The 71 Quarter Circle Ranch was founded by a wealthy Nebraska cattleman named John Stewart during the 1870s, and was later acquired by a Scottish consortium whose manager, John Clay, was President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association during the range wars. Located just downstream from Three Crossings, the original headquarters complex of barns, corrals, and cabins was built on the north side of the river. In the early 1880s, new buildings were erected on the south side.
Surface evidence at these two sites suggests markedly different “levels of settlement” that do not agree with written accounts. In addition, there is considerable evidence of illegal fencing predating the small homesteaders’ fences which so enraged the cattle barons, and was used as partial justification for their assaults on small ranchers.