He was born on March 23, 1923, on a farm east of Baker. He grew to be nearly six feet tall; ten-foot-four inches long; and weighed nearly two tons (3,980 pounds). As the "World's Largest Steer" he brought fame to southeastern Montana.
His owner, Jack Guth, christened him Steer Montana and exhibited him far and wide, appearing in over 60 state fairs. His brother Spot (3,230 pounds) was also exhibited, while brother Bulgy (3,580 pounds) was not.
Earlier in the century, a steer named Old Ben in Kokomo, Indiana, grew to be even bigger than Steer Montana (six-foot-four inches tall and more than 4,500 pounds), so Steer Montana was technically just the World's Largest Living Steer, but that distinction has been lost with time.
When Steer Montana died in 1938, his owner strung him up on a windmill, stripped the carcass, had his skin mounted, and continued to exhibit the now postmortem steer on the fair and rodeo circuit.
He eventually got lost, then turning up in Billings at an attraction named "Wonder Land." For $5,000 he was ransomed back to Baker, where he was displayed at Heiser's Bar. Bernard Heiser later donated both skin and bones (which were not displayed in the bar) to the county museum.
Today, Steer Montana is in a large glass box, in the main room of the O'Fallon Historical Museum, his face frozen in a slightly apprehensive expression. His bones have been connected back into a skeleton, and are in the adjacent (and larger) annex. The museum hopes some day to display the mounted carcass and skeleton side-by-side, allowing visitors to examine both simultaneously.
The O'Fallon Museum has a number of other odd items, including a two-headed calf, and a mannequin display of an early beauty shop permanent wave machine (We were told that older female visitors show off their scalp burn scars to curators). The museum also exhibits the largest public collection of the folk art of auto body shop owner Herbert Jundt, who worked in wood, stone, metal, and auto body resin.
But it is Steer Montana that makes the trip way out to Baker worth the haul.