Dillon cowboy inducted into Cowboy Hall of Fame

2013-07-21T22:35:00Z 2013-07-25T14:48:31Z Dillon cowboy inducted into Cowboy Hall of Fame Montana Standard
July 21, 2013 10:35 pm

The Cowboy Hall of Fame has announced three new inductees from Dillon and Philipsburg, including one living lifelong cowboy, a former slave turned homesteader, and a historic ranch near Dillon.

District 12, which includes Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison and Powell counties, presented the living award to Charles Hahnkamp of Dillon.

Hahnkamp has been involved in rodeo and ranching for more than 70 years. Born in Turner in the 1930s, Hahnkamp traveled around the state with his family and eventually ended up in eastern Montana, where he began participating in cattle drives from South Dakota to Billings and became a pickup man at local rodeos. He was given the nickname “Neckyoke” for the black scarf he kept around his neck.

During his 40-plus-year career as a pickup man, Hahnkamp received many serious injuries, including broken bones and concussions, but he never went to a hospital, always attending to the cowboys and their horses before thinking of himself.

Since 1959, Hahnkamp and his wife, Joyce, have called Dillon home.


The other two inductees are legacy inductees.

Agnes “Annie” Morgan, who was born in 1833 and died in 1914, was born a slave on a Baltimore plantation in 1833. She fled to the West and cooked for General George Armstrong Custer and ultimately set up a homestead near the Hog Back on Rock Creek near Philipsburg. She lived in a cabin, where she raised potatoes, berries and herbs, along with chickens, milk cows and pigs. She allowed fishermen to pitch tents and fish the river at her cabin. For 50 cents a day, she would feed them and offer a campfire. She saved the life of Joseph “Fisher Jack” Case, whom she found delirious in the river from typhoid, and they ended up living together for 30 years in common-law marriage.

Morgan was the only black woman in Granite County in the 1880 census, and she was the only black woman to have a homestead in that county.


The P & O Ranch, owned by Philip H. Poindexter and William C. Orr, was created in 1865 in Beaverhead County.

The business partners had already enjoyed success herding cattle to California, where they owned butcher shops in some mining districts. The partners settled on a ranch near Blacktail Creek, which grew to encompass more than 30,000 acres. The two were the first to bring cattle and sheep to Montana for the purpose of breeding and were known for their imported draft horses.

Poindexter came from Virginia, and Orr came from Ireland by way of Ohio. Between their families, there were 11 children, 10 of whom were born in Montana. Orr passed away in 1901 and Poindexter passed away in 1911.

The Cowboy Hall of Fame is located in Wolf Point and has gone through six classes of inductions. The inductees were chosen from a field of candidates who have made a notable contribution to Montana’s history and culture.

— Piper Haugan, The Montana Standard

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(2) Comments

  1. CooneyCousin
    Report Abuse
    CooneyCousin - July 25, 2013 7:01 am
    My great-grandfather Philip Henry Poindexter (1831-1911) was a pioneer in Montana. 0. Philip Henry9
    Poindexter (Watson Gentry8
    , Chapman David7
    , John6
    , Bond Veale5
    , Thomas4
    , Thomas3
    Philip H. Poindexter was born Sep 05, 1831 in Danville, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and died Feb 26, 1911 in Dillon, Beaverhead County, Montana. He married Mary Emily Sappington Apr 08, 1869 in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri, daughter of Tyrie Sappington and Cynthia Sale. She was born Nov 05, 1842 in St. Louis County, Missouri, and died Jan 25, 1887 in Montana.Notes for Philip Henry Poindexter:Philip was a native of Virginia, where his ancestors on both sides of the family had lived during colonial times.
    He was the fourth of nine children.After receiving a good English education in the public schools, Philip took a clerical position in a St. Louis Mercantile house where he learned bookkeeping. In 1852, he set out determined to find his fortune on the Pacific
    Coast, departing in the spring on the long trip across the plains and over the mountains to California. There were 3 in the party, equipped with mule teams and wagons loaded with provisions. The party spent 5 months in the journey, and had one brush with Indians at the lava beds in California. He reached the gold mining districts of Northern California and worked placer claims on the Humbug River until 1856, when he became associated with
    William C. Orr in cattle raising, acquiring an interest in a ranch that Orr had filed a claim on, and creating the firm Poindexter & Orr. The firm continued at least until Orr died in 1901; I'm not sure how it was structured after that. They opened a meat market at the mines, with Philip in charge, while Orr managed the ranch. In 1862, he and Orr disposed of the butcher shop, but continued in the stock business in Shasta Valley. News of gold in Montana (then
    a portion of Idaho Territory) reached them in 1865, prompting Orr to head out for this section with a herd of cattle. In the summer of 1866, all the remaining cattle and sheep owned by the firm in California (Cousin Dana Kiehl's research)
  2. jpaull
    Report Abuse
    jpaull - July 22, 2013 12:28 pm
    I am little confused about the article on the cowboy hall of fame, you have two men, Poindexter and Orr, that started the cattle industry in MT and a rodeo cowboy. It sure seems to me that the men that started the cattle industry and both strong supporters of the territory and both named to progressive men of Montana should have been the lead story.

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