“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vaughn in Cascade County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Robert Vaughn Homestead/The Captain Couch Ranch

The Captain Couch Ranch-house and Marker image. Click for full size.
August 20, 2019
1. The Captain Couch Ranch-house and Marker
When enlarged the marker is just visible behind the corner porch post.
Inscription.  Born in Wales, Robert Vaughn farmed and mined coal in the Midwest before leaving Illinois in 1864 for the Montana goldfields. Observing how his ponies and oxen “fattened readily on weathered bunch grass,” even in winter, he filed for a homestead along the Sun River in 1869. It was the first homestead in what was then Choteau County, an area of over 12,500 square miles. He built a two-room sandstone house on the Fort Benton to Helena Road. Vaughn specialized in breeding racehorses, producing some of Montana’s finest thoroughbreds. In 1886, he married Elizabeth Donohue, who died in childbirth only sixteen months later. Distraught, Vaughn moved with his infant daughter to Great Falls, selling the homestead to Captain Thomas Couch for the princely sum of $45,000. The wealthy general manager of the Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company, Couch established the company’s Great Falls smelter in 1889. Although Couch traveled widely for business, the ranch became the primary residence of his wife Rachel and their seven children. The Couches built this impressive home of red brick, manufactured and fired on the ranch,
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around the original sandstone residence. A veranda originally wrapped around three sides. A curved stairway dominates the interior, whose twelve commodious rooms included a parlor, a library, and two dining rooms: one for the family and the other for ranch hands. A flagstone path connects an elaborate brick privy to the “big house.” The large barn held Couch’s prize thoroughbred bulls and racehorses. 
Erected by Montana National Register Sign Program.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 47° 32.976′ N, 111° 33.243′ W. Marker is in Vaughn, Montana, in Cascade County. Marker can be reached from 4th Street near 1st Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 84 4th Street, Vaughn MT 59487, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Sun River Leaving (approx. ¾ mile away); Sun River Crossing (approx. 7½ miles away).
More about this marker. The marker and the Couches' ranch-house (pictured) are located on private property and behind a locked gate.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 858 times since then and 146 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on December 29, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Apr. 23, 2024