History of the Land where White Deer Ranch sits:
White Deer Ranch is in Stillwater County. Stillwater County is rich with history of early Native Americans, pioneers and wagon trains.
The Stillwater Valley is rich and fertile ground abound with wildlife and ideal for livestock and ranching. This beautiful country was hunting grounds to the Crow Indians. Evidence of their inhabitants can still be found in arrow heads, teepee rings and oral traditions. Early settlers traveling on the Bozeman trail came through this country and decided to call it home. The earliest account of settlement along the Stillwater River was in the late 1800's. The photo of the wagon to the right is from a re-enactment of the Bozeman Trail travelers. Part of the Trail may have even come through the ranch as it has always had ample water on it.
The land which is now White Deer Ranch belonged to the Dave Hudson, one of four brothers that moved to the region in the late 1800's from Saginaw, Michigan. Several of the brothers waited until the reservation opened up for homestead in 1892. Some research about the early inhabitants of what is now White Deer Ranch was revealed in the text, They Gazed Upon the Beartooths, by Jim Annin, "Dave Hudson came to the family home in Saginaw, just before the Civil War started and came to Montana shortly after his brother, John, on a cattle drive. He was a cowhand for the "79" for a few years under Con Mendenhall's camp wagon, and also for stockmen on the Stillwater. In 1892, he located a ranch on the Stillwater, and later on Grove Creek. In 1894, at Columbus, he was united to Della Riddle whose parents came to the Stillwater Valley in 1893. The Hudson name was added to nine children, Roy, Clarence, Iva, Jesse, Eva, Ernie, Clara, Vina and Ida."
The original Hudson home is still on the ranch. It started out the size of the present day kitchen. As the family grew to include 9 children the Hudsons added additional rooms to the house. It now has three bedrooms, all with hardwood floors, arched doorways, and a cobblestone decorated front porch.
Dave Hudson died as a result of an accident in 1936. Mrs. Hudson died in 1956. Ernie, their son, continued to run the place until he sold it to Jerry Raglin in 1980. Jerry Raglin sold to Lee Dunn and Calvin Clark in 1989.
The ranch was named White Deer Ranch after an albino deer that was on the place. The brand -WD was established. Lee Dunn and Calvin Clark originally owned 2,220 +/- acres in partnership, that was divided in two equal parcels for each family. After selling 600 acres of pasture, the Dunn's now own approximately 450 +/- acres where the original Hudson house and outbuildings are located.