Otter Creek flows north into Montana out of the highlands in Wyoming and empties into the Tongue River at Ashland. Capt. Calvin Howes developed one of the earliest ranches on Otter Creek. He arrived in Montana in the early 1880’s and established the Circle Bar O Ranch on the lower Powder River. In 1884, Captain Howes drove 2,000 head of cattle from Texas to Otter Creek and maintained a successful cattle operation that survived the disastrous winter of 1886-87. The Creek’s naming is attributed to Howes.
In total there were 50 families, 246 people on Otter Creek/Tongue River – Little Chief’s band has 20 families with 101 people.
In a letter dated August 18, 1882 from George Yoakum to Pres. Arthur he states that Chief White Bull’s band has settled along the Tongue River and some have built houses. He also states that some of Little Chief’s band visited the Cheyenne in August, 1882 and now want to settle in the Tongue River valley.
In a report dated October 3, 1882 from Capt. Ewers, 5th Infantry, Ft. Keogh, MT to the Asst. Adj. General, Dept. of Dakota, he states there are 10 houses, nearly completed, on or near the mouth of Otter Creek, and “so situated so each would have 160 acres”.
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