Arthur Clark “A.C.” Huidekoper came to Dakota Territory in 1881 from Pennsylvania and started what would become the biggest horse ranch in North Dakota.
A.C. and a man named Tarbell founded the famous HT Ranch in Slope County 10 miles west of Amidon where they raised horses, specializing in Percherons. At one time, A.C. had 12,000 horses running on hundreds of miles of open range.
He came from a wealthy Dutch family that made its fortune helping revolutionaries during the Revolutionary War. A.C., a Harvard University graduate, fell in love with the West and in 1883 he bought 23,000 acres of railroad land in Billings County for $2.00 an acre.
He divided the land into several ranches: Deep Creek, about 40 miles south of Medora; the Logging Camp Ranch, on the Little Missouri about 15 miles west of Amidon; the Spear Ranch, south of New England along Cedar Creek; and the Eastern Ranch, north of Reeder. A.C. eventually switched from horses to cattle before selling out in 1907.
Writing about his life on the prairie and in the North Dakota Badlands, A.C. wrote, “. . . It is glorious, that great, great country, that fresh air, that dashing action across the prairie in the fresh morning, there is nothing like it . . . .”
A.C. died in 1928 and his wife, Louise, in 1932.