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* LAK Ttf. Q.S OlAJ 

$ Annals 

D-X of Wyoming 





by W. H. Jackson 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

April J 9 60 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Henry Jones Hanna 

Mrs. Lora Jewett Pinedale 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Dubois 

Mrs. Wilmot C. Hamm Rock Springs 

Mrs. William Miller Lusk 

Mrs. Lorraine Stadius Thermopolis 

Attorney-General Norman Gray, Ex-Officio. 



Lola M. Homsher Director 

Henryetta Berry Assistant Director 

Dorothy K. Taylor Chief, Archives & Records Division 

L. C. Steege Chief, Museum Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and 
October and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Copies of current issues may be purchased for $1.00 each. 
Available copies of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be 
obtained by writing to the Editor. 

Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The Editor does 
not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of opinion made by 

Copyright, 1960, hy the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department. 

Mwte of Wyoming 

Volume 32 

April 1960 

Number 1 

Lola M. Homsher 

Published Biannually by the 


Official Publication 

of the 



OFFICERS 1959-60 

President, Mrs. Thelma G. Condit Buffalo 

First Vice President, Mr. E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins Casper 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Miss Lola M. Homsher Cheyenne 

Past Presidents: 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

Dr. T. A. Larson, Laramie 1957-1958 

A. H. MacDolgall, Rawlins 1958-1959 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
Society Chapters have been organized in Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Fre- 
mont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Sheridan, Sweetwater, 
Washakie and Uinta counties. 

State Dues: 

Life Membership $50.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and wife) 75.00 

Annual Membership 3.50 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address. ) 5.00 

County dues are in addition to state dues and are set by county organ- 

Send State membership dues to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
State Office Building 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Zable of Contents 


Raymond W. Settle 
Mary Lund Settle 


T. J. Mahoney 


Dale L. Morgan 

THE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL, Part VI, Section 6 70 

Thelma Gatchell Condit 


Compiled by Maurine Carley 


L. C. Steege 


President's Message by Mrs. Thelma Gatchell Condit 


Bloss, Pony Express - The Great Gamble 130 

Lucia, The Saga of Ben Holladay, Giant of the Old West 131 

Jones, The Great Command 132 

Horan, The Great American West 134 

Monaghan, The Life of General Armstrong Custer 134 

Guthe, The Management of Small History Museums 135 

Rodabaugh, The Present World of History 136 

Hanson, The Plains Rifle 137 

Elston, Gun Law at Laramie 138 



Napoleon of the West 4, 12 

Ferries of the Forty-Niners 50 

Hole-in-the-Wall 72, 77, 78, 89, 102 

Stone Artifact 124 

Maps: Road from Mayoworth to Winingar Ranch 71 

Emigrant Trail Trek No. 10 104, 105 

Courtesy Grand Central Art Galleries, Inc., New York. 
Pony Express by Moonlight, by W. R. Leigh. 

fiapoleoH of the West* 

Raymond W. Settle 
Mary Lund Settle 

When eighteen year old William Hepburn Russell appeared in 
Lexington, Mo., in the year 1830 1 as a clerk in J. & R. Aull's 
store,- nobody had the slightest inkling that the undersized youth 
would ever amount to much. In fact no one paid much attention 
to him. Not even a fortune teller or gazer into a crystal ball 
could have told them that he was destined to become the greatest 
entrepreneur the Middle West had ever known up to that time, a 
financial wizard, chief partner of the yet-to-be incredible freighting 
firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell, promoter of stagecoach 
lines, and organizer of the world famous Pony Express. Yet 
all that, and much more, was hidden inside him, waiting only for 
the years and the right circumstances to reveal it. 

Being born at Burlington, Vermont, January 31, 1812, 3 and 
reared 'partly in that State, he always was an alien in his adopted 
home, the western Missouri frontier. Even after thirty years res- 
idence in Lexington he never really loved it or became an integral 
part of it. 

The rugged townspeople looked him over, took note of his 
carefully tailored clothes and highly polished boots, saw his un- 
calloused hands, listened to his queer New England speech and 
speedily passed their verdict. 

"Just another one of those damyankees," they said. 

To them, anyone totally lacking in Southern background or 
tradition, as Russell was, could not be other than well-nigh 
hopeless. Most of them, having emigrated from Kentucky and 
Virginia, were already busily engaged in meticulously reproducing 
the culture, customs, and habits of their native environment. So 
successful were they in this undertaking that the region round 
about Lexington is known as "Little Dixie" to this day. 

But Russell was destined to prove them wrong, in his case at 

* All rights reserved by the author. 

1. Aull, J. & R., Letter Book II, 1831-1833, 1, 2, 5, 9, 14, 18, 135. 

2. The noted trinity of brothers, John, James, and Robert Aull estab- 
lished a store in Lexington in 1825, one in Independence in 1827, and 
another in Richmond in 1830. 

3. Dictionary of American Biography, XVI, 252. Russell Family His- 
tory. MS. Russell's children were John Warder, who married Julia Mc- 
Cormick; Charles Benjamin, who married Beedie Fort; Myrtilla, who 

married Webster M. Samuel; Fanny, who married Alexander. Mrs. 

Frances Elizabeth Bane, Interview. 


least, and show them not only a thing or two but a whole catalogue 
of breath-taking things. 

As though to confirm their adverse opinion of him, Russell 
never exhibited a single characteristic of the frontiersman. He 
never lived in a log cabin, or cleared a patch of ground to plant 
a crop, never split a rail, never "roughed it", hunted or fished, 
never drove an ox team, always wore the best clothes, didn't chew 
tobacco, drink whiskey, or carouse around of nights, and never 
adopted the slow drawling speech of those about him. Ability to 
be like them was not in him, and he never tried to develop it. He 
joined the Baptist church to which his friend William Bradford 
Waddell belonged and proved his sincerity by becoming one of 
its main pillars. 

Although the general run of the people did not recognize his 
superior qualities, his employers, James and Robert Aull, did. 

"He's got the makings of a good merchant and business man," 
they said. 

Pursuant to this opinion they subjected him to the rigorous train- 
ing young men in business got in those days and advanced him 
until to all intents and purposes, he occupied the position of 
junior partner. While yet in their employ he exhibited the primary 
requisites to success, — willingness to work hard, keen intelligence, 
honesty, vision, and ability to make friends, especially with the 
right people, to a marked degree. These attributes constituted 
his sole capital in the beginning, and remained his most valuable 
asset to the end. 

Lexington, which was the most important town west of St. 
Louis at that time, and the western Missouri frontier constituted 
the right environment for a young man of his ambition and 
qualities. Past it flowed the yellow Missouri River, the trapper's 
and trader's highway to the mostly unknown, half-legendary Rocky 
Mountains of the mysterious Far West. Buckskin-clad Mountain 
Men, back from a year or more of trapping beaver on unnamed 
streams, tied their boats at the landing and hurried on to Aull's 
for a good drink of whiskey and information as to the current 
price for beaver skins. If it was right they sold their "plews" on 
the spot, and went on to St. Louis, perhaps by steamboat, to 
celebrate. Whether they sold or not they loafed about for a while, 
eagerly listened to such news as was available, then dropped in at 
the hotel to gorge themselves on civilized "fixin's." 

Every well known trapper and Indian trader of that day visited 
Lexington going up or down the Missouri River, and the names of 
them are written in the old, faded J. & R. Aull ledgers where they 
may be seen today. This means that the Aulls extended credit 
or backed them financially. A register of the notables among the 
Mountain Men whom Russell met in the eight years he worked in 
the store would without doubt include Captain Ewing Young, 
Joshua Pilcher, Etienne Provot, William L. and Milton G. Sublette, 


Robert Campbell, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Kit Carson, James Bridger, 
William Bent, Ceran St. Vrain, and scores of lesser men. All of 
these were redolent of adventure in far away places, and what they 
said was tucked away in young Russell's mind to germinate and 
bear fruit in due time. The important thing is that early in life 
his eyes and thoughts were thus directed toward the Great Open 
Spaces of the West. 

In addition to being the most important jumping off place for 
the West, Lexington was the leading wholesale and retail center 
for Northwestern and Southwestern Missouri. Goods from St. 
Louis, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, New Orleans, New 
York and Philadelphia were shipped upstream in steamboats, then 
delivered via wagon to towns as far away as two hundred miles 
on both sides of the river. For more than thirty years, and until 
the railroads appeared, this lucrative business constituted one of 
the main cornerstones of Lexington's prosperity, evidence of which 
exists to this day. 

Until Independence and Westport won a fifteen year contest for 
supremacy as outfitting and starting points for the Santa Fe trade, 
Lexington was the principal place for that business. The reason 
was that firms like Aulls extended credit and offered facilities not 
found elsewhere. Even after the town had to take second place, 
it continued to play an important role in the business. Above 
everything else immigration to Lafayette County and Western 
Missouri was brisk in the 1830's and 1840's. Land was cheap 
and the country was filling up. This, with improved river navi- 
gation, resulted in a steadily growing market for agricultural 

All of these things constituted the environment and rugged 
school, so to speak, in which the William H. Russell of later years 
cut his eye teeth. By the time he was thirty his place among 
the substantial business men of the town was secure. His judge- 
ment was respected, his opinions sought, and what is more im- 
portant, he was animated by a flawless self-confidence. This 
pronounced trait, which persisted throughout life was never under- 
mined by doubt, failure or misfortune. He had perfect faith in 
himself to the end. 

The single dominant, irristible impulse which governed his life 
and controlled his thinking was an overwhelming ambition to 
make money. There was nothing wrong with that, for with one 
tragic, lone exception his dealings were honest and aboveboard. 
Always he was willing and eager to back his own judgement to the 
last dollar. There were no halfway measures with him. After 
all, every other man on the frontier who made money was just 
like him. 

Lesser men of his day and since, either through ignorance or 
misunderstanding, have flippantly labeled him an impractical 
visionary or reckless gambler. The fact is, he was neither. He 


carefully weighed each proposition and made up his mind regard- 
ing it. It didn't take him long to come to a decision. If adopted, 
he moved with a confident speed which left even his closest 
business associates breathless and bewildered. He was doing what 
others were doing. It happens that he and his methods have been 
subject to critical, sometimes unfriendly scrutiny, whereas his 
contemporaries, some of whom died rich and others poor, passed 
unnoticed into oblivion. The very worst that can be said of him 
is that he was an irrepressible speculator. 

At twenty-three years of age he married auburn-haired Harriet 
Elliot, daughter of a pioneer Baptist Minister, the Reverend John 
Warder, who built a church on his farm at his own expense and 
preached without remuneration. He was fortunate in his choice, 
for she was a young woman of lofty ideals, sound common sense, 
and sterling character, all of which stood him in good stead in the 
years to come. In an otherwise hectic, always difficult, and some- 
times tragic career, his serene, harmonious, heart-warming home 
life stands out in bold relief. 

Having established a home and family, Russell was ready to get 
into business on his own. A group of prominent citizens, among 
whom was William Bradford Waddell, conceived the idea of 
organizing the Lexington First Addition Company 4 to extend the 
town westward in order to be nearer the ferry and steamboat 
landing. He joined the group in 1837 and got in on the ground 
floor of a good thing by modestly subscribing for five shares. 
This proved to be one of the best investments he ever made. 
Within a few years he owned a controlling interest in the Company. 
In addition he owned some sixty town lots, and about three 
thousand acres of Lafayette County land bought from the United 
States government. In due time he built a twenty room mansion 
on South Street opposite that of his friend Waddell, furnished it 
elegantly, and installed slaves to keep it. At the back was a formal 
garden, and beyond that a stable which housed his blooded horses 
and fine carriages. While still young he proudly exhibited the 
proofs of genteel success — large land holdings, a princely home, 
slaves, and fine horses. 

With profitable real estate speculation as a stepping stone he 
moved out in other directions. He resigned his position at Aull's 
in 1838 to form a partnership with James S. Allen and William 
Early 5 to open a wholesale and retail store under the name of 
Allen, Russell & Company. Later he formed another partnership 
with James S. Bullard and Dewitt Pritchard to operate another 

4. Lafayette County Mo., Record Books F to M; Ibid, Book of Original 

5. Lexington Express, Feb. 24, 1842; Lafayette County Mo., Record 
Book F, 510; Lexington Advertiser, Oct. 13, 1845. 


store, known as Bullard & Russell. He also bought an interest in 
Waddell, Ramsay & Company, manufacturers of hemp rope and 
bagging. Although he prospered in the main, all was not clear 
sailing, for the firm of Allen & Russell failed in 1845. This was 
his first experience in bankruptcy, but it was not to be the last. 
In 1840 he succeeded his old employer, James Aull, as County 
Treasurer, and was appointed postmaster at Lexington in 1841. ,! 

"That feller, Russell, beats the Dutch," remarked one townsman 
to another with that half-grudging admiration success always 
arouses. "Seems to be getting his finger in every pie. 'Fore long 
he'll own half the town." 

In the early 1840's he seemed to be permanently cast in the 
role of combined frontier merchant prince and Southern planter. 
It would have been well for him and others had he never stepped 
outside it. But beyond the horizon, and in far away places, 
events involving national policy, which would determine his destiny 
and over which he had no control, were in the making. 

These were the annexation of Texas by the United States, the 
settlement of the Oregon question, and war with Mexico. When 
these had all become realities the Santa Fe trade boomed, immi- 
gration to Oregon and California mounted to tidal wave propor- 
tions, and the economic structure of Western Missouri, as well as 
commerce of every description, expanded amazingly. Money was 
being made fast and the foundation for many a fortune which 
exists today was laid then. 

One day in 1847 he met his friend E. C. McCarty, wholesale 
merchant at Westport. "How would you like to try the freighting 
business," asked McCarty. "I've several customers in Santa Fe 
who have always run small trains of their own. Now they want 
somebody to take their goods out under contract." 

The idea of trying something new always challenged Russell. 
"Bullard & Russell will do the job if you will be a partner in it," 
he said. 7 

McCarty agreed, and the sending out of that train, which was 
perhaps not a large one, marked Russell's initiation into the fab- 
ulous commerce of the prairies. It also marked the beginning 
of the most thrilling, most romantic period of his life. Thereafter 
merchandising was secondary. Another train of private goods was 
sent out under contract in 1848. 

When the United States took over the vast new territories from 
Mexico it assumed the heavy responsibility of policing them with 
troops and of disciplining the wild Indians who inhabited them. 

6. Aull, J. & R. 5 Receipt Book V, 386-387; Assistant P. M. Gen'l. J. M. 
Donaldson, Letter to authors, Aug. 23, 1945. 

7. Case, Theo S., History of Kansas City, 33; U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 
2nd sess., Executive Document 11, 15. 


This, naturally, demanded the establishment of military posts, 8 for 
most of the tribes were at best unfriendly to white men. 

Every one of these posts, being located in arid regions, had 
to be supplied with foodstuffs and munitions hauled from the 
Missouri River in wagons. During the War with Mexico it was 
demonstrated beyond a doubt that the War Department and Army 
were unable to successfully operate trains upon the plains, mainly 
because bullwhackers were a rugged, independent breed and did 
not like to work under army officers and discipline. In despera- 
tion the high officials in Washington decided to try the experiment 
of contracts with civilians. This was a wise move, for plains 
freighting was a highly specialized, technical proposition not to be 
undertaken by rank amateurs. 

James Brown 1 ' was the first to sign a contract under the new 
plan. Being one of the best plainsmen and freighters on the trails 
he delivered his consignment on schedule and in good order. This 
was something the army had never been able to do. 

Russell, having already engaged in the business, and being 
fascinated by it, saw the possibilities for making money in the 
field of military freighting. With characteristic energy he set out 
to make the most of them. Consequently he formed a partnership 
with Brown in 1850, under the name of Brown, Russell & Com- 
pany, to deliver 600,000 pounds of supplies at Santa Fe. u> 
Another partnership was formed the same year with John S. Jones 
to transport goods to Fort Hall on the Snake River, in the present 
state of Idaho. Brown accompanied the trains to Santa Fe, 
became ill, and died there in December of that year. 11 

Russell and Jones carried on as Jones & Russell in 1852. 12 In 
that year they delivered supplies to Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las 
Vegas, Mora, Rayado, and Fort Kearney, under a two year 
contract. In 1853 he and Waddell tried the experiment of sending 
a train of goods to California under R. W. Durham. 13 Evidently 
it did not prove highly successful, for they never sent another. 

Although Russell was now thoroughly committed to military 
freighting he was still ready to invest in any promising proposition 
that came along. In 1850 he helped organize the Lexington 

8. Wyman, Walker D., "The Military Phase of Santa Fe Freighting," 
Kansas Historical Quarterly, 1, 423. 

9. U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 1 sess., Executive Document 26, 742-743. 

10. U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 1 sess., Executive Document, 1, 295. 

11. U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 1 sess., Executive Document, 1, 295; U. S. 
Senate, 36th Cong., 2 sess., Report of Committee on Military Affairs, 311. 

12. U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 1 sess., Executive Document, 1, 295; Aull, 
J. & R., Letter Book, V, 246. 

13. Durham, R. W., Letters to W. B. Waddell, Oct. 25, Nov. 13, 1860, 
Feb. 13, 1861, June 29, 1863. Waddell Collection, Huntington Library. 
MS. Lexington Weekly Express, April 26, May 31, Nov. 8, 1854. 


Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance Company, of which he was 
president for many years. A year later he was one of the prime 
movers in the organization of the Lexington Baptist Female 
Collegiate Institute which, under the name of Lexington Baptist 
Female College, operated until 1916. 14 

While Russell was getting into the freighting business so also 
was his future partner, Alexander Majors, of Jackson County. 
He was Kentucky born, began life as a farmer, but with a growing 
family of daughters on his hands he was hard put to feed, clothe, 
and educate them. Knowing he had to do something different 
he loaded a wagon with trade goods and drove up the Kaw River to 
the Pottawatomie Indian Reservation in 1846. 15 This brief, 
modest expedition set him to pondering the question of giving up 
farming and taking to the plains as a freighter. Almost half a 
century later when he wrote a book he said, "I was brought up to 
handle animals and had been employed more or less in the teaming 
business. After looking the situation over it occurred to me there 
was nothing I was so well adapted for by experience as the 
freighting business that was then being conducted between Inde- 
pendence, Missouri, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. ,,1,? 

In 1848 he made the break, bought six wagons, eighty or so 
oxen, hired six bullwhackers, and wrote out a pledge for them to 
sign. 17 It read: 

"While I am in the employ of A. Majors, I agree not to use 
profane language, not to gamble, not to treat animals cruelly, and 
not to do anything that is incompatible with the conduct of a 
gentleman. And I agree, if I violate any of the above conditions, 
to accept my discharge without any pay for my services." 

Majors meant every word of that pledge, and no man who did 
not feel the same was hired. Men who worked for him kept it; 
violators worked for somebody else. He, like both Russell and 
Waddell, was a sincerely religious man. That document, which 
cynics have ridiculed, was an expression of his firm belief that 
God-fearing, orderly, sober men made the most efficient and 
dependable employees. 

And he was right. 

Another thing he insisted upon was resting on the Sabbath day, 
not only because to do so was Divinely commanded, but because 
his trains made better time in the long run than those which 

14. Young, William, History of Lafayette County, Mo., (Indianapolis, 
1910) I, 212; Lexington Weekly Express, Jan. 1852, Sept. 10, 1859; Board 
of Trustees, Minutes, Lexington Baptist Female College, June 15, 1855. 

15. Majors, Alexander, Seventy Years on the Frontier, (Columbus. Ohio, 
1950), 71; Kansas City Star, Jan. 15, 1900, Jan. 29, 1927. 

16. Majors, Op Cit, 71. 

17. Majors, Op Cit, 72, 74. 



Courtesy Leavenworth Public 
William H. Russell. 

Courtesy Louisa P. Johnston 
Alexander Majors. 

Courtesy W add ell F. Smith 

William Bradford Waddell 
from an oil painting. 

Founders and Operators of the Pony Express. 


traveled seven days a week without rest. 18 The bullwhackers 
liked it too. 

He was right about that also. 

From whom Majors got his first contract or what he took to 
Santa Fe in 1848 we do not know. He left Westport or Inde- 
pendence on August 10 and got back on November 2, having 
made the quickest trip on record at that time. 19 It is said that 
he cleared $1,500 on the venture, which Was not bad for six 

"I'm going to stay in the freighting business," he said, when he 
told his wife about the trip. "There's good money to be made in 
it, and I like it better than clearing timber or following the plow." 

He made the trip to Santa Fe again in 1849, and in 1850 his 
business required ten wagons and 130 oxen. In the fall of the 
latter year he made a second trip to Fort Mann carrying 103,644 
pounds of military supplies. That year he cleared $13,000.00 
which was more than he had ever expected to have at one time 
in his entire life. 2 " 

In 1851 he loaded twenty-five wagons with private goods and 
delivered them in Santa Fe. Next year he sold his oxen to 
emigrants and he remained at home. 21 In 1853 he made two trips, 
one to Santa Fe with private goods, and another to Fort Union 
with military supplies. 22 

The military contract awarded him in 1854 required a hundred 
wagons, twelve hundred oxen, and one hundred twenty bull- 
whackers. 23 Since each train of twenty-five wagons represented 
an investment of some $18-20,000.00 his capital investment had 
grown to something like $80-100,000. Not bad for a man who 
had started with one wagon and one yoke of oxen eight years 

With things as they were in the field of military freighting it 
was inevitable that Majors and Russell come into contact with 
each other. In fact they had probably known each other a long 
time. Both had rendered satisfactory service to the Army, and 
each was in a position to bid against the other. 

Russell thought the matter over and decided they should do 
something about it. "Why not get together?" he proposed. "By 
combining our outfits we can put more trains on the road than 
anybody else and eliminate competition." 

18. Majors, Op Cit, 74. 

19. Majors, Op Cit, 74. 

20. Majors, Op Cit, 128, 139; U. S. Senate, 31st Cong., 1 sess., Exec- 
utive Document, 1, 295. 

21. Majors, Op Cit, 140. 

22. Majors, Alexander, Op Cit, 140. 

23. Majors, Alexander, Op Cit, 140; U. S. 32 Cong., 1 sess., Executive 
Document, 1. 295. 


The idea appealed to Majors. He saw no sense in their working 
against each other when they could both profit by working 

"Freighting for the Army is now big enough that contracts 
ought to be signed in Washington by the Quartermaster General 
or Secretary of War instead of the Quartermaster at Leavenworth," 
said Russell. "It would be better all the way round for one firm 
to haul all military supplies." 

Majors agreed that was desirable and might be done. 

"Briefly, my proposition," went on Russell, "is this — combine 
our outfits and assets to form a partnership known as Ma'ors & 
Russell. That will make us the biggest freighters on the plains. 
I'll go to Washington to look after contracts and finances. You 
organize trains, hire bullwhackers, superintend loading, and take 
care of details on the road." 

"Sounds all right," said Majors, "but who will look after things 
here when you and I are away? Somebody will have to attend to 
such things as buying oxen and wagons, paying the men, and a 
thousand other details." 

Russell was ready for that one. "William B. Waddell," he 
said. "I've already talked to him and he's ready to go into it. 
We would want our main office in Lexington with another for 
field operations in Leavenworth." 

That clinched the matter. "If W. B. Waddell thinks it's a good 
idea I'm in." By this decision Alexander Majors became Field 
Marshal of the Prairies, so to speak. 

They signed a co-partnership contract, dated December 28, 
1854, and effective January 1, 1885. 24 It provided that they 
should engage in the buying and selling of merchandise, trade in 
wagons, stock, and equipment for trains across the plains and in 
freighting for the government or others. The business was to be 
conducted in Lexington under the name of Waddell, Russell & 
Company, and in Jackson County as Majors & Russell. The 
capital stock was fixed at $60,000.00, one third of which was to 
be paid by each. The new firm took over Waddell & Russell in 
Lexington and had branch houses at Dover, Berlin, Wellington, 
and Sibley. 

Waddell was of Scotch ancestry on his father's side and a direct 
descendant of Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony 
in his mother's line. 25 He was a Virginian by birth, a rock-ribbed 

24. Russell, William H., Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell, 
Co-partnership Contract, December 28, 1854. MS. Copy in authors' 

25. Slayback, Mrs. Alonzo, Genealogy of the John Waddell Family. 
MS; Settle and Settle, Empire on Wheels, 9; Aull, J. & R., Order Book V, 
May 20, 1840. • 


Baptist, and came to Lexington by way of Kentucky, the lead 
mines at Galena, Illinois, and St. Louis, in 1835 or 1836. He 
opened a store, some of the goods being bought from J. & R. 
Aull, 26 and joined Reverend Warder's church. 

No two business associates were ever more unlike than Russell 
and Waddell. Yet they seem to have been irrisistibly drawn and 
held together from first to last. Perhaps it was a case of each 
subconciously recognizing his need of the other. 

Russell was volatile, temperamental, sanguine by nature, and 
a bundle of super-charged nerves. 

Waddell was phlegmatic, stolid, irascible at times, given to 
ponderous deliberation, and in general lived up to his Scotch 
ancestry where money was concerned. 

Such in brief were the fundamental characteristics of the two 
men. Majors was more like Waddell, but was always calm and 
even-tempered. Of the three he was perhaps best fitted to be the 
leader, but never was. 

Russell got his monoply on military freighting under a two year 
contract for 1855 and 1856. 27 An office was opened in Leaven- 
worth, at that time a mere squatter village on the Delaware Indian 
Reservation. Charles R. Morehead, Russell's nephew, was in- 
stalled as Manager and John W. Russell, his eldest son, as book- 
keeper. 2 * They spent $15,000.00 for warehouses and other build- 
ings, opened a lumber yard, a packing plant to supply meat to 
the trains, built a sawmill, and opened two stores. 

Majors went to work interviewing and hiring bullwhackers. 
Most of the applicants knew Majors, at least by reputation, so 
were careful as to the language they used in his presence. One, 
however, was a stranger in the country. 

"Can you drive oxen?" inquired Majors. 

"Can I?" proudly bellowed the applicant. "Why, I can drive 
oxen to hell and back." 

"We don't expect to make that point this year," replied Majors. 
"So I reckon we won't need you." 

And that was final. 

Every man he hired signed the pledge and was presented with a 
beautiful, leather covered, pocket size Bible with the name Russell, 
Majors & Waddell in gold on the front cover. 29 Majors himself 
said that he never knew of a man being discharged because of 
violating the pledge. 

When the last man was hired the company roster bore some 

26. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 10. 

27. U. S. House, 34th Cong., 1st sess., Executive Document 17, 9. 

28. Morehead, Charles R., "Personal Recollections," in William E. 
Connelley, Doniphan's Expedition, 602. 

29. Gardiner, Dorothy. West of the River (New York, 1941), 242-243. 


1700 names. Among them were wagon masters and assistants, 
stock-tenders, clerks, messengers, laborers, etc. It was like a 
small, efficient army, with each man having his own particular 
job, and doing it well. 

One day a rosy-cheeked, fair-haired lad of ten came to see 
Majors. "I want a job," he said. 

"What is your name, my boy?" kindly inquired Majors, more 
to make conversation than anything else. 

"William F. Cody, sir," was the reply. "The 'F.' is for 

"What can you do?" asked Majors. 

"I can ride a horse as good as anybody, shoot pretty good, and 
throw a lasso," enumerated the boy proudly. "Last summer I 
helped my uncle catch a drove of wild horses on the plains." 

Majors had heard about that exploit. "I'm sorry, son, but the 
only thing I've got is the job of riding messenger between trains. 
I'm afraid you're a bit young for that." 

Young Cody's eyes flashed, and his square-cut jaw set itself 
in determination. "But Mr. Majors," he protested, "I'm the man 
of the family since father died, and my mother needs what I can 
earn. I'm good at riding, and my uncle says I'm old for my age. 
Riding messenger is just the job I want. Give me a trial, and if I 
can't do the work you wont owe me a cent." 

Majors recognized a game spirit when he met one. "That's as 
fair as anything can be," he agreed. "You've asked for a man's 
job, and I'll pay you a man's wages. Report for work in the 

Thus William F. Cody, later known to world-wide fame as 
"Buffalo Bill" got his first job and start in life. 30 Almost half a 
century later this act of confidence and kindness on Major's part 
bore rich fruit. Buffalo Bill, then at the height of his fame as 
plainsman, scout, and showman found his old employer in Denver, 
Colorado, sick, and penniless. With that open-hearted generosity 
for which he was famous he provided for the aged man's needs, 
bore the expenses for printing his book, Seventy Years on the 
Frontier, and later installed him on his great ranch in Nebraska. 

Five hundred wagons and some seven thousand oxen were 
assembled on the prairie outside Leavenworth in the spring of 
1855. These, together with saddle horses, train equipment 
and food supplies represented an investment of something like 
$400,000.00. 31 When other assets of the firm were added the 
figure easily ran to half a million. 

30. Wetmore, Helen Cody, Last of the Great Scouts, 310; Alvin F. 
Harlow, Old Post Bags, 368; Howard R. Driggs, The Pony Express Goes 
Through (New York, 1935), 151. 

31. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 15. 


Financing the huge undertaking upon which they were engaged 
was not difficult. With a contract such as theirs, experience, 
and an enviable reputation, drafts payable in 60 to 90 days were 
acceptable to anyone and cash loans were easily obtained. In 
fact, Majors & Russell paper circulated freely on the Missouri 
frontier the same as cash. They went head over in debt that year, 
but they expected to come out handsomely in due time. 

In the year 1855 Kansas Territory was the focal point for 
nationwide political and speculative interest. Having been opened 
for settlement in midsummer the year before, thousands of home- 
seeking immigrants were making their way toward it. Politically 
it was the storm center in the mounting struggle over slavery, for 
upon the virgin prairies of that Territory Stephen A. Douglas 1 
theory of "Squatter Sovereignty" was to be tested. 

Russell, Majors and Waddell each invested heavily in Leaven- 
worth real estate on his own and together they bought some 10,000 
acres of Kansas lands, for which they paid $83,721. Russell pro- 
moted the towns of Tecumseh, Louisiana, and Rochester, the 
Leavenworth Fire and Marine Insurance Company, the Leaven- 
worth, Pawnee & Western Railroad, and opened a bank under 
the name of Smoot, Russell & Company. At Lexington he and a 
group of citizens built a steamboat, which was named after 
himself. 32 Majors, not to be outdone entirely, promoted the town 
of Wewoka. 

Majors & Russell successfully discharged its contract for 1855 
and, according to Majors, made a total profit of $150,000.00. 
When the trains arrived back at Leavenworth in the fall they were 
turned over to blacksmiths and wheelwrights to be readied for 
the road the following year. The oxen were driven to various 
places for the winter, broken-down ones were sold and good ones 
bought to replace them. The business for 1856, so Majors said, 
again showed a profit of $150,000.00. 33 

Back in Washington Russell was able to negotiate only a one 
year contract for 1857, 34 but as matters turned out that was one 
too many. Majors got their wagons loaded and upon the road in 
good shape as usual. Everything pointed toward another profit- 
able year. Now they had plenty of money of their own while 
banks and individuals urged loans upon them. Then, another of 
those unpredictable events which profoundly affected the firm's 
welfare occurred. 

32. Horton, James C, "Personal Narrative," Kansas Historical Collec- 
tions, X, 597; George W. Martin, "A Chapter from the Archives," Ibid, 
XII, 364; Paul W. Gates, "A Fragment of Kansas Land History," Kansas 
Historical Quarterly,. VI, 234; Lexington American Citizen, June 23, 1856. 

33. Majors, Alexander, Seventy Years on the Frontier, 141-142. 

34. The National Archives, Records of the War Department, Office of 
the Quartermaster General. Consolidated File. 


This time it was trouble with Mormons in Utah. Having 
migrated to the barren Great Salt Lake region in 1847, while it 
was yet a kind of No-Man's-Land under Mexican rule, they resent- 
ed United States jurisdiction over it after the War with Mexico. 

Things reached the boiling point early in 1857, and in the 
latter part of May President Buchanan ordered a small army of 
2500 men under General W. S. Harney to cross the plains, 
discipline the recalcitrant Saints and occupy Salt Lake City. 35 
The General, knowing his West, and in view of the lateness of the 
season, advised postponement of the march until the following 
spring but was overruled. 

Tn mid-June Captain Thomas L. Brent, Quartermaster at Fort 
Leavenworth, served notice upon Russell that his firm would be 
required to transport three million pounds of supplies to Utah, 36 
in addition to what was already upon the road for other places. 

Russell was dismayed. "Our outfits wont be back until fall," 
he said, "and besides it is six weeks too late to start for that point. 
We'd have to lay over all winter and that would be expensive." 

"I know," replied Captain Brent. "But the President has 
ordered the troops to march and the War Department is depending 
upon Majors & Russell to transport supplies for them. I know 
you will not let us down." 

Russell was still unconvinced. "It will ruin us to buy enough 
wagons, oxen, and equipment for the job," he protested. 

Captain Brent did not argue that point. "The plain fact is," 
he said," that there is grave doubt about the success of the whole 
expedition if you do not take on the job. I cannot believe that 
the government will see you suffer any loss." 

Russell had had experience trying to collect losses from the 
government and was not optimistic. He finally agreed, with the 
understanding that in the event of loss Captain Brent would assist 
him in making out a claim and presenting it to Congress. He said 
later that President Buchanan assured Quartermaster General 
Thomas S. Jesup that Majors & Russell would not be neglected. 

Anyway he looked at it, Russell was in a difficult situation. If 
he refused he would jeopardize his chances for further contracts; 
to consent involved him in the risk of incurring ruinous losses. 
His clear-cut judgement and fears were justified. Disaster fell, 
but not in the way he anticipated. 

With characteristic energy he threw his organization into high 

35. Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of Utah (San Francisco, 1890), 
497, 512. 

36. A Brief Statement of the Claim of Majors & Russell, and the Evi- 
dence upon Which it Rests, MS. In Huntington Library. Hereafter cited 
as A Brief Statement . . . 


gear. Wagons, oxen, and equipment were bought wherever they 
could be found, but prices were hiked 25% or more. When the 
job was done they had about 1,100 wagons, 15,000 oxen, and 
some 1,400 new employees. 37 The investment for this undertaking 
was somewhere near $750,000.00. 

The Army of Utah left Fort Leavenworth between the middle 
of July and the latter part of August. From the very beginning it 
was one of the worst managed expeditions in American military 
history. When Brigham Young, head of the Mormon colony, 
heard about it he fulminated against the United States, declared 
martial law in the Territory, forbade troops to enter it, ordered his 
militia to be ready to march at a moment's notice, and swore that 
the Mormons would burn and destroy everything in the country if 
the soldiers entered Salt Lake Valley. 

Brigham meant business. 

A portion of the militia was called out under General Daniel 
H. Wells with orders to march eastward and destroy fords, block 
roads, stampede the army's animals, burn wagon trains and grass 
along the trail, but shed no blood. Knowing the country and being 
hardy frontiersmen they knew very well that the Army of Utah 
could be rendered impotent, if not destroyed altogether, without 
firing a shot, which was actually what happened. 

Meanwhile Majors & Russell put forty-one trains on the road, 38 
some in advance of the soldiers, others mixed in with the Army, 
and still others to the rear. It made an amazing spectacle some 
twenty miles long. Those in advance reached Fort Laramie late 
in July. Eighteen, which were billed through to Salt Lake City, 
rolled on and reached South Pass in the latter part of August. 
Here they received orders to halt in the vicinity of Green River. 
Some went on, however, and reached Ham's Fork about fifteen 
miles north of its junction with Black's Fork, where the advance 
guard under Colonel E. B. Alexander was encamped at a place 
called Camp Winfield. Had they been let alone they would have 
rolled right into Salt Lake City. 

At this time a party of General Well's militia under Major Lot 
Smith was scouting the trail in the neighborhood of Green River. 
On the night of October 4 they swooped down upon three Majors 
& Russell trains under John M. Dawson, R. W. Barrett, and Lewis 
Simpson. The bullwhackers had weapons and probably could 
have stood them off, but they didn't lift a hand in self-defense. 
After allowing the captives to save their personal belongings, the 
Mormons burned the wagons and drove off the oxen. The bull- 

37. A Brief Statement . . , 37. 

38. A Brief Statement . . , 34. 


whackers walked twenty miles to Camp Winfield to report to 
James Rupe, General Agent for Majors & Russell. The loss was 
72 wagons, 900 oxen, and 300,000 pounds of food supplies, 
enough to last the whole Army of Utah three months. 89 

At Camp Winfield, Colonel Alexander, whom his subordinates 
call "Old Granny" behind his back, ordered an advance toward 
Salt Lake City by way of the Bear River and into Salt Lake Valley 
from the North. This was at the suggestion of Jim Bridger, noted 
hunter, trapper, and mountain man who was acting as guide. The 
route was about a hundred miles longer, but he thought the Mor- 
mons had failed to burn the grass upon it. 

The troops straggled off with six Majors & Russell trains 
sandwiched into a nine mile long column. This arrangement, 
made for protection against raiding Mormons for whom they now 
had a healthy respect, made it impossible for the oxen to secure 
sufficient grazing. After traveling some sixty miles they halted. 
Seeing it was impossible to go on, the Colonel and his staff argued 
day after day what they should do about it. Some were for loading 
sixty days rations upon mules, burning the wagons, and marching 
on to Salt Lake City. 40 What they would do after they got there 
nobody knew. 

Before Col. Alexander made up his mind what to do Colonel 
Albert Sidney Johnston, who had succeeded General Harney as 
commander, ordered him to turn back to a point near the junction 
of Ham's and Black's Forks. When they arrived, Majors & 
Russell's oxen, having toiled 150 useless miles, were completely 
broken down and starving. Here they learned that a herd of 900 
mules belonging to Major & Russell, which was being herded by 
Stephen Rannabarger and nine men, had been driven off by the 
Mormons. 41 

One of the first decisions Colonel Johnston made was to aban- 
don all thought of reaching Salt Lake City that fall and go into 
winter quarters at Fort Bridger. 42 Under the circumstances that 
was all he could do. The various divisions and detachments were 
therefore ordered to concentrate there as soon as possible. It was 
well that he did so, for had they attempted to go on the expedition 
would have been utterly shattered. 

Before any of them reached that place the dreaded Rocky 

39. Bancroft, History of Utah, 513-516; A Brief Statement ... 15; 
General A. S. Johnston, Letter to Major Irwin McDowell, Oct. 13, 1857; 
Captain Jesse A. Gove, The Utah Expedition (Concord, N. H.), 74. 

40. Gove, Op Cit, 74-76; A Brief Statement . . , 15, 16, 24; Bancroft, 
Op Cit, 518. 

41. A Brief Statement . . , 16; Bancroft, Op Cit, 518. 

42. Bancroft, Op Cit, 519. 


Mountain winter clamped down upon them. 4: ^ Now they were in 
real trouble. A heavy snow fell, the thermometer stood at three 
degrees below zero, and Arctic winds lashed the toiling columns. 
Majors & Russell's oxen, weakened by lack of grass and overwork, 
one by one fell beneath the yoke and died. Their carcasses lined 
the trail and horses and mules belonging to the Army died by the 
score every day. Hundreds of wagons belonging to both the 
Army and Majors & Russell were left standing on the trail for 
lack of animals to draw them. To make matters worse the 
Mormons swooped down one night and drove off five hundred of 
the oxen which were able to walk. 

Soon the troops were reduced to marching four or five miles 
each day, then making camp and going back to assist in bringing 
up the supply wagons. This was heavy work, but the soldiers 
did not complain, for they knew that their rations for the winter 
were in those vehicles. It was bring them in or starve. Eventually 
only some 300 Majors & Russell oxen remained, not enough to 
move one entire train, and these had to be rested every other day. 

The advance reached Fort Bridger on the 16th or 17th of 
November, having consumed ten days in moving thirty-five miles. 
Fortunately for the Army, the Mormons, after seizing the place 
the preceding May, had enclosed the original structure in a stone 
wall 15 feet high. Attached to this was another enclosure 
100 x 80 feet with walls seven and a half feet high. As the 
wagons were unloaded the boxes were knocked to pieces, which, 
together with their sheets, were used in making shelters against the 
stone walls for their stores. Tents were pitched around the Fort 
and the place was called Camp Scott. 

James Rupe and Charles Morehead, Jr., checked the supplies 
in the wagons that got in against the bills of lading. When it was 
finished they were given receipts in full for the trains which 
reached Fort Bridger. A few days before Christmas they set out 
for Fort Leavenworth with a riding mule each and two pack 
animals. They reached their destination January 26, 1858, having 
been on the way thirty days during which time they covered 
twelve hundred miles. 44 

Russell, being in Washington at that time, wired them to bring 
their report to that place. What they had to say and show in the 
way of figures confirmed his worst fears. Their losses were stag- 
gering. Now they would see whether Captain Brent's assurance 
that the government would not let them down was worth anything. 

With heavy forebodings he made out a bill against the United 

43. Bancroft, Op Cit, 519-520; Gove, Op Cit, 91-94. 

44. Morehead, "Personal Recollections," 610-613. 


States for losses which was later presented to Congress. Sum- 
marized it read — 

Wagons destroyed enroute and left at Camp 

Scott for want of oxen to draw them $ 48,260.00 

1,906 oxen 84,245.50 

Outfits for eleven trains 25,696.00 

Additional cost for agents, wagonmasters, 

teamsters, etc., during winter of 1857-58 35,167.15 

Three burned trains 72,000.00 

Difference between 1857 contract price and 

cost of transportation of 2,264,013 lbs. 

of supplies to Utah _ _ 174,741.80 

The same to Fort Laramie 49,679.95 

The same to Fort Kearny 3,762.61 

$493,553.61 45 

Worst of all, when the bills of lading, which constituted the 
basis for payment for services rendered, were presented to the 
Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, he said that the Department had 
already overdrawn it's appropriation and could not pay them. 
The amount due on these was $323,201.64. 

To further complicate matters, the two-year contract for 
1858-59 under the name of Russell, Majors and Waddell involved 
transporting fully three times the amount of supplies taken out in 
1857. This was because two regiments of reinforcements, num- 
bering 3,018 officers and men were being ordered to Utah. 

The presentation in Congress of Russell's Bill for Losses in 
1857, together with a Deficiency Bill to finance the Department 
for 1858, blew the lid off a pot which had been angrily simmering 
for some time. Secretary Floyd was required to submit his con- 
tracts with Majors & Russell and the whole Utah incident was 
thoroughly aired. The affair was dubbed "Buchanan's War." 
The President was savagely attacked for having sent troops to 
Utah at all, and the contractors were held up to public view as 
chislers and cheaters. By the time the Deficiency Bill was passed, 
which was the only one of the two presented, Majors & Russell 
had been thoroughly discredited. The only good thing about it 
was that funds to pay what the Department actually owed them 
for services were available. Russell's Bill for Losses in 1857 
remains unpaid to this day. 

Russell was now confronted with the knottiest problem of his 
life. Actual losses of trains, oxen, and equipment more than 

45. Bill Against the United States for Losses, 1857-1858. MS. In 
Huntington Library. 


wiped out all profit for 1857, and how to finance the stepped-up 
program for 1858 was the question. 

The plain truth is that the partners, already heavily in debt, 
were bankrupt. Had they sold everything they possessed they 
could not have satisfied their creditors. It has been said the Pony 
Express ruined them, but that is not true. The Mormon incident 
was primarily responsible. Though they made heroic efforts to 
come back, they were never able to do so. 

Early in 1858 Russell confronted Secretary Floyd with the 
unpalatable situation. Something had to be done. The only 
possible method of relief was the issuance of drafts or acceptances 
of 60, 90, or 120 days against Russell, Majors & Waddell's 
anticipated earnings for 1858. 46 These were to be endorsed by 
the Secretary of War and discounted to banks and individuals or 
put up as security for loans. It was expected that the contractors 
would take them up at maturity and that none would ever be 
permitted to go back to the War Department. 

The first of these acceptances, in the amount of $300,000.00, 
were issued in March, 1858. They were quickly disposed of 
with Secretary's Floyd's help in New York and Washington. 
Others followed every month until by the end of the year 
$1,090,714.00 had been drawn. How much was outstanding 
at any given time is impossible to say, because in some instances 
old ones were retired by new ones. 

Being bankrupt and going in deeper every day did not dampen 
Russell's sanguine spirit or put a crimp in his tendency to spec- 
ulate. In the spring of 1858, when every dollar was needed to 
keep things going, he, with Waddell who knew better but was 
unable to resist Russell's enthusiasm, formed a partnership with 
A. B. Miller of Leavenworth, known as Miller, Russell & Com- 
pany. They sent a train load of goods to Utah where stores were 
opened at Salt Lake City, Millersburg, and Camp Floyd. By the 
fall of 1858 the concern owed Russell, Majors & Waddell 
$200,000.00. 47 

Since the volume of goods to be delivered in Utah in 1858 was 
too great for Leavenworth facilities, Nebraska City was chosen as 
another loading and starting point. 4S Alexander Majors moved his 
family and retinue of slaves there from Westport, and Russell 
closed his home in Lexington to build a bigger one in Leavenworth. 

46. Russell, William H., "Indian Trust Bonds and Acceptances," in St. 
Louis Tri-Weekly Republican, April 4, 1861; Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 24, 
U. S. House, 36 Cong., 2nd sess., Report No. 78. 

47. Lafayette County, Mo., Record Book J No. 1, 383; Leavenworth 
Journal, Feb. 19, 1864. 

48. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 25-26. 


Since the outlook for the year was doubtful, twelve hundred wagon 
loads, enough to make up 48 trains, were subcontracted to 
freighters at Westport. This cut their profit down but relieved 
them of replacing the outfits lost in Utah. That year the War 
Department paid them $2,425,378.35. How much of that was 
profit is not known. Certainly not enough to enable them to 
repair their sagging fortunes. 

In August or September of 1858 another of those events 
affecting the destiny of Russell and his partners occurred. An 
unnamed prospector appeared in a Leavenworth bank with a 
goose quill full of gold nuggets which he said he picked up on 
Cherry Creek north of Pike's Peak near the Western border of 
Kansas. The ensuing uproar and excitement was all that might 
have been expected. 

Like everyone else, Russell pricked up his ears. Not that he 
had any idea of dashing off, pick and shovel in hand, for the 600 
mile drag across the plains to Cherry Creek. He loved snug, 
comfortable living too well for that. And besides, his interest 
lay in merchandising and transportation. 

One Sunday afternoon General William Larimer, professional 
promoter and town organizer, called upon Russell to seek advice 
on plains travel. He was organizing a party of prospectors and 
meant to lay out a town on Cherry Creek. 49 Among other things 
they discussed was the possibility of operating a stage line to the 
new diggings. Before the interview was over it was understood 
that Russell should have one share in the town company. This 
gave him about thirty acres in the heart of what was later known 
as Denver, Colorado. 50 

Russell was in a dither to do something about the new Eldorado. 
"Let's send a train load of goods out there and open a store," he 
proposed to his partners. 

"No," bellowed Waddell. "We're too far in debt already. I 
won't consent to investing a single dollar in such an undertaking." 

Majors agreed with him. "Let's wait and see," he commented. 
"This might be only a flash in the pan, and not the real thing." 

Russell, disappointed and chagrined that his judgement was 
called in question, soon left for the East and Washington. From 
Chicago he wrote back to Waddell. "Pike's Peak will rage next 
year and no mistake. We must keep our eyes open and try to 
make enough out of it to cover our extraordinary losses next 
season arising from high prices of cattle and wagons, and also of 
outfits lost by runaway teamsters. I am in for sending a cargo of 

49. Larimer, General William, and William H. H. Larimer, Remi- 
niscences, (Lancaster, Pa., 1918), 97. 

50. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 34. 


supplies out there. Bear it in mind to inquire as you have oppor- 
tunity and see what will best pay." 51 

For the time being Russell was unable to drag his partners into 
a Pike's Peak merchandising venture, but he got in on his own 
anyway. In Washington that winter he met his old friend and 
former partner in the freighting business, John S. Jones, who was 
advertising in the New York newspapers that he would send fifty 
trains of 25 wagons each from Westport and Atchison, Kansas, to 
the diggings the following year. The thought of people flocking 
across the plains in huge numbers stirred their imaginations. 

The result of it all was the organization of a stage line known 
as "The Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company." 52 Russell 
was president; Jones, General Manager; John W. Russell, Secre- 
tary, and Benjamin F. Ficklin who had been picked up in Utah, 
Route Agent. Luther R. Smoot, Russell's partner in the banking 
business at Leavenworth was also a member. Forty shares, 
$5,000 par value, were issued. Russell contributed $20,000 and 
Jones probably a like amount. They also opened a store in 
Denver and sent out a train of goods. 

Russell expected Majors and Waddell to join him in the venture, 
although he had not consulted them. When Waddell heard about 
it he was so infuriated that he wrote Russell a series of blistering 
letters. In reply Russell said, 

"With regard to Pike's Peak, what have I done to involve you or 
Mr. Majors? My interest in the Express Company is only $20,000.00 
... I took it for granted you would join me ... in my interest in 
the Express Company. Regret you do not consent ... If you have 
spoken of my large (as you call them) adventures in Pike's Peak to 
outsiders, I will thank you to disabuse the public mind. For if I find 
it so on my return I will most assuredly publish the transaction under 
my own name, and explain the reason which impels me to do so. 
I am not a reckless gambler and I will not be so posted. 53 

"My poor wife writes me from Lexington that she is in deep 
distress, that my partners have reported that I was reckless and had 
gone into Pike's Peak to a ruinous extent ... I pronounce them false 
caluminators and liars and will on my return hold any man account- 
able who has falsely slandered me ... As I have oft repeated, I regret 
as much as you that I am involved, but sir, I cannot help it, and 
must get out the best way I can ... I may be able to get out of it 
on my return and will try to do so." 54 

51. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, Nov. 24, 1858. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 

52. Root, George A., and Russell K. Hickman, "Pike's Peak Express 
Companies," in Kansas Historical Quarterly, XIII, 167-168; Settle and 
Settle, Op Cit, 35-36. 

53. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, April 12, 1859. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 

54. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, April 17, 1859. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 


While Waddell was writing critical letters in the spring of 1859, 
Russell and Jones were moving swiftly to get their stage line into 






Passenger Express Line 





Jmd ajao Contractor* for carrying th« U. 8. Mail 

From St. Joseph, Mo., to Salt Lake City, Utah. 

An f*Pj p tt y w J *» tMf< w wmmkm af p—f—MJ txpnm mattarto ibtGaiJ 
K tjtea a «r Baft Lake Citj. Is Atar encta tnm Utmnnb City. 

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b* rafmf*a>eoii vftfe Pumcub* and w tw , and atay eeafidcDtly rtty opoo thc'r cfforu and 
nrm to fi-T fnrtrr a>fl»aaBttaa la -" »bo any otnui Um» vtth tMrbaMaca. 


Conamtiof *t -Amcr'i ** rrary Tacaaay vttfe ■» 1*1 1 Lakt MmD Coach le-»*lc j St Joarpa 
Ml day by n| af Alchlaaa. 

tickets anas EJ^LOU, 

(IodaoHag beard *a roate, and a ra aa aaaM a ataoaa. of baajaaa. oooalatlflf of a-aariBi ap- 
parel eoly.) f.r •»(• at laj, Ottaa, aad alt lb* prladpal ftaUroad OOcaa. lultaJ « k. 
A* U>. hawpl Cnarbai will atart fr"» Laanowfta Cttj only, all parte* boIJi- 

■ Railroad Coaipaoka or ta* Ooneral iraU of taij Company. too« prrwo: ■.'."» 
aUh-oOa of thaCoapaoy la Lanowank CKy, »aare ihroocb Hcketi will ta .**-f0 is 
JT/Tgr ruribrt infarmattoa. or paaatf U tall Lake City, apply at ifcia ofi». 

JOHN S. JONES, Sup't, 

Oflle. under Plutar*. HoioL Leavenworth City 

St Louis, Mo. — SAMUEL A ALLEN, 

So. I3T NartBt Scram* Siren, 

New York,— J. B. SIMPSON, 

Buk B.lldlnr 

Entf«l Tkk< 

DENVER CITT I. ■ . f o». Ticket Arail. 

". D WILLIAMS. Brad Ami. 


From Sutherland & McEvoys Directory of 
Leavenworth, Kansas, 1859-60, p. 182. 

operation. 55 In doing so they relied principally upon credit. They 
bought 1,000 Kentucky mules, 50 new Concord coaches, and other 
equipment. A new route following the Kaw, Solomon, Republican 
River and its South Fork tributary, Big Sandy, and Bijou Creeks 
was laid out by Colonel William J. Preston of Leavenworth. 
Temporary stage stations were set up along the way. 

On April 18 the first two coaches, carrying nine passengers, 
left Leavenworth for Denver. One passenger was A. D. Richard- 
son, correspondent for the Boston Journal, who wrote a series of 

55. Root and Hickman, Op Cit, 172-195; Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 37-42. 


articles about the trip. At Junction City they picked up Horace 
Greeley, noted editor of the New York Tribune, who also wrote 
articles. On May 7, after nineteen weary days, the coaches halted 
at General Larimer's log cabin on Cherry Creek. 

While the stage line was being gotten into operation Russell 
branched out in a new direction to assume another heavy liability. 
On May 11, 1859, he bought the contract of J. M. Hockaday & 
Company to carry United States mail from St. Joseph, Mo., to 
Salt Lake City by way of Forts Kearny and Laramie. This trans- 
action, also mostly upon credit, was made for the Stage company 
in the name of Russell and Jones. The purchase price was 
$144,000.00. After the initial trip the stage route to Denver was 
changed to run by way of Fort Kearny, the Upper California 
Crossing on the Platte River, along that stream, and thus to its 
destination via St. Vrains Fort. 56 

By midsummer 1859, Majors and Waddell were convinced that 
there was something substantial about the Pike's Peak business 
after all. Together with Russell they formed a partnership with 
Robert B. Bradford, a relative of Waddell, known as R. B. 
Bradford & Company, to open a store in Denver. 57 Bradford was 
to operate it and receive one third of the profits. The goods were 
furnished by Russell, Majors and Waddell. 

Bradford, who is honored as one of Colorado's early business 
men, looked the situation over and accurately concluded that 
great fortunes were to be made in the new territory. He bought 
shares in the town companies of St. Vrain, Breckenridge, and 
Bradford, the latter named after himself. He became a partner 
with Amos Steck in coal and iron mines, helped organize the 
Denver Mutual Fire Insurance Company, bought a ranch in part- 
nership with W. H. Middaugh, helped organize the Capital 
Hydraulic Ditch Company, and promoted a toll road, known as 
"Bradford Road." 58 

Again and again he urged his partners to come out to Denver 
and see things for themselves. Waddell never came, but Majors 
and Russell did after it was too late. Instead they criticised him 
for his speculations and promotion schemes, complained that his 
remittances of gold dust were too meager, and even accused him 
of wasting his time in billiard parlors and saloons. 

With unerring judgment Bradford saw that the Leavenworth & 

56. Root and Hickman, Op Cit, 485-490; Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 43. 

57. Russell, William H., Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, 
Contract with Robert B. Bradford, August 3, 1859. MS. In Huntington 

58. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 51-52. 


Pike's Peak Express Company was doomed from the start. After 
less than a month in Denver he wrote Waddell, "So far as the 
Express office is concerned, it is just what I have ever thought of 
it — a curse to any man who was connected with it." 59 

It required only about six months for the Express Company's 
sands to run out. Notes were falling due and Russell had no 
money with which to pay them. It had cost about $1,000.00 per 
day to operate, and the concern within that time had succeeded 
in piling up debts to the amount of $525,532."° It owed Russell, 
Majors & Waddell $190,269. Its assets, figured on a generous 
basis, amounted to only $423,690. 

"We'll have to take it over," gloomily decided Waddell. "If 
we let it go by the board Russell, Majors & Waddell will certainly 
go with it." 

So, take it over they did, on October 28, 1859, 61 under a 
contract providing for the formation of a new company, which, 
when accomplished about a month later, was known as the Central 
Overland California & Pike's Peak Express Company," 2 hereinafter 
referred to as C.O.C.& P.P. Russell, with thirty of the forty shares 
of stock, was President and his son John W. Secretary. The 
charter, issued by the Kansas Territorial Legislature, was an 
amazing document for breadth. It authorized the Company to 
operate express, stage, passenger and transportation routes by 
land or water for the conveyance of persons, mail, or property 
in Kansas or beyond, write life, fire, and marine insurance and 
annuities, explore for minerals, operate mines and assaying plants, 
and receive money in trust. 

This remarkable instrument, together with collateral evidence, 
constitutes an accurate index to Russell's crystal-clear, unfettered 
vision. He saw that the whole broad West, from the Missouri 
River to the Pacific Ocean, was at the threshold of development 
in which transportation would involve "persons, mail or property," 
as stated in the charter. Already there was a rapidly growing, 
highly encouraging demand for means of travel, communication, 
and shipping facilities. 

For the moment the stage coach and Conestoga wagon consti- 
tuted the sole answer to the fundamental need for transportation. 
Although the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company was 
a failure financially, it had proved the need of a stage line and 

59. Bradford, Robert B., Letter to William B. Waddell, Nov. 3, 1859. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 

60. Jones, Russell & Company, Balance Sheet, Nov. 18, 1859. MS. In 
Huntington Library. 

61. Russell, Majors & Waddell, Contract with William H. Russell, John 
S. Jones et al, Oct. 28, 1859. MS. In Huntington Library. 

62. Act to Incorporate the Central Overland California & Pike's Peak 
Express Company, I860. Laws of Kansas Territory, 1859. 



that the Concord coach was an ideal vehicle for plains and moun- 
tain travel. 

The line from Leavenworth to Denver gave them a monopoly 
on passenger and mail service from the Missouri River to the 
Rocky Mountains. The purchase of the Hockaday mail contract, 
which carried with it the transfer of his stage line, put them in the 
same fortunate position from that River to Salt Lake City. 




Tlirouirli lo Denver Tito in (5 1-2 Days! 


\i {} I |j III li II llliLUl 









i — ft. •• ■~i"i"ii 


All Points in California. Salt Lake and Carson Valley! 

: PATEE HOUSE. »t Joitph. 

Courtesy Kansas City Public Library. 

Just here the double-barrelled proposition of the conflict of 
the various routes to California and mail for that far-off region 


enters the picture. In 1855 the War Department mapped five 
possible routes, but only two of them ever got serious considera- 
tion. One was known as the Central Route, which began at the 
Missouri River and followed the Oregon Trail through Forts 
Kearny, Laramie, and Bridger to Salt Lake City. From there it 
skirted Great Salt Lake, followed down the Humboldt River, 
crossed the Sierra Nevadas, and reached Sacramento. The other 
was the Southern Route, which at first was not so clearly defined. 

In March 1857, a bill authorizing an overland mail to Cali- 
fornia was passed. It provided $300,000.00 for a semi-monthly 
service, $450,000.00 for a weekly service, or $600,000.00 for a 
semi-weekly one, but did not name the route. The mail was to be 
carried in good four-horse wagons, which could also accomodate 
passengers. The time was to be twenty-five days each way. 63 

The contract for this service went to Butterfield & Company, 
or as it is more commonly known, the Overland Mail Company. 
This Company proposed to use the Southern Route. This was a 
concern set up by the Adams, American, National, and Wells, 
Fargo & Company Express Companies. The line, with feeders 
from St. Louis and Memphis, began at Little Rock, Arkansas. 
From there it ran by way of Preston, Texas, Forts Fillmore and 
Yuma to San Diego and San Francisco. It was 2800 miles long 
and was popularly called the "Horseshoe" or "Ox-bow Route." 

The line rendered good service, but friends of the Central Route, 
Administration critics, and Northern politicians kept up such a 
barrage of criticism and ridicule that the charge it was too long 
could not be denied. In retaliation its friends declared that the 
Central Route could not be used the year round. 

Aside from these things the underlying bone of contention was a 
railroad to the Pacific. Since everyone took it for granted that it 
would follow one of the main immigration routes both Northern 
and Southern politicians were determined that it should lie within 
their territory. Therefore, the nation was so hopelessly divided 
between North and South that only Civil War, which was just 
over the horizon, could heal the breach. The controversy over 
where the steel rails spanning the Continent should be laid was 
therefore a very hot one. 

Russell deliberately stepped into the battle of the routes to the 
Pacific when he bought the Hockaday & Company mail contract 
and stage line to Salt Lake City. His first strategic move was the 
organization of the Central Overland California & Pike's Peak 
Express Company. In so doing he was stalking the biggest game 
of his life. 

Russell got another two year contract for freighting military 

63. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 68-69. 


supplies for 1860-61, but it covered only posts in New Mexico 
and along the Santa Fe Trail. 64 He no longer had a monoply 
as the Utah contracts went to others. Whether this was due to 
pressure upon the Administration or financial inability of Russell, 
Majors & Waddell, or both, is not quite clear. Regardless of this, 
Russell was certain they would be able to load 1,000 wagons 
anyway. Since they would make points in New Mexico only, 
Kansas City was chosen as a starting point instead of Leavenworth. 

One of the several things decided upon at the time Russell, 
Majors & Waddell took over the bankrupt Leavenworth & Pike's 
Peak Express Company was the organization of a Pony Express to 
run from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast over the Central 
Route. The idea was not crack-brained or visionary at all. It 
was altogether feasible and practical, for it had already been 
proved that year round travel over that Route was possible. On 
January 27, 1860, Russell telegraphed his son John W., "Have 
determined to establish a Pony Express to Sacramento California, 
commencing 3d of April. Time ten days." 

Out in Salt Lake City A. B. Miller set about buying 200 head 
of the best horses available. At Leavenworth "two hundred grey 
mares, from four to seven years old, not to exceed 15 hands high, 
well broke to saddle and warranted sound, with black hoofs, and 
suitable for running the overland Pony Express," 65 were advertised 

William F. Finney, of California, bought 1 29 mules, 1 00 horses, 
hired 21 riders, and bought other equipment, such as saddles, 
bridles, blankets, tents and provisions. Loading these upon 
wagons he started along the trail eastward, establishing stations 
as far as Eagle Valley. 

At Denver R. B. Bradford loaded a wagon train with lumber, 
provisions and equipment and sent it to establish stations along 
the Pony Express route. 66 Stations had already been provided 
from Leavenworth to Denver by the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak 
Express Company. These were used by the Pony Express as far 
as Julesburg at the California Crossing. 

When completed there were 119 stations on the route from St. 

64. Russell, William H., Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, 
Contract with Captain Stewart Van Vliet, April 11, 1860. National 
Archives, Records of the War Department, Office of the Quartermaster 
General. Consolidated File. 

65. Settle and Settle, Saddles and Spurs (Harrisburg Pa., 1955), 33; 
Arthur Chapman, The Pony Express (New York, 1932), 33, 112, 113, 
118, 131. 

66. Bradford, Robert B., Letters to William B. Waddell, March 15, 
May 1, 3, 9, 14, 16, 1860; Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 41-42. 



Joseph to Sacramento, California. These consisted of two types, 
"Home Stations," where families sometimes lived and where meals 
were served, and "Swing Stations," where horses were merely 
changed and a crude shelter was built for stocktenders. 

St. Joseph, Missouri, was chosen as the eastern terminus of the 
Pony Express. On March 20, Russell and Waddell signed a 








The first courier of the pony express will leave the Missouri 
river on Tuesday. April 3, at 5 o'clock P. M. ( and will run te- 
gularly weekly thereafter, can ymg a letter mail only. The 
point of departure on tho Missouri mer wtll be in telegranhto 
connection with the Bast and will be announced in due time- 

Telegraph messages from all parti ox the United States and 
Canada, in connection with the point of departure, will be re- 
ceived up to 5 o'clock P. M. of the day of leaving, and trans- 
mitted over the PlacervDle and St. Joseph telegraph wire to 
8an Pranelsco and intermediate points, by the connecting ex- 

The letter mall will be delivered in San Pranelsco in ten 
days from the departure of the express. 

The express passes through Ports Kearney. Laramie and 
Brkfger, Great Salt Lake City, Camp Floyd. Carson City, the 
Washoe Silver Mines, Plaeerviile and Sacramento. 

Letters for Oregon, Washington Territory. British Columbia, 
the Pacific Mesfcan ports. Russian possessions. Sandwich 
Islands, China, Japan and India, will be mailed in San Fran- 

Special merfengers,. bearers of letters to connect with the 
express of the 3d of April, will receive oommunioaUens for the 
courier of that day at No. 481 Tenth street, Washington City, 
up to 2:46 P. M. on Friday, March 80; and in New York si the 
office of J. B. Simpson, room No. 8 Continental Bank Building. 
Nassau street, up to 6:80 A. U. of March 81 

Full particulars can be obtained on application at the above 
places and agents of the company, 
yn^r -» Wst H. BUS8BLL» President 

Leaver worth Citv, Kansas, March, I860. 

Office to New York. J. B. SIMPSON, Vice President; 
8AMUBL A ALLEN, Agents, 81 Louis; H, J. 8PAULDINO, 
Agent, Chicago. 

The Pony Express was a reality ! 

Courtesy Longman's Green & Co. 
New York Herald, March 26, 1860. 


contract with twenty representatives of the town" 7 under which 
they agreed to establish an express office there; start coaches to 
Denver on a weekly schedule; run a Pony Express from Wathena, 
Kansas, to Sacramento as soon as the Roseport & Palmetto Rail- 
road reached the former place; and establish a fast freight line 
from St. Joseph to Denver. 

In consideration of these things the C.O.C. & P.P. got a block 
of twelve lots in Pattee Addition, eighteen in the town of Elwood, 
Kansas, the use of a building for an office, free passage over the 
Roseport & Palmetto Railroad for express packages, officers and 
employees of the Company for twelve months and free ferriage 
across the Missouri River for express coaches, wagons, etc., for 
two years. 

The most significant and important concession the Express 
Company got was the exclusive privilege of carrying express matter 
over the Roseport & Palmetto Railroad and extensions thereof for 
20 years. It was also agreed that the railroad would withold all 
connections from any other road running west to Denver which 
did not grant the same privileges. 

By this contract Russell paved the way for the C.O.C. & P.P. 
to engage in the railway express business. He, as well as everyone 
else, knew that the day when steel rails would span the prairies 
and mountains to reach the Pacific Ocean was not far distant. 
Both he and the people of St. Joseph fully expected that the infant 
Roseport & Palmetto Railroad would be extended to Denver and 
eventually to the Pacific Coast. 

Nothing better illustrates Russell's accurate judgement and 
cleverness in getting in on the right thing at the right time than the 
nailing down of the railway express business. He was not priv- 
ileged to reap the reward for his foresight, but those who a little 
later took over the C.O.C. & P.P. did. 

Russell kept his word, got the Pony Express ready, and started 
the first riders from St. Joseph and San Francisco on April 3, 
1861. Both towns put on appropriate celebrations. From the 
moment of take-off the run proceeded with clocklike precision. 
The West-bound rider reached Salt Lake City at 11:45 p.m. on 
April 7, and the East-bound one at 6:45 on the 9th. Somewhere 
west of that place, probably near Ft. Bridger, they met, but what 
they said to each other nobody knows. There, the pioneering 
ended, and each raced along a trail already covered by his pred- 
ecessor going in the opposite direction. 68 

Majors and Russell were at St. Joseph to give the first rider a 
send-off. If Waddell was there he kept very much in the back- 

67. Russell, William H., and William B. Waddell, Contract With Citizens 
of St. Joseph, Mo., March 2, 1860. 

68. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 52-74. 


ground. A band had been rounded up for the occasion and a 
great throng of people filled Pattee Park across the street from 
the Pony Express Stable. Speeches were made by Russell, Majors, 
and the Mayor, M. Jeff Thompson. 

"Ten days to Sacramento is a miracle of speed," admiringly 
declared Thompson, "but greater things lie ahead. Before the 
dust kicked up by the ponies dissappears the steam from a railroad 
engine will be seen upon the horizon." 

Majors agreed with the Mayor. "The Pony Express," he said, 
"is the predecessor of the railroad. I dare to prophecy that the 
most of us will live to see the day when we can travel from the 
Missouri River to the Golden Gate by rail." 

Majors helped his own prophecy to come true. When the 
Union Pacific was pushed westward across the country he took a 
contract for grading roadbed and furnishing ties and telegraph 
poles for a section of it in Utah. 

The Pony Express, which ran only eighteen months, was one of 
the most glamorous achievements in American history. It was 
the talk of the country and was given wide publicity abroad. In 
this day when one may breakfast in St. Joseph, Missouri, have 
lunch in Salt Lake City, and dinner in San Francisco, ten days 
for the same distance seems slow indeed. But to the people of 
1860, accustomed as they were to thinking in terms of from 90 
to 120 days to reach California, the speed of the Pony Express 
was incredible. 

The motive which prompted Russell to organize and operate 
the Pony Express has often been misstated. Briefly, it was an 
advertising proposition to fix public and Congressional attention 
upon the Central Route, with the result that the lucrative contract 
for carrying the mail overland to California would be given to the 
C.O.C. & P.P. H!I This cold, business-like purpose detracts in no 
manner whatever from the romance of the undertaking. He hoped 
the Pony Express would make money, but he was not fully con- 
vinced it would. In fact, his contract with the St. Joseph citizens 
permitted him to discontinue it after six months if it did not pay. 
Neither Majors nor Waddell thought it would, but they went along 
with him anyway. 

A few weeks after the Pony Express was put into operation a 
special Committee of Congress reported in favor of a railroad over 
the Central Route along the Platte Valley to Salt Lake City. On 
May 1 1 the Postmaster General cancelled George Chorpenning's 
contract for carrying the mail from that City to California and 
awarded a semi-monthly service to the C.O.C. & P.P. Now Russell 
had contracts and a monoply on mail service from the Missouri 

69. Majors, Alexander, Seventy Years on the Frontier, 185. 


River to the Pacific Coast over the Central Route. That was 
what he wanted, for it placed him in a position to compete with 
the Overland Mail Company and the Southern Route. This, 
without doubt, was the first fruit of the Pony Express. Now things 
seemed to be definitely coming his way. 

The cost of getting the C.O.C. & P.P. into operation must have 
been enormous. Frank A. Root, an employee who later wrote a 
book, said it cost $75,000 to equip the Pony Express alone. 
Without a doubt that figure is conservative. Ma'ors said that the 
Hockaday line to Salt Lake City was a rather shabby affair. What 
the cost of putting it into proper condition was is not known. 

The contract for freighting supplies on the New Mexico Route 
in 1860-61 provided for loading and starting at the usual time, in 
May or June. Russell, Majors & Waddell, as usual, bought 
wagons, oxen, and equipment with drafts due in 60, 90 or 120 
days, expecting to pay them out of earnings. Week after week 
passed without being notified of goods ready to go. For some 
reason the quartermaster's department was exceedingly slow in 
making consignments to the military posts of the southwest. 

Meanwhile idle bullwhackers, stock tenders and other employees 
had to be paid. Drafts which should have been taken up went to 
protest. The bulk of supplies were ordered out in August and 
September, almost six months after some of the obligations were 

Although Russell was now in a hopeless situation, he fought 
heroically to keep his head above water. Quotations from his 
letters to Waddell in the summer of 1 860 clearly reveal the state 
of affairs. 

May 11. — I see nothing left except our Express stock. Send me 
mine at once. . . . Think that $50,000 might be borrowed on it. . . . 
Had better use yours and Mr. Majors' also. 

May 12 — Must have help. Have got $150,000 to pay next week. 
. . . Have about $50,000 on hand. Samuel & Allen will likely send 
$40,000 more. 

June 19. — If things work right and you will aid me from the west 
I will see this firm out of trouble, over the shoals and the quicksands 
and move our vessel into a safe harbor. 

June 29. — Now is the pinch of the game and I fear results. . . . 
Our accounts are largely overdue. . . . Will make any sacrifice before 
going down, but really fear it cannot be raised. It would be awful 
to go down now after so much sacrifice and vexation, and too when 
we have such good prospects ahead with which to pay out. 

June 30. — Harried to death now about money. Know not where 
to turn or how it will result. . . . 70 

Russell's "good prospects ahead with which to pay out" was a 

70. Russell, William H., Letters to William B. Waddell, May 11, 12, 
June 19, June 29, June 30, 1860. MS. In Huntington Library. 


new contract to carry the mail to California over the Central 
Route. On June 13 he wrote Waddell in his usual optimistic 

"I am in treaty for a tri-weekly mail at $600,000 (per year)," 
he said, "which I have hope of closing today. ... It is not as good 
as we wanted. It will however lay the foundation for a mail which 
will give us $1,200,000." 71 

What had happened was this: the Post Office Department cut 
off mail service to California via steamer from New York with 
the expectation that the bill to forward it overland would pass 
Congress. Russell had already offered to take a contract for 
three times a week from St. Joseph to Folsom, California, on a 
twenty-five day schedule, for $900,000 the first year and thereafter 
six times a week for the same amount. 

Congress failed to pass the bill, and Russell with the aid of 
Senator Gwinn of California urged President Buchanan to order 
the service as a public necessity. In a cabinet meeting on June 10 
this question was debated, and the decision was to do nothing. 

Russell was now doomed. Not even desperate measures, which 
he unwisely took a bit later, could save him. Three factors 
combined to make his problem insoluble — expenses incident to 
putting the C.O.C.& P.P. into operation, failure to secure the big 
mail contract, and delay in forwarding supplies to the southwest. 

Up to this point in Russell's career one cannot help but admire 
him for his vision, courage, and Herculean toil in promoting the 
biggest business organization west of the Mississippi River. Also 
one's sympathies must go out to him for being the victim of 
unfavorable forces and circumstances over which he had no control 
whatsoever. His career was brilliant, even though it seemed that 
the stars in their courses fought against him. 

He was not to blame for losses incurred on account of the 
Mormon incident, the failure of the government to reimburse his 
firm for them, or for the failure of the War Department to order 
supplies out on the New Mexico Route at the anticipated, proper 

From this point on the story is that of a bewildered, desperate 
man fighting a losing battle. His letter to Waddell of June 11 
reveals so much concerning his position, fundamental character, 
and motives that the quotation of a section of it is justified. 

Your letter received at a time when I was crushed to earth. The 
load prior to (its) receipt was all that I could bear. ... A failure 
to meet our paper. ... I knew would end in our everlasting disgrace. 
. . . My dear sir, if you will but calmly reflect for an hour on my true 
position, you would almost cry for me (if that would do any good.) 

71. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, June 13, 1860. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 


I pass a most miserable life, exiled from my family. . . . 'Tis our 
reputation, our honor, the latter I hold dearer than life, that now 
sustains and prompts me to thus seemingly abandon home and family 
and all social enjoyment for a miserable life here in Washington. . . . 
I am now stimulated by the sole desire of saving our sinking fortunes 
and more especially our honor . . . Give me poverty with an untar- 
nished reputation in place of fortune obtained through dishonorable 
course. I am aware that if we are forced to suspend we have com- 
mitted no crime legally or morally, yet the censorious world would 
attach moral guilt and all we could do would not relieve us. 72 

In the early part of July, while the crisis was at its height and 
Russell, Majors & Waddell's paper was daily going to protest, he 
went to New York. On the way back to Washington he fell in 
with Luke Lea, 73 member of the banking firm of Suter, Lea & Co., 
and former Commissioner of Indian affairs. Russell's banking 
partner in Leavenworth, Luther R. Smoot, was also a member 
of this firm. 

"I am frank to confess," said Russell, "that the affairs of Rus- 
sell, Majors & Waddell are in a very critical condition. I need 
$150,000 to meet acceptances which will fall due in the near 
future. Do you know of anyone who might help me with money 
or securities?" 

Lea did not, and doubted that a sum of that size could be raised 
in Washington. 

"While in New York," went on Russell, "I heard of a man by 
the name of Baylor, I think it was, who might be a prospect. Do 
you know him?" 

Lea knew no such person, but was acquainted with a man by 
the name of Godard Bailey who had dealt in Florida bonds. 
"He is as poor as anybody. His wife is the daughter of a cousin 
of Secretary Floyd. He might be useful in getting claims paid by 
the War Department." 

"I wish you would see him as soon as possible and tell him the 
Secretary would be in grave danger of embarrassment if our 
acceptances go to protest," said Russell. 

Lea agreed. Two days later Bailey came to see Lea. Then he 
went to the War Department where he talked with Colonel W. R. 
Drinkard, chief clerk. 74 

"I understand William H. Russell is in a tight place financially," 
he said, "and that a large amount of acceptances endorsed by 
Secretary Floyd are about to go to protest. What effect will that 
have upon the Secretary?" 

72. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, June 11, 1860. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 

73. U. S. House, 36 Cong., 2nd sess., Report No. 78, 45-76. 

74. U. S. House, Op Cit, 117-132. 


"It will embarrass him greatly," replied Drinkard. "In fact, it 
might result in his dismissal." 

"If I could be entirely satisfied that Russell's firm is solvent and 
only temporarily embarrassed I think I know of a way to help 
him," said Bailey. 

Drinkard said he had better meet Russell and a few minutes 
later he introduced them. Upon hearing Russell's story, Bailey 
agreed to lend him $150,000 worth of Missouri and Tennessee 
state bonds. 7 "' The securities were to be used only as collateral 
and none of them sold. They were delivered that afternoon and 
a note against Russell, Majors & Waddell for that amount taken. 
That night Russell left for New York. 

Using the bonds as security Russell was able to raise only 
$97,000, a sum entirely inadequate to his needs. To his dismay 
his financial condition deteriorated day by day instead of getting 
better. In September he sent Bailey a note asking him to call. 

"I am still financially embarrassed," he bluntly stated. "Some 
of the bonds you let me have are about to be sold, and $300,000 
more of acceptances are about to go to protest. I see no possi- 
bility of redeeming the bonds." 

Bailey was staggered by this information. "Perhaps I should 
have told you that I am a clerk in the Indian Bureau of the 
Department of the Interior and custodian of the Indian Trust 
Fund bonds. Those I gave you are a part of that Fund, and unless 
they are returned I am a ruined man." 

Now it was Russell's turn to be staggered. "Man!" he cried, 
"you have committed an embezzlement and involved me in it." 

Before a Select Committee of the House of Representatives 
appointed to investigate the matter of both the acceptances and 
the bonds, Russell said he had "no knowledge whatever that he 
(Bailey) was a government officer, or that the bonds belonged to 
the government. I suppose he had a perfect right to control them, 
and no questions were asked by me and nothing said by him in 
regard to ownership." 

In his newspaper statement on April 4, 1861, Russell said, 
"This disclosure (of the ownership of the bonds) completely over- 
whelmed me. It added entanglement to my embarrassment. I 
saw instantly, and with intense reality, how difficult it would be 
to extricate myself from my unfortunate dilemma. . . . When I 
discovered that the bonds belonged to the Indian Trust Fund I 
would have freely given the whole of this large claim (for losses in 
Utah) and everything I was worth besides to have been able at 
that moment to restore them." 

75. Russell, William H., "The Indian Trust Bonds and Acceptances," 
April 4, 1861; Ibid, Statement to Select Committee, Jan. 16, 1861. In 
U. S. House, 36th Cong., 2nd sess., Report No. 78, 333-338. 


There is no occasion whatever for questioning these straight- 
forward statements. In his eagerness to protect Secretary Floyd, 
and taking Russell's word that $150,000 worth of securities would 
resolve his financial difficulties, Bailey committed a serious crime. 
Later, he himself said that Russell was ignorant of the ownership 
of the bonds. 

Russell instantly saw that in the eyes of the world and before 
the law he was particeps criminis to an embezzlement. The fact 
that he was not informed as to the true ownership of the bonds 
and innocent of any motive to defraud would not shield him for a 

The alternatives confronting the two thoroughly frightened men 
were harsh. Bailey had to get those bonds back or suffer exposure 
and imprisonment. Russell had to get the money somewhere to 
redeem them or see himself sharing Bailey's fate. Furthermore, 
if he failed, Russell, Majors & Waddell would be finished and 
Secretary Floyd wholly discredited. 

In their dilemma Russell and Bailey adopted the age-old 
embezzlers device when in a tight place. Next day Bailey deliv- 
ered $387,000 worth of bonds to Russell, gave back Russell, 
Majors & Waddell's note for $150,000 and took another for 
$537,000. Russell assured Bailey that now he would be able to 
redeem the first lot, take up outstanding acceptances, and solve 
his firm's financial problems. 

But alas for human expectations and promises. In November 
Russell again informed Bailey that he had to have more bonds. 
Both were now grasping at anything which seemed to promise 
hope. Bailey gave him $333,000 worth of Missouri and Ten- 
nessee bonds, making the total amount now $870,000 and took a 
like amount of acceptances as security. The stage was now set 
for the final act in the drama. 

When Russell took the second and third lot of bonds he knew 
exactly what he was doing. Regarding these transactions he said, 
"I had no time to devote to calm reflection. ... I had no time to 
weigh the responsibility, on the one hand of wrecking our firm, 
discrediting the War Department, and permitting the hypotheti- 
cated bonds to be sold beyond my reach, against that on the other 
hand of accepting more bonds with which to protect those that I 
have already used. ... I determined the latter alternative." 76 

Brooding upon the magnitude of what he had done, and con- 
vinced that Russell's case was hopeless, reduced Bailey to a state 
of hopeless despair. On December 1, 1860, he wrote a letter 
to Secretary of the Interior, Jacob Thompson, in which he con- 

76. Russell, Op Cit, April 4, 1861. 


fessed the whole sordid affair and listed the securities involved. 77 
He gave it to a relative and former employee of the Department 
of the Interior, Charles Wagner, on the 13th with instructions to 
deliver it to the Secretary five days before his term of office 

Bailey also told Senator H. M. Rice of Minnesota what he had 
done. Rice advised him to confess the whole thing to Secretaries 
Thompson and Floyd. Not long afterward Bailey told him he 
had done as suggested. 

On December 20th Bailey called at Wagner's office. Not find- 
ing him in he left a note requesting that the letter be delivered to 
Thompson immediately. "It concerns my honor that Mr. Thomp- 
son should receive that letter at the earliest possible moment," 
he said. 

Fearing something was afoot Wagner hurried to Bailey's house. 
There, in the presence of his wife he confessed the whole thing 
and renewed his request that the letter be delivered without delay. 
Wagner undertook to comply, but Thompson was out of town. 

In the meantime Bailey made a bundle of the acceptances 
Russell had given him and took it to the home of Senator Rice, 
who was not there. Leaving it, together with a note asking that 
it be delivered to Secretary Thompson, he went back home. Upon 
returning and reading the note Rice became greatly alarmed. 
Without delay he hastened to Bailey's home. 

"Does this package have anything to do with the bonds?" he 

"Yes," replied Bailey, "it does." 

"Then," declared Rice, "I cannot keep it in my possession. 
Since Thompson is out of town I will, with your permission, deliver 
it to President Buchanan." 

Bailey gave permission and Rice hurried off to the White House. 
While he was discussing the matter with the President, Secretary 
of State Jeremiah S. Black and Attorney General Edwin M. 
Stanton came in. Later, Thompson, who had just returned, also 
arrived. The four officials and Rice went into a huddle to decide 
what steps should be taken. First, it was thought best to go to 
the Department of the Interior and check the Indian Trust Fund 
bonds. Rice went to Bailey's home to get the key to the safe 
where they were kept while Stanton and Black went directly to 
the Department of the Interior. Thompson and Wagner also 
went to Bailey's home to ask him to go with them. After checking 
the list with Bailey's help, it was found they were all there except 
those given to Russell. Next morning Secretary Thompson had 
warrants issued for the arrest of Bailey and Russell. 

77. Bailey, Godard, Letter to Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson, 
in U. S. House, 36th Cong., 2nd. sess., Report No. 78, 28-29. 


This affair, coming in the closing days of Buchanan's admin- 
istration, was like an earthquake. Hastily calling a cabinet meet- 
ing for Sunday evening, December 23, Bailey was brought in and 
questioned until morning. 

The relation of Secretary Floyd to the whole matter is both 
mystifying and obscure. A careful sifting of the evidence shows 
that he knew of the embezzlement at least 24 hours before Rice 
called upon President Buchanan, and probably longer. He re- 
signed his office on December 29th and moved his family to 
Virginia. On January 25, 1861, he was indicted for malversation 
in office by a District of Columbia Grand Jury. This involved 
only the acceptances. He returned to Washington and demanded 
trial. On March 11, 1861, the United States Attorney dismissed 
the case for lack of proof to sustain the charge, and a nolle 
prosequi was entered. 78 

Russell was in New York when the lid was tilted on the em- 
bezzlement. He had information of it a day or so before, so the 
appearance of the officers was no surprise. On Monday morning, 
December 24, he was arrested in his office. They took him to 
Washington, put him in jail, and fixed his bond at $500,000. 
Friends from the West quickly underwrote it, but they were re- 
jected because they were non-residents. The amount was reduced 
and citizens of the District of Columbia were accepted. 

On the day Russell was arrested Representative John Sherman 
of Illinois, at the request of Secretary Thompson, introduced a 
bill in the House authorizing the appointment of a Select Com- 
mittee to investigate the matter of the bonds and acceptances. 
Three days later it began its work under the Chairmanship of 
Isaac N. Morris of Illinois. 

Being under criminal prosecution neither Russell nor Bailey 
could be compelled to appear before it. Russell, however, waived 
his right and appeared voluntarily. When Chairman Morris 
informed him he would not be required to answer any questions 
he replied, "I am anxious to make a full statement in regard to the 
bonds. I claim to be an honest man, and would prefer to make 
out a statement of the whole transaction in writing and have it 
spread on your records." 79 

He further said that if the Committee preferred he would make 
his statement verbally. That was the Committee's wish, but after 
a brief interrogation he renewed his request to make a written 

78. Record, U. S. District Courts, District of Columbia, March 1861, 
Criminal Trials No. 33. 

79. Record, U. S. District Courts, District of Columbia, Criminal Sci. 
Fa, No. 1, March Term, 1861; U. S. House, 36th Cong., 2nd sess., Report 
No. 78, 232. 


statement. This was granted, with all the time he wished for 
preparing it. 

On January 25 he again appeared, but nothing of importance 
was done. Two days later he returned and asked that he be 
allowed the presence of counsel to advise him from time to time. 
In reply the Chairman told him that the only question they wished 
to ask him was whether he wished the testimony already given 
to become a part of the record or stricken out. 

Russell replied that he was willing for the inquiry to proceed, 
but wished the presence of counsel. Then he handed in his state- 
ment and left. That was his last appearance. On January 29 he 
was indicted by a District of Columbia Grand Jury. 80 

When his case came before the Criminal Court of the District 
of Columbia a little later, his attorney argued that since he had 
been examined by the Select Committee the indictment should be 
quashed. sl This was done and he went free. Failure to prosecute 
and punish him is not to be taken as acquittal, for by his own 
confession he received and appropriated to his own use a huge 
amount of bonds he knew was stolen from the Indian Trust Fund. 
Freedom under a legal technicality in no wise relieved him of 
moral responsibility. 

Russell had now lost that which he said was "dearer than life" 
to him — honor and a good reputation. His friends rallied about 
him, and a story to the effect that he was framed by the Admin- 
istration was set afloat. This version of the affair gained such 
publicity that the great historian, H. H. Bancroft, took notice of 
it in his Chronicle of the Builders. 

"Russell," he said, "fell into some difficulty, if indeed, it were 
not a trap set for him by friends of the Southern Route. . . . He 
was induced to take $830,000 in bonds of the Interior Department 
as a loan, etc." 82 

The truth is Russell was not framed, and nobody set a trap for 
him. Never a word to that effect did he utter himself. He does 
say that he "consented" to take the second and third lots, but it 
must be remembered that he was fully aware of their ownership 
when he did it. The only defence he offered, if one wishes to 
call it that, was that the government owed him huge sums of 
money which, although true, was no justification whatever. 

Beginning on December 31, 1860, Russell made a series of 
deeds of trust for the benefit of creditors. That constituted bank- 
ruptcy proceedings in his day. Both Majors and Waddell 

80. Records of the District Courts of the U. S., Supreme Court of the 
District of Columbia. Criminal Trials No. 33. 

81. Records of the District Courts of the U. S., Criminal Court of the 
District of Columbia. .Criminal Minutes, March 11, 1861. 

82. Bancroft, Hubert Howe, Chronicles of the Builders, II, 323. 


out in Missouri did the same. Although these amounted to 
$1,331,526.13 they were totally inadequate to cover their indebt- 
edness. 83 

Another reason why Russell was not prosecuted may have been 
talk in Congress about the appointment of a Commission to 
adjudicate his claims, acceptances, and embezzled bonds. There 
was also talk about the government bringing suit to recover the 
value of the bonds. Concerning this Russell wrote Waddell; 

"If the government will sue us and in a court of equity and 
chancery, we can bring in our claims and losses, so that in either 
event we can pay through. " s4 

This was never done, probably because the Civil War was 
breaking, the claims and losses were never paid, and the Indian 
Trust Fund was reimbursed by an Act of Congress. 85 Not a dime 
of it was ever collected from Russell or his partners. 

In spite of overwhelming disaster Russell was his usual opti- 
mistic self again in a month or so. 

"You talk as though you do not expect to pay through," he 
chided Waddell. "I do, and feel entire confidence." 

Brushing aside the unhappy past he went to work as though 
nothing had happened. On February 2, 1861, the Annual Post 
Route Bill providing for a daily mail from the Missouri River to 
California was presented to the Senate. At the same time the 
Post Offices and Post Roads Committee was working on the 
proposition of consolidating the Central and Southern Routes. 
Russell set to work to get the contract and wrote Waddell that he 
had great faith in his ability to do so. Always he had great faith 
in something. 

While the whole proposition was still in debate word came that 
Confederate forces had ''cut up" the Overland Mail line, and that 
all its coaches in Texas had been stopped. Seven states had 
already seceded from the Union, others were getting ready to do 
so, and the Civil War was in its initial stages. 

Something had to be done immediately, if communication with 
California was to be maintained. Five days after news of the 
Overland Mail disaster came the Senate Finance Committee 
reported a Post Office appropriation bill which provided for the 

83. Russell, William H., Deed of Trust to James N. Simpson, Dec. 31, 
1860. Lafayette County Mo., Record Book J, No. 1, 211; Ibid, Deed of 
Trust to Eugene B. Allen, Jan. 30, 1861. Lafayette County, Record 
Book J No. 1, 280. Ibid, Deed of Trust to Eugene B. Allen, Jan. 30, 1861. 
In Lafayette County, Record Book J, No. 1, 280-284. 

84. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, Feb. 11, 1861. 
MS. In Huntington Library. 

85. U. S. House, 37th Cong., 2nd sess., Bill No. 554 to Reimburse 
Indian Trust Fund, Congressional Globe, Appendix, 202. 


bodily removal of that line from the Southern to the Central Route, 
and the operation of the Pony Express until the transcontinental 
telegraph line was completed. No doubt Russell made a prior 
agreement to this in order not to be left out in the cold. The pay 
was to be $1,150,000. 

On March 16, 1861, he signed two contracts. One, with the 
Overland Mail, provided that the C.O.C. & P. P. would carry all 
passengers and mail from St. Joseph, Mo. to Salt Lake City and 
the Overland Mail from that place to California. 86 Each would 
share both expenses and pay. The other was with the Western 
Stage Line under which it discontinued all service west of Fort 
Kearny. 87 By this the Central Route was cleared of all compe- 
tition for mail, passenger and express business. Russell's monoply 
still held, but it was shared with the Overland Mail. 

One of the primary questions confronting the operators was 
where the stage line to Salt Lake City should run. At that time it 
followed the old Oregon Trail to Fort Kearny, Fort Laramie, 
South Pass, and Fort Bridger, with a branch line from Julesburg 
to Denver. This was an excellent route, but the rush of people 
to the gold region of Colorado changed the picture. The people 
of Denver clamored for it to run through their town and declared 
that the Pacific railroad would follow the stage line. 

While these things were in process of being worked out a 
meeting of the directors of the C.O.C. & P.P. was held. On April 
26, Russell resigned as president and Bela M. Hughes, his old 
friend and agent at St. Joseph, was elected in his stead. ss 
Although he remained a director he now was without authority or 
responsibility in the Company. Both he and his associates recog- 
nized the somber fact that his usefulness to the concern was ended. 
If it were to be saved, an executive officer of untarnished reputa- 
tion was necessary. 

On May 6 Hughes and Russell arrived in Denver and were 
given a rousing reception. It was Russell's first trip across the 
plains, and the people were anxious to see the man whom the 
Rocky Mountain News had previously honored with the title 
Napoleon of the West. s '* He was welcomed everywhere, and a 
great ball was given in Golden where he shared the spotlight with 
Governor William Gilpin. 

86. Russell, William H., and William B. Dinsmore, Contract, March 16, 
1861. MS. In Huntington Library. Also in American Philatelist, May, 
1959. 573-590; also in Utah Historical Quarterly, April 1959, 103-126. 

87. Russell, William H. and William B. Dinsmore, Contract With E. S. 
A I void, March 16, 1861. MS. In Huntington Library. 

88. Root, George A., and Russell K. Hickman, "Pike's Peak Express 
Companies," in Kansas Historical Quarterly, XIV, 78. 

89. Rocky Mountain News, April 17, 1861; Root and Hickman, Op Cit, 
87 and note. 


Since the C.O.C. & P.P. was bankrupt, Ben Holladay came 
forward as creditor. By the first of July 1861, it owed him 
$200,000.00. Every day it went deeper into debt. Once again, 
blind forces beyond human control conspired against Russell. 
Fort Sumpter fell on April 14, and the battle of Bull Run was 
fought three weeks after the line was put into operation. The Civil 
War rent the nation in twain and the development of the West 
was sidetracked. Things went from bad to worse, and the em- 
ployees of the C.O.C. & P.P. nicknamed it "Clean Out of Cash & 
Poor Pay." In March 1862, Holladay bid it in at a foreclosure 
sale for $100,000. 90 

Russell now passed from the scene as merchant, freighter, and 
stagecoach operator, but his amazing career was not quite yet 
ended. His arrival in Denver in 1861 aroused an intense, though 
belated, interest in that new frontier. He cheerfully ignored his 
misfortunes as usual and became his old, dynamic, energetic self 
again. Nobody shunned him because of the bond affair, old 
friends excused it, and new ones did not care. His name still 
had irresistible drawing power. 

Plunging into an orgy of speculation which was reminiscent of 
the old days, he became interested in Idaho Springs and organized 
the Colorado and Pacific Wagon, Telegraph, and Railroad Com- 
pany. 91 He secured numerous mining claims, water and mill 
rights in the Clear Creek, Dailey, Banner and Grass Valley Dis- 
tricts. He helped organize the New York Gold Mining Company 
and the Hot Sulphur Springs Town Company. 92 

None of his mining properties turned out to be bonanzas, 
although it was reported that his mine on the Silver Mountain 
Lode near Empire City was producing from two to three thousand 
dollars worth of gold per week. None of his other schemes 

Early in 1865 he was back in New York, where he organized 
the brokerage firm of Akers, Russell & Pease. Their chief busi- 
ness was speculation in gold and selling mining stocks. This was 
not a success. 

Gone now were the glory days. He no longer lived at the 
Brevoort Hotel or dined at Delmonico's. He abandoned his old 
haunts and lived in cheap boarding houses. His splendid residence 
at 686 Broadway was gone, his family remained in Lexington, 
Missouri, and he was alone. 

He made a brave attempt to come back, but by April 1, 1866, 
his affairs were again unmanageable. On that date he went 
through the dreary, familiar process of assigning his property to 

90. Root, George A., and Russell K. Hickman, Op Cit, 88-91. 

91. Colorado Magazine, IX, 164. 

92. Settle and Settle, Empire on Wheels, 132-133. 


trustees for the benefit of creditors. His liabilities this time ran to 
$ 136,903. 43. !,:H He had borrowed money from friends and rela- 
tives until the list of possible creditors was exhausted. This time 
he was absolutely finished. 

Early in 1868 he wrote a pathetic letter to his old partner, 
Waddell, saying his attorneys were preparing a bankruptcy peti- 
tion." 4 It would cost about $500, half of which he wished 
Waddell to pay. 

"If I had the money," he said, "I would go ahead and you could 
have the benefit without contributing a cent, but I have it not, 
and how to raise 2 or $300 I scarcely know." 

Waddell's reply is not known, but it is safe to assume that he 
did not send the requested amount. 

The schedule of liabilities, which included personal debts such 
as groceries for his family, room rent, board and tailor's bills, and 
those of various partnerships and concerns of which he had been 
a member, such as Russell, Majors & Waddell, the C.O.C. & P.P., 
Miller, Russell & Co., amounted to $2,498,630.85." 

The aftermath for Russell's partners was also tragic. Out at 
Lexington, Mo., Waddell vacated his mansion and moved to the 
nearby farm home of his daughter. Although he had turned his 
property over to trustees for the benefit of creditors, he was 
harrassed to the end of his days by lawsuits. Loss of fortune, 
harsh experiences during the Civil War, attacks upon his honor and 
integrity, and inactivity bore so heavily upon him that by his late 
fifties he was broken in spirit and health. He died Sunday morn- 
ing, April 1, 1872, 9C and was buried in Machpelah Cemetery, 
Lexington, Mo., which he had helped to found many years before. 

Majors managed to salvage enough from the wreck to remain in 
the freighting business until 1867, when he sold his outfit to 
Edward Creighton, builder of the transcontinental telegraph line 
from Omaha to the Pacific Coast. In the same year he moved his 
family to Salt Lake City. 

"My calling as a freighter and overland stager having been 
deposed by the building of the telegraph lines and completion of 
the transcontinental railway," he plaintively remarked in his book, 
"I was compelled to look for another industry." 97 

93. Russell, William H., Deed of Trust to James P. Rogers and Charles 
B. Russell, April 1, 1865. Clear Creek County, Colo., Record Book L, 

94. Russell, William H., Letter to William B. Waddell, Feb. 7, 1868. 

95. Russell, William H., Petition by Debtor, April 3, 1868, in Records, 
U. S. District Courts, Southern District of New York, Bankruptecy Case 
No. 1290. National Archives. 

96. Lexington Caucasian, April 13, 1872. 

97. Majors, Alexander, Seventy Years on the Frontier, 267 '. 


He tried prospecting for silver in the Raft Mountains of North- 
western Utah but failed at it. Somewhere along the way his home 
was broken up. Thereafter he lived alone in Kansas City, Denver, 
Nebraska and other places. He died in Chicago January 14, 
1900, 9S at eighty-six years of age, and was buried in Union Cem- 
etery, Kansas City, Mo., on a cold, foggy afternoon with fifteen 
persons present. He outlived his partners twenty-eight years. 

Back in New York the obscurity which enveloped Russell 
deepened day by day. Financiers, bankers, and moneyed men 
knew him no longer. He advertised as a notary public and 
Commissioner for all the States and Territories, but little business 
came his way. In dire distress he took the agency for a patent 
medicine, known as Tic Sano, a "sure antidote for neuralgia." 99 

Early in 1872, about the time of Waddell's death, his son 
Charles Benjamin and a son-in-law, Webster Samuels, went back 
to New York and took him to the home of the latter in St. Louis. 
Not long afterward he was taken to the home of his son John W., 
a banker, in Palmyra, Mo. There he died on Sept. 10, 1872, 100 
at sixty years of age. He was buried in the local cemetery, but 
no stone marks his resting place. The town newspaper honored 
him with about two inches of space, but that of Lexington did not 
even mention his passing. 

98. Settle and Settle, Op Cit, 120. 

99. Rocky Mountain News, June 7, 1872. 

100. Boyer, Mrs. W. J., Sketch of William H. Russell. MS. Copy in 
authors' library. 

Zke Pony Express 


T. J. Mahoney 

In 1860 in the fresh, bright days of Spring 
Eighty Buckaroos made up their minds to try a daring thing; 
Being young, and full of "vinegar" and somewhat reckless 
They signed as station riders for the Pony Express. 

So they swore off booze and they quit a-chasing women — 
They lived almost like preachers, in a rugged sort of way 
As they rode hell-bent for leather o'er the mountains and the 

From old St. Joe, Missouri, out to Californ-i-a. 

A gentleman named Majors was the project's crusty Boss 
He had just the right "get-up-and-go" to put the deal across; 
His hosses were the very best — he'd settle for no less, 
And the men he hired were top hands on the Pony Express. 

For they gave up whiskey and they stayed away from women — 
They rode through dust and blizzards on their wild and wooly way 
As they galloped with the mail over mountains, plains and deserts 
From old St. Joe, Missouri, out to Californ-i-a. 

The road they mostly followed was the old-time Mormon Trail 
For the Boss found this the bestest route for carrying the mail; 
So, he spaced well-tended stations that were easy of access 
And convenient for the riders of the Pony Express. 

So they gave up liquor and they stayed away from women — 
They even passed up squaws and such they met along the way 
For they wished to save their precious scalps and just keep on 

From old St. Joe, Missouri, out to Californ-i-a. 

But death and destruction often lurked along the trail 
And savages waylaid and scalped the men that rode the mail. 
So no mere tale, told now and then, can honestly assess 
The great hearts of the riders of the Pony Express. 

For they gave up booze and they stayed away from women — 


Their fortitude will be renowned until the Judgment Day — 

For they only lost one sack of mail, of all the sacks they carried 

From old St. Joe, Missouri, out to Calif orn-i-a. 

The hosses ridden on the trail matched up well with the men; 
Such matchless pairs, forever gone, shall ne'er be seen again! 
Two thousand miles they left behind in ten short days, or less — 
To immortalize the riders of the Pony Express. 

For they gave up whiskey and they stayed away from women- 
So they wouldn't cause commotion or lead some dame astray — 
But they gave their full attention to a string of "salty" hosses 
That they rode from old Missouri out to Californ-i-a. 

They tell the story about Black Bill, a hero, strong and true 
Who, with an arrow in his side, still brought his rider through 
And Nig who'd smell an Injun a stiff mile, more or less, 
And who always saved his rider for the Pony Express. 

And the riders gave up liquor and stayed away from women- 
And they gave their faithful horses some extra oats and hay 
As they rested after riding o'er the mountains and the prairies 
From old St. Joe, Missouri, out to Californ-i-a. 

I was the first mountain man to sign to ride the mail 
So, they sent me up the Sweetwater along the Mormon Trail. 
I rode, up in Wyoming, twelve hours each day — not less 
From the Devil's Gate westward on the Pony Express. 

So, I gave up liquor and stayed away from women — 
Even bright-eyed squaws and others that I met along the way, 
But I swear that being virtuous, though safe, was never easy — 
As I rode on past the Devil's Gate toward Californ-i-a. 

I can't wind up this story, though the hour's getting late — 
I'm the spirit of a buckaroo who met a sorry fate! 
I'm the man who lost the mail sack — this sad fact I must confess 
When the Injuns killed and scalped me on the Pony Express! 

So, I've given up whiskey and I never chase the women — 
I live just like a preacher in a rough and ready way 
As I ride old Nig, forever on a trail this side of Glory 
Toward Devil's Gate far yonder, past old Californ-i-a! 






^^o uiii.iiJJjffOWK ' 

Zke Jerries of the J orty -Joiners 


Dale L. Morgan 

PART III.— Section 1. 

Scarcely less an obstacle to the Forty-niners than the swift 
North Platte was the Green River, the first major river encountered 
beyond South Pass. The stream of overland travel having divided 
just east of the Little Sandy, a left-hand road made for Fort 
Bridger and Salt Lake, while a right-hand road — known until 
1849 as the Greenwood Cutoff, but from this year known as the 
Sublette Cutoff — kept on more nearly west to the Big Sandy, 
then across a waterless desert to the Green. 1 The Sublette Cutoff 
was more direct than the Salt Lake Road, but in consequence of 
its "dry drive" of more than 50 miles, was harder on both men 
and animals, and emigrants during hot weather usually tried to 
leave the Big Sandy in the late afternoon, travel all night, and 
reach the Green River early the following day. The two trails 
reached the Green at points about 30 airline miles apart, the Salt 
Lake Road just above the mouth of the Big Sandy, the Sublette 
Cutoff farther to the northwest, a few miles south of present 

We have seen that the Mormons began commercial ferry 
operations on the upper North Platte, near present Casper, in 
mid-June, 1847, and remained in the business through 1852, a 
considerable amount of information about these operations having 
come to light. Much more obscure is the inception of the com- 
mercial ferries on the Green River. In 1847 the Saints ferried 
themselves across the Green, as California and Oregon emigrants 
had had to do for years, and as they continued to do this year. 
It does not appear, however, that they made any effort to 
capitalize on the ferry at that time.] 

Indeed, until quite recently it had not been known that a com- 
mercial ferry existed on the Green prior to 1849. Thanks to the 

1. Charles Kelly, whose biography, Old Greenwood was published in 
1936, has suggested to me that since Caleb Greenwood's name was displaced 
from the Greenwood Cutoff in 1849, quite without warrant, it would be 
appropriate to apply the name "Greenwood Desert" to the country west 
of the Big Sandy traversed by that cutoff. 


manuscript diary of Isaac Pettijohn in the Bancroft Library, a 
record begins to form. Pettijohn, who had gone out to Oregon in 
1847, returned east in the spring of 1848. Traveling via the 
Greenwood Cutoff, he makes in his intermittently kept diary an 
entry as follows: "June 22 nd at green River we crossed yesterday 
with the assistance of the Morman brethren they are here for the 
purpose of ferrying the emigrants." Unfortunately, that is the 
sole extent of the record thus far. These Mormons had wintered 
at Salt Lake, and come north to operate a ferry on the Green, 
but we have no clues to their identity. Diaries by westbound 
Oregon and California emigrants in 1848 are few, and none of 
those presently known has much to say about the crossing of the 
Green (all on the Greenwood Cutoff). 2 Still, it is noteworthy 
that a Mormon by the name of E. Whipple, who had left Great 
Salt Lake City on October 13, 1848, was quoted in the Pittsburgh 
Gazette of February 2, 1849, to the effect that the Saints had 
ferries in operation on both the Platte and Green Rivers. 3 

These ferries were serious business for the Mormon community, 
and they were maintained under the supervision of the Church 
leaders. At a council meeting in Salt Lake on March 3, 1849, 
it was "Voted that bodies of men be sent to the Upper Ferry of 
the North Fork of the Platte and the Ferry on Green river, and 
that President Brigham Young appoint the men and have the 
ferries under his entire control." Young then "appointed Parley 
P. Pratt to take charge of the company to go to the Green river 
ferry and Orrin P. Rockwell, Charles Shumway and Edmund 
Ellsworth to go to the Upper Ferry on the north fork of the Platte. 4 
As we have seen, Shumway and Ellsworth did take a company to 
the North Platte ferry, while Rockwell was sent to California 
on a different mission. As for Pratt, the Church record says on 
May 26, "Parley P. Pratt reported that he had not found men to 
go to Green River Ferry.""' The why of this failure does not 
appear. On June 12 it is further recorded that a company of nine 
men headed by Captain A. L. Lamoreux left Salt Lake for Green 
River, "to trade, and to ferry the California and Oregon emigrants 
over that river. The Company took wagon-makers and black- 

2. The winter of 1847-1848 was an open one in the West, and it may 
well be that there was not enough run-off to make it necessary to ferry the 
Green for any length of time in the summer of 1848. By contrast, the 
winters of 1848-1849 and 1849-1850 were characterized by heavy snow and 
continued cold, the effects of which many of the diarists observe. 

3. Reprinted in the New York Daily Herald, February 6, 1849. 

4. L. D. S. Journal History, March 3, 1849; date of this action given by 
John D. Lee as March 4, 1849, in Robert G. Cleland and Juanita Brooks, 
eds., A Mormon Chronicle; the Diaries of John D. Lee (San Marino, 1955, 
2 vols.), vol. I, p. 99. 

5. L. D. S. Journal History, May 26, 1849. 


smith's tools with them." The names of the men are given as 
Thomas Mane, Joseph Murdock, George Bradley, Daniel Funk, 
Augustus Dodge, S. H. Marble, Nathaniel M. Dodge, and Zemira 
Palmer; they took along "$1,117, 4 horses, 23 oxen, 4 wagons, 
seLof blacksmith tools, 1 set of wagon makers, and 9 guns." 6 

(At least one company of Forty-niners mentions an encounter 
with these ferrymen; William G. Johnston, beyond Fort Bridger, 
during the afternoon of June 17, 1849, "met several Mormons 
en route for Green River, where they intend establishing a ferry." 7 
It may reasonably be supposed that they reached the ferry site 
near the mouth of the Big Sandy three days later, and that they 
began operations here, for Mormon ferrymen are not recorded at 
the crossing on the Sublette Cutoff until almost the end of the 
month. | We shall turn this chronicle the other way about, to 
picture the developing situation at the several ferries as it is mir- 
rored in the diaries of the Forty-niners themselves, but first let 
us summarize the few separate facts known about these Mormon 
ferrymen who operated on the Green River in 1849. 

(Albert K. Thurber, a Forty-niner from Rhode Island who went 
by way of Salt Lake and was converted to Mormonism after 
reaching there, recalls having met "Eph Hanks and Lumereau at 
Green River ferry. It was represented that they would steal from 
us and we must watch close, but they treated us like gentlemen. " h 
Hanks does not appear in the list of ferrymen previously given, 
and may have been one of a party sent to reinforce them; nine 
men seems a small number to operate two different ferries. Hanks, 
at least, was back in Salt Lake by August 14, for on that date he 
was named as one of a posse sent out to recover some property 
for a Forty-niner in the City of Rocks area. 1 ' (Thurber arrived 
in Salt Lake as July 29, which might indicate that he had been at 
Green River about July 20.) (JThe two Mormon ferries on the 
Green were still in operation as late as August 1 , !as shown by 
the Mormon record, for when Almon W. Babbitt was sent east late 
in July to present the claims of the Mormons for the creation of 
the State of Deseret, Robert L. Campbell was sent with him, 
evidently under instructions to collect means from the ferrymen to 
help finance Babbitt's mission. In a report Campbell made on 

6. Ibid., June 12, 1849. 

7. William G. Johnston, Experiences of a Forty-niner (Pittsburgh, 1892), 
p. 167. 

8. "Journal and Diary of Albert King Thurber," in Daughters of Utah 
Pioneers, Treasures of Pioneer History, 1954, vol. 3, p. 271. In these 
reminiscences Thurber gave the date of his arrival in Salt Lake as July 19, 
but an account in the New York Daily Tribune, November 17, 1849, men- 
tions him in a party which reached Salt Lake July 29. 

9. See Isaac C. Haight, typed transcript of MS. diary, in Utah State 
Historical Society library. Haight was one of the posse. 


September 19, after returning to Salt Lake, he said that when they 
reached Green River August 1, they "found the company keeping 
ferry there, in good spirits. As Brother Campbell's instructions 
were directed partly to the ferry brethren, he thought best to lay 
his business before them all, some of whom, however, were several 
miles distant at the upper Ford. Babbitt would not wait, but 
hastened on." By waiting one day, Campbell "obtained $240, 
and, accompanied by brother Joseph Murdock, pursued his jour- 
ney," eventually catching up with Babbitt at Pacific Springs at 
7 A.M. on August 4. En route, as we saw earlier, Campbell met 
the returning North Platte ferryman (who gave him an additional 
$106, mostly in silver), and it seems that Murdock turned back 
with these men. 10 

Thus the Mormon ferrymen are recorded from Mormon sources 
to "have been still at the Green River as late as August 2, but with 
the river then fordable and blacksmithing the major means of 
livelihood, very likely they soon after abandoned operations for 
the year. They may very well have joined the North Platte ferry- 
men in returning home. [On February 1 2 of the following year, a 
note concerning proceedings of the General Assembly of the 
State of Deseret says that it "granted the petition for Bear and 
Green Rivers," 11 but to whom these ferry rights were granted does 
not appear. ) 


Owing in part to the late departure of the Mormon ferrymen 
from Salt Lake, but also in part to their own unexpectedly early 
arrival, Forty-niners who reached the Green River on the Salt 
Lake Road in mid- June found no one on hand to serve them. 
No less than five diarists describe this situation. 

William G. Johnston's party, having crossed South Pass on June 
10, camped well down the Big Sandy on June 12. That afternoon 
their guide, Jim Stewart, went ahead, taking with him a man from 
each mess, to prepare a raft for crossing the river. On June 13 
Johnston describes the sequel: 

"A march of two and a half hours brought us to Green River. 
. . . We found it at full flood, a noble stream, with a mighty 
rushing current; from ten to twenty feet deep, and from three to 
four hundred feet wide. It is by far the most formidable stream 
to be met with on this entire journey, especially when swollen 
as now. Wide belts of great cottonwood trees were found growing 
on either bank. Stewart's party had constructed a raft, but on 

10. L. D. S. Journal History, September 19, 1849. 

11. Dale L. Morgan, "The State of Deseret," Utah Historical Quarterly, 
1940, vol. 8, p. 99. 


making a trial trip, found it altogether unmanageable, on account 
of the rapidity of the current. On reaching the middle of the 
river, and seeing how far they had drifted down stream, they 
began to fear they might not be able to land, and abandoning the 
raft, swam ashore. It was then determined to calk a wagon bed, 
and use it as a boat. All of the other wagons were also taken 
apart, and with the contents put on board this boat and paddled 
across. It was of course slow, tedious work, and I am unable 
to say, what a great number of times of going over and back was 
required to get all across. The entire day was thus consumed, 
and when night came there was yet much to be taken over, while 
a guard had to be left on the eastern bank in charge of the stuff. 
The mules and horses were driven into the river and swam over; 
but as on some previous occasions, they could not be got to 
enter the water until a horse had first been taken across, and 
placed in full view upon the opposite bank. They struggled hard 
to land where their model had been posted, but the current swept 
many to a landing far below. Two stout men propelled the boat 
with paddles, and they were compelled to use them with dexterity, 
in order to reach a point selected, a quarter of a mile below on 
the west shore. 'Old' Smith and Sweigler did most of this pad- 
dling, for they are Titans of all work. 

"A company under one Captain Winters was about through with 
the labor of crossing when we began, but at a point further down 
the stream. Some of our party made inquiry as to their mode of 
getting across, but the noble Winters forbade the person questioned 
to impart any information. We were not long in leaving this man, 
with all his secreted wisdom, far in our rear. . . . 

"We learned that our friend, Captain [G. W.] Paul, spent 
three days in crossing Green River, and lost two loads of stuff 
by his boat upsetting. 12 The Delaware company reached the river 
about noon. Of their forty-nine men, eighteen are sick. 

"Our sick folks are all improving, rejoicing too, in a beautiful 
day, the weather having moderated and become pleasant. We 
had rain about dusk, but only for a brief time. 

"Among the notable incidents of the day, is one in reference 
to our old friend, Dr. Miller. This gentleman, who with his son, 
Jonas, and two German servants, joined our company a few weeks 
since, was so unfortunate as to lose an axletree from the boat 
while crossing thus rendering his wagon totally useless, a circum- 
stance which claims for him our greatest sympathy. The lost 
piece might have been recovered by swimming after it, as 'Old' 

12. Paul's is understood to have been the advance company in the 
overland emigration of 1849. This is the only record yet to appear of his 
experiences crossing the Green. He may have arrived there a week ahead 
of Johnston, for he is reported to have reached Salt Lake by June 16. 


Smith was about doing, had not the Doctor, with perhaps too much 
paternal regard for his son, a strapping youth of twenty, called out, 
'Don't risk our life, Jonas; (a thing Jonas had no thought of doing) 
let some of the men go in.' The amount of effort to save the 
axletree after this speech may be imagined. The old gentleman 
became greatly enraged at this loss, and the more so as he now 
saw that it might have been averted, and he demanded the instant 
delivery of his wagon bed, which happened to be the one we 
were using as a boat. There was, however, an utter refusal to 
comply with this demand until we should be entirely through with 
its use, especially as it could no longer be serviceable to him, and 
he was thus given time to cool off. The Doctor purchased 
Buchanan's wagon and joined another company, the fourth with 
which he has been connected since leaving Missouri. . . . 

"Taking advantage of the abundance of timber about us, we 
had a great, roaring fire, one that had been started by an Indian 
camp, which, to all appearances, had occupied this spot for several 
days, as the number of lodge poles, worn out moccasins, and other 
debris of camp life which lay around denoted. The entire com- 
pany gathered about this fire, as the huge, blazing logs were 
sufficient for all. Being cook for the day, I regaled our mess and 
a host of invited and uninvited guests with bean soup. Seated 
on logs around the fire, there was music in the crackling timbers, 
heaped upon it from time to time to freshen it, such as had not 
saluted our ears for many a day. 

"While upon guard in the night our mules again stampeded, 
running to the camp of the Delaware company, and we were 
obliged to leave them there until morning. The Utah [Uinta] 
Mountains were in sight all day." 

^Next day, June 14, Johnston says merely, "By noon we finished 
ferrying, and by three o'clock, having put our wagons together and 
reloaded them, we moved onward." The campsite that night was 
8 miles below, where the road left Green River for Blacks Fork, 
a circumstance which helps to establish the place of crossing as 
near the mouth of the Big Sandy. 13 \ 

(The Delaware Company to which Johnston alludes was one 
from Delaware, Ohio. A member of that company, J. D. Brey- 
fogle, entered in his diary a briefer chronicle of these events. On 
the night of June 1 2 the Ohioans had camped three miles higher 
up the Big Sandy than Johnston's party, for on the 13th Breyfogle 
writes: "Left camp this morning advanced ten miles to Green 
River where we had to ferry over in our wagon beds two Lashed 
together we have got all our Company and baggage over and in 
the morning we have to help another Camp Over, when we will 

13. Johnston, op. cit., pp. 152-157. 


be ready to Leave." On the 14th he adds: "we are busy this 
beautiful morning in getting Over Lewis Company and we will 
soon be Over and then away for the Mormons afternoon all 
safe Over and about Starting left here and Camped on the river 
about six miles further down for the night. . . ." 14 

Another who crossed Green River at about this time was Wil- 
liam Kelly. The exact date is difficult to determine, for if his 
known date of departure from Fort Laramie (May 29) and his 
ascertainable date of arrival at Salt Lake (June 22) be used to 
measure his daily record of travel, different results come from 
working forward or backward. Moreover, Kelly wished to present 
a picture of himself as at the very apex of the overland rush to 
California, so he is at pains to ignore other companies traveling 
in proximity to his own. At any rate, Kelly writes as of a date 
we may conjecture to be June 1 3 : "We had at Green River one 
of the longest and most trying jobs of the entire journey, there 
being no ferry, and the ford being altogether impracticable from 
the height of the waters, which rushed past with tremendous 
velocity, while the river was over two hundred and fifty yards 
wide. In talking over the best and safest mode of crossing, some 
were in favour of a raft, others agreeing with me that it was only 
to be accomplished in a caulked waggon-bed; however, to prevent 
jealousy and grumbling, I allowed each section to take their own 
plan; and, unloading and dismounting my waggon, commenced 
caulking it with strips of calico and ends of lamp-wick, melting 
pitch and resin over the seams; paddles we had, and made a long 
steering oar from the limb of a cotton-wood tree which the others 
had cut down for their raft. We were ready for sea by dinner- 
time, and launched our bark, making her fast till we dispatched 
that meal; however, notwithstanding all our pains, she made a 
good deal of water, which we strove to deal with by stowing below 
the articles that suffered least damage from wet, and, taking in 
only a moderate cargo for the first, we cast off with two stout fel- 
lows at the paddles, and myself at the helm. But before we got 
properly at work, we were whirled round and round in the curling 
eddies, and hurried down with fearful rapidity. Still we continued 
to make a gradual offing as well as a great deal of water, and 
touched the opposite shore a long way down, in a waterlogged 
state. After unloading, we had a long and tough pull up stream, to 
a bend which we selected as our port of departure, homeward- 
bound, and made rather a better landing than the other, but still 
very low down, involving another trying pull up. But as the 
paddling, discharging, and pulling up were too much for the 
ferryman, instead of a cargo I made the next trip with four hands 

14. Joshua D. Breyfogle, MS. diary in Dartmouth College Library; 
microfilm in Bancroft Library. 


for that duty on the other side. It took six trips to get over the 
contents of my waggon, together with the harness, wheels, hounds, 
axles, poles, and couplings, by which time we were completely 
knocked up, and the day spent; so, leaving the four men beyond 
in charge, we devoted the remainder of the evening to testing the 
raft, which, after a straining struggle in launching, had scarcely 
sufficient buoyancy to float itself, not to mention the utter impos- 
sibility of either guiding or tugging it up against the stream. How- 
ever, as it cost such trouble, we resolved on making it subservient 
to some use, by lashing on it the wheels of the other three waggons, 
which of themselves had some floating properties, and could take 
no harm by being submerged. Next morning [June 14?] we 
started with it, in tow of the waggon-bed, the first trip; and I kept 
paying out a long line, when the stream was so heavy as to 
interfere with our progress, until I reached near shore, when 
I cast the balance of the coil to the men on the bank, who brought 
it up with great difficulty. It took sixteen other trips to get over 
the remainder of the loading and the rest of the company; and as 
there were only five men who could make even an attempt at 
paddling, the work fell very heavy on them/' Kelly briefly winds 
up the tale by saying: "Two of them were on the sick list before 
night, and a third (myself) felt very unwell. We got over the 
animals without accident, though five were swept down at least a 
mile; it occupied us till night remounting our waggons and repack- 
ing them." On the following morning [June 15?], "We travelled 
along the river for eight miles, when the trail diverged through the 

bluffs" 1 and on to Blacks Fork. 1 "' I 


The next diarists on this road were two members of a company 
from Monroe, Michigan, at this time traveling with a larger party 
under William H. Russell, well-remembered among the California 
emigrants of 1846. The first of these diarists I call for conven- 
ience the Monroe Company diarist, his exact identity not having 
been established. 18 He writes on June 16: "Followed down the 
Big Sandy for 20 miles where we stoped to noon then struck 
across to Green River which was about 8 miles and found it so 
high that we could not ford it so we camped." Delos R. Ashley 
of the same company says more briefly: "Crossed the Sandy & 
in 18 mi. nooned on the same — 9 ms. further G. River — Not 

15. William Kelly, An Excursion to California (London, 1851, 2 vols.), 
vol. I s pp. 200-202. 

16. See Dale L. Morgan, ed., The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard 
from Kentucky to California in 1849 (Denver, 1959), which lists this diary 
as one of a total 135 known for the South Pass route in 1849, and at p. 192 
names the possible members of the Monroe Company who could have kept 
this record. A transcript of it is in the Bancroft Library (C-B 101, pp. 
327-352), together with a transcript of the diary of Delos R. Ashley 
(ibid., pp. 271-324). 


fordable. Our rebels lost 2 men this morning Ford & Gait. Must 
lay over until we can make a raft." On June 17 Ashley says 
further, "Corked wagon box & began to ferry Our teams 1 st ," 
to which the Monroe diarist adds, "Corked Eugene Russell's 
wagon box and commenced ferrying over our luggage." On the 
18th Ashley says merely, "Finished crossing — Large drove of 
teams waite." The Monroe diarist adds, "Finished crossing the 
River and camped on the west bank, just before we arrived at the 
river the Company that left us on the Platte had 2 of their men 
drowned in ferrying." 17 Ford and Gait were the year's first 
casualties in crossing the Green River, it would seem, and this is 
the sum of the information about them. 

After this promising beginning, all in advance of the arrival 
of the Mormon ferrymen, the record unfortunately lapses, only 
two more diarists coming along before the close of June. The first 
of these was David Pease, bound for Oregon, who turned aside 
from the Salt Lake Road at Fort Bridger. Pease reached the 
Green River June 24, when he writes in his diary: ". . . we drove 
to Green river and got our waggons ferreyed over and the most 
of our cattle swam acrost." Next morning, his company swam 
the rest of their cattle across the river. 18 Thus Pease records the 
Mormon ferry in operation by June 24, about four days after the 
ferrymen got there, but the first specific mention of Mormons in 
connection with this ferry comes in the diary of Andrew Orvis, 
who writes on June 30: ". . . went 27 miles to green rever. we 
past over a level country and in Sight of Snow all the time on the 
mountains we had to ferry here ferry kept by the mormons 
they charge 5 00 a wagon good grass." 19 

Three diarists reached the Green on July 3, two in a company 
from New Jersey. Robert Bond is about as brief as possible, 
saying on July/ 3, "big sandy to Green River ferry," and on July 4, 
"Crossed." 20 (Charles Gray is a man more to our taste, for he 
writes on the 3rd: ". . . at 10' oclock arrived at Green River . . . 
& found about 25 wagons ahead of us, whose crossing will delay 
us till tomorrow We have met several persons from the City of the 
Great Salt Lake 168 miles distant, they had the California gold 
with them & which / here saw for the first time. They said we 
could make from $10 @ $50 per day there & upon learning that 
they were going to the States, I gave them a letter for HOME, 
& for so doing gave him 500 — although he asked nothing. . . ." 

17. These "rebels" or "company that left us on the Platte," as variously 
described, are not explained, unless by a comment in Ashley's diary on 
May 15 near Fort Kearny, "11 wagons fell off." 

18. Transcript of MS. diary in Nebraska State Historical Society library. 

19. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

20. Bond, whose MS. diary is at Yale, is said to have died after reaching 
Salt Lake. 


On July 4 Gray adds: "Last evening was beautiful, a full clear 
moon tinging the tall tops of the trees on the river banks, with 
silver light. I enjoyed it very much. Some of our men caught 
some Salmon trout, they were fine fish, but small. This river is 
the only real one we have yet come to being about 150 yds wide 
current swift & about 15 feet deep. We cross d it safely, the wagons 
going on very nicely, Some few of them however being obliged 
to take out a portion of their loads. We find but little travel by 
this route probably 7 out of 10 teams going via 'Sublettes cutoff 
& thence towards Fort Hall & which 1 think they will regret. We 
abandon that route & go by way of the City of the Great Salt Lake. 
. . . Laid by a couple of hours on the western bank of the river, 
then hitched up & came down the river for 7 or 8 miles & encamp d 
Saw the grave of a 'Stranger.' — about 25 years old — & a little 
below in some bushes or drift wood saw the body of a drown d 
horse or mule; no doubt the unfortunate man has been drowned 
in attempting to cross the river — he had 2 gold rings on his fingers, 
so the notice on the grave said, marked "A. C." — One of our 
men caught a fine salmon trout, which set some of us a fishing, 
ve had no success. . . . Distance this day 8 miles. . . ." 21 

A briefer but interesting record is that of Amos P. Josselyn, 
who began by writing on July 3: "Left camp at 6 1/4 o'clock 
and drove to Green River (10 miles). We found the river too 
high to ford, but there is a ferry, kept by Mormons. There is 
about 20 wagons ahead of us and that being as many as can cross 
today, we will not get over before tomorrow forenoon." On the 
Fourth he says: "By 10 o'clock they got ready to cross our wagons 
but being hindered by wind and rain we did not get over much 
before night. We, however, hitched up and drove 8 miles and 
encamped below the point where we arrived at 1 1 o'clock P. M. 
Roads good." 22 ' 

Several days elapse, and then we have another continuous 
record, opened by Sterling B. F. Clark, who tells of reaching the 
Green on July 7 and of being ferried over the river during the 
morning of Sunday, July 8. 2M To judge from John Benson's 
account on July 1 1 , there had been an opposition ferry operating 
since July 6, but we first hear of it in the diary of John F. Lewis 
on July 8: "This morning after driving 10 miles over a beautiful 
road reached Green River & found 2 fearies, one kept by some 
Mormons, the other by some emigrants, we reached here at 9:00 
& was detained until night before we could get over. Found a 
goodeal of trouble in swimming our stock, the stream being so 

21. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

22. MS. diary in California State Library. 

23. MS. diary in library of the Society of California Pioneers; printed 
as How Many Miles from St. Jo? (San Francisco, 1929). 


swift, we, however, were safely landed over by 10:00 P.M. Green 
River is a beautiful stream about 200 yds., which it is said to be 
at this time veary high." 24 

Isaac Foster, who also started from 10 miles out and made the 
Green on July 8 speaks of it as "a rapid stream 16 rods wide; have 
to ferry at $3.00 a team; swam our cattle; difficult to swim. . . ." 
On the 9th he says, "Crossed over wagon; ferryage $3.00. . . ." 25 
Still more laconic is Burrelle W. Evans on July 9: "Traveled 
9 miles crossed green River which is a very rapid stream about 
one Hundred and fifty Yds wide and difficult to git Stock across." 26 
, C. G. Hinman came along to the Green from the usual 10 miles 
out on July 9, commenting, "Green River 400 ft wide 5 ft deep 
2 ferries, one by Mormons and one by Emigrants $3.00 a waggon 
and Swim our cattle. Expect to get over by morning. . . ." On 
the 10th he notes that they had "Got across Green River about 
11 oclk last night verry swift current. .S. . paid $300 [$3] 
ferriage, and had to do the work ourselves and swim our 
Oxen. . . ," 27 

The contribution of George Enoch Jewett to the story begins on 
Sunday, July 8: "we thought to lay by to day but hearing that 
green River was high & would probably detain us two or 3 days 
thought it best to go on there before we lay by d[r]ove 18 miles 
down big Sandy good road over barren Sand hills grass good on 
the bottoms." On the 9th: "Fell in company with Capt Kite 
drove down to the river which we found verry high to[o] much 
So to attempt to ferry it in our waggon beds it is a swift stream 
200 yds wide water clear & cold. . . the Mormons have a verry 
high price for ferrying 3.00 per waggon." On the 10th he "got 
over the river" during the morning. 28 

Next it was the turn of A. J. McCall, who about 11 A. M. on 
July 10 "reached Green River, here a fine, full and clear stream, 
about the size of the Tioga, at Painted Post during the spring 
freshets. ... It is crossed by a ferry established by a mormon 
this spring who has managed it successfully. In the afternoon 
we were ferried over without trouble or accident. We encamped 
about a mile below. . . ." 29 

The most reasonable ferry rate of 1849, $3 per wagon, still 
appalled some of the emigrants, for whom Samuel Rutherford 
Dundass speaks eloquently on July 10: "Were on the road early — 
crossed a small stream during the day, and reached Green river 
by 4 o'clock, eighteen miles, found the river too high to ford, and 

24. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

25. Diary printed in The Foster Family (Santa Barbara? 1925), p. 40. 

26. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

27. MS. diary in Denver Public Library. 

28. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

29. A. J. McCall, The Great California Trail in 1849 (Bath, N. Y., 


crossed in a boat. We found two ferries at this crossing. The 
one on which we crossed had been established a short time pre- 
vious, in opposition to the other established by the mormons, and 
had reduced the ferriage from $5 to $3 per wagon, which we paid, 
with the conviction that while competition is the life of trade, it 
does not always make bills within tne bounds of reason. We got 
our wagons over before night, and attempted to swim our cattle, 
but after three unsuccessful efforts, left them till morning, when 
we took them higher up the river, and finally succeeded in getting 
them over." 30 

Sheldon Young on July 1 1 , after going the usual "ten miles 
over dusty roads," with no grass on the way, "Came to the Green 
River and found it not fordable. The Mormons have two ferry 
boats here. Got to the ferry about noon. Got across the same 
day. There is not half as many teams taken this route that has 
taken the Cu^ Off. The Green River is a very swift rapid stream 
about thirty rtods wide and eight feet deep. Some timber along 
the banks." 31 

Appropriately closing this series of reports over a period of 
consecutive days is the comment of John Benson, also on July 1 1 : 
We started out in good time this morning, and in about ten miles 
we came to Green River. It is not fordable. There are two 
ferries, one conducted by the Mormons, and the other by some 
men from Iowa. They charge $2.00 [sic?] a wagon. Before 
the Iowans had set up this oppos[i]tion ferry, the Mormons had 
charged $5.00 a wagon. We crossed with the Iowans. They 
have been here six days. They expect to leave tomorrow. Their 
company has gone on. They had built a boat in one day. It is 
safe for one wagon. The river is rapid and tolerably clear, 200 
yards wide and about ten feet deep. They say the river has fine 
fish in it. We crossed all our wagons over safely before sunset. 
It is said to be 150 to 160 miles from here to Salt Lake. Four 
mules were drowned yesterday at the ferry." 32 ) 

After a lapse of three days, Charles Darwin brought the Mor- 
mon ferrymen what is doubtless the most appreciative notice they 
encountered all year, for at noon he said that these Mormons "are 
above all men that I ever saw in the same circumstances gentlemen, 
indeed they would be rich any where." At night, by then across 
the river and encamped 8 miles below, he wrote further in his 

1882), pp. 49-50. 

30. Journal of Samuel Rutherford Dundass (Steubenville, Ohio, 1857), 
pp. 35-36. 

31. Typed transcript of diary in Henry E. Huntington Library; this 
portion printed in Margaret Long, The Shadow of the Arrow (Caldwell, 
Idaho, 1941), p. 247. 

32. Typed transcript of MS. diary in Nebraska State Historical Society 


diary: "Our horses ran out of the river three several times & we 
only got them over by towing at .75 each Dr. & mine then the rest 
followed, cattle too were extremely bad to cross swimming down 
in some instances more than a mile — the stream is is [sic] very 
rapid perhaps eight miles an hour & deep in fifteen feet: not 
anywhere now fordable. four dollars is the charge for wagons & 
fifty cents for packs & men. tho they do not hesitate to carry any 
one for nothing who is poor perfect gentlemen are they, in 
conversation conduct & entire bearing, they had been several of 
them in the mines & got gold & now lived at Salt Lake said that 
was the nearer [?] way. Many Ladies or such as look to be such 
were in a company crossing & some looked extremely facinating — 
Saw an old man of 50 [58?], who with his sons were walking 
thro, carrying nothing they said they were sometimes very harshly 
used quite a comedy was enacted in my presence by a crowd who 
had a boat with them & thought to scare by vulgarity & show of 
crossing themselves the owner of the ferry with their terms he 
manfully & kindly resisted I was glad to see the rascals foiled 
I say rascals & their conduct justified the term. . . ," 33 

Simon Doyle's diary entry for the same day, July 14, is puz- 
zling in some respects, for he writes: "Drove 14 miles to Green 
River 7 miles below the New Ferry & 7 miles over good Road 
Reached River Beautiful stream 75 yards wide skirted with 
Cotton wood & Batava Poplar abounding with fish. Ferriage 5$ 
pr wagon Musquetoes to night presented their bills freely and 
without any hesitancy more abundant here than ever Seen them 
before little sleeping done on account of them." 34 

iFive days later Joseph Hamelin, going on express to Salt Lake 
from an outbound mercantile train, found Green River "a stream 
Vs mile wide and 10 ft. in depth." He added: "The Mormons 
have and established ferry here during the high water season, 
which must pay well if they charge all in the same ratio they did 
us ($4 and allow our horses the privilege of swimming.) They 
gave us a good breakfast of milk, butter, beans, coffee, mean 
bread & no meat — the first two mentioned articles were to us 
great luxuries." 33 

(According to the log kept by Dr. Israel Moses, the division of 
the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen which he accompanied ferried 
the Green River on July 19 36 and hence it is to this day that we 

33. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

34. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

35. This MS. diary is also at Yale. 

36. Raymond W. Settle, ed., The March of the Mounted Riflemen (Glen- 
dale, 1940), p. 347. The advance detachment of the Regiment commanded 
by Major John S. Simonson took the Sublette cutoff, and so did some 
smaller segments, notably including the quartermaster, Major Osborne 
Cross. But most of the troops took the Salt Lake Road to Fort Bridger, 
thence the Old Oregon Trail to the Bear River Valley. 


may assign the sole pictorial representation of any of the 1849 
Green River ferries yet to come to light. The trail artist, of whose 
work the State Historical Society of Wisconsin has a collection of 
50 scenes, was once somewhat doubtfully identified by Joseph 
Schafer as Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Lindsay, 87 but he has been 
more reasonably identified by Raymond W. Settle as William 
Henry Tappan. This artist, born in Massachusetts in 1821, ob- 
tained permission to accompany the Mounted Riflemen west in 
1849 to "make such drawings and collections as will illustrate the 
geological features; the zoological and botanical products of the 
country." 158 It would seem that he accompanied Major John S. 
Simonson's command from Old Fort Kearny on the Missouri to 
Fort Laramie, and from this part of his journey we have already 
reproduced his drawing of the fording of "Laramie Creek." Later 
Tappan's drawings, both of the upper ferry of the North Platte and 
of the Green River ferry depict the experiences of the main body of 
the Regiment. His sketch of the Green River ferry, herewith re- 
produced through the courtesy of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin, presumably shows the Mormon ferry in operation, 
just above the mouth of the Big Sandy. As in the case of his 
North Platte sketch, the vantage point is such that exact details 
of the operation cannot be made out, but we may feel grateful 
for any graphic representation whatever of an 1849 ferry. The 
scene as Tappan depicts it is by no means crowded, but this 
would appear to have been the case at the Mormon ferry by July 
22, when travelers could be put across the river almost as fast 
as they arrived. 

By this time, the level of the river assuredly was subsiding, but 
it is July 28 before we have any record of its being forded. 
Interestingly, it was forded on this day both on the Sublette 
Cutoff higher up and near the Mormon ferry. G. C. Cone, who 
had reached the Green about 5 P.M. on June 27, describes the 
event for us at the lower crossing. In his diary for July 28 he 
writes : 

"Green river is a stream of considerable magnitude, and has 

37. See Schafer's "Trailing a Trail Artist of 1849," Wisconsin Magazine 
of History, September, 1928, vol. 12, pp. 97-108, with which three sketches 
were reproduced. Schafer also reproduced six of the Tappan drawings, 
including the representation of the Green River Ferry, in editing John 
Steele's Across the Plains in 1850 for the Caxton Club at Chicago, 1930. 
All of these illustrations, except that of the Green River Ferry, were 
included among the 23 reproductions of the Tappan drawings which 
accompanied The California Letters of Lucius Fairchild, edited by Schafer 
as vol. 31 of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin's Collections (Mad- 
ison, 1931). 

38. Settle, op. cit., pp. 27-29. In Part II of the present series, Tappan 
was called a youth of 18, scarcely the mot juste for a 28-year-old. 


been crossed this season thus far by ferrying — the ferry was keeped 
by some Mormans that had come out from the Mormon City at 
Salt Lake for that purpose — The river is not difficult to cross, but 
their charges are four dollars pr. wagon, (and the emigrants must 
do the work) for crossing — 

"We thought it more a speculation to the owners, than accomo- 
dation to the traveller, so we explored up the river for a place to 
ford; we succeeded in finding one about one & half miles up, 
where we crossed with no difficulty, and in less than half the 
time that it would have taken to cross on the ferry — " 39 

A somewhat similar record is that of Cephas Arms on Sunday, 
July 29: "The train decided [to go on] because they were afraid 
they would be thrown behind at the Green river ferry, ten miles 
distant; but we found the river low, and a good ford, so we were 
not obliged to ferry, and our excuse [for violating the Sabbath] 
fell to the ground as they always will. This ferry is owned by a 
Mormon from Salt Lake who has carried over 1500 teams at 
$4/a team. . . ." 40 

(The ferry was still finding customers, but the rate charged was 
steadily declining, as shown by the diaries of David Jackson Staples 
and Charles Gould, members of the same Massachusetts company, 
who also reached the Green on July 29. Staples says: "We arrived 
river at Eleven oclock found it hard to ford hired a Mormon to 
ferry us over at $2. a wagon." 41 Gould writes: "The ferry is 
owned by the Mormons and was established to accom[m]odate the 
Mormon emigrants — the fare is $2 per wagon, the mules are 
driven about 3 A of a mile up the river, where it is not so steep, 
and driven across.'" 42 Both Staples and Gould noted the circum- 
stance that Captain Thomas Duncan of the Mounted Riflemen, 
in pursuit of four deserters, caught up with them here at the 
Mormon ferry, and would take them back to Fort Laramie — 
"making them perform the whole journey on foot," as Gould 

More than a week passed before another diarist came along. 
By August 7 the ferry as such had plainly been abandoned for 
ihe year, (but David Dewolfs account is interesting all the same. 
"Green river ford is about 16 rods wide & when we crossed it it 

39. MS. diary in the collection of Fred A. Rosenstock, Denver, Colo- 
rado. In going upstream to find a fording place, Cone was acting upon the 
advice offered in Joseph E. Ware's Emigrants' Guide, "If the Ford is too 
deep, go two miles higher up . . . ." Ware in turn was repeating what 
William Clayton's Latter-day Saints' Emigrants' Guide of 1848 had had to 

40. Knoxville, Illinois, Journal, January 23, 1850. 

41. MS. diary in Bancroft Library; printed in California Historical 
Society Quarterly, June, 1943, vol. XXII, p. 138. 

42. MS. diary in Minnesota Historical Society Library. 


was three feet deep, it is as handsome a stream as I ever saw, the 
water is of a greenish color but very clear. The valley along the 
river is generaly wide with some timber consisting of Cotton wood, 
the grass has been fed off very short. Up the river one mile from 
the ford there was a man found dead, supposed to have been 
drowned four of our company went up & buried him but could 
not ascertain his name, he had been dead about two weeks." 43 

Captain Howard Stansbury, en route to the Great Salt Lake 
Valley to make his famous survey for the government, reached 
Green River on August 9, crossing it, he says, above the junction 
of the Big Sandy and the Green. The odometer record which 
accompanied his report adds an interesting detail, saying: "Ford 
crosses diagonally. A ferry is kept near the ford at high water." 44 
O. J. Hall, a Forty-niner who came along August 10, mentions 
only the "very clear water" of the river, 45 but James Hutchings 
on August 19 makes an entertaining addition to the record: 

"... After starting on our journey and travelling abt 3V2 hours 
we reached 'Green River.' This is a fine large stream about the 
size of the North Platte and well timbered with cottonwood — and 
the sight of them was a pleasant addition to the landscape. — This 
is the first large timber we have seen for several weeks. 

"Our waggons had reached and forded Green river with com- 
parative ease — but Maj Reynolds — whom we overtook again and 
passed — in trying to cross w[it]h his waggon turned over — having 
got into one of the many deep holes in this stream — and the 
swiftness of the current took out this thing and the other and 
lastly out swam a w[h]iskey keg abt Vi full and the majors face 
was like Ezekiel's 'old, full of lamentation and mourning with woe' 
and called upon the men to 'save it,' 'save it' — we all laughed and 
did not stir — he was not liked by any one, being selfish If he had 
saved it the men told him he wouldnt give them a drink — but he 
said he would!" 46 

(Other than the Mormon trains and some emigrants who traveled 
with them, few were those who crossed the Green River after this 
date, and none in need of a ferry. Accordingly we shall not pursue 
the record further, but turn instead to the history of the ferries 
on the Sublette Cutoff, a long day's journey to the northwest. 
But we cannot leave the locale of the Mormon ferry without giving 
attention to the remarkable adventures of William Lewis Manly. 
Manly had been in the proximity of Hutchings at the crossing of 

43. "Diary of the Overland Trail, 1849. and Letters, 1849-1850, of 
Captain David De Wolf," Illinois State Historical Society Transactions, 
1925. p. 203. 

44. Howard Stansbury, Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the 
Great Salt Lake of Utah (Philadelphia, 1852), pp. 72, 276. 

45. Typed transcript of MS. diary in California State Library. 

46. MS. diary in Library of Congress. 


the North Platte on July 31, as we saw earlier, and it may be 
supposed that he and Charles Dallas, for whom he worked as 
teamster, reached the Green about the same time as Hutchings. 
In the reminiscences he published in 1894, 47 Manly recalled 
the Green as "a remarkably clear and rapid stream . . . now low 
enough to ford. One of the Government teams set out to make 
the crossing at a point where it looked shallow enough, but before 
the lead mules reached the opposite shore, they lost their footing 
and were forced to swim. Of course the wagon stopped and the 
team swung round and tangled up in a bad shape. They were 
unhitched and the wagon pulled back, the load was somewhat 
dampened, for the water came into the wagon box about a foot. 
We camped here and laid by one day, having thus quite a little 
chance to look around. 

"When we came to the first water that flowed toward the Pacific 
coast at Pacific Springs, we drivers had quite a little talk about a 
new scheme. We put a great many 'ifs' together and they amount- 
ed to about this: If this stream were large enough; if we had a 
boat; if we knew the way; if there were no falls or bad places; 
if we had plenty of provisions; if we were bold enough to set out 
on such a trip, etc., we might come out at some point or other 
on the Pacific Ocean. And now when we came to the first of the 
'ifs,' a stream large enough to float a small boat, we began to 
think more strongly about the other 'ifs.' 

"In the course of our rambles we actually did run across the 
second 'if in the shape of a small ferryboat filled up with sand 
upon a bar, and it did not take very long to dig it out and put it 
into shape to use, for it was just large enough to hold one wagon 
at a time. Our military escort intended to leave us at this point, 
as their route now bore off to the north of ours. I had a long 
talk with the surgeon, who seemed well informed about the coun- 
try, and asked him about the prospects. He did not give the 
Mormons a very good name. . . . Both the surgeon and the captain 
said the stream came out on the Pacific coast, and that we had no 
obstacles except cataracts, which they had heard were pretty bad. 
I then went to Dallas and told him what we proposed doing and 
to our surprise he did not offer any objections, and offered me 
$60 for my pony. He said he would sell us some flour and bacon 
for provisions also. 

"We helped them in crossing the river, which was somewhat 
difficult, being swift, with boulders in the bottom but we got all 
safely over and then made the trade we had spoken of. . . ." 

The idea of getting to California by water had occurred to others 
already; one such venture will be discussed hereafter in connection 

47. Death Valley in '49 (San Jose, 1894), pp. 73-102, 279-311. 


with the ferry on the Sublette Cutoff, the first week of July, and 
Manly himself encountered evidence of predecessors once he 
launched out upon his voyage. But, to date, Manly's is the only 
first-hand account of one of these foolhardy enterprises; and of 
course his record is the more interesting for what he has to say 
about an abandoned (presumably not cached) ferryboat which 
made the whole thing possible. He goes on to say: 

"About the first thing we did was to organize and select a 
captain, and, very much against my wishes, I was chosen to this 
important position. Six of us had guns of some sort, Richard 
Field. Dallas's cook, was not armed at all. We had one regular 
axe and a large camp hatchet, which was about the same as an 
axe, and several very small hatchets owned by the men. All our 
worldly goods were piled up on the bank, and we were alone 
[once Dallas started on]. 

"An examination of the old ferry boat showed it to be in pretty 
good condition, the sand with which it had been filled keeping it 
very perfectly. We found two oars in the sand under the boat, 
and looked up some poles to assist us in navigation. Our cordage 
was rather scant but the best we could get and all we could muster. 
The boat was about twelve feet long and six or seven feet wide, 
not a very well proportioned craft, but having the ability to carry 
a pretty good load. We swung it up to the bank and loaded up 
our goods and then ourselves. It was not a heavy load for the 
craft, and it looked as if we were taking the most sensible way to 
get to the Pacific, and almost wondered that everybody was so 
blind as not to see it as we did." 

Those composing the party were Manly himself, M. S. Mc- 
Mahon, Charles and Joseph Hazelrig, Richard Field, Alfred 
Walton, and John Rogers. They "untied the ropes, gave the boat 
a push and commenced to move down the river with ease and 
comfort, feeling much happier than we would had we been going 
toward Salt Lake with the prospect of wintering there." They 
got along quite well until the Green River plunged down into 
Flaming Gorge; beyond, at Ashley Falls, their ferry boat stuck 
fast against a big rock. They built several canoes — properly 
pirogues — from pine logs, and continued down the river. At one 
point in the canyons, Manly says, they found "a deserted camp, a 
skiff and some heavy cooking utensils, with a notice posted up on 
an alder tree saying that they had found the river route imprac- 
ticable, and being satisfied that the river was so full of rocks 
and boulders that it could not be safely navigated, they had 
abandoned the undertaking and were about to start overland to 
make their way to Salt Lake. I took down the names of the 
parties at the time in my diary, which has since been burned, but 
have now forgotten them entirely. They were all strangers to 
me. They had . . . left such heavy articles as could not be carried 
on foot. This notice rather disconcerted us, but we thought we 


had better keep on and see for ourselves, so we did not follow 
them, but kept on down the rocky river. ..." 

After a severe struggle, involving many portages, they finally 
reached the quieter water below the Uinta Mountains, but here 
they met the Ute Indian chief, Walker, who mapped the river for 
them in the sand to demonstrate the impracticability of their 
undertaking. McMahon and Field were not convinced, but the 
others went west to Utah Valley, and Manly subsequently became 
involved in the trials and tribulations of the emigrants who wan- 
dered into Death Valley. The other two soon wished they had 
been less stubborn, finally climbed the Uinta Mountains to Fort 
Bridger, and reached Salt Lake in November, McMahon subse- 
quently going on to California next year. ) 

So ends the record of the Mormon ferry on the Salt Lake Road 
for 1849. 

Zke Mole-in- the- Wall 


Thelma Gatchell Condit 


The Ono post office on Pole Creek was established in II 
but unlike Barnum and Grigg did not take its name from the first 
postmistress, nor was it chosen because of a certain brand or 
any particular landmark. Neither did the naming have any con- 
nection whatever with the "plains of Ono" mentioned in the Old 
Testament. The strangeness of the name was no more unusual 
than the manner in which it was selected. 

The first homesteaders in this little community went to Trabing 
on Lower Crazy Woman for their mail. Whoever could, when- 
ever he could, rode down horseback and gathered up the mail 
for the whole neighborhood. But as the place became more 
thickly settled, as it soon did for many reasons, the time had come 
to establish their own post office. So the people met to choose 
a name, and no one could think of one. There were several old 
bachelors present, two of whom, as was their habit, began to 
argue back and forth, one suggesting a name and the other pound- 
ing his fist on the table and shouting, "Oh, no," and vice versa, 
until everyone was laughing. Some one with a marked sense of 
humor got up and said, "Friends, that's it, that's the name we're 
looking for. Let's call our post office "OH, No, Ono for short 
to simplify the spelling in accordance with post office require- 
ments." And so the name was chosen, and this one as good as 
any, and surely outstanding in point of originality. 

Being a little too far north and entirely unsuited geographically 
for outlaw and rustling activities, its history was of a different 
sort than the Hole-in-the-Wall country to the south and west of it. 
Ono was a compact little community, not big and wild and rough 
and dry like the Powder River places, but nonetheless interesting 
in its own special way, and certainly gives us a cursory view of 
early day living from an entirely different angle. Here we meet 
again already familiar Hole-in-the-Wall faces and become ac- 
quainted with new ones whose attitude toward pioneer living was 
exemplary and wholesome, proving that it was altogether possible 
to live peacefully and normally in Johnson County during its 
dangerous days of outlaws and rustlers. 

So, if by comparison Ono's story was more or less tranquil, we 
can say that its people were in complete accord with the beautiful 
surroundings and for the most part possessed little of that rest- 



. . ■• » BIG .•. .■ •: • :■ : : ; .»■ 

• ■ .' • ■ "- •'"' HORN MTS. : . .' '.- '••"'■' ■'»' ' 

One Mniii(«r Rtnek 



lessness and need for daring adventure so prevalent elsewhere 
in those times; they settled down and were content to be what 
they were with what they had. Ono was a close-knit community, 
both land-wise and heart-wise, for many of the homesteaders were 
related by family ties, which made for an intimacy not found in 
the Hole-in-the-Wall. 

Primarily Ono was a horse community. Horse raising and horse 
trading were profitable occupations then, for the horse was indis- 
pensable, no matter what people were doing or where they lived. 
Mr. John Phillips (Uncle Johnny, he was lovingly called) and his 
wife Eliza took up land on Steele Creek in 1886. 1 They called 
their place the LP Horse Ranch (from the brand). They had 
come from Bear Creek, forty miles north of Cheyenne (and were 
originally from Iowa). With the Phillips came the Jack Porters 
and the John Winingars (all relatives one way and another) who 
helped drive Uncle Johnny's horse herd to Johnson County. Jack 
Porter worked for the Phillips, and the Winingars took up land 
of their own on nearby Horse Creek. 

Mrs. Jack Porter, Etta by name, and a niece of Uncle Johnny, 

1. Jim and Lewis Steele, a couple of cowboys, were already located at 
the head of Steele Creek, and, while having filed on the land and built a 
cabin of sorts, weren't there a great deal. They rode for the "76" outfit 
and after the Invasion sold their holdings to Mr. John McWilliams, who 
was Mrs. Fred W. Hesse's father. 



Courtesy of Jesse Winingar 
Mattie and John Winingar. 

had grown up in the Phillip's household, since both her parents 
had died when she was very young. She became Ono's first 
postmistress. The postoffice was a small cabin on the LP Horse 
ranch and is no longer in existence. 

The next year Mrs. John Winingar, Mattie, was appointed post- 
mistress and the location of the office was moved one mile north 
to the Winingar homestead on Horse Creek, and a more beautiful 
setting cannot be imagined. The cabin built of pine logs, with a 
dirt roof, set in an aspen grove close to the softly-spuming little 
mountain stream which was so clear and so cold one knew the 
spring from which it flowed could not be too far away. The red 
cliff behind the house, with its dark green pine trees, made a pic- 
turesque background; and wild currants, service berries, choke- 
cherries, buffalo berries and gooseberry bushes grew in abundance 
everywhere it seemed. The Winingars called their place the Red 
Cliff Ranch and such it is called today. 2 

The Winingars were genteel folks, their people having lived in 
South Carolina and Virginia originally. They were soft spoken 
and kind, and their home abounded in good old southern hos- 
pitality — a stranger never entered their door. Pretty, black- 
haired, black-eyed Aunt Matt, as Mrs. John Winingar was called, 
was a mother to everybody, young and old alike. She was just 
such a person as Julia Brock (postmistress at E K), always 

2. Jesse Winningar and son, Bob, still own the old place. Jesse is the 
youngest son and sixth child of John and Mattie and now lives in Buffalo, 
while Bob runs the ranch. 


gracious and beloved by all. An old-timer said of the Winingars, 
"Never a cross word was spoken in their household, they never 
quarreled or bickered or got loud-voiced and rude to each other, 
even in fun, like other people did. I never saw a family like 

Every weekend found their house full of visitors, especially 
young folks, who enjoyed going there, for all the Winingars were 
talented. John, the father, a big six foot, dark complexioned man 
with a big handle bar mustache, played the violin; and from him 
the children inherited their musical talent. Violins, guitars and 
mouth harps were played. Those who had no instrument wrapped 
tissue paper over a comb, which devise in the hands of an expert 
made surprising sounds. Anybody could take part by playing a 
comb, so no guest was left out because he wasn't musical. 

Then there was the singing. Jack Porter loved to sing and 
wouldn't be in the house five minutes before he'd want to sing a 
song. Jack had come up with a Texas trail herd, first living 
around Chugwater. He had reddish blonde hair and a mustache 
and blue eyes and was a top notch cowboy, and if there was any- 
thing he loved as much as a good cowhorse it was a good song. 
He'd say "The gee, Sam Hill, Aunt Matt, what about havin' some 
singin', huh!" Jack had a "crackerjack of a voice to go along 
with his song-likin', too, and he could sing tenor or bass," which- 
ever fitted in best with the voices available at the time. Jack 
couldn't stand still when he sang, either. He always had to have 
something in his hand to wave around keeping time. If nothing 
else was handy, he'd grab up the kerosene lamp and wave it 
back and forth and around and up and down in perfect rhythm, 
to the nervous merriment of all. (This perfect sense of balance 
he had must have had something to do with the way he sat on a 
bucking horse. He was always one with the horse and never made 
a jarring, false movement.) 

Black eyed, vivacious Etta Porter, his wife, made everyone 
happy just having her there. She was so clever and witty and full 
of fun and had such a delightful sense of humor that there was 
never a dull moment when she came "a-visitin'." 

The Winingar children were always drawing and painting pic- 
tures, (which artistic talent they inherited from their mother) 
especially Nellie 3 and Jesse who were the outstanding artists of 
the family. Jesse was always drawing horses, even when a very 
small boy; he'd print, "This is a horse" under his pictures. He 
grew up to be a fine cowboy and, knowing so intimately all the 

3. Nellie was the oldest daughter and second child of the Winingars, 
now Mrs. Leonard Burger living in Buffalo, Wyo. She is well known for 
her beautiful scenery oil paintings. She has much talent. 


phases of a cowboy's life, was able to put them down in detail 
on canvas. His oil paintings of early Johnson County life are 
exceptionally good. He had terrific talent portraying the western 
horse in all his moods and postures. In each of his pictures the 
horses* hoofs and feet are plainly and realistically drawn, which is 
rarely done, even by the greatest talent. There's more to Jesse's 
paintings than reality in regard to historical detail — he has in all 
of them captured the overall mood of the scene he's painted. One 
sees and feels more than could possibly be made with a brush, 
and that is talent in its truest form. 4 Jesse was a gentle, kind man 
and loved nothing more than recalling experiences of early days. 

Uncle Johnny Phillips spent much time at the Winingars, too. 
He was a happy energetic fellow, always laughing and joking. 
One day while they were standing around singing he suddenly 
reached down and stuck his finger in a tiny hole in the top of 
Aunt Matt's apron and ripped it wide open clear to the hem. 
Then handing her a dollar said, "You need a new apron, Aunt 
Matt. Now go to town and buy yourself one." 

Mostly they sang hymns from the old song books and everybody 
got to knowing them by heart. A certain traveling preacher 
(name forgotten) used to visit the community, usually staying 
longest with the Porters down at the LP Ranch, and he, too, 
liked to sing. He was a right good cowboy besides and could ride 
practically any bronc that ever "pitched". He always made a 
hand at whatever work came up to be done and was a good, 
dependable sort and a hard worker to boot. Maybe he'd stay a 
month or two at Ono, having meetings down at the school house 
or sometimes at various homes in the vicinity. He was not 
what you'd call an eloquent speaker, but made up for that with 
his sincerity and decency as a man. Many otherwise unreligious 
cowboys used to stop by occasionally just to hear what he had to 
say as a preacher because they liked him so much as a person. 

One night several cowboys from Powder River were riding past 
the Ono schoolhouse. It was all lit up and the strains of an old 
hymn could be plainly heard floating out from the open doorway. 
One cowboy was a real tall, rough looking, dirty, bewhiskered 
fellow with a long, narrow head. Everyone said he had no actual 
head but just an unusually long neck with hair on top and a face 
on one side. He pulled up his horse at the hitching post and 
dismounting said, "You boys can just ride right along same as 
your doing — as for me, I'm goin' to stop and say "Hello" to 
Jesus." and he did. At least, he went in and stayed for the rest 

4. As I'm writing this article Jesse Winingar died. He will be greatly 
missed by all who knew him. Many of his paintings can be seen in the 
Jim Gatchell Museum at Buffalo, Wyo. The sad thing is that there aren't 
more of his pictures. 


of the meeting, and probably was "as acceptable unto the Lord 
as others present there." 

Dick Carr, the Englishman, and Wild Cat Sam were frequent 
visitors at the Ono post office (from the Circle F ranch down 
below on Beaver Creek) and often stayed for some of Mrs. Win- 
ingar's delicious "woman cooking", whether it was mail day or 
not. Dick would pick up his plate and walk all around the table 
studying everything set out to be sure he got some of each dishful 
of food, all the while filling his plate to the falling-off stage, and 
then he'd sit down and eat. (This before the others had been 
told the meal was ready). If, by chance, he arrived in between 
meal time he'd immediately ask Mrs. Winingar, "Please, ma'am, 
can I have some of your good bread and some milk — and by the 
way, you needn't bother to skim the milk." Nellie says she re- 
members well how Dick and Sam would kill sage chickens and 
hang them up by the tail until the feathers fell off, at which time 
the birds were considered most desirable for eating (by Sam and 
Dick, that is). They called it "high meat" and the other people 
considered it just plain "rotten". Dick was smooth faced, which 
was indeed an oddity in those days as a man was seldom seen with- 
out a mustache. He used to teach music in England and once in 
awhile he'd join in the musical sessions at Ono, but not often; 
unless, of course, it was close to meal time, one way or another. 

Aunt Matt not only fed passers-by and the stage passengers 
her good food, but in addition she always kept on hand a large jar 
of buttermilk in the "cooling box" in the creek for those who 
hadn't the time or perhaps the inclination to come inside. Many 
a tired, thirsty man riding through would stop and help himself 
to the cool, refreshing stuff. A tin cup always hung conveniently 
on an overhanging tree limb, for the drinking. It was a nice 
thing all knew about and no one went to the house to ask or to 
thank. Each man knew he was welcome to the buttermilk and 
his stopping and drinking it was proof enough of his gratitude; 
anyway, it was all that dear Aunt Matt needed or wanted. 

The following letter, written by Mrs. Anna Lee Wolfe Krinn 
of Butler, Missouri, to her sister Mrs. Bird Wolfe Cook of Buffalo, 
Wyoming, in 1959 gives an interesting account of Johnson County 
history. Mrs. Krinn is now in her late 70's and just wanted to 
record a bit of her experience in the west. 

To Ono, Wyoming, in 1896. 

On March 1st, 1896, our father, Marshall L. Wolfe, chartered a 
car from the Burlington railroad, loaded with household goods, 2 
good bird dogs, 4 horses and bought 2 new wide track wagons and 
shipped to Clearmont, Wyo. having bought a ranch which included 
a large acreage of government leased, pasture, fenced land, from 
Johnny McWilliams at Ono, Wyo. on Pole Creek about 30 miles 
south of Buffalo. We went in the passenger train, arriving in Clear- 
mont in time to see the car unloaded. I was 12, Frank 10 and Bird 


was 6 years old, and Erma 5. We waited for several days getting 
loaded and ready to make the trip to Ono via Buffalo. There were 
about a dozen little shacks in Clearmont covered with black tar paper 
with laths nailed in to hold the paper, a little frame store building 
where I remember sold the best candy we had ever tasted. 

The roads were not surveyed and it was just up one steep hill and 
down. Our horses were not acclimated, so at each hill they put the 
4 horses on one wagon and went up and then back and brought the 
other wagon up. Mother and we four children walked up every hill 
between Clearmont and Ono. 

In Buffalo we stayed several days with Mr. Flagg's wife's parents. 
He edited the "Buffalo Voice." Their log house was in a clump of 
trees on the south side of Clear Creek east of the Main Street a block 
or two. I remember they had a big fireplace, and over it the "family 
tree" framed and hung, a long list of children, all Bible names. 

The Cattle War had ended a year or so before but feeling still ran 
high and we heard both sides of it. Every man wore his six-shooter. 
We children really had never seen a pistol before. 

The ranch house at Ono consisted of 4 log rooms, sod covered, with 
a bunk house which we had never heard of before. 

Our father brought 100 head of fine bred horses from Henry Wal- 
lop (of Big Horn) for $1000. Wallop threw in 10 extra horses and 
all the colts. Harmon Brittian came to live at the ranch and run the 
horses. They built three stout ranch corrals with riding chutes, all 
very thrilling to us children who sat on the fence and watched the 
broncs pitch. 

A neighbor rode over often and brought the news by way of mouth. 
We received mail twice a week. This neighbor rode a light gray 
saddle horse, with his branding iron tied on. He had just recently 
got out of the state penitenitary for rustling cattle, which also was 
interesting to us. 

We bought a dozen hens for $3.00 from a Mr. and Mrs. Strickler 
and they threw in a rooster. 

We thought sure some of the irrigation ditches ran up hill. 

In the fall we moved to Buffalo for school. Avery Kingsbury, 
Elmer Brock, Winona Munkres and Martha Braden were in my eighth 
grade class. Cora McKee was our teacher and Mrs. Moeller was 
primary. We attended the Congregational church. Brother Stroupe 
was preaching there. 

1 remember we had a wonderful Christmas Cantata which Mr. 
and Mrs. Moeller had charge of. Bird can sing you a lot of the 
songs yet. 

The little Lothian boy died that winter. Old Mr. Foote had a 
store, Mr. Adams a grocery and Jimmie Childs drove a cab with his 
spotted coach dog in the seat with him. A young man lawyer 
(recently deceased) had just gone into the office with Mr. Hill 
(a Mr. Bert Griggs.) Mr. Jim Gallop was my high school teacher 
and I really enjoyed the library at the church. There were lots of 
unusually nice cultured people in Buffalo. I'm glad I lived there, 
if only a short time. Wish it had been longer. 


(Author's note — I can't help wondering if the neighbor riding the 
gray saddle horse might not have been Butch Cassidy from the 

Harmon Brittain mentioned in the letter had first lived on a 
ranch near present day Banner in Sheridan County before he 



homesteaded on Beaver Creek. "Harm" was a big fellow of 
German descent and quite heavy-set. He always wore overalls 
(usually the "bib" type) too big for him, giving a baggy effect, 
especially on the seat and at the knees, and he never appeared 
neat or well-dressed for that reason. But the thing about his looks 
that everyone remembers is that Harm had oniy the lobe of his 
left ear on his head. The rest of the ear had been bitten off in a 
fight, it was rumored, although no one knew for sure. A dis- 
figurement like that was most fascinating to children; but they 
were taught to look if they wished but not rudely and in a staring 
manner and not to ask personal questions to embarrass a friend. 
Harm was a kind man, especially nice and friendly to the children 
of the neighborhood. They all loved him because he was good 
to them and also because of the ear (probably for the same reason 
children will love a crippled animal with a mixture of affection 
and curiosity and fascination for the unusual). 

Mrs. Brittain was a large, heavy woman, too, and everlastingly 
afraid of rattlesnakes. Whenever one would crawl in or around 
the cabin which, unfortunately, happened often, she'd just stand 
there and "scream her head off" until some one came to her rescue. 
It got so her yelling and rattlesnakes became synonomous — never 
one without the other. Like the fellow whose pigs were always 
rooting up his vegetable garden — he liked pig-raising and pig- 
meat but he also liked his vegetables. Seemed as if he couldn't 
build a fence that would keep the swine out and he got tired of 
all the chasing after them himself; so he got a bulldog to "sic" 

Courtesy of Nellie Winingar Burger 
Nellie Winingar and "Diamond" taken at Ono. 


onto the pigs. The dog entered into the pig-chasing whole- 
heartedly and after a time got to really hating the beasts and 
gave them a real run for their money. Finally it got so all the 
fellow had to do to put the pigs on the run was stand and yell 
"Here Bill, here Bill, sic 'em, sic 'em." No other energy was 
expended and the results were thorough. The pigs decided to 
root elsewhere. 

Brittain was a good horseman and ran some of his own, his 
brand being V up, V down. As said before Ono was a horse 
community; everybody had good horses in those days. Uncle 
Johnny Phillips was known as one of the best horse breeders in 
the Wyoming Territory and imported his studs from England; 
his favorite being one he called Birm, a fine Hambletonian from 
Birmingham, England, (see picture). He sold his Hamiltonians 
and Morgans all over the country. Diamond, a colt out of Birm, 
was a favorite horse of the Winingars. He was a big, fine hearted 
sorrel with a white diamond on his forehead (see picture). 

So most of the first activities 
around Ono pertained to the 
raising and breaking of horses. 
Every fall the mares and colts 
were rounded up and the ones 
to be sold were broke. Jesse 
Winingar told of one of the last 
big roundups where there were 
1500 head of horses in the 
bunch, and "we kids had to help 
hold them in the circle while 
the reps from all the ranches 
around picked out their brands. 
It was quite a sight seeing all 
those blooded horses in one big 
bunch." (See picture of Jesse 
when a young cowboy). They 
were not as wild or as hard to 
break as common range horses, 
but still there were plenty of 
thrills and much excitement in 
the breaking and handling of 
Courtesy of Jesse Winingar them > and people paid good 

, ,,,. . /-, u a .• ♦ money for well bred horses, 

Jesse Winingar, Cowboy Artist. i t1 ... ., , , 

especially if they were broke. 

They had several homemade devices rigged up for breaking 

horses. One was called a breaking-cart and consisted of the front 

end of a regular light wagon with a long tongue attached. The 

latter usually was made of a big extra stout pine pole (for a horse 

would break too many ordinary wagon tongues when throwing 

himself against them). Braces from the axle to the tongue were 


firmly bolted on and made longer than usual to keep the wagon 
box farther behind the doubletrees, so broncs couldn't kick out 
the end of the wagon. Also heavy "stay chains" were fastened 
between the doubletrees and axles to keep one horse from jumping 
too far ahead of the other horse. This caused them to pull 
together evenly and was less frightening to an unbroke animal. 
Also a gentle horse was usually harnessed up with a bronc to help 
steady him. Sometimes this contraption was used to break a 
saddle horse for, after becoming used to the harness, a saddle 
could be placed on his back without much trouble. Such a 
procedure saved a young horse a lot of wasted nervous energy. 

Another outfit was made by setting a heavy wagon axle deep 
in the ground so that just the top of the hub stuck out; this was 
firmly braced on three sides. Two poles were then fastened to 
the top of the axle and screwed down only tight enough to allow 
them to turn around freely. On the end of one pole a doubletree 
was placed to which the horse was hitched. On the end of the 
other pole the horse's head was tied. Two horses could be placed 
in this at one time and, of course, the poles had to be long enough 
for a horse to be placed comfortably between the two ends. All 
the horses could do was go around and around; they couldn't 
break loose and there was nothing to damage if they thrashed and 
kicked. It was a satisfactory way to save "wear and tear" on 
both horses and the men handling them. 

It might not be amiss to tell a little about horse buyers and how 
they selected horse flesh to sell to the French, English and 
Australians, for war purposes mostly, in those days. 

Twenty or more cowboys would be kept busy riding all day 
long as buyers selected the ones they wanted. These traders, very 
pompous and strictly business minded to the point of insolence, 
were very "finicky" and particular about every little detail. They 
could spot a flaw or infirmity immediately. The buyer started at 
the horse's right eye and walked slowly around, ending up at the 
left eye, observing quickly at close range the conformation, etc. 
Then he'd pry the mouth open with the cane he carried for such 
purpose and look at the teeth. The most important thing, though, 
and one they checked again and again was the horse's wind. 
Cowboys had to ride each horse hard and fast to see how he 
breathed. Any horse, no matter how perfect otherwise, was 
rejected if his wind or breathing was short. Horses aged from 
five to nine years were most in demand. White ones were never 
taken because they showed up too plainly on the battlefield, and I 
suppose the old notion the world over that white horses were less 
valuable because they possessed less stamina had something to 
do with it. As the animals were picked out, the division they 
were to be in was burned on the hoof with an iron, a "C" on those 
for cavalry purposes, "1A" on those going for light artillery and 
"2A" for heavy artillery. Also, horses bought had their tails cut 


off and were driven to Sheridan to the railroad to be shipped 
abroad. The first shipload pawed their stalls so continually in 
fright at sailing on the ocean that the front hooves were worn 
down to the quick upon arrival, so the future consignments had 
to have the front feet shod before buyers would accept them. 
In those days the blacksmith shops were sound properties which 
thrived in Buffalo and Sheridan; and in addition to normal, local 
trade now had a real boom on their hands, for these war horses 
went out 1500 at a time. 

Sometimes when the horse breeders felt the buyers were a little 
too exacting and rejecting too many of their horses, they'd get the 
whiskey jugs to circulating regular-like, and, it was said, some 
of them would buy horses in the afternoon that they'd rejected 
that forenoon. 

Uncle Johnny Phillips operated what was called the "Red Barn" 
stable in north Buffalo (which was located about where the Slim 
Smith Auto Supply now is) where he kept and showed the horses 
he had to sell. Many of the fine saddle horses of Johnson County 
came from his line of blooded English studs. One day, in later 
years, of course, Uncle Johnny dropped dead while leading a 
horse out of the barn to show a prospective customer. Folks 
said, "He was so full of energy it was hard to believe he could 
have died of a heart attack." But he did, and everyone missed his 
cheerful goodness and friendly neighborliness. 

One cannot tell of this part of the country without giving some 
space to Red Cranston, an interesting, out-of-the-ordinary man, 
as were so many of these early-comers to Johnson County. Red's 
appearance and bearing led one to believe his philosophy of life 
was "Man is made to squirm." Red was born ugly, ugly, ugly, 
which fact in itself probably wouldn't have been so bad if Red 
hadn't seemed bent on improving on the Lord's handiwork. He 
was forever screwing his face up in all sorts of fierce shapes to 
make the natural ugliness mean and surly, and, to greaten the 
hardness of his looks, he'd boom his words out at a person like 
pistol shots. In other words if his looks didn't make you squirm, 
his voice would. He was a very rough talker and if you didn't 
know Red he'd scare you to death. As one old fellow said, "He'd 
make a stranger jump like a parched pea — he liked to keep 'em 
between the hawk and the buzzard." He whipped many a guy 
with his tongue whom he couldn't outdo in a fist fight or in a 

In this respect Red was a good bit like old Bill Speck, except 
he didn't even pretend to be a gunman, nor was he what you'd 
exactly call the cowboy type, either, and underneath all his bluff 
and bluster was a good, kindhearted man who wouldn't harm a 
soul on earth. If Bill and Red had have been as tough as they 
looked and acted, it would indeed have been a horse of a different 


Red was a medium sized man with red hair and a red and freck- 
led face. His arms and hands were freckled, too, the latter being 
slender and well formed like a woman's, with nicely tapered nails 
and all, sort of fastidious and helpless looking hands actually. 
They certainly seemed entirely out of keeping with the ugliness of 
his face. Red's freckles, too, were unusual, in that they were big 
and darker than most. His upper lip was too long and hung down 
too far over his wide mouth and sometimes seemed to fold back 
exposing the inner lip when he snarled (like a wolf or dog). His 
squinty, light blue, almond-shaped eyes were completely expres- 
sionless and wrinkled-in with heavy, too long lids and what few 
eyelashes he had were too blonde to be seen. Red's eyes didn't 
laugh when he laughed, nor hate when he hated. You couldn't 
tell what mood he was in from them, which was an unusual thing. 
His nose was fairly good sized but not unusually so, and his chin 
was nothing more than the rounded end of his face, there just 
wasn't any. His neck was short, so his head just seemed to sort 
of be sitting on his shoulders and it leaned slightly forward when 
he walked. The rest of his anatomy was held stiffly, even his 
arms seemed rigid, so one got the impression that his body moved 
as a whole rather then in individual parts. Instead of turning his 
head around to look, he'd turn his whole body. He had the habit 
of pulling his mouth down on one side and talking out of the 
lower corner, leaving the rest of it buttoned up, as it were, with 
his teeth tight together. (He should have been a ventriloquist). 
This talking end was also his cigar smoking corner. It was 
fascinating to watch him switch the cigar over to the other side 
of his mouth and, if bare headed, run his hand through his hair 
every once in awhile, this being a habit he had. He would talk 
or smoke from whichever side of his mouth came handiest at the 
time. Red was a lover of fine cigars and a wearer of big Stetson 
hats and was always meticulously neat and tidy about his person, 
( when it was possible to be so ) . 

Red came to Johnson County from Aberdeen, South Dakota; 
he'd been bookkeeper in a general store there. (Originally he 
was from Canada.) He and Jack Meade, who had the first barber 
shop in Buffalo, started out together with an eight-horse string 
loaded down with their personal belongings, which at the time 
constituted their total worldly possessions. Their trip progressed 
uneventfully until they hit the Powder River country where they 
had camped for the night. Being tired and finally relaxed with no 
trouble so far they slept too soundly to hear the renegades who 
got off with all the horses except the one picketed close by, and 
all their loose stuff, (food, etc.). So they arrived in Buffalo with 
one weary old horse between them. It had been plenty tough 
coming in, one man riding and the other walking and vice versa, 
through the dry, dusty miles of the flat country, with no beds, no 
grub and nothing but the one horse. Both being up-to-the-mark 


drinking men, nobody actually believed their story about the 
renegade ambush, and their unpretentious entrance into Buffalo 
furnished much jocularity in the years to come. 

Soon after arriving Red opened a restaurant in town, about 
where the Safeway Store now is, called the Green Parrot, (I'm 
not sure this name is correct), for Red was an exceptionally good 
cook. At one time he had a fancy waiter, the tinhorn gambler 
type of man, good-looking and flashy and mustached, who wore a 
"hard-boiled" hat and a long, swallowtailed coat. In the course 
of events, as men will do the world over, the waiter became enam- 
oured of the girl who was dishwasher in the restaurant, but she, 
so the story goes, was not at all impressed by his ardent attentions 
and gave notice she was leaving the place if he didn't let her alone. 
So one night Red handed her a huge butcher knife and said (really 
in fun), "If you don't like him, kill him." The female, stoutly 
built, with a strong right arm, grabbed the knife which was a big, 
curved, wicked-looking, homemade thing and took after her 
would-be admirer. He, completely flabbergasted at the sudden 
unfavorable turn of events, made a rush for the front door, his 
only avenue of escape, but didn't get out before she had grabbed 
him and savagely chopped off his fancy coat tails, along with a 
goodly slice of the seat of his pants. Whether any of his hide was 
removed is not known, but the fine-feathered waiter was no longer 
seen on the streets of Buffalo. Red's face and words and the 
deadly weapon in the hand of the angry girl were too much for 
him, even in the face of his left-behind wages, which just added 
a little extra to Red's cigar fund and provided a few more dollars 
for Red's next trip across the street for some "gullet wash," as 
the cowboys called it. 

One time Red was in Gatchell's Drug Store and he was real mad 
at some fellow. He was expostulating at a great rate, telling what 
he was going to do next time he met up with him. Another little 
mannerism Red had when really mad was to spread his hand out 
flat in front of him, or jam his elbows down hard on a counter 
or bar when he got real emphatic. On this particular occasion 
the usual loafers were standing around, making a good audience, 
and Red got so carried away with his own fury that he rammed his 
elbows down so hard on the show case that they went through the 
top glass. Red's surprise and embarrassment put a quick end to 
his plotted violence. It was very funny, for he had squelched 
himself completely. 

Red also, in his first years in Johnson County, cooked for 
various roundup outfits here and there. One time a woman came 
to the chuck wagon and said she was desperately afraid, for some 
Indians had come to the ranch and she didn't know what to do, 
as she was there alone. The Indians, she said, had finally gone 
away, but she just felt it in her bones that they'd be back that 
night and she pitifully repeated her inability to cope with such a 


situation. So Red left and rode home with her, and sure enough 
in due time the Indians returned wanting food, no doubt, (but 
who could know with certainty what an Indian would want. ) The 
woman had tacked blankets over the windows, in fear lest she 
see an Indian face peering in the window at her. Red lifted one 
corner of the blanket and peeked out at the Indians in the yard 
and saw more on horses at a little distance beyond the buildings. 
One big bold fellow was standing directly outside the door, as if 
about to enter the house. Red dropped the corner of the blanket, 
flung open the door and, screwing his face up in the meanest way 
he could, yelled out of the corner of his mouth, "What do you 
want?" For a second the redskin stood glued to the spot, staring 
in morbid fascination, then turned tail, jumped on his horse and 
left the country, as did the others when seeing the chief's change 
of plans. The woman said she never saw another Indian while 
living on that ranch and she remained everlastingly grateful to 
Red Cranston, speaking highly of his bravery and kindness to her 
time and time again. 

Another time on a big roundup at the mouth of Badger Creek, 
which runs into the Tongue River, Red had about fifty men for 
dinner, (and he could cook equally well for one or for a hundred). 
It was hot and sultry and everybody was tired, cross and hungry. 
The men had been eating in shifts as usual, and when the last 
bunch came in the bread was gone, at least there was none in the 
usual place, cut up on the end of the chuck wagon, and none in 
the dutch ovens, for they'd looked. So one bold cowboy called 
out, "Hey, Cook, got any more bred?" Old Red, as cantankerous 
as ever, yelled back, "Yes, I've got some bread, you son-of-a- 
bitch," and proceeded to throw a big hard loaf and hit the fellow 
squarely on the head with it. He hated that cowboy anyway — 
everything about him, and with really no just cause, except that 
he was always straggling in late for meals. Whether the fellow, 
really he was just a green kid, was just slow-moving or whether 
his work at the time made him later than usual, didn't seem to 
matter. Red didn't want people straggling in after meal time, and 
it seemed as if every time that kid got to eating the bread was 
gone — happened every time. The variety of food served on 
roundup didn't make a man "grin and bear" a breadless meal, 
no matter how disagreeable the cook. One day later on Red was 
busy mixing sponge in a small wash tub in a tent by the chuck 
wagon when the kid came in. Red was sweating like a pitcher of 
cold lemonade. The kid sat down on his boot heels, rolled a 
cigarette, all the while watching Red thicken the sponge. Red 
went on mixing and sweating and the boy kept on sitting and 
watching. Every once in awhile Red would glare at the kid, who 
kept swallowing spit, he was getting that nervous. Finally Red's 
rancor reached the boiling point and he straightened up and stood 
there a second or two with big blobs of bread sponge dropping off 


his fingers and then yelled out, "What you lookin' for, bread!" 
The kid said "Yes, there aint none left out there." Red said, 
"Bread, huh, well you procrastinatin' little son-of-a-bitch here's 
all the damn bread you'll need today," and he picked up the tub 
and slammed the whole bubbly mess, tub and all over the kid's 
head, hollering as he left the tent, "Next time you want bread 
go holler down the rain barrel, don't come near me." 

Nobody much stood up to Red, that is, strangers. He could 
bluff his way through almost any situation; he took a sort of 
humorous delight in making some people twist and squirm and 
worry, like the time a big, lanky, traveling preacher walked into 
camp just at dinner time. He was a nice enough young man, as 
far as that goes, even if he was a rather pale sbkly looking type. 
He sold religious books and pamphlets and made the rounds on 
foot, stopping for food and a bed wherever he found himself at 
meal time or bedtime. Red, always hospitable, asked the fellow 
to sit down and eat, which he did. When he had his plate heaped 
high and was about to begin filling his mouth, Red went over to 
him and spread his hand out flat and said in an ugly tone, "I hear 
you turned in a poor old woman in Buffalo for illegally selling beer 
and spirits. Now, young fellow, if I knew for sure you'd done that, 
I'd cut your damn head off." The preacher turned white, (for he 
had turned the woman in) and stood up. Red yelled, "Sit down 
and eat," and just kept standing there glaring. The poor flustered 
man couldn't swallow and he tried plenty hard to, too, and as 
soon as Red turned away he got up, grabbed his knapsack of 
pamphlets and took off on a run. Everybody present thought Red 
was hilariously funny and he liked having them think that way. 

When he was sheep foreman for Kingsbury and Todd, (whose 
holdings lay north of the Ono community) he had a run-in with 
a kid he'd hired to help lamb. After working a couple of weeks 
the kid quit — didn't like working with sheep and he didn't like 
Red, either. Red got plenty aggravated having a hand quite like 
that, right in the middle of lambing, and besides he didn't like 
that kid any better than the kid liked him. So the outcome of 
the whole thing was Red wouldn't give him the wages he had 
coming; said he'd pay him next time he came to town which, as it 
turned out, wasn't very soon. But the kid finally caught up with 
Red in Zindels' saloon one night. The place was full, as usual, 
and Red had a good audience. So when the kid asked for his 
money, quite a long argument ensued, in which Red really gave 
the kid a vicious tongue-lashing. Jim Gatchell, the druggist, and a 
drug salesman were in the saloon at the time. Finally the sales- 
man, being somewhat of a stranger in town, thought the kid was 
in a decidedly unfavorable position and figured he'd just step in 
and get this thing straightened out and said so to Gatchell. "I'm 
not going to sit here any longer and see a grown man pick on a 
kid that way." Jim replied, "Calm down, Bill, let them alone. 


That kid's just as safe as if he was in bed with his own grand- 
mother. I've an idea Red'll be downright decent to that boy once 
he gets around to it. Red won't hurt him." About that time the 
boy felt he'd taken about all any man could take without losing 
face and he hauled off and hit Red a resounding blow on the side 
of the head, which knocked him down, in his "a-few-drinks-too- 
many" condition. Whereupon Red divied up the money, as he'd 
intended doing all the time. Later the salesman asked Jim, "Why 
did Red act that way?" And the reply was, "Guess Red was just 
born feeling ornery, but he's a good honest man in spite of things 
seeming to the contrary; he gets as much kick out of being mean- 
talking as other fellows do out of riding broncs, and he's a mighty 
fine cook. You ought to eat some of his light bread. He's tops, 
believe me." Everybody said that about Red's cooking; and 
everyone loved to stop at his sheep wagon on the mountains and 
eat his delicious hot cakes, especially the children of the neigh- 
borhood. They called them "mountain hot cakes." They were 
so very, very good tasting the kids thought surely the mountains 
must have something to do with the flavor — not realizing that 
their "mountain appetite" was the real answer. Men and women 
both would drive up "on top" and stop at Red's for a cup of tea, 
stewed apricots and fresh rolls or light bread. 

In those days there were quite a few English guests at the Circle 
F and Bar C ranches, some of whom tried very hard to be western 
and fit in. One young fellow was particularly intrigued with 
sheepherding and wanted to make a hand. So one night about 
supper time Red told the fellow to go on to the wagon and rustle 
up some firewood and get the fire going in the cookstove. About 
an hour later Red rode in and, to his alarm, saw smoke pouring 
out of the sheep wagon door and the Englishman standing out 
front wringing his hands and looking helplessly around in per- 
plexity. He hastened to say very apologetically, "Mr. Cranston, 
I do not grasp the hang of this bloody stove — when I close the 
door the blasted fire goes out and when I open it this devilish 
smoke pours out. Did I, by any chance, procure the wrong kind 
of firewood, sir?" Red had gotten off his horse and gone into the 
wagon during this remark and, coughing and spitting in the smoke, 
began to scrape the smouldering mess of wood out of the oven, 
all the while yelling profanities unto the high heavens. "Procure 
the wrong kind of wood, you say — hell, there ain't but one kind 
of firewood, you stupid blundering hound. A sweet botch you've 
made of my nice clean oven. God Almighty, man, ain't you never 
seen a stove before?" 

Actually Red's gruffness was only an exaggerated sense of 
humor as he always saw the funny side of things. One night he 
spent the night with one of his herders who'd come in after dark, 
eaten an "awful bait" and gone immediately to bed. He soon fell 
asleep and began to snore "and wallow and thrash around tryin' 


to digest all that food." Red found it impossible to sleep with such 
a racket going on, so he got up and spent the night reading. Next 
morning at breakfast he asked the fellow, "Say, man, do you 
snore by ear or by note?" 

"Why, was I snorin'?" 

"Was you snorin'? Boy, you was snorin'. Laying flat on your 
back, you sure was putting out the music. I got to listening right 
close and thought how great it would be if we had that out in 
some big auditorium — it'd hold a crowd spellbound, man; and 
sure was wasted here in this little sheep wagon. Come to think it 
over a little, guess you had to be playin' by note, 'cause nobody 
could play that good by ear. You was performin' in flats and 
minors just like opera music. Damned if you weren't way up there 
in 5th position part of the time. Everytime I'd nudge you, you'd 
just turn over and start all over in a different key. I wouldn't 
have missed that for all the tea in China. God, I'd think you'd be 
plum wore out this morning. I know I am." 

The fellow smiled rather sheepishly as he prepared to leave and 
said, "Red, I sure do appreciate your thinkin' so high of my 
snorin'. I'm right proud. But next time you come by I'll sleep 
out with the sheep, 'cause I knows a feller couldn't take too much 
o' that 'grand opery' stuff." 

Upon another occasion two stray cowboys rode up to Red's 
wagon just at suppertime. One of them leaned over on his saddle- 
horn, took off his hat and scratched his dirty head and asked, 
"Hey, cook, you gonna have any extra sons-a-bitches for supper 
tonight?" Red rolled his cigar around in his mouth and looking 
them over said, "Yeh, from the looks o' things I'm gonna have 
two of 'em." 

Red never married, he said the reason being, "I didn't know 
what to do with my life in regard to marriage, whether to disap- 
point a widow or surprise an old maid, so just stayed single." But 
this did not mean he lacked female friends, for women and children 
especially liked Red. He was truly "a diamond in the rough." 
When he came to town he drank a lot (but never gambled), but 
he never let his drinking interfere with his job. The people he 
worked for considered him a valuable man. He worked for 
Kingsbury and Todd for 30 or more years. His dry wit and 
bluff gruffiness will long be remembered in Johnson County by 
those who knew him or have been told about him. 

Red ran around a lot with Jack Totty and Ted Tobin (both 
herded sheep for him in later years) and they were all "pretty 
fair drinkin' men." Red Tobin was a tall, rawboned Irishman, 
red complexioned with very red hair, hence his nickname. There 
wasn't a bit of fat on him anywhere. Tobin had a nice command 
of the English language, indicative of an education somewhere in 
his past, and the outstanding thing about the man was the way 
he could mix up nice smooth poetic phrases with cussing and 


rough talk. It all sounded so soft and proper you couldn't believe 
what you'd just heard in the way of the worst kind of profanity. 

When first heard of, he was working for the EK outfit. One 
time he and two other cowboys were moving a bunch of mares 
and colts off the mountain when they were suddenly caught in 
one of the severest blizzards in Wyoming history. The wind and 
snow blew with such cold and fierce fury the men were unable, 
used as they were to outdoor living, to do a thing to protect them- 
selves. Red's two companions froze to death and, while he man- 
aged to survive, his feet were so badly frozen he lost all his toes, 
which disfigurement caused him to walk very peculiarly there- 
after. People who knew Tobin said that "he was a right good 
cowhand before the freezin', but after that experience all he did 
was herd sheep and cook for roundups — never could do much of 
anything and was never quite normal in the head after that, either. 
Always acted kinda queer at times." 

Anyway Tobin was a frequent passenger on the Ono stage and 
seen often in Kaycee. On all special occasions, regardless of time, 
place or weather, he wore a black swallowtailed coat; a well- 
made expensive suit, it was, an Abraham Lincoln type of garment, 
and as one man remarked, "It musta' been an awful good suit and 
Red musta' taken awful good care of it to have it last all them 
years and still look so nice." 

One day Tobin was on the Ono stage going south to Kaycee. 
It was a blistering day, but he had on the black suit. A woman 
passenger, true to type, full of feminine curiosity, kept wondering 
why on earth the man didn't remove his coat in that sweltering 
heat. When stopping at Ono for dinner she also noticed the queer 
way in which he walked, this very tall, very readheaded man in 
the formal black suit. Finally she could contain her meddle- 
someness no longer, and after all the man did seem to be of the 
friendly, polite sort. So she said, "It's really none of my business, 
I know, but I just can't help wondering why you walk the way 
you do. I've never seen anyone walk quite like that." Tobin 
mopped the sweat off his face with a red bandana handkerchief 
and casually brushed some dust off the shoulder of his black coat 
and very politely answered, looking her straight in the eyes, "I 
can't rightly answer that, ma'am. I been walkin' this way now 
nigh onto twenty years, and I can't rightly say why, please ma'am." 
She undoubtedly thought him some religious fanatic, being garbed 
out as he was in that fancy warm suit on such a hot dusty trip. 

Tobin finally filed on some land (where Al Gersig's place now 
is) at the head of Wall Creek south and west of Kaycee. He built 
himself a one-room shack, and all it was was just a shack and a 
very poor one at that. Tom Gardner, a rancher on lower Red 
Fork, gave him an old roan horse, which had been a pretty fair 
animal in its day (maybe). Tobin named him "Melonchat", 
short for Meloncholy. He was an extra big 1200 pound animal 


and not a very good saddle horse type in the beginning and now 
was about as "done in" as old Red was. Melonchat, Red and 
the chickens all lived in the shack, it's one room furnished all the 
shelter there was. Red didn't feed the horse much extra in the 
way of food, so due to the scanty fare and his advanced years he 
was never in very good traveling condition, and when Tobin went 
to town, he'd walk and lead the horse most of the way, because 
he said he felt sorry for the poor, wobbly-legged thing. What 
people said probably was true, "that Old Red was kind of peculiar 
after he got froze." 

A fellow traveling through the country come nightfall stopped 
at Tobin's place until morning. He had a bad cold and was 
coughing fit to kill. Old Red took a bottle down from the shelf 
and told him to take some of its contents which would relieve that 
"rattin' chest o' his." So the man poured out a generous dose in 
the tin cup and swallowed it. Being comparatively new to the 
country and polite by nature he didn't inquire about the ingredients 
of the potion, but felt a little perplexed about the many little 
lumps that were in it — not hard and not soft either exactly, and 
they didn't seem to contribute much to the flavor of the stuff 
either — maybe it was some newfangled kind of remedy. The old 
kerosene lantern was so dim he couldn't see mucn anyway, so ne 
went to bed. The next morning, sure enough, his cough was 
better and he told Red his cough syrup was all right, it did the 
trick. So Tobin insisted he take another swallow before riding 
on into town. By the light of day he saw quite plainly and without 
any magnifying glass that the many little blobs were dead flies — 
the liquid was full of them. He, at once, decided his cough was 
the lesser of the two evils and left. When arriving in Kaycee he 
went into Jack Totty's saloon and ordered a double shot, making 
the remark to no one in particular, aloud, to himself, it seemed, 
"Got to have a big one, man, to counteract them god-damn dead 
flies in my guts." The bartender obliged and asked no questions, 
thinking, very disinterestedly, that here was just another locoed 
cowboy trying to be funny. 

The early day postoffices bring to mind the stouthearted stage 
drivers who played no mean part in this western drama. Their 
long, lonely years of service and strenuous efforts to keep their 
communication lines going between these isolated spots for the 
most part remain untold. Surely they deserve space and apprecia- 
tion in recounting early day history — they and the faithful teams 
they drove over the many lonely, weary miles, day in and day out, 
in good weather and bad weather alike. Some of these drivers 
were like old soldiers in loyalty and conscientiousness in the line 
of duty and should be remembered and cherished for those very 
qualities which were so much a part of early western living, for 
it is inwardly strengthening to know good loneliness and to have to 
face the necessity of meeting certain experiences, making important 



decisions alone as an individual and not as one of a group. The 
western frontier was good for character-building the hard way, 
and we today should never for a minute forget these things. They 
are a part of our fabulous heritage. 

One of these drivers was Samuel Stringer, a mail carrier who 
drove stage when Johnson County included Sheridan County and 
part of the Big Horn Basin. It would be an impossibility to write 
a complete story of Old Sam, who participated so actively in the 
taming of the West. He was a strange individual; even though his 
life was crowded with all kinds of adventure he thought his 
experiences ordinary ones and not worth discussing. He was 
born in North Carolina in 1830 and died in Sheridan, Wyoming, 
in 1905. 

During the Civil War he was employed as a teamster in the 
Union Army, so in 1866 when the 18th Infantry was ordered to 
go into what later became Wyoming Territory to establish a line 
of forts along the Bozeman Trail, Sam was with the expedition 
and met with some rough aspects of frontier life while Ft. Phil 
Kearny was constructed. He never was a soldier, just a teamster, 
and his wagon was the first one to bs loaded with the Fetterman 
Massacre dead. Years later while driving mail between Sheridan 
and Buffalo, he said, "I'm not superstitious in any way, but when 
I drive past this battlefield day after day all I have to do is close 
my eyes and I can see those dead bodies laying there as plain as I 
could the day we found them nearly 3 1 years ago." 

Sam was with the wagon train in 1876 with which the notorious 
Calamity Jane was employed. 

In the winter of '78 and '79 when Ft. McKinney was established 
on Clear Creek, Stringer was employed there as a teamster and 
stayed with it until it was abandoned. From then on he made 

Courtesy of Madge Davis Murphy 
Sam Stringer and Stage. 


his home in and around Buffalo, serving as mail carrier on prac- 
tically all the early day routes. 

As said before Sam was a strange man. "He was a strict 
adherent to the rules of the postal department and performed his 
duties as a mail carrier to the letter; the weather was never too 
cold or the roads too bad for him to get through with the mail, or, 
at least, make a supreme effort to do so." Sam was always 
pleasant and agreeable but not inclined to casual conversation 
and he had many peculiar habits, especially in regard to his diet. 
For one thing, he was overly fond of grease, not any special kind, 
just any, so it was grease. Absolutely nothing in the way of food 
that wasn't greasy was worth eating, according to Sam. He said 
he'd never eat an alligator because it had no grease. His travel 
ration always consisted of a can of grease and a loaf of bread. 
He'd heat up the grease and sop the bread in it and pop it into his 
mouth and smack satisfyingly as if it were the best food in the 
world. If given a choice he'd take a cup of warm grease in pref- 
erence to coffee any old day. He said the grease kept him warm 
on long, cold drives, and it probably did. 

Sam was partial to the mule and most of his staging was done 
behind a pair of those long-eared, hardy animals. No one ever 
saw Sam lay a whip to his mules, but he did have a special con- 
traption of his own devise which he used when, in his opinion, 
they were loafing on the job. This affair was nothing more than a 
few links of log chain fastened on the end of a whipstock, which 
he'd get out and rattle over them. This invention always seemed 
to get the desired result, "But one time," an old timer said, "my 
curiosity got the best of me and I asked Sam how it was he never 
struck his mules and why they always seemed to come alive when 
he rattled the chain?" He replied, "Those mules know me and 
they also know that if they don't get a move on themselves when 
I jingle, that I'll whale the everlasting daylights out of them." 

Nellie Winingar Burger says she well remembers Sam's stage 
(on the Ono route) which, at the time, was a light wagon or 
buckboard covered with canvas, making an almost square top back 
of the driver's seat. The canvas sides rolled up and down as 
needed for warmth or ventilation. He had a couple of "bull's 
eye lanterns" fastened at the sides of the front seat to light the 
road at night should circumstances necessitate his traveling after 
dark. He usually drove four mules on the Ono route, stopping 
there for dinner and on to Mayoworth for the night and on over 
the mountains to Tensleep the following day. 5 Sam had a little 
cabin up the slope to use in emergency in case it stormed or 

5. From Buffalo to Ono was 32 miles, from Ono to Mayoworth 17 or 
18 miles, and from there to Tensleep around 50 miles. 


Mrs. Madge Davis Murphy of Kingsburg, California, who sent 
the picture of Sam, writes, "How well I remember old Uncle Sam 
Stringer and this old team and buggy — those black dots in the 
background are cattle grazing. This picture was taken somewhere 
between Buffalo and our old ranch ("Spectacle" outfit owned by 
H. W. Davis) where the Sussex post office used to be. Sam then 
drove a little team of Indian ponies and wore high boots with 
heavy woolen stockings sticking out above. How well I remember 
him! We kids often rode on the stage with Uncle Sam and he 
was so kind to us." 

In fact, Sam had gained such a reputation as an experienced, 
veteran mail carrier that the Post Office Department requested a 
sketch of his life. 6 

In the April 21, 1892, issue of the Buffalo Bulletin is told the 
story of Sam's crossing the Big Horns in late winter, which trip 
with its terrible suffering and miraculous escape from death, unsur- 
passed even in wartime chronicles, made him a hero unmatched 
in courage and devotion to duty — which event of bravery caused 
his story to be placed in P. O. Department files. 

All old-timers so well remember that the Big Horns in the 
winter of '92 were deep with snow. Trails led across the moun- 
tains in several places and were in reality only early game and 
Indian trails which had been slightly improved by the settlers. 
There was no set rule for following any particular road over the 
mountains. The mail carriers knew the country and how to get 
across and used their own judgment about the route, which 
decision was always determined by the weather and passengers 
at hand. But the old NH trail road was one most often used, 
starting up the slope near the L. R. A. Condit ranch and following 
up a small tributary of the Middle Fork of Powder River, then 
across the divide and down by Little Canyon Creek and Spring 
Creek to the old W. A. Richards' ranch and then on to No Wood. 
From that place it was easy to reach Tensleep and go on to Hyatt- 
ville and the upper Basin country. 

Then there was the other road farther south going across from 
the old Barnum post office, which connected up the same on top 
of the divide. 7 

6. Written by T. J. Gatchell of Buffalo in 1935 and sent to the P. O. 
Department. It was also published in the Buffalo Bulletin that year. 

7. The generally used road going over the mountains from Buffalo was 
one built in 1887 or '88 or about the time Hyattville was founded. Its 
general course led up Sisters Hill, through a cut in the timber to the North 
Fork of Crazy Woman, thence on down to Bear Trap Creek to the old 
N H Trail, and from there on to Tensleep and Hyattville one way, and 
the opposite way, (south) to No Wood and Geo. Richards' Red Bank 
Ranch. 3 


On the 29th of March, 1892, Sam Stringer made a never to be 
forgotten effort to carry the mail from Mayoworth to Tensleep 
via the old N H trail. This was the first attempt that winter to 
get the mail across the mountain, because of the deepness of the 
snow and the severity of the weather. Sam started out with a 
light spring wagon and four mules, but he did not even make his 
little cabin the first night. So he unhitched the mules on a little 
bare knoll about a quarter of a mile from the cabin, tied them to 
the side of the wagon, banked snow high against the wagon on 
the north side for a windbreak, opened a bale of hay and a sack 
of oats for the mules (that many oats were safe to leave, for a 
mule will never overeat). Taking the mail pouch, which was a 
big one and heavy, he went to the cabin where he packed a small 
bag of food and an axe on a sled and, wearing snowshoes, took 
off over the mountain afoot. 

Three P.M. found him on the western side at a spot called the 
"Pole Patch".* Here one of Wyoming's dreaded three-day bliz- 
zards overtook Sam, the severity of which was alarming. Losing 
his way, Sam finally found shelter in a small ravine. Having no 
bed, he kept a small fire going all night, and, when he could, the 
next day and the next day after that. On the third day, the storm 
having slackened somewhat, he followed the ravine down into 
Little Canyon Creek. Struggling frozenly through the deep snow 
and brush, he progressed very little distance that day, and night 
overtook him while still in the canyon. Here he could find no 
dry wood for a fire and spent a thoroughly disagreeable night, 
burying himself in the snow to keep from perishing. 

The next day he reached the Frank Simmons ranch on Canyon 
Creek where he got a warm meal and a horse. Sam arrived at 
the Tensleep post office April 3rd, five days after leaving Ono. 
Most men deprived of sleep for four nights and suffering from 
intense physical exertion and exposure would have felt they had 
a rest coming, anyway a chance to relate their recent experience, 
but Old Sam was thinking of his hungry, shivering, shelterless 
mules on top of the mountain, who were needing attention as much 
as he was. They'd been out in that blizzard too and he wanted 
to find out, as soon as possible, how they'd made out. So he 
stopped just long enough to exchange mail sacks and rode the 
Simmons' horse as far back as he could in the deep snow. When 
the horse could no longer make it, he turned him loose, headed 

8. Where dead timber, some standing and some fallen, makes it look 
like a forest ghosttown. Whatever caused the timbers' death is not known, 
but very little new growth has appeared through the years — and so it still 
remains, a rather eerie looking place and quite treacherous to cross with 
horses or sheep because of the conglomeration of fallen trees. 


him homeward and, buckling on his snowshoes, proceeded slowly, 
wearily but steadily, making the Pole Patch that same night. 

The next morning he awoke stiff and sore in every joint and 
muscle. It seemed physically impossible for him to continue, 
which situation became doubly serious when one snowshoe broke, 
becoming completely unusable soon after he started out. No 
words can describe the next five days' agony, the final pitiful 
crawling on hands and knees, the tortured twelve miles to his 
cabin, his own numb suffering, urgently needing to reach his 
faithful old mules. 

On the morning of April 7th, at 3 P.M. he stumbled into his 
cabin. Even at first he knew someone had been there, and, 
looking toward the wagon, he saw the mules were not there. 
Someone must have untied them or they'd broken loose. His 
hands, feet and legs were badly frostbitten from crawling through 
the snow, so he remained at the cabin for several days, resting and 
nursing his aching, weary feet and hands. Then, after rigging up 
another snowshoe, he again started out, having provisions left for 
only one meal. When that evening he paused to eat and rest, he 
looked up and saw his mules approaching. He took off his snow- 
shoes and, making a halter out of the shoe straps, he caught the 
most gentle mule and started out leading this mule with the others 
following. Everytime a bare spot of ground appeared on a little 
knoll Sam stopped to rest and let the poor critters crop the 
sparse grass. 

At length, however, Sam became so weak he had to again crawl 
on hands and knees and at last, finding himself some slight shelter 
in some timber, was forced to stop to rest again. He could no 
longer be responsible for the mules. It was, indeed, fortunate 
that he was here in the trees for that night another three-day 
blizzard hit. How Sam ever survived, God only knows, huddled 
up against a tree with no food and no extra protection. When the 
storm had spent its fury he somehow went on to Clarkson's 
Canyon ranch on Powder River, where he was tenderly cared for 
and as soon as possible taken to Buffalo to have his frosted parts 
properly attended to by a doctor. 

W. W. Morgareidge, A. L. Brock and a couple of other men 
had gone to Sam's cabin in search of him when he did not return 
with the mail. Finding the mules tied to his wagon, they'd turned 
them loose, and seeing no signs of Sam decided he'd perished in 
the storm. They'd gone to Buffalo to report his probable death 
and organize a search party to find the body, but an hour after 
their arrival in town news came of the Invasion into Johnson 
County of the armed cattlemen and in the high excitement and 
confusion following this announcement Sam Stringer and the storm 
on the Big Horns was completely forgotten. 

Sam's harrowing experience in no way daunted his desire to 


continue mail carrying and as soon as his poor, sore feet healed 
sufficiently he was back on the job as faithful and dutiful as ever. 
He knew, and said so many times, that his surviving was due 
entirely to his grease-eating habit. 

Later this story is told about him when his stage was really 
mired down in mud, the vehicle was just plain stuck and the 
passengers and everybody had to remain out all night. Luckily 
it wasn't unduly cold for the time of year so no one actually suf- 
fered from exposure, but their dispositions weren't of the best. 
Among the lot was a Jew who, the story goes, had been especially 
rude to Sam, expostulating hatefully about mail carriers who did 
not provide food for their passengers upon such occasions, etc.etc, 
for as usual Sam had no more in the line of food than his can of 
grease and a small skillet for the heating of it. Soon after sunup 
Sam had managed to get together enough dry wood for a small 
fire over which he was preparing to warm up his grease when out 
of nowhere, it seemed, appeared a long, lanky, bareheaded cowboy 
all splattered and caked with mud, carrying his hat full of eggs. 
Grinning at everybody and looking at the pan of grease on the 
fire he said, "How about cookin' some o' these here eggs for me, 
Sam?" "Sure," said Sam, and so the cowboy squatted down on 
his heels and held his hat close while Sam broke several eggs, 
dropping them carefully in the hot grease. At the sight of food 
the passengers, particularly the Jew, crowded close hoping to get 
some of the food, too. Sam went on frying the eggs, lifting the 
pan and expertly tipping it this way and that to baste them on top. 
As soon as they were cooked to his taste he laid them in a row 
on a piece of old dirty canvas he had. When the last egg was fry- 
ing he looked up at the cowboy and said, "Ike, come to think of it, 
where'd you get these eggs, anyway? What kind are they? They 
don't look quite normal and don't smell quite normal to me." The 
cowboy replied, "Hell, Sam, you're what's not normal, them's 
rattlesnake eggs and ain't good as hen's eggs, but right now I'm so 
hungry I could eat my bridle reins if they weren't so danged 
muddy." Needless to say Sam and Ike ate the eggs, grease, dirt 
and all, for the passengers had suddenly become very fastidious 
and not as hungry as they thought they were. 

Speaking of finical passengers, another time Sam unavoidably 
had to stop at a ranch along the road instead of the usual stage 
stop. A Mexican was cooking there and the table and food 
weren't of the cleanest and the flies were so thick you could 
scarcely see what was on the table. A very gentlemanly passenger 
was very hungry and decided bread and syrup would probably be 
safe and the least apt to be contaminated or poison him. Very 
distastefully he began brushing the flies off the syrup pitcher 
when a man remarked good-naturedly, "Sir, don't worry none 
about them flies. They're educated, they won't fall in." 


In closing the story of Sam Stringer 9 these words written by 
H. P. Liddon come to mind. 


The life of man is made up of action and endurance; and life is 
fruitful in ratio in which it is laid out in noble action or in patient 

There were all kinds of stage drivers, and while none were as 
outstanding as Sam they each had many experiences and did the 
best they could in regard to emergencies that came up. Like one 
time the stage driver had only one passenger who was quite 
inebriated when he climbed aboard. The driver thought he could 
get along all right with the man since there were no other passen- 
gers along for him to embarrass, so said nothing, even when he 
saw the fellow had another jug of whisky, outside of him, sitting 
by his feet on the back seat floor. It was a miserable day, a wet 
blizzardy storm made the going rough and disagreeable. The 
passenger kept fortifying himself against the cold and disagree- 
ableness by frequent swigs from the jug. The traveling got slower 
and harder, for the wet snow was now falling heavier and heavier 
and the wind had gone down. 

The wet stuff kept catching on the axles and finally got so deep 
it came clear up to the front boot below the driver's feet. Even 
though he had two teams hooked on, they just couldn't go any 
farther. The driver knew he was close to a ranch so simply 
unhitched the horses and, taking the mail sack, prepared to 
struggle through the snow to the ranch before night set in. When 
he got around to his passenger he found him completely passed 
out and no amount of shaking or hollering produced any results. 
The driver knew he couldn't carry both him and the mail sack so 
bundled him up good in the buffalo hide robe and left him down 
on the floor of the stage. 

Toward sundown the storm broke and the driver's responsibility 
toward his pasenger got to bothering his conscience, so he per- 
suaded the rancher to return with him to look after the "drunken 
fool." They took a big scoop shovel along in case they needed 
it to shovel a drift. Upon reaching the road they found their man 
stiff with cold but still passed out. After unsuccessfully trying to 
rouse him, they finally decided they'd tie him onto the scoop 
shovel and pull him to the ranch, which they did. It wasn't easy 
through that wet snow, but easier, they figured, than carrying him 
by hand. The man's liquor didn't wear off until the next day, 
and except for the usual depressing hangover he apparently was 
no worse for the experience. 

Then there was another stage driver (name unknown now) who 

9. Some of the other first mail carriers over Ono route were Will 
Morgareidge, Sam Reese and Joe Reiman. 


always drove teams on the rollicky side and being a rather im- 
patient sort usually went lickety-split whenever the road permitted, 
which wasn't entirely safe on any stretch, roads being what they 
were then. One winter's day a prominent judge and his wife were 
riding on the southbound stage. When they stopped at Ono for 
dinner and the driver removed his heavy wraps and the woman saw 
his face, she had a complete attack of hysterics, saying, "If I'd 
known that was you driving this stage I'd never set foot in it. 
You and your stage-upsetting; I've heard too much about you 
to be risking my life in your hands." 

She was right, there was considerable stage-upsetting on a cer- 
tain place where the road made a bend down on Steele Creek 
(but it never was the driver's fault). Here the wind blew terribly, 
and still does, sweeping down off the end of The Horn 10 in 
sudden little bursts of cyclonic force, sweeping away wagon loads 
of hay or whatever happened to be in its path at the moment. 
Many a time the stage was overturned here and it took great 
ingenuity on the part of the driver to prevent serious consequences, 
especially if he happened to be loaded with hysterical passengers 
and had a spooky team. Actually it was serious enough anytime, 
even without the above mentioned handicaps. He'd have to hook 
the team on to the side of the wagon to pull it back on its wheels 
and repair any damage done, besides calming his team down and 
getting reorganized generally. It's surprising how handy and equal 
to any occasion these men were, taking everything in stride, calmly 
getting themselves out of any and all predicaments. It didn't 
do any good to cry over spilt milk in those days, for there wasn't 
anybody much to come running to the rescue. 

This same driver had a rather amusing episode when he'd been 
hired to take a corpse to Clearmont to catch the train going east. 
The coffin was strapped on the back end of the stage, this being 
about the only place it could be put. The ruts were deep, the 
rain had washed many muddy, sloshy holes in the road, and the 
four horses were hard put all the way. Every so often the driver 
would stop to let them get their wind, as was the usual custom. 
On one such stop he looked the load over and discovered the coffin 
was missing, so there was nothing to do but go back after it, which 
he did, and there it was several miles back in the middle of a 
huge mud puddle. He said he "liked to never got the coffin 
strapped back on, for it was heavy and so was the corpse." Then 
to add insult to injury when he finally made it to Clearmont the 
conductor refused to accept the thing in its muddied condition, 
wouldn't even let it be put on the train, anyplace. The tired 
driver had to laboriously pump water by hand and wash and wipe 

10. The end of the Big Horns and just west of the Mesa. 


off that mud. By the time he had it done he was "plenty fed up 
with corpses and train conductors, too." 

Mrs. May Gardner of Mayoworth was a frequent traveler on 
the Ono stage. One time the driver warned her that he was driving 
a pretty foxy team and he'd just as soon she waited until next trip 
when he'd changed horses, but she very calmly crawled in beside 
him and said, "If you can ride behind these horses, so can I." 

An old bachelor prospector, whom people humorously called 
Colonel Bader was often on the stage coming down from the 
mountains above Crazy Woman. While waiting for it to pull in 
he once decided to air his bedding. (He always, for some reason 
or other, carried his bedroll with him). This morning he very 
painstakingly separated the blankets and one by one hung them 
over bushes and on the fence to ventilate throughly. The children 
of the place were quite intrigued with the whole performance, for 
with the Colonel everything had to be "just so," there was no 
halfway "thingumadoodle" about him (his favorite word). His 
pillow was the object of greatest interest and having examined it 
quite at length they rushed into the house and told their mother, 
"Colonel Bader has a rubber pillow." Upon adult inspection, 
however, it was found to be not rubber, but in a condition born 
of 40 years accumulation of sweat and dirt, the blackness and 
conformation of which being not at all unlike rubber. It was 
certain, also, that no amount of airing would change its condition. 

Chubb Babcock of Buffalo came in on the stage upon one 
occasion and for some unforgotten reason decided to stay all 
night, and he did not have his bedroll, much to everyone's sorrow. 
Chubb was also fascinating to the young ones, for he looked like 
a baboon, through no fault in heredity, understand, but because 
of the steel plate in his nose that made his face ugly and dis- 
figured. Folks said, "You could hit Chubb on the nose with a 
baseball bat and it wouldn't bleed," which in their opinion was 
really something out of the ordinary. This all came about because 
of the old stud horse Chubb had. He was so old and stove up he 
could hardly pick up his feet. One night Chubb was trying to 
put the old fellow in the barn. It was taking longer than usual, 
so Chubb thought to hurry him up a bit by running up from behind 
and thumping him with both hands on both rumps. The stud 
resented such treatment as altogether unfitting for one of his age, 
and to Chubb's surprise and pain he found that the animal had 
one more kick left in him, for he landed a powerful blow with his 
right hind foot squarely on Chubb's nose. It was worse than an 
ordinary kick, for the foot was larger than an ordinary foot, being 
he was a stud, so the nose was a bloody, mashed up mess. Dr. 
Meldrum (I think) operated on it and put the steel plate in. 

Chubb not only had an "iron nose", he had lice and was proud 
of it. Lots of people besides Indians had lice in those days. 
"Some didn't care if they had 'em and some did care — so the 


ones carin' had an awful time havin' to associate with those who 
had 'em and didn't care, and then tryin' to get rid of 'em. They'd 
wash the kids heads in coal oil when they'd come home lousy and 
that was plenty tough on the kids. Some figured it was lots easier 
to just have lice than try to kill 'em off." One of the boys offered 
to let Chubb sleep with him in his bedroll out in the yard that 
night, the result being both the kid and the bed got lousy, to the 
exasperation of the women of the household for it was no easy 
task getting lice out of bedding. 

This story was told by Jim Gatchell about a fine looking man 
who, all dressed up in a white shirt and tails, was making a speech. 
As he was fluently addressing his audience, a big louse crawled out 
his shirt front and began to scoot around. Very casually the man 
stopped in the middle of a sentence and, taking the louse daintily 
between thumb and forefinger and opening his shirt front, put 
the insect back inside, remarking, "Go on back, old fellow, where 
it's warm. Don't want you to freeze to death." 

Another old-timer said some kids would sit in the school room 
and comb or pick lice out of their hair and squash them between 
two fingernails and that "they'd pop like a gun. The bigger ones 
popped the best, of course." 

As was said, frontier life was one everlasting struggle against lice 
and bedbugs, too, for that matter. The log houses were awful 
for the latter, they'd crawl way back in the cracks between the logs 
in the daytime and then crawl out and torment people at night. 
These flat, reddish brown, long legged insects were bloodsucking 
like mosquitoes and their bites itched maddeningly. Even the 
hotels were infected with them. 

In 1898 Mrs. Mattie Winingar resigned as postmistress and 
Harmon Brittain had it until the rural free delivery was inaugu- 
rated. The Winingars had by now built and were living in a nice 
new house on the hill, a fine one with shingles on the roof, and 
the old Ono post office building was turned into a chicken coop 
and storeroom. Many years afterwards, when Nellie Winingar 
married and had children of her own, they used to tell everybody 
"Mama was married in the chicken coop at Grandpa's ranch." 
The fact that the present chicken coop had once been a com- 
fortable, pleasant living room never occurred to them. 

Around 1900 the R.F.D. meant the abandoning of many early- 
day post offices. However, due to the need of changing horses, 
getting meals, etc., the Ono Stage Station was established down 
by the bend in the road on Steele Creek near the schoolhouse. 
The station consisted of several buildings, a stable, a blacksmith 
shop and also a fenced in horse pasture. This being the main stop 
on the route, a man was hired to take care of the horses and see 
that hay and grain, etc., were available at all times. Also, mail 
was left here for people living too far away to be serviced by 
mailboxes along the route. 


Mrs. Winingar moved down there to cook for the passengers 
and also because it was closer to school for the children. For 
four or five years this got to be quite a route. Ed Lytle, an old 
man still living in Buffalo, was the first stage driver under the 
R.F.D. system. 11 Bert Woodside had the mail contract and hired 
the drivers. 

The Charles W. Lytle family came to Buffalo in 1886 and were 
originally from Kansas. Ed was born on the way out, so he 
doesn't remember much of the trip except what he heard his folks 
tell in later years. Wild Cat Sam was with them and another 
family named Williams who homesteaded north of Kaycee some- 

Ed said, "I got started carrying mail when a young fellow and 
looked like I couldn't get away from it," for he was still doing it 
when he retired a few years ago. There were still lots of passen- 
gers on the Ono stage and the fare was $4.00 from Buffalo to 
Kaycee. The stage left at 6 A.M., changed horses at Billy Creek 
at the Jim Dowling place, 1 6 miles out, and then on to Ono Stage 
Station for dinner and a change of horses, then on to Mayoworth 
and Kaycee, where the driver spent the night at the Grigg Hotel. 
He'd arrive in Kaycee around 4 P.M., if he had good luck. The 
stage made a round trip each day via Ono Stage Station from 
Buffalo to Kaycee with two drivers. One left Kaycee and one left 
Buffalo at the same time each morning. The distance was around 
58 miles and took about 10 hours if everything was favorable. 
There were four changes of horses each way, each team going 
about 15 miles. The drivers didn't exchange either vehicles or 
teams as they didn't want anyone else responsible for their outfit 
or horses, which was a good thing. When the parcel post got 
heavy Bert Woodside himself would drive an extra four-horse 
wagon to deliver the packages, the rates being one dollar per 100 

At this time the stage itself was a Studebaker spring wagon with 
a canvas top on back over the passengers' seats, the driver's seat 
being up high in front and "horrible cold in winter and horrible 
hot in summer." The horses weighed around 12 or 13 hundred 
pounds and usually were good ones, too; but some were a little 
mean and some great to kick. Ed said he had one team he 
couldn't stop except to drive up alongside a fence or post. Some 
fool had once unhooked three tugs and left one fastened and 
started to lead the team off, and the buggy jerking along sideways 
had scared them and they'd run away making a mess of everything. 
It seems they just didn't get over that fright and were afraid to 
stop with a vehicle behind, every since. "But as long as you knew 

11. Ed later married Fannie Winingar (see picture), the second 
daughter of the John Winingars. The other children not previously men- 
tioned, Fred, Harry, and Melvin are dead. 


it you had no trouble drivin' 'em. It was what you didn't know 
about a horse that got you in trouble," Ed said. 

Like a horse that Bert Woodside bought from Billy Hayes, a 
rancher on Crazy Woman. Billy said, "He's good strong horse 
and he'll work, he'll never stop pullin', but that's all you can say 
for him." Bert thought that was enough, all he needed in a horse, 
so the deal was closed. However he was a pinto and the drivers 
weren't very happy when he arrived, for pintos were considered 
unstable and no good. "Sure enough, come to find out, the 
animal had claustrophobia and caused no end of trouble until we 
found out you couldn't harness him in any barn, because you 
couldn't get him in a barn in the first place. We had to feed and 
harness him outside in the wide open spaces." One day Bert 
was at Ono Stage Station doing some horseshoeing, fence repairing, 
etc., and decided the pinto needed reshoeing. Bert was a big 
strong man and just as stubborn as any horse that ever lived, so 
the last anyone knew Bert and the pinto were in the blacksmith 
shop with the door securely bolted. Dinner time came and went 
and Mrs. Winingar began to think it odd that Bert hadn't showed 
up for dinner, for he was a hearty eater and besides he was con- 
siderate and always told her if he was not staying for a meal. 
In fact, she began to worry and sent one of the men to investigate. 
He went to the shop and found the door a pile of splintered up 
boards and no horse in sight and Bert lying unconscious on the 
other side of the forge. When he recovered Bert said he was 
lucky to be alive and, "You boys was sure right about that damn 
pinto. I'd a sure killed the ornery skunk if he hadn't got me first." 

Good or bad, a driver got to knowing his teams and got to de- 
pending on them a mighty lot, too. Not enough can be said about 
these faithful horses. Usually they'd trot along of their own 
accord and move right out over the miles seeming to know they 
were on a schedule and feeling responsible for getting there on 
time. "They hated rain and mud as bad as I did. I sure hated 
to see a storm come up, made me and the horses too much tough 
luck, fightin' that gumbo mud was fierce," Ed said. 

The mesa above Mayoworth was bad in winter, the snow would 
pile up six or eight feet on the level and there'd be nothing but a 
big white expanse with no track to tell where the road was. If 
the storm was bad a passenger often had to walk ahead of the 
team to be sure they didn't fall off in a gulch or something. A 
driver would have been in a mighty bad fix more than once if it 
hadn't been for the intelligence of his horses. Sometimes they 
could sense where the road was and "you couldn't make 'em get 
off, either." If some one had broken the track and the road was 
visible, they'd never leave it, for they didn't want to get bogged 
down in a snow bank any more than the driver wanted them to. 
Horses were terribly afraid of deep snow and they could often 
find a way to go when a man couldn't. 


One time a very prim town woman and her two children were 
on the stage in just such weather. The woman asked the driver if 
he would please try to find a little bare spot right away and drive 
to it quickly. "Why, ma'am?" he asked. "Because", she said, 
"my children and I must answer the call of nature." "Ma'am, 
I ain't seen nothin' but white all day long and if I did there's no 
power on earth could get this here team off'n this here road. But 
I will pull up and you and the young 'uns can answer your call 
right behind this here stage." 

When the first cars were put on the R.F.D. routes the old stage 
drivers had a hectic time changing over. One said, "The horse 
stage was a darn sight better 'n safer than a car stage. You could 
always use the team to pull you out of trouble, but with a car you 
was just plain stuck in the mud, and then you never run a chance 
of leavin' a plug out of a horse and causing a catastrophe — but 
you sure run into trouble with all these 'dad burn' plugs in a car, 
leave one out and where were you — you was either out of water 
or out of gas and besides that, you had to keep rememberin' to 
think for the darned car. I never could get used to doing two jobs 
of thinking." 

Ed Lytle tells of a thing he rigged up to keep himself from 
freezing to death when the car stalled on the route. He carried 
four-foot lengths of heavy telephone wire around which gunny 
sacks were tightly wrapped, being placed securely over one end 
of the wire also, making a cattail sort of looking doodad. These 
sacks could be saturated with gasoline and set afire (if the wind 
wasn't blowing so hard you couldn't light a match) and would 
burn at least thirty minutes. They furnished heat enough to help 
a lot. Ranchers along the way were very hospitable and would 
accommodate passengers if they were unable to make the regular 

And so again we are reminded that it's the little things that make 
life rich and full and worthwhile; the big experiences are too few 
and too far apart to have lasting meaning. It is the sum total 
of many seemingly insignificant experiences that make life itself 
not ordinary. In recounting these happenings of pioneer days 
Maverick's philosophy seems quite apropos, "If you can't afford 
to lose, don't play," and also brings to mind the following little 

Wife: "Hiram, you can't win, you know you can't win." 

Hiram: "I ain't obliged to win, Marthy. I'm just obliged to try 
and it can't be no other way." 

When thinking of the Winingars this quotation of Phillip Brooks 
comes to my mind: 

"No man or woman even of the humblest sort can really be 
strong, gentle, pure and good without somebody being helped 
and comforted by the very existence of that goodness." 
(To be continued) 

Photo by Pierre LaBonte, Jr. 
Old Ft. Laramie. Start of Trek No. 10, July 3, 1959. 

Photo by H. M. Townsend 
Slade's Chimney in Sawmill Canyon. 

Photo by H. M. Townsend 
Remains of Ft. Fetterman. 

S migrant Zrail Zrek flo. 10 


Sponsored by 


under the direction of Clark Bishop, Albert Sims, and 
Lyle Hildebrand 

Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, Trek Historian 

July 3-5, 1959 

Caravan - 40 cars 85 participants 


Captain W. R. Bradley 

Assistants Albert Sims, Clark Bishop 

Guides Lyle Hildebrand, Bruce McKinstry 

Wagon Boss Charles Ritter 

Historians Maurine Carley, Mrs. A. R. Boyack 

Topographer _ H. M. Townsend 

Photographer : Pierre (Pete) La Bonte 

Chaplain Col. A. R. Boyack 

Press Pat Flannery 

Registrar Jeneva Hildebrand 

Cooks Elizabeth Hildebrand, Al LaBonte 

NOTE: Numbers preceding "M." indicate distances on the old 
north side Emigrant Road west from the east boundary 
of Wyoming. The north end of the old 1875 steel bridge 
at Ft. Laramie is located 32 V2 miles east of the Nebraska 
border, using the north side Emegrant Route mileage. 

Friday— July 3, 1959 

9:00 A.M. Following registration the tenth trek officially 
began with a short prayer by Colonel Boyack at old Fort Laramie 
(33 M. south side numbers). 

Mr. W. J. Petty, Historian for the Fort Laramie National Monu- 
ment, welcomed the group to the Monument then led a tour 
through the Sutler's Store and one of the restored officer's quarters. 
During the trip he announced that antique furniture for these 
rooms would be verly acceptable. 



— Emigrant 77* ail T*ef< A/©, /o — 
—/*7/9fi>A/o./ or 3 Maps — 


Little Known Facts About Fort Laramie As Told By A. L. 
"Pat" Flannery. 

These are the most historic 40 acres in Wyoming. This is the 
site of the first permanent settlement of white men in this state. 

According to legend, about 1815 a Frenchman named Jacques 
La Ramie a free trapper, came into this region with a band of 
trappers. A few winters later La Ramie went up the Laramie 
River alone to trap and was never seen nor heard from again. 
Subsequently a band of Arapahoe Indians told how they had killed 



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— Emigrant Tpa/l TTtek aVo. /a — 
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him and shoved his body under a beaver dam near the mouth of 
Sybille Creek in what is now Platte County. Thereafter the river 
was known as Laramie's River, the mountain as Laramie's Peak 
and all other places and things called Laramie were likewise 
named after this legendary French trapper. 

In 1834 Ft. Laramie was established by Sublette and Campbell 
and it remained a fur trading post until 1849. That year the 
United States army appeared on the scene and purchased Fort 
Laramie for the U.S.A. From that day on, for more than forty 


years. Fort Laramie was a military post and became the strongest 
and best known fortress on the western frontier until it was 
abandoned, its duty done, in 1890. 

All of the foregoing is well known history. Now I would like 
to take a few minutes to acquaint you with some not so well known 
facts of what happened to the old Fort after its abandonment. 

On August 28, 1 888, the late John Hunton was appointed post 
trader at Fort Laramie by the Secretary of War. On the early 
frontier this was a prized political plum. The post trader had a 
monopoly on the sale of all goods and supplies on the military 
reservation that were not issued to soldiers by the government. 
John Hunton needed a boost, as he had gone broke after the 
killing winter of 1887, which also broke almost all the early cattle- 
men, many banks and other business establishments. 

Following his appointment he purchased the old Sutler's Store 
(the oldest permanent structure in Wyoming) for $3,500 from 
John London, his predecessor, and also paid him $4,500 for his 
stock of merchandise. But John Hunton's good fortune, if you 
can call it that, was short lived — hard luck continued to dog his 

The very next year, in September 1889, Fort Laramie was 
ordered abandoned. The departing troops stripped the buildings 
of just about everything valuable that could easily be removed, 
leaving Hunton high and dry with his store and stock of goods. 
But he hung on and Fort Laramie continued to be the trading 
center of a large area for many years and was Hunton's home until 
a short time before his death in 1928. 

On April 9, 1890, the government sold the buildings on the 
old post at public auction. Buildings in Officers Row and six 
large buildings south of the old Sutler's Store, including famous 
old Bedlam, were purchased in the name of his wife, Blanche T. 
Hunton — but not the land on which they stood. 

On February 23, 1892, John Hunton was officially appointed 
government custodian of the abandoned military reservation, and 
so served for a number of years, without pay. One of his duties 
was to keep the old iron bridge across the Platte, a mile east of 
here, in repair and in serviceable condition. 

Then another crisis arose in his affairs. The old military 
reservation, six miles wide and nine miles long, was opened to 
settlement, appraised with the view of offering it for sale to the 
highest bidder. This really put the Huntons on the spot. All their 
worldly goods were invested in the buildings and his business on 
this forty acres of land — the very heart of old Fort Laramie. If 
the land was sold at auction he might have to bid thousands of 
dollars for it to save his home and other buildings for which he 
had already paid once. The nature of their construction made 
them impossible to move. 

Tn this emergency the late Senator Francis E. Warren came to 


Hunton's rescue. On December 14, 1897, he introduced in 
Congress a bill, S.2785, entitled, "A Bill for the Relief of Blanche 
T. Hunton." This bill set forth the facts I have just given you, 
from the time of Mr. Hunton's appointment as post trader, up 
to and including his years of service as custodian of the old fort 
without pay. It instructed the Secretary of the Interior to sell 
this forty acres of land to Blanche T. Hunton at its appraised 
value of $1.25 per acre. Legislation authorizing such sale was 
enacted and approved July 5, 1898. 

There is a rather heart warming political angle to this almost 
forgotten bit of legislation a lifetime ago. Here was Francis E. 
Warren, distinguished Union veteran of the Civil War and undis- 
puted leader of the Republican party in Wyoming, coming to the 
aid of Southern rebel John Hunton, an equally ardent and fervent 
lifelong Democrat. It was something John Hunton never forgot. 
He had a way of not forgetting his friends, or his enemies either 
for that matter. 

Many years later, in the early 20's when Hunton was in his 
80's, Senator Warren held a political meeting in Torrington the 
night before election. It was late fall, there had been a heavy early 
snow, and it was cold. During the day Hunton casually mentioned 
that he wished he could see Warren again. So, with the impet- 
uousness of younger days, I told him we would go. Now going 
to Torrington in those days was a little different from now. You 
did not follow a straight highway down the railroad track then. 
Instead, you went by meandering country dirt road that wound 
around among the sandhills for much of the way. If you drove it 
by car, you were careful to take a shovel and some boards along, 
as well as chains, because you knew that in one way or another 
you would get stuck before you got back — either in mud, or 
snow, or in sand. 

My only means of transportation, aside from horse drawn 
vehicles, was an old Model T pickup held together largely by 
baling wire. It had no cab, no top. Once it had had a windshield, 
but that had long since bounced off and smashed to pieces. But 
we made it. That ride may even have seemed a little like a 
luxury journey to Hunton who remembered how it was to travel 
behind plodding oxen through both summer heat and winter cold. 
After that political meeting the two old men sat down and talked 
over old times. I was glad that we made it, for that was the last 
visit they ever had together. 

There is one more interesting detail of how this forty acres 
passed to Blanche Hunton. She did not even have to pay the 
appraised value of $1.25 per acre. During the War of 1812 a 
Lt. Eliphalet Mason, commanding Pennsylvania Militia, was issued 
military Bounty Land Warrant No. 9064 for forty acres of govern- 
ment land. This may have been a sort of bonus for his war ser- 
vice, or it may have been issued to him in lieu of pay. However, 


Lt. Mason did not use his bounty land warrant, just stuck it away 
somewhere or passed it on with his estate. In 1852 Congress 
approved an act making such Warrants assignable, and in some 
way unknown to me, Blanche Hunton acquired the one issued to 
Lt. Mason and used it to pay for this forty acres where we stand. 

All the foregoing is set forth in the Patent issued to Mrs. Hunton 
for this land. That patent, preserved among John Hunton's 
papers, is in itself an interesting document. Except for the printed 
heading, "The United States of America, to all whom these presents 
come. Greeting": it is entirely hand written in pen and ink, signed 
December 1, 1898, William McKinley, President, by F. M. 
McKean, Secretary. Its two large sheets are fastened together 
with blue baby ribbon, the ends of which are held under the seal 
of the United States General Land Office. 

Several weeks ago I asked Senator O'Mahoney to check the 
authenticity of the several documents I have described to you. 
This he kindly did through the archives of the Library of Congress, 
the Bureau of Land Management and Congressional records, and 
found them to be as stated. In addition the Senator sent me a 
certified photostat copy of the Patent issued to Mrs. Hunton for 
this forty acres with a covering letter authorizing me to present it 
to this group for the record of this Trek, which I take pleasure 
in doing in his behalf. I suggest that ultimately it be displayed 
in the old Hunton House on this national monument. (The Patent 
has been framed by the Laramie County Historical Society.) 

The rest of old Fort Laramie's history is well known. For 
almost half a century after its abandonment in 1 890 it lay neglect- 
ed, wasting away. Then, during the 1920's a small group of 
people started working for its preservation and restoration, and 
public interest was gradually awakened. I see one or two here 
today who were in that group, but it is sobering to stop and think 
how many of them are gone. They would, I know, be pleased 
to realize their efforts have borne such good fruit. It makes one 
realize how much there is to be done, and how little time to do it. 

To conclude the story, legislation was secured authorizing the 
state to buy these buildings and the land on which they stand. 
Negotiations were then entered into with the federal government, 
which agreed to accept this historic site from the state as a gift 
for preservation and restoration. Finally, some twenty-two years 
ago, in 1937, Fort Laramie became a national monument. Since 
that time the National Park Service has carefully and painstakingly, 
as you can see, carried forward the work of restoration. 

There is still much to be done, but those of us who believe the 
preservation of American history and culture is worth while can 
take satisfaction in the knowledge that this spot, so long as there 
is an America, will remain an historic shrine where generations yet 
unborn will come to renew their faith in the past, and thereby 
gain strength for the future. 


9:45 A.M. Left Fort Laramie National Monument. The 
small house on the left as we turned north was at one time the 
home of John Hunton. At the next turn east we passed the marker 
for Grey Eagle, Portugee Phillip's horse. Just before we came to 
the new river bridge we saw the marker for old Fort Platte, which 
was located between the marker and the river. Although we 
crossed on the new bridge we looked with respect at the old steel 
bridge built by the army in 1875, still standing and doing service 
until 1958. 

At about Va mile northeast of the old bridge (32M.) we crossed 
the old Emigrant Road which has been obliterated by plowing. 
The Cheyenne-Black Hills Road also entered the old road near 

10:00 A.M. We drove through the town of Fort Laramie, 
turned left and proceeded on Highway 26 for four miles where we 
again crossed the Cheyenne-Black Hills Road. (The crossings 
were always marked by a flag placed by the lead car.) Three 
and one half miles farther on we crossed the old trail coming 
from southeast to northwest at 40 Va M. 

Mr. Bruce McKinstry Of Chicago Explained Why We Are 
Taking The North Trail. 

It is indeed a pleasure and privilege to come out here from 
Illinois to spend these three days with you people who share my 
interest in the old emigrant trails. On this trek we are retracing 
a section of the north bank trail which, up to June, 1850, was 
popularly believed to be impassable. Therefore all emigrants of 
earlier years, who had travelled the north bank trail as far as Fort 
Laramie, had crossed to the south side at that point. 

My grandfather, Byron N. McKinstry, started out from his 
home in McHenry County, Illinois, in the company of three of 
his neighbors with a covered wagon and three yoke of oxen, in 
March, 1850. They headed for the California gold fields. At the 
Missouri River they joined a large company which called itself 
the Upper Mississippi Ox Company. This company followed the 
north bank of the Platte and the North Platte rivers, the route 
which had been popularized by the Morman emigrations starting 
three years earlier. 

On arrival at a point opposite Fort Laramie on June 21, 1850, 
Byron's party found 14 companies waiting to cross to the south 
side, and no boat available. The ferry that had been in use had 
floated down the river, the rumor being that those on the south 
side had set it adrift to prevent those on the north side from 
crossing over. A new boat under construction was not yet com- 
pleted. At Fort Laramie, the officers who were consulted by the 
emigrants said that it was "nearly impossible" to get through on 
the north side, and that of 84 wagons that attempted it the pre- 


ceeding year, only eight ever got through. Kit Carson, the famous 
scout who was then at Fort Laramie, was quoted as saying that 
"The Devil himself could not get through on the north side". 

The Upper Mississippi Ox Company, and the Wisconsin Blues, 
another company often mentioned in Byron's journal, split up 
over this question. Eleven of the 32 wagons of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi Ox Company, including that of Byron and his partners, 
and eight wagons of the Wisconsin Blues started up the north bank 
on June 22nd and camped near the river, five miles from Fort 
Laramie. The following day, June 23rd, they passed the point 
where we are now standing. 

10:40 A.M. Left 40V4 M. Continued west on Highway about 
5 miles and turn right just east of Guernsey on the Hartville road. 
The Emigrant Road crosses the Hartville road at 45 miles. We 
paused here to flag this point. Between 45 miles and 49 miles 
we crossed and recrossed the old road several times. After we 
passed through Hartville we saw the "Notch" referred to in the 
McKinstry Diary. 

Mr. Bruce McKinstry Read From The Byron McKinstry Diary 
Of 1850 

"June 23 Sunday. The pines are short and scrubby (yellow 
pine). — I find garlic plenty which answers well for onions, and 
they say that antelope and mountain sheep are abundant. — We 
bear to the Northward among the hills making a circuit to avoid 
the high hills that cross the Platte at the first Kanyon. After 
winding among the hills for about 10 m. we passed through a 
notch and descended to the river again. This was a picturesque 
rout and the road was hilly but not bad, rather sorry and rough 
in some places — We passed some fine springs of pure cold water 
just before we reached the summit, say 9 m. from the river, 
but water was scarce on the route. — Grass not the very best, soil 
sandy, wild sage abundant, also several other kinds of shrubs 
that are new to me. I saw the head and horns of a mountain 
sheep, the horns were 4 ft. long and a foot in circumference at 
the head." 

We also found the way "rather sorry and rough." It took all the 
men in the party to get one car to the top. 

1 1 :30 A.M. Left 49 M. and continued mostly on the old road. 
At 50 M. we began our ascent of Emigrant Hill which proved to 
be quite an undertaking because of the steep, rough road with 
sudden turns. Looking back from the top, that road looked like 
soft folds of brown ribbon, but we knew better. Ahead lay a 
panoramic view of rolling country spotted with pine breaks and 
to the right beautiful blue Laramie Peak stood serene in the 
distance. The McKinstry Diary mentions this spectacular view. 


On the crest of this lonely hill we stopped and our chaplain said 
a prayer at the grave of Elva Ingram. 

Elva Ingram by W. W. Morrison. 

On a cloudy day with a light rain falling, Wednesday June 23, 
1852, Elva Ingram, daughter of James and Ann Ingram died and 
was buried here. She was the youngest of nine children. 

Living relatives of the dead girl say she was just a small child, 
possibly three or more years of age. If the etching on the head- 
stone has been traced correctly she was probably four years and 
six months old at the time of her death. 

Elva Ingram and her family left Salem, Iowa, in a covered 
wagon April 15, 1852, enroute to Oregon. They crossed the 
Missouri River near the present Council Bluffs May 18 and 
reached Fort Laramie June 21. On July 27, they left the "Big 
Turn" on the Bear, and finally on Friday October 15, reached 
the Cascades of the Columbia. 

Elva's death was the second in the little wagon train, the first 
being Louisa Richey who died and was buried near the north bank 
of the Platte in the vicinity of the present Northport, Nebraska. 
Before reaching the Wilamette Valley there were at least six others 
in the wagon train to be buried in wayside graves, the last being 
little Mary Ann Akin who died at the Lower Cascades of the 
Columbia and was buried there. 

Thousands died by the wayside on the Westward march. Hun- 
dreds of graves were unmarked. Native stones placed at many of 
the graves have managed somehow to weather the time and 
elements, and they bear silent witness of the sorrow, tears and 
hardships along the way. 

The passing years will wear away all traces of lettering on this 
little stone, and in time the grave, as many others, will go into 
oblivion unless it is marked well and protected. 

A modest memorial can be erected here, and the headstone 
placed inside of the monument behind heavy plate glass where 
it can be out of the weather and can be seen by the generations 
to come. 

12:10 P.M. From 50V£ M. we left the old trail to our left 
and traveled north on a county road to 58Vi M. where we again 
crossed the old road. We continued on to 60 miles where we 
turned left on the Osborn ranch road down the narrow Saw Mill 
Canyon to Slade Chimneys. As soon as all the cars had success- 
fully negotiated the canyon and everyone had inspected the rem- 
nants of the three old chimneys, lunches were brought forth and 
all enjoyed a picnic in the sun. 


Mr. Robert Rymill Told About The Slade Chimneys In Saw 
Mill Canyon. 

I have had quite a hunt to find anything about these chimneys 
and about Joseph Slade, or Alfred Slade, or Joe Slade or Jack 
Slade as he was called. I had to read everything I could get about 
him to find anything that might throw any light on these chimneys. 
There must be a reason why they were called 'Slade Chimneys', 
but I have not found it out. 

There is very little written history about Slade, as most of the 
information seems to have come down through the years by word 
of mouth. I consider the most authentic that taken from the 
Overland News printed in Denver by Byron G. Hopper, Jr. He 
says that Slade was born in 1 824 at Carlyle, Illinois. After finish- 
ing school, he and his two older brothers went to work on farms 
owned by their father, who had accumulated considerable wealth 
in the way of land and business. The father was a man of im- 
portance, having served in the Illinois Legislature, and was a 
Congressman from Illinois at the time of his death in 1832. 
Slade's mother remarried. His half brother was Brigadier General 
Elias E. Dennis, who distinguished himself at the battle of Vicks- 
burg with General Grant. 

In the early forties an incident happened which was to change 
the life of Alf Slade completely. While in a fight, he killed a man 
named Gottlick, so fled from Illinois to Missouri. Not much is 
known about him for the next few years. 

According to Forbes Parkhill, Slade fled west as a wagon master 
on a California bound wagon train just before the Mexican War 
in 1848. His two brothers, Charles and William, joined the 
Illinois volunteer company then being formed to fight Mexico. 
They evidently corresponded with their younger brother as Alf 
returned to Carlyle and joined the same company. Charles died 
in the war, William returned to Carlyle and Alf went back west, 
as he showed up in the fifties in charge of a bull train freighting 
supplies to Utah. 

It was during this period that he met and married Maria Virginia 
Dale, a daughter of a frontiersman. I could not find where his 
wife came from, but it may have been Utah, as she took his body 
to Salt Lake for burial. Virginia Dale Stage Station on the 
Overland Trail in Colorado was named for her. 

It was during this same period that Slade made his reputation as 
a tough two gun man. He could shoot with either hand or both. 
Because of this reputation he was hired by the Overland Stage 
people in 1860 to be superintendent of the division between 
Julesburg and Rocky Ridge Station on the Sweetwater, which was 
considered the most troublesome division on the overland route. 

The Overland News states, "In the spring of 1860, when Slade 
was appointed agent of the Sweetwater Division of the Central 


Overland California and Pikes Peak Express he was not only 
placed in charge of all stage personnel and equipment on his 
division, but he also assumed the responsibility of maintaining 
the additional personnel and equipment of the newly formed Pony 
Express." He held this position until the fall of 1862, when he 
was discharged for drinking and shooting up a store in LaPorte, 
Colorado, and the Sutler's store at Fort Halleck at the foot of Elk 
Mountain in Wyoming. 

The Overland News continues, "Temporarily out of a job, Slade 
decided that this would be a good time to return East and visit 
his family. This he did, returning in the spring of 1863 to Fort 
Bridger with a small but well-equipped freighting outfit. Here he 
made his headquarters, freighting between that place, Salt Lake 
City and the Idaho diggings. It's reported that he drank constantly 
then and frequently to excess, but there is no record of any serious 
difficulty caused by him at this time. Although he became un- 
controllable while under the influence of liquor, he never failed to 
make amends to any he had offended or pay for any damage he 

"Last fall Slade and his wife arrived here in Virginia City. 
They purchased a small ranch about eight miles east of here on 
Trail Creek which is called Spring Dale. Here Slade built a small 
stone house near the trail which leads from here over the Tobacco 
Root Range to the Valley of the Madison." 

These chimneys have been called the Slade Chimneys for as 
long as anyone can remember. He must have been in this imme- 
diate area at the time he was hired by the Overland Stage as he 
established his home at the Horseshoe Creek Station, whether by 
choice or by Company orders is not known. There is a possibility 
that Slade could have had something to do with this spot and 
these chimneys. It could be that he had his winter quarters here 
while he was freighting to Utah, which is not likely but possible, 
as he would have had to be freighting on the north side trail. 
Another possibility is that this was the place where he killed four 
bad men in a cabin, and for this reason they were called Slade 
Chimneys. The story that Slade turned bandit and stole horses 
and cattle from emigrants and used this for his hideout does not 
seem to be true. 

I am of the opinion that these chimneys were those of the old 
saw mill cabins as this has always been called Saw Mill Canyon. 
Byron McKinstry mentioned them in his diary and also referred 
to Uncle Sam's lumber boys who were cutting lumber and floating 
it by raft to Fort Laramie. Therefore, there must have been a 
permanent saw mill site in this canyon in the early fifties. 

1 : 30 P.M. By the time we went back up the canyon, the road 
had dried so all cars made the county road where we turned north 
to 60 1/3 M. crossing the old trail in a saddle or notch. We 


named this McKinstry Notch. Here Bruce McKinstry read the 
following from the diary of his grandfather: 

McKinstry Diary - June 24, Monday, 1850 

"June 24th Monday. I suppose that the 15 m. we travelled 
yesterday did not carry us up the Platte half that distance. But 
there is no such thing as travelling on the river. The bluffs rise 
perpendicularly to a great heighth, in some places from the waters 
edge. We had a fine view this morning of the Gates at the 
Kanyon above Laramie that we were all day yesterday getting 
round. We leave the Platte this morning, winding through a 
beautiful grassy valley in a N.W. direction, rising considerably 
till we reached the summit in about 6m. Passing through a notch 
[McKinstry Notch] we descended through a wider valley, grass 
would do to mow. The declivity was gently, the soil good and 
the surrounding cedar crowned hills high and beautiful, all cal- 
culated to please. There was but one drawback, the want of 
water, of that none could be found. The grassy valley led to a 
dry Creek with some pines on the bank; the channel sunk 15 or 
20 ft. below the plain with perpendicular banks which were 
difficult to cross, though we followed its course, crossing it 
several times, till at last we came to a spring [Box Elder Spring] 
and drank ourselves and watered our cattle. In about Vi m. 
farther we came to a fine creek of water 3 ft. wide bordered with 
Ash, Cottonwood, and willow [Spring creek]. Here we nooned 
on fine grass. The large flies were rather annoying and our cattle 
getting into the brush were frightened at their own noise and ran 
several times. 

June 25th Tuesday. The Wis. Blues lay by today on account 
of a sick man. This morning we have open prairie. As we pro- 
ceed I notice some interesting looking hills on each side of us. 
On our left banks of red clay and rock and some fine specimens 
of flint, some pieces nearly transparent. . . . We had some rare 
fun catching a fawn which squatted in the grass and weeds and 
cried most piteously when we got hold of it. . . . On the E. side 
of a creek near the mouth there was a dead Indian in the top of a 
large cottonwood nicely wrapped up in a red blanket, a buffalo 
robe and several dressed deer skins, and a large bundle of the 
latter under his head. He was some 20 feet from the ground, the 
head to the west, and smelt horribly. This is the way the Crow 
Indians bury their dead, I am told. Some of our party saw an 
Indian buried in the same manner at Laramie. We have been in 
the Crow nation since we enetered the Black Hills. 

2:30 P.M. Left McKinstry Notch (60 1/3 M.). 

2:45 P.M. Arrived at Box Elder Springs (65 M.) close to the 
famous Spanish Diggings where hundreds of tons of stone have 
been removed by prehistoric peoples in uncovering the quartzite 


and flint from which they made implements for hunting, for war 
and for agriculture. As a cold wind was blowing, the trekkers 
sat on the ground behind the cars in true Indian fashion and 
listened to — 

Some Wyoming Geology By Mr. Albert Bartlett. 

"To understand the rocks of this area I believe we should start 
at the very beginning of the Earth's history, so that we can follow 
the important steps in its evolution to its present form and condi- 
tion. This will have to be generalized, as there is far too much to 
consider in one short talk. 

The astronomers tell us that the Earth began forming five 
billion years ago as a cosmic cloud composing part of a stupendous 
mass of swirling hydrogen gas rotating invisibly in space. As the 
cloud spun, turbulence developed and eddies formed, and within 
the eddies gravitational forces began to weld particles into ever 
greater bodies whose temperatures rose as they felt the squeeze 
of gravitation, and in the hot centers atomic nuclei began to react 
eventually forming the chemical elements which make up the 
composition of the rocks of the earth and its crust. 

Concerning our solar system, each planet is believed to have 
been formed as a spin-off from the gas cloud until the latter 
contracted to its center, the sun. The earth, originally, was so 
hot that it was entirely in a molten condition, so when it took 
form it became a spheroid in accordance with the laws of gravi- 

The earth is still cooling and shrinking, with its core so dense 
as to be practically solid, but at depths from one hundred to 
two thousand miles below the surface it is believed to be plastic 
and liquid, as evidenced by outpourings of lava in modern times. 
The scientists have determined that the core is composed of the 
heavy elements such as iron, nickel, etc., while the lighter com- 
ponents have reacted together to make a thin crust of lighter 
material, originally surrounded by great masses of steam, because 
the crust was still too hot for water to condense into rain. 

After the passing of many millions of years the crust cooled 
enough to allow the steam to condense to form rain and this 
marked the beginning of erosion, the patient, never-ending, process 
of wearing down land areas and building sediments in lakes and 
seas. As rain fell it dissolved some of the surface and carried 
other material physically as sediments down the newly formed 
creeks and rivers into oceans and lakes, resulting in deposits 
several miles in thickness. The most ancient are from three 
billion to one-half billion years old and are assigned to the 
Archean Era, and are mapped as pre-Cambrian along with the 
granites and other igneous rocks associated with them. 

It should be mentioned here that rocks are divided into three 


general classifications, first, Igneous meaning those ro^ks that 
have cooled from a molten condition, such as granite, diorite, etc., 
second Metamorphic, meaning rocks that have been changed from 
their original condition by heat, pressure, or chemical action, 
which has been the fate of the ancient sediments just mentioned, 
which are now schist, slate, quartzite, gneiss, etc., and third, 
Sedimentary, those rocks deposited by the action of water, wind, 
and glaciers. These are sandstone, shale, limestone, etc. 

Mountain building developed from the shrinking of the crust in 
combination with forces acting from inside the earth and with 
the change in weight at various points resulting from erosion at 
some points and deposition at others. This process is going on 
now along the California coast where earthquakes are caused 
where streams removed material from the mountains and deposited 
it in the ocean, putting the earth's crust out of balance. 

Wyoming appears to have been in a region of great crustal 
uneasiness; the earth's internal forces have been very active here. 
East of Atlantic City, Wyo., you can travel for fifteen miles across 
the upturned edges of ancient sediments now standing vertically, 
which were originally deposited horizontally, but were set up on 
edge by some tremendous crustal deformation, and then were 
levelled off by erosion, a process requiring many millions of years. 
Similar metamorphic rocks are seen near at hand in the Hartville 
Uplift, which we crossed after leaving Guernsey. 

These rocks showed on the right as we drove up Hartville 
Gulch, mainly in the form of pink dolomite, a limestone containing 
magnesium, which was precipitated in the bottom of the deep 
sea over a period of millions of years in the same manner as 
the formation of lime in a tea kettle. These deposits also stand 
nearly vertically. 

Prior to five hundred million years ago life in some primitive 
form was surely present, there is some evidence, but no proof, 
as the animal organisms did not develop shells or skeletons that 
would have made fossils by which their forms could be preserved 
for our inspection. Beginning with the Cambrian Period at the 
start of Paleozoic Era, or Age of Fishes, marine life became ever 
more plentiful with climatic conditions favorable for life and 

For more than five hundred million years Wyoming has been 
alternately at the bottom of the ocean, under a continental sea, 
covered by lakes between mountain ranges, subjected to lava 
flows and showers of volcanic ash and in between all these events 
it has been a land area many times, sometimes populated by 
dinosaurs, and more lately by an amazing variety of fantastic 
mammals, and with a climate from tropical to glacial. 

The story of evolution is told by the fossils in the rocks, but 
in this part of Wyoming the first four chapters are missing. Plant 
life appeared about 330,000,000 years ago and about the same 


time lung fish and other water dwellers began to come out on 
land and learn to breathe air. When we came up the Hartville 
valley today we saw on the left rocks that belong to the Carbon- 
iferous System, composed of shale and of many hundreds of feet 
of limestone, formed by chemical precipitation from the ocean, 
and identified by fossil shells which prove the marine origin. We 
have been travelling over these formations since we left Hartville, 
up the Emigrant Hill, and on to this vicinity. 

These rocks are 230 to 265 million years old. The limestones 
which were once at the bottom of the deep sea are interbedded 
with shale and sandstone which indicate shallower water condi- 
tions, in all amounting to a thickness of several miles, counting 
later periods of time, but now are 5,000 feet above sea level, 
a striking example of the power and scope of earth movements. 
You will note that the bedding planes of these rocks slope gently 
to the west, away from the Hartville Uplift where the ancient 
sediments were pushed up in a giant fold, exposing themselves 
and these overlying younger limestones to erosion. These lime- 
stones, together with the several miles of sediments above them, 
once extended over the tops of the Laramie Mountains, but have 
been removed by erosion. 

We have been going upward in geologic time history as we have 
proceeded on our Trek, and we will pass over the next younger 
rocks, the Red Beds, not as thick as in Colorado and Arizona 
where they give us gorgeous scenery, and after the Red Beds 
we may pass near a small outcrop of the Morrison which is 
comparatively youthful at 155 million years, and which is noted 
in many parts of the west for its fossils of dinosaurs or Thunder 
Lizards, as upon reaching the Red Beds we came into the rocks 
of the Mesozoic Era, or Age of Reptiles. 

The next younger rocks in this same Era belong to the Dakota 
formation which will interest us because it contains the quartzite 
and flint excavated by dawn men at the Spanish Diggings, fifteen 
miles north of here, and worked at many other places. It does 
not outcrop here, but you can see it as the ridge-forming rock in 
the vicinity of Glendo Dam. It was deposited in shallow water as a 
sand or gravel over at least a five state area, and is at the base 
of beds of shale and sandstone up to over one mile thick, beds 
which contain abundant fish remains which were converted to 
petroleum by the pressure caused by the weight of the overlying 
rocks, and which now give us oil fields. In places the Dakota is 
highly cemented by silica, making it an attractive material for 
Stone Age artifacts, which we will discuss at the end of this paper. 

The Age of Reptiles came to an end with one of the most sig- 
nificant series of events in the earth's history, the Laramide 
Revolution, an epoch of many million years of mountain building 
which lifted the earth's crust of this region a good many miles, 
bringing to elevations high above the tops of our present mountains 


the rocks that formerly were several miles below the bottom of 
the sea. 

This major folding of the earth's crust was the beginning of the 
construction of our mountain ranges, a process which is continu- 
ing to this day. 

During this time the dinosaurs became extinct and mammals 
followed as the dominant forms of land life, their fossil remains 
first plentiful in rocks dated as far back as 75 million years, which 
ushered in the beginning of the Cenozoic Era or Age of Mammals, 
and brings us to historic times, with the vigorous intelligent animals 
that dominate the earth today. We travelled over rocks of these 
periods today from Fort Laramie to Guernsey, and will go over 
them most of the way from here to beyond Fort Fetterman. When 
the Rocky Mountains were pushed up numerous inland lakes were 
formed and in these lakes sediments, which eroded from the moun- 
tains, were deposited, with the aid of volcanic ash, until the lakes 
were filled and it all became a land area, as we find it now. 

This concludes the geological part. With reference to the 
Spanish Diggings, I have always been fascinated by archaeology, 
although I am not an expert on it in any way. The Spanish Dig- 
gings got their name because the early cowboys thought that the 
Spaniards had dug for gold there. 1 My father was an early visitor 
there and was the first to give the world an account of them, in 
1892. He gave an account to a San Francisco newspaper, and 
later a lengthy description of the diggings in his History of 
Wyoming, which you should read. My uncle, Judge Eastman 
of Chicago, visited the site with my father in 1899 and induced 
the Field Columbian Museum, with which he was connected, to 
send a scientific expedition there. This consisted of Drs. Culin 
and Dorsey, whom I well remember visiting us at Cheyenne 

Their report was printed as Publication 51, by the Chicago 
Natural History Museum. 

The diggings consist of several acres of large pits dug in ex- 
tremely hard rock by the use of stone wedges driven by stone 
mauls and fist hammers. Historic tribes of Indians used this same 
material for their artifacts but did not use the quarries to the 
extent of the earlier peoples. Modern Indians have no knowledge 
of nor legends concerning the origin of the quarries. 

I have been much interested in trying to determine the antiquity 
of the Spanish Diggings. A few years ago I saw illustrations of 
the stone work done by various early men, and in all these the 
only work which showed close resemblance to the artifacts of 
the Spanish Diggings was that done by Neanderthal Man, now 

1. This was merely supposition as it is now known that these were the 
quarries of stone age man. 


dated from 35,000 to 200,000 years ago. I have not read all the 
publications on the Spanish Diggings, so am not familiar with the 
opinions of the experts, but I offer this as my own view. 

Neanderthal Man was one of the first full-brained specimens of 
the genus homo, the best known and ubiquitous of prehistoric 
humans, whose remains have been found in three continents, 
Europe, Asia, and Africa, so why not here? He was a brutish 
low-browed homo sapiens with a big brain. 

I have seen the exhibits of artifacts made by Sandia Man, of 
New Mexico (dated by carbon 14 at 15,000 years ago), also those 
of Clovis, Folsom, and the various complexes called Yuma, but 
these do not resemble the bulk of Spanish Diggings work in any 
respect. The latter is rough, crude, and heavy, with large chips 
removed by percussion flaking. I have seen a spear head a foot 
long, evidently these people were big and strong. 

The Dakota formation was worked in other places where the 
right grade of flint could be found, so if you wish to hunt for more 
quarry sites, just follow the Dakota. I found evidences of work 
near Little Medicine Creek sixty miles from here, in addition to 
other places. 

It is unfortunate that many truck loads of stone artifacts and 
rejects have been carried away from the Spanish Diggings, but 
they still constitute an objective for a trip for those wishing to 
see what may be the most ancient work done by man in this 

4:00 P.M. We looked unsuccessfully for artifacts then left 
on a county road which crossed the old trail at 67 M. and again 
at 68 Vi M. After crossing Spring Creek we turned left down the 
north side of the creek, again crossing the trail at 69 Vi M. One 
half mile farther on camp was struck on the east shore of Glendo 
Reservoir where tents soon rose and station wagons were made 
ready for the night. 

6:00 P.M. Everyone enjoyed a real western supper furnished 
by Albert Sims and Clark Bishop. After a jolly song fest the less 
rugged members went into Glendo for the night. 

Saturday — July 4 

Caravan: 23 cars 50 participants 

7:00 A.M. The cooks were up bright and early to have pan- 
cakes, bacon and coffee ready for the reassembled crowd. Dishes 
were washed, the camp was cleaned and the merry party was ready 
for another day of adventure. 

8:00 A.M. Following a prayer by the Chaplain, we left our 
"Home on the Range" for the county road where we again crossed 
the old trail (70Vi M.) which has been submerged for some 
distance by the Glendo Reservoir. 


8:30 A.M. At 75 M. we followed the old trail for two miles 
then turned east to a county road which we followed east, north 
and west to again enter the trail at 80 M. for a few hundred feet. 
The next crossing was at Lost Creek (8IV2 M.). 

10:30 A.M. After travelling on Highway 20 to just east of 
where the old trail crossed (90 M.) we took to the open country 
for a short distance up an incline called Flint Flake Hill. Here 
one of the small boys found a beautiful arrow head. 

11:20 A.M. We left 90 M. and continued on Highway 20 
until we came to Highway 87 on which we travelled about a mile 
to the Platte River and the Bridger Ferry marker. (The Bozeman 
Trail crossed the river at the ferry site just west of the railroad 
bridge and joined the trail just north of the ferry.) 

While eating our sandwiches — 

Mrs. Virginia Trenholm Read a Paper On Bridger's Ferry. 

If Jim Bridger were with us today he would probably amuse 
us with some witticism about his ferry which once operated across 
the Platte near this spot. He was a great story teller. 

According to his biographer, J. Cecil Alter, he was in compe- 
tition with or a direct successor to a Mormon ferry at this location. 
Here business flourished during high water in early summer an 
undetermined number of years. 

The Paul Hendersons of Bridgeport, Nebraska, explored the 
Bridger Ferry site a year ago, at which time they discovered re- 
mains of old building foundations of rock, and stones from fire- 
places. Several large cedar posts that had been used in connection 
with the ferry boat cable were also observed. Mr. Bishop has 
found old horseshoes and other evidences of a blacksmith shop. 
Perhaps some of us will find relics today. 

As Finn Burnett, one of our pioneers of the '60's, calls Bridger's 
Ferry Bridger's Crossing, we assume that he remembered it when 
the water was low enough for him to ford the wide, shallow stream. 
The ferry was in operation only a short time each year. 

Jim Bridger usually had the good fortune of being in the right 
place at the right time. He was in Fort Laramie when the 
Mormon War broke out. Colonel Macey employed him as guide 
for the expedition at $5.00 a day. Besides wages — high for that 
time — he was to receive a toll on every government wagon that 
crossed on a ferry which he was also operating on Green River. 

When Colonel Carrington was sent on the dangerous mission 
to build Forts Reno, Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith, he needed the 
keen-eyed Bridger, who knew the country better than any other 
living white man. The War Department records show that Bridger 
was discharged on June 15, 1866, and that Carrington endorsed 
the order, "Impossible of Execution." The next day he raised 


Jim's pay to $10 a day. And a day later, the command left 
the fort. 

When they reached Bridger's Ferry, Mills, the squawman in 
charge, was excited over an Indian raid which had cost him most 
of his livestock the day before. No mention is made of pay for 
crossing, but we remember that Bridger was a business man. 
His efficiency is proved by the fact that he got the command across 
at the rate of a round trip every eleven minutes. 

References are made to Bridger's Ferry in the reminiscences 
and diaries of George W. Fox, William Murphy and the Car- 

Fox, July 25, 1866, says: "We left camp at 5:25 and drove 
7 miles. Passed a ferry on the Platte, Bridger's. As usual the 
proprietor has some Indians around him." 

Murphy: "After the council, we left Fort Laramie, crossed the 
North Platte at Bridger's Ferry, and after that we had a picket 
line outside the guards." 

Frances C. Carrington: "The journey of forty miles from Fort 
Laramie brought us to Bridger's Ferry, where the North Platte 
was crossed, and with the exception of at Fort Reno and Fort Phil 
Kearny, there was not at that time a resident white man between 
the ferry and Bozeman. 

Col. H. P. Carrington, in notations on the way to Fort Phil 
Kearny: "June 20, 1866 — Marched 9 miles to Bridger's Ferry. 
Camp on North Platte River. June 20-21-22. Occupied in 
crossing the North Platte River. June 23. After finished crossing. 
Marched 16 miles and camp on river nearly opposite La Vanta 
(La Bonte) Creek mouth." 

The old ferry site is about 1500 feet above the marker. Two 
moorings and a cable buttress are barely visible. 

12:45 P.M. Left Bridger's Ferry site and followed the river 
road, crossing the old trail several times to 104 M. where we 
stopped on the county road just east of a "High Mound or Sugar 

Mr. Bruce McKinstry Read From His Grandfather's Diary 

"June 26th Wednesday. Cold in the morning, but hot before 
noon. . . . The rout we travelled was sunk below the surrounding 
country from 200 to 300 ft., the banks perpendicular, of clay 
saturated with alkali, and large boulders of puding stone. Some 
places had not washed so much as the rest, and stood in detached 
masses like large clay buildings or shafts from 10 to 30 ft. in 
heighth. The ground in this valley smells like leached ashes and 
is very sticky when wet. It is a worn down bluff, the passage 
from Vb to V2 mile wide. We soon came in sight of the Platte 
again, this passage being about 2m. long, and I ascended a high 
mound that stands in the bottom and had one of the finest views 


imaginable. I could trace the Platte to the Westward and see the 
teams on the S. side a great way off up the valley of a creek 
(Bed Tick). This sugar loaf was some 3 or 4 hundred feet high 
and difficult to climb on account of steepness. Yet the buffalo 
had lain here a great deal. They must be good at climbing." 

This sugar loaf mound is located in the badlands south of 
Douglas as Byron McKinstry described it. Twenty-four stout 
members of our trek climbed the hill and felt as Byron did that 
it was 400 feet high. In reality the U.S.G.S. Topographic map 
shows it to be only 123 feet above the surrounding area. As we 
stood on the top we pictured a procession of white topped 
Conestoga wagons crawling along the road west of the Platte 
and tried to imagine how excited those pioneers, one hundred 
years ago, felt when they saw fellow travellers three miles distant. 

2:00 P.M. After a round of reprimands from the non-climbers, 
we continued on the old trail (county road) for two miles. North 
of Miller Draw we crossed the C. & N.W. R.R. then drove through 
Douglas to again enter the trail just east of the old Douglas 
cemetery (109 M.). We followed over the divide to HOVi M. 
where we turned west and north on a county road to 111 M. where 
we crossed the old trail at Harvey Gulch. Nothing could be seen 
for miles but sky and sagebrush interspersed with many dry 
gullies and washes. Of this country Byron McKinstry wrote in 
1850: "We crossed very rough ground. Following a kind of 
divide first rising in a Northerly direction to the summit — the 
crookedest road possible. These hills are bare and have a wild 
savage appearance." Over one hundred years have gone by and 
the description still fits. 

3:00 P.M. Left Harvey Gulch and proceeded on and off the 
old trail to MAVi M. to the top of a rocky ridge. On this ridge 
are freakish cylindrical rocks 18 to 20 inches in diameter broken 
into long segments 8 to 10 feet long. 

At This Point The McKinstry Diary Reads 

"June 27th Thursday. On the rough bluffs we crossed last 
night I noticed many places that had the appearance of stone 
coal — large patches of black soil and decomposed rock, and soon 
after we began to descend from the summit we passed some rock 
pillars as nearly round as possible, from 30 to 40 feet in length 
and 18 or 20 inches in diameter. There were 6 or 8 of these 
within a few rods, most of them broken into sections from 8 to 10 
feet long. They were of a hard greyish or blueish rock, perhaps 
limestone and looked as if they had been turned. Some supposed 
them to be petrified wood — if so they must have been very straight 
smooth trees or else they were rounded previous to the petri- 

As a memorial to Byron McKinstry, Mr. Bishop, in 1953, had 


cut on one of the large cylinders near the road, "CAL. EM. RD." 
for California Emigrant Road with "1850" beneath it and "B.M." 
above. The carving was plainly visible. 

3:50 P.M. As we left the divide (114VS M.) we caught 
glimpses of the Platte River and Laramie Peak — only glimpses 
because all our attention was given to the rough, winding old trail 
over which no one had apparently travelled for one hundred years. 
When we came to Soldier Creek the men had to cut down the 
banks and build a road across the stream while the photographers 
watched on the opposite bank for good shots as the cars lunged 
across the stream. 

For a short distance we travelled the Bozeman Trail to the site 
of the Old Hog Ranch which was located about two miles north 
of Fort Fetterman. 

Tales Of The Hog Ranch By Mr. Wm. Henry 

"An old Hog Ranch was located on this ridge on the left side 
of the Bozeman Trail, and a small hotel stood across the road. 
Both had hitching racks in front where horses were tied most of 
the time as cowboys and soldiers came to relieve the monotony 
of this western outpost. Beautiful girls often stood out in front 
of the saloon and Calamity Jane was a frequent visitor. 

"One day Johnnie Phoenix, a reckless cowboy, rode to the 
Ranch saying he was going to clean out the toughs but buck shot 
hit him in the stomach and he died. In the fight Frank Wallace 
thought he was killed but he managed to get on his horse and 
ride to Fort Fetterman where the doctor removed one eye." 

Mr. Henry is a real old timer as he was born in 1878 at Fort 
Laramie. Mike Henry, his soldier father, was with Reno when 
Custer was killed. He homesteaded near Fetterman at Brown 
Springs after the fighting was finished and the ranch has been 
in the family ever since. 

5:00 P.M. Several ranchers and their families met us at the 
Hog Ranch and escorted us two miles south to Fort Fetterman 
where we made camp on the old parade ground and supper was 
served to sixty people. Some of the trekkers camped there for 
the night while others went into Douglas, eight miles away. 

7:30 P.M. Paul and Helen Henderson entertained the assem- 
bled crowd at the Pioneer State Museum with beautiful pictures 
they have taken along the Emigrant Roads in Wyoming over a 
period of the past thirty years. 

(To be continued in next issue) 



Wyoming Archaeological ftotes 


By L. C. Steege 

Clovis points have a wide range of distribution throughout the 
Northern Plains and Southern Plains regions. They derive their 
name from the city of Clovis, New Mexico, near which they were 
first discovered in 1932. 

The original site was located in an area of ancient lake beds 
between Clovis and Portales, New Mexico. This is the arid 
region known as Llano Estacado. The points were found eroding 
out of deposits which had been exposed by wind action in the 
numerous blowouts of the region. Clovis points were found in 
direct association with bones of a mammoth in this region in 1936. 

Another notable discovery of Clovis points associated with 
mammoth remains was made near the railroad station of Dent, 
Colorado, in 1932. The bones from at least a dozen different 
mammoth skeletons were found in this site. Three Clovis points 
were recovered along with these remains. Although much of the 
stratigraphy of this site was destroyed before any extensive studies 
could be made, it is assumed that the bones and artifacts were 
emplaced during an early phase of a glacial recession period — 
probably a substage of the Mankato for which a rough date of 
1 1 ,000 years has been agreed upon by most geologists. 

Archaeologists from the State Museum of Arizona excavated 
a site near Naco, Arizona, in 1952. A mammoth skeleton was 
uncovered here from which a portion of the hind quarters was 
missing, which suggests that this portion could have been carried 
away by the early hunters. 

Associated with the remainder of the skeleton were eight stone 
projectile points of Clovis stylization. One point had severed 
the spinal cord at the atlas vertebra which undoubtedly had caused 
the death of the animal. The geology of this site was studied by 
Ernst Antevs and the deposits were dated by him in the vicinity 
of 11,000 years. 

A site on the Lehner ranch, located near Hereford, Arizona, 
exposed by the Arizona State Museum, revealed the bones of 
mammoth, extinct bison, tapir and horse associated with weapon 
points and butchering tools of the ancient people who hunted and 
killed these animals. Thirteen Clovis points including three made 


of quartz crystal and eight cutting and scraping tools were found 

There are numerous sites which could be mentioned that have 
revealed the evidence of the contemporaneity of man and mam- 
moth. Most of these are located in the Southern Plains. By the 
large numbers of sites represented, it appears as though the Clovis 
point is limited only to the southern regions. This is not true as 
Clovis points are found in collections throughout the entire 
Northern Plains. A good speciman of this type was reportedly 
found several miles north of Edmonton, Alberta. Numerous finds 
have been made in Wyoming. One of the finest Clovis points 
ever found by the author was a speciman four and a half inches 
long. This point was a surface find about fifteen miles northeast 
of Cheyenne. 

A point similar to the Clovis type is found throughout the 
entire United States. Most of these vary some in design from the 
true Clovis and their direct association with extinct fauna seems 
to be entirely lacking to this time. 

Clovis points are well flaked fluted lanceolate types with concave 
bases and slightly convex edges. As a general rule, the flutes do 
not extend beyond half the length of the point, but occasionally 
one is found which is fluted nearly the full length. The fluting is 
caused by the removal of a series of longitudinal flakes from the 
basal concavity towards the point. In many cases there is 
evidence of a deliberate dulling of the basal edges by grinding. 
Clovis points range in size from an inch to five inches in length 
and from three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a half in width. 
The average seems to be about three inches in length and an inch 
in width. 

Clovis points have been found in stratified sites in deposits 
located below the "Folsom" types which proves that this general- 
ized type is older than the specialized form which will be discussed 
in the next issue. 

Wyoming State Historical Society 


Thelma G. Condit 

The fact that Wyoming became interested in and concerned 
about the preservation of her historical background at an early 
date is set forth in the first publication of the Wyoming Historical 
Society, predecessor of the present Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department. This volume's collection, which is price- 
less now, was compiled by Robert C. Morris, able secretary of 
the Society, who wrote thus in his letter of transmittal to Governor 
Richards on March 15, 1897, "The historical information con- 
tained in the first volume of the Society will be found necessarily 
limited; but indicates the general scope of the work contemplated 
by the Society under the law. . . . We trust, however, that with 
the co-operation of local societies, composed of settlers and others 
interested in the subject, material will be forthcoming that will 
furnish an adequate basis at some future time for a complete 
history of Wyoming. If the Wyoming Historical Society con- 
tributes its full measure to this important task, its object will have 
been accomplished." 

In the Introduction to this volume we find that the first Wyo- 
ming Historical Society "established by an act of the Legislature 
of 1895, for the purpose of securing historical collections relating 
to the State, is now located in the library at the State House, 
and is a safe depository for valuable books, files of newspapers, 
pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, charts, portraits, mineral specimens 
and articles of value illustrative of the history and progress of our 
State. Heretofore Wyoming has been a free foraging ground for 
collectors of fossils and pre-historic treasures for other states and 
countries. Neither the State nor any of our institutions possess a 
collection of these treasures worthy of the name. 

"What our Society especially desires . . . (therefore is) every- 
thing that, by the most liberal construction, can illustrate the 
History of Wyoming, its early settlement, its progress or present 
condition. All will be of interest to succeeding generations. . . . 
It is to be hoped that the citizens of Wyoming will take a State 
pride in helping to build up a great Historical Department at the 
Capital, by loaning or contributing such treasures as may come 
into their possession illustrative of the past history, the progress 
of civilization and the natural resources of our State and its 


These past sixty-five years have seen a worthwhile growth of 
the Historical Department. For a number of years lack of funds 
stopped any progress, but the 1920's saw a revival of interest. 
The name of the Wyoming Historical Society was changed to 
Historical Department, and in 1923 a movement was started to 
found a Wyoming Historical Society with paid memberships. 
Only one meeting was held, but as a result of that meeting the 
publication of the present Annals of Wyoming was begun. 

The fortunes of the Department ebbed and flowed during the 
1920-1950 period, and headquarters were moved from the Capitol 
building to the new Supreme Court Building in 1936. In 1951 
the duties of the department were enlarged and the department 
renamed the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. 
In 1952 the Department, including the State Museum which is a 
part of the Department, was moved into the newly erected State 
Office Building. 

Our present Wyoming State Historical Society was founded in 
October 1953, only seven years ago this coming fall, and in that 
short time one dream of the Legislature of 1 895 has been realized. 
We have a strong and growing state society and to date thirteen 
counties have organized county chapters of the Society. 

We people of Wyoming can be justly proud of the fact that, 
for the most part, we have ably carried on and accomplished the 
things dreamed about and planned by these first history-minded 
citizens. We have now "built up a great historical department 
at the State Capital," whose activities, now completely coordinated, 
have far-reaching power for practically unlimited accomplishments 
in all fields pertaining to the preservation of all phases of our 
historical background; a department now working in conjunction 
with other organizations able to assist in historical and archaeolog- 
ical work, so that the overall program is year by year reaching 
and affecting more and more people, whose interests undoubtedly 
were not primarily historical, but whose work does and can help 
further the subject. Due to this broadminded program and the 
organization of local chapters many more individuals are becoming 
history conscious. It is very gratifying, in spite of the fact that 
we have not yet prevented Wyoming from being a "free foraging 
ground for collections of fossils" and we do not have all our 
counties organized with local chapters; but all this will come in 

In the meantime, as we continue to grow, let me as your presi- 
dent leave one special thought with you. Keep your historical 
enthusiasm alive, first by remembering the staunch characteristics 
of the pioneers who formed the backbone of Wyoming's history. 
They were great people doing great things; and keeping their 
memory alive can be a most inspirational experience. 

This is the year of the Pony Express Centennial. It is not 
enough for us to mark the route and locate the station sites, 


important as these are. We must make those 18 months of the 
past come alive and meaningful to those attending our meetings, 
especially the young people. Those brittle, wiry, 120 pound men, 
who rode the nearly 2,000 miles on the Pony Express route, were 
packed full of courage, endurance, and the fighting spirit which 
made this short period one of the most dramatic of all time. 
Let's make it an important part of this year's work. Our enthus- 
iasm can make others interested in knowing all about this event. 

All the way along remember: it's the Pawnee Indian Scout 
back of the spear point; it's the tragedy back of the old Ft. Phil 
Kearny cannon ball; and the little trumpeter and his story back 
of the smashed and rusty army bugle. There are many, many 
stories to be had, much to be learned and maybe your own 
enthusiasm will encourage someone else to get to work historically. 
There is no better way to acquire new members or gain support 
for carrying out historical projects. There are many organizations 
in your community who would gladly help if given the proper 

Another way to keep enthusiasm alive is to attend the state 
conventions; becoming acquainted with the folks over the state 
is a fine thing. It is good to renew old acquaintances and meet 
new faces each year. There is no better way to get to know a 
town than to attend a convention there. A convention is a warm 
personal sort of thing. 

We hope many, many of you can come to Buffalo this fall. We 
are making great plans for the Convention — a parade and all the 
fixings. We are going to get on our "Jubilee" costumes and show 
you some genuine old western hospitality with the "Hole-in-the- 
Wall" gang as a special attraction. Come early and stay late. 
There'll be lots of food and plenty to do. 

ftook Keviews 

Pony Express — The Great Gamble. By Roy S. Bloss (Berkeley, 
California: Howell-North Press. 1959. Map, illus., bibl., 
index. 159 pp. $4.50.) 

Mr. Bloss has given us a well written, interesting history of the 
Pony Express. Although not much new material appears, some- 
thing which is difficult to locate since original records discovered 
to date are not voluminous on the Pony Express, he does in many 
instances analyze data so the reader may understand how he 
reaches his conclusions. 

One special contribution made by this book is the publication 
of a number of fine illustrations heretofore unpublished. 

This reviewer has done extensive research on the Pony Express 
and the emigrant trails across Wyoming, located, mapped and 
marked on the sites the 41 stations which were established in the 
present State. In his research he has used as reference the 
modified contract of July 1, 1861, secured from the files of the 
National Archives. This contract gives the names of all stations 
in use at that time and the distance between them. The document 
has been of utmost assistance in this work. In referring to this 
contract attention should be called to several errors, commonly 
found in books on the Pony Express. On page 101 the distance 
between Red Buttes Station and Three Crossings should read 76 
instead of 116; the distance between Three Crossings Station and 
Rocky Ridge Station should read 36 instead of 76; and the round 
trip distance between Red Buttes Station and Rocky Ridge Station 
should be 224 instead of 384 miles. 

Part I, Pony Express Stations, of the Appendix would be im- 
proved by listing all the stations shown on the modified contract 
of July 1861 and adding the distances between stations. These 
corrections and additions are called to the attention of the pub- 
lisher so that future publications can be corrected. I know of no 
other book published to date that has the figures and station 
names more nearly correct than this volume. 

The book includes a well arranged bibliography and an espe- 
cially comprehensive index. 

Che\enne L. C. Bishop 


The Saga of Ben Holladay, Giant of the Old West. By Ellis Lucia. 
(New York: Hastings House, 1959 Illus. 374 pp. $6.50.) 

Ellis Lucia's biography of Ben Holladay serves to fill a con- 
spicuous gap in the roster of studies of men who made the West. 
Holladay's personal story and the record of his achievements were 
sensational in a period when gigantic exploits were not uncommon. 
Yet the dramatic facts of his legendary career have been strangely 
neglected by searchers after Western theatrical material. No dime 
novel best-seller made him its hero or villain; movie and television 
producers have overlooked a promising central figure for what 
could be an endless serial dealing with the vigorous activities of 
the West's foremost transportation tycoon. 

The comprehensive bibliography attached to this volume lists 
only one previous full-length biographical study of Holladay. Mr. 
Lucia points out that histories carry only scant mention of Big 
Ben and that he is frequently discredited or vilified in the accounts 
which have been preserved. This attitude of condemnation stems 
from the bitter hatred and envy he inspired in some of his con- 
temporaries whose memoirs supplied copy for the highly respected 
Bancroft histories and thus helped to perpetuate Holladay's repu- 
tation as that of a ruthless, unprincipled business man. According 
to Mr. Lucia, only two markers anywhere tie Ben Holladay's 
name to his greatest achievement — the development of the great 
Overland system of mail-carrying and stage-coaching that crossed 
the continent in pre-railroad days. In all the broad land, "resting 
on foundations that Big Ben molded," there is "nowhere ... a 
monument, a marker, a statue to the King of Wheels." 

As if to square accounts for the "King of Wheels," Ellis Lucia 
has written his biography in a flamboyant style that would have 
delighted Big Ben himself. It is told virtually in headlines, 
sprinkled liberally with superlatives — "titanic Ben," "a Gargan- 
tuan," "a magnificent barbarian," "the Pacific Caesar," "Old Hell- 
on-Wheels [who] could outtalk, outfight, outride, outdrink, and 
outcuss anyone he came up against." The story opens with a 
graphic account of Holladay's most publicized crossing in twelve 
days from San Francisco to Atchison, Kansas, undertaken at 
tremendous cost in equipment and livestock to win Congressional 
renewal of his lucrative mail contract. Then the biography follows 
a natural three part division corresponding to the three ma'or 
phases of Holladay's career: (1) his beginnings and sensational 
success as freighter, trader, and versatile entrepreneur to farflung 
settlements throughout the West; (2) his phenomenal achieve- 
ments as operator of the famous Overland system and of a pros- 
perous Pacific steamship line; and (3) his disastrous over- 
extension of his own capabilities and financial resources in Oregon 


railroad-building and the final collapse of his personal and finan- 
cial empire. 

The biography explores fully some little-known but important 
aspects of Holladay's life — his experiences with Doniphan's Mis- 
sourians in the Mexican War, his friendship with Brigham Young 
and the Mormons that laid the foundation of his success as a 
trader, the costly fiasco of social climbing to satisfy an ambitious 
wife, his ventures in developing resort and recreation hotels, and 
his conspicuous failures in personal relationships. Eight pages 
of illustrations make a valuable supplement to the story. 

What Mr. Lucia never makes quite clear is the reason for 
Holladay's failure. He failed apparently because he simply did 
not have the "know-how" to deal with the financial complexities 
and shrewd financial operators who forced him to the wall. His 
heyday came in a period when sheer physical brawn and courage 
were the chief requisites for success. He could not cope in the 
highly competitive, skillfully manipulated business world of the 
late nineteenth century. When he died in 1887, Ben Holladay's 
passing did not rate the first page of The Oregonian, leading paper 
of the state he had done so much to develop, and the national 
press gave scant notice to his death. He had already become 
"the forgotten giant of the Old West." Ellis Lucia has made a 
valuable contribution to Western Americana by bringing him 
vividly to life again through the pages of this readable biog- 

University of Wyoming Ruth Hudson 

The Great Command. The Story of Marcus and Narcissa Whit- 
man and the Oregon Country Pioneers. By Nard Jones. 
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1959. Index, notes, 
illus. 398 pp. $5.00.) 

The general reader will find a prize volume in this beautifully 
written book. This factual story of the first Oregon missionaries is 
told with clarity and feeling. The political evolution of the 
Oregon country in relation to national and world politics is ex- 
plained in a clear manner. 

The author states that he had this book in mind for many years. 
It would seem that he has searched every source of information 
from church files to state histories and family records. Mainly 
he has told of Whitman as the missionary doctor and benefactor 
of the emigrants. 

Marcus and his bride Narcissa set out from their home state of 
New York to join up with a fur company caravan at the Missouri 
River. They had to make forced marches and when they did 
catch up they were none too welcome. Beside the Whitmans there 


were the Spauldings, also sent out by the American Board. 
Spaulding attracted trouble like a magnet attracts steel dust; Eliza 
was so ill that it seemed unlikely she could survive the strenuous 
journey. Narcissa was in good health and fine spirits; to her the 
trip was a great adventure. 

The honeymoon of Marcus and Narcissa was one of the 
strangest in the annals of the west. Forced to share a tent with 
the Spauldings, surrounded by trappers and traders, they knew no 
privacy. This became the pattern of their life. Try as they would, 
build as they could, the mission never quite accommodated all 
who tried to crowd into the limited space. Indians wandered in 
and out at will; emigrants stopped over to rest and stayed all 
winter; stranded orphans became part of the family. After the 
school was established children of other missionaries came to live 
and board with the Whitmans. 

Their first great sorrow was the accidental drowning of Alice 
Clarissa, their only child. There were many misunderstandings 
with their cohorts and reconciliations by the score, facts that were 
observed by their Indian charges. Though the doctor and his wife 
labored patiently there were few conversions among the cayuse. 
Influenced by trouble makers from outside, decimated by a deadly 
measles epidemic the Indians rose up and slaughtered the Whit- 
mans and many others living at the mission. 

After eleven years of heroic endeavor all that remained at 
"The Place of the Rye Grass" was a great mound and the rubble 
of adobe. A hush lay over the lovely valley and that stillness 
remains to this day. 

Bridgeport, Nebraska Helen Henderson 

The Great American West. By James D. Horan. (New York: 
Crown Publishers, Inc. 1959. 288 pp. Illus. Index. Bib- 
liography. $10.00.) 

The Great American West is the culmination of a ten year's 
search by the author for pictures with which to graphically tell 
the history of the West. The full scope of presenting the whole 
story, as visualized by the author, cannot be accomplished in a 
single volume such as this, but this book presents a fine panoramic 
view of Western history, and it will find an important place in the 
libraries of Western Americana. 

The book contains 600 illustrations in half tone and color, 
a selection from the author's collection of more than 5,000 
sketches and photographs, many of which have never been 
published before. 

Mr. Horan has made some notable finds in locating Tim 
O'Sullivan's pictures of the King and Wheeler Expeditions, the 


General John T. Pitman collection of Dakota Territories, C. E. 
Watkins' collection of Yosemite and Columbia River pictures, 
and the Theodore Roosevelt Elkhorn Ranch collection, all of which 
are represented here. He has also pulled from the resources of 
the National Archives, Library of Congress, Bureau of American 
Ethnology and the files of numerous historical depositories some 
remarkable finds. 

Among the pictures located in the files of the Bureau of Amer- 
ican Ethnology are two of special interest in Wyoming: Brown's 
Hotel, Ft. Laramie, 1868, and the Old Mormon Fort at Bridger 
In Ruins, (probably 1857), both on page 88. 

Mr. Horan ties his picture story together with a narrative back- 
ground which gives the illustrations their places in history. 

The period of history covered opens with the Spanish Coloniza- 
tion in 1536 and terminates with the opening of the Indian Terri- 
tory in Oklahoma in 1893. A fine bibliography and a detailed 
picture credit listing are also included. 

Cheyenne Lola M. Homsher 

Custer: The Life of General George Armstrong Custer. By Jay 
Monaghan. (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1959. 
Illus. 469 pp. $6.00.) 

Custer's first biographer wrote the following words in the 
dedication of his work on the General: "To the American People 
whose liberties he so gallantly defended, and especially the Amer- 
ican Cavalry, past and present, whose greatest pride and ornament 
he was, I dedicate this memoir." Mr. Monaghan's excellently 
written and thoroughly readable volume does a great deal to 
restore some of the luster to this oft tarnished ornament, as well 
as adding a good deal to the author's reputation as an historian 
of the Civil War period and of the early West. 

Mr. Monaghan has done an extensive amount of work on his 
sources, a number of which are used for the first time. He uses 
these well in the narrative passages and realizes that the interest 
of even the recreational reader is warmed by an occasional footnote 
or an allusion to source material. The General's part in the Civil 
War was enough to secure his place in American History and 
after reading this volume it would seem that his activity at Gettys- 
burg alone was enough to merit it. The emphasis on the Civil 
War phase of the subject's life is well placed. 

Many of Custer's previous biographers have used considerable 
space and heat to rewarm the old hash concerning who was 
culpable at the Little Big Horn. It was an obvious tactical error 
and the commander must always bear the blame for this type of 
thing even though, as in this case, a strategic success could be 


claimed. This book maintains a nice objectivity on this and other 
questions of Custer's judgement. It also explains his political 
attitudes and their repercussions. 

The last chapter in the volume deals with the life of Mrs. 
Elizabeth B. Custer and is well included since it explains some of 
the General's notoriety that has succeeded him in the more than 
80 years since his death. 

Line maps of areas and troop deployments in the Civil War 
and Indian Campaigns might have added to the enjoyment of 
some readers but these are well described in the text. There are 
certainly few facts that can be added in the future to those which 
Mr. Monaghan has included in this text. A student, amateur or 
professional, of the Civil War or of Custer and his sagebrush 
Balaclava, should add this excellent scholarly biography to his 
library. It is completely absorbing. 

Laramie Lloyd R. Evans 

The Management of Small History Museums. By Carl E. Guthe. 
(Madison, Wisconsin: The American Association for State 
and Local History. 1959. 70 pp. $1.25) 

"This manual is a synoptic review of basic museum practices 
which have been worked out by a great many people who have 
sought through several generations to improve the usefulness of 
museums as social instruments". 

The author brings out the methods for the professional touch 
and the historical perspective so necessary in the successful objec- 
tives of a small history museum. Practically every phase is 
covered from the construction or the acquisition of a suitable 
building to house the collections to the ultimate goal of an influ- 
ential public institution. The organization of a good governing 
board; the "do's and don'ts" regarding acceptance of historical 
objects; a systematic method of accessioning and cataloging the 
collections; the arrangement of displays with their correct identifi- 
cations and historical significance; the relationship of the museum 
with the field of visual education are a few of the many procedures 
that are outlined in detail. 

This publication should be one of the "musts" for every museum 
of history, be it large or small, well established or in the process 
of being assembled. For the novice who assumes there is little 
or no work involved in the smooth operation of a history museum, 
there is a revelation of facts in store regarding the complicated 
undertakings in proper museum management. 

Cheyenne Louis C. Steege 


The Present World of History; A Conference on Certain Problems 
in Historical Society Work. Edited by James H. Rodabaugh 
(Madison, Wisconsin: Amer. Assn. for State and Local His- 
tory, 1959. 129 pp. Paper $3.00). 

In 1957 the American Association for State and Local History 
had on its annual meeting program four panel discussions and 
two addresses. A transcription of the proceedings is now pub- 

The first session, involving a panel discussion on the theme, 
"The Historical Society IS an Educational Institution," recognized 
the dual function of historical societies — a scholarly one, advanc- 
ing knowledge, and a popular, informal one, telling the true story 
of the past, particularly to children. 

Another panel discussion on "Acquisition Policies of Presi- 
dential Libraries" brought out sharp differences of opinion with 
respect to the proper scope of the Hoover Library at Stanford, 
the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, the Truman 
Library at Independence, and the Eisenhower Library at Abilene. 
Herman Kahn, Director of the Roosevelt Library, said "We will 
continue to do what we have been doing, which is to go out 
aggressively after those papers that we do want. Some Asso- 
ciation members would prefer to have the presidential libraries 
show more restraint in collecting papers which also interest state 
societies. A spokesman for this point of view said that for cabinet 
secretaries, senators, and other federal officials, "their home state 
has greater claim to their papers than a remote presidential library 
or the Library of Congress." 

A panel on "The Artifacts of History" considered the dovetail- 
ing contributions which can be made by documents on the one 
hand and artifacts, as studied and analyzed by archeologists and 
cultural historians, on the other. Anthony N. B. Garvan no doubt 
impressed his audience with his learned discussion of what can be 
deduced from changes in the New England porringer from decade 
to decade. 

A panel on "Significant Developments in Local History" neatly 
summarized recent scholarly activity in Colonial American His- 
tory, and religious and ethnic history, and also included a paper 
by Philip D. Jordan which focused on some of the major problems 
facing social and cultural historians. 

The two major addresses were made by Roy F. Nichols of the 
University of Pennsylvania and Thomas D. Clark of the University 
of Kentucky, both prominent in the historical profession. Nichols' 
address can be summed up in two of his sentences: "What history 
lacks most is synthesis, i.e., meaning. To the world in general, 
and to many historians, in particular, history is merely an ever- 
cumulating narrative that will get longer and longer and more and 
more detailed." 

Clark's address, the title of which has been borrowed for the 


book, is principally concerned with the present world of the college 
teacher-scholar, such as Clark himself. In a moment of pessimism 
he says: "We are disappointingly involved in an historical leaf- 
raking era when little that is genuinely new is being uncovered. 
Just as the Lincolnians have all but written to the point of 
ridiculousness, the historians of the Civil War are writing and 
rewriting much of the history of that tragic period to the point 
of diminishing returns." In a more optimistic passage he says: 
"No dedicated historian has any doubt as to the basic values of 
his subject. When he reflects on the fact that history is the great 
arena of human experience, and that it offers a perspective on 
civilization not to be gained from any other source, he is inspired 
to search further for historical meanings. To him it is a rich 
intellectual adventure. ..." 

The volume merits careful reading by all who are engaged in 
historical society work, and others can find much of interest here. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

The Plains Rifle. By Charles E. Hanson, Jr., (Harrisburg, Pa.: 
Stackpole Co. 1960. Illus., index. 171pp. $10.00.) 

Charles E. Hanson Jr. in The Plains Rifle describes the develop- 
ment of the western plains and mountain rifle from its predecessor, 
the famed Kentucky Rifle. 

There are chapters on the Pennsylvania Rifle, (most of the 
Kentucky rifles were made by Pennsylvania gunsmiths) the Ten- 
nessee Rifle, and the English Rifle. 

The famed St. Louis gunsmiths, Jake and Sam Hawken, headed 
the 1st of those who made the plains rifle. Their work is described 
and illustrated as well as the rifles made by other St. Louis 

The plainsmen Jim Bridger, Kit Carson and others and their 
rifles are described in one chapter. 

The chapters on double barreled and multi-shot guns and pistols 
contain items of interest. The illustrations in The Plains Rifle 
do not compare favorably with those in Dillin's Kentucky Rifle 
and Robert's The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle. Unfortunately, 
the author does not seem to have had access to some of the more 
interesting original sources on the use of the plains rifle. Some 
of the stirring descriptions from W. T. Hamilton's My Sixty Years 
on the Plains would have made the chapter on "The Plains Rifle 
in Use" more interesting. Also Captain Marcy's The Prarie 
Travler contains some interesting remarks on the plains rifle and 
recommendations regarding the selection of arms for use by 
travelers which could have been included in Hanson's Book. 

Cheyenne Frank Clark, Jr. 


Gun Law at Laramie. By Allan Vaughan Elston. (Philadelphia 
and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1959. 223 pages. 

Gun Law at Laramie, despite its lurid title, isn't "just another 
western!" It is "another Elston," and that's synonymous with 
saying it is swiftly moving fiction, based soundly on historical fact. 
If you have read just one or two of Allan Vaughan Elston's 
twenty other western books — several dealing with Wyoming — you 
know this is the pattern he follows. 

Remember these and their locals? Just to name a few: Wyo- 
ming Manhunts (Rawlins). The Marked Men (Buffalo). The 
Wyoming Bubble (Cheyenne). Forbidden Valley (Sheridan). 
Long Lope to Lander (Lander). Saddle Up for Sunlight (Cody). 

Elston's modus operandi is to visit the locale of his choice in 
order to seek and sift the facts. He heads first for the local 
library and there buries himself for days among the musty news- 
paper files of yesteryear. He contacts officials at the county 
courthouse in search of early, historically accurate maps of the 
town and surrounding area. These he duplicates for later careful 
study. He holds interviews with local descendants of pioneer 
families and pores over their cherished photographs and scrap- 
books. He drives out into the surrounding region "to get the 
feel" of the terrain and pin-point significant spots he hopes to use. 
Finally, he starts home to Santa Ana, California, with some 
1 5,000 to 20,000 words of carefully documented notes. At last he 
can attack the fiction angle! 

Even his fictitious hero in Gun Law has a truly historical count- 
erpart at the beginning. As Elston states in his brief introduction : 
"Part I of this book in all essential details is the true story of 
Laramie City's reign of terror during the summer of 1868 . . . 
although . . . the boy who in real life looked out at it from a 
Front Street window had a name other than Danny Logan." 
That real-life counterpart was a nine-year-old lad named Billy 
Owen who, long years later, left his trail across Wyoming as a 
surveyor, mountain climber and state auditor. You may have 
known him well. If not, you can find his eyewitness account of 
Laramie City's roisterous first summer in a hand-written 464-page 
manuscript now located in the archives of the Coe Library at the 
University of Wyoming. 

Part I of Gun Law is devoted to young Danny Logan's turbulent 
life that summer. It is not till ten years — and eighty pages — later 
than Boy meets Girl in Part II. That, in itself alone, lifts the book 
out of the "just another western" category. 

Gun Law encompasses chiefly the region from the Colorado- 
Wyoming border northward along the Laramie Plains toward old 
Fort Fetterman, near present-day Douglas. 

You will encounter such familiar bygone characters as Editor 


Hayford, M. C. Brown (Laramie City's three-weeks mayor), John 
Hunton (the diary-writing frontiersman) and Ora Haley (rancher 
and meat-market owner, whose one-time home now lodges the 
Laramie American Legion post). All these, to say nothing of 
such desperadoes as Ace Moyer and the Wager brothers, Con and 
Big Steve! 

You will visit such famous historical spots as the Overland 
Trail's Big Laramie stage station on the Hutton (now the Cole 
Abbot) ranch, the old Union Pacific's Rock Creek railway station 
(now a ghost town, partly standing) and the bygone freighting- 
station stops, called Twenty Mile and Forty Mile, leading north- 
ward from old Rock Creek. 

The historical "slips" which Gun Law makes — and there are 
some — are too occasional and too minor to be worthy of special 

University of Wyoming Clarice Whittenburg 


Raymond W. Settle of Monte Vista, Colorado, was born in 
Pleasant Gap, Bates Co., Missouri, son of Charles Angelo Settle 
and Emily Luvina (Rogers) Settle. He attended William Jewell 
Academy and College, Liberty, Mo., and graduated in 1922. 
During World War I he worked as a YMCA Secretary in both 
army and navy, from May 1918 to April 1919. His biography 
has appeared in Who's Who in America, 1942, later in Who's Who 
in the West, and in the current Who's Who in Colorado. Mrs. 
Settle was also listed in the latter. He was president of Missouri 
Writers Guild in 1927. On August 25, 1914 he married Mary 
Lund. There were two children, Pauline Marie (Settle) Sharp 
and Maryilyn Ray Settle Bricker. 

Mrs. Thelma Gatchell Condit. See Annals of Wyoming, 
Vol. 29, No. 1, April 1957, p. 120. 

Louis C. Steege. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, p. 121. 

Dale L. Morgan. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 2, 
October 1958, p. 239. 


_^LAK Tt£ oJS 01/1/ 






of Wyoming 



Stimson Photo 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

October I960 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Henry Jones Hanna 

Mrs. Lora Jewett Pinedale 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Lander 

Mrs. Wilmot C. Hamm .Rock Springs 

Mrs. William Miller Lusk 

Mrs. Lorraine Stadius Thermopolis 

Attorney-General Norman Gray, Ex-Officio. 



Lola M. Homsher Director 

Henryetta Berry Assistant Director 

Jesse H. Jameson Chief, Historical Division 

L. C. Steege Chief, Museum Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and 
October and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Copies of current issues may be purchased for $1.00 each. 
Available copies of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be 
obtained by writing to the Editor. 

Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The Editor does 
not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of opinion made by 

Copyright, 1960, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department. 

fAnmls of Wyoming 

Volume 32 

October 1960 

Number 2 

Lola M. Homsher 

Jesse H. Jameson 
Ruth J. Bradley 
Assistant Editors 

Published Biannually by the 


Official Publication 

of the 



OFFICERS 1960-61 

President, Mr. E. A. Littleton Gillette 

First Vice President, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins Casper 

Second Vice President, Vernon K. Hurd Green River 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Miss Lola M. Homsher Cheyenne 

Past Presidents: 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

Dr. T. A. Larson, Laramie 1957-1958 

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins 1958-1959 

Mrs. Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo 1959-1960 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
Society Chapters have been organized in Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Fre- 
mont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sweet- 
water, Washakie, Weston, and Uinta counties. 

State Dues: 

Life Membership $50.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and wife) 75.00 

Annual Membership 3.50 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address.) 5.00 

County dues are in addition to state dues and are set by county organ- 

Send State membership dues to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
State Office Building 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Zablc of Contents 

Robert F. Strait 


Mabel Bass 


Dale L. Morgan 


Mae Urbanek 


Thelma Gatchell Condit 


Compiled by Maurine Carley 


L. C. Steege 


Conant, Mercer's Belles 257 

Homsher, South Pass, James Chisholm's Journal of the Wyoming 

Gold Rush 258 

Knight, Following the Indian Wars 259 

Kyner, End of Track 260 

Athearn, High Country Empire 261 

Walton, Illinois Gold Hunter in the Black Hills. The Diary of 

Jerry Bryan, March 13 to August 20, 1876 263 

Foss, Politics and Grass: The Administration of Grazing on 

the Public Domain 264 

Smith, Story of the Pony Express 266 

Allen, Narcissa Whitman 267 

Straight, Carrington 268 

Stackpole, Cedar Mountain to Antietam 269 

Worthwhile Books on the Editor's Desk 270 



Tie Flume, Tongue River Canyon 144 

The Old McShane Tie Camp and the Rockwood Fire.. 144, 150, 156, 162 

What's In A Name 166 

The Hole-in-the-Wall 206, 210 

Wyoming Archaeological Notes 244, 246 

Map: Emigrant Trail Trek No. 10 218 

Zhe Old Mc Shane Zie Camp 
and the Kockwood Tire 

As told to C. C. Rawlings 


Robert F. Strait 

In the spring of 1898, after having worked as a carpenter during 
the previous winter on the Omaha World Fair buildings, I came 
west and stopped at Edgemont, South Dakota, to look for work 
at Edgemont. I became acquainted with a young medical student 
who was merely looking the country over. He seemed to have 
plenty of money with which to travel and a desire to see Yellow- 
stone Park. 1 had never been to Yellowstone Park or even farther 
west than we were right then, but I convinced him that I was 
just the man he was looking for and hired out to him to act as 
guide, horse wrangler, cook, etc., on a trip through the park. 

We travelled by train from Edgemont to Sheridan, a thriving 
metropolis of about 1,000 persons. At Sheridan we purchased 
three horses, two to ride and one to pack, along with the necessary 
equipment for a pack outfit and headed across the Big Horn 
Mountains via the Old Big Horn-Hyattville Road. This was by 
way of Big Horn on the east slope of the mountains over to the 
Shell Creek country on the west slope, that is, on the Big Horn 
Basin side. 

After we got into the Big Horns, the young doctor began gather- 
ing souvenirs and specimens of one thing and another. By the 
time we arrived at about the highest point on our way across the 
mountains, I found that we had so much to carry that my horse, 
as well as the pack horse, was overloaded without me and that I 
had to walk. This naturally caused a little friction between the 
young doctor and myself. 

We talked with some men along the road, and I learned that 
we were not very far from the McShane tie camp where I might 
find work, for men were in great demand. I turned the pack 
outfit over to the young doctor and headed down the South Fork 
of Tongue River toward the tie camp on foot. I had never worked 
in the woods, but the more I saw of the Big Horns, the better I 
liked them. I was only 21 years old and pretty husky, and this 
appeared to me to be the ideal spot for a fellow of my age and 
ability, as 1 figured that I could do about anything that anyone 
else could do. The mountains seemed to have had an attraction 
for me that I had never felt at any other place. 


I had no trouble getting a job and was put to work immediately 
as a carpenter, erecting buildings for a new headquarters for the 
company. The old company headquarters at that time was at 
Rockwood, located at the upper end of the Tongue River Box 
Canyon which was several miles to the north. 

The McShane Tie Company had been operating for four or 
five years before I arrived at the tie camp, and the flume for carry- 
ing the railroad ties out of the mountains was already completed 
and in operation all the way from a short distance above Rock- 
wood down to the mouth of Tongue River Canyon (which is 
about four miles above Dayton), a distance of about ten miles, 
and from the small Cutler Creek pond, down Cutler Creek to the 
Rockwood pond. 

At that time the timber had been pretty well taken off from 
both sides of the river up as far as the forks of Tongue River, 
which was about three miles above Rockwood, and the company 
was already working on the timber in the Black Mountain area. 

The Black Mountain area is considerably higher than where 
the main flume was down near the river, and at first the ties were 
hauled with teams and wagons or sleighs from the Black Mountain 
area down a steep, rocky road which followed Cutler Creek most 
of the way to the main flume at Rockwood. This road was so 
steep that several loads got out of control and piled up on top of 
the teams, killing several horses and mules and injuring several 

To eliminate this steep part of the Cutler Creek road, which was 
named Mule Hill, a small pond was made on Cutler Creek, and a 
chute made of logs and poles was constructed from an unloading 
place at the top of the hill. The ties were unloaded from the 
wagons or sleighs and shot down the chute into the small pond. 
The chute was kept greased with beef tallow, and the ties would 
go down the wooden chute so fast that they would actually smoke. 

A flume was also built from the Cutler Creek pond down 
Cutler Creek to the Rockwood pond, a distance of about two 
miles, which entirely did away with the hazardous haul down 
Mule Hill and Cutler Creek road. Cutler Creek was quite small 
and during the low water season did not have enough water to 
float ties in the flume; therefore, water would be stored up in the 
pond, then turned into the flume in greater volume for a short 
time so that the flume would float the ties as far as the Rockwood 
pond where they were reshipped in the main Tongue River flume. 

This same plan was used to raise the river down which the ties 
were driven from the end of the flume at the mouth of Tongue 
River Canyon, about four miles above Dayton, to the loading 
place at Ranchester by releasing the water from the Rockwood 
pond at a certain time in the evening. The accumulated volume 
of water would get to where the ties dropped out of the end of 
the flume into the river at the right time the next morning to catch 


the first ties shipped down the flume that day. There were times 
during the summer months that Tongue River, with only its 
regular flow of water, would not carry the ties over some of the 
more shallow places. Then at a certain time early in the morning 
the Rockwood pond gates were closed and more water stored in 
the pond to be used for the next day, as there were no ties shipped 
during the night. 

The camp where I first worked was at the foot of Black Moun- 
tain and was called Old Town and after the fire (which I will 
tell about later) was the company headquarters for several years, 
and the Rockwood post office was also moved there after the fire. 

There was no Forest Service in those days, and in order to get 
the timber, stone and timber claims were filed on by the stock- 
holders and employees of the company. The timber was made 
into ties by the tie hacks on the shares for the company. Very 
little livestock was run on the mountains, so that the grass grew 
tall and in the winter became matted down by the snow. Except 
for a plentiful supply of bear and wolves, there was not, surprising 
as it may seem, as much game in the Big Horns as there is 

The McShane Tie Company was a vast enterprise for its day, 
and J. H. McShane is truly worthy of praise. The tie camp gave 
work to hundreds of men and made a market for the hay and 
grain, meat, eggs, potatoes, and other produce raised by the farm- 
ers in the Dayton and Ranchester communities. The company 
should be given credit for making times much easier for the resi- 
dents during Ranchester's infancy which has affected the lives and 
destinies, directly or indirectly, of every resident of this community 

To begin with, a flume was required from the place of operation 
of the tie camp, all the way down Tongue River to where the river 
left the canyon, in order to float the ties out to where the river 
ran smooth enough to carry them to where they could be loaded 
onto railroad cars at Ranchester. There had to be a tunnel 
blasted through a solid granite cliff for the flume to pass through 
in two different places. In the building of the flume at Deadman's 
Point, three men were killed by falling rock loosened by the blast- 

At other places the flume hung on the side of perpendicular rock 
walls, hundreds of feet above the ground, and hung on iron pins 
driven into the rock walls or was built on trestles over a hundred 
feet high. I was told that the first flume was only about five miles 
long and was built by Starbird & Hall about the year 1892 for 
the purpose of furnishing railroad ties to the B. & M. Railroad 
which was to extend on up into Montana, having been completed 
as far as Sheridan that year. A pony sawmill was set up on Sheep 
Creek near where the Freezeout Association Cow Camp is now 
located, and construction of the flume was started at this point on 


Sheep Creek and built down Sheep Creek Canyon. Material 
for the flume was floated down the flume as needed, and the flume 
continued on down Tongue River Canyon from the mouth of 
Sheep Creek. 

About a year later, McShane & Donelly took the outfit over. 
A sawmill was installed at Rockwood, and the company built the 
flume from there down through the upper end of Tongue River 
Box Canyon and through Horse Creek Basin, joining onto the 
original flume near the mouth of Sheep Creek. Not long before 
1 went to work for McShane, the Cutler Creek pond and chute 
were built, and the flume was built from there down to Rockwood. 
As these different sections of flume were being built, lumber was 
sawed with the small sawmills at the upper end of the section 
being built, water was turned in the flume, and a supply of 
lumber floated down and allowed to shoot out of the end of 
the flume. Then the water was shut off, and more flume was 
built until the lumber was exhausted. Again the water would 
be turned in, and the operation repeated. The flume finally 
reached a length of over forty miles and cost at least a dollar 
and half per foot to build, which alone was over $300,000 spent 
in this area in a few years and was a considerable sum in that 
day and age. At the time I went to work for the McShane Tie 
Company, there was supposed to be a million dollars invested 
in the flume, sawmills, buildings, and equipment belonging to the 

Of course, besides the tie hacks, there were many other 
employees; also many work horses were used for skidding and 
hauling logs. Large quantities of hay and grain, foods and 
supplies were needed at the base of operation. The freight was 
brought in with horse drawn wagons, up the steep mountain road 
which started near Smith Creek Canyon and went by way of 
what was known as Freezeout Point. Several freight outfits 
were kept busy, among whom were Tom Davis and his boys, 
J. M. Neese and his boys, John Lambert, Chris Gross, and others, 
all using horse freight outfits. There were two brothers, whose 
names I can't recall, who tried mules for freighting, but they 
were not successful. The mules were not good in either mud or 
snow. Oxen were used in the early days of the tie camp but had 
all been replaced with horses when I went to work. I was told 
that the first steam boiler used for the first sawmill installed by 
Starbird & Hall on Sheep Creek was freighted in with oxen by a 
man named Kelsey. 

I worked in many different capacities — slough pig, swamper, 
tie hack, flume hiker, shipper, cook, and carpenter. For the 
benefit of those not familiar with the terms of lumber jacking, 
I will explain what a few of the terms mean. A swamper is a 
man who clears roads and skidways. A flume hiker is one who 
watches after a section of flume to make minor repairs and reports 


as quickly as he can any break downs of the flume or other trouble 
that is too much for him to fix alone. A cant hook man is one 
who catches and handles rolling logs on skidways and while 
loading logs on sleighs. A road monkey watches a stretch of 
road, and if it is steep downhill and slick so that the sleigh will 
crowd the horses too much, he throws sand or dirt on the snow; 
and if it is bare ground and the load is going uphill, he throws 
snow on the road to make the sleigh run easier. A slough pig, 
or river rat, is the one who keeps ties or logs out of the bayous 
or sloughs after they have left the end of the flume and are 
floating down the river, and keeps them moving toward the loading 
point. A ratchet monkey is one who rides the carriage on the 
big saw in a sawmill to set ratchets into the logs while sawing. 
Of course, nowadays, ratchets are set automatically by the sawyer. 
A strip is a strip of timber measured off for one man, or partners, 
to cut and make ties out of for which he, or they, are responsible 
for the cutting and working into ties of all trees marked by the 

After working as a carpenter for awhile, I took a job as 
swamper until I was laid up with a cut on the foot caused by a 
misguided axe which had caught on some brush. Not being 
able to walk over rough ground, I was put on KP duty, preparing 
food for the mess hall which was operated to take care of single 
men. Here about sixty-five men boarded. Most of the men with 
wives and some of the single men who wished to do their own 
cooking had cabins of their own which they built themselves. 
Speaking of food, there is nothing like working in the woods 
to give you a great appetite, and I saw some of the world's 
greatest eaters while working at the mess hall. 

About half the employees were good steady workers and men 
of good character, many of whom had been with the company 
for several years, but the other half was a pretty rough element 
of drifters, called hobos, who would work a few days, then quit 
and move on. They were generally hired by a labor agent at 
Sheridan or Ranchester and sent to the mountains on foot. It 
was said that the McShane Tie Company always had three crews — 
one crew on the road to the camp, one crew working, and one 
on the way back to town. 

The mail was carried to Rockwood by packhorse, and the old 
Mail Trail was from Dayton up through the IXL Ranch and 
up the mountain on the ridge where the present Hairpin Curve 
is located on the U.S. Highway 14. The Mail Trail continued 
on up that ridge which, if followed to the mountain top, would 
have emerged right on top of Steamboat Rock. But the trail 
stayed down on the south side of Steamboat and crossed Turkey 
Creek at the exact spot where the present highway crosses, then 
on up past Hobo Rock, and across the open park to Cutler Creek. 
The company would send the hobos or inexperienced men up this 



Courtesy Charles C. Rawlings 

Dave Reed, tie hack, working at his trade, showing the steps in making a tie 
from tree to finished product. 


trail, since walking the flume was for men with experience, and 
it was much shorter than going by way of the freight road. Also, 
it was too expensive to haul them in on the freight wagons. 

The hobos could seldom walk the entire distance from Ran- 
chester to the tie camp in one day. There was a large rock 
along the trail with quite a cave back under it where they would 
spend the night, building a fire out in front for warmth and to 
keep the bears and wolves away. This rock to this day is called 
Hobo Rock. 

This hobo element mixed together with the steady employees, 
who were themselves a pretty hard boiled and not to be run over 
group of men, seasoned with a supply of both good and bad 
whiskey, made an all around pretty tough group, and fights were 
a common occurance. Killings were not too uncommon which, 
together with accidents and sickness, and being so far from medical 
and hospital care, although there was generally a camp doctor at 
Rockwood, made working for the tie company a rather hazardous 

The owners and their foremen, as well as being expert lumber- 
jacks, had to also be good rough and tumble fighters and, above 
all, able to swing their fists and boots in order to keep a firm 
hand over the rest of the crew. There were lots of jokes and 
pranks played on each other by the men which sometimes led 
to a fight, but generally a foreman was on hand to preserve order. 
If there was no other way to settle the matter, the foreman would 
referee the bout and let the men fight it out. 

I remember one fellow who got drunk and was asleep in a 
chair in the camp saloon with his legs spraddled out, his feet 
flat on the floor, and plumb dead to the world. Some of the boys 
tried to rouse him so that they could all go to their cabin or 
bunkhouse and go to bed, but he could not be roused. So they 
removed his shoes, nailed them to the floor, then carefully put 
his feet back into them and laced them up. Some time later 
the victim awakened but could not move his feet. He thought 
his legs were paralyzed from the effect of the liquor and imme- 
diately swore off drinking forevermore. 

Most of the cutting and making of ties was done through the 
summer months and the early part of the winter. After the 
snows started in the fall, until the snow became too deep, there 
was logging and freighting up the mountain road, and ties were 
hauled out of the timber to the flume on sleighs. It was only 
in the summer months that wagons were used. 

The company had a warehouse at Ranchester where supplies 
would be shipped in carloads and stored until needed on the 
mountains. The supplies were freighted in on wagons or sleighs 
up past Dayton, then up the Smith Creek Road past what is now 
the Bear Claw Ranch, then up the face of the mountain to 
Freezeout Point and down past where the Freezeout Cow Camp 


is now located, across Sheep Creek, up over the saddle into Horse 
Creek Basin, along what is now the Bars Hill Trail to Tongue 
River where there was a bridge crossing Tongue River a short way 
below the forks of the river, then down the river on the south 
side to Rockwood, up Cutler Creek and Mule Hill, across where 
the present highway now is located near the Black Mountain 
turnoff, and from there to Black Mountain the road was practi- 
cally the same as it is now. This was never less than a two-day 
trip going in with a load, and it generally took three days or more. 

The freighters and company teamsters, whom we called "skin- 
ners," became very expert in handling their four-horse teams 
over the steep, crooked and sideling roads. They could take a 
heavy load over a road that a good teamster, unaccustomed to 
such roads, would have been afraid to drive a two-horse team 
and empty wagon, or sleigh. 

At times, in going down a steep hill, instead of taking the time 
to rough lock their sleigh, they would "shoot" the hill. The 
wheel team would be holding back what they could, while at the 
same time the leaders would be slightly pulling in order to steer 
the sleigh and keep it in the road. The sleigh would gradually 
gain speed, and by the time the bottom of the hill was reached, 
the horses would be on a dead run. At times it wouldn't work. 
If a horse should fall, or if the load was heavy and gained speed 
faster than the driver had calculated, and the horses could not 
run fast enough to steer the sleigh and keep it in the road, a pileup 
was inevitable. This meant a busted up sleigh and crippled or 
killed horses, and sometimes the driver would also be hurt. 

Then, with horse drawn outfits, it was very similar to what 
it is today with cars and trucks. Some drivers were overly reckless 
and busted up their outfits; others took more time to make a 
trip and always got there with their outfit all together. 

Of course, through the winter months, the flume would become 
coated with ice, and the river from the lower end of the flume 
to Ranchester would freeze over so that ties could not be sent out 
during that time. 

The water would be shut out of the flume in the fall, and the 
flume would become full of snow which made a fine place to 
ski, and the trip down could be made in a very short time — going 
back up was not so fast. 

It may readily be seen that to work the year round, a man had 
to work on many different jobs. In the winter he might be 
making ties, swamping or hauling ties and piling them along the 
flume, while during the summer months he might be flume hiking 
or working along the river. There were always two or three 
months in late winter and early spring when the snow was too 
deep or maybe too wet and slushy to work in the timber, and the 
flume and river would be frozen, and nearly the whole crew 
would have to be idle. 


The company would have heavy expenses during the winter 
months while ties were being produced and piled along the flume, 
and it would have no income until the following summer when the 
ties could be shipped down and marketed. No doubt there had 
to be some pretty heavy financing to get through the winter 
months each year. 

After I had helped in the kitchen a short time, I became second 
cook. The head cook, who was a fine cook and had been a 
chef in some of the better-class hotels in the East, had become a 
drug addict and had come to the tie camp to get away from the 
drug. In some way he got hold of a supply of the drug he used, 
and when the supply ran out he quit his job. The second cook 
was then made first cook, and I was made second cook. Later a 
temporary camp was set up some distance from the main camp, 
and I was sent there as chef to cook for a crew of fourteen men, 
without any kitchen help, at a salary of $50.00 a month which I 
thought was good wages. Well, I didn't have much time to listen 
to the wind whispering in the pines in the evening or the birds 
singing in the morning, as I had to get up and get to work at 
3:30 in the morning and never got through before nine or ten 
at night, as breakfast was at six and supper at seven, not the 
leisurely way as it is nowadays. All hands working in the timber 
were on the job at seven in the morning and stayed there until 
six in the evening, eating a lunch in the woods at noon. 

When the temporary camp was broken up and I was taken 
back to Rockwood, I did not want to take the second cook's job 
away from him and didn't feel that I exactly fitted in that big 
kitchen anyway. In fact, I had had enough of the long hours 
necessary for a cook to put in each day, so I decided to take a 
strip and make ties. I purchased a set of tools, which consisted 
of an axe, a tie peeler, timber stamp, crosscut saw, and a 
broadaxe, and went out as a tie hack. I made a poor excuse as 
a tie hack to begin with and might have failed entirely had it 
not been for Frenchy working on one side of me and Axel Ander- 
son on the other. Both were experts with a broadaxe. Gene 
Martinez, "Frenchy," was especially patient jn teaching and help- 
ing me, and he gave much of his valuable time in helping me learn. 
He was considered the best tie hack on the mountains, and when 
he finished a tie, he was so expert with the broadaxe it looked 
as though it had been planed in a mill. But I never worked at 
it long enough to become expert, for that was the only strip I 
ever took. 

I worked for a time as a flume hiker, then there was a great 
change in operations. Big boilers were taken on the mountains 
to operate a couple of sawmills. Tom Davis took the contract 
to put the boilers on top which seemed like an almost impossible 
task over the steep, sideling mountain road but which he did 
without mishap. Then they began to saw considerable material 


on top which did not work so well in the flume. Ties were the 
fastest moving materials going down the flume while lumber and 
mine props traveled slower, and at times the fast moving material 
would catch up with and override the slower moving material 
and pile up, causing jams in the flume. The water would pour 
over the sides sometimes washing out the flume footings, or the 
flume would be wrecked by sheer weight if the material kept 
coming and piled up in one place long enough. 

The old mill pond at Rockwood was used as a sorting place, and 
while there was a run-around flume to bypass the pond, most all 
material that came down the flume from above Rockwood was 
dumped into the Rockwood pond and reshipped a little space 
apart. The man who sent the ties and lumber down from Rock- 
wood, called the shipper, soon learned what type of material 
traveled fast or slow, and he fed it into the flume accordingly. 
There was a telephone line all along the flume and a telephone 
box was located every few miles. Some flume hikers carried 
portable phones which could be hooked onto the line all along 
the flume at any place. We would make certain marks on differ- 
ent pieces of wood at Rockwood, and someone would watch for 
them at the lower end of the flume. In that way we could time 
them. We found that a fast running tie would travel from 
Rockwood to the end of the flume, a distance of about ten miles, 
in about nine minutes, while some sawed lumber would take 
about twenty minutes to go the same distance. You can see 
that a man feeding the material into the flume at Rockwood 
had to watch pretty closely and keep his mind right on his business, 
or he could cause jams and break downs of the flume. There 
was a bell near the shipper, and if a flume hiker found a jam 
or a break down, he could phone the shipper and stop the feeding 
of material into the flume at once which was very important. 
Sometimes all the water as well as the ties and other material 
would, in case of a jam, be shooting over the side of the flume, 
and at places it was almost impossible, or at least too expensive, 
to get the ties and material back into the flume after it was 
repaired. The flume was "V" shaped and about four feet wide 
and two feet deep in the center. 

We made flume boats to ride down the flume when we wanted 
to go a considerable distance in a hurry. Usually about six 
one-by-six boards were nailed lightly to a "V," made slightly 
smaller than the flume, which, of course, did not keep out much 
water. The rider would lie flat on the boards and away he went 
for a fast ride. When the boat arrived at the lower end of the 
flume, it was knocked apart and the lumber was sent on down the 
river. Several different ones, not including myself, had the fool- 
hardy nerve to ride a flume boat all the way from Rockwood 
down through Horse Creek Basin, where the maximum speed of 
80 miles per hour would be reached, to the end of the flume at 


the mouth of Tongue River Canyon. The flume was curved in 
many places, and in most places down through the Horse Creek 
Basin it was at least twenty feet above the ground. Wherever it 
was curved, the water and everything floating in it would naturally 
hug to one side of the flume, and a loose and protruding nail or 
even a loose or worn board could have thrown boat, man and all 
clear out of the flume. 

I must tell one little joke that I pulled while I was a flume hiker 
which might not have been exactly honest, but I just couldn't 
resist. If any of the ones are still around that the prank was 
played on, they'll now know just what happened. 

A party of men and women had made the long drive with teams 
from Sheridan to the mouth of Tongue River Canyon to camp a 
few days and fish. Of course, they brought some refreshments 
with them which were very warm by the time they reached the 
canyon. It happened to be a day when there was no timber 
running in the flume, and I, on a regular routine of flume hiking, 
came by their camp and stopped to talk. I told them there would 
be no timber coming down the flume as there was a break down 
above which was being repaired. They had a case of beer which 
I watched them tie into the flume with a rope, where the cool 
mountain water would pour over it, before I started on my way 
up the flume. As soon as I was around the bend and out of 
sight, I found a plank along side the flume which I threw in and 
jumped on and started down the flume feet first with my open 
jackknife in my hand. I was completely out of sight inside the 
flume, and when I came to the beer case (I must have been within 
four feet of the party and could hear their voices), I cut the 
taut rope, and the beer and I floated on down and around a bend 
where I caught the side of the flume. With a quick lurch, I 
went over the side, wet, of course, but I had the beer. This was 
near the end of the flume where it was close to the ground and 
the water was beginning to lose its swiftness, otherwise, it might 
have been quite a dangerous venture. 

I believe it was in the month of August that I was put back 
to carpentering and was engaged in building an addition onto 
the warehouse in the rear of the big commissary at Rockwood 
which was still the company headquarters although most of the 
ties and lumber was coming down the flume from Black Mountain. 
We knew that for several days there had been a forest fire burning 
over on the head of Pass Creek and the Dry Fork of the Little 
Horn. The Burlington Railroad Company had sent a crew of fire 
fighters up under the leadership of the section foreman, Paddy 
Walsh, who, with the assistance of quite a crew of tie camp 
employees and ranchers from below, had the fire surrounded and 
supposedly under control. A man by the name of Bill Bradley 
rode into Rockwood on a lathered horse and told us that the 
fire was out of control again and was now burning on Sheep 

The town of Dayton about 1887. 


The last headquarters of the McShane Tie Camp at Woodrock. 

Tie loading plant, Ranchester. 

Courtesy Charles C. Rawlings 


Creek which was only three miles from our camp. I kept right 
on working, not realizing that Rockwood was in any immediate 
danger, when suddenly I saw that the whole camp was in a turmoil 
of excitement. Bill Bradley had further imparted the information 
that a hard northwest wind had suddenly come up which had 
caused the fire to jump clear out of the circle of fire fighters, 
which left them all on the other side of the fire from us with 
no transportation except their own legs. The people in Rock- 
wood who knew the country and knew forest fires knew that the 
fire was heading straight for our camp and that there was very 
little chance of the camp escaping being wiped out. We could 
see smoke drifting across the river about a mile upstream, rather 
black but high up in the air. 

There were perhaps a hundred or more people in camp, in- 
cluding several women and children. The camp buildings con- 
sisted of the big commissary and warehouse, the company office, 
the postoffice, the cookhouse, a large bunkhouse, a saloon, a 
schoolhouse, and several cabins occupied by men and families. 
Jack Dunley was a part owner of the company and the real boss, 
but I do not believe he was at Rockwood that day, as George 
Hall, who had charge of the commissary, seemed to be the head 
man in the camp and was issuing orders to the rest of us. 

All agreed that the camp was doomed, and everyone started 
packing his personal belongings and supplies from the commissary 
and throwing them into the mill pond. The camp doctor was 
detailed to take the women and children, about twenty-five in 
all, down the flume on foot by walking along the footboard on 
the flume to a camp that he had already prepared in case the fire 
did become dangerous. Here he had a tent and some supplies 
cached, and preparations had been made to take care of one of 
the women who was expecting to be confined at any time. This 
safety camp was in open country in the Horse Creek Basin 
about a mile below Rockwood. 

When the doctor left Rockwood with the women and children, 
the smoke had started drifting through the camp, and we all felt 
that the fire was getting pretty close. The doctor became frenzied 
and ran ahead of the women, down the flume as fast as he could 
go, with his long black hair streaming in the wind. He must have 
left the mountains for good, for as far as I know, he never did 

Of course, the women and children could not keep up with 
the doctor and were soon far behind. Mrs. Starbird, whose 
husband was employed by the company and who was the camp 
school teacher, took command and kept them together and headed 
down the flume. Anyone who has never seen that particular 
stretch of flume cannot visualize this hazardous trip, hazardous 
even when there was no fire and time could be taken to go slowly 
and watch each footstep. The flume hung in places more than 


300 feet up on the Tongue River Box Canyon wall [see illustra- 
tion "Dead Man's Point"], and in some places it is more than 
perpendicular. I doubt very much if more than one or two of 
that group had ever walked the footboard over this stretch before. 
And that was not all! They had almost waited too long. They 
came to a place, high up on the canyon wall, where a burning 
stump or tree had fallen from the canyon rim above onto the 
flume, setting it afire, but there was no going back. Already the 
fire had crossed behind them, and the flume was now on fire, 
both to the front and rear. Mrs. Starbird kept her head, and with 
superhuman strength and the courage of a true hero, she gathered 
together what loose boards and timbers she could find along the 
flume and bridged around the burning section. She managed to 
get the whole group across the gap and then led them through 
the blinding smoke to the safety camp. Here they started small 
grass fires of their own around the tent and had a large burned 
off area before the big fire got to them. None of the women or 
kids were injured in any way. 

Back at Rockwood, we were all busy dumping canned goods, 
household furniture, clothing, and anything else that would stand 
water into the mill pond. In the excitement, we threw into the 
mill pond even some articles from the commissary such as tobacco, 
sugar, and flour which we finally quit carrying as we all supposed 
that such things would be ruined by the water. The old-timers felt 
sure that no man or beast could stay at Rockwood and live, but 
as I had never been close to a real forest fire, I did not realize 
how bad and dangerous it would be and was not as excited as 
lots of the ones were who knew more about fires, so I was con- 
sidered a pretty cool cucumber. 

A four-horse team was hitched to a lumber wagon, and someone 
yelled "Come on, we got to get out of here right now, or we 
will be cut off by the fire crossing the road ahead of us!" 
The fire had already crossed the river above us, and when we could 
see through the smoke, it looked like the whole side of Murray 
Hill was burning, which was directly across the river from us. 
George Hall, who had been directing the salvage operations, 
stayed as long as he thought he dared, then took the records 
and what money was on hand at the commissary and office, and 
left a few jumps ahead of the fire. 

Jim Hartsell, Tom Stone, Andy Peterson, and an old man, 
Deafy, and myself made a quick decision to stay, as we thought 
we would be taking about as much chance in that wagon, trying 
to beat the fire up Cutler Creek, as we would by staying there 
along the river. We figured that we could keep ourselves wet and 
withstand the fire. The wagon was already full of the last ones 
to stay, for many of the men had already gone up Cutler Creek 
on foot, so the wagon left with the four-horse team on the gallup. 
We learned afterwards that the fire leaped over them three times 


on their way up Cutler Creek, but they made it to the bare country 
near Hobo Rock where they also burned off the grass and had a 
burned over area when the big fire arrived. All of them lived. 
As I said before, I had never seen a forest fire and was not too 
much excited about what was in store for the five of us that had 
decided to stay at the river, but well did I know the fury of one 
in the next few minutes. I realize now that it is a miracle that 
we survived at all. We ran to a place just below the dam, where 
there was a seep and rather flat swampy place, where green water 
grass and mountain willows were growing and cold mountain 
water was rising out of the ground and trickling all through the 
green grass, which was a couple of feet high, and the green leaved 
willows, which were from four to six feet high. Into the mud 
and water we plunged, but none too soon, as the fire was upon 
us at once with a terrific roar of wind. 

First the air became full of black, strong smoke, ashes, and 
burning twigs and pine needles, but we found that we could not 
keep our heads up and breathe. Of course the wind was blowing 
a gale, as a fire seems to create its own draft after it has a start. 
It was no time at all until the debris in the air was of a larger size, 
and pine cones and larger twigs started bombarding us, most of 
them on fire, setting our clothes on fire or dropping into the 
water around us with sizzling sounds. Then good sized branches 
started falling on us and around us, all of them in full flame. 
Before we knew it the nice green water grass and willows were 
all burned up, and the water that we were in was almost too 
hot to stand. Of course, through these few short moments that 
seemed like hours to us, we were rolling in the mud and water, and 
each man was trying to better his position by moving into a 
deeper hole or digging out a deeper hole with his hands, which 
was almost useless on account of so many roots from the grass 
and willows being in the ground. We found that mud on our 
clothing was about the best protection we had and that we could 
get a little fresh air by putting our noses right down to the 
surface of the little riffles of water. For a few moments it seemed 
that there was a solid sheet of flame above us, while we rolled 
over and over in our mud holes, getting fresh mud on top of 
what had already dried on our top sides by the intense heat above, 
and catching a little breath of fresh air as our noses passed the 
little riffles of water. We had no idea of the time that we took to 
our mud holes, and I suppose the blaze that passed over us lasted 
a very few minutes, but it was a plenty long time for me, and I 
imagine it was as near to being like Purgatory as anyone will ever 
see on this earth. 

There was so much smoke for a few minutes after the fire had 
passed over us that we could still see nothing, but we knew that 
the heat was easing up, and our little streams of water were getting 
cooler. After we had lain still for a few minutes, the smoke 


cleared away enough so that we five could see each other and 
found that we were all alive and able to get on our feet. However, 
if we had not known just who was there, we would never have 
known each other. The hair was singed off our heads and faces, 
our hands were bleeding, and our necks were well blistered and 
bleeding. Our clothing was burned and torn, and on top of every- 
thing, we were so plastered with mud that you could hardly tell 
whether we were men or animals, but I do not remember of any 
of us laughing at the ridiculous sights we made. 

As soon as the smoke lifted so that we could see a little, we 
walked above the dam where we could dip our hands and feet 
into the deeper cool water. Everything was black. Everything 
floating in the pond was burned down to the water line, so the 
pond would probably have been a worse place for us to have 
gone through the fire, as we would have been unable to keep 
our heads above water to breathe, and we would have had our 
choice of either burning our heads off or drowning. 

Andy Peterson had thrown his trunk into the pond, and we 
could see it out quite a ways from the bank with the top part of 
the contents burned up but still floating. Andy waded out in 
pretty deep water and managed to reach it and towed it ashore. 
He seemed awful anxious to see what had burned and what had 
not burned. I watched him and helped him lift the trunk out 
of the water. A few inches under the ashes and charcoal that 
covered what was left in the trunk, he pulled out a roll of paper 
money that was his entire fortune and all made by the hard work 
of hacking ties. His roll of money contained $800.00, which 
made the world look a lot brighter for Andy. 

When the smoke cleared away, we do not know why, but we 
found that the school house and two cabins had been spared and 
were surrounded by a couple of acres of green grass that was 
not even scorched. Everything else as far as we could see in all 
directions was black. The fire a couple of days later stopped 
mostly of its own accord, but the burned over area reached from 
the Dry Fork of the Little Horn to the eastern end of Black 
Mountain, a distance of about 12 miles, and from the forks of 
Tongue River to the mouth of Horse Creek. In places the swath 
was seven or eight miles wide. We learned later that very little 
of the flour that was thrown into the pond was spoiled, but the 
sugar and tobacco was nearly a total loss. Many other articles 
were salvaged from the old mill pond. 

The old gentleman, named Deafy, and I both got pneumonia 
as a result of our experience. The old gentleman died which was 
the only casualty of the fire that I know of. I was taken to 
Sheridan where I recovered; whereupon I went to work on the 
Burlington as soon as I was able. But once a man gets sawdust 
in his whiskers, he never gets it out, so the next spring I returned 
to the mountains and again went to work for the same outfit. 


This time I went to work as an experienced hand, as I had had 
the experience in many of the different jobs that it takes to make 
a full-fledged lumberjack. 

At that time, in the years 1898 and 1899, I didn't think much 
about the part that I was doing, but today I look back with pride 
to think that I had a hand in and played a part in that great 
all-but-forgotten lumber industry and trie vast part it played in 
the forging of this community and of Ranchester in particular. 
Ranchester was the shipping point for the ties and lumber pro- 
duced, and the site of a large sawmill and warehouse and the 
main offices of the company. The McShane Tie Company gave 
birth to the town of Ranchester and nourished it through its 
infancy and to the point where it could stand on its own feet and 
take its place in the world as a small but important agricultural 
and livestock center. 

No doubt the fire of 1898 covered the largest area and was the 
most disastrous fire that we have ever had in the Big Horns since 
white men have populated these parts. However, there probably 
were greater fires in the Big Horns before our time, as you can 
find old charred stumps and logs most anywhere on the mountains 
with the green trees growing up around them. 

We know there are many fires started in the mountains by 
lightning, and probably four or five hundred years ago the whole 
Big Horn Mountains were burned over. Already, after sixty-two 
years, there is a nice stand of timber on most of the area burned 
off by the Rockwood fire, having about 10% of its growth for 
good saw timber. 

Nowadays we have diligent watchmen at all times in our forest 
rangers and lookouts, aided by the forest service system of roads 
and trails, and with trucks, cars and jeeps to travel them, instead 
of having to travel with horses or on foot as we did fifty years ago. 
All of which makes it much easier to gain control of a fire in its 
early stages. But, it is my opinion that the best protection we 
now have against disastrous forest fires in the Big Horns is the 
cattle and sheep that graze on our forest reserve. They harvest 
the grass each year in the timber and parks so that a fire does 
not have the chance to travel as it did years ago when the grass 
was not grazed off and was matted down each fall with the pres- 
sure of the snow. Even in the summer months when the grass 
appeared to be green, there was that bed of old grass, rotten 
underneath, but on top just like dry hay scattered all through the 
green which made nice tinder for a fire to follow across the parks. 
Nowadays the grass seems to be just as good as it was fifty years 
ago. This is due, in part, to the supervision of the forest service, 
to the manure produced by the livestock, and to the livestock 
tramping the grass into the soil while grazing over the parks which 
fertilizes the soil and, at the same time, lessens that terrible fire 
hazard that we used to have. 



Courtesy Charles C. Rowlings 

Robert F. Strait and Edith S. Strait in 1914, 
shortly after they were married in September 1913. 

I know of one fire about the year 1900 in the Big Horns that 
was almost entirely a grass fire and burned under the snow all 
winter. It travelled all the way from Wolf Creek Canyon to 
Sheep Creek during the winter months, part of the time under the 
snow, and in the spring it broke out as a forest fire. This could 
not happen any more, as the cattle and sheep on the forest reserve 
harvest the grass during the summer months and, of course, having 
the grass available on the forest reserve makes the carrying 
capacity of our ranches much greater which in turn makes pros- 
perity for all who live in this community. 

A merchant or professional man living in the city of Sheridan 
may not realize that he receives any benefit from the Big Horns 
other than a place to hunt and fish or to have a picnic in the 
cooler atmosphere, but if we did not have the grass that grows 


on the Big Horns, we would have just as many less cattle in this 
county of Sheridan as you now see grazing on the mountains while 
driving on the highway. It would mean a cut in the income of 
the ranchers, and the merchants and professional people of 
Sheridan would soon find that there were too many of them to 
be supported by this area, and some of them would have to move 
away in order to make a living, as the valleys and lowlands are 
already carrying livestock to their full capacity. 

So, all the residents of Sheridan County are now benefited by 
the grass that grows on the Big Horns. All the way round it is a 
pretty well balanced proposition, even giving employment to and 
supporting employees of the forest service who are high type 
citizens and some of whom have permanently located in our midst. 
They might never have been a resident of our community had it 
not been for the timber and grass on the Big Horns. 

Let us hope that we will never have another fire as disastrous 
as the Rockwood fire. Use every precaution against fire while 
in the mountains, either pleasure bent or at work, as I can tell 
you from experience that fire can be terrible, not only destroying 
the timber, but everything in its path which today would be timber, 
grass, wild game, livestock, personal property, such as small saw- 
mills and summer homes and, maybe, human lives. It can still 
happen; it does happen in other places, so let us be careful with 
our cigarettes and camp fires, and keep the grass well harvested 
each year. 

I might sleep tonight on an innerspring mattress or a feather 
bed in a warm house and have all the modern conveniences of 
today's way of living, but never will I en'oy a night's repose as I 
did after a strenuous day's work in the woods and retire to sleep 
on a mat of sweet smelling spruce boughs with only a few 
blankets over me while I hear the breezes whispering through 
the tall pines, knowing that I would awake at daybreak with the 
music of the little birds singing in the trees. 

What's fa a flame? 

Mabel Bass 

This is the story of a cattle brand which became a name, which 
became a post office, which became a town. The brand, the 
name, the post office, and the town are all alike, Jay Em. The 
story begins with Jim Moore. 

The name Jim Moore and the stories of his fabulous herd of 
cattle have nearly been forgotten. The fact that there was one 
Jim Moore who located a ranch which was named for him in 
present-day Goshen County, then Laramie County, Wyoming 
Territory, has been established, but little is known about him. 

Exactly why or when Jim Moore decided to settle here in this 
sunny spot along the old Cheyenne-Red Cloud Agency-Nebraska 
Trail is another one of the unanswered questions. Perhaps as 
he galloped along as a rider for the Pony Express, he learned to 
love the cleanness, the freedom, and the challenge of the Wyoming 
plains. Whatever his plans or aspirations were, it must have been 
a great day for Jim Moore when he fashioned his iron and placed 
his brand, J rolling M for his own initials, (see sketch) on the 
left ribs of his own "critters." To this day the stream, the ranch, 
the post office, and the village all carry the name of Jim Moore's 
cattle brand, JM (J rolling M). 

The Archives of the State of Wyoming and the old files of the 
Wyoming Stock Grower's Association disclose the information 
that Jim Moore was a Pony Express rider, a freighter, and rated 
as a large ranking cowman in Wyoming in 1869. This was in 
the days of Wyoming's great grass and cattle bonanza which was 
ended by the terrible blizzards of the winters of 1886 and 1887. 
Jim Moore's outfit ranged from Lodgepole Creek west of Sidney, 
Nebraska, to Running Water Creek in what is now Niobrara 
County, Wyoming, and Rawhide Creek in what is now Goshen 
County, Wyoming. In spite of his love of horses and his exper- 
ience in handling them, Jim Moore met his death by being thrown 
from a hay wagon by a runaway team. This must have been 
about 1875 or earlier. 

After Jim Moore's death, his widow married R. S. Van Tassell, 
who thereby came into possession of the JM brand and was the 
first owner to have it recorded. This recording was in the Wyo- 
ming Stock Growers Association's first official published brand 
book in 1882. The J rolling M brand is shown with R. S. Van 
Tassell as owner, and James S. Bryson as foreman of the Range 
on Rawhide and Running Water Creeks. The address was Chey- 
enne and Rawhide Buttes, Wyoming Territory. The brand was 
used on the left ribs of cattle. 


During ensuing years the brand passed through the hands of 
various owners including J. M. Kuykendall and the Powder River 
Cattle Company. It was not recorded in the counties where it 
was used, although prior to 1909 brands were supposed to be 
recorded in the counties where they were used. The records of 
the Wyoming Livestock and Sanitary Board show the JM brand 
recorded in the name of the Jay Em Cattle Company in 1911. 
This company was composed of a gentleman from Wisconsin, 
Silas Harris, and his three sons, Art, Lake, and Frank. The 
approval for the allowance of the brand by order of the board was 
dated April 5, 1911. Since December 1925, the brand has been 
recorded in the names of Art G. Harris and Frank H. Harris of 
Jay Em, Wyoming. The portion of Jim Moore's ranch which 
now carries his name, the Jay Em Ranch, is the home of Frank 
H. Harris and his wife Florence. 

Thus ends the story of the cattle brand which became a name. 
Now to the portion of the story pertaining to the post office and 
the town. 

On February 13, 1899, a post office was established on Jay 
Em Creek a short distance from the future site of the present town 
of Jay Em. The post master was William "Uncle Jack" Har- 
graves, and the post office went by the name of Hargraves. Uncle 
Jack was an unconventional person with decided opinions of his 
own. The story goes that there came a time when the United 
States Postal Inspector called on Uncle Jack and their opinions 
clashed strongly. Whereupon Uncle Jack informed the inspector 
that he could pack up his postoffice and get out; which is exactly 
what the gentleman did. Since the materials and supplies pertain- 
ing to the post office were all contained in a large wooden box, 
packing up and getting out was not a very difficult task. 

This left the ranchers and settlers with no post office nearer 
than Rawhide Buttes Station or Ft. Laramie. To remedy this 
situation, Lake Harris, a forward looking young man, wrote to 
the United States Postal Department requesting that the post 
office be reestablished at the Jay Em Ranch. They replied that 
if he, Lake Harris, would bring the mail from Rawhide Buttes 
Station to Jay Em Ranch, free of charge, every other day for 
ninety days the post office would be established at Jay Em Ranch. 
This is what Lake did, making the twenty mile trip on horseback 
and setting up the post office equipment in a bunkhouse at the 
ranch. On March 24, 1909, Elizabeth Thornton, a friend of 
the Harris family, became the first postmistress of the Jay Em 
post office. With the establishment of the post office the name 
was changed from the letters JM to the longer spelling, Jay Em, 
which is contrary to the story that the longer spelling was begun 
when the Indians taught the cowboys how to spell. 

In the years that followed, the village of Jay Em emerged from 
its chrysallis which was Lake Harris's homestead house and 


general store. In 1915 the post office was moved from its Jay Em 
Ranch quarters to the present village of Jay Em which is about 
half way between the larger towns of Torrington and Lusk. The 
position of postmaster was held by members of the Harris family 
or friends until December 1, 1931, when Lake Harris again took 
over the position which he has held continuously until 1959 which 
marked the age for his retirement. Inez Benshoof is now post- 
mistress in Jay Em. 

Jay Em today is a neat little picture of white buildings and stone 
chapel framed by the black top of highway 85 and the green and 
gold of the cottonwoods along the protecting arm of Rawhide 
Creek. Its purpose is to serve the simple needs of the farmers 
and ranchers who live nearby; for Jay Em is only a very small 
village but it is important in the general economy just as little 
streams are important to the larger streams to which they are 
tributary. Its single industry is a stone shop which carries on 
the quarrying, cutting, polishing and lettering of everything from 
tombstones to tie clasps. 

We can only guess what Jim Moore knew about the future when 
he came to Wyoming Territory away back there some one hundred 
years ago. One thing we are pretty sure he did not know was 
that there would be a post office, a village, a ranch, and a creek 
named for his cattle brand. Even so, no one knows just how far 
reaching may be the influence of his simple life. For everyone 
who lives upon the face of the earth leaves something of himself 
when he is gone. One may leave a Mount Rushmore, and 
another may leave a little white town under a sapphire sky and a 
jade tree. One may leave a patient flower of love and under- 
standing while another leaves a weed of selfishness and intolerance. 
Everybody leaves something, and the token by which he wishes to 
be remembered is largely up to the individual himself. 

- 1* m 5 \ t M^mBamStBSmmm 

Long Horn steer with brand on side 

Zhe Jerries of the forty -Joiners 

Dale L. Morgan 

PART Ill-Section 2 

One of the paradoxes of Western history is that in strict fact 
there were no ferries on the Sublette Cutoff in 1 849. The writer 
and all other students of Western history down to the present 
have failed to appreciate just what was meant by the term "Sublette 
Cutoff" as applied this year, and among the Forty-niners them- 
selves, only J. Goldsborough Bruff displayed any recognition 
of the facts. A few words by way of preface, then, will obviously 
serve a useful purpose. 

The Greenwood Cutoff as such, leaving the Old Oregon Trail 
via Fort Bridger (later the Salt Lake Road) at a point east of the 
Little Sandy, took off nearly west to the Big Sandy, and then 
crossed a usually waterless desert to the Green River a few miles 
below present LaBarge. It was first traveled by overland emi- 
grants with wagons in 1844, and even before the Gold Rush was 
showing signs of displacing the better-watered but more round- 
about road via Fort Bridger. When, early in 1849, Joseph E. 
Ware prepared at St. Louis his influential Emigrants' Guide to 
California, he leaned heavily on William Clayton's previously 
published Latter-day Saints' Emigrants' Guide. Clayton's guide 
described the road to the Great Salt Lake Valley as traveled by 
the Mormon Pioneers in 1847 and noted only the junction with 
the "cutoff" west of South Pass. Plainly Ware needed more infor- 
mation, and he sought it from the noted mountain man, Solomon 
P. Sublette. In consequence his Guide says, after reaching the 
Dry Sandy: 

"At this point we call the attention of the traveler to the note. 
The road to the right is an old trail. The present road is carried 
some seventy miles out of a direct course, by passing Fort Bridger. 
When you cross the Dry, or Little Sandy [a confusion of identity 
by Ware, for the two streams were not the same], instead of 

* Editor's Note: Part III — Section 1, published in the April 1960 Annals 
of Wyoming, Vol. 32, No. 1, pages 50 to 69, discussed the Green River 


turning to the left and following the river, strike out across to the 
Big Sandy, twelve miles. If you get to the river along through the 
day, camp till near night. From the Big Sandy to Green river, 
a distance of thirty-five miles, there is not a drop of water. By 
starting from the Sandy at the cool of the day, you can get across 
easily by morning. Cattle can travel as far again by night as they 
can during the day, from the fact that the air is cool, and conse- 
quently they do not need water. Recollect, do not attempt to 
cross during the day. You strike the Green river a few miles 
above a small stream that comes in from the northwest. After 
resting a day at Green river, commence your route again. When 
you leave the river, keep a west, northwest course, to the branch; 
you strike it in about twelve miles by the trail; by keeping more 
to the west, you can reach it sooner. Follow it to its head, then 
strike across the high plain for the mountains, at the head of 
Thomas 1 Fork of the Bear river. Keep on the dividing ridge 
until you come near the Bear river valley, then descend and cross 
down to the mouth of the Fork, when you find the main road. 
This is a fine road all the way; grass and fuel being plenty, and 
with the exception of the distance between the Sandy and Green 
rivers, there is fine water. By referring to the large map, you can 
see that you save nearly five days travel by following what I have 
taken the liberty to call Sublette's Cut Off." 

Nothing in Ware's Guide more infuriated the Forty-niners than 
the intimation that they need expect to travel only 35 miles across 
a desert they found to extend over 50 miles. And none of them, 
it seems, paused to consider that they were not even traveling the 
route he described. This becomes apparent when we think about 
the route as laid out west of the Green River, which does not in 
any particular conform to what was ever after known as the 
Sublette Cutoff. In fact, what Ware recommended in 1849 is 
substantially the route afterwards known as the Lander cutoff, 
though there were differences. All this would have been clear 
had Ware said that the emigrants would travel nearly a northwest 
course from the Dry Sandy, striking the Big Sandy at the western- 
most bend of its upper reaches, then going on to the Green near 
present Big Piney, and afterwards going west up the Piney to the 
highlands where that stream, Greys River, the Salt River, and 
Smiths Fork of the Bear all rise. The Lander Cutoff as later laid 
out went down the Salt, but it would seem that Solomon Sublette, 
through Ware, proposed that emigrants keep to the dividing ridge 
west of Smiths Fork, and come down from it finally near the 
confluence of Thomas Fork and the Bear. Of the whole emigra- 
tion of 1849, one company alone, so far as we know, attempted 
to use Ware's "Sublette Cutoff" — this at the very end of the 

The ferries which served most of the Forty-niners, then, were 
located on what was properly the Greenwood Cutoff. But be- 


cause, through universal misunderstanding, the Greenwood Cutoff 
henceforth was to be the "Sublette Cutoff," we have to accept a 
petrified error as a fact of history, adopting the nomenclature of 
the Forty-niners themselves. 

It probably was not just fortuitous that the first ferry in opera- 
tion on the Green in 1849 was set up by mountain men, and 
along the line of this Cutoff. In no previous year had the 
mountain men shown any interest in such a means of livelihood, 
but the Mormon ferry on the Greenwood Cutoff in 1848 may have 
opened their eyes. When the earliest diarists reached the Green 
on the upper branch of the overland wagon road, they found 
facilities prepared and a crew of mountain men on hand. In 
after years there was to be great rivalry between Mormons and 
mountain men over ferry privileges on the Green River, a rivalry 
which considerably affected the history of Wyoming, and the seeds 
may have been sown in 1849. But there is much that is obscure 
about the record of 1849, and for the present no conclusions 
should be drawn about the relations of Mormons and mountain 
men in this year. 

The earliest diarist yet to appear on this northern route, and 
he was probably several days behind the leaders, is David Cosad. 
On June 15 Cosad crossed the dry drive to the Green, afterward 
saying: "Thare are about 40 French men that came thare in A. D. 
1814 they ware drove from canida they keep a ferry which 
we had to pay $3.00 for Each Wagon, they live in Indian Stile 
withe Squaws for Wives & many half Bloods children & the 
hansomest horses I ever Saw, they handle a large quantity of 
money, & manage the Indians to Suit themselves green river is 
about fifteen rods wide & a verry Swift stream We had to Swim 
our animals acrost." On the 16th Cosad said only that they 
crossed the river, took dinner, and went on ten miles (to what 
was obviously Fontenelle Creek). 48 

Joseph Waring Berrien on June 17 commented: "The River 
here is too deep to ford but there is a Ferry kept by a Frenchman 
by the name of 'Nikie' who crossed waggons at $2. apiece. There 
were 50 or 60 teams ahead of us when we arrived so we shall be 
detained a day or more before we can get our turn. This delay 
we can well afford as our teams require rest." 49 Berrien alone 
in 1849 seems to have been alert enough to give a name to any 
of the ferrymen. Perhaps his "Nikie" will presently be identified. 50 

48. MS. diary in California Historical Society library. 

49. MS. diary being edited for publication by T. C. and Caryl Hinckley. 

50. On July 19, 1850, John Steele found "three very good ferry boats" 
at this ferry owned by "two mountaineers, [Jim] Baker and McDonald." 
It remains to be learned whether they had any part in the ferry scene of 


Late on the 18th two members of a company from Columbus, 
Ohio, reached the ferry. Next day Peter Decker journalized: 
"Ferrying the River being the only work for the day I got up some 
after the sun which glanced his golden beams over the romantic 
scenery with a sky clear as any Italian & cold breeze as with us 
in November. . . . Drove down stream (or bottom) some 2 or 3 
miles to Ferry & waited for other wagons. The bluffs on the river 
some 200 ft. high & washed very curiously in semi circular shapes 
on sides (in places) & very symmetrical domes in places on tops 
These bluffs approach to form a 'Cache' [canyon] or gorge 
through which the river flows below the Ferry one mile. Bold 
deep & rapid stream 300 yds wide. A Wagon lost on yesterday 
at this Fery $200 [$2.00] per Wagon, an imposition. . . . Swam 
Stock across & had Wagons all ferried over (by assisting) by 
twilight Found 8 or 10 Wigwams in fine grove of scattered 
Trees, which fringe the bottom of the River with 5 or 6 White 
Traders all French & Snake Indians old benevolent looking Chief 
tried to trade for Double barreled gun got Necklace of his com- 
panion. . . ." 51 

Dr. Charles Elisha Boyle of the same company wrote on the 
19th: "The ferry at which we cross Green River is about three 
and a half or four miles from our camping ground. About 8 a.m. 
we started for the ferry which is kept by a Frenchman and some 
half-bred Indians [probably Iroquois]. The boats are like those 
used on the North Platte, made of canvas lashed together. They 
answer the purpose very well. 

"There were a number of wagons ahead of ours and we were 
compelled to wait until these had been ferried over. When our 
turn came it took us a long time to ferry our wagons. We drove 
the mules into the streams and compelled them to swim across." 
Like many others — it is impossible to quote all the diarists on the 
subject — Dr. Boyle commented on the Indians here, saying in 
part, "Some of the Indians call themselves Shoshonee, and some 
Pannackee, and appear to be distant organizations or bands of 
the same nation of people." 52 

John Boggs and Jasper M. Hixson, who reached the Green June 

20 in different companies, both crossed next day. Boggs says 
merely, "went 6 miles to the Ferry, crossed and camped." 53 
Hixson is more informative, and also describes a craft materially 
different from that described by Dr. Boyle. Having camped "two 
miles above the ferry, where we first came to the river," on the 

2 1 st he "left camp at 6 a.m. and drove down to the ferry. . . . 

51. MS. diary in library of the Society of California Pioneers. 

52. Diary printed in the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, October 2-November 
11, 1949; this excerpt from the issue of October 31, 1949. 

53. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


This was as primitive a conveyance to carry human beings across 
a deep, rapid river of several hundred feet in width as could be 
imagined. A simple wagon box, with the cracks stopped with 
rags so as to keep out the bulk of the water, but it keeps one or 
more constantly bailing out water to keep the frail boat afloat. 
The estimate was one or more persons drowned daily. The 
current is so swift and the water so cold, if one gets into the river 
he has but a slim chance to get out. The wagons had to be taken 
apart and put into the boat, and the mules had to swim. Some 
of the boys swam with the animals, to pilot them to the landing. 
We were fortunate in getting in among the first, and got over and 
all ready to pursue our journey by noon." 54 

The same day Boggs and Hixson crossed the Green, James 
Avery Pritchard came along, reaching the river at 11 A.M., 4 
miles above the ferry. "After resting a few minutes," Pritchard 
writes, "we drove down to the ferry. We found there 24 wagons 
before us, 14 of which were crossed by night. I succeeded in 
effecting a hire of the boat for the night, which was not objected 
to by those who were ahead of me. We were to furnish the hands 
to man the boat and pay him $1.50 pr wagon or he would furnish 
the hands & charge $3.00 pr wagon. I prefered the former as 
we had men with us that could beat his best hands with ease. We 
commenced crossing our wagons at 9 O'clock and by 12 we had 
the whole train over, with all the Baggage. The ferry Boat was 
constructed of 3 small Canoes which were roughly rafted togeather. 
The ferry is kept by some Frenchmen who live in lodges made of 
skinns and proped up with poles. They have Indian Squaws for 
wifves. In this way they live and trade with the Indians for their 
Furrs & Skins etc etc." Pritchard adds on the 22nd, "As early as 
the boys could get in with our mules this morning we swam them 
across the river without accident or loss." He mentioned the 
Snake Indians found loitering about the ferry, and it seems that a 
considerable number of these, including what Pritchard called their 
"Old Chief," traveled over to Bear River in proximity to his own 
party. 55 

A Dr. T — (the name is perhaps Thomas or Taylor), with a 
mixed train from Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky which for some 
time had traveled close to Pritchard's party, had also reached the 
Green on June 21 at 11 A.M., noting in his diary, "150 Waggons 
had crossed before us," an interesting figure if this is a reliable 
number for the total emigration by the Sublette Cutoff up to 
this time. On June 22, the Doctor went on to say: "Crossed the 

54. Transcript of MS. diary in California Historical Society library; 
photocopy in Bancroft Library. 

55. Dale L. Morgan, ed., The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard 
. . . (Denver, 1959), pp. 95-97. 


river this morning without any difficulty — Sold 100 lbs Bacon for 
$7.00 Bought some mockasins etc — This ferry is kept by some 
French traders. They have squaw wives and a portion of the 
Snake tribe of Indians are also encamped with them — This tribe 
of Indians are the most honorable and civilized I have seen — If 
you make them presents they will thankfully receive them, but 
begging they detest. They are a fine looking race of beings." 56 

G. S. Isham, who made an overland guide out of his diary of 
1 849, carries on this record of the ferry, having reached the Green 
on the afternoon of the 22nd. On the 23rd he writes: "Remained 
at Green River waiting our turn to ferry the river, where we were 
encamped in an extensive valley; drove our cattle on to an Island 
to feed; Green River is eighty rods wide, is quite deep and a 
powerful current sweeping every thing before it; some of the 
emigrant wagons (by over loading boat) were swept off the scow 
and in an instant were lost, obtaining none of the contents; the 
current is twelve miles per hour." On the 24th, further: "This 
day we drove our cattle to the river; it was difficult to swim them 
over, but we succeeded and ferried the wagons and contents 
safely. . . ." 57 

It was now the turn of Charles Tinker, who brings back into 
this record Captain William Findley of North Platte ferry notor- 
iety. Tinker relates that his party reached Green River at 2 p.m. 
on Saturday, June 23, after a hard drive in which he was "hard 
sick" all the way, and that on Sunday, the 24th: "we commenced 
ferrying accrosst green river Capt Findley & Capt McCullouch 
joined in with us and made a boat & Tuesday June 26 we had all 
things over and ready for a start. . . ." 58 

Findley had been the first of record to cross the North Platte 
independent of the established Mormon ferry, and we see that he 
did the same thing at the Green. In his letter written after reaching 
California, August 16, 1849, Findley does not refer to the crossing 
of the Green, being content to mention that his party had reached 
Fort Hall, July 4. 59 H. J. Brace of his company, writing to Find- 
ley's father from California on September 23, 1849, in defense of 
their behavior at the North Platte ferry (where, it will be remem- 
bered, they destroyed their boats after crossing the river), went 
on to say: "On reaching Green river, the case was different. A 
part of our company went in advance of the train there; and 

56. Ibid., p. 156, note 51, from transcript of this diary in Bancroft 

57. G. S. lsham's Guide to California, and the Mines . . . (New York 
1850), p. 14; copies in Yale University Library and library of American 
Antiquarian Society. 

58. Diary edited by Eugene H. Roseboom in Ohio State Archaeological 
and Historical Quarterly, January, 1952; see p. 79. 

59. Oquawka, Illinois, Spectator, October 31, 1849. 


though there was a sort of ferry it was not sufficient for the 
demand; and they made another boat ready by the time the teams 
came up, and we only used the regular ferry, to take over five 
wagons, then passed our boats into the hand of the ferryman, 
for the small sum of $7 50, when it was worth two hundred dol- 
lars; but in further pay for it, the ferrymen were to take over all 
the wagons that were then there, (about 80,) at two dollars a 
wagon, when the price was three dollars. The Col. said to me 
on this subject, 'I consider we are out of danger now, and I want 
the emigrants to have the use of this boat.' " 60 

Other emigrants were now undertaking to get across the Green 
on their own, impelled by the same necessity they had confronted 
when the emigration jammed up behind the Mormon ferry on the 
North Platte, for a Missourian, William B. Roy all, who reached 
Fort Hall, July 4 and therefore traveled near Findley on the trail, 
in a letter from Coloma, August 15, 1849, says, "At North 
Platte we calked our wagon beds, ferried over all on a day, passed 
two teams, and sped onward, and the same also at Green River." 61 

Charles L'Hommedieu Long, coming in off the desert at 6 A.M. 
on June 24, "found we would have to lay by three or four days, 
on account of the number of wagons here before us to be ferried 
over." On the 25th: "We lay by this morning, awaiting our turn 
at the ferry. The morning I spent in washing some shirts and 
myself, an operation which I needed very much. In the afternoon 
we moved down to the ferry to preserve our turn in crossing. 
The ferry consists of four or five dugouts puncheoned to gether, 
and rowed across, with sweeps. There are about 150 wagons 
laying here now." On the 26th Long lay by all day, doing 
nothing, as again on the morning of the 27th, but that afternoon: 
"we rolled our wagons down to the Bank of the river about 2 
o'clock, and about 6 o'clock succeeded in getting them all across, 
and then we attempted to swim our mules, after working about 
two hours we succeeded in getting them all across except two or 
three and a horse and some three or four mules got on to an 
isiand, and one drowned. . . ," 62 

P. C. Tiffany, who came down to the Green at 2:30 P.M. on 
June 25, next day "Moved our train down upon the bottom near 
the Ferry & found about 80 waggons to cross before us The 
ferry is a miserable affair and very badly managed having no 
hands to work the raft for it is nothing but a raft mad[e] of 5 
logs dug out like Hogs trough, and fastened together by pins and 
ropes the loading has to be taken from the waggons & then 

60. Ibid., January 1, 1850. 

61. Columbia Missouri Statesman, October 26, 1849, quoted in Walker 
D. Wyman, California Emigrant Letters (New York, 1952), pp. 60-61. 

62. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 


the em[p]ty waggons nearly sinks the canoes. Distance 3Vi 
miles." He goes on to say, on the 27th, "Our cattle are on the 
bottom about 4 miles below grazing the boys say the grass is 
good. This Green River is a bad stream to ferry the current is 
very swift & stormy [?] carry boat cattle or mules or any thing 
that attempts to cross it down a great distance before making the 
oposite shore. A number of trains are crossing themselves in 
their waggon beds which they have taken from the wheels and 
calked so that they answer a very good purpose. Presley is in 
favor of doing the same way but a majority of the company oppose 
it- The charge for crossing with this excuse for a ferry boat the 
companies working it themselves is $3.00 pr waggon and one 
dollar for towing over an ox or a horse." He mentioned the Snake 
Indians on hand, with "two or three white men amongst them 
men who spend their lives in the mountains with the Indians & I 
am inclined to the opinion that they are not half as honourable 
as the indians." They seemed to be here, he said, "for the purpose 
of trading with the emigrants and seem to have plenty of money. 
They buy every thing the emigrant has to sell or trade in cattle, 
Horses mules waggons or any thing they can realise a good profit 
at." The actual crossing was a hard one, for 1 1 men in Tiffany's 
company were on the sick list, but he writes on the 30th, "by 
straining our nerve and working very late last night we made out 
to get all over safe with the exception of Porter [?] who lost one 
of his waggons. We as well as every body else had great difficulty 
in swimming our cattle and Mules the force of the current [was 
such] that the[y] seemed to fear to take the stream Several 
horses and mules have been drowned to day in attempting to 
swim across Our horses have succeeded in reaching the opposite 
shore in safety but with great difficulty." 63 

Tiffany had noted on the 27th how some trains were crossing 
themselves. One such train was that of Alexander Love, who 
reached the river on June 26. On the 27th he wrote: "Clear and 
warm all is Confusion here in ferry [ing] the river Some with 
waggon loads Corked Some with rafts and ferry boats a making 
we are to cross this day in a Sheetiron Boat Commenc[e]d 
Crossing at 3 ock. in the evening and got all over Safe at Sun- 
rise. . . ." 64 A parallel record is that of Bennett C. Clark, who 
came down to the Green off the desert crossing about 2 P.M. 
on June 27. He writes, "Found a large number of wagons assem- 
bled here," then jumps to June 30: "After much difficulty & no 
little risk crossed our wagons & loads seperately, on a crazy 
mormon craft made of 5 canoes. Had to pay $1.50 pr wagon." 65 

63. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

64. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

65. Original MS. diary at Yale; edited by Ralph P. Bieber in Missouri 
Historical Review, October, 1928, vol. 23, pp. 1-43. 


Clark's comment is the first association of Mormons with the 
upper ferry of the Green in 1849. It is not certain he was saying 
that Mormons had arrived; he may have been drawing a parallel 
with the kind of ferryboat the Saints had in operation on the North 
Platte; however, as we shall see, Lindsey on July 1 also refers to 
a Mormon ferry as do many others soon after, and it may be that 
such ferries by this time were operating at both major crossings 
of the Green River. 

Joseph Curtis Buffum, a New Hampshire emigrant traveling 
with a company of Missourians, only lightly touches upon his 
arrival at the Green on June 28, and his crossing next day; he says 
on the 29th, "Commenced ferrying our things over in 2 corked 
waggon beds attached by cords. The river is high and rapid. 
Crossing very difficult"; and on the 30th he adds only, "Finished 
crossing by noon." But he places us much in our debt by ex- 
plaining an episode which is adverted to in a great many diaries 
during the next few days. Continuing his entry of the 30th, he 
writes: "A murder was committed just after dark last night near 
our camp. A man by the name of A. E. Brown stabbed to the 
heart a German by the name of Bonner Kapet. It appears that 
Brown had asked the German to hand him some soap and on 
being refused said he would make him and drawing his knife killed 
him amediately. Brown has a wife and family at Galena. He 
was arrested and guarded over night and in the morning he was 
offered his choise to stand trial or to be guarded out 100 yards 
and then take the chance of his life while any one might shoot 
him that chose to. He requested 2 hours to prepare in. He 
packed up his things and wished them taken to his family. As he 
wrote a letter to his wife the tears flowed down his cheeks. 
Having given directions about his family, etc. he said he was 
ready to walk the plank but some objecting to his choosing this 
mode lest he should escape demanded that he should have a trial 
at once. A sheriff was appointed but no one would act as judge 
or jury as we were now in Oregon territory. He said he would 
not stand a trial but would go on to Oregon and take his trial 
or if he got to the states he would deliver himself up to the proper 
tribunal. It being difficult to conduct a prisoner to Oregon or 
Fort Hall he was set at liberty and his things were thrown out 
of the waggon. Brown is said to have been 4 years a representa- 
tive and justice of peace. But he was a gambler. He was driving 
out a team for one of his neighbors. A grave was dug near by 
and the deceased wrapped in his blanket was laid with little 
cerimony in his last resting place. It was a sad and melancholy 
scene." 66 

66. MS. diary in California State Library. 


Tipton Lindsey, as already noted, came down to the Green off 
the Sublette Cutoff on July 1, when he wrote in his diary, "This 
is a very deep rapid Stream, 150 yds wide with Considerable 
Timber Mormon Ferry — Feed Scarce." On July 2, after selling 
one wagon for $50, "At 9 o'clk at night we Commenced ferrying, 
& at 12 the wind blowing too hard to be safe we quit till morning." 
On July 3, "Finished Ferrying & at 1 o'clk the word, 'Onward' 
by the Chief Capt told the tale." 67 

Next it is the turn of John A. Markle, who came down the steep 
bluffs to the river at 10 A.M. on July 2. On reaching the ferry, 
he found "about 300 wagons strung along the river waiting to be 
ferried across." On July 3 he wrote in his diary: "To day we are 
laying waiting on our turn at the ferry, in the after noon we Swam 
our mules across; the water being very swift and the banks bad, 
it was hard for the mules to cross, but ours all got Safe across but 
Captain Bergers company last evening and this morning drowned 

1 1 head, in the morning the government train came up, and started 

1 2 of the regulars along with Some of the emigrants to hunt a man 
by the name of Brown who had killed a man at the ferry last Satur- 
day." On July 4 he wrote again: "Last night Taylor engaged to 
steer the flat for five dollars. So this morning very early by a little 
trichery we got across and traveled 7 miles to a creek [Fontenelle 
Creek] where we encamped to wait on the balance of the Company 
who had not got there wagons across yet [and who did not come 
up till 5 P.M. on July 5]." 68 

William Chamberlain was another who arrived at the Green on 
July 2, reaching the river about noon and finding "bad prospect 
for crossing about 100 waggons registered ahead at the ferry a 
flat boat at 4$ each load & the emigrant works the boat himself." 
Next day, in an evident reference to the same train Markle had 
called Captain Berger's, Chamberlain writes, "last evg the Pitts- 
burg Co. had 9 mules drowned in trying to swim them over the 
river ..." And on July 4, still paralleling Markle's experience: 
"after an excellent breakfast upon our fish we prepared to cross 
the river — got our baggage on som Vir. waggons & drove the 
mules through swapt off my Poney for Spanish Mule pd 10 
[boot] drove a good trade — with a French trader — at an encamp- 
ment of French & Indians (Snakes) From the firing of Guns 
etc I suppose the 4th is being celebrated on the East Side the 
river where some acres of Ground are covd over with trains of 
waggons & encampment presenting as lively & confused a scene as 
a large city, a man from Me. [Mo.?] built a boat here is cross- 
ing over 60 to 80 waggons pr day at 4$ each — the waggons 

67. MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

68. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


owners doing their own work — Toward evg- having prepared our 
packs we started once more on Mules. ... in the evg heard the 
firing at the ferry & at some trains a little below us they had a 
merry & boisterous time of it." 69 

A major fraction of the overland emigration by this time had 
reached Green River, and the number of diaries reporting on 
the scene is correspondingly enlarged. Many mention the "gov- 
ernment train," the advance detachment of the Regiment of 
Mounted Riflemen under the command of Major John Smith 
Simonson, the singular aftermath to the murder by Brown, the 
noisy Fourth of July celebration — and the ever more complex 
scene presented by the ferries, which by this time were emphat- 
ically plural. 

Dr. Wakeman Bryarly, carrying on the diary which had been 
started by Vincent Geiger, is especially informative; the western 
Virginia company with which he traveled had overtaken Simon- 
son's command on the Sweetwater more than a week before. The 
Virginians reached the Green evidently about mid-day on July 2, 
and Bryarly says they "encamped for the purpose of crossing as 
soon as we could get our pontoons loaded." He continues: 

"We found many wagons waiting for their turn at the ferry. 
This ferry is owned by a Frenchman who had started for 'The 
Promised Land' with two small pontoon beds and came to the 
conclusion he would stop here & establish a ferry, not so much 
for the accomodation of the emigrants as for the desire of 
monopoly. He charges $8 a load, & it takes three loads to one 
wagon. However, they must go across, & consequently the ferry 
is engaged for 4 days ahead. . . . The Green River is about 
150 yds. wide, with a strong current, & 10 ft. deep. It is unusually 
high at present. Generally it is fordible. 

"We had much difficulty in getting our mules upon the opposite 
side. They would strike across but would get frightened at the 
strong current & return to shore. After driving them in several 
times, with howling, whiping &c, we at last succeeded in crossing 
all but some 20, which had to remain upon this side with nothing 
but the sage bushes for food. 

"In the afternoon several of the officers of Government train 
rode up to our train, having left Big Sandy in the morning. Their 
train was also on the road. I invited them to take a camp-fire 
supper which they did. Afterwards we discussed the Sublette 
Cut Off and the difficulties of crossing Green River. At 12 we 
parted, they to look for their camp, and I for my lonely couch 
upon mother earth." 

Bryarly again takes up his diary on July 3 to say: "Our guide 

69. MS. diary in California State Library. 


with his usual energy was at work early this morning, getting our 
wagons, baggage, &c, across the river. The day was spent in 
hard, fatiguing, & laborious work. Once our boats were carried 
2 miles down the river by the current & wind. It was found im- 
possible to cordel it up the stream, & it was proposed, as the most 
expeditious plan, to bring the boats back over land. The wagon 
was taken out — that was in the boats — and put together, & the 
boats put upon it, & brought up. We finished crossing at sun- 
down. Having met some Missourians, formerly of our county of 
Virginia, we loaned them our boats, for which they seemed very 
gratified, as otherwise they would have been compelled to await 
their turn, which would have detained them several days. We 
were offered $500 for our Pontoons, & two [wagon] beds in 
their place. We would not take it as there is yet a possibility 
that we may again need them. This morning in getting over our 
last mules, we lost one, which, we concluded, had cooly and 
deliberately committed suicide. It did not attempt to swim, but 
allowed its head to go under immediately on its going in the water 
& neither turned [to] come out, or struggled to save himself, 
[in] the least. 

"In the afternoon Mr. [B. F.] Washington, [Robert H.] Keel- 
ing & myself visited the Government camp, it being at the lower 
ferry, some few miles from our crossing. . . ." 

Dr. Bryarly goes on to tell of his company's saluting the dawn 
of the 4th by firing their six pounder, this "little Big Gun" being 
considerable of a curiosity to the 49ers. "The emigrants both at 
the upper and lower ferry hurrahed whenever it was fired, & 
many came to look at it." About noon of the 4th Bryarly, 
Washington, and Keeling went down to the Government camp, 
where they had been invited to dinner; the sequel to this will be 
noted in Alonza Delano's account, for Bryarly unaccountably 
makes no mention of it. 70 

Utterly worn out, Delano had reached the Green at 5 P.M. on 
July 2, and not until next morning did he and his companions 

70. David M. Potter, ed., Trail to California (New Haven, 1945), pp. 
132-136. Benjamin Hoffman, another member of Bryarly's company, 
wrote in his diary on July 3: ". . . We ferried our teams across the river 
today. This stream is about the size of the North Branch of the Platte, 
but much more difficult to cross. . . . The whole day was spent in crossing. 
We drowned one of our mules while swimming it over. This is the first 
one that we have lost since we have been on our journey." (West Virginia 
History, October, 1941, vol. 3, pp. 66-67.) He added on the 4th: "We 
enjoyed ourselves under the delightful shade of the trees. We fired our 
cannon several times which made echoes and re-echoes resound through 
the neighboring hills, which reminded us of home and the endearments 
of civilization. We also hired out our boats to emigrants today at $5 per 
team for crossing. The regular ferry charges $10. We made $175 by 
the operation." 


inquire into "the chances for crossing the river." The ferry, he 
says, "was nearly two miles below our stopping place, and I went 
down to make inquiries. The whole plain was covered with tents, 
wagons and men, and there were also a detachment of troops, on 
their way to Oregon, under the command of Major Simonton 
[Simonson], who were stopping a few days to rest, and recruit 
the strength of their animals. On inquiry, I found that a register 
was kept by the ferryman, of the applicants, and each had to be 
served in turn. This, though fair, consigned us to two or three 
days delay; yet, as there was no help for it, I gave the name of 
our company, and then took a view of the premises. 

"There was a small but good scow, capable of carrying two 
wagons at once with safety, and to which oars were attached. 
The river was one hundred yards broad, with a very rapid current; 
and when the boat reached the shore, it was towed up by a long 
line [cordelle] and a strong force, to the place of departure. The 
landing on the west side could be made by rowing, allowing for 
the velocity of the current. The river rose in the Wind River 
Mountains, and the melting snows made it of icy coldness, and 
sweet to the taste. The only timber was a few cotton wood trees, 
and willow bushes growing sparsely on the margin. The whole 
bottom was sand, in which stunted sage, greasewood and weeds 
struggled to grow. . . . 

"In looking about the camps, I found Captain Tutt and my 
South Bend friends, who had arrived before us, and who were 
then crossing the river. . . . Among others, I met ... my old friend, 
Doctor M. B. Angel, formerly from Niles, Michigan — a generous, 
open-hearted and benevolent gentleman. With the enterprising 
spirit for which he is remarkable, he, in company with two others, 
was building a ferry-boat, with the intention of remaining here a 
couple of weeks, then go down the river to the Salt Lake road, 
and visit the Mormon city, which he subsequently did. . . . n 

71. Compare with this the tale of John Hale in California As It Is 
(San Francisco, 1954; first printed at Rochester, N. Y., 1851), pp. 21-22. 
Hale, apparently traveling later in the season, says: "Before arriving at 
the South Pass, I overtook two men who had a light wagon and four horses. 
I traveled with these men three hundred miles, which brought us into 
the Great Basin. Previous to arriving at Green River, we overtook 
another four-horse team, with three men; also two Dutchmen, one having 
a poor mule, the other a poor horse. We traveled in company until we 
arrived at Green River. One of the company of three men was from 
Boston; he was city-wise; but, past receiving counsel from any man who 
was bred in the country, concluded he would change his mode of traveling, 
by navigating the Green River, in a frail boat made of a wagon box, by 
some emigrants, to ferry the river, who had been there before us. Not- 
withstanding all the arguments I could use, knowing that we were at least 
five thousand feet above the gulf of California, and ihat all the rivers in 
this mountainous country pass through canons, and down precipitous falls, 


"Soon after my arrival, the whole encampment was thrown into 
great excitement by a cruel and fiendish murder, which was com- 
mitted on the west bank. A reckless villain, named Brown, re- 
quested a young man who acted as cook in his mess, to get him 
a piece of soap. The young man was at the moment bending over 
the fire, engaged in preparing the meal, and replied by telling him 
to get it himself, as he was busy. Without further provocation, 
as it appeared, the wretch raised his knife and stabbed him in the 
back, killing the young man almost instantly. The murderer fled. 
A meeting of emigrants was called, and General Allen, from Lewis 
county, Missouri, was called to the chair, when the atrocious deed 
was set forth, and it was determined by a series of resolutions to 
arrest the villain, give him a fair trial, and if found guilty, to 
execute him on the spot. Major Simonton seconded the views 
of the emigrants, in order to protect them against similar as- 
sasinations. In addition to a dozen athletic volunteers, who stood 
forth at the call, he detailed a file of soldiers to assist in the capture 
of the murderer. Several murders had been committed on the 
road, and all felt the necessity of doing something to protect them- 
selves, where there was no other law but brute force. The party 
set out in pursuit of Brown, and I lounged around among the 
different camps till afternoon, when our train came up, and estab- 
lished an encampment on the river bank among the crowd, from 
which we experienced much courtesy." 

On July 4 Delano was taken with a recurrence of fever, and 
it was, he says, 4 P.M. before he was well enough to crawl out 
and gather the news of the camp. 

"The volunteers had returned, without being successful in cap- 
turing Brown, but they had overtaken Williams, who had killed 
the rascal at the Devil's Gate [on June 22], and thinking that 
some example of justice was necessary, they intimated that his 
presence was required to stand trial before a Green River jury, 
and he willingly returned; but his companions, dreading delay, 
would not accompany him. Upon his return it was resolved to 
try him. As his witnesses would not come, he feared a true 
representation of facts would not come out, and he employed 
B. F. Washington, Esq., a young lawyer from Virginia, to defend 
him. Had he known it, there were witnesses enough in the crowd 

I could not persuade him, nor the two Dutchmen to abandon their scheme. 
I saw them start down the river, and gave them up as lost. I could not 
help noticing, that the men who were in partnership with the Bostonian, 
did not say anything to influence them to abandon their foolish under- 
taking; but after they had started down the river and out of sight, they 
gave it as their opinion that they would lose their lives. By this circum- 
stance I learned that they were willing that three lives should be lost, for 
the sake of relieving^their team of the burden of one man and his baggage; 
— showing the depravity of the human heart." 


to have justified him, but as he did not, he was disposed to take 
advantage of any technicality, and therefore employed counsel. 

"A court of inquiry was organized; General Allen elected chief 
justice, assisted by Major Simonton, who, with many of his offi- 
cers, and a large crowd of emigrants, was present. A jury was 
impaneled, and court opened under a fine clump of willows. 
There, in that primitive court-house, on the bank of Green River, 
the first court was held in this God-forsaken land, for the trial 
of a man accused of the highest crime. At the commencement, 
as much order reigned as in any lawful tribunal of the States. 
But it was the 4th of July, and the officers and lawyers had been 
celebrating it to the full, and a spirit other than that of '76 was 

"Mr. Washington, counsel for the defendant, arose, and in a 
somewhat lengthy and occasionally flighty speech, denied the 
right of the court to act in the case at all. This, as a matter of 
law, was true enough, but his remark touched the pride of the old 
commandant, who gave a short, pithy and spirited contradiction 
to some of the learned counsel's remarks. This elicited a spirited 
reply, until, spiritually speaking, the spirits of the speakers ceased 
to flow in the tranquil spirit of the commencement, and the spirit 
of contention waxed so fierce, that some of the officers' spirits 
led them to take up in Washington's defence. From taking up 
words, they finally proceeded to take up stools and other bellig- 
erent attitudes. Blows, in short, began to be exchanged, the cause 
of which would have puzzled a 'Philadelphia lawyer' to determine, 
when the emigrants interfered to prevent a further ebullition of 
patriotic feeling, and words were recalled, hands shaken, a general 
amnesty proclaimed, and this spirited exhibition of law, patriotism 
'vi et armis', was consigned to the 'vasty deep.' Order and good 
feeling 'once more reigned in Denmark.' Williams, in the mean- 
time, seeing that his affair had merged into something wholly 
irrelevant, with a sort of tacit consent, withdrew, for his innocence 
was generally understood, and no attempt was made to detain 
him. The sheriff did not even adjourn the court, and it may be in 
session to this day, for aught I know." 72 

To close out this curious episode, let us note that diaries are 
extant of two men named to the jury. Alexander Ramsay was 
one; B. R. Biddle the other. Biddle, it will be recalled, had not 
formed a high opinion of Simonson's behavior at the Mormon 
ferry on the North Platte. He did not find so much to object to 
here, but he did write, respecting the 4th: "Many banners were 
floating in the breeze. The evening concluded with one of the 
greatest farces I ever witnessed. A murderer was arrested by the 

72. Alonzo Delano, Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings 
(Auburn and Buffalo, 1854), pp. 122-127. 


troop, and the emigrants were called upon to try him upon evi- 
dence. I was selected as one of the jury. We repaired to the 
Major's quarters and found him ready to receive us, but as drunk 
as Bacchus, together with his suite of officers. — A man was ap- 
pointed by the emigrants to preside; the troops being present to 
preserve order. — The prisoner chose, as counsel, a young Virginia 
lawyer; was brought in and the case opened by his denying that 
the emigrants had the right to try him. The Major and officers 
and men, being drunk, had a good deal to say. The Major 
insulted the lawyer, the officers insulted the Major. Each party 
swearing and calling the others hard names, and each threatening 
the other with an arrest. One little moustached fellow struck the 
Major; the emigrants looking on and laughing. The whole thing 
broke up in a row. The prisoner escaped and thus ended the 
whole affair. Thus it is that these officers and men protect the 
interests of the emigrant by getting drunk. . . . Another murder 
was committed yesterday. The troops went out in pursuit, but 
did not succeed in taking the murderer. . . ," 73 

We shall come back to Delano, but he did not cross the Green 
until July 6, and meanwhile other emigrants were reaching the 
river, and in some instances getting across ahead of him. Thus 
John Prichet's company from Indiana came in off the desert about 
3 P.M. on July 3. On the 4th he wrote in his diary: "This day 
we remain at the river and celebrate by working hard in ferrying 
our wagons and goods across the river, and pay $8.00 for each 
wagon for the use of the boat. . . . We got all our wagons over 
before it was quite dark and all hands very much fatigued." He 
remained in camp on the 5th, to rest, and in the afternoon visited 
Ma'or Simonson at his camp 4 miles down the river. "Found him 
a very pleasant, companionable man and a pleasant family. He 
very kindly offered us any assistance it was in his power to give 
us." 74 (This might indicate that the Major was not suffering 
seriously from a hang-over this day. ) 

Isaac Wistar reached the Green 2 hours after Prichet. "There 
was no grass near, on our side of the river, and while the guard 
went off with the mules, we commenced unloading wagons and 
caulking the beds, fastening these together in couples. Some 
stunted cottonwood from which to make oars, was found a few 
miles down the river, and by night the preparations were nearly 
ready for a hard day's work tomorrow. The river is wide and 
deep, with a rushing current and icy cold." On the 4th his diary 
says: "This is a holiday, but not for us. For myself, I stood 
guard all last night except two hours, which last supplied all the 
sleep I have had in fifty hours [a reflection of the difficulty 

73. Springfield Illinois Journal, Weekly, December 12, 1849. 

74. MS. diary in Indiana State Library. 


presented by the desert crossing from the Big Sandy]. At day- 
light the ice in the kettles was an inch thick and the ground white 
with heavy frost. After much contention with the mules, who 
objected to take water, we got them huddled together on the bank 
with a rope drawn round them and so forced them in. But they 
no sooner struck the main current, than most, including the bell 
mare, were rolled over, got their ears filled, and came back in 
spite of us. The others got on the other shore, strung out for a 
mile or two down stream. A second lot crossed with difficulty 
in the same way, but as this would soon exhaust the returning 
mules as well as ourselves, Chamberry stripped, put the bell on 
his own neck, and undertook to swim over on the mare. He is 
a fine horseman and a good swimmer and did very well as far 
as mid-river, when the powerful current rolled the mare over, 
and the frightened mules commenced piling on him. For a time 
it looked as though it were all over with C. who, dressed only in a 
cow bell and a pair of spurs was beyond reach of help in the midst 
of an icy current of fifteen miles an hour, with a hundred terrified 
mules crowding over and around him. 

"But C. was equal to the occasion. Turning over on his back 
he kicked the water into their faces till he got some room, and 
then seizing the mare's tail, he guided her quartering down stream 
ahead of the crowd, and got her safely landed about three miles 
below. Three mules and two horses were drowned, and seven 
landed on an island, while one horse got footing several miles 
below, under an overhanging bluff, on the side he started from. 
At last, however, all the survivors were got across and we all went 
to work on the wagons transformed into boats. A number of 
men crossed first with some harness, not forgetting the clothes of 
C, who was jumping about in a lively and entertaining manner, to 
avoid freezing. A team of mules on the other side, and of men 
on our side, was soon rigged, and thus when the loaded and 
returning boats, after being carried far down by the current, got 
within casting distance, they were quickly towed up again abreast 
of the starting point. The wagon beds being well dried, mostly 
held the caulking well, and with frequent bailing, answered the 
purpose. By 9 P. M., everything was across, and the most diffi- 
cult obstacle yet encountered, was behind us." 75 

Edward J. Willis was yet another who reached the Green on 
July 3 at 2 P.M. Himself a Virginian, he took particular note 
of the Charlestown company in which Bryarly traveled. On 
reaching the ferry, he says: "Made arrangements to cross in 
morning. Price of ferrying $8 per waggon Great [?] many [?]" 
Then on July 4: "I was unexpectedly called out on guard til 12 

75. Autobiography of Isaac Jones Wistar (New York, 1937), pp. 96-97. 


oclock last night. Very unpleasant summons being much fatigued 
by night's travel. Very cold. Ice this morning l A inch thick. 
Charlestown Va Company encamped on north side of river. We 
commenced ferrying over at 5 oclock this morning — finished about 
6 o clock this evening. Much difficulty in getting our mule over — 
river very swift and quite deep." 76 

Prince Allen Athearn, who after the usual night desert crossing 
reached the river at 9 A.M. on July 4, has a consolidated diary 
entry for that day and the next: "Lay at Green River waiting to 
cross. Had the misfortune to get my thermometer broken. Paid 
eight dollars per waggon for crossing.' 177 

So many diarists were concerned only with their own situation 
that we are grateful for an account by the Oregon-bound William 
J. Watson, who on arriving at the Green on July 4 writes: "There 
were six or seven ferries, and one regular ferry boat, owned by 
the Mormons, which took over a wagon, loading and all at once, 
for six dollars. The rest are wagon beds lashed together, owned 
by the emigrants, who ferried while the teams rested. Taking 
our wagons apart, and making two loads of them, cost us eight 
dollars a wagon. We got our wagons over the same evening, and 
had the good luck also to get our cattle across the same evening, 
and with a great deal of trouble we drove them one mile up the 
river on an island; the current so swift and strong that a great 
many cattle and mules were drowned. I came very near being 
drowned myself, in attempting to swim a horse across before the 
cattle." 78 

Like so many other diarists, Franklin Starr reached the haven 
of the Green in the very early morning of July 3; he described 
the river as "about the size of the North platt and more swift," 
adding that it could "usually be forded but now it is to[o] high 
and is rising." On the 4th: "We are still lying here having not 
been able to cross the river yet as we have to wait untill our turn 
and there are a great many ahead of us We drive our cattle two 
or three miles down the river and guard them but there is but poor 
feed for them and they do not appear to be gaining any. . . . There 
has been some little firing of Guns in honor of the Day but the 
Emigrants are to[o] much worried and worn out to make much 
exertion We are Camped immediately upon the bank of the river 
in dust some 6 inches in depth and every thing we cook has a 
large Share of it compounded with it It however makes a soft 
bed and were it not that it fills our Eyes I should not complain 

76. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

77. The Pacific Historian, November, 1958, vol. II, p. 12. 

78. William J. Watson, Journal of an Overland Trip to Oregon, Made 
in the Year 1849 . . . (Jacksonville, 111., 1851), p. 25; copy in Harvard 
University Library. 


There is a mountaineer camped near us and several lodges of the 
Shoshone or Snake Indians. . . ." Starr passed over the 5th, but on 
the 6th wrote: "We crossed the river last night I was out on 
guard with the Cattle and therefore escaped the job In the 
morning we drove the Cattle in and swum them over Safely. 
The greater part of the Company hitched up and drove on 6 
miles. . . . Part of the Company remained at the river as there 
were some Cattle missing They wanted the rubber boat but were 
not willing to bring it along but wanted us to wait until they got 
through with it which of course we did not do. . . ," 79 

A great many other diarists accomplished the passage of the 
Green on July 6, including some we have mentioned already. 
Alexander Ramsay had reached the river on July 3 at 1 A.M. to 
say of the ferry, which was 3 miles down the stream, "it is owned 
by some emigrants and is a shocking and dangerous affair for 
crossing in there are about two hundred teams in before us and 
the prospect is that we will not get over for three or four days." 
On July 4, while waiting, he noted: "We are much weried by the 
toils & fatigues of the long journey and the immense numbers of 
emigrants who are upon the road makes it doubly tiresome from 
the fact that they are constantly in each others way, and more 
particularly at the crossing of rivers and difficult places on the 
road; here at this time are two or three hundred wagons with 
their accompan[y]ing teams and men and the ground is covered 
with a coat of light dust of two inches in depth which the wind is 
constantly carrying to and fro whilst the sun is pouring down his 
hotest rays upon us and the wonder is that some of us only and 
not all of us are sick." After serving on the Williams jury on 
the evening of the 4th, he resumed the wearisome wait, and it was 
not until the 6th that he could write: "Commenced crossing our 
wagons this morning at four o'clock and by seven o'clock were all 
safely landed on the westward side of the river." 80 

The story of Ramsay's fellow jury member, B. R. Biddle, also 
requires us to backtrack a bit. Having reached the river at 10 
P.M. on July 2, at a point 2 miles "this side" of the ferry, his train 
on the 3rd "Started at the usual hour, and went down to the lower 
ferry, kept by several emigrants who bought the boat of some 
Mormons for five hundred dollars, and are now making two 
hundred dollars a day by the use of it. . . . Found several hundred 
wagons were waiting to cross, notwithstanding there are two other 
ferries — some charging ten dollars per wagon; we pay four at 
this one. We found no grass along the river, and were obliged 
to take our mules four miles out to the hills to graze. The govern- 

79. MS. diary in Illinois State Historical Library. 

80. Merrill J. Mattes, ed., "Alexander Ramsay's Gold Rush Diary of 
1849," Pacific Historical Review, November, 1949, vol. 18, pp. 452-453. 


ment troops have came up with us again — a thing we did not 
desire, owing to the manner in which we had been treated by 
them on the Platte. Some of the men have been sick from 
diarrhoea, but are now better. I had a slight attack myself, but 
am convalescing. The distance from our last night's encampment 
is six miles. Encamped on the bank of the river, near the ferry, 
amid more dust and dirt than I ever saw before in my life. It 
gets into everything, and is so light that a breath will put it in 
motion. The sun beaming down upon us at the rate of 80 and 
90 deg, accompanied by nights that freeze three quarters of an 
inch in still water, is rather a strange sort of climate. — Our eleva- 
tion is between six and seven thousand feet above Springfield." 
On July 5, after the fantastic events of the Williams' trial, he wrote, 
"We expect, by a tight squeeze, to get our wagons over the river 
to-night. We may have to lay here tomorrow. The mules are 
doing very well — so we shall be able to go ahead." Then on 
July 6: "Rose at 2 in the morning for the purpose of trying to 
cross over before the government troops moved up from their 
encampment to give us trouble, as they did on the occasion of 
our crossing the Platte. But this time they were more polite, and 
did not interfere with us. The moon shone brightly and gave us 
much aid in our operations. We assisted others and they, in turn 
assisted us — for, be it remembered, that we had to do all the work 
and pay four dollars beside for the use of the ferry, to pass over 
every wagon. We were all over by 8 o'clock. The mules swam 
like so many rats. . . ." S1 

And here is Alonzo Delano saying on July 6: "Ferrying had 
continued night and day since our arrival, and a little before 
daylight our turn came, and the passage was safely effected in 
about an hour. Although the water was of icy coldness, our 
cattle swam over without difficulty, and we were ready to start 
from the opposite shore a little before noon. We had to drive 
through a slough before we reached terra firma, when, in the hands 
of Brown, my cattle became a little unruly, and suddenly drew the 
wagon to a deep place. The water came into the box and wet 
all my clothes, unstarching all my fine shirts, playing the deuce 
with my wardrobe; and doing considerable damage to sundry 
articles. For the next two days I was improving every moment 
of our noon halt to dry my goods and chattels." 82 

Gurdon Backus had also been subjected to long delay here at 
the Green, for he came in off the desert at 11 A.M. on July 2, 
encamping, he says, "near the 'Ferry' amid sand & sage with poor 
grass for our jaded Animals & about 170 Waggons to go over 

81. Biddle, loc. cit. 

82. Delano, loc. cit. 


before us having had no Sleep last night & the weather being cold 
this morning we feel depressed in spirits & long for to see the end 
of this toilsome journey. Near us is encamped the Gov. train of 
40 Waggons under the command of Major Simmons — The sound 
of Music this Eve reminds us of the anniversary of our Nations 
Independence & we immagine in our minds what great things have 
been done & Saw by the brave & patriotic citizens in the cities & 
towns of our glorious Republic." 

On July 5 he said it was "hot all day — running about the 
Mountains with Mules for grass is the amount of this day's labor." 
Again on July 6: "Yet in Camp in the most disagreeable spot we 
have seen since leaving the Mo River - Spent part of the day 4 
miles from Camp in grazeing mules - to day 3 of the Waggons in 
Co. with us concluded to pack - one of their number joind us 
with one mule. Sam Ashton from Chicago 111." And finally 
on July 7 he was able to write: "to day at 1 oclock crossed the 
River & proceeded on our way Encamped at 5 on a Branch of 
Green River f Fontenelle Creek] distance 7 miles. . . ," 83 

Plenty of other Forty-niners were coming along to take the 
place of those so gladly saying farewell to the banks of the Green. 
Several diarists traveled with a party from Jersey County, Illinois, 
including Joseph Hackney, who tells of reaching the river at 6 
P.M. on July 6: "we have to ferry this river they charge from 
4 to 8 dollars to cross a wagon our turn will not come on till 
sunday eavening [July 8] or monday morning part of the alton 
[Illinois] company crossed to day they have splite up in three 
squads. ..." On July 7: "lay by this day doing nothing in camp 
this is the first day that we have layed by since we left st Jo that 
we could call a day of rest. . . ." And on July 8 : "greaser and me 
tried our luck fishing to day he cought 5 and myself two they 
wear about a foot long some of the boys called them salmon 
we commenced at noon crossing our wagons over we got ten over 
before night three of our wagons did not get to the ferry when 
we did and the ferryman would not register any wagons only 
what was on the ground so that we did not get the other three 
over till near midnight the other ten went out one mile and 
camped on a small stream grass very poor." 84 

In the same company, Charles A. Kirkpatrick was very sick 
at this time and has little so say about the actual crossing, through 
mentioning that when on the day of the crossing the wagons were 
taken to the river bank, he had to lay there all day in the sun and 
dust. Henry Tappan says that on the 7th they had obtained 
fair feed for their cattle by swimming them to an island in the 
river, and on the 8th "moved our wagons up to the Ferry. Maned 

83. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

84. Elizabeth Page, Wagons West (New York, 1930), p. 161. 


the boat with our own men & crossed all our wagons but three 
by sundown.'' He remained behind with several others to assist 
the three wagons over. 85 

Because of the stated ferry fee, an astonishing diary entry is 
that of Henry W. Burton, who reached Green River on July 7. 
On the 8th he writes, "We had to wait our turn at the ferry. 
Everyone enjoying himself as well as he could. ... At nine o'clock 
our wagons were drawn up to the ferry for 50 cents per wagon. 
The last one was over about 4 o'clock. . . ." 86 

The emigrants who were now coming along to the ferry were 
showing increasing wear and tear, which perhaps was to be 
expected, else some of them would have had more advanced 
positions in the parade across the continent to the diggings. 
Another example is Israel F. Hale, who came in off the desert 
between 3 and 4 P.M. on July 6. "On our arrival the first thing 
to be done," he writes, "was to make arrangements for crossing. 
We found it too high for fording, and the ferryman only charged 
us seven dollars for setting my wagon across the celebrated Green 
River, a stream not as large as the Maramec. Of all the poor 
countries that I have seen this is certainly the poorest. There is 
little or no grass, no timber — water scarce, but high wind and 
dust in abundance." On the 7th he says: "Between three and 
five o'clock we crossed the river, and about the same time swum 
the cattle over. We found on the west side several half-breed 
Indians — traders. They bought and sold at their own price. 
Alkali is still abundant and we find more or less stock lying 
dead every day, some from the effect of the poisoned water, others 
hard driving." 87 

Charles R. Parke, who completed the hard drive from the Big 
Sandy on July 8, next day wrote in his diary: "Monday. Laid 
over all day to recruit our Cattle We Crossed 'Green River' at 
the Mormon Ferry. Our Cattle we Swam and all were Safely 
landed on the other Side — $6 is all he charged us for each Waggon 
— Some others he charged $7 00. " 88 D. Jagger has a quite 
similar tale, writing on July 8, "After a hard day's travel through 
deep sand & clay over steep hills we reached the Rio Virde at 
4PM...." Then on July 9, after a tedious search for their 
mules, found at last in a valley several miles distant: "We found 
them all & prepared to cross the river, which is here about 400 
feet broad with a deep rapid current. A company of Mormons 

85. Charles A. Kirkpatrick, transcript of MS. diary in Bancroft Library; 
Everett Walters and George B. Strother, "The Gold Rush Diary of Henry 
Tappan," Annals of Wyoming, July, 1953, vol. 25, p. 129. 

86. Photocopy of MS. diary in University of Wyoming Library. 

87. "Diary of Trip to California in 1849," Society of California Pioneers 
Quarterly, June, 1925, vol. II, pp. 88-89. 

88. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 


had just started a ferry here & by Paying $7.00 a waggon we were 
soon passed over & encamped 4 miles beyond. ..." In the upper 
margin of his diary, Jagger adds a most provocative note: "one 
of our friends drowned could not make safe[?]." 89 If this is an 
actual record of a drowning, it is the first since Hixson's rather 
dubious report on June 21 of an "estimate" that one or two 
persons drowned daily. 

The remarkable feature of the diaries kept by emigrants who 
were coming along at this particular time is their reference to 
Mormon ferrying activity, almost to the exclusion of other ferries. 
James Tate tells of reaching the Green River July 10. ". . . here 
we crossed the river several ferrys being kept by mormans 
charge from 3 to 4 doll, per wagon. Swim your stock. It is a 
fine bold stream of fine water about 200 yds. wide scattering 
Cotton wood along its border a fine Valley along its border, and 
some scattering dwarf pines along its bluffs mountains in sight 
with snow on them. . . ." Then on the 11th, "Crossed our stock 
and waggons and camped on its western bank." 90 

Elijah Bryan Farnham, arriving July 10, found "emigrants here 
encamped some of whom had been here 2 days and the place on 
both sides of the river had quite a city like appearence and when 
night set in the numerous camp fires gave the place quite a 
cheerful aperence. And those that had been here long enough to 
get rested were amusing with musick and dancing and the fireing 
of guns and rockets and singing glee songs." On July 1 1 : "Swam 
our cattle across in the forenoon in the afternoon the Mormons 
that have the ferry put our waggons across We gave them 8 
dollars per waggon Again 3 O C were again encamped We 
hearded our cattle about 3 mis off the ferry The Mormons make 
a good lot of money off the passing emigrants not only by ferrying 
but by buying broken down oxen at cheap rates and clothin which 
the emigrants are glad to sell They told Gold stories to us 
There were also some 6 or 8 old trappers and traders some had 
been out in these wilds so long as to almost have forgotten their 
vernacular language." 91 

The dates of J. E. Armstrong are a bit mixed, in that he seems 
to have two entries for July 10, the day he reached the Green, 
but he says, "We tried to swim our cattle but could [not] make 
any of them swim the next day July 10th [11th?] we tried to 
swim them again but did not get but 3 head over next morning 
July 11th [12th?] we tried again till noon we only got 7 head 

89. MS. diary in California Historical Society library. 

90. Typed transcript of MS. diary in Missouri Historical Society library. 

91. Merrill J. Mattes and Esley J. Kirk, eds., "From Ohio to California 
in 1849: The Gold Rush Journal of Elijah Bryan Farnham," Indiana 
Magazine of History, September and December, 1950, vol. 46, pp. 318, 403. 


more over then we come to the conclusion to swim them by the 
side of skiff which we had to pay $200 for the use of it to swim 
1 1 head over the Mormans have a ferry here across Green River 
they charge $400 per waggon they fery from 50 to 60 wagons a 
day." 02 The brief record of Julius Martin Nevins on July 12 says, 
then in camp on the Green : "this river we had to ferry generally it 
is not more than 2 feet the ferry is by mormons and they charge 4 
dollars a wagon." 93 Presumably he crossed that day. 

The sudden fall in the price of ferry service, and also the more 
expeditious way emigrants were getting put across the river, 
indicates that the peak of the emigration had now passed. More 
testimony is afforded by a Dr. Caldwell, who came in off the 
desert at 4 A.M. on July 12. He writes: "Greatly disappointed 
on finding no grass nor wood here, so continued down to the 
ferry & cross'd, paying $4. per wagon. — This done before break- 
fast. Attempted to swim our cattle, but fail'd. We made scows, 
but did not succeed in getting them over till sun-down. Has been 
quite calm & warm to-day; but cold at night. . . . Spent all day 
at the ferry." 94 

Next comes the remarkably interesting and informative Augus- 
tus Ripley Burbank, who besides much else of value gives us a 
glimpse of Antoine Robidoux, thus far along the trail with a 
company he had guided from St. Joseph. Burbank, who reached 
the Green on July 13, writes in his diary: 

"July 14th. We had to ferry this stream unexpected to us, 
which in consequence of its deepness & swiftness, it cant be forded 
— onley at certain times — generally later than this in the year. 
We moved down the river 1 mile, passed down a steep bluff to 
the ferry, where we lay up & awaited our turn to be ferried, which 
had been engaged the day before. We [had] taken our cattle 
up the river 2 miles at an Island, where we swam all (save 7) 
with much difficulty. The remainder with our Horses, we Swam 
along Side an Iron wagon bed, maid in boat form. & used for the 
purpose of ferrying, the regular ferry is a gunnel boat with 
plank bottom, the plank have been cut by whipsaw & the whole 
got up & established within the last two weeks by the mormans 
from Salt Lake. Two other ferries below this on the same stream, 
one about 2 miles below, the other some 40 miles on the old road, 
this ferry boat carries 1 wagon & its contents (no cattle nor 
horses are ferried), we paid 75 cts a head for swimming cattle 
& horses alongsid[e] of the Iron boat which is a separate concern 
from the other ferry. $4 00 pr wagon we had to pay for 

92. MS. diary in Ohio Historical Society library. 

93. Transcript of MS. diary in California State Library. 

94. Printed in Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, eds.. Gold Rush 
. (New York. 1944, 2 vols.), vol. II, p. 1257. 


crossing. A capt. of a Company was drowned at the 2 mile ferry 
today, whilst in the act of swimming a horse. Some Stracking 
[striking] & amusing scenes could again be fetched [sketched] 
here, all was up for Crossing — a perfect jam of wagons — pellmell 
& hard-scrabble. A light thunder storm, came down on us this 
afternoon from the mountains. The first rain that we have had 
for several weeks. We are entertained this evening with various 
kinds of music — on both sides of the stream, drum — fife — key 
bugle &c. beside various audible voices talking, Laughing, hollow- 
ing & crowing, from the noise & bustle, one would fancy him-self 
to be on the Levee at St. Louis, Mo. (save houses & steam boats). 
The day has been fine. We still await our turn — which will 
probably be some time on the morrow, we had expected to of got 
over this afternoon. Camps innumerable, dist. 1 mile 

"July 15th. Sabbath. I felt quite restored from my exhausted 
state of crossing the Desert. We commenced crossing the river 
at half past 11 o.c.k. (our opportunity having just offered) in a 
few hours all was over & our tents pitched on the western bank — 
The river is some 400 feet wide & a swift mountain Stream — 
occasional Groves & Islands of Cottonwood, with wild sage make 
the wood privilege. Grass is very good on the west side (we 
grazed 3 miles up the valley). We are no[w] in the country of 
the Snake Indians, which is said to extend to Ft. Hall. I saw 
some of them today. Mr. Rubadore of St Joseph, Mo. I saw 
lying sick in the tent of a frenchman, whom has one or more 
Indian wives. Mr. R. was aged [agued]. This day I regret to 
say was to some extent spent by us in toil. I heard almost con- 
tinually our Lords name profaned & Liquor was pored down mens 
throats freely." 

Some of Burbank's diary entry for July 16 is also worth quoting 
for its bearing on the exact location of the several ferries. ". . . we 
started at 10 A.M. passed down the river to the S. W. passed 
over the points of some high bluffs. 6 miles brought us to the 
crossing of a small stream (bad crossing) just below the lower 
ferry — passed on over a link of the Green River mountains, long 
assent & desent, 6 miles to Bear creek [Fontenelle Creek] . a fine 
stream of from 20 to 30 feet wide, wood — willows & sage. Grass 
good " 95 

Elijah Preston Howell came along to the river while Burbank 
was there, late in the afternoon of July 14, when he "drove 2 or 3 
miles down it to the Pioneers' Ferry." Next day, he says, "We 
crossed the river early; ferrying the waggons and swimming the 
cattle over. Went on 3 miles and lay by to rest. . . ." 96 Only a 

95. MS. diary in Library of Congress. 

96. MS. diary in State Historical Society of Missouri library; transcripts 
in California State Library and Bancroft Library. 


little more informative is the record of Elisha B. Lewis, who 
arrived at the Green in the late afternoon of July 15. He writes 
on the 16th: "Found good feed for the cattle by driving them 4 
miles remained in camp to day arangement were made to 
crossed the river the price is $4.00 per waggon and swim the 
cattle We expect to cross tomorrow. . . ." Then on July 17: 
". . . we started with the company at 8 oclock to drive to the ferry 
a distance of one mile decended a very steap hill was obliged 
to chain both back wheels found several trains at the ferry when 
we arived but having regestered our train we were detained but a 
very short time Our waggons were all over at Vi passed 12 
oclock we then swam over the cattle which took some little 
time on account of the swiftness of the current and the depthe of 
water. . . ," 97 

Once more we are granted an observer with a lively sense of 
the passing scene in Amos Steck, who reached the Green at 2:30 
P.M. on July 16. "Green River," he says, "is a very rapid Stream, 
about as large as the North Fork of the Platte & clear & cold 
drove our Cattle 4 miles to the Bluffs & laid out all night to guard 
them with Ole (the Norwegian) — the poor Brutes notwithstanding 
the long drive through much dust were more hungry than fatigued 
& did not lie down to rest until near morning, but fed away on 
the scattered grass of the hill sides. . . ." On July 17: ". . . Tried 
to swim our cattle over the River and failed. Ferried our wagons. 
Our friends, Palmer, Smith and Spencer ferried themselves. The 
Ferry here was owned by some traders and Mormons who by 
charging $4 per wagon and making emigrants use the Flat Boat 
themselves made daily about $250. They informed us they had 
crossed 2000 wagons in our advance. Met my friend Sam Jen- 
nings here and we went to the traders' tent to see the French 
half-breeds and Mormons play at Monte, a Spanish game; a great 
deal of money was lost and won and I never saw before the cash 
pass away with so little grumbling, each man appearing to think 
it only loaned. . . ." To this fascinating chronicle Steck adds on 
July 18: "Laid by all day and crossed our cattle. Our man Palmer 
rode an ox over the River and the fellow carried him safely over. 
Grass 5 miles from the Ferry most admirable. Gambling at Monte 
went on as yesterday very briskly, and betting went very high, 
and losses born as cooly as yesterday." 98 

In contrast to such a record, we have that of Lyman Mitchell, 
who reached "Green Water" on July 18 to find "about 150 
Wageon wating to Cross they Chargd us 4 Dollars for Cross- 

97. Transcript of MS. diary in library of State Historical Society of 

98. MS. diary in library of Colorado State Historical Society. 


ing." 99 Another very laconic record is that of Joseph Sedgley, 
who reached the Green apparently on the afternoon of July 19 
and "immediately crossed the river, although our men were 
exhausted." 100 But then along comes John E. Brown, who after 
a hard drive across the desert from the Big Sandy on the morning 
of the 18th reached "the third ferry on the river. . . . The ferry 
where the road first finds the river is not a good one and Dr. 
Stone and I rode down to a more convenient one about three miles 
from the one lower down and the one used by the Government. 
We drove down a very steep decline to the river's edge, where we 
pitched camp and swam our mules across to fine grass, about 
five miles from the ferry. Many waggons were on the bank 
waiting their turn to cross and we did not expect to cross untill 
the following day as there were forty two before us." But on 
Friday morning one of the party brought "the cheering news that 
our waggon was across the river and we could drive off imme- 
diately. We therefore drove in our mules and soon were hitched 
and on the road. . . . The road lay down the river for three miles 
when it diverges to the right and ascends a very steep hill. From 
one to two miles we were crossing deep Sandy hills, when we met 
the road from the lower ferry, coursing toward the hills about 
two miles distant. The hill was very steep and sandy. So much 
so that it was with difficulty we reached the summit. For several 
miles we continued to cross steep hills until we descended to a 
fine creek [Fontenelle Creekl . . . ." 101 

We are immediately granted another keen observer in the person 
of Major Osborne Cross, who commanded the supply train accom- 
panying the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen to Fort Hall and 
Oregon this summer. Most of the regiment took the road to 
Bear River by way of Fort Bridger, but having mistakenly entered 
on the Sublette Cutoff, Cross kept ahead, eventually rejoining 
the regiment in the valley of the Bear. He relates the usual night 
crossing which brought him about sunrise on July 19 to "the ferry 
on Green river"; he encamped on the opposite side. "The night's 
march," Cross says, "carried us over a sandy plain and through 
several deep hollows which gave us some trouble to ascend. 
Immediately in the vicinity of the river the trail passes down a 
very steep hill into a deep, sandy gorge which runs to the Mormon 
ferry. It was very severe for several miles on the mules. The 
moon shone nearly all night, making it pleasant and much better 
traveling than in the day. . . . 

99. Transcript of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

100. Joseph Sedgley, Overland to California in 1849 (Oakland, 1877), 
p. 40. 

101. Katie E. Blood, ed., "Memoirs of a Forty-Niner," Journal of 
American History, January-March, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 145-146. 


"July 20. The wagons were ferried across. After making our 
encampment the whole of the animals were taken about six miles 
back of the hills to graze on a small stream which empties into 
Green river above us, where the grass was pretty good. 

"There are two ferries here, which are only temporary. The 
Mormon ferry is about five miles above where we crossed the 
river, at the foot of a range of high clay bluffs, which we passed 
to reach this ferry. The country on the right bank of the river is 
very hilly. On the opposite side there is a range of bluffs, very 
much washed and broken into gullies. The banks of the river 
are low and thinly covered with cottonwood, about the same 
quantity that I found upon the North Platte." 

Cross adds that on the 21st they remained till 2 P.M., then 
left for "Fontanel's fork, about six miles distant." This same 
day, July 21, Philip Badman reached the Green after "56 good 
long miles." He says, ". . . we came down to the Ferry & crossed 
all over with the West Co. before Sun Set. our ferriage was 3$ 
a piece." 102 

On the morning of the 23rd, an interesting arrival is Niles 
Searls, traveling with the unlucky first train of Turner and Allen's 
"Pioneer Line," a premature effort to set up a stage service to 
California. The sight of the river, Searls says, "a fine swift stream 
150 yards wide with pure ice water from the mountains above & 
a hearty draught at its brink soon soothed our perturbed feelings 
& revived our spirits. The channel contains from 6 to 10 feet 
water & is crossed by a ferry established by some Mormons from 
Salt Lake. The terms for ferrying are £ per wagon & from 60 
to 75 are crossed per diem. The stream is lined with wagons 
waiting to recruit their teams after their unexpected [unexpectedly 
long] drive. . . . We were all safely ferried over by sunset & 
shall remain a day or two. . . . 

After resting on the 24th, Searls speaks on the 25th of proceed- 
ing "down from the middle ferry a short distance then ascending 
the mountain on the right" to reach Fontenelle Creek, which he 
calls "Beer Creek." 103 

102. Settle, op. cit., pp. 143-144. 

103. MS. diary in Bancroft Library; edited by Robert M. Searls as 
The Diary of a Pioneer and Other Papers (San Francisco, 1940). A 
mention of the Pioneer Line occurs in the diary of Stillman Churchill 
(MS. in the collection of Fred A. Rosenstock), who also reached the river 
on the 24th. He writes: ' ; . . . we reached the green River ferry at HVi 
A.M. not having ate any breakfast when we arrived at the ferry we had to 
commence immediately & ferry our own wagons over which took till 
3 P.M. when we ate our breakfast & dinner together I cannot picture to 
you the expressions of [the men] when we were again seated to enjoy a 
little repose after so fatigueing & dinnerless a trip. . . ." Then on the 
25th: ". . . left our camp ground at %Vi A.M. the road for 2 miles is good 
after that for 5 miles it is hilly & stony when we reached a tributary of 


Not this "middle" or Mormon ferry, but the upper one is 
described by P. F. Castleman on July 24. He reached the river 
in the late morning: "here we found a small ferry boat which had 
ben hailed from the States as a waggon bed we employed the 
oners to ferry us across so we went to unloading our waggons 
and after we had loaded the boat there came another boat from a 
ferry a few hundred yards below so they carried over the other 
two after which we swam our animals over we encamped on the 
shore driving our animals out to grass which was not verry good 
there are several trains encamped here. . . ." Next day he bartered 
for horses with the nearby mountain men, then on the 26th moved 
on to "Fontonell" creek, some 8 miles. 104 

We are approaching the end of this long chronicle, for the 
Green was now all but fordable. Some interesting evidence on 
this point is given us by Isaac P. Lord, who reached the Green 
at 1 P.M. on July 24. On the 25th he writes: "Turned our cattle 
up under the east bank of the river last night and drove them 
across this morning, and up an affluent to the north west, some 
three and a half miles, where there is plenty of grass. . . . There 
is a camp of Indian traders two miles above us. One of them 
was formerly from Chicago. There are two hundred wagons here 
now. Their cattle and mules generally look bad. . . ." Lord 
lay by on the 26th, then on July 27 commented: "There is said 
to be a ford down the river two miles. At a lower stage of water 
it is probably passable, but there has lately been a rise of eighteen 
inches which is gradually subsiding. One mile below is another 
ferry which carries a wagon entire, with the load, at two dollars. 
We bought a small scow boat; and ferried ourselves over. It cost 
ten dollars. — I gave it to a young fellow from the North River, 
who was left destitute by the train he came with. Left camp at 
ten o'clock and our course for six and a half miles was down the 
river, about one mile distant. At the end of the first three miles 
ascended the bluff by a long, steep hill. . . ." 105 He went on to 
what Lord calls Hams Fork — Fontenelle Creek of course. 

E. Douglas Perkins came down to the Green at noon on July 
26, and an hour later "camped on its banks at the ferry." After 
the hard drive without water, his mules "looked so gaunt & weak 
that I was frightened lest they might give out & shall stay with 
them here two or three days as I found some fine grass after swim- 
ming them over to this side the River — some three miles from 

green River grass plenty 4 miles good road on the bottom where we 
camped the Pioneer line a heming us in on three sides the smoke of their 
camp fires being very annoying to our eyes also a Missouri & Tennessee Co 
distance 11 miles." 

104. Photocopy of typed transcript of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

105. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 


the ferry." The ox-teams of his train did not get in till 6 hours 
later, being sent then to join Perkins' mules. He goes on to say 
very interestingly: "Green River here is quite a stream, some 75 
feet wide & not fordable: a ferry crossing teams, at the moderate 
charge of 3.00 pr wagon. We are some three miles below the 
branch spoken of in the Guide which Sublettes trail strikes it 
about 5 miles above this branch 106 About 12 miles from here this 
road comes into Subletts again. Day has been hot wind from W 
blowing a disagreeable cloud of dust into our faces. . . ." 107 

Perkins depicts the Green as on the very eve of becoming 
fordable; and Samuel F. McCoy, who reached the river on July 28, 
next day documents the fact by saying: "We remained in a camp 
until noon when we caught up and forded the Green River, a 
beautiful stream. . . ." 10s The few remaining diarists to be taken 
account of on the Sublette Cutoff in 1849 all forded the river. 

First comes Joseph Middleton reaching the Green on August 1 ; 
next day he describes it as "a fine clear stream about the size of 
the Susquehanna at Harrisburg. ... A mile and a quarter from 
this is the ferry where at this time it is said to be fordable." He 
started on about 3 P.M. "to go where there is good grass west 
of the river," and later the same day writes: "Have got across the 
river. It was deep and the current strong. In some places four 
streams divided by Islands. It has much more water in it than I 
supposed. Think it is two-thirds the size of the Nebraska [North 
Platte] , where we ferried it. . . ." 109 

William Swain on August 4 is still less ceremonious: "reached 
green River 5 Oclock forded & camped. . . ." uo And very near 
the tail end of the emigration comes that notable diarist, Joseph 
Goldsborough Bruff, whose company from Washington, D. C., 
reached the Green in the late afternoon of August 5. Henry 
Austin, a member of this train, says merely: "Drank at a cold 
spring and continued on to the ford. All our wagons with the 
exception of one No 3 crossed the river soon after sundown That 
wagon being some miles in the rear all day on account of the 
mules giving out. . . ." ni Bruff himself does much better, giving a 
graphic account in his diary of the descent to the river from the 

106. Perkins refers to Little Muddy Creek, a small tributary entering 
the Green from the west between LaBarge and Fontenelle creeks; it is 
this creek to which so many of the diarists refer in connection with the 
quest for grass. But Perkins is mistaken in seeking to identify this creek 
with the directions given in Ware's Guide. See below. 

107. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

108. Diary printed in Pioneering on the Plains (Kaukauna, Wis., 1942), 

109. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

110. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

111. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


bluffs, drawing a picture of the descent, and even mapping the 
route adopted. After this hazardous feat, he says, "We followed 
the base of these tall heights [the bluffs] for some distance, and 
on a S. S. W. course, generally, for 5 or 6 ms. over deep dusty 
irregular small hills, on left side of the river, and then turned down 
W[esterl]y to the river; drove in, on its pebbly bottom, — hub 
deep, and rapid, turned down stream about 150 yds. to agravel 
bank, above water, crossed that in about the same distance, and 
then across the stream again, obliquely 50 yds. to the opposite 
shore. We drove down the valley Va mile, and camped, after one 
of the hardest tramps I ever took, and extremely hard on the 
mules. — Making 43 miles, from Camp to Camp. (The Mormons 
swore it was 55 miles) — . . . . Instead of turning left, some Vi 
or Va mile to the steep descent, a trail branched straight ahead 
to the Westward, & lead down gently to an old ferry; which if 
we had taken it, would have saved at least 3 miles. ..." 

Bruff's company remained in camp on August 6, at which time 
he mentions seeing "At the Ferry, numerous dead oxen and 
wrecks of many wagons," and also tells of Thomas and two other 
mountaineers coming into camp. "He was from Ft Bridger, and 
with a party of traders, was speculating in horses." These traders, 
Bruff added, had "a fine band of horses and ponies." A sketch 
map he appends shows where trail and river parted company. 
On the 7th Bruff went on to Fontenelle Creek, a distance of 9 
miles, where he found the camp of the French traders ("Here was 
a mixture, white women, and squaws & children, of every age 
and hue. The men were in a tent, playing Monte, on a skin, for 
silver"). 112 

No later diarist on the Cutoff in 1849 is known, and thus the 
ferry record for the Green River closes. Bruff's tantalizing 
reference to a Mormon estimate of the length of the Cutoff from 
the Big Sandy to Green River might be taken to indicate that the 
Mormons who had been operating the ferry were still on hand 
when he passed by, but if they had not headed for their homes at 
Salt Lake by this time, they certainly departed in the next day 
or so. 

Thus, at length, and at the very end of the emigrating season 
on the northern trails, we come to the curious episode of a single 
company's having taken the trail Joseph E. Ware in his Guide 
had denominated "Sublette's Cutoff." This was the "Granite 
State and California Mining and Trading Company," made up 

112. Read and Gaines, op. cit., pp. 12-14, and see pp. 133-135. Bruff's 
map of the overland trail in 1849, including its course through the Green 
River Valley, is reproduced in Morgan, op. cit., opposite p. 120, and in Carl 
I. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, 1540-1861, vol. 3 (San Fran- 
cisco, 1959), opposite p. 99. 


principally of men from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but 
accompanied on the present venture by some other emigrants, 
a few of whom are reported to have been from New Orleans. 
Three different diaries report their experiences, of which the 
most detailed is that of Amos Batchelder. 118 They adopted the 
cutoff, not so much because of Ware's recommendation as because 
their guide was Captain Joseph Thing, a one-time associate of the 
fur trader Nathaniel Wyeth, and hence familiar in a degree with 
the Green River country. As Kimball Webster 114 says on August 
1, when the party was still east of the continental divide, "Captain 
Thing, our guide, states that he once traveled the route and . . . 
that there is an Indian trail through which he thinks he can follow." 
So, as did the subsequent Lander Cutoff, they diverged to the 
right on entering South Pass. But whereas the Lander Cutoff 
took a more circuitous route to the Green for the sake of easier 
travel, the travelers of 1 849 made directly for the Big Sandy, which 
they reached on August 3, then next day crossed the desert to the 
Green, a distance estimated by Webster as 30 miles, 10 to 20 
less than Batchelder's diary had anticipated. 

Batchelder says they reached the Green about 6 P.M. on 
August 4; and next day he writes: "Green River is about 60 
yards wide at this point and the water in its deepest parts is about 
4 feet deep. It is a clear, rapid stream, with a bed of gravel, and 
small round stones. There is a long island opposite our camp 
well timbered with tall, and well proportioned cotton wood 
trees. ..." They remained in camp three days, to allow their 
sick to recuperate. On the 7th Batchelder comments, "About a 
mile below our camp, a delightful and picturesque view opens to 
the west. The river here winds its way towards the snowy moun- 
tains in a westerly direction, through a broad valley bounded on 
the north by high hills, thinly covered with sunburnt grass, and 
on the south by high, red, green, and sand colored hills, dotted 
over with scattering ever-green trees. . . ." Webster was mean- 
while noting that the river was fordable in many places. On 
August 8 Batchelder remarks, concerning the resumption of their 
journey: "We went down the river a mile, found a fordable place, 
and crossed to the other bank, which we followed for about 5 
miles, when we came to a fork of the stream that comes in from 
the mountains west. The valley at this place is very broad, and 
this fork of the stream is divided into four small rapid roaring 
streams, from one to two rods wide. We crossed them, and 
stopped for dinner on the south side, after travelling about 4 miles 
up the broad valley. . . ." Webster's comment on the 8th is: 

113. MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

114. KimbalJ Webster, The Gold Seekers of '49 (Manchester, N. H., 
1917), pp. 66-67. 


"Start this morning and travel down the river about one mile 
where we ford it without difficulty. We then followed down the 
river two miles farther to a branch that came from the west. We 
followed this branch up 15 miles and camped." And finally, 
Joseph Alonzo Stuart, chronicling the same events, writes: "We 
forded two branches of Green River only knee deep to our horses 
and traveled 18 miles to a grove of spruce. The trail was very 
swampy, owing in a measure to the late rainfall, probably. We 
crossed several old Indian trails. Our New Orleans friends 
remained in camp, some of their men being sick with mountain 
fever. (We never saw them again.) Captain Thyng says this 
was a place of rendezvous for the hunters of Fort Hall." 115 

It is irrelevant to our purpose to follow Thing's company 
farther on their journey; he did not remember the route after 
reaching the mountains at the head of the Piney, and finally they 
followed Smiths Fork down to the Bear, intersecting the estab- 
lished road at its mouth on August 12. They were packers and 
could afford such adventures, but it is probably just as well no 
emigrants of 1849 took wagons by the route Ware had rec- 

Before leaving this topic, we might note that Bruff on August 2 
wrote in his diary with a high degree of justice, on arriving at the 
forks of the road west of the Dry Sandy: "It [the Cutoff] is 
call'd by the emmigrants, very improperly, 'Soublette's Cut-Off,' 
but was discovered by another mountaineer, — Greenwood; and 
should be called 'Greenwood's Cut-Off.' Soublette had discovered 
and travelled a short cut higher up, from near the base of 
'Fremont's Peak,' to Fort Hall, which is only practicable for mules, 
and now probably nearly obliterated." 116 His map shows both 
routes, but as an illustration of Ware's remarks, or the route taken 
by Captain Thing, carries the trail too far north before striking 
the Green. 

Let us now recapitulate the record of the Green River ferries 
in 1849. The first in operation was that established by mountain 
men on the Cutoff, a going concern by June 15, and probably 
some days earlier. Although the Mormons operated a ferry on 
this upper branch of the emigrant road for a time the year before, 
their presence here is as yet unrecorded by any diarist prior to 
June 30. On the Salt Lake Road, the earliest arrivals on the 
Green River had to ferry themselves across the river. The earliest 
known diarist to reach the Green got there June 13, but may have 
been as much as a week behind the first travelers. A company of 
Mormon ferrymen left Great Salt Lake City on June 12, and by 

115. Joseph Alonzo Stuart, My Roving Life (Auburn, California, 1895, 
2 vols.), vol. I, pp. 48-51. 

116. Read and Gaines, op. cit., p. 64. 


June 17 was encountered on the divide west of Fort Bridger, 
en route to the river, which they must have reached by the 20th. 
Presumably they got their ferry into operation shortly thereafter; 
certainly it was a going concern by June 24, when a diarist comes 
along to report on it. 

This Mormon ferry on the Salt Lake Road established a charge 
of $5 per wagon on setting up business, but some Iowans who 
came along about July 4 built a boat in a day and apparently 
from July 6 to July 11 or 12 set up a rival ferry, which had the 
effect of bringing the rate down to $3. Afterward, the fee went 
up again to $4, but near the end of the season, when the river 
was semi-fordable, a $2 rate is mentioned. On July 29, a few 
days before the Mormon ferry was abandoned for the year, an 
emigrant reported that during the whole season it had carried 
across the river 1,500 wagons at a (perhaps average) rate of $4. 
This may very well be correct, for there is reason to estimate that 
the whole emigration via Great Salt Lake City in 1849 may have 
approximated 10,500 persons, an average of 4 to the wagon. 
Those who packed through, who put themselves over the Green, 
who used rival ferry facilities, or who traveled before or after the 
time the Mormon ferry was in operation, may well make up the 

A much more complicated picture is presented by the record 
of the ferries on the Sublette Cutoff. Probably 65 percent of 
the entire emigration across South Pass took this route, with 
corresponding pressure upon the ferries. By June 24 Forty-niners 
had begun putting themselves across the river here. Some 
extemporized commercial ferries also soon put in their appear- 
ance, but the diaries report no such regularization of the river 
passage as had occurred at the North Platte, where emigrants 
arriving on the river bank characteristically purchased already 
existing craft, put themselves across the river, then sold these craft 
to the next-comers. The presence of Mormons is intimated at this 
ferry by June 30, and was certainly a fact by July 4, when one 
emigrant observed the existence of "six or seven ferries, and one 
regular ferry boat, owned by the Mormons." The exact relation- 
ship of this Mormon ferry to the previous ferry operated by the 
mountain men is both provocative and obscure; the nature of 
the record leads one to wonder whether something was not done 
in partnership, or whether the Mormons may not have bought out 
the mountain men at the preferred location. No diarist reports 
fording the river at the upper ferry before July 28, and none 
records ferrying after that date; but from other sources we know 
that the Mormon ferrymen were still on hand as late as August 1, 
possibly as late as August 4, by which time travel on this route 
was ceasing. 

The ferry fees on the Sublette Cutoff varied widely during the 
season. The first diarists to come along paid $3 per wagon (or $2 


in some instances), but the rate climbed steeply after the first 
of July, first to $4, then from $6 to $8 — and even higher. By 
July 10 the rate was falling again, down to $4, where it continued 
more or less to the close of the season. 

Records of drownings on the Green River in 1849 are remark- 
ably few. The loss of two men, Ford and Gait, is mentioned by 
Delos R. Ashley on the Salt Lake Road prior to the establishment 
of the Mormon ferry, on June 16; two other supposed victims 
of drownings are mentioned on July 4 and August 7 — the latter 
supposed to have occurred about July 24 — but that is the whole 
record for this route. On the Sublette Cutoff the record is even 
more surprising, despite Hixson's early report that one or more 
persons were estimated to drown every day. Jagger has a doubtful 
record of a drowning on July 9, and Burbank on July 14 heard of 
the drowning of a captain of a company. But these are the only 
records of the kind that have emerged. 

The total picture, obviously, is in the most striking contrast 
with that presented at the upper ferries of the North Platte, where 
several dozen emigrants seemed to have drowned during the 
course of the season, and this despite the fact that the Green was 
found as high and even swifter than the North Platte. Perhaps 
the explanation is that the emigrants had learned their lesson well 
before crossing South Pass; and perhaps another factor is that 
the very look of the Green, much more obviously dangerous than 
the North Platte, made the Forty-niners cautious — a caution that 
paid off. 

The exact location of the several ferries on the Sublette Cutoff 
requires to be established now that this record has been compiled; 
circumstances have not permitted my carrying out the field re- 
searches I had anticipated, and other students are invited to join 
in working out the details for the year 1849. The general local- 
ities are made clear, however, by the existence of Names Hill west 
of the Green, some six miles south of present LaBarge. Although 
mentioned in none of the diaries brought into this record, it im- 
pelled many emigrants of this and other years to carve their names 
upon its face. 117 

Let no one imagine that the Forty-niners were delivered from 
death or destruction, to say nothing of toil, once they had put the 
North Platte and Green rivers behind them. Those who went on 
to Oregon instead of to California might have to deal with the 
Snake River; and those who went by way of Salt Lake, particularly 
those who were early on the trail, might have to ferry the Weber, 
the Ogden, and the Bear Rivers in the valley of the Great Salt 

117. See Charles Kelly's Emigrant Register, MS. in Bancroft Library, 
which records inscriptions at Names Hill and other nearby locations, as 
well as generally along the overland trails. 


Lake. The experiences of such we shall not undertake to record 
here. But in general, the emigrants who passed on out of Wyo- 
ming to new trail experiences found their ordeal by water ended. 
And, looking back after a period of months and years, they could 
see the drama and even the splendor of the scene in which they 
had been actors. The records they have left now give these scenes 
to history. 

NOTE: Although I passed it by in my account of the record of 
drownings at the Mormon ferry on the North Platte, not having 
complete faith in William Kelly's integrity in such matters, I now 
call attention to his account (Excursion to California, vol. I, pp. 
175-176) of the drowning of "a young man, named Masters" 
who attempted to swim the bell mare across the river near the 
ferry site. If this did not happen to Kelly's own party, it may have 
happened to a member of another party within his observation. 

Unaccountably omitted from my record of drownings was that 
related in William B. Roy all's letter from Coloma, August 15, 
1849, printed in the Columbia Missouri Statesman, October 26, 
1849, and reprinted in Walker D. Wyman, California Emigrant 
Letters (New York, 1952), at pp. 60-61. Royall reached Fort 
Hall, July 4, the same day as G. S. lsham, who was at the 
Mormon ferry on the North Platte June 9-11, but since he says 
his party ferried themselves, he may have crossed that river 
a few days later. In fact, the events he describes seem to refer 
to the drowning on June 14 at the Findley site of three young 
men from Brown County, Missouri. He writes: "At North Platte 
we calked our wagon beds, ferried over all on a day, passed two 
teams, and sped onward, and the same also at Green River. 
You have ere this heard of the melancholy event that befell Capt. 
Hitt's company at the first of these rivers. It is a rapid mountain 
stream, and was chiefly crossed by the Emigrants in a craft 
constructed by las[h]ing 4 crudely dug-out canoes together. 
And was crossed by ropes drawn by men on either shore. In this 
way Hitt's men had ferried all over and after swimming their 
mules over were some of them crossing themselves. The craft 
was too heavily laden, by the men who were anxious to cross, 
and the men on the shore who were tired did not permit the rope 
which they were letting out to go far enough, and the rapid torrent 
dashed over the feeble structure and all vanished. Young W. Y. 
Crockett is said to have arisen but once, and sunk forever. John 
Chadwell clung for a long time to Thomas Carth who was only 
saved by the former sinking and being himself picked up by a 
man in a wagon bed just as he was going down. Stars, who was a 
stranger in the company from Indiana, never arose to the surface. 
Thomas J. O'Niel and Thomas Grear were also picked up and 
Washington Nichols and Thomas Hitt swam out. Such is the 
gloomy tragedy of the crossing of the North Platte, too mournfully 


memorable in the annals of our trip. Thus perished two of our 
esteemed associates, both endeared to us by their spotless virtues. 
Their bodies, after search, could not be found, and alone they 
lay entombed in the dark waters of the desert stream, and their 
remains must whiten its scorching sands. Of young Crockett I 
am constrained to say he was one of the very best of men: 
enemies he had none, but all who knew [him] loved him. On 
the same morning and before this occurrence, Mr. Trumbaugh 
of Hitt's company came very near being drowned in swimming the 
same stream with his stock and only got out with utmost difficulty 
by a rope being thrown to him." 

Also worthy of being entered in this record of the North Platte 
ferry is the diary of Franklin Starr in the Illinois State Historical 
Library. Starr evidently refers to what we have called the Findley 
site when he writes on June 16: "Moved on three miles further to 
a ferry. There are three rough log canoes lashed together here 
which some Emigrants have made and left for the use of those 
behind There is a flat boat a few miles farther up owned by some 
mormons but there is such a croud waiting to cross that we have 
concluded to try this The Piatt is not more than an hundred 
yards wide but deep and very swift The canoes will not bear up a 
loaded waggon but have to take the load seperate They are 
hauled across by means of a rope streched across the river to the 
middle of which they are fastened We expect to get over tomor- 
row." On the 18th Starr said further: "We have finished crossing 
and are ready for a start tomorrow morning Our Cattle are Still 
on the East side and we did not bring them over until morning 
Last night I was on guard and took my rifle & Blanket and went 
out nearly to the foot of the mountains. . . . We crossed our 
provision in the canoes and dragged the waggons through the 
water by fast[en]ing a rope to the tongue and one to the back 
end and lashing an empty Keg to each wheel to keet [keep] them 
from upsetting We were most two days crossing A number of 
men have been drowned here and above the last week and a great 
many cattle & horses." 

It is to be expected that many other records of the kind will 
appear, and cumulatively solid detail will build into still hazy 
areas of the general picture, for all the ferries discussed in these 

Some minor typographical errors have attended the publication 
of these records, but one in particular requires attention. In the 
Annals for April, 1959, at page 10, the reference to Hosea B. 
Horn's Overland Guide should be understood as being a part of 
footnote 12, footnote 13 being concerned only with the Foster 

Casper Mountain Speaks 


Mae Urbanek 

For centuries I was lonely, 

towering above the flat, dry prairies 

with only hills and deer for company. 

I was a mountain, bringing to the wilderness 

the attributes of mountains: springs, 

chattering streams, pine-darkened slopes 

brightened by the jewels of aspen leaves. 

I commanded a turbulent river 

to flow hundreds of miles around me, 

its waters roiled and angry at the delay. 

Indians came to me, 
making tepee poles from my aspen, 
picking sweet fruit from my shrubs; 
but they always left me — lonely! 
Thousands of white-topped wagons 
inched past me, seeking the distant gold, 
passing over the real gold — black gold, 
basined in my bosom. 

Now, I am happy. 

A city nestles against me, 

sucking the nourishment from my breasts. 

Its houses are mere beads of color; 

its gas tanks bright gleaming buttons 

below me; but the plumes of its smoke 

do not vanish as did the smoke signals 

of Indians. The murmur of its existence 

beats against me. I feel it stirring 

and growing. The shrill cry of its engines 

echoes as music. Its people come to me, 

caressing me with their footsteps. 

I have views for the dreamers; 

picnic spots for the hungry; 

ski slopes for the active; 

hidden nooks for the lovers. 

I have mothered a city, 

and the eyes of its people 

gaze up at me in grateful wonderment. 

Zke Mole~in~tke~ Wall 


Thelma Gatchell Condit 


In the early days amusement, like clothing, was homemade and 
durable. Of necessity it took various forms, but the merriest 
occasion of all and the one most wholeheartedly anticipated and 
enjoyed by young and old alike was the good, old country dance. 
In the beginning, these gala affairs lasted for days and days and 
provided opportunity not only for the ever popular dancing itself 
but for eating and drinking, poker playing, horse racing, and games 
of all kinds as well as just plain visiting with friends and neighbors. 
A lot of preparation went along with these pleasure times, and 
because many long miles of horse and buggy travel were involved, 
it stood to reason that they were going to last long enough to pay 
for all the effort it took to get there with amply laden food baskets 
and freshly scrubbed offspring. 

At first the dances were held in the ranch homes. This was 
before the school houses were large enough and there was such a 
thing as a community hall. When a rancher built himself a house, 
no matter how plain and crude it was, if it were big enough for 
holding a dance, he'd invite his neighbors in for a housewarming. 
Winter or summer, rain or shine, people's enthusiasm never waned 
when a dance was in the offing. 

Sometimes when dancing parties were given in the same place 
and at the same time year after year, the occasion itself became a 
celebration, an institution of sorts, like the 4th of July picnics at 
the N H and Bar C ranches in the Hole-in-the-Wall country and 
the Hat Ranch at Mayo worth. This particular time was not 
appropriate for relaxation and fun, as it was between hay cutting 
and roundup time. 

The 4th of July celebrations at the Hat Ranch had a very 
humble beginning when, in 1895, Lou Webb, then a bachelor, 
invited his neighbors and friends in for eating, visiting and dancing. 
While the house itself boasted no pretentiousness and the gathering 
was small, because of the warm hospitality and genial good-fellow- 
ship of the man, Lou Webb, this little party was the forerunner 
of a 4th of July celebration that high lighted all such occasions 
and became a thing of much importance to the people of Kaycee, 
Sussex, Mayoworth, Barnum and even Buffalo. 

Lou Webb came up from Texas with the trail herds and ended 
up working as cowpuncher for the Frewen Brothers. Once when 



Courtesy Anita Webb Deininger 
July 4th celebration at Hat Ranch. 

Courtesy Anita Webb Deininger 
Dance Hall at picnic grounds, at Hat Ranch, looking northwest. 


the big roundup was camped on Dry Fork of the Powder, a lively 
poker game got started at Kid Donnelly's saloon at the Powder 
River Crossing stage stop. Kid ran the store and was a profes- 
sional gambler to boot. He liked nothing better than to get a 
good game going, especially when he figured "the pickings were 
good," but, even so, Donnelly was a likeable sort and right sharp 
at cards. The only thing he just couldn't tolerate was a prolonged 
stretch of bad card luck. He liked keen competition all right but 
not too keen. If he lost early in the evening, he didn't worry much 
because he figured on getting it back by morning. When on the 
few occasions his bad luck didn't change, he didn't throw a fit and 
start gunning a man. He just kept on putting up and betting on 
every last thing he owned in one final fling, praying his luck 
would change. At the time mentioned, the cowpunchers, one by 
one, had quit with their winnings and just Kid and Lou were left. 
Kid, being out of cash, put up his brand and bunch of cattle — 
he branded the Mexican Hat and had accumulated quite a little 
bunch of cows by buying up the sorefooted critters coming north 
over the Bozeman Trail. Lou won fair and square and now had 
himself a brand and a bunch of cows. It is said that Donnelly 
later lost his wife in a "last ditch" poker game, and the fellow 
took possession and moved to Buffalo where their progeny still 
live. Kid figured, and very philosophically, too, that why be 
upset; another woman, more cows, and different cowboys with 
money would come along, and he could get himself another stake. 
"He hadn't lost nothin' he couldn't get some more of." 

When Lou married Janet Mercer in 1898 (at the Mercer ranch 
near Hyattville), and they returned from their honeymoon trip 
to Texas and Old Mexico, the Hat Ranch became more than ever 
a place of hospitality. Janet thought the ranch the most beautiful 
place she'd ever seen and Lou Webb the most wonderful, kindest 
man in the whole, wide world. 

Janet was the daughter of Colonel and Mrs. A. S. Mercer. She 
first came to Wyoming in 1884, living in Cheyenne, where her 
father owned and edited the Northwestern Livestock Journal and 
later wrote Banditti of the Plains. In 1895 the family took up 
homesteads in the Big Horn Basin country where they lived many 
years and learned the many hard things connected with the life 
of a pioneer. 

Mrs. Webb was a gentle, cultured woman, whose presence was 
a godsend not only to her own family but to the many lonely 
cowboys and men in the Powder River country. They often 
called her "Dr. Webb," for her practical, gentle nursing-sense was 
of great help to them in patching up bronc riding injuries and 
run-of-the-mill ranch hand cuts and bruises. 

She was never too busy to be kind and gracious. Once, years 
later, when a prim, old maid seamstress was staying with them 
doing up the year's sewing, Lou, after a long day in the saddle, 


came into the house via the front door and tramped over the nice 
freshly laid carpeting with his muddied boots and sat down wearily 
in a big armchair. Mrs. Webb at once advanced to where he was 
sitting and, kneeling on the floor in front of her husband, gently 
removed his dripping boots, softly rubbed his tired, cold feet and 
made him comfortable in every way. Later that evening the 
dressmaker could contain herself no longer and remarked in 
private to Mrs. Webb, very disapprovingly, "Now, if that was 
my husband, I'd most certainly not allow him to tramp across my 
carpet in his muddied boots. Mrs. Webb, you are a fool to be so 
good to a man who imposes on you that way. Why don't you 
make him take his boots off outside like any sensible person 
would do?" Mrs. Webb replied sweetly with her usual smile, 
"Why. I do not feel at all imposed upon, my dear. I consider it 
the greatest of honors to be able to remove my husband's boots 
and only hope and pray that I will be privileged to perform that 
service for many more years to come." 

There wasn't a thing the men on the ranch wouldn't do for Mrs. 
Webb, and their willing, capable assistance at the 4th of July 
dances amply repaid all the many little kindnesses to them. Even 
before Lou was married these dances had outgrown the normal 
ranch house accommodations, and in 1894 the people of the 
immediate vicinity had helped Lou build a bowry in the natural 
amphitheatre in the canyon above the house. This was such a 
perfect spot for a dance pavilion with the Big Horns on the west, 
the red buttes to the east and the cold, tree-lined mountain stream 
running along providing shade a plenty for every need. Then, 
too, out front was the widened out bare place for horse racing, 
games, a children's playground, and for the pitching of tents. As 
the years went by, more and more folks began bringing their tents 
and camping equipment, making this celebration a regular vacation 
trip for the whole family. 

It was just such a spot as the northern Cheyenne Indians might 
have chosen for the erection of their ceremonial sun dance lodge 
(for the Sun Dance with the Buffalo-head ceremony), and the 
bowry these early day ranchers built was truly not unlike the 
Indians' sacred lodge. The only thing lacking was the buffalo 
skull tied to the center pole. There was a large, stout center pole 
of cottonwood and poles of the same wood enclosing a wide circle 
of rough-sawed and smoothed-off planks which was the floor. 
The top was a combination of tarps and cottonwood branches to 
provide a shelter of sorts against the sun and rain or storm. 

Rough plank stands were built at the sides where food was 
placed; rough plank tables and benches were built and placed 
nearby for the convenience of guests when eating and sitting time 
came along, which was often. Nearby stood a barrel of lemonade 
with a tin dipper hooked over the rim, so everyone could help 


Later a regular dance hall was erected, with a 100 x 150 foot 
floor, big enough for 5 sets of quadrilles, and a chuck wagon was 
pulling up alongside to be used in food preparation. This was no 
real advantage though, for no food is better cooked or better 
tasting than that cooked in the big dutch ovens or over barbecue 
pits or open campfires. 

For the Webb celebration two big beeves were barbecued which 
meant that two cowboys must stay up all the night of the 3rd of 
July to properly baste and turn the meat while it slowly cooked 
to a delicious, juicy tenderness. 

Besides the beef there were tubs and tubs full of mountain 
trout to be fried in the dutch ovens. A person seeing Jim 
Morgareidge and Horace Petit (who worked for Hesse outfit) 
coming in horseback the day before with 2 big seamless flour 
sacks plum bulging full of fish hanging over either side of their 
saddle horns would surely feel that Isaac Walton must have been 
mistaken when he wrote, "Angling may be said to be so like the 
mathematics that it can never be fully learnt." Anyone could 
plainly see that these cowboys and ranch hands had "learnt a 
plenty" about catching fish. 

We might go a bit further and add that Samuel Johnson's 
quotation didn't apply much to old man Sullivan either when he 
said, "A fishing rod is a stick with a hook on one end and a fool 
on the other." 

The Sullivans lived up on the slope above the Bar C, and when 
it came to catching fish in sizeable amounts, old Sullivan was no 
fool, either. He was a big, burly Irishman, and his spouse was 
of even more ample proportions. Whenever the occasion demand- 
ed fish, Sullivan took his wife's dress and used it as a seine in 
the mountain stream by his cabin. He'd prop up the ends of the 
skirt with willow sticks and tie up the waist of the garment securely 
with string. When enough fish to suit his fancy had swum into 
the contraption, he'd grab up the ends of the dress and have a 
big bag full of fish. The cowboys used to say that the dress was 
big enough to seine a whole river full of fish. This method was 
tough on the fish and also tough on the dress, but everyone was of 
the opinion that the dress at least was cleaner afterwards than 
it was before. Rumor also had it that Mrs. Sullivan had only the 
one dress and had to remain in bed when her husband went 

Fish caught for the picnic were placed in tubs of ice cold water 
where they kept well until time to pop them into the hot dutch 
ovens where they were fried to a delicious crispness. Mr. Mc- 
Williams, Hugh Sackett, Ivan Margareidge, and Phil Fischer 
usually got the job of frying fish. The latter was an old roundup 
cook working for Lou Webb and Tom Gardner. He was roundup 
cook when the chuck wagon was just a pack outfit. The fellows 
said they always felt sorry for old Phil, for he never seemed to 

Courtesy Anita Webb Deininger 

Hugh Sackett, to the right in middle, and Mr. McWilliams cooking fish in 
dutch ovens at Hat Ranch. 

Courtesy Anita Webb Deininger 
Frying fish in dutch ovens. 


have enough clothes on to keep himself comfortably warm. He 
was always and forever hanging over the campfire rubbing his 
hands. He was pretty crazy about fish, too. Even when all alone 
he'd cook a whole dutch oven full, because as he said, "When 
I eat fish, I eat fish," and he did, heads, fins, tails and all. 

Phil always dug the little pit for his dutch ovens close to the 
gooseberry bushes, for that was where he cached his jug. When 
none of the ladies or children were around, he'd reach into the 
bushes and hastily take a nip, "just to keep my alarm clock 
working good," he'd say. Folks, especially newcomers, always 
liked to stand around and watch Phil reach into the hot fat and 
turn the fish with his fingers. This he did so expertly and so 
quickly, it was almost unbelievable; furthermore he never, not 
even once, turned up with blistered fingers. This, he said, was 
because his alarm clock was in perfect working order. 

In addition to the beef and fish, Mrs. Webb herself prepared 
huge bowls of rich, brown gravy and large pans and kettles of all 
kinds of good vegetables. These, along with the fresh rolls, light 
bread, homemade butter and jam and preserves, and cakes and 
pies, brought along by neighbors made a feast fit for a king and 
in amounts to feed his whole kingdom, too. The delicious aroma 
of Arbuckle coffee brewing over campfires along with the other 
many good food and burning wood smells made these affairs 
ones never to be forgotten for pure, unadulterated pleasure. This 
surely brings to mind the words in Ecclesiastes chapter 8 verse 1 5 
where the Lord says, "Then I commended mirth, because a man 
hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and 
to be merry. ..." 

In later years when folks got to having milk cows and cream 
and built ice houses to put up ice, many a good cowboy was 
assigned to the dreary task of turning the crank of the big 10 
gallon ice cream freezers full of homemade ice cream. It took 
gallons and gallons of this to satisfy the crowd; but then, everybody 
figured any extra effort expended was well worth the satisfaction 
of eating one's fill of rich homemade ice cream at a 4th of July 
picnic. 1 

Even though everybody was merry and having a very good 
time, early day dances were actually well-conducted, orderly 
affairs, for it was the order of the day to take special pride in 
dancing well. Straight backs and picked up feet were in style, 
the latter probably due to the roughness of the floors, for most 
were of only partially smoothed lumber and the only floor wax 

1. Many times these same good, hard-working housewives would take 
freezers of ice cream to the roundup camps (when they happened to be close 
enough) and cakes to go with them. It made the "fellows forget they was 
drinkin' that muddy, warm old Powder River water." 


was shaved up candles or corn meal, neither of which was too 
satisfactory for sliding the feet along. 

If a man did feel inclined to do any fighting, he either went 
outside or else saved his anger until a more propititious moment 
when he'd had more time to think it over and get madder. The 
kind of fellow who'd pick a quarrel at a dance was usually the 
broody, sullen sort who liked to feel outraged and liked to take 
plenty of time to build up a good case against himself; he often 
got more satisfaction from planning on beating up a fellow than 
on actually doing it. 

If once in awhile some cowboy, whose inebriety perhaps gave 
him a silly, perverted sense of humor, rode his horse into the dance 
hall, it only added to the merriment; no one stopped dancing when 
this occurred and nobody usually paid any attention to the rider. 
Nothing, that is hardly anything, ever stopped a bunch of country 
people when they got warmed up to dancing. At such times the 
horse always conducted himself well and made his way in and out 
among the milling crowd until he found an opening at the farther 
end of the hall and jumped off the platform. A cowboy, even 
when drunk, usually handled his horse well, or maybe the horse 
handled him. Who knows? 

Cowboys were funny people with funny habits. They always 
took a jug of whiskey to the dances. En route, riding the long 
distances, they'd pull the cork out of the jug and throw it away, 
for no better reason than it saved the time of putting it in and 
out. A fellow would ride along with the jug balanced on his hip 
with his thumb over the hole to keep the contents from slopping 
out. Sometimes while they were riding along and passing the 
jug back and forth, a horse would suddenly go on a rampage and 
cut loose with a fit of bucking. At such times it didn't matter 
what happened to anybody or anything, it was "Save the jug, 
for God's sake!" The rider might end up in a bunch of sagebrush 
or a pile of rocks, but he always lit with the jug held high with his 
thumb over the top. Long years of practice no doubt made this 
easy of accomplishment. 

Then upon arriving at the dance, the jug had to be cached, 
for the right of ownership was seldom respected in regard to a 
bottle of spirits. All the little bends and crooks for a mile along 
the creek bank had its cases of beer and gallon jugs of whiskey 
(as well as watermelons and cantaloupes keeping cool). 

Once a couple of suspicious natured newcomers in the country 
thought they'd better look around thoroughly and find a real, 
tricky hiding place for their spirits, for trips to town were far apart. 
A jug had to last a long time, and a fellow couldn't take chances 
of losing it. Spying a good sized foot log over the irrigation ditch 
down fairly close to the ranch buildings, they fastened the jug 
to the end of a rope suspended from the foot log by the edge of 
the ditch where they thought the log itself would hide it if the 


weeds and bushes hanging over the bank didn't. But, when later 
that evening they made their stealthy way to the carefully selected 
hiding place, the rope and jug had both completely disappeared. 
Search as they might, no sign of either could they find. The next 
day the mystery seemed solved, but it was too late to do anything 
about it. An old trapper camped up on the slope, who no longer 
did much of anything but mooch off the valley because as he said 
he was "plumb blind any more," turned up next day "drunker'n 
a waltzin' skunk." Nobody associated much with the old coot, and 
everybody knew he hadn't any money for liquor, so "how come 
he turned up at mealtime lit to the gills, exceptin' he'd taken 
that missin' jug?" 

A cowboy might miscalculate a little on a hiding place for his 
flagon, but there wasn't much else an old time cowboy did wrong. 
Like the time at the Webb dance when a certain lady in the course 
of the night's festivities went back to the tent to check on the 
children sleeping there (as women do the world over) and lifting 
up the quilt from around the sleeping child found a huge, old 
rattlesnake coiled up alongside her youngest. It was quite evident 
that he resented this sudden disturbance, for he lifted his repulsive 
little head and rattled his displeasure. Completely unnerved at 
such a sight, the woman ran for a man, and the first one she found 
came running with a saddle blanket he had snatched from the 
ground on the way. Before you could say "Jack Robinson," 
he'd thrown the blanket so expertly over the snake that the child 
was not even awakened. The next minute the snake was a thing 
of the past with his head well stomped and crushed. Someone 
was out a saddle blanket, but under the circumstances that was a 
very minor matter. 

Everybody came to the Webb dances, even the traveling men. 
The vast and varied array of food was a powerful drawing card. 
Grocery salesmen in those days traveled around with team and 
buggy and visited the various ranches with samples of their wares. 
Among other things there'd be wooden boxes of salted fish, 
Arbuckle coffee, and barrels of pickles, these in way of samples 
of his products. The ranchers would give him a year's grocery 
order, and then in the fall before the snows hit they'd take wagon 
and 4 horse teams and go to the nearest railroad and haul the 
supply home (having been shipped from Omaha or Denver). 

The Heinz pickle man used to make it a point to be there, and 
he joined so wholeheartedly in the spirit of the occasion that 
before he knew it he'd passed out his year's supply of pickle 
samples. (They surely tasted good with beer.) 

This situation, of being completely "pickleless", would prove 
somewhat embarrassing later, as his customers all along the line 
got to counting on getting a "pickle sample," but, at the moment, 
it seemed not too important, for it was such jolly good fun being 
a part of this wonderful 4th of July celebration. 


Sometimes beer and whiskey cached in the creek were forgotten 
about or just left there after the dance, and for days after the 
doings the Hat cowboys spent every spare moment riding horse- 
back up and down the middle of the creek searching for the 
spirits. Often the search proved worthwhile and provided many 
a future nip on some long, hard ride when the weather was rough 
and the miles long and dreary. 

As can be imagined, providing "privy" accommodations equal 
to all demands at such a gathering was a little difficult, and often 
very funny things happened. One instance is recalled about Ed 
Gable, a cowboy whose clowning and drollery were well-known 
all over the country. Just seeing Ed made you want to laugh, 
as he was so full of good natured pranks people just got to 
expecting extra entertainment when Gable was around. Ed had a 
long, narrow head, wore only a 6Vi hat. One time he said of 
himself, "I haven't got a head, just a long neck haired over on top." 
He was a tall, thin, short-waisted fellow with unusually long 
arms and legs and quite small feet for a man. When he walked, 
his elbows bent, letting his long forearms flap back and forth. 
He walked stiff-legged with little short steps and always picked 
his feet up higher than normal with each step, so it seemed that 
the only snappy things about Ed were his forearms and feet. 

Back in the bushes a "privy" had been put up, consisting of a 
shallow hole over which a narrow seat of rough plank was placed 
(no holes as in the more up to date outhouses). Four posts were 
placed at each corner and to them an old cowhide had been 
nailed around three sides, leaving the front open. The women 
usually visited the place in groups, several standing in front of 
the entrance to conceal the ones inside from the view of possible 

For the most part, during the day time at least, the male popu- 
lation took to the bushes farther up the creek, this to avoid any 
congestion or embarrassment. However, upon one particular day, 
two ladies finding the "privy" very much occupied, chose to go 
elsewhere. But it seemed that Ed Gable had already arrived at 
the place they had decided upon and, when they turned the bend, 
there was Ed who hollered out with a merry laugh, "Excuse me, 
ladies, but if anyone is going to run it'll have to be you girls, 
because as you can see, I'm hobbled." 

Another story is told about Ed getting stuck in the mud on the 
main street of Buffalo. It seems the sheriff came along and seeing 
a rather small cowboy hat sticking up in the middle of a mud 
puddle waded out to investigate. Upon lifting the hat, there was 
Ed Gable's head sticking up out of the slush. "Be calm, Ed, be 
calm, man, I'll go get help!" yelled the sheriff. "Never mind, 
sheriff," replied Ed, "I'm a horseback and I'll get out okay, just 
give me back my hat sir." 

It got so the Webb dances turned into more than a dance — got 


to be regular celebrations with exhibition bucking horse riding 
and everything to amuse the crowds. Fred Hesse was a popular 
young fellow who'd ride the wildest horses they'd drag out. Fred 
said his Dad taught him to really ride. All he got in the way of 
gear was the bellyband out of a harness when he was a kid 
learning to ride, and he rode bareback right at first. 

Dick Wilson was another popular rider. He was a bronc- 
stomper, horsebreaker and contest rider who worked for the Hat 
outfit several summers. Whiskey Dick he was called, because he 
was the "whisky-est" man that ever sat a horse, a powerful bronc- 
rider and an awful drinker." Dick was a chunky compactly built 
fellow with a real red complexion, not the long, lithe, willowy type 
you'd expect a champion bronc-rider to be. Everybody had a 
lot of respect for Dick because he was the first cowboy they knew 
who'd made big time in Cheyenne and at professional rodeos. 
As one old-timer said, "He took his horses and his women as they 
came and never asked no favors of anyone." He'd always be so 
drunk they'd have to put him on a horse; but after he was in the 
saddle how he could ride! "Only fella I ever saw who could ride 
drunk." Another unusual thing about him was the way he left 
a horse- — he'd just throw his leg over the cantle and slide off so 
easylike and graceful and light on his feet with "nary a bobble," 
as if he were the soberest man on earth. Not many riders could 
be counted on to do that every time and so smoothly and steadily. 

But Whiskey Dick had a little bad luck later on and came to 
an untimely end. Once when he had a bad cold he reached up 
on the shelf above his bunk to get some cold tablets he'd put up 
there, but in his fumbling around in the dark got a bottle of 
strychnine capsules instead, which, of course, put a complete end 
to his cold and him, too. 

Mr. Jim Dahlman, the famous "Cowboy Mayor" of Omaha, 
Nebraska, used to attend the Webb dances. He enjoyed the 
hospitality so much, in fact, that in a burst of enthusiasm he 
invited the Powder River cowboys to be guests of the city of 
Omaha when they shipped the cattle that fall. He said that he 
wanted the Mayoworth people to know that his town could extend 
courtesies and show outsiders a good time, too. He said he'd 
give them the key to the city. And the boys took him at his word 
and had one big hilarious time that fall at the Mayor's expense 
(and dismay, no doubt). The cowboy's idea of a good time took 
rather an odd turn when they held-up the street car conductor 
and tied him up, hand and foot, and having a try at operating the 
conveyance ended up with it and themselves off the track. But 
even the conductor seemed to get a kick out of these silly prank- 
sters, and the people of Omaha in general were as good and 
friendly as the Mayor had promised. In fact, it would appear 
that they secretly enjoyed the whole affair, it being a break of 
gay difference in the routine of everyday, and often monotonous, 


living. Their absurd behavior was overlooked and this little inter- 
val of western hilarity was most stimulating. Ever after the 
Johnson County cowboys considered the Mayor of Omaha to be 
a regular fellow and as good as his word, for he put up not the 
slightest protest nor showed the least disapproval, even of the 
erstwhile destructive side of his guests' behavior. 

In the early 1900's when the Buffaloites began to attend these 
4th of July celebrations it was not uncommon to see Model T 
Fords parked around here and there among the buggies. Chron- 
icling one such event I quote from 1907 Buffalo Bulletin: 

"The Fourth of July celebration and barbecue on Powder River 
was a great success, the whole country being present, with many 
delegations traveling a great distance. An ox was roasted whole, 
as well as sheep and trout and commencing at about two o'clock 
in the afternoon the programme for the day began, Col. Mercer 

"It included music by a local choir and speeches by Mayor 
Dahlman of Omaha and Hayden M. White of this city. In the 
evening a dance took place which lasted through the wee small 
hours and until daylight had long since come in at the windows. 

"A great many people went down from here and some did not 
get back until the first of this week, five or six days later." 

The fireworks display held just after dark on the big hill to the 
east came as a part of the celebration about the same time the 
cars made their appearance there, although there was no connec- 
tion between the two. While this big hill was ideal for the 
extravagant fireworks exhibition, whose equal has seldom been 
seen anyplace, it was decidedly impedimental to Fords, being very 
steep and quite rocky. It was a matter of considerable embarrass- 
ment to the proud owners to find themselves stalled on the hill. 
Someone would quickly jump out and place rocks under the hind 
wheels so that the vehicle wouldn't roll back down the hill before 
a cowboy came a galloping with his rope to pull them safely to 
the top. This really pleased the cowboys, for they were secretly 
contemptuous of these swanky contraptions. 

As the festivities came to an end and people were reluctantly 
preparing to go home, the Hat cowboys had a busy few hours 
rounding up all the horses, which upon arrival had been unhitched 
and unharnessed or unsaddled and turned loose to feed at will 
wherever they chose. There were ten miles of country between 
the two mountains for grazing, and there was nothing to prevent 
their going up the slope and on over the mountain if they'd a mind 
to. It was quite a sight watching the big bunch run into the rope 
corral and each man singling out his own and hitching up and 
heading home. 

Again I quote from an early undated, Bulletin clipping, which 
account is a most fitting tribute to the man Lou Webb. 

"Above Mayoworth at the mouth of Powder River lies the Hat 


Ranch, established by Lou Webb in an early day. . . . We cannot 
refrain from mentioning the work Lou Webb accomplished for 
Johnson County. He, with his old friend, Tom Gardner, now 
deceased, were known far and wide for their great hospitality 
and the memory of this spirit of theirs will drift through the history 
of Johnson County in years to come. 

"Always ready to assist the poor, the needy, those who mourned 
and those who needed counsel from out his great heart, he was 
also always ready to assist in all the civic endeavors for Johnson 

"For years the Webb family held an annual barbecue in the 
days when the country was new. . . . The old tables where they all 
ate so happily together, neighbor with neighbor, with the benches 
alongside, are fallen into decay and only a few have weathered 
the years of sun and rain, but on these old boards fast falling away 
can still be traced the initials and names carved of the visitors 
about this hospitable board. Many of them were carved by hands 
long still, but they live yet as living monuments of community 
spirit, of community generosity, of sincere neighborliness, which 
Lou Webb disseminated about the dominion of his ranch home. 

"In the gorgeous riot of many colors, with the bright Wyoming 
sun shining down in glory on these old monuments of a day that's 
gone, in the great silences of the deep canyons, Lou Webb builded, 
but while he builded he never forgot his fellowmen. The tales of 
his hospitable heart will live and be told from one generation to 
another when Johnson County is being told in fact and story about 
the firesides to come." 

And one cannot reminisce about the old time dances without 
also remembering another man who, not only endeared himself to 
the hearts of all who knew him, but gained country-wide distinction 
as the "fiddler of his day," and that was Edgar H. Simmons of the 
south fork of Crazy Woman Creek, whose faithful dedication to 
his profession made it possible for all to dance to the best of tunes. 
No distance was too great and no weather too severe for Mr. 
Simmons to arrive as scheduled. 

(To be continued) 



Emigrant Zrail Zrek flo. 10 * 


Sponsored by 


under the direction of Clark Bishop, Albert Sims, and 
Lyle Hildebrand 

Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, Trek Historian 

July 3-5, 1959* 

Caravan - 20 cars 50 participants 


Captain W. R. Bradley 

Assistants Albert Sims, Clark Bishop 

Guides Lyle Hildebrand, Bruce McKinstry 

Wagon Boss Charles Ritter 

Historian Maurine Carley 

Topographer H. M. Townsend 

Photographer Pierre (Pete) LaBonte 

Chaplain Col. A. R. Boyack 

Press.... ... Pat Flannery 

Registrar Jeneva Hildebrand 

Cooks Elizabeth Hildebrand, Al LaBonte 

NOTE: Numbers preceding "M" indicate distances on the old 
north side Emigrant Road west of the eastern boundary 
of Wyoming. 

Sunday— July 5, 1959 

7:00 A. M. The campers at old Fort Fetterman were joined 
by the trekkers, who spent the night in Douglas, promptly at seven 

* EDITOR'S NOTE: Oregon Trail Trek No. 10 lasted three days, July 
3-5, 1959, and followed the north side of the Platte River. The April 1960 
Annals of Wyoming, Volume 32, Number 1, pages 102 to 123, detailed the 
events of July 3 and 4. Treks Numbers 2, 3, and 4, Annals of Wyoming, 
Volume 29, Numbers 1 and 2, (1957) and Volume 30, Number 1, (1958) 
were on the south side of the Platte River. 


a.m. for pancakes, eggs, and coffee served by the cooks, Al La- 
Bonte, Elizabeth Hildebrand, and their assistants. While the 
dishes were being done, the others listened to — 

The Early History Of Fort Fetterman By Charles Ritter. 

Here on La Prele Creek in July 1867 was built the Fort which 
was later to be known as Fort Fetterman, in honor of Brevet 
Lieutenant Colonel Fetterman who lost his life and the lives of his 
command in the massacre near Fort Phil Kearny on December 21, 

Fetterman had a brilliant war record, but he held the Indians 
in contempt, stating publicly that the only reason they had not 
been subdued was that they had had no opposition. He said 
that given eighty good men, he could ride through the entire Sioux 
nation and put them to flight. Fetterman's trouble was that he 
had never fought Indians before. He was constantly pestering 
the commander of Phil Kearny to allow him to take a detail into 
the field to show the Sioux just who was boss. He found out. 

Fort Fetterman was unimportant until all the other forts on the 
Bozeman Trail had been abandoned. It then became the chief 
outfitting post for many of the campaigns against the Indians. As 
the last outpost on the Indian border, it was enlarged and equipped 
as a supply base and the expeditions of the seventies set out from 
there. At one time this Fort had accommodations for three com- 
panies of infantry, four companies of cavalry and one hundred 
citizen employees. Its permanent garrison was little more than a 
warehouse crew. 

The reservation on which Fort Fetterman stood was about ten 
miles long east and west by five miles north and south. In con- 
junction there were large reservations for hay and one for wood. 
All logs for the Fort were cut by enlisted men and the two saw- 
mills on the Post converted them into lumber. 

At first the buildings were most primitive. The sick were 
treated in tents until late in 1867, when adobe stone houses, 
stores, officers' and laundry quarters, and company quarters were 
completed. The hospital was hastily thrown together from logs 
remaining from the old hospital of an abandoned post, Fort 
Casper. The Army was very reluctant to spend any money for 
improvements on these western forts, always advising each com- 
mander that his post was about to be abolished. 

During the month of November 1867, one hundred cases of 
disease and wounds and two deaths out of a command of 374 
officers and men occurred. These figures are mentioned, because 
apparently the Commandant at the Fort had some trouble procur- 
ing, through proper channels, permission to build a hospital. The 
Army insisted that the command was one of the healthiest in 
the west. 


Although the hospital was lighted by three windows of one 
sash each, daylight was visible through every crevice between log 
and shingle. The floor was the hard packed earth. All inmates 
suffered extremely both from the heat in summer and the cold 
in winter. 

The barracks and officers' quarters were on the sides of a 
rectangular parade ground with a high plank fence enclosing the 
whole. The hospital, laundry rooms, and storehouses were out- 
side the enclosure. The barracks were adobe, 100 x 25 feet and 
14 feet high, lighted and ventilated by ten windows and two 
doors, and heated by wood burning stoves. A kitchen, dining 
room and a small washroom were connected with each barrack. 
The officers' quarters, made of logs, consisted of three rooms on 
the first floor with a kitchen. The second floor apartments were 
two rooms each. 

The unmarried officers lived in a large adobe building, 60 x 36 
feet and 12 feet high, divided into six rooms. Lieutenants' quar- 
ters were in a plastered adobe building 36 x 44 x 10 feet with 
three rooms to a set. A bank of buildings 116 x 30 feet, plank 
and adobe, contained one set of majors' and two sets of captains' 
quarters. All the quarters were well furnished. The commissary 
storehouse was 100 x 136 x 16 feet made of planks lined with 
adobe. The root cellar was underneath. The quartermaster store 
house was 125 x 36 feet with two stories. The post bakery had 
its oven made from an iron arch surrounded and based with 
adobe and sandstone. 

The stables for privately owned horses were small buildings 
located in the yard of the officers' quarters. There were sheds 
around the inside of the corral for shelter for the other animals. 

All water used on the Post came from the Platte River and was 
not only alkaline, but very impure. Drainage was natural and 
good, and all debris was buried. Generally the sanitary conditions 
of the Post were good. 

The vegetable garden was four acres in extent. All military 
forts during the Indian campaigns raised their own fresh vege- 
tables, but the hospital did not have a garden. There were plenty 
of fresh eggs and milk as each family had cows, chickens and pigs. 
All canned goods had to be freighted from Camp Carlin 130 
iles to the south. 

Fort Laramie was reached by wagon trains which were often 
delayed by Indians and snow. The mails were sent and received 
once a week, the escort from Fort Fetterman meeting the Laramie 
party and exchanging mail bags. From January to June mails 
were received only twice a month. There were no inhabitants 
in the immediate vicinity of the Fort] 

The general duties of the garrison were guard duty, escort duty 
for the mails, cutting and hauling logs, making adobe bricks, 
ferrying Indians across the Platte, and military drill. The amuse- 


ments of the soldiers consisted of ball playing, hunting and gym- 
nastic exercises. A drama society also was organized. 

The mean strength of Fetterman in 1868 was 295 men and in 
1869 it was 214 men. 

Southeast of the fort was the cemetery. The bodies of soldiers 
buried there have been removed to the National Cemetery in 
Washington, D.C. and to Fort McPherson in Nebraska. The 
civilians buried there were allowed to remain in peace. Beyond 
the south side of the cemetery was the burial place of three Indians. 

The morale of the fort was very bad, as the men and officers 
considered they had been assigned to oblivion. The heat of the 
summer and the constant wind and dust made the whole area a 
hell hole, while the terrific cold of winter was like that of Spitz- 
bergen. The clothing assigned to the men was too hot in the 
summer, and in the winter offered no protection against the intense 
cold. It was only after the command saw fit to allow the per- 
sonnel to experiment with clothing that the men could endure 
much outside activity. Buffalo robes were made into overcoats, 
mittens and overshoes. Blankets were made into underwear. All 
in all the soldier at Fort Fetterman was the most unsoldierly in 
appearance in the entire American Army. 

Because of the poor morale of the men stationed here, the Hog 
Ranch across the river was able to flourish, as did a saloon, a 
bawdy house of boisterous nature, a hotel of sorts, and a place 
to eat. The saloon had the usual and inevitable card games going 
round the clock. The girls were probably the most disreputable 
bundles of human flesh that could be found in the larger cities 
of the east. Calamity Jane held sway here for a short time when 
the Army was fighting the Indians. General Crook, who outfitted 
at Fetterman for his campaign against the Sioux and his eventual 
defeat in the Battle of the Rosebud, found her, dressed in men's 
clothing, driving one of his teams. At Fort Reno she was dis- 
covered, arrested, placed under guard, and returned to Fort Fetter- 
man. Jane was only one of six female freighters with Crook. 
What happened to the rest, we do not know. 

Hardly a month went by without one or two soldiers deserting. 
In 1873 during March, April and May there were ten cases of 
desertion. Details were sent out to try to return the deserters, 
but only once was there mention of the success of the mission. 

On August 3, 1873, the Day Book mentioned that a private had 
shot off a portion of the right forefinger, it being the fourth such 
incident that year. Shooting off a part of the trigger finger was a 
means of getting a medical discharge from the Army. 

In the fall of 1873, the Indians began to be bothersome around 
Fort Fetterman and they increased the pressure by winter. The 
following quotation is from an entry in the Day Book. "Tuesday, 
February 10, 1874: Lts. Drew and Allen with Co. C, 3d Cavalry, 
left Post at 4 P.M. to scout for and kill all Indians found on south 


side of No. Platte as far as Cottonwood. Co-operating with 
Captain Egan, 2d Cav. from Ft. Laramie on account of killing of 
Lt. Robinson, 14 Inf., and Crpl. Coleman two miles from mills 
at Laramie Peak, and on account of other hostile movements. 
One party of Indians, Arapahoe Indians turn N.W. toward Powder 
River, about 30 in number." (sic.) 

Up to this time the only armament at Fetterman consisted of 
the rifles and sidearms of the men, but when the Indian pressure 
began to mount, a cannon was brought to the Fort. 

An interesting item in the Day Book of 1874 is worth mention- 
ing at this time. "February 14, Sat. Runnen, Indian from Red 
Cloud Agency came in claiming that Cheyennes and Arapahoes 
had acted blamelessly in recent difficulties at agency and claim 
that Minneconjous were the belligerents and that Red Cloud's 
son had been killed in endeavoring to stay the outbreak." (sic.) 

In 1882 Fort Fetterman was abandoned by the Government to 
become another outfitting station for the west. Of the twenty 
buildings standing, only two of them were stores. 

The largest stock round-up of the Platte River valley took 
place in 1883 with Fort Fetterman a gathering place for about 
150 cowboys. One of the cowboys began drinking in the saloon, 
and with each drink became more belligerent. The cowboy's 
name was Red Capps, and it became his obsession that Dick 
Elgin, the bookkeeper for the Searight Ranch, in some way or 
other owed him some money. In trying to collect the supposed 
debt, Capps killed Elgin and immediately made for the Hog 
Ranch, killing a gambler by the name of Reagon on the way. 
Capps was soon captured and put in the old Fort Fetterman 
guardhouse with a guard posted to see that nothing would happen 
to him. The guard was overpowered, the cell broken into and 
Capps hanged from one of the over-hanging beams of the guard- 
house after having been in jail only 2 hours. The Justice of the 
Peace, John O'Brien, called court for an inquest after the hanging. 
His verdict was "death at the hands of parties unknown." After 
court all the cowboys present gave Capps a wonderful funeral 
and burial was in the old Fort cemetery. 

One of the famous or infamous characters hanging around Fort 
Fetterman after the Army abandoned it was Alfred Packer, the 
Colorado man-eater. He was captured in a cabin belonging to 
Crazy Horse on Wagon Hound Creek, returned to Colorado to 
stand trial for murder, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. 

In 1886 the Wyoming Central Railroad, now the Chicago and 
Northwestern, coming in from the Lusk country, approached the 
Fetterman reservation and had to stop because there was no right 
of trespass granted by the government. Frank S. Lusk located 
Douglas at the terminal of the railroad. It was at that time that 
Merris C. Barrow first printed his Bill Barlow Budget and his 
Sagebrush Philosophy on "prickly pear papyrus." The Sagebrush 


Philosophy gained national fame and was moved to Douglas six 
months before the railroad reached there. 

With the coming of the railroad and the founding of Douglas, 
Fort Fetterman slowly sank into oblivion. 

Today only one old building stands at the Fort — that of a "log 
officer's 11 quarters. The cemetery is in a run down condition, 
only one grave still identifiable, that of a civilian who was killed 
during a quarrel. The house and grounds have been used as a 
sheep camp for several years. 

8:40 A.M. Left Fort Fetterman camp, drove north to the old 
trail (12(Hi M.), then west on and off the old trail to pick it 
up again at Orpha (121 M.), and on to Sage Creek (124V4 M.). 
To our disappointment we could not see the trail which is still 
100 feet wide and five or six feet deep beyond Sage Creek, 
because of fences and ditches. We drove through Glenrock, past 
the old Deer Creek Pony Express and Stage Station, on north to 
cross the river, then westerly to the old Engelking ranch. A fine 
spring was near the house, part of which was a trapper's cabin 
probably dating back to the 1840's. We ate our lunch in a large 
cottonwood grove where an old ferry site was pointed out. 

Mr. Paul Henderson Told Of The River Crossings On The 
North Platte. 

To attempt a complete history of the numerous crossing places 
used by the fur traders, covered wagon pioneers, stage coaches, 
pony express, and overland freighters would entail a paper far 
too lengthy at this time. Therefore, a brief summary of the most 
outstanding places will be mentioned in the order of their locations 
as the early travelers came to them in their travels westward. 

Approximately a half mile above the mouth of Deer Creek 
seems to have been a very prominent river crossing. But first a 
word about Deer Creek itself. It may be said with certainty that 
the first white men to see the stream were the Astorians under the 
leadership of Robert Stuart. They crossed the creek on Tuesday, 
November 15, 1812. Others soon followed as the Astorians had 
discovered a new route through and beyond the Rocky Mountains. 
The first wagons to cross the stream were those of the Smith, 
Jackson & Sublette train that passed in 1830. Bonneville and 
others came along later. Captain Fremont was here on July 26, 
1842. He mentioned the stream by the name of Deer Creek, so 
it had received this name prior to his visit. 

A crossing above the mouth of the creek was first an old Indian 
ford which had probably been used for centuries. Let us glance 
at the diaries that mention crossing the North Platte River near the 
mouth of Deer Creek. Among them during the year 1849 were 
those of Captain Stansbury, E. B. Farnum, W. W. Chapman, and 
Kimball Webster. Farnum says on June 13, 1849, "Our and the 


Hebron company bought a ferry boat to ferry our wagons across 
. . . our ferry was four dugouts lashed togather (sic)." Chapman 
was here and crossed the Platte June 2 1 st. Stansbury also crossed 
the Platte here and gives the distance between the crossing of 
Deer Creek and the Platte river as .76 of a mile. 

Here is a surprise for most of us, as on July 22, 1851, John S. 
Zeiber wrote, "Camped one half mile above a bridge over the 
Platte. This one mile above Deer Creek as mentioned in the Mor- 
mon Guide." On Wednesday, June 2, 1852, James Frear, enroute 
to California says, "Crossed Deer Creek 2 rods wide, 2 feet deep. 
At this place a rude bridge is constructed across the Platte, but 
the river is now high, and rising last night, the bridge settled so 
much it was thought not safe." He continued on up the south 
side of the river. Rev. John McAllister, traveling the trail that 
we are now traveling, quotes in his diary on July 13, 1852, "Just 
below this (a steep ascent) is where a ferry once was, and a little 
above the remains of the W. S. bridge . . ." Why he mentioned 
it as the W. S. bridge is not clear. 

From here on up the river for some distance many of the early 
travelers mention crossing the river either by fording or rafting 
at various places. 

Another important point of crossing was the bridge built by 
John Reshaw, better known as Richards. He built it of logs 
during the years of 1854-5. To us its location was just a little 
east of the old W. T. Evans ranch. According to the engineers of 
the Fort Kearny, South Pass and Honey Lake Wagon Road 
Expedition of 1857, it was 5.37 miles east of the Fort Casper site. 
Reshaw chose a site near quite a prominent fording and ferrying 
place, and many used it until about 1867. One of his daughters, 
Mrs. Batesse Pourrier, came to Casper in 1918 and pointed out 
the site of the bridge and of his trading post and dwellings on the 
south side of the river to Mr. Mokler. She said that the Indians 
burned his bridge in 1867 before they moved to the Red Cloud 
Agency, and that Reshaw met his death by being shot at the Nio- 
brara River crossing on the Fort Laramie-Red Cloud Agency road. 

The next crossing above Reshaw' s was probably the oldest 
regular crossing. At any rate it is said that it was here where 
Brigham Young in 1 847 set up a Mormon Ferry near Fort Casper 
and where Guinard in 1857 constructed his bridge, later known 
as the Platte Bridge, at a cost of $60,000. The general belief is 
that this was the place where the earliest fur traders crossed the 
river prior to the coming of the Oregon emigrants, the Mormon 
Ferry and the Bridge. 

The uppermost crossing of the Platte was near Red Buttes as 
the earliest diaries show. John Ball on June 18, 1832, says, "We 
crossed the Platte where it comes in from the south . . ." William 
Anderson, enroute to the rendezvous, wrote in his diary on June 4, 


1834, "We are still short of the Red Buttes, the usual crossing 
place where the Platte is left for the Sweetwater." June 5, 1834, 
he continues, "We have breakfasted in front of the long wished 
for buttes. We passed by the hiding place of Gordon and Brown 
who stayed here 20 days watching for white men . . ." This inci- 
dent happened in 1831 according to their report contained in the 
Congressional Records. 

These two diaries seem to point out the earliest crossing places. 
Some of the others favor the Fort Casper site. It is the opinion 
of the author that this Red Butte crossing was in the vicinity of 
the old Goose Egg Ranch and that it and the Fort Casper site 
shared about equally in antiquity. 

Having traveled the difficult, rough, dry North trail for two 
days, the 1959 trekkers asked why it was used 100 years ago 
when the South road was much more popular. 

Bruce McKinstry Explained The North Road By Reading From 
His Grandfather's Diary Of 1850 

Byron McKinstry Diary 

"JUNE 29 Saturday. Got to the Upper Platte Ferry in 6 miles 
about 10 A.M. They have 4 boats here in operation and cross 
people very fast. The ferry is owned by David Hickman of Boon 
Co. Mo. I am told that the officers at Fort Laramie have an 
interest in it, but I know nothing of the truth of this. Ferriage $5 
per wagon and swim your cattle. I make out that it is 115 miles 
from Laramie to the Upper Platte Ferry. The Mormon guide 
calls the distance on the South side 126 miles. I find that we have 
gained about two days on most of those that took the south side, 
had as good a road, better grass, and kept clear of the sickness 
of which there is a great deal on the S. side, besides the expence 
and trouble of crossing the river twice. We here leave the Platte 
forever and strike into the hills. We rise gradually, the road as 
hard as a rock. The ground was literally covered with the large 
cricket and the wind blew the dust in our faces so that we could 
not see, and in some places we had to leave the road in order to 
breath. Not a spear of grass to be seen — all sage and grease 
wood, (sic)" 

12:45 P.M. After lunch the caravan proceeded back to Glen- 
rock, travelled west on Highway 26 to a county road about one 
mile east of Evansville, crossed the railroad and the Platte, and 
entered the old trail on a saddle (161Vi M.). This proved an 
ideal spot to hunt for rocks. 

2:45 P.M. Proceeded westerly on the old trail to I66V2 M. 
where we took a county road back to Highway 26, through Casper, 
then to the site of the burning of the Custard Wagon Train on 
July 26, 1865. 


Sergeant Custard's Wagon Train Fight By J. W. Vaughn. 

During the Civil War men and supplies were diverted to the 
embattled armies in the east, leaving but skeleton forces with 
scant supplies to guard the western frontier. In July 1864, the 
northern Indian tribes of Teton Sioux were defeated and driven 
further westward by the large expedition of General Sully at the 
Battle of Killdeer Mountain, while in November of that year a 
peaceful village of Southern Cheyenne under Black Kettle was 
attacked at Sand Creek in eastern Colorado, and many warriors, 
squaws and children were killed. The Southern Cheyenne and 
Arapahoes moved northward and in the spring of 1865 joined 
with the Northern Sioux and Cheyenne in a war against the white 

To meet this threat, ten companies of the 1 1 th Kansas Cavalry 
were brought out to reinforce the few companies of the 1 1 th Ohio 
Cavalry and Third U. S. Volunteers who were holding the Oregon 
Trail from Fort Laramie to South Pass. As the Civil War was 
now over, wagon trains of badly needed rations and supplies were 
sent out from the depots in the east. On July 17th a supply 
train with teamsters left Horseshoe Station escorted by 16 dis- 
mounted men of Company H, 11th Kansas Cavalry, under com- 
mand of Commissary Sergeant Amos J. Custard. On arriving at 
LaPrele Station, where Company D of that regiment was stationed, 
1 1 men under Corporal James W. Shrader were added to the 
escort. The men were well provided with caps and foil cartridges 
for their .50 caliber Smith Breech-loading, single-shot carbines, 
as the other men of their companies had given them most of their 
ammunition, realizing that they were going on a perilous mission. 

On Friday, July 21st, five of these six-mule army wagons 
loaded with rations and supplies, and the tents and baggage of 
Company G, 11th Ohio Cavalry, left Platte Bridge for Sweetwater 
Station, fifty miles to the west. They accompanied 40 men of 
Company G under command of Lieutenant Henry C. Bretney, 
who were being sent to Sweetwater as reinforcements, and were 
escorted by Sergeant Custard's detachment of 24 men, three sol- 
diers of Company H having been left at Platte Bridge. On arriv- 
ing at Sweetwater Station the wagons were unloaded, and on the 
morning of July 25th the five empty wagons with teamsters and 
escort started back to Platte Bridge. From there the men expected 
to be sent back to Fort Leavenworth to be mustered out, as their 
three-year term of enlistment expired in September. Everyone 
was gay and talked about his return home. Three wagons were 
driven by the teamsters, while the soldiers sprawled under the 
scant shade of the rolled-up canvas covers in the other two wagons. 

After going 25 miles, halfway to Platte Bridge, they encamped 
for the night. As Sergeant Jake Pennock said in his Diary that 
camp was made three miles east of Willow Creek, which must 


have been in the grassy little meadow at Lower Willow Springs. 
At seven o'clock Lieutenant Bretney and Captain Lybe with their 
escorts, on their way to Fort Laramie to draw pay for their com- 
panies, came along and stopped for supper and to rest their horses. 
Lieutenant Bretney tried to persuade Custard to go on with him 
that night to Platte Bridge, as there might be Indians, but Custard 
declined, saying that his mules were too tired. Bretney left with 
his party about nine o'clock and arrived in Platte Station at two 
o'clock the next morning. No Indians had been seen by either 
party, and as the wires were down west of Platte Bridge, no news 
had been received of the little skirmish with Indians that morning. 
Private Moses Brown had left Platte Bridge with Custard's detach- 
ment, but he later returned there, possibly going on ahead with 
Bretney's party. 

The next morning, Wednesday, July 26th, Custard had his men 
and wagons on the road early, as he was scheduled to arrive at 
Platte Station at noon. About nine o'clock the little train came to 
Red Buttes where they found thirty men of the 1 1 th Ohio Cavalry 
acting as a telegraph patrol in a river bend barricaded behind their 
wagons and some breastworks. Custard's party was hailed with 
delight and invited to stay there for their mutual protection, as 
many Indians had been seen around the fort. None of them knew 
that already that morning Lieutenant Caspar Collins and five men 
had been killed and seven men wounded in an attempt to come to 
the relief of Custard's wagon train. Sergeant Custard scornfully 
refused to stay with the telegraph patrol and led his five wagons 
up the telegraph road. An hour later the little party disappeared 
from sight over a distant ridge, hurrying in a cloud of dust to 
keep its appointment with Destiny. 

Commissary Sergeant Amos J. Custard was the hard-bitten lead- 
er of the hard core of veterans of Companies D and H which 
comprised his little detachment. He was 42 years old now, and 
back in Big Springs (near Lawrence) where he had farmed, his 
ten year old son and seven year old daughter awaited his return. 
He was tired of this barren country and was anxious to get back 
to the green hills of eastern Kansas. The twenty-two soldiers 
and the three teamsters who were with him had not had any 
experience in Indian fighting, but all had received their baptism 
of fire in the vicious little battles against the rebels in Missouri 
and Arkansas. If they could whip the rebels they would have no 
trouble with a few Indians! About eleven o'clock, they passed 
over the saddle in the high ridge four miles west of Platte Station 
and for several miles followed down the road out of sight of the 
station. As they came up the last ridge a mile and a quarter 
from their goal, at about noon, the soldiers at the Fort saw the 
canvas tops of the wagons and fired the howitzer twice to warn 
them of Indians surrounding the Post. When he heard the firing, 
Custard ordered Corporal Shrader to take five men and to go 


ahead to find out why the howitzer was fired. As the little party 
rode about a quarter of a mile in advance, the wagons started 
down over the hill at a fast gait in a dash for the Station. For 
about a half mile the ground was almost level, forming a little 
plateau among the sand hills above the river. 

The Indians saw the white covers of the wagons when the 
howitzer was fired, and all started towards the wagon train. The 
attacking Indians were not seen until they appeared suddenly com- 
ing up onto the plateau. Corporal Shrader tried to turn back to 
the train, but it was too late. He was cut off by some Indians 
who had dashed up a ravine, and his only chance to escape was 
to head for the river half a mile to the south. As they splashed 
into the river, Private William West was shot off his horse, and 
his body was never found. Upon reaching the south bank they 
saw more Indians coming from the east to head them off from 
the Fort. Private Edwin Summers refused to go with the others 
and headed his horse southwest towards the foothills, closely 
pursued by several warriors. The remaining men rode along the 
south bank of the river towards the Fort, but when halfway there 
they met the Indians who shot Private James Ballau from his horse 
30 yards from the river. Two Indians were killed in this little 
skirmish, and the three men rode southeast along the bend in the 
river to a deep ravine with some brush on the banks. Here they 
abandoned their horses and started working their way down the 
ravine towards the Post. When Corporal Shrader raised his head 
to look out, he was struck on the top of the head with a bullet. 
He was only creased and regained consciousness when the other 
two men bathed his head. After looking over the situation and 
not seeing any Indians nearby, they made a run for the last gully 
near the Fort. Fifteen or twenty Indians ran out of the ravine 
they had just left at a point nearer the river and tried to head 
them off. Fifteen soldiers from the post advanced on foot and 
called to the three survivors to go down the gully where they would 
be covered by their fire. The Indians were forced to keep under 
cover; soon the three were running to the Post, where they arrived 
about four o'clock. The men who escaped were Corporal Shrader 
and Privates Byron Swain and Henry C. Smith. 

Back on the hill Sergeant Custard had driven too far to take 
position on the little mounds where he had crossed the divide, 
as the Indians were coming fast, and he had to corral his wagons 
immediately. South of the road was a slight hollow about 200 
yards across and 150 yards east of the ridge. He swung the lead 
wagon southward across the hollow and up onto the rim, while 
the next two wagons driven by the teamsters followed him but 
stopped down in the hollow sixty yards short of the lead wagon, 
which was up in an exposed position. A little corral was formed 
in the hollow. The fourth wagon was stopped near the road, there 
not being time to go farther, while the rear wagon was abandoned 


on top of the hill. The men in the rear wagons, seeing that they 
were without protection, ran over to join the others in the little 
corral. The mules were cut loose just as the first Indians got there, 
and one of them caught the bell mare, all the others following her 
away. The men quickly pulled out bedding, baggage and sacks 
of corn, and formed a little barricade under the wagons, and most 
of them fought from there. Four or five men got into one of the 
wagons and fired through holes cut in the canvas. They were not 
discovered until late in the fight. 

The Indians came whooping and yelling over the little plateau 
from the east, and many were shot off their ponies while riding 
past the wagons. After waiting for others to come up, the warriors 
charged again, but the accurate fire of the Kansas veterans drove 
them back. They then retired to the edge of the bluffs, which 
formed the east and south sides of the plateau, and along the 
crest of the hill to the west where they could fire their few anti- 
quated rifles and arrows without exposing themselves. The little 
train was completely surrounded as the engagement settled down 
to a long-distance fight. The rifles of the Indians were not very 
effective, but many of their arrows found their marks. The 
soldiers would fire whenever an Indian exposed himself, but their 
fire became slower and slower. , The warriors were quick to find 
the weak spot in the defense and concentrated beyond the rim of 
the hollow to the southwest and behind the ridge where they could 
look right down into the rear of the corral. Not daring to expose 
themselves, the Indians dug a small trench from the head of a 
gully up on the hill southwest of the corral and, using their knives 
and tomahawks, extended it towards the doomed men. They kept 
a pile of sand and rocks in front of them, behind which they dug 
and crawled closer. The soldiers could see the mounds approach- 
ing but could do nothing. Most of them had been killed and their 
ammunition was almost exhausted. When the Indians discovered 
the men shooting from inside the wagon, they fired a volley which 
killed all but one or two of them. The warriors in the trenches 
approached to within fifty yards of the men, and when there was 
not much more firing from the wagons, the red men fired a volley 
at the survivors and then rushed the corral. The few left under 
the wagons were killed and those inside were dragged out on the 
ground and filled with arrows. Several wounded men were tor- 
tured with hot iron, while all were horribly mutilated. They set 
fire to all the wagons and probably pushed the lead wagon down 
the slope, where it rolled down to the foot of the bluffs. The 
fight was over at about four o'clock after lasting four hours. The 
Indians stayed around the site, salvaging arms and equipment from 
the dead men, and then left, going northeast to their camp behind 
the big hill. 

The battle was in plain sight of the Fort, but Major Anderson in 
command of approximately 177 men did not feel justified in 


sending out a party to the relief of the embattled train. Not all 
the men had rifles, and those who had them were supplied with 
only twenty rounds of ammunition. Anderson's main purpose 
was to hold the stockade; and if he sent out a relief party, it might 
endanger the Fort, while the relief party might be surrounded and 
killed as well. The men watching the fight from the Fort could 
plainly see the white canvas covers of the wagons, but they could 
not see the wagon near the road as the view was cut off by the 
eastern edge of the plateau. The men at the Fort, hearing the 
firing from the wagons become slower and slower, were angry with 
Ma'or Anderson for not permitting them to attempt a rescue. 

That evening after the Indians had disappeared, Corporal Shra- 
der led a party out to find the men who had been killed with him. 
The only one they found that night was Private James Ballau, 
whose body was brought into the Post. Private William West 
had apparently been carried down the river as his body was never 
found. That night Captain Joel Huntoon of Company H wired 
to The Kansas Tribune from Horseshoe Station that Private James 
Ballau was killed and that all the other members of Custard's party 
were missing but believed dead. 

The Indians continued to hover about the little Post until the 
next afternoon when 50 men of Company K, 1 1th Kansas Cavalry, 
under Lieutenant Hubbard, arrived as reinforcements from Deer 
Creek Station. 

At two o'clock P. M., on Friday, July 28th, the Indians not 
appearing all day, a detachment started out to find the bodies of 
Sergeant Custard's party. A mile and a quarter west of the Fort 
on the south side of the telegraph road were found the twenty 
bodies and the remains of the burned wagons. Many Indians had 
been killed and wounded as they had cut up many telegraph poles 
and split them to construct travois with which to drag off their 
dead. The scalps of the soldiers were found abandoned on the 
ground, indicating that the warriors had sustained more losses 
than they had inflicted. 

On July 29th, three days after the battle, a strong party went 
out to bury the dead. It was a horrible sight. All the men had 
been scalped except one, and some of the bodies were burned with 
the wagons. The Indians had heated iron bolts and tortured those 
who were still alive in every possible manner. The burning 
wagons had created a huge cloud of smoke which was plainly seen 
from the Fort, and in later years it was reported that the remains 
of Sergeant Custard were consumed by the flames and that his 
body was not buried. The written accounts state that the men 
were buried in the sands of the desert on the field of valor where 
they fell. While Sergeant Pennock has stated that the bodies 
were buried in two graves, seven in one and thirteen in the other, 
other soldiers who were present claim that the burial was with 
military honors in one long grave. The body of Private Edwin 


Summers was found one half mile south of the river and was 
buried there by a party under Corporal Shrader. 

The twenty men found dead at the Custard site were the three 
unknown teamsters who may have been civilian employees of the 
Army or soldiers from the Quartermaster's Department, and 
seventeen men of Companies D and H. The ten dead of Company 
H were Commissary Sergeant Amos J. Custard and Privates Jesse 
E. Antram, William Brown, George Heil, August Hoppe, John 
Horton, William B. Long, Ferdinand Schaffer, Samuel Sproul, 
and Thomas W. Young. The seven dead of Company D were 
Teamster Martin Green and Privates William D. Gray, William 
H. Miller, Thomas Powell, Samuel Tull, Jacob Zinn and John R. 

It is probable that the fierce defense of the little wagon train 
saved Platte Station, because after the Indians had sustained such 
heavy losses, they did not make any further massed attacks, most 
of them returning to the Powder River country. Several days 
later, reinforcements arrived from the east, and the men of the 
1 1 th Kansas Cavalry marched back to Fort Leavenworth, where 
they were mustered out. They left behind twenty-six of their 
comrades who had been killed in the fierce fighting around Platte 
Station on that fatal 26th day of July. 

The burned remnants of the wagons remained for several years 
but were later removed, piece by piece, by early settlers who 
needed the iron in their blacksmith shops. With the passage of 
the years there was nothing left to mark the site, and the exact 
place became lost. In the spring of 1958, L. C. Bishop and the 
writer determined to find the location with the aid of a metal 
detector. Where five wagons were burned, there must have been 
some metal wagon parts and other debris scattered around. 

Of the five branches of the Oregon Trail west of Casper, Mr. 
Bishop had already found that the one on the bluffs next to the 
river and leading up to the saddle in the ridge four miles west of 
the city was the telegraph road. Most of the accounts placed the 
site from three to five miles west of the old Post, so we started 
at the saddle and worked down the telgraph road on the south side 
at all places within sight of the old fort. We had a map drawn in 
later years by Lieutenant Walker, showing the site six miles west 
of the Post, but that would place it in a deep valley out of sight 
of the Fort. The north branch of the road where the present 
monument and markers are located was at all places out of sight 
of the fort, but we went over most of it anyway. We spent four 
days working down from the saddle but found nothing except 
occasional horseshoes and bits of iron. Deciding that the site 
must be closer to the Post, we came back later and spent three days 
going over the north branch of the road from the place where it 
comes over the ridge south of the Poison Spider Road on towards 


Casper. We found nothing but an old grave on a little hill south 
of the road. 

Later, several days were spent in following the north branch 
southeasterly to its junction with the south branch of the telegraph 
road and on down to the residence of W. G. Boles, but nothing 
of interest was found. In the middle of June, I stopped in Casper 
for three days to make a final effort. Deciding to start at the 
other end, and recalling the words of Private S. H. Fairfield, "We 
followed the telegraph road among the hills," I started westward 
along the old ruts about a quarter of a mile north of the Boles 
residence and ascended the bluffs, looking for a little hollow south 
of it. When nothing was found, another trip was made and the 
edge of the bluffs above the river were explored. Finally, at the 
end of the third day, I made one more trip up the telegraph road 
and circled around in a little hollow south of the road. I finally 
got a buzz and found a number of musket balls in the bottom of 
an old handmade water jug, buried about six inches deep. Near 
them were found some handmade wagon bolts and iron parts 
which had been burned. 

Mr. Bishop and I later made many more trips to the site and 
completely covered the area with a metal detector. There were 
no cartridge cases to be found here, as in those days the Indians 
did not yet have the Henry and Spencer rifles using metallic cart- 
ridge, and the Smith cartridges of the soldiers after firing left 
only a small piece of foil a little over an inch square. In addition 
to the burned wagon parts were found one of the foils and three 
flattened out and curved lead musket balls which had either 
struck the iron tires of a wagon or had melted and fallen to the 
ground when the wagons burned. A bullet from a .36 Navy Colt 
was also found close to the road. 

By far the largest concentration of burned handmade wagon 
parts and the three bullets were found around the place where 
the musket balls were discovered, and we labelled that site A. 
It is our opinion that this was where the wagons were corralled and 
where the fighting took place. One hundred and forty yards north 
of this place, just south of the road, we found more wagon parts, 
and we labelled this site B. Along the road east of B we found 
three places where there were a few burned wagon parts which 
were called sites C, D, and E, but there was no evidence of fighting 
here. A wagon bolt and wrench were found up on the south rim 
of the hollow sixty yards southwest of site A, and we concluded 
that a wagon had been burned here and had rolled down to the 
foot of the bluffs below. This was site F. Mate Wheeler, an 
early resident in this area, says that when he was a boy he saw 
part of the undercarriage of an old heavy wagon at the foot of 
these bluffs south of the battle site, which may have been from 
the wagon which rolled down the bluffs. Another early resident 
of the area, Mark Davis, told me that several frontiersmen who 


were old men when he was a boy, told him that for several years 
after the battle, there was a burned wagon on the north end of 
the hill west of the corral. I found a badly worn and burned 
mule shoe at this place which would be site G. 

All of the wagon parts were examined by old-timers who have 
pronounced them genuine and handmade, dating back to 1865. 
It is surprising that we did not find more metal than we did, but 
we have since learned from numerous sources that the early 
ranchers took the scrap iron and useable parts from the wagons. 
The fact that this was the place where Sergeant Custard had made 
his immortal stand is substantiated by our failure to find anything 
else after a careful search of all other possible sites between the 
Boles' residence and the saddle to the west. 

The bodies of the men have not been found, although a power 
shovel and operator, generously furnished by the Natrona County 
Commissioners, were used in the search. A human arm bone 
was uncovered about eight inches deep and a short distance north 
of site A, and part of a human toe bone was found on the telegraph 
road. The winds of ninety-five years have swept over these sand 
hills and may have buried the bodies too deeply to be found. It is 
equally possible that the remains were uncovered by the shifting 
sands and carried away by wild animals. 

The soldiers from Platte Station named this place "Custard's 
Hill" in honor of the gallant Sergeant, and so it is fitting that it 
should forever be known to history as "Custard's Hill." The 
valiant stand made here by the little wagon train ranks in the 
annals of warfare with the Alamo, the Little Big Horn, and other 
engagements in which a handful of men were annihilated by over- 
whelming numbers. 

The Indian Version Of The Platte Bridge Fight As Written By 
Frances Seely Webb, Read By Mrs. Edna Kukura. 

Some years ago, I met a group of Arapahoe who were in town 
from Ethete. Two of them, Round Chief and a younger man, 
became interested in talking about the Battle at Platte Bridge 
Station, telling me that their fathers had fought in the battle and 
had told them about the fight many times. They said that they 
had never seen the site of the battle, so I drove them over across 
the river in order that they could overlook the old Fort and the 
place where the bridge had crossed the Platte. 

They were very excited when we stopped at this point and 
exclaimed that it was just as their fathers had told them. They 
discussed the place in their own language for some time, pointing 
to the hills and across the river. The younger man said he re- 
membered when a meat market was located under trees across 
the river (the Fort site). This was impressed on his memory 
because to an Indian youth selling meat was an unusual method 


of obtaining meat; they were accustomed to hunting their meat. 

The Indians remarked that the Indian story of the battle was 
not like the White Man's story; that the White Men did not tell 
what started this war. So they told me their story, as it was told 
to them by their fathers. 

In the summer of 1865, three Cheyenne boys were riding 
through the country and one suggested that they ride over to 
Platte Bridge Station to visit his sister who lived there. As can 
be noted in pictures and sketches of early day forts and stations, 
there were often Indian tepees nearby. Such was the case at 
Platte Bridge. 

As the three boys rode toward the bridge to cross to the Station, 
they were fired upon, and one boy, the son of the Cheyenne chief, 
was killed. The other two boys rode home to tell of the tragedy. 

The Cheyennes resented this killing as an outrage, as indeed 
it was. Just this sort of trigger-happy performance was the cause 
of many Indian uprisings over the country, caused by some 
irresponsible person who thought it was amusing to kill Indians. 

The Cheyennes decided in council, "These people are bad; we 
will kill them," reported my Indian friends. The Cheyenne sent 
word to the Arapahoe and the Ogallala Sioux, telling them of 
their determination to wipe out Platte Bridge Station and asking 
them if they cared to join in the war party. The Arapahoe and 
Sioux accepted this invitation. 

In July the Indian bands began to gather, and in late July there 
were some 3000 Indians of the three tribes gathered in the hills 
across the river north of Platte Bridge Station. 

The Indians told me that they sent some of their best warriors 
out on good war horses, about 20 or 30 men, who rode toward 
the bridge, yelling taunts to the soldiers and making warlike 
moves. This, they said, drew out a company of soldiers who 
chased them. When the soldiers came after them, the Indians 
turned their horses and raced toward the hills, pursued by the 
soldiers. As the soldiers rode toward the hills, hundreds of 
Indians swarmed after them on their flanks, cutting them off from 
retreat to their base. 

This strategy, used again and again by the Indians, seemed 
never to fail; the white men fighting Indians were repeatedly 
confused by this Indian form of attack, and the Indians were 
enabled by this action to win many of their battles. 

It was this engagement which was led by Lieutenant Caspar 
Collins, a young officer stopping at Platte Bridge Station enroute 
to his new post. There is a controversy as to whether he volun- 
teered or was ordered to lead the men who went out on this tragic 
mission. Did they go to chase the band of Indians who appeared 
near the bridge; or did they set out to try to rescue the Custard 
wagon train? Stories do not agree. Apparently the Army reports 
were written with a view to proving that it had been impossible 


to rescue the wagon train, it was so far away. Others tell of 
watching the massacre. Some say they saw no Indians around; 
others tell of many war parties in the region. It is very confusing. 

However, the Indians made a great effort to wipe out the 
Station. Why they failed, with their many warriors gathered, is 
not known. 

Another version of the Fight was read by Mrs. Edness Kimball 
Wilkins. The material was a letter written by John Friend, 
telegrapher, who was present at Platte Bridge Station when Lieu- 
tenant Caspar Collins went out with a handful of men in an attempt 
to rescue the wagon train. Mr. Friend later lived in Rawlins and 
became one of Wyoming's foremost newspaper men. 

Another Veteran Heard From, John C. Friend, From An Un- 
dated Newspaper Clipping, Read By Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins 

Those who read the description of the battle of Platte bridge 
between soldiers and Indians as written by Mr. Charles Waring 
of Manhattan Kansas, will be interested in the following letter 
which was written to Mr. Boney Earnest, of Alcova, by Mr. John 
C. Friend, of Rawlins, whom it seems was also a participant in 
the fight, as a member of the 1 1th Ohio cavalry. Mr. Friend does 
not agree with Mr. Waring on many particulars and tells some 
interesting things about the fight. Through the kindness of Mr. 
Earnest we publish the letter. 

"I read the clipping from the Casper Press with much interest. 
From a careful reading of the article it appears to me that his 
information was gotten second hand. He does not mention any 
of the little details of the fight which it seems to me that a person 
on the ground at the time would surely have noted. If he be- 
longed to the 11th Kansas he knows that none of his regiment 
were ever stationed further west than Sweetwater bridge. He 
also knows that the post at Platte bridge was built by Co. G. 1 1th 
Ohio cavalry, during the winter of 1 864, if he was ever stationed 
there. He also knows that the 11th Kansas, when they took post 
at Platte bridge, relieved G. company, 11th Ohio, who were sent 
to Sweetwater bridge; that the sergeant Custard, as he calls him, 
and his fifteen men were sent with the ten teams that furnished 
the transportation for G company, 1 1th Ohio, for escort on return 
trip. If he was there at the time of the fight he knows that on 
the first day in the afternoon the Kansas men killed an Indian, 
scalped him and hung the scalp on a stick on top of the quarters 
an incident he does not mention, and the only Indian it is posi- 
tively known was ever killed by the 11th Kansas. He makes no 
mention of the arrival of Capt. Lybe, of the 6th U. S., and Lieut. 
Bretney of G company, 11th Ohio, and ten men on the early 


morning of the second day's fight, and how glad they were for 
the slight re-enforcement. He says nothing about Capt. Lybe 
and Lieut Bretney following Collins' command across the bridge 
and forming a skirmish line from the end of the bridge across the 
bottom up on the first bench to protect Collins' rear, and who 
remained on the north side of the river until ordered back by the 
commanding officers. He is silent about the 11th Kansas offering 
their horses to anyone who would go across the river and carry 
in the Kansas dead. No mention is made of Wm. Worrill, Tom 
Sinclair and the writer going across the river in the evening and 
carrying in three of the killed Kansas men, two of which I myself 
brought over. He is mistaken about Raphael, the Mexican guide; 
he was not at Platte bridge at that time. Noel and Mich Seminoe 
are the persons who went to Deer Creek and brought up the 
company of the 11th Kansas, and they did not arrive until the 
afternoon. Shortly after their arrival the major with about fifty 
men joined them. They took an ambulance and went over and 
brought in the other five men that had been killed out of the 
Collins party, but did not go where the train was burned until 
the next morning. I do not think he was present when Collins' 
body was found, as I do not remember that any of the Kansas 
fellows were with us. The body was found about a mile and a 
half northeast of where the fight occured, in a little draw. While 
the body was badly mutilated, there were no arrows in it. Bill 
Worrill of Collins company I think was the first to find the body, 
when he threw a blanket over it. I did not see the body myself. 
The body was rolled up in a blanket and taken in that way. It 
was then placed in a rough wooden box and buried immediately. 

His article reads funny to me, if he was there. The only thing 
that makes it possible for me to think so is his description of the 
fellow that was killed by a lance. He says "Private Jas. Porter 
was killed and a few wounded." As I remember, there was no 
one wounded. A horse was shot in the knee, which caused the 
animal to stumble and throw his rider an old German who was 
not hurt, but immediately jumped up and got busy with his pistols 
which caused the Indians to shy off and fall back as the infantry 
who went down to support them and prevent the Indians from 
crossing the river, got into action. 

1 should have liked very much to have met Mr. Waring, as I am 
sure I could have refreshed his memory on many points, and 
especially the earthworks which the Kansas men under the direc- 
tion of Capt. Lybe constructed on the outside of the buildings. 

This story of Mr. Waring's has evidently been written to make 
a reasonable story without much regard to the facts and many 
incidents that occured during the fight and afterwards, until the 
Michigan troops arrived and relieved the 11th Kansas. Everyone 
of the wounded happily was able to travel. 

You can show this to the Casper Press man if you wish, and 



if he knows Mr. Waring's address can send it to him for his 
information. If he wishes to be fair, I am sure this will refresh 
his mind on many points." 

After three days of camaraderie, rough roads, dust and heat, 
excellent papers, good food and fine weather the 10th Trek 
disbanded until next summer. 

Those present were — 


Mr. and Mrs. Jack Rusell 
R. A. Eklund 
I. C. Gartner 
K. D. Van Wagener 
Mr. and Mrs. V. W. Mokler 
Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Schooler 
Mrs. Frieda Hudson 
David Bretey 

Mrs. Ed Kukura and Karby 
Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins 
Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Marsolf and 


Mr. and Mrs. Roy Ohlson 


Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Ferguson 
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ewart 
Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Bartlett 


Mrs. H. B. Lynch 


Mrs. Henry Frederick 

Fort Laramie 
Pat Flannery 
W. J. Petty 
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rymill 


Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bretey 

Ray Marsh 

Virginia Vance 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Trenholm 


T. A. Larson 
Robert H. Burns 
Jean McClaflin 


Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Hildebrand 

and children 
Albert Sims 
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Henry, Jr. and 

Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Henry, Sr. 


Florence Schumuler 

Ruby Montgomery 

Mrs. R. R. Zehring 

Clarke Rice 

Royce and Ricky Tebbet 

Mr. and Mrs. P. Kienan & children 

Mr. and Mrs. Don Huniston 

Mrs. Henry Jones 

Mrs. Jane Oliver 

Col. and Mrs. Phil Rouse 


Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Bishop 

Col. W. R. Bradley 

Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Ritter 

Col. and Mrs. A. R. Boyack 

Maurine Carley 

Meda Walker 

Katherine Townsend 

Paula Durnford 

George Christopulos and daughter 

Mr. and Mrs. N. Dulash 

Mr. and Mrs. Lester Myers 

Lewis Demand 

Gering, Nebraska 
Ethel M. Wilson 

Bridgeport, Nebraska 

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Henderson 

Riverside, Illinois 
Bruce Mc Kinstry 

Wheatridge, Colo. 

Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Townsend 

Assonet, Massachusetts 

Mr. and Mrs. Pierre La Bonte, Jr. 

Wyoming Archaeological flotes 



Glenn D. Sweem 

The Wyoming Archaeological Society Inc., organized in Sheri- 
dan in 1953, now has three active chapters in the state. These 
chapters are located at Sheridan, Casper, and Cody (Big Horn 
Basin Chapter). 

Plans are being formulated for the organization of two new 
chapters this winter at Cheyenne and Rawlins, and other chapters 
in other parts of the state later on. 

A Highway Salvage Agreement has been drawn up by the 
Wyoming Archaeological Society and is under consideration by 
the State Highway Commission. This cooperative agreement, if 
accepted by the Commission, will facilitate the salvage, preserva- 
tion, and interpretation of the archaeological, historical, and 
palaeontological remains that are threatened with destruction by 
the stepped up highway construction program. 

An Antiquities Bill is being prepared by the Society to be 
presented for passage at the 1961 State Legislature. This bill, if 
passed, will better protect Wyoming's historical, archaeological, 
and palaeontological sites and restrict the movement of specimens 
from these sites to out-of-state collections. 

A number of scientific explorations and excavations were con- 
ducted by the Casper and Sheridan Chapters during the 1960 
season. Casper chapter excavated at the Lee Site (48J0326), 
which is located north of Midwest and appears to be an old winter 
camp site that has been used for quite a span of time by ancient 
peoples. This site is located along the south exposure of a cliff 
face which no doubt afforded protection from the elements to the 
inhabitants. The camp area of this site is quite large and has a 
vertical depth of nearly 20 feet exposed along a vertical bank 
cut by a meandering stream. This vertical bank exhibits a number 
of fire hearths and bones exposed at different levels of occupation 
along this face. 

Excavation at the present time consists of an exploratory trench 
nearly 60 feet long, 5 feet wide, and nearly 8 feet deep which has 
revealed a number of occupational levels and has produced arrow 
and lance points, knives, drills, scrapers, hammerstones, bone 
awls, bone beads, and pottery fragments. 

Casper Chapter members are working this site week ends, and 


whenever they can find time. Probably two more years of 
excavation will be necessary to complete this site. 

The Sheridan Chapter conducted a number of field trips and 
excavations during the summer of 1960. From July 15th to July 
27th, a field party led by President Sweem, excavated a number 
of sites on the Taylor Ranch in the Hole-in-the-Wall Country, 
along the Middle Fork of Powder River drainage. 

Work was concluded on the Sweem-Taylor Rock Shelter Site 
(48J0301), and the Grey-Taylor Rock Shelter Site (48J0303) 
which were partially excavated during the 1959 season. The 
Sweem-Taylor Rock Shelter is a well stratified site that produced 
some 260 artifacts consisting of arrow and spear points, knives, 
scrapers, awls, grinding stones, and bone implements. An unusual 
type of point was found in the lower occupational layer of this 
site along with McKean point varients. This point has expanded 
basal edges and a deeply indented base. (See Fig. A, Plate I.) 
Such a point is described by Robert Lister as coming from the 
Hells Midden Site in Colorado, and Rogers describes it as coming 
from the Amargosa Industry of the Mohave Desert California. 
The Amargosa Industry is believed to post date the Pinto-Gypsum 

Material from this Sweem-Taylor Rock Shelter Site was sub- 
mitted to Dr. Kennedy at UCLA for dating by the Thermalumi- 
nence process. A tentative date in excess of 3200 years has been 
estimated for this site for the present. 

Work was completed on the Grey-Taylor (48J0303) Rock Shel- 
ter Site with further exploratory excavations being done on the 
midden perimeter to locate the extent of the habitation area. This 
rock shelter revealed three cultural layers, the lowest of which can 
be dated probably Early Middle Period, because of the finding of 
Meserve points in conjunction with and below the McKean 
cultural layer. The Meserve culture at the type site is estimated 
at about 9000 years old, and this will be the tentative date set 
for this site until we get a positive date from the material sub- 
mitted for thermaluminence at the UCLA laboratories. 

In 1959 Charles Schulz, a member of this society, reported a 
group of rock shelters near the head of Blue Creek. This summer, 
Glenn Sweem and a crew from the Sheridan Chapter did some 
work at this site, but little was found. Pot hunters had severely 
disturbed a large area of the floor in the shelter since 1959. 

Excavation at the site consisted of sinking two five-foot squares 
to bedrock to sample the stratigraphy and excavating two addi- 
tional squares to sterile levels. Artifact production was small, 
and only three diagnostic items were produced. These consisted 
of one corner-notched point and two points which may be McKean 
varients. These points resemble the basic McKean in almost 
every way except that it is relatively wider, and its absolute length 
may be somewhat longer than the average McKean although too 


few specimens have been averaged to establish this fact. This 
type of point's contemporaneity with the McKean Complex is 
strongly indicated in several sites, including Signal Butte in 
Nebraska, LoDaiska Site in Colorado, and the Sweem-Taylor and 
Grey-Taylor Sites in Wyoming. (See Fig. B, Plate I.) 

A fortified butte, Site 48J0308, near the head of Blue Creek, 
was shown to the summer field party by Mr. B. E. Turk of Sussex. 
This site is a rock-capped butte, fairly well isolated from the 
surrounding hills, and whose slopes are fairly steep, with several 
cliffs out cropping around the slopes. It is upon these cliff 
outcrops, around the base of the cap rock, and on ledges and 
crevaces of the cap rock that are located at strategic and protected 
places that 22 breastworks were built up out of boulders and rock 
and some pieces of log. The breastworks are large enough to 
hold from one to probably five or six men and vary in height 
from a few inches to two or three feet. Two of the breastworks 
incorporate the trunks of living trees in their construction. These 
trees are quite large and probably fairly old. Two other breast- 
works have trees growing up out of them, no doubt since the 
structures were built. Tree ring cores were taken with an incre- 
ment borer from dead logs incorporated in two of the structures, 
from the old living trees whose trunks were used as part of the 
breastwork, and from the younger trees that have grown up 
since construction. Through dendrochronology, we will be able 
to get a minimum and maximum date as to when these breastworks 
could have been built. This site was mapped, photographed, 
and examined closely for any evidence that might shed any light 
on its defenders. One bit of information that was found, but 
which we doubt is associated with the breastworks, was a name 
carved into a blaze on one of the tree trunks. The name was A. 
Seeley, dated July 1898. 

Other sites at which preliminary investigations were conducted 
by the field party this summer, and where further work is indicated 
were a mass burial site, a petroglyph site, an Indian village site, 
a cairn marked trail, and an early man site which will probably 
date back in time further than anything so far located in this part 
of Wyoming. 

Eugene Galloway, a member of the Sheridan Chapter from 
Buffalo, discovered a site yielding Agate Basin materials at a 
location about 8 miles southwest of Buffalo this summer. Dr. 
Agogino visited the site accompanied by Geologist C. V. Haynes 
and states that the site is part of a larger site that has partly 
eroded away. Dr. Haynes' study indicates that the site is prob- 
ably the oldest Agate Basin Site yet discovered and thinks it may 
even be possible that the site rests on the Two Creek erosional 
surface which would make the site perhaps 11,000 years old. 
The cultural material lies about 13 feet below the present surface 
and extends about 35 feet along an arroyo wall. 


A number of archaeological field trips were made to Indian 
petroglyph sites this past summer to record these ancient picture 
drawings by photographs and plaster casting. 

A process by which plaster casts can be made of these petro- 
glyphs, without harming or destroying the originals has been 
perfected, and through this process we hope to preserve some of 
the finer examples for museums and posterity. 

These ancient petroglyphs are fast disappearing through weath- 
ering and vandalism by the "Kilroys" and "Privy Artists" who 
have added names and drawings to the cliffs where these fine 
examples of ancient art exist. 

The Wyoming Archaeological Society is publishing an account 
of the results of its major excavations and explorations made for 
the past 5 years. This publication is called the Memoirs Edition 
and will be off the press in the near future. 



Dr. George A. Agogino 

A grant from the American Academy of Arts and Science was 
used to obtain a charcoal specimen for a carbon 14 date from the 
Lindenmeier Site. This site, located on the Wyoming-Colorado 
border, is the only extensive habitation site involving the Folsom 
culture that is presently known. Previous research had been 
conducted at this site by Dr. Frank H. H. Roberts, Jr., of the 
Smithsonian Institution and Dr. John L. Cotter of the Denver 
Museum of Natural History. The date, obtained by radiocarbon 
analysis (Isotopes Incorporated), was 10,780 plus or minus 375 
years or 8820 B. C. A report of this investigation has been 
published as a monograph by the Denver Museum of Natural 
History under the authorship of Agogino and Haynes and can 
be purchased from the Museum for $1.00. 


Investigations were conducted at the Johnson Site located north 
of LaPorte in northern Colorado. This site produced some arti- 
facts of the Folsom culture but most of the cultural material 
shows redeposition, having been disturbed and mixed with later 
cultures. The excavations at this site were financed by a grant 
from the Wenner Gren Foundation in Anthropology. 


A new type point, the Hell Gap Point, was discovered in situ 
in the Guernsey area through investigations financed by Americ, 
a Philosophical Society grant. The Hell Gap Site is one of the 


largest multi-cultural horizon areas in the High Plains. McKean, 
Cody Complex, Agate Basin, Hell Gap, and Folsom materials have 
all been found in situ in this area. Work will progress at this site 
as long as weather permits. 


Sister's Hill Site is a recently discovered site near Buffalo, 
Wyoming. Agate Basin material is found here in a geological 
cut and fill area of an arroyo bank thirteen feet below the surface. 
Unknown cultural horizons are to be found in levels both above 
and below this stratum. The University has a crew in the field 
at this site at the present time. 


A National Geographical Society grant was used to explore 
the first mammoth kill ever to be discovered in Wyoming. This 
site is located near Rawlins, Wyoming. The site was discovered 
when a dragline uncovered the remains of one of the best preserved 
mammoths ever found in the High Plains and one of the first 
mammoths found largely intact in the State of Wyoming. Evi- 
dence, indicating butchering, has been found in both the mammoth 
remains and the remains of an extinct bison at this site. Flakes 
and one knife, similar to those found at the Clovis Fluted Site 
in New Mexico, have also been found in the mammoth level. The 
cultural materials and the mammoth are believed to be about 
12,000 years old and is the oldest cultural find made in Wyoming 
to date. 

The mammoth's skull weighs about 400 pounds. The tusks 
weigh about 140 pounds apiece. This section of the mammoth 
will be mounted in the University Museum at once. About two- 
thirds of the skeletal remains have been excavated to date. Drs. 
Paul McGrew, B. Mears and Dick Keffer of the University of 
Wyoming Geology Department assisted with the excavation of 
the remains at the site. 

Investigations at this site will continue next summer. It will 
be a joint project by the University of Wyoming and the Peabody 
Museum of Harvard University. 


Experiments are now being conducted with unburned bone for 
radiocarbon tests. Both the University of Michigan and the 
Humble Oil Company laboratories have recently obtained samples 
from Agogino, University of Wyoming, and Haynes, geologist 
from the American Institute of Research in Golden, Colorado, 
for unburned bone tests. Samples have been obtained from the 
Dent, Colorado, mammoth kill (first accepted occurrance of 
man and mammoth in this country, 1932) and the Type Site at 
Folsom, New Mexico, (first accepted occurance of man and ex- 



tinct bison in America, 1927). Samples were also taken from 
the Lipscomb Bison Quarry, a Texas Folsom site. 

Experiments are also underway to see if it is possible to remove 
the coating and preservatives from treated bones so that they 
could be used for radiocarbon dating. 



By L. C. Steege 

One of the most controversial points of the Early Prehistoric 
Period was discovered eight miles west of the town of Folsom, 
New Mexico, in 1926. The discovery of artifacts associated with 
articulated bones of extinct mammals of Pleistocene Age came 
quite unexpectedly with the excavation of a fossil bison remains. 
Two fragments of artifacts were found in the loose dirt of the 
diggings. A third fragment was found sometime later still in 
position in clay surrounding a rib of one of the bison. Later it 
was discovered that the third fragment was a portion of one of the 
two earlier pieces found in the loose dirt. When the two were 
fitted together, it was found that they formed a projectile point. 
After a report of the find was made, several scientists still believed 
that there was some accidental mixing of the deposits and that 
the projectile point was of a much later period. Work was 
resumed at this site during 1927 and 1928, and as soon as 
additional points were found, telegrams were sent to various 
institutions, and the "doubting Thomas" were invited to view 
the finds in situ. It was thus proven that there could be no doubt 
of the contemporaneity of man with the extinct bison deposits. 
This specie of extinct bison was known as Bison taylori. 

In 1934, the Lindenmeier Site on the Colorado-Wyoming border 
was reported. The Smithsonian Institution sent a crew under the 
direction of Frank H. H. Roberts, Jr., to investigate this site. This 
proved to be a habitation site where it was first possible to study 
the artifacts which make up the Folsom complex. Work pro- 
gressed on this site for four years. Various implements as well 
as skeletons of long-horned bison and camels were found. 

The cultural bearing strata of the Lindenmeier Site was covered 
to a depth from two to seventeen feet with alluvial deposits. 
From the lowest level came the specialized fluted points known 
as "Folsom" points. Associated with these points were gravers, 
channel flake knives, and scrapers. In the scrapers only was there 
a wide variation of workmanship and form. No human skeletal 
material was found at the Lindenmeier Site. 

Folsom points are radically different from most types found in 
North America. They have no close similarities to any points 
found in the Old World. Folsom points are smaller than Clovis 
points and have two ear-like projections extending from the base. 
The flute or groove is the result of the removal of one longitudinal 
flake from each face. In cross section, the Folsom point has a 
hollow-ground appearance. They are pressure flaked and show 
excellent workmanship. The average length is about two inches, 



Folsom Point 

and the width is about one inch. The basal edges and concavity 
usually show evidence of deliberate dulling by grinding. 

The Folsom point is well represented in the Northern Plains. 
Many examples appear in surface collections. While almost 
totally limited to the eastern slope of the Rockies, a few specimens 
have been found on the western slope. 

Other notable discoveries of Folsom points have been made 
near Lipscomb and Lubbock, Texas, Helena, Montana, and nu- 
merous small sites in northern Colorado. A carbon 14 sample 
from the Lindenmeier Site produced a date of 10,720 years for 
the Folsom habitation level. 

Wyoming State Historical Society 

Seventh Annual Meeting September 24-25, 1960 

Buffalo, Wyoming 

Registration for the Seventh Annual meeting opened at 9:30 
A.M. at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo. One 
hundred thirty-five registered. 

The Seventh Annual Meeting of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society met in the Masonic Temple in Buffalo at 10 A.M. on 
September 24, 1960, with approximately eighty-five members 
present. Mrs. Thelma Condit, President, called the meeting to 
order. Delegates from the following counties were present — 
Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Fremont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, 
Natrona and Sheridan. 

Mr. Richard Condit, City Councilman, welcomed the Society to 
Buffalo on behalf of the Mayor. 

The Secretary read the minutes of the Sixth Annual meeting 
which was held in Rawlins (1959) and the minutes of the Execu- 
tive Committee which was held in Casper in January (1960). 
The minutes were approved as read. 


September 19, 1959 - September 24, 1960 

Cash and Investments on hand September 19, 1959 $ 7,743.83 
Receipts and Interest: 

Dues $3,141.50 

Charters 20.00 

Colter Booklet 49.11 

Hunton Diaries 221.22 

Interest on Savings 298.22 3,730.05 


Disbursements 9-19-59—9-24-60 

Annals of Wyoming $1,451 .00 

Office Supplies and 

Postage 75.04 

Meeting (6th Annual) 133.22 

Film and Signs 111.08 

Hunton Diaries 685.00 

$ 2,455.34 


September 24, 1960 

Cheyenne Federal Building and Loan 

Life Membership dues and Interest 

$ 2,445.92 



Checking Account 


$ 9,018.54 


Present membership of the Society as of September 24, 1960 is as follows: 

Life members 33 

Joint Life Members 16 

Annual Members 517 

Joint Annual 404 

Total 970 

Mr. L. C. Steege presented an historic gavel to the president for the use 
of the Society. He explained that the gavel is constructed of 24 pieces of 
wood, 23 of which form the head. The 5 pieces in the center section 
represent Uinta, Sweetwater, Carbon, Albany and Laramie Counties, the 
first 5 Territorial Counties. 

Eight Counties were organized from Laramie, Albany and Carbon 
Counties. These are Natrona, Campbell, Converse, Crook, Goshen, Nio- 
brara, Platte and Weston Counties in the order as they appear in a band 
located between Laramie County and the end piece. 

Another eight Counties were formed from Uinta, Sweetwater and Carbon 
Counties. These are Sheridan, Fremont, Park, Johnson, Big Horn, Lincoln, 
Hot Springs and Washakie in the order as they appear in a band between 
Uinta County and the end piece. 

The end pieces are represented by Teton and Sublette Counties, the last 
two counties of the State to be organized. 

The handle is made of cottonwood, the State tree. 

Woods from the 23 Counties are numbered according to each County's 
license plate designation. 

A brief identification for the wood received from each County is listed 
alphabetically as follows: 

Albany — Pine from the blacksmith shop of the Big Laramie Stage Station. 
Big Horn — Cottonwood from the first house built in Kane in 1894. 
Campbell — Hickory, a portion of a wagon abandoned by the Sawyer Expe- 
dition during an encounter with Indians in 1865. 
Carbon — Oak from a step of the first Carbon County Courthouse. 
Converse — Cedar from the stockade at Fort Fetterman. 
Crook — Ponderosa Pine grown at Pine Ridge. 
Fremont — Walnut from the first County Courthouse built in 1886. 
Goshen — Pine from the Cavalry Barracks built in 1876 at Fort Laramie. 
Hot Springs — Cedar grown on the L. U. Ranch, one of the oldest ranches 

in the State. 
Johnson — Hickory from a wagon bow found on the site of the Wagon 

Box Fight. 
Laramie — Cherry from the door frame in the sitting room of the residence 

of Governor J. M. Carey. 
Lincoln — Fir from the Lincoln County Courthouse. 
Natrona — Pine from the stockade at Fort Caspar. 
Niobrara — Cedar grown in the "breaks" in that County. 
Park — Cedar from a post set on the Mountain View Ranch, the first 

registered ranch in that County. 
Platte — Pine from the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Station which later be- 
came the headquarters of the Swan Land and Cattle Company. 
Sheridan — Pine from a stage station at Big Horn on the Bozeman Trail. 
Sublette — Juniper cut on the west rim of Fremont Lake in the early 1920's 

for telephone line stubs. 
Sweetwater — Hickory from a wagon found where the Emigrant Trail 

crossed the Green River. 
Teton — Mountain Mahogany grown in the Teton range. 
Uinta — Pine from the frieze from the gables of the Union Pacific Railroad 

depot at Piedmont. The railroad operated through here 1869- 



Washakie — Oak from a sewing machine cabinet brought to this part of 

Wyoming in 1879. 
Weston — Pine from Jenny Stockade. 

Miss Homsher moved that a Charter be granted to the Weston 
County Chapter as they have met all the qualifications required 
by the state constitution. Carried. 

Miss Homsher stated that the Sheridan County Chapter had 
paid the charter fee, had a membership of 15 to start the chapter, 
and had met all the qualifications except one. She moved that 
the charter be granted to Sheridan County as soon as one omission 
in their constitution be corrected, that requiring state dues from 
all local members as required by the state constitution. Carried. 

Miss Homsher also stated that Platte County had sent in a 
constitution which agreed in all respects with the state constitution 
and that the county had a membership of 15. She moved that the 
Platte County Charter be granted as soon as the $10.00 charter 
fee was received. Carried. 

The President appointed the Auditing Committee: Mr. Jules 
Farlow and Mr. T. C. Colket, 2d. 

The Resolutions Committee composed of Mr. Neal Miller, Mr. 
James Petty and Mrs. Dudley Hayden was also appointed. 

In the absence of the Nominating chairman, the following were 
asked to count the votes for the new officers : Mr. Robert Helvey, 
Mr. L. C. Bishop, Miss Henryetta Berry and Mr. Robert Frison. 

Reports from the Standing Committees were as follows :- 

(1) Archaeological — No report as Mr. Van Arsdall was not 

(2) Legislative — In the absence of the chairman, Mr. Neal 
Miller read the correspondence carried on regarding the County 
Museum Bill. It was moved, seconded and carried that this 
information be handed to the next Legislative chairman and be 
presented to the 1961 Legislature. 

(3) Scholarship — Dr. T. A. Larson, chairman, stated that our 
$300 annual scholarship for County histories does not have much 
appeal opposed to $2,000 scholarships offered by the American 
Studies Program. He moved that the $300 be raised to $500. 
Seconded, Carried. No applications for the scholarship were 
received the past year. 

(4) Historic Sites — Mr. L. C. Bishop, chairman, gave a compre- 
hensive report of the counties which have sent in lists of their 
historic sites. These are Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Hot Springs, 
Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Niobrara, Platte and Sheridan. 

(5) Historic Markers — Mr. E. A. Littleton, chairman, again 
stated that the Wyoming State Historical Department will furnish 
the historical sign, posts and hardware free to each county in the 


historical marker program. The county must assume responsi- 
bility for the choice of site, which must first be acceptable to the 
Highway Department; erection of the marker; its dedication; and 
the legend of approximately 100 words, which should be checked 
by the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. If 
brands are put on the posts, this must be done locally. Platte, 
Goshen and Converse Counties have their signs ready to erect. 
The Auditing Committee announced that the books agreed 
with the bank balances. 

Under new business, Don Gray, (Sheridan Community College) 
asked if the Society would like to see Fort Phil Kearny become a 
National Monument. Several people spoke against such an action. 
Mr. Orel Geier, whose ranch surrounds the old fort, said that it 
needed attention and better markings. Dr. Larson said that the 
Society should establish priority of interest regarding historic sites 
in the State and so decide what should be done first. This matter 
was referred back to the Historic Sites Committee. 

Mr. Bishop moved that the Society appoint a committee of 
three to draft a resolution to investigate partial and practical 
restoration of Fort Phil Kearny. Seconded. Carried. 

Miss Homsher proposed two new standing committees — one 
to investigate Foundation Funds to see if we could obtain 
Foundation help in our projects. She specifically mentioned the 
Max C. Fleischmann Foundation of Nevada. The second was 
to obtain funds for publication of manuscripts by the Society. 
This committee would be called the Memorial Publication Fund. 
It was moved and seconded that these committees be established. 

Jack McDermott, who has replaced Mr. Jim Petty as historian 
at Fort Laramie, reported on the expansion of the Fort, and he 
thanked the people of Wyoming for petitioning Congress to pass 
the bill permitting the expansion of this historic site. A Colorado 
woman, the Society was informed, had given a considerable sum 
of money to be used in the restoration of the buildings. However, 
much more is needed in the way of furnishings for the officers' 
quarters, and the members of the Society were asked to contribute 
furniture of the last half of the nineteenth century. 

Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins warned that the Society must be 
watchful that the cottonwood trees were not destroyed due to 
shortage of water as has been done in Colorado. She pointed out 
the cottonwood is Wyoming's State tree. 

Miss Carley announced that an old country school house may 
be given to the Society if the Society will accept it. Mr. Marion 
moved that the matter be turned over to the Laramie County 
Historical Society for investigation. Seconded and carried. 

Miss Homsher announced that Pioneer Week had been duly 
proclaimed in September during State Fair Week, and that the 


Wyoming Travel Agency is now making films of historic spots 
and events in Wyoming. 

After a discussion on Junior Historians, it was the consensus 
of opinion that the idea, although not feasible at the present time, 
must not be dropped. The teaching of more Americanization in 
the public schools was recommended. 

Interesting Annual reports were given by representatives from 
the following counties: Fremont, Goshen, Laramie, Albany, Na- 
trona, Johnson, Washakie, Sweetwater, and Sheridan. 

During the meeting rolls and coffee were served from a beau- 
tifully appointed table. 

Meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m. 


At two o'clock everyone assembled at the Gatchell Museum. 
After viewing the fine exhibits they left in groups with their 
guides to see — 

Petrified Forest — Robert Frison, guide 
TA Ranch — Wilbur Williams, guide 
Lake DeSmet — Warren B. Lott, guide. 
From 3:00 to 5:30 the Jack Meldrum's opened their lovely 
home to the delegates for a Tea, which was very refreshing after 
the tours. 


In the evening 200 persons attended a dinner at the American 
Legion Hall. Dr. Harvey J. Long, toastmaster, presided and 

Invocation: Rev. Stuart D. Frazier 

Welcome: Councilman Richard Condit and Mrs. Condit 

State Officers 

Delegates by Counties 

Special guests: Mrs. Olga Moore Arnold 

Mrs. Dorothy Mondell Davis 

Mr. Clark Condit 

Mr. Bob Frison 

Mrs. Verna Keyes 

Mr. Russell Thorp 

Mr. James Moore 

President Thelma G. Condit gave the Outgoing President's 
Address which appears at the end of this report. In her talk, she 
outlined her philosophy of the role of an historical society. 

A Basque group composed of Mrs. Martin Pradre, Mrs. Martin 
Camino and Mrs. May Louise Curutchet entertained with folk 
dances and a medley of Basque tunes. 


Mr. Neal Miller read the following RESOLUTION and moved 
its adoption: 

WHEREAS: The Johnson County Chapter of the State His- 
torical Society has been the gracious host to the Seventh Annual 
Meeting of the Society, and 

WHEREAS: the membership of the Johnson County Chapter 
and the residents of Buffalo have extended every courtesy to make 
this an outstanding meeting, therefore 

Be It Resolved: that we extend our sincere appreciation for the 
excellent program, the interesting local tours, and for the hospital- 
ity extended, and that we especially thank Mrs. Thelma Condit, 
president of the State Historical Society, president of the Johnson 
County Chapter and General Chairman of the Convention Com- 
mittees for her efforts in making this State Meeting an outstanding 

Mr. L. G. Flannery next presented the following resolution and 
moved its adoption: 

1. In official recognition of the outstanding leadership and 
tireless efforts of the late Col. Phil Rouse and his wife Helen, 
President and Secretary of the Goshen County Chapter of the 
Wyoming Historical Society, making this the most successful year 
in the Chapter's history, the State Society hereby expresses its 
sincere appreciation. 

2. The members of the State Society also join members of 
the Goshen County Chapter in extending their heartfelt condo- 
lences and deep sympathy to Helen Rouse in the loss of her 
husband and partner. 

Both resolutions were duly seconded and passed. 

Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins announced the following Awards: 

Historical Awards: 

Al Rung for his material in Al Rung's Wyoming News 

Wyoming Geological Association for the Annual Guide 

Book, and its historical articles. 
Ruth Joy and Lynn Hopkins for Historical Paintings. 
Peggy Simson Curry for her publication "The Oil 

Mr. T. J. Mahoney for his poem "The Pony Express." 
Walter Berlet for preserving the history of Wyoming 

Wild Life through the medium of photography. 
Violet Hord for individual contribution in promoting 

growth and historical interest in historical activities. 
Mary Lou Pence for a series of newspaper articles called 

"Imprints of the Past". 
Verna Keyes, the designer of the State Flag of Wyoming. 


Honorable Mention: 

Fredrick E. Wade for having organized the Weston 
County Chapter of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Also highly commended for research and 
work resulting in the establishment of the Anna 
Miller Museum in Newcastle. 

Paul Friggens for article in Denver Post and Reader's 
Digest "What Wyoming Did for Women." 

Kathleen Hemry for individual contribution promoting 
growth and historical interest particularly for the 
Pony Express Centennial Celebration at Fort Casper. 

Bonnie Hunter for her book "These Americans in 

Col. Phil Rouse, Deceased, for promoting growth and 
interest in Chapter activities. 

Mr. L. C. Bishop announced that the following officers had 
been elected for next year. 

President — Mr. E. A. Littleton, Gillette 
1st Vice President — Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper 
2nd Vice President — Mr. Vernon Hurd, Green River 
Sec'y-Treas. — Maurine Carley, Cheyenne 

The door prize was won by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tetreault of 

The speaker of the evening was Mr. C. L. Pearson of Denver, 
Colorado, who gave a very enlightening talk entitled "The Ameri- 
can Indian, Yesterday and Tomorrow." 

Mr. Pearson is well qualified to discuss the Indian problem, 
because he was employed on the Northern Cheyenne and Sioux 
reservations for twenty-three years and was superintendent for 
eight years. His contacts have given him an appreciation of the 
Indian-white cultural conflict, and the problems facing the Indian 
both on the reservation and off of it. 

Before presenting the main theme of his talk, Mr. Pearson 
began by reviewing the history of the Buffalo area, the trappers 
and mountain men, the Indian Wars, the Cattlemen, the Johnson 
County Invasion, and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. The setting 
now laid, he proceeded to outline the Indian-white relationships. 

The early period, prior to the 1850's was a friendly era, but 
difficulties began with the treaties of Fort Laramie which were 
made for the purpose of extinguishing Indian claims to certain 
lands in return for a guarantee not to touch other Indian lands. 
Much of the trouble and wars could be blamed upon the treaty 
breaking of the whitemen. Examples of 1860 treaty breaking 
were the Sand Creek Massacre and the battles along the Bozeman 
Trail. The renewal of trouble began after the last Fort Laramie 
Treaty, which guaranteed the Black Hills to be Indian lands, was 


violated by the gold rush of 1876. This meant the final removal 
of the Indians to reservations which the Indians bitterly opposed 
as an alienation of their lands. The experiences of Dull Knife's 
band were related to show the Indian reaction. 

After the Indian Wars, the government became a guardian of 
the Indian. The Allotment Act of 1887 attempted to move the 
Indian into the whiteman's world before he was ready. The 
relocation program of moving families to cities was not successful 
either, and the relocated Indians slowly returned to the reserva- 
tions. '■' 

The Indian conditions are the same as seventy-five years ago 
with one exception, the Indians are now demoralized. A raw hide 
curtain exists which prevents the Indian picture from being told, 
Mr. Pearson concluded. 


During the Chuck Wagon Breakfast, which was served at the 
site of old Ft. McKinney, the delegates not only enjoyed hot cakes, 
bacon and coffee, but a concert by the American Legion Drum 
and Bugle Corp and extravagant dances by beautiful Can-Can 

In a more serious mood they toured the grounds and buildings 
before leaving for old Fort Phil Kearny. 

Leaving Ft. McKinney, the group made a tour to Ft. Phil 
Kearny, the Wagon Box Fight and the Fetterman Massacre sites. 

At the site of old Ft. Phil Kearny Mr. Orel Geier related the 
history of the spot and explained what he would like to see done 
to preserve its history. There is some question as to the exact 
site of the Wagon Box Fight. However several of the party felt 
sure that they had located it Sunday when they found the lowered 
ditch of a large circle covered with weeds and grasses. At the 
Fetterman Massacre Site both Mr. Bishop and Mr. Geier gave 
their version of the fight. 

Maurine Carley, Secretary 

Outgoing Address 

By President Thelma G. Condit 

The accomplishments of our State Society the last few years 
are many and varied, but all an outgrowth of the underlying pur- 
pose of our organization, which is a constant working toward the 
preservation of our heritage and making it known to the youth 
of our country. 

The State Historical Society alone could not accomplish this. 
We know that in order to have a good job done, all influential 
organizations, in key positions must help. There must be a co- 
ordinated effort, a state wide effort to preserve our history. Our 


society is now working closely with the Park Service, the Highway 
Commission, archaeological societies, county commissioners and 
others so that a sensible program is being arranged and carried 
out, one in which there is no overlapping of expenditures or wasted 
effort. This is giving our State Society recognition as a strong 
foundation for future progress. 

Because of this, more local chapters are becoming organized, 
more county museums are in the planning stage, more individuals 
are becoming history -minded; and, don't forget that it is on the 
local level that our real history is found. You people in your own 
county chapters are the ones who make for the strength of the 
Society. You are the ones who can contribute unlimited material 
because you know the folklore of your own community. You 
know the fine things handed down from your pioneer parents. 
You are the ones who must do the actual work, and upon you 
rest many obligations-passing these good things on to your children 
and seeing that your knowledge becomes a part of your commun- 
ity. All the fine early day things that you know are of no value 
whatever unless shared and made known and recorded. Who will 
find out these good things if they remain untold? Of what value 
are relics or manuscripts of bygone days if they are packed away 
in a trunk in the attic where no one but you knows about them? 
Have you ever told your own children and grandchildren about 
them? When you are gone, who can tell that particular story? 
Who will know of our rugged early personalities if you don't tell 
of them? 

In all seriousness we may record, preserve and mark, and gain 
in membership, and, while most important, this alone leaves us 
far from complete accomplishment unless we make far better use 
of this information and see that it is properly and authentically 
used. This applies to movies, T V programs, and historical novels. 
On the basis of our past progress, it seems to me that as an 
organization we can do something at least to lead and support a 
trend toward a better interpretation of our western history. 

Files and records are only so much dead material unless they 
come to life through sympathetic understanding of their true mem- 
ory. There is a deep, human side to our historical background, 
a personal side that is often overlooked. This fact I think makes 
history seem an abstract sort of thing, a mere series of unrelated 
events, which in themselves are interesting perhaps but not more 
than something quite far removed from us a people. 

"We are living in a time of swift radical changes and in such 
periods, events, gigantically distorted, obstruct our view of the 
whole, the universal historic picture." A true knowledge of our 
heritage must include an awareness of the evolution of history, 
a consciousness that our time now is only a link in an immense 
chain — it is but a bridge between the past and the future. Our 
time is not an isolated time, sufficient unto itself. "We must 


strive to endow the past with a continuity, a sense of direction, a 
significant pointing of the way into the future." We must have a 
deep-rooted understanding of history as a philosophy, so that we 
may be able to feel that the "problems of these long-passed men 
and women, however different they may seem, are the same ones 
that concern us and will someday concern our grandchildren. 


Mrs. Thelma Condit - General Chairman 

Registration Mrs. Kate Long 

Morning Coffee Hour Mrs. Birdie Williams 

Mrs. Mollie Ellis 
Mrs. Leonore Long 

Banquet Decorations Mrs. Lila Stevenson 

Mrs. Ira Francis 

Chuck Wagon Breakfast Donald Hoffman 

Afternoon Coffee Hour Mrs. Helen Meldrum 

Tours Comm. Lloyd M. Fordyce 

John Thorn, Capt., USN, Retired 

Robert Frison 

Clarence J. Gammon 

Warren B. Lott 

Fred W. Hesse 

Music Mrs. Florence Camino 

ftook Ueviews 

Mercer's Belles. By Roger Conant, edited by Lenna A. Deutsch. 
(Seattle: University of Washington, 1960. Bibl. index. 
190 pp. $4.75.) 

Asa S. Mercer is best known in Wyoming for his 1894 book, 
Banditti of the Plains, in which he condemned the cattlemen for 
their invasion of Johnson County in 1892. 

Before he came to Wyoming Mercer had lived successively in 
Washington, Oregon, and Texas. Mercer's Belles concerns his 
efforts to promote settlement of Washington Territory. There 
were nine men for every woman in the Territory, and so Mercer 
conceived the idea of improving the situation by transporting 
single women from the east coast. In 1864 he took eleven young 
women with him to the Northwest. In 1865 he returned for a 
second time to New England in search of 700 more prospective 
wives and teachers. 

When the 1 626-ton screw steamer S. S. Continental cleared New 
York Harbor in January 1866 there were only 47 "Mercer girls" 
along with 53 other passengers and the officers and crew. On 
board was Roger Conant, New York Times reporter. The journal 
that Conant kept for the 96-day voyage down around South 
America to San Francisco makes up the major portion of Mercer's 
Belles. Mrs. Lenna A. Deutsch has done a first-rate job of editing 
the journal, supplying a fine introduction and hundreds of notes. 

Mercer contracted to supply suitable wives at $300 each to a 
number of young men in Washington Territory. Many factors 
conspired to make 1866 the longest year in Mercer's life. 

The journal shows Mercer, age 27, trying to keep ship's officers 
and Mercer girls apart. His ten o'clock curfew was ignored. 
Said the Captain on one occasion: "I wish that confounded old 
Jackass would jump overboard and drowned some dark night." 

The ship paused for a delightful week at Rio de Janeiro. At 
Lota, Chilean Army officers over-ran the ship and deluged the 
girls with offers of jobs and marriage. In San Francisco, Mercer 
lost 13 of his girls. In Seattle, some of the girls rejected the men 
selected for them. Whether or not they did as Mercer wanted 
them to do, they later contributed substantially to the building 
of Washington Territory. 

All in all, the whole enterprise was a trying experience for 
Mercer. He lost a lot of money, and suffered much abuse. There 
was one compensation — he married a Mercer girl. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 


South Pass, 1868, James Chisholm' s Journal of the Wyoming Gold 
Rush. Introduced and edited by Lola M. Homsher. (Lin- 
coln: University of Nebraska Press. 1960. Illus. 244 pp. 

The University of Nebraska Press chose wisely in selecting 
South Pass, 1868, James Chisholm' s Journal of the Wyoming Gold 
Rush, as Volume III in "The Pioneer Heritage Series." (The two 
preceding are Volume I, Mollie: The Journal of Mollie Dorsey 
Sanford in Nebraska and Colorado Territories, 1857-1866, $5.00; 
and Volume II, Western Story: The Recollections of Charley 
O'Kieffe, 1884-1898, $4.50.) 

The arrangement of the material in South Pass is well done, 
with "Part I : The Story" really an introduction and setting the 
scene for "Part II: The Journal." 

Much of the material for "The Story" was garnered from news- 
paper items, and quotes are most often from Chicago Tribune, 
Chicago Times, and the Cheyenne Daily Evening Leader. 

James Chisholm, a native-born Scotsman, had emigrated to the 
United States near the end of the Civil War, following his brother 
Harry, who had already secured employment on the Chicago 
Times. James, too, was then employed by the Times; and through 
his work on the newspaper, he contrived to meet the lovely Mary 
Evelyn Garrison, daughter of "Judge" Garrison. He became a 
good friend of the family, although Mrs. Garrison frowned upon 
him as a suitor for her daughter's hand. Finally she asked Jim 
not to see Mary or to communicate with her for a year, and to 
this he agreed. 

When the Tribune (the rival Chicago paper, offered Chisholm 
an assignment to go West to visit the gold fields in Wyoming, he 
eagerly accepted — probably thinking it a "golden opportunity to 
see a little-known area of his adopted country." (He had recently 
become a U. S. citizen.) 

Jim's first news release with "Cheyenne, D.T." dateline was 
March 21, 1868, and it reported a double lynching — one, a 
desperate character, Charles Martin, and the other purportedly a 
member of a gang of horsethieves. 

How long Jim loitered in Cheyenne is not exactly known — 
"there is nothing to wonder at in his being lost to sight amid the 
large, ever-shifting, transient population in the boiling turmoil of 
towns along the Union Pacific right-of-way." 

One thing is certain — some time during the summer he migrated 
on west, and on September 8, he left Green River in company 
with A. L. Houghton for South Pass. 

And here "The Journal" begins. This portion of the book — 
really a diary — records the notes — verbatim — taken by this Scots- 
man turned newspaper man, turned Westerner for the time being. 


And this journal contains some of the most beautiful prose this 
reviewer has ever read. The description of the storm encountered 
en route to South Pass is a pure gem and has not only vitality 
as a descriptive passage but is a "mood piece" as well. 

Jim lost track of time while on this trip. He visited at South 
Pass, spent much time at Miner's Delight and other mines in the 
vicinity, took two trips to the Wind River Valley, and through 
it all the reader sees and learns to know the people, to view the 
landscapes, and to live the privations and pleasures, all through 
the eyes and words of this illuminating and scintillating writer. 

A "Personal" in Cheyenne Daily Evening Leader on December 
11, 1868, reported that Jim Chisholm of the Chicago Tribune 
passed through Cheyenne enroute from South Pass to Chicago. 

The Supplementary Notes add greatly to the value of the book 
and include South Pass Chronology, Wyoming Chronology, a 
glossary of mining terms, a short resume of the important gold 
rushes in the country, a biographical sketch of Chisholm with 
several of his personal letters, and an extensive bibliography from 
which data for the book was drawn. 

This title fills a long felt need in Wyomingana, and the historical 
aspects have been well researched. But in addition to this, the 
book can well stand on its own as an interesting, well arranged, 
fascinating story, filled with highly humorous incidents, and with 
passages of superb prose. 

Lola Homsher is to be congratulated on the editing, arrangement 
and the interpolations (as well as the research), and to be com- 
mended for bringing forth this fine title which will mean so much 
in Western Americana and Wyomingana. 

This book is a must for those interested in the West and Wyo- 
ming and the Gold Rushes, and is a good story for any reader. 

Chevenne Mary Read Rogers 

Following the Indian Wars. By Oliver Knight. (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1960. Maps, illus., bibl., index, 
xv + 348 pp. $5.95.) 

Following the Indian Wars is another interesting volume from 
the press that has given us so many fine original books and 
reprints on Western history. Knight's volume is based upon the 
accounts of the Indian Campaigns written by newspaper corre- 
spondents who accompanied the troops. While most of these 
early war correspondents tended to enliven their accounts with 
stories and incidents, some of which may not have been factual, 
their writing ability makes their accounts more interesting reading 
than the official reports and the personal writings of officers. 

The most noted correspondent described is H. M. Stanley, who 


later became famous as the Sir Henry Stanley of the "Dr. Living- 
ston, I Presume" expedition. While this volume would have been 
more interesting to me had it contained more and lengthier quo- 
tations from the correspondents' stories, Knight's book is inter- 
esting and well worth reading. 

One of the most interesting correspondents was J. F. Finerty 
of the Chicago Times who related his story of General Crook's 
Rosebud Campaign of 1876 in War Path and Bivouac. 

Whether General Sherman really said that "war is hell," he did 
say that Indian fighting was the "hardest kind of war," and the 
correspondents underwent all of the usual inconveniences that 
still are a part of war as well as the danger of being mutilated 
and scalped, the fate of Mark Kelly who accompanied Custer 
at the final battle of the Little Big Horn. 

Cheyenne Frank G. Clark, Jr. 

End of Track. By James H. Kyner. (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, reprinted 1960 from original copyright of 
1937. 280 pp. $1.60.) 

The history of western railroad construction usually is written 
in terms of the construction of the transcontinental railroad. After 
the dramatic ceremony of May 10, 1869, when the Golden Spike 
was driven at Promontory Summit, Utah, and the engines of the 
Union Pacific and Central Pacific were brought together in a 
shower of champagne, the story of railroad construction dwindles 
into an account of the other transcontinental lines, the financiers 
(Goulds, Hills, and Harrimans), the discontent of the Grangers, 
and the none-too-successful efforts of the Government to achieve 
control of the railroads. This is true of the 1870's and 1880's. 
The years between 1878 and 1888 saw more miles of track laid 
in the United States than in any other similar period in the history 
of the country. Most of this construction was in the West, and 
much of it consisted of branch lines to support an ever-expanding 

The publication of James H. Kyner's memoirs sheds light on a 
neglected phase of railroad history. Kyner was a railroad con- 
tractor and built various segments of track in Nebraska, Idaho, 
Colorado, and Wyoming. His first contract for construction was 
in 1881 for the building of the twenty-five miles of branch line on 
the Union Pacific up the Loup Valley from St. Paul, Nebraska, 
which was the beginning of an exciting career. Then he built 
parts of the Denver, South Park and Pacific; Fremont, Elkhorn 
and Missouri Valley, which later became a part of the vast 
Chicago and North Western shortly after it was constructed; the 
Colorado Midland from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction; the 


Denver and Rio Grande, pioneer of the narrow gauge roads; to 
mention only a few on which he had construction contracts. The 
final and most important job that he had built was the nine 
hundred and fifty foot long tunnel through solid rock on the main 
line of the Union Pacific Railroad near Walcott. 

Explained in his memoirs are many of the hardships of construc- 
tion. Labor was hard to get, and tools and machinery were 
hand-powered or horse-drawn. However, he seemed to have 
much ingenuity and was able to solve most of his problems. 

Kyner was born in Ohio in 1 846, and at the age of seven years, 
he moved with his parents to Oakland, Ohio, where his family 
managed the village tavern, a highly respectable abode called 
"The Gilded Swan," which was the meeting place of the people 
of the countryside. At the age of fifteen, he left home and enlisted 
in the infantry, telling the Army his age was eighteen. During 
the Battle of Shiloh, he lost a leg which was always a handicap in 
his work. Later, after being a school teacher for two years, he 
heard that the Union Pacific was being built west. In Omaha, 
he married, and later had two sons who joined him in the con- 
struction work. In 1881, he served in the Nebraska legislature. 

During the early 1900's, Kyner with his wife and young daugh- 
ter moved east, living near Washington, D. C., on a seven acre 
farm of garden, orchards, and lawn to keep him interested and to 
live with his memories, realizing that it was not far to "End of 

This publication is quite easy to read and understand. It is a 
story of one man's experiences, and he always gives the impression 
that his ideas were the most ideal. The book is quite interesting to 
anyone who likes tales of the rip-roaring railroad construction 
gangs of the 1865-1890 period. The main criticisms of the book 
are that it is not of special benefit to railroad historians, and 
there are no photographs to go along with Kyner's construction 
days, to which most of his life is devoted. His experiences in 
Wyoming railroad construction are limited, and he does not give 
one too much information about our own state. However, the 
book as a whole is interesting and worth the money for anyone's 
den or library. 

Cheyenne Jim Ehernberger 

High Country Empire. By Robert G. Athearn. (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1960. Illus. index. 358 pp. $6.95.) 

A University of Colorado history professor, in this volume, has 
tried to find the "dominant highlights" of a seven-state area: North 
Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, 
and Colorado. 


Unhappily his unit is not very coherent. The first four states 
named are not "high" country. The U. S. Census Bureau classes 
them as West North Central and separates them from the "Moun- 
tain" states: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, 
Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. If the region is to be "high" country 
a better selection of states could be made. 

In his preface Athearn suggests that he is really interested 
in the Missouri River drainage, which might have made a more 
appropriate title, although then he would have to include Missouri. 
He pays little attention to population trends. If he did he would 
find that North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska have been 
virtually at a standstill for a long time while Colorado in the past 
ten years has increased in population more than twice as fast as 
Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming. Economically, Colorado today 
may have more in common with fast-growing New Mexico, Ari- 
zona, Utah, and Nevada than with the other six states of High 
Country Empire. 

The seven states Athearn has chosen for consideration, of 
course, have some things in common, but they also have many 
differences. For example, the generalizations about cattlemen 
and farmers won't do for Wyoming: "the stockmen were soon 
swamped by the agrarian hordes. . . . The tidal wave of settlers 
crested during the Eighties. Its momentum thundered against the 
Rockies. . . ." Similarly not applicable to Wyoming, not a 
sliver-producing state, is the statement: "The mountain states 
were near desperation over the drastic downward plunge of silver 
prices." Furthermore, wool growing, which is not even men- 
tioned, has been of real importance in the history of Wyoming 
and Montana. Likewise uranium is not mentioned. 

Athearn finds the most persistent theme in the seven states to 
be exploitation of natural resources by absentee owners. This 
was a main theme in a volume, America's New Frontier: The 
Mountain West, published by another University of Colorado pro- 
fessor, economist Morris Garnsey, in 1950. Garnsey, however, 
dealt only with Mountain States, and thus found it easier to 
illustrate the theme than seems to be possible for the four North 
Central States brought into the picture by Athearn. Garnsey, 
moreover, was more optimistic and issued a challenge, while 
Athearn pessimistically accepts the view that the region is destined 
to continue backward until people elsewhere become overcrowded 
or have to disperse for defense reasons, or "scientists make corn- 
stalks grow where sagebrush now struggles for life." 

The volume is packed with information, yet has only 26 foot- 
notes. The style is quite lively considering the heavy burden of 
details. Although inaccuracies are inevitable in a work of such 
scope, it is disconcerting to read that Fort Bridger is along the 
Green [40 miles away on Blacks Fork], the TA ranch is 50 


miles south of Buffalo [ 14] , leased federal mineral lands pay 31 V2 
per cent [12V4], the federal government controls almost 40 per 
cent of Wyoming [over 50], and the Grand Teton National Park 
is the West's closest scenic rival to Glacier [vice versa]. 

Wyoming readers will find that the author knows most about 
Colorado, and gives that state and its problems a disproportionate 
amount of attention. Yet there is much of interest in this volume 
for anyone concerned with regional problems, and the author is 
to be complimented for making a valiant effort to tie together 
seven states that often look in several different directions. Let 
us have more regional studies of this type. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

An Illinois Gold Hunter In The Black Hills. The Diary of Jerry 
Bryan, March 13 to August 20, 1876. Introduction and 
Notes by Clyde C. Walton. (Springfield, 111.: Illinois State 
Historical Society. Maps. Illus. 40 pp. Gold Currency 
Cover. $1.00.) 

Clyde C. Walton, Illinois State Historian, here presents the 
"only known personal record of an Illinoisan who actually joined 
the gold-hunting trek" to the Black Hills. Historians will appre- 
ciate the fact that Mr. Walton has transcribed the diary "exactly 
from the original with no changes in spelling or additions of 
punctuation." He provides a concise, informative sketch of the 
historical background of the country into which Diarist Bryan 
and his companions trudged in March, 1876. He also has 
adequate footnoting, maps, and some rare photographs from the 
files of the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

According to the journal, Jerry Bryan, Charles Hallenbeck, 
and Fred (Fritz) Krell, upon arriving in Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
after an uneventful train trip from Cordova, Illinois, found the 
place jammed with men eager to be off for the Black Hills. 

After paying a good sum for Hills transportation, the Illi- 
noisans discovered that the freighter's wagon was so heavily loaded 
with supplies and baggage that they had to go "afoot." 

Bryan details the many physical discomforts from bad roads, 
snow, and wind on their way from Cheyenne to Custer and Dead- 
wood. He arouses the reader's curiosity when he writes on 
March 31: "Drove in to the Fort [Laramie] got some Bacon . . . 
Drove to Government Farm 18 miles and camped . . . Passed 
over Ground that I was on 17 years ago." 

What was Bryan doing in this unsettled country in 1859? He 
may have been either on his way to or from the California gold 


fields, since his June 18 entry refers to an illness similar to one 
"that troubled me in California." 

Bryan and his friends reached Deadwood on May 8 before, as 
he says, the place had a house completed. They worked un- 
touched streams before the great mob of gold seekers swarmed in. 

On May 19, Bryan records, "Whoop Hurrah We have Struck 
it at last." But on June 6, Fritz became so homesick he left the 
Hills. Jerry and Charley continued working claims from which 
they took out good returns, until Jerry was accidentally injured. 
Then torrential rains almost washed away their diggings, and 
Charley became sick. Both men longed for home. On July 21, 
Bryan writes: "Takeing all these things in consideration, I don't 
think the hills oews me anything am Satisfied to let tolerable good 
alone. So ho for the States Charley Says so too." 

While waiting in Deadwood to accompany a train to Fort Pierre, 
they witnessed a murderer being escorted by a crowd of armed 
men, learned of the killing of Wild Bill Hickok, and saw the head 
of an Indian brought into town by a "Greaser." 

On August 4, the Illinoisans bid goodbye to Deadwood. Al- 
though there were horse thieves and Indians along their route, 
they reached Fort Pierre in safety. After a delay of four days 
the gold seekers climbed aboard a Missouri River boat headed for 

Bryan expresses his delight by saying, "we Sat on real chairs 
chewed good Tobaco Tell Injun Stories and think of Home." 

At long last, after an absence of five months and five days, 
they arrived back in Cordova, Illinois. 

Denver, Colorado Agnes Wright Spring 

Politics and Grass: The Administration of Grazing on the Public 
Domain. By Phillip O. Foss. (University of Washington 
Press, Seattle 1960. IX, 236 pp. Appendix, notes, bibil., 
index. $5.00.) 

Phillip O. Foss has done a remarkable job in presenting both a 
descriptive and analytical approach to the problems surrounding 
the administration of grazing on the public domain. The bulk 
of these grazing-district lands are located in our Western States 
and have little economic value at present. However, this federal 
range will become increasingly important as agricultural technol- 
ogy develops and as population pressure increases. Mr. Foss' plea 
to do something for the range and consequently for the West and 
for the Nation is not only timely but also merits the concern of 
every American. 

The historical acquisition of the public domain by our govern- 


ment is sketched out in an early chapter. More significant, how- 
ever, is the section dealing with the disposition of much of the 
public domain under the various land acts, such as the Homestead 
Act. These acts, as a whole, proved to be not only inept and 
impractical, but they also lead to overgrazing, range depletion, 
as well as outright destruction of the range by plowing, and re- 
sulted in an accelerated rate of erosion, increased siltage, and 

By the early 1900's, stockmen began to realize that lack of 
regulation and control of the public domain had only lead to 
destruction of forage, range wars, and to the instability of the 
western livestock industry. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 was 
enacted into law in order: 

". . . to stop injury to the public grazing lands by preventing 
overgrazing and to stabilize the livestock industry dependent 
upon the public range." 

Administration of the Taylor Act encompasses the major por- 
tion of Mr. Foss' book. He concludes that the Act has not 
achieved its double purpose. It is agreed that in maintaining 
the "status quo" the permit system has stabilized the livestock 
industry dependent on the public range. However, the basic prob- 
lems of overgrazing as well as scientific range improvement still 
remain largely unsolved. 

According to Mr. Foss, the explanation is in plain view for all 
who wish to inform themselves. Administration of the Act rests 
in the hands of Advisory Boards composed mainly of stockmen 
who favor maintaining the "status quo." This translated into 
public policy means a minimum of supervision and control over 
the activities of stockmen on the range. 

Backed by national and state livestock organizations the Advis- 
ory Boards have succeeded in maintaining "home rule on the 
range." Attempts to accomplish the purposes of the Taylor Act 
have been thwarted at every turn by such political maneuvers as: 
insistence upon a law grazing fee and consequently an inadequate 
appropriation for proper administration, studies and investigations 
aimed at strengthening "home rule," court actions to impede 
administration, and frequent re-organizations and decentralization 
moves in order to keep the administrative arm in a state of flux. 

The results of such a program are summed up in the fact that 
there has been little improvement and development of the public 
range. Since these results have been accomplished through polit- 
ical action on the part of an interested minority, the remedy, 
according to Foss, also lies in political action by citizens interested 
in rectifying past mistakes and providing a basis for making the 
best use of a national resource, namely the western range. 

University of Wyoming Dr. Edmond L. Escolas 


The Story of the Pony Express. Edited by Waddell F. Smith. 
(San Francisco: Hesperian House, 1960. Maps, ill., bibl., 
index. 195 pp. $5.00.) 

The Story of the Pony Express is published as a Centennial 
edition commemorating the official commencement of the Pony 
Express, April 3, 1860. The existence of the Pony Express 
spanned a brief eighteen months, but it has left its imprint on 
western romance, literature, and civilization. 

Some fifty years ago, Glenn D. Bradley wrote The Story of the 
Pony Express, and it still remains one of the main sources of 
literature on this phase of our western romantic history. Recently 
Raymond W. Settle, an outstanding western historian and author, 
well versed in the history of the Pony Express, wrote a short but 
excellent article for the Utah State Historical Quarterly. The 
present volume contains both works with interesting footnotes and 
some minor corrections by Editor Smith, President of the National 
Pony Express Centennial Association. 

Previous to the Pony Express, mail was carried by the Butter- 
field Overland Mail system by the southern route from St. Louis to 
Texas, thence north and west to Los Angeles and San Francisco. 
This took 25 days by stage coach. The Pony Express followed 
the central overland route along the old Oregon Trail west from 
St. Joseph along the Platte River to Fort Laramie. The line ran 
through Wyoming from Fort Laramie to Red Buttes, Sweetwater, 
Split Rock, South Pass, Green River, Fort Bridger thence to Salt 
Lake City, west to Carson City, Nevada and over the Sierras to 
Sacramento and San Francisco. This was scheduled for a ten day 
run in good weather, twelve to fourteen in the wintry and snowy 

Considerable organization was required to establish the Pony 
Express. Pay ranged from $50.00 to $150.00 per month, de- 
pending upon station and length of run between stations. When 
fully equipped, the line comprised 190 stations, about 420 horses, 
400 station men and assistants, and 80 riders, exclusive of super- 
visory personnel. 

Although the riders and horses were singled out for mention 
in newspaper and magazine articles and stories, their task was 
made possible by station handlers who were faithful to their task, 
facing death from the marauding Indians and occasionally from 
starvation when supplies failed to arrive on time. 

During the eighteen months of variable weather, Indian dis- 
turbances, and almost insurmountable difficulties, the Pony Ex- 
press conducted 308 runs, covering a distance of 616,000 miles, 
carried 34,753 letters, approximately two-thirds of which originat- 
ed in California. Only one rider is reported to have been killed 
by the Indians, but his horse brought the mail to the next station. 
Although many riders were wounded, there is only one reported 


instance in which a rider failed to perform according to schedule. 

Despite the success the Pony Express enjoyed and the high 
postage, about $5.00 per ounce initially, later reduced to $1.00 
per ounce, Russell, Majors and Waddell reported they had lost 
about $100,000 on the venture. It has been estimated, however, 
that the firm lost closer to $500,000 in this venture. 

In his foreward to this volume, A. R. Mortenson, Director of 
the Utah State Historical Society and Chairman of the Historical 
Research Committee of the National Pony Express Centennial 
Association, states that ". . . This combined volume should . . . 
stand as a literary monument for a future generation to both the 
resourceful founders and the gallant riders of the Express." 

Besides spawning a legend that will never die, the Pony Express 
was a triumph of American will. Its riders wrote in a trail of 
sweat and dust a nation's determination to be united regardless of 
distance or cost. 

Cheyenne Leo I. Herman 

Assistant Editor 

Narcissa Whitman. By Opal Sweazea Allen. (Portland, Oregon: 
Binfords and Mort 1959. 325 pp. Illus. Index. Bib- 
liography. $3.95.) 

This historical biography of Narcissa Whitman reflects the 
author's very personal interest in her subject, the wife of the 
medical missionary, Dr. Marcus Whitman, who in 1836 estab- 
lished the Waiilatpu Mission near present-day Walla Walla, Wash- 

One of the first two white women to reach the Oregon country 
by the overland route, Mrs. Whitman and her husband traveled 
with the Reverend and Mrs. Henry Spalding and W. H. Gray to 
open missions in the northwest. They built the first American 
home west of the Rocky Mountains, and their daughter was the 
first American white child born beyond the Rockies. 

The journey was made from Mrs. Whitman's native New York 
state by portage railway, canal boat, river steamer, wagon, horse- 
back and rowboat. West from St. Louis they were escorted by 
agents of the American Fur Company and the Hudson's Bay 

The Whitman Mission opened in December, 1836, and was 
maintained for eleven years. The Cayuse Indians, with whom 
the Whitmans had chosen to work, were taught agriculture and 
industrial pursuits and their children schooled. Christianizing of 
the Indians was less successful because of their indifference to 
religion and education. After the opening of the Oregon Trail 
and the arrival of large numbers the emigrants, the Indians' unrest 


and distrust of the white men grew. This resulted in an uprising 
in 1 847 in which Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and twelve others 
were massacred, and the buildings, orchards, and other develop- 
ments of the mission were destroyed. 

Extensive research for the book, drawn from the historical 
archives of every state covered in the Whitmans' journey, as well 
as from an impressive amount of published material, lends 
authenticity and interest to the narrative. The author also per- 
sonally followed the trail of the Whitmans, guided by the letters 
and journals of Narcissa. Excerpts from these writings are used 
throughout the book to make the principal character a very real 
and human personality. 

Attention to detail is minute in regard to geography, weather, 
difficulties of travel, and the dress and customs of the white people 
and Indians encountered. 

Narcissa Whitman, looking forward to making her home on the 
Oregon frontier and having slept on the open prairies for months, 
often with little more to eat than buffalo meat, was especially 
interested in life at the forts where they stopped. She carefully 
described the furnishings, the meals served them, and made note 
of the produce of the gardens at some of the forts. Of Ft. Hall 
she wrote, "Anything that looks like a house makes us glad." 

Of particular interest to Wyoming readers is the mission party's 
travel across the area which later became the state of Wyoming. 
The group rested for several days at Ft. Laramie, passed Emi- 
grant's Gap and Independence Rock, and crossed the mountains 
at South Pass. They were present at a Green River Rendezvous 
for fur traders and Indians, with its colorful activity and excite- 

The numerous illustrations are well chosen to supplement the 
word picture of this forerunner of all the pioneer women of the 

Cheyenne Katherine Halverson 

Carrington, a Novel of the West. By Michael Straight. (New 
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960. 376 pp. $4.50.) 

Carrington is a novel based on the tragic 1866 story of Fort 
Phil Kearny in northern Wyoming, beleaguered by the Sioux, and 
its commanding officer, Colonel Henry Carrington, who was too 
much of a gentleman to handle one of the toughest jobs ever 
assigned to any man. 

As a novel, it has all the drive toward destiny of a Greek 
tragedy, satisfying to the drama student because it fulfills its 
inevitability. There can be no surprise ending. The plot is too 
well known in advance. 


A modern novelist chooses either of two roads. For popular 
success, he plays up sex. For a critic's success, he goes down the 
grim road of realism, no matter how the reader shudders. Michael 
Straight has ignored sex, except for a few slimy allusions by the 
more earthy members of the cast. He has not ignored realism. 
If there is any form of suffering or torture inflicted by the elements 
or mankind, red or white, it is there in detail. If there are any of 
"life's little urgencies" (Edward Weeks) they are belabored in 
these pages. 

One of the most refined bits of torture evolves, not from the 
Indians, but from Carrington himself, who is too weak to have a 
young recruit shot, according to the rules, or think up a logical 
way to save him, when he drinks and sleeps in a vital lookout 
post. Instead, Carrington sends him out of the fort into a bitter 
winter dusk on a mule to freeze or be tortured to death by the 
Indians. The surprise outcome is one reward to the reader. 

As history, the book is superbly authenticated, as attested by 
Straight's impressive list of sources. Not mentioned is his volum- 
inous correspondence with Miss Rita Ridings of the Wyoming 
Historical Department, who searched out for him many of the 
details which give the genuine feel of the time and the place. 

Readers who know the real story will wonder why Straight 
glossed over the heroic climax, the rescue of the doomed garrison 
by Portugee Phillips in his famed 226 mile ride in zero weather 
to Fort Laramie for troops — and fails to identify him by name 
except for one brief "Phillips". Perhaps the author knew that 
the man would run away with all the glory, and trimmed him down 
to prevent his overshadowing the vacillating Colonel Carrington. 
To this reviewer it seems unfair. We know the Phillips plot in 
the Cheyenne cemetery, and the names of all his little dead chil- 
dren. We should like to have seen him receive credit for his 
spectacular ride. 

Cheyenne Grace Logan Schaedel 

Cedar Mountain to Antietam. By Edward J. Stackpole. (Harris- 
burg, Pa.: Stackpole. 1959. 111. Maps. $5.95.) 

Author-historian Edward J. Stackpole delineates an early phase 
of the Civil War in his book Cedar Mountain to Antietam, an 
account of the series of savage battles occurring in the late summer 
of 1 862 which culminated in the Battle of Antietam, perhaps the 
war's bloodiest single engagement. While the individual soldier 
remains lost in the anonymity of men colliding with each other in 
the smoke and flame of combat with its ignominy and heroism, 
Stackpole examines the military and civilian leaders as they vie 
with one another to tip the larger scales of the fortunes of war. 


There is no Billy Yank or Johnny Reb of the ranks and files 
but their leaders — men who ordered their individual fates and 
whom they followed sometimes with a dashing willingness and 
quite often reluctantly. 

A military man himself, Stackpole quite ably appraises the 
relative merits and the shortcomings of these Northern and 
Southern general officers. Jackson, Longstreet, A. P. Hill, Stuart, 
Hood, and D. H. Hill assume their roles and each is strained to 
the utmost of his ability to avoid a crushing defeat of the Army 
of Northern Virginia in the bloody charges at Antietam. For the 
North, the reader must experience the sense of frustration caused 
by the hopelessly inadequate leadership of McClellan and Pope. 

The moments of greatness for each of these officers together 
with their fatal inadequacies underscore the strokes and counter- 
strokes of the battles. Even as these fateful events unfold, the 
reader gains the strong impression of the North taking its terrible 
and bitter defeats much as the white iron is hammered out upon 
the anvil, forging from the beatings the grim will to go on to the 
time when the war has come down to its final bludgeoning. The 
Author does as well as any historian in revealing the human 
frailities and the sudden resolution of men faced with overwhelm- 
ing dangers. Unfortunately, this grim resolve was prevelent on 
both sides after Antietam and would postpone the final decision 
for two more years. 

Against this surging background Author Stackpole weaves into 
his story the thread of the first of those fascinating "might have 
beens" of the war — those moments of opportunity for victory 
fumbled away by both sides. It seems to be the diversion no 
Civil War historian can resist. 

As the author concludes his account with the withdrawal of 
the Army of Northern Virginia from the field of Antietam, the 
reader is left with the melancholy sense that things were going to 
become much worse before they became any better. That these 
Americans of 1 862-65 knew it, too, is inescapable. We can only 
remain in awe today of the deep convictions and fortitude that 
would allow them to endure the terrible blood-letting that was to 

Casper James P. Williams 


Since the publication of the April 1960 Annals of Wyoming 
a number of worthwhile books have been sent to the Editor 
which are neither on Wyoming nor on Western American History. 
Although it is not the purpose of the A nnals of Wyoming to review 
all history books that are printed, it is well sometimes to inform 


the readers of the Annals of worthwhile non-western history books. 
This will be particularly true as the Civil War Centennial pro- 
gresses in the years 1961-65. 

Jesse H. Jameson 

The Federalist: A Classic on Federalism and Free Government. 
By Gottfried Dietze. (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1960. 
Bibliography. Index. 378 pages. $6.50.) 

As soon as the Federal Constitution was written in 1787, many 
people were surprised that the Articles of Confederation had not 
been improved instead of discarded. Critics of the new document 
immediately appeared, and the general public had to be assured 
that the Federal Constitution should be adopted. Three men, 
John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, who had 
participated in the writing of the Constitution answered the critics 
in a series of papers that have been collected together under the 
title of The Federalist Papers. 

Gottfried Dietze does not reprint these papers. As he states 
it, neither does he interpret them, but analyzes them — a rather 
difficult distinction to recognize at times. Because of his Euro- 
pean background and training, the author projects the papers 
upon a world stage, that is, Germany, France, and Italy. He 
analyzes the Federalist Papers in terms of individual freedom, 
state rights, and national rights. He sees judicial review as a 
means of protecting all three components of the federation, 
especially in mid-twentieth century United States when nationalism 
is overwhelming state rights. 

Most readers will agree that the book is an interesting presenta- 
tion of one of the basic documents — The Federalist Papers — of 
American history. To some the book may be disturbing as it 
probes the basic relationships of the individual, state, and national 

Felix Frankfurter, Scholar on the Bench. By Helen Shirley Thom- 
as. (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. Index. 1960. 381 
pages. $6.50.) 

Felix Frankfurter, Scholar on the Bench is not as much a 
biography as an interpretation of our court system against the 
background of Justice Felix Frankfurter. The civic classes of 
our youth merely gave us the outline of the court system but 
without its complex functionings. To the layman, therefore, court 
rulings often seem both capricious and arbitrary, and frequently 


he believes the moral good of the majority and community is 
sacrificed to a legal fine point. ' A paradox that seemingly supports 
the layman's thinking, cited by Miss Thomas, is that a school 
board can pay bus fare for parochial students but cannot grant 
free time for religious instruction. Both issues, on the surface, 
involve the question of church and state. However, as the author 
constantly reminds the reader there is much more to a court 
ruling than the logical presentation of facts. An historical appre- 
ciation is necessary as well as the abstract definitions. 

Nothing less can be said of Miss Thomas's work than this: 
it is a thought invoking book to be read in the quiet of one's study, 
for this is an adult civics book that will enlighten the citizen on 
his government's operation. To those of us who grew up with 
the concept of three separate branches of government, this book 
introduces us to the fourth branch — the administrative — with the 
Supreme Court at its head. 

The Trumpet Soundeth. William Jennings Bryan and His De- 
mocracy, 1896 to 1912. By Paul W. Glad. (University 
of Nebraska Press. 1960. 111., notes, bibl., acknowledge- 
ments, and index. Pages 242. $4.75) 

In a campaign year, William Jennings Bryan takes on an added 
interest because of certain similarities between his times and the 
present. Bryan was the youngest candidate for the presidency 
in 1896, and in 1901, by reason of accident, Theodore Roosevelt 
became the youngest president. As with today, religion was an 
underlying factor in the election of 1908 when Bryan ran against 
William Howard Taft for the presidency. 

Bryan was three time standard bearer of the Democratic party 
and three times looser. He was a master of public speaking and 
oratory, and people enjoyed listening to the silver tongued orator 
whether it was in an intellectual cause or politics. That he lost 
each presidential election was less a personal fault and more an 
accident of the times. In 1896, the silver issue split the Demo- 
cratic party. Prosperity and a military victory made gold and 
William McKinley popular in 1900. The author gives no clear 
reasons for Bryan's defeat in 1908 except that possibly the popu- 
larity of Roosevelt caused the American people to accept his 
choice, William Howard Taft. However, some Democrats claimed 
the Catholic vote aided Taft. 

In the campaigning of Bryan the reader can see some of the 
hazards of politics and the trials facing our two contenders for 
the presidency: the convention, taking the message to the people, 
and the voting. 


Hanover to Windsor. By Roger Fulford. (New York: MacMil- 
lan Company, 1960. 111., bibl., index. Pages 208. $5.00.) 

Roger Fulford states that he has added nothing new to the 
biographies of the four British monarchs from William IV through 
Victoria, Edward VII to George V, and his sources are easily 
available to any reader or writer. However, once again a master 
craftsman demonstrates the technique that an old story can be 
retold with renewed interest. Instead of the usual ponderous, 
heavy affairs of state, we are shown the intimate and somewhat 
personal lives of these monarchs which brings them a little closer 
to the common man and may explain why royalty has survived 
in Britain. Although the book is written for the English reader, 
it has much to appeal to the American who has an 1776 inherited 
phobia against royalty, and it may help the American reader find 
common ties with our North American ally. 

The Battle of Gettysburg, A Guided Tour. By General E. J. 
Stackpole and Colonel W. S. Nye. (Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania: The Stackpole Company. 111. and maps. 96 pages. 

The Battle of Gettysburg is an interesting combination of guide 
book and history with the first part being given to a tour of the 
battle site and the balance to history and statistics of the battle. 
For anyone interested only in the history, the historical section 
tells very graphically the reason for the battle and the subsequent 
actions during the three day struggle in which nearly six thousand 
men lost their lives. Accompanying maps and illustrations add 
to the interest and clarity of the text. Causes for the Confederate 
defeat and the Union victory are discussed somewhat briefly. 
These causes can be summarized as General Robert E. Lee's 
mistakes and "... a better antagonist than had previously con- 
fronted the Army of Northern Virginia ..." Perhaps it is the 
latter cause that made this battle the highwater mark of the 
Conferacy and doomed it to ultimate defeat. 


Mrs. Mabel Canadat (Charles) Bass of Jay Em, Wyoming, 
was born September 22, 1909, a daughter of Frank O. Canadat 
and Addie Hackworth Canadat. She attended Campion Academy, 
Loveland, Colorado, and Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska. 
From 1927 to 1934, she was a rural school teacher. In 1935, 
she married Charles Bass. Mrs. Bass has written for a number 
of periodicals, including The Wyoming Magazine. She has two 
children, Donnalee Bass Hood and Dewin L. Bass. 

Charles Cunning Rawlings was born in Clarinda, Iowa, in 
1891 and came to Wyoming with his parents, Lanis Thompson 
Rawlings and Philenia Cunning, in 1900. He attended the Sheri- 
dan High School and Spencer Business College in Sheridan. In 
1912, he married Florence Elizabeth Bay, and four children — a 
daughter and three sons — were born to them. Mr. Rawlings lives 
at Ranchester. From 1912 to 1938, he was a rancher. At the 
present, he is president of the Ranchester State Bank as well as 
an insurance agent. 

Robert Franklin Strait, son of James Asbury Strait and 
Flora Ann Allman, was born in 1877 and came to Wyoming in 
the spring of 1898. Except for two years, 1913-1915, he has 
been a resident of Wyoming. In 1913, he married Edith Susan 
Carter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Carter, of Ranchester 
and Parkraan. Mr. Strait was a carpenter until his retirement, 
but he also worked as a lumberjack, farmer, and section foreman 
on the B.&M.R.R. 

Mrs. Thelma Gatchell Condit. See Annals of Wyoming, 
Vol. 29, No. 1, April 1957, p. 120. 

Dale L. Morgan. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, p. 120-121. 

Louis C. Steege. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, p. 121. 

Mae Urbanek. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 27, No. 2, 
October 1955, p. 251. 

General Jndex 


Adams, 76 

Adams Express Co., 30 

Agate Basin, materials; site, 241, 

Agogino, Dr. George A., Archaeo- 
logical Research by the University 
of Wyoming for 1960, 242-244 

Akin, Mary Ann, 1 1 1 

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 10 

Alexander, Col. E. B., 19, 20 

Allen, Eugene B., 43 

Allen, James S., 8 

Allen, Opal Sweazea, Narcissa Whit- 
man, review, 267 

Allen, Gen., 180, 181 

Allen, Lt., 222 

Allen, Russell & Co., 8, 9 

Allman, Flora Ann, 274 

Alter, J. Cecil, 120 

Alvord, E. S., 44 

Amargosa Industry, 240 

Americ, 242 

American Academy of Arts and 
Science, 242 

American Express Co., 30 

American Fur Co., 267 

American Institute of Research, 
Golden, Colo., 243 

American Legion Hall, 251 

American Military history, 19 

Amusement, early day, 205 

Anderson, Axel, 153 

Anderson, William, 225 

Anderson, Major, 230 

Angel, Dr., M. B., 179 

Annual Post Route Bill, 43 

Antietam, Md., 270 

Antiquities Bill, 239 

Antram, Pvt. Jesse E., 232 

Archaeological Notes, Wyoming, 
125-129, 239-246 

Archaeological Research by the 
University of Wyoming for 1960, 
by Dr. George A. Agogino, 242- 

Arms, Cephas, 65 

Armstrong, J. E., 189 

Army, 10, 13, 14, 21 

Arnold, Mrs. Olga Moore, 251 

Ashley, Delos R., 58, 59, 201 

Ashley Falls, 68 

Ashton, Sam, 187 

Astorians, 224 

Atchison, Kansas, 25 
Athearn, Prince Allen, 184 
Athearn, Robert G., High Country 

Empire, review, 261-263 
Atlantic City, Wyo., 116 
Aull, James and Robert, 5-9, 14, 15 
Austin, Henry, 196 

B & M Railroad, 147, 274 

Babbitt, Almon W., 53, 54 

Babcock, Chubby, 97, 98 

Backus, Gurdon, 186 

Bader, Col., 97 

Badger Creek, 83 

Badman, Philip, 194 

Bailey, Godard, 37-41 

Ball, John, 225 

Ballau, Pvt. James, 229, 231 

Bankruptcy, 42, 43, 46 

Banner, Wyo., 76 

Banner Mining District, 45 

Baptist Church, 6, 15 

Bar C Ranch, 85, 205, 209 

Barnum, Wyo., 70, 91, 205 

Barrett, R. W., 19 

Barrow, Merris C, 223 

Bars Hill Trail to Tongue River, 152 

Bartlett, Albert B.. 115; Mr. and 

Mrs., 238 
Bass, Charles, 274; Dewin, 274 
Bass, Mrs. Mabel Canadat (Charles), 

274; What's in a Name, 164-166 
Batchelder, Amos, 198 
Battle of: Antietam, 269; Bull Run, 

45; Gettysburg, 273; Killdeer 

Mountain, 227; Rosebud, 222; 

Shiloh, 261 
The Battle of Gettysburg, A Guided 

Tour. By General E. J. Stackpole 

and Col. W. S. Nye, review, 273 
Bay, Florence Elizabeth, 274 
Baylor, —,37 
Bear Claw Ranch, 151 
Bear Creek (Fontenelle) 71, 194 
Bear River, 20, 54, 111, 171, 193 
Bear River Valley, 63, 168 
Beaver Creek, 77 
Bed Tick Creek, 122 
Bedlam, 106 



Benshoof, Inez, 166 

Benson, lohn, 60, 62 

Bent, William, 7 

Berger, Capt., 176 

Berlet, Walter, 252 

Berlin, Mo., 14 

Berrien, Joseph Waring, 169 

Berry, Miss Henryetta, 249 

Bible, 15 

Biddle, B. R., 181, 185 

Big Horn Basin, 89, 91, 145, 207 

Big Horn-Hyattville Road, 145 

Big Horn Mountains, 76, 91, 93, 

145, 147, 161-163, 208 
Big Piney, Wyo., 168 
Big Sandy, 26, 51, 53, 54, 56, 58, 

64, 65, 168, 177, 183, 188, 193, 

197, 198 
Big Springs (near Lawrence, Kans.), 

Bijou Creek, 26 
Bill Barlow Budget, 223 
"A Bill for the Relief of Blanche 

Hunton." - S.B. 2785, 107 
Billy Creek, 99 
Bishop, L. C, 103, 119, 122, 123, 

130, 219, 232, 233, 247; Mr. and 

Mrs., 238, 250; review Pony Ex- 
press — The Great Gamble, by 

Roy S. Bloss, 130 
Black Bill, 49 
Black, Jeremiah, 40 
Black Hills (Laramie Mts.), 114 
Black Hills, 263 
Black Mountain, 146, 147, 152, 155, 

Black's Fork, 19, 20, 56, 58 
Blacksmith, 52, 53 
Blizzard, 1892, 92, 193 
Bloss, Roy S., Pony Express — The 

Great Gamble, review, 130 
Blue Creek, 240, 241 
Boggs, John, 170, 171 
Boles', residence, 233, 234 
Bond, Robert, 59 
Bonneville, Capt. Benjamin L. E., 

Boon[e] County, Mo., 226 
Bowry and dance hall (description) 

208, 209 
Box Elder Springs, 114 
Boyack, Col. and Mrs. A. R., 103, 

Boyle, Dr. Charles Elisha, 170 
Bozeman, Mont., 121 
Bozeman Trail, 89, 120, 123, 220 
Brace, H. J., 172 
Braden, Martha, 76 
Bradford, Gov. Wm„ 14 

Bradford, Robert B., 27, 28, 31 

Bradford, Colo., 27 

"Bradford Road", 27 

Bradley, Bill, 155, 157 

Bradley, George, 53 

Bradley, Glenn D., 266 

Bradley, Col. W. R., 103, 219, 238 

Breaking Cart, 78, 79 

Breckenridge, Colo., 27 

Brent, Capt. Thomas L., 18, 21 

Bretey, Mr. and Mrs. W. J.; David, 

Bretney, Lt. Henry C, 227, 228, 

236, 237 
Brevoort Hotel, N. Y., 45 
Breyfogle, Joshua D., diary, 57 
Bridger, James, 7, 20, 120, 121 
Bridger's Ferry Marker, 120 
Brittian, Harmon ("Harm"), 76-78, 

98; Mrs. 77, 78 
Brock, Elmer, 76; Julia 72 
Brook, A. L., 93 
Brooks, Phillip, 101 
Brown, A. E., 175, 177, 180, 186 
Brown, James, 10 
Brown, John E., 193 
Brown, Pvt. Moses, 228 
Brown, Pvt. William, 232 
Brown, — , 226 
Brown, Russell & Co., 10 
Brown County, Mo., 202 
Brown Spring, 123 
Bruff, Joseph Goldsborough, 167, 
196, 197, 199 

Bryan, William Jennings, 272 
Bryan, Jerry, 263 
Bryarly, Dr. Wakeman, 177, 178 
Bryson, James S., 164 
Buchanan, Pres. James, 18, 22, 36, 

40, 41, 56 
"Buchanan's War", 22 
Buffalo Bill, see Cody, William F. 
Buffalo, Wyo., 72, 74-76, 80-82, 

90-93, 97, 99, 205, 207 
Buffalo Bulletin, 92, 216 
Buffalo Voice, 76 
Buffum, Joseph Curtis, 175 
Bullard, James S., 8; Russell, 9 
Bullwhackers, 11, 13, 15, 19, 35 
Burbank, Augustus Ripley, 190, 201 
Bureau of Land Management, 108 
Burger, Mrs. Leonard (Nellie Win- 

ingar) 73, 77, 90, 98 
Burlington Railroad, 75, 155 
Burnett, Finn, 120 
Burns, Robert H., 238 
Burton, Henry W., 188 
Butler, Mo., 75 
Butterfield & Co., 30 



Calamity Jane, 89, 123, 222 

Caldwell, Dr., 190 

California, 29-32, 34, 36, 43, 44, 

49, 51, 52, 56-59, 67, 109, 172 
California Crossing of North Platte, 

Camino, Mrs. Martin, 251, 256 
Camps: Floyd, 23, 32; Scott, 21, 

22; Winfield, 19, 20 
Campbell, Robert, 7, 105 
Campbell, Robert L., 53, 54 
Canadat, Addie Hackworth and 

Frank O., 274 
Canyon Creek, 92 
Capital Hydraulic Ditch Co., 27 
Capps, Red, 223 
Carboniferous Rocks at Hartville, 

Card playing, 207 
Carley, Maurine (compiler of Trek 

#10), 103, 219, 238, 250 
Carlyle, 111., 112 
Carr, Dick, 75 
Carrington, Col. Henry, 120, 121, 

268, 269; Frances C, 121 
Carrington, a Novel of the West. 

By Michael Straight, review, 268 
Carson, Kit, 7, 119 
Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Milton; Edith 

Susan 274 
Carson Valley, Nevada, 29, 32, 266 
Carth, Thomas, 202 
Casper, Wyo., 51, 232 
Casper Archaeological Society, 239 
Casper Press, 236, 237 
Casper Mountain Speaks, By Mae 

Urbanek, poem, 204 
Cassidy, Butch, 76 
Castleman, P. F., 195 
Cattle, 24, 62, 63; rustling, 76; war, 

Cedar Mountain to Antietam. By 

Edward J. Stackpole, review, 

269, 270 

Central Overland and Pike's Peak 

Express Co., 28-36, 44-46, 112, 

Central Pacific R. R. 3 260 
Central Route, 30, 31, 34-36, 43, 44 
Chadwell, John, 202 
Chamberlain, William, 176 
Chamberry, — , 183 
Chapman, W. W., 224 
Charlestown Va. Company, 183, 

Cherry Creek, [Colo.], 24, 27 
Cheyenne, Wyo., 71, 118, 207, 258 
Cheyenne and Rawhide Buttes, W. 

T., 164 

The Cheyenne-Black Hills Road, 

Cheyenne Archaeological Society, 

Cheyenne-Red Cloud Agency-Ne- 
braska Trail, 164 

Cheyenne Daily Evening Leader, 
258, 259 

Chicago, 111., 24, 32 

Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, 
122, 260 

Chicago Natural History Museum, 

Chicago Times, 258 

Chicago Tribune, 258, 259 

Childs, Jimmie, 76 

Chilean Army officers, 257 

Chisholm, James, 258-259 

Chorpenning, George, 34 

Christmas Cantata, 76 

Christmas 1857, 21 

Christopulos, George and daughter, 

Chugwater, Wyo., 73 

Circle F. Ranch, 85 

City of Rocks, 53 

Civil War, 30, 43, 46, 89, 227, 258 

Clark, Bennett C, 174, 175 

Clark, Frank G. Jr., review of Fol- 
lowing the Indian Wars, by Oliver 
Knight, 259, 260; The Plains Rifle 
by Charles E. Hanson, Jr., 137 

Clark, Sterling B. F., 60 

Clarkson's Ranch, 93 

Clayton, William, Latter-day Saints' 
Emigrants' Guide, 167 

Clear Creek, 89 

Clear Creek District, Colo., 45 

Clearmont, Wyo., 75, 76, 96 

Clovis man, 119; points, 124, 245; 
site 243 

Cody, William F., 16 

Cody Complex, 243 

Cody Archaeological Society, 239 

Coleman, Crpl., 223 

Colket, T. C. 2d., 249 

Collins, Lt. Caspar, 228, 235, 237 

Coloma, Calif., 173, 202 

Colorado, 44 

Colorado and Pacific Wagon, Tele- 
graph and Railroad Co., 45 

Colorado Midland R. R., 260 

Colorado Magazine, 45 

Columbus, Ohio, 170 

Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 37 

Conant, Roger, Mercer's Belles, 
edited by Lenna A. Deutsch, 257 

Concord Coaches, 26, 29 

Condit, Clark, 251 



Condit. L. R. A., 91 

Condit. Richard. 247, 251 

Condit, Thelma Gatchell, 247, 251, 
252; contributor, 139, 274; The- 
Hole-in-the-Wall, Part VI, Ono 
Early Post Office, 70-101, Part 
VII, Section I, Early Day Dances, 
205-217; President's Message, 

Cone, G. C, 64 

Conestoga Wagons, 28 

Confederate Army, 43 

Congress, 18, 22, 43, 107, 108 

Cook, Mrs. Bird Wolfe, 75 

Cordova, 111., 263, 264 

Cosad. David, diarist, 169 

Cotter, Dr. John L., 242 

Cottonwood River, 223 

Cowboy, 73, 74, 83, 86, 94, 207, 

Cranston, Red, 80-88 

Crazy Woman Creek, 97, 100, 217 

Creighton, Edward, 46 

Crockett, W. Y., 202, 203 

Crook, Gen. George, 222 

Cross, Major Osborn, 63, 193 

Culin, Dr., 118 

Cunning, Philenia, 274 

Curry, Peggy Simson, 252 

Curutchet, Mrs. May Louise, 251 

Custard. Sgt. Amos L, 227-229, 232, 

Custard Wagon Train, 226, 227, 
231; massacre site, 233, 234 

"Custard's Hill," 234 

Custer, Gen. George A., 123 

Custer: The Life of General George 
Armstrong Custer. By Jay Mon- 
aghan, review, 134-135 

Cutler Creek, 146, 149, 152, 158, 

159; pond, 148; road, 146 

Dahlman, Jim, 215 

Dailey Mining District, 45 

Dakota Formation, 117, 119 

Dale, Maria Virginia, 112 

Dallas, Charley, 67, 68 

Dance Hall Hat Ranch, photo, 206 

Dances, early days, 205 

Darwin, Charles, 62 

Davis, Mrs. Dorothy Mondell, 251 

Davis, H. W., 91 

Davis, Mark, 233 

Davis, Tom, 148, 153 

Dawson. John M., 19 

Dayton, Wyo., 146, 147, 149, 151; 

photo, 156 
Dead Man's Point, 147, 158 
"Deafy," tie camp worker, 158, 160 
Death Valley, Calif., 69 
Decker, Peter, 170 
Deer Creek, 224, 225, 237; Pony 

Express and Stage Station, 224, 

231; crossing 224-225 
Dietze, Gottfried, 270 
Delano, Alonza, 178, 180, 182, 186 
Delaware Company, 55, 56 
Demand, Lewis, 238 
Democratic Party of Wyo., 107 
Dennis, Brig. Gen. Elias E., 112 
Dent, Colorado, 243 
Denver, Colorado, 16, 24-29, 31, 32, 

112, 144 
Denver and Rio Grande R. R., 261 
Denver Museum of Natural History, 

Denver Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 

Denver, South Park and Pacific 

R. R., 260 
Department of Interior, 38, 40 
Deseret, State of, 53; General As- 
sembly, 54 
Deserters (from army), 65 
Deutsch, Lenna A., ed. Mercer's 

Belles by Roger Conant, 257 
Devil's Gate, 49, 180 
Dewolf, Capt. David, 65, 66 
Dietz, Gottfried, The Federalist: A 

Classic on Federalism and Free 

Government, review, 270, 271 
Dinsmore, William B., 44 
Dodge, Augustus and Nathaniel M., 

Donaldson, J. M., 9 
Donelly, — , 148 
Donelley's, Kid, saloon, 207 
Dorsey, Dr., 118 
Douglas, Steven A., 17 
Douglas, Wyo., 122, 123, 219 
Dover, Mo., 14 
Dowling, Jim, 99 
Doyle, Simon, 63 
Drew, Lt., 222 
Drinkard, Col. W. R., 37, 38 
Drownings on Green River, 59, 60, 

Dry Fork (of Little Horn) 155, 160 
Dry Fork of the Powder River, 207 
Dulash, Mr. and Mrs. N., 238 
Duncan, Capt. Thomas, 65 
Dundass, Samuel Rutherford, 61, 62 
Dunley, Jack, 157 
Durnford, Paula, 238 



Eagle Valley, 3 1 

Early, William, 8 

Early History of Fort Fetterman, 
By Charles Ritter, 220 

Early Prehistoric Period by L. C. 
Steege, Clovis Points, 124-126; 
Folsom Points, 245-246 

Earnest, Boney, 236 

Eastman, Judge, 118 

Edgemont, So. Dak., 145 

Egan, Capt., 223 

Ehernberger, Jim, review of End of 
Track by James H. Kyner, 260- 

Eklund, R. A., 238 

Elgin, Dick, 223 

Elk Mountain, 113 

Elliot, Harriet, 8 

Ellis, Mrs. Mollie, 256 

Ellsworth, Edmund, 52 

Elston, Allan Vaughn, Gun Law at 
Laramie, review 138-139 

Elwood, Kansas, 33 

Emigrant Hill, 110, 111, 117 

Emigrant Trail Trek No. 10, com- 
piled by Maurine Carley, Part I, 
102-123; Part II 219-232 

Emigrants, 51, 52, 66 

Emigrants' Guide to California by 
Joseph E. Ware, 167 

Empire City, Colo., 45 

End of Track, by James H. Kyner, 
review, 260 

Escolas, Dr. Edmond L., review of 
Politics and Grass: The Adminis- 
tration of Grazing on the Public 
Domain by Phillip O. Foss, 264- 

Ethete, Wyo., 234 

Evans, Burrelle W., 61 

Evans, Lloyd R. review, Custer: The 
Life of General George Arm- 
strong Custer by James Mon- 
aghan, 134, 135 

Evansville, Wyo., 226 

Ewart, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, 238 

Fairfield, Pvt. S. H., 233 
Farlow, Jules, 249 
Farnham, Elijah Bryan, 189 

Farnum, E. B., 224 

The Federalist: A Classic on Feder- 
alism and Free Government. By 
Gottfried Dietze, review 270, 271 

Felix Frankfurter, Scholar on the 
Bench. By Helen Shirley Thom- 
as review, 271 

Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. R. A., 238 

Ferries: Bridger's, 120-121; Green 
River, 199; North Platte, 54, 64, 
172, 203, 226; Mormon 172, 173, 

175, 176, 181, 188, 194, 200-202, 

The Ferries of the Forty-Niners, 
Part III. By Dale E. Morgan, 
Section I, The Green River Fer- 
ries, 50-69; Section II, The Fer- 

" ries on the Sublette Cutoff, 167- 

Ferry at Green River July 22, 1849, 
Drawings of, 50, 64 

Ferry boat down the Green River, 
1849, 67-69 

Fetterman, Bvt. Lt. Col. William J., 

Fetterman Massacre, 89 

Ficklin, Benjamin F., 25 

Field, Richard, 68 

Field Columbian Museum, 118 

Findley, Capt. William, 172, 173 

Findley site, 203 

Finerty, J. F., 260 

Finney, William F., 31 

Fischer, Phil, 209, 211 

Fish fry, 209-211; photos, 210 

Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 7 

Flagg, — , 76 

Flaming Gorge, 68 

Flannery, A. L. "Pat": 103, 104- 
109, 219, 238, 252 

Fleischmann, Max C. Foundation, 
Flint Flake Hill, 120 

Floyd, John B., 22, 23, 37-41 

Following the Indian Wars. By 
Oliver Knight, review, 259, 260 

Folsom, Calif., 36 

Folsom, New Mexico, 245 

Folsom Culture, 242 

Fontenelle Creek [Bear Creek] 169, 

176, 187, 191/ 195, 197 
Foote, — , 76 

Ford, — , 59, 201 

Fordyce, Comm. Lloyd M., 256 

Forest Service, 147 



Forts: Bridger, 20, 21, 30, 32, 33, 
44, 53, 59, 63, 69, 113, 167, 193, 
200, 266; Casper, 220, 225, 226; 
C. F. Smith, 120; Fetterman, 102, 
118, 123, 219, 221-224; Fillmore, 
30; Hall, 10, 60, 173, 175, 191, 
193, 199, 202; Halleck, 113; 
Kearney [Nebr.], 10, 22, 27, 30, 
32, 44, 59, 64; Laramie, 19, 22, 
27, 30, 32. 44, 57, 64, 65, 104- 
106, 108-111, 113, 118, 120, 121, 
221, 223, 226-228, 250, 266; Iron 
Bridge, 103, 106; National Monu- 
ment, 103, photo, 102; Leaven- 
worth, 18, 19, 227; McKinney, 
89; McPherson, 222; Mann, 13; 
Phil Kearny, 89, 120, 121, 129, 
220, 225, 268; Pierre, 264; Platte, 
109; Reno, 120, 121, 222; St. 
Vrain, 27; Sumpter, 45; Union, 
13; Yuma, 30 
Fort Laramie, Wyo., 109 
Forty-Niners, 51-69, 167-203 
Foss, Philip O., Politics and Grass: 
The Administration of Grazing 
on the Public Domain, review, 
Foster, Isaac, 61, 62 
Fox, George W., 121 
Francis, Mrs. Ira, 256 
Frazier, Rev. Stuart, 251 
Frear, lames, 225 
Frederick, Mrs. Henry, 238 
Freezeout Association Cow Camp, 

147, 151; point, 148, 151 
Freighting, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 25 
Fremont, Capt. lohn C, 224 
Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri 

Valley R. R., 260 
Fremont Peak, 199 
Frewen Brothers, 205 
Friend, John C, 236 
Frison, Robert, 249, 251, 256 
Fulford, Roger, Hanover to Wind- 
sor review, 272 
Funk, Daniel, 53 

Gable, Ed, 214 
Galena, 111., 15, 175 
Gallop, Jim, 82 
Galloway, Eugene, 241 
Gait, — , 59, 201 
Gammon, Clarence J., 256 

Gardner, Mrs. May, 97; Tom, 87, 

209, 217 
Gartner, I. C, 238 
Gatchell, Jim, 84, 85, 91, 98; Drug 

Store, 82; Museum, 74 
Geier, Mr. Orel, 250 
Geiger, Vincent, 177 
Geological evolution, Wyoming, 

Gersig, Al, 87 
Gilpin, Gov. William, 44 
Glad, Paul W. The Trumpet Sound- 

eth. William Jennings Bryan and 

His Democracy, 1896 to 1912 

review, 272 
Glendo Dam, 117, 119 
Glenrock, Wyo., 224 
Golden, Colorado, 44 
Gordon, — , 226 
Goshen County, Wyo., 164 
Gottlick, —,112 
Gould, Charles, 65 
Grand Teton National Park, 262 
Granite State and California Mining 
and Trading Company, 197 
Grass Valley Mining District, 45 
Gray, Charles, 59, 60; Don 250; 

N. H. 267; Pvt. William D., 232 
Grear, Thomas, 202 
The Great American West. By 

James D. Horan, review, 133-134 
The Great Command. The Story 

of Marcus & Narcissa Whitman 

and the Oregon Country Pioneers 

by Nard Jones, review, 132-133 
Great Salt Lake City or Valley. See 

Salt Lake City 
Green, Martin, 232 
Green Parrot Restaurant, 82 
Green River, 19, 120-266; Ferries, 

see Ferries of the Forty-Niners; 

ford, 65, 67; jury at, 180; Moun- 
tains, 191; Rendezvous, 268 
Greenwood, Caleb, 50; cutoff, 167, 

169, 199; "Desert," 51 
Grey-Taylor Rock Shelter Site, 240, 

Greys River, 168 
Grigg, Wyo., 70 
Griggs, Bert, 76 
Gross, Chris, 148 
Guernsey, Wyo., 110, 116, 118 
Guinard, — , 225 
Gun Law at Laramie. By Allan 

Vaughn Elston, review, 138, 139 
Guthe, Carl E. The Management of 

Small History Museums, review, 

Gwinn, Senator, 36 



Hackney, Joseph, 187 

Haight, Isaac C., 53 

Hale, Israel, 188 

Hall, George, 157, 158 

Halverson, Katherine, review of 

Narcesia Whitman by Apal Swea- 

zea Alien, 267-268 
Hamelin, Joseph, 63 
Hams Fork, 19, 20, 195 
Hanks, Eph, 53 
Hanover to Windsor. By Roger 

Fulford review, 272 
Hanson, Charles E. Jr., The Plains 

Rifle, review, 137 
Hargraves, William "Uncle Jack", 

Harney, Gen. W. S., 18, 20 
Harris, Silas, 165; sons: Art G., 

165; Frank H. and wife Florence, 

165; Lake, 165, 166 
Harrisburg, Pa., 196 
Hartsell, Jim, 158 
Hartville Gulch, 116; Road, 110; 

Uplift, 116, 117 
Harvey Gulch, 122 
Hayden, Mrs. Dudley, 249 
Hayes, Billy, 100 
Haynes, C. V., 241, 243 
Hazelrig, Charles and Joseph, 68 
Hebron company, 225 
Heil, Pvt., George, 232 
Helena, Montana, 246 
Hell Gap Site, 242, 243 
Hells Midden Site, Colorado, 240 
Helvey, Robert, 249 
Henderson, Helen, 120, 123, 238; 

review of The Great Command. 

The Story of Marcus and Nar- 

cissa Whitman and the Oregon 

Country Pioneers by Nard Jones, 

132-133; Paul 120, 123, 224, 238 
Henry, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Bill, and 

children, 238 
Henry, Mike, 123 

Henry, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Wm„ 238 
Henry, Wm., 123 
Herman, Leo I., review of The Pony 

Express, Waddell F. Smith Editor, 

Hesse, Fred W., 256; Mrs. Fred W., 

71; outfit, 209 
Hickok, Wild Bill, 264 
Hickman, David, 226 
High Country Empire, by Robert G. 

Athearn, review 261-263 
Highway Salvage Agreement, 239 

Hildebrand, Elizabeth, 103, 219, 
220; Jeneva, 103, 219; Lyle, 219; 
Mr. and Mrs. Lyle and children, 

Hill, Gen. A. P., 270 

Hill, — , 76 

Hinman, C. G., 61 

Historic Sites Committee, 250 

Hitt, Capt., 202 

Hixson, Jasper M., 170, 171, 189, 

Hobo Rock, 149, 151, 159 

Hockaday & Co., 27, 29, 30, 35 

Hog Ranch, 123, 222, 223 

Hoffman, Donald, 256 

The Hole-in-the-Wall. By Thelma 
Gatchell Condit, Part VI, Ono 
Early Post Office, 70-101; Part 
VII, Section I, Early Day Dances, 

Hole-in-the-Wall Country, 240 

Holladay, Ben, 45 

Homsher, Lola M., 240, 249; ed. 
South Pass, 1868, James Chis- 
holm's Journal of the Wyoming 
Gold Rush, 258, 259; review of 
The Great American West by 
James D. Horan, 133, 134 

Honey Lake Wagon Road Expedi- 
tion, 1857, 225 

Hood, Donnalee Bass, 274; Gen. 
John B., 270 

Hood, Gen. John B., 270 

Hopkins, Lynn, and Ruth Joy, 252 

Hoppe, Pvt. August, 232 

Hopper, Byron G. Jr., Overland 
News, 112 

Horan, James D., The Great Ameri- 
can West, review, 133, 134 

Hord, Violet, 252 

Horse Creek, 71, 72, 160; Basin, 
148, 152, 154, 157 

Horses: Grey Eagle, 109; Diamond, 
78, photo 77; Birm, 78; Melon- 
chat, 87, 88 

Horseshoe Creek Station, 113, 231 

Horton, Pvt. John, 232 

Hot Sulphur Springs Town Co., 45 

Houghton, A. L., 258 

Howell, Elijah Preston, 191 

Hubbard, Lt. 23 1 

Hudson, Mrs. Frieda, 238 

Hudson, Ruth, review The Saga of 
Ben Holladay, Giant of the Old 
West, by Ellis Lucia, 131, 132 

Hughes, Bela M., 44 

Humboldt River, 30 

Huniston, Mr. and Mrs. Don, 238 



Hunton, John, 106-109; Blanche, 

107, 108 
Huntoon, Capt. Joel, 231 
Hutchings, — , 66 
Hyattville, Wyo., 91, 207 

Idaho Springs, Colo., 45 

An Illinois Gold Hunter In The 
Black Hills. The Diary of Jerry 
Bryan, March 13 to August 20, 
1876. Notes by Clyde C. Wal- 
ton, review, 263 

Independence, Mo., 7, 11, 13 

Indian Artifacts: Clovis Point, 125- 
126, illus., 124; early middle per- 
iod, 240, Folsom point illus., 246; 
McKean complex, 241, varients, 

240, 243, Meserve points, 240 

Indians, 9, 82, 83, 97, 98; at Spanish 
Diggings, 118 

Indian Bureau, 38; Burial, 114; 
Camp, 56 

Indian Chiefs: Black Kettle, 227; 
Crazy Horse, 223; Walker, 69; 
Round Chief 234; Runnen, 223 

Indian Tribes: Arapahoe, 104, 223, 
227, 235; Cayuse, 267; Cheyenne, 
208, 223, 227; Crow, 114; Dela- 
ware, 15; Iroquois, 170; Minne- 
conjus, Pawnee scout, 129; Sho- 
shone, 185; Sioux, 227, 235; Te- 
ton, 227 

Indian Trust Fund (Bonds) 23, 38- 

The Indian Version Of The Platte 
Bridge Fight, 234-236 

Ingram, Ann, Elva, James, 111 

Isham, G. S., 172, 202 

Jackson, Gen. Thomas J., 270 

Jagger, J., 188, 201 

Jameson, Jesse H., Worthwhile 

Books On The Editor's Desk, 273 
Jay Em, Wyo., 164-166; Cattle Co., 

1911, 165; Creek, 165; Ranch, 

165, 166 
Jennings, Sam, 192 
Jesup, Thomas S., 18 
Jewett, George E., 61 
Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, 

247, 254 
JM brand, 164, 165; photo, 166 
Johnson, Samuel, 209 

Johnson County, 70, 74, 80-82, 86, 

89, 93, 216, 257; Invasion, 71, 93 
Johnson County Historical Society, 

Johnson Site, 242 
Johnston, Col. Albert Sidney, 20; 

William G., 53, 54, 56 
Jones, Mrs. Henry, 238; John S., 

10, 25, 26 
Jones, Nard, The Great Command. 

The Story of Marcus & Narcissa 

Whitman, review 132, 133 
Jones and Russell, 10, 26, 28, 29 
Josselyn, Amos P., 60 
Julesburg, Colo., 31, 41 
July 4th celebrations, 205-217; at 

Hat Ranch, photo, 206 

Kansas Territory, 17, 24, 28, 33; 
Legislature, 28 

Kansas Tribune, 231 

Kapet, Bonner, 175 

Kaw River, 11, 26 

Kaycee, Wyo., 87, 99, 205 

Keeling, Robert H., 178 

Keffer, Dr. Dick, 243 

Kelly, William, 57, 58, 202; Mark, 

Kelsey, — , 148 

Kennedy, Dr., U.C.L.A., 240 

Keyes, Verna, 251, 252 

Kienan, Mr. and Mrs. P., and chil- 
dren, 238 

Kingsbury, Avery, 76, 84, 86 

Kirkpatrick, Charles A., 187 

Knight, Oliver, Following the Indian 
Wars, review 259 

Krell, Fred (Fritz), 263 

Krinn, Mrs. Anna Lee Wolfe, 75, 76 

Kukura, Mrs. Edna, 234, 238 

Kuykendall, J. M., 165 

Kyner, James H., End of Track, 
review 260-261 

La Barge, Wyo., 51, 167, 201 

La Bonte, Al, 103, 219, 220; Pierre, 

103, 219; Mr. & Mrs., 238 
La Bonte Creek, 121 
Lambert, John, 148 
Lamoreux, Capt., A. L., 52, 53 
Lander Cutoff, 168, 198 



La Porte, Colorado, 113 

La Prele Creek, 220; Station, 227 

Laramide Revolution, 117 

La Ramie, Jacques, 104, 105 

Laramie County, W. T., 164 

Laramie County Historical Society, 
108, 250 

"Laramie Creek" — fording of — , 
painting by Wm. Henry Tappan, 

Laramie Mountains, 117; Peak, 105, 
110, 123, 223; River, 104, 105 

Larimer, Gen. Wm., 24, 26 

Larson, Dr. T. A., 238, 247, 250; 
reviews of High Country Empire 
by Robert G. Athearn, 261-263; 
Mercer's Belles by Roger Conant, 
ed. by Lenna A. Deutsch, 257; 
The World of History; A Con- 
ference on Certain Problems in 
Historical Society Work, ed. by 
James H. Rodabaugh, 136-137 

Las Vegas, New Mexico 10 

La Vanta see La Bonte, 121 

Lea, Luke, 37 

Leavenworth, Kans., 14, 16, 17, 21, 
23-26, 29, 31, 32 

Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express 
Co., 25-28, 31 

Leavenworth Fire & Marine Insur- 
ance Co., 17 

Lee Gen. Robert E., 273 

Leigh, W. R., Painting "Pony Ex- 
press by Moonlight", 4 

Lewis, Elisha B., 192; John F., 60 

Lewis Company, 57 

Lexington (Missouri) 5-7, 14, 15, 
17, 23, 45-47 

Lexington Baptist Female Collegiate 
Institute, or Female College, 11 

Lexington First Addition Co., 8 

Lexington Mutual Fire & Marine 
Insurance Co., 10-11 

Liddon, H. P., 95 

Lindenmeier Site, 242, 245 

Lindsay, Lt. Andrew Jackson, 64 

Lindsey, Tipton, 175, 176 

Lipscomb, Texas, 246 

Lipscomb Bison Quarry, 244 

Little Big Horn, 155, 234, 260 

Little Canyon Creek, 91, 92 

Little Medicine Creek, 119 

Little Rock, Arkansas, 30 

Little Sandy, 51, 167 

Littleton, E. A., 249 

Lodgepole Creek, 164 

Long, Charles L'Hommedieu, 173; 
Dr. Harvey J., 251; Mrs. Kate, 
256; Mrs. Leonore, 256; Pvt. Wil- 
liam B., 232 

Long, Margaret, The Shadow of the 
Arrow, 62 

Longstreet, Gen. James, 270 

Lord, Isaac P., 195 

Los Angeles, Calif., 266 

Lost Creek, 120 

Lota, Chile, 257 

Lothian, — , 76 

Lott, Warren B., 251, 256 

Louisiana, Kansas, 17 

Lower Crazy Woman, 70 

Lower Willow Springs, 228 

Lubbock, Texas, 246 

Lucia, Ellis, The Saga of Ben Holla- 
day, Giant of the Old West, re- 
view, 131-132 

Lumbering, 113; see also Old Mc- 
Shane Tie Camp 

Lumereau, see Lamoreux 

Lusk, Frank S., 223 

Lusk, Wyo., 165, 223 

Lybe, Capt., 228, 236, 237 

Lynch, Mrs. H. B., 238 

Lytle, Charles W., 99; Ed, 99-101. 

McAllister, Rev. John, 225 

McCall, A. J., 61 

McCarty, E. C, 9 

McClaflin, Jean, 238 

McCoy, Samuel F., 196 

McCullouch, Capt., 172 

McDermott, Jack, 250 

McGrew, Dr. Paul, 243 

McKean, F. M., 108 

McKinley, Wm., 108, 272 

McKinstry, Bruce, 103, 109, 114, 
121, 219, 222, 238; Byron N., 
109, 110, 113, 114, 121, 122, 226 

McKinstry Notch, 114 

McMahon, M. S., 68, 69 

McShane, J. H., 147, 148; & Don- 
nelly, 148; Tie Company, 145- 
163; last headquarters, photo, 
156; flumes, 144, cover page 

McWilliams, John, 71, 75, 209; pho- 
to 210 

Macey, Col., 120 

Mahoney, T. J., The Pony Express, 
poem, 48-49, 252 



Mail service, 27, 29, 30, 34, 36, 44, 
see Napoleon of the West 

Mail Train, 149; Horseshoe (Oxbow) 
Route, 30; New Mexico Route, 
35, 36; R.F.D., 98, 101; Southern 
Route, 30, 35, 42-44 

Majors, Alexander, 11, 13-16, 33- 
35, 42, 46, 48 

Majors & Russell, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 
24, 33 

Mammoth Hill (near Rawlins) 243 

The Management of Small History 
Museums by Carl E. Guthe, re- 
view, 135 

Mane, Thomas, 53 

Manly, William Lewis, 66-68 

Maps — Mayoworth to Winingar 
Ranch, 71; Ono area; 71, Oregon 
Trail Trek; Ft. Laramie to Glen- 
do Reservoir, 104; Glendo Reser- 
voir to Ft. Fetterman, 105; Ft. 
Fetterman to Ft. Caspar, 218 

Maramec, (river) 188 

Marble, S. H., 53 

Markle, John A., 176 

Marsh, Ray, 238 

Marsold, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. and 
grandchildren, 238 

Martin, Charles, 258 

Martinez, "Frenchy", 153 

Mason, Lt. Eliphalet, 107, 108 

Massachusetts Company of 49'ers, 

Masters, — , 202 

Mayoworth, Wyo., 90, 92, 97, 100, 
205, 216 

Meade, Jack, 81 

Mears, Dr. B., 243 

Meldrum, Mrs. Helen, 256; Jack, 

Memorial Publication Fund, 250 

Mercer, Col. Asa S., 257; Col. & 
Mrs., 207; Janet (Mrs. Lou Webb) 
207, 208, 211; Ranch, 207 

Mercer's Belles. By Roger Conant, 
edited by Lenna A. Deutsch, re- 
view, 257 

Mexican War, 10, 18, 112 

Middaugh, W. H., 27 

Middle Fork Powder River, 91, 240 

Middleton, Joseph, 196 

Military: Bounty Land Warrant, 
107; Contracts, 13; Freighting, 
10, 14, 15, 31, 35; Posts, 10, 13, 
35, 106; Supplies, 10, 13, 14, 18, 
30; 11th Kansas Cavalry, 227, 
228, 231, 232; 11th Ohio Cavalry, 
227, 228, 236; 18th Infantry, 89 

Miller, A. B., 23, 31; Jonas, 55, 56; 
Neal, 247, 249, 252; Pvt. William 
H., 232; Dr., 55, 56 

Miller, Russell & Co., 46 

Miller Draw, 122 

Millersburg, Utah, 23 

Mills, —,121 

Miner's Delight, 259 

Mississippi River, 36 

Missouri (state), 43, 45, 56, 180, 6, 
7, 9, 17 

Missouri River, 5, 28-35, 43, 187 

Missouri State Bonds, 38, 39 

Missourians, 175, 178 

Mitchell, Lyman, 192 

Moeller, Mr. & Mrs. — , 76 

Mohave Desert, Calif., 240 

Mokler, Mr. and Mrs. V. W., 238, 
[A. J.], 225 

Monaghan, Jay, Custer: The Life of 
General George Armstrong Cus- 
ter, review 134-135 

Monroe, Michigan Company, 58, 59 

Monte (card game) 192, 197 

Montgomery, Ruby, 238 

Moore, James, 251 

Moore, Jim, 164, 166; ranch, 165 

Mora [New Mexico], 10 

Morgan, Dale L., contributor, 139, 
274; The Ferries of the Forty- 
Niners, Part III, Section I, The 
Green River Ferries, 50-64; Part 
III, Section II, The Ferries on the 
Sublette Cutoff, 167-203 

Morgareidge, Jim, 209; Ivan, 209; 
W. W., 93, 95 

Mormons: 18-22, 36, 50, 51, 169, 
175, 189, 200; emigrants, 65; fer- 
ryman, 53, 54, 59-62, 64, 65, 69; 
Guide, 225; pioneers, 1847, 167; 
Trail, 48, 109; War, 120 

Morris, Isaac, 41, 42; Robert C, 

Morrison, W. W., Ill 

Morrison Formation, 117 

Moses, Dr. Israel, 63 

Mount Rushmore, 166 

Mountain Men, 5 

Mounted Riflemen, Regiment of, 
63-65, 177, 193 

Mule Hill, 146, 152 

Munkres, Winona, 76 

Murdock, Joseph, 53, 54 

Murphy, Madge Davis, 89, 91; Wil- 
liam, 121 

Murray Hill, 158 

Myers, Mr. and Mrs. Lester, 238 



Names Hill, 201 

Napoleon of the West. By Ray- 
mond W. Settle and Mary Lund 
Settle, 5-47 

Narcissa Whitman, by Opal Sweazea 
Allen, review, 267-268 

National Cemetery, Washington, 
D.C., 222 

National Express Co., 30 

National Park Service, 108 

National Pony Express Centennial 
Assn., 266 

Natrona County Commissioners, 

Neanderthal Man, 1, 118, 119 

Nebraska City, Nebr., 23 

Neese, J. M., 148 

Nevins, Julius, 189 

New York, 23, 25, 32, 36-38, 41, 
45; Gold Mining Co., 45 

N. H. Trail Road, 91, 92 

Nichols, Washington, 202 

"Nikie" — ferryman on the Sublette 
Cutoff, 169 

Niobrara County, Wyo., 164; River 
Crossing, 225 

No Wood, Wyo., 91 

North Fork Crazy Woman Creek, 

North Platte River, 51, 52, 64, 66, 
67, 106, 110, 114, 120, 121, 123, 
170, 172, 173, 175, 181, 184, 194, 
196, 200-202, 223; crossings, 224- 

North River, 195 

Northwest Livestock Journal, 207 

Nye, Col. W. S., and Stackpole, 
Gen. E. J., The Battle of Gettys- 
burg, A Guided Tour, review, 273 

O'Brien, John, 223 

Odometer, 66 

Ohioans, 56 

Ohlson, Mr. and Mrs. Roy, 238 

Old McShane Tie Camp and the 

Rockwood Fire, As told to C. C. 

Rawlings, by Robert F. Strait, 

Old Oregon Trail via Fort Bridger, 

Ole (the Norwegian) 192 
Oliver, Mrs. Jane, 238 
Omaha World Fair 145 
O'Mahoney, Joseph, 108 

O'Neil, Thomas J., 202 

Ono, Wyo., 70-101 

Oregon, 9, 32, 51, 52, 59, 175, 251 

Oregon Trail, 30, 227, 232. See 
Emigrant Trail 

Orpha, Wyoming, 224 

Orvis, Andrew, 59 

Overland Mail Co., 30, 35, 43, 44 

Overland News by Byron G. Hop- 
per, Jr., 112, 113 

Overland Stage and Trail, 112 

Pacific Ocean, 28, 31, 33, 35, 46, 67 
Pacific Springs, 54, 67 
Pacific Railroad, 44; surveys, 30 
Packer, Alfred 223 
Palmer, Zemira, 53 
Palmer, — , 192 
Parke, Charles R., 188 
Parkhill, Forbes, 112 
Pass Creek, 155 
Paul, Capt. G. W., 55 
Peabody Museum of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 243 
Pease, David, 59 
Pence, Mary Lou, 252 
Pennock, Sgt. Jake, 227, 231 
Perkins, E. Douglas, 195 
Peterson, Andy, 158, 159 
Petit, Horace, 209 
Pettyjohn, Isaac, 52 
Petty, W. James, 103, 238, 249, 250 
Phillips, "John Portugee," 109, 269 
Phillips, John (Uncle Johnny), 71, 

72, 78, 80; Eliza 71 
Phoenix, Johnnie, 123 
Pikes Peak, 24, 25 
Pilcher, Joshua, 6 
Piney Creek, 199 
Pinto-Gypsum, 240 
Pioneer State Museum, 123 
Pioneer Week, 250 
Pittsburg Company 176 
Pittsburgh Gazette, 52 
The Plains Rifle. By Charles E. 

Hanson, Jr., review, 137 
Platte Bridge, 225, 227, 228, 235; 

station, 228, 232, 234, 235; battle 

at, 234-238 
Platte County, Wyo., 105 
Platte River, 185, 221, 225, 226, 

266; upper California Crossing, 

Platte Valley, 34, 223 



Pleistocene Age, 248 

Poison Spider Road, 232 

Pole Creek, 70, 75 

Pole Patch, 92, 93 

Politics and Grass: The Administra- 
tion of Grazing on the Public 
Domain. By Philip O. Foss, Re- 
view, 264 

Pony Express, 12, 23, 29, 31-35, 44, 
129. 164; Centennial, 128; sta- 
tions. 31, 32, 34; stock, 35; riders, 
31; stock-tenders 16, 32, 35 

Pony Express, poem by T. J. Maho- 
ney, 48-49 

Pony Express — The Great Gamble. 
By Roy S. Bloss, review, 130 

Pope, Gen. John, 270 

Porter, Mr. and Mrs. (Etta) Jack, 
71, 73 

Porter, Pvt. James, 237 

Porter, — , 174 

Post Office and Post Roads Com- 
mittee, 43; Appropriation Bill, 43; 
Department, 36, 90, 91; Early 
day, 88 

Postmaster General, 34 

Pottawatomie Indian Reservation, 

Pourrier, Mrs. Batesse, 225 

Powder River, 70, 74, 81, 93, 216, 
223; cattle company, 165; coun- 
try, 232 

Powell, Pvt. James, 232 

Pradre, Mrs. Martin, 251 

Pratt, Parly P., 52 

The Present World of History; a 
Conference on Certain Problems 
in Historical Society Work. By 
James H. Rodabough. Editor, 
review. 136, 137 

Presley, — , 174 

Preston. Col. William J.. 26 

Preston, Texas, 30 

President's Message by Thelma G. 
Condit, 127-129 

Prichet, John, 182 

Pritchard. Dewitt, 8; James Avery, 

Promontory Summit, Utah, 260 

Prospectors, 24 

Provot. Etienne, 6 

Quartermaster General, 14, 18, 35; 
department, 232 

Raft River Mountains (Utah), 47 
Railroads: 7, 34, 44, 260, 261; road 

bed grading, 34 
Railway Express, 33 
Ramsay, Alexander, 181, 185 
Ranches: E K, 87; Evans, W. T., 

226; Goose Egg, 226; Hat, 205, 

213, 216-217; photo, 206; IXL, 

149; JM, 165, 166; LP (horses), 

71, 74; Mexican Hat, 207; NH, 

205; Osborn, 111; Red Bank, 91; 

Red Cliff, 72; Searight, 223; 76 

Outfit, 71; Taylor, 240 
Ranchester, Wyo., 146, 147, 149, 

151, 152, 161; State Bank, 274 
Rannabarger, Stephen, 20 
Raphael, the Mexican guide, 237 
Rawhide Buttes Station, 165; Creek, 

164, 166 
Rawlings, C. C, as told by Robert 

F. Strait, The Old McShane Tie 

Camp and the Rockwood Fire, 

145, 163, 274; Lanis Thompson, 

Rawlins Archaeological Society, 239 
Reagon, — (gambler) 223 
"Red Barn" stable, 80 
Red Buttes, 225, 226, 266; crossing, 

Red Cloud Agency, 223, 225 
Red Fork (Creek), 87 
Reese, Sam, 95 
Reed, Dave, photo, 150 
Reiman, Joe, 95 
Reno, Major Marcus A., 123 
Republican Party of Wyoming, 107 
Republican River, 26 
Reshaw, John, 225 
Reynolds, Major, 66 
Rice, Clarke, 238; Senator, H. M., 

40, 41 
Richards, George, 91; Gov. William 

A., 91, 127 
Richardson, A. D., 26 
Richy, Louisa, 111 
Ridings, Miss Rita, 269 
Ritter, Charles, 103, 219, 220; Mr. 

and Mrs. 238 
Roberts, Dr. Frank, H. H., Jr., 242, 

Robidoux, Ripley, 190 
Robinson, Lt., 4th Inf., 223 
Rochester, Kansas, 17 
Rockwell, Orrin P., 52 
Rockwood, Wyo., 146, 148, 149, 

151-155, 157, 158, 163; fire, 161; 

pond, 146, 147, 154 
Rocky Mountains, 6, 20-21, 29, 118, 




Rocky Ridge Station, 112 

Rodabaugh, James H., Editor, The 
Present World of History; a Con- 
ference on Certain Problems in 
Historical Society Work, review, 
136, 137 

Rogers, James P., 46; John, 68; 
Malcolm J., 240 

Rogers, Mary Read, 259, review of 
South Pass 1868, edited by Lola 
M. Homsher, 258-259 

Root, Frank A., 34 

Rosebud Campaign, 260 

Roseport & Palmetto Railroad, 33 

Roundup, 83, 84 

Rouse, Col. and Mrs. Phil, 238, 252 

Royall, William B., 173, 202 

Rudson, Capt., 21 

Rung, Al., 252 

Running Water Creek, 164 

Rupe, James, 20, 21 

Russell, Charles Benjamin, 47; Mr. 
and Mrs. Jack, 238; John W., 15, 
25, 28, 31; Wm. H., 58; Wm. 
Hepburn, 5-47 

Russell & Jones, 26, 27 

Russell and Waddell, 32 

Russell, Majors and Waddell, 5, 14, 
15, 22, 23, 27, 28, 31, 34, 37, 38, 
39, 46, 267 

Rymill, Robert, 112; Mr. and Mrs. 

Sabbath, 11 

Sacramento, Calif., 30-33, 266 

Sage Brush Philosophy , 223 

Sage Creek, 224 

Sackett, Hugh, 209, photo 210 

The Saga of Ben Holladay, Giant of 

the Old West. By Ellis Lucia, 

review 131-132 
St. Joseph, Missouri, 27, 29, 31-34, 

36, 44, 48, 49, 190, 226 
St. Louis, Missouri, 5, 15, 191 
St. Vrain, Ceron, 7 
St. Vrain, Colo., 27 
Salt Lake City, Utah, 18-20, 23, 27, 

29, 31-35, 44, 52-54, 57, 59-63, 

65-69, 112, 113, 167, 197, 200, 

201, 266 
Salt Lake Road, 51, 54, 59, 63, 69, 

179, 197 
Salt River, 168 
Samuel & Allen, 32, 35 

San Diego, Calif., 30 

San Francisco, Calif., 29, 30, 32, 34, 

257, 266 
Sand Creek, Colorado, 227 
Sandia Man, 119 
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 9, 11, 13; 

trade, 7, 10, 11, 13; Trail 31 
Saw Mill Canyon, 111, 113 
Schaedel, Grace Logan, 269, review 

of Carrington by Michael Straight, 

Schaffer, Pvt. Ferdinand, 232 
Schaffer, Joseph, 64 
School 1896, Buffalo, Wyo., 76 
Schooler, Mr. and Mrs. R. R., 238 
Schulz, Charles, 240 
Schumuler, Florence, 238 
Searls, Niles, 194 
Secretary of Interior, 39-41, 107 
Secretary of State, 40 
Secretary of War, 14, 22, 23, 37-41, 

Sedgley, Joseph, 193 
Seeley, A., 241 

Seminoe, Mich and Noel, 237 
Settle, Raymond W. and Mary 

Lund, 139; Napoleon of the West, 

Sheep Creek, 147, 148, 152, 155, 

162; Canyon, 148 
Shell Creek, 145 
Sheridan, Wyo., 80, 89, 145, 147 

149, 160; County, 76, 163; High 

School, 274 
Sheridan Archaeological Society, 

Sherman, Representative John, 41 
Shrader, Cpl. James W., 227-229, 

Shumway, Charles, 52 
Sierra Nevada Mountains, 30, 266 
Signal Butte, Nebr., 241 
Silver Mountain Lode, Colo., 45 
Simmons, Edgar H., 217; Frank, 92; 

Major 187 
Simonson, Major John Smith [Si- 

monton] 63, 64, 177, 178, 180- 

Simpson, J. B., 32; Lewis, 19 
Sims, Albert, 103, 119, 219, 238 
Sinclair, Tom, 237 
Sister's Hill, 91, 243 
Slade Chimneys in Saw Mill Can- 
yon, 112, 113; photo 102 
Slade, Charles, 112; Joseph (Alfred, 

Joe or Jack) 112, 113; William 

Smith, Major Lot, 19; Henry C, 




Smith, Waddell F., Ed., The Story 
of the Pony Express, review, 266- 

Smith, "Old" 49'er, 55-56 

Smith. 49'er, 192 

Smith cartridges, 233 

Smith, Jackson & Sublette, train, 224 

Smith Creek Canyon, 148; road, 151 

Smiths Fork, 168, 199 

Smoot, Luther R., 25, 37 

Smoot, Russell & Co., 17 

Snake River, 201 

Soldier Creek, 123 

Solomon River, 26 

South Bend, Ind., 179 

South Fork Republican River, 26 

South Pass, 19, 44, 167, 198, 200, 
201, 225, 227, 258-259, 266, 268 

South Pass, 1868, James Chisholm's 
Journal of the Wyoming Gold 
Rush. Introduced and edited by 
Lola M. Homsher, review, 258- 

Spalding, Rev. and Mrs. Henry, 267 

Spanish Diggings, 114, 115, 117-119 

Spaulding, H. J., 32 

Speck, Bill, 80 

Spencer, — , 192 

Split Rock, 266 

Spring. Agnes Wright, review of An 
Illinois Gold Hunter in the Black 
Hills by Clyde C. Walton, 263- 

Spring Creek, 119 

Spring Dale, 113 

Sproul, Pvt. Samuel, 232 

Squatter Sovereignty, 17 

Stackpole, Edward J., Cedar Moun- 
tain to Antietam, review, 269-270 

Stackpole, Gen. E. L, and Col. W. 
S. Nye, The Battle of Gettysburg, 
A Guided Tour, review 273 

Stage coach, 26, 27, 33, 43; drivers, 
88, 95-98, 100, 101; line 24, 26- 
29; photo, 89 

Stanley. H. M., 260 

Stansbury, Capt. Howard, 66, 224 

Stanton. Edwin M., 40 

Staples, David Jackson, 65 

Starbird, Mrs. 157, 158 

Starbird & Hall, 147, 148 

Starr, Franklin, 184, 185, 203 

State Highway Commission, 239 

Steamboat Rock, 149 

Steamboats: Russell, 17 

Steck, Amos, 27, 192 

Steege, Louis C. 139, 274; Early 
Prehistoric Period, Clovis Points, 
124-126; Folsom Points, 245; re- 
view The Management of Small 
Museums by Carl E. Guthe, 135 

Steele Creek, 71, 96, 98 

Stevenson, Mrs. Lila, 256 

Stewart, Jim, 54 

Stone, Dr., 193; Tom 158 

Story of the Pony Express, edited by 
Waddell F. Smith, review, 266 

Straight, Michael, Carrington, re- 
view, 268 

Straight, Robert F., 274, told to 
C. C. Rawlings, The Old Mc- 
Shane Tie Camp and the Rock- 
wood Fire, 145-163; photo 162; 
Edith 162, 274 

Strickler, Mr. and Mrs., 76 

Stringer, Samuel, 90-94; photo 89 

Stuart, Joseph Alonzo, 199; Robert, 
224; Gen. James E. B., 270 

Studebaker Spring Wagon, 99 

Sublette, Milton G., 6; Solomon P., 
167, 168; Wm. L. 6, 105 

Sublette Cutoff, 51, 53, 60, 62-64, 
66, 67, 167-169, 171, 176, 177, 
193, 196, 197, 200, 201 

Sugar Loaf Mound, 121, 122 

Sullivan, Mr. and Mrs., 209 

Sully, Gen. Alfred H., 227 

Summers, Pvt. Edwin, 229, 232 

Sussex, Wyo., 205; post office, 91 

Suter, Lea & Co., 37 

Sutler's Store, 103, 106 

Swain, Pvt. Byron, 229; William, 

Sweem, Glenn D., Wyoming Ar- 
chaeological Society, 239-242 

Sweem-Taylor Rock Shelter Site, 
240, 241 

Sweetwater River, 112, 176, 266; 
bridge, 236; station, 227 

Sweigler, — , 55 

Sybille Creek, 105 

T., Dr. (Thomas or Taylor) 171 
Tappan, Henry, 187; William Hen- 
ry, 64 
Tate, James, 189 
Taylor, — , 176 
Taylor Grazing, 1934, 265 
Teamsters, 22, 24 



Tebbet, Royce and Ricky, 238 

Tecumseh, Kansas, 17 

Telegraph, 32, 34, 44, 46 

Tennessee State Bank, 38, 39 

Tensleep, Wyo., 90, 92 

Texas, 9, 30, 43 

Texas Trail Herd, 73 

Thing, Captain Joseph (Thyng), 
198, 199 

Thom, Capt. John, USN, 256 

Thomas, Helen Shirley, Felix Frank- 
furter, Scholar on the Bench, re- 
view 271 

Thomas' Fork Bear river, 168 

Thompson, Jacob, 39-41; Major M. 
Jeff, 34 

Thornton, Elizabeth, 165 

Thorp, Russell, 251 

Thurber, Albert K., 53 

Tic Sano — Patent Medicine, 47 

Tie hack at work, 150 

Tie loading plant, Ranchester, pho- 
to, 156 

Tiffany, P. C, 173, 174 

Tinker, Charles, 172 

Tioga River, 61 

Tobacco Root Range, Montana, 113 

Tobin, Ted, 86-88 

Todd, — , 84, 86 

Tongue River, 83, 145, 147, 152, 
160; Canyon, 146, 148, 155, 158; 
Flume, 146 

Torrington, Wyo., 107, 165 

Totty, Jack, 86, 88 

Townsend, H. M., 103, 219; Mr. & 
Mrs. 238; Katherine, 238 

Trabing, Wyo., 70 

Trail Creek, Montana, 113 

Trenholm, Mr. and Mrs. Robert, 
238; Virginia, 120-121 

Trumbaugh, — , 203 

The Trumpet Soundeth. William 
Jennings Bryan and His Democ- 
racy, 1896 to 1912. By Paul W. 
Glad, review, 272 

Tull, Pvt. Samuel, 232 

Turk, B. E., 241 

Turkey Creek, 149 

Turner & Allen's (Pioneer Line), 

Tutt, Capt. 179 

Type Site, Folsom, New Mexico, 

Uinta Mountains, 56, 69 
Union Pacific Railroad, 34, 260; 
near Walcott, 261 

United States, 21, 22; Attorney, 41; 
Census Bureau, 262; Postal Dept., 
165; Postal Inspector, 165; Sen- 
ate, 43 

University of Michigan, 243 

University of Wyoming Geology 
Dept., 243 

Upper Mississippi Ox Co., 109, 110 

Urbanek, Mae, 274; Casper Moun- 
tain Speaks; poem, 204 

U. S. House of Representatives, Se- 
lect Committee, 38, 41, 42 

Utah, 18, 22-25, 31, 34, 112, 113; 
Historical Society, 266; Moun- 
tains, 56; Valley, 69 

Van Arsdall, S. P., 249 
Van Tassell, R. S., 164 
Van Wagener, K. D., 238 
Vance, Virginia, 238 
Vaughn, J. W., 227-234 
Virginia City, Montana, 113 
Virginia Dale Station, 112 
Virginians, 177 

Waddell, Wm. Bradford, 6, 8, 10, 
11, 14, 15, 23-26, 28, 33, 34, 36, 
42, 43, 46 

Waddell, Russell & Co., 14 

Wagner, Charles, 40 

Wagons, 11, 13, 16-25, 30, 31, 33, 
35; caulking wagon bed, 55, 57; 
makers, 52, 53; masters, 16, 22; 
trains, 24 

Wagon Hound Creek, 223 

Walker, Mrs. Meda, 238; Lieuten- 
ant, 232 

Wall Creek, 87 

Wallace, Frank, 123 

Wallop, Henry, 76 

Walsh, Paddy, 155 

Walton, Alfred, 68 

Walton, Clyde, Ed., An Illinois Gold 
Hunter in the Black Hills. The 
Diary of Jerry Bryan, March 13 
to August 20, 1866, Review 263- 

Walton, Isaac 209 

War Department, 10, 22,-23, 30, 36. 
37, 39, 120 

War of 1812, 107 



Warder, Rev. John, 8, 15 
Ware, Joseph E., 167, 168, 197 
Waring, Charles, 236, 237 
Warren, Senator Francis E., 107 
Washington, B. F., 178, 180, 181 
Washington, D. C, 10, 14, 17, 21, 

23-25, 32, 35, 37 
Washington Territory, 32, 257 
Washoe Silver Mines, 32 
Wathena, Kansas, 33 
Watson, William J., 184 
Webb, Frances Seely, 234 
Webb, Lou, 205, 207-209, 217 
Webster, Kimball, 198, 224; Samuel, 

Weeks, Edward, 269 
Wellington, Missouri, 14 
Wells, Daniel H., 19 
Wells, Fargo & Co., 30 
West, Pvt. William, 229, 231 
West Company, 194 
Western Stage Line, 44 
Westport, Missouri, 7, 13, 23-25 
Wewoka, Kansas, 17 
What's lii a Name. By Mable Bass, 

Wheeler, Mate, 233 
Whipple E., 52 
White, Hayden M., 216 
Whittenburg, Clarice, review Gun 

Law at Laramie by Allan Vaughan 

Elston, 138, 139 
Wild Cat Sam, 75, 99 
Wilkins, Mrs. Edness Kimball, 236, 

238, 250 
Williams, Mrs. Birdie, 256; Wilbur, 

Williams, James P., review Cedar 

Mountain to Antietam by E. J. 

Stackpole, 269-270 
Willis, Edward J., 183 
Willow Creek, 227 
Wilson, Dick, 215; Ethel M., 238 
Wind River Mountains, 179; Valley, 


Winingar, Bob, 72; Fannie, Fred, 
Harry and Melvin, 99; Jesse, 72- 
74, 78; John, 71-73, 75; Mattie, 
72, 73, 75, 98-100; Nellie 73, 77, 
90, 98; photo, 72, 77, 78 

Winter 1892, 91; 1857-58, 20-22 

Winters, Capt., 55 

Wisconsin Blues, 110, 114 

Wistar, Isaac, 182 

Wolf Creek Canyon, 162 

Wolfe, Frank and Marshall L., 75; 
Erma, 76 

Woodrock, Wyo., photo 156 

Woodside, Bert, 99, 100 

Worrill, Wm, 237 

Wyeth, Nathaniel, 198 

Wyman, Walker D., 202 

Wyoming Archaeological Notes, 
124-126, 239-246 

Wyoming Archaeological Society, 
By Glenn D. Sweem, 239-242 

Wyoming Central Railroad, 223 

Wyoming Geological Assn., Annual 
Guide Book, 252 

Wyoming Livestock and Sanitary 
Board, 165 

Wyoming State Archives & Histor- 
ical Dept., 127, 250 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 
127-129; Seventh Annual Meet- 
ing, 247-256 

Wyoming Stock Growers Assn., 164 

Wyoming Travel Agency, 251 

Yellowstone Park, 145 

Young, Brigham, 19, 152, 228; 

Capt. Ewing, 6; Sheldon, 62; Pvt. 

Thomas W., 232 
Yuma Complex, 119 

Zehring, Mrs. R. R., 238 

Zeiber, John S., 225 

Zinn, Pvt. Jacob; John R., 232 


The Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department has as its func- 
tion the collection and preservation of the record of the people of Wyo- 
ming. It maintains a historical library, a museum and the state archives. 

The aid of the citizens of Wyoming is solicited in the carrying out of its 
function. The Department is anxious to secure and preserve records and 
materials now in private hands where they cannot be long preserved. Such 
records and materials include: 

Biographical materials of pioneers: diaries, letters, account books, auto- 
biographical accounts. 

Business records of industries of the State: livestock, mining, agricul- 
ture, railroads, manufacturers, merchants, small business establishments, 
and of professional men as bankers, lawyers, physicians, dentists, ministers, 
and educators. 

Private records of individual citizens, such as correspondence, manuscript 
materials and scrapbooks. 

Records of organizations active in the religious, educational, social, 
economic and political life of the State, including their publications such 
as yearbooks and reports. 

Manuscript and printed articles on towns, counties, and any significant 
topic dealing with the history of the State. 

Early newspapers, maps, pictures, pamphlets, and books on western 

Current publications by individuals or organizations throughout the 

Museum materials with historical significance: early equipment, Indian 
artifacts, relics dealing with the activities of persons in Wyoming and with 
special events in the State's history.