Several people have asked us how we came up with our company name, Crow Butte Beef. It's actually the perfect name for our company specializing in selling Nebraska raised beef, and the answer is really fairly simple. Crow Butte rests in Dawes County, a few miles southeast of Crawford and Fort Robinson in northwestern Nebraska. Our cattle ranch sits just north of Crow Butte and it is one of our favorite views. In fact, a dear friend of the family, who is an extremely talented local artist, painted a picture of our view of Crow Butte. Her picture is framed and sits above our fireplace mantle in our family room.
For those interested in history, Crow Butte is the home to many historical events. Crow Butte is the site of the major battle between the Crow and Brule Sioux Indian tribes that took place in 1849. It was a battle for control of hunting range and access to trade goods from Europe. According to Chadron historian Jim Hanson, there was only one known casualty in the battle. In addition, the battle was so interesting to both white settlers and Indians that it was discussed more than any other intertribal fight. Thus, the details regarding the "real story" of the battle continued to change and become more "bizarre."
However, the "story" we've always heard was that during battle, the Sioux Indians drove the Crow Indians up to the top of Crow Butte. The Sioux Indians then set up their camp, on the only approach to the butte, in an attempt to kill or starve the Crows. In an effort to survive, the Crow Indians killed and skinned one of their horses and used the hide to make ropes which lowered people down the opposite side of the butte.
In addition, there are remains of a cave on the east side of Crow Butte. This cave, once known as "Moonshiner's Cave", had two rooms inside. These rooms were used as a moonshine liquor operation during the Prohibition years! According to stories from people who have lived in the area for years, the owner of the moonshine operation caused plenty of trouble, and arguments were always breaking out among the locals.
For those interested in geography, five miles northwest of Crow Butte runs the White River. Crow Butte stands nearly 900 feet higher than the river. According to "Lists of John," Crow Butte is 340 feet tall and is ranked 14th of all summits in Nebraska. And, as the National Elevation Database would state, Crow Butte is one of the top 10 steepest summits in the state! It has been said that the consensus of climbers in the state have agreed that Crow Butte is one of the best Nebraska summits to climb. Who would have thought!
Full of history and beauty, Crow Butte is a true landmark of northwestern Nebraska. We feel so blessed that it's a view we get to admire so often and our cattle can graze in its majestic shadow. Thus naming our beef company Crow Butte Beef felt appropriate as it's an important piece of our ranch and the place our cattle call home.