July 30, 2013

Livestock Brands in Historical Montana Newspapers

Many early Montana newspapers included pages of livestock brands. We speculate that the brands were published in the newspaper by the Brands Enforcement Office because registering brands was part of government business. However they were published, these pages are rich in historical information about who owned the brand, where their ranch was located, and where on each type of stock the brand appeared. The pages also included “Estray” notices that reported lost, found, or stolen livestock. 

livestock brands
Yellowstone Monitor, September 10, 1908

To see more Montana livestock brands, check out our 43,000-page collection of historical livestock brands or browse more pages of historical Montana newspapers at Chronicling America.

Curious about how to read these mysterious and varied symbols? Read a short article about  livestock brands here.