Author – Linda Zupan
My husband Dewey Zupan and I moved to Sedan in May 1993 after his sister Cindy and brother-in-law Larry Lippon bought the land that they named the King of Hearts Ranch and that we called home for 27 years.
We were immediately fascinated by the history of the area, enamored by the beauty of the Bridger Mountains and appreciative of the warm hospitality of our neighbors throughout Sedan.
I was inspired to compile this information when a friend of ours from Bozeman, Tony Vasic, Sr. recalled so many special childhood memories with us of time spent in Sedan. Tony stayed with the Rexroat family who later became his relatives when his sister Helen Vasic married into the family. Tony also spoke fondly of the Inabnit families. It was during one of many conversations we had with Tony that we first heard of the Cheese Factory, which was only the beginning of the many intriguing things we have learned about Sedan.
My research formally began in the fall of 1995 after Bev (Landis) Baver put me in touch with Warren Reichman, former Sedan resident, historian and descendant of the original Maddox settlers of this area. This Sedan website was created a few years later in honor of Warren Reichman for his wealth of knowledge and willingness to share his research with me and for Allen “Gump” Woosley, a descendant of the original Woosley settlers and who at the time, was the oldest living native of Sedan.
Adrian Inabnit also deserves the honor of recognition for the wealth of information he shared in development of this site. Adrian is a treasured historian of his generation who has contributed many photos to Bonnie Fastje’s collection and has answered endless questions as I attempt to keep this information as accurate as possible. He also holds a special place in my heart for his friendship and continued patience as I worked to achieve the “Good Enough” mark of approval when compiling this information. Adrian’s first home, when he was born in 1934, is the same home -with a few newer renovations throughout the years that Dewey and I moved into along Flathead Creek in May of 1993 and where we lived until Fall of 2000. That home was later torn down and a new house now stands.
The Zupan family ranched on land along Flathead Creek that had quite a history of its own as parts of the land were once owned by Alfred & Ethel Wilson, H.R. Reichman, J.T. Davidson, Wesley & Myda Inabnit, Stan & Ann Seitz and Bernard & Hattie Beckner (not necessarily in that order nor on all the same pieces of land).
The land along Flathead Creek known in later times as the main Seitz Place changed hands a few times. Gays from California owned it and ran it as the “I Am Third Ranch,” and the “Trinity Bridger Cattle Company,” and it also housed the “Wilderness Treatment Center” for a short time. This land was once considered by Robert & Greta (Gay) Mathis, founders of Eagle Mount, as a possible site for their nonprofit programs.
Dewey and his brother Tim Zupan managed the King of Hearts full time as a working cattle ranch until October 2019. Tim and his wife Cindy (Arnold) Zupan raised four sons on the King of Hearts: Zac, Wyatt, Weston & Tyler who also worked on the ranch. Larry and Cindy (Zupan) Lippon and their daughter Lucy spent their summers on the King of Hearts. Paul Zupan, the oldest Zupan brother, worked on the ranch for several summers as well.
It has been a humbling experience to attempt to document all of this information as accurately as possible and I would like to thank all the past and present Sedan residents and their family members who participated in many interviews and answered endless questions in order to help me try to keep all these facts straight! A select few are mentioned by name below though there are many more who helped bring this project to fruition.
Much of the earlier text is being revised as more details become available and will be uploaded ASAP. This site is a work in progress and will continually be added to as time permits and as further information is shared with me.
Kay (Seitz) Gannon, former resident and Sedan historian who described Sedan as “God’s Country” researched this area extensively for a paper she wrote in 1962 for the Montana History 302 class taught by Dr. Merrill G. Burlingame. Her work was extremely helpful when I began delving into the history of Sedan and Kay continues to be a valued source of information today.
I would like to thank my mother, Mary T. Painter, who photographed some of the Woosley & Sedan Cemetery images back in 2000 until the ants chased us off.
Susan Lohmuller, former Sedan resident was a tremendous source of inspiration to keep me delving into this project when she assisted me in 2001 in further updating my research when the Sedan Club published its second Community Cookbook and asked to use some of the information I collected of former Sedan residents.
My ever-patient husband Dewey Zupan deserves recognition for his continued interest in my research and for putting up with many late, cold, or non-existent meals over the years while I worked on this project!
Longtime Sedan resident Bonnie Fastje and our former neighbor worked tirelessly for many years to collect and preserve photos of Sedan and its residents. I am indebted to Bonnie for sharing her photo collection and knowledge with me and to her husband Robert Fastje who grew up in Sedan for sharing his wealth of information on Sedan to enhance this project.
Guy Chriske, longtime Sedan resident and another former neighbor has spent decades helping me clarify information and place former residents’ names with the land they worked.
Lastly, I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to Cindy (Landers) Block whose ancestors on both parents’ sides were also residents of Sedan; Asa Henness on her father Dan Landers’ side and on her mother Jean’s side – Dorothy Hapner married Jean’s uncle John Lay. Cindy’s time, talent, patience and expertise in re-designing this website have given this project the much-needed momentum to keep evolving!
Linda M. Zupan