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Grace Raymond Hebard 

"S 5o. lOth Street 

^nnalg of OTpomins 


Vol. 3 

JULY, 1925 

No. 1 




CONTENTS ^'i^-u 

The Freighting Business A. W. H«gfard j 

Some Reeollections of An Old Freighter T. S. Garrett {■' 

Letter Bill Nye 

Bill Nye O. N. Gibson 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 




Annals of OTpoming 

Vol. 3 JULY, 1925 No. 1 

CONTENTS H^i¥\^^^ 

The Freighting Business -A. W. Btaggurd — 

Some Eecollections of An Old Freighter T. S. Garrett 

Letter Bill Nye 

Bill Nye -— O. N. Gibson 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Rt. Rev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. R. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margery Ross Cody 

Mrs. E. T. Raymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume IIL Number L July, 192.5 


Ju.V l9R5-jLAne 19R9 ^. ^2. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 

Annals of OTpoming 

Vol. 3 JULY, 1925 No. 1 


As early as 1856 freighting supplies to the Government Posts on the 
Plains with ox teams was a very extensive business. The Plains so called 
included all the country West of Missouri Eiver to the Eocky Mountains 
on West to the Pacific Coast — freighting was more than doubled in 1859 
on the discovery of gold in the Pike 's Peak Country and throughout the 
Eocky Mountains from 1860 the business became immense; one traveling 
the roads would scarcely be out of sight of teams at any time during 
green grass season. Such was the case on most all the roads leading 
across the Plains, especially the route up the South Platte Eiver and 
especially West of, and on above the junctions of the roads from Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, Atchison, Kansas, St. Joseph, Missouri, Nebraska City 
and Omaha, Nebraska. The main junction was 10 miles below old Fort 
Kearney, Nebraska. Up to 1868 the business became very general and 
very profiitable — prices for hauling freight depended on the bulk, bulkey 
freight as high as $2.50 to $4.00 per 100 pounds for 100 miles heavy 
freight as high as $1.50 to $2.50 per 100 pounds per 100 miles — teams have 
been known to pay for themselves in a trip, and it necessarily should 
pay well, for the several tribes of Indians were very troublesome after 
1864, and during that year the freighters and travelers were attacked 
on some part of "each road almost daily the North and South Platte 
Eoutes, the Smokey Hill route and the Arkansas or Southpass route," 
on each of those routes the travelers suffered very much. Indians would 
dash upon a train from their concealment and fire as they made a circle 
and dash out of sight and repeat such dashes as long as they had any 
hope of success, occsionally killing or wounding herders and men at the 
train and running off stock; many a train has been left without stock 
to move it for weeks. Often trains would travel double file for safety — 
all trains have a right and left wing — a full train consisted of 26 wagons; 
in corralling the cattle on the right wing "Cattle were harnessed to pass 
to the right of the wagon in front placing the near front wheel in two 
to five feet of the off hind wheel thereby making with the left wing, 
corralling in the same way each making a half circle, 2 half circles 
are formed in which to yoke up the cattle — or mules and in case of an at- 
tack by Indians the wagon boss will reverse the two wings by corralling 
each wing on opposite sides reversing them and the cattle being ironed 
fast on the inside of carroU thus protecting the stock and men from the 
fire of the Indians — often men have been killed or wounded and stock 


killed, though many an attack has been repulsed so promptly and vigor- 
ously that Indians would soon withdraw; it was customary for each 
teamster to have his gun and ammunition strapped on the side of his 
wagon and ready at all times. I was with my cattle train attacked sev- 
eral times by Indians on the plains but only twice that they gave me 
anything of a contested battle; one of those times was in 1864 near 
O 'Fallon's Bluffs on South Platte. I had my cattle corralled on the in- 
side of corrall and after 5 hours the redskins withdrew with but little 
damage to us, save three steers. We were firm in the belief that we killed 
or wounded 3 Indians but who was carried off by their friends — another 
time I with my train was attacked near Bunker Hill Station on the road 
from Ft. Hastings to Fort Hayes, Kansas. My men having their guns 
handy and prompt use of them after corralling with cattle inside — caused 
the Eeds to withdraw after making 3 dashes leaving us unharmed. — A. 
W. Haygood. 


About fifty years ago, in company with ray boy chum, and man 
friend, Daniel Weller, I left Michigan, bound for the Eocky Mountains. 
My brother, then living in Kansas, had wrtten me that he was about to 
leave that State; having been swindled out of every thing he had through 
buying a farm on the Neosho river. 

Said farm having proved to be, a part of said river, for about six 
weeks of the year. On hearng from me, that I would soon be starting 
west, he proposed that we meet at Lincoln, Nebraska, and outfitted there 
for a trip across the plains. As an outcome of this arrangement, the 
three of us left Lincoln with a four horse team, bound for Wyoming. 
About one hundred and fifty miles out from Lincoln, we fell in with an 
emigrant train headed for the State of Washington. The men of the 
party, held a meeting, and voted to allow us to join the train, on con- 
dition that we do our share of guard duty, obey the Captain, and con- 
form to the rules, and regulations governing the outfit. Well we had no 
better sense than to join them. We could have made much l)etter time, 
and kept our stock in better condition, if we had continued to travel by 
ourselves. This train was made up of forty wagons, with a correspond- 
ing number of families. Every night before going to bed, the men would 
liring in their stock, and lock them to the wagon wheels. We either 
liobbled our horses, or picketed them out, and left them out through the 
night. Some of the people in the train, were seventh day Advents, some 
of them were Sunday people, and some didn't seem to have any religion, 
so that you could notice it. The Advents wouldn't travel on Saturday, 
and the Sunday people wouldn't travel on Sunday, so we had to lie over 
two days of ever}' week. Our fellow travelers were, for the most part 
a jolly lot of people, and we got along with them fine. There was one 
man, however, that was just a chronic crank. I will call him Seabold 
(though that was not his name). Nothing was ever done right. We nev- 


er started early enough, and we never drove late enough, or made camp 
in the right place. One day Dan killed a jackrabbit, and we cooked it 
for supper. Mr. Seabold came by as we were eating, and we asked him 
to sit in and join us. "Why," said he, "I'd just as soon eat Grow as 
jackrabbit." "Well," said I, "that's just as any one's been raised. 
I'd sooner eat rabbit." "Young man," said he, "I want you to under- 
stand, that I wasn't raised on crow." "That will be all right," said I, 
"neither was I raised on jack rabbit; but it seems to be rather an agree- 
able change from pancakes straight, and I reckon we'll take a chance 
and finish it." 

One day we came in sight of Elk Mountain, which, at that time had 
considerable snow showing up on the side facing us. Mr. Seabold was so 
disgusted with the sight of snow in the summer time, that he got his wife 
to drive the team, and he crawled back in the wagon, and went to sleep. 
After a few hours he woke up, and lifting the wagon sheet, at the side, 
looked out. "Well," said he, "I'm glad we got by that d d snow- 
bank." "No," said Mrs. Seabold, "you may as well go back to sleep 

for that d d snowbank, is right there ahead of us where it's been all 

day." We were traveling on the Bitter Creek trail; but left the wagon 
train at Pinegrove, and crossed over to Kawlins, and from there through 
Whisky Gap, and struck the old Mormon trail below Three Crossings, on 
the Sweetwater river. There was no direct road from Eawlins to Lan- 
der, at that time, and it was a very round-a-bout way we had to go. 

At Bellsprings, sixteen miles out from Eawlins, Ave came upon the 
camp of four prospectors bound for the Bighorn Mountains. We were 
glad to join forces with them, for we had to pass through the Arapahoe 
country, and those Indians Avere some hostile, at that time. The four 
prospectors were all Germans, and I want to say right here, they were as 
fine a lot of men as I ever met, or wish to meet. 

Two of our new friends, rode about two hundred yards ahead of the 
teams and one of them rode about one hundred yards in the rear. We 
carried plenty of water in kegs, and would stop about five o'clock in the 
evening, and cook our supper, and then move on to a suitable place for 
the night camp. We never had any fire in the evening; but would build 
a fire in the morning to cook our breakfast. At Three Crossings we came 
upon a smoldering Camp Fire, and the signs indicated that quite a large 
party of Indians had camped there the night before. Their trail led 
away from the river toward Poison Creek. Our "Van guard," as we 
called the two horsemen who rode ahead of the teams, followed their 
trail until they were satisfied that they had left that part of the coun- 
try. We followed the Mormon trail to St. Mary's on the Sweetwater, 
finding a trail that led from there across to Lander. We parted with our 
four friends at Baldwin Creek, in the Lander Valley. They going 
on to the Big Horn Mountains in search of gold. I never saw any of 
them again. I hope they were successful; but if they found gold in 
paying quantities, they were more fortunate than many others, who 
came back from there saying they couldn't raise a color. 


In December '77 my old freight partner, Dan Weller, and myself 
made a trip to Bryan on the Union Pacific and hauled in the Wilson 
Grist Mill. This mill was set up on the North fork of the Popoagie, and 
was run by water power. At this time all freight for the Windriver 
valley was hauled from Bryan. W. P. Noble had a contract to haul the 
years supply of flour to the Shoshone Agency from Bryan, and sublet 
the contract to Garrett & Weller. When Green river was up we had to 
cross at Calhoun 's ferry. We were crossing there one day, and had loaded 
the wagons on the boat, and also the white bell mare, leaving the stock 
to go over next trip. One of my mules, seeing the boat leave the bank, 
with the old bell mare on board, plunged off into the river, swimming aft- 
er the boat. Green River is a wicked stream to cross, when it is running 
full bank; but old Tom kept at it, trying to follow the boat, and the 
current taking him downstream; but along headed toward the boat. 

As soon as we were at the landing, I jumped on the bell mare, and 
rode her down the river. The mule then headed for the bank, and came 
out fully a quarter of a mile below the landing, none the worse for his 
swim. We had to cross the Big Sandy, at McCoy's ranch fifty miles out 
from Bryan. There was no bridge, and the snow melting in the moun- 
tains had raised the water in the river, until it was almost past fording. 
I was driving in the lead, and drove in without stopping to drop off my 
trail wagon, as I should have done. The water ran over the mules backs, 
and I got stuck in mid stream. Dan brought in six head, and hitched 
on ahead of my eight, yet we couldn't start the wagons. The water was 
fully up to our arm pits, and almost ice cold. I had to get down under 
my lead wagon, and uncouple the trail. I had the "Toggle joint" se- 
cured with baling wire, and by the time I got the thing loose, I was glad 
to come up for air. We got the lead wagon out, and went in again with 
fourteen head of stock to haul out the trail. I had to get down under 
water again to fasten a chain to the trail tongue. We were three hours 
getting our outfit across. Two women at the Ranch house were watching 
us, and seemed greatly amused; but to us "poor sons," it was just about 
what General Sherman said war was, only a whole lot colder. 

We were camped on Little Sandy, one evening when a very wild 
looking Indian rode up on a fine horse, and leading a large young mule. 
He was all decked out in war paint and feathers, carried a Winchester 
and sixshooter, and looked the perfect specimen of the "Noble Red 
Man," on the war path. I said, "How? Where you catchie mule?" 

"Stole 'im b g can't you speak English?" He proved to be the 

Notorious Ute Jack, on his way to the Shoshone Agency. This, however, 
proved to be his last trip, before he entered the "happy hunting 
gorunds. " There was warrant at Fort Washakie for his arrest; and a 
sergeant and squad, went down to the Agency to arrest him. Jack stood 
them off. A Lieutenant went down with a troop of cavalry, and Jack 
stood them all off. The Lieutenant sent to the Post, and brought down 
a cannon, and shot the tepee all to smithereens. When the soldiers ap- 


preached the place where th€ tent had been, they found Ute Jack dead 
and cold. 

In the fall of '79, I was in Eawlins after freight; when Joe Eankin 
made his famous ride from near White Eiver, Colorado, to Rawlins to 
summon help for the Government troops corralled there by the White 
River TJtes. Much has been written about that wonderful ride, and much 
has been written about the Meeker Massacre, and the Ute War; but as 
I was somewhat familiar with that Country, and have often talked with 
men who were in that Country when it occurred, and was myself for 
years, engaged in freighting there, I will venture to record some facts, 
that may be of interest to some of the younger generation. 

On the 29th of September '79 the Ute Indians at the White River 
Agency killed the Indian Agent Mr. Meeker, and the men employed at 
the Agency, took Mrs. Meeker and daughter Josie prisoner, and held 
them three weeks, before they were rescued by General Merritt's troops. 
Before killing Mr. Meeker they hitched him to a plow beside a pony, 
and prodded him along as long as he could stand. 

At the request of the Indian Agent Major Thornburg had been 
sent to the White River country with a company of Cavalry. The In- 
dans attacked Thornburg 's command killing Major Thornburg, and kill- 
ing and wounding some of the troops. The soldiers dug pits in the 
ground, and having their guns and some ammunition, they managed to 
stand the Indians off until help arrived. Two men volunteered to go 
for help. One was Joe Rankin, Government Scout, and the other was a 
private soldier, whose name I have forgotten. Rankin was to try to make 
it to Rawlins, and the soldier was to try to get to a Fort down on Grand 
River, that was garrisoned by a company of colored troops. Both men 
got away safe, and made it through. Rankin made it through to Raw- 
lins, one hundred and sixty miles in twenty-four hours. Whenever he 
found a horse that he thought would carry him farther than the one he 
was riding, he threw his rope on it and kept going. When he got to Tim- 
ber Lake, eighty miles from Rawlins he found that the stage station there 
had not been molested, and from there to Rawlins he got a fresh horse 
at every mail station. In response to the call for help. General Merritt 
came to Rawlins on a special train, and he with his troops made it 
through in forty-eight hours on one set of horses, and the ambulance 
teams kept up with them. The colored troops were first to reach the be- 
siege soldiers. They -charged through the Indians, and jumped into the 
pits, carrying canteens of water, and sacks of grub, and were greeted 
with cheers by the half starved boys in the pits. Merritt's command 
arrived on the scene six hours later, and then things began to happen. 
With Merritt 's troops on one side of them, and the boys coming out of 
the rifle pits, and giving them hail on the other side, the "Noble Red 
Men" soon had a plenty. The soldiers followed them around for about 
three weeks before they decided to give it up and be good Indians. 

John C Davis — more familiarly known as Jack — went out with 
Thornburg 's command, driving a suttler wagon for Hugus & Company of 


Fort Steele. He was wounded in the foot, and was reported killed. He 
proved to be very much alive however, and got back as far as Snake 
Eiver, and was sitting in the sutler tent there, when a man drove up with 
a long box in his wagon. Mr. Majors recognized the man, and said 
"Hello Bill what you got in that long box?" *'Why," said Bill, "I've 
got a coffin in this box. Jack Davis was killed by the Indians and Judge 
Hugus sent me out to bring in his remains." Jack was listening inside 
the tent. "Bill," said Jack, "you go back to Ft. Steele, and tell Judge 
Hugus, that Jack Davis 'aint ready to go in his coffin yet; and tell 'im 
I'll bring in my remains myself, as soon as my foot gets a little better." 

John C. Davis became a very successful and enterprising business 
man. He was killed in a train wreck some years ago. 

The Gordon brothers were engaged in freighting from Eawlins to the 
TJfce Agency, at the time of the outbreak. They had two wagon trains 
on the road. One train of horse teams, and one train of oxteams, or Bull 
teams as we always called them. George Gordon had charge of the horse 
teams, and John was the wagon boss for the Bull teams. As they w«re 
nearing the Agency, John Gordon stopped his train, for the horse teams 
to pass. Just as they were passing, the Indians jumped them. George 
Gordon, and all his teamsters were killed. John Gordon, and one Bull- 
whacker escaped, and walked back to Eawlins. The Utes drove off the 
stock, took as much of the freight as they wanted, and burned the wagons. 

Late in the fall of '81 we were camped for the night, on Beaver 
Creek, on our way to Fort Washakie. Just before dark, two trappers 
hit our camp and asked to use our fire to cook their supper. We told 
them we had supper nearly ready, and they would be very welcome to 
join us; which they did. One of the men was a discharged soldier, and 
was with Thornburg's command, and was one of the boys holed up in the 
rifle pits. From him I got many of the facts herein mentioned. He was 
a bright lad, and we sat by the campfire for hours, listening to his droll 
recitals of the haps and the mishaps of that campaign. He said, "I al- 
ways hated a nigger. I never had any use for them in anyway; but when 
those big black fellows came jumping into the pits with all the water and 
grub they could pack; I just loved those niggers." We put in part of 
the winter of '79- '80 in Eawlins. What with the soldiers quartered there, 
the Cowl)oys and freighters there, the gamblers, and the "demimonde," 
that little old town of Eawlins was something fierce. It was said that 
the average was a dead man a day; but that of course was greatly exag- 
gerated. However, there was plenty of shooting and plenty of killing, 
and it's "ten thousand wonders, and Gods Pity" that saved the town 
from the fate of Sodom. 

The Government established a military post on White Eiver, and 
continued it there until the Utes were moved to a new reservation in 
southern Utah. I think it was in '81 tliat the Government took on an 
economical streak, and compelled the Indians, at the Shoshone Agency, 
to haul their own freight. They were furnished with harness, and three 
inch wagons. Four ponies were hitched to each wagon, and it took two 


Indians to drive. One drove the wheelers, and the other drove the lead 
team. One wagon train was manned by the Shoshones, and another by 
the Arapahoes. Each train had a white man for wagon boss. These 
wagon bosses had no control over the Indians whatever. Their particular 
job was to disentangle the ponies when they kicked over the traces, keep 
the wagons greased, and repair the harness. The Indians would often 
make camp at Crook's Gap, take a few weeks "lay off" for a hunt in the 
Eed Desert, and get back on the job when they felt like it. The average 
load for each team was one thousand pounds. You can form your own 
opinion as to the saving realized by the Government. We freighters 
called it all bunk. Wm. McCabe was wagon boss for the Arapahoe train. 
He was an old Government Scout past sixty, and a man noted for his 
honesty, and fair dealing; respected and liked by all who knew him. One 
time when the Arapahoes were in Rawlins after freight; McCabe went 
into town, and was spending the evening on "lower row." On starting 
for Camp he was followed by two men, who knocked him down beat him 
to insensibility, and took all his money. When he became able to talk, 
the Sheriff asked him if he knew the men who robbed him. "Yes," said 
Mac, "I know them well." The Sheriff tried to get him to give their 
names; but McCabe refused to tell who they were. "When I get well," 
said Mac, "I'll settle with them, without any help from the law." At 
a saloon on "lower row," in the good old town of Eawlins; a crowd had 
gathered as usual, and although most of them were pretty well "stewed," 
they were all in good humor, and inclined to be peaceable. Among those 
present, was a man we called Big Mike, a man with the strength of two 
ordinary men, but never quarrelsome or overbearing. During the evening 
William McCabe walked into the saloon, a man was standing near the bar, 
McCabe walked up to him, put his hand on his shoulder, and said, "Turn 
around to the light, I want to get a good look at you." The man turned 
around, and McCabe, saying "you're one of 'em," shot him through the 
head, killing him instantly. McCabe, still holding the gun in his hand 
said, "Any of you gentlemen want to interfere in this matter!" Big 
Mike threw up both hands, and said, "God Bless your soul, no Uncle, 
we don't want any of that." The next morning the Sheriff procured a 
warrant, and went to the Indian Camp and arrested McCabe. The In- 
dians saw the Sheriff coming, and knowing what had happened, got their 
guns and told Mae, that he didn't have to go, if he didn't want to. Mac 
told the Indians to put away their guns; that the Sheriff was only doing 
his duty, according to the law. 

McCabe was charged with murder in the first degree. He took a 
change of venue to Sweetwater County, and was found not guilty by a 
jury of his friends and neighbors. This verdict may seem at the present 
day to have been a flagrant violation of the law; but to us, at that time, 
it was considered an act of justice, in the fullest sense of the term. 

After he was arrested, McCabe gave the name of the other man who 
had helped to rob him. Although this man had been seen in Eawlins on 
the night of the killing, he could not be found next day, and so far as I 


know has never been seen there since. At the trial, Big Mike was one 
of the witnesses. In accordance with his normal condition, Mike was 
pretty well "lit up," and created quite a sensaiton by making a motion 
that the judge adjourn court and all go out and get a drink. 

Owing to the increased amount of freight to be hauled to White 
Elver, the contractor could not get teams enough to move it, and the Gov- 
ernment engaged sixty string teams to come up from Alamosa, paying 
them twenty-five dollars a day, and everything furnished, in the way of 
feed and rations. These teams traveled in trains of about twelve teams to 
the train. They were allowed a very liberal amount of hay, and there 
was always a lot of hay left on the ground where they had camped at 
night. We would follow up one of these trains, camping at night where 
they had camped the night before. In this way we got plenty of hay 
for our stock, and it was the only way we could get it; for the Govern- 
ment had bought up every pound of hay, to be had between Eawlins and 
White Biver. The snow was very deep, especially between Timber Lake 
and Bear Eiver, where much of the way it was fully three feet deep on 
the level. Dan said, "It was very kind of Uncle Sam to send out these 
teams to break trail, and furnish us with free hay." 

The deep snow came early in the fall of '79, and some of the ox-teara 
freighters lost nearly all their stock. At what was called the Bull Camp, 
near Lay Creek, Bill Williams lost 80 head of ' ' Work Bulls, ' ' that died 
of starvation. 

About the first of February '81 after getting in off the White Eiver 
Eoad, we took on a load of freight for Fort Washakie. W'e found the 
road if not passable, at least possible, until we got to Lost Soldier Creek. 
Fi-om there over the divide the snow was all the way from three feet 
deep on the ridges, to ten feet deep in the draws. We were fourteen days 
getting from Lost Soldier Creek, to Crook's Gap, a distance of fourteen 
miles, and we made the last seven miles in one day at that. 

Eight there, we had to admit, that the freighter's life, was not one 
continual round of pleasure. 

Our stock was a mixed lot of horses and mules. We had plenty of 
grain, but could get no roughness for the stock, not even sage brush. We 
had a lot of paper targets piled on top of our wagons, and the poor beasts 
ate them all, they also ate the boxes off the goods, and nearly ate up our 
wagon beds. We lost some mules in the snow, for before we got through 
the mules would not eat the grain. Our horses all came through alive, for 
unlike the mules, they would eat all the oats we dared give them. When 
we got to the Post the Quarter-master Sergeant, refused to unload us. 
I went down to the office and brought up Lieutenant Elting, acting quar- 
termaster. He said to the Sergeant, "Why don't you unload this 
freight? Said the Sergeant, "Look at it, look at the condition of it." 
"Well," said the Lieutenant, "What do you expect them to do with it, 
haul it back to the Eailroad? Put this freight in the warehouse." The 
Lieutenant said to me, "You will have to come down to the office, and 
sign an affidavit. After we had unloaded I went down to the office, and 


the Quartermaster told the clerk to write out an affidavit for me to sign. 
The clerk turned to me, and said, "What is the excuse?" The Lieuten- 
ant gave me no chance to reply; but said to the clerk, "Bad roads, bad 
snow, bad bridges, make out a good strong affidavit. These men are 31 
days behind time on their bill of lading, and their freight is in terrible 
condition. ' ' The clerk made it plenty strong, and I swore to it with a 
clear conscience, and the Quartermaster gave us a clear bill. I asked 
Lieutenant Elting if he ever sold good out of the Commissary to Citi- 
zens. He said, "seldom, but I suppose I could if circumstances warrant- 
ed it." I told him our "circumstances" were about as bad ais they 
could be, and he gave me an order to buy fifteen dollars worth of pro- 
visions out of the Commissary at Government prices. I got more for 
that fifteen dollars, than T could have got at the Post Traders for seventy- 
five. A man named John Eiley was on the road that winter loaded with 
Government freight. He lost every hoof of stock he had, and came in 
on foot. Lieutenant Elting sent out two six mule teams to haul in his 
load, and gave him a clear bill. I always look back on that trip as about 
the worst ever. To say that we were short of grub don't tell half of it. 
One evening as I was making coffee, I said to Dan, "We've only got 
enough coffee left to do for breakfast." "If that's all we've got," 
said Dan, "we'll have it good and strong for the last," and he got up 
and chucked it all in the pot. Dan was never in favor of cutting down 
on the rations. He'd say, "it's no use to prolong starvation, we'll eat 
while we 've got it and when it 's gone we '11 go without. ' ' 

In '81, Dan got married, and settled on a ranch in the Lander Val- 
ley. I bought his share of the outfit, and continued freighting until I 
sold out in '84. When the order came to abandon the military Post on 
White Eiver, there was on hand at the Post, about three hundred thou- 
sand feet of unused lumber, and two hundred thousand pounds of grain. 

The grain and lumber could have been sold where it was at a fair 
price; for that country was settling up very fast, and the grain and lum- 
ber was needed there. But no, that would have been against all army 
regulations and contrary to the rules and regulations in such cases made 
and provided. 

The grain and lumber was hauled to Eawlins at a cost of $2.20 per 
cwt, and shipped to Fort Leavenworth, at what ever cost the Railroad 
Company was pleased to charge; where corn at that time was worth 
about 15 cents a bushel, and the value of the lumber would not amount 
to half the cost of transportation. 

I know I've made this article altogether too long and tiresome, and 
I'll say but little more. Dan, my old freighting partner, is now living 
in southern California with his estimable wife, in comfort and content- 
ment. I spent the winter of '22- '23 at the West coast, and not the least of 
the many happy days that I enjoyed in that land of flowers, were those 
spent with old Dan, talking over old times, "In the days when we were 
pioneers fifty years ago." 

Sincerely yours, (Signed) T. S. GARRETT. 


Bill Nye Interviews a Bad Yoiuig Man of New HampsMre 

While in New England trying in my poor, weak way to represent 
the "rowdy west," I met a sad young man who asked me if I lived in 
Chi-enne. I told him that if he referred to Cheyenne, I had been there 
off and on a good deal. 

He said he was there not long ago, but did not remain. He bought 
some clothes in Chicago so that he could appear in Chi-enne as a "holy 
terror" when he landed there, and thus in a whole town of "holy ter- 
rors" he would not attract attention. 

I am not said he, by birth or instinct a holy terror, but I thought 
I would like to try it a little while anyhow. I got one of those Chicago 
sombreros with a gilt fried cake twisted around it for a band. Then I 
got a yellow silk handkerchief on the ten cent counter to tie around my 
neck. Then I got a suit of smoke-tanned buckskin clothes and a pair of 
moccasins. I had never seen a bad, bad man from Chi-enne, but I had 
seen pictures of them and they all wore moccasins. The money that I 
had left I put into a, large revolver and a butcher knife with a red 
Morocco sheath to it. The revolver was too heavy for me to hold in one 
hand and shoot, but by resting it on a fence I could kill a cow easy 
enough if she wasn't too blamed restless. 

I went out to the stock yards in Chicago one afternoon and prac- 
ticed with my revolver. One of my thumbs is out there at the stock 
yards now. 

At Omaha I put on my new suit and sent my human clothes home to 
my father. He told me when I came away that when I got out to Wyo- 
ming, probably I wouldn't want to attract attention by wearing clothes 
and so, could I send my clothes back to him and he would be glad to have 

At Sidney I put on my revolver and went into the eating house to 
get my dinner. A tall man met me, at the door and threw me about forty 
feet in an oblique manner. I asked him if he meant anything personal 
by that and he said not at all, not at all. I then asked him if he would not 
allow me to eat my dinner and he said that depended on what I wanted 
for my dinner. If I would lay down my arms and come back to the 
reservation and remain neutral to the government and eat cooked food, 
it would be all right, but if I insisted on eating raw dining room girls 
and scalloped young ladies, he would bar me out. 

We landed at Chi-eene in the evening. They had hacks and 'busses 
and carriages till you couldn 't rest, all standing there at the depot, and 
a large colored man in a loud tone of voice remarked, 


I went there myself. It had doors and windows to it and carpets 
and gas. The young man who showed me to my room was very polite to- 
me. He seemed to want to get acquainted. He said: 

"You are from New Hampshire, are you not?" 


I told him not to give it away, but I was from New Hampshire. 
Then I asked him how he knew. 

He said that several New Hampshire people had been out there that 
summer and they had worn the same style of revolver, and generally had 
one thumb done up in a rag. Then he said that if I came from New 
Hampshire he would show me how to turn off the gas. 

He also took my revolver down to the office with him and put it in 
the safe, because he said some one might get into my room in the night 
and kill me with it if he left it here. He was a perfect gentleman. 

They have a big opera house there in Chi-eene and while I was there 
they had the Italian Opera singers Patti and Nevada there. The streets 
are lit up with electric lights and people kind of looked down on me I 
thought. Still they tried to act as though they didn't notice my clothes 
and dime museum hat. They seemed to look at me as though I was not 
to blame for it and as if they felt sorry for me. If I had had my United 
States clothes with me I could have had a good deal of fun in Chi-eene 
going to the opera, and lectures, and concerts, etcettera. But finally I 
decided to return, so I wrote to my parents how I had been knocked 
down and robbed and garroted and left for dead with one thumb shot 
ojff, and they sent the money to pay funeral expenses. With this I got 
a cut-rate ticket home and surprised our folks very much. 


(From the Cheyenne Daily Sun, September 1885, on file in the State 
Historical Department.) 


An address delivered at a Lions Club Luncheon at Eiverton, Wyo., 
on Feby. 24, 1925, by O. N. Gibson. 

Just to be leisurely and casual, I am going to begin with a day in 
Trenton, Missouri, some twenty-five years ago. 

Coming hurriedly out of our office stairway, I started down Water 
Street just as a crowd was rapidly gathering there about the spring 
wagon of an itinerant vendor. He was standing up in the vehicle, at- 
tracting attention and exciting interest by throwing things recklessly 
in every direction. Almost before I realized what was going on, some- 
thing hurtled toward me and dropped fluttering near my feet. There 
was a scramble, but distance favored me and I emerged triumphant from 
the scrimmage, a glossy, dark green book in my hands. 

Books have been my passion, always. They were very cheap in 
those days, but not so cheap that I could buy easily or often. To obtain 
one suddenly in so surprising a fashion, was like a special providence. 
I wondered at the combination of circumstances which had brought me 
unwittingly to that precise place at that precise moment. 


But this was not the only unusual feature of the occurrence. Scanty 
as my library was, the book which I had snatched from the pavement waa 
the exact counterpart of one which had long been in my possession, and 
which had reached such an a'Svanced stage of disintegration that its 
usefulness was practically at an end. Few new books would have been 
welcomer than this successor to that old one. 

Strange to say, I had not bought the old one,either. I believe it 
was almost the only book I ever stole. 

Of course, I didn't exactly steal it. Eeputable folks do not steal 
books. They acquire them. I acquired this one from a friend who had 
himself acquired it from a mutual friend to whom it had been given by 
the particular friend whom she afterwards married. There was no rea- 
son why I should return it to Oscar. It wasn't his. And it would have 
looked like a gratuitous reflection upon him to have returned the book 
to Ollie direct. Besides, she had Charley. What difference could it make 
to her, who had "Bill"? So I kept the volume. 

Books, like flowers do best for those who love them. My attach- 
ment for this one was strong from the very first. Its pages soon grew 
as familiar to me as the smiling faces of old friends. They were an un- 
failing source of good humor and good cheer. Every book that the 
author ever wrote and that I have had a chance to borrow, I have read. 
I even bought one once in paper with my own money from the House of 
Montgomery Ward when we were both young, and when I was one of 
its humble but defiant competitors. I do not know what ever became of 
this book. I did not have it long. That is one of the peculiarities of 
this author's works. No one who has a right to, can ever keep one of 
them. If you would have one, the only sure way is to borrow it, and 
never take it back. 

I owe an honest debt of gratitude to the author of these fugitive 
volumes; a debt which it would be presumptions for me ever to hope to 
pay. I have long wished however, that I might make some fitting 
acknowledgment of it. And this is what I am now attempting to do. 

If you have been attentive, you have already guessed. The book 
that came to me that day like a tired bird of passage, was a Wyoming 
book. It scarcely admits of doubt that the .author was Wyoming's mosi 
celebrated citizen. A generation ago his name was familiarly on the 
lips of thousands who could not have identified a single other resident 
of our state. As newspaper writer, lecturer and author of books, his 
fame was more than nation wide, for he had even gained noteworthy 
recognition abroad. His influence upon American humor has never been 
adequately understood or appreciated. It is not too much to say that 
he was the most unique and original of all the humorists which America 
had then produced. 

And he l)elonged peculiarly to Wyoming. This was the scene of his 
early struggles and failures. His fame was won here. Here were spent 
the years of his most productive labor. Yet here, the memory of him is 
fading, almost beyond belief. 


Of the more than a dozen books which bore his name, only two are 
indexed in our State Library. These, and the few lines which the en- 
cyclopedias furnish, are all of the biographyical material concerning him 
which is to be found there. The State Historical Society has five short 
newspaper clippings, telling of his life in Laramie, and a few paragraphs 
about him in a little volume on the pioneer press of the state. This is 
all a curious investigator recently foun<l. 

So far as I know, his biography has never been written. No uni- 
form or compiled edition of his works has ever been published. Current 
book catalogues give him scant notice, if they mention him at all. Most 
of his works are out of print. 

On my own shelves, even, his place has been vacant for more than 
twelve years, now. For when I packed my small collection for ship- 
ment to Wyoming, the book which came to me through the air, had 
flown. Two years later on a visit to my old home, I recaptured it, but 
it again escaped before I got beyond the borders of my native state. 
Last year, ashamed of this long neglect of my early favorite, I bought a 
new volume of "Eemarks. " It had been on my table but a few days, — 
I had had no opportunity to renew my acquaintance, — when a member 
of this Club discovered it, and asked to borrow it over Sunday. I have 
not seen it since. 

It is a wise saying of Old Ealph Waldo's that ''time melts into 
shining ether the solid angularity of facts. ' ' This is doubly true when 
recollection rather than records must be relied upon. For reaspns which 
have been made sufficiently apparent, literal accuracy must not be looked 
for in this attempt to bring to you an authentic glimpse of a neglected 
foster-son of Wyoming. 

Edgar Wilson Nye was born on the 25th day of August, 1850. His 
birthplace was the town of Shirley, in Central Maine. It must then have 
been a diminutive hamlet, for when as a man he visited it, it had less 
than three hundred souls. He referred to it as the place where first he 
met his parents. The district was not an agricultural one, but he assures 
us that he observed in the vicinity numerous rock foundations suitable 
for farms. Here too he saw what he called little upright farms. They 
were so much so they could be cultivated on both sides. 

In 1852, the Nye family moved to a farm on the St. Croix river, in 
northern Wisconsin. His works bear ample evidence that he was brought 
up in humble, rural surroundings. He says he was never ambitious to 
die rich, but he had often wished he had been born rich. 

Apparently he was an awkward, luckless youngster. He says that 
as a boy he met with such frequent mishaps that about 3 o 'clock every 
afternoon his mother would inquire anxiously of his father if he didn 't 
think it was about time for the boys to arrive with William's remains. 

One ludicrous incident of his childhood, he recounts in the little 
sketch, "1 Spy." 


You may not know what "I Spy" is. I never heard it called that, 
anywhere else. Back in Missouri, we used to call it "Hide and Whoop." 
In more enlightened localities it was designated, "Hide-and-go-seek." 

One day, while playing this game, young Nye had an inspiration. 
He would climb up on the barn, and when the unfortunate seeker got 
far enough from the base, he would slip down and slide in. His plan 
was only partially successful. It happened that he was wearing one of 
his father's cast off vests that day. As he slid hurriedly over the eve, 
intending to drop lightly to the earth, the upper loose end of a batten 
slipped between his person and the vest. Both the batton and the but- 
ton held, and the unhappy youngster could get neither up nor down. His 
play-fellows soon discovered his predicament, and were delighted at it. 
They would shout and race away, crying, "I spy Billy Nye." .Then they 
would race back and jeer and shout: "Aw, Bill, come down. We can 
see you up there." 

I have forgotten the finish. 

He narrates an incident of his school days which sounds somewhat 
less authentic. He had won renown as a speller. Near the head of the 
class was a knot-hole in the floor. If he could get his big toe into that 
knot-hole, he could spell the hardest word. Nothing could dislodge him 
from this position of vantage. One day his rival discovered or suspected 
the secret of his strength. The knot-hole was plugged up, and Bill was 
lost. Without it, he was like Sampson, shorn of his locks. 

Concerning his scholastic achievements, one veracious statement can 
be made. He acquired an intimate knowledge of the old ecletic series 
of school readers. Otherwise he never could have burlesqued their liter- 
ary style as perfectly as he did. In later life he deplored the fact that 
boys no longer used the respectful language and large luxuriant words 
which they employed in the days when Mr. McGuffy stood around and re- 
ported their conversation for his justly celebrated series of readers. 

Nye's education was ont all obtained in the public school. He attend- 
ed the Eiver Falls Academy. Perhaps the half humorous, half pathetic 
"Letters of a Father to His Son" are reminiscent of this period in his 
life. The only direct allusion, however, that I now recall is his reference 
to one moonlit occasion during his attendance there and the shame and 
chagrin he felt when he found himself in the water-melon patch of a 
total stranger. 

Nye was early seized by an ambition to become a lawyer. It is re- 
markable how many men have cherished a like ambition and afterwards 
became famous in some other calling. It appears that the Academy fur- 
nished a law course, but in those days candidates for the bar were ad- 
mitted upon the recommendation of a committee appointed by the Court 
to examine them. In Nye's case, the committee were not satisfied with 
the showing. With the tender solicitude for the feelings of others which 
is so characteristic of the legal profession, the committee decided not to 
make an adverse report, but to recommend a continuance, to the next 


term. Young Nye was present when the report came in. As he rose to 
leave the courtroom, he addressed the Court: 

"Your Honor, will you require a bond for my appearance?" 
I have the impression that he was never admitted to the bar in Wis- 
consin. He came to Wyoming in 1873, and was admitted to practice here 
in 1876. He was not destined to distinguish himself as a lawyer. His 
talents unsuited him for so plodding a profession. Nevertheless, he says, 
that for several years he practiced law in" a surreptitious sort of way." 

Early in his residence in Laramie, he became both a justice of peace 
and a U. S. Commissioner. In fact he held some sort of public office dur- 
ing most of the period of his residence in the state. He offered it as 
high proof of the efficacy of woman suffrage, that men of his intelligence, 
integrity and independence were chosen to offices of trust and profit in 
Wyoming. He said that he went into office with very little opposition, 
and went out without any opposition at all. 

He engaged in local newspaper work soon after his arrival in Lara- 
mie. He also soon became a correspondent for out of town newspapers, 
chiefly the Cheyenne Sun and the Denver Tribune. 

It is said that the pen name which he adopted was suggested by 
Bret Harte's "Heathen Chinee." 

"Ah Sin was his name. 

And I shall not deny, 
In regard to the same. 

What the name might imply; 
But his smile it was pensive and child-like. 
As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye." 

Doubtless many who are familiar with these lines have mistaken the 
allusion to "Bill Nye" as a complimentary notice by a fellow humorist. 
But the "Heathen Chinee" was published long before Nye's literary 
career began. 

Eugene Field was connected with the Denver Tribune when Nye be- 
gan contributing to it. He quickly recognized the peculiar gift of the 
young writer. He invited Nye to come to Denver and deliver an address 
to the press club. The invitation was accepted, but the speaker attempt- 
ed a serious address, and, it is said, made a dismal failure. 

It may have been on this trip to Denver that he made the acquaint- 
ance of 'Gene Field's trick chair. This chaim was bottomless. When 
set for a prospective victim, however, its condition was carefully con- 
cealed by carelessly arranged newspapers. When the visitor arrived, the 
editor, very busy, would absentmindedly waive him to the waiting chair. 
If the guest "fell," Gene would hasten to the rescue, and apologize pro- 
fusely for his thoughtlessness. 

Bill had acquired considerable experience as local editor and news- 
paper correspondent, when, in 1880, it was decided to organize a stock 
company, establish a newspaper, and put him in charge. The company 


was capitalized at three thousand dollars, one hundred shares of thirty 
dollars each. 

The editor christened the new paper the Laramie Boomerang. He 
says he named it for a mule he had once owned. He had named the mule 
Boomerang because of the "eccentricity of its orbit." 

Soon after the Boomerang was started, the plant was moved to the 
second story of a livery stable, where it remained for some time. The 
editor advised the public that there was a stairway to his sanctum, or 
they could "twist the grey mule's tail and take the elevator." 

The reading public soon learned that a new style of humor had been 
let loose on the planet. The Boomerang's circulation grew rapidly. Even 
Charles A. Dana enrolled as a subscriber. Soon Nye's work was attract- 
ing attention, even in England. 

Partly in recognition of political services as editor of the Boomer- 
ang, and partly through the personal friendship of Assistant Post Master 
General Hatton, Nye received the appointment as post-master at Lara- 
mie in 1881. His letter accepting this position is probably more widely 
known than anything else he wrote. Doubtless, its greater fame is not 
due to its intrinsic superiority, but to the circumstance which gave to it 
such wide publicity. 

He hastened to assure the department of his approval of its action 
in making the appointment. No step which the administration had yet 
taken had so profoundly impressed him with its wisdom. In fact, he re- 
garded it as a triumph of eternal truth over error and wrong. He as- 
sured the government that he was alive to the responsibilities of his new 
position. He had already ordered some new call boxes and some corru- 
gated cuspidors for the lady clerks. 

His resignation in the early days of the- first Cleveland Administra- 
tion was the occasion of a similar outburst of epistolary humor. He re- 
viewed the rapid strides the country had made during his administration 
of the Laramie post-ofRce, and gave the President many detailed direc- 
tions as to the care and management of the post-oflfice premises. For 
instance, he suggested that if the stove drew too hard, the general de- 
livery window should be closed. He said the. combination of the safe 
was set on 333, 666 and 999, but he couldn't remember which came first, 
or which way the knob turned, or how many times it had to go 'round, 
or reverse. He had left some mining stock in this safe which the admin- 
istration could have. He intended to keep a horse that winter, instead. 
It would cost less. 

While the Boomerang grew rapidly in popularity, it was never a fi- 
nancial success. In 1886, just as plans were maturing for placing the 
enterprise on a more permanent financial foundation, Nye took seriously 
ill. A change of location became necessary. When he regained his 
health, months after, he returned to Laramie, disposed of his interests 
there, and removed permanently from the state. For a time he resided 
in New York. Later he established his residence at the little town of 


Arden, some ten miles from Asheville, North Carolina. Here he resided 
until his death, which occurred on the 22nd day of February, 1896. 

Much of Nye's humor was directed at himself. The illustrator of 
his books capitalized this. The author's features were almost as familiar 
to the general public as are some of the popular cartoons of the present 
day. In any large audience he was readily recognized. A friend of 
mine saw him once standing on the crowded platform of a railway sta- 
tion at Louisville, Kentucky. The crowd had recognized him and was 
laughing. Nothing was said. He simply stood there looking quizieally 
at them as they laughed. 

As the world knew him, he was a tall spare man, beardless and very 
bald. He said some people's heads were bald outside, and some were 
bald inside. His public would have been greatly startled had it known 
that even after he was editor of the Boomerang he AA^ore a billess fur cap 
and a full beard. 

He is said to have been ungainly of figure and ungraceful of car- 
riage. He claimed he was always a good deal more fluent as a listener 
than as a talker. Nevertheless he became very popular upon the lecture 

He and James Whitcombe Eiley toured most successfully together. 
Their programs consisted of alternate readings, each presenting his own 
productions. As a result of this association, they colaborated in the 
production of two volumes, "Nye and Riley's Railway Guide." and 
"Fun, Wit and Humor." 

I have never seen what purported to be a complete list of Nye 's 
works. Besides the two just mentioned he published at least eloA'en other 
volumes; Bill Nye and Boomerang, Forty Liars and Other Lies, Bailed 
Hay, Blossom Rock, Remarks, Chestnuts, Thinks, The Cudi, A Guest at 
the Ludlows, a Comic History of the United States, and A Comic History 
of England. He also was correspondent for various newspapers, writing 
syndicated articles for several years. Like most prolific writers, his work 
was not of even quality, but, after all proper deductions have been made, 
I know of none other who can be credited with so great an output of 
mere literary merriment. 

Pure humor is evanescent, ephemeral. As an alloy it gives luster 
and permanence to other literary forms but unmixed with more enduring 
material, it is apt to lose both its worth and charm. 

This may in some measure, account for the rapidity with which 
Nye 's fame is declining. He was a humorist, purely and simply. He 
possessed no poetic gift, no prophetic insight. He had no dogma to pro- 
claim, no theory to expound. He understood his talents, and their limi- 
tations. He acknowledged no graver purpose, claimed no higher mission, 
than just to make men laugh; not bitterly, nor contemptuously, nor 
cynically, nor unkindly, but good humoredly, generously, with simple, 
genial and spontaneous mirth. 


He originated his literary method. He did not rely upon affectation 
of illiteracy, as did Artemus Ward, Josh Bilings and Petroleum V. Nasby. 
The coarseness and vulgarity of Sut Lovingood was foreign to his nature. 
He did not seek the aid of such mechanical devices as were employed by 
M. Quad, George W. Peck and Merietta Holly. He had neither the taste 
nor the talent for working out ludicrous notions or occurrences with the 
intricate artistry and artificial elaborateness which characterized the 
work of Mark Twain. 

Nye never beleagured the citadel of laughter. He never sapped and 
mined about it. He approached it -openly, unconcernedly, with bare, bald 
head and awkward hanging hands, and took it suddenly and swiftly by 
the sheer force of magic and surprise. 

An army surgeon carelessly dropped a live cigar stub on a keg of 

They never found anything of him but his false teeth. 

They buried these with military honors. 

Above the grave they plaoed this inscription: "Not dead, but spon- 
taneously distributed." 

He notes the fact that Tecumseh was killed at the battle of Tippi- 
canoe, and that the bullet entered the body "just west of the watch- 

In a biographical sketch of another departed Indian chief, he says 
that the deceased warrior is "now making pigeon toed tracts in the 
shifting sands of eternity. ' ' 

A bank cashier having asconded, Nye remarks that he is now "fight- 
ing horse flies in the still and solemn hush of a Canadian forest. ' ' 

He and his brother were in a pine forest once, when a cyclone struck 
it. They were driving along gay and unsuspecting. Suddenly they no- 
ticed that the wind was beginning to sough through the trees. Then 
pretty soon, they also began to sough through the trees. 

This was a bad storm. Bill got a broken leg in it. But it wasn 't as 
bad as one which he says occurred in Dakota, and which turned an ar- 
tesian well inside out till it stuck up like a sorg thumb. 

Bill said the cry of fire in a small town was a grand sight. The re- 
flection was suggested by the excitement attending the burning of old 
man Pcndergast's skating rink. Before the conflagration had entirely 
subsided, the old man observed optimistically to Bill, that if the insur- 
ance was paid, he would build a new rink twice as good as the old one. 

Some practical jokers at a hotel abstracted a young man's panta- 
loons, while he slept. They sewed up the legs stoutly at the bottom, 
returned the garments to its proper place, stole quietly into the corridor, 
and cried "Fire?" The young man appeared promptly, vainly endeav- 
oring to insert himself into the trousers, while joining vociferously in the 
general cry of fire. His tormentors even let the hose play on him. Bill 


said he didn't know what the hose played, but he supposed it was "What 
are the wild waves saying. ' ' 

A fellow broke his leg. The only available surgeon was one who had 
been a veterinarian, before arriving in Wyoming. Somehow, remini- 
scently, he still had the cow idea in his head, and set the poor fellow's 
knee behind. 

When Galilee succeeded in inventing a telescope that would magnify 
thirty times, he presented it to the Venitian legislature to make river 
and harbor appropriations with. 

Nye says a jackrabbit is neither omniverous nor carniverous. Jx is 
*' Herbivorous and vertibrated and abnormally whence." 

He knew a young school ma 'am out here who claimed she could ex- 
plain Browning's poems by means of blocks. 

He said that if the sunrise was as fine a sight as the sunset, it must 
be a grand sight, indeed. 

Evidently, he was a reluctant riser. He said he left his bed, not be- 
cause he was dissatisfied with it, but because he couldn 't take it with 

Bill Nye was keenly alive to one fact with which many are not suf- 
ficiently familiar. Humor, like poetry, must be taken in broken doses, 
if the best results are to be obtained. He warned his public against 
trying to take too much of his stuff at once. If they insisted on doing 
so, and it went back on them, he declined to assume responsibility. 

Life, of course, is not altogether a laughing matter. No one should 
wish it to be such. But, to most, it is grim and mirthless enough, at best. 
Its stresses bow the form. Its strains wrack the nerves. Its griefs break 
the heart. Its sins sere the soul. Its mysteries and terrors baffJe and 
benumb the understanding. All need at times to pray, with Robert Louia 
Stevenson, for "courage and gaiety and a quiet mind." Well may the 
sense of humor be hailed as a "saving" one. Laughter answers a vital 
and universal human need. Mirth sometimes seems the sole escape from 

It reflects little credit on the powers of popular discernment that the 
words "jester" and "fool" are in our speech so largely synonymous. 
The man who contributes substantially to the general stock of genial 
mirth should be recognized as a benefactor of the race. 'Twould be diffi- 
cult to name another who has made as large a contribution of this kind 
&a Edgar Wilson Nye. The service merits not merely the need of praise, 
but the guerdon of unaffected gratitude, as well. 

James Whitcombe Riley had the pleasing habit of paying generous 
tribute to his living friends. Such was his sonnet "To Edgar Wilson 
Nye." All lovers of the humorist should be grateful for this graceful 
recognition of his wortlu 


"O "William," in thy blithe companionship, 
What liberty is mine, what sweet release, 
From clamorous strife, and yet, what boisterous peace, 

Ho! ho!, it is thy fancy's finger tip 

That dents the dimple, now, and kinks the lip 
That scarce may sing in all this glad increase 
Of merriment. So, pray — thee, do not cease 

To cheer me thus, for, underneath the quip 

Of your droll sorcery the wrangling fret 
Of all distress is stilled. No syllable 
Of sorrow vexeth me. No tearsdrops wet 

My teeming lids save those which leap to tell 

Thee thou'st a guest who overweepeth, yet. 
Only because thou jokest over well." 

Bill Nye 's Grave at Calvary Church is on the Asheville-Spartanburg- 
Greenville Highway. Bill Nye's home "Buck Shoals" is located but a 
few miles from this beautiful country church-yard, where he sleeps be- 
side his youngest son. The stone marking his grave is a cubic yard of 
native granite. 

The Eeverand Mr. Clarence Stuart McClellan, Jr., who is the Eector 
of this church has inaugurated a movement, the object of which is to 
erect a monument which will be of a style to attract the attention of all 
who travel through this pretty town in the "Sapphire Country" of North 

The monument will be a large granite boulder 8 feet high, 6 feet 
wide and 3 feet thick and will carry a bronze memorial tablet on which 
will be inscribed briefly the outstanding facts in Nye's life. August 25th, 
1925 is the seventy-fifth anniversary of Nye 's birth, which event took 
place in the State of Maine, and on this anniversary date Maine and 
North Carolina hope to have brought to successful completion this effort 
to memoralize the life and work of "Bill Nye". Wyoming is asked to 
join in, and to contribute financial aid to this movement. In the early 
'80s Nye resided in Wyoming — principally in Laramie — some of his best 
literary work was done during these years and his humorous contribu- 
tions to the papers of the day drew much attention to the young Terri- 
tory. It is fitting that our State should be proud to be associated with 
this movement to commemorate tlie name and fame of Edgar Wilson Nye. 
— Historian. 



Those who are interested in pioneer history will be pleased to learn 
that a book has recently been issued dealing with the "Sawyer Trail" 
and with early pioneers and explorers of the Northwest, including mem- 
bers of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Authors, Albert M. Hol- 
man, of Sergeant's Bluff, Iowa, and Constant B. Marks, of Sioux City, 
have spared neither pains nor expense in gathering material for their 
book which they call "Pioneering in the Northwest" (published by 
Deitch, Lamar County, Sioux City, Iowa.) 

The Sawyer Trail, otherwise known as the Niobrara- Virginia City 
Wagon Eoad, began at Sioux City, followed a westerly course past the 
south side of the Black Hills, and, merging with the Bozeman Trail at or 
near the present site of Sheridan continued by this route to Virginia 
City. Mr. Holman was himself a member of Colonel Sawyer's first ex- 
pedition, made in 1865, the purpose of which was to lay out a shorter 
course from Missouri Eiver points to Virginia City. Although this trail 
was abandoned so soon as the Union Pacific reached points accessible to 
the mining camps yet the efforts of these pathbreakers who braved every 
extreme of hardship and danger to meet the immediate need of a more 
direct overland route westward, are an important contributing factor in 
the early history of Wyoming. 

A thrilling incident of the expedition as given in Mr. Hohnan 's nar- 
rative is the fourteen days ' siege on Tongue Eiver at the hands of hostile 
Arapahoes under Chiefs Black Bear and Old David. Three men, among 
them Col. Cole of Connor 's relief, gave their lives as toll. They were 
buried in the corral and the stock driven over their graves to hide the 
traces of their burial place from the enemy. 



State Historian 

Annals Supercedes the Quarterly Bulletin of the State Historical Depart- 
ment Beginning with Vol. Ill 

John Hunton Collection, No. 2 

Since the publication of the Bulletin in April, Mr. Hunton has given 
to the State Historical Department a second collection of 84 original 
documents. This is a collection principally of notes and bonds and has 
been preserved in large yellow envelopes, one envelope bears the inscrip- 
tion "There are some large and interesting notes for various sums of 
money in this envelope. All of which have been paid. They were all 
made to Ward & Guerrier on S. E. Ward. 

(Signed) JOHN HUNTON. 


As was the custom in the business -world at that time, the name was 
torn off when tlie note was paid and we thereby loose the jjersonal touch 
which a signature gives. 

One note for $5323.64 is dated West Port, September 1, 1852; an- 
other under date Sandy Point, 20th May 1853 is a promise to pay Messrs. 
Bordeau Richards and Company or order $930.43 on the first day of the 
following July with 10 per cent interest after date of maturity. We read 
the following "$250.00 North Fork Platte Eiver, December 16th, 1852. 
Thirty days after sight, you will please pay to Mr. John S. Shaw or or- 
der, the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars for value received, and 
charge the same, as advised, to 

Yours respectfully, 


Albert G. Boone Esq 
Westport, Missouri. 

This note is in a beautiful handwriting on blue letter paper and ink 
unfaded. Another one beautifully penned and ink as black as if written 
today, reads 

"$3000.00 Fort Laramie N. T. March 4th, 1857. Twelve months aft- 
er date I promise to pay to the order of Tutt and Dougherty (a firm com- 
posed of John S. Tutt and Lewis B. Dougherty) the sum of Three Thous- 
and dollars at the Bank of the State of Missouri in the City of Saint 
Louis for value received negotiable and payable, without defalcation or 
discount bearing interest from due until paid at the rate of ten per cent 
p€r annum. 

Ward & Guerrier, Secretary." 

Tutt and Dougherty were the first Post sutlers at Fort Laramie, Ne- 
brasKa Territory and Mr. Hunton says "they were there from the com- 
mencement of the Post in 1849 to 1857." 

"John Hunton was Post trader from August 1S8S to April 20th, 1890 
when the Post was abandoned l)y tlie military authorities." There are 
Promissory notes in this collection given for such sums as $11192.06 — 
to 12113.74, $4000.00, $4648.67, $16,214.00 and at "Fort Laramie N. T. 
May 1st, 1856" a promissory note for $10476.92 is given to Majors & Rus- 
sell. In this collection we find such historic names of places and people 
as Fallon's Bluffs, South Fork of Platte, 5 Mile Point, "Mormon Cross- 
ing, North Platte" Fort Halleck, James Bordeau, G. P. Beauvais, Major 
R. B. Marcy and Captain D. S. Gordon, while the dates go back to 1851. 

In a "List of debts due Tutt and Dougherty" one finds such names 
as Daurries, Grinieaud, Menard, Maresehal, Pierre Grodeau, Felix Le 


Blanc, indicating the presence of French Canadians, and trappers, and 
"Eobert Lawrence the gambler" was also in debt to the suttlers. 

There are several interesting letters among these papers and a re- 
ceipt which reads "Eush Creek, November 9, '58. Eec'd of S. E. Ward's 
train No. 1 — ^six sacks corn account of Jno. M. Hockaday & Company. 

C. B. JONES." 

The ink used on these papers is exceedingly bright, and the diction 
and handwriting indicate a fair degree of education. These Documents 
show that much activity centered in old Fort Laramie and large business 
transactions were carried on there. Again Mr. Hunton has enriched the 
Historical collection of our State Department. 

Mr. Howard Jackson of Glenrock who has just given to the Depart- 
ment, four kodak pictures of much historical value has lived in Wyoming 
since 1876. One of the pictures is of a monument which carries the in- 
scription "A. H. Unthank, Wayne County, Indiana. Died July 2, 1850." 
A second picture shows the entire grave with the foot board on which 
is inscribed A. H. TJ. The entire Unthank burial plot is inclosed with a 
neat iron fen&e. This grave is on the Oregon Trail five miles east of 
Glenrock and has been fenced and cared for by Mr. Jackson. Three 
miles east of Glenrock on the Oregon Trail is another grave which has 
been fenced with iron, by Mr. Jackson. This monument is inscribed 
"J. P. Parker, Died July 1st, 1860, age 48 years, Iowa." In this same 
inclosure is a small boulder marked "M. Kingo. " The fourth picture 
shows a very good looking monument on which is cut "Ada McGill. 
Died July 1864." This grave is also on the Oregon Trail and is at Par- 



Received from 

Hunton, Mr. John A colleetion. of 84 original Documents. 

(See notes and comments.) 

Hebard, Dr. G. R Manuscript Document on Thornberg 

Massacre of September 1879. Copy 
of original manuscript in Dr. He- 
bard's collection of Wyomingana. 

Congressman Charles E. Winter....Copy of report on final burial place 

of Sacajawea. This report was made 
by Charles E. Eastman to the Com- 
mittee of Indian affairs. Mr. East- 
man is a full blood, educated Sioux 
and was employed by the Indian 
Committee as "Inspector and Inves- 
tigator" to determine the true story 
of the wanderings, death and burial 
of Sacajawea the Indian woman 
guide to Lewis and Clark. This re- 
port will be published in full in a 
future number of the ' ' Annals. ' ' 

Nicolaisen, Mrs. Hans Framed painting of Buffalo. This pic- 
ture was painted by the late Mr. 
Nicolaisen at the age of 65 years. 
Mr. Nicolaisen had had art instruc- 
tion in the schools of his native 
country Schleswig-Holstein. 

Holland, Mr. A. M One group photo of Governor Brooks 

and his staff and officers of 3rd Regt., 
W. N. G., Douglas, Wyoming, Octo- 
ber 3, 1905. 

Moon, Maryanna Indian arrow head; this arrow head was 

plowed up on Section 10, twps. 16, 
range 71 w in Albany County by Leo 
A. Moon in 1905. 

Jameson, Mrs. E. C Moccasins worn by "Cattle Kate" 

found under the tree upon which she 
was hung. 


ACCESIONS FROM APRIL 1st TO JULY 1st, 1925 (Continued) 

Massion, Mr. H Indian Stone adz. This is a perfect 

specimen measuring 12% inches 
around the base and tapering 7% 
inches to the top. This adz was 
plowed up at a depth of 8 inches by 
Mr. Massion of Chugwater. 
One Flint Indian Arrow-point. 

Kic'nzele, Winifred Stuart One large framed group picture "Fare- 
well to Governor J. B. Kendrick, Feb- 
ruary 24, 1917. Governor and many 
State officers and employees on steps 
State House, Cheyenne, Wyo. 

Watts, Mr. A. E Large Key used by the Overland Stage 

Company for the Stage Barn which 
was located at the N. E. corner of 
19th Street and Capitol Ave., Chey- 
enne, Avas used from 1867 to 1871. 
Overland Stage Route from Denver 
to Cheyenne-Cheyenne Pass-Laramie 
City and on West. 

Ellis, Mrs. C. E... A collection of 19 Kodak pictures. This 

collection includes views of the Ellis 
home at Difficulty, Wyoming; of 
Palmer Canyon and one picture show- 
ing 2 pronghorns in the hills. 

Cristobal, Leopold ,Coin collection (124 in all). 10 gold 

coin from France, Englajid, India 
Empire, Holland, 35 copper, 1 silver 
dated 1779, Charles 3rd King of 
Spain, 1 silver dated 1808 Charles 
IV King of Spain, other silver coiuB 
bear dates of 1819, 1820, 1824, 1828, 
1837, 1844, 1847, 1848, 1851, 1855, 
1858, 1863, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868. 
These coins are almost entirely from 
Foreign countries; they are of gold, 
silver, niekle, bronze, copper and 
there are a few model coins; this is 
the second collection Mr. Cristobal 
has given the Department the entire 
collection numbering 284. 


ACCESIONS FROM APRIL 1st TO JULY 1st, 1925 (Continued) 

City of Cambridge Two gavels made from the Washingtoa 

Elm, which stood in the city of Cam- 
bridge, donated through Secretary of 
4 State Frank E. Lucas. 

Carroll, Major C. G One piece of French Hard Bread, taken 

from train enroute to the front, June 
10, 1918. 

State Treasurer One large group picture, Fennimore 

Chatterton, LqRoy GraiiH, Gejierall 
Stitzer, Edward Stone, taken on steps 
of "Industrial Club." 

State Bank Examiner Five framed wall pictures. Blowing 

copper at Encampment, Scene on 
Goose Creek, Sheridan, View of Sher- 
idan looking East, Scene on Two Bar 
Ranch — Natrona County, View of 
Platte River down stream from Fair- 

Hafen, Dr. State Historian of 

Colorado Map of early Trails, Forts and Battle- 
fields of Colorado. 

Clark, George Nickle (five cent piece) date 1867. This 

coin is stamped with the shield. It 
was picked up at the intersection of 
Warren Avenue and 24th Street and 
bears evidence of having lain long 
on the ground. 

Jackson, Mr. Howard Four Kodak pictures. (See notes and 


Dobbins, Mrs. Emma J One plate. This plate is a part of a 

set of dishes, owned by Mrs. F. E. 
Warren, wife of the first Governor 
of State of Wyoming and used at 
that time. Mrs. Warren purchasing 
a new set of dishes gave the old set 
to the Church Aid of the First Bap- 
tist Church. Mrs. Warren being 
President of that Society, "Willing 
Workers." A few of us older mem- 
bers took a dish as a souvenir replac- 
ing it with another. 


ACCESIONS FROM APRIL 1st TO JULY 1st, 1925 (Continued) 

Purchased by the Department 

Stansbuiy's Expedition to the Great Salt Lake 1849. This is in two 

volumes, one being the map volume. 
James Bridger, by J. Cecil Alter. 

Appleton's 111. Handbook of American Travel 1857. 

Adventures in Mexico and Eocky Mountains 1847, by George F. Euxtou. 
Tour to Oregon 1841-2 by Joseph Williams. 
California and Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman. 


MeCreery, Mrs. Alice.. Diary of W. A. Richards kept during 

the time the Southern line of Wyo- 
ming was being surveyed. W. A. 
Richards was Governor of Wyoming 
from 1895-99 and this Diary is con- 
tributed by his daughter Mrs. Me- 
Creery of California. 

Shaw, Mr. J. C Sylvester Sherman's story of the In- 
dian Battle on Elk Horn Creek. 

Gibson, Mr. O. N..... Address on "Bill Nye" delivered at 

the Lions Club Luncheon on Febru- 
ary 24, '25. 

Dickson, Mr. Arthur J History of ''Sawyer's Expedition." 

Welch, Ethel History of Green River, Wyoming. 

Mortimer, Harold History of Green River, Wyoming. 

Newspaper CUpping^s 

Meyers, Mr. Ed Dayton Daily Journal, Nov. 7, 1888. 

Harrison Election. 

Eeitz, Mrs. Charles Newspaper Clippings. 

Newell, Miss Newspaper Clippings. 

Boice, Mrs. Fred Newspaper Clippings and programs. 

Riley, Mr. George 3 copies of the "Dillon Double Jack" 

dates Dec. 27th, 1902, February 2 and 
February 7, 1903. February 7 con- 
tains an account of "An Avalanche" 
at the "head of Cow Creek" on 
Jan. 29 in which Peter Le Mieux 
and C. G. Conner lost their lives. 
The issue of Dec. 27, 1902, is devoted 
to the mining interests in the En- 
campment district. February 2, 
1903, is issued as an extra. 


ACCESIONS FROM APRIL 1st TO JULY 1st, 1925 (Continued) 

Simpson, Mrs. W. L. Thermopolis Record. Woman's Club 

Labor Coniinissioner, 

Frank Clark Newspaper clippings. 

Grain, Miss Ena M Newspaper clippings. 

Gilpin, Miss Pearl Pamphlet, Congregational Church Year 

Book and Directory 1922. 

Beach, Mrs. Cora M A. L. A. Bulletin for May. 

Carroll, Major C. G Official List of Men and Women in 

World War, from the State of Wyo- 


Cheyenne, Wyoming, Nov. 16, 1876. 
J. K. Moore Esq 
Camp Brown. 
My Dear Sir: — 

Yours with congratulations on account of my success in the recent 
contest for congress in this Territory is at hand. Accept my thanks for 
the good words you were so kind to send me and also for your own valu- 
able contribution towards the result. Be assured that I shall not forget 
my obligations to yourself and other friends in that section of the Terri- 
tory for the aid and encouragement given me during the canvass. 

My majority is nearly 1200 in the Territory and I have carried every 
county. The result was a surprise to everybody and to no one more than 
to myself. The result is of course very gratifying to me and I can only 
hope that I shall be able to answer the expectations of my constituents, 
when I shall have entered into their service. 

Please remember me to Mrs. Moore and to your sister and believe me 

Very truly your friend. 

Signed W. W. CORLETT. 

OTE: — In Vol. 2, No. 4, Page 73, column one, last line should read 
mie in place of Platte. 

Annate of OTpomms 

Vol. 3 OCTOBER, 1925 No. 2 

Grace Rajrmond Hebard 
318 So. iOth street 





Diary Silas L. Hopper 

Some Early Wyoming History West of the 108th Meridian 

Mrs. Cyrus Beard 

_ _ , , Dr. G. E, Hebard 

Data on Battle at Milk Eiver \ 

Capt. J. Seott Payne 


Culver Ecoff ey (about 1884) Coutant 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


Annals of OTipomms 

Vol. 3 OCTOBEE, 1925 No. 2 

Diary Silas L. Hopper 

Some Early Wyoming History West of the 108th Meridian 

- Mrs. Cyrus Beard 

( Dr. G. E. Hebard 

Data on Battle at Milk Kiver < 

( Capt. J. Scott Payne 

Culver Ecoffey (about 1884) .: Coutant 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Xellie Tayloe Eos^ 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Rt. Rev. P. A. McGovcrn _ Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. R. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margery Ross Cody 

Mrs. E. T. Raymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume TIT. Number 2. October, 1925 

[Copyright, 1925] 


Annate of OTpomms 

Vol. 3 OCTOBEE, 1925 No. 2 

ILLINOIS, APRIL 20th, 1863 

April 27th, 1863— Left Nebraska City for California 
camped 1st night at Wilson Creek, 10 miles : good water, some 
timber dark cloudy night but no rain. 

April 28th, 1863 — Left Wilson Creek early went to Nemeha 
took dinner, camped over night at head of little Nemeha, splen- 
did wood, water, corn and hay; got stalled that day, broke 
wagon tongue tied it up and went on- 

April 29th, 1863— Left Nemeha 5 o'clock A. M. traveled 25 
miles with out feeding, camped at 4 o'clock on French creek 
but little wood, and water tolerable. 

April 30th, 1863— Left French Creek 6 o'clock and went 23 
miles to Walnut Creek for dinner, good camping ground went 6 
miles after dinner camped on Beaver Creek, good water and 
wood ranch etc. 

May 1st, 1863 — Left Beaver 5 o'clock went 14 miles for 
dinner ; water and wood went 13 miles after dinner camped on 
Blue fork, water no good yet, windy afternoon, night pleasant, 
mended wagon tongue again. 

May 2nd, 1863 — Left Blue went 18 miles for dinner to a 
pond in prairie, miserable water for mules and not fit for cook- 
ing or drinking: arrived at Platte River 4 o'clock p. m. ranch: 
corn $1.00, hay 35 cents : wood on the other side of River, day 

May 3rd, 1863 — Sunday did not travel, passed the day 
tinkering, fixed oil cloth on wagon cover and day warm and 
pleasant : a great many passing, very windy night. 

May 4th, 1863— Left Camp on Platte went 20 miles for 
dinner to ranch in prairie, corn 85 cents, went 12 miles after 
dinner, camped at ranch in Prairie on the River; very Avindy 
day, roads somewhat sandy, hay $1.00 per hundred, wood none 
only what you buy. 

May 5th, 1863 — Left camp 5 o'clock went 20 miles for 
dinner went 12 miles after dinner camped on river, hay $1.00 
per hundred very windy and cold passed Fort Kemey 9 A. M. 
but few soldiers and no fort but other buildings pretty good 


May 6tli, 1863 — Left camp 5 o'clock passed Plum creek, 10 
a. m. mailed letter for home, corn $2.00 traveled 30 miles camp- 
ed at ranch, pleasant night, good hay $1.00. 

May 7th, 1863 — Left camp 5 o'clock went 27 miles for din- 
ner, 6 o'clock no grass, water out of river 10 miles after dinner 
making 37 miles: very windy night, good hay $1.00. 

May 8th, 1863^ — Left camp went 3 miles to blacksmith shop 
tires set and tongue mended, went 29 miles and camped at Fre- 
mont slough, bought good corn at $2.00 per bushel, good ranch. 

May 9th, 1863 — Left camp, met Indians : two teams ran off, 
broke one wagon top off, went 16 miles for dinner, 13 miles after 
dinner, wood $50.00 per cord, no hay or grass, camped on river. 

May 10th, 1863 — Sunday. Left camp went 8 miles and 
stopped for the day poor water, no wood and poor grass, mailed 
two letters one to wife and the other to J. W. Huddleston. 

May 11th, Monday — Left camp 6 o'clock raining some, cold 
morning went 15 miles for dinner, went 10 miles after dinner; 
stayed at Star Ranch, Hay $1.50 per hundred potatoes 5 cents, 
see Indians plenty. 

May 12th, Tuesday — Left camp and traveled about 26 
miles camped in 3 miles of Julesburg no wood or grass. 

May 13th, "Wednesday — Crossed the Platte River without 
an accident ; at Julesburg doubled teams, some quick sand, 
traveled 25 miles from river up Pole creek, camped on creek, 
tolerable grass, country very dry and never much grass- 

Maj^ 14th, Thursday — Left camp at 5 o'clock traveled until 
10 a. m. stopped on very poor grass ; left the Fort Laramie Road 
and took cut off to the South of the Laramie river, stopped on 
Pole creek no grass and awful roads, cut-off a humbug, miles 25. 

May 15th, Friday — Left camp traveled 5 miles and Pole 
creek went dry, saw party ahead found water in about 7 miles 
went 15 miles today no wood but little grass, cut off a very poor 

May 16th, Saturday — Left camp 6 o'clock traveled 18 
miles for dinner, stopped on creek good water crossed creek 10 
inches. Morning nice place to camp, killed an antelope last 
evening, stopped for the night 12 miles after dinner willow 
wood, grass pretty good, windy, mules and horses stampeded. 

May 17th, Sunday — Left camp 6 o'clock went 15 miles over 
Sandy Road good grass and water; traveled 17 miles, camped 
on creek good grass and water, willows for wood, mules in good 
condition, night passed quietly. 

May 18th, Monday — Left camp 5:30 o'clock traveled 18 
miles for dinner, Indians stopped train and wanted gifts gave 
them very little went 18 miles camped near the Rocky Moun- 
tains poor grass, broke wagon brace. 


May 19th, Tuesday — Left camp 6 A. M. 5 miles from moun- 
tains went over spur of the Rocky mountains, stopped by In- 
dians made them some presents and went on, camped for the 
night on Gaum, good dry grass and water good in the Moun- 
tains, traveled 30 miles. 

May 20th, Wednesday — Left Laramie river took dinner on 
the Laramie intersected the stage line on Little Laramie went 
32 miles camped near mountains on. small branch ; cold night, 
rained a little. 

May 21st, Thursday — Morning cold and misty ; started out 
5 :30 snow storm came up blew hard, went 7 miles and put at 
at a fine grove of asp and stayed rest of day, night cold and 

May 22nd, Friday — Left camp 5 :30 very cold and windy : 
traveled 23 miles for dinner, crossed Rock Creek, toll bridge 75 
cents wagon now, at toll bridge asked $2.50 for wagon. 8 miles 
after dinner, passed Ft. Halleck one mile. Very cold. 

May 23rd, Saturday — Started from camp 6 o 'clock traveled 
20 miles for dinner no grass or water, crossed Pass creek 9 A- M. 
arrived on North Platte 3 P. M. making 31 miles, wind too high 
to ferry, price $5.00 per team, no grass on this side. 

(May 24th, Sunday — Crossed North Platte 7 A. M. came 18 
miles for dinner, no grass, paid $5.00 per wagon for ferrying 
went 11 miles after dinner camped 4 miles beyond Pine Grove, 
water and grass, 29 miles. 

May 25th, Monday — Left Camp 5 :30 went through Bridg- 
er's Pass traveled 21 miles for dinner, no grass; 18 miles after 
noon camped on Plains without grass or water, pretty good road 
through pass, this route is without grass. 

May 26th, Tuesday — Left Camp 4 A. M. traveled 11 miles 
for water traveled 30 miles for dinner on Bitter creek, no grass 
nor never was traveled. 3 miles after dinner camped on Bitter 
Creek little grass no wood but good water. 33 miles. 

May 27th, Wednesday — Left camp 5 o'clock traveled 22 
miles for dinner no grass, water badly alkalied, 8 miles after 
dinner camped at Ranch, grass on Bluffs .... 

May 28th, Thursday — Left camp 4 o'clock traveled four 
miles for breakfast, good bluff grass traveled 26 miles after 
breakfast camped on Bitter creek, at ranch grass 2 miles off 
good spring water for cooking, 30 miles- 
May 29th, Friday — Left camp 5:30 o'clock traveled to 
Green River for dinner, got over river by 12 miles but little 
grass, ferrying $3.50 per wagon, stream swift and narrow, trav- 
eled 15 miles after dinner to Black Fork ferry on etc. But we 
found good water and grass, 31 miles. ,' 


May 30th, Saturday — Left camp on Blacks fork traveled 19 
miles for dinner, poor grass, 13 miles after dinner : camped on 
Hams fork, pretty good grass, wood and water 21 miles from 
Fort Bridger made 32 miles. 

May 31st, Sunday — Layed over for rest: fine day: washing 
and horse shoeing going on, don't feel well today, expectorat- 
ing a good deal of blood, wrote 5 letters today one to wife one 
to M. C. Lain, one to A. P. Hopper one to Phoebe Earp and one 
to T. W. Huddleston, will mail them at Fort Bridger, day passed 

June 1st — Left camp 5 :30 stopped for dinner near Fort 
Bridger ; passed Fort about 2 p. m. traveled 12 miles camped 
on small branch, good water and grass, sage wood. Snake and 
other tribes of Indians at Fort for treaty ; good man}^ half 
breeds, made 32 miles. 

June 2nd — -Left camp 5 :30 traveled about 20 miles for din- 
ner through mountains hilly and rough roads, camped for night 
on branch near Needle rock, good spring no wood made about 
33 miles, crossed Bear River, 2 p. m. paid $1.50 for wagon toll. 

June 3rd — Left Camp 5 :30 went through Echo Cannon 
being 25 miles long good roads and grass camped on Weber 
fifty miles from Salt Lake plenty wood and water made 34 

June 4th — Left Camp 6 o'clock traveled 24 miles for din- 
ner went up Weber some miles, crossed and then went up 
Rough Cannon but pretty well worked, settled for 10 or 12 
miles camped in cannon without grass made 40 miles. 

June 5th — Left Camp traveled 12 miles to Salt Lake City 
stopped at corral pay 35 cents per day for hay and shed for 
mules, people very clever, flour $3.00 per hundred. 

June 6th — Saturday, stayed in camp in Salt Lake through 
the day ; got our smithing done and yarn bought ; went to thea- 
tre at night : Strawberries ripe 25 cents per quart, good fruit 
country, people clever. 

June 7th — Sunday, left Camp 6 :30 traveled 15 miles for 
dinner near Salt Lake, great many cattle herded here ; 20 miles 
after dinner camped at foot of mountains left of road, no grass 
or wood near the town of Teau Willie, 35 miles. 

June 8th — Left camp 5 :30 went through the town of Teau 
Willie found grass, 5 miles, stopped 2 hours went up the Teau 
Willie Valley, camped in 3 miles of Stage Road, good grass and 
water made 28 miles. 

June 9th — Left camp 5:30 went 22 miles for dinner went 
off to the left of Stage Road for water went 5 miles after dinner, 
fine grass and water; through cut off road bad, 27 miles. 


June 10th — Left camp 7 o'clock, 3 miles to Indiana Spring, 
stopped for the day, good grass wood and water being in one 
mile of the great desert, will cross the desert this night, about 
40 wagons here to cross. 

June 11th — Started across the desert at 5 :30 p. m. on the 
10th, was 15 hours going across, large mountains to cross in the 
middle of desert found poor water in here, across no wood large 
springs but salty, made 54 miles made 21 miles last night, 75 

June 12th — Left camp last night at Sundown travelled all 
night made 21 miles; stopped over day and night, pretty good 
water and grass, no wood, Stage Station there, very warm and 

June 13th — Saturday left 4 :30 traveled 25 miles for dinner 
on Deep creek, water and grass though . . . • Indian country 
camped on head of Deep creek good water and grass passed 
Deep creek Ranch 50 miles below, some 100 acres in cultivation 
made 33 miles. 

June 14th — Sunday left camp 3 A, M. traveled 22 miles to 
Antelope Springs for dinner traveled 21 miles after dinner to 
Spring Valley ; good grass and water, went through canyon this 
morning, got a scare supposed Indians, this is considered the 
worst Indian country, made 43 miles. 

June 15th — Monday left camp 6 :30 traveled 8 miles over 
mountains to Hot Spring, bunch grass on mountains traveled 20 
miles after dinner to Egan Station water and grass made 28 

June 16th — Tuesday left camp 4 o'clock traveled 15 miles 
for dinner no grass or water, 30 miles to water, froze last night 
stopped at mountain spring at 3 P. M. went to Ruby valley after 
sujDper 9 miles from mountain, springs made 40 miles. 

June 17th — Wednesday, lay over for the day, good Avater 
and grass ; wrote letter home and mailed it here, a few soldiers 
at Fort Ruby, a few settlers, no farms some trace of mines here, 
a stone post-office, whiske}^ $8.00 per gallon, flour $8.00 per 

June 18th — Thursday, left Ruby Valley 5 :30 went 16 miles 
for dinner went off to the right of Road one and one-half miles 
for water and grass; 10 miles after dinner to Diamond Springs 
water and grass, water warm but good. 

June 19th — Friday, left Diamond Springs 6:30 went across 
valley to spring off of the Road to the right; water and grass; 
stopped on Roberty Creek, went 3 miles up to good grass water 
and wood ; plenty of Indians, made 33 miles. 

June 20th — Saturday, left camp 5 A. M. Avent 12 miles for 
dinner: water to the left of Road no grass: went 20 miles after 


diimer to Dry creek, went off creek 3 miles for grass, good grass 
and water made 32 miles. 

June 21st — Sunday, left camp 6 :30 traveled 23 miles for 
dinner no grass but passed Bottom grass 2 miles below; stock 
strayed off some distance and had some trouble in getting them, 
made 33 miles- 
June 22nd — ^Monday. Stayed in camp this day, grass good 
plenty of water, went over to Austin and Clifton quite stiring 
little towns and think they have good silver mines, no timber 
with anything and but little water. 

June 23rd — Tuesday. Still in camp on Reese River, a small 
shower of rain today: quite a number of our trains stop here, 
chances good would stop here and take up claim if the climate 
would let me, prospect in mines good. 

June 24th — ^Wednesday. Left camp 6 o'clock passed 
through Jacobsville 7 miles after leaving Reese River, no water 
for 25 miles camped on Creek, good water grass and wood, 
made 35 miles very little rain this evening. 

June 25th — Thursday. Left camp 5 :30 traveled 9 miles 
stopped to graze on Edwards creek said to be last grass to Car- 
son went to cold springs and fed there, went to "West Gate and 
stopped for the night no grass, hay 6 cents per pound water 
very poor made 40 miles. 

June 26th — Friday. Left West Gate 6 o'clock went to 
Sand Springs 22 miles for dinner no grass, pretty good water 
went to Carson Slough for and stopped for night forded Slough 
toll $1.50 per wagon not much grass made 40 miles hard road, 
haj 5 cents. 

June 27th — Saturday. Left camp 6 o'clock went to Car- 
son River for dinner, forded river, hay 3 cents, roads very 
sandy, went ten miles after dinner, camped on Carson, good 
grass and water and wood 25 miles. 

June 28th — Sunday. Left camp 7 o'clock went 12 miles 
for dinner to well in desert hay 4 cents went 14 miles , after 
dinner to M^ell in desert, water bad, roads rocky and sandy hay 
5 cents country hard and not worth settling in people going to 
Reese's river from California 26 miles. 

June 29th — Monday, arrived in Virginia City at 12 found 
quite a city and much business country moving, good quartz, 
many doing well, property high, place said to be sick camp, hay 
5 cents, barley 7 cents. 

June 30th — Tuesday, still in Virginia City very costly to 
live here will leave for California, very busy place, speculation 

July 1st — "Wednesday, left Virginia City at 1 p. m. trav- 
eled 13 miles on Truckey valley roads graded, toll $1-50 per 


wagon, high mountains, much wood taken out of the mountains 
on road hay 21/2 cents here, fine meadow but all taken up plenty 
of water. 

July 2nd — Thursday. Still in camp Mr, Nihel] Avent back 
to Washo mines to try for a place left camp 1 p. m. traveled 
17 miles camped on Truckey River good pasture 25 cents per 
head, good place to stay. 

July 3rd — Friday. Left camp 8 A. M. Avent through fine 
pine timber all day sold off mules on road for 4 oxen and one 
horse traveled about 20 miles, 

July 4th — Saturday. Left camp 6 o'clock stopped for 
dinner near the summit of the Sierra Nevada fine little valley 
but unfenced fine water and plenty of snow on the mountains, 
stopped at Boumans for the night hay Si/o cents, potatoes 5 
cents heavy frost and froze. 

July 5th — Sunday. Left camp at 7 o'clock traveled for 
dinner to snow over very bad mountain passed Eureka a min- 
ing town has been of much importance stopped for night at 
toll gate hay 314 cents, potatoes 4 cents, barley 4 cents, made 21 

July 6th — Monday. Went 6i/^ miles to Cherokee, went 
back 2 miles to the Nugent home where Mr. Nihell resides, stays 
at .$25.00 per month and stopped near property, staid over 
night with them, 5 miles. 

July 7th — Tuesday. Stayed over the day with Mr Nihell 
very warm and I am not well, plenty of gold mines, l)0ught 
$79.00 of green backs of Mr. Nihell at $65.00. 

July 8th — Wednesday. Left Mr. Nihell 7 a. m. traveled to 
Union Ranch stopped for night good accommodation hay IV2 
cents, barley 3. 

July 9th — Thursday. Left Ranch went 12 miles for dinner 
arrived Marysville 5 p. m. Hot dry, hay V/i, barley 1.S7 per 
hundred, stopped at Fan's stable and board at Franklin House. 

July 10th — Friday. Still at Marysville no sale of stock 
yet today pleasant good air cleaned up a little commenced 
boarding at Franklin House this morning at $4.00 per day per 

July nth — Saturday. Still in Marysville weather cool and 
fine today, no .offers for mules, stock coming in teaming low 
toAvn dull- 
July 12th — Sunday. Hot, no sale yet don't like tlie place. 
July 13th — Monday. Still in ^Marysville sold wagon and 
Pullum mules. 

July 14th — Tuesday. Sold small mules and horse. 
July latii — Wednesday. Sold out all traps and fixed up 
for Sacramento. 


July 16t]i — Thursday, Left Marysville California, for Sac- 
ramento at 6 A. M. river very low arrived at Sacramento at 1 :30 
stopped What Cheer hotel. 

July 17th — Left Sacramento 6 A. M. arrived at Surson 
2 :30 P. M. had bad cold found Bartlett away from home staid 
at hotel over night, 

July 18th — Stayed at Mr. H. G- Bartletts today passed 
time very agreeable. 

July 19th — Sunday. Mr. Bartlett came home this morning 
had good time he hasn 't changed any of any note, 

July 20th — Still at Mr. Bartletts yet got letter from home 
dated 23rd of June, wrote home. 

July 21st — Tuesday. Left Surson Avent to Beriean by stage 
took boat for San Francisco arrived at San Francisco 10 p. m. 
stopped at What Cheer House. 

July 22nd — Wednesday. Staid in San Francisco this day 
bought tickets for New York, $85.00 per ticket second cabin, 
$150.00 in first cabin very busy place, Mr. John Hardcastle 
bought ticket on same steamer. 

July 23rd — Thursday. Went board of steamer Constitu- 
tion 9 A. M. got off at 10 :30 A. M, some little sea sick not very 
bad no appetite for supper slept very well but nothing extra. 

July 24th — Friday. Steamer getting along well not much 
sick, day passing off pretty well cloudy no land seen. 

July 25th — Saturday. Weather warm and pleasant sun 
shines, passengers generally feels well no land in sight evening 
not very good. 

July 26th- — Sunday. Getting quite warm time goes on 
pretty well sea smooth not much sea sickness yet boat runs 
steady, saw several whales this day. 

July 27th — Monday. Very warm morning, in sight of land 
today day passed off quietly, fire exercise at night. 

July 28th — Tuesday. Very warm but getting along well, 
coal carrier knocked down by Engineer. 

July 29th — Wednesday. Landed at Mansainelle which is 
situated in Mexico, surrounded by high hills on 3 sides, town 
small and of not much importance, Mr. Randell shot a man 10 
p. m. in leg, coal carrier died. 

July 30th — Thursday. Landed at Accapulca 10 A. M- got 
off 1 p. m. coal carrier buried here — nice Battery, good harbor 
surrounded by hills. 

July 31st — Friday. Day rather pleasant good air, sea 
somewhat rough, getting along well. 

August 1st — Saturday. Morning warm, times begins to 
ware off slowly, afternoon cooler, sea smooth, don't like being 
on ship much, land more prefable. 


August 2nd — Sunday. Day passed off pleasantly being 
quite cool and have an interesting book to read, the day has not 
seemed very long, sea rough, more so than any other day so far. 

August 3rd — Monday. Small shower this morning, day 
pleasant, small Island in sight afternoon, getting along verv 

August 4th — Tuesday. Morning warm, many small islands 
in sight on east side, baggage weighed today. 

August 5th — Wednesday. Came to anchor at 5 a. m. 3 
miles from Panama, got on small steamer and landed at R. K- 
depot. Left Panama 11 A. M.. arrived in Aspinwallat 2 P. M., 
got dinner at city hotel, went board of Ocean Queen, 4 :30 P. M. 

August 6th — Thursday. Sea rough, great many sick, get- 
ting along fine, weather hot with showers, hard, poor water, etc. 

August 7th — Friday. Still getting along very well, good 
commander and passengers getting better. 

August 8th — Saturday. Warm and showery, have good 
sail on today, passed Cuba light house, about dark. 

August 9th — ^Sunday. Morning pleasant had Divine ser- 
vices read by Mr. Moore, time passing very slow, expect to be 
out of danger of accident today. 

August 10th — Monday. Sea very calm, day passed oft' very 
well reading, passed Key West and Light House, day warm. 

August 11th — Tuesday Day passed quietly, very warm, 
making good time beyond, seems like getting to New York, trip 
seems very long. 

August 12th — Wednesday. Day very warm, no nice thun- 
der showers at night. 

August 13th — Thursday. 6 A. M. 70 miles from New York, 
day cool and pleasant, arrived in New York 2 P. ]\L, very hot, 
stopped at Western Hotel. 

August 14th — Friday. Still in New York. 

August ISth^Saturday. Leave New York 5 P. M. for 

August 16th — Arrived at Niagara Falls 10 A. M.. stopped 
at Niagara House, good hotel. 

August 17th — Monday. Leave Niagara Falls 10 A ]\[. for 
Chicago, arrived at Detroit 7 :30 P. M. 

August 18th — Tuesday. Arrived in Chicago 7 :30 A. M., 
stayed in Chicago through the day, leave for Macomb at 8 :15. 

Note: Mr. p]. T. liartley of the firm of Hopper and Bartley, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, is a nephew of Mr. Silas L. Hopper the 
author of the Diary. Through the courtesy of Mr. Bartley a 
typescript copy of the original Diary was made and proofed in 
the office of the State Historian and permission granted for pub- 
lication of the manuscript. g^^^^ Historian. 



("The "Wyoming State Journal" of Landei- publislied this article 
in September 1925) 

The latest maps of Wyoming locate the towns of GreybuU, 
Basin, Bonneville and Shoshoni just West of the 108th Meridian 
Greenwich time, and the 111th ]\reridian nearly on the western 
boundary passes through the Teton Basin. Lying within this 
area are lofty mountain peaks, glacial and other geological for- 
mations the like of which are found no where else on this conti- 
nent — there are rich mineral deposits — a flora unique in its 
varieties, beautiful lakes abomid and rivers whose course have 
determined history; The World's great playground is within 
this inclosure — tho not belonging to the State — and the wild 
game still roams the mountain fastnesses. Bonneville the old- 
est Fort in Wyoming was here, and here too was old Fort 
Bridger second only in importance to old Fort Laramie. With 
such natural attractions and such possibilities for wealth, it 
was only a question of time until adventuresome men and cap- 
tains of industry would turn their attention to this — to them — 
unexplored country. The Spaniards claim to have visited this 
section as early as 1650 and there is much to support their con- 

W. A. Jones a Government engineer in his "Reconnaisance 
of N. W. Wyoming in 1875" says he found a stone circle on the 
right bank of the Little Wind River, south of Butte Springs 
and below Camp Browai which was 3 feet by 6 feet and that he 
found several other circles in the Wind River region- He was 
confident they were the work of some prehistoric peoples of 
primitive habits ; other writers relate similar discoveries. 

The Verendreys — father and sons, came in from the N. W. 
in 1743-4 and journeyed as far South as the Wind River and 
would probably have gone farther but for the advice of the 
friendly Shoshone 's. 

By the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the United States came 
into new possessions in the N. W. and in 1804 LcAvis and Clark 
were sent out to report upon a feasible Railroad route to the 
Pacific Ocean. They did not enter any part of Avhat is now 
Wyoming but a man who had been in their employ — John 
Colter — did come into the northern part of the state by way of 
the Yellowstone. Colter is thought to have remained in the 
State for five or six years trapping along the streams. In his 
wanderings he came upon the geysers of the Yellowstone area, 
and so accurate were his maps and so vivid his description of 

A Scene on West Fork of Wind River, Fremont Cotinty 

Courtesy of the State Department of Agriculture 


"Colters Hell" that he is regarded as the first white man to 
come into Wyoming. 

John Jacob Astor, that far sighted Hollander, had fitted 
out a company to go through to the headwaters of the Colum- 
bia,. trapping along the way and so on to Astoria (Astor 's Fort 
on the Columbia) to work in the fur fields of the Pacific for 
the Astor Company. 

The conunand of the expedition was given to Wilson P. 
Hunt of New Jersey. Hunt was to meet his men in St. Louis 
probably at the old "Rocky Mountain Hotel" which for years 
had been the home of the trappers and traders when they were 
in St. Louis. Here the Fur Companies outfitted their men each 
man with a leather trap-sack in which were carried his six or 
seven beaver traps and his possible-sack which was usually 
abbreviated to "possibles". 

This "possible sack" was made of dressed buffalo skin and 
contained ammunition, some tobacco, dressed deer skins for 
moccasins and other small necessities. The horses or mules 
used for the expedition were usually procured from Indians 
and traders along the route. Generally each trapper had one 
horse or mule to ride and from one to three for the pack- In 
the Hunt party were Ramsey Crook, Donald McKenzie, John 
Day, John Reed, Robert McLellan, Pierre Dorion, the half-breed 
interpreter and his Indian wife, and a number of others in all 
about sixty white people. They started from St. Louis and as- 
cended the Missouri by steamboat to the Big Cheyenne— where 
they started overland but were so harrassed by hostile Indians 
that they were forced to take a more southwesterly course than 
had been the original intention ; continuing southwest they 
crossed the Wind River and the Wind River Mountains and so 
on out of the State without having found the South Pass or 
any easy mountain passes. To the Indian troubles experienced 
by this party, we owe the first trail made by white men across 
our State. The three Kentucky hunters Edward Robinson, 
Jacob Rizner and John Hoback who had joined the Hunt party 
remained in Wyoming for sometime hunting and trapping up 
and down the streams. The memory of Hoback is perpetuated 
in the river and canyon which bear his name. A small stream 
flowing into the Big Horn river from the west, was called the 
John Reed but the name has disappeared from the later maps : 
but the John Day still empties into the Snake. There were four 
rivers in as many states named for John Day. Day himself 
suffering from hardships and exposure died of insanity. 

The commonly accepted date for the Hunt expedition is 
1809-11, but the Government map of 1818 known as the Rector 


map places the time at 1807. Whatever the true date may be 
it Avas the quest for furs Avhich brought the first permanent 
Avhite men into our state and Ave have no recorded history previ- 
ous to the coming of these early trappers and traders. In order 
to understand fully the history of our state, it is necessary to 
knoAV something of the character, the activities and the methods 
employed by these men as they Avere the forerunners of the set- 
tlers. To really knoAv these early fur dealers is to knoAv Wyo- 
ming. As they Avere nomadic in their habits they became fa- 
miliar Avith the geography of the west as no other class of men 
had done ; Avandering over mountains and up and doAvn streams 
they soon learned every pass — every haunt of Avild animals, 
every beaver stream and every sheltered A^alley Avhich by these 
men Avas called a "hole". Chittenden says that no GoA^ernment 
explorer ever discovered anything after 1840 that these men 
had not knoAvn for years. 

Unlike most persons of nomadic instincts they returned 
Avith periodic regularity to some spot Avhich had been previ- 
ously agreed upon : this spot Avas necessarily a broad sheltered 
valley or "hole". As they generally spent the Avinter in one 
of these valleys and returned in July for the rendezvous it Avas 
essential that the locality be Avell protected from the rigors of 
Avinter, should have good forage for stock and a stream Avith 
pure Avater and one Avhich had not been entirely "trapped out" 
for in a scarcity of other game the beaver must furnish food 
as Avell as fur. The broad flat tail of the beaver Avas a delicacy 
equal to that of the buffalo tongue and the fur sometimes took 
the place of absorljent cotton. E-uxton in his "Rocky Mountain 
Life" says he saAv a Avound in the shoulder of the old French 
trapper La Bonti dressed by stuffing a handful of beaver fur 
into the Avound and strapping it in place. 

-- There Avas a lapse of ten or tAvelve years before a second 
party visited the Rocky Mountain district- But a region so 
rich in fur-bearing animals could not long remain unharvested. 
Accordingly in 1822 Asliley entered the fur trade and estab- 
lished a trading post on the YelloAvstone in Avhat is noAV Mon- 
tana — but Avas obliged to al)andon it because of Indian troubles. 
He crossed over to the mouth of the Big Horn according to 
Chittenden and folloAved it to its source. 

Among the men associated Avith Ashley Avas AndrcAV Henry, 
David Jackson, after Avhom the lake Avas named — the Sublette 
Brothers, Etienne Provost, Avho shares the honors Avith Fitz- 
patrick of having discovered the South Pass. Jedediah Smith 
and Jim Bridger. Smith and Bridger Avere the explorers of the 
group. Each man Avas a character in his Avay and each man 


was a contributing factor in the development of Wyoming. 
Ashley was a man of intelligence, honest, shrewd and brave and 
of such agreeable personality that he was easilj^ a leader of 
men. He revolutionized the fur trade by introducing the cara- 
van and the rendezvous : the latter was a sort of movable trad- 
ing post to which the Indians, trappers and traders came to 
exchange furs for tobacco, whiskey, coffee, sugar, gaudy calico 
and such other articles as appealed to the taste of the Red men 
and their wives. Once the Indian obtained whiskey he could be 
cheated out of anything and his weakness was encouraged by 
the traders, in violation of the fact that the Fur Companies 
prohibited the use of alcohol. Mrs. Elizabeth Arnold Stone in 
her recently published history of Uinta County says "not until 
Andrew Dripps became Indian Agent in 1842 was this perni- 
cious custom brought under any control. ' ' Usually the trapper 
was more temperate in his drink than the Indian but often in a 
single night would gamble away the profits of a year and a 
story is told of one man who gambled away his own scalp. 
Ashley held his first rendezvous in July 1823 at a place a little 
north of the junction of Ham's fork with the Green River. On 
this occasion business methods new to the trappers were intro- 
duced: furs were counted and properly packed ready to be 
transported by pack animals and steamboats to the market in 
St. Louis. According to Luttig a "pack of furs" was made up 
of 10 buffalo robes, 14 bears, 60 otter, 80 beaver, 80 raccoon, 
120 foxes or 600 muskrats and the purchasing power of a 
beaver "jjlew" as the pelts were called regulated the scale 
of prices. 

John Work in his Journal relates that when trading with 
the Indians' furs were usually paid for Avith staple groceries 
and alcohol, and one can readily understand how profitable 
the fur business might be made when sugar was sold to the 
Indians at a $1.00 per pound and diluted rum at $8.00 per 
quart. Ashley himself paid for furs with sugar at $100 per 
pound, gunpowder at $1.30 per pound and diluted rum at $13.50 
per gallon. So great were his profits that he retired at the end 
of five years and lived in affluence in St. Louis for the remain- 
der of his life. Not long after the retirement of Ashley, Major 
Henry also retired to St. Louis with a competancy. 

In the reorganized Company (now called the Rocky Moun- 
tain Fur Company) which followed the withdrawal of these 
men Wm. L. Sul)lette and Robert Campbell by the law of nat- 
ural selection became the most influential men in the Company. 
Milton G. Sublette early joined his brother in the West. There 
were five Sublette brothers, four of whom entered the fur trade 
and spent several years principally in what is now Western 


Wyoming. "Wm. Sublette was regarded as one of the most mas- 
terful and intrepid leaders of his day. In 1831 he brought the 
first wagons to the foot of the Mountains, but did not cross 
over. It is a tradition that these were the first wagons on the 
Oregon Trail. After many years in the "West, Wm. L- Sublette 
returned to St. Louis, where he was engaged in business for 
some years, but died while on his way to Washington, D. C. 
His death occurred in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 23, 
1845. Milton G. and Pinckney W. Sublette had remained in 
the West. According to the St. Louis Republican of June 16, 
1837, Milton died on April 5th, 1837 at Ft. William on the 
Platte. Pinckney now left alone, continued to trap the streams 
of the Green River Valley until he too died in 1865 and was 
buried on the north bank of the Fontenelle near its mouth. 

The ranch home of Mrs. Ella Walters on the La Barge 
keeps vigil over the site of this lonely grave. The body itself 
was disinterred in 1898 and the bones were carried to St. Louis 
where the skull was exhibited as mute evidence in a law suit. 

The naming of Sublette County was an appropriate tribute 
to the memory of these brothers who helped to make a way for 
early settlements in the Western part of our State. . 

The Missouri Historical Society owns many manuscripts 
and letters concerning the Sublettes which are of great value 
to the student of Wyoming History ; much other Wyoming His- 
tory is also owned by this society. 

Associated with the Sublettes and Robert Campbell in the 
fur trade was Fitzpatrick, Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith- 
It is said that the last rendezvous conducted by these men was 
on the Wind River in 1830 and that the profits were large. 

In 1832 Captain Bonneville obtained a leave of absence 
from the United States Army that he might go on an exploring 
tour into the Rocky Mountains. The expedition was fitted out 
at his own expense and his idea for using wagons instead of 
animals for transporting the packs proved a practicable one 
for in 1832 he crossed the Mountains, with four Avheeled wagons 
and erected a house on Horse Creek which he intended to use 
for a fur-trading post : this was the first attempt at a perma- 
nent settlement in Wyoming : the post however was abandoned 
before a year but the site is marked by a granite marker bear- 
ing the inscription 

Site of Fort Bonneville 

Today a Mountain peak and a town share honors with the 
old Fort. 


The fur industry continued to be the only source of revenue 
and the place for the yearly rendezvous an important matter. 

The records show that four times the location selected for 
the camp was on the Wind River : but the little valley formed 
by the junction of the Horse Creek and the Green River near 
the present town of Daniel in Sublette County seemed to meet 
all requirements better than any other place. It was to this 
spot that Rev. Samuel Parker had come in 1835 and on the 
Sunday P. M. of August 23, preached to all who could under- 
stand English. This was the first religious service held in Wyo- 

Dr. Wislizenus, a very able German physician exiled in 
this country, made a tour of the Rocky Mountains and was 
present when the rendezvous was held there in 1839. His de- 
scription of this historic event is regarded as lucid and accurate. 
He says he crossed the Sweetwater toward the end of June, and 
continuing his journey crossed the Little and Big Sandy and 
the New Fork, and was on his way to the yearly summer rendez- 
vous which usually took place in the neighborhood of the Green 
River. The streams arise in the Wind River Mountains and 
are tributary to the Green River. He had learned from the 
Agents that the right bank of the Green River at the angle 
formed by its confluence with the Horse Creek had been the 
place fixed upon. He says the camping place was about two 
miles above the Horse Creek along the right bank of the Green 
River. The Plain between the two streams was about 3 miles 
wide and because of its desirable location the rendezvous had 
been several times held there- 
in 1840 Father De Smet crossing the country to labor with 
the Indians farther West, chanced upon this place while the 
rendezvous was being held. He says there were about 2000 
trappers, traders and Indians present and to these he admin- 
istered the Holy Bucharest and from this act, the place came to 
be known as the "Prairie of the Mass. ' ' On the 5th of last July 
(1925) Rt. Rev. P. A. McGovern of the Roman Catholic Diocese 
of Wyoming celebrated mass at this identical spot. Using for 
an Altar the base of the beautiful granite cross erected by the 
Knights of Columbus, to commemorate the first Mass celebrated 
in our State. 

From the beginning of the industry, the price of furs had 
been steadily advancing : in 1800 beaver sold at $1.00 per pound 
which was about $1.25 per skin. In 1809 the price had risen to 
as high as $4.00 per pound but after the war of 1812 the price 
dropped to $2.50 per pound and stayed there until 1815 : again 
the market value rose and in 1834 a plew would fetch as high 


as $8.00 to the pound : prices were now at their peak and a de- 
cline was inevitable, but the market kept good for a few years 
longer : then a substitute for beaver was found in such cheaper 
furs as Mexican nutria and improved preparations of hare, rab- 
bit and other soft furs. Silk began to be used in the manufac- 
turing of the "stove-pipe" and other hats, worn by men— ma- 
terials of lighter weight than fur were growing in popularity 
and in the entire decade of the 30 's the fashionable world had 
not cared greatly for fur — Europe never did take to the buit'alo 
Robe and in America the demand for it had to be created and 
the use confined to coats and winter robes. At this time four 
dollars and a half for a robe was considered a good price. The 
old prices never came back and the big trappers were Avith- 
di'uwing from the field. Jim Bridger however stayed on and 
in 1842 built his fort on Black's fork of the Green River. It 
was not so much a fort or trading post as it was a rest house 
and repair shop for the outward bound emigrants It was the 
first break in the long overland journey after leaving Fort Lar- 
amie. Here Bridger lived for several years with his Indian wife 
and half breed children. The trapper had become the settler. 
Bridger 's Post was the second permanent settlement in "Wyo- 

Quickly following the decline in the fur industry came the 
discovery of gold. The emigration to the far west had already 
set in when Mormon troubles brought the United States troops 
to Bridger 's Fort and in 1858 the fort became a military post. 
The exigencies of the Civil War took the troops away tempo- 
rarily, but the small settlement which had grown up about the 
post remained. Mr. W. A. Carter of Virginia and Missouri 
came out with Johnston's Army in 1857 as Post-trader. The 
house which Mr. Carter built and occupied until his death in 
1881 is said to be the oldest residence in Wyoming. The first 
piano and the first threshing machine in the State were brought 
in l)y Judge Carter. A county and a town Avere named in honor 
of this early settler. Foi-t Bridger is one of the historic spots in 
the West. It has been a trapper trading and repair post, an 
emigrant supply depot, a military Post and a Pony Express 
Station. As early as 1863 your own lamented townspeople, 
Major and Mrs. Baldwin were stationed at Fort Bridger. 

The Wind River Valley was settled soon after the Green 
River valley- Through the courtesy of the Baldwin Brothers, 
we learn from an old account book that in Septembei- 1867, 
"Samuel Devor" came to work for the winter to go to the Wind 
River Valley at seventy-five dollars and two first class Buffalo 
Robes with the privilege to use two yoke o.f cattle and the time 



to fence and build a cabin on farm say not to exceed six weeks ' 
time; during said time I am to board him "Signed — M. Bald- 

From the Coutant collection of notes in the State Historical 
Department we take the following : 

Mr. Stefano Gini (an Italian) says that when they came 
into the Valley in September 1868 he found a stone cabin on 
the Little Popoagie where he himself located; the next cabin 
was across the road opposite to the Jules Lamareaux farm house 
of later date, and that the next cabin was Mr. Baldwin's store 
and residence on Baldwin Creek. On February 1, 1868 the 
"Settlers of Wind River Valley" held a public meeting the 
object of which was to formulate a set of local laws. At this 
meeting it was 

"Resolved that the boundarj^s of the Wind River agricul- 
tural District that shall embrace all the territory lying between 
the Wind River Mountains on the West the Rattle Snake range 
on the south and east and the Big Horn on the north by other 
with the Owl Creek on the Northwest. 

"Resolved that each settler being entitled to locate one 
hundred and sixty acres of Farm Land under U. S. Preemption 
Laws shall define his boundaries by four Corner stakes firmly 
set not less than four inches and four feet in length with name 
and date of location legibley written there on and that each 
settler shall build a house on his claim on or before the first 
day of May 1868 not less than ten by twelve feet whitch shall 
hold his claim until the first day of December 1868 when he 
shall be required to ockupy (occupy) the premises otherwise the 
claim shall be declared vacant and subject to relocation. 

"Resolved that a committee of those to consist of Mr. W. 
Welch, Mr. Auston, Mr. N. B. Baldwin be appointed to bound 
and name a city site also to locate and bound publick Road." 

The Officers were to be elected by a majority of the settlers 
and were to hold office for one year and thus was Lander born. 
As permanent settlements were being made, it became apparent 
that life and property must be protected from Indian attacks. 
With that end in view the Federal Government established a 
military post where Lander now stands and named it Fort 
Brown in honor of Captain Brown who had been killed in the 
Phil Kearney Massacre of December 21st, 1866- This was in 
1869. In 1873 the Post was removed to what is now Fort Wash- 
akie. In 1870 Camp Stambough was established to protect the 
South Pass district but was abandoned in 1877. 


With permanent settlements came the stock industry, the 
huge irrigation projects, the search for the earth's hidden 
treasures, the development of the small farm and the growth of 
community interest. The entire district we have been discuss- 
ing is rich in historic lore, but there has been more detailed 
history published and there are more landmarks on the eastern 
slope of the mountains than on the western. Consequently it is 
easier for the wayfarer to follow the Trail east of the Divide. 
One reason for this might be because the road divided on leav- 
ing South Pass and the towering mountain peaks were left 
behind as far as history is concerned. 

The early emigrant had little time to enjoy the scenery but 
the settler and his descendants have had time to take inventory 
of his surroundings. 

Perhaps at no time in the history of the West has scenery 
and climate been such an asset as in the present. Much should 
be made of the beauty spots with which nature has been so 
lavish in Fremont County for they are both a rest and an in- 
spiration to mind and soul. Nor should the opportunity be 
neglected to learn from the early settler himself at what cost 
he builded so well. The friendly talk may dispel the oft voiced 
plaint that fhe pioneer has had his day. You may help him to 
a realization that human experience and the wares of the mind 
cannot be purchased with coin of the realm and that as Carlisle 
has said "History is only philosophy in action." 

In all the enterprises which have developed our State and 
its History the trapper, the settler, the Army, each had a con- 
structive part and no section of Wyoming is a more satisfying 
field for historical study than the district which lies west of the 
108th Meridian. 

Written for the Music-Research Club of Lander. 

Read September 7th, 1925. 

Mrs. Cyrus Beard, 

State Historian. 


Laramie, "Wyoming, September 28th, 1925. 
Dear Mrs- Beard : — 

The two articles which I sent you about the Thornburg 
massacre are the product of J. Scott Payne, a captain of the 
5th Regiment Cavalry U. S. A. Undoubtedly in the days of 
October, 1879, Captain Payne wrote out in his own handwriting 
a memorandum which was later put into more tangible and 
printable form by someone who was at that time, October 1879, 
in the office of S. W. Downey, attorney at law. I have in my 
files an affidavit from Col. Downey's son regarding having 
found these papers in his father's office. I believe this is the 
information that you asked for sometime ago. 

Dr. G. R. Hebard. 


I, J- Scott Payne, Captain 5th R-egiment of Cavalry in the 
army of the United States do hereby certify on honor that being 
the commanding officer of Company F. 5th U. S. Cavalry, I ac- 
companied the military expedition consisting of Co. E. 3rd Cav- 
alry, Capt. Lawson Commanding Company Q. 5th Cavalry, 
Lieut. Paddock Commanding Co. F. 5th Cavalry, Capt. Payne 
Commanding and a part of Co. F. 4th Infantry, Lieut. Price 
Commanding sent to White River Indian Agency in September 
last (1879) under Command of Major Thomas F. Thomburg 
4th Infantry, and that I participated in the battle on Milk 
River, fought September 29th, 1879, and being next in command 
to the said Major Thornburg who was killed in said action upon 
his death assumed command of said expedition remaining with 
the same while beleagued by Ute Indians on said Milk River 
and in the vicinity thereof and until the arrival of the relief 
column consisting of Companies B. A. M. L. 5th Cavalry and 
Cos- I. B. C. and E. 4th Infantry, Colonel Wesley Merritt, 5th 
Cavalry commanding on the 5th day of October 1879 being in 
the meantime twice wounded but able to observe, and carefully 
observing said battle and the subsequent environment of said 
command; that on the morning of the 29th day of September 
A. D. 1879, the said command marching from Rawlins, Wyo- 
ming Territory, to White River Indian Agency, Colorado, in 
descending the valley of Milk River in the State of Colorado on 
the West side of said stream and (where?) near the North line 


of the White Kiver Indiau Reservation, overtook an ox-train 
consisting, of twenty-eight yoke of oxen with ten wagons laden 
with Indian supplies for White River Indian Agency in the 
State of Colorado, that said oxen were divided into five teams, 
each team drawing two wagons laden as aforesaid and all under 
charge of one John Gordon to whom said teams and wagons be- 
longed and who were transporting said supplies to said AVhite 
River Indian Agency under contract with one James France 
and for delivery to the Indian Agent at said agency for the 
use of the Ute Indians belonging to said agency and receiving 
supplies at that point in accordance with treaty stipulations ; 
that said train was enroute to said agency on the usually trav- 
eled road and proceeding in the direction of said agency in 
good condition when overtaken by said command. That the 
said Major Thornburg commanding upon overtaking said team 
requested the said John Gordon who was in charge thereof to 
halt the same when overtaken by the transportation team ac- 
companying his command in order to allow the same which was 
proceeding more rapidly than the team of the said Gordon was 
proceeding or could proceed to pass the latter which was pro- 
ceeding in the same direction laden as aforesaid ; that when the 
transportation train of the command overtook the train of the 
said Gordon, the said Gordon in compliance with the request of 
the said Major Thornburg halted his team and permitted that 
of the command to pass forward as it did the rear wagon of the 
train of the command having arrived opposite the advance 
wagon of Mr. Gordon's train when the troops under Major 
Thorjilnirg engaged the enemy a short distance in advance and 
further down the said Milk River in the direction of said 
agency; that the enemy consisting of Ute Indians delivering 
their fire with great effect early in the engagement killed J\Iajor 
Thornburg the commander whereupon the command dissolved 
upon me, and the fight was continued during the day and for 
several days ensuing; that the command fell back upon the 
train and the Indians having taken possession of the surround- 
ing liills and ridges which affording them a protection against 
the fire of the troops enabled them to deliver with great delib- 
eration a deadly fire into the command and to prevent a suc- 
cessful retreat ; that thereupon the train of the command was 
parked, and the troops began to intrench ; that early in the en- 
gagement to retire being impossi])le the said Gordon closed up 
his train, so dispersing it as to afford a protection against the 
fire of the enemy, the train of the command parking and the 
command entrenching within fifty yards of the place where the 
said Gordon's train was standing and had been halted at the 
request of the said Major Thornburgh ; that during the engage- 


ment the enemy set fire to the grass and brush along Milk River 
and in 'the vicinity of the command, and the grass and brush 
being dry and parched the fire burnt with great fury coming 
rapidly in the direction of the train of the command threaten- 
ing not only the entire destruction of the train and supplies of 
the command, but also that of the command itself whose danger 
was imminent ; that at this juncture, being in command, I or- 
dered the men of the command to set fire to the grass and brush 
in their vicinity and to fire against the fire set out by the In- 
dians and Avhich was rapidly approaching, in such manner as to 
counteract it and protect the train from destruction thereby ; 
that such counter-fire was set out by my men in compliance 
with my orders and was effectual in preventing the imminent 
destruction of the train and men of the command ; that the 
enemy keeping up a fire from the hills and ridges compelled the 
men of my command to keep under cover so that they could not 
control the counter-fire set out by my orders and which were 
spreading in the direction of the said Gordon's train threatened 
its destruction; that the said Gordon endeavored to save his 
train and to that end used great exertion; that the fire sur- 
rounding his train soon enveloped it in flames and the enemy 
keeping up a fire from every dire'ction, would pour it with 
deadly effect upon the said Gordon and his man whenever he 
would attempt to save his train from total destruction, one of 
his men being wounded and the rest in imminent danger of 
being killed when loosing the cattle (oxen) from the train he 
was compelled to take refuge in the intrenchments of the com- 
mand; that the said train of Gordon together with all supplies 
with which it was laden was totally destroyed by the fire set 
out by my orders to save my train and which did save it, and 
my command but which the Indians prevented him from ex- 
tinguishing before it reached the said Gordon's train, and that 
the oxen of the said Gordon disengaged from the train, some 
fifty-six in number, were either killed or driven off by the en- 
emy, and I further certify on honor that if it had not become 
necessary for me to set out the fire which saved my train but 
burnt the train of the said Gordon it would have become neces- 
sary for me to have the said Gordon's train to prevent its being 
used by the Indians as a protection against our fire in approach- 
ing our intrenchments were it not that the fire set out by the 
enemy would in any event have destroyed said train which it 
was rapidly approaching, was much as the Indians under cover 
of the bluffs could have reached an arroya, the head of which 
was near the said Gordon's train where the same had been 
halted, and which would liave protected them from our fire 
while taking position behind the wagons of said train; and I 


further certify on honor that the said Gordon had taken pro- 
tection in our works and his train had been destroyed, ren- 
dered my command most valuable services, by taking out dis- 
patches on the night after the fight began and finding and con- 
ducting Capt. Dodges Co. I 9th U. S. Cavalry to my timely 
relief, thereby adding greatly to our sense of security, the said 
John Gordon under the most trying circumstances being cool 
and collected and withal unostentatious and accommodating 
and always ready and willing to undertake the most important 
services and to discharge them with fidelity. 

Territory ) 

County of Albany ) 

Martin L. Brandt being duly sworn deposeth and saith that 
in the month of October 1879 after the battle with IJte Indians 
on Milk River in the State of Colorado he visited the White 
River Indian Agency in said state passing over the usually 
traveled road leading from Rawlins in the Territory of Wyo- 
ming, to said agency and being among the first to arrive at said 
agency after the massacre which occurred thereon or about the 
29th day of September, A. D. 1879 ; that in passing from Raw- 
lins to said agency he saw where large quantities of property 
consisting of Indian supplies, agricultural machinery, wagons, 
etc., had been destroyed by the Ute Indians as he has reason to 
believe while being transported to said agency under contract 
with James France of Rawlins and that he saw where large 
quantities of such property had been so destroyed at said 
agency, and that he recognized the places where such property 
had been destroyed and the fact that such property had been 
destroyed by the remnants thereof lying near and in smoulder- 
ing heaps of debris where the rest thereof had been burned and 
almost consumed in the immediate vicinity of burnt wagons 
and in and about the ruins of the agency buildings at said 
White River Agency. 

And affiant further and more particularly saith that at a 
point on the road from Rawlins to White River Indian Agency 
about one hundred and sixty miles from Rawlins and forty 
miles from said agenc}^, he saw the remains of a burnt wagon 
which he ascertained to be the property of one McCarger Avho 
was hauling Indian supplies to said agency to be delivered there 
under contract for freight with one James France, and which 
Avagon was laden in part with fencing wire, axes, cuttery and 
other hardware as appeared from the remnants of the load seen 
by affiant where saici wagon and the residue of the load had 
been burnt, that proceeding farther at a point about 70 miles 


from Rawlins and 30 from said agency he saw Avhere another 
wagon and two trucks together with their loads insofar as the 
same were consumable by ordinary fire had been burnt ; that 
the dead bodies of three men lay in the vicinity thereof, to-wit, 
one body recognized to be the body of George Gordon who was 
freighting to said agency for one James France, and two bodies 
recognized to be the bodies of his employees, all of whom had 
the appearance of having been killed by Indians and that from 
the remnants of the loads with which said trucks and wagon 
were laden it appeared that said trucks had been laden with a 
threshing machine and horse power while said wagon was laden 
with crockery or delf-ware the iron parts of a threshing ma- 
chine and power being intact while the crockery or delf ware 
in a heap, all however, being so broken, marked, or otherwise 
damaged by the flames as to be almost entirely worthless ; that 
in the immediate vicinity of the intrenchments made during the 
battle of Milk River on and after September 29, 1879, and 
where said battle was fought, he examined the remains of the 
wagons belonging to one John Gordon who was, under contract 
with James France, transporting supplies to said agency; that 
said wagons had been burnt and that the debris of their loads 
contained remnants of flour tin ware, cooking utensils and 
diverse other articles of Indian supplies indicating that they 
were laden Avith such property all of which had been destroyed 
and rendered useless by the flames which almost completely 
consumed both wagons and loads ; that proceeding further to- 
ward the agency and when about ninety miles from Rawlins 
and ten miles from said agency he saw where two wagons laden 
with flour had been burnt and almost completely destroyed, 
the remains of flour being charred and the iron parts of the 
wagons only remaining as in case of John Gordon's ten wagons 
with loads destroyed on Milk Creek where the battle was fought 
and that upon his making search in the vicinity of said two 
wagons he found the body of a man, who had been killed and 
upon whose person was found the annexed paper marked ' ' Ex- 
hibit A" and purporting to be a receipt for flour delivered at 
the agency for the said James France by one Carl Goldstein 
who was hauling supplies to said agency for the said France 
and that said body was recognized as that -of the said Carl Gold- 
stein, and a dead body lying near the same as that of one of his 
employees ; that upon his arrival at the site of the White River 
agency he found that all but one of the agency buildings had 
been burned and that the agent and six of his employees whose 
bodies lay scattered about the grounds had been killed ; that all 
inflammable supplies in the burnt buildings had been consumed 
or lay in smouldering heaps half-charred; that the flour house 


had not been burned and contained a large quantity of flour 
which had been emptied fro mthe sacks trodden under foot by 
man and beast and animal for ordinary use, the quantity of flour 
so destroyed at the agency being estimated at some 30,000 
pounds and that among the property not totally destroyed and 
partly uninjured he found six cook stoves, platform scales, 
wagons and agricultural implements but partly injured and 
that in the smouldering ruins he found charred corn flour and 
other provisions which the fire had not entirely consumed and 
affiant further saith that he has good and sufficient reasons to 
believe and doth believe that all of said depredations were com- 
mitted by the White River Ute Indians on and about the 29th 
day of September A. D. 1879, and that he has reason to believe 
and does believe that the persons having charge of the prop- 
erty lost and destroyed are not only due but unusual and extra- 
ordinary diligence to prevent such loss and destruction. 

From the Files of Dr. Grace Rayinond Hebard, Professor of 
Sociology, University of Wyoming 


October 1879. 

I J. Scott Payne Captain of the 5th Regiment of Cavalry 
U. S. A. do hereby certify on honor that in September 1879 I 
was with the Command of the late Major T. F. Thornberg in 
Command of F. Company of the 5th Cavy. Regiment of U. S. 
A. with said command on the expedition from Rawlins, Wyo- 
ming Territory, to the White River Indian Agency in the State 
of Colorado. That I was engaged in the battle fought on the 
29th day of September A. D. 1879 and was the officer in com- 
mand after the death of Major Thornberg. That on the morn- 
ing of the 29th day of September 1879 the said command over- 
took and passed the freight train in charge of Mr. John Gordon 
consisting of five cattle teams — with ten wagons — -thei-e being 
one trail wagon to each team — on the road from Rawlins, Wyo- 
ming, to said White River Agency a short distance before we 
(the said command) were engaged in said battle. That at 
request Mr. John Gordon stopped his train on the roadside and 
allowed the wagon train belonging to our command to pass him 
and his train. That at the time of the commencement of the 
battle on Milk River Colorado September 29, 1879 the said John 
Gordon was cIosq in rear of and in the vicinity of our wagon 
train; that the train of the said John Gordon (of which he was 
in charge (towit five cattle teams — with ten (10) wagons was 


and were loaded with "Indian goods" for the Ute Indians at 
White River Agency and were enroute from Rawlins, Wyoming, 
to that point. 

That after the said battle had commenced and while the 
same was going on the said John Gordon for safety and protec- 
tion corralled his said train — teams and wagons — close to (with 
fifty yards of) Avhere the wagon train belonging to our com- 
mand was parked. 

That during said battle the Indians set fire to the grass 
and brush and which fire raged and burned furiously and 
was coming rapidly toward our wagon train threatening the 
entire destruction not only of our wagon train and supplies but 
also of the command and in order if possible to save our wagon 
train and command, I being then in command ordered the man 
to set fire to the grass and brush and fire against the Indian fire 
and this was done and by hard work fighting the fire it was 
kept from our train and thus our train and ourselves were 
saved. That the fire set by my orders was the fire that burned 
the train of John Gordon. That is the fire I ordered against the 
Indian fire spread around to the team and corrall of Mr. Gordon 
and set those wagons and goods on fire and destroyed and 
burned all his ten wagons and the goods and property with 
which they were loaded. That after same were on fire and the 
Indians had opened a heavy fire on Mr. Gordon and his men and 
on my command from different directions by which one of Gor- 
don's men was wounded he was (the said Gordon) was forced 
to loose his cattle and stock from the wagons and flee toward 
camp for his life and that all of his stock was then either killed 
or run off by the Indians. I would therefore say that the entire 
train of Mr. Gordon was burned and destroyed by the fire 
started by my orders incident to said battle. That it was neces- 
sary for me to do as I did to save my command. That had I 
not done as I did the entire wagon train belonging to my com- 
mand would have been destroyed and burned and my entire 
command killed and burned — and that had I not done as I did 
the Indian fire would certainly have also burned the train and 
property of Mr. Gordon. I further state that if Mr. Gordon's 
train had not been destroyed and burned that it could have been 
used by the Indians as a protection to steal upon us where we 
were fortifying — it being about or near fifty yards from our 
camp the Indians could have come up the creek and been pro- 
tected by it had it not been destroyed and burned as it was. 
So that although Mr. Gordon did all that any man could do at 
the risk of his life to save his train yet the burning thereof was 
one of the important things that helped to save our command. 
I would also further state the services rendered to our command 


by Mr. Gordon after the fight cannot be over estimated. I con- 
sider that every man who came out of our besieged command 
owe their lives to Mr- Gordon's bravery and prompt action in 
going out with dispatches on the night of the fight and when 
the dispatches were safely on their way to Rawlins by then 
moving at once for Upper Bear River country and hunting up 
the command of Captain Dodge and guiding him through the 
Indians country and camp to our relief making the 85 miles 
march in 23 hours. 

I would further say that I consider Mr. Gordon entirely re- 
liable and worthy of confidence. A man of intelligence cool 
collected and gentlemanly in his deportment and unostenta- 
tious of what he has done having only acted from a sense of 
duty to do what he could without taking any thought of him- 
self or that he was doing anything extraordinary. — From the 
files of Dr. Hebard. 


(State Historian) 

Mrs. Mary Sun who is the widoAv of Mr Tom Sun, Sr., gave 
the State Historical Department a group of three photographs 
of a size for framing. The smallest one, 8x10 inches, is a pic- 
ture of Devil's Gate on the Sweetwater. This gate was one of 
the land marks on the Oregon Trail. Another picture, 2 feet 
8' X 91/2' inches, shows the Sun Ranche Buildings and corrals 
lying between the Sweetwater River and the Oregon Trails 
Devil's Gate and the Sweetwater rocks make a conspicuous 
background. The third picture 91/2 x 23' shows the ranche 
house to which Mrs. Sun went as a bride nearly 42 years ago. 
This is a good picture of the type of the early Wyoming ranche 
home. The Oregon Trail is plainly defined in the front of the 

Mrs. Thos. E. Sun gave the picture of Sun Ranche taken 
from the top of Devil's Gate. This picture shows the moun- 
tains in the distance, the Whiskey Gap, the Oregon Trail, the 
long winding historic Sweetwater with its meadows between 
tlu' river and the Sweetwater Rocks and the Old Oregon Trail 
wliich passes in front of the Sun Ranelie. 

Albert 11 15artlett, State Geologist, has given a group of 
five small kodak pictures (2% x 41/2) illustrative of early mines 
in Wyoming. One is a picture of Mr. Ed Haggartx^, discoverer 
of Rudefeha Mine, April 18, 1898, which up to date has been 
Wyoming's greatest copper mine. The picture was taken at the 


original discovery point- The old buildings of the Rudefeha 
are shown in another picture. The Carrissa Mine At South Pass 
is shown where the original discovery of gold in this district 
was made — this mine has produced about one million dollars 
worth of gold. Mine known as "Nineteen Fourteen" is being 
worked by the Honiestake Company of Lead, South Dakota. 
The last picture is of Lewiston, one of the old gold camps of 
the State, and is situated on the Overland Trail. Prospecting 
is being done now at Lewiston. 


Since the creation by Act of Legislature of a State Histori- 
cal Department, it has been the custom for the Department to 
have a place on the State Fair Program. The object is to bring 
together the early settlers and all who are interested in the 
traditions and development of our State. 

In scope the Program is reminiscent of Pioneer life and 
early day history and its preservation and the plan for this 
meeting is generally made by the State Historian. This year a 
severe attack of neuritis made it impossible for the State His- 
torian to do the customary work or to attend the Fair and the 
Natrona County Historical Society very graciously took charge 
and put on the Program. Mrs. W. S. Kimball was Chairman of 
Committee on Arrangement, ably assisted by Mrs. Tessa 
Sehulte, Mrs. Minnie Blackmore and Mrs. P. C. Nicolaysen all 
of Casper. Mr- Thomas Cooper, President of the Society, pre- 
sided. Mr. D. W. Greenburg represented the State Historical 

The attendance at this meeting was very large and only 
praise has been expressed about the Program and the manner in 
which it was conducted. The State Historian takes pleasure in 
hereby acknowledging and expressing her appreciation of the 
fine cooperation Mr. Greenburg and the Natrona County His- 
torical Society has given to the State Historical Department. 



Born in Ulster County, New York near Catskill Mountains 
at 14 moved to Wayne County, New York, where he lived on 
a farm six years ; from there he came west to Ipsilanti, Michi- 
gan. Messrs. Culver and Powell brought the first separator 
thrashing machine into Michigan and he says it drew a bigger 
crowd than the "general training" for everybody for miles 
around turned out to see the wonder. Moved to "Whiteside 
Coimty, Illinois in '47 where engaged in same business. In 1849 
went to St. Joe to outfit for California. Mr. Culver relates as 
an incident of the journey how at Court House Rocks on the 
Platte River, some of the boys left the train thinking to walk 
over and see the rock and back the same afternoon. They 
travelled all night to get there and on way back got lost and 
had to be looked up by balance of train. When they reached 
Green River were obliged to float their wagons unloaded across 
on a few logs tied together for a raft, on the last trip they 
loaded the logs too heavy and it capsized in middle of stream 
and Mr. Culver got a wetting. They lost all heavy articles but 
in true western style made up the loss by the use of rawhides. 
As an incident of the true grit of the old '49ers Mr. Culver 
relates how a certain Uncle Vanorman who started across about 
the same time quarrelled with his son so that his four horse 
outfit was reduced to two, then to one horse and two wheels of 
a wagon-cart style. Still he kept on and on, reaching the 
Sierras Uncle Van was obliged to take his cart apart and pack 
it piece by piece up the mountain, then rejoin it and drive on. 
Many old timers will remember the grit of this man and laugh 
over the same. Mr. Culver struck camp and began mining on 
the American River, some four miles above Morman Island 
where he was successful. Dirt anywhere along the river at 
that time was very rich paying from 25 cents to $5.00 per pan. 
Mr. Culver relates how in 1850 on Scott River he sold one pan 
of ore for $18.00 but what did that amount to when flour sold 
at $2.00 per pound salaratus at same price and everything in 
proportion. While at this camp they were raided by a band of 
Indians who shot a volley of arrows into the Miners midst as 
they set about the camp fire gambling, none of the miners were 
killed but two of the Indians were. Mr. Culver remained in 
California 13 years during which time he made and lost several 
f ortiuies in different kinds of business : Avas at one time in com- 
pany with J. W. H. Campbell in the Salmon business, who is 
now a resident of San Francisco. In 1875 came to Wyoming 
and engaged in Sheep ranching on the Muddy, where he made a 
success, some 3 years ago moved to Cheyenne where he now 


resides engaged in cattle and real estate. Mr. Culver moved 
to Hyde Park, New York in 81 intending to live there but like 
many a westerner returned to Wyoming where he intends to 



Switzerland is the country of which Mr. Bcoffey is a native 
and was born in 1836. In the year 1854 he came to America 
remaining in St. Louis one year when he came to Fort Laramie. 
Here he herded stock and clerked for Bissonette the celebrated 
interpreter. He was with Bissonette until 1861. "When he left 
his employ and kept stage station for Holiday, keeping it two 
years until it was abandoned. He having built it for Holiday 
in 1859, went there to Colorado one year. In the 1859 and 60 
was assistant Postmaster for Bissonette. In winter of 1863 
went to Colorado returning soon after worked all that winter 
for his brother in the spring of 1864 the Indians broke out 
and he was guide for an expedition to recapture stock stolen 
from emigrants by Indians which resulted in killing Lieutenant v^ 
Brown from which Browns Springs was named near Fort 
Fetterman. In 1864 cut haj" along the Sweetwater river to 
supply the troops stationed from South Pass to Platte Bridge. 
In 1865 kept store at Platte Bridge and during this time was 
corralled by Indians. In 1866 went to old Fort Reno in employ 
of his brother in charge of a wagon train was attacked several 
times by Indians but were repulsed each time on his return 
took charge of Ranch 6 miles east of Fort Laramie, remaining 
until next spring. In 1867 established a ranch with High Kelly 
on Horse Creek. In spring of 1869 came to Rawlins and re- 
mained a short time when he went to Atlantic City and Sweet- 
water Qold Mines sunk $13000.00. He was beef contractor for 
Fort Stambough and Camp Brown for three years. He bought 
and owned the ranch upon which the City of Lander now 
stands, was assessor for Sweetwater County two years and at 
present lives in Lander. He owns a ranch in Johnson County. 
Has 200 to 300 head of stock, has been constable and justice 
of the peace but did not qualify as justice ; was well acquainted 
with all the old time guides and Generals and Mountaineers 
who have gone down to fame for daring and bravery. Was 
married in 1867 to the daughter of the Interpreter Bisonette 
and has a family of 9 children, a family of bright intelligent 
children and were respected by all, their names are Aimee, 
Mary, Jule, Josephine, Joseph and Louisa (twins) Pacifique, 
Addie and Albert (twins). 





Blackman, Eev. J. C Twelve photostatic copies of Eevolu- 

tionary Records. 

Taylor, Mrs. T. L Two letters dates 1889-1892. 1 receipt, 

1 certificate of deposit 1888. I com- 
mission api^ointing B. A. Hart, Post- 
master at Fort Laramie, signed June 
12, 1880 by D. M. Key Postmaster 
General and bearing seal of United 
States Post Office Department. 

Smith, Rev. F. C Data on Indian troubles from Post rec- 
ord books of Old Fort Laramie. 

McDonald, J. T Stage Coach Passenger Register 1884- 

1888. (Conditional gift.) 


Bartlett, Albert, State Geologist. .Five Kodak Pictures. See Notes and 


McGovern, Bishop P. A Collection of kodak pictures taken at 

the DeSmet Memorial at Daniel, "Wyo- 
ming. Portrait of Bishop McGovern. 

Kitts, Mr Copper rifle shell with iron percussion 

base; used in Indian Wars in early 
'60 's found near Burnt Rauche on 
Oregon Trail. 

Pryde, Mr. George One Union Pacific Service Button. 

Taylor, Mrs. T. L One ease lead type used at Old Fort Lar- 

Voorhees, Mrs. Luke Ox yoke with date 1859— yoke used on 

Oregon Trail. 

Dragon Sabre found by Mr. Geo. G. 
Jenks (father of Mrs. Voorhees). This 
sabre was found about 50 miles from 
Laramie — after the Sioux battle in 
which Yellow Hand was killed by 
"Buffalo Bill". 


Hartzell, William Jndian Hammer, fine specimen found 

near Green Top Mountain near Little 
Horse Creek. Piece of iron tie plate 
from old U. P. Ey. on Sherman hill by 
Ames Monument. One 1857 i^enny. 

Sun, Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Tom Four photos of Sun Eanche — See notes 

and comments. 

Bonser, W. A Framed photo of old Durant Fire Eng. 

Co. Picture taken in front of old 
City Hall. Mr. Percy Smith's furni- 
ture store now occupies the building. 

Schilling, Mr. Adam. Spanish Flag pulled from Counsel House 

in Spanish American War by W. A. 


Lloyd, Henry Wyoming resources, 1889. 

Crawford, Lewis F The Medora-Deadwood Stage Line by 

Lewis F. Crawford, Superintendent 
North Dakota State Historical Socie- 

Ft. Union and its neighbors on the up- 
per Missouri. 

A glance at the Lewis and Clark expe- 

Chief Joseph's own story. 

The Story of Marias Pass. 

Frontier Scout: Vol. 1, Nos. 2, 3, 4. 

The Verendrye Tablet. 

Invitation to and program of the Upi^>er 
Missouri Historical Expedition. 

Winters, Congressman C. E Congressional Eeport on the Oregon 


Pryde, Mr. George Two copies "Eoster of Membership of 

Old Timers" Association at Eock 




Beach, Mrs. Cora A. L. A. Bulletin Number 9. 

Beacli, Mr. A. H First copy of original of the first order 

to reach 41st Division Headquarters 
on the date of Reorganization. Major 
Harvey E. Lonabaugh, Commanding; 
Alfred H. Beach, Adjutant. 


Sapp, Mr. Hiram Two copies "Cheyenne City and Busi- 
ness Directory 1892 ' '. 

Thomas, Bishop N. S Twelve bound volumes of Wyoming 

Churchman 2 to 12 inclusive and Vol- 
ume 14. 

Onondaga Historical Society Life of Conrad Weiser, Indian interpre- 

Mrs. Cyrus Beard Captivity of the Oatman girls. 


Carroll, Major C. G Set of Recruiting News, carrying the 

Diiiry "The March of the Mounted 
liitleman ' '. 


llcrroii, Ualpli Vance Poem. 

llohbitt, Mr. T. N Sketch of life. "Sun River .Stampede". 

.Iciikiiis, Mrs. Theresc Article on Presbyterian Church. 

Waller, John LeRoy History of Converse County. 

Emery, Mrs. Maude Mail Houte between Rock Springs and 



Bishop McGovern, ]\Irs. F. N. Shiek, 

Dr. Hebard, O. A. Kennedy. 

Mrs. Therese Jenkins, 



Camp Auger, Wyoming On Little Wind Eiver, name changed to 

Fort Washakie. 

Fort Bridger, Wyoming Near Carter, U. P. Eailway, Uinta Coun- 
ty, now town of that name. 

Camp Brown Now Fort Washakie. 

Fort John Buford Name changed to Fort Sanders. 

Fort Casper At Platte Bridge. 

Depot Cheyenne On Fort D. A. Russell Reservation. 

Fort Connor Name changed to Fort Reno. 

Fort D. A. Russell Near Cheyenne. 

Camp Devin On Little Missouri Eiver. 

Fort Fetterman Near mouth of La Prele Creek, about 12 

miles from Douglas. 

Fort Halleek At the foot of Medicine Bow Mountains. 

Camp O. O. Howard At Pine Bluffs. 

Fort Phil Kearny Big Horn Mts., between the Big and Lit- 
tle Piney Forks of Powder River. 

Fort Kinney ; Same as Fort McKinney. 

Fort Laramie Near mouth of Laramie River, Laramie 

County: now town of that name. 
Fort McHenry 

Fort MacKenzie Near Sheridan. 

Fort McKinney On Powder River: established as con- 

tonment Reno. 

Camp Marshall North Fork of the Platte River. 

Camp Medicine Butte Near Evanston. 

Camp Payne Near Fort Laramie. 

Camp Pilot Butte At Rock Springs. 

Fort Piney On Piney Creek in Uinta County. 


Fort Eeiio On i'uwder Eivcr, first called Fort Con- 

Fort Eeno On Powder Eiver, 3 miles north of old 

Fort Eeno. 

Cantonment Eeuo vName changed to Fort McKinney. 

Camp Eock Springs Camp Pilot Butte. 

Fort D. A. Eussell 3 miles from Cheyenne. 

Fort Sanders 3 miles from Laramie City, first called 

Fort John Buford. 

Camp Sheridan '...Name changed to Fort Yellowstone. 

Camp Stambaugh In Smith's Gulch, near Atlantic City, 

Ford Fred Steele On North Platte Eiver. 

Fort Thompson On the Popoagie Eiver, in Sweetwater 


Camp Walbaeh On Lodge Pole Creek, near Cheyenne 


Fort Washakie On Shoshoni Indian Eeservation: first 

called Camp Augur. 
Sulphur Creek Coal Kosorvatioii.... 

Wyoming State Soldiers' Home.. ..Cheyenne, now at Buffalo, Wyoming. 

Fort Yellowstone In Y^ellowstone National Park; first 

named Camp Sheridan. 

r.ittcr Cottonwood Camp Nebraska, 22 miles west of Fort Lara- 

Camp Davis Nebraska, at Platte Bridge, 120 miles 

above Fort Laramie. 

Fort Grattan Nebraska., at Ash Hollow, Taylor Coun- 
ty, Platte Eiver. 

From Historical Eegister and Dictionary of the United States Army 
by Francis B. Heitman. 

Annate of Mpoming 

Vol. 3 JANUAEY, 1926 No. 3 

Reminiscences of My Father and Mother Minnie A. Bietz 

Harry S. Yount ^ 

C Thomas Julian Bryant 

George H. Boswell ^ 

[ndian Story of Sylvester Sherman J. C. Shaw 

The Fight at Bear Town Elizabeth Arnold Stone 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


-^ /?. 

'otb^J""^- , 

^nnali of OTipoming 

Vol. 3 JANUAEY, 1926 No. 3 


Reminiscences of My Father and Mother Minnie A. Eietz 

Harry S. Yount 

-Thomas Julian Bryant 
George H. Boswell 

Indian Story of Sylvester Sherman .■ J. C. Shaw 

The Fight at Bear Town Elizabeth Arnold Stone 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 





Governor Nellie Tayloe Rosa 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Rt. Rev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. R. D. Hawley : Douglas 

Miss Margery Ross Cody 

Mrs. E. T. Raymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume ITT. Number 3. January, 192G 

(Copyright, 1926) 

Lincoln Highway just west of summit of Sherman Hill looking west 

Highest point on Lincoln Highway looking east 

f'oiirtcsy of Ilitrliwiiy Do])nitnient 

ilnnalsi of OTipoming 

Vol. 3 JANUAEY, 1926 No. 3 


My father, Charles D. Griffin was bom in Paris, Illinois the 
son of Andrew and Ellen (Lackie) Griffin. My grandfather 
died a few weeks before my fathers birth which was March 21, 
1847. My grandmother died at his birth. My grandparents 
were both orjjhans but my grandmother's grand-parents were 
living and my father was taken into their home. Grandfather 
Lackie was practically helpless from infiamatory rheumatism 
for several years before his death which occurred in 1854. My 
grandmother Lackie then went to live with her son John and 
my father was taken to the home of his Uncle William but as 
Uncle William died in 1856 father was again homeless. lie was 
kept in different homes until the season of 1861 when he went 
into the home of Alexander Campbell where he remained till 
the Civil War broke out. 

My father tells of an incident that occurred in the fall of 
1860 that may be interesting to some. Campbell was a quite 
wealthy man and had a large family of girls. As these girls 
married he gave each of them a piece of land near his home. 
One of his son's-in-law was quite noted for having more run 
away mules than most people. As Campbell and his force of 
workmen were gathering their crops in the fall of 1860 they 
heard a sound as of a running team with a wagon and all ran 
to the road to stop the team, as they supposed it was one of 
Grier's teams but when they came in sight of the road no team 
was visible and the sound seemed to be over their heads. The 
sky was cloudless so it was not a rumble of thunder. The sound 
seemed to travel from the south toward the north east and was 
heard for many miles in both directions. There were many arti- 
cles in the papers about it at that time but just Avhat caused 
this noise was never determined. 

When the war was declared Mr. (jampbell was one of the 
first to volunteer and left at once for Springfield, fie told my 
father to contiiuie to make his home with Mrs. Campbell but 
Dad ran away and entered John A. Logan's Camp at a point not 
far from Peoria, Illinois. Mrs. Logan was in the camp with her 


hiis])and and finding that a number of the children there had no 
education she organized a school for them and became their 
teacher and needless to say their idol. This was practically all 
the education my father ever received. After a very few weeks 
in camp my father, then in his fifteenth year, was transferred to 
the 12 Illinois 3rd Regiment Company K, Infantry Volunteers 
and remained with the Army of the Tennessee until mustered 
out in Washington D. C. 1865. He saw active service in the 
following battles : Murfreesboro, Pittsburg Landing, Vieksburg 
Landing and several minor engagements in one of which he was 
slightly wounded and was with Sherman on his march to the 

When father was in the employ of the Union Pacific as sta- 
tionery engineer in 1892 General G. M. Dodge made a tour of 
inspection over the road and met father; he noticed father's 
Masonic emblem and asked him his name, giving in return his 
own. Dad asked him if he were not Gen. Dodge, he said he 
was and Dad asked him if he remembered ordering "fake" 
guns placed on the defenses at the battle of skirmishers. Dodge 
said he did and Dad told him he helped in placing the "guns" 
directly under Gen. Dodges supervision. They then had a real 
heart to heart talk of war times. At the close of the war my 
father returned to his old home at Paris, Illinois and entered 
the services of David Plunkett and his wife "Aunt Ad" as 
every one called her. 

The Plunketts moved to Missouri in 1868 and my father 
accompanied them and there met and married my mother 
(1874). My mother's family are of pioneer stock the first ("raw- 
ford coming to America in 1670 landing at Ashley, S. C. moving 
later to Delaware where William Crawford married a "Hugue- 
not lady of distinction" according to records of the Biblo Pub- 
lishing Company, Pompton Lake, N. J. This William removed 
to Westmoreland County where his son William was born in 
1732 and where William Sr. died about 1746. Mrs. Crawford 
married for her second husband John Stephenson and raised a 
family ])y him. William Jr. is thus spoken of in Volume 22 of 
the Ohio Archealogical and Historical Pul)lication 1898, in an 
article by James H. Anderson. "In the year 1749 when George 
Washington was surveying the immense tract of laud for his 
friend Lord Fairfax, he made the acquaintance of William 
Crawford, whose home and l)irth place was in Orange County, 
Va. the most northern part of the valley" (This part of Orange 
County was cut off later to form Berkley County and variously 
sub-divided). Quoting from Anderson he continues, "This rich 
and romantic region had not long been occupied by white men 
when William C'rawford came upon the scene in 1732 and the 


customs of the inhabitants were primitive and simple. When 
first seen by "Washington, William Crawford was a j^onth of 
fine manly appearance, above six feet in height and in point of 
strength and activity a very athlete. While surveying in the 
neighborhood of the Crawford homestead, which became the 
headquarters of Washington, a friendship sprang up between 
these two noble minded young men that lasted till the tragic 
end came * * * Crawford now (1750) accompanied Wash- 
ington on his surveying tours and thus acquired the art of sur- 
veying which he thence forth pursued, along with farming, till 
stern war demanded his whole time energy and resources. In 
1755 he forsook surveying and farming to face the common 
enemy of the settler the Indian. He accepted a commission as 
ensign and with Washington fought under Braddock, * * *. 
The gallantry of Ensign Crawford was such that he was made a 
Lieutenant the next year (1756) * * * From 1755 to 1758 
he was employed on the frontiers of Penn. and Va. in garrison 
duty, leading scouting parties etc." 

It having been decided in 1758 to make another attempt to 
reduce Ft. Duquesne, Washington, who was now commander in 
chief of the Virginia troops, secured for Crawford a commis- 
sion as captain, w^ho thereupon recruited a full company of 
frontiersmen to serve under his friend and benefactor 
(Weem's Life of Washington Page 29) Captain Crawford's 
long military service having made him familiar with the rich 
region of S. W. Penn., then supposed to be a part of Va., he de- 
cided to make it his home. In 1765 he built a cabin on Brad- 
dock's road, at Stewart Crossing's about 40 miles from Pitts- 
burg on the Yonghioghenj^ River in what is noAV Faj^ette Coun- 
ty, Pa. It was then Cumberland, later Bedford, afterwards 
Westmoreland and finally Fayette. It was then a (1765) 
''howling wilderness" in almost every direction. As soon as 
his cabin was ready for occupancy he commenced trading with 
the Indians and in surveying lands for speculators and settlers 
and in two years a large part of his farm, probably with the as- 
sistance of slaves was cleared. Here his wife and three children 
joined him in 1766." "Crawford's place of 376 acres was bet- 
ter known than any other west of the mountains for his hospi- 
tality and big hearted generosity knew no bounds. * * * On 
the 13th of October 1770 George Washington paid his. friend a 
visit * * * on the 20th of October Washington and Crawford 
started do-wn the Ohio in a large canoe. "In November Wash- 
ington bade the Crawfords adieu and started over the moun- 
tains for his Potomac home." (On his return he wrote John 
Crawford a letter thanking him for a haunch of venison and 
sending him a "small packet." This letter is in possession of a 


cousin ill Tenii. but no one knows what the packet contained.) 
"In 1770 Crawford was appointed one of the Justices for Cum- 
berland County. * * * 111 1771 of Bedford County (which that 
year had been cut off of Cumberland) and when in turn West- 
moreland County was formed from Bedford he was appointed 
Justice of that County and became presiding judge of the 

Crawford was by no means idle during Dunmores "War. In 
May 1774 having received a Captain's Commission from the 
Governor of Virginia he raised a company without delay and 
set out for Fort Pitt * * A treaty of peace having been signed 
('rawford returning home." On account of a boundary dispute 
between the colonies of Pa. and Va. and also a difference in the 
policy of the two in regard to their relations with the Indians, 
in both of which Crawford sided with his native place he for 
a time lost popularity in Pa. and when after the battle of Lex- 
ington Crawford tendered his services to the Council of Safety 
at Philadelphia they were declined, but Va. was glad to accept 
his services and on January 12th. 1776 he was appointed Lieut. 
Col. of the 5th Va. Regiment and October 11, 1776 Col. of the 
7th Va. (Heitmans Register). He joined the main force under 
"Washington near Philadelphia in 1777 and rendered efficient 
service in the movements leading to the Battle of the Brandy- 
wine. He was also in the battle of Germantown. Late in 1777 
Crawford was ordered west of the mountains and took com- 
mand of the militia of the western counties of Va. but this lost 
him his command in the Continental Line. He marched with 
Gen. Mcintosh into the Indian country in Nov. 1778 in command 
of a brigade and was present at the building of Ft. Mcintosh 
in what is now Beaver County, Pa., and for two years following 
was from time to time in command of this post.'' "On several 
occasions Crawford, at the head of a small force of militia in- 
vaded the Indian Country in what is now Ohio, and his incur- 
sions Avere usually successful, so that for a time the savages 
were less aggressive." 

"In 17S0 Crawford visited Congress and asked for a larger 
appropriation for the protection of the frontier and soon after- 
wards war materials and supplies were sent to Fort Pitt and 
other Avestern ])Osts. After returning home and during that 
year Crawford again on several occasions led small bands in 
pursuit of marauding savages." 

"In ]782 CraAvford was selected to command an expedition 
against the Deleware and Wyandot Indians on the Sandusky 
River, and on June 4, on the i)lains N. E. of the present site of 
Sandusky he encountered a combined force of about 300 Brit- 
ish and Indians. His troops were discouraged by the superior 


forces of the enemy. He ordered a retreat which became a con- 
fused flight. He was separated from the main body of the 
troops, captured by the Indians and burned at the stake after 
terrible torture, ' ' the details of which as given both in Mr. An- 
derson 's article and other accounts are too horrible to write. 
His wife was Hannah Vance of Cumberland County whom he 
married in 175-i. They were the parents of four children, John, 
Sarah (Harrison Springer). Her husband Wm. Harrison Avas 
killed in the same battle that her father was captured in as was 
a young cousin, William Crawford) Effie (McCormick) Ann 

John moved to Kentucky in 1786 and died there. Sarah 
married for her 2nd husband Major Uriah Springer who died 
in 1828 at Connellsville. Sarah died in 1829 or '30. Effie re- 
mained in Pa. as did also Ann. Ann Connell had a daughter 
Nancy who married James Carson and moved to Tenn. in 1789 
or 90. Their son, Stuart, fought in the War of 1812 and John 
in the Battle of Buena Vista. The Carson's daughter Sarah 
Hickman Carson married on Feb. 10, 1825 Samuel Jamison of 
Va. in Nashville, Tenn. They removed to Missouri in 1838 
where Samuel Jamison had one of the first flouring mills in S. 
E. Missouri. Dr. D. B. Rigdon grand-father of Charles Rigdon, 
attorney in Cheyenne taught a term of school to which the Jami- 
son children went about 1849 — when the California gold rush 
was on. My mother is the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Car- 
son Jamison. She was born August 30, 1844 and married my 
father in Missouri, August 26, 1874. Her maiden name being 
Elon Eliza Jamison. My father worked at various things in- 
cluding farming, freighting and locomotive fireman and en- 
gineer on the Iron Mt. road until Sept. of 1880 when he came 
to Wyoming with C. P. Organ the founder of the P. 0. Ranch 
near Cheyenne. Mr. Organ's father and mother had been 
friends and neighbors of grandfather and grandmother Jami- 
sons in Tenn. and were also their neighbors in Missouri so a 
very warm friendship existed between the two families. C*. P. 
Organ or "Perry" as the family called him taught a term of 
school having my mother and aunt among his pupils. John Or- 
gan was editor of the Salem (Mo.) Monitor for nearly half a 
century. Perry came to Wyoming and was making a good 
start; perhaps it would be as well to state here that he was 
most liberal to the people who had been friends of the Organ 
family and that had not prospered as he had. Mr. Organ built 
a chapel in the old church yard where his people were buried 
and in many ways not so obtrusive aided his home community. 
He was in the habit of going back to Missouri every fall and 
buying cattle to be shipped to Wyoming to help stock the P. 0. 


It was on one of these trips that Mr. Organ suggested to my 
father that Wyoming might hold greater opportunities for him 
that Missouri did. 

My father and mother discussed the matter and it was fi- 
nally decided that Dad should come leaving mama, my brother 
Charles J. Griffin, and me until Dad should see what he thought 
of the prospects here. Camp Carlin was a government post near 
Cheyenne and a very lively one too at that time. It had been 
established in order to be used as a supply station for what was 
known as the Dept. of Missouri and was about half way between 
Cheyenne and Fort Russell. Here my father secured employ- 
ment through Mr. Organs influence. Money was plentiful and 
freely spent. Cheyenne was called "Hell on Wheels." Dad 
was only here a short time and then went to Rock Creek also 
a supply station for the Government supplying Fort Fetterman. 
At that time a freighter drove from 8 to 16 head of mules or 
oxen Avith a big Studebaker wagon with a double wagon box 
and a lounge, two trail wagons of the same description looking 
much like a stray railway train. The men driving mules were 
called "mule skinners" and those driving oxen were called 
"bull whackers. " My father belonged to the first named. Each 
driver had a saddle horse trained to follow his wagons and at 
night the mules were turned out hobbled and the saddle horse 
was tied to the wagon to be used in "rounding" the teams up 
in the morning. The rear wagon was equipped with a built in 
"kitchen cabinet" the door of which swimg down and sup- 
plied a very nice table. A "Dutch Oven" frying pan, coffee 
pot and tin eating utensils completed a "Kitchenette de lux." 
Antelope were in droves of hundreds, elk, deer and buffalo 
were plentiful and guaranteed the freighter an unfailing meat 
supply if his marksmanship was even fair. Indians were peace- 
ful and only a bother by begging sugar, coffee and tobacco. My 
father had three beautiful buffalo robes and several pairs of 
exquisitely soft white beaded moccasins he had traded for from 
the Indians, securing them for a few poimds of sugar and to- 
bacco. Once however he didn't fare so well. He had just 
started down tiie steep hill leading into La Bonte canon when 
he saw a big party of mounted Indians coming his Avay. Dad 
had no choice but to go forward but thought his last trip w'as 
pretty close to an end when to his relief he saw the squaws and 
pack horses with tlieir travois of meat, household goods and 
pappooses and knew it was a hunting party as the Indians do 
not take their families on the war path. In the spring of 1883 
father was driving an old Concord Stage under a genial old 
man known to every one as "Dad" Cluggage. Mr. Cluggage 
was very gruff and abrupt in his manner but was known to be 


far less choleric than his appearance indicated. He was in 
charge of the mail and passenger service for the Gov't as long 
as stages were used. They drove four horses to the stage and 
there were fresh relays of horses at state distances along the 
road. The first change being made at "7 mile" the next at "20 
mile" then "30 mile" and so on each distance being counted 
from Rock Creek toward Fetterman. 

In October of 1883 my mother and we children joined him 
at Rock Creek in the midst of a big snow storm. The town con- 
sisted of two hotels, two general stores, post-office, freight de- 
pot (Govt.) railway station, section house, R. R. Agents house, 
ten families (but only four children including us) and five 
saloons each with its own gambling hall. 

Of course being a freighting center there^ was usually a 
band of freighters in. The fall season saw the annual gather- 
ing of the cattle for shipment from Rock Creek mostly to Chi- 
cago or Omaha. The toAvn was shot up occasionally by a bunch 
of drunks and one murder was avenged by lynch-law, Charley 
Clay's store burned in the fall of 1885 it being the first fire Rock 
Creek ever had. Money was plentiful and recklessly spent. 

Women got the respect they demanded or deserved. No 
house was ever locked the rule being "use what you need, wash 
the dishes and leave dry wood." And seldom was there reason 
to regret the trust thus shown. One woman of the underworld 
known everywhere as "Calamity Jane" was a frequent pas- 
senger to and from Fort Fetterman. She had beautiful clothes 
and had been a handsome woman but no other name so far as I 
know was ever known for her. On her last trip her trunk was 
held for freight charges and not beind redeemed was sold at 

As ranches began to be taken up a regular epidemic of 
stealing ensued and has not been eradicated so far. One ranch- 
er came from Nebraska leading one old cow and branded twen- 
ty calves that fall and he didn't buy any cattle either, and his 
was no isolated case. These depredations finally led to the 
"Johnston County Raid" of 1892, I think it was. The big out- 
fits hoping to so overawe the so called rustlers as to put an end 
to thievery of cattle. After the building of the C. & S. or Chey- 
enne Northern as it was known in (1888) ? freighting and stage 
coaches were thrown into the "has been" discard. My father 
then worked on a bridge and building outfit for the U. P. later 
as pumpman at Rock Creek until 1897 when he moved to Ft. 
Steele filling the same position. In 1899 my parents moved to 
Wheatland. Dad carried mail on a rural route, was machine 
inspector for the C. & S. yard foreman and engine tender for 
the C. & S. City engineer in the power plant here, marshall. and 


later opened up a plumber's shop and is still actively engaged 
in the plumbers trade. He draws a $50.00 pension from Uncle 
Sam, is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic 
Shrine and has taken an active interest in all the present issues 
of the day particularly new inventions. 

(Signed) MINNIE A. RIETZ, 
April 1924. Wheatland, Wvoraing. 


B}' Thomas Julian Bryant 

Harry S. Yount, Civil War veteran, and famous as a hun- 
ter, trapper, scout and guide in the early days of Wyoming, 
died suddenly at Wheatland where he had resided for ten or 
twelve years a little after noon, on the 16th day of May, 1924. 
Mr. Yount had made his usual morning trip from his home 
doAvn town and was returning home, and while near the Lu- 
theran church, he was seen by a lady across the street to sink 
to the earth where he soon expired. 

The writer first became personally acquainted with Mr. 
Yount on the 15th day of May, 1921, at the Fairview school 
house about three miles and a half northwest of Wheatland. 
The school teacher. Miss Elan Rietz, (now Mrs. Helmbolt) had 
arranged a program and dinner complimentary to the Civil 
War veterans of Wheatland and vicinity, and had invited the 
writer to speak at this celebration. In addition to many patrons 
of the school there were present three veterans of the Civil War, 
Mr. Yount, Mr. Chas. D. Griffin and Mr. J. T. Dutfy. 

Subsequent to this time, the writer frequently met Mr. 
Yount on the street and about town, and often engaged him in 
conversation. After having become quite well acquainted Avith 
him, Mr. Yount invited me to call upon him at his home. Time 
passed, however, without my having accepted his invitation. I 
soon became much attached to him, and he apparently to me, part- 
ly on account of the fact that he was a Civil War veteran and I 
the son of a veteran of the Civil War. and having learned from 
casual conversations with him that he had had a most interest- 
ing career, I accepted his invitation. He received me most coi'- 
dially in his modest home, which consisted of a three room brick 
building, and a frame addition on the east side, in the Avest part 
of town, and upon my dej^arture as cordially invited me to call 
again. T thereafter called upon him a numlx'r of times, and be- 
lieving that such of his reminiscences as I could glean would be 


worthy of preservation I therefore made it a practice after each 
interview to jot down the salient points of his conversation. 
The result is embodied in the following paragraphs. I might 
add that it is regrettable that some writer having the time and 
the inclination did not come in contact with Mr. Yount earlier 
in his life, and give to the public a complete record of his trails 
and adventures as such a record would have made a most inter- 
esting volume, rivalling that of Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson and 
Jim Bridger. 

It may be well to relate some of the incidents which he re- 
counted to me prior to the time my visits began. 

I asked Mr. Yount one day in one of our casual conversa- 
tions how many grizzly bears he had killed, as I understood 
that he had hunted the grizzly a great deal in the early days. 
He stated that to the best of his recollection he had slain fifty-sev- 
en of these animals, besides a great many brown or cinnamon 
bear. Asked to relate some of his adventures with these ani- 
mals, he stated that about 1879 or 1880, he discovered a bear's 
den in the Laramie Range of mountains near the foot of Lara- 
mie Peak. The den was located in some rocks. The winter 
season was well advanced. The opening in the rocks led him 
straight ahead for some distance, and then turned abruptly to 
the left. He said, "I crawled in this way," pointing straight 
ahead, "and then this way," indicating by the motion of his 
hand that he had turned to the left. "I finally shined the bear's 
eyes," said he, "and then took aim and fired. I killed the bear. 
But I had no sooner done this than I discovered there was an- 
other bear in the den. I caught the gleam of its eyes, and 
killed it, too." He then returned to his cabin, secured a mule 
team, and then retiu-ning to the den, went in and tied a rope 
around the body of the bear he had first killed, and the mules 
dragged it forth. The mule team became very much excited 
when the bear was brought to light, rearing and plunging and 
endeavoring to get away, but Mr. Yount went to the head of 
the team and talked to them and finally calmed them. "A 
mule," said Mr. Yount, "has a great deal of sense and can be 
reasoned with." The- second bear was then dragged forth. The 
larger of the two weighed nine hundred pounds. 

It need scarcely be said that it requires a man of courage 
to thus enter a bear's den in the manner detailed by Mr. Yount. 
He related the incident in a matter of fact way, and from the 
reputation he bore as a successful and fearless hunter and truth- 
ful man, his statement was imdoubtedly true. 

On another occasion he related the following incident. 
"Once while bear hunting in the Laramie mountains, I diseov- 


ered a bear's den among the rocks. I went in and soon located 
a bear. My gun was loaded, and I got my powder and ball 
ready to reload in case of a mishap, or in case I should fail to 
kill the animal at the first shot. I fired and killed the bear, but 
I had no sooner done this than I discovered that there was an- 
other bear in this den. I lost no time in reloading my gun, and 
(as soon as I could get a bead on the second animal, I fired and 
killed it also. But to my astonishment at that moment I dis- 
covered a third bear in the den, and the animal had scented the 
presence of an enemy and was ready to charge as soon as it 
could locate me. It had not occurred to me that there might 
be a third animal in the den, and consequently I had not got pow- 
der and ball ready to reload my gun. I was in a critical posi 
tion. The animal was furious with rage, and ready to rush the 
moment it should catch sight of me, I would undoubtedly have 
been killed if the animal had got to me. I loaded my gun in 
about the shortest space of time that I ever loaded a gun. B}' 
this time the bear was in the act of rushing for me, but T took 
aim and shot and as luck would have it I killed this bear also, 
but it was al)out the closest call that I ever liad while hunting 
the grizzly. 

On another occasion I asked him if he had not had a good 
many narow escapes from the Indians in the early days, to 
whicli he replied that he had. He said that shortly after com- 
ing out to Wyoming in 1866, he became a ''bull whacker;" that 
he once started, as a member of a bull train from Fort Laramie 
to Ft. C. F. Smith, each man in the train driving an ox team. 
The train had not proceeded ]nany miles, until the men discov- 
ered that Indians were following them. The drivers knew that 
if they stopped for sleep or refreshments, they would imme- 
diately be surrounded and cut off, and that probably not a man, 
unless by accident or the interposition of divine Providence, 
would escape with his life. The Indians kept constantly hang- 
ing on flank and rear, and there Avas not the slightest chance to 
pause and the train kept steadily plodding onward. "And so,'" 
said ]\Ir. Yount, "for four days aiul nights all the sleep that I 
got r got as I held the reins of my bull team and stumbled for- 
ward on my feet." 

In another conversation Mr. Yount said that he followed 
a bear for six or seven years before he finally killed it. "He 
made such an enormous track, that I called him 'Old Big Foot.' 
I often came across his tracks on my hunting trips, but never 
could catch sight of him, although I followed his trail time and 
again for a long distance. But I never gave up the idea of get- 
ting him. At last one day, late in the Autumn of the year, as I 
made my wny along the foot of Laramie Peak, I came across 


the tracks of Old Big Foot. He had passed up the sandy bot- 
tom of a small canyon, and I concluded then and there to have 
a settlement with Old Big Foot. I made up my mind that when 
I came up with this gentleman grizzly, I would get him or he 
would get me. 

So I prepared to take no chances. It was then about ten 
oclock in the forenoon, and I followed his tracks up the can- 
yon, watching cautiously all the time, until about 3 o'clock in 
the afternoon. 

"Suddenly my eye caught sight of a great grizzled figure, 
stretched upon a shelf of rock away to my right and further up 
the canyon. I said to myself, "there is Old Big Foot at last." 
But I was too far away for a successful shot. So making my 
way cautiously I worked around to a position about three hun- 
dred yards from him, and to the rear. Old Big Foot was tak- 
ing an afternoon nap. I made my way to a large bowlder, and 
climbed up on top where I could overlook him. As I reached 
the top I saw Old Big Foot shift his position and lift his head 
as if something had disturbed him. Just at that instant my feet 
slipped and I fell to my knees, making a rasping noise on the 
rock. Old Big Foot was now fully aroused and scented danger. 
I brought my giui to my shoulder, which action caught his at- 
tention. He immediately seated himself on his hind quarters to 
take a look at me, and began growling and it was plain to be seen 
that he was in no pleasant mood at being disturbed, and I con- 
cluded not to prolong the interview. I fired, the ball passing 
through his heart. He fell but in a moment started up, ran a 
short distance and dropped heavily to the ground. I thought that 
he was done for, but in order to make sure I sent another ball into 
him. Sure enough it was Old Big Foot. He weighed 1600 
pounds. ' ' 

The remamder of this narrative will consist principally of 
a transcription of the notes made by me at the subsequent inter- 
views I had with Mr. Yount, 

October 21, 1923. 

Spent an hour this afternoon with Harry S. Yount, at his 
home. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm and sunshiny. Mr. 
Yount in the course of our conversation, stated that he was never 
married, but that he was engaged to a young lady at the time he 
came to Wyoming in 1866. Her name was Estella Braun, and 
her home was in Michigan. She was a telegraph operator by 
occupation. Her people were of the farming class, but had moved 
to Detroit. A year or two after coming West, Mr. Yount was in 
a section of the country near the conjunction of the present States 
of Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, when he received 
word that the young lady was dead. The young lady had been 


granted a vacation by the Western Union Telegraph Company, 
by whom she was employed, and had taken train to go to Detroit 
in company -with about three hundred other people, many of 
whom were young people on their way to a Sunday school or 
some otlier convention in Detroit. The train was struck by an 
engine, and Miss Braun and many other persons were killed. 

He told me he knew the Indian Chiefs Red Cloud, Spotted 
Tail and Dull Knife. The son of Dull Knife and Mr. Yount 
were "great friends," and often visited each other and spent a 
good deal of time together both in camp and hunting. He was a 
splendidly built Indian, and was subsequently killed in a battle 
with the Crows. Dull Knife's son and other young bucks de- 
cided to make a raid on the Crows out of a spirit of revenge and 
in order to secure some scalps. The Crows, however, were pre- 
pared for them, and the result was that they defeated the Chey- 
ennes (Dull Knife's Tribe) and among the slain was the son of 
Dull Knife. 

Mr. Yount stated that he had hunted the buffalo a good deal 
in the early days, but that he never chased the buffalo, but "still 
hunted ' ' them as he considered tliat a much better way. 

While he was game-keeper in the Yellowstone Park. 1880-82, 
a man came to him one day and said : ' ' There is a General of 
the Civil War in the Park." Mr. Yount replied, "Where is 
he?" The man said, "At the Fire Hole Basin." "Mr. Yount 
said, "What is his name?" To which the man replied, "Gen- 
eral McNulty. ' ' Mr. Yount said, ' ' I will go and see him. ' ' He 
called upon General McNulty, and in conversation with him said 
to the General : ' I know you will remember me by an incident 
which I will call to your mind. You no doubt remember Captain 
Mortenliammer, and Avhat a proud well dressed officer he was," 
to which the General replied that he remembered him very well. 
"Well," said Mr. Yount, "you no doubt remember also that 
Captain Mortenliammer took part in a horse race at one time 
with a certain man whose name I have forgotten. It so happened 
that there was a mudhole in the race track. Captain Mortenliam- 
mer 's horse fell with him in this mudhole, and the Captain came 
out of the mudhole with his fine clothes covered with mud, and 
he was very much chagrined and humiliated besides at his sorry 
plight." General IMcNulty instanly recalled the incident, and 
botli enjoyed a good laugh at the recollection of the incident. 

Mr. Yount was at Fort Laramie several times in the early 
days, but never lived there. He said it was a pity to kill off the 
buffaloes, which were here in immense numbers, but that it was 
the only way to get rid of tlie Indians, as the buffalo was their 
main source of subsistence. He had killed many buffalo for 
tourists at Cheyenne, getting a dollar apiece for buffalo tongues 

Mr. Yount liad prospected a great deal in later years, and 


had much faith there v^ere minerals in the Wyoming mountains, 
gold, silver, copper and oil. 

The History of Wyoming, published by A. W. Bowen & Com- 
pany, Cliicago, in 1903, gives the date of Mr. Yount's birth as 
March 18, 1847, but he looks much older. He is much stooped 
and bent. He has blue eyes and light brown hair, and wears a 
short mustache. His nose is of the Roman type, and his chin 
somewhat prominent. His forehead was rather high, but not wide. 

I asked him how old he was when he entered the Union Army, 
and he replied that he was a mere kid or boy when he enlisted. 
(Since the death of Mr. Yount the writer has talked with a num- 
ber of people who have known Mr. Yount for years, and they all 
agree with me that he must be older than as stated in the above 
history. Mr. Chas. D. Griffin stated to the writer that Mr. Yount 
was bom the same year Grover Cleveland was bom, (1837), which 
would make Mr. Yount 87 at the time of his death, and it is my 
opinion that was about his age. Possibly his application for pen- 
sion as a Civil War veteran would reveal his exact age.) 

Mr. Yount has the appearance of a man who knew no fear — 
quiet and unassuming, and not the least inclined to boast. In 
fact during all the time I have known him I have never heard a 
single boastful term fall from his lips. 

November 25th, 1923. 

Spent an hour this afternoon with my old friend, the hunter, 
trapper and scout Harry S. Yount. A nice day but somewhat 
chilly. Had a very pleasant visit with Mr. Yount, discussing var- 
ious subjects. He is somewhat hard of hearing, necessitating 
rather loud talking but responds readily when he understands 
questions propounded to him, and is quite well informed regard- 
ing present day affairs and events. He is much interested in 
aviation and all things pertaining to mining. 

In response to a question from me as to how long he was with 
the Hayden Geological party, he answered that he was with the 
party seven summers. The party started from Cheyenne, Mr. 
Yount acting as guide, with horses and pack mules, and covered 
much of New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and part of Wyo- 
ming. At the Grand Tetons in Wyoming is where he so nearly 
lost his life by sliding downward on a glacier almost to a yawn- 
ing crevice, or "hole" as he called it. He had been carrying a 
tripod, which slipped from his hand as he clambered over the 
ice, and in an effort to regain it he lost his footing and soon found 
himself slipping downward over the ice at a rapid rate. He said 
that all that saved him from going into the crevice, and to cer- 
tain death, was the buckskin trousers which he had on. These 
being somewhat damp seemed to cling to the ice, thus retarding 
his descent, and preventing him from going on into the chasm. 


He regained his feet, and the tripod, and, carried it up with him. 
He remarked to me Math a chuckle, "if I had gone down that 
hole I would have made a fine fossil for some future party." 

He described some of the ruins the party met with in Colo- 
rado and New Mexico — how the juniper timber had been cut and 
prepared in some manner for building purposes — a round tower 
of sandstone on top of one of ruins, yet the party discovered no 
tools whatever of iron, nor did they find the skeletons of any hu- 
man beings. 

He stated that Mr. Eckles, an English geologist with the 
Hayden party, who had many times been on the top of Mount 
Blanc and other famous peaks, pointed to the Grand Tetons and 
said "there is one of the finest sights in the world." 
Thonksgiving Day, November 29th, 1923. 

Spent an hour this afternoon with Harry S. Yount, at his 
home. Talked of manj^ things. I asked him if he had any broth- 
ers and sisters. He replied that he had. He said that he had two 
brothers who went to California many years ago ; had one brother 
who lived in Illinois, but it was evident he had about lost track 
of all his relatives. , 

He stated that it was a well established tradition in his fam- 
ily that two brothers by the name of Younkers came to this coun- 
try many years ago, who settled at Yomikers, New York. One 
of these brothers removed to Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania 
Dutch could not easily pronounce the name Younkers, so called 
the family of this brother Yount. He stated that the name 
Younkers was "lost" in his family. 

I inquired if he had ever known Buffalo Bill. He replied 
rather contemptuously, ' ' No, he was never a mountain man. ' ' I 
then asked him if he had ever known Jim Bridger. He said 
"yes, I knew Bridger and Jim Beckwourth both, ver^^ well. 
Bridger was a tall, fine looking man — a fatherly looking man. 
He was a real mountain man. Beckworth had some sort of col- 
ored blood in him, — was probably an octoroon." 

He said he served about six months during the Civil war in 
the infantry, and then about three j^ears in the Cavalry-. He was 
in the battle of Pea Ridge. His regiment had been transfen'ed 
there on relief. He was phiced on picket. Colonel (G. M. Dodge) 
saw liim, and said to one of the men, "whose boy is this. Take 
him and give him plenty to eat and return him to his OAvn regi- 
ment." An act of kindness which Mr. Yount said he had never 

I said to him, "you have lived alone a good deal of your 
life, haven't you, while hunting and trapping?" He said, "yes, 
but it Avas pretty lonesome."" He then said that he used to read 
books a great deal to pass away the time, and added, "I only 
read the papers now." ^Mr. Yount then asked me if I had ever 
read "Baniaby Rudge, " to which T replied that I had. He said 


"I want to give you a tip, Barnaby Rudge asked an old man, 
' ' where can I find gold ? ' ' The old man replied, ' go where there 
are people. There is gold.' " 

He was much interested in attempts to reach the North Pole 
by aeroplane. He was impressed with the idea that the climate 
around the Pole was a fine one. 

I asked him if he had ever had a picture taken, and he said 
that he had, but that it was forty years ago when he was in ' ' his 
prime, ' ' by Walker of Cheyenne. He stated that he gave the last 
one he had to a man by the name of Haig who lived in the East, — 
I believe he said in Connecticut. He told me he had now (1923) 
lived in Wheatland ten or twelve years. 

Pie gave me a yery cordial invitation to call again, and said 
that he was always glad to have me visit him. 

December 16, 1923. 

Spent the better part of an hour this afternoon with my old 
friend, Harry S. Yount. Mr. Yount, in the course of our conver- 
sation said to me, ' ' Did you ever see my book ? " I said, ' ' What 
book ? ' ' He replied, ' ' I will get it and show it to you. ' ' He went 
into an adjoining room and soon returned with a piece of slate 
colored marble which had been car^^ed into the shape of a book, 
about the size of an ordinary family Bible. It seemed much 
heavier than its dimensions indicated, at which I expressed some 
surprise. We concluded to measure and weigh it. Mr. Yount 
brought in a small scale, and we found it weighed 8^ lbs. It 
was six inches in leng-th, and two inches in thickness. On the 
front part or side was carved the figure of a man, with sword in 
hand confronted by a grizzly bear ; on the back part were carved 
the words "Harry S. Yount, Scout and Guide" and the words, 
"Compliments of W. C. Eitner. " Mr. Yount told me that he 
obtained the block of marble from a quarry which he had dis- 
covered a few miles northwest of Wheatland. It was a very 
smooth fine grained granite or marble, and seemed unusually 
heavy for its dimensions. 

Mr. Yount also related to me an incident while he was with 
the Hayden geological expedition. The party was in the moun- 
tains in the western part of the present State of Colorado, and 
it was rather late in the season, in fact in the early part of win- 
ter. He related this incident in response to a question from me 
as to whether he ever got lost while hunting, trapping or acting 
as guide, to which he replied that he never thought of such a 
thing, and then related this incident. He stated that the various 
members of the party became greatly bewildered on account of 
the deep snow they had encountered, so much so that their minds 
began to wander. He directed the leader of the pack train, 
"Chunky" Johnson to strap any man who attempted to leave 


the party or wander away to the mule he was riding. He told 
Johnson that he (Yount) knew Avhere they were, and where he 
was going, — that he was headed for Bill iVlorgan's ranch on the 
Yampa River (Yampa is the Ute Indian name for bear). The 
members of the party had lost all their instruments and even 
their compass. Mr. Yount finally reached Morgan's ranch after 
about four days of hard work, for the snow was very deep. He 
said that every man in the party was as ' ' crazy as a loon ' ' when 
they finally reached Morgan's. When Mr. Yount pointed out the 
cabins at Morgan's ranch, the men did not realize what he meant, 
but all began to hallo. In due time they arrived at Rawlins — ■ 
their destination. 

He also related another incident of a personal character at 
this time. "One night," said he, "while I was encamped in the 
Laramie Mountains, I had a ham of a deer, which had been froz- 
en, but I had thawed it out, and had iLsed a part of it for my sup- 
per. The balance I hung up on a fork in the rear of my tent. I 
then spread my buifalo robes and blankets for my bed, for the 
weather was quitec old, and lay down and went to sleep. About 
midnight I was awakened by something in my tent. At first I 
seemed to feel the presence of something for it was so dark I 
could not see clearly. But I knew I could not be mistaken, — 
there w'as something in my tent. I now became thoroughly 
awake, and just as I became ftilly awake, I saw a mountain lion 
spring out of the door of my tent with my deer's ham. ' ' I said, 
"A bear would have done the same thing, would it not?" Mr. 
Yount said "yes, but a bear would have done it in a very differ- 
ent way; a bear would never have sneaked into my tent, it w'ould 
have come right in boldly and would have taken what it wanted, 
but that the moinitain lion was a sneak thief. He said "the 
mountain lion when wounded is one of the most dangerous of 
animals, but will usually avoid the presence of man. The lion 
or cougar," said he, "will lie on a rock or the limb of a tree and 
spring upon the back of its prey without warning. They have 
caused much destruction of calves and young cattle. ' ' 

I said "did you ever hunt the cougar or mountain lion," to 
which he replied, "yes, I hunted lions one or two seasons for 
the Smithsonian institution, I think in the fall of 1869 or 1870. 
In company with a companion, George Boswell, I set out for 
Box Elder canyon. After hunting for a day or two without suc- 
ceSvS, Boswell discovered a lion on a hillside, taking a nap. I 
told him to keep his eye on it, and I would slip around to a point 
where I could get a better shot. When I got around to the rear, 
and where I had a good ^^ew, I fired. The ball struck the animal 
in the back of the neck below the ear, breaking its neck. This was 
sent to the Smithsonian Institution, and I suppase it is there 
now. ' ' 

I asked ]\Ir. Yount if he ever hunted witli a dog to aid him, 


in his hunting" days. He said, ' ' yes, I once owned a very fine stag- 
hound. I called him 'Washakie' after the old Indian Chief 
Washakie, of the Shoshones. Once, while I had a camp on the 
Horse Shoe, I went to Cheyenne to do some trading, and left a 
man called "Johnny" in charge of the camp. My wagons, 
horses, traps etc. were in a corral, including my hound Washakie 
who was chained to a wagon. The stag hound as he grows old 
becomes quite savage. During my absence a tramp came into 
camp, and entered the corral, and tried "To make friends" with 
Washakie. My keeper told him to let the dog alone, as he (Wash- 
akie) would certainly kill him if he got at him. The tramp paid 
no heed until he had gotten within a few feet of the hound, when 
Washakie made a lunge for his throat and only missed him by the 
narrowest margin. ' ' The tramp made no further effort to culti- 
vate the acquaintance of Washakie, but hastily departed. Wash- 
akie was a good hunting dog, however, and much devoted to his 
master, whom he would defend unto death if necessary. 

December 19th, 1923. 

Spent an hour this afternoon with Harry S. Yount at his 
home. In 1870, or thereabouts, Mr. Yount hunted pheasants m 
southeastern Wyoming for the Smithsonian institution. He en- 
gaged George Boswell to assist him. They met in Cheyenne, 
agreeably to appointment. Mr. Yount called early one morning 
at the hotel where Boswell was stopping, and said to him : ' ' Have 
you got any money ? ' ' Boswell replied, ' ' not a cent. " " We will 
have to have some," said Yount to buy supplies for our trip." 
"Well," said Boswell, "we can get a dollar apiece for antelope. 
Let's go out and get some." They secured their team and wagon, 
and went out and had soon killed thirty-five of these creatures, 
then so plentiful but now becoming quite scarce in southeastern 
Wyoming, took them into Cheyenne and sold them for a dollar 
apiece, and purchased the needed supplies for their pheasant 
hunt. These animals were all killed within two or three miles 
from Cheyenne in less than half a day's time. They obtained 
many beautiful specimens of the pheasant, which were later 
shipped to the Smithsonian Institution for mounting and preser- 

Mr. Yount said that in 1866, he accepted employment under 
Captain Gregg to conduct a "bull train" from Nebraska City 
on the Missouri River to Fort C. F. Smith. They arrived at Ft. 
Laramie about the 7th of July, (1866), without incident. After 
leaving Ft. Laramie and as they were nearing the Big Horn 
River, they discovered they were being followed by a band of 
hostile Sioux Indians. This was the same trip, heretofore allud- 
ed, in which he travelled for four days and nights without sleep 
except as he dozed on his feet. As they neared the Big Horn, 


the Indians became more bold, and were trailing them clasely 
both on the right and the left. The train was wending its way 
close to a gulch. Mr. Yount saw an Indian, who appeared to be 
particularly bold and pertinacious, come up out of the gulch on 
horse back, and lying low on the back of his horse fire repeatedly 
at the train. Mr. Yount decided to put a stop to this annoyance. 
He climbed onto a wagon and lay down. He had a revolver, a 
carbine and a shot gun loaded with buck shot. He waited for a 
favorable chance, took deliberate aim with the carbine at the In- 
dian, and fired. The horse threw its head to one side and fell, 
and Mr. Yount could see that he had killed the animal, but could 
not tell for certain whether he had killed the Indian or not, but 
he noticed that the Indian did not again make his appearance. 

April 20, 1924 

Spent an hour this forenoon with ]\Ir. Yount at his home. 
It was rather a nice day, but with a strong breeze blowing from 
the west. Mr. Yount in the course of our conversation spoke 
of having trapped the wolverine a good deal in his trapping 
days. He said the pelt of the wolverine made as fine a coat as 
that of any animal on the American continent. He said that he 
had trapped lots of them ; that they used to be quite numerous in 
"Wyoming and that the Yellowstone Park "is still alive with 
them." He said that the wolverine has a foot shaped like that 
of the bear, and that he walked like a bear. I asked him if it 
was considered a dangerous or vicious animal, and he said that it 
was not so considered ; that it was about the size of an ordinary 
shepherd dog, but somewhat longer and that its fur was very 
fine and very dark, — almost black. He also said that he had 
trapped the fox a great deal, both the silver tip and the black 
fox. Inquired if they were numerous in this part of Wyoming 
formerly, and he said that the silver tip used to be quite numer- 
ous around Laramie Peak, and that the black fox was quite nu- 
merous in the Wind Kiver Mountains. "The best time to trap 
the black fox," said Mr. Yount, "is when the weather is ex- 
tremely cold, and the snow lies deep upon the mountains. At 
such times the black fox would leave its den, and wander far and 
wide, and the trapping then is excellent. ' ' 

April 27, 1924. 

I spent the greater part of an hour this afternoon with Mr. 
Yount at his home. The day was mild, with a good many white 
clouds overhead. 

I have heretofore spoken of i\Ir. Yount being much bent 
with age. It may be that this condition was brought about to a 
great extent by his manner of living. He had climbed many 
mountains, and doubtless had contracted the habit of sitting in 



a crouching position hy his many campfires. At any rate I felt 
somewhat curious to know what his height may have been when 
he was a young man, and I therefore took the liberty of asking 
him how tall he was when he was young. He replied without 
hesitation that when he was in the army (in the Civil War), he 
was five feet and nine inches in his "stocking feet." I asked 
him what his usual weight was in his younger days, and he said 
that he generally weighed about one hundred and seventy pounds. 
I remarked that he had lived alone a great deal while hunting 
and trapping, in the earlier days, and he- said that he had al- 
though he often had a companion or companions. I then asked 
him if he had enjoyed the carefree life of hunting and trappmg 
to which he replied that he had. He stated further that he liked 
to hunt the bear in his earlier days, while living alone. He stated 
that the elk used to be very numerous in this part of the coun- 
try, between here (Wheatland) and Laramie Peak, but that it 
was very dangerous business in the early days to hunt the elk 
and the bear on account of the activities of hostile Indians. He 
remarked that a man had some show to get away from a bear 
without injury, but that he knew the Indians would kill him if 
they possibly could ; and yet, he said, he did not blame the In- 
dians as this was originally their country. 

The above interview proved to be the last the writer ever 
had with Mr. Yount. A few weeks prior to his death, the author 
had prepared Mr. Yoiuit's last will and testament for him. It 
is not my purpose to eulogize Mr. Yount, but I can not refrain 
from saying that he had the reputation by all who knew him, of 
being an honest, fearless, and upright man. His name is per- 
petuated, and fittingly so, in Wyoming in Yount 's Peak, a moun- 
tain a few miles southwest of the Yellowstone Park, in which 
mountain the Yellowstone River has its source in the ice and 
snow, — a lasting memorial to this intrepid hunter, trapper, scout 
and guide and veteran of the Civil War. 

At the time the author prepared Mr. Yount 's will, he stated 
that he desired to be buried in the Lakeview cemetery at Chey- 
enne, where all "the old timers" he used to know were buried, and 
that in case of his death he desired that I should notify the John 
F. Reynolds Post of the 6. A. R. His last wishes in this respect 
were carried out, and today as the author writes these words he 
"sleeps the sleep that knows no waking" in Lakeview cemetery 
in the City of Cheyenne. 



On December 5th, 1925 formal presentation was made of a 
large framed photo^aph of the late Hon. Joseph M. Carey to 
the State University of Wyoming situated in Laramie. The 
Portrait — an exceptionally good one — is the gift of ]\Irs. J. M. 
Carey. The ceremony of presentation took place in the ea-st room 
of the Library Building and the exercises were in charge of Dr. 
Hebard of the University faculty. Out of deference to the senti- 
ment of the Carey family the ceremony was simple and rather 
intimate in its nature. Dr. Hebard made the opening address. 
Along with many other fine things she said, she emphasized the 
interest that Judge Carey had always manifested in the Uni- 
versity and its Library and his keen desire to see a large and 
well chosen collection of books safely and adequately housed. It 
wa.s during the Gubernatorial administration of Judge Carey 
that the plans for the Library had been accepted. 

Robert D. Carey, himself a former Governor of Wyoming 
made the formal presentation address on behalf of his mother. 
He spoke with becoming and deep feeling of his pride in his dis- 
tinguished father's attitude on important issues, among which 
he classed his father's ambition that the University would never 
be deprived of its oil royalties. Mr. Robert D. Carey laid the 
corner stone of the Library Building while he was Governor and 
it was during his administration that Dr. A. G. Crane was called 
to the Presidency of the University. 

Dr. Crane formally accepted the gift on behalf of the In- 
stitution. In doing so he very earnestly and very forcibly stressed 
the obligations which the present always owes to the past, and 
advanced the beautiful thought that in some way "Governor 
Carey looking down from the wall" on the young people as- 
sembled in that room would know that his influence lingers. 

Mr. F. S. Burrage editor of the Laramie Republican-Boomer- 
ang made the fourth and closing address. He spoke from an 
angle wholly different from that taken by the previous speakers. 
Mr. Burrage had been a tutor in the Carey family and later an 
employee iii the Carey offices. He dwelt upon the more intimate 
relations of Judge Carey as a personal friend. The fine char- 
acteristics of the man were brought out — his absolute honesty in 
word and deed, his loyalty to friend and cause — his integrity, his 
tenderness to the weak and unfortunate, his love of humor and 
wit, his helpfulness, his geniality and the giant-like qualities of 
intellect and character which made him so outstanding a citizen 
in his chosen State. Each speaker stressed with gratitude, and 
something of laudatory pride, his own personal obligations to the 
kindliness of the Honorable Joseph Maul Carey. 




J. C. SHAW, 
Orin, Wyoming 

Sylvester Sherman was born and raised, about forty-five 
miles north of Kansas City. About seventy-two he came west 
and got a job whacking bulls, from his brother Rolon Sherman, 
who had a contract to deliver logs to a sawmill, in the timber 
country west of Denver. As well as I remember his story he 
worked there about two years, then went up to Cheyenne and 
got a job whacking bulls for Heck Reel. Sherman was a fine 
Western character a good Bull whacker and a fine cowpuncher, 
always ready to crack a joke and the next minute ready to 
fight the Indians, a good shot, and he usually had his fire arms 
where they could be got in a second. I remember once he saved 
my life by being a quick shot, and a man to think and to act 
quickly. I roped a bear, took a run on it and jerked it down, 
but as my saddle was not cinched up tight, I jerked it back on 
the horse's hip, but my rope was fastened under the saddle 
horn, so I could not throw it off. The rope had pulled me down 
on the side of the horse, the bear grabed the rope in his front 
paws and began to pull the horse and I towards him, and all the 
time making a great noise. Just then Sherman came galloping 
up, and out with his sixshooter and gave him a dead shot, but 
the noise had attracted the other bear in the brush, and it was 
coming for me, and the next instant he killed him to. This all 
happened in about five seconds, but it seemed hours to me. 

In 1885 Sherman married, Miss Fannie Snow, who was 
raised in Williamson County, Texas and was one of the finest 
women who ever graced the State and they settled on Rawhide 
creek and raised a nice family, two boys and two girls. Mrs. 
Sherman died several years ago and Mr. Sherman died last 

After working for Heck Reel for a few years, Mr. Sherman 
got to be second boss under George Throstle, and in tlie year of 
1879 while we were cowpunching out together, while sitting 
around the camp fire at night he told me this story, and I shall 
try to tell it in his language. 

On the 5th day of July 1876, we commenced to hire men and 
load up with government freight for Fort Fetterman. We had 
to hire all kinds of men from good bull-Avhackers and Mexicans 
down to a few long haired Missourians. 


Mr. Reel Avas there and told Throstle to furnish every man 
with a good forty-five sixshooter, and a forty-four Winchester, 
and have them carry the guns in the jocky box on the front end 
of the wagon, as there was plenty of Indian signs along the 
North Platte river, and all the time kept on the lookout for 
Indian signs and at all times be careful. 

We broke camp at the lake above Cheyenne the morning of 
the 7th of July 1876 and traveled the old road Cheyenne to the 
Black Hills until we got to Bordeaux, and from there we trav- 
eled the cut off by the way of the Billy Bacon ranch on the Lar- 
amie River, and by the old Tobe Miller ranch on Cotteuwood 
Creek, and by the St. Dennis ranch on Horseshoe, and we struck 
the old Fetterman road, from Fort Laramie to Fort Fetterman. 
At Elkhorn we camped for the night. The hill at Elkhom was 
a long hard hill, and both Throstle and I stayed ])ack until the 
last wagon was up it. Each wagon had one trail wagon and 
some had two. After Ave had got up the hill, Ave rode out ahead 
of the teams to look OA^er the road. When Ave Avere about three 
hundred yards away from the lead team (we Avere traA^eling 
along a diA^ide Elkhorn on the left and some deep draAvs to our 
right) when it seemed that a hundred Indians jumped out of a 
draAV shooting at us. Three bullets struck Throstle Avhile only 
one struck me. He Avas next to them and just a little ahead of 
me. He throAv up both hands and said "Oh ! My God,'' and fell. 
Every Indian yelled and made a dash to cut me off from the 
wagon train. It Avas a close race as Throstle's horse made a 
Avild rush for the train, and the Indians Avhippiug, shooting and 
yelling caused both horses to circle instead of running straight. 
I had no time to shoot as I used both feet and both hands to 
Avhip Avith. As they got closer to the train they pulled away a 
little but kept up a constant fire at the men running up and 
doAvn the teams, until they shot Irish Peet through the leg. and 
he yelled out cussing as loud as he could "Corall the Wagons 
Ves", or they Avill kill every one of us." Then I came to myself 
and called to the lead man to corrall, and all of the good men 
Avere driA'ing the lead teams and kncAV Avhat to do and in a short 
time Ave Avere corralled. In the mean Avhile the men Avere each 
shooting at them Avith a six shooter, as they came up closer. 
One man jumped on a Avagon and began to throw off sacks of 
flour Avhile others commenced to bnild brestAvorks. I called 
for the rifles and there Avas only one man Avho kncAv Avhere they 
were, and lie jumped on a Avagon and began to throAV out flour. 
The guns had five thousand pounds of flour on top of them. 
We got our guns and each man got to his place in the brest- 
works. The Indians thought Ave had nothing but pistols, and 
Avei-e comnig up close yelling the most hideous yells any one 


ever heard, running by at full speed on their war horses, laying 
down on the horses side and shooting under his neck. They 
seemed to have good guns and plenty of ammunition, and while 
they did not kill any of us, they were doing lots of damage to 
the work cattle and the few saddle horses we had. A Mexican 
was driving next to the last wagon and a long haired Missourian 
the last team. The Missourian saw that there was no show to 
get his team in so left it and came on up to the Mexican's (who 
had deserted at the first of the fighting and craAvled in among 
the drygoods in one of the lead wagons) and whacked it on in. 
It looked for a while as if the Indians would get him but he shot 
with one hand and whacked the bulls with the other. After we 
got in a few good rounds with our guns they fell back and 
would only come up in sight. We laid there all day, and as 
night came on they came up to the wagon which was left on the 
outside, at about three hundred yards distance, that was loaded 
with ten thousand pounds of bacon, and forty kegs of beer, and 
threw off the beer and rolled it down a long hill and set the 
bacon on fire. The blaze seemed to reach two hundred feet high 
and we could have seen to have picked up a pin in the corrall. 
We were sure our scalps were gone. We knew that if they 
could get on a hill and look down on us they could see the sit- 
uation, and charge us after dark, but they seemed to be afraid 
of us, and never even shot into the camp. 

The Mexican had a little dog that he seemed to love very 
much, but the dog was gun shy and would run out of camp at 
the sight of a gun, and as we lay looking through our port holes, 
Irish Pete and I side by side, we saw something crawling to- 
ward us. Irish Peet whispered, "It is an Indian we will both 
shoot, but let me shoot first as I feel sure I can hit him." We 
both fired, and a dog howled out, and a shrill voice cried "You 
killed my dog, you killed my dog." 

The next morning we unyoked our oxen and drove them 
back to Elkliorn to water, while others went to hunt for the 
teams that were hitched to the wagon. The wheel oxen were 
burned to death, and the next team was burned some, but they 
had pulled the front wheel out from the wagon, and five teams 
were grazing around still hitched together. 

We l)roke camp about eleven o'clock, drove the lead Avagon 
up to Avhere Throstle had fallen, and found that they had taken 
his clothes, scalped him and cut out his heart. We laid him on a 
tarpaulin, on top of the groceries and covered him up. 

As we went on up tlie road Ave met two coAvpunchei-s, and 
after talking to them a miiuite Ave asked if they had seen any 
Indians. The\- laughed and said no that thev did not believe 



there was any in the country. They said that they had been on 
La Prele Creek for two years and liad not as much as seen a 
moccasin track. I told them that we had had a fight with them 
the day before. They laughed again and said shown them the 
signs. I handed one of them my bridle reins, and I stepped up 
on the brake and pulled the tarp back and let them see Thros- 
tle's body. They turned my horse loose, and turned and rode 
for Fort Fetterman, and the last we saw of them they were rid- 
ing like jockeys, on the last quarter in a mile race. 

We camped at TjaBonte that night, and on to Fort Fetter- 
man the next day. While we gave poor Throstle a good decent 
burial, there was no ceremony. Mr. Sherman later showed me 
the exact spot where the battle was fought, and where the 
wagon was burned. At that time there were pieces of wagon 
irons and some hoops off of the beer kegs, and some pieces of 
broken ox shoes. I have tried to tell this in Mr. Shermans 
language, just as he told me. 


JSK/^'/j/iv','-)!''; ,•( 




. jVm 


Midway between Cheyenne and Torrington on road to Torrington, on Oregon Trail 
Courtesy of Highway Depiirtnient 



The following Skepper letters were procured for the State 
Department of History through the courtesy of Miss Anna Dob- 
bin, Superintendent of Laramie County Schools. 

Bird City, Kansas, Feb. 6. 1922. " 
Mr. & Mrs. C. B. Ward. 
Egbert, "Wyoming. 

Dear Friends : 

I received the newspaper giving the account of the "Hid- 
den River". I am really glad to hear that it has been found 
and hope it will prove to be what is expected of it and that the 
country will be developed in such a manner as to benefit every- 
body with a radius of the irrigation possibilities of the stream. 

I shall not be surprised to hear of the finding of other sub- 
terranean streams in Wyoming, for I recall a remarkable expe- 
rience I had on the south side of Horse Creek mountain in the 
fall of 1879, I was sleeping out doors with an elderly man, about 
four o'clock in the morning he woke me up and said "John the 
boys will be here today" (we were expecting some men with a 
drove of cattle from an eastern point) I asked why he knew 
they would be here, he replied, "I can hear them coming, can 
hear the tread of the cattle, can't you?" 

I certainly did feel what I will say was a rumbling noise, 
and afterwards I rode over ground that gave a sound as being 
hollow beneath. So I suppose there was a hidden stream or at 
least a cavern of some sort. 

I gave the paper you sent me to Mrs. Reed as I knew she 
would be interested as Ralph is in that locality where the hid- 
den treasure is, for water will surely prove a treasure to east- 
ern Wyoming. Again hoping all prospects may be realized 
I am 

Yours very truly, 

J. W. Skepper. 

Bird City, Kansas, Sept. 3/23 
Mrs. Hazel Ward, 
Egbert, Wyoming. 

Dear Friend : 

I was very much interested in reading the "Hi" Kelly ar- 
ticle in the paper you sent me. I remember Kelly well, but he 
surely is a very old man, I had no idea he was still alive. 

I think he was in the forties when I knew him. He cer- 


tainly had a remarkable experience, his write np read more like 
some dime novels than reality. 

I was at his ranch on Chiigwater only once and that was in 
1879. The Y cross "outfit" for which I worked were rounding 
up cattle in the Chugwater country, and there being so much 
rock there all over the prairie our horses feet soon became so 
sore they could hardly travel, so "lii"' Kelly gave our foreman 
a few kegs of pony shoes for our horses. We had to throw 

them down and "hog tie" them to get the shoes on. 

* * * * * 

Kelly and men of his type deserve credit for blazing the 
way for civilization in that country. 

I had my plans made to leave here on the 6th for Wyoming 
via Hot Springs, South Dakota, but unless I get over a very 
severe cold I have I will not be able to start then. 

We may come back via Cheyenne so as to go over the 
Horse Creek and Bear Creek country, I am anxious to show 
Mrs. S. the localities I rode over more than 40 years ago. 

With kind regards to you both, I am 

Very truly yours, 

J. "W. Skepper. 

I was 24 years old when in 1878 1 arrived in Cheyenne to 
go out to the Y ranch on what was known as the Spring Branch 
of Little Horse Creek, about 10 miles north of the Creek proper, 
and about 50 miles northeast of Cheyenne, 

The ranch was owned by the Dater brothers, Phillip and 
James Dater of New York, N- Y. I Avas there three years where 
I rode the range to points east of Chimney Rock in Nebraska, 
north to the Platte River, west about a days ride from where 
the town of Chugwater, Wyoming now is. and a few miles south 
of the Union Pacific R. R. 

Those were carefree days for a young man full of adven- 
ture when astride of a good Cow pony fit to be classed with the 
Arab Steed of poetical fame. Many of the so called Bronchos 
were noble animals and had wonderful endurance. 

Tn the fall of 1880 I went to Wisconsin and was married to 
Miss Ellen Roberts returning shortly afterwards and lived in a 
log house on Little Horse Creek, where I assisted some settlers 
and other cowboys to build a log schoolhouse with a dirt roof. 

]\Iy wife taught the school there in the Spring of 1881. 
There were sons of settlers there 14 years of age Avho had never 
been inside of a selioolhouse, or who had ever ridden on a rail- 
road train, their parents had driven covered wagons to the then 
territory of Wyomnig from the State of IMissouri. 

The wav those children advanced in tlieir studies in school 


was truly wonderful, though it would look somewhat crude 
these times to see pupils going to school as they did then, bring- 
ing rifles with them which they ''stacked" up outside the school 

Antelope were plentiful and some times the older boys 
would kill an antelope on their way to or from school. 

The County Superintendent of Schools was a Presbyterian 
minister by the name of Cowhick (I believe) a very nice man 
about 60 years of age I think, he was very fond of venison, T 
remember he told us on one of his visits that he liked an occa- 
sional meal of vegetables without any meat, but when he had 
one in Cheyenne it cost him 75 cents. If the good man had lived 
there through the late war times a vegetable dinner would have 
been cheap at even 75 cents. 

Some of the strongest friendships of my 70 years of life 
were formed with the Cowboys and settlers in Wyoming, for 
not all the "Cowpunchers" were disolute men. Some of the 
finest men I ever met were on the plains of "Wyoming and I 
cherish their memories, for their were times when real manhood 
was proven. 

On the 9th of March 1880 I homesteaded the S. W. Ya, of 
section 13-18-62 erected bare logs for one large room, never 
completed it, my wife's illness compelled me to leave Wyoming, 
I sold the logs, the land reverted to the government. 

Yours very respectfully, 

J. W. Skepper. 

Bird City, Kansas 
Februarv 8. 1924. 


In Annjils for October, 1925 in the 3rd line p. 129, read German for 

In the 26th line from top of same page read boat for steam boat. 

On page 133 after the period in the 2nd paragraph the sentence 
"Jackson Hole farther to the north was also a favorite cam]iing ground." 
was inadvertently omitted. 



Tliomas Julian Bryant 

As I walked down town today (September 5th, 1924), I ov- 
ertook Georf>-e H. Boswell and as we walked onward together I 
engaged him in conversation regarding his early life. I learned 
from him that he was born at sea, May 9, 1846, while his par- 
ents were enroute from Scotland to the United States. Soon 
after their arrival his mother died, and his father remarried, and 
had another son by his second marriage, of whom Mr. Boswell 
knows nothing, as he lost trace of his brother when he came west 
many years ago. His father also died soon after reaching Amer- 
ica, and George, at the age of seven years was bound out as an 
apprentice in Ohio. He did not like the work, however, and 
soon ran away from his master, and made his way to Baltimore. 

He wandered about for two or three days, when he met a 
man one evening who took notice of him and asked him if he had 
anytliing to eat. Boswell said, "yes, I have plenty to eat." The 
man then asked him where he lived, to which he replied, "I live 
wherever my hat is off." The stranger then asked him if he 
would like to have a job, to which George replied, "yes, I would 
like to- have a job." The man said, "I want you to sell peanuts 
and popcorn for me on the railroad. ' ' The deal was closed, and 
the stranger fitted him out with suitable supplies, and placed 
him in charge of the conductor on the train. He soon tired of 
this job, and making his way to Sioux City, Iowa, he disposed of 
his outfit. He there met a gentleman by the name of Eli Per- 
kins, who manifested an interest in the boy, and inquired how he 
would like to make a trip to Denver with him and enter his em- 
ploy. Young George replied with alacrity that this would suit 
him exactly, so Mr. Perkins engaged him to work for him, and 
they went to Denver together. Here, Boswell attended a Govern- 
ment school for a couple of years, which constituted practically 
all of the schooling he ever received. He remained in and about 
Denver until 1867, when he came to Cheyenne, and for the next 
two or three years he worked for ]\Ir. R. S. Van Tassell, and then, 
about 1870, he went to Fort Fetterman, where he found employ- 
ment for some time. In 1876, he was made cook for headquarters 
mess in the command of General Crook on his historic campaign 
against the Sioux Indians who were in open hostility at that time 
against the United States. Mr. Boswell stated that under Govern- 
ment regulations no pay was provided for a cook, and he was 
therefore assigned to the baggage train and under this arrange- 
ment received pay for his services. General Crook had a very 
spirited engagement with the Indians during this campaign, but 
did not reach the Little Bighorn in time to take part in General 
Custer's fatal engagement with the combined forces of the Chey- 
ennes and Sioux, but was close enough to the scene of action on 


the afternoon of June 25th, 1876, that the sound of firing could 
be distinctly heard as Custer and his men made their last stand 
against overwhelming odds, but of course General Crook knew 
nothing of the disastrous engagement then raging until after- 
ward. At this period of his life Mr. Boswell was exposed- to much 
danger on account of the hostility of the Indians, and it was 
necessary for all members of the command to keep a constant 
and vigilant watch in order to guard against an unexpected at- 

In the fall of 1877, Mr. Boswell entered the employ of John 
Hunton, the pioneer, who was then operating a large ranch at 
Bordeaux, as a cook, where he remained until about 1887, when 
he moved to Uva. The Cheyenne and Northern railroad (now 
known as the Colorado & Southern) was then in process of con- 
struction, Uva at this time being the northernmost point of the 
road. He conducted a general store at Uva at this time, also 
working some for the railroad company. In 1908 he again en- 
tered the employ of Mr. Hunton and continued to work for him 
until 1917, when he removed to Wheatland, where he continued 
to reside until a few M^eeks before his death which occurred in 
Cheyenne March 6th, (1925). He had been in failing health for 
several months prior to his death. 

]\Ir. Boswell stated that he had often hunted with Harry S. 
Yount in the early days, securing mountain lions, pheasants, and 
other game for the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D. C. 
He also said that there had been vast changes in this part of Wyo- 
ming since his arrival here. Wlien he first came to the territory 
there was not a fence to be seen anywhere, the town of Wheat- 
land was yet undreamed of, and the wild game, buffalo, antelope, 
bear, deer, beaver and other species were so abundant that one 
could not walk half a. day's journey without seing many of each 

The writer was personally well acquainted with Mr. Boswell 
and often talked with him, and had intended to try to secure de- 
tails of his life for preservation on account of his early associa- 
tion with the pioneers of the State, but procrastination and his 
final illness prevented in a large measure the fulfillment of the 
purpose. Mr. Boswell was a tall, angiilar man, of slender build 
and somewhat loose jointed. He had dark gray or hazel eyes, 
black hair and rather swarthy complexion. He was of a cheerful 
and genial but quiet disposition, and had many friends. 

He is survived by three sons, Jesse C, of this city, Albert 
L., of the U. S. Navy and William Jennings Boswell of Casper, 

Thus death has removed from our midst another of our early 
pioneers, and the number w^ho were here as early as Mr. Boswell 
are few indeed. 



Hev you heard uv the fight on the lianks of the Bear 

When they laid the iron rails long ago? 
'Twas jest over the side uv the Rocky divide 

Where the waters to Great Salt Lake flow. 

'TAvas the year "68 and November the month 

Thet they biiilded a camp way out there. 
Where the life it wus rough and the men they wus tough, 

And 'tuarnt safe fer to offer a dare. 

They'd put up some store buildin's all in a neat row, 

And Topence bed the contract fer meat ; 
And they built some board shacks full uv knot holes and cracks 

Where the graders cud lodge and cud eat. 

Uv saloons there wus surely enough and to spare, 

And uv dance halls a generous few ; 
And the tin horn so slick with his mean, measly trick. 

And the bum and the rum guzzler too. 

Es fer law — well there jest wusn't any at all ! 

Ez fer order — it simply wam't there! 
But the wildest uv nights and the toughest uv fights 

Wus ez free ez the clear mountain air. 

And Topence calls a few men together and says ; — 

"Vigilantes, in my fixed idee, 
Ts the thing thet we need fer to take up the lead, 

Like they hev back in old Laramie." 

So they looks up a buildin' made out uv pine logs. 

And they chinks it and nails it up tight. 
And they rustles them then three bold desperate men 

And imprisons the trio thet night. 

Jest across a small gully Lee Freeman lied built 

Out uv canvas and boards a neat shack 
Where he published the news uv the work uv the crews, 

And the progi-ess in layin' the track. 

He bed christened his paper "The Frontier Index", 

And right early the follerin' day 
He comes out good and strong 'gainst the things thet wus 

E/. wus over his brave, fearless wav. 


He wound up with a wariiin ' to honest workmen 

To beware uv unscrupulous scamps, 
Who wud pick their bones clean, and then like coyotes mean 

Slink along to the next gradin' camps. 

Thet wus sure fire to powder ! And some uv the toughs 

vStarted out about 'leven a. m. 
To distribute his views 'mongst the men uv the crews, 

And to rub the same right into them. 

"Would they meekly be bossed by a Sunday School Band? 

Let 'em stand in their strength and their might ! ' ' 
That roused five hundred then uv the bold Irishmen 

Who wus pinin' and spolin' fer fight. 

To abandon their work, and with shovels and picks 

To march up on the innercent town — 
Set the three prisoners free, and then right merrily 

Did they burn the blamed calaboose down. 

Then they headed their foot steps fer Lee Freeman's place — 

He 'lit out 'cross the hills fer the fort ; 
With Topence 's kind aid he the forty miles made 

In a time most amazin'ly short- 
But they scattered the type, and they burnt up the shack. 

And they sure made the ruin complete ; 
And then over again marched the Avild ragin' men 

Fer to shoot up the whole bloomin' street. 

Ther's a feller named Smith was a-leadin' the gang — 

The men said thet he lied a charmed life ; 
There wus much more uv harm in his life than uv charm 

In the matter uv stirrin' up strife. 

He was totin' a monster six-shooter around 

Thet wus spittin' the deadly balls out 
In a manner so fast thet they went whistlin ' past 

Jest like hail stones a-flyin' about. 

Men and women and children fer refuge lied flocked 

Into Sam Nuckle's General Store, 
And a strong barricade uv the goods they hed made 

After barriii' the winder and door. 


And a man volunteered fer to parley a bit 

With the riot's on the outside. 
But a mischievous shot sent him down on the spot 

And he sunk in his tracks and there died. 

Every man in the store hed his eyes on Tom Smith 
With a purpose most deadly and grim ; 

But he passed through the fray on his death dealin' way, 
And not one uv the bullets got him^ 

Frum his hospital tent on the big Muddy crick 

Came the young Doctor Harrison then ; 
Did you know it wus he that the early U. P. 

Got to care fer and dose up its men? 

And the sight thet he met wus a grewsome one sure — 

Fourteen men thet wus dyin' or dead; 
And another full score or most probablj^ more 

Had received some straight doses uv lead. 

When the troops the next day from old Jim Bridger's post 

Game a-ridin' down over the hill. 
Not a gun cud be seen, and in peace all serene 

Lay the little camp, quiet and still. 

Ther 'us jest three uv the fellers thet started the muss 

Got the halter that terrible night, 
And the rest uv them tlew on to pastures quite new, 

And Topence, he declared it Avarn't right. 

Thet Tom Smith got aAvay 'fore the party wus through, 

And uv outlaws a list good and long 
Who met up with their fate at a subsequent date 

After doin' a lot more uv harm. 

You can still see some traces uv chimneys and walls 
Where this tough camp uv graders once stood ; 
But fer sweet mercy's sake don't you make the mistake 
'Uv supposin there wusn't no good! 

It wud hardly be fair to forget such brave chaps 

Ez Lee Freeman and many a mate 
Who wud stand by the right, and wud work and wud fight 

Jest to see thet things got started straight. 


And the Irishmen they hev grown tamer a lot 

Since their hearths and their homes are at stake ; 

And they find little cause to be breakin' the laws 
Thet they're helpin' the rest uv us make. 

And ez fer the good doctor — these fifty-five years 
He's been treadin' earth's pathway jest so — 

Bringin' joy and glad life where wus sorrer and strife 
Like an angel uv light here below. 

And we're buildin' a peaceful and prosperous state 

In what once wus the Avild, wooly west ; 
Fer the bad disappears, and the swift changin' years 

Mean survival uv all that is best. 

Elizabeth Arnold Stone, 
Author of ' ' Uinta County Its Place in History. ' ' 



111 "An Army Boy of the Sixties" Major Ostrander relates 
his experiences in the Indian Wars in Wyoming. Last spring 
the Major in company with friends from Casper and Sheridan 
revisted these early scenes. Again he stood on old camp sites re- 
located old forts and early battle grounds and enlightened his 
friends with many stories of these stirring times. Out of the 
events of tliis visit to the old scenes he has written a book which 
is in reality a sequel toi "An Army Boy of the Sixties." "Aft- 
er Sixty Years" is an entertaining story in comparisons: the 
book is well bound and illustrated and may be had from Major 
A. B. Ostrander, 22714 Belmont Avenue, No. Seattle, Washing- 
ton. Price $2.00. 

In "The Iron Trail" I^Ir. Edw. Gillette of Sheridan has re- 
leased much authentic hitherto unpublished histoiy of northern 
Wyoming. Mr. Gillette writes only of what he personally knows 
and gives us a book without a dull page in it. 

"The Gift of the Waters" a Pageant composed and staged 
by Marie Montabe Savaresy of Thermopolis has been issued in 
very attractive pamphlet form. This pageant is written around 
the historic circumstances of Chief Washakie having signed the 
contract wliich placed the Thermopolis Hot Springs in the keep- 
ing of white people. The Pageant is written in the metre of 
Hiawatha and is well illustrated. 

Dr. Hebard, has revised her "Teaching Wyoming History 
by Counties." It is an attractive sixty-four page pamphlet and 
valuable to any student of Wyoming History. The Revised edi- 
tion is published by the Department of Education State of Wyo- 
ming and is known as Bulletin No. 9, Series B. Dr. Hebard also 
has in press a revised edition of her book, ' ' The History and Gov- 
ernment of Wyoming." It is understood the new book will be 
ready for distribution soon. 

"Trails of Yesterday" by John Bratt comes from the Uni- 
versity Publishing Company, Lincoln. ]\Ir. Bratt produced a 
very readable book based on his own experiences as pioneer, 
freighter, rancher, stockman and public spirited citizen of West- 
ern Nebraska. As a freighter he was identified with Eastern 
Wyoming and his history of that section of our State is authen- 
tic. The narrative is interspersed with many entertaining anec- 
dotes which enliven the pages. There are many illustrations. 

"Forty Years on the Frontier" Two volumes, by Stuart. 
Mr. P. C. Phillips edits this able pioneer history from the Jour- 
nals and Reminiscences of Granville Stuart. Altho it is Montana 
history it is intimately associated with Wyoming and should be 
in every collection of Wyomingana. Illustrated. 



1st, 1926 


D. A. R Copy First Census (1870) of Wyoming. 

Bond, Mrs. W. C. and 

Dubois, Mrs. William Commission of Esther Morris Justice of 

the Peace, signed February 17th, 1870. 
Sworn to before her son E. A. Slack, 
clerk of Court, 3rd District Wyoming 
Territory. Mrs. Bond and Mrs. Du- 
bois are granddaughters of Mrs. Mor- 
ris and daughters of Colonel Slack. 

Hood, Mrs. T. B Xmas card from President and Mrs. Wil- 
son to Mr. and Mrs. Hood, date 1920. 
Invitation to "Eound-up" Breakfast 
in honor of Mr. Hood on his 75th 
Birthday, May 6, 1916. 

Hadsell, Mrs. F. A Original letter from Mr. R. M. Gal- 

braith, early R. R. man. 


EA-a Ogden Putnam, (Mrs. A. L.) 

Mr. Samuel W. Wass, 

Mrs. W. C. Bond, 

Morris H. Mills, 

Mr. J. O. Ward, 

Mrs. Agnes Hilton, Four Obituary Notices. 


Falconer, Mr. W. A History of Sitting Bull. 

Arrest and escape of Rain in the Face. 
Did General Custer disobey his orders. 

Hood, Mrs. T. B Pioneers of the Oregon Trail. 

Carpenter, Ellen Account of the Meeker Massacre- 
Knight, Mrs. Emma Howell Death of Mrs. Agnes Mary Garrett. 

Moore, Mr. Lee Northwestern Live Stock Journal, Chey- 
enne, Wyoming, April 10th, 1885, 16 
p. issue. 


Dickson, Arthur J Indian Boys and Girls Club. 

Hebard, Dr. G. R Teaching Wyoming History by Counties, 

revised edition. 
Ellison, R. S Monograph. Wm. H. Jackson, Pioneer 

of the Yellowstone Park. 
Savaresy, Marie Montabe The Gift of the Waters — A Pageant. 



Historical Department of Utah Utah in the World War. 

Caverley, Arthur Cavalry Drill Regulations U. S. A. 1896. 

This book was used by Mr. Caverley 's 
father in the Spanish-American War 
and on the tiy leaf is inscribed, Robert 
Caverley, Major Commdg 3rd Squad- 
ron 2nd U. S. Vol. Cav 1898. Torrey's 
Rough Riders. 


Fitzmorris, Robert Confederate $50.00 Bill. Date Richmond, 

Va., February 17th, 1864 Loan. 

Kelsey, Harold 1868 five cent piece. Loan. 

Ostrander, Major A. B Copies of the 26 pictures tised to illus- 
trate his book "After Sixty Years." 

Wass, Mr. Samuel 38 films used to illustrate, Mr. Wass' 

Theses "Internationalization of So- 
cial Activities. ' ' 

Owen, Mr. W. O Picture of Asa Moore, Con Wagner and 

"Big Ed" before Ijoing cut down af- 
ter being hung by A'igilantes in Lara- 
mie on October 18th, 1868. Picture of 
"Advent of the Rotary Snow Plow 

Hartzell, Wm One 1864 copper coin: one old Mexican 

Silver Coin, one German 10,000 mark 
paper 1922. 

Allison, Mr. Archie Wall map of Cheyenne, Laramie County 

Dakota Territory 1868. 

Clayton, Alfred G 2 forest ranger maps of Washakie Na- 

Forest Ranger tional Forest. 


Caverley, Arthur Loaned to the Historical Department, 2 

books. "Reflections on the Causes of 
the Rise and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire, translated from the French. 
London, 1752. "A Collection of 
Poems" in six volumes by several 
hands. London 1763- 

NOTE: Due to illness in the office staff it was imjwssible to make 
u]i the list of pioneer deaths during the year 1925. 

Annate of OTpomins 

Vol.3 APRIL, 1926 No. 4 


With th© Union Pacific Eailroad in Early Days Morris H. Mills 

Pioneering in Crook County Eva Ogden Putnam 

Biographical Sketch of John Dwight Woodruff 

Mrs. Lesley Day Woodruff Eiter 

Charcoal Pits William Francis Hooker 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnalg of OTpoming 

Vol. 3 APEIL, 1926 No. 4 


With the Union Pacific Eailroad in Early Days Morris H. Mills 

Pioneering in Crook County - - Eva Ogden Putnam 

Biographical Sketch of John Dwiglit Woodruff 

Mrs. Lesley Day Woodruff Eiter 

Charcoal Pits William Francis Hooker 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Nellie Tayloe Eoss 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Et. Eev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace E. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. E. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margery Eoss Cody 

Mrs. E. C. Eaymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lauder 

Volume III. Number 4. April, 1926 

(Copyright, 1926) 



Left to Right: John Foley, Engineer; M. H. Mills, Assistant Superintendent; 

Engineer Rotary Plow, Employed by Manufacturer 


Annals of OTipomins 

Vol. 3 APRIL, 1926 No. 4 


(By Morris H. Mills) 

Wyoming pioneers had obstacles to overcome that were 
new features to pioneer life in the early settlement of the Unit- 
ed States. 

The Union Pacific Railroad crossed the southern part of the 
Territory at an average altitude of seven thousand feet and was 
first available as a means of transportation during the vear 

The Federal Government maintained army posts at Chey- 
enne, Laramie, Fort Steele, Fort Fetterman, and Fort Laramie, 
and the pay roll disbursements by the Railroad and the Govern- 
ment provided the only dependable means of support for the 
first arrivals. 

As the construction of the road advanced, the operation of 
the stage lines east were abandoned, and in consequence, many 
of those formerly employed by the stage companies, together 
with the hangers on, naturally drifted over to the railroad, fol- 
lowing the shifting rail terminals as the road building proceed- 
ed west. Thus a new territory was opened for settlement at an 
altitude that was then thought to make agricultural develop- 
ment impossible and the limited field for employment, gives a 
general line on the type and character of those who occupied 
the stage, during a period, which might be called, the first set- 

Only the more venturesome spirits endowed with that ele- 
ment in human nature that derives pleasure and satisfaction in 
surmountaing obstacles remained, and in this list, the real pio- 
neers of Wyoming can be found. 

Free grass and open range naturally offered opportunity 
for those who engaged in the business of raising cattle and 
sheep, and this business has since been followed with varying 
success, depending upon fluctuating market conditions, and 
provision made for corraling and feeding, during storm periods. 
In fact a history of the cattle and sheep industry in Wyoming has 
been, and probably will be a history of the economic development 
of the State, although the more recent discovery of oil and the 



manufacture of petroleum products has proven a most import- 
ant additional resource. 

Coming from the Chicago general office of the Western Un- 
ion Telegraph Company, in the early seventies, the narrator of 
this article secured employment on the Union Pacific and was 
assigned to the job of holding down the day telegraph office at 
Rawlins. Brother William, better known throughout the state 
as Billy Mills, had joined the construction forces of the Union 
Pacific Company in 1868, and at this time was a passenger con- 
ductor, on a run between Laramie and Green River, a position 
he held without an accident, for forty-eight years. 

During the first day of my employment, at Rawlins, a com- 
motion Avas created by the arrival of three or four men in a hay 
wagon, who had been engaged in cutting hay a few miles south 
of the town. This outfit arrived with horses on the run in an 
efi^ort to escape from a band of marauding Indians that had run 
them off the job. In the getaway a member of the party was 
shot in the foot, producing a painful though not serious wound. 
The denizens of Rawlins collecting around the wagon seemed to 
view the incident nonchalantly but not so with the tender-foot 
kid from the East. That evening gathered around the office 
stove at Kirk's Hotel, were the well known Mountain Guides, 
Tom Sun, and Boney Earnest, Bill HaAvley, Sheriff of Carbon 
Comity, and his successor in office, Jim Rankin were also pres- 
ent engaging in a confab over the day's occurrence. My ques- 
tions regarding Indians doubtless branded me the tender-foot 
that I was, when the following conversation took place. Ad- 
dressing Earnest, Tom Sun said that he didn't like the way 
them Injuns were behaving, that their movements and actions 
didn't look good to him. Earnest agreeing replied, that they, 
the Indians seemed to have it in for Rawlins and as for him he 
didn't Avant to be there at daybreak, the time Indians usually 
made an attack, and as for himself, he was going to beat it, while 
the beatin' out Avas good and get doAvn to the Platte Avhere the 
soldiers were close. All hands took their cue and did their part, 
and as a consequence the RaAvlin's Telegrapher could have been 
found on the depot platform, sitting on his trunk, anxiously 
aAvaiting the arrival of east bound passenger train No. 4, Bro- 
ther Billy Conductor, Avhich Avas due to arrive at four o'clock 
in tlie morning. Whether the train Avould arriA'e in advance of 
the Indians, he didn't knoAV. 

As my reasons for quitting the country Avere seriously 
given, Garrett and Patterson, brakemen on the train AA^ere con- 
vulsed. Garrett rolling on the platform Avith laughter and ex- 
clamations that Avere anything but sympathetic ; Avhen Brother 
explained, that the bunch had simply been stringing a tender- 


foot, and as far as Indians were concerned even then, it was as 
safe in Rawlins as it would be in Chicago. 

About that time there had been so much delay caused by 
slow action in the working of government machinery, that the 
people living in the vicinity of Rawlins, had given up the idea 
of getting protection from Indian depredations through gov- 
ernment aid. For example ; in the case mentioned, a report was 
wired to the Commanding Officer at Fort Steele, fifteen miles east, 
during the afternoon of the day of the occurrence. In the aft- 
ernoon of the second day following, forty-eight hours after the 
report was made, a troop of cavalry from Fort Steele arrived at 
Rawlins, when further delay was caused by shoeing some 
horses. When the fact that this troop had but three days' ra- 
tions, and the Indians already had a two days start is taken into 
consideration, any possible chance for Indian arrests were 

Little wonder that a volunteer party of Rawlins citizens 
took matters into their own hands on a subsequent occurrence, 
when a band of renegades were overtaken and severely pun- 
ished within a period of twenty-four hours, after which such 
depredations entirely ceased in that vicinity. 

The government routine made it necessary for the Com- 
manding Officer at FortSteele to report to the Commanding 
Officer at Omaha, who in turn reported to the General in com- 
mand at Washington, who in turn reported to the Secretary of 
War, who in due form reported to the Secretary of the Interior. 
Then the process was in due form reversed and when in due 
form the horses were duly shod and the rations were duly ex- 
hausted the offending Indians might have been engaged in run- 
ning off a bunch of horses in a distant section, in another de- 
partment, when the same machine could be set in motion in the 
same way, with the same results. 

About a year later I was transferred to L aramie , being em- 
ployed as train dispatcher and chief division clerk in the office 
of the Superintendent. At this period the operating divisions 
on the Union Pacific were known as The Platte extending from 
Omaha to North Platte. The Mountain extending from North 
Platte to Laramie, The Laramie Division extending from Lara- 
mie to Green River, and The Western extending from Green 
River to Ogden, the western terminus of the system. 

In the history of American railroads no period developed 
more radical change in operating practice than took place in 
the seventh decade of the nineteenth century. During this pe- 
riod rapid advance was made in passing from hand to air 
brakes ; from the Miller coupling hook to Automatic couplers in 
passenger service and a general start in substituting an auto- 


matic device for the Link and Pin in freight service ; from the 
okl Chair cliekety click rail joint to Fish Plates and Angle Bars 
and more dependable Nut Locks ; from iron to steel rails ; from 
eight wheel locomotives to ten wheelers, Moguls and the Moun- 
tain Hog type, from ten ton capacity to forty and sixty ton ca- 
pacity freight cars ; from snow plows of the Wedge type to the 
Rotary of the present day. Railroading in the days of hand 
brakes, soil ballast, light power, and mountain grades, entailed 
hardships that produced a type of employes that were a verit- 
able survival of the fittest. 

Old timers will recall the Jarrett Palmer Special that was 
chartered by a theatrical company to cross the continent from 
New York to San Francisco in record time for advertising pur- 
poses. This train departed from New York over the N. Y. C. 
proceeding via the Lake Shore, the North Western, and the 
Union and Central Pacific lines. Instructions to the Union Pa- 
cific Superintendents were to accompany this special and run 
as fast as they deemed safe. There was comparatively little 
tangent track on the Laramie division, alkali soil predominated, 
very little if any ballast had been placed, pine ties and light 
rails made slow speed a necessity for safe and successful opera- 
tion and as a result the division had acquired a reputation for 
slow and cautious movement. As this special proceeded Avest 
from Chicago, public attention became focused on the speed 
record being made and naturally a desire to equal if not ex- 
ceed former performance developed. The Union Pacific set a 
record pace between Omaha and Cheyenne and fear was being 
expressed by the rank and file that the old fogy division would 
spoil the prospects for making a record system run. We of the 
Laramie office had taken pains to see that this talk reached the 
ears of Shanks as Mr. Shankland the superintendent was called 
for short, and received encouragement from the fact that the 
"old man's" dander was being aroused. The special pulled 
into Laramie about nine p. m. Bill Allen was the engineer as- 
signed to the run. The writer was on duty as dispatcher and 
gave verbal instructions to Allen that the bell cord attached to 
the superintendent was the speed limit. Allen replied that the 
bell was not working and that his first stop would be at Medi- 
cine Bow for water, which would offer the first opportunity for 
any speed reduction. But there was no occasion for bell plug- 
ging and the Laramie division proceeded to make the record 
speed for the entire run, not only the fastest mile, the fastest ten 
miles, but for the division and system as well. Engineer Bob 
Miller pulled this special between Rawlins and Green River and 
broke all records for speed between Bitter Creek and Rock 
Springs. It will be of interest to the readers to know that the 


time of a little less than six hours made on this occasion is now 
being made under modern conditions between Laramie and 
Green River in daily passenger service and with perfect ease. 

The district between Rawlins and Green River in the early 
history of the road was in many respects the most difficult from 
an operating standpoint, by reason in particular, of alkali water 
and "also topographical conditions, which have long since been 
corrected. When this section of the line was being built all 
efforts possible were being put forth to meet the Central Pacific 
at a given point, at a stipulated time, and as a result, over the 
top was the quickest way to make progress and the necessary 
cutting through and straightening out, ^remained for future at- 
tention. That so called water was an alkali concoction that 
literally destroyed boiler flues faster than they could be re- 
placed and it was not uncommon to see engines arrive at term- 
inals that looked as if they had been white washed. This dope 
had the appearance of water until it was injected or pumped 
into the boiler of a locomotive and was subjected to heat, when 
it became a law unto itself and defying Aquarius and the in- 
genuity of man, this formation would shoot out through the 
smoke stack like a miniature geyser mussing up everything and 
everybody with whom it came in contact. However, the in- 
genuity of man has since controlled this alkali mixture and by 
the application of a simple chemical process caused it to per- 
form the uses that nature evidently intended. 

Taking into consideration grades that generally follow the 
surface where the topography is mountainous, the short sidings, 
and spur tracks for meeting and passing trains, blind stations, 
power conditions, and storms, peculiar to mountain regions, the 
train dispatchers had to be veritable clairvoyants to qualify. 
Then there was the playful snow flake, augmented by numbers 
sufficient to form drifts higher than the tops of coaches, as was 
the case in the winter of 1875-6, when a drift of this depth formed 
on Creston hill more than a mile in length, that could only be 
protected from the shifting gales of that most severe winter by 
snow fences and kept open for the movements of trains by the 
use of Wedge plow outfits. Had it not been for the genius of 
Master Mechanic Shaffer of the Rawlins shop who at that time, 
in order to meet the exigencies of the situation, constnicted the 
well known Shaffer plow that has since borne his name, the oper- 
ating department of that day would have practically been obliged, 
as Bill Nye once said, ' ' to sit down and wait for that much snow 
to melt.'' 

The evolution of the snow plow could then have been fol- 
lowed by discarded exhibits that occupied a spur track at the 
Rawlins shops. Exhibit A can be imperfectly described as a short 
flat car loaded with scrap iron that might more aptly be called 


shrapnel. At one end there were two boiler plates fashioned to- 
gether about six or eight feet high bolted into a wedge shape 
with no rail contact, resembling more the shape of a canal boat 
than a plow. If a serious attempt to use this contrivance had 
ever been made it is hardly probable that it would have been on 
exhibition. There was another more pretentious exhibit which 
assumed the proportions of a small box car. This too, was weight- 
ed down with a floor covering of track rails with a view of add- 
ing tractive force. The business end of this more modern device 
for keeping the road open was a shovel, resembling a barn door 
placed at an angle of about forty five degrees. This platform 
appearing arrangement was covered with boiler iron and supple- 
mented with Y shaped plates set back four or five feet making 
sort of a dividing line that would act in separating the snow in 
equal volume and cover both sides of the track alike as it fell 
back. This device was evidently intended to be pushed ahead 
of an engine when as a matter of fact it would have caused less 
damage and been just as efficient had it been coupled in behind. 
With the advent of the Shaffer plow a practical but expensive 
and very hazardous means was afforded for keeping the road 
open. As is well known the Shaffer plow was constructed of 
boiler plates the wings extending well up protecting the stack. 
It is cemetrical in shape and bolted to the frame of an engine 
held the stage as the best method for removing snow until the ad- 
vent of the Rotary. It tried men's souls to ride a Shaffer plow, 
coupled up short, ahead of two powerful locomotives when a run 
into hard snow would hardly penetrate its length. Then the 
trailers would pull up, couple in behind and with the aid of the 
shovel gang pull out and make another run. The work was 
hazardous, accidents were not infrequent, no body liked the job, 
but it was the only way. 

During the few years following the organization of the Terri- 
tory of Wyoming and before the people had an opportunity to 
become thoroughly acquainted, there was more or less ineompe- 
tenc^y shown in the administration of public affairs, and as a re- 
sult county warrants were generally at a discount. In the later 
part of this period I occupied the position of secretary of the Al- 
bany Coimty Central Committee on the democratic side, at a 
time when the late W. H. Holliday was chairman, and later, I 
occupied the same position in the Territorial Central Committee. 
This more or less close association with political affairs placed 
me in a position to note the benificent effects of women suffrage 
in its first experimental stage in the United States if not in the 
world. It was not so mucli a question of exercising the right to 
vote as it was the fact tluit women could exercise this right and 
as to how those who did exercise their voting franchise would 
vote when a question of morals and good government was in- 
volved. Those active in the selection, of candidates on both sides 


soon learned that men of good character and a clean business 
had a decided advantage over those less fortunate regardless of 
party affiliations, and as a result, both parties were controlled in 
their selection of candidates by the women influence. Under this 
influence better government soon obtained, county warrants 
reached par, all occasion for toting guns disappeared, and life be- 
came as safe in Wyoming as in a New England village. 

About the year 1878 the author of this article collected a 
number of Building and Loan Association plans out of which a 
plan was formulated that it was thought would meet the Laramie 
conditions and as a result the Laramie Building Savings and 
Xioan. .Association was organized. Messrs. W. H. HoUiday, J. 
W. Connor, J. W. Donnellan, J. W. Meldrum, M. C. Brown and 
Otto Gramm were active in the organization and making the as- 
sociation a success. Through the initiative of Mr. John Friend 
of Rawlins I was later invited to explain the Laramie Associa- 
tion 's plan at a meeting of citizens held in a school house at Raw- 
lins and as a result a Building and Loan Association was estab- 
lished there w^hich was the second organization of this character 
operating in the Territory. 


By Eva Ogden Putnam, Cheyenne, Wyoming 

As the scroll of the years rolls back to eliildhood's time and 
its happenings do we I wonder get the proper perspective? Do 
we still see what happened then and the scenes of those times with 
the eyes of the child we were then or with the mature eyes we now 
have ? I can not say, but I do know this, that what I saw in those 
early pioneer days of Wyoming and what I experienced then 
seemed as all right and life as good and as worth living as it 
seems today with all its conveniences and modern inventions. 

Wlien I first beheld Crook County, its grand old Sundance 
Mountain, its pine-clad Bear Lodge Range, its green valleys nest- 
ling at the foot of its many hills, I was only eleven. Some friends 
of my famil}^, Mr. and Mrs. William Draper, and my brother, W. 
B. Ogden, had taken claims there in the summer of 1880. It was 
the next summer that I went there to visit them from my home 
in Central City, Dakota, now South Dakota. 

The stillness I can yet recall. It cast a great loneliness over 
me because I suppose that I was away from home for the first 
time. In those days of making a new state there was no shouting 
from the house tops, but steadily, quietly, and surely the work 
went on. 

What is now the Town of Sundance was then only a ranch 
home, occupied by Mr. Albert Hogg, a thrifty and honest old 


German. His house, a small log cabin, was set well back at the 
very foot of the Bear Lodge Mountain that later was a back 
ground on the north for the little city that now for years has 
nestled at its fe^t. 

What I especially remember about my first visit to this site 
that was to become a county seat was the cool natural milk house 
in which Mr. Hogg kept his dairy products. There was a cliff 
of rocks above and around and the cool little mountain stream 
coursing under, making a natural and ideal place for milk and 

In the fall of 1882 my father and mother, my brother, sister 
and I moved to a ranch five miles north of Sundance. My broth- 
er took a claim next to ours. We had taken thirty cows on shares 
from Mr. Walter Smead, then clerk of the Homestake Mine in 
Lead City. How we dared start on such a venture in the fall of 
the year on a totally new place with not even a house an\^'here 
nearly completed, no feed for the cattle, no sheds, nothing, but 
the stuff pioneers are made of, is now a mar^^el to me. 

Naturally (and it is just as well it is so) I can not recall all 
the hardships of that first winter, which I believe was as long and 
as cold as any Wyoming has ever experienced. I know we lived 
out doors until our log cabin was finished. Slept at night in and 
under our covered wagon. Set our cook stove up in the yard of 
what was later the house when finished. Had my mother not been 
accustomed to pioneering in Colorado and Montana so many years 
before, it no doubt would have seemed a much greater hardship 
than it did. To my sister and me, of course, it was somewhat of 
a lark, something new and different, and in the exuberance of 
youth that always appeals. 

Strange to say we only lost one of those cows that first win- 
ter, but it was hard I know to get them thru alive, for I can still 
recall their skeleton looking forms as spring drew near, but as 
usual in Wyoming it was late in coming; and when Mr. Sniead 
came to look his investment over before the green grass had put 
some flesh on his cattle, child that I was, I could sense that he was 
not well pleased. But he possibly knew that my father and broth- 
er^ had done the best they could under the circumstances, for we 
had his cattle for years. It gave us a nice little start in stock. 

Our ranch was really beautiful. It lay in what we later 
named Pleasant Valley at the foot of the Bear Lodge Range. The 
only oaks in the state, I have understood, are in Crook County, 
and we had a goodly share of them up and down our creek. To- 
ward the east was a fine view of Crow Peak ^Mountain and the 
grand old Black Hills. Never will I forget the beauty of the spot, 
and never did I tire of looking toward the east and lifting my 
eyes unto the hills. Each morning as we watched, "the mom in 
purple mantle clad walk o'er the dew of that high eastern hill," 
our world seemed made anew. That we had no phones, no elec- 


trie lights, no water in the house no automobiles, no airplanes 
sailing- overhead, did not troulile us in the least. Some one has 
wisely said, that, ' ' What we do not know does not hurt us. ' ' It 
is just as true that what we don 't know about does not bother us 
any either. In a hundred years from now our posterity may be 
wondering how we got along with what we have today, while we 
are thinking we have everything. The conveniences of today were 
not even dreamed of then in those early days in Wyoming nor 
not many of them any where else. We were happy and content 
in that simple life, altho I confess it would be very hard to go 
back to it now. We had health and an unbroken family. We had 
plenty of good wholesome food, milk, butter, eggs, cream, and 
from the first summer, a fine garden. We had beef and pork oc- 
casionally, and a neighbor, who was a hunter, would go up into 
the mountains any time we requested, kill and dress a deer, (no 
game laws then) bring it on his pony to our door for the big sum 
of one dollar. Sometimes these wild animals, so unaccustomed 
to being molested by man, would stroll down our valley in sight 
of our house in the day time. And one time after moving to our 
ranch my father saw a buffalo within a mile of our place, evident- 
ly one that had strayed away from its herd. 

In the winter many men in the Sundance locality went to 
hunt the buffalo. I can not now recall where they went, I only 
know they brought the meat home by the wagon load. It is a 
very great luxury today, but then was quite a common article of 

One of the happenings that made a very lasting impression 
on me was the murder of Mrs- Curliss who lived ten miles from 
us. People ten and fifteen miles away were counted as neighbors 
then, even if traveling was slow. We had only been on the ranch 
a brief time, but were comfortably located in our cabin. It was 
ten o'clock at night. We children were in bed, when there came 
a rap at the door, an almost unheard happening at that hour. It 
proved to be Mr. William Bowman, who lived at Rocky Ford. He 
came to tell us that that day, Sunday, while the Curliss young 
people were visiting some neighbors, the mother, Mrs. Curliss, 
was strangled to death. He came for my father and mother to 
go. The neighbors gathered at the Curliss home for miles around 
and stayed until the body was laid away. For the rest of the 
night after Mr. Bowman came I lay wide eyed and sleepless. 
Naturally a nervous child this was not a very good introduction 
to the new state of my adoption. It took weeks to recover from 
that shock. I never went out alone in the dark but I felt that 
someone was going to grab and murder me. 

It was proven almost beyond a doubt that a tramp passing 
thru the country had been her murderer for the paltry sum of 
some thirty-five dollars that was in the house. The case of course 
had to be tried in Cheyenne, the nearest Wyoming court. Wit- 


nesses from that part of tlie territory drove across the coiintiy 
the distance of three hundred miles in the dead of winter, and a 
very cold one at that. In the face of what the witnesses knew 
and had seen of this man, in their own minds there was no doubt 
a.s to who did the deed, but because the evidence w^as only circum- 
stantial the man I think was allowed to go free. 

When we moved to Wyoming in the fall of 1882 Sundance 
had a few buildings, a post office, a grocery store or two, and pos- 
sibly two or three restaurants, and of course the inevitable saloon. 
In the fall of 1883 a school house was erected near Sundance 
Creek in the outskirts of the little town and a school started, the 
teacher being Mr. Elijah Bo^\mian, son of the Willam Bowman 
spoken of above. For years now he has been a hardware mer- 
chant in Meeteetse. That winter I stayed at Mr. Draper's and 
walked thru the deep snow one and one-half miles to school. I 
was terribly homesick and would gladly have given all my earth- 
ly possessions to have been allowed to stay at home, but have been 
glad many times since for the persistency of my pioneer mother 
who was determined that her children should have, if possible, 
the education she would have liked. 

The next winter my brother, who was then twenty-two took 
my sister and me every morning thru the verv' deep snow to this 
little Sundance School. We went in a home-made sled. It was 
only five miles, but sometimes the drifts were so deep that the 
horses could scarcely plow thru. We had to start by break of 
day to make it on time. AVe were up every one of those cold win- 
ter mornings long before daylight, and by seven were on our 
way ; storm or shine we never missed a day I think of school that 
winter. Attending the school this particular winter were Fred 
Townsend, later and for years a cashier in a bank in Gillette. I 
think he is now in similar business in California. Ira Bowker, 
postmaster quite recently in Weston County county seat, and a 
resident of Weston County now for many years ; two of the Bow- 
man girls, Demarious and Cortelia, and one of the Bowman boys, 
Derealous, my brother, who took some mathematics in order to 
keep occupied during the hours my sister and I had to remain 
there. There were probably some eighteen or twenty of us alto- 
gether. Of that numlier, so far as I know, only two have passe« 
to the great beyond, Eva Royster and Derealous Bowman, two 
such sturdy pioneer young people then that one marvels that they 
were the first to go and others of us less sturdy still here. 

If we had always remained in the log cabin it would not have 
been in keeping with the progression typical of the hustling west. 

In just two and ono-lialf years from the time we moved to 
this rancli my father aiul brotlier unaided by anyone else built 
a good substantial house of five rooms, with rock cellar, pantry, 
porches and clothes closet. It was built of hewed logs weather 
boarded aiul painted without, and plastered within, and finished 



completely before we moved in. It stood forth a gleaming white 
among the green trees near, and for those times was very good 
indeed. It was so well built and the logs so hidden, from storms 
that it would not be surprising if it stood for many years to come 
a relic of and a sort of monument to those early pioneer days. 
The old ranch home is still in the fam.ily now owned by my 
nephew, Chester A. Ogden, and occupied by him and his family. 

Could the old house speak it would have much of interest to 
tell of the happenings under its roof. Its doors were ever swung 
hospitably open. It was the headquarters for young people. "We 
were seldom alone, especially summers for many former friends 
from our Black Hills home would come and often remain from 
two to four weeks ; one a young lady teacher of Lead City and 
childliood friend, Ella Valentine, came several summers until her 
marriage. I often wonder now how many parents endured with 
such patience as ours, our parties and almost constant company, 
our comings and goings. I believe though that my father at least 
liked it immensely, that young life gathered about him. 

The presiding Elders of the M. E. Church (as they were then 
called) always made their headquarters at our house when visit- 
ing the Sundance mission. I recall the Rev. Mr. Williams of 
Deadwood and Rev. Dr. Tarbell, as being guests. 

The president of the State Normal School of South Dakota, 
F. L. Cook, was once our guest for two days and two' nights and 
one of the teachers from this school, Miss Fockers a New York 
lady for a week. 

Institute instructors were entertained there, among these I 
recall Professor E. F. Shell of the Model School connected with 
the South Dakota Normal and Mr. Cloud Rutter of the Terre 
Haute, Indiana, Normal. 

Once Bishop Talbot, now senior bishop of the Episcopal 
Church, spent several hours in our home and stayed to tea, or 
rather, to a good old fashioned country supper, which he seemed 
to enjoy as much as we enjoyed his entertaining stories. 

On a ranch one mile north of us about 1886 or 1887 located 
Mr. 0. B. Chassell, a fine young and well educated man from 
Iowa who taught our Pleasant Valley school while ' ' holding down 
his claim." He later became an ordained minister. I believe 
Sundance was his first charge. He has been prominently con- 
nected with the Methodist Church for years. He is located now 
in the east, but returns nearly every summer to Wyoming where 
he still has interests. With his fine christian character and splen- 
did education he did much to influence for good the youth with 
whom he came in contact, and probably had more to do than any 
one else with inspiring my sister and me to go away to school and 
receive the education our mother so desired us to have. 

His brother N. W. and Hairry Chassell who also resided in 
Pleasant Valley, coming from Iowa soon after their brother, are 


still residents of Wyoming, Harry figuring prominently in the 
political life of the state since then, having been state Senator 
several terms. 

However, Mr. 0. B. Chassell was not Pleasant Valley's first 
teacher, hut iXT jss Tjon plla Rnarlifaj- of Terre Haute, Indiana, 
taught the first school in one room of our cabin, which had been 
our first ranch home. She adjusted herself so quickly to all con- 
ditions and situations that her influence was also greatly for good 
— She afterward taught in the Sundance Schools and was prin- 
cipal of the schools at the Cambria mines. For more than twenty- 
seven years she has slept in the Newca.stle Cemetery, having 
passed to the great beyond when a young matron of thirty-one. 
She taught the Plea^sant Valley School in the summer of 1885 
or 1886 while teaching there she made her home with us and be- 
came one of the best and staunchest friends I ever had. 

These are only a few of the many who found our latch string 
always out, each furnishing no doubt an unconscious influence 
for good or evil in the plastic young lives of my brother, sister 
and myself. As I look back I know that all who came there pos- 
sibly did not help us weave into our lives beautiful golden threads 
as did these whose names are mentioned here and there thru this 
article. Some, it seems to me now had no influence whatever at 
least apparently not, while in none of them of those early days 
can I recall anything that could be counted really bad, or more 
than indiscreet. 

Eveii those first winters were not entirely void of social times. 
We used to have big Christmas parties. I remember one was at 
the Kim home on Sundance Creek, one mile from town. We 
gathered there by the load and how we did feast. Evidently 
Mrs. Kim, whom I remember as a small brunette, had cooked for 
days. We visited and ate, then visited some more. The older 
ones gathered in front of a crude fireplace. We children seemed 
to hover near,, no doubt listening to the interesting pioneer 
stories, for I recall that my parents, at least, had plenty of them 
to tell of their life in Montana and Colorado. 

One Christmas the neighbors came to our house. There were 
thirty-five of us all told. They came from long distances, some 
of them, and long before the shadows of night fell they had to 
take themselves away, for going was slow in those days and al- 
ways there were the evening chores that had to be done when 
they reached home. The cows could never be neglected for to 
many of us they meant not only our butteri but our daily bread. 

After jNIiss Carrie Hai^per (who is now and has been for 
many years Mrs. B. F. Fowler of Cheyenne) came to Sundance 
our entertainments took on a more musical and literary aspect. 
Tlic Kims had a piano, a very great luxuiy then ; we used to 
practice there sometimes and give an entertainment occasionally 
in the school house, which was certainly a community center, al- 


tlio we never dreamed then of calling it that. It was used for 
dances, spelling bees, funerals, political meetings and everything 
of a public nature. 

How I did thrill then over spelling bees. Some philanthropic 
person in town always offered a prize to the one who stood up 
longest. Joe Lytle and I were always the last two to go down, 
but I never quite won, much to my chagrin. Joe always came 
out champion and received the cro-\vning laurel. 

And, oh, what a day the fourth of July was ! I never got 
such exciting pleasure out of anything as going to those celebra- 
tions. Looking back on them now I know how crude they were ; 
some mediocre speaker possibly, a dance on a rough platform 
in what was known as Sundance Grove, a place near the creek 
and not far from the school house — a funny merry-go-round one 
year, on which only four could ride — no horses — no engine. You 
can imagine how very wonderful it was ! Sometimes there was 
a barbecue — always there was the Declaration of Independence 
read, and always some sort of fireworks at night. We came from 
east, west, north, and south in our dress-up togs, a patriotic 
group. I wonder how many hearts today burn with such patriot- 
ism over such a simple display as did ours then. Today with auto 
races and airplane stunts and other exciting happenings, do the 
youth get one-half the thrills out of a celebration that we did 
then? Their lives are satiated with excitement and pleasure. 
Our lives would seem very drab to them, but in our few festivi- 
ties we probably crowded as many thrills as they do today in a 
whole year of theirs. One year when a lawyer drove out to our 
ranch from town to ask me to read the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, I thought I had reached the very pinnacle of fame. I know 
now I must have bored my patient, long-suffering family almost 
to tears as I made them all sit out in front of the house night aft- 
er night, while I stood in our wagon at some distance, and prac- 
ticed on them, to be sure that I would get my voice so it would 
carry to the very outskirts of the crowd on the great day. Here 's 
hoping the latter did not feel duty bound to have to listen when 
the day came, and I don't suppose all of them did. 

You have probably heard of cowboys shooting up a town. 
I can not think they ever did it with any idea of hurting anyone, 
but possibly to work off steam after a quiet and rather monot- 
onous life — shot up in the air when leaving town somewhat fuller 
than when they came. They did this once while I attended school 
in Sundance. The shots rang out on the crisp air of a winter 
afternoon. That a bullet might go astray and enter our shell of 
a building I think never occurred to us. We scarcely gave it a 
passing thought. Like many other thing's that would seem strange 
and unpardonable today, it was then only a part of the times. 

And when Sunday came on many ranches it was little dif- 
ferent from other days, but how thankful I have since been for 


Christian parents, who, in spite of there being no church or Sun- 
day School to attend, always made the Sabbath a little different 
from other days. I can still see my fathei* on a summer Sunday 
sitting in the shade of our humble home in what he then called 
a boiled shirt, his shoes freshly polished, enjoying to the full the 
rest and peace and quiet of the Sabbath day. He would sit and 
read for hours, often the Bible, with which he was quite familiar. 
While not an ordained preacher he was licensed to preach and to 
marry people, and often was called upon to go miles to say the 
last sad rites over the dead, or join in wedlock some happy couple. 

It was not until 1887 or 1888 that Sundance had a real min- 
ister. It was then only a mission connected with the Dakota con- 
y ference. The first preacher was Reyi_J^jidle3% who came there 
from Iowa with liis pretty young bride. 

And brave souls were they. They cooked, washed, ironed, 
ate, slept, and entertained their company in a small bed room of 
the home of ]\Ir. and Mrs. John Gates. The house set then where 
the residence of Mr. Bush, the Sundance banker, has been now 
for a great many years. The room was altogether too small even 
for the purpose for which it was intended, being not more than 
eight by ten feet, I would say, and to think it had to be a whole 
house for these young people. 

But never a complaint from them. The beautiful white tap- 
ering fingers of the girl bride had to wash and hang out clothes 
and do all the household tasks to which, judging by her very 
beautiful hands, she had never been accustomed. Thirty-two 
years later, and now several years ago, I met Mrs. Dudley on a 
Pullman car — and thru a strange coincidence learned who she 
was. For all those long years, not since those early days of youth 
had we looked upon each other's faces. She is now very prom- 
inent in missionary circles of the M. E. Church, holding a secre- 
taryship in the Topeka Branch of the Woman's Foreign J\Iission- 
ary Society. I wonder how many will recall this youthful couple 
who did pioneering for God in that new country so many years 
ago. Rev. Dudley was tall, slender and dark. Mrs. Dudley had 
as beautiful a head of red hair as I have ever seen. She was only 
nineteen — was girlish and charming. 

A niece of President Garfield, IMrs. John Ilawkin, came to 
Sundance sometime in the eighties, I think about 1884. Her hus- 
band had a ranch several miles out of town on which they lived. 
I met her and her mother, IVIrs. Trowbridge, sister of Mr. Gar- 
field, one winter at the Draper's when I was boarding there. They 
visited there several days. In the following spring ]\Irs. Hawkin 
died. I think the pioneer life seemed veiy hard on her, and her 
mother seemed not at all pleased because her daughter had mar- 
ried a Wyoming rancher. 

B. F. Fowler, who came to Crook County in his early man- 
hood, I should say about 1884, to begin the practice of law, later 


became Attoruey General of Wyoming; A. P. Hanson, also a 
pioneer of Sundance, became United States Surveyor General ; 
W. S. Metz, a lawyer in this small town in quite an early day, 
was later Judge of the Fourth District; his son, Percy, a mere 
infant when his father practiced law there, is now judge of the 
Fifth District; J. L. Baird, who also was coimted among the old 
timers in this part of the state, was not many years ago state 
treasurer; Eugene Hoyt (can scarcely recall Sundance when he 
was not there) was Register of the U. S. Land Office, and the Joe 
Lytle spoken of earlier in this article, was Receiver of, the same. 

Miss Rose Harper, sister of Mrs. B. F. Fowler, a beautiful 
and attractive girl, graduate of the Chicago Conservatory of 
Music, was probably one of the most charming young women who 
ever graced a western town. At the time of her death, just 
twenty-eight years ago, she was music teacher in the Cheyenne 
High School, but away back in earlier days she made her home 
with her sister in Sundance. 

Strange it may seem that to this small town thoroughly west- 
ern in every respect and off the Railroad should have come many 
of education and culture but it was true, not only concerning 
those mentioned herein but there were dozens of others who have 
found since then a place of prominence in the social and intellec- 
tual world of other toAvns much larger than Sundance. Who 
knows but their experiences there may have well fitted them for 
a larger broader life. 

The Beach Family Magazine, Volume 1, Number 1, made its 
appearance in January. This is a new venture in the magazine 
field in Wyoming and it should be well received. The publica- 
tion gives the genealogy of the Beach and Allied Families and is 
intended to be an aid to research workers who desire to trace their 
ancestral lines. Mrs. Beach is an accredited genealogist. The 
magazine is ably compiled and edited by Mr. and Mrs. A. H. 
Beach of Casper. 


There are many requests in the office of the State Historian 
for copies of the Historical Quarterly Bulletin which was publish- 
ed from July, 1923 to April, 1925, inclusive, and which has been 
out of print for more than a year. These requests come from in- 
dividuals and from Historical Societies who desire unbroken files 
of our State 's history. Any one having any copies of the Bulletin 
and not caring to keep them will confer a favor by mailing them 
to State Historian, Room 305, State Capitol, Cheyenne. 



Even before his birth it was willed by Destiny and written 
in the stars that John Dwight Woodruff was to be one of the fine, 
true instruments used in the building of our Great American 
West. The pioneering instinct was part of his splendid inherit- 
ance from a long line of sturdy ancestors. In his case, this in- 
stinct was early quickened to reality for it was as a small boy, 
less than two j^ears old, that he accompanied his parents when 
they left their home in New York State and moved with the ever 
swelling tide to the land of promise in Illinois. Thus did en- 
vironment place its seal on the will of Destiny. 

The great-great-great-great-great grandparents of John 
Dwight Woodruff were Matthew Woodruff' and his wife Hannah 
who, seeking a new continent to conquer, came to America from 
England before 1640. By 1640 Matthew had settled as an Orig- 
inal Proprietor at Farmington, Connecticut, which was to be- 
come his permanent home as it remained that of his son Matthew 
Junior and of his grandson John. The fourth generation in the 
person of Jolui Woodruff' Junior, began to grow slightly uneasy 
at such a long established residence and evinced this by taking 
up his abode in Milford, Connecticut. In turn John Junior's 
son, Jonah, located early in life at Waterburv^ Connecticut. 
Then came the period following the Revolutionary War when 
the need of expansion and the lure of the little known territoiy 
which formed the western border of the new states, called those 
who were strong to move onward. Philo Woodiiiff, son of Jonah, 
with his wife and family heard and heeded this call. They left 
Waterbury, Connecticut, to pioneer their way through the wild- 
erness and they eventually settled in the beautiful Susquehanna 
Valley at the then new town of Windsor in Broome County, New 
York. Now Philo and his wife Lue.y Tuttle Woodniff had a son 
John who was in his early teens when this westward trip was 
made. This John grew up in Windsor and was married there on 
April 24th, 1834 to ]\Iiss Lucinda Mariah Dimick whose parents 
and grandparents had also journeyed to New York State from 
Connecticut at even an earlier date than had John's parents. 
Is it any wonder that John and Lucinda Mariah Woodruff should 
obey when the next call came to move toward the setting sun? 
Is it any wonder that they felt the urgent necessity of leaving 
their home of peace and plenty for the task of building a strong- 
er nation / It was in the sunnner of 1849 that John Woodruff 
with his wife and family of five children left Windsor, New York. 
Going to the Great Lakes, they journeyed by water to Waukegan 
and from there made their way by wagon to Bonus Prairie in 
Boone County, Illinois. The youngest member of John and 
I.ucinda's familv to make this trek with them was their son John 


Dwight "Woodruff — ^the subject of this biographical sketch — then 
not yet two years old. 

The big family bible, in the hand writing of his mother, re- 
cords that John Dwight Woodruff, . son of John and Lucincla 
Mariah Dimick Woodruff, was born at Windsor, Broome County, 
New York, on December 20th, 1847. Since it would be impossible 
for his recollection to hold any trace of the pioneering which was 
part of his second year of existence, then his earliest memories 
M^ould be those of his Illinois home and of the struggles neces- 
sary to subdue an untamed prairie land. 

Now as John Dwight Woodruff was the last member of the 
family to be born in New York State, so Edward Day Woodruff 
was the first child to see the light of day after their arrival in 
Illinois. Being of a near age these brothers played, chummed, 
grew up together and were always very close in sympathetic un- 
derstanding and affection. It is from the one, my uncle, and the 
younger who was my father, and sometimes from the mutual 
reminiscences of the two together that I have obtained the facts 
now set forth. The vivid realities of boyhood days were un- 
dimmed by later years of adventuring through life. 

That the chinch came in hordes just before harvest time and 
destroyed the first two crops planted by these new settlers was 
of little interest to young Dwight then not quite three or four 
years old. But before many more months life was a fascinating 
round of interests and activities. There was lye to be made from 
the hard wood ashes, used later in making soap, — ^and the fire to 
be kept under the big soap kettle when it was actually bubbling 
its allotted days in the yard. Of course there was "bar soap" 
to be used for washing faces, — Kirk's soap, — but it was hard to 
obtain in those days. Sometimes the home made soap took the 
skin off along with the dirt. There were candles to be made, the 
boy's part being to double the wicks and tie a knot in one end so 
the.y couldn't slip through the points of the.moulds, — and put a 
small stick through the loop at the other end to keep the wicks in 
the center of the candles. The hard job was getting the candles 
out of the moulds, after they were made. And weren 't they liv- 
ing in a wonderful age when the first "fluid lamps" came into 
existence and made it possible for father, — (who had been ap- 
prenticed to a tailor in his youth ) , — and mother to sew at night 
on the many garments needful to clothe their brood. Following 
the lamp, the household acquired a sewing machine, that most 
marvelous invention of the times, and what a saving of labor it 
meant in those days when everything was made by hand. In 
fact nearly all things used by the pioneering folk had to be made 
by themselves and labor was paid for in home produce. There 
was very little money in circulation. In winter there was school 
in the red school house and spelling bees and bob sleigh rides and 
singing school. In summer there was work to do helping the 


hired man, Elisha Strong, wild strawberries to be gathered down 
by the stream, occasional fishing to be attended to, nuts to be 
gathered after the early frosts and John Dwight's especial job 
was tending a herd of cows through the lazy prairie summer 
days, — embiyo cattleman. Jolrn Dwight and his brother Edward 
Day each- had a miniature farm. They used fire bush for their 
logs and with it build wormwood fences, cabins, bams, wells and 
well sweeps, everything they could tliink of and Dwight who was 
very ingenious with tools, made wagons absolutely complete in 
every detail, to add to their equipment. With each added year 
came added duties. There was the fall harvesting to be attempted 
where they could make two dollars a day if they were able to 
follow the pace set by the leader. The dailj^ mail wagon must be 
driven from Bonus to Belvidere and return, for their father now 
held the contract to carry the government mail. He also had an 
agTeement by which he distributed milk for certain farmers. He 
was proprietor of a thriving general mercantile store. All this, 
plus the farm, provided ample work for everyone. 

Then came the Civil War in 1861. The oldest son of the 
household had died m 1858. The second eldest boy promptly 
marched away to aid the Union Cause. This left John Dwight 
and Edward Day with their father to shoulder all the work at 
home, a small but useful rear guard. Feeling ran high. From 
the vivid descriptions that have been given me I can visualize 
the gatherings of the friends and neighbors, the discussions of 
the vital questions of the day, the excitement of escorting a rebel 
from the vicmity, and I hear the campaign songs that were sung. 
No wonder the tenets of Abraham Lincoln and his Republicanism 
Avere burned so deeply into the hearts and minds of both boys 
that they were to be ever after an inseparable part of their lives. 
John Dwight tried three times to enlist. Finally the recruiting 
officer told him if he didn't go home, stay home and stop being 
such a nuisance, it would be necessary to throw him out on his 
head and to notify his father in the bargain. 

In 1865, following the close of the w^ar, John Dwight de- 
veloped a persistent bad cough and general symptoms of ill 
health. That same summer a neighbor by name of Gardner, 
came home from the west where he had been hauling freight in 
Colorado. He said there was big money to be made in that busi- 
ness. He intended taking two or three teams, loading them with 
merchandise, and driving back west with them as soon as pos- 
sil)le. He persuaded ]Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff that such a trip 
and a new climate would make their son Dwight strong and 
liealthy. Consequently they finally consented to his making the 
journey. To be sure, it meant an end of schooling but healtli was 
the first consideration. This impending separation wasi hard for 
the two brothers who had romped and worked together always. 
To one was the disappointment of being left behind. To the oth- 


er was both the sadness of leaving home and the tlirill of beckon- 
ing- adventure. It was decided that they were to leave the follow- 
ing year and that Dwigiit would drive one of Gardner's teams 
for him. It was also decided that Dwight's older brother Dorr 
was to accompany the party driving his own team. (Dorr had 
been released from. Anderson\dlle Prison at the termination of 
the war.) Their destination was Longmont, Colorado. Thus in 
the early spring of 1866 while Jolm Dwight was eighteen years 
of age, he started on his journey to the great West, — the west 
which ever after was to be his beloved home. He faced this new 
land practically alone for his brother Dorr, feeling the effects of 
his war wounds and of his long confinement at Andersonville, 
had sold out to Mr. Gardner at Council Bluffs and returned to 
Illinois. It was on July 4th, 1866 that John Dwight Woodruff 
arrived at Longmont, Colorado. His cough had disappeared and 
never again was he to be troubled by even the shadow of ill 

Soon after camping in Colorado it became necessary for 
Dwight to find something to do. Mr. Gardner was staying bare- 
ly long enough to dispose of his supplies and merchandise. The 
first work he found was on the ranch of a man named Titus who 
had a big place at that time, — ^but a bad reputation as to pay — 
' ' He always skinned out of paying his men, through some hook or 
crook, if he possibly could." It was a summer of hard work. 
Wlien fall came Jolm Dwight hadn 't received a cent of his wages 
and he simply had to have his money to carry him through the 
winter. He tried to get it several times, — but it wasn't any use. 
Finally one day the cook told Dwight that the "boss" had gone 
to town and was expected to bring some money back with him, 
but he felt sure no one would ever see a cent of it — unless they 
' ' knocked Titus down and took it away from him. ' ' Dwight was 
desperately in need of his pay, and he made up his mind he was 
going to get it. He saddled his horse, rode to a spot which he 
knew Titus would have to pass on his way home and waited there 
all afternoon behind a clump of bushes. Towards evening, just 
as Titus reached the place where Dwight was hidden, — Dwight 
stepped out and invited him to put up his hands. Titus didn't 
lose any time doing as he was told by th^ sober faced young fel- 
low who had the drop on him, but he said : 

"Well, Woodruff, you're starting in on this sort of thing 
rather early in the game, aren't you?" 

Dwight replied to the effect that that was his own personal 
responsibility and added : 

' ' Now I know and you know just how much you owe me, — 
and I know how much money you have with you. You 're going to 
take the amount you owe me and put it on this flat rock — right 
here where I can see you. I don 't want a cent more than is com- 


iiig to me. When you've done that, you can take your horse and 
go — and we'll call it quits." 

This Titus was compelled to do, but he asked Dwight never 
to tell any of the fellows what had happened. He didn't want 
it said that he had been held up by a young tenderfoot for wages 
he hadn't paid. Of coiu'se, he could deny it, but he never would 
have heard the last of it. Dwight pocketed his money, promised 
not to say anything about it, — said that they'd call it square. 
Titus said to show he was ashamed of his actions, he would like 
Dwight to continue to work for him, but Dwight refused, so Titus 
started for his ranch as hard as he could go and Dwight rode over 
to the settlement. It was many years before he mentioned this 
incident to anyone, many years before he even told it to his 
brother. Doesn't this dramtic little episode prove that the boy 
so recently from Illinois was already a man of the West, resource- 
ful, resolute, brave, taking the best weapon to see justice fulfilled 
but not abusing its use, above all, square and honest with himself 
as with every one else. 

We do not know exactly where his wanderings took him be- 
tween the time he left the employment of Titus in Colorado in 
the fall of 1866, and the spring of 1867 when he was at Ft. Lara- 
mie in Wyoming. It is very evident that 1866 saw him on Wyo- 
ming soil. Certain it is that in that period he rapidly developed 
into an expert mountaineer, hunter and trapper, — as he was 
later to display his ability as the finest of scouts and guides. His 
o^vn words can best tell this chapter, as well as glimpse his senti- 
ments towards his chosen State. I quote in full the address de- 
livered by him at the Pioneer Reunion held at the State Fair of 
AVyoming in September, 1921 : "For the reason that I am a very 
indifferent speaker, and for fear that I might become embarrassed 
and not be able to say anything at all, I have written down what 
I want to say. I envy the man or woman who can stand up be- 
fore an audience, look around and say. Ladies and Gentlemen, 
and then open their mouths and have the words come out as 
smoothly as warm molasses out af a cracked jug. 

' ' 1 have been asked to make a ten minute talk on the growth 
and development of Wyoming. I believe I know as much about 
the past, present and future of Wyoming as anyone, still to get 
it into words and sentences, to make an intelligent talk, is a dif- 
ferent matter, — so have made it more in the nature of a reminis- 
cence which is easier for me. 

"About three or four years before the U. P. R. R. came west, 
another boy and I in our wanderings came to Crow Creek and 
camped about three miles below where Cheyenne now stands. 
We each had a saddle and pack pony and each a Hawkins muzzle 
loading rifle, some powder and lead. We had some flour, soda 
and salt and a sour dough pot. We lived mostly on wild meat 
a.]id l)y a miracle escaped the Indians. Most people speak of Wyo- 


miiig as being a wilderness at that time. It did not seem so to 
me then nor does it seem so now as I look back. To me it was al- 
ways a land of many attractions. Its sagebrush plains, its grassy 
hills and valleys and most majestic mountains were always beau- 
tiful to me and I never got tired of looking at them. And when 
I ask my G-reat Spirit to take care of me, when I am through 
with this world, I do not ask for the pearly gates or golden streets, 
nor for harps, haloes, wings or white robes. Such a jew layout 
doesn 't appeal to me in the least. But I ask Him for a good camp- 
ing place in a beautiful valley like one of those in Wyoming, 
where I might stay through all eternity. I would want it just 
as it was in the early days before the advent of the fanatic, when 
there were sometimes courts of justice, but no court of law, no 
preachers with their petty quarrels over creeds, no prohibition, 
no income tax with its unsolveable riddles, no locks or bolts. The 
old time mountaineer did not require any of those things. Facts 
counted far more to liim than did fables or myths or isms and 
right and justice without forms of quibbles was his religion. He 
did not take much stock in faith. He was willing to go from this 
life on his record asking only the benefit of a doubt and not pro- 
fessing to know' where he was going, any more than from whence 
he came. 

' ' Wyoming or Dacotah, as. it then was, was the home of the 
buffalo, the wolf and other wild animals and some roving tribes 
of extremely hostile Indians. In all of this part of Wyoming 
except a small section at Fort Bridger and aside from Fort Lara- 
mie, there was no white settlement and there were no white peo- 
ple living. Now as I travel over it and try to find some of my old 
camping places on lower Wind E-iver, Clark's Fork, Stinking 
Water or the Yellowstone, I am lost and bewildered, — and when 
I stop to think that all of this change took place in one short life 
time it seems almost inconceivable. Where there was a trail, now 
there is a graded highway, and we have traded the sore nosed, 
white eyed cayuse for an automobile. Where we once camped 
with our buffalo robe and sour dough pot, there now stands a 
magnificent hotel surrounded by a city or village with all the 
luxuries that a railroad brings. And the wealth of farms and 
people and school houses, — we have seen it all come. First the 
Trapper, prospector and scout, — then the boom cattle days with 
its picturesque characters, — the stage coach and road ranch with 
its flies, bedbugs and greasy cook. Then came the sheepherder 
and his dog' with days and months of solitude and the criticisms 
of those who did not understand why he blew his earning on wine, 
women and song. Then the derrick and drill which have brought 
untold wealth to Wyoming and its people, and civilization with 
all its complications and perplexities — including the dry farmer 
whose only visible means of support seems to be an over supply 


of faitli and hope and occasionally a damage suit. I would like 
to live twenty-five or thirty years more* just to see how he comes 

"Every change brought its griefs, sorrows and burdens, as 
well as its joys and pleasures and now as I look back at it, know- 
ing full well that I am on the down grade and close to the jump- 
ing off place, I realize that it has been a most glorious life, one 
that can never be duplicated,— and I am thoroughly satisfied 
with it. 

"The growth and development of Wyoming in so short a 
time has been marvelous, but I feel certain that the next fifty 
years will show as well or better than the past fifty and that it 
will continue to grow and expand until it will be one of the rich- 
est and best states in the Union. It is true that just now we are 
passing through a time of serious depression like all the rest of 
the world, but that is only an incident and is temporary and 
when the sun of prosperity shines again, Wyoming will be among 
tlie first of the states to recover. 

' ' I love Wyoming. I like its sagebrush and sand, its cactus, 
homed toads and ticks as well as its hills, valleys, mountains and 
streams, and its glowing sunshine. I like it because it is hard, 
rough and unyielding and because one must make a fight to gain 
its favors and because one can appreciate the good things of 
Wyoming so much better after the struggle of conquest, than as 
though they came without effort. It is a grand and glorious state 
and I am thankful to have been allowed to spend my life in it 
and when I pass to my happy hunting ground, I will be proud to 
register as from Wyoming. ' ' 

As has already been noted, John Dwight Woodruff was first 
a hunter and trapper, an all round mountaineer who not only 
knew the country far and wide but also thoroughly knew its 
moods. He knew Ft. Laramie, Ft. Bridger, Ft. Brown (later Lan- 
der) and Ft. Stambaugli in the South Pass region in some of their 
earliest and wildest days. He saw the time of the pony express, 
the stage coach and its road ranches. He prospected, — and dur- 
ing the Indian troubles he became a scout, guide and Indian fight- 

Coutant's History of Wyoming, — Vol. 1, page 670, — says, 
"Among the first to investigate the reported gold fields at South 
Pass in 1867 was J. D. Woodruff. He wa3 at that time engaged 
as luniter at Ft. Laramie, and being invited to go with some par- 
ties to tlie new gold camp, accepted the in\ntation. He did not 
remain long nor did he have an opportunity of investigating 
critically, yet he saw enough to induce him to return to the camp 
a year or two later, when he became a permanent resident of 
what is now Fremont County. Since that time he has been prom- 
inent ill business and public affairs and the promoter of many 
of tlie most important enterprises in that part of the state. His 


life work has been closely connected with the development of the 
Territory of Wyoming, the State, the County of Fremont and 
the City of Lander where he has resided for many years. He is 
by nature a pioneer and a builder and what he has accomplished 
will be told in the history of Fremont County and in the record 
of State Legislation. ' ' 

It is said that he is believed to have been the first white man 
to discover Wind River Canyon, — through which the Burlington 
Railroad and the Yellowstone Highway have since been built, — 
while prospecting in what is now known as Copper Mountain. I 
have no knowledge as to whether this is true or not. 

The story J. D. Woodruff tells, of himself and three com- 
panions taking refuge from the Indians in a Buffalo wallow and 
after three days of fighting being saved only by the appearance 
of a second Indian war party which did not know of the whites' 
existence but which frightened the first bunch of Indians away, — 
the two bands of Indians being of different tribes and at war with 
each other at that particular time, — is a true incident in his life. 

My father. Dr. Edward Day Woodruff, told me that the 
"Indians were afraid of Dwight, he was so fearless and daring, 
so resourceful and his coolness carried him through so many tight 
places. One time the Indians ran off a bunch of horses and 
among them was Dwight 's favorite pony. Next morning the men 
started after them. They liadn 't gone far when they saw several 
of the horses grazing on the top of a steep little hill. The only 
way to reach the top of that liill was through a narrow draw run- 
ning up its side. Dwight said he saw his pony up there and he 
was going up and get it. The others tried to stop him but he 
wouldn't be stopped. He said the Indians were too busy getting 
the main bunch of horses to safety, to be hanging around these 
few that had gotten away from them. So he started up the can- 
yon, — and everything looked as peaceful and quiet as could be, — 
until he was about half way up. Then the bullets began to fly 
from behind the stones and bushes. The Indians had used the 
horses to entice the men into the draw. Dwight whirled his pony 
and flew down the canyon. He expected to be shot or have his 
horse stumble on the rocks at any minute, but he got out with a 
whole skin, — and Dr. Maghee who told me the story, said that 
just for curiosity he took Dwight 's wrist and counted his pulse. 
He thought it had been a close enough shave to make Dwight ex- 
cited for once, — but it hadn't. The pulse was perfectly normal, 
72 beats to the minute. After that the Indians thought it was 
no use to fire at Dwight. They said he made good medicine, — 
they would point straight at him, and he would make the bullets 
go 'round so they never hit him. ' ' 

Another "close shave" which proved that the fates were 
watching over the destiny of J. D. Woodruff occurred in those 
early times when he was out trapping wolves, and was by him- 


self. One day while away from his camp, the Indians found it 
and though it was only the small camp of a lone hunter, they de- 
stroyed and burned it. Seeing the smoke and knowing at once 
that something was wrong, he cautiously scouted around until he 
ascertained the cause of the trouble and he realized that he would 
"have to make a lively get-a-way" if he wished to keep his scalp 
lock. The thick underbrush, allowed him to reach the Big Horn 
River safely. Here he laid under the bank for eleven days while 
the Indians searched the entire vicinity for him. By good for- 
tune he had a line in his poeljet, so he caught eat fish and ate 
them raw. In telling me this incident, J. D. Woodruff finished 
with these sentiments, — "and since then, somehow, I never have 
cared much for fish of any kind. Last summer up in the same 
locality, a gentleman was stalled for a few days until new parts 
arrived for his broken down car. He was cussiiig his luck and 
the fact that his cuffs were dirty and he hadn't had a clean shirt 
for two days, till I was disgusted and I told him he didn't have 
anj^thing to be peevish about. That if he had to lay under the 
river bank and eat raw fish for eleven days he might cuss, but 
under the circumstances he was in luck. ' ' 

On the other hand J. D. Woodruff and Chief Washakie, that 
grand old chief of the Shoshone tribe, were firm, true friends for 
many, many years. They hunted together, lived together, philos- 
ophized together, and held each other in the highest regard, as 
big strong men ever do w^lien they recognize the worth of their 
brotherhood and find in each other honor, affection and under- 

To describe the life of J. D. Woodruff during these stirring 
frontier days is impossible. It was too varied, too ^'ivid, and I 
have but fragments of the whole to sketch from. The following 
adventure is but one more bit of a very interesting whole. How- 
ever it is a story that will not be found in official records : One 
time there were fourteen fellows, J. D. Woodniff among them, 
started out from Ft. Brown (Lander). They were going into 
the mountains to spend a season hunting and trapping. Only 
four of them returned from this excursion. The Indians killed 
the rest. The following winter these four decided to hunt 
wolves, there being a big bounty on the pelts. But the night be- 
fore they were ready to leave town, J. D. Woodruff had a very 
peculiar dream in which his mother a.sked him as a special plea 
from her, not to go on this expedition. When he got to thinking 
about it next morning, he determined to obey this request. He 
told the boys about the dream and he said, "You know that I 
don 't believe in such things — never have paid much attention to 
them — but I just guess I won 't go with you fellows this time. ' ' Not 
one of that hunting party came back. Of the original fourteen 
J. D. Woodruff was the only one the Indians didn't get. Next 
spring he went out after the Indians, as Sheridan's guide. In 


scouting around he came across the body of Bob Anderson. Now 
Bob Anderson was one of the fourteen who had been his partic- 
ular friend. He didn't like to leave the body there so he went 
to Sheridan and asked for half an hour's time and some men to 
help bury Anderson. Sheridan's reply was, "No sir, — we can't 
stop to bury dead men." That made J. D. Woodruff mad and 
he came back with, "Well, you and your damned army can go to 
hell. I'm going to see that the best comrade I ever had gets a 
decent burial. ' ' Sheridan needed the good services of his guide 
and he knew he did, furthermore he realized that the situation 
was not one to warrant his first hasty decision. He halted, or- 
dered out some men and did everything he could to help in the 
burial of Anderson. 

(Note — This Bob Anderson is not to be confused with Ben 
Anderson who later was a friend and business associate of J. D. 
Woodruff's. They are two separate Andersons.) 

J. D. Woodruff was a Government scout for a number of 
years during the period of Indian warfare. I think he was in 
the Bates Battle with the Arapahoes on July 4, 1874. I know 
that he was guide for Sheridan's Military Expedition from Ft. 
Washakie to the Little Big Horn. Also that he guided Capt, 
Mix's Military Expedition from Ft. Washakie to Ft. Custer. The 
Government military records and the records at Ft. Washakie 
should hold full details on this phase of J. D. AVoodruff's activi- 
ties. He M^as on various scouting trips when Jim Bridger was 
likewise a member of the company, and has expressed his appre- 
ciation of Bridger 's natural gifts as a guide. He was with a 
Government outfit when Sargeant Addick or (Addix), a soldier 
who had been lost, brought into their camp on the Badwater, — 
where Lost Cabin now is, — a pocket full of exceedingly rich gold 
quartz or nuggets from some source which no one since has ever 
been able to locate. Later J. D. Woodruff and a friend and com- 
panion named Jimmy Lysite went back to look for the source of 
the gold. The Indians killed and scalped Lysite on the creek 
now bearing that name but J. D. Woodruff got safely away. 
(Jimmy Lysite was one of the men forced to take refuge from the 
Indians in a Buffalo wallow, along with J. D. Woodruff, some 
years earlier. Also it was the lure of the hidden gold that on 
another occasion sent Woodruff with Judge Kirkendall in a gold 
seeking expedition as far north as the Greybull River). He took 
part in several militars^ expeditions against the Sioux Indians 
and by his participation in the quelling of the Indian outbursts 
and troubles, is entitled to be counted prominently among those 
trail breakers who prepared the way for the coming of the per- 
manent settlers. 

pJohn Dwight Woodruff and Eugene Topping at a very early 
date entered and thoroughly explored the Upper Yellowstone 
Gej^ser Basin, then little known. Eugene Topping described this 


trip in a book he wrote called "Chronicles of The Yellowstone" 
published in 1885. In 1870 J. D. Woodruff was with the Wash- 
burn party which entered the Yellowstone. Coutant's History 
of Wyoming, page 295, says, "This party, (called the Yellow- 
stone Expedition), was headed by Surveyor General of Montana, 
Henry D. Washburn, accompanied by Hon. N. P. Langford, Cor- 
nelias Hedges, Walter Trumbull, Samuel T. Hauser, T. C. Everts, 
Benj. Stickney, Warren C. Gillette and Jacob Smith all leading 
citizens of Montana. It will be observed that the U. S. had not 
up to the last date spoken of (1870) succeeded in sending an ex- 
pedition into the park. The gentlemen above referred to, like 
those who went to the park in 1869, were unable to procure an 
escort of U. S. troops, and j^et 63 years had elapsed since John 
Colter had penetrated and made kno-\vn the wonderland of Amer- 
ica. " J. D. Woodruff was one of the guides for this Washburn 

That all during these years the keen perception of J. D. 
Woodruff was visioning the future possibilities of his beloved 
W^yoming is evidenced by his actions at the close of the Indian 
wars. He immediately turned his attention to the cattle busi- 
ness. As his headquarters he selected a site on Owl Creek (close 
to where it flows from the mountains) in the Big Horn Basin, 
and 150 miles north of Ft. Washakie. Here near the head of 
Owl Creek, his nearest neighbor 150 miles away, J. D. Woodruff 
built a lob cabin for himself. He was the first white settler in the 
Basin country, and this his home was the first white man 's cabin 
in what is now Big- Horn County. This cabin still stands on what 
at present is the Embar ranch and is the property of Col. Jay L. 
Torrey. It is a one room log house and originally the floor was dirt 
covered with buffalo bull hides which are about two inches thick 
and so made a tough warm covering on which to walk. Not only 
was J. D. Woodruff the first white settler in this wide expanse of 
wild territory, — not only was his cabin the first home to make 
a permanent stand in this section of Wyoming, but the first herd 
of cattle,— (the beginning of the cattle industrsO — , was taken 
into that Basin Country by Mr. Woodruff. iVll supplies for this 
ranch had to be brought from the nearest white settlement at Ft. 
Washakie some 150 miles away. 

Of course the Indian wars were over but it was necessary 
even then to keep one's eyes open to avoid trouble with the In- 
dians. They didn't have any objection to shooting a white man 
if he wasn't looking and no one else was around. They used to 
come and ask for sugar and coffee. Just to avoid having hard 
feelings J. D. Woodruff usually gave it to them, but one day he 
refused to "pony up" to a couple of husky old bucks and they 
acted pretty nasty and threatening about it. Being too far from 
civilization to care for their company and being tired of their con- 
tinual begging, J. D. Woodruff squared around until he was in 


the right position, then he grabbed up a good thick club, belted 
one of the old fellows on the side of the head and knocked him 
out cold. He expected the second buck to be right after him, and 
was ready for it, — but no sir, — the old fellow, he simply doubled 
up with laughter, laughed till he had to hold his sides. Then he 'd 
look at his friend stretched out on the ground and he'd laugh 
some more, — evidently thought it an especially good joke of some 
sort. After a while when the first Injun came to, — they "mosied 
away sort of casual like ' ' and none of the Indians ever bothered 
the ranch much after that. 

The Bare Story written by J. D. Woodruff himself is a true 
incident of the early Owl Creek days and pictures not only the 
country but gives in his own words his sentiments toward the 
spot he selected from all the miles and miles of virgin territory 
to make his home, and his happiness there though so far away 
from contact with those of his own race. 

At one time in the early days of this cattle business, J. D. 
Woodruff and a friend named Ben Anderson pooled their hard 
earned savings in order to buy cattle in partnership. When they 
had accumulated what they considered a sufficient amount Ben 
Anderson went to Bozeman, Montana, to make the purchase. Not 
wishing to carry the gold around with him, Anderson deposited 
it in a Bozeman bank the day he reached there. Next morning 
this bank failed, — closed its doors, and all the savings of the two 
men were lost. 

J. D. Woodruff was the pioneer of the sheep industry in 
Wyoming, — which is now one of the greatest wool states in the 
Union. The first flock of sheep to reach northwestern Wyoming, 
was driven from Oregon, down over the Oregon Trail and across 
Wyoming to the Wind River Indian Reservation — (in what is 
now Fremont County) by J. D. Woodruff in 1876. For this 
reason he holds the honor of being Wyoming- 's original sheep 
man. There were 6000 sheep in this flock and it took five months 
to drive them from Oregon to the Wind River Reservation. While 
enjoying all the trip over the Oregon Trail had to offer, with the 
keen enjoyment the great outdoors always afforded him, still it 
required tireless vigilance on the part of J. D. Woodruff and 
Tom Hood (of Casper) who assisted him, to bring the flock 
through with the splendid success they did. Thereafter Mr. 
Woodraff secured from Chief Washakie the privilege of herding 
and grazing his flock on the Reservation, until such time as it 
was necessary to secure leases for the same privilege from the 
Government at Washington. Still later this particular section 
of the Reservation was ceded by the Indians to the Government 
and thrown open to the Public for settlement and so was no long- 
er available as pasturage for these flocks. In that connection I 
quote the following article which was published in the Shoshoni 
Enterprise in 1921: "J. D. Woodruff and J. M. Teeters who 


comprise the Woodruff Sheep company, recently closed a deal for 
the purchase of what is known as the Shorty or Henry Holland 
ranch, which is located about one mile north and east of Baro:ee, 
and on what is known as the ceded portion of the reservation. 
The place consists of 440 acres of fine grazing land and the deal 
included the water right for 140 acres. Some of the finest springs, 
to be found anywhere are located on this ranch. One of the most 
interesting features in connection with this deal is the fact that 
this ranch was the site of Mr. Woodruff's first sheep camp in 
Wyoming. He is a pioneer in that line in W^yoming and when 
he first brought sheep to this part of the country he established 
his camp on the site of tliis ranch. This was in 1877, or 44 years 
ago. Mr. Woodruff lived and made his headquarters at this camp 
for three years while looking after his sheep. As the land was 
included in an Indian reservation at that time no title could be 
obtained to it, and when it was thrown open for settlement later, 
the site of the old camp was taken up by other parties. Now after 
a cycle of 44 years, it has come back into the ownership of the 
original settler." 

At one time J. D. AVoodruff had his brother Dr. E. D. Wood- 
ruff associated with him in the sheep business and this partner- 
ship w^as continued for a great number of years. 

He served his state in a legislative capacity three different 
times. He was elected to serve in the first and third State Legis- 
latures, — (after Wyoming became a state in 1890) — , as Senator 
from Fremont County. In the fall of 1922 he was again elected 
to the Legislature, this time as Representative for Fremont Coun- 
ty. This last time the election returns were so overwhelming as 
to be a personal tribute to J. D. AVoodruff, and to his worth and 
standing in his community. His community, — in the land he had 
grown to know and to love as a mountain wilderness, where he 
had broken the trail that others might follow in his pathway and 
where he had builded a foundation of mingled deeds and visions 
that was firm and fine beyond all telling. And it was on this 
foundation that he helped to mould the future destinies of his 
State through his sound judgment and discretion, his fearless ac- 
tion, and his constructive viewpoint, in its early legislative halls. 
Truly the election to the Legislature in 1923, was after all, but a 
small tribute to offer one who had done so much for AA^yoming. 

Always "engaged in the cattle and sheep industry from the 
time he first became interested in that business, still J. D. AVood- 
ruff did not entirely confine himself to that sphere, and was active 
in every business enterprise that promised to promote the welfare 
of the country. About 1884 he built the first feriy across Wind 
River just above Merritt's Crossing. (Memtt's Crossing is near- 
ly a mile from the Speed Stagner Place.) This ferry was used 
by the round up and others, to cross in high water, — until the 
first bridge was built across the AVind River by the Department 


of the Interior in 1887. In the spring of 1886 J. D. Woodruff 
sold this ferry to W. E. Ehler. 

One of the first general stores in Lander, Fremont County, 
was that of Mr. Woodruff who erected a building to house Ins 
business. At the present time this building is being used as a 
garage. This mercantile venture was later sold. He also built, 
equipped and for several years successfully ran a flour mill at 
Lander. All the machinery for this flouring mill had to be 
freighted in from the nearest railroad point which was about 
150 miles distant. This mill was also eventually sold. 

In association with Jean Amoretti and John Higgins he 
was one of the organizers of the Lander Electric Light and Power 

Long before oil was ever thought of in that district, J. D. 
Woodruff and B. B. Brooks bought and developed the coal mines 
at Big Muddy in the western portion of Converse county, the 
mines being just one mile from Big Muddy station on the north 
side of the river, and about 35 miles west of Douglas. Here they 
had a complete town of their own and the mines were connected 
by rail with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. For several 
years J. D. Woodruff lived at Big Muddy and as executive head 
and active manager of the mines and their associated interests, 
made them the successful producers they were. This entire en- 
terprise was finally sold to outsiders. It is not strange that hav- 
ing had the connection with the development of the coal industry 
just mentioned, plus his vivid interest in early day gold mining 
and his general interest in the natural resources of Wyoming, 
that ]Mr. Woodruff should be found in the vanguard of those 
whose faith was firm in the progress of the state's newer oil in- 

Several years were spent in Mexico in the early 1900 's where 
an interest in large tracts of timber had been acquired by J. D. 
Woodraff, B. B. Brooks and C. B. Richardson. There was also 
a lumber mill in connection with the venture, but the troublesome 
times between the United States and Mexico forced them to sell 
out and leave Mexico. 

John Dwight Woodruff was married to Miss Josephine Doty 
in Chicago, Illinois, on March 14th, 1883. Their romance began 
in Wyoming where Miss Doty was teaching school. She spent 
the early part of 1883 with her fiancee's brother, Dr. E. D. Wood- 
ruff and his wife at their home in Rock Springs, Wyoming. From 
there she went east and was joined by John Dwight Woodruff and 
their marriage took place in Chicago. Of a kindly, thoughtful 
and generous nature, with a decided artistic ability, a devoted 
wife and mother, she has left behind her the memory of her 
strong yet lovable personality. She passed away November 4th, 
1920, a victim of tuberculosis which appeared and developed 
rapidly the last few years of her life and against which she fought 


a hard but losing battle. It was her desire to be laid at rest in 
Ogden, Utah, beside her two sons who had been buried there, — 
and this wish was fulfilled. 

Three children were bom to John Dwight and Josephine 
Doty Woodiniff, — all boys. In order of their liirth they were : 
Dwight John bom at Ft. Washakie, Wyoming ; Fred Doty born 
at Ft. Washakie ; and Charles Ijeon born at Lander, Fremont 
County, W;\'oming. Fred Doty passed away when not quite six- 
teen years of age and Charles Leon died a short time before his 
twentieth birthday. The loss of these two sons was a grief be- 
yond all telling to both John Dwight Woodruff and his wife,— 
a grief which all their lives burdened a corner of their hearts 
wherein their children were enshrined, though they did not allow 
it to make gloomy the outer aspect of their days. 

Desiring to add a girl to their family of young boys, John 
Dwight and Josephine Doty Woodruff adopted Bessie Aurelia 
EdC€, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rice of Lander, Wyoming. They 
took her into their home when she was a very small baby, raised 
her as their own, loved her as their own, and she was known as 
Bessie Woodruff. Though of no blood relationship whatsoever, 
though belonging to them only through their voluntary" actions 
in taking her into their family she held as finu a place in their 
affections as though a daughter born. 

John Dwight Woodruff passed away at his home in Shoshoni, 
Wyoming, on Saturday, June 6th, 1925, at 2 :55 P. M. Death 
was due to the after effects of influenza. One of his ears became 
affected, — the ear "that would gather and break when I was a 
little boy and mother would keep hot poultices on", — and an op- 
eration was necessary to save his life. The operation on the ear 
was successful and though greatly weakened by this prolonged 
illness, his splendid vitality slowly but surely started him on the 
road to returning health wlien an unexpected stroke brought im- 
consciousness and within a few hours John Dwight Woodruff 
had gone on the Great Adventure in search of his Happy Hunting 
Ground and of his loved ones who awaited him there. 

lie Avas laid at rest beside his wife and two sons in Mountain 
View Cemetery at Ogden, Utah, on June 11th, 1925, services 
there being conducted by the JMasonic Order as Avere those which 
were held at Shoshoni, Wyoming. John Dwight WoodrutT' was 
a Thirty-Second Degree Mason and had been a member of that 
Order for a great number of years. He is survived by his oldest 
son Dwight John Woodruff with his wife and two children, — 
Corina Claire and Clifford Dwight Woodruff. Of his brothers 
and sisters but one sui-\'ive him, — an older brother Russell Dorr 
Woodruff of Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Thus has passed from our ken a man Avho loved Wyoming 
with the same fine loyalty in which he held his true friends; — a 
man who loved its great out dooi-s and solitary places and knew 



its moods by heart and yet one who also loved his fellowmen and 
found great pleasure in mingling with them. In turn his keen 
wit and philosophy, his varied experiences, his whimsical way of 
expressing himself, his honesty, candor and farsightedness made 
his presence welcomed by all. He hated hypocrisy, graft and 
sham, in every form, above all else and vigorously and uncom- 
promisingly fought against them up to the very last. J. D. Wood- 
ruff was one whose sturdy independence of thought and action, 
whose courage, whose vision and whose deeds marked him a true 
Pioneer, — a pioneer whether living in the early years of his life 
as hunter, trapper, scout, guide and Indian fighter; whether en- 
tering early manhood as a cattle and sheep man ; whether serving 
in legislative halls or whether acting in later life as a mature 
business man of sound judgment and experience. He was a true 
Pioneer in the broadest sense of the word which means that he 
was a Builder whose understanding, constructive work, under all 
circumstances and all conditions, was for the welfare of the land 
he loved. No finer type of citizenship can be conceived. To the 
memory of John Dwight Woodruff the State of Wyoming should 
ever bring its deep appreciation of his worth and its keen grati- 
tude for his accomplishments. 

Do you remember that when describing the peace and beauty 
and plenty of the first home he built for himself on Owl Creek, 
John Dwight Woodruff wrote as follows : "0 well, I still dream, 
and my earnest prayer to my Great Spirit is that when I die I 
may have that old camping place just as it was, to endure through 
all eternity, with all its variety of sunshine and storm, its win- 
ter and summer, its joys and sorrows, with eternal youth, and 
all that goes with it, and I would promise and agree (with a 
clothesline stretched between two of those shady trees, with some 
baby clothes hanging on it, added) that I would never through- 
out all the ages to come, through all eternity clear to the end of 
time, go prospecting very far away." He has left us to make 
the journey to his Happy Hunting Ground ; — may it prove to be 
the land of his dreams. 
Written February, 1926, by Mrs. Lesley Day Woodruff Riter, 

daughter of Dr. E. D. Woodruff and niece of Hon. J. D. 


September, 1880. During the evening I called at the studio 
of 0. S. Goof, the Indian photographer, and procured some pho- 
tographs of Sitting Bull, Low Dog, Crow King, Running Ante- 
lope, Gall and other Indian Chiefs. Before finishing them I sub- 
mitted them to Major Ilges, and other Army Officers who knew 
the Chiefs personally. In securing the one negative of Sitting 
Bull I had to pay the Bull .$100.00 to get him to sit for the pic- 
ture, and in addition I liad to pay him a commission of thirty 
cents on all sales. — Coquina. 



To the Editor of the Bulletin : 

I read with much interest the letter of the Hon. John Hun- 
ton in the Bulletin of April 15, 1925, and wish that this beloved 
old timer could give our members more of his knowledge of Wyo- 
ming territorial days. I doubt if there is a man in the State who 
is able to furnish as much reliable historical data. When John 
Hunton went to Wyoming- in the 60 's he had the advantage of a 
good education, something that perhaps a majority of the pio- 
neers did not have. He always was a keen obser\"er, and was rec- 
ognized among army officers ancl the citizenry in general as a man 
of superior parts. His long lifetime of unbroken residence both 
in the old territory and state also make him particularly qualified 
to write of early-clay events, men and progress. 

If I am not mistaken Mr. Hunton built the first log house on 
La Prele, Creek, not counting, of course, the buildings at Fort 
Fetterman which were located at the mouth of that stream. Also 
I am sure he burned the first pit of charcoal on that creek in 
1874, unless perchance, the soldiers made some at an earlier date. 
This Hunton charcoal pit is very distinct in my memory for the 
reason that I was assigned to watch it at night with buckets of 
mud prepared to patch up any spots where the flames burst 
through. I also remember that some of the men in our camp 
(bullwhackers) tried to make my job as comfortable as possible 
by telling me that I would, standing in the light of an occasional 
blaze that burst out, be a shining mark for a bullet or arrow from 
a lurking Indian; and I frankly admit that I was nerv^ous and 
lost no time in pasting up the breaks to shut off the light. 

Hunton 's cabin and blacksmith shop were just inside the 
Fetterman military reserv^ation, and, in company with Mr. Hun- 
ton, I visited the site in 1921, and we were able to locate it from 
surrounding landmarks, including a slight fall (or ''riffle") in 
the creek. 

Just recently — after reading Mr. Hunton 's letter about Fort 
Laramie lime burning — I ran across some historical records in 
my possession that may add interest to Mr. Hunton 's statement, 
viz. : 

The fii-st report sent to the Secretary^ of War from Fort Lar- 
amie was dated June 27, 1849, and was signed by Major W. F. 
Sanderson, commander of the post. In it he says : 

"The entire command, excepting eight men for stable police, 
are employed in cutting and hauling timber, hiirning lime * * * 
cutting and making hay," etc., etc. 


New York; May 15, 1925. 




Gillette, Mr. Edward Book, ''The Iron Trail," by Edward 


Camp, Mr. Chas Quarterly of the California Historical 

Society, Vol. IV, Nos. 2, 3, and 4. These 
numbers contain the Diaries and Rem- 
iniscences of Jas. Clymaai, edited by 
Mr. Camp. Mr. Camp says: "Histor- 
ically, Clyman's papers fill many gaps 
in the published records. First, the 
expedition in 1823 and 1824 through 
Great South Pass with Ashley's men 
— Jedediah S. Smith, Thomas Fitz- 
patrick and William L. Sublette,^ — • 
Clyman's accounts, which apparently 
have never been referred to, are by 
far the best knowledge we have of 
this epoch-making trip. ' ' 

Fourt, Mr. E. H... Two copies of magazine edition of The 

Eivertou Chronicle. 

Fuller, E. O Internal Commerce of the United States 

(1889) conatins History of Wyoming 
written by Robt. Morris. 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Raymond Civics for use in Wyoming Public 

Schools by Dr. G. E. Hebard. 
Revised edition of History and Gov- 
ernment of Wyoming by Dr. G. R. 

Gereke, Mr. A. J Constitution, By-Laws, Rules of Order 

and Scale of Prices of Wyoming Typo- 
graphical Union, No. 184. Printed by 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, 1890. Pamph- 
let was in fire of the Wyoming State 
Tribune Publishing Co., basement of 
Old Opera House, Capitol Avenue, 
property of J. M. Carey & Bro. 


Woods, Eddie (Loan) Pocketbook, and three cent piece (1857) 

carried through the Civil War by his 


Bullet which took off Father's arm at 

shoulder during Sherman's march to 

the sea. Invitation to Basket Pic 

Nie and Cotillion party. Date June 

25, 1859. 


Aleanea, Mr. F. A Large framed poster, "Leading Firms 

of Cheyenne, 1872." This poster car- 
ries the advertisement of ' ' Stephen 
Bon, Manufacturer and Dealer in 
Boots, Shoes, Leather and Findings. 
All kinds of Fitted Boot and Gaiter 
Uppers. Wholesale and Retail, Six- 
teenth Street. ' ' Joslin & Park were 
dealers in "fine native gold jewelry 
of every description;" E. Nagle, 
Wholesale and Eetail Grocer and Com- 
mission merchant at Seventeenth 
and Ferguson; Gallatin and Gallup 
had a harness shop on "Seventeenth 
Street opposite the Post Office, Post 
Office box 335;" George E. Thompson 
had a Boot and Shoe Shop "on Sev- 
enteenth Street opposite Col. Mur- 
rin" (Murrin's Saloon, 315 West 
Seventeenth Street) ; T. Dyer was 
proprietor of Dyer's Hotel with 
"Restaurant Attached," and was lo- 
cated on Eddy Street between Six- 
teenth and Seventeenth. This same 
poster lists Express offices in Wyo- 
ming at Antelope, Aspen, Benton, 
Bryan, Church Buttes, Fort Casper, 
Fort Halleck, Piedmont, Point of 
Eocks, Eawlings, South Pass, St. 
Marys and Table Eock. 
"Very large Frontier Poster showing 
pictures of the 1911 Frontier Show. 
The illustrations which form an all- 
around border of this poster are un- 
usually good. There is no difficulty 
in recognizing "Prairie Eose" on 
Gin Fizz, Charlie Irwin lassoing a 
steer, Charley Hirsig driving a buggy, 
and Jack Elliott riding a bucking 
broncho. "Steamboat" is standing 
quietly after having unseated his rid- 
er who lies on the ground where 
Steamboat has lodged him. These are 
good historic relics of the days that 
are past. 

Myers, Mr. Ed Six framed specimens of artistic sign 

lettering; one porcelain platter said 
to be more than 100 vears old. 


Geddes, Mrs. F. H Two badges worn by former Judge Ho- 
mer Merrill. N. O. Exposition badge, 
date December 28, 1885; Inauguration 
of F. E. Warren April 9, 1889. 

Kennedy, Judge T. Blake Framed copy of New York Herald. Date 

April 15, 1865, containing news of the 
assassination of President Lincoln. 

Gereke, Mr. A. J The following photographs: Ferguson 

Street, looking North. About 1883. 
Freight Train "pulling out for the 
Black Hills," Ben Smalley on Wheel 
Horse. About 1876, at 19th and Eddy 
Streets. Cheyenne Club House. About 
1880. Sixteenth Street looking West. 
About 1874. Court House and Jail, 
About 1870. Judge Carey's residence. 
About 1884. Central School. About 
1886. Hon. M. E. Post residence, Fer- 
guson Street, About 1887. Presbyterian 
Church. About 1881. May Terrace. 
About 1883. String of Wild Horses, 
Ed. McCarty's. Frontier Days, 1922. 

Boruff, Mrs. Mabel C Large Picture of Jim Bridger for fram- 
ing. Picture of Bridger 's daughter, 
Mrs. Virginia Bridger Hahn, age 77 

Carroll, Major Coat of Arms of 115th Regiment of Cav- 
alry Wyoming National Guard. 

Erickson, E Two pictures of "Teddy" (The Cody 

Horse) the winner of the long dis- 
tance endurance race from Evanston 
to Denver in 1907. The large picture 
taken before starting and the smaller 
one after two days' rest in Denver. 


Teeters, Mr. J. M Letter from the late J. D. Woodruff to 

Mr. Teeters; letter from Mr. Teeters 
to State Historian explaining the 
Woodruff letter. 

D. A. E Photostatic copy of first census taken 

in Wyoming, 1870. 


Edward Ordway Sr. 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Raymond. Manuscript by Mr. T. S. Garrett. 
Arthur J. Dickson. 


Mrs. Cora Beach Beach Family Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1. 

Riter, Mrs. Franklin Of J. D. Woodruff. 


Mr. Cuny Morning Oregonian, Jan. 11, 1926. Con- 
tains Holmsley Story. 

Riter, Mrs. Franklin Collection of clippings kept by the late 

J. D. Woodruff. 

Jones, Jessie S History of Reprint of Ulster County 

Gazette of January 4th, 1800. 

Wyoming Labor Journal Bound copy of 1925 Files of the Wyo- 
ming Labor Journal. 

Lockard, Frank M Wild West Reminiscences by F. M. 



Lusk, Frank S Sketches from Wyoming Life (1909) by 

Bert Leonard Knight. 

Lockard, Frank M History of Black Kettle by F. M. Lock- 

Carroll, Major The story of the C. M. T. Camps. 


Lame Deer, Montana, March 14, 1926. 

On Thursday last, March 11, following an impressive service 
at the Mennonite Mission here a little procession of Cheyennes 
made its way np among the pines bearing all that remained of 
Eugene Standing Elk, Chieftain and trusted Government scout 
of an earlier day. The burial ceremony was simple — a prayer 
in the native tongue, while bronzed men stood with bowed heads 
as the casket was lowered, and women and children gave subdued 
expression to their grief. 

Among the graves, an old woman, leaning upon a staff, was 
crooning a dirge which voiced their sorrow over a departed tribes- 
man and the woe of a race that has reached another milestone in 
its passing, and evening shadows were gathering in The Valley 
of the Two Moons.