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Archives on the Air 311: Short-term Cattle Baron – Moreton Frewen Papers

Moreton Frewen was a member of the British aristocracy with a taste for adventure. He first arrived in Wyoming on a hunting trip with his brother.

Enchanted by the prospect of making a fortune in the cattle business, the two brothers formed the Big Horn Ranche Company. By 1882, the company was struggling, so Frewen reorganized and formed the Powder River Cattle Company. Known for his charming optimism, he sold shares to British investors. Frewen built a substantial house on the ranch and furnished it in continental style. Locals dubbed it “Frewen’s Castle”. He hosted parties for visiting British aristocrats and organized hunting excursions.

The ranching business continued to be a challenge. Colder than usual winters decimated parts of his herd. And overgrazing made it difficult to fatten cattle for market. In the end, Frewen abandoned his hopes for riches in the cattle business and returned to England.

Learn more by reading Moreton Frewen’s papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.