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Annals of Wyoming 

Vol. 18 

January, 1946 

No. 1 


These two cottonwood trees marked the old entrance to Fort D. A. Russell in 
1884. They are still standing (1945). The larger tree to the right, at one 
time marked the entrance to Camp Carlin. It is the only tree left of those 
by-gone days. Photograph donated %o the Wyoming Historical Department 
by Captain T. D. Conklin of Public Relations, Fort Francis E. Warren. 

Published Bi-Annually 



Cheyenne, Wyoming 



Lester C. Hunt, President Governor 

Win. "Scotty" Jack Secretary of State 

John J. M duty re State Auditor 

Earl Wright State Treasurer 

Esther L. Anderson Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Mary A. McGrath, Secy State Librarian and Historian Ex-Offieio 


Mrs. Mary Jester Allen, Cody 

Frank Barrett, Lusk 

George Bible, Rawlins 

Mrs. T. K. Bishop, Basin 

C. Watt Brandon, Kemmerer 

J. Elmer Brock, Kaycee 

Struthers Burt, Moran 

Mrs. Elsa Spear Byron, Sheridan 

Mrs. G. C. Call, Afton 

Oliver J. Colyer, Torrington 

William C. Deming, Cheyenne 

E. A. Gaensslen, Green River 

Hans Gautschi, Lusk 

Burt Griggs, Buffalo 

D. B. Hilton, Sundance 

Joe Joffe, Yellowstone Park 

Mrs. Joseph H. Jacobucci, Green River 

P. W. Jenkins, Big Piney 

W. C. Lawrence, Moran 

Howard B. Lott, Buffalo 

Mrs. Eliza Lythgoe, Cowley 

A. J. Mokler, Casper 

Mrs. Elmer K. Nelson, Laramie 

Charles Oviatt, Sheridan 

Mrs. Minnie Reitz, Wheatland 

Mrs. Effie Shaw, Cody 

John Charles Thompson, Cheyenne 

Russell Thorp, Cheyenne 




Mary A. McGratb, Editor . State Librarian and Historian Ex-Officio 
Marie H. Erwin, Co-Editor Assistant Historian 

Copyright, 191G; by the Wyoming Historical Dcuaitim-ut. 

Annals of Wyoming 

Vol. 18 January, 1946 No. 1 


History of Fort Francis E. Warren 3 

By Jane E. Kendall. 


Wyoming Statehood Stamp 67 

By George C. Halm, A.P.S. 


Dead Man's Trail 77 

By Elmer Brock. 

Some Wyoming Editors I Have Known... — ....79 

By W. E. Chaplin. 



Entrance to Fort D. A. Eussell in 1884.... Cover 

Military Reservation of Fort D. A. Eussell, Wyoming Territory, 

1869 (Fort Francis E. Warren) 2 

General Plans of Cheyenne Depot. (Camp Carlin), 1884, Wyoming 

Territory 10 

General Plans of Fort D. A. Eussell, 1875 13 

General Plans of Fort D. A. Eussell, 1885 -.22 

Wyoming Statehood Stamp 67 

Printed by 


Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Military Reservation # Icrt PAJlusscil, Jfy.T. 
/? 6? 

\ ***** 

re a^^ce -7i*Alc -^.a,/vo£ 




Wi**' *i*-tMA.Rus,eti 

Jivtliny B-dirtt 

Description of Military Reservation 
at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming 

Beginning at the N. W. corner of the City of Cheyenne. Thence due 
south one mile to Union Pacific Railroad. Thence north ol 1 ^ West (by 
compass) 73 chains thence south (by compass) 40 chains, thence west 
(by compass) two miles. Thence north (by compass) one mile 40 chains, 
thence flue north one mile 45 chains, thence cast (by compass) two miles 
33 chains, thence south (by compass) 33 chains, thence due south one 
mile 62 chains, to the point of beginning. 

The magnetic variation is lf>° 3d' East. 

(Copied from photostat.) 

History of ?ort Francis 8. Warren 


Fort Francis E. Warren Today 

The Military Reservation of Fort Francis E. Warren is 
located in the southeastern part of Wyoming, west and directly 
adjacent to Cheyenne, the State capital. The reservation is 
roughly rectangular in shape, with an area of 7,520 acres. It is 
crossed in the southern part by Crow Creek, a small prairie 
stream flowing eastward. The surface of the reservation, par- 
ticularly where the buildings are located, is rather unevenly 
terraced, rising in irregular plateaus or benches from Crow 
Creek bottoms to the higher rolling prairie land above. The 
sandy soil contains much fine gravel ; it drains readily and is 
seldom muddy. 

The climate of southeastern Wyoming is characteristic of 
the great plains area in which it lies. The elevation is around 
6,000 feet and there is, naturally, considerable wind, but never 
of great destructive force. There is much clear weather with 
bright sunshine throughout the year. Summer days are seldom 
hot and the nights are cool and refreshing. Winter weather may 
be moderate both as to snowfall and low temperatures, or it 
may be extreme in both. There may be sudden weather and 
temperature changes at any season of the year and at any time 
of the day. This feature is not always agreeable, but on the 
whole, the climate in this part of Wyoming is healthful and in- 

Cheyenne, the close neighbor of Fort Francis E. Warren, is 
a thriving western town with a population of about twenty-five 
thousand. The country surrounding Cheyenne is range land, 
with here and there a dry land farm. The important and most 
profitable industry of the locality is, and has always been, live- 
stock raising. 

Cheyenne and the Fort Francis E. Warren Military Reser- 
vation have a highly strategic location in the United States, 
being approximately 755 miles from the Mexican Border and 
710 miles from the boundary line of Canada. They lie within 
a distance of 1,618 miles from New York and about 1,252 miles 
from the Pacific coast (Los Angeles). They are close to the east- 
ern base of the Rocky Mountains, not far from Sherman Pass, 
a great natural land bridge, that extends from the open prairie 
to the top of the range thirty miles away. This pass over the 


mountains is used by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Lincoln 

Fort Francis E. Warren is named in honor of Senator 
Francis Emroy Warren, who was, for many years United States 
Senator from Wyoming. President Herbert Hoover changed 
the name of the reservation by proclamation, January 1, 1930. 
Previous to that time, the reservation bore the name of Fort 
I). A. Russell, in honor of General David A. Russell, a Civil 
War hero who fell at the moment of victory at Opequan, Vir- 
ginia, September 19, 1864. In the early history of the reserva- 
tion, the name, Fort D. A. Russell will be used. 

Fort Warren proper is situated on the north side of Crow 
Creek. The permanent buildings are red brick. The grounds 
are well laid out and landscaped. There are barracks for a. 
garrison strength of 3,367 men, quarters for 225 officers, 71 sets 
of non-commissioned officers' quarters, and numerous service 

Until October, 1940, Fort Francis E. Warren had seen little 
change except that which comes with slow, steady growth and 
improvement. When the unlimited national emergency arose 
in 1940, making expansion of the Army imperative, changes on 
the reservation were profound and rapid. Plans for the build- 
ing of the Quartermaster Replacement Training Center were 
quickly put into action. . From December, 1940 to July, 1941, 
a military city, consisting of 282 temporary type frame build- 
ings, complete with all utilities and streets, was built on the 
south banks of Crow Creek opposite and about half a mile dis- 
tant from what is now referred to as "the old post". 

Further construction was authorized and the Quartermaster 
Replacement Training Center at the declaration of War Decem- 
ber 8, 1941, has 387 buildings, sufficient for a garrison strength 
of 20,000 men. 

Western Exploration and the Railroad Surveys 

The early history of Fort D. A. Russell, as the post will 
now be called, is full of interest, romance and adventure. Be- 
ginning with the Louisiana Purchase Treaty of 1803, the first 
western land acquisition of the United States, and following 
through the early explorations of this immediate part of the 
West, a logical and continuous historical background can be 
quickly and easily established. 

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty had not yet been signed 
when President Jefferson, in a confidential message to Con- 
gress, suggested that a small, select group of able men be sent 
to explore the Missouri river and to find the best route of com- 
munication with the Pacific Ocean. He suggested that twelve 
men from the military service would make a sufficiently large 


exploring party and that $2500 should cover all costs. The men 
taken from the service were to volunteer for the expedition and, 
as the thrifty President remarked, would have to be paid by the 
army anyway. He also suggested that the men could be rewarded 
upon their return by grants from the public lands. 

Captain Lewis and Lieut. Clark, 1st Infantry, were the 
able leaders chosen and their journey was certainly successful. 
They "ascertained, with accuracy, the geography of the coun- 
try, its commerce and its inhabitants". Whether or not Jeffer- 
son set the pattern for western exploration, for years afterwards 
small, select groups of able men from the military service ex- 
plored the western lands, "ascertained the geography and learnt 
the charaeted of the country. ' ' This branch of the service later 
became the Topographical Engineers. 

The idea of a route of communication with the Pacific Ocean 
was dominant in the minds of some of the eastern financiers, 
perhaps on account of the rich trade with the orient. At any 
rate, John Jacob Astor, with a purely commercial idea in mind, 
sent a party of explorers known to history as the Overland 
Astoriaus, to find a practical commercial route to the Pacific 
Ocean. The party crossed Wyoming on both the westward and 
the eastward journeys, 1811-12. 

In 1832, when the nation possessed about 120 miles of rail- 
road, a magazine called "The Emigrant" published an article 
suggesting that a transcontinental railroad be built. A little 
later (1845), Asa Whitney, a Boston merchant, presented a 
memorial to Congress explaining how a railroad to the Pacific 
Ocean could be built and what was equally important, how it 
could be financed by land grants to the builder. At this period 
it is important to note that a trade treaty with China had been 
made (1844). Oriental trade, however, languished for a time 
because the Chinese medium of exchange was gold and that the 
United States did not have, until after the California discoveries 
of 1849. 

Then in 1855, Commodore Peary opened trade negotiations 
with Japan. In the meantime Texas had joined the Union in 
1845 and the Mexican cession was completed by treaty, 1848. 
After our territorial claims were secure from ocean to ocean, 
the time had come for a great interior expansion and develop- 
ment, and this marked the beginning of the most fascinating 
period of our national history. 

In 1853, Congress passed a law providing for a ' ' Survey for 
a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific 
Ocean." 1 The War Department was in charge of the Survey. 

1. The Railroad Surveys were conducted on the authority of the 
Army appropriation act of March 31, 1853. The findings were published 
by the War Department, 1854-55. 


The Topographical Engineers did the work under the direction 
of Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War. Five routes west 
of the Mississippi River were surveyed between the interna- 
tional boundaries of Canada and Mexico. These routes were 
designated as (1) The Northern Route of the 47th and 49th 
parallels; (2) The Overland Route, the Mormon Trail or the 
Central Route of the 41st and 42nd parallels; (3) The Buffalo 
Trail on the 38th and 39th parallels; (4) the route on the 35th 
parallel, and (5) the route on the 32nd parallel, called the 
Southern Route. The findings of these Pacific Railroad Surveys 
were published in twelve large volumes, 1855-56. 

Following the Jeffersonian precedent of advancing geo- 
graphical knowledge they were complete in topography, geology, 
botany, ornithology, zoology, and anthropology. The narrative 
accounts, as written by the Engineers, are seldom read today, 
but in 1856 they presented the first accurate and comprehensive 
knowledge of the unknown West. One fact stood forth ; there 
were many practicable railroad routes to the Pacific Ocean. In 
Congress it was not a question of whether a Pacific Railroad 
should be built, but which one should be built first. 

The New England senators favored the northern route, the 
South wanted the southern route, and the Middle West wanted 
the central route. Localism and extreme sectional interests pre- 
vented any constructive legislation until the opposition of the 
Southern senators was removed by the secession. The central 
route was then chosen and the Railroad Act of 1862 was passed. 

The Railroad Act of July 1, 1862 2 was the charter of the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company. While this act was not a war 
measure, it is doubtful whether it could have been passed at 
any other time or by any other Congress. It provided for large 
subsidies in land to the Union Pacific, and in return the United 
States was to be guaranteed the use of the railroad for mail and 
for military transportation. The law prescribed the route which 
the railroad should follow. A single clause practically pre- 
determined the location of Cheyenne and Fort I). A. Russell 
five years before the actual sites could be selected and surveyed. 
This clause required the definite location of the "east base of 
the Rocky Mountains" on the line of the railroad survey by a 
presidential representative. From that particular point west- 
ward the railroad subsidy was to be trebled. Tn other words, 
the Union Pacific Railroad Company was to receive $48,000 
a mile in subsidy for mountain construction instead of $16,000 
;i mile as had been received for construction over the compara- 
tively level prairie. 

The eastern terminus of the Union Pacific was located by 
President Lincoln at Omaha. Construction began in December 

U. S. Stat. 12:493. 


1863 but no rapid progress was made until after the Civil War 
was over (April, 1865) and the nation could turn its attention to 
the frontier. 

General Grenville M. Dodge, who had proved his ability in 
the construction of communications during the Civil War, re- 
signed from the Army and became the Chief Engineer of the 
Union Pacific in May, 1866. The previous summer, General 
Dodge was on an Indian campaign in the Powder River country 
and it was while going from Fort Laramie southward on the 
Fort Laramie-New Mexico road that he discovered the famous 
Sherman Pass. 

Under General Dodge the railroad construction acquired 
a distinct military character, due to the previous Civil War 
experience of many of the men and to the necessity for protec- 
tion from the hostile Indians in the country through which the 
railroad was built. 

Late in 1866, the end-of-track reached Julesburg, Colorado 
Territory. The final survey of the line over the Black Hills, as 
the mountains to the west of Cheyenne were then called, had 
been completed by Mr. Evans and his party. The survey west 
from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming had been delayed because of Indian 
hostilities and "a revision of the location" of the line of survey 
from the Lodge Pole Creek valley over to the Crow Creek valley. 
Before the discovery of Sherman Pass the line of survey fol- 
lowed Lodge Pole Creek and crossed the Black Hills at Chey- 
enne Pass about ten miles north of the present route of the Union 

General Dodge left the end of track at Julesburg, June 28, 
1867, accompanied by Mr. Jacob Blikensderfer, Jr., the presi- 
dential representative who was to "fix" the east base of the 
Rocky Mountains. General J. A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff, 
U. S. A., was also in the party as well as high railroad officials. 
The line surveyed by Evans crossed Crow Creek and this point 
was called Crow Creek Crossing. Here General Dodge was 
jo:ned by Gen. C. C. Augur, Commander of the Department of 
the Platte. 3 

General Augur's instructions were to locate a military post 
where General Dodge located the end of a railroad division. 
Both locations depended on the point fixed by Mr. Blickens- 
derfer as the "east base of the Rocky Mountains". This point 
Mr. Blickensderfer fixed at 525.78 miles west from Omaha and 
6.637 miles west from Cheyenne. 

On July 4, 1867, General Dodge selected and named the 
site of Cheyenne, and General Augur selected the site of the 
military reservation that he was to locate where General Dodge 

3. U .S. Congressional Documents, serial 1346, H.R. Ex. Doc. 331, 
P. 1-3, 18, 45, 48. 


located the division of the railroad. After these sites were 
selected. General Rawlins delivered an impressive and patriotic- 
Fourth of July address, and then everybody celebrated. 

Later in July, Lieut. R. W. Petriken. Corps of Engineers, 
surveyed the military reservation, three miles long, two miles 
wide, length north and south magnetic meridian. The "town 
and claim" of Cheyenne, two miles square, was surveyed by 
the Union Pacific surveyors, also on the magnetic meridian. 
The declination was 15° 30' E. This perhaps explains the off 
compass directions of the streets of Cheyenne. The military 
reservation received its name. Fort D. A. Russell, formally on 
September 8, 1867. 4 

General Augur, while still at Crow Creek Crossing, directed 
Brevet Brigadier General John D. Stevenson, Colonel 30th In- 
fantry, to assume command of all the troops in that vicinity and 
of all the detachments engaged in escorting and protecting em- 
ployees of the Union Pacific Railroad. General Stevenson was 
also commanded to "assume and exercise such control of all 
inhabitants of the vicinity as was needful to preserve good order 
and protect property in the absence of all civil authority." In 
addition to those duties, General Stevenson and the 30th In- 
fantry laid out and built Fort Russell, proper, during the fall 
and early winter of 1867. 5 

In August, 1867 Colonel Elias B. Carling selected the site 
of the supply depot which he was to establish on the military 
reservation about a mile and a half down the creek from Fort 
Russell proper. It was about half way between Fort Russell 
and Cheyenne. This was a military "camp" and was usually 
garrisoned by a detached company of infantry. It was called 
Camp Carling in honor of Colonel Carling. From the beginning 
there was confusion in spelling the name, sometimes it was Carl- 
ing, sometimes Carlin — even in official records. The granite 
marker that now stands on the site of the old flag pole says 
"Camp Carlin." The official name of the supply depot was 
"Cheyenne Depot." 

Building the First Post 

Construction began at Fort Russell and Camp Carlin in 
September, 1867. As with other commonplace things of long 
ago true descriptions of these first buildings are difficult to find. 
Colonel Carling, Quartermaster at Cheyenne Depot, advertized 
for bids on building materials in the Rocky Mountain News, 
published in Denver, Colorado. According to the Secretary of 
War's Report, the contract for these materials was given to J. 

4. U. s. Congressional Documents, serial 1368, H.R. Ex. Doe. 1, 
I't. 12, Dept. of the Secretary of War. P. 1197. 

.">. War Dept., Surgeon General's Office, Circular 4, Dec. 5, 1870. 


Mason as follows : for green lumber, $80 per thousand feet ; for 
seasoned lumber, $90 per thousand feet ; for clear lumber, $100 
per thousand feet ; dressed, $10 additional ; for tongue and 
groove, $15 additional ; for shingles, $12 per thousand. There 
were no contracts for logs although the early Records of Medical 
History says, "Temporary log huts for the enlisted men were 
erected in September." 

The officers remained in tents. Permanent company quarters 
were erected in October and November, 1867. Officers quarters 
were completed and occupied in February, 1868. Drawings in 
the Records of Medical History show each officers quarters to 
have been a five room, story and a half frame house, built double. 
These houses were built of rough boards placed upright with 
the cracks battened. The inside was finished with planed boards 
and battens instead of plaster. The barracks were constructed 
in the same manner except that the walls were filled to the eaves 
with adobes. This method of building barracks can still be seen 
today at old Fort Laramie. A local newspaper article of the 
day said that a favorite method of building in Cheyenne was to 
fill the spaces between the studding with adobes and then plaster 
over the whole. Dr. Hayden in his geological report of 1868 
says that a fine quality of lime was found in the foot hills west 
of Cheyenne and was much used by the people as it made a fine 
white plaster. Later Quartermaster reports on repairs show 
the barracks as being lathed and plastered. Not one of these 
first buildings remain on the reservation today. Four cavalry 
stables were built in Crow Creek bottoms, of rough lumber, 

The original form of the post was diamond shaped, one axis 
800 feet ; the other. 1,040 feet. Fort Russell never had a stockade. 
An early description of the post says that it was surrounded by 
an adobe wall, four feet high. The post entrance faced east, 
the infantry and cavalry barracks were on the southeast line of 
the diamond, adobe laundresses quarters on the southwest line, 
the hospital and officers quarters were on the northwest and 
northeast lines. A row of quartermaster sheds was near the 
east entrance, outside the post. Laundresses quarters, forty-six 
of them, were south, southwest, and west of the post. A row 
of these quarters was also built across the creek. These build- 
ings were built, according to Records of Medical History, of pine 
slabs, stockaded, and were used by married, enlisted men as well 
as laundresses. 

There were service buildings, carpenter shops, blacksmith 
shops, a bake house with ovens for 600 rations, an amusement 
hall and a post trader's store. Each company had its own wash 
house back of the barracks. Cows and chickens could be kept 
by officers and these buildings were back of the quarters. 



Cheyenne Depot, Wyo., 1884 

Scale— One inch to 800 feet. 


At Camp Carlin, large warehouses were built along the 
railroad siding so that freight cars could be unloaded on the 
platforms. There were deep cellars for storage of vegetables 
and potatoes and other supplies that might be damaged by frost. 
There were large stables and corrals for mules and horses, and 
living quarters for the packers and wagon masters. As to the 
actual number of civilians employed at Camp Carlin, accounts 
vary. Some say as many as 800 men were employed there. In 
the Records of Medical History the number of civilian employees 
at Cheyenne Depot averaged 285. 

The road from Fort Russell to Cheyenne followed Crow 
Creek and passed through Camp Carlin, a convenient half-way 
stopping place on the way to and from the ' ' city. ' ' 

Early Patrols and Scouts 

During the Civil War Indian depredations increased 
throughout the West. Troops could not be spared, however, a 
few were required to garrison the frontier posts properly. West- 
ern travel on the Oregon Trail had been forced southward, fol- 
lowing the South Platte River and the Lodge Pole Creek valley 
over the Cheyenne Pass. In 1866, the route changed again and 
went from Julesburg south-west to Denver, then northward to 
Fort Sanders near Laramie, and then on west to Salt Lake City. 

When Fort Russell was established, the first duty of the 
troops was the railroad patrol. Every railroad surveying party 
and construction gang worked under protection of the troops. 
There were escort parties for travelers and emigrants, and scouts 
after stolen livestock. The distances of these scouts varied, 
some were only a few miles, others were two or three hundred 
miles away. 

In 1867, Major Frank North was in command of a battalion 
of Pawnee Scouts. They were stationed along the Union Pacific 
right-of-way from Plum Creek, Nebraska to the Laramie Plains. 
In 1871, they were stationed at Fort Russell. 6 The Pawnee 
Scouts, being hereditary enemies of the Sioux, were particularly 
valuable to the army at the time. The Union Pacific was com- 
pleted by the Gold Spike ceremony, May 10, 1869. The Indians 
did not bother the railroad after its completion but troops were 
stationed along the right-of-way from May to November for 
some years afterwards. 

There were no Indian Reservations near Fort Russell. The 
Indian title to the lands south of the North Platte River had 
been extinguished by a treaty with the Cheyennes in 1865. 7 
The Sioux treaty of 1868 set aside the lands north of the North 
Platte River and east of the summit of the Bio- Horns for the 

(i. U. S. Cong. Doc. serial 1324, p. 59. 
7. U. S. Stat: 14:703. 


Sioux hunting grounds. 8 Indian raids were conducted from 
this reserve on which no white man could legally enter. 

The last Indian scout from Fort Russell ended in October, 

Early Garrison Life 

The garrison life of the frontier troops depended upon the 
location of the post at which they were stationed. Fort C. F. 
Smith in the Big Horn Valley, Montana, was called "the place 
nearest to hell and yet not in it." Fort Russell was different. 
There were no hostile Indians close by and no isolation in the 
full meaning of that word. There were dangers and hardships, 
but none greater than those on any frontier. 12 

During the months when grass was good and the Indian 
ponies were strong, the troops were in the field on scouts and 
patrols. A common saying among the pioneers was, "Spring 
is here, and so are the Indians." Grass is five inches high meant 
only one thing : the Indians could leave their reservations to 
hunt and if they chose, steal, plunder and murder. 

While the troops were away the garrison strength was often 
very low, frequently under a hundred men. 

In the winter when the companies returned to the post the 
strength would increase to as many as six or seven hundred offi- 
cers and men. 

At western posts the labor of building and repairing was 
performed by the troops, for in many localities there was none 
other available. The men so employed received the extra pay 
for constant labor at the rate of 35c a day. After July, 1884. 
the pay for extra duty was increased to 50c a day. 

The everyday ways of living in pioneer times hold a deep 
human interest, and especially since those ways have so nearly 
disappeared. While there is something about the army that 
verges upon the eternal some of the old things have gone and 
perhaps may never return. 

In the matter of clothing it is certain that the troops will 
never again be issued buffalo overcoats made from tanned buffalo 
skins, nor will they again be issued seal skin helmets and gaunt- 
lets as they were during the 1870 *s. Buffalo shoes and buffalo 
moccasins were part of frontier equipment. Arctic overshoes, 
"snow excluders," were experimental clothing in 1876. Sheep- 
skin lined overcoats came later after the material for the buffalo 
overcoats became a scarcity. 

8. Ibid 16:635. 

12. New York Life Insurance Company advertised policies without 
extra premium for residence on the frontier. May 16, 1868. Cheyenne 




General Plan 

Scale: 320 feet to 1 inch. 

,4. 3.o 4,. 4jo j,o «o ?;. 89° 'to »° gg n" 

fc . \ |^%.»&r. JS'30'£. 

Pott Trader's House 

Roaol to Che venne £ Q . M T> Tf t 

Commissary Store/ions 

w*' 11 "'''**'*^!!/^^ 







Socks were "stockings" then, and worsted ones were 41c 
a pair. Gloves were issued three to a pair — two rights and one 
left. The infantry uniform was dark hlue jersey — the cavalry 
wore dark blue blouses, sky-blue trousers. For some reason 
the "dragoons" did not care for the sky-blue overcoats, even 
at a far off frontier army post, and would not draw them with 
their clothing issue. The coats had to be returned to the Phila- 
delphia depot. 

Army shoes were frequent experimental clothing- for both 
officers and men. In those days of long marches, shoes were 
important equipment. Even practice marches were long, some- 
times five to six hundred miles. Shoes, it seemed, had to have 
stitched soles — otherwise the pegs, nails or screws would work 
loose and cause trouble. Corns were a common affliction in those 
days. Cavalry boots were huge, knee length, and very heavy. 

As to barracks furniture : chairs were made by prison labor 
at Leavenworth; bunks were "iron" and in the early 1880 's 
for the first time, woven wire bunk bottoms were used with 
mattresses instead of bed sacks filled with straw. Whether bar- 
racks pillows were feather is not stated, but the hospital pillows 
were stuffed with horsehair, as shown on a bill for cleaning and 
repairing them — 25c each. 

The foot lockers were made according to the specifications 
stated in the Army law of 1866, not much different in size from 
those of today. 13 

The barracks were heated by stoves, with wood for fuel. 
during the first years ; and later as Wyoming coal fields were de- 
veloped, coal, especially Rock Springs coal, was used. One time 
the garrison supply of coal was very low, but the contractor 
could not furnish more until the Chinese miners at Rock Springs 
finished their New Year's celebration, and went back to work. 
In the bitter cold of 1883, the post overdrew its coal allowance, 
and the Quartermaster was held responsible for the shortage. 
After considerable trouble involving weather reports and aver- 
age temperatures (coal was allowed on a low temperature basis) 
the allowance was increased one-third. 

The Quartermaster's requisitions for stoves and stove re- 
pairs were very large. The stoves were cast iron and in those 
days there were no standard parts. The quality and durability 
of today could not be bought then. It did not exist. 

For lighting there were candles, and the candle lantern, 
candles being a component part of the ration. Sperm oil and 
mineral oil were used in small brass lamps, which held about 
a half pint. The mineral oil issue was measured in ounces, not 
hard tf> understand when the price ranged from $2.50 down to 

13. Wyoming state Museum lias a foot locker belonging at one 
time to Col. E. B. Carling. 


a dollar a gallon. Sperm oil was furnished when it was cheaper 
than kerosene, as late as 1876. As time passed, mineral oil 
(the Army always called it mineral oil) became cheaper and 
the post had "exterior illumination," twenty street lamps, and 
after 1890 there were thirty. These lamps were cared for and 
lit by the prisoners. 

The Quartermaster's requisition for illuminating' supplies 
always asked for many "lamp chimneys," seven or eight hun- 
dred for the lamps in twenty-nine rooms. The old barracks 
were cold and draughty and the lamp chimneys were none too 
durable. When the lights were put out, they could be heard 
cracking for an hour afterward. The Quartermaster always 
added a note of apology for such large requisitions. "It's a 
very windy country, " so he said. 

There was another recurring item asked for in the Quarter- 
master 's stores for expenditure ; two hundred feet of walnut for 
coffins for those who died on the reservation and were buried in 
the post cemetery. 

Then, as today, there was experimentation with various 
kinds of army equipment — arms, intrenching tools, and field 
equipment, i During the 1890 's a bicycle brigade was seriously 
considered, and earlier, a cannon that could be fired from the 
back of a mule — the mule didn't like it and the bicycle troops 
never materialized. There was a combination bayonet and in- 
trenching tool that wasn 't exactly satisfactory either. From the 
report it seems that the commanding officer marched the troops 
out to the hardest gumbo that he could find (no mention is made 
of deliberate purpose) and timed the 'men in the trial. Twenty 
minutes were required to scoop out a sufficient shelter, not to 
mention earth protection from gun fire, so the bayonet-intrench- 
ing tool never became a part of equipment. 

The general reorganization law of the army after the Civil 
War provided for schools for enlisted men and post children 
at frontier army posts. School at Fort Russell was held in a 
room set aside in whatever building had unused space. At one 
time or another the school room was in unoccupied quarters in 
the old post hospital and in a partitioned off space at one end 
of the amusement hall. A school house was never built, al- 
though at one time the Post Quartermaster was notified by the 
Omaha depot that lumber for that purpose had been shipped to 
Fort Russell. The instruction was under the supervision of an 
officer. The teachers were enlisted men who received extra duty 
pay. The subjects taught were those of the common branches of 
English education, but after the Spanish American War, Span- 
ish was a "recommended" subject. All books, supplies, and 
school equipment were furnished by the government. Attend- 
ance varied with the garrison strength, and, as with many other 


things in the army, the interest of the Post Commander was a 
great factor for success. 

The company laundress was an army institution that passed 
away upon the introduction of steam laundries and Chinese 
lanndrymen. According to an old army law, each company 
was allowed one laundress to each nineteen men. or fraction 
thereof. These women were usually wives of enlisted men and 
drew rations on the same hasis as the men. The company wash 
house was back of the barracks and here the laundresses washed 
the company clothes. These women lived with their families in 
the little frame and adobe houses just outside the post proper, 
south and west of the post across the creek. A row of these 
cottages was still standing at the time of the flood in 1904. The 
first steam laundry with its accompanying Chinese was installed 
by 1893, for a complaint about the sanitary condition of the 
Chinese lanndrymen 's quarters was made a matter of medical 
record by the post surgeon. 

Food is always an interesting subject and army rations 
especially so at this particular time. In 1802 Congress provided 
an army ration of meat and bread, and one gill of rum, whiskey 
or brandy daily, and to every one hundred rations; two quarts 
of salt, four quarts of vinegar, four pounds of soap, and a pound 
and a half of candles. Quantities as to bread and meat varied 
from time to time and the spirit ration was later replaced by 
sugar and coffee. As foodstuffs increased in variety and the 
food habits of the nation changed, army rations changed, too. 
When the process of preserving perishable foods by canning was 
perfected, army rations were greatly improved and the variety 
increased. On the frontier, game was added to the ration, 
and troops were issued ammunition for hunting purposes. Fron- 
tier posts were required to plant gardens, and the men, it seems, 
had to share in the cultivation of them. At Fort Russell, the 
drawback to success was the lack of sufficient irrigation water. 
After the Spanish American War no record of gardens is shown 
on any report. Fort Russell troops never sutfered for adequate 
rations while at the post and the greatest privation ever reported 
was on General Crook's Big Horn Expedition in 1876, when a 
nine day march was made on two days rations and horsemeat. 

The post exchange replaced the post trader and was a great 
improvement in all ways. Fort Russell's Exchange has been, 
through the years, well managed and profitable. The first ex- 
change was established about 1890. 

The post had a library from the very beginning, and cer- 
tain magazines and newspapers were supplied by the govern- 
ment. In this matter the Post Commander also exerted 
considerable influence. 

Winter was the happiest time at Fort Russell in the early 
days. The Indians went back to their reservations and the 


troops came in from the field for the winter's rest. The town 
was friendly and there was the exchange of hospitality and good 
will that comes from isolation and a certain dependence for 
safety. At the nation's "notables" visited the West, Cheyenne 
and the Fort entertained all who came their way. 

For amusements of their own there were dancing' clubs and 
dramatic clubs ; for sports there were the usual athletic contests, 
hook and ladder contests, horse racing and the fads of the day. 

It was not until the 1890 's that organized recreation was 
recognized as a valuable asset to the army as a morale builder 
and not until after the reorganization following the Spanish 
American War was it made an integral part of army training. 

The Indian Campaigns 

The subjugation of the Indian by the white settlers of the 
United States covered roughly a period of three hundred years, 
assuming that the conquest began with the arrival of the first 
colonists at Jamestown and ended with the last sporadic up- 
risings of the western tribes during the 1890 's. 

In 1785, while the influence of William Penn was yet 
strong, Congress passed a law recognizing the right of the Indian 
to the lands over which he roamed and claimed as his own. The 
law further provided that the right and title to that land could 
be obtained by the United States only through purchase and by 
treaty agreements. The Indian tribes were "domestic de- 
pendent nations" but nevertheless the United States executed 
treaties with them on the same basis as with foreign powers, 
as late as 1872. At this time Congress reduced the Indian 
Treaty to the status of a simple ' ' agreement. ' ' 

Out of the many Indian treaties, two of them were of par- 
ticular importance to Fort Russell. By the Treaty of 1865 the 
United States obtained from the Cheyennes and Arapahoes the 
title to the lands to be crossed by the Union Pacific Railroad, 
and thus removed those hostile Indians from the immediate 
vicinity of the Post. The second treaty was that made by the 
peace commissioners at Fort Laramie in 1868. This treaty set 
aside the lands north of the North Platte River and east of the 
summit of the Big Horns as a hunting reserve for the Sioux. 
This joined their permanent reservation in Dakota on its western 
boundary. As a model of appeasement this treaty was unsur- 
passed. The military posts. Fort Reno, Fort Phil Kearney, and 
Fort C. F. Smith, the farthest outpost in Montana, were 
abandoned. And it was further provided that no white person 
could legally enter that reserve. These provisions made the 
territory the soul and center of the Indian hostilities that finally 
culminated in the Sioux War of 1876. 


The Indians could and did use the southern part of that 
rough country as a base from which to conduct their raids on 
the white settlers, and to steal their livestock. From the time 
of the territorial organization of Wyoming until the abrogation 
of the Treaty in 1877, in the thinly settled strip of country 
lying between the Union Pacific Railroad and the North Platte 
River, the Indians stole six hundred thousand dollars worth of 
livestock and killed seventy-three settlers. Wyoming's total 
population at the time did not number ten thousand whites. 

It was into this strip of country that the troops from Fort 
Russell on the railroad, and from Fort Fetterman and Fort 
Laramie on the North Platte, went on their scouts for the pro- 
tection of the settlers and the recovery of stolen stock. Very 
little stock was recovered, chiefly because the whites could not 
cross the North Platte River in pursuit of the well mounted and 
well armed marauders. 

The troops from Fort Russell were also sent on scouts into 
Colorado and western Kansas. This country was indeed buffalo 
land — and where there were buffalo, there were Indians. There 
were no engagements of particular importance on the part of 
Fort Russell troops in that locality, although scouts were fre- 
quent in that direction. 

The Sioux War began early in 1876. Sitting Bull and 
Crazy Horse, with small bands of anti-reservation Sioux, re- 
fused to come into their home reservation upon the order of the 
Secretary of Interior. xVs the dead line date of January 31 was 
ignored by the red men, the War Department took over the 
situation, February 7. General George Crook, Commander of 
the Department of the Platte, gathered all available cavalry at 
Fort Fetterman. Under the command of Col. J. J. Reynolds 
an attack was made on the renegade Indians in March. A 
great number of the Indian ponies were captured, but the 
weather suddenly became extremely cold and the Indians re- 
captured their horses. Thus the troops lost a decided advantage. 
They were forced to withdraw to neighboring posts and await 
warm weather. The Indians mobilized and recruited from sur- 
rounding restless tribes. The villages of Sitting Bull and Crazy 
Horse numbered about a hundred tepees at the opening of hos- 
tilities. The village that Custer sought to attack in June con- 
tained about 2,000 lodges, swarming with warriors. 

There were a number of commands in the field and the 
general idea was to fight the Indians where the troops met them 
— in a battle field that covered 90,000 square miles. The troops 
from Fort Russell joined Crook's command at Fort Fetterman 
late in May and moved northward through the sinister Powder 
River country. There was a battle with the hostiles on the Rose- 
bud, June 17. Nine men were killed, twentv-three were wounded. 


General Crook established his cantonment at Camp Cloud 
Peak on Goose Creek, northern Wyoming. On the evening of 
June 25, Col. Anson Mills reported a heavy pall of smoke in the 
northwest, but not until June 30 was word received that General 
Custer and his entire command had been wiped out. 

General Crook received reinforcements and recruits at Camp 
Cloud Peak and then began his epic march in pursuit of the 
fleeing Indians through the rough, wild country, between the 
Big Horns and the Black Hills. Crook took no wagons on this 
march. Rations became low and before the little town of Custer, 
Dakota, was reached the troops were eating their horses. Lieu- 
tenant Joseph Lawson, Irish and a Kentuckian, said — "Eat my 
horse ! I 'd feel like a cannibal ! ' ' Cannibals or not, horses were 
eaten, and mules and captured Indian ponies, too. 

The Fort Russell troops returned to their station November 
2. The Records of Medical History says — "The hospital funds 
are low, due to extra rations for the emancipated men returned 
from the 'Big Horn Expedition V 

On March 2, 1877, Congress abrogated the Treaty of 1868 
and the great Sioux Reservation existed no more. ' ' Glory to 
God" — so said the Cheyenne Leader of March 3, 1877. 

Immediately, new military posts were built in the country 
retrieved from the Indians. The summer of 1877 saw troops 
well armed and equipped, sufficient in number and under central 
command, ready to cope with any situation that might arise. 

In late September, 1879, Nathan Meeker was brutally mur- 
dered by the Utes at the White River Agency in western Colo- 
rado. Nathan Meeker was the founder of Union Colony, now 
Greeley, Colorado. While unrest among the Utes was reported 
and troops were asked for by those who understood the situation, 
no steps were taken for protection — until too late. 

On August 6, 1879, the Military Notes in the Cheyenne 
Leader said, "The Fifth Cavalry is enjoying the first summer 
leisure it has had in many years. Over fifty percent of the 
troops at Fort D. A. Russell have never been on a scout." Then 
on September 18 : " The Fifth Cavalry is to report at once to 
the Commanding Officer at Fort Fred Steele." Thus began 
the campaign against the Utes in 1879. Accounts of the up- 
rising have been given from more than one point of view, and 
one outstanding fact is evident. The strength, maliciousness, 
and treachery of the Indians were under-estimated by Nathan 
Meeker who was so brutally whipped to death at the White 
River Agency, simply because he advanced the theory that work 
didn 't hurt anybody, either white or red ; by the governor of 
Colorado who did not ask for a sufficient number of troops — 
in time ; by Major Thornburg, who started on his march to the 
White River Agency, September 25, from Rawlins with only 
three companies of cavalry and one of infantry in his com- 


maud ; and by the outside commentator who said, "In all prob- 
ability they (Thornburg's command) will march to the Agency 
and never see an Indian." 

From Bear Creek, Colorado, Major Thornburg sent his last 
telegram. "Have met some of the Ute Chiefs. They seem 
friendly and promise to go with me to the Agency. Do not 
anticipate trouble." This on October 2: "Major Thornburg's 
party was ambushed within 15 miles of the White River Agency. 
September 29th. He was killed and Grafton Sowery, a scout." 
Captain Payne, Fifth Cavalry, took command and sent for re- 
inforcements. The wounded — Captain Lawson, Surgeon Grimes, 
Lieutenants Paddock and Wolf, and 35 men. One hundred and 
fifty horses and mules were killed. 

General Wesley Merritt, Commanding Officer at Fort Rus- 
sell, left Cheyenne immediately for Rawlins with three hundred 
'men and six hundred horses to relieve Captain Payne and re- 
mount the cavalry that had lost its horses. General Merritt 
reached Payne's command after a severe fight with the Indians, 
killing 37, with no loss to his command. On October 18th, two 
cars filled with the wounded from the Milk River fight were 
run into Camp Carlin and transferred to the post hospital. A 
long trip for the wounded — over three hundred and fifty miles. 

During the 1880 's Fort Russell enjoyed comparative peace. 
The post was rebuilt in 1885. The Quartermaster's record read 
rather monotonously — "No expenses incurred by Indian up- 

In 1890, a strange thing happened — a delusion called the 
Messiah Craze broke out among the western tribes, and a cere- 
mony called ghost dancing became prevalent almost everywhere 
among the Indians. 

At this time the Indians had a just grievance, for the Con- 
gressional policy of "work or starve" w T as in full swing, and 
the Indians were starving at Pine Ridge, not because of not 
working, but because of the "irregularities" of the Indian agent. 

On November 18, 1890, General Mizner, commanding Fort 
Russell, received orders to have seven companies of the 17th 
Infantry in readiness to move against the Sioux at the Pine 
Ridge Agency. On December 17, the troops left by special 
train for Rushville, Nebraska, with full equipage for a winter 

In the meantime. Sitting Bull, the anti-rcservationist of 
1876, and still a leader, was killed while resisting arrest, by 
Indian police, December 15, 1890. 

There was no further serious trouble with the Sioux at the 
Pine Ridge Reservation after rations were issued and the starv- 
ing Indians fed. The troops returned to the post early in Jan- 
uary. Later remarks leave the impression that the garrison was 


not too well equipped for a winter campaign in the field, par- 
ticularly in transportation equipment. 

The last Indian scout from Fort Russell left the post on 
July 23, 1895, and returned on October 13 the same year. There 
were no engagements with the Indians, and, in fact, no trouble 
except such as was caused by an undue amount of newspaper 
publicity. The Bannock Indians at the Fort Hall Reservation 
in Idaho were accustomed to making frequent visits to their 
friends, the Shoshones, on the Wind River Reservation in Wyo- 
ming. The Indians, in crossing the game country that lay be- 
tween the reservations, were inclined to help themselves to 
more than their share — if they were supposed to have any share. 
(A U. S. Supreme Court decree said later that they did not.) 
At any rate, the newspaper build-up was such that it appeared 
as if every inhabitant in Jackson Hole was in imminent danger 
of being scalped ; so the troops were ordered into the field. The 
guard reports and the morning reports of this scout are among 
the old records at Fort Russell. There is no harrowing account 
of battle or bloodshed. The sentry wrote his report with his 
"one lead pencil/' the only guard property for which he signed. 
These reports may not be exactly classic, but they tell with an 
unmistakable finality the end of a conquest. 

The sentry made a record of all who passed by. It read 
from day to day like this: "An old man and a little boy in a 
wagon clrawn by a horse and a mule — after wood." "A man 
on horseback to Jackson Hole on business." "A wagon, two 
women and five children to visit the camp." "A Mr. Stevens 
on horseback, and Miss Stevens, his daughter. ' ' And only once, 
' ' A Bannock, going to Jackson to recover his property. ' ' 

The West now belonged to the man on horseback, the women 
and children, to Mr. Stevens and his daughter. 

The New Post 

The permanent and substantial growth of the West began 
after the subjugation of the Indians and the recognition of the 
value of western irrigated lands and western cattle ranges, as 
well as the mineral resources of the country. 

After the Indians were fairly well confined to their reserva- 
tions, new military posts were established nearby to provide a 
certain amount of necessary protection for the settlers in the 
surrounding country. After the new reservations were estab- 
lished, some of the old Wyoming posts could be abandoned, par- 
ticularly Fort Sanders near Laramie and F'ort Fetterman near 
Douglas. This was done in 1882. Fort Russell, having a 
strategic value because of its location on the railroad, was made 
a permanent post by the War Department. The last cavalry was 
withdrawn from Fort Russell, June 26, 1883, and when the post 



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was rebuilt in 1885, it was as an Infantry Post for only eight 

Upon rebuilding, the form of the old post was changed. 
The entrance was moved eastward several hundred feet to pro- 
vide a suitable place for the new brick barracks and new officers' 
quarters. A row of non-commissioned officers quarters was also 
built to the south of the barracks. 

There are today two large cottonwood trees still standing 
that mark the entrance to the "New Post" of 1885. These trees 
are in line with the eastern end of the row of one ston^ barracks 
and the non-commissioned officers' quarters built at the same 
time. The Quartermaster's Record shows that $400 was ex- 
pended by the War Department for trees for Fort Russell, and 
also that fifty bushels of grass seed were received from Omaha 
with hope that it would be successful. Twenty-seven buildings 
were constructed in 1885, and those still standing are in use 
today. The old hospital was built later, 1887, and an adminis- 
tration building in 1894. There was an amusement hall that 
was the center of social life for the troops. The amusement 
hall was also the chapel and the school. The wash houses, located 
back of the barracks, were later barber and tailor shops. The 
railroad station was located at the west end of the Post. The 
station called "Russell" had not yet been built. Stables and 
carriage houses were back of the officers' quarters. The post 
exchange was not far from the stone building now numbered 
253. Merchandise was sold in one building ; in another was the 
restaurant and bar. 

The water system is shown on the same tracing with the fire 
plugs at regular intervals. There was no sewer system until 

Letters Sent— 1882-86 

Page 287-288 

Quartermaster General 

U. 8. Army 

Washington, D. C. 

Thru: Regular Channels Fort D. A. Russell, Wyo. 

April 19th, 1886 

Sir : 

In compliance with G. 0. No. 113, A. G. 0. 1882, I have the 
honor to report that since last Annual Report the form of the 
post has been completely changed. A number of new buildings 
have been erected and the old buildings overhauled and repaired 
which work was placed under the superintendence and direc- 
tion of Captain James H. Lord, 0. Q. M. who it is presumed has 
rendered full report as to character and capacity of buildings, 
but to render this subject complete, the following summary is 
respectfully submitted : 



One double brick house for Commanding: Officers' quarters, 
capacity 10 rooms and cellar under back extension, two-story 
shingle roof. Six quarters for Captains, brick, capacity nine 
rooms including attic rooms with cellar under back extension 
one-story shingle roof. The old double frame quarters have not 
been changed in form but were partially repaired in the way 
of new floors, painting- in and outside, and paper on walls. All 
of the old buildings, . sheds, etc. were torn down and new ones 
erected in their stead, a very great improvement giving the 
buildings a uniform appearance throughout and helping greatly 
sanitary conditions. Owing to the great amount of work which 
was required to be done to comply with the requirements of 
the War Department to make the post complete in the way of 
buildings, etc., some repairs had to be necessarily postponed for 
another year. The necessary estimates for the same accompany 
this report. 

Men's Barracks 

Six new brick barracks have been constructed with exten- 
sion of frame, being the old barracks added to or moved to 
meet the new form of the post. The capacity of barracks or 
main building 30 x 105 divided as follows : dormitory 93 x 30, 
orderly room and storeroom back of same 12 x 30. The back 
of the extension is 80 x 30 divided as follows : day room, two 
store rooms or shops, dining room, kitchen, cook's room, wash 
and bath rooms. 

The main or new buildings need but few repairs such as 
whiting the walls and compartments of shelves for convenience 
of the men for uniforms, etc. The flooring in the extensions 
need to be renewed, also a few of the locks and sash, estimates 
for which are herewith transmitted. Two of the eight com- 
panies occupy the old barracks, improved, but for comfort and 
convenience they do not compare with the new ones, besides 
they are off the parade proper being in the rear of the bar- 
racks taking the new order of things into consideration. 

When regular barracks are built they might be turned 
into storehouses with advantage as additional storage room 
is very much needed at the post. These buildings need gen- 
eral repairs in the way of new floors, sash, locks, etc., estimates 
for which accompany this report. The Band occupies its old 
quarters — new quarters should be built as soon as possible — 
this no doubt will be done should the appending appropriation 
become law. 


Miscellaneous Buildings 

Six small one-story brick buildings have been erected for 
non-commissioned staff officers — they are small and comfort- 
able for man and wife, but when there are a number of chil- 
dren in the family they are too small and decidedly uncom- 
fortable and unhealthy, but this defect in case of a large fam- 
ily can be remedied by a small extension, one which is pro- 
vided for in my estimate for the commissary sergeant who has 
four children. The capacity of these buildings is three rooms, 
shingle roof. One oil house, brick, capacity 18' x 30', shingle 
roof. One frame shop for all purposes of the Quartermaster 
Department, dimensions 25' x 80.' One frame ice house, capac- 
ity 1,000 tons, dimensions 30' x 80' x 16.' One brick bake house, 
capacity 20' x 55,' capacity of oven (rations) 500 men. One 
brick magazine, shingle roof. One brick engine house, shingle 
roof, capacity 20' x 25.' 

Since last report a water system has been introduced and 
so far has given entire satisfaction with the exception of a 
few minor defects which are provided in estimates accom- 
panying this report. The system consists of four-inch cast 
iron main which encircles the post, except the east side or 
entrance to the post. There are fire plugs at regular intervals 
and the water is conducted to men's barracks and officers' 
quarters by inch pipe. There is direct pressure from the en- 
gine house and pressure by gravitation from a large tank ele- 
vated sixteen feet above the parade ground, capacity 20,000 

In connection with my personal report of last year, I 
deemed it proper to mention to the Quartermaster General 
the subject of steam laundries at posts where steam power is 
available. A laundry of this character is in my opinion very 
desirable especially now since the great improvement in the 
men's buildings, etc. Washerwomen are few at the post and 
the ones now remaining are not always reliable. I think there 
would be no serious trouble in its management as the work 
done would meet all current expenses. Rules based upon the 
management of laundries in cities might be devised, the sim- 
pler they are the better. In order to bring this matter more 
directly to the attention of the Quartermaster General, plans, 
and detailed estimates for a laundry to be constructed at this 
post are herewith transmitted. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant 

1st Lieut. B.Q.M. 9th Inf. 



The last decade of an eventful hundred years in our 
national history seems to mark the end of an era, perhaps 
because it marks the end of our isolation and the beginning 
of our off-continent wars. Wealth had increased enormously 
and our population was beginning to stabilize itself as Ameri- 
can. The West was no longer an unknown quantity, and aside 
from the Indian Wars, 1898 marked the end of thirty-three 
years of peace. From 1874 until the Spanish- American War 
the strength of the army had been frozen at 25,000 officers and 
men, a ratio in the 1890's of one soldier to 3,000 civilian 

It is needless to say that the United States Army reached 
its lowest ebb during this time and that this neglect of the 
fighting forces was causing deep concern among thoughtful 
army leaders. 

Appropriations from Congress for the army were meagre 
and hard to obtain. Military posts fell into disrepair, and 
in the case of Fort Russell, almost dilapidation. The morale 
of the army was low and desertions were very common. The 
type of recruit was not always the best either. Colonel Poland 
reports, "There have been twenty-five desertions since August 
1, 1893, fifteen less than the preceding twelve months. As 
there has been no material change in customs of service, duties 
at the post, or general treatment of the men, it is to be inferred 
that the regiment has been supplied with fifteen better men 
than mustered in last year." He comments further — "Winter 
recruits as a rule are unreliable, as only temporary shelter and 
subsistence is sought." Boards of Survey reported upon deser- 
tions and made no particular deduction, except the very general 
one — "instability of human nature." 

The new barracks erected in 1885 were not large enough 
to accommodate a full company with the minimum allowance 
of 800 cubic feet of space per man. The old guard house was 
a source of aggravation, too, being small and hard to main- 
taui in a sanitary condition. The water system of 1890 and 
the sewer system of about the same date were, however, very 
important improvements. 

Camp Carlin was dismantled in 1890, and some of the 
buildings were sold to Cheyenne residents. Some of them 
were moved up to the post and according to the newspaper 
"the thirty handsome cotton woods which formerly stood at 
Camp Carlin have been taken up and replanted at the Fort. 
The trees were very large, being over 15 years old." One 
cottonwood remains at Camp Carlin to this day, not far from 
the granite marker. There is only one stone building on the 
reservation and it was built with the old foundation stones 
from Camp Carlin. It can be said, without dispute, that 


building number 253 contains one remnant of the original con- 
struction material used on the reservation in 1867. 

The mule has done its part of faithful service in the army 
and now, no less than the cavalry and artillery horse, is pass- 
ing into legend. At Fort Russell during the 1890 's, there was 
a mule pack train that Avas the pride of the 17th Infantry — 
"the only thoroughly trained pack train in the army and the 
best in the world." In this train was General Crook's mule 
' ' Apache. ' ' When she was condemned. Captain Roach wrote 
a very eloquent appeal asking that she, as the riding mule 
of a distinguished officer, might live out her days in the train 
she served so faithfully. The request was granted. 

It was from this pack train that the first of Fort Russell's 
"cadres" were sent out to "achate" other trains at other 

Three times between 1890 and 1895 troops left Fort 
Russell for service in the field. First, to the Pine Ridge 
Agency against the Sioux in 1890; again in western Wyoming 
along the Union Pacific against a part of Coxey's army, in 
1891; and the last Indian scout in the Teton Pass country in 
the late summer and fall of 1895. 

The Indian campaigns come under another topic so the 
Coxey Army Affair will be described here as it has a certain 
historical significance. 

Colonel John S. Poland reports under the topic, Troop 
Movements : 

Commonweal Army. May and June, 1894. 

On the 13th of May, 1894, a telegram was received advis- 
ing that the troops be held for quick action to proceed west 
and assist in preventing interference with the property of 
Union Pacific Railway by Coxeyites, Commonwealers, tramps, 
et al. On the 15th, the Second Battalion, 17th Infantry, B, C, 
E, and F companies under command of Colonel J. S. Poland 
left the post at about 3:30 p. m., Cheyenne at 4:00 p. m. for 
Green River, arriving there at 5 :00 a. m., May 16. U. S. Mar- 
shal Rankin, Wyoming, requested troops to hold as prisoners 
147 Commonwealers charged with seizing a train on the Oregon 
Short Line, Idaho Division of the U. P. R. R. at Montepelier, 
despite the officials of the road and U. S. Deputy Marshal (sic) 
and hauling the same to Green River. 

On the 18th, these 147 prisoners were examined by the 
U. S. Circuit Judge Renit, and adjudged guilty of an offense 
committed in Idaho, and ordered their return to Boise. Major 
Bisbee, 17th Infantry, with Captain Lovering, 4th Infantry, 
left Green River at 4:00 p. m. for Pocatello, Idaho, as guard, 
with orders to escort these prisoners to Boise, Idaho. At 
Pocatello, Captain J. M. Burns, Company "E" 17th Infantry, 


was left to protect railroad trains and property, and the re- 
mainder of company "C", 4th Infantry was picked up and 
proceeded with Major Bisbee's command to Boise, delivering 
the said prisoners into the jurisdiction of Judge Beatty. U. S. 
Circuit Court for the District of Idaho. On the 21st, Major 
Bisbee with Company "F" returned to Pocatello and took 
station until relieved, June 15th, to return to post, June 14, 
7 :00 p. m# 

The two companies retained at Green River, "B" and 
"C", 17th Infantry remained at that station, Captain C. S. 
Roberts, 17th Infantry, commanding, until June 9 when they 
returned to the post the same day. The colonel of the regi- 
ment rejoined his station May 28, 1894. This movement of the 
troops of the 17th Infantry entirely broke up the march of 
the so-called Commonwealers eastward, over the lines of the 
Union Pacific Railway from Ogden and Pocatello. 

One little thing was overlooked by Colonel Poland. Idaho 
was a part of the Department of California and he had no 
jurisdiction there. This was later the subject of considerable 
correspondence between the departments. However, the Com- 
monwealers were "stopped" and Colonel Poland added one 
more pertinent remark. "A great moral force," so he said, 
"is a bayonet on a gun and a web-belt full of cartridges." 

The following extract from Colonel Poland's request for 
change of station for his regiment is eloquent in its simplicity 
and truth. He was perhaps unaware at the time that he had 
lived and helped to shape the destiny of the West in its rich- 
est and most colorful era, when it was, as he said "beyond 
the ragged edge — ". 

The 17th Infantry has made an excellent record, shown 
by recent inspections, as soldiers, conforming' to regulations 
and orders with intelligence, cheerfulness, and persistency. 
No serious public events have occurred to mar its reputation 
as a peaceable, law-abiding, well-behaved organization, and 
worthy, for its extraordinarily long service at remote posts 
on the frontier since 1866, of a change to some eastern post 
which will afford every advantage of education and associa- 
tion with cultivated, intelligent society of that civilized 

How such a privilege would be enjoyed after twenty-seven 
years of rough and tumble life beyond the ragged edge of 
civilization, even can better be imagined than described. 

"In conclusion, I respectfully recommend feeling that ray 
regiment has an almost incontrovertible claim to the considera- 
tion recommended, that the 17th Infantry be permitted to 
succeed the troops now occupying Fort McPherson or Fort 


Thomas, when their removal is decided upon — I have the honor 
to he 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Note : 

(After the Spanish-American War, the system of keeping 
army records changed and the fine examples of military lit- 
erature found in the narrative reports of the army officers 
were to be forever lost — in impersonal printed forms). 

The Spanish-American War began abruptly with the tor- 
pedoing of the battleship, Maine, in the harbor of Havana, 
Cuba, February 15, 1898. President McKinley lost little 
time in calling for a volunteer army and for a formal declara- 
tion of war by Congress. The Eighth Infantry, then stationed 
at Fort Russell, left for field service in Cuba, April 21, 1898, 
two days before the war was declared. A small detachment of 
the infantry troops was left at the post to care for company 
property. The Wyoming National Guard was mustered into 
the service on May 16 at Fort Russell as the First Wyoming 
Infantry, U. S., Major Frank M. Foote, commanding. This 
battalion moved to San Francisco and from there to Camp 
Dewey, Manila, arriving July 31. The troops disembarked 
August 6 and the city was entered and occupied August 13, 
1898. The First Wyoming Battalion was the first organiza- 
tion of the First Brigade to reach the wall of Manila, At 4:15 
p. m. of that historic afternoon, Major Foote received orders 
from General Anderson to occupy the Luneta Barracks. At 
4:45 p. m. the battalion flag was hoisted — the first American 
flag raised in Manila. This flag now rests in the Historical 
Museum of Wyoming. These troops later took part in the 
Filipino Insurrection and did not return to the United States 
until September, 1899. 

General Wesley Merritt, who commanded at Fort Russell 
during the years of the Indian campaigns, was in command 
of the forces at Manila. 

Colonel Torrey's Rough Riders were also mobilized at 
Fort Russell. They were mustered in as the Second United 
States Volunteer Cavalry. The regiment left Fort Russell 
for Camp Cuba Libre, Jacksonville, Florida, on June 22. The 
regiment saw no action and was mustered out, October 22, 1898. 

On September 29, 1898, four companies of the 24th In- 
fantry took station at Fort Russell. The 24th had just re- 
turned to the States from Siboney, Cuba, where the regiment 
had rendered heroic service at the time of the yellow fever 
epidemic during the months, July to September, 1898. 


Fort Russell, 1900-1920 

A fter war — reorganization. 

The war with Spain lasted about one hundred days, long 
enough, however, for the United States to acquire foreign 
possessions and to assume responsibility for them. The Re- 
organization Act of February 2, 1901, fixed the maximum 
enlisted strength of the army at 100,000 men, including the 
Philippine Scouts. Not until the National Defense Act of 
June 30, 1916, was the maximum strength increased, and then 
only to 170,000 officers and men. The American people have 
always abhorred the idea of a large armed force, and will not 
adequately provide for one until the enemy compels them to 

After the reorganization in 1901, the question arose again 
as to which military posts should be rebuilt and enlarged. The 
water supply at Fort Russell had to be guaranteed by a new 
contract before any building program could be started. This 
was done by the city contract of 1903. The first of the new 
building was the construction of two sets of artillery barracks 
and stables in 1904. In that year an electric light plant was 
installed, the first electric lighting of the post, although Chey- 
enne had had a plant in operation since 1882. 

In 1905, William H. Taft was Secretary of War. He rec- 
ommended that the "old frontier posts" should be rebuilt on 
modern lines, and a definite effort made to group the building's 
properly and improve the general appearance of the post. In 
1906 Taft recommended that Fort Russell be enlarged to a 
brigade post, as at the time there were barracks and quar- 
ters for a regiment of infantry, two batteries of field artillery 
and four troops of cavalry. There was also a target and 
maneuver reserve of 36,800 acres. This was done in the fol- 
lowing three years. The first artillery at Fort Russell had 
arrived, September 29, 1901. 

Troop movements during the years 1900 to 1910 are inter- 
esting chiefly because the regiments had seen overseas service. 
The 18th Infantry, Companies E, F, G, Field Staff and Band 
arrived at Fort 'Russell. October 22, 1901, and left for the 
Philippines, March 21, 1903. This regiment of Regulars had 
been in the Islands at the capture of Manila in 1898. On March 
24, 1904, the 11th Infantry arrived at Fort Russell from the 
Philippines. In 1905 an insurrection arose against the organ- 
ized government of Cuba, and the President of the Republic 
requested intervention by the United States. An expedition- 
ary force was sent under Brigadier General Bell. In October, 
1906, the 11th Infantry left Fort Russell, this time as a part 
of the Army id" Cuban Pacification. They were stationed at 
Morro Barracks, Santiago, Cuba, until February 21, 1909. This 


army was a "moral force," small in numbers, but covering 
every nook and corner of the Island, just as the frontier army 
of the West covered every nook and corner of a million square 
miles of territory. The 11th Infantry remained at Fort Russell 
from March 9, 1909 until February 26, 1913. 

Trouble began on the Mexican border in 1911. In March 
of that year troops were mobilized for maneuvers at San An- 
tonio, Texas. There were two innovations of far-reaching 
results, compulsory typhoid prophylaxis, and the use of aero- 
nautical equipment in maneuvers. This mobilization for ma- 
neuvers involved 16,000 officers and men. The mobile strength 
of the army within the United States borders was only 31,850 
once again causing uneasiness among military men for the 
ration of mobile strength to population was lower than in 1876. 

The Army Air Corps saw its beginning as a branch of 
the Signal Corps. General Allen, Chief Signal Officer, wrote 
in 1910, "Aerial navigation has taken hold of the entire civil- 
ized world as no other subject in recent times, and represents 
a movement that no forces can possibly check. 

"In its military aspects, it is a subject we must seriously 
consider whether we wish to or not, and the sooner this fact 
is acknowledged and measures taken to put us abreast with 
other nations, the better it will be for our national defense." 

The Field Service Regulations, 1910, provided for the 
organization of aeronautical companies of the Signal Corps 
and for wireless companies as well, and for "aero-wireless 
battalions on the same basis as field companies and battalions." 

Henry L. Stimson was Secretary of War in 1911. He 
remarked that our army was more of a local constabulary than 
a national organization, and that we were left far behind in 
the one indispensable adjunct of war — the airplane. Congress 
finally voted an appropriation of $125,000 for aeronautical 
equipment in the army appropriation bill of 1912. 

In the meantime Madero had overthrown the Diaz regime 
in Mexico. It became necessary for the United States to 
patrol the border to enforce the neutrality laws. Later there 
were revolutions against Madero, and he in turn was over- 
thrown by Huerta, February, 1913. On February 26, the 11th 
Infantry and 4th Field Artillery left Fort Russell for the Mexi- 
can border. There is no consolidated Morning Report for 
February 25, 1913, the only occurrence in all available records. 

Carranza promptly instituted military operations against 
Huerta. The fighting occurred along the border, and the 
wounded that fell into American hands were cared for by 
army personnel. The troops were as busy keeping curious 
sightseers out of harm as they were in keeping the hostile 
Mexicans from crossing over and fighting on American soil. 
While it was not actual war, it was trying service for the 


troops and was so well accomplished with so little display that 
it was accepted simply as a part of the day's work for the 
army. For the first time trucks, six of them, were used be- 
tween the camps on the border and the base depots. Nineteen 
motorcycles were used for messenger service and reported 
upon as satisfactory. 

In 1914, conditions were still very bad. The 1,703 miles 
of Mexican border were patrolled by 359 officers and 8,260 
enlisted men. Vera Cruz, Mexico, was occupied by troops 
under command of General Funston. On June 30, 1914, the 
mobile army within the United States was 1,495 officers, 29,405 
enlisted men. And on July 18, Congress finally authorized the 
Aviation Section of the Signal Corps, 60 officers, 260 enlisted 
men. The garrison strength at Fort Russell averaged about 
350 officers and men from February 1913 until February 
1916. During 1915, depredations on the border continued and 
on the nights of March 8-9, 1916, Francisco Villa attacked 
Columbus, New Mexico, killing American soldiers and civil- 
ians. On March 10, the following day, General John J. Persh- 
ing was put in command of the United States forces on the 
border. This command marched 400 miles into Mexico. All 
cavalry regiments of the army except the Second were in the 
field at this time. The first tactical unit of the aviation section 
was put into the field from the base of the First Squardon at 
San Antonio, Texas. Much was learned about aA'iation in 
this "practice war" that was very valuable later on. Truck 
transportation became an integral part of army transportation 
simply because there was no other in that land without rail- 

General Pershing's column withdrew from Mexico, Feb- 
ruary 5, 1917. The purpose of the Punitive Expedition was 
accomplished after eleven months of hard campaigning. 

The outbreak of the war with Germany, April 6, 1917, 
found the United States with an unprepared army. The first 
draft legislation was passed May 18, and the first registration, 
June 5. There were three recognized armies — the Regulars, 
the National Guardsmen, and the National Army. Fort Russell 
was a point of mobilization and later for training field artillery 
and cavalry. The outbreak of the war found the United States 
with no airplane industry and no system of training aviators. 
Newton I). Baker called the Liberty Motor "America's first 
victory in the air." He trusted to American ingenuity to 
accomplish the rest. 

New brandies of service were created, and others placed 
under different commands. In July 1917. the Signal Corps 
received the Pigeon Service. On May 20, 1918. it was relieved 
of its aviation duties. Chemical Warfare Service was created 
as a separate branch .June 28, 1918. The Tank Service of the 


National Army was placed under the control of the Chief of 
Engineers, February 1918. The Ordnance Department re- 
mained in charge of the design and production of the tanks. 

One thing was true, when the American people settled 
down to production during the first World War, the results 
were astouding. 

The Armistice was signed November 11, 1918. The de- 
mobilization plan for the army was by military units at the 
posts nearest home for the troops. Fort Russell, under this 
plan, received its first "casuals" in March 1919. Brigadier 
F. W. Wilson commanded the post during demobilization. 
Morning Reports of March 31, 1919, showed 385 casuals at 
the post ; June 22, 1919, showed 1377 ; and September 30, 1919, 
showed 37. The garrison strength December 31, 1919, was 592 
officers and men. December 31, 1920, showed no change in 
organization, and a garrison strength of 1,000. 

The Reorganization Act of June 4, 1920, provided for a 
maximum strength of the Army to be 280,000 enlisted men and 
17,717 officers. 

The Years of Peace 

The Reorganization Act of June 4, 1920, created new 
branches of army service, particularly the Finance Department, 
Detached Officers List and Detached Enlisted Men's List, Chem- 
ical Warfare Service, and Air Service. Provision for reserves was 
made by the President, and the Enlisted Reserve and Reserve Offi- 
cers Training Corps. The Tank Service created in 1918 was 
made a part of the infantry. This reorganization of the armed 
forces did not immediately affect Fort Russell, however, the 
reservation was at one time inspected as a possible air base. 

The 15th Cavalry was transferred to the 13th Cavalry and 
the 53rd Infantry was placed on the inactive list. For five 
years. 1922-27, the post was garrisoned entirely by artillery 
and cavalry organizations. At this time it was not unusual 
for the animal strength to outnumber the garrison strength 
of the post. 

From the time of the first Frontier Days celebration in 
Cheyenne in 1897, the troops have always contributed to its 
success, especially the parades. While the garrison was com- 
posed of field artillery and cavalry organizations, the Frontier 
parades were the most picturesque ever staged in Cheyenne, 
or ever likely to be, for the grim utility of modern war equip- 
ment cannot compare in glamour with the magnificent cavalry 
troops of that day. The horses were some of the finest the 
army ever owned, for they were selected as nearest to standard 
from the thousands of World War purchases; and a G. I. 
truck can't inspire the same romantic thrill as the old white 
covered supply wagons drawn by the army mules. 


In June 1927, cavalry troops were withdrawn from Fort 
Russell for the second and perhaps the last time. 

Years of peace at army posts are usually pleasant years, 
or so it seemed at Fort Russell. By 1925 the United States 
had lapsed again into a profound state of peace. The com- 
missioned strength of the army had been reduced to 12.000 
officers, and the eidisted strength to 125,000 men. The garri- 
son of Fort Russell was not affected by the reduction in any 
particular way, hut followed the old tradition and turned its 
collective attention to improving living conditions, making 
roads and beautifying the grounds. 

Relations between the post and Cheyenne were cordial 
and cooperative. Fort Warren howl was built and sports re- 
ceived considerahle attention. While the "horse'' organiza- 
tions were here, polo was the great game. There were three 
polo fields on the reservation, two practice fields and one exhi- 
bition field. 

During the late 1920's an extensive reforestation program 
was under way. Western yellow pines were brought down 
from Pole Mountain and planted according to a definite land- 
scape plan. A detachment of men was sent to the Pike 
National Forest in Colorado for evergreens. They returned 
with two thousand trees, and today there is on the reservation 
ample proof of the success of their mission. Major Orlando 
Ward, 76th Field Artillery, and Lieutenant Jean Edens were 
the reforestation officers. 

Several interesting activities were carried on during 1928. 
The buildings for the Reserve Officers Training Corps and the 
Citizens Military Training Camp were completed. A boundary 
survey of the reservation was made, the first since 1910. The 
old water tank, part of the water system of 1890, was used as 
a point of triangulation in the survey. This old tank was 
dismantled a few years later. A topographical survey was 
made in 1929, and the first aerial survey in 1930. The Depart- 
ment of Commerce installed its first radio station on the reser- 
vation that same year. On January 1, 1930, the name of the 
post was changed to Fort Francis E. Warren, in honor of 
Senator Warren, one of Wyoming's most distinguished men. 

Senator Warren came to Wyoming in 1868, and through- 
out his life was closely identified with the political interests 
of Cheyenne and of Wyoming. He served as United States 
Senator from 1890 to 1893 and from 1895 to 1929. Senator 
Warren was on the Military Affairs Committee in Congress 
and worked consistently for the welfare of the army and par- 
ticularly for the reservation that now bears his name. He was 
the father-in-law of General John J. Pershing. 

Tlie early 1930's were uneventful, aside from the depres- 
sion years complicated by a rather extensive drought. In 1934 


the War Department enlarged the rifle range by the purchase 
of about 1600 acres. In 1939 an exchange of a very small acre- 
age was made, and to the present time the boundaries remain 

The new post theater and the gymnasium were completed 
in 1939. And so ends the era of peace at Fort Warren. 

On September 8, 1939, President Roosevelt declared a 
state of national emergency, and a year later, September 16, 

1940, the Selective Service and Training Act was approved 
at 3 :08 p.m., E. S. T. The act provided for an armed force 
sufficient for the defense of our continental and territorial 

In order to house this new army and provide for training, 
cantonments were established at various locations throughout 
the United States. At Fort Warren, construction was imme- 
diately begun for a Quartermaster's Replacement Training 
Center. Beginning October 1940, the surveys on the reserva- 
tion were quite as important as those in 1867. Crow Creek 
again assumes importance. 

It is the dividing line between the old and the new. Fort 
Warren proper is the "old post." The cantonment across 
the creek is the ' ' center. ' ' The National Guard units from 
Utah, North Dakota and California left the post, December 

1941, and for the first time in its long and colorful history "no 
combat organizations are stationed at Fort Warren. ' ' 


Of all western history, few things offer more interest or 
hold more significance than the water and the water rights 
of the so-called arid western lands. The western lands of the 
public domain were brought into private ownership by well 
established customs and laws beginning even before our na- 
tional independence. The laws governing the waters of these 
western lands, especially the running waters, are an altogether 
different subject — their beginnings go back into old Spanish 
and Mexican law and even to the customs of the Indians them- 
selves. Upon the discovery of gold in northern California, 
water, so necessary in placer mining, and the ditch that car- 
ried it, assumed great importance. It was here the "first come, 
first served" theory of priority rights prevailed. In southern 
California the theory of pueblo rights, meaning the superior 
rights of the group, prevailed. And on the whole the water 
itself was considered, in California, property of the govern- 
ment to give according to first use and first need. The ditch, 


the "artificial watercourse," that carried the water to the 
place of use was considered separate from the water itself, 
and was subject to private ownership as any other real prop- 
erty. The only property right existing to the running water 
in a stream was the use of the water. The running water was 
not considered a part of the land. Thus the water and irri- 
gation laws of the western states, concerning the waters of 
non-navigable streams, have their origin in two things — the 
placer gold mines and the domestic and agricultural needs of 
the Spanish mission settlements in California. 14 

In 1866, Congress passed the first national water rights 
legislation entitled, "An act granting the right-of-way to ditch 
and canal owners through the public lands, and for other pur- 
poses." The purpose and wording of this bill was "obscure" 
and further legislation on such a controversial subject as 
western water rights was not recommended. It was thought 
better to leave the regulation of water and water rights to 
local use and custom. However, the vested and accrued rights 
of the first appropriators of water were protected by that law 
and the United States w r as the recognized "proprietor" of 
those rights at that particular time. 

When Fort Russell and Cheyenne were established during 
the late summer of 1867, the water supply for both was directly 
"out of the creek" for men and animals. At that early date 
the need for a domestic supply of water did not seem para- 
mount — fire protection was just as important — and after that 
came the "gardens, trees, and lawns." 

It is interesting to note that General Dodge and General 
Stevenson devised the first scheme for the joint water supply 
of Cheyenne and Fort Russell. 

This is the account of Mr. Baker who visited Fort Russell 
on behalf of the city and published an account of the inter- 
view in the Cheyenne Leader, February 19, 1868. 

"It appears that from what we then and there learned, 
that General Dodge on the part of the Union Pacific Railroad 
Company and General Stevenson on the part of the military 
authorities have already decided to bring the waters of Pole 
Creek and Crow Creek by means of a canal through the mili- 
tary reservation north of the city and thence through the town 
site. It was and is understood by and between those gentle- 
men that the Union Pacific Railroad Company is to perform all 
the necessary surveying and engineering on the line of the 
canal, and that the military will construct and complete it to 
the south line of the reservation, and then the water can be 
readily diverted to any part of the city that may be desired. 
Before any definite action was taken. General Dodge was sud- 

14. Wiel, Samuel <"., Water Bights of ili< Western States, Bancroft- 
Whitney, San Francisco, 1908. 


denly called away and the project is only awaiting' his return 
to have definite action taken." Then, on January 23, 1869, 
the Cheyenne Leader contained this article: 

Fire and Water 

"One of the handiest things in case of an extensive fire 
is an abundance of water. Cheyenne has never been guaran- 
teed an unceasing supply of water, although last summer a 
bill of five hundred or six hundred dollars was presented for 
carriage hire, charged against the city as for vehicles used in 
surveying a ditch from Pole Creek. The ditch was really 
surveyed to the summit of the divide which is as far as neces- 
sary, as from that point the water could be brought hither by 
natural channels. It was stated at that time that the com- 
manding officer at Fort Russell had agreed to put on men to 
dig the ditch if the city would survey it, as Fort Russell was 
to receive the first use of the water. On the strength of these 
military promises, the city procured the survey at considerable 
expense and without having received even a drop of water 
or other benefit for that expenditure. . . . We have a good 
engine, and with the water we expected to have, the town 
would be provided with pretty good insurance against any 
very extensive fire. 

The fire department of Cheyenne still has the ''good 
engine" of 1869. The proposed diversion in 1868 of the waters 
of upper Pole Creek to the Crow Creek watershed has never 
been done although it has been seriously considered. 

On July 6, 1870, several citizens of Cheyenne organized 
a company for the purpose of constructing a ditch to conduct 
water from Crow Creek to the city of Cheyenne. The Com- 
pany was called the ' ' Wyoming Ditch and Water Company. ' ' 
Water was to be taken out of Crow Creek at a point two miles 
from headquarters of Fort Russell. The right-of-way for the 
ditch, according to the corporation papers, was to extend 
across the reservation. Cheyenne bought the ditch from the 
company in 1872. but apparently did not use it, nor was it 
extended across the reservation. By 1874, Fort Russell was 
using the ditch to fill reservoirs and cisterns and for irrigation 
purposes. This continued for about ten years. In 1883, the 
city laid a pipe to the reservoir on Crow Creek that supplied 
the Fort Russell ditch, and in that way deprived the post of 
irrigation water that it formerly used. The following year 
the city and Fort Russell entered into an agreement by wlr'ch 
the city was to furnish water to the post in exchange for the 
ditch and for the right-of-way across the reservation. 

This is a description of the post water supply written by 
the Quartermaster in compliance with a circular letter, Decem- 
ber 10, 1883. 


December 10, 1883. 

Chief Quartermaster 
Department of the Platte 
Omaha, Nebraska. 

In compliance with circular letter dated War Department, 
(Quartermaster General's Office, November 19, 1883, I have the 
honor to report that there is no regular system of water supply 
to this post, the method being one of the most primitive order. 

The present means of water supply are two shallow plank 
wells in the bottom, southwest of the post, which are fed 
through gravel beds from Crow Creek, a shallow stream cours- 
ing by the post. These wells are in dimension 6x6 and 8 x 12, 
and contain two feet of water. The water is pumped from the 
wells by two force pumps of four horse power each, which are 
old and defective, connected with a horizontal engine of ten 
horse power, by a system of belts and pulleys, the engine 
being also used for sawing the necessary cord wood for the 
post. The lifting power of this engine is very slight and 
would not do to force water through the post. The water is 
supplied to the post by means of a water wagon, drawn by 
eight mules, which is filled at the engine house. It takes this 
wagon from early morning to late in the afternoon to supply 
the water required by the officers and enlisted men. During 
the summer months the post was supplied with water for irri- 
gating purposes, by a shallow ditch connected with a dam 
about two miles above the post, but since the city lias laid 
their pipes to connect with this lake this supply has been 

As a reserve supply of water there are four cisterns con- 
structed at the post — two capable of containing 22,000 gallons 
each and two 27,000 gallons each. The accompanying diagram 
will show the location of these cisterns. The cisterns are 
non-effective at present, by the plaster work inside being 
defective and broken owing to the severe rains and poor qual- 
ity of the cement. Requisitions are pending to put these 
cisterns in proper repair. 

Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant 

1st Lieut. R. Q. M. 9th Inf. 

A. A.Q. M. 

About this time the War Department ordered the aban- 
donment of frontier posts that no longer served a military 
purpose. Fort Russell, because of its favorable location, was 
selected by the War Department for a permanent post, and 
plans were made for re-building with brick buildings. At 


this time a system was devised to use the underground flow of 
Crow Creek for a supply of domestic water. A tank was 
installed and a four inch pipe was laid encircling the post, 
bringing running water into the barracks and quarters for the 
first time. Fire plugs were also installed. The agreement of 
1884 marks the actual beginning of the joint water supply of 
the post and Cheyenne. 

After the water rights law of 1866 was passed, the rec- 
ommendation for more national legislation was evidently fol- 
lowed. In the meantime another theory of water rights was 
growing in the western "irrigated" states, that of state con- 
trol and state ownership. The territorial legislature of Wyo- 
ming passed a law in 1886 requiring a statement of claim to 
be filed by all users of water from Wyoming streams, for the 
purpose of setting priorities. The city of Cheyenne, now in 
possession of both the pipe and the ditch diverting water from 
Crow Creek, based its claim upon these two, nine (9) second 
feet for the ditch, three and four hundred eighty-one thou- 
sandths (3.481) second feet for the pipe. The total amount of 
water claimed was 12.481 second feet. 

The adjudication of the waters of Crow Creek was made 
April 19, 1888. Cheyenne was allowed its claim in that decree, 
but the Clerk of the Court in copying the figures in the Journal 
wrote them in words, twelve thousand four hundred and 
eighty one and in figures 12,481. That adjudication rests. 
The city of Cheyenne is entitled to 12,481 second feet of water 
from Crow Creek. 

Fort Russell, not having possession of the ditch, could not 
file a claim for irrigation water under the law of 1886. 

Wyoming became a state July 10, 1890. In the constitu- 
tion of Wyoming are two significant sections, one concerns 
the control of water, the other, the ownership of the waters 
of the state. They are : 

"Sec. 31 — Water — Control of — Water being essential to 
industrial prosperity, of limited amount and easy of diversion 
from its natural channels, its control must be in the State, 
which, in providing for its use, shall equally guard all the 
various interests involved." 

"Art. VIII. Sec. 1. Water is state property. The water 
of all natural streams, springs, lakes or other collections of 
still water, within the boundaries of the state are hereby de- 
clared to be the property of the state." 

However, "percolating waters, developed artificially," 
meaning underground water obtained from wells, belong to 
the owner of the land on which the waters are so developed. 

It seems that Cheyenne did not keep the agreement of 
1884. The following letter written by Colonel Poland, com- 


manding Fort Russell, explains the circumstances quite fully. 
This is referred to as the letter of June 29, 1894. 

Fort J). A. Russell, Wyoming 

To the -June 29, 1894. 

Mayor and Council, 
Cih/ of Cheyenne, Wyo. 

It has been officially reported to me that the agreement 
entered into between the Commanding Officer, Fort D. A. 
Russell, Wyo., and the city of Cheyenne, on the second day 
of December, 1884, has not been complied with by the City of 
Cheyenne, the past three weeks, by its failure to give Fort 
I). A. Russell Military Reservation (such being the peculiar 
arrangement of discharge pipes at the stone gate house) an 
adequate supply of "water taken from Crow Creek ... at a 
point or points on said stream where the Fort D. A. Russell 
Military Reservation heretofore obtained water and freely and 
daily without interruption," and this notwithstanding it has 
been practicable during the same period of time "to obtain 
the water from Crow Creek." (See agreement referred to). 

Further, by this failure to perform the conditions therein 
specified, the Post garden, lawns and trees are suffering 

I respectfully invite the closest attention to the condition 
of that agreement, and beg to inform you that the City of 
Cheyenne — either through indifference or design — failed in a 
similar manner to observe and fulfill the said conditions last 
year; and caused Fort D, A. Russell the loss of valuable pro- 
duce from the Post garden, and a large number of shade trees 
at this post, at the same time they permitted the citizens of the 
City of Cheyenne to use water for three hours, from 5 to 8 
o'clock p.m., less and more, daily to sprinkle and cultivate 
gardens, lawns and public parks. 

I also invite your attention to the interviews had with 
you by the Post Quartermaster. April 17 and June 23, 1894, 
requesting you to take steps to remedy by supplying the post 
with sufficient water — the effects of your non-fulfillment of 
the conditions imposed upon the City of Cheyenne by that 
agreement. In your written communication to him, dated 
April 17, 1S94, you assumed to grant authority to the command 
at Fort D. A. Russell to use the water in the ditch laid across 
this military reservation leading to the City of Cheyenne, 
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of each week. You were 
not asked to grant what has never been and is not now in your 
power — as that has always been and now remains in the power 
of the original grantor of the permit to use "water from Crow 


Creek taken at points where the Fort D. A. Russell Military 
Reservation heretofore obtained ivater," viz.: The Command- 
ing Officer of Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming. You were asked 
to so arrange the operation of the pipes at the stone gate house 
located on the ditch near the dam, that this post could receive, 
have, and enjoy, at least three-sevenths of the water per week 
taken from the said Crow Creek, which right to have and use 
the said water is pledged by the City in the agreement referred 
to. The interview was to secure the rights of the original 
grantor. You have been reported, and I believe correctly, as 
saying in your interview with the Post Quartermaster, June 
23, that the City of Cheyenne could not afford water to irrigate 
the post garden at Fort Russell and that you intended "the 
City of Cheyenne should be supplied first." 

I assume this to be your premeditated deliberate intention, 
and in order that your citizens may irrigate lawns, private 
gardens and public parks, you have resolved to ignore the 
conditions of the agreement in which the Commanding Officer 
of Fort D. A. Russell, generously but unwisely granted the 
city the use of dams, ditches, pipes, etc., and also the use of 
land within the military reservation to obtain water from 
Crow Creek. I also rightly infer, I think, that you propose 
to cut off any supply of water due Fort D. A. Russell to accom- 
plish that purpose. I take this opportunity to inform you that 
if you persist in your design to deprive this post and reserva- 
tion of at least three-sevenths, and more, or of any part or 
portion of the water — if the whole shall be needed at or on 
this military reservation — any action tending to accomplish 
that design will speedily and certainly terminate the agree- 
ment of December 2, 1884, of which you w 1- ll receive prompt 
notice. If on the contrary you shall recognize the rights of 
the Fort D. A. Russell Military Reservation, I will in the same 
spirit of comity that influenced my predecessors to permit 
your citizens to enjoy the benefits of the water not needed at 
Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming, submit the following propo- 
sitions : 

1. That on and after the first day of July, eighteen hun- 
dred and ninety-four, or as soon thereafter as practicable, but 
without any delay, the City of Cheyenne having by or through 
its agents placed a pipe twenty inches in diameter to convey 
water into the City of Cheyenne across the Fort D. A. Russell 
Millitary Reservation (pursuant to and subject to certain con- 
ditions specified in an agreement of December second, eighteen 
hundred and eighty-four between the Commanding Officer of 
Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming and the said city) at a depth of 
eighteen inches, more or less, below and between centers of 
the discharge pipe for Fort D. A. Russell, Wyo., and having 
by their agents, selected and placed an iron pipe of an inferior 


diameter, of twelve inches more or less, and of a little more 
than one-third of the volume of the discharge pipe for the 
City of Cheyenne by which the right to and use of water by 
Fort I). A. Russell has been impaired to the injury of the post, 
and by such arrangement has prevented the Fort D. A. Russell 
Military Reservation from obtaining water from Crow Creek 
— "At the point where said Fort D. A. Russell heretofore ob- 
tained water" — during the summer season for the purpose of 
irrigation; therefore, it, the said City of Cheyenne shall sub- 
stitute for the said discharge pipe another pipe of twenty 
inches diameter and lay the said pipe, on the same and exact 
level of the discharge pipe conveying water to the City of 
Cheyenne; and further that the City of Cheyenne shall, with- 
out delay, provide and put in each of the two discharging 
pipes conveying water to Fort D. A. Russell and the City of 
Cheyenne, a valve of the same or similar design and efficacy 
or of superior make and efficiency if such can be procured, 
as those heretofore used in the pipes in and near the White 
Stone Well, so called, in order that either or both of said pipes 
may be closed against or opened for the flow of w T ater into 
and through them. 

2. That on the 1st day of July, 1894, this year and after 
the completion of the adjustment of the pipes as stated in 
proposition 1 — the City of Cheyenne shall deliver to the Post 
Quartermaster in order that duplicates may be procured there- 
of for the use of Fort D. A. Russell, the keys, implements, etc. 
necessary to enter or close the "White and Red Wells," so 
called, situated upon the ditch and to close or open the valves 
in the discharge pipes conveying water to Fort D. A. Russell 
or the City of Cheyenne as may be, and whenever needed, to 
regulate the use of the water taken from Crow Creek. 

3. That thereafter the City of Cheyenne shall draw from 
said reservoir, dams, ditches, stone gate house, etc.. water 
from Crow Creek, from seven o'clock a.m. on Tuesdays until 
seven o'clock a.m. Wednesdays; from seven o'clock a.m. Thurs- 
days until seven o'clock a.m. Saturdays; from seven o'clock 
a. m. Sundays until seven o'clock a.m. Mondays, if required. 

4. That the Fort D. A. Russell Military Post and Reserva- 
tion shall draw water from the same sources and through the 
same reservoirs, pipes, ditches, etc. mentioned above, from 
seven o'clock a.m. Mondays; Wednesdays and Saturdays until 
seven a.m. on the days next immediately following, if required. 

5. That if the City of Cheyenne shall refuse to re-adjust 
the relative sizes and positions of the discharge pipes as re- 
quired in proposition 1 — it shall immediately on and after the 
first day of July, this year, afford without hindrance or delays 
an opportunity and sufficient time to the Post Quartermaster, 
Fori 1). A. Russell, Wyoming, to change the size and position 


of the discharge pipe conveying water to the Fort D. A. Russell 
Military Reservation to a pipe of twenty inches diameter and 
to lower and place this pipe on the same and exact level with 
the lowest pipe leading or carrying water from Crow Creek 
to the City of Cheyenne — and for connection with the pipe to 
permit the Post Quartermaster to lower the ditch conveying* 
the water from Crow Creek to Fort D. A. Russell Military 
Reservation ; that the latter shall no longer be deprived of the 
benefit of the obligations assumed bj" the City of Cheyenne in 
the agreement referred to. 

6. That thereafter the level of any and all pipes carrying* 
or conducting water through the Fort Russell Military Reser- 
vation to the City of Cheyenne shall not be changed without 
the consent of the Commanding Officer of Fort I). A. Russell, 
during the continuation of the agreement of December 2, 1884 y 
between the Commanding Officer at Fort D. A. Russell and the 
Mayor of the City of Cheyenne. 

7. That all waste of water shall be prevented as far as 
possible by such Orders and Ordinances as the parties to said 
agreement can enforce. 

8. That until the permanent remedy for the illegal depri- 
vation of the Fort D. A. Russell Military Reservation of the 
water from Crow Creek is effected, the City of Cheyenne will 
deliver a duplicate key to the lock on the White Stone Well 
to the Post Quartermaster to enable him to enter therein, and 
to close and open the discharge pipe conveying water to the 
City of Cheyenne on the days specified in propositions 3 and 4, 
and which can be properly effected by a temporary gate made 
in the shape of a wooden disk and fitted to the head of said pipe. 

The earliest possible reply to this communication is re- 
quested. Fort D. A.. Russell lias been without water from Crow 
Creek for three weeks, during which time the City of Cheyenne 
has been using daily (assuming for illustration that it lias a 
population of fifteen thousand) one million five hundred thou- 
sand gallons, more or less, or about ten gallons per head. I 
intend that this unwarranted appropriation of all the water 
taken from Crow Creek at the head of the ditch where this post 
"heretofore obtained water" shall be stopped. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 
Colonel 17th Infantry, 
Commanding Post. 13 

Colonel Poland's propositions were complied with and 
wlr'le the question of ''rights" was not settled, a satisfactory 
agreement with the citA' was reached. 



The Spanish American War was fought in 1898 and the 
United States acquired overseas territory. This meant an ex- 
pansion of the army and the enlargement of military posts. 
Tn 1902. the water controversy between the post and Cheyenne 
was reopened. This time the United States made it very plain 
that until the water rights of the post were secured by another 
contract with the city, no new improvements would be made 
on the reservation. Furthermore, upon the failure to comply 
with all terms of the agreement, the city would be compelled 
to remove its pipe line from the reservation. The new contract, 
called the agreement of 1903, involved irrigation water only. 
The post had its own water system dating from 1884 and much 
enlarged by 1890, for its garrison supply. 

Between 1904 and 1910 Fort Russell Avas expanded, and 
Cheyenne, in order to meet the steadily growing demand for 
water, had to enlarge its supply. In doing this, the points of 
diversion from Crow Creek were changed to Granite Springs 
in 1904 and to Crystal Lake in 1910. These points of diversion 
involved the construction of reservoirs and pipe lines. In 
1908. the post and the city entered into another contract. This 
is called City Contract No. 5. It provides for the joint water 
supply now used by the city and the post. The United States 
paid to the City of Cheyenne the total sum of $400,000 as its 
share in construction. 

The Round Top Filter Plant was built in 1911 and the 
gravity system was started in 1912. 

In 1911 the Wyoming Legislature passed a law with speci- 
fications that apply to Cheyenne alone. The act, approved 
February 16, 1911, was this: ''An act empowering special 
charter cities having a population of not less than ten thousand 
inhabitants to enter into and perform contracts with the United 
States Government, its departments, or representatives to sup- 
ply water for the use of military posts, forts, or stations adjoin- 
ing such cities and validating such contracts heretofore made.'" 
Section 2 of that law validates the previous contracts between 
the city and the post. For a considerable period there were 
neither difficulties nor discussions of the water situation. 

A pumping plant was installed on Crow Creek near Silver 
Crown in 1933 making another point of diversion. In 1934. 
a pumping plant was also installed on the creek at Ware, and 
because it lay below the old city pipe line of 1883 was not 
considered a new point of diversion, but simply a change ^in 
the manner of conveying water. The water is pumped to the 
Round Top Plant. 

The city still further increased its water supply by a series 
of wells west of the reservation. This supply, being ^perco- 
lating water" needs no adjudication or any permit from the 
State Hoard of Control for a pipe line. 


Major George C. Donaldson, 20th Infantry, Acting Judge 
Advocate, prepared a very complete record of the water rights 
at Fort Francis E. Warren dated Oct. 3, 1930. He does not 
mention any contracts or agreements subsequent to 1908. The 
purpose of Major Donaldson's investigation was to secure a 
fair distribution of the available supply of water. 

In the meantime certain tracts of land on the Crow Creek 
water shed near and adjacent to the Granite Springs, Crystal 
Lake and North Crow Reservoirs were withdrawn from the 
pubk'c lands and set aside for the protection of the water rights 
of Fort Francis E. Warren. This was done by executive order. 
April 3, 1931, and the lands were transferred to the War De- 
partment. Some of these lands were then leased to the City 
of Chevenne under certain Special Use Permits dated August 
30, 1933. 

The years following were drought years and the city water 
supply was very low. Irrigation was limited and at times 
almost ceased. Once again the city had to find just a little more 
water. The agreement for pumping the artesian wells on the 
reservation May 25, 1935, explains itself. 

This artesian well was not a single well but a series of 
several wells connected together by pipes. These wells were 
drilled in 1904 and are very shallow for artesian wells ranging 
in depth from 140 to 165 feet. The "underground" waters 
of Crow Creek offer quite as interesting a subject for study 
as do the surface waters of its watershed. 

The unlimited national emergency proclaimed by Presi- 
dent Roosevelt on September 8, 1940, meant the immediate 
expansion of the armed forces. The building of the Quarter- 
masters Replacement Center on the Fort Warren Military Res- 
ervation required another contract with the City of Cheyenne 
providing for its water supply. This agreement covers a sup- 
ply taken from wells, percolating waters only. If that source 
of supply fails then the water for the center may be taken 
from the Round Top Reservoir. 

This contract provided for the proper chlorination of 
the water. 

The following is the Replacement Center agreement : 


THIS AGREEMENT made and entered into in December 
A. D., 1940, by and between the City of Cheyenne, a Municipal 
( 'orporation of the State of Wyoming, party of the first part, 
and the United States Government, party of the second part, 

WHEREAS party of the second part is building a Replace- 
ment Center for the location of a large number of troops on 


the Fort Francis E. Warren Military Reservation, which is 
adjacent to the City of Cheyenne; and 

WHEREAS the location of said Replacement ('enter will 
be beneficial to the said City of Cheyenne, and will contribute 
to the prosperity of said City; 

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above prem- 
ises and other good and valuable consideration, it is mutually 
agreed as follows : 

FIRST: The party of the first part agrees to furnish and 
deliver to the party of the second part at a 1.000,000 gallon 
steel storage tank to he located near the Round Top Filter 
Plant and thence through a 16" pipe line to be constructed, 
the following quantities of water for use at the Fort Francis 
E. Warren Replacement Center: 

1. Average daily consumption of 1,200,000 gallons. 

2. Peak consumption at rate of 2,500,000 gallons per day. 

3. An average daily consumption during summer months 
of 1.500,000 gallons. 

4. Fire protection at peak rate of 3,000,000 gallons per day. 
Said water above mentioned shall be taken from the following 
wells : 

Koppis No. 1, Koppis No. 2, Bailey No. 3, and the Eddy: 
party of the first part further agrees to drill an additional 
well to also be used for the purpose above stated. 

SECOND: The party of the first part further agrees that 
should the supply of water from the wells be exhausted or the 
wells be out of service for any reason whatsoever, the party of 
the first part agrees to furnish said water from the distribution 
reservoir at Round Top. Said water will be delivered to the 
16" pipe line serving said Replacement Center through a con- 
nection to be installed between the 16" line and the main valve 
house at Round Top. 

THIRD: Party of the first part further agrees to install 
pumps and meters on the said wells hereinbefore described, 
and construct pipe lines connecting said wells with the present 
IS inch line near the so-called Homman well, which 18 inch line 
has as its point of discharge the distributing reservoir of the 
party of the first part at Round Top. 

FOURTH: The party of the first part further agrees to 
construct a 16 inch pipe line connecting with the IS inch line 
from the wells and discharging at the 1,000.000 gallon storage 
tank hereinbefore mentioned. 


FIFTH: The party of the first part further agrees to in- 
stall and operate sterilization equipment to assure a safe and 
potable supply of water for use of said Replacement Center. 

SIXTH: It is further agreed between the parties hereto 
that if said Replacement Center should be abandoned, or its 
use discontinued, then party of the first part shall have the 
right to use said water from the above described well for other 
municipal purposes. 

SEVENTH: Party of the second part agrees to pay party 
of the first part one dollar ($1.00) in full payment of all 
obligations herein undertaken by party of the first part. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties hereto have here- 
unto set their hands and seals, they being duly authorized, 
the day and year first above written. 

Party of the First Part 

By ED WARREN (Signed) 


Attest: J. E. STODDARD (Signed) 

City Clerk 
Witness : 

Party of the Second Part 


Leslie D. Howell, Lt. Col. Q.M.C. 
Constructing Quartermaster 
Witness : 

FRED 0. STENGER (Signed) 
Fred 0. Stenger, Oapt. Q.M.C. 
Asst. Constr. Q.M. 


Due to lack of space, the texts of the following instruments have 
been omitted: 

1. The Agreement of 1884. 

2. The Agreement of 1903. 

3. The City Contract Xo. 5. 

4. The Articles of Agreement of 1935. 

Copies of the text of each of these Agreements :in<l Contracts may 
be found in the Wyoming State Historical Department. 


Land Acquisitions and Losses 

The military reservation of Fort I). A. Russell was set 
aside by executive order, June 28, 1869. The boundaries of 
th< original two miles wide, three miles long' reserve survey 
by Lieutenant Petriken in 1867, were extended enough by the 
Department of Interior survey to include 4,512 acres. This 
tract remained intact until May 23, 1898. The act of admis- 
sion of the State of Wyoming to the Union in 1890 bestowed 
upon the state 260,000 acres of land from the public domain, 
to be selected by the governor from whatever was considered 
suitable for state ownerships. In the range country the "state 
selections" Avere made from lands containing valuable springs 
and water holes, strategic locations for the cattle men who 
were at the time the sole power in the state. These lands were 
subject to sale, but not for less than ten dollars an acre. The 
one hundred sixty acre tract of the Fort Russell reservation 
that fell into the category of lands suitable for state ownership 
was the one containing the lakes so vital at that time to the 
post water supply, the present site of the Cheyenne Country 
Club. This valuable tract was transferred to the state of 
Wyoming for use as the "State Agricultural and Industrial 
Exposition" grounds, and was considered in part satisfaction 
of the 260,000 acre federal grant to the state. Thus it was 
subject to sale. This sale was made to the City of Cheyenne 
September 28, 1907, after the state legislature amended the 
act of 1891 doing away with the advertising of state public 
lands previous to sale. It has been extremely interesting to 
observe how the pioneer forefathers in contemplating any 
particular "skullduggery" always covered the procedure by 
protective legislation, intelligent, if not always commendable. 
This is particularly evident in laws concerning land and irri- 
gation rights in the state. After the city obtained possession 
of the tract and received a patent for it, according to the 
State Land Commissioner's Record, in 1914. it was in turn 
leased to the Cheyenne Country Club, November 12, 1921. This 
lease violates the original purpose of the sale to the city as 
that was specified in the contract as for "public park pur- 
poses." However, being a long time ago and nobody discuss- 
ing the matter, and few people knowing the truth anyway, 
the Country Club still enjoys its illegal privileges for twenty- 
five dollars a year. 

In 1903 at the time of the second city water contract small 
parcels of land were acquired from Clans Sievers and from 
Frank Ketch urn for a right of way for a conduit. This conduit 
or pipe line was a part of the already intricate water system 
of the city and the post. In 190!), the first large purchases of 
laud were made by the War Department for the extension of 
the target range, approximately 1.400 acres. Not until 1934 


was. additional land added to the reservation proper, this time 
about 1,699 acres, also to enlarge the rifle range, bringing the 
reservation proper to 7,520 acres, its present area. 

The Fort Francis E. Warren Target and Maneuver Range 
lies on the crest of Pole Mountain about 30 miles west of Fort 
Warren. Its high and rugged skyline is plainly visible on 
clear days from the post. The elevation lies between eight 
and nine thousand feet and the magnificent mountain scenery 
makes it one of the most picturesque and attractive maneuver 
grounds in the United States. The terrain is sufficiently varied 
to meet all demands of field artillery drill. The elevation and 
its accompanying cold, even in summer, have been considered 
drawbacks, but now with battlefields ranging from pole to pole 
the factors of cold and elevation may be real assets for training. 

The nucleus of the present reserve was set aside in 1879-80 
by executive orders. This consisted of our alternate sections 
arranged checker board fashion to form a hollow square alter- 
nating sections being Union Pacific lands. This reserve was 
used by Fort Sanders near Laramie, and by Fort Russell and 
Camp Carlin for wood and timber supplies from their first 
establishment. Nothing further was done with this odd-shaped 
tract until 1900. Then, on October 10, a forest reserve includ- 
ing the original four sections was created by executive order. 
This was called the Crow Creek Forest Reserve. It was placed 
under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture at 
the time the area contained 56,132.96 acres. Then in 1903, the 
forest reserve was transferred by executive order to the War 
Department for military purposes with the understanding that 
the use of the lands by the army should not interfere with the 
original purpose for which the reserve was created — forest 
protection. At this time the reserve was named the Fort D. A. 
Russell Target and Maneuver Range. In 1912, the reserve was 
enlarged and consolidated by purchase of additional lands by 
the War Department. There were no further changes in ad- 
ministration, title, or boundaries until 1925. At this time. 
June 5, the reserve became a part of the Medicine Bow National 
Forest. Control is jointly administered by the Secretary of 
War and the Secretary of Agriculture, subject to the unhamp- 
ered use for purposes of national defense by the army. The 
present area is 67,915.79 acres, more or less. The name of the 
Target and Maneuver range was changed by General Orders 
No. 20, War Department, 1929, to Fort Francis E. Warren 
Target and Maneuver Ranpe. 

Upon completion of the joint water system for Cheyenne 
and Fort Russell in 1912, certain lands in the Crow Creek 
water shed were withdrawn from Department of Interior lands 
and placed under the control and administration of the Secre- 
tary of War. These small parcels of land comprising 7,640 


acres in all are held for the protection of the water supply of 
the post. Executive Orders covering' the withdrawals of these 
Lands began in 1913 and continued through the years until 
1931. The plats of the Department of Interior surveys of 
these lands were received in the general land office at Chey- 
enne, July, 1938. Executive Order, No. 5592, April 3, 1931, 
can also be found in the Department of Interior land office. 
Cheyenne, filed under the title, Fort Warren Lands, No. 132. 

Fcrt Francis E. Warren Target and Maneuver Range 

LOCATION — Situated in Albany County about -W miles 
west of Cheyenne. 

AREA — 67.915.79 acres, more or less. 

HISTORY — Originally known as Crow Creek Forest Re- 
serve having been proclaimed as such by the President on 
October 10, 1900. Designated Fort D. A." Russell Target and 
Maneuver Range by General Orders Xo. 162, War Department, 
1904. By General Orders No. 20, War Department, 1929, name 
changed to Fort Francis E. Warren Target and Maneuver 
Range in honor of Honorable Francis E. Warren. 

By Executive Orders of November 4, 1879 and February 
25, 1880, approximately 2,540.64 acres were set apart from the 
public lands as a wood and timber reservation for the use of 
the posts of Forts I). A; Russell and Sanders, and for the Chey- 
enne Depot. By proclamation of October 10, 1900 certain 
tracts of public land were set apart as a forest reserve, which 
tracts were transferred to the War Department by Executive 
Order of October 9, 1903 (G. O. 40, W. D., October 23, 1903) 
excepting certain lands as stated therein with the understand- 
ing that the use of the lands for the purposes of a military 
reservation would not interfere with the objects for which 
the forest reserve was established. 

By Executive Order Xo. 1080 of Mav 28, 1909 (G. O. 114. 
W. D., June 11, 1909),. the Executive Order of October 9. 1903, 
was amended so as to exclude from the reservation for military 
purposes a certain designated tract. 

By Executive Order Xo. 1192 of April 19, 1910 (G. O. 83, 
W. D., May 5, 1910) the Executive Order of October 9, 190:5 
was modified to provide that the lands reserved by the latter 
order for military purposes except the tract excluded from 
the reservation by Executive Order Xo. 1080 of May 28, 1909 
should be held as a military reservation for target and maneu- 
ver purposes and should no longer lie regarded as a reservation 
for forest purposes. 

By letter of March 23. 1908, 160 acres were transferred 
to the Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes 
of Forest Service with the provision that the same would be 
returned if needed for military purposes. 


By act of March 13, 1908 (35 Stat. 42) an exchange of 
lands for lands in private ownership was authorized whenever 
it was deemed by the Secretary of War that certain lands within 
the limits of the reservation were needed for the enlargement of 
the military maneuver grounds. 

In 1911-12, under authority of the act of March 3. 1911 
(36 Stat. 1052), additional land was acquired by purchase and 
condemnation subject to certain reservations set out below 
under Easements, etc. 

By Executive Order No. 4245 of June 5, 1925, all of that 
part of the Fort D. A. Russell Target and Maneuver Reserva- 
tion established by Executive Orders dated February 4, 1879, 
February 25, 1880, and October 9, 1903, as amended by Execu- 
tive Order of April 19, 1910, and subsequent consolidations 
by purchase excepting certain designated tracts were estab- 
lished as a national forest known as the Pole Mountain District 
of the Medicine Bow National Forest, the said Pole Mountain 
District of the Medicine Bow National Forest to be adminis- 
tered by the Secretary of Agriculture under such plans as 
may be jointly approved by the Secreary of Agriculture and 
the Secretary of War, to remain subject to the unhampered 
use of the War Department for purposes of national defense. 

By Executive Order No. 5592, April 3, 1931 (G. O. No. 5, 
W. D. July 6„ 1931) approximately 7,640 acres, withdrawn by 
Proclamation No. 1259 dated December 20, 1913, and Execu- 
tive Orders Nos. 2257, 2291, 2497, 2523, and 3040 dated Octo- 
ber 14, 1915, December 27, 1915, December 7, 1916, January 
30, 1917, and February 25, 1919, respectively as amended and 
modified by Executive Order No. 4678, dated June 29, 1927. 
for the protection of the water supply of Fort Francis E. War- 
ren, were placed under the control and administration of the 
Secretary of War, subject to all public and private valid exist- 
ing easements thereon and other valid existing rights and 
claims thereto. 

JURISDICTION — Exclusive jurisdiction over the orig- 
inal reservation was ceded to the United States by the Act of 
February 17, 1893, set out in Section I, under General Legis- 
lation. Exclusive legislation over the additions to the reserva- 
tion was ceded by the act of February 13, 1897, also set out 
in Section I, under General Legislation. 

EASEMENTS, etc.— (1) Permit November 1, 1921, to 
State Highway Department of the State of Wyoming to extend, 
construct, and maintain a road across the reservation. 

(2) License August 12, 1924, to Kiwanis Club of Laramie 
to construct a concrete base and cover for spring. 

(3) Permit July 26, 1930, to United States Department 
of Commerce, Lighthouse Service Airways Division to use a 
plot 200 feet square for the purpose of a beacon site, a beacon 


tower 50 feet high, and suitable buildings for the caretaker of 
the light. 

(4) Permit August 30, 1983. to City of Cheyenne to 
maintain a reservoir on 48 acres for the use of said city. 

(5) Permit February 24, 1941, to Highway Department 
of the State of Wyoming to extend and maintain a road. 

(6) Reservation in deed dated October 24, 1911, recorded 
in Book 107 of Deed Records, page 213, Albany County, from 
Minna Kassahn of vested and accrued water rights for mining, 
agricultural, manufacturing, or other purposes and rights to 
ditches and reservoirs used in connection with such water 
rights as recognized by law and local customs ; also to the 
right of the proprietor of a vein or lode to extract and remove 
his ore therefrom, should the same be found to penetrate or 
intersect the premises granted. 

Fort Francis E. Warren 

LOCATION— Situated in Townships 13 and 14 North, 
Range 67 west of the sixth principal meridian, adjoining the 
city of Cheyenne, in Laramie County. 

AREA — 7,511.43 acres, more or less. 

HISTORY — Original reservation known as Fort D. A. 
Russell was set apart for military purposes bv Executive Order 
of June 28, 1869 (G. 0. No. 34 Hdqrs. Dept. of the Platte, June 
3, 1869). Name changed to Fort Francis E. Warren by General 
Orders No. 20 War Department, 1929 in honor of Honorable 
Francis E. Warren. 

The area of the reservation was reduced on May 23, 1898, 
by the transfer to the State of Wyoming of 160 acres for the 
use of the State Agricultural and Industrial Exposition, under 
authority of act of Congress approved March 2, 1895 (28 
Stat. 946). 

In 1903, perpetual easements for right-of-way to construct 
and maintain a water conduit for irrigation purposes were 
acquired by purchase and condemnation. 

In 1909, additional land acquired by purchase and condem- 
nation for rifle range purposes. By Executive Order No. 1124 
of August 27, 1909, 40 acres additional were reserved from 
sale or other disposition and set apart for the same purpose. 
In 1913, additional land acquired bv purchase. Authority: 
Act of March 3, 1909 (35 Stat. 747). 

Aii additional 1,597.57 acres were acquired in 1935 by 
condemnation under authority of the act of June 14, 1934 
(48 Stat. 955). In 1939, 34.55 acres additional were acquired 
by exchange for the same number of acres under authority 
of the act of July 17, 1939 (53 Stat. 1048). 

By agreement dated December 2, 1884, and supplemental 
agreements dated March 25, 1903, November 30, 1908, and June 


10, 1935, with the City of Cheyenne, certain water rights were 
acquired by the United States. By these agreements the City 
of Cheyenne was authorized to make certain installations on 
the reservation. 

By ordinance August 4, 1909, the City of Cheyenne granted 
permission to the United States to construct and maintain a 
sewer along certain city streets. Approved by the Secretary 
of War, September 2, 1909. 

By agreement dated September 9, 1913, with the Colorado 
and Southern Railway Company, the right to lay a railway 
crossing over the main line of the railway company was granted 
to the United States. 

By agreement approved February 23„ 1921, with the City 
of Cheyenne, the perpetual right to discharge sewage in the 
city system in certain streets described therein was acquired 
by the United States. 

By instrument dated August 26, 1935, the County Com- 
missioners of Laramie County quitclaimed to the United States 
all the interest of Laramie County in and to certain described 
county roads located within the boundaries of the reservation. 

JURISDICTION — Exclusive jurisdiction over the original 
reservation subject to the right to tax persons and corporations, 
their franchises and property, was ceded by the act of Feb- 
ruary 17, 1893, set out in Section I under General Legislation. 
(Exclusive jurisdiction over the 1903, 1909, 1913, 1935, and 
the 1939 additions to the reservation was ceded by the act of 
February 13, 1897, set out in Section 1, under General Legis- 
lation ). 

EASEMENTS, etc— (1) Act of Jane 30, 1886 (24 Stat. 
104), granted to the Cheyenne and Northern Railway Com- 
pany a right-of-way, not to exceed 100 feet in width, across 
Fort D. A. Russell, subject to the approval of the Secretary 
of War. Approved by the Secretary of War on August 20, 1886. 

(2) License August 27, 1886, to County Commissioners 
of Laramie County to maintain a certain road known as the 
Happy Jack Road. 

(3) License August 4, 1888, to the County of Laramie, 
to construct and maintain a road (now Hynds Boulevard) 
over lands described therein. 

(4) License March 11, 1909, to the Colorado & Southern 
Railway Company to erect, operate and maintain a building, 
for use as a railway station and as a residence for the station 
agent and family. 

(5) Act of March 2, 1911 (36 Stat, 1012), granted to the 
Colorado Railroad Company authority to do business in the 
State of Wyoming and to build its line or railroad on that part 
of the reservation as described therein. 



(6) Act of .March 2. 1911 (36 Stat. 1012). granted right- 
of-way to County of Laramie for a road across and upon the 
lauds described therein. 

(7) Permit March 31, 1911, to the Board of Commission- 
ers of the County of Laramie to extend county road across, along 
and within the reservation. 

(8) Easement October 15, 1915, granted to Mountain 
States Telephone and Telegraph Company for a right-of-way 
for pole lines. 

(9) License February 26. 1925, to the Cheyenne Motor 
I uis Company to operate motor bus line. 

(10) Permit November 23, 1927, granted the Cheyenne 
Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, to place a 
stone marker on the reservation inscribed '"Camp Carlin 
1 867-1927." 

(11) License February 7, 1929, to the City of Cheyenne 
to use and occupy a portion of the reservation for the purpose 
of a park and the maintenance of necessary appurtenances. 

(12) Permit December 26, 1929, as amended August 24, 
1933.$ for five years to the Department of Commerce to con- 
struct, operate, and maintain a radio station and a directive 
radio beacon installation in the locations described therein. 
Although this permit has expired by its terms, the use is con- 
tinued upon consideration for renewal. 

(13) Easement July 9, 1931, to the Mountain States Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Company, for a period not to exceed 25 
years for a right-of-way for pole lines. 

(14) Permit April 22, 1932, to Mrs. Francis E. Warren, 
to erect and to place a memorial tablet on one of the posts at 
the entrance to the reservation. 

(15) Easement October 19, 1933, to Cheyenne Light. Fuel, 
and Power Company for a period not to exceed 25 years for a 
right-of-way for the installation, operation, and maintenance of 
an electric power pole line. 

(16) License June 8, 1938, for a period not to exceed 
five years, to the City of Cheyenne to operate and maintain a 
telephone pole line, and to use one circuit in Signal Corps 
underground telephone cable, for the purpose of providing 
telephone service to the municipal waterworks. 

(17) License April 18, 1940. for five years commencing 
February 15. 1940, to the Colorado and Southern Railway ( om- 
pany to operate a transportation service over those portions 
of tlie railroad trackage owned by the licensee, and certain 
portions of railroad trackage owned by the United States. 







FORT D. A. RUSSELL— 1867-1929 






Brevet Brig. Gen. John D. Stevenson, 30th In- 

Major J. Van Vost, 18th Infantry. 
Brevet Brig. Gen. H. W. Wessels, 18th Infantry. 
Brevet Brig. Gen. L. P. Bradlev. 
Col. J. H. King, 9th Infantry. 
Col. J. V. Bombard, 9th Infantry. 
Col. J. J. Reynolds, 3rd Cavalry. 
Col. Wesley Merritt, 5th Cavalry- 
Captain G. L. Luhn, 4th Infantry. 
Col. Wesley Merritt, 5th Cavalrv. 
Col. Albert G. Brackett, 3rd Cavalrv. 
Col. J. P. Carlin, 4th Infantry. 
Col. John S. Mason, 9th Infantry. 
Col. Alex Chambers, 9th Infantry. 
Lieut. Col. R. H. Offley, 17th Infantry. 
Col. Henry R. Mizner, 17th Infantry. 

Dec. 10, 1894 to May 10, 1895 : Col. G. M. Randall, 8th Inf. 
May 11, 1895 to Mar. 30, 1898 : Col. J. J. Van Horn, 8th 

Mar. 31, 1898 to Apr. 20, 1898: Capt. E. B. Savage, 8th 

Apr. 21, 1898 to Sept. 29, 1898: 1st Lieut. Charles Ger- 
hardt, 8th Inf. 

Sept. 30, 1898 to Dec. 23, 1898: Capt. N. IT. W. James, 
24th Inf. 

Dec. 24. 1898 to July 5, 1899: Major A. C. Markley, 24th 

July 6, 1899 to Feb. 4, 1900: Capt, J. G. Galbraith. 

Feb. 5, 1900 to Mar. 6, 1900: 1st Lieut. II. D. Berkeley, 
1st Cav. 

Mar. 7, 1900 to Mar. 23, 1900 : 1st Lt. C. Saltzman, 9th Cav. 


The Brevet rank was conferred on officers by the President with the 
consent of the Senate for gallant, meritorious or faithful conduct in the 
volunteer service prior to appointment in the army. 14 U. S. Stat. 517. 
The brevet rank did not entitle an officer to precedence or command 
except by special assignment of the President. Such an assignment did 
not entitle any officer to additional pay. 


Mar. 24, 1900 to July 20, 1900: Capt. J. G. Galbraith. 
1st Cav. 

July 21. 1900 to Aug. 9, f900: 2nd Lt. II. C. Smither, 
1st Cav. 

An-'. 10. 1900 to Sept. 20. 1900: Capt. W. H. Allaire, 
23rd Inf. 

Sept. 21, 1900 to Oct. 25, 1!)01 : Capt. I). B. Devore, 23rd 

Oct. 26, 1901 to Mar. 21, 1903: Col. J. M. J. Sanno, 18th 

Mar. 22, 1903 to June 16, 1903: Capt. L. W. Foster. 2nd 

June 17, 1903 to Oct. 22, 1903: Major H. L. Bailey, 2nd 

Oct. 23, 1903 to Mar. 19, 1904 : Col. Francis W. Mansfield, 
2nd Inf. 

Mar. 20, 1904 to Aug. 17, 1904: Lieut Col. Walter S. 
Scott, 11th Inf. 

Aug. 18, 1904 to Oct. 4, 1906 : Col. Albert L. Mver. 11th 

Oct. 5, 1906 to June 19, 1907: Major R. M. Blatchford, 
11th Inf. 

June 20, 1907 to Jan. 31. 1909: Col. L. W. Tavlor, 2nd 
F. A. 

Feb. 1, 1909 to July 25, 1909: Lieut Col. L. W. Foote, 
2nd F. A. 

July 26, 1909 to Apr. 4, 1910: Brig. Gen. Fred A. Smith. 

Apr. 5, 1910 to Apr. 18, 1910 : Col. A. B. Over, 4th F. A. 

Apr. 19, 1910 to Julv 17., 1910: Brig. Gen. R. W. Hovt. 

July 18, 1910 to Aug. 13, 1910: Capt. Earl W. Carnahan, 
11th Inf. 

Aug. 14, 1910 to Nov. 10, 1910: Brig. Gen. R. W. Hovt. 

Nov. 12, 1910 to Mar. 9, 1911: Col. A. B. Dver, 4th F. A. 

Mar. 10, 1911 to Mar. 29, 1911: Capt. F. S. Armstrong, 
9th Cav. 

Mar. 30, 1911 to Julv 14, 1911 : Lieut. Col. J. A. Manev, 
2nd Inf. 

July 15, 1911 to July 30, 1911 : Col. A. B. Dver. 4th F. A. 

Julv 31, 1911 to Oct. 24, 1911: Col. Arthur Williams, 
11th Inf. 

Oct. 24. 1911 to Feb. 26, 1912: Col. A. B. Dver. 4th F. A. 

Feb. 27. 1912 to May 17, 1912: Col. Arthur Williams. 
11th Inf. 

May 18, 1912 to Oct. 2, 1912: Col. A. B. Dver, 4th F. A. 

Oct. 3, 1912, to Feb. 17. 1913: Brig. Gen. Clarence R. 

Feb. 18, 1913 to Feb. 25, 1913: Col. A. B. Dver, 4th F. A. 

Feb. 26, 1913 to May 1, 1913 : Major J. A. Cole, QM Corps. 


Mar 2, 1913 to Apr. 27, 1914 : Capt. F. Parker. 12th Cav. 

Apr. 27. 1914 to Jan. 8, 1915 : Capt. Samuel B. Pearson, 
QM Corps. 

Jan. 9, 1915 to Sept. 5, 1915 : Capt. F. Parker, 12th Cav. 

Sept. 6, 1915 to Dec. 31, 1915: Capt. L. S. Carson, 12th 

Jan. 1, 1916, to Jan. 27, 1916: Capt. L. S. Carson, 12th 

Jan. 28, 1916 to Feb. 5, 1916 : Capt. Roy B. Harper, 12th 

Feb. 6, 1916 to Mar. 23, 1916: Col. C. W. Penrose, 24th 

Mar. 24. 1916 to May, 1917; Capt. Samuel A. Smoke, 
QM Corps. 

May, 1917 to Aug. 22, 1917 : Col. Frederick S. Foltz. 1st 

Aug-. 23, 1917 to Sept. 20, 1917 : Col. E. S. Wright, U. S. 

Sept. 21, 1917 to Dec. 25, 1917: Col. J. C. Waterman, 
1st Cav. 

Dec. 26, ]917 to Jan. 7. 1918: Lieut, Col. Wilson G. 
Heaton, 83rd F. A. 

Jan. 8, 1918 to Mar. 17, 1918: Major T. M. Coughlan, 
83rd F. A. 

Mar. 18, 1918 to Apr. 5, 1918 : Major Samuel A. Smoke, 
QM Corps. 

Apr. 6, 1918 to May 19, 1918 : Col. Walter C. Short, N. A. 

May 20, 1918 to June 4, 1918: Lieut. Col. G. Williams, 
315th Cav. 

June 5, 1918 to Sept. 5, 1918 : Col. Walter C. Short, N. A. 

Sept. 6, 1918 to Dec. 8, 1918 : Capt. H. S. Bunting, 21st Inf. 

Dec. 9, 1918 to Dec. 25, 1918 : Lieut. Joel R. Burney. 

Dec. 26, 1918 to Feb. 5, 1919 : Major E. F. Koenig, 21st Inf. 

Feb. 6, 1919 to Aug. 31, 1919 : Brig. Gen. P. W. Davison. 

Sept. 1, 1919 to Nov. 29, 1919 : Col. M. 0. Bigelow. 

Nov. 30, 1920 to Aug. 8, 1921: Col. Thomas B. Dugan, 
15th Cav. 

Aug. 9, 1921 to Sept. 20, 1921: Lieut, Col. George B. 

Sept. 21, 1921 to Oct, 2, 1921 : Col. Roy B. Harper. 

Oct. 3, 1921 to Mav 28, 1922 : Brig. Gen. William H. Sage. 

May 29, 1922 to Aug. 17, 1923: Brig. Gen. Edmund 

Aug.' 18, 1923 to Nov. 4, 1927 : Brig. Gen. John M. Jenkins. 

Nov. 5, 1927 to Jan. 30, 1929: Brig. Gen. Dwight E. 

Jan. 31, 1929 to Mav 25. 1929 : Brig. Gen. Frank C. Bowles. 


May 26, 1929 to Dec. 25, 1931: Brig. Gen. Charles R. 
1 lowland. 

Dec 26. 1931 to July 27, 1933:. Brig. Gen. Frank S. 

July 28, 1933 to Sept. 13, 1935: Brig. Gen. Casper H. 
( 'onrad. 

Sept. 14. 1935 to Aug. 30, 1937: Brig. Gen. C. J. Humph- 

Aug. 30, 1937 to Oct. 18, 1940: Brig. Gen. E. 1). Peek. 

Oct. 19, 1940 to April 12, 1941: Brig. Gen. F. E. Uhl. 

1941-1942: Col. George Blair, Inf. 

1942-1943: Col. J. B. Johnson, Cav. 

1943: Brig. Gen. John A. Warden. 

1943-1944: Col. B. G. McGary, QMC. 

1944: Col. G. 0. A. Dautrv, Inf. 

March.. 1944: Brig. Gen. H. L. Whittaker. 


FORT D. A. RUSSELL— 1867-1929 

October 1867: 30th Infantry. 2nd Cavalry. 

July, 1868 : 9 companies, 2nd Cavalry, 18th Cavalry. 

Camps on railroad near Fort Russell, 2nd Cavalry, 27th In- 

October, 1869 : 8 companies, 5th Cavalry, 9th Infantry. 

October, 1870: 13 companies. 5th Cavalry, 9th Infantry, 
14th Infantry. 

October, 1871: 10 companies, 5th Cavalry, 9th Infantry, 
14th Infantry. 

October, 1872 : 9 companies, 3rd Cavalry, 9th Infantry, 
14th Infantry. 

October, 1873: 9 companies., 3rd Cavalry, 4th Infantry, 
8th Infantry. 

October, 1874: 5 companies, 3rd Cavalry, 23rd Infantry. 

October, 1875: 2 companies, 23rd Infantry. 

November, 1876: 4 companies, 5th Cavalry, 3rd Cavalry. 

October. 1877: 6 companies. 5th Cavalry. 

October. 1878: 1 company, 4th Infantry. 

October, 1S79: 7 companies, 5th Cavalry. 4th Infantry. 

October, 1880: 7 companies, 5th Cavalry, 4th Infantry. 

October 1881 : 5 companies. 3rd Cavalry, 4th infantry. 

October, 1882: 5 companies. 5th Cavalry, 4th Infantry. 
9th Infantry. 

October. 1833-1886 : 9th Infantry. 

July, 1886 to Sept. 1895: 17th Infantry. 



Sept. 1895 to April, 1898: 8th Infantry. 

April, 1898 to Sept. 1898: Detachment. 8th Infantry. 

Sept.,, 1898 to June, 1899 : 24th Infantry. 

June, 1899 to July, 1900: 1st Cavalrv. 

Aup;., 1900 to Sept., 1901 : 23rd Infantry. 

September 29, 1901: 13th Field Artillery. 

Oct. 22, 1901 to March, 1903 : 18th Infantry. 

Feb. 1, 1902 to July 21, 1902: 14th Cavalrv. 

Aao;. 18, 1902 to March. 1904: 10th Cavalrv. 

June 17, 1903 to Aug. 31, 1904 : 2nd Infantry. 

Mar. 24, 1904 to Oct. 1906: 11th Infantry. 

Jan. 11, 1905 to Feb. 1, 1906 : 8th and 13th Field Artillery. 

May 21, 1906: 12th and 19th Field Artillerv. 

Oct. 5, 1906 to Mar. 1, 1907 : 10th Cavalrv. 

May 20, 1907 to May 12, 1908 : 8th Cavalry. 

June 27, 1907 to June 1, 1910 : 2nd Field Artillery. 

Nov. 21, 1908 to Feb. 26, 1913 : 4th Field Artillery. 

Mar. 9, 1909 to Feb. 26, 1913: 11th Infantry. 

June 18, 1911 to Sept. 8. 1912: 9th Cavalrv. 

May 2, 1913 to Mar. 22, 1916 : 12th Cavalry. 

Feb. 6, 1916 to Mar. 22, 1916: 24th Infantry. 

May, 1917: 1st Cavalry. 

October, 1917: 24th Cavalry, 25th Cavalry. 

December, 1917 : 83rd Field Artillerv. 

April, 1918: 315th Cavalry. 

May, 1918: 312th Cavalrv. 

August, 1918: 60th, 61st, 71st, 72nd Field Artillery. 

September, 1918 : 23rd Battalion U. S. G. 

December, 1918: 21st Infantry. 

December, 1918 to July 28, 1919 : 21st Infantry. 

June 28, 1919 to October 21, 1921 : 15th Cavalry. 

October 21, 1921 : 15th Cavalry transferred to 13th Cav- 

Oct. 21. 1921 to June 16, 1927: 13th Cavalrv. 
June 28, 1922 to 1941 : 76th Field Artillerv. 
Oct. 23. 1924 to June 16, 1927: 4th Cavalrv. 
June 28, 1927 to March, 1941 : 1st Infantry, 
June 28, 1927 to March, 1941 : 20th Infantry. 

From August 1909 until February 1913, Fort Russell enjoyed real 
years of peace. The garrison strength varied hardly at all, remaining 
for the most part between 2600 to 2700 officers and men. After the 
troop movements to the Mexican border in February 1913, the garrison 
strength dropped to about 300 officers and men. Upon the departure of 
the 24th Infantry and 12th Cavalry to the border in March 1916, Captain 
Samuel A. Smoke, Q.M. Corps was in charge of the post. After the 
declaration of war April 6, 1917, line officers were again present and in 
command. The preceding list of organizations is as complete as can lie 
determined from the sources available. 


Fort Russell was a post for demobilization after World 
War I. The first casuals arrived in March and continued 
throughout the summer. These figures taken from the Morn- 
ing Reports of 1919 are interesting: 

March 31, 1919: Casuals at Post— 385. 

June 2, 1919: Casuals at Post— 1044. 

June 22, 1919: Casuals at Post— 1377. 

Julv. 1919: Casuals at Post— 805. 

Sept. 30, 1919: Casuals at Post— 37. 


This list contains dates of events significant to Fort Fran- 
cis E. Warren (Fort D. A. Russell). Other historical data 
included are: dates of establishment and later abandonment 
of surrounding military posts ; local events of importance to 
both the military reservation and to Cheyenne ; weather data : 
army reorganization acts. 

1834: Fort Laramie on the North Platte River, 90 miles north 
of Fort Russell, established first as Fort William, later 
called Fort John ; the first permanent fur trading post 
in Wyoming. Purchased by the United States from 
Pierre Choteau in 1849 for a military post. Abandoned 
1890. Remaining buildings on 220 acres, now a na- 
tional monument. 

1853: Railroad surveys conducted by the topographical en- 

1858 : Gold discovered in Colorado. These early settlements 
were later important to Fort Russell. 

1862: July 1. Railroad Act passed by Congress. By author- 
ity of this act the Union Pacific Railroad Company 
came into ownership of the right-of-w r ay of the old 
Camp Carlin Siding on the reservation, now jointly 
owned by the Union Pacific, and Colorado and South- 
ern Railroads. 

1863: Construction of Union Pacific begun. 

1864: Fort Collins established on Cache LaPoudre River, 50 
miles south of Fort Russell, to guard the Overland 
Trail. Abandoned, 1871. Fort Sedgwick, near Jules- 
burg, Colorado, establisbed to guard the Overland 
Trail following the South Platte River, about 117 miles 
to the cast of Fort Russell. Abandoned, 1884. 

1865: Sherman Pass discovered by General Grenvillc M. 

1866: Fort Sanders established near the present site of Lara- 
mie, to guard the Overland Trail. Abandoned, 1884. 
March. Army Reorganization Act, following the Civil 


1867 : July 4. Selection of the site of Cheyenne by General 
Dodge, chief engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad 
Company. Selection of site of Fort D. A. Russell by 
General C. C. Augur, Commanding Department of the 
Platte. August. September ; construction begun at 
Camp Carlin (Cheyenne Depot) and Fort Russell 
proper on the reservation. 

September 8. Fort D. A. Russell formally named. 
November. Barracks completed and occupied. 
November 13. First train on the Union Pacific reaches 

1868: February. Officers' quarters at Fort Russell completed 
and occupied. Peace treaty with Sioux signed at Fort 
Laramie, July 25. Organic Act for organization of the 
Territory of Wyoming approved by Congress. 

1869 : May 10. Completion of the transcontinental railroad 
and the Gold Spike Ceremony near Promontory, Utah. 
The Department of Interior survey of the Fort D. A. 
Russell Military Reservation. 

May 19. Completion of organization of territorial gov- 
ernment of Wyoming by Governor John Campbell. 

1870: June 25. Completion of Denver and Pacific Railroad. 
Denver's first railroad service. 

Population U. S. Census, Wyoming, 9,118 ; Cheyenne, 
1,450; Fort D. A. Russell, 828 ; native, 449 ; foreign, 379. 
Disastrous fire in Cheyenne, property destruction val- 
ued at $250,000. Fire at Camp Carlin (Cheyenne De- 
pot) with partial destruction of $200,000 worth of hay. 
First diversion ditch from Crow Creek constructed. 

1872 : Purchase of the first diversion ditch by the City of 
Cheyenne. Fort Russell "acquired" the ditch and 
used it until 1883. 

1874: Strength of the United States Army fixed by law at 
25,000 officers and men. However, this did not affect 
the garrison at Fort Russell. Reconnaisance of Gen- 
eral George Custer in the Black Hills of Dakota. Dis- 
covery of gold confirmed. 

1875 : The year without a summer. 

January 4. Destructive fire at Fort Russell. Six sets 
of officers' quarters were burned to the ground and 
other quartermaster property. One life was lost. 
January 9. Low temperature, -38°, (lowest tempera- 
recorded at Cheyenne to date, 1942). 

1876 : February 7. War Department takes over Indian situa- 
tion in northeastern Wyoming. The Sioux War of 1876 
begins. The troops ordered into the field from Fort 
Fetterman under the command of Colonel J. J. Rev- 


nolds. March 11. -3° zero. The mean temperature for the 
month was 27.7. This extreme weather caused delay 
in putting' troops into the field at the beginning of the 
Sioux War. thus giving the Indians time to mobilize. 
May 19. Troops leave Fort Russell enroute to Fort 
Fetterman for service in the field under the command 
of General George Crook. 

June 17. Battle of the Rosebud. Captain Guy V. 
Henry, 3rd Cavalry, wounded. Nine men killed. 
Lieutenant Robinson, A. A., QM. Fort Fetterman in- 
forms Post QM. by telegram that invoices for grain 
would be forwarded on the 21st of June. Letters re- 
ceived Quartermaster's Department (1875-1886) P. 108. 
This is important. Telegraphic communication was 
possible with the northern post within five days of the 
Custer Massacre. 

June 25. General Custer and his entire command 
wiped out on the Little P>ig Horn, Montana. 
July 5. News of the Custer Massacre reached the out- 
side world as published in the Cheyenne Leader of 
that date. 

July 22. G. 0. 65, Hqrs. of the army. Provides for 
construction of military post in northern Wyoming and 
the Yellowstone. 

November 8. Troops stationed at Fort Russell return 
to their stations from the "Big Horn Expedition." 

1877: March. Abrogation of certain parts of Sioux Treaty 
of 1868, opening northeastern Wyoming to white set- 

1879: September. Meeker Massacre at Ute White River 
Agency, northwestern Colorado. September 29. Major 
Thornburg and his command ambushed within 15 miles 
of the agency ; Major Thornburg killed. 
October. Troops return to Fort Russell from the Milk 
River tight. The wounded were, insofar as can be de- 
termined, the only ones ever brought into the hospital 
of Fort Russell directly from a battlefield. 

1880: Population, U. S. Census, Wyoming, 20.789; Cheyenne, 

1<SS2 : July 1. The first telephone installed between Cheyenne 
and the Post. 

1883: Cheyenne installs electric lighting system (said to be 
the first city in the United States to install electric 
lighting system). 

June 1. Cavalry withdrawn from Fort Russell for the 
first time since the establishment of the Post. 
February 3. Temperature, -37°. 


1884 : War Department selects Fort D. A. Russell as a perma- 
nent military post. 

December 2. First water agreement between the city 
of Cheyenne and the War Department. This agree- 
ment involved the reservation rights of the waters of 
Crow Creek. First water system at Fort Russell. 

1885: Fort D. A. Russell is rebuilt with permanent brick 
buildings, twenty-seven new buildings in all. 
Camp Pilot Butte is established as a sub-post of Fort 
Russell after the Chinese riot at Rock Springs. Aban- 
doned, 1898. 

1886 : August 20. Easement by the War Department granting 
a right-of-way across the reservation to the Cheyenne 
and Northern Railway Company. 

August 27. Revocable license to Laramie County Com- 
missioners to enter the reservation and maintain the 
"Happy Jack" road and to permit travel upon it. This 
road remains unchanged (1945). 

1888: August 4. Revocable lease to Laramie County to con- 
struct a county road along the east side of the reserva- 
tion. This road is today Hynds Boulevard. There is 
a slight discrepancy in the boundary surveys of the 
city, the county, and the reservation. 

1889 : Revocable lease for a street railway line. Constructed 
in 1908. Abandoned in 1925. 

1890: May 31. Final dismantling of Cheyenne Depot (Camp 
Carlin) "Telephone removed as it will no longer be 

December 17. Troops ordered into the field against 
the Sioux' at the Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota. Construc- 
tion of first sewer system. Population, U. S. Census, 
Wyoming, 60,705; Cheyenne, 11,690. 
July 10. Wyoming enters the Union as the 44th state. 
Water system for domestic supply of the garrison com- 
pleted. 'Cost, about *50,000. 

1891 : Hospital Training Corps established at Fort Russell. 

1893: January. Post Exchange established replacing Sutler's 

1894: May. Troops sent against Coxey's Army, Green River, 
Wyoming. Colonel Poland enforces the water contract 
of '1884. 

1895: July. Troops leave for the field in the Teton Pass 
Country against the Bannocks. The last Indian Scout 
from Fort Russell. 

1897: September. The garrison of Fort Russell took active 
part in the first Frontier Days celebration in Cheyenne. 


1898 : April. Declaration of war against Spain. The 8th Infan- 
try leaves Fort Russell for service in Cuba. 
May 23. The loss of 160 acres, present site of Cheyenne 
Couiitry Club, to the State of Wyoming. 
September. Detachments of 24th Infantry (colored) 
who gave heroic service in the yellow fever epidemic 
at Siboney, Cuba; stationed at Fort Russell. 

IN!)!): June. Cavalry troops again stationed at Fort Russell, 
the first in sixteen years. 

1900: Crow Creek Forest Reserve proclaimed by President 
MeKinley. This reserve later became the target and 
maneuver range. 

August 8. Garrison strength aggregate 37. officers and 
men. The lowest garrison strength on record. 
Population, U. S. Census. Wvoming, 92,531 ; Cheyenne, 

1901 : February 2. Reorganization Act following Spanish 
American War. 

September 29. Artillery is stationed at Fort Russell, 
for the first time. Maximum strength of the U. S. 
armed forces 60,000 officers and men. 

1903: March 25. The second water contract with Cheyenne 
involving irrigation water only. 

1904: May 20: Crow Creek rose fifteen feet above its normal 
level and caused some property damage on the reser- 
vation. The damage in Cheyenne was much greater 
and for the services of the troops in the emergency, 
Cheyenne voted a reward of $500 for the men of the 
garrison. Total precipitation for May, 6.66 inches, 
maximum for month in 71 years. 

Granite Springs Reservoir built. A series of artesian 
wells are drilled in ('row Creek bottoms — still flow- 
ing, 1942. 

Two sets of artillery barracks and two artillery stables 
are built. The barracks are the first two story barracks 
to be built upon the reservation and the stables are the 
first to be built up out of the creek bottoms. A bound- 
ary survey of the reservation is made. 
Crow Creek Forest Reserve is designated as Fort D. A. 
Russell Target and Maneuver Range. 

1905: The year of the big snow, 110.9 inches; 46.5 inches 
Calling in April. Highest annual preeiptatiou recorded, 
22. (is inches. Photographs are made a part of the Quar- 
termaster's record. 

1906: Fort Russell recommended for expansion to a brigade 
post by Wm. II. Taft, Secretary of War. 


1907 : Expansion of Post begun by construction of cavalry 
barracks, additional artillery barracks, brick stables 
and Cavalry Drill Hall, as well as new officers' quar- 
ters and non-commissioned officers' quarters. The build- 
ing program was completed about 1910. 

1908 : City contract No. 5. The agreement entered into by 
the City of Cheyenne and the War Department for the 
joint water supply of the City and the Post. The War 
Department contributed $400,000 as its share of the 

1909 : First land acquisition for extension of rifle range. 
First sewer contract with the City of Cheyenne. 

1910 : Underground telephone cable laid on reservation. Pop- 
ulation, U. S. Census, Wyoming, 145,865 ; Chevenne, 

Boundary survey. The last survey until 192G. August, 
71 year low, temperature for month, 25°. Crop damage 
from freezing, enormous. 

1911 : Construction of Round Top Reservation. 

1912 : Land acquisitions by purchase in Fort D. A. Russell 
Target and Maneuver Range. 

1913 : Presidential Proclamation withdrawing certain public 
lands in the Crow Creek water shed for the protection 
of the water supply of Fort Russell. These withdrawals 
cover a period of years and the total acreage is about 
7.648 acres. Ownership later confirmed by Executive 
Orders (1931). 

February. Troops leave Fort Russell for Mexican 

1913-16 : Garrison strength averages about 350 officers and 

1917: April 16. Declaration of World War I. Cavalry and 
Field Artillery organizations are activated at Fort 

1918: November 11. Armistice of World War I. 

1919 : Fort Russell made a demobilization post. Demobiliza- 
tion continues throughout the year. 
The Signal Service installs the first wireless station. 

1920: June 4. Reorganization Act following World AVar I. 
Population, U. S. Census, Wyoming, 194,402 ; Cheyenne, 

1920-30 : Period of remarkable weather. Temperatures on ten 
year average, .4° below the mean. Precipitation, ten 
year average, 17.57 inches ; 2.89 inches above average. 
This meant prosperity in surrounding country and 
ample water for city and post. 

1922 : June 22. 76th Field Artillery, less 2nd Battalion, takes 
station at Fort Russell. 


1924: February. The second agreement with the City of 
Cheyenne concerning the rig-lit for sewer lines through 
the city. 

1!)25 : June 5. Port I). A. Russell Target and Maneuver Range 
is made a part of the Pole Mountain District of the 
Medicine Bow National Forest to be jointly adminis- 
tered bv the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary 
of War. 

1!>27: June. The 4th and 18th Cavalry leave Fort Russell, 
the last Cavalry organization to be stationed here. The 
1st and 20th Infantry take station. 

1928 : Boundary survey of Reservation. 

Camp for R. 0. T. C. and C. M. T. C. is bu'lt. 

1929 : Topographical survey of the reservation is made. 

G. 0. No. 20, War Department, name changed to Fort 
Francis E. Warren. 

1930: Department of Commerce constructs and operates a 
radio station on the Reservation. 
An aerial survey of the Reservation is made. 
Population, U. S. Census, Wyoming, 225,565 ; Chevenne. 

1931: July 6. G. 0. No. 5, War Department, Final Execu- 
tive Order concerning withdrawn lands in Crow Creek 
water shed. 

1933: January. Highest wind velocity, 65 miles per hour. The 
year of wind. 

1934: July. Highest mean temperature for month, 72.7. 

1939: Lowest rainfall in 50 years, 9.84 inches. 

September 8. Period of national emergency declared 
by President. 

1940: Population. U. S. Census, Wyoming, 240,742; Chevenne. 

September 16. Selective Service and Training Act, 
54 Stat. 897. 


A splendid Sacajawea Bibliography by Inez Babb Taylor, 
Assistant Historian for the State of Wyoming from 1989-1941, 
has been donated to the State Historical Department. We take 
occasion to mention this work as it is and will be of great 
assistance to students of Wyoming History. 

Mrs. Taylor is also the author of a very tine article "Saca- 
jawea," published in the Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 18, No. 3, 
July 1941. Through an oversight 1km- name as author was 

'Documents and Cetters 

Wyoming" Statehood Stamp* 
By George C. Hahn, A. P. S. 

iiSiiJLiiSSiiii f *irf mitt 

Approved Design. 

The History of Wyoming 

'In the far and mighty West, 
Where the crimson sun seeks rest, 
There's a growing splendid state 
That lies above 

On the breast of this great land ; 
Where the massive Rockies stand 
There 's Wyoming young and strong, 
The State I love ! ' ' 

(Wyoming State Song) 

■The American Philatelist, Vol. 58, No. 9, June, 1945. 


Wyoming, known as the "Equality State" by reason of 
having been the first to grant the same suffrage rights to women 
as those accorded to men, abounds in enchanting 1 traditions 
and folklore of the West. The State truly embodies the gallant, 
intrepid spirit of its pioneers and its many outstanding scenic 
attractions make Wyoming an integral part of the magnificent, 
historic, and romantic West. 

The musical name "Wyoming" probably is an imprint 
left by immigrants on their westward trek from Wyoming 
Valley, Pennsylvania. The word means "Mountains and Val- 
ley alternating." It is a corruption of the word "Maugh-wau- 
wa-ma" of the Delaware Indians, meaning "The large Plains.'' 

The name "Wyoming" probably first was used by J. M. 
Ashley of Ohio, who as early as 1865 introduced into Congress 
a Bill to provide a temporary government "for the Territory 
of Wyoming." This territory was to be formed from portions 
of Dakota, Utah, and Idaho Territories. Credit for populariz- 
ing the name "Wyoming" is given by Historian Coutant to 
Leigh Richmond Freeman, publisher of a newspaper, "The 
Pioneer Index," at Fort Kearny. His numerous articles advo- 
cating the name of Wyoming undoubtedly had their effect on 
the people of the country and on those who afterward inserted 
this name in the Bill for creating the Wyoming Territory. 

Five different countries flew their flags over parts of Wyo- 
ming before the Territory of Wyoming was created. In addi- 
to Spain — France, Great Britain, Mexico, and the Republic of 
Texas claimed parts of what now is the State of Wyoming. 

John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, 
was the first white man of record to have entered, in 1807, 
Wyoming. Undoubtedly other explorers entered the country 
before Colter but the records are vague and not definite re- 
garding the earlier phases of the explorations of Wyoming. 
On his journey Colter entered the Yellowstone country and 
opened an era of exploration and fur trapping. Four years 
later, an expedition under Wilson Price Hunt of the Pacific 
Fur Company, and a partner of John Jacob Astor, crossed 
Wyoming westward in search of a land route from the Missouri 
River to the Oregon Territory. 

In the years following this expedition many trappers, ex- 
plorers, and adventurous pioneers led an ever-increasing num- 
ber of men into the territory. Among them was General 
William H. Ashley, the institutor of the rendevous system of 
fui- trading. The rendezvous was a colorful gathering of In- 
dians, traders, and fur companies' employees for the purpose 
of meeting the pack trains of the companies and exchanging 
the furs for their next year's supplies. 

The most celebrated expedition into the Wyoming terri- 
tory was that of Captain Benjamin L. E. de Bonneville in 1832, 


who established on August 19th of the same year Fort Bonne- 
ville. The story of the expedition was immortalized by Wash- 
ington Irving in his "Adventures of Captain Bonneville. " 

The first trading post, known as the ' ' Portuguese Houses, 
was established in 1828 by Antonio Mateo on the middle fork 
of the Powder River in north central Wyoming. In 1834 Fort 
Laramie was built by traders and named after Jacques La 
Ramee, one of the early trappers. Fort Laramie remained an 
important trading post until 1849, when the United States 
purchased it for use as a military post for the protection of 
the increasing number of emigrants. 

The fur era was succeeded b}^ the emigration period, which 
had its beginning in 1842. Hundreds of thousands of emigrants 
indelibly marked Wyoming as they toiled westward bound for 
the Oregon country, the Mormon colonies in the Great Salt 
Lake valley, and the California gold fields. Additional forts 
were established and the government supply freighters for 
these forts soon began to intermingle with emigrant trains. A 
stage line was started in 1851 and the early 1860 's brought the 
Pony Express and the telegraph across central Wyoming. 

In 1862 Indian warfare swept the region and came to a 
climax in 1866, the year known as "the bloody year on the 
plains," when Colonel William Judd Fetterman and eighty 
men were killed by the Indians at Fort Kearny. The Indian 
wars continued with many skirmishes engaging soldiers de- 
tailed to protect the stage stations, emigrant and freight trains, 
and the pioneers. A treaty of peace was concluded in 1868 
with Red Cloud. Chief of the Sioux tribes, however, it was not 
until 1874 before the final battle with the Indians took place 
at Bates Hole. 

The Union Pacific Railroad commenced building its tracks 
across the State, rapidly pushing forward and entering Chey- 
enne on November 13, 1867. To protect and govern the new 
settlements along the railway, the Territory of Wyoming came 
into existence by an Act of Congress on July 28, 1868. Terri- 
torial officials however were not appointed until the following- 
year, when on May 19, 1869, the territorial government form- 
ally was inaugurated. On September 2nd of that year the first 
territorial election was held and the first territorial legislature 
convened in Cheyenne on October 12. 

The first outstanding act of the territorial lawmakers was 
the granting of suffrage to women. Governor J. A. Campbell, 
on December 10, 1869, signed the "Female Suffrage" Bill, 
which was promoted by Esther Morris, who was known as the 
"Mother of Woman Suffrage" in Wyoming, and who also was 
the first woman Justice of the Peace. This Act of the Legis- 
lature resulted, for the first time in the historv of the United 


States — and perhaps of the world — in the granting to women 
equal political rights with men. 

The decades between 1870 and 1890 were occupied by the 
further settlement of Wyoming. Due to the excellent feeding 
conditions, more than a million cattle poured into Wyoming 
over the Texas trail, starting the livestock industry, one of 
Wyoming's major industries. Wyoming, however, is not an 
agricultural state alone for it possesses important mineral re- 
sources such as coal, petroleum, and phosphates. 

Twenty-one years after the inauguration of the Territory 
of Wyoming, the Territory became the forty-fourth state of 
the Union, having been admitted to statehood on July 10, 1890, 
by the signature of President Benjamin Harrison. To com- 
memorate this historic milestone in the history of Wyoming 
and in the history of our country, the Post Office Department 
issued the Wyoming Statehood commemorative postage stamp. 

Announcing the Wyoming Statehood Stamp 

The Post Office Department set a precedent, when issuing 
in 1939 a commemorative postage stamp in honor of the fiftieth 
anniversary of admission to the Union of North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Montana, and Washington. This was followed a year 
later by the Idaho Statehood stamp. Consequently it was not 
surprising that the Post Office Department was urged to issue 
a commemorative stamp in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of 
the admission of Wyoming to the Union. 

The Wyoming Federation of Women's ( Tubs particularly 
was active in requesting the issuance of such a stamp and 
urged the State Congressional Delegation to place the matter 
before the officials of the Post Office Department. Senator 
Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming, a former First Assistant 
Postmaster General, transmitted in a letter to Postmaster Gen- 
eral James A. Farley on January 27, 1939. the desire of the 
citizens of Wyoming to have a stamp issued to commemorate 
the golden anniversary of the State. 

In the past, with the exception of the two issues mentioned 
above, a state had to be at least a century old before it is hon- 
ored with a stamp. According to the Washington Post, how- 
ever, it was argued before the officials that "Wyoming, out in 
the Golden West, took the attitude that what other states could 
do in 100 years it had done in fifty," 

Postmaster General James A. Farley announced on April 
24, 1940, for release in morning papers, Thursday. April 25, 
1940, that "A special commemorative postage stamp will be 
issued by the Post Office Department on July 10. 1940, in con- 
nection with the Fiftieth Anniversary of the admission to state- 
hood of the State of Wyoming." 


Following this news release, Ramsey S. Black, Third Assist- 
ant Postmaster General, issued the following notice, which ap- 
peared in the Postal Bulletin of May 28, 1940: 


Third Assistant Postmaster General, 
Washington, May 24, 1940 

Postmaster and employees of the Postal Service are hereby 
notified of the issuance of a special postage stamp in the 3-cent 
denomination in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of 
the admission of Wyoming to statehood. The stamp will be 
first placed on sale at the Cheyenne, Wyo., post office on July 
10, 19-10. It will be available at other post offices as soon after 
the date as stocks can be printed and distributed. 

The new stamp is 84/100 by 1 44/100 inches in dimensions, 
arranged vertically. It is printed in purple by the rotary pro- 
cess and issued in sheets of 50. 

The central design is a reproduction of the State Seal of 
Wyoming, extending the full width of the stamp. In a curved 
panel with dark ground forming an arch above the central 
design is the Avording "State of Wyoming 50th Anniversary" 
in white roman arranged in two lines. In a horizontal panel 
with dark ground at the top of the stamp is the inscription 
"U. S. Postage" in white roman. In a similar panel, at the 
lower edge of the stamp in white roman lettering, are the 
words ' ' Three ' ' at the left and ' ' Cents ' ' at the right, separated 
by a large circular panel with dark ground containing the 
numeral "3" in white. In the space between the lower panel 
and the central design are the words "1890" at the left and 
"1940" at the right in large white numerals. 

Stamp collectors desiring first-day cancellations of the new 
stamp on July 10 may send a limited number of addressed 
covers, not in excess of 10, to the postmaster at Cheyenne, 
Wyo., with a cash or postal money order remittance to cover 
only the cost of the stamps required for affixing. Postage 
stamps will positively not be accepted in payment. At first-day 
sales in the past, many covers have been undelivered because 
the sender has failed to properly address the same. Each cover 
mast be addressed and should bear a pencil endorsement in the 
upper right corner to show the number of stamps to be attached 
thereto. It is also necessary to allow sufficient space to affix 
the stamps and the postmark. Envelopes should not be smaller 
than 3 by 6 inches. The use of large and irregularly shaped 
envelopes should be avoided. All cover envelopes should either 
be sealed or sent with the "flaps turned in. Better cancellations 
will be provided if the envelopes contain medium- weight 



Requests for uncancelled stamps must not be included 
with orders for first-day covers to the postmaster at the above 

For the benefit of collectors desiring stamps of selected 
quality for philatelic use, the new stamp will also be placed 
on sale at the Philatelic Agency on July 11, 1940. To insure 
prompt shipment, mail orders to the Agency must exclude 
other varieties of stamps. 

Postmasters at Direct- and central-accounting post offices 
may submit requisition on Form 3201-A, endorsed "Wyoming 
Statehood," for a limited supply only of the new stamp. All 
such requisitions should reach the Department not later than 
June 15 if shipment on the first order is desired. Postmasters 
at district accounting post offices may obtain small quantities 
of the new postage stamp by requisition on the central-account- 
ing postmasters. 

Postmasters receiving advance shipments of the new stamp 
are hereby cautioned not to allow any of the stamps to be sold 
before July 11. 

Third Assistant Postmaster General." 

The Design 

When Senator O'Mahoney urged the issuance of a com- 
memorative stamp in honor of Wyoming's golden anniversary 
of statehood, he also suggested the use of the Great Seal of 
the State of Wyoming as the central design. This suggestion 
met with the approval of the Post Office Department and the 
Bureau of Engraving and Printing was instructed to prepare 
a model of the stamp. 

Alvin Pi. Meissner. an artist of the Bureau of Engraving 
and Printing, designed this model and the same was submitted 
on January 17, 1940, to Postmaster General James A. Farley, 
who approved it on February 1, 1940. 

The Great Seal of the State of Wyoming was adopted in 
its present design by the second State Legislature and approved 
on January 10, 1893. This Act was amended by the sixteenth 
Legislature and approved on February 15, 1921. By this 
amendment the width of the Seal was reduced from two and 
one-quarter inches to one and one-half inches. 

The significance of many features of the seal is readily 
apparent. In the center of the design stands the draped figure 
of a woman, a reproduction of the "Victory of Louvre" statue. 
From her left wrist hang links of broken chain, and in her 
right hand is held a staff, from the top of which floats a banner 
with the words. "Equal Rights." The broken links of chain 
and the banner suggest the political status women always have 


known in Wyoming and is symbolic of their political equality. 
The lighted lamp on each pillar signifies the light of knowledge. 

Standing at the right of the statue is the figure of a man 
with a broad brimmed hat holding a lariat. This figure repre- 
sents the livestock and grazing industry of the State. To the 
left of the statue stands the figure of a miner with pick in hand, 
symbolic of the State's mining industry. Inscribed on the 
pillars at each side of the statue are the words "Live Stock," 
"Grain," "Mines," "Oil," representing the State's chief 

On the pedestal, on which the statue is standing, the num- 
ber "XLIV" is inscribed together with a star on a shield, 
emblazoned with vertical stripes, on which an eagle is resting. 
This heraldic design signified the fact that Wyoming was the 
forty-fourth state to be admitted to the Union. 

'The two dates on the bottom of the Seal, "1869-1890." 
respectively commemorate the organization of the Territorial 
government and Wyoming's admission into the Union. 

The Printing- of the Wyoming Statehood Stamp 

The order for the printing of the Wyoming Commemora- 
tive postage stamp was placed with the Bureau of Engraving 
and Printing by the Post Office Department on March 23, 1940, 
and a quantity of 48 million of the stamps was ordered. The 
Die Proof was approved by Postmaster General James A. Far- 
ley on April 17, 1940. 

The vignette of the stamp was engraved by Charles A. 
Brooks and the lettering, frame, and numerals were engraved 
by Edward H. Helmuth, both artists of the Bureau of Engrav- 
ing and Printing. 

Plates 22583, 22584, 22585, and 22586 were assigned for 
the engraving of the Wyoming Statehood stamp in March 
1940. The first two plates were sent first to press on May 3, 
1940, and plates 22585 and 22586 went to press on May 6, 1940. 

The plates were 200-subject electric eye convertible type 
plates, divided into post office panes of fifty stamps each, 
arranged in ten horizontal rows and five vertical rows of 
stamps. The stamps were printed on the rotary presses on 
regular unwatermarked stamp paper and perforated 10!/>xll. 

The official announcement covering this stamp described 
the color as purple, with which description few will agree. 
Scott's United States Stamp Catalogue lists the color as brown 
violet, which approximates the color of the stamp more closely 
than the Post Office Department's official color description. 
No major shade varieties have been noted and as a matter of 
fact the shade seemed to remain quite constant. 


The First Day of Sale 

Cheyenne, the Capital of the State of Wyoming, was 
ehosei] as the First Day of Sale city and elaborate prepara- 
tions for the efficient handling of the thousands of first day 
covers were made by the Post Office Department and Post- 
master William G. Haas of Cheyenne. 

According to the Wyoming State Tribune of July 9, 1940, 
"orders for 200,000 of the Wyoming 50th anniversary stamps 
have already been received from stamp collectors all over the 
world. The Cheyenne Post Office has 500,000 of the stamps. 
In observance of Wyoming's 50th anniversary, Postmaster 
Haas urged that Cheyenneites mail letters with the new stamps 
to all of their friends and relatives Wednesday, the first day 
of issue. 'We will have two special stamp windows open from 
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cancelling machines will be right at the 
windows so we will be prepared for a large volume,' said 
Haas." The first delivery of the new stamps was made on 
June 28, 1940, to the Post Office at Cheyenne and orders for 
the new stamps began arriving as early as June 18. Among 
orders for the new stamps to be affixed to covers have been 
these placed by President Roosevelt, Postmaster General James 
A. Farley, four assistant postmaster generals and many other 
government officials. 

The first sheet of stamps sold on July 10, 1940, was pur- 
chased by U. S. Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney from Postmaster 
William G. Haas. The Senator, after autographing the sheet, 
presented it to the Wyoming State Federation of Women's 
Clubs. Mrs. Lena P. Shawen, Secretary to the Superintendent, 
Division of Stamps, Post Office Department, Washington, D. C, 
was in charge of the first day sales arrangements, which were 
handled in a most efficient manner. Mrs. Shawen sold the 
second sheet of the new stamps to Miss Madelyn Seabright. 
President of the Wyoming organization of Business and Pro- 
fessional Women, and the third sheet was purchased by Miss 
Margaret B. Laughlin, Secretary of the Cheyenne Business and 
Professional Women's Club. W. D. Rhoades was the official 
canceller of the thousands of first day covers. 

A large crowd of local collectors was at hand to watch 
the proceedings and the post office building was crowded all 
day with stamp collectors, some of whom had travelled quite 
some distance. 

A total of 100,000 Wyoming Statehood stamps were sold 
;it the Cheyenne Post Office between the time of opening and 
noon of July 10, 1940, according to Postmaster William G. 
Haas. The Wyoming St<ite Tribune stated that "the sale of 
50. ()()() stamps to J. E. Greer, Union Pacific freight agent, made 


Wednesday morning, is the largest individual sale of stamps 
since the post office was established on October 5, 1869. Greer 
said the stamps will be distributed to thousands of Union 
Pacific offices throughout the United States and will be affixed 
to all Union Pacific mail." 

A total of 325,982 stamps were sold on the first day of issue 
and 156,709 covers received the official "First Day of Issue" 

First Day covers received the usual "First Day of Issue" 
cancellation, consisting of the round machine town cancellation, 
reading: "CHEYENNE/JUL 10/ 9-AM/1940/WYO. " with 
the two thin straight lines above and below the legend — 
"—FIRST DAY OF ISSUE— " to the right. A number of covers 
also received the usual hand stamp "First Day of Issue" can- 

First Day covers were issued for the commemorative stamp, 
under sponsorship of the women of Wyoming, led by Mrs. 
John L. Jordan, of Cheyenne, president of the Wyoming Fed- 
eration of Women's Clubs. The cachets on these first day 
covers depicted the meadow-lark, the State bird, and the State 
flower, the Indian paint-brush, "gorgeous with the orange and 
scarlet of the Wyoming summer sunsets. ' ' There also were 
many other cachet designs, including the Golden Anniversary 
seal with the familiar bucking horse and cowboy. 

Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney, a member of the Committee 
on Post Offices and Post Roads, remembered many of his friends 
with a first day cover. In a letter, enclosed in these covers, the 
Senator called attention that "the Wyoming Constitution is 
notable, not only because of the provision for woman suffrage, 
but also because it contains an eloquent and forceful declara- 
tion of those principles of human freedom upon which this 
Republic was founded and which seems today to be undergoing 
the supreme test." 

Cheyenne, the First Day of Sale city, was founded in 1867 
by a group of United States army officers and engineers of the 
Union Pacific Railroad. It was incorporated as a city two 
years later. From the very beginning, Cheyenne held a glam- 
orous position in the development of the West. It quickly 
acquired a colorful reputation with which it possibly will 
always be associated. Its inhabitants are descendants of the 
hardy and fearless pioneers whose robust and courageous life 
made Cheyenne the bustling metropolis of today. 



The only varieties reported are contained in a listing made 
by John P. Lanka in the September 1940 issue of the Bureau 
Specialist, the official organ of the Bureau Issues Association. 
Lanka lists a thin line one half millimeter from and parallel 
to the center line on plate 22585, lower left, stamps 1, 10, 20, 30 
and 40. This line extends across the entire left edge of the 
sheet. I shall be grateful to receive reports or references to 
any other varieties which may have been located. 


The Wyoming Statehood Commemorative Postage stamp 
was withdrawn from sale at the Philatelic Agency in Wash- 
ington, D. C, at the close of business of July 19, 1944, having 
been on sale a little over four years. 

According to official records, the following quantities of 
the Wyoming Statehood stamp were printed ■ 

Year ending June 30, 1940— 500,000 stamps 
Year ending June 30, 1941 — 48,147,500 stamps 
Year ending June 30, 1942 — 1,377,500 stamps 
Year ending June 30, 1943 — ■ 9,400 stamps 

Total— 50,034,400 stamps 

In addition to the above total there were issued 363 specimen 

The Wyoming Statehood Commemorative postage stamp, un- 
questionably well designed and a "thing of beauty," was a 
popular stamp and a reminder to many citizens of Wyoming 
of that memorable night fifty years ago when Wyoming Terri- 
tory celebrated her Statehood with fireworks and cannon shots 
all over the State from Evanston to Cheyenne. It also will be 
a reminder to future generations of the valiant men and women 
who founded the State. Senator O'Mahoney, in a special ar- 
ticle written for the 50th anniversary edition of the Wyo- 
ming Eagle, appropriately stated that these men and women 
"were moved by the determination to set up a government 
in which each individual would be free, free to work, free to 
speak, free to pray."' The devotion to the principles of liberty 
and freedom arc not aroused alone by the people of Wyoming 
but also are in the hearts of every American, who. proud of his 
heritage, realizes that only by the preservation of these ideals 
free government can and will be preserved. 

Wyoming Scrap book 


One of the functions of the Wyoming State Historical 
Department is to record factually, for posterity, events and 
incidents of state or local interest. 

I am setting forth the story of the tragedy responsible 
for the name "Dead Man's Trail" as told me by Mr. T. F. Carr. 

Mr. Carr is now retired from active ranch operations and 
residing in Buffalo, Wyoming. For many years he had exten- 
sive land and live stock holdings in the proximity of "Dead 
Man 's Trail. ' ' 

Elmer Brock. 

Mr. Carr relates as follows: 

Dead Man's Trail is located about nine miles west of 
Kaycee and on the north side of the middle fork of Powder 
River. It branches off the present Kaycee-Barnum road near 
the Rinker ranch, running north a short distance, then west, 
turning back south to connect with the main road again near 
the Beaver Creek Falls. This roundabout route was used in 
early days to avoid two river crossings when the stream was 
too high to ford. 

One day in the spring of 1886, probably about June, the 
LX roundup was camped at Beaver Creek Falls, this being a 
regular roundup campsite. In the evening there was some 
trouble over gambling followed by several fights. One of the 
combatants, known only as Pushroot Jim, had quite a reputa- 
tion as a fighter and is alleged to have beaten up one Simon 
White, foreman of the LX. Jim was nighthawk for the LX. 

The morning following the fight, White fired Jim. Jim 
had no horse or saddle and started out along the trail before 
the riders went on circle. The drive that day was from the 
Red Fork of Powder River country to the north of Beaver 
Creek Falls. 

Before the men had scattered Simon White left the group, 
returning before the drive reached the roundup ground. 

Charlie Devoe and wife, with a team and buckboard, were 
returning from a visit with H. W. (Hank) Devoe family at 

the C ranch. (Hank Devoe 1 at that time was foreman of the C 
ranch owned by Peters and Alston.) While traveling along 
what is now known as Dead Man's Trail they heard a shot. A 

1. This is the same H. W. Devoe who was one of the 25 who signed 
the minutes of a meeting of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association 
February 23, 1874. 


few minutes later, where the trail runs along- a rim rock, they 
came upon the body of Pushroot Jim. He had been shot. It 
took the Devoes a day and a half to get to Buffalo and notify 
the authorities. By the time the Sheriff and Coroner reached 
the scene of the murder, the corpse was in such a state that 
it could not be moved. It was placed in a nearby depression 
;iii(l covered with pine boughs and a few rocks. This slight 
covering was soon weathered away and Jim's remains were 
exposed to the elements and prowling predators. Eight or 
nine years after the murder was committed George Curry, Hi 
Bennett, Bob Smith, possibly Tom O'Day, and four or five 
other members of the Hole-In-the-Wall gang, gathered up the 
remains and buried them at the foot of a scrub cedar tree at 
the scene of the crime. It is something of an indictment of 
the local authorities that they left a decent burial of an un- 
named murdered man to a noted outlaw, alleged train robber 
and his associates. 

Mr. Carr says that he did not come to this country until 
1887, a year after the murder. At that time he rode the roundup 
with many of the men who were there at the time of the mur- 
der. He says it was the concensus of opinion that Simon White 
killed Jim when he left the other men the morning of the 
tragedy. Mr. Carr thinks Jim was unarmed and was shot only 

Carr says he never heard of any attempt by the authori- 
ties to find out who committed the crime. 

When questioned as to why the murdered man bore the 
name of Pushroot Jim, the only name we know for him, Mr. 
Carr said because he was from the Lander Country. He said 
the cowboys called all the men from the Lander Country, 
"Pushrooters," but he did not know why.' 2 

The 1880 's were adventurous times in this part of Wyo- 
ming. It was not at all uncommon for a man to find his last 
resting place an unnamed and unmarked grave. Time soon 
erases all memory of event or place. 

In the case of Jim. some local history is involved. Before 
time erases this incident from memory, or what is often the 
case, exaggerates and distorts it out of all proportion, we hope 
you will record it for future generations. 

2. Billy Johnson, ;i rancher from the Lander country, who was 
there in the 80 's explains the name as follows: 

Back in those early days of the open range, settlers came in and 
started farming on a small scale. They had little bunches of cattle, but 
they weren't brought up in the cow business because of the fact th?y 
were farmers and knew nothing of the ranch business. The Texans and 
Califomians and old time cow punchers applied the name "pushrooters" 
to this class of people. He said they were a pretty good kind of people 
but their cattle got away and drifted in the winter, so they would try to 
rep with the outfits, but the cow punchers would cut their cattle for them 
because thev could scarcely read their own brands. 



I came to Wyoming in 1873, locating in Laramie. After 
attending the public school for a brief period, necessity com- 
pelled me to seek employment. Having learned from one of 
the employees that the Laramie Daily Independent was in need 
of an apprentice, I made application for the position. The 
man who greeted me in the editorial and business office com- 
bined, was more than six feet tall, with powerful physique, 
and probably at that time, weighed 230 pounds. He looked 
me over in a searching way, asked me many questions about 
my parentage, my schooling, my previous occupation, etc., and 
told me I could go to work at once if I chose to do so. 

The next morning, a bright day in January, 1874, found 
me at work as a printer's devil. Col. E. A. Slack, the editor 
and manager, was a man of all work. He edited the paper, 
frequently made it up, did a large portion of the job work, 
often took a turn at the hand press and was as busy as a news- 
paper man could be. His life was one of incessant toil, men- 
tally and physically. The plant he had, consisted of a Wash- 
ington hand press, a few fonts of advertising type, perhaps 
three hundred pounds of newspaper type, a job press, a scanty 
supply of job type and other job material. The entire outfit 
would sell today for less than 50% of the cost of one of the 
linotypes used in a modern printing house. Colonel E. A. 
Slack had previously conducted a daily newspaper in South 
Pass City, where he was burned out, his venture there being 
a financial loss. He conducted the Laramie Daily Independent 
until some time in 1875, when its name was changed to the 
Laramie Daily Sun and the firm was changed from Slack & 
Webster to Slack and Bramel. In 1876, some of the enterpris- 
ing men of the state capitol made him an offer to move to 
Cheyenne. Their proposition was accepted and in March of 
that year he made the change, selling his lot and building to 
Hayford and Gates who were at that time conducting the 
Laramie Daily Sentinel. I was given the option of changing 
my residence to Cheyenne or entering the employment of Hay- 
ford and Gates. I chose the latter and remained at Laramie, 
Avorking for Hayford and Gates and subsequently for Mr. C. 
W. Bramel on the Laramie Daily Chronicle, for a period of 
about six months. I then changed to Cheyenne and worked 
for Col. Slack for about two years. During my somewhat inti- 
mate acquaintance with him, covering a period of more than 

*For biography of W. E. Chaplin, see Annuls of Wyoming, Vol. II — 
No. 1— pp. 49-51. 


thirty years. I had an excellent opportunity to learn his true 
character. He was a man of indomitable energy, tremendous 
will power, and high personal character. He believed in run- 
ning a newspaper for a purpose and not for financial gain; 
at least he never made a dollar out of the business. This may 
seem strange, hut it is a fact that he accumulated during the 
last six or seven years of his life, and entirely aside from his 
life business, all the property he left his family — a goodly 
inheritance. As a writer he used the sledge-hammer, pounding 
into shape such mental material as came to hand. When he 
got thoroughly interested in a subject he seemed to accumulate 
more and more of it from day to day until his adversaries were 
literally overwhelmed and driven from the field of action. To 
his help he was kind, sympathetic and agreeable, or exacting, 
domineering and exasperating, as the man or mood moved him. 
His advice to the young men in his employ was always for the 
best. He was a philosopher and it pleased him to talk to those 
who would listen to his wisdom. Frequently he devoted hours 
on a Sunday or a holiday in talking to me, and if he was not 
through at meal time he would insist upon taking me, a mere 
hoy, to his house where I enjoyed the splendid dinner provided 
by Mrs. Slack, while he pursued the particular subject upper- 
most in his intensely active mind. He paid good wages, in- 
sisted upon good work and was a tremendous factor in keeping 
the newspaper business of Wyoming on a high plane. He was 
not a good business manager. In the early days of his news- 
paper life in the state he did not think of copying a letter, 
his books were kept in a haphazard, careless manner, and he 
never really knew whether he was making or losing money. 
It is not probable that a statement of his business was ever 
made. His editorial desk was confusion confounded. He was 
not methodical in any sense of the word, and yet he was able 
to accomplish a great deal. He preferred to reach things by 
approximation, going across lots rather than by the beaten 

Dr. J. II. Ilayford. of the Laramie Daily Sentinel, was the 
opposite to Col. Slack. He was not a practical printer, as was 
his competitor, yet I have known him to run the old Washing- 
ton hand press, which his paper never outgrew. His writing 
was keen, forcible and went straight to the point. He had the 
power of condensation to an extrarordinary degree. Judge 
Bramel used to say that Doc Hayford could sling more mud 
with a teaspoon than he could with a seoopshovel. He was a 
pioneer of the pioneers, coming to Wyoming from Colorado. 
The Sentinel was established in 1868, and was conducted con- 
tinuously as a daily until January 1, 1 879, when it was discon- 
tinued, the weekly being continued until about 1893. He had 
pronounced opinions upon all subjects and was free to express 


his mind. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, took 
an advanced position upon temperance, and was exceedingly 
alive to all matters connected with the state and local govern- 
ment. He served as territorial auditor, postmaster, justice of 
the peace, and judge of the Second Judicial District. He was 
an anti-race suicide man both by practice and inclination. One 
day I happened to be in his office when a little blond girl came 
running in. He said to me, "That is my twenty-first child." 
He was married twice. Like Col. Slack, he made no money 
out of the printing business, merely a living; and died a poor 
man, but he left his impress upon Wyoming journalism and it 
was bettered by his having engaged in it. 

In 1876, about the balmy month of May, there came to 
Laramie a tall, light complexioned individual by the name of 
Edgar Wilson Nye. He was loosely constructed, angular in 
form, and awkward in gait. His home had been in the state 
of Wisconsin, at the little town of Hudson. He bore a letter 
of introduction from a Wisconsin gentleman to Hon. N. L. 
Andrews, who introduced him about the city. He was of an 
amiable nature and soon acquired many friends. He obtained 
employment upon the Daily Sentinel at a salary of ten dollars 
a week, boarding at the home of the editor. His duties were 
to report the city news. At the same time he corresponded with 
several outside papers, among them the old Denver Tribune, 
which was edited by Mr. 0. H. Rothacker, and in the city de- 
partment of which was that great poet and humorist, Eugene 
Field. Field's attention was called to the quaint humor that 
ran through the correspondence from Laramie signed "Bill 
Nye." He sought his acquaintance and urged him to continue 
to build up in this line, that it was worth while. Nye pros- 
pered, married a talented and excellent woman and became one 
of the most noted writers of the west. His humor was readily 
accepted by such papers as the Detroit Free Press, Puck, and 
Texas Sif tings. After the death of the Daily Sentinel, January 
1, 1879, the Republicans of Albany County chafed under the 
fire of the Laramie Daily Times, conducted by Pease & Bramel, 
and decided to establish a daily Republican paper. A stock 
company was organized in the latter part of 1880 and Nye was 
selected as the editor and manager. The company was stocked 
for $3,000; $1,800 of the amount being spent for printing ma- 
terial and the remainder placed in the treasury for expenses 
while the paper was getting on a paying basis. The first issue 
of the Boomerang was in March 1881. It was successful from 
the beginning, if occupying the newspaper field can be counted 
as a success, but Nye was not a business man and troubles of 
a financial nature soon clouded the paper's career. In the first 
place, the mistake had been made of buying a handpress, which 
was soon out-grown. The next bad error was to rent quarters 


over a foiil-smelling livery barn. No one visited the office 
only through sheer necessity and the fumes from the barn 
carried illness to the employees above, Nye becoming a victim. 
Meanwhile his fame had assumed national proportions. Sub- 
scriptions for the weekly were coming in by the score and a 
power press was seenred. His fame was so great that the New 
York Sun, a paper that never exchanged with any other paper, 
sent ten dollars for a year's subscription. Associated with 
Nye upon that paper were at least two of the best newspaper 
men the state ever produced — R. G. Read, the first city editor, 
and M. C. Barrow, the second city editor. In 1882 Dr. Hay- 
ford's term as postmaster of Laramie expired and Nye fought 
his reappointment. One day in the early autumn Nye received 
a telegram from Hon. Frank Hatton, first assistant postmaster 
general, to the effect that Hayford would not receive the 
appointment and asking him to make a recommendation. After 
consultation with the writer, Nye wired Hatton that he would 
like the place, it being agreed that Mr. C. W. Spalding, a Lara- 
mie pioneer and an excellent postoffice clerk, would be able to 
handle the postoffice, leaving Nye free to look after the editorial 
and business management of the Boomerang. Of course, this 
was not all Nye had to do. He was at the same time United 
States commissioner and justice of the peace. He was not a 
bookkeeper, nor in any sense methodical. All the books that 
were at that time kept iii the office of the Boomerang was a red 
cash book in which all receipts were entered, and ledgers for 
subscriptions and general accounts. Methods were crude and 
exceedingly unsatisfactory. Practically all the money received 
from the various sources went into Nye's somewhat capacious 
pockets and it was an exceedingly difficult matter to get it out 
in a methodical and accurate manner. Nye's letter to Mr. 
Hatton, accepting the appointment as postmaster, was a choice 
bit of humor and as it is short I quote it in full, as follows: 

"Office of Daily Boomerang 

"Laramie City, Wyoming, August !), 1882. 

''Mil Dear General — 1 have received by telegraph the news 
of my nomination by the president and my confirmation by 
the senate, as postmaster at Laramie, and wish to extend my 
thanks for the same. 

"I have ordered an entirely new set of books and post- 
office outfit, including new corrugated cuspidors For the lady 

"I look upon the appointment, myself, as a great triumph 
of eternal truth over error and wrong. It is one of the epochs, 
I may say, in the nation's onward march toward political 
purity and perfection. I do not know when 1 have noticed 
any stride in the affairs of state which so thoroughly impressed 
me with its wisdom. 


"Now that we are co-workers in the same department, I 
trust you will not feel shy or backward in consulting me at 
any time relative to matters concerning post office affairs. Be 
perfectly frank with me and feel perfectly free to just bring 
anything of that kind right to me. Do not feel reluctant be- 
cause I may at times appear haughty and indifferent, cold or 
reserved. Perhaps you do not think I know the difference 
between a general delivery window and a three-em quad, but 
that is a mistake. 

"My general information is far beyond my years. 

"With profoundest regard and a hearty endorsement of 
the policy of the president and senate, whatever it may lie, 
"I remain sincerelv yours, 

"General Frank Hatton, Washington, D. C." 

General Frank Hatton, as perhaps all of you know, was 
at one time one of the greatest American humorists, being 
connected with the Burlington, Iowa, Hawkey e, hence his friend- 
ship for Bill Nye. 

Nye occupied the position of postmaster for about a year, 
when he was taken sick and left Wyoming never again to take 
up his residence in the state. His resignation was just as laugh- 
able as his letter of acceptance. 

"Postoffice Divan, Laramie City, W. T., 

October 1, 188S. 
"To the President of the United States: 

"Sir — I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resig- 
nation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver 
the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The 
safe combination is set on the numbers 33, 66 and 99, though 
I do not remember at this moment which comes first or how 
many times you revolve the knob or .which direction you should 
turn it in order to make it operate. 

"There is some mining stock in my private drawer in the 
safe, which I have not yet removed. This stock you may have 
if you desire it. It is a luxury, but you may have it. I have 
decided to keep a horse instead of this mining stock. The 
horse may not be so pretty, but it will cost less to keep him. 

"You will find the postal cards that have not been used 
under the distributing table, and the coal down in the cellar. 
If the stove draws too hard, close the damper in the pipe and 
shut the genera] delivery window. 

"Looking over my stormy and eventful administration as 
postmaster here, I find abundant cause for thanksgiving. At 
the time I entered upon the duties of my office the department 
was not upon a paying basis. It was not even self-sustaining. 
Since that time, with the active co-operation of the chief execu- 


tive and the heads of the departments, I have been able to make 
our postal system a paying one, and on top of that I am now 
able to reduce the tariff on the average-size letters from three 
cents to two. I might add that this is rather too, too. but I 
will not say anything that might seem undignified in an official 
resignation which is to become a matter of history. 

"Through all the vicissitudes of a tempestuous term of 
office I have safely passed. I am able to turn over the office 
today in a highly improved condition, and to present a purified 
and renovated institution to my successor. 

"Acting under the advice of General Hatton. a year ago, 
I removed the feather bed with which my predecessor. Deacon 
Hayford, had bolstered up his administration by stuffing the 
window, and substituted glass. Finding nothing in the book 
of instructions to postmasters which made the feather bed a 
part of my official duties, I filed it away in an obscure place 
and burned it in effigy, also in the gloaming. This act mad- 
dened my predecessor to such an extent that he then and there 
became a candidate for justice of the peace on the democratic 
ticket. The democratic party was able, however, with what 
aid it secured from the republicans, to plow the old man under 
to a great degree. 

"It was not long after I had taken my official oath before 
an era of unexampled prosperity opened for the American 
people. The price of beef rose to a remarkable altitude, and 
other vegetables commanded a good figure and a ready market. 
We then began to make active preparations for the introduc- 
tion of the strawberry-roan two-cent stamps and the blaek- 
and-tan postal note. One reform has crowded upon the heels 
of another until the country is today upon the foam-crested 
wave of a permanent prosperity. 

"Mr. President, I cannot close this letter without thanking 
yourself and the heads of departments at Washington for your 
active, cheery and prompt co-operation in these matters. You 
can do as you see fit, of course, about incorporating this idea 
into your Thanksgiving proclamation, but rest assured it would 
not be ill-timed or inopportune. It is not alone a credit to 
myself. It reflects credit upon the administration also. 

"I need not say that I herewith transmit my resignation 
with great sorrow and genuine regret. We have toiled on to- 
gether month after month, asking for no reward except the 
innate consciousness of rectitude and the salary as fixed by 
law. Now we are to separate. Here the roads seem to fork, 
as it were, and you and I, and the cabinet, must leave each other 
at this point. 

"You will find the key under the door-mat, and you had 
better turn the cat out at night when vou close the office.' If 


she does not go readily you can make it clearer to her mind 
by throwing the cancelling stamp at her. 

"If Deacon Hayford does not pay up his box-rent, you 
might as well put his mail in the general delivery, and when 
Bob Head gets drunk and insists on a letter from one of his 
wives every day in the week, you can salute him through the 
delivery window with an old Queen Anne tomahawk, which 
you will find near the Etruscan water-pail. This will not in any 
manner surprise either of these parties. 

"Tears are unavailing. I once more become a private citi- 
zen, clothed only with the right to read such postal cards as 
may be addressed to me personally, and to curse the inefficiency 
of the postoffice department. I believe the voting class to be 
divided into two parties, viz. : Those who are in the postal 
service and those who are mad because they cannot receive a 
registered letter every fifteen minutes of each day, including 

"Mr. President, as an official of this government I now 
retire. My term of office would not expire until 1886. I must, 
therefore, beg pardon for my eccentricity in resigning. It will 
be best, perhaps, to keep the heart-breaking news from the 
ears of European powers until the dangers of a financial panic 
are fully past. Then hurl its broadcast with a sickening thud." 

The advent of Merris C. Barrow (Bill Barlow) ante-dated 
the Boomerang. He was a postal clerk running into Laramie 
as early as 1878. He was city editor of the Laramie Times 
in the latter part of 1879 and 1880. The humorous style of 
Nye unquestionably had a tremendous effect upon his writing 
and yet his work was more like that of Brand or Hubbard. 
He evolved a vocabulary that was tremendous in its scope and 
very expressive. At times his English was a trifle difficult to 
follow, yet it was pleasing to thousands of American readers. 
From the Times he went to the Boomerang and thence to the 
Rawlins Republican. In 1886 he established Bill Barlow's 
Budget at Douglas and continued its publication until his 
death. Sagebrush Philosophy, the little magazine upon which 
he put so much of his time was a creation of later years. Its 
circulation leaped to national proportions. He was genial, 
optimistic and the life of a social gathering. He did every- 
thing he attempted with a great deal of ability. 

There were other editors in the early days of Wyoming 
who had a great deal to do with the progress and prosperity 
of the state, but it is not my purpose to enter into extended notice 
of the living. When I first located in Cheyenne, Major Hermann 
Glafcke was the editor and proprietor of the Daily Lead el- 
and continued its publication for many years. Later John P. 
Carroll became the editor of that paper. Carroll was one of 


the best and most versatile writers that ever graced a Wyoming 
editorial chair. In scoring an enemy his pen was as keen as 
a Damascus blade. He now occupies one of the seats of the 
mighty — the editorial chair in the office of the Portland Ore- 
Ionian, the position so ably filled for thirty years by Harvey 
Scott, perhaps the greatest editorial writer of the Northwest. 
In the seventies there Avas another bright young newspaper 
man who worked in southeastern Wyoming. His name was 
James Barton Adams. His first work of importance was upon 
the Laramie Daily Sun in 1875. During the Black Hills excite- 
ment of 1876 he was in Cheyenne, working for the Sun. Later 
he worked in many metropolitan cities and finally located in 
the city of Denver, where he wrote the Denver Pasf-scripts 
for a number of vears and where he now edits the Rocky Moun- 
tain Elk. 

During the eighties, one William Lightfoot Yisscher ar- 
rived in the territory of Wyoming. He came with a theatrical 
troop called the "Through Death Valley Company." They 
reached the valley in Wyoming and died. Yisscher obtained 
employment on one of the Cheyenne papers and became a noted 
character in the territory. He was remarkable for two things. 
He had an insatiable appetite and an extremely large and 
homely nose. The nose was the color of a rose geranium. He 
was a prolific writer and had considerable literary ability. 

Wyoming editors have not achieved much greatness in 
the financial world. Ira 0. Middaugh of the Wheatland World 
changed to the banking business at Cody and was shot in cold 
blood by a bank robber. George W. Perry of the Rawlins 
Republican and Sheridan Post is the vice president of a national 
bank at Sheridan and is amassing a competence. One of 
Cheyenne's old newspaper boys, Robert Shingle, is at the head 
of a large banking institution in Honolulu and is one of the 
foremost men of the Hawaiian Islands. 

Today the editorial fraternity of the state embraces many 
talented men, but none are widely known. They are men who 
arc working earnestly and intelligently for the communities 
in which they live and for the state at large. For the most 
part, I believe they are sharing in the general prosperity of the 
state and the nation, something the early editors failed to do. 

In 1his brief paper it is not my purpose to discuss the ed- 
itors who are today doing business in the state. They must 
(|iiit the business or pass beyond before their epitaphs are 
written by me. 

Few Wyoming editors have attained national renown, and 
yet in proportion to the number engaged in the profession 1 
believe that the state lias contributed more than its share. 
Those who have attained prominence throughout the West and 


the nation at large may be counted on the fingers of one hand — 
John F. Carroll, Merris C. Barrow, James Barton Adams and 
Bill Nye: 

(Note: E. A. Slack issued the first number of the Laramie Daily 
Independent, December 26, 1871. 

Edgar W. Nve became assistant editor of the Sentinel 
May 9, 1876.) 

*For W. E. Chaplin's biography see Annals of Wyoming, 11; 
1:49-50; 12: 3: 167, 169. 

Note : This address was delivered by Mr. Chaplin April 21, 
192-( ?). Mr. Chaplin does not recall the year nor the occasion, 
but is certain it was before 1922 and delivered before the Young 
Men's Literary Club of Chevenne. 



Names Mentioned in 

Adams, James Barton 

Andrews, N. L. 
Barrow, M. C. 

Bramel, C. W. 

Carroll, John F. 
Chaplin, W. E. 

Field, Eugene 
Gates, J. E. 

Glafcke, Major Herman 
Hatton, General Frank 
Hayford, Dr. James H. 

Head, E. G. 

Middaugh, Ira O. 

Nye, Edgar Wilson (Bill) 

Pease, L. D. 
Perry, George W. 

Rothacker, O. II. 

Slack, Edward Archibald 

Spalding, C. W. 
Visscher, William L. 
Webster. T. J. 

Laramie Daily Sun 
The Sun, Cheyenne 
Denver Post 
Rockv Mountain Elk, 



The Laramie Times 



The Boomerang, Laramie 



Wyoming Tribune, Rawlins 



Douglas Budget 


Laramie Daily Sun 


Laramie Daily Chronicle 


Laramie Daily Times 



Daily Leader, Cheyenne 

Portland Oregonian 

Laramie Daily Independent 


Laramie Daily Sun 



Laramie Daily Sentinel 


Cheyenne Daily Sun 

Laramie Daily Chronicle 


The Boomerang. Laramie 



The Republican, Laramie 



Republican-Boomerang, Laramie 


Denver Tribune 

The Cheyenne Leader 



The Laramie Sentinel 



Daily Leader, Cheyenne 


Assistant Postmaster Gen. 

Rocky Mountain Star, Cheyenne 



The Laramie Sentinuel 



The Laramie Sentinel 

The Boomerang, Laramie 


Wheatland World 


The Sentinel 



The Boomerang 



Laramie Daily Times 



Rawlins Republican 
Sheridan Post 

Denver Tribune 

Laramie Daily Independent 
Laramie Daily Sun 
Cheyenne Daily Sun 
Cheyenne Daily Leader 

Postoffice clerk 

(Cheyenne paper") 

Laramie Daily Independent 


1871 — 1S75 



to the 


May 2 to October 16, 1945 

Casemen, Dan D., Manhattan, Kansas; donor of four letters dated 1867, 
to Gen. John S. Casement. 

Peterson, Ivan A., Wheatland, Wyo.; donor of one Civil War gun with 
one powder horn; Indian artcraft — in three picture frames; five 
boxes of miscellaneous Indian artcraft; three staples for oxen yokes; 
one picket pin to picket horses and cattle; one anklet for Oregon 
boots to chain prisoners; one sun dial; one chain guide for oxen train. 

Schaedel, Mrs. John, 609 E. 27th St., Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one 
photograph (S 1 /*" x 4 1 /o") of her father, Ernest A. Logan. 

McCreery, Mrs. Alice Richards, 550 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, Cali- 
fornia; donor of W. A. Richards' diary, 1873; one pamphlet on the 
Lewis & Clark Expedition; one pamphlet — Big Horn Expedition; 
clippings on Wyoming birds. 

Spring, Mrs. A. T., 1314 Elizabeth St., Denver, Colorado; donor of two 
photographs of Miss Alice M. Hebard, and a copy of address deliv- 
ered at the dedication of the Alice Marvin Hebard plaque in the 
Johnson School, Sept. 30, 1937. 

Wyoming Stoekgrowers' Association; the Association's collection, do- 
nated through Mr. Russell Thorp, Secretary of the Association. It 
will be listed in the next number of the Annals. 

Bon, Mrs. Kendall, 214 E. 17th St., Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one framed 
picture of Cheyenne, 1882; one framed picture of Cheyenne, 1869. 

Talbot, Fred R., 2609 Bent Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one rifle, 
one saber, and one framed picture of Cheyenne, 1900. 

Mallin, Charles F., Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one picture of the members 
of the tournament team of the Alert Hose Co., 1905 (Fire Dept.); 
the ''harness" worn by the members of the tournament team sent 
by the Cheyenne Volunteer Fire Dept. to Fort Collins, 1905; and 
one pair of running shoes worn by one of the runners. 

Swan, Henry, U. S. National Bank, Denver, Colorado; donor of a pigskin 
purse which belonged to Louise Swan Van Tassel. 

Books — Purchased 

Coues, Elliott, History of the Expedition Under the Command of Lewis 
and Clark, New York, Francis P. Harper, 1893. Four volumes. Price, 

Dobie, Frank, The Lo)u/liorns, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston. Price 

Burpee, Lawrence J., The Search for the Western Sea, The Macmillan Com- 
pany of Canada, Toronto, 1935. Two volumes, new and revised edi- 
tion's. Price, $9.50. 


Tin American Guidebook. Published by tie Help-One-Another Club, Chey- 
enne, Wyoming. Price, -+1.00. 

Veiling, Ann Eliza, (the 19th Wife of Brigham Young), Life in Mormon 
"Bondage. Limited Edition. Philadelphia Aldine Press, Inc., Boston 
:iikI London. Purchased from .lane R. Kendall. Price, $5.00. 


Mattes, Merrill, Fur Traders and Trappers of the Old West. Pamphlet. 
Donated by Mr. Mattes. 

Bowles, Samuel, Our New West, Hartford Publishing Co., Hartford, Conn., 
1869. Donated by Arthur Calverley, Charleston, South Carolina. 

Story of tin' Wild West and Camp Fire Chats By Buffalo Bill. Donated 
by Arthur Calverley, Charleston, South Carolina. 

Miscellaneous Purchases 

Canadian Geographical Journal, Canadian Geographical Society, Mon- 
treal. Vol. VI, No... 4, (April, 1933). Cost, $1.00. 

Four group pictures of Indian Peace Commission and Indian Chiefs — ■ 
at Fort Laramie, 1867 and 1868. Bureau of American Ethnology. 
Cost, $1.15 for four prints. 

Eight photographs of the Stock Growers Collection in the State Museum. 
E. W. Blew, Cheyenne Photographer. $24.50. 

Two photostats of general plans of Fort D. A. Russell, 1870 and 1875, 
(Fort Francis E. Warren) Mrs. J. R. Kendall. Cost, $.80 each. 

The State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board 
and the State Historical Department assume no responsibility for any 
statement of fact or opinion expressed by contributors to the 

The Wyoming State Historical Department invites the presentation 
of museum items, letters, diaries, family histories and manuscripts of 
Wyoming citizens. It welcomes the writings and observations of those 
familiar with important and significant events in the State's history. 

In all ways the Department strives to present to the people of 
Wyoming and the Nation a true picture of the State. The historical 
magazine, ANNALS OF WYOMING, is one medium through which the 
Department seeks to gain this objective. All communications concerning 
the ANNALS should be addressed to Mary A. McGrath, Wyoming His- 
torical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

This magazine is sent free of charge to all State Historical Board 
members, the State Historical Advisory Board, Wyoming County Li- 
braries and Wyoming newspapers. 

It is published in January and July, subscription price $1.50 per year. 


Housed in the new Supreme Court and Library Building 
in Cheyenne, with vault space and fireproof protection, the 
Museum provides for the preservation and display of the prized 
possessions of Wyoming pioneers. 

Perpetuate your family name by placing your historical 
collections and relics in your State Museum, where they may be 
permanently preserved and enjoyed by the thousands of 

Everything that is presented to the Museum is numbered, 
labeled, recorded and card indexed, thus insuring permanent 

Annals of Wyoming 

Vol. 18 

July, 1946 


Fort Laramie Abandoned. Photograph taken about 1910. Sandercock ranch 
in foreground. Next to the river are ruins of the Administration Building, 
and the Old Guardhouse, with corral for livestock. Other major buildings, 
left to right, are various officers quarters including two-story Old Bedlam, the 
sutler's store, the hospital, cavalry barracks, noncommissioned officers quarters, 
new guardhouse, commissary and bakery. 

Published Bi-Annually 



Cheyenne, Wyoming 


Lester C. Hunt, President Governor 

Wm. "Scotty" Jack Secretary of State 

John J. Mclntyre State Auditor 

Earl Wright State Treasurer 

Esther L. Anderson Superintendent of Public Instruction 

Mary A. McGrath, Secy State Librarian and Historian Ex-Officio 


Mrs. Mary Jester Allen, Cody 

Frank Barrett, Lusk 

George Bible, Rawlins 

Mrs. T. K. Bishop, Basin 

C. Watt Brandon, Kemmeier 

J. Elmer Brock, Kaycee 

Struthers Burt, Moran 

Mrs. Elsa Spear Byron, Sheridan 

Mrs. G. C. Call, Aftou 

Oliver J. Colyer, Torrington 

William C. Deming, Cheyenne 

E. A. Gaensslen, Green River 

tlans Gautschi, Lusk 

Hurt Griggs, Buffalo 

D. B. Hilton, Sundance 

Joe Joffe, Yellowstone Park 

Mrs. Joseph H. Jacobucci, Green River 

P. W. Jenkins, Big Piney 

W. C. Lawrence, Moran 

Howard B. Lott, Buffalo 

Mrs. Eliza Lythgoe, Cowley 

A. J. Mokler, Casper 

Mrs. Elmer K. Nelson, Laramie 

Charles Oviatt, Sheridan 

Mrs. Minnie Reitz, Wheatland 

Mrs. Effie Shaw, Cody 

John Charles Thompson, Cheyenne 

Russell Thorp, Cheyenne 




Mary A. McOrath, Editor . State Librarian and Historian Ex-Oflldo 
Marie H. Erwln, Co Editor Assistant Historian 

Copyright, 1946; by the Wyoming Historical Department. 

A finals of Wyoming 

Vol. 18 July, 1946 No. 2 



By Merrill J. Mattes. 


By Turrenthie Jackson. 


Fort Laramie Abandoned —.------ Cover 

The Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie 92 

Evolution of the Sutler's Store 104 

Floor Plan of the Sutler's Store 105 

The West Wing of the Sutler's Store 122 

Map of Fort Laramie, 1876-1890, facing page 131 

Citizens and Indian Chiefs 134, 135 

The Peace Commission of 1868 136 

The Peace Commissioners and Indian Chiefs in Council, 1868 137 

Governor Thomas Moonlight < 138 

Printed by 


Cheyenne, Wyoming 





































































fa fl 

JS § 


Zke Sutler's Store at fortCaramie 


Historian for Fort Laramie National Monument 

From 1849 to 1890, Fort Laramie grew from an obsolete 
adobe trading post, bought from the fur traders, to a huge 
sprawling cantonment. Buildings mushroomed, tottered and 
fell, and new ones were erected on their ruins. Today most of 
the structures which once graced the old parade ground and 
its environs have disappeared, ravaged by time and the heedless 
hand of man. Only twenty structures survive, and half of these 
are mere shells. Only three date back to the middle of the 
nineteenth century, and thus witnessed, the entire military 
period. One of these is the sutler's store. 

The sutler's store at old Fort Laramie is not valued for its 
aesthetic or its archtectural qualities. It is a squat, squalid, 
hybrid and rheumatic old structure ; but it has an aura of 
venerable antiquity which proclaims it to be a shrine of Western 
American history, worthy of kinship with such other notable 
survivors as the California Missions and the Alamo. Nothing 
spectactular occurred here. No heathens were converted, no 
battles were fought against overwhelming odds, nor were there 
any famous births or deaths. Yet the sutler's store is unique. 
Here the harsh, heroic, kaleidiscopic life of the frontier came 
into sharp focus. For over forty exciting years it was a favorite 
rendezvous for the restless folk who followed the Oregon-Cali- 
fornia Trail, or who loosely inhabited the Central Plains — sol- 
diers, Indians, traders, travelers, emigrants, bull-whackers, 
Pony Express riders, stage-drivers, cowboys and ranchers. From 
these countless thousands can be gleaned an imposing roll-call 
of immortals, including Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Nick Janis, 
Buffalo Bill, Jack Slacle, Brigham Young, Horace Greeley, Gen. 
William S. Harney, Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, Gen. P. E. Connor, 
Gen. W. T. Sherman, Red Cloud, Roman Nose, Spotted Tail and 
Falling Leaf. To all these the sutler at Fort Laramie was host. 

According to Webster's New International Dictionary, the 
term "sutler" is derived from the Dutch verb "soetelen" and the 
German "sudeln, " meaning "to undertake low offices, to do 
dirty work, etc." In modern usage a sutler is "one who follows 
an army and sells to the troops provisions, liquors, and the like. 


The heyday of the sutler was the climatic period of Indian war- 
fare on the Western Plains, from 1849 to 1876. In the late 
nineteenth century the term seems to have been discarded in 
favor of the more euphonious "post trader," and today we 
know only of "canteens" and the famed "PX." 

Many itinerant sutlers who followed the military expedi- 
tion against the Sioux and other unregenerate tribes may have 
been rather menial characters and the extremely arduous condi- 
tions under which they operated help to explain the dubious 
origins of the profession. However, the sutlers who through 
political influence secured concessions at fixed military posts 
were usually dignified and highy respected individuals, catering 
to Indians and civilians as well as soldiers, and achieving a 
startling degree of opulence. This is distinctly true of the 
successive post sutlers at Fort Laramie, who were key figures 
in the social and economic life at that illustrious frontier station. 
The sutler's store was their peculiar domain. The origin, the 
evolution and the uses of this timeworn building, together with 
related incidents, constitute the object of our inquiry. 

The structure is located at the northwest corner of the 
parade ground, adjoining the temporary entrance road, and 
consists of two single-story conjoined parallel wings, approxi- 
mately 75 feet in length with a combined width of 60 feet. The 
south half of the east wing is made of adobe bricks, laid double 
to a 27 inch thickness. Frames are variously hewn, whip-sawed 
and machine-sawed. The other half of the east wing is of 
grayish rock with mud mortar and hand-hewn timbers. These 
two sections of the east wing with roof shingled, constitute the 
older portion of the building. The entire west wing of lime- 
concrete or "grout," a crude form of masonry, with roof sheet- 
metaled, was erected relatively late in the fort's history. Except 
for the gables, the entire exterior wall has been covered with 
plaster, which has fallen in patches which expose the original 

The few buildings which yet remain at Fort Laramie, fifty- 
six years after its abandonment, have undergone repairs, altera- 
tions and additions, together with elements of destruction, which 
make it difficult to interpret their architectural history. The 
known available construction records are scanty enough in the 
case of the Army buildings, the progress of which is roughly 
sketched in the archives of the War Department. They are 
non-existent in the case of the sutler 's store, which was a private 
concern, outside the notice of official records. To visualize its 
past we have only the crude outlines depicted in the successive 
official and semi-official ground plans of the post ; the fleeting 
impressions of the few contemporaries who kept journals ; the 
authentic oral recollections of those living; few who saw the 


fort during youth or childhood, when it was still a proud Army- 
post ; and a few scarce business records and memoirs of the 
sutlers themselves. From this filmy texture we will try to weave 
a web of understanding. 


Adobe- walled Fort John (Fort Laramie) was purchased 
from the American Fur Company by the United States Govern- 
ment in June, 1849. * The first post sutler moved in with the 
Army, surveyed the possibilities, and in the summer or autumn 
of 1849 started construction of the adobe building which now 
comprises the southeast wing of the sutler's store. The work 
may not have been actually completed until the spring of 1850. 
The primary evidence is found in the Adjutant General's 
"Plan of Fort Laramie in the winter of 1849. " 2 This rough 
sketch is without dimensional data, but an oblong enclosure 
entitled "Sutler's Store" is in proper position relative to two 
other structures erected about that time, which likewise survive 
today. These two nearby century-old companions are the stone 
magazine and the two-story officers' quarters renowned as "Old 
Bedlam." Thus the sutler's store, while possibly not "the oldest 
building in Wyoming," as it is frequently represented, could 
perhaps make valid claim to being one of the three oldest build- 
ings in Wyomiyig. 3 

Certain misconceptions concerning the origins of the sutler's 
store have gained currency. One writer states, in effect, that 
the front adobe wall "is a remnant of a fur trader's store which 
was built by the American Fur Company in 1836" at some 
distance from the main adobe fort, and that this wall was so 
staunch that it was incorporated into the later permanent struc- 
ture. 4 Another writer has it that this building contains "a 
fragment of the trading post erected on this site in 1836 . . . 
and it is still stout enough to justify the workman who hauled 
it a hundred yards or so for use in the new postoffice and sut- 
ler's building." 5 There is a secondary error implied in both 
statements, since 1836 could not have been the date of the adobe 
bricks even if their connection with Fort John could be proved. 
Adobe-walled Fort John did not replace its log-walled predeces- 
sor, Fort William, until 1841. 6 However, there seems to be no 
solid evidence to support the belief that the adobe section of the 
sutler's store was in any way a carry-over from the fur trade 
era which ended in June, 1849. If it is suggested that the adobe 
structure was in existence prior to the advent of an Army Post 
sutler, it can be pointed out by reference to contemporary 
ground-plans that the sutler's store site is several hundred 
yards removed from the Fort John site, so it could not repre- 
sent any upright "remains" of Fort John. As for the theory 


that it was a separate structure used by the fur traders, there 
is no hint of a structure of any kind outside of Fort John prior 
to 1849, in any of the dozens of references available ; and the 
fact that this building is square with the parade ground laid 
out in 1849 also argues against an earlier date. There is 
some plausibility in the theory that the adobe bricks 
were taken from Fort John ruins. In 1849 this stockade 
was acknowledged by the post commandant to be in 
need of repairs ; yet it does not appear that it was then in such 
a precarious state that a portion of it was abandoned. 7 In fact, 
at that time it was the principal shelter for the military, since 
new construction had not far progressed. There is ample evi- 
dence to support the belief that Fort John remained intact in 
1849, and that it was not raided for building material until 
the middle fifties. There is no known documentary or struc- 
tural evidence to refute the belief that the sutler 's store repre- 
sented new construction in 1849, not survival or salvage. 

John Hunton, who first arrived at Fort Laramie in 1867 
as an assistant to the post sutler, told Dr. Grace R. Hebard 
that "the front of the old store building was constructed in 
1849." 8 This could only refer to the adobe section, and it is 
reassuring to have this independent substantiation from one who 
has been generally regarded as the sage of Fort Laramie. 

John S. Tutt was the first post sutler, receiving his appoint- 
ment under President Zaehary Taylor, and held this position 
until 1857. He was associated with Lewis B. Dougherty. 9 
Tutt and Dougherty apparently had a monopoly of the sutler- 
ships along the Oregon Trail, as in 1854 there is evidence that 
they were also firmly entrenched at Fort Kearney. 10 

Tutt probably personally supervised the construction of 
the original sutler's store. It is likely that the use of adobe 
was influenced by the example of Fort John, and that Mexicans, 
who are known to have been associated with the American Fur 
Company establishment, were employed in this work, which 
was agreeable to their native talents. In 1850 Assistant Quar- 
termaster Van Vliet wrote his superior that to counteract the 
white labor shortage on Army construction projects, caused by 
the gold fever, he was sending an agent to Taos to hire Mexicans, 
who "work cheaper and are much better than any other people 
for the use that I wish to make of them." 11 Van Vliet must 
have had at hand an example of Mexican labor to inspire him. 

The earliest "Forty-niners" found the fort still in the 
hands of the fur company. Although the Army took over 
formally on June 26, and building activity commenced imme- 
diately, there could not have been much construction completed 
at Fort Laramie by the time the last emigrants slogged west- 
ward in September. Accordingly we cannot expect to obtain 


testimony from emigrants themselves as to a sutler's store. 
That year they obtained whatever supplies there were available 
through the good graces of the Post Quartermaster, who was 
authorized to sell supplies at cost to those actually in need. 12 
The earliest specific reference to the sutler's store found in 
emigrant journals was made by H. A. Stine on July 4, 1850 : 
". . . the fort itself is composed of unburnt brick . . . 
outside of this is quite a number of houses. The Post Office, 
Suttler's store and so on." 13 

Writing on June 1, 1850, James Abbey mentions no store 
but tells of certain "Mountain traders . . . keen on a trade 
as any Yankee wooden nutmeg or clock peddler you may meet 
within the states. I will give you some of their prices : sugar 
25 cents per lb., bacon sides, 18c, ham 25c ; flour $18 per cwt., 
loaf bread 50c, whiskey one dollar a quart, brandy $18 per 
gallon." 14 These traders may have been Tutt and his associates, 
colorful characters in their own right, but Dr. LeRoy Hafen 
suggests that they were Kit Carson and friends who came up 
from Taos to trade with the goldseekers. 15 It is known that 
Carson arrived on the scene about June 1 with forty to fifty 
head of mules and remained about a month, selling his animals 
to good advantage. 16 If he sold the other articles mentioned 
he was in competition with the sutler. Thus, it may have been 
with some relief that Tutt wrote the following to John Dough- 
erty on July 1: "I have sold $1200 worth of Indian goods 
at 50% . . . Kit Carson and Bill Bent have just left. " 17 

In none of the U. S. Army correspondence have references 
been found to the sutler's store, though there is considerable 
material on all other structures. The store was a civilian affair 
from start to finish and the post commandants, forever hound- 
ing their superiors for more and better housing, simply never 
concerned themselves with the sutler's problems. We are led 
to assume that the sutler financed, designed, and supervised all 
of his own construction work ; and once having got his building 
up, he would surely give no thought to recording such matters. 
However, the chief engineer of the Army, Joseph G. Totten, 
reported on November 30, 1850 : 

A powder magazine 17'x27' wide of which the stone 
walls are now up, will doubtless be finished before winter 
. . . The frame building erected last year, containing 4 
sets of officers quarters — 3 rooms in each set — has been 
floored, lathed and plastered, and is now nearly finished. 
200,000 brick have been burnt, of which about 150,000 will 
remain for the operations of next year . . . The results 
of the year at both posts (Fort Kearny and Fort Laramie) 
have been decidedlj' less than those anticipated a few years 
ago. At both places the horse power sawmills which are 


mainly relied upon for the production of lumber, were 
broken and continued idle many months, until the ma- 
chinery necessary for their repair could be obtained 
from St. Louis. 18 

While telling nothing about the sutler's store, this letter 
leaves one or two suggestions. Here we have official confirma- 
tion of the 1849-1850 date for Bedlam and the magazine, the 
two ancient companions of the sutler's store. As to the burnt 
brick, these were the same used to fill the walls of Old Bedlam. 
It may be suggested that the sutler may have borrowed from 
the quartermaster's ample stockpile, to build his adobe room, 
but there are two objections to this theory. The bricks used 
in the sutler's store are not artificially burnt and are of regular 
dimensions, unlike those used in Old Bedlam, thus ruling against 
the idea of a common source. Also, the sutler's construction 
problems were no concern of the quartermaster and it is not 
likely that he would manufacture bricks for the sutler's con- 

A plan of Fort Laramie in 1851 shows, in its true location, 
a sutler's store size 37' 9"x40'. 19 This is divided into three sec- 
tions. The largest or east section is marked size 23'x40'. This 
corresponds with the existing adobe section, the measured dimen- 
sions of which are 25'x40'. The two smaller sections to the west, 
each 14' 9"x20' represent an accretion, probably storage-space, 
which has long since disappeared. 

It has been observed that the grayish rock with mud mortar 
in the present northeast wing of the store closely resembles the 
construction detail of the powder magazine, completed in 1850. 
This peculiar type of masonry is evident no where else among 
surviving structures. This suggests to the writer that the sec- 
ond or northeast wing of the sutler's store was built shortly 
thereafter, with the same architectural influence at work. The 
hand-hewn timbers are similarly suggestive of a very early 
date. The second wing is not shown on the plan of 1851 but it 
is definitely in evidence in a plan drawn up in 1854. 20 This, 
coupled with the tie-in with the stone magazine, impels us to 
ascribe to it the date of 1852. 

In 1852 the emigrants provide fleeting glimpses. On June 
8, Thomas Turnbull found at the fort "hard bread $13 per e." 
Loaf bread worth 10 cts in Chicago, 60 cts here, tobacco 65 per 
lb. Vinegar $2. per gallon, tea $21. per lb. Every thing very 
dear." 21 On the same day William Lobenstine reports "a good 
store" among the buildings comprising the fort. 22 G. W. Ken- 
dall, correspondent for a St. Louis paper, tells of "three bakeries 
where the poor emigrant can obtain an apology for a loaf of 
bread at 40c and a small dried apple pie for 50c . . . Mr. 


Tutt superintends the store, where a full supply of "chicken 
fixins" can be obtained at remunerating prices." 23 G. L. Cole 
undertook to deliver the mail for his emigrant train and found 
the post-office in the sutler's store. Here also he renewed ac- 
quaintance with a young Sioux, wearing soldier's garb, who was 
in possession of several fresh Pawnee scalps. 24 The best picture 
to date is provided by J. H. Clark : 

A store and a post office are kept for the mutual benefit 
of trader, Indian, soldier and emigrant. The store is quite 
an extensive one, embracing a great many different articles, 
a much greater variety than one would suppose would be 
needed for this part of the world ; a good many clothes are 
sold to the Indians and travelers. Two or three clerks were 
kept busy while we were there . . , 25 

Despite this testimony as to the volume of business at the 
post sutler's, it is clear that, at least during the fifties, the 
Post Quartermaster alone was capable of taking care of the 
emigrants' bulk needs, such as flour, sugar, stock feed, wagon 
gear, etc. Thus caution is necessary in ascribing all purchases 
mentioned by diarists to the sutler, whose stock was limited. 
This point is emphasized by an editorial which appeared in the 
Daily Missoiwi Republican of April, 1852, cautioning emigrants 
not to load their teams too heavily as at Fort Laramie ' ' the 
United States' Government has a very large supply of provi- 
sions, which the Commander of the post furnishes to emigrants 
at its cost. . . ." 26 This is further substantiated by John 
Brown, one of an east-bound company of Mormons which 
reached the fort on October 9 : " Here we purchased supplies 
of the govt, store ; we get them at cost and carriage . . . " 27 

On June 17, 1853 George Belshaw describes "a pleasant 
looking place" including "a post office and store . . . Dried 
apples 12 dollars per bushel, vinegar 2 dollars per gallon. 
Everything else in proportion." 28 An interesting impression 
somewhat in contrast is this July 16 excerpt from the diary of 
Dr. Thomas Flint : ' ' Officers quarters . . . two stables and 
a store, all in a dilapidated condition. Thermometer 80 degrees 
in the shade hanging on the adobe wall at noon. Made the ice 
water kept on hand by the barrel most inviting. ' ' 29 

Generally speaking, the emigrants who put in an early ap- 
pearance at the fort were well taken care of, while late comers 
took pot luck. In June of 1853 James Farmer found "stores 
here where we can purchase anything we need but very high 
flour 15 dollars a sack." 30 On the other hand William K. Sloan 
gloomily reports in late July that "the commissary claimed 
to be short themselves, having had to furnish others who were 
ahead of us, more than was expected. "We had to be content 


with two barrels of mushy pickled pork, three sacks of flour and 
one sack of beans." 31 

J. Linforth does not mention the sutler's store, but brings 
in a related factor: "The proprietors of the ferry have also a 
blacksmith shop, and do considerable business in supplying emi- 
grants with horses, mules, grain, outfitting goods, etc." 32 It 
does not appear that the sutler and the proprietors of the ferry 
were one and the same. Hence these dignitaries were in a sense 
rivals of the sutler as well as the Post Quartermaster, and this 
re-emphasizes caution in judging the extent to which the sutler 
alone provisioned the emigrants. 

Frederick Piercy, a companion of Linforth 's, has left us a 
painting of the fort in 1853 which is worthy dozens of diaries. 33 
• Looking north from across the Laramie we can see Fort John 
in the foreground, still looking fairly serviceable, except for the 
props which seem to be holding up the west wall. To the left, 
in its present identical position, is the quite dignified-looking 
Bedlam and beyond is the low squatting sutler's store. Other 
post biddings are obscured by the Fort John edifice. Off to the 
right, on the river bank at the Oregon Trail crossing, are small 
shapeless buildings which might have housed the ferry operators, 
blacksmith, etc., mentioned by Linforth. The survival of Fort 
John thus far serves again to nullify the theory that the sutler's 
store was built from Fort John ruins. 

Mormons seemingly made up the bulk of emigrants in 1854. 
One who reached Fort Laramie on September 15 writes : ' ' There 
are only 42 soldiers stationed here at present. Provisions seem 
scanty with them. They would not sell flour under $20 per bag 
of 100 lbs. There is a post office and settler's [sutler's] store at 
the fort. 34 

In the aforementioned official ground-plan of 1854 the sut- 
ler's store shows the accretion of the stone or northeast wing 
(1852) and the shed adjoining to the west, which survives from 
1851; while nearby but unconnected is a new "Sutler's store- 
house." We have no way of knowing just what this extension 
was made of, but it was probably something crude and of tem- 
porary design, for by 1863 it has disappeared. 

The years 1854 and 1855 at Fort Laramie were dominated 
by military excursions and alarms featured by the Grattan 
massacre and General Harney's subsequent punitive expedition 
against the Sioux. An English traveler has left us a picture of 
the sutler's store in these harrowing times: 

There is no fortification at Laramie, but the buildings 
are considerable, including storehouse and barracks, and all 
now was in a state of bustle and activity on account of the 
Indian war ; particularly as General Harney was near, and 
expected to march in a day or two. There is a very good 


store here, but prices, of course, are high; whiskey could 
not be obtained without a written order from the Governor, 
though many soldiers, having just received pay, tried hard 
by sending civilians, protesting it was only for themselves. 
Soldiers coats cost $12. ; lemon syrup .75 a pint bottle ; pre- 
served peaches $4. a quart. Some of our men indulged in 
these and other luxuries, besides wholesale in woolen shirts, 
socks, etc. and tobacco. One or two bought first rate buffalo 
robes for $5. each. On the door of the store was posted a 
notice of pains and penalties to whoever would presume to 
trade with any of the Sioux nation, then at war with the 
United States ; also another notice that some persons had, 
for evil purposes, spread among peaceful Indians a false 
and wicked rumor that General Harney meant to kill every 
Indian he could catch, whether Sioux or not, and that such 
persons and all others were forbidden to publish this rumor 
under pain, etc. ... I bought very little ; only three 
boxes of yeast powder (at .30 each) to improve our bread, 
as saleratus is poor stuff, and a good-sized loaf of bread for 
myself from the bakery . . , 35 

One emigrant of 1856 who lingered at the fort gives us an 
illuminating insight : ' ' Tutt and Dougherty were the Sutlers. 
The store was built outside the Fort, so that you need pass the 
guard to get in or out . . . The store was a doby building 
about 70 feet long and sixteen feet wide. The store room was 
in the south end, the kitchen in the north and the Sutler's living 
rooms in the center. " 36 Of particular interest here is this earliest 
known description of the interior of the building, and the out- 
side dimensions indicated. The writer is going by distant mem- 
ory, and the dimensions are therefore not entirely trustworthy. 
Certainly the width of 16 feet is too short since two earlier 
ground plans show a width of at least 20 feet for this same build- 
ing. However, the 70 foot length, coupled with the fact that 
there were three separate compartments or rooms, substantiates 
the dimensions suggested by the ground-plan of 1854, and 
strengthens our 1852 theory for the second or northeast wing. 
Of course the question is immediately raised as to why, if the 
present northeast wing of stone was the same described in 1856, 
the entire building is referred to as a "doby building." The 
answer lies in the probability that the exterior walls of the en- 
tire building, adobe and masonry, were faced with a uniform 
plaster, possibly mud ; or a lime-plaster may have been used 
even at this early date, which treatment we know was accorded 
the Army's adobe buildings. Hence, any "plastered" building, 
of whatever material in fact, might be considered "adobe." 
Even if such were not the case, and the stonework section were 


exposed, the adobe was still the dominant material, and a casual 
observer would thus easily refer only to a " doby building. ' ' 


Seth Edward Ward, who had been in partnership with 
William Guerrier at a trading post west of Fort Laramie, re- 
ceived his appointment as post sutler in 1857, and retained it 
for fifteen years. Ward's first partner was Norman Fitzhugh, 
who dropped out of the picture in 1858, whereupon Ward 
formed a lasting partnership with Col. William G. Bullock. 37 
The names of Ward and Bullock are intimately associated with 
the decade of the sixties, which was perhaps the most stirring 
time in Fort Laramie history. 

The Annual Report of the inspection of public buildings 
by the Post Commander for 1857 comments that the buildings 
are in a deplorable condition and that the men, as well as the 
public property, are constantly at the mercy of the elements. 38 
It may be assumed that the sutler had similar difficulties, and 
that his building was undergoing constant repairs, re-roofing 
and makeshift stabilization. The original roof was probably 
planks covered with mud, to judge from occasional hints. In 
1858 the diary of a young bull- whacker refers to a store built 
of mud and roofed with sods. 39 Captain John Irwin of the 6th 
Michigan Cavalry, who was stationed at the fort in 1865, has 
stated that at that time all buildings had sod roofs. 40 

There was an accentuation of military activity at the fort 
in 1857 and 1858 occasioned by the campaign against the ram- 
bunctious Cheyennes and the rebellious Mormons. Long lines 
of cavalry and freighting trains now moved across the prairies. 
With teamsters, emigrants and soldiers crowding the fort at this 
time we can imagine that the sutler, dispensing items of comfort 
and cheer, must have been a busy man, but references are scarce. 
On June 23, 1857, Corporal Lowe of the Dragoons writes : 
"Everybody getting ready for the Cheyenne campaign. This 
is the last chance for any sort of outfit until it is over. Mr. 
Seth E. Ward, the sutler here, has a good stock of campaign 
goods." 41 In a letter to his wife dated September 6, 1857, 
Captain Gove of the Tenth Infantry advises that "I left with 
Mr. Fitzhughes, sutler at Fort Laramie, $100. to be sent to you 
about the 8th of this month." 42 In 1858 the sutler's regular 
duties were apparently not too strenuous to prevent him from 
undertaking a contract to supplv six companies of cavalrv with 
hay. 43 

In 1859, the year of the gold rush to the Pikes Peak region, 
Fort Laramie figured prominently as a supply depot and base 
of operations, but nothing very helpful survives to illuminate 
our subject. Horace Greeley, the famed journalist who advised 


the young men of America to "Go West," spent five restful 
days at the fort, a respite from the rugged experience of being 
a passenger on the transcontinental stage coach. 44 A manu- 
script by his daughter reveals that Sergeant Leodegar Schnyder 
was commissioned postmaster at Fort Laramie October 31, 1859 
and held office for seventeen years. 45 Since the post office was 
quite intimately related to the sutler's store, being located in or 
near that building intermittently, it is regrettable that Sergeant 
Schnyder was not the introspective diary-keeping type. 

The years 1860-61 saw fleet Pony Express riders churning 
their way into Fort Laramie, doubtless spurred by the prospect 
of a cool refreshing beverage at the Ward and Bullock emporium, 
as well as the exacting demands of their itinerary. According 
to Henry Avis, one of the riders, Seth Ward was the Pony 
Express station keeper, although it would seem that Postmaster 
Sergeant Schnyder would be a more likely candidate for this 
office. 46 The terroristic Jack Slade, division agent for the Over- 
land who was later hanged in Montana by vigilantes, was a 
frequent caller at Fort Laramie in these days, but there is no 
evidence that he there indulged his little whimsy of "wrecking 
the saloon. ' ' 47 A different type of visitor was Edward Creighton, 
who supervised construction of the first transcontinental tele- 
graph line through Fort Laramie. 

On August 14, 1860 the celebrated English traveler Richard 
Burton investigated the fort, referring contemptuously to "the 
straggling cantonment . . . sutler's stores and groceries, 
which doubtless make a good thing by selling deleterious 
"Strychnine" to passing trains who can afford to pay $6. per 
gallon." 48 In May, 1861 Cheyenne Indians "stole one or more 
horses from Mr. Ward 's herd ' ' and were pursued by the cavalry, 
apparently without result. 49 About this same time three youths 
known as the Davenport brothers, who had occasionally traded 
at "Judge Ward's store," ran off with two or three hundred 
horses, the property of military officers, the stage company and 
private citizens. A posse caught up with them in Utah. 50 

The map of Fort Laramie in 1863, prepared by the post 
commandant, Col. W. 0. Collins, shows that the sutler's store 
had by this time undergone some face lifting. 51 The wings to 
the west indicated in the plan of 1854 are gone, and the struc- 
ture is now in the shape of a reclining letter "U". The main 
wing or right side of the "U", including the original adobe 
structure, with a courtyard, is given dimentions of 26 x99', indi- 
cating a third extension northward since the description of 
1856. It is not clear of what material this wing was composed, 
or how long it survived beyond 1873, when last in evidence. 
The bottom and left portions of the "U", respectively 74' and 
99' in length, are only ten feet wide. These were probably 




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f '1 1 


1 I ! 1 

1 I T^ 

I 1 II, 










188 I 




l.<Me -cowcggff 



Evolution of the Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie — 1849-1890 — Diagram- 
matic sketch. 




Ploor Plan of the Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie, 1890— Diagrammatic 



frame sheds for storage and quarters. Extending south from 
the bottom of the "U" is a shed given as 13' by 100' divided 
into the following compartments — "post office, mechanic shop, 
mach. ph. [?], barber, mech. sh., meeh. sh., and armorer." The 
sutler's residence, about 50 yards north of the sutler's store, 
appears for the first time. 52 

Tn Captain Marcy's famous guidebook, The Prairie Trav- 
eler, published in 1863. the description of Fort Laramie includes 
a "mail station and post office . . ., with a sutler's store well 
stocked with such articles as the traveler desires." 53 On his 
visit to the fort in June, 1863, Col. Samuel Ward, a Montana- 
bound emigrant, complains : ' ' Sutler sells everything high, 12 
to 20c for bacon, $12. to $18. per hundred for flour, smoking 
tobacco $1. per lb., whiskey $1. a pint, mean at that . . ." 54 

One of the classics of this period, Captain Ware's Indian 
Wur of 1864, furnishes some picturesque sidelights. It seems 
that there were benches in front of the sutler's store which be- 
came a focal point of social intercourse among all classes of 
frontier characters. A frequent bench-warmer was dignified 
white-bearded Major Thomas S. Twiss, graduate of West Point 
and one-time Indian agent, who was usually surrounded by sev- 
eral squaws finely dressed in mackinaw blankets. Here also 
came Ah-ho-ap'pa or "Falling Leaf," comely and ill-fated 
daughter of the proud Sioux Chief Spotted Tail, to sit and gaze 
wistfully out upon the parade ground while the soldiers smartly 
drilled. 55 Here on these benches of a summer evening soldiers 
and civilians would foregather to gossip and debate, and to be 
regaled with stories of adventure by the incomparable Jim 
Bridger. This was also a favorite spot for the Fort Laramie 
Glee Club, serenading with old refrains which moistened the 
eyes of the hardened plainsmen. Ware has this to say about 
the management : 

The post sutler was a man by the name of Ward. His. 
manager was named Bullock, the most courteous old school 
gentleman I ever saw. He was as dignified as a Major- 
General. Ward gave no personal attention to the sutler 
store, but he was making a great deal of money out of it. 
He had an enormous stock of goods, and as he had no com- 
petitors and as his prices were fixed by the post adminis- 
tration, he got the price, and sold enormous quantities. 
Bullock told stories of all the generals of the [Civil] war. 
One afternoon he took about an hour and a half in explain- 
ing to me, and instructing me in making, a whiskey toddy. 
It was with him a work of art. I never could see anything 
in his toddies that was anything more than normal, but 
somehow he had a reputation that none might hope to equal. 
In addition to this he had a mint-bed in a secluded place 


which was carefully watered every day, and more attention 
given to it than most anything else around the post. 

At another point Ware tells of "happening in the back room of 
the sutler store where an almost continuous game of poker was 
going on." 56 

Other references for 1864 are scanty. A. J. Dickson tells 
of making purchases from Seth Bullock, whom he knew later 
in the mercantile business in Dead wood, in the Black Hills. 57 
Private Lewis Byram Hull has left an entertaining account of 
life at Fort Laramie at this time, describing the drunken brawls, 
the bedbugs, the minstrel shows, the Indian raids, and even 
postmaster Sgt. Schnyder's marriage "to cross-eyed Julia," but 
he disappoints us in our efforts to catch a glimpse of specific 
doings at the post sutler's. The only mention occurs on August 
21 : " Sutler 's train starting east. 'Brien 's company go along 
as escort. Indians getting troublesome." 58 

As a lad of 19 or 20 Will H. Young left his home in Mis- 
souri to spend a year as clerk in the sutler's store. His diary 
for 1865 is replete with homely but significant details. He tells 
of inventories, of the arrival of the sutler 's supply train, of busy 
days when cash sales exceeded $1,000, of dull hot days when the 
garrison slumbered in the scanty shade, and cold, windy dusty 
days when the fireplace in the sutler's store replaced the afore- 
mentioned benches in popularity. He tells also of fights, muti- 
nies, gastronomic orgies and cozy evenings by the fire while 
"old Maj. Bridger" reeled off stories of Montana gold or gave a 
noisy exhibition of Indian dances. 59 

The sutler's store figured prominently in the gruesome 
affair known as "The Hanging of the Chiefs." When in May, 
1865, Two Face and Blackfoot brought two captive white women 
into the fort for ransom, the garrison held an indignation meet- 
ing here. At the peak of fury the crowd burst from the store 
determined to lynch the Indians. In this they were dissuaded 
by the stalwart Colonel Bullock, who addressed them from the 
porch of the building. 60 Another aspect of the Colonel's color- 
ful career was his proverbial hospitality. This is reflected in 
the entry of an emigrant's journal dated July 25, 1865: "Capt. 
T. and me called on Mr. Bullock, the post sutler, who invited us 
to his house, and treated us to ice and sugar, etc. ' ' 61 

In August, 1865 Fort Laramie was honored by the presence 
of Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, then surveying a route for the 
Union Pacific Railroad. He was entertained royally by Gen. 
P. E. Connor, Nick Janis, a celebrated French guide, and Col- 
onel Bullock, who produced the ingredients for a feast. The 
sutler disclaimed responsibility, however, for the soup which, it 


developed, was brewed by old Nick from a fat Fort Laramie 
puppy. 62 

A rough "Plan of Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory," of 
1866 shows an outline of the sutler's store which conforms with 
the picture which obtained in 1863, with the "U" shape in 
evidence, and the adjoining line of shops, but these are not 
labelled. 63 J. L. Campbell's guidebook, published in 1866, 
states briefly : ' ' Fort Laramie consists of both military and 
trading stations. A good assortment of merchandise is kept 
here." 64 The George W. Fox Diary indicates "30 or 40 houses, 
barracks, officers' quarters, warehouses, a blacksmith and suttler, 
etc. such as is seen at such posts . . . Traded some with the 
suttler . . ," 65 In a letter of reminiscence an old soldier, 
W. F. Hynes writes : 6 

Fort Laramie in 1866 was rectangular in form and, as 
my memory recalls, consisted principally, in the sense of 
popularity, of the Sutler's Store, Post Office, and the quar- 
ters of Seth E. Ward, the sutler. These were under one 
roof, of adobe material, facing southeast, and were some of 
the cabins constructed by old hunters and traders which, 
later with the buildings here named below, became F'ort 
Laramie . . . This was Fort Laramie when I first entered 
it on July of that year, as a member of the E. company of 
the 2nd. U. S. cavalry, commanded by Major Wells . . . 66 

It is enlightening to note that the building thus described by 
Hynes is from all appearances the same indicated in 1856 and 
1863, that is, the original adobe structure, with an extension 
to the north, consisting of three rooms. The fact that the 
upper part of the "U" structure indicated in the maps of 1863 
and 1866 is not described as a part of the building tends to 
support our theory that this long addition consisted merely of 
a narrow shed, probably for storage. Hynes' testimony also 
reinforces the belief that the most historic part of the present 
sutler's store is the southeast room, the original 1849 building. 
It is interesting to note his implication that the building is a 
relic of the fur trade. Apparently this legend had its begin- 
nings early in the post history. 

While peace commissioners were dickering with the Sioux 
tribes for passage through their hunting grounds over the Boze- 
man Trail, Colonel Carrington arrived on June 13, 1866 with 
an impressive array of troops. The colonel's wife, accompanied 
by other ladies of the command, went shopping at the sutler's 
store, and has drawn for us this colorful picture : 

The long counter of Messrs. Bullock and Ward was a 
scene of seeming confusion not surpassed in any popular, 


overcrowded store of Omaha itself. Indians, dressed and 
half dressed and undressed; squaws, dressed to the same 
degree of completeness as their noble lords ; papooses, abso- 
lutely nude, slightly not nude, or wrapped in calico, buck- 
skin, or furs, mingled with the soldiers of the garrison, 
teamsters, emigrants, speculators, half-breeds, and inter- 
preters. Here, cups of rice, sugar, coffee, or flour were 
being emptied into the looped-up skirts or blankets of a 
squaw ; and there, some tall warrior was grimacing delight- 
fully as he grasped and sucked his long sticks of peppermint 
candy. Bright shawls, red squaw cloth, brilliant calicoes, 
and flashing ribbons passed over the same counter with 
knives and tobacco, brass nails and glass beads, and that 
endless catalogue of articles which belong to the legitimate 
border traffic. The room was redolent of cheese and her- 
ring, and 'heap of smoke;' while the debris of mounched 
crackers lying loose under foot furnished both nutriment 
and employment for little bits of Indians too big to ride on 
mama's back, and too little to reach the good things on 
counter or shelves . . . 

To all, . . . whether white man, halfbreed, or In- 
dian, Mr. Bullock, a Virginia gentleman of the old school, 
to whose hospitality and delicate courtesy we were even 
more indebted in 1867, gave kind and patient attention, 
and his clerks seemed equally ready and capable, talking 
Sioux, Cheyenne, or English, just as each case came to 
hand. 67 

The hospitality of Colonel Bullock, here alluded to by Mrs. 
Carrington, occurred on the dismal occasion in February, 1867 
when she accompanied her husband on the return to the States 
after the Fetterman disaster at Fort Phil Kearny. 68 

J. C. Birge visited the fort at the time of Carrington 's 
arrival, and paid his respects to the sutler : 

"We modestly approached the pompous Mr. Ward, who 
we were told was the sutler. He wore fine clothes, and a 
soft, easy hat. A huge diamond glittered in his shirt front. 
He moved quietly round as if he were master of the situa- 
tion, and with that peculiar air so often affected by men 
who are financially prosperous and self-satisfied. He seemed 
to be a good fellow and was in every respect courteous . . . 

As business proposition, it was manifestly to the ad- 
vantage of the sutler and agents that some treaty be made, 
for the reason that every Indian treaty involves the giving 
of many presents and other valuable considerations. What- 
ever the Indians may finally receive become articles of ex- 
change in trade. In this the astute sutler profits largely, 


as the Indians have little knowledge of the intrinsic value 
of manufactured goods and the sutler enjoyed exclusive 
rights of traffic with them at the posts. 69 

Still further illumination is provided by the reminiscences of 
Major Ostrander, a drummer boy attached to the Carrington 
expedition : 

I spent hours in the store of the post trader. Colonel 
Bullock, listening- to the conversation and stories told by the 
mountain men, guides, hunters, and trappers. They all 
made Colonel Bullock's store their headquarters. Old Nick 
Janis seemed to be the leading spirit among the old-timers 
still left at the fort. Many of them had made history in 
that country, and their stories were most entertaining, but 
I ' ' cottoned ' ' to Old Nick more than to any of the others . . . 

Colonel Bullock kept a good line of guns and revolvers, 
and T looked them over longingly. Finally, I selected a 
Colt revolver of thirty-eight caliber and asked the price. 
'Twenty dollars,' he told me, and he would throw in fifty 

On his return trip to Fort Laramie Ostrander relates that he 
found lodgings "in a store-room belonging to the sutler.'" 70 

The "Fort Laramie, D. T." plan of 1867 shows the outline 
of the " sutter's store" in the same above mentioned "U" shape, 
with courtyard. 71 The line of adjoining shops which in 1863 
numbered seven, from "post office'' to "armorer,'' and which 
in 1866 were unlabelled, are now labelled "camp shops." The 
"post office" appears to be a separate building now altogether, 
quite some distance removed from the sutler's building, to the 

According to Hebard, John Hunton appeared on the scene 
in May, 1866, driving a mule team belonging to Ward. He in- 
tended to extend his journey to Nevada, but he was persuaded 
to remain at Fort Laramie. He clerked in the sutler's store 
until October, 1870 when he went into the cattle and freighting 
business. 72 Hunton 's own reminiscences reveal a slight dis- 
crepancy as to the date : 

My residence commenced at Fort Laramie in June or 
July, I think in June, 1867, as a clerk and roustabout in 
the store of Seth E. Ward. My duties were, to sell goods 
as a clerk, to be porter and do such jobs as were required 
of me, to be a teamster and haul freight, wood or hay and 
to occasionally herd mules or oxen. 73 


Hunt on relates that it was at this time that the use of sutler's 
store ' ' coins ' ' was inaugurated : 

Business . . . averaged more than $100 a day in 
cash taken in over the counter besides some sales going on 
the books. The average garrison of the soldiers was 450 
and there were about 300 teamsters, hay handlers and wood- 
choppers. Green backs consisted of one dollar bills up to 
one thousand dollars. Shinplasters consisted of five cent, 
ten cent, twenty-five cent and fifty cent notes. On them 
through mutilation and discount amounted to a consider- 
able sum each day to the Sutler store as we sometimes had 
as much as fifty dollars of them taken in during the day's 
business ... To avoid the loss and inconvenience of 
careful handling, Mr. Ben Mills, the bookkeeper, and Mr. 
Gibson Clark, his assistant, and right hand man, talked the 
matter of the copper checks or coins over with his close per- 
sonal attention for a few days and then sent an order to 
his business manager in St. Louis to have them struck off 
and sent by express as soon as it could be done. They did 
not arrive until about the last of October, 1867 ... I 
think, but am not certain, there were 15,000 coins made ; 
six thousand 50 cents, the size of a half dollar ; six thousand 
25 cents, the size of a quarter, and three thousand 10 cents 
the size of about two-thirds of a quarter, as I remember 
all were stamped on one side, "S. E. Ward, Sutler, U. S. A., 
Fort Laramie, D. T." and on the other side "Good for 50c 
in Sutler Goods" or . . . as the case might be . . . 
The coins were intended for the use of soldiers only. 74 

It appears that the sutlers who followed Ward, namely the Col- 
linses, London and Hunton all resorted to this convenient 
medium of exchange. Some of these tokens have been recovered 
in the course of archeological excavation. 75 

In October, 1867, Jim Bridger, who had been serving as 
scout and guide at Fort Phil Kearny, secured a leave of absence 
and journeyed to F'ort Laramie to rest and recuperate his failing 
health. At this time, according to Hunton, there were six sub- 
ordinate employees at the sutler's store, three of whom, "John 
Boyd, Hopkins Clark and nryself, occupied the bunk room in 
the sutler's store, and Bridger was given a bunk in the same 
room. Here he remained, occupying the room with us most of 
the time, until about the middle of April, 1868. " 76 According 
to Hebard, another bunk-mate was Gibson Clark, later Chief 
Justice of Wyoming's Supreme Court. Also, she relates that 
about 1925 "Mr. Hunton took me through the building and 
showed me on which side of the fireplace Bridger 's cot was." 77 
The only fire-place in the present building is at the north end 


of the original adobe section or southeast room, which in 1867 
was indubitably used as the main store, rather than "the bunk 
room." Mr. Ed Kelly of Guernsey recalls that Hunton told 
him that he and Jim Bridger slept in the northeast room, or 
stone section, of the sutler's store, which seems a more plausible 
location. 78 However, the seeming discrepancy as to the exact 
location of the famous sleeping quarters does not detract from 
the lustre which accrues to the sutler's store from the fact that 
' ' Jim Bridger slept here. ' ' 

In November, 1867 Peace Commissioners held a conference 
with the Crow Indians at Fort Laramie. Accompanying them 
was a French mining expert, M. Simonin, who recorded his 
impressions. He describes the sutler's residence as "a sort of 
Swiss chalet . . . This elegant dwelling puts to shame the 
mean appearance of the low, gloomy canteen." His account 
tends to confirm the existence of a post office separate from the 
sutler's store at this time. 79 

The year 1868 is of primary importance because of the 
treaty with the Sioux which concluded the unsuccessful cam- 
paign against Red Cloud's warriors on the Bozeman Trail. The 
momentous conference at Fort Laramie that spring was attended 
by such high dignitaries as Gen. Alfred H. Terry, Gen. C. C. 
Augur and Gen. Wm. S. Harney, all famed Indian fighters, 
Gen. W. T. Sherman, Civil War hero, and such renowned Sioux 
chieftains as Spotted Tail, Fast Bear, Fire Thunder and Man- 
Afraid-of-His-Horses. 80 Subsequently the Secretary of the In- 
terior recommended to the Congress an appropriation to pay a 
debt due to S. E. Ward for goods furnished Indians at Fort 
Laramie by order of the Peace Commission, the goods apparently 
amounting to around $8,000. The articles so furnished included 
everything that an Indian's heart could desire, from brass tacks 
to mirrors and blankets, and fancy costumes for the chiefs. 81 
However, the sutler's hitherto lucrative trade with the Indians 
later suffered as a result of the treaty which, while describing 
lands north of the North Platte River to be "unceded Indian 
territory," in effect barred them from the south side of the 
river. In order to implement these provisions Gen. C. C. Augur, 
on November 4, ]868, issued an order prohibiting further trade 
with the Indians at Fort Laramie. 82 

The dominant role played by the sutler's store in the 
economy of the frontier as a banking and trading center is re- 
vealed in fascinating detail in surviving copies of correspondence 
conducted by Ward and Bullock during 1868-70, now part of the 
Hebard Collection at the Wyoming University Library. These 
papers were ably transcribed and edited by Mrs. Agnes Wright 
Spring under the title "Old Letter Book" in Annals of Wyo- 
ming, Vol. 13, No. 4 (October, 1941). No duplication of these 


interesting documents is warranted here, except to note one 
letter of May 13, 1868 from Ward to a certain Collins Dixon, 
by which it appears that he offered for sale (without success) 
his entire impressive investment at Fort Laramie. This is 
described as "goods on hand" together with 3,000 bushels of 
corn, 136 mules, 20 mule wagons, 130 yoke of oxen, 26 ox wagons, 
mowing machine, hay press, ' ' a comfortable dwelling house . . . 
and a store with two warehouses and a sitting room and sleeping 
room for the clerks" and "a billiard Room and two tables." 
The description of buildings, which Ward values at $8,000, is 
helpful in suggesting the use made of the wing extensions which 
comprised the U-shaped structure shown in the ground-plans 
beginning in 1863. The Billiard Club was organized by the 
sutler for the benefit of officers. On August 13, Bullock in- 
formed Colonel Dye that he would have "to take the tables, 
as but few persons had paid their portions of the shares." 83 
However, there is evidence that this recreational project con- 
tinued for several more years. 

Valuable evidence is offered by a photograph of the entire 
fort taken in 1868 from the south side of the Laramie River, 
the original being now in the files of the United States Geological 
Survey. 84 One can faintly discern the main adobe section of 
the sutler's store, and extending beyond it is a fence-like projec- 
tion which fits in with the theory that this was a low shed, serv- 
ing the purposes of storage and possibly also, sleeping quarters. 
Extending south from this shed, looking like white-faced adobe, 
is the row of mechanic's shops. In back of the store is a large 
building which answers the description of the post hospital of 
that date, while to the right is the peaked gable of the "Swiss 
chalet" which was the sutler's residence. 


In 1871 Seth E. Ward was replaced as post sutler by one 
J. S. McCormick. Ward retired to Kansas City, Missouri, while 
Colonel Bullock turned his attention to pioneer ranching enter- 
prises in the Laramie River Valley. In this he was joined by 
his former capable employee, John Hunton. 85 In December of 
1872 Gilbert Collins was appointed under President Grant as 
post trader, holding this position until 1877. John S. Collins, 
brother of Gilbert and a friend of Grant's, served until 1882. 
John Morrison managed the store for him. John London, 
brother of one of the resident Army officers, next occupied the 
position by appointment under President Chester A. Arthur. 
In 1888, during the administration of Grover Cleveland, John 
Hunton became proprietor of the store and operated it until 
April 20, 1890, when the United States Army abandoned it to 
its fate. 86 


The Adjutant-General's plan of Fort Laramie in 1870 shows 
no new alterations in the outline of the sutler's store, but does 
disclose that the "billiard room" mentioned in Bullock's corre- 
spondence is a separate structure close to the south. 87 Across 
the river is "Brown's Hotel," which was a private enterprise 
with a saloon in conjunction which undoubtedly offered the 
sutler brisk competition for the soldiers' pay checks. 88 

In the Army's annual report for 1870 on the condition and 
capacity of public buildings at Fort Laramie it is indicated 
that of the 49 in existence only three buildings survive from 
1849. 89 These are Old Bedlam, a rough board bake house with 
stone oven, and a small adobe post office. Of course the sutler's 
store, being a private affair, is not mentioned. Little is known 
of the "bake house," which has long since disappeared, but it 
is believed that this report errs in omitting the stone magazine 
from the "charter membership," even though it may not have 
been completed until 1850. The existence of the post office as 
a separate affair is confirmed by the ground-plans ; however, 
there is no proof that this structure was always used as a post 
office. In fact, it will be recalled that the plan of 1863 indicates 
a post office immediately in conjunction with the store. It 
appears that the building indicated in 1866 and 1867 as the 
post office is the same which in 1863 was marked "telegraph 
office. ' ' Li earlier plans it corresponds with a small block 
labelled "chaplain's quarters." The post office seems to have 
been shifted around frequently, but we know it was part of or 
immediately adjoined the sutler's store in 1852, 1863 and 1866, 
and was housed in the stone wing of this building in the 1880 's. 

In a "Plan of Fort Laramie, W. T." in 1871 we find the 
sutler 's store still in the same courtyard arrangement first noted 
in 1863. However, the companion row of shops has disappeared. 
The "Billiard Hall" has mysteriously expanded and now ap- 
pears to have joined in to the original adobe section. In the 
official plan of 1873 "accompanying application for additional 
buildings at the Post" this auxiliary unit appears to be sep- 
arated once more from the main structure and reduced to the 
original size. 90 

Sometime between 1873 and 1881 the sutler's store under- 
went drastic alterations. The original adobe and stone sec- 
tions of course remain, but the north projection from the stone- 
work disappeared, and the straight narrow sheds were replaced 
by two wider sheds of irregular shape, respectively composed 
of frame and logs. However, the courtyard and the general 
"U" shape of the conjoined structure was preserved. On the 
engineer's plan of 1881 the revamped layout is labelled "Post 
Office, Post Trader's Store, ' with overall dimensions of 75'x85\ 


A separate "Club Room," size 26'x51', composed of logs, is to 
all appearances identical with the earlier "Billiard Room." 91 

A list of public buildings at Fort Laramie in 1882 includes 
two sutler's frame "storehouses," each 12O'x30' and their con- 
dition is described as "very bad indeed." 92 These obviously 
were no part of the sutler's store itself. It may be that at the 
time they were used by the sutler, but it is believed that they 
correspond with buildings indicated in the aforementioned 
ground-plan of 1881 which were designed as Quartermaster's 
or Commissary storehouses. It is curious that this is the only 
hint of a sutler to be found in the successive Army building 

The "Fort Laramie, Wyoming," plan of 1888 lists "Post 
Trader's Store" of "adobe and stone," which corresponds with 
the existing structure. 93 The "club room" and all trace of the 
"U" with courtyard, as revised before 1881, is gone. It has 
not been ascertained from records thus far available whence 
came the large new lime-concrete or "grout" addition to the 
west, but it was presumably between 1881 and 1885 when many 
other buildings of this type were erected. Suggestive is the fact 
that the concrete officers' quarters which today is located on the 
south side of the sutler's store was completed in 1884. 

Intimate glimpses of our subject during the seventies and 
the eighties are rare. This era is characterized by the final large- 
scale Indian campaigns ; the advent of the Black Hills gold rush 
and the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage line, of which Fort Laramie 
was a major station ■ the brief but colorful career of the cow- 
boys of the open range ; and the coming of the homesteader. 
The transition stage from Indians to settlers is not conspicuous 
for its contributions to source material, and not many helpful 
diaries or reminiscences survive. 94 Indeed, diary-keeping prac- 
tically died out with the passing of the transcontinental emi- 
grants, of whom there were relatively few over the Platte route 
after 1869, when the Union Pacific Railroad was completed. 

There were numerous homicides and other acts of violence 
at or near the fort in those lawless days. One of these is of 
special interest. The story goes that on Christmas Day of 1872, 
Peter and William Janis came to an untimely end in a bar-room 
brawl at the sutler's. Their mother was a Cheyenne, their father 
was Nick Janis, of French extraction, prominent scout, guide 
and interpreter, the same whose antics at the sutler's store have 
been described by General Dodge and Major Ostrander, and 
whose name is affixed to the Sioux Treaty of 1868. The cir- 
cumstances of the tragic affair are somewhat cloudy, but it is 
reported that they were beaten to the draw by a man named 
Montrose, who quite promptly disappeared. Old Nick buried 
his two boys in the post cemetery, where they were later joined 


by their sister Mary, whose story rivals that of Falling Leaf. 
She was likewise a beautiful girl whose dark skin frustrated 
her romantic inclinations in a society of white men, and she 
likewise died tragically, of typhoid fever. The Janis tombstones 
today constitute one of the poignant attractions of old Fort 
Laramie. 95 

Mr. Thomas Walker of Omaha, who lived at the fort in the 
seventies when his father worked for the sutler, recalls that the 
store was a large enterprise, the main source of supply for 
civilians in the region, and the favorite rendezvous for all the 
colorful characters of the frontier. 96 Among these was the 
pacified Chief Spotted Tail, come to claim the body of his 
daughter, entombed for ten years on a scaffold overlooking the 
fort. Another was William F. Cody, the "Buffalo Bill" whose 
name is synonymous with the Old West. His dashing figure, 
straight and slender, with scarlet shirt and long hair, was rec- 
ognized in 1876 at the sutler's store, where he paused en route 
north as a guide for the Fifth Cavalry. 97 This was the climactic 
year of the ghastly battle on the Little Big Horn and other 
large-scale engagements which broke the power of the Sioux 
nation. Several expeditions of unprecedented force were 
launched from Fort Laramie, a major base of operations, and 
it must have been a banner year for the post sutler. Unfor- 
tunately, for lack of eye-witnesses interested in preserving the 
picture for posterity, we have to rely pretty much on our imag- 

J. S. Collins has written some interesting memoirs in his 
Across the Plains. He tells of big game hunting expeditions 
based on the sutler's store in the seventies. Several prominent 
generals of Civil War fame, accompanied by a military escort, 
participated in these diversions. The Secretary of the Interior, 
Carl Schurz, also went with Collins on such an expedition, in 
1880. Collins built and operated the "Rustic Hotel" from 1873 
on, north of the sutler's store. This appears to have been a 
hunting lodge or hostelry to accommodate his private friends, 
rather than the public. 98 

Ernest A. Logan, late resident of Cheyenne, who at one 
time was a stagedriver on the Cheyenne-Deadwoocl route, has 
recorded his first visit to Fort Laramie in December, 1877 : 

J. S. Collins owned the sutler's store at that time and 
John Morrison was in charge. I was greatly impressed 
with Mr. Morrison for he was a kindly person and a favorite 
at the Fort. Joe and I wanted to write some letters home 
the day after we arrived at Fort Laramie, so we asked Mr. 
Morrison for paper, envelopes and stamps. He gave us the 
requested materials, but refused to accept any money for 
them. Now this struck a couple of young fellows just about 


right and we were loud in our praise of him ever after. 
Some years later John Morrison ran the "G. H. and J. S. 
Collins Saddler Shop" in Cheyenne and afterwards owned 
several banks in Nebraska . . . A. B. Hart was chief 
clerk at the store, and the bar-keeps were the two Fitz- 
gerald boys whom all old-timers will recall. Mr. Hart was 
still at the Fort in 1881 when I was carrying mail and ex- 
press for the Black Hills Stage Company. He had charge 
of the officer's mess that year, and I remember that I 
bought some butter for him, on one of my trips to Rawhide 
Buttes, for one dollar a pound. Butter was a luxury in 
those days, but Mr. Hart spared no expense when it came to 
keeping his reputation as one of the best caterers in the 

When the news arrived early in 1890 that Fort Laramie 
would be abandoned, John Hunton had about $7,500 worth of 
merchandise on hand at the store which he figured would be 
valueless for civilian purposes. Through the influence of a 
former Army friend Congress granted him a consideration for 
his losses in the form of the donation of the abandoned Fort 
Laramie buildings. 100 However, before this grant could be con- 
summated the Army vacated the post and on April 9 an auction 
of the property was conducted by Lt. Charles M. Taylor of the 
9th Cavalry. Thus other citizens got hold of some of the Gov- 
ernment buildings but Hunton was the successful bidder on 
others, principally the row of officers' quarters alongside the 
sutler's store, including old Bedlam and the converted maga- 
zine. The store itself was of course his property to begin with. 
The quarters immediately next to the store he subsequently used 
for many years as his residence. Thus John Hunton, with his 
rich associations and deep reverence for Fort Laramie, was able 
to ensure the survival of its oldest and most historic structures, 
while others were unsentimentally consigned to oblivion. 


A few notes in retrospect may be helpful in rounding out 
the chronology of the sutler's store. In 1921 Bill Hooker, ex- 
bullwhacker, joined his old friend John Hunton in re-visiting 
and re-living scenes at Fort Laramie. He gives a nostalgic 
account : 

I am riding into old Fort Laramie in a taxicab ! The 
last time 1 entered this oasis in the then great desert, I 
drove seven yoke of oxen attached to two big canvas-covered 
wagons loaded with more than six tons of shelled corn, while 
Mr. Hunton, owner of the wagon train, rode a splendid 


horse, directing the movement. A band was playing, away 
out there in the wilds of America, jackasses brayed, soldiers 
. . . swarmed around us, together with a number of half- 
breed Canadian French Indians, all anxious to hear the 
news from along the trail . . . 

. . . as the clouds move the moon discloses the roof- 
less hospital building, and the sashless windows in walls 
that still contain the iron bars of the original guard-house. 
The sway-backed roof of the sutler's store, built of adobe 
and plastered without, supporting a tottering chimney, is 
disclosed. Oaken doors, the planks of which are held to- 
gether with bands of iron and crude hinges fashioned by 
some company blacksmith, perhaps as early as 1849 or 1850, 
are there as firmly as they were when Indians lurked on a 
dark night like this waiting for some indiscreet soldier or 
civilian inhabitant to show his head as a mark for an 
arrow . . . 

In the old sutler 's store we rummaged among the debris 
that has accumulated in a span of more than two average 
life-times, and found on a top shelf, covered with fully 
one-half inch of dust, two boxes of cartridges, where they 
had been placed, Mr. Hunton believed, by some former clerk 
more than 50 years, ago — these are Poultney 's patent metal- 
lic for Smith's breechloading carbine — 50-100 calibre, and 
were made in Baltimore ... In an account book found 
in a great pile of other documents were notations made by 
Mr. Hunton on September 14, 1867. I tore out the leaves 
to add to the Historical Museum at Cheyenne. 101 

The sutler's store is at once the pride and the despair of 
the historian. It is a matter of rejoicing that its essential ex- 
terior features survive, but it is sad to reflect upon the things 
that happened inside in recent years. When Hunton vacated 
the premises in the early twenties the interior walls, partitions, 
ceilings, floors and furnishings were essentially intact as of 1890 ; 
shelves of the store still carried molding merchandise and, as 
Hooker puts it, "a great pile of documents" which must have 
been a historian's dream, for here was sheaf after sheaf of the 
sutler's correspondence, ledgers and accounts, post office records 
and other priceless data, some of it going back to the days of 
the lumbering ox-drawn freighters, the bouncing Concord stage 
and the meteoric Pony Express. 102 Historians, like policemen, 
seem to be plentiful except when they are needed most. Today 
the authorities on old Fort Laramie appear to be numerous; 
but where was the historian in 1890 when the auctioneer sounded 
the death-knell of this great military post? Why didn't some 
imaginative soul appoint himself custodian of the "pile of docu- 


merits" until a historian showed up to take inventory? What 
happened to the wooden floors, the old bar, the shelves, the 
chandeliers, the cracker-barrels, the ox-yokes and the long- 
horns? These questions are, of course, merely rhetorical. When 
Hunton moved out the building was acquired by others who 
used it for utilitarian purposes of their own, and the increasing 
number of tourists who paused at Fort Laramie found it difficult 
to restrain an impulse to Carry off souvenirs. Interior furnish- 
ings of the sutler's store which may survive today are strewn 
all over the United States. 

A few odds and ends of the sutler's documents survive in 
public trust. The Ward-Bullock correspondence in the Hebard 
Collection aforementioned is a notable work of salvage. The 
Wyoming Historical Department has acquired a handful of 
these papers, presumably including the leaves of 1867 torn out 
of a book by Mr. Hooker. (One wonders why it never occurred 
to him to save the whole book.) Some Wyoming people have 
kindly turned over their acquisitions to the National Park Serv- 
ice. These include a few articles of furniture and some com- 
mercial correspondence and accounting records of the late 
1880 's. Other public-spirited citizens have indicated their in- 
tentions of turning other items over whenever the anticipated 
museum at Fort Laramie National Monument becomes a reality. 
(The writer takes this opportunity to appeal to others who may 
possess authentic Fort Laramie relics or documents to donate 
them to the Government for permanent safekeeping in their 
original home. These things will be seen and remembered by 
countless Americans of future generations). 

During the 1920 's private owners made some rather drastic 
alterations to the old building, apparently with a museum as 
their object. The old bar did not fit into their plans and was 
moved out-doors. 103 Considerable money appears to have been 
spent on the project, which included uprooting the floors and 
replacing the west wall of the original adobe section with three 
concrete pillars. In the course of the excavations a quantity of 
old coins were reportedly found in the dirt under the ancient 
wide-board flooring of the original store. 104 An archeological 
project undertaken in 1940 under National Park Service super- 
vision revealed evidence of an old cellar here which by scientific 
screening yielded an additional collection of sutler's tokens and 
U. S. coins dating back to 1829. An intriguing assortment of 
whiskey bottles, burned adobe brick, hardware, food labels, 
clay pipes, Indian trade beads, tooth-brushes, rings, keys, bottle 
caps, gun flints, cartridges, lead pencils, safety pins and sealing 
wax was likewise recovered. 105 

The interior of the store today, in spite of the missing and 
altered parts, is still worth looking into. The architectural de- 


tails of the adobe, stone and grout walls, the famous fire-place, 
the windows and doorways, are fascinating to the layman as 
well as the historian and the architect. Still in existence is the 
letter-drop in the post office, the officers' club, the ponderous safe 
imbedded in the wall of the sutler's office. The historic uses of 
the various rooms is a subject for some speculation, but valued 
data has been contributed by old-timers who once lived at or 
near Fort Laramie before 1890. One of these is Tom Powers, 
late resident of Torrington, whom we quote : 

The canteen or sutler's store was in the building just 
south of the large Oregon Trail marker now at the fort. 
This building was about 80x60 feet in size and the sutler, 
or manager of the store, secured his appointment from the 
government. In the old days the northeast room of the 
building was the lobby of the post office. Then in the 
middle of the east portion of the building was the room par- 
titioned off for the office proper with its boxes and fixtures. 
The safe was imbedded in the masonry which formed the 
large chimney for the building. In the south portion was 
the store proper, the principal stock of merchandise being 
liquor. The civilians called it a saloon. The northwest 
room was the club room proper for the general run of people 
at the fort. The southwest corner room was the club room 
given over to the use of officers at the fort, and the women 
who drank and consorted with the officers. Between this 
room and the sutler's store was a special window that had 
something of a mystery about it . . . Officers in their 
club room went to the blind window, laid down their money 
in a small opening in a small revolving keg, and gave their 
order. Nobody was in sight but the keg turned around and 
the purchaser found a bottle of liquor in front of him. It 
was beneath the dignity of the U. S. Army to buy liquor 
in the room where the common rabble drank, hence the 
blind key . . . Over the officers club rooms was an attic 
finished to provide sleeping quarters. Hart, the postmaster 
roomed there at one time, and Jack Hunton and Jim 
Bridger used that room for sleeping quarters one winter in 
the 70 's just before Bridger moved west to establish Fort 
Bridger . . . Some of the loud and sensational wall pic- 
tures provided for the saloons 40 and 50 years ago have of 
recent years been taken from the building, and now adorn 
the room of historical societies. 106 

Except for the anachronism relative to Bridger 's sleeping quar- 
ters this seems like a fairly accurate description. The ''blind 
window" referred to is still in evidence. 


Mr. Mead Sandercock of Fort Laramie and Mrs. M. Robert- 
son of Torrington, childhood residents of the fort, were inter- 
viewed in 1940 and they contributed their recollections of the 
floor plan of this building. Their conception does not differ in 
any important respect from that of Mr. Powers. According to 
them, the original adobe section was the main store. North of 
this was the sutler's office and post office. In the newer west 
section of the building, the two rooms to the south were the offi- 
cers ' bar and private club room. In the center was a large 
store-room and at the north end was the saloon, the ' ' club room ' ' 
for the enlisted men and the rank and file of civilians. Mr. 
Sandercock also contributed valued data on the location of miss- 
ing doorways, the counter and shelves of the store, and the bars 
and billiard tables. 107 

Patriotic and persistent citizens of Wyoming long urged 
that something be done to save old Fort Laramie and, after some 
abortive attempts, in 1937 the State of Wyoming acquired what 
was left of it from private owners for the adjudicated sum of 
$15,000. (The whole fort, complete, brought less than one-tenth 
this amount at the auction in 1890). 108 In 1938 the property 
was deeded to the United States Government and the National 
Park Service assumed the custodianship. The sutler's store, 
along with the other surviving structures, was finally assured 
protection. The accumulated debris of decades was removed 
and weakened walls were buttressed. Measured drawings of all 
architectural features were made for the Historic American 
Buildings Survey. The work of essential stabilization, suspend- 
ed by the war, will be resumed as plans and funds permit. 

The sutler's store was the busiest place at Fort Laramie 
throughout its forty years of military history. It was a focal 
point of social intercourse for all classes of men in the melting 
pot of frontier society. It was a vital supply link for travelers 
on the great transcontinental wagon road to Oregon, California 
and Utah and a banking and trading center of Dakota, Nebraska 
and Wyoming Territories. As it approaches its one hundredth 
birthday it stands as one of the few surviving citadels of the 
Old West. In its span of life it has seen Indian travois caravans 
and ox-drawn Conestoga wagons creeping over the land, and it 
has heard the drone of airplanes overhead. The pioneer folk 
who entered here are gone, but their dauntless spirit of freedom 
and enterprise lives on today in those Americans who march 
confidently onward toward new horizons. 


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1. Prior to 1849 the name "Fort John" was replaced by the more popular 
"Fort Laramie" but the earlier official designation is here used to preserve the 
distinction between the original adobe fort and the buildings which were later 
erected outside its walls. 

2. The parade ground and adjoining buildings are on an approximate axis 
of southwest to northeast. However, in describing the sutler's store in this 
paper, to eliminate confusion "east" will be understood to mean the front of the 
store facing the parade ground. 

3. The chronology of the other surviving structures at Fort Laramie is the 
subject of a separate study by the writer. 

4. John C. Thompson, "Wyoming's Most Distinguished Doorway," Guern- 
sey Gazette, July 4, 1937. 

5. Irene D. Paden, The Wake of the Prairie Schooner, New York, 1944, 
p. 167. 

6. LeRoy R. Hafen and Frances Marion Young. Fort Laramie and the 
Pageant of the West, 1834-1890, Glendale, 1938, pp. 69-70. 

7. McKay to Jessup, July 31, 1849, Fort Myer Archives. 

8. John Hunton, "Old Fort Laramie," Manuscript, Wyoming Historical 
Department. This is confirmed by Grace R. Hebard and E. A. Briminstool, The 
Bozeman Trail, Cleveland, 1922, Vol. I, p. 103. On p. 104 the authors make a 
contradictory reference to "the sutler's store building, built of adobe in 1852," 
probably confusing this with the stonework addition of that approximate date. 

9. John Hunton Papers, Wyoming Historical Department. 

10. Letter of August 13 from "a correspondent at Fort Laramie," Nebraska 
State Historical Society Publications, Vol. XX, p. 256. 

11. Van Vliet to Jessup, July 23, 1850. Fort Myer Archives. 

12. Hafen and Young, op. cit., pp. 154-155. 

13. "Letters and Journal of Henry Atkinson Stine," Manuscript copy, Mis- 
souri Historical Society. 

14. James Abbey, "California. A Trip Across the Plains," Magazine of 
History, Vols. 46 and 47, New York, 1932-33, p. 26. 

15. Hafen and Young, op. cit., p. 166. 

16. Milo M. Quaife, ed., Kit Carson s Autobiography, Chicago, 1935, p. 138. 

17. Dougherty papers, Missouri Historical Society, quoted by Hafen and 
Young, op. cit., p. 166. John Dougherty, prominent trader and Indian agent 
at St. Louis, is not to be confused with Tutt's partner, Lewis Dougherty. 

18. Annual Report of the Chief Engineer, U. S. Army, in Senate Docu- 
ments, I, 31st Congress, 2nd Session, p. 363. 

19. "Fort Laramie, Indian Territory, 1851," War Department Records. 

20. "Plot of Fort Laramie," War Department Records. 

21. F. L. Paxson. ed., "Thomas Turnbull's Travels from the United States 
Across the Plains to California," Proceedings of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin, for 1913, p. 170. 

22. Extracts from the Diary of William C. Lobenstine, 1851-1855, privatelv 
printed, 1920, p. 30. 

23. G. W. Kendall, "Letter from the Plains, Written on the Platte River, 
opposite Fort Laramie, June 9, 1852," St. Louis Intelligencer, July 14, 1852. 

24. Gilbert L. Cole, In the Early Days Along the Overland Trail in Ne- 
braska Territory, in 1852, Kansas City, 1905. pp. 53-55. 

25. Jno. H. Clark. "A Trip Across the Plains in 1852," typescript, E. E. 
Ayer Collection. Newberry Library, Chicago. 

26. Nebraska State Historical Society Publications, XX, p. 238. 

27. L. D. S. Journal History, November 2, 1852, quoted by Hafen and 
Young, op. cit., p. 201. 


28. Gwen Castle, ed.. "Belshaw Journey, Oregon Trail, 1853,"' Oregon His- 
torical Quarterly, XXXII, 3, p. 228. Ilafen and Young, op. cit., p. 202. quoting 
from a copy of the journal in the Huntintrton Library, indicate the date as May 

29. Dr. Thomas Flint. California to Maine and Return, 1851-1855, Clare- 
mont, California. 1924. p. 32. 

30. Quoted in The Oregon Trail (American Guide Series), New York, 1939. 
p. 172. 

31. "Autobiography." Annals oi Wyoming, Vol. 4. No. 1. p. 245. 

}2. James Linforth. Route From Liverpool to the Great Salt Lake Valley, 
Liverpool, 1855, p. 92. 

33. Original sketch is in Linforth. ibid., opposite p. 94; copy in Hafen and 
Young, op. cit., opposite p. 204. 

34. L. D. S. Journal History, October 28. 1854, quoted in Llafen and Young, 
op. cit., p. 215. 

35. William Chandlers. A Visit to Salt Lake, London, 1857. p. 94. 

36. Manuscript copy, Scotts Bluff National Monument. 

37. John Hunton Papers, op. cit. Ward paid Tutt and Dougherty $3,000 
for their interest. The bill of sale is reprinted in Annals of JVvoming, Vol. 5, 
No. 1. 

38. Higgins to Jessup. June 30. 1857. Fort Myer Archives. 

39. T. S. Kenderdive, A Califor7iia Tramp, Newtown, Pa., 1888, p. 68. 

40. Captain Irwin revisited Fort Laramie in 1939 and at that time was 
interviewed by Custodian Jess Lombard. 

41. Percival G. Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon, Kansas City. 1906, p. 253. 

42. Capt. Jesse A. Gove, The Utah Expedition, 1857-1858, New Hampshire 
Historical Society, 1928, p. 51. 

43. Babbitt to Jessup. June 23, 1858. Fort Myer Archives. 

44. Horace Greeley, Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco 
in the Summer of 1859, New York, 1860, p. 182. Brigham Young, the patriarch 
of Salt Lake City, was another famous passenger of the overland stage, of which 
Fort Laramie was a major stop. See John Bratt. Trails of Yesterday, Chicago, 

45. Mrs. Louise Nottingham. "Sgt. Leodegar Schnyder." Manuscript, Wyo- 
ming Historical Department. 

46. Arthur Chapman, The Pony Express, New York, 1932. p. 274. John 
Hunton reportedly came into possession of a leather letter pouch left in 1867 
at the sutler's store by ex-Pony Express rider Bob Sanders, later killed in a 
quarrel with Ed Moss. 

47. Ibid., pp. 182-197. 

48. Richard Burton. Citx of the Saints, New York, 1862. p. 90. 

49. Hafen and Young, op. cit., p. 304. 

50. Chapman, op. cit., pp. 189-190. 

51. "Map of Fort Laramie. 1863." Collins Collection, Colorado Agricultural 
College, Fort Collins. Two good illustrations of Fort Laramie in the early 
sixties complement the Collins map. One sketch by Bugler C. Moellman is 
found opp. p. 112. Hebard and Brininstool. op. cit., Vol. 1. Another by an un- 
known soldier of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, appears on the cover of 
Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 17. No. 1 (January. 1945). 

52. Agnes Wright Spring, "Caspar Collins Papers," Caspar Collins, New 
York, 1927. p. 147. This part is imperfectly described as follows: "East 
[north] of the first sutler's store was another sutler's store and shed 94x69."' 
Comparison with the map shows that this has reference to the residence, not 
"another sutler's store." The residence itself was 18'x45' with a wing 20'x28'. 
The sutler's residence was demolished in 1890 or shortly thereafter. 

53. Randolph B. Marcy, The Prairie Traveler, London, 1863, p. 80. 

54. Col. Samuel Word, "Diary of a trip, 1863," Contributions to the His- 
torical Society of Montana, VIII, p. 50. 


55. _ G. O. Houser in Guernsey Gazette, July 4, 1937, reports that John 
Hunton's translation of the Indian name was "Brings Water," but Ware says it 
was "Wheaten Flour," this being the Indian symbol for whiteness or purity. 
She was stricken with tuberculosis in 1866. Many romantic legends are woven 
around her. 

56. Eugene F. Ware, The Indian War of 1864, Topeka, 1911. pp. 273-347. 
Ware was with the 7th Iowa Cavalry and for a while was Post Adjutant. 

57. Arthur J. Dickson, Covered Wagon Days, Cleveland, 1929, p. 82. 

58. Myra E. Hull, ed., "Soldiering on the High Plains. The Diary of Lewis 
Byram Hull, 1864-1866." Kansas Historical Quarterly, VII, 1. 

59. Will H. Young. "Journals and Travels," Annals of Wyoming, VII, 2. 

60. Hafen and Young, op. cit., pp. 332-333; Robert B. David, Finn Burnett, 
frontiersman, Glendale, 1937, pp. 29-43. The Indians were executed on the fol- 
lowing day by Colonel Moonlight, it is said upon receipt of hastily wired instruc- 
tions from General Connor. It is doubtful if they appreciated the fine distinction 
between a lynching and a formal hanging. In Burnett's version three chiefs were 
hung, and "Colonel Baumer" was their intercessor. George Bird Grinnell, The 
Fighting Cheyennes, New York, 1915, p. 181, says the Indians came in volun- 
tarily to prove their friendliness. Hebard and Brininstool, op. cit., pp. 149-150, 
quote Colonel Moonlight to the effect that the Indians were captured red-handed. 

61. B. F. Rockafellow diary, manuscript notes at Colorado Historical 

62. J. R. Perkins, Trails, Rails and War, Indianapolis, 1929, p. 185. 

63. War Department Records. 

64. J. L. Campbeii, Handbook and Guide for the Emigrant, Chicago, 1866, 
p. 67. 

65. Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 8, No. 3. 

66. Letter of September, 1926 to Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Wyoming State His- 

67. Mrs. Henry B. Carrington, AB-sa-ra-ka, Land of Massacre, Philadel- 
phia, 1879, pp. 76-77. 

68. ' Ibid., p. 240. 

69. Julius C. Birge, The Awakening of the Desert, Boston, 1912, pp. 178- 

70. Maj. Alson B. Ostrander, An Army Boy of the Sixties, New York, 1924, 
pp. 102-104, 227. 

71. War Department Records. 

72. Hebard and Brininstool, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 102-103. 

73. John Hunton, "Early Settlement of the Laramie River Valley," Fort 
Laramie Scout, August 18, 1927. 

74. John Hunton. "Historv of the old Sutler Store Coins." Fort Laramie 
Scout, December 12, 1928. 

75. J. W. Hendron, "Introduction to Fort Laramie Archeology," Manu- 
script, National Park Service files. 

76. J. Cecil Alter, James Bridger, Salt Lake City, 1925, pp. 469-471. 
Bridger was restored to duty in May, but discharged later in the year at Fort 
D. A. Russell. This ended his brilliant career on the Plains. 

77. "Notes on Fort Laramie," Torrington Telegram, April 28, 1934. 

78. Interview with Custodian Jess Lombard in 1941. 

79. Wilson O. Clough, ed., "Fort Russell and Fort Laramie Peace Commis- 
sion in 1867," Sources of Northwest History No. 14. University of Montana. 

80. Red Cloud himself would not come until later in the year after the 
white man had ignominiously destroyed his hated forts on the Bozeman Trail. 

81. House Documents, 40th Congress. 3d Session, Vol. 2, Book 1336, p. 488. 


82. Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 248. 321-330. The Indians 
were reluctant to leave the vicinity of Fort Laramie and did not actually do so 
until 1873, when the "Red Cloud Agency" on the Platte, near the present Ne- 
braska-Wyoming line, was moved north. — George E. Hyde, Red Cloud's Folk, 
Norman, 1937, pp. 187-205. Indian outlaws plagued the neighborhood as late 
as 1877. 

83. Spring, op. tit., pp. 259, 278. 

84. Reproduced in Hafen and Young, op. cit., opp. p. 346. Most of the 
other known general views of the fort are not helpful. In this instance the 
soldiers' barracks which usually hides the store has been razed to make way for 
a new structure, and only the scaffolding intervenes. 

85. Bullock foresaw the future when the peace treaty of 1868 was con- 
cluded. At that time he concluded a partnership with Benjamin B. Mills who 
went east that year to purchase the first herd to be grazed in that part of Wyo- 
ming. — John Hunton Papers. 

86. John Hunton Papers; John S. Collins, Across the Plains, Omaha, 1904, 
pp. 65-67. 

87. The National Archives. 

88. A picture of this establishment appears in Bushnell's Burials (Bulletin 
No. 83 of the Bureau of American Ethnology). It is mentioned occasionally by 
travelers. It was a log and adobe affair dating about 1867 to 1871. 

89. Report of Capt. F. L. Luhn, June 30, 1870. Fort Myer Archives. 

90. War Department Records. 

91. National Archives. 

92. Report by W. P. Hall. March, 1882. Fort Myer Archives. 

93. War Department Records. 

94. One notable exception is the unpublished diary of John Hunton which 
begins in 1875. It is in the safe-keeping of Mr. L. G. (Pat) Flannery of Fort 
Laramie and Cheyenne. 

95. G. O. Houser, ed., Guernsey Gazette, July 4, 1937; Perkins, op. cit., 
pp. 185-186. "Nick Janis" is apparently a corruption of Nicholas Jeunesse. 
A brother Antoine was equally well-known around old Fort Laramie. 

96. Interviewed by E. A. Hummel, August 21, 1941. 

97. Hafen, op. cit., p. 384. 

98. Collins, op. cit., pp. 65-84. 

99. "Some Incidents at old Fort Laramie, Year 1877." Guernsey Gazette, 
op. cit. 

100. Interview by E. A. Hummel with Mr. Thomas Walters of Omaha. 
The deed that Mr. Walters obtained from Mr. Hunton for his property, sold 
about 1924, contained this information. 

101. William Francis Hooker. "Back-trailing in Modern Wyoming," Erie 
Railroad Magazine, XVII. 9. 

102. Grace R. Hebard, "Notes on Fort Laramie." Torrington Telegram, 
April 28, 1932. 

103. O. U. Hinrichs, "Reveries — Fort Laramie," The Goldenrod, Cheyenne, 
1931, saw the weather-beaten bar in a state of advanced disintegration. 

104. G. O. Houser, "A Fiction Story of old Fort Laramie," Guernsey 
Gazette, July 5, 1935. Herein is an interesting account of the varied misfor- 
tunes which befell the proposed museum. 

105. Hendron. Ibid. 

106. Thomas G. Powers, "More Historv of old Fort Laramie." Torrington 
Telegram, March 22. 1934. 

107. Interview with Custodian Jess Lombard of Fort Laramie National 
Monument. 1940. 

108. Hafen and Young, op. cit., pp. 407-409. 


Letter of December 20, 1945 from G. 0. Reid to 

Merrill J. Mattes, giving reminiscences of old 

Fort Laramie and vicinity 

Mr. M. J. Mattes High River Alberta 

Gering Box 327 

Nebraska December 20" 1945 

Dear Mr. Mattes. 

Am enclosing a rough map that I drew from memory, And 
did not scale it to the inch, But guess you can make out the main 
points on the map. 

First I will begin with a little personal history, I was 
borned at Fort McPherson Nebraska, on the 28" clay of January 
1872, my father at that time was coral boss there, and drove the 
Grand Duke of Alexis of Russia on his famous buffalo hunt, 
in an army ambulance with four cavalry horses for the team, 
My father worked as a stock tender on the poney expres during 
1859. at Rockey Point station, then he drove stage when the 
stage coaches was put on, covering the stations from Indepence 
Rock to Salt Lake City, during the year of 1862 he was put in 
charge as Supt, from three crossings on the Sweetwater to Jules- 
burg on the Platte River, during this year the Indians commence 
to burn the stage station and run of the stage horses, in a scrap 
near Devil Gap, he was badly wounded in the back, and finaly 
went to Salt Lake City for threatment. during this period he 
traveled up and down thee line through Fort Laramie. Wyo. 

At the age of two years my parents moved to North Platte 
City two miles east of the Fort, Where Buffalo Bill (Cody) 
and his wife and two children lived with us, while Cody was 
out on indian campaigns, during the fall of 1875 my father 
was transfered with his wagon trains to Fort Laramie, on ac- 
count of the pending indian uprisings, Then he sent for mother 
and us children, we traveled by U. P. Rly, to Cheyene then to 
Fort Laramie by stage coach, Arriving at Fort Laramie we were 
taken by my father to the place marked on the map as Reicl,s 
Ranch near the old adobe coral, where my father was in charge 
as train master of the mule and wagon trains, 

He had bought this place from an ex-soldier named John 0. 
Brine we lived there until the fall of 1880, when my father 
got in a scrap with a gambler, and after things blewx over we 
were orderd off the reservation by Col. Gibbon, we moved down 
the Platte River about six miles to an old wood camp in the 
river timber and then known as ol man Callahans place, we was 
there about two months when we moved to the old Pierre 
Baptise ranch then known as the B P. ranch and owned by Heck 
Reel a cattle man whose brand was HR. we lived there until 
the fall of 1882, then my brother Will took up a homestead on 


the Platte River ten miles west of Fort Laramie, and now known 
as part of Reg Cliff, Our first house was built of the old sand 
stone rocks used in the Sand Point Pony Express Station, but 
moved back as the river bank kept caving off in the river during 
high water, 

during 1883, we were drowned out by the high water, so we 
built a new house on the west end of our land on a bench about 
ten feet higher a than the previous high water, mark, during the 
spring of 1892 we sold our place to Chas A Gurnsey, for whom 
the town on the north side of the river was named. We then 
moved with our cattle and horse to western North Dakot to the 
town of Medora, near where Gen Custer and his command 
crossed the Little Missouri, River on his way west on the fatal 
expedition which cost him and most of his commands life, So 
much for our personal history. 

we kept a bunch of cattle at our place near the Fort and 
supplied the Fort patrons with milk and cream for the officers, 
on pay days we used to gather mushrooms, and catch large 
green frogs for their legs for the officers then when they wanted 
to go fishing we kids used to make a dip net out of chees cloth, 
and catch live minnows out of the Laramiec River for the offi- 
cer to go fishing for pike in the Platte River, our best place to 
go catch frogs was in the slough S. W. of the Fort on the Deer 

1. You will note the two indian girls graves on the map, 
they were buried on scafolds, one was Spotted Tails daughter 
Falling Leaf, and Red Clouds daughter White Fawn. 

2. The old hospital in your picture was under the charge 
of Staff Sgt. John Tomamichel as hospital steward, over him was 
Capt Dr Brown, Jake Tomamichel the son of the hospital stew- 
ard now lives at Medora North Dak, during the small pox 
epedemic during 1878 among the soldiers and indian scouts, dr 
Brown gave the soldiers a medicine they dubed Dr Browns Milk 
punch, nine tenths of them died, in the Pawnee Indian Scout 
camp north of our house they also died like rats, us kids wore 
bags of aspedia around uor neck tied to a string, we used to go 
among the indians and their kids but we never got the disease, 

3. The old sutler store and saloon was run by and owned 
by Snyder and J. S. Collins when we moved there, and in 1884 
sold by Snyder and Collins to Morrison and Snyder, Morrison 
was a former clerk in the store and my brother Will worked 
there as a clerk, J. S. Collins after selling out the sutler store 
moved to Cheyenne and started a saddle shop, under the firm 
name of J. S. Collin & Co, Jack Hunton was running the stage 
station at Bordeaux the second stage station from the Fort, the 
first was at Eagle Nest and run by George Hawke, the first time 
I seen Jack Hunton in the old sutler store was in April 1890 


when I worked at the Fort digging up the water mains and 
takeing the plumbing out of the officers quarters to be shipped 
to Fort Robinson Neb, 

4. The place called the old guard house was used as a 
magazine for storeing ammunution ever since I can remember, 
it possibly might of been used as a guard room before my time. 

5. The mule skinners and artisans employed around the 
Fort was all civilians under the quartermasters department. 
Major Drew was in charge of the Q. M. Depmt, he was there for 
a long time under Col, W. Merritt, Col. J. Gibbon, and Col. 
H. C. Merriam, my father being employed as trainmaster and 
coral boss, with his assistant. Jim Hilton, in the spring of 1876 
they started out from Fort Laramie under Gen, Crook to bring 
back the indians to their respective reservations, but with no 
results, But the battles of the War Bonnett, Creek, Battle of the 
Rosebud, and battle of the Lame Deer Creek, where the indians 
delayed Gen. Crook command while the Custer battle was going 
on, on arrivial of Crooks command at the battle ground next 
day, they helped to bury the dead and remove the wounded 
down the Little Bighorn river to the steamer Far West, about 
eight miles below the battle ground. Crooks command then had 
orders to chase the indians back to their reserves, the winter of 
1876-77 they spent the winter at what became later as known 
now as Camp Crook ariving back at Fort Laramie in the late 
spring of 77, badly worn out after the hard winter at Camp 
Crook on the Little Missouri, and chaseing the stray indians 
back to the Pine Ridge Agency and enroute the battle of Slim 
Buttes where Buffalo Chips the scoute, Jim Whie. was killed in 
this battle. 

6 There was all kinds of tough characters who used to 
come into the Fort and get drunk then on pay days the soldiers 
and cowboys used to get in all kinds of fights, which we used 
to watch with glee, I remember on one occasion during 1881 a 
tough bunch of cowboys came to the Fort, got drunk then headed 
by a man called Red Jack Burnett they got on their horses and 
started galloping around the parade ground in front of the offi- 
cer quarters the officer of the day ran out and tried to stop 
them but the cowboys ran over him and commenced to shoot 
things up, the adjugtant called out the guard then the cowboys 
took to the road running north of the post towards the bridge 
over the Laramie River west of the Fort, the guards ran to the 
N. W. corner of the parade ground and started shooting with 
their Springfield rifles at the cowboys, they sure raised a dust 
behing the fleeing cowbovs, who kept hollering back shoot vou 
B. B. S. B. 

7. The buildings were mostly lumber, with the exception 
of the Calvary Barracks, Hospital, Old Magazine, i, e guard 


house, Sutler Store, Coral adobe, and some of the officers quar- 
ters built of adobe plastered on the out and inside. 

8. The Rustic Hotel, (and Stage Station) was run by 
Charley Charlton, and later by Newcomb and Hogle. Old Bed- 
lam was usualy the scene of loud parties after each payday with 
dances and general hurrah. 

9. The guard house was usualy full of drunks on pay days, 
with lots of desertions, I remember one offender who had to 
carry a fifty pound sack of sand back and forwards between the 
sentries at the guard house, all of a sudden he threw the sand 
bag and ran for the Laramie River which was very high, the 
guards kept shooting at him but he jumped into the river and they 
kept shooting at his head so he would dive, keeping dow the 
river finaly came out on the other side of the river opestite our 
place in Bull Park and escaped, On another occasion, we had a 
race horse, and the deserters allway tried to steal our horses, so 
we got a bull dog, one night about two o'clock in the morning- 
after pay day Ave heard an afull yell, we rushed out and Tom the 
bulldog had a soldied by the leg, he had saddled the race horse, 
and as he had crawled through the small back window, before 
saddling the horse, the dog did not get a chance at him bat 
when he opened the stable door the dog grabed him all he could 
yell was tie up your dog he eating my leg off, We called the 
dog off and the deserter hobbled back to the Fort for medical 

10. The freighters who used to haul suplies for the Post 
Trader one I' especialy remember was Joe Wilde, a rough and 
tumble fighter, He was a bullwhacker and could lick several 
men at a time in a fight, then there was John Ryan know as 
Posey Ryan, because he called all the girls poseys, he owned a 
freight outfit, of mules and horses he had a brother named Dan 
Ryan who used to work for him they had a ranch on the Laramie 
River about seven miles west of the Fort, across the river from 
the B. P ranch Old portugese Phillips also had a freight outfit 
and later on ran the stage station at Lodge Pole Creek, north of 

Then Cooney & Coffee were noted charcters who ran a road 
ranch on the north side of the Laramie Rive four and a half 
miles west of the Fort, this place was built in a square just off the 
reservation line, there was also a joint on the south side of the 
river from the Cooneey and Coffee joint, dont just remember 
the men who ran it. 

11. I ha vent much recolection about the Scotts Bluff and 
Horse Creek, and Ribeaudeaux. Pass, only I covered that ground 
three springs working as a cowboy for the diamond a ranch, 
Stevens & Misner and two years for the Heck Reel cattle outfit, 
on the round ups from the Sidney Bridge in Nebraska to the 



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W i 

: #fi 






Map of Fort Laramie, 1876-1890. Drawn from memory by G. O. Keid. Sent with letter of December 20, 1945 to Merrill J. Mattes. 


Heck Reel ranch on the little Laramie River west of where the 
town of Wheatland now stands, Heck Reel was a freighter until 
he went into the cattle buisness with Vest Sherman as his fore- 
man, Heck Reel sold his cattle to the Mitchell Bros, George and 
Sandy Mitchel later on of Glenrock Wyoming, The old place 
used as a blacksmith shop east of the Fort on the south side of 
the Platte River used by Ribedeaux was known as the old Rock 
Ranch, and owned by Pratt & Ferris cattlemen and my brother 
Will worked for this cattle outfit, 

Yours Very Truly. 

G. 0. Reid 

Letter of January 25, 1946 from Merrill J. Mattes to 

Mrs. Marie H. Erwin, explaining circumstances 

of foregoing letter, and giving additional 

biographical data on Mr. Reid. 

January 25, 1946. 
Marie H. Erwin, 

Wyoming Historical Department, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Dear Mrs. Erwin : 

Attached herewith is the original of a letter of reminiscences 
dated December 20, 1945 and a photostatic copy of a map of old 
Fort Laramie sent to me by Mr. G. 0. Reid of High River, 
Alberta, Canada. He has indicated his willingness to have this 
material published in Annals of Wyoming. 

Mr. Reid wrote to me originally on November 12, 1945, 
having seen my letter on Fort Laramie history reprinted in the 
Pony Express for October, 1945. He briefly outlined his life 
as a youngster around Fort Laramie from 1875 to 1892, and 
asked about Dr. LeRoy R. Hafen's book on the subject. Realiz- 
ing that I had struck "pay dirt" I asked Mr. Reid if he would 
be kind enough to give us more of his recollections, which might 
be of value in the research program at Fort Laramie National 
Monument. The result was this extremely interesting letter 
which takes us back 70 years ago when the old fort was a going 
concern, with illuminating sidelights on Fort Laramie buildings 
and incidents, and on events and personalities famous in Wyo- 
ming history. The map of Fort Laramie, drawn from memory, 
is remarkably accurate as to known features and their relative 
location, with certain new information added. The sincerity 
and enthusiasm with which Mr. Reid gives us this glimpse into 
the past provides an arresting and colorful document which I 
know will be welcomed by the readers of An?ials of Wyoming. 
Possibly there are some who were acquainted with train master 
Reid and his family. 


Heck Reel ranch on the little Laramie River west of where the 
town of Wheatland now stands, Heck Reel was a freighter until 
he went into the cattle biasness' with Vest Sherman as his fore- 
man, Heck Reel sold his cattle to the Mitchell Bros, George and 
Sandy Mitchel later on of Glenrock Wyoming, The old place 
used as a blacksmith shop east of the Fort on the south side of 
the Platte River used by Ribedeaux was known as the old Rock 
Ranch, and owned by Pratt & Ferris cattlemen and my brother 
Will worked for this cattle outfit, 

Yours Very Truly. 

G. 0. Reid 

Letter of January 25, 1946 from Merrill J. Mattes to 

Mrs. Marie H. Erwin, explaining circumstances 

of foregoing- letter, and giving additional 

biographical data on Mr. Reid. 

January 25, 1946. 
Marie H. Erwin, 

Wyoming Historical Department, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Dear Mrs. Erwin : 

Attached herewith is the original of a letter of reminiscences 
dated December 20, 1945 and a photostatic copy of a map of old 
Fort Laramie sent to me by Mr. G. 0. Reid of High River, 
Alberta, Canada. He has indicated his willingness to have this 
material published in Annals of Wyoming. 

Mr. Reid wrote to me originally on November 12, 1945, 
having seen my letter on Fort Laramie history reprinted in the 
Pony Express for October, 1945. He briefly outlined his life 
as a youngster around Fort Laramie from 1875 to 1892, and 
asked about Dr. LeRoy R. Hafen's book on the subject. Realiz- 
ing that I had struck "pay dirt" I asked Mr. Reid if he would 
be kind enough to give us more of his recollections, which might 
be of value in the research program at Fort Laramie National 
Monument. The result was this extremely interesting letter 
which takes us back 70 years ago when the old fort was a going 
concern, with illuminating sidelights on Fort Laramie buildings 
and incidents, and on events and personalities famous in Wyo- 
ming history. The map of Fort Laramie, drawn from memory, 
is remarkably accurate as to known features and their relative 
location, with certain new information added. The sincerity 
and enthusiasm with which Mr. Reid gives us this glimpse into 
the past provides an arresting and colorful document which I 
know will be welcomed by the readers of Annals of Wyoming. 
Possibly there are some who were acquainted with train master 
Reid and his family. 


The letter of December 20 needs no elaboration, but I 
might round out Mr. Raid's story with facts supplied from his 
other letters. He writes: "After moving from Medora, N. D. 
the former stamping ground of our former President Theodore 
Roosevelt, I became sheriff of Billings County for a term of 
four years from 1902 to 1906, two terms all the law allowed at 
that time. After coming up to Canada I joined the Royal North- 
west Police, serving as a Detective Staff Sergeant for twenty 
three years receiving two medals ... I have been with the 
Royal Canadian Air Force for the last four and a half years 
. . . I came here to High River to be Chief Guard at the Air 
Port . . . just finished the 15th of November, and now have 
some leisure time to do some writing." 

Mr. Reid revisited Fort Laramie in March, 1937, taking 
several pictures of the old buildings, many of which were con- 
structed during his childhood. We hope that this grand gentle- 
man who was so much a part of early Wyoming history can 
come again. 

Sincerely yours, 

Merrill J. Mattes, 
Historian for Fort Laramie 
National Monument. 


The following are photographs of some of the peo- 
ple mentioned in the previous article "The Sutler's 
Store at Fort Laramie". While not a part of this 
article they are so apropos to the article, that we were 
pleased to receive them in time to use them here. 

The four photographs on the following pages were acquired 
by the Wyoming Historical Department from the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, through the courtesy of Mr. M. W. Stirling, 
chief of the Bureau. These were all taken by government 
photographer Mr. Gardner, in 1868. 

The citizens and Indian chiefs in photographs one and two 
were identified by Mr. W. M. Camp for the Missouri Historical 
Society, St. Louis, Missouri, about thirty or thirty-five years 
ago from the time of writing, 1945. The names were obtained 
by Mr. Stirling, from the Missouri Historical Society. 

The names of those in photographs three and four were 
given by Mr. Stirling, as they are recorded at the Bureau of 
American Ethnology. 


The group of citizens in photographs one and two were some 
of the settlers at and around Fort Laramie, in 1868. Some 
biographical data on these people follows. 

William G-. Bullock was employed by Seth Ward, sutler at 
Fort Laramie, as agent and general manager of Mr. Ward's 
large interests at Fort Laramie, from 1858 to 1871. He was 
present during the conferences of the Peace Commissioners of 

1866 and 1868 ; was engaged in the cattle business, and reported 
by Sila Reed, surveyor general of Wyoming Territory, as having 
4500 head of cattle on Horse Creek in 1871. 

Benjamin B. Mills, in 1858, was commissioned by the In- 
dian agent, Thomas S. Twiss, agent of the Upper Platte River 
(North Platte River) Nebraska Territory, as a trader and clerk 
in the sutler's store. He was the bookkeeper in 1867. W. G. 
Bullock and Mills became partners in a cattle enterprise, run- 
ing the stock in the vicinity of the Laramie River, Chugwater, 
and Bordeaux. B. B. Mills died in 1867. 

Isaac Bettelyoun was an early day cattleman, who ran his 
stock on the Chugwater, 1867. He was a brave Indian fighter, 
and a close friend of W. G. Bullock. 

John Finn. We find the following in the Cheyenne Leader, 
October 10, 1867, p. 1 : 

' ' Col. John Finn, the contractor for furnishing beef 
to the military post at Cheyenne has lately built a large 
cattle yard at Omaha from which he loads fat beeves 
on to cars for transportation westward ; some days he 
sends out one dozen cars." 

James Bordeaux, a French Canadian was an "old timer" 
around Fort Laramie in 1868. He had a road house and a small 
trading post about nine miles east of Fort Laramie, on the south 
side of the North Platte River in the 1850 's. Upon the estab- 
lishment of a government road between Fort Russell and Fort 
Laramie, Bordeaux established a small store and road ranch in 

1867 on the government road intersecting the new Fort Russell- 
Fort Laramie road. The road ranch developed into the town of 
Bordeaux where in 1877 a post office was established. James 
Bordeaux also had large cattle and ranching interests. 

























































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Zhe Administration of Zkomas Moonlight 



Wyoming's Time of Trouble 

With the election of Cleveland as the first Democratic 
president since 1861, the members of his party in Wyoming 
anticipated a change in territorial administration. Their hopes 
were shattered by a swift political move of the Republicans, 
under the leadership of Congressional delegate Joseph M. Carey, 
who prevailed upon President Arthur to nominate Francis E. 
Warren for the governorship before Cleveland assumed the 
presidency. Warren's acceptance, wired to the Interior Depart- 
ment in Washington, arrived two days prior to the inauguration. 
As Cleveland and his party had endorsed the principle of 
"home rule" for the western territories in the campaign for the 
presidency, pressure was exerted upon him to fulfill the party's 
commitments by retaining Warren who was an old Wyoming 
resident and among the foremost cattlemen-politicians in the 

The Democratic administration was likewise pledged to 
terminate the illegal fencing of the national domain by lumber 
"kings" and cattle "barons". The practice of fencing the 
alternate sections of land belonging to the government between 
those purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad had for years 
been a recognized procedure in the "Cattle Kingdom", and 
Warren was not the least among the offenders. Small land 
owners repeatedly protested to the administration about his 
"Railroad Steals" and accused him and delegate Carey of land 
grabbing for the purpose of establishing a monopoly. When 
Cleveland requested Warren to submit an explanation, the 
political pressure became acute, and in November, 1886, he was 
suspended from the governorship by the President. In Wyo- 
ming, Cleveland had thus achieved his desire to eliminate from 
public office those men who had fenced the public domain; and 
in order to carry out his promise of "home rule", he named 
another Wyoming cattleman, George W. Baxter, as chief execu- 
tive. This young West Pointer, recently arrived in the territory, 
served only a month because his commission had not been signed 
twenty-four hours when he also was accused of illegally fencing 
land. This charge was speedily substantiated in the Interior 
Department. Cleveland was now convinced that the majority 

Tor Mr. Jackson's biography, see Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 15:2:143. 


of Wyoming's cattlemen-politicians, who were the most poten- 
tial gubernatorial candidates, were engaged in illegal fencing, 
and he resolved to violate his "home rule" principle by appoint- 
ing a reliable Kansas Democrat, Thomas Moonlight, to the gov- 
ernorship. The Moonlight appointment was looked upon with 
misgivings by Republicans and Democrats alike, for another 
non-resident had been imposed upon them. 1 

Moonlight, a soldier of fortune, had served in the Federal 
Army during the Civil War, and was introduced to Wyoming in 
]865 while stationed at Fort Laramie. His Eleventh Kansas Cav- 
alry had been assigned the duty of protecting the telegraph line 
and overland stage route in southeastern Wyoming. Colonel Moon- 
light returned to his Kansas farm at the close of the war and 
entered upon a political career. As a conservative Republican he 
supported the Johnson administration and was rewarded with 
an appointment as Collector of Internal Revenue for Kansas. 
The following year he was a successful Republican candidate 
for secretary of state. Moonlight switched party allegiance 
in the decade of the seventies, and, with the enthusiasm of a 
new convert, he presided over the state Democratic convention 
in 1880. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Kansas 
governorship in 1886, but Cleveland compensated him for mak- 
ing the race by the appointment as territorial governor of Wyo- 
ming. 2 

In Cleveland's letter of appointment he expressed his de- 
termination that the public lands were not to be fenced by the 
cattlemen and that the public domain should be held for actual 
settlers. Moonlight, a Granger in politics, was interested in 
the cause of the pioneer farmer; and when he arrived in Chey- 
enne on January 25, 1887, he was pledged to break the political 
power of the cattle interests. Within a month he wrote the Sec- 
retary of the Interior requesting the appointment of an asso- 
ciate justice of the supreme court who would in turn name as 
clerks and deputies in the various Wyoming counties the local 

1. W. Turrentine Jackson, "The Governorship of Wyoming. 1885-1889, A 
Study in Territorial Politics"', The Pacific Historical Review, XIII (March, 
1944), 1-11. The attitude of the Cleveland administration relative to the status 
of the national domain is more clearly revealed in W. A. J. Sparks, "Annual 
Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, 1885, 1886. and 1887". 
These reports were published as a part of the "Annual Report of the Secretary 
of the Interior" to Congress and may be located in the volumes of Message and 
Documents. Sparks' attitude was naturally reflected by Thomas Moonlight, the 
administration's agent in Wyoming. For those interested in the land question, 
a splendid account may also be found in John B. Rae, "Commissioner Sparks 
and the Railroad Land Grants". Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XX\ . 

2. Ichabod S. Bartlett. History of Wyoming (Chicago, 1918), I, 181-182; 
Frances Birkhead Beard. Wyoming from Territorial Days to the Present (Chi- 
cago and New York. 1933), I, 391-394. 


Democrats in harmony with the reform policy of the administra- 
tion. He stated further 

In view of the fact that many important questions con- 
nected with land entries and fencing upon which a 
large body of the wealthy of this territory hold differ- 
ent opinions from those entertained by the administra- 
tion it is very important that all the branches of the 
government of the United States in this territory should 
be in harmony with the administration. That wealth 
is power we must all acknowledge ; that the wealth 
of this territory, so far as developed, consists largely 
of cattle and horses, combined with land interests or 
ranches, is true. These interests are in the hands of 
the few, who succeeded by the power of wealth in in- 
teresting the many, but the fact remains. 3 

Plans for the Economic Development of Wyoming 

The new governor sought to change the economic and polit- 
ical pattern of the territory and began immediately to encourage 
immigration and economic diversification. Writing to a Lusk 
resident shortly after his arrival, he said, 

I shall do all that I can to encourage immigration 
into the territory, and believe that more people and less 
land per capita, will do more to develop and enrich 
Wyoming than anything else that can be done. We 
want the people and the people will find the wealth now 
hidden and in some instances ignored. "Land for the 
Landless" ought to be as good for Wyoming as any 
other locality. A quarter of a million of honest, hard- 
working citizens, ought to find homes in Wyoming be- 
fore 1890 shall expire. Not only will they turn over 
the soil and in the way of food for man and beast make 
Wyoming more than self-sustaining, which is not the 
case now, but they will develop mineral interests and 
give Wyoming a boom . . . small ranches will give 
more people more production of the soil — more cattle ; 

3. Thomas Moonlight to L. Q. C. Lamar, February 24, 1887. This letter 
is in the Executive Proceedings of the Wyoming Territory, The National 
Archives. These proceedings include the official correspondence of the terri- 
torial executive office forwarded twice each year to the Secretary of the Interior. 
The source materials upon which this study is based are for the most part in 
manuscript form in The National Archives. The author has purposely quoted 
the previously unpublished letters of Moonlight at great length. The governor's 
personality and attitude toward local developments are more clearly revealed in 
these letters than in any other source, and Wyoming residents interested in the 
history of the territory will find them of outstanding value. 


and ten times more wealth than the large ranches pos- 
sibly can do. 4 

These large ranching interests, which had attempted to 
monopolize the land and cattle activities in the territory, had 
built their wealth by exploiting the public domain, and the gov- 
ernor's bitterness and resentment against them is shown in his 
remarks to a prospective settler. 

Witnessing the settlement of Kansas from 1857 to 
1886 and since that time in Wyoming, I have become 
deeply impressed that the domain is rapidly slipping 
away from actual settlers .... The 'Homestead' 
meant at one time, a home, an actual home for the 
homeless, now, T fear, it means in many instances, a 
speculation in the interest of those who have lands 
enough for hundreds of homes, and still conspiring 
against the people for more. You ask me how this can 
be possible ? I answer, by getting Tom, Dick, Harry 
and Jane to make entries and proofs which have been 
accepted, perhaps according to the letter of the law 
but not in the spirit or interest. These speculators 
desiring to obtain the lands, advance the money for 
making a show of improvements and paying the land 
office fees. Then have Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane 
deed the land to them upon the receipt of a U. S. 
patent. You will say, 'Can men do such things and 
escape'? I answer, 'Yes, right along,' and many 
of them consider it 'quite the thing you know' . . . 
I look upon the Public Domain as an outlet for the 
crowded portions of our country and the safety valve. 
. . . I am well aware that the rushing popular senti- 
ment may consign me to the company of the 'old gran- 
nies' for daring to place one straw in the way of the 
onward march of the gobbling up process. 5 

As soon as the winter's snows melted sufficiently to make 
travel comfortable, Governor Moonlight planned a tour of the 
territory to become acquainted with Wyoming residents and to 
gather information for his annual report to the Secretary of the 
Interior. From June 22 to August 5, 1887, he was away from 
the territorial capital in Cheyenne. In Johnson County, near 
Buffalo, Moonlight discovered what he designated as satisfactory 
agricultural lands, and he favorably considered a petition of 

4. Moonlight to J. K. Calkins, Lusk. Wyoming. February 28, 1887. The 
punctuation in all quoted materials is Moonlight's. 

5. Moonlight to I. E. Hirsch. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, November 30, 


the county commissioners and the mayor of Buffalo for the 
abandonment of the McKinney Military Reservation and the 
transfer of 360 acres of that land as a site for an agricultural 
college. Upon his return to Cheyenne he wrote the Commander 
at Fort McKinney 

Johnson County is beyond any doubt the best agricul- 
tural county in the territory, and the most fitting place 
and location for an Agricultural College, such as must 
sooner or later be established. The 360 acres asked 
would abundantly satisfy the demands of an Agricul- 
tural College, for experimental and training purposes. 6 

Although the University of Wyoming, which had been estab- 
lished by the territorial legislature in 1886, had just opened 
its doors the preceding month and was struggling to get a good 
start, the governor resolved to insist upon a division of the 
higher educational system by pushing the agricultural college 
idea. He pressed the commandant for political support, and 

The legislative assembly meets in January, 1888, and 
were 360 acres set apart by the Government of the U. S. 
for the purpose of having a Territorial Agricultural 
College, there is no doubt but what the Legislative 
Assembly would approve of the same by passing neces- 
sary legislation. The government of the U. S. would 
be the gainer all through because the business of agri- 
culture would receive such an impetus as to make the 
cost of forage and provisions for Fort McKinney much 
less than at the present time. 7 

In Laramie, the new governor was impressed by the Lar- 
amie Chemical Works, owned by the Union Pacific Railroad, 
for producing lye, soda, and salt cake. He also visited the 
Laramie Glass Factory and wrote the owner later, "I am very 
anxious to give in my report a short and concise history of 
your glass factory showing the immense importance of the manu- 
facture to Laramie and to the Territory." 8 When the annual 
report for 1887 was prepared, Moonlight called attention to 
the fact that the only window glass factory west of Rock Island, 
Illinois, was successfully operating in Laramie. Belgians, who 
were skilled glass workers, had been imported by the manage- 

6. Moonlight to General James G. Brisbin, Commander at Fort McKinney, 
Wyoming, October 26, 1887. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Moonlight to Colonel J. W. Donnellan, Laramie. Wyoming. September 
5, 1887. 


ment and all the essential raw materials, soda, sand, and coal, 
were available in the vicinity. 9 Detailed references in his report 
to the production of the coal mines at Carbon, Rock Springs, 
and Almy, to a copper and silver smelter established in Chey- 
enne, to a successful flour mill near Sheridan are evidence of 
the governor's resolve to attract attention to the manufacturing 
and mining resources of Wyoming. He included in his report 
the suggestion that in the absence of a territorial publicity and 
immigration bureau the advertising work should be done by 
private corporations like the colonizing corporation of Chey- 
enne. 10 

Just before the governor left Fort Bridger on his trip of 
inspection, a petition to President Cleveland for the opening up 
of the Old Fort Bridger Reservation was handed him with the 
request that he endorse it. He promised to consider the docu- 
ment upon his return to Cheyenne. The original reservation in 
southwestern Wyoming was some twenty-five miles square 
but was reduced by 1887 to four by six miles. Moonlight felt 
the bottom lands along the stream in this area could be used for 
agricultural production and hoped that the Homestead Law 
would be the basis for their disposition. In forwarding the 
petition of the settlers to Washington, he elaborated the point 
by saying 

The valleys are capable of maintaining and supporting 
quite a population and I would earnestly recommend 
that the land be opened to "Homestead Settlement", 
exclusively, so that the rich valleys may provide homes 
for actual settlers, and the outlying lands, incapable 
of supporting settlement to remain open alike for all, 
for grazing purposes. Where any person may already 
[have] availed himself of a Homestead right, in some 
other part of the country, I would recommend that he 
be given the right of pre-emption instead. 

I apprehend that the policy of the administration 
is not to make money for the government out of any 
portion of the public domain, but to sacredly preserve 
what is left for homes for the many, and to afford 
every facility for the many to secure homes at the low- 
est possible cost. There would follow many evil results 
from the policy of selling to the highest bidder in small 
or large tracts. The poor could not compete with the 
rich, and the land would pass into the hands of those 
seeking it for the purposes of speculation, and for the 

9. Thomas Moonlight, "Report of the Governor of Wyoming" in "Report 
of the Secretary of the Interior. 1887", Message and Documents, 50th Cong'., 1st 
sess., 1009-1069. 

10. Ibid., 1013. 


establishment of large ranches while the needy home- 
steader would be excluded. I believe that the true 
policy for the future of Wyoming is to have all the 
bottom and valley lands covered with settlers, on small 
ranches, cultivating the soil and allowing their cattle 
to run at large on the great public domain embraced in 
the high, rolling, and broken lands fit only for the graz- 
ing and the common heritage of all. 

I could not recommend any other policy. 11 

Moonlight sent a copy of his endorsement to Van A. Carter, 
whose family had pioneered in the Fort Bridger region and 
who was the spokesman for the community, with the notation, 
"I found it quite difficult to say what I desired . . . The 
recommendations I have made I believe for the best interests 
of all concerned and the true policy of the government. I shall 
be glad to hear from you on the subject." 12 By return mail, 
Carter accused the governor of wording his endorsement to 
make it appear that hay crops were produced without labor 
and irrigation and had only to be gathered. This he considered 
unfair and, furthermore, he thought the governor's recom- 
mendations would discriminate against those now occupying 
a portion of the land if they had a homestead elsewhere. 13 
Moonlight's lengthy reply opened with the statement, "It 
seems we clearly differ upon the point of the natural produc- 
tiveness of the bottom lands without irrigation." He then re- 
stated and summarized his viewpoint relative to the disposition 
of the public domain. 

An abandoned military reservation, according to 
Congressional action, is not classified with the ordinary 
public domain, but must be appraised and sold in small 
tracts to the highest bidder. We both agree that this 
course of action, if applied, would work injustice and 
you desire the general land laws applied to the Fort 
Bridger reservation the same as are now applied to 
other public lands. 

This raises the whole question of public policy and 
I am not willing to give an unqualified endorsement 
of the 'Desert Act' or 'Timber Culture Act' as here- 
tofore carried out in Wyoming. More frauds have been 
committed under these acts, and more injury has been 
done the territory by their application than from any 
and all causes. 

11. Statement of Moonlight accompanying petition of Fort Bridger resi- 
dents to Washington, D. C. October 27, 1887. 

12. October 27. 1887. 

13. November 4, 1887. 


. . . The general land laws could not be applied 
without manifest partiality to those who, without any 
legal right, settled upon these reservations, and sought 
out the desirable spots for their own special purposes. 
. . . I know it will be argued that the settlers who 
have for years been occupying the land on the reserva- 
tion ought to be entitled to the first consideration when 
the land comes into the market. I quite agree that 
every person living upon the land, should have, and 
would have, the first opportunity to secure it as a 
'Homestead', but the person claiming ownership and 
authority over thousands of acres of the choicest land, 
and who for years had been holding it and utilizing it 
for his own purposes and profit, to the exclusion of 
others, and without having paid one cent for it or for 
the use of it should at any time claim a prior right to 
have and to hold the same forever, against all comers, 
seems to me to be against the spirit of our free institu- 
tions and in direct conflict with the tenor and scope 
of our land laws, ever liberally construed. I am quite 
sure you can not portake [sic. J of this spirit of monop- 
oly which the national administration is earnestly striv- 
ing to uproot ; and I am also quite sure you would not 
advise the doing of anything that did not commend it- 
self to your best judgment : hence, my deep regret that 
we cannot reconcile our views on this subject. 

My real reason for advising that when any person 
had elsewhere used the homestead privilege he might 
be allowed the pre-emption right instead, was to insure 
to the persons now occupying the lands, the oppurtunity 
[sic] to secure them finally, and was clearly in the in- 
terest of the settlers ... I can not see how my 
recommendation or advise would injure them. . . . 

What Uinta County needs is population — settlers 
on the land, and they will produce wealth. What is true 
of Uinta County in which the reservation is located is 
true of Wyoming from one end to the other and to this 
end I will cheerfully give my best wishes. 14 

This extensive correspondence was sent to L. Q. C. Lamar, 
the Secretary of the Interior, with a typical Moonlight comment, 
"It will be noticed that the endorsement did not commend itself 
to the views and opinions of Dr. Carter. ' ' He further informed 
the Secretary that there were 

14. November 8. 1887. 


. several reservations in Wyoming and I know 
the general feeling is in favor of 'Homestead' settle- 
ment, and this sentiment is daily becoming more pro- 
nounced. Upon reflection, I became satisfied that the 
President would not likely take any action without the 
advise of the Secretary of the Interior, and hence I have 
sent a copy of the endorsement both to the department 
and to the President. T earnestly invite the attention 
of the Secretary to this correspondence. 15 

• Because the large ranching interests of the territory advo- 
cated a public land policy diametrically opposed to his own 
views, the governor began the crusade against the cattlemen 
which lasted his entire administration. "In days past," he 
reported to the Interior Department, "the word has gone out 
rightfully or wrongly, I shall not constitute myself to judge, 
that farmers, tillers of the soil, were not wanted, in Wyoming, 
that the country was only good for horses, cattle, and sheep, and 
that grazing was the one profitable business in the territory." 16 
At times his patience was strained to the breaking point, as when 
he wrote a prospective Iowa immigrant, "Wyoming is just be- 
ginning to develop and people are just beginning to talk about 
her. There is a future for this territory as soon as men begin 
to satisfy themselves that Cattle ! Cattle ! ! Cattle ! ! ! are not the 
only things." 17 

The winter of 1886-1887 was one of the most dismal the 
ranchers of the West had experienced. The preceding summer 
had been hot and dry all over the Plains, grazing was difficult, 
and prairie fires frequent. Early in the fall heavy snows came 
and soon long periods of cold formed ice over the snow. Cattle 
were denied food, and losses were disastrous with some outfits 
losing as much as 80 percent of the herd. 18 The governor dis- 
missed the plight of the cattlemen in his report to the Secretary 
of the Interior by saying, "owing to a very large profit coming 
from the cattle industry upon the ranges, the business was 
overdone and the supply of grass gave out before the last winter 
set in and the cattle were compelled to travel farther for food 
than their strength would permit." 19 Moonlight looked upon 
the heavy shipments of cattle to market as a sign of the liquida- 

15. November 9, 1887. 

16. December 6, 1887. 

17. Moonlight to James Holliday, Exira, Iowa, January 27, _ 

18. Ernest Staples Osgood, The Day of the Cattleman (Minneapolis, 1929). 
218-222; Louis Pelzer, The Cattlemen's Frontier (Glendale, California, 1936). 
113-115; Harold E. Briggs, "The Development and Decline of Open Range 
Ranching in the Northwest", Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XX, 521-536. 

19. Moonlight, "Report of the Governor of Wyoming" in "Report of the 
Secretary of the Interior, 1887", loc. cit., 1028. 


tion of the large outfits. To him this was a favorable omen. He 
also recorded in his report that the sheep men were "happy, 
buoyant, and hopeful" 20 and remarked, "wherever the sheep 
range, the cattle have got to go, and so there is no love lost be- 
tween the sheep men and the cattle men." When he was re- 
minded that disaster in the ranching industry would widespread 
depression for the whole territory he responded, "I fully realize 
the possibilities of hard times in "Wyoming from the transition 
period from cattle alone to the many industries, particularly 
farming and mining . . . My hope is in immigration during 
this period of depression, by reason of the breaking up of the 
large herd business." 21 Moonlight was without doubt thorough- 
ly convinced that Wyoming's greatest need was "farmers, prac- 
tical everyday farmers, who will put their hands to the plow 
and not look back", and through them the territory would be- 
come a "blossoming landscape of farm productiveness." 22 The 
economic development of Wyoming since Moonlight's time has 
proven how mistaken the governor's views were, but no colleague 
could convince him of the error of his opinion. The cattlemen 
of the territory felt the governor had forsaken them in their 
period of greatest need ; as an economic interest they became 
his political opponents, a few ranchers became his personal 

Attitude Toward the University of Wyoming 

The main building of the University approached completion 
in the spring of 1887 and Governor Moonlight went to Laramie 
to confer with J. H. F'infrock, chairman of the board of trustees. 
Two members of the board who had been appointed in 1886, 
Samuel Aughey and former governor John W. Hoyt, were out 
of the territory at the time and the governor wrote them, "the 
members of the Board of Trustees of the University are very 
anxious for a series of meetings of the full board to make ar- 
rangements for a proper organization of the faculty. Much de- 
pends upon a good, fair, business like start or commencement 
. . . Will you soon return to reside in the territory, and will 
you be able to attend to your duties as Trustee of the Univer- 
sity?" 23 Moonlight was particularly concerned over the fact 

20. Moonlight. "Report of the Governor of Wyoming" in "Report of the 
Secretary of the Interior, 1887". loc. cit., 1030. 

21. Moonlight to Lusk, January 21. 1888. 

22. Moonlight, "Report of the Governor of Wyoming" in "Report of the 
Secretary of the Interior. 1887", loc. cit., 1009-1010. 

23. Moonlight to Aughey, Hot Springs. Arkansas. May 2, 1887; Moonlight 
to Hoyt, Los Angeles, California, May 2, 1887. Aughey wrote Moonlight on 
May 8, 1887. submitting his resignation, and Moonlight notified him on May 12 
that Dr. Louis D. Ricketts had been named his successor. Hoyt returned to 
Wyoming as first president of the University. 


that the law organizing the University had placed the institu- 
tion under the control of the trustees and had failed to require 
a periodic report to the chief executive. In his legislative mes- 
sage of 1888 he remarked 

The law places the entire management of the university 
in the hands of a Board of Trustees composed of seven 
members, three of whom shall always be residents of 
Laramie. Strange to say, the law requires no report 
from the Board of Trustees or accountability for their 
acts, and yet they are the custodians of all the property 
including buildings and grounds, and receive and dis- 
burse public monies [sic] coming to their hands. . . . 
It would surely be more in the interest of good govern- 
ment were the Board of Trustees required to make a 
biennial report. 24 

To one applicant for a faculty position, he wrote, ' ' I regret 
to say the appointing power is not in my hands, but in that of 
the Board of Trustees." 25 This did not stop him, however, 
from making recommendations to the board relative to the selec- 
tion of the first president. The governor's candidate was from 
his native state of Kansas. He notified Doctor Finfrock 

I send you two letters received by me in reference to the 
presidency of the university. Prof. James H. Canfield 
of Lawrence of the State University of Kansas is the 
gentleman concerning whom I spoke to you . . . 
He will not seek the place, the place must seek him. 
He is not only a member of the National Education 
Association of the United States, but is its secretary. 
This gives you some idea of his standing among educa- 
tional men of the country. He is a young man com- 
paratively speaking and has before him a grand future, 
as he is a worker. If you can secure the services of 
such a man, the success of the university would be in- 
sured from the start. I shall do all I can to help to 

24. Messages of the Governors of Wyoming to the Territorial Legislatures, 
1873-1888. The messages of each governor, which were originally published in 
pamphlet form, are included in this bound volume in the University of Wyoming 
Library. The Moonlight message of fifty-three pages was printed by the Chey- 
enne Leader Book and Job Print, 1888. 

25. Moonlight to George B. Morton, St. Louis, Missouri, May 23, 1887. 


secure a live educator with business ability as head of 
the university. 26 

A second candidate for the presidency who had written 
directly to the governor was Professor J. P. Blanton, President 
of the State Normal School at Kirkville, Missouri. In answer 
to his request for detailed information. Moonlight explained 

Laramie is a city of about 4000 inhabitants, beautifully 
situated and located, with the very best and purest 
spring water running along the gutters and supplying 
all the houses as well as the natural pressure for the 
fire department. The University building is a very 
handsome, roomylike structure, not yet quite finished 
within. The University will be what the faculty make 
it. The government is in the hands of seven Trustees 
who will have the selection of the President and of 
course the faculty, but the President will be able to 
guide and mould the institution to his will. . . . The 
seventy-two sections of government land granted under 
an act of Congress, are now being selected for future 
use . . . There is no other endowment at the pres- 
ent. There is by law of the territory a levy of one 
fourth of one mill for University purposes which at 
present makes nearly eight thousand dollars, but of 
course this is just the beginning. In my judgment, 
Laramie city will grow, all things are in its favor. It 
is very healthy. 27 

The governor forwarded his correspondence with Blanton to the 
chairman of the board of trustees and suggested that if Canfield 
was not acceptable, he was prepared to endorse this Missouri 
college president. He made the comment, 'T have no doubt 
that President Blanton is a very able man, and would be admir- 
ably qualified for the position. The field is broadening for Wyo- 
ming." 28 

Without consulting the governor, the board of trustees met 
during the second week in May and voted to request John W. 
Hoyt to return from California to assume the responsibility of 

26. May 9, 1887. Moonlight was justified in his high regard for Canfield. 
The Kansas educator was chosen president of the National Education Associa- 
tion in 1890 and was called to the University of Nebraska as chancellor the 
following year. After a successful administration of four years, Canfield became 
president of the Ohio State University. Serving another four-year term as a 
university president, 1895-1899, he became Librarian at Columbia University. 
He represented that institution at educational conferences in France and England 
and was recognized as one of the outstanding educators of his time. 

27. May 9, 1887. 

28. Moonlight to Finfrock. May 9. 1887. 


the university presidency. Moonlight was not only incensed 
at the method by which the selection was made but had no con- 
fidence in the person chosen. He confided to a friend 

I have seen through the papers that the Board has rec- 
ommended or rather tended the appointment to the late 
Gov. Hoyt of this territory. . . . It is not for me to 
misjudge the board, but I think the result will bear me 
out in surmising the complete failure of the institu- 
tion under such management. The President of a Uni- 
versity, College, or Normal School, or other public or 
private institution of learning must have a very strong 
business turn of mind, so as to be a practical worker, 
and not a mere theorist. 29 

At the close of the summer, the trustees began to make 
plans for the dedication and inauguration of the university on 
September 1. Both Finfrock and Hoyt communicated with the 
governor requesting his presence at the ceremonies, but Moon- 
light, piqued because he felt he had not been properly consulted 
in university affairs, refused to attend. To Hoyt he wrote, "I 
am now quite sick, and so must deprive myself of the pleasure 
of being with you." 30 To Finfrock, "I regret exceedingly that 
it will be impossible for me to be present on account of an accu- 
mulated pressure of business. ... I wish the University 
prosperity in all departments of finance, members and educa- 
tion : for without the first two there will not be much of the 
latter." 31 So the university was dedicated without the presence 
of the governor. 

Although Moonlight did not approve of the university ad- 
ministration, he made every effort to secure good title to the 
university lands and to carefully administer their leasing to 
private individuals. When Franklin 0. Sawin, university land 
commissioner, notified him of the location of the seventy-two 
sections allotted by Congress, he wrote Lamar in the Interior 
Department to have them certified. Moonlight noted that some 
of these sections of land were located between sections originally 
a part of the Union Pacific land grants, but which were now in 
the hands of cattlemen. Knowing the extent to which the prac- 
tice prevailed of fencing the sections between those purchased 

29. Moonlight to Morton. May 23, 1887. Hoyt had been widely recog- 
nized in educational circles for his interest in agricultural education. He had 
edited the Wisconsin Farmer, first agricultural journal in that state, and had 
served as secretary of the state agricultural society before coming to Wyoming 
as governor. Joseph Schafer, A History of Agriculture in Wisconsin (Madison, 
1922) gives information on Hoyt's career in that state. See also Harry B. Hen- 
derson, "Wyoming Territorial Governors", Wyoming Annals, XI (October, 1939). 

30. August 31, 1887. 

31. August 25. 1887. 


from the railroads, he thought it might be the part of wisdom 
to cheek on the status of the land. 32 To the close of his admini- 
tration he insisted that these lands should be classified accord- 
ing to their highest value before any leasing was done in order 
that the university might not be deprived of the maximum in- 
come possible. 33 Relations with University President Hoyt pre- 
sented another picture. The antipathy between the two men 
led to open hostility over the report of the first board of visitors 
which inspected the campus. 34 Defects in university adminis- 
tration, the lack of students, and inadequacy of equipment 
were mentioned directly by the visitor's report and the infer- 
ence was left that a change in administrative personnel would 
not be amiss. This sentiment was included when the governor 
transmitted the report to the legislature. Hoyt wrote a sting- 
ing protest, 35 and Moonlight replied immediately 

The visiting committee desired to be fair and just, and 
perform the duty required by law, without partiality. 
In preparing my message I was governed by the same 
principles ... Of course, there will not be found 
perfection in any one man, but with reasonable ability, 
application, and experience, and integrity of purpose 
much can be accomplished in the direction of justice, 
and his mistakes will be forgiven. It would have been 
easier for me in every respect, to pass along, and pre- 
sent a message in every way pleasing and compli- 
mentary to everybody and everything but unfortunate- 
ly I am troubled with a conscience which will give me 
no rest in matters of this kind, and so I prefer to 
settle with myself at the risk of being considered med- 
dlesome. 36 

The patronizing tone of the governor's letter did not ease the 
tense situation, and rumors of his criticism of the university 
administration, although sometimes false, came to Hoyt con- 
stantly. The president wrote a bitter note to Moonlight when 
he heard the governor had spoken of a performance in the gym- 

32. November 18. 1887. 

33. Moonlight to M. E. I locker. Rawlins, Wyoming. September 7. 

34. The Revised Statutes of Wyoming required "the governor to appoint 
biennially a board of visitors to consist of three persons whose duty it shall be to 
make a personal examination into the state and condition of the University and 
all its affairs, at least twice each year to report to the governor, suggesting such 
improvements as they deem proper, which report shall be submitted to the 
legislative assembly at its next session." R. E. Field and I. C. Whipple of Chey- 
enne and Professor Fred Shannon of Carbon composed the first visitor's com- 

35. Hoyt to Moonlight. January 12. 

36. Moonlight to Hoyt. January 14. 1! 


nasium as improper, and the governor responded, "I have read 
your letter of yesterday with amazement for I can not concieve 
[sic] what you have reference to. I never heard anything 
about the boy's and girl's gymnasium performance and so could 
have no feeling on the subject." 37 

The board of trustees, representing an influential part of 
Wyoming's citizenry, supported the administration of Hoyt. 
When the legislative assembly convened, Moonlight attempted 
to reorganize the board by filling all vacancies with his hench- 
men. An antagonistic council rejected as many as three nom- 
inations for some places on the board, and it was only with the 
greatest difficulty that the governor obtained confirmation of 
the required appointments. 38 After forwarding a commission 
to one of these third-choice trustees who had been confirmed, 
Moonlight wrote Finfrock, the chairman, in disgust. "I first 
tried to appoint a man who was always present with you, but 
your delegation in the council saw that he was not confirmed. 
I sincerely trust that they were the true friends of the uni- 
versity. " 39 The governor by this time had convinced the board 
that he was opposed to the University's best interests, and the 
friends of the institution joined the cattlemen in the ranks of 
those who wanted a change in the governorship. 

Relations with the Tenth Legislative Assembly 

Only one session of the Wyoming territorial legislature, the 
tenth, convened during the Moonlight administration. When 
the legislators assembled in Cheyenne, January 10, 1888, the 
chief executive shortly delivered a message which emphasized 
two themes, the absolute necessity for economy and the fact that 
the governor's power of appointment had been disregarded by 
earlier assemblies. He noted, for example, that the capitol 
and university building commissions, as set up, had the power 
to fill vacancies created by death or resignation, and he com- 
plained, "I have no information concerning the capitol build- 
ing . . . The law authorizes a building commission with 
power to perpetuate themselves . . . and requiring no report 
to be made to any authority until the building is finished. . . . 
[This] policy is like 'locking the stable after the horse is 
gone.' " 40 He closed his message with a warning, "I desire 

37. February 24. 

38. Moonlight to John A. Riner. president of the council of the Tenth 
Legislative Assembly of Wyoming. March 9. 1888; Moonlight to J. F. Crawford, 
Saratoga, Wyoming, March 15. 1888; Moonlight to S. D. Shannon. Cheyenne, 
March 30. 1888; Moonlight to A. S. Peabodv. Laramie. March 30. 1888. 

39. March 26. 1888. 

40. Messages of the Governors of Wyoming to the Territorial Legislatures, 
1873-1888. Moonlight message to the Tenth Legislative Assembly. 42-43. 


to impress upon you the necessity for strict economy in pro- 
viding for all the public and needed wants of the territory, 
so that not one dollar may be appropriated where it can pos- 
sibly be saved, without injury to the public service." 41 

Although the house and council went on record as approv- 
ing the governor's remarks, their debates soon revealed that his 
recommendations were to have little weight. Bills authorizing 
new appropriations for territorial buildings and the creation 
of more self-perpetuating commissions were introduced in the 
early days of the session. 42 The governor, notoriously strong- 
willed and dogmatic, resolved to use his veto power to force 
the acceptance of his viewpoint. The first major altercation 
came on February 14 when he returned to the assembly with 
veto messages two bills that would have amended Wyoming 
statutes relative to corporations and the issuance of stock. He 
assumed somewhat of a lecturing tone when he stated 

at the last session of the legislative assembly 
the present code of civil procedure was adopted. It was 
prepared by a commission of able lawyers and presented 
to the assembly. The commission gave great care to the 
selection of a code and ... if we should now attempt 
to make radical changes in the code as adopted it must 
inevitably result in litigation. 43 

In 1888, the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association, which 
had directed the affairs of the cattlemen in the territory for 
fifteen years, found its political influence declining because 
of increasing animosity against the cattle barons. Cattle losses 
during the two previous cold winters had bankrupted enough 
stockgrowers to reduce greatly the membership and resources 
of the association. However, only four years previously, the 
association had reached the height of its political power when 
through legislative enactment it became a quasi-official agent 
of the territorial government in supervising the annual round- 
up. The proceeds from the sale of mavericks were placed in 
the treasury of the association. Antipathy against the associa- 
tion was now directed against this so-called "Maverick Law"; 
and when a strong movement for repeal was inaugurated, the 
executive committee of the association endorsed a bill trans- 

41. Messages of the Governors of Wyoming to the Territorial Legislatures r 
1873-1888. Moonlight message to the Tenth Legislative Assembly, 52-53. 

42. Journal of the Council of the Tenth Legislative Assembly of the Terri- 
tory of Wyoming (Cheyenne. 1888), 11-15. Journal of the House of the Tenth 
Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Wyoming (Cheyenne, 1888). 14-16. 

43. Seven Vetoes by Thomas Moonlight, Governor of Wyoming Territory, 
Tenth Legislative Assembly, 1888 (Cheyenne. 1888). 4. This pamphlet is avail- 
able in the University of Wyoming Library. 


ferring the responsibility for the round-up to a territorial board 
of livestock commissioners. The governor was foremost among 
the leaders in the crusade to allay the feeling existing against 
the Association. When the bill creating the new livestock com- 
mission was first passed by the assembly, to the amazement of 
all, Moonlight returned it with a veto because he discovered 
an encroachment upon his prerogative of appointment. The 
new commissioners were to be appointed for two years and to 
hold office until their successors had been nominated by the 
executive and confirmed by the council. The governor assumed 
that the legislative council might perpetuate the original com- 
mission by denying confirmation to his future nominees. This, 
he reasoned, would make the council supreme over the governor 
in the matter of appointments. 

After they are once commissioned, [he wrote] they are 
absolutely free to do as they please. They are beyond 
the power of removal . . . and are subject to no 
authority. . . . [They] can snap their fingers in the 
face of the governor, can laugh at the House of Repre- 
sentatives, can defy all territorial officers but they must 
render allegiance to the Council. 44 

After presenting a half dozen further objections to the 
legislation, the governor assured the assembly that he earnestly 
wished to cooperate in eliminating the obnoxious "Maverick 
Law" to satisfy the public demand, but a revision of the first 
draft must be made. The plight of the stockgrowers association 
was desperate and its friends in the assembly worked ceaselessly 
until a revised bill, acceptable to the governor, was enacted into 
law transferring the jurisdiction over the round-up to a terri- 
torial commission. 

The legislature next antagonized the governor by passing 
a bill with generous appropriations for the erection, completion, 
or maintenance of public buildings throughout the territory in 
spite of recommendations for rigid economy. Moonlight was 
alarmed over the tax burden which he felt would retard settle- 
ment and he thought the legislators were extravagant, illogical, 
and also misinformed relative to the necessity of the construc- 
tion. His attitude the legislators interpreted as a lack of con- 
fidence in "Wyoming's economic potentialities and only the 
"wails of a pessimist". The assembly passed an omnibus 
measure authorizing $125,000 for the addition of wings to the 
territorial capitol in Cheyenne, $100,000 for the construction 
of a penitentiary at Rawlins, $25,000 for improvements on the 
university building in Laramie, $30,000 for an insane asylum 

44. Ibid., 8-11. 


at Evanston, and $25,000 for a poor asylum at or near Lander. 45 
In his veto message. Moonlight first reprimanded the lawmakers 
again for attempting to restrict his appointing power by estab- 
lishing a eapitol building commission with power to fill vacancies. 
The eapitol he felt was sufficient for the requirements of the 
territory for at least six years ; furthermore, the improvements 
suggested could not be completed with the sum appropriated 
and more funds would be demanded later. 46 The appropriation 
meant increased taxes at a time when the cattle industry was 
depressed and poverty was staring many in the face. He warned 
the assembly that 

. . . the selfish spirit of locality, combining together 
as now, will impose additional taxes until property, real 
and personal, will sink under the burden. The time to 
call a halt is now, this moment, before the evil is beyond 
remedy, and in this spirit T appeal to the hearts, con- 
sciences and good senses of the Tenth Legislative As- 
sembly. 47 

Nor did the governor accept the university appropriation. He 
considered one fifth of the amount allotted, or $5000, sufficient 
to complete the original building. Enrollments did not justify 
further construction. Moonlight noted that the exact purpose 
of the other expenditures was not clearly presented, and the 
whole measure was basically unacceptable because 

The Bill was rushed through both houses under a sus- 
pension of the rules without debate or amendment being 
allowed, was signed by the respective presiding offi- 
cers of both houses and placed in the hands of the Gov- 
ernor inside* of two hours. The bill was enrolled the 
night before its passage by four different clerks, not 
officers of either house, and in a private office away 
from the eapitol and is not an exact copy of the enact- 
ment as it passed the House and Council. The bill was 
called up in the dusk of evening, when the members of 
both houses were unprepared to present objections, and 
when many of them had left. The whole surroundings 
of the bill are dark and mysterious. A great public 
measure appropriating a large sum of public money 
should not be afraid of public discussion. 48 

45. Beard, op. cit., 407-410. 

46. Seven Vetoes by Thomas Moonlight, Governor of Jl'voming Territorw 
13-14. Bartlctt, op. cit., 182-183. 

47. Seven Vetoes by Thomas Moonlight, Governor of JVxoming Territory, 

48. Ibid., 18. Earlier quoted by Beard, op. cit., 410. 


111 the council and house the bill for building construction 
and improvements immediately received the two-thirds vote 
necessary to make it a law over the governor's veto. Although 
Moonlight's objections to this legislation were logical, the method 
whereby he stated them was certain to be both offensive and 
ineffective. History has justified the contentions of the chief 
executive because the completion of these public structures 
placed a heavy financial burden upon Wyoming, but at that 
time he only succeeded in gaining the ill will of several influ- 
ential politicians in the territory. 

Prior to the tenth session of the assembly, Wyoming had 
eight counties. When this session adjourned, she had eleven, 
all that were to be created prior to admission to statehood. The 
governor had recommended the creation of new counties in 
his message in order to reduce distances between county seats 
and to facilitate the transaction of business. Upon his sugges- 
tion, the legislators established Natrona, Converse, and Sheridan 
Counties. 49 The governor had no objection to dividing John- 
son County to create Sheridan, nor did he object to the boun- 
daries proposed for Natrona. The county of Converse, created 
by joining the northern portions of Laramie and Albany Coun- 
ties, presented a problem. The board of commissioners for 
Laramie County had protested the creation of the new county 
on grounds that the former residents of Albany County would 
not want to pay taxes on the bonds issued by Laramie County 
to build the Cheyenne Northern Railway. 50 Furthermore, 
ninety percent of the population of the new county resided in 
northern Laramie, and they could maintain their own govern- 
ment without accepting the northern portion of Albany. 51 This 
veto was received by the council during the last days of the 
session; and in an attempt to secure the approval of the execu- 
tive, the majority in the assembly resorted to the obvious polit- 
ical maneuver by attaching the bill to the general appropriation 
measure. The governor considered this "the most wonderful 
piece of legislation ever presented to an executive for approval". 
He told the assembly 

There is but one course left the Executive. He can 
not in honor or in justice give his approval to an en- 
actment embracing the measure . . . which had 
been by him denied approval but a few hours before. 

49. Natrona County, as established, had the same boundaries as today; 
Converse included the present Niobrara; Sheridan County extended west to the 
Big Horn River, now it extends to the Big Horn Mountains. Counties created 
since 1890 have caused a shift in the boundaries of Converse and Big Horn. 

50. H. B. Kelly, chairman of the county commissioners of Laramie County, 
to Moonlight, March 8, 1888. 

51. Seven Vetoes of Thomas Moonlight, Governor of Wyoming Territory, 


The same conscientious conviction of duty requires and 
commands the same action now. Were it possible to 
approve the appropriation part of the bill, I would 
gladly do so, but since this is impossible, without ap- 
proving that portion of the bill already and heretofore 
vetoed, the responsibility for the failure of the appro- 
priations, if they shall fail, will not attach to the Ex- 
ecutive. 52 

The assembly proceeded, as in other instances, to pass the bill 
over the objections of the governor. Moonlight complained 
bitterly to the Secretary of the Interior over his treatment by 
the Wyoming assembly and in forwarding a complete record 
of his relations with the legislators remarked 

I wish to call your attention to the question of appoint- 
ments and confirmations as viewed by the Council, com- 
posed of 9 Republicans and 3 Democrats . . . Some 
of these matters are run with a high hand . . . There 
is another thing. In nearly all the laws creating offi- 
cers to be appointed by the governor, there is no pro- 
vision for the governor to remove for cause, and were 
an act of Congress passed to authorize the governor to 
remove for cause it would stop much of the scheming 
now going on. I believe this suggestion worthy of con- 
sideration. 53 

Organization of New Counties 

Moonlight did not accept defeat by the legislature grace- 
fully and became somewhat obnoxious in fulfilling his respon- 
sibilities of organizing the new county governments. The resi- 
dents of Converse County petitioned the governor to appoint 
county commissioners who could set up the new administrative 
machinery, but their petition was returned on the grounds that 
it carried a date prior to the final passage of legislation creating 
the county and that the three hundred signees had not proved 
they were bona fide residents. 54 Tn April, 1888, the governor 
was convinced that the detailed provisions of the law had been 
observed and the three commissioners were named, one each 
from Douglas, Glenrock, and Lusk. 55 To an interested party 

52. Ibid., 22-23. 

53. Moonlight to William M. Springer, February 27. 1888. 

54. Moonlight to E. H. Kimball, Glenrock, Wyoming. March 12. 1888, and 
March 13. 1888. 

55. Moonlight to C. E. Clay, Douglas, Wyoming. April 12. 1888; Moon- 
light to Frank R. Lusk, of Lusk. Wyoming. April 12, 1888. The commissioners 
appointed were J. M. Wilson of Douglas, E. J. Wills of Glenrock, and J. K. 
Calkins of Lusk. 


he wrote, "the commissioners named will represent the various 
localities and various interests in the new county . . . That 
there is a strong feeling existing between the places looking for 
county seat honors, we all know full well and [T am] giving 
each of the three towns aspiring to such honors one commis- 
sioner to look after their respective interests in the organization 
of the county." 56 The Budget of Douglas, an influential paper 
in the territory, had bitterly criticized Moonlight for his veto 
of the bill creating Converse County and for his delay in estab- 
lishing the county government after his publicly expressed de- 
sire to have new counties organized. Moonlight wrote a friend 
that he considered the feeling of the citizens of Douglas as "very 
unjust and very unfair". 

My action has been public, candid, fair and above all 
petty feelings. At all times I have been guided by a 
high sense of justice, yielding to no scheme and in- 
fluenced only for the good of all. My official conduct 
is in harmony Math my utterances. The time will come 
when fair minded men will repudiate the malignity 
now exhibited. What I have done, I would do again 
under the same circumstances, so that I am at peace 
with myself. This is to me everything. 57 

In regard to the organization of Sheridan County, Moon- 
light wrote the president of the Citizens' Business Club of Buf- 
falo, Wyoming, ' ' It becomes my duty to carry out the inten- 
tions of the law, although well convinced that it 'was born in 
sin, and brought forth in iniquity.' " 58 The first petitions for 
the organization of the new county were forwarded by the 
governor to Hugo Douzelmann, attorney general in Cheyenne, 
for examination to see if the provisions of the law had been 
fulfilled. The attorney general noted that the reference to the 
law creating the county was incorrectly stated, that the petition 
bearing the required three hundred signatures of residence 
was submitted in sixteen sections rather than as a unit, that 
some sections were not properly authenticated, and finally rec- 
ommended that the governor could not legally take any action. 59 
A month passed before the first commissioners were appointed 
and the countv government organized. 60 

56. Moonlight to Clay. April 12, 

57. Moonlight to Daniel Prescott, Glenrock, Wyoming, May 22, 

58. Moonlight to H. R. Mann, April 12. 1888. 

59. Moonlight to Douzelmann, March 16, 1888; Douzelmann to Moon- 
light, March 19, 1888. 

60. Moonlight to H. A. Coffeen. Sheridan, Wyoming, April 12. 1888. The 
commissioners named were Henry Baker of Dayton, Cornelius Boulware of Big 
Horn, and Marion C. Harris of Sheridan. 


The county government of Natrona was not established until 
the following year. When citizens of the area first approached 
the governor on the subject he remarked, "I know full well 
from a personal examination of the county that there is not 
wealth or taxable property sufficient to sustain or sup- 
port a county government. If the petition is in strict conformity 
with the law, T presume in the absence of sufficient protest the 
organization would have to go on." 61 An extensive debate rela- 
tive to the advisability of creating a government for Natrona 
County continued during January and February of 1889. The 
governor announced that all petitions, documents, and papers 
for and against the organization should be submitted at a public 
hearing on February 26. 62 At the conclusion of the hearing 
he wrote a Casper resident who greatly desired the creation of 
the new county government that many of the three hundred 
people who signed the petition were known to him personally to 
be neither taxpayers nor electors. Furthermore, some forty men 
had requested that their names be withdrawn ; twenty had been 
disqualified. He reminded the petitioner that the electoral rec- 
ords of Carbon County, which had included the new Natrona 
County, revealed that only two hundred and eight voters lived 
in the area. The tax assessors records revealed $523,000 prop- 
erty evaluation in Natrona County. Those advocating the 
creation of the new government represented only $40,000 of 
this property; their opponents the remaining $487,000. The 
governor noted, "It should be remembered also that the owners 
of this large unrepresented sum are the men, if the county is 
organized, that it must lean upon for support morally and finan- 
cially. " 63 The Natrona County question was still in the con- 
troversial stages a month later when Moonlight terminated his 
term as governor. 

Opposition to Statehood 

During the Moonlight administration public opinion in 
Wyoming had slowly crystallized in favor of statehood. Old 
time residents and politicians had inaugurated a movement for 
admission into the Union, but Moonlight, disappointed that his 
optimistic plans for economic diversification and immigration 
into the territory had not been fulfilled, not only failed to co- 
operate but discouraged their activities. The issue largely 
hinged upon the population of the territory. Moonlight wrote 
the Interior Department that former Governor Warren had 

61. Moonlight to V. C. Shickley. January 31. 1889. 

62. Moonlight to Shickley. February 4. 1889; Moonlight to A. J. Bothwell, 
Sweetwater. Wyoming, February 4. 1889; Moonlight to Summer Beach, Glen- 
rock, Wyoming. February 4. 1889. 

63. Moonlight to Carl C. Wright. Casper, Wyoming. February 26. 1889. 


overestimated the population in his reports of 1885 and 1886, 
and that as he had used Warren's figures as a basis, his own 
estimate of 85,000 for 1887 and 1888 was excessive. He was 
convinced toward the close of his administration that the popu- 
lation could not be more than 55,500. 64 Writing an old Kansas 
friend who encouraged him to work for statehood, the governor 
responded, "Wyoming is not ready for statehood. Patience!" 65 
To many conservatively minded people who had admired the 
governor for his forthright viewpoints on controversial issues, 
this attitude regarding statehood was proof that he was not in 
sympathy with the progress of Wyoming. 

The governor, moreover, never forgot the desires of his 
political party, and he revealed his partisan politics by par- 
ticipating in the election of Congressional delegate in 1888. Al- 
though he refused to address the territorial Democratic con- 
vention on the grounds that such action might be construed as 
an attempt to influence the choice of candidates and principles, 
he assured the members of his party that once they had chosen 
candidates, he was a Democrat and had "a right like any other 
citizen to render the nominees of my party such assistance as 
good citizenship has ever accorded, ' ' and that he would be found 
working until the polls closed. 66 Moonlight wrote the Secretary 
of the Interior that he had urged all officers appointed by the 
administration to remain away from nominating meetings and 
conventions of the Democrats for fear that charges of undue 
outside influence would be brought and perhaps split the party 
ranks. "There are many people in the party in Wyoming who 
have no love for us," he confided. The governor, in this same 
communication, asked and later received permission to cam- 
paign for his party's candidate for Congress, C. P. Organ, of 
Cheyenne, who had endorsed the Democratic administration in 
Washington. 67 Moonlight and his party were disappointed on 
election day for Organ was soundly defeated by Joseph M. 
Carey, influential member of the Wyoming Stock Growers' Asso- 
ciation and Republican candidate. One intelligent observer ex- 
pressed very forcefully the concensus of opinion about Moon- 
light when he wrote 

The present administration's appointees are not so sat- 
isfactory as it was hoped they would be, especially the 
governor. [He] seems to mean well enough but is 
lacking in practical knowledge and experience and is 

64. Moonlight to William F. Vilas, December 11, 1888. The governor's 
figures were not extremely conservative for the official population in 1890 was. 
declared to be 60,705. 

65. Moonlight to Z. Jackson, Ellsworth, Kansas, December 10, 1888. 

66. Moonlight to the territorial Democratic convention, October 5, 1888. 

67. Moonlight to Vilas, October 8, 1888. 


too contracted and narrow minded to administer the 
laws for this section of the country. Gov. Moonlight is 
pig-headed and dogmatic and he thinks he knows more 
about the wants of the Territory than any man that was 
ever in it. 68 

No territorial governor ever took the responsibilities of his 
office more seriously than Thomas Moonlight and few advocated 
the principles which he deemed right more vociferously. That 
his views were not in harmony with prevailing opinion in Wyo- 
ming was obvious from the beginning of his administration ; that 
he possessed a lack of judgment and tact was continuously dis- 
played during his term. Moonlight antagonized the stockgrow- 
ers, the friends of the university, the legislators chosen by the 
people, and the advocates of statehood. These groups, repre- 
senting a powerful bloc, joined the Republican territorial or- 
ganization in a veritable crusade to remove the governor and to 
obtain the nomination of a local resident. Former Governor 
Warren became their candidate, and with the aid of delegate 
Carey and the territorial newspapers, both Democratic and Re- 
publican, Warren's name was again associated with the "home 
rule" movement. The election of Benjamin Harrison as presi- 
dent in 1888 assured his appointment. 69 Warren was named 
Moonlight's successor on March 29, 1889, and the turbulent ad- 
ministration came to a close. 70 

68. John Hunton to Bullock, May 24. 1887. Letter files of John Hunton, 
Fort Laramie, March 18, 1883, to August 27, 1888. These letter books are in 
the Historical Records Room of the University of Wyoming Library and the 
author is indebted to Lola M. Homsher, Archivist, for the location and use of 
this letter. Hunton, an early freighter, came to Fort Laramie in 1867. He was 
clerk to the post trader for four years, started ranching on the Chugwater in 
1871, and in 1888 was appointed post trader at Fort Laramie. When the post 
was dismantled, he purchased buildings and engaged in merchandising. Pro- 
gressive Men of Wyoming. 

69. W. Turrcntinc Jackson. "The Governorship of Wyoming. 1885-1889. 
A Study in Territorial Politics", loc. cit., 7-11. 

70. During the second Cleveland administration. Moonlight was named 
minister to Bolivia, a post which he held from 1893 to 1897. He died in Feb- 
ruary, 1899. Beard, op. cit., 392-393. 



to the 


October 16, 1945 to May 1, 1946 

Snow, Mrs. William C, Worland, Wyoming; donor of a silk flag and five 
letters, all with reference to woman suffrage. November 19, 1945. 

Hunt, Governor L. C, from the office of; governor's flag of Colorado, 
October 1945. 

Freund, Lieut. Colonel Archer F., P. O. Box 59, Cheyenne, Wyoming, e/o 
Mrs. E. R. Taylor; donor of one American flare gun; one Nazi flag 
from Eichen, Germany. January 1946. 

Marks, Miss Mary, Librarian, University of Wyoming; donor of one 
print 3"x6" of Dull Knife, Cheyenne Indian chief. November 1945. 

Morrison, W. W., 3922 Warren Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming; donor of 
twenty-one scenes along the Oregon Trail between the south Platte 
and the Sweetwater Eivers, (all in one frame). December 22, 1945. 

Williams, Major L. O., 2722 Warren Avenue, Cheyenne, Wyoming; donor 
of a German sub-machine gun, Bergman Q.M.M. automatic. January 
9, 1946. 

Gregory, Ronald W., 612 E. 5th Street, Cheyenne, Wyoming; donor of a 
mammoth 's tooth. January 15, 1946. 

Lanctot, Dr. Gustave, Dominion Archivist to Public Archives, 330 Sussex 
Street, Ottawa, Canada; donor of a 1737 map of the discoveries in 
the west of Canada, of oceans, rivers, lakes and Indian nations. 

Sevetson, Mrs. L. W., 810 W. 26th Street, Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one 
long photograph of Carey Avenue and 16th Street, Cheyenne in 
about 1900. February 25, 1946. 

Richardson, Warren, Cheyenne, Wyo.; donor of one large lithograph, in 
color, of the House of Lords, London, 1880, and one print, key to the 
lithograph. February 19, 1946. 

Books — Purchased 
Dakota Historical Collections, Volume XIII, Hippie Printing Co., Pierre, 
South Dakota, 1926. Cost, $2.35. 


Burtscher, William J., The Bomance of Walking Canes, Dorrance & Co., 
Philadelphia, 1945. 

Miscellaneous Purchases 
One print of 16th Street, Cheyenne in 1869, from Mr. Barnard. January, 
1946. Cost, $1.00. 

One print of Indian delegation at Washington, D. C, in 1877. Taken in 
the Corcoran Galleries, Washington, D. C, April, 1946. Cost, $.40. 

One print and negative of the Tweed Ranch, Lander, Wyoming, from Mr. 
Barnard, April, 1946. Cost, $1.50. 

Volume 18 

Accessions, 18:1:89-90; 18:2:163. 

Administration of Thomas Moonlight, The, 1887-1889, by W. Turrentine 
Jackson, 18:2:139-162. 
Wyoming 's Time of Trouble, 139. 
Illegal fencing of public land, 139. 
Governor Francis E. Warren, 139, 162. 
Governor George W. Baxter, 139. 
Laramie glass factory, 143. 
Moonlight, Thomas, at Ft. Laramie, 140. 
Plans for the Economic Development of Wyoming, 141. 
Attitude Toward the University of Wyoming, 148. 
Relations with the Tenth Legislative Assembly, 153. 
Vetoes, Seven, 154-158. 
Organization of NeAv Counties, 158. 
Opposition to Statehood, 160. 


Bettelyoun, Amos, 18:2:133, 134, 135. 

Bordeau, James, 18:2:133, 134, 135. 
Town of Bordeaux, 133. 

Brock, Elmer, Bead Man's Trail, 18:1:77-78. 

Bullock, W. G., 18:2:133, 134, 135. 

Camp Carlin (Cheyenne Depot), see: History of Fort Fran-cis E. Warren r 
by Jane R. Kendall, 18:1:3-6. 

Carr, T. F., see: Bead Man's Trail, 18:1:77-78. 

Chaplin, W. E., Some Wyoming Editors I Have Known, 18:1:79-88. 

Citizens about Fort Laramie, 1858-1877, 18:2:132-137. 
William G. Bullock, 133, 134, 135. 
Benjamin B. Mills, 133, 134, 135. 
Amos Bettelyoun, 133, 134, 135. 
John Finn, 133, 134, 135. 
.lames Bordeaux, 133, 134, 135. 

Citizens and Indian chiefs in the vicinity of Fort Laramie, 1868, 
18:2:136, 137. 


Dead Man's Trail, by Elmer Brock, 18:1:77-78. 
T. F. Carr, 77, 78. 
Location of the Trail, 77. 
Pushroot Jim, 77, 78. 
LX Ranch, 77. 
Simon White, 77. 

Charlie Devoe and H. W. Devoe, 77, 78. 
C (C bar) Ranch, 77. 

George Curry, H. Bennett, Bob Smith, Tom O'Day, 78. 
Origin of name "Pushroot," 78. 

Finn, John, 18:2:133, 134, 135. 

Fort Francis E. Warren, see: History of Fort Francis E. Warren, by 
Jane R. Kendall, 18:1:3-66. 


Hahn, George C, Wyoming Statehood Stamp, 18:1:67-76. 

History of Fort Francis E. Warren, by Jane R. Kendall, 18:1:3-66. 
Ft. D. A. Russell, 2-50. 
Military Reservation, 3, 4. » 

Western Exploration and the Railroad Surveys, 4-8. 
Name, 4, 7. 
Buildings, 8-11, 24, 25. 
General Augur, 6, 7, 8. 
General Dodge, 7. 
Jacob Blikensderfer, 7. 
Lieut. R. W. Petriken, 8, 48. 
Survey for Cheyenne and Ft. D. A. Russell, 8. 
Brevet Brig. Gen. John D. Stevenson, 8. 
Colonel Elias B. Carling, 8. 
Building the First Post, 8-11. 

Camp Carlin (Cheyen-ne Depot), 8, 9, 10, 11, 20, 26, 49, 50. 
Early Patrols and scouts, 11-12, 18, 19, 21. 
Major Frank North and the Pawnee Scouts, 11. 

Treaties affecting Indian lands, 1865 and 1868, 11, 17, 19; 1877, 18. 
Indian Reservations, 11, 20, 21. 
Early Garrison Life, 12-17. 

Fort D. A. Russell General plans, 1869, 3; 1875, 13; 1885, 22. 
Buffalo overcoats, shoes and moccasins, 12. 
Clothing for troops, 12, 14. 
Barracks furniture, 14. 
Heating and lighting, 14, 15. 
Schools, 15. 


Army rations, 16. 

General Crook, 16, 18, 19. 

Post exchange replaces Post trader, 16. 

The Indian campaigns, 17-28. 

Sioux war of 1876, 17, 18. 

Col. J. J. Reynolds, 18. 

Campaign against the Utes, 1879, 19, 20. 

Col. Anson Mills, 19. 

Nathan Meeker, 19, 20. 

Big Horn Expedition, 19. 

Major Thornburg, 19, 20. 

Grafton Sowery, 20. 

Capt, Payne, 20. 

Camp Cloud Cantonment, 19. 

Capt. Lawson, 20. 

Surgeon Grimes, 20. 

Lieuts. Paddock and Wolf, 20. 

Gen. Wesley Merritt, 20. 

Messiah Craze, 20. 

General Mizner, 20. 

Sitting Bull killed, 20. 

The Bannock at Jackson Hole, 1895, 21. 

The New Post, 21, 23. 

Ft. Bussell made a permanent post, 21. 

Rebuilt, 23. 

Two large cottonwood trees marked entrance to, 23, 26. 

New Buildings for Officers Quarters, 24. 

Men 's barracks, 24, 26. 

Miscellaneous buildings, 25. 

1890-98, end of an era, 26. 

General Crook's mule "Apache," 27. 

Coxey 's army, 27. 

Col. Poland, 27, 28, 40-43. 

Lieut. James Regan, letters, 23, 25, 38. 

Capt. C. S. Roberts, 28. 

Major Bisbee, 27, 28. 

Capt. Lovering, 27. 

Capt. Burns, 27. 

Spanish American War, 26, 29, 30, 44. 

Major Frank M. Foote, 29. 

Col. Torrey 's rough riders, 29. 

Ft. Russell, 1900-1920, 30. 

Reorganization, 30-33. 

Years of peace, 33-35. 

Water rights of Ft. F. E. Warren, 35-47, 48, 49. 

Fire and water, 37. 

Agreement, 45-47. 

Land acquisition and losses, 48-52. 


State agricultural lands sold to Cheyenne, 48. 

Cheyenne country club land lease, 48. 

Fort D. A. Russell Target and Maneuver Range, 49. 

Fort Francis E. Warren Target and Maneuver Range, 49, 50-52. 

Location, Area, History, 50-52. 
\ Jurisdiction, Easements, 51-52. 
Fort Francis E. Warren, 52-54. 

Location, Area, History, 52-53. 

Jurisdiction, Easements, 53-54. 
Commanding Officers, 1867-1945, 55-58. 

Fort D. A. Russell Officers, 1867-1929, 55-57. 

Fort F. E. Warren Officers, 1930-1945, 57. 
List of Organizations at Fort D. A. Russell and Fort Francis E. 

Warren, 1930-45, 58-59. 
Ft. D. A. Russell, demobilization post, 60. 
Chronology of Ft. D. A. Russell 

Ft. F. E. Warren, 60-66. 

Illegal Fencing of Public Lands, see: The Administration of Thomas 
Moonlight, 1887-1889, 18:2:139-162. 

Indian chiefs at Fort Laramie, 1868, 18:2:132. 
Paeks-His-Drum, Ogalala Sioux, 134, 135. 
Old-man-afraid-of-his-horses, 134, 135. 
Red Bear, 134, 135. 

Indian Peace Commission and citizens at Fort Laramie, 1868, 18:2: cover. 

Jackson, W. T'urrentine, The Administration of Thomas Moonlight, 1887- 
1889, 18:2:139-162. 


Kendall, Jane R., History of Fort Francis E. Warren, 18:1:3-66. 


Mattes, Merrill J., The Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie, 18:2:92-132. 
Letter giving biographical data on G. O. Reid, 18:2:127-132. 

Mills, Benjamin B., 18:2:133, 134, 135. 

Moonlight, The Administration of Thomas, 1887-1889, by W. Turrentine 
Jackson, 18:2:139-162. 

Reid, G. O., Letter to Merrill J. Mattes, on early days at Fort Laramie, 



Some Wyoming Editors I Have Known, by W. E. Chaplin, 18:1:79-88. 
Names of Editors and papers, 88. 
Bill Nye's letter to Post Master Halton, 82-83. 
Nye's letter to the President of the U. S., 83-85. 
Laramie Daily Independent, 79, 88. 
Laramie Daily Sun, 79, 86, 88. 
Laramie Daily Sentinel, 79, 80, 81. 
Laramie Daily News, 81, 88. 
Laramie Daily Times, 81, 85, 88. 

■ge C. 

Laramie Daily Times, 81, 85, 88. 

Stamp, Wyoming Statehood, see: Wyoming Statehood Stamp, by Geor 
Hahn, 18:1:67-76. 

Sutler's Store at Fort Laramie, The, by Merrill J. Mattes, 18:2:92-132. 
Ft, Laramie from 1849 to 1890, 93. 
Architecture of sutler's store, 93. 
Fort John— purchased, 95, 96, 100. 
American Fur Company, 95, 96. 
Carson, Kit, 92, 93. 
Fort William, 96. 

Tutt, John S., first post sutler, 96, 97, 101. 
Dougherty, Lewis B., 96 ; 101. 
Mexican labor, 96. 
"Forty-niners" early, 96, 97. 
Stine, H. A., 97. 
Abbey, James, 97. 
Turnbull, Thomas, 98. 
Cost of provisions, 97, 98, 99, 106. 
Lobenstein, William, 98. 

Kendall, G. W., correspondent for St. Louis Newspaper, 98. 
Cole, G. L., 99. 
Clark, J. H., 99. 
Post office, 99, 103, 108, 11-4. 
Brown, John, 99. 
Belshaw, George, 99. 
Sloan, William K., 99. 
Linforth, J., 100. 
Piercy, Frederick, 100. 
Mormons, 99, 100. 
Grattan Massacre, 100. 
Harney, Gen. Wm. S., 93, 100, 101, 112. 
Ward, Seth Edward, 102, 103, 106, 108, 112, 113. 
Guerrier, William, 102. 

Bullock, William G., 102, 103, 107, 108, 109, 110, 112, 113. 
Irwin, Capt. John, 102. 
Low, Corporal, 102. 
Gove, Capt., 102. 


Eitzhughes, Mr., 102. 

Greeley, Horace, 102. 

Description of sutler's store, inside and outside, 93, 101, 103, 108, 114. 

Schnyder, Sergeant Leodegar, 103. 

Pony Express, 103, 118. 

Avis, Henry, 103. 

Slade, Jack, 93, 103. 

Creighton, Edward, 103. 

First transcontinental telegraph line, 103. 

Burton, Bichard, 103. 

Davenport brothers, horse thieves, 103. 

Collins, Col. W. O., 103. 

Prairie Traveler, The, by Capt. Marcy, 106. 

Ward, Col. Samuel, 106. 

Indian War of 1864, by Capt. Ware, 106. 

Twiss, Major Thomas S., 106. 

"Falling Leaf," 93, 106, 116. 

Dickson, A. J., 107. 

Hull, Private Lewis Byam, 107. 

Young, Will H., diary, 107. 

"Hanging of the Chiefs," 107. 

Two Face, 107. 

Blackfoot, 107. 

Dodge, Gen. Grenville, 93, 107, 114. 

Connor, Gen. P. E., 93, 107. 

Janis, Nick, 93, 107, 110, 114. 

Campbell, J. L., guidebook, 108. 

Fox, George W., diary, 108. 

Hynes, W. F., old soldier, 108. 

Wells, Major, 108. 

Carrington, Col., at Ft. Laramie, 108, 110. 

Mrs. Carrington, 109. 

Ostrander, Major, 110, 115. 

Hunton, John, 110, 111, 113, 117, 118, 120. 

Sutler's Store coins inaugurated, 111. 

Clark, Gibson, assistant to Mills, 111. 

Mills, Ben, bookkeeper, 111. 

Sutlers after Ward, 111. 

Bridger, Jim, scout and guide, 93, 106, 107, 111, 112, 120. 

Boyd, John, 111. 

Clark Hopkins, 111. 

Kelly, Ed, 112. 

Peace commissioners, 1867, 112. 

Simonin, M., 112. 

Treaty with the Sioux, 1868, 112. 

Terry, Gen. Alfred H., 112. 

Augur, Gen. C. C, 112. 

Sherman, Gen. W. T., 112. 


Spotted Tail, 112. 

Fast Bear, 112. 

Fire Thunder, 112. 

Man-afraid-of-his-horses, 112. 

Dixon, Collins, 113. 

Goods on hand at Sutler's store, 113. 

Dye, Colonel, 113. 

McCormick, J. S., replaces Seth E. Ward, 113. 

Brown 's Hotel, 113. 

Buildings at Ft. Laramie, 1882, 115. 

Collins, Gilbert, Post trader, 113. 

Collins, John S., brother of Gilbert, 113, 116. 

Morrison, John, manages store, 113, 117. 

London, John, post trader, 113. 

Walker, Thomas, 116. 

Cody, William F., 93, 116. 

Schurz, Carl, Sec ;'y of the Interior, 116. 

"Rustic Hotel," 116. 

Logan, Ernest A., 116. 

Hart, A. B., 117. 

Fitzgerald boys, 117. 

Taylor, Lt. Charles M., 117. 

Fort Laramie abandoned,. 117. 

Property auctioned, 117. 

Hooker, Bill, account of, 117, 118, 119. 

Dismantling of interior of buildings, 117, 119. 

Private owners make changes in 1920, 119. 

Fort Laramie national monument, 121. 

"Blind Window," 120. 

Sandercock, Mead, 121. 

Robertson, Mrs. M., 121. 

Powers, Mr., 120. 

State of Wyoming purchases Fort Laramie, 121. 

Deeded to U. S. Government, 121. 

National Park Service assumes custodianship, 121. 


Wyoming Statehood Stamp, by George C. Hahn, 18:1:67-76. 
Announcing the Wyoming Statehood Stamp, 70-71. 
Fiftieth Anniversary of Statehood 
Commemorative stamp, 71-72. 
Design, 72-73. 

Printing of the Wyoming Statehood Stamp, 73. 
First Day of Sale, 74-75. 
Varieties, 76. 
Conclusion, 76. 

The State Historical Board, the State Historical Advisory Board 
and the State Historical Department assume no responsibility for any 
statement of fact or opinion expressed by contributors to the 

The Wyoming State Historical Department invites the presentation 
of museum items, letters, diaries, family histories and manuscripts of 
Wyoming citizens. It welcomes the writings and observations of those 
familiar with important and significant events in the State's history. 

In all ways the Department strives to present to the people of 
Wyoming and the Nation a true picture of the State. The historical 
magazine, ANNALS OF WYOMING, is one medium through which the 
Department seeks to gain this objective. All communications concerning 
the ANNALS should be addressed to Mary A. McGrath, Wyoming His- 
torical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

This magazine is sent free of charge to all State Historical Board 
members, the State Historical Advisory Board, Wyoming County Li- 
braries and Wyoming newspapers. 

It is published in January and July, subscription price $1.50 per year. 


Housed in the new Supreme Court and Library Building 
in Cheyenne, with vault space and fireproof protection, the 
Museum provides for the preservation and display of the prized 
possessions of Wyoming pioneers. 

Perpetuate your family name by placing your historical 
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Everything that is presented to the Museum is numbered, 
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