Near Murdo in Jones County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Reading Brands/Murdo Mackenzie Roadside Park
Two old cowpokes reading twenty brands wont agree on all of them but generally speaking this is how to read a brand.
A letter like this (image of backwards letter F) is a reverse F. But this (image of letter F leaning off-axis to the right) is a tumbling F. A letter lying on its side is lazy (image of letter H lying on its side). If its angles are round its running (image of letter M with rounded angles) while if it has little wings on it like this (image of letter V with wings on its ends) its flying. Put legs on it like this (image of brand with legs) and its walking. Or if attached to a quarter circle on the bottom its rocking (image of a "rocking" letter H). Sometimes a letter swings from a character (image of letter L swinging from a diamond). This is a box (image of a square) and this (image of the upper half of a square) is not a half box. Its a bench. Short horizontals (image of a short horizontal line) are bars everywhere but long horizontals (image of a long horizontal line) are sometimes called rails. Diamonds (image of a diamond) and triangles (image of a triangle) never
The calls for a lot of actual workaday brands are to be found on the other side of this marker.
This was, 60 years ago, the center of the Great White River cow country. No highways, no railroads, no towns from Chamberlain to the Black Hills. A thin scattering of post offices and tiny stores, where the odor of kerosene, big longhorn cheeses and harness leather fought for supremacy. Barbed wire fences
Cavite, Zickrick, Stearns, Whitfield, Lodge and Black were some of the post offices now almost forgotten. And the old brands: Jim Clave had the (7/7) seven, slash, seven; Jake Hauseman the (image of the letter D enclosed in a circle) Circle D; Charles Pitan ran the (image of a cross enclosed in a circle) Circle Cross down on White River; the Bowley boys with their (BOW) BOW up at Bovine on Bad River; Zoske Brothers had the (ZOS) ZOS, with headquarters near Zickrick where John Zickrick ran cattle with the (-6-) bar, six, bar on their right hip. W.W. Anderson had the (image of a rake) Rake brand out near Black (Interior) and Conner Thode Cattle Co. at Stearns ran the (image combining the letter T & J) TJ connected. The first post office hereabouts was at Westover down on White River June 6, 1891 and it's still one. The first Westover brand registered was that of Adam Smith who ran his (A - S) A bar S on many a critter on both sides of White River. If you want to learn to read brands look on the other side.
Erected 1957 by Murdo City Council and State Highway Commission. (Marker Number 193.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Parks & Recreational Areas • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list.
Location. 43° 53.186′ N, 100° 43.287′ W. Marker is near Murdo, South Dakota, in Jones County. Marker is on State Highway 248, 0.8 miles west of Business Interstate 90, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Murdo SD 57559, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Murdo Mackenzie (approx. 0.4 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 29, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 5, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.