Originally Big Owl and Little Owl rivers, the sheltered watersheds of the Moreau and Little Moreau Rivers provided traditional winter campgrounds for the Cheyenne, and later the Minneconjou and Two Kettle bands of Teton Sioux. The river names were later changed from Owl to an early trader's name of Moreau. Grassland attracted the first European settlers to the Moreau Valley. During the late 1870s through 1890s, cattle barons from southern states grazed thousands of cattle on this rich grassland.

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