Filed Under Hobson

Meadowbrook Stock Farm

Scottish-born homesteader Thomas Murray came to the Judith Basin in 1883 and settled on 160 acres running cattle and sheep on the open prairie. By the turn of the twentieth century, the Thomas Murray Ranch, known in its heyday as the Meadow Brook Stock Farm, had diversified to include wheat farming and cattle, hog, sheep, and horse breeding. This early twentieth-century transition from ranching to farming in central Montana reflected both the hard lessons learned by Montana ranchers during the devastating winter of 1886-87 and the coming of the railroads in 1906 and 1908. The railroads promised better transportation to agricultural markets and sparked the growth of new communities, such as Hobson, along with a desire for more substantial dwellings. Murray and his future relatives, the Lilligard brothers, built this splendid Neo-classical Revival style residence circa 1908. Murray’s skillful use of cast stone introduced Hobson to this popular technique. Other structures, including the sheep barn and three-story gambrel-roofed horse barn, were built between 1892 and 1917. After decades of farming and ranching, however, Murray fell victim to drought and horrendous grasshopper and army worm infestations. He and his wife, Mildred, left the ranch in 1924. Today the property retains its original appearance, an excellent example of an early Montana farming enterprise.

Images

Horse barn, from the northwest
Horse barn, from the northwest Meadowbrook Stock Farm Hobson vicinity Judith Basin Co June 1991 Patrick McCleary, photographer Negs at MT SHPO Horse barn, from the northwest (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Patrick McCleary Date: June 1991
Side View South
Side View South Side View South 4 bedrooms on this side Parlor, Liv[ing] room, Dining Rm + Kitchen on this side Jean Trammell, Photo [Additional photographer info on verso] 10-10-90 MEADOW BROOK STOCK FARM HOBSON, MT Judith Basin County Side 1 (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Jean Trammell Date: October 10, 1990
Back of house showing entry into kitchen
Back of house showing entry into kitchen Back of house showing entry into kitchen. Small building is coal storage. Building to right of it is ice house. Notice doors at 3 levels to remove ice as it was used up. 10-10-90 MEADOWBROOK STOCK FARM HOBSON, MT. JUDITH BASIN Co. JEAN TRAMMELL - PHOTOS East [Additional photographer info on verso] (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Jean Trammell Date: October 10, 1990
Lean-to A, from the southeast
Lean-to A, from the southeast Meadowbrook Stock Farm Judith Basin Co June 1991 Patrick McCleary, photographer Negs at MT SHPO Lean-to A, from the southeast (verso) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Patrick McCleary Date: June 1991

Location

U.S. Highway 87, Hobson, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Meadowbrook Stock Farm,” Historic Montana, accessed March 4, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/666.