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Fred Criss

Heritage of the High Country
A History of Del Bonita and
Surrounding Districts, Pages 306

Fred Criss came to the lease country in 1912 and homesteaded the S.E.-5-1-22-W4th. He had the S.E.-4-1-22-W4th as a pre-emption. Fred Stocker now owns this land.

Before Fred Criss came to the homestead he had been employed by the McIntyre Ranch for eight years. Frank Mains recalled that Fred Criss was hired by McIntyre Ranching Co. to be a bounty hunter. He had a pack of hounds and his job was to hunt coyotes or wolves. Frank also recalled that Mr. Criss bought a new gramaphone and invited him and his brother over to his cow-camp to listen to the records. The machine was crude, but to those boys that was an unforgettable Sunday.

Fred lived in a dug out on his homestead.

Bootleggers and people going back and forth across the line usually stopped at his place.

While he lived in the Rinard area he was well known as a race horse man. He had some of the best horses obtainable and travelled the grand circuit year after year. He also raised pure bred Belgian draft horses. He took many prizes with his pure bred stallions.

Fred Criss played baseball in the early days with local teams.

Some time in the twenties he sold his land and moved from the community.

In February 1926, he passed away at the home of Levi Burd. He was sixty-four years of age, and left no relatives in this country. He was buried in the cemetery in Browning, Montana.

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Mary Tollestrup