A Cowboy's Life Is Very Dangerous Work


A Cowboy's Life Is Very Dangerous Work

The Autobiography of a Flathead Reservation Indian Cowboy, 1870-1944

Malcolm McLeod
Edited by Mary Adele Rogers and Robert Bigart

64 pages
8 illustrations, index


March 2016


$11.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The story of the cattle barons has often overshadowed the experiences of the common cowboy on whose labor the ranchers’ wealth was built. Malcolm McLeod recorded the life of privation and danger of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century mixed-blood cowboy. He worked for cattle owners across Montana and in southern British Columbia and eastern Washington. Born in Washington Territory in 1870 of Scotch, French Canadian, and Chippewa Indian heritage, McLeod traveled countless miles over the years. But home remained the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana, where he was enrolled and allotted land.

McLeod worked for Charles Allard, one of the largest stock owners on the Flathead Reservation. He herded Allard’s famous buffalo herd and even rode buffalo for Allard’s short-lived Wild West Show in 1893. In later years McLeod tried his hand at farming, at a harness and shoe repair shop, and in the taxi business, but these enterprises never provided the excitement and danger of his cowboy work. It was the labor and experiences of men like McLeod that built the modern Flathead Reservation community and economy.  

Author Bio

Malcolm McLeod (1870–1944) was enrolled on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana and worked as a cowboy across Montana, southern British Columbia, and eastern Washington. Mary Adele Rogers is an independent researcher in Ronan, Montana. Robert Bigart is librarian emeritus at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana.


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