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The History of Rehberg Ranch

A.J. Rehberg
"There was some real cowboys up there. Ol' Calamity Jane. Kid Curry, the only one of the wild bunch that ever killed anybody. I liked him pretty good. And of course, A.J. Rehberg. Tough old guy. One of the guys that did a damn good job of surviving."

Don Cooper
Billings resident,
Western Historian
The Rehberg Ranch was founded by AJ Rehberg, a man who did not suffer fools, tenderfeet or braggarts. In 1882, at the age of nine, AJ Rehberg left home by himself, riding through the cowcamps of Montana, carrying a bedroll and calling home any place he could find work breaking horses or punching cattle. But working someone else’s spread wasn’t quite enough for AJ. It was only a matter of time before this restless young man staked a claim of his own.
He did just that, on a high stretch of rimrock prairie land above Billings in a dramatic collection of coulees mostly hidden from the town below. So secluded and untraveled were these mysterious draws that horse rustlers and small-time bandits are thought to have borrowed their shady overhangs for a night’s refuge.

Modesty aside, AJ was a proud family man. Come afternoon, the chores were dutifully ditched in favor of a family picnic or a spell on the porch watching over cherished grandkids and great-grandkids. This is why, today, Rehberg Ranch has been molded into a quaint rural neighborhood with fine family homes. Back country trails wind through gentle hills beneath an evergreen canopy and wide-open sky, and burst onto fields of wildflowers with views as stirring as the day is long. But we don’t mean to boast. AJ would have had none of it.

Suffice it to say, we offer his in the spirit of a man who was proud of a precious few things; his family, and the place that one generation after another has quietly called home. Now you can too.

A Sunday family outing on the Rehberg Ranch near the original cabin located close to the Great Northern Railway, circa 1933.

Friends and family gathered for Sunday celebration circa 1945. Usually following the gathering of cattle and branding. On most Sundays you could find friends of the Rehbergs at the ranch for picnics.

Employees of Midland Guernsey Dairy Farm started by A.J. Rehberg in 1907 on Rehberg Lane. The location of Mayflower Congregational Church is where Rehberg's registered herd of Guernsey cattle was pastured on Sundays. Poly Drive was a favorite street for families out for a Sunday drive.

Al and Ada with one of the collies that lived with them at the ranch.

The porch at the ranch house was a place to spot antelope, deer, and birds and a special place for the grandchildren to play. Often you could find both A.J. and Ada there enjoying evening sunsets.

Al getting ready to ride his ranch. He rode his horses until he was 85.

A horse driven wagon coming off the Rims using the road that was built when the Great Northern Railroad came through the ranch. It has since washed out.