Back in 1934, the Wolff Brothers left Denver, Colorado and landed in Billings, Montana, striking up a partnership with the late Arthur “Art” Langman. Originally, they created a horse and mule auction and later added cows and bulls. Located on First Avenue North, they leased facilities from the Northern Pacific Railroad and set up shop.
Billings Live Stock Commission was the hub market as the Wolff-Langman Partnership developed markets also in Great Falls and Miles City, MT. Along with auctioneer, Norman G Warsinske and cattle buyer, Lyle Devine, they created a livestock merchandising endeavor that has never been equaled.
In later years Art’s son, the late A.J. “Jerry” Langman and Ralph Cunningham, along with a fieldman by the name of Conrad Burns, now Montana’s US Senator, continued the BLS tradition. During the late 1970’s Scott Langman, Jerry’s son, became the third generation operator and moved the Billings Live Stock Commission to its present location on the North Frontage Road east of Billings.
In 1984 Scott sold the business to Patrick K. Goggins, who operated it for some years. Pat sold it to Jack McGuinness, who operated it for sixteen years. BLS was purchased in 2003 by Goggins, who totally rebuilt the stockyards, revamping it from head to tail.
BLS sells cattle every week on Thursdays for all classes. The 4th weekend of each month, BLS becomes the “Horse Selling Capital of Western America”. 500 to 1100 head sell on any given weekend.
The Northern Livestock Video Auction base operation is also located at BLS. Several video sales a year are staged to an international market.
One of the oldest, continuous livestock auctions in America, BLS is a great tribute to its pioneer founders.