Skip to main content

Full text of "Annals of Wyoming"

See other formats

ilnnate of OTpomma 

Vol. 4 . JULY, 1926 No. 1 


Autobiography of William K. Sloan 
In Memory T. S. Garrett 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnafe of TOpoming 

Vol. 4 JULY, 1926 No. 1 


Autobiography of William K. Sloan 
In Memory T. S. Garrett 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Nellie Tayloe Eoss 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Et. Eev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace E. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins - Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. E. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margery Eoss Cody 

Mrs. E. C. Eaymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. II. Fourt Lander 

Volume IV. Number 1. July, 1926 

(Copyright, 1926) 

Annals of IS^pommg 

Vol. 4 JULY, 1926 No. 1 


Western Pioneer 
CHAPTER 1 — Birth in Scotland, Emigration to America, locat- 
ing first at Pittsburg, Pa. Removal to the state 
of Illinois. Trip down the Ohio river on board 
one of the first steamboats to make the trip. 

I was born in Creetown, Kircudbright Shire, Scotland, Jan- 
uary 1st, 1833. My father's name was James Sloan, my mother's 
name was Elizabeth McKean before marriage. The date of 
my father's death I do not know, but think it must have oc- 
cured in the fall of 1835- 

Mother and myself emigrated to America in the spring of 
1836. Mother located in Pittsburg, Pa. and I was placed with 
an uncle (David Murray) living on a farm called "Crown 
Run" about thirty miles West of Pittsburg on the Ohio river 
and three miles from a small town called Freedom. 

In February 1838 my mother and uncle with his family 
consisting of three sons and one daughter, the oldest son being 
married and having two or three children, and myself started 
down the Ohio river destined for the state of Illinois ; on board 
of one of the first if not the FIRST steamboats that navigated 
the Ohio ; steamboats at that time usually on dark nights tied 
up to the bank, travelling only in daytime or on moon-light 
nights; two or three days after starting the weather became 
very cold and while tied up at the river bank we were enclosed 
by ice and forced to remain some two weeks waiting for a 
thaw, while thus waiting I made an examination of the boat 
and will here give a description of it as nearly as I can remem- 
ber. It was a stern wheel boat, the cabin was on the same 
deck as the engine and boilers and consisted of a room about 
the length of an ordinary box car but some eight or ten feet 
wider; rude berths or bunks were arranged on each side three 
tiers high I think with calico curtains. In the center of the 
cabin was placed what was called a ten plate cooking stove 
being an oval shaped concern with a cast iron shelf placed 
horizontally about the middle of the stove, which was the oven 
for bread baking etc. The passengers (some twenty or twenty- 


View of Clear Creek Valley, Copp's Ranch 


Rocks on Tongue River, near Custer Battlefield Highway 


five) furnished their own provisions and bedding and did their 
own cooking on this stove. 

In April following we landed at Meridosia on the Illinois 
river, thence by ox teams to our destination viz. a tract of un- 
improved land situated about thirty miles from the Illinois river 
and ten miles south of Jacksonville, Illinois on the edge of 
what was called ''Looking Glass Prairie," a more desolate look- 
ing country than that was could scarcely be imagined, no fenc- 
ing of any kind, the only improvement a small log cabin partially 
covered with shakes or hand made shingles. At my age only 
the most striking circumstances of my life at that time I re- 
member. I certainly will not forget this fact, that the night we 
arrived, a severe snowstorm came on, all of our family ten or 
twelve in number were huddled in that little cabin and the 
following morning found us covered with five or six inches of 

The nearest neighbor to our young colony was five miles 
distant. The "usual work alloted to all new settlers in new 
countries had to be gone through, such as building cabins, 
fences, breakmg land, clearing out under brush etc., a very 
few farmers at that time considered prairie land of much value, 
believing that where timber, such as walnut, elm, hickory etc. 
did not grow, wheat and corn would not. 

It would be tedious to describe the routine on a farm of 
that kind, suffice it to say that I remained there until August 
1844, doing daily what would be considered now a fair days 
work for a young lad of sixteen to eighteen years of age — up 
in the morning at five o'clock, to bed never later than eight 
o'clock; all our clothing was home made except boots and shoes. 
I was restricted to one pair of shoes annually and never per- 
mitted to put these on until snow fell — mother not liking farm 
life went to Jacksonville to live shortly after arriving in Il- 
linois; and out of her scanty earnings managed to buy for me 
a few articles of clothing annually. 

There were no schools at that time nearer than Jackson- 
ville and my uncle'? library consisted of a large family bible, 
Fox's book of Martyrs, Watt's hymns, and a few other books 
such as were permitted to be read by the members of the strictly 
orthodox Presbyterian church or Scotch dissenters, not to ex- 
ceed a dozen all told, (no school books of any kind) but out 
of which I succedeed in learning my A. B- C.'s and to read. 
The family portraits were about four by six inches in size. 
During my sojourn on the farm from 1838 until 1844, I had the 
pleasure of visiting the great city of Jacksonville, (800 inhabi- 
tants) once on the day of William Henry Harrison's election. 
On that occasion I was treated to a fine piece of statuary rep- 


resenting General Harrison mounted as at the battle of "Tip- 
pecanoe" made of ginger bread (cost 10 cents) and some stick 
candy stripped red, and as I afterward learned flavored with 
peppermint ; being the first ginger bread I ever remember seeing 
or tasting, I proceeded to eat General Harrison, horse and all, 
desert the candy ; I was supremely happy that day. 

It was agreed upon sometime in the spring or summer of 
1844 that I had arrived at an age necessitating my attendance 
at school, consequently was taken to Jacksonville, Illinois, 
mother was then keeping house. A few days after my arrival 
I was introduced into the first school house I had ever seen 
a small building about 16x18. I entered with fear and trembling 
and when led up to the "school marm" (Mrs. Gough) I must 
say I was in a very nervous condition and wished myself back 
on the farm, and many times thereafter I wanted to escape. 
I had been into what to me was a new country, new associations, 
new language, having been brought up by Scotch, I could speak 
nothing but Scotch consequently I was mimicked and made the 
butt of every boy at school, I learned to speak American rap- 
idly. I attended that school three months and learned to make 
"pot-hooks," write my name etc., after that went to school 
three quarters with a teacher named Spaulding (Splitshanks 
we used to call him), then two quarters with two teachers 
named Eddy and Collins. I then graduated or rather quit 
going to school, and secured a situation as clerk in a store 
kept by James H. and Horace Bancroft in Jacksonville at a 
salary of $50.00 per annum, board and clothed myself — it was 
my custom to arise at four o'clock sweep out the store, then 
study my formei* lessons I learned at school and advanced 
further by the assistance occasionally of my employer until 
breakfast time, after which the regular routine of country 
store work, counting eggs, weighing bacon, emptying sugar 
hogsheads etc., the first year. Second year salary $75.00 per 
annum work about the same, but permitted to wait on custom- 
ers. Third year salary $150-00 per annum boarded and clothed 
myself, work — same, but larger latitude allowed as salesman, 
my favorite customers were Jake Strawn the great cattle king 
and J. J. Alexander afterwards the cattle king of Illinois, in 
fact of America. In August 1849, I left my employers the Ban- 
crofts thinking probably the field was too small for my genius 
and ability. 

I had heard glowing accounts of the great city of St. Louis 
the beautiful steamboats, immense river etc., and not having 
seen a steamboat for years had a great desire to see all those 
things and get a better idea of the great world; consequently I 
sold all my personal effects I could spare, consisting of hand 


sled, a small wagon, banjo, tambourine and some other articles 
all of my own make together with my books, skates etc., that 
with my salary due put $30.00 in my purse with which amount 
I bade mother good-bye and started out in the wide world ar- 
riving in St. Louis I proceeded at once to find a boarding house, 
paid a months board in advance ($15.00) after exploring the 
city for a few days realized the fact that it would be necessary 
for me to find something to do to pay my next months board. 
When I first started out to find a situation, I was gay as a lark 
and full of "great expectations," I had supposed that with 
my three years experience in a country store my services would 
be in demand by almost any respectable merchant especially 
as I had two or three letters of recommendation, but day after 
day I travelled up one side of the street and down the other 
applying in every store, "Do you wish to employ a boy?" with 
the universal answer. No ! Thus I went on for a Aveek return- 
ing at night to my boarding house, tired and discouraged, to 
cry myself to sleep and wish I had never left home when at 
last reduced in funds and only $1.50 in my pocket and another 
months board in advance nearly due, I succeeded in procuring 
a position in a retail drygoods at a salry of $5.00 per month 
with board and washing included. For four months I ermained 
there I might say in close confinement for no prisoner in the 
penitentiary was ever closer confined than I. I was locked in 
the store overnight, the proprietor would come to the store 
at 5 :30 A. M. O'clock unlock the door, when I got up and began 
the labors of the day, first by carrying out goods to the front 
door for display in quantities sufficient to have supplied an 
ordinary country store ; about the time that work was finished 
the other clerks or salesmen would be coming in, when I was 
relieved with thirty minutes for breakfast, at 12 o 'clock thirty 
minutes for dinner, at six O'clock thirty minutes for supper 
and then continuous work until eleven and very often twelve 
o 'clock at night, the key turned on me, thus left alone too tired 
and sleepy to read, the only recourse was bed — during that 
four months I was permitted to leave the store three Sunday 
afternoons — in consequence of the solitary confinement and foul 
air of the store I became very puny and pale — and was medi- 
tating leaving and trying for another situation when fortun- 
ately a wholesale merchant of Main Street who had been sup- 
plymg this house with goods, and who frequently came into 
the store called me aside one morning and asked me if I was 
well pleased with my situation. I answered very decidedly in 
the negative, and my intentions were to quit as soon as I could 
do better or as well elsewhere ; the result was, my employment 


by the Avholesale drygoods firm "Little & Oleott"' commencing 
January 1st, 1850. 

The transition from the one store to the other to me was 
the height of happiness- For over three years I remained with 
this establishment enjoying their confidence and regard and 
ever it continued. My salary was increased considerable. An- 
nually in the fall and winter of '52 and '53 I made trips on 
horseback through northeast counties of ]\Iissouri collecting and 
soliciting trade for the house, in fact a drummer; the manner of 
commercial travelers at that time was to visit the county mer- 
chants at their respective towns spend a day or two in each 
town, make inquiries about the trade of the neighborhood, the 
extent of the corn, wheat and hog crops etc., and thus form 
an idea of the solvency of the merchants. When these mer- 
chants arrived in St. Louis to make their spring or fall pur- 
chases they would be besieged by a mob of drummers solicitat- 
ing their trade. 

The drummers usually visited the hotels in two's three's or 
four's each representing a different branch of business. I made 
rapid progress in the art or trick of talking the country men 
(or graybacks as we used to call them) into buying, and liked 
the business well on account of the excitement, but it told fear- 
fully on my salary. It was considered necessary to hospitably 
entertain the country merchants, and between oysters, cigars 
and theatres, it kept my account nearly even with the house; 
wholesale merchants did not have a secret service fund for or 
allow percentages to their salesmen as of late years. 

In May 1853 during my regular evening rounds through 
the different hotels examining the registers, I noticed a name 
L. Stewart from Salt Lake, Utah, he was pointed out to me by 
the clerk; I proceeded to interview him for the purpose of get- 
ting information in regard to Salt Lake and the route to Cali- 
fornia, never dreaming he was a merchant! (he looked more 
like a deck hand or "Bullwhacker") I had a very entertaining 
conversation with him that evening, and with the offer of show- 
ing him the city and introducing him to a number of merchants 
the following day, bade him good night, the result was, a fa- 
vorable impression was made on him and I sold him a large 
bill of drygoods for cash, which was a "feather in my cap;" 
not only was it the largest bill of the season sold to one party 
by the house — but cash — at a time when ninety-nine bills out 
of a hundred were sold on from six to twelve months time with 
a privilege of longer if the party had sufficient assets, at same 
time I was selling this bill of goods, I was contracting a fever — 
a western or California fever, at the time I began to consider 


that promotion was very slow or I thought so at least ; I no- 
ticed that the best and oldest salesmen were getting but from 
$800.00 to $1,200.00 per annum, and like myself living up to 
their income, spending half of it for the benefit of their respec- 
tive employers. After hearing Stewart 's account of the western 
country Utah and California, the immense emigration going 
through Utah enroute for California the briskness of trade, 
the enormous profits made on all kinds of merchandise, the 
immense amount of gold being found in California — so enthused 
me that I at once made up my mind to resign my position in the 
store and — "Go West" — on looking over my account after 
three and a half years work the balance due me was $37.00 — that 
settled it, Mr. Stewart coming, into the store about 7 :30 the 
next morning, the morning of the day on which he was to start 
up the Missouri river, I approached him on the subject of my 
going along with him to Salt Lake, he readily gave his assent, 
if I thought I would be able and willing to drive an ox-team — 
certainly — I could soon learn and would too — what wages do 
you pay ? Wages ! We usually receive from $40.00 to $50.00 
for the privilege of driAdng a team across the plains, have more 
men and teamsters now than I have any use for. That was a 
damper, but said I, you will want a competent clerk to assist 
you in the store when you arrive in Salt Lake — no he had all 
the clerks engaged, and it required no talk to sell goods there — 
I was stumped, but in a fit of desperation I remarked, I have 
no money and am determined to go to California — I will work 
for my board to Salt Lake, will work for you in Salt Lake on 
the same terms during the winter (or at least see that I do not 
go hungry) and assist me in getting a like position with some 
friends going to California in the spring, to which he assented. 
When Mr- Olcott and Mr. Little came into the office they 
were thunder struck when I informed them of what I had 
decided on doing, begged me to remain; that I bid fair to make 
a splendid salesman ; my salary would be increased on the first 
of the year, that my conduct and services were satisfactory etc., 
their entreaties however were of no avail — I had made up my 
mind that go I would^and go I did, that same afternoon after 
purchasing a few necessary articles and procuring a ticket 
($20.00) for Council Bluffs, Iowa, I bid farewell to a few friends 
I had time to see and left St. Louis June 22nd, 1853, the name 
of the boat I have forgotten (Martha Jewett I think) my feel- 
ings at that time I cannot describe only I felt an utter sense of 
loneliness mixed with dread of being killed by Indians on the 
plains or dying with cholera which I had just learned from 
some of my fellow passengers had been very prevalent on the 
frontier. We arrived at Council Bluffs in due time and then 


commenced the work of unloading our merchandise out on the 
open prairie, no warehouse or house of any kind nearer than 
two and a half or three miles. Our goods were piled up in lots 
and covered with wagon sheets and tarpaulins until such time 
as we could store them away in wagons, our cattle and wagons 
had not yet been all bought, on procuring them and other sup- 
plies necessary for the trip we did not succeed in making a 
final start until July 24th, which was considered very late in 
the season to make the attempt to cross the plains and many 
predicted we would be caught in the snow and would have to 
winter in the mountains before reaching Salt Lake. Ours was 
the last train to start that season, before leaving Council Bluff 
or Kanesville as it was called then, I will describe it as near 
as I remember. The town consisted of not to exceed twenty 
or twenty-five log buildings situated on each side of a little 
ravine making out of the bluffs ; there were three stores, Donnell 
four saloons, the two most prominent were kept by Roberts 
Donnell was also a prominent merchant of St. Joseph and later 
Donnell, Lawson & Simpson Bankers of New York, three or 
four saloons, the two most prominent were kept by Eobert 
Hawker (since a prominent and wealthy merchant of Central 
City, Colorado and Nebraska City) and William Martin; two 
blacksmith shops and several little catch penny concerns fitted 
up for the purpose of robbing unsophisticated emigrants. At 
the time we left there however the majority of that class of 
people had gone down the river to stop in larger towns such as 
St. Joseph, "Weston and Independence until the next season's 
immigration set in. 

We broke camp on July 24th, in a heavy rain with mud 
axle deep and were three days making the first sixteen miles 
on the east side of the Missouri River to a point called "winter 
quarters" (New Florence) where we ferried our wagons and 
swam our cattle over the river — occupying two days. The train 
consisted of nineteen wagons and twenty-three men. The ferry 
boat Avas a scow made from hewed puncheons and handled with 
oars. We now bade a final adieu to the last vestige of civiliza- 
tion, a little log hut occupied by the ferrymen. Owing to the 
heavy rains the streams were all up and necessarily had to ferry 
the Papillon and Elk Horn river, paying therefore $3.50 and 
$5-00 for each wagon. I had been roughing now so long that 
I became more reconciled to my condition, and could relish 
"flapjacks" beans and coffee as well as any of the men, but 
could not then or now stomach side bacon (or sow belly) as 
some of the boys called it. After leaving the Elk Horn the 
country was one vast prairie with low bluffs to the right of us, 
the monotony occasionally broken by the sight of a few cotton- 


woods and underbrush skirting the banks of the little streams 
we crossed, the country was covered with a luxuriant growth of 

Arriving at the south fork of the Platte River we again 
had to ferry. This and the ferries at Elk Horn and Papillon 
were owned by "William Martin a saloon man at Council Bluff. 
Nothing of interest took place until we came to Wood River, 
a tributary of the Platte, usually a small stream but owing to 
heavy rains was now over its banks and a raging torrent \vhen 
we reached it. To make matters worse there was no bridge 
or ferry, the only two things to be done was either to wait for 
the stream to fall or build a pontoon bridge, the latter was de- 
cided upon and it was a laborious undertaking. We had to 
go a mile or more up stream to procure timber with which 
to construct it. The timber, cotton-wood logs, cut and floated 
down the stream to place of construction, there were only five 
of us in the party who could swim consequently nearly all of 
the work fell on us — here I will say in regard to our crew, there 
never was a poorer lot of ox drivers (except three or four) 
got together to take a train over the plains. They were a mix- 
ture of English, Scotch and Welch factory hands direct from 
the old country, who never saw an ox (only dead or at a fair) 
in their lives and further more seemed to take no interest in 
the progress of the train or making the least effort to learn to 
drive a team not realizing the fact that delays are dangerous and 
being caught in a snow storm in the mountains isn't fun; which 
some of them found out afterwards. Our pontoon was finally 
completed and crossed in safety then we met the first Indians ; 
while crossing the Wood River a few stragglers were watching 
our crossing, but Stewart said they were Pawnees and friendly, 
nothing more was thought of their presence at the time except 
natural curiosity to look at and scrutinize the first wild Indians 
the majority of us had ever seen. Our curiosity was soon to be 
turned into dismal forebodings of what would be in store for us. 

After getting our teams yoked up and fairly on the road 
again, little bands of Indians would come up from behind small 
knoles on the prairie, the numbers increasing imtil several hun- 
dred were travelling with us some on foot, the majority on their 
ponies and a great many could be seen coming from towards the 
Platte River; Stewart being really the. only experienced man 
with Indians began to show some signs of alarm and with good 
cause as it proved shortly afterwards that the Indians some 
five or six hundred in number all bucks who had been travellmg 
with us the past few miles were waiting for their chiefs to 
come. I was driving next to the head team in the train the 
Chiefs coming up asked for the ''Captain" he was pointed out. 


They interviewed the "Captain Stewart" at once, and retired 
some fifty yards from the train to have what I learned since 
was a "Medicine talk," he, (Stewart) being able to speak a 
little Indian and the Indians a little English. 

The train was ordered to halt until the conference was over, 
the result being Stewart could not comply with their demands 
for provisions, they stated first ; that buffalo were plenty to- 
w^ards the west and the Pawnees had gone on their annual hunt 
but were driven back by their enemies the Sioux after having 
a fight with serious loss in killed and wounded and driven from 
their hunting ground ; second they were hungry and our cattle 
were eating their grass and traveling through their country. 
Orders Avere given by Stewart to move on, no sooner had we 
fairly started than the whole band of Indians raised the "War- 
Hoop" riding backwards and forwards the whole length of the 
train at full speed, leveling their guns, bows and arrows and 
lances at the drivers, occasionally pricking the oxen with their 
lances, until finally they succeeded in stampeding the whole 
train, upsetting a number of wagons, breaking out the tongues 
and doing other serious damage ; resistance was useless against 
such numbers so called another "Talk" with the Chiefs and 
were permitted to go on by giving them fourteen sacks of flour 
(1,400 pounds) one hundred pounds of sugar; one hundred 
pounds of coffee a quantity of powder and lead and some shirts 
for the Chiefs; the loss of the flour was very serious as it left 
us barely enough to last us until we reached Fort Laramie 
nearly six hundred miles east of our destination, and little pros- 
pect of getting a fresh supply at any point on the road. 

On the above compromise we were again permitted to pro- 
ceed, this raid on us was perpetrated within plain sight of Fort 
Kearney a four company post, the flag of which we could see 
distinctly about eight miles distant; we attempted repeatedly 
to get messengers through-to the fort, but all were intercepted 
and brought back by the Indians to our camp, with threats that 
if we sent any more they would be killed. The entire band of 
Indians numbered about twenty-five hundred and were camped 
on the north bank of the Platte River, between us and the Fort. 
We were all greatly relieved when we lost sight of the last 
of that band of Indians, It being the first experience the most 
of us had had with redskins, you can well believe we were much 
frightened and excited, and I for one was alarmed lest some 
one of our party might shoot an Indian through excitement. If 
such a thing had occurred, a general ]\Iassacre of the whole 
party would have been the result, the Indians were ripe for such 
an act and the least provocation on our part would have pre- 
cipitated it. 


About sixty miles west of Fort Kearney we encountered the 
first buffalo, at first a few scattering ones, increasing in numbers 
as we advanced for one hundred or more miles, at one time ex- 
tending over the vast plain on both sides of the river as far as 
the eye could see, here we had oiu' first fun and fresh meat 
since leaving the Missouri River, except occasionally a prairie 
dog or prairie chicken- We killed quite a number of buffalo, 
"sun-drying or jerking" the meat that was not immediately 
used ; by doing so it helped out our short supply of flour. 

Nothing worthy of mention occured after leaving the buf- 
falo until within about one hundred miles of Fort Laramie when 
in passing over a series of sandy bluff's a distance of some ten 
or twelve miles the country seemed to be alive with rattle- 
snakes. I think we must have killed two or three hundred that 
day along side of the road. Stewart said that back in the hills 
off' the road the}^ were more numerous, I saAv enough Avithout 
further investigation. We drove until after midnight to get 
beyong their range for fear of losing cattle. Arriving at Lar- 
amie we remained there two days shoeing some cattle and re- 
pairing wagons, were disappointed in not getting a sufficient 
quantity of supplies, the commissary claimed to he short them- 
selves, having had to furnish others who were ahead of us, 
more than was expected. We had to be content with two barrels 
of mushy pickled pork three sacks of flour and one sack of 
beans even with this supply added to our previous short rations 
made the prospect rather gloomy. I will state that at Laramie 
on account of the proficiency I had acquired in ox-driving and 
handling a team I was promoted to be assistant wagon master 
the position was purely honorary however' my wages were the 
same (my board), still it was a satisfaction to me to know my 
services were appreciated and to be " a Boss ' ' for the first time 
in my life was something to be proud of. 

We rolled out from Fort Laramie on the 8th day of Sep- 
tember entering the Black Hills on the south side of the north 
fork of the Platte, heretofore we had been travelling on the 
north side. 

From now on the roads were hard and gravelly and grass 
very short and scarce which told seriously on our cattle delay- 
ing often to shoe lame oxen and set wagon tire, which on ac- 
count of the dry atmosphere would become loose ; a hundred 
and twenty miles west from Laramie we again crossed the north 
fork of the Platte but on a bridge the only one we had seen 
since starting, this bridge was built by a Canadian Frenchman 
named John Richard* the winter and spring preceding, and cer- 

*Pronounced "Eeshaw. " 


tainly was a good investment, the bridge cost not over $5,000.00 
dollars and his receipts that season were over $40,000.00 from 
the bridge alone. There were quite a number of mountaineers 
located about the place and all very thirsty, from some of the 
men they ascertained that we had a five gallon keg of whiskey 
aboard the train, they must have it, price was no object. Stew- 
art finally agreed to let them have it, in consideration of our 
crossing the bridge free, which was equivalent to $125.00 dol- 
lars for the whiskey ; Richard and his party however made it 
back easily, we had several head of oxen too lame to travel 
farther, and it was necessary for us either to leave them on 
the road or sell them which we did to Richard at $2.50 per 
head, paying him $100.00 per head for fresh and fat ones to 
take their place. As Stewart had refused to turn over the whis- 
kc}^ until we were ready to leave with our train we probably 
avoided some difficulty^as I heard afterwards the whole party 
got on a glorious spree. ,) 

Shortly before eraching Richard's bridge we overtook and 
passed a Mormon train consisting of about seventy-five wagons 
and three or four hundred Mormon emigrants, which had left 
Council Bluffs some two weeks in advance of us. On leaving 
North Platte nothing worthy of note transpired except our 
cattle daily becoming poorer and weaker and progress neces- 
sarily slower and rations shorter; we reached the South Pass 
and went over it without being aware of it the most of us 
expecting to go through a deep gorge or divide, instead of 
which, it proved to be an open plain with an almost impercepti- 
able incline and decline over the summit of the Rockies, no 
high ranges nearer than twenty or thirty miles and those to 
the north. 

The nights for the week preceding were decidedly cold; 
from necessity (want of Avater) we were forced to camp almost 
on the summit of the divide between the Avaters of the Atlantic 
and the Pacific at Pacific Springs the waters of which flow 
westward. That night we had a snow storm September 26th, 
in which we lost several head of cattle perishing from cold and 

The outlook was very gloomy indeed, cattle dying, and our 
supply of food very short. At this time Stewai't decided upon 
sending a messenger through to Salt Lake to order a load or 
two of provisions to meet us. Before our man started however 
a mountaineer overtook us on horseback with a pack animal 
destined for Salt Lake and the message was intrusted to him. 
At the crossing of Green River we had used the last of our flour, 
our beans had disappeared a Aveek before, our only food for the 
next ten days was rusty pork, dried apples, sugar and coffee ; 


when within five or six miles of Fort Bridger we met the wagon 
sent to us with supplies, which by the way was entirelj^ inade- 
quate for our needs the team expected to meet us within fifty 
miles of Salt Lake instead of which we were one hundred twen- 
ty-five miles distant; the supplies consisted of a few sacks of 
potatoes, one side of beef and a few sacks of flour; on meeting 
the wagon the train was stopped instantly — a grand rush was 
made for the potatoes, and half of them were eaten raw in less 
than thirty minutes. I am confident I ate four pounds skins 
and all. For several days previous there had been considerable 
discontent among the men and Stewart and myself were appre- 
hensive lest the men should abandon the train, after filling up 
however they felt better disposed and performed their duties 
more cheerfully. 

That same day we camped at Fort Bridger ; it was not a 
military fort but simply a string of log houses built in the 
shape of a quadrangle with a gate on one side opening into the 
square, the doors and windows or rather openings were on the 
inside. The place at the time was occupied by a number of 
mountaineers the majority of whom had lately come from their 
trading stations along the immigrant road, to spend their winter 
at th Fort, drinking and gamlDling. Among the principal ones 
were old Jim Bridger, Jack Robinson, Vasques and Marrianna; 
I first met the notorious Bill Hickman and Porter Roclnvell 
there. From Fort Bridger on to Salt Lake Valley the roads 
were terrible, rain and snow nearly every day and freezing at 
nights, grass very scarce, cattle perishing daily from fatigue 
and hunger; but our long journey was fast coming to a close 
and all thoughts were concentrated on our mecca. When we 
reached the summit of what Avas called the big mountain twenty 
miles from Salt Lake City we had the first view of the valley 
of the Great Salt Lake. Columbus on the discovery of land 
could not have experienced greater delight than we did at 
the sight of the lake, and cheer after cheer went out from 
twenty-three happy and stalwart throats, made so by yelling 
''Whoa Ha and Gee," for eighty-five days at contrary oxen. 

From this point it required three days more, instead of 
going to Salt Lake City direct we diverged from the mouth 
of Immigration Canyon and went South to Stewarts farm on 
Big Cottonwood where the train was to be unloaded and the 
goods sold ; the reason for going there was that there were only 
two or three stores in Salt Lake City and all occupied that is, 
by the porprietors and clerks. There merchandise had been all 
sold or nearly so some time before, and so Stewart rented a 
vacant school house close to his farm residence for a store room ; 
we reached our destination on Friday evening October 20th, 


1853, eighty-eight days from Council Bluffs ; after a hearty 
supper, a good nights rest and breakfast we commenced un- 
loading our wagons, when done the men were discharged. 

I was still retained to assist in marking and arranging the 
goods, preparatory to disposing of them. The merchants in 
Salt Lake had sold out nearly all their goods a month before 
we arrived with our train — the Mormons had plenty of money, 
obtained by supplying the California immigration with their 
surplus produce, cattle and horses, and were very destitute of 
clothing and groceries consequentl}^ when they heard of our 
train arriving they flocked in from all parts of the Territory 
to purchase our goods ; the farm was completely covered with 
campers, some of them being there a week before we came in, 
it gave the vicinity the appearance of a huge cajnp meeting. 

We were ready to open on the folloAving Tuesday to the 
crowd ; but Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, Heber C. Kimball and 
Daniel H. "Wells came down from the City in the morning and 
necessarily they being the leaders of the church must make 
their selections and have their wants supplied before the lay 
members got a chance, we sold them about $4000.00 worth. 
As I said before the store was the log school house and the 
counters were two carpenters work benches. 

On Wednesday we opened for the people, and such a scram- 
ble for goods I never saw before or since in any store. In 
buying no attention was paid to making change, a person want- 
ing a bolt of calico would throw down a $10-00 gold piece and 
take the first piece handed him or her regardless of color or 
style, the same with boots or shoes if they wanted sixes, sevens 
or eights would skip out satisfied with any size up to elevens. 
In three or four days the most of the stock was gone, and on 
the 5th of November the last article was sold excepting one 
dozen linen shirt collars and all for cash ; the profits ranging 
from one hundred per cent to one thousand per cent net profit. 

The question then arose, what about next years operations. 
I had no expectations of being retained, and expected only to 
chore about the place until spring and avail myself of the 
first opportunity of getting through to California. Stewart 
was very much elated with his success and proposed to con- 
tinue in the business. I had known all along that StcAvart was a 
Mormon, but did not know that he was a polygamist until I 
was introduced to Mrs. Number one and then Number two, and 
he told me confidentially in the course of a month or so he 
expected to have number three, a sister of number two ; the 
fact of his being so much married and expecting more con- 
nubial bliss, changed my plans for the future in a very marked 
degree. To my surprise Stewart asked me one evening how 


I would like to retura to St. Louis in early spring and purchase 
and bring out next years stock, as he was satisfied from what 
he had seen of me and knowing I was pretty well acquainted 
in St. Louis, it was his belief I could attend to the business 
as well or better than himself ; I was aware of that fact myself. 
He was a good honest man but deplorably ignorant of the mer- 
cantile business, that being his first attempt in that line. I hesi- 
tated some time before replying, as I dreaded making a winter 
trip across the plains, for more disagreeable months to travel 
in than February and March could not be well imagined, and 
that would be the time I would have to start, however, I ac- 
cepted his proposition, which was very liberal, I could have my 
choice of two, a fixed salary of $2000.00 per year and all travel- 
ling expenses or a one third interest in the business. I chose 
the former with the privilege however of taking the latter if I 
felt so disposed on my return to Salt Lake. 

The next thing to do was to get a party together to make 
the trip in safety; Stewart and myself went next day to Salt 
Lake City nine miles, my first visit; we remained over night 
and while there made the acquaintance of the merchants who 
were there, and ascertained there was a party already formed to 
go the states via the Southern route to Los Angeles and San 
Francisco, thence by steamer to New York and expected to start 
November 10th ; and also another party was being formed to go 
overland to Independence, Missouri, in February 1854. I of 
course preferred the former route, and fortune again favored 
me; Stewart like many Mormons was very superstitious, a 
great believer in dreams, fortune tellers and prophecies and 
before making up his mind which way I should travel, con- 
cluded to consult an old astrologer named Job living in Salt 
Lake City to ascertain what the fate of the two parties would 
be. Stewart came back highly pleased with his interview with 
the astrologist, and feeling as though he had saved my life and 
his money. The astrologer after figuring up the horoscope or 
whatever he called it stated as a sure thing that a party would 
leave Salt Lake ere long destined for California and New York, 
and would experience a great many hardships from severe 
cold weather and deep snows for the first three or four hundred 
miles, after which they would have to traverse deserts very 
sandy and water very scarce etc., but would reach San Fran- 
cisco in safety and have a safe and prosperous voyage to New 
York, with a probability of encountering one or two severe 
storms, all of which of course was very natural to expect. Mr. 
Job was posted a little on the route Stewart was not and these 
prognostications were gospel to him- The other part,y would 
start out in February or March encounter terrible snow storms 


between Salt Lake and Laramie, suffer intensely, lose the ma- 
jority of their animals and have to purchase fresh ones at 
Laramie, afterwards would be attacked by Indians lose more 
of their animals and a portion of their treasure, but would 
finally reach their destination ; some point on the Missouri River 
in a very forlorn condition. This report settled the matter Avith 
Stewart at once. I should go by the way of California, I applied 
for permission to travel with the party, they were already or- 
ganized and paired off so the only show for me was to buy a 
riding animal and packmule to carry my provisions and bedding 
and travel in their company — my acquaintance had been so 
short and my cheek at that time limited on account of youth 
and bashfuluess. I refrained from asking favors unless entitled 
to them. Stewart returned to Big Cottonwood to prepare for 
my trip, I only had two days to spare ; first to make out a list 
as to what goods were to be purchased, next how to carry the 
money to pay for them, next to procure animals to carry me 
through to California ; the first was easy enough the second 
was a problem; there was no exchange in the country, what 
little had been there in the shape of Federal Officers and Indian 
Agents drafts on the different departments at Washington had 
all been picked up by other merchants long before, at from five 
to ten percent premium. The only resource left was to carry 
the money gold coin with me (.$40,000.00) over two hitndred 
pounds, it could not be done with safety; at that time I had 
but slight acquaintance with the party with whom I was to 
travel. It would be a strange proceeding to go East to purchase 
a stock of goods and say our money was all in Salt Lake and 
Avould be got there as soon as possible, in the spring — a happy 
thought struck me, Livingston and Kinkead had been in busi- 
ness some three years in Utah, and were well known in St. 
Louis, Stewart was well known to the firm as being a man of 
his word. I had Stewart place his money on deposit in their 
safe, one of the Kinkeads was of the party going to California 
and St. Louis, he was cognizant of the fact that the money was 
there — on his corroboration of my statement in regard to money 
matter 1 was to buy our stock of goods ; at the same time it was 
thoroughly understood that as early as possible say 20th of 
March or 1st of April, Stewart was to start overland with an 
ambulance or spring wagon and escort, for the jMissouri river, 
bringing the treasure with him to meet our obligations, and 
it was decided I should take coin enough with me to pay my 
expenses enroute, that question settled satisfactorily, the next 
was an outfit to travel with, everything in the country near 
Salt Lake in the shape of a mule or horse in condition to travel 
had been disposed of to emigrants — the only animal I could 


find at all suitable was a long haired grizzly old mule, but in 
good condition, as for disposition the English language is not 
strong enough to describe it. At the out start some of our party 
named him (Balaam), he redeemed his character however in 
the estimation of all before we got through. About fifty miles 
South of Salt Lake I secured a saddle pony. 

The weather was very cold and snow deep the first three 
hundred and fifty miles until we got over the rim of the basin 
into Southwestern Nevada when the weather became quite 
warm. The route traveled was known as the Fremont trail, 
a hard road to travel owing to the sandy condition of the 
country we passed through and great scarcity of water which 
was drinkable, we traveled principally at night the last three 
hundred miles ; we finally reached San Bernardino ; at that 
place we disposed of our outfits, the animals were in a very 
feeble condition and sold at low prices; from thence to Los 
Angeles and the seaport of San Pedro we went by stage and 
by schooner to San Francisco arriving there Christmas eve. 
The only incident of note occurring was while becalmed off the 
Catalina Islands a large school of whales came very near us 
some of them rising within one or two hundred yards of the 
vessel. Some of our party remained at Los Angeles, other at 
San Francisco, four or five of our party after remaining about 
a week in San Francisco took the steamer "Brother Jonathan" 
for New York via the Nicaragua route, had a pleasant trip go- 
ing down the Pacific coast, stopping at Acapulco and Man- 
zanilla for coal, landing at San Juan del Nort thirteen days out 
from San Francisco. The water of this bay is shallow close to 
shore. The passengers had to disembark from the steamer 
into small boats and when within one hundred yards or so of 
the shore would bestride the backs 'of natives and be carried 
to dry land. It was rather a ludicrous position to assume, espe- 
cially for the lady passengers, there was no other alternative 
however either that or wade ; there were no wharfs or piers 
at any of the Pacific ports south of San Francisco, from San 
Juan-del-Norte baggage, passengers and freight was trans- 
ported on burros and little mules over the mountains a distance 
of fifteen miles to Virgin Bay on Lake Nicaragua where we 
again took steamer across the lake to the mouth of San Juan 
river where we again transferred into small stern wheel steam- 
ers of very light darft running down to the Castillo Rapids. 
There is a portage of about three miles at this point, passengers 
are again transferred to still smaller steamers at the foot of 
the Castillo Rapids. 

The San Juan is a small sluggish stream, rank and brilliant 
colored foliage growing to and over hanging the water, the 


water in places being very shallow especially at its mouth where 
there was quite a sand bar and wherever there were sand bars, 
except upon this one at the mouth they would be covered with 
alligators basking in the sun. In order to get over the sand bar 
at the mouth of the river to reach Grej^town a number of the 
passengers took off their shoes and stepping off the boats as- 
sisted in lifting them over- 

Greytown was rather a small place. About fifty small farm 
houses and a number of native huts built of cane and small 
sticks and thatched with palm leaves. We remained there two 
days transferring passengers alioard the New York steamer 
on the Carribbean Sea, we experienced some rough weather and 
most of the passengers were sea sick but we landed at Havanna 
for coal and fin^iit ; remaining here only about eight hours when 
we sailed for New York; when off Cape Hatteras about mid- 
night and very dark our steamer ran into a small schooner 
bound from New York to Norfolk, Va., sinking her. but we 
saved her crew consisting of the Captain and four seamen. 
The collision created intense excitement for a while among the 
passengers, myself and several others were still up discussing 
the best manner of handling cattle on the plains, the majority 
of passengers having retired — the concussion produced a queer 
sensation, to myself and others Avho were with me it felt as 
though we had struck a sunken reef and the ship's bottom was 
grating on it for a few seconds. Being near the hatcliAvay, we 
were soon on deck, it being an understood plan with our little 
piarjly that in case of wreck we were to gather around the 
chicken coop (which was lashed to the upper deck) cut loose 
the fastenings throw it over board chickens and all, and .jump 
after it ; not having occasion to adopt the plan can 't say whether 
or not it was a good idea. In a few seconds after we reached 
the deck, other passengers began you might say to fall up stairs, 
nearly all of them in night clothing and crazy with fright until 
it was ascertained what was the cause of the trouble, some 
would have jumped overboard if they had not been restrained 
b}^ their friends; this occurrance gave me a good idea of the 
state of feeling that would exist among a crowd of passengers 
in case our vessel had been the one to sink. 

Arrived in New York February 9th, 185-4, remained there 
two days then started for St. Louis. On arriving there my old 
acquaintances would not have been more greatly surprised if 
I had arisen from the grave ; I had written no one during my 
eight months absence, and few ever expected to hear of or see 
me again — after a fortnights rest and visiting old friends, an- 
swering innumerable questions about my trip and the ]\[ormons, 
I went up the Missouri river to make arrangements about the 


transporting of our goods across the plains. I had learned 
however before leaving St. Louis I would experience difficulty 
in getting the goods on the representations I had made and 
corroborated by Mr. Kinkead and with the assistance of my 
old friends and employers Little & Olcott. 

At Independence Missouri I contracted with a firm of 
freighters — the Barnes Brothers (two of whom had travelled 
with me from San Francisco) to haul our goods to Salt Lake 
at 12% per pound. I returned to St. Louis to complete my 
purchases, and by the 12th of April 1854, had everything aboard 
the steamer F. X. Aubrey and started that night up the Mis- 
souri river for the landing four miles from Independence our 
destined starting point. 

The same routine was again gone through of packing our 
goods into wagons etc., but we had a much more convenient 
place to load up. Independence being a town at that time 
about two thousand inhabitants, and a very pretty town too- 
On May 1st 1854 we began to move our train, this was the day 
that Stewart was to reach Independence with the money to 
meet our purchases, but no Stewart ; the next day the same and 
the next, and the next, the train still moving along slowly as 
usual on the first starting ; I began to be alarmed, could it be 
possible that Stewart had been intercepted by Indians and 
killed or waylaid and robbed by white men, my feelings at that 
time were indescribable, I viewed all from the dark side, an- 
ticipating the worst I was in a fair way of going crazy, when 
on the morning of the 7th of May while some distance in ad- 
vance of the train I noticed a couple of ambulances coming 
over the prairie with a party of eight or ten men on horseback, 
and to my great relief it proved to be Stewart with the money 
and U. S. Mail — happier man never existed than I was just 
then; after a short conference with Stewart it was decided I 
should return with him to St. Louis, which I did; after de- 
positing our money in the State Bank, Stewart and myself start- 
ed out checque booki n hand paying up our debts. No one ever 
walked with a prouder step than I did in going from store to 

Our credit was established — the only dread I had Avas in 
buying too many goods. Quite a number of new merchants hear- 
ing of the fine trade in Salt Lake had entered into the busi- 
ness, among whom were the great firm of Horner, Hooper & 
Williams, it being reported they were taking out a stock of 
$250,000, that Livingston and Kinkead were doubling their pur- 
chases, and a great many others buying heavily which induced 
me to believe that the trade would be over done, however, we 
bought $13,000 worth of more goods on credit and again started, 


I travelled with Stewart until we overtook the first train with 
which I remained until we reached Fort Bridger, Wyoming. 

Nothing unusual transpired on the trip. Buffalo were very 
scarce that season on the Platte, seeing only some thirty or 
forty, three of which we killed. On this trip a young friend 
and former schoolmate went along, named Louis P. Drexler 
(since become a millionaire in Virginia City, Nevada and San 
Francisco) he had about $400.00, I advised him to invest it in 
a small stock of notions, I was in the partnership with him 
in the enterprise buying about $1,200 worth of goods and 
freight — in same train with Stewart, he Drexler driving a team. 
The wages of teamsters was $20.00 per month — emigrants over- 
land were not so plentiful and freighters required a better 
class of teamsters, experienced ox drivers making more than 
the difference in wages between nothing and $20.00 per month 
in wear and tear of cattle and wagons. 

At Fort Bridger I left the train going to Salt Lake to see 
what arrangements had been made in the Avay of a store ; I rode 
the entire distance on a mule 113 miles (by taking cut-offs 12 
miles shorter than the road) in fifteen hours, found Stewart 
had made arrangements for a store or building rather on the ■ 
North-West corner of Eighth Ward Square in which to open 
out. all other buildings having been engaged. Horner, Hooper 
& Williams had leased the Tithing House. Livingston. Kinkead 
& Company their old stand opposite the present Coop ; Gilbert 
& Garrish the Museum Building opposite the Tabernacle. Bran- 
ham & Norris a building where the present Deseret Bank now 
stands. William Nix a store adjoining Bockaday & Barr and 
store where the London Bank M^as afterwards, John Kimball 
on the corner of First South and Main William Nixon, first 
house south of Salt Lake House, T. B. Brown & Sons next door 
to Nixon's South, and several other small concerns were doing 
business in the town the names of whom I have forgotten. 

Our train arrived but not until after a number of others 
had reached the city, and as the emigration for California had 
mainly taken a more Northerly route that year (the Sublette 
cut-off' via Soda Springs and Snake River) money was not as 
plentiful as anticipated and a general cut in prices of mer- 
chandise took place, prints 18 to 20 cents per yard, sugar 30 
to 33 1-3 cents per pound, and other goods in proportion, and 
as there was still a numl)er of large trains of merchandise to 
arrive, a panic in prices was very imminent, at all events, it 
scared me so that 1 very foolishly accepted the salary of $2000.- 
00 per year instead of a third interest, thereby losing about 
$8000-00, as the concern cleared $30,000 before the following 
May. As money became more scarce more attention was given 


to trading for cattle and wheat our markets being California 
for cattle, and emigrants and Mormons for grain — taking the 
double profit first on merchandise and then on cattle and grain 
was much better than selling for cash; our sales were not so 
brisk as they had been the year before, but by Christmas we 
as others were out of nearly all the staples, when our goods had 
all gotten in it was decided in order to expedite sale that I 
should take a portion of our goods to Provo City fifty miles 
South of Salt Lake, there was an Indian farm and Agency 
located near by and I succeeded in getting a fair portion of 
that trade, which was remunerative. After locating in Provo 
I was in the habit of visiting Salt Lake semi-monthly, on one 
of these trips on a Sunday evening I first met the lady (Miss 
Maria Townsend who afterwards became my wife) and Mrs. 

Dr. Hart was Indian Agent and Supt. of the Indian Farm 
and D. H. Armstrong was Agent for the Western Indian 
located near the line between Utah and Nevada. It was now 
nearly time to arrange for next years business, after seeing the 
mistake I had made in not taking an interest in the business, 
I now concluded to accept one — consequently a partnership 
was formed for the 1855 trade of Stewart, his brother, Louis 
P. Drexler and myself, and I was again to go East to make the 
purchases and shipment arrangements were made to start on 
January Ist, 1855, taking the same route I had taken the year 
before ; among the party on that trip were Captain W. H. 
Hooper, John M. Hockaday (a West Point Graduate and class 
mate of the ever to be remembered Lieut. Derby (John Phoenix) 
and some ten or twelve others, a jovial party. We had a very 
cold trip but nothing of importance transpired different from 
the former trip. We arrived in San Bernardino in about thirty- 
five days from Salt Lake (a distance of about nine hundred 
miles) dirty and ragged; as a steamer would leave San Pedro 
in two days for San Francisco, we concluded to postpone our 
change of wardrobe until arrival there, on boarding the steamer 
"Senator;" Hooper in the lead headed for the cabin, we were 
intercepted by the steward who insisted in showing us the way 
to the steerage, and could hardly believe his eyes when we pro- 
duced first cabin tickets. Hooper indignantly asking him if we 
looked at all like steerage passengers ; had a nice trip to San 
Francisco and a pleasant time while there ; Hooper and Dick 
Hopkins being old time Mississippi and Missouri River steam- 
boat captains we naturally fell in with like men, who were run- 
ning the San Joaquin rivers, and for a week we were dined 
and wined in good style. On the 15th of February 1855, took 
the steamer "Golden Age" for Panama, concluding to try a 


difPerent route, not that the Nicaragua was not preferable but 
disliked jroing- over the same route twice. Stopped at Mazanillo 
and Acapulco as before, at the latter place had a whole dav 
visiting the Fort Cathedral and other places of interest, the 
town did not amount to much ; it looked as though it was obliged 
to be over run with revolutionists annually, and as earthquakes 
had occurred before, were likely again to sink the city at any 
time — we had quite a strong gale off the mouth of the gulf 
of California and again crossing the Gulf of Tehunantepec, 
but as we were in a warm climate I felt no alarm — in case of 
wreck I fancied I could swim ashore on a plank: reached 
Panama, a beautiful bay but rather large and open for safety — 
in landing there Ave had the same process to go through as at 
San Juan-del-Norte, taking small boats as far as they would go, 
then riding the natives ashore. A rather amusing incident oc- 
curred there, I was in the last boat of passengers leaving the 
steamer among whom was a very corpulent Irish woman weigh- 
ing not less than two hundred pounds. When the small boat 
reached the shallows wiiere it was necessary to bestride the 
natives, every one naturally selected the strongest and largest 
of natives to insure a safe ride to the beach, there happened to 
be just enough in number of natives to carry the passengers ; 
and the two most diminutive specimens were left for the Irish 
lady and myself, she expressed serious doubts about the little 
fellows capacity to carry her, finally she mounted the little 
fellow, away he went and all would have been well, and would 
have landed her safel}^ but she became nervous, and he probably 
excited or mischievous, fell down both sprawling in the water, 
he skipped for shore with the woman's blessings following in a 
streak that made the air blue. 

Crossed the Isthmus from Panama to Aspiuwall on the rail- 
road — did not have time to see much of Panama ; reached Aspin- 
wall at 3.00 o'clock P- M. remained over that night and next 
day leaving before dark on board the steamer Philadelphia for 
New Orleans via Havana — this vessel was a miserable old tub, 
a poor sailor and filthy; on account of some apprehensiveness 
of some fillibustering expedition of Americans by the Spaiiiard 
against the Island of Cuba, we were off Cape San Antonio 
brought to by a Spanish Man of War, first by a shot across our 
bows the next over our vessel, we hove to, and after examina- 
tion were permitted to proceed. Arrived at Havana and re- 
mained there three days, making a trip out to the Bishop's 
Gardens, one of the most beautiful suburbs of the City, visited 
the Cathedral where it was said the ashes of Columbus were 
deposited in a stone urn near the Altar, attended the opera 
one night at the "Teatro Facon, " visited a number of the 


largest cigar factories, imported cigars sold at that time in St. 
Louis and New Orleans at 6% cents each, were worth in Havana 
$14.00 to $18.00 per M., duty 40% besides transportation; at- 
tempted to visit Moro Castle but the authorities would not per- 
mit us to approach the fortifications, nearer than about half a 
mile distant. Started for New Orleans on same steamer became 
lost in a fog off the Balize, and brought up near Galveston Har- 
bor before we could get our reckoning. 

Arrived in New Orleans ]\Iarch 12th, 1855, remained in the 
city two days and started for St. Louis in the steamer Michigan. 
On deck were some six hundred Mormon emigrants, mostly 
from England, Scotland and Wales, under the charge of Balljm- 
tine & McGraw two Mormon elders returning from their mis- 
sions making prosylites to the faith. On reaching St. Louis I 
first learned of Indian troubles on the plains, which had broken 
out the preceding fall between the Sioux and Cheyennes and 
whites, preparations w^ere then being made to send General 
Harney out with troops in the early spring to re-enforce the 
post at Fts. Kearney and Laramie and prosecute a vigorous 
campaign against them. After remaining a few days in St. 
Louis I started up the Missouri river to make arrangements for 
transportation, after nearly a months endeavors I found it im- 
possible to get any freighter willing to take the risk of crossing 
the plains with a train except at exorbitant prices, and I Avould 
have to take the entire risk of the loss by the Indians. I conclud- 
ed therefore not to start a train that season and wrote my part- 
ners in Salt Lake to that effect, on receipt of my letter they 
bought out two remnants of stocks in Salt Lake, enough goods 
to keep a little trade going during the year. I returned to St. 
Louis and to pass the time and pay expenses I took a clerkship 
in the house of my old employers Little & Olcott, and remained 
there during the summer of 1855 and winter of 1855 and 6. 
During the summer and fall Harney succeeded in whipping 
the Indians badly but still they were unsubdued- I think only 
two trains of merchandise succeeded in getting through that 
season to Salt Lake, both suffering heavy losses in cattle. I 
received two or three letters from my partners stating that 
the trade had been very fair considering the stock they had. 
During the winter I made arrangements to buy our own cattle 
and wagons and freight our goods instead of contracting as the 
year before. I made an arrangement to freight out in connec- 
tion with Gilbert & Parrish, we bought up two trains of twenty- 
six wagons each and loaded to from six to seven thousand 
pounds to the wagon. This year 1856 our starting point was 
Atchinson Kansas, a new town just starting into existence 
having at that time not to exceed 150 inhabitants, but owing 


to the political troubles just commenced in Kansas between the 
pro and anti slavery parties the territory was being filled up 
rapidly through the instrumentality of Northern and Southern 
emigration aid societies. 

A portion of the emigrants who came from both sections 
were pretty hard cases and while loading up at Atchinson they 
annoyed us considerably by stealing our cattle and committing 
other depredations. We finally got started, I think about the 
20th day of May 1856. Thomas D. Pitt was wagon master 
and Frank B. Gilbert assistant of our train, and John C. Green 
and Andrew Bigler of the other having some business in St. 
Louis I returned there, with the intention of overtaking our 
trains at or near Fort Kearney, at least before they got among 
the hostile Indians, but was delayed longer than I anticipated. 
On my return up the river I purchased me a good mule, with 
the intention of starting alone to reach my train. I was in- 
formed at Atchinson that a party consisting of A. W. Babbitt, 
Secy, of Utah Territoiy, Thomas Sutherland and a number of 
others would leave for Salt Lake in the course of a week ; they 
requested me to wait and travel with them, I declined doing 
so and Sutherland decided to go with me, but only went as far a.s 
Mormon Grove some six miles when he changed his mind and 
turned back. Starting the way I proposed traveling he thought 
would be too fast for his animal consequently I went on alone, 
having nothing but my mule, the clothing I had on, one pair of 
blankets, picket rope and iron picket pin and Colts revolver. The 
distance to Kearney is about three hundred miles from Atchinson 
and there was but one place between these points where anyone 
lived, that was on Big Blue River (Frank Marshall now of Colo- 
rado kept a trading post there then), the only provisions I carried 
was a small sack of butter crackers, frogs were abundant in all 
the little sloughs and creeks, and whenever I found a lot of good 
sized ones would kill them and fasten them to the pummell of 
my saddle for use when hungry, so with crackers and frogs legs 
broiled on a stick and water to drink I got along very comfort- 
ably. I usually traveled at a brisk gait for one aiid a half or two 
hours, then stopped and grazed my animal from a half to an 
hour going in tliat manner day and night with tlie exception of 
a few hours at night when I would spread my blanket on top of 
the picket pin, and the friction of the rope under my back pre- 
vented me from sleeping too soundly ; I soon became accustomed 
to waking promptly on time ,thus T travelled to Ft. Kearney with- 
out seeing a human being except at the Big Blue, although war 
parties of Cheyennes or Arapahoes were liable to be met with 
at any time after leaving the Blue, I saw none. I had expected 
to overtake the trains at or near the Fort you may imagine my 
disappointment on finding they had passed there seven days be- 


fore, they were making good time and it was thoroughly demon- 
started to me that stern chase is a long one even if it is after an 
ox team. I reached the Fort a little after sunrise and had a 
"square meal" myself and surprised my mule with a feed of oats. 
Captain Wharton was in command of the Post, with three or 
four companies of Cavalry, I spoke to him of my intentions of 
going on immediately until I reached the train. He positively 
forbid my doing so, stating the countrj^ ahead as full of hostile 
Indians and did not think it would be possible for me to get fifty 
miles from the Post without being killed by the Indians, and by 
waiting three or four weeks he designed sending two companies 
of Cavalry to Fort Laramie and I could travel with them in saf- 
ety. I considered the matter over carefully, and concluded I 
could by traveling principally at night get through all right, 
but the Commander's orders were to remain, my only show of 
getting away was to steal out of the Post unawares. At the Sut- 
lers store I procured a fresh supply of crackers and a little 
cheese and by the assistance of Mr. j\Iason the Sutler succeeded 
in getting away. I rode about twenty-five miles without stop- 
ping, camped in a ravine out of sight of the road and waited for 
night, fortunately there was no moon, the next morning found me 
sixty miles from Kearney. Stopped to drink some water at Cot- 
tonwood Springs they being so near the road, however, I went 
down a ravine about a mile, where I was hidden from view to 
cook and eat my frugal meal of crackers and frogs — I built very 
small fires and only in the day time. After leaving the springs 
that day about ten o'clock and scanning the plain very closely 
I ventured to take a day ride of ten or fifteen miles, I had not 
ridden more than five miles when I observed a little cloud of 
dust ahead of me some six or seven miles, I watched it for some 
time and as it seemed to be approaching me I became a little im- 
easy, and finally satisfied myself it was caused by some moving 
body. Naturally my first thoughts were it must be a party of 
Indians, it was two or three miles to the Platte River and appar- 
ently a level plain between. I turned my mule and headed for 
the river riding as low in the saddle as possible, still keeping my 
eye on the dust cloud. I was finally convinced it certainly was 
Indians causing it. I could see black objects plainly in the dust, 
what else could it be but Indians, the question arose in my mind, 
had they seen me ? If not could I make the river before they did 
see me. I was in a highly excited condition, (and sometimes 
think my hair was actually standing on end) urging my mule to 
his utmost speed, but before reaching the river I got into a hol- 
low sufficiently deep to hide myself and animal, I stopped there 
to put fresh caps on my pistol and cinch my saddle girth, and 
await results, either a race for life or a false alann. It proved the 
latter, the black objects I saw turned out to be a little band of 
buffalo playing along the dusty road. I felt relieved, but so badly 


scared I did not venture out again until nearlj^ dark. I continued 
traveling: in the above manner until I finally overtook the hind- 
most train in charge of Pitt ; I was overjoyed on reaching it be- 
ing ver\^ hungry as frogs had been scarce the past two days, and 
oppressed with a sense of loneliness that was almost unbearable, 
and only partially relieved by talking to my mule. I had trav- 
eled five hundred ten miles in seven days and three hours without 
change of saddle animal, it would require a good sum of money 
to induce me to make such another trip, but with all it was lucky 
for me I did not travel with the Babbit party, as they were at- 
tacked by Inidans a short distance west of Fort Kearney and all 
massacred within ten days after my leaving them. The point 
where I overtook the train was Lonetree crossing of the Platte, 
near the present site of Julesburg, Nebraska, from there on to 
Fort Laramie I remained with one of the other of the trains, 
they keeping close together for protection. A strict guard had. 
to be kept all the time over our stock. General Harney had had 
a severe fight with the Indians a short time before, but peace had 
not yet been declared, but was byt he time we reached Laramie. 
After leaving that place we had no further danger to apprehend 
and everything went along smoothly. I went through in advance 
of the trains to Salt Lake and fomid my partners had rented a 
store occupying the site of the present Deseret National Bank 
and nearly out of goods, business had changed very much during 
my absence. On account of the Indian trouble there had been 
no emigration and money was very scarce and trade was simply 
exchanging imported goods for the products of the country cat- 
tle and wheat principally^ occasionally we would sell some goods 
to the Indian Agents. On the arrival of the goods we again 
divided them I taking a portion of the stock to Provo, where I 
remained that winter, making semi-monthly trips to Salt Lake ; 
that fall and winter serious troubles began to break out between 
the Mormons and Gentiles, the former starting up their so-called 
reformation and restitution scheme, which was nothing more 
than an effort on the Mormons' part, instigated by Brigham 
Young and the leaders of the church to drive out or crush all 
Gentiles and their interests, or at least to exasperate them so 
they would commit some overt act that would give an excuse for 
the confiscation of their property. Early in the winter the Nau- 
voo Legion had commenced their daily or weekly drills through- 
out all the settlements, aiTas and ammunition were being gathered 
together, and it was boldly announced at all their meetings that 
they (the Mormons) would no longer submit to the United States 
Government, or longer penuit the accursed Gentiles to live in 
their midst. The Mormon Bishops had so worked on the minds 
of the people, that Utah was anything but a safe place for an out- 
sider to live, and a general feeling of alarm for their persons and 
property existed among them — during that winter I was repeat- 


edly told that I had to join the Mormons or my property would 
be taken from me, and I made to leave the country but at that 
time we all considered it merely a bluff — the Gentiles were very 
circumspect in their actions, giving no cause for any attack on 
them. I kept aloof from all dances and social gatherings and had 
no transactions wdth Mormons outside of strict business, closing 
my store doors at dark and remaining inside after that until 

In Provo there were but three Gentiles besides myself; in 
Salt Lake there were probably from two to three hundred and 
not to exceed fifty in all the rest of the territory. 

Matters were getting worse and worse daily, a Gentile did 
not consider himself safe after dark on the street of Salt Lake, 
quite a number of whom boarded at the Salt Lake House; (on 
my visits to Salt Lake I stopped there). When leaving the hotel 
for their respective places of business after nightfall they would 
usually go up or down the middle of the streets in companies of 
three or four together, revolvers in hands ready for use, Salt 
Lake streets were very quiet except when the "Bill Hickman," 
Lot Hintington and Danite gang" turned loose, usually two or 
three nights in the week when all outsiders kept very shady. The 
climax was reached in February 1857 Brigham and his council- 
ors had concluded that all who were not Mormons must leave the 
territory, that the country was theirs, they found it, and settled 
on it in 1847. The first intimation I had of what was coming, 
was a letter from Drexler about February 15th, 1857 stating that 
orders had been issued by Brigham Young that all Gentiles must 
leave the country. Two days after Mr. Stewart came down to 
Provo and corroborated Drexler 's letter and that he (Stewart) 
was a direct messenger to me from Brigham Young, ordering 
all Gentiles to leave the territory before June 1st, unless they 
joined the Mormon ranks. 

I, of course, declined ; but insisted on knowing why Drexler 
or I should be banished from the country, had we not always 
been upright and fair dealing with the people? He simply re- 
plied, such were Brighams orders, that he was a strict Mormon 
and knew that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and Brigham Young 
also was one and his successor, the idea at once arose in my mind 
that this was a game to get possession of Gentile property and 
concluded not to submit, so plainly told Stewart that everything 
that I possessed was in Utah, I had worked hard for it and really 
had made him what he possessed, as far as I was concerned, did 
not propose to be robbed in any such manner, I intended to stay 
and fortify myself against any encroachments on my rights or 
property to the bitter end — Stewart having any such intentions 
on his part and considered himself free to purchase out Drexler 
and my interest in the business and wished it done peaceably 
and amicably, so a meeting was agreed upon in Salt Lake, the 


question talked over and price and payments agreed upon, Drex- 
ler and I sold out, getting St. Louis cost and 18 cents per pound, 
for freight added ; of course it was a great loss to us hut what 
could we do — our stock inventoried nearly $30,000, nearly the 
amount of the St. Louis purchase on which we received no profit 
but in cleaning up our whole business Drexler and myself had 
about $16,000 as our share (taking cattle at the Utah valuation) 
over and above all liabilities. 

Unfortunately for us, however, we received in part payment 
of our interest nearly .$10,000 of Brigham Young drafts on the 
Interior Department, as Ex Officio Supt. of Indian Affairs, which 
were not paid until some ten years thereafter and only realizing 
about 121/2 cents on the dollar face value, we had plenty of op- 
portunities to exchange these drafts in Salt Lake for cattle, but 
Drexler insisted that Indians or disease might destroy our cattle, 
and by having this cash "Nest egg" as he called it, we would 
have something to fall back on in case of accident. I on the con- 
trary thought there could be no possible loss in cattle if properly 
handled, and we could handle six hundred as ea.sily as three hun- 
dred head, the result proved I was correct in that instance at 
least, as we made one hundred per cent on all the cattle we drove 
through to Carson Valley. Immediately after the merchandise 
was transfeiTcd to the Stewarts, Drexler and myself began gath- 
ering our cattle near Box Elder or Brigham City, from which 
point we were ready to start Westward May 1st, 1857, all other 
merchants in fact all Gentiles had been in the meantime ordered 
to leave the Territory. Gilbert & Garrish, Livingston, Kinkead 
& Company, and several others besides oureelves driving bands of 
cattle West. Gilbert & Garrish sold their merchandise to John 
Kimball and H. W. Lawrence, Livingston, Kinkead & Company, 
to W. H. Hooper and Brigham Young; a considerable portion of 
these sales were on time. Other traders made sales as best they 
could to IMormons, most of them taking horses and cattle in pay- 
ment; all of us with cattle had to use great caution in preventing 
estrays from getting into our herds, our camps were visited at all 
hours of the day by armed bodies of Mormons, and had an estray 
been found in our herds, if it had been there only an hour, would 
have caused us heavy damages, the ]\Iormons' object being to 
fleece all Gentiles out of every cent they possibly could, we took 
the precaution to have a bill of sale of all stock purchased by us. 

We started from Brigham City ^lay 4tli, 1857, taking the 
Humboldt route. Following near the line of the present Central 
Pacific Railroad, we had about four hundred head of cattle. 

Nothing of importance occurred on the trip except an In- 
dian attack on herd one morning in which they killed five head of 
large oxen for us, and a few mornings after we had an Indian 
scare, caused by one of our night herders taking the morning re- 
lief guard for hostiles, some of whom fired into them woimding 


one man. Before reaching Carson Valley, we met quite a num- 
ber of small trains composed of Mormons who had located in 
Carson, Washoe and other valleys on the Western slope of the 
Sierra Nevada, and had made themselves comfortable homes, but 
were ordered by Brigham Young and the authorities at Salt Lake 
to abandon everything and gather in Zion to repel any invasion 
that might be made by the United States Government on the Salt 
Lake Valley. 

The Mormons who located in Washoe Valley were a thrifty 
lot, had made good improvements and owned good farms, but 
sacrificed and abandoned all at Brigham Young's request. 

We reached Genoa Carson Valley June 20th, 1857, making 
our camp on the East Fork of Carson river, remaining there with 
our cattle until the following November, when Drexler and my- 
self sold our beef catle (160 in number) to a butchering concern 
in Mokeloumn Hill, California; cows and young stock were left 
in Carson Valley to be taken care of by Drexler, while I took the 
steamer for the East with the intention of buying more cattle 
to be driven across the plains and add to our herd, we having in 
the meantime located on a tract of land in the vicinity of Steam- 
boat Springs, and in close proximity to what was shortly after 
the great Comstoek Mine. I left San Francisco some time in De- 
cember, 1857, for New York and St. Louis, during that winter 
(57-58) I left St. Louis early in February on a mule riding 
through a great portion of Southwest Missouri and Indian Terri- 
tory, not finding cattle to suit in price, and Mormon trouble still 
pending I proceeded to Fort Leavenworth and instead of driving 
cattle as I had intended, I took a sub-contract under Russell, 
Majors and Waddell to freight two hundred thousand pounds for 
the Government. I loaded up and started from Fort Leaven- 
worth in 1858 making only a partially successful trip, the weath- 
er being unusually rough scarcity of grass and great number of 
teams blocking the road. In the spring of 1858, the Mormons, 
on hearing that General Johnson was moving on Salt Lake with 
his entire army, at once evacuated the city completely, men 
enough only being left to bum the city on Johnson's arrival. 
The flight of the people and burning was all obviated, I regret 
such was the case ; if the three U. S. Commissioners sent out to 
confer with Brigham Young had not reached there for two months 
later, the Mormons would have been easily vanquished and the 
destruction of the city would have been the loss of only three or 
four hundred hovels, as soon as peace was declared the Mormons 
returned to their respective homes. I look upon this as the worst 
blunder ever perpetrated by the government in the settlement of 
the vexed Mormon question. Well enough for commissioners to 
be there, but in reserve not in front. Everyone there knew the 
Mormons were in rebellion and should have been handled for a 


time by the military. After recruiting a week or two, I again 
started for San Francisco to buy goods and make the trip via 
Los Angeles. 

— Contributed bv A. C. Sloan, son of W. K. Sloan. 


At the request of a dear and valued friend of the late Mrs, 
Mary A. Garrett, I have undertaken to review some of the events, 
and happenings that took place at Rock Creek, Wyo., some forty 
odd years ago, and later ; in which Mrs. Garrett took a prominent 

Coming down from the west with my freight teams in '83, 
I put in a few trips on the Rock Creek Fetterman and Fort Mc- 
Kinney road. At that time there were one hundred and seventy- 
five teams freighting out of Rock Creek, counting nothing less 
than sixes. The agent at Rock Creek told me that the average 
shipment of cattle from August 15th to Nov. 15th, was one hun- 
dred cars every twenty-four hours. I cannot vouch for the accu- 
racy of this statement ; but I do know that during the fall of '84, 
they were loading cattle at the stock yards night and day for at 
least three months, and about the same in '85 and '86. 

Cattle .were driven hundreds of miles to be shipped from 
Rock Creek. 

In addition to the freighting and shipping industry, we had 
a stage line from Rock Creek to Junction City, Montana, a dis- 
tance of four hundred miles. 

The stages ran daily each way including Sundays. 

In June '84 I sold my freighting outfit, and bought the Wyo- 
ming House, at that time the principal hotel at Rock Creek. On 
the 27th of December of that year I married Mary A. Banner ; 
an English girl of good family and good looks too. 

Mollie took to western ways like a duck to water. She 
seemed to want to be able to do anything that a Wyoming wohian 
could do ; or man either for that matter. 

Before we had been married a year she could outride, out- 
shoot, or out-dance, the oldest or youngest woman in the country, 
I bought her the best saddle horse that I could find for sale, and 
he proved to be the "berries," — as our younger generation would 
say, — ffnd he sure could run. 

Mollie was fond of racing, and would run her horse against 
anything that she thoiight she could beat. Five head of horses 
were unloaded at Rock Creek to be taken out to a ranch at Eagle 

The man in charge of the horses got to bragging about how 
they could run. Our colored barber. Matt Campfield, bet him 


a pound of Climax that Mrs. Garrett's buckskin could outrun 
any one of them at four hundred yards. Mrs. Garrett rode her 
horse, and beat all five of them, taking one at a time. Every 
time a race was about to start ''Old Matt" would shout "another 
plug of Climax on Mrs. Garrett. ' ' 

Matt had his barber chair in Smiths' place. He weighed 
nearly three hundred pounds, and both legs were missing below 
the knees. 

One day a drunken cowpuncher ran amuck in Smiths ' place, 
and shot a man in the left breast, the bullet coming through and 
out behind the left shoulder. Everybody ran out of the place, 
except the bad man. He would shoot at anything he saw move 
outside. Finally, Mose Dose, a deputy sheriff crawled through 
a back window, and rapped him on the head, while he was shoot- 
ing through -the front window at a hat on the end of a stick. 
Matt, the barber, was a witness at the trial. 

Said the prosecuting attorney. "What did you do, Mr. 
Campfield, when the man began shooting?" 

Said Matt: "/flew." 

After the trial was over, Judge Blair shook hands with Matt, 
and said, "Now, Mr. Campfield, when any one starts shooting in 
your shop, you fly." 

They carried the wounded man to our place, and Mrs. Gar- 
rett, with the help of the dishwasher, rendered first aid, dressed 
the wound, and succeeded in convincing the young man that he 
wasn't going to die right away. He was taken to the hospital at 
Laramie, and came out after a few weeks, as good as ever. 

He was a witness at the trial, and asked the Judge to dis- 
charge the prisoner, as he thought the young man didn't know 
what he was doing. The Judge couldn't seem to see it quite that 
way and gave the man a light prison sentence. 

One day. Jack Hill — who afterward gave a man the first 
shot, and then killed him — was out back of the hotel breaking 
beer bottles with his six gun. 

He did not see Mrs. Gai^ett come up behind, and just as he 
was about to shoot, she shot and broke the bottle. Jack turned 
around with blood in his eye ; but when he saw who it was he just 
laughed, and said, ' ' She beat me to it. ' ' 

Mrs. Garrett was a good shot with rifle, shot gun, or six 

I think it was in '85 that we had the Indian scare. It was 
about eleven o'clock in the evening that I got a telegram from 
the Governor stating that the Ute Indians were on the warpath 
again, and were likely to strike the U. P. about Rock Creek. 

Personally I didn't take any stock in the story at all, and 
refused to awaken the guests in the hotel. However, the majority 
of the people in town were greatly excited, and began to prepare 
for defense. 


The women in particular were ready to fight for their kids 
and insisted that ]Mrs. Garrett instruct them in the use of fire- 
arms, and take charge of the petticoat squad as we called them. 

One woman said, she had never fired a gun in her life, and 
didn't think she could; but she said she had had some experience 
in handling a rolling pin, and might maybe be able to crack a few 
heads with that. 

I've thought since she might be an ancestor of Mrs. Jiggs. 
The men stood guard, and patrolled the streets, for three days 
and nights, while the women practiced shooting at scare crows 
and fence posts. I took no part in it as I considered it all bunk. 
I thought I knew enough about Indians to be sure that a war 
party would not come to the railroad where troops could get to 
them on short notice ; and to this day I don't know how the Gov- 
ernor came to send me that telegram. 

Mrs. Garrett was always kind to the sick and unfortunate. 
"When that famous cowboy Dollar Bill (one of the characters in 
Owen Wister's book Lin McLain) was very nearly killed by his 
horse falling on him, Mrs. Garrett nursed him, and took care of 
him for four weeks, aiid the doctors said, her care and thoughtful- 
ness in rendering firet aid did much toward saving his life. 

The winter of '86- '87 was the worst that I ever saw in Wyo- 
ming, and I've seen fifty of them. At that time no provision 
was made for feeding range cattle or sheep. They just had to 
look out for themselves. 

The loss on cattle for that winter was fully seventy-five per 
cent, and some of the sheep men lost all. The drifts at Rock 
Creek made the town look like a town of sand hills, only they 
happened to be snow hills. Many men lost their lives from freez- 
ing, and many more were crippled for life. 

One man I remember was brought in by the section gang, 
having been picked up on the track. 

He had been out on the plains for three days and nights, 
without food or shelter. With Mrs. Garrett to help me we man- 
aged to save his hands and feet except two toes and one finger. 

Our first child, Olive — now Mrs. Kafka — was bom at Rock 
Creek, August 6, '86. Two other children were born at Rock 
Creek, Robert Noel and Genevieve — now Mrs. Wliite. 

Her baby daughter, Frances, was bom in Laramie and died 
in infancy. Three of our children were born on the ranch. Thom- 
as Sylvester, Jr., Nellie, and Mary Elizabeth — now Mi*s. Swan. 

Our greatest gi*ief was the death of little Nell ; burned to 
death at the ranch when four yeare old. ]\Irs. Gai*rett put out 
the fire with her bare hands and was so badly burned herself that 
she could not use her hands or anns for weeks afterward. 

Olive and I took little Nell to Laramie and buried her in the 
family lot where her mother now rests. 


When the Northwestern railroad reached Douglas, it cut 
off all the freighting, and most of the stock shipping from Rock 
Creek. The daily stage line was taken off, and the town went 
down to nothing. 

In "88 I resigned as post master, and Mrs. Garrett was ap- 
pointed to the office, which she held until we moved out on the 
ranch in 1890, I had been running a store in connection with 
the hotel business, and in consequence of trusting everyone, and 
not being paid, and the collapse of the town, I went stoney broke. 
I had bought a building that had been used for a hotel and saloon 
in the prosperous times, and we moved the family into it. Also 
the post office. 

I went to work at a tie camp, and Mrs. Garrett started a lit- 
tle business in connection with the postoffice, and did well with 
it. I earned enough to buy two good teams and a wagon, so when 
we moved out on the ranch we had a little to start with, but not 

I was fortunate in taking up land that I could irrigate, and 
by adding to it later, we made it one of the best little ranches in 
the neighborhood. Mrs. Garrett bought some milk cows with the 
money she made in the restaurant, and I traded one of my work 
teams for fifteen head of young cattle ; so we got a little start in 
cattle that way. Mollie was fond of riding horseback, and was 
a fearless, and I might say reckless rider, until one day, while 
looking after the cattle, she found some of our yearlings with 
a bunch of wild rangers, and in trying to cut them out, her horse 
stepped in a badger hole, and turned completely over. She fell 
clear of the horse, but her collarbone was broken, and she was 
pretty badly bruised up. I went out to look for her, and met her 
coming home riding at a walk. 

The first thing she said was: "Tom, I had to leave 'em." 

I said : ' ' Leave what 1 ' ' 

"Those yearlings; when my horse fell and hurt me, I just 
couldn 't do a thing with 'em any more. ' ' 

I said : ' ' Are you badly hurt ? ' ' 

' ' No, just my collar bone broke, and some other things. ' ' 

There were plenty of antelope near by and sage chickens, 
and no closed season ; at least not for us, so we always had plenty 
of fresh meat. 

I remember one time, I think it was our third or fourth year 
on the ranch. An Englishman was staying with us for a day or 
two, and wanted to shoot some sage chickens. My wife and I 
started out with him one morning for a little sport, and incident- 
ally to get some meat. As we were walking along we got to talk- 
ing about wing shooting. I was boasting a little about what 
Mollie and I could do in that line ; when the Englishman said to 
Mrs. Garrett, "Do you think you could hit my hat if I should 
throw it up ? " Said Mom : ' ' Maybe you 'd better throw it up and 


see." Mollie was carrying a double barrel shot gnn with both 
barrels loaded. The Englishman threw up his hat. It didn't 
get a dozen feet in the air before she had put a charge of shot 
into it, and before it struck the ground she turned loose the other 
barrel and completely riddled it. The Englishman picked up 
what had once been a Stetson hat, looked at it, pulled a long face 
and said: "But I paid seven dollars for that hat, don't you 

Mollie said it's really too bad; but when you come out to go 
chicken hunting you should always wear a cheap hat. 

In '93 Mrs. Garrett had a long and serious illness that lasted 
seven months. 

We took her to Laramie on a bed, and after five weeks, 
brought her home on a bed. The doctors said she worried so 
much about the children, that it more than offset any benefit to 
be gained by keeping her in town, and advised taking her back 
to the ranch. 

After she had been in bed six months, I sent for my sister, 
Mrs. Standish, then living at Lander, Wyoming. Mrs. Standish 
wa.s a water cure doctor, having graduated under old Dr. Kellogg 
of Battle Creek, Michigan, while her husband was in the Union 
Army. My sister came at once, and after treating her for a few 
weeks, had her on her feet, a well woman, and she continued in 
good health for many years. As to Mrs. Garrett's life in later 
years it is well and favorably known to nearly every one in Al- 
bany County, and needs no further comment from me. Mrs. 
Garrett died November 25, 1925, mourned by her family and 
many friends. I have written these memoirs at the request of 
Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, esteemed by Mrs. Garrett as a true 




The American Historical Association is the only National 
organization in this country which has for its single and well 
defined object the collecting, preserving and disseminating his- 
tory for universal use. Prominent men of affairs, distinguished 
historians, educators, authors and statesmen were amongst the 
group of outstanding men who organized this Association in 
1884, and both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow AVilson served 
in the capacity of President of the organization. In 1889 Con- 
gress recognized the Association by granting it a charter, and 
the Annual reports -which are put out by the Smithsonian In- 
stitution are included in the series of Congressional Documents. 


The terms of the Charter make it obligatory that the Associa- 
tion be responsible for the promotion of "American History 
and of History in America. ' ' 

This work is carried on by collecting, preserving and pub- 
lishing valuable manuscripts, letters and diaries with special 
reference to procuring those in private ownership. Materials 
for the study of International affairs, legal, economic and social 
problems are made available to investigators by publishing in- 
ventories of documents in the State and National Archives. 
Through its publication "The American Historical Review" — a 
quarterly— the public is made acquainted with the research 
work that is being carried on all over the country whether by 
educational institutions or by State and local Historical So- 

Now the Association is plaiming to extend its services to 
include the promotion of research in American history and its 
European backgrounds. Unpaid professional service has al- 
ways been given freely by the members of the Association, but 
the most far reaching service can only be obtained by an edu- 
cated trained worker who can give all his time to promoting, 
directing and correlating the work, and this should be a sal- 
aried position. There should be funds to meet this need. Money 
is also needed for adequate office space. At present the general 
offices are in Washington. It is desirable that they should be 
kept there for the accommodation of the large number of his- 
torical scholars who visit the Capitol City. 

The Association is asking for an increase in its endowment 
fund to a million dollars to the end that means may be obtained 
for the carrying out of the program for larger and better ser- 
vice. It is greatly to be desired that this request from the As- 
sociation for necessary funds to carry on and promote the His- 
torical research work may meet with a favorable response. 
Any persons who are interested in furthering this cause may 
communicate with "The Committee on Endowment" at the 
office of the Executive Secretarj^, 110 Library, Columbia Uni- 
versity, New York. 



Jones, Hoyle '....Four trading tokens used by Seth E. 

Ward while Sutler at Old Fort Lara- 
mie. These tokens bear the inscrip- 
tion: S. E. Ward, Sutler, U. S. A., 
Fort Laramie, D. T. Good for 5 cents 
in Sutlers Goods on two and Good for 
25 cents on two. 

Chaplin, W. E Oil Portrait of Mrs. N. E. Stark, who 

was the sister of Mr. Lee, First Terri- 
torial Secretary and wife of Prof. 
Stark, early Superintendent of 
Schools in Cheyenne. 

Jones, Jessie S Two World War maps. One map shows 

the area the American Army proposed 
to occujjy in Germany after its ad- 
vance upon Berlin. The other map 
shows the area in Germany — divided 
according to corps area — which was 
occupied by the A. E. F. These maps 
were never issued. Captain Town- 
send, who was stationed at G2C, Third 
Army, Coblenz, Germany, July 1919 
presented these maps to Miss Jones. 
Miss Jones was among the first Amer- 
ican girls to go into the Overseas Ser- 

Wood, S. S Two pictures of deer. 

Owen, W. O Thirteen views of the Gros Ventre Eiver 

slide. Pictures taken by Mr. Owen. 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Kaymond Five views of the dedication of the 

Mary Holmesly monument at Old Fort 
Laramie on the Oregon Trail. Pic- 
tures taken by Dr. Hebard. 

Clayton, A. G Original pen and ink sketch. 

Hahn, Mrs. Virginia Bridger Picture of self taken by the old mill on 

the farm where her father died. 

Calverly, J. A Relic from great hail storm of June 14, 




Missouri Historical Society Life and Papers of Frederick Bates. 

two volumes. Bates was second Gov- 
ernor of Missouri. 

Griffin, C. D Masonic Memorial Services in memory 

of John Alden Einer (Federal Judge). 

Official Eegister of Qualified Voters 

for Nov. 8, 1892 in District No, 7, 

Precinct No. 7, Albany County, Wj'o- 


One Poll Book for Election held Nov. 

6, 1894, District No. 9, Precinct No. 

1, Albany County. 

Two Poll Books for the election held 

Nov. 3, 1896, District No. 7, Precinct 

No. 1, Albany County. 


Owen, W. O The Great Landslide on Gros Ventre 

Eiver, Wyoming, June 23, 1925. 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Eaymond Pioneer Mothers on the Oregon Trail. 

Clayton, A. G Brief history of the Washakie National 

Forest and the duties and some expe- 
riences of a ranger in Sheridan Dis- 

Governor Nellie T. Eoss Manuscript by Mr. Anthony Mills. 

Van Tassell, Mrs. Louise Swan Manuscript note by J. T. Arnold. 

Hoskins, W. C Original manuscripts of the following 

articles on Wyoming's Government: 
Governor's office; The Supreme Court; 
The State Geologist; The State Li- 
brary and Wyoming 's Government 
and its Functions. 

Garman, S. J History of Howard Michael. 



Jones, Jessie S ...Three numbers of "Carry On" publish- 
ed by The Woman 's Overseas Service 

Gilpin, Pearl Saga of "Billy the Kid." 

Nichols, Mrs. Laura Grand Encampment Herald, 1903-1910. 

Lockard, F. M Story of "Dull Knife." Early Day 

Buffalo Hunt. 

Davis, Eeba Reports of Governors of Wyoming made 

to the Secretary of the Interior as 
follows: For the years 1878, 1880, 
1882. Constitution of the Proposed 
State of Wj'oming adopted in Conven- 
tion at Cheyenne, Wyoming, Septem- 
ber 30, 1889. 


Bryant, T. J Boone ancestry. Boone Family Associa- 
tion Convention and Eeunion. 

Beach, Mrs. A. H. '. Beach Family Magazine. Vol. 1, No. 2. 

Hahn, Mrs. Virginia Bridger Bridger Family. 


Rollins, Mrs. Phillip Ashton Check for $15.00. 

an\ \ 

Annate of OTpoming 

Vol. 4 OCTOBER, 1926 No. 2 


A Brief History of the Washakie National Forest 
and the Duties and Some Experiences of a 
Ranger A. G. Clayton 

Buffalo Hunting With the Shoshone Indians in 

1874 in the Big Horn Basin, Wyoming James I. Patten 

Custer Massacre Ed Farlow 

Dwight Fisk, Early Freighter Coutant 

Letter , W. F. Haynes 

Letter John Hunton 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


Annals of TOpoming 

Vol. 4 OCTOBER, 1926 No. 2 


A Brief History of the Washakie National Forest 
and the Duties and Some Experiences of a 
Ranger -. A. G. Clayton 

Buffalo Hunting With the Shoshone Indians in 

1874 in the Big Horn Basin, Wyoming James I. Patten 

Custer Massacre.... ..Ed Farlow 

Dwight Fisk, Early Freighter Coutant 

Letter W. F. Haynes 

Letter John Hunt on 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Nellie Tayloe Eoss 

Secretary of State Frank E. Lucas 

State Libral-ian Elo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Et. Eev. P. A. McGovern .• Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace E. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. E. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margery Eoss Cody 

Mrs. E. T. Eaymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume IV. Number 2, October, 1926 

(Copyright, 1926) 

^nnalg of TOpoming 

Vol, 4 OGTOBEE, 1926 No. 2 


A. G. Clayton, Forest Ranger 
Sheridan District 

On the eastern slope of the Wind River Range in Fremont 
County extending almost its full length, embracing some of the 
largest bodies of timber and most rugged and scenic parts, lies 
the Washakie National Forest. Roughly, 865,000 acres of moun- 
tain land. It furnishes railroad ties, lumber, and wood ; water 
for domestic and irrigation purposes ; summer pasture for thou- 
sands of head of cattle and sheep, besides, feeding grounds and 
shelter for large numbers of the varied wild life of the state. 
Covering as the area does, so many things of vital interest to the 
people of this and other communities it only seems fitting to give 
an outline of its history, value, and use. Consequently, in order 
to make this article of some historical worth it is necessary to go 
back a number of years and commence with the beginning, in so 
far as related to man. 

From all accounts available, the area was not used to any 
noticeable extent by the early Indians. Game and feed were 
plentiful in the lowlands and there was little need for the In- 
dians to venture into the mountains for these or any other pur- 
poses. While there are several places at which Indian wall writ- 
ings have been found, they are all at points well down from the 
mountains themselves, such as in the lower Dinwoody Canyon. 

Undoubtedly the earliest users of the Washakie Forest were 
the so-called sheepeaters. They were renegade Indians, who, for 
the sake of safety and perhaps convenience, coupled with the age 
old fellowship of man, banded together where possible and lived 
their lives in the mountain fastnesses. They had evidently vio- 
lated various tribal laws and did not belong to any fixed tribe, 
having been compelled on penalty of death to live as fugitives. 
At times they preyed upon small parties or lone Indians for the 
purpose of equipping themselves with such implements or wea- 
pons as were obtainable, or possibly to steal a squaw, returning 
at once to their mountain retreats. They were not warlike but 


were supposed to have been cowardly and shy, which, under the 
circumstances is easily understood. Plainly they were social 

The name sheepeater is somewhat of a misnomer. There is 
no reason why they could not just as well have been called elk- 
eaters or deereaters. Perhaps fish and wild fowl formed an im- 
portant part of their living because they no doubt found it easy 
to procure fish and other small game. In any event they lived 
on the land as best they could and did not, as might be imagined, 
live solely on mountain sheep. 

Naturally their hunting methods were crude as compared 
with the present. Frequently traps were used. These took the 
form of log or stone fences generally placed at points frequented 
by game. The idea was that game, while feeding or trailing and 
being unmolested would encounter one of these fences and would 
then turn and follow the line of least resistance along the fence, 
rather than exerting itself to jump it. Another fence leading at 
right angles would at a point converge with the first near which 
points hunters with bows and arrows would be concealed. Or 
perhaps instead of the two fences converging an opening would 
be left through which the game could pass. But the opening 
would probably lead out onto a ledge over which game could 
not go and they would then be rushed from behind. The remains 
of such as this can be found on the east wall of the West Fork of 
Torrey Creek near its mouth. There are many points throughout 
the northern parts of the Forest where parts of these ruins can 
still be found. 

Several theories are advanced as to the final disappearance 
of the sheepeater. One is that diseases of various sorts entered 
their ranks ; another that tribal Indians destroyed them, but it 
appears that the most likely one is the coming of the whit« man,, 
who, in subduing their enemies the lowland Indians, made it pos- 
sible for them to return to their former homes and take up the 
life of the normal Indian. It is said by some that a few still are 
living on the Wind River Indian Reservation. In any event these 
people can justly be considered as the first usei's of the Washakie 
National Forest. 

It is not my intention to go into a long discourse on all of 
tlie various hunters, traders, explorers and such who first passed 
througli or resided in this part of the State. These points have 
been well covered by others and space would hardly peniiit. Fur- 
tliennore this article is mainly about the mountains and I will 
try not to deviate from that course. 

Something has previously been written concerning the party 
of Frenchmen under De La Verendrye, which, in 1743 is sup- 
posed to have traveled up the South Fork of the Shoshone and 
cros.sed over to the Wind River. Following the route that they 
did it would have been possible for them to crass only at what 


is now called Shoshone Pass which is on the head of DuNoir" 
River, a large upper tributary of the Wind River. DuNoir, 
meaning ''the black" was probably named by these Frenchmen 
as they looked from the Pass and were at once struck by the 
large, and at a distance, black body of lodgepole pine which ex- 
tends throughout this watershed. No doubt this sight prompted 
the name. These were the first white men to enter the region. 

The name of John Colter seems to be deeply inscribed in 
early Wyoming history. He and his companions Hancock and 
Dixon, the first Americans to enter this part of the State, evi- 
dently traveled over what is known as Twogwotee Pass on their 
trip to Yellowstone in 1808. Twogwotee, at one time spelled 
"Togwoda" or "Togwater" means the spear. This pass is one 
of three main passes in the upper Wind River Range used by 
early travelers and still in use at the present time. An old In- 
dian legend has it that at this point a food cache was kept at 
which Indian travelers could replenish their supplies while travel- 
ing through. 

In passing a few points of particular interest might here be 
recorded relative to Twogwotee Pass. In 1873 an expedition was 
sent out under a Captain Jones to report upon a good route for 
a road into Yellowstone Park. Three routes were explored and 
this one was chosen as by far the best. In his report Captain 
Jones said that a railroad grade could be laid without the tre- 
mendous expense incident to other locations. Not until 1898 
was the road built and then by the army and was made passable 
to wagons. It w^as pointed out as a model road at the time in 
spite of the fact that one of the hills was so steep that, to para- 
phrase one of the old timers, wagons had to be let down by means 
of a windlass. But the most interesting thing about it is that 
this road which followed the route reported on in '73 as by far 
the best, was not built until after all of the others had been con- 
structed. It was not completed until 1922. 

Not many miles to the south of Twogwotee Pass is Sheridan 
Pass, named in honor of General Sheridan who cro.ssed it as 
head of the military escort of President Arthur in 1882 or '83, 
on the occasion of Arthur's visit to the Park. The exact date is 
not available. 

In connection with Sheridan's trip it might be interesting 
to note two happenings during their journey. At least they show 
some of the personal side of both Arthur and Sheridan and the 
originality, humor, and independence of the early Wyoming cow- 
puncher and soldier. 

Word had been telegraphed north from Rawlins that the 
presidential party was enroute and traveling with a military es- 
cort from Green River City. Two cowpunchers near Rongis had 
heard of the party coming, and being desirous of seeing the presi- 


dent had ridden out to meet it. At a point near South Pass they 
met, the cowboys having since been joined by a few others. 

Sheridan and Arthur were in a Concord coach and the first 
thought that the president had upon seeing the cowpunchers was 
that he was the victim of a hold up. Upon being told the visit- 
or's mission, Sheridan, who was in civilian clothes at once dis- 
mounted from the coach and introduced all hands to the presi- 
dent. Then they decided to camp and have a sociable time. A 
regular banquet was held and all formality was thrown to the 
winds. Since it was early morning when the parties met much 
time was so spent. A shooting match was held ; hats were thrown 
up and shot at and likewise cards. Sheridan proved himself ex- 
pert with the revolver and since the president had never seen a 
real bucking horse one of the men gave a splendid exhibition in 

Later, on entering the mountains to the north, the president 
offered a prize of twenty-five dolalrs to the soldier catching the 
largest trout. Several tried for the prize but with no success. 
The fish were all too uniform and there was not enough disparity 
in their sizes to make the contest exciting. The interest of the 
men waned. 

One of the men whose first name was Paddy thought that he 
needed the twenty-five, and, moreover, he was going to have it. 
Shortly after making this resolution he was very successful and 
presented the cook with a fish which weighed a fraction less than 
twenty-five pounds. But the strange part of the whole thing was 
that the fish was little, if any, larger than the general run. 
"True enough," said Paddy, "he was little larger as far as ap- 
pearance was concerned but nevertheless he was well built and 
solid — ver>^ muscular. Just heft of him and see!" A post mor- 
tem of the fish was held a short time later which disclosed the 
fact that it had either eaten, or absorbed in some strange way, 
a large quantity of leaden bullets. Needless to say he was given 
the Presidential prize. 

In the summer of 1925 near Sheridan Pass Avas found an old 
Colt "Walker" model caliber .44 revolver. It was completely 
covered with earth, except a small part of the butt which project- 
ed a short distance above ground. This was made between 1838 
and 1842 and was considered very successful by the Federal Gov- 
ernment during the Seminole War. Very likely it has an inter- 
esting histoiy. 

Ten miles south of Sheridan is Union Pass. As far as the 
popular conception of a mountain pass goes this is indeed a sur- 
prise. One can hardly tell when the pass has been crossed because 
the whole surrounding country is so rolling and level. There are 
several miles of this kind of countiy in the immediate vicinity. 
The W. P. Hunt expedition crossed here in 1811 and mention 
was made at the time of tiie many plain trails leading through 


that way. It is possible that these were game trails. Local opin- 
ion has it that the first wagon taken over the Pass was in 1901 by 
way of Little Warm Springs Creek jnst west of Dubois. I doubt 
the authenticity of it. It is possible that the Hunt Expedition 
had wagons which would discredit lo(?lal opinion as it now stands. 
With the early explorers and settlers, so with some of the points 
near the Forest, there are so many of historical interest that 
space will not permit of their discusvsion. South Pass for in- 
stance, the cradle of woman's suffrage, has been the source of 
much comment. The early developments there in mining have 
done much to stir the blood of the past and present generations. 
So much has been written in regards to this place that it would 
be inconsistent to here record similar happenings. 

Two years ago while in the South Pass country I happened 
to stumble onto an interesting relic of the placer boom near At- 
lantic City in the early 80 's. It was at Louis Lake well back 
in the mountains from South Pass City. On a tree and close to 
the shores of this lake at a point well isolated from travel, I came 
upon an old sign which bore this inscription : ' ' Louis Lake 
August 1884. ' ' It was very striking as small things go. The let- 
ters and figures which had been perfectly made, had been incised 
on ^n old piece of lumber and painted black. The board was 
knotted and rough and it surely required skill to do the work as 
well and neatly as it had been. I later found that the sign had 
been made in Atlantic City during the winter of 1883 by the 
engineer then in charge of the Granier Ditch. The ditch had, in 
many places, gone the way of most things but the small sign still 
stood after forty years of exposure to Wyoming mountain weath- 
er, easily readable, as evidence of careful work well done. 

Gradually, as the west settled, the American people began 
to give serious thought to their natural resources. The shortage 
of timber in the east and the middle west was beginning to be 
felt. Careless logging was beginning to be everywhere condemned 
and people viewed with horror the yearly toll that fire was tak- 
ing, since little organized effort was directed at preventing it, 
much less combatting it. The conservation movement grew rap- 
idly and in this way took form. 

In 1891 President Benjamin Harrison issued the proclama- 
Jtion establishing the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve. This was 
one of the first ' ' reserves ' ' established and at the time embraced 
most of the timbered land in western Wyoming. The present 
Washakie Forest was then part of the Yellowstone Reserve which 
at the time amounted to little more than the proclamation form- 
ing it, since the directing organization was then in its formative 
stages. This territory covered both slopes of the Wind River 
Range. On July 1, 1908 the name of the Wind River Division 
was changed to the Bonneville Forest in honor of Captain Bonne- 


ville who first came in sight of the Wind River Mountains in 

Until 1907 these forests had been called "forest reserves" 
but it was generally understood that this was a poor name for 
them. The old "Use Book" made it clear that they were for use 
and everybody from the president on down had said the same. 
Consequently in 1907 "forest reserve" was superseded by "na- 
tional forest ' ' which is more appropriate, since they are not and 
never have been "reserves" in the full meaning of the word. 
This has the additional advantage of distinguishing between state 
and federal forests. Unfortunately due to the early usage of the 
name many still refer to them as "forest reserves." 

Further changing conditions due to the in settle- 
ment in the adjoining country put additional demands upon the 
first personnel and again made it necessary to reduce these large 
forests to smaller. On July 1, 1911 the "Washakie National For- 
est was formed from the southern part of the Bonneville ; that 
part which lay south and west of Lander. On July 1, 1916 an- 
other change was made, some of the western part of the Wash- 
akie being added to another forest. Mobile the remaining Bonne- 
ville was added to the Washakie. This gives all the Wind River 
drainage to the Washakie National Forest which brings us dQwn 
to the present. 

The forest can be divided into two main parts, the upper Wind 
River watershed and the Popo Agie, which is south of Lander. 
Of course there are many other streams, but these two, later con- 
verging into the one Wind River, can be considered as the main 
arteries. They are fed by many lakes and glaciers which blanket 
the continental divide and lie in the most ragged and inaccessible 
parts of Wyoming. ]\rany of the highest peaks of the state are 
within this area and one of the largest glacial fields within con- 
tinental United States. This high country presents one of the 
most spectacular arrangements of mountain scenery in the west. 
Having viewed it from some loftv eminence one never forgets the 

The most prominent timber type is the lodgepole pine, lodge- 
pole because the early Indians used them in constructing their 
tepees. And well they should, for I know of no tree better suited 
for the purpose naturally than the lodgepole. It is remarkably 
clear of l)raiK'hes for a long distance up the trunk and grows very 
straight and tall. It might be compared to a tall slender flower 
as a giant would see it. Its needles always grow in clusters of 

There are other species, the most prominent being the Engel- 
man Spruce. Tiien there is the Douglas Fir and the limber pine, 
both of which grow promiscuously over the whole forest, tho none 
to the extent of the lodgepole. AH of these trees, except the lim- 


ber pine, are valuable for ties and lumber, the limber pine fre- 
quently can only be used, if used at all, for fuel wood. 

Of some of the smaller species, that is, smaller, in this coun- 
ti"y, we have the juniper and the aspen. The "old maid of the 
mountains" the aspen is frequently called due, I believe, to its 
gently quaking leaves. If such a similarity exists I most humbly 
bow to the spinster. Of little commercial value, it is to me one 
of the most beautiful trees in Wyoming. It grows in groves and 
at low elevations and in the fall its trembling leaves dipped in 
silver and liquid gold cast and reflect visions of fairyland. At 
that time of year, aspen, against the somber pines, give contrast 
where contrast is most needed. 

There are many parks scattered here and there throughout 
the timbered portions which furnish pasturage to livestock. Graz- 
ing permits are issued to qualified owners of stock and local resi- 
dents are given first preference for range so allotted. In looking 
back it is found that grazing permits were first issued in 1903, 
free of charge, and payments were not called for until 1906. 

For the purposes of efficient administration the forest is 
divided into three districts with a ranger in charge of each. These 
districts are the Absaroka, Sheridan, and Lander. The district 
ranger assumes full responsibility for his territory and answers 
directly to the forest supei"visor at Lander. Topography plays 
an important part in the selection of district boundaries as well 
as the quantity of work or activities necessary to good adminis- 
tration. One district may have considerable timber sale work 
while another has much grazing, or heavy tourist travel which 
would make it necessary for the ranger to give correspondingly 
careful attention on account of likelihood of fires. Or perhaps 
there may be a combination of all. Such is the case on at least 
two of the districts of this forest. 

Since the timber is the most important part of any forest, 
it naturally develops that the protection of this is the ranger's 
main work. This takes precedent over everything else. And is 
there any need for me here to record the many values of timber ? 
So much has been said concerning it that I feel as though such 
statements here would be uncalled for. But I might say that on 
the Washakie we have already a good market for the timber 
grown which no doubt throws the realization of its value a little 
closer home. 

In order to omit too much generalization I am going to take 
one district, the Sheridan, with which I am very familiar, realiz- 
ing that which applies to it applies to the rest of the forest. It is 
sixty miles long and varies in width from eight to twelve miles 
and contains approximately 375,000 acres, a fair sized piece of 
country you must admit. Very likely there are as many differ- 
ent interests making use of this area as can be found in any other 
similar mountain region of the west. Here is found some of the 


finest railroad tie timber in the state, and the present largest 
company in Wyoming: producing ties. Here is the beginning of 
the big game section of Wyoming and the home of the most lofty 
peaks in the Wind River Range which means the entire stat«. 
Here we find lumbermen, stockmen, and recreationalist side by 
side putting a forest to its fullest use. But the timber, as was 
said before, is our main concern. 

The cutting of ties here has been in progress since 1914. The 
timber is bought from the Government by competitive bidding 
after advertising. There have been a number of sales of timber 
or ''sales" as we call them, but almost all to the same company. 
The company is known as the Wyoming Tie and Timber Com- 
pany. From 1914 to the spring of 1925 there had been over 4,- 
000,000 ties taken out, to say nothing of thousands of mine props 
and fence posts. This is a good sized output and ranks well up 
with tie production in other parts of the west. 

The areas worked are so large and the amount of timber cut 
is so great that it is handled as a separate project, with a lumber- 
man, Mr. E. H. Peck, in charge. There are also several assistant 
rangers employed yearly in order to help in the administration of 
the sale. It would be out of the question for the district ranger to 
assume this responsibility. 

The operations at present are confined to the DuNoirs, both 
east and west, and have been for several years past. The ties 
are cut in the fall and winter and hauled during these periods to 
points on both of these streams, known as banking grounds, 
where they are decked in piles from eight to twenty feet in height. 
They are so arranged that a ranger can always get at one end of 
a pile and count the number of ties in it and stamp them. This 
is done with a hammer bearing U. S. in raised lettei^. As each 
tie is counted it is struck on the end with the hammer. In this 
way the ranger can check them over and see that all have been 

At high water time in the spring the ties are thrown into 
these small streams and driven to the mouth of DuNoir where 
a cable "boom" holds them from drifting on into Wind River. 
As soon as the bulk of the high water has gone out of the 
Wind River the boom is opened and the liig drive is on ; ap- 
proximately'ninety miles by water to Riverton. It is a hazard- 
ous undertaking for a freshet may occur at any time which 
would scatter the ties all over the bench land along this stream. 
Getting the ties back to the stream is very expensive to the 
company, as a matter of fact in 1923 the stream raised eight 
feet in two liours while the drive was in progress, causing a 
loss of 12,000 ties. 

The first drive made on Wind River was made in 1906 with 
J. D. Stewart of Dubois in charge. This was of logs which 


were to be sawed at Riverton. Little trouble was experienced 
on this drive except that gravel and small rocks lodged in the 
ends of some of the logs making sawing difficult. Mr. Stewart 
claims that this did not affect them as much as might be 
imagined and the reason why driving here was discontinued 
was that the following year the railroad built in which made 
it possible to get lumber cheaper by rail. However, log driving 
in Wind River was a failure. 

The first tie drive was from Wind River in the spring of 
1914 and included over thirty-three thousand railroad ties and 
several thousand mine props and fence posts. The last drive, 
in the summer of 1925, contained over six hundred thousand 
ties and there is a possibility of a drive very nearly as large 
for 1926. This locality has some distinction as being known 
as one of the few remaining places in the United States where 
river drives are still in progress. 

In these tie operations many trees are cut, naturally, and 
in all cutting operations on a national forest green timber must 
first be selected and marked by a forester. On a sale of this 
size a regular marking crew is selected from future district 
rangers and men who have had some previous experience in 
a ranger's training school or forest school. In this particular 
case there are generally four men on the crew who work in 
strips or sections, back and forth across a certain unit. These 
men are directed and supervised by the lumberman in charge 
of the sale. 

The marking is done with a hatchet, bearing U. S. in raised 
letters on the head. A blaze is made low down on the stump 
and stamped U. S., then a similar blaze and stamp is made 
on the trunk at a distance above ground that can easily be 
reached. The lower mark is a check when inspections are 
made and serves to readily tell that only selected trees have 
been cut while the upper blaze directs the cutter. All trees 
above a certain diameter are selected as well as defective, 
diseased or insect infested trees. 

Contrary to popular opinion "brush" is not piled except 
along well traveled roads or trails. Piling was practiced for 
a number of years but the expense incident to piling and burn- 
ing did not seem to be justified. Now branches are lopped full 
length and left where they fall. While the logs are being moved 
the brush becomes scattered. This is called the "scatter" sys- 
tem of brush disposal. 

A forty year cutting circle is being established in this 
locality which when the final plans have been completed will 
ensure a permanent tie industry. Briefly it will mean the cut- 


ting of a certain number of ties equal to the annual yield and 
sufficient always to supply a good sized demand. When one 
watershed is cut over the work will move to the next in line, 
leaving in each place a good healthy growth of immature trees 
for the next cutting forty years hence. 

The selling of recreation seems to be one of the big coming 
industries in Wyoming. Recreation to be profitable is depend- 
ent on scenic attractions, and they are very numerous in this 
part of the forest. Annually visitors come from this and many 
other states and catering to their wants is becoming a remunera- 
tive line indeed. While so many people in the woods during 
dry periods add to the fire hazards, nevertheless it is a condi- 
tion which is met and handled as broadly as possible. Aside 
from the commercial value to those supplying the wants of the 
tourist the asthetic value to the tourist himself cannot be meas- 
ured in dollars and cents. No one can live amongst nature's 
own wonders such as are here without being a better person 
from the experience. People are the most important thing 
that a country has and to build up their health, heighten their 
ideals, and strengthen their hopes is a great thing indeed. 

Experience in many lines has proven the value of being 
prepared. With this in view the district ranger spends much 
time during the winter planning for the suppression of fires. 
For him to wait until a fire starts and then make a confused 
etfort to plan his suppression is bad, it is worse, it is the height 
of imbecility and would not nowadays be tolerated a second. 
A very complete, concise, and simple plan is arranged. Charts 
are made, "organization charts" we call them, on which the 
names of men who can be depended upon are listed as foreman 
for crews, for timekeepers, cooks and packers and together 
with all sources of labor supply. Leaders or "key men" Avho 
can be depended upon to take initial action without additional 
orders from the ranger are personally seen and lined up and 
given to understand clearly what is expected of them. 

Maps are prepared showing the locations of food and tool 
caches, telephone lines, ranches, camps, routes of travel, and 
anything else that may be of use in combatting a fire. The 
plan is complete and thorough, yet clear and condensed; so 
simple, in fact that almost any stranger could step to a tele- 
phone in a ranger's cabin, consult the chart and maps M'hich 
hang near it, and so organize in a few minutes a good sized 
crew of men, food, and tools and furnish their transportation 
and have them on the way to the fire in almost as short time 
as it takes to tell it. 


Right here it had best be said that co-operation with local 
people is the key to our whole fire fighting organization. With- 
out it we would get nowhere. Without the willingness of the 
local people to respond and align themselves in accordance 
with our organized plans, even as is generally the case in drop- 
^ring their own important duties for the time being, forest fire 
suppression would fail. The ranger alone can do little. He 
may be many miles away at some distant point of his district 
entirely unaware that a fire is starting. He would be the same 
as a captain without his company — as capital without labor. 
He is purely the directing force and on that he stands or falls. 

A fire lookout station is maintained on a ridge leading up 
to the Pinnacles, that range of rugged peaks which are located 
just north and east of Brooks Lake. It is simply a tower on 
which is placed a square house or observatory with windows 
on all four sides. The house is oriented properly with cardinal 
directions. A small cabin two hundred yards below serves 
as quarters for the lookout. Both tower and cabin are con- 
nected by telephone with Sheridan Ranger Station which is 
seven miles away. 

In the center of the observatory is a table on which is 
placed a map of the area observed. Radial lines are drawn 
from the point showing the location of the lookout through 
each fifth degree of a complete circle. Similar maps are at all 
ranger stations in the northern part of the forest. On the wall 
of the observatory is the regular district plan such as was dis- 
cussed in preceding paragraphs. 

A peep sight alidade is swung on a pivot from the point 
where the radials converge, and at the instant smoke is seen 
arising the lookout can tell exactlj^ the direction Avhich it 
bears. The distance from the lookout outward on the line 
along which the smoke bears has to be estimated, but this is 
not difficult to one as familiar with the country as the look- 
out is. 

The lookout goes on duty at the beginning of the dangerous 
fire season which here is generally the first of July. Some- 
times the fire season starts before this date but never later. 
He remains on duty until such time as the main fire danger 
has passed which is generally about September 10. It is a 
lonesome job, this fire lookout's, and it requires a man who can 
be satisfied and happy without sight of or communication, 
except by telephone, with any of his kind for many days at a 
time. It is out of the question for him to leave his tower during 
daylight hours in periods of extreme fire hazard. He is there 
to stay since much depends upon his keen observation and con- 


staiit vigil. The lookout, like local co-operators, is one of the 
main stays of the fire organization. 

Let lis take a concrete case. 

It is two o'clock on a hot and dry afternoon in August, 
The warm summer winds have drawn every vestige of moisture 
from the mountains of timber. The whole organization is on 
its toes and keyed up to be ready for anything. Keymen and 
other local co-operators are seen or called by phone and told 
to be ready. Twice daily the ranger calls the lookout to make 
sure that the telephone is in working order. He has found 
it wise to remain somewhere close to a telephone, at least 
where he can be easily reached should the expected message 

With his field glasses the lookout sees what at first appears 
to be a cloud of dust, made perhaps by moving cattle or horses. 
Perhaps it may be a cloud. But a second's concentration on 
the object gives him all the information necessary to convince 
him that it is not. Turning quickly to his alidade he focuses 
his sights upon the distant cloud of smoke. He gets the exact 
line. Only a few seconds does it take him to estimate the dis- 
tance out because he has grown familiar with the country 
through constant watching and through constant study of the 
scaled map before him. He calls the ranger and if he can't 
get him he calls another ranger or co-operator. A messenger 
is at once started for the ranger in any event though that does 
not delay the start of the fire fighters. His words would be 
something like this : ' ' There is a smoke coming up on line 216, 
about eight miles from' here on Sheridan Creek." Perhaps he 
can tell something al)Out the size, time sighted, character of the 
stand of tim])er, density of smoke or wind velocity, but he has 
done his duty. The rest depends upon our plans, our organiza- 
tion which is being developed from year to year better to satisfy 
the exacting demands made of it. 

It may sound strange but one of the most useful tools in 
combatting a forest fire is a long handled shovel. While the 
axe and saw, particularly the axe, are absolutely essential, the 
shovel is well up on the list of destructive weapons against 
fire. Much trenching is done, consequently much shoveling. 
Small fires burning here and there, "spot fires" as they are 
called can easily be pounced upon. During the early morning 
hours it is even possil)le at times to go within tlie fire line and 
practically beat out smoldering embers. A shovel is a decidedly 
useful implement for disposing of a camp fire and this jirevents 
a forest fire. 


The trail system of a forest is an important thing, not only 
for its protection but for general administration. Much depends 
upon its thoughtful construction. Contrary to common opinion, 
trails are not always built for the purposes of tourists. In many 
cases the tourist is only given secondary consideration in this 
respect. It is very necessary that trails be built and maintained 
into large bodies of timber in the event that the necessity 
should arise to get there in very much of a hurry. In a case 
of this kind the protection trail is very necessary and the few 
hundred dollars spent in its construction are returned many 
times by the rapidity with which a fire crew can get in its 
effective work. 

Trails are now being built on certain uniform standards 
of construction adopted by the Forest Service. They are classed 
b}^ their value to the forest for protection or administration 
and by the use necessarily made by various permittees, such as 
stockmen, and by the use to the recreationalist. The standard 
is determined by the number of pack and saddle horses passing 
over it during a normal field season. The grades, clearing, 
treads and other specifications are guided by the standards set 
up for the particular class. 

Few are the trails that are classed as mainly recreational. 
But nevertheless they are frequently needed. One must con- 
stantly watch the tops as well as the trunks of trees in order 
to mark intelligently. A diameter tape is used continuously 
in order that the work may be done in an accurate way, not 
from the standpoint of competing with the national parks but 
from our old standpoint of use. There are some points of 
scenic interest that many people want to see and it is only 
fitting and proper that these areas should be opened up to com- 
fortable travel. 

Such a trail is now being built on this Sheridan district. 
It is called the Glacier Trail because it has as its upper ter- 
minus the Dinwoody Glacier, one of the largest moving glaciers 
in the west. The trail is being constructed on a general grade 
of fifteen per cent and will be twenty-five miles long when com- 
pleted. Heretofore this whole glacial region has been over- 
looked and only visited by a few of our more hardy citizens. 

In the summer of 1925 I made a trip through part of it 
and I believe it was one of the most interesting mountain trips 
I have ever made. Perhaps because, due to the bigness of the 
country, I had a feeling of being the only one in it. True there 
are not many travelers in that part of the world, nevertheless 
it has been pretty well explored at different times for many 
years back. 


I was convinced that there was a passage around to Goat 
Flat, a high extensive plateau, by following the main divide 
from Union Peak south, and then across onto this plateau and 
thence on down by Torrey Lakes and back, making a complete 
circle. Accordingly I started out with one pack and two sad- 
dle horses and traveled west and south to Union Peak, having 
several odd jobs to attend to in the intervening country. Camp- 
ing on the southeast side of Union Peak I surveyed with field 
glasses the country over which I proposed going. 

Prom this point the route looked easy. There seemed to 
be nothing that would greatly interfere with horse travel. The 
country appeared rolling for many miles, well above timber 
line at an average elevation of 12,000 feet. I smoked my pipe 
in peace and went to bed secure in the belief that on the morrow 
I would travel down that rolling stretch of country and reach 
my destination in good time. My three horses were in good 
shape and every confidence was felt that here was a short 
route down the continental divide which had not been traveled 
by horses before, but which would prove a quick way of get- 
ting from the west side of the district to the Torrey Creek and 
Dinwoody side. 

It was clear that there Avas one or two severe canyons to 
cross from Union Peak to the main saddle or hog back. Cross- 
ing over the head of Jakey 's Fork with some difficulty I climbed 
to that long rolling ridge, and towards evening of the next day 
found myself traveling down it in a southeasterly direction. 
But at the start I found one thing that had not been reckoned 
on and that was the condition of the ground. It was very soft, 
so soft in fact that the horses went in very near to their knees. 
And that was not all of it. This ground, if such it can be called, 
was mostly stones; small, unevenly shaped stones about the 
size of an egg with just enough earth mixed in to make sort 
of a resemblance to wet concrete, and there was an occasional 
conglomerate mass of rock. My progress was slow and by 
late evening only a small part of the country had been tra- 

A heavy storm was approaching and I was anxious to get 
some place where feed for my horses and wood for a camp fire 
could be found. A wide detour to the east was made. There 
was a canyon at least two thousand feet deep in that direction 
but I was in hopes of finding a way down far enough at least 
for feed and wood, since it was getting very cold. A slight 
dip of perhaps one hundred feet let me doAvn to the wall of the 
canyon which fell otf abruptly from this point and it was no- 
where possible to go any further. Too late to turn back, to 



retrace any of my journey of the day, the packs were pulled 
and I stopped, turning all horses loose. 

Like a cyclone the heavy wind and storm burst full upon 
the camp and there was nothing else to do but sit upon that 
exposed point and watch the lighting apparently strike all 
around, with the following reverberating crash of thunder. 
The horses were badly worn and frightened and one seemed to 
pay much attention to the close flashes of lighting which at 
times were so bright that they caused me to ''blink" my eyes. 

To one who has not camped alone amid the high peaks, it 
is quite impossible to describe the feeling that comes over one 
in such a dreary waste of land as this. Everywhere rocks, cold 
and grey interspersed with snow banks and glaciers. No sign 
of life anywhere evident and one feels as though he had been 
removed to a dead world. A planet such as ours may have been 
aeons ago. A feeling of utter loneliness and such loneliness as 
I have never felt before — as though every living soul had left 
and gone to a brighter world. A feeling of smallness which is 
indescribable, and yes, a feeling of reverence for the Creator, 
as though He alone had His eyes upon me and that I was being 
judged close in His presence. I crawled into my blankets and 

The following morning I breakfasted on bread, cheese, and 
water. Try it sometime, it isn't bad when you're feeling good. 
The horses stood on a small point where there was a little moss. 

Courtesy of the Highway Dept. 

Brooks Lake Country 


hunched up in a manner similar to stock in the winter. The 
night had been very cold and the ground and rocks were cov- 
ered with a thin sheet of ice ; light snow and heavy rain from 
the night before and the natural wetness from melting snows. 
I was on my way shortly after the sun had risen which was 
trying its best to get this cold bleak ridge into some semblance 
of a summer day. I traveled south. 

Soon the soft ground was passed entirely and in its place 
was a jumble of large boulders broken only by interspersing 
snow banks. All of the boulders in the world, apparently. 
Progress was slow. Walking ahead a little way I would pick 
a route, then return and lead one horse at a time through it. 
Perpetual snow drifts were very encouraging because a horse 
can travel these without any difficulty. All horses had early 
on the trip lost all shoes in the soft ground. 

Towards evening I crossed a very large glacier on the . 
heads of both Torrey Creeks and under Down's Mountain. The 
crossing took an hour and a half and some idea of the size can 
be obtained, though of course progress Was slow. It was ex- 
tremely steep on the north side while going down but the 
loose snow on top made it possible for the horses to hold their 
footing in good shape. An interesting thing here, I thought, 
was one of the walls on the northeast side of Down's Moun- 
tain. Ice was so smoothly imbedded in this perpendicular wall 
that the various cracks and ridges running both vertically and 
horizontaly gave it the appearance of a building with many 
small paries of glass in its windows. In fact it compared favor- 
ably with a large factory building. 

Streams were running across the bottom of the glacier and 
they were no different than ordinary mountain streams, except 
the absence of any vegetation whatever. The banks were about 
eighteen inches high and were of blue ice and the stream beds 
— they were of glassy blue ice and resembled for all the world 
a child 's toy of imitation glass water. 

I camped again that evening — rather had best say stopped 
because there was not much of a camp to it. JVIy tender footed 
horses were given a snow bank to stand on in preference to the 
cruel jagged rocks Avhich were everywhere. No feed for them 
again and I Avas very anxious about them. 

The following day I ascended Goat Flat and traveled east- 
erly. This was indeed a mass of boulders with very little in- 
terspersing snow. Tiny patches of grass presented themselves 
occasionally amidst the rocks and boulders. Clouds hung heav- 
ily all morning and particularly to the west where the principal 
peaks of the state are situated. 


Towards evening while scanning the western horizon the 
clouds lifted gently, and there, like some grand old patriarch 
with his cap of snow set at a rakish angle, enthroned amongst 
shimmering ice and towering crags stood the mountain monarch 
of Wyoming — Gannett Peak. From this point it stood out in 
all its significance and is at once recognized as the highest peak 
in the surrounding range. Here was found a small patch of 
feed — it was short grass but green and sweet and the horses 
surely reveled in it. 

That evening Goat Flat was crossed and camp was made 
at a small patch of timber on the Torrey Creek drainage. How 
good those trees looked and the abundant short grass surround- 
ing them. For a while I felt as though I was again in the 
heart of the forest in spite of the fact that this was on the ex- 
treme upper edge of timber line. And I could not help but 
think of what a horrible place this world would be if trees 
were taken away from us. 

From Down's Mountain south for approximately twelve 
miles lies the big Wyoming glacial field. The Dinwoody and 
Bull Lake glaciers are the largest but there are many others 
of sufficient size to stir the blood of most any alpine climber. 
The whole country is a spectacular one. It presents a sight that 
is at once grand and cruel, cold and magnificent, gorgeous in 
its very formidableness. Wyoming at its source, perhaps, yet 
Wyoming in all its inimitable strength and ruggedness. 

And what does a ranger do besides run around over the 
landscape and enjoy the scenery? I wonder how many times 
I have been asked that question. Sometimes people are blunt 
and frankly want to know what we do to kill time. There are 
several things that a district ranger must do. Everything is 
done that can possibly be thought of to keep people mindful 
of the danger resulting from carelessness with fire, matches, 
cigarettes and what not while in the woods. You see careless- 
ness in these lines is what causes 75% of the fires. Signs are 
put up and lectures are given. Then there is the preparation 
of those fire plans before mentioned. We stir up all of the 
local interest we can in this kind, as well as interest that isn't 
local. And we always try to apprehend parties starting fires 
regardless of the size of the fire (or the person either). We 
count cattle and sheep that graze upon the forest; we make 
divisional boundaries in the various range allotments and ex- 
amine the range to prevent overgrazing or under grazing. We 
try to become familiar with stockmen's Avants and so allot range 
that will advance forestry and meet his needs as well. We 
carry on grazing studies and use the knowledge gained in trying 



to give better administration. We mark timber for cutting 
and then scale it after it has been cut. This in itself is no mean 
job when there is one or more timber sales on an average dis- 
trict. We survey and locate trails, then oi-ganize trail crews 
and direct the work of constructing them. We select sites for 
summer homes and sites for public camp grounds, then try our 
hardest to get the traveling public to use them so that the fire 
danger will be reduced through the centralization of travel. 

Wind Eiver Mt. Eange 
Courtesy of the .Vgricultural Uei)t. 


Sites for cabins, corrals, pastures, and other uses when applied 
for, must first be looked over and reported on by the ranger; 
after that he has to look the property over every year to see 
that it is kept in the way it should be — neat and sanitary. 

We make game counts where we can and become as fa- 
miliar with wild life as our time will permit, and we aid the 
state in the enforcement of the game laws. But why go on? 
There is such a vast medley of jobs to be done on the average 
district that it would become burdensome to enumerate them 
all. For instance such jobs as keeping accounts of various ex- 
penditures, the daily writing of a diary (including Sunday), 
and the distribution of the time spent during the day, on an 
hourly basis, to one or more of twenty-nine standard activities ; 
various reports at the end of each month ; repairs to headquar- 
ters buildings and maintenance of them to say nothing of the 
care of horses and generall}^ a car. Checking over the prop- 
erty, and Uncle Sam is very particular about his tools and 
various equipment, keeping them in shape and keeping fire 
tool caches which are scattered around over the mountains at 
numerous points, up to certain necessary standards and in 
readiness for instant use. There are jobs that come up from 
day to day that are not enumerated. 

Then there are the telephone systems — but I am going no 
further. Enough is sufficient. We have plenty to do. What's 
more, we have to do it, because we have a pretty good system 
of inspections from those higher up and alibis sometimes are 
hard to find. 

Some call this the forest primeval — perhaps it is in more 
ways than one, irrespective of the changes that have taken 
place. True, trees have been cut — trails have been built — 
cattle and sheep have trodden it, and in places, fire has scorched 
it. But the very bigness of it dwarfs man's attempts to greatly 
change it. As a matter of fact he doesn't try — his duty is to 
keep it and improve it where he can. Trees, grass, flowers ; 
alpine lakes and riotous mountain streams, and back of these 
the massive peaks capped with snow and ice forever reminding 
us of the dim long ago. Trees have grown to maturity and 
died. Grass and flowers bloom and fade and the wild life goes 
serenely on its way, ever dependent upon the forest for its 
shelter and livelihood, much the same as people have come to 
look to it for a large portion of their livelihood. 

And lest we forget, will you please remember about that 
camp fire, that match, that cigarette, pipe, or cigar, when you 
are next in the woods? 



It had always been the custom of the Shoshones, after set- 
tling upon the Reservation, "after raising and harvesting their 
crops, to make annually, a buffalo hunt in the Big Horn Basin, 
generally lasting all the fall and winter, for the purpose of sup- 
plying themselves with additional rations of meat, as well as 
taking hides and peltry for the market. The fresh meat was 
cut into very thin slices, hung on poles and dried in the sun, 
then placed in parfleches, thus making it easy to pack on horses 
and keep the food free from dust and dirt. 

At this time, October 1874, the writer was employed at the 
Agency as a Government teacher and Lay reader, the latter 
under the commission issued by the Bishop of the jurisdiction 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church. However, it was decided 
by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that the teacher should 
draw no salary during the absence of the tribe from the Agenc}^ 
whereupon, it was suggested to Dr. Irwin the Agent, to make 
application to the Commissioner that permission be granted for 
the teacher to accompany the Indians on their hunting trip for 
the purpose of forming a roaming school for the benefit of the 
children while the hunt lasted. This request was favorably 
considered at Washington and immediately granted. Prepara- 
tions were, therefore, duly carried out to inaugurate this new 

A commodious tent, 60 feet in circumference was procured, 
and to avoid the use of poles, commonly used to support the tent, 
this tent was adjusted with a single center pole and rested on 
an iron tripod fitted into the ring at the top of the tent, so that 
by raising the center pole, and stepping the foot into the top of 
the tripod, the tent was raised, and by pegging down the edges 
all around, made a very comfortable school room to accommo- 
date about thirty children. 

When everything was in readiness, it was found that four 
animals would be required to carry the packs, besides tAvo sad- 
dle horses. One assistant was also necessary, whose salary as 
well as the supplies were furnished and paid for by myself. 

The date of our departure, set by the Indians, was October 
16, 1874. They, having drawn their rations on the preceeding 
day, on this morning, the Indians and packs, ready and loaded, 
pulled out for the first "rendey-vous" on the Big Wind Eiver 
at Merritt's Crossing, where Washakie having ordered a halt, 
sent out several 3'oung men with instructions to observe any 
traces of hostile Indians, and also to locate the buffalo herds 


and ascertain in what direction they were traveling. We re- 
mained in this camp three days, at the end of this time the 
scouts reported game everywhere in the Basin. On the 19th 
camp was moved to and made on the Muddy. There were eigh- 
teen hundred Indians in camp, including men, women and chil- 
dren — some Bannocks from the other side of the mountains and 
a few Mexicans, — one Portuguese and one Penobscot Indian, 
and as always, several squaw men. As we moved over the wild 
waste of sage brush, hills and dry creeks, I confess to a feeling, 
surrounded as I was by such a motley cavalcade, like a sure 
enough nomad of the desert. 

I forgot ta mention in its proper place, that, be'fore leaving 
the Agency, Bazil, the nephew and Battez the son of Sac-a-jaw- 
wea, appeared before the Agent's house with a tent and wrap- 
ped in a bundle, the aged and decrepid form of the famous 
Shoshone woman Sac-a-jaw-wea who acted as the pathfinder 
for the Lewis and Clark exploring expedition. Bazil spoke of 
her as his mother, and informed the Agent that she was too old 
to go on the hunt, and wished to leave her in his care while her 
people were gone, and asked him to take good care of her until 
they returned. A tent was accordingly erected close to the 
Agent's house where she might receive all necessary care and 

Camp was struck on the 29th, and moved towards the 
mountains. On our route was found an apparently fresh trail 
made by some hostile tribe, which being about half a mile wide, 
Washakie, having the safety of his Avomen in mind, ordered the 
course changed so as to cross Owl Creek mountains over the 
Red Canon trail, thus avoiding contact with the enemy. The 
weather had been until now, all that could be desired, but the 
sky became overcast with clouds — a strong, cold and disagree- 
able wind arose, so that by the time the base of the range was 
reached, we were in the full force of a most terrific snow storm, 
accompanied by freezing atmosphere. When we arrived at the 
destination, it was late and quite dark and all that could be 
done was to pitch tents, unroll our blankets and turn in minus 
supper. On the morning of the 21st, the fury of the storm con- 
tinued unabated, and in fact had increased, so that, to make 
any move whatever seemed impossible until the storm was over. 
The mercury dropped rapidly and there began to be hunger in 
camp — the rations were getting very short, — no game had yet 
been taken. The snow was so deep, the air so frosty, that the 
few who courageously essayed to make a hunt in hope of find- 
ing game were unsuccessful. One Indian was thrown from his 
horse, and had great difficulty, being severely injured, in find- 
ing camp. Another returned with badly frozen feet, and none 


brought in any game. By this time nearly all the food in camp 
was in my own larder, and as a supply for an army had not been 
laid in, nothing could be done, but to divide. An incident oc- 
curred at this camp which gave me a better opinion of the gen- 
erosity and good feeling that existed among the tribe towards 
me. I had started out with the intention of collecting some 
wood for use in my tent, but when I arrived at the tent opening, 
behold, there lay several armfuls of nice dry pine which had 
been gathered and placed there by my kind hearted neighbors. 
As the atmosphere cleared, I expressed a wish to go out with 
others to try and get some game if it could be found, but Wash- 
akie objected to it. On speaking to Norkok, the interpreter, 
about the Chief's objection, I was informed that he was fearful 
that some misfortune might befall me and that I must run no 
risk, and said, "If I should go back to the Agency without Pat- 
ten, what then?" On the 25th, the tents were struck, and a 
struggle was begun to the summit. The snow was very deep all 
the way, and the atmosphere stinging, and the progress very 
slow. The children suffered severely, and were crying all 
around us, so that when the top was finally reached, the women 
alighted and built fires to keep the children from freezing. "We 
were now far above the clouds which reached from mountain 
top to mountain top, from the Owl to the main Rocky Moun- 
tain range. Upon the immense cloudy expanse the full rays 
of the sun shone down, making it seem like a vast ocean of 
milky whiteness. I had never before looked upon anything so 

Near the close of the day we found ourselves well down the 
northern slope of the range making camp at the Red Springs, 
and as there was no snow there, and the atmosphere many de- 
grees warmer, all seemed happy. 

This was the beginning of my first experience in the Big 
Horn Basin. When Owl Creek was reached, the camp was 
pitched up and down its classic banks, and there transpired a 
bit of fun. While everybody was busy in fixing up, several 
stray deer, evidently ignorant of the sudden appearance of the 
camp in their domain, rushed through the camp. Every body 
yelled and whooped, and those who had access to their arms 
began an indiscriminate fusil ade at these invaders. Fortu- 
nately no one was hit which was a wonder, and the deer also 
escaped unwounded. 

At this camp I also saw the Indians in still another light. 
They did not seem like the mild and pacific people I had known 
a few days since at the Agency. These were different. Huge 
fires were lighted about the camp, the haratiguers were pro- 
claiming in a loud voice through the length of the village, call- 


ing the people together, Medicine men exhorted in stentorian 
voices — the drums were beaten and the rattles rattled. All 
began to congregate, apparentlj^ for some important ceremony. 
Washakie, himself, seemed like another being on this occasion. 
His face lit up with smiles, and he addressed the people in a 
joyous and enthusiastic manner, reminding them of the great 
victories over their enemies in the past, — the great successes in 
former buffalo hunts, — and his belief that the Great Spirit 
would lead them to capture much game on this trip. Great 
joy was manifested at the conclusion of the Chief's speech, and 
the drums continued to beat and the cheers resound on the 
wierd scene. 

Battle of the Faggots 

This was indulged in mainly by the boys and younger war- 
riors, who rushed to the piles of burning faggots, and grasped 
the unburned ends, and hurled them with all their force as if to 
kill each other. Sometimes the clubs hit a shining mark and 
knocked the victims ''heels over head." This conflict was 
waged with great fierceness for fully an hour, while all the time 
the midnight air was filled with shouts, whoops and wild laugh- 
ter. While this fight was accompanied with great vim and most 
impetuous charges, yet, it had no other meaning than simple 
boys play. When it ended, I was greatly surprised that so few 
heads were broken and faces marred. To myself, the entertain- 
ment witnessed seemed brutal in some respects. It certainly 
was one of the most wierd, wild and exciting times I ever ex- 
perienced. I remembered that these were not the mild, quiet 
and peaceful Indians of the Agency, but represented the wild 
ferocious people of hundreds of years ago. 

Washakie again sent out runners to find buffalo. These 
returned, reporting herds on the Gooseberry about forty miles 
from its mouth, and as we moved towards the hunting grounds, 
Washakie asked me to come with him. Riding to a high point 
where one could see far and near over the face of the country, 
he took out a pair of field glasses, looked the landscape over 
carefully and presently handed them to me to see what I could 
see. Turning the vision to various parts, I at one place discov- 
ered what seemed to be a shadow on the plain, but, on looking 
closer, what appeared to be a cloud was found to be a herd of 
buffalo, more numerous than I had ever witnessed before. We 
rejoined the hunters, and as the game was approaching nearer 
and nearer, I observed several young men strike off in the 
direction of a small band of buffalo and headed them in to- 
wards the main herd. I also observed that those who had been 
leading horses, dismounted and changed their saddles to tbe 


fresh animal, and I knew that they were preparing for the 
charge. Buffalo horses were never used as common saddle 
horses, but were carefully trained to approach the game skill- 
fully and to avoid its attacks. 

Now as the herd was pretty well concentrated, the old 
fighting General of the tribe, rode quietly to the front, and in 
a voice as if in common conversation ordered the charge. Then 
there was excitement. What a rush ! Every man, apparently 
wanted to get there first, but those on the swiftest horses were 
there already. Each man struck for the point of the herd he 
chose, and selected his animal — did his killing, and then to an- 
other until his ammunition was exhausted, this method being 
followed by all. Amongst the Shoshones, it is understood that 
to him that kills the game, belongs the hide, the meat to any 
who wants it. After the butchering was finished and account 
taken of the slaughter, one hundred and twenty-five buffalo 
were dead on the field. As it would require some time to care 
for the hides, and to put the meats in proper condition for trans- 
portation, the camp was held until ready for another drive. 
The weather continued fine and everything seemed favorable 
for a further successful hunt. 

From this place, the trail was taken straight across coun- 
try, crossing the Greybull River about where the town of Otto 
now stands. Thence straight on to the Stinking Water, as it 
was then known, Tich-e-pah-gwahn-nert by the Shoshones, and 
now on the maps as the Shoshone River. This we struck at the 
old Bridger Crossing, and followed down its banks to its mouth, 
and made camp among those grand old cotton trees on the Big 
Horn River. 

Here the Avriter Avas taken ill, caused by a change of diet, 
and the tribe was held for two or three daj^s awaiting my re- 
covery. Comanche, an old Medicine man of the Shoshones, 
learning that I was sick, called to see me and offered his assist- 
ance. He said, "You are very sick." I said, "Yes." "Your 
medicine does not help you," he said. I answered. "It does 
not seem to." He replied, "Well, come to my tent, and I will 
cure you." So I went there, entered and sat down. He ap- 
proached and asked me to take off my hat (which I ought to 
have remembered to have done before). He stood before me 
and placed his hands on my head, and commenced reciting an 
incantation which lasted about fifteen mmutes. Then produc- 
ing a large, yellow, dried vegetable root from which he shaved 
several very thin slices, directed his wife to bring him a cup 
of cold water. This being done, the shaved root was placed 
therein and allowed to stand for ten or fifteen minutes. After 
which the incantation was renewed. The ceremony being fin- 


ished, the cup was handed me with instructions to chew and 
swallow a few of the slices from the cup, after which, he took 
the cup and with the liquid remaining bathed my breast and 

This treatment being completed, next a fine white powder 
was produced which was dissolved in some water, and which 
he bade me drink. After a few minutes, he spoke to his wife, 
who disappeared and returned very shortly bearing in her hand 
a small sack from which he took about a teaspoonful of very 
black, shiny seeds, and handing these to me, he directed that I 
chew and swallow them. When these commands were followed, 
another short incantation ceremony of words and gestures was 
indulged in. Then, sitting down by my side he informed me 
that my ailment was caused by eating fresh buffalo meat. He 
further informed me as to how his treatment would affect me. 
I then returned to my tent, and lay down, when the soothing 
effects of the medicine soon became apparent by a glowing 
warmth being transfused through the system, producing pro- 
found slumber. The next day, I arose much improved. The 
old Medicine Man's remedies had reduced my complaint quickly 
where my own had failed. 

It was well on into November now, and, as the Indians 
were so constantly on the move, and would so continue for an 
indefinite time, it was foreseen that no good results could pos- 
sibly be obtained through conducting a roaming school, under 
such unfavorable circumstances, and therefore, I began to make 
preparations to leave the camp and return to the Agency. A 
few days before, our camp was visited by our old friends J. D. 
Woodruff and Tom Williams. These men were being employed 
by the Militarj^ Department at Ft. Washakie, and ordered here 
to watch the movements of any hostile bands of Indians who 
might menace and invade the Agency country, and ordered to 
report the same to the Commander of the Post. While perform- 
ing this duty, during this time, these men filled in their spare 
time in hunting, and thus at this time had secured quite a large 
amount of peltry, and were now ready to return and make their 
report. It was therefore agreed between us to combine our 
two camps and travel homeward in company. Our party com- 
prised four men mounted on saddle animals and eleven pack 
animals. Thus we left the pleasant camp on the Shoshone 
River, and separating from our Shoshone friends, faced south- 
ward, following up the great river of the Big Horn, passed over 
the sites of Grey bull. Basin, Manderson, Worland and Ther- 
mopolis, these sites then virgin soil, but since on which have 
been located these growing towns. Here, also, I first obtained 


a view of the Big Horn Hot Springs, now known as Thermop- 
olis, and since that time there has been laid out a health reser- 
vation of ten square miles. This town is rapidly assuming its 
place as a health resort. 

Passing on, a camp was made near the canon at the mouth 
of Buffalo Creek, where it was decided that we would spend a 
w^eek or two in taking in one grand good hunt. The location 
was ideal, — noted for the abundance of water, wood and grass. 
Also no end to the amount of game, and the weather was just 
like old times ! Under such conditions it was expected that 
our hopes in this direction would be fulfilled. 

Vain hope ! Our plans were all upset, which happened in 
this way. J. D., Tom and I were to do the hunting, and the 
assistant remain to care for the camp, and this idea we endeav- 
ored to carry out. The next morning, "Williams and I left 
early. Woodruff remained behind to repair his moccasins, and 
failed to get away until about eleven o'clock. The camp was 
then all in good condition. The man in charge, spying some 
geese down the river a short distance, set out for the purpose 
of securing these for supper, but on his way he discovered a 
couple of deer on a ridge, and at once changed his mind from 
geese to deer. On reaching the ridge, casting his eyes towards 
camp, he saw a dense smoke rising therefrom. Immediately re- 
tracing his steps he was too late to save any of the property 
and everything was destroyed. Clothing, tents, provisions, 
robes, blankets, pack saddles and ropes, all gone up in smoke, 
and entailing a loss upon the owners of more than eleven hun- 
dred dollars. With this disaster, ended our trip to this grand 
and beautiful Big Horn Basin. Notwithstanding the roughness 
of the trip, it will always be remembered. Especially the mild 
and salubrious climate — the bright sunshine and blue skies. 
The richness of the soil, the beautiful and extensive valleys, 
and an everlasting supply of water making an empire, though 
tlien uninhabited, except by numerous bands of hostile Indians 
and millions of wild game animals. There at some time in the 
future would rise a civilization and a vast population of white 
people, whose industry would be productive of untold wealth 
and many thousands of happy homes. Not one of the four in- 
dividuals who viewed the landscape at that time dared to ven- 
ture to express a belief that they would be privileged to see in 
tlieir time, the wonderful progress made in this country, as we 
now behold. 




(Dictated by Mr. Ed. Farlow of Lander) 

"Bill Laramiel, Sioux half breed, and I were pals during 
his life. We were camped at Plenty Bear's place one night 
some twenty years ago, and Bill told me that Plenty Bear was 
in the Custer Fight, and I asked him if he was there, he looked 
at me very earnestly and said '^Why do you ask?" and I told 
him that I would like to know something of the fight if he was 
there. He hesitated a little and said "You are my friend. I'll 
tell you", so he said "I was in the fight". I asked, ""Why have 
you not told me this before ? ", I had known him for more than 
twenty years. He said "Because, a year before that the Arap- 
ahoes had signed a treaty of peace", indicating by putting his 
thumbs down that he had signed to be a good Indian and not 
fight any more, and he told me that he thought if the whites 
knew he was in that fight they would take and put him in jail. 
It was in 1875 that the Arapahoes had surrendered and signed 
a treaty of peace, just after the Battle of Bates ' Hill. 

"Plenty Bear then went ahead and told me at great length 
and detail of the Custer Fight and how the Indians were com- 
pelled and forced to fight. He said the fight had to be, there 
was no way for the Indians to get away from it. He said the 
soldiers were out hunting the Indians and the Indians knew it, 
and he, at that time, together with some more Indians were 
with a band of Cheyennes, in all about one thousand Indians. 
In the spring before the Custer Fight, they were discovered by 
Gen; Crook's army on Powder River north of Ft. Fetterman 
and they fled from Gen. Crook's army, having one engagement 
with them about a week before the Custer Fight, and they 
broke camp on the Greasy Grass the day before the Custer Fight 
when they found a large body of Sioux Indians camped there 
who knew the white soldiers were out in two or three different 
armies looking for the Indians, and he said the next day when 
they discovered the white soldiers, they thought it was Crook's 
army, they did not know it was Custer, they prepared to flee, 
had pulled down their tepees and were ready to go when Gall, 
chief of the Unkappa (Sioux word meaning "Defenders of 
the Camps, or Camp on the Outside") this being the strong 
branch of the Sioux nation. In the camp at that time were the 
various Sioux tribes, the Minniconjou (interpreted means 
"Planting near the Water", or "Agriculturist") the Brule 
Sioux, the original of the name is lost to me- The Ogal alias, 
a branch of the Brules, the name signifying "Dirt Throwers", 
the sign being a flexing of the fingers which is considered a 


great insult by the Indians. The origin of the name came when 
two powerful chiefs arose in the Brule tribe, each one desiring 
to have a house of his own, they separated, the retiring Indian 
turned and flexed his fingers, and they were immediately dub- 
bed the "Dirt Throwers". The Sanare tribe, the w^ord meaning 
"Without a Bow", a portion of the tribe going into war at one 
time poorly supplied with weapons, or without bows, were 
dubbed "Sanacs", the Cheyennes were there and some Arapa- 

Chief Gall told the Indians "We will flee no more, we have 
got to fight the white men, this is our own country, we have 
done no wrong here, we will fight the whites," and they bid 
women and children go behind and said they Avere going out to 
meet the whites and if they did not come back the women and 
children were to scatter so that the whites would not get them 

A part of the Sioux on the right and a part on the left 
crossed the Little Big Horn and went up. Chief Gall Avith the 
Unkapapa were squarely facing the wiiite troops, chanting their 
war song, and crossed the river, were fired upon just as the last 
of them were crossing the river and he says, "After the first 
shock of battle, the white soldiers could have retired and went 
away, but they went up the hill a short ways and dismounted 
and prepared to fight the Sioux. The Indians came around 
them from all sides, the battle was brief, it was over in about 
half an hour, because there were two thousand Indian warriors 
approaching from all sides and all of the whites were slain. 

A Sioux woman stood outside her tepee, her name was Mrs. 
Short Horn Bull, she had been to school at the Devil's Lake 
Agency and had returned to the tribe, she said, "The first 
knowledge of victory that the Indians had in camp was some 
young warriors who came riding down the slope to the river, 
from the battle ground, on a big white man's horse, waving a 
scalp and shouting, came riding through the village." They 
knew then that victory was theirs and swarmed to the battle 
ground, and she says that the mutilation of the bodies was done 
almost entirely by the women and cliildren, the war^-iors after 
slaying the soldiers, stripped them of their clothes^ guns and 
ammunition, and took their horses. The women discovering a 
brother, son, or lover, slain, immediately took revenge on the 
first white body that came within their reach, and that was the 
way most of tlie mutilating was done, then after the fight was 
over and the warriors had returned to their camps there was 
great distress among the women and children, because they 
said the white soldiers would come out and kill them all. They 
hurried to pack up and get out of there, but the men stayed 


there and pretended to fight the white soldiers under Reno's 
command on the hill, holding them until the women and chil- 
dren got away. The next day when all of the Indians aban- 
doned the scene of the battle they fled, because they feared 
that the white soldiers would over take them and kill them for 
what they had done, and in fleeing, showing the Indian char- 
acter, they did not have enough horses for everyone to ride and 
pack, so many of the women had to walk, carrying babies on 
their backs, their mocassins wore out and their feet were bleed- 
ing. Children played out and lay down on the trail. That is 
the way they fled out of the only country that they had, to get 
away from the white people, and some people did not get into 
the camp until the middle of the night. Many of them did not 
know when they crossed the line into Canada, that they had 
reached a haven of safety. Many thought that they had not 
gone so far but what the white soldiers would follow them, 
but they say the chiefs knew they were in a territory where the 
white soldiers would not come. 


Born August 13th, 1839 in Syracuse, New York where he 
spent his childhood. At seven he removed to Clinton County, 
Illinois where he remained about seven years. In 1853 then 
fourteen years of age he left home having but $5.15 and started 
for California, $3.15 he spent before reaching St. Louis. 
Through the kindness of a steamboat Captain he was enabled 
to reach St. Joe for his remaining $2.00 where he engaged to 
drive six yoke of oxen across the plains reaching Salt Lake in 
October having been over four months on the road. The train 
consisted of 30 loaded wagons, mess wagon and 40 men — as a 
sample of the value, the load at retail was worth probably 
$200,000.00. Sugar was then sold at $1.00 per pound, cotfee 
same, tea $3.00, nails 40 cents. Fisk clerked for awhile for Liv- 
ingston and Kincaid, but after having spent eight months in 
that capacity together with saw-mill hand he left for Califor- 
nia with an outfit of some 125 teams and wagons loaded with 
flour. After reaching California went to mining with the usual 
ups and downs. Was one of the first on the ground in Virginia 
City, in Nevada Territory. Once owned the Gould and Currie 
claim but got on his mule and left it in 1858. From this time 
till January 1860 drove pack train; then left for Panama on 
steamer Golden Age ; for New York on Baltic, thence home to 
Illinois, which to him was too dead, so emigrated to Fort Lara- 
mie, Wyoming Territory in 1860. The following spring he re- 


turned to Illinois married and brought his wife Avest. Then 
went into Slade's employ on Ben Holliday's Stage line as sta- 
tion agent at Horse Creek where in '62 when the Indians 
cleaned them out they were obliged to "cash" or bury all their 
provisions, including the United States Mail, at all the Stations 
along the line from Julesburg to Green River. It was during 
this first raid in April '62 that J. A. Slade became famous ; 
prominent among his associates was Mr. Fisk, Hi and John 
Kelly, Charles and Frank Wilson, Paddy Miles and Dick Mills, 
Nailer Thompson and several others. In the following June the 
Indians made another raid on the same line and station, which 
completely broke up the stage line along this route. In both of 
these raids they killed a number of persons connected with the 
stage line and also a number of passengers. The life of Mr. 
Fisk being saved in the second raid through the fact of being a 
sound sleeper, he failed to be aroused when the redmen sur- 
rounded his corral at Horse Creek 12 miles east of Sweet'water 
Bridge. After this second raid they moved the line to the old 
Cherokee Trail from the mouth of Cache-La-Poudre to Salt 
Lake across the Laramie plains, where they continued until the 
Union Pacific Railroad was bailt. He was then employed by 
the Company in various capacities in Wyoming Territory till 
the spring of '66. In June '65 the Indians broke out in earnest ; 
they first attacked Mr. Fisk's station at Cooper's Creek on Lar- 
amie plains. The morning of this raid Mr. Fisk left his cabin 
to kill some wild game ; when about two miles from home he 
saw a body of Elk or Indians, (he took them to be Indians) 
move down in a hollow and stay there ; on returning he re- 
ported the same to his wife and some four soldiers who hap- 
pened to stop at his place. They laughed at him and remarked 
that he Avas scared by a band of elk or deer rather than In- 
dians, but the idea would not let go that they were Indians. 
Especially when he remembered how some two weeks previous 
every Indian who had been living on the station agents all 
along the stage line (and there were hundreds of them) had 
suddenly left the entire line and had not since been seen. So 
he started up the road about a mile to gather his stock which 
he barely corraled and entered the house when the Indians 
with a whoop and yell came tearing down upon them. They 
Avere well armed but the suddenness of the attack for a moment 
paralized the entire male population of the station. Then it 
was that ]\Irs. Fisk rose to the occasion and displaying' a nerve 
of iron and a generalship worthy a better cause, she gathered 
the weapons, guns and revolvers and gave them to the men 
and in various ways helped to defend their lives and homes. 


The little band of whites stood their ground and after a 
few moments skirmish during which the Indians tried but 
failed to stampede the stock — they rode away. . . . After 
leaving Fisk they swooped down on Rocky Thomas, who hap- 
pened to be camped one-half mile below on road to Montana, 
with one of their wounded comrades but failed to run off any- 
thing. None of the whites received any wounds. 

For two weeks the station was surrounded by Indians in 
the distance but no further attack was made. When a relief 
of 150 soldiers came to them and all went to "Big Laramie"; 
enroute they passed a government supply going to Fort Hallack 
with an escort of 12 men. After passing the Fisk party about 
one mile, the wagon was attacked, the escort of 12 soldiers 
escaped, but the teamster was caught, chained to the wagon 
wheel and burned with the wagon load of bacon piled about • 
his body. This outbreak lasted about two months ; after being 
quelled by the Stage men and United States troops the line was 
again restocked and put in running order. 

As an incident of Pioneer life Mr. Fisk relates how at 
Cooper Creek Station they were obliged to sleep in one of the 
coaches for a time and keep their provisions on top of the coach 
out of reach of the wolves who nightly visited them and tried 
to get on top the coach for their eatables. They became so ac- 
customed to the nocturnal wolf howl that it was almost impos- 
sible to sleep from the lack of the accustomed noise, when the 
wolves finally left the station. Previous to the outbreak in June 
'65 the whole line of country was stirred up over the capture 
and hanging of Bob Jennings who killed Hod Russel at Coop- 
er's Creek. This man Jennings was so feared by his enemies 
and defended by his friends that it took an immense amount of 
force and strategem to take him. It is related that squads of 
men, 30 United States soldiers had been detailed to take the 
man any way but failed to catch him from fear of being shot. 
Finally Captain Humphryville, Commander of Fort Halleck, 
hired William Comstock to arrest 'him by a promise of money 
and placing at his disposal some twenty picked Indians. Com- 
stock disguised himself as one of them and in that way threw 
him off his guard. (After getting Jenning's revolvers it still 
took some half dozen men to hold him and bind him.) The 
Indians managed to induce him to examine a lame horse, he 
having previously unbuckled his revolver belt, supposing him- 
self to be among friends — then it was they sprang up and cap- 
tured and bound him, afterwards took him to Fort Halleck. 
As Mrs. Fisk happened to be the only person who witnessed 
the shooting of Russel, she with her husband was subpoened to 
Fort Halleck to testify but before thev reached there by the 


next stage the man was hung and the verdict afterward ren- 
dered, guilty. In August '67 Mr. Fisk removed to Cheyenne 
with his family where he has since lived. Mr. Fisk's teams were 
the first to draw lumber to Cheyenne from the Caehe-la-Poudre 
River and he has since been engaged in contracting and build- 
ing and has been elected to city council for 3 terms and in '77 
was elected Mayor of Cheyenne. 



I was three years in the U. S. Army on the Plains (1866 
and discharged honorably in 1869). When we went out the 
U. P. R. R. was built west of Omaha to Platte City. Spring of 
67 were at Dead Pine Bluffs from there I was one of a detail 
sent up to where is now your city and also Fort D. A. Russell. 
If I remember rightly at that time there was not a house or 
even a tent where Cheyenne now is. There were a lot of stakes 
driven and some of our men wondered what they were for, 
after a night or two in camp where the Fort is now built we 
returned to Pine Bluffs, later in the season several companies 
of my Regiment (30th U. S. Infantry) went up to commence 
building quarters to live in out of poles brought from the Black 
Hills. When I went down Cheyenne was to us at that time a 
wonder as they built rapidly, several dwellings, stores and 
manv saloons. The smallest change made then was two bitts 

Sometime in the summer of 68 the rough element was run- 
ning the town. One Sunday the company I belonged to Avas 
ordered to go down and quiet them. We halted outside town, 
fixed bayonets, loaded our rifles came to a shoulder arms and 
marched through the town street by street and though the 
roughs had threatened to fire on troops if they were brought in 
we had no trouble. We went into camp and was there sometime 
at police duty. Wonder if any old residents remember this. 
As the railroad was brought up Old Red Cloud threatened to 
burn every water tank along the road. My company Avas sent 
east, and scattered 10 men at every Station. Each man had 
1000 rounds of ammunition. All Section men at that time went 
to work armed, later we returned to Fort Russell and after a 
short time were sent over the hill to Fort Sanders, near Lara- 
mie City, where I staid until discharged in 69. 


Received a bulletin from you. sometime ago for which please 
accept my thanks. Anything about Wyoming interests me very 

It is a long cry from the time I was out there up to now. 
Maybe later I may write something that may be of more in- 
terest to 3^ou, I am an old man now, do not write much and 
maybe you cannot read all. I am, 

Yours very truly, 


Birmingham, Michigan 
Late Co. D., 30th & Co. 4th U. S. Infantrv. 
Feb'y 14, 1924. 



Son of W. 0. Stephenson and Nelly Leahy. 

Home Town : Shell, Wyoming. 

Born at Hammond, Nebraska, December 28th, 1896. 

Enlisted August 18th, 1914. 

Transport Section, 10th Battalion, Canadian Infantry. 

Promoted to Lance-Corporal to Corporal to Acting Ser- 

Took part in the following battles: 2nd Battle of Ypres 
April 22nd, 1915, Somme, Hill 70, Hill 60, Bullegrenat, Vimy 
Ridge, Amiens, Arras. 

He was in charge of what was called the First Echelon, 
two limber wagons of ammunition, two limber wagons of water 
in kerosene cans, two limber wagons of tools ; they were sup- 
posed to follow the Battalion as closely as they could while it 
was advancing. 

Awarded the British Military Medal for the following 
action. The Battalion very nearly was cut off and finally re- 
treated, just before it was too late and remained in the spot 
where it was impossible to get to it that night. In the morning, 
after daylight, Stephenson located them and took the water 
and small-arm ammunition to their front line in daylight. They 
were out of water and short of ammunition. The Germans spot- 
ted the wagons and tried to get them with their field guns but 
Stephenson only took one limber at a time so that the Germans 
could not have a large target and if they did make a hit could 
not destroy the whole group. 

Discharged August 5th, 1919. 

Address: Shell, Wyoming. 



Attorney and Counsellor at Law, 

502 Kittredge Building, 

Main 1995, 

Denver, Colorado. 

September, 1926. 
Mrs. Cyrus Beard, 
State Historian of Wj'oming, 
State Capitol, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

Dear Mrs. Beard: 

On taking the liberty to consult you a few weeks ago con- 
cerning the preservation of Fort Laramie, or what is left of 
it, you kindly suggested that I write to you on the subject, set- 
ting forth certain facts which I had then touched upon. I 
trust you will forgive me for any bitterness of feeling I may 
express, but to rae it seems incredible that Fort Laramie would 
be allowed to perish from the earth — I cannot believe it. 

The facts herein stated, relating to that old Post of the 
frontier, are obtained from personal knowledge and from well 
known old scouts and trappers whom I met at the time of which 
I write, such as Jim Bridger, Jim Beckwith. and men of that 
character and reputation, and whom your own distinguished 
citizen, John Hunton, of Torrington knew so well. 

The indiflt'erence to the fate of Fort Laramie has been 
defended by the Avant of necessary funds to save it. This re- 
minds me of a very similar condition which existed some years 
ago in reference to the disgraceful neglect of Washington's 
toml) and Mount Vernon, his former home. Congress you will 
rememl)er had been solicited time and again for the required 
appropriation, but session after session passed without anything 
lieing done. This continued until 1893, when a few patriotic 
ladies took it upon themselves to save those places of hallowed 
and revered memory, so dear to the American heart. They 
appealed to the country for financial support, Avith the distinct 
understanding, which stipulation Avas scrupulously observed, 
that any one should not be permitted to subscribe more than 
five cents. This gave an opportunity to practically every in- 
habitant of the United States to share in the preservation of 
Mount Vernon and Washington's tomb. The result as you Avell 
knoAV I do not need to jnention. Mount Vernon today is the 
beauty spot of the pictures(|ue Potomac and the Mecca of every 
visitor to the National Capitol. I mention it merely to empha- 
size the old saw. that where there's a will, there's a ^yRv. 


To permit Fort Laramie to pass away forever, because of 
the lack of funds to preserve it, does not sound like the broad 
American spirit; it is small, petty and unworthy of the "West. 
It is inconceivable that such a land-mark, for a long time the 
outpost of western civilization, the protector and defender of 
women and children, should be offered up on the altar of in- 
ditference, because, forsooth, it requires some money to preserve 
it. The children of the future should have it and hold it as the 
heritage of their fathers, giving them something visible and 
tangible connected with the struggles and privations which 
their ancestors had endured and the sacrifices they had made. 

Fort Laramie, in 1866, was rectangular in form and, as 
my memory recalls, consisted principally, in the sense of popu- 
larity, of the Sutler Store, Postoffice, and the quarters of Seth 
E. Ward — the Sutler. These were under one roof, of adobe 
material, facing southeast, and were some of the cabins con- 
structed by the old hunters and traders, which later with the 
buildings here named below became Fort Laramie ; continuing 
in line to the southwest came the officers' and commanding of- 
ficers' quarters. The latter was a substantial, two-story build- 
ing, both stories having wide verandas in front ; it is said, 
tho that is questioned, to be one of the original structures built 
by the early trappers, in 1834. From the best authorities we 
learn that it was constructed by the Government in 1850. On 
the opposite side of the square or parade ground was the guard- 
house, bakery and some other buildings near by. About 600 
feet east, along the line with the guard-house, and running 
at right angles northwest from that line, were the barracks 
or men's quarters, forming the eastern side of the rectangle; 
these were one story, a combination of adobe and lumber build- 
ings. In the lower ground to the northeast were the stables. 
And strange enough, on the parade ground, near the center, 
grew a lone, small ash tree, which still remains, with little 
difference in its size or shape. This was Fort Laramie when 
I first entered it in July of- that year, as a member of E Com- 
pany, of the 2d United States cavalry, commanded by Major 
Wells who, by the way, was a close friend of Mr. Hunton. 
"With that troop I remained and shared its fortunes on the fron- 
tier during the years 1866, '67, '68 and '69. 

In 1871, or thereabout, the Government added just below 
and in line with and west of the officers' (piarters a larger 
and more substantial dwelling for the same purpose. Placing 
it on the opposite side of the square and in line with and west 
of the guard-house a new armory was constructed. In the rear 
and a little north of where the men's quarters had stood, as 


above described, and at right angles to them was built a large 
two-story barracks having verandas in front. On the rising 
ground behind and north of the Sutler's quarters was located 
the cemetery ; this, at the time of which I speak, was moved 
about 300 yards east, and on its site was raised the hospital, 
a more modern and somewhat pretentious building. 

On my visit, in August, 1926, all of these buildings, that 
is those which the Grovernment had constructed in and about 
1871, were mere ruins. The later barracks, which T mentioned, 
while not utterly worthless, are in a decayed and dilapidated 
condition. It is rather curious and interesting to know that the 
only remaining buildings of the old Fort Laramie, that I knew 
in 1866, are the Sutler Store and Postoffice, the Headquarters 
and the Guard-house. All the others are obliterated, even the 
newel post and balustrade with its supports of the stairway 
in the Headquarters building was ruthlessly torn out and car- 
ried away. That part of the Sutler Store, that had been occu- 
pied by Mr. Hunton, is now a stable, and the Guard-house is 
at present used for the same purpose. In fact, the whole, in- 
cluding the old and the new, are simply the abandoned and 
neglected remains of what was once the refuge of every traveler 
on the old Oregon Trail. 

It brings to one's mind Kingsley's pathetic lines: 

"So fleet the works of men back to the earth again, 
Sacred and holy things fade like a dream." 

Fort Laramie in the early days was the Oasis of the desert. 

It was as I have intimated constructed by a fcAv trappers, 
in 1834, and taken over by the Government in 1849, by pur- 
chase from the owners, and had been used as a military garri- 
son from that time until 1890, when it was abandoned. Geo- 
graphically, speaking broadly, it stood about midway between 
the C-anadian border and New Mexico, and tlie ]\Iissouri River 
and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It Avas the first permanent 
white settlement in the West within that territory, with the 
possible exception of Fort Union, near the junction of the Yel- 
lowstone with the Missouri river,- deemed by some to have been 
built al)out 1830. Even the so-called Fort Bonneville, a little 
trading post on Horse Creek, established in 1832. which after 
a fruitless attempt to continue was in a few months abandoned 
and forgotten; it Avas scarcely a day's ride northeast from Crow 
Creek, where Cheyenne is now located. Hut Fort Lai-amie, 
whose very name was the synonym of protection and safety, 
bravely stood for more than half a century, the watchful de- 
fender and guardian of the fi-ontier; and from it during that 


time rode the relief and defense of many a wagon-train. It 
was the goal and hope of every emigrant on the Oregon Trail. 
It was the clearing port and safe harbor of the hardy and fear- 
less pioneers and settlers who established homes throughout the 
country, giving security to the millions that followed. It was 
the best known and most historic place in the old West, and full 
of its memories and romance. It has a glorious record that 
should be preserved, and that can best be done by saving even 
now its decaying and neglected remnants to keep alive its 
thrilling history. The vast area influenced if not dominated by 
Fort Laramie's protection, at present comjDrises the States of 
Wyoming, northwestern Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Western 
Kansas, Montana, South Dakota and Nevada ; and what of the 
thousands in Oregon whose progenitors in their struggles across 
the plains knew in their heart-breaking days of distress and 
'danger, Fort Laramie's great aid and invaluable service? It 
is unbelievable that the people of these states are so wanting in 
patriotism, appreciation and gratitude, as to forget Fort Lara- 
mie, and permit its few remaining ruins to fall into oblivion. 
And why should any American, for that matter, not glory in 
its preservation? The children of parents and grand-parents 
in nearly every state in the Union are living in the West, and 
multitudes in the states mentioned are direct descendants of 
those emigrants and pioneers. It is incumbent on them and us 
and the National Government to save for future generations 
the Alamo of the Plains. 

It is the spirit and the one outstanding and inspiring 
memory of the old heroic West, and in the sad contemplation 
of its destruction, I feel like one who is making a final effort 
in this my feeble defense of an old, tried and faithful friend, 
who now in the decrepitude of his years is unable to defend 

We of today owe something to posterity, and the keeping, 
restoration and saving of Fort Laramie is not the least. 

With high personal regards, believe me 

Yours respectfuUv, 
(Signed) W. F. HYNES. 




At the northwest corner lived the Zehners — Amelia, Phillip 
and a little sister. There was also an older sister who married 
Mr. Kabis. Next west of the Zehners was the Joslin family 
with little Nellie. Next west the Richardsons, Warren, Vic- 


toria, Clarence and Emil. Next west Henry Evans and up at 
the corner the Chapin kids. 

Next north of the corner the Pattersons — Ada, Gertrude 
and a dear little baby — Helen. North of them the Tuttles — 
Hattie, Jennie and May and some more. The Castle home, 
housing several little Castles, was sold to the Adamskys who 
moved in with Ralph, Augusta and an older sister. Next north 
the Alters — Julia, Hannah and Billie. And then farther north 
came the Underwoods — Jennie. 

Next to the Adamskys on 19th street the Arnolds — Dan 
and John. Next east of the Arnolds lived a sweet little girl — 
Clara by name — and a niece of Mrs. Curtis. She was the first 
girl the writer ever took to a party. It was an afternoon party 
and their faces were all freshly washed and ribbons flying. 

Across 19th street opposite the Curtis home was the school 
house — two rooms — where most of us took our start along the 
path of the Three R's. 

Now these were all good kids — best ever — and minded their 
Paws and Maws and were never referred to by the neighbors 
as that bunch ! 

And now we are getting to be old men and women and 
most of us strangers to our old stamping ground and soon the 
"scenes that knew us once shall know us no more." 

(Signed) J. T. ARNOLD. 

Torrington. Wyo.. October 1, 1926. 
Mrs. Cyrus Beard, 
State Historian, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, 

Dear Mrs. Beard : 

I have just received your letter of September 29th enclos- 
ing copy of the letter of Mr. Charles Bickford of Long Beach, 

Mr. Bickford 's letter is an aggregation of errors, to say 
the least. The Lewis and Clark Trail does not touch Wyoming. 
The 11th Ohio Infantry were never in this part of the country. 
There never was a fight along the North Platte Valley in Wyo- 
ming between U. S. soldiers and Indians in which as many as 
ten soldiers were killed, except the Grattan fight, nine miles 
down the river from Fort Laramie in which 28 soldiers were 
killed, August 19, 1854, and the fight at Fort Casper in which 
about 26 soldiers were killed, July 25, 1865. 


During the Civil War there were many volunteer soldiers 
stationed at Fort Laramie as headquarters and distributed from 
there east and west and south. The 11th Ohio Cavalry was 
so employed from 1862 to the fall of the year 1865. Part of this 
time some units (detachments or companies) of that regiment 
were camped on the La Bonte Creek, where the Oregon Trail 
crosses the creek. This camp was designated as Camp Marshall. 
During the three years these Ohio troops were in this part of 
the country they served as far east as Scottsbluff, as far west 
as the head of Sweetwater River, and as far south as Fort 
Collins, Colorado, which post was named in honor of Colonel 
Collins of that regiment. I think this regiment also estab- 
lished and occupied Fort Halleck. Other volunteer troops who 
served in this country included the 5th and 6th Iowa Regiments 
of Cavalry, the 5th and 6th Kansas Regiments of Cavalry, parts 
of Nebraska Regiments of Cavalry, all of which sustained loss 
of men in fights with Indians, but the 11th Ohio Regiment was 
the greatest loser of any the regiments from fights with In- 

Now about the ''grave yard" at La Bonte! On the west 
side of LaBonte Creek, about a quarter of a mile from the road 
crossing, was a burial ground in which many citizens and sol- 
diers were buried, and in this burial ground were the remains 
of some 20 or 25 soldiers, the majority of them being members 
of the 11th Ohio Cavalry. There were about thirty or thirty- 
five graves all told, including citizens. I first saw this burial 
ground in October, 1868. In 1871 I had the Government con- 
tract for furnishing wood to the post at Fort Fetterman, and 
had one or more contracts to furnish Government supplies at 
Fort Fetterman from that date each year up to and including 
1881 (eleven years) ; and during these eleven years I passed 
and saw the burial ground on an average of more than twelve 
times each year. The enclosure consisted of posts set in the 
ground, two posts close together and poles attached by putting 
the ends of the poles between the post. Some of the posts were 
held together by having pieces of plank or split poles nailed to 
them. I and my employes sometimes repaired this fence, after 
1876, when cattle were ranged in the country. The enclosure 
was about 18 or 20 feet wide by 40 feet long. When I last 
saw the enclosure, during the summer of 1881, most of the 
poles and posts were lying on the ground in a decayed con- 

During the summer of 1891 the Government had the re- 
mains of all soldiers (except three who died of smallpox) who 
had been buried at Fort Laramie and at the site of the Grattan 


killing disinterred and reburied in the national cemetery at 
McPherson. Nebraska. Some years after that date the remains 
of all soldiers buried at Fort Fetterman, La Bonte, and other 
isolated places where bodies could be identified were taken up 
and moved to some national cemetery. I do not think the 
soldiers buried at Fort Fetterman and La Bonte, both included, 
exceeded forty, and I much doubt if there were so many. 

Mr. Bickford's allusion to Red Cloud's daughter being 
killed at Fort Laramie by a sentry and his nephew killing two 
soldiers at Fort Fetterman are, to one who knows, too silly and 
absurd to be noticed. Some bullwhacker or muleskinner must 
have been "joshing" with him. I could Avrite very much more 
on this subject, but will resist the temptation. However, T will 
add the following : 

In. March, 1868, there was located on La Bonte creek a 
road ranch owned and run by Mr. M. A. Mouseau. There was 
a ranch at the old abandoned stage station on Horseshoe creek 
which was conducted by William Worrel and John R. Smith ; 
a ranch at Twinsprings four and one-half miles east of the last 
named ranch, also owned by M. A. Mouseau, who employed a 
man to run it ; a ranch on the west side of Cottonwood creek, 
where the Fort Fetterman cut-off road crosses the creek, run 
by two men known as Bulger and Bouncer; and a ranch on the 
east side of Cottonwood creek at the same crossing. Sometime 
between the 15th and 25th of that month a war party of about 
60 Sioux Lidians under American Horse, Big Little Man, and 
other noted warriors, attacked all five of the ranches and de- 
stroyed and burnt them. 

None of them were ever rebuilt. Mouseau and his family 
escaped to Fort Fetterman. His Twinspring man escaped. Of 
the Horseshoe ranch party, four of the men were killed. "Wor- 
rell was shot through one foot and Smith was shot through 
one thigh and in some way both got to the fort. Of the tAvo 
Cottonwood ranches, the one on the east side of the creek, 
being the first attacked, gave the alarm to the two men on the 
west-side ranch and they escaped ; but James Pulliam, the east 
side ranchman, was wounded in one arm and escaped by run- 
ning into the brush. His Indian wife received a slight wound 
in one arm and was captured. Her child and young sister were 
killed during the fight. The survivors got to the Fort and re- 
ported the affair as soon as they could. Company "A," 2nd 
Cavalry, commanded by Captain Thomas Dewus. was ordered 
to go as far as Horseshoe and to repair telegraph line and render 
such assistance as they could and bury the dead. Mj^self and 
several other citizens (Wm. H. Brown and Antoine Ladue, I 


remember) accompanied the cavalry companj^ We found and 
buried two of the men of the Horseshoe ranch party, on the 
east side of Bear Creek draw, just north of and almost under 
the telegraph line. 

Mr. Bickford is mistaken about there being a house near 
the ''grave yard" on La Bonte fifty-seven years ago. 

If you desire further information on this subject, please 
ask the questions. Use all or parts of this article as you may 
think best. 

Most respectfully, 


Fort Laramie N. T. May 21st, 1859. 
Messrs. Grable, Green & Craig 

will give Mr. S. E. Ward an order on C. A. Perry & Co. for 
the amt of toll over the Laramie Bridge payable at Salt Lake. 

J. D. Harper. 
— From Hunton collection. 


James Boedan told Ashenfelder 
Some time in the 40 's a trapper by the name of Peno, a 
Canadian trapper, was up in the Powder River country. He 
had shot and wounded a Buffalo Bull and the enraged animal 
had turned on him and gored his horse to death, and broke 
Peno's leg. Peno lost his gun and lay helpless on the bank of a 
little stream. Finally he put one hand on his leg and crept 
along down the creek moving in that direction where he Avould 
find an Indian village. He lived for several days on wild cher- 
ries ; as he crept along one day, tired out after creeping a long 
distance he lay down on the ground and slept; waking up he 
was horrified to find standing near him a large sized Silver 
striped bear. The animal was gazing at him in a manner that 
made the cold chills run down his back but he resolved to play 
dead so he closed his eyes and lay quiet. After a time he 
looked again to see if the bear had left but no such good luck, 
the monster was even closer to him and he then noticed that 
the bear held one of his fore paws in a position which indicated 
that it was lame. Peno looked at it and discovered that a large 


sliver was in the paw and to his mind he believed the bear was 
asking for help. He finally made up his mind to take the risk, 
thinking at the most the bear could only kill him. He took his 
knife and carefully cut the sliver from the disabled foot and 
when it was out, pus in large quantities followed the work of 
drawing out the splinter. It seemed to ease the pain for the 
animal lay down and seemed to go to sleep ; when he was sure 
the animal was asleep, Peno crawled away but after a time the 
bear found him gone and seemed determined to remain with 
him. This continued for some days ; at last they reached a high 
point which overlooked a beautiful valley and Peno took down 
the valley and discovered an Indian village. The bear got up 
on the highest point and gazed long in the direction of the vil- 
lage, looked anxiously, and then came back to the wounded man 
and looked at him in a manner almost human, then he went 
quietly up the stream and disappeared as much as to say "I 
have done all I can for you, you will be safe." That Creek will 
always be known as Peno Creek. 


No. 1 — Tutt & Dougherty, John S. Tutt and LcAvis B. Dougher- 
ty from Commencement of Post in 1849 to 1857. 

No. 2 — Norman Fitzhugh was Sutler for short time in 1857. 

No. 3 — Seth Edmund Ward was Sutler from 1857 to August 
2nd 1867 and was then Post Trader to August 1871. See 
Special Order No. 140 Department of the Platte, hereto 

No. 4 — .J. S. McCormick was Post Trader from Aug. 1871 to 
Dec. 1872. 

No. 5 — J. S. Collins was Post Trader from Dec. 1872 to 1877 and 

No. 6— G. H. Collins, his brother, from 1877 to 1882. 

No. 7-^John London was Post Trader from 1882 to 1888. 

No. 8 — John Hunton was Post Trader from August 1888 to 
April 20th 1890 when the Post was abandoned by the 
Military Authorities. 

Fort Laramie, during its Military Occupancy, was in Ne- 
braska, Idaho, Dakota and Wyoming Territories. — Hunton col- 




Buckingham, Mr. U. A Photo of members of Constitutional 

Convention of Wyoming, 1889. ' 

Eeitz, Mrs. C. F Photo taken about 1920 of Mrs. M. A. 

Garrett, wife of T. S. Garrett of Gar- 
rett, Wyoming. 
Picture of the train wreck of the Wil- 
cox Train Robbery in 1894. 

Carroll, Major Collection of 25 coins and one medal. 

Beard, Mrs. Cyrus 1910 Map of Colorado. 

Taylor, Mrs. J. L One case and one box of lead type used 

in Old Fort Laramie. 

Fischer, Mr. Joe Old Winchester rifle which was found on 

the west side of Elk Mountain near 
the place where "Big Nose George" 
and his party killed "Tip" Vincent, 
Widdowfield, Deputy Sheriffs who 
were in pursuit of ' * Big Nose George ' ' 
and party after an attempt to wreck 
a U. P. R. E. train near Percy, on 
old line. There are two notches in 
the stock, whether for bear or man is 
not known. The gun was leaning 
against a stump in such a x>osition 
that it was protected from the weath- 
er. Found and donated by Joseph 
Fischer of Fischerville, Wyoming. 
Rifle is of 1876 model. 

Bartlett, Mr. Albert B Collection consisting of a piece of one 

of the stoves which was made in St. 
Louis in 1865 and was used in Fort 
Phil Kearney in 1866; also one of the 
bricks made at the Fort during the 
same year for building purposes. 
Specimens found by Mr. Bartlett Au- 
gust 12, 1926. 

Hebard, Dr. Grace Raymond Pair of slippers that were worn by 

Mary E. Homsley at least in 1852, 
which she had with her at the time 
she died near Fort Laramie where 
she was buried. Sent to Dr. Hebard 
by Mrs. Homsley 's daughter Mrs. 
Lura Gibson. 


Cristobol, Mr. Leopoldo G Collection of approximately 400 coins 

(including large number of gold 
coins). Part of this collection had 
been previously loaned to the Depart- 
ment. These, together with many 
new ones, are now made into a gift 
to the Department. 
Collection of 104 Official Airplane pic- 
tures, previously loaned to the De- 
partment, now made into a gift. 

Goohs, Mr. Geo. H Loan of one six inch shell recovered by 

divers from the Battleship "Maine" 
in Havana Harbor. Also certificate 
as to authenticity of shell and a chain 
used on battleship. 


Deming, Mr. W. C "Eoosevelt in the Bunk House" by 

William Chapin Deming. Autograph- 
ed copy. 

Michigan State Historical 

Society "Michigan under British Eule." 

Missouri HistoricJal Society Year Book, 1926. 

Shipp, Mr. E. Eichard "Pioneer Blood" Poem by E. Eiehard 

Shipp. Autographed copy. 

Tidball, Mr. L. C Geography of Wyoming by L. C. Tid- 

ball, Commissioner of Education. 

Kansas State Historical Society. ...Kansas Historical Collections. Vol. 

XVI, 1923-1925. 

Nye, Frank Wilson Book "Bill Nye, His Own Life Story," 

by his son, Frank Wilson Nye. Auto- 
graphed copy. 


Holley, Mr. Chris Story of the Jenney Stockade. 

(Sent in by Mrs. E. C. Eaymond) 

Hynes, Mr. W. F Preservation of Old Fort Laramie. 

Kimball, Mr. W. S Wyoming Pioneer Association. Address 

delivered before the Wyoming Pio- 
neer Association on Sept. 15, 1926. 

Hunton, Mr. John Historical letter. 

Shipp, Mr. E. Richard Collection of original manuscript poems. 

Correction: — In July, 1926 Annals on the cover page and the title page 
the word Index should read Contents. This error occurred 
in the print shop after final proof had been made. 
On page 270 under the accessions of Hoyle Jones in the fifth 
line from the top, read fifty cents instead of five cents. 

Annals of OTpomins 

A'ol. 4 JANUAEY, 1927 No. 3 


Sketches from life of James M. Sherrod Autobiography 

Sarah Frances Slack Mrs. Wallace C. Bond 

Fort Fetterman, "Wyoming Territory J. H. Patzki 

Fort Fetterman J. 0. Ward 

Letter Katrina Wolbol 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


^nnafe of OTpomins 

Vol. 4 JANUAEY, 1927 No. 3 


Sketches from life of James M. Sherrod. Autobiography 

Sarah Frances Slack ...Mrs. Wallace C. Bond 

Fort Fetterman, Wyoming Territory. ....J. H. Patzki 

Fort Fetterman... J. 0. Ward 

Letter. .-. .Katrina Wolbol 

Published Quarterly 

by the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Frank C. Emerson 

Secretary of State A. M. Clark 

State Librarian Flo La Chapelle 

Secretary of Board Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Rt. Rev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Mr. R. D. Hawley Douglas 

Miss Margeiy Ross Cody 

Mrs. E. T. Raymond Newcastle 

Mr. E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume IV., Number 3. January, 1927. 

(Copyright, 1927) 

James M. Sherrod 
Original picture in Coiitant's collection in State Historical Department 

Annate of 12lpoming 

Vol. 4 JANUARY, 1927 No_ 3 


NOTE — This manuscript was given to the State Historical Department in Feb- 
ruary, 1924 by the late Mrs. Gertrude Huntington Merrill of Rawlins. Mrs. Merrill 
stated tl;at the manuscript had been dictated by Mr. Sherrod in 1911 and typed by 
her. Mr. Sherrod died in Baggs, Wyoming at 6 A. M. December 24th, 1919. 


State Historian. 

I, James JM. Slierrod, of the city of Rawlins, County of Car- 
bon and State of Wyoming, of the age of ninety-six years, will 
endeavor in making the following statement to give a true and 
accurate account of my life and adventures on the plains and in 
the mountains of the West during my career as Government 
Scout, Guide for Mail and Emigrant Trains, and Indian Fighter. 

I was born in Harrison County, Ohio, in the year 1815, and 
while quite young became proficient in the use of the rifle, and 
was called a great hunter. As I grew older the love for the ad- 
ventures of a frontier life grew on me until I could no longer re- 
sist the desire to leave my native State and go West. I started 
with the old-time emigrant wagon, and landed in Omaha, Ne- 
braska, in the year 1852. It was in the Spring of the year, and 
I immediately secured employm.ent with Mr. Peter A. Sarpy, who 
was the Government xVgent for the Omaha Indians and Chief 
Clerk of the American Fur Company. 

My first work was in helping to move the Omaha Indians 
from the Omaha reservation to the Blackbird Hills, about dOne 
hundred miles north of Omaha, and on that trip I was summarily 
initiated into my first Indian fight. Although not of a serious 
nature, it was entirely new to me, as I had never before seen In- 
dians with war paint on. Some of the Omaha Indians were on 
the war path, and had either killed or driven off all the settlers 
within a radius of thirty miles. Owing to the fact that we had 
Indian supplies, we were permitted to go through this territory 
and return without serious trouble, although we were constantly 
watched both going and returning. We were out about three 
weeks on this trip. 

Upon our return to Omaha I was employed by the American 
Fur Company to accompany a supply train to their trading post 
in Wyoming (then Dakota), at which trading post Fort Laramie 
was soon afterward established. The Government bought the 
holdings of the American Fur Company at this old trading post 


and established Fort Laramie on the site. We went from Omaha 
to Kansas City, or rather wliere Kansas City is now, it l>eing at 
that time only a trading post, to load our supplies. The teamsters 
of the supply train amused themselves telling me large stories, I 
being what they called a "Tenderfoot" — a new arrival from the 
East. They told me of the wonderful amount of game we would 
see on the trip west, the great herds of Buffalo, Antelope and 
Deer. Now I had never seen an Antelope, and the teamsters 
instructed me that the only way to get one was to flag the bunch 
with something bright-colored ; that they were very curious ani- 
mals, and would come up close enough to the flag so that one could 
get a good, shot at them. I had the best gun and revolvers I 
could obtain at that time, and plenty of ammunition, and I then 
bought nice, bright bandana handkerchiefs, one red and one yel- 
low, and was ready for business. We loaded our supplies, and 
started on our trip over what was known as the Salt Creek route, 
right through where Nebraska city now stands. When almost 
over to Salt Creek, we ran onto a great bunch of Antelope, and 
the teamsters all shouted for me to get my flag and flag the 
game, as we were in need of fresh meat. I hurried to get out my 
flag and began wa\"ing it vigorously, and of all the running that T 
had ever seen, them antelope sure skunked anything in my experi- 
ence. I jumped to the conclusion that I had used the wrong flag, 
so I got out the other hankerchief and tried waving that at them, 
but they seemed to run all the harder. I was disgusted, and start- 
ed back toward the wagons, where I found the teamsters all 
laughing, and they guyed me something awful. Finally the 
wagon Boss said to them : "Boys, you've no right to laugh at that 
Tenderfoot, for I believe he's killed the whole band. I think 
they've riui themselves to death !" At this they only laughed the 

However, I didn 't have to get very many bunches of cactus in 
my feet to get the soreness out of them, or the Tenderness either ! 

We continued slowly through the country to old Fort Kear- 
ney, then up along the Platte river to the mouth of Pole Creek; 
then on over the Pole creek route to a point near where Pine 
Bluffs, Wyoming, is now situated ; and then we swung across the 
divide between Pole creek and the North Platte river, and con- 
tinued up along the river to the Trading Post. 

On this trip Ave encountered a number of bands of Indians 
on the Nebraska plains, but were not molested, for the reason that 
Peter A. Sarpee had sent several half-breed Indians witli the out- 
fit, we were instructed to tell any Indians we might run onto 
that the supplies we carried were for the American Fur Company 
or for Peter A. Sarpee. These halfbreeds could speak and under- 
stand all the dialects of the Iiulians west of the Missouri river. 
When \ve came onto a band of Indians them half-breeds would go 


out ahead and talk to tlieiii a little while, and the savages would 
turn about and ride away without bothering us, although many 
of them were in full war paint. This is proof positive that Sar- 
pee had some remarkable influence over the Indians, a greater 
influence, I believe, than any other man of his time. 

Sarpy was one of the shi-ewdest men I ever met. Nothwith- 
standing the fact that he was a Squawman (a white man who 
maiTies an Indian) and had four Squaws, each of a different 
tribe, he seemed to stand in well with all the Indians, and the 
head chiefs of the various tribes looked to him for advice. 

On our trip across them teamsters never had another occa- 
sion, after we left Salt Creek, to laugh at me or guy me over, 
game, for I killed more than all of them put together, the half- 
breeds included. Before we reached the end of the journey, and 
whenever we needed fresh meat I was almost always sent out af- 
ter it, and the whole outfit recognized and recommended me as one 
of the best shots on the plains. I think this had a good deal to 
do with my career afterwards. I always made it a point never to 
miss my mark if it was possible to avoid it, and this saved my life 
on many an occasion. For instance, if you shoot at an Indian and 
miss him, he will kill you sure, while if you make two or three 
good shots on the start, even if they are ten to one or even more 
than that, they will let you strictly alone unless they can ambush 
you and take advantage of you in that way. 

Just after we reached the Trading Post (afterward Fort 
Laramie) an immense herd of buffalo drifted across the country 
right by the Post. The soldiers were all away from the Post after 
the Indians, two or three massacres having been reported, except 
a company of artillery left behind as a guard. Wlien the buffalo 
appeared the Captain of the artillery sent some of his men out 
to kill some meat, but they were not experts at the task and were 
letting all the buffalo get away. At this the Captain became an- 
gry, and ordered others of his men to bring him out a field-piece. 
They brought out a five-pounder, which he loaded with grape and 
cannister. He trained the gun himself on the herd and blazed 
away, killing thirty buffalo at one shot. I never saw in all my life 
such a slaughtering ! 

Old Cleneral Snj^der was in command of the Post, but he was 
away after the Indians. Upon his return he heard of the per- 
formance, and was teiTibly angry. That Captain had a very nar- 
row escape from a court-martial over the matter, but it was patch- 
ed up in some way, with an agreement that it was never to occur 
again. I guess it never did, for I have not heard of any other in- 
cident of the kind. 

Along about this time the outlaws were beginning to be rath- 
er troublesome. In fact, I believe that many deeds which were 
charged to the Indians were committed by white men, and I know 


that some of the outrages were engineered and led by white men 
painted as Indians. Thase characters were a whole lot worse to 
deal with than the real Indian. 

I had made so favorable an impression on the man in charge 
of our outfit, the supply train, that he recoimnended me to the 
officer in command of the Post, and I was employed and put to 
work as a scout for the Government. Here is where my career 
in the West began in earnest. During my entire history I have 
always made it a point never to let any man, either Indian or 
white to get the drop on me if I could prevent it, and it never 
happened many times. I was robbed once or twice only. 

After entering the employ of the Government as a scout and 
dispatch bearer, I had just got my outfit in shape when the ter- 
rible massacre occurred at Fort Phil Kearny. I was sent from 
Fort Laramie to Fort Phil Kearney with a dispatch, which I de- 
livered safely; received a return dispatch, and had got back to 
the Powder river when I ran into a band of a hundred and fifty 
Sioux Indians in their war paint. They were on a horse stealing 
expedition to Fort Reno, and the soldiers there had just repulsed 
them and driven them back three or four miles when they discov- 
ered me, cut me off from the Fort, and then took after me. Of 
course I was well mounted, as the Government furnished splen- 
did hoi'ses for the work in which I was engaged. The nearest 
place of anything like safetj^ for me was Sundance jMountain, 
thirty miles distant. For the first twenty miles my horse pulled 
on the reins, but the country was very rough and wald, and after 
that the poor fellow was just giving his life for mine. We reached 
the foot of the mountain and started upward, but when within a 
quarter of a mile of the rocks the noble animal stumbled and fell, 
stone dead. I went right on over his head, saying "Well done, 
good and faithful servant," and loped off up the side of the 
mountain like a scared buck. As soon as I reached the shelter of 
the rocks I crouched and watched the Indians. Only a few of 
them had been able to keep an;y^vhere near me, and when these 
got to M^here my horse had fallen they stopped and held a parley, 
and then cut the saddle off, and taking it with them, started back 
over the trail we had come. Looking off along that trail I could 
!iee small squads of Indians scattered for ten miles. After all had 
disappeared and the excitement was over I realized that I was 
desperate hungry. Soon a- blue grouse flew up near the rock 
where I was sitting, resting on a small pine tree near at hand, and 
T took my revolver and killed him ; then I built a fire and broiled 
the bird and ate him. He made a pretty good supper. 

While I was preparing and eating my supper I was tak- 
ing my bearings, and had located Laramie Peak, which was a 
good sixty miles away. As soon as it was quite dark I layed my 
coui-se for Laramie Peak and started out. It was an awful night 
for me, as it was very dark and the coimtrv was rougli and full 


of wild animals, and I had reason to know that the Indians on 
the war path were numerous. It seemed to me that I encountered 
more wild animals that night than I ever saw in all the rest of my 
life, and I did not dare to shoot for fear of drawing the Indians 
after me, or causing them to lay for me and tomahawk me. I 
saw cougar or mountain lion, and bob-cats and white wolves (the 
same species as the grey or timber wolves, but much larger) and 
bear and buffalo ; several times during the night I had to climb 
a tree or get up onto a rock out of the way of some wild animal, 
not daring to shoot at them. A number of times I got up onto 
some high point and took my bearings in order to keep my course 
straight, until it came light, and I don't think I varied a mile 
the whole night, although I had several streams to wade and final- 
ly had to cross and swim the North Platte river. It was a very 
hard and dangerous stream to ford, being full of quicksands, 
which were always shifting. I arrived at Fort Fetterman in the 
early morning, in time for breakfast. 

Word had been received about half an hour before my arriv- 
al that I had been killed by Indians. Two runners from Fort 
Reno had come in with the news that Indians had massacred the 
Fort Phil Kearney dispatch bearer; that the soldiers at Reno 
had seen the Indians cut me off and take after me, a hundred and 
fifty strong. There was quite a demonstration over me when I 
came in alive and unhurt. I reported to old General Snyder, 
the comm^anding officer, how my horse had been killed, and he 
took me out to the corral himself and said to m.e : ' ' There are 
three hundred pretty good cavalry horses in there. Go in and 
take your choice. ' ' I picked one out, and he was a noble animal 
and no mistake. 

I was next sent back to Fort Phil Kearney as a guide for a 
freight train, Math supplies for the Fort. We had 125,000 
pounds of supplies, and a small company of green soldiers was 
sent along to protect the train. They were under a young lieuten- 
ant just from West Point and a Corporal recently arrived from 
the In the whole outfit there was only one man who had ev- 
er fought the Indians. His name was McCumber, and he was a 
host in himself. 

Everything went all right until we reached Powder River. 
I selected a camping ground, and the wagons were formed in a 
circle to make a corral. Then I started off to look for some good, 
pure water, the water in the river being unfit for use, and went 
up into a canyon in the hope of finding a spring. Was just 
about to return to camp when I heard the Sioux war whoop, and 
I went dowTi that old canyon like a cyclone, because I knew both 
those young officers would get rattled, having never seen Indians 
in their fighting clothes. When I got within sight of the camp, 
the Indians were riding in a circle around the corral of wagons, 
as is their habit, and of all the Ki Yi-ing that any white man ever 


heard they were doing it. It was enough to scare a wooden man ! 
I saw that I would have to make a rush for it if I reached the 
camp at all, and so I put my horse for the opening left in the 
circle of wagons at his best speed. He was a dandy, and seemed 
fairly to tly. I found an arrow when I got out of my saddle 
skirts, and two more out of my hat ; but there was not a scratch 
on me or my horse. Of all the scared men I ever saw the soldiers 
in that corral were the worst, and the two officers were truly in 
a pitiable state. The little lieutenant was ^ving orders and coun- 
termanding them before they could be carried out, and the sol- 
diei*s were shooting in every direction and hitting nothing but 
air. I took a hand and cursed both the officers and the men, or- 
dering them to shoot low, as they were over-shooting the Indians. 
The Indians were congregating on a little knoll where they could 
just rake our corral clean, so I called on McCumber to come to 
me and told him to help me open up on them, and not to stop 
firing as long as he could see a live Indian. "We piled Indians 
and ponies up around that little knoll as high as a wagon. There 
were about a hundred and twenty Indians in the band, while we 
numbered but fifty-five all told and all new men except Mc- 
Cumber and myself. In five minutes we had cleaned out the In- 
diaiis, and lost only three men. We never knew how many In- 
dians we killed, as they gathered up the dead and wounded and 
carried them off. That was one of my most thrilling Indian 
fights, while it only lasted a few moments things were a moving 
some. If I had failed in getting into that corral them soldiers 
would all have been dead and scalped in less than five minutes, 
for there is never any monkey work with Indians. It goes one 
way or the other with a rush. I rather expected that I would have 
to shoot that Lieutenant in order to save the soldiers, but he 
proved to be a gentleman, for after the fight he came up and 
shook hands with me and thanked me for Avhat I had done, and 
said he didn't know anything about fighting Indians. We started 
on agnin next morning, reached Fort Phil Kearney without fur- 
ther troul)le, delivered our freight, and then returned to Fort 
Laramie. That young Lieutenant afterward became a great In- 
dian fighter. 

Next I was sent out with a haj'ing outfit. It was necessary 
to have someone constantly on the watch while the men were 
working, for fear the Indians would make a sneak and surprise 
and massacre the whole outfit. They had tried this on several oc- 
casions, and had murdered several hay makers and wood haulers, 
as well as made raids and captured the mules. After we put up 
the liay for winter use, I was sent out on scout duty with the 
wood cutters. 

We had no trouble that fall, and none during the winter, but 
one day in the following Spring the Indians made a raid and stole 
thirty of the best mules, and ran them off iaito the Big Horn Ba- 


sin. We followed them and caught up with them in camp at Ten 
Sleeps (now in Big Horn County, Wyoming), and tried to sur- 
round and capture the raseals. We got our mules all right, but 
the Indians all escaped ; we didn 't get even one of them. We 
could have killed them, but that was against orders and would 
not do at all, so we took our mules and started homeward. 

As night approached we picked out a nice-looking camping 
place. While I was looking about for this camping ground, my 
horse mired down and I had quite a job getting him out on solid 
land, but I gave the matter little attention, supposing he had 
stepped into an alkali hole. I gathered a pile of rock and ar- 
ranged it to protect a fire, and lit my fire. It flashed up quickly 
and the rocks began to burn, and burned something fierce. I 
watched it a short time, and then I went to the Captain's tent and 
said to him: "Say, Captain Eagan, Hell can't be over a half 
a mile from here, for the rocks are a burning ! ' ' He came out and 
looked at the fire for a time, then shook his head and said : " I 
can't understand that, and I don't like the appearance of it 
either. Think we had better move our fire." I didn't like the 
looks of the thing any better than did he, so we moved our fire. 
When I undertook to clean the mud off my horse I had a big job. 
It was years afterward that I found that the spot where we camp- 
ed that night was the present site of Oil City ; that the hole into 
which my horse mired was one of those oil springs. It was no 
wonder the mud was hard to clean off, or that the rocks burned 
so readily. 

We went back to Fort Laramie with our mules, and found 
that the Government had made a treaty with the Indians, so there 
was nothing doing in the fight line all winter, but as soon as the 
grass got good in the Spring the Indians broke the treaty by mak- 
ing another raid on the mules and getting away with a number 
of them. Of course we went after them, and this time caught 
them up near the head of the Chugwater. AVe captured some- 
thing like forty ponies, four thousand pounds of dried buffalo 
meat, and several hundred pounds of buckskin all nicely tanned. 

Captain Eagan was in command of this expedition, and he 
had sealed orders, not to be opened until we found the Indians. 
When he opened them orders he read that we were not to shoot 
until the Indians shot first at us. He was just about the maddest 
man I ever saw. All the Indians had a wholesome fear of Cap- 
tain Eagan, for he was sure an Indian fighter, and had more scars 
on his body than any other man I ever saw except a few who 
were entirely crippled. The scars had all been made by Indians 
at different times, and he had escaped fatal injury so often that 
the Indians became superstitutious about him, and thought he 
could not be killed. He seemed to bear a charmed life, and liked 
nothing better than a chance to get into a scrimmage. Some of the 
soldiers with us were so angTj- and disgusted over the orders that 


they broke their guns and threw them away, saying they would 
not carry guns they could not use. Orders were orders, however, 
and Ave had to obey them. 

I spent the next fall and winter at and around Fort Halleek, 
as scout, and as a guide or escort for various parties. There was 
an ex-Captain at the Fort by the name of Leycock. He took the 
contract for putting up the hay for the Government stock, and 
was to cut it along Medicine Bow creek. Of course he had to 
have protection from Indians while at work, and that was a part 
of my job. As soon as the work was done Cap. Lej^cock notified 
the Quartermaster at the Post to come out and measure the hay. 
The Captain obtained an extra supply of whiskey, and by the 
time the}'' got the first haystack measured the Quartermaster was 
loaded. Then the Captain drove him around a little and crossed 
Wagonhound creek a couple of times, and came up to the same 
stack from a difi^erent direction, saying: "Here's another stack. 
We'll just measure them as we go along. They are all about of 
a size, although this one seems to be about three feet bigger than 
the other and is a little better hay." Then they took another lit- 
tle drive, and returned to the stack. They measured it again, and 
the Captain dcelared that this one contained the best hay of the 
bunch, it being the first that we had put up, and that it was three 
feet bigger than the others. '^Now, that's all the hay," said the 
Captain, " and it is a fine lot too!" 

I saw what was going on all the time, but did not care to be 
insulted, so kept my mouth shut. Had early learned that one 
must never interfere with anything an army officer did or said. 
The Captain and the Quartennaster had measured the same stack 
of hay three times,, and during the process the stack had grown 
three feet each time. The Government was paying Captain Ley- 
cock .^^70.00 a ton for the hay, and he collected his money. 

The Quartermaster never discovered the trick until along in 
the following winter. Then a teanxster went and told the Quar- 
tenuaster that their hay was all gone. "Well," said he, "go break 
another stack." The teamster went out and searched and came 
back and reported that he could not find any more stacks. 
"Hell!" said the Quarterma.ster, "I know the hay is there, be- 
cause I measured it myself!" 

Then he called me and ordered me to go out with him so that 
lie ' ' might show them dummies where that hay was. ' ' We hunted 
all over the country for miles, but could find no hay. Of course, 
I knew that we would not find it, but I realized that I could nev- 
er make him believe anything of the kind, and would only get 
myself into trouble by trying to explain. The poor Quarter- 
nuister worried so mueli over the disappearance of the hay that 
he became insane, and was taken east to an asylum, where he 


We had several little brushes with the Indans during that 
fall and winter, but nothing serious. In the Spring I was called 
back to Fort Laramie to take charge of the supply train, which 
was hauling freight and supplies to the different army poi^. 
Sometimes we had to go to Fort Reno, sometimes to Custer, some- 
times to Fort Bridger, and even to Salt Lake City. In fact I was 
on the go nearly all the time, on some kind of a hazardous un- 
dertaking or other. Handling Government supplies was consid- 
ered one of the most dangerous jobs a man could tackle at that 
time, as Indians and renegade whites wanted nothing better than 
to capture a supply train and get away with the goods. 

In 1865, when the Indians were out on the warpath along the 
South Platte river and killing everything they could catch, I was 
sent with a few other men to Central City, Colorado, to get a lot 
of mine supplies that were to be delivered at Eureka Gulch and 
Blackhawk. It was the first mining machinery that went into 
that famous district. We had a big traui of Bull Teamsters, or 
Bull Whackers as they were then called, and two hundred and 
fifty yoke of cattle, with eighty wagons. I had six sixteen-yoke 
teams in my string, and was loaded with six big tubular boilers. 
When we reached Fort Kearney the commanding officer stopped 
us, on account of the Indians being so bad on up the river, and 
refused to allow us to go on until we could muster forty-four 
men. We laid there for two or three days, and finally hired two 
tramps to make up our forty-four men, and started on westward. 
Had a fine trip until within about five miles of 'Fallons Bluffs, 
a point some twenty-five miles east of the present town of Jules- 
burg, where the Denver branch of the Union Pacific railroad 
leaves the main line. At the point of 'Fallons Bluffs was a very 
narrow pass between the Bluffs and the Platte river, a very dan- 
gerous place, because of the Indians. As we neared this pass I 
kept a sharp lookout, and soon discovered a cloud of dust rising 
away to the north I passed the word along the train both ways 
that the Indians were coming, and the warning had hardly been 
given before they were on hand, yelling and shooting arrows in- 
to our cattle. This stampeded the cattle, and I saw at once that 
they were trying to get us into the Narrows, as the pass was call- 
ed, where they could make short work of our outfit. I rode ahead 
as fast as my horse could run and informed the men in charge 
of the train that we must stop the teams and give the Indians a 
fight in the open ground, or we were all doomed. We doubled 
around and piled them teams up, and then turned our attention 
to the Indians. Most of the men were green at Indian fighting, 
but they were very willing. At first they over-shot the Indians, as 
is invariably the case with new men, but I was blessed with a pow- 
erful voice, and was soon able to make them understand that they 
must shoot low. Then we killed or crippled a lot of them, and 


soon had them on the run. We lost two men, and our cattle and 
wagons were in a bad mix-up. One wagon, loaded with com, 
was dumped into the river, and most of the others were consid- 
erably jammed up, so tliat it took us a long time to straighten 
out the outfit, but we were not bothered again by the Indians. 

We went on up the river safely, and camped right in Den- 
ver, on Cherry creek, about where West Colfax is now. Denver 
was but a small village then. We remained there two or three 
days to rest and make repairs before continuing our journey. Af- 
ter leaving Denver we found one place in the mountains so steep 
that we had to take the teams off the wagons and let the wagons 
down the mountain side with ropes. The teams could not hold the 
wagons with the rough-locks we had. It was a wild country, and 
we had many startling adventures, but finally g-ot through and 
delivered our supplies and machinerv\ 

]\Iost of our men stayed at the camp to work in the mines, 
or to prospect for themselves. Only seven were willing to go 
back, barely enough to drive the stock by doubling it up, but we 
fixed everything up the best we could and started out. A Gov- 
gernment Wagon Boss went with us, in charge of a lot of Gov- 
ennnent mules. lie was a veteran of the Civil war, named Tem- 
ple, and verj^ fond of being called ''Colonel" Temple; had the 
characteristics of many men of his class! you couldn't tell him 
anything, he knew it all already! The outfit travelled along in 
pi'etty good shape, and reached a place ten or twelve miles east of 
Jules])urg and about the same distance from O'Fallons Bluffs 
without interference. Here we made arrangements to camp, and 
the Colonel announced that he intended camping up near a little 
hill to the north of the road, out of the wind. I told him we had 
better keep out on open ground, as the Indians were liable to drop 
down on us over the top of the hill before we learned that they 
were anywhere in the country. "If you're afraid,' said the Col- 
onel, "you can camp with your outfit wherever you please, but 
I'm going to camp up there out of this wind." I replied that I 
would take chances anywhere he wanted to camp, so we formed 
the wagons into a corral at the foot of the hill, and turned the 
stock loose to feed. I took my saddle horses down about two hmi- 
dred yards from the wagons, near the river, aud staked them out, 
then conunenced spreading down my bed, as I always slept near 
my saddle horses. While at this work I happened to glance up, 
and was not at all surprised at seeing the Indians pouring dowoi 
over the Colonel's little hill, right at the wacrons. I made a run 
for my best horse, and had just got the bridle on him, when a 
do/en of them painted devils spied me and came straight for me. 
I had seen the ('olonel pull his revolver and shoot three shots and 
fall, and none of our men were staiuling. It was no use for me to 
try to get away, so I jumped behind my horse and made up my 


mind to make a record on killing Indians anyhow. When they 
came as close as I wanted them, I picked on the foremost Indian 
and let him have it right throug^h the hips ; he gave one yell, 
threw both arms around his pony's neck, and away they went! 
By that time I had given the next Indian the same kind of a dose, 
and he performed in exactly the same manner. Then the whole 
band turned suddenly and rode after the main bunch, who were 
driving off our cattle. My other saddle horse had broken loose 
and was following the Indians ; I had to ride hard to catch him, 
and I really believe them devils thought I was a going to kill 
them all, for I never saw Indians ride harder to get away. They 
had killed all our men except one, a big Missourian by the name 
of Logan, who had kept shooting as long as the varmints were 
within range. He had a steel arrowhead two inches and a quarter 
long a sticking right in his breast. I ran to my jocky-box and 
got my bullet molds and pulled the arrow out, but it had punc- 
tured his lungs, and the poor fellow died the next morning, at 
daylight. And there I was alone, with six dead men and not a 
soul to help me. 

Colonel Temple was among the dead. There was a negro 
woman in one of his wagons, and when the fight began she jump- 
ed out and ran. Of all the running I ever seen any woman do 
she did — she took the cake ! The next morning after the death of 
Logan, I went ahead to the nearest stage station, about three 
miles from the scene of the massacre, and that negro woman was 
there. She was scared almost to death when she saw me, thought 
I was a ghost ! I was very much alive, but lost everything I had 
except my two saddle horses, and had to give up one of them to 
get the wagons hauled to Plattsmouth. The stage came along 
during the forenoon with a doctor on board, and we went over to 
examine the bodies and the remains of our outfit. The Doctor 
said if he had been there he could probably have saved Logan's 
life by inserting a tube or a pipe stem into the wound and letting 
the blood run out, that it was only a bloodclot that killed him. 
After the dead were buried, I had to wait until some one came 
along that I could get to haul the wagons, the Indians having 
captured all the stock. Some time afterward, when I was weary 
of waiting, a man came along with a big freight team, empty, and 
offered to take the wagons into Plattsmouth for one of my saddle 
horses. I accepted the offer, and we went into Plattsmouth, 
where I got myself some cattle and spent the winter hauling ties 
for the Union Pacific railroad. 

In the following Spring a man started to cross the river from 
the Iowa side, with three yoke of cattle, and the ice broke and 
let the outfit into the water. A crowd gathered at once, but no one 
was wiling to take the risk of going to the rescue. My team was 
standing near, on the bank, and I called to the crowd that if they 


"would help me get my lead wagon and one j^oke of cattle out of 
my string that I would try and save the man anyhow. I started 
across the ice as fast as my cattle could go, and after hard work 
succeeded in getting the man and his cattle out of the water, and 
turned back toward Plattsmouth; but when near the middle of 
the river the ice all seemed to give way at once, breaking in big 
pieces and then into smaller ones. We all went into the water, 
and were carried down the river over a half mile, but finally 
struck the bank where we could crawl out. By that time there 
were about a thousand people watching us, and when my feet 
struck ground again I waved my hand to them and they cheered 
me wildly. There was nothing too good for Old Sherrod in 
Plattsmouth that day! You see I was called "Old Sherrod" even 
then, in the Spring of 1866, and I have been Old Sherrod ever 
since. Everybody thought we would all drown, but neither I nor 
my cattle were any the worse for our bath, only chilly and un- 

Soon afterward I started for the "West again, and on my trip 
camped one night with John D. Lee at a place called Lone Tree. 
Lee was also on his way West. He was afterwards tried by court 
martial and shot for being implicated in the terrible Mountain 
Meadow Massacre. 

At Fort Laramie I went to work for the Government again, 
most of the time at hauling freight, or rather supplies, but some- 
times on scout duty or at putting up hay. Finally I went over to 
Laramie City, and took up a ranch on the Laramie river. Here 
I remained three or four years, with my ranch as headquartere, 
hauling supplies for different outfits and ties for the Union Pa- 
cific, in fact doing a little of everything and nothing very serious. 
Then I got the gold fever, and in 1875 had to go to the Blacl^ 
Hills. I did very well that summer, and made and brought back 
to my ranch about eight hundred dollars; spent the winter on 
the ranch, doing odd jobs, and returned to the Black Hills in the 
Spring of 1876, where I worked all summer and cleaned up about 
eiglit hiuidred dollars more. In the fall I started for my ranch 
near Laramie, but was held up by road agents in a gulch near 
the Cheyenne river and robbed, losing all I had earned. This Avas 
about the time Dunk Blackburn and his gang robbed the United 
States mail, and also killed Adolph Cooney, Sheriff of Albany 
County, Wyoming, as he was trs'ing to arrest Blackburn. Black- 
bum shot Cooney through the heart and escaped. Cooney was 
a squawman, and a pretty tough character himself. I don't think 
he was any })etter than Blackl)urn, a.s far as honesty went. He 
and his partner, another squawman by the name of Coffee, ran a 
saloon aiul gambling den at Fort Laramie, and I have known of 
both being implicated in several shady pieces of business. (An- 
other Squawman, named Reshaw, was killed there about the same 


time by Yellow Bear, an Indian Chief. Reshaw had married Yel- 
low Bear's sister, and after they had raised quite a family and 
accumulated considerable property he tired of the old squaw and 
sent h«* back to the agency. Yellow Bear killed Reshaw in re- 
venge. ) We had good lively times in Wyoming in those days ! 

Alter I got home that fall I decided to stay on my ranch 
awhile. It was about twenty miles from Laramie City, and made 
good headquarters. I took contracts for hauling ties, or freight 
and mining supplies, and did any other work that came my way. 
I had quite a few head of stock by that time, both cattle and 
horses, and also quite a family of children. Had got me a wife 
down in the Cherokee Nation. She was called the handsomest 
woman in the Cherokee Nation at the time I married her. 

There was no serious trouble with Indians until 1879, when 
the Utes went on the warpath. The officer in command of Fort 
Saunders sent for me, and when I reported for duty he set me to 
carrying dispatches between Fort Saunders and Hahn's Peak and 
Meeker, in Colorado. On my first trip out I met Bill Nye in North 
Park. He told me I could never get through, as the Park was 
alive with Indians in war paint and they would sure get me. 
' ' Why ' man alive, ' ' said he, * * They 've been chasing me all night, 
and took all my grub. If you've anything to eat give it to me, 
for I'm most starved." I had about four pounds of dried bo- 
logna, and told him to help himself out of my saddlebags. He had 
an old wagon and a little pair of broncos. I looked in the wagon 
and saw that he had a big old Sharp 's rifle a laying there all 
cocked, and with the ramrod sticking in the barrel of the gun. 
"Bill," said I to him, "uncock that gun or you are liable to go 
up in smoke any minute ! " " What ! ' ' said Bill, "is it cocked ? ' ' 

Then I asked him how many Indians he thought there were 
in the Park, and he declared there were at least a thousand, and 
said he wouldn't carry that dispatch of mine through for ten 
thousand dollars. "Well, Bill," said I, "it has got to go for a 
whole lot less money than that if I live ! ' ' And I bid him good- 
bye and started on. Had not traveled more than three or four 
miles when I sighted some wigwams, or Indian tepees, and at once 
became very cautious, remembering what Bill had told me. As 
I came closer, however, I could only locate one poor old squaw 
and a papoose, and the squaw must have been a hundred years 
old, judging from her looks. I rode up and spoke to her in her 
own language. She asked me where I was going, and I told her 
to Hahn 's Peak. Then she inquired if I had any meat, and when 
I said no she brought out a whole ham of dried venison and put it 
in my saddlebags. I asked her where the warriors were and she 
replied : "Way off ! Peance Creek. Maybe big fight ! ' ' She said 
she had been left behind to dry meat, and I saw that she had 
meat racks near just hung full of meat. The Indians make a 



meat, rack by taking strong crotched sticks and setting them into 
the ground, good and solid, in a square, and laying smaller poles 
across the frame ; then they hang the meat on the small poles, and 
when all are full a small fire is built in the square and kept going 
until the meat is well glazed over, so the flies won't bother it, and 
after this it is allowed to hang there until it is thoroughly dried. 
It is next packed in sacks or any other receptacle they may have 
handy, sometimes in dried skins, and put away for the winter. 
Meat prepared in this way is very good, and wholesome. 

After thanking the old squaw for the venison, I went on, and 
saw no one until I was passing through Red Park, when I came 
up with sixteen Indians. I stopped them and gave the sign for 
one of the to come to me, one rode over and I asked him if they 
wanted to fight and he replied: "No, no! Me good Injun! Me 
no want fight. Maybe big fight White River, Peyance creek heap 
big fight. Don't know. Me no fight." He asked me where I was 
going, and I told him "Big man, "Washington" I answered: 
"Yes.". He said "All right" and turned around and rode back 
to his band. They did not offer to interfere with me, and I reach- 
ed Hahn 's Peak that night. 

Found the women there all crying around, and when I in- 
quired the cause was told that they expected the Indians to come 
into town and massacre them all and burn their houses at any 

I That was the night Major Thornburgh and his command 
wero ambushed and massacred nn Peyance creek, near where the 
creek empties into White river.jA few days earlier the Indians 
had tied old man Lleeker to a tree and whipped him to death. He 
was the Indian Agent at Meeker, Colorado, which place took its 
name from him, ajid was a squawman. He had incurred their dis- 
pleasure, and in their estimation the whipping was the most de- 
grading death they could inflict, as it showed that he was not 
worthy of any other kind of death, not even burning at the stake. 

I went on over to Meeker the next day and delivered my 
message, received one in return and started back for Fort Saun- 
ders. IMade the trip back without much trouble. The news of 
the Thornburgh massacre preceded me, and I was sent right out 
again witli dispatches, for ]\Ieeker and instructions to get all the 
particulars possible. Before I reached Meeker this time I learned 
of several more depredations the Indians had committed. Among 
other things they had attacked the freight outfit of a man named 
Jordan, on Fortification creek, murdered the teamstere, stolen 
such of the supplies as they wanted, and tlien burned the re- 
mainder, wagons and all. They also set the forests on fire, and 
I liad several narrow escapes trying to get through. When I 
readied Hahn's Peak my clothes were almost entirely burned off 
me, and I was nearly dead from suffocation from the dense smoke 



and the heat. After I had rested up a little, and obtained all the 
information I could as to the Thomburgh and other troubles, and 
got me some new clothes, I started back for Fort Saunders, and 
had almost as hard a time on the return trip as I had coming over 
to Meeker. 

As soon as I reached Fort Saunders, I was sent right back 
as a guide for General Crook, who was on his way to Bear River 
after the Indians who were doing all the devilment. I left Gen- 
eral Crook on Bear River, and that was the last time I ever saw 
him. He was a very fine old man. 

It was claimed that some of the whites were to blame for this 
, Indian outbreak ; that the whites had driven off a lot of the In- 
dian 's horses, and the Indians had taken to the warpath to get 
revenge. It didn't take much of an excuse to bring on trouble 
with them devils. The Indians got most of the whites who had 
been monkeying with their horses, and lots of poor, innocent fel- 
lows had to suffer besides. That was the worst feature of the out- 

After leaving General Crook I returned to Fort Saunders to 
report. It was my duty always to report to the Commanding 
officer of the Post from which I started, as well as to deliver what- 
ever messages I was trusted with at their destination; or where 
I was sent as a Guide I was required to report to the officer who 
had sent me out, and deliver whatever messages if there were any. 
Messages were always written, and none were ever sent verbally, 
not even those of least importance. 

During my career as Guide and Scout I was sent several 
times across the desert from Fort Laramie or Fort Saunders to 
Fort Bridger with the stage or pony express, and sometimes on 
through to Salt Lake or Fort Duquesne. You must understand 
that a Guide and a Scout are not the same. I will endeavor to 
explain the difference. 

A Guide is a person who is supposed to know the road, route 
or trail that is to be traveled, and he stays right with his party 
or company to show them the road and help them to avoid bad 
places, and keep them from becoming lost. 

A Scout, on the other liand, is supposed to keep well in ad- 
vance of his company or party, and to be constantly on the 
watch, keeping a sharp lookout for danger on both sides of the 
road. They work in conjunction with each other. They report 
every little while to the company or the officer in command of 
the expedition, either that everything is all right or else that they 
have made some discovery that indicates danger. It is their duty 
to report in any event. 

On one occasion I was sent from Fort Saunders as guide or 
escort with the United States mail, and when we reached the 
Medicine Bow river we discovered the remains of an emigrant 


family wliich had been butchered by Indians so short a time be- 
fore our arrival that the bodies were still warm. Father, Mother 
and six children lay before us, the oldest child a lad of seventeen 
or eighteen, the next a girl of fifteen or so, and so on down to a 
babe of six or eight months. They had evidently been taken by, and were not able to defend themselves in the least. The 
poor mother had tried to save her baby as long as she could, for 
she had been dragged quite a distance, e^adently while they were 
trying to pull the child out of her arms. She had been struck 
three times in the head with a tomahawk, and the baby's head 
was literally chopped to pieces. We did not dare stop to inves- 
tigate, as we had the government mail, and had to keep going 
right along. When we reached Fort Halleck, at the foot of Elk 
Mountain, we reported what we had seen and continued our 
journey. Soldiers were at once sent out from the Fort to bury 
the dead and find the Indians if possible. Upon our return trip, 
we inquired as to the outcome of the matter, and were told that 
the soldiers had buried the family, but could not find a trace of 
the guilty Indians. I told them that if I had been allowed to stop 
I would have found the rascals, and they would have known they 
were found too ! That was the most brutal and inhuman but- 
chery I ever saw, and the Indians could have been located and 
punished if the soldiers had looked for them in earnest. 

On another occasion I was sent out from Fort Laramie with 
a train of supplies for Fort Halleck, including provisions and 
ammunition. We went through the Sybille Pass, in the spur of 
the Black Hills, and then on across the Laramie Plains to a point 
about two miles beyond the Seven Mile Lakes, where we camped 
for the night. As the water in the streauLS was high and running 
swiftly, I told the wagon boss that I would ride over ahead to 
Rock creek (now Rock River) and look for a good crossing, it be- 
ing the worst stream on the route. We had not seen any signs of 
Indians on the trip, but when you can't see any Indians or signs 
is just the time you must keep the sharpest watch for them, they 
l>eing likely to drop down on you without warning at any mo- 
ment. I advised the wagon boss to keep close watch for them, and 
went and hunted up a place to ford, so that we might get across 
early in the moniing while the water was at its lowest point. 
Then I returned to the camping ground for the night. When I 
came within sight of the place the whole outfit was in ruins. The 
Indians had evidently attacked the camp soon after I left, mas- 
sacred the men and stolen all of the stock. They had tied the 
wagon boss to a waf?on wheel, piled boxes and goods around him, 
and burned him alive. About half the wagons were also burned. 
They had emptied the flour out on the ground and carried the 
sacks away, and the ground was white with the flour in every di- 
rection. It was growing dusk, and T was a good twenty miles 


from Fort Halleck, with a tired horse, but I knew we had to 
reach the Fort in some way, and that night too ! I gave my horse 
a rubbing down and rested as long as I dared, and then we start- 
ed. Reached the Fort about midnight and reported the massacre. 

They gave me a fresh horse, and started me right back with 
a company of soldiers. They buried the dead, and gathered up 
such of the supplies as could be used, for they were about out of 
everything at the Fort. We could not find any Indians, and got 
none of the stock. We returned to the Fort, and a larger body 
of troops was sent out to scour the country for the Indians, but 
they did not find them. After resting a few days at Fort Hal- 
lack I returned to Fort Laramie. 

My next expedition was into the hills near Fort Laramie 
after wood for the post. Had an outfit of my own, and took 
along a man by the name of Brown, Bill Brown, we called him. 
Brown had been on the Cumberland when she was sunk by the 
Merrimac off Fortress Monroe in 1862. We had to go into the 
canyons in the hills to get the wood, and had been at work cut- 
ting and banking the stuff when a messenger brought us orders 
to return to the Fort at once, as the Indians were on the warpath, 
had stolen some forty head of government stock, and were killing 
everything they could catch. We ran over to where our stoek was 
feeding, and while we were on the watch we saw several Indians 
take after a wood hauler and run him into a swampy place. He 
called for help, but before we could get to him they had killed 
him and scalped him, and were gone. We had only seen three 
Indians, but the runner who came after us said the whole country- 
was alive with them. Soon afterward, while we were preparing to 
start for the Fort, we saw three of them making a sasha in to- 
wards our stock, and Bill said to me : ' ' Those rascals are going 
to get our stock. ' ' I replied : ' ' They '11 have to get more Indians 
than I have seen or I'll kill them before they get to the stock!" 
"By the Holy," said Bill, "I believe you could do it." 

I had recognized old Crazy Horse as the leader of the band, 
and I instructed Brown to keep cool and quiet, and let them come 
up closer. I wanted to get a shot at Crazy Horse and I didn't 
want to miss him either. Was pretty sure that he had recognized 
me, as he made three circles about us and kept clear out of gun 
shot, so that I had no chance of hitting him at all. I had had 
three fights with his band on as many different occasions but he 
would never get within range of my gun when he was on the war- 
path, and although I wanted to take a shot at the old fellow the 
worst way I wouldn't murder him. He and his band had mur- 
dered several good friends of mine, and had tried to get me, but 
I wanted to kill him in a fair fight. Had hoped this was my 
chance at last, but it was not to be, for he gave up trying to run 
off our stock and rode away. 


We took our stock and went in to the Fort as ordered. The 
ofificers were expecting the Fort to be attacked at any moment, 
and were all ready for the fight. We told them that the only In- 
dians we had seen were Old Chief Crazy Hoi'se and two of his 
braves, but they were confident the country was full of them, and 
ordered a double watch kept all around the Fort and every pre- 
caution taken against a sui*prise. Three brothers by the name of 
Darress were out somewhere and unaccounted for, and I spoke of 
going out to look for them, but the commanding officer said : " 0, 
they've been butchered long ago, and there's no use to send more 
men out to be massacred. It was nearly dark, but I told him I 
was going out alone to hunt them. He said that he had no right 
to stop me, but it was just foolhardy for a man to go out when 
he knew the country was alive with Indians. "Well," said I, 
"all the Indians I have seen were three, and old Crazy Horse 
was one of them, and he is the one Indian above all others that 
I want to meet!" He replied that "it was no use to talk to a 
fool!" Not to be outdone in compliments, I answered that "it 
would take more than three Indians to make me crawl into my 
hole and then try to pull the hole in after me !" With that we 
both turned and walked aw^ay in different directions, being 
rather warm under the collar and not in the mood for further 

As soon as it became dark I looked my gnns over to be cer- 
tain of their condition, got my fastest horse, and started for the 
canyons. I knew about where the boys had been working, and 
rode straight to their camp without being molested. Arrived 
there about midnight and found the boys asleep, and they had 
seen no signs of Indians and had no idea there were any around. 
I told them what the Fort people had said, and also what I had 
seen, and they concurred in my opinion that it was just Old 
Crazy Horse and a dozen or so of his most trusted braves out on 
a little excursion. 

Afterward, when the truth was learned, it was found that 
there were only three of the Indians in the vicinity. Old Crazy 
Horse and two of his band had caused the whole scare. There 
was one of the smartest of all the Indians, not even excepting Sit- 
ting Bull or any of their other great chiefs. An Indiaii Chief is 
to some extent like an army officer, but it is often the case that 
an under officer knows more in a minute than his supeiior could 
leai-n in a year if he were to study hard all the time, and I have 
found that the same applies to the Indian and in a greater degree. 
Old Cyr'/.x Horse was the worst Indian I ever saw or knew, in 
every way, and it takes a smart man, whether white or any other 
Qolor, to be really bad. 

On the day they tortured and killed that poor wood hauler in 
the hills we were only about a half mile from them in a straight 


line, but we had to go a roundabout way to reach the spot, and 
could not possibly get to him in time to do him any good. They 
cut pieces of his skin loose at one end, then took hold and pulled 
it off; hadn't the time to skin liim all over, but just in spots, then 
they shot him full of arrows and scalped him and left him to die 
when he got ready. They knew he could live but a short time, but 
on no account would they finish him and put him out of his mis- 
ery. I tell you when you can see the Indians torturing a poor fel- 
low and hear him calling for help, and you realize that you cannot 
reach him in time to be of any assistance, it gives you an awful 

When the officers at Fort Laramie found that Old Crazy 
Horse and two braves were responsible for all the devilment, and 
that there were no more Indians about, they swore that they 
would catch the old rascal if it took the whole United States Army 
to do it. But they didn 't get him, or any of the stock he had tak- 
en either, which confirms my statement that he was a wonder in 
the form of an Indian. 

Another experience I had with the Indian was on the Lara- 
mie Plains. I had put up a lot of hay, about two hundred tons, 
on my ranch on the Laramie River, and while busy with the hay 
my cattle strayed away from the ranch. On the morning after 
I finished the haying I took my saddle horse and started out to 
hunt up the cattle. Along in the middle of the afternoon, when 
about twenty miles from home, I rode up onto a little knoll to 
take a look around the country, and discovered great clouds of 
smoke rolling up in the direction of the ranch. I knew at once 
that the Indians were burning my ranch, and took out my watch 
to see if I could reach home before dark, found that I had about 
two hours of good daylight ahead in which to make the ride. Of 
course I expected to find my family all butchered, and I rode 
that twenty miles in one hour and thirty-five minutes. When I 
came within sight of the cabin and saw my wife and baby in the 
door I was perfectly happy, and hardly took note of the fact that 
all my hay and about half of my corrals were burned. I found 
two old prospectors at the house, they having taken refuge there 
from the Indians, and presume that was what saved my family, as 
they were both old timers and the Indians knew them, and knew 
that my house was built to stand a siege and that I always kept 
a good supply of guns and ammunition. 

While riding that dreadful twenty miles I had made up my 
mind that if the redskins had murdered my wife and children I 
would just camp on the trail as long as I lived, or as long as I 
eoukl find a live Indian. When I found my family were alive I 
was so overjoyed that the loss of the liay didn't bother me a little 
bit, and I did not remember that I had had nothing to eat since 
early morning until sometime afterward. I had my baby on my 
knee when I remembered, and turned to my wife and remarked 


that I was very hungry and asked : * ' Nancy, could you fix me up 
a little bite?" She replied : "We will have supper in jiLst a few 
minutes. ' ' I was never happier in my life than on that evening. 
Another time Billy Carmiehael and I went on a prospecting 
expedition up the north fork of the Chugwater river, and picked 
out a place to do a little work. We took off some tools, without 
unloading our packs, and went down along the creek to examine 
the nature of the ground. AVe concluded to make a test by going 
dowji to bed rock, and I went up onto the bank to get a pick and 
shovel, and discovered Indians in all directions. "Come on, 
Billy!" I shouted, "we are surrounded!" "Guess we'll have 
to move then" said Billy, and he was right. The Indians had 
made a sneak and surrounded the creek. We had no time to lose, 
so we jumped on our horses, threw our packs down for the In- 
dians, and started down that stream as fast as our horses could 
go, with the Sioux in their war paint hard after us. We got down 
the creek to where the north fork emptied into the main Chug- 
water, and instead of continuing we struck a buffalo trail that 
ran across through a little gulch, around the point of a hill and 
then back to the main creek or river. By that time we had quite 
a little start of the Indians, and it was such a fine place for an 
ambiLsh that I said, "Billy, let's give them half of our magazines 
anyway ! " " I '11 go you ! ' ' said Billy, so off our horses we jumped. 
We both had new Henry rifles, just received from St. Louis, and 
were anxious to consecrate them. The guns had cost, with one 
thousand rounds of ammunition, the sum of three hundred dol- 
lars each. We had j^^st time to get ready when here came the 
Sioux, two abreast along the trail, down the bank toward the 
creek. We gave them eight shots apiece, and of all the sights I 
ever saw that was the prettiest! We had piled up Indians and 
ponies as high as a covered wagon ! We jumped on our horses 
and rode off, and they never tried to follow us any farther. 

That night we camped at a little grove on top of a hill above 
the head of Horse Creek, almost due east of Laramie City; had 
to make a dry camp, and without anything to eat, as the Indians 
had our packs containing ever\^thing we had along in the shape 
of provisions. When we awoke in the morning we were decidedly 
hungry, aud Billy said to me, "Jim, we've got to have some meat, 
so you go one way around this little grove and I'll go the other, 
and one of us ought to get a deer." So off we started, and I had 
gone over luilf way around the grove without seeing anything to 
shoot at, when I hear Billy's gun crack. It seemed to be quite 
close, and I felt sure that he had found something to eat, as he 
vers' seldom mi.ssed a mark, so T st<irted to go to him. Had only 
travelled a short, distance when I saw a horse move his head in the 
brush ; noticed that the animal 's ears were split, and dropped as 
tliough I had been shot, for I well knew that there was an Indian 


there laying for one of us, and could not tell which he was after. 
Was watching closely to see the Indian move when Billy's gun 
cracked again, and Billy stepped out from some brush near by 
and remarked, ' ' I Ve got him, Jim ! ' ' Sure enough, he had got 
the Indian, right through the neck. 

Billy had killed a fine big buck deer with his first shot, and 
after making sure that there were no more Indians about we 
skinned the animal, built a fire, broiled some venison and ate our 
breakfast. Then we set out after the horse the Indian had ridden, 
and it took the two of us two hours to catch him, but he was a 
dandy; we never could have caught him if we had not good 
horses of our own. I sold him in Omaha afterwards for $205.00, 
and the purchaser disposed of him immediately for $325.00. He 
was a Kentucky bred horse, and that Indian had either butchered 
some poor emigrant and taken his horse or else had stolen the 
horse in some way from some emigrant train. 

Leaving our dry camp, we took what meat we could conveni- 
ently carry and our Injin, as we called him, and went on over the 
plains onto the Big Laramie River and to old Johnnie Chambers' 
ranch. We discovered poor Johnnie lying in front of his cabin, 
killed and scalped. He had evidently been out prospecting and 
had just come home and laid his gun on the ground while he took 
his bucket to go after water, and some wandering Indian had 
sneaked and picked up the gun and shot Johnnie with it. He was 
given no show, or he would have left his mark behind him when 
he went. He had apparently been killed the day before. We 
tried to follow the trail of the Indian or Indians, but it had rained 
the night before and we had to give it up. We buried poor 
Johnnie, and then went on to the Little Laramie and prospected 
for awhile. We still had our dead Injin 's horse with us, and I 
then took him down to Omaha and sold him for $205.75. Upon my 
return Billy and I took the contract to put up the hay for Fort 
launders, and after completing this work took another contract to 
haul ties for the Union Pacific railroad. While \ve were working at 
the ties we went into Laramie City one night, and found the 
place in a turmoil of excitement. A gang of tough characters 
calling themselves graders had been doing a lot of dirty work 
around town, sandbagging, robbing, fighting or killing people 
almost every night, and the ciitzens had organized a Vigilance 
Committee to clean them out a little and put a stop to some of it. 
That night the Vigilantes captured and hung four of the worst 
of the toughs, and would have finished up more of them if they 
had been found, but they had been warned and hid out until they 
could get out of town. The four men hung were Big Ed, Acie 
Moore, Jack Hayes and another known only as Shorty, and I be- 
lieve he was the worst of the bunch. These were probably not 
their right names, but were the names they went by, which ans- 
wered all purposes in those days. 


On another trip which I made into Laramie City while en- 
gaged in getting out ties a tie chopper gave me an order for a grub 
stake, and I bought the stuff for him. On my way back I drove 
up to his cabin to deliver the goods, and there he lay at his hack 
block, right m front of his cabin door, with his head cut off clean. 
His head lay on one side of the block and his body on the other, 
and near by was a big broad axe covered with blood. 

One time the boys got up a dance at the tie camps. They 
brought some women out from Laramie City, and all were having 
a great time when some one started a row and soon the guns be- 
gan to pop. Fist tights were rare in them days — it was always 
gims or knives. ]\Iatters were getting pretty lively when the no- 
torious Jack Watkins pulled his gun and took a hand. His gun 
missed fire three times in succession, something Jack said it had 
never done before and the fellow at whom he was shooting or 
someone else in the crowd got Jack in the hip. He got out of the 
room in some way and ran around my stable, and hid in my hay- 
stack, where he spent the night. In the morning he did not show 
up, and the boys were all afraid to go to the stack to see whether 
he was dead or alive, for his gun might not miss fire again and he 
was known to be a dead shot, especially if he got the idea into his 
head that anyone was after him. Finally I went out, and dis- 
covered him just crawling out of my haystack. "Hello, Jack," 
I said, "you're not dead yet, are you?" "No," he replied, "but 
I got into it a little last night, and am pretty well used up this 
morning." I took him up to the house and dressed his wound, 
and kept him there until he recovered. He was only laid up a 
short time. 

Along that summer he got mixed up in some trouble and 
shot both the sheriff and the under-sheriff, and made his escape. 
The county offered a reward of five-hundred dollars to anyone 
who would bring Jack Watkins in, dead or alive. We told him 
they must think men were getting cheap around here to go out 
after Jack Watkins for five hundred dollars ! Jack went over 
around J\Iedicine Bow and spent the winter, and they never even 
tried to go after him or take him. The officers were not very 
badly hurt, and soon recovered. They didn't bother Watkins 
any, and so he left the countn^ the next spring. I never heard 
of liim afterwards. He had killed four or five men, but had al- 
ways treated me right and was veiy good-hearted until they got 
him started in some way; then he was bad. I did quite a lot of 
hauling for him at different times, and we never had a quarrel. 
I seen him take quite a little talk rather than start anything, and 
every time that I ever saw him in trouble someone else had started 
it. Am satisfied that someone had doctored his gun at that dance 
and then started a fight for the purpose of killing Jack, but the 
job was a failure. 


[ On my first trip to Custer City, in the Black Hills, we started 
from- Laramie City with quite an outfit, and got along nicely un- 
til we were pretty well over into the hills at a stream they called 
Old Woman's Fork. There werei old rifle pits all along the road 
or trail, for it was nothing more. We went into camp, forming 
our wagons into a corral, with a little Mil as part of our defense. 
It was always necessary to guard against outlaws as well as In- 
dians, and we took all the precautions possible. Suddenly we dis- 
covered quite a large band of Indians circling round our camp at 
a distance. They appeared to be trying to ascertain our strength. 
There was only one saddle horse among our stock, owned by a 
fellow who had ridden the animal all the way through from Lar- 
amie City. I asked him to take a flag of truce and go ouc and 
find out if the Indians were on the warpath, as they were so far 
away that we could not tell, but he refused. "Well, then," said 
I, ' 'get off the horse and I '11 go. " " No, indeed ! ' ' said he, ' ' Sup- 
pose I let you take my horse out and them Indians kill him or 
take liim away from you, who would pay me for him?" Then 
I lost my patience and ordered him to get ofi! or I would pull him 
off. He gave up the horse and I took a flag of truce and rode out 
toward the Indians and gave them the sign. One of them rode 
over and met me, and the following parley took place : ' ' You on 
warpath?" "No, me no fight, not now!" "You good Injin?" 
' ' Good Injin now. ' ' I then asked him where they were going and 
he replied : ' ' Wachapomany, Big Chief house. ' ' He meant af- 
ter flour at the Indian Agency. ' ' How long will you be gone ? ' ' 
"Three sleeps," said he, "and back." He then asked, "where 
you go?" and I told him "to Custer City." He shook his head 
and said : ' ' Heap paleface to there. Maybe no good. ' ' Then the 
Indian turned and rode away, and they did not molest us in any 
way. Am satisfied that we escaped on account of our precautions 
and our defense, and that nothing else prevented our being mas- 
sacred that night. 

We went on to Custer City, and worked around there for 
several months, until we were about out of everything and had 
to get over to Laramie or Cheyenne after grub. There was never 
any large supply at Custer, and they were Yery short at this time. 
We could kill all the meat we wanted, but in the winter season the 
game was poor and as tough as leather. Of course we were not in 
any danger of starving, but there was no luxury about it. It 
was a tough settlement, and men were being robbed or murdered 
almost every night, and during the last month we were there three 
or four murders and robl)eries often occurred during twenty-four 
hours. It was a good place to get out of, and we formed a kind 
of company of those who wanted to leave, got ready, and started 
out in March. I liad quite a bunch of fellows with me, mostly 
prospectors and old hunters, and we were to take the lead, then 


there was a German and his wife named Metz, and a woman by 
the name of Sallie jVIosby. Metz and his wife had a bakery in- 
Laramie, and had opened another in Custer City, but had run 
out of flour and were gomg out to get some and to look after their 
Laramie shop. Mrs. IMosby was going out with them to attend to 
some business for her husband while he continued working. These 
people were to follow next behind the leaders of the train, and af- 
ter them a lot of neg:i*oes. The Indians were pretty bad about that 
time, and I warned IMetz before we started that he must keep close 
up to us, as we were almost sure to have trouble before we trav- 
elled far. As we neared Red Canyon, a sort of pass through the 
Buttes, I noticed Indians on both sides of the road ahead of us, 
and back from the road a little. I stopped and warned the others 
as they came up, and told them that if we ever got through that 
canyon we would have to do it on the dead run and stop for 
nothing, and I urged Metz again to keep us with them without 
fail. He replied : ' You go ahead. I know the road. ' ' 

We went ahead as fast as my team could run, but he lagged 
behind and would not try to keep up, his horses were as good as, 
if not better than, my own, and there was no excuse for his not 
keeping up, it was just stubbornness. The canyon was about six 
miles long, and we ran through at our best speed, and had slowed 
up to let our horses get their wind a little when two of the negroes 
came running forward with one horse. They said the Indians had 
attacked the train and killed Metz and his wife and ]\Irs. IMosby 
and some of the negroes, they didn't know how many, that they 
had saved themselves by cutting the one horse loose and mount- 
ing him, leaving the harness. We hurried on to the stage station, 
then only about three miles ahead at a point where the sta^e 
road crossed the Cheyenne river, and camped there that night. 
Next morning we went back and buried the dead. j\Irs. Mosby, 
or Sally Mosby, as she was generally known, had put up a most 
desperate fight. She was the strongest woman I ever knew, and 
not afraid of anything or anybody. She had fought those fiends 
from the road clear down to the bottom of the canyon, a distance 
of some fifty or seventy-five yards, before they killed her. From 
the appearance of the bushes and the ground they fought 
through, she had killed or crippled a number of the Indians. She 
had two six-shooters when we found her, one in each hand, and 
both were empty and covered with blood where she had used them 
as clubs. I believe that right on that spot was fought one of tlie 
mast desperate battles that was ever fought on earth by anyone, 
with the greatest odds, and it was by a woman. When the news 
of her terrible death went back to her husband in Custer City he 
went raving mad, and never recovered his reason. 

After burying the dead we returned to tlie stage station, and 
leaving there made a drive of thirty-five miles and camped at 


night on Indian Creek. It was about the coldest night that I ever 
"^-experienced. I had to stand guard over my horses all night to 
hold them and keep them on the move so that they and I would not 
freeze to death. Sixteen soldiers were frozen to death that night 
a little north of Custer City. We pulled out of there next day, 
and continued on over to the North Platte River. About five 
miles from Fort Laramie we found a team of horses floundering 
in the river, they having broken through the ice. We went to 
work in'earnest to get them out and look for the driver. He must 
have gone down the river under the ice, for we found no trace of 
him. We got the team out, rubbed them iintil we got the blood to 
circulating so they could travel, and then took them on to Fort 
Laramie. They knew there to whom the horses belonged, and 
the officer in commqiid said he would see that they were delivered 
to the man 's family.] 

Along in the fallowing summer, 1875, an Indian who was 
friendly with the officers at Fort Laramie came in and reported 
that Old Crazy Horse was going on the warpath again. The gov- 
ernment had made four treaties with him, and he broke them 
every time as soon as the grass was good. The officer called me 
into his quarters, and said to me : ' ' Sherrod, I want you to go 
with a company of soldiers over near Fort Robinson to a place 
called White Clay Island, and bring Old Crazy Horse into Fort 
Laramie. Arrest him if it can be done without too much risk, 
but I want him brought in, dead or alive. You can take Big Lit- 
tle Man with you as a pilot if you want him." Big Little Man 
was the Indian who had brought the word that Old Crazy Horse 
was mobilizing his band at White Clay Island. I told the officer 
that I didn't need the Indian, as I knew the place well, but that 
he could go along if he wanted to. The officer told Big Little 
Man that it was not necessary for him to go, as Sherrod knew the 
place, but that he might do as he pleased. The Indian thought 
a moment and then said : ' ' Me go, all right ! ' ' 

Our company was formed of the best men the officer and I 
could pick out, and they were mounted on the best of his horses. 
We went to White Clay Island, and had Old Crazy Horse sur- 
rounded and captured alive before he knew we were in the coun- 
try. We started back toward Fort Laramie, and were moving 
along without trouble when suddenly and without the least warn- 
ing the old rascal made a lunge at Big Little Man and almost sev- 
ered one of his arms with a big knife which he had concealed on 
his person, and which we had overlooked in searching him. Two 
soldiers were walking right behind Old Crazy Horse, and when 
he made the lunge they ran him through with their bayonets, but 
they were not quick enough to save Big Little Man from an awful 
injury. Old Crazy Horse died in about two hours, long before 
we reached Fort Laramie, but we took him on in and delivered the 


goods a-s ordered. The commanding officer never expected us to 
bring him in alive, I am sure, but he did not anticipate his being 
killed in the way he was. 

Big Little Man was a Sioux Indian, and belonged to the 
same tribe or band a.s Old Crazy Horse, but the officers and sol- 
diere liad been very kind to him on several occasions, and this 
lead to his betrayal of Crazy Horse ; then he said he was tired of 
going on the warpath every time Old Crazy Horse saw fit to call 
on him to do so. He truly said "Crazy Horse heap bad Injin." 

Crazy Horse was the only Indian I ever saw that I was really 
afraid of. I believe he was the best Indian General that ever 
lived. He knew every bugle call and order as well as did any of 
the soldiei-s, and that alone made him a very dangerous customer. 
Old Spotted Tail was a veiy bad actor, but he was not in it with 
Crazy Horse. I knew the old devil very well, and the White Clay 
Island affair was the fourth time I had been mixed up with him. 
He had out-generaled me every time, to the extent that I could 
never get close enough to get a shot at him before he made his get- 
away. He would come up to the Forts and steal the stock whenev- 
er he wanted to, and even when we recovered the stock we were not 
able to get him. When the Government arranged treaties with 
liim lie would either come into the Fort himself or was brought 
in under a flag of truce, never by outwitting, surrounding or sur- 
prising him until we captured him at White Clay Island. Even 
then ho displayed his shrewdness, as he went with us quietly and 
made not the least resistance until he made the lunge at Big Lit- 
tle Man. He did that so unexpectedly and so quickly that it has 
always been a mysteiy to me that lie did not succeed in killing 
that Indian. He was very angry, and certainly intended to kill 
him out of revenge. 

Another of my pleasure trips occurred while the Union Pa- 
cific railroad was building through Carbon County, Wyoming. 
Tlie Indians were in the habit of harassing the graders and track 
men at every opportunity, and led them a hard life. They had 
reached a point where the grade was to pass through a natural pass 
in the little range or spur of hills just west of Rawlins (now in- 
side the yard limit, and known as The Cut) . The Indians de- 
clared that the Big Smoke, as they called the locomotive, should 
not go through there. By the way of preventing the completion 
or rather extension of the grade ,they were stealing the horses 
and mules used by the gTaders, killing a man every day or two, 
and attempting to frighten them. A man named Bojde 
was in charge of the grading camp at the pas.s, and he appealed 
to the Government for protection. I was sent up there with a 
company of soldi ere to rout the Indians out and put a stop to 
their dirty woi-k, and tiy to recover some of the stock they had 
stolen. When we arrived at Boyle's camp we found that the In- 
dians had taken the last of his mules a day or two before, and 


had just butchered three of his men. We went right on, and the 
Indians attacked us in the cut or pass, but it was only a hundred 
yards or so through and we pushed straight ahead, knocking 
down Indians and ponies in great shape. We followed them for 
fifteen or twenty miles beyond the cut, but could not tell whether 
or not we had killed a single Indian, as whenever a pony dropped 
they would pick up the rider and carry him away with them. 
The soldiers were not able to find any of the mules the redskins 
had stolen from Boyle, and he never got any of them. They had 
been driven clear out of the country. Having run the Indians 
off, and being of no further use to the graders, we went back to 
the tie camps. There we worked for the Spraig & Davis Tie Com- 
pany until the outfit went into bankruptcy and beat us fellows 
out of about $185,000.00. I lost $11,646.00 myself. I followed 
them back to York State and sued them for the money, but lost 
the suit and had the costs and expenses to pay, amounting to an- 
other thousand. They claimed in Court that the property was 
all private holdings, and that as my claim was against a company 
I could not recover from individuals. While I was satisfied that 
the individual property had been bought with our money, we 
could ont prove it, and were beaten. I came home to Wyoming a 
little wiser than when I went away, although with less money 
than I had when I started after them fellows. 

While stationed at Fort Laramie one summer and fall sever- 
al of us went out into the hills on a scouting expedition, and upon 
our return brought in with us some branches of choke cherry, 
which was very plentiful at that time, growing in all the canyons. 
The branches were loaded with fine, ripe cherries, and the boys 
at the Fort enjoyed them immensely. The Old Man, as we called 
the commanding officer, inquired why them cherries wouldn't 
make good cherry bounce. "They would," said I, " the finest 
cherry bounce in the land." "Well," said he, "I've got plenty 
of good whiskey, and if you boys will go out and get the cherries 
I'll have a barrel of whisky rolled out, and we'll make a barrel 
of cherry bounce." We were more than willing, so he detailed 
ten of us to go after the cherries, and we started out up the Chug- 
water on horseback. The fellow in the lead was riding a little 
wild bugger of a mule, and when we had reached a point pretty 
well up into the hills and were following along an old buffalo 
trail we rounded a short bend in the trail, and all of a sudden 
that mule gave a snort, wheeled about, and came very near run- 
ning over us all. As soon as we recovered from our surprise we 
looked to see what had scared the animal, and there right in the 
trail ahead of us was one of the biggest cinnamon bears I ever 
saw, and he was picking cherries as unconcernedly as if there was 
nobody in the country. The worst of it was that not one of us 
had a giui of any kind. We knew there were no Indians about, 
and never thought of needing a gun. There was nothing for us 


to do but hunt another place to pick cherries, and leave Mr. Bru- 
in to enjoy his feast in peace. 

We turned back and went up another draw, got our cher- 
ries, and returned to the Fort. When we told the bear episode a 
Frenclmian by the name of Pappan, who had been wanting to 
tackle a big bear for some time, jumped up and cried ' ' I get that 
bear!" We didn't enter any protest, as most of us had met Mr. 
Bruin before and knew something of his characteristics, and we 
had only the old muzzle loading guns then, it being before the 
breechloaders came out. So the Frenchman took his old gun and 
his hunting knife and started off for the hills. We fixed our cher- 
ries, got the l)arrel of whiskey out, took out one head, and were 
putting the clierries into it when someone wondered if the French- 
man would find the bear and if he would tackle him if he did find 
him. We were talking the matter over at our work when the poor 
Frenchman came crawling in, and of all the sights I ever seen he 
was the worst. His clothes were literally torn to pieces, and he 
looked as though he had been dipped into a river of blood. It was 
just all he could do to drag himself along, and as we rashed to 
his aid he exclaimed, "I kill him, but he give me big fight!" He 
next asked if some of us wouldn't go out and bring the bear in, 
and four of us took buffalo horees (horses used for caii*ying in 
buffalo meat) and went out to the hills, and there sure enough 
was Mr. Bruin, dead as a doornail. We skinned him and cut him 
into four quarters, and had about all we could do to get him to 
the Fort. The General or ' ' Old Man ' ' gave the Frenchman fifty 
dollars for the hide. 

Then we got Pappan to tell us about the scrap. He said he 
went right out to the hills where we told him we had seen Mr. 
Bruin, and ' ' dar he vas. ' ' He up with his old muzzle loader and 
blazed away and hit him, but not enough to do any damage to 
speak of. Of course the bear came right at him, and as he had 
no time to reload his gun he clubbed it, thinking he could knock 
Mr. Bruin down with it. He said "That bear just knock the gun 
out of my hands, push me down and jump on me, and try to chew 
me up ! " Pappan realized that he would have to do something 
and (lo it in a hurry, so he managed to get his knife out and be- 
gan to slash at the bear, which was right over him as he lay on 
the ground. It took the third slash to let the bear's insides out, 
and they dropped down on the Frenchman, almost smothering 
him witli the blood. He could not force the bear off him, and it 
still chewed at him as long as it could hold up its head. Soon it 
rolled over, and then he made his way back to the Fort. He was 
quite badly chewed up, but not seriously injured, as it was the 
blood from the bear that had made him look so terrible. The Ser- 
geant fi.xcd liiin up and kept his wounds dressed, and he was all 
right in a few davs. 


After we took care of the bear, we went to work at our cherry 
bomice again. Every time we put a few cherries into the barrel 
we would have to take out some whiskey to make room for them, 
and the whiskey had to be used, as it was too good to waste. By 
the time we completed the cherry bounce there were not over a 
half dozen strictly sober soldiers in the whole outfit. I never 
drank, either at that or any other time, and was therefore in a 
position to see and enjoy the fun to the utmost. The next morn- 
ing- there were just thirty of them soldiers in the guardhouse ! 

A few days after the cherry bounce party an old prospector 
came into the Fort and reported that he had found a bear's den 
where there were some cubs, and he asked me to go with him and 
catch the cubs. He led the way to the den, and the cubs were in 
there all right. ' ' How are we to get them out of there ? " I asked. 
"0, I'll show you how," said he, "that is easy." He got some 
pitch pine and split the ends up very fine, and then said to me : 
"Now you take and light these fagots and go ahead into the den, 
and I will hold my gun right over your shoulder and as soon as the 
old bear shows up I will kill her dead. " " Yes, ' ' I replied, ' ' but 
suppose you should happen to miss killing her ? Wliat then ? " "I 
won't miss her" said he. "Well," said I, "suppose you carry 
the torch and let me do the shooting. I have as good a gun as 
yours, and I know I'm as good a shot." "That's all right," he 
replied, "but I found the den." Then I asked him what I was 
to get out of the job, and he said I should have one of the cubs. 
' ' Oh, well, ' ' said I. " I will do better by you than that ! I will 
give you both of the cubs and throw the old bear in and you can 
hold your own torch. ' ' I was quite a little bit mad at his imper- 
tinence, and I turned around and went back to the Fort and left 
him with his bear den. He stayed and watched the den for two 
or three days, and finally the old bear ventured out and he killed 
her. Then he came to the Fort after me to go and help him get the 
cubs out of the den, and said we would bring them to the Fort 
and make pets of them. Instead of two cubs, the usual number, 
we found three, and captured them all, although they fought 
like little demons. The little whelps bit and scratched to beat the 
band, but we finally succeeded in tying them tight and solid and 
carried them to the Fort. We kept them there quite a while, 
but as they grew up they became such a nuisance that we sold 
them to a New Yorker for sixty dollars and went out of the bear 
business for that season. They were taken to one of the geologi- 
cal (zoological?) gardens down east. 

(To be continued in April Annals) 



A Biographical Sketch by Her Daughter 
Mrs. Wallace C. Bond 

Sarah Frances, the sixth child of Millie and James Neely 
was born August 16th at the little town of Franklin, Kentucky 
on the Tennessee line. Franklin is eighteen miles from Bowl- 
ing Green and Sheriff Beauchamp, Sarah's maternal grandfa- 
ther, is said to have apprehended many eloping couples. 

Her experiences as a pioneer began when her parents with 
their children, herself a baby only a few weeks old, travelled 
overland to their new home in Carlinville, Illinois. Their outfit 
consisted of a carryall drawn by two horses in which the mother 
and children rode, an ox-cart for their furniture and belongings 
and two horses ridden by her father and oldest brother. An 
uncle drove the ox-cart, exchanging places with her father from 
time to time. Her mother, I am told, had cooked as much food 
as was possible for them to take already prepared, including 
cakes and cookies made with honey, instead of sugar as they 
would keep moist for a longer time. There were practically no 
roads and the journey must have been a long and tedious one. 

Relatives living in Carlinville helped the Neely family to 
get settled and here my mother passed very happily the earliest 
years of her life. How often have I heard her speak of her 
delight in the woods, and in "Rooky Branch" the little stream 
that wondered through them, showing that deep love of nature 
that was always one of her strongest traits. 

"When only eleven years old she lost her mother by the 
dread disease, cholera, and from that time on was mothered by 
her oldest sister, Malinda, who at the age of fourteen, had mar- 
ried John McCauley Palmer of Carlinville a young lawyer. 
When first married he gave lessons to his household, consisting 
of his wife, his sister and two brothers, the wife being the 
youngest of his pupils. The Palmers not onlj'' took the younger 
Neely children into their hospital home but added a boy and 
girl wlio were wards of Mr. Palmer to their own large family. 

James Neely married again and died twelve years later of 
the same disease tliat had stricken his first wife. 

When twelve years of age, Sarah Neely Avas baptized in 
iMacoupin Creek, near Carlinville and from that time on Avas a 
faithful member of the Baptist Church. 

She attended what seems to us now so quaintly called a 
"Young Ladies Seminary." 


That Sarah had something of the spirit of the modern wo- 
man is proved by the fact that she had set her heart on going 
out to Iowa to teach school. She went on a visit to relatives in 
Keokuk and planned to stay, but Mr. Palmer did not believe in 
the women of his family working for a living. He wrote to her 
to come home and the dream of independence was never re- 

Then came the stressful period of the Civil "War. Her old- 
est brother was wounded at Shiloh and a younger brother en- 
dured the horrors of Andersonville Prison. Her brother-in-law 
was Major-General of the Illinois Volunteers in 1862 and Corps 
Commander under Sherman in 1864. 

It was after the war that she met her future husband, Ed- 
ward Archibald Slack. He had completed his education at the 
Chicago University, after serving through the war and then 
came to Carlinville, working in the office of a relative of the 

After the war General Palmer moved his family to Spring- 
field. He was elected Governor of the State in 1869. 

In 1870, Mr. Slack came from far off Wyoming territory to 
claim his bride. Sarah dreaded parting from her sister Ellen, 
so near her own age that they were often taken for twins, but 
perhaps the hardest wrench was in leaving her small nephew, 
Louis Palmer, whom she idolized. 

She was married in the Executive Mansion at Springfield 
on September 22nd, 1870. The couple went to St. Louis on 
their honey-moon, and then to a log-cabin in the crude mining 
settlement of South Pass, Wyoming Territory where Mr. Slack 
published a weekly newspaper, was interested in mining, and as 
Clerk of the District Court, performed the unique duty of 
swearing in his mother, Mrs. Esther Morris, as Justice of the 

The Indians in the vicinity of South Pass at that time were 
supposed to be friendly too much so, perhaps, as I have heard 
my mother tell about the uncomfortable feeling it gave her 
when they flattened their noses against the window-pane and 
peered in at her while she was occupied with her house-hold 

On October 26th, 1871, a son, Charles Henry, was born and 
in December of that year, Mrs. Slack, with the tiny baby in her 
arms, made the long trip from South Pass to the railroad by 
sleigh, joining her hus])and in Laramie. The bal)y boy, all the 
more precious because his big brown eyes recalled the little 


nephew loft in Springfield, onl}^ lived ten months. This deep 
sorrow proved the worth of the new friends and neighbors, so 
closely knit together in these Frontier Communities. 

A daughter named Esther born in 1873 only lived five 

In 1876 the Slacks moved to Cheyenne w-here Mrs. Slack 
resided for the rest of her life, and where her two daughters, 
still living, were born. 

One of the haj^piest memories of my childhood is that of 
my mother reading to me after I was in bed, the Uncle Kemus 
Stories of Joel Chandler Harris. 

As colored "help" w^as common in Illinois, the darkey dia- 
lect was familiar to her, and her understanding of the old-fash- 
ioned negro and her keen sense of humor, made the stories a 
delight to both of us. My mother was a quiet, reserved woman 
and one had to knoAv her intimately to appreciate the sense of 
humor which was one of her most endearing qualities. 

She was devoted to her church and her family and while 
her retiring disposition prevented her from taking an active 
part in politics, she was keenly interested in civic affairs and 
regarded casting her ballot as a serious duty. 

My father, her companion for thirty-seven vears, died in 

The last six years of my mother's life were a time of pain 
and helplessness, but her fine mind was never clouded. Her 
bible and the beautiful poetry with which her mind was stored 
were her consolations, and she kept her interest in people and 
events until the last. She passed from this world on March 
2nd, 1921. 

Jos. Irving Fort Laramie, Oct. 19th, '57. 

For W. M. F. Magraw 


Please pay to Messrs. "Ward & Geary or order Twenty 
one 23/100 Dolls for the following articles furnished on my 

50 lbs. flour (a) 20e $10.00 

10 lbs. Sugar @ 33y3c 3.33 

1 bar Soap 40 

30 lbs. Bacon @ 25c 7.50 

Credit F. W. Lander, 

Chf. Eng'r. &c &c 
From the John Hunton collection in The State Historical Department. 



Report of Assistant Surgeon J. H. Patzki, United States Army, 

made in 1870. 

(In tlie Coutant Collection of Notes) 

Fort Fetterman is situated on a plateau on the south bank 
of the North Platte River, about 800 yards from and 130 feet 
above the stream ; latitude, 42 degrees 8' north ; longitude, 28 4' 
west ; elevation above the Gulf of Mexico, about 5,250 feet. The 
plateau rises from the river bottom by steep, almost precipitous, 
bluffs, and then rising gradually, merges into the Black Hills, 
fourteen miles distant. 

/ The nearest post, and the one through which all communica- 
tion with the East passes, is Fort Laramie, eighty miles to the 

/Cheyenne, on the Union Pacific Railroad, is about one hun- 
dred and seventy miles to the southeast by the way of Fort Lara- 
mie, and one hundred and forty-five miles by a more direct route, 
not touching that post. Medicine Bow is the nearest station on 
the Union Pacific Railroad, about ninety miles to the south. j 

In the spring of 1864 the gold excitement in Montana be- 
gan to attract emigration. The first train, of about three hundred 
wagons, guided by "Old Joe," was met at Deer Creek (about 
twenty miles west) by the Sioux under Red Cloud, who appeared 
well disposed, but warned the travelers not to go east of the Big 
Horn Mountains. They followed his advice, and reached Mon- 
tana unmolested. But other trains preferred the more direct 
route east of the Big Horn, and the Indians immediately resented 
this encroachment upon their domains, and began active hostili- 
ties. To protect emigration along this "Powder River Route," 
Forts Reno, Phil Kearney, and C. F. Smith were established 
north of the North Platte River and finally Fort Fetterman on 
the south bank, where a ferry was established. The first troops 
arrived here July 19, 1867, (Companies A, C, H, and I, Fourth 
Infantry, under Maj. William McE. Dye.) 

The reservation begins at a point five miles due east of the 
flagstaff ; thence running due north one mile ; thence due west 
ten miles ; thence due south six miles ; thence due east ten miles ; 
thence due north five miles, to the point of beginning ; containing 
an area of sixty square miles. (General Orders No. 34, series 
1867, Headquarters Department of the Platte.) Besides this 
there are reservations for hay and for wood. The former com- 
prises "the bottom lands adjacent and pertaining to Deer Creek 
from its mouth to the foot of the first high range of hills." The 
latter, "that part of the north range of the Black Hills running 
almost parallel to and about fourteen miles south of the North 


Platte River, and that part of said range (including north and 
south slopes) which lies between Box Elder Creek and its trib- 
utary known as Little Box Elder." (General Orders No. 480, 
series 1870, Headquarters Department of the Platte.) 

The Black Hills furnish fine pine timber, the logs being cut 
by enlisted men and converted at the post, by two saw-mills, into 
building material. Of the value of the hay-reservation, the fact 
may give some idea that in 1861 Prof. F. Y. Hayden, while an 
assistant to Capt. W. F. Reynolds, United States Engineers, en- 
camped on the creek during a portion of the winter, and that 
"the stock, nearly two hundiTd horses and mules, were wintered 
very nicely in the valley, without a particle of hay or grain, with 
only the gi-ass which they gathered from day to day." A Mar- 
man settlement occupied this valley until broken up by the ex- 
pedition of 1854. Fuel and hay are at present furnished under 


In writing the history of Fort Fetterman and the North 
Platte coimtry I can only account for events that transpired be- 
tween '73 and '83 from my own personal knowledge. 

Fort Fetterman was established in 1868 after the govern- 
ment had abandoned the entire coiuitiy north of the Platte to 
the IMontana line in a treaty with the Sioux and from that time 
until the ending of the Sioux wars of 1876 but \ery few white 
men ventured across the Platte. 

The site chosen was at the confluence of the La Prelle creek 
and the Platte on a high plateau whose elevation is probably 100 
feet above the river and had no fortifications other than what 
Nature provided, not a single piece of artillery' save the "Sunset 
Gun" until 1875 when the War Department ordered and sent 
a"Gat]in Gun." 

The luml)er used was prepared on the Goverinnent reserve 
that lay at the base of Laramie Peak on the north side on the 
head waters of the La Bonte, where the Government installed and 
operated a Saw Mill. 

Soldiers operated the mill sending in the products by mule 
teams uiulor heavy escort for the Indians were frequent callers on 
the scmth side of the Platte. 

(The general couree of the North Platte river through this 
sectihn of the country is from northwest to and the old 
Overland stage road runs parallel for a distance of one hiuidred 
and thirty miles from Laramie to Casper but does not pass 
throligh Fetterman, pa.ssing about nine miles to the south.] 

*^omewhere between Horse Shoe and La Bonte, the ly^ad di- 
vided, the one to the right cros.sed the Platte at a point known as 


Bridger's Ferry and continued up the Platte to Casper where the 
two roads joinedA 

This road on the north side divided again somewhere in the 
vicinity of Fetterman, the right bearing almost due north and 
as I understand it is known as ' ' The Bozeman Trail. ' ' When the 
Overland stage line was abandoned the Telegraph line, was taken 
over by the Government and extended into Fetterman^ 

The establishment of Fetterman must have been attended 
with a great sacrifice of men and treasure, if one be permitted to 
judge by the hundreds of headboards that mark the last resting 
place of many troops. One alone at La Bonte contained about 
twenty-five members of some Kansas cavalry and so little atten- 
tion was given them that the cemetery was not even enclosed. 
The letters on head-boards in some cases were obliterated by ero- 

The cemetery at Fetterman was not an exclusive affair and 
contained the remains of Tuany civilians as well as soldiers, very 
few of which died a natural death. 

Before the Fort was eventually abandoned the remains of all 
who were buried there that died in the service of their country 
were exhumed and sent to the National Cemetery at Washington. 
The material used in constructing the Fort was not all lumber, 
for a great many of the buildings were adobe and it is appalling 
to think of days of labor hardships and sacrifices that were made 
by this underpaid, underfed, despised Army of the Plains in the 
building of this Fort. Some of these old battle-scarred veterans 
are still alive but in their declining years a generous ( ? ) govern- 
ment has forgotten the sacrifices they made and the services they 
rendered and many are left to the tender mercies of charity. 

In 1870, Fetterman was garrisoned by four companies of 
the 14th Inf. under command of Col. Krause and two troops of 
the 3rd cavalry and during his stay there the saw mill was re- 
moved from the reserve and set up in the post and whatever 
transportation could be spared made its weekly trips always un- 
der heavy escort and brought out logs. All the labor connected 
with these trips as well as the guard duty was performed by sol- 
diers with the single exception of an engineer who also acted as 
head' sawyer. 

(There were two routes from the railroad to Fetterman one 
from Cheyenne about 16 miles distant, known as the ' ' Cheyenne 
cut off" that left Laramie quite a bit to the right and was open to 
travel all the year. The other, from ]\Iedicine Bow, ninety miles 
distant and impassable for teams most of the winter months. 

This route was used mostly by the government teams andv 
bull outfits also by "Black Bill Robinson" who carried the mail.y 
What fascination there was about this job I could never under- 


The route was across about twenty miles of mountainous 
country, known as the ''Medicine Bow Mountains" and a greater 
portion of tliat distance was through the jMedicine Bow Canyon 
aiid. about thirty mils across the Laramie plains where the bliz- 
;^ard raged in all its fury and not a stick of wood for miles and 
miles. But "Black Bill" made his trip regardless — perhaps a 
little late at times — and it was only after another route had been 
found and a stage line established that "Black Bill" disappeared. 

In 1873, the 14th inf. Avas relieved by the 4th Inf. This 
change brought my company to Fetterman. During the next 
five yeai's there were numerous changes of military command- 
ers. Major Alexander Chambers, Col. J. S. Mason, Ma,i. PoAvell, 
Capt. A. B. Cain, Ma.j. Be Ruise and Capt. Edward M. Coatcs, 
(to Avhose company I belonged) all following the usual routine 
of military duty excepting Capt. Coates, who irrespective of 
the fact that the ordinary needs of the post kept the troo])s 
busy, he found time to survey and established a new 87id a 
l)etter route to the railroad: was instrumental in getting a stage 
line into the Fort. Under his supervision a bridge Avas built 
across the North Platte that after more than 40 years of con- 
stant use is still in good condition ; placed and constructed a 
reserA'oir, installed a pumping plant, and laid pipes for the dis- 
ti-ibution of AA'ater throughout the garrison thus doing aAvay 
Avitii the necessity of the AA'ater Avagon that had made its daily 
rounds some times when the themiometer AA^as registering 40 
beloAv. He found time to send out hunting parties into the 
game country that came back Avith teams loaded to the boAvs 
Avith the results of the hunt Avhich Avas distributed among the 
companies; established company garden that greAv vegetables 
for their table, the first that Avas ever groAvn in that country 
and the first that many of the command had eaten in years. 

These stupendous tasks (and under the conditions that 
pi-evailed. they Avere stupendous) Avere performed by soldiers, 
excejjting the head mechanic, a civilian employee by the name 
of Chaiies Ilogerson, Avho in later years amassed a fortune 
and died pi-esident of the First National Bank of Buffalo. 

While in Fetterman, Mr. Hogerson's Avife gave birth to 
tAvin girls, the first Avhite childi-en born in that isolated post. 
One of the tAvins lives in Buffalo and the other in San Diego, 
Cal. The attending physician Avas Major J. V. R. Iloff, Avho 
aftei-Avai'd Avas chief medical director of the expedition into 

During these years the cavalry troops AA-ere kept busy 
chasing bands of maurading Indians that came across on the 
south side to kill those that Avere unfortuiuite enough to be 
unprotected, to steal a fcAV ponies and perhaps take a fcAV cattle. 


By the time the news of these outbreaks reached the Fort and 
the troops had gathered into the field, the Indians were back 
on the reservation and the troops not allowed to follow. 

The scout and guide on these trips was an old half breed, 
Joe Monaz, who lived in the Fort with his family of squaws, 
papooses and dogs. 

The impression prevailed among the military men that Joe 
never led the troops to a part where there might be danger and 
eventually Joe disappeared, probably to the reservation. 

Here some military genius conceived the bright idea of 
using Indian scouts and to bring this plan to a fruition, ten 
Arapahoes were induced to swear allegiance to the government 
for a period of one year and as a compensation for their ser- 
vices, they were allowed the same pay and allowance as soldiers. 

The Indians might have rendered some services, had it not 
been for Capt. A. B. Cain, then in command and who was on 
intimate terms with John Barlycorn. He insisted that as they 
were sworn in and drawing pay and allowances, they must 
appear at Head quarters daily in full military dress, from hat 
to shoes, for inspection. Of course they soon grew tired of 
military discipline, so one morning after pay and a bountiful 
supply of rations, clothes and annuities, they were conspicuous 
by their absence. 

One remained, who stuck manfully to his job of drawing 
his allowances and his breath, and at the expiration of his ser- 
vices was given his discharge that certified that Little Dog was 
"a good soldier but a poor scout." 

During the Indian wars of 1876, three military expeditions 
under the command of Genl. George Crook was organized and 
started from Fetterman and not from Laramie as some histori- 
ans have claimed. 

The first one known as the Powder River expedition con- 
sisting of the third and second cavalry and fourth Inf. was out 
during the month of March. The second and the largest body 
of troops that was ever assembled in the United States for that 
purpose left Fetterman, May 27, 1876 and was constantly in 
the field until late in October. 

The troops were drawn from the various military posts 
south of the North Platte. The transportation from Camp 
Carlin, and Indian scouts from the Crow, Utes and Shoshones. 

This campaign drew the most wonderful collection of fron- 
tiersmen that the country ever saw. Among the noted men 
who accompanied this expedition was Frank Grouard, the chief 
of all, "Big Batt, Little Batt" Carl Reshaw, Calif. Joe, Buck- 
skin Jack, Speed Stagner, the Semenoe Bros., Ben Clarke, Liver 


Eating Johnson, and hundreds of others, more or less famous, 
including Calamity Jane and her side kicker Frankie Glass. 

This wonderful gathering of soldiers, scouts, packers, team- 
sters and Indians Avere the guests of Fort Fetterman for seven 
days. The greatest obstacle was crossing the Platte that was 
running bank full. 

One flat boat that had only one team, operated by cable 
that sometimes broke and the boat carried down the river to 
be hauled back by men and mules, 

The third campaign against the Northern Cheyennes left 
Fetterman December first '76 and was out during that month 
and was without doubt the most severe on men and animals 
in the annals of Indian warfare. 

After the battle between the troops and Dull Knife's band, 
fourteen Indian children were found frozen besides many old 
men and Avomen died of exposure, but the spirit of resistance 
was broken. 

All the wounded, sick and disabled from these military 
campaigns eventually found their way into the hospital at Fet- 
terman. All tlie dispatches from the front were released from 
Fetterman and all the supplies needed at the front were sent 
out from Fetterman and in view of these facts history must 
record that Fetterman and not Laramie is entitled to be con- 
sidered the important point in the North Platte country in 
those days. 

With the ending of the Indian troubles its importance from 
a military standpoint has ceased and the troops were gradually 
witlidrawn, finally abandoned some time in 78. (As it lost its 
importance from a military standpoint it began to assume prom- 
inence as a supply point for the stockmen and ranchers that 
for years had been ,easting anxious eyes upon that wonderful 
country to the nortlA 

While FettermaiVhad its full quota of bad men as the head- 
boai'ds in the cemetery bear mute testimony, no killing had 
ever taken place there while under military jurisdiction, but 
as soon as the soldiers departed, trouble began and it soon 
gained an unenviable reputation as the scene of several tragic 
events, but eventually the law abiding citizens began to exert 
their influence and the "bad men" passed out. 

Among the early settlei-s and old timers was E. Tillottson 
who grew wealthy as post trader, J. M. Care.y who settled at 
Casper, P>oyd liros., IMajor Wolcott, late of the English army 
and John Hunton still living. Robert Fryer, who operated a 
blacksmith shop on the reservation about three miles up the 
La Prelle and M'ho probably saw more "bad men" killed than 
any man in the North Platte country, J. D. O'Brien, who was 


discharged from the service at Fetterman and settled on the 
La Prele and who during the Spanish American war raised a 
company of volunteers and went to the Philippine Islands, 
Tom Branson, Capt. Graham, John and Sam Sparks, Keeline, 
Van Tassell, Irwins, "Walker and Johnson and many others that 
I cannot recall. 

To one of those who spent many years in that hard faring 
land, the stories of Owen "Wister are very fascinating for the 
scenes were laid for those wonderful and entertaining stories 
in that country and quite frequently he refers to Fetterman 
which he calls ''Dry Bones." In the story of Lin McLean the 
closing scenes are laid in the old post and the dance hall was 
formerly the quarters that my company occupied and the cor- 
oner who was so anxious to hold the inquest was portrayed so 
truely that I can see my old comrade, Sam Slaymaker in his 
official capacity very important, very condescending for the 
governor of Wj^oming was present. 

J. 0. WARD, 
Late 1st Sergt., Co. ''C," 4 U. S. A. 

Centennial, Wyo., April 29, 1897. 
M. D. Houghton,— 
Dear Sir 

Laura wrote me that you would like an account of my bro- 
ther's Nels; in regard to the De Long Expedition of the North 
Pole, and thank you for publishing it. I will here state it in 
plain words : 

Nelse Iverson, the oldest of nine children, was born in Jut- 
land, Denmark, the 7th of Dec. 1848, and left his home at the 
age of 14, to enter the war between Denmark and Germany, as 
the leader of the band ; at the age of 22 he went to Greenland 
where he was employed in some mining work ; in 1873 he left 
Greenland and came straight to Laramie, where he was em- 
ployed as butcher, his trade, for several years ; in the spring of 
1879 he went San Francisco, where he enlisted as a member of 
the De Long Expedition to the North Pole. 

In June, the 9th day — he, together with the others, left 
San Francisco in search of the North Pole, he was then 31 years 
of age ; he was a heavy built man and weighed 215 lbs. ; There 
was good sailing for 4 months, and the party was making good 
headway after that the ship and its crew got stuck in the im- 


mense lot of ice, where they stayed niitil the spring of 1881, oflf 
tho Siberian coast; then the ship sunk, and the crew divided in 
.'5 jiai'ties, 12 men in each boat; one boat was lost entirely, and 
nothing was ever heard of it, and the second one struck the in- 
liabited coast, where 5 men were saved; the third boat was left 
at the bank of the Lena River, from Avhence the party, including 
('apt. De Long, Lieutenant Danehover, Naturalist Lee, Engi- 
neer Melving. the minister and the doctor, a colored hunter, a 
china-cook, three sailors, and Nelse Iverson who dealt out the 
provisions etc., on board the ship. During the 40 days, from 
when they left the Lena River, until Oct. 28, 1881, the day Nels 
Iverson died, the party was all dead except De Long, whom 
they thought had clied about the 1st of Nov, Nels was the last 
man numbered in the Capt's account book of the dead. Their 
death was the result of starvation, and cold ; the last meal they 
ate was glycerine oil, which was the last thing they had left. 

In the spring of '82, an expedition was sent out in search 
for them ; they were found on the banks of the Lena River, froz- 
en solid in ice and snow. In 1883, the V. S. sent over an expe- 
dition Avith metal coffins in which they were buried ; some were 
sent to their several homes and the others were buried in Brook- 
lyn Cemetery, including Nelse, far away from friends and home. 
His old parents received $1500 from U. S. — a few years after- 
ward they received a gold medal for his lost life. 

I have stated here the facts, Mr. Houghton, and of course 
you will have to exclude some of it, I presume. 

"With best regards to yourself and Mrs. Houghton, 


(Signed) Katrina Wolbol. 
(Cuutant collection) 

Camp Flovd U. T.. Nov. 30th, 1858. 
Messr.s. S. E. Ward & Co. 

Gentn — 

Please pay to the order of Private Steen Co. "A" 4th Arty, 
the Sum of Seven dollars & fifty cents & Call on John Heth of 
Fort Keariiv for the amount. 
$7.50/100 R. H. Dyer. 

Note in pencil on back : Heth became Gen '1 in Confd Army. 
From tlic Jolm Hunton collection in The State Historical Department. 



Vandehei, Earl F 00116011011 of war trophies brought from 

World War: German mark; part of 
French bank note and twelve other 
coins; shells, bayonets and various 
French and German souvenirs. 

Turk, James Young Cock Pheasant which was killed 

in big hailstorm of June 14, 1926. 
Mounted by Historical Department. 

Logan, Ernest A "Souvenir Program of our President's 

Visit to Cheyenne, May 30-31, June 
1, 1903." (Eoosevelt). Compliments 
of Cheyenne Business College, D. C. 
Eoyer, Principal. 

Haas, E. P Sign board W'hicli hung over the door 

of the stable at Old Fort Washakie 
where the horses of Company "M, " 
8tli Cavalry, were kept and bears the 
insignia of that company consisting 
of crossed sabres above a large figure 
eight and a horse shoe, all carved 
from wood. 

Eeese, Dan E Powder bag used in Eevolutionary days. 

Hastie, Eunice C Framed picture of Co. "F, " Seventh 

Eegiment, of U. S. Engineers taken 
in 1917. 

Meyers, E. D Employee's Badge Xo. 16, Cheyenne 

Electric Eailway Company; worn by 
Mr. Meyer while employed as conduc- 
( tor; Taft campaign button, 1908; 
Pocket Compass used by U. S. Engi- 
neers in France; peculiar specimen 
of stone picked up near Cody; beer 
chip of Gronenthal Bros. Saloon- 
Good for five cents; good luck piece 
issued as advertisement of Wyoming 
Trust and Savings Company; two 
steel helmets used by U. S. soldiers 
in France; specimen of ivory or bone 
picked up on prairie; pipe used by 
E. W. Whitcomb; antique platter. 


Marie, Queen of Roumania Tribute to "Buffalo Bill" (William 

Cody). Written in own handwriting 
on Royal stationery. 

Chappell, G. F. and Sarah A Gun carried by Mrs. Sarah A. Chap- 
pell's grandfather. A very ancient 
type of gun. 

Owen, W. O _ ^Picture of Owen party on top of Grand 

Teton Peak, August 11, 1898, show- 
ing chopped and broken character of 

Lacey, Judge J. W Complete suit of plate armour original- 
ly worn by a Japanese Samurai, con- 
sisting of helmet, corselet, chain 
sleeves and leggings and grotesque 
mask, all in an embossed leather box. 
This armour was sent to Judge Laeey 
in 1882 by his brother who was re- 
siding in Japan at that time. The 
suit is extremely heavy and of a 
highly artistic character. 

Governor Nellie T. Eoss Engraved plate, bearing following in- 
scription: "Wyoming Ambulance 
Presented to the Brave Wyoming Sol- 
diers in France by the People of their 
Home State." 

Buford, Miss Maud Large framed picture of President Gar- 
field and his family. 

Wilcox, E. M Photograph of stage driven by E. M. 

Wilcox in 1903. Picture taken while 
enroute from Waleott through Sara- 
toga and to Encampment. 


Herman Gottlieb Kiel The Centennial Biographical Directory 

of Franklin County, Missouri, by 

Lusk, F. S Mining Laws of Wyoming and of the 

United States and Regulations there- 
under. In effect April 1, 1907. 


White, John G. and party "A Souvenir of Wyoming." Two vol- 
umes. A diary of a fishing and camp- 
ing trip in Jackson Hole and Yellow- 
stone Park Country. Beautifully 
bound and profusely illustrated by 
original photographs taken by Steph- 
en N. Leek and William C. Boyle. 
The group consisted of William C. 
Boyle, Thomas A. McCaslin, Stephen 
N. Leek and John G. White. Eight 
typewritten copies were made, one 
for each member of the fishing party 
and one each for the Wyoming His- 
torical Society, the Missouri Histori- 
cal Society and Horace N. Albright, 
Superintendent of Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park. 

Devereux "The Spirit of '76," by Devereux. A 

story of the famous painting of that 

Ostrander, Maj. A. B "The Custer Semi-Centennial Ceremon- 
ies, 1876-1926, by Major A. B. Os- 
trander, Gen. E. S. Godfrey, M. E. 
Hawkins and E. S. Ellison. 

Mountain States T. & T. Co A Glimpse of the Public Utility Indus- 
try — Wyoming's Part in its History 
and Growth. 

U. S. Dept. of Agriculture "The Story of the Range," by Will C. 

Barnes. Published by U. S. Depart- 
men of Agriculture. 

Smith, Eev. Franklin Campbell Early Religious Services in Wyoming 

by Rev. Smith. 


Soldiers of the Plains by P. E. Byrne. 

A Visit to Salt Lake — Being a Journey Across the Plains — by William 
Chandless — Published in 1857. Includes map of route taken. 

Brooke 's Gazeteer — Published in 1806. Includes eight maps. First 
American edition. 

Fremont 's Journal — Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains 
in 1842 and Oregon and North California in 1843-44 — By Brevet Capt. 
J. C. Fremont. Includes large map of route in pocket on cover. 

History of Oregon — by Travers Twiss. Published in 1846. 


Travels in North Aiiieriea — Two volumes. With geological obser- 
vations. Published in 1845. 

Discovery of the Great West by Francis Parkman — Published in 
1870. Second edition. 

Report Upon Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian — 
1875. Includes maps. 

Down tiie Santa Fe Trail and Into Mexico — 1846-1847. Being the 
Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin — Edited by Stella M. Drumm. Published 
in 1926. 

Map of Oregon Territory — 1842. 

Map of the United States and Mexico— 1842. 

Map of North America — 1832. 

Mitchell 's New Map of Texas, Oregon and California. Copy of 1846 

Wild Bill Hickok— by FraJik J. Wilstach. 

Not Afraid — by Dane Coolidge. 

Framed Picture of First Frontier Celebration held in Cheyenne in 
September, 1897. 

Rietz, Mrs. Minnie A Caleb Perry Organ 

fUithrie, W. E The Eise and Fall of the Open Eange 

■ Cattle Business in Wyoming. 


Fourt, E. H. Three copies of song "A Voice From 

Home ' ' words of which were written 
by Edgar Howard Fourt and the mu- 
sic by Narciso Serradell and dedicat- 
ed by them to the American War 


On page 312 of the Wyomino: Annals for October 1926 will 
be found the statement that Old Fort Bonneville was on Hoi*se 
Creek, about a day's ride from where Cheyenne is now located. 
The writer, Mr. Ilynds, confuses Horse Creek in southeastern 
Wyomino- with Horse Creek in western Wyomino^. Fort Bonne- 
ville was established in 1832 on the Horee Creek which is an af- 
fluent of Green River and near where the creek empties into 
Green River. Its exact location was the northeast quarter of the 
Northeast quarter of Section Thirty (30), Township Thirty-four 
(34) North, Rang^e One Hundred and Eleven, West of the sixth 
principal meridian. Fort Bonneville was approximately 400 
miles northwest of Cheyenne. This error in location of places 
eini) the ur<>(Mit need for a revision of pfcofrranhic names in 
AVyomiiio-. State Historian. 

Annate of ®2lpomins 

Vol. 4 APEIL, 1927 No. 4 


Introduction to a History of the Shoshone Forest ^ 

....,„ Margaret Hayden 

The Yellowstone Forest Reserve A. A. Anderson 

Sketches from the Life of James M. Sherrod, Conclusion ... 

Industrial Development in Weston County Coutant Notes 

Published Quarterly 

By the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 


Annate of OTpomins 

Vol. 4 APEIL, 1927 No. 4 


Introduction to a History of the Shoshone Forest.. 

..Margaret Hayden 

The Yellowstone Forest Reserve A. A. Anderson 

Sketchies from the Life of James M. Sherrod, Conclusion... 
_ Autobiography 

Industrial Development in Weston County Coutant Notes 

Published Quarterly 

By the 


Mrs. Cyrus Beard, Historian 



Governor Frank C. Emerson 

Secretary of State A. M. Clark 

State Librarian Mrs. Clare E. Ausherman 

Secretary of Board ...Mrs. Cyrus Beard 


Et. Eev. P. A. McGovern Cheyenne 

Dr. Grace E. Hebard Laramie 

Mr. P. W. Jenkins Cora 

Mrs. Willis M. Spear Sheridan 

Miss Margery Eoss Cody 

Mrs. E. C. Eaymond Newcastle 

Judge E. H. Fourt Lander 

Volume IV., Number 4. April, 1927 

(('opyri},rht, lOL'T) 

^nnalg of OTpoming 

Vol. 4 APRIL, 1927 No. 4 


(The Oldest National Forest in the United States) with Personal 

Narrative of Its Foundation and Development by the 

First Supervisor, A. A. Anderson, Artist 

Notes and personality sketch by Margaret Hayden, IT. S. Forest Service, 

Cody, Wyoming 

Great as is the aesthetic and economic debt of Wyoming 
and the nation to Mr. Anderson, it is to A. A. Anderson, Artist, 
we are indebted universally, for he has been many years an out- 
standing figure not only as a portait painter, but also in re- 
creating out of the great melting pot a truly. American art, and 
ushering in America's golden age of art, a nation's most last- 
ing monument. 

The story of Mr. Anderson's artistic life in Paris when it 
was the art center of the world and his aid to struggling stu- 
dents abroad; the tracing of art from the "Alpine peaks" to 
the "leavening down" of the present time; and his life today 
in his New York studios, constitute a chapter to appear in a 
succeeding number, for the delight and enlightment of pos- 

Since January, 1922, we have pondered in our heart a para- 
graph from a letter written bv our District Forester, Colonel 
A. S. Peck : 

"Has it ever occurred to you that much of the early history 
of our Forest areas is in danger of being lost? Mining camps 
are being abandoned, new roads are being built which change 
our routes of travel and cause old roads to be abandoned, large 
stock ranches are being broken up into farms, unique and pic- 
turesque characters who have played leading roles in this early 
development are passing away. Is it not probable that informa- 
tion of this kind would prove of interest in the future and in- 
crease in value as time goes on? It seems to me that it is a part 
of our duty to preserve such data for future generations of for- 
esters. ' ' 


From tlie "Ovitliiie of History" given in this letter, I have 
cliosen for this number the seventh and last, "Biography ol" 
Forest Officers, Human interest stories." Truly Mr. Anderson 
is both a unique and pictui-esque character who has played a 
leading role in early development, not only from an economic 
but also from an aesthetic standpoint. But for devotion to code, 
tape, and budget my own pound of spikenard should earlier 
have been offered, with the hope that its fragrance will last 
when ledgers are forgotten. 

Tliis initial chapter is not submitted primarily as a record 
of historical facts, but is written as a tribute of esteem (too sel- 
dom accorded by a busy, prosaic Avorld) to one who by his lively 
ideals and undaunted courage was able to combat the selfish 
primitive interests of that earlier time. 

It will be left to succeeding numbers to trace out the ro- 
mance and adventures of road and trail building, the meeting 
of motor and pack horse at the end of the trail, the rise and 
fall of the cattle business, the oncoming of the "woollies," the 
present day demand for unbroken telephone communication 
from AVall Street to the Rocky Mountains ; and the inception 
and i-apid growth of that other expanding activity now known 
universally as "dude •wrangling." (In official circles the Sho- 
shone is known as the "dude" forest and justifies the appella- 
tion. Indeed, it is to our subject we owe the evolution of the 
genus dude, — from pilgrim to "tenderfoot," and in these latter 
times to "dude," "one who washes behind the ears." 

But for tJie activity of Mr. Anderson, our chronicle might 
measure down to Voltaire's definition of history as "little more 
tlian the record of tlie crimes and misfortunes of mankind." 
Wlien tlie first supervisor made his ainiual trek in the summer 
of 1926 from the salons of Paris and the studios of New York 
to his ranch on the Forest, and Avas besought by us to tell the 
story of his early triumphs and failures in forestry, he cogently 
replied, "I had no failures." Whereupon he invited me to visit 
Palette Ranch, his summer home and hunting lodge in the 
Rockies. After nine intervening months there is a savor of 
charm in re-living this experience and soliloquizing. "AVhat is 
so rare as a week in the forest ?" 

To go to Shakespeare ; — 
"A merrier man. 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never sj^ent an hour's talk withal: 

* * * 

So sweet and voluble was his discourse." 

Excellent as was the cuisine, I often craved pencil and note- 
book more than knife and fork, for at our dinners conversation 


was unhampered and memory unnnnibed by thought of an un- 
known audience. 

Exemplifying" the true artist's scorn for exotic luxury, 
breakfasts were served from a red-checkered table cloth, spread 
in a beaming sunroom. This same table served during the moon- 
light evenings for bridge games for those who were valiant 
enough to hazard their reputation at cards with one whose skill 
had placed him with the world's experts. AVe have since lis- 
tened in on model games in the air over Station WEAF, New 
York, and recognized names of well-known bridge authorities 
who had been guests of Mr. Anderson at the ranch. 

While well-founded reports are reaching us that our hero 's 
latest adventures are along the airplane route, of radio I have 
nothing to record other than his facetious comment that the 
broadcasters sounded as though they had been overcome by ether; 
with, however, what seemed to be a concession greatly in favor 
of radio, that his beloved granddaughter, *Betty, is an enthu- 
siastic fan. 

Not only is Wyoming particularly indebted to Mr. Ander- 
son for his activity in protecting its woodland heritage, but he 
has also proved the importance of work as the foundation for 
all culture, and does not ask others to do what he has not him- 
self done. Many years ago he broke down the tradition that 
only a woman can cook, when, during his residence in Paris he 
was taken into the culinary confidence of famous chefs and 
initiated into the secrets of French cookery. "Anyone may 
learn anything," said our host, as we relished a dinner he had 
prepared, "If he has enough energy and curiosity." 

Mr. Anderson has also loved to build and to ornament the 
earth. The story of the building of his ranch home and hunt- 
ing lodge is a pioneer romance in itself, and is to be another 
chapter in a succeeding number. 

A fountain rising from a palette-shaped plinth played tire- 
lessly at the entrance to the lodge, and nearby a sundial re- 
minded us of the all too quickly passing sunny Wyoming sum- 
mer, for here at the ranch they live ' ' In feelings, not in figures 
on the dials." Indeed, already two rough-coated Airedale 
terriers Avho constitute part of the yearlong household, seemed 
to scent preparations for impending departure and their own 
long winter with the caretaker, for their master declared he 
thought too much of them to take them to the city. 

Perhaps the greatest surprise of all was the nine hole golf 
course of sportiest hazards, which has been wrested from rocks, 

*Mrs. tt. A. Asliworth, then on a pack trip at their hunting lodge 
further up the mountains, named by Emerson Hough on a visit there, 
"The End of the Trail." . 


roots, and sa«:ebrush. Tt was p-ood to follow this course with 
our subject, wishin<]r the Avhile for pencil and paper to take 
note of the spontaneous expressions and " confessions " that al- 
ways lend a colorful cast to word pictures. Doubtless it was 
not" so good for "the Avearing of the green" that, like other lady 
novices, we got a good grip on the green by means of our high- 
heeled boots, thereby proving the patience of our master golfer 
— a master indeed in the mountains, but who confessed to lower 
scores at the seaside links. This same privilege was accorded 
Margo, the pet antelope, as her fleet and slender feet ranged the 
Palette grounds. 

Across the turfy green a swimming pool which had been 
coaxed from the mountain tops flashed its promise of refresh- 
ment plus comfort, for here the artificial had indeed made na- 
ture bearable by means of steam pipes which warmed the water 
from the coolish heights. 

To me, the most captivating sport of all, and one at which 
I considered myself more expert than at golf or bridge, was the 
horseback jaunt along Piney Creek. Three horses were saddled 
for us at midday, after another morning's work and noon 
luncheon, and we were soon across the Forest boundary, on 
bedgrounds of deer and elk, surveying the range of the largest 
herd of antelope in the world. 

Our goal that day was the old homestead cabin at the 
source of Piney, which from sentiment had long been preserved, 
but Avhich our game warden guide had at last decided to de- 
stroy, as it had become the rendezvous for poachers on the elk 
winter range. Already this season there were signs of abuse 
of neighborly pioneer customs, — a pile of firewood to warm 
trespassers through another winter of depredations. While 
deploring the passing of this solid log landmark, we asked per- 
mission to christen it "Never, Never Land." 

Crossing Piney we dismounted near the winter quarters 
of the bear, within sight of the aeries of eagles, along mountain 
ridges that seemed veritable "holy cities," and had indeed been 
the subject of more than one of Mr. Anderson's canvases. In a 
grotto by the hut were fish-like forms, with bubbles for eyes, — 
algae, we were told, the beginning of things ! Certainly a 
happy haunt this for banshee, pixie, and gnome. 

Here as we rested by an aspen grove Ave heard from Mr. 
Anderson the legend of the quakin' asp. Tradition has it that 
the crucifixion cross was formed from the Avood of the aspen 
tree, Avhich accounts for the forever fearful quaking and trem- 
bling of its leaves. 

Undertaking to keep pace Avith our agile Avrangler-host on 
the home run over the Forest Ser^dce trail, my horse's hoofs 
scrabbled over a boulder that had defied the ranger's charge 



of TNT, and I rose from the fall to hear the philosophic com- 
ment that to learn how to fall is first in riding. 

A whole lot more could be written about Mr. Anderson, but 
it would have to be done with a subtler quill than I possess ; and 
a far livelier manuscript this would have been with the expres- 
sions of sharp wit striking satirical sparks, the neatly turned 
truisms, and the interlarding of many personal reminiscences. 
Too frequently I was inhibited by "Don't write that in; I was 
only telling you about it," and it was with a sense of distinct 
loss I abstracted many a parenthetical paragraph. But this I 
could not suppress : 

"The closer we get to nature the happier we are. No man 
can live close to nature and study the wonders of creation with- 
out getting nearer to God and loving all His works. We are 
nearer heaven on the Shoshone than in other places — it is 7650 
feet altitude where we are standing — and if we are very quiet 
we can hear the angels sing. ' ' 

In a large sunny upper room I had "listened in" and took 
notes on the prehistoric period of the Forest I love so well, al- 
together intrigued by this "once-upon-a-time" story of early 
thought-taking for our precious woodland heritage. Hunting 
trophies of other days hung from the walls of the lodge, calling 
forth stories yet to come of the faithful guides who had passed on 
to other hunting gTOunds ; a cheerful wood fire glowed in the grate 
below, and I glanced betimes at the horizon of river, forest, and 
mountain cleft in the foreground by a charred canyon, an ironic 
monument of what might have been. 


— Courtesy of the State Highway Department. 
Holy City in Shoshone National Forest, Park County 



Its Foundation and Development by A. A. Anderson 

Its Underlying Importance 

The Yellowstone Forest Reserve, founded in 1902, may be 
called the first large forest reserve in the United States. Sur- 
rounding YelloAvstone Park on all four sides, and occupying* 
space in three states — Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho — it cov- 
ers about 9500 square miles, an area nearly twice as large as 
the state of Connecticut. 

Apart from size, however, another important feature of the 
Yellowstone Forest Reserve lies in the fact that it has provided 
the inspiration and basic plan for the development of all our 
other large national forest reserves. It has proved, by its suc- 
cess, the great value to our country of the reserA^e system. In 
fact, the plan of management, basically sound from the very 
beginning, has been adopted by the others, Avhich are being 
conducted largely upon the same general principles. 

The Conditions Which Made It Imperative 

The first idea of such a reserve and its possibilities came 
to me with the smoke of many forest fires. From my ranch in 
Wyoming, situated upon the fringe of the beautiful forest 
which is now included in the reserve, I used to watch these 
fires witli apprehension. I remember that one day while cross- 
ing tlie Lander trail south of the Park, I stood upon a high peak 
and counted fourteen distinct fires raging below me. It was 
a distressing scene ; and being naturally a lover of forests, with 
a realization of their tremendous practical value, I was vitally 
impressed with the need of action. 

It Avas evident that something more than mere coincidence 
lay behind the simultaneous burning of so many fires. I learned 
sliortly afterwards that most of them had been deliberately 
started ])y wandering sheepmen, who were setting fire to the 
dense pine forests for two reasons: first, because it would be 
easier tliereafter to trail their sheep ; and second, because when 
the forest was burned the resultant weeds which sprang up 
would afford better pasturage. 

It was also evident that where there Avere so many fires, 
more than the forests themselves were at stake. In Wyoming, 
for instance, all cultivation was dependent at that time upon 
the irrigation derived from in(»untain streams. The forest fires 


were bringing abont the destruction of the valuable spongy- 
matter beneath the trees, so that the snow which fell during 
the winter, melting rapidly under the first warm sunlight, re- 
sulted in flood waters in springtime and drouth in summer — a 
condition which meant tremendous loss to the farms. Then 
too, there was the problem of the wild game in whose protec- 
tion I had been interested for years. With the extinction of 
the forests, the animals and birds would disappear, and much 
of the indescribable charm of that western countryside would 
be lost. 

Clearly the situation was critical. A few wandering sheep- 
men Avere jeopardizing not only the forests and wild game but 
the prosperity of the farmers, the very life of the State. They 
were doing this at the expense of the local sheepmen, men who 
had a legal right to the home ranges. For the wanderers, bring- 
ing their sheep across country after shearing time, could poach 
upon the ranges of the home sheepmen only until snow fell — a 
period of about two and a half months. And in that short time, 
their sheep rendered the home ranges useless for a period of 
nine months after. 

Those, briefly, were the main facts which pointed to the 
necessity of some sort of forest conservation and control. Both 
economically and aesthetically, the usefulness of this portion 
of the Rockies was at stake. But what was to be done ? State 
supervision seemed impossible — a great variety of factors op- 
posed it. In fact, the only solution appeared to lie in direct 
government supervision. I realized it was from Washington 
that help must come. 

How the Reserve Was Created 

On my return to the East I went directly to the Capitol, 
feeling at home there among the Wyoming delegates. I knew 
President Roosevelt and had great faith in his own personal 
interest in conservation. I spent some three months in Wash- 
ington, gradually arousing interest in the idea of a Yellowstone 
Forest Reserve and its imperative necessity. 

But the wheels of Government machinery, as always, 
moved slowly. Meanwhile, considerable opposition to my plan 
was rising among the Wyoming sheep interests, which haa a 
mistaken idea of the advantages they would derive from the 
creation of a forest reserve. Although, as I have explained, it 
was to their interest to cooperate, they looked upon the project 
with a good deal of doubt and mistrust. This was but human 
— an obstacle the pioneer in any movement must deal with, 
often put in his path by those who receive tlie greatest benefit 
in the end. But now matters were coming gradually to a head. 
After a lengthy consultation with the Department of the In- 
terior and others interested in my project, I presented a tenta- 


tivo hoimdary of tlie ]iroposed Reserve Avhich "would include, 
in my opinion, all tlie territory necessary for proper conserva- 
tion of the vast tract of forest surroundinfr Yellowstone Park. 
I then made a map of this boundary and called to present it in 
person to the President. T informed him that I had previously 
shown it to both the Department of the Interior and the Depart- 
ment of Ajrriculture, and that it had met with their approA'al. 

President Roosevelt never took very lonjr to decide any 
matter. He immediately dictated a letter to the Secretary of 
the Interior, authorizing' him to issue a proclamation creating 
a Forest Reserve followino- the boundaries furnished by my 
map. A)id upon foi-mally presentino: this letter, I had the 
gratification of realizing that the Yellowsto)ie Forest Reserve 
was now an actuality. With it came my appointment to the 
post of Special Forest Superintendent, effective July 1st, 1902. 

This, in a woi"d, is the story of the creation of what was 
really the fii'st national forest reserve in our history. Prior to 
tills, two little strips of forest, south and east of the Park, had 
been set aside — not primarily as forest reserves, but as prop- 
erty for a contemplated enlargement of the Park itself. These 
indeed had been treated by the authorities as actual portions 
of the Park — so that it may be said that with President Roose- 
velt 's letter, authorizing my project which embraced the Park's 
whole boundary, the first national forest reserve came into be- 
ing, known as the Yellowstone Forest Reserve. 

Organizing the Reserve 

Thus the Reserve was created and my duties as Superin- 
tendent were begun. I accepted the position with the under- 
standing that I was to be given full authority in all matters of 
organization and management. The reasons for my request 
were obvious ; for in this vast and wild tract of land, so far re- 
moved from Washington, any rapid or emergency communica- 
tion Avith the authorities in the Capitol would have been im- 
])ossil)lc. There had to be some one on the spot who could act 
({uiclvly wnd with full power. Consequently, I was given com- 
plete control, my jurisdiction extending over such privileges 
as the granting of all appointments and promotions within the 
Reserve, the issuing of cattle and grazing and timber permits, 
the surveying of the boundaries, etc. I may say truthfully that 
the last was in itself a full-sized task, for it occui")ied, including 
myself, a party of ten men with thirty-five saddle and ]iack 
horses over a period of three months, with a change of camping 
ground almost every day. But the work was a privilege, and 
it was satisfaction enough to know that the Government was 
beliind me. and that my duty was merely to re]iort to Washing- 
tion all that was being accomplished. 

When the snrvcN' had been finished and the exact boun- 


daries of the Reserve ascertained and marked, my next con- 
cern lav in appointing judiciously a group of executives which, 
should form a kind of government. To facilitate this, I divided 
the territory into four divisions; the Shoshone, Wind River, 
Absaroka and Teton. Each division, virtually a military or- 
ganization, was assigned its supervisor and forest rangers. 
The supervisor held a rank of captain, and the rangers held the 
ranks of lieutenant, sergeant and private. Each rank was 
obliged to keep in constant contact with the others aud to re- 
cord all facts of importance, these being reported to me, as Super- 
intendent, weekly. In this way I was able to keep in touch with 
all important developments, and to forward my own reports 
to Washington. 

There was a headquarters in each division for its officials, 
located in a central and strategic position. For instance, in 
the Shoshone division I selected a point on the North Fork of 
the Shoshone River, from which trails opened up to all the var- 
ious positions on the Reserve ; a log house was built there for 
the supervisor and his rangers, and the place Avas christened 
"Wapiti," the proper name for elk. 

In passing, it may be remarked that these are the funda- 
mental principles of organization which, ~due to the effective- 
ness and facility of their operation, have been more or less ap- 
plied to every national forest reserve which has since been 

The Hostility of the Sheepmen Continues 

Though the work of the Reserve was now going forward, 
its benefits naturally could not be fully realized at the outset. 
The resentment of the sheepmen continued to smoulder and in 
several instauces actually burst into flame. These gentlemen, 
who still seemed to consider the Reserve an attack on their in- 
terests, began to hold indignation meetings at various places. 

One of these meetings was held at Meeteetse, Wyoming, 
and happening to hear about it beforehand, I determined to 
attend it myself. I found 125 sheepmen gathered angrily in 
an upper room over a saloon, whose intention was to protest 
and create resentment against the Reserve. At my entrance, 
the excited buzzing of the many voices ceased and there was 
silence. I could sense the hostility in the atmosphere, which, 
in a moment, was crystallized into somebody's suggesting the 
advisability of a rope ! My situation was a bit ticklisli, for 
most of the audience was armed and in rather a belligerent 

Fortunately for me, the chairman of the meeting. Col. 
George T. Beck, a man of broad judgment who was not himself 
in the sheep business, met the emergency by remarking: "I 


see that Mr. Anderson, the Superintendent of the Reserve, is 
171 onr midst. I'd like to call on him for a few remarks." 

This was just the opportunity I desired. I let them have 
my ideas on the Reserve and told them, straight from the shoul- 
der, Avhy 1 considered them wrong in their present attitude. I 
explained how, instead of harming Wyoming sheepmen, the 
Reserve Avould be of inestimable benefit to them, for it issued 
no grazing permits to any but residents of the State. Thus 
tlieir lionie ranges would be unmolested by the Avandering 

l^ut it was not long before, I discovered the real purpose 
of tlie meeting. It had been organized by a man who was a 
trader with the various sheep interests and who wished to 
curry tlieir favor. He rose and described to the gathering his 
ability to do away with the Reserve, if they would delegate him 
to Washington. For the moment I seemed to fall in with his 
plaii, and was myself appointed on the committee to raise funds 
for this trader's journey! The meeting ended peacefully, but 
immediately afterwards I "WTote a personal letter to President 
Roosevelt describing matters pretty thoroughly — with the re- 
sult tliat llie trader had his little trip to Washington in vain, 
and tlie Reserve continued to exist. 

About the same time, a meeting was called in Cody, whicli 
was largely the result of the hostility existing towards my 
work. But it never came to a head. A prominent rancher and 
cattleman in local circles, Mr. John W. Chapman, rose and told 
the meeting in no uncertain terms that I was his friend, and 
tliat anybody starting a demonstration against me would re- 
ceive liis immediate personal attention. His Avord was respected 
and the matter blew over. 

But the enmity of the sheepmen did not stop there. Other 
incidents oceui-red from time to time which proved it to be far 
from dormant. 

For instance, the following spring, while I was in the 
East, I received a letter from Colonel Cody, in which he wrote : 
"I persoiuilly advise you not to return to Wyoming this spring, 
because, if you do, the sheepmen will kill you." And in a post- 
script which amused me, he added: "But there's no use send- 
ing you this letter, you will come anyway." 

Incidentally, his -warning proved not entirely without foun- 
dation. That same year a fire was started at the head of the 
canyon south of my property, with a 60-mile-an-hour Avind 
driving it steadily tOAvards my ranch. It Avas very dry at the 
time, and if the Avind had not suddenly changed, the buildings 
Avould have been lost. And it Avas not long after, that I 
awakened one night to find the ranch actually on fire, Avithout 


apparent cause, the result of which was the destruction of half 
my home. The reader may draw his own conclusions. 

Disciplinary Emergencies 

There were occasions when definite emergencies arose with- 
in the Reserve which called for quick and decisive action. One 
of these, I remember, came up when I was engaged in a tour 
of inspection in the Teton division. A telegram from "Washing- 
ton informed me that 60,000 sheep had been put into the divi- 
sion without permit, and it was up to me to investigate the 
matter. The supervisor verified the report, telling me he had 
not had sufficient authority to prevent this trespass. The sheep 
belonged to four large owners in Utah, and were herded by 40 
armed men. 

Thanks to our communication facilities and organization, 
I was able to issue orders to rangers in various portions of the 
Reserve to meet me the folloAving week at a place called Horse 
Creek, near Jackson's Lake. About 65 of them came, in full 
regalia, armed, and well mounted. Erect and clean, they made 
a fine body of men, and I was proud of them. 

Moving swiftly, we selected one band of sheep belonging 
to each of the four owners, and drove these to the easterly bor- 
der of the Reserve which fronted upon Green River. We held 
them there while I sent to Cheyenne for the United States Com- 
missioner at that point to bring an injunction restraining them 
from returning across the Reserve. Meanwhile the owners, 
learning of my action, at once began to drive the rest of their 
flocks as swiftly as possible towards the nearest boundary line. 

It took nearly a week for the Commissioner to arrive with 
the injunction which was to be served upon all the owners. By 
that time the speediest kind of action was imperative. My first 
move was to serve it upon the owners of the most southerly 
herd — two brothers by the name of Jacobs. One of these, as a 
matter of fact, had gone off to Salt Lake for provisions ; but the 
other was still in camp and was speedily dealt with. I sta- 
tioned two rangers near him and his sheep in a camp across the 
river, and hurried north to serve the injunction on another 
owner who was now being detained at another point. 

Meanwhile I realized that the Jacobs brothers, at least, 
were in a tight place. They had driven their herd to the bor- 
derline on Green River and could now neither advance nor 
retreat. x\cross the river from the Reserve they were confront- 
ed by a real menace. Cattlemen had settled there, who would 
allow no sheep to be driven over their ranges without a tre- 
mendous risk to life. And to return upon the Reserve meant 
for the Jacobs brothers the additional charge of being in con- 
tempt of the United States Court. 

That their position was far from enviable was soon proved 


by actual events. A day or two later, one of the rangers who 
liad been stationed near the brothers rode hurriedly into my 
camp and reported somewhat of a tragedy. It seems that the 
ranger's camp had been visited early in tlie morning by the 
otlier Jacobs brother — the one who had been to Salt Lake. He 
had a breathless and profane story to tell. He said that the 
night before, while he was still away, the blankety-blank set- 
tlers of Green River had come up and killed his brother and 
eight hundred of their sheep, and furthermore had burnt up 
their entire camp outfit without leaving even a sour-dough pot ! 

I asked the ranger what had been done about it. He told 
me they had gotten on their horses and ridden over to the scene 
of the outrage. Here it was found to be true that eight hun- 
dred of the sheep had been killed and that the camp outfit had 
been burned. But the brother who had been "killed" was 
found to have been struck over the head with a rifle and not 
A'er}'^ seriously injured. At any rate, "he sure could still swear 
all right!" ' • " 

I saw what must necessarily happen. The Jacobs brothers 
would be forced to drive their remaining sheep back over the 
Reserve to Utah. So I gave the rangers word to allow them to 
proceed unmolested, while I served the injunction on the other 
owners and turned them loose. These also drove their sheep 
homeward across the Reserve, and in three days not a sheep 
was left within the boundaries. Eventually all owners were 
summo2ied to appear before the Court of Cheyenne and were 
fined for trespass. Thus the incident was closed, and from that 
day to this, there has never been another sheep trespass upon 
the Reserve. 

A Visit from Giff ord Pinchot 

Gradually the feeling against the Reserve subsided, though 
opposition from the slieep interests continued fitfully. At one 
time these interests held the key to Wyoming polities, and some 
of the delegates to Washington warned President Roosevelt, 
who was running for a second term, that unless I resigned my 
post as Superintendent of the Reserve, the Republican Party 
in that State would be the loser. 

I invited the President to have my administration investi- 
gated. Accordingly, he detailed Gifford Pinchot to investigate 
matters in the Reserve. J\Ir. Pinchot arrived accompanied by 
Mr. Frank Mondell, Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
and Seuator Borah. I remember hoAv this eminent trio came 
to me, late one summer afternoon, at my camp in the Teton di- 
vision. We had a pleasant dinner and were sitting smoking 
around the campfire when Senator Borah jocosely remarked to 
his companions: "Boys, we're wasting time here. Has any- 
body got a rope?" 


Grifford Pineliot, after accompanying nie on a tour of in- 
spection, reported to the President that the Yellowstone Re- 
serve was one of the best organized, patrolled and managed 
forest reserves in the country. It was indeed gratifying to 
receive a letter from President Roosevelt saying in part : ' ' Mr. 
Anderson, I believe you have the right ideas in forestry mat- 
ters. Go ahead and carry them out, knowing you have the 
Department of the Interior and the President solidly behind 

And yet it has been said that President Roosevelt played 
politics ! He never played anything — he was simply it, in his 
genuine, straightforward manner. And one of my principal 
reasons for giving five years of my time to forestry matters 
was that I felt I was aiding him in one of the objectives so dear 
to his heart — namely, the conservation of our natural resources. 
To have known such a man and worked with him, even in the 
smallest way, in trying to carry out his high ideals, was an in- 
spiration to me. 

The Reserve as a Game Refuge 

I have always cherished a love of wild life and nature, and 
for years before the creation of the Yellowstone Reserve I had 
been interested in game protection. Consequently, when the 
Reserve became an actuality, I was appointed Assistant State 
Game "Warden, and made all my rangers game wardens without 
pay. They too were deeply interested in protecting the wild 
life of the Reserve — and a law was passed obliging every ii on- 
resident of the State to pay a hunting fee of $50.00, every resi- 
dent being obliged to procure a regular license. 

For a while, the Shoshone Indians had been permitted by 
their agent to hunt in the Reserve — a privilege they were exer- 
cising both in and out of season, Avhich led to the slaughtering of 
a tremendous amount of game. Obviously one of the first steps 
toward game protection lay in the correction of this misguided 
zeal, and a letter from me to the Indian Department in Wash- 
ington brought an end to all permits granted to Indians to hunt 
on the Reserve. It was a necessary step and the amount of 
valuable game it saved is hard to estimate. 

Elk tusks furnished another problem. Formerly, these had 
brought only a nominal value, but since the Order of Elks had 
adopted them as the emblem of the society, they had been sell- 
ing for $25.00 or more per pair. Naturally this provided an 
incentive for a general slaughter of elk for no other reason 
than to obtain the tusks. For instance, I remember that one 
day one of my rangers arrested a man named Rogers on a 
charge of killing game out of season. Twenty-five fresh elk 
tusks were found in his possession — proof enough that he had 


been shooting bull elk for this one trivial reason alone, leaving- 
their carcasses to remain rotting upon the ground. 

It happened that about the time this incident occurred, the 
Order of Elks was holding its convention at Salt Lake City, 
Utah. I wrote a letter to the Convention and told it the facts, 
stating that the high prices being paid for elk tusks were re- 
sponsible for the speedy destruction of the noble animal from 
M'hich the Order derived its name. My letter Avas read at the 
Convention and its purport was appreciated. A resolution was 
passed which abolished elk tusks as the official emblem of the 
Order, and which — I think I may safel}^ assert — saved the lives 
of thousands of elk. 

All this while the conviction had been growing upon me 
that the one real way to protect the game on the Reserve must 
be found in the establishment of a properly guarded game 
refuge, where shooting was forbidden at all times of the year. 
Game laws in themselves seemed futile, and there is no better 
illustration of this than the law which exists today on the stat- 
ute liooks of the State of New York, imposing a heavy penalty 
for the killing of antelope or bufit'alo. >s^or does a mere limita- 
tion of the bag help materially, for in that case there can be no 
real enforcement without apportioning otf a warden to every 

But where game refuges are definitely established and no 
one is alloAved at any time of year to carry arms or fire a shot, 
game is pretty certain to increase immediately. In fact, it will 
increase not only Avithin the refuges themselves but in all the 
surrounding country. For although the hunting will be better 
in the latter than ever before, the game will have a sanctuary 
to turn to in case of need, as the refuges are not fenced off by 
barriei's of any kind. 

It was for these reasons that I finally created a large num- 
ber of such refuges on the Reserve, and as long as these are 
properly guarded, there can be no doubt about the future of 
the game. The results so far have been more than satisfactory ; 
for there is now more large game in this portion of "Wyoming 
than in any otlior part of the United States. Also, the game 
i-cfugcs in tlic Kesorve take on an added signifigance Avhen it is 
realized that tlie game in Yellowstone Park, because of the high 
altitude, must vacate in winter and seek the lower regions of 
tlie surrounding forests, Avhere they are noAV secure in the 
refuges that have been created. 

Incidentally, we have had a special law passed forbidding 
the killing of antelope at any time of year, and the result has 
been an astonishing increase in numbers. I estimate that on 
one part of the Reserve, in the vicinity of my ranch, there are 


probably as many as one thousand antelope — ^a state of affairs 
which never could have existed without this special law. Yet 
even now I sometimes cannot help harking back to the good 
old days, when this most beautiful animal of the plains roamed 
in such herds as to impede the cattlem^en. I remember that in 
the Red Desert, south of the Teton division, after scattered 
cattle had been rounded up, the cattlemen were sometimes 
forced to pause for an hour or two while the multitude of an- 
telope which had been caught in the round-up finished their 
grazing and sifted out through the cattle. 

Well guarded refuges will always be necessary, if we are to 
preserve our wild life. It is astonishing how quickh^ birds and 
animals realize in which region they are being protected. On 
my first trip to Jackson Lake — a beautiful body of water on 
the Reserve just south of the Park, extending sixteen miles in 
the Teton range — I was amazed at the tremendous quantity and 
variety of bird life there. Later, when the Reserve was first 
created, I sailed again from one end of the Lake to the other, 
and during the whole journey I saw only two birds — Sheldrake 
ducks ! How often judging by results, the guns of hunters must 
have reverberated across that beautiful expanse during the 
comparatively short time since I had been there. I Avas so im- 
pressed by the desolation of the scene that I requested President 
Roosevelt to make Jackson Lake a bird refuge. With his usual 
understanding of the problems and importance of wild life 
conservation, he complied — and when, a few years later, I made 
another journey to the lake, I saAV that the birds had returned. 
There were thousands of ducks of various species, as well as 
pelicans, flamingoes, and countless other varieties of water fowl. 

From a utilitarian viewpoint alone, the protection of game 
has proved of great financial value to Wyoming. It has at- 
tracted hunters there who have been obliged to pay as much as 
$50.00 for their licenses, besides buying camp and hunting out- 
fits and other necessities, so that each has been in a measure 
contributing to the prosperity of the state. Game protection 
has also been instrumental in drawing tourists whose love of 
nature prompts them to inspect and photograph the wild life 
instead of killing it. 

The Future 

"Civilization", with its attendant cities, pressure and 
waste, is hurrying westward. It will not be long before our 
National Parks and Forest Reserves become the true play- 
ground of every real American who appreciates outdoor life 
and the precious heritage of our wild and romantic background. 
Soon every patch of wilderness that remains will be a true 
oasis. The Yellowstone Forest Reserve in particular, through 


its connection witli the Park, and because it is one of the most 
wonderful spots in the Rocky Mountains, may play a prominent 
part in our country's recreation. 

To me it has been a great privilege to have been able to 
initiate a system for the forest reserves of today and tomorrow. 
So long as they are zealously patrolled and guarded, always by 
men who have the spirit of the wilderness at heart, we shall be 
able not only to recall the past, but to meet the future with a 
greater sense of freedom. 

From the John Hiinton collection in The State Historical Department. 

$25.00 Fort Laramie, Nebraska, 

June 9th. 1857— 

I the undersigned Jacob Schmidt soldier in G. company and 
butcher for this Garrison promise to pay the sum of Twenty Five 
Dollars as soon as the Paymaster arrives, said Twenty Five Dol- 
lars are to redeem a jewelled lever watch by Tobia.s of London, 
in the hand of ]\Ir. Bourdeaux, trader in this Garrison, deposited 
into his hands by Frederic Loba as part payment for 1 yoke of 
oxen. - T. Jacob Schmidt. 

From the John Hiinton collection in Tlie State TTistorical Department. 

Fallons Bluffs Apr 1 the 1859 
Due S. P. Ashcroft or order the sum of three Hundred & 
Forty Six Dollars 10 00 100 Fore Survaises Rendered To April 
1st 59. 

J. i\I. Hockaday & Co. 
Written across face the pr. J. E. Bromly Ag. 

following : 
Chg to a'c F 
Endoi-sed on back as follows: 

Received on the within one companv horse valued at Sixty 
Dollai-s. June 26th 1859. 
J. M. Ilockadav & Co. 
Note $346.40 


S. P. Ashcroft 



[Concluded from January Issue] 

An event of great interest in the earlier days of Wyoming 
was the silver wedding anniversary of Colonel Ivinson and wife, 
of Laramie City. Such anniversaries were very rare among Wy- 
oming citizens in them days, and a big celebration was announc- 
ed. Colonel Ivinson was pretty well off in this world's goods, 
and no expense was spared in making the occasion a success. Al- 
most the entire population of Laramie City and surrounding 
country was invited and they had a whole wagonload of whiskey 
and chamipagne, and another wagonload of pies and cakes and 
plum puddings. Colonel Ivinson, as we called him, never did 
anything by halves. We started the ball rolling along about 
eight o'clock in the evening. The whiskey and champagne was 
flowing as free as water right from the beginning of the celebra- 
tion. There was Colonel Downey and Bill Nye, and a score or 
so more of the first people of Laramie. They were having such 
a royal time when it came midnight that they forgot all about 
the supper and went right on dancing. We were divided into 
four nationalities, and liad several arguments as to the dances. 
The French wanted to dance the French Four, the Dutch in- 
sisted upon waltzes all the time, the Irish demanded Irish Jigs 
or break-downs, and the Americans preferred the cotilion or 
the American Square Dance of that time. I was calling for the 
Americans, and I told them to stick to their dance and I would 
keep right on calling and not give the other fellows a chance. 
We had plenty of fun that night, but no one was killed. In 
those days every man carried a six-shooter, even at the dances, 
in fact, a man's gun was part of his wearing apparel. Along 
in the after part of the night, while we were still dancing. Bill 
Nye hunted up the grub and ate a lot of the plum pudding. 
Soon he was taken very sick, and had to have a doctor. We 
found that old Doctor Harris had been called to Green River 
on account of a railroad Avreck, and the only help left was a 
sort of a quack doctor He hurried up to the house and found 
poor Bill a-cramping something awful After some time Bill 
quieted down, and then I realized that I was some hungry, so 
I hunted up the supplies. I discovered a stack of pies 
about two feet high, and just picked up the whole pile 
and carried them out and divided them amongst the crowd. 
Bill Nye recovei-ed by the following afternoon, but I never heard 
of his eating any more plum pudding, and if a man wanted 


trouble with him all he liad to do was to say "Let's go and have 
some plnm pudding. Bill!" We used to have a lot of fun with 
him by eatc-liing liim somewhere in a crowd and asking him if he 
was at Ivinson's silver M^edding. He was always in a hurry to 
treat on these occasions. 


On one of my prospecting trips I had a partner by the name 
of Joe Canoy. We rigged up an outfit at Laramie City, with a 
saddle horse and two pack horses for each of us, and as soon as 
the weather permitted in the Spring we travelled and prospected 
all across the central and northern parts of AVyoming and over 
into Idaho until we struck what is known as the Boise Basin. In 
a small gailch at the southern end of the Boise Basin we discover- 
ed what we were looking for, a good placer prospect. The dirt 
run as high as $4.50 to the pan, and we were soon washing out 
$10.00 an hour each. We made up our minds that we had struck 
a bonanza, and threw up a small cabin for shelter from the rain, 
and worked away until we were nearly out of grub. It was twen- 
ty-five miles to the nearest mining camp. I was a good deal 
stronger than Old Joe and did not like to leave him alone, so I 
told liim to take the pack hoi'ses and go after the grub, and I 
would stay and protect our claim. I cautioned him not to get 
drunk, and not to say anything about our discovery, and to bring 
back besides the provisions two French Kockers. He promised 
that he would not drink a drop at the mining camp, but would 
bring back a little with him. Then I told him further not to 
leave the mining camp for the return trip until after midnight, 
lest they follow liim and find out what we had. Joe had made the 
trip to the camp and bought and loaded our supplies, but while 
waiting until the time arived to slip out of the camp he began 
bowling up, and soon commenced blowing out our luck and 
showed the good dust to prove the truth of his story. At mid- 
night, or shortly after, he left the camp, and reached our claim 
early in the morning. I had panned out about $275.00 while he 
was away. After a talk we prepared and ate our breakfast, and 
then put up our French Rockers and went to work in earnest. 
Along in the afternoon I heard the brush cracking on the side 
of the mountain above us, and told Joe to get his gun quick as 
there were Indians near. It was not Indians, however, but a 
bunch of miners from the camp. They had taken Joe's trail and 
followed him right to our claim. When they saw us get our guns 
thoy called to us and explained who they were before they showed 
up, then they all came down into the gulch. They asked for a pan 
to test the dirt, and when they had wa.shed out a few pans they 
commenced to measure off the ground and divide it. Of coui-se 
we were helpless against so many, and had to make the best of 
it. They red off forty feet each for Joe and I, and then di- 


vided the balance among themselves, giving them twenty square 
feet apiece or half of what they allowed us, and then we all set 
to work. In four days we had washed the gulch all over, and the 
bunch had taken out sixty-one thousand dollars. Joe and I had 
four thousand dollars. We might just as well have had seventy- 
five thousand if Joe had let the whisky alone, for a year or two 
afterward a couple of Chinamen went in there and cleaned up 
twenty-one thousand, making that little gulch turn out in all 
eighty-two thousand dollars. 

The getting of that four thousand dollars was one of the 
worst pieces of luck I ever had befall me, for it gave me the gold 
fever and nothing would do but to continue the search for the 
precious stuff. Joe and I prospected to the south across Utah, 
down into Colorado, and on through New jMexico and into Old 
Mexico. We found several places where we could wash out ten 
or twelve dollars a day, but that wasn 't making money fast enough 
for us fellows and we wandered on looking for something like 
our Idaho claim until Ave got clear into Old Mexico. There we 
discovered a fine prospect, but had only worked two or three days 
when the Mexicans located us and ran us out. We came back 
around the Spanish Peaks, and were working some pretty good 
ground when the Apache Indians stole our pack animals and 
drove us out of that region. We prospected on into Colorado 
again, but winter was coming on, and we were dead broke, had 
only a saddle horse apiece, our guns and a blanket or two, so we 
got a little work and earned enough to get supplies for the jour- 
ney homeward. We finally reached Laramie just before Christ- 
mas, without a dollar in our pockets, and a long winter before 
us. This was the winter of 1869 and 1870, and was a very cold 
and hard one. We had passed over several places that summer 
where we could have washed out eight or ten dollars a day, but 
you see we were looking for spots where we could scoop the gold 
up by the shovel-full, and just walked over fortunes because we 
could not get them out in a day or two. All the prospectors were 
pretty much the same in them days, a careless, improvident lot. 

Professor Hayden, of the United States Geological Survey, 
was sent out by the Government to explore the source of the 
Cheyenne River and examine the Bad Lands, the Big Horn 
and the Yellowstone country, and I was detailed to go along. 
After exploring the Bad Lands thoroughly we crossed over the 
mountain range to the Yellowstone River; went into the Grand 
Canyon of the Yellowstone and saw the great geysers, and 
found two of them belching water so hot that fish could be 
cooked in it right on the spot. We caught a lot of fish and 
cooked them and ate them for supper enjoying them very much. 

We next turned southward into the Jackson's Hole country, 
or rather what is known as the Jackson's Hole country now — that 


boiii<:- tin Tiiikiiown name in those days — and there we stayed for 
some little time. The Yellowstone regrion and the Jackson's Hole 
country were at that time the greatest game preserves I ever saw 
anywhere. Elk, deer, buffalo, antelope and bear were in plain 
sight at all times and in great numbers, besides many smaller 

Leaving the Jackson's Hole country, we laid our course for 
the head of Green River by way of the Teton ]\Iountains. We 
climbed up the Grand Teton, which reaches a height of over thir- 
teen thousand feet, for a long distance, but we did not reach the 
top. At the highest point we reached we could see farther 
than from any other elevation I was ever on, and it Avas truly 
a magnificent view. We found a beautiful little lake near the 
Tetons, at an elevation of about eleven thousand feet, and it 
was just full of trout, both the salmon and rainbow species. 
We camped there a few days and caught many fish, among them 
some very fine specim.ens. They were fine eating, and not like 
the trout we caught up in the Yellowstone country. 

From the lake we crossed over the range onto the head of 
Green River, and followed that stream down until we arrived at 
the stage station, near where the railroad now crosses Green 
River. Then we travelled the stage road across the Bitter Creek 
country and the Red Desert, and on through where Rawlins now 
stands to the North Platte river, which we crossed a little above 
Fort Steele ; thence on eastward through Fort Halleck, at the foot 
of Elk ]\rountain. Of course we had to ford all the little moun- 
tain streams, including the Rattlesnake, the IMedicine Bow, the 
Wagonliound and Rock Creek, and they were all swift and hard 
to cross. We crossed the Laramie Plains at the north end, went 
through the Sybille Pass, and doAvn to Fort Laramie. Professor 
Hayden continued on to Washington to report the trip and its 

Carrying- Mail 

Crossing through Red Park on my way over to Hahn's Peak, 
I found the country full of Indians, but they did not molest me. 
If the hunting party had still been with me we might have had 
trouble, as the Indians did not want any white men to hunt in the 
Park. When they caught anyone hunting there they would in- 
variably give him a run for his life, and he was in big luck if he 
got away with a whole scalp. They claimed the Park as a hunt- 
ing ground, and were always ready to defend what they con- 
sidered their rights. 

When they finally had to leave the Park for good they tried 
theii- very best to destroy it by burning it over. They set it on 
fire in a thousand or more diflPerent places, wherever there was 
any timber. It was an awful job to go through it, on account of 


the intense heat and smoke, and I came near being burned alive 
on two or three occasions. 

On my first trip over the mail route after we knew the In- 
dians had left the Park for good, when on my way back toward 
Fort Saunders, I would just stake my horse out on good grass 
and spread down my blankets any old place, and go to sleep. One 
night I had camped in this way, and the next morning when I 
went to saddle my horse he was missing. He had been scared by 
a bear, as I found the tracks, and had broken loose and pulled 
out for the stage station, which was on the Platte river nearly 
sixty-two miles away. I had no idea that I would even see him, 
let alone catch him, before I reached the station, so I hid my 
saddle and blankets, and taking my mail bag, which weighed 
some twenty-five or thirty pounds, I started over the long trail 
on foot. I had quit carrying a gun or revolver after the Indians 
left the Park, as it was not necessary to go armed and the carry- 
ing of anything of the kind only added to the weight on my 
horse, but I always had along my dirk knife, which I called my 
Arkansas toothpick. Now my gun was the first thing I thought 
of, and I would have given a thousand dollars for my Winchester 
and a belt full of cartridges, for I felt the need of them more than 
at any other time during my career. As I was following a trail 
through thick timber at the foot of a mountain, to cut off part of 
the distance, I rounded a short curve, and there right in front 
of me and not over twenty feet away was the biggest cinnamon 
bear I had ever seen. He was coming along the trail toward me, 
and seemed to have no intention of giving m.e the road without a 
contest. I drew my knife, the only weapoa I had, and stepped 
behind a small tree ; then I yelled as loud and hard as I knew 
how. The bear stood up on his hind feet and looked toward me 
for a minute — it seemed a year — and then turned and trotted off 
up the side of the mountain as fast as he could go. I don't be- 
lieve I was ever so well pleased in my life as I was when I saw 
that bear on the retreat. I waited until he had been out of sight 
some little time before I started again, or even moved, for if 
there is one thing on earth that I am afraid of it is a big bear when 
I have no gun. Some men will tell you that they are not afraid 
of a bear. Well, I am, and have killed several good big ones in 
my time, too. 

When Mr. Bruin had been gone long enough to be a safe dis- 
tance away, I resumed my journey, walking on to the Platte river. 
There I found my horse, caught him, and rode thirty-five miles 
farther to the stage station on the Big Laramie. I had covered 
on the same day a distance of ninety-seven miles, walking and 
carrying the mail nearlj^ two-thirds of the way, and I don't be- 
lieve I was ever as tired in my life, either before or since, as I 
Avas that night. I spent tlie night at the stage station, and went 


on to Fort Saunders the next day, where I turned the mail bag 
over to the Pastmaster's Department, and that ended my experi- 
ence as a mail carrier for the time being. 

Hoping that these few sketches from my long and eventful 
life on the frontier will be of interest, and likewise the source of 
some information for the reader, I now bid you a very kind Good 


Mr. E. A. Brinninstool Avrites the following: 
Crazy Horse was killed at Fort Robinson — not Fort Lara- 
mie — and while resisting being put in the guard house. Sher- 
rod had nothing whatever to do Avith his arrest — not the slight- 
est. Gen. Jesse Lee had brought Crazy Horse over to Fort 
Robinson — or Red Cloud Agency — and was there at the time 
of the killing. The Lidian whom Crazy Horse attacked was 
Little Big Man — not Big Little Man — and he was a friend of 
Crazy Horse who tried to prevent the chief from putting up a 

figlit and resisting. 

* * * 

I have Gen. Lee's storj^ of the killing of Crazy Horse — a 
signed statement about it, also from Lieut. Lemley who was 
present also. Crazy Horse's body was delivered to his old 
father and mother the next day and they alone knew where 
he was buried — his burial place was never disclosed by his par- 
ents to anyone. 

Mr. F. S. Lusk, writing from Missoula, Montana, says: I 
lived at Mr. Meeker's house in Greeley, Colorado, for a long 
time and was rooming there at the time of his murder ; knew 
them all well and their history. Mr. Meeker was sent to Gree- 
ley by Horace Greeley to look after the colony ; he was a highly 
educated man, an ascetic almost, and as clean a man as could 
have been found in Colorado. His wife was a lovely, refined 
educated woman and their lives were open and happy. The 
family was unusually cheerful and happy. The son, Ralph, on 
the New York Tribune, three daughters, Rose, Mary and Josie, 
Josie and Mrs. Meeker were carried away by the Utes as cap- 
tives and Mr. Meeker was killed because he tried to save them. 
He was not a squaw man. I roomed at the Meeker home for 
several years and read the Government reports made to the 
family and know T am giving a correct version of the matter. 


Mr. John Hiinton of Torrington speaks of events subse- 
quent to the summer of 1867 and thinks Mr. Sherrod was never 
in the employ of the Government and says : ' ' The last time I 
saw him was in the summer of 1896, when he hauled a load of 
provisions from Rock Springs to Cora for my surveying party. 
I was surveying in that country that summer. ' ' 

* * * 

Mr. Hunton comments on the John 0. Ward manuscript 
in the following manner : ' ' The 14th Infantry did not go to 
Fort Fetterman until the summer of 1871, when four companies 
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel G. A. Woodward ar- 
rived there. Captain Krouse was with this command. 

* * * 

The scout and guide employed at the Fort was Joe Marya- 
vale, not "Joe Manos." The bridge across the Platte river was 
supervised and built by Major Julius W. Mason in 1879 or 1880, 
not by Captain Coates. 

Fetterman Avas abandoned by the United States as a mili- 
tary post early in the fall of 1882. Captain William H. Powell 
with Company "G, " 4th U. S. Infantry, being the last garrison." 

The Sherrod notes left by Colonel Coutant are appended. 



Born 1822 in Ohio where his parents moved from Virginia. 
Eemained in Ohio until he was 23 years old, became a boatsman 
on the Ohio River Avhen he was 18 years old and ran on various 
vessels for five years. 

Came to the Rocky Mountains in 1848 with Peter A. Sarpy 
of the American Furs and Buffalo Hides Company and com- 
menced trapping and hunting on the Cache la Pondre and 
worked up into Wyoming going West to Green River up which 
stream and then to the Yellowstone where they shipped hides 
and skins down the Yellowstone and Missouri to St. Louis. 

Returned to St. Louis in 1850. In 1851 came west to Wyo- 
ming and went to Fort Laramie where he did scouting for the 
Government and took contracts to supply wood. 

He married in 184 — Nancy Williams and by this marriage 
there were two sons and four daughters. All live in Wyoming. 
Mr. Sherrod lived in Laramie City, Ft. Saunders and on the 
head of the Little Laramie until 1886 when he located in Raw- 
lins and became a freighter between Rawlins and Lander and 
to other points. 


He was with Captain Egan in an Indian raid at Tensleep 
in tlie Big Horn Basin wlion they had followed Indians Avho had 
stolen stock. 

Hauled some of the first machinery into Colorado. In 1865 
on the return to Missouri River was with a train. 

Was with Temple when he was killed on the eastern line of 
"Wyoming on Sept. 30, 1865. 

He first saw Jim Baker in 1848. Knew Jim Bridger, Kit 
Carson and Joe Robinson. 



During the summer of 1886 the B. & M. Railway ran a pre- 
liminary survey from the then terminus of their line at Alli- 
ance, Neb., northwest through Northeastern Wyoming. This 
preliminary line ran through Weston County in a northwest- 
erl}^ direction, following the valley of South Beaver, about par- 
alleling tlie direction of the line as finally constructed, but about 
ten miles south and west. 

When the surveying party was opposite where Newcastle 
now stands, they heard of some bituminous coal Avhich had been 
discovered in the sand stone foot hills, and obtained a sample. 

In the spring of 1887, the discovery of this coal became 
known to a number of persons, and Mr. J. B. Weston, of Beat- 
rice, Neb., organized a small pack outfit with Al Ayers. now of 
Converse County in charge, and visited the region of the re- 
ported cropping ; they found a seam of bituminous coal about 
two and one-half feet in thickness at the head of what became 
known as Fuller Canyon, being so named for a settler Avho had 
located a homestead on the table land at the head of the canyon. 

The Weston partj^ took some samples of the coal with them 
and arranged to have some work done on the cropping by Mek- 
kel 0. Gladhough who was either the original discoverer of the 
cropping or the first to call it to the attention of the B. & M. 

AVhen Mr. AVeston returned home and reported the finding 
of tlie cropping tlie railroad contracting firm of Kilpatrick 
Bros. & Collins, of Beatrice, Neb., became interested in the pros- 
pecting and development of the same, and in the fall of the 
same year, 1887, they sent a party of three men forward to the 
vicinity of the cropping, prepared to spend the winter. In 
September 1887, F. W. Mondell, Avent by rail to Buffalo Gap, 
So. Dak., which afterward became the shipping point for sup- 
plies the first year of operation, and from there across the 
Black Hills to the vicinity of the coal cropping, and took 
charge of the prosj)ecting and development. He arrived at the 


head of Fuller Cajiyon, at the coal cropping on the 25th day 
of September. The head of the canyon, where camp was estab- 
lished is about five miles northwest of the present town of New- 
castle, and about a half mile from the buildings of the Weston 
County ranch of Kilpatrick Bros & Collins. 

At that time there were few people in the present county 
of Weston. About five miles southwest from the headquarters 
established on Skull creek was the Y T ranch owned by Colin 
Hunter ; about nine miles southeast on Stockade Beaver, at the 
old Jenny Stockade, was the L A K ranch owned by Allerton 
& Spencer ; about ten miles in a northerly direction was a small 
bunch of cattle under the EVA brand ; along the Stockade 
Beaver near the LAX ranch were located a few small stock- 
men and Hanson & Davis were operating occasionally a small 
water power saw mill. LaGrave & Delaney had a horse ranch 
near the head of oil creek some eighteen miles northwest ; and 
there were a few settlers engaged in farming and stockraising 
on Oil, Skull and Plum Creeks. 

In the immediate vicinity of the coal cropping two families 
of the names of Valentine and Fuller respectively, had located 
on the high table land, and were engaged in a small way in 
raising horses, and had attempted a little farming. 

A number of years prior to this time, George Jacobson, of 
Sundance and others had discovered an oil spring at the foot 
of the hill about two miles and a salf southeast of where camp 
was established and about one and a half miles west of the present 
town of Newcastle, and at one time there was a considerable ex- 
citement in the neighborhood, and a long legal battle over the own- 
ership of the spring, wliich finally resulted in the property passing 
into the hands of J. C. Spencer and the Eagle Oil Company. An- 
other oil spring had been discovered a little later about one and 
a half miles west of the Eagle Oil Company's spring, and was 
claimed by the American Oil Company; the excitement which 
the discovery of these springs had caused had completely sub- 
sided, and in 1887 no effort was being made to develop the oil 

Some time in the later seventies a salt spring had been dis- 
covered at what is now known as Salt Creek about nine miles 
northeast of the place where camp was established, and about 
two and a half miles north of the present mining town of Cam- 
bria. A camp had been established at these springs, and for a 
number of years the salt water was evaporated and the salt 
hauled overland to Deadwood, and Lead City, So. Dak., and 
the neighboring communities; this industry had ceased to be 
profitable with the approach of railways to the Black Hills 
mining country, and in .1887 the evaporators and buildings were 
in a state of dilapidation and decay, and the property was be- 
ing held by Patrick Donegan, for the owners. 


Immediately after arriving at Fuller Canyon, Mr. Mondell 
proceeded with the erection of a log camp near the coal crop- 
pings, and work was actively begun, with the small force, driv- 
ing a tunnel in the coal seam. The active prospecting and de- 
velopment of the winter and early spring had demonstrated 
that while there Avas some good coal at Fuller Canyon, the vein 
Avas not thick enough or sufficiently clear from impurities to 
make it profitable to mine it. During the early summer dili- 
gent search Avas made for coal in the surrounding region. The 
exposure in the Fuller canyon was some forty feet in length, 
running nearly horizontal, and some three hundred and fifty 
feet below the top of the table land above the canyon. 

About a mile from the Eagle Oil Compajiy spring, George 
Jacobson had discovered a very thin cropijing of Avhat appeared 
to be very good coal, in the bottom of a canyon, but this crop- 
ping extended only a few feet and Avas only a fcAv inches in 

During the early summer the canyons in CA'ery direction 
Avere diligently prospected Avith a AdeAV of discoA'ering, if possi- 
ble, the coal A'ein. The prospecting force Avas largely augmeiit- 
ed and parties Avere organized and sent in different directions 
from the AA'ork carried on in headquarters camp in Fuller Can- 
yon. The painstaking and diligent search liOAveA^er failed to 
discoA^er another cropping or any coal, other than above de- 
scribed, and in fact no other croppings Avere discoA^ered in the 
field. It soon became apparent that if the coal seam extended 
through the sandstone on the table lands in the A^cinity and 
canA'ons going through the country had eroded through the 
same, that the coal croppings had been burned and prospect- 
ing in Fuller Canyon, beloAV the original cropping demonstrated 
that at some period the coal cro])pings had caught fire and had 
burned under cover for a distance from fifty to tAvo hundred 
feet; the heaA-y masses of sandstone above the coal sustaining 
their tremendous Aveight until the coal had burned from be- 
neath them for this distance then closing and extinguishing 
the fires. The date of this conflagra.tion can only be conjectured, 
and its cause is entirely problematical; certain it is that these 
fires liad occurred hnndreds of years prior to tlie date of pros- 
pecting, for the Avash from the tops of the table lands had cov- 
ered tlie sloping sides of the canyon Avith soil to the depth of a 
fcAv inches to several feet, and in this soil OA'er a greater portion 
of tlie region had sprung up a groAvth of pines many of them 
reacliing a diameter of tAvo and a half feet, and an age of not 
less than seventy or eighty years ; the sloping sides Avere heavily 
carpeted Avith grass and tliere Avas nothing to suggest the pres- 
ence of coal veins anywliere i)i the region except the tAvo crop- 
pings above referred to. 

Careful study of the formation and of the various strata 


both above and below tlie coal seams, together with a knowl- 
edge gained by a thorough investigation of occasional slight 
evidences of the effects of the former fires, aided in locating 
approximately the location of the burned out seam, but the 
prospecting resulted in finding that the seam in certain direc- 
tions from the Fuller canyon was too thin or not of proper char- 
acter to be of any value, and the region of prospecting was 
greatly extended during the summer of 1888, resulting in the 
discovery of the coal vein in a canyon about half a mile east of 
the present opening of the Jumbo mine, at Cambria, and about 
five miles northeast of the original cropping. The coal seam 
when reached, by driving through the burned debris at the new 
discovery proved to be about seven feet in thickness and of a 
splendid quality, and long before the work had progressed far 
enough to fully determine the thickness or character of the 
seam many other drifts were begun at various points in the 
canyons about and directly above and below the vicinity of the 
present mine openings at Cambria. At every point the location 
of the seam necessitated careful examination of the face of the 
canyons, oftentimes much unsuccessful driving before the 
burned out vein was discovered, and then the driving of the 
drift through broken rock, which was oftentimes exceedingly 
dangerous a distance of one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
and fifty feet before the unburned coal seam was finally reached. 
This work was carried on during the remainder of 1888 and in 
the fall of that year a large saw mill outfit was brought over- 
land from Alliance, Neb., and put in operation in the canyon 
through which the Cambria Branch of the B. & M. railway now 
runs about half way between the present towns of Cambria and 

Early in the spring of 1889 temporary quarters were erect- 
ed near where the offices now stand at Cambria, and prepara- 
tions made for actual development work, and the opening up 
of the coal mines on a large scale. 

During the summer of 1889 the work of permanently open- 
ing up the mines was pushed very rapidly; main entries and 
parallel air courses were driven and strongly timbered, on both 
sides of the canyon. The one known as the Antelope, and the 
other as the Jumbo entry; an air compressor and four large 
boilers were hauled overland from Alliance, Neb., over almost 
impassable roads and with infinite labor were pulled over the 
high table land and then over hastily constructed roads car- 
ried to the bottom of the canyon and placed in position. The 
saw mill was run to its full capacity and a large amount of 
material gotten out. 

During the same summer very extensive farming operations 
were carried on in the vicinity of the home ranch, which was 
established beside a beautiful spring on the head of Fuller can- 


yon Oil the site of the homestead of the settler, Fuller, above re- 
ferred to. Some ei^ht hundred acres were broken and sowed 
to winter wheat, Avinter rye, oats and barley. A splendid crop 
was produced in 1889 and several years thereafter. Over 
25.000 bushels of grain, wheat, oats, barley and rye were 
threshed in 1891, and upwards of 13,000 bushels in 1892. These 
crops were entirely produced without irrigation. Later the 
ranch was almost exclusively devoted to the raising of live 
stock, and the farming area was reduced. 

During 1888 a considerable amount of prospecting for coal 
was done Avith diamond drills, and at least one of these drills 
was kept in operation continuously. 

In the spring of 1891 a diamond drill and a portable churn 
drill was put in operation in the vicinity of where Newcastle 
now stands and a number of wells were sunk to the oil bearing 
sand and proof made and patent obtained to the present town- 
site of Newcastle and adjoining lands, as oil placer. Drilling 
for oil M'as continued by Kilpatrick Bros. & Collins and asso- 
ciates for several years thereafter in the vicinity of Newcastle. 
One well was sunk to a depth of 1340 feet at a great cost, and 
in a number of instances the oil bearing sand was pierced and 
the existence of a superior lubricating oil in considerable quan- 
tities was demonstrated. The townsite of Newcastle is the first 
tract of land in the United States ever patented under the 
placer mining laws as oil placer. 

In the fall of 1889 the townsite of Newcastle was surveyed 
and in September of that year, the first lots were sold. The 
town is unique in that the first ground that was broken was for 
the foundation of a splendid two story and basement brick 
building occupied by the store and offices of Kilpatrick Bros. 
& Collins. The first building completed was a large barn build- 
ing, the property of the same people, which was temporarily 
used as a hotel and store. 

It is said that no town was ever equipped with a first class 
water and sewerage system so soon after its foundation as New- 
castle. Its inhabitants were supplied with chemically pure 
mountain water and a good sewerage system was laid, within 
six months after the first sale of lots. 

The B. & M. Railway reached Newcastle about the middle 
of November 1889 and Cambria the latter part of the same 

Tlie first coal was loaded from the mines at Cambria on the 
4th day of December, 1889. 

Early in 1889 the Newcastle and Cambria Water Supply 
Company had begun the construction of a water system to con- 
duct the waters of Sweetwater creek and Pisgah springs to 
Newcastle and Cambria. This work was pushed under great 
difficulties and under an enormous expense by the Kilpatrick 


Brothers under the corporate name of the Newcastle and Cam- 
bria Water Supply Company; a splendid gravity system with 
over fourteen miles of steel pipe was laid in a f eAv months ; the 
water reaching Newcastle early in 1890. 

The firm of Kilpatrick Bros. & Collins who were the moving 
spirit in the development in and about Newcastle and Cambria, 
consists of William H., Kobert J. and S. D. Kilpatrick and C. 
W. Collins, and to their energy, unfailing faith, and unstinted 
expenditure of money, is due the development of the Cambria 
Mines, the foundation and rapid growth of Newcastle, and very 
largely the development of the oil and other resources. 

Hon. W. H. Kilpatrick gave the work of development a 
large amount of his personal attention and when Newcastle 
was founded built himself a beautiful home on the heights over- 
looking the city. 

During the early period of prospecting Mr. F. W. Mondell 
was in charge and directed the work and continued as manager 
for Kilpatrick Bros. & Collins in their various enterprises in 
and about Newcastle until 1895. 


The Historical Department has recently been given an un- 
usual collection which will be known as the "Carl Adam von 
Blessingh Collection," The donor came from Europe to the 
United States in 1876, going first to the Cherokee Strip where 
he adventured for two years. 

In 1879 he trailed cattle from Texas to Montana ; this 
brought him across Wyoming, subsequently he passed several 
months of each year in Wyoming Territory but it was not un- 
til 1911 that he took up permanent residence in Wyoming. He 
is a naturalized American citizen and being without heirs it is 
his desire that his family portraits and mementos shall be the 
property of our State. 

The Carl Adam Van Blessingh Collection 
Large oil portrait of John Casimir von Biasing, the First 
Duke of Putbus. Painted in 1643 and shows the Duke clad in 
full armour which he wore when he took part in the Thirty 
Year War in Germany. The family estate was situated on the 
Isle of Rugen of£ north Germany. During the time of the first 
Duke the family crest was changed from three horseshoes to a 
lion holding four flags over fort. 

Large oil portrait of Carl Adam von Blessingh, the second 
Duke of Putbus. During his time the spelling of the family 
name was changed as noted. He was born in 1710 and died in 


17fi3. He was considered the greatest authority on fortification 
at that time in Europe. ' The story is told that at the time of the 
war between Sweden and Russia when the second Duke was a 
younp- captain, the ship Baltic with a squadron of Russian sol- 
diers was in the harbor at Aland, Russia. The young Duke, 
knowing of the Russian superstition against getting drunk on 
shipboard, let it be known that there was plenty of wine on 
sliore, and after they had all gone to sample it, he, together 
Avith a small body of men crept aboard the deserted ship and 
as each man came up OA-er the side gagged and bound him. In 
this way the entire squadron was captured Avithout killing a 

Large oil portrait of Countess Cordula von Taube, Avife of 
Carl Adam A^on Blessingh. The detail of this picture is espec- 
iallv fine. The Countess died in 1769. 

Crayon portrait in colors of Axel Adam von Blessingh, 
Third Duke of Putbus. The delicate pastel shades and the 
quaint hand carA'ed OA^al frame of this portrait and of the com- 
panion one of his AAdfe are especially good. It is said that at 
one time the ship on Avhich the Czar of Russia Avas sailing Avas 
AA^recked near the Isle of Rugen and the Duke rescued the Czar 
from droAvning. He Avas taken to the Duke's home to recover 
and since in those days means of communication were very 
sloA\% he Avas treated as an honored guest by the Duke and his 

AVhen he AA^as recoA^ered from his experience and able to 
travel he gratefully presented to the couple a magnificent dia- 
mond and pearl ring, and told them that if they Avere ever in 
need of assistance to sIioaa^ this ring and CA^erything that Avas 
possible AA'ould be done for them. After arriving home he sent 
to each the Duke and his AAnfe a six line team of Arabian horses 
Avliich AA^ien harnessed to the elaborate carriages of the day 
made an impressiA^e spectacle. The ring AA^as later sold for 
$2700.00 to the SAvedish Court jeAA^eler AA'lien the family for- 
tunes Avere on the AA-ane. 

Crayon portrait of Christina von Krassow — companion por- 
trait to that of the Third Duke of Putbus. 

Small oil portrait of Carl Adam von Blessingh, Fourth 
Duke of Putbus. He took part in the Franco-German AA'ar and 
Avas taken prisoner by the French, but later Avas successful in 
escaping and reacliiiig liome. He Avas accidentally killed Avhile 
out hunting. 

Small oil portrait of Axel von Blessingh, brother of the 
Fourth Duke of Putbus. He also took part in the Franco-Ger- 


man war and was taken prisoner by the French. He and his 
brother made their escape together. 

Carl Axel Christian Ernst von Blessingh, Fifth Duke of 
Putbus, was born January 22, 1811 and died in 1864, leaving 
his wife, Gustava Wilhelmina von Kindberg von Blessingh and 
a son, Charles Adam von Blessing who still lives and is the 
donor of this collection. The fifth and last Duke of Putbus 
had a stormy career. He led the Prussians against Kaiser Wil- 
helm I and as a result the family estates were confiscated and 
the family compelled to flee to Sweden. 

He was married twice, his first wife being injured while 
out hunting and although she lived for seventeen years after- 
wards, was a helpless cripple confined to her bed in a hospital. 
After her death the Duke married Gustava Wilhelmina von 
Kindberg. To this union were born two sons, the younger dying 
when just a child. 

The collection includes two pictures of the Duke, one at 
the age of 18 in uniform and an enlarged photograph, tinted, 
and one with his second wife, who died in 1911. 

The small oil paintings by Magnino showing the summer 
home of the Fifth Duke which was located in southern Sweden 
on the River Laggan and a view from the upstairs window of 
the home and the park surrounding. This estate was four 
miles wide and seven miles long. During the winter months 
the family lived in the City of Lund and occasionally in Stock- 

The collection also includes a gilt framed picture of 
Frances von Blessingh Labes, favorite sister of the Fifth Duke ; 
a small oval picture of Ulrica von Blessingh von Gerberg of 
Stralsund, Sweden, another si.ster of the Fifth Duke ; a large 
framed print showing the death of Charles the TweKth of 
Sweden ; a very large family estate flag with the crest painted 
on it ; a pair of very old racing spurs. The Fifth Duke used 
these spurs when he made his famous ride of 405 miles on one 
horse in seventy hours ; Silver buttons used on the servant 's 
livery. There are 44 of these buttons and they are engraved 
with the family crest. 

Eunice Catherine Hastie. 

The Historical Department has recently received a gift of 
great value to the Department. This is a "Souvenir of Wyor 
ming" 1924 in three volumes. These volumes are nine inches 
by twelve and a quarter inches by three and a half inches thick, 
substantially and beautifully bound in green leather with gilt 


title. At tlie bottom of each front cover there is stamped in 
gokl ''The Wyomiiifr Historical Society." 

Each Toliime carries on its title page "A Souvenir of Wyo- 
ming," Being a Diarj^ of a Fishing Trip in Jackson Hole and 
Yellowstone Park, -with remarks on early history and Historical 

Eight Typewritten copies." 

Then follows the volume number and the name of the vol- 
ume. Published Cleveland, Ohio, 1926. 

The second title page reads: " 'A Souvenir of Wyoming.' 
Text by John G. White; Photographs initialed "L" by Stephen 
N. Leek; Photographs initialed "B" by William C. Boyle. 
Eight typcAvritten copies only. One for each member of fishing 
party — William C. Boyle, Thomas A. McCaslin, Stephen N. 
Leek, John G. White. One each for — The Wyoming Historical 
Society, The Missouri Historical Society, Horace N. Allbright, 
Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park." 

Volumes one and two carry the diary which is profusely 
illustrated with original photographs. Each A'olume carried a 
large colored photograph. History runs through each of the 
three volumes. The third volume is of history and contains 
thirty-eight historical maps mounted on heavy map cloth. 
Some of these maps have been procured from the British Mu- 
seum, some from the Library of Congress and twenty-seven of 
them are photostat maps. The earliest map is dated 1777, the 
original of which is in the British Museum. 

Mr. John G. White, who is senior member of the law firm 
of White, Cannon and Spieth, in a most entertaining manner 
has given a vivid Avord picture of the trip, in his diary and in 
the history which accompanies it. 

Mr. William C. Boyle, one of the party and also an attor- 
ney of Cleveland enjoys a reputation as an expert amateur 

Mr. Leek who guided the party and is spoken of in the 
Diary as the "Captain" is Wyoming's own Mr. Stephen N. 
Leek of Jackson. 

We regard the volumes "A Souvenir of Wyoming" as the 
most valuable of onr Wvomingana collection. 



From January to April, 1927 

Ballou, William John Birdseye View of Cheyeuue 1882. Large 

framed print with list of principal 
business houses and public buildings. 

Hunton, Mr. John One Teacher's Eecord Book, copy of re- 
port School District No. 11, 1892.* 
Four copies School No. 3, District No. 
11, 1892; Five copies School No. 1, 
District No. 11, 1892; One Certificate 
of Stock in Cheyenne Driving Asso- 
ciation; Four Fort Laramie Poll 
Books, 1896, 1898, 1900, and 1902; 
One Fort Laramie Election ballot for 

Lusk, Mr. Frank Two old envelopes addressed to "Mrs. 

C. M. Lusk, County Superintendent 
of Schools for Converse County, Lusk, 
Wyo. " with return card "If not de- 
livered in Ten Days return to JOHN 
SLAUGHTER Territorial Librarian, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming." One envelope 
was plainly cancelled at the Chey- 
enne postoffice on Mar. 18, 1889; Por- 
tion of old envelope showing picture 
of the University of Wyoming with 
a list of the various departments when 
the University was first built. 
Program of Teacher 's Institute, Con- 
verse County, First Annual Session, 
Douglas, Wyoming, September 3d to 
7, 1888, Mrs. Cornelia M. Lusk, Su- 
perintendent, Charles E. Lowry, Con- 

von Blessingh, Mr. C. A The von Blessingh Collection. See de- 
scription elsewhere. 

Beard, Mrs. Cyrus Pair of chopsticks from Chinese store 

in Evanston, Wyoming. Bought in 
1890 when Evanston had a Joss House 
and Chinese settlement. Handtooled 
leather eardcase tooled by Eobert 
Foot when ten vears of age. 

*Addie Harding (See re])or1) is Mrs. "Billy" Wnlker of Cheyenne. 



Bartlett, Miss Edna. 

r'olloction of twelve photographs of 

pioneers; Picture of Hartville, Wyo., 
taken in 1905; Print of Memorial 
Continental Hall, Washington, D. C. 
Two sleigh bells on leather thong 
picked up near Custer Battlefield. 
Folding knife, fork and spoon carried 
by I. S. Bartlett during Civil War. 
Piece of rope used at launching of 
Monitor "Wyoming" in 1900 at 
which Miss Bartlett and Frances War- 
ren*^ officiated. 

Wilson, Mr. J. B Vermont currency — Two shillings, and 

Six-pence dated first day of June A. 
D. 1782. 

Davidson, Lieut Old letter addressed to B. A. Hart and 

w'ritten to him by his wife Nov. 14, 
1880. B. A. Hart w-as j^ostmaster at 
Old Fort Laramie. Program of Or- 
ganization Day Horse Sliow. Has 
brief history of the Fourth Cavalry. 
Program dated March 3rd, 192.'5. 

Ilalin, Mrs. Virginia Bridger Enlarged mounted kodak picture of her- 
self. Mis. Hahn is the only liv'ing 
child of Jim Bridger, early day scout 
and trapper. She will be 78 years old 
on the 4th of .Tulv, 1927. 

Pascall, Mr. Tlenrv L. 

Jones, "Mr. ITovle. 

ilwards, Elsa Spear. 

-Group picture of "Largest General 
Roundup, Cheyenne Eiver District, 
1884." Taken in 1914. Those in the 
group are Lee Moore, Mark Beatheani, 
J. B. Kendrick. Tom Bell, W. C. Irv- 
ing, Hon. Jeff Davis, Mr. Talbott, J. 
W. Hammond, A. A. Spaugh. 

.Two unmounted photographs — one of 
Seth E. Ward and one of his wife. 
Mr. Ward was Post Trader in the 
early days of Old Fort Laramie. 

.Tinted jiicture of Custer's Last Stand; 
two views of Medicine Wheel showing 
wall recently built to protect it; pic- 
ture of Lake De Smet near the Big 

*'!■'' i-;niccs \\';iircn licc-iiiu' the wil'e of (Jen'l. Tersliing. Mrs. Pershing 
is now deceased. 


Horn Mountains; picture of one of 
the dream houses on the edge of the 
Medicine Mountain; picture of the 
top of Medicine Mountain from the 
Devil's Causeway; picture of one of 
the caves leading down into Medicine 
Mountain where Eed Feather stayed. 


Beard, Mrs. Cyrus "The Strain of White" by Ada Wood- 
ruff Anderson; "India and the War" 
with an introduction by Lord Syden- 
ham; "The Slavs of the War Zone" 
by W. F. Bailey; Seven numbers of 
the Godey's Ladies Book published 
in 1868; Book published in Berlin in 
1804 — German text book of- fables and 

Bartlett, Miss Edna Illustrated Bee for September 23, 1900, 

giving pictures and account of the 
launching of the Monitor "Wyo- 
ming. ' ' 

Donor Unknown "Bessemer Wyoming Journal" pub- 
lished at Bessemer, Carbon County, 
Wyoming, Thursday, Aug. 1, 1889, 
giving the account of the hanging of 
Ella Watson (Cattle Kate) and Jim 

Wyoming Labor Journal Pub- Avrill. 

lishing Company Bound volume of Wyoming Labor Jour- 
nal for the year 1926. 


Hart, Mrs. .James Franklin Louisa Lajeunesse Boyd. 

Munsell, J. F Copy of Original Diary of Charles Tink- 
er, born September 7, 1821, kept on 
trip to California in 1849. 

Bartlett, Miss Edna Thirteen original manuscripts on his- 
torical subjects written for the D. A. 
E. by its members. Four are by 
(Mrs.) Helen Whipple; five by Mrs. 
I. S. Bartlett, one by Mrs. Frank N. 
Shiek, one by Mr. Luke Voorhees for 
the D. A. R. and two are unsigned. 

Johnson, Jessamine Spear "Palimeno" The Shiek of the Range. 

Edwards, Elsa Spear "The Medicine Wheel." 

Hayden, Mrs. Margaret Story of the Shoslione National Forest. 


Amlorsoii. A. A Tlie Yellowstone Forest Eescrve, Its 

Foundation and Development. 

.Iciikiiis, ^frs. .1. F. Jenkins Yesterday. 

J5ruee, Mr. Robert Zinc Etching of Original Map of the 

Yellowstone District. Map by Geo- 
logical Survey. 

Moore, Mr. Lee Letter writt-en by Mr. Louis C. Butscher, 

of Laramie, Wyoming, to Mr. Moore 
in which he recalls early days on the 
range and his pleasant association 
with Mr. Moore. 

Jones Iloyle Mr Scth E. Ward Biography. 


Moore, Mr. Lee List of Members, By-Laws, and Eeports 

of the Wyoming Stock Growers Asso- 
ciation, 1887. 

Lusk, F. S Wyoming at the World's Columbian 


Schoer, Dr. IT "From the Piegans to the Piut-es" by 

H. Schoer M. D. 

Studebaker, ]\[r. S. II ''George Washington, Master Mason," 

An address delivered by Jno. Frank 
Smith before Cloud Peak Lodge No. 
27, A. F. & A. M., Worland, Wyo. 

Looiiiis, ]\Ir "The Railroad Background of the Kan- 
sas-Nebraska Act," by P. H. Hodder. 

Ivl wards, Elsa Sjiear "An Outing in the Big Horn Mountains 

of Wyoming" by J. T. Williamson. 

Jones, Miss Jessie S "Carry On," Vol. VI, No. 1 for Febru- 
ary, 1927. 

Carroll, Major C. G "The American Legion Monthly'' for 

April, 1927. 

Bruce, Robert "Custer's Last Battle" by Charles 

Francis Roe. 


Bartlett, Miss JCdna Reports of the Cheyenne Chapter of the 

D. A. R. from 1901 to Report of D. A. 
R. from 1890 to 1897. 


Mcard, Mrs. Cyrus "Far West Sketches" by Jessie Benton 

Book of Mormon; 

The Opium Monojioly by Ellen N. La 

White, 'Mr. J. G "A Souvenir of Wyoming," 1924, in 

three volumes. See elsewhere.