Powder River County High School
Welcome to the Broadus, Montana Picture Tour
Above you can see panoramas of the Powder River near Broadus, Montana. Views entering Broadus, Montana and a walk down Park Avenue towards Cottonwood Park.
Broadus is named after a rancher linked to Powder River County’s early cowboy days. After working as a cowboy for the N-Bar Ranch in Texas, Oscar Broaddus came to Montana in 1885 to work for the operation’s northern property along the Powder River where thousands of cattle would graze, according to “Beyond Echoing Footsteps,” a history of Powder River County published this year.
After the Montana N-Bar Ranch closed out when a devastating winter and drought killed large numbers of cattle, Broaddus eventually built a log cabin at the mouth of Baking Powder Creek, south of present-day Broadus.
With more people moving into the valley, regular mail service became important, so Broaddus started a successful petition to set up a post office at his house with the help of his brother, John, according to Celeste Gerleman, Oscar’s great-grandaughter, who lives just across the Wyoming border south of Broadus.
A slip of a bureaucrat’s pen probably dropped one “d” from the official post office name. That post office, subsequently operated by other people, closed in late 1905. The expansion of the Homestead Act in 1909 to include land suitable for dry-land farming opened up more land in Eastern Montana, bringing in more homesteaders.