Pintler Mountain Beef: Mountain Raised Beef since 1904
William P. ‘Red’ Carey immigrated from Ireland and as a young man fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. Red Carey then headed west to Montana, working for the Northern Pacific railroad, and then running stationary engines at the Elk Horn, Bearmouth, Granite, and Rumsey mines and mills. He settled near Philipsburg and worked in the mines in Granite in the late 1880's, and homesteaded at the Carey Meadows, at the head of Trout Creek, in the 1890's.
Red Carey begins homesteading at the head of Trout Creek, south of Philipsburg, Montana, at what would later become Carey Meadows (about 1890), a few miles south of the current Christensen Bros Ranch. Red Carey’s wife, Ellen (née Grady) bought a homestead along nearby Meadow Creek. This is an interesting history; in that the seller had to leave after the killing of a violent cattle baron, who was trying to drive the homesteaders out of southern Granite County. He was shot while drinking with his men at a place called the Crystal Saloon (or Tavern, the history varies) by a group of ranchers who refused to be victims. Red Carey helped the largely aquited homesteader move his cattle many miles north, and Ellen bought his ranch. The original deed listed Ellen as "Mrs William Carey", as was conventional at that time.
Phillip Sarsfield “Sarch” Carey homesteads the current Christensen Bros Ranch along the banks of Trout Creek. He added other pieces of land, by buying other homesteads and railroad land. He also worked in the Rumsey Mill south of Philipsburg. Ultimately, the ranch spans 2080 acres from the hills above Georgetown Lake to the Skalkaho Highway.
East Fork Homestead
William Monroe “Bill” Carey and Layla (née Parks) homestead on the East Fork of Rock Creek; Bill worked as a teamster helping to build the dam for what is now Georgetown Lake. They raise a family on the East Fork (Christensen Bros great grandparents). Their children included Lawrence (a WWII combat veteran), Paul, Marry Hellen, Chloe, and Woodrow. Woodrow ultimately took over the ranch, and ran it into the 1990's. Unfortunately, that ranch was lost to the family, but much of it was put into a conservation easement prior to it having to be sold. A new owner destroyed the original ranch buildings, and cut down the lilacs that family was buired under. Only a few now living can point out the grave.
Rasumus and Anne Marie
Rasmus and Ann Marie Christensen immigrate from Denmark in 1904 and land in Montana around 1908, ultimately settling on Ross’ Fork of Rock Creek in 1928. They had seven children: Eli, Oswald, Robert, Alice, Ann, Carl, and Violet. Rasmus worked for the railroad as well.
1930's to 1950's
A New Generation
Robert “Bob”, and Oswald “Ozzy” (another WWII combat veteran) take over the Ross's Fork ranch as the “Christensen Bros.” The brothers together run the ranch for a number of years, until Ozzy move on to other things, including the Granada Theater in Philipsburg, with his wife Betty. Eli was on a ranch just downstream on the Ross's Fork for some time, then moved to Philipsburg, where, among other things, he was a Justice of the Peace for many years.
1930's and 40's
Uniting Two Ranching Families
Bob Christensen marries Mary Helen (daughter of Bill and Layla Carey), uniting two ranching families. They operate the ranch on the Ross’s Fork and have five children: Bill, Helen, Jim, Steve, and Marilyn. In addition to raising crops and livestock, Bob and his children cut sawlogs and posts. Steve ultimately took over the Ross's Fork place with his wife Ginger, and he also logged, until the years of toil wore him down and they had to sell the place.
An Eclectic Marriage
Bill Christensen took over the Trout Creek ranch from his great uncle Sarch Carey in 1956, just after graduating High School. In 1970 he married Sharon LeFevre (a Butte native, whose father Martin was a WWII combat veteran) and they begin a beautiful life together on the Trout Creek Ranch. Prior to moving to the ranch, Sharon, earned Masters degrees and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Sharon was a true feminist and forward thinker of her time. They raised three boys, Nate, Josh, and Joel. As their children grew, Bill also worked in a sawmill and as a bartender, and Sharon worked for the Philipsburg Mail and then started teaching at the Granite County High School. Bill inherited part of the ranch, and bought part from his Aunt Chloe. Bill and Sharon put in many improvements, and saw through a land trade that consolidated all the ranch into one contiguous piece of land.
Christensen Bros Ranch
Upon the deaths of Nate, Bill, and Sharon, the Trout Creek ranch is passed on to Josh and Joel, and it is renamed the Christensen Bros Ranch. Generations of stewards before them have instilled a deep love for the land, the ranching history, and a passion for caring for the natural environment.
Pintler Mountain Beef
Pintler Mountain Beef is formed as a way to continue the ranching legacy of the Christensen family, preserve unspoiled open space, and to provide consumers with a wholesome source of protein grown in an entirely natural environment from pasture to plate.