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Annals of Wyoming 

Volume 24 

January 1952 

Number 1 


Published Biannually 


Cheyenne, Wyoming 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

Elwood Anderson Gillette 

Mrs. Geraldine Z. Brimmer « Rawlins 

Thomas O. Cowgill Cody 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Dubois 

Mrs. Leora Peters Wheatland 

Mrs. Bertha Taylor Mountain View 

Earl E. Wakeman Newcastle 

Attorney-General Harry S. Harnsberger, Ex-officio 




Lola M. Homsher, Editor State Archivist 

Ex-officio State Historian 


Henryetta Berry Mrs. Winifred S. Kienzle 

Mary Elizabeth Cody Kenneth Baggs 

The ANNALS OF WYOMING is published semi-annually, in 
January and July, by the Wyoming State Historical Department, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. Subscription price, $2.00 a year; single num- 
bers, $1.00. Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The 
Editors do not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of 
opinion made by contributors. 

Copyright, 1952, by the Wyoming State Historical Department 

tAtimls of Wyoming 

Volume 24 January 1952 Number 1 

Zable of Contents 


T. A. Larson 



George Squires Harrington, Editor 


Richard Brackenbury 



Margaret Prine 


Malone, Wyomingana: Two Bibliographies, 89 

Ruth Hudson 

Hunter, Steamboats on The Western Rivers, 91 

Alton Oviatt 

Roe, The North American Buffalo, 93 

Reed W. Fautin 

Hamilton, My Sixty Years on the Plains, 96 

Frances Seely Webb 

Sweetman, Back Trailing on Open Range, 98 

A. S. Gillespie 



M. C. Barrow 52 

Bill Barlow's Budget Office 72 


Wyoming Civilian Defense 
in World War J J 



On October 26, 1951, every county in Wyoming was rep- 
resented at a meeting in Casper at which, according to the 
United Press, "More than 55 leaders in civil defense . . . put 
the finishing touches to a concrete, integrated defense plan 
for the state." 

Was history repeating itself? There had been a civilian 
defense organization in World War II. Men who were in 
key positions during World War II were present at Casper 
in 1951 to instill the confidence that comes from experienced 
leadership. Governor Frank A. Barrett, who was in Con- 
gress during World War II, was present in Casper as key- 
note speaker. Brig. Gen. R. L. Esmay, who had been exec- 
utive vice chairman of the State Defense Council in World 
War II, was also present at the Casper meeting as state 
civil defense director. 

The story of Wyoming's World War II experience in civil 
defense is here set down for the record and for the light it 
may cast on present-day problems. The material is drawn 
from a chapter from Dr. Larson's forthcoming book on 
The History of Wyoming in World War II. 

Civilian defense in 1952 is strictly concerned with pro- 
tective services — at least so far. This was not the case ten 
years ago. In World War II the national Civilian Defense 
organization, which was set up by an executive order on 
May 20, 1941, spread its wings over a numerous brood of 
activities by virtue of the broad instructions it received 
from President Roosevelt. The Office of Civilian Defense 
was to provide for federal-state-local cooperation in civilian 
protection and also to facilitate the participation of all 
persons in war programs. Rather than set up a new 
agency for each new war program, the federal government 
turned it over to the OCD. Mr. Average Citizen, if he took 
"civilian defense" literally, was confused by the catch-all 
tendencies of the OCD. In time the division of Civilian 
Defense activities into "protective services" on the one 

*Dr. Larson is Professor and Head of the Department of History 
at the University of Wyoming. He served in the U.S.N.R., 1943-1946. 


hand, and "war services" or "home and health services" on 
the other, brought some semblance of order to the chaos. 

This article is concerned with the protective services, 
leaving the numerous war services, or home and health 
services, for treatment elsewhere. 

The first civilian defense activity in Wyoming resulting 
from concern over the gathering war clouds was the estab- 
lishment of a State Guard in 1941. The mobilization of 
Wyoming's National Guard in September 1940 and Febru- 
ary 1941 made it desirable to organize another unit to take 
over civil protection functions. Under authority of Congress 
the Wyoming Legislature in February 1941 provided for a 
State Defense Council, which was to set up a State Guard 
under the command of Col. R. L. Esmay, Adjutant General. 
The legislature voted $200,000 for defense purposes, but 
Governor Nels H. Smith cut the appropriation to $75,000, 
of which $25,000 was to go for the State Guard and $50,000 
for emergency use. 

Governor Smith named the first three members of the 
State Defense Council on March 26, 1941. From time to 
time he added other members. The council had its first 
meeting in Cheyenne April 29-30, 1941, with eleven mem- 
bers present: Dr. John D. Clark of Cheyenne, Harvey Cot- 
trell of Kemmerer, James Davis of Rock Springs, Col. R. L. 
Esmay, State Adjutant General, Col. Goelet Gallatin of Big 
Horn, Dr. C. W. Jeffrey of Rawlins, H. Glen Kinsley of 
Sheridan, Leroy Laird of Worland, R. E. MacLeod of Tor- 
rington, Warren Richardson of Cheyenne and Edwin J. 
Zoble of Casper. Col. Gallatin, a reserve officer in the field 
artillery, was elected chairman and Col. Esmay, secretary. 
Almost immediately Col. Esmay assumed the responsibil- 
ities of executive vice chairman. 

The State Defense Council grew until it had 18 members 
in September 1942. Two of the members named above, 
John D. Clark and Harvey Cottrell, had dropped out, but 
nine others had been added: Charles J. Hughes, Cheyenne; 
Dr. M. C. Keith, State Board of Health, Cheyenne; George 
O. Houser, Department of Commerce and Industry, Chey- 
enne; Harry Keller, A. F. of L., Cheyenne; Malcolm Condie, 
C.I.O., Rock Springs; Sam Hoover, State Board of Welfare, 
Cheyenne; Miss Esther L. Anderson, State Superintendent 
of Public Instruction, Cheyenne ; and Ernest F. Shaw, exec- 
utive secretary of the Council, Cheyenne. 

In July 1943 Edwin J. Zoble became chairman, replacing 
Col. Gallatin who had resigned because of illness. Mr. 
Zoble was assisted by Col. Esmay, executive vice chairman, 
and George O. Houser, executive secretary. Three other 


members — Charles J. Hughes, Warren Richardson and R. 
E. MacLeod — rounded out a six-man executive committee. 

The Council's Biennial Report for 1943-44 listed the fol- 
lowing 18 members: Ed Zoble, chairman, Col. R. L. Esmay, 
executive vice chairman, George Houser, executive secre- 
tary, E. E. Davis, Dr. C. W. Jeffrey, H. Glen Kinsley, Leroy 
Laird, R. E. MacLeod, Warren Richardson, Charles J. 
Hughes, Harry Keller, Malcolm Condie, Sam Hoover, Miss 
Esther L. Anderson, C. C. Averill of Laramie, W. F. Wil- 
kerson of Casper, E. T. Storey of Cheyenne, and G. M. 
Anderson of Cheyenne. 

The first task of the State Defense Council was to lay 
plans in June 1941 for a State Guard of 488 enlisted men 
and 52 officers, to be divided into a headquarters troop in 
Cheyenne and four cavalry squadrons (two troops in each) 
with headquarters in Sheridan, Casper, Rock Springs and 

Twelve communities were to contribute to the nine 
troops. Volunteers between the ages of 16 and 60 were to 
be enrolled. In July 1941 a State Guard budget of $49,500 
for two 3'ears was approved, which meant that the emer- 
gency fund in the original appropriation would have to be 

In the meantime the State Defense Council had proceeded 
with the nomination of members for county defense councils 
to work in collaboration with the State Council. In June 
1941 Governor Smith announced the appointment of about 
200 members to the county councils. Men who served as 
county chairmen at one time or another thereafter includ- 
ed: Albany county, J. H. "Bud" Coulthard, Laramie; Big 
Horn county, A. Verne Patterson of Greybull and Dr. M. B. 
Walker of Basin; Campbell county, Dr. Ed. S. Werntz of 
Gillette; Carbon county, H. A. McKay, Rawlins; Converse 
county, R. S. Anthony and T. Lee Reno, Douglas; Crook 
county, Lee A. McWethy and C. D. Roberts, Sundance ; Fre- 
mont county, E. E. Davis, Riverton, and Arthur L. Bettis, 
Lander (Fremont county had two "county" councils) ; 
Goshen county, E. B. Cope, Torrington ; Hot Springs county, 
M. Glen Maret, Thermopolis; Johnson county, Geo. A. Heil- 
man, Buffalo; Laramie county, Rudolph Hofmann, Chey- 
enne; Lincoln county, Tom Hall, Frontier, and George 
Johnson, Kemmerer; Natrona county, Judge Bryant S. 
Cromer, Casper; Niobrara county, E. Floyd Deuel and Dr. 
Walter E. Reckling, both of Lusk; Park county, Monte 
Jones and Milward Simpson, Cody; Platte county, W. B. 
Penman and Arther Rugg, Wheatland; Sheridan county, 
Louis J. O'Marr and William H. Harrison, both of Sheridan ; 
Sublette county, Harry Klein and G. W. Wise, both of Pine- 


dale; Sweetwater county, Claude Elias of Rock Springs; 
Teton county, Dudley Hayden and Homer Richards, both 
of Jackson; Uinta county, Wilber J. Watts, Evanston; 
Washakie county, J. D. Algier, Worland; Weston county, 
Ralph dinger and E. E. Wakeman, both of Newcastle; 
Yellowstone Park, Edmund B. Rogers, Yellowstone Park. 
Counting the two councils for Fremont county and the 
one for Yellowstone Park, there were 25 "county" councils 
in the state. 

The first duty of the county councils was to consider vol- 
unteers for the State Guard. Gradually the troops were 
built up, until at the outbreak of war Lieut. Col. Gerald Boy- 
er, general executive officer, was able to report that the 
Guard organization was complete with 411 enlisted men and 
52 officers. The training of seven troops had progressed to 
the point where rifles, ammunition and supplementary 
equipment had been issued. As it had been planned, there 
were nine troops distributed in 12 communities: Cheyenne, 
Worland, Lovell, Sheridan, Casper, Riverton, Lusk, Tor- 
rington, Laramie, Rock Springs, Kemmerer and Evanston. 

The State Guard, equipped with special uniforms, drilled 
once a week without pay. On December 1, 1941, when 
alerted by Col. Esmay, who took seriously the warnings 
from Washington, the Guard began drilling twice a week. 
After our declaration of war, drill was stepped up to three 
times a week. "That may shatter some bridge games — 
but it will protect our bridges," said the Sheridan Press. 
At the end of December 1941 the Guard was back on a 
one-drill-a-week basis. 

Right after Pearl Harbor Governor Smith urged the re- 
cruitment of a second state guard, but this was not done. 
Instead, after the temporary excitement of December 1941, 
the number of enlisted Guardsmen declined. In February 
1942 there were 390 enlisted men and 51 officers. At the 
end of the war there were 271 enlisted men and 70 officers. 1 
More than 200 of the men who left the Guard did so to enter 
the armed forces of the United States. 

Except for some forest fighting duty, the Wyoming State 
Guardsmen were never called out for any emergency, but 
they drilled throughout the war with remarkable diligence. 
Adjutant General R. L. Esmay reported to Governor Lester 
C. Hunt in December 1945 that the Guard's four-year drill 
attendance average was 79.11%. Considering that they 
received no pay, the Adjutant General wrote to the Gov- 
ernor: "I think this is almost an unbelievable record of 
patriotic loyalty." 2 He explained that National Guardsmen 

1. Governor Hunt's files: State Guard. 

2. Ibid. 


before the war received one day's pay for an hour and a 
half of drill, and were considered Satisfactory if they 
achieved 60^ drill attendance. Subsequently, after the 
State Guard was deactivated, Governor Hunt wrote to all 
of the State Guard officers October 28, 1946, expressing 
appreciation for their patriotic services: 

*** Adequate recognition cannot be given your service only 
because your duties were best performed by being ready for 
service and not through the necessities of active mobilization. 

Working against a great many handicaps you established a 
high degree of proficiency, loyalty, and dependability. This 
accomplishment in itself gave our State a sense of preparedness 
to meet any emergency, which no doubt exercised a very im- 
portant influence in maintaining our internal security and tran- 
quillity through the war years. 

We are grateful for having among our citizens men willing to 
sacrifice so much in the public service. ***3 

The State Guard was an important cog in Wyoming's 
civilian defense machine in World War II, but by itself it 
would have been quite inadequate in a serious emergency 
such as the bombing of Cheyenne or Casper. British ex- 
perience before Pearl Harbor indicated that there was in 
wartime an important place for numerous civilian auxiliar- 
ies for the normal protective forces. The yeoman service 
of British civilians in fighting fires, saving lives and reduc- 
ing suffering during the 1940-41 blitzes had been well pub- 
licized, and was known to most Americans. It was realized 
that modern total war might well bring to a community far 
behind the lines such disaster that professional firemen, 
policemen, doctors, nurses and Red Cross workers would 
need the cooperation of numerous volunteers. To make 
these volunteers effective required organization and train- 

The national OCD had been in existence since May 1941, 
but it was only a planning and coordinating body without 
any local authority. It could only suggest action, and 
month after month passed without much action in many 
states, including Wyoming. There had been thinking and 
talking about organizing civilian defense workers, other 
than those in the State Guard, but December 7, 1941, "the 
day that will live in infamy," found Wyoming with only the 
skeleton force represented by the State Defense Council and 
the county councils. Pearl Harbor brought feverish ac- 

The State Defense Council in pre-war days had drawn 
up a list of vital facilities — railroads, refineries, oil fields, 
dams, gas companies, airports, key highway bridges, and 

3. Ibid. 


others — and, in cooperation with the FBI, the highway 
patrol, county sheriffs, local police and company officials, 
plans had been made for guarding these facilities against 
sabotage. These plans were put into effect immediately. 
Local defense councils were ready to cooperate in this but 
did not have the primary responsibility. 

The State Defense Council met in emergency session in 
Cheyenne December 12-13, 1941. The Council seriously 
considered, but decided against, starting a campaign to 
raise a civilian defense fund through voluntary subscrip- 
tions. Before the emergency meeting broke up, the Council 
had embarked upon a ten-point program: 4 

1. Registration of civilians willing to volunteer for civilian de- 
fense work .... Each county defense council will make plans 
for conducting the registration. 

2. Registration soon of all private pilots and private airplanes 
in Wyoming to form a civilian air patrol. 

3. Complete housing inventory to determine what facilities will 
be available in case widespread coastal evacuations are ordered. 

4. Formation of air raid warning system, including distribution 
to all citizens of information on what to do during a raid. 

5. Organization of emergency, and formation of a comprehen- 
sive, health and nutritional program. 

6. Organization of a medical service for the state guard. 

7. Training and organization of amateur radio operators to 
work with the state guard and with civilian defense units. 

8. Formation of fire districts to protect forests and ranges from 

9. Establishment of training classes in blacksmithing and farm 
machinery repair work. . . . 

10. Active participation by local defense councils in war work 
. . . aiding drives. . . . 

In this program appears the twofold nature of civilian 
defense activity: the "protective services" and the "war 
services" or "home and health services." The protective 
services received major attention at the beginning of the 

The first item in the State Defense Council's ten-point 
program was the registration of volunteer defense workers. 
This began in Wheatland December 27, and in some other 
communities in January and February, but in some com- 
munities it took many months to get started. Even so, the 
State Council announced in April 1942 that 25,000 volun- 
teers had been enrolled, including 4,547 in Cheyenne, 3,019 
in Sheridan and 2,739 in Rock Springs. The 25,000 figure 
for April 1942 appears to have been an estimate, for later 
reports showed only 17,456 volunteers registered in October 
1942 and 19,352 in February 1943. At any rate, thousands 
of men and women flocked to the registration stations and 
enrolled for the openings offered. With some exceptions, 

4. Wyoming Eagle, 16 December 1941. 


the men generally were assigned to the protective services 
and the women to the home and health services. 

Lingle reported registrants of ages ranging from 16 to 
82. Sheridan reported the registration of Jacob Markert, 
73, a veteran who had served with the First Cavalry against 
the Sioux in 1890. William S. Oliver, 75, was the first 
volunteer in Washakie county. Officials of Ranchester 
(population 189) boasted that their community was the 
first incorporated town in the United States to sign up 100 
per cent for civilian defense. Many communities at some 
distance from county councils formed their own organiza- 
tions until there were 75 councils in the state. 

Defense corps assignments in the first year included: 
332 staff, 2,914 air raid wardens, 610 auxiliary firemen, 
640 auxiliary police, 586 decontamination, 187 demolition 
and clearance, 342 drivers, 475 emergency food and hous- 
ing, 782 emergency medical, 808 fire watchers, 559 messen- 
gers, 197 nurses aides, 292 rescue squads, 195 road repair, 
and 285 utility repair. 

Financing county and community council activity was a 
local problem. Eventually the proceeds from sale of do- 
nated scrap and waste paper gave some councils more 
money than they could spend, but at the outset money was 
scarce. The B. and P. W. paid for printing the Casper 
registration forms. Ernest F. Shaw, state executive sec- 
retary, attributed the early success of Sweetwater county's 
civil defense organization to the fact that Rock Springs 
and Sweetwater county provided funds to pay for an office 

While forms were being printed and the registration of 
volunteers was getting under way, some persons became im- 
patient. Everyone in authority, from the President on 
down, was advising "Keep Calm," but some people could not 
help being disturbed by the full-page spreads in all the 
newspapers telling what to do in an air raid: "Keep Cool, 
Stay Home, Put Out Lights, Lie Down, Stay Away From 
Windows." And John Lear's syndicated column in the 
Sheridan Press December 19, 1941, advised people to decide 
which was the strongest room in the house, prepare it as 
a refuge, put a table in it, put a spare mattress under the 
table, equip the room with magazines and cards, and be 
ready to crawl under the table when the sirens sounded. 
Small wonder that some persons began looking around for 
more substantial shelter than the average small home could 
afford. A letter to the editor of the Casper Tribune-Herald 
proposed that instead of thinking about parking meters the 
city should install an air raid shelter in the center of town. 
Persons in several communities investigated caves and mine 


shafts. Dr. Reckling, CD director at Lusk, announced that 
an abandoned mine was to be prepared as a bomb shelter. 
Big Horn county officials and business men from Greybull, 
Basin and Lovell explored two natural caves north of Grey- 
bull. Postal employees in Sheridan received local defense 
council approval for detailed plans they had drawn up for 
evacuating the city in case of need. 

With everyone being urged to register as air raid war- 
dens, and so on, skeptics restrained their comments. The 
Wyoming Eagle stated editorially January 9, 1942: "There 
are a few who scoff at the suggestion of such dangers, but 
their number is growing fewer as the days go by." 

Most of the people were not sufficiently excited to begin 
looking for air raid shelters, nor even to prepare a room as 
suggested. After all, it would be just about as easy and 
safe to take refuge out on the prairie. Editor Linford of 
the Laramie Republican-Boomerang January 27, 1942, 
warned against the danger of carrying the defense program 
"beyond the realm of credulity." He advocated vigilance 
but thought that action on bomb shelters could well be 

Although the great majority stopped short of looking 
for bomb shelters, there were those who deplored the delay. 
Witness Anne Casper, who complained in her Casper Trib- 
une-Herald column February 4, 1942: 

No civilian air raid drills. No blackout practice. No organ- 
ized emergency measures have been rehearsed. No nothing, 
in fact, unless you count gathering paper and hoarding sugar. 
. . . we still haven't got the idea. This is war. Must we also be 
massacred before we begin to have a little organized training? 
Have we got to wait till lives are needlessly sacrificed before we 
at least begin to plan air raid shelters ? 

Despite a few pleas of this type, most people were not in 
a hurry, although when given a chance they registered for 
defense work. The Wyoming Eagle in April 1942 noted 
editorially that "Few people seem to sense the danger that 
hangs over every head." Publisher Tracy S. McCraken of 
the Cheyenne newspapers returned in June 1942 from a 
visit to the West Coast and reported that in Seattle he had 
seen balloon barrages surrounding shipyards and airplane 
factories, sandboxes on almost every street corner for ex- 
tinguishing fire bombs, well marked air raid shelters and 
interceptor planes on the alert at every flying field. He 
observed that in Cheyenne "rightly or wrongly, our people 
have made but scantiest preparations against possible en- 
emy air visitors." 

A report of the State Council August 31, 1942, included 
unfavorable comments for some counties: 5 

5. Governor Hunt's files: State Defense Council. 


Big Horn — Much to be desired in this county .... 

Carbon — Well behind most counties considering its size and im- 
portant location along the Union Pacific. 

Converse — Very little organization work here to date .... 

Fremont — One of the unusual dull spots for home defense in the 

Hot Springs — An active council but slow to get started. 

Natrona — This is another county where it has been hard to get 
going, but where things are now happening. 

Washakie — Much to be desired in Washakie county. 

On the other hand, the report said that Sheridan county 
had "A very fine council," and spoke of Sweetwater county 
as "The most completely organized ... in the State." 

Ernest F. Shaw, executive secretary of the State Defense 
Council, advised members of the Council September 8, 1942, 
that Regional Headquarters had placed Wyoming first in 
home defense work among the nine states of the Seventh 
region, but, added the executive secretary, "we are only 
getting well started .... The fact that we stand at the top 
among nine states can not be so much a compliment to Wyo- 
ming, as an indictment of the other eight states." 

While it is true that Wyoming preparations were far 
short of those along the East and West Coasts, a consider- 
able number of the state's citizens did follow through with 
training courses as soon as they were set up. First aid 
courses were basic in most defense training, and they were 
started all over the state in December 1941 and January 
1942. By 1944 some 9,117 Wyoming persons had received 
certificates. Policemen and firemen of Wyoming's principal 
cities were training volunteers to be their emergency auxil- 
iaries. Rescue squads were learning first aid, fire fighting 
and defense against gas. 

The national OCD entrusted the training of air raid war- 
dens to the American Legion. George Storey, Legion de- 
partment adjutant, after receiving training in a civilian 
protection school at Stanford University, directed a four- 
day school in Casper July 15-18, 1942, attended by 125 per- 
sons representing every county in the state. There were 
lectures on protection against gases, the use and care of 
gas masks, types and composition of incendiaries, and a 
lecture entitled "Air Raid Warden." Army officers, doc- 
tors, university professors, police and firemen shared in the 
training of county representatives who then returned to 
their communities to instruct the local wardens. 

Up to this time the air raid wardens had not done very 
much. Cheyenne had 450 district, block and assistant block 
wardens who had received their preliminary instructions 
April 24. It was reported May 10 that fewer than one-third 


of them had surveyed their blocks and turned in reports. 
On July 10 Cheyenne's organization reached the point of 
explaining new air raid alarm signals. On August 4 Chief 
Air Raid Warden Byron Hirst told the Cheyenne Central 
Labor Union that he "deplored the lack of interest shown 
by many men and women here — those who believe that an 
enemy raid will never reach Cheyenne." On August 8 the 
condition of Cheyenne's defense may be judged by a news 
story in the Eagle: "Of approximately 6,000 Cheyenneites 
who have received training or are now enrolled for training 
in the OCD's Red Cross first aid and other classes, a scant 
150 have seen fit to place their names and other data on 
record for call by the local office in case of emergency." 
They had been urged, pleaded with and begged, it was re- 
ported, but they had not registered in the civilian defense 

The Casper school for instructors of air raid wardens pro- 
vided the spark needed for the rejuvenation of the defense 
program. The four-day school in July led to the institution 
of five-week courses (10 lessons) in many communities. 
Wheatland's course was started as soon as the instructors 
returned from Casper. The editor of the Wheatland Times 
observed: "While we do not anticipate an air raid in Wheat- 
land, we have been reminded of our proximity to Chey- 
enne, Casper and the Sunrise mines, making it possible that 
our town might at least be used as a landmark, and we 
are to be prepared for anything." In Cheyenne nearly 800 
persons completed the air raid defense course and received 
certificates September 17. It was claimed that Cheyenne 
was ahead of all other cities in the Rocky Mountain region. 
Some 600 Casper citizens received their certificates and arm 
bands October 27. Smaller groups received certifiicates in 
other communities. 

Wyoming's air raid wardens had just completed their 
five-week course when they learned that professional odds- 
makers in the insurance business were not much afraid 
of air raids. Insurance agents in Sheridan in November 
began promoting war damage insurance offered through 
private insurance companies by the federal War Damage 
Corporation. The rate for dwellings was only 10c per $100 
of insurance. In August the Casper school board had con- 
sidered a proposal of the Casper underwriters association 
for the writing of bomb insurance for the school buildings, 
but decided to seek more information before making any 
decision. The school board members evidently did not 
think the matter very urgent. 

Without any publicity Governor Smith set up an air raid 
warning communication system in July 1942. This was 


done "at the practical demand of the Federal Government." 6 
The air raid defense plan was outlined in General Orders 
No. 3, Headquarters, Central Defense Command, dated 
June 23, 1942, and forwarded to Governor Smith July 1, 
1942, by the Commanding Officer of the Army Service 
Forces, Seventh Service Command, Omaha. A sub-area 
warning center was established and manned 24 hours a day 
in the Capitol Building. George O. Houser became sub-area 
controller. Calls were taken from the Area Warning Center 
in Omaha, to be relayed as desired to districts and sub- 
districts within the state. Many Wyoming cities and towns 
established control centers with elaborate panel boards. 
Casper and Rock Springs were praised in the State Defense 
Council's Biennial Report 1943-44 for being "among the 
outstanding control centers in the nation." Although the 
system was established primarily for air raid warning pur- 
poses, the Biennial Report stated that "its services were 
extended to include any emergency calling for fast and 
accurate communication to all parts of the State." This 
would indicate that the State Government found the system 
convenient, despite the absence of air raids. 

On November 1, 1943, the operation period of the Seventh 
Area Warning Center, and its various subsidiaries, was re- 
duced from full time to only four hours a week — 1 p.m. to 
5 p.m. Central War Time each Wednesday. The Command- 
ing Officer of the Seventh Service Command, Omaha, wrote 
to Governor Smith that under present conditions it was 
"possible to assume a certain amount of calculated risk," 
but this "should be accomplished with the minimum of pub- 
licity." 7 Thus after the maintenance of the communication 
system on a round-the-clock basis for 16 months it was 
placed on an "alert status" and operated only four hours a 

In the meantime Wyoming had had two statewide black- 
out tests to see how well air raid wardens in particular, and 
the people in general, would respond. The first test, which 
took place December 14, 1942, was well advertised for a 
month ahead of time. Only railroads and other vital war 
industries were exempt. Otherwise everyone should extin- 
guish all lights at 9 p.m. on signal and maintain the blackout 
for 20 minutes, when the all-clear signal would be given. 
The test was to apply to rural as well as urban areas, and 
was to extend over all nine states of the Seventh Service 

6. Governor Hunt's files: State Defense Council, Biennial Report 

7. Ibid. 


Command. It was the largest area in the country to be 
blacked out at one time, 712,000 square miles. 

In preparation for the blackout the Laramie city council 
passed an ordinance designating the Albany county defense 
council as the city's official supervising agency for civilian 
defense. The ordinance provided for a fine not exceeding 
$100 or imprisonment in the city or county jail not exceed- 
ing three months to violators. The editor of the Laramie 
Republican-Boomerang warned: "Even though you don't 
hear the whistles, remember it's lights out from 9 to 9:20 
tonight; no telephone calls, no jaunts out on to the street 
to see how the blackout is coming." 

To dramatize the blackout, the Wyoming State Tribune 
printed its December 14 front page with white letters on a 
black background. The only lights to be permitted in Chey- 
enne were those in the United Air Lines maintenance shops, 
the modification center and the Union Pacific shops. 

When all reports were in on this well publicized blackout 
of December 14, 1942, Col. Esmay, executive vice chairman 
of the State Defense Council, stated that he was much 
gratified with the response. To be sure, he did not expect 
perfection. In Cheyenne the doors of two establishments 
had to be broken into to turn out lights — in accordance with 
city ordinance. In Laramie four blackout violators were 
given suspended $10 fines by Judge Coolican in police court. 
The Judge recognized that the violations were not inten- 
tional, and preferred not to assess the maximum penalty — 
$100 fine or three months in jail. Absentmindedly some of 
the guilty individuals had left night lights burning in their 
stores, and were not on hand to turn them off when the 
warning sounded. Apprehended also was a minister who 
had failed to extinguish a small light which burned con- 
stantly to illuminate a stained glass window in his Church. 

In Lingle the wardens quickly found and reminded all 
who had failed to respond to the signal. Then after the 
"all clear" the Lingle firemen served a lunch at the fire hall, 
followed by dancing with music by the high school orches- 
tra. It was Monday night, an unusual night for a dance, 
but the "all clear" after the state's first blackout called for 
some kind of celebration. Lander, too, celebrated the "all 
clear" — with coffee and doughnuts. 

The second statewide blackout was a "semi-surprise" 
test on May 4, 1943. It was well advertised that the test 
would occur the first week in May. The exact time was not 
announced in advance, but many civilian defense officials 
were forewarned. George O. Houser, secretary of the State 
Defense Council, reported two days later that the test was 
"generally successful." The evidence indicates that this 


second blackout was not as successful as the first one. In 
Laramie seven persons were hailed into police court for 
neglecting to turn off their lights. 

Somehow the word did not get to Newcastle. On the 
night of the blackout its chief air raid warden, M. L. Hays, 
impatiently called the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne to report 
that although he understood that a blackout had been 
scheduled, no warning signal had been received, and all 
lights continued to burn. The next day the disgruntled 
warden declared "the city of Newcastle could have been 
bombed to hell last night." 

Cheyenne had enough confusion without any calls from 
Newcastle. Fort Warren began its test at 9:10, twenty 
minutes ahead of Cheyenne. Cheyenne's siren at 9:30 
failed to achieve a complete blackout. The Eagle reported : 
"The lights of approximately a dozen business houses glared 
during the first half of the 20-minute test. Others, includ- 
ing the high school, either were tardy or failed to extinguish 
their lights." City air raid warden Byron Hirst explained 
later that lights were permitted to burn rather than damage 
property, but there would be no hesitation in case of an 
actual raid. Since two doors had been forced in the earlier 
raid, it appears that a more lenient attitude prevailed in 
the second test. 

In Casper the second test was far from satisfactory. At 
a meeting of the defense corps at the control headquarters 
a week after the test it was brought out that many persons 
had failed to heed the warning. In extenuation it was ex- 
plained that many violations were due to a confusion of 
signals and to the fact that the signals were not heard in 
all parts of town. Despite these legitimate excuses there 
was a feeling that many citizens had taken the matter much 
too lightly. The Casper Tribune-Herald reported that at 
the post mortem meeting "It was emphasized that the local 
Defense corps does not have these tests for the fun of it," 
and "The possibility that all willful and malicious violators 
of the city's blackout ordinance will be cited to appear in 
court after future blackout tests was indicated." 

Wheatland also had trouble in this second statewide 
blackout. The Wheatland Times said: "A blackout held 
Tuesday evening was not successful because citizens con- 
fused the second signal with the all-clear and turned on 
their lights." 

Besides observing, after a fashion, the two statewide 
blackouts, various communities had their own tests. The 
first recorded was at Fort Mackenzie December 19, 1941. 
The Sheridan Press explained that it was "to accustom the 
500 patients to the procedure." Sam Tate earned the dis- 


tinction of being the state's first home-front casualty when 
he ran into a wall in the V. A. office and injured his nose. 

Cheyenne had a surprise test July 8, 1943. The city had 
done fairly well in December 1942 with the aid of much 
publicity extending over a whole month, and specifying 
the exact time when the warning would come. The city 
had done considerably worse in its second test, the "semi- 
surprise" one in May 1943. The third test, which was sup- 
posed to be a real surprise, "left civilian defense officials 
far from satisfied," according to the Wyoming State Trib- 
une. Reva Hurwitz elaborated on the shortcomings in the 

Consider yourself bombed to death last night! 

Cheyenne's first surprise blackout under the newly adopted 
air raid signals proved unsuccessful, marked by confusion and 

Despite wide-spread publicity by newspapers and instructions 
by some air raid wardens a great part of the general public 
seemed ignorant or misinformed about the signals. And in 
some instances wardens themselves seemed confused and unable 
to cope with their duties. 

The caution period, marked by the first signal, was almost 
generally mistaken for the blackout, and traffic was stopped, 
lights turned off, and many pedestrians found shelter. Most 
violations in the downtown district during this period were 
caused when storeowners on their way to turn off lights were 
erroneously stopped by wardens. 

The next signal, notice of the actual "air raid" caused a blaze 
of lights — taken for the all-clear. 

The evidence indicates that in the first month after Pearl 
Harbor many Wyoming people were afraid of air raids, 
but that after that, fear diminished rapidly. Nothing short 
of a few bombs could have revived the early alarm. Had 
bombs fallen anywhere on U. S. soil in 1942, protective 
measures would have received much more serious consid- 
eration. Most people conformed in a spirit of good fellow- 
ship when blackouts were announced, but there was enough 
skepticism expressed and enough downright delinquency 
to give ulcers to conscientious air raid wardens. 

The Civilian Defense protective measures which have 
been considered so far were on the ground. Wyoming also 
had a form of air defense in the Civil Air Patrol. The CAP 
was organized nationally under LaGuardia's OCD on De- 
cember 1, 1941. The plan was to set up an auxiliary force 
whose personnel would be drawn from private plane owners 
who were not eligible for service in the armed forces. They 
would furnish their own uniforms, pay their own personal 
expenses, and put their planes to use in various types of 

Point two of the ten-point program announced by Wyo- 
ming's State Defense Council was "Registration soon of all 


private pilots and private airplanes in Wyoming to form a 
civilian air patrol." Governor Nels H. Smith named W. I). 
Walker of Cheyenne wing commander of the state's Civil 
Air Patrol, which was classed as a forest and highway pa- 
trol unit. It was announced on February 26, 1942, that 
there were two squadrons in Cheyenne under Plains Air- 
ways flight instructors, and that there would be a squadron 
at Laramie with a flight group under it at Rock Springs, and 
another squadron at Sheridan with flight groups under it 
at Cody and Newcastle. 

The Seventh Corps Area Commander of the CAP stated 
at the outset that the relatively few pilots and planes avail- 
able in Wyoming and the tremendous territory to be cov- 
ered would limit the activity considerably. 8 Wyoming's 
civilian pilots had no chance to participate in the im -ortant 
antisubmarine patrol work which was performed by CAP 
pilots along the Coasts. Nor did Wyoming CAP pilots tow 
sleeve targets for gunnery practice as some civilian pilots 
did in other parts of the country. Wyoming's civilian pilots 
did, however, participate in an Airplane Crash Service. 
This was something new that was started outside the offi- 
cial CAP organization by some of Wyoming's local defense 
councils, 9 but it was encouraged and supplemented by the 
state CAP organization, and spread to other states. 

Nationally the CAP was taken from the OCD and placed 
under the War Department on April 29, 1943. Meanwhile, 
with little work to do, interest had flagged in Wyoming. 
The state was the only one in the Union without a wing of 
the CAP in July 1944, although there was a squadron at 
Cheyenne. In order to further the cadet recruitment pro- 
gram, reorganization work commenced in 1944, and squad- 
rons were formed in Casper in July and in Rock Springs 
in November. There were two groups in each squadron, 
a senior group of men and women with basic aviation edu- 
cation, and the cadets of ages 15-18 who received basic 
ground training. Thus assistance in an educational pro- 
gram sponsored by the U. S. Army Air Corps became the 
principal work of the reorganized CAP. 

Another phase of the volunteer protective services was 
that of the Forest Fire Fighters, many of whom received 
specialized training. J. S. Veeder of the Forest Service, who 
was stationed at Laramie, recruited 7,000 persons from 
every county, and when Veeder was transfer] 3d to Texas, 
C. C. Averill took charge of the program. The State De- 

8. Wyoming State Tribune, 26 February 1942. 

9. Governor Hunt's files: State Defense Council Biennial Report 


partment of Education assisted by providing instructors to 
help train men. 

The various training programs for the OCD protective 
services included men, women and children. Grade school 
and high school students were taught air raid protection, 
and high school boys were given forest fighter training in 
some communities. The main feature of a Boy Scout court 
of honor in Casper in March 1942 was a blackout first aid 
demonstration by some of the Scouts. 

The block leader plan was widely used for organizing 
protective activities. Milward Simpson who became head 
of the Park county defense council in November 1942 was 
proud of the cooperation he got from his zone and block 
leaders. He wrote November 30, 1943: "I have seen my 
zone and block leaders in Powell, Meeteetse and Cody work 
long and faithfully and enthusiastically without complaint, 
to put Park county over the top in every enterprise referred 
to OCD." 10 And again in July 1944 he wrote: "I have had 
the finest zone and block leader set-ups that I ever saw." 

Wyoming's thousands of air raid wardens had little cause 
for worry in the summer of 1943. A potential threat from 
the Aleutians had been eliminated when U. S. troops cleaned 
the Japs out of Attu Island in May. The Allies were bomb- 
ing Cerman cities heavily and attacking various targets in 
the Far East, while enemy operations over the United King- 
dom were diminishing. Wyoming's State Defense Council 
met in Casper in the middle of July 1943, with nearly every 
county council represented. Governor Hunt addressed the 
group and warned that "at best we are in for a long war." 
Public interest in civil defense, he said, is geared to day by 
day news. When the news -is good interest wanes. "Our 
present concern is that in many places we are in the latter 
state of mind." 

The Regional Director of OCD in Omaha wrote to Gover- 
nor Hunt August 20, 1943, and directed attention to the 
effective work done by Civilian Defense personnel in Ne- 
braska on the occasion of an ammunition fire, and again 
when six practice bombs were dropped accidentally on the 
little town of Tarnov, Nebraska. "Your State May Be 
Next!" warned the Director. As it turned out, Wyoming 
never had an opportunity to apply protective measures, 
except for putting out a few forest fires that were not War- 
caused. Interest in protective measures declined despite 
an occasional warning such as was sounded at a Natrona 
county protective staff meeting December 8, 1943, when a 

10. Governor Hunt's files: copy of letter to H. M. Rollins in OPA 


speaker declared that "As long as we are at war no one can 
positively say that nothing will happen here." The Wyo- 
ming Eagle a week later commented that the work of air 
raid wardens "is done." "It is hardly possible that the war 
could take such an unfavorable turn that more blackouts in 
the Rocky Mountain area would be in order." The Eagle 
reflected Wyoming public opinion in this matter very accu- 
rately. Much of the state's civilian defense interest had 
shifted from the protective services to the home and health 
services. The 1943-44 Biennial Report of the State Defense 
Council stated that "With the OCD program set up on an 
over-all nationwide basis there were many occasions when 
the State office was called upon to function in a negative 
manner, preventing introduction into the State of programs 
and activities valueless in this area because of our geo- 
graphic location." 

After Canada dropped part of her civilian defense pro- 
gram early in 1944 a powerful movement developed to cut 
the U. S. civilian defense program. There was a reduction 
in personnel in both national and regional offices, but Gov. 
Hunt and others in Wyoming and elsewhere thought that 
still further cuts were in order. 

To most people, including some who served on defense 
councils, the boundaries of the OCD authority were never 
clear. The national and regional offices were supposed to 
have purely advisory functions, but their advice carried 
great weight at the beginning of the war. Before long 
their influence diminished perceptibly. Conceivably the 
OCD could have been tremendously powerful if some of its 
planners had had their way. They would have had all pro- 
grams from the federal government channeled through the 
state executives and defense council to the local community. 
Governors and state defense councils were not always eager 
to undertake the coordination of the many and changing 
federal programs, and various federal agencies preferred to 
handle their own programs directly. A statement in Gov- 
ernor Hunt's files written by a Salt Lake City OCD official 
in December 1943 declared: "I believe that it must be 
brought strongly to the attention of the heads of the var- 
ious war agencies in Washington that it is not only a mat- 
ter of appropriate policy to instruct regional and state 
chiefs to work with and through state defense councils but 
also in their own interest to do so. Then the State (which 
is the Defense Council) must establish a proper working 
relationship with the agencies." 11 Some governors would 
not equate the Defense Council with the State. Governor 

11. Governor Hunt's files: State Defense Council. 


Hunt did not care to insist that the State Defense Council 
be made the reservoir or tunneling agency through which 
should pass all the diverse programs of the WPB (Salvage 
and Conservation programs), Treasury Department (War 
Savings), OP A (Price Control and Rationing), War Man- 
power Commission and U. S. Employment Service (Man- 
power Recruitment), WFA and USDA (Food Production 
and Conservation and Nutrition), FSA, Office of Commun- 
ity War Services (Child Care, Recreation, Social Protec- 
tion), FHA, War Housing Center (Housing), ODT (Trans- 
portation), Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (Re- 
cruiting), Federal Rehabilitation Agency (Re-employment 
and rehabilitation of servicemen), Office of War Informa- 
tion (Security of Military Information), and so on. 

Some such tunneling through the State Defense Council 
saved time and money, as was the case with the early ra- 
tioning program when something had to be done in a hurry, 
but it seems likely that the State Defense Council would 
have been inundated if all of the expanded national war 
programs had descended upon it. Many reams of paper 
piled up on county council desks, the way it was. 

In reply to an inquiry from an Illinois Congressman, 
Governor Hunt wrote March 6, 1944: "I am of the opinion 
that the Office of Civilian Defense served its purpose very 
admirably but that the need for the set-up no longer exists." 
A month later the Governor, in reply to a query, told the 
Acting Regional Director of the OCD that while the Wyo- 
ming State Council had been very effective and efficient, 
other departments especially set up were "sufficient to 
handle the respective drives and war effort activities." 

Some salaried OCD officials outside of Wyoming insisted 
on the importance of retaining the organization. The na- 
tional director in January 1944 informed Governor Hunt 
that in some states the Governors had asked Defense Coun- 
cils to undertake the responsibility for planning and coor- 
dinating programs of services to veterans. He recommend- 
ed the appointment of a Defense Council committee on 
such services. A West Coast OCD official sent Governor 
Hunt a copy of a speech which included the statement 
"Permit me to suggest nine reasons why you would do well 
to safeguard and preserve the remarkably efficient Civilian 
Defense organization which you have created." Governor 
Hunt was not impressed. When a county chairman re- 
signed in July 1944, the Governor chose not to appoint a 

On October 24, 1944, when the Wyoming State Council 
sent letters to all county councils asking for their frank 
opinion on what should be done with OCD in the state, 


only one chairman went so far as to say that it should be 
discontinued. All others thought that a skeleton organiza- 
tion should be retained at the state level. Most of the 
councils felt that if the occasion arose they could start 
functioning on a moment's notice in a very efficient 
manner. 12 

The Wyoming State Journal (Lander) December 7, 1944, 
suggested editorially that "The Job Is Done — Let's Dis- 
band." The Journal felt that there would be a saving in 
manpower and expense if the OCD were disbanded, and 
suggested that the head of the "now almost defunct Civil- 
ian Defense board in Lander" call a meeting to survey the 
need and consider the desirability of dissolving. 

The State Council met in December 1944 and decided to 
continue the CD programs after VE day until the defeat of 
Japan, subject to orders from higher authority. On May 2, 
1945, President Truman abolished the OCD and provided 
that its liquidation should be completed by June 30. Thus 
the great Civilian Defense organization, which by February 
1943 had enrolled 19,352 of Wyoming's citizens and had 
touched the lives of everyone, soon came to be regarded as 
definitely superfluous by many, but it lingered on until 1945. 

One reason why the OCD organization lingered as long 
as it did may have been the Japanese paper balloon scare. 
Late in the war quite a number of paper balloons bearing 
Japanese markings and equipped with small bombs came to 
earth at widely scattered points in the United States and 
Canada. They caused a few small fires, and a few persons 
who tampered with unexploded bombs were killed. The 
first public notice taken of these balloons in Wyoming was 
on December 19, 1944, when the Laramie Republican- 
Boomerang and the Wyoming State Tribune, and perhaps 
other papers, carried an Associated Press story filed at 
Kalispell, Montana, reporting that "A huge paper balloon, 
bearing Japanese ideographs and armed with an incendiary 
bomb . . . has been found 17 miles southwest of Kalispell, 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation said last night." The 
news, although known to everyone in Kalispell, had been 
withheld since the discovery on December 12. The A. P. 
story described the balloon as 33% feet in diameter, and 
armed with a six-inch bomb. A 70-foot fuse had sputtered 
out without causing any damage. 

After this story was released, the censorship curtain was 
lowered. On May 14, 1945, the Commanding Officer of 
the Seventh Service Command, Omaha, wrote to Governor 
Hunt that the War Department had directed that a word- 

12. Governor Hunt's files: State Defense Council. 


of-mouth campaign be initiated to acquaint the public with 
the danger from unexploded bombs brought to the U. S. 
by Japanese balloons. 13 "As you know," wrote the General, 
"I the bombs] have been arriving in this country for some 
time. A complete press and radio blackout concerning this 
matter is now in effect to keep Japs from securing any 
information . . . ." The General sent Lieut. Col. Jesse E. 
Marshall to discuss the matter with the Governor. Mar- 
shall was charged with the Army responsibility for the 
word-of-mouth campaign in Wyoming. Luncheon clubs, 
veterans organizations, state officials, school assemblies, 
Boy Scouts and other groups were to be told about the 
danger from the balloons. 

Editor Linford of the Laramie Republican-Boomerang 
thought that this was all pretty silly, and refused to abide 
by the censorship. On May 23, 1945, he published an ed- 
itorial : 

A word-of-mouth campaign is under way throughout this part 
of the country, warning residents against tampering with Jap- 
anese bomb balloons or fragments thereof which may fall in the 
area. Information is being told verbally which censorship for- 
bids the newspapers to publish. 

Presumably the censorship theory is that the Jap spies can 
read but can't hear. 

A week later in an Associated Press article from Washing- 
ton, D. C., the Chief of the U. S. Forest Service gave details 
about the balloons. The article related that the Army and 
Navy had announced that some of the balloons had landed 
in the western part of the country but had caused no prop- 
erty damage. 

After the Japanese surrender much information that had 
been covered up during the war was revealed. The Cody 
Enterprise on August 22, 1945, released an "unofficial" 
account of bomb incidents in Wyoming. There had been no 
reports of damage to property or injury to persons in Wyo- 
ming. The first incident had been near Thermopolis on the 
night of December 6, 1944. Persons near a coal mine 15 
miles west of Thermopolis reported seeing what they took 
to be flares and a parachutist, and heard an explosion. In 
nearby Owl Creek valley a resident heard explosions and 
saw a fire on a mountain. On December 15, 1944, Sheriff 
Kem Moyer of Thermopolis reported that the explosion of 
a strange type of bomb had been verified. One of the 
balloons was sighted January 15, 1945, floating near the 
Cody refinery, but a three-hour search by Sheriff Frank 
Blackburn failed to locate any trace of it. Kenneth Adkins 
sighted a balloon about 25 miles southwest of Newcastle on 

13. Governor Hunt's files: Seventh Service Command. 


February 8. Adkins followed the balloon in a pickup truck, 
captured it, and brought it to Newcastle, where it was 
placed under guard in the state armory. Henry Barrows 
and several others sighted a balloon near Ralston on Feb- 
ruary 22. When the balloon burst, a bomb described as 
three to four inches in diameter and 16 to 18 inches long 
fell to the ground and backfired without breaking its steel 
case. Most of the balloon reports in Wyoming were from 
the northern third of the State, although two were reported 
found near Cheyenne early in the summer. 

Japanese staff officers interviewed after the war told 
their side of the story. The use of the bomb-laden paper 
balloons was tried in retaliation for the Doolittle raid on 
Tokyo April 18, 1942. After more than two years of exper- 
imentation some 9,000 balloons were launched from three 
sites near Tokyo at a cost of more than $2,000,000. 14 The 
project was abandoned as a failure on April 20, 1945, be- 
cause there was no evidence of success. Japanese officers 
said that they had heard of only one landing in America. 
They had heard of the discovery of an unexploded bomb in 
Wyoming. They had monitored the Chungking radio, hop- 
ing for further reports, but had heard nothing. The Jap- 
anese officers explained that the project had been designed 
to "create confusion" by starting forest fires and frighten- 
ing civilians. They said that the bombs weighed 30 pounds 
or less, and were set to explode 40 to 50 hours after launch- 
ing. It was calculated that the prevailing westerly winds 
would deliver the balloons and bombs to America in that 
time. Presumably many of the bombs descended in the 
Pacific, but at least one traveled as far east as Maryland. 

If the project had been tried in the early fall instead of 
the months of November-April, there might have been 
greater damage to forests, and civilian defense volunteers 
might have had their hands full trying to hold down the 
damage. The technical failures and delivery at the wrong 
season saved the Wyoming civilian defense force, and sim- 
ilar forces in other states, from what might have been a 
real baptism of fire. If all-out war should come again with 
a Pacific power, Wyoming may be visited again by paper 
balloons, but this time they might deliver potent atomic, 
biological and chemical weapons in comparison with which 
the Japanese bombs of 1945 were harmless toys. For this 
and other reasons the skepticism and carnival spirit asso- 
ciated with Wyoming's Civilian Defense in World War II 
may have to be discarded. 

14. Casper Tribune-Herald, A. P. article, Oct. 2, 1945. 

Zhe T)ays of the Open Range 


Where are the lads who rode with me 
When like the wind, the range was free, 
With no barbed wire, not a strand 
From Canada's line to the Rio Grande? 

We swept the hills and the western plain, 
As storm clouds sweep the land with rain. 
Our number great beyond belief, 
We branded calves, and gathered beef. 

We rode in early dawn of light 

And held the cattle through the night 

In every weather weeks around 

Our beds . . . unrolled . . . lay on the ground. 

Age brings with fleeting years a change 
And we who rode the open range, 
Young, light-hearted, brave and gay, 
Must like the bison pass away. 

*Richard Brackenbury arrived in the United States from England 
in 1880 at the age of sixteen. He came to act as an interpreter for 
an Italian Colony which was abandoned while in the planning stage. 

After spending three years in Kansas he and a school friend in 
1884 assembled a covered wagon, a pair of mares, a bird dog, a gun, 
bedding and pots and pans and drove to Wyoming. He first worked 
at supplying hay to stage stations north of Fort Fetterman. That 
winter while hunting and trapping he came to the banks of the 
Medicine Bow River where he homesteaded land, eventually acquiring 
over four miles of the river valley where he raised cattle, sheep and 
brood mares. 

In 1893 he married an English girl. In 1897 he moved with his 
family to Denver where he originated a sheep market by starting 
a sheep commission business. He also developed a ranch on the 
Mesa Mayo range in southern Colorado, which became the largest 
sheep ranch in the state. Here he ran two to three thousand cattle 
as well. In 1930 he and his wife retired to La Jolla, California, where 
he is often called the Philosopher Poet. 

In the July 1951 issue of The Colorado Magazine appeared an 
article "Katherine Brackenbury's Letters to Her Mother" as compiled 
by Richard Brackenbury. The letters are of special interest to Wyo- 
ming since they deal with the ranching days on the Medicine Bow 
in 1893-95. 

Cevaneia Kent's T)iary of a Sheep 

T>rive, Svanston, Wyoming, to 

Kearney, Nebraska, 1882 

Edited by 


The settlement of the great expanse extending across the 
western portion of the Great Plains area to the Pacific 
Coast is largely a story of the trapper, soldier, miner, cow- 
boy, and sheep herder. 

After the Civil War and particularly after the completion 
of the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory Point, 
Utah, in 1869, sheep men played an important role in help- 
ing to establish an economic foundation for the settlement 
of this vast region. During three decades, ending with the 
closing of the sheep trails about 1900, the trailing of sheep, 
especially from the West and South, changed the center of 
surplus wool production from the eastern farm belt to the 
Great Plains and mountain region. 

The population of this area with sheep was primarily 
the work of individuals rather than that of organized inter- 
ests. 1 One of those individuals was George Jackson 
Squires. 2 He trailed 4,000 sheep from Wyoming to Ne- 
braska in 1881. The following year he trailed 8,000 head 
from Evanston, Wyoming, to Grand Island, Nebraska. At 
this time, in contrast to an earlier period, Wyoming was 
attracting flocks to its ranges as well as still providing a 
highway for sheep travel. 

*George Squires Herrington, Associate Professor of the Social 
Sciences at Sacramento State College, Sacramento, California, was 
born May 11, 1909, at Aurora, Illinois. He has received degrees from 
Northern Illinois State Teachers College, Teachers College of Colum- 
bia University and Stanford University where he obtained his Ed. D. 
From 1947 to 1950 he was a member of the faculty of the Univer- 
sity of Denver. 

1. The editor has been aided in placing this diary of a sheep drive 
in its historical setting by reference to Edward N. Wentworth, Amer- 
ica's Sheep Trails. Ames: The Iowa State College Press, 1948. 

2. The editor's paternal great grandfather. 


The excerpts from the diary kept by Miss Levancia Bent, 
George Squires' sister-in-law, concerns the experiences re- 
lating to this drive in 1882. Not many diaries of sheep 
trailing appear extant in the literature; this one may be 
unique in that it was written by a woman. The original 
manuscript describes a railroad trip by the party from 
Aurora, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, beginning on June 
20, 1882, a visit in Salt Lake City from June 24 to July 6, 
a journey by the party in Brigham Young's family carriage 
to Evanston, Wyoming, from July 6 to July 11, an encamp- 
ment on Bear River near Evanston from July 11 to July 20, 
and the sheep drive from Evanston to Kearney, Nebraska, 
from July 20 to October 26, including a short excursion by 
some of the party to Denver, Colorado, from September 12 
to September 16. Although the portion of the diary relat- 
ing to the sheep drive ends at Kearney, Nebraska, where 
the women board a train for home, the sheep were driven 
on to Grand Island, Nebraska, and wintered there. 

The excerpts from the diary included here begin with 
the encampment on Bear River on July 11, 1882, during 
which time preparations which had been underway were 
still being made to trail the sheep to Grand Island. The 
editor has deleted some portions of the diary relating to the 
sheep drive that are largely personal in nature. An at- 
tempt has been made to identify individuals, places and 
events through the use of footnote citations and explana- 
tions. 3 

George Jackson Squires, the son of Asher Squires and 
Polly Priest, was born in Watertown, Jefferson County, 
New York, on December 5, 1828. He acquired his early edu- 
cation in the district schools of Watertown. When 18 years 
of age, he spent one winter in Michigan visiting his Grand- 
father Priest. While there he assisted in cutting the timber 
from the present site of the city of Lansing. In the spring 
of 1849 he made arrangements to go to California by way 
of the "Horn," but after proceeding a short distance dis- 
covered that his money had been stolen. The following 
spring he took the overland route, going by team and pass- 
ing through Oswego, Illinois, within a few miles of which 
he was later to settle. He engaged in mining in California 
for over a year, returning to the east by way of the isthmus. 
He purchased a farm in the neighborhood in which he was 
reared with the money he made from his mining ventures. 
He sold out and started for Illinois in 1853, taking with him 

3. The original manuscript in the form of a notebook is now in the 
possession of the editor's sister, Mrs. Philip (Levancia Herrington) 
Buchheit of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 


his wife Emeline A. Bent whom he had married on January 
22, 1852. In 1854 George J. Squires accompanied by his 
wife and her father and brother went to Austin, Texas, to 
look for cattle. They spent several months driving 500 
head to Illinois. This drive has been referred to as the first 
cattle drive from Texas to Illinois. 4 

Miss Levancia Bent who kept the diary passed her forty- 
ninth birthday on the trail. She made her home with Eme- 
line, her sister, as long as she lived, passing away at the 
Squires' homestead near Oswego, Illinois, in May following 
the death of George J. Squires in January, 1900. Levancia 
Bent's father, Silas Proctor Bent, was born in Mt. Holly, 
Vermont, in 1794 and died in De Kalb, Illinois, in 1874. 
Levancia (originally spelled Levantea) was the fourth of 
six children born to Silas Bent's second wife, Orythea 
(Shaw) Bent, the oldest being Emeline. 5 


Tuesday, July 11th [1882] 

We were troubled with moschotoes [sic J last night, but 
I was more troubled about some drunken men that were 
shooting around after dark, and calling to us to tell them 
where they were . . . had lost their way. [We] stopped at 
Evanston 6 for Ora 7 and the mail. . . . Evanston is quite a 
town, but lacks shade and a place to hide old empty cans 
and bottles. [We] pitched our tent two miles this side on 
Bear River. Our boy guide 8 has seen us safe through Utah 
and has gone home. John 9 has joined us, and now our fam- 

4. See George Squires Herrington, "An Early Cattle Drive from 
Texas to Illinois," The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. LV, 
No. 2, October, 1951, pp. 267-269. 

5. The biographical data en this and preceding pages was taken 
from the Genealogical and Biographical Record of Kendall and Will 
Counties, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1901, 
pp. 253-255; and from Allen H. Bent, The Bent Family in America. 
Boston: D. Clapp & Son, 1900. The latter publication is a genealogi- 
cal account of the Bent family in America beginning at Sudbury, 
Massachusetts, in 1638 with the arrival from England of John and 
Martha Bent and their five children. The migration of the Bent 
family as revealed in this account may be regarded as a microcosm 
of the Westward Movement in American history. 

6. Wyoming. 

7. Ora Ellsworth and his sister Sadie were probably friends of the 
familv. They accompanied the group on the train trip to Salt Lake 

8. Son of the owner of the livery stable in Salt Lake City. 

9. John Squires, son of George J. Squires, had left the party in 
Salt Lake City on July 6th, and had gone to Idaho to look after a 
Mr. Smith's flock of sheep. 


ily are all together. [We J have settled down to house 
keeping for a week, taken off and dusted our second best 
raiment, and put on calico and sunbonnets. [I] painted a 
few flowers this afternoon and explored the banks of the 
river . . . 

Wednesday, July 12th 

Mary 10 and Willie 11 are doing the washing in the old prim- 
itive way; camp fire on the banks of the river; plenty of 
water, and bushes to burn and dry clothes on. Grace 12 sent 
for some yeast cakes, and tried to make some home made 
bread, but it didn't rise. We bake good [sic] in the oil stove 
oven or bake kettle. Em 13 has a good time wandering 
around, and I am searching for a best view for a picture. 

Thursday, July 13th 

It is quite a climb up to my studio on the rocks ... I can't 
help but anticipate the pangs of dissapointment Lsic] and 
defeat in store for me when I call my picture finished and 
compare the copy with the original, but I must try it if it 
does make me miserable ... [I] feel as though I had taken 
my allowance of punishment today in a blistered face. My 
hands are like toads' backs; [I] have always wished to look 
plump and fat, but find on looking in the glass that plump- 
ness to be becoming should be more equally and judiciously 
distributed. I made a good target for the sun way up in 
my lofty perch on the rocks. I am usually quite oblivious 
to discomfort when doing congenial work, but work this 
afternoon wasn't so absorbing but that I had a vague sense 
of being parboiled. 

Friday, July 14th 

This morning Willie constructed a shelter for me from a 
piece of the old fly cloth, fastened to some sticks wigwam 
fashion. [I] use his music rack for an easal [sic] and camp 
stool to sit on. [I] thought my arrangements very perfect 
under the circumstances until the sun made it necessary to 
change my position. The rock floor wouldn't accommodate 
itself to easal and stool, so I discarded both, and hang on 
to my canvas with one hand and paint with the other. [In 
the] middle of the afternoon [I] was obliged to pick up my 
work and get down from my perch or have everything car- 
ried off for me by the wind that commenced blowing about 

10. Mary (Bent) Earle, sister of Levancia Bent and Emeline 
(Bent) Squires and widow of Dr. J. B. Earle of DeKalb, Illinois. 

11. Willie Earle, son of Mrs. Dana Earle (Martha Bent) of Lake 
City, Iowa. 

12. Grace Squires, daughter of George and Emeline Squires. 

13. Emeline (Bent) Squires, wife of George J. Squires. 


noon every day. My canopy danced about on the rocks, 
keeping me in an expectant state of disaster to my picture; 
until finally, it collapsed and left me to the mercy of the 
cheerful sunshine again. All those little annoyances with a 
liberal sprinkling of sand on my wet sky almost persuade 
me that I am working under difficulties. We have very 
cold night and have to heat stones for our feet . . . [We] 
have slept warmer since George 14 exchanged our cots for 
wool sacks filled with hay; keep one to lie on under the 

Sunday, July 16th 

. . . After dinner we all took a ride out to Almy, a sub- 
urban town of Evanston, a coal mine town. The inhabi- 
tants are Chinamen and their antagonists, the Irish. [On] 
the first street are a higher grade of Chinese. Their houses 
are ornamented with patches of bright colors covered with 
their hieroglyphics. [On] the next two long streets were 
plain rough buildings, all alike. It is [a] hot day and their 
doors were open so that we could get a glympse [sic] now 
and then as we rode past of their housekeeping. The dirty 
floors, rough benches for chairs, boxes, and rubbish filling 
their rooms is [sic] so unlike anything we see among our 
own people that we felt as though we were in a foreign land 
. . . [We] felt as though we were at home again when we 
got into Ireland with their white curtains and plants in the 
windows. On the way home [we] came through a deserted 
Indian camp. If we had arrived a few days sooner, [we] 
should probably have had them for near neighbors. 

Thursday, July 20th 

... I have had a touch of mountain fever ; two nights and 
a day seemed like a long troubled dream, neither asleep or 
awake, sort of stupor. Em gave me rhubarb and podo- 
phylyn. [ I] drank freely of sage brush tea which is said 
to be a cure for mountain fever. I feel much better today 
but weak. The ride has done me good. We are on the 
road again, our first day of sheep driving . . . Our night 
camp is near a stream of ice water from the mountain . . . 
Friday, July 21st 

All can walk this morning but myself; am too weak . . . 
[We] met a train of emigrants bound for Washington Ter- 
ritory. . . . John Turpin from Salt Lake, one of our shep- 
herds, gave an exhibition of his horsemanship. It was real- 
ly wonderful how he could stick on to such a tearing, pitch- 
ing animal that none of the other men could ride. The boys 
were so enthusiastic over his valor that we were afraid the 

14. George J. Squires. 


young man would break his neck for their amusement. We 
crossed an old California trail, and camp on a pebbly 
stream. [We] would be in sight of Hilliard but for the high 
mountain shutting us in. We are on a branch of Bear River 
so its [sic] called Bear Town. [It's] a natural place for 
bears, but they don't show themselves; neither does the 
town. A more suitable appellation would be city of the 
dead . . . 
Saturday, July 22nd 

It is bright and clear this morning. We shall stay here 
awhile for the sheep to be dipped. 15 It was curious to see 
them pour over the rocks down the side of the mountain like 
a cascade. Ora looked a mere speck above them. . . . 
Sunday, July 23rd 

A government train thundered by close to our tent this 
morning before we were out of bed. Em and I feel very 
agueish and miserable; we are in search of health. 
Tuesday, July 25th 

I was sick all Sunday night. Yesterday Em gave me a 
sweat and medicine. . . . We have moved a mile and a half 
nearer Hilliard. Am feeling better. When I get used to 
eating outdoors and can relish my meals as the men do, I 
shall be all right. I never enjoyed sharing my food with 
bugs and flys [sic] as people at picnics appear to. I am 
living on cove oysters at present. 
Wednesday, July 26th 

Great rejoycing [sic] in camp. George received a tele- 
gram from Ben with the glad tidings of a new born son. 16 
We could scarcely keep from crying from excitement; shall 
be anxious to get a letter with particulars. It is so hard 
that we should be so far awav at such a time. 
Thursday, July 27th 

We have lost our Turpin. He shouldered his blanket and 
set out for Salt Lake. He will never find a more apprecia- 
tive audience for his rare stories. . . . 
Friday, July 28th 

Grace has two objects of affection, a horned toad and a 
poor little motherless lamb that would have to starve if left 
to the tender mercies of the men. Any extra humanity be- 

15. The sheep were immersed in a solution in order to restrict 
spread of disease. In 1882 Wyoming authorized a territorial veter- 
inarian and the following year Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho passed 
laws to prevent the spread of scab and other contagious diseases in 
sheep. Wentworth, op. eit., pp. 454-55. 

16. The telegram sent by Benjamin F. Herrington of Yorkville. 
Illinois, announced the birth of the editor's father, George Squires 
Herrington, Sr., on July 25, 1882, to Mrs. B. F. Herrington (Georgi- 
anna Squires, daughter of George and Emeline Squires). 


stowed upon animals in a trip like this would be rather un- 
profitable in a money sense. Milk has to be brought from 
Hilliard on horseback to feed it. . . . 
Saturday, July 29th 

Ora, Mary, and Grace rode over to the Indian camp this 
morning on horseback. Ora offered to buy a deer skin that 
an old squaw was tanning, as an excuse for their curiosity, 
but she didn't seem inclined to have any deal with the pale 
faces. We saw some wonderful riding done by a party of 
young Indians about a half mile from here. I never saw 
anything to compare with it; appeared as though they were 
being blown about by the wind. It seemed cruel on such a 
hot day. One poor pony dropped dead. I wondered if 
Willie wasn't afraid of them. They raced so near where he 
was herding. George has returned from Evanston where 
he and John went to meet the other flock of sheep and buy 
provisions. He brought ripe currants and other luxuries 
including an old batchelor [sic] that he once met down in 
Sunday, July 30th 

Our company staid [sic] all night. He is fairly intelli- 
gent, a great talker. He knows all about this country; has 
wandered over the Rockies for the last 30 years. He bought 
the pitching horse; didn't object to him on account of his 
little tricks. The horse seems to have found his master. 
He walked off as docile as a cat; picked up his feet rather 
dainty at first, but when his master made a few sarcastic 
remarks, expressing a desire to know if he didn't feel real 
well, and if this world wasn't large enough for him, he con- 
cluded that any effort to get up a sensation would be time 
wasted. . . . Mr. Poage, Crawford, and Albee have arrived 
with the other flock; have had a hard time. 17 There has 
been so little feed that the sheep and lambs have died off 
terribly . . . Mr. Poage had a severe time with Crawford, 
who drinks. He wants George to ship him. . . . 
Monday, July 31st 

The men are busy dipping and sorting sheep, and we are 
getting things into shape for a start tomorrow. 
Tuesday, August 1st 

. . . We stopped at Hilliard for supplys [sic]. Grace gave 
her lamb to the Postmistress' little girl. . . . The town is very 
new and unattractive. A couple of dirty savages prom- 
enaded the main street clothed in thick blankets and long 
black hair. The train came in with a platform loaded with 

17. The editor has been unable to identify Poage, Crawford, and 
Albee. There is some evidence to indicate that Albee was a friend 
of the Squires. 


them. They get free rides. The conductor recognized some 
of our party. We passed Aspen, another small town. . . . 
Wednesday, August 2nd 

I drove the carriage this morning. . . . We had dinner the 
other side of Piedmont; tasted the best of any meal on the 
road, potatoes, cucumbers, onions, and mutton. I wonder 
the Indians didn't scare my appetite away; I don't think 
I am quite through trembling yet. Two bands met at a 
respectful distance from our camp, and took a good long 
look at us. We returned the compliment. I was afraid 
they would take offense at George's leveling his field glass 
at them. Two of the young men more brave or more cur- 
ious than the rest came flying down on their ponies to get 
a better look at us, and stationed themselves just behind 
the carriage where I sat reading, and there sat as immov- 
able as statues, peering out through their long black hair 
dragged over their faces in a most uncomfortable looking 
manner. It seemed an age before their curiosity was suf- 
ficiently gratified to take their departure. . . . We camped 
not far this side of Piedmont as the boys took the wrong 
road through a canon towards Fort Bridger. It was after 
dark before George got them back. They camp on the 
other side of the railroad track. It is lonesome to be sep- 
arated in so wild looking a place. 
Thursday, August 3rd 

George was off after the horses before we were awake; 
found them beyond the noon camp. They must have 
worked hard to get there, fettered as they were. I saw a 
badger this morning; the ground is perforated with their 
homes, but its [sic] seldom one is seen. ... A little farther 
on we came upon quite a colony of Washington Territory 
emigrants. . . . Three of the men came out to visit 
George. . . . 
Friday, August 4th 

We walked a couple of miles in the bed of a dry river. 
Old Major followed along to protect us. Poor old Maj. was 
fired at twice yesterday from a passing train. We made 
purchases of dry goods and groceries at Carter, a town of a 
little more importance than the two preceeding [sic] ones. 
. . . We camp to-night on a plateau above Carter. 
Saturday, August 5th 

Wolves serenaded us, or rather the sheep, last night. . . . 
We had our first rain since leaving Beartown. The fly 
stretching from the top of the carriage to the wagon is 
made of thick cloth; water runs off as from a roof. We 
caught it in pans for dish washing. . . . We passed Church 
Buttes this afternoon. They are the most wonderful for- 
mations of rock and sand. They represent my ideal of old 


country architecture; churches and castles with dormor 
[sic] and bay windows, French roofs, projecting cornices, 
and deep entrances. The Saints when passing through here 
on their way to the promised land found the designs for 
their tabernacle, I feel sure; for it is a perfect copy of one 
of these architectural mountains. . . . We had baking powder 
pancakes for supper, not a success, digestible as leather. 
Sunday, August 6th 

It hasn't seemed at all like the sabbath. We camped on 
Ham's Fork tonight. We had a good deal of excitement 
and hard work for the men. About forty sheep rushed into 
the river to drink, and couldn't pull themselves out of the 
mud. John and Willie had to wade in up to their waists, tie 
a rope around the necks of the sheep, and George and Ora 
pull them up the bank. It was very dark, the wind blow- 
ing terribly. One of us held the lantern, while the others 
kept the sheep back from rushing in after their brethren. 
It was dreadful at first to hear their cries for help, but when 
we found that they didn't drown easily, we could look on 
with a great deal of interest and some amusement . . . 
Monday, August 7th 

. . . Such a storm of wind and rain came on soon after 
starting that we were obliged to stop for shelter behind the 
butte; heaviest thunder we have heard since we left home, 
but it was soon over. Riding in the rain and standing in my 
thin slippers on the cold ground last night has given me an 
old fashioned bones-ache. Em dont [sic] feel well either. 
We camp on Blacks Fork. These Forks are so attractive 
that I look for an Indian camp. They always find the 
pleasant places ; have an instinct for the beautiful in nature. 
Tuesday, August 8th 

A coyote killed a lamb last night. They are such sneaks. 
I felt some better this morning, not as well at noon, but 
better again tonight. Em is feeling very miserable to-night. 
We met a wagon train of men going to work on the Oregon 
short line, grading near Granger, a thriving western town 
of a saloon, depot, and a dwelling house or two. George 
was here last year at the birth and christening of the new 
town. It was baptized in beer. A barrel of beer or whiskey 
is the cornerstone of these far western towns. . . . 
Wednesday, August 9th 

. . . George concluded as he would have to go a day or 
two in advance to make preparations for ferrying across 
Green River, it would be well to take the sick along and find 
something we could eat. Ora took cold at Hams Fork and 
has been running down ever since until he is added to the 
sick list. We rode 24 miles, and camp on an island back of 
the town. Ora dined at a restaurant; we other invalids 


took ours a la picnic. George brought us all the delicacies 
of the season, strawberry pie, peaches, plums, white grapes, 
tomatoes, lemons, hot tea, roast beef hot, bologna, and the 
best bread we have tasted since we left Illinois. . . . We have 
neighbors at the other end of the island, a family going to 
Washington Territory. They know how to keep nous? on 
the road. They wash, bake, and brew; really make emp- 
tings and bake bread. We borrowed a kettle and some flour 
to make porridge for Em to-night, as we left all our camp 
equipage behind. . . . We have crossed over to the mainland. 
Em thought at first that she hadn't courage to ride through 
the river; would walk over the railroad bridge. I told her 
I had more nerve for the ford than the bridge. The car- 
riage is high and heavy which makes it safer, but it swayed 
about some going through the deepest places. . . . We can 
consider ourselves in the suburbs of Green River City. ... I 
haven't learned the population yet. It couldn't be a very 
large town shut in as it is between the river and the loveliest 
range of Buttes since Church Buttes but entirely different, 
soft colors. It is a narrow valley with car shops, court- 
house, and a few stores. . . . 
Saturday, August 12th 

Mr. Smith appeared unexpectedly before breakfast. We 
didn't know that he was anywhere near us. He surprised 
us the same way at Evanston. He stayed to help get the 
sheep across, but they didn't succeed after shouting and 
jumping all day. George hired a boy to tie his pet lamb on 
the opposite shore as a decoy. The lad is .quite sharp at a 
bargain. He demanded a $1.25 for his -services, when of 
course he would rather pay something than not to see the 
Sunday, August 13th 

. . . They are trying the sheep again if it is the sabbath. 
It is a case of necessity. The poor things will starve on 
that side of the river among the rocks. George ferried last 
year, but the ferryman is absent; dont [sic] feel that he is 
needed now that the river is low enough to be forded. The 
idea of a city without a bridge over its river! I suppose 
it wouldn't be used enough to pay as there is no one living 
west of here, east either for that matter. It is a city with 
no suburbs and no surrounding farming country. We have 
one flock of 4,000 on the island; will be guarded there to- 
Monday, August 14th 

. . . There was great rejoycing [sic] when the last sheep 
landed on this side ; only lost six. They sailed over as quiet 
as lambs when they made up their minds to come. The 
boys started with them this afternoon. We had a good deal 


of anxiety about Willie to-night. About noon he went in 
search of the horses that had strayed off over the moun- 
tains. At dark we thought it was time he was home if he 
wasn't lost. He had no overcoat, and the nights are like 
late fall, but about nine o'clock we heard a voice call from 
over the river that sounded familiar. George went with the 
lantern and piloted him and all the horses over. Now we 
can go to bed and sleep in peace. I think of poor Martha 
when danger threatens Willie. 
Tuesday, August 15th 

We rode to the city to buy eatables for a long campaign. 
Chinamen were delivering green corn, squashes, and other 
vegetables from house to house; probably from Nebraska. 
They carried their vegetables in long square pails suspended 
from each end of a long pole, and their peculiar teter Lsic] 
give the pails a motion that makes them easier carried. . . . 
We broke up housekeeping and were on the road again by 
noon. We shall be out of sight of the railroad until we 
reach Laramie, 280 miles. A bird rode on the lines quite a 
distance, good omen. We passed the shepherds and their 
flocks; traveled 20 miles and put up at Brown's ranch. We 
get good pastures. ... A ranchman drove into the yard as 
we did; had been to Green River City for the necessaries, 
whiskey included. He treated George and sent a glass of 
the beverage to the ladies. He must have wondered where 
we learned our manners to refuse so kind an offer. 
Wednesday, August 16th 

. . . The sheep have been without water for two days; 
they made a raid on the pasture spring for which George 
had to pay 10 dollars and $2.50 for horse feed, rather ex- 
pensive camping place. The young man carried out his 
father's orders not to let any droves to the spring in his 
absence with great thoroughness, the right age to feel the 
importance of his responsibility. . . . 
Thursday, August 17th 

We took dinner not far from a large cattle ranch. There 
were two houses within sight of each other, rare sight. We 
saw large flocks of sage hens. Ora met his Green River 
landlord out hunting. A young man called to inquire if we 
had seen his hunting companions. He got lost and was 
alone all night. We sent him in the direction of a wagon 
load of sportsmen that we met hunting deer. This after- 
noon I had a chat with a barefooted German lady walking 
with her two grandchildren. She asked a great many ques- 
tions about the road back to Green River. She said they 
should have to stop there, "to earn money to buy grub." 
They must have courage or want of prudence to start out 
so destitute. They had two teams ; one horse had given out, 


and one of the men was taking his place. We camp on the 
pretty water to-night that the old lady seemed so delighted 
to tell me about ; have our soap stones as we do in the win- 
ter at home. . . . 
Friday, August 18th 

. . . We bought a quarter of venison at a ranch. They 
have more than they can dispose of here. In winter deer 
come in herds and look down upon them from the mountain 
just back and above their shanty, so the proprietor told 
Mary and I [sic J. . . . He says that they can't help making 
money raising stock, for it costs nothing to raise it; but 
once in 10 years have had a bad winter that kills it all off. 
He looks like an honest man, but has two Villianous [sic] 
looking partners; and as one of the horses slipped out of 
sight and all the searching didn't find it perhaps they found 
it. They were willing to give George an old broken down 
hog-backed horse on the chance of finding it. George 
thought it the best thing he could do, for he was told that it 
wasn't safe to follow lost horses very far into the moun- 
tains. Men who follow that business are necessarily des- 
perate characters, for they know that lynch is the law for 
horse stealing in this unprotected country . . . 
Saturday, August 19th 

We met a long line of emigration. . . . 
Sunday, August 20th 

. . . Grace celebrated her 21st birthday riding in the rain ; 
steadiest drizzle we have had on the trip. . . . We camp to- 
night in the shadow of another of nature's wonders, more 
architecture. There are huge piles of slaty rocks of every 
color from black to white with openings here and there for 
wild animals to burrow. Deer make their homes here ; sup- 
pose that is why it is called Antelope Springs. Two or three 
men have started a ranch here and have a boarder, a geol- 
ogist, collecting specimens for Yale College. There is a 
good field of labor here. I wish he could examine our speci- 
mens and see if they are of any value. Two young men 
driving sheep came to inquire about the roads to Cheyenne. 
They have 3,500 in their flock; lost 2,000 last winter in 
Monday, August 21st 

The boys took the wrong road and while waiting for 
George to find them, Em and I had a good time searching 
the sand hills. There is where we find the best agates. I 
found some of the best specimens yet, they all say, but may 
not be as valuable as some of the rougher ones. One piece 
looks like Cornelian, others like grained wood. . . . We 
crossed Bitter Creek and pitched our tent opposite the 


ruins of an old stage stand tavern on the California trail. 
John is having his time feeling sick. 
Tuesday, August 22nd 

I made a pencil sketch of the stage stand, and rode over 
on Billy to get a better view of it. There are two ; one for 
men the other for horses. There is an old dry well nearby. 
The patent medicine spirit has reached this far off land. 
St. Jacob's Oil decorates the walls of the old ruin. Water 
in this creek makes strong suds. They take the horses back 
two miles; dare not give them so much alkali to drink . . . 
We met emigrants who told us we should have to drive 15 
miles to find water. We took all the horses that could be 
spared and tried to drive through before bed time, but had 
to stop 5 miles short. . . . 
Wednesday, August 23rd 

. . . The boys had a great time getting the sheep through 
ravines and grease wood. . . . We had another scare about 
Willie. He and Ora went to take the horses out for feed, 
and he didn't come back. They went to the Poage camp; 
he hadn't been there. Then the fear was that he had fallen 
into a gully and had been killed. George and John started 
out in different directions; fired their revolvers, but he 
didn't hear any of the tumult. In due time he walked into 
camp as unconscious of all the excitement he had created 
as could be . . . 
Thursday, August 24th 

. . . We overtook a Mr. Taylor, 18 a sheep man, with 3,800 
California sheep. George wants some of them bad [sic]. 
He tried his reasoning and persuading powers on him, but 
to no effect, as he is a Scotchman and knows what he wants 
to do. . . . Cove oysters for supper. 
Friday, August 25th 

Boys came in about nine with the sheep. Mr. Taylor 
camped near; could hear him shoot wolves in the night. He 
came and visited George while he ate breakfast. We weren't 
up yet. . . . Mary and Willie killed a snake, the first they had 
seen. Pepper soup for supper. Beautiful moonlight night. 
Saturday, August 26th 

It is clear and cool as usual. We mended our straw beds 
. . . Mr. Poage stopped and had a chat with George about 
Oswego. Folks must seem somewhat different to George 
from last year's trip with no one to speak to that he had 

18. In a letter to the editor Edward N. Wentworth suggests that 
it is highly probable that this Mr. Taylor was the Robert Taylor who 
". . . strove more than any other single man, by personal precept and 
practice, to increase the numbers and quality of Wyoming sheep." 
Edward N. Wentworth, op. cit., pp. 327 ff. and 619-20. 


ever known before. We camped near Liscoe's ranch, 25 
miles from Rawlins, which town is on the railroad. He 
keeps a variety store; most important commodities, whis- 
key and cigars. . . . Mr. Taylor told Em today that she 
could have found fossils at Barrel and Antelope Springs. 
He found some and also made the acquaintance of Mr. 
Smith, the geologist. We are full of regret that we didn't 
know more while there. Mr. Liscoe dropped in while we were 
at supper in the tent. He seems to admire our domestic 
arrangements. We bought some nice venison of him, also 
milk for our mush, and a plenty of other eatables to refill 
our empty store room. . . . 
Sunday, August 27th 

Sent mail to Rawlins. This is a four corners. There is a 
great deal of travel through here by government trains 
going west to the fort. George sold hog-back to Mr. Liscoe 
for 22 Y> dollars, a lamb for half box cigars. . . . Our drive 
or rather walk, for Mary and I walked nearly all the way 
that afternoon, lay between two high mountains . . . We 
called on the Poage family; met with a friendly reception. 
We were seated in the dining room on a couple of spare 
pails. Mr. Poage was making preparations to do the family 
washing, regardless of the day. Evidently he believes that 
cleanliness is next to Godliness, only reversed. . . . 
Monday, August 28th 

We have had the most dissagreeable Lsic] rainy night we 
have had yet. I mention all of the storms because they are 
the exception. I have undergone a great deal of suffering 
of body and mind to-day. Mary was taken with pain in 
her bowels last night. I thought perhaps she had taken 
cold getting wet and it would wear off after riding and 
warming up in the middle of the day, but she gradually 
grew worse. When we stopped at noon, I got out the med- 
icines, charcoal, slippery elm, and brandy. By that time we 
had made up our minds that she had been poisoned by 
drinking too freely of the copperas sulphur water. Em and 
I drank it, but only as a medicine. She took it for thirst 
and drank all she wanted. It was like cholera. I held her 
hands or tried to during her paroxysms of pain, but every- 
thing turned so dark, was almost paralized [sic]. Grace 
had to hold me and John tend Mary. She grew worse so 
fast that I was scared out of fainting. John, Willie, Grace, 
and I worked for dear life, for a dear life, and saved it, by 
Divine permission. Believers in especial providences would 
say that it was in answer to the prayers in our hearts, but 
I can't think that the result would have been the same if we 
had sat down and trusted entirely to the prayers. It is 
faith and works, my creed. ... A large company of emi- 


grants camped near. They were the best equipped for 
travelling of any that we have seen yet ; had rocking chairs, 
and a woman was kneading bread on a real moulding board. 
The men were starting out with their guns. 
Tuesday, August 29th 

Mary is nearly as well as ever again. Her cup of cold 
poison was a powerful medicine. We all examined a beaver 
dam, and took away relics in the shape of sticks sawed by 
their teeth. Before noon George pointed out Elk Mountain. 
We should have taken it for thunderheads. As we jour- 
neyed on, it gradually assumed the appearance of a moun- 
tain, and by night was an unmistakable mountain, reflecting 
all the beautiful colors of the clouds at sunset . . . 
Wednesday, August 30th 

We reached the Platte before noon, and such a lovely 
picture lay before us as we rode down the long hill, we 
thought of the parks in Chicago with the addition of a va- 
riety of grand rocks. We ford two channels to get to the 
mainland. We liked the island best, but it was reserved for 
the last band of sheep as Mr. Taylor calls a flock. . . . They 
could only get one flock over. The boys are in high spirits 
after standing in cold water three or four hours. It would 
take something worse than water to dampen such an excess 
of spirits as they are blessed with most of the time. They 
are the three best natured boys in the world. This whole- 
some air gives them unbounded appetites, and I am not 
far behind, for I think I never relished a dinner better in my 
life. ... I can imagine Indians skulking around the project- 
ing rocks, and peering down from above, since Em and 
Willie think they have found one of their battlefields. They 
have found bullets, arrowheads, fragments of clothing, 
little shoes, and bones . . . 
Thursday, August 31st 

I opened my eyes this morning with a thankful heart that 
we are mercifully preserved through the silent watches of 
the night. The morning hymn that Ma 19 taught us when 
children seems appropriate, "Lord I thank Thee that the 
night in peace hath passed away, and I can see by thy fair 
light, my Father's smile that makes it day." It would 
hardly seem appropriate to one unfamiliar with the sounds 
that assailed my waking ears. The gentle shepherds were 
persuading the last flock across the river. It seemed to 
require all the eloquence of a war dance. John and Mr. 
Poage seemed in danger of dislocating their limbs with their 
gymnastics. The sheep would start in all right; get about 
so far when all at once the leader would make up his mind 

19. Orythea (Shaw) Bent, wife of Silas Proctor Bent. 


that he didn't believe in coercion, make a sudden and unex- 
pected turn and rush back up the bank again with all his 
followers at his heels, sheep fashion. 32,000 little hoofs 
scampering over the rocky river bottom with an accompani- 
ment of frantic yells from men and dogs would be rather 
startling to unaccustomed ears, but to mine was sweet 
music, the soothing assurance that a thoroughly live spirit 
still inhabited the body. I suppose I am unnecessarily 
fidgety and fanciful, but I can't help thinking of the nu- 
merous masacres Lsic] scattered over this land, and not so 
long ago either, and that we are a small and helpless band. 
Of course the government is supposed to protect with its 
forts the people passing through, but at the same time al- 
lows a liberal supply of whiskey and firearms. A civilized 
drunkard is bad enough, but the noble red man is said to be 
a demon under the influence of liquor. . . . 

Friday, September 1st 

My birthday, a 49'er on the old California Trail. George 
lacked a year of being a California 49'er. I can scarcely 
realize my abundant years in this rejuvenating atmosphere 
without the aid of a glass. It's a comfort to have a season 
of rest from, "seeing ourselves as others see us." George 
has had a long ride after the horses; they were off in 
search of water. . . . We saw a herd of elk in the distance. 
Took dinner near Pass Creek. . . . Last night Elk Mountain 
was east of us, and to-night, west of us. We camp near 
Goat Mountain; not as grand but more interesting than 
neighbor Elk. . . . We were told by a man near here that 
there is a lake at the summit where goats and mountain 
sheep come to swim. ... A man told George that he had a 
young cow killed last night by a panther or mountain lyon 
[sic] they call them. . . . My mind runs on rattlesnakes as 
we camp on a creek by that name; crossed it four tim?s 

Saturday, September 2nd 

We replenished our stock of provisions at Fort Halleck. 
We had canned green corn for dinner, as good as fresh. 
Grace had quite a visit with the ladies . . . They told Grace 
about the bloody lake tragedy, a peaceful looking body of 
water glistening in the sunlight only a little way from here. 
Four men were killed by Indians; two escaped by hiding 
behind the rocks. I should think there had been a battle 
here by the size of the burying ground almost opposite 
their house. I counted 50 graves with no town for a hun- 
dred miles I suppose. There is only one house in sight; 
neighbors are about 30 miles apart . . . 


v Sunday, September 3rd 

Passed the night at Medicine Bow. Willie played his 
violin. It echoed through the grove nearby delightfully. 
Wish we could persuade him to play oftener. We were a 
cozy family around the big camp fire made of logs. It is a 
rare thing to find timber to camp near. Mary and I gath- 
ered black currants to mix with our service berries, as 
Liscoe calls them; makes the best sauce, one so sweet and 
the other so sour. . . . Took our weekly bath. The carriage 
makes a good bath room. We can put the curtains down 
tight. . . . The boys use the covered wagon for their dressing 
, room. We met more emigrants. A . 
| Monday, September 4th 

... A long train of travellers for Washington Territory 
halted near our camp, and two loquacious members of the 
party made themselves very obnoxious to George by per- 
sisting in their endeavors to have a good visit while we were 
eating dinner, but the boys enjoyed it. One of them was the 
experienced traveller. . . . 

Tuesday, September 5th 

We saw an antelope and a band of 20,000 sheep. Crossed 
Cooper Creek. We are on Laramie Plains; can see smoke 
from the city 30 miles away. . . . We haven't seen sage brush 
for two days; have to gather anything we can find for fuel 
as we drive along. Dined near where they are getting out 
railroad ties brought from the pine woods on the mountains. 
There is quite a settlement. George went over and bought 
some apples. To-night we camp near an emigrant commun- 
ity; children up on the highest hills, singing, happy as larks. 
There is a sheep corral close by. . A 
Wednesday, September 6th 

We had our nooning 20 on the Little Laramie. It is a 
pleasant valley, and there is quite a little town scattered 
along the river. There is a better class of houses than we 
[have] seen for weeks. Some are framed and painted 
homes. It seems to be a valuable grass region. Reapers 
are going in every direction. Illinoisans wouldn't waste 
time cutting it, but it is worth cutting here at 40 dollars a 
ton. A man at Fort Halleck sold 12,000 dollars worth this 
year. . . . We had great difficulty getting sheep through wire 
fenced lanes. We are beginning to meet the obstructions of 
civilization. Little Larimie [sic] is 20 miles from Laramie 
City. ) 

20. In the parlance of sheep trailing, the day stop was known as 
"nooning" and the night stop as "bedding down." Wentworth, op. cit., 
p. 272. 


Thursday, September 7th 

We have accomplished our 280 miles from Green River 
in one month. Larimie [sic] is much more of a city than 
G.R., but not as interesting in regard to scenery because 
more familiar and common. . . . We drove through the city 
just before dusk, stopping at grocery's [sic] to replenish. 
We camp halfway between the city and Fort Sanders. Oys- 
ters for supper. ) 

Friday, September 8th 

. . We shall be off the line of the R.R. again; shall take 
a cross cut to Cheyenne instead of going around by Sher- 
man. We have been discussing the question when and 
where to take the cars for Denver. George had decided it 
should be here, but has learned that we can get excursion 
tickets at Cheyenne. We are all very glad for we shall have 
a longer ride through the mountains. ... A wolf took a nice 
lamb in broad day light; must be very hungry to be so 
old. . .). 

Monday, September 11th 

Were up and stirring this morning for our 20 mile ride. 
Mary made a ginger cake last night for our lunch. The men 
will have to do their own house-keeping for a while. John 
is our escort. . . . Reached Cheyenne a little after noon. 
Ride seemed short, perfect roads. Passed through Fort 
D. H. Russel [sic] ; stopped to see them drill. We are at 
the Interocean, good accommodations. ... It is a little over 
two months since we have slept under a roof; seems close 
and warm. 

Tuesday, September 12th 

. . . We left Cheyenne between one and two ; cars crowded. 
. . . Denver strikes me as a bustling old city; doesn't seem 
a bit new. We stop at the Hotel Brunswick; dollar a day 
for room; meals on the European plan. . . . 

Wednesday, September 13th 

Spent to-day at the mineral exposition, exhibition not 
confined to minerals. . . . 

Friday, September 15th 

Well we have seen the great mining city and realized all 
our expectations of a good time . . . We stop at the Dyer 
house to-night; reached C. [Cheyenne] about noon. All 
but John were in favor of moving on after dinner. He says 
there is nothing but section houses ; no place to put up for 
the night, so we decide to start early in the morning. I have 
one of my old ague headaches for the first time this sum- 
mer; don't know how I'll ever be able to live in doors 
again. . . . 


Saturday, September 16th 

... 50 miles of travel to-day. Didn't find our folks until 
after dark ; am glad to find them all alive after what I read 
in a paper I picked up in the cars coming up from Denver, 
that Indians were making a raid up through western Ne- 
braska, and troops had been sent for. Pine Bluffs is the 
last town in Wyoming, and we are 6 miles this side in the 
states. . . . We are coming into the rattlesnake and prairie 
dog region ; shall miss our pleasant mountain walks with no 
fear of snakes before us. . . . 
Sunday, September 17th 

It is not so unpleasant to get back to camp life again if 
all the dish cloths and kettles are black with the smoke of 
pitch pine that they have been burning in our absence. We 
can scrub it off. . . . Lovely hazy atmosphere this morning; 
can think of nothing but cornfields, ripe pumpkins, and or- 
chards; but its [sic] only a fancy, for we are 250 miles from 
such luxuries. Saw more of agriculture between Cheyenne 
and Denver than anywhere this side of eastern Neb. We 
passed Marshall. It will be depot and section house alter- 
nately until we take the cars at G. I. [ Grand Island, Ne- 
Tuesday, September 19th 

, . . We are near Potter, 437 miles from Omaha. . . . 
Wednesday, September 20th 

... A woman at a section house brought out some pota- 
toes to show us what could be raised on their ranch. They 
were very large. The farm must be somewhere on a stream. 
They irrigate of course. There is nothing growing near the 
house. They have a large flock of chickens. It was quite 
delightful to sit in the carriage and look into their open 
door and see them set their table for supper with a cloth 
and white dishes. We commenced our housekeeping with 
table cloths and napkins at Evanston, but soon learned that 
the less washing we had to do in alkali water the better. 
Thursday, September 21st 

We added to our stock of provisions at Sydney, quite an 
important town, saloons and billiard halls by the dozen. 
There is a road leading to Black Hills from here. . . . Ora 
has made a change in his wardrobe. We saw evidence of it 
as we rode past a clothing store; recognized familiar gar- 
ments on the walk back of the store. It is a tidy way of 
disposing of cast off clothing; very off-hand and western. 
We passed through Camp Clark. 
Friday, September 22nd 

We left a poor sheep dying from the bite of a rattlesnake. 
F. Albee gave Mary a rattle he took from one yesterday. 
. . We bought a gallon of milk of a thrifty Irish woman at 


a section house. She only charged 80 cts. George gave her 
a few pounds of tallow, and she threw off 10 cts on the 
milk. . . . 
Saturday, September 23rd 

Wolves almost came into camp last night. Men and dogs 
gave chase. George fired at them twice, but they kept up 
their music all night, bursting out unexpectedly here and 
there. This forenoon we stopped the carriage three times 
for George to whip the life out of two rattlers and one blue 
racer. The boys killed 7. We stopped at Chappel depot. 
A woman gave us a gallon of milk. People are not all alike 
in this country any more than in other places. We had ham 
and eggs and musk and watermelon for dinner. Passed 
Lodge Pole Station. . . . 
Sunday, September 24th 

Mary and I took our morning walk with much care and 
trepidation over the burnt grass as the safest place to walk. 
We passed over another Indian battlefield, Julesburg. It 
looks as tho it had had its death blow. George says Denver 
Junction a little farther on killed it. We didn't see a live 
being but an old hen. She told us that the town wasn't 
quite deserted. This has been the warmest day of the sea- 
son. Mary and I were in Boston a year ago now, which was 
their hottest weather. 
Monday, September 25th 

We took our dinner a mile this side of Denver Junction. 
Lee and Bluet [Blewett] 21 were shipping sheep near the 
depot. . . . We are in Colorado again for a few hours. We 
have left Lodge Pole for good, and shall follow the Platte 
all the way to Grand Island, over 200 miles. We stopped at 
a horse ranch for water. We knew that a woman lived 
there; it was so cozy. There were lots of chickens, house 
plants, curtains and vines at the windows; but when we 
found that the housekeeper was a young man, pride in our 
sagacity took a drop. Wind blows a gale to-night, but 

Tuesday, September 26th 

The wind blew all day yesterday and all night and so hard 
today that it is like a desert sandstorm on the dry bed of 
the Platte. The river is very broad and shallow here and 
dry in places. We had the greatest difficulty getting and 

21. "Lee and Blewett were originally railroad contractors, but 
became the largest early firm to operate from the east in California, 
Oregon, and Washington. Their eastern headquarters were in Fre- 
mont, Nebraska, where they both fed and traded in trail sheep. They 
are estimated to have handled over a half million sheep between 1871 
and 1887." Quotation from Wentworth, op. cit., p. 277. 


eating our dinner; extracted a good deal of fun out of our 
difficulty. A man hurried down from the railroad to warn 
us about fire. George told him he should be likely to be 
careful as he had 8,000 head of sheep to risk. He went 
away satisfied. We stopped at a ranch for water, thres 
houses and no family, all men. We camp behind a snow 
fence for shelter. There is a special train on the track with 
men to make the fences secure for the winter. I wouldn't 
believe they could be such a protection against the wind. 
Wednesday, September 27th 

. . . We are all agitating the question whether to go or 
not to go to Grand Island with George. John wants us to 
go; is afraid of the responsibility of caring for us through 
a hard storm, if we have any. "His sister, his mother, and 
his aunts" vote against it. I guess it is carried, for we don't 
hear any more about it . . . 
Thursday, September 28th 

It is cool and bright. We stopped for eatables and horse 
shoeing at Ogallala. . . . We overtook the first emigrants 
that we have seen going our way. . . . 
Friday, September 29th 

The boys drove the sheep across the Platte for water; 
nearly foundered them on the burnt stubble. Indians set 
fires and tore up the track along here when they passed 
through. They say it is their country. George left for 
Grand Island to-night to see what prospect there is for 
wintering his sheep there. 
Saturday, September 30th 

. . . We realize that we are in a land of dew and dampness ; 
miss our good dry morning walks, but we walk never-the- 
less and keep a sharp lookout for rattlesnakes. The eye 
that was devoted to mountains in Utah and Wyoming is 
needed for snakes in Neb. . . . We passed Alkali and camped 
near a cattle ranch ; pretty place with two houses, occupied 
by rough, swearing men. 
Sunday, October 1st 

. . . We are past O'Fallons, 154 miles from Grand Island. 
The sheep are getting very lame ; many of them are on their 
knees most of the time. Ora says its [sic] because it is 
Monday, October 2nd 

. . . We have come to our first country schoolhouse with 
the exception of the one in Hoytsville since we left home. 
It was so natural to see the children rush towards the 
schoolhouse when the bell rang. Close by is a farmhouse 
where we bought butter and milk. We can say farm now 
instead of ranch for they have a cornfield and trees growing 
around the house. . . . 


Tuesday, October 3rd 

We drove into North Platte City and had our dinner on 
the common, just this side of the home of Buffalo Bill. . . . 
This is the best looking town this side of Cheyenne. . . . We 
had to wait 5 or 6 hours for the sheep to be driven over and 
through the Platte. The railroad bridge is half a mile long 
and is used for carriages as well as cars, an arrangement 
I never heard of before. A train had to wait for our sheep. 
This is the junction of the North and South Platte, and is 
quite picturesque with islands and bluffs. George came 
from Grand Island this morning ; has arranged to dip sheep 
at Kearney. . . . Em bought a cake to give John a little fes- 
tival on the eve of his departure for California. He is going 
for more sheep ; will bring them by rail. . . . 
Wednesday, October 4th 

. . . We picked up a tired lamb that had dropped out of 
the flock; gave it a ride and saved it from the wolves. . . . 
Thursday, October 5th 

. . . We passed through Maxwell ; not much farming yet, 
but a great deal of hay put up. There were two steam hay 
presses in sight should think Neb. could supply the world 
with hay. . . . We left our lamb with a York State man from 
Cayugua [sic] Co. ... He wants to sell his ranch, for he 
can't get his boys interested in sheep farming, all of which 
he told us with the easy familiarity of an old neighbor. We 
had no doubt about his being Yankee from his lively desire 
to ask questions and be generally communicative. He didn't 
seem at all startled at our attractive appearance. He must 
have taken Mary and I for twins, with the same lop over 
the left eye in our respective sunbonnets. It is very con- 
venient in a trip of this kind to be independent of much 
dress, but it isn't always so easy to be indifferent when gen- 
tlemen walk or ride up to the carriage to have a little talk 
with George, and who are probably more familiar with good 
manners and fine dress than we are, and have come west 
to make their fortunes because it can be done so much 
quicker and easier than in the older states. We sometimes 
fancy like the ostrich that we are escaping notice by keep- 
ing our heads back out of sight, but the instinctive polite- 
ness of the gentlemen won't excuse them from a few words 
of salutation to the ladies. "Well ladies, how do you enjoy 
travelling so far from civilization." It is quite a wonder 
why they associate us with civilized life; perhaps it is the 
carriage. If we were only as respectable as the emigrant 
ladies with their best hats, all flowers and ribbons, tidy 
dresses, and light colored aprons. We thought it would be a 
fine opportunity to wear out our old clothes. We bought 
some cotton dusters to cover the shabbiness, but they soon 


looked worse than the dresses. Our way of washing doesn't 
take out grease spots. We have some of a better quality 
under the carriage seat with our hats, where we keep our 
second best to slip on when we come to towns. Our finery 
for state occasions is packed away in a large trunk in Mr. 
Poage's wagon. Grace looks well in her riding habit on 
horseback, and attracts a good deal of attention from pas- 
sengers going through on the U.P. They seem to wonder 
where she dropped from. . . . 
Friday, October 6th 

. . . Our neighbor came this morning and took 70 lame 
sheep ; paid from 1 to 1 \\ dollars each. It seems a pity to 
give them away when a few days rest would make them all 
right again. . . . We passed through Bradys Island; met 
two emigrant wagons; wonder where they can be going so 
late in the season. . . . Apple dumplings for dinner. 
Saturday, October 7th 

George sold 300 more sheep. Had ham and eggs, turnips, 
potatoes, and minute pudding with cherries for dinner. I 
give our bill of fare when other items of interest fail. . . . 
Sunday, October 8th 

We had our first frost last night since we lsft the moun- 
tains. . . . The air is filled with sand hill cranes and wild 
geese ; have come to prairie chickens. We saw a blue racer 
and a monster dead snake. We had dinner near Willow 
Island depot. Three sheep men dined with us, and three 
others stood around and looked wishful. One of them was 
so partial to stew that I was afraid he would injure him- 
self. ... 
Monday, October 9th 

George bought provisions at a station called Gould, 
named for the Rail Road King. It is a pity he couldn't in- 
fuse some of his life and enterprise into his namesake. It is 
the deadest kind of a town. We saw a house propped up to 
keep it from falling. The sand foundation was being car- 
ried off by the wind. Evidently the owner hasn't read his 
bible with care. . . . 
Tuesday, October 10th 

It rained all night. We didn't get started until near noon. 
We camp to-night a little east of Plum Creek, the last town 
I hope made famous by an Indian massacre. The little town 
looks very innocent and peaceful planted out on the prairie 
with not a tree for shelter. . . . 
Thursday, October 12th 

We had dinner near Overton, a town of no particular 
interest. There are farmhouses of sod; some of them look 
quite like houses with painted doors, curtains at the win- 
dows, house plants, and occasionally a flower garden. One 


of the settlers, formerly from Bloomington, Illinois visiting 
us this evening, told of two young men that were burned to 
death in a prairie fire across the Platte opposite here. We 
have noticed nearly all the way that the ground looks black 
and burned over there. This side is more liable to fires I 
should think from sparks from the engines and emigrant 
camp fires. George is very careful to burn a place for the 
campfire. We can see fires in every direction, nights. 
Friday, October 13th 

... It grows more difficult every day now driving sheep 
through. . . . The new unfenced farms are on the increase. 
. . . We were somewhat fearful that we might have to par- 
ticipate in a little unpleasantness to-night when we saw a 
man ride down from a farmhouse in great haste while we 
were making preparations for the night camp, but didn't 
realize our anticipations. Whether it was the mollifying 
effect of so much beauty of dress and person among the 
ladies, or the "soft word that turneth away wrath" with the 
boys, but more likely he had no intention of being dissagre?- 
able [sic] if the boys complied with his request that the 
sheep be taken about a quarter of a mile back off his range, 
as he keeps sheep and has just dipped them and didn't like 
to run any risk of disease from contagion. The boys 
showed such a readiness to respect, his rights that I think 
he was just a little suspicious that they would do as they 
like about it when he was out of sight. In the evening he 
came down with another man, perhaps to enforce his re- 
quest if necessary, but finding it all satisfactory staid [sic] 
awhile for a visit with George. I can hear them holding 
sweet converse while I am trying to scribble in my diary 
by the light of the lantern hanging from the ridge pole of 
the tent. . . . 
Saturday, October 14th 

. . . We pitched our tent this noon near a section house on 
the banks of a creek. Em, Mary, and Willie did the wash- 
ing. It is as warm as summer. There is a strong wind 
to-night; prairie fires in all directions. George went to 
Kearney to make arrangements for dipping. He brought 
a postal from John dated Monday, San Francisco. . . . 
Sunday, October 15th 

. . . We spread our tent to-day for the last time ; shall be 
settled here for a few days, and then take the train at 
Kearney for home. We must make the most of the short 
time, and give a pleasant finish to our 4 months holiday. 
This is one of the most pleasant and sightly locations we 
have found in Nebraska, and doesn't seem a bit snaky as it 
did when we camped yesterday. We are among farms with 
their new made groves. We passed through a grove of good 


sized trees. We are on quite an elevation; look down upon 
Kearney two miles east. It makes a pretty picture with its 
church spires gilded by the setting sun. and the old Platte 
about the same distance to the south looks grand by moon- 
light, a line of silver stretching for miles and miles across 
the country east and west as far as the eye can reach. . . . 
The boys felt so settled and at home here in the tent to- 
night that they thought they would have a game of euchre, 
but the cards dropped out of sight very sudden [sic] when 
they were reminded of the day of the week. Its [sic] no 
wonder they should occasionally forget as there is the same 
routine for each day. and every day is more or less a day of 
rest. We get our three meals, wash dishes, and a long spell 
of rest for men and beast in the middle of the day. Then 
we take our rides or walks the same as at home on the 
sabbath. The sheep have the same privilege of eating and 
walking but combine the two. ... It was quite a study to 
arrange for meals when we first set out. We commenced 
with five meals a day, breakfast middle of the forenoon, 
then dinner at noon, and a meal or two after that. The 
boys did not object to such a state of things, as they are 
always willing to adapt themselves to circumstances when 
it takes the shape of extra meals, but we cooks and house- 
keepers took a different view of it, and finally it was settled 
that George was to arise with the lark or a little before and 
start the sheep for their days travel while it was cool. That 
would give Ora and John time for another nap and break- 
fast which they prepared for themselves, consisting mostly 
of crackers and coffee. The rest of the family breakfast 
on the European plan, when and how we like. Then our 
house and all housekeeping utensils are packed away in 
Willie's covered wagon, and we are on the move again. We 
overtake and pass the boys early enough to get settled and 
dinner ready for the time they have driven their allotted 
number of miles which is from 4 to 6. We are a united 
family for the noonday meal, and which is the time for rest 
and recreation and more or less sleep, and for Grace to 
revel in her scrubbing and scouring. The tin plates get an 
extra polish, the cupboard washed and regulated, and all 
dish and wiping cloths thoroughly washed and dried. Our 
supper and last meal for the day is usually taken in the tent 
by lantern light unless it is pleasanter outside. We come to 
a halt before dark, but it takes time and considerable dis- 
cussion to decide on a location. George decides in favor of 
good feed for horses and sheep, and we for our own com- 
fort; but the animals generally carry the day, for we 
couldn't see them deprived of their greatest enjoyment, eat- 
ing. The tent has to be put up, and water brought if near a 


stream. If not, cur supply comes from the barrel that 
must be kept filled from the streams we pass, which are not 
numerous and are alkali mostly. We haven*t had much 
trouble about fuel. There is plenty of sage brush which is 
the best fuel in the mountains with a sprinkling of cedar 
and pine. We have been able to find and buy old railroad 
ties through Neb. : for a day or two we were reduced to 
buffalo chips. 
Monday, October 16th 

It is beautiful autumn weather. George and Willie were 
in town all day; brought home some of the largest apples 
and a sack of tomatoes. We had a boiled dinner. 
Tuesday, October 17th 

. . . There is a good deal of excitement in Kearney over the 
murder of three officers by horse thieves whom they were 
trving to arrest. 22 
Thursday, October 19th 

Mary and I had the pleasure of Mr. Crawford's company 
to dinner, and I had the pleasure of covering with ashes a 
pool of tobacco juice left as testimonv of his enjovment. . . . 
Friday, October 20th 

4 months ago to-day that we left Aurora; expected to be 
home again by this time. . . . 
Saturday, October 21st 

. . . Mr. Poage has broke [sic] up camp, and will stay 
with us over Sunday. F. Albee had gone to Grand Island 
which means happiness and Lillie. The first breath of Ne- 
braska air wafted sweet peace to his yearning breast, and 
has been borne on the wings of delightful anticipation ever 
Sunday, October 22nd 

. . . We cooked our goose and had an old fashioned Sunday 
dinner. Nebraska vegetables are excellent, especially pota- 
toes and winter squash. Our ten quart pan full of squash 
for dinner speaks for itself. Grace made her baking powder 
bread into biscuits which with sauce answers for desert 
[sic]. She makes it in the bake kettle in one large loaf 
when she bakes it over the campfire. It makes a good toast 
for breakfast, something we never tried at home. We all 
prefer it to baker's bread now. George bought a large sack 
of baker's bread in Salt Lake which lasted through Utah. 
Then he elected himself bread maker with Grace's assis- 
tance as no woman made nicer bread than he did some 30 
years ago on the way through to California, but he has lost 

22. Horse thieves killed Sheriff Woods. R. R. Kelly and Charles 
Collins at Minden, Nebraska. Cheyenne Daily Leader, October IS. 
1882. 2:3. 


his knack, or more likely, it was the keen appetite of youth 
that sweetened the bread of those days. He was very will- 
ing to promote Grace from assistant to principal and so 
were the rest of us. . . . 

Monday, October 23rd 

John took us by surprise this morning although we were 
looking for him any time now. He enjoyed his trip very 
much. He says the scenery that we have enjoyed so much 
is tame compared with that that he has passed through, 
more especially in Nevada. . . . He was glad to get another 
look at the old camping places as he went through. He was 
told at Beartown that the graves that we were so curious 
to know more about were graves of men killed by Indians. 
He saw one of the scalpless survivors. John says that the 
mountains are covered with snow, a fall of 12 inches be- 
tween Granger and Green River. . . . 

Tuesday, October 24th 

I had an ague headache all night. Riding in the hot sun 
by the river yesterday I suppose caused it. I believe any 
low sluggish stream will breed ague. I am taking the por- 
trait of the carriage for my plate. While I was at work 
two gentlemen came to look at it, and I retired into the 
tent. George has just come from town; says they have 
bought it to take back to Denver. Mary and I noticed some 
men examining it pretty thoroughly last night while we 
were promenading the streets waiting for Grace and her 
mother, but thought nothing of it as people have shown 
an interest in it all the way through, especially after learn- 
ing its history. George ought to take it home as a curiosity 
. . . [Brigham Young's] family carriage which could seat 
from 6 to 8 of his wives comfortably, will be an object of 
interest to everyone. It is like parting with a friend, for it 
has been so good a home for us all summer. Our dear little 
Mormon ladies 23 we shall have to leave behind. Billy 24 
will be sent home in the spring if he isn't stolen. He came 
very near it the other night or early morning. Thieves had 
cut his rope, but he made some fuss which awoke Mr. 
Poage. He shouted which awoke the sleepers generally. 
Em answered half asleep, thinking it was John returned; 
but it had the effect to scare away the thief. . . . 

23. The two white carriage horses bought in Salt Lake City by 
George J. Squires when he purchased Brigham Young's carriage. 

24. The horse Grace rode on the trip. He was bought at the 
tithing office in Salt Lake City with the brand Z. C. (Zion's Cooper- 
ative) on his shoulder. 


Wednesday, October 25th 

The cold wind from the snow covered mountains has just 
reached here. We have been packing all day; shall take the 
train in the morning for home, and stop in Iowa to visit 
Martha. 25 Have finished camp life for this year and per- 
haps forever. Didn't suppose we should leave it with so 
much regret. . . . Ora will soon be going home. John and 
his father will be in town most of the time and full of bus- 
iness. They won't think much about it. They have been 
used to such trips ever since John was a little boy, but they 
never had it quite so comfortable before. We are staying 
at the hotel with them tonight to be ready for an early 
start. ... A man stopping here has just been giving us the 
particulars of the murder of the three sheriffs. He was 
with them when they were shot. The wife of one of them, a 
Mrs. Woods from Lincoln, was here boarding when it hap- 
pened. It is dreadful when we read such things in the 
papers, but more dreadful to have all the details from an 
eye witness. . . . 
Friday, October 27th 

We are at Martha's to-night; left Kearney on the 6 
o'clock train yesterday. We stopped at Grand Island for 
breakfast and Fremont for dinner. . . . 

25. Willie's mother, one of the Bent sisters. 

Photo by Gibson, Sykes & Fowler, Chicago 


("Bill Barlow — The Sagebrush Philosopher") 

Merris C. ftarrowt Sagebrush 
Philosopher and pur nails t 




"There is a certain briskness — yea, peculiar busyness, as 
it were, about journalism in Wyoming," wrote Merris C. 
Barrow in 1887. 1 Newspapers then, as now, were powerful 
in the establishment and development of any community. 
Often the growth of frontier towns was dependent on the 
direction in which the town citizens were led by their news- 
paper, which was usually edited by an intelligent and pro- 
gressive individual. The journalist of pioneer days in Wyo- 
ming was often an energetic, forceful man whose influence 
grew as his local news sheet reached out to the wider area 
of his territory or state. Wyoming was fortunate in that 
this strong force was controlled in early days by men who 

* Margaret L. Prine, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. A. Bolle, was 
born in Chicago, Illinois, and came to Cheyenne with her parents in 
1934. Mrs. Prine graduated from the Cheyenne High School in 1940. 
From the University of Wyoming she received her B. A. degree in 
1943 and her M. A. in 1948. While a student at the University she 
was active in numerous campus activities and was a member of 
Kappa Kappa Gamma social sorority. 

In 1944 she was married to Elmo L. Prine in Pasadena, California. 
They are the parents of two sons, and they reside in Laramie, Wyo- 
ming, where Mr. Prine is an instructor in the Laramie High School. 

While working on her master's degree, Mrs. Prine acted as a 
graduate assistant in the English Department, where she has since 
taught as a temporary instructor. Her work on M. C. Barrow was 
written as her thesis on her M. A. degree. 

1. Merris C. Barrow, Bill Barlow's Budget, Vol. II, No. 13, August 
13, 1887. The files of the Budget from 1886 to 1905 in bound form 
are in the office of the Douglas Budget. These bound volumes have 
recently been given to the University of Wyoming and in time will be 
housed in its Archives. The bound volumes from 1905 through 1910, 
when Barrow died, are available in the Wyoming State Historical 
Department at Cheyenne as well as in Douglas. Since all copies are 
available in bound form, hereafter in this study quotations from the 
Budget will be documented in the text by a roman numeral for the 
volume, an arabic numeral for the number of the issue, and the year 
when the date is not given in the text. 


fought for more than their own glory. It is hard to find 
among the early newsmen one who limited his efforts 
solely to his own advancement. These "small town pur- 
veyors of news" realized that by building up their indi- 
vidual communities and by joining with other communities 
to try to build a better state their own positions as men of 
power and importance would be enhanced. Working for a 
larger, greater goal, they were also working, then, for 

It is not meant to convey the suggestion that prominent 
Wyoming newsmen of the late nineteenth century were men 
who amassed fortunes. "Those who attained the greatest 
fame died without leaving wealth made from their business 
to dependents." 2 According to one account of early jour- 
nalists of the state, not a single newspaper man reached the 
$100,000 mark, although a number prospered and some 
accumulated a small amount of money. 3 One man is said 
to have been in debt when he left the state, another died 
penniless, still another left his dependents a small compe- 
tence made from other sources, and M. C. Barrow, who 
"probably made more ready cash out of his newspaper work 
than the others, was a spendthrift and left only a small sum 
to his heirs." 4 The fortune which these men collected, then, 
was the fortune of being part of a growing and prosperous 
state which they had helped to build. 

With the exception of numerous treatments of Bill Nye, 
very little has been written about pioneer journalism and 
journalists in Wyoming. W. E. Chaplin, an early newsman 
himself who worked from the back room to the editor and 
owner's desk up front, did some research on early Wyoming 
newspapers in 1918. These findings he compiled and pub- 
lished in serial form in the Laramie Boomerang. Velma 
Linford in her book Wyoming Frontier State, devoted a 
chapter to pioneer Wyoming newspapers. Douglas C. Mc- 
Murtrie published an article in 1937, entitled "Pioneer 
Printing in Wyoming." 5 

From time to time brief mention has been made in articles 
and in books of these men of the press, individually or as a 
group, but there are many stories yet to be told. Chaplin 
in his series described pioneers of the Wyoming press as 
"men of strong character who dignified their profession." 6 

2. W. E. Chaplin, "Early Wyoming Newspapers," Laramie Repub- 
lican, Daily Edition, April 11, 1918, University of Wyoming Archives. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Annals of Wyoming, IX, No. 3, Jan., 1937. 

6. "Early Wyoming Newspapers," Laramie Republican, Daily 
Edition, April 11, 1918. 


In another article of this series, Chaplin wrote, "Among 
those who ranked high in western journalism and who have 
passed on may be mentioned without controversy E. A. 
Slack, J. H. Hayford, Bill (Edgar Wilson) Nye, and Merris 
C. Barrow." 7 

M. C. Barrow, who is said to have given "national pol- 
itics a vigorous airing in Wyoming's 'refreshing, sage- 
scented breezes'," is especially interesting. 8 To tell his 
story, and hence to show the briskness as well as the power 
of early Wyoming journalism, is the purpose of this biog- 

Merris Barrow, newspaper and magazine editor, was also 
a leader in his own community and state and left in his 
columns a history of the country in which he had faith — 
the sagebrush country of Wyoming. The Sagebrush Phil- 
osopher, as he came to be known to people in and out of 
Wyoming, was a "fluent writer on many subjects" 9 and had 
a large and colorful vocabulary. Although sometimes his 
attacks were bitter and his demands strong, there was 
always a vein of humor for the discerning reader to enjoy. 
In Barrow's story can be found an illustration of the role 
of the journalist and the influence of the small-town news- 
paper in frontier Wyoming. 


A considerable portion of the material that can be col- 
lected today on Merris Barrow is difficult to authenticate. 
Very few of Barrow's own letters and personal papers were 
preserved, and his newspaper contemporaries as well as 
most of his friends outside the ranks of the press have died. 
Available personal recollections, both favorable and unfa- 
vorable, have mellowed and ripened perhaps with the years, 
making their validity questionable. Part of Barrow's story, 
however, can be taken from existing records of organiza- 
tions and projects in which he participated and from the 
columns of his newspaper contemporaries; furthermore, a 
good many biographical facts and much of his personality 
can be gleaned from the columns of his own paper. 

It is regrettable that some one closer to Barrow and his 
time did not collect the journalist's personal papers and 
write a memoir of his activities. Such an account is often 

7. Ibid. 

8. Velma Linford, Wyoming Frontier State (Denver, Colorado: 
The Old West Publishing- Co., 1948), p. 291. 

9. Chaplin, "Early Wyoming- Newspapers," Laramie Republican, 
Daily Edition, April 16, 1918. 


prepared by some one in the family ; and, though colored by 
commemorative reverence, it is valuable to later genera- 
tions because of the contemporary and more intimate nar- 
rative of personal experiences and the accurate dates which 
it usually includes. 

Such a story exists of Robert Clark Barrow, pioneer mis- 
sionary and father of Merris Barrow. It was recorded by 
another son, Frank, in a biography which may have been 
written at the request of the Campbellite church, in which 
the father served. 1 This book, written shortly after the 
older Barrow's death, represents the highly eulogistic type 
of biography, but it does include many valuable facts con- 
cerning the man that only a member of the family or a very 
close associate could know. Since many facts are missing 
in the early part of Merris Barrow's story, the biography 
of his father offers numerous suggestions concerning the 
journalist's home life, early experiences, and possible paren- 
tal influence which might have shaped his life. For this 
reason, it seems pertinent to include here some details about 
the family background and the environment and circum- 
stances which surounded Merris Barrow's childhood and 

Robert Clark Barrow was born in Andes, Delaware coun- 
ty, New York, on August 18, 1832, when the American 
political scene was undergoing a change under the leader- 
ship of Andrew Jackson. It was in the "tumultuous thir- 
ties" that the New England Renaissance brought fresh con- 
fidence in the individual and stirred many men to think of 
new adventures for body and mind. R. C. Barrow began 
his life when men of the eastern United States were dwell- 
ing on "romantic speculation with its humanitarian em- 
phasis on the potential excellence of man and the equality 
of human rights." 2 Born in the East, Robert Barrow was 
to move west in thought and action as did many others of 
his time ; and moving west, where men were trying to adapt 
themselves to the hardships of pioneer life, he with his son, 
who ventured even farther, was a part of the movement 
which vastly extended American horizons. 

Robert Barrow was the third son in a family of five boys 
and five girls. His mother had been born in Scotland under 
the surname Maxwell, and his father, William Barrow, had 

1. Frank Barrow, R. C. Barrow (Lincoln, Nebraska: State Journal 
Company Printers, 1892). Facts about R. C. Barrow included in this 
discussion have been summarized, unless otherwise noted, from this 

2. Vernon Louis Parrington, The Mind of New England, Book 
Three, Main Currents in American Thought, II (New York: Harcourt, 
Brace and Company, 1930), p. 271. 


been a native of England. Six years after the birth of 
Robert, the Barrow family moved west to Union, Tioga 
county, Pennsylvania, where as Robert grew up he assisted 
his father in the carpenter trade. Because of this, he, like 
many other children of that day, was denied the privilege 
of a common school education until he was well into his 
teens. From an early age, however, he looked forward to 
the time when circumstances would permit him to go to 
school. Meanwhile he learned many things at home from 
his parents. They probably devoted as much time as they 
could spare to teaching him, and some incentive was of- 
fered, no doubt, by the few books that were usually found 
in the modest homes of that day. This taste of knowledge 
made young Robert even more eager to go to school; but 
until he was sixteen, he continued to assist his father. 

Robert's chance to attend school came in 1848 when his 
grandmother wrote from Delaware, New York, that she 
would like to have him come and live with her. She prom- 
ised to let him stay in her home if he would do the little 
amount of work which needed to be done around the house. 
Of course, he immediately determined to go, recognizing 
this as probably his only chance for any formal schooling. 
After a family consultation it was decided that he should 
go in the fall. When he left for school in the autumn of 
1848, he took with him all his worldly possessions tied in a 
handkerchief which had been fastened to the end of a stout 
walking stick. With this over his shoulder, his mother's 
kiss, and his father's "God-speed," he left his home in 
Union, Pennsylvania, for what seemed to him a new and 
exciting adventure in Delaware, New York. 

Robert Barrow began his studies immediately after his 
arrival in Delaware. He paid well for the privilege of three 
years of schooling, working during vacations to earn 
enough money for his books and clothes and working all 
year around for his board and room. These three years in 
the home of his grandmother were his only ones spent under 
an instructor ; but during the remainder of his life, he con- 
tinued to study hard. His eagerness and persistence were 
rewarded, for R. C. Barrow came to be known in later years 
as a man of great knowledge, even being recognized, accord- 
ing to his son Frank, as a fair scholar of Greek and Latin. 

After this short period of formal education, he entered 
the teaching profession as did many other young men of 
that day, unprepared but interested and eager. In Wil- 
liamsport, Pennsylvania, where he taught his first classes, 
he met Cynthia Harding. They fell in love and later became 
engaged, but she became ill and died before they could be 
married. "To forget his grief, he [Robert Barrow] wan- 


dered about with no particular object in view but to keep 
from thinking." 3 His wanderings eventually brought him 
to Minnesota as a part of an exploring party. Even this 
exciting adventure did not hold his interest very long, for 
while in that state he left his fellow explorers to return to 
teaching school and for several years was the only white 
man among the Indians of that area. His son Frank wrote 
that during this time Robert Barrow learned the language 
of his Indian associates and could converse quite easily with 
them in their own tongue when he left. 

Eventually he tired of life in Minnesota or gave up trying 
to find peace in a nomadic existence, for he returned to his 
old home in Union, Pennsylvania. Back with family and 
friends, he taught school again and evidently overcame his 
grief and began to think once more of marriage. In the 
latter part of 1855 in Canton, Pennsylvania, R. C. Barrov/ 
was married to Helen Harding, a sister of Cynthia who had 
died a few years before. 

After his marriage he gave up school teaching for what 
was, no doubt, a more lucrative position on the Erie rail- 
road. With this company in Buffalo, New York, he acted as 
baggageman until his health failed him and he was com- 
pelled to return to Union. 

Probably deciding that outdoor life might help him to 
regain his health, he purchased a piece of land and began 
farming and clearing timber. He and his wife were very 
poor and, like many backwoods farmers of the late fifties, 
they lived through entire winters "on nothing more than 
corn bread and squash." The Barrows could not even af- 
ford to own their own team but had to use one belonging 
to a more prosperous neighbor. Barrow worked two days 
for the neighbor for the privilege of using the neighbor's 
team for just one day. This was a common practice among 
frontier farmers who had begun with little capital and 
almost no equipment. Even with equipment, farming was 
hard in the locality which Barrow had chosen for his home. 
The area was heavily wooded; and most land, like that 
which he had purchased, was new ground which had not 
been farmed before. He had to cut the trees on his land, 
haul the logs, and pull out the stumps. The enormity of his 
undertaking can be imagined when it is realized that when 
Barrow began as a farmer, he cleared a twenty-acre field. 

The one diversion in most of the frontier farm commun- 
ities was the church. The farmer, his wife, and children 
worked hard all week and for the most part rested and en- 

3. F. Barrow, R. C. Barrow, p. 3. 


joyed the activity of their community church on Sundays. 
The Barrows attended a little chapel in Union. R. C. Bar- 
row's wife, Helen, was a constant attendant ; and he, having 
no particular views on religion, accompanied her to the 
services out of respect. His wife's "earnest, devoted Chris- 
tian life, coupled with what he heard at the little chapel 
soon set him to thinking," said his son in Barrow's biog- 
raphy. Foremost in his thinking was the desire to know 
whether what the preacher said was so or not. To find 
out, he would spend hours in reading the Bible after coming 
home from services. Even with hard work pressing him, 
he still had the desire of his youth to satisfy, if possible, 
his thirst for knowledge. 

Robert Barrow's eager and open-minded study of the 
Bible at this time exemplified his approach to learning 
throughout his life. He did not accept a religious belief, 
for example, because some one told him of it, but because 
he had worked the belief out in his own mind. He was 
natively curious intellectually and had the personal disci- 
pline and initiative to make home training profitable. 

The Christian gospel unfettered by creeds or human 
opinions, which he found through Bible study, appealed to 
him and caused a change to come over his life. According 
to his son Frank, Barrow came forward at the close of a 
meeting in the little chapel at Union and made the "good 

His careful study of the Bible had prepared him for 
preaching, a field where there was at the time a great 
opportunity for service. Joining the ranks of the preacher- 
farmer group of his day, he preached his first sermon in 
the little school house "where he had first learned to know, 
love, and obey the Master." On subsequent Sundays, he 
preached in the different school houses nearby and later 
gave himself to full-time ministerial service. 

Robert and Helen Barrow's first child was born at Can- 
ton, Pennsylvania, on October 4, 1857. The baby, a boy, 
was named Merris C. In 1857 Robert Barrow was still a 
man of only twenty-five, who was probably looking into the 
future and making plans for himself and his family. He 
may already have been looking to the West, as were many 
other Americans, to less thickly populated areas. Further- 
more, political and economic conditions were disturbingly 
threatening. In 1857 Taney handed down from the Su- 
preme Court the famous Dred Scott decision. The slavery 
question was agitating Kansas and other territories. The 
success of railroads and manufacturers in the early fifties 
had led to over-expansion. Then the panic of 1857 hit, leav- 
ing the country in a state of economic depression. 


During Merris Barrow's early years, the tension between 
North and South grew more critical and reached the break- 
ing point. In the role of leader of this divided nation was 
Lincoln, a self-educated man, who came from poor and 
humble parentage, a man whose background was similar 
to that of Robert Barrow. Lincoln's rise to the presidency 
seemed the ultimate emergence of the common individual; 
certainly it gave impetus to the optimistic westward move- 
ment of which Merris Barrow and his father were a part. 

It is not known whether events arising from the Civil 
War or merely personal considerations prompted the Bar- 
rows to move westward. Sometime in the early sixties they 
moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon, Holt county, in north- 
western Missouri. It is likely that the change of home was 
made because R. C. Barrow believed Missouri offered oppor- 
tunity for him as a preacher and a good future for his 

The experiences of R. C. Barrow from this time forth 
were related in many of his letters and were preserved in 
the story written by his son. They show in part the type 
of life which Merris had as a boy. Robert Barrow had no 
special church, although he started many in Nebraska 
across the border from his Missouri home. In December 
of 1864, for example, it is known that he made a short trip 
to Nebraska where he preached for three evenings at 
Omaha and one at Plattsmouth. On these first trips he 
may have been looking for a suitable place for his family to 
settle, though too busy with his work to move them. If the 
Barrows were typical of most missionary families of that 
day, the activities of the home centered around the father's 
excursions, with family affairs dependent upon his depar- 
tures and returns. 

It appears that sometime late in 1865, he took his family 
with him. They may have followed him to the many towns 
in which he held meetings, or they may have settled in 
some centrally located town. At any rate, Merris Barrow's 
early childhood must have been rather upset, and the chanc- 
es are that he did not have much opportunity to know inti- 
mately his father, who was away a great deal or busy evan- 
gelizing at home. It seems that the family lived at Brown- 
ville for a time and perhaps at London, Nebraska. On the 
last Sunday night of February, 1866, the Reverend R. C. 
Barrow began a meeting in the Methodist church at London. 
He had preached at Brownville in the morning because the 
Methodists of London had wanted to use their own church. 
"Upon my return at night," said Robert Barrow in one of 


his letters, "I found many more people assembled than 
could conveniently gain admittance to the house." 4 

A committeeman from the Methodist church met him at 
the door and politely told him that he would no longer be 
permitted to preach in the Methodist church or even in the 
town of London. "It must be proved first that you are not 
a 'runaway rebel from Missouri'," he said. 5 

This was a common occurrence in those days following 
the war between the states. Probably it was known gen- 
erally that the Barrows had spent part of the war years in 
Missouri, and the suggestion that he had made speeches 
favoring secession may have been credited by an excited 
crowd. At any rate the wildest excitement prevailed, ac- 
cording to Robert Barrow's own account, even though some 
understood the situation. 6 An ex-soldier and friend of Bar- 
row from Nemaha City came to the minister's aid, declar- 
ing that he was armed and would protect his misrepresented 
friend with his own life. Barrow was advised to go to the 
pulpit and demand a hearing. This he did and gave to the 
Methodist committeeman letters of commendation from 
every church in which he had held meetings. 

This proof was not even enough to satisfy the man who 
said, "I do not question your standing in the Christian 
church; but I have been informed that you made speeches 
in Missouri in the interest of secession; and until these re- 
ports are disproved, the meeting will not be allowed to 
proceed." 7 

Robert Barrow, nevertheless, determined to hold his 
audience and continued the meeting. At this point many 
who did not understand the situation before realized that 
this was just a plot by a few hostile Methodists to close 
the meeting. In his letter recounting this experience Bar- 
row maintained, "There was no foundation for the report, 
except the admitted fact that I lived in Missouri a portion 
of the time during the war . . . and I requested the com- 
mitteeman to write to the church and county officers of 
Missouri for information in regard to my political ante- 
cedents." 8 This the Methodist evidently promised to do 
and the meeting was continued. 

Frontier churches in the 1860's were as a rule intensely 
active, each trying to become stronger than its neighbor. 

4. ibid., p. 25. 

5. History of Nebraska, J. Sterling Morton and Albert Watkins, 
editors (Lincoln, Nebraska: Western Publishing and Engraving Com- 
pany, 1918), p. 731. 

6. F. Barrow, R. C. Barrow, p. 25. 

7. Ibid., p. 25. 

8. Ibid., p. 25. 


Young Merris probably heard much effective name-calling 
during his early years of church attendance. As a journal- 
ist, at any rate, he employed the same tactics in denouncing 
his contemporaries and rivals. 

Much of Robert Barrow's work in Nebraska was done 
without any regular salary. The Board of the Disciples 
of Christ Church did employ him in 1866, but even then he 
and his family struggled in poverty because frequently the 
Board was unable to pay him. In fact, at one time he for- 
gave the Board a debt of $1,600, a pretty large sum to a 
man in his position in a frontier state. This poverty in his 
youth probably contributed to Merris Barrow's determina- 
tion in later life to succeed financially. It may also have 
contributed to his trait of free spending. Having been de- 
prived of much in his youth, it would have been natural for 
him to indulge in extravagance when he had money to do so. 

From the Barrow home in Nemaha City in June, 1866, 
when Merris was just nine years of age, the Reverend R. C. 
Barrow made his first trip to what was described in his 
biography as "whiskey- trodden Tecumseh." At the time 
Tecumseh was a hamlet of only a few houses, and there 
was no public building in the place. Barrow's first meeting 
was held in a long shed which was serving as a kitchen. 
"The first two evenings the kitchen was crowded with 
curiosity seekers," said Robert Barrow to one of his cor- 
respondents. 9 On the third evening a show at a citizen's 
home offered competition, and Robert Barrow was left 
without an audience. 

The prestige as well as the following of the Reverend R. 
C. Barrow grew, however. In 1867 the family moved to 
Tecumseh to make their home. Church services were con- 
ducted in the school until 1869, in the court house until 
1870, and in a church built by the members by the fall of 
1871. 10 

Thus it was as a minister's son in Tecumseh that many of 
Merris Barrow's habits and attitudes were formed. He, 
no doubt, had most of his formal schooling in this little 
Nebraska town. He may have received more education 
at home under the direction of his school-teaching father, 
who, in all likelihood, saw that his son was given a thorough 
background in theology in addition to some familiarity with 

Like his father, Merris seems to have been intellectually 
curious and may have turned from his father's religious 
teaching because he, as his father had done, wanted to rea- 

9. Ibid., p. 29. 

10. Ibid., p. 31. 


son things out for himself. Too much religious fervor at 
home may have turned him to the more worldly element of 
Tecumseh. The religious background is evident in his 
writing, but he seemed always to be making light of any 
seriousness which it might involve. Thinking for himself, 
he set out on a different path from that followed by his 


In the little Nebraska town of Tecumseh Merris Barrow 
began his connection with the journalistic world. As a 
youth of only nineteen he undertook the job of editing the 
Tecumseh Chieftain. Young Barrow leased this small town 
paper in 1876 and published it until 1878. Since the early 
issues of the Chieftain are not available, the only known 
extant file dating from 1880, it is impossible to know wheth- 
er his flair for personal journalism appeared in this early 
period. He must have done fairly well financially, how- 
ever, for he evidently felt able to support a wife in 1877. 
On March 17 of that year, Barrow was married to Minnie 
Florence Combs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elsworth Bond 
Combs. It is probable, too, that Elizabeth, Merris Barrow's 
oldest child, was born during the last year of his connection 
with the Tecumseh paper. Although he considered himself 
financially able to marry on the income offered by a small 
town news sheet, the arrival of a child might have caused 
the Barrows to have some money worries. It is possible 
that the increased family responsibilities brought about 
M. C. Barrow's desertion of the newspaper business two 
years after he entered it. 

Sometime in 1878 when Merris Barrow was only twenty- 
one years of age, he received an appointment as United 
States postal clerk. His first runs were from Omaha, but 
during that same year, he was transferred to Wyoming. 1 
Although his run there was from Sidney, Nebraska, to 
Laramie, Wyoming, he and his family made Laramie their 
home. 2 Merris Barrow continued in the postoffice service 
until the spring of 1879, when he had an unfortunate ex- 
perience which terminated this connection. 3 

He was arrested in January, 1879, on a charge of robbing 
the United States mail. The court records of the charges 
against Barrow and of the trial have been lost, and Laramie 

1. Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming (Chicago, 111.; A. W. 
Bo wen and Company, 1903), p. 499. 

2. W. E. Chaplin, letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 

3. Ibid. 


papers of that time are no longer available. Barrow's per- 
sonal account, however, was later given in one of his edi- 
torials in the Budget (I, 19, 1886), and W. E. Chaplin, who 
was working on the Laramie Daily Times in 1879, gave an 
account of the affair in a letter about Barrow's life written 
in 1947. 4 

According to Barrow's own report of the incident, he 
gave bail promptly, three leading citizens of Laramie being 
his bondsmen (I, 19, 1886) : W. H. Holliday, furniture and 
lumber dealer; J. H. Finfrock, physician, surgeon and first 
president of the University of Wyoming's Board of Trus- 
tees; and James Vine, sheep raiser. For the trial, which 
was in a Federal Court under Judge Jacob B. Blair, a jury 
was chosen of leading business and professional men. 5 Only 
vague and possibly unreliable references to the trial are 
available today, but it is presumed to have been a fair one 
and resulted in Barrow's acquittal. 

Though Barrow was legally acquitted of guilt, the inci- 
dent caused him lifelong embarrassment. It continued all 
through his life to furnish fodder for virulent attacks upon 
him by rival "newspaporial" contemporaries with whom he 
was perpetually at war. In 1886 after an especially vicious 
, attack by one of his rivals, Barrow felt it necessary to offer 
a complete explanation of the affair in the editorial columns 
of his paper. He asserted that a fellow clerk by the name 
of Kenniston had framed him in order to cover up irregular- 
ities for which Kenniston was responsible (I, 19, 1886). 
Barrow also maintained that the jury was out less than 
four minutes and that it had to take only one ballot to de- 
clare his innocence of the charge. 

The positions which Barrow held immediately after his 
arrest, during his trial, and after his acquittal certainly 
suggest that he was regarded with respect by his fellow 
citizens. Pending the trial after his arrest, the young clerk 
was hired as a compositor and reporter on the Laramie 
Daily Times. 6 Evidently Barrow's work before his trial 
showed that he had possibilities as a newsgetter ; for imme- 
diately after his acquittal, he was given a position as city 
editor of the Times under L. D. Pease, its managing editor, 
an advancement worthy of note for a relatively new man in 
the journalistic world. 

In 1886 Barrow wrote as if there were nothing about the 
affair which he wished to conceal or nothing of which he 
was ashamed. For the majority of people Barrow's expla- 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 


two and a half columns" by professional rivals jealous of 
the Budget, which Barrow called "the oldest, the largest, 
and the best," or by other individuals jealous of his political 

Perhaps only the urgency of unemployment brought 
Barrow back into the newspaper field. On the other hand, 
he might have been awaiting an opportunity to re-enter 
journalism. Whatever impelled him, his second venture 
into newspaper work resulted in a lifelong connection with 

When Barrow became an employee of the Times, he, of 
course, became acquainted with William E. Chaplin, then a 
compositor on that paper. 7 Here were two of Wyoming's 
early journalistic "greats" rubbing elbows in the back room 
of a Laramie daily. Soon these two were to join with 
another Wyoming "great," Bill Nye. From the Boomerang, 
which was shortly to be founded with Barrow, Chaplin, 
and Nye as members of the staff, these men would branch 
out and would contribute much to Wyoming's journalism 
and government while making their state known over the 

During the period that Barrow was with the Times, it was 
a Democratic paper. "The election of 1880 was not at all 
satisfactory to local Republicans and they decided to estab- 
lish a paper for the benefit of the party and to give an outlet 
to the humorous writings of Bill Nye." 8 A meeting was 
called at the courthouse in Laramie and a temporary organ- 
ization was perfected. "Judge Jacob B. Blair was one of 
the chief spokesmen for the new company, but it embraced 
many of the prominent Republicans of Albany County." 9 
One of Laramie's leading grocers, A. S. Peabody, was made 
president, and Edgar Wilson Nye, who wrote under the 
name of Bill Nye, was made managing editor. The first 
issue of the Laramie Boomerang came off the press on 
March 11, 1881, and among those assisting at its "accouche- 
ment" was Merris C. Barrow, who in the Budget for March 
23, 1887, gave a clever and interesting description of the 

A small room above a boot store, a Washington handpress. 
on which have just been placed the forms of what constitutes 
the first number of the Laramie Daily Boomerang. Bill Nye — 

7. Ibid. 

8. W. E. Chaplin, Wyoming Historical Society Miscellanies, 1919, 
p. 13. 

9. Chaplin, "Early Wyoming Newspapers," Laramie Republican, 
Daily Edition, April 24, 1918. 


then, a comparatively unknown man outside of Laramie — stands 
near, a smile of eager anticipation on his genial phiz and his 
'high forehead' shining like a mirror. Beside him Bob Head, the 
city editor. More Kingsford, Billy Kemmis and myself — 'Slug 
2,' 'slug 3' and 'slug 4' — bring up the rear, interested but not 
excited. Will Chaplin, the foreman with his hand on the tym- 
pan awaits the inking of the forms which is being done by Jim- 
mie Mulhern, the devil, under the immediate supervision of 
George Garrett, the job printer. The tympan falls with a bang, 
the bed slides beneath the platen, the devil's-tail plays with a 
double knock against the press-post, the bed returns to the end 
of the track, the tympan is raised, and Chaplin, with a smile, 
hands Nye the first paper. (1,42) 

All this took place in the second story of the Kidd building, 
a rickety frame structure on Laramie's Second Street. 

Two months after the initial issue of the Laramie Boom- 
erang, Bob Head went on a prolonged spree and was dis- 
charged for drunkenness. Later he had to "jump the town 
to escape prosecution on the charge of attempting to murder 
his wife." (I, 42, 1887). In the Wyoming Historical Soci- 
ety Miscellanies Chaplin described Head as a "newspaper 
man of rare ability," but he explained further that "John 
Barleycorn was just too much for him." 10 

After the removal of Head as city editor, M. C. Barrow 
was promoted from the composing room. "Barrow was 
talented beyond Head in imagery and was a more fluent 
writer." 11 When the Laramie Boomerang was just a year 
old, the paper plant was found to be inadequate and was 
moved to the second story of the Haines livery stable, which 
was at the southwest corner of Third and Garfield streets. 
Here the staff had plenty of space, but the odor was a bit 
oppressive. According to legend, it was here that the grey 
mule operated the elevator. 12 In ascending to this office, 
Bill Nye was supposed to have given the advice to "twist 
the gray mule's tail and take the elevator." 13 

In the winter of 1882-83, when Nye became ill and did not 
return to his duties with the paper, Barrow took on the ad- 
ditional responsibility of editorial writer. He continued in 
this capacity until 1884 when, for some reason which can- 
not today be determined, the management became dissatis- 
fied with Barrow's work and dispensed with his services. 14 

10. Chaplin, Wyoming Miscellanies, 1919, p. 13. 

11. Chaplin, "Early Wyoming Newspapers," Laramie Republican, 
Daily Edition, April 24, 1918. 

12. Ibid. 

13. Chaplin, Wyoming Miscellanies, 1919, p. 13. 

14. Chaplin, letter to author, January 1, 1947. 


The last issue of the Boomerang under his editorship, which 
appeared on March 19, 1884, included an editorial comment 
which might explain his dismissal: 

With this issue the writer retires from the position of chief 
mutilator of truth on this great moral ancl religious journal. 
Though not as old in the harness as some of our newspaper 
brethren, we have experience enough to warrant our remarking 
right here, that it is a thankless job — that of editing a paper. 
It is a "demnition grind," which wears out body and soul. We 
drop the faber mentally resolving rather than resume it again, 
to wield a long-handled pitchfork as shorthand writer in some 
second-class livery stable, or monkey with brake wheels at $65 
per month . . . 

To our enemies — for we have enemies — we say "see you 

A man who could advance so rapidly in the newspaper world 
was doubtless very individualistic in addition to being tal- 
ented, and probably Barrow was being entirely truthful 
when he referred to enemies. Perhaps he found it hard to 
fall into line with the ideas which his superiors expected 
him to express, or he may have trampled on the toes of 
some important people by making comments about them 
in his paper. One might even hazard a guess that Barrow 
was too big for his job, or at least that he thought himself 
to be and said too much. 

Rawlins, Wyoming, a little over one hundred miles west 
of Laramie, conveniently offered opportunity for a news- 
paper man in September of 1884, and Barrow went there to 
take the editorial and business management of the Wyo- 
ming Tribune, a Republican paper. He was the paper's 
first editor, and in this capacity, according to one of his 
successors, "whooped her up plenty, and made the Wyo- 
ming Tribime a treasure and necessity in scores of homes 
in and out of old Carbon county." (Wyoming Tribune ex- 
change, Bill Barlow's Budget I, 13, 1886) . Although Bar- 
row remained with this paper for only eighteen months, 
he is said to have reached 600 readers, whom he described 
as "good-natured and patient." (I, 13, 1886). 

Few examples of Barrow's writing on the Rawlins paper 
are now extant, but those that survive reveal the personal 
journalism for which Barrow later became widely known. 
Instead of heading his items of the Territory in a formal 
manner, he used the more clever headings, "Items of Inter- 
est to Wyomingites in Particular and Everyone in General," 
"Cattle Chat," "Short Bits," etc. In his use of these ex- 
pressions, Barrow was following the journalistic trend of 
nation was probably sufficient justification, but the incident 
was still material for long slanderous editorials, "puffs of 

15. Laramie Boomerang, III, 300, March 19, 1884. 


his day, but his paper also contained writing flavored with 
something new. 

Some of his expressions were crude and awkward, but 
they are interesting today as revelations of his experi- 
mental attempts at writing in the manner he eventually 
perfected. In the columns of the Wyoming Tribune for 
September 25, 1884, the only issue of this Rawlins paper 
available, frequently can be found such expressions as 
"Not bad, eh?" 16 In speaking of the promising future of 
Rawlins, Barrow said, "Stick a pin dar!" instead of saying 
the more conventional "Mark this on the map." 17 A ref- 
erence to one of his later articles in the Rawlins paper was 
made in the Democratic Leader, a Cheyenne paper, of May 
31, 1885. His colorful description of a frontier character 
of fiction, "Howling Coyote from Poison Creek alias Bob 
Brown the Inebriated Cowboy," was retold in Barrow's 
own words. In this account appeared such typical Barrow 
expressions as "spanked the bosom of his pants," "knocked 
into a cocked hat," etc. 

Of course, since the Wyoming Tribune was Republican 
and the state of Wyoming was predominantly Republican, 
it might be expected that Barrow's editorials would show 
indications of Republican sentiment. The material of the 
following quotation is irrelevant, but the style is revealing 
in view of the fact that it was an early and crude sample 
of a manner which later came to be the trademark of Bar- 
row's writing, a highly personalized and vivid style: 

The promised shell that was to be thrown into the Republican 
camp in the form of what was termed the 'mulligan letters,' 
turned out to be a small tissue paper torpedo that would not 
explode. 18 

In the columns of the Wyoming Tribune for September 
25, 1884, can be found numerous other examples of his 
ability as a free-writing and clever journalist and as a 
newsgetter. Barrow's paper contained exchanges from 
other Wyoming papers and notices which championed Raw- 
lins as well as the Territory of Wyoming. He had the fol- 
lowing to say of Yellowstone : 

There have been 1,725 visitors to our little park — the Yellow- 
stone — the past season. Wyoming is a modest, retiring maiden, 
but her charms are so many and varied that the boys all run 
after her.19 

Barrow was always ready to add to any news item praise 
for his adopted state. He was quick to notice any new op- 

16. Wyoming Tribune, September 25, 1884. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Ibid. 
J P. Ibid. 


portunity offered by the state and was just as quick to 
record and sometimes to commend in his news sheet any 
new development. 

In this same paper there appeared in "Short Bits" an 
article on a new Wyoming settlement which is interesting 
because of what it might have meant to Barrow. 

The Fort Fetterman military reservation lately opened for 
settlers is rapidly being taken up by homesteaders. 20 

Probably all of the papers of the state carried similar no- 
tices, and some of them went into greater detail in com- 
menting upon the growing population of the state. 

As early as December 17, 1872, the Secretary of War 
had reported to the United States Senate that the "whole 
of the Fetterman military reservation was no longer needed 
for military purposes" and could be reduced. 21 The opening 
of this new land would naturally bring settlers to the coun- 
try. By 1882 notices were appearing in the Cheyenne Daily 
Leader and in other papers of the Territory declaring that 
the government would soon give up the post proper. 22 On 
June 20, 1883, the following notice of the early settlement 
in the abandoned military post appeared in the Leader: 

. . . citizens disturbed lately by an order issued by the war 
department which directs them to quit the reservation. [The 
citizens were protesting because the buildings had been sold the 
fall before to their present owners.] These people expected to 
live in them so long as the reservation was not used by the 
Government. The people of the neighborhood are also discuss- 
ing the plan of taking up a town site on the public lands . . .23 

It is likely that Barrow, who read state papers for his 
exchange column, saw the article, and he might have be- 
gun then to think of Fetterman's possibilities. He kept 
in touch with what other newspapers of the state printed, 
and probably read many times of the movement to the 
Fetterman country. Possibly even as early as 1882, he 
saw this newly opened land in the light of the opportunity 
it might offer to him. 

Barrow, the newsgetter, was also a "go-getter" in close 
contact with all the activities of his Territory. He was no 
doubt following interestedly the movement of a railroad 
which was coming west, headed for central Wyoming. As 
early as January 20, 1869, the Fremont, Elkhorn and Mis- 
souri Valley Railroad Company was organized under the 
laws of the state of Nebraska to build a road from Fremont 
to the western border of the state. 24 Then in December of 

20. Ibid. 

21. Senate Document, No. 14, 3rd Sess., 42nd Cong., 1872-73. 

22. Cheyenne Daily Leader, May 12, 1882. 

23. Cheyenne Daily Leader, June 20, 1883. 

24. I. S. Bartlett, History of Wyoming (Chicago: S. J. Clarke 
Publishing Co., 1918), I, p. 347. 


1869, articles of incorporation for the Wyoming Central 
Railroad Company were approved in the neighboring terri- 
tory of Wyoming. Included in these was a declaration 
that a line would run to or near Fort Fetterman. The 
articles were filed on May 12, 1875, but nothing actually 
was done at that time toward constructing the road. 

Work on the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Rail- 
road had gone slowly, and it was not until January 20, 1885, 
that Congress granted the company the right to run 
through Fort Robinson, a military reservation in north- 
western Nebraska. 25 The fact that the proposed railroad 
to the state line of Nebraska was, then, becoming almost 
a reality revived enthusiasm and hopes for the Wyoming 
Central Railroad, and in October, 1885, another association 
was formed. 26 

The association which was formed in 1885 had been ap- 
proved during March of 1884 by an act of the Legislative 
Assembly of the Territory of Wyoming, but the members of 
the association did not bind themselves together legally 
until October nineteenth of the following year. 27 At this 
time the company was formed to survey, locate, build, con- 
struct, and operate a railroad from the eastern boundary of 
the Territory near the valley of the Running Water River 
westward along the valley of the North Platte River for one 
hundred and twenty-five miles. The capital stock of the 
company was listed as $2,000,000, and the company planned 
for their corporation to last fifty years from October 25, 

By March 16, 1886, the trustees of the company resolved 
to extend the railroad westerly along the valley of the 
North Platte and Sweetwater Rivers through the counties 
of Albany, Carbon, Sweetwater, Uintah and on to the 
eastern boundary of the Utah Territory. 28 During this 
year, however, both the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri 
Valley Railroad and the Wyoming Central Railroad passed 
into the hands of the Chicago and Northwestern Company. 29 

Such big railroad talk along with the reports of the rapid 
settlement of the Fort Fetterman military reservation, 
which had just recently been opened for homesteaders, 
probably excited Barrow's interest. Sometime in the spring 

25. Ibid., I, p. 347. 

26. Incorporations, Territory of Wyoming, II, October 19, 1885, 
pp. 460-62. 

27. Ibid. 

28. Incorporations, Territory of Wyoming, III, March 16, 1886, 
p. 94. 

29. Bartlett, I, p. 347. 


of 1886, he made his decision to move to the Fetterman 
region and throw in his lot with developments there. He 
had probably been awaiting an opportunity to get into 
business for himself anyway, as were many other settlers 
on the frontier. Besides, Barrow had taken by this time, 
according to the Cheyenne Democratic Leader of May, 
1885, the pen name of Bill Barlow and had made progress 
in the development of his own style of writing. 30 

He was beginning to make himself known. In July, 1885, 
for example, the Democratic Leader considered his passing 
through Cheyenne of enough importance to allow several 
lines of copy to be devoted to him. The item read : 

M. C. Barrow, editor of the Wyoming Tribune, published at 
Rawlins, returned from Denver yesterday and an effort was 
made to induce him to remain over last night, but he said that 
as there is to be a circus in Rawlins today, it would be love's 
labor lost to attempt to hold him back with anything less than 
two circuses here and a bonus. He went on, carrying with him 
a joyous heart and a large invoice of sympathy. 31 

About this time also Mrs. Barrow conveniently received 
an inheritance of sufficient size to help appreciably in pur- 
chasing a small newspaper plant. Barrow's first self-owned 
newspaper, Bill Barlow's Budget, was well on the way to 
being born. By June of 1886, it was making its cry heard 
and beginning to flourish in the new home which the Bar- 
rows had established in the Fort Fetterman settlement. 


Barrow may have gone to look over his anticipated home 
in the Fetterman country; but if he did not, he had enough 
of the pioneer spirit to take a chance on the possibilities 
it might offer. In his "Chit Chat" column for May 7, 1902, 
Barrow said that the "newspaporial caravan pulled out of 
Rawlins early in '86" and headed for the Fetterman country 
(XVI, 47). This may have been a reference to a direct trip 
to Fetterman or to a trip via Chicago, where the machinery 
for the plant was purchased, and Chadron, the point to 
which it was shipped. At any rate, it is presumed that the 
Barrows left Rawlins early in the year of 1886 and arrived 
in the Fetterman country in May of that same year. In 
Chicago their equipment was purchased from the well- 
known foundry of Mardeer and Luse (I, 1, 1886) and was 
shipped by rail to Chadron, which was as far as shipping 
on the railroad could go. The Barrows picked up or joined 

30. Democratic Leader, May 31, 1885. 

31. Democratic Leader, July 14, 1885. 



their equipment at Chadron, if they were not traveling with 
it, and set out for the Fetterman country, their land of 

With their equipment the Barrows made up a small 
caravan which, heading west from Chadron, Nebraska, 
followed a "trail blazed here and there with grader's camps" 
of the Elkhorn Railroad (XIV, 52, 1900). "The first of 
three vehicles comprising this caravan carried a printer, his 
wife and a tow-headed kid and a driver, the others the type 
and machinery of a nine hundred-dollar newspaper com- 
plete in every detail even unto a chattel mortgage repre- 
senting full two-thirds of the entire layout." (XIV, 52, 
1900). Elsewhere Barrow wrote, "Along in the shank of 
May, the year of our Lord 1886, a somewhat abbreviated 
newspaper 'plant,' wrapped in a rough-on-rate chattel mort- 
gage blanket, was unloaded from a lightning express mule 
train at Fetterman, and on June ninth, following, Bill Bar- 
low's Budget was born." (V, 52, 1891) 

Upon their arrival, the Barrows set up their case racks 
and presses in a little shack which was later used as a 
chicken coop. The quarters were inadequate, the atmos- 
phere probably unpleasant and a little discouraging, but 
the first issue was a success, and the outlook seemed hope- 
ful for Bill Barlow's Budget and its owners. 

The issue of this paper which was distributed to the 
people of the Fetterman country on June 9, 1886, was what 
it was because of teamwork. Barrow probably did all of 
the writing, but Mrs. Barrow, or "Mrs. Bill" as she came 
to be known to the readers of the Budget, was a thoroughly 
practical newspaper worker. She was a good type-setter 
and probably did much of the back-room work from the 

Frank Barrow, Mrs. Merris C. Barrow, M. C. Barrow, Sam Slaymaker, 
and one of Mr. and Mrs. Barrow's daughters are standing in front of 
the Budget office. 


beginning. For that first issue she may have set all or a 
good bit of the type and may even have helped turn the 
cylinder press. 

Barrow, otherwise "Bill Barlow" or "Editor Bill," and 
his "better half," another of the titles given Mrs. Barrow 
by her husband, did have up-to-date, new, and workable 
equipment. It was only natural that they should have been 
proud of it and have praised its worth to their future cus- 
tomers. They realized from the first that it was the job- 
printing which would add to their income that extra amount 
that would make even small luxuries possible. They had to 
sell themselves and their equipment from the start. That 
first issue contained descriptions that made the contents of 
their wretched shack or office gleam like jewels in a junk 
heap. Besides the equipment already mentioned, they 
boasted a fine job press "of an improved pattern" and 
a "select assortment of job type embracing all the latest 
faces and styles in plain and ornamental job letters." 
(I, 1, 1886). "Editor Bill" went to great ends to show that 
the paper was not a "Catch-penny institution representing 
ninety percent gall and one of office material" (I, 1, 1886). 
and he did not spare space in describing it. 

By the third week of publication, subscriptions were pour- 
ing in. The editor even said that the subscription book was 
being enlarged — said it in a breezy fashion that was to be- 
come typical of the Budget. "We have already added a 
dining room and a summer kitchen to the main structure," 
he wrote in the third number of his paper, "and the archi- 
tects are now drawing the plans for an 'L' to be built on 
the east front embracing a bay window and a big piazza." 
(I, 3, 1886). He continued, "We can't promise everybody 
a front room, but we propose to accommodate all comers 
in some shape at $3.00 a year, invariably in advance." 
(I, 3, 1886). This weekly paper also included in its price 
list an offer of three months for $1.00, six months for $1.50 
and three hundred years for $300.00. The latter, typical 
of Barrow's tone of exaggeration, may have been his bet 
that this enterprise would succeed. 

The Fetterman country, which Barrow had chosen for 
his new home, had already figured prominently for two 
or more decades in territorial history. A military post was 
established in the region on July 19, 1867. 1 According to 
a report submitted to the United States government in 
1874, the fort was located on a plateau or high bluff on the 
south bank of the North Platte River at the mouth of the 

1. I. S. Bartlett, History of Wyoming, I, p. 515. 


La Prele Creek about six hundred feet from and one hun- 
dred thirty feet above the stream. 2 This report described 
the location of the fort thus: "The Plateau rises from the 
river bottom by steep, almost precipitous bluffs, and then, 
rising gradually merges into the Black Hills, fourteen miles 
distant." 3 On this bluff overlooking the river, the army laid 
out a well-built, commodious and convenient military post. 
Accessible to the fort were a limestone bed on the road to 
Fort Laramie, a bed of soft, jet black coal near the 
fort, and a bed of sandstone of a gray color used ex- 
tensively for building the quarters of the military post. 4 
Although high winds were prevalent in the country, with 
much snow in the winter and frequent hail storms, there 
was an abundance of game, and in the fertile soil could be 
grown early vegetables such as peas, onions, radishes, and 
lettuce. 5 The early fort had sixteen buildings made of 
adobe, log and plank, some of these being really blocks of 
buildings. At this time there were also stables inside the 
high plank fence surrounding the buildings and a hospital, 
storehouse, and other buildings outside. 

Barrow included in the columns of the Budget many 
colorful descriptions of the Fetterman to which he came 
in 1886 after it had been abandoned by military authorities. 
But with his special imaginative ability he could also picture 
Fetterman as it appeared during its military days and as it 
might appear in the future as a great city, the focal point 
and crossroads of eastern Wyoming. Such a description 
appeared in the very first issue of the Budget : 

Fort Fetterman assumed definite shape as a military reser- 
vation in 1867, and for years past the phrase "Fetterman coun- 
try" has been a synonym for all that section lying within a 
hundred miles of this point, in either direction. The town is 
situated on a high bluff overlooking the Platte river, on a mesa 
extending back a mile or more — a lovely spot, embracing all 
the qualifications necessary to the natural location of a great 

. . . The topography of the country, together with the fact 
that \a fine bridge spans the Platte at this point, makes Fort 
Fetterman the natural gateway between the extreme southern 
and northern sections of Wyoming. (I, 1, 1886) 

In 1889 a more vivid description of the fort proper ap- 
peared in the columns of the Budget: 

From the first temporary buildings of logs and "doby" it 
grew into a large post comprising some half-hundred substan- 

2. "Report of Asst. Surgeons C. Macklin and F. LeBaron, U.S. 
Army, Fort Fetterman, Wyoming," General Surgeon's Report on 
Army Posts, Circular No. 4, 1874. Fort Fetterman File, Hebard 
Collection, University of Wyoming Archives. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Ibid. 


tial buildings surrounding a parade ground in the center of 
which stood a fountain. Situated on a high plateau overlooking 
the Platte, with its system of waterworks, well-kept streets and 
walks and grassy lawns and parade, it was a beautiful spot, 
like unto an oasis in the desert, almost. (Ill, 42, 1889) 

A small garrison had been kept at Fort Fetterman until 
1878 when the fort was abandoned by order of the Secre- 
tary of War since no necessity for a military post in the 
locality existed. 6 Most of the fort buildings remained when 
the Barrows arrived in 1886, but by that time they belonged 
to private individuals. Barrow related in his columns that 
the buildings were sold in 1882 to civilians and that Fetter- 
man continued to be quite a lively little town. This was 
especially true in the summer when it became headquarters 
for cowpunchers after the round-ups. 

As soon as the government placed protective forces in 
the central part of eastern Wyoming, the pioneer began to 
appear. Most of them, would-be ranchers, homesteaded, 
but many bought land and built in the Platte valley. Some 
homesteaders registered only for the usual 160 acres; 
others got more than one claim by filing a timber, stone, and 
desert claim besides the regular one. Some of these lands 
were declared honestly, but many stone claims were filed, 
for example, when the land was really good. 

Many little ranchers nocked to the area hoping to prosper 
and later to set up substantial homes for their families, but 
there were big outfits too. Among these were the Searight 
Brothers, who drove in 14,000 head of cattle from Texas 
to Casper Creek in 1877. They comprised the group that 
built the famous old stone ranch house near the Platte 
River which is remembered as the Goose Egg Ranch. 7 
Another big outfit was established by Joseph M. Carey and 
his brother Davis, who bought a tract of land and started 
the "CY" ranch which was to become famous for its size. 8 

Barrow explained in his paper, however, that "Wyo- 
ming's choicest land" was not open for settlement since the 
reservation embracing sixty square miles had not been re- 
leased (I, 1, 1886). This land was not made available until 
the 52nd Congress met in 1891-92. The Committee on 
Public Lands submitted at the first session of this Congress 
a bill proposing to throw open to settlement under the 

6. Bartlett, History of Wyoming, I, p. 321. 

7. The Goose Egg Ranch was the setting for one of Owen Wister's 
practical joke stories appearing in The Virginian. It was here that 
the two cowboys were said to have changed the clothes of two babies 
while their parents danced, the prank not being discovered until the 
parents reached home some distance away. 

8. R. B. David, Malcolm Campbell, Sheriff (Casper, Wyoming: 
Wyomingana, Inc., 1932), p. 70. 


Homestead Law the Fort Fetterman hay reservation con- 
sisting of 2,620 acres of land. 9 

Since this land had not been released in 1886, the town 
of Fetterman was subject to removal and "total oblitera- 
tion at the will of Uncle Sam." (I, 1, 1886). Quite natur- 
ally settlers wanted clear titles to the land on which they 
planned to build "the future metropolis of Wyoming." 
(I, 1, 1886). Thus it became necessary for the townsite 
company to look elsewhere for a location. 

It was the railroad which brought people to east central 
Wyoming in considerable numbers, and it was the railroad 
that kept them from making a permanent settlement at 
first. Without a safe, sure, speedy and cheap means of 
communication and transportation to the world outside, the 
rich and varied resources offered by the Fetterman country 
would never have been developed. It took the prospect of a 
railroad to make humanity in numbers recognize the possi- 
bilities of the area. It was natural for the early arrivals to 
head for the place where there already was a community. 
Fetterman would, therefore, have been the town about 
which life and activity developed had the railroad not been 
compelled because of the military reservation to locate the 
town in another place. 

It was customary for a railroad to have a townsite com- 
pany, which it backed and controlled, to act in selling land 
for future towns and cities along its line. Such companies 
may have kept private land-scalping down, but they did not 
keep the price of property down. The Pioneer Townsite 
Company was organized in this instance by the Wyoming 
Central Railroad to handle the selling of land for the new 
town in the Fetterman country. The actual townsite in east 
central Wyoming, as in most cases, was kept a secret; but 
people soon began to settle in the valley along the probable 
line of the railroad and in the vicinity of Fort Fetterman. 

When there was nothing but "rabbits and rattlesnakes" 
on the present site of Douglas, early comers were opening 
their businesses in tents at the mouth of Antelope Creek, 
north of the Douglas of today. C. H. King was the first to 
pitch his tent there and offer the merchandise of a general 
store to the people of the surrounding country. It required 
faith in the future for an individual to set up in the sage- 
brush country a tent, in which could be bought articles of 
necessity and convenience that might be found in a real 
city store. King was not alone for long. Beside his tent 
was erected another owned by a surveyor named Wattles, 

9. Senate Reports (II, No. 439), 1st Session, 52nd Congress, 


and soon a saloon was opened by two enterprising cow- 
punchers named Blaisdell and Mosley. This settlement, 
termed the temporary town, was soon a thriving com- 

The initial issues of Bill Barlow's. Budget give to the 
present-day reader a graphic picture of the development 
and expansion of this town. According to the second issue 
the temporary town had only two streets, King and Adams, 
and about 300 people (I, 2, 1886). In the next issue Editor 
Barrow declared that a new house was being built every 
twenty minutes. New arrivals were pouring in every day, 
and tents and frame buildings were "springing up as if by 
magic." (I, 3, 1886). Five weeks later, a visitor from 
Laramie wrote back to Douglas a letter which the Budget 
published. He said that the town had doubled its popula- 
tion in the fifteen days between two of his visits, being 
1,000 at the time of his last one. Of this growth he said, 
"The population is peculiarly western and full of life, energy 
and grit. What is lacking will be made up by push and 
vigor." (I, 7, 1886) . It is also interesting to note what this 
visitor had to say of Barrow. "He [Barrow] and his paper 
take immensely, and he like death 'is no respector of per- 
sons' and will make himself beloved, feared, and felt." 
(I. 7, 1886). 

Meanwhile, most of the arrivals traveled on to Fetterman. 
As the center of this ranch area and anticipated railroad 
community, Fetterman during the spring and early summer 
of 1886 was truly a boom town. At that time this thriving 
community had three general stores, two hotels, three at- 
torneys, a meat market, a gentleman's furnishing store, a 
barber shop, a drug and jewelry store, a bank, a restaurant, 
and several saloons. 10 Although Barrow called his paper 
the oldest one published in Converse county, a point sub- 
stantiated by the Democratic Leader of Cheyenne since it 
declared the Budget the first paper actually published 
there, 11 another paper had been distributed in Fetterman 
at an earlier date. On May 26, 1886, Colonel E. H. Kimball 
had started a newspaper called the Rowdy West. 12 

The town of Fetterman also boasted a doctor, Dr. Amos 
W. Barber. He was a graduate of the University of Penn- 
sylvania and had been recommended by the Professor of 
Operative Surgery of that University. 13 He came to be 

10. Coutant Notes, Fort Fetterman File, Hebard Collection, Uni- 
versity of Wyoming Archives. 

11. Democratic Leader, June 16, 1886. 

12. Coutant Notes, Fort Fetterman File. 

13. David, Malcolm Campbell, p. 81. 


head of the Fetterman Hospital Association, a cooperative 
subscription enterprise organized by cowboys on April 25, 
1885. 14 He also developed an extensive and strenuous prac- 
tice in the region around Fetterman, made many friends, 
and in later years became governor of the state of 

Late in June of 1886 the converted army post had close 
to one thousand inhabitants. During this month, however, 
according to an account in the Budget, the future Douglas 
was surveyed and given a name. From this time the num- 
ber of people to arrive in Fetterman began to fall off, and 
the number of settlers in the temporary town on Antelope 
Creek began to increase. 

It was in the month of June, 1886, that the magnates of 
the railroad gave the new Fetterman the name of Douglas. 
It seems that the settlers themselves wanted the new town, 
"the future great," called Fetterman, but the United States 
Post Office Department would not permit the use of that 
name because the post office of Fort Fetterman was still 
in existence, and two offices with such similar names would 
cause confusion (I, 2, 1886). According to the Democratic 
Leader, June 16, 1886, the Northwestern managers in Chi- 
cago honored the greatest man their city ever produced, 
Stephen A. Douglas, by naming the new town Douglas. The 
Leader's article explained that surveyors were laying out 
twenty-four blocks at that time, but that their work had to 
be sent to Chicago where the streets would be named and 
then to Laramie City to be recorded. The Cheyenne news- 
paper explained further that two or three weeks would still 
elapse before actual builders could get lots at fixed prices. 15 

During June not only was the town named and its blocks 
surveyed, but the engineer located the depot in the center 
of the company's tract. A large area between the depot and 
the river was reserved for shops, switches and stockyards, 
and the land between the depot and hills was set apart for 
the business and residential parts of the town (I, 3, 1886). 
Lots were sold in July to prospective Douglas residents; 
however, the railroad would still not permit even a tent 
stake to be stuck in the land. Since such action was to be 
prohibited until the actual arrival of the railroad, Douglas 
grew as a temporary town. 

As many as one hundred people arrived in the temporary 
tent village during the course of one day (I, 4, 1886) . Hous- 
ing and food must have been scarce, making prices exorbi- 

14. "Circular, Fetterman Hospital Association, April 16, 1886," 
Coutant Notes, Fort Fetterman File. 

15. Democratic Leader, June 16, 1886. 


tantly high. The rapidity of the town's growth is recorded 
in an account of the observance of Douglas's first fourth of 
July in Bill Barlow's Budget, July 7, 1886. Here, according 
to the Budget story, "in a spacious booth of pine boughs, 
appropriately draped with the stars and stripes, assembled 
several hundred ladies and gentlemen to listen to appro- 
priate songs and speeches and to assist in a proper obser- 
vance of that day so dear to the American heart." 
(I, 5, 1886). Where only a few months before the prairie 
dog and rabbit "had ruled the roost" and where five weeks 
before only one house and two tents had stood, was on 
July 4th a town of no less than six hundred people who rep- 
resented almost every kind of business (I, 5, 1886). 

Within another week the population had increased at 
least another hundred. By this time there were three hard- 
ware stores, three lumber yards, two livery barns, three 
markets, three general merchandise dealers, three grocery 
stores, two barber shops, three bakeries, four hotels, eight 
restaurants, two banks, three drug stores, three land of- 
fices, two jewelry stores, three newsstands, three feed 
stores, two gentlemen's furnishing goods houses, two steam 
laundries, six lawyers, three doctors, two brick yards, six 
contractors and builders, three surveyors, one furniture 
store, one tin shop, two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, 
twenty-three saloons, two dance halls and one church 
(I, 6, 1886) — all in a temporary tent town. 

When the graders arrived, practically everyone living on 
King Street had to move so that the big fill could be made 
(I, 6, 1886). Part of these people located on Poverty Flat 
and the rest went to a place called Nicholsville on Piety 
Hill (I, 6, 1886). Nicholsville was being built on land be- 
longing to F. S. Lusk, whose generosity some of the set- 
tlers questioned. They were permitted by him to rent lots 
there, but these lots rented at the high rate of ten dollars 
a month (I, 6, 1886). This part of the temporary town 
which was located on Piety Hill is often referred to as 
North Douglas, and it seems that most of the new arrivals 
located there. 

In July when so many people were settling in the tem- 
porary town, the Barrows continued to maintain their news- 
paper plant at Fetterman. Barrow, the good newsgetter, 
had reporters cover areas of the boom country to which he 
was not able to go. In the temporary towns comprising 
Douglas he had W. C. Cannon, a newsdealer, to represent 
him (I, 6, 1886). This man took over many of the respon- 
sibilities which would have been hard for the Barrows to 
handle from their location several miles away. He received 
and transmitted news and business locals, standing adver- 


tisements, and job work. Barrow emphasized in his Budget 
that all work left with Mr. Cannon would receive prompt 
attention (I, 6, 1886). 

At first Bill Barlow's. Budget was an eight-page paper, 
but Barrow was making plans for its enlargement as early 
as July of its first year. In number eight of volume one, he 
apologized for the paper's not being the ten pages he had 
promised his readers in the issue of the previous week (I, 8, 
1886). A large order of new type and material that should 
have reached him failed to arrive. Barrow declared that 
neither he nor the Most High could say when the needed 
equipment would reach its destination (I, 8, 1886). Living 
two days journey from a railroad, an editor at the mercy of 
transportation companies could of course say nothing more 
definite, but it was said in Barrow's individual style. These 
early plans of the editor of the Budget are significant, how- 
ever, for they reveal his optimism about the future of his 
paper and of the embryonic town. 

On August 4, 1886, when the Budget was just in its third 
month, the newspaper plant was moved to Douglas (I, 9). 
Since this move took place before the arrival of the railroad, 
this second home of Bill Barlow's Budget was in the tem- 
porary town of North Douglas. Here, the Barrows chose 
to remain until after the most of the cattle shipments were 
over or until a substantial building could be erected on the 
permanent site (I, 10, 1886). On August 8, 1900, Barrow 
recorded his recollections of this building in North Douglas 
and included a picture of the building itself. 

Reminiscing, Barrow wrote: 

Elsewhere in this issue appears a half-tone of the home of the 
Budget in August, 1886. Old-timers will remember the native 
lumber 'shack' which stood on the hill over beyant the tempor- 
ary town, for which we paid $35 a month rent and through 
which the sand sifted and the rain played h— avoc with type, 
machinery and job stock. The building is not reproduced here 
as a hunch to ambitious architects. I merely ran across an old 
photograph the other day, and fearing that it might be either 
destroyed or lost, had it immortalized in metal, with this result. 
A hundred years from now, when Douglas shall have become 
a rival of Chicago and Mrs. Bill and I are getting out a thirty- 
two page daily with Sunday trimmin's from a 'steen-story 
brown stone block, it will serve to illustrate from what small 
acorns big trees sometimes grow. (XV, 10) 

It was a considerable job to move a newspaper plant in 
those days, and Barrow was rightly proud of the fact 
that the equipment had been moved without delaying the 
paper's publication date. Proof of his pride can be found 
in the first issue after the move when Barrow indulged in 
a soulful chuckle of self-gratification because the paper 
came out on time (I, 10, 1886). 


The flood of new arrivals in the Fetterman-Douglas area 
continued unchecked till winter set in. Each day many 
wagons and stages came to Douglas on the Rock River trail 
from the town of Rock River 150 miles to the south on the 
line of the Union Pacific Railroad. 

People in those days lived from hand to mouth, but there 
was a happy-go-lucky atmosphere over the whole popula- 
tion in and around Douglas. The railroad would arrive 
soon and everyone would move to Douglas proper. City 
life would begin and prosperity would reign. Bankers, 
stable managers, grocers, barbers, druggists, lawyers, and 
saloon keepers, not to mention newsmen, were among those 
who waited with great anticipation the actual settling of 
the town. 


By September 15, 1886, the Budget recorded that the 
temporary town had been abandoned and that only two or 
three buildings were left. An unbroken surface of sage- 
brush just a little over a week before, Douglas proper had 
become a thriving town. In September the Budget also 
moved to its new base in Douglas proper. The quarters 
which the Barrows completed for occupancy were on Third 
Street. They felt great satisfaction in having enough space 
in which to work and to know that they would no longer 
have to don rubber overcoats whenever it should rain 
(I, 17, 1886). 

Barrow was able to portray vividly in his weekly news 
sheet the building confusion, the bustle, stir, and activity 
on every side. Homes and business houses, good, sub- 
stantial frame buildings with ornamental fronts, were in all 
stages of construction. Most of the fifty-eight buildings 
taking shape during that first week in September were 
business houses, and still there were many business men 
who had not begun to build (I, 14, 1886). A few remained 
in the temporary town on the Antelope at first, but within 
a few days most of the stragglers had followed the others 
to Douglas, and only a very few tents and houses remained 
in the bottom or on the hill. Most of the people who had 
owned these temporary structures located them again in 
Douglas on the rear end of their lots. From these tempor- 
ary quarters, many merchants carried on operations until 
their permanent buildings could be constructed. Some 
people moved into their new places of business before they 
were completed. The Maverick Bank was one of the first 
permanent buildings to be erected, but it was not finished 
until early in December. Other less elaborate buildings 


sprang up rapidly. Everyone was hurrying to finish his 
building, settle down, and make good in a prosperous boom 

Actually, if the busy new settlers had time to take stock 
of their new location, they must have found satisfaction in 
the beauty of the setting. Located on a wide river bottom 
which included over five thousand acres of land, the town 
of Douglas really had a magnificent site. There was just 
enough sand and gravel in the soil to make it pack, and 
pavements and sidewalks were at first unnecessary (I, 11, 
1886). From Douglas Laramie Peak could be seen to the 
south at a distance of about thirty miles, a peak whose 
summit seemed to pierce the clouds (I, 11, 1886). North 
and south of Douglas flowed the Platte, which assured an 
abundance of water for all purposes. To the west, the 
Laramie Range stretched into the distance as far as the 
eye could reach. Barrow described the view west from 
Douglas as resembling "the ruins of some ancient city." 
(I, 11, 1886). Here on the summit of a low range of hills, 
he observed, were massive ledges of white rocks that the 
hands of time had converted into miniature domes, walls 
and battlements. In reality these were only the foothills of 
the rugged mountain range beyond, but in those days when 
everything about the "future great" was glowing and beau- 
tiful, a description such as the one above was not unusual. 

Some years later, Barrow recorded a few of the other 
glories of the country. He had many reasons for liking 
this western region, especially Douglas; and these reasons 
were probably shared by all his Douglas associates. On 
January 30, 1901, he wrote : 

That the breezy uplands and the cool mountain valleys of Wyo- 
ming afford an ideal summer resort has been an established 
fact ever since Tige-With-a-Knot-in-His-Tail and his lovely 
spouse Hole-in-Her-Sock-Sue first drifted in from Nebraska and 
set up housekeeping in a buffalo-hide tepee, on the banks of the 
classic Stinking Water. Three hundred and sixty days of God's 
sunshine; a temperature alike pleasant and healthful and devoid 
of extremes; balmy breezes laden with the scent of the pines 
and the life-giving ozone of the sage-brush and the prairie; 
perfect days and more perfect nights if that were possible, when 
the stars are as opals in a setting of turquoise and Pale Luna 
gilds and brings to your feet the mountain peak thirty miles 
away and you slumber and snore under two comforts and a 
quilt — what more could fault-finding humanity need or desire? 
No hot, sweltering, tissue-dissolving and profanity-perspiring 
days and nights; no cyclone cellars; no weeping skies, no mos- 
quitoes ! And our winters have never been as severe as those of 
the down-east variety, except that an occasional blizzard would 
sweep down from the north and just simply cork everything and 
everybody up for a day or a week. This drawback, thanks to 
the weather clerk up above, has at last been removed. There 
were but three days during the winter of 1889-90 when the 


mercury dropped below zero, and very little snow fell during 
the entire season, and three days of zero weather is the sum of 
frigidity for the present winter thus far. Doors are open, and 
the shirt sleeve goeth about the streets as in July. At this 
writing I am offering a bounty of one dollar for the scalp and 
left hind paw of a house-fly which persists in sipping the nectar 
from my ruby lips and property owners generally are getting 
their lawn mowers sharpened preparatory* to harvesting the 
blue grass which is springing up on even,* hand. Who knows 
but what someday we will wear in truth the some-what misfit 
title to which we of the Platte vallev have long laid claim — the 
banana belt. (XV, 33. 1901 1 

Not only was the town growing during the fall of 1886 
and the spring of 1887, but Bill Barlow's Budget was also 
improving its plant. Late in the spring, the Barrows re- 
ceived about one thousand pounds of new type and machin- 
ery. Included in the machinery was a new paper cutter, 
which came directly from the manufacturers, and. accord- 
ing to the editor, was "two sizes larger than anything in its 
line in Central Wyoming." (I, 46. 1887). The paper itself 
was even expanding, for the forty-sixth number of Volume 
I comprised twelve pages. Barrow reported that this made 
it "just twice as large as any paper ever printed in Douglas 
by either of his contemporaries." He wrote picturesquely 
of the paper's growth in the final issue of Volume I in 
June of 1887 : 

Birthdays, the world over, are occasions of joyousness. In 
the young it is a mile-stone along the upward and advancing 
grade, each of which passed brings youth nearer to the land 
where the ambitious problems are to be solved in exciting, 
healthful and inspiring contests, with the laurel awaiting the 
victor. In the aged it is one more mark drawing them nearer 
to the great goal of life. and. if the young growing up about 
them are fulfilling the hopes of the parent it is a day filled 
with serene satisfaction that gives lustre and brightness to 
thoughts of approaching decay. In a newspaper laboring faith- 
fully for the people a birthday, closing a volume, is always a 
source of gratification. Its files, a record of the year, are care- 
fully stowed away, and the new copy is placed upon the hook 
with a feeling of cheerfulness. A new volume is to be opened, 
a new history to be written. Xew history, we say. but how like 
its predecessors — the cradle of yesterday is the tomb of today. 
The bride of the last volume is the dejected, heartbroken out 
cast of the coming one. The hot. stifling, bickering warfare of 
the days past will be repeated: men will rise head and shoulders 
above their fellows, dazzle the world with their genius and 
power, and will sink in disgrace and darkness, to be supplanted 
by others. Yet the close of a volume marks strength and prog- 
ress, and we herald the new volume with delight. Today marks 
a period of the Budget's life: with this issue closes its first 
year. Hence this smile, and these lines. (I, 52) 

During 1887 and 1888 the Budget continued to grow. In 
September. 1887, an enlargement of the building was taking 
place. "The carpenters have undisputed possession of these 
premises just now," said Barrow, "and the mechanical 


force have taken a rear pew and sing low." (II, 14, 1887). 
Later he commented as follows on the building project: 

The sound of the hammer and trowel is that sort of music to 
which distance lends enchantment, but which loses its charms 
when brought within ten or fifteen inches of the ear. Mr. and 
Mrs. Bill are fixing up for winter — are doubling their office 
room, and building a residence. When the improvements now 
in progress are completed, the Budget will brace up and wear 
tailor-made togs — and lots of 'em — once more. (II, 16, 1887) 

During the first two years, Bill Barlow's Budget also grew 
in quality of content. It was always printed on full-size 
news sheet, although many early papers like the Rowdy 
West 1 were only half that size, the sheets being folded in 
quarto fashion. Barrow headed his paper with Bill Bar- 
low's Budget in bold type script, and at first the sub-heading 
only included the volume and number. By the end of the 
first year, however, he began to use a little more ingenuity 
and included some catchy remarks about the paper in the 
heading. At the left of a March, 1887, issue, he printed, 
"The Pioneer Newspaper of the Fetterman Country." In 
the center of the page Barrow declared that the Budget 
was "Independent in All Things." His comment at the 
right of the sheet gave a sort of complimentary slap on the 
back, "Largest Circulation in Douglas and Central Wyo- 
ming." By July of the second year, Barrow became even 
more firm in the policies which he chose for his paper. He 
changed the center caption to read: "Fair, Faithful, and 
Fearless." From the first issue the columns had clever 
leads and were just as cleverly written. Pages 2, 4, 5, and 
7 contained "patent innards," as Barrow called syndicated 
material (II, 35, 1888), but the columns of the other four 
pages were filled with news about Douglas and its activities. 

All was not sunshine and prosperity during that first year 
in Douglas, however, for disease and weather in many cases 
clouded the optimism and comfort of its people. As early 
as the summer of 1886 and on into the fall a disease known 
among the settlers as mountain fever was proving fatal 
in both Antelope and Douglas. 2 Although Dr. Barber and 
others were kept busy day and night, not many knew the 
proper treatment. The editor of the Budget was not ex- 
empt from disease, for he wrestled for several weeks with 
what may have been mountain fever, although he was prob- 
ably right in calling it typhoid. New settlements were 

1. Two issues of the Rowdy West [Douglas, Wyoming], those for 
June 23, 1886, and for August 8, 1886, are located in the Wyoming 
State Historical Department, Cheyenne. The issues for October 24, 
1886, and July 24, 1887, are located in the Archives Department at 
the University of Wyoming in the A. R. Kimball Collection. 

2. David, Malcolm Campbell, p. 122. 


almost always crowded and unsanitary, with the occupants 
giving little thought to health protective measures, and 
cases of typhoid fever doubtless occurred frequently. 

Although with "Mrs. Bill" assisting, the Budget appeared 
as usual, Daniel Prescott who helped with the editorial work 
said that the paper didn't run so well with the editor-in- 
chief in bed (I, 23, 1886). After being down for four weeks 
Barrow could still give a humorous account of his encounter 
with the "stranger," the term which he gave to the dread 
disease. The issue for November 24 contained the follow- 
ing record of his illness: 

Bill Barlow greets the readers of the Budget again, after a 
month's wrestle with typhoid fever. Ever experience it? 
Awful! Takes you by the collar and fires you into a furnace; 
the fever gets higher and higher until you long for a swim in a 
lake of ice cream and pray for a bath in a blithesome blizzard; 
finally you lose consciousness altogether and when you awake 
a day or two later you learn that the fever has 'broke.' Weak — 
oh so weak! Thin as a Missouri razorback and too tired to 
turn over in bed. Then they 'diet' you — gruel, beef tea and 
such like, finally leading up to what other people eat. Two 
weeks spent in your room acquiring strength, and you venture 
out with a cane and an overcoat. To Mr. Daniel Prescott, who 
has filled the editorial chair the past three weeks, I return 
special thanks; to Dr. Wilson who 'broke' the fever, to Brother 
Crow, who assisted in various ways, and to the many friends 
whose acts of kindness aided the well and encouraged the sick, 
I feel grateful. Bill Barlow never forgets a friend — that's his 
religion. (I, 25, 1886) 

The widespread prevalence of disease, whether mountain 
fever or typhoid, was only the beginning of trouble. The 
winter of 1886-87 has become famous in western history 
because its severity brought ruin to the cattle industry and 
the open range. Barrow's paper furnishes an intimate, 
firsthand account of what this destructive period meant to 
one locality. Winter came early in the month of September, 
and by the end of November there was a genuine blizzard. 
"The wind blew a gale, and the air was so filled with flying 
snow as to at times conceal from view buildings on the 
opposite side of the street." (I, 24, 1886) . Even that early 
in the season the Wyoming Central railroad was blockaded 
with snow, and no mail came or was sent out for over a 
week. One morning the railroad made an attempt to send 
a train eastward preceded by a snowplow, but the snowplow 
jumped the track near Shawnee siding, and the train had 
to return to Douglas (I, 24, 1886). The snow blockade even 
affected the town's first Thanksgiving celebration. There 
was not a turkey, chicken, fresh oyster, or bunch of celery 
in the city. "Twas a queer Thanksgiving dinner," wrote 
the Budget's editor. 


The poor cattle had pretty short rations, too, and by 
November were in a pitiable condition; for not only was 
the grass covered, but the streams were so full of snow 
that they really were of no value to the stock. With the 
December blizzards, many of the weak cattle froze, even 
those that had found sheltered places in which to huddle 
together. 3 Finally in January there was a thaw which 
lasted for only a few days and rendered the whole range 
slippery and treacherous. This was followed by another 
severe cold spell. 4 Everything froze again, and grass was 
put completely out of the cattle's diet. The cattle cut their 
feet on the ice, and dead steers were piled in every gully. It 
is said that cattle and even the usually wild antelope roamed 
the streets of Douglas seeking shelter and so weak that, if 
they were pushed a little, they fell over from exhaustion 
and starvation. 5 

In the spring Douglas was again cut off from the outside 
world. One morning the citizens awakened to find four 
inches of snow; and with the two inches that had come a 
few days before and a high wind, the railroad cuts were 
filled, and again no trains could run (I, 5, 1887) . The people 
of Douglas, many living in tents and very temporary build- 
ings, must really have suffered. The only brick buildings 
in town were the Maverick Bank and King's Golden Rule 
Store, while dotted all over the town were poorly built 
shacks with earthen floors. The severity of the cold can 
be imagined from Harry Pollard's story of Mrs. Olivereau, 
the wife of the owner of the La Fayette Restaurant. While 
standing at the kitchen stove one day preparing a meal, 
she froze her feet. It is not pleasant to speculate upon 
how cold it must have been a short distance away from that 
stove! a, j? 

The activities of Douglas during that first winter were, 
of course, conditioned by the weather, but some semblance 
of normality was maintained. The school board, of which 
Barrow was a member, had managed to start school in 
September in the Tabernacle on Third Street, financed by 
contributions from those of all religions (I, 17, 1886). 
Though the Tabernacle was merely a tent, it had wooden 
floors and wooden sides which extended up a little way. 6 The 
teacher was Cora Rice, contractor Rice's twenty-year old 
daughter. The school, though poor, was over-crowded, for 
the Olivereau's daughters, who came in October, were not 

3. David, Malcolm Campbell, p. 122. 

4. Ibid., p. 122. 

5. Harry Pollard, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

6. A. Rice, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 


admitted. 7 After a few months the deplorable condition 
existing in a tent building was too much for the young 
teacher, and she became ill and died. Msanwhile announce- 
ment had been made of a new school which was to be 
erected on Capitol Hill, but it was not ready for occupancy 
until December (I, 18, 1886). 

Through all the distressing cold weather, social life con- 
tinued to cheer the citizens of the town. One of these 
affairs was a rare treat for the pleasure-loving people of 
Douglas. This was a ball at the Valley House on Christmas 
Eve. Barrow reported that one hundred and fifty or more 
ladies and gentlemen attended the fine supper and dance 
(I, 28, 30, 1886). The evening festivities began and ended 
with dancing, but a sumptuous supper was held during the 
course of the evening, and gayety evidently reigned un- 

Here mention should be made of the dances which were 
held in Douglas from the beginning. To these everybody 
came from town and the surrounding country. The banker 
danced with the hired girl, and everyone had a good time, 
although sometimes the evening's affair might cost an 
individual up to ten or fifteen dollars, depending on how 
much he ate and how generous he was toward others. These 
dances began at seven in the evening and lasted until seven 
the next day. Usually everyone had a midnight snack, and 
breakfast was served in the morning. Much the same type 
of dance was held in the homes of ranchers all over the 
Fetterman country. People would drive their wagons for 
a whole day to attend a dance, "kick their heels" until 
dawn, and then make the day's journey home again. At 
country dances, each family usually brought food instead 
of contributing money for refreshments. Sometimes, how- 
ever, the hostess would bake as many as two dozen cakes 
and pies for her guests. There was always plenty of food, 
music and fun at these gatherings. Undoubtedly some of 
this wide-spread hospitality was lost as the town grew 
because, as might be expected, cliques began to appear; 
and people became clannish. It is recalled, however, by 
many who knew Barrow that the editor of the Budget 
always had a greeting for everyone, and continued to find 
and print what he thought was new and significant. 

"The extension of the railroad to the westward in 1887 
robbed Douglas of her prestige as central Wyoming's fron- 
tier outpost, of much of her western and northern trade 
and of many of her population." 8 However, those who re- 

7. Mrs. Harry Pollard, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

8. Bill Barlow's Budget, Anniversary Edition, 1907, p. 6. 


mained, according to Barrow, "had courage and energy 
and a firm faith in the future." 9 It was this "bunch of 
boosters" who incorporated the town, put in a water sys- 
tem, planted lawns and trees, built attractive homes, and 
publicized Douglas as "the best town in the World." Bill 
Barlow's Budget, whether located in Fetterman or in Doug- 
las, was a vital factor in the growth of the community it 
served, and under its able editor, Merris Barrow, contrib- 
uted much to local and state affairs and finally won a 
nation-wide audience. 

(To be continued) 

9. Ibid., p. 6. 

ftook Keviews 

Wyomingana: Two Bibliographies. By Rose Mary Malone. 
(University of Denver Press, 1950. vii + 66 pp. $2.00.) 

This monograph ably fulfills its declared intention of pro- 
viding teachers, librarians, and the general public with a 
useful finding list of books about Wyoming and the western 

The first bibliography contains one hundred and eleven 
selected references published before 1939, identified by the 
compiler as "better-known or more standard works about 
the state and its explorers or leaders," and listed with brief 
bibliographical details and without content annotations. 
The implied purpose of the first list is to suggest a basic 
reference shelf of Wyomingana. Such a list is useful chiefly 
to non-specialists, or rather to those with little information 
about the usual bibliographical resources. It seems regret- 
table, therefore, that content annotations have not been 
included for the titles in this bibliography. Besides sup- 
plying helpful guidance where it might be most useful, such 
annotations would permit the compiler to justify inclusion 
of some of the titles selected. For example, mention of spe- 
cific passages or chapters in Roughing It which have to do 
with the Wyoming scene and reference to the turbulent 
frontier spirit of the whole book would minimize the start- 
ling effect of labeling such a well-known "classic" as a book 
about Wyoming. Some explanation or analysis of the na- 
ture of Thwaites' thirty-two volumes, Early Western 
Travels, would be highly useful in identifying, for those un- 
familiar with the varied source materials of this important 
publication, the journals and diaries having some direct 
bearing on Wyoming. 

The first bibliography represents the compiler's own 
judgment as to the relative importance of the books listed 
therein, and there is little fault to be found with her choice. 
But it is difficult to understand the omission of Mercer's 
Banditti of the Plains, which is certainly one of the sig- 
nificant documents of Wyoming history. M. W. Rankin's 
Reminiscences of Frontier Days seems to deserve a place 
because it supplies unique source material on the settlement 
of the Snake River valley in the seventies and eighties — 
a less glamorous, but no less vital era in Wyoming history, 
than the fur-trading, Indian-fighting days. And to inject 
a purely personal opinion from the reviewer, a half dozen 


poems in T. H. Ferril's Westering — "Fort Laramie" and 
"Something Starting Over" as examples — have more Wyo- 
ming flavor than all of Neihardt's "Songs." The whole 
volume is so well known and widely loved that it has per- 
haps earned a right to be listed as a basic item of Wyoming- 

The second bibliography is described in the preface as 
"the more important" of the two and as "a comprehensive 
annotated bibliography of recent books about Wyoming, 
that is, books published in the decade 1939-1949." It lists 
two hundred and forty-four items, with exact titles, full 
bibliographical details, and content annotations. The com- 
piler twice describes it as a list of "books about Wyoming" 
and states her chief criterion in selecting the books thus: 
"they had to deal with Wyoming, chiefly or entirely." Sub- 
sequent remarks in the preface amend the terms of her 
selection by noting that books dealing with Lewis and 
Clark, ranch life, cowboys, sheep-raising, Indians of the 
region, and the like, have been included in some instances 
because they explain Wyoming history and Wyoming folk- 
ways. It is unfortunate that such emphasis has been put 
upon the conditions, "books about Wyoming" and books 
that "deal with Wyoming, chiefly or entirely." Fewer than 
half the books in the second bibliography can be forced 
into such a classification. All of the titles can be justified, 
however, on the basis of the implied qualification. 

Since the second bibliography is purportedly comprehen- 
sive, this label invites the suggestion of additions. Some 
good books on the building and builders of railroads have 
been omitted. Two recent novels, C. B. Davis' Temper the 
Wind and Jack Schaefer's Shane, Olga Arnold's I'll Meet 
You in the Lobby, and Wilson Clough's new volume of 
poems, We Borne Along, are 1949 items which may have 
appeared after the bibliography took final form. If so, 
they deserve listing in the first supplement. Wayne Gard's 
Frontier Justice has good chapters on cattle and sheep wars 
in Wyoming. Neihardt's Cycle of the West, including a 
helpful preface and all five "Songs," provides a useful sub- 
stitute for the five separate volumes. It might also be 
suggested that Frank Waters' The Colorado is in many 
respects a far more revealing and sensitively written inter- 
pretation of the geographical and cultural environment of 
the region than Thane's High Border Country or Vestal's 
The Missouri. 

It is easy for a reviewer to quibble over misleading prefa- 
tory intentions and to point out inevitable omissions in a 
bibliography. It is more difficult, and of course more im- 
portant, to evaluate its merits. Miss Malone has done a 


solid piece of scholarship and made a valuable contribution 
in compiling her Wyomingana. Her search has been pa- 
tient, painstaking, and fruitful; her comments on content 
and style exhibit accuracy and discrimination. The prom- 
ised supplementary lists will be anticipated and encouraged 
by all who share her interest in western materials and ad- 
mire her competency in bibliographical research. 

Professor of English 
University of Wyoming 


Steamboats on the Western Rivers. By Louis C. Hunter. 
(Harvard University Press, 1949. 684 pp. $10.00.) 

In the pre-railroad era, the steamboat was the principal 
technological agent in the transformation of the greater 
part of the vast Mississippi basin from a sparsely settled, 
rude frontier society to a populous region on the threshold 
of economic and social maturity. Throughout the second 
quarter of the nineteenth century the wheels of commerce 
in this immense region were almost literally paddle wheels. 
"Without the steamboat the advance of the frontier, the 
rise of cities, the growth of manufacturing, and the eman- 
cipation of an agricultural people from the drab confines 
of a frontier economy would all have taken place, but they 
would have been slowed to the tempo of keelboat, flatboat, 
and canal barge and to the tedious advance of stagecoach 
and wagon train. The growth of the West and the rise 
of steamboat transportation were inseparable; they Were 
geared together and each was dependent upon the other, 
p. 32" 

In depicting this phase of the development of the West 
the author has placed chief emphasis on the economic, 
social and technological conditions which created the need 
for, and under which the steamboat was introducsd and 
operated rather than following the usual custom of relating 
its history primarily in terms of the activities and achieve- 
ments of the individual inventors associated with its devel- 
opment. In so doing, Mr. Hunter has written a thorough 
and scholarly account of the history of the steamboat on 
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Unfortunately for resi- 
dents of the Trans-Mississippi West, steamboat navigation 
of the Columbia, Willamette and Sacramento rivers is not 
mentioned. Except for scattered references to the upper- 
Missouri river traffic, little attention is devoted to the role 


the steamboat played in the economic development of this 
part of the West. 

He traces the introduction, construction and operation, 
structural evolution and mechanical development of the 
vessel itself. Considerable attention is devoted to the hull, 
engines, shafts, boilers, valves, steam pressure gauges and 
other highly essential factors in effective operation which 
have been largely overlooked in the traditional accounts 
of steamboating on western rivers. He describes the tech- 
niques of operation and the organization and conduct of 
steamboat transportation which, during its heyday, was 
preeminently the field of small-scale individual enterprises. 
The typical entrepreneur was a small operator; the typical 
business involved the operation of a single steamboat. The 
trend toward monopoly so striking in other lines of business 
activity during the third quarter of the nineteenth century 
was scarcely perceptible here. 

Mr. Hunter pictures the conditions of life, labor and 
society on the steamboat, describes the growth of compe- 
tition among the steamboat operators, and between the 
steamboat interests and the railroads, and discusses the 
rise, peak and decline of river traffic. He concludes the 
volume with the triumph of the railroads, the end of the 
traditional mode of steamboat transportation and the rise 
of the tow-boat and barge industry. 

The extension of railroad lines into the areas formerly 
monopolized by the river craft spelled the end of the steam- 
boat industry. Older river men were practically unanimous 
in the conviction that unfair railroad practices, rather than 
fair and open competition, were to blame for the collapse of 
river steamboat traffic after the 1850's. The railroads, ac- 
cording to this view, under-cut and eventually eliminated the 
old-time steamboat interests not only by discrimination, 
rate-cutting, monopolizing of waterfronts and obstructing 
river traffic by their bridges, but also by unethical use by 
rail interests of their greatly superior resources, their in- 
fluence with political parties and domination of courts and 
state legislatures. 

The author, quite correctly, draws the conclusion that an 
objective appraisal of all factors involved in the passing 
of the steamboat must reject this thesis, while in no way 
implying that the railroads can be exonerated from the 
foregoing charges. Where railroads supplied frequent, 
fast, regularly scheduled and reliable service, steamboat op- 
erations were slow, uncertain and unreliable. Limited by 
nature to a short operating season, beset by a variety of 
natural hindrances and hazards, steamboats were unable to 
keep pace in the post-Civil War period. Moreover, "steam- 


boats were able to play a vital role in the economic life of 
the West only so long as population, industry, and trade 
were concentrated along the trunk lines of the river system. 
The maximum territorial extent of their service was 
reached for all practical purposes by mid-century. Through 
their ability to run virtually anywhere and at all seasons 
railroads freed the West from the narrow geographic 
bounds within which the agencies of river transportation 
operated, providing independent access to all parts of the 
great Mississippi Valley p. 605" — thus terminating the 
steamboat era on western rivers. 

The work is characterized by a high level of scholarship 
and general excellence. With the exception of the navi- 
gable rivers of the Trans-Mississippi West, the author has 
covered the phases of the subject as carefully and compre- 
hensively as the availability of source material permits and 
has illustrated the material with numerous drawings, pic- 
tures, charts and tables. Although it is primarily a schol- 
ar's volume, chapters 5-11 should provide interesting and 
informative reading for the general public. Societies, asso- 
ciations and students of history interested in the fresh 
water aspect of western transportation will find it in- 


Assistant Professor of History 
Montana State College, Bozeman 

The North American Buffalo. By Franklin Gilbert Roe. 
(University of Toronto Press, 1951. viii + 957 pp. 

The complete title of this book, "The North American 
Buffalo. A Critical Study of the Species in the Wild State," 
is a very appropriate one because the publication is a very 
critical treatise of what has been previously written about 
the North American buffalo. The author presents a vast 
amount of historical evidence concerning the buffalo from 
many diverse sources. Since the evidence is so diverse and 
often times contradictory, Mr. Roe has attempted to ap- 
praise the witnesses of the historical evidence which is 
presented as well as to critically appraise their testimonies 
and opinions. 

The actual historical period of the North American buf- 
falo in its wild state, as far as white man is concerned, is 


relatively short in spite of the great numbers which at one 
time were present on the North American continent. The 
extirpation of the buffalo from most parts of its pristine 
range was so rapid that little reliable scientific information 
was obtained during the time of its greatest abundance. 
Mr. Roe calls attention to the fact that "The scientific in- 
quirer, instead of being the first in the field, was among the 
last." Although there was a large number of people who 
became intimately acquainted with the buffalo as a result 
of the westward spread of the North American white pop- 
ulation and the utilization of the buffalo for sustenance and 
commercial gain, yet these people were not interested in 
making and recording accurate observations. Many of 
these early settlers were practically illiterate and by the 
time their observations had been passed on by word of 
mouth to individuals who were interested in the historical 
aspects of the buffalo they had become distorted, exagger- 
ated, and much of it generally unreliable. Thus it has be- 
come necessary to painstakingly search out all available 
information and to carefully evaluate it in the light of the 
information which is available. It is my opinion that Mr. 
Roe has done a most comprehensive job in sorting the 
wheat from the chaff. 

It is pointed out by Roe that there have been "three 
serious historical generalizers on buffalo." The first of 
these is Professor Joel A. Allen whose publication entitled 
"The American Bison, Living and Extinct" was published 
in 1876. This is among the best of our historical writings 
concerning the buffalo but it does not include any account 
of the final slaughter of the buffalo in northern United 
States and Canada which occurred during the period of 
1877 to 1883. Dr. W. T. Hornaday is the next important 
writer in chronological order whose publication entitled 
"The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch 
of its Discovery and Life History" was published in 1877. 
Hornaday is referred to by Roe as " — a zoologist of the 
first order, but a very inferior historian." Earnest Thomp- 
son Seton is the third of this group of writers and although 
he had much wider opportunities to benefit from highly 
important publications which were produced from the time 
of Hornaday 's (1887) until 1910 when he published his 
"Life-Histories of Northern Animals" he evidently failed 
to take advantage of them and is referred to by Roe as 
" — the most deficient of all." 

The writings of these three men (Allen, Hornaday and 
Seton) are very frequently referred to by Roe throughout 


this publication in regard to various historical aspects of 
the buffalo. Those aspects which are contradictory, ques- 
tionable or not adequately supported by reliable historical 
evidence by these earlier writers are critically surveyed by 
Roe who has made a fruitful attempt to, as nearly as pos- 
sible, straighten out many of these controversial issues. 
This has involved, wherever possible, the insertion of the 
observer's testimony in his own words; the reference to as 
many contributions as possible on questionable issues; and 
the precise documentation of all statements which Roe 
makes. Such documentation and the citing of the numerous 
references by Roe in an attempt to substantiate his own 
thinking in the matter is commendable but it doesn't make 
for enjoyable reading. Most every page is subtended by 
footnotes which would perhaps become wearisome to the 
average reader. To the historian and to the biologist, how- 
ever, such documentation offers a wealth of valuable in- 
formation and sources from which additional details may 
be obtained. 

This publication should be of considerable interest and 
value to the biologist since most of it deals with the prob- 
able origin and distribution of the buffalo in North Amer- 
ica; its general life history and characteristics; agencies 
which were destructive to the buffalo, other than man; 
populations which were attained in various parts of the 
United States and Canada; the controversial matters con- 
cerning the migratory behavior of the buffalo ; the destruc- 
tion of the "Southern" and "Northern" herds in the United 
States and the final elimination of the buffalo in western 
Canada ; and the influence of the buffalo on the Indian. 

It should also be of value to the historian since the story 
of the buffalo also embraces the chronology and historical 
background of the whiteman as he pushed westward from 
the Atlantic seaboard across the Great Plains region to 
the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. A 
great deal of Indian history within the area of the buffalo 
range is also incorporated. 

The body of this publication embraces 680 pages. This 
is supplemented by 34 appendices which total 216 pages. 
The bibliography contains over 400 references and is fol- 
lowed by- an excellent index. 


Associate Professor of Zoology 
University of Wyoming 


My Sixty Years on the Plains. By W. T. Hamilton. (Orig- 
inally published in 1905, now reprinted 1951 by Long's 
College Book Co., Columbus, Ohio, vi + 244 pp. $6.00.) 

The fascinating tale of a native of Scotland, born on the 
River Till in the Cheviot Hills, who became one of the 
fabulous company of "Mountain Men" of the western plains, 
is told by W. T. Hamilton. The story, in the first person, 
covers the years from 1840 to 1900, and he was 82 years of 
age when he wrote of his sixty years on the plains. 

The family finally settled in St. Louis after traveling over 
much of the eastern part of the country. Because the 
young son of the family, William, had developed ill health, 
his father arranged for him to become a member of a band 
of hunters and trappers who were to trap in fur country 
to the west for a year. The party consisted of eight men, 
with Bill Williams and Perkins as leaders, both famous 
mountain men. The young man's father paid a third of the 
cost of outfitting the band, which gave his son a correspond- 
ing interest. 

From the time he started with this band of fearless ad- 
venturers and seasoned frontiersmen, his life became one 
episode after another of sheer adventure. Told in his dry 
style, recounting the bare facts with little embellishment, 
the stark reality of the tales he recounts impresses the 
reader more than any story done in a lavish fashion with 
undue stress on the deeds of himself and his companions. 

Under the leadership of Williams and Perkins, both out- 
standing mountain men, he learned fast, and became adept 
in the ways of the wilds. To a mountain man, it meant his 
life to become careless, and Hamilton practiced endlessly 
with his arms, and in woodcraft, to become self sufficient, 
and able to pull his weight in the company of mountain men. 

That the "Mountain Men" were a breed apart is well 
understood by all who have learned anything at all about 
them, and Hamilton brings out in his book just how re- 
markable they really were. His tales of their prowess show 
their indomitable courage and resourcefulness. He never 
ceases to give praise to his friends among the mountain 
men, whom he admired whole-heartedly. 

As the party traveled through the trackless wilderness 
of the western country, searching out the streams where 
the beaver could be trapped, they naturally came in contact 
with Indian tribes along the way, and in a very short time 
young Hamilton learned the sign talk used universally by 
Indian tribes. He became very proficient, and was known 
as the most expert sign talker of any white man, and he 


was better than many Indians. He said that this came to 
him with no effort, and was as much a surprise to him as it 
was to others. Indians often questioned him about his 
ability, thinking that he must have been reared by Indians 
or that maybe he was a half-breed. Throughout his career 
this ability was of great value to him in his many dealings 
with Indians. 

Among the most interesting and valuable parts of Ham- 
ilton's book are his detailed descriptions of important activ- 
ities of the "Mountain Men." He told of their methods of 
fighting Indians, and claimed that 50 well armed mountain 
men could hold off any number of Indians, and made the 
statement, "I know this to be so." 

He gave the method for making the pemmican, the dried 
meat which was life-giving food on the plains for Indian 
and hunter alike. He explained many of the customs of 
the Indian tribes he knew, and gave some wise advice, such 
as "never let an Indian escape who has once attacked you." 
Also, he stated that Indians were good losers in games or 
races. He said that well trained horses, and ability to 
shoot straight paid off. Also, he claimed that the white 
hunters were better at dressing skins than the Indians, and 
that they were better at hand to hand combat, and in fact 
in any battle. "To kill the chief of an Indian band is to 
win the battle"; also he made the statement that the In- 
dians could not stand the white man's charge, and he de- 
scribed the methods used by the mountain men. 

His tales of the rendezvous of the trappers and mountain 
men were of interest, because that is one thing everyone 
has heard about this group of frontiersmen. Also, he gave 
some interesting information on trading companies oper- 
ating in the west, and his dealings with them. 

Hamilton, early in his career with the western men, de- 
cided to cast his lot with them, and wrote to his father to 
say he would not be home. 

He lived the adventurous life of a mountain man, until 
he retired to open a trading post. He served as an army 
scout, and became a sheriff and later a deputy U. S. Marshal 
and came to the aid of U. S. forces when the Sioux went 
on the Warpath. He returned finally to settle in the valley 
of the Yellowstone, and made his home in Columbus, Mon- 
tana. He died in Billings at the age of 86 years, in 1908. 
His story is well worth while, and it is good reading; it is a 
picture of a section of our history which is like no other 
history anywhere in the world. 


Eight fine illustrations by Charles M. Russell are included 
in the book. 


Woman's Editor 
Casper Tribune Herald 

Back Trailing on Open Range. By Luke D. Sweetman. 
(Caxton, 1951. 247 pp. $3.50.) 

Luke D. Sweetman, veteran stockman, arrived in Mon- 
tana in 1885 at the age of eighteen after helping to trail 
3000 cattle from Kansas. The LU herd was taken to the 
range on Little Dry, sixty-five miles north of Miles City, 
where the northern and southern herds of the outfit were 
thrown together on the open range. Here the country was 
covered with nutritious grass and fresh water streams, and 
after the passing of the buffalo it became a cattle haven. 

Prior to 1882 there were few cattle north of the Yellow- 
stone River, but by the end of 1885 the range was well 
stocked — over stocked some cowmen claimed and "black- 
balled" new outfits coming in. By 1883 the buffalo were 
almost gone, to the author's disappointment, although he 
later fulfilled his wish to take part in a buffalo chase. He 
mentions the expedition of Dr. Hornaday of the Smith- 
sonian Institute in which buffalo were killed for scientific 

On the open range roundups were held from early spring 
until late fall. The author took part in these events and 
gives the reader a good picture of the work and the play 
of the cowboy. In winter line camps were maintained and 
the line riders scouted for unbranded calves to brand and 
kept the cattle thrown back on the winter range. At such 
times the author indulged in amusements such as making 
chokecherry jam, shooting antelope, roping a wild cow to 
get fresh milk, and an occasional card game. 

The question "Why do cowboys carry guns?" is answered 
by Mr. Sweetman, showing that they carried weapons not 
to shoot up the town, but for such practical purposes as 
killing a wounded or injured animal, and protecting them- 
selves from wild beasts. 

The winter of 1886-87 was a severe one when the killing 
wind drove everything before it and high snows left the 
river bottoms literally covered with dead cattle, a loss to 
cattlemen in many instances of from sixty to ninety percent. 


The chinook wind which thaws the snow failed to material- 
ize, and many stockmen were ruined. While the roundup 
of 1886 was a huge and spectacular affair, after that date 
they were never elaborate. 

The author was clever and knew how to perform the 
skillful ways of roping and handling broncs. He became a 
horse dealer after the winter of 1886 and purchased a 
small bunch of broken horses. With these he struck north 
to the line of the proposed railroad, later the Great North- 
ern, where he disposed of his stock. He gives a humorous 
account of how mosquitoes attacked both horses and men 
when camped on the Little Missouri River. 

With his first venture a success he continued in the horse 
business. His sales took him eastward to Dakota Territory 
and Minnesota where he sold horses to the new settlers 
who were breaking up the virgin prairie. He also 'took 
some dirt contracts and freighted grain. For a while he 
was in partnership with Loring B. Rea until the latter's 

Mr. Sweetman describes a number of outlaw horses he 
rode and his method of holding a horse down after the 
horse was "front-footed." In such a maneuver the horse 
was roped and choked down. Then "if one of the boys 
was quick enough he could fall on his head, shove a 
knee against his neck, grab his nose with both hands, turn 
it upward and hold it there ..." The reviewer has found 
that a more efficient and a safer way to hold a horse down 
is to pull the tail through between the horse's hind legs and 
out along his side, stand with one knee on the horse's thigh, 
the other about the end of the short ribs and pull back on 
the tail with all one's strength. Some horses can kick a 
person off their heads. 

Mr. Sweetman has given many interesting sidelights on 
Montana's history and has listed names of persons and 
outfits once prominent in that state. He has here, in spite 
of the hardships, the outlaw horses and the long-billed mos- 
quitoes, depicted a life that will appeal to most of his read- 
ers and especially to those who have ridden the trails and 
enjoyed similar experiences, as has the reviewer. 


Laramie, Wyoming 

Back Trailing is a factual story by one who was thor- 
oughly familiar with the range days in Montana. It is well 


written and easy reading — the story of a lifetime from 
cowpuncher to ranch owner. 


Field Representative, American Livestock Ass'n 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 


to the 

June 1, 1951 to December 31, 1951 

Miscellaneous Gifts 

Buhler, Ernest, Lancaster, Wisconsin — Four pieces of French money. 

Casselman, C. V., Cheyenne, Wyoming — Moro shield; "house wife" 
kit, laniard rope used to fire cannon and time fuse used to ex- 
plode mortar shells, all used during Civil War; New Testament 
removed from dead Southern soldier January 15, 1865. 

Coe, W. R., New York, N. Y. — 22 colored prints of early Indian chiefs 
and early western frontiersmen; autographed portrait of W. R. 

Converse, Mrs. N. Jesse, Estate, Laramie, Wyoming — 16 museum 
items including parasols, fans, inkwells, combs, rocking chair 
100 years old. 

Dobbins, Gertrude Wyoming, Estate, Los Angeles, California — Nu- 
merous articles of clothing, silver spoons, pictures, manuscript 
materials, scrapbooks, clippings and pamphlets. 

Doty, D. D., Freeport, Louisiana — U. S. one cent piece, 1779. 

Fox, W., Lagrange, Wyoming — 2 manuscripts dealing with the his- 
tory of Lagrange. 

Hale, Dorothy, Cheyenne, Wyoming — Sofa cushion with pictures of 
ships that made a world cruise. 

Hunton, Mrs. E. Deane, Laramie, Wyoming — 8 photographs including 
pictures of Mesdames Warren, Ross, Kendrick, Dawes, Coolidge, 
Robertson and Eggleston. 

Kenworthy, Bob, Cheyenne, Wyoming — Swedish pipe, 10 rare sea 
shells, 1 Portuguese and 3 Japanese coins. 

McCreery, Mrs. Alice Richards, Los Angeles, California — W. A. 
Richards card case; 13 buttons (2 Frontier Days, 1895, 1898, 
8 souvenir, 3 Army insignia ) ; back issues of Annals of Wyoming 
and 5th and 6th reports of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 

Peyton, Mrs. Pauline E., Douglas, Wyoming — Minutes of Philhar- 
monic Society of Douglas; membership list of Douglas Music 
Club, 1922; 2 letters of E. B. Shaffner. 

Roseboom, Jesse, Portland, Oregon — 7 pictures of Indian pictographs 
in Owl Creek Canyon, Wyoming. 

Shingle, Dr. J. D., Cheyenne, Wyoming — Coin silver watch made in 
1851; opera coat made from Paisley shawls; hand woven cover 
made in 1840; shawl made about 1836; program, Wyoming's 
Welcome to Gen. John J. Pershing, 1920; Wyoming State Trib- 
une, Feb. 19, 1931. 

Strong, Mrs. Madge E., Torrington, Wyoming — Check of John Lon- 
don, post trader at Ft. Laramie, dated Nov. 8, 1883, on M. E. 
Post & Co. 

Stimpson, J. E., Cheyenne, Wyoming — 899 items, chiefly pictures of 
early Wyoming scenes and people; early programs. 


Thorp, Russell, Cheyenne, Wyoming — J. B. Okie branding iron; hand 
wrought andirons from late W. A. Richards home on Nowood 
Creek; flat iron brought to Wyoming by Cicero Avant in 1880's; 
old time butter bowl presented to Wyoming Stock Growers 
Ass'n by Mrs. R. E. Holland of Ten Sleep. 

Wadsworth, Mrs. Frank, Lonetree, Wyoming — History and programs 
of the Wyoming Cowbelles for 1950. 

Books and Pamphlets. — Gifts 

Author — Western Sketches and War Poems by Richard Brackenbury. 

Author — Jackson Hole, How to Discover and Enjoy It by Josephine 

C. Fabian. 1951. 
Author — Cheyenne Looking North by E. O. Fuller. 1951 (Reprinted 

Author — Chipeta by Perry W. Jenkins. 1950. 

Author — This is the Sun Dance by Marie Montabe and Lynn St. Clair. 
Author — Mother is a Grand Old Name! An American Family Grows 

Up by Alice Downey Nelson. 1950. 
Author — Westport, Gateway to the Early West by Louis O. Honig. 

Morgan, Nicholas G — Heart Throbs of the West, Vol. 12, by Kate 

B. Carter. 1951. 
Richardson, Warren — Westward America by Howard R. Driggs. 1942. 
Bretney, H. Clay — War of the Rebellion, Reports and Correspon- 
dence, Volumes 13, 22, 34, 41. 1893. 

Books — Purchased 

Brayer, H. O.— Stock Raising in the Northwest 1884. 1951. 

Coleman, Laurence Vail — Museum Buildings. 1950. 

Dahlquist, Laura — Meet Jim Bridger. 1948. 

Dunham, Harold H., Editor — 1950 Westerners Brand Book, Denver 
Posse. 1951. 

Fischer, Hail — Author Headings for the Official Publications of the 
State of Wyoming. 1951. 

Grant, Bruce — The Cowboy Encyclopedia. 1951. 

Hamilton, Charles — Cry of the Thunderbird. 1950. 

Honig, Louis O. — James Bridger, Pathfinder of the West. 1951. 

McPherren, Ida — Imprints on Pioneer Trails. 1950. 

Mumey, Nolie— Calamity Jane, 1852-1903. 1950. 

Mumey, Nolie— 1859 Pikes Peak Guide Books (Reprints) : S. R. Olm- 
stead; John W. Oliver; Parsons. 1950 and 1951. 

Mumey, Nolie — The Black Ram of Dinwoody Creek. 1951. 

Nelson, Dick J. — Only a Cow Country. 1951. 

Parker, Arthur C. — A Manual for History Museums. 1935. 

Wood, Dean Earl — The Old Santa Fe Trail from the Missouri River. 

State Historical Society of Colorado — Index to the Colorado Maga- 
zine, Volumes I to XXV. 1950. 

Calamity Jane (By Herself). A facsimile. 

MmIs of Wyoming 

July 1952 

Number 2 


Published Biannually 



Cheyenne, Wyoming^ 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

Elwood Anderson Gillette 

Mrs. Geraldine Z. Brimmer Rawlins 

Thomas O. Cowgill Cody 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Dubois 

Mrs. Leora Peters Wheatland 

Mrs. Bertha Taylor Mountain View 

Earl E. Wakeman Newcastle 

Attorney-General Harry S. Harnsberger, Ex-officio 




Lola M. Homsher, Editor State Archivist 

Ex-officio State Historian 


Henryetta Berry Mrs. Winifred S. Kienzle 

Mary Elizabeth Cody 

The ANNALS OF WYOMING is published semi-annually, in 
January and July, by the Wyoming State Historical Department, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. Subscription price, $2.00 a year; single num- 
bers, $1.00. Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The 
Editors do not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of 
opinion made by contributors. 

Copyright, 1952, by the Wyoming State Historical Department 

Mnals of Wyoming 

Volume 24 July 1952 Number 2 

Zable of Contents 



Margaret Prine 


M. B. Rhodes 



by the Editor 


Graham, The Story of the Little Big Horn 

Kuhlman, Legend into History 120 

A. M. Pence 

Brown and Schmitt, Trail Driving Days 122 

Agnes Wright Spring 

Monaghan, The Great Rascal 124 

Rose Mary Malone 

Vestal, Joe Meek, the Merry Mountain Man 126 

Burton Harris 


Douglas in 1900 2 

Merris C. Barrow 3 

Lawns and Trees in Douglas 32 

M. C. Barrow Home 56 

Methodist Church in Basin, Dedicated July 15, 1906 73 



', ': 



Morris C. ftarwwz Sagebrush 
Philosopher and journalist 



The Barrows were apparently a gifted couple. Both were 
sociable, personable in appearance, and industrious. They 
were different, however, in temperament, thus complement- 
ing each other. 

Merris C. Barrow was a large, good-looking man, 1 and 
scholarly in appearance. 2 He was sbr3wd and intelligent, 
and impressed people as possessing both native wit and 
education. 3 One of his most striking physical character- 
istics was his profusion of hair, which he wore a little 
longer than did the average man of his time and which, 
as it turned grey, added to his distinguished appearance. 4 

He is remembered as a happy-go-lucky person who liked 
to mix with people. 5 It is said that he never passed ac- 
quaintances or strangers without speaking, a fact which 
might explain why he was so popular. 6 In any group Bar- 
row was a good talker, but one never knew what he was 
going to say. 7 He could always tell a good story, 8 whether 
truthful or fictitious, and, he made a perfect companion. 9 
Not only was he able to adapt himself to any crowd or 

1. Mrs. Harvey Allan, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, Oct., 1946. 

2. Eli Peterson, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

3. W. K. Wiker, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

4. Ben Steffen, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

5. Charles W. Horr, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

6. Peterson, Interview, March, 1948. 

7. Steffen, Interview, March, 1948. 

8. T. S. Cook, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

9. Peterson, Interview, March, 1948. 


surroundings, 10 but he was a man of wide and varied in- 

He loved horses and had a very good driving team. 11 
He must have been a picturesque figure driving his chestnut 
browns down the street in 1898. He was also fond of dogs. 
Since he was a hunting enthusiast, he was especially fond 
of his water spaniel, which was a good hunting dog. The 
attachment he felt for his pet is reflected in the following 
passage : 

He died the other day, after a residence of more than twelve 
years among us. He was honest; steadfast and true in his 
friendships, and his devotion to duty as he saw it. He had many 
friends whom he never failed to greet during the years he trod 
our streets, and who will miss him. He has had troubles — who 
has not? — but they, as he, are of the past. His body wasted 
away; his eyes grew dim and his step uncertain; he died. A 
lowly mound neath a willow tree in my garden marks the spot 
where kind hands laid him away. His name was Dennis. He 
was a good dog. (XVII, 9, 1902.)* 

Barrow is remembered as a lover of music, especially of 
the more popular variety. He played the mouth organ, 
guitar, and banjo himself and liked to join in group sing- 
ing. 12 It is also said that visiting actors and musicians 
were often guests in the Barrow home. 13 

Merris Barrow wrote with a flourish, both literally and 
journalistically, supporting the things in which he believed 
and opposing strenuously the things he could not accept. 
Of himself and his own writing he said, "Reasonably truth- 
ful, not too lazy, not so homely as might be and never so 
well pleased with himself as when some democratic imitator 
of the sometime since deceased Ananias is punching holes 
in his hide." (XII, January 5, 1898). 

He created about himself a sort of legend of mystery, 
according to some contemporaries, which might have 
stemmed from some of the peculiarities in which he in- 
dulged. For example, anyone sliding into the editor's big 
chair would have been confronted with the stare of a human 
skull, occupying a conspicuous place on his desk (III, 15, 
1888). On the other side one saw a clock with the hands 
off, "stopped ninety years ago," with the words, "Time 
was made for slaves," emblazoned upon the dial (Guest 
Editor, III, 15, 1888). In the center lay a book which in- 

10. Ibid. 

11. Ibid. 

12. Ibid. 

13. A. J. Mokler, Interview, Casper, Wyoming, October, 1946. 
^Quotations from the Budget are documented in the text by a 

roman numeral for the volume, an arabic numeral for the number 
of the issue, and the year when the date is not given in the text. — Ed. 


eluded the names of subscribers. Opposite this and to the 
right was a "Scalp Book," beneath which dangled at one 
time the following cards, "The Douglas Advertiser," the 
"Rowdy West," etc. (Guest Editor, III, 15, 1888) . 

From this "sanctum sanctorum" (III, 15, 1888) he went 
home to a wife who had a great deal more patience than her 
editor husband. She was short, somewhat stout, jolly, full 
of fun, and prompt, a person with whom one could always 
have a good time. 14 She was, according to Barrow's own 
report, a very important part of his life. When a writer 
of the Sheridan Post guessed that Barrow was not a bach- 
elor because he knew too much about women's "make-up" 
and not a married man or his mind would not run so much 
in that direction, Barrow answered as follows: 

There is a Mrs. Bill. She owns one-half of these premises, real 
and personal. She is foreman of the Budget job rooms; is one 
of the best newspaper compositors in the territory; is the 
Budget's head book-keeper and cashier, and is a model wife and 
mother. Even the lazy lunatic who wabbles at the other end of 
this pencil at this moment is forced to admit that the term 
"better half" isn't strong enough to describe her many virtues. 
(II, 12, 1887). 

Like her husband she was a hard worker. She helped 
with the paper, managed a stationery store, and conducted 
a greenhouse. Yet she also found time to develop her per- 
sonal interests, for she was a good shot and was known as 
a chicken fancier. 15 With all this she still managed her 
home with only a minimum of help. 

At first the Barrows lived in the back of the Budget of- 
fice in two or three rooms, but in October, 1890, they let 
the contract for a $1,500 residence to be erected at the 
corner of Center and Fifth Streets (V, 19, 1890). The 
large greenhouse built by Mrs. Barrow adjoined this resi- 
dence. Here she offered roses in bloom on April 1, 1891, 
as well as cabbage and tomato plants (V, April 1, 1891). 

In spite of the demands of their social and business life, 
the Barrows still found time for travel, sometimes together 
and sometimes separately. The members of the press were 
usually given passes in those days on all the railroads, 16 
and this, of course, made more extensive travel possible 
for those who were just comfortably situated financially. 
When the Barrows traveled they always stopped at the 
best hotels of their day, the Brown Palace in Denver and 
the Palmer House in Chicago. 17 Here they mingled with 

14. Rice, Interview, March, 1948. 

15. Peterson, Interview, March, 1948. 

16. Roy Combs, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 

17. Mrs. Tom Bulline, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 


the wealthy and prominent people of the country. When 
their paper was but three years old, they were absent 
several weeks during which time they "did" Chicago and 
Milwaukee, "the national brewery," enjoyed a run on the 
lakes as far north as Buffalo, visited relatives in Nebraska, 
and returned home by way of Denver dead broke according 
to an account in the Budget (III, 13, 1888). 

One time Mrs. Bill went to a convention without her 
editor husband. He announced her planned departure in 
his characteristic way in the Budget: 

Mrs. Bill has served notice on me that during the next three 
weeks I must darn — or otherwise as the case may be — my own 
socks, sew on such suspentier-sustainers as may happen to let 
go and do the thousand-and-one other things which fall to the 
lot of a good wife in "looking after" a careless, rather absent 
minded and certainly cantankerous old cuss like you and I. She 
has "rolled her blankets" and goes to Hot Springs, Arkansas, 
as a delegate to the National Editorial Association which con- 
venes in that city April 18. (XVI, 44, 1902). 

Editor Bill did go to meet her, however, and his notice of 
this trip in the Budget contained typical Bill Barlow phil- 
osophy : 

Mrs. Bill has returned from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where 
she went to attend the National Editorial Convention, and I 
have returned from St. Louis where I went to intercept, corral, 
halter-break and bring home Mrs. Bill ... I am from that terri- 
tory lying west of the Father of Waters and immejetly adjacent 
to the south line of Iowa, over beyant bleeding Kansas, insofar 
as financial or material benefits to be derived from shopses- 
sions of this sort; but from a social standpoint they are hot 
stuff, and should be indulged in by the fraternity as often as 
opportunity offers and one's wallet will warrant. We are all 
too prone to hold our individual nose on the grindstone of close 
application to duty. Life is all we get out of life, anyway — and 
as Demosthenes casually remarked to his typewriter as he 
kissed her once more for luck and then quaffed the hemlock 
highball — we will probably be a long time dead. (XVI, 47, 1902). 

There were also many short trips to Denver and Cheyenne, 
sometimes for business reasons but usually for pleasure. 
As Barrow said, he felt that he would "probably be a long 
time dead." 

In the Barrow family there were three children. The 
eldest was a girl named Elizabeth, the next a daughter 
named Helen May, and the youngest a son, Merris C, Jr. 
The boy died while the Barrows lived in Rawlins, on Novem- 
ber 10, 1884. As might be expected his death as a result of 
pneumonia was a severe blow to Barrow, who had no doubt 
made many plans for his son. After the death of his son, 
Barrow is said to have spent many days just walking by 
himself in the desolate country surrounding the town of 

When the Barrows came to Douglas, the eldest daughter 


was left at her Grandfather Barrow's probably to attend 
school, and never seemed afterward to fit into the house- 
hold of her parents. In the religious home of her grand- 
parents, she apparently developed attitudes and ideals that 
did not coincide with the home life of her parents. She 
did live with them, however, during part of those early days 
in Douglas and shared in home responsibilities. While she 
was still very young, she met and married a man by the 
name of Bert Fay, who taught school after their marriage. 18 
Apparently she saw little of her parents afterwards. 

Little is known of Lizzie, as Mrs. Fay was called, and 
references to her in the Budget are rare. She returned to 
Douglas at least once after her marriage, for in the paper 
of April 30, 1902, Mrs. H. B. Fay of C. P. Diaz, Old Mexico, 
is mentioned as being a Douglas visitor. It is also known 
that she spent some time with her Grandmother Barrow 
at an uncle's home outside of Douglas. 

The younger Barrow daughter was, on the other hand, 
close to her parents and upon her they bestowed great af- 
fection and attention. The Budget revealed much of Helen 
May, from a childhood birthday party through college and 
marriage. Helen was the recipient of many generosities 
from her parents. 

Some of the atmosphere of the Barrow household can be 
seen in a record of Helen's seventh birthday party in the 
Budget, under date of December 19, 1888. Nineteen little 
girls assembled at the Barrow home to participate in the 
"ceremonies," and from the report, the little ladies took 
possession of the house (III, 29, 1888). No doubt, there 
were many more such childhood parties, followed by mixed 
parties when Helen began to take an interest in boys. After 
high school, there was college for her at the University of 
Wyoming. The Budget recorded many vacation visits dur- 
ing her years at the state university at Laramie; and at the 
time of her graduation in 1901, Editor Bill devoted a part 
of his "Chit-Chat" column to a discussion of the accomplish- 
ment (XV, 50, 1901). In 1902, Helen married Fred Brees 
of Laramie, a college classmate (XVI, January 8, 1902). 
Her marriage did not seem to diminish the warm parental 
interest in her, for many subsequent references were made 
in the Budget both to her and to her husband. 

As editor of Bill Barlow's Budget, Merris Barrow seemed 
to be a figure remote from the minister's family of which 
he had been a part, although many of the attitudes ex- 

18. W. K. Wiker and Mrs. Maude Hutchison, Interviews, Douglas, 
Wyoming, March, 1948. 


pressed in his paper probably stemmed from his early ex- 
perience in a rigidly religious home. Perhaps the son did 
not respond to his father's religious teachings as much as 
the elder Barrow would have liked; nevertheless, the Rev- 
erend R. C. Barrow always manifested interest in his eldest 
son. Barrow's father and mother came to Douglas for a 
visit in August, 1889 (IV, 8, 1889). They arrived on a 
Thursday; the elder Barrow was guest speaker at the Con- 
gregational church on the following Sunday evening (IV, 8, 
1889) ; and they left for home on the next Saturday (IV, 9, 
1889). No other records exist of this visit, but it is said 
that the townspeople were charmed and impressed with the 
Nebraska minister and his wife. 

The following June, Merris Barrow left Douglas suddenly 
in response to a telegram announcing the dangerous illness 
of his father (V, 1, 1890). Suffering intense pain from 
dropsy, R. C. Barrow had gone to the mineral springs at 
Burlington Junction, Missouri. Here he had given up all 
hope of ever being well. 19 He was considerably cheered by 
the visit of his son from Douglas, and from the time of 
Merris' visit he began to improve. Merris had a way of 
talking, his brother Frank wrote, that would encourage and 
raise the hopes of any sick person. 20 

When the elder Barrow returned home, however, he 
exerted himself too much and had a relapse. Thinking a 
change of air would do him good, he and his wife made a 
second visit to Wyoming. 21 He seemed to receive much 
benefit from this trip, but again he refused to take life 
easy upon his return home, and on December 10, 1890, he 
died (V, 27, 1890). 

Barrow's mother spent much of her time in and around 
Douglas after her husband's death and visited there during 
the entire summer of 1899. No doubt she stayed with her 
son in Douglas some of the time, but some acquaintances 
believed that she was not too happy there, since she was 
used to a more religious and much less active life. 22 Prob- 
ably most of her visits were with her daughter on a ranch 
near Douglas. This daughter had married E. B. Combs, a 
brother of Mrs. Merris Barrow. They had come from Ne- 
braska in April, 1896, with a carload of live stock, farm 
tools, etc., and had located on a ranch on Fetterman Flat 
(X, April 29, 1896). 

19. F. Earrow, R. C. Barrow, p. 74. 

20. Ibid., p. 74. 

21. Ibid., p. 75. 

22. Roy Combs, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 


Clot Barrow, the younger brother of the Budget's editor, 
was reputedly intelligent and gifted as a writer, although 
he could never settle down. 23 He evidently lacked that 
quality of determination which Merris had acquired from 
their father. Merris' other brother, Frank, was also for a 
time a newspaper man. He helped Merris and Minnie Bar- 
row as a printer during their first year in Douglas (I, 40, 
1887). Some years later he edited the Natrona Tribune 
in Casper (X, August 4, 1895), and later the Meeteetse 
News (XIX, 52, 1905), then the Sheridan Post. 24 However, 
his writing does not seem to have had the vitality found in 
his oldest brother's work. 25 

Some of the Barrows' relaxation was found in trips away 
from civilization. Both were good marksmen and loved to 
shoot, but Mrs. Barrow did not take out much time for 
shooting or hunting during the first eight years of their 
life in Douglas. From the beginning of the Budget, how- 
ever, there were many references to hunting trips made 
by Barrow himself. One account of August 17, 1887, tells 
of a party of Douglasites, "Bold, Bad Hunters," who spent 
four days in the Laramie Mountains, "trying to exterminate 
the wild game abounding in that area." (II, 11). Judge 
Sam Slaymaker acted as their official guide and, according 
to Barrow, was on speaking terms with every canyon, peak 
and precipice in the entire range. "The party slaughtered 
young sage chickens and grouse by the thousands; found 
fresh bear tracks, sighted both elk and antelope, bagged 
two deer, and had a right royal time throughout." (II, 11). 
This was only one of many such trips on which tries for 
big game seem always to have come second to bird hunting. 

One account of a duck hunt in Cody, Nebraska, told in 
third person by the Budget's editor, is especially good : 

Dr. Jesurun and Bill Barlow went down to Cody, Nebraska, 
after ducks last Thursday. They took with them some 1,800 
rounds of ammunition exclusive of Pringle's Re-Imported Duck 
Embalming Fluid, and no less than three Saratogas and a half- 
dozen gunny sacks, in which to ship birds back to Douglas. 
Every man, woman and child in the town was promised duck 
soup on their return, and it is even asserted that Joe Hazen and 
Druggist Steffen each contracted for 150 pounds of feathers, 
prior to the departure of the mighty hunters. 

The boys returned Monday. They brought back the trunks, 
the ammunition, and the gunny sacks. We might mention, inci- 
dentally, that they brought with them a goose, four teal about 
the size of black birds, and three sure-enough ducks. It is even 
hinted that these birds were bought of a small boy near Cody 

23. Ibid. 

24. Laramie Republican, XVII, 28, March 7, 1907. 

25. Combs, Interview, October, 1946. 


who had killed 'em with a club; but affidavits have been filed 
with the city clerk to the contrary . . . Messrs. Jesurun and 
Barrow will go down again next fall. (VIII, April 11, 1894). 

This report suggested that, since he could speak so lightly 
of an unsuccessful hunting trip, he loved hunting for more 
than the glory of a "big shoot." It indicates certainly that 
he could make a good story out of a relatively uninteresting 

Mrs. Barrow's name is listed in the Budget as being one 
of a grouse-hunting party that went out in the fall of 1893 
(VIII, 17). She was a hunting companion of her husband's 
on many subsequent trips. No doubt, it was their love of 
hunting which made them active members in the Douglas 
Gun Club, 26 and it is interesting to know that Mrs. Barrow 
usually rated relatively high in the meets held by this 
group (IX, 2, 1894), one of the most active of early Douglas 

From the first the Barrows were prominent in the social 
life of Douglas, which equaled in variety and activity that 
of any other frontier community. Early in the town's sec- 
ond year, the Douglas Club was organized, a group com- 
prising many of the business and professional men of the 
town (II, 16, 1887). This club secured and equipped a suite 
of rooms in the First National Bank Block and provided 
for a comfortable reading and card room. Barrow, the 
civic-minded editor, took a leading part in this, too, and was 
a member of the club's first Executive Committee with Carl 
Garver, its president, and R. W. Voxburgh (II, 16, 1887). 

Together the Barrows always did their part to make any 
social function of the town a success. They entered whole- 
heartedly into masque balls, sometime winning awards 
for their costumes. One report pictures Mrs. Barrow at the 
leap year "Bal Masque" dressed as a quaint little school 
girl accompanied by her husband robed as a priest (III, 3, 
1888). This dance, along with many other social affairs, 
was held in the opera house and was sponsored by the 
Douglas Social Club, a woman's organization. Mrs. Barrow 
was for a time president of this group (XVI, March 19, 

The Barrows were also active members in the Douglas 
Whist Club, which several times organized a series of eve- 
ning contests. At one time Barrow was president of the 
club (VI, November 25, 1891) and his wife was often listed 
in the Budget as a winner. They played for different 
prizes ; a $16 banquet lamp was given to Mrs. Barrow at the 

26. Rice, Interview, March, 1948. 


end of one series (XII, February 2, 1898), and the Rices 
as winners received silver spoons during another series. 27 
These spoons were engraved with the initials D. W. C. 
meaning Douglas Whist Club, but jokingly referred to by 
the club's members as "Don't Work the Cards." 28 

Barrow was apparently a consistent initiator and organ- 
izer of all new clubs. The Douglas Wheel Club, for example, 
was organized in July, 1899, with M. C. Barrow as president 
(XIV, 10, 1899). According to the Budget, committees 
were named at this first meeting and $30 was subscribed 
by the members for a track to be constructed inside the 
county block at the head of Center Street. The ever- 
willing editor was on the track committee. 

Barrow was also an active Mason, a Knight Templar, and 
a noble of the Mystic Shrine, and served as Master of the 
local Masonic lodge in 1899, 1900, and 1901. 29 Then there is 
correspondence in his copy book for 1906 regarding the 
charter for an Eastern Star chapter in Douglas, correspon- 
dence showing Barrow's good sense in what was probably a 
touchy situation. In a letter of March 29, 1906, he wrote: 

I am not sure that so large a list will be entirely agreeable to 
the original petitioners; but it seems the only way to avoid ill- 
feeling so widespread that it promised to affect the proposed 
chapter but seemed certain to stir up strife in our lodge as well 
— something to avoid, if possible. 30 

The picture one gets from the files of the Budget and, 
in the main, from interviews with people who knew the Bar- 
rows, portrays them as a busy, social-minded couple, par- 
ticipating widely in organized activities and in many forms 
of private entertainments, and Merris Barrow as a genial, 
popular, gregarious figure. But there are people in Douglas 
today who do not wish to express their opinions of Barrow. 
This circumstance may mean no more than that most people 
are reluctant to go on record as speaking disparagingly of 
a "departed" acquaintance. There are plenty of indica- 
tions, of course, in the Budget that Barrow had enemies 
as well as friends; indeed, there must have been many 
people who disliked him violently because of his assumption 
of authority and his acid pen. It is said that he was regard- 
ed by some as a person who "lorded it over his fellowmen." 31 
One gets an impression in Douglas, not explicitly stated by 
anyone there, however, that Barrow had a reputation for 

27. Rice, Interview, March, 1948. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Progressive Men of Wyoming, p. 500. 

30. Letter to Townsend, March 29, 1906, Copy Book of M. C. Bar- 
row Correspondence, p. 111. 

31. Harvey Allan, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, Oct., 1946. 


worldliness and even "wickedness," which shocked some of 
his more upright neighbors, and that this reputation took 
shape largely in his later years. It is possible that his 
arrogance grew with success and that most of the unpleas- 
ant personal traits and habits remembered about him de- 
veloped in the decade before his death. 

For example, his reputation as a drinker probably pro- 
voked criticism. It is remembered that he liked his whisky 
and "lickered up" now and then. 32 It is said extenuatingly 
that he was under considerable strain before his death and 
began drinking more heavily. This may have been what 
he himself meant when he told an acquaintance that he was 
burning the candle at both ends. 33 Most reports indicate 
that he was only a moderate drinker or at least one who 
could drink without being visibly affected by it. W. E. 
Chaplin commented as follows in 1907 in the columns of 
the Laramie Republican, which he edited: 

The "Sagebrush Philosopher" was given a royal welcome by 
the Denver Press club the other day and was admonished not to 
come to Denver again without giving the boys at least two days' 
previous notice. It is their desire to do a good many things to 
"Bill," but they must have a care or they will be in the same 
position that the Chicago fellows got into when they entertained 
the man from Douglas — all under the table while he whistled 
merrily homeward. 34 

In 1947 when Mr. Chaplin, then an octogenarian, was asked 
to record his memories of Barrow for inclusion in this 
biography, he wrote a letter in which he apparently tried 
to judge Barrow fairly both as a journalist and as a man. 35 
Though his judgment of Barrow's morals was harsh, he 
recalled that he had never heard of Barrow's getting drunk. 
Perhaps the best proof that Barrow was not an habitually 
excessive drinker lies in the fact that he worked energeti- 
cally and effectively and produced remarkable results. Of 
his drinking Barrow himself gave the following humorous 
account : 

The only time your Pastor to the Push was ever laid out cold 
in his life was in a "dry" town down in Nebraska where you 
couldn't buy, beg or steal a drop of the vile stuff — and yet Mrs. 
Bill tells me with tears in her eyes to this day how it took four 
men and a half-caste coon to bring me home. The fellow with 
a thirst and the sign right will find it — fell with law and li- 
cense. (XX, 10, 1904) 

W. E. Chaplin's attitude toward Barrow perhaps reflects 
as fair an estimate as one can get of the man. Chaplin 

32. Peterson, Interview, March, 1948. 

33. Rice, Interview, March, 1948. 

34. Laramie Republican, XVII, 27, Feb., 1907. 

35. Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 


knew Barrow for as long a period as did any person in 
Wyoming outside Barrow's immediate family. He worked 
with Barrow intimately in a newspaper office and was his 
associate for many years in state affairs of various kinds. 
In accounts published in the Republican Chaplin consistent- 
ly spoke highly of Barrow and defended him against charg- 
es of dishonesty. 36 In 1918 when Chaplin wrote a series of 
articles on pioneer Wyoming journalists for the Republican, 
he praised Barrow's skill and influence as a journalist. 37 
In 1947 when Chaplin composed what he perhaps regarded 
as his final estimate of Merris Barrow, he labored no doubt 
to be fair to Barrow and at the same time to his own 
standards of personal morality. He credited Barrow with 
high abilities as a journalist, but he expressed disapproval 
of him as a man. It is impossible to tell of course whether 
Chaplin was at last revealing his lifelong distaste for one 
facet of Barrow's character or whether he was expressing 
a judgment that had taken shape with age and a develop- 
ment of different attitudes on his own part. At any rate 
he made the following strong comment: 

Socially Earrow did not stand high. He was quite generally 
known as a philanderer. He embraced vice in nearly all its 
hideous forms. Alexander Pope gave vice three degrees, endure, 
pity and embrace. Barrow cut out the first two. At Douglas 
he belonged to a small coterie that played poker at each other's 
homes. He enjoyed going over to Deadwood, where vice was 
considered a virtue and gambling and prostitution were leading 
industries. 38 

Whatever Barrow's personal morals may have been, he 
was a man of many friends, an influential editor, and a 
tireless worker for local and state enterprises in which he 
believed. These aspects of his life, which can be verified 
and described in some detail, are after all those which give 
his story significance. 

36. Chaplin exonerated Barrow from guilt on the old mail fraud 
charge in Laramie in 1879 (Letter to Author, Jan. 1, 1947); asserted 
his competence and honesty at the time when Barrow was dismissed 
from the Land Office (Republican, XXII, 25, Feb. 7, 1907); and wrote 
the eulogistic obituary signed "A Friend" and published in the 
Budget in 1910. Mr. Chaplin identified himself as the author of the 
obituary in his letter of Jan. 1, 1947. 

37. Republican, Daily Edition, "Early Wyoming Newspapers," 
Laramie, April 24, 1918. 

38. Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. This interpretation of Chaplin's 
attitude has been suggested by Dr. Ruth Hudson, who knew Mr. 
Chaplin and at one time discussed Barrow with him. 



Each little frontier community had certain essential 
figures among its citizenry: the contractor to construct the 
town in a fitting fashion, the operator of the general store 
to make available for the town's citizens all kinds of impor- 
tant necessities, the blacksmith to keep the horses shod and 
the wagons in repair, the grocer to ship in necessary food, 
the banker to handle the money, the saloon keeper to keep 
it in circulation, and the preacher to supply the necessary 
spiritual spark. Certainly one of the important figures in 
the little communities just getting under way all along the 
frontier was the man of ideas in whose dreams cities were 
often built and under whose guidance they often systemat- 
ically materialized. In Douglas a good deal of the enthus- 
iasm and optimism necessary for initiating and pushing the 
town's development was supplied by Editor Barrow. 

One of the most valuable men in any local scene is the 
one willing to spend time in promoting the little projects 
which help his community and bring little or no direct 
honor to him. From the numerous references to such proj- 
ects in the Budget, it seems evident that in this capacity 
the Budget's editor did his share. 

Through his newspaper Barrow constantly called to the 
attention of Douglas citizens the possibility of initiating 
new and better things. From these records can be gathered 
a history of the town and its development under the in- 
fluence of local leaders, among whom Merris C. Barrow 
must unquestionably be listed as a key figure. 

From his early days in Douglas until his death, Barrow 
supported worthwhile activities in the town which he helped 
to build. Always he recognized and proclaimed the com- 
munity's possibilities. Near the end of his second year as 
editor of the Budget, on March 21, 1888, he recorded a 
militant defense of his town and his paper: 

Envy, jealousy and anger may prompt the assertion that 
Douglas is a dead town: but the Budget itself — every issue of it 
— proves conclusively to the contrary. No "dead town" could 
support a newspaper as the Budget is supported; no "dead 
town" could long maintain such an establishment. In fact the 
history of the Budget, dating from the hour of its birth, fur- 
nishes ample evidence that the town of Douglas is alive, wide- 
awake, growing and prosperous. The paper has made money 
from the day of its inception. While two would-be rivals 
winked out through sheer starvation, the Budget prospered 
. . . Hence I maintain that the Budget is a monument erected 
by the people of Douglas and central Wyoming which stands 
today as undisputable evidence of their own prosperity. (II, 42) 

Here Barrow credited Douglas with the building of the 
Budget. Whether the paper made the town what it was 


or whether the town made the paper, Merris Barrow was 
right in the middle of the development. 

Hardly an issue passed without a plea for some commun- 
ity improvement. Probably the first project which Barrow 
brought before his readers was the town's need for mail 
service and a post office. A demand for this service ap- 
peared in the first issue of the Budget followed by an urgent 
request that everybody sign the petition being circulated 
(I, 1, 1886). This item appeared before the town of Doug- 
las had even been located, while people were still flocking 
to Fetterman. 

In the second issue of the Budget, Barrow made a call for 
merchants that the town lacked. "The 'new town' has no 
blacksmith shop, no bank, no shoe shop, no dry goods nor 
clothing store, no barber nor harness shop." (I, 2). His 
advertising of this opportunity may have brought results, 
for a record of the town's merchants at a slightly later date 
included the business men of this list. 

The first fire which occurred in Douglas during June, 
1887, suggested to Barrow another project (II, 4). The 
fire started at 3 a.m. one June morning and completely 
destroyed in a half hour a small frame structure on north 
Second Street occupied by a couple of prostitutes. Barrow's 
immediate call for a fire protection meeting resulted in the 
appointment of a committee on plans and estimates as to 
the probable cost of some kind of protection for the new 
town against fire (II, 8, 1887). By July 27 over $600 had 
been subscribed and plans were underway for purchasing 
fire-fighting equipment (II, 8, 1887). 

"Douglas needs a system of water works," cried Barrow 
in the Budget of June 13, 1888 (III, 2) . He maintained that 
the people realized this fact and would carry out the wishes 
of the city fathers if they would only go ahead and build 
the system. Barrow must still have had fire protection 
on his mind, for he applauded the idea of a water system 
by saying that the necessary extra tax would be saved by 
the reduction in fire insurance rates given to a town with 
running water. He spoke of many other things that the 
water system would bring, mentioning especially trees and 
lawns which would be made possible (III, 2). 

The project for a water system was tabled because of lack 
of funds and some time elapsed before it was actually 
undertaken. In the meantime, Barrow's interest in pro- 
curing a water system for Douglas had made his aware- 
ness of fire hazards more urgent. When the water system 
failed to materialize, probably it occurred to his practical 
mind that the next best thing to preventing a fire was insur- 


ing against loss in case of fire. So he became an insurance 
salesman along with his other activities. In November, 
1895, the Budget was carrying an advertisement for fire 
insurance. Policies on both ranch and city property would 
be written by the agent, M. C. Barrow. 

Barrow suggested not only the planting of trees and 
lawns to make his city beautiful but through his columns 
urged the public to "Clean up!" (Ill, 3, 1888). He empha- 
sized the importance of keeping the streets and alleys clean 
by telling his readers that the danger from decaying vege- 
tation and kitchen refuse rotting in the sun could not be 
estimated. "There is more danger at this time of year 
than any other," said Barrow in June of 1888 (III, 3). A 
continuation of his clean-up program was his ardent advo- 
cacy in 1901 and 1902 of a sewer system. 

Barrow was certainly in close touch with all kinds of 
progress in his growing community. The Budget recorded 
the closing of the Maverick Bank in January, 1888, and the 
vindication of its president, the establishment of the town's 
first ball club the following summer, the organization of a 
cornet band, the opening of a new saloon, the arrival of a 
new minister, the planning for the state fair, the opening 
of a land office, the organization of the town's orchestra, 

The editorial concerning the town's orchestra, which 
appeared in the Budget of June 27, 1900, is especially clever 
and for this reason is included in part for the reader to 

Douglas has passed another milestone in her onward march 
toward metropolitan honors; has taken another reef in her 
back hair, and cultivates a new strut. We have an orchestra. 
Originally the musical programme attending social functions in 
these parts comprised the nasal whine of a circle of half-dressed 
and less-washed Sioux squaws about a primitive tom-tom, to the 
rythmic thump of which Jimmie Fewclothes and Knock-Kneed 
Buffalo did the couche-couche preparatory to hashing the lungs 
and liver of some luckless captive. True, the air was jerky, the 
the harmony far fetched and the time most any old measure; 
but it suited Poor Lo . . . A one-eyed fiddler astride a wagon 
tongue come upon the scene later, and brawny freighters tread- 
ed mazes of a "stag" quadrille or did a jog by the light of a 
smouldering campfire, and liked it. After him the country fid- 
dler — the self-taught maestro, who didn't know a musical scale 
from a section of picket fence and who usually rested the bell 
of his instrument on his knees — but could play "The Irish Wash- 
erwoman," "Devil's Dream," etc. . . . But times have changed — 
likewise the people. A few of the head push have been east, and 
returned with the two-step and other modern skates, and our 
children come home from school to spend their vacation and 
kick because Bill Stubbs plays too fast and by ear and the same 
old tunes he always did play. Those of us, too, who have dodged 
the fortieth mile-post and who still hanker after terpsichorean 


joys find the time just a shade too lively for starched collars 
and soft corns — so we've risen to the dignity of an orchestra 
which plays all the latest music in perfect time, and by note, and 
well. We'll dispense with the caller next, I presume — that 
uncrowned king of the oldtime shindig whose "Rope you Heifers 
and all Chaw Hay," rings in my ears 'till yet — and otherwise 
conform to social usuages of the copper-cent east. Make way 
there for the spike-tail coat'. Who knows? (XV, 4, 1900) 

The columns of Barrow^s paper reveal that he watched 
with enthusiastic interest and lively comments the progress 
of telephone expansion in his region. These news items 
are worthy of mention because of what they reveal about 
Barrow and about the importance of communication in 
those days when transportation was still very slow. Ac- 
cording to an article in the Budget of July 31, 1902, the 
contract was let in Cheyenne for the distribution of 5,000 
poles required for the new telephone line from Cheyenne to 
Douglas (XVI, 8). In this same issue Barrow quoted the 
company as saying that the line would be completed as far 
as Douglas that year. By this time the poles had arrived 
and had been sent to various points along the railroad from 
which the distribution would occur. The wire had not ar- 
rived yet but was expected within a day or two, and then 
active construction would begin. The company, according 
to the Budget's account, planned to start a large force of 
men working on the line northward out of Cheyenne and 
would put on another force at Douglas to work south if 
the work did not progress rapidly. 

By December 4, 1901, the telephone must have arrived. 
The paper of that date contained a jubilant article concern- 
ing this new luxury : 

To sit in your office and talk with a friend who is seven hun- 
dred and fifty miles away; to recognize his voice and almost 
smell the aroma of that last clove which his tongue tells you he 
must have had — it was this experience which served to bring 
to my notice, the other day, the fact that the Rocky Mountain 
Bell Telephone people had completed their Douglas-Cheyenne 
extension, and that through the medium of this wonderful 
twentieth century achievement I was enabled to swap electrified 
hot air with an acquaintance at Salt Lake. And being assured 
that I could play the game without limit and free of tolls, I 
went the rounds and figuratively touched flesh with the boys 
at Rawlins, Saratoga, Laramie, Denver, Cheyenne and other 
points where either pencil-pushers or barkeepers have the honor 
of my acquaintance. It was a pleasant trip. (XVI, 26) 

Among the copies of Barrow's letters found in a bat- 
tered old copy book was discovered an especially revealing 
one — revealing in the sense that it tells better than any 
person could the kind of influence wielded by the Budget's 
editor in his community. This letter, written to W. F. Mc- 
Farland, Esq., Superintendent of the Telegraph Office in 


Omaha, Nebraska, concerned the delayed installation of a 
promised telephone at the depot in Douglas. 

Friend McFarland: Why is it that the Northwestern (tele- 
graph department) office cat persists in devouring every appeal 
sent in from this man's town relative to the urgent necessity 
for a telephone at the depot. As near as I can get at it, nine 
thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine letters have been writ- 
ten by gentlemen comprising Superintendent Vance of the Bell 
company, local agents and on down the scale to poor me — all of 
which asserted that a phone at the depot would not only be a 
great convenience to the public generally but to the railroad 
company as well — the telephone people meanwhile asserting 
their willingness to install an instrument as desired and without 
expense to the railroad for all time — and yet for a year and a 
half these letters have gone in, only to be swallowed up in the 
unfathomable whencene3s of an unknown what. 

Our local te^phone exchange has now nearly 100 phones, and 
the best service obtainable; it is quite a walk down to the depot 
and in winter a nuisance as well. You were kind enough to say 
in reply to my last query that somebody or other 'had the mat- 
ter under advisement.' Did he die? If so, has his successor 
been named as yet? What t'elle zemazzer, anyway? Trulyi 

This chatty bit of correspondence apparently brought 
prompt results. On March 30, 1904, in the "Telephone 
Talk" column of the Budget reference was made to the 
installation of a telephone in the depot (XIX, 42). "All 
red tape difficulties have finally been overcome," (XIX, 42) 
said Barrow, not revealing his own part in the operation. 

Then in February, 1906, Barrow wrote to the superinten- 
dent in Wyoming for the Bell Telephone Company, announc- 
ing the anticipated addition of a second story to the Barrow 
block on Third Street over the post office, part of the same 
unit which housed the Budget. 2 He offered the company 
a floor space of 23 X 28 feet, "exclusive of stairway but in- 
cluding partitions." He explained that this space would be 
divided into four rooms "with windows, doors, and parti- 
tions as desired" by the telephone company. His prospectus 
even included reference to a "water closet and lavatory; 
hot water heat day and night, wiring for electric lights 
. . . rental of thirty dollars per month on a five year lease" 
with everything to be ready in five weeks. The Bell Tele- 
phone Company accepted the offer. 

Many activities of early Douglas in which Barrow par- 
ticipated in turn brought recognition to him as a person and 
involved him actively as a public leader and benefactor. 
Early in the town's life he was elected to the first school 
board, on which he served as clerk for two years (I, 15, 

1. Letter to W. F. McFarland, Jan. 25, 1904, Copy Book of M. 
Barrow Correspondence, p. 32. 

2. Letter to A. J. Vance, Feb. 6, 1906, Copy Book, p. 109. 


1886). With the other two men on the board he chose the 
teachers and worked for the erection of a $3,000 brick 
school building (II, 13, 1886). Late in the summer of 1887 
he referred in the Budget to this school house, mentioning 
that it might be erected early in October, although school 
would begin September 20 in the old Rowdy West building 
(II, 13). 

Barrow also engaged actively in the city government of 
Douglas, working first of all for its establishment, then as 
one of its officials. In 1887 Douglas was a part of Albany 
County, of which Laramie was the county seat. It was in 
Laramie that the resolution to incorporate Douglas was 
filed on June 8, 1887, although the corporate seal was not 
adopted until October 22. 3 The first city council, with Carl 
Garver, the banker, as mayor and M. C. Barrow as clerk, 
met for the first time on October 19, 1887, and meetings 
were set for the first Monday of each month with special 
meetings to be announced twelve hours before they were 
to be held. 4 

The Budget, announcing the first city council, carried an 
item which suggested that Barrow was proud of his place 
in the new government of Douglas. 

It has got out, somehow, that I have recently risen to the 
dignity of a public official, and the press gang is spreading the 
glad tidings with a breezy freedom which has a tendency to 
swell my head. (II, 20, 1887) 

In 1888 a new mayor was elected, but Barrow continued 
as town clerk. He remained as town clerk after the election 
of May 16, 1889, although still another mayor was elected. 
During this last year as clerk, he was also busy as city 
assessor. On April 17, 1889, he said, "If there is anything 
wrong with this issue of the Budget please charge it to the 
fact that the editor has been so busily engaged as city as- 
sessor the past few days that the paper has been allowed to 
run itself." (111,46). 

On May 13, 1890, when the fourth city election was held, 
M. C. Barrow was elected mayor with 125 votes. The first 
council meeting of his term of office was held on the evening 
of June 2, 1890. At this time the council set a dog tax of 
twenty-five cents, and made plans to work for sidewalks 
on each side of the street from Fourth to Oak, the council 
deciding that the owners were to lay the walks themselves. 

Again foremost among the things discussed during this 
year was the water works project. Finally the bill regard- 

3. Record Book, City Hall, Douglas, Wyoming. 

4. "Rules and Regulations of Town Council," Minutes of CouncU 
Meetings, City Clerk's office, Douglas, Wyoming. 


ing it, which was to have been brought up at the next elec- 
tion, was laid on the table because of lack of funds; how- 
ever, Barrow and one other member voted to keep the water 
question on the next election ballot. The tabling of this 
bill was no doubt a disappointment to Barrow, because he 
had worked hard to extend the water works and during the 
year had published many articles on the subject in the 
columns of the Budget. 

On May 16, 1891, at a regular council meeting, George 
Bolln became the new mayor according to the minutes of 
the council now on file at the Douglas Court House. 5 It has 
been stated that Barrow was mayor for two successive 
terms, 6 but the actual city records report otherwise. He 
was nominated for mayor, however, in 1898 by a caucus 
which met at the city hall (XII, May 4, 1898) . Since he was 
at the time acting as receiver of the United States Land 
Office, Barrow could not accept this nomination. He ex- 
plained his reasons for declining it in the next week's issue 
of the Budget for May 11, 1898 : 

On advice of Attorney General Van Orsdel and Judge Lacey, 
of Cheyenne, M. C. Barrow was compelled to decline the office 
of mayor, to which he was nominated by a mass meeting of our 
citizens one day last week. They held that under our consti- 
tution a United States official could not legally hold any office 
within the gift of the state, and that his election to one would 
necessarily vacate the other. A petition was circulated on 
Saturday nominating J. J. Steffen. (XII, May 11, 1898) 

Distances between the scattered populated areas in Wyo- 
ming Territory were great in the late 1800's. During his 
second year as editor of Bill Barlow's Budget, however, 
Barrow began to think of the time when Douglas and the 
country surrounding it would have a large enough popula- 
tion to warrant the forming of a new county separate from 
Albany. On the editorial page of the Budget of February 
18, 1888, appeared the following short but meaningful no- 
tice: "County-seat — then water works!" (II, 35). 

In Bartlett's History of Wyoming, Converse 7 is listed as 
one of the three counties created by the legislature of 1888 
in the passage of an act entitled, "An act making divers 
appropriations and for other purposes." 8 This act was 
vetoed by Governor Moonlight but was passed and signed 
by John A. Riner, President of the Council, and L. D. Pease, 

5. Ibid. 

6. Progressive Men of Wyoming, p. 500. 

7. The county was named for A. R. Converse, a pioneering and 
influential cattleman of the Chugwater and Lance Creek regions. 
See Eartlett, History of Wvoming, p. 515. 

8. Ibid. 


Speaker of the House, on March 9, 1888, over the Gover- 
nor's objections. 9 The original county of Converse included 
not only the county that now bears the name but the 
present county of Niobrara. 10 

The alert editor of the Budget "jumped the gun" a little 
in announcing this bit of news; for although the act was 
not passed over the Governor's veto until March 9, the 
paper published the following item on March 7, 1888: 

The Budget on behalf of the new county of Converse — which, 
good sirs and gentlemen, is a bright healthy infant and as lusty 
a youngster as ever sprang from the loins of any legislative 
power, and who promises great things for the future — bows its 
acknowledgements, and acknowledges its indebtedness to you 
for favors rendered. (II, 40) 

May 15, 1888, was set as the day for the organization of 
Converse County (II, 47), when county seat and county 
officials were to be selected. In his book, Malcolm Camp- 
bell, Sheriff, Robert David stated that of the 2,172 votes 
cast Douglas received more than Lusk, the other contestant 
for the county seat. 11 He did suggest, however, that "sev- 
eral peculiar things happened in the balloting." It is pos- 
sible that irregularities in voting did occur, since strong 
measures were often taken in early day elections involving 
such rabid rivals as Lusk and Douglas. 

Although prior to June, 1889, Barrow had not committed 
himself or his paper as being either Democratic or Repub- 
lican, from that time forward he labeled the Budget as a 
Republican paper in which policies of the Republican party 
would be stressed. Because Barrcw was receiver of the 
United States Land Office, he was not free to run for any 
county office; but he was very active in the Republican 
party in his county and was often chosen to represent it at 
the Republican state convention (XVII, July 9, 1902). The 
Republican was the dominant party in Douglas, as well as 
in the state, in Barrow's day ; and he was justified in saying 
in 1902 that the "Republicans carried Converse County as 
usual in the election." (XVII, November 5, 1902). 

Although from time to time in local elections, Barrow 
recommended certain Democrats for office in the non-par- 
tisan elections of the town, he was predominantly a Repub- 
lican and a very strong and powerful one. It is likely that 
he wielded considerable influence in Republican circles of 
the state. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Ibid. 

11. David, Malcolm Campbell, Sheriff, p. 130. 


Barrow's association with the Republican party may have 
kept the Budget on its feet during lean years when other 
new sheets were "blinking out." The party was in power 
in the county almost continuously, and when it selected 
someone to do county printing, Barrow was invariably 
chosen. Later because of his connections with the Land 
Office, Barrow was also able to throw more printing to the 
Budget, and this business brought financial help of con- 
siderable importance. 

Before the establishment of the United States Land Of- 
fice in 1890, Douglas had a local land office. An item in the 
"Personal Intelligence" column of the Budget for October 
8, 1889, conveyed the impression that Barrow had been 
receiver of this office for some time and announced his 
appointment as special disbursing agent for the land de- 
partment of the district (V, 18, 1889). A few weeks later 
the Douglas land office was again mentioned in the Budget 
when it moved to new and more commodious quarters in 
the two Third Street rooms of the First National Bank 
Building (V, 22, 1890). This Douglas land office was the 
forerunner of the United States Land Office which was es- 
tablished in 1890. 12 Barrow was appointed the first re- 
ceiver of the United States Land Office by President Har- 
rison, and in this capacity he had responsibility for the 
public lands and the money received from them until 1894. 
When Democratic President Cleveland took office, Barrow, 
a Republican, naturally was removed. 13 When the Repub- 
licans returned to power under President McKinley, Barrow 
was again appointed receiver in June, 1897 (XII, 2). "As 
receiver his duties were light, giving ample time for his 
editorial work." 14 Yet they brought him influence and 
prestige as well as financial assistance. 

The editor of the Budget always stood out against land 
fraud in the columns of his paper and showed his disap- 
proval of large tracts being given to one man. Of course 
it is sometimes hard to tell whether a newsman is attacking 
an individual for a specific but hidden motive of some kind 
or because he sincerely sees something of which he does 
not approve. It appears, however, that Barrow was con- 
sistently sincere in his championship of the little man in 
his fight against what appeared to be arbitrary assumption 
of power on the part of those with influence and wealth. 
For example, though Barrow had supported Joseph M. 

12. Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming, p. 500. 

13. Ibid., p. 500. 

14. W. E. Chaplin, Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 


Carey's candidacy for Congressional Delegate from Wyo- 
ming Territory previous to statehood in 1890, he attacked 
the Carey holdings for applying for too much land in 
August, 1897 (XII, 11). His articles concerning Carey's 
land claims appeared in the August 11, 1897, issue of the 
Budget as follows: 

Attention is called to Bill Barlow's comments on the proposed 
Carey selection, appearing on the first and fourth pages of this 
issue. The Budget has never for a moment entertained the idea 
that Mr. Carey's scheme for gobbling up a goodly portion of the 
Platte valley would receive the approval of the state board. 
Under all the circumstances it is a most absurd proposition — a 
manifest injustice to this section of the state and the people 
who live in it, and could only hope to succeed through the rank- 
est sort of favoritism shown a rich man with a "pull" as against 
those who are not so fortunate. We had taken it for granted 
that the proposition would simply die a natural death, through 
the intelligence and honesty of the state board — and we still be- 
lieve that it will. The artful attempt of Mr. Carey's newspaper, 
however, to belittle the Casper meeting by calling those who 
made formal protest "fools;" its labored effort to gloss over the 
fact that fully one hundred ranchmen went to Casper on that 
day for that purpose although only a few of them mustered up 
courage enough to face the inquiry; its whoop-ia style of com- 
ment in discussing the question from its own standpoint, and 
its too-evident desire that the claims of what it is pleased to 
term the rabble must not be considered until after Mr. Carey 
has been satisfied — all this has led the editor hereof to rise in his 
pew and^ay just a word or two in behalf of the people who are 
not rich,^vho have no "pull," and are without daily newspapers 
through which to bulldose and mislead the state board. (XII, 
11, 1897) 

In the next issue Barrow again dealt with the Carey land 
selection question. Here he employed one of his favorite 
journalistic tricks by referring first to the friendship be- 
tween himself and Carey and then denouncing Carey's quest 
for land. It became habitual with him to preface a deroga- 
tory statement about an individual with a declaration of 
friendship and a reference to his past pleasant relations or 
friendly feeling for the individual. 

The Budget has no quarrel with Judge Carey — his newspaper 
to the contrary notwithstanding. Our relations have always 
been friendly. This fact, however, has no bearing upon the ques- 
tion as to whether or no he should be given control of over 
22,000 acres of state lands, while others equally deserving must 
go without. The whole proposition resolves itself into a ques- 
tion of equity and the greatest good to the greatest number, to 
be considered in its broadest meaning and finally determined by 
a considerable amount of horse sense. Pending that decision 
by the state board, we would suggest that all those who desire 
to select and lease state land — whether a part of the Carey 
tract or elsewhere — make out their applications and send them 
to Professor Mead, president of the board of control. (XII, 12, 


It is impossible, of course, to estimate the extent of Bar- 
row's influence in persuading his readers to agree with his 
ideas of what was right and wrong in the public affairs of 
his day. His success in initiating local enterprises would 
suggest, however, that his political opinions carried weight 
with his readers. It is clear that Barrow was a man with 
such energy, had a faculty for getting both in and out of 
trouble, and seemingly enjoyed greatly triumphing over his 

Barrow's verbal tussle with Carey over land was prob- 
ably not the only controversy he had as receiver of the 
United States Land Office. Many fraudulent dealings grew 
out of public land transactions all over the West in those 
days, with the office and the individual land owners vying 
for the place of dishonor. Some of these affairs became 
public, charges were made, and definite decisions, whether 
right or wrong, were handed down as to the guilty party. 
Many land affairs, however, were kept quiet or never 
reached the stage of outright charges. 

In 1905 it was probably some enemy whom Barrow had 
incurred as receiver who wrote to the General Land Office 
in Washington questioning Barrow's qualifications for the 
office of receiver. In Barrow's answer to the Land Commis- 
sioner's communication on the subject he said, # 

If further evidence be required by the President, the Honor- 
able Secretary of the Interior or yourself touching any feature 
of this malicious and unwarranted attack I will gladly furnish 
it, for I have reached that age where I want this whole matter 
defnitely determined and passed upon now for all time. 15 

With this answer Barrow sent many references from 
friends who wished to vouch for his honesty. In referring 
to the material he said, "It seems somewhat bulky, and yet 
in the preparation I refused hundreds of offers from 
friends who had knowledge of its purpose and wanted to 
add their mite." 16 To former Governor W. A. Richards, 
who was then Land Commissioner in Washington, Barrow 
wrote in 1907: 

Everybody on whom our friend Hitchcock gets his eagle eye 
has troubles of their own, as appears, and I hate to inflict mine 
on you — although it is good to know that insofar as the Wyo- 
ming bunch is concerned he doesn't seem to have gotten away 
with anything up to the hour of going to press. But — he is the 
boy we are afraid of, hence this letter and documents herewith 
— calculated, I presume, to make the old cuss smack his lips 

15. Letter to Commissioner, General Land Office, Washington, 
D. C, March 15, 1905, Copy Book, p. 99. 

16. Ibid. 


in ghoulish glee as having found so illustrious an imitator in 
our former clerk Robert F. Potter Jr., who has gotten us into 
trouble. 17 

In an open letter to his readers some time later, Barrow 
explained that R. F. Potter Jr. had been a clerk in the land 
office for five years, during which time $230.00 had been 
received in fees which never appeared on the records. Most 
of the items were small and should have been accounted 
for in a record kept by Potter (XXII, 35, 1907). One 
failure to record a payment of $197.30 from George Smith 
was discovered by Barrow and A. D. Chamberlin, register 
in the Land Office in Douglas, ten months after it was paid. 
They dismissed Potter and paid the shortage (XXII, 35, 
1907). According to the Laramie Republican of February 
7, 1907, in a reprint item from the Casper Tribune, Potter 
preferred charges against Barrow after his dismissal. As 
soon as Barrow heard of the charges, however, he sent for 
an inspector. 18 Barrow referred to this inspector in his 
letter to Commissioner Richards and indicated that he 
expected an unfavorable report in spite of his innocence 
of any mishandling of funds. He wrote : 

Since Inspector Wadsworth came here under your instructions 
and at our request he has received Potter's formal charges direct 
from Hitchcock, and I presume will report direct to him instead 
of to you. In view of this I am sending you herewith copies of 
Chamberlin's statement and mine, which we ask you to read 
and retain. These were accompanied by fourteen affidavits as 
delivered to the Inspector and two of these corroborated — cover- 
ing many material facts and ALL declaring — from that of Gov- 
ernor Brooks down — that they would not believe Potter under 
oath. . . . The last page of my sworn statement summarizes the 
whole matter and shows that outside the moneys in dispute 
between Potter and the office — which I understand we must 
now make good but which we insist we did not receive other 
than to turn it over to him — there is really nothing left on which 
to base any charge other than implicit confidence in a clerk who 
took advantage of the confidence to get us into trouble. This, 
followed by a year and a half in which I am sure there isn't an 
error — since we have no longer depended upon Potter and have 
been doing our own work — ought to count for something. 

We believe the inspector's report will be against us. He has 
spent most of his time with Potter, in Potter's office and with 
Potter's friends . . . We even get, in a round about way from the 
"Utes" as Ed Wells calls them — although he is still at work on 
his report — that he will recommend that Al and I both be fired. 
In view of this possibility I am sending you this stuff, and am 
duplicating all of it to Wells also with request that he gets the 
the senators together and read it to them — including Frank of 
course — so they will be posted in case the ball does open. 

As a matter of fact Chamberlin did expect to resign in a 
couple of months anyway; but neither of us want to be fired — 

17. Letter to W. A. Richards, Jan. 18, 1907, Copy Book, p. 119. 

18. Laramie Republican, XXII, 25, Feb. 7, 1907. 


although well aware that Mr. Hitchcock — in default of the scalp 
of Mr. Warren or yourself, will likely be very glad to get that of 
any of their friends. 19 

In another letter written the same day, Barrow went over 
the case with a friend named Ed, presumably the Ed Wells 
of the previously quoted letter. 

. . . We are depending, however, upon the fact that a "fire" 
can only come from the president, and only after notice to 
the senators. We understand, fully, that Hitchcock would 
like the scalp of anyone known to be their friends — but find 
comfort in the fact that he doesn't seem to have won many 
bluffs in that game as yet. Eoth Al and I realize that "You 
all" are busy; but I am sending you this whole matter so 
that you will have everything bearing on it from our standpoint, 
with requests that you present it to both Mr. Clark and Mr. 
Warren — surely they can find a couple of hours for us in which 
to "post up" on the points so that if called upon to discuss it 
with the president they can do it with a full knowledge of the 
facts. As you will see, the whole thing hinges on the person- 
ality and character of Potter — whether or no God ever so far 
forgot his obligations to humanity to make such a man. His 
admissions to the Inspector are enough to damn him — only that 
after the first day or two the Inspector seems to have thrown 
in with him . . . 

There has been gross carelessness — cured, however, I believe 
. . . Then there is the political end of it — the whole thing ribbed 
up by Johnny Williams and Billy Irvine. 

I need not tell you that everybody in town damns Potter — 
really he hasn't a friend left outside of these two men. Even my 
political enemies say it an outrage, and for the life of me, I don't 
see how Potter is to get his flour from this on. 

Study this stuff, arrange the affidavits, and then ask the 
senators and Mondell to give you a couple of hours and lay the 
case before them so they will be "loaded" when it comes up . . . 
Al as you know intends to resign in a month or so, and Wheeler 
will succeed him. I want to serve out my term, and then any- 
one can have the place. To get fired would not only humiliate 
me, but it would strengthen the hands of the Utes in many ways 
as you understand, and neither of us want that. 20 

Though often bitterly attacked and sometimes charged 
with dishonesty, Barrow usually was able to clear himself 
of such charges, either because of his real innocence or 
because of luck or skill in argument. In this case he did 
not win, however. Barrow announced to his readers on 
February 6, 1907, "The President, one day last week, ac- 
cepted the resignation of A. D. Chamberlin as register of 
the Douglas land office, tendered through Senator Warren 

19. Letter to Richards, Jan. 18, 1907, Copy Book, p. 119. The 
"Hitchcock" referred to was Secretary of Interior. "Frank" was 
Congressman Frank Mondell. 

20. Letter to Ed, Jan. 18, 1907, Copy Book, p. 120. "Ed" was 
probably Edmund J. Wells, former Douglas citizen, serving as pri- 
vate secretary to Senator C. D. Clark. 


last October, and summarily dismissed me as receiver." 
(XXII, 35). 

If a notice in the Laramie Republican of February 7, 
1907, can be regarded as typical of public sentiment, evi- 
dently Barrow was not judged too critically by the people 
of the state: 

Both Mr. Barrow and Mr. Chamberlin have been obliging, 
competent and honorable officers and the shortage was merely 
a matter of carelessness.2i 

Barrow lost the receivership, but his prestige and influence 
continued to increase steadily. 


Merris C. Barrow first emerged as a state figure because 
of his interest in political activities and the forcefulness 
of his comments on political leaders and policies. The 
process of Barrow's transition from a middle-of-the-road 
position politically to an influential place in the Republican 
party can be found in the columns of the Budget. Before 
declaring himself as a Republican, Barrow was almost 
equally frank in his criticisms of certain leaders in both 
parties. Some of his early political comments contrast 
strangely with his staunch Republican sympathies of a 
later period. 

In an editorial concerning the selection by the President 
of the United States of the Governor of the Territory of 
Wyoming in 1886, Barrow wrote that the people "would 
shed few tears over the removal of Francis E. Warren." 
(I, 6). Nor did he support another of the popular candi- 
dates, G. T. Beck, for this office (I, 6) . 

The "Political Talk" on the editorial page of a later issue 
in the same year contained a catchy but unfavorably crit- 
ical comment about another Republican: 

What sort of a man is this Vawsborg, anyhow? Prior to the 
incorporation meeting he was not in favor of the measure. At 
the Republican rally Monday night he made a somewhat lengthy 
harangue in favor of the measure — and of himself. And this 
man who seems to change his opinions oftener than he does his 
tie — wants to represent Albany county in the Tenth Legislative 
assembly! Thanks, no! (I, 20, 1886) 

Barrow did not long continue his ill feeling toward War- 
ren. By 1889, however, he had openly declared his paper 
Republican. Perhaps it was this affiliation that warmed his 
heart toward Warren and led him to laud President Har- 
rison for naming Warren Governor of Wyoming. He said, 

21. Laramie Republican, XXII, 25, Feb. 7, 1907. 


"The voice of the people has been heard and their hopes 
have been granted. All hail to Governor Warren ! — Ta-ta to 
Tommy the Tramp!" (Ill, 43, 1889). Again in 1896, Bar- 
row defended Warren warmly against attacks made by 
another Douglas paper, which Barrow called the No News, 
and the Cheyenne Tribune (X, February 26, 1896). Per- 
haps Barrow's increasing opportunities for acquaintance 
with Republican leaders or his better understanding of 
Republican policies influenced him to cast his lot with that 
party. He could have simply decided, of course, that it 
was good business to throw in his lot with the party con- 
sistently in power. 

As he came to subscribe more completely to the tenets 
of the Republican party, he spoke out more violently against 
the leaders of the Democratic party. Journalistic "mud- 
slinging" against the candidates of an opposing party was 
freely used as a political weapon in Barrow's day. From 
the following article which appeared in the Budget's "Chit 
Chat" column in 1900, it is easy to believe that Barrow 
thoroughly enjoyed indulging in this form of political 
warfare : 

"Will John Chawles Thompson accept the nomination for 
Congress tendered him, by the democracy of Wyoming?" 
anxiously inquires one demo-pop contemporary. Will a duck 
swim ? It is true that the valiant colonel is sorter dallying with 
the sweet morsel, and thus far has said to every newspaper man 
who would stand still long enough that he had not yet decided 
whether he would accept the "honor," or not. But its all a 
bluff — another instance of the girl, who while vowing she'd 
ne'er consent, consented. She intended to surrender all the 
while — and so does John Chawles. Probably began on his letter 
of acceptance as soon as he sold those mines, for he's smart 
enough to know that the words "bar'l" and "unanimous nomi- 
nation" are, in the eyes of a democratic convention, spelled with 
the same letters and in the same way and mean the same 
thing. (XV, 3, 1900) 

Sometime later when J. C. Thompson, a Cheyenne attor- 
ney, was scheduled to appear in Douglas, the following 
item appeared in the Budget: 

John Chawles Thompson — he of Kentucky — who thinks he is 
running for Congress, will hold forth at the opera house Friday 
evening and tell the people of Douglas why six cent wool is 
better than fourteen cent wool, and incidentally explain the 
beauties of free soup houses. A dance will follow the speech 
making. (XV, 14, 1900) 

As Wyoming Territory grew financially and economically, 
the population increased rapidly. With this development, 
Wyoming leaders began to think of statehood. By July, 
1889, the members of the Constitutional Convention had 
been selected. Among those chosen were numerous men 
of the press. Barrow of the Budget was one of these; his 


friend Will Chaplin from the Laramie Boomerang was an- 
other; and a newspaper rival, J. K. Calkins of the Lusk 
Herald, was also chosen (IV, 6, 1889). 

Six weeks later near the end of August, Barrow anr 
nounced in the Budget his departure for Cheyenne to spend 
three weeks attending Wyoming's Constitutional Conven- 
tion (IV, 12, 1889). Other delegates who accompanied him 
from Converse County were W. C. Irvine, a man of many 
activities in state politics whose interest lay with the 
cattlemen, DeForest Richards, later governor of Wyoming, 
and Calkins of Lusk. Barrow and Richards were listed 
as Republicans, while Calkins and Irvine were classed as 

The minutes and proceedings of the Constitutional Con- 
vention do not show that Barrow took a very active part 
in the debates. The roll calls of each session record that 
Barrow was not even a consistent attendant; however, he 
was a member of several committees. He represented Con- 
verse County on the Rules Committee, was named to Com- 
mittee 14 on Railroads and Telegraphs, and served with 
Chaplin on Committee 17, Printing Publications, Accounts 
and Expenses. His two-day absences on three different 
occasions may have been because of trips to Douglas to 
assist in getting out the Budget. An article in the Budget 
for September 25, 1889, indicated that he did not think 
too highly of what he called the "Jack-in-the-box" atmos- 
phere of the convention. 

The constitutional convention may conclude its labors along 
in the shank of the current year — and it may not. As a matter 
of fact the work should have been concluded a week or ten days 
ago; and it would have been, were it not for the fact that there 
are a half-dozen or more talented gentlemen in the body of each 
of whom seems to be a sort of a Jack-in-the-box. Every once 
in a while — oftener in fact — the catch which holds these gentle- 
men down slips off, and they bob up and shake their gory locks 
at the convention. The gentlemen from Gander Creek moves 
to amend by inserting the word "tweedle dee" after the seventh 
word in line four of section 1-p. Then the gentleman from 
Jawbony moves to admend the amendment by substituting the 
word "tweedle dam" in lieu thereof. Then the catches slip off 
all over the house and a "general discussion" follows. An hour 
is spent, and finally both amendments are withdrawn. The 
convention draws a sigh of relief; but another spring gets in its 
work, and a motion from the gentlemen from Skeyenne to 
"strike out" goes on the record. This affords an excuse for 
another display of "oratory," and the gentlemen from Gremont, 
and Weetswater and from Yohnson fix their glittering eye in 
turn upon the pretty stenographer who is compelled to perpetu- 
ate on paper their parapetetic peeps, and argy, an' argy, 
an' argy. 

Finally after chewing on the file for a half-day, it is referred 
back to the committee, and comes up again later for "further 


consideration." It does seem, indeed, as though some of these 
gentlemen would do well to buy one of Edison's latest phono- 
graphs. This, is run by an electric motor or a ten-horse power 
engine, would afford relief. They could sit at their ease, and 
"hear themselves talk" twenty-four hours in a day. Arguments a 
ha If -hour in length and less than a half -inch in width and thick- 
ness, upon my honor, have been made in favor of matters which 
would have passed unanimously without a word having been 
said. Hours and days have been wasted in motions and amend- 
ments of the "tweedle-dum" order, and some members have 
piled "oration" upon "oration" to that extend that it is darkly 
hinted that the stenographer's typewritten report, when com- 
pleted, will comprise 'steen million pages. And the mill is still 
grinding! (IV, 16, 1889.) 

The delegates evidently pulled themselves together, 
reached some agreement, and finished the Constitution 
late in September. The Cheyenne Daily Leader of October 
1, 1889, asserted that the session ended in a pleasant ex- 
pression of friendship. 1 The Leader reported that "there 
was scarcely any ceremony about the final work of the 
body, but there was still something impressive about the 
way a hush fell over the throng as the members one by one 
affixed their signatures to the document," 2 Barrow signing 

By the following June, statehood was almost assured the 
Territory of Wyoming, and every one, including the 
Budget's owners, was prepared for the celebration. On 
June 25, 1890, Barrow said, "The Budget has attached a 
steam whistle to its engine and proposes to blow the lungs 
out of it when the statehood bill passes." (V, 3). "State- 
hood and a land office the same week! Douglas is getting 
there," cried Barrow on July 2, 1890 (V, 4). In the 
Budget of this date Barrow told of the way statehood was 
celebrated in Douglas: 

At 4:30 Friday afternoon, the Budget received a telegram 
from Honorable W. C. Irvine, at Cheyenne, announcing the birth 
of the new state. At 4:31 the Budget's steam whistle was 
exercising its lungs to the best advantage and the Budget's flag 
was flying from the mast surmounting the office building. 

Everybody tumbled! 

The good news spread rapidly! 

Within a few minutes the hoarse roar of the waterworks 
whistle swelled the song of greeting to the new state; the fire 
alarm bell rang, etc. 

The two hundred ribbon badges printed by the Budget 
and distributed in Douglas on that eventful day indicated 
Barrow's excitement over statehood. A great deal of the 
credit for Wyoming's being admitted as the forty-fourth 

1. Cheyenne Daily Leader, XXIII, Oct. 1, 1889. 

2. Ibid. The original document is on display in the State 
Museum in Cheyenne. 


state was due to the work of Joseph M. Carey, Wyoming 
Territory's only delegate to Congress. The badges which 
Barrow prepared carried a tribute to Carey. 

One of the most exciting events in Wyoming history re- 
ported by Barrow was the famous Johnson County War of 
1892. It could not have been easy for Barrow to tell the 
story with some degree of impartiality. On one side were 
the settlers with small holdings, with whom he sincerely 
sympathized. On the other were the big cattlemen, mostly 
prominent Republicans and men whom Barrow knew per- 
sonally. His reports of the controversy and its results 
ran through the Budget for almost a year, and his com- 
ments reflected interestingly his divided state of mind. 

On April 13, 1892, the Budget had on page five the head- 
line, "War." Under this heading Barrow told of a large, 
well-equipped, armed party, including a surgeon, two news- 
paper reporters, and a telegraph operator, which had gone 
into Johnson County to rid the country of rustlers. Barrow 
related the story of how two small ranchers had been killed 
and commented on the serious implications of the expedi- 
tion and its intentions thus: 

The statements of the captured teamsters is to the effect that 
they were hired last Tuesday night at Cheyenne, to go imme- 
diately to the Bald Mountain country, on a surveying expedition 
and pleasure trip . . . The captured men claim that they knew 
absolutely nothing as to the real intentions of the party until 
after leaving Casper, when they were informed that the object 
of the expedition was to run out cattle thieves, and that their 
pay was to be five dollars a day . . . 

Public sentiment, which was at first against the rustlers, has 
rapidly changed in favor of the financially weaker faction as the 
true condition of affairs became known. No doubt many of the 
invading party firmly believe they are justified in their attempt 
to take the law into their own hands, for the sensational and 
exaggerated newspaper stories have magnified the strength of 
the rustlers in this county a thousandfold . . . 

. . . No community of law-abiding American citizens will 
permit an armed force of any kind, organized for any purpose, 
to come into their midst and kill at their option men who have 
never been found guilty of crime by due process of law. (VI, 
54, 1892) 

The next issue contained pleas for "strict and impartial 
enforcement of the law," and for a swift punishment of 
those found guilty (VI, 46, 1892). Barrow maintained 
that "the theft of a steer couldn't in any way justify the 
taking of a human life," and the importation of a band of 
armed men into the state for any purpose was prohibited 
by the Constitution of Wyoming (VI, 46, 1892). Here he 
also told of the surrender without bloodshed of the forty- 
five invaders and said : 


At this writing the situation is critical. On the ground that the 
prisoners would surely be lynched if surrendered to Sheriff 
Angus, Governor Barber is arranging to have them brought 
here under military escort, and probably on to Fort Russell. On 
the other hand Angus demands that they be placed in his hands, 
while small stockmen from all over the state are flocking into 
that section to enforce the demand, and it is reliably reported 
that today there are from five to six hundred men armed to the 
teeth waiting to avenge the killing of Champion and Rav. 
(VI, 46, 1892) 

Barrow's own attitude toward the removal of the prisoners 
appeared in the same issue: 

We believe, however, that it will be a mistake to remove the 
prisoners from Johnson County unless they are first given a 
preliminary hearing and are granted a change of venue . . . but 
there should be no favoritism shown because they happen to be 
rich and prominent men. The strict letter of the law should be 
followed in this matter, and no requirement be modified in their 
behalf other than that accorded every man charged with crime, 
be he rich or poor. (VI, 46, 1892) 

By May 25, 1892, the editor of the Budget had begun to 
soften somewhat his demand for strict justice for the 
invaders. Here he spoke of the only outcome which he 
could see to the trouble in Johnson County — the prevalence 
of honesty. Barrow wrote, "The settlers will win, and the 
thieves will have to leave the country." (VI, 51, 1892). 

In June Barrow spoke for the honest man, big or little, 
and declared that the Budget was for law and order (VI, 52, 
1892). In this same paper, however, Barrow published a 
letter from a Johnson County small ranchman which por- 
trayed the big rancher as benevolent, neighborly, and hon- 
est, and gave examples of rustlers posing as small ranchers 
and antagonizing their fellow ranchers against the big 
outfits (VI, 52, 1892). In a later issue Barrow practically 
made fun of the people of Johnson County for continuing 
to hold the invaders as prisoners and not paying for their 
keep (VII, 20, 1892). By February 22, 1893, Barrow was 
really placing the blame for the whole affair not on the 
invading big cattlemen, but on the juries chosen to try cat- 
tle thieves (VII, Feb. 22, 1893). 

Meanwhile, according to the October 22, 1892, issue of 
the Budget the war had taken on political significance. A 
man by the name of Robert Dunning, who was supposedly 
a member of the invading party, made a confession tending 
to show that influential Republican leaders, Warren, Barber, 
and Blake, had known about the invasion, no Democrat be- 
ing mentioned. Barrow evidently felt, and suggested this 
idea in the Budget, that the Democrats were taking ad- 
vantage of this bit of unreliable news to cast disparaging 
remarks upon the Republican leadership in the state. Bar- 


row left it to his readers to choose between the word of a 
"self-confessed murderer," Dunning, and "that of men . . . 
whose word heretofore had been as good as their bond." 
(VII, 20, 1892). 

Barrow evidently tried to live up to his paper's motto, 
"Fair, Faithful, and Fearless," in his interpretation of state 
events and his reflection of state personalities. But preju- 
dices and political expediency, as with practical men of 
affairs everywhere, sometimes blinded him, no doubt, in 
his judgments of men and issues. On the whole, he tried, 
it would seem, to be loyal to his principles as well as to his 
party and his friends. 

With statehood, Barrow's participation in the Republican 
party became even greater. In the elections of 1892, how- 
ever, the Republican party was defeated throughout the 
country and Cleveland became President of the United 
States the following March. Barrow, no doubt, realized 
that the election returns would mean a change of personnel 
in the Land Office when he said, "The Budget regrets that 
the later returns do not materially change the reports of a 
sweeping democratic victory on the national ticket . . . 
Cleveland is elected by a large majority." (VII, 24, 1892). 
The Republicans lost the state elections also, and the fusion 
candidate of the Democrats and Populists, John E. Osborne, 
was elected governor. Since the political situation was con- 
fused by echoes from the Johnson County War and the 
refusal or failure of some counties to report election re- 
turns, Osborne had himself sworn into office in December. 3 
Twelve years later when Osborne was again seeking office, 
Barrow brought up with telling effect the story of Osborne's 
unconventional assumption of the governorship in 1892. 
He headed a page in large type, "Osborne's Record as Gov- 
ernor." The rest of the sheet was left blank. On another 
page of the same paper Barrow inserted the following 
sentence : 

December 3, 1892, Osborne crawled through the capitol win- 
clow into the governor's office. (XX, 21, 1904) 

Evidently the results of elections in 1894 were again 
disappointing to Barrow. Nevertheless, he made the fol- 
lowing statement on November 7, 1894, indicating that he 
would drop his disappointment and look to the future: 

The election is over. Let the result be what it may, we must 
abide by the result. We are all citizens of a common country, 
and we can't afford to keep up or countenance the strife of the 

3. Bartlett, History of Wyoming, I, 216-217. 


past few weeks. Accept the result, drop politics, and let's all 
unite to do what we can toward the development and prosperity 
of the county, town, and state in which we live. (IX, 24, 1894) 

Having been released from the Land Office during Cleve- 
land's administration, Barrow could accept positions in the 
state government. He was chief clerk of the House in the 
sessions of the State Legislature of 1894 and 1896. 4 Chap- 
lin recalled that Barrow made an excellent clerk, having a 
good voice and being a good reader. 5 No matter what he 
may or may not have contributed to the State Legislature, 
he brought to the people of Douglas during these years 
many first-hand accounts of developments in the govern- 
ment of the state, coloring all of them with his own person- 
ality. The paper of January 30, 1895, contained a vivid 
description of a reception for Senators Warren and Clark: 

Mrs. Bill and I attended the reception given at Turner Hall 
last week, in honor of our two new senators. It was an event. 
"Dr." Barber and "Dick" Repath were in charge of the decora- 
t'ons, and Turner Hall never will wear such fine clothes again. 
Flags, bunting, banners and electric lights galore served to 
transform the spacious edifice into a veritable fairy-land, filled 
to overflowing with fair women and brave men. Two thousand 
ladies and gentlemen attended, in response to a general invita- 
tion extended through the medium of the public press — and they 
were ladies and gentlemen, in all that the term implies. Sena- 
tors Warren and Clark, with their charming wives, received 
this mighty host and gracefully acknowledged the hearty and 
sincere congratulations showered upon them by friends and ad- 
mirers until near 10 o'clock, when dancing began. Refreshments 
were served until midnight, and it was 3 a.m. before the pro- 
gramme was concluded. The entire affair was a credit to the 
enterprise of the Cheyennese, and a deserved tribute to the 
gentlemen in whose honor it was given. (IX, 36, 1895) 

Two weeks later on February 13, Barrow wrote to the 
Budget of the anticipated close of the session as follows : 

The last week of the session begins tomorrow, and it promises 
to be a busy one for members and employes. Night sessions will 
be the rule, and it is quite probable that when decent people are 
holding down a pew in church next Sunday morning, our legis- 
lators — with the hands of the clock pointing to 11:30 p.m. of 
Saturday — will be grinding out laws at a lively rate. "After 
the ball is over" I shall try, as best I can, to give some inside 
history relating to divers and sundry matters connected with 
the session — matters which I have been compelled to put aside 
in order to properly discharge my duties as clerk of that august 
body, the house. With five assistants, I find my time fully 
occupied, just now. (IX, 38, 1895) 

This item was followed by one on February 20, 1895, an- 
nouncing the closing of the session. Here Barrow also 

4. Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming, p. 500. 

5. Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 


mentions his own reward as chief clerk, a gold pen. (IX, 
39, 1895) 

On February 24, 1897, at the next session in which Bar- 
row participated, the Legislature, according to Barrow's 
report, passed seventy-nine laws which he believed were 
just and wise measures, although he predicted that every 
one in the lot would no doubt be condemned "by one or 
more blooming idiots scattered throughout the state." 
(XI, 39, 1897). The Budget, which appeared the next week 
on March 3, 1897, contained an entertaining summary of 
the session, revealing both its serious moments and the 
antics of its fun-packed hours of relaxation, praising its 
accomplishments, but also recording hostile criticisms: 

About the closing hours of the legislative session, there was a 
heap of fun, and some fire. The usual "horse-play" was in- 
dulged in, by both house and senate. A sure enough third house 
was organized in that wing of the capital about midnight, and 
Attorney Burke installed as speaker, with Colonel Slack of the 
Sun-Leader as sergeant-at-arms. About a hundred men were 
run in from the lobby, who swarmed over the floor and — for a 
half hour — represented the thirty-eight representatives who for 
forty days had answered to roll-call. All sorts of queer resolu- 
tions were introduced and motions made, all of which were 
handled by the "squatter" speaker in a manner truly refresh- 
ing, and with a dispatch which startled the sure-enough mem- 
bers. Late comers — among them Sheriff Patton, Pat Sullivan, 
and several other Natrona county boys who drifted in on the 
midnight train — were seized by the legislative magistrate, 
hustled before the bar, and compelled to make a speech. Sulli- 
van didn't do a thing to 'em but break the dread news, as gently 
as possible, that some day the capital would be moved to central 
Wyoming — and the speaker had the requisite nerve to put the 
proposition in the form of a motion, and declared it carried. 
The introduction of a "bill" in the form of a quart bottle filled 
with genuine Scotch whiskey finally dissolved the somewhat 
obstreperous assemblage. . . . 

After having spent forty days within the "inner circle" of 
the Fourth legislature; after having read every bill introduced, 
and having signed every measure which finally became a law; 
after having had opportunity to compare the appropriations 
made with those of previous legislatures, and being fully cogni- 
zant of the work and results of the entire session, I had made 
up my mind that the record was a good one, and one of which 
every man connected therewith might well be proud. . . . As I 
have said, I had decided that the Fourth State Legislature was 
destined to pass into history as one of the wisest and best legis- 
lative bodies ever convened within our borders; but it seems 
that in some way I have been most woefully misinformed and 
misled. The Glenrock correspondent of the Casper Derrick has 
been sizing up the work of the session, as well as I, and he has 
likewise decided upon a verdict. He boldly declares that it was 
"the rottenest and most damnable combination of social out- 
casts and political pirates in the history of the state." Well, 
maybe so. (XI, 40, 1897) 


Meanwhile Barrow had begun to make a place for him- 
self at Republican state conventions, having been elected 
secretary of the one at Sheridan in 1896 and having been 
chosen as an alternate to the national convention at St. 
Louis (X, May 20, 1896). In 1898 Barrow worked with 
DeForest Richards to bring the Republican state convention 
to Douglas and was successful (XX, 22, 1905). 

In addition to his political activities in the state, the 
editor of Bill Barlow's Budget assisted in organizing the 
Wyoming Press Association in 1891. It began with en- 
thusiastic plans to include newspaper men from all over the 
state, but the obstacles in the way of successful meetings 
in a state where distances were so great prevented it from 
functioning actively. Several references to the Wyoming 
Press Association appeared in the columns of the Budget. 
On October 18, 1893, Barrow informed the new "pencil- 
pushers" of the state who were clamoring for an Associa- 
tion that such an organization existed, although meetings 
had not been held regularly because of the size of the 
territory : 

For the information of these gentlemen the Budget will state 
that in the fall of 1881, at Laramie, Wyoming, the Wyoming 
Press Association was organized, with a membership of twelve 
editors present. Bill Nye was chosen president. Since that 
time, Dr. Hayford, of the Laramie Sentinel, and E. A. Slack, of 
the Cheyenne Sun, have also held that office for one or more 
years. The last meeting of the association was held at Cheyenne 
in September, 1889, when M. C. Barrow of the Budget was 
chosen president; W. E. Chaplin of the Laramie Republican, 
vice-president; John C. Friend, secretary; C. E. Blydenburgh, 
treasurer; and E. A. Slack, J. F. Ludin, John F. Carrol, J. H. 
Hayford and M. C. Barrow, executive committee. It was de- 
cided to hold the next meeting the following year at Douglas in 
case the Cheyenne and Northern was completed in time, but the 
executive committee decided to omit the annual gathering be- 
cause of the failure of the road to reach this city in time. No 
meeting has been held since. We might add that there is some- 
thing over $50 in the association treasury, which would buy the 
cigars for the gang should they decide to meet again. Exper- 
ience has proven that Wyoming cannot yet successfully carry 
on the work which necessarily belongs to an association of this 
character. The territory is too large .... (VIII, 22, 1893) 

The Association met again in Laramie in 1896 (XI, 3, 1896), 
but its activity apparently lapsed once more. In 1901 
Barrow announced that a fresh attempt was being made to 
revive the Association at a meeting in Cheyenne. He was 
clearly skeptical of the success of the attempt. "I fear 
me much that history will repeat itself — but an' it don't 
rain, I'll be there." (XVI, 5, 1901) . 



"Barrow's personal journalism was at times rather bitter 
and was calculated to get him into trouble," wrote W. E. 
Chaplin in 1947. x A present-day reader of the Budget's 
columns would be inclined to say that Mr. Chaplin was 
guilty of understatement. Sometimes comments appearing 
in the Budget produced results which Barrow did not ex- 
pect. "On one occasion a citizen of Douglas met him on a 
street and gave him a rather sound beating. Barrow ap- 
pealed to the Masonic lodge for aid in the punishment of 
his assailant, but got no consideration." 2 At another time 
Barrow said too much in the Budget about adjutant-general 
Frank A. Stitzer, an appointee of acting-governor Fenimore 
Chatterton, whom he described as wearing "celluloid cuffs 
that rattled when he walked." 3 A short time after this 
statement was published, while Barrow was attending the 
Wyoming Industrial Convention at Casper as the guest of 
A. J. Mokler, members of the state militia appeared at the 
Mokler home and demanded that Barrow be turned over 
to them. Their intention was to throw him in a blanket and 
toss him in the Platte River, but Mokler prevented the 
ducking. 4 He maintained that a man's house was his 
castle and, taking a rifle from his gun cabinet, "announced 
in a firm voice that he would shoot the first person who 
cared to enter his gate." 5 

Barrow's fiercest editorial battles were against other 
newspapers and their editors, and these seldom brought 
threats of violence. When he was assured that his assail- 
ant's rebuttal would be made verbally, Barrow could feel 
reasonably certain of success from the beginning. In the 
columns of his paper Barrow attacked indiscriminately, at 
one time or another, most of the newsmen of the state; 6 
however, he saved his most acrimonious outbursts for rivals 
in his own locality. He and rival editors haggled over pos- 
sible improvements for the town, politics, and the contents 
of their papers. Often they just found fault with each 
other in an effort at self-preservation. 

1. Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Agnes Spring, William Chaplin Deming (Glendale, California: 
The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1944), p. 170. 

4. A. J. Mokler, Interview, Casper, Wyoming, Oct., 1946. 

5. Spring, W. C. Deming, p. 171. 

6. Two newspaper men of the state whom Barrow apparently 
regarded so highly that he did not subject them to his usual bitter 
attacks were A. J. Mokler of Casper and W. E. Chaplin of Laramie. 


When one considers the six papers that passed out of 
existence in Douglas while Barrow kept doing business, 
one can understand that the Budget probably survived only 
by battling for supremacy. After boom days when the 
population of Douglas leveled off, the town could scarcely 
support two papers adequately. A slight quarrel originat- 
ing as a contest for leadership between two news sheets 
very often became a fight for existence. The editor of the 
Budget was always ready to accept the challenge of a com- 
petitor, and with his talent for devastating name-calling, 
he found ways to ridicule the rival paper and to smear its 
editor's reputation to his own satisfaction. 

Under Barrow's leadership the Budget was instrumental 
in putting numerous newspaper contemporaries out of cir- 
culation. The Rowdy West, edited and published by E. H. 
Kimball, an early arrival in the Fetterman country, lived 
only a year. The Douglas Advertiser, which was edited by 
I. R. Crow, an old friend of Barrow, had an even shorter life 
span. The Douglas Republican, that claimed to have 
"skinned" the Budget, went out of business in July, 1889, 
after a short life of thirteen months. Another Kimball- 
edited paper, the Graphic, appeared next, met the Budget's 
antagonism, and passed out of existence in 1891. The 
Converse County News, supposed mouthpiece of DeForest 
Richards, whom Barrow had angered, held its own for only 
eight months. Then the Central Wyoming News., stronger 
than the others, kept circulating a weekly news sheet from 
October, 1894 to May, 1898. 

Although Barrow always posed as having been attacked 
or misused and protested his reluctance to become em- 
broiled in a verbal fight, he enjoyed composing the caustic 
editorials against these men and their respective papers. 
The following is a typical Barrow approach to a bitter 
battle : 

I do. wish my local contemporaries would let me alone. First 
the Wooly man jumped me, and I let him hammer away unno- 
ticed for a couple of months, hoping he'd get tired; but he 
wouldn't let up, so I had to let him down. Now the Leet-Crow 
combination is snarling and barking at my heels and I am again 
compelled to take up the cudgel of self-defence. I know it is 
wrong to quarrel and fight — have not forgotten that the good 
book tells us to turn the other cheek when some rooster biffs 
you on the jaw — but I am tired. I have practiced patience and 
forbearance until either has ceased to be a virtue, and both must 
take a back seat until I have taught my envious and jealous 
rivals to let me alone. Print your little papers, boys; but don't 
persist in sneering at, lying about and slurring the Budget. 
(I, 37, 1886) 

The Rowdy West, printed in Iowa for distribution in the 
Fetterman region, was the Budget's first newspaper rival. 


This competitor provided the people of Douglas with an 
eight-page paper, which was, however, only half as large 
as the Budget in size. Like Bill Barlow's Budget, its title 
spread across the top of the first sheet in large script type 
each word being sloped upward; but, unlike the Budget, 
this title was placed on a background of etched figures 
engaged in various activities. 

E. H. Kimball, the editor and publisher of this news 
sheet, offered it to the public for $2.00 a year in advance, 
one dollar cheaper than the Budget. An examination of 
early issues led to the conclusion that it was worth even 
less as a newspaper. 7 The "Wild and Wooly West," the 
name given Kimball's paper by the Budget's editor, also 
had "patent innards," and the remaining news space was 
only half that of the Budget. These columns were then 
loaded with much news from exchanges and contained very 
few personal items about the people of the frontier town 
and their activities. This dearth of Douglas news was prob- 
ably unavoidable, since the sheet was at first printed in 
Iowa. The August 8, 1886, issue announced the arrival 
in Douglas of the printing plant and later issues may have 
shown an improvement in local news. This issue also an- 
nounced the changing of publication date from Wednesday 
to Sunday. Kimball evidently had begun to feel the effects 
of the Budget's existence and the competition which its 
circulation on Wednesday offered. 

At first Barrow tried, or pretended to try, to be friendly. 
He welcomed the arrival of Kimball's plant by saying, "the 
more the merrier." (I, 8, 1886). Hostilities apparently 
were beginning by the end of August, however, when Bar- 
row commented on the three-column paragraph which Kim- 
ball had included in his last paper, devoted to some person, 
probably Barrow, who had been talking about him. Here 
the Budget's editor assured Kimball that time would make 
amends. He went on to say that the Rowdy West was a 
fair paper in all but the color and the name, although it 
had a little too much dime-novel slang occasionally. By 
December a good deal of warmth had evidently been pro- 
duced, for Barrow had begun a verbal warfare with Kimball 
that was to continue for years. Barrow first gave space 
in his paper to the derogatory statements about the Rowdy 
West made by other Wyoming editors, and then attacked 
both the paper and its editor viciously. 

7. Two copies of the Rowdy West, those for June 23 and Aug. 8, 
1886, are preserved by the Wyoming- State Historical Department 
and have been examined. 


Yet, as one reflects upon it, anger dies away 1 . . . And more 
pitiable still, it does not realize its position any more clearly 
than its editor who, steeped in l:'quor, goes to sleep in the gutter 
occasionally if not more frequently, unconscious of the spectacle 
which he makes of himself and of the shame and scorn which 
he awakens. (I, 29, 1886) 

By December Barrow had also affixed to Kimball's name 
the title "Castor Oil," a term which he used to designate 
his rival for years (I, 30, 1886). He called the Wooly man 
a liar although not an artistic one, classed his paper as a 
"Mud Bath" and "journalistic hybred," a "disgrace to 
Douglas" (I, 31, 1887). Barrow even accused the Rowdy 
West of using more vulgar and obscene language than that 
used by professed sporting papers (I, 32, 1887). A month 
later on January 25, 1887, Barrow warmed up to the quarrel 
by saying that although Kimball's paper did not contain as 
much filth as formerly, the editor was still a contemptible 
pup, who did not pay his bills and could not be trusted to 
handle the financial affairs of others. 

Since only one side of this quarrel in print was available 
for study, it is impossible to estimate the validity of Bar- 
row's accusations that the Rowdy's editor kept up the fight 
which he climaxed in a five-column spread against Barrow 
in one issue of the Wild, Weird, Wooly Winsome yet 
Winked-out Wowdy. It is known, however, that Barrow 
held up his side of the battle and finally published the 
following malicious notice in the Budget when the Rowdy 
West announced a move to Glenrock: 

As a community we weep! A deep and crushing sorrow, has 
come upon us! None of your soft corn or jumping toothache 
sorrows, but a great grief which runs the pulse-beat up to 102 
in the shade and makes heart-strings twang with an exceeding 
great twing! Death has again entered our journalistic circle, 
and laid its palsying hand upon another member thereof! 

The Rowdy West is dead! 

In September of Barrow's first year in the Fetterman 
country I. R. Crow, an old friend and "boyhood pard" 
who had been printing the Argus at Buffalo Gap, gave 
Barrow notice that he had been "froze out" there and that 
he intended to move to Douglas. Barrow warned Crow in 
his "Chit Chat" column that two papers were enough for 
the "boomer," but expressed hope that Crow would do 
well, and said, "If it comes to a question of freeze-out be- 
tween him and my pink-eyed neighbor [Kimball], I'll empire 
[sic] the game impartially." (I, 15, 1886). The Advertiser 
"winked out" even before the Rowdy West on April 16, 
1887 (II, 5, 1887). 

The next rival, the Douglas Republican, appeared first on 
June 20, 1888, and by October Barrow had begun to quarrel 


in -his "Chit Chat" column with its editor, Dilworth. On 
December 26, 1888, a typical Barrow barrage appeared in 
the columns of the Budget: 

The Republican claims to have "skinned" the Budget, and to 
have tanned the said skin "to the queen's taste," but people who 
will take the trouble to compare that sheet with this — with its 
ten pages teeming with news and bearing every evidence of 
prosperity and permanency — will wonder whether or no the 
Republican hasn't put the shoe on the wrong foot. If this 
means to be skinned, blessed if it isn't a much more pleasant 
torture than I had supposed, and I only hope my esteemed con- 
temporary will continue in the good work. It's heaps of fun — 
and it pays — to be skun in this way. (Ill, 30, 1888) 

In two more months Barrow was poking fun at his rival 
in earnest by comparing him to the preacher who turned 
his nail keg of sermons over when he had exhausted his 

Dilworth was accused of using stereotype plates which 
Barrow did not actually condemn but which according to 
the Budget's editor should not be repeated regardless of 
their humorous content as was "Bob Burdette's Humor" 
published first on January 12th and again on February 
23rd. "... The same," said Barrow, "is true of an article 
bearing the ghastly title of 'Beheading a Corpse'," which 
is found in these same two issues. (Ill, 39, 1889). Accord- 
ing to the Budget, times were getting bad for the Repub- 
lican in April (III, 45, 1889), and on July 27, 1889, this 
paper also ceased circulation. 

In 1891 the Glenrock Graphic was purchased, probably 
being backed by prominent Democrats of the county, and 
moved to Douglas, where Colonel E. H. Kimball, who under- 
took the editorial and business management of it, could 
again exchange words with his editorial rival, M. C. Barrow. 
As usual Barrow wished him well at first (V, 48, 1891) ; six 
weeks later he again extended a hearty welcome to the 
newcomer, Douglas's fifth paper, when he said that he "in 
no wise feared honest and honorable competition." (VI, 2, 
1891). The competition lasted only a year, for on June 22, 
1892, Barrow reported that the Douglas Graphic had sus- 
pended publication indefinitely. 

In 1893 DeForest Richards and Dr. Wilson, who had had 
their "toes pinched" by the Budget according to Barrow, 
decided that BUI Barlow's Budget and its editor must be 
starved out. With this end in view they made plans to 
establish a Republican paper. They brought a man by the 
name of Campbell to Douglas to canvass the town per- 
sonally. They assured him that the Budget had only a few 


friends (VIII, 27, 1893). In the November 22, 1893, issue 
of the Budget, Barrow greeted his new competitor, the 
Converse County Press, with the usual fraternal greetings 
and promise of courtesy, but gave a warning note of future 
tangles in his reference to the two gentlemen who posed 
as its godfathers (III, 27, 1893). More disparaging re- 
marks about the new Republican paper appeared in subse- 
quent issues. Finally on December 13, 1893, Barrow an- 
nounced that since Colonel Richards was sending out sample 
copies of his new paper, the Budget would do the same in 
order that those who were not on the Budget's subscription 
list might compare the two publications. The Converse 
County Press sold for less than the Budget, but Barrow 
wrote, "Western people always buy the best, and are not 
to be caught by Cheap John goods because they are cheap." 
(VIII, 30, 1893). 

Bitter words were being exchanged between Barrow and 
the editors of the "handpress" by the end of May, 1894. 
The Budget's competitors printing "a half -column" howl 
about being slandered gave Editor Bill a chance to strike 

No amount of newspaper bluff can deceive the business men 
of Douglas as to the circulation of the Press. They see its 
little package of ready-prints — about the size of a roll of wall 
paper — carried up from the depot each week, and no amount of 
newspaper "guff" or abuse of the Budget, such as our esteemed 
contemporary indulged in last week can convince them that its 
entire weekly circulation exceeds 100 copies. (VIII, 52, 1894) 

By fall, Barrow had succeeded in putting another Douglas 
newspaper aspirant out of business. 

The Budget, this week placed another newspaper heading 
within the crepe-enshrouded frame which hangs above the office 
desk — that of the late lamented Converse County Press. Five 
cold clammy corpses have been interred to date — since the birth 
of the Budget — in the Douglas newspaporial cemetery — the 
Rowdy West, the Douglas Advertiser, the Douglas Republican, 
the Douglas Graphic and now the Press. Peace to their ashes. 
(IX, 19, 1894) 

When the Converse County Press was out of the way, 
the editor of the Budget could devote more time to exter- 
minating another Douglas news sheet which had begun 
publication in the same year as the Press. Almost as he 
wrote the death notice about the Press, he began his cam- 
paign against the Central Wyoming News by saying: 

I suppose the Central Wyoming News — name bigger 'n the 
paper itself — will soon begin to brag about the rapid increase 


of its subscription list, and pat itself on the back in other 
ways, just like its predecessor. If it does, look out for another 
funeral, for it's a sure sign. (IX, 21, 1894) 

The News was run by a little Englishman, Arthur Phil- 
lips, who reportedly was afraid of Barrow; 8 however, the 
editor of the Budget said that Colonel Phillips had called 
Barrow a "bloated numskull" a "Chump," and lots of other 
pst names. Barrow on the other hand, spoke of Phillips 
as a "gifted writer," a "brilliant journalist," etc. In 1897, 
however, Barrow began a more vigorous assault than he 
had previously made upon the News: 

Evidently His Nobbs, Kunnel Authaw, of the Central Wyo- 
ming Hangman's Noose, knows as little about legislative pro- 
cedure as he does about matters newspaporial. I notice that in 
the last issue of his little leaflet he gives Senator Cross a dose 
of his celebrated "love and lather" specific, and adds that "The 
people of Douglas have reason to thank him for his strong 
opposition to House Bill No. 32, which contemplates the confis- 
cation of city licenses." The fact is that House Bill No. 32 
never reached the senate, but received its indefinite postpone- 
ment quietus in the house, consequently, Senator Cross had 
absolutely nothing to do with its defeat. Possibly His 'Iness, 
the Kunnel, has an idea that Mr. Cross sorter presides over 
both bodies of the legislative layout, and can vote in either 
branch, as the notion strikes him. Either this, or he thinks his 
readers are all blooming idiots. (XI, 37, 1897) 

Finally Phillips sued M. C. and Minnie F. Barrow for libel, 
asking $10,000 damages. In April, 1898, to the chagrin of 
the News, the court ruled that the article on which the suit 
was brought and which had appeared in the Budget of June 
5, 1895, was insufficient cause for action (XII, April 20, 
1898). A little over a year later the Budget contained a 
notice of death for the Central Wyoming News (XII, May 
25, 1898). 

Thus the Budget warred against and defeated six local 
newspaper contemporaries. Another rival, the Lusk Her- 
ald, though not of Douglas, was too close to be ignored. 
Jimmy Mayes, who had been a printer on the Budget in 
1888, had by the turn of the century become editor of the 
Lusk Herald. In this capacity he became a competitor of 
Barrow's for county printing and thus brought himself 
and his paper within range of the Budget's caustic editorial- 
izing. Barrow did not succeed in eliminating the Herald 
as a rival, but he delivered painful thrusts in bitter passages 
like the following: 

8. Henry Reese, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, October, 1946. 


Among the journalistic freaks of this corner of the vineyard, 
none can hold a candle to the little Lusk Herald. As a rule 
Wyoming's demo-pop papers are poor, weak sisters who don't 
even pretend to either virtue or good looks. They are a skinny, 
pimply-faced, ringboned and spavined outfit; they know it, and 
everybody else knows it, and they don't care a cuss. But its 
different with the Herald. True, its local page, like those of its 
sisters in crime, is made up of rotten English and badly tainted 
French mixed with Bowery slang — exemplifying as it does the 
lamentable ignorance and gross instincts of the writer thereof. 
On the other hand — no; same hand but other page — we find 
grandiloquent ideas, well-rounded sentences and an elegance of 
expression which is not met with else where in the press of the 
state. It's simply beautiful, at times, and I've often wondered 
who wrote it. Mayes, of course, grinds out the local stuff — 
no question about that, for one can see his phiz between every 
line. But no man but a lunatic — and he an incurable — would 
venture to assert that the same man wrote both pages. One 
is written by a third-rate printer who dreams that he is an 
"editor," the other by a gentleman and a scholar and I presume, 
a good judge of whisky, for much of it has the southern twang 
of eloquence as well as polish. Who ever he is he either has the 
patience of Job or else never sees a copy of the Herald, for 
Mayes has stolen his stuff right along and reproduced it as 
"original" for over ten years now, without a kick. But if he 
should die, what would become of the Herald's editorial" page? 
Horrible thought! (XV, 1, 1900) 

In 1898 Emerson H. Kimball, who was later a resident 
of Casper for many years, was evidently stirring up trouble 
again and evoked this acrimonious response from the edi- 
tor of the Budget: 

Everybody knows I'm a man of peace, possessing a temper 
like Wyoming oil for evenness and absence of friction and a 
nature which just naturally cottons to chicken pie and feather 
beds. I hate a row. It's wearing on the patience and the mind 
— likewise the proboscis at times — and makes a man lose sight 
of the old-time proverb which directs him to love his neighbor as 
his — not his neighbor's wife. "But there comes a time some 
day," even in the affairs of pencil pushers, when suthin' has 
to be did; when some d— d fool who imagines he is a torpedo 
destroyer or a Dewey II, gets to prancing around on the tail 
of your robe, swipes you a few swats on the smeller and asks 
you how you like it — and you simply can't do anything else but 
get next to him or run. A fellow known as "Old Castor Oil" — 
who prints a paper at Casper called the Derrick and who, just 
now, is posing as the mouthpiece of and wet nurse for Congress- 
man John E. Osborne, has seen fit to climb onto my collar and 
insists on a ride — and he's going to get it. (XIII, 3, 1898) 

After making reference to his guinea-hen laugh, loud- 
mouthed pretensions to honesty and decency, double-deal- 
ing, rascality, insufferable egotism and unlimited egotism 
and unlimited gall, Barrow wrote that "Old Castor Oil" 
had realized twelve years ago that if he expected to stay in 
Douglas long he had to run the Budget out (XIII, 3, 1898). 


Barrow also recalled that Kimball accused him of dodging 
vigilance committees and being a consort of prostitutes and 
thieves and charged him with going to church drunk and 
to bed in the alley to get sober. Barrow went on to say 
that after Kimball's accusations during those early days 
in Douglas, he had begun to wonder "why the cussed offi- 
cers of the law were so lax in their duties" as to permit him 
to run at large and why "Mrs. Bill," whom he had always 
considered an exemplary woman, persisted in trying to 
longer live with him. (XIII, 3, 1898). Because of this 
early controversy, asserted Barrow, the euphonious prefix 
of "Castor Oil" was so firmly fixed to Kimball's name that 
he came to be known by it throughout the state. Barrow 
also maintained that "it's a bunch of Philippine islands 
to a hand of Weyler's hair that even St. Peter will use it in 
directing the old cuss to take elevator 23456, on its next 
down trip." (XIII, 3, 1898). In the characteristic violent 
journalism of the day, Barrow in more acrimonious pas- 
sages called Kimball a shyster, a sneak, a fawning hypo- 
crite, a blow-hard, and a political prostitute whose stiletto 
could be bought by anyone for a dollar and declared that 
"careful housewives were unable longer to even use it 
This paper] on pantry shelves for fear it would make the 
butter taste." (XIII, 4, 1898). The attack continued in 
the issues of the next three weeks until Barrow, expressing 
regret for time and space wasted on so trivial a rival, ended 
his series on Kimball in the Budget of July 13, 1898: 

. . . The fellow has ability in a way; but with the instincts of a 
brute, the education of a bunco-steerer, the habits of a Hotten- 
tot, the treachery of a Spaniard and the political training of a 
prostitute and demagogue, the inner consciousness of the man 
is soon revealed to even the most casual observer . . . However, 
I'm sorry now that I devoted so much time and ammunition to 
him, and if I inadvertently get a projectile into his case- 
hardened anatomy anywhere which hurts this feelins', I'm 
equally repentant. I sincerely hope we'll be able to jog along 
in the newspaper harness together without further trouble. 
(XIII, 7, 1898) 

The continuous publication of the Budget during the 
years when six local competitors passed out of existence 
and editorial wars raged with other newspapers was a 
commentary on the quality of both the paper and the man. 
Barrow used every means in his war for survival. By mod- 
ern standards his personal attacks would be considered 
foul rather than fair. But in a period when such tactics 
were commonplace, perhaps he had a right to be proud of 
his boxed reminder on the editorial page that while other 
Douglas papers died, the Budget lived on. 







Brought here 'with intent to "run out" 
The Budget — but we buried the bunch. 

Born ug. 4, 1886; Died July 24, 1887 

Born Nov. 9, 1886; Died April 16, 1887 

Born June 30, 1888; Died July 27, 1889 

Born Nov. 27, 1890; Died ep. 27, 1891 

Born Feb. 9, 1894; Died Sep. 24, 1894 

Born Oct. 2, 1894; Died May 18, 1898 

Record of Defeated Local 
Newspaper Rivals 


No startling change was made in the physical make-up 
of Bill Barlow's Budget from the day of its inception until 
Barrow's death. The title which was scrawled across the 
top of the page was the same in 1910 as it was in 1886. 
While column headings and advertising remained similar, 
the style of the articles grew into something crudely artistic 
and to many readers appealing. 

The headings for special columns, although not always 
exactly the same, varied only slightly. Almost each issue 
issue contained a "Chit Chat" column in which some news 
was reported, but usually it was reserved for editorial 
comment. During the early years of the Budget, this col- 
umn was generally placed on the first page of the paper. 
Page four, with the owners and staff listed in the upper 
left-hand corner, was customarily devoted to editorials 
and exchanges, but comments on local news were often 
scattered over the page. Barrow evidently realized that an 
item about the boy next door or the girl down the street 
was more interesting to the average reader than news of 


the conditions of the world in the state or national capital. 
The volume of local news which appeared in his "Short 
Stops" column on page five indicated that he knew some- 
thing about practically everything in and around Douglas. 
He realized that legs were as good as brains in reporting 1 
and did not sit around the Budget office waiting for news 
to come to him. Barrow probably enjoyed his excursions 
among fellow citizens to get the personals, local announce- 
ments, and notices similar to present-day want ads which 
he printed on page five. 

The paper continued through the years of Barrow's edi- 
torship to have "patent print" because he thought it of 
"untold value to the country press." (II, 35, 1888). He 
believed his "patent innards" to be "worthy of all praise" 
since they were typographically and editorially perfect and 
contained in his opinion the "gist" of the best literature of 
the day: 

It enables the Budget, for instance, to lay before its readers 
each week just twenty columns more of bright and interesting 
reading matter than would be possible were the paper printed 
all at home. To print such a paper as we now issue all at home 
would increase our payroll at least $300 a month, or $3,600 a 
year — men everywhere were slow to endorse the so-called "pat- 
ent print," but its value is becoming recognized more and more, 
and its sphere of usefulness largely increased as Father Time's 
hour-glass changes ends. Even the daily press now uses 
"plates" — including every daily paper published in Wyoming — 
and there is really no difference between a "stereotype plate 
print" and a "patent print." . . . All would use it [patent print] 
did there not exist some good reason preventing its use. (II, 
35, 1888) 

The Budget is proud of its patent. When Douglas rises to the 
dignity of a Daily Budget, the Weekly Budget will be printed 
all at home and not before. (II, 35, 1888) 

Bill Barlow's Budget, like other papers of its day and 
locality, carried many advertisements. The locally printed 
pages were sometimes nearly half full of notices from local 
or regional merchants and producers, and the "patent 
prints" carried advertising by national companies. Al- 
though the Budget ran fewer advertisements than some 
early news sheets, it must have averaged fair profit from 
such sources. At times, especially when Barrow put out a 
twelve-page paper, there would be at least one page filled 
completely with advertising. 

Like their contemporaries in the newspaper field, the 
Barrows advertised their own enterprises extensively. 
They included notices about the stationery store, announce- 
ments about the plants and flowers available at the green- 

1. Chaplin, letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 


house, suggestions concerning suitable insurance policies, 
and of course continuous reminders of their job-printing 

Barrow evidently recognized that the issues of the 
Budget afforded a valuable record of a town and its people 
— a record not duplicated elsewhere. Even though the 
issues of the Budget had not been consistently bound during 
the first fourteen years, each issue of a year was consistent- 
ly identifiied as a part of a single volume. By April, 1900, 
almost enough issues had been published to fill fourteen 

Barrow reported in his "Chit Chat" column April 25, 
1900, that the job department had for the past week been 
"engaged in arranging, compiling, and binding in book form 
the files of the Budget for the past ten years." (XIV, 47, 
1900). It is interesting that Barrow himself saw the sig- 
nificance of his paper as a record of local history and com- 
mented as follows: 

What a record of city, county and state — a truthful and com- 
plete history wherein everything is set down, from the birth of 
triplets to the estimable wife of Mr. John Smith to the failure 
of the A. L. New legislature to elect a senator because of a 
shortage of cocktails and coin. Incidentally the prosperity and 
progress of state and nation is recorded, likewise. Ten years 
is but a notch in the stick of time and comparatively nothing in 
the immensity of eternity; and yet in the growth and develop- 
ment of any community it comprises much of interest, and 
furnishes a vast amount of that stuff which newspapers term 
news. (XIV, 47, 1900) 

In going through these volumes one notices some changes 
and improvements from one year to another. Barrow put 
into use each year new ideas and methods and thus gave 
his readers a better and more interesting coverage of what 
was going on around them. An examination of the files 
reveals as the first noticeable new development the appear- 
ance of extra issues — only a few at first but more frequent 
with the years of publication. Barrow was endeavoring to 
give to his readers the important news that he felt should 
not be held a week. This development first occurred at 
election time. In 1888, for example, Barrow wrote the fol- 
lowing on his editorial page: 

From this date until the day of election, the Budget will issue 
two papers a week Wednesdays and Saturdays — and a copy of 
each number will be sent to every tax-payer in the county, as 
shown by the tax list free of charge. Keep your eye on us! 
(Ill, 20, 1888) 

Earlier in 1888 the owners of the Budget had been making 
plans for the establishment of a branch paper at some point 
in the oil country west of Douglas (II, 39, 1888) . Although 
this project did not materialize, it was one of the things 


the Barrows considered in making plans for their Budget 
to come of age. 

On May 28, 1891, in the last issue of Volume V, the 
Budget announced a reduction of rates. "From this date," 
said the owners, "the Budget will be mailed to any address 
for $2.00 per year." They explained further: 

For four years past the price has been $3.00 per year, and 
although most of the weekly papers throughout the territory 
were held at $1.00 less, the Budget's circulation has equalled, if 
not exceeded, any of them. We have oocic'ed, however, that the 
rate is too high; that while it was in accordance with the local 
and sectional scale of prices existing in all branches of busi- 
ness at the time the paper started, it is nevertheless too high 
now . . . 

We are still offering the San Francisco Call and Philadelphia 
Press as premiums — The Budget and either of them $2.50 per 
year, or all three for $3.00. (IV, 52, 1890) 

Probably the greatest change for the Budget that took 
place through the years was improvement in its equipment 
and surroundings. Even before Barrow's publications were 
being scattered to the far points of the country, the build- 
ing had undergone renovations and many new pieces of 
equipment had been added to the shop. As has already 
been noted in earlier chapters, additions and improvements 
were made as rapidly as space and funds permitted. In 
February, 1889, Barrow announced plans for still more 
equipment, a new job press, "much larger and better even 
than the one now in use — and a large assortment of new 
type and other aids to job-printing." (Ill, 38). In 1895 
the Budget told of the placing of the steam engine on a 
stone base or pier, an arrangement which remains in place 
today with certain changes in the equipment itself. Still 
more machinery was added to the back room in 1899. On 
November 29 of that year, Barrow proudly wrote of the 
$1,000 recently invested for the improvement of the Budget 
plant as follows: 

The Budget, the past few weeks, has added to its plant, in 
the way of new presses, new type, and new machinery. The 
latest thing is a water motor, which takes the place of the 
small steam engine which has furnished our power for several 
years, and while the engine did its work well we take off our 
hat to the new arrival. It is always ready, runs like a sewing 
machine, and does all that is claimed for it and more. No more 
annoying delays in waiting for steam, or water in the boiler — 
simply turn a valve and everything is in motion. . . . 

We can handle an edition of 10,000 and supply the state with 
stationery now, if necessary. (XIV, 26, 1899) 

The Budget was becoming a well-established institution 
in the community it served and needed to give itself plenty 
of elbow room. As early as 1901 the building was being 
enlarged. "Must keep up with the procession you know," 


said Barrow on September 11, 1901 (XVI, 14). Then in 
1903 talk began about the "Budget Block." Barrow himself 
told of these plans on August 5, 1903 : 

A contract was signed . . . last week for the immediate erec- 
tion of the Budget block, on Third street ... A portion of the 
present office building will be utilized, to which will be added 
an iron structure 28 x 45, with plate glass front, to occupy the 
vacant lot between the present building and Temple block. This 
will be divided into two rooms, one to be occupied as a business 
office for the Budget and the other rented as a storeroom. The 
front of the old and new building will be made uniform and of 
pleasing design and both will be covered with iron . . . The 
building, heating and plumbing contracts complete call for an 
expenditure of something over $3,000. (XVII, 9) 

After completion of these additions a portion of the 
building was rented for use as the Douglas post office. In 

1906 the second story of the building was completed and 
rented to the Bell Telephone Company. Thus the owners 
of the Budget had not only improved facilities for the paper, 
but had provided additional sources of income for their 
business enterprise. 

The picture of the "Budget Block" which appeared in 

1907 in the Twenty-first Anniversary Edition of Bill Bar- 
low's Budget revealed that the Budget's home had improved 
remarkably over its original "tar-paper-roof emporium." 
In 1907 Barrow felt justified in describing the block com- 
prising 4,235 square feet of floor space as handsome, adding 
that the Budget had "one of the most complete plants in 
the state from the standpoint of machinery and material" 
to which more was constantly being added (Bill Barlow's 
Budget — Anniversary Edition, 1907). But before the 
Budget could really come of age in 1907, certain advances 
had to be made in quality of content as well as in quantity 
and quality of plant equipment. 

It was not surprising that Barrow, whom no one ever 
charged with underrating his abilities, frequently devoted 
much of the Budget's space to eulogistic comments about 
his paper. In 1900, however, he confessed that he had been 
made to question whether the Budget really deserved to be 
praised. Appreciating a good joke on himself almost as 
well as a good joke on another, he related his experience 
in the "Chit Chat" column of the Budget: 

About four months ago Jim Powell, of the LaPrele, blew 
into my den, and said he guessed he'd settle up and quit. We 
settled. Jim is an old-timer — a progressive up-to-date Republi- 
can ranchman, and a reader — and as I handed him a $4.00 quit- 
claim deed to my interest in his broad acres and fat cattle I 
expressed regret that his name would no longer appear on our 
subscription list. To erase a $2.00 name is like removing a 
pebble from a Platte river sand-bar; but I have always felt 
that the old-timers — who braved the dangers and privations 


incident to early days and who laid the foundation on which 
the country of today is built — were my special clients, and to 
lose one of them hurts. So I asked Jim, straight-out, why he 
stopped the Budget. "Do you want me to tell you the truth?" 
said he. I did and said so. His reply was like him — "Because 
there isn't a d-d thing in it any more!" And after I had caught 
my second wind and mentally scanned the pages of the paper 
as issued during the past few months, I agreed with him. Since 
then, there must have been a change, for we have actually added 
over 200 new names to our subscription list, and we want to 
make it 400 before the year closes. To this end we propose to 
send out sample copies to non-subscribers during the next few 
weeks, for which no charge is made. (XIV, 14, 1900) 

It is likely that for a time Barrow was preoccupied with 
his varied activities outside of the Budget office and let 
the paper run itself. Probably he really needed a reminder 
that he should be more concerned about whether the 
Budget was readable or not. It is interesting, at any rate, 
to observe that a definite improvement in the content of the 
paper took place after 1900. The editor apparently began 
to devote special effort to his "Chit Chat" column and to 
his editorials. 

. On April 17, 1901, for example, Barrow gave part of his 
editorial column to a "Chit Chat" paragraph on paint. 
Whether it was written to get results in Douglas or only 
to amuse himself and his readers, it was certainly a step 
in the direction of the style which he later exploited thor- 
oughly. A part of the passage read: 

Blessed, thrice blessed, is paint! From wiping the wrinkles 
from the downy cheek of a blushing maiden of forty summers 
and several winters to adorning the home of potentate and 
peasant, it is a renovator and beautifier. You can always feel 
the pulse of a community through the medium of paint. A 
recent trip along the Elkhorn served as an object lesson. Chad- 
ron is picking up — and painting. Whitney is as black and wea- 
therbeaten as of yore . . . New lumber and plenty of paint tells 
the story. Lusk's color card proves that the town is all right, 
and believes, and uses paint. Douglas — well, Douglas always 
did paint and always will. (XV, 44, 1901) 

The "Chit Chat" column of the next issue carried a little 
essay on the average man. Here, Barrow described cleverly 
the average man that the world could not get along without : 
Do you know the average man ? You see him alluded to in 
the papers and by public speakers frequently, but have you ever 
tried to locate him ? He differs vastly from the extraordinary 
individual and the common plug — in being gifted with qualities 
possessed by neither. They develop only in the average man, 
and form his distinguished characteristics. For instance, the 
average man is one who carries a torch in the political parade 
and never complains when burning oil from the lamp meanders 
down his neck. It is a duty he owes the country. Twice or 
maybe three times a year the average citizen gets real drunk, 
and invariably lands in jail, with his coat ripped up the back. 
He is also the astute individual who warily watches the little 


pea as it flits from shell to shell until he has the game down 
fine — then bets his money and loses. The average man goes 
out for a walk with his wife and pushes the baby carriage. 
Cheerfully and without ostentation he steps forward and helps 
hold the hot-air-balloon for the parachute jumper while the big 
bag is being inflated in the public square. And when the as- 
cension is about to begin you find him in a position of trust and 
responsibility at the end of a guy rope. The average man at- 
tends the funeral of everybody he ever knew, and wears his 
glad rags on Sunday, but he is never seen on the platform with 
the prominent citizens at a public demonstration. Taken as a 
whole, the average man is a tort of chi rap, anyway you fix 
it — but the world could not get along without him. (XV, 45, 

Barrow contributed writing in this amiable, ramblingly 
philosophical tone to the Budget during the next few years. 
Such passages became longer and more frequent as he 
developed his style and assurance in the experiment he was 
trying. In December, 1902, just before he began in earnest 
to present his writings as philosophy, Barrow told a very 
interesting story about his first experience at a football 
game. The following amusing sketch appeared in the De- 
cember 3, 1902, edition of the Budget: 

Well, I have seen a football game — my first — and still live, 
although I lost my voice somewhere in the shuffle, and my back 
teeth are loose from too much "Give 'em the ax, the ax, the ax, 
where? Right in the neck, the neck, the neck, there" with 
rising inflexion and double extra emphasis on the "where" and 
"there." I never dreamed that a little thing like that would 
work me up so. Mrs. Bill asserts that for an hour and thirty- 
three minutes I was stark, staring mad, and they tell me that 
the police patrol actually legged me off the field a dozen times 
during the progress of the game. It was a warm one. Eleven 
strapping big fellows in brown, and eleven comparatively little 
fellows in white — God how they did fight! There were times 
when they looked like a box of dessicated sardines dumped onto 
a bread-board, and again they scattered and milled and tumbled 
and tossed until you couldn't see them for dust. There was a 
whole lot of good plays made on both sides — so they said. You 
can search me! I only saw our boys — little fellows from an 
avoirdupois standpoint and therefore presumed to be the under 
dog — but brave, manly lads all, striving to maintain the pres- 
tige of their town — taking punishment as though they liked it, 
and eventually bearing our blue-and-white penant to victory. 
Both sides concede that it was a clean game, devoid of slugging 
and like dirty work. The black eyes, skinned faces, bruised 
legs and broken slats which our boys brought back with them 
are — so they explain — mere incidents which properly appertain 
to this sort of sport. Evidently I wasn't born to be a gridiron 
Gladiator. (XVIII, 26, 1902) 

Four weeks later in the issue of December 31, Barrow 
moved his "Chit Chat" column to a less pretentious place 
in the center pages of the paper and gave most of the first 
page to what he called, "Some Cerebral Percolations which 


Might Help a Little." (XVII, 30). Thre? weeks later he 
commented about the change in the following way: 

Probably you've noticed that the Budget, of late, has been 
undergoing a transfiguration in both face and form — likewise 
growing some in stature. This issue marks a decided change 
in this regard — and the next will show a greater still. Mean- 
while, Mrs. Bill sits smiling at the cashier's counter; and will 
enroll your name among the elect who feel that they ought to 
help a little, if you have the price — being two plunks per. And 
now is the accepted time — although tomorrow will do. (XVII, 
33, 1903) 

With Volume XVII, No. 37, appearing on February 18, 
1903, Barrow inserted under the title on page one a phrase 
for which he was to become famous, "Sagebrush Philosophy 
Done Into Some Scintillating Solecisms." The columns un- 
der this heading were filled with the kind of material which 
in time came to characterize "Bill Barlow." Sometimes 
there was a story, often a moral teaching, usually a joke, 
occasionally a bit of current news, told, however, with a 
new vividness. Always there was a bit of philosophy to 
give what Barrow termed "social, mental, and spiritual 
freedom, plus — ." 2 Meanwhile, the more commonplace 
and localizing captions which had appeared beneath the 
title of the Budget, such as "Only Newspaper in the Fetter- 
man Country," "Independent in All Things," and "Largest 
Circulation in Central Wyoming," were changed to "Per- 
iodically Printed on Handmade Prickly-pear Papyrus," 
"Fair, Faithful, and Fearless," and "Sold to the Push at 
Five the Chunk or Two Plunks Per." "Bill Barlow" was 
changing the appearance and tone of the Budget to har- 
monize with the new role he was preparing to assume as 
"Sagebrush Philosopher." 


Among the Douglasites of the early 1900's, there were 
probably those who passed quickly by the "Sagebrush Phil- 
osophy" of the Budget's first page and read the personal 
notices of the "Short Stops" column on page five just as 
many today by-pass the editorials and syndicated columnist 
to read the funnies or local society section. Some people 
did read Barrow's "Scintillating Solecisms," however, were 
impressed, and passed on to the Budget's editor their appre- 
ciation of the light-hearted happiness reflected in Bill 
Barlow's philosophy. 

2. From "Bill He Believes," Inside of front cover of Sagebrush 
Philosophy, XIII, No. 4 (April, 1910). 


Probably upon the suggestion of friends, Barrow began 
to recognize that the optimism, wit, and philosophy of the 
articles would take in other parts of the country. Admiring 
readers may even have shown him the possibilities of a 
monthly magazine compiled from the columns of the Budg- 
et. No doubt, it took little encouragement to start Barrow 
on his way toward the creation of such a periodical. 

On December 9, 1903, he revealed his plan to his readers 
as follows: 

To those among my congregation who find spiritual solace 
and intellectual nutriment in the pure stuph which appears on 
this page from week to week I wish to whisper the word that I 
am about to launch a monthly magazine — the which will face 
the footlights early next month. It will be a pocket publication, 
handsomely printed on prickly pear papyrus, with a two-color 
cover on which will be emblazoned the title of "Sagebrush Phil- 
osophy." It will comprise stuff written only to be read — a 
careful selection from these weekly presents, and other things 
as happen to percolate through the mental vertebra of the 
Person who vibrates at the other end of this pencil. Though 
really worth very much more, Sagebrush Philosophy will be sold 
at ten cents the copy to casual readers and $1 to those who 
want it for a year and move right in. I would like very much 
to have a good audience present when this temple is completed 
and would suggest that while you are in the notion you might 
send in your name, right now, with credentials sufficient to 
enroll you as of the elect. And if there be others whom you 
believe would be benefited thereby, their names and addresses 
will be thankfully received — to whom a sample copy shall be 
sent. Now don't delay. (XVIII, 27, 1903) 

The first issue of Sagebrush Philosophy was dated Jan- 
uary, 1904, but it had been put in the mails in December. 
It measured four and three-fourths inches by six and one- 
fourth inches and had thirty-two pages. Since today only 
bound copies of that first issue are available, the appearance 
of the cover cannot be described accurately; however, the 
announcement of it in the Budget reported that, like later 
editions, it was of a rough-textured, colored paper, the 
color varying from one edition to another. The same words 
greeted the reader at the top of the first page of the text 
as greeted the readers of subsequent issues, "Just let this 
thought sorter sink into your soul: The mummy aint had 
no fun for moren five thousand years." 1 On the cover was 
probably inscribed the proverb, "Live, Laugh and Love — 
There'll Come a Time When You Can't," which appeared 
on later issues. The pages were unnumbered, were printed 
in quarto fashion, and may have been distributed undipped 
at first. There were titles given to the various articles, but 
a short line was drawn between them at the middle of the 

1. Bill Barlow, Sagebrush Philosophy, I, 1 (Jan., 1904), p. 1. 


page to suggest a division. The first letter of each long 
article was boxed in a four-line space; the jokes and max- 
ims, which were Bill Barlow's proverbs, sometimes had only 
the first word in capitals and at other times appeared with 
the whole passage in darker type to show that a new 
thought was beginning. Among the articles listed in the 
Topical Index of that first issue were discussions of the 
following : 

Time flies — twas New years only yesterday. 

Heres a health to the god Dionysus. 

Weuns sure dont like Injuns, out this way. 

Bear fables — including how Windy Smith found four. 

The "scintillating" content of this first issue evidently 
was what many readers over the country were seeking, for 
Barrow wrote in the January 13, 1904, issue of the Budget 
that Sagebrush Philosophy seemed to have caught on and 
added : 

I had no serious intention of trying to blanket the continent 
with my first number; but printed what promised to be more 
than a plenty — and yet within ten days after the little mag had 
hit the mails the first edition was entirely exhausted and a sec- 
ond printed — to the great joy of both Mrs. Bill and Bert the 
Benign, who likes nothing better than to feed a voracious two- 
revoluter ream after ream of popular pulp done into a prickly 
pear papyrus. A great many good people have moved right in 
for a year, and newsdealers everywhere assure me that Pure 
Stuph is a swift seller — likewise a sure satisfyer [sic.]. 

To the newspaper push I tip my tile — albeit a Chicago press 
clipping bureau doing business on a short-order rate schedule 
has already boosted my somewhat attenuated bank balance over 
into the red. From a full half-page bouquet headed "Introduc- 
ing Bill Barlow, the Elbert Hubbard of Wyoming," appearing in 
the Chicago Inter Ocean of January 3rd down to the modest 
four-line wood violet — each pregnant with the aroma of kindly 
welcome — all are noted and appreciated, and here acknowledged 
— until opportunity serves if ever, to repay. (XIX, 31, 1904) 
By March, however, Barrow was beginning to receive 
unfavorable criticisms of his new style from those whom 
he called "well-meaning" friends. In his own defense he 
gave a long, rambling discussion of the "mag's" content and 
manner. He described the style in which his "Pure Stuph" 
had been written as "plain tales . . . plainly told." He ex- 
plained, moreover, that "in the house of letters are many 
mansions, the which are constantly undergoing alteration 
and repair." (XIX, 39, 1904). He had substituted, he 
wrote, for his attempts as literary and polished passages 
what he called a "Saturated Solution of Scintillating Sole- 
cisms." With the development of the idea of a "Sagebrush 
Philosopher" Barrow had begun to experiment with devices 
to point up the folksy, colloquial quality of the "wisdom" 
he was offering his readers. He deliberately misspelled, 
ran words together, attempted to represent an uneducated 


pronunciation, as in "suthin," "moren," "handlin," omitted 
apostrophes in contractions, and filled his sketches with 
slang and colloquialisms. These peculiarities no doubt dis- 
pleased many readers and probably provoked criticism, but 
Barrow defended his material and method vigorously. "It 
is my purpose to be truthful, to portray life as you and I 
both see it, despite the hysterical mustnt-touch screams of 
thin skins." He pointed out that "slang, bretheren, is at 
times the vehicle through which the good work can be ac- 
complished — the nude in Literature" and that "Language 
either spoken or printed must be thought itself without 
domino or other damphool disguise." 

Barrow had a good deal to learn about how to make the 
Sagebrush Philosophy a financial success. He first obtained 
the names of news-stand operators all over the country, 
picked a few news agencies in the more thickly populated 
areas, and sent them sample copies of the initial Sagebrush 
Philosophy. In some cases he sent as many as fifty copies 
of the new publication, and, according to one of Barrow's 
letters written on July 22, 1904, one-half of these were re- 
leased as samples for free distribution. Here, he added that 
the "entire lot might be so considered if necessary — it being 
our desire to introduce the publication and induce you to 
handle it for us in the future." 2 

Barrow sent glowingly phrased letters of announcement 
along with the first packets of his magazine which were dis- 
tributed. The replies, which he soon began to receive, made 
him realize, no doubt, that the distribution of a periodical 
was not as easy as he had thought. The head office of the 
American News Company in New York must have written 
back to Barrow, for example, explaining in a courteous 
manner how news agencies functioned; for an answer to 
them is found in Barrow's Copy Book under date of January 
8, 1904. Among other things Barrow included the following 
in this letter: 

I . . . assure you that your suggestion as to the disposal of 
copies sent you as samples has our full approval, I have today 
written your branch house at Denver enclosing your letter, and 
trust that within a few days we will reach a satisfactory ar- 
rangement under which we may be able to send you the maga- 
zine hereafter. 

Sagebrush Philosophy is a winner. Chicago, Omaha, New 
York, and Washington papers have paid it some very handsome 
compliments, as well as every prominent paper published in the 
Rocky Mountain region. 3 

2. "Letter to Brentano," Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 22, 1904, Copy 
Book, p. 29. 

3. "Letter to American News Company," New York, N. Y., Jan. 
8, 1904, Copy Book, p. 2. 


A similar letter was sent to the Washington News Com- 
pany, which apparently had also written that Barrow con- 
tact the News Company branch in Colorado. Barrow imme- 
diately wrote to the Colorado News Company, hoping to 
work out as soon as possible some way of putting his new 
contribution before the reading public. He reported the 
extent of his sales to date and told them that there were 
more orders for the January number than could be filled, 
although 1,500 more copies were being printed to fill orders 
received. 4 

After writing to this company and asking that an ar- 
rangement be settled upon, it was necessary for Barrow 
to write to the other news agencies that he had approached 
with his letter accompanying sample copies. He explained 
that he had contacted a branch of the American News Com- 
pany to distribute his magazine but assured the other news 
companies that he was still in the market. 5 As Barrow 
received more correspondence from the various news agen- 
cies, he learned that as in any other business the middle 
man wanted his cut. In his case, he felt that the amount 
requested by the agencies was too great and would not 
leave a large enough margin of profit for the individual 
news-stand operators. 

The review of the magazine in the Chicago Inter-Ocean 
had been at the first the best instrument of Barrow's sales 
talk ; however, he later capitalized on his direct contact with 
the dealers. He always let the dealers know that he was 
really doing them a favor by sending his little "bibliomag" 
directly to them. 

Although we have about twenty type-written pages from the 
American and other news companies now on file in our office, 
in which they ask the exclusive sale of the mag. with a 2c 
rakeoff which the retailer must pay, we have decided to pass 
them up for the present and deal direct with the retailer only. 6 

Meanwhile the editor of the Budget was not being alto- 
gether frank with the Colorado News Company. While 
continuing to contact prospective customers directly about 
ordering the magazine, he wrote the following contradictory 
statement to the Colorado Branch of the American News 
Company : 

. . . We have not yet decided about the agency business. The 
fact is that the Mag. has had such phenomenal — or unexpected, 
we might say — sales that we cannot broaden our field until we 

4. "Letter to Colorado News Company," Denver, Colorado, Jan. 8, 
1904, Copy Book, p. 4. 

5. Ibid., Jan. 11, 1904, Copy Book, p. 10. 

6. "Letter to Brentano," Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 22, 1904, Copy 
Book, p. 28. 


install a new book press and other machinery necessary to 
handle it, hence we are in the unique position of being compelled 
to close our doors, almost, to other than old customers. When 
we get ready to spread out — as we will as soon as possible — 
we will write you.v 

Barrow wrote more and more letters asking over and 
over, "Can you handle any Februarys, and how many of 
March shall we send you when out? Please examine the 
publication and let us hear from you." and "We are print- 
ing something as handsome as type and ink can make; 
distinctly western and unique in both makeup and meat." 8 
Always he declared that the first edition was exhausted 
within a fortnight, and that a second had been printed. 
In some cases he even maintained that the second was also 
gone. At one time he said that the first edition had num- 
bered 5,000. 9 Six months later he wrote that the initial 
edition had numbered 2,000. 10 Since many of these first 
issues were used as free samples, Barrow was of course not 
being accurate or even honest when he used the number 
printed as a measure of the magazine's popularity. He 
probably felt, however, that some exaggeration was neces- 
sary for good salesmanship. 

Later in 1904, the tone of Barrow's publicity letters was 
distinctly changed. This was possibly an attempt to arouse 
or interest those dealers who had not replied to Barrow's 
first letters. To the Railroad News Company of Boston, 
Barrow wrote: 

We . . . have had no word from you as to how sales are going. 
We have secured quite a number of subscribers in Boston, how- 
ever, and they write us that when wanting extra copies of sev- 
eral issue they have been unable to get them at any of your 
news stands. 

SAGEBRUSH PHILOSOPHY is gaining circulation by leaps 
and bounds — every dealer who handles it, almost, having doub- 
led and trebled his order with each issue. Many have jumped 
from 10 to 100 and others have even exceeded this increase. 
Why have we not heard from you along this line ? 

A Boston friend writes us that you have many news stands, 
and in his opinion ought to easily sell 500 copies a month — 
possibly more. At his solicitation we are writing you — also 
sending you this mail 50 copies of the May issue. 11 

7. "Letter to Colorado News Company," Denver, Colorado, Jan. 29, 
1904, Copy Book, p. 34. 

8. "Letter to Wakoff Brothers," Park Row Bldg., N. Y. City, Feb. 
19, 1904, Copy Book, p. 46. 

9. "Letter to Colorado News Company," Denver, Colorado, Jan. 8, 
1904, Copy Book, p. 4. 

10. "Letter to Allrupp & Chappell," Little Rock, Arkansas, June 
18, 1904, Copy Book, p. 53. 

11. "Letter to Railroad News Company," Boston, Mass. May 7, 
1904, Copy Book, p. 51. 


Still another approach to salesmanship was employed 
in June, 1904, when in an answer to a news-stand proprietor 
in Little Rock, Arkansas, Barrow expressed pleasure in be- 
ing able to get back numbers which his correspondent had 
evidently been unable to sell. 12 Barrow explained that there 
were constant applications for issues out of print and that 
he and his staff had just been unable to supply the many 

Even more unusual correspondence followed. A letter, 
dated July 23, 1904, included an example of Barrow's next 
experiment as publicity man for his magazine. Here he 
wrote to an unsuccessful distributor that he and "Mrs. Bill" 
would be saved from suicide if the old issues could be 
bundled up and "fired in," and as a rousing finale added: 
Don't forget the Junes. Aprils are worth $1.00 each, but of 

course you haven't got any. We didn't know what we were up 

against at first and didn't print enough — but are catching on.13 

By May 31, 1905, Barrow was informing readers of his 
Budget that he had reached a circulation for June of 12,000 
copies and that orders already showed an icrease for July 
to at least 15,000. A few months earlier on March 15, 
1905, he had written to the Colorado News Company asking 
that a contract be prepared and sent to him. He evidently 
had decided that one man could not handle so many phases 
of a periodical's publication and asked the company to 
send him, in addition to the contract, such suggestions as 
their experience dictated for gaining circulation. 14 

As the subscription list grew and as Barrow publicized 
its growth, advertisers, no doubt, began to investigate the 
magazine's possibilities as an advertising medium. W. H. 
Greenfield of Philadelphia in 1904, according to existing 
records, was the first to approach Barrow on this matter. 
The Sagebrush Philosopher informed him that no effort 
was being made to get advertising and that he did not 
desire any until the magazine's circulation had grown from 
7,000 to 10,000. But Barrow added that by the end of the 
year this mark should be reached, at which time a rate card 
asking for advertising business would be sent out. He also 
quoted to Greenfield the price of $10.00 a page, assuring 
him, however, that the price was just a "mouth to mouth" 
agreement and likely to be increased at any time. 15 

12. "Letter to Allrupp and Chappell," Little Rock, Arkansas, 
June 18, 1904, Copy Book, p. 53. 

13. "Letter to Dailey," July 23, 1904, Copy Book, p. 60. 

14. "Letter to Colorado News Company," Denver, Colorado, March 
31, 1905, Copy Book, p. 102. 

15. "Letter to W. H. Greenfield, Esq.," Philadelphia, Penn., Sept. 
3, 1904, Copy Book, p. 73. 


Then in 1907, Barrow asked the Oliver Typewriter Com- 
pany for a new machine in exchange for a three-month full 
page advertisement. It is not known whether he was able 
to make his bargain with this proposal, but, his "sales talk" 
was convincing: 

SAGEBRUSH PHILOSOPHY is "The olive of Lucullan lit- 
erature" — pungent, but always palatable. It is the essence of 
current comment, plainly expressed and handsomely printed — 
deals with life as you see it and humanity as you know it — never 
a knocker — always an optimist. It is written to read, and we 
believe has a greater circulation based on actual copies printed 
than any other publication — is invariably passed about the home 
or office, and then carried in the pocket until handed to a friend 
and by him or her to others — because always of interest. 

We have refused all advertising until we had gained a circu- 
lation; but now feel that we have reached that point where we 
are justified in urging our claims to a limit of thirty pages 
based on rate card herewith. And, as I have said, we want 
another Oliver, and to that end make you the special offer of a 
full page for three months in exchange for one of your ma- 
chines. 16 

Barrow's untiring efforts toward wide publicity seemed 
to bring results, but there must also have been something 
appealing in the philosophy itself. Although certain por- 
tions of Bill Barlow's philosophy may have seemed coarse 
to some, the magazine was read from its comments on 
news, to its critical discussions, philosophical ramblings, 
and presentations of helpful maxims and proverbs. 17 

Since Barrow began his philosophizing by commenting 
on news of interest in a clever and unusual way, it might 
be well to consider this phase of his magazine material 
first. The news between the covers of Sagebrush Philoso- 
phy, like the critical discussions, proverbs, jokes, etc., 
appearing in Bill Barlow's monthly magazine, was also in- 
cluded in the "Scintillating Solecisms" published weekly 
on the first page of the Budget. 

In September, 1906, Barrow reported in his magazine 
that the members of the First Methodist Church of Grove- 
port, Ohio, had suffered a shock the other day from which 
they would not soon recover. He wrote that their original 
church had been built back in 1859 when a corner-stone 
containing a Bible and compilation of local church history 
was laid with a great deal of ceremony. They had planned 
to deposit these relics in the corner-stone of a new church 
under construction, but: 

16. "Letter to Oliver Typewriter Co.," Chicago, Illinois, March 5, 
1907, Copy Book, p. 129. 

17. Rice, Interview, Douglas, Wyoming, March, 1948. 


Imagine the horror of pastor and brethren who had assembled 
to recover the precious relics to discover, when the old stone 
gave up its contents, that it had held all these years — instead 
of holy and local writ — a greasy pack of cards, a battered 
tobacco box, a faded photograph of an altogether fairy and an 
empty booze bottle. It was evident that at some stage of the 
original corner stone deal, some sinner in jocular mood had 
switched decks. 18 

From this introduction Barrow went into a lengthy disser- 
tation on superstition as a competing factor in everyday 
life, using as example the superstition of the surprised and 
stricken people in Groveport. 

In another news item Barrow spoke of John D. Rocke- 
feller's announcement that he would give money toward a 
home and school for chorus girls. Using this item as a 
kind of text, the Sagebrush Philosopher went into a long 
and certainly not dull discussion of the chorus girl. 19 Billy 
Sunday, well-known evangelist of Barrow's day, was the 
subject of another of Barrow's comments on current news. 
In June, 1910, the Sagebrush Philosopher reported that 
Sunday was scheduled to make over the town of Everett, 
Washington. This bit of news, although not especially a 
scoop, became interesting and readable when told by 
Barrow : 

Sunday is understudied by a high-salaried apostle named Gill 
who in strict accord with Barnumesque ethics is already on 
the ground joyously prophecying the reclamation of full 3,000 
souls as result of his principal's labor of love and lucre. Everett 
may need a housecleaning all right; but after Sunday has pock- 
eted his fee and made his getaway, the local clergy and congre- 
gations, including a well laundried proletariat, will have gotten 
onto some new wrinkles anent reform. 20 

Barrow's criticism of contemporary writers had much the 
same tone as his editorials on local newspapers. His com- 
ments on one of the victims in this category, William Allen 
White, are of interest. In 1905 Barrow wrote the following 
of White: 

That dread disease known to the profesh as literary polish 
has swept the poor cuss into the maelstrom of common-place 
space writers, whose work is really no better nor worse than 
the best, and absolutely devoid of that individuality which was 
once a gleaming lighthouse in a fatuous fog. (XX, Feb. 8, 

The Sagebrush Philosopher consistently threw laurels, how- 
ever, to writers past and present who were "fair, faithful, 
and fearless." 

18. Bill Barlow, Sagebrush Philosophy, VI, No. 3 (Sept., 1906). 

19. Sagebrush Philosophy, VI, No. 3 (Sept., 1906). 

20. Sagebrush Philosophy, XIII, No. 61 (June, 1910). 


In formulating a reply to the adverse comments on the 
language of his "mag," Barrow used his knowledge of the 
great writers of the past : 

What a world of hypocrites we are anyway, in this matter of 
literature. Nobody ever heard an oration on the subject with- 
out some reference in it to "the immortal Bard of Avon," and 
yet few people can honestly read and enjoy him. Milton is 
deified as one of the world's greatest poets, and yet it is true 
that a large proportion of the educated men and women of today 
take his "Paradise Lost" on trust, and have not read it. John 
Bunyan belongs to the same class — how many of you have 
waded through "Pilgrims Progress?" We praise because tra- 
dition tells us we must, just as we recognize many other super- 
stitions which have come to us through the centuries. And 
yet while we profess an admiration verging on veneration for 
a score or more of old-time authors whose work hangs high in 
the temple of fame, how carefully we have revamped and sand- 
papered some of their productions in order to bring them with- 
in the limits of present-day literary censorship. (XIX, 51, 

He grieved over the "latent laxity of mind" which led 
some of his readers to "carnal rather than moral conclu- 
sions," and took advantage of an opportunity to review the 
unsavory qualities of the immortals of literature in hopes 
that it would make people understand better that any 
"word bears different definitions and interpretations." 

Shakespeare was a libertine, Coleridge a dope-dipper, Poe a 
booze-fighter for fair, Burns a profligate and pothouse bum, 
Byron had as many mistresses as he could manage . . . yet these 
trifling idiosyncracies of their day did not prevent the per- 
petuation of their genius on the pages of history. It is admit- 
ted that each was a great teacher along certain lines, and that 
the world is wiser and better because they once lived, and yet 
were they on earth today they would be classed as degenerates 
and much of their best work denounced and damned. (XIX, 
51, 1904) 

In 1906 Barrow wrote that Smollett and Fielding and 
Boccaccio practiced what they preached, that the family 
matters of Shakespeare were "deucedly irregular," and 
that the life of Swift would have been refused by even 
the "high-class, low-priced magazine." He added that 
George Eliot was a "shameless hussy according to smug 
measurement" and mentioned Villon as a "rascally chest 
and pothouse brawler." 21 

Barrow's criticisms of what the drama of his day did to 
literature are very readable. He wrote how he had once 
loved Ben Hur, had taken it off the shelf with reverence, 
and had spent hours "in the tent of Sheik, or in the deserted 
arena of the circus of Antioch where the proud Roman was 
humbled by the powers of the Jew." (XIX, 49, 1906). He 

21. Sagebrush Philosophy, VI, No. 2 (Aug. 1906). 


added, however, that he had seen the play and could never 

again pick up the book without hearing: 

the rumble and roar of that devilish mechanical race-track on 
which Messala and Ben-Hur did their stunt; the skeleton of 
the story as paraded on the stage glaring at me from between 
every line — all the beauty and pathos of the tale lost in whit- 
tling it down to a peg to fit a hole. (XIX, 49, 1904) 

Barrow made the comment on Ben Hur by way of preface 
to a remark or two concerning Owen Wister's Wyoming 
story, The Virginian, which he had recently seen produced 
on a Chicago stage. He described in picturesque detail the 
Virginian as he had known him — of his consumption of 
whiskey straight, his grammar which was "most in gen'l 
salted with enough biblical Tabasco to give it both pith 
and point," and his fondness for the four-card-flush. Of 
the Virginian on the Chicago stage, however, Barrow 
wrote : 

The cuss I met in Chicago who pretended to be our old paid 
was a low-down, cotton-chewin, Montgomery & Ward repre- 
sentative and thats the answer! Though evidently suffering 
from a thirst born of the night before he never took a drink 
during the progress of the play which appeared to lap over a 
good many months. Think of a cowboy on a water way, men 
and women of Wyoming, and weep! And his grammar! I have 
heard Chicago as she is spoke, have interpreted Hoboken, slow- 
ly sifted St. Louis through my cerebellum, digested the Frisco 
dialect and bearded the bean-eater in his very lair; but all 
these are as primal understudies beside the land-laundried 
lingo which this rooster lifted over the footlights. It was Ladies 
Home Journal delicatessen, with an oratorical orchid chucked 
in here, and a long-stemmed orthographical Beaut at $12 the 
doz. pinned on there — and never a rib-roastin persuader appear- 
in in the entire processioji. 

Some years later he defended James Henry Stark for 
"Doing things to the hiatus of some American heroes in his 
book," The Loyalists of Massachusetts, and the Other Side 
of the American Revolution, and maintained that Stark was 
"neither subsidized muckraker nor yellow sensationalist." 22 

Barrow's philosophical comments on everything and any- 
thing in general may have made by far the most interesting 
reading for the people of his day. These portions of Sage- 
brush Philosophy and the "Scintillating Solecisms" of the 
Budget included rambling sketches and comments about 
Christmas, friendship, wickedness and religious intolerance, 
the naivete of youth, the cowboy's appreciation of Shake- 
speare, the love of the world for a sinner, human sentiment, 
praise of western women, etc. Most of these articles were 
six to eight pages long but made interesting reading in 
spite of their loose connections and irrelevancies. 

22. Sagebrush Philosophy, XIII, No. 4 (April, 1910). 


Barrow's article on Christmas in 1904 was especially re- 
vealing because of his background. He wrote that of all 
the events of earth "since historians first began to trim the 
lamps of imperishable records," the Nazarene's "life and 
death whether viewed as mortal, or myth, fable or fact, 
must be accepted as the most momentous to society." 

In an age of strife He came preaching peace, in an age of 
violence and brutal oppression He taught charity and forgive- 
ness; in an age of beastial licentiousness He declared that man 
must live rightly if he would be happy — who, unlettered and 
ignorant of laws, drafted a moral code from which neither seer 
or sage can erase word or line without marring its perfect 
beauty; who while living a persecuted life wreathed the world 
in smiles and preached only good-will to men. . . . Hence the 
anniversary of His birth — whether admitted or denied — may 
well be observed as opportunity for the expression of that kindly 
feeling which is more and more manifest in humanity as the 
years pass. (XX, 26, 1904) 

If Barrow's "Sagebrush Philosophizing" can be accepted 
as personal, his comments on wickedness may explain the 
basis of his standard of morality and in turn explain why 
others often looked at him askance. He expressed his be- 
lief that wickedness was more "a matter of opportunity and 
environment than of moral pervert." (XX, 3, 1904). He 
maintained that deliberate wrong-doing was rare and that 
"sin was usually the child of weak self-indulgence, thought- 
less omission and commission, or light-headed folly — and 
not infrequently the accidental consequence of a over- 
enthusiastic attempt to do good." (XX, 3, 1904). 

In August, 1906, Barrow wrote "Somehow, the world 
loves a sinner — particularly if his transgressions lie along 
certain lines — and why?" 23 He explained this by saying 
that there was the "instinct of the brute to seize his prey" 
in every human heart. He even suggested that in every 
one there was an inborn racial tendency to transgress and 
that this might be why humanity loved the sinner and made 
light of his offenses. To put across his point, the Sagebrush 
Philosopher wrote of the loveable and prominent people of 
history and literature, who lacked virtue in one way or 
another: Columbus, Washington, Oliver Cromwell, and 
others, and ended his article by showing how all the world 
loved the sinners in literature and even admired the unsa- 
vory qualities of their creators. 

In 1910 Barrow praised the western woman and attempt- 
ed to dissolve the myth built around her by the "rape-ridden 
imagination of the novelist and play writer." 24 He wrote: 

23. Sagebrush Philosophy, VI, No. 2 (Aug., 1906). 

24. Sagebrush Philosophy, XIV, No. 2 (Aug., 1910), 


. . . There have been heroines in the west, as everywhere — 
willing to sacrifice life itself if need be in the defense of honor, 
. . . The west, too, has its society of cities and towns and locali- 
ties, regardless if need be that the nearest ranch is twenty 
miles away . . . Our afternoon teas are confessedly lacking in 
empty gabble and eye glasses — there is a dearth of vulgar small 
talk and ornate display — and yet these are women who know 
their world, who read the newspapers and best magazines, who 
can discuss plays and operas theyve never seen but know much 
about nevertheless, who vote intelligently and I believe far more 
conscientiously than their liege lords, and yet in thought and 
sentiment and hopes and aspirations are the same wives and 
mothers who from the beginning have rocked the cradles of the 
world . . . behold the western woman. 25 

Scattered in between the longer passages of philosophiz- 
ing were jokes and proverbs meant both to amuse and 
teach. They dealt with love, wickedness, dishonesty, and 
other human attributes. Some of these bordered on obscen- 
ity, and others could have been accepted by the most pious 
people of Barrow's day. Here as in all phases of the maga- 
zine, Barrow gave "Some Pure Stuph Including Some Long 
Shots at Sin the Which Was Written to Read," the notice 
of which appeared on the first page of every issue. From 
the many proverbs and witticisms of Bill Barlow, the Sage- 
brush Philosopher, the following have been taken at ran- 
dom as examples: 

Happiness is a divine Heritage and no less a duty — learn a 
lesson from the mummy who hasnt had any fun for moren 
5,000 years. 

Neat fitting shoes and black hose will catch more flirtatious 
flies than a ton of paint and powder. 

I want no other tribute in life nor epitaph after — I am willing 
to be both judged and remembered — by the enemies I have 

Ambition is still climbing that mountain — but in the modern 
version it is only the foolish braggart who flourishes a flag. 

As man thinketh in his heart so is he as concerns his age — 
as woman looketh in the face, she am. 

To fret is to fear — and real trouble waits around the corner 
always for the coward and cur. 

Give freely to your friends of such virtues as you possess — 
not forgetting, likewise and always, to profit by the ill will of 
enemies who, as is barely possible, do sometimes tell the truth. 

Genius is not a pot of gold buried neath a friendly rainbow 
and possessed whether or no by whoever stumbles onto the 
treasure. Tis painstaking observation and understanding, clev- 
erly elaborated in the woof of hard work. 

Better to make yourself beloved than feared. 

The morning cocktail is the banana peel on which so many 
slip when setting out on the path of reformation. 

Announcement is made through a fashion-plate publication 
that long, loose cloaks will be the style this winter. More 
trouble for the stork. How will he know where he is expected? 

25. Ibid. 


First, always, is the wish to be happy — after, maybe, the 
folly of becoming wise. 

These various presentations of philosophy and humor 
combined to make up the little "mag" which Bill Barlow 
sent to the public each month. Barrow had an ingratiating 
way of telling a story. He added a touch of suggestion of 
scandal to many stories and made others seen unusual even 
though the incident may have been very ordinary or the 
joke one in current circulation. It might be said that he 
approached some of his articles in reverse; often he began 
by writing about nothing in particular and suddenly applied 
his philosophizing to some definite incident or idea. He 
played with words and made new combinations to express 
his ideas more adequately. Of his curious spelling he 
wrote : 

Anent the threatened spelling reform — if you find any symp- 
toms of it in the Philos., it is because the proof-reader ought 
to be fired. 26 

Barrow took the fancies and prejudices of an ordinary 
human being and made of them reading material for both 
optimist and pessimist. Although Sagebrush Philosophy 
contained ideas with practical applications for everyday 
people, the way the ideas were expressed sometimes left the 
reader wondering whether he should be shocked or amused. 

Possibly Barrow picked up some of his stylistic tricks 
from Bill Nye, but he could hardly be said to have been 
influenced chiefly by Nye. Chaplin wrote that Barrow sub- 
scribed for the Iconoclast of Brann and the Philistine of 
Elbert Hubbard. 27 Barrow took suggestions, in all likeli- 
hood, from these publications, but he had ability and indi- 
viduality in his own right. 

In the 1890's William Cowper Brann, journalist and lec- 
turer, published the Iconoclast at Waco, Texas. In this 
periodical he gave "violent and often unconventional treat- 
ment to the moral and social problems of his day." 28 He 
became notorious in his time because of this, but his scope 
was much narrower than Barrow's; and in his attempt to 
cure the world of what ailed it, he tried to make every man 
think as he thought. 

There is considerable resemblance between Elbert Hub- 
bard and Barrow as men and as writers and philosophers. 29 

26. Sagebrush Philosophy, VI, No. 4 (Oct., 1906). 

27. Letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 

28. J. D. Hart, The Oxford Companion to American Literature 

(London, N. Y., Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1941), p. 90. 

29. The impressions given here of Elbert Hubbard were gained 
through study of the following book: Felix Shay, Elbert Hubbard 
of East Aurora (New York: William H. Wise & Co., 1926). 


They had similar attitudes on many things, shared certain 
hobbies, and loved telling stories at their own expense. As 
writers they were both influenced by the Bible and used 
many expressions from it in their writing. Both wrote 
one-man magazines filled with smart sayings and common- 
place philosophy; both claimed to be writing for those who 
could discern their irony and enjoy it. 

Of the many laudatory letters received by Bill Barlow, 
some included remarks which compared the Sagebrush 
Philosopher with Elbert Hubbard. Portions of these let- 
ters from appreciative readers were published from time to 
time in the Budget under one of the following headings: 
"Breezy Bouquets in Big Bunches," or "Some Posies Hand- 
ed the Mag." They came from Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, 
California, Texas, Illinois, Nebraska, Georgia, Colorado, 
New York, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Winnipeg Manitoba, 
Nassau, and the Bahamas. A reader from Omaha wrote, 
"It is just the thing — excelling the Philistine, Iconoclast, 
and all others along that line." (XX, 17, 1904). From 
Augusta Georgia, came the prediction that "Sagebrush 
Philosophy will run the Philistine out of business down this 
way." (XX, 17, 1904). A newspaper in Elmira, New York, 
the Telegram, wrote: 

Bill Barlow has won a front place in journalism in this country 
and his fame is not confined to the east nor the west. He has 
secured it because he knows when, where, and how to write his 
"hot stuph." ... In style and makeup Sagebrush Philosophy is 
an attractive little magazine and . . . withal possessed of a 
breeziness that is pleasing and captivating. It is of about the 
size of Elbert Hubbard's Philistine and in a short time is cer- 
tain to be famous and as much sought for. (XX, April 26, 1905) 

In early issues of Sagebrush Philosophy Barrow himself 
had a statement to make about what he was attempting. 
He wrote: 

That your Pastor makes no pretentions to literary style, polish 
or ability; has no hunch he will live in book-lore legend, nor 
does he hope to write anything that has not been evolved from 
the mind of man again and again since Adam first made his 
mark. But this maglet is Bill's — to fill its pages his joy and 
his privilege — and so long as health and pencil last every line 
of Refined Rot therein appearing will be his. It will lack, of 
course, the finish and lustre — the hyphenated heaviness which 
attaches to six sawbucks the column and no cutback — but it 
will be Pure Stuph, written to read — designed to amuse and 
entertain — with the wide world and its ways for a text and 
"Live, laugh, and love" as the theme — the which is offered at 
ten cents the chunk or One William to those who want it for a 
year and move right in. 30 

30. This appeared on back of title page of issues through 1906. 


Although he told his readers that to fill the pages of his 
magazine was "his joy and pleasure," his associates main- 
tain that "To write this magazine once a month was quite a 
task." Barrow told Chaplin, for example, "that it was his 
custom to take a bottle of whiskey and a pot of black cof- 
fee and write the magazine at a single sitting." 31 This 
might indicate that he found philosophizing to order some- 
thing of a chore ; certainly to turn out an issue at one sitting 
required a brain which "moved with great rapidity under 
pressure." 32 

In his later years Barrow did most of his writing at a 
large ranch home built west of the Platte River, not far 
from Douglas. "He had a fine team of horses . . . and 
enjoyed going to his office and back to this good home." 33 

At this home on October 9, 1910, the Sagebrush Philoso- 
pher died at the age of fifty-three. His death was caused 
directly by heart failure, but his strenuous life and concen- 
trated work were contributing factors. His funeral was 
the biggest in Douglas history, and flowers, telegrams, and 
letters, as well as admirers themselves, came to Douglas 
from all areas into which Bill Barlow had spread his phil- 
osophy. Some Douglas residents remember that all school 
children were dismissed for the funeral. Each one was 
given a carnation, then was lifted up to see the deceased, 
and allowed to place his flower on the casket. The children 
marched as a part of the funeral procession from the Unity 
Temple to the cemetery, and one of them remembers today 
how the event impressed her — awe mixed with a bit of 
humor — a procession so solemn and yet ridiculous to a 
child whose most vivid recollection of it is an image of a 
corpulent Mason with a wooden Bible rack over his shoulder 
and a big stomach in front. 34 

Readers all over the country responded in different ways 
to news of Barrow's death. Some sent letters of condo- 
lence; others wrote verses, sincere in sentiment though 
pretty poor as poetry, like the following by H. R. Drum- 

Bill Barlow's gone. His work, unfinished, stands to mark the 

Where he laid down his tools to meet his Master face to face. 

Gauge, gavel, plum, square level, trowel, all tools are cast aside 

Clad in white gloves and apron Bill has crossed the Great 

31. Chaplin, letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 

32. "Obituary" Bill Barlow's Budget, Oct. 12, 1910. 

33. Chaplin, letter to author, Jan. 1, 1947. 

34. Related to the author, March, 1948, by a Douglas woman who 
prefers to remain unidentified. 


His comrades mourn, their prayers ascend to that Great 

To grant them strength and cunning so that their hands may 

A tablet to his memory — one that this message sends 
To all the world — Bill Barlow's here, 

God bless him. "He had friends. "35 

All who had read and appreciated Bill Barlow's Sage- 
brush Philosophy knew that it had been a "creature purely 
of his brain and could not survive." 36 The magazine was 
discontinued after the publication of two issues after his 
death; the last was a memorial edition. 

In 1903 Barrow had described the Wyoming newspaper- 
man in his "Sagebrush Philosophy" column: 

The Wyoming newspaper man is an optimist, if there ever 
was one. Even in his sober moments — and he has 'em — he see 
things. Given a country store or two at an isolated cross-roads 
and he builds a city; ... a forty-dollar addition to your modest 
shack makes it a mansion, and his town is the only town, and 
the best ever. He is always willing to fudge a little in handling 
cold facts, and as prophet he simply skunks Elijah and all his 
ilk. ... Of necessity he is sometimes a liar; but to sorter toy 
with the truth in prophetic spirit for the good of the country 
or community in which he lives is with him a labor of love, and 
by reason of a special dispensation granted him direct from 
Deity, these trifling idiosincracies [sic] which we of the profesh 
term "essential errors" are not charged up against him in the 
Big Book. In many cases he is snubbed and sinned against — 
by the man who has mental mumps, the mossback and the miser 
— of whom we do have* a few rare specimens . . . 
. . . He's not a whiner — he must set the pace if you please, and 
he most in gen'l does. 

The Wyoming newspapermen, Barrow also wrote, are 
those : 

who print a book each year wherein is written a history of their 
locality; who don't print all the news, thank God, but with wise 
discretion make a record of births, deaths and marriages, social 
events and business and industrial enterprises, wherein naught 
is set down in malice and much is given the benefit of the doubt. 
And when in the course of human events it becomes necessary 
to remove the professional pale — the Wyoming newspaper man 
does the job decently, and without undue shedding of blood. 
And when he sets out to paint the rose for you, his pencil can 
cough up colors theyve never yet been able to find in the 
kaleidoscope. (XIX, 19, 1903) 

In his description of Wyoming newspapermen Barrow 
told his own story well. His is only one story among many 
that could be told. The frontier newspapermen who suc- 

35. Copied from papers which had belonged to Mrs. M. C. Barrow, 
now in the possession of Roy Combs, Douglas, Wyoming. 

36. Chaplin, Laramie Republican, Daily Edition, April 24, 1918. 


ceeded were of necessity "men of strong character," as 
Chaplin put it, 37 but there were only a few like Barrow who 
with genius and a touch of audacity reached out of the 
West and commanded the attention and admiration of the 
reading public in other parts of the world. 

37. "Early Wyoming Newspapers," Laramie Republican, Daily 
Edition, April 11, 1918. 

Zhe Uoad of yesteryear 

Lights and Shadows in the Life of the Methodist 
Church in Basin. 




TO THE MEMORY of Reverend Lewis C. Thompson, 
pioneer preacher in the Big Horn Basin, organizer and 
builder of churches, known and respected far and wide for 
his commendable attributes as minister and man, this work 
is dedicated in recognition and appreciation. 

*Marvin B. Rhodes was born on January 8, 1874, at Palmyra, 
Missouri. He obtained his education in the public school and Ingle- 
side College, Palmyra, and West Plains Academy, Missouri. In 1897 
he was married to Mazie Darr at Edgemont, South Dakota. A son, 
Paul, died in infancy; a daughter, Ruth, now Mrs. W. F. Petrausch, 
resides in Thermopolis. 

Mr. Rhodes came to Wyoming in the winter of 1900. Between 
the years 1892-1922 he was connected with five different banks, 
in Missouri, Wyoming, and California, one of which was the Big 
Horn County Bank at Basin, 1900-1910. From 1910-1914 he was the 
receiver of the U. S. Land Office at Lander, and during 1923-1931 
he was cashier of the Pacific Department of the Hartford Fire In- 
surance Company at San Francisco. During World War II he was 
for three years a mechanic in one of the Kaiser shipyards at St. 
John's, Oregon. Mr. Rhodes is living in Basin at the present time. 



The lights were dim and the way was long, 

But with manly purpose, high and strong, 

He, his feet urged on by fate, 

His whole mind centered on sober thought 

Of his efforts that had come to naught, 

Reached a house where Godly things were taught, 

In the street called Aldersgate. 

And a man read there from Luther's book, 
Of peace that comes when to Christ we look, 
Our lives to ameliorate; 
Not dreaming, as he diffused the light, 
That its radiance would glow more bright; 
That history would be made that night 
In the street called Aldersgate. 

The stranger listened, as was his part, 
Felt a surge of warmth swell in his heart, 
Felt it with joy palpitate. 
And he cast aside his weight of care, 
For he trusted Christ to save him there 
In the house built on that thoroughfare; 
In the street called Aldersgate. 

Now, two-hundred years and more have gone, 
But the soul crusade still marches on 
With a zeal naught can abate. 
Though millions honor that convert's name 
Whose work for God brought undying fame, 
Not many know that the blessing came 
In the street called Aldersgate. 

Nor does history tell us, today, 
Who read from the book that showed the way; 
Heaven will that one compensate. 
Still today, "perfect love casts out fear"; 
God, give us the will to make it clear, 
Like the one whose words caught Wesley's ear 
In the street called Aldersgate. 


This writer offers no brief for churches; they need none. 
Ever since the historic landing on a rock-bound coast Chris- 
tianity has been basic in our American way of life. 

This is the story of a church, a small-town western 
church and the road over which it has come during its 


almost half-century of existence, its beginning, struggles 
and vicissitudes, its errors, failures and achievements, the 
material prosperity which has come to it and its place in 
the life of the community. 

The story follows somewhat the pattern of the official 
church history, completed two years ago by the same 
author, although there are differences. The official history, 
having been intended primarily for the local Methodist 
congregations, present and future, much of it, because it 
would be of interest to them only, has been omitted from 
this one, thus materially shortening it. The remainder has 
been more or less diluted in its essence in order to adapt 
it to general reading. 

A feature of both this and the official history is the inclu- 
sion of much contemporary early local history, in as much 
as the church and the community have virtually grown up 
together ; a mere recital of events unaccompanied by a back- 
ground or delineation of the conditions under which they 
occurred or the causes leading to them is dull. 

The writer, named for a great bishop of the Methodist 
Church and nurtured in that church in more ways than one, 
found no Methodist organization when he came to Basin 
many years ago. Before long he united with another de- 
nomination and his interest in Methodist affairs promptly 
ceased; yet, the community having been small, it was inev- 
itable that many things would come under his observation. 

Three years ago, his wife being in feeble health, and the 
Methodist Church being directly across the street, they 
returned to the faith of their youth. Two days later the 
pastor, Rev. T. Stacy Riddick, requested him to write the 
history of the church. 

If nothing more than membership rolls, treasurers' re- 
ports and minutes of board meetings were required, almost 
anyone could write church history; but the fact cannot be 
escaped that the real annals must come from the memory 
or memories of some person or persons. In the present in- 
stance this writer was the only living person who remem- 
bered all or most of it; and thus he consented, realizing 
that otherwise a complete and comprehensive history would 
never be written. 

He has borne in mind that he set himself to the task of 
writing annals, not romance or fiction, and thus he has 
written frankly, though in some instances with restraint. 



A story went around several years ago about a pious old 
lady who came west to visit one of her married children. 
The day she arrived, or perhaps it was the next day, she 
said to a little grandson "Go bring me the dear old Book." 
The boy, anxious to please grandma, hurried away, and 
returning presently, handed her a Sears-Roebuck catalog. 

The story may be pure fiction. But if it is true, this 
writer does not know where or when the incident occurred. 
Alas, it could have happened recently in our own commun- 
ity; but the story more nearly reflects the spiritual state 
of the majority of the people in the Big Horn Basin fifty- 
five to sixty years ago. 

They (speaking of the majority) were not outlaws; they 
did not come a few jumps ahead of a sheriff; they had their 
own reasons for coming, "even as you and I," and their 
coming needs no defense. But, (still referring to the ma- 
jority) most of them in their former homes had not been 
strangers to Christian influence, yet while there had from 
choice been indifferent to it; and because only a spiritual 
rebirth could have changed them, it was but natural that 
upon coming to a region peopled mostly by their own kind, 
removed from religious influence, the newcomers, instead 
of breasting the current, drifted with it. 

The minority, which was a small one, embraced the two 
extremes; some of them were almost saintly, while the 
others should have had their backs broken. 

But, with the exception of the last-mentioned class, the 
people were good citizens, neighborly, generous to a fault 
and quick to act, even riding miles in any kind of weather 
over poor roads and rough trails to assist others in times of 
sickness and misfortune. 

Most of them had been in the basin a long time, the influx 
of new people being but a thin trickle ; modes of transporta- 
tion being such as they were, the great tide of westward 
migration, deflected and divided by the Big Horn Mountains, 
went around them and continued onward. Christians espe- 
cially did that, for churches and good schools usually loom 
large in their perspective. 

There had been a time when the entire area of the basin 
had been given over to grazing; Henry C. Lovell ran 50,000 
cattle in the central part, Otto Franc, for whom the town 
of Otto was named, ran 20,000 in the upper Greybull Valley, 
and there were a number of other large outfits. In 1883 1 

1. B. F. Wickwire in letter to A. W. Coons, Oet. 9. 1941. 


there were 150,000 cattle in the basin. At a roundup that 
spring on No Water Creek, in the southeastern part of the 
basin, there were wagons from Platte River, Sweetwater 
River, Powder River, Tongue River, Wind River and Lan- 
der; also, that spring, there were other roundups in the 
basin. Besides, there were several sheepmen with large 
holdings, including C. H. (Dad) Worland. But the memor- 
able hard winter of 1886-87 had cleaned out most of the 
large cattlemen and sheepmen. Also, people had come in 
and settled along the creeks and the Greybull River, with 
a very few along the Big Horn River. They had built up 
small herds, and this had given rise to the bloody war of 
1892, between the cattlemen and the homesteaders, which 
was fought in Johnson County but had repercussions in the 

To some of the people the county seat meant Lander, to 
others it meant Buffalo, to still others, Sheridan ; it depend- 
ed on where they resided in the basin. 

Roads were few and poor; there were no bridges on the 
principal streams, but several ferries, which were operated 
during periods of high water, but at other times the streams 
were forded. The people transported themselves in wagons, 
buggies and buckboards and horseback. Billings and Red 
Lodge were railroad and supply points, although the cattle- 
men in the eastern part of the basin trailed their cattle out 
over the mountains in the fall to Parkman for shipment. 
There were no telephones; mail service was infrequent and 
irregular, one or more weeks sometimes elapsing between 
deliveries. There was no church, minister or doctor; J. L. 
(Uncle Joe) Denney, Basin's first town marshal, often told 
of taking his wife in a buckboard from Shell Creek to 
Rawlins when she had an ulcerated tooth ; it was extracted 
by Dr. John E. Osborne, who afterward became Governor. 
In an area equal to that of Connecticut and New Jersey 
combined there was but one newspaper, The Big Horn 
County Rustler, owned by Governor William A. Richards 
and associates and printed by Thomas F. Daggett, formerly 
Assistant City Editor of the New York Sun; it was pub- 
lished at Bonanza. There were two other villages, Hyatt- 
ville and Otto, although there were a number of country 
postoffices and several country stores. 

The chief diversions of the men were poker, seven-up and 
other card games, also pitching horseshoes and broncho 
busting. Drinking was common and gambling was ram- 
pant. Sabbath breaking and profanity were common to 
both sexes. When someone gave a dance, word somehow 
got around beforehand quickly, although when someone 


brought home a jug of whiskey from Billings word got 
around quicker. People thought nothing of going fifty 
miles to attend a dance, and dances sometimes lasted two 
or three days. They were held in private homes, there 
being no other place to hold them. Usually perfect decorum 
prevailed; nothing else was tolerated. All met on a com- 
mon footing; there were no class distinctions. 

Such, then, was their mode of life, and few found fault 
with it. But all unbeknown to them the basin had a date 
with destiny; and fate, standing at the loom, plying the 
shuttle, was weaving for them another and better pattern. 


It is not here fatuously claimed that the advent of Chris- 
tian ministers in the Big Horn Basin was responsible for 
the remarkable transformation that came to it. Neverthe- 
less, until the ministers came, development, progress and 
enlightenment were there conspicuous by reason of their 
absence. If that fact and the numerous parallel examples 
all over the land represent nothing more than the working 
of coincidence, there is much coincidence to account for. 

The Methodist field in Wyoming was at first under the 
jurisdiction of the Colorado Conference, and was known as 
The Wyoming Mission. It was separated from the confer- 
ence in 1888, and in 1914 The Wyoming State Conference 
was organized. 

In 1893 Dr. N. A. Chamberlain, Presiding Elder, (whose 
official designation would now be District Superinten- 
dent) appointed Rev. Lewis C. Thompson to open a virgin 
field, the Big Horn Basin. It seems quite probable that Dr. 
Chamberlain first sought Divine guidance. In any event 
he could not have chosen a better man for the work. 

On Dec. 15 that year Rev. Thompson hitched a team to a 
buckboard in Alliance, Nebraska, and set out via the Platte 
Valley for Otto, Wyoming. He arrived in the basin on New 
Years Day, 1894. 

He soon organized a church with 21 members, most of 
whom resided at great distances from Otto. He and others 
hauled dimension lumber from a saw mill on upper Paint 
Rock, and the finish lumber and the hardware from Billings, 
and practically with his own hands he erected a frame 
church building in Otto, valued at $1200.00. 

Dr. Chamberlain, in his annual report to the Conference, 
stated that Rev. Thompson had traveled 4,000 miles with 
his buckboard in the snow and the wind, and besides main- 
taining three preaching schedules forty-five miles apart 


had opened two more ; he had received less than twenty-five 
dollars from the people of the basin, nevertheless was 
anxious to continue there; he got his wish. 

Rev. Thompson was a capable minister; he was not the 
flashy type, but he would have been a credit to any pulpit, 
city or country. He was a large man physically, and pos- 
sessed the strength needed to perform the labors and the 
stamina both physical and moral needed to endure the 
hardships of a pioneer minister's life. He was resourceful, 
had great breadth of mind, was tactful without compro- 
mising principles and was always unruffled. Because of his 
great faith he was always optimistic and pleasant. 

Besides the church at Otto, Rev. Thompson organized 
several others and erected buildings, including the one at 
Thermopolis. He would have organized a church at Basin 
City quite early, but his hands were full at the time, and 
another denomination saw the opportunity and grasped it. 
Some years later he was pastor at Casper. In 1908 he was 
appointed Superintendent of the Big Horn Basin District 
and at the same time pastor at Worland. He lived in a 
tent there the first three months and later built a parson- 
age. Nearly all the early day ministers in the basin came 
and went. Rev. Thompson came to remain, and did so until 
his death, more than thirty years afterward. 

The life of an early minister in the basin, while it was 
not without its rich compensations, was a hard one. There 
is a story about a pig, perhaps a Communist pig, that 
preached to the other animals on the farm that all animals 
are equal, and so stirred up a revolt and the animals took 
charge of the farm, with the pig as manager. Later, when 
they found that he was getting most of the food, they com- 
plained and reminded him that all animals are equal. He 
replied "Yes, but some are equaller than others." The life 
of the average minister anywhere was hard, but that of 
the early minister in the basin was harder. 

The home of such a minister was where he laid his head 
or where he hung his hat. He did not have all the comforts 
of home or the privacy needed for study and preparation 
of discourses. Sometimes he would travel all day without 
meeting anyone, not always knowing, if it was his first trip 
that way, where he would put up for the night, but confident 
that somewhere he would be taken in and made welcome. 
He might have to sleep on the floor or in the barn, or with 
the children, which latter sometimes had its disadvantages. 
Most of the houses, being small, were crowded without him ; 
all but a few were built of logs, and topped by dirt roofs 
from which tin flues projected. The ceilings and interior 


walls of the dwellings were lined with cloth. When the 
cloth was kalsomined or painted, which was usually the 
case, it became an excellent sound amplifier when the kero- 
sene lights below were extinguished at night and the mice 
and pack rats ventured out to play or fight fierce battles 
punctuated by their squeals and the thumping of their heads 
against wood. Also at that time, from out the innumerable 
cracks in the logs behind the cloth lining, there issued a 
ravenous horde of repulsive creatures advancing stealthily 
and swiftly upon their sleeping victims, to make their 
dreams troubled and their sleep unrefreshing. They or 
their progenitors came down from the mountains hidden 
in logs. They were as difficult to eradicate as wild morning 
glory in a field or garden, hence this is not meant as a re- 
flection on pioneer housewives; well, not many. People 
who a few years later built good homes dared not relax their 
vigilance, as there were always people in the community 
who were suspected of being "common carriers." More 
than once after some house was destroyed by fire, Josh Ellis 
was heard to remark "There must have been many lives 
lost." Thanks to the advance of science, and evolution 
in local building construction, this writer has not heard 
those pests mentioned for many years. 

Sometimes from choice the minister at night would 
spread his bed outdoors on the ground, even in winter if 
there was little or no snow. In summer that was not always 
pleasant, because of mosquitoes. 

By act of the Wyoming Legislature early in 1890, Big 
Horn County was created out of those portions of Sheridan, 
Johnson and Fremont counties lying within the Big Horn 
Basin, except a small area south of Owl Creek and west of 
the Big Horn River; thus, when the town of Thermopolis 
was moved to its present site in 1896, it was in Fremont 
County, while the hot springs, bath houses and some of the 
hotels were in Big Horn County. 

The now vanished town of Bonanza, in the lower No 
Wood Valley, was at that time the center of oil prospecting 
activity in the basin if not in the state; drilling had been 
done there years before the discovery of the Salt Creek 
Field, near Casper. Bonanza had a general store, hotel, 
drug store, saloon, harness shop, newspaper and a lawyer. 
The creation of Big Horn County was the beginning of the 
end for Bonanza. 

Winfield S. Collins, a lawyer and civil engineer, was then 
residing at Bonanza. Years before he and his wife had 
come from Ohio and settled at Fort Fetterman ; later he had 
helped found the town of Douglas. Still later, he had been 


informed that near Bonanza was a place where crude oil 
seeped out of the ground and that settlers in the vicinity 
used it to lubricate their wagons and buggies and to some 
extent for medicinal purposes. He moved to Bonanza, 
where he practiced law, surveyed canals and ditches and 
promoted oil exploration and drilling. 

When the new county was formed Mr. Collins planned to 
locate in the county seat, which he presumed would be Otto, 
on account of its central location. Most of the lots in Otto 
townsite were unsold, and Mr. Collins drove there hoping 
to buy them from the owner, Frank S. Wood. The two 
men dickered and haggled all day but could reach no agree- 
ment; at one time only ten dollars stood between them and 
a deal; finally Mr. Collins drove away, declaring he would 
found a town on the bank of the Big Horn River. 

He soon platted a townsite, which, as he said, straddled 
the big gulch ; the name he chose was Basin City. He made 
application under government townsite laws then applicable, 
sent the papers and the fee to the land office at Buffalo, 
well knowing they would be forwarded to Washington and a 
long wait was ahead. 

That spring John M. Tillard, a Civil War veteran, moved 
with his family in a covered wagon from Keith County, 
Nebraska, and he having used his homestead right, one of 
his daughters, Daisy, filed on land bordering on the river, 
opposite the proposed townsite. Mr. Tillard built a log 
house. He also built a ferry and began operating it. (Later 
on he with John Larson, Charley Anderson, William Lewis 
and others down the river, constructed the Tillard Canal, 
on the east side of the river. ) 

William F. Johnson, a blacksmith, came then with his 
wife, daughter and three boys from Holt County, Nebraska, 
and located in the lower Stinking Water (now Shoshone) 
Valley near the present site of Lovell. 

Also, Lewis A. Barrett, his wife and five children and 
William Mardis, came from Thomas County, Kansas, and 
settled in the Gould district in the lower Greybull Valley. 

C. W. Mason, his wife, son and daughter were then resid- 
ing a few miles up the river. The daughter, Nina, was 
afterward a school teacher and married Barnett G. Rogers. 

Basin Methodists have good reason to remember the 
names Johnson, Barrett and Mason. 

Tall, dark young Dr. R. W. Hale, the Big Horn Basin's 
first physician, located that summer at Otto. 

The Johnson family came the following spring (1896) 
from the Stinking Water Valley and located on land border- 


ing on the river and adjoining the proposed townsite on the 
north; they lived at first in a tent. 

Mr. Collins then received notice that his townsite appli- 
cation had been approved. He at once rounded up a crew 
and surveyed and staked out lots ; Mrs. Johnson cooked for 
the party. Mr. Collins announced that a picnic would be 
held on the townsite July Fourth. 

Picnics were none too common ; people came from far and 
near. A number bought lots ; the price was ten dollars for 
a thirty-foot lot and twenty dollars for a sixty-foot lot. 

The town of Cody was founded that year, also the town 
of Thermopolis was moved. 

All the early business buildings and dwellings in Basin 
City were constructed of logs, and there were a few dug- 
outs. The first building was occupied by The Basin City 
Herald,* published by Joseph A. Magill and O. T. (Tom) 
Gebhart. Zane and Richardson, then running a store on 
upper Shell Creek, opened a store in Basin City; they sold 
the Shell store to C. F. Mackenzie, who died in Greybull 
about a year ago. Josiah Cook moved his store from the 
lower Stinking Water Valley, James I. Patten moved his 
drug store from Bonanza and Otto Maier came from Bonan- 
za with his harness shop. Mr. Collins came and opened a 
law office. The town soon had three saloons, one of them 
opened by Al Pease. During the late 1880's and early 
1890's Bald Mountain City, on Bald Mountain, was a flour- 
ishing gold mining camp with a population this writer has 
never heard estimated at less than 5,000. Al Pease ran a 
saloon there. In his saloon in Basin he had one of the finest 
collections of elk, deer, antelope and mountain sheep heads 
in the west. 

C. Dana Carter, who had then graduated from a medical 
school in St. Louis at the age of 21, came with his bride and 
located in the new town. He made quick decisions, did not 
spare the scalpel, and his fame spread. He kept a corral 
full of fast broncs, none of which when hitched to a buggy 
needed to be told to pick them up and put them down. He 
thought nothing of driving fifty or one-hundred miles, day 
or night, in any kind of weather, sometimes going as far as 
Lost Cabin. He performed many emergency operations on 
dining room or kitchen tables. His son, Lester W. Carter, 
is a prominent hotel man in Billings. 

George N. Mecklem and Abraham L. Snyder filed on 
homesteads adjoining the townsite on the south. 

*A copy of Vol. 1, No. 1, Aug. 26, 1896, is located in the Walter 
Curtis Collection, University of Wyo. Archives Department. — Ed. 


Travel between Basin City and Billings was by way of 
Ribbon Canyon, so named because it was narrow and very 
winding, with many quick turns, although the floor was 
hard and smooth and mostly level. It is between Basin 
and Lovell, although not on Highway No. 20. The larger 
freight outfits drove four or six horses, pulling two wagons. 
They uncoupled at the canyon and took one wagon through, 
then went back for the other. 

It is surprising how many luxuries, conveniences and re- 
finements one can dispense with and be none the worse for 
it. There were neither trees nor grass in the town; nor 
walks. It stood on a wind-swept flat, the only vegetation 
being sagebrush, salt sage and cactus, the landscape dotted 
with innumerable ant hills and the habitations of prairie 
dogs. Heavy dust storms were frequent, and the dust 
sifted under doors, through keyholes and around windows, 
also through cracks between the logs where the plastering 
had fallen off. 

Water was carried from the river in pails or hauled in 
barrels; just as every Basin home now has its garbage or 
fire barrel, each then had its water barrel; Josh Ellis for 
some time was water boy. Sometimes in winter when one 
went to the river for water he took an axe to cut a hole 
through the ice. During high water, in the spring and 
summer months, the water resembled in appearance noth- 
ing more than thick, red soup, and when brought from the 
river was not used until it had stood awhile and the sedi- 
ment had settled. Ranchers brought fresh meat to town 
during cold weather; at other times it was not to be had. 

In 1912, this writer, making a trip from Lander to Powell, 
arrived by stage in Thermopolis late in the afternoon and 
was obliged to wait until noon the next day for the north- 
bound train. On the street he met Dr. Carter, who had 
moved there two years before. Fortune was smiling on 
both. They went inside and during the conversation which 
followed the doctor said earnestly, "Could we but bave 
known it, the years we spent in those log houses in that 
town down the river were the happiest of all." The re- 
sponse to his remark was "Doc, I think you said some- 

In the fall of 1896 Basin City, Otto and Cody were candi- 
dates for county seat honors. Tom Daggett moved The 
Big Horn County Rustler from Bonanza to Otto, where Lou 
Blakesley was already publishing The Otto Courier, and the 
ensuing war between the Otto papers and the Basin City 
paper was, to say the least, acrimonious. Some of Basin 
City's supporters went to Cody and convinced the people 


there that Cody stood no chance and asked them to support 
Basin City, promising that in the event the people in the 
west half should later wish to divide the county they would 
meet no opposition from Basin City. As a result Cody's 
supporters threw their weight to Basin City and that town 
won. Otto's adherents then instituted a contest. Tom 
Daggett at that time moved The Rustler to Basin City. 

William L. Smith, of upper Shell Creek, erected a two- 
story log building in Basin City, the first floor to be occupied 
by the county officers, the upper floor to be used for holding 
court, dances, religious and political meetings and other 
public gatherings. 

There were two livery stables; one, the Riverside Barn, 
situated by the river, owned by Dan H. Rinehart, and the 
Jo John Barn, owned by John A. Anderson. (His nickname 
was Jo John, with the accent on the Jo.) Mrs. Gertrude 
Hunter (afterwards Pennell and still later Quiner) opened 
a small hotel; Mrs. Sallie Gebhart soon opened another. 

Basin City was then receiving and forwarding its mail 
through the Otto postoffice, via Meeteetse, Cody and Red 
Lodge, usually twice a week, depending on the condition of 
some of the creeks. 

Miss Emma Tillard, daughter of the ferryman, opened a 
subscription school. (She afterwards married Walter B. 
Curtis.) When a school district came into being, a low- 
walled, dirt-roofed, one-room log schoolhouse was erected 
in the northwest part of town. 

When a local postoffice was finally established, the Post- 
office Department gave it the name of Basin; now the 
former name lives only in the memory of the few remaining 
old timers. Charles F. Judkins, a son of a rancher on the 
lower Greybull, was the first Basin postmaster. He was 
single, and being a cripple, always walked with the aid of a 
cane. He was an atheist, also a hard drinker. He did not 
long remain postmaster. About forty years ago he moved 
to California. A few months ago, in reply to a question 
by this writer, Oscar Robertson, of Basin, said that Charley 
Judkins was still living, also that he was quite religious 
and somewhat noisy about it. 

Otto lost its contest. Justice Willis M. Vandevanter ruled 
that Basin had won fairly and squarely, and he predicted 
a bright future for it. He little dreamed of the bright fu- 
ture that was to be his; he was afterwards an able and 
revered Justice of the United States Supreme Court. 

On December 18, 1897, Rev. John L. Limes, who had 
been the first pastor of the Baptist Church in Sheridan but 
had later become a rancher on the lower Greybull, organ- 


ized the First Baptist Church of Basin. Several of the 
members resided on the Greybull between Basin and Otto; 
one was on upper Shell Creek; one was at Hyattville, two 
on the North Fork of the Stinking Water, above Cody; the 
sons and daughters of the Tillard family, across the river, 
were nearest. The meetings were held in the Smith 

In the spring of 1898 Frank T. Brigham left Edgemont, 
South Dakota, and not long afterwards came by way of 
Hyattville into Basin, on a bicycle. He was a building con- 
tractor, but as no building was then in prospect he opened 
Basin's first restaurant. 

During the summer the Northern Pacific Railroad began 
grading roadbed for extension of its Rock Creek Branch, 
the extension to run from Silesia to a terminus to be known 
as Bridger, thus bringing the railroad within 105 miles of 

In August David L. Darr, of McCook, Nebraska, came 
by train to Sheridan, and from there he drove over the 
mountains to Basin. In a few days he organized the 
Big Horn County Bank, the first in the county; then he 
returned home to pack up. He and his wife shipped their 
household goods and a saddle horse in a chartered freight 
car to Sheridan. Being unable there to make satisfactory 
arrangement for having the stuff brought over the moun- 
tains, Mr. Darr procured a wagon and another horse, loaded 
a cook stove, bedding, dishes and clothing into the wagon, 
and after rebilling the car to Billings, he and his wife start- 
ed on the drive to Basin. In Buffalo they met a boy, Josh 
Ellis, who said that he, his older brother and their parents 
were on their way from Des Moines, Iowa, to Basin. 

On arriving in Basin Mr. Darr dispatched a freighter to 
Billings for his goods, and Mrs. Darr began counting the 
days. Thanksgiving came, then December, with the bank 
opening for business, then Christmas and New Year, with 
no news of the freighter. 

The winter was mild until noon of January 24; then a 
raging blizzard roared in from the northwest, bringing 
snow, which, with subsequent ones was three feet on a level. 
Bitter cold came, and it persisted, the thermometer at one 
time indicating fifty-two degrees below. How much colder 
it may have been no one knew, as that was as far as the 
thermometer would register. Freighters could not come 
in or go out. Supplies in the stores dwindled; coal and 
kerosene became scarce. When spring came one of the 
stores had no food on hand except some dry beans. Then 


the stockmen took inventory and many of them discovered 
that they had been put out of business. 

Life in the village during the winter had not been with- 
out its incidents. The Smith building was destroyed by fire, 
as was the White Elephant, a dance pavilion on the public 
square. Tom Cannon, a saloon man, sat in a game one 
night and lost his saloon, his bicycle, his watch and his 
gun ; but he boasted that they hadn't taken away his woman 
friend. George H. McCray, a rancher on the No Wood, 
while intoxicated one night, became abusive in Al Pease's 
saloon and Pease struck him with a chair, inflicting injuries 
from which he later died. 

In the spring Mr. Darr's freighter came in with his wag- 
ons. He had loaded up at Billings, but when he had arrived 
at Pryor Gap on the way back, graders on the railroad ex- 
tension had many horses at work and the horses were eat- 
ing much hay; the freighter was offered a job baling hay 
on a nearby ranch and went to work, after first dumping 
Mr. Darr's stuff by the roadside. When the blizzard came 
the freighter couldn't continue working, but neither could 
he get to Basin or anywhere else. The goods by the road- 
side were buried in the snow until spring, then he brought 
them all in except a barrel of silverware which was never 
found. Josh Ellis has stated that very little of his family's 
goods ever reached Basin. 

The Big Horn County Bank once ordered one thousand 
silver dollars from Omaha, and Henry (Dad) Payne, the 
leading freighter, was told to get them out of the express 
office and bring them to Basin. On the way back, when he 
got to Pryor Gap he had a breakdown. He put the silver 
in a keg and marked the keg "Horse shoes"; then he went 
horseback for repairs. When he returned to the wagons 
the silver was there. 

The County Commissioners hastily erected a small one- 
room board building and the county officers moved in. 

The Baptist people that spring began erecting a small 
frame church building which is still standing and is the 
only building they have ever owned, although they now 
meet in a basement which has recently been constructed 
under the building. Frank Brigham was the contractor on 
the church building and received fifty dollars for his work, 
although he donated part of it. Those people through the 
years have consistently stayed out of debt; and this writer 
makes no mistake about it, they have prospered spiritually. 

The next year, 1900, the B. & M. Rail Road, as it was 
known locally, (Burlington and Missouri River Rail Road in 


Nebraska) began work on a branch line from Toluca to 
Cody. Toluca was on the main line, east of Billings. 

Also that year the Basin Brick Company was formed and 
work was begun, the object being to supply brick for a new 
county building. The Commissioners let a contract for the 
building and work was begun in the summer. Also that 
year the Basin Water Company was formed, mains were 
dug and work of laying pipe was begun. 

During most of that year many long caravans of covered 
wagons passed through Basin, going north. In the wagons 
or with them were people on whose faces faith, courage and 
determination were written large. It was an epic migration. 
The people came from Idaho and Utah. The writer has 
acquired a great respect for them, for there is about them 
much that others would do well to emulate. Many of them 
found work on the new railroad extension, living meanwhile 
in tents. 

Josiah Cook was running a stage and mail route between 
Bridger and Basin ; stages went three times a week. 

Court was held in the Baptist Church ; the Modern Wood- 
man also held lodge meetings there; as for dancing, Basin- 
ites were out of luck. 

In the spring of 1901 the new county building was com- 
pleted; there were three offices and the jail, all under one 

Water was turned into the mains that spring. A small 
stone building by the river housed a small gasoline engine 
which pumped water to a tiny red wooden tank on the 
nearest hill west of town. Frank Brigham rode down twice 
a day on his bicycle and did the pumping. 

That spring the Wyoming Legislature changed the name 
of the Stinking Water River to Shoshone. Also, Congress 
donated to the town of Basin all unsold lots in the townsite ; 
it meant that Basin must in time incorporate. 

The railroad was completed into Cody that summer, also 
the town of Garland sprang into existence with what ap- 
peared to be bright prospects; it became Basin's shipping 
point. Josiah Cook discontinued his stage and mail route 
to Bridger, and O. C. Morgan carried mail and passengers 
between Basin and Garland; stages came and went three 
times a week, usually. 

Early in September Mrs. Agnes L. Hoover, postmistress 
at Otto, came into the bank in Basin and drew out some 
money and then went on to Thermopolis. Her husband, 
John W. Hoover, had died late in December. He had been 
postmaster, owned a general store in Otto and a ranch on 
Shell Creek. Mrs. Hoover stated that she was going to 


Thermopolis for the baths, and no doubt that was true, but 
it seems as likely that she was trying to avoid a troublesome 
suitor, Joseph P. Walters. He was an elderly man who was 
traveling over the basin taking orders for men's made-to- 
measure clothing. At one time he had been a county attor- 
ney in Nebraska. He followed her to Thermopolis, met her 
in the State Park, on the east side of the river, and when 
she refused to marry him he shot her dead. The crime was 
committed in Big Horn County. 

Rev. Ernest T. Everett, the Methodist minister then sta- 
tioned in Otto, had come to Basin occasionally and preached. 
He was the rough and ready type and could easily adapt 
himself to any kind of circumstances ; he was well educated, 
and very bright. He was an able minister, also sang and 
played the organ well. Rev. E. P. Hughes at this time 
succeeded him in Otto, and Rev. Everett, who was an old 
newspaperman, came to Basin and helped on The Big Horn 
County Rustler. 

Two years before, Rev. August C. Wunderlich, of Hem- 
ingford, Nebraska, brought a large colony of Lutherans 
from that state and they settled on land under the Wiley 
Ditch, promoted by Solon L. Wiley, of Omaha. The land 
is on what was then known as the Germania Bench, but 
now the Emblem Bench. Rev. Wunderlich organized a 
church and was its first pastor. 

Also about two years before, L. L. Moffett, of Red Lodge, 
built a telephone line from Red Lodge to Basin, via Cody 
and Meeteetse. There was no exchange in Basin; the only 
phone was for long distance calling and was in the Z. & R. 

In the fall of 1901, W. S. Collins rounded up a crew of 
volunteers and they went up the river and began prelim- 
inary surveys for the Big Horn Canal. They were gone 
several weeks. 

Came then 1902. On the cold cheerless morning of Feb- 
ruary 7, a young tenderfoot lawyer ambled into the county 
building and proudly informed County Clerk Willis J. Booth 
and Deputies Frank I. Rue and Leslie Davidson that he was 
having a birth anniversary. Something in the eyes of the 
three officials suggested to the young man that he had 
talked out of turn, and he moved toward an exit, but found 
it guarded. One of the men went out and brought in a bar- 
rel and laid the young man over it; Willis Booth produced 
a pair of cowboy's chaps, and he was well skilled in the use 
of them on such occasions. 


Rev. E. P. Hughes, of Otto, had gone to Cody in January 
and organized a church and the people were now preparing 
to erect a building. 

W. S. Collins was then in the east, interesting capital in 
construction of the Big Horn Canal. In March a stranger 
came into the bank in Basin and handed this writer a card 
bearing the name of C. F. Robertson. The stranger said 
he was going up the river to look around. He did that, and 
was so impressed that he promoted the Hanover Canal, up 
the river, on the east side. 

Early that spring people on Broken Back Creek in the 
Ten Sleep country sent word that Tom Gorman, a young 
rancher, his wife, Maggie, their infant daughter and Tom's 
brother, Jim, had disappeared under suspicious circum- 
stances. Sheriff D. N. Hale, Coroner C. Dana Carter and 
Acting County Attorney C. A. Zaring went up and found 
the partly burned body of Tom Gorman in a shallow grave. 
The sheriff and his deputies got on the trail. One of them, 
Tobias J. Borner, a nephew of Calamity Jane, overtook 
Jim and Maggie Gorman and the child near Red Lodge, 
brought them to Basin and Jim Gorman was jailed. 

Late in the spring Josiah Cook completed a two-story 
stone store building; the upper floor was used for dances 
and public gatherings, including court. J. P. Walters, who 
had killed Agnes L. Hoover, was found guilty of murder 
in the first degree and sentenced to hang. His counsel 

Early in July the new Methodist Church building in Cody 
was dedicated free of debt ; it was the Cody way. 

Late that month the people of Basin voted to incorporate 
the town; a month later, W. S. Collins very appropriately 
became the town's first Mayor. C. Dana Carter, M. B. 
Rhodes, Frank I. Rue and William Staley were elected 

For several years all efforts to build a public hall had 
failed. Such a move required the united efforts of all the 
people, and meetings had been held, but each one had ended 
in a squabble. In August, 1902, this writer evolved a plan, 
the success of which required secrecy at first. In a few 
hours the project gained such headway that no one wanted 
to stay out of it. Work began at once on two lots on Fourth 
Street donated by Willis J. Booth, and that street was then 
destined to become the principal business street of the town. 

At the October term of court Jim Gorman was convicted 
of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the peni- 
tentiary. The next morning while Lawyer C. A. Zaring was 
at breakfast, Judge J. L. Stotts came in and said "Enterline 


(Gorman's lawyer) is going to ask for a retrial. I will grant 
it, and the next time we will ..." 

Fraternity Hall was completed early in November. Bat- 
tery "B," Wyoming National Guard, was mustered in then 
with C. C. Blake, Captain, Ira L. Van Camp, First Lieuten- 
ant, and George W. Black, Second Lieutenant. The first 
floor of Fraternity Hall was used as an armory, for holding 
court, dances, funerals and other public gatherings, includ- 
ing political meetings. Freemasons in Basin and surround- 
ing territory had met informally in the Baptist Church in 
the spring and taken steps toward forming a lodge. In 
December they met for the first time as a lodge, in Frater- 
nity Hall, and were at once swamped with work of con- 
ferring degrees; the following November the lodge was 
instituted under a charter. 

When 1903 came, Basin had about 120 inhabitants, one 
church, four saloons, three general stores, two drug stores, 
one bank, one newspaper, one doctor and four lawyers. 
There were a few walks and crossings, all wooden. Four of 
the dwellings were of frame and one was of stone. 

In January a lodge of I.O.O.F. was instituted. 

Mr. Collins was again in the east, and this writer was 
Acting Mayor. 

At a meeting of the Town Council early that year, Rev. 
E. P. Hughes, of Otto, appeared and informed the Council 
that if the town would donate two lots he would buy two 
and build a Methodist church and parsonage. This was 
pleasing news. But when the writer asked Rev. Hughes 
which lots he wanted, he specified the lots on which the 
parsonage is now situated. The writer said, "Oh no! Not 
if I can help it!" 

The writer, then living in a log house by the river, was 
preparing to build a dwelling across the street from those 
lots. When a boy he had lived across the street from a 
Methodist Church, and he wanted no more of that. When- 
ever anyone got sick or fainted or was stung by a yellow 
jacket, that person was brought across the street and one 
or more of the writer's family had to leave services and go 
along. The church often lacked a table cloth, water pitcher 
or glass. Always, after Sunday School some of the children 
were sure to want a drink, which they usually needed as 
much as a dog needs two tails ; but when one of them want- 
ed a drink, he or she wanted a drink, especially if it would 
involve the novelty of getting it away from home; they 
seldom came singly, which meant that someone across the 
street would be late for church. Often when the bell rang, 
some dogs in the neighborhood howled mournfully. 


The writer offered Rev. Hughes other lots and he accept- 
ed them. Sanford S. Halstead then owned two lots in the 
block which had been Rev. Hughes' preference. Rev. 
Hughes exchanged lots with him; then L. A. Barrett came 
in from the Greybull and bought two adjoining lots and 
presented them to Rev. Hughes, who thus got what he had 
been wanting. 

Rev. Hughes at once hauled poles from the mountains, 
also procured some rough boards and built a shelter for 
his team on the back part of the lots. Next he constructed 
a dugout on the back part of the lots and moved his family 
from Otto, although he continued as pastor there. He and 
his wife had a small daughter; a married daughter lived 
at Otto. 

Rev. Hughes was tall and rugged, and he could "take it." 
He sang well and had a powerful voice. 

He began getting material on the ground for a parsonage, 
which, together with the church, would cost, on an estimate, 
$2,700.00 to $3,000.00; building was much less expensive 
then than now. He got the dimension stuff and sheathing 
from sawmills in the mountains ; the finish stuff was hauled 
in from the railroad. He did most of the hauling. It was 
fifty miles to Garland and almost as far to the sawmills. 
He did most of the work on the building. 

Hilliard S. Ridgely located in Cody that spring. He was a 
young lawyer from Col. W. F. Cody's old home town, North 
Platte, Nebraska, where he had been County Attorney of 
Lincoln County. At the spring term of court, Ridgely and 
C. A. Zaring assisted County Attorney John P. Arnott in 
prosecuting Jim Gorman for the murder of his brother. 
Gorman was convicted of murder in the first degree and 
sentenced to hang. 

Early that year the Bell system acquired the Moffett 
line and began building extensions in the basin. J. B. King 
was at first in charge, later succeeded by J. E. Frisby. A 
small exchange was installed in Basin. 

One evening in June Jim Gorman was permitted exercise 
outside the jail and he escaped ; two days later he asked for 
breakfast at the home of C. C. Smith on upper Shell Creek ; 
Smith had been on the jury which had convicted him; he 
returned him to the jail. People in the east part of the 
county began chafing at the law's delay. 

Jim McCloud, a bad man known as "Driftwood Jim," had 
stolen a horse on the upper Greybull ; he was also suspected 
of having robbed the postoffice at Buffalo. In the middle 
of July he was caught by Edmo LeClaire, of the Lander 
country, who took him to Thermopolis and Sheriff J. J. 


Fenton and Fred Garland went up to get him. Then at 
night, Fenton and the prisoner started on foot for the 
bridge where Garland was to meet them with the wagon; 
but Fenton and the prisoner found the bridge bristling with 
guns and lost no time in returning to town. 

For two weeks this writer had gone each evening to the 
county building and helped Assessor C. B. Kershner. C. 
Earl Price, a model young man, widely known and popular, 
was Deputy County Clerk. He slept at night in the Clerk's 
office on a cot which he rolled under the counter during the 
day. He came in early each evening and sat in the dark 
with his head on his desk. His fiancee, Maude Hoover, had 
died a month before. 

On the night of July 18, 1903, Chief Justice C. N. Potter, 
of the Wyoming Supreme Court, who was then Grand 
Master of Wyoming Masons, paid a visit to the local lodge. 
This writer did not go to the county building that evening; 
he went to lodge, and at midnight to bed. 

Shortly afterward a party of armed men from Shell 
Creek, Paint Rock and the No Wood, ferried themselves 
across the river quietly, and with military precision formed 
ranks and marched to the county building. They beat 
upon the east door; Jailer George S. Mead fired through 
the door, over their heads, and a hail of shots came quickly 
from the other side; Earl Price, in the act of getting off 
his cot, fell dead. 

The mob broke down the door and entered the jail. They 
failed to open the cell door, and J. P. Walters, holding up a 
lighted candle, told them to shoot him, which they did, after 
first shooting Jim Gorman. 

As the mob prepared to leave, their captain's voice be- 
trayed him when he gave commands. Impulsive young 
Dr. C. L. Gillam wanted to open fire on them with a rifle 
but was dissuaded by cooler heads. As the mob almost 
reached the river again, Town Marshal G. E. (Bert) Brig- 
ham emptied a .32 cal. revolver at them from behind a pile 
of baled hay, without inflicting any damage. 

Jim Gorman did not die instantly but was taken to Dr. 
Carter's office; when asked if he had any statement to 
make, he replied "I never peached on anyone in my life 
and I'll not do it now." Maggie Gorman was then working 
in the hotel in what there then was of Worland, on the west 
side of the river. When told Jim had been killed she asked 
"Did he tell anything?" 

Two years before, A. G. Rupp had come from Illinois and 
opened a store up the river at a postoffice which he named 
Welling. The telephone line north from Thermopolis had 


reached Welling, and former Sheriff D. N. Hale rode up 
there to phone Earl Price's people on Owl Creek. When 
he had done so the operator at Thermopolis put Sheriff 
Fenton on the line. After conversing with him Mr. Hale 
returned to Basin, and Captain Blake, after making phone 
calls to Cheyenne, ordered out Battery "B" and they began 
rounding up horses to go as cavalry. They left at 4:00 
p.m. in one of the worst dust storms ever seen in this region 
and escorted the sheriff's party to Basin without incident. 

The grand jury indicted a number of mob suspects and 
one of them was put on trial, but as the witnesses were 
affllicted with very poor memories, all the cases were dis- 

That summer many Basin people saw a moving picture 
for the first time. It was the Great Northern Train Rob- 
bery, here one night only. 

After living in the dugout eight months Rev. Hughes 
moved into the parsonage although only the lower floor had 
been plastered. He had entertained the District Superin- 
tendent and others in the dugout, besides keeping his reg- 
ular appointments at Otto. 

Very few members of the Baptist Church lived in or near 
Basin. A number of new people had elsewhere been church 
members; also there were some who had backslidden, and 
some who had never been Christians. Rev. John M. Jones, 
Mission Superintendent, planned to hold a revival, then 
reorganize the church. 

Mention of backsliders recalls an incident in Lander forty 
years ago. Preparation was being made for holding meet- 
ings in the armory, in which there were no seats. The man- 
ager of a lumber yard told a young employee to load some 
plank onto a wagon and deliver them at the armory. When 
he went out a few minutes later he found that the young 
man had chosen planks that were knotty, resinous and full 
of splinters and he explained that they would discourage 

Rev. James B. McKeehan, a college president from Ken- 
tucky, came and preached for three weeks, with power and 
unction. In the language of Mark Twain when he wrote 
about St. Patrick and the snakes, "He exalted his staff 
and let them have it." An atmosphere of seriousness set- 
tled down over the meetings; quite a number found God 
for salvation, some backsliders were reclaimed and the 
glory of the Lord was there. 

One night during the meetings a young man convert gave 
clear, ringing testimony. The following night he was there, 
but sat with his girl friend in the farthest row back, and 


remained silent while testimony was being given. Rev. 
McKeehan called to him and asked "How do you feel to- 
night?" The young man stretched his arms and legs, 
yawned and replied "Oh, I feel fair to middling." Rev. 
McKeehan then asked "Do you feel as good as you did last 
night?" The reply was "Well, I don't feel any worse." 

In those days ministers who transferred to Wyoming, 
with its poor pay, hard work and deprivations, usually did 
so for one of two reasons : either they were earnestly striv- 
ing to do the will of God, or they had become too well known 
elsewhere and for them it was any old port in a storm. At 
the close of the last century Dr. E. E. Tarbill, 2 Presiding 
Elder, complained bitterly of some "misfits" who had been 
well recommended and foisted onto weak Wyoming church- 
es. This writer had a vivid recollection of a case a few 
years later in which good Dr. Tarbill was shamefully im- 
posed upon. The writer's experience with ministers dates 
from the time he was able to walk and he can usually size 
one up quickly and "get his number." He had close ac- 
quaintance with Revs. Limes, Jones, Thompson, Everett, 
and Hughes, all of whom came before 1904, and knows they 
were all able men, well grounded in Christian doctrine and 
deeply consecrated. And many who have since come have 
been like them. 

During the revival in the Baptist Church Rev. Hughes 
gave wholehearted assistance ; he and his wife were present 
every night, singing, praying and counseling seekers and 
others ; for after all, Christ knows no denominations. After 
the meeting closed, as some of the converts were of Meth- 
odist families, he decided, as he told this writer, to "strike 
while the iron was hot." 


On Sunday forenoon, November 1, 1903, Rev. E. P. 
Hughes held services in Fraternity Hall, and at that time 
organized the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Basin, 
with ten members, namely, William F. and Lucilla Johnson, 
Lewis A. and Hannah L. Barrett, C. W. Mason and his 
wife and their daughter, Mrs. Nina Rogers; also Mrs. 
Nora Linnabary, Mrs. Susie Black and Mrs. Virginia Mc- 
Mahan. Mrs. Linnabary and Mrs. Black were wives of 
Basin merchants; Mrs. McMahan was a new arrival from 
Atwood, Kansas. All but the last three were transferred 
from the Methodist Church at Otto. 

2. Wyoming Conference Journal, 1950. 


On November 8 four boys and two girls were received 
on probation. 

Mrs. McMahan was Superintendent of the Sunday School. 
Al Pease and his wife lived in an annex to his saloon, and 
according to reports, the Ladies' Aid Society was organized 

Work on the church building was begun in the spring, 
with Rev. Hughes doing most of the hauling and carpenter 
work; it was a frame structure. A two-room stone school- 
house was built one block east and two blocks south of the 
church. The log schoolhouse was left standing, which was 
fortunate as it was needed the next year. A local corpora- 
tion erected a two-story frame building in the west part of 
town to house Big Horn College, with the Baptist pastor, 
Rev. E. W. Mecum, at "the head. The project revealed a 
combination of noble impulse and poor judgment and was 
foredoomed to failure. 

The town that year voted bonds and took over the water- 

The following advertisement appeared weekly in the 
Basin paper: "If drinking interferes with your business, 
quit your business, but drink Puritan Rye." At the same 
time the following appeared weekly in The Meeteetse News : 
"What must I do to be saved? Drink Puritan Rye." 

That year, on Copper Mountain, south of Thermopolis, 
a mining boom started which was to last several years. 

That year a tall, raw-boned man, red-faced and rough- 
featured, with sandy hair, drifted into town. He was 
roughly garbed, quiet mannered and liked his tobacco. He 
lived in a tent across the river, and soon drilled with a 
spring pole and got gas enough to cook his meals. He was 
Philip Minor, discoverer of the Torchlight Field, so named 
by him; later he got a big gasser at Greybull. During the 
years he remained, and when he left, he was as poor in 
purse as when he came. 

Big Horn County Bank that fall contracted for a lot of 
cord wood, stacked north of town ; in the winter they burnt 
a kiln of brick with which to erect a new building. 

Other fields needing an organizer and builder such as 
Rev. Hughes were calling him and early in 1905 he resigned 
his charge and moved. The church then had twelve mem- 
bers. This writer has no further information concerning 
Rev. Hughes, but he is sure that wherever he went he gave 
to the cause the best that he had ; it was not in him to do 



More new people came to Basin in 1905 and 1906 than 
during any other two-year period in its history; they were 
two great years for the town and should have been good 
for its two little weak churches. 

Fit ministers were not always available in the middle of 
a Conference year. Rev. J. D. Cain, at Hyattville, a good 
man, was assigned this charge, but instead of coming he 
moved away. On February 12 the above-named individual 
arrived with his family in Garland, flat broke, and phoned 
into Basin, saying "Here I am; if you want me, come get 
me." A few months before, the other church had a like 
experience. Both church treasuries were bare but some of 
the brethren paid for hauling them in. It didn't turn out 
well in either case, though the other church got a man of 
good morals. 

The new Methodist pastor was 37 years old, with a fair 
education. Much frontier preaching had given him confi- 
dence in the pulpit; he lacked none when away from it; he 
was exuberant and garrulous, the "life of the party" sort, 
and in time it was found that his ways were devious and 
had long been. There were four bright children. Amanda, 
the mother, was a devout woman and loyal to her husband. 
She was definitely faded, but she had reason to be after 
having borne children and nursed and cared for them and 
the husband on a minister's poor pay with the hardships 
endured for years in the Nebraska sandhills. 

Work was progressing on the two big canals, news of the 
Copper Mountain excitement and Philip Minor's oil explora- 
tion had leaked out. The ceded portion of the Shoshone 
and Arapahoe Indian Reservation in the Lander country 
was due to be opened the next year. The Northwestern 
Railroad wanted to enter the basin via Wind River Canyon 
and the Burlington wanted to extend and go out through 
it. The Interstate Commerce Commission decided in favor 
of the Burlington. The result of all this was that the eyes 
of many restless people, yearning for greener pastures, 
turned toward the basin and its capital. Bricklayers, stone 
masons, carpenters, lathers, plasterers, painters and un- 
skilled laborers began coming. Basin got another doctor, 
six more lawyers, another saloon, a wholesale liquor house, 
two houses of ill fame and gamblers galore. New dwellings 
sprang up all over town and a number of business buildings 
were erected. Basin had come alive and was going to town. 

The Basin Republican was founded that year by Phillips 
and Son. 


The pastor was intermittently ill during the last half of 
1905; members of the church, neighbors and others were 
sympathetic and kind and were unremitting at his bedside 
and in ministering to him and his helpless family. Water 
was piped to the parsonage by subscription. Money was 
donated in another subscription. A woman skimped and 
denied herself and bought winter underwear for the entire 
family. Such acts of kindness usually bring out the best of 
a man's nature, but apparently not always. 

Late that year a bridge across the Big Horn was built 
south of Basin. 

The Big Horn Railroad, a subsidiary of the Burlington, 
then building south of Frannie, had reached Lovell, but 
no decision had been reached as to whether to go across 
country via Otto to Thermopolis or go up the Big Horn 
River. Later their representatives met with the Basin 
town fathers, who granted them a right of way through 
the town, with other concessions. Seven log houses were 
moved to another part of town at the town's expense. Then 
the representative of the road's land department wanted 
the two homesteads adjoining the town on the south, but 
they had been sold to Sheridan parties who intended mak- 
ing whatever profit was to be made. Fred N. Pearson, 
spokesman for the road's land department, then declared 
that they would build a town at the mouth of the Greybull 
and make Basin a whistling post. 

Early the next year the pastor was in good health, though 
he faked an illness downtown one night. 

On March 26 an ice gorge in the Big Horn River carried 
the new bridge away. 

The pastor by that time was better understood and lay- 
men of the church and other citizens convinced him that 
he should move; but it was again in the middle of the Con- 
ference year and he had no place to go; besides he had not 
the wherewith. 

Late in the afternoon of June 21 a construction train 
came into Basin, its crew laying rails ahead, and it went on 
to the new town of Worland; that place was the terminus 
for two years; then for two years it was at Kirby, after- 
wards for two years at Thermopolis. Greybull and Zada 
were founded in the fall of 1906; the name of the latter 
town is now Manderson. 

Our church was dedicated July 15, 1906. 

The Conference, at Wheatland, in August, moved the 
pastor to a small coal camp across the mountains, then 
the following year to Ranchester, a nearby village, but he 
soon resigned, explaining that he was going to Kansas to 


farm for an uncle. Many years later he was pastor at 
Bridger, Montana, where he remarried, his faithful wife 
having gone to her reward. He did not visit Basin; five 
or six years ago he went the way of all flesh. 


Mission Superintendent Rev. J. C. Bickell having been 
made aware of* the needs of the church and the wishes of the 
people of the community, Rev. Gillespie was assigned to 
this charge. It was an admirable choice. He had been 
in Wyoming so long that his fitness for the ministry was 
well known; his ability and zeal and his ripe age (63), and 
his proven probity begat confidence and were assurance 
that while holding up a lamp for others he would himself 
walk in the light. He had served at Thermopolis in 
1903-4-5 r-the latter year he had organized a church in 
Worland and planned a building. The little flock in Basin 
took fresh courage, and quickly realizing that Rev. Gillespie 
was the answer to their prayer, they backed him to a man 
and to a woman. 

In the fall he held evangelistic meetings in the church; 
he was assisted by Rev. H. A. Toland, Methodist pastor at 
Hyattville. The result was an increase in church member- 
ship, seventy-five per cent. 

After the Conference the following year Rev. Gillespie 
became agent for Nebraska State Hospital and continued 
thus for many years. He died in 1927, at the age of eighty- 


This sketch is short and sad. 

Rev. Gough came from Worland in the fall of 1907 with 
his wife, Letitia, a small red-haired woman, and their small 
red-haired son, Richard. 

Some years before, Rev. Gough had been connected with 
the Salvation Army. He was zealous and sincere, and his 
preaching impressive. 

Late the following January the first birth occurred in the 
parsonage, that of a girl. Complications set in and brought 
about the death of the mother. Sheriff B. F. Wickwire and 
wife, a childless couple, adopted the baby and Rev. Gough 
and Richard left town. 

There have been other births in the parsonage, but no 
other deaths. 


Sewers were installed in 1907 in Basin, the town having 
voted bonds. The year before a private corporation (local) 
had built a light and power plant. 


Rev. Shepherd took up the work here April 1, 1908, hav- 
ing but recently been pastor of Grace M. E. Church in 
St. Joseph, Missouri. He began preaching in that state in 
1893 and had filled some important charges. He was a 
widower, tall and bald. He was able and energetic, em- 
ployed no flourishes and results soon became apparent. 

Farmers along the line of the Big Horn Canal were sup- 
plied with water that spring for the first time. A year later 
Basinites began using water from the canal. Only those 
who were here in the early days can realize the transforma- 
tion that took place. The town voted bonds and acquired 
the local light and power plant in the fall of 1909. Also 
that fall a group of men whose leaders came from Sisters- 
ville, West Virginia, turned natural gas into mains in Basin, 
which was the first city or town in the northwest to enjoy 
that convenience. The group later incorporated as the 
Wyoming Gas Company. That year, due to the untiring 
efforts of Raymond B. West, a young lawyer, work was 
begun on the local Carnegie Library. In the spring of 1910 
the town fathers caused trees to be planted on all Basin 
streets, and Basinites in a few years found themselves 
living in the midst of a forest. 

Rev. Shepherd was assigned to the Worland charge in 
the summer of 1911. On November 30 his successor in 
Basin, Rev. S. W. Albone, united him in marriage with Miss 
Mattie Radcliffe, of Basin. Rev. Shepherd served six 
churches after leaving Basin, besides being Secretary of 
the Endowment Fund and Conference Statistician. He 
retired in 1938 after forty-three years in the ministry and 
until two years ago resided in Cheyenne. His wife died at 
that time and he went to California; he is 85 years old, if 
still living. 


In September, 1911, Rev. Albone and his wife, Adelaide, 
an elderly couple, came to Basin from the Colorado Confer- 
ence. He had been in the ministry since 1889 and had filled 
charges in California and Nevada. 

The following summer Mrs. Albone's brother came from 
England to visit them and was surprised to find tomatoes 
ripening out of doors, something they don't do in England. 


The first night, when he retired he put his shoes outside 
the door of his room ; he had another surprise next morning 
when he found the shoes hadn't been shined. 

That year a house diagonally across the street and a few 
doors down, caught fire, and when the fire company arrived 
a nine year old son of the family stood at the gate with an 
accordion in his hands, playing "Home, Sweet Home." The 
same boy had a pet magpie ; one day a carpenter was roof- 
ing a building in the north part of town and thought some- 
one has spoken to him; he turned and a bird sitting on the 
roof said "Hello!"; he got down and went home, concluding 
he had taken one too many. 

At the Conference in Newcastle that fall Rev. Albone 
reported church membership at 69 and Sunday School 
enrollment at 150; he was then assigned to Upton. The 
few remaining old timers in Basin remember the Albones 
as very fine people. 


Among a collection of old phonograph records in this 
writer's home is one the title of which is "He Walked Right 
in and Turned Around and Walked Right Out Again." 

When the writer stopped in Basin in July, 1914, on the 
way to Oregon, Rev. Albone was still here; when he re- 
turned the following March, Rev. Morton Creath was pas- 
tor. Two years ago the writer while looking through an 
old Conference journal found mention of Rev. W. E. Cald- 
well's ministry in Basin in 1914 and began making inquiry; 
no one knew anything about Rev. Caldwell except one good 
sister who said she remembered the name. Inquiry through 
correspondence revealed that Rev. Caldwell came to Wyo- 
ming in 1907 from the Northwest Kansas Conference, and 
served at Dietz, Upton and Newcastle before coming to 
Basin in 1914, and that he then went to the Northwest 
Nebraska Conference. The membership roll reveals that 
he came in September and left late in October. The cause 
of his leaving is as much a mystery to us as two questions 
that have intrigued people the past eighty years, namely, 
"What became of Charlie Ross?" and "Who struck Billy 


Rev. Morton Creath, as he was known, came to Basin 
with his wife, Lula May, in December, 1914. They were 
middle-aged and childless, and very sociable people. Rev. 
Creath planted a garden the following spring. He also 


began raising chickens, but his ardor was chilled one night 
when coyotes broke in and killed half of them. 

At Conference, in Laramie, in August, Rev. Creath re- 
ported the church membership at 74 and Sunday School 
enrollment at 100. He also reported that the Ladies' Aid 
Society had raised $569.00 for church purposes and that 
a new sidewalk costing $118.00 had been built and paid for. 
He declared the church would soon be free from debt. That 
happy condition soon existed, but not for long, as we shall 
presently see. 

Rev. Creath was good natured and obliging. Once when 
this writer was absent his wife wanted a cat killed and 
wished the job on to Rev. Creath, who cheerfully performed 
it. He was moved to Pine Bluffs in 1916; afterwards he 
filled charges in Illinois and Indiana. His wife was a beau- 
tiful brunette, tall and slender, very nervous and seemingly 
delicate, but she has outlived Rev. Creath many years. 
Now, as Mrs. Robert A. Matlock, she lives in Jeffersonville, 
Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. 
She has written and published two books, one of them a 
novel of over 500 pages. 


Rev. Jones, his wife, Frances, and her adopted sister, 
Ruth Kiger, came to Basin in September, 1916. Rev. Jones 
was an energetic, tireless worker, naturally and by reason 
of experience a leader, possessing a magnetic personality, 
a man with great persuasive power. Doubtless he would 
have gone far and reaped great emoluments if he had ever 
chosen to be a life insurance salesman. He set about build- 
ing up the church membership. Whether or not he at that 
time made a mental appraisal of the resources and poten- 
tialities of the church and community is not now known. 
Whether or not he subsequently did that, we know, and we 
know whether or not his judgment was accurate. 

At the conference in Buffalo in 1917 he reported a mem- 
bership of 107 and Sunday School enrollment of 171; at 
Torrington the next year he reported 131 members and 
Sunday School enrollment of 200. 

Basin, which today is not a large town, was smaller then, 
but so much bustle and activity were in evidence that it 
was deceiving. The post-war boom had not spent itself, 
there was no unemployment, and people everywhere viewed 
the prospect through rose colored glasses. The church 
building had become inadequate or was about to become so. 


This writer has in his custody a small book containing 
the minutes of what are sometimes styled the Executive 
Committee, sometimes the Building Committee and at other 
times the Advisory Committee. 

The only business transacted at a meeting on June 23, 
1919, was that of voting $400.00 to Rev. Jones "to pay for 
the expenses of his trip to Mayo Bros."; also $200.00 "for 
his added and successful labor on building project." 

At that time no contract had been let or bids called for, 
and no plans or specifications had been adopted. The writer 
has been informed that the labor performed by Rev. Jones 
was that of soliciting subscriptions to the building fund, but 
that no further commissions were paid him, to his great 
disappointment and grief. 

Rev. Jones' report to Conference that year in Sheridan 
gave membership at 148 and Sunday School enrollment as 

At a meeting in October it was voted to notify subscribers 
to the building fund that their first payments were then 
due. The book records minutes of a meeting on November 
2, "held after church on Sunday evening." 

Rev. Jones conferred often with the heads of the three 
local banks, who insisted that the program should not in- 
volve an outlay in excess of $30,000.00. That amount 
wouldn't go far now, but even if it would, it would be quite 
an undertaking, and our membership is now crowding the 
400 mark. Most of the pledges were secured from people 
Outside the church. 

After rejecting the first bids, scaling down the plans and 
opening new bids on April 1, 1920, the contract was let to 
a local firm, whose figure was $29,990.00. The little book 
records minutes of a meeting on April 22 at which bids for 
plumbing were considered. No further minutes appear in 
the book. Excavation for the basement was soon under 
way on two corner lots adjoining the church. 

The Conference that year moved Rev. Jones to Lander. 
Several years later he and his wife moved to California; 
he died many years ago. 


Rev. Bowling began preaching in the Southern Illinois 
Conference in 1906. From 1908 to 1913 he filled charges 
in Colorado, including two in Denver. He was then trans- 
ferred to Pine Bluffs in the Wyoming Conference. In 1918, 
1919 and 1920 he was Treasurer of the Conference. 


In September, 1920 he and his wife, Carrie, and their 
two children came to Basin, where he faced a difficult and 
trying situation, one calling for the exercise of most of the 
Christian virtues; fortunately he was not lacking in those 

Subscriptions to the building fund were payable in in- 
stalments if the donors desired, and most of them so wished. 
Payments had been coming in fairly well, work on the 
building was progressing, and an elaborate ceremony of 
laying the corner stone was planned. On October 12 the 
corner stone was laid by Temple Lodge No. 20, A. F. & 
A. M., of Basin, acting for and on behalf of the Wyoming 
Grand Lodge. The dedicatory address was made by Rev. 
L. C. Thompson, the Big Horn Basin's first minister, who 
was present with his Masonic brethren, and it must have 
been highly gratifying to that good man to realize how 
his labors in the Master's vineyard were bearing fruit. 

Early the following year the church was in serious finan- 
cial difficulties and work on the new building had halted. 
Many subscribers to the building fund had not paid their 
instalments, and the contractor could not take care of his 
payroll or bills for material. 

Many of the delinquents excused themselves on the 
ground that Rev. Jones had represented to them that they 
were to help build a community church and they had in 
time discovered that it was not to be one. It was a con- 
venient excuse, but it seems likely that the real reason was 
that they had been overpersuaded and Rev. Jones was no 
longer here. Both he and they should have known better. 
Just what they expected to find in a community church 
that they could not have received in any other church is a 
question. A few people still contend that if Rev. Jones had 
not been moved he could have collected all subscriptions or 
most of them. That is doubtful, as the country was then 
gripped by a financial stringency. Be that as it may, many 
of the subscribers claimed that they had been "gypped." 

A separate arrangement for finishing the basement was 
made with the contractor, and on Easter Sunday, 1922, 
the first services were held there. 

In May one of the local banks closed its doors, owing to 
heavy withdrawals and inability to realize on its assets. 

The old church building was sold and moved away; the 
church bell was loaned to the Worland fire department. 
The contractor has told that a local lawyer who was prom- 
inent in the local lodge of a secret order, proposed that 
the contractor assign to the lodge his claim against the 
church; he would thus receive his pay; the lodge would 


complete the building for its own use. The contractor con- 
sulted his wife; she, being a very devout woman, though a 
member of another denomination, begged him to not let 
the church down. And about that time, the contractor 
tells, "a nice old gentleman" who was a church dignitary 
of some sort, came to town and he assured the contractor 
he would be paid. Work was then resumed on the building. 

Later in the year work was again halted. A meeting of 
the church officers, committees, members and other inter- 
ested persons was held in the church basement the evening 
of December 15. An atmosphere of gloom pervaded. It 
was the general opinion of those present that for the church 
to have begun building at the time it did was a mistake 
amounting almost to a crime. 3 However, it was agreed 
that the only thing to be done was to finish the building, 
though by what means was not clear. 

The Church Extension Board of the General Conference 
made another advance of $10,000, and work was resumed. 

The beautiful leaded glass windows in our church were 
a gift of Mrs. Ann E. Allen as a memorial to her deceased 
husband, James D. Allen. The Allen family had come from 
northern Colorado in 1887 and located on Paint Rock Creek. 
Mr. Allen, a Civil War veteran, was an influential and public 
spirited citizen. He and his wife in time moved to Basin. 

On February 5, 1923, the church was dedicated by Bishop 
Charles L. Mead. 

The church then owed the Church Extension Board of 
the General Conference $20,000.00. (Some persons place 
the figure slightly higher.) It also owed the contractor 
$5300.00, a subcontractor $600.00 and a painter $56.00; 
what if anything was done about those debts this story will 
later reveal. 

At the Conference in Laramie that year Rev. Bowling 
reported a membership of 177 and Sunday School enroll- 
ment of 215. 

On March 13, 1924, Harvey J. Spencer, a young man who 
was President of the Epworth League and faithful in his 
duty to the church, was called home. The beautiful com- 
munion table in the church was a gift from the Epworth 
League as a memorial to him. 

That year Basin had its third bank failure, the second 
having occurred the year before. 

In the fall Rev. Bowling became District Superintendent 
and moved to Cheyenne. He now resides in California. 

3. Big Horn County Rustler. 



Rev. Dickson and his wife, Grace, came to Basin in 
September, 1924; he was deeply devoted to the cause and 
impressed all with his sincerity. During his first year here 
the church received many new members, but many inactive 
ones were dropped, leaving the total about as it was. Con- 
ference in 1925 returned him to Basin, and he was also 
elected conference statistician; but in December he trans- 
ferred to a charge in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

William F. Johnson, head of the first Christian family 
in Basin and one of the organizers of the church, went to 
his reward. 


Rev. Methvin and his wife were not yet in middle age. 
Both were of pleasing personality and he was a tireless 
worker for the cause. 

Our church and the town were greatly honored in June, 
1926, when they entertained the Wyoming State Confer- 
ence. The honor and privilege has come to us but once. 
Statistics at that time showed the church membership as 
201 and Sunday School enrollment 224. 

There were quite a number of Presbyterians in Basin. 
They had some years before bought lots and were looking 
forward to building. Their women's society was large and 
very active. But by 1927 they had abandoned their project 
and all or most of them united with the Methodist Church. 

At the Conference in the fall, Rev. Methvin was trans- 
ferred. He had done good work while here. 


Rev. Williams, an Englishman by birth, came in Sep- 
tember, 1928, with his wife, Amanda, and their two chil- 
dren. The daughter then was about nine. If what neigh- 
bors told was true she must have been a human fly; they 
declare that she climbed almost to the top of the church, on 
the outside. 

In June, 1930, Rev. Williams promised to perform a wed- 
ding ceremony in the writer's family, but forgot and while 
the crowd waited he was sternly reminded by the bride- 

During the three years he was here the additions to the 
church little more than offset the losses ; the figure reported 
to the Conference in 1931 was 203. Rev. Williams was then 
moved to Wheatland. 



Rev. Wurgler, his wife, Florence, their small daughter, 
Jean, and infant daughter, Joan, came in August, 1931. 
Rev. Wurgler and wife were about thirty years of age. 
They made a good impression, which turned out to be last- 
ing. The work went on smoothly. 

The pastor's wife was a talented musician, and most of 
the time while here gave piano lessons which doubtless was 
a welcome addition to the family income. 

A son, James, was born in the parsonage in 1933. 

The report to the Conference that year showed a mem- 
bership of 283, a gain of 80 in two years. 

Although the church building had been occupied ten years 
since completion, little or nothing had been done about its 
debt, but the Extension Board wasn't letting it forget; as 
for the contractor, although he was a poor man, he had no 
illusions about collecting his pay. There were few if any 
wealthy people in the church; it was during depression 
times and the New Deal. Some of the people said "The 
church is here; they'll not take it away." 

The report to Conference in 1937 showed 202 members 
and Sunday School enrollment of 157; evidently many had 
been dropped from the rolls. Rev. Wurgler had served 
six years in Basin. He was transferred to Colorado Springs, 
Colorado, later to a charge in New Mexico and at last ac- 
counts was in Marfa, Texas. 


Rev. Gregg, when he came with his wife, was 64 years 
of age. A native of Texas, he had been a newspaper man 
before entering the ministry in the M. E. Church, South. 
Before coming to Basin he had filled charges in Colorado, 
Utah and elsewhere. 

The report to Conference in 1938 showed church mem- 
bership as 226, a gain of 24, and Sunday School enrollment 
as 132, a loss of 25. 

Rev. Gregg was quiet and studious by nature, though not 
reserved. He was a gardening enthusiast with a knack of 
making things grow ; during 1938 and the two years follow- 
ing he made the church property a beauty spot. It was 
during 1938 that iron railings were placed on both sides 
of the church steps, thanks to Mrs. Mary Avery, who was 
always thoughtful of others. 

The debt of the church was still a plague to all concerned. 
Just before Rev. Gregg went to the General Conference, 
Mrs. Mary Avery, solicitous as usual for the welfare of her 


church, approached him quietly to offer $5,000.00 provided 
the Church Extension Board would accept the amount in 
cancellation of the debt. Rev. Gregg followed her instruc- 
tions and made the offer, which was declined. 

The report to the Annual Conference in 1940 showed a 
church membership of 187 and Sunday School enrollment of 
157. Rev. Gregg was assigned to the charge at Pine 
Bluffs, where as usual he set about beautifying the church 
grounds and making things grow. In February, 1942, he 
rested from his labors and was buried at Pine Bluffs. His 
widow has since been teaching in Oklahoma and Texas. 


Rev. Grove came in July, 1940, with his wife, Marjorie, 
and their two children. He had pastored Trinity Church, 
in St. Louis, in 1933 and 1934, then had joined the Wyoming 
Conference and filled charges at Sundance and Pine Bluffs. 
He and his wife were well liked in Basin and he was re- 
garded as a very able minister. He obtained leave of ab- 
sence from the Conference, resigned his charge and left 
with his family on June 22, 1941. He has ever since been 
a chaplain in the United States Army, filling that position 
with great credit and has been in many parts of the world. 


Rev. Ware and his wife, Inez, a couple in late middle age, 
came alone; he had transferred from the South Georgia 
Conference. He had preached twenty-eight years, includ- 
ing seven years in Indiana. He was an able and conscien- 
tious minister. He served here two years. At the Confer- 
ence in 1943 he reported membership at 198 and Sunday 
School enrollment 94. He was moved to Rock Springs, two 
years later to Buffalo; after three years there he trans- 
ferred to the Memphis Conference and was assigned to the 
work in Germantown, Tennessee. 


Rev. Webster and his wife, Martha, were an elderly 
couple and came alone. He began preaching in the South- 
west Kansas Conference in 1911 and filled many charges in 
that state and Colorado, including Denver. In 1942 he had 
transferred to the Wyoming Conference and served at 
Kemmerer before coming to Basin. 

The greater part of 1944 he was employed in a local 
lumber yard. 


Until that year there had been no garage on the church 
lots, and if pastors could not rent garage space or if it was 
not donated them their cars remained out in the weather 
the year round. In 1944 P. P. Anderson agreed to donate 
an unused hen house provided the church would move it 
away; this was done and the building became a garage. 

The indebtedness to the Church Extension Board at that 
time was, in round numbers, $16,000.00 ; the board proposed 
to cancel it for $4,000.00, and an effort to raise the money 
was begun. 

Late in 1944 Rev. Webster resigned his charge and moved 
to Fort Collins, Colorado, later serving on the Carpenter 
Circuit in Wyoming, and at Pavillion. He was placed on the 
retired list at his request in 1949. 


In February, 1945, Rev. Martin came with his wife, Mary, 
their son Mearl and daughter Marilyn, both high school 
students. Rev. Martin, an energetic and sincere worker, 
began preaching in 1928 and had filled charges in Iowa, 
Wyoming and Kansas. 

By strenuous and persistent work the amount needed to 
satisfy the requirement of the Church Extension Board 
was raised, and early that year the mortgage was burned 
by the late T. P. Bollman during appropriate services 
celebrating the event. Letters from a number of former 
pastors were read. It was truly a time of great rejoicing. 

People had given until it hurt and could do nothing about 
the debts due the contractor and the two other men and 
they were forgotten in the upsurge of life and growth of 
the church later on, and the church has made other com- 
mitments that have taxed the ability of the members to 
the utmost. 

The old church bell was returned from Worland that 
year and after lying on the ground some time was finally 
put in place. 

The report to Conference showed membership at 194; 
Sunday School enrollment had dropped to 65. 

Early in 1946 Rev. Rose and wife, evangelists, held a 
series of meetings in the church, without result. 

During the winter which followed the pastor's wife was 
employed picking beans in a local elevator. Rev. Martin re- 
signed and left with his family in February, 1947. He 
first was at Carson, Iowa, later with the Sheldahl-Slater 
charge. Because of one thing this writer will remember 
Rev. Martin after he has forgotten some of the others. 


Whenever he called at the writer's home he never left 
without first saying "Shall we have a word of prayer?" 
That is also a habit of Rev. Floyd Ellison, Baptist minister, 
of Basin. "Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them." 


Rev. Riddick, with his wife, Margaret, arrived in time 
to conduct services on Easter Sunday, 1947. He began 
preaching in the Memphis Conference of the great M. E. 
Church, South, in 1930, filling charges in Memphis, Bolivar 
and Greenfield. During those pastorates he studied at 
Lambuth College where he received the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts; at Emory Union School of Theology where he 
received the degree of Bachelor of Divinity ; also at Garrett 
(Evanston, 111.). 

In Basin it soon became apparent that Rev. Riddick was 
a man with a message, and the church began to feel new 
life. In the fall a new pulpit, choir screen and chancel 
rail were placed in the church, the accoustics were im- 
proved, the interior refinished and redecorated and the 
exterior woodwork given two coats of white paint, the 
parsonage redecorated and new furniture installed. Later 
that fall the church was the first in the state to reach its 
quota for a retired ministers' pension fund. In fact it was 
oversubscribed $77.00 making a total of $927.00. At the 
Conference in June the membership reported was 260 
with Sunday School enrollment 246, a gain of 37 per cent 
for one and 139 per cent for the other. Later a Hammond 
electric organ and choir robes were bought with a fund 
raised by subscription; C. C. Peters topped the list with 
$500.00. The following May a handsome and substantial 
bulletin board was placed at the street intersection. 

The report to Conference in June (1949) showed a mem- 
bership of 340, a year's gain of almost thirty-one per cent. 
Rev. Riddick was granted five months leave of absence in 
order to study at the University of Edinburgh. Rev. Ed- 
ward White was designated supply pastor and came with 
his wife, Delia, on June 9; they were an elderly couple. 
He had then completed four years in the Lovell-Deaver 
charge and previously had pastored in Colorado and Utah. 
District Superintendent J. Clyde Keegan described him as 
"a hard-driving brother in more ways than one; he gets 
things done." 

Rev. Riddick and wife returned from Europe in Novem- 
ber and Rev. White took over the work at Hyattville and 
Ten Sleep. 


During December a beautiful pulpit lamp, the gift of Mrs. 
Cornelia Metz, was placed in the church. In January the 
Womans Society of Christian Service at a cost of $1,000.00 
carpeted the center aisle of the church, the space in the 
rear, also behind and in front of the chancel rail. In the 
spring concrete steps into the basement from the outside 
were built, the money being raised by subscriptions. The 
work was supervised and most of it done by Hubert C. 
Avery who as a member of the Property Committee has 
been efficient and unsparing in his attention to the building. 

As the time for Conference neared Rev. Riddick was of- 
fered his choice of several large charges, but he preferred 
to be closer to the center of the nation, and in June the 
Conference at his request transferred him to the St. Louis 
Conference. He was stationed by that Conference at Cabool 
at a salary of $2400.00; in Basin he would have received 
$3600.00. Last October he was moved to DeSoto, Missouri, 
to be pastor of the Fourth Street Methodist Church. 4 


Rev. Eshelman came from the Northeast Ohio Confer- 
ence ; his last charge there had been at Madison and he had 
afterwards studied at the University of Edinburgh. He is 
a graduate of Muskingum College, also of Boston University 
School of Theology and has filled pastorates in Cambridge, 
Ohio, and Clinton, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Sara, 
and two small boys arrived in Basin July 1, 1950. He is a 
tireless worker and popular with the younger element; the 
church continues growing. 

On October 1, John T. Bishop on behalf of the Bishop 
family presented the church with a massive brass table 
set consisting of two collection plates and two candlesticks, 
in memory of his father, the late Thomas K. Bishop. On 
November 22 Robert L. Henderson, Jr., on behalf of the 
Henderson family, presented the church with a beautiful 
baptismal font in memory of his mother, the late Mrs. 
Flossie Henderson. On November 26 a beautiful illuminat- 
ed cross which was hung a few days before in the church 
porch was presented the church by Mrs. Percy W. Metz 
and her sister, Mrs. C. F. Nicklos, in memory of their late 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Reiser. These good ladies, 
serving on the Flower Committee, have been faithful and 

4. Rev. and Mrs. Riddick were killed in a collision on a California 
highway while returning from the General Conference in San Fran- 
cisco in May, 1952. 


have never failed us. On February 4, 1951, a beautiful 
brass cross which now hangs back of the pulpit, was pre- 
sented the church by Mr. and Mrs. Hubert C. Avery in 
memory of the former's mother, the late Mrs. Mary Avery. 


Perhaps there are still living some persons who as adults 
left the Big Horn Basin fifty or more years ago and have 
not since been back. If so and were they to return, it would 
amaze them to drive in the daytime over smooth, paved 
highways, through rich farming areas dotted with oil rigs, 
and to drive at night through large towns blazing with neon 
signs and through a countryside with R. E. A. lighting. 

It would have amazed them had they been in the new 
high school gymnasium in Basin the evening of January 19, 
when bands and choruses from eighteen Big Horn Basin 
towns were present. Had they been here in March they 
v/ould have been amazed at the revival meetings held in 
every town of any size in the basin. One of them began at 
Greybull March 1 and moved to Basin March 19. At the 
time this is written the results in Basin were 51 conversions, 
41 backsliders reclaimed and 37 renewals of faith; it is 
expected that complete reports will bring the total to 140. 
On the night of March 29 the Wigwam Theater was packed. 
There were present Basin, Greybull and Thermopolis Bap- 
tists, Basin and Greybull Nazarenes, Greybull Presbyter- 
ians, Worland Lutherans, all with their pastors, and a few 
Basin Methodists, also a monster crowd of Worland Meth- 
odists with their pastor; he made a fervent opening prayer 
and all ministers worked afterwards in the inquiry room. 
About thirty young men and young women dedicated their 
lives to service as missionaries, nurses and teachers, and 
four young men pledged to become ministers. It was a 
scene that will linger in memory. Truly, we have come a 
long way in the basin. 

Our church, also, has come a long way. Some of the 
going has seemed rough, but there will be more hurdles, 
and of a different nature, with the real test yet to come, 
one that people of a church sometimes face without being 
aware of it; and thus the future of the church will be 
exactly what its people make for it or permit to be made for 
it. In a world of change and confusion our people travel 
the road of today as it stretches ahead to the far horizon. 
What awaits them no one can foretell. Gloomy days may 
come, but faith speaks of clearing skies on the morrow, and 
they go on, hopeful and unafraid. 



(By the author of the history) 

I've had no such thrill since the day I was born 

As will come when I'm wakened by Gabriel's horn, 

Wherever I sleep on that radiant morn, 

Under cactus, or where willows drape. 

With the multitude then very soon I shall wait; 

When my number is drawn I'll check in through the 

And the way I've lived here will determine my fate, 
So I'm gettin' my soul into shape. 

To learn how to be saved, in the Book we must 
search ; 
If we think our lodge tells us we're left in the lurch, 
And it takes more than mere membership in a church, 
Outward form of religion to ape. 
God wants no one up there who's a stranger to him ; 
If but slightly acquainted one's chances are slim, 
And it won't be real pleasant caught out on a limb. 
Well, I'm gettin' my soul into shape. 

Some, who have never got close to God on their knees 
Feel so sure of his mercy they do as they please; 
And they say that they'll clear Judgment hurdles with 

That they'll get around any red tape; 
That their parents and neighbors were good folks, the 

dears ; 
And got by ; they live like them, why have any fears ? 
Well, it's too soon to know who got by, it appears. 
Me, I'm gettin' my soul into shape. 

We all make good resolves, but sin nature is strong. 
Once I tried all alone to dodge error and wrong, 
And I've oft wished old Samson would happen along 
To hold them so I might escape. 
But One stronger than Samson has come to my aid 
By my trustin' in Him when my prayers have been 

Glory be to His name! Now I'm makin' the grade, 
And I'm gettin' my soul into shape. 

Wyoming Zephyrs 



The Wyoming State Historical Department has moved 
into new quarters in the recently completed State Office 
Building in Cheyenne. The museum, which occupies the 
south wing of the building, was opened to the public on 
April 28. The more spacious quarters have enabled the 
staff to arrange the displays in a very attractive manner. 

The museum is divided into several areas to enable vis- 
itors to better enjoy the exhibits. Main areas are the 
Indian, pioneer, wild life, geology, stock growers and forts 
and trails sections. 

The historical records, gathered over the years from 
pioneers in the state, the nearly 4,400 volumes of state 
newspapers, the pictures, maps, books, pamphlets, and the 
archival records of state offices and former state officials 
which have been placed in the department were all moved 
into the new quarters and are now being made available 
for the use of researchers. 

The State Historical Department recently had the oppor- 
tunity to acquire the negative collection of the late Joseph 
E. Stimson, pioneer photographer of Cheyenne. The pic- 
tures in this collection cover every corner of the state and 
date from 1900-1950. Numbering between six and seven 
thousand glass plate negatives, it is one of the most valu- 
able and significant collections of the West today. 

Wyoming has lost too many significant collections 
through apathy and disinterest. In order to save this 
collection for Wyoming it was necessary to act quickly, 
for organizations outside of Wyoming were more than in- 
terested in acquiring it. Consequently, while $1,300 in state 
funds were obtained toward the purchase of the negatives, 
it was necessary to obtain a loan of $700 to complete the 
transaction, and the loan must now be repaid. 

A number of interested persons have already contributed 
to the fund to repay the $700. Contributors to date are: 
George E. Brimmer, Cheyenne; J. Elmer Brock, Kaycee; 
Fred Marble, Cheyenne; Judge and Mrs. P. W. Metz, Basin; 


Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Nicklos, Basin; Mr. and Mrs. A. M. 
Pence, Laramie; George B. Pryde, Rock Springs; H. N. 
Roach, Laramie; E. Keith Thomson, Cheyenne; Henryetta 
Berry, Lola M. Homsher and Mrs. Winifred S. Kienzle of 

Contributions to this fund should be marked "Stimson 
Fund" and mailed to this department. 

The Wyoming State Historical Department in cooperation 
with the Community Club of Ft. Laramie sponsored services 
at the grave site of Mary E. Homsley in observance of the 
centennial date of her death on the Oregon Trail June 10, 
1852. Services were held on Sunday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. 

Reverend George Woodard of Ft. Laramie, who gave the 
invocation at the first services held at this grave site in 
1926, gave the invocation. Mr. Clarke P. Rice of Torring- 
ton told of his finding the gravestone and grave site in 
1925. Mr. W. W. Morrison of Cheyenne, historian of the 
old Oregon Trail who has become acquainted with de- 
scendents of Mary Homsley and has learned her story from 
them, talked on "Mary E. Homsley — Her Family". Mr. 
David L. Hieb, Superintendent of the Ft. Laramie National 
Monument, reviewed the history of the Oregon Trail and 
stressed that the services honoring Mary E. Homsley hon- 
ored all pioneers who braved the frontier and fell along the 

Mr. Tom Mort of Lingle led the group in singing, after 
which Mr. R. J. Rymill of Ft. Laramie introduced some of 
the members of the audience, including Mr. and Mrs. A. M. 
Pence, L. C. Bishop, Joe Weppner, Mrs. L. G. Flannery, Tom 
Green, Charles Frederick, Mead Sandercock, Mangus Lar- 
sen, Jim Fleanor, and Ike and Dick Darnells. 

On January 7, 1952, Miss Mildred Mcintosh passed away 
in Cheyenne. Miss Mcintosh, daughter of Robert and Mary 
Ellen Mcintosh who founded a ranch on the Snake River in 
the 1880's, was a resident of Slater, Colorado, for thirty 
years. At that place she was the postmistress, the owner 
of a picturesque old-fashioned general store and a promi- 
nent rancher. A graduate of both the University of Wyo- 
ming and Wellsley College, Miss Mcintosh was an authority 
on Wyoming history and did considerable writing on that 


On February 8, 1952, John Charles Thompson, editor 
emeritus of the Wyoming State Tribune, died in Cheyenne 
at the age of 72. A Wyoming newspaperman since 1897, 
with all of his experience at Cheyenne, he was a member 
of a prominent pioneer family of that city. His extensive 
work on statewide news beats, his editorials and his col- 
umns "Cheyenne, Wyoming" and "In Old Wyoming" estab- 
lished him as one of the state's best known and most prom- 
inent men. 

On February 8, 1952, Joseph Stimson, former Cheyenne 
artist and photographer, succumbed to a heart attack at 
Hartford, Connecticut, at the age of 81. Mr. Stimson was 
at one time photographer for the Union Pacific Railroad. 
His collection of negatives covers a period of more than 50 
years and is one of the most valuable collections of Wyo- 
ming pictures in existence. 

D. C. Wilhelm of Gillette passed away in Sheridan on 
December 31, 1951, after an extensive illness. Mr. Wilhelm 
came to Gillette in 1916 and in the early 1920's began col- 
lecting early day historical data on Campbell County, pub- 
lishing the items in a clever advertising sheet, the 
"Flatyre". He also became a zealous collector of Indian 
artifacts and local early day relics of the area and at one 
time had a private museum which he opened to the public. 

On March 31, 1952, Dr. Aven Nelson, the first faculty 
member hired by the first Board of Trustees of the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, President Emeritus of the University, 
and world famous botanist, passed away in Colorado 
Springs at the age of 93. Dr. Nelson was a civic leader, 
teacher, researcher and writer. Over the years he did 
much for the state of Wyoming and brought many honors 
to Wyoming as a result of his work in his special field of 

Wilson S. Kimball, 85, pioneer businessman and former 
mayor of Casper and long-time member of the Wyoming 
Stock Growers Association, died April 4, 1952, after an 
illness of several months. He was a resident of Casper for 
62 years where he served nine terms as mayor. Upon his 
retirement from the drug business in 1947 he engaged in 
ranching east of Casper. 

On March 3, 1952, Mrs. Catherina Facinelli of Rock 
Springs passed away at the age of 85. Born in Austria, 
Mrs. Facinelli came to the United States in 1886 and to 
Wyoming in 1887. She and her family have been promi- 
nent in local and state affairs for many years. She is sur- 
vived by two sons, Victor J. and Thomas P. of Rock Springs, 
and Mrs. C. E. Bon of Cheyenne. 


Mrs. John Whitaker passed away at the age of 82 on 
June 8, 1952, in Cheyenne. She was a member of a long- 
time prominent Wyoming family and had resided in the 
state since territorial days. 

Mrs. Isabella Kinnear, daughter of Jim Baker, the famous 
pioneer Indian scout and later a rancher of the Baggs area, 
passed away on June 10, 1952, at the Wind River Indian 
Hospital, Ft. Washakie, at the age of 89. 

William Jonss, 80, Fremont County pioneer, passed away 
June 9, 1952, at Lander. He was born at South Pass City 
in 1871 where his father ran a meat market in that old gold 
mining camp. A life-time friend of the Indians, Mr. Jones 
spoke both the Arapahoe and Shoshone tongues fluently. 
He was at one time mayor of Lander. 

The following tribute was written by Mrs. Agnes Wright 
Spring, historian and member of a pioneer Wyoming fam- 
ily, and at present the Executive Assistant to the President 
of the Colorado State Historical Society: 

From all corners of the state of Wyoming and from Mon- 
tana and other parts of the West, cattle kings, cowboys, 
ranch cooks, sheepmen and herders, state and county offi- 
cials, and friends of high and low station gathered at Buf- 
falo, Wyoming, on January 25, 1952, to pay their last trib- 
ute to Mrs. Martin A. Tisdale, a former State Librarian of 
Wyoming. Mrs. Tisdale died on January 22 as the result 
of an automobile accident, which occurred on a branch road 
from Kaycee as the Tisdales were returning from a trip to 
Denver's Stock Show. 

Daughter of one of Wyoming's pioneer ranchmen and a 
relative of the late Governor Joseph M. Carey, Mrs. Tisdale 
was born Frances Angelina Davis on December 8, 1887, at 
Milford, Delaware. Her parents were Annie Paynter Mar- 
shall Davis and Henry Winter ("Hard Winter") Davis. 
Her father came to Wyoming in 1878 and in November, 
1881, established the Spectacle Ranch on Powder River. 
He was a member of the first state legislature of Wyoming 
in 1890. 

Frances Davis received her schooling at her father's 
ranch, also in schools at Buffalo and at Miss Roney's School 
at Bala, Pennsylvania. She served as State Librarian under 
Governor Joseph M. Carey and Acting-Governor Frank L. 
Houx from 1913 to 1917. On December 13, 1917, she was 
married to Martin Allison Tisdale of Johnson County at 
the Trinity Cathedral in Omaha. Their romance was sim- 
ilar to that of a story book, as the families of each had been 
identified with opposite sides of the famous so-called "John- 
son County Cattlemen's War." 


The Tisdales established their first home on a ranch at 
Mayoworth. Later they moved to Buffalo where Mr. Tis- 
dale served as sheriff of Johnson County for sixteen years. 
Since 1943 he has been manager of the Three T ranch near 

At the time of her death Mrs. lisdale was President of 
St. Luke's Auxiliary in Buffalo. She is survived by her 
husband; a daughter, Mary Bradford Hinckley; two sons, 
Thomas Martin Tisdale and Robins Davis Tisdale ; by three 
brothers, Henry Winter Davis of Ft. Washakie, Mark Jay 
Davis of Casper, and Francis Robins Davis of Tensleep; 
and two sisters, Dorothy Bell Gibbs of Recluse, Wyoming, 
and Madelene Marshall Murphy of Kingsbury, California. 

Two loans to the State Museum are now on display. An 
elk skin painted by Charles Washakie, fourth son of the 
famous old Shoshone, Chief Washakie, has been loaned by 
Mrs. Mable Cheney Moudy of Laramie. The picture on the 
skin represents the Buffalo Hunt with dancers dancing the 
Buffalo Dance in thanks for successful hunting. The skin 
was tanned by Ellen Hereford Washakie and the elk was 
killed by Mrs. Moudy's father, Ervin F. Cheney, pioneer 
of the Lander area. 

The buckskin suit and headdress of Chief High Eagle, 
Sioux Indian who took part with the Indians in the Custer 
Battle of 1876, was presented to the Cheyenne Frontier 
Days Committee following the death of the Chief in an 
automobile accident the past winter. Chief High Eagle had 
for many years been a member of the Indian group which 
attended the Cheyenne Frontier Days celebration each year, 
and his last request was that his costume which he had 
worn at Frontier Days be given to the Cheyenne Frontier 
Days Committee. The Committee has given it to the State 
Museum on a loan basis for display. 

Recent Acquisitions 

Mr. W. R. Coe of New York City has given to the State 
Historical Department a valuable gift of more than two 
hundred historical books and an equal number of historical 
periodicals. The books, ranging in date from 1833 to the 
present, cover a wide variety of subjects, all on the western 
theme. This addition to the small but fine library in the 
department is a very important one. In addition Mr. Coe 


has had sent to the department from time to time recent 
publications just off the press. 

The Coe Collection of Western Americana has been on 
special display in one of the cases in the museum, and vis- 
itors have found it of special interest. The books are at 
present being cataloged and will be available to researchers 
and students working in the library of the department. 

From the dismantled home of the late Governor Joseph 
M. Carey the members of his family have given to the State 
Museum a mantel piece from the front hallway and the nine 
and one-half foot door with full length mirror that hung 
between Governor Carey's study and sitting room. These 
have been placed in the museum so that they form a setting 
in the pioneer area. 

Mr. Don Stanfield of the Wyoming Typewriter and Equip- 
ment Company, Cheyenne, has added ten early typewriters 
to a similar collection now on display in the museum. Mr. 
George S. Clason of Napa, California, presented a collection 
of arrowheads collected by his brother Horace from near 
Cheyenne in the early days. Heston D. Adams of Golden, 
Colorado, gave a statement of Neustadter Bros, to the Mee- 
teetse Clothing Co. and a check of the Shoshone Mountain 
Mining Co. Mrs. G. I. Baldwin of Mineola, Long Island, 
New York, presented the book Recollections of a Busy Life 
by Horace Greeley. Mrs. Charles W. Clark of Cheyenne has 
given a four piece commode set of semi-porcelain Dresden. 

A case built especially to display the Richardson family 
collection has been presented to the department by Warren 
Richardson of Cheyenne, Clarence B. Richardson of Casper, 
and Laura V. and Mary Valeria Richardson of Cheyenne. 
It has been placed in the museum, and on display in it are 
a number of pioneer items from the Richardson home in 

A manuscript "The Overland Trail Through Wyoming" 
has been received from Willard Fox of LaGrange, and a 
manuscript "Reminiscences of Norris Griggs" by Mrs. 
Helen Sargent of Big Piney has been given by the author. 
Mr. W. W. Morrison of Cheyenne presented a copy of his 
article on "Pattison Lake", a historical sketch on Oregon 
history. Mrs. J. William Richardson of Cheyenne presented 
five ledgers from the cattle company of Andrew Gilchrist, 
early cattleman of Wyoming, and his sword. Mr. Charles 
Humphrey of Laramie gave the department a map of Lara- 
mie, Wyoming, dated 1884. Harry Carnine of Laramie pre- 
sented an 1873 Winchester rifle, without the stock, found 
on the Laramie Plains. Miss Alby E. Roys of St. Peters- 
burg, Florida, has given a copy of the newspaper Palladium 


of Liberty, February 25, 1813, Morris-Town, N. J. Mike 
Sorg of Cheyenne presented two books: Herringshaw's 
American Statesman, 1906, and House Miscellaneous Docu- 
ment, 1888-89, vol. 2. 

Dr. Franklin D. Yoder of Cheyenne presented the letter 
from Governor Joseph M. Carey to his father, B. F. Yoder, 
appointing him a Commissioner to organize the County of 
Goshen in 1911. Mrs. J. M. Harrington of Basin presented 
three albums of negatives, numbering approximately 200, 
of scenes in the Big Horn Basin about 1910. Dr. Paul W. 
Emerson of Cheyenne presented a constable badge worn by 
William Pleasant Snowden, first white settler in Omaha, 
Nebraska, 1854; spectacles and case used by Rachel Snow- 
den, first white woman to settle in Omaha, Nebraska, a 
meal ticket from the Moore Hotel issued to Elam S. Emer- 
son, U.P.R.R. engineer in Cheyenne 1880-85, his complete 
uniform worn in World War I, his footlocker, and a number 
of other items for the pioneer section of the museum. 

Mr. M. B. Rhodes of Basin presented a picture of Tom 
Daggett (1899), editor of the Big Horn County Rustler, 
and Mrs. Rhodes gave two souvenir copper cups from the 
Black Hills of South Dakota showing early scenes of that 
area. Mrs. Mark A. Chapman presented a historical col- 
lection gathered by her husband, the late Mark A. Chapman. 
Included in this are pictures of Camp Carlin, Cheyenne, and 
early Wyoming scenes ; early United States currency includ- 
ing Continental, Confederate and State issues; badges; 
seals; correspondence and business records. Mrs. Mart 
Christensen presented a wool challis shawl brought from 
Ireland about 1825 by her grandmother. W. W. Morrison 
of Cheyenne and William Rodenbush of Ft. Laramie pre- 
sented pictures taken of the services at the grave of Mary 
E. Homsley June 8, 1952. 

Mr. L. C. Bishop of Cheyenne presented to the depart- 
ment a 12 gauge Ithaca shotgun, London twist barrel, 
hammer gun, 1892, which was originally purchased by his 
father, S. A. Bishop. Since then L. C. Bishop, his five bro- 
thers and his two sons have used the gun for a period of 
sixty years. 

ftook Keviews 

The Story of the Little Big Horn. By Col. W. A. Graham. 
(The Military Service Publishing Co., 1952, 222 pp. 

Legend into History. By Charles Kuhlman. (The Stack- 
pole Company, 1951, 245 pp. $5.00) (Both books of- 
fered in combination at $9.00) 

The Story of the Little Big Horn by Col. W. A. Graham 
is a 4th printing, initially printed in 1926. Little new has 
been added to the work, nothing apparent has been deleted. 
In the Appendix is a copy, from the Journal of The Military 
Service Institution, of the article by Col. Robert P. Hughes, 
Inspector General, printed in 1896. 

Legend into History by Charles Kuhlman is a new publi- 
cation, and is supplemented in Appendix II with a copy of 
the findings of the Court of Inquiry which was convened in 
1879 at the request of Major Reno. 

Both books cover the same scope of the battle of the 
Little Big Horn in 1876, which occurred in Southern Mon- 
tana between the Seventh Cavalry commanded by Lt. Col. 
G. A. Custer and the plains Indians, led primarily by Chiefs 
Gall and Crazy Horse. Both books are heavily footnoted 
in Appendices, that of Col. Graham being more one of quo- 
tations of authority type, while that of Dr. Kuhlman being 
largely supporting argument of the author. Each book 
is accompanied by a contour map of the battlefield, U. S. 
Geological Survey, showing the different conceptions of 
the route followed by Custer's command in arriving at the 
battlefield, which are helpful to the reader, if he is skilled 
in map reading, in understanding the terrain in the critical 
area, and following the author's version. 

The Story of the Little Big Horn is a factual account of 
the Campaign taken from sworn testimony, concrete evi- 
dence and known facts, with little effort to inject opinion, 
conjecture or hearsay to fill the gaps in the Custer disaster. 
It is a very well arranged and illustrated narrative, easy to 
read and informative to the casual reader as well as the 
self-styled Custer expert. It is beyond question one of the 
best works on this highly controverted historical incident 
and should be on the shelf of every western and military 
book fan. 


Legend into History is an attempt, as the title implies, 
to convert the legend of the Custer fight to historical stand- 
ing. To accomplish this very difficult task, the author has 
combined known facts, battlefield evidence and testimony 
with a detailed terrain study and supplemented these with 
Indian tales told by both combatants and non-combatants, 
principally of the Cheyenne tribe, and endeavored to fit 
all of this into his own appreciation of battle operations 
and tactics. The entire work is impregnated with incon- 
sistencies and illusions. The author does not profess to be 
a professional soldier ; admits that for the most part Indian 
narratives are totally unreliable; and concedes that seven- 
ty-five years of erosion have had a profound effect upon 
terrain features. The reader will be impressed, however, 
that he places rather great weight upon battlefield indica- 
tions in spite of the fact that the ground was pounded, 
mauled and ravaged by thousands of Indians (men, women 
and children) for hours after hostilities had ceased, leaving 
one in serious doubt as to the value of such indications, or 
how you could visualize order arising out of such chaos. 
There is even an effort to reproduce troop positions and 
sectors, strong points, fire sectors, retrograde movements 
and other tactical dispositions and maneuvers, all based 
upon the assumption that the position was organized for 
defense when there is most weighty and convincing evi- 
dence that the engagement was initially offensive in nature, 
hastily planned and lacking in coordination and so fluid by 
consequence as to be devoid of all these orderly considera- 
tions. He also delves into logistics, entirely irreconcilable, 
and devoid of professional appreciation of this military 

The entire treatment is a bold, but to say the least, spec- 
ulative, endeavor which the average reader will find neither 
interesting nor informative. 

The Story of the Little Big Horn is set down in chrono- 
logical order, simply stated and developed without confu- 
sion of detail or contradiction. Even to the reader who has 
only story interest in this fascinating historical incident 
there will be no difficulty in understanding and following 
the action and its dire consequences, and he will emerge 
with a rather clear picture of the known action. 

On the other hand, Legend into History is exceedingly 
difficult to read. There is a mass of meaningless detail 
to the average reader which will almost foreclose his fol- 
lowing the action or appreciating the author's philosophy 
of the where, when, and how of the engagement. A great 
many battle veterans and those of military trained minds 


will be in complete disagreement with this lay solution of 
the author (if they are able to appreciate his solution at 
all). The Custer students, irrespective of their pro or con 
Custer sentiments, will not be pleased, but will, nevertheless, 
find themselves fascinated and intrigued with this new 
approach to the mystery of this highly controverted and 
disastrous battle. To say the least, Dr. Kulhman has 
heaped a lot more fuel on a fire which will ever burn among 
those who love this unsolvable tragedy, but in spite of his 
efforts what happened there on the Little Big Horn on 
June 25, 1876, remains as much a legend as it was before 
his book was written. 


Attorney at Law, Lt. Col. of Infantry World War II, 
Graduate of the Infantry School and of the Command 
and General Staff School 

Trail Driving Days. Text by Dee Brown; Picture Re- 
search by Martin F. Schmitt. (New York, Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1952. 264 pp., 220 photographs and 
sketches. $7.50.) 

Dee Brown of the University of Illinois Library staff, 
and Martin F. Schmitt, Curator of Special Collections at 
the University of Oregon, here present a spectacular, pic- 
torial chronology of the great Western range cattle days. 
We heartily agree with their preliminary statement that 
"no single volume yet has told or probably ever can tell the 
whole dramatic story of the American cattle trade — " 

But Trail Driving Days portrays through word and pic- 
ture the general background, the habits, the dress, the daily 
life and the amusements and tragedies of the men who 
pointed longhorn herds up from Texas to the northern rail 
markets or to the northwestern grazing grounds. 

Vigorous writing in this work becomes intensely vivid 
through the carefully selected and in many instances, rare 
photographs. This book will delight anyone interested in 
Western Americana and many who are not. 

Texas cattlemen and cowboys necessarily receive a pre- 
ponderance of attention in the book since much of the 
cattle history of the West stemmed from that vast area. 

Although the author of the text, logically developed first 
one phase and then another of the trail driving business, 
there is throughout a leaning toward the sensational. This 


is especially true in the portrayal of the Rip-roaring Trail 
Towns with their dramatic characters such as Wild Bill 
Hickok, "Bear River" Tom, Billy the Kid, Rowdy Joe Lowe, 
"Doc" Holliday, and various ladies who followed the red 
lights along the frontier. But after all, the era of trail 
driving was a rugged one and the cowboy didn't herd long- 
horns in a bed of roses. 

From the standpoint of those primarily interested in 
Wyoming's cattle history, it is disappointing not to find the 
name and photograph of at least one or two of the follow- 
ing: Thomas Sturgis, Alexander Swan, Joseph M. Carey, 
Francis E. Warren and John B. Kendrick. All of these 
pioneers began their livestock business with Texas trail 
herds. And each was a "giant" in his day. 

Wyoming, however, does receive considerable attention 
in Trail Driving Days through text and pictures relating 
to places and persons connected with the Johnson County 
War. Mr. Brown's account follows closely the well-known 
versions as told by Asa Mercer and Bill Walker. There 
still are many unpublished facts which may some day be 

The book particularly features the work of three pioneer 
range photographers : L. A. Huffman of Montana, Erwin E. 
Smith of Texas, and William H. Jackson of Denver. That 
no more than two photographs by C. D. Kirkland are used 
is no doubt due to the fact that they were unavailable. 
Kirkland's early cattle range photographs, however, are 
among the best ever made in the Wyoming country. The 
collection of photographs pertaining to Wyoming which Mr. 
Schmitt assembled are worth the price of the book alone 
to the person interested in history. 

Readers of the Wyoming Annals may be interested in 
knowing that the cut of Longhorns on page 11 in Trail 
Driving Days is a photograph by Stimson of Old Mexico 
steers owned in 1888 by J. W. Hammond of Cheyenne. The 
buckskin steer in the center of the group was called Gero- 
nimo. According to Mr. Hammond, Geronimo could, with 
ease, jump out of the highest pole corrals. 

Because photography was only in the daguerreotype 
stage when cowmen were pointing the early herds north 
from Texas, some of the illustrations for this book neces- 
sarily are reproduced drawings made by artists for Frank 
Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Joseph G. McCov's 
Historical Sketches of the Cattle Trade (1874). 

Primarily a picture book, Trail Driving Days provides 
much pleasure and entertainment to readers, as well as 
facts. Those wishing to use it as an authority on Wyo- 


ming's cattle industry should check details against source 
materials, as the following instances, for example, will 
illustrate: on page 242, it is inferred that the cattlemen 
employed detectives following the Great Blizzard (1886-87). 
Ben Morrison, whose photograph is used above the legend, 
was employed by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association 
as an inspector or range detective as early as 1879 ; on page 
234, Tom Horn is said to have been "captured by a blue- 
coated policeman." Actually he was captured and held by 
a merry-go-round operator named Eldrich until the police- 
man arrived. 

Such trivialities, however, should not detract from the 
fine performance done by these two sincere, industrious, 
and talented collaborators who so successfully published 
Fighting Indians of The West, another so-called "picture 

A glimpse through the carefully selected Bibliography 
makes this reviewer wish for more time to read and more 
money to buy volumes such as these about the cattle, horses 
and men, and the rip-roaring trail towns in the old one-time, 
free grass country. 


Executive Assistant to the President 
State Historical Society of Colorado 

The Great Rascal: the life and adventures of Ned Buntline. 
By Jay Monaghan; with illustrations. (Boston: Little, 
Brown and Company, 1952. 353 pp. illus. bibliog. 
index. $4.50.) 

Of particular interest to people of this section because 
of the emphasis on "discovery" and promotion of Buffalo 
Bill is a new biography of Ned Buntline written by James 
Monaghan, State Historian of Illinois. 

The words "amazing" and "rascal" are well chosen for 
Ned Buntline. The ordinary law-abiding, conventional 
reader will gasp over the experiences of this lively little 
swashbuckler. It seems incredible that anyone could have 
such energy, such resourcefulness, such brashness as he 

Edward Zane Carroll Judson, later to make famous the 
pseudonym Ned Buntline, was born to a native American 
family in New York state, probably in 1823. The influence 
of his mother seems slight; at least Mr. Monaghan says 


little about her contributions to her boy. But his father's 
characteristics were prominent in the son. To quote, 
"Ned's father, Levi Carroll Judson, was a writer, an orator 
. . . , and a man who never made little plans." So it was 
with the son. Also marked in Ned was his lifetime love for 
nature and his skill as a fisherman and hunter, developed 
in his boyhood on a New England farm. Presently friction 
between father and son drove Ned into running away to 
join the merchant marine. Later he joined the navy and 
took part in the Seminole War. The first of his many mar- 
riages belonged to that period of his life. So also did his 
entrance into the field of fiction, with the publication as a 
pamphlet of an autobiographical short story using for the 
first time his best-known pseudonym. (He used a dozen 
others at various times.) He may have followed his navy 
career by spending some months as a fur trader on the 
Yellowstone; more likely he invented his sojourn there and 
borrowed his experiences from real fur trappers. At any 
rate at the age of twenty Ned had started publishing a 
monthly literary magazine, one of many periodicals and 
newspapers he established in various places but failed to 
make live beyond a few issues. For years he struggled 
to break into the respectable literary world. That was not 
to be his claim to fame. But he recognized the hunger of 
the poor for romance and adventure, and fed them a stream 
of articles, essays, and stories. However fabulous his life 
he would not be worthy so detailed a biography were it 
not for his influence on American literature and his popular- 
ization of the West. At a period when the dime novel 
soared in circulation he contributed hundreds of adventure 
stories, forerunners of the westerns and comics of more 
recent times. 

At his worst Ned Buntline was a bigamist, a blackmailer, 
a rioter, a bail jumper, a stimulator of race and religious 
hatreds in politics, an inveterate liar. Yet Mr. Monaghan 
manages to make Ned Buntline a far from repellant figure. 
Perhaps one is fascinated by Ned's activity and industry. 
Certainly he must have had charm, for he never lacked 
followers. In his later years he set up and developed an 
estate near Stamford, New York, a more or less faithful 
family man, taking a prominent part in community life, 
even being a member of the school board, writing diligently 
the while. 

As for Mr. Monaghan's manner of presenting the biog- 
raphy — It shows the study of an historian. Bit by bit Mr. 
Monaghan documents the information he offers, much of 
it from contemporary newspapers. The narrative is not 


easy to follow; even though the footnotes have been rele- 
gated to the end of the biography, the location numbers 
interfere with smooth reading. Ned Buntline skipped 
around over the country so frequently and became involved 
in so many unscrupulous dealings that one is confused. 
The biographer follows his adventures chronologically ex- 
cept for the first two chapters, which relate the Buffalo 
Bill incidents. Because a great deal of background is given, 
literary and political, this biography might almost be called 
a social study. In fact one sees Ned Buntline as a social 
manifestation rather than as a man. Other members of 
Ned's family are hazy; one would wish to know more about 
Ned's mother and sister and wives, and their influence 
on him. 

The most amusing parts of the biography — and it is an 
entertaining one — are the long quotations from Ned's 
books. They are almost as astonishing as the man himself. 
The book jacket provides an apt description of the biog- 
raphy: "The Great Rascal, the exploits of the amazing Ned 
Buntline, king of the dime novelists, Buffalo Bill's promoter, 
soldier, sportsman, western trader, roue, political manipu- 
lator, adventurer extraordinary." One might repeat that 
word "extraordinary." 


Natrona County High School Library 

Joe Meek, The Merry Mountain Man; A Biography. By 

Stanley Vestal. (Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Print- 
ers, 1952. xi + 336 pp. $5.00.) 

Joe Meek would have been a conspicuous personality in 
any environment, but as a trapper in the Rockies he was 
in his natural element. He had physical courage in such 
abundance that he went out of his way to fight grizzlies 
and he may have done the same with the Blackfeet. Meek 
had the stamina to travel for days with little or no food 
and the dislike of prosaic toil that allowed him to sit 
around for weeks doing nothing more than eating and 
swapping yarns — an activity in which he had few peers. 

After Joe Meek had settled in Oregon his aversion to 
hard work attained such proportions that he would do 
almost anything to get out of plowing a field. Fortunately, 
Virginia, his Nez Perce wife, did not mind farm work, there- 
by leaving Joe free to roam around the countryside, visit- 


ing with everyone, in his various capacities of tax collector, 
bill collector, census taker, and marshal. The last office 
came about as a result of Meek's epic journey overland in 
the winter of 1847-48 to St. Louis, and then to Washington, 
with the urgent petition to congress, and his account of the 
tragedy at Wailatpui. Helen Mar, Meek's daughter, was 
one of the victims in the Whitman Massacre, thus it is not 
surprising that every time Joe told strangers of the event 
he made a profound impression. 

Stanley Vestal has touched only lightly on the main fea- 
tures of the journey to, and the activities in Washington 
of the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary 
from the Republic of Oregon to the court of the United 
States, as Meek described himself with his usual modesty. 
This was by far Meek's outstanding accomplishment and 
it required the exercise of all his peculiar talents, not to 
mention the use of far more good judgment than he has 
generally been credited with possessing. This episode, par- 
ticularly Meek's activities in Washington, deserves more 
thorough research. 

Since there were more Indian battles, and the mountains 
were never more crowded with picturesque fur traders, than 
during Meek's eleven years in the Rockies, it is not sur- 
prising that Vestal concentrated on those exciting years. 
However, Meek's part in the Provisional and Territorial 
governments of Oregon was of such prominence that those 
activities seem to warrant more than seven of the book's 
thirty-five chapters. While this may seem a defect to those 
concerned with the broad panorama of western history, 
it increases the appeal of the book to those desirous solely 
of attaining an understanding of Wyoming fur trapping 
history in the 1830's. In fact, this is an excellent volume 
to start such a study, as in picturesque language, it lays 
out the major developments during those years. 

Joe Meek spent a great deal of time in what is now the 
state of Wyoming and in the process trapped beaver on 
almost every important stream. It is difficult today to 
comprehend that despite the ease with which one travels 
by car, there are not too many residents of the state who 
have seen as much of Wyoming streams as Meek and his 
trapper friends had by 1840, when the price of beaver fell 
so low as to make trapping unprofitable on the grand scale 
it had been conducted during the previous fifteen years. 

Walter Campbell, Professor of Journalism at the Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma, writes under the pen name of Stanley 
Vestal. He has long been interested in the Mountain Men 


and has written several volumes on them including books 
on Kit Carson and Jim Bridger, contemporaries of Joe Meek. 
This is one of Vestal's best books, as Meek's flamboyant 
career and "hell for leather" philosophy of life are admira- 
bly suited to the author's style of writing that rarely slows 
down to a gallop. 


Hackensack, New Jersey 
Author: John Colter (1952) 

general Judex 

Volume 24 

Adams, Heston D., gift of, 24:2:118. 

Adkins, Kenneth, 24:1:21. 

Air raids, apathy over, 24:1:11, 15, 17-18; insurance against, 11. 

Air raid defense plan, 24:1:12. 

Air raid wardens, 24:1:9, 17; training of, 10, 11; duties, 10-11. 

Air raid warning communications system, 24:1:11-12. 

Airplane Crash Service, 24:1:16. 

Albee, Mr. F., 24:1:30, 49. 

Albone, Rev. S. W., 24:2:99-100. 

Algier, J. D., 24:1:5. 

Allan, Harvey, 24:2:11. 

Allan, Mrs. Harvey, 24:2:3. 

Allen, Mrs. Ann E., 24:2:104. 

Almy, Wyoming, 24:1:28. 

American Legion, 24:1:10. 

Anderson, Charley, 24:2:81. 

Anderson, Esther L., 24:1:3, 4. 

Anderson, G. M., 24:1:4. 

Anderson, John A., 24:2:84. 

Anderson, P. P., 24:2:108. 

Angus, Sheriff, 24:2:33. 

Antelope, Wyoming, 24:1:76, 84. 

Antelope Springs, Wyoming, 24:1:35. 

Anthony, R. S., 24:1:4. 

Arnott, John P., 24:2:91. 

Aspen, Wyoming, 24:1:31. 

Averill, C. C, 24:1:4, 16. 

Avery, Hubert C, 24:2:110. 

Avery, Mrs. Mary, 24:2:106. 

Back Trailing on Open Range by Luke D. Sweetman, reviewed by A. 
S. Gillespie and Russell Thorp, 24:1:98-100. 

Bald Mountain City, 24:2:82. 

Baldwin, Mrs. G. I., gift of, 24:2:118. 

Baptist Church, Basin, 24:2:86. 

Barber, Dr. Amos W., 24:1:77-78, 84; 24:2:33, 35. 

Barlow, Bill. See Merris C. Barrow; Sagebrush Philosopher and 

Barrett, Gov. Frank A., 24:1:2. 

Barrett, Hannah L., 24:2:94. 

Barrett, Lewis A., 24:2:81, 91, 94. 

Barrow, Clot, 24:2:9. 

Barrow, Elizabeth, 24:1:63. 

Barrow, Frank, 24:1:56, 59; 24:2:9. 

Barrow, Helen Harding, 24:1:58, 59. 

Barrow, Helen May, 24:2:6-7. 

Barrow, Merris C, a photo, 24:1:52; 24:2:3; home of, a photo, 56. 

Barrow, Merris C, 24:1:53-88; the journalist's heritage, 55-63; the 
young journalist, 63-71; the new home: birth of the Budget, 71- 
81; community and newspaper get under way, 81-88; 24:2:3-72; 
family, friends and social life, 3-13; local leader and office holder, 
14-27; a state figure, 27-37; dips his pen in acid, 38-47; Budget 
comes of age, 47-54; the Sagebrush Philosopher, 54-72. 


Barrow, Merris C, Jr., 24:2:6. 

Barrow, Minnie Combs (Mrs. M. C.) 24:1:63; 24:2:5. 

Barrow, Robert Clark, 24:1:56-63; 24:2:7-8. 

Barrow, Mrs. Robert Clark, 24:2:8. 

Barrows, Henry, 24:1:22. 

Basin Brick Co., 24:2:87. 

Basin City Herald, 24:2:82. 

Basin Light & Power Co., 24:2:99. 

Basin Republican, 24:2:96. 

Basin Water Co., 24:2:87. 

Basin, Wyoming: established, 24:2:81; townsite approved, 82; water 

supply, 83, 87; mail service, 84; events in 1898, 85; in 1899, 85-86; 

in 1900, 86-87; in 1901, 87-88; incorporated, 89; in 1902, 88-90; in 

1903, 90-94; first motion picture, 93; school house, 95; natural 

gas, 99; sewers, 99. 
Bear River, Wyoming, 24:1:25, 26. 
Beck, G. T., gubernatorial candidate, 24:2:27. 
Bell Telephone Co., in Douglas, 24:2:51; in Big Horn Basin, 91. 
Bent, Levancia, 24:1:24-51. 
Bent, Orythea Shaw, 24:1:38. 
Bent, Silas Proctor, 24:1:26, 38. 
Berry, Henryetta, gift of, 24:2:114. 
Bettis, Arthur L., 24:1:4. 
Bickell, Rev. J. C. 24:2:98. 

Big Horn Basin history. See The Road of Yesteryear. 
Big Horn Basin, early days: county seats, 24:2:77; transportation 

facilities, 77, 87. 
Big Horn County, creation of, 24:2:80; locating county seat, 81, 82, 

83-84; first court house, 87. 
Big Horn Canal, 24:2:88, 99. 
Big Horn College, 24:2:95. 
Big Horn County Bank, 24:2:85, 86, 95. 
Big Horn County Rustler, 24:2:77, 83. 
Big Horn Railroad, 24:2:97. 
Big Horn River bridge at Basin, 24:2:97. 
Bill Barlow's Budget, 24:1:71-88; photo of office building, 1886, 72; 

2:24:14; make-up of, 47-49; rates, 50; equipment, 50-51. See 

Merris C. Barrow: Sagebrush Philosopher and Journalist. 
Bishop, John T., 24:2:110. 
Bishop, L. C, 24:2:114; gift of, 119. 
Bishop, Thomas K., 24:2:110. 
Bitter Creek stage station, 24:1:36. 
Black, George W., 24:2:89. 
Black, Mrs. Susie, 24:2:94. 
Blackburn, Frank, 24:1:21. 
Blackout tests, 24:1:12-15, 17. 
Blair, Judge Jacob B., 24:1:64, 65. 

Blake , 24:2:33. 

Blake, C. C, 24:2:90, 93. 

Blaisdell and Mosley Saloon, 24:1:77. 

Blakesley, Lou, 24:2:83. 

Blewett, Mr , 24:1:43. 

Blydenburgh, C. E., 24:2:37. 
Bolln, George, 24:2:20. 
Bollman, T. P., 24:2:108. 
Bonanza, Wyoming, 24:2:80. 
Booth, Willis J., 24:2:88. 
Borner, Tobias J., 24:2:89. 
Bowling, Rev. Edward, 24:2:102-104. 

INDEX 131 

Boyer, Lt. Col. Gerald, 24:1:5. 

Brackenbury, Katherine, 24:1:23. 

Brackenbury, Richard, The Days of the Open Range, a poem, 24:1:23; 

biography, 23; gift of, 102. 
Brann, William Cowper, 24:2:68. 
Brees, Fred, 24:2:7. 
Bretney, H. Clay, gift of, 24:1:102. 
Brigham, Frank T., 24:2:85, 86. 
Brigham, G. E. (Bert), 24:2:92. 
Brimmer, George E., gift of, 24:2:113. 
British civil defense, 24:1:6. 
Brock, J. Elmer, gift of, 24:2:113. 
Brooks, Gov. B. B., 24:2:25. 
Brown, Dee, Trail Driving Days, reviewed by Agnes Wright Spring, 

Brown's Ranch, 24:1:34. 
Brownville, Nebraska, 24:1:60. 
Buchheit, Mrs. Philip, 24:1:25. 
Budget Block, 24:2:51. 
Buhler, Ernest, gift of, 24:1:101. 
Bulline, Mrs. Tom, 24:2:17. 
Burlington and Missouri Railroad, 24:2:86-87, 96. 

Cain, Rev. J. D., 24:2:96. 
Calamity Jane, 24:2:89. 
Caldwell, Rev. W. E., 24:2:100. 
Calkins, J. K., 24:2:29. 

Campbell, , editor, 24:2:42. 

Cambellite Church, 24:1:56. 

Cannon, Tom, 24:2:86. 

Cannon, W. C, 24:1:79-80. 

Carey, Joseph M., 24:1:75; 24:2:23, 31, 116; gift of family of, 118. 

Carnegie Library, Basin, 24:2:99. 

Carnine, Harry, gift of, 24:2:118. 

Carrol, John F., 24:2:37. 

Carter, C. Dana, 24:2:82, 89. 

Carter, Lester W., 24:2:82. 

Carter, Wyoming, 24:1:31. 

Casper, Anne, column in Tribune Herald, 24:1:9. 

Casselman, C. V., gift of, 24:1:101. 

Cattle drive, 1854, 24:1:26. 

Cattle industry, Big Horn Basin, 24:2:76-77. 

Central Wyoming News, 24:2:39, 43-44, 47. 

Chamberlain, Dr. N. A., 24:2:78. 

Chamberlin, A. D., 24:2:25, 26, 27. 

Champion, (Nate), 24:2:33. 

Chaplin, W. E., 24:1:54, 64, 65, 66; 24:2:13, 22, 29, 37, 38, 68, 70. 

Chapman, Mrs. Mark A., gift of, 24:2:119. 

Chatterton, Fenimore, 24:2:38. 

Cheney, Ervin F., 24:2:117. 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, 24:1:69. 

Cheyenne Frontier Days Committee, loan to museum, 24:2:117. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming, 24:1:41. 

Chief High Eagle, 24:2:117. 

Chinese in Wyoming, 24:1:28, 34. 

Cholera, 24:1:37. 

Christ Church, 24:1:62. 

Christensen, Mrs. Mart, gift of, 24:2:119. 

Church Buttes, 24:1:31-32. 


Churches, frontier, 24:1:61-62. See also The Road of Yesteryear. 

Civil Air Patrol, 24:1:15-16. 

Civilian Defense, 24:1:2-22; air raid shelters, 8-9; apathy, 9, 11; 
Cheyenne, 11; evacuation plans, Sheridan, 9; first aid, 10; home 
and health services, 3, 7, 18; impatience over, 8; in Nebraska, 17; 
negative program, 18; protective services, 2, 3, 7, 17, 18; Wyo- 
ming's rank in preparedness, 10; reduction of program, 18; war 
services, 3, 7; West Coast preparations, 9. 

Clark, Senator C. D., 24:2:26, 35. 

Clark, Mrs. Charles W., 24:2:118. 

Clark, John D., 24:1:3. 

Clason, George S., gift of, 24:2:118. 

Cody, Wyoming, 24:2:82. 

Coe, gift of, 24:1:101; 24:2:117-118. 

Collins, Winfield S., 24:2:80, 81, 82, 89; locating the Big Horn County 
seat, 81. 

Combs, E. B., 24:2:8. 

Combs, Roy, 24:2:5, 8, 9. 

Condie, Malcolm, 24:1:3, 4. 

Constitutional Convention, 24:2:28-30. 

Converse, A. R., 24:2:20. 

Converse County, creation of, 24:2:21. 

Converse County News, 24:2:39. 

Converse County Press, 24:2:43, 47. 

Converse, Mrs. N. Jesse, gift of estate, 24:1:101. 

Cook, Josiah, 24:2:82, 87, 89. 

Cook, T. S., 24:2:3. 

Cope, E. B., 24:1:4. 

Copper Mountain, 24:2:96. 

Cottrell, Harvey, 24:1:3. 

Coulthard, J. H. "Bud", 24:1:4. 

County Defense Councils, 24:1:4, 5; financing of, 8. 

Crawford, Mr , 24:1:30, 49. 

Creath, Rev. Ulysses, 24:2:100-101. 

Cromer, Judge Bryant S., 24:1:4. 

Crow, I. R., 24:2:39, 41. 

Curtis, Walter B., 24:2:84. 

Daggett, Thomas F., 24:2:77, 83, 84. 

Dances, early in Douglas, 24:1:87. 

Darnells, Dick, 24:2:114. 

Darnells, Ike, 24:2:114. 

Darr, David L., 24:2:85, 86. 

Davidson, Leslie, 24:2:88. 

Davis, Annie Paynter Marshall, 24:2:116. 

Davis, E. E., 24:1:4. 

Davis, Frances A. (Mrs. Martin A. Tisdale), 24:2:116. 

Davis, Francis Robins, 24:2:117. 

Davis, Henry Winter (Hard Winter), 24:2:116. 

Davis, Henry Winter. 24:2:117. 

Davis, James, 24:1:3. 

Davis, Mark Jay, 24:2:117. 

Days of the Open Range, The, (poem), by Richard Brackenbury, 24:1: 

Defense appropriation, 24:1:3, 4. 
Defense corps assignments, 24:1:8. 
Democratic Leader, 24:1:68. 
Denney, J. L., 24:2:77. 
Denver, Colorado, 24:1:25, 41. 

INDEX 133 

Derrick, 24:2:45. 
Deuel, E. Floyd, 24:1:4. 
Dickson, Rev. Alvin R., 24:2:105. 

Dilworth, , editor, 24:2:39. 

Dobbins, Gertrude Wyoming, gift of, 24:1:101. 

Doty, D. D., gift of, 24:1:101. 

Douglas Advertiser, 24:2:39, 41, 43, 47. 

Douglas Graphic, 24:2:39, 42, 43, 47. 

Douglas in 1900, a photo, 24:2:2; lawns and trees in Douglas, a photo, 

Douglas Republican, 24:2:39, 41-42, 43, 47. 
Douglas Wheel Club, 24:2:11. 
Douglas Whist Club, 24:2:10-11. 

Douglas, Wyoming, early history, 24:1:76-88; 24:2:14-27. 
"Driftwood Jim" McCloud, 24:2:91. 
Drummond, H. R., 24:2:70. 
Dunning, Robert, 24:2:33-34. 
Dyer House, 24:1:4. 

Earle, Mary Bent, 24:1:27, 30, 36, 37, 40, 41, 45. 
Earle, Willie, 24:1:27, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 45. 
Education, early in Douglas, 24:1:87. 
Elias, Claude, 24:1:5. 
Elk Mountain, 24:1:38, 39. 
Ellis, Josh, 24:2:83, 85. 

Ellsworth, Ora, 24:1:26, 29, 30, 32, 34, 36, 42. 
Emblem Bench, 24:2:88. 
Emerson, Dr. Paul W., gift of, 24:2:119. 

Emigrants on Overland Trail, 1882, 24:1:28, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 

Enterline, , 24:2:89-90. 

Eshelman, Rev. Edwin F., 24:2:110-111. 
Esmay, Gen. R. L., 24:1:2, 3, 4, 13. 
Evanston, Wyoming, 24:1:25, 26. 
Everett, Rev. Ernest T., 24:2:88. 

Fabian, Josephine C, gift of, 24:1:102. 

Facinelli, Mrs. Catherina, 24:2:115. 

Farming in Nebraska, 24:1:42, 43, 44, 45. 

Fautin, Reed, review of The North American Buffalo by Franklin 

Gilbert Roe, 24:1:93-95. 
Fay, Bert, 24:2:7. 
Fay, Elizabeth Barrow, 24:2:6-7. 
Fenton, Rev. Charles E., 24:2:96. 
Fenton, J. J., 24:2:92, 93. 
Ferry on Big Horn River, 24:2:81. 
Fetterman, Wyoming, 24:1:77, 78. 
Fetterman Hospital Association, 24:1:78. 
Finfrock, J. H., 24:1:64. 
Flannery, Mrs. L. G., 24:2:114. 
Fleanor, Jim, 24:2:114. 
Forest fire fighters, 24:1:16. 
Fort Fetterman, 24:1:23, 69, 70, 73-76. 
Fort Halleck, 24:1:39, 40. 
Fort D. A. Russell, 24:1:41. 
Fort Sanders, 24:1:41. 
Fox, Willard, gift of, 24:1:101, 24:2:118. 
Franc, Otto, ranch of, 24:2:76. 


Frederick, Charles, 24:2:114. 

Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad, 24:1:69, 70. 

Friend, John C, 24:2:37. 

Frisby, J. E., 24:2:91. 

Fuller, E. O., gift of, 24:1:102. 

Gallatin, Col. Goelet, 24:1:3. 

Garland, Fred, 24:2:92. 

Garland, Wyoming, established, 24:2:87. 

Garrett, George, 24:1:66. 

Garver, Carl, 24:2:19. 

Gebhart, O. T. (Tom), 24:2:82. 

Gebhart, Mrs. Sallie, 24:2:84. 

Germania Bench, 24:2:88. 

GettiiT My Soul Into Shape, poem, by M. B. Rhodes, 24:2:112. 

Gibbs, Dorothy Bell, 24:2:117. 

Gillam, Dr. C. L., 24:2:92. 

Gillespie, A. S., review of Back Trailing on Open Range by Luke D. 

Sweetman, 24:1:98-100. 
Gillespie, Rev. John H., 24:2:98. 
Glenrock Graphic, 24:2:42. 
Goat Mountain, 24:1:39. 
Goose Egg Ranch, 24:1:75. 
Gough, Rev. Henry D., 24:2:98. 
Gould, Nebraska, 24:1:46. 
Gorman, Jim, 24:2:89, 91, 92. 
Gorman, Maggie, 24:2:89, 92. 
Gorman, Tom, murder of, 24:2:89. 
Graham, Col. W. A., The Story of the Little Big Horn, reviewed by A. 

M. Pence, 24:2:120-122. 
Grand Island, Nebraska, 24:1:25. 
Granger, Wyoming, 24:1:32. 
Great Rascal, The, by Jay Monaghan, reviewed by Rose Mary Malone, 

Green River, Wyoming, 24:1:32, 33. 
Green, Tom, 24:2:114. 
Gregg, Rev. David A., 24:2:106-107. 
Greybull, Wyoming, founded, 24:2:97. 
Grove, Rev. Samuel A. C, 24:2:107. 

Hale, Dorothy, gift of, 24:1:101. 

Hale, Sheriff D. N., 24:2:89, 93. 

Hale, Dr. R. W., 24:2:81. 

Hall, Tom, 24:1:4. 

Halstead, Sanford S., 24:2:91. 

Hamilton, W. T., My Sixty Years on the Plains, reviewed by Frances 
Seely Webb, 24:1:96-98. 

Ham's Fork, 24:1:32. 

Hanover Canal, 24:2:89. 

Harding, Cynthia, 24:1:57. 

Harrington, Mrs. J. M., gift of, 24:2:119. 

Harris, Burton, review of Joe Meek, the Merry Mountain Man; a Bi- 
ography by Stanley Vestal, 24:2:126-128. 

Harrison, President, 24:2:27. 

Harrison, William H., 24:1:4. 

Hay, native, 24:1:40. 

Hayden, Dudley, 24:1:5. 

Hayford, Dr. J. H., 24:2:37. 

INDEX 135 

Hays, M. L., 24:1:14. 

Head, Bob, 24:1:66. 

Heilman, George A., 24:1:4. 

Henderson, Robert L., Jr., 24:2:110. 

Herrington, Benjamin F., 24: 1: 29. 

Herrington, George Squires, Ed., Levancia Bent's Diary of a Sheep 
Drive, Evanston, Wyoming, to Kearney, Nebraska, 1882, 24:1:24- 
51; biography, 24. 

Herrington, George Squires, Sr., 24:1:29. 

Hieb, David L., 24:2:114. 

Hilliard, Wyoming, 24:1:29, 30. 

Hinckley, Mary Bradford, 24:2:117. 

Hirst, Byron, 24:1:11, 14. 

Historical Department, move to new quarters, 24:2:113. 

Hitchcock, , Secretary of Interior, 24:2:24, 26. 

Hofmann, Rudolph, 24:1:4. 

Holliday, W. A., 24:1:64. 

Homesteaders, 24:1:75. 

Homsher, Lola M., gift of, 24:2:114. 

Homsley, Mary E., memorial services for, 24:2:114. 

Honig, Louis O., gift of, 24:1:102. 

Hoover, Mrs. Agnes L., murder of, 24:2:87-88, 89. 

Hoover, Maude, 24:2:92. 

Hoover, Sam, 24:1:3, 4. 

Horr, Charles W., 24:2:3. 

Horse thieves, 24:1:49. 

Houser, George O., 24:1:3, 4, 12, 13. 

Hubbard, Elbert, 24:2:68-69. 

Hudson, Ruth, review of Wyomingana: Two Bibliographies by Rose 
Mary Malone, 24:1:89-91; 24:2:13. 

Hughes, Charles J., 24:1:3, 4. 

Hughes, Rev. E. P., 24:2:88, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94-95. 

Humphrey, Charles, gift of, 24:2:118. 

Hunt, Gov. L. C, 24:1:5, 6, 9, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. 

Hunter, Mrs. Gertrude (Pennell, Quiner), 24:2:84. 

Hunter, Louis C, Steamboats on the Western Rivers, reviewed by Al- 
ton B. Oviatt, 24:1:91-93. 

Hunton, Mrs. E. Deane, gift of, 24:1:101. 

Hurwitz, Reva, 24:1:15. 

Hutchison, Mrs. Maude, 24:2:7. 

Iconoclast, 24:2:68-69. 

I.O.O.F., Basin, 24:2:90. 

Indians Battlefields, 24:1:38, 39, 43; free train passes, 30-31; outbreak 

in Nebraska, 42, 44; in southeastern Wyoming, 1882, 30, 31. 
Interocean Hotel, 24:1:41. 
Irish in Wyoming, 24:1:28. 
Irvine, W. C, 24:2:26, 29, 30. 

Japanese paper balloons, 24:1:20-22. 

Jeffrey, Dr. C. W., 24:1:3, 4. 

Jenkins, Perry, gift of, 24:1:102. 

Jesurun, Dr., 24:2:9-10. 

Joe Meek, The Merry Mountain Man, a Bioarraphy, by Stanley Vestal, 

reviewed by Burton Harris, 24:2:126-128. 
Johnson County War, 24:2:31, 33-34, 77, 116. 
Johnson, George, 24:1:4. 
Johnson, Lucilla, 24:2:94. 


Johnson. William F.. 24:2:81-82. 94. 105. 
Jones. Rev. John ML, 24:2:93. 
Jones. Monte. 24:1:4. 
Jones. Rev. Ralph M., 24:2:101-102. 
Jones. William. 24:2:116. 

Judkins. Charles F.. first Basin postmaster. 24:2:84. 
Julesburg, Colorado. 24:1:43. 

Journalism, early in Wyoming. See Merris C. Barrow. Sagebrush 
Philosopher and Journalist. 

Kearnev. Nebraska. 24:1:25. 

Keegan. J. Clvde. 24:2:109. 

Keller. Harrv. 24:1:3, 4. 

Keith. Dr. M. C. 24:1:3. 

Keiser. Mr. and Mrs. Henry W., 24:2:110. 

Kemmis. Billy. 24:1:66. 

Kenniston postal clerk, 24:1:64. 

Kemvorthv. Bob. gift of. 24:1:101. 
Kershner. C. B.. 24:2:92. 

Kienzle. Mrs. Winifred S.. gift of. 24:2:114. 
Kimball. E. H.. 24:1:77: 24:2:39. 40. 41. 42. 45-46. 
Kimball. W. S.. 24:2:115. 
King, C. H.. 24:1:76. 86. 
King, J. B.. 24:2:91. 
Kingsford. More, 24:1:66. 
Kinnear. Mrs. Isabella. 24:2:116. 
Kinsley. H. Glen. 24:1:3. 4. 
Kirbv. Wvoming, 24:2:97. 
Klein. Harry. 24:1:4. 

Kuhlman. Charles, Legend into Historv, reviewed bv A. M. Pence. 

Lacev. Judge, 24:2:20. 

Laird. Leroy. 24:1:3, 4. 

Land problems. 24:2:23. 

Laramie Boomerang, 24:1:65-67. 

Laramie Daily Times, 24:1:64. 65. 

Laramie Plains, 24:1:40. 

Laramie. Wyoming. 24:1:34. 40. 41. 

Larsen. Mangus, 24:2:114. 

Larson. John. 24:2:81. 

Larson. T. A.. Wyoming's Civilian Defense in World War II, 24:1:2- 

22: biography. 2. 
LeClaire. Edmo. 24:2:91. 

Lee. Mr 24:1:43. 

Legend Into Historv bv Charles Kuhlman, reviewed bv A. M. Pence. 

Legislature of 1895. 24:2:35: of 1897. 36. 
Lewis. William. 24:2:81. 
Levancia Bent's Diary of a Sheep Drive, Evanston, Wyoming, to 

Kearnev, Nebraska, 1882, edited bv George Squires Herrington, 

Limes, Rev. John L., 24:2:84-85. 
Linford, Ernest, 24:1-21. 
Linford, Velma, 24:1:54. 
Linnabary, Mrs. Nora, 24:2:94. 
Liscoe's ranch, 24:1:37. 
Little Laramie community, 24:1:40. 

INDEX 137 

London, Nebraska, 24:1:60. 
Lovell, Henry C, ranch of, 24:2:76. 
Ludin, J. F., 24:2:37. 
Lusk, F. S., 24:1:79. 
Lusk Herald, 24:2:44-45. 

Mackenzie, C. F., 24:2:82. 

MacLeod, R. E., 24:1:3, 4. 

Magill, Joseph A., 24:2:82. 

Maier, Otto, 24:2:82. 

Malone, Rose Mary, Wyomingana: Two Bibliographies reviewed bv 

Ruth Hudson, 24:1:89-91; review of The Great Rascal by Jav 

Monaghan, 24:2:124-126. 
Manderson, Wyoming, 24:2:97. 
Marble, Fred, gift of, 24:2:113. 
Maret, M. Glen, 24:1:4. 
Marshall, Lt. Col. Jesse E., 24:1:21. 
Martin, Rev. Fred W., 24:2:108-109. 
Mason, C. W., 24:2:81, 94. 

Masonic Lodge of Basin, 24:2:89, 103; of Douglas, 11. 
Maverick Bank of Douglas, 24:1:81. 
Maxwell, Nebraska, 24:1:45. 

Mayes, , editor, 24:2:45. 

McCloud, Jim, 24:2:91. 

McCraken, Tracy S., 24:1:9. 

McCray, George H., 24:2:86. 

McCreery, Mrs. Alice Richards, gift of, 24:1:101. 

McFarland, W. F., 24:2:18. 

Mcintosh, Mildred, 24:2:114. 

McKay, H. A., 24:1:4. 

McKeehan, Rev. James B., 24:2:93-94. 

McMahan, Mrs. Virginia, 24:2:94, 95. 

McWethy, Lee A., 24:1:4. 

Mead, Bishop Charles L., 24:2:104. 

Mead, George S., 24:2:92. 

Mecklem, George N., 24:2:82. 

Mecum, Rev. E. W., 24:2:95. 

Medicine Bow River, 24:1:23. 

Medicine Bow, Wyoming, 24:1:40. 

Meeteetse News, 24:2:9, 95. 

Merris C. Barrow: Sagebrush Philosopher and Journalist bv Margaret 

L. Prine, 24:1:53-88; 24:2:3-72. 
Mesa Mayo Range, Colorado, 24:1:23. 
Methodist Church history. See The Road of Yesteryear. 
Methodist Church, Basin, Dedicated July 15, 1906, a photo, 24:2:73. 
Methodist Church of Basin, location, 24:2:90; erection of first, 91. 

95; parsonage, 91; sold, 103; subscriptions for new church, 102. 

103; dedication of, 97, 104; debt, 104, 106-107, 108; gifts to, 109- 

111; remodeling of, 110; Presbyterians unite with, 105. 
Methodist Church of Cody, 24:2:89; of Otto, 78-79; of Worland, 98. 
Methodist field in Wyoming, jurisdiction of Colorado Conference, 

24:2:78; Wyoming State Conference, 78. 
Methvin, Rev. William T., 24:2:105. 
Metz, Cornelia (Mrs. Percy W.), 24:2:110, 113. 
Minor, Philip, 24:2:95. 
Moffett, L. L., 24:2:88. 
Mokler, A. J., 24:2, 3, 38. 
Monaghan, Jay, The Great Rascal, reviewed by Rose Mary Malone. 



Mondell, Frank, 24:2:26. 
Montabe, Marie, gift of, 24:1:102. 
Moonlight, Governor, 24:2:20. 
Morgan, Nicholas G., gift of, 24:1:102. 
Morgan, O. C., 24:2:87. 

Mormon migration into Big Horn Basin, 24:2:87. 
Morrison, W. W., 24:2:114; gift of, 118, 119. 
Mort, Tom, 24:2:114. 
Mosley and Blaisdell Saloon, 24:1:77. 
Moudy, Mrs. Mable, 24:2:117. 
Mountain fever, 24:1:28, 84. 
Moyer, Kem, 24:1:21. 
Mulhern, Jimmie, 24:1:66. 
Murphy, Madelene Marshall, 24:2:117. 

My Sixty Years on the Plains by W. T. Hamilton, reviewed by Frances 
Seely Webb, 24:1:96-98. 

National Guard, 24:1:3; in Basin, 24:2:90. 

Natrona Tribune, 24:2:9. 

Nelson, Alice Downey, gift of, 24:1:102. 

Nelson, Dr. Aven, 24:2:115. 

Newspapers. See Merris C. Barrow; Sagebrush Philosopher and 

Nicholsville, Wyoming, 24:1:79. 
Nicklos, C. F., gift of, 24:2:114. 
Nicklos, Mrs. C. F., 24:2:110. 
North American Buffalo, The, by Franklin Gilbert Roe, reviewed by 

Reed W. Fautin, 24:1:93-95. 
North Platte City, Nebraska, 24:1:45. 

Northern Pacific Railroad, Rock Creek Branch, 24:2:85. 
Northwestern Railroad, 24:2:96. 
Nye, Bill (Edgar Wilson), 24:1:65, 66; 24:2:37. 

Office of Civilian Defense, 24:1:2, 6, 10, 17, 18, 20. 
Olinger, Ralph, 24:1:5. 
Olivereau family, 24:1:86. 

Oil discovery at Bonanza, 24:2:80; near Basin, 95, 96. 
O'Marr, Louis J., 24:1:4. 
Osborne, Gov. John E., 24:2:34, 77. 
Otto Courier, 24:2:83. 
Overton, Nebraska, 24:1:46. 

Oviatt, Alton B., review of Steamboats on the Western Rivers by 
Louis C. Hunter, 24:1:91-93. 

Patten, James I., 24:2:82. 

Patterson, A. Verne, 24:1:4. 

Payne, Henry (Dad), 24:2:86. 

Peabody, A. S., 24:1:65. 

Pearl Harbor, 24:1:5, 6, 15. 

Pearson, Fred N., 24:2:97. 

Pease, Al, 24:2:82, 86, 95. 

Pease, L. D., 24:1:64; 24:2:20. 

Pence, A. M., review of The Story of the Little Big Horn by Col. W. 

A. Graham and Legend Into Historv by Charles Kuhlman, 24:2: 

Pence, Mr. and Mrs. A. M., 24:2:114; gift of, 114. 
Penman, W. B., 24:1:4. 

INDEX 139 

Peters, C. C, 24:2:109. 

Peterson, Eli, 24:2:3, 12. 

Peyton, Mrs. Pauline, gift of, 24:1:101. 

Philistine, 24:2:68-69. 

Phillips, Arthur, 24:2:44. 

Phillips and Son, 24:2:96. 

Piedmont, Wyoming, 24:1:31. 

Piety Hill, 24:1:79. 

Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, 24:1:42. 

Pioneer Townsite Co., 24:1:76. 

Platte River, 24:1:43. 

Plum Creek, Nebraska, 24:1:46. 

Poage, Mr , 24:1:30, 36, 37, 38, 49. 

Pollard, Harry, 24:1:86. 

Pollard, Mrs. Harry, 24:1:87. 

Potter, Justice C. N., 24:2:92. 

Potter, R. F. Jr., land office clerk, 24:2:25-26. 

Poverty Flat, 24:1:79. 

Powell, Jim, 24:2:51-52. 

Prescott, Daniel, 24:1:85. 

Price, C. Earl, 24:2:92. 

Priest, Polly, 24:1:25. 

Prine, Margaret L., Merris C. Barrow: Sagebrush Philosopher and 

Journalist, 24:1:53-88, 24:2:3-72; biography, 24:1:53. 
Pryde, George B., gift of, 24:2:114. 

Radcliffe, Mattie, 24:2:99. 

Railroads: excursion tickets, Cheyenne to Denver, 24:1:41. 

Rattlesnakes, 24:1:42, 43. 

Rawlins, Wyoming, 24:1:37. 

Ray, (Nick), 24:2:33. 

Reckling, Dr. Walter E., 24:1:4, 9. 

Reese, Henry, 24:2:44. 

Reno, T. Lee, 24:1:4. 

Repath, "Dick", 24:2:35. 

Rhodes, M. B., The Road of Yesteryear, 24:2:73-112; The Street 

Called Aldersgate, a poem, 73; Gettin' My Soul Into Shape, a 

poem, 112; biography, 73; 89; gift of, 119. 
Rhodes, Mrs. M. B., gift of, 24:2:119. 
Ribbon Canyon, 24:2:83. 
Rice, A., 24:1:86; 24:2:5, 10, 11, 12, 62. 
Rice, Clarke P., 24:2:114. 
Rice, Cora, 24:1:86. 

Richards, DeForest, 24:2:29, 39, 42, 43. 
Richards, Homer, 24:1:5. 
Richards, W. A., U.S. Land Commissioner, 24:2:24-25, 26. 

Richardson, , 24:2:82. 

Richardson, Mrs. J. William, gift of, 24:2:118. 

Richardson, Warren, 24:1:3, 4; gift of, 102. 

Richardson, Warren family, gift of, 24:2:118. 

Riddick, Rev. T. Stacy, 24:2:75, 109-110. 

Ridgely, Hilliard S., 24:2:91. 

Rinehart, Dan H., 24:2:84. 

Riner, John A., 24:2:20. 

Roach, H. N., gift of, 24:2:114. 

Road of Yesteryear, The, by M. B. Rhodes, 24:2:73-112. 

Roberts, C. D., 24:1:4. 

Robertson, C. F., 24:2:89. 


Robertson, Oscar, 24:2:83. 

Rock River trail, 24:1:81. 

Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Co., 24:2:17. 

Rodenbush, William, gift of, 24:2:119. 

Rogers, Barnett G., 24:2:81. 

Rogers, Edmund B., 24:1:5. 

Rogers, Mrs. Nina, 24:2:94. 

Roe, Franklin Gilbert, The North American Buffalo reviewed by Reed 

Fautin, 24:1:93-95. 
Rollins, H. M.. 24:1:17. 
Rose, Rev., 24:2:108. 
Roseboom, Jesse, gift of, 24:1:101. 
Roundup in Big Horn Basin, 1883; 24:2:77. 
Rowdy West, 24:1:77, 84; 24:2:39-41, 43, 47. 
'Roys, Miss Alby E., gift of, 24:2:118. 
Rue, Frank I., 24:2:88, 89. 
Rugg, Arthur, 24:1:4. 
Rupp, A. G., 24:2:92. 

Sabotage, defense against, 24:1:7. 

Sagebrush Philosophy, 24:2:54-71; first issue, 55; contents, 57-58, 

62-71; promotion of, 58-62; compared to Iconoclast and Philistine, 

68-69; discontinued, 71. 
Salt Lake City, Utah, 24:1:25. 

Sandercock, , 24:2:114. 

Sargent, Mrs. Helen, gift of, 24:2:118. 

Schmitt, Martin, Trail Driving Days, reviewed by Agnes Wright 

Spring, 24:2:122-124. 
Searight Bros., ranch, 24:1:75. 
Seventh Air Warning Center, 24:1:12. 
Shaw, Ernest F., 24:1:3, 8, 10. 
Shawnee siding, 24:1:85. 
Shepherd, Rev. Homer E., 24:2:99. 
Sheep, dipping of, 24:1:29, 30; trailing in 1882, 24-51; fording river, 

33, 38. 
Sheridan Post, 24:2:9. 
Shingle, Dr. J. D., gift of, 24:1:101. 
Shoshone Buffalo Dance painting, 24:2:117. 
Sidney, Nebraska, 24:1:42. 
Simpson, Milward, 24:1:4, 17. 
Slack, E. A., 24:2:37. 
Smith, Mr., geologist, 24:1:33. 
Smith, C. C, 24:2:91. 
Smith, George, 24:2:25. 

Smith, Gov. Nels H., 24:1:3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 16. 
Smith, William L., 24:2:84. 
Snyder, Abraham L., 24:2:82. 
Sorg, Mike, gift of, 24:2:119. 
Spectacle Ranch, 24:2:116. 
Spencer, Harvey J., 24:2:104. 
Spring, Agnes Wright, 24:2:116, review of Trail Driving Days by Dee 

Brown and Martin Schmitt, 122-124. 
Squires, Asher, 24:1:25. 

Squires, Emeline Bent, 24:1:26, 27, 28. 32, 33, 35, 37, 45, 47. 
Squires, George Jackson, 24:1:24-51. 
Squires, Grace, 24:1:27, 29, 30, 35, 39, 45, 49-50. 
Squires, John, 24:1:26, 30, 32, 36, 38, 41, 44, 45, 50, 51. 
Staley, William, 24:2:89. 
Stanfield, Don, gift of, 24:2:118. 

INDEX 141 

State Defense Council, 24:1:3, 4, 6, 7, 17, 18-19, 20; report of 1942, 
9-10; report of 1943, 12; report of 1944, 16, 18; ten point pro- 
gram, 7. 

State Department of Education, 24:1:17. 

State Guard, 24:1:3, 4, 5, 6. 

Statehood celebration in Douglas, 24:2:30-31. 

Steffen, Ben, 24:2:3. 

Steffen, J. J., 24:2:20. 

St. Clair, Lynn, gift of, 24:1:102. 

Steamboats on the Western Rivers by Louis C. Hunter, reviewed 
by Alton B. Oviatt, 24:1:91-93. 

Stimson, Joseph E., gift of, 24:1:101; biography of, 24:2:115; col- 
lection of negatives, 113-114. 

Stinking Water River, 24:2:81; changed to Shoshone, 87. 

Stitzer, Frank A., 24:2:38. 

Stock raising, costs of, 1882, 24:1:25. 

Storey, E. T., 24:1:4. 

Storey, George, 24:1:10. 

Story of the Little Big Horn, The, by Col. W. A. Graham, reviewed 
by A. M. Pence, 24:2:120-122. 

Stotts, Judge, J. L., 24:2:89-90. 

Street Called Aldersgate, poem, by M. B. Rhodes, 24:2:73. 

Strong, Mrs. Madge E., gift of, 24:1:101. 

Sweetman, Luke D., Baek Trailing on Open Range, reviewed by A. S. 
Gillespie and Russell Thorp, 24:1:98-100. 

Tarbill, Dr. E. E., 24:2:94. 

Tate, Sam, 24:1:14. 

Taylor, Robert, 24:1:36, 37, 38. 

Tecumseh, Nebraska, 24:1:62. 

Tecumseh Chieftain, 24:1:63. 

Telephone line in Big Horn Basin, 24:2:88, 91. 

Thermopolis, Wyoming, 24:2:82. 

Thompson, J. C, Cheyenne attorney, 24:2:28. 

Thompson, John Charles, 24:2:115. 

Thompson, Rev. Lewis C, 24:2:73, 78-79, 103. 

Thomson, E. Keith, gift of, 24:2:114. 

Thorp, Russell, review of Back Trailing on Open Range by Luke D. 

Sweetman, 24:1:98-100; gift of, 102. 
Tillard Canal, 24:2:81. 
Tillard, Emma (Curtis), 24:2:84. 
Tillard, John M., 24:2:81, 85. 
Tisdale, Martin Allison, 24:2:116. 
Tisdale, Mrs. Martin A., 24:2:116-117. 
Tisdale, Robins Davis, 24:2:117. 
Tisdale, Thomas Martin, 24:2:117. 
Toland, Rev. H. A., 24:2:98. 
Torchlight Field, 24:2:95. 
Trail Driving Days by Dee Brown and Martin Schmitt, reviewed by 

Agnes Wright Spring, 24:2:122-124. 
Turpin, John, 24:1:28, 29. 
Typhoid fever, 24:1:84-85. 

Van Camp, Ira L., 24:2:89. 

Vance, A. J., 24:2:18. 

Vandevanter, Justice Willis M., 24:2:84. 

Van Orsdel, Attorney-General, 24:2:20. 

Veeder, J. S., 24:1:16. 


Vestal, Stanley, Joe Meek, The Merry Mountain Man; a Biography, 

reviewed by Burton Harris, 24:2:126-128. 
Vine, James, 24:1:64. 
Volunteer defense workers, registration of, 24:1:7-8. 

Wadsworth, Inspector, 24:2:25. 

Wadsworth, Mrs. Frank, gift of, 24:1:102. 

Wakeman, E. E., 24:1:5. 

Walker, Dr. M. B., 24:1:4. 

Walker, W. D., 24:1:16. 

Walters, Joseph P., murder by, 24:2:88, 89, 92. 

Ware, Rev. C. Bennett, 24:2:107. 

Warren, Francis E., 24:2:26, 27-28, 33, 35. 

Washakie, Charles, 24:2:117. 

Washakie, Ellen Hereford, 24:2:117. 

Wattles, , 24:1:76. 

Watts, Wilber J., 24:1:5. 

Webb, Frances Seely, review of My Sixty Years on the Plains by W. 

T. Hamilton, 24:1:96-98. 
Webster, Rev. Rufus D., 24:2:107-108. 
Wells, Ed., 24:2:25, 26. 
Wentworth, Edward N., 24:1:24, 36. 
Weppner, Joe, 24:2:114. 
Werntz, Dr. Ed S., 24:1:4. 
West, Raymond B., 24:2:99. 
Whitaker, Mrs. John, 24:2:116. 
White, Rev. Edward, 24:2:109. 
Wickwire, B. F., 24:2:98. 
Wiker, W. K., 24:2:3, 7. 
Wiley Ditch, 24:2:88. 
Wiley, Solon L., 24:2:88. 
Wilhelm, D. C, 24:2:115. 
Wilkerson, W. F., 24:1:4. 
Williams, Rev. James L., 24:2:105. 
Williams, Johnny, 24:2:26. 

Wilson, Dr , 24:1:85; 24:2:42. 

Winter of 1886-1887, 24:1:85-87; 24:2:77. 

Wise, G. W., 24:1:4. 

Women's Society of Christian Service, 24:2:110. 

Wood, Frank S., 24:2:81. 

Woodard, Rev. George, 24:2:114. 

Wool production center, 24:1:24. 

Worland, C. H. (Dad), 24:2:77. 

Worland, Wyoming, 24:2:97. 

World War II, 24:1:2. 

Wunderlich, Rev. August C, 24:2:88. 

Wurgler, Rev. Nelson A., 24:2:106. 

Wyoming Central Railroad Co., 24:1:70, 78, 85, 87. 

Wyoming Civilian Defense in World War II by T. A. Larson, 24:1:2-22. 

Wyoming Gas Co., 24:2:99. 

Wyoming Press Association, 24:2:37. 

Wyoming Tribune, 24:1:67-68 

Wyoming: Two Bibliographies by Rose Mary Malone, reviewed by 

Ruth Hudson, 24:1:89-91. 
Wyoming Zephyrs by the Editor, 24:2:113-119. 

Yellowstone National Park, 24:1:68. 
Yoder, Dr. Franklin, gift of, 24:2:119. 

INDEX 143 

Young, Brigham, family carriage, 24:1:25, 40, 50. 

Zada, Wyoming, 24:2:97. 

Zane, , 24:2:82. 

Zaring, C. A., 24:2:89, 91. 
Zoble, Edwin J., 24:1:3, 4. 


The Wyoming State Historical Department has as its function the 
collection and preservation of the record of the people of Wyoming. 
It maintains a historical library, a museum and the state archives. 

The aid of the citizens of Wyoming is solicited in the carrying out 
of its function. The Department is anxious to secure and preserve 
records and materials now in private hands where they cannot be 
long preserved. Such records and materials include: 

Biographical materials of pioneers: diaries, letters, account books, 
autobiographical accounts. 

Business records of industries of the State: livestock, mining, 
agriculture, railroads, manufacturers, merchants, small business 
establishments, and of professional men as bankers, lawyers, phy- 
sicians, dentists, ministers, and educators. 

Private records of individual citizens, such as correspondence, 
manuscript materials and scrapbooks. 

Records of organizations active in the religious, educational, social, 
economic and political life of the State, including their publications 
such as yearbooks and reports. 

Manuscript and printed articles on towns, counties, and any sig- 
nificant topic dealing with the history of the State. 

Early newspapers, maps, pictures, pamphlets, and books on west- 
ern subjects. 

Current publications by individuals or organizations throughout 
the State. 

Museum materials with historical significance: early equipment, 
Indian artifacts, relics dealing with the activities of persons in Wyo- 
ming and with special events in the State's history. 


Date Due 





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