standard
Anaconda Montana Mar 21 1902

Howard Eaton of Medora. N. D.. accompanied by F. B. Tolhurst, the taxidermist returned this week from the Flathead country, where they were successful in securing six fine specimens of bull buffalo from the Allard herd, which will be mounted by Mr.Tolhurst.

The Bismarck Tribune
Bismarck North Dakota May 5, 1902

Howard Eaton of Medora took a car­ load of buffalo to Fort Wayne, Ind., re­cently. They are worth $800 a head —almost as valuable as beef steers.

The buffalo were loaded early Monday morning and continued on their long journey. They will be fed and rested at frequent intervals and it will be ten days or two weeks before they arrive at their destination.


Great Falls Tribune
Great Falls, Montana 10 May 1902

Yesterday marked the opening of this market to the sale and distribution of buffalo, elk, and deer says it the Chicago Drovers’ Journal. , Howard Eaton of Medora, N. D., arrived with consignment from the Flathead Reservation in western Montana, consisting of six buffaloes, nine deer, and four elks. Two of the buffaloes were bulls, one of which was sold to the Lincoln park zoo. Both were fine specimens. The remainder of the consignment will go to Philadelphia and Fort Wayne, Ind. Mr. Eaton was seven days on the road with his animals and they arrived here in good shape. He is a famous hunter and trapper and has been a dealer in all kinds of wild animals for many years. The Drovers Journal published, about a month ago, an inquiry from Henry Howells of Columbia, Mont. Who wished to know the condition of Chicago’s elk market. Mr. Howells has a herd of some 300 head of elks, which is said to be one of the largest domesticated herds in existence. He wishes to dispose of his surplus on the open market of Chicago. In the northwest, where elks are common, the meat is highly esteemed, forming one of the principal meat rations of the pioneers of that country. There should be a goodly number of venison eaters in Chicago, who I would make the handling of elks at this market a profitable business.

Howard Eaton taken by Harold Baynes
Howard Eaton taken by Harold Baynes

The Minneapolis Journal
Minneapolis Minnesota Jul 2 1902
Yellowstone Park Buffalo Herd Likely to Be Enlarged.
An Interesting Story of How This Herd was Started and Saved From Extinction

Howard Eaton of Medora, N. D., was in Minneapolis yesterday en route home from a visit with an old Bad Lands ranch neighbor, who has given up life on the range and has resided in the east for several years. Up and down the Little Missouri this transplanted rancher is known still to retain his love for the free life in the open he is still called “Teddy” out there, though in the public prints he is now more commonly known as President Theodore Roosevelt. “He was a good fellow in the early days,” says Mr. Eaton, “and he hasn’t changed a bit since then except to improve with age.” Incidentally, Mr. Eaton’s visit in Washington may result in a considerable enlargement of the buffalo herd in the Yellowstone national park. He did not go east for that specific purpose, but he knew where a good bunch of “buffs” could be secured and gave the government a chance to take over the options he had already secured on them. Mr. Eaton is sort of a wild animal broker. Ernest Seton Thompson, W. T Hornaday, and other famous naturalists have been his guests at Custer Trail ranch, near Medora, and he is in touch with the management of every zoological garden in the country. He keeps himself thoroughly informed on big game conditions throughout the entire western country and it was thus he struck the trail of the Flathead buffalo herd.

A Big Herd Now
It was only a few years ago that the Flathead herd was discovered. It had been jealously guarded, for the western Indian somehow regards the buffalo with superstitious reverence, and to-day there are more than 200 purebloods and twice as many more half breeds.
Mr. Eaton recently visited the Flatheads and bought several perfect specimens from the buffalo herd, for which he found ready sale in the east. He also secured options on nearly all the purebloods on the reservation. For years he has maintained the dairy herds at the Yellowstone Park hotels and posts, and this spring he was assured by Major Pitcher that the buffalo herd in the park was running down and at some new blood was needed. In Washington, President Roosevelt.’ welcomed the opportunity for the government to add to its herd of the “grandest big game animals that North America ever saw.” The president wrote a personal letter to Secretary Hitchcock asking him to take charge of the matter, and immediate steps were taken to add enough to a pending appropriation bill, to make the desired purchases.

 Aside from the old-time friendship between the president and Mr. Eaton, a factor which prompted the Washington authorities to take the matter up with vigor, was the fact that the latter offered to turn his options over to the government without taking any commissions for himself. A man who is willing to do business with Uncle Sam, without demanding the long end of the bargain is a refreshing novelty in Washington.


The Dickinson Press Sep 13 1902

Howard Eaton was a passenger en route to Medora on Wednesday and will return to the National Park in a few days, where he has contracted with the government to deliver a herd of buffalo.


The Missoulian
Missoula, Montana 23 Sep 1902
BUFFALO JONES. Distinguished Gentleman with the Bison Appellation in Missoula.

C. J. Jones, better known about the United States and particularly in the west as “Buffalo Jones, was a visitor in Missoula over Sunday. His errand in Montana was to confer with the proprietors of the Great Buffalo and Wild West shows relative to the purchase of their herd of buffaloes for the preserves of the Yellowstone National park. Mr. Jones is game warden of the park and one of the best-informed men on game in the country. The buffalo is his favorite in the animal line, and his knowledge of the shaggy animal is remarkable. Howard Eaton of Medora, N. D., accompanied Mr. Jones. They were unable to come to any terms for the purchase of the animals.


The Anaconda Standard Oct 3 1902

Buffaloes to Be Shipped. Missoula, Oct. 2. Howard Eaton, manager of the big stock ranch near Medora. N. D., passed through here last night for the Flathead reservation, where he will secure the head of buffalo cows and bulls recently purchased. These will he put on board the cars to-morrow and shipped from Salish to either the Yellowstone National park, where they will join those already there, or will be put on the big Dakota ranch.


The Cincinnati Post
Cincinnati Ohio Nov 6 1902

Kesley Schoepf has ordered another bull buffalo for the Zoo from Howard Eaton, of Medora, N.D.. It will cost about $1000 and will be landed at the Zoo in several weeks. (paper says $100, but that has to be a typo)


The Missoulian
Missoula Montana Nov 7 1902
PICTURESQUE CHARACTER. Howard Eaton of Medora, North Dakota in Missoula. Howard Eaton of Medora, N. D. who is one of the picturesque characters of that state.

Is in Missoula on business. Mr. Eaton, recently purchased of Flathead reservation residents a number of buffalo from the famous Allard herd, which he had shipped to the National park. He will attempt to secure others on his present trip for a like purpose. One of the things in an eventful life that Mr. Eaton points to with pride is a close personal acquaintance with President Theodore Roosevelt. He was about Medora during the years that the president was engaged in stock raising on the Dakota plains and remembers with pleasure many incidents that stamped the nation’s chief executive as a wonderful person. Mr. Eaton anticipates a visit from the president at no late date.


The Anaconda Standard
Anaconda, Montana 09 Nov 1902

Among the visitors in town during the past week was Howard Eaton, the Medora cattleman, who has become well known in this part of the state by his purchases of buffalo on the reservation. The purpose of Mr. Eaton’s present visit is to buy the herd that has been advertised for sale by the administrator of the estate of the minor Allard heirs. He has gone up to the reservation for that purpose. Mr. Eaton says that the cattlemen in his part of the country have been having more than the usual amount of trouble with coyotes and wolves and that the losses on some of the ranges have been remarkably heavy. In regard to the bounty business on these pests, Mr. Baton says that the country around Medora has suffered as much from the bounty sharps as from the wolves themselves. His county has paid more than $30,000 in bounties, but there has .been so much fraud In connection with this that the number of the beasts has not been materially reduced. “That may strike you as strange,” said Mr. Eaton, “but the secret of it all Is that pelts have been shipped in from as far east as Chicago and as far west as Missoula and the bounties collected from our county. We arrested and sent to the penitentiary three of these bounty sharps. That has checked the business a little, but It Is still bad enough. It is hard to tell which is the worse the wolves or the bounty operators. I have solved the difficulty for the present by selling most of my stock.” Mr. Eaton is an old-time friend of J. E. Carnahan of this city and the two have had a pleasant time exchanging reminiscences of the early days in the “bad lands,” when times were livelier than they are now. Mr. Eaton was with the Marquis de Mores during much of his sojourn in Dakota and Montana.


The Daily Review
Decatur Illinois Jan 3 1903
To Protect Big Game

Secretary Hitchcock Urges Action by Congress. Washington, Jan. 3.–Mr. Hitchcock, secretary of the Interior, is anxious that action be taken by congress to provide for the protection of game in the west. The department, under provisions of an act passed at the last session of congress has taken steps to enlarge the buffalo herd in Yellowstone national park and from the progress that has already been made it is expected that within years the herd of pure buffalo will be large enough to be drawn upon for supplies for all of the big zoological gardens of the country.

The greatest danger to the big game the west and the northwest, according to officials of the interior department, in the fact that there is no provision, under the federal laws for the protection of big game games in the states where game laws allow open seasons. Under present conditions, the state game laws are applicable to forest reserves, and thousands of elk, deer, antelope, and mountain sheep move from the national park into the Teton forest reserve, in Wyoming every winter, and are killed in large numbers by hunters. The secretary of the interior has recommended congress that a bill adding the Teton forest reserve to the Yellowstone national park and making it a same preserve.

The department has recently purchased four additional buffalo from Howard Eaton of Montana and has added to the herd now in Yellowstone park. This makes a total of twenty buffalo which have been purchased by the government and added to the twenty-five wild buffalo already in the park. The buffalo have been placed in the Mammoth hot springs, and an effort will be made to get the young from original herd into this corral.


The Minneapolis Journal
Minneapolis Minnesota Jan 24 1902
Buffalo Meat Seized

Washington Epicures Will Have to Wait for Their Feast. -, A shipment of buffalo meat consigned to the Metropolitan club of Washington D. C, was seized in St. Paul yesterday by a deputy game warden. Executive Agent Fullerton will hold it until he is assured that the animal was legally killed. The claim is that it was killed on a reservation.

The buffalo belonged to Eaton Brothers, owners of Custer Trail ranch, N. D. They bought the herd of the Flathead Indians, who had been breeding them for years. Then Howard Eaton sold a large share of the herd to the government, for stocking the Yellowstone national park. What was left of the herd, being undesirable animals, has been killed for meat, and the shipment seized was meat sent to the Washington epicures for one of their banquets.

 The shipment will probably not be held up long, for the Eaton’s’ right to the buffalo has already been established by the government purchase.


The Fort Wayne Sentinel
Fort Wayne Indiana Mar 26 1903
Well Known Ranchman

Howard Eaton, of Medora, N. D., is in the city today a guest at the New Aveline hotel. Mr. Eaton is en route eastward on a business trip and dropped off between trains to spend the day with W. S. O’Rourke and other Fort Wayne acquaintances. Mr. Eaton is the owner of extensive ranches in the Dakotas, and he makes a business of supplying dear, buffalo, and other animals of similar character to parks and private collections. Mr. Eaton sold to J. H. Bass a number of the animals quartered at Brookside farm. He and Mr. O’Rourke have been close friends for some years, and the latter’s son frequently spends his summer vacation upon Mr. Eaton’s ranch in the west.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Ohio April 9 1903
Comrade of Pres. Roosevelt Who Hunted With Him For Years in the West.

Arrived in this city yesterday, Talks about their hunting and fishing trips.
President Roosevelt went into Yellow stone Park yesterday for sixteen days vacation. It happens as a coincidence that Howard Eaton, a veteran plainsman, who knew Mr. Roosevelt when he was plain “Teddy” and cowboy, arrived in Cincinnati as the guest of Dr. L. A. Quemer.

Mr. Eaton has had a remarkable career during his 24 years of Western life. He is a native of Pittsburg. Penn., and is 53 years old! He is a fine specimen of physical manhood, tall, athletic and fearless. During yesterday Mr. Eaton visited the Zoo, where he contracted to furnish a grizzle bear and a mountain lion. The present home of Eaton is at Medora. N D., which is known as the Bad Lands, where so many fights have taken place with the Indians. The place was named for Medora, the wife of Marquis da Mores, who was killed in Egypt. Mr. Eaton is a modest man and he reluctantly told some of the tales of his experiences in the wildest of the wild West.

“I know President Roosevelt well, he said. “He went to North Dakota first in1883, and a year later he established a ranch in my neighborhood.

First Buffalo

“I shall never forget when he killed his first buffalo. He was as proud a boy with a new toy.

“Teddy was very popular with the cowboys, for they said, ‘He is as d–d common and ornery as any of us.’  I have been through Yellowstone Park 48 times. Colonel Pitcher, who has charge of the President, is an old friend of mine. I was there in January, and we had a jaunt over the park. I counted no less than 1800 elk, about 600 antelope, and deer by the thousands.  There are still many bears in the park, and one of the guides told me that there are about 300 mountain lions which they are trying to exterminate.

“You ask me what I consider the greatest fishing place in the world. I think that the lakes in Yellowstone Park have that distinction. There are no less than six different kinds of trout there. It is a mistake to suppose that all the game in the Northwest and far West has been killed off. The stringent game laws are saving the elk and deer in many localities. In Wyoming, it is unlawful to kill mountain sheep at any time, and elk are protected until 1911. There is still some fine hunting south of Jackson’s Hole and at the outer edges of the park. A great game country is Routt County, Colorado, north of Glenwood Spring, where I hear there is plenty of large game.’

Killed By A Bull
Mr. Eaton is the largest raiser of buffalo in the country. He has a farm for that purpose in North Dakota and has disposed of twenty-one head in the past year.

“It is impossible to thoroughly domesticate the bison. said Mr. Eaton. They are very tricky. A friend of mine was killed by a buffalo bull about a year ago. The scarcest of wild game is the mountain sheep. I sold to a zoo not long ago the only mountain sheep in captivity. They are very hard to get at and frequent the most inaccessible places. Although Yellowstone Park proper is 55 miles wide and 60 miles long the forest preserve is much greater and this is where most of the big game can be found. The Government is very strict about the killing of game. They have as far as known about twenty wild buffalo and about fifty head that have been bought from raisers like myself.”

Mr. Eaton and Superintendent Stephan of the Zoo are old friends and they had a long talk together yesterday. Mr. Eaton likes his wildlife and would not return to civilization to stay if he could. He will remain in Cincinnati over to-day and then go for a short visit to his old home at Pittsburg.


The Butte Miner
Butte Montana July 19 1903
Allard Herd of Buffalo Loading For Shipment
(special telegram)

Missoula. Mont. July 19.-Howard Eaton, of Medora. N. D., who purchased the Allard interest in the Allard and Michael Pablo herd of buffalo, on the Flathead reservation last fall, is now at Salish supervising the loading of several of the herd for shipment to eastern and southern points. Some of, the monarchs of the plain will be sent to the Yellow stone National park to infuse new blood into the government herd there. Others will be shipped to Mr. Eaton’s herd in Dakota, and still others to Texas, where there is a herd, the idea being to infuse new blood into those herds to the end that they will not. run out. Still, others will be shipped to eastern cities for display in the parks. There will be a large part of the herd left remaining on the reservation, however, so that Missoula county will not lose all of her noted herd of buffalo. This is Mr. Eaton’s third trip here to ship these monarchs, he being unable on previous trips to get the animals aboard the cars. At the present time, he is having crates made and places the buffalo in the same out at the reservation and then has the loaded crates hauled to Salish, where they are being placed aboard the cars. It is expected now that the shipments will pass through this city en route east Tuesday next.


Free Press Prairie Farmer
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 05 Aug 1903
Buffaloes Arrive for River Park Zoo.

Three new citizens were added to Western Canada’s, animal kingdom Sunday, when the buffaloes for the River Park zoo arrived from the south. These herds recently belonged to the herd at the Flathead Indian reserve, Montana, and were purchased from Eaton Bros., of Medora Ranch, N. D. They were brought to Winnipeg by Mr. Howard Eaton and Mr. W. E. Darby, a local taxidermist’s.

One bull and two cows comprise the trio, and all are fine, young animals, and will attain a much larger, size within a few years. The buffalo will be confined in a temporary corral at River Park until their runs are constructed. These will be three in number, 200 by 300 feet, and the buffalo will occupy one while the grass in the others so that they will always have plenty of grazing. These runs are ideally located and will extend down to the bushes on the river bank, the formation of which, with a level flat below the highest bank, will give shelter in winter, and the trees will provide shade in the summer. It is the intention of the street railway company also to excavate a buffalo wallow between two of the runs and keep fresh water in it continually by an electric pump so that the denizens of the prairie will be as comfortable as possible in their captivity.

These buffalo were purchased after six months of negotiations by Mr. Darby for the street railway company, and are from the famous Allard herd, which, until a short time ago; numbered 200 animals.

Eaton Bros. bought a half interest in the herd and has already sold about 60 buffalo and has 40 remaining. The balance are owned by Michel Pablo, and Mr. Howard Eaton is his agent. Mr. Eaton says there are now between 500 and 600 buffalo in Canada and the United States, outside of the wild herd in the Peace River country, which is supposed to number between 300 and 400.

The fact that these animals have been secured for River Park will prove an additional attraction for the city, especially as the collection of wild animals there is the only one on the continent which may be seen without charge. The collection now consists of seven elk. a pair of white-tailed deer, a cinnamon fox, two black bears, a silver fox, three coyotes, one large grey timber wolf, three buffalo, and a collection of wild geese, owls, etc. 

The park itself consists of 200 acres and Mr. Moore says that 100 acres will be laid out for a zoological garden. They are making preparations to build a fifty-foot fox house, a house for badgers, raccoons, etc. A den for a grizzly bear and another for some small brown bears. In addition to this, a high rookery and mound will be built for the convenience of some mountain sheep and goats which they are trying to secure. An effort is also being made to secure some seals, for which a pond will be built and will also be stocked with fish.

It is the Intention to add to the collection in the near future raccoons, badgers, lynxes, and wolverines: and to keep on until a specimen of all the 50 or 60 native wild animals is obtained. Then an effort will be made to secure a complete collection of native birds, of which there are about 400 varieties.

The street railway company is spending thousands of dollars on this work, which also includes a general of park improvement, and when completed will have a public playground arid zoo which will be second to none. In the time it will be a field for study for the natural histologist as well as the general public and will be a feature of great importance to the city, and the company’s enterprise and pubic spirit in this particular is to be greatly commended.


The Oregon Daily Journal
Portland Oregon April 4 1904
Buffalo Raiser Visits Portland

There are probably only two men in the country who are engaged in raising buffalo for sale, and one of these. Howard Eaton of Medora, N. D. is visiting in this city. The other is G. A. White of Salt Lake City; who has a ranch on Antelope Island, in the middle of the briny pond, where he raises buffalo, just as other stockmen raise herds of cattle on the plains.

 During his recent western trip, President Roosevelt was invited to participate in a buffalo hunt on the island on the lake, where a number or antiquated bulls had grown sullen and ferocious and threatened trouble to a bather in the salt sea. Mr. White wanted them killed and invited the president to assist in their destruction, assuring him at the same time that no newspaper men would be near the place. The invitation was declined.

Mr. Eaton, who is now in Portland, has several hundred buffaloes on a range over the Flathead Indian reservation in Montana, although he is constantly selling the animals to the government and to individuals. He started in the business when they roamed over the plains in countless numbers.

The government price for a full-grown buffalo,” according to Mr. Eaton, is $500. It is increasing, and in case the reservation is thrown open to settlers the herd would be sold, cutting off the supply and thereby raising the price to a much higher figure. Mr. Eaton has furnished many buffaloes for the Yellowstone park, and has supplied practically every zoological garden in the country with specimens..

There is only a small number in the herd which inhabits Antelope Island, and consequently from Mr. Eaton’s herd must come practically all the animals which are preserved as representatives of their kind in many parts of the country, The industry is quite profitable it is said.


The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles California  June 16 1904

Howard Eaton, “the Buffalo man.” has been spending a few days on the island, the guest of H. E. Fletcher of Hotel Metropole. Mr. Eaton is part owner of the largest herd of buffalo in the world.

Howard Eaton famous wild animals trainer and friend of President Roosevelt here,  talking of installing buffalo in Griffith Park.


The Tacoma Daily Ledger
Tacoma Washington June 26 1904 
Rare American Animals

From the animal dealer’s standpoint, the musk ox of the polar regions is the rarest animal in North America the buffalo is the next rarest; cougars or American mountain lions are harder to get than the famed African lions; orders for live moose are among the hardest in the world to fill; antelope from their extreme delicacy are the “riskiest” animals to handle; grizzly bears in full vigor are among the most valuable products of the United States in the wild animal market; mountain sheep are always splendid stock in trade.

 These are some of the observations on the North American wild animal business that may be drawn in a cozy moment of conversation — conversation full of flavor of lofty mountains snow-glittering forests and buffalo plains that were from the genial rancher of the wilds hunter and professional buffalo raiser, Howard Eaton of Wyoming, one of the most extensive gatherers of wild animals for the market in North America.

 Mr. Eaton who is now at the Westminster in this city says the Los Angeles Times is an old ranch neighbor of Roosevelt – their ranches adjoining one another in North Dakota back in the early 80’s when the president was cowboying and he and Eaton used to join in many a round-up and sometimes in a big hunt.

The business of the visitor from the region of the Yellowstone is at once unique and fascinating. He is the owner in large cattle ranches but his most valuable cattle are not raised for the butchers they form an almost priceless little herd of the American bison, the splendid beast now almost exterminated that are carefully tended and bred by Mr. Eaton to supply the exhibit preserves of titled Europeans and the public parks and private collections of America. With the breeding of buffaloes for market, the Wyoming frontiersman combines the collecting of wild live animals from the frozen North to Mexico to supply the markets of the world.

 He is in communication with trappers and hunters all through the wildest parts of the West and North who are acquainted with the needs of his business and from what they bring to his wild animal mart in Wyoming he fills the orders that pour in from parks, zoos, millionaires and titled Europeans.

As he sat in his room in the hotel last night, a typically strong kindly resourceful, and reminiscent man of the Far West, he looked over a communication just received from somewhere far from immediate civilization offering a fine grizzly cub just captured.

“That’s the first offer of a grizzly that I have had in a long time” he mused “they’re pretty hard to get.”

 Another letter at hand was a request for prices of antelope

“The riskiest animals to handle,” said he “safely marketed just one of a herd of eight that I secured from a hunter not long ago. Paid $20 apiece for them and sold the survivor for $50. Big risks in the business”

 Then he turned to the cablegram just received. It was from a count in Germany engaging the veteran to take him, his son, and a party of titled sportsmen of the Fatherland on a two months hunt for big game in the Jackson lake country and a tour of the Yellowstone park. Mr. Eaton cabled his rates for the undertaking and arrangements were made between two continents for the titled hunt in the fall.

 “A good many of these foreigners hunt big game up there,” said Mr. Eaton “I expect there will be an unusually large number of sportsmen from Europe seeking entrance to that region this year on account of the fair in St Louis which will draw many to this country”

Mr. Eaton does business with Hagenbeek the great wild animal dealer and trainer of Germany and expects to send him a consignment of buffalo before long.

 “The musk ox of the Far North is so rare that it can hardly be counted in the trade,” said he.  “I know of only one sold into captivity which brought $1500 and only lived a few months. Leaving the musk ox out, the buffalo is the most valuable animal in the trade. There is a small herd reported roaming about the Great Slave lake north of the United States variously estimated by explorers and hunters at from sixty to 300 head. Nineteen head are running wild in the Yellowstone park and thirty head have been enclosed there in a tract of about 600 acres. Of course, there are a few head scattered here and there in private and public enclosures in different parts of the country. The duke of Bedford has a fine herd in his animal collection which is one of the finest in the world. In fact, about 500 buffalo or approximately half of the number in the world are owned in Europe.

 “Our buffalo bring an average of $1,000 a pair f o b at Salish Mont.”

The Chutes management in this city has purchased a pair which Mr. Eaton expects to ship here soon. He is also negotiating with the city of Los Angeles for the placing of buffalo in Griffith park.

 “Moose seldom breed in captivity continued the wild animal dealer “caribou never do so far as I know and I know of only one instance of antelope born in close captivity so this makes these animals rare and valuable for live collections.  Cougars or native mountain lions are harder to get than African lions. I could look through the markets everywhere and find from five to ten African lions to every cougar. The former breed readily in captivity now so that they are a drug on the market in comparison with some other less imposing animals. Of course, some handsome full grown foreign lions run high in price but cubs can usually be had for from $100 to $150.

“As for elk, while riding through the northeastern corner of the Yellowstone park with Colonel Pitcher not long ago, we counted 3,200 during the day.  We also saw 600 antelope 400 deer and seventeen mountain sheep in a comparatively limited area.”

The old-time ranch neighbor of this president recalled an interesting incident relative to the admiration of the cowboys of the rugged region for Theodora Roosevelt.  “Back in about 85,” said he “I remember and have since recalled a peculiar fact that the cowboys often said that they believed Theodore Roosevelt would certainly be president of the United States, probably the next president! While they were a little off in their reckoning of time they sized him upright in the long run. They certainly think all the world of the president.  He didn’t put on any dog when he was among them you know” 


The Butte Miner
Butte Montana July 17 1904 
Comes to Look After his Bison

 Missoula, Mont., July 17. This city received a visit yesterday from Howard Eaton the well-known cattleman, formerly of Medora. N. D. Mr. Eaton no longer owns any property in the vicinity of Medora, which has been given more or less distinction by reason of the fact that President Roosevelt once owned a ranch near there and received his first lessons as a cowboy from Mr. Eaton and others of that locality. He sold his stock and possessions something like a year ago and has taken up a splendid ranch of 2.500 acres in Sheridan County. Wyo. his post-office being Wolf. The ranch is under irrigation and one of the best properties in that state. At one time Mr. Eaton had a large herd of American bison, known throughout the country as buffalo, but he has been selling from the herd until today he has not over forty head. His herd are running with that of Michael Pablo, of the Flathead reservation, north of here. Mr. Eaton says that Mr. Pablo has, without doubt, the largest herd of American bison in the world, and they the nearly all splendid specimens of the bison that used to roam the range many years ago. Mr. Pablo’s herd will number not less than 300 head, and he takes great pride in keeping up the breed of the animals.

Considerable of Mr. Eaton’s time is devoted to the buying and selling of bison and wild animals, he finds a ready sale for them with the museums, menageries, and zoological gardens of the country. He has just returned from a visit to Mexico and California, where he went in search of some wild animals, but he found the season not far enough advanced to make any purchases, although he was placed in touch with parties who can supply his wants later. He returned by way of Portland and Seattle, where he sold several head of bison at fancy figures, receiving as high as $500 for one cow. Two years ago Mr. Eaton furnished the government for the Yellowstone park some eighteen head of bison, which were the pick of his herd, and he naturally received some good prices.

In addition to his other stock interests, Mr. Eaton has also gained quite a reputation for furnishing horses to the United States government for use in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war, and to the British government during the war in the Transvaal. He is also now in correspondence with the Japanese government relative to furnishing horses for its use in Manchuria, although at the present time there is nothing that would look to the purchase of any animals in the near future. A short time before coming to Missoula, Mr. Eaton received a communication from the Japanese minister at Washington to the effect that so far as his department was concerned he was not aware that his government was buying horses in the United States. While in Missoula he was given the address of the Japanese consulate at Seattle, to whom he will communicate at once about the matter, it being claimed that he would likely know if any western horses were being bought at this time, or even likely to be purchased at any time. The Montana and Wyoming horses are claimed to be the best specimens of animals for use in the Manchuria country, owing to the climatic conditions of the two sections being so similar, as well as the western horses’ feet being more hardy and being better able to get over the rough country.


The Anaconda Standard
Anaconda Montana Dec 10 1904

Missoula. Dec. 9. Howard Eaton, a former owner of part of the big buffalo herd of the reservation, and now a resident of Wyoming, was in the city to-day, having just arrived from the Jackson lake country, south of the National park, where he has been hunting wild game with Count Vernstorff and son of Germany.

The party was in this country about two weeks. The purpose of the trip was to secure heads for mounting to be placed In a German museum. Two buffalo heads were secured and all species of other animals of the section, with the exception of the Rocky Mountain goat. Mr. Eaton left here this evening for the west.


The Billings Gazette
Billings Montana Dec 19 1904

Howard Eaton, who now registers from Wolf, Wyo., passed through the city this morning en route to Denver, from the Flathead valley. He had a herd of 10 buffalos that he secured there and which he was taking south. Part of the animals were for California and the remainder for zoological gardens in the east.


Lincoln Journal Star
Lincoln Nebraska 1905
DENVER, Jan. 30.

“With the opening of the Flathead Indian reservation in Montana to settlement the coming summer the last large band of buffalo in the United States will be scattered to the four winds, or else removed to the Blackfoot reservation further north, or into the Milk river country of the Canadian provinces.”

This is the authoritative statement made yesterday by Howard Eaton of Wyoming, who is interested in the largest herd of buffalo in the world, mostly belonging to Michael Pablo, who has a herd of about 350 on the Flathead reservation.

Mr. Eaton was in Denver yesterday en route to his ranch home near Sheridan, Wyo., having just returned from Los Angeles, Cal., where he took two very fine specimens and three to San Francisco immediately after delivering the five buffalo to the city park in Denver about three weeks ago.

“The Pablo herd is the largest in existence,” said Mr. Eaton, “and comprises one-third of all the buffalo In the world. A few years ago when Buffalo Jones went broke on a big Irrigating scheme, he sold his bunch, which were then in Kansas, to Pablo and Allard, making the largest herd of purebloods, now in the world, and carrying the strains of the old herds of Texas, Indian Territory, western and northern Montana, North Dakota and Manitoba. Jones built his ditch all right, but he got no water so that his venture was a disastrous failure.

“When I afterward purchased the Allard interests there were about 400 in the herd, and I secured four-fifths of the Allard holdings. I have been gradually selling them off and by spring I expect to have disposed of nearly all of these.”

Pioneer Bad Lands.
Mr.Eaton is a typical westerner, large and strong of frame and bronzed and tanned from years of ranch life and contact with blizzards, and the wind and the show throughout the Northwest Territory.

He was located in barren and unsettled Nebraska in 1868 when the plains were alive with great herds of buffalo, wild horses, and antelope. In 1879 he settled in the Bad Lands of Dakota and took up what was known as the Custer Trail ranch, being the first settler in that part of the country, where his domicile became the stopping place of hunting parties and other travelers, and was visited by many noted men and sportsmen.

It was here that he first met Theodore Roosevelt, on his hunting trip in 1883, and Roosevelt was so impressed with the country that he returned the following year and established the famous Maltese Cross Ranch adjoining Mr. Eaton.

“How big was the Maltese Cross ranch?“ was asked.

 “How big?” repeated Mr. Eaton. “Well, there is no way to tell just what the size of it was, but as the boys used to say up there, it reached from hell to Texas. Roosevelt established another big ranch in the same part of the country. He got his first buffalo on the trip in 1883. When he struck the country he wore sealskin chaps, a broad-brimmed hat, and fancy band, long gloves with buckskin ribbons dangling from them, and a small arsenal of silver mounted guns. The strongest language he used was to say. ‘By godfrey,’ but before he left he could swear like a real man, and as hard as any of them.

Roosevelts First Buffalo,
“One day Roosevelt went out with Joe Ferris about seventy-five miles ranch of Marquis de Mora Medora being near my place in the Bad Lands, and the first night out, their horses were stampeded by a small bunch of buffalo. Roosevelt and the rest of the fellows took after them in a hurry, about half dressed, and in the morning Roosevelt got a long-range shot at a buffalo but failed to touch meat. The next day he got a shot at a bull in a small valley behind a ridge and dropped it all right this time. He was so tickled that he danced up and down, and pulling out a $50 bill from his pocket, gave it to Joe Ferris, who was with him.

 ‘I don’t want it,’ said Joe

 ‘Well, take it anyhow said Roosevelt, for I’ll be d____ d if I do either.’ “

Mr. Eaton afterward sold out his Custer Trail ranch and moved to Wolf post office near Sheridan, Wyo. where he has established another ranch of immense proportions.

During the last summer Mr. Eaton accompanied Count Ernest Bernstorff and his son Arthur on an extended hunting trip through the Flathead country and as the Count wanted to secure a pair of buffalo heads to take to his home Quaden, Schoenfeldt, near Wiesbaden, Germany, Mr. Eaton sold him two buffalo from his bunch on the reservation, and the Count and his son had the pleasure of stalking them for a day or two before they got a good chance to shoot them, even at long range.

Buffalo are now worth $1000 a pair, bull, and cow, and in a few years will be hard to get at any price.

In speaking of the breeding of these animals, Mr. Eaton says that the bunch on this reservation produced sixty-six calves in 1904 and fifty-five in 1903. He sold the government a herd of twenty in October of 1902, two bulls and 18 cows, for the Yellowstone Park and they now in two years, increased to forty.

 Mr. Eaton has sold buffalo to cities and private individuals all over the United States. He dealt in nothing but pure bloods. The mixed breeds, of which Pablo has quite a number of crossed with Poll Angus cattle, are easily distinguished by the lengthened tail, finer hair in the coat, and the hair on the forelegs is shorter. On the full blood, the hair hangs from the knees almost to the ankle, while it is much shorter on the mixed breeds. The buffalo will also feed with his head against the wind, being so well protected by the shaggy coat around the shoulders but the mixed breeds are inclined to turn their tails towards the wind, like common cattle.

Pablo, the owner of the great herd, is of mixed blood, and a direct descendant of some of the some of the early day Hudson Bay trappers. He is about sixty-three years old, has a family of several children, and is worth at least $600,000, half of it being in cash. While uneducated, Pablo is nevertheless very shrewd and one of the finest men in the Flathead country.

When the Flathead reservation is thrown open, the Indians will be allotted lands in severalty, as has been done on other reservations in the last few years.

The Flathead reservation is sixty by sixty miles square containing 1,600 square miles of land, which is generally very fertile. There are now about 900 full-blood Indians on the reservation and 1,100 mixed blood.

During the coming fall, Mr. Eaton expects to take a large party of German noblemen on a hunting trip through the Jackson lake country and then into Old Mexico, and his services are eagerly sought by many distinguished parties.

Teddy Inauguration Day Parade

Harrisburg Telegraph
Harrisburg Pennsylvania Feb 28 1905
Inauguration Day
Cowboy Contingent from the West Will be a Feature of the Parade.

One feature of the inauguration of President Roosevelt, which is looked forward to with interest is the cowboy contingent from the Far West. It will be something wholly outside the usual order of things on such occasions and may never be witnessed again. Theodore Roosevelt is the first President who had lived West of the Missouri in those vast cattle ranges where the cowboy was once the monarch of the plains. It may be a long time before the chief magistracy is again bestowed upon me who was a citizen of that section, and likely before that day does come the cowboy will have vanished almost as completely as has the buffalo.

The President is a great favorite among the men whose labors and hardships he once knew and shared, and a delegation of them is coming to see him inducted to office. Seth Bullock, sheriff of Deadwood, South Dakota, an old plainsman and former comrade of Mr. Roosevelt, has “rounded up” about 50 of the best-known cowpunchers of the West. Among them are “Deadwood Dick” Clark and “Tex” Burgess, both noted frontier characters. Another is Howard Eaton, of Wolf, Wyoming, who was a resident of Medora, North Dakota, for many years and a friend and neighbor of the President when the latter was a ranchman in the Bad Land country.

The horses which the cowboys will ride in the inaugural parade will be shipped to Washington right from the cattle ranges and are regular “cow ponies.” Their riders will wear the regulation cowboy costume, and the people of the capital, and the tens of thousands from other sections who come to witness the inauguration will see a sight decidedly unfamiliar to Eastern eyes.

Washington has begun to assume holiday attire in honor of the approaching inaugural. Flags and buntings are being flung from the fronts of buildings, especially along historic Pennsylvania Avenue, over which the parade is to pass.


Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania May 8 1905

Preparations are being made at the zoo for the two buffaloes which will be received from Howard Eaton’s ranch. This will increase Father Pitt’s herd to five and with a practical demonstration of the anti-race suicide theory, it is hoped that the herd will be doubled within a few years. The crowds at the zoo were the largest of the season, the big animal house scarcely being large enough to accommodate the visitors. In celebration of the fine weather, the boating season was inaugurated on Lake Carnegie.


Eaton Ranch 1912

Traveling from Gardiner by easy stages, all the regular points of interest in the Park are visited, with stops of from one to two days at places of special note—Lower and Upper Basins, Yellowstone Lake, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and near Yancey’s, where a side trip is made to see the Park buffaloes. (A small herd of buffaloes, purchased from Howard Eaton in 1902, has now grown to number one hundred and fifty animals.)

Since 1883 Howard Eaton has made sixty-three camping trips through the Yellowstone National Park.


Dedication July 19,  1923

Howard Eaton Trail Dedication

HET dedication
In 1923, the park named the trails in his honor, installing a sign at Sheepeater Cliffs, south of Mammoth, in 1923. Park officials gathered and had a photograph taken to mark the dedication.

The late Howard Eaton, one of the greatest guides in America, in whose honor the Howard Eaton Trail was recently dedicated. Many notables attended the dedication ceremonies.

After listening to a series of eloquent addresses eulogistic of the great guide, nearly 1,000 persons who had gathered in the canyon below Sheep Eater’s cliff stood silent and thrilled as a bugle sounded ‘taps’ and a party of horsemen, silhouetted against the western sky, traversed the rim of the gorge at the conclusion of the ceremonial dedication t the new Howard Eaton trail. The trail is 137 miles long and reaches all important scenic regions of the park. With its connecting trail, it embraces a total of more than 700 miles.

True Western Type
The chief speaker was Congressman Charles E. Winter of Wyoming, whose topic was “The Spirit of Howard Eaton.” Mr. Winter, long a friend of Howard Eaton, saw in him the personification of the fine western spirit of freedom and liberty so essential a part of the national life. He characterized him as the true western type and the exemplar of all the qualities which are ingredients of the American spirit and asked that all who travel the Howard Eaton trail should assist in preserving his memory and keeping inviolate the things for which he stood.

Stephen Mather, director of the national park service, spoke briefly of the national park system, and talked feelingly of the enthusiastic reception always accorded Eaton when he appeared at the interior department at Washington.

Easterners Speak
 The occasion was given an added national significance by the participation of prominent easterners. The speakers included Dr. Alexander Lyons, distinguished clergyman of Brooklyn, who talked on the subject

“The Temple of Democracy,” and William Elbert, a prominent educator who discussed “The Howard Eaton Trail as an Influence on Education.” These men were members of the Brooklyn Teachers’ association which were present and numbered 90.

Colonel Henry Hall, a noted newspaper correspondent of Washington, D. C, who often traveled with Howard Eaton, described his life and character.