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^Amals of Wwrning 



„'-.\^, .-■' .li'S'"'"'-'^ ''■— ' "" 

I ' 



1 N C _ u 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

9y y, '7 

J?7 7A 





Robert St. Clair 



Mrs. Wilmot McFadden 

Rock Springs 


Mrs. Frank Emerson 



Miss Jennie Williams 



Richard I. Frost, Chairman 



Mrs. Virgil L. Thorpe 



William T. Nightingale 


Member at Large 

Mrs. Dudley Hayden 



Attorney General James E. Barrett 




Neal E. Miller Director 

Walter B. Nordell Administrative Assistant 

Mrs. Mary Purcella Secretary 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research and 

Publications Division 

Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 

Kermit M. Edmonds Chief, Museum Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and October 
and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 
Copies of current issues may be purchased for $2.00 each. Available copies 
of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be obtained by writing to 
the Editor. 

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

Annals of Wyoming articles are abstracted in 
Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life 

Copyright 1970, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

Anmls of Wyoming 

Volume 42 

April, 1970 

Number 1 

Neal E. Miller 

Katherine Halverson 
Associate Editor 

John W. Cornelison 
Research Assistant 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1969-1970 

President, Mrs. Hattie Eurnstad Worland 

First Vice President, J. Reuel Armstrong Rawlins 

Second Vice President, Willum R. Dubois Cheyenne 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Neal E. Miller Cheyenne 

Post Presidents 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

Willum L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

Dr. T a. Larson, Laramie 1957-1958 

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins 1958-1959 

Mrs, Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo 1959-1960 

E. A. Littleton, Gillette 1960-1961 

Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper. 1961-1962 

Charles Ritter, Cheyenne 1962-1963 

Neal E. Miller, Rawlins 1963-1965 

Mrs. Charles Hord, Casper 1965-1966 

Glenn Sweem, Sheridan 1966-1967 

Adrian Reynolds, Green River 1967-1968 

CuRTiss Root, Torrington 1968-1969 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
Society Chapters have been organized in Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, 
Carbon, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, 
Natrona, Niobrara, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Teton, Washakie, 
Uinta and Weston Counties. 

State Dues: 

Life Membership $50.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and Wife) 75.00 

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same address) 5.00 

Send State membership dues to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
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Zabte of Contents 


By Robert L. Munkres 


By Viola McNealey 


Supreme Court and the Laramie River Controversy 47 

By M. Paul Holsinger 



By B. W. AUred and W. R. Pagel 


Trek No. 20 of the Historical Trail Treks 
Compiled by Maurine Carley 


President's Message, by Hattie Burnstad 
Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting 


Mattes, The Great Platte River Road „.. 117 

Catt and Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics 118 

Jones, Longhorns North of the Arkansas 119 

Hannon, The Boston-Newton Company Venture _ 120 

Patrick, The Candy Kid 122 

Urbanek, The Memoirs of Andrew McMaster 123 

Ewers, The Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture with Comparative 

Material from Other Western Tribes 124 

Combs, Westward to Promontory 125 

Johnson, Denver's Mayor Speer 126 

Black, Island in the Rockies: The History of Grand County, 

Colorado 127 

Harman, The Great West in Paintings 128 

National Park Service, The National Register of Historic 

Places, 1969 129 

Florin, Historic Western Churches 131 

Weslager, The Log Cabin in America: From Pioneer Days to 

the Present 132 

Horton, Cleaning and Preserving Bindings and Related Materials .. 133 


INDEX 136 


Indian Saddle Blanket and Woman's Saddle 
Following page 56 

Storm Scene in the Rocky Mountains 

1911 Map of Wyoming 

George F. Morgan, Sr. 

George Frederick Morgan 
Following page 88 

Iron Army Bridge 

"The Days That Are No More . . ." 

1969-1970 Officers, Wyoming State Historical Society 

The two Indian artifacts shown on the cover are a 
buckskin-bordered, quill-trimmed canvas saddle blanket 
and a woman's saddle. The saddle blanket was made by 
a Crow Indian and was received by the Wyoming State 
Museum from the Wyoming State Historical Society in 
1919. A fine collection of Indian material presented to 
the State Museum two years later by Frank S. Lusk in- 
cluded the Flathead or Nez Perce saddle. The woman's 
saddle of the Northern Plains area typically featured a 
high horn and cantle, and an equipment hook located in 
front of the horn. Consisting mainly of a rawhide-bound 
tree, with only the necessary straps and appendages add- 
ed, such a saddle provided a maximum of seating secur- 
ity with a minimum of weight, Mr. Lusk, prominent 
rancher and businessman, in 1886 founded the town 
which was named for him. 

For information on the background map used on the 
cover, see the article, "The Seven Days of Hanover 
County," in this issue, and the picture of the entire map 
following page 56. 

Ask Mollowz 
Q ate way to the Migh Plains 

Robert L. Munkres 

A century and a quarter ago a portion of America uprooted itself 
in search of a dream. This dream had many parts; it told some of 
land so rich crops fairly leaped from the ground, it told others of 
gold veins richer than the fabled El Dorado, and it told a few of 
religious freedom which had been more easily promised than 

Those who answered the broad appeal were called pioneers, 
emigrants, pilgrims and, usually by the mountain men, green horns. 
Some came by sea, but more went overland attempting to reach 
their goal, and most of those who traveled by land followed an 
increasingly well-marked trail along the Platte and Sweetwater 
Rivers. This trail was itself called after a dream which had stim- 
ulated speculation since the days of Robert Rogers, for this was the 
road to Oregon. 

It began in Missouri at Westport Landing, angled across Kansas 
and eastern Nebraska to the Platte River, which, together with its 
tributary the Sweetwater, marked the trail to the Continental 
Divide at South Pass. In its earher stages it was not a difficult 
road, but beyond the forks of the Platte the country began to 
change as the trail led up the South Platte, across to the North 
Platte and on towards the high plains. The "gateway" to the North 
Platte and the country beyond was one of the most famous land- 
marks of the trail — Ash Hollow. 

For most wagon trains, the road to the North Platte seemed 
actually to begin with the fording of the South Platte. This task 
was accomphshed with widely varying degrees of difficulty and at 
different locations along the river. In general, it appears that 
earlier parties crossed closer to the forks; emigrant trains tended to 
ford the river at points further west.^ Nathaniel Wyeth forded the 
river in 1834; he noted simply, "Crossed without difficulty and 

1. Dale L. Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris, The Rocky Mountain 
Journals of William Marshall Anderson: The West In 1834. The Hunting- 
ton Library: San Marino, California, 1967. Footnote on pp. 96-97. The 
authors give the following summary: "The ford used in 1834 seems to have 
been standard during the fur trade era. It also served the Bartleson party in 


made up the N. side of the South Fork about 4 miles W. then struck 
N.W. . . ."- Orange Gaylord (1850) also recorded the crossing in 
tones so matter-of-fact as to suggest minimal difficulty: "Traveled 
10 miles, which brought us to the upper ford on South Platte. 
Crossed over the river. It is about one and half mile wide at the 
ford. The upper ford is 165 miles up the river from where we first 
struck it on the St. Joseph route."-^ William Chandless and his 
party (1855) also had quite an easy time of it. The river, he 
wrote, "here is quite shallow, but very broad, and with a sandy 
bottom, tolerably firm; all the waggons double-teamed across." 
The successful ford was celebrated with "whiskey served out to us 
afterwards," the quahty being "sufficient, but rather spoilt by a bad 
cask."* Thaddeus S. Kenderdine (1858) provides the counter- 
point to such easy crossings : 

. . . luckily for us the river was now at a low ebb, as it generally is at 
this time of year. In spite of the small portion of daylight that was 
left us, the wagon-master resolved to attempt to ford the river before 
morning, and doubling teams, five of the lead wagons plunged down 
the steep shore into the river. But it was impossible to move them but 
a short distance over the yielding quicksandy bottom, with so weak a 
force as we had attached to them, and after floundering about in the 
river until after night, we gave up the attempt for that day, and bring- 
ing the exhausted oxen ashore, we turned the whole herd loose, and 
left the wagons until the morning, when the final start was to be made. 
Sunrise saw us all up and busily engaged in fortifying the inner man 
with liberal allowances of pork, bread and coffee, our standing, un- 
varied bill of fare, in anticipation of the heavy day's work before us. 
After breakfast the herd was hurried into the corral, when out of the 
one hundred and fifty-six yokes, we selected eighty of the strongest. 
These were divided into teams of twenty yokes each, our intentioo 
being to take four wagons over at a time, and five or six men were 

1841, under the guidance of Thomas Fitzpatrick. Black Harris, in charge of 
the caravan of 1839, crossed farther up to avoid a Sioux concentration, and 
from 1842 emigrants regularly began to cross the South Platte at more west- 
erly points. The uppermost of the early crossings, 4 miles west of present 
Brule, Nebraska, and some 87 miles above the Forks, was known by 1845, 
when Joel Palmer referred to it cis a better way of reaching Ash Hollow 
than that which he and his fellow emigrants had taken. (Palmer's is one of 
the earliest references to Ash Hollow, a locality earlier called simply Ash 
Creek or the Upper Cedar Bluffs.) In 1846 the favored crossing was at 
present Ogallala, 12 miles below the crossing just mentioned. The massive 
overland emigration of 1849 used all these fords." 

2. Ibid, p. 96. 

3. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850." As cop- 
ied from the Transactions of the Forty -fifth Annual Reunion of The Oregon 
Pioneer Association, Portland, July 19, 1917. Entry for May 28. Unless 
otherwise indicated, this and subsequent footnotes refer to materials in the 
files of Mr. Paul Henderson of Bridgeport, Nebraska, Mr. Henderson's 
cooperation and encouragement are hereby gratefully acknowledged. 

4. William Chandless, Visit to Salt Lake. London, 1857, (Newberry 
Microfilm 2-17). Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise 
Ridge — 12-45. P. 1, entry for Sept. 6th. 


alloted to each team, to tug at the wheels and belabor the unwilling 
oxen. The long, snakelike columns were at last hitched to their re- 
spective wagons, and stood in readiness on the bluff overlooking the 
broad river, which lay spread out before us, sparkling under the rays 
of a bright sun. The wagons, which had remained in the river all 
night, were now deeply sunken in the quicksand, looking like spots 
upon the surface of the water, and as if it would be impossible to 
awaken them from their soft beds into consciousness on the opposite 
shore; and all things betokened a day replete with toil and hardship. 
The signal being given, our teams began tumbling down the bank and 
striking out into the river, each taking a different course, and soon the 
excitement commenced. The oxen, frightened by the broad, glittering 
expanse of water spreading out before them, refused to pull at first; 
but a proper amount of buckskin and yelling being judiciously applied 
by their mentors, they were at last induced to change their opinions, 
and the wagons slowly began to move. In spite of the remedies ad- 
ministered, they would soon stop, for the wheels were continually 
sinking, and the cattle, from hard driving and scanty food, were badly 
broken down. Again, after repeated efforts, we would start, soon to 
be brought to a full stop, however; and we were sometimes obliged to 
unload the freight and pack it to a neighboring sand-bar untU we could 
again get under way. And so it went on, until at length, after laboring 
tediously and yelling assiduously, the pioneer wagons of our caravan 
were across the Platte, and at last stood dripping on the opposite shore. 
The teams now started back for another quartette of wagons, which 
were got over in due time. Throughout the day the river was alive 
with excitement by the shouting of the drivers, the loud cracking of 
their terrible whips, the struggling oxen, turning from the right to the 
left as they strained every muscle to move the reluctant wagons, 
splashing the water all about them in their mad plunges, and the re- 
crossing of the long columns after other wagons. After having made 
several excursions back and forth, we at last had the great satisfaction 
of seeing the last wagon ascending the northern shore of the South 

The trip across the tableland between the two forks of the Platte 
was an undesirable one at best and, not infrequently, a dangerous 
one. The precise distance involved varied with almost every party, 
but all covered between 15 and 25 miles. The estimates of dis- 
tance might vary, but virtually all accounts agree on one constant — 
a lack of grass and water and an abundance of sand. For example, 
Helen Carpenter (1856) noted: 

The bluff we had to ascend to get on the dividing ridge between 
North and South Platte, was very high and very steep in places. The 
road was necessarily sandy as the whole country is little but sand. 
Once on the ridge, the road is quite level and not at all bad. In the 
most fertile places there is very little grass and bimches of cactus. The 
cattle would not eat the grass so the nooning was short.^ 

5. Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, A California Tramp. Newton, Pa., 1888 
(Newberry Microfilm 3-1). Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed 
by Louise Ridge — 2-46. P. 6, entry for August 14. 

6. Helen M. Carpenter, Overland Journey. (Newberry Microfilm 4-7). 
Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Lotiise Ridge — 2-46. 
Entry for June 23rd. 


Mrs. Elizabeth Geer (1847) was even less impressed with the 
scenery, possibly because such a trip was a rather unsatisfactory 
way to celebrate Independence Day: 

Last night had some rain, which is very uncommon in this region. 
We forded the Platte yesterday. Today passed over from south to 
north branch of the Platte. It is the roughest country here that the 
mind can conceive of. Indicative of volcanic action. I think of the 
shape of the earth — no level land — all ridges, mounds and deep hol- 
lows, without any herbage whatever, but you will see now and then in 
some deep hollow a scrubby cedar growing."'' 

Vincent Page Lyman (1860) summed up the normal difficulties 
encountered: "The roads from the south to the north Platte being 
sandy and very bluffy and no water or grass between the two rivers, 
we were obliged to make it without stopping for dinner."* K 
humans found the going rough, so did the animals. Mr. E. W. 
Conyers (1852) described a case in point: 

Atmosphere cloudy and has the appearance of more rain. We start- 
ed at 6:30 a.m. One of our oxen, Old Duke, sick this morning. It 
cleared off about 11 a.m. Sun came out very hot, which makes it 
quite hard for our cattle; they drag along like snails. . . . These bluffs 
seem to be nothing but sand — a kind of quick sand.^ 

The lack of grass and water were the constant problems. On 
occasion, however, other types of difficulties might occur. Nature 
periodically compensates for the relative lack of moisture on the 
high plains, frequently in the form of mighty wind and thunder 
storms. The reaction of Mrs. Cecelia Adams (1852) to such 
natural phenomena was typical: "Last night about 12 o'clock the 
wind blew a perfect hurricane, which made a scattering among the 
tents. We slept in our wagon and it rocked like a cradle. Expect- 
ed it to go over any moment, although they were chained down, 
but it is very calm this moming."^° 

Failure to make adequate preparations for the trip brought con- 
sequences which ranged from extreme discomfort to death. The 
kind of discomfort which attended miscalculation is amply illus- 
trated by the experience of George Forman (1864) : 

I had supposed there would be Ranches where I could buy food, 
on the North Platte, and so I had brought only a few biscuits with me. 

7. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer — 1847." As copied from 
the Transactions of the 35th Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Asso- 
ciation, Portland, June 19th, 1907. P. 5, entry for July 4. 

8. Diary Kept by Vincent Page Lyman, 1860, Across Wyoming. P. 1, 
entry for May 26. 

9. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852." As copied from the 
Transactions of the Thirty-Third Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer 
Association, June 15, 1905. P. 10, entry for June 13, Sunday. 

10. "Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, Crossing the Plains in 1852." 
As copied from the Transactions of the Thirty-Second Annual Reunion of 
the Oregon Pioneer Association for 1904. P. 6, entry for Tuesday, June 29. 


I camped Next night on the Bluffs half way over to the North Platte, 
and slept on the ground with no food or water, my Pony picketed and 
browsing all around and his lariat sliding over me all night. July 1st 
a hot walk next day brought me to Ash Hollow a wild series of can- 
yons, or Ravines. ... Six miles further brought me to the North Platte 
half dead with thirst and hunger. I had been 24 hours without food or 
water and my throat was swollen badly. I could not drink the River 
water it was so warm, muddy and alkaline. There was no train or 
ranch there, and no shade and I sat in that hot blazing sun on the . 
River Bank all the afternoon, trying to make a screen of my blankets. 
At Sundown I saw a Small one team wagon come down the Bluff from 
the South Platte and camp two miles from me. I went over to them 
and got some fresh milk and cakes. 

The first drink of the milk took the skin off my throat it was so sore 
and swollen I could barely swallow. I have ever since occasionally 
been subject to the same swelling there.n 

Even the best planning could not offset the possibility of acci- 
dents, one type of which was described by John Bidwell (1841) : 
"A mournful accident occurred in the camp this morning — a young 
man by the name of Shotwell while in the act of taking a gun out 
of the wagon, drew it with the muzzle towards him in such a 
manner that it went off and shot him near the heart — he lived about 
an hour and died in full possession of his senses."^^ 

Not everyone found the trip between the forks to be a trial. 

George KeUer (1850) referred to the trip only briefly: "Next day 

we travelled to Cash [sic] Hollow, on the North Fork of the Platte, 

distant 14 miles. There are several long, steep hills to descend in 

this distance. . . . Between the States and this point, the road is 

generally very good, equal to any road of the same length in the 

The Reverend Edward Parrish (1844) and his party also had a 
fairly easy trip, even though their guide managed to lose his way: 

Sun-July-21- A fine, clear morning, though we had much thunder and 
some rain through the night. We are preparing to make an early start 
to cross the divide. My health is very poor. We were off early, drove 
hard and camped on the plains. We could not reach the Noi-th Fork 
as our pilot missed the way. The divide is mostly a beautiful plain. 
Here on the plain we met with a herd of buffalo running. Our boys 
had several shots and killed one fine heifer. We are greatly disap- 
pointed when we had to camp on the open prairie and use pond water 
and buffalo chips instead of good spring water and fine ash spoken off. 
Well, it might be worse. 

n. T. A. Larson, (editor), "Across the Plains in 1864 with George 
Forman." Annals of Wyoming, April 1968. PP. 12-13. 

12. John Bidwell, A Journey To California. (Newberry Microfilm 1-12). 
Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 1-46; re- 
typed by R. Mackrill 1963. PP. 4-5, entry for "S. 13th." 

13. George Keller, A Trip Across the Plains, and Life in California. 
White's Press: Massillon, 1-51. P. 11. During most of the westward 
migration one left the "States" at Independence, Missouri, and entered 
"Oregon" at South Pass. 


Mon-July-22- Last night passed away in peace and we have a fine clear 
morning. My health is about the same. I think it will be warm to- 
day. A little before noon we reached the North Branch some distance 
above Ash Grove. We had much sand and bad road to-day. We 
camped near the river, i* 

One of the best descriptions of the terrain between the two forks 
of the Platte is that recorded by Captain Howard Stansbury in 

Tuesday, July 3 . . . To-day we crossed the ridge between the North 
and South Forks of the Platte, a distance of eighteen and a half 
miles. . . . The road struck directly up the bluff, rising quite rapidly at 
first, then very gradually for twelve miles, when we reached the sum- 
mit, and a most magnificent view saluted the eye. Before and below 
us was the North Fork of the Nebraska, winding its way through 
broken hills and green meadows; behind us the undulating prairie ris- 
ing gently from the South Fork, over which we had just passed; on our 
right, the gradual convergence of the two valleys was distinctly per- 
ceptible, while immediately at our feet were the heads of Ash Creek, 
which fell off suddenly into deep precipitous chasms on either side, 
leaving only a high narrow ridge, or backbone, which gradually de- 
scended, until, toward its western termination, it fell off precipitately 
into the bottom of the creek. . . . 

The two slopes of the ridge dividing the main forks of the Platte, at 
the point where we crossed it, differ from each other in a remarkable 
manner. On that toward the South Fork, the valleys were wide and 
long, with gracefully curved lines, gentle slopes, and broad hollows. 
In numerous instances, these hollows are without drainage, owing to 
which large circular or oval basins are formed, in the bottoms of which 
waler coliects, forming quite extensive ponds or lakes: these, however, 
disappear during the summer, leaving their beds clothed with a rich 
luxuriant growth of herbage. On the opposite side of the summit the 
features of the country present a striking contrast. Almost imme- 
diately after crossing the point of 'divide,' we strike upon the head- 
waters of Ash Creek, whence the descent is abrupt and precipitous. 
Immediately at your feet is the principal ravine, with sides four or five 
hundred feet in depth, clothed with cedar: into this numerous other 
ravines run, meeting it at different angles, and so completely cutting up 
the earth that scarcely a foot of level ground could be seen. The 
whole surface consisted of merely narrow ridges, dividing the ravines 
from each other, and running up to so sharp a crest that it would be 
difficult for any thing but a mountain-goat to traverse their summits 
with impunity. Never before had I seen the wonderful effects of the 
action of water of a grand scale more strikingly 

By the time the emigrants had reached the forks of the Platte 
they were well into buffalo country. Asa Bowen Smith (1838) 

14. Rev. Edward Evans Parrish, "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary." 
As copied from the Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association Six- 
teenth Annual Reunion, Portland, June 15, 1888. P. 11. 

15. Captain Howard Stansbury, Exploration and Survey of the Valley of 
the Great Salt Lake of Utah Including A Reconnaissance of a New Route 
Through The Rocky Mountains. Printed by order of the House of Repre- 
sentatives of the United States. Washington: Robert Armstrong, Public 
Printer. 1853. PP. 40-41. 


reported on May 23 that he "crossed from the south to the north 
fork. Saw many buffalo on the way."^*^ Eleven years later the 
herds apparently were undiminished, as William G. Johnston 
(1849), "While on the top of the ridge, resting and looking below 
toward the South Platte valley, . . . saw a number of buffalo quietly 
grazing, at a distance of probably ten or a dozen mUes."^' For that 
matter, in 1855 James Linforth and Frederick Piercy, passing Ash 
Hollow on the north side of the river, "Could see an immense herd 
of buffalo, which good judges said could not number less than 
10,000."^'^ Buffalo, a prime source of meat, were, of course, 
hunted for that purpose. A somewhat unusual hunt was carried 
out by the party with which Matthew Field (1843) was traveling: 
"During the hunt today 3 bulls plunged headlong over a precipice 
of 15 feet, and ran on unhurt from the fall! A large band was 
chased into Ash Hollow, where rare sport and a regular bull baiting 
took place. "^" 

A landmark occasionally referred to was the so-called "Lone 
Tree." Its exact location is uncertain; in fact, it seems hkely that 
several trees and several locations may well have been involved. 
Asahel Munger (1839) wrote, for example, that he "Moved on- 
ward up the South Fork, camped at the tree as it is called, where 
there is but one tree in sight, that can be seen for a great dis- 
tance;"^*^ Mrs. Cecila Adams (1852), with a party somewhere 
between the two forks of the Platte, "Passed the lone tree, the only 
stick of timber within 200 miles, this is about halfway between. 
The top has been aU cut off; it is cedar. We took a few splinters in 
memory of it."^^ James Linforth and Frederick Piercy, coming 
west in 1855, followed the Mormon trail on the north side of the 
north fork. They were among the many who were disappointed 
because they could not find this landmark: 

16. Clifford Merrill Drxiry, The Diaries and Letters of Henry H. Spal- 
ding and Asa Bowen Smith Relating to the Nez Perce Mission 1838-1842. 
Northwest Historical Series IV. The Arthur H. Clark Company: Glendale, 
California, 1958. P. 60, entry for 23 (May, 1838). 

17. Wm. G. Johnston, Experiences of a Forty-niner. Pittsburgh: 1892. 
P. 108, entry for Tuesday, May 22nd. 

18. James Linforth and Frederick Piercy, Route from Liverpool to Great 
Salt Lake Valley. (Newberry Microfilm 4-17). Compiled by M. J. Mat- 
tes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 2-46. Entry for Wednesday, the 
13th (July 1855). 

19. Matthew C. Field, Prairie and Mountain Sketches. Collected by 
Clyde and Mae Reed Porter. Edited by Kate L. Gregg and John Francis 
McDermott. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma, 1957. 
P. 201, entry for Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7th Day from the Fort. 

20. Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife, entry for 5th (June) Wed. 

21. Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., P. 6, entry for Tue- 
Jun-29. It is no wonder the "Lone Tree" disappeared if a very substantial 
percentage of the passers-by took "a few sphnters' as a souvenir. Apparently 
this characteristic of tourists has deep historical roots! 


In the guides there is a notice of a 'Lone Tree.' AH through the 
journey the lone tree had been in my imagination until at last I had 
associated an interest, a sort of romantic idea, with, which became 
quite exciting. I pictui-ed to myself an old, weather-beaten time-worn 
tree, standing in mournful solitude on a wide-spreading prairie, having 
to encounter alone the attacks of the elements, with no companion to 
share the storm, or help to break its fury. I could imagine it on a cold 
winter's night with its arms bare of foliage, tossing them in sorrow in 
the wind, being desolate and alone. Even sunshine and refreshing 
showers must be melancholy pleasures to a lone tree, for do not they 
prolong its dreary isolation! I started off ahead of the company with 
the intention of making a complimentary and therefore careful sketch 
of this tree, but I could not find it. Some unpoetical and ruthless hand 
had cut it down, so my hopes were blighted and my occupation was 

The journey from the South Platte, with only a few exceptions, 
was very tiring and uncomfortable. Most emigrants, consequently, 
looked forward eagerly to the pleasantness of Ash Hollow as a 
campsite. Most found, however, that getting to Ash Hollow was 
only part of their problem; the other was the descent into the Hol- 
low. Arthur Menefee's (1857) comment is a masterpiece of 
understatement: "Came to Ash Hollow about 4 o'clock P.M. 
which is a novelty to those that never saw the like before."^^ 
Asahel Munger (1839) did not comment on the difficulty of enter- 
ing Ash Hollow; being unable to find "a good place to descend the 
hill or bluff as it is called, we traveled most of the afternoon on the 
highlands — descended, found wood and grass in abundance on the 
river Platt."24 Virgil Pringle (1846) noted simply that "the road 
down Ash Creek (is) bad for three or four miles. "^^ In like man- 
ner, George McKinstry (1846) stated that "the hills (are) verry 
[sic] steep,"^^ an observation with which Heinrich Lienhard con- 
curred: "Below us lay a deep, narrow canyon, generally known as 
Ash Hollow, through which our road led to the banks of the North 
Platte. The road down from the elevation was very steep. When 
we got down, we had no special difficulties."^^ William G. John- 

22. James Linforth and Frederick Piercy, op. cit., PP. 1-2, entry for Wed- 
nesday, the 13th (July). 

23. "Arthur M. Menefee's Travels Across the Plains, 1857." Nevada 
Historical Society Quarterly, Spring, 1966. P. 11, entry for July 2. 

24. Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife, entry for Friday, 7th (June). 

25. "Diary of Virgil Pringle," in Dale Morgan (editor), Overland In 
1846: Diaries and Letters of the California-Oregon Trail. Volume I. The 
Talisman Press: Georgetown, California, 1963. P. 172, entry for Saturday, 
June 13. 

26. "Diary of George McKinstry," in Dale Morgan (editor), Overland In 
1846: Diaries and Letters of the California-Oregon Trail. Volume I. The 
Talisman Press: Georgetown, California, 1963. P. 213, entry for Friday, 
June 20th. 

27. Erwin G. and Elisabeth K. Gudde (editors), Heinrich Lienhard: 
From St. Louis to Sutter's Fort, 1846. University of Oklahoma Press: 
Norman, Oklahoma. 1961. P. 62. 


ston (1849) and Richard Thomas Ackley (1858) both testified to 
the danger and difficulty created by the descent into Ash Hollow. 
The former wrote that "the descent was found sufficiently steep to 
be perilous,"^^ the latter that "In making the descent into Ash 
Hollow the hills are among the worst I ever saw, and the sand equal 
to any in Jersey."^^ 

The severity of the drop into Ash Hollow made it all but impos- 
sible to drive a team and wagon in the ordinary manner. The 
normal safety precautions, described in the following excerpts, 
included locking the wheels of the wagon and/or lowering the 
wagon by rope. 

Thaddeus S. Kenderdine (1858): 

We reached the top of the sandy declivity a little after dark, and 
double rough-locking our wagons, we commenced descending. It was 
near midnight before the train was all corralled at the foot of the hUl, 
the descent of which was full of danger to both men and animals, for, 
had a lock-chain broken, the whole team would have tumbled head 
over heels down a steep whose inclination was some forty-five degrees. 
Several narrow escapes occurred during the descent, and we were 
heartily rejoiced when it was accomplished.^o 

William Chandless (1855) : 

. . . towards evening we wound through barren rocky hills, wUd and 
dreary as the top of the pass of Glencoe. Then our waggons slid down 
one terribly steep hill, with both hind-wheels locked; any upset would 
have been a complete smash.^i 

George Gibbs (1849): 

About four miles from camp we reached the commencement of the 
approach to Ash Hollow. A large winding passage, through the hills, 
which are here cut up in every direction by rains, ends in a precipitous 
descent of considerable difficulty. . . . Gravel trails have been opened 
down this place and ox-teams pass without much risk, but mule-teams 
require to be eased down with a rope. The command descended with- 
out accident.32 

Helen M. Carpenter (1856): 

When we got to the going down place, we certainly felt that we were 

28. Wm. G. Johnston, op. cit., P. 107, entry for Tuesday, May 22nd. 

29. "Across the Plains in 1858: Richard Thomas Ackley of Camden, 
New Jersey." Utah Historical Quarterly, July, October, 1941. P. 198, 
entry for Sunday, July 17, 1858. 

30. Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, op. cit., P. 7. 

31. William Chandless, op. cit., P. 1, entry for Sept. 6th. 

32. Raymond W. Settle (editor). The March of the Mounted Riflemen: 
First United States Military Expedition to Travel the Full Length of the 
Oregon Trail From Fort Leavenworth to Fort Vancouver May to October, 
1849 as Recorded in the Journals of Major Osborne Cross and George Gibbs 
and the Official Report of Colonel Loring, The Arthur H. Clark Company: 
Glendale, California. 1940. P. 316, entry for Friday, June 15. Also, see 
footnote 98, p. 89, for a further description of the precautions taken for the 
descent into Ash Hollow. 


'between the Devil and the deep sea', had it been possible to avoid this, 
the place would have been thought impassable. In the past, wagons 
were let down with ropes, the places are still plainly marked — some 
more venturesome ones — or perhaps ones who had no ropes left their 
tracks in the sand and like a band of sheep the rest followed, only one 
yoke of cattle was left to each wagon and all four of the wheels were 
locked. Besides being dreadfully steep, the road was badly cut up and 
the dust and sand so deep that the chuck holes could not be seen (but 
were plainly felt) — and any way the air was so full of dust that much 
of the time the oxen were barely visible — 'My kingdom' for a breath 
of fresh air.^s 

In spite of any and all precautions, accidents of various types 
occurred with some frequency. For example, Charles A. Scott 

... a general run away and smash up at Ash-Hollow, a terrific scene. 
Horses dashing furiously with the pieces down the hills and precipeces 
Isic.l the noise, dust and confusion, the men shouting hallooing, and 
women scieamlng, made an impression on my memory, never to be 
effaced; two horses were killed and seven disabled and unfit for serv- 
ice, in all about $25,000 damage done.34 

Wagon accidents endangered human as well as animal life, and 
children as well as adults: 

When we were on Ash Hollow Hill, a wagon wheel went over a 
boy's head; and he came very near losing his life. The Elders admin- 
istered to him and he got better. His name was Jonathan Prothers. 
We had to lock both wheels to go down this hill. , . . Next morning we 
were off again, and after I got out a ways from this place, the wagon 
wheel went over my foot. I took some oil and anointed my foot, and 
in a short time it was all right.35 

A gentleman named Dougherty provides the final commentary 
on Ash Hollow Hill: 

We reach the brink of a hill near one-third of a mile high which we 
have to descend to reach the level of the hoUow. ... I cannot say at 
what angle we descend but it is so great that some go so far as to say 
'the road hangs a little past the perpendicular!'.38 

33. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., PP. 2-3, entry for June 23rd. 

34. Robert E, Stowers and John M. Ellis (editors), "Charles A. Scott's 
Diary of the Utah Expedition, 1857-1861." Utah Historical Quarterly, 
April, 1960. P. 163, entry for August 27th. 

35. John Johnson Davies, "Historical Sketch of My Life." Utah Histor- 
ical Quarterly, July, October, 1941. P. 161. 

36. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines (editors). Gold Rush: The 
Journals, Drawings, and Other Papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff. Columbia 
University Press: New York, 1949. P. 593, footnote number 119. Accord- 
ing to Paul Henderson "The brow of Windlass hill is 235 feet above the 
valley floor and the distance in descending the slope is a little less than 800 
feet, rendering a very steep descending grade." Paul Henderson, "The Story 
of Ash Hollow" in A. B. Wood, Pioneer Tales of Nebraska Panhandle: A 
Miscellaneous Collection of Historical Reference Material Anecdotal and 


The two main trails up the Platte seem to have been the Mormon 
Trail (first used by early fur trappers) up the north side of the 
north fork and the trail up the south fork, across the tableland and 
down into Ash Hollow. One other trail was, however, used by 
some emigrants — a trail which followed the south side of the North 
Platte all the way from or just beyond the forks. J. Henry Carle- 
ton (1845) describes this approach to Ash Hollow: 

The traveller in coming down the North Fork would have no diffi- 
culty in finding Ash Hollow, as its entrance from the valley is over 
half a mile wide — and has upon each side a high buttress of rock 
which resembles the ruins of some old fort. Between them is a grove, 
all in plain sight from the river — the only one that is seen for fifty or 
sixty miles, either above or below.37 

The grove of trees came to be known as the Cedar Grove; Elisha 
Perkins (1849), among others, found it a welcome sight: 

About 10 arrived at a pretty place known as Cedar Grove where we 
laid in a supply of fire wood. Here is a grove of cedar trees entirely 
isolated. Not another green thing to be seen but the grass of the 
Prairie & we were much refreshed by their shade. Trees are a perfect 
luxury to our Prairie sick eyes. At 1 1 we arrived at Ash hollow where 
the Main road from the South Fork crossed over to the North Fork.^s 

The trail up the south side of the North Platte avoided "Ash Hol- 
low" or "Windlass" Hill, but even so it was not a particularly easy 
route. C. W. Smith's experience was probably typical: 

After going up the Platte two miles from camp, we left the stream 
and went over the bluffs, in consequence of the river banks being high 
and broken. The road was not so good today, as we had to go tlu'ough 
deep sand most of the way. We stopped at night at the mouth of Ash 
Hollow, at which place the road that goes up the South Platte came 

Reminiscent, Courier Press: Gering, Nebraska, 1938. P. 243. Mr. Hen- 
derson, a recognized authority on the geography of the Oregon-California 
Trail, states, in an unpublished manuscript, that he has found no first-hand 
evidence of the use of a windlass on this hill, although there are second and 
third hand stories to that effect. Nonetheless, contemporary usage requires 
the designation "Windlass hill." 

37. J. Henry Carleton, Prairie Logbook. Chicago, 1943. (Newberry 
Microfilm 1-17) Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise 
Ridge — 1-46. P. 4, entry for Sunday, June 8. 

38. Thomas C. Clark (editor). Gold Rush Diary, Being the Journal of 
Elisha Douglas Perkins on the Overland Trail in the Spring and Summer of 
1849. University of Kentucky Press: Lexington, Kentucky, 1967. P. 42, 
entry for Saturday, June 23. 

39. C. W. Smith, Journal of a Trip to California: Across the Continent 
From Weston, Mo., to Weber Creek, Cal., In the Summer of 1850. Edited 
with an Introduction and Notes, by R. W. G. Vail. Theicadmus Book Shop, 
New York. Press Standard Book Company, Manchester, N. H. Entry for 
May 22. 


Percival Lowe found a trail out of Ash Hollow — avoiding Ash 
Hollow Hill — for McGraw's mail wagons. In July of 1857, he 
and his party: 

Arrived at Ash Hollow at ten o'clock and camped. Storm subsided 
and left a bright, sunny day. After lunch mounted my horse, and with 
'Billy' Daniels for a companion, went in search of a road out of Ash 
Hollow to avoid the one already in use, which is altogether impracti- 
cable for us with our heavy loads — 3,500 pounds in each wagon. The 
teams could no more than pull up the empty wagons, and we should 
have to double teams and haul up a little at a time, straining mules and 
breaking chains. We found and staked out a route that can be trav- 
eled without much difficulty — five hours' hard riding to find a route 
three miles through the bluffs.^o 

A little more than two weeks later, Lowe "went with Colonel 
Magraw to Ash Hollow. He passed his train over my new route 
without difficulty, and named it 'Lowe's Route Avoiding Ash Hol- 
low Hill'.'"'! 

One of the initial descriptions of Ash Hollow comes from the 
man who led the first party over what became the Oregon-CaU- 
fomia Trail. In 1812-1813, Robert Stuart led his small band of 
Astorians returning east along the Platte-Sweetwater route. On 
March 26, 1813, Stuart made this entry in his diary: 

3 miles lower, another Branch joined the main stream from the 
south, it is thickly wooded a short distance from its mouth, but with 
what kinds we could not weU distinguish — For a considerable way 
above but more particularly below its junction the River Bluffs are 
very near and sometimes constitute its banks — they are composed 
principally of (a blue lime) stone and possess many cedars on which 
account we call the last mentioned Branch, Cedar Creek.^^ 

Many who subsequently came through Ash Hollow were more 
exphcit in their geographical descriptions. Two examples, both 
written within a four day period in 1850, will suffice: "The rock 
here appears to be pure limestone, besides masses of sand and 
gravel united as if by petrification."^^ "On either side towered 
lofty sand bluffs and isolated hills of gigantic magnitude, not infre- 
quently capped with a kind of soft, friable sand stone in various 

40. Percival G. Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon and Other Adventures on 
the Great Plains. With an Introduction and Notes by Don Russell. Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma, 1965. P. 205, entry for 
28th (July). 

41. Ibid., P. 217, entry for 13th (August). 

42. Philip Ashton Rollins (editor). The Discovery of the Oregon Trail: 
Robert Stucrfs Narratives of his Overland Trip Eastward from Astoria in 
1812-13. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1935. P. 211, entry for 
Friday 26th. 

43. Burton J. Williams, "Overland to the Gold Fields of California in 
1850: The Journal of Calvin Taylor." Nebraska History, Summer, 1969. 
P. 141, entry for June 22nd. 


forms and scarry shapes. One, I noticed, looked very much like 
the statue of some heathen god, (perhaps more like 'Pan') and to 
complete its resemblance, some daring one had clambered up and 
placed upon its head the overgrown horns of some fated ox."^^ 

In fact, the bluffs of Ash Hollow "were of the Ogallala geologic 
formation, deposited in late Miocene and Pliocene time about 
twelve million years ago. This formation is characterized by layers 
of white sandstone, calcareous sandstone and limestone, with some 
embedded clay, silt and fine sand."^^ 

Captain Eugene R. Ware described the geography of Ash Hol- 
low much more succinctly, and in terms no doubt more compre- 
hensible to the layman: "Ash Hollow was a very rough piece of 
land; it was a wide gulch with a dry arroyo running from the mouth 
nearly north, into the North Platte River. '■^" 

Precisely when Ash Hollow acquired the name is unknown. 
Two authors suggest that in 1845 Joel Palmer made "one of the 
earliest references to Ash Hollow, a locality earlier called simply 
Ash Creek or the Upper Cedar Bluffs. "^''^ Of course, no claim is 
made that Palmer's is the first such reference. In fact, two years 
earlier Matthew Field used the name "Ash Hollow" to designate 
his campsite.*^ Rufus Sage, on the other hand, (1841) refers to 
"Ash Creek" and suggests that it is from the "beautiful ash 
groves . . . (that) the Creek derives its name."^^ Perhaps it may be 
assumed then, that this entry point to the North Platte received its 
permanent name sometime in the early 1840's. Appleton Milo 
Harmon (1847) reported his understanding that the "valley or 
ravine ... is called Ash Hollow by Fremont . . ."^"^ This would by 
no means have been impossible since Fremont made his exploration 
in 1842. There is, however, no mention of such action on his part 
in Fremont's report. 

44. Irene D. Paden, The Journal of Madison Berryman Moorman 1850- 
1851. California Historical Society, Special Publication Number 23: San 
Francisco. Printed by the Westgate Press, Oakland, California. P. 24, 
entry for June 18th. 

45. Richard G. Beidleman (editor), "The 1859 Overland Journey of 
Naturalist George Suckley." Annals of Wyoming, April, 1956. P. 72, foot- 
note number 11. For archeological information concerning the area of Ash 
Hollow, see Addison E. Sheldon (editor), "Ash Hollow Cave," Archeological 
Number State Survey of 1939, Nebraska History, July-September, 1940. 
PP. 224-227. 

46. Captain Eugene F. Ware, The Indian War of 1864. St. Martin's 
Press: New York, 1960. P. 231. 

47. Dale L, Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris (editors), op. cit., P. 96. 

48. Matthew C. Field, op. cit., P. 201, entries for Sept. 20 and 21st. 

49. Rufus B. Sage, Rocky Mountain Life: or Startling Scenes and Peril- 
ous Adventures in the Far West, During an Expedition of Three Years. 
Wentworth & Company: Boston. 1857. P. 75, entry for Oct. 18th. 

50. Maybelle Harmon Anderson, Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West. 
The Gillick Press: Berkeley, California, 1946. P. 20, entry for May 20. 


Once it had received the popular, and permanent, designation as 
"Ash Hollow", it is clear that virtually all emigrants were aware of 
the obvious connection between that name and the ash trees present 
in some quantities. Rather frequently this connection was men- 
tioned in diaries; for example, Edwin Bryant (1846) wrote: "We 
descended into the valley of the North Platte river through a pass 
known as 'Ash Hollow'. This name is derived from a few scattered 
Ash trees in the dry ravine. "^^ Similar observations appear in the 
diaries of, among others, George Gibbs ( 1 849 ) ,^2 John McGlashan 
(1850),^'' Celinda E. Himes (1853)3^ and Richard Thomas Ack- 
ley (1858)-^^ 

Sarah Sutton's (1854) explanation of the name was a bit more 
complete. She maintained that Ash Hollow "has been probably 
named on two accounts; the high rocks and bluffs on each side of 
the road and there has been a good many Ash trees down in the 
hollow but are most all cut down to burn."-^'' Helen Carpenter 
was one of the few who thought Ash Hollow might have been 
named for some reason other than the presence of ash trees. In 
1856 she wrote "we were in what is called Ash Hollow — this name 
I suppose, because the earth and dust look Uke ashes."^^ PhiUip 
St. George Cooke (1845), on the other hand, apparently was com- 
pletely indifferent to the identity of the person who named it and 
the reason for such naming. While impressed by the scenery, 
Cooke nonetheless referred to "that narrow valley — which some 
wretch has named Ash Hollow. . . ."^^ 

Virtually all westward travelers viewed Ash Hollow as one of the 
better stops on the trail, particularly in view of the terrain they had 
just traversed. Asa Bowen Smith (1838), for example, described 

51. "Diary of Edwin Bryant," in A. B. Wood, Pioneer Tales of Nebraska 
Panhandle. Courier Press: Gering, Nebraska, 1938. P. 256, entry for June 
19th, 1846. 

52. Raymond W. Settle (editor), op. cit., P. 316, entry for Friday, Jnne 

53. Overland Journal of John M. McGlashan, 1850. P. 8, entry for 
May 10th. 

54. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes, Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley, 1853." 
As copied from the Transactions of the Forty -Sixth Annual Reunion of the 
Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, June 20, 1918. P. 15, entry for 

55. "Across the Plains in 1858, Richard Thomas Ackley." op. cit., 
P. 198, entry for Sunday, July 17, 1858. 

56. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." Copied from the typed copy belonging to 
Mrs. Frances T. McBeth, 1520 WelHngton Street, Oakland 2, California, 
May 28, 1957. P. 7, entry for May 25. 

57. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., P. 3, entry for June 23rd. 

58. Phillip St. George Cooke, Scenes and Adventures in the Army. Phil- 
adelphia, 1859. (Newberry Microfilm 1-15). Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 
1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge— 1-46. 


it as "a pleasant place for an encampment . . . ,"^^ and George 
Gibbs (1849) noted that the "scenery of Ash Hollow was a de- 
lightful change from the general monotony of the valley.""" Over 
the years, a number of others were even more eloquent in express- 
ing their pleasure with this camp site on the North Platte. It was 
referred to as "a very charming place,"^^ "a pretty flower-gar- 
den . . . watered by murmuring streamlets . . . ornamented with 
shade trees and shrubbery,""^ "a pretty ravine" around which were 
"some romantic rocks & bluffs which for variety were very accept- 
able,"*^^ and simply as "a most romantic spot."^^ The feelings of 
perhaps most emigrants were summed up by James Frear (1852), 
for whom Ash Hollow was the "most delightful (encampment) I 
ever saw . . . ,''^^' and Mrs. Celinda Himes (1853), who maintained 
that she "had scarcely camped in a prettier place."^^ 

Sometimes, however, a traveler vigorously disagreed with such 
favorable descriptions. George McKinstry (1846), for example, 
called Ash Hollow "the most wild barren pass that I ever saw,"^^ 
while for Joseph Rhodes (1850) "the most Desolate place I ever 
saw (was) through ash hollow. "^^ Thaddeus S. Kenderdine (1858) 
was more explicit: 

Nothing could be more dreary than the region through which we 
passed. The bottom of the valley down which we were journeying, and 
which was a bed of sand and gravel, was about one hundred yards in 
width, almost entirely destitute of vegetation and bounded on either 
side by gloomy, barren hills, which arose to the height of six or eight 
hundred feet, terminating in rugged cliffs. It seemed as if some 
mighty volcano had once been at work here, blasting and desolating 
everything around in its upheavings. Slowly our weak, hollow oxen 
drew the cumbrous wagons through the yielding sands, which arose 
and enveloped us in clouds, as we trudged on our way unrejoicing. 

59. Clifford Merrill Drury, op. cit., P. 60, entry for 23 (May, 1838). 

60. Raymond W. Settle (editor), op. cit., P. 316, entry for Friday, 
June 15. 

61. Dale L. Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris, op. cit., P. 194, entry 
for August 27, 1834— Wednesday. 

62. Rufus B. Sage, op. cit., PP. 75-76, entry for Oct. 18th. 

63. Thomas C. Clark (editor), op. cit., P. 43, entry for Saturday June 23. 

64. Burton J. Williams, op. cit., P. 141, entry for June 22nd. 

65. "Diary of James Frear, 1852." P. 5, entry for Monday 24 (May). 
Ash Hollow must indeed have been a spectacular sight, since Mr. Frear re- 
sponded to it as he did even though "From Ford to Hollow I was very sick, 
pain in my bowels, nauses [j/c.l in stomach, vomited every 20 rods, cannot 
eat supper (except) by taking two large doses opium." 

66. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes, Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley," op. cit., 
P. 15, entry for Mon-Jun-13. 

67. "Diary of George McKinstry," op. cit., P. 213, entry for Friday June 
20th (19th). 

68. Merrill J. Mattes, "Joseph Rhodes and The California Gold Rush of 
1850." Annals of Wyoming, January, 1951. P. 64, entry for May the 30th, 


At last we emerged from this valley of desolation, and moving about a 
mile up the river, we encamped near its shore. A rush was soon made 
for the river by both man and beast, and its warm, yellow waters soon 
quenched the thirst of all.S'^ 

William Keil's (1855) reaction was not exactly unfavorable, 
rather it is an excellent example of the back-handed compliment: 
"Many people complain that Ash Hollow is the entrance to hell 
and Devil's Gate its exit. But I maintain that Devils Gate is the 

The weather, rather than the terrain, created a distinctively nega- 
tive attitude for Matthew Field (1843) and his party: "Lying by 
on the bank in front of Ash Hollow. Cold, cloudy night, with a 
furious wind. In the morning a drizzly rain set in, and the cold 
wind continued. Stopped here to dry meat, and couldn't keep our- 
selves dry."''^ Field's party included William Sublette, a mountain 
man and businessman of considerable repute, and Sir William 
Drumond Stewart, an English adventurer who had been to the 
mountains several times. With such stalwarts as these present, it is 
not surprising that the best was made of an uncomfortable situa- 
tion. Sublette's brother, Solomon, had given him some apple 
brandy about a month and a half previously when their two parties 
had separated: "Col. Sublette 'give a treat', in consideration of his 
twenty fifth [sic] birth-day, and with some apple-brandy 'that Old 
Sol left him,' he made the camp drunk! O, Jupiter! Mars! and G. 
James, the tragedian! what a new wonder has the world pro- 

The reason for such adverse opinions of Ash Hollow as were 

69. Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, op. cit., P. 7. 

70. William G. Bek (translator), "From Bethel, Missouri, to Aurora, 
Oregon: Letters of William Keil, 1855-1870. Part I." Missouri Historical 
RevieM-, October, 1953. P. 32. Devil's Gate elicited varying reactions from 
emigrants as they went up the Sweetwater River toward South Pass. For 
examples of such reactions see Robert L. Munkres, "Independence Rock and 
Devil's Gate," Annals of Wyoming, April, 1968. 

71. Matthew C. Field, op. cit., P. 201, entry for Thursday, Sept. 21st, 8th 
Day from the Fort. 

72. Ihid. P. 202, entry for Friday, Sept. 22nd. 9th Day from the Fort. 
Uncomfortable though he may have been, Sublette must have remembered 
his much more dangerous and difficult experience more than thirteen and a 
half years before. 

He and "Black" Harris carried an express message from the Salt Lake 
Valley to the "States" during the winter of 1827. Leaving on January 1, 
they made the trip on foot because of the snow. Near Ash Hollow, they 
spotted Pawnee "sign;" even though they were cold, himgry and exhausted, 
they detoured away from the North Platte River for several days. In spite 
of all difficulties, the pair arived in St. Louis on March 4. For a more com- 
plete acount of this trip see Dale Morgan, Jedediah Smith and the Opening 
of the West. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. New York, 1953, PP. 


expressed is not hard to find. The lack of water and grass, not 
calculated to raise anyone's spirits, varied from year to year and 
even from month to month. Whenever it occurred, however, the 
temporary' disappearance of these natural resources made a notice- 
able impression on those passing through. Joseph Rhodes' (1850) 
party came through to Ash Hollow, then "drove on 7 miles further 
up the Plat and found good grass, first good grass for 2 days."^^ 
About one week later, Robert Chalmers (1850) likewise noted that 
"Grass (is) very poor all along."^^ He also noted at Cedar Bluff 
"a grove of cedar trees which are all cut for wood," and at Ash 
Hollow another source of kindling: "There were a quantity of 
wagon irons all along the flat, for some left their wagons every day 
and packed. The next ones would come along and burn them up 
for firewood no matter what their cost was."^^ E. W. Conyers 
(1852) found "The water here is very strongly impregnated with 
alkali," the lack of grass caused "very poor grazing for our cattle" 
and not only was firewood lacking, but even "Good buffalo chips 
are very scarce."'^^ The party of Thaddeus Kenderdine (1858) 
had a particularly difficult time. They descended into Ash Hollow 
after dark, completing the descent about midnight: "The oxen had 
had nothing to eat or drink since morning, and we were obhged to 
remain all night in a region destitute of water and grass. We left 
the famished cattle chained to the wagons, and were under way 
early the next morning, all hands hungry and thirsty."^'^ Vincent 
Page Lyman (1860), on the other hand, reported simply that his 
train "reached the narrow bottom-land of the river, about 2 p.m., 
where we camped for the day, though rather poor picking and no 
wood at all."'^8 

Most emigrants had much more pleasant experiences in Ash 
Hollow, although it should be noted that references to good grass 
are uniformly scarce. Benjamin Cory ( 1 847 ) provides one of the 
few examples: "Ash Hollow fine place, a good spring in it, green, 
refreshing. Camped on north fork opposite entrance to Ash Hol- 
low. Good grass, fine scenery, high bluffs, woody in Ash Hol- 
low."'^^ Captain Stansbury (1849) described the major factor 
which accounts for the lack of grass : 

73. Merrill J. Mattes, op. ciL, P. 64, entry for May the 30th, 1850. 

74. Charles Kelly (editor), "The Journal of Robert Chakners, April 17- 
September 1, 1850." Utah Historical Quarterly, January, 1952. P. 40, entry 
for June 7. 

75. Ibid. 

76. "Diary of E. W. Conyers." op. cit., P. 10, entry for Sunday, June 13. 

77. Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, op. cit. 

78. Diary Kept by Vincent Page Lyman, I860, Across Wyoming. P. 1, 
entry for May 26. 

79. Diary of Dr. Benjamin Cory, Crossing the Plains, P. 8, entry for 
May 31. 


We encamped at the mouth of the valley, here called Ash Hollow. 
The Traces of the great tide of emigration that had preceded us were 
plainly visible in remains of camp-fires, in blazed trees covered with 
innumerable names carved and written on them; but, more than all, 
in the total absence of all herbage. It was only by driving our animals 
to a ravine some distance from camp, that a sufficiency for their sub- 
sistence could be obtained. 80 

Most of those passing through Ash Hollow found some timber or 
wood, a point illustrated by Asa Bowen Smith (1838) who "found 
a pleasant place for an encampment & plenty of wood."-^ By far 
the most favored resource of Ash Hollow was its water; it was not 
at all unusual for a diarist to wax eloquent on this subject, Rufus 
Sage (1841) spoke of a "a generous supply of pure running 
water,"^^ and WiUiam G. Johnston (1849) "found relief on coming 
to a stream of deliciously cool water, thus far an exceeding rar- 
jjy "83 Pqj- Captain Stansbury (1849), the spring water in Ash 
Hollow was not only "dehghtfully cold and refreshing," it was 
"altogether the best that has been met with since leaving the Mis- 
souri,"^* an opinion seconded by William C. Lobenstine (1851) 
who believed the spring "unsurpassed in its water by any we have 
met yet in this territory. . . ."**^ Finally, Madison Beryman Moor- 
man (1850) was certainly one of the emigrants most impressed by 
the water supply and by its effects: 

Down, near the mouth, a number of springs of cold and crystal 
water gushed forth from under the high and barren bluff, of which 
without ceremony, with common concent IsicA we all partook most 
freely — the best & purest beverage ever drank — 'a beverage prepared 
by God himself.' Our sick were all on the mend — and every one 
appeared re-animated and in the highest flow of spirits — ^being thus 
favored after so much detention and sickness and no good water for 
the last hundred and fifty miles.^e 

In addition to timber and water, a number of emigrants also 
commented on the vegetation encountered. The types of plant life 
most frequently reported were summarized by Madison Berryman 
Moorman (1850); he reported seeing "choke-cherry — gooseber- 
ries — currants — raspberries and the greatest abundance of the 

80. Captain Howard Stansbury, op. cit., P. 41, entry for Tuesday, July 3. 

81. CUfford Merrill Drury (editor), op. cit., P. 60, entry for 23 (May, 
1838). Among others, Rufus Sage (1841), Captain Stansbury (1849), 
George Keller (1850), William Lobenstine (1851 and Celinda Himes (1853) 
aU found quantities of timber sufficient for their purposes in Ash Hollow. 

82. Rufus B. Sage, op. cit., P. 75, entry for Oct. 18th. 

83. Wm. G. Johnston, op. cit., P. 108, entry for Tuesday, May 22nd. 

84. Captain Howard Stansbury, op. cit. 

85. Diary of William C. Lobenstine, 1851. printed privately, 1920. 
(Newberry Microfilm 3-3). Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed 
by Louise Ridge — 3-46. P. 2. 

86. Irene D. Paden, op. cit., P. 24, entry for June 18th. 


most fragrant and lovely wild roses the eyes of man ever be- 
held. . . ."8" Matthew Field (1843) and Calvin Taylor (1850) 
also reported the presence of wild cherries ;^*^ "service berry bush- 
es"**^ were seen by the latter, while William Lobenstine (1851) 
noted "wild roses and grapes."^*' In addition to "flowers, all new," 
James Frear (1852) discovered a "New species of cactus round as 
a ball.'"-'^ In view of the range of flora, Rufus Sage (1841) per- 
haps was wise to adopt a noncommittal approach: "Here are also 
found several varieties of wild fruit indigenous to the mountains, "^^ 
As in any untamed area, wild life abounded at Ash Hollow. 
Many, perhaps most, emigrants were aware only of the larger ani- 
mals. The presence of buffalo has already been described, and 
Eugene F. Ware (1864) noted "Coming down Ash Hollow we saw 
a great number of deer, and in the valley were a great number of 
antelope, and wolves without limit.'"-*^ On occasion, however, a 
trained observer passed through, and recorded more completely 
some of the other wild life present. One such report was written by 
George Suckley, a naturalist, in July of 1859: 

Thursday July 14 . . . The cliffs are apparently of whitish limestone 
or hard white clay — Swallows breed in them . . . Birds noticed doves, 
robins, Fringilla tristis (American goldfinch) — 

The bottom of the canon has large beds of gravel & among the dried 
herbage are found various curious crickets & grasshoppers. On the 
sand a small lizard of which I obtained several specimens, near a small 
spring brook found 3 frogs & 1 toad, preserved also skull & foot bones 
of a wolf, also many curious beetles, hymenoptera (bees) & other in- 
sects. In the bluffs are found antelope (the pronghorn) jackass hares 
& some deer Capt Grover saw today a small animal a little larger 
than a prairie dog. Also 2 birds 'about the size of ravens with white 
heads & tails & black bodies & wings' Eagles? (the description fits 
the adult bald eagle) a bird on the cliffs near Ash Hollow & along the 
N. Platte above it saw many swallow nests — One where a simple shelf 
in the rock has wall in front of excavation made of small pellets of 
mud slightly held together by straws containing a small white egg with 
brown specks, which was evidently the n & e of the hirundo horreorum 
or Bran Swallow. . . , Spinis (either the pine siskin or goldfinch) first 
met with today. Coturnis gramineus (vesper sparrow) abundant.^^ 

Some of the wild life was better avoided than observed. The 

87. Ibid. 

88. Matthew Field, op. cit., P. 201, entry for Sept 20, 1843. 
Burton J. Williams, op. cit., P. 141, entry for June 22nd. 

89. Ibid. 

90. "Diary of William C. Lobenstine, 1851." op. cit., P. 2, entry for 
June second. 

91. "Diary of James Frear, 1852." op. cit., P. 5, entry for Monday 24 

92. Rufus B. Sage, op. cit., P. 75, entry for Oct. 18th. 

93. Captain Eugene F. Ware, op. cit., P. 233. 

94. Richard G. Beidleman (editor), op. cit., P. 72. 


party to which John Brown (1846) belonged arrived at Ash Hol- 
low on July 1 and "This day my Spaniard was bitten by a rattle 
snake and was laid up a week or more."'^^ Captain Ware, as noted 
earlier, had observed many wolves as he entered Ash Hollow. 
Without question he would have preferred avoiding them, but that 
night it proved to be impossible: 

As each wolf can make as much noise as ten wolves ought to make, 
the chorus, after dark, began. It must have been after ten o'clock be- 
fore we rolled up on our blankets. Each man had his saddle-blanket 
and accouterments all in a pile by itself, and the horses were on the 
inside of our extemporized corral. We fixed it so that each man would 
know where he was to go in care of an alarm, and we went to sleep 
pretty close to each other, I slept on the outer line, about twenty feet 
from my men. 

About the time that we were going to sleep, one of the boys who 
happened to look in a certain direction, thought he saw a fire-arrow 
go up on the south side of the river, which was the side we were on. 
None of the others had seen it, but it was something that we could not 
take chances on, so I ordered the men all to get up and saddle their 
horses, but not to buckle the girths very tight, so that if we had time 
we could tighten them, and put on the bridles in case we needed our 
horses. Each man was to sleep with his bridle and his carbine under 
his head. I also saddled my own horse. In order to get a pillow, not 
having a saddle, I went and got a sack of bacon. The bacon had been 
cut in slabs about eight inches wide, two of them put together, and 
covered with gunny-sacking. I made up my mind that I would not 
sleep very heavily, and told the sentinels to come in and notify me of 
anything which might appear suspicious. So I put my head on this 
sack of bacon with my blanket over me, and put in my time looking at 
the stars and listening to the wolves. They kept up the wildest chorus 
that I ever heard. It seemed as if there were a million around us. J 
tried to see if I could ascertain whether any of the voices were Indians 
instead of wolves. The men had all gone to sleep, and I was studying 
up all the various things I might do or could do, or ought to do, in 
case an attack came from this side or that side, and indeed I was 
working my brain very actively, when all at once out from under my 
head went the bacon. I jumped up in a second. There was a wolf 
backing over the grass, pulling that sack of bacon, and making a sort 
of low growl. I did not dare to shoot him, and he was making small 
headway with the bacon. But I got my saber out, and made a pass at 
him without hitting him. He finally let go of the bacon, and lapsed 
back into the darkness. I then saw that the wolves were very hungry, 
and that the pillow which I had was not a very secure one. I went to 
the wagons, and put this bacon upon the rear running-gear of the 
wagon, and got part of a sack of com. I was afraid that the wolves 
would make an attack on the mules and horses. Every once in a 
while a sort of dusky blur would whisk past the wagons, and as I 
wanted to keep awake anyhow so as to give the men a good sleep, for 
they had a big day's work to do, I from time to time, with my drawn 
saber, walked around the wagons, so as to be sure that the gang of 

95. "Diary of John Brown," in Dale Morgan (editor), Overland In 1846: 
Diaries and Letters of the California-Oregon Trail. Volume I. The Talis- 
man Press: Georgetown, California, 1963. P. 112. 


wolves did not pitch onto some animal and have a feast. When morn- 
ing came I was very tired and sleepy, but felt better after I had 
drank a quart of hot coffee.^^ 

J. Henry Carleton (1845) was more fortunate. He discovered 
"the immense tracks of a grizzly bear ... in the sand of Ash Creek 
and some hopes were entertained that the animal might be discov- 
ered before we started — but he had probably seen us and secreted 
himself in the neighboring ravines."^^ Carleton apparently was not 
too unhappy with the outcome, recognizing this pastime as a "most 
dangerous sport."*'^ 

The party with which Sarah Sutton (1854) was traveling also 
encountered wolves near Ash Hollow; their experience was much 
less dangerous for them than Captain Ware's had been for him, but 
much more dangerous for the wolf. One of the men on the train 
"wounded a wolf and the dogs caught him.'"-*" 

Wolves and rattlesnakes could be dangerous, while buffalo, deer 
and antelope served as a meat supply. There was, however, an- 
other form of wild Ufe encountered at Ash HoUow and aU of the 
rest of the way up the North Platte; this form was not particularly 
dangerous, it was completely useless and as annoying, frustrating 
and even painful as almost anything encountered on the trail. Wil- 
liam Johnston (1849) first encountered them in Ash Hollow: 

Here we were almost over powered by swarms of gnats. The heat, 
too, was oppressive, for the ravine was so shut in as to exclude the free 
circulation of air to be found outside. Tying handkerchiefs over our 
heads to protect ourselves from the merciless insects, we were well 
nigh suffocated for want of air.i^o 

More than a decade earHer, Asa Smith (1838) had encountered the 
same problem: "On the Platte we find very serious annoyances 
from black gnats whose bite is very poisonous. Our skin is now 
smarting imder the effects of these insects. "^°^ As wagon trains 
progressed on beyond Ash Hollow, this problem stayed right with 
them: "We have been much teased & severely bitten by the buffalo 
gnats which swarm in thousands around us."^^- 

Like people everywhere, those traveling the road west were 
always anxious to communicate with loved ones left behind, or with 

96. Captain Eugene F. Ware, op. cit., PP. 233-234. 

97. J. Henry Carleton, op. cit., P. 3, entry for Saturday, June 7. 

98. Ibid. 

99. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 25. 

100. Wm. G. Johnston, op. cit., P. 108, entry for Tuesday, May 22d. 

101. Clifford Merrill Drury (editor), op. cit., P. 60, entry for 23 (May, 

102. David Morris Potter (editor). Trail to California: The Overland 
Journal of Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly. Yale University Press: 
New Haven, Conn. 1945. P. 101, entry for Thursday, June 7th. 


someone following them on the trail. Frequently these "communi- 
cations" were nothing more than one's name carved or painted on a 
prominent landmark such as Court House Rock, or Register Qiff 
or, — the most famous of them all, the "Great Register of the 
Desert" — Independence Rock. At Ash Hollow, however, a more 
sophisticated system was developed by the mid-1 840's. On June 
13, 1846, Virgil Pringle reported finding "a cabin called Ash Grove 
Hotel" in Ash HoUow, and "Inside at the bar we found the cards of 
all the companies that had preceded us, which was quite a treat."^*^^ 
Six days later both George McKinstry and Edwin Bryant found the 
same establishment. McKinstry called it "ash hollow Hotel" and 
described it as "a small log building put up by some Mackinaw 
boat men last winter as they were caught by the ice;" he found 
"Memorandums of all the emigrating parties that have passed this 
spring" and "a card from [sic] myself from Woodworth U.S.N. 
left on the 8th. "^^'^ Bryant agreed the structure was erected the 
previous winter, but he attributed the construction to "some trap- 
pers, returning to the settlements, who, on account of the snows had 
been compelled to remain here until spring. "^"^ Whoever built it, 
"This rude structure has, by the emigrants, been turned into a sort 
of general post-office ;"^*^^ and it was doing quite a business: "In a 
recess, there was a large number of letters deposited, addressed to 
persons in almost every quarter of the globe with requests that 
those who passed would carry the mto the nearest post-office in the 
states. "^"-^ This informal mail service at Ash Hollow continued 
through the 1850's. A Mr. Davis "passed (the) Ash Hollow post 
office" on June 24, 1852;^^^ five days later Mrs. Ceceha Adams 
reported that she "Passed (the) Ash HoUow station, where one 
man stays alone."^"^ By 1858 there very hkely was a "mail sta- 
tion" of some type in Ash Hollow; mail contracts of various types 
were let in 1854, 1856 and 1858. It is not, therefore, surprising 

103. "Diary of Virgil Pringle." op. cit., P. 172, entry for Saturday, June 

104. "Diary of George McKinstry." Ibid. P. 213, entry for Friday June 
20th (19th). 

105. "Diary of Edwin Bryant." op. cit., P. 256, entry for June 19th, 

106. Ibid. 

107. Ibid. 

108. "Diary of Mr. Davis." As copied from the Transactions of the 
37th Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, June 
11th, 1909. P. 14, entry for Thu-Jun-24. 

109. Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., P. 6, entry for Tue- 
June-29. It is possible that this "one man" was actually a station agent, but 
not likely. The first mail service through Ash Hollow was contracted in 
1850, but the contractor initially used pack animals instead of regular 
stations. It is more likely that the resident observed by Mrs. Adams was 
either a trader temporarily residing in Ash Hollow or some other transient. 


that Thaddeus Kenderdine (1858) wrote "Near the mouth of Ash 
Hollow we passed a mail station."^^" 

The number of traders "working" the Oregon Trail greatly in- 
creased during the 1850's, and Ash Hollow was one of the likeliest 
places to locate. In the spring of 1851 William C. Lobenstine 
found an excellent spring about a mile beyond the first point of 
contact with Ash Creek; also, "There we met a kind of trading post 
where several articles for the remainder of the journey for a reason- 
able price can be got."^^^ Sarah Sutton (1854) found "a Trader's 
tent" near her camp at the mouth of Ash Hollow, but she was much 
less favorably impressed by the prices charged than Mr. Lobenstine 
had been: "They are buying up give-out things at five prices. 
Whiskey was four dollar a gallon and other things in proportion."^^^ 
Since such "trading posts" were in no sense permanent establish- 
ments, it is not surprising that many diaries make no mention of 
their presence in Ash Hollow. Nonetheless, through the i850's 
traders periodically continued to pursue their profession here. 
Richard Thomas Ackley, for example, entered Ash Hollow on July 
17, 1858; after passing through, he "soon came out of [sic] the 
river again, and camped close by a trading post or marl station kept 
by a Frenchman. "^^^ In like manner, a year later J. A. Wilkinson 
(1859), at some point in or near Ash Hollow, "Passed a Trading 
Post this aftemoon."^^'* 

Ash Hollow was, for most emigrants, a place of welcome respite 
on a hard trail, as is indicated by the glowing descriptions noted 
earlier. It was, however, no more exempt from the hazards of 
overland travel than any other stopping place on the Oregon- 
California trail. Illness, accidents and death all took their toll of 
those on the road to the mountains. Cholera, the most dreaded 
sickness, exacted its deadly tribute aU along the Platte-Sweetwater 
trail; accidents and other illnesses added to the terrible total. It is 
small wonder that Arthur Menefee (1857), camping at the mouth 
of Ash Hollow, reported that "there are a great many graves 
here."^^° Five years earlier, Mrs. CeceUa Adams (1852) counted 
ten graves the day her train passed through Ash Hollow and 

110. Thaddeus C. Kenderdine, op. cit., P. 7. 

111. "Diary of William C. Lobenstine, 1851." op. cit., P. 2, entry for 
June 2. 

112. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 25. 

113. "Across the Plains in 1858, Richard Thomas Ackley." op. cit., 
P. 198, entry for Sunday, July 17, 1858. 

114. J. A. Wilkinson, Journal. (Newberry Microfilm 1-7). Compiled 
by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 1-46. P. 11, entry 
for Saturday May 28th. 

115. "Arthur M. Menefee's Travels Across the Plains, 1857." op. cit., 
P. 11, entry for July 2, 


twenty-six more graves during the next three days.^^^ Each grave 
represented a tragic loss, which had to be accepted and the west- 
ward journey continued. Diary entries were sometimes poignant 
in their brevity: "June 18, Reached what is generally known as 
Ash Hollow, so called by its containmg a quantity of ash timber. 
We stopped here early in the afternoon to do some repairing. June 
19. Rachel taken sick in the morning, died that night."^^" Less 
than two weeks later J. Goldsborougli Bruff saw the young girl's 
"Grave on end of bluff terminating Ash Hollow above, — left of 
trail leaving hollow — " and he noted in his journal the identifying 
inscription: "Rachel E. Pattison, Aged 18, June 19, 49."ii^ 

Cholera, and other diseases, were a feared hazard to the emi- 
grants. To the Indians such things as small pox and cholera were 
terrifying destroyers beyond their experience and hence their un- 
derstanding. George Hyde describes an 1849 cholera attack: 

Asiatic cholera had broken out in the Mississippi valley and had 
been brought into the Plains — up the Arkansas and Platte roads — ^by 
forty-niners on their way to the new gold fields of California. The 
Sioux and Cheyenne warriors who had robbed the army wagons east 
of Fort Kearney went home to their camps on the Republican and 
Solomon forks, and there the cholera broke out with a suddenness and 
violence that appalled the bravest of the Indians. The Cheyennes 
broke camp and fled south to get away from the cholera. On the trail 
they met a Cheyenne camp fleeing north from the Arkansas River, 
with the cholera killing them as they ran. The Brule and Oglala Sioux 
left the Republican and Solomon and fled north. At the crossing of 
the South Platte, they buried a Sioux chief, dead of cholera, placing his 
body in a death lodge. They fled back to their old home on the head 
of White River, and there they encamped on a small southern branch 
of the river.ii^ 

Captain Stansbury (1849) observed first hand some of the 
results of this particular attack of cholera as he and his party "laid 
by" in their camp at Ash Hollow over July 4. 

We remained in camp today. We observed yesterday, on the oppo- 
site side of the river, a number of Indian lodges, pitched on the bank, 
but the total absence of any living thing about them induced us from 
curiosity to cross the river, here nearly a mile in breadth, with a strong 
rapid current . . . Several of us crossed over. After reaching the 
opposite shore we immediately proceeded to the lodges which had at- 
tracted our curiosity. There were five of them, pitched upon the open 

116. Mrs. CeceUa Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., Entries for Jime 29, 
June 30, May 1 and May 2. It may be assumed that these were mostly 
recent burials since trail side graves were frequently poorly marked and their 
contents destroyed with some frequency by coyotes. 

117. Nathan Pattison's Diary, 1849. entries for June 18 and June 19. 

118. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines (editors), op. cit., P. 27, 
entry for July 1-Sunday. The Rachel Pattison grave has been located and 
marked; it can be seen by contemporary travelers. 

119. George E. Hyde, Spotted Tail's Folk: A History of the Brule Sioux. 
University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma. 1961. PP. 42-43. 


prairie, and in them we found the bodies of nine Sioux, laid out upon 
the ground, wrapped in their robes of buffalo skin, with their saddles, 
spears, camp kettles, and all their accouterments piled up around them. 
Some lodges contained three, others only one body, all of which were 
more or less in a state of decomposition. A short distance apart from 
these was one lodge which, though small, seemed of rather superior 
pretentions and was evidently pitched with great care. It contained 
the body of a young Indian girl of sixteen or eighteen years with a 
countenance of quite an agreeable expression. She was richly dressed 
and her body was wrapped in two superb buffalo robes. She had 
evidently been dead but a day or two and to our surprise a portion of 
the upper part of her person was bare, exposing the face and part of 
the breast, as if the robes in which she was wrapped had by some 
means been disarranged, whereas all the other bodies were closely 
covered up ... I later learned that these Indians had died of cholera 
and that this young girl being considered past recovery, had been ar- 
rayed by her friends in the habiliments of the dead, inclosed in the 
lodge alive and abandoned to her fate, so fearfully alarmed were the 
Indians by this, to them, novel and terrible disease. But the melan- 
choly tale of the poor forsaken girl does not end here. A party of 
white men, by their own confession, came upon this scene while this 
girl was yet alive and able to partially raise herself up to look upon 
them. They heartlessly turned away and left her to die without any- 
thing to ease or relieve her suffering.^^o 

Even cholera was not always fatal. On a return trip to the 
"States," Appleton Milo Harmon (1847) wrote: 

We traveled this day to within three miles of Ash Hollow. I heard 
today of seven doctors that had died with cholera within a few days. 
I have felt very unwell today. Brother Angus was also quite unwell. 
The fore part of the night was spent with me in a very restless manner. 
I had a high fever and all symptoms of the cholera. Several of the 
Brethren went in the night onto the top of a hill and there prayed for 
the health of our company and for our salvation on our future journey, 
etc. The Brethren returned to camp much revived in spirits, I felt 
better, also Brother Angus.121 

The trip to, and the descent mto, Ash Hollow was, as described 
previously, marked by various types of accidents; passage through 
the Hollow also contributed its share, Calvin Taylor (1850) "Broke 
the coupling pole of our wagon in dropping down a gravel bank in a 
creek bottom. At noon we emerged upon the bank of the north 
fork of the Platte where we halted and repaired our wagon."^22 
Elisha Douglas Perkins (1849) reports a similar accident, the cause 
of which seemed to be the subject of some disagreement: 

About half way down the hollow we found a fine spring of cold 
water & a short distance below the spring we met the advance guard of 
a band of Sioux & soon after the whole tribe. Men, women & children. 

120. Cited in Paul Henderson, "The Story of Ash Hollow." in A. B. 
Wood, op. cit., P. 243. 

121. Maybelle Harmon Anderson, op. cit., P. 73, entry for June 17. The 
party moved on, Harmon apparently recovered, to the South Platte where 
they camped the next night. 


horses & dogs such a motley mass as never greeted my wondering eyes 
before. The men fine muscular fellows, though short in stature riding 
their long maned ponies & the women leading the pack horses. 

After a certain time, as much as we were all gratified & amused by 
this train they were unintentionally the cause of the most serious acci- 
dent from our journey. "Polly" our leading mule walked along part 
way through the Indian procession paying them some attention to be 
sure but apparently not much alarmed till she met a huge Indian war- 
rior wrapped up in a red blanket & his face & the exposed parts of his 
body painted most hideously. This was too much for her courage & 
'Woozed out at his finger ends' immediately & making a short move- 
ment to the right about she went 'right astern' all of the other mules 
following her of course, & before they could be stopped & in fact 
almost before we were aware of her intentions there was a great crash 
& down came our omnibus with the tongue broken short off, & the 
off wheel under the wagon the axle also snapped. . . . 

The wagon was unloaded. Wheel got out. Axle taken off & our 
spare axletree which two or three times we had been on the i>oint of 
splitting up for firewood was commenced upon, cutting it down to fit 
&c. The other teams having stopped their tools were brought out & 
with the assistance of Adsit's wagon maker & Doct Riggs Blacksmith, 
after 6 hours hard work we had a new axletree in, wheels on & greased, 
load in Mules harnessed up & were off again. A more expeditious 
job I venture to say than many could have hired in the states. Our 
tongue was cut off where it was broken before, & made a splice of it 
shortening it some two feet which the very length of which we had 
often complained admitted of very well. 

Once righted & again xmderway we began to inquire as to the cause 
of the accident &c, & it seemed to be pretty generally decided that the 
driver was fascinated by the pretty face of one of the Indian girls & 
many jokes were passed at his expense. 123 

Samuel Jamison (1850) provides the final example of accidents, 
and of another type. After passing through Ash Hollow, and camp- 
ing "for dinner at the foot of the river," Jamison's party proceeded 
eight miles on up the river before stopping for the night: "We had 
quite a brush this evening with fire which got out from our fire 
it burnt of(f) some of our gras, very nigh getting into the wagon."^^* 

Ash HoUow was favored as a campsite by Indians long before 
white men ever pentrated the high plains. It is not, therefore, sur- 
prising that emigrant trains frequently encountered small bands of 
Indians at this point or shortly beyond. Much of this contact was 
both minimal and friendly. Orange Gaylord (1850), for example, 
went five miles up the river from Ash Hollow and "camped near a 
company of Sioux Indians, the first that we saw since we left the 
Mission." The next day he "passed five Indian encampments. "^^^ 

122. Burton J. Williams, op. cit., P. 141, entry for June 22nd. 

123. Thomas C. Clark (editor), op. cit., PP. 42-44, entry for Saturday 
Jime 23. 

124. "Diary of S. M. Jamison." Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 
Winter, 1967. P. 9, entry for 21 (May). 

125. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850." op. cit., 
P. 2, entries for May 28 and May 29. 


One week later, near the mouth of Ash Hollow, James Mason 
(1850) reported that "2 Sues (Sioux) Indians came to our camp 
A Chief & Squaw."^26 George Keller's party (1850) was certain 
enough that they would encounter no Indian trouble that "a num- 
ber of guns were broken and thrown away at this place (Ash Hol- 
low), our object being to lighten the loads as much as possible. . . . 
About ten miles travel brought us to an encampment of Sioux 
Indians. "^^^ Even the army was no exception, as Percival Lowe 
(1857) indicates: 

30th. Off at 5:00, took the new route and at eight o'clock all 
wagons were at the top of the hill in safety, with no accident except 
upsetting one wagon by carelessness. 

Having fairly straightened out the train at the top of the hill, a 
band of Indians came in sight from the east at a fast gallop, I started 
the train into corral, giving the sign by riding my horse in a circle; 
the movement was quickly commenced, wagonmasters and teamsters 
moving with a will. Riddick quickly formed his soldiers in line ready 
for business, while I rode to a high point, with Manuel for an inter- 
preter, and motioned them to stop. They came down to a walk, and 
when within hailing distance were told to stop and let their chief come 
up. This they did, 'Man-Afraid-of-His-Horse' approached, 'Howed,' 
shook hands, and asked for something to eat. I cut the talk short by 
telling him that we must keep all we had for Colonel Simmer's com- 
mand, which was after the Cheyennes and would be very hungry when 
we met. The chief promised not to come any nearer and I shook his 
hand, galloped to the train and straightened out on the road. The 
Indians had no hostile intent.i^s 

Not infrequently, emigrant diarists not only noted the presence 
of Indians but also recorded their own descriptions and impressions 
of these native Americans. J. Henry Carleton (1845) provides a 
case in point: 

The (Sioux) men employ their time in killing buffaloes, and the 
women in dressing the skins into robes. We saw the remains of some 
of their temporary winter lodges which had been built of stick and 
straw — and also the scaffolds where they had hung their meat to dry. 
A new red blanket, cut by innumerable gashes, was found hanging up 
near this deserted village. Why it had been left there we could not 
tell; but afterwards ascertained that it is a custom with the Sioux 
whenever there comes up a heavy thunderstorm, to give as an offering 
the most valuable garment they may have, in order to appease the 
wrath of the Great Spirit, whom they suppose is angry with them. 
And we concluded that this must have been left there on such an 
occasion and for such a purpose.129 

Sarah Sutton (1854) and J. A. Wilkinson (1859) both were im- 
pressed with the Indian's mode of moving and setting up a village. 

126. James C. Olson (editor), "The Diary of James Mason, Ohio to 
California, 1850." Nebraska History, June, 1952. P. 110, entry for June 5. 

127. George Keller, op. cit., P. 11. 

128. Percival G. Lowe, op. cit., P. 206, entry for 30th (July, 1857). 

129. J. Henry Carleton, op. cit., P. 3, entry for Saturday, Jime 7, 1845. 


The latter, observing the movement of a number of Sioux families, 
wrote that "the wigwam poles some 20 feet long are lashed to the 
sides of the Ponies and Baskets are lashed to the poles behind the 
Pony where the Pappooses are carried."^^^ Mrs. Sutton's party: 

caught up to the six hundred Indians who moved the morning before 
us and such another move as it was. I have counted a hundred 
and fifty ponies that they have moved on and dragged their wigwams 
with. The road is scratched all to pieces with their poles. We came 
on to then- city which they have built today. They have about fifty 
wigwams made of poles set up tent fashion and are fastened together 
about the middle of the pole. The other stick up as an ornament and 
the lower parts are wrapped neatly with buffalo skins."i3i 

The day before Mrs. Sutton and her companions "were highly 
honored ... by Five Sioux visitors. They came up and shook 
hands with us and looked very innocent. We gave them something 
to eat and they appeared well pleased."^^^ Two years later, Helen 
M. Carpenter (1856) was more flattering even though understand- 
ably nervous: 

Before the teams could be unyoked (in Ash Hollow), the camp was 
full of Sioux Indians. . . . They are tall fine looking Indians — the 
women and men alike wear the hair in two long braids hanging down 
the back — from its sleek glossy appearance it shows the care that it 
receives. The dress is the same as the Pawnees have. Government 
Makinaw, three point blankets.i^s 

Of course many emigrants disagreed with such descriptions. Their 
attitude and reaction is more nearly expressed by Thaddeus Ken- 
derdine (1858), who described a village of Cheyennes camped 
near the mouth of Ash HoUow this way: "The Uttie naked children 
crowded around us as we passed by the lodges, whilst the old 
squaws, squatted around their domiciles, gazed quietly at us 

through their black, snaky eyes, looking quite as attractive as the 
fabled dames who guard the portals of the infernal regions."^^^ 

The attitude held by perhaps a majority of those passing through 
Ash Hollow was one of patronizing superiority. C. W. Smith 
(1850), for example, described a party of Sioux by noting that 
"They are very desirous to beg or buy provisions, particularly 
sugar, coffee, and liquor. . . . This tribe is quite friendly . . . (and) 

130. J. A. Wilkinson, op. cit., P. 11, entry for Saturday May 28th. 

131. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 25. 

132. Ibid. Entry for May 24. 

133. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., P. 3, entry for Jime 23rd. 

134. Thaddeus Kenderdine, op. cit., P. 7. There appears to be a connec- 
tion between the manner in which an emigrant described Indians and the 
extent to which that emigrant had encountered "Indian trouble." 


they look quite intelligent for Indians and superior to what I had 
expected to see."^^^ 

On one aspect of Indian-emigrant contact there seems to be 
general agreement. Having been introduced to various products 
of the white man's technology by traders and government nego- 
tiators, the various bands of Indians undertook to maintain a con- 
tinuing supply of the products by utilizing such opportunities as 
presented themselves. 

The three methods most commonly used, at Ash Hollow and 
elsewhere, were begging, petty theft and trading. The first method 
was described by many emigrants, among them S. M. Jamison 
(1850) and John McGlashan (1850). Jamison, while "en- 
camped for diner at the foot of the hollow at the river," observed 
"about thirty Indians come into camp ... to beg provisions" and 
'we gave them Some things. "^^^^ McGlashan was most emphatic in 
his diary entry concerning the presence of Indians in camp; he 
wrote "They want to beg everything we have. . . . The Indians are 
ver>' troublesome, wanting to beg everything we have."^^" Perhaps 
the reason for considering the Indians "troublesome" was not be- 
cause of their begging, but rather because "They have got some 
good horses and mules for which they ask high prices."^^^ 

Robert Chalmers (1850) gives a succinct statement concerning 
the use of the second method by a party of "about 20 Indians and 
squaws of the Sou (Sioux) tribe . . . camped close by them on the 
flat. They were very friendly but stole everything they could lay 
their hands on."^^^ Most of such trading as occurred also involved 
relatively small items. As Helen Carpenter (1856) discovered, 
however, not all items were in prime condition : 

They come with moccasins to trade for something to eat — some of 
the Inmanns got a pair for one biscuit — some one else gave two bis- 
cuits, while I got a pair for a quart of 'soog' (sugar) they are very 
eager for sweetness of any description. Their moccasins are not at all 
pretty and not durable. They are of poorly tanned buffalo hide and 
are stiff and rough. ^^^o 

Obviously, not aU thefts were petty. The culture of the plains 
Indian placed a premium on the acquisition of horses; the preferred 
method was raiding, as John Brown (1846) discovered: 

135. C. W. Smith, op. cit.. Entry for May 22. When little or no danger 
was perceived, emigrants frequently referred to Indians as "children;" when 
danger threatened, they became "savages." 

136. "Diary of S. M. Jamison." op. cit., P. 9, entry for 21 (May). 

137. Overland Journal of John M. McGlashan, 1850. PP. 7-8, entry for 
May 10th. 

138. Ibid. 

139. Charles Kelly (editor), op. cit., P. 40, entry for June 7. 

140. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., P. 3, entry for June 23rd. 


July 1st we reached Ash Hollow. ... I came on second watch that 
night. The first guard told us to keep a sharp lookout. The mules 
were very uneasy. One man discovered something near where a mule 
was staked and threw a bone at it, supposing it to be a dog, but it ran 
off like a man half bent. About this time I discovered a horse going 
loose across the corral. I went and examined the rope which was 
about six feet long. I felt the end of it and pronounced it cut, and 
immediately alarmed the camp and turned out all hands. We found 
several horses cut loose and one mare and two colts missing. We 
then kept everything close till morning, when search was made and a 
trail up the hollow in the sand where the three animals had been 
driven off, and nine pairs of moccasin tracks in the trail were found. 
We moved down to the river and six men followed the trail that day 
but could see nothing, m 

Because of incidents such as this, Indians were almost automat- 
ically blamed for any and all disappearances of livestock. As Sarah 
Sutton (1854) directly implies, however, livestock frequently van- 
ished (at least temporarily) as a result of laxity on the part of the 
drovers: "There were four or five yoke of our oxen gone this 
morning and we thought the indians had got them but were mis- 
taken and found them six or seven miles back. Have not guarded 
them one night yet."^^- 

Petty thievery and begging may have been the operational char- 
acteristics of many of the Indians encountered at Ash Hollow, but 
not the only ones. From the earliest times, most emigrants were 
aware that their native visitors, while sometimes needy and even 
destitute, were rarely subservient or cringing, and never helpless. 
Plains Indians were, after all, products of a warrior culture who 
were described by a qualified European military observer as the 
finest light cavalry in the world. Fortunately for white travelers, 
Indian-white contact did not result in massive clashes until after 
the years of greatest travel through Ash Hollow. Had the Plains 
Indian tribes, individually or collectively, unleashed their full capa- 
bility upon emigrant trains in the 1840's and 1850's the casualties 
would have been tremendous; it is probable that the opening of the 
west would have been delayed for at least several decades. That 
Indian might was not used measurably to impede the progress of 
wagon trains can be accounted for primarily by reference to hered- 
itary enmities. Warrior cultures require conflicts which provide 
the stage for exhibiting those virtues which it honors and such 
conflicts require an enemy. Out of this need developed a type of 
hereditary enmity that marked many intertribal relationships — 

141. "Diary of John Brown." op. cit., PP. 112-113. Horses and mules 
were always prime targets for Indian raiding parties. Except for the early 
part of the trip, however, cattle and oxen were normally safe from attempted 
thefts, since the Indians preferred buffalo. Edwin Bryant (1846) and Wil- 
liam Chandless (1855) both made comments to this effect. 

142. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 25. 


Comanche and Apache, Blackfoot and Crow, Blackfoot and Sho- 
shoni, Crow and Sioux. Ash Hollow was a focal point for another 
of these decades-old conflicts, this one involving the Sioux and 
Pawnee, The Teton Dakota, led by the Burnt Thigh or Brule 
band, had ascended the White River from the Missouri, jumped to 
the North Platte near its junction with the Laramie River, and 
descended the North Platte to the forks by the early 1830's. As 
they moved east, the Sioux increasingly encroached upon the terri- 
tory claimed by the Pawnee, who, before they were corrupted and 
debauched by contact with the white man's "civilization," were 
more than a worthy opponent in any scrap. 

WiUiam Marshall Anderson (1834) noted that "The Pawnees 
have now & then, used this (Ash Hollow) as a wintering place,"^^^ 
and, as previously described, William Sublette and "Black" Harris 
encountered Pawnee "sign," causing them to avoid Ash Hollow in 
the winter of 1827. One year after Anderson passed through, 
according to Rufus Sage (1841), a major brawl occurred between 
the Sioux and Pawnee : 

Near camp had been the scene of a fierce and bloody battle between 
the Pawnees and Sioux, in the winter of 1835. The affray commenced 
early in the morning, and continued till near night. A trader, who was 
present with the Sioux, on the occasion, describes it as having been 
remarkably close. Every inch of ground was disputed — now the Paw- 
nees advancing upon the retreating Sioux; and now the Sioux, while 
the Pawnees gave way; but, returning to the charge with redoubled 
fury, the former once more recoiled. The arrows flew in full show- 
ers, — the bullets whistled the death-song of many a warrior, — the yells 
of combating savages filled the air, and drowned the lesser din of 

At length arrows and balls were exhausted upon both sides, — but 
still the battle raged fiercer than before. 

War-club, tomahawk and butcher-knife were bandied with terrific 
force, as the hostile parties engaged hand to hand, and the clash of 
resounding blows, commingling with the clamor of unearthly voices 
which rent the very heavens, seemed more to pre-figure the contest of 
fiends than aught else. 

Finally the Pawnees abandoned the field to their victorious enemies, 
leaving sixty of their warriors upon the ensanguined battle-ground. 
But the Sioux had paid dearly for their advantage; — forty-five of their 
bravest men lay mingled with the slain. The defeated party were pur- 
sued only a short distance, and then permitted to return without 
further molestation to their village, at the Forks of the Platte. 

This disaster so completely disheartened the Pawnees, they imme- 
diately abandoned their station and moved down the river some four 
himdred mUes, — nor have they again ventured so high up, unless in 
strong war-parties. 

About the same time the village on Republican fork of Kansas was 
also abandoned, and its inhabitants imited with the Loups. 

The evidences of this cruel death-harvest were yet scattered over the 

143. Dale L. Morgan and Eleanor Towles Harris, op. cit., P. 195, entry 
for August 27, 1834. 


prairie, whose bones and sculls looked sad, indeed. One of the latter 
was noticed, near camp, with a huge wasp's nest occupying the vacuum 
once filled by the subtle organs of intellect. Strange tenant, truly, of 
a human scull Isic.l, — but, perhaps, not an unfit antitype of the fierce 
passions that whilom Lsic] claimed it as their dwelling place. i^^ 

As Sage mentioned, the Pawnees were forced further east as the 
Sioux moved on to the Republican valley, and, of course, contin- 
ued to raid Pav/nee villages. It was not at all unusual for emigrants 
approaching or passing through Ash Hollow to encounter Sioux 
war parties headed east. J. Henry Carleton (1845) heard that 
"Ash Hollow has been the scene of many fights between the Paw- 
nees and Sioux."i4^' Both Robert Chalmers (1850) and Sarah 
Sutton (1854) met Sioux who were apparently looking for Pawnee 
and trouble. The former "camped near a number of Indian wig- 
wams, about 20 Indians and squaws of the Sou (Sioux) Tribe. 
There [sic] were at war with the Pawnee Indians ;"^^*' the latter 
reported that "There are six hundred (Sioux) collected near here 
(Ash Hollow) going to war with the Pav/nees."^*^ 

The Pawnee were a prime enemy of the Sioux because they 
satisfied the major prerequisite — they were available. The Sioux 
were, however, more than ready to take on any other Indians whom 
they considered "foreign" to the region. One tragic example oc- 
curred in 1837. William Gray, who had accompanied the Spal- 
dings and Whitmans to Oregon in 1836, returned to the "States" 
the following year. His mission was to secure reinforcements for 
the Oregon effort, but he also drove a herd of horses from which he 
hoped to profit in Missouri. Several Nez Perce or Flathead Indians 
accompanied him for the purposes of learning more of the white 
man's ways and religion. At Ash Hollow, the party was jumped by 
Sioux, who stole the horses, killed all the Indians and superficially 
wounded Gray. Gray escaped with his life, but not with his repu- 
tation. Mountain men at the 1838 Rendezvous treated him with 
barely muffled hostility if not outright contempt; they were strongly 
of the opinion that Gray had simply bartered the Indian's lives for 
his own.^^*^ Not only mountain men entertained such suspicions. 

144. Rufus B. Sage, op. cit., P. 76, entry for Oct. 18th. 

145. J. Henry Carleton, op. cit., P. 3, entry for Saturday, June 7, 1845. 

146. Charles Kelly (editor), op. cit., P. 40, entry for June 7. 

147. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 24. In view 
of this hardy enmity, it is not surprising that Frank and Luther North were 
able to recruit the tough and effective Pawnee Scouts for service against the 
Sioux. In like manner, many Crow and Shoshoni were eager to march with 
Crook to the Rosebud in 1876. 

148. It should be noted that Gray was unpopular with most of the 
Mountain Men before the Ash Hollow incident because of his arrogant piety. 
For an essentially Mountain Man version of the affair, see Bernard DeVoto, 
Across the Wide Missouri, Houghton-Mifflin Sentry Edition, PP. 326-333. 


Asa B. Smith, one of those going to re-enforce the Oregon Mission, 
wrote a letter dated: 

July 6th, 1838: Rendezvous of the American Fur Company on 
Wind River, one of the branches of the Yellowstone. 
Our leader, Mr. G(ray) is unfit altogether for the place he is in & 
has caused us much difficulty. Were I to relate particulars I could fill 
this whole sheet but perhaps it would not be best. His conduct has 
been such that he is hated by all who have been with us. His conduct 
is suspect by the loss of those Indians last fall, is very much censured 
by the Fur Company. He was strongly advised not to go on as he did 
but to wait till the Company went down which was in about 10 days 
after he left. Mr. Bridger told him that he would certainly be defeated 
if he went on. But notwithstanding all this, he rushed on rashly & all 
his men were killed & he barely escaped. This is the character of the 
man. You can judge how unfit he would be for the station he is 
now in.!"!^ 

After the mid-1 850's, many emigrants believed Ash Hollow to 
be a place of prime danger from Indians. J. A. Wilkinson (1859), 
for example, felt that "This Hollow is the most dangerous place to 
be attacked by Indians that we have Seen on the whole Route,"^^° 
an opinion strongly seconded by Mrs. Sara Wisner (1866) : "The 
country between the two Plattes was very dangerous ground. Ash 
Hollow was a favorite place of the Indians for an attack. The 
emigrant train that got through Ash Hollow was extremely 
lucky."^^^ Captain Eugene Ware (1864) gave a mihtary evalua- 
tion. Ash Hollow, he wrote, was "an excellent place for ambus- 
scades."^^- The year 1864 was, of course a bad year for travelers; 
the Northern Cheyenne were on the rampage and their allies, the 
Sioux, joined them from time to time. Even so, given Indian reluc- 
tance to mount a frontal attack on weU-armed troops, much of the 
campaigning was of the type described by Captain Ware : 

149. First White Woman Over the Rockies: Diaries, Letters, and Bio- 
graphical Sketches of the Six Women of the Oregon Mission who made the 
Overland Journey in 1836 and 1838; Volume III: Diary of Sarah White 
Smith (Mrs. Asa B. Smith); Letters of Asa B. Smith and other Documents 
Relating to the 1838 Reenforcement to the Oregon Mission. With Introduc- 
tions and Editorial Notes by Clifford Merrill Drury. Northwest Historical 
Series VIII. The Arthur H. Clark Company: Glendale, California, 1966. 
"Letter from Asa B. Smith to his Parents, Brothers & Sisters," PP. 150-151. 

150. J. A. Wilkinson, op. cit., P. 11, entry for Saturday, May 28th. 

151. Mrs. Sarah Wisner, A Trip Across the Plains. (Newberry Micro- 
film 4-14). Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 
2-46. P. 2. The threat of attack by Plains Indians on the Oregon-California 
Trail has been over played by fiction writers. Most wagon trains made the 
trip across present-day Nebraska and Wyoming without encountering any 
overt threat of attack. For evidence on this point, see my "The Plains In- 
dian Threat on the Oregon Trail Before 1860." Annals of Wyoming, Octo- 
ber, 1968. 

152. Captain Eugene F. Ware, op. cit., P. 232. 


On the 9th of November, 1864, we got all ready to go to Ash Hol- 
low, and I determined to make the trip in the night, so as to get there 
after sunrise, deeming it the safer. 

We got to Ash Hollow, kept well on the lookout, worked hard most 
of the day, and filled our wagons, then went into camp, parking every- 
thing up as if for a fight. All at once, on the other side of the river, 
went up a smoke signal. We saw it answered up the river as far as a 
field-glass could spy. In the evening in the earliest dark a fire-arrow 
went up. I then concluded that trouble would begin in the morning; 
so we had the mules all hitched up, and the men all mounted, and we 
started up the road leading out of Ash Hollow, and finally got up on 
top of the plateau. The men were very tired, and I was very tired, 
for I had been at work as much as the men. I got them all together 
and told them that nobody could tell what there was behind us; that 
we could park upon the plateau, and go in by daylight, but that the 
Indians wouldn't tackle us by night, in all probability, and that we 
could go across to Julesburg three teams abreast, and in solid order, 
but that I was not going to make the order to march if they thought 
they were too tired or worn out to make it. They all spoke up that 
they were not very tired, and would be willing to make the trip. So, 
deploying out the men who were on horseback as scouts, and putting a 
white wagon-cover on the man who was to follow the trail and go in 
advance, so that we could keep line on him, we started across. About 
eleven o'clock a fire arrow went up far in front of us along the line of 
our probable trail, and a little after that an arrow went up behind us. 
Deeming it unwise to go any farther in the night, we parked our 
wagons, and waited for daylight. The starlight was very bright, and 
we could see considerably well. The wolves howled most fearfully, 
and as to some of it we could not tell whether the howling was wolves 
or Indians; so we got the log- wagons in such a position that we were 
within the circle of them, and we waited for daylight to come. The 
men dozed off alternately, and we each got two or three hours of 
sleep. As soon as it became dawn, we started on. 1^3 

The question might well be raised, "What caused the rise in hos- 
tility towards the whites?" Many factors contributed; the increase 
in numbers of whites, the disappearance of game and the beginning 
of white claims to own the land rather than merely to pass through 
aU were of importance. So far as the country around Ash Hollow 
was concerned, however, the cause can be fixed more precisely. It 
was a chain of events begiiming with a cow which strayed from a 
Mormon train near Fort Laramie, an Indian who killed and ate it, 
and a headstrong package of inexperience named Lieutenant John 
Grattan; the result — the Grattan "massacre." In retaliation, the 
Army created a strike force to chastise the Indians for the Grattan 
coup as well as a subsequent attack on a maU wagon. The first 
blow was struck on Bluewater Creek, well across the river from 
Ash Hollow. Ash Hollow, however, came to be regarded as the 
place where the hostilities were initiated. Many emigrants after 
1856 must have thought what J. A. Wilkinson (1859) wrote: 
"This is the place where General Harney killed so many Indians 

153. Ibid., PP. 270-272. 


with the Soldiers."^"'^ In one of the tragic sequences of events in 
American history, the trail which began on Bluewater Creek, north- 
west of Ash Hollow, led to the Little Big Horn in Montana, and 
finally to Wounded Knee in South Dakota. 

The battle of Bluewater Creek is a story that does not need re- 
telling here. One needs only to observe that it was an event subject 
to differing interpretations and explanations from the beginning. 
Troops were moved into position during a parley and General 
Harney ordered an attack on the village at the moment of its con- 
clusion. There is unanimous agreement that the subsequent fight 
resulted in a massive defeat for Little Thunder's band of Brule 
Sioux. Beyond that conclusion, however disagreements arose. 
Harney's official report spoke of "a brilliant charge of cavalry," 
and of men "who were eager from the first for a fray with the 
butchers of their comrades of Lieutenant Grattan's party."^''''* An- 
other participant, Lieutenant G. K. Warren, recorded in his journal 
the memory of "wounded women and children crying and moaning, 
horribly mangled by the bullets. "^-^^ The official accounting listed 
the death toll at eighty-six Indians and five soldiers ;^-^" one author 
suggests that possibly fourteen women and children should be add- 
ed to the figure of eighty-six. ^^^ 

William Chandless (1855) camped at the mouth of Ash Hollow 
several days after the battle. Since the troops were still present, 
the party heard a good many stories concerning the fight. The 
description recorded by Chandless in his diary embodied attitudes 
which probably matched those of a majority of white men: 

Heard plenty about the fight, infantry and dragoons each making 
out they had borne the brunt of it. The evening before the battle, 
General Harney looking around with his glass, discovered the Indians, 
who were unaware of the approach of the troops. The general imme- 
diately addressed his men with a classical spirit, if not in classical 

There,' said he, 'are those d — d red sons of — , who massacred the 
soldiers near Laramie last year, in time of peace. They killed your 
own kindred, your own flesh and blood. Now, by — , men, there we 
have them, and if you don't give it them, you deserve to be — . Don't 
spare one of the d — d red sons of — .' This speech was 'short, but 
to the purpose,' and no doubt General Harney's manner did not dimin- 
ish its effect. The soldiers themselves hate the Indians, because they 
bring them out on the plains to all sorts of privation, and fruitless 

154. J. A. Wilkinson, op. cit., P. 11, entry for Saturday, May 28tli. 

155. William H. Harney, Report on the Battle of Blue Water, 34th Con- 
gress, 1st Session, H. R. Executive Document 1 (1855-56), 49. Quoted in 
William H. Goetzmann, Army Exploration In the American West 1803- 
1863. Yale University Press: New Haven, Connecticut. 1959. P. 410. 

156. G. K. Warren, "Journal." (Warren Papers, New York State Li- 
brary). Quoted in William H. Goetzman. Ibid. 

157. Ibid. 

158. Remi Nadeau, Fort Laramie and the Sioux Indians, Prentice-Hall, 
Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1967. P. 123. 


marching to and fro. Before morning the Sioux were caught in a trap, 
such as, it is said, Indians never were caught in before: but for some 
error in the execution of the plan not a man could have escaped. In- 
dians, like wild beasts, are cowards till roused, and they wanted to 
have a 'talk,' but 'Old Harney,' who is no joke of a man to deal with, 
made his terms so stringent that they were sure to be rejected, and the 
fight came off. About 150 Sioux were killed, and a good many 
wounded who escaped; some, however, when wounded fought desper- 
ately to the last, and would not die. Sixty squaws and children were 
taken prisoners, and a large number of Ponies, and the whole stock of 
dried buffalo meat and robes of this band were captured, which it was 
expected, taking place so late in the season, would starve a good many 
more during the following winter. The casualties among the soldiers 
were but seven or eight. 

Northern newspapers are apt to set down 'Old Harney,' who is a 
Southerner, as a truculent barbarian; but he was certainly popular 
with his army, and his policy was quite right.i^^ 

One other point worth noting in Chandless' narrative is the 
casualty figure; written less than a week after the event, and pre- 
sumably based on eye-witness reports, the figure recorded in the 
diary is grossly inaccurate. As the years passed, inaccuracies in- 
creased. Richard Thomas Ackley (1858), passing through Ash 
Hollow, observed that there had been "a great battle fought there 
by General Harney in 1855 or '56, when he killed about 400 of the 
Sioux."^®^ Thaddeus Kenderdine's (1858) description further illus- 
trates the point: 

Near this spot a battle was fought a year before between the Chey- 
ennes and the Americans under General Harney. The fortifications 
erected by the latter could still be seen on the flat extending between 
the bluff and the river. One of our men who had been an eye-witness 
of the fight gave us a graphic description of it. It was a hardly 
fought contest, but the skill of the Americans at last prevailed over the 
superior numbers of the enemy. The Cheyennes were entirely routed, 
with the loss of two hundred of their number and all their tents and 
baggage, which were burned in a huge bonfire by the victors. Their 
squaws were taken prisoners, and distributed among our gallant sol- 
diers, but were afterwards given up to their lawful owners. The severe 
castigation which the Cheyennes here received has humbled them 
greatly, and they are far less mischievous now than formerly. Old 
'Harney' is held in great detestation among them, and the mere men- 
tion of his name will bring a scowl on the face of a Cheyenne brave.i^J 

159. William Chandless, op. cit., PP. 1-2, entry for Sept. 7th. 

160. "Across the Plains in 1858, Richard Thomas Ackley." op. cit., 
P. 198, entry for Sunday, July 17, 1858. 

161. Thaddeus S. Kenderdine, op. cit., P. 7. The "fortifications" referred 
to were described by Captain B. S. Todd as "a small sod work, in which 
Capt. Wharton with his Company (I) and the wounded, prisoners and plim- 
der, are to be left," he then added "The fort was finished this evening and 
will be known as Fort Grattan." The "fort" was abandoned very shortly 
thereafter. For further information on this campaign, see Ray H. Mattison 
(editor), 'The Harney Expedition Against the Sioux: The Journal of Capt. 
John B. S. Todd." Nebraska History, June, 1962. 


George Forman's (1864) statement is our final, and most erro- 
neous, rendering of the story. Ash Hollow, to him, was the place 
"where General Kearney once fought a battle and defeated the 
Pawnees whose graves yet could be seen,"^*''^ 

For most emigrant trains, Ash Hollow was the point of first con- 
tact with the North Platte River, whose path they would follow into 
central Wyoming; near Red Buttes the trail left the North Platte 
for its most famous tributary, the Sweetwater, which led to South 
Pass. Despite its importance, the North Platte was not an impos- 
ing sight, particularly when compared with the memory of the Mis- 
souri, the Mississippi, and the Ohio. Matthew Field (1834), for 
example, saw the North Platte when it was "very low, a thin sur- 
face of water just creeping over the sand in various threads and 
branches, and the wide, flatbed of the stream lying nearly all 
exposed."^^^ Although "The Islands fronting the mouth of Ash 
Hollow now enhven the prospect here . . . still the dry river looks 
desolate."i64 Calvin Taylor (1850) likened the North Platte to the 
Ohio in width, but in no other respect since the former was "shal- 
low, swift and muddy and dotted with numerous islands densely 
timbered. "^^^ It is apparent from the foregoing that travelers were 
not accustomed to a river with islands thus timbered; many agreed 
with Sarah Sutton (1854) that "an island out in the river with about 
two dozen cedar trees and another with two large cedar trees . . . 
is a curiosity to see. . . ."^^^ 

Some of the characteristics of the North Platte were as subject to 
alteration as was the Nebraska weather. Channels changed in 
width, depth and even location; the water level sometimes raised to 
flood proportions and at other times dropped into the sandy noth- 
ingness already described by Matthew Field. The water was some- 
times muddy, as Calvin Taylor noted earlier, and sometimes rela- 
tively clear.^^^ Even the river bottom was constantly shiftmg — 
yesterday's ford might be a six foot hole today! During the spring 
run-off particularly, emigrants frequently described the North 
Platte as being, in the words of George Gibbs (1849), "much 
deeper and more narrow than the South fork;"^^^ they also usually 
saw a contrast between the North Platte and the main Platte such as 
that recorded by George Keller (1850) : "The latter . . . (is) wide 

162. T. A. Larson (editor), op. cit., PP. 12-13. 

163. Matthew C. Field, op. cit.. P. 201, entry for 7th Day from the Fort. 

164. Ibid. 

165. Burton J. Williams, op. cit., P. 141, entry for June 22nd. These 
characteristics are, perhaps, the basis for the saying that the Platte is "too 
thick to drink and too thin to plow." 

166. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." op. cit., P. 7, entry for May 25. 

167. Raymond W. Settle (editor), op. cit., PP. 316-317, entry for Friday, 
June 15. 

168. Ibid. 


and shallow, while the former is narrow and of considerable 

Beyond Ash Hollow, wagon trains began the long trek up the 
North Platte and the Sweetwater toward South Pass and the Conti- 
nental Divide. From its beginning, the road to the high plains was 
a dreary and difficult one. Sand always made traveling tedious and 
the scarcity of grass was a frequent problem.^^*' Not surprisingly, 
many emigrants were most unimpressed with this portion of the Ne- 
braska panhandle. Edwin Bryant is, perhaps, a typical spokesman: 

For several miles after leaving our incampment Lsic.l near the mouth 
of 'Ash Hollow,' the wagon trail passes over a sandy soil, into which 
the wheels sink eight or ten iches IsicJ. The bluffs wall in the river 
valley are becoming rugged and sterile, exhibiting barren sands and 
perpendicular ledges of rock. The general aspect of the scenery is 
that of aridity and desolation. The face of the country presents here 
those features and characteristics which proclaim it to be uninhabitable 
by civilized man. The light sands driven by the bleak winds, drift 
across the parched plain, filling the atmosphere, and colouring the 
vegetation with a gray coating of dust. Distance 30 miles.^'^'i 

Other comments tend to support the opinion of Mr. Bryant. 
Joel Palmer ( 1 845 ) wrote that "the bluffs are generally rocky, at 
times presenting perpendicular cliffs of three hundred feet high;"^^^ 
Virgil Pringle (1846) concurred, noting that "the hills on the fork 
are more rugged and rocky than any we have seen;'^^^ and WilUam 
Johnston (1849) rather dourly observed that "the features of the 
country surrounding were similar and equally monotonous to those 
on the branch from which we came."^^^ The closest thing to a 
positive reaction was registered by John McGlashan (1850) when 
he said that "Bold rocks overhang the river and the scenery is 
picturesque in a high degree."^'^^ 

The Mountain Men and the traders, the missionaries and the 
Sioux, the emigrants and the cavalry — all are now gone from Ash 
Hollow. The North Platte Valley is an irrigated strip of farmland 
pointed into Wyoming. But Ash Hollow State Park, still the 
"Gateway to the High Plains," remains much as it was 125 years 
ago. Too many tourists drive too fast and too far, look at too 

169. George Keller, op. cit., P. 11. 

170. For example, S. M. Jamison, Orange Gaylord, and George Keller all 
came up the Platte River Road in 1850, and all of them complained about 
the sandy trail. 

171. "Diary of Edwin Bryant." op. cit., P. 256, entry for June 20th. 

172. Joel Palmer, Journal of Travels Over the Rocky Mountains. P. 10, 
entry for June 17. 

173. "Diary of Virgil Pringle." op. cit., P. 172, entry for Simday, 
June 14. 

174. William G. Johnston, op. cit., P. 108, entry for Tuesday, May 22d. 

175. "Overland Journal of John M. McGlashan, 1850." P. 8, entiy for 
May 10th. 


much and see too little. Yet, there are satisfying rewards for those 
who will take the time not only to observe what remains of a 
historic spot, but also to remember some of those who have gone 
before them. Ash Hollow today, rich in memories, is a good place 
to begin to remember. 


The cause of the parcels post is to have encouragement this win- 
ter it is predicted, by First Assistant Postmaster General Frank H. 
Hitchcock who sailed the other day for Europe. He will spend 
several months abroad studying the operation of the parcels post 
in those countries, and to establish on his return such measures as 
he may think advisable for the institution of a parcels post in this 
country. It is doubtful if any one can go abroad and perceive the 
benefits to trade and the people at large of such a system without 
becoming an advocate for its establishment in this country. Mr. 
Cortelyou, the Postmaster General is known to be in favor of it as 
are the majority of the officials and if the day ever comes when the 
express companies of this country shall be curbed in their power in 
congress we may certainly look for this most advantageous addition 
to our postal service. The Trusts and notably the Express Com- 
pany Trust which has been represented in the Senate for many 
years by Senator Piatt of New York, have in the last session or two 
seen a decline in their power over the Government, and when the 
Express Companies shall have been reduced to their proper place 
the only serious opponent of Parcels Post will have been overcome. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, September, 1906 

Zke Seven Days 
of Manom County 


Viola McNealey 

Assistant Archivist 
Wyoming State Archives 
and Historical Department 

Hanover, Wyoming's "paper county," lived and died during a 
brief seven days in 1911, but left its mark on records of the times. 

A careful examination of the map now being used on the cover 
of the Annals of Wyoming shows Hanover County in the location 
of present day Washakie County. Faintly showing just over the 
printed Hanover on the map is the word Washakie, stamped in red 
on the original map. 

The background of this interesting situation developed in Feb- 
ruary, 1903, when a citizen of Omaha arrived in the Big Horn 
Basin and immediately began to praise its merits as the best agri- 
cultural section in the entire Rocky Mountain region. C. F. Rob- 
ertson received a dubious welcome from old timers in the area with 
the wish that his wind and nerve would never tire and that the 
wheels in his head would always be well lubricated with Cody and 
Bonanza petroleum.^ The syndicate he represented was the Han- 
over Canals System with offices in Denver. As secretary of the 
Hanover Canal Company, Mr. Robertson was a staunch supporter 
of the Worland country. He became Worland's first mayor and 
laid out the townsite in 1906. The Hanover Canal eventually grew 
to irrigate 35,000 acres of land with waters from the Big Horn 
River.- The Hanover Land and Irrigation Company was incor- 
porated in 1904, and in 1906, the Hanover Investment Company 
was established. Mr. Robertson lobbied through three sessions of 
the legislature to have a county created with Worland as its county 
seat. No bills to form new counties were introduced in the 1907 
legislative session. However, Worland newspaper accounts verify 
that members of the legislature were being urged to present bills 
for the division of Big Horn County 

From 1909 to 1911, three counties were to be created from their 

1. The Wyoming Stockgrower and Farmer, Cody, Feb. 17, 1903. 

2. Wyoming Industrial Journal, May, 1904. 


parent, Big Horn County, whose western portion bordered Yellow- 
stone Park. The first to find its way into the Wyoming family of 
counties was Park. Although no opposition was made to the name 
"Park", with the county seat to be Cody, the Big Horn County 
Commissioners did resist the division move and secured a court 
injunction to prevent the organization of the new county. The 
State Supreme Court handed down a decision favoring the new 
Park County creation, thus paving the way for the birth of two 
more counties from the area in the 1911 legislative session.^ 

The same legislative session that created Park county also de- 
bated Senate File #36, which proposed carving another new 
county, Hot Springs, out of Big Horn. The bill was amended and 
the erasures of "Hot Springs" still show clearly on original Senate 
FUe #36 with "Washakie" inserted in its place.^ According to 
the land description in this bill, the boundary lines encompassed 
most of the area which would include today's Washakie and Hot 
Springs counties. After passing both houses. Senate File #36, 
as amended, was vetoed by Governor B. B. Brooks because the 
creation of another county, after Park county, would have left the 
old county. Big Horn, with an assessed valuation below what was 
required by the Constitution to remain a county. Senator Pat 
Sullivan, Natrona County, who had introduced the bill, moved that 
Senate File #36 be passed "irrespective of the declination of the 
Governor.^ RoU call on the motion was: Ayes — 12, Noes — 14, 
absent — 0. Senator George McClellan, of Big Horn County sup- 
ported the governor and Big Horn County interests by voting, 
"No" on the motion. 

George B. McClellan, known as "Bear George" in the Big Horn 
Basin because of his fabulous bear stories, introduced Senate File 
#7 in 1911. As introduced, the bill read, in part, "A bill creating 
and forming the County of Hanover." The committee of the whole 
amended the bill to read: "Wherever the word 'Hanover' appears, 
it be stricken out and the word 'Washakie' therein inserted." 
Actually, the name "Hanover" remained on the original bill for 
only seven days, February 13 to February 21, and the county 
ultimately created was Washakie County. This could have been a 
result of Senate Joint Resolution No. 1, 1911, which proposed that 
names given to all new counties by acts creating them should 
represent euphonious names or historic incidents associated with 
aboriginies of that area of the state. 

Why the Clason Map Company included Hanover Count}' on its 
map is a question that remains shrouded in mystery. The map 

3. Wyoming Reports, Vol. 18, 1909-1911, p. 316. 

4. Original S.F. in Wyoming State Archives Series of original bills (1873- 

5. Senate Journal of the Tenth State Legislature of Wyoming, 1909. 


was copyrighted in 1911, and it is possible it was prepared in 1910 
for publication the following year. While there are no definite 
answers to the question, it could be that supporters of Hanover 
County influenced the map makers in the belief the county would 
become a reality, or in the hope that its appearance on a map 
would be the lever that would result in favorable legislative action 
creating the county. 

Chief Washakie of the Shoshones was a person of rank and dis- 
tinction in the chronicles of Wyoming and a legend among his 
people. Born sometime between 1798 and 1804, he became a 
chief at the age of nineteen. A highly intelligent man, he con- 
vinced his people that friendly traffic with the white man was the 
only chance of survival for them. In a bloody era, he gave his 
tribe peace.^ 

Although the Hanover Canal Company contributed to the agri- 
cultural development of a portion of Wyoming, it could not 
compete, in the final analysis, with the honored peacemaker, 

6. Wyoming, American Guide Series (New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1956), p. 311. 

Wyoming V. Colorado Ke visited 



M. Paul Holsinger 

Wyoming has been blessed with an abundance of natural re- 
sources, but none of these is so important as the water which flows 
through the state's rivers and streams. Settlement of the high 
plains and mountainous plateaus, from the founding of Cheyenne 
to the more recent establishment of Riverton, has been advanced 
or inhibited almost exclusively by the availability of water for 
irrigational purposes. The range cattle industry in the state de- 
veloped as it did because of the abundance of lush grazing lands 
which in turn have always been dependent on the waters of such 
rivers as the North Platte or the Laramie. Every new business 
since the days of the mountain men has been, in one way or an- 
other, conditioned by its success or failure at obtaining water. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that Wyoming, both as a territory 
and as a state, has guarded so jealously its available water supply. 
From time to time interstate compacts with Utah, Idaho, South 
Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, or North Dakota have 
been negotiated to regulate the usage of the water from rivers which 
run within the state. ^ In 1944, the international Colorado River 
Treaty between the United States and Mexico also made provisions 
which directly affected Wyoming's water supply .^ On only three 
major occasions, however, has the state been forced into legal 
battles for what it considered its rightful water.^ The most pro- 
longed, the most controversial, and in many senses, the most im- 
portant of these latter instances was the litigation over the use of 
the Laramie River. Starting in 1911 and culminating, after two 
false starts eleven years later in 1922, the case of Wyoming v. 

1. Transcripts of the compacts can be found in Wyoming, Documents on 
the Use and Control of Wyoming's Interstate Streams. Compacts, Treaties, 
and Court Decrees (Cheyenne: State of Wyoming, 1957), pp. 1-72. 

2. Relevant parts of the Colorado River Treaty are in Ibid., pp. 73-96. 

3. The three instances are the Laramie River controversy; the North 
Platte River litigation between Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming which 
reached the Supreme Court for decision in 1945; and the litigation between 
Idaho and Wyoming over Teton and South Leigh creeks, which was adjudi- 
cated by the United States District Court in 1941. Abbreviated transcripts 
of the last two cases are excerpted in Ibid., pp. 109-131. 


Colorado"^ marks not only a major turning point in the history of 
state water policy but also a significant step on the part of the 
United States Supreme Court in the enunciation of federal regula- 
tion and protection of this nation's interstate streams. 

The years immediately after the turn of the century were years 
of great promise for the future of irrigation in the state of Wyoming. 
"No other decade," as Professor T. A. Larson has pointed out, 
saw "so much promotion of irrigation, so much actually accom- 
plished," as did the years between 1903 and 1913. ^ By 1911, 
there were 456,737 acres of cultivated irrigated land in the state 
and 351,764 acres of uncultivated irrigated land. Two years later 
these figures had climbed to 531,130 acres and 511,308 acres 
respectively.^* With the development of irrigation, however, it 
became clear that Wyoming, dependent as it was on the uninter- 
rupted flow of water from other states, could conceivably lose aU or 
nearly all its supply in some areas should the streams be diverted 
for any reason. This was particularly true in the case of the Lara- 
mie River, which started in the mountains of Colorado before flow- 
ing north to empty into the North Platte just west of old Fort 

During the first years of the new century, Colorado developers, 
who were no less conscious of the value of the Laramie than were 
Wyoming residents, began to make elaborate plans for diverting 
most of the water to irrigate the fertile Cache la Poudre valley in 
the northern part of that state. Two separate groups, both char- 
tered in the state of Colorado — the Laramie-Poudre Reservoirs and 
Irrigation Company and the Greeley-Poudre Irrigation District — 
had already begun work on the necessary tunnels and ditches by 
early 1909. When it was protested that if Colorado and the two 
groups were allowed to carry through the proposed diversion, 
Wyoming would be nearly cut off from a water supply which it had 
used in some cases since territorial days, officials in Colorado 
refused to act. Every state, they argued, had the sovereign right 
to regulate the diversion and distribution of waters within its bor- 
ders as it saw fit regardless of any detriment to neighboring states. 
Under these circumstances, in 1911 the Attorney General's office 
in Cheyenne filed suit in the United States Supreme Court against 
Colorado with the expectation of forcing the federal government to 

4. State of Wyoming, Complainant, v. State of Colorado, the Greeley- 
Poudre Irrigation District, and the Laramie-Poudre Reservoirs and Irriga- 
tion Company, 259 U.S. 419, 66 L.ed.999, 43Sup a 552 (1922). 

5. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln, Nebraska: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1965), p. 359. 

6. Ibid. 

7. According to Mr. Justice Willis Van Devanter's opinion in the case, 
Colorado had by 1911 "so nearly" completed work on the diversion of the 


The United States Supreme Court, as the nation's most impor- 
tant judicial body, always moves with careful deliberation in arriv- 
ing at its decisions. This is particularly true in cases involving two 
or more states. The Court invariably demands full-scale hearings 
on the issues involved and testimony often extends into thousands 
of printed pages. The case of Wyoming v. Colorado was no ex- 
ception to the rule. Burdened in the years before 1914 with the 
heaviest mandatory case load in its history,*^ the Court ordered 
evidence taken in 1913 and 1914 preparatory to the customary 
printed briefs which were to be presented to the members of the 
Court prior to official arguments from both sides.'-* In 1916, this 
testimony was condensed and put in narrative form by both Colo- 
rado and Wyoming. 

On December 6, 7, and 8, 1916, oral arguments in the case were 
heard in the old Supreme Court chambers in the basement of the 
Capitol. ^^ Arguing the case for Wyoming were John W. Lacey and 
N. E. Corthell, without question two of the state's most distin- 
guished attorneys.^^ Colorado and the private groups which were 
also defendants in the suit had no less distinguished representation; 
among the three attorneys present was not only Fred Farrar, the 
state's attorney general, but also Julius C. Gunter, a judge of the 
state Supreme Court and Colorado's governor-elect. ^^ Three 
months later, on March 6, 1917, the Court, obviously unable to 

river "that the assumption reasonably may be indulged that, but for the suit 
the appropriation soon would have been perfected." A clear chronological 
account of the Cache la Poudre project is given in Wyoming v. Colorado, 
259 U.S. 490-495. 

8. Until the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1914 allowed the Supreme 
Court to have a degree of discretion in the cases it accepted, there were 
nearly twice as many cases being handled as in later years. 

9. Wyoming v .Colorado, 259 U.S. 456. 

10. Wyoming v. Colorado, 66 L. ed. 1003. The Supreme Court did not 
move to the present court building until 1935. 

11. John W. Lacey had been a resident of Wyoming since 1884 when he 
had been appointed Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur. Two years later, Lacey resigned to enter private 
practice, which by the late 1880's included such influential clients as the 
Union Pacific Railroad. He remained a distinguished attorney in Cheyenne 
until his death in 1936. (Marie H. Erwin, Wyoming Historical Blue Book. 
A Legal and Political History of Wyoming 1868-1943 (Denver: Bradford- 
Robinson Printing Co., [1943]), p. 193. Nellis E. Corthell, from Laramie, 
had been one of the state's most noteworthy attorneys since the 1890's. In 
1903 he was one of the main lawyers for the notorious Tom Horn. By the 
late 1930's, the title of "Laramie's famous lawyer" (T. A. Larson, History 
of Wyoming, p. 471) was an automatic synonym. 

12. Julius C. Gunter had come to Colorado in 1881 and quickly risen to 
legal prominence, first as Judge of the Third District of the state, then as 
Judge of the State Court of Appeals, and in 1904 as an elected justice to the 
state Supreme Court. He served as Democratic governor from 1917 to 
1919 before returning to private practice. History of Colorado (Denver: 
Linderman Co. Inc., 1927), V, 91-92. 


agree among themselves as to the proper outcome/'' handed down 
a somewhat unexpected opinion. Rather than favoring either side, 
the members of the Supreme Bench issued an order which called 
for the case to be re-argued. Lawyers for both sides were asked to 
state clearly in new briefs not only the specifics of how much water 
was really involved, a point both sides disagreed widely on, but also 
what rule of law they felt should be used to judge the case. Should, 
the Court asked, the decision hinge on the generally accepted West- 
ern doctrine of prior appropriation of the water regardless of state 
boundaries or, on the contrary, should state lines limit or restrict 
any prior agreement? Since the final decision would, in all likeli- 
hood, become the law which controlled water usage not only be- 
tween Wyoming and Colorado but also between all states in the far 
West, Congress was notified so that it might be aware of "the 
possible consequences."^^ 

It was not until January, 1918, that attorneys for the two states 
were able to present re-arguments. On the 9th, 10th, and 11th 
of that month, Lacey and Corthell faced Colorado's representatives 
led now by Leslie E. Hubbard, the state's new attorney general. 
Both sides agreed that the doctrine of prior appropriation was the 
only acceptable Western rule in water cases, but beyond that point 
they were in almost total disagreement. Where water law was 
concerned, the Wyoming attorneys argued, it made no difference 
whether the stream in question was interstate or not. The first 
person to appropriate water from a stream had priority to its use, 
a priority which state boundaries could not change. Colorado's 
representatives, on the other hand, contended that each state had 
a responsibility to protect its natural resources from usurpation 
from outside its borders. Wyoming naturally wanted the water of 
the Laramie, but the fact was clear that it was a Colorado-con- 
trolled river and that as such, Colorado had first rights to any and 
all of its usage. ^^ 

13. In 1916 only two of the nine justices, Joseph McKenna of Cali- 
fornia and Willis Van Devanter of Wyoming, were from west of the Mis- 
sissippi River. The idea of water law based on anything but traditional 
riparian rights, (the person controls the stream who controls its headwaters), 
which were practiced throughout the East, was apparently to the seven 
Eastern and Southern representatives on the Court puzzling and caused them 
to be at first wary of making any clear decision. 

14. State of Wyoming v. State of Colorado, Greeley-Poudre Irrigation 
District, and Laramie-Poudre Reservoirs and Irrigation Company, 243 U. S. 
622, 61 L. ed. 934, 37 Sup Ct 379 (1917). 

15. Wyoming v. Colorado, 66 L. ed. 1004-1006 (1922). Colorado's 
argument on this specific point was a strange rendering of the doctrine of 
prior appropriation. It contended that it had the right to the waters of the 
Laramie River not because it controlled the headwaters (riparian law) but 
rather because as a state it had inherited the federal government's prior (and 
first) claims to the entire river and could do what it pleased with the water. 


The justices of the Supreme Court, having heard both arguments 
and having had time for questions, now met in conference and 
reached a decision. Mr. Justice WiUis Van Devanter, the Court's 
unquestioned expert on land, mineral, and water law, and, as fate 
would have it, the only resident of Wyoming ever to sit on the 
Supreme Bench, was chosen by Chief Justice Edward Douglass 
White to write the opinion.^** Van Devanter, who, between 1897 
and 1903, had been United States assistant attorney general as- 
signed to the Department of the Interior and, as such, the govern- 
ment's major legal representative in the administration of all land 
laws passed by Congress,^" was, however, an extremely slow and 
meticulous craftsman. At no time during his twenty-six and one- 
half years on the Court (1911-1937) did he write many opinions, 
but those he wrote were regarded by all as superb lessons in the 
law. He was known to spend days working on one sentence, 
writing and rewriting for proper structure or checking and re- 
checking precedents in support of his legal position. In order to 
prepare an opinion in the case which would be definitive, and, at 
the same time seeking to avoid any possible claim of favoritism, ^^ 
the Justice worked even more slowly and deliberately than usual. 

No justice of the United States Supreme Court is ever accorded 
the luxury of working on one opinion to the exclusion of all others, 
and, in Van Devanter's case, Wyoming v. Colorado presented but 
one of many extremely important issues for consideration. Inter- 
nal restrictions and government take-over of businesses during 
World War I, the Eighteenth Amendment and the adoption of 
Prohibition, and child labor laws were only a few of the many 
pressing problems which came to the Court for adjudication. 
Cases resulting from the wartime hysteria against foreigners, such 

16. A discussion of Van Devanter's career in Wyoming is in M. Paul 
Holsinger, "Willis Van Devanter: Wyoming Leader, 1884-1897," Annals of 
Wyoming, XXXVII (October, 1965), 170-206. The steps that took the 
future justice from Wyoming law practice to the United States Supreme 
Court are described in M. Paul Holsinger, "The Appointment of Supreme 
Court Justice Van Devanter: A Study of Political Preferment," The Ameri- 
can Journal of Legal History, XII (October, 1968), 324-335. 

17. A full discussion of Van Devanter's career as Assistant Attorney 
General is in M. Paul Holsinger, "Willis Van Devanter, The Early Years: 
1859-1911," unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Denver, 1964, 
pp. 180-227. 

18. Van Devanter was not only a former resident of Wyoming but also 
John W. Lacey's brother-in-law and former law partner in Cheyenne from 
1890-1897. For a discussion of their relationship see Ibid., pp. 33-34, 107- 
132. Most justices today would, in all probability remove themselves from 
consideration should such a situation arise. (Mr. Justice Tom Clark [1949- 
1967], for instance, never participated in a case argued by his son. United 
States Attorney General Ramsey Clark [1967-1969],) but such attitudes are 
fairly recent and did not predominate during the period of the hearings in 
Wyoming v. Colorado. 


as those dealing with the newly adopted Sedition Act of 1918/* 
required speedy and forceful decisions. The Laramie River dis- 
pute consequently was shoved farther and farther back on the 
Justice's calendar for completion. 

Not until early 1921 was Van Devanter even remotely ready to 
present a written opinion to his colleagues for their final approval. 
Before he could do so, however, another problem arose. In May, 
1921, Chief Justice White died suddenly. Custom dictates that, 
should any case in the process of being tried before the Court be 
unresolved at the death of a presiding chief justice, a rehearing 
must be granted in order to allow the new leader to have the 
opportunity to participate in the decision. Therefore on June 6, 
1921, orders were once again sent to the states of Wyoming and 
Colorado calling for new arguments to be presented in the case 
during January, 1922. 

Final oral presentations in Wyoming v. Colorado before the 
members of the Supreme Court came on January 9 and 10, 1922. 
Wyoming, represented a third time by Lacey and CortheU, argued 
forcibly for the right of the state to continue its appropriation of 
water from the Laramie River. Not only did Wyoming have a 
prior right to the supply, it was contended, but every watershed had 
a "natural unity and sanctity of its own" which could not be divert- 
ed to another area without violating natural law. Over the years 
Colorado and its citizens had been greedily unregulated in their 
conduct. Now, having nearly exhausted the supply of water in the 
Poudre River, the attorneys added, "they propose to seize a third or 
a half of the supply of another watershed, scuttle its basin, and 
divert the flow from those who have the highest natural and moral, 
as well as legal, right to supply their own necessities within the 
valley of the Laramie.""*^ 

The state of Colorado rejected all these allegations. As a state, 
it averred, its first responsibility was to its citizens and the protec- 
tion of the natural resources within the state's boundaries was of 
paramount importance. Every state within the United States had 
the right to regulate the diversion and distribution of water as it 
saw fit regardless of any consequences to others outside the state. 
Wyoming's claim that the federal government had jurisdiction over 
the case, the Colorado attorneys argued, could not be supported. 
If the national government had once had sovereignity over such 
streams as the Laramie, that sovereignity passed automatically to 
the states upon their establishment. The courts of the United 
States, Colorado's representatives added, had always recognized 

19. See, for example, the famous opinion of Mr. Justice Oliver Wendell 
Holmes in Schenck v. United States, 249 U. S. 47, 39 Sup Ct 249 (1917). 

20. Wyoming v. Colorado, 66 L. ed. 1004. 


that the use of water was a matter of local law. To change this 
now would be to overthrow all past precedent.^^ 

The Supreme Court, now headed by former President William 
Howard Taft, once again chose Mr. Justice Van Devanter to write 
its opinion. And on this occasion a final decision was at last 
relatively quick in coming. On June 5, 1922, several days before 
the Court adjourned for summer vacation. Van Devanter read the 
unanimous opinion of the members. Carefully and with meticu- 
lous precision, the Justice traced the arguments of both sides. The 
assertion by Colorado that the Court did not have a right to deal 
with the question was summarily dismissed. It was clear, the 
Court said, that Congress had intended the federal government to 
have final jurisdiction over all interstate streams. The United 
States, as owner originally of all the public lands, had never in- 
sisted on a specific local interpretation of any law regarding the 
water rights of Western states, but had instead merely assented in 
its passage. Neither Wyoming nor Colorado therefore had reason 
to object to an impartial adjudication of the controversy. 

The contention by Colorado that it had the right to use as much 
water within the boundaries of the state as it chose regardless of 
the consequences to other states dependent on that water, Van 
Devanter continued, "cannot be maintained. The [Laramie] river 
throughout its course in both states, is but a single stream wherein 
each state has an interest which should be respected by the other. "^^ 
The objection by Wyoming, on the other hand, that Colorado had 
no right to divert water from the river to another watershed was 
"also untenable." Any state with a right to water was free to use 
it wherever it saw fit and the objection on Wyoming's part about 
Colorado's intention was, at best, only incidental to the case.^^ 

What, then, was the law for deciding the case to be? Both sides 
admitted that they recognized only the law of prior appropriation 
when considering water rights internally, "Why," Van Devanter 
asked rhetorically, "should not appropriations from this stream be 
respected, as between the two states, according to their several 
priorities, as would be done if the stream lay wholly within either 
state?" Though Colorado had objected to this idea on the grounds 
of states-rights first,^^ "Colorado's objections , . . are not well 
taken. . . . The cardinal rule ... is that priority of appropriation 
gives superiority of right. "^^ 

21. Ibid., pp. 1005-1008. 

22. Wyoming v. Colorado, 259 U. S. 466. 

23. Ibid. 

24. Besides arguing that it had first-claim to all water within the state 
from its "prior appropriation" of statehood, Colorado also contended that 
with the water from the Laramie River it could "accomplish more . . . than 
Wyoming does or can." The Cache la Poudre valley, if irrigated properly, 
was far more fertile than the Laramie plains and "woiild be better to let the 


At this point in the decision, Wyoming's representatives had 
reason to feel somewhat elated. Theoretically the Court seemed 
to be saying that the Wyoming contentions were, for the most part, 
correct and that Colorado could not prevent her from continuing to 
take much of the water from the Laramie. But there were still the 
important questions of fact, which, as Van Devanter pointed out, 
were "highly technical and . . . quite confusing."-^ Colorado's 
evidence, the Justice said, was in large part inadequately presented 
and unfair. Instead of carefully documenting the average yearly 
flow of the river with the clear notation that the flow varied greatly 
and was undependable, the Centennial State seemed to want the 
Court to believe that the years of considerable supply were typical 
and that Wyoming would not suffer if large amounts of water were 
taken each year before the river crossed the state line. But, the 
Justice added almost sarcastically, "Crops cannot be grown on 
expectations of average flows which do not come, nor on recollec- 
tions of unusual flows which have passed down the streams in 
prior years. Only when water is actually appUed does the soil 
respond."^" Wyoming's evidence, on the other hand, compiled 
by careful scientific methods, "painstakingly and conscientiously 
done,"^^ was incontestable. After Colorado's natural and prior 
appropriations to the river were deducted from the total flow, only 
288,000 acre-feet of water remained to be distributed, Colorado's 
objections to the contrary.-^ It was this amount, not some hoped 
for yet imaginary one, which must be considered for distribution 
between the two states. 

It was immediately obvious that the available supply was not 
sufficient to satisfy all of Wyoming's appropriations and the pro- 
posed Colorado grant for irrigating the Poudre valley as well. 
Relative priorities, the Justice continued, therefore must be con- 
sidered. The evidence before the Court was clear. Prior to the 
start of the irrigation projects in Colorado in 1909, Wyoming had 
claims covering 181,500 acres of land — more than twenty per cent 
of the total then being irrigated. The amount of water required to 
irrigate this land was 272,500 acre-feet.^° Once this was deducted 

best area produce. In meeting this contention, Van Devanter, though ad- 
mitting that the Poudre valley had reached "a higher state of development 
than elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain region," still managed a "plug" for 
Wyoming when he wrote: ". . . for combined farming and stockraising [the 
land] of the Laramie plains offers opportunities and advantages which are 
well recognized." {Ibid., p. 469). 

25. Ibid., p. 470. 

26. Ibid., p. 471. 

27. Ibid., p. 476. 

28. Ibid., p. 482. 

29. Ibid., p. 489. An acre-foot is the quantity of water required to cover 
an acre of land to a depth of one foot— 43,500 cubic feet. 

30. Ibid., p. 496. 


from the available total, it was evident that Colorado and the two 
private groups could properly claim only 15,500 acre-feet and an 
order to that effect was made."^ Wyoming had won its right to 
control the bulk of the Laramie's water supply. 

The unanimity of the Court in this decision was guaranteed by 
the clarity and forcefulness of Van Devanter's written opinion. 
Two days before it was officially announced. Chief Justice Taft 
summed up the obvious feeling of all the justices when he wrote 
Van Devanter admiringly: 

I have received your opinion in Wyoming v. Colorado and have read 
it with intense satisfaction and greatest pleasure. If ever there was a 
demonstration in Euclid, then your opinion is one. Its simplicity and 
clearness and compactness make it a model. ... It seems so easy that 
one wonders it took the court so long a time to say it. That, however, 
indicated not the lack of difficulty presented by the argvmients but the 
mastering of the subject and the confident rejection of . . . confusing 
and specious argument [s]. I felicitate you on your work. It is worth 
while to exhaust your strength for such a result.32 

With its precedent-setting concepts, the opinion remains today no 
less praised. 

Since June, 1922, the two states of Wyoming and Colorado have 
returned to the United States Supreme Court on five occasions for 
reconsideration and modification of the Van Devanter opinion. 
A modified decree in October, 1922, made clear that Colorado 
was entitled yearly to 18,000 acre-feet of water already appro- 
priated and used through the so-called Skyline Ditch plus another 
4,250 acre-feet from meadowland grants in addition to the final 
15,500 acre-feet approved by the Court — a grand total of 37,750.^^ 
In 1932, Wyoming tried, unsuccessfully, to penalize Colorado for 
having taken more than the allotted amount during the year.^^ In 
1936, the water figure was raised to 39,750 acre-feet,^^ and in 
1940 Wyoming obtained an order to limit Colorado to only that 
amount.^^ Finally by stipulation in 1957, after a mild six-year 
legal dispute, the two states agreed, with Supreme Court approval. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Letter from William Howard Taft to Willis Van Devanter, Jime 3, 
1922, in the Willis Van Devanter Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of 
Congress, Washington, D.C. 

33. Wyoming v. Colorado, 259 U. S. 496 (260 U. S. 1), 66 L. ed. 1026, 
43 Sup Ct 594 (1922). 

34. Wyoming v. Colorado, 286 U. S. 494, 76 L. ed. 1245, 52 Sup Ct 621 
(1932). The Supreme Court ruled that Colorado, in this instance, could 
not be penalized because there was an obvious legal misunderstanding on 
the part of both states. 

35. Wyoming v. Colorado, 298 U. S. 573, 80 L. ed. 1339, 56 Sup Ct 912 

36. Wyoming v. Colorado, 309 U. S. 572, 84 L. ed. 934, 60 Sup Ct 765 



to expand Colorado's allowance to 49,375 acre-feet per year under 
very specific regulations and limitations.^^ Today the latter agree- 
ment, based as it is on the original decision in 1922, remains the 
guiding principle for the distribution of the Laramie's water, yet it 
is an obvious truism that had the Court ruled differently forty- 
seven years ago, or had it refused to rule at all, the situation would 
have been drastically reversed. Because the United States Supreme 
Court was willing to rule on the controversy and certainly too be- 
cause the Court had contained one of the nation's best-versed 
experts on water and land laws in Willis Van Devanter of Wyo- 
ming, the state, though always in need of more, will never again 
have to fear the loss of the Laramie River's precious and all- 
important supply of water. 

37. The State of Wyoming, Complainant, v. The State of Colorado, 
Defendant, 353 U. S. 953, 1 L. ed. 2d 906, 77 Sup Ct 865 (1957). 






















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Courtesy of B. W. AUred and W. R. Pagel 


Courtesy of B. W. Allred and W. R. Pagel 


Qeorge Morgan, 

Pioneer importer and breeder 

of American Merefords 


B. W. Allred 
With Appendixes Prepared by W. R. Pagel 


There is no doubt at all in my mind that Mr. George Morgan's 
activity in the beginning stages of the Hereford breed in the United 
S»tates was a major factor in the course of the breed's history to the 
present time. Hereford breeders of America will forever be in his 
debt for having imported Anxiety, for without that act it is at least 
doubtful if Anxiety 4th would have been imported subsequently. The 
significance of this lies in the fact that probably 99 percent of the 
Herefords currently in the United States descended from Anxiety 
through Anxiety 4th. 

By Donald R. Ornduff, Editor, 
American Hereford Journal. 
May 24, 1960. 


The writer had some grainy experiences in early 1963 while 
researching the history of the famous Wyoming Hereford Ranch 
on Crow Creek near Cheyenne, Wyoming. The addition of a 
host of new friends interested in Hereford ancestry is one by- 
product of this pleasant study. 

It was during my scramble for information about the illustrious 
breeder and importer of Herefords, George Fredrick Morgan, that 
I came to know William Rush Pagel of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, who 
gave me the greatest source of material ever assembled about 

William Pagel, a scholarly labor relations officer for the Illinois 
Bell Telephone Company, pursues a hobby of genealogical research 
on early American families and became interested in the life of 
George Morgan through a request from his foster sister, Catherine 
Agnes Morgan, youngest daughter and only hving child of George 
F. Morgan. With the ingenuity and determination of a Pinkerton 
detective, William Pagel has uncovered facts from dozens of remote 
sources including letters from people who knew George Morgan 


and members of his family, news items, data from books, birth, 
marriage and death certificates, plus considerable vital statistics 
from Morgan's ancestral home in Madley, Herefordshire, England. 
Copies of most of these items and many photographs were added 
to my personal file. 

While gaps exist in the data, sufficient information is available 
for a fairly coherent story of Morgan's singular contribution to 
the Hereford cattle business. However, the traumatic incidence 
of his untimely death is a discomforting story of financial embar- 
rassment and hardship for his second wife, Julia Redman Morgan, 
and two small children, George F., aged five, and Catherine Agnes, 
aged two. The mother supported the children until her health 
failed. After that they were taken care of for a while by "Colonel" 
and Mrs. E. J. Bell on Millbrook Ranch near Laramie, Wyoming 
— Mrs. Bell was a half-sister of the children. Later the youngsters 
were taken to an orphan's home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 
In 1911, Catherine had the good fortune to become a foster daugh- 
ter of William Reinhart and Carrie Edith Pagel of Egan, South 
Dakota. She repaid their kindness with fulsome devotion. 


The name of George Morgan belongs on the honor roll of 
pioneer U. S. breeders who imported, bred, exhibited and advanced 
the Hereford breed in the later years of the 19th Century. Bom 
in Madley, Herefordshire, England, the son of a tenant farmer, 
George migrated to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1866, and arrived with 
$7.50 to seek his fortune. Later he rented a farm at Elyria, Ohio, 
and raised Cotswold sheep and Hereford cattle. He became a 
successful showman and excelled as a cattle judge. 

Later, the pioneer Hereford breeder and promoter, T. L. Miller, 
of Beecher, Illinois, employed Morgan as herdsman for his elite 
white faces. Under Morgan's careful grooming and showing. 
Miller's herd became one of the most successful on the tan- 
bark circuit. Shorthorn breeders complained that Herefords won 
because of Morgan's expert showmanship. Morgan gained recog- 
nition as a top-ranking judge, and many breeders sought his advice 
when buying breeding cattle. Charles M. Culbertson, a successful 
Chicago businessman whose farm was at Newman, Illinois, per- 
suaded his friend Miller to let Morgan go to England to select for 
him a choice Hereford buU and some heifers. 

This was in 1879. Delighted to revisit his homeland, Morgan 
chose the bull Anxiety from the noted herd of T. J. Carwardine. 
Neither buyer nor seller had the clairvoyance to foresee the bull's 
potential greatness, although he had been a successful show bull, 
and aoparently Carwardine was pleased to sell him to Morgan for 
200gumeas ($1,000). 

This bull's son, Anxiety 3rd, was brought over at the same time, 


and shortly afterward another son, Anxiety 4th, was calved. This 
son gave lasting fame to his sire through his contribution to the 
breed resulting from his seven or eight years of service in the 
breed-building herd of Gudgell and Simpson, who imported him 
in 1881. 

Morgan thus became a central figure during the period of 
selecting and importing Herefords for the moneyed grangers who 
were busy building fortimes while American agricultural prosperity 
mushroomed out of shape. A robust, black-bearded man, Mor- 
gan's flashing geniality made him a favorite with the high living, 
glittering company that followed the show rings and patronized 
Sie cattle auctions. At one gala event in 1883, at the Green 
Dragon Hotel in the city of Hereford, British Hereford breeders 
gave Morgan an attractive silver cup for his extraordinary con- 
tributions to U. S. Hereford development. Also, the group gave 
his old employer, T. L. Miller, a testimonial in recognition of his 
contribution to Hereford expansion in America. 

George F. Morgan was a member of the organization committee 
of the American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association. The 
organization of Hereford breeders took place June 22, 1881, at 
the Grand Pacific Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. C. M. Culbertson, 
Newman, Illinois, served as chairman and T. L. Miller of Beecher, 
Illinois, became secretary. Culbertson appointed a business com- 
mittee composed of Adam Earl, Lafayette, Indiana; J. M. Stude- 
baker. South Bend, Indiana; George F. Morgan, Carmago, Illinois; 
Thomas Clark, Beecher, Illinois; R. W. Sample, Lafayette, Indiana; 
B. Hershey, Muscatine, Iowa; and N. Abbe, Elyria, Ohio, These 
gentlemen developed a plan of organization and operating pro- 
cedures. The Society's stated objective was: 

To promote and improve the beef cattle of the country by the intro- 
duction of the Hereford strain of cattle — more generally throughout 
the beef-producing region — claiming as we think justly, that where 
the Herefords have been fairly tried they have proved themselves far 
superior and more profitable as beef cattle than any other breed 
known. We claim them as being better grazers, winter better on 
rough feed, mature earlier and bring better prices than any other 
known breed of cattle, and in proof of this we ask all who have given 
them a fair trial with any other strain of cattle to come and testify. 

Morgan's talent as a breeder, cattle judge and showman was 
recognized by his peers and when president of the Association, 
pioneer Hereford breeder T. F. B. Sotham wrote: 

Under the able management of George F. Morgan, Mr. (T. L.) 
Miller's herd won great distinction, beating herds of all breeds, includ- 
ing Herefords of some of the contemporary breeders, 


The Hereford breed's popularity zoomed in the years immed- 
iately after 1880 and by 1890, hundreds had been imported by 


enthusiastic American cattlemen. This breed was constitutionally 
adapted to the rugged conditions prevailing in American's tidal 
movement westward. Texas Longhoms had replaced the bison 
and ranchmen had crossed Longhorn cows with Hereford, Dur- 
ham, Galloway and Angus bills to improve fleshing qualities and 
gaining ability. 

The rugged white face proved a "natural" for the range country 
where his good rustling habits, heavy bone, stamina and ability 
to survive cold, snowy winters and droughty summers made him 
a range favorite. By 1915 most range cattle had become Hereford 
through a continual process of crossing with white face bulls. 
Herefords had also become popular in the pasture areas of the 
east, midwest and south. 

Western development of the Hereford coincided with the 
spectacular conquest of the Great Plains, by greedy ranching 
speculators from eastern United States and the British Isles. It 
was into this arena of action in the 1880's that Alexander Hamilton 
Swan introduced George Morgan to continue his role as Hereford 
pioneer in the developing West. 

During the cattle boom of this period, Alexander Swan and 
many other plungers were bewitched by the promise of chancy 
profits. Optimism was warmed by tales of get-rich-quick suc- 
cesses of a few rags-to-riches ranchers whose experiences were 
deceptively glittering. 

These men borrowed to the limit of their credit and during a 
brief rosy period of good weather and high prices, the ranges paid 
large dividends and a new crop of investors moved in for the kill. 
But in the winter of 1886-1887, the rosy picture faded when a 
cold front iced up the plains and a non-stop blizzard howled from 
Canada to Texas. The winds frisked over the ranges and death 
culled the herds stalled in snow drifts. Investors by the hundreds 
went broke; only a few survived. Part of the strains and stresses 
of the period were caused by an obsessive fear of going broke. 

Hopes for a bright future were maintained, however, when in 
1881, Morgan moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to begin his venture 
in western Hereford ranching. With him came his English wife 
whom he married July 4, 1867, and two children, Clara Alma, 
bom in Qeveland, Ohio, October 23, 1869, and Edmond George 
bom in Loraine County, Ohio, August 22, 1873. 

When Morgan landed in Cheyenne, the zooming popularity of 
Herefords created greater demands than purebred breeders of the 
times could supply. For instance, in the early 1880s, the Swan 
Land & Cattle Company, which Alex Swan headed, started a five- 
year breeding plan which included the mating of 20,000 range cows 
to Hereford bulls. Other enthusiastic western ranchers joined in 
similar projects. 

Foreseeing a rich future for Herefords in Wyoming, Swan thus 
determined to establish a purebred Hereford ranch. This he did 


with the formation of the Wyoming Hereford Association. This 
step was taken in 1882, with the appointment of George Morgan 
as manager, and the establishment of headquarters on part of the 
present Crow Creek property of the Wyoming Hereford Ranch. 
Swan planned to use this company to produce sturdy Hereford 
bulls to upgrade not only his own range herds but also those of 
other western range operators. 

George Morgan had become active in the formation of the 
American Hereford Cattle Breeders' Association by the time he 
started to work for Alex Swan in 1881. Two years later, in 1883, 
Swan sent Morgan to Herefordshire to buy foundation stock for 
the herd of purebred Herefords he had determined to build. On 
his first trip Morgan selected 146 purebreds, ranging from six 
months to three years of age. Cattle were selected from herds 
owned by J. H. Yeomans of Stretton Court, Samuel Goode of 
Ivingtonbury, Green of Marlow, Crawshay of Cyfartha Castle, 
Hughes of Wintercott, Haywood of Blakemere, Smith of Gattertop 
and Powell of Shenmore — all names well known in the English 
Hereford picture of the times. 

The pride of this importation, Rudolph 13478, famous son of 
the Grove 3rd and Primrose 2nd, became a 2,600-pound show 
ring attraction at some of the leading American fairs. Bred by 
Philip Turner of The Leen, Morgan paid 700 guineas ($3,500) 
for Rudolph, an amount ^at topped former record prices for 
British bulls. Hailed as the "Mighty Rudolph", die bull unfor- 
tunately died before his value as a sire could be determined, but 
he did create a lot of enthusiasm for the breed and served well in 
establishing the Swan Hereford operations in the public eye. 

In 1884 another large shipment, including several bulls, was 
brought from England, the Wyoming Hereford Association's 
purebred cow herd by then numbering 500 head. Some of the 
key herd sires imported by Morgan were: Lord Wilton 2nd, 
Victor and Sir Thomas. Also a small stock-holder, George owned 
48 full paid shares in the Wyoming Hereford Association. 

For a few years the Swan company's British stockholders 
regarded their investments optimistically, as 10 percent annual 
dividends rolled in. But in 1887 misfortune struck, and Alex 
Swan went bankrupt. Texas fever struck down hundreds of Swan 
longhoms on the trail from Texas. Cattle went on to the winter 
range short of feed and in poor condition because of a drought 
in 1886. Then the north wind blew its icy breath over the Great 
Plains, covering the range with belly-deep snow. No friendly 
Chinook came to melt the crusted snow. Cattle, driven by a 
relentless wind, wandered aimlessly over the frozen wastelands. 
Millions died, and ranchers by the score went to the wall. Swan 
Land & Cattle Company, Ltd., lost 75 percent of a large herd of 
newly trailed-in Texas steers. Furthermore, its 1887 calf crop was 
only half of the year before. This spelled doom for the Swan 


operations, including his registered Hereford set-up, just at the 
time when he had been elected president of the American Here- 
ford Cattle Breeders' Association. His equity gone, Alex Swan 
was dismissed by the British investors. The company reorgan- 
ized its faltering operations, triggered by the blizzard and over- 
expansion, and continued for many years under the management 
of John Clay and others. 

One of Morgan's last official assignments with Swan's purebred 
interests was to exhibit a number of winning Hereford entrants 
at the California State Fair. A news story from the Northwest 
Livestock Journal, October 28, 1887, records the event as follows: 

George F. Morgan, manager of the Wyoming Hereford Association 
attended the California State Fair the latter part of September and 
entered a shipment of Wyoming-raised Herefords. He took prizes on 
everything entered as follows: Two year old bull, first prize; two year 
old bull, second prize; yearling bull, first prize; bull calves, first and 
second prizes; cows, first and second prizes; two year old heifers, 
second prize; yearling heifers, first prize; heifer calves, first and second 

George Morgan's business affiliation with Swan related only 
to the purebred herd owned by the Wyoming Hereford Association. 
He was not aligned with the Swan Land and Cattle Co., Ltd. 

Fortunately for Herefords, the purebred herd on Crow Creek 
fell into a succession of friendly hands and presently is a flourish- 
ing institution known as the Wyoming Hereford Ranch. After 
Swan's departure, Henry Altman and Dan McIUvain of Cheyenne 
took over the registered herd. This held together America's 
largest herd of choice Herefords, representing the breeding of 
Herefordshire's reigning stud farms. 

After 26 years with Altman as the primary figure in the oper- 
ation, the ranch and cattle were sold in 1916 to the newly 
organized Hereford Corporation of Wyoming, headed by James 
D. Husted of Denver, Colorado, with his nephew Raymond, as 
manager. Henry P. Crowell, philanthropist and business leader, 
backed the enterprise financially. Having bought at inflated World 
War I prices, the new company found it difficult to meet operating 
expenses when postwar depression set in, and in 1921 the direc- 
tors willingly relinquished the cattle and ranch to Crowell. Since 
August, 1921, the company, which he reorganized, has been 
known worldwide as the Wyoming Hereford Ranch. 

The ranch blossomed forth with an international reputation 
for Herefords under the heady management of Robert Wells 
Lazear until his death in 1957. Shortly after this the WHR was 
sold to Mr. T. E. Leavy of Los Angeles, California. George 
Lazear, son of Bob Lazear, became WHR manager in 1958. 
Effective February, 1967, George Lazear accepted a post as 
Secretary-Manager of the Nebraska State Hereford Association 
and was replaced by Assistant Manager, Lloyd Breish. [Owner 


of the Wyoming Hereford Ranch at the present time is Nielsen 
Enterprises, Inc., headed by Glenn E. Nielson, who is also chief 
executive of Husky Oil Company. Manager is Ted Thomas, a 
past field representative for the American Hereford Association. 

Thus in this manner, the Hereford bloodlines introduced to 
Crow Creek by George Morgan in the 1880's have been perpet- 


In 1897, after Alex Swan was washed out of the Swan Land 
and Cattle Co., Ltd., by British investors and the purebred herd 
went into receivership, George Morgan gained immediate employ- 
ment as manager of the two-million dollar livestock ranch company 
owned by Douglas Willan and the Sartoris brothers. Ranch head- 
quarters were twenty miles west of Laramie on the Little Laramie 
River. The holding consisted of 21,000 acres of choice Laramie 
Plains grazing land, natural hay meadows and some acreage pro- 
duced grain for purebred horse and cow herds and saddle horses 
used in roundups on the adjoining public domain where cattle 
and sheep ranged. It is claimed that Morgan's hay and grain 
fields were the first to be irrigated in the Laramie Valley. Huge 
diversion ditches from the river fed into numerous laterals that 
circulated water to hay and other crops. The same company also 
owned a large ranch on La Prele Creek on the North Platte River 
which Morgan also managed. 

Douglas Willan, one of the ranch owners, was Irish bom and 
the Sartoris Brothers were Englishmen. The buildings and oper- 
ations of the ranch were patterned according to English style and 
often were lavish beyond need. Some of Morgan's importations 
found a home on this ranch and were perpetuated in a registered 

Prize registered Shire draft horses brought from England pro- 
duced ranch work horses and surplus stallions went to local ranch 
buyers. Head sire was Breton's Pride, an outstanding staUion of 
the Shire breed. Two other notable stallions were Crambretea 
and Lord Arthur. 

In 1891, George Morgan, acting for his company, leased the 
excellent twenty thousand acre Sprague ranch from A. W. White- 
house for a term of five years. That same year Morgan shipped 
to market 120 Willan-Sartoris cattle. One hundred and nineteen 
head also went to Marsh and Cooper, local cattle buyers. 

Then in 1892 the Douglas Willan-Satoris Brothers ranches went 
into bankruptcy and Morgan was again out of a job. The Kansas 
City Livestock Indicator in 1892 reported the disposal of the hold- 
ings as follows: 


E. J. Bell has purchased from the Douglas Willan-Satoris Co. on 
behalf of the Elkhorn Horse and Land Co. all the stock upon their 
land and ranges. There are supposed to be about 4000 head of cattle 
and between 200 and 300 head of horses. Cattle at an average price 
of $16 and horses $13. (Nothing was said about the purebred cattle 
and horses. BWA) Purchasers are to have the use of the SarttMis 
ranch until next April when the property is to be transferred to a 
foreign syndicate, which has recently entered into a contract for its 
purchase. The Elkhorn Co. also will have all the grass on the place 
which is estimated to amount to 3000 tons. The work of cutting the 
hay has commenced and the cattle are now being gathered. 

Local people were shocked when this apparently solvent ranch 
went broke. A few, however, were of the opmion that this hap- 
pened because of the loosely run business operations tolerated by 
Morgan and the owners. 

Little is known of George Morgan's life between 1892 when he 
left Millbrook Ranch and 1895, when he moved to Minneapolis, 
Kansas. A well-liked, civic-minded man, he became a member 
of the Cheyenne Club but, while a former Mason, was never active 
in Laramie. Later, in 1889, he became a candidate for governor 
of Wyoming, but lost the nomination to Francis E. Warren. He 
engaged in gold mining ventures and was friendly with geologist 
Wilbur Knight, who managed the mining interests for Douglas 
Willan and the Sartoris Brothers when George operated their 

Morgan owned stock in several mining companies including the 
Morgan Mining and Improvement Company, the Gold Coin Min- 
ing and MilUng Company, the Carbon County Gold Mining and 
Milling Company and the Cooper HLU Mines. A brother of 
George, Thomas J. Morgan, was superintendent of the latter. 
During the 1890's, Morgan, Wyoming, on Cooper Creek, named 
for George Morgan, served as a post office for prospectors and 
gold miners. Today it is a ghost town. 

Morgan is reported to have patented a comfortable stock car 
for cattle and he was reputed to have sold a half-interest to Mr. 
G. F. Swift, founder of Swift and Company Packers for $7,000. 
Unfortunately Swift and Company have been unable to find a 
record of the transaction. However, the following article in the 
Laramie Daily Boomerang for August 16, 1895, throws some light 
on the case. The news item follows: 

George Morgan has concluded the work of padding the twenty-eight 
cars for shipment of stock from Nevada to the eastern market for 
E. J. Bell. In addition to these cars there will be two new cars which 
have just been completed in the Omaha shops in accordance with the 
Morgan-Bell patent. These thirty cars will make several trips to the 
eastern markets with Mr. Bell's cattle. 

Another tragedy struck the Morgans when on May 28, 1894, 
George's first wife, Sarah Workman Morgan, died of a stroke. 
She was the first of the Morgans to be buried in Laramie's Green- 


hill Cemetery and now many other family members are resting 
near her. 


A lonely man, George Morgan moved to Minneapolis, Kansas, 
in 1895. There he stayed with farmer J. C. Gafford also interested 
in gold mining. He maintained and increased his gold mining 
interests and purchased some of his gold mining stocks in 1896. 

On October 26, 1896, George Morgan married again and news 
of the event was carried in the October 29th issue of the Minne- 
apolis Messenger as follows: 

George F. Morgan of Laramie, Wyoming, and Miss Julia Redman 
were married Monday afternoon at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. 
Fred Meister in this city, Rev. J. H. Waite, pastor of the Presbyterian 
church officiating. The marriage took place at three o'clock and 
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan left on the evening train for Beloit where they 
remained until yesterday. They will live on the farm of J. C. Gafford 
east of town, 

A congenial married life ensued and two children were bom 
as follows: 

1. George Forbes Morgan, November 12, 1898, Minneapolis, 

2. Catherine Agnes Morgan, December 12, 1901, Linwood 

In 1898, Hereford breeder George Adams hired Morgan to 
spruce up his herd and build it into a productive, reputable enter- 
prise. On a magnificent farm already blooming from the care 
given it by former owner, Senator W. A. Harris, Morgan proceeded 
to convert the Adams cattle into one of the sohd foundation herds 
in the country. He weeded out the wrong kind, selected the beefy 
types and bought sires that nicked well with his cows to pro- 
duce well-boned, meaty, deep-bodied, quick-maturing, showy beef 
makers that commanded interest and top prices, Hereford au- 
thorities proclaimed George to be the greatest Hereford breeder, 
importer and expert Uving. 

The ailing George Adams dispersed his whole Linwood Farm 
herd in July, 1903, at record prices. Two weeks after the sale 
Morgan left Linwood to take over the management of the mag- 
nificent Weavergrace herd owned by famout T. F. B. Sotham of 
Chillicothe, Missouri. He was seriously ill at the time. Wracked 
with pain and fever caused by an infected carbuncle, Morgan 
died following an operation in St. Mary's Hospital, two weeks 
after reporting to Sotham's farm. 

The following eulogy from the Laramie Boomerang, August 29, 
1903, presents a fitting summary to Morgan's career: 



Remains of the Late George Morgan Arrive Today 


Introduced the First Hereford Cattle in America and Brought 

Much Capital to Wyoming 

The remains of the late George Morgan, who died at Chillicothe, 
Missouri, will be brought to Laramie on No. 3 today and will be 
buried here. 

Mrs. E. J. Bell and Mr. Ed Morgan, daughter and son of the de- 
ceased will accompany the remains, and it is probable that Mrs. 
Morgan and the two young children will also come to attend the 
funeral, which will probably take place from the Episcopal Church 
and vviil, it is thought, be conducted by the Masonic Lodge in which 
society the deceased held high rank. 

Mr. George Morgan v/as one of the pioneers of Wyoming, and was 
one of the men who first interested capital in the great possibilities of 
this region as a cattle industry. To his efforts are due the formation 
of several of the great cattle companies of Wyoming, among others, 
the Swan Land and Cattle Company and the Hereford Association. 

Not only Wyoming and the West, but the whole of North America, 
owes to George Morgan the introduction of the great Hereford breed 
of cattle, which is now perhaps the most sought after of any breed 
of cattle in America. George Morgan imported the first Hereford 
bull that ever entered America, and fought single handed, until he 
secured a place of registration for the breed. (Morgan did not import 
the first Hereford bull to America. BWA.) 

He did much for Cheyenne and Laramie, by interesting capital in 
this section, both in cattle and in ranches, and to him is due the open- 
ing of the Cooper Hill Mining camp, the post office there being named 
Morgan, after him. 

Some time before he left Laramie, Mr. Morgan invented the Morgan 
stock car, for one-half interest in which, the late Mr. Swift, head of 
the great packing house, paid him the sum of $7,000. 

Altogether, George Morgan was one of the men who have helped 
to make the West and his demise is a matter of more than local 

George Morgan was laid to rest in an unmarked plot near the 
monument on his first wife's grave. 

Lite's tribulations were over for George Morgan but they were 
just beginning for his terrified widow who faced a dark future 
without capital necessary to provide for herself and two infant 
children. For two years she found employment cooking and 
keeping house for Noah WalUs and sons on their ranch near 
Millbrook on the Little Laramie River. She was too frail to work 
and also care for two needy small children so her stepdaughter, 
Clara Morgan Bell, cared for them until they were placed in the 
orphan's home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

The William Pagel family rescued Catherine in 1911, gave her 
a pleasant home and educated her. 

George's second wife Juha, died March 26, 1918, at Sioux 
City, Iowa, and was buried in Minneapolis, Kansas. She was 56 
years old. 




Clara spent most of her girlhood and much of her later life 
in Wyoming. Beautiful and saucy as a girl, she became an exem- 
plary mother with a reputation for kindness and charity. Her 
physical beauty remained most of her life. 

While at the Douglas Willan-Sartoris Brothers' range, the Mor- 
gans lived in a small ranch house a mile from the famous Big 
House on Millbrook Ranch. The Big House, allegedly built by a 
former English remittance man, resembled a baronial manor. A 
large two story frame structure, it had a huge porch all across the 
front, a large hall inside with high ceiling bedrooms, each with a 
fire place. Too large to maintain and far too large to heat in 
winter, it was used to house numerous summer guests. 

Lionel Sartoris, son of one of the Sartoris brothers, spent a 
summer on the ranch and fell helplessly in love with Clara. Father 
Sartoris hastened to Laramie and after many stormy scenes, res- 
cued his son and returned to England before the marriage took 

The course of Clara's life was altered considerably some time 
later when a mature, swarthy, stocky man, bearing a scar on one 
cheek rode up to Millbrook on a burro. This was Colonel Edwin 
Jasper Bell, manager and part owner of the Elkhom Horse and 
Land Company. Dressed in rough ranch working clothes for a 
business visit with George Morgan, Colonel Bell resembled a 
down-at-the-heel saddle tramp looking for a handout. 

"I came to see George Morgan," Colonel Bell announced to 
Clara who sat on the porch. Saucily she replied, "The servants' 
entrance is at the back." Salty Colonel Bell, taken in by Clara's 
beauty, liked her cockiness and fired back, "Young lady, someday 
I'll marry you!" — and he did. 

Clara's marriage to Colonel Bell took place near midnight on 
January 18, 1893, at Laramie. A quiet wedding, the ceremony 
was performed by the Reverend Jacob Norris of the Presbyterian 
Church and her parents were the only others present. The couple 
left immediately for a honeymoon in Florida and Cuba. 

Local people considered this marriage a perfect match. Clara, 
the daughter of the outstanding authority on Herefords, was a 
supreme beauty and a locally idolized belle. 

Missouri-born Colonel Bell was a man of means and a potential 
man of affairs. A former Texas wild horse catcher and trader, 
he was known to own a house and farm at Tilden, Nebraska. He 
was also manager and part owner and later full owner of such 
fine properties as the Elkhom Horse and Land Company and 
Millbrook Land and Livestock Company. 


The latter was part of the Willan-Sartoris Ranch, formerly 
operated by George Morgan. For a tiine the Bells held partner- 
ships with a Laramie physician, Dr. William Harris, and Senator 
George S. Nixon of Nevada. 

The Bells had three children. Manvin George Bell was bom 
February 25, 1894, died in Laramie, October 21, 1894. Mar- 
guerite Bell was bom in Laramie in 1898 and married her father's 
chauffeur, Herbert Spencer Hunke, in Ipswich, Massachusetts, 
January 26, 1914. Two sons were bom to this couple. They 
were divorced in 1927. 

The Bell's third child, Edna, was born in Laramie in 1900 
and died of lung complications and measles November 19, 1907, 
at Laramie. A favorite of her father, her death softened Colonel 
Bell's hard shell in the last years of his life. 

A man with a complex personality, Colonel Bell had the radical 
originality of an empire builder. Dedicated to the enrichment of 
his own estate and a loyal booster for Laramie Valley agriculture, 
Bell also was generous with his friends and family. Both vain 
and touchy, he was known, with a proper provocation, to burst 
forth with molten, menacing profanity. Paradoxical, with a flex- 
ible conscience, he could be alternately explosive and repentant. 
Clara sometimes was the butt of his temper when it is claimed 
that he beat her and then in repentance bought her jewelry to 
win back her affection. Normally he exhibited a great devotion 
for Clara and the children. His pet name for Clara was "Cootsie." 

The Bells were generous hosts and when a sufficiently large 
number visited, a rodeo and shooting matches were offered for 
entertainment. There was bronc riding, steer wrestling, calf rop- 
ing and Colonel Bell excelled in both rifle and pistol shooting. 

Bell was used to hardships and prepared to meet them. Also 
he had a sense of humor despite pesky snow and winds which is 
reported in the following story in an unknown newspaper dated 
January 14, 1912, a few months before he died: 

Colonel E. J. Bell came in from his ranch at Millbrook this morn- 
ing. The Colonel says it has been the most severe winter he has 
experienced in the whole time he has resided in the state. Twenty 
three years he has lived here and during that time all winters have 
been mild compared to this. The wind has blown a gale on the plains 
for 123 days straight. The snow has drifted badly and at Millbrook, 
the railroad cattle corrals are drifted in. The snow has formed a crust 
and a horse can be driven over the pens. "I want to tell you boys," 
said the Colonel, "you, no doubt, have heard of the cyclones in Kansas 
and Missouri stripping the chickens of all their feathers. Well, sir, 
we have no cliickens at Millbrook to strip, but I tell you an absolute 
fact, my man was out riding the other day when the wind was at its 
worst, and it is an honest fact that he was blown from his horse, slick 
and clean, and the animal turned upside down. That is almost as good 
as the chicken story but it is an honest fact." During all this the 
Colonel says he has only lost 12 head of sheep from the severity of 


the weather. He has plenty of good sheds and an abundance of feed 
for the animals. 

Always full of buoyant schemes such as cattle and sheep 
buying, exploiting large irrigation projects, promoting fairs and 
cropland development, Bell borrowed too deply and the truth of 
the rashness of his gamble surfaced when his creditors called their 
loans shortly before he died in August 1912. Creditors reportedly 
received about 15 cents on each dollar loaned. Mrs. Bell was 
forced to sell the big family home in Laramie and with Marguerite, 
moved to a small comfortable house on the edge of the city. Clara 
paid off a $7,000 mortgage to Alton T. ScoviUe and Cassie Sco- 
ville on March 7, 1914. C. P. Arnold, father of famous Assistant 
U. S. Attorney General Thurman Arnold, bought the ranch. 

Laramie honored Colonel BeU with a large impressive funeral 
at the Masonic Hall. Active in support of city and county affairs, 
Bell also belonged to local lodges of Masons and Elks and was a 
stockholder and director of the Laramie, Hahns Peak and Pacific 
Railroad. He is buried in the Morgan-Bell plot in Laramie's 
GreenhiU Cemetery. 

Clara Bell spent much of her remaining life in Laramie, a 
revered and respected lady. Later while visiting her daughter, 
Marguerite Huncke in Boston, Clara met and married C. E. 
BoUes, a reputedly kind and considerate man whom she divorced 
two or three years later. She returned to Laramie. Some of her 
friends advanced two possible reasons for the divorce, one theory 
being that Bolles' overwhelming kindness was such a dull contrast 
to what she had been used to with dynamic Colonel Bell, that she 
could not tolerate the new husband and divorced him. The other 
theory was that BoUes kept trying to get her to deed him her prop- 
erty and being too cagey, she saw through him, separated from 
him and took back the name of "BeU." 

Becoming enfeebled in 1932, Clara entered the Ivinson Me- 
morial Home for elderly ladies in Laramie. She remained in 
this home only a short time until Marguerite invited her to live 
with her in Chicago. She died there on December 20, 1933, and 
was buried in Irving Park Boulevard Cemetery in Chicago. 


Ed Morgan learned the ranching business from his father at 
Cheyenne and at Laramie. Serving as cattle foreman for the 
Willan-Sartoris ranch where his father was general manager, he 
also worked on the Van Tassel ranch near Cheyenne. He became 
manager of the Fayette Land and Cattle Company, six miles east 
of Pinedale, Wyoming, stocking the ranch with Hereford cattle 
in 1914. 

He was married to Emma Amelia Bamforth, daughter of a 
Laramie Hereford rancher, in MinneapoUs, Kansas, June 2, 1892, 


where her father attended the wedding. An only child, Edna, 
was bom in Minneapolis, March 16, 1899. 

A family misfortune of significance occurred Christmas Eve, 
1915. Ed and his wife and daughter rode in their sleigh behind 
a frisky team to the Christmas dance held in Pinedale. While they 
were gone from the ranch, the house burned to the ground. De- 
stroyed were clothing, bedding, heirlooms, family silverware, cut 
glassware, many rare Navajo blankets and Morgan family paint- 
ings from England. Fortunately, George Morgan's silver loving 
cup was safe because it was in Laramie for repairs. Today the 
cup is in the possession of Clyde Morgan Faler, a great-grandson 
of Ed and a great-great-grandson of George. More than once 
some member of the family has read the inscription: "Presented 
to George F. Morgan by a few breeders of England in recognition 
of his labors in establishing the Herefords in America. July 25, 

Ed was prominent in ranching circles in the upper Green River 
valley and served on important committees for the famous Chey- 
enne Frontier Days annual program. Some of his distinguished 
associates with the latter activity were Percy Hoyt and Charles 
Irwin. The Irwins handled world-famous rodeo horses and cattle 
which included Steamboat, world famous bucking horse. 

A remarkable young ranch woman, Ed's daughter Edna married 
wilderness and hunting guide Ernest Clyde Faler of Pinedale, July 
9, 1918, at Rock Springs, Wyoming. From this marriage have 
come several grand nephews and nieces which Catherine's foster 
brother, William Rush Pagel, helped her discover. 

Ed became a diabetic sufferer and died from the dread disease 
in the Wyoming General Hospital at Rock Springs, February 25, 
1925. The editor of the Pinedale Roundup had the foUowing to 
say about him: 

Mr. Morgan was a man of sterling qualities best known to those 
with whom he was more intimately acquainted. Never did he tire in 
his efforts to do something to help his friends and acquaintances, and 
he often was called by them to judge their cattle. He had a world 
of experience along this line, being closely associated with some of the 
largest cattle outfits in the State. 

Ed Morgan's funeral was held by his fraternal brothers in the 
Masonic Lodge at Pinedale. He was buried in the Pinedale 


In April, 1959, Mrs. Emma Morgan, Ed's wife, was buried 
beside her husband in the Morgan family plot in Pinedale. The 
local newspaper stated that the following near-relatives attended 
her funeral: two granddaughters, one son-in-law, seven great- 
grandsons and three great-granddaughters. Several other small 
great-grandchildren were unable to be there. 

George Morgan's two families were bom nearly a generation 


apart. The two older children were stamped with a ranch back- 
ground of the horse age; the two younger ones grew up in the 
age of automobiles when traditional ranching had passed. They 
had no memory of George Morgan. 


Except for the years from birth until he was placed in the 
orphans' home in Sioux Falls, little is known about George Forbes 
Morgan until 1916, when he went to work on the W. M. H. Law- 
rence ranch near Laramie. He was there irregularly for three or 
four years until he married. Mr. Lawrence says he worked also 
for adjacent ranches during the same period. Also he was re- 
ported to have worked in various Wyoming oil refineries. George 
had been in the U. S. Navy and once was employed as a western 
rider by a motion picture company in Culver City, California. He 
married a school teacher, Ethel, formerly Mrs. William Radjke, 
but little information about her is available. 

George entered the Wyoming Highway Patrol service March 
15, 1935, at Evanston, Wyoming. On May 31, 1935, a highway 
patrol captain found him dead of heart failure in his apartment in 
Evanston. Funeral services were held in the Stryker Mortuary in 
Laramie, June 4, 1935. Members of the State Patrol carried him 
to the Morgan plot in Greenhill Cemetery where he was buried 
near other members of his family. 


Catherine is the only child of George F. Morgan still living. 
Her difficult days were over when she became a foster child of 
the kindhearted Pagel family of Egan, South Dakota. She is the 
only one of George's children without ranching experience. 

One of her pleasant projects of late years has been to visit 
scenes of her little-remembered childhood where her father rose 
to fame as a stellar Hereford breeder. Her foster parents provided 
the opportunity for a college education which she took in fuU 
stride with honors. 

During and since college, where she obtained B. A. and M. A. 
degrees in education, she has taught school in South Dakota, 
Minnesota and presently in Turlock, California. Many vacations 
have been spent visiting attractive educational and tourist centers 
of the world. 

Following is Catherine's history of educational institutions 
attended and schools where she has served as a teacher: 

Graduated from Egan, South Dakota, High School, 1919. 
Attended Dakota Wesleyan (2 year normal course), 1919-1921. 
Taught Third Grade at Egan, South Dakota, 1921-1924. 
Attended Dakota Wesleyan, graduated with B.A., 1924-1926. 


Taught at Milbank, South Dakota, High School, 1926-1928. 

Principal of Egan, South Dakota, High School, 1928-1941. 

Attended University of Minnesota, obtained M.A. degree, 1941-1942. 

Principal of Luverne, Minnesota, Junior High School, 1942-1948. 
(President Rock County Teachers Assn. — 1 year) 

Taught, Turlock, California, Elementary Schools, 1948-1967. 

Attended summer school at the following universities: 

University of Illinois, University of California at Los Angeles, 
University of Wyoming, College of the Pacific, University of South- 
ern California. 

Took study tour of the Pacific and extension courses from San Fran- 
cisco State College. 

Catherine has a distinguished scholastic record and belongs to 
the American Association of University Women, She is a member 
of Delta Kappa Gamma, national honor society for women in 
education. The foregoing is as impressive as any show ring record 
for Herefords and you can gamble that George F. Morgan would 
be proud of his daughter's achievements in the field of education. 

Catherine had the happy opportunity to see her mother several 
times after she left Wyoming, and once Mrs. Morgan worked in 
the Pagel home following the birth of one of their younger children. 

Julia Redman Morgan spent her last years in Sioux City, Iowa, 
where she was active in the Presbyterian church. She died in 
Sioux City, March 26, 1918, and was buried in Minneapolis, 
Kansas. Funeral services were held in the Presbyterian church in 
Minneapolis and graveside services were conducted by the Minerva 
chapter ,O.E.S. She was a member of the O.E.S. for 25 years. 


William Rush Pagel 

Catherine was less than two years old when her father, George 
F. Morgan, died. She therefore does not remember him, and she 
knew practically nothing about him when she was growing up in 
our family. 

My father, William Reinhart Pagel, was a cattle feeder in east- 
ern South Dakota. He would bring grass-fed cattle from the 
western ranges to his farm located in the com belt. Here he 
would fatten them on com to get them ready for market. He 
did a lot of selecting, buying and marketing, and always his 
favorites were the "white faces." None of us then was aware of 
the fact that our sister was the daughter of a man who had con- 
tributed so much to introducing this breed into America. 

When Catherine was sent from Wyoming to the orphans' home 
in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she imdoubtedly felt very much 
alone and as if she had no family. Later she became a member of 
a family in every respect. 


After she had grown to maturity, her original family was re- 
constructed and revealed through research. Now she is blessed 
as few people are — she can take pride in being a worthy daughter 
in, not one, but two families. 


First Generation in America 


By W. R. Pagel 


Born, March 11, 1846 
Died, August 25, 1903 
Buried, August 30, 1903 

Son of: 
George Fredrick Morgan, Sr. 
Catherine Powell 

Madley, Herefordshire, England 
Chillicothe, Missouri 
Laramie, Wyoming, Greenhill 

1808 Madley, Herefordshire 
1819 AUensmore, Herefordshire 

Brother of: 

Eliza Morgan 
William Morgan 
Emily P. Morgan 
Caroline. Morgan 
Sarah Jane Morgan 
Catherine Morgan 
Thomas J. Morgan 

1845 Madley, Herefordshire 







Married, First, July 4, 


Cleveland, Ohio 


Bom, 1838 Gloucester, England 

Died, May 28, 1894 Laramie, Wyoming 

Buried, May 29, 1894 Laramie, Wyoming 

Daughter of Edmund and Hannah Workman 

Married, Second, October 26, 1896 
Born, July 16, 1862 
Died, March 26, 1918 
Buried, March 31, 1918 

Minneapolis, Kansas 

Fort Madison, Iowa 
Sioux City, Iowa 
Minneapolis, Kansas 

Daughter of John Forbes and Sarah (Wackup) Redman 


Second Generation 

I. Qiildren of George F. and Sarah (Workman) Morgan 


Bom, October 23, 1869 Cleveland, Ohio 

Died, December 20, 1933 Chicago, Illinois 

Buried, December 23, 1933 Irving Park Boulevard Cemetery 


Married, first, Jan. 18, 1893 Laramie, Wyoming 


Bom, January 29, 1854 Chillicothe, Missouri 

Died, August 11, 1912 Laramie, Wyoming 

Married, Second — 


Divorced from C. E. BoUes 


Born, August 22, 1873 Loraine County, Ohio 

Died, February 2, 1925 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Buried. February 4, 1925 Pinedale, Wyoming 

Married, June 2, 1898 Minneapolis, Kansas 

Born, December 18, 1873 Laramie, Wyoming 

Died, April 23, 1959 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Buried, April 27, 1959 Pinedale, Wyoming 

II. Children of George F. and Julia (Redman) Morgan 


Bom, November 12, 1898 Minneapolis, Kansas 

Died, May 30, 1935 Evanston, Wyoming 

Buried, June 4. 1935 Laramie, Wyoming 

Married, 1933 

To ETHEL (Mrs. WiUiam Radjke) 

Ethel Morgan remarried after George Forbes Morgan's death to 
Jones who died in 1958. 


Born, December 12, 1901 Linwood, Kansas 

Third Generation 

I. Children of Edwin J. Bell and Clara (Morgan) Bell 


Born, February 25, 1894 Laramie, Wyoming 

Died, October 21, 1894 Laramie, Wyoming 



Born, 1898 Laramie, Wyoming 

Married, First, Jan. 26, 1914 Ipswich, Massachusetts 

Bom, 1891 Chicago, Illinois 

Died, February 14, 1956 Chicago, Illinois 

Divorced from Marguerite Bell, June 25, 1927 

Remarried to Marie D 

Married, Second 


Bom, 1900 Laramie, Wyoming 

Died, November 19, 1907 Laramie, Wyoming 

n. Children of Edmund and Emma (Bamforth) Morgan 


Bom, March 16, 1899 Minneapolis, Kansas 

Died, February 13, 1955 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Married, July 9, 1918 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Bora, May 2, 1894 Pinedale, Wyoming 

Fourth Generation 

I. Children of Herbert S. and Marguerite (Bell) Huncke 


Bom, 1915 Greenfield, Massachusetts 

Bora, 1919 

II. Children of Ernest Clyde and Edna (Morgan) Faler 


Bom, October 3, 1920 Pinedale, Wyoming 

Married, February 20, 1937 Vernal, Utah 

Born, September 16, 1913 Clayton, New Mexico 


Bom, February 5, 1925 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Died, August 28, 1958 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Married, January 19, 1945 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Bom, July 13, 1925 Helper, Utah 


Bom, November 2, 1928 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Married, June 7, 1946 Rock Springs, Wyoming 

Bora, August 7, 1919 Alix, Arkansas 


Fifth Generation 

I. Children of Solman and Mary Frances (Faler) Fresques 


1. EDNA PATRICIA FRESQUES Feb. 24, 1938 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

2. DAVID FRANCIS FRESQUES Dec. 1, 1941 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

II. Children of Clyde Morgan and Donna (Gillespie) Faler 

1. CLYDE MORGAN FALER, JR. July 22, 1947 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

2. DENNIS JAY FALER Nov. 26, 1949 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

3. NORMAN LEE FALER April 2, 1952 Rock Springs, Wyo. 


Twins May 30, 1954 Rock Springs, Wyo. 


6. NANCY JOY FALER Oct. 16, 1956 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

III. Children of William and Emma Belle (Faler) Morris 

1. STARLA DEE MORRIS Mar. 29, 1947 Rock Springs, Wyo. 


MORRIS ni Aug. 29, 1955 Rock Springs, Wyo. 

Compiled, May 1960 

Zhe Tirst Tifty Miles 
of the Oregon Zrailin Wyoming 


Trek No. 20 of the Historical Trail Treks 

Sponsored by 


Goshen and Platte County 
Chapters of the Wyoming State Historical Society 

Under the direction of 
Curtiss Root and Maurine Carley 

Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, Trek Historian 

July 12-13, 1969 


Captain: Wyoming Highway Patrolman Ron Bodine 

Wagon Boss: Ken Bowman 

Announcer: Jim Ehemberger 

Guide: Dale Goering 

Topographer: "Doc" Townsend, U. S. Geological Survey, Denver 

Historian: Maurine Carley 

Photographer: Robert Fuss 

Registrars: Meda Walker, Roz Bealey, Jane Houston 

Tickets: Mary Hutchinson 

In response to many requests, the Oregon Trail was retraced 
from the eastern border of Wyoming to Warm Springs, near Guern- 
sey. Many points of historical interest are located on this segment 
of the TraU. Erosion, cultivation and modem cars make it impos- 
sible to foUow the actual trail but it was followed as closely as 
possible. The actual mileage on the Oregon Trail from Wyoming's 
eastern border is based on figures provided by the late L. C. 
Bishop for the 1953 trek. The mileage is noted in parentheses. 


SATURDAY, JULY 12, 1969 

The Goshen County Chapter of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society, Mrs. Dorothy Keenan, president, invited all trekkers to a 
Get Acquainted Party on Saturday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. 
at the Legion Hall in Torrington. Pictures of local historic interest 
and articles used by pioneers were displayed. Cookies and cold 
drinks were served. 

SUNDAY, JULY 13, 1969 

Caravan: 59 vehicles, 145 participants 
Guide: Dale Goering 

8:00 A.M. The group met at the Torrington City Park for intro- 
ductions, registration and a group picture. Patrolman Bodine gave 
instructions for safety on the road and tickets for the dinner at 
Guernsey were sold. 

8 : 30 A.M. From the Park, the caravan traveled south on Highway 
85, turned left on the Huntley tumoff for one mile, then went east 
three miles on a good gravel road to the Dale Goering ranch. 

In a green meadow on the bank of the Platte River the wagon 
boss corralled the cars in a large circle. The trekkers then gathered 
for a talk and inspected the many rifle pits (6Vi M.) still in 


By Dale Goering 

RIFLE PITS. These rifle pits, which you see here, are six and 
one-half miles west of the Wyoming-Nebraska state line and are 
approximately 100 years old. In the 1870s John Hunton, an early 
settler, had a contract with the government to put up hay for Fort 
Laramie. His hay crews dug these pits for protection from Indians. 
The adjacent small pits were used as storage places for the ammu- 
nition. Several skirmishes occurred in this very meadow. The 
meadow, as you see it today, has been left undisturbed to preserve 
a little bit of history as it was when the Indians roamed the country- 
side and there were few settlers in this vicinity. 

THE STUART CAMPSITE. Across the Platte and nearer the Wyo- 
ming-Nebraska state line is the campsite of Robert Stuart and his 
party of Astorians. They were the men who laid out and first 
traveled the route from the west coast ot St. Louis, which later 
became known as the Oregon Trail. Leaving Astoria, John Jacob 
Astor's fur trading post at the mouth of the Columbia River, the 
Astorians got as far as present-day Torrington by December, 1812. 
According to Stuart's diary, the party constructed a small shack 
and spent the rest of the winter on the bank of the North Platte 


River opposite us. A marker is located on the road north of the 

THE CLARY GRAVE. The William L. Clary grave is located ap- 
proximately seven and one-half miles west from the Wyoming- 
Nebraska line on the south side of the Platte River over the lull at 
the back of the ranch buildings. This is one of the many graves 
along the Oregon Trail that mark man's effort to conquer and tame 
new lands. One-half mile north of the Clary grave is another 
gravestone but markings are completely gone. We will not visit 
these graves as it is too difficult to turn such a large caravan on a 


OLD FERRY. At One time there was a ferry running across the 
river at this point. Its historic importance was not recognized and 
it was destroyed. No trace of it is left, 

JOHN jamason's trading POST. John Jamason had a small 
trading post approximately nine and one-half miles west of the 
Wyoming-Nebraska state Une. This trading post was about one- 
half mile east of the Cold Springs Relay Station which was later 
erected on the south side of the North Platte River. 

9:10 A.M. As we left the Goering ranch we saw a flag to our 
right which had been placed to mark one of the several Oregon 
Trail routes through here. The trail was on higher ground when 
the river was high. 

9:30 A.M. We stopped at the Cold Springs and Oregon Trail 
markers (9 M.) on Highway 85. 

By Curtiss Root 

About three-fourths of a mile east of this marker there was a 
cluster of famous cold springs until about a half-century ago. The 
building of irrigation ditches and canals in the area must have cut 
the source, for the springs no longer flow. 

The springs became a popular camping ground for the emigrants 
on the old trail to Oregon and California, and are mentioned in 
many of the diaries of the hardy pioneers. This was also the 
location of a stage station for the Overland Route from 1859 to 
1862, and a Pony Express relay stop during 1860-1861, when it 
was referred to as the Spring Ranch. 

Captain John C. Fremont, on his first exploring expedition to 
the Rocky Mountains, camped at or near the springs on July 12, 
1842, and it is so noted on the topographical map compiled from 
his field notes and journal, and from sketches and notes made on 
the ground by his assistant, Charles Preuss. On July 13 they went 
on to Fort Laramie where they spent a week before continuing their 


journey further west. Today we are retracing the very route he 
took 127 years ago, almost to the day. 

On July 3, 1843, a party of hunters and health seekers arrived 
at Cold Springs after leaving Westport Landing on the Missouri 
River on May 22. This "party of pleasure" directed by Sir William 
Drummond Stewart, of Scotland, had no other purpose than the fun 
of riding out hundreds of miles to the Wind River Mountains and 
the excitement of buffalo hunting. William L. Sublette, who with 
Robert Campbell had established Fort Laramie, then named Fort 
William, in 1834, was the leader of this party of pleasure seekers. 
In his diary Sublette wrote: "So we have doctors, Lawyers, bota- 
nists, Bugg Ketchers, Hunters and men of nearly all professions 
&c &c One half or rather more was hired men Belonging to Sir 
WiUiam — which he had employed on the trip." Also in the group 
was his brother Solomon who was guiding two priests or mission- 
aries and their party, two Negro boys, eleven and fourteen years 
old, belonging to William Sublette, and other personal servants." 

In all, the party consisted of some eighty or more persons includ- 
ing Jefferson Kennedy Clark and William Clark Kennedy, son and 
nephew of WiUiam Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and 
Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacajawea. 

Stewart had invited Matthew C. Field, a prominent actor and 
newspaperman of St. Louis and New Orleans, to accompany him. 
In his diary entry of July 3, 1843, Field writes: "Went on and 
encountered another wild but somewhat softer change in the scen- 
ery — timbered banks, lush luxuriant grass, flowers of all varieties 
in rich profusion, rolling ground, enormous sand hills stretching 
near to the shore &c. found a glorious camping place — ^plenty of 
wood, fine rich grass, water clear and cold as ice!" 

The pleasure seekers remained in camp all the next day and 
celebrated the sixty-seventh anniversary of the independence of the 
United States. 

In a story which later appeared in the New Orleans Picayune, 
Field wrote: "About midday of the 3d of July we made a halt at a 
spot admirably suitable for the purpose we were contemplating, 
which was a grand celebration of our great National Birthday. 
Bubbling up in a hollow between us and the river was a spring, 
clear as the eye of an angel, cold as eternal snow. Close upon our 
left arose romantic hills, of wUd and curious aspect, and our camp 
was formed upon a pretty, level piece of green, near a growth of 
timber that furnished us with a full sufficiency of fuel." Later, we 
are to read of the scarcity of both grass and fuel during the great 
migrations to Oregon and California. 

Field's story went on to state that at dawn of the 4th of July "a 
volley of twenty-six guns, exclusive of 'fifty-six others' that went off 
at random, started the few in camp who had still been remaining 
asleep. . . . The first thing seen, as we ururolled our buffalo robes 


and looked out at the morning, was a banner of stripes and stars 
floating upon a pole in the middle of camp. This flag was con- 
structed of two red silk handkerchiefs, stitched together and striped 
with some of Surgeon Tilghman's white bandaging stuff. A piece 
of blue calico marked the upper corner of the banner, and upon the 
blue figured a number of little stars. Three volleys of shots from 
rifles and pistols, with enthusiastic accompaniments of shouts and 
cheers, saluted this rude sign of a free nation in the heart of the 

At 6 o'clock they were called to mass at the priest's tent which 
was decorated with flowers. Then they bathed in the river and 
put on their best clothes for the holiday. 

A great feast was served which included Rhine wine, punch, 
buffalo hump ribs, buffalo side ribs, buffalo tongues, buffalo mar- 
row bones, buffalo "sweetbreads" and buffalo et ceteras, peach 
pudding, plum pudding and "juleps of legitimate mixture." 

Many toasts were given and a speech suitable to the occasion 
"... not forgetting a hint two in favor of one side of present polit- 
ical feeling." This was followed by an ode "got up" expressly for 
the occasion and one or two origional songs were sung. As the 
day progressed and the juleps and punch flowed freely, the party 
became merrier and ended with a game of "Follow the Leader" 
on horseback at breakneck speed, 

John Owens, who came up the Platte in 1862 and later became 
sheriff of Weston County, tells of finding a burned wagon train at 
the Springs. In a 1915 letter to Tom Powers, an old timer of this 
area, he wrote : "There was a train held up on the old trail by the 
Red Skins and everybody killed or at least we found where they 
had burned the wagons. We learned from Fort Kearney aftenvards 
that there were nine in this party and none of them were accounted 
for. This massacre took place at what we called Cold Springs. I 
think it is about eight miles or ten from the Nebraska line and five 
or six miles east of the Rock Ranch." 

The Oregon Trail marker you see here was originally located on 
the old Cheyenne highway a mile west of this spot. It was dedi- 
cated the afternoon of June 17, 1916. Governor Joseph M. Carey, 
I. S. Bartlett, Grace Raymond Hebard and others addressed the 
assembly. Earlier the same afternoon a like marker was dedicated 
near Lingle. We will pass this marker, which will be on our left, 
just before we cross the river about a mile and a half south of 
the town. 

9:50 A.M. After Mr. Root's interesting paper we traveled 1,000 
yards toward Torrington then turned left on Secondary 0805 where 
we passed fine farms and cultivated fields. Five miles down the 
road, at the Sam Backer sign, we turned right on a dirt road for 
one mile, then turned left into the old Rock Ranch, 


By Curtiss Root 

Very little can be found in the history books about Rock Ranch. 
It is said to have been built in 1 863 by a man from Missouri who 
owned slaves and came West after the Civil War in hopes of being 
able to keep them. The letter written by Johnny Owens to Tom 
Powers, which I mentioned in connection with Cold Springs, has 
this to say about the so-called Rock Ranch Battle: 

"You say in your letter, that several skeletons were found there 
near the Rock Ranch. Well, if I remember right there should be 
several skeletons there, out about 300 yards southeast of the ranch. 
There is a gravel hill and about two-thirds of the way up that point 
and on the west slope we buried three of our fellows, Bert Jessop 
from Illinois, Jack Alsup from Missouri and BUI Milligan from 
Indiana. There were nine of us at the ranch, six were inside when 
the Indians tackled us, Jessup, Alsup and Milligan were out looking 
after traps and our saddle horses. This was the winter of 1867 and 
'68. We battled all day there, we shot only when it counted as 
there were about eighty of them red devils and only six of us. 
If the old ranch still stands there, you will see there is built in it 
port holes and you can see and shoot from aU sides and it is built 
so it can't be burned. The ranch was built in 1863 by a fellow 
from Missouri, I don't remember his name. He came up there 
with seven 'niggers' that he owned and was afraid they would be 
taken away from htm after the war, so he came with them to Wyo- 
ming. They were all kiUed but two and they afterwards were taken 
to old Fort Laramie and I don't know what became of them. I 
think they were sent to Leavenworth, Kansas. 

"Getting back to the Rock Ranch and the skeletons you spoke 
of. We buried the boys there where I described and probably the 
ditch runs as high as their graves. They were scalped but they 
dropped, I think it was 17 Indians. We buried the Indians on the 
sand bar east of the ranch, in a bend in the river. All our horses 
were taken by them and we were left a-foot. We had venison, ante- 
lope meat and some coffee and com meal. We stayed at the ranch 
for nearly three weeks, then two of the boys walked to old Fort 
Laramie at night and they sent some soldiers down after us with 
mules. Our saddles were stolen and we had to ride the mules 
bare-back. We worked out of Fort Laramie and on the Chugwater 
all the rest of the winter." 

During the time of the cattle drives from Texas from 1866 to 
1897, this was the location of an important cattle crossing over the 
North Platte River. Thousands of Texas Longhoms were made to 
ford the river near the mouth of Rawhide Creek. There is a mark- 
er on highway 26 across the river directly north of here upon which 
is inscribed: 



Over this trail, from distant Texas 

passed the Greatest 

Migration of Men and Cattle in the History of America 

1866 1897 

Rock Ranch was also one of the important ranches of the vast 
Swan Land and Cattle Company. Their headquarters ranch was at 
Chugwater but their main office was in Edinburgh, Scotland. The 
Company had a capitalization of almost $3,000,000 and at one 
time ran more than 200,000 head of cattle on the western range. 
Rock Ranch was principally a "hay ranch." From 1899 to 1906, 
a post office was located here called Banks, named for Ed Banks 
who was employed by the Swan Land and Cattle Company from 
1883 to 1911 as superintendent. Mattie Smith, the wife of the 
Rock Ranch foremen, Al Smith, was postmaster. Smith was fore- 
man from April, 1893, to December, 1901. 

There was a trading post at "The Narrows" a few miles down 
the river from the Rock Ranch, Drips' Post was another early 
trading post in this area. Andrew Drips was a partner of Captain 
Lucien Fontenelle and was appointed Indian agent in the early 
1 840s for the upper Missouri, and especially commissioned to stop 
the liquor trade with the Indians. He was an American Fur Com- 
pany man and favored that organizaiton. He was at Fort Laramie 
in 1848. 

10:50 A.M. On Secondary 0805 we crossed the Platte back into 
Oregon Trail territory. In the distance to the west we could see a 
series of high bluffs called The Rim. Long ago they formed the 
shoreline of an ocean. 

11:10 A.M. (24.5 M.) A stop was made at the Grattan Mas- 
sacre Monument which is one and one-half miles south of the 
actual massacre site. The speaker, Mr. Morrison, also had told 
about the Grattan Massacre on the first Oregon Trail trek in 1953. 

By W. W. Morrison 

One hundred and fifteen years ago, late in the afternoon of Au- 
gust 19, 1854, Lieutenant John L. Grattan and twenty-eight sol- 
diers under his command lost their Uves near here in a sudden and 
vicious battle against overwhelming odds of Sioux Indians under 
Chiefs Little Thunder and Sitting Bear. 

According to the best accounts, on or about August 17, 1854, 
when a Mormon caravan composed of Scandinavian proselytes, 
passed the Brule Sioux camp near here, a cow from the emigrant 


herd became lame, fell behind and wandered near the Indian camp. 
The cow was killed and eaten by some of the Indians who said they 
thought it had been abandoned. 

Hans Peterson, leader of the caravan, upon reaching Fort Lara- 
mie, reported its loss to the post commander, who then sent Lieu- 
tenant John Lawrence Grattan, of the Sixth Infantry, with an inter- 
preter, a corporal and twenty-six privates to apprehend the offend- 
er. The soldiers rode in an army wagon drawn by mules. They 
had two mountain howitzers with them. 

When they reached the American Fur Company, some five miles 
below Fort Laramie, a halt was made, and the men were ordered to 
load, but not cap their weapons. Two or three miles further down, 
another halt was made, and the howitzers were loaded. 

At a trading house near here, Bordeaux was called for and asked 
to notify the Chief of the soldiers' mission. When Chief Sitting 
Bear appeared, he said the Indian who had shot the cow was a 
Min-ia-con-jou Indian, and that he was unable to get the Indians 
to surrender and that when he had gone to his lodge he found six 
other Min-ia-con-jous there loading their guns, refusing to give up 
the offender. 

Chief Sitting Bear was again sent to the Min-ia-con-jou lodge, 
but was unsuccessful in affecting a surrender. Grattan was now 
compelled to take by force, if need be, the offender, or leave with- 
out having accomplished his objective. 

Grattan and his men entered the Brule camp near the center, not 
far from Chief Sitting Bear's lodge. The Brule camp was semi- 
circular in form, with its convex side toward the river. It is prob- 
able the camp was located just to the northwest of here, and imme- 
diately in the rear was an abrupt depression, which was being 
occupied by the Indians during the negotiations. 

Bordeaux, who owned the trading house northeast of here, told 
Lieutenant Grattan the interpreter would make trouble, as he was 
partially intoxicated, but if the interpreter were locked up, he, Bor- 
deaux, could settle the trouble in a short time. As soon as Lieu- 
tenant Grattan halted in the center of the camp, he was surrounded 
by several Indians. One of the chiefs came running to Bordeaux 
and said, "My friend, come on, the interpreter is going to get us in a 
fight, and they are going to fight if you don't come." 

At the time there were some 3,000 Indians camped in the imme- 
diate vicinity. The interpreter, Lucien Auguste, was reported to 
have called out to the Indians, daring them to make good their 
threats. He added that he was coming with thirty men and a 
cannon, and would kill the Indians and cut their hearts out, Bor- 
deaux started to get on his horse and go to the scene, but when he 
got within 150 yards he saw it was too late. The first gun was 

What happened from this point is not clear. None of the sol- 
diers survived, but apparently, after reaching the village, Grattan 


placed his men and howitzers facing the Min-ia-con-jou lodge and 
opened another parley. 

At the close of the interview, Lieutenant Grattan took out his 
watch and said it was getting late, and that he could wait no longer, 
to which Chief Sitting Bear was reported to have said, "I have 
done all I could, and since you will have him, now push on and 
take him." He then turned and walked away. During the skir- 
mish, the Chief was shot, and died a few days later. 

A Mr. Allen had accompanied the troops from Fort Laramie, 
and since his horse had been borrowed, he seated himself on top 
of Bordeaux's house and watched from a distance. "The council," 
he said, "lasted about three-quarters of an hour, and during this 
time 1 saw many Indians collecting and mounting their horses 
near the river, and the women and children leaving llie village." 

He saw the soldiers stand up and bring their guns down as if to 
fire, and at that moment he heard what he thought was a report 
from Indian fire, followed immediately by muskets, and two can- 
nons. The solders retreated, pursued by Indians, who now ap- 
peared in great numbers. Many had been concealed in the deep 
depression behind the camp. 

The wagon and mules started off on a run. A man tried to 
climb into the wagon. It reached the first point of the bluffs just a 
little north and west of here and had gone hearly a half-mile before 
it was overtaken. Some eighteen soldiers on foot reached the road 
between the two bluffs which cross it about a mile away, and they 
were killed by Indians who followed them. Lieutenant Grattan 
and three or four men were killed near the camp. 

The interpreter, who was mounted on a horse, and a soldier who 
was on Lieutenant Grattan's horse, were overtaken and killed by 
Indians coming from near the river below Bordeaux's house. The 
soldiers were loading and firing as they retreated. All of the sol- 
diers except one were killed, and that one was so badly wounded 
that he died within two or three days. 

The Indians wreaked vengeance on the bodies of the soldiers and 
horribly mutilated them. Heads were crushed, throats cut and legs 
amputated. Lieutenant Grattan's body was found with twenty- 
four arrows in it. The body later was identified from the lieuten- 
ant's watch. 

The next day Sergeant Snyder, with a small force of men from 
Fort Laramie, was sent to bury the dead. By that time the Indians 
had crossed the Platte River and disappeared. Lieutenant Grat- 
tan's body was sent away for burial, but the bodies of the twenty- 
eight enlisted men were placed in a common grave some eight or 
ten feet in diameter. The exact location of this gravesite is lost. 
However, we know pretty well where it is located, as my camera 
recorded the spot in 1945 when the original wooden signboard was 
still standing vigil over the hallowed spot. The picture will be 
passed around so all who are present may see it. 


Years after the massacre, badgers began digging up remains of 
the soldiers buried there. John Hunton hauled rocks and dumped 
them into the depression to stop them. Thirty-seven years passed 
before the remains of these soldiers were taken up and buried at 
Fort McPherson. In 1891, the bones of these brave soldiers were 
taken to Fort Laramie, placed on the long porch of a building 
which we will visit within the next hour, sorted out as best they 
could be, and matched as nearly as possible. They were placed in 
caskets and shipped to Fort McPherson where the caskets were 
placed in a circle trench overlooked by a marker inscribed upon its 
four sides with the following: "In memory of Enlisted men Co. G. 
6th Inf. Killed in action near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, August 19, 

Young Grattan was but twenty-four years of age at the time of 
his death. He was appointed to the U, S. Military Academy from 
New Hampshire, admitted July 1, 1848, and graduated in the 
class in 1853. 

A letter to me from G. C. Brummer, an old-time resident of 
Lisbon, New Hampshire, the home of Lieutenant Grattan, dated 
October 20, 1948, tells how the rest of his life Lieutenant Grattan's 
father, Peter Grattan, who hved to the age of eighty-nine, never 
ceased to grieve for his lost son. He told of the death of Lieutenant 
Grattan's fiancee, Miss Allen, who lived directly across the street 
from the Grattan home, how she had pined away and died from 
grief because of his untimely death. His mother died soon after 
of a broken heart. 

Lieutenant Grattan's father and mother and Miss Allen are bur- 
ied in Grove HiU cemetery, near the Grattan home. Peter Grattan 
left no descendants. 

Since there were so many cars in the caravan it would have been 
very difficult to turn them at the site of Fort Bernard. Nothing is 
now left to show the location of the old fort as the Indians set fire 
to it and the foundations have slid off into the Platte. Consequent- 
ly Mr. RymiU gave his talk on Fort Bernard (27.5 M.) at the 
Grattan site and pointed out the general direction of the fort. He 
also had told the story of Fort Bernard on the First Oregon Trail 
trek in 1953. 


By R. J. Rymill 

Not much information is available about Fort Bernard. In fact, 
I found mention of it in but two accounts of the period — Parkman's 
Oregon Trail and Hafen and Young's Fort Laramie. Hafen and 
Young obtained their information from Edwin Bryants What I Saw 
in California and Rocky Mountain Adventures. Authentic refer- 
ence material is extremely limited. To establish for certain the 
exact location and dates of Fort Bernard would take a great deal of 


time and research. It seems that it is a fertile and interesting field 
for some student of Western history to explore further for more 

Probably a reason for the scarcity of reference material is 
that the post was not as important as some others and its life span 
was brief. From Bryant's and Parkman's accounts we do know 
that it was in existence in 1 846, the year in which each visited it. 
Hafen and Young locate it at eight miles below Fort Laramie, prob- 
ably basing their information on Parkman's account, as he also 
placed Fort Bernard at eight miles below Fort Laramie. Bryant 
says it was about seven miles below Fort Laramie. 

The trading post, known as Richard's Fort Bernard, was owned 
and operated by two brothers by the name of Richard. It was run 
in competition to the American Fur Company and must have been 
quite successful as two mackinaw boats loaded with furs were sent 
from it to St. Louis in the spring of 1846. Traders from New 
Mexico often visited this post exchanging com for furs. Bryant 
went back to Fort Bernard from Fort Laramie and there exchanged 
his wagons and oxen for pack mules and other pack equipment. 
Parkman described the fort in this manner: "Nestled beneath a 
line of Cottonwood trees, we could discern in the distance some- 
thing like a building. As we came nearer, it assumed form and 
dimensions and proved to be a rough structure of logs. It was a 
little trading post belonging to private traders and originally in- 
tended to form a hollow square. Only two sides of it had been 
completed." Parkman then goes on to say that they were led to 
the principal apartment of the establishment, a room ten feet square 
with walls of black mud and a roof of rough timber. There was a 
huge fireplace made of four flat rocks which had been picked up on 
the prairie. The room held no furniture except a rough settee 
covered with buffalo robes. 

In July of 1846 Richard left his trading post to go to Taos for 
supplies. In his absence someone set fire to his establishment. 
When the first emigrants came by that way in the spring of 1847 
they found it burned. It must have been rebuilt, for E. A. Tomkins 
who saw it in the summer of 1850 said it was an assemblage of log 
huts surrounded by great piles of buffalo hides, the size and shape 
of eastern haystacks. 

11 :50 A.M. As we left, we saw another Oregon Trail marker on 
the left. This was placed by the state of Wyoming in 1914. Con- 
tinuing north on the Secondary road, we crossed the railroad tracks 
and turned left on Highway 26 to the town of Fort Laramie. At 
the western edge of town we took the left hand road and stopped 
at the south end of the old government Iron Bridge. This was the 
location of an old ferry. Fort Platte was located about 1,000 
southwest of the bridge, and a Mormon Ferry was near the fort. 
We all walked out onto the bridge to listen to the paper. 


By Joseph M. Adams 

This iron bridge is the oldest of its kind west of the Missouri 
River. It was built in 1875 by the King Bridge Company, who 
submitted the low bid of $10,500. It is approximately 400 feet 
long. Its purpose was to provide a river crossing for the troops at 
Fort Laramie, thus enabling them to control the Sioux north of the 
river and facilitate the movement of troops in the event of hostile 
action at the Red Cloud or Spotted Tail agencies. 

The bridge also suppUed a crossing for the Cheyenne to Dead- 
wood stage route, and numerous other travelers who were bound 
for the Black HUls gold fields. For a time in 1876 military officials 
endeavored to collect toll, but this practice was soon stopped. 

For years the bridge was used by many different kinds of vehic- 
les. It was used by automobiles and heavy trucks until 1958, when 
the new concrete bridge was built a few yards to the north. In the 
past several years the bridge has been completely stabilized, and 
should remain as it is for many years to come. 

By Joseph M. Adams 

Based on information found in Hafen and Young's Fort Lara- 
mie, Fort Platte was built by Lancaster P. Lupton in the fall of 
1840 or the spring of 1841. It was located approximately 1,000 
feet southwest of the iron bridge. Its walls were made of sun baked 
bricks, four feet thick by twenty feet high. According to the 
Thomas Bullock journal the old fort measured 144 feet by 103.2 

Within the walls were twelve buildings. They were an office, a 
store, a kitchen, a warehouse, a meathouse, a smith's shop, a car- 

* In the early years of this century some of the most productive copper 
mining in Wyoming was being carried on in the Grand Encampment area of 
Carbon County. The Rudefeha Mine was developed in 1896. The follow- 
ing year Willis G. Emerson founded the town of Encampment, formed the 
North American Copper Company, bought the mine and renamed it the 
Ferris Haggarty. He built a smelter on the banks of the Encampment River, 
organized a coal company to supply fuel and erected a sixteen-mile-long 
aerial tramway to bring ore to the smelter from the mine. The 1904 report 
of the Wyoming State Geologist described it as "one of the most important 
works of this region." It was divided into four sections, parts of which are 
shown in these Stimson photographs taken about 1903. The tramway had 
three auxiliary power stations, each equipped with a power plant. It moved 
at an average speed of four miles an hour with each bucket holding 700 
pounds of ore. The area boomed until 1908, when falling copper prices no 
longer justified mining operations. Speculators dumped their holdings, and 
within a year the transient population had moved on. 

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penter's shop, and five dwellings. They were arranged to form a 
yard and corral large enough to house more than two hundred head 
of animals. 

The main reason that Mr. Lupton chose this area for his trading 
fort was to compete with Fort John for the trade with the Brule 
and Ogallala Sioux. In an attempt to win the trade of the nearby 
Ihdians, the proprietor of Fort Platte began selling liquor to them. 
The results of this were manifest when a somewhat sobering event 
occurred. One of the Brule chiefs, while riding from Fort John to 
Fort Platte, feU from his horse and broke his neck. The sudden 
death of their chief put a stop to the Indians' participation in the 
liquor sales. Presently the Brules took down their lodges and 
moved away. 

From that time on Fort Platte changed hands several times until 
1 845, when it was abandoned. 

By Joseph M. Adams 

The summer of 1847 saw a new element in the emigration that 
moved past Fort Laramie. The Mormons, having been driven 
from New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, because of rehgious 
differences with their neighbors, were traveling westward to find a 
new home in Utah. 

They traveled along the north bank of the Platte River. It was 
just across the river from here on June 1, 1847, that the vanguard 
of the Mormon movement, led by President Brigham Young, 
camped in their trek west. The river, being in the flood stage, was 
measured and found to be 324 feet wide. 

On the morning of June 2, President Young and some of the 
other leaders of the party crossed the Platte in a small portable 
boat. They then made their way to Fort John, which was approx- 
imately two miles away. While at Fort John, they met James Bor- 
deaux, who was superintendent at that time. For a fee of $18 they 
rented a boat from Bordeaux for ferrying their wagons across the 
river. The boat was taken down the Laramie River and pulled up 
the Platte to this point. The ferrying operations started the follow- 
ing morning. By noon on June 4, the trek west was resumed. 
Several members of the party were left behind to operate the ferry 
for later comers. 

12:10 P.M. As we left we saw the Fort Platte marker on the right. 
An old cemetery and ruins of the post hospital were seen on the left 
before we turned into Fort Laramie National Historic Site. (33 M.) 

12:30 P.M. - Our guide led us to the cool shade of the big trees in 
the parking area where lunches were brought out and enjoyed. 


After a visit to the museum, tours were taken through the authenti- 
cally restored buildings. A firearms demonstration was given by 
men dressed in uniforms like those worn by the soldiers who were 
stationed at Fort Laramie during the western migration period. 

Mrs. Mack Smith, of Yoder, Wyoming, one of the trekkers, gave 
the trek historian a copy of an old letter she had found many years 
ago at Fort Laramie. The envelope was yellow with age and it was 
stamped "Dead Letter." The letter gives a first hand look at life 
at Fort Laramie in 1887, and it is worth being included with the 
ston of the trek. 

Ft. Laramie, Wyoming 
July 21, 1887 
Friend Charlie, 

Well, how do you feel by this time? How goes it with you now? 
Hope you are getting along well with farming. This is a fine country 
here. They don't farm much out here. Most people have ranches. 
They pay better wages here. They pay from thirty to forty dollars a 
month. The country is pretty wild, but the people in it are not. The 
young men out here are as nice as you will find anyplace. They are 
very sociable and the most of them are well dressed. They are not as 
rough as most people think. I am having a fine time out here. There 
are lots of deer, antelope and bear. I went up to Ft. Laramie with a 
lady, Miss Riggs. The Ft. is about thirty miles from where we live. 
We stayed overnight at Mr. Wilds. We had to cross the Larmie 
River. I hadn't had anything to drink since I left home in the morning 
about eight o'clock and it was about four in the afternoon, so I thought 
I would take a drink. You see this river is quite wonderful for they 
say I haven't been able to tell the truth since I got home. I don't 
know how you would like it out here, but I will tell you that I like it 
better than I do at home. I don't think I have slept in the house a 
half-dozen times since I left home. A fellow feels a good deal better 
to sleep out a few nights after sleeping in the house so long. Uncle 
Will is going to Cheyenne Monday and is going to be gone ten days, 
and is going to leave me the cattle to take care of, so I have a little 
work to do rounding up the cattle night and morning. The crops 
look very well here. There has been a good deal of rain here lately. 
They don't raise much of anything here but corn and millet except the 
garden stuff. Well, I have given you a little description of the coun- 
try. ... I guess we will go hunting this afternoon if we can scare up 
enough powder. That is, Charlie Smith and L He is Uncle Will's 
cow puncher. Well, I guess I'll have to stop for this time. Good by. 

Yours truly, 
R. G. Shockey 

2:00 P.M. One-half mile beyond the Fort we stopped at the 
"Portugee" Phillips marker (33.5 M.) for a paper. 


By Thomas E. White 

Fort Phil Kearny was the largest of three forts built to protect 
emigrants using the Bozeman Trail to the gold field fields in Mon- 
tana. It was the headquarters for Colonel Henry Carrington, com- 


mander of the Mountain District. On the morning of December 
21, 1866, before the fort was completed, one of the wood trains 
wMch regularly left the fort to cut construction logs came under 
Indian attack. The commander of the relief force, Captain Wil- 
liam Fetterman, allowed himself and his eighty-man force of in- 
fantry and cavalry to be decoyed into a box canyon to almost 
instant death at the hands of nearly 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne 

This well-known Fetterman Massacre set the stage for a cour- 
ier's ride which is commemorated on this plaque behind me. Over 
the century which has passed, the actual facts of Portugee Phillips' 
ride have been mtertwined and coated with legend. Only recently 
has historical research been unable to pare the legend from the 
facts of this cold, grueling ride. Let's take a look at the few facts 
that are actually laiown about the ride. When we have, I think it 
will show a courageous, but plausible ride taking four days, not 
two, made by two men, not one. 

The worried Colonel Carrington apparently underestimated his 
resources of men and ammunition to withstand attack so he hastily 
drafted a message to General Cooke, Commanding the Department 
of the Platte at Omaha, and to the War Department, Washington, 
D.C., calling for immediate reinforcements. Then he hired two 
"civilian couriers," from a party of prospectors who were wintering 
at the fort, to carry his dispatches to the closest telegraph. Horse- 
shoe Station, 190 miles southeast. The pair left the fort at about 
7 P.M. that evening. Phillips' lesser known companion was Daniel 
Dixon. Each man was later paid $300 for his ride. 

They arrived at Fort Reno early the next morning and stopped 
over for nearly ten hours. During that time Lieutenant Colonel 
Henry Wessells gave them a message for Colonel L N. Palmer, the 
Commanding Officer at Fort Laramie fifty miles farther on. Wes- 
sells, too, was urgently requesting reinforcements. The men de- 
parted from Fort Reno just after Retreat ceremonies on December 
22 and possibly camped in the Cheyenne River country on Decem- 
ber 23. Their next comfortable stop was on December 24 with the 
small military force protecting Bridger's Ferry, a cable ferry across 
the Platte just south of present-day Orin Junction. 

Pushing on, they reached Horseshoe Station, two to three miles 
south of present-day Glendo, at 10 A.M. on Christmas Day. Their 
dispatches were immediately clicked out on the telegraph and Phil- 
lips and Dixon rested a while before taking on the final leg of the 
ride to Fort Laramie to deliver Colonel Wessell's message. At 
11:00 P.M. on Christmas night, two heavily-clad figures rode out 
of the storm at Fort Laramie to deUver Wessell's message, going 
through regular channels as would any night-arriving courier. At 
length they were taken to Colonel Palmer, who later wrote of tlie 
officers and their ladies who had gathered at Old Bedlam for 


dancing that the news "created such a gloom over all that the 
dancing party dispersed early." 

General Cooke authorized Colonel Carrington's requested rein- 
forcements, and the relief force left Fort Laramie on January 3, 
1867. It arrived at Fort Phil Kearny thirteen days later. The 
force arrived to find the fort had not been under attack. Instead 
of being welcomed as rescuers, both men and horses were merely 
tolerated as more mouths to feed from the meager and dwindling 
supply of rations. 

Nothing is positively known about Phillips' mount, though the 
Colonel's own thoroughbred story has been discredited. It would 
be very logical to give "Portugee" the benefit of his experience 
as a frontiersman; that is, he would have taken fresh mounts when- 
ever available. Likewise, nothing has been positively established 
about the fate of Phillips' final mount or about what obstacles 
other than the storm and natural terrain, if any, that the men 
encountered on the way. 

The end result was a long, hard, cold and dramatic ride by two 
men — one a legend in Wyoming history and the other nearly 

It is a shame that other facets of John "Portugee" Phillips' life 
are not as well publicized as this one ride because I believe that 
they would dramatically show tremendous tenacity and courage 
which helped him overcome disadvantages and limited resources to 
become one of Wyoming Territory's most substantial citizens. But 
then, that's another story! 

By Thomas E. White 

In the mid- 19th century, the War Department issued a general 
order banning the sale of whiskey on all military posts. Just out- 
side the bounds of the military reservations, whiskey "ranches" 
popped up — ^near enough to be convenient for the soldiers; yet 
distant enough to flaunt military control. Originally, each ranch 
merely dispensed whiskey, then they branched out into gambling. 
If business still wasn't brisk enough to suit, "resident hostesses" 
were employed to lure the soldiers. One frontier army commander, 
General George Forsyth, aptly described the "hostesses" as "the 
most wretched and lowest class of abandoned women." Undoubt- 
edly it is from these unsavory women that the uncomplimentary 
name, "Hog Ranch," has been derived. 

Although Fort Laramie's Hog Ranch boasted more substantial 
buildings than most, its pattern of existence was most typical. In 
1874, two partners, E. Coffee and A. Cuny established a business 
on the western edge of the Fort Laramie Military Reservation 
consisting of a trading post, saloon and hotel. Not satisfied with 


their volume of business, Coffee and Cuny imported some "resident 
hostesses" from Omaha and Kansas City. Records hint, but fail 
to prove that Calamity Jane was one of the Coffee & Cuny "host- 
esses." From 1877 to 1890, the "Ranch" barely eked out an 
existence. With the abandoimient of Fort Laramie in 1 890, what 
little demand there was for the Hog Ranch's services was likewise 
eliminated. The proprietors didn't fare much better than their 
business. Coffee died the same year the business was established, 
and three years later Cuny was killed at their ranch, three miles 

Those buildings up the Laramie River which housed the saloons, 
gambling dens and cubicles of the "resident hostesses," commonly 
called cribs in that day, have disappeared. Yet they formed a very 
real part of the social life of many, though certainly not all, of the 
frontier army soldiers. Therefore it must be reckoned with as a 
fact of military life. 

2 : 20 P.M. We retraced our way east about one mile to a Homsley 
Grave sign where we turned left on a dirt road then right at another 
Homsley sign and drove down toward the Fort Laramie canal to 
the grave (34.5 M.) which is just north of a branch of the old road. 
The grave is in a lovely spot, high on the bank above the Platte. 

By W. W. Morrison 

In research there seems to be some controversy in the story 
having to do with the finding of this wayside grave. Many years 
ago, in company with several others, we had the good fortune to 
hear an interesting talk given by one Clark Price, of Fort Laramie, 
Wyoming, on this very spot. He related the story of the finding in 
the fall of 1925, while gathering firewood in this vicinity 

Also, there is in my file a letter written by the late L. G. (Pat) 
Flannery, dated April 17th, 1946. I shall quote in part: 

Following is the story of finding Mary E. Homsley's grave, as accu- 
rately as I can recall after the passage of so many years. 

In 1925, I think it was, I do not recall the exact date, a cowboy, I 
believe his name was Henry Milgate, stopped at my small newspaper 
office in Fort Laramie, and told me his horse stumbled over a rock 
several miles west of town, and had dismounted to take a closer look, 
and that he thought it was a grave-stone, although he was unable to 
make out the inscription. 

Several of us went out with him to see the stone, I believe R. J. 
Rymill and Clark Rice, both of Fort Laramie were the other two men 
who made up the party. 

"We traced over the scratches on the stone with a soft pencil and 
were then able to easily read the inscription — Mary E. Homsley, 
died June 10, 1852 

The stone had been broken from its base, but a search of the imme- 
diate surrounding area soon disclosed the other part of the rock, still 

94 ANNALS OF \\ni"OMlNG 

embedded in the earth, on which the top fragment bearing the inscrip- 
tion fitted perfectly. 

The original account of finding the grave was published in the Fort 
Laramie Scout, and you know the story from there." 

Just who was Mary E. Homsley? Where did she come from, 
where was she going, and how did she come to be buried here? I 
have visited in the homes of her people now residing in Oregon, 
and have heard from their hps a full and complete story of her 
life, death and burial, some of which I shall relate here. An old 
family Bible, which was in the possession of the late Herman Oden, 
then living at Myrtle Creek, Oregon, gave a record of her family as 
to date of births and deaths, 

Mary Elizabeth Oden Homsley, daughter of Jacob N. and Sarah 
Fine Oden, was born near Lexington, Kentucky, July 20, 1824. 
Her father, Jacob Oden, helped to build the first house there. 
Mary migrated with her parents to Missouri, settling in Warren 
County, near a little place called Truxton. Living nearby was a 
young man named Benjamin Franklin Homsley, a blacksmith, 
wagonmaker and farmer. Mary and Ben were married in 1841, 
before she had reached her seventeenth birthday. Ben was nine 
years her senior. They hved on a small farm there, and to this 
union five children were bom. The eldest, twins who died in 
infancy, are supposed to have been poisoned. 

In April, 1852, Ben, Mary and their two little girls, together 
with Mary's father and mother and her ten brothers and sisters 
started for Oregon Territory in covered wagons. On the way Mary 
gave birth to her fifth child. Their route was via Council Bluffs, 
continuing on the north side of the Platte to Fort Laramie, where 
they crossed to the south side of the river. 

Somewhere back on the trail Mary took sick with measles. For 
several days prior to reaching the crossing at Fort Laramie, she 
rode on a featherbed in one of the two wagons driven by fourteen- 
year-old Bailey Homsley, Ben's brother's boy. The wagon over- 
turned while crossing the North Platte River here, and everything 
in the wagon, including the sick woman, got wet. That night, while 
they were encamped in the bottom lands between here and the river 
Mary grew decidedly worse, and the next day she passed away. 

Since there was no lumber at hand to make her a casket, her 
body was tenderly wrapped in the featherbed and lowered deep into 
warm Mother Earth. Her husband, Benjamin Homsley, knelt 
beside the freshly-rounded mound, and with his jackknife etched 
her name, age and date of her death deep in the crude sandstone 

Mary Homsley was a beautiful pioneer mother whose height was 
a little over five feet, and whose chestnut-colored hair reached al- 
most to her shoe tops. "Ben, don't ever separate the children," had 
been Mary's last words, and he never did. Alone, Ben raised his 
two little girls. He taught them how to cook and sew and keep 


house. He took his wife's death very hard, and never ceased to 
mourn her. He never married again. 

Their youngest child, a mere babe in arms, died on the way, and 
was buried in an old toolchest beside the trail near present Boise, 
Idaho. Ben and his two Uttle girls, Leura and Sarah Ellen, finally 
reached the Willamette valley in Oregon and settled on a donation 
land claim in Clackamas County. Those two little girls later be- 
came Mrs. Gibson and Mrs. Taylor. Mary's own people went on 
to settle near present Roseburg, Oregon. 

Benjamin Franklin Homsley was bom near Sparta, Tennessee, in 
1815, and died in Clackamas County, Oregon in 1908, and is bur- 
ied in Rock Creek cemetery, not far from where he raised his two 
daughters. His last years were spent with his daughter, Sarah 
Ellen Taylor, who sleeps by his side. The ashes of Leura rest in 
Pomeroy cemetery, Washington. 

Ben's father, Joe Homsley, fought in the War of 1812. His 
grandfather, Charles Foulks, was in the Battle of Long Island. He 
took part in the Battles of Bunker Hill, Cowpens and Brandywine 
as a drum major, and beat the drum at the funeral of George 

Mary's death was not the only death in the Homsley-Oden fam- 
ilies while they were crossing the Great American Desert, Bryant 
Thomhill, husband of Mary's sister, Rebecca, bride of a few 
months, died of cholera and was buried beside the trail. One of 
her younger brothers was reported to have left the wagon train on a 
foraging expedition and was never heard of again. It was pre- 
sumed that he had been captured and killed by a band of hostile 
Indians. Soon after arriving at their destination Rebecca Thomhill 
gave birth to a son. 

The late Grace Raymond Hebard, speaking at the dedication of 
this monument in 1926, said, "It is estimated that during the year 
1852, when the death toll on the Oregon Trail was usually heavy, 
enough people died, who if having a headstone placed on their 
graves, each half mile would have a marker along the 2,000 miles 
of this homeseekers' trail." It has been estimated that during the 
days of the covered wagons traveling this route 34,000 died along 
the way and a goodly number were buried in unmarked graves. 
Seventeen graves to each of the two thousand miles bear silent 
witness of the hardships encoimtered along the way. This is just a 
part of what it cost to build the great Northwest. 

In 1926 the good people of nearby Fort Laramie and the vicinity 
erected the monument at this wayside grave and enclosed the cmde 
sandstone marker behind heavy plate glass. Through the years it 
has become a shrine to the people of Wyoming and those who 
visit it. 

3 :00 P.M. As we followed the dirt road back to the hardtop road, 
we could see the old trail as it came down a gully near the mouth of 
the tunnel for the canal. 


After returning to the town of Fort Laramie we took Highway 
26 at the edge of town. Since the trail passes through very rugged 
terrain south of the river we stayed on the highway to Guernsey. 
At one spot we could see a railroad bridge over a wagon bridge 
over a creek. 

In Guernsey we turned left on Wyoming Avenue, crossed 
Platte and followed the signs to Register Cliff (42.5 M.) where 
we arrived at 3:40. This last part of the trek was practically on 
the old trail. 

By WiUiam J. Shay 

Perhaps our trek to this place should have been delayed a day 
so that we would have been able to celebrate an anniversary, for k 
the old inscription on an adjacent cliff is to be believed, on July 14, 
1829, the earliest date found on this escarpment, Goodwin Was- 
burg inscribed his name and that date. He was probably connected 
with the early-day fur trade during the pack horse or mule days, 
as the first wagons, those of Smith, Jackson and Sublette did not 
roU this way until 1830. This 1829 inscription has now weathered 
away so that it is no longer legible. Only a few faint lines remain, 
but there is in existence at least one photograph taken in the 1920s 
by Paul Henderson, when the inscription was legible. 

It is a paradox that this cliff that was to become a register of the 
greatest Western migration that history has ever known was first 
seen by white men who were traveling from west to east. 

The first white persons of record who passed this way were 
Robert Stuart and his six companions, traveling east from Astoria, 
on the Pacific coast. Stuart was bearing dispatches to John Jacob 
Astor, the head of the Pacific Fur Company, of which the party 
were employees or former employees. After three days of travers- 
ing the tortuous narrows of Platte Canyon where the water of 
Guernsey Reservoir are now confined, they passed along the north 
side of the Platte in the early morning of December 21, 1812. 

There is no record of white men again passing this way for twelve 
years, until 1824, when James Clyman passed by, probably on the 
south side of the Platte. He also was traveling from west to east, to 
be followed in about ten days by Thomas Fitzpatrick. 

Since 1824, this Register Cliff has looked down on the westward 
march of our nation, and there have been innumerable names and 
dates carved upon its face. On the area enclosed by the protective 
fence there have been recorded over 700 names. 

From the days of Fort WiUiam, later known as Fort Laramie, 
until the 1890s, this broad, level flood plain provided a convenient 
stopping place. With Fort Laramie located about twelve mUes 
east and Cottonwood Springs about the same distance west, this 


location where there was wood, grass and water available provided 
a convenient noonday halt for refreshment and allowed several 
hours grazing for the livestock for the faster moving caravans that 
logged twenty to thirty miles a day. For slower moving trains that 
averaged only twelve to fifteen miles a day, it was a convenient 
overnight campsite. In either event there was idle time and this 
cUff of soft, easily inscribed sandstone inviting travelers to record 
their passing. Even casual inspection should convince one that 
those earlier days had their "Kilroys." 

Oddly enough, the names of the more famous men, or, for that 
matter, other names famous in the history of the trail such as Jede- 
diah Smith, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Milton Sublette, Jim Bridger, John 
C. Fremont and Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston are not to be 
found here. Perhaps they were too occupied for such trivialities. 

Very few names of soldiers are recorded on these cliffs. What 
few names can be identified as those of soldiers are, for the most 
part, of members of the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, a regi- 
ment that garrisoned forts and stations on the trail west from Deer 

One of the most interesting names to be found here is Unthank. 
A. H. Unthank from Indiana placed his name on the cliff in 1850, 
About sixty-five miles west of this place, near present-day Glen- 
rock, is his grave. He died and was buried at that spot on July 2 
of that year. Below his name is that of his son, O. N. Unthank, 
who placed it there in 1869 when he was a telegraph operator at a 
station on the trail. In 1931, O. B. Unthank, of Sheridan, Wyo- 
ming, placed his name beneath that of his father and grandfather. 

H. T. Dowe placed his name here in 1840 as did R. K. Jones. 
Who were these men? Where were they from and where were 
they bound? The old cliff is silent. H. Wyatt gave us some little 
clue in 1841 for after his name and the date are the words "Fur 
Trader." C. D, Doyd registered his name in June, 1865, and 
below in 1868 he carved that date and the single word, "Returned." 
Who was Bert K. Marshall, Wisconsin? Why was he here in 
1833, or was this the year of his birth? Again the cliff is silent. 

To me one of the most interesting entries is "John Underwood, 
Co. E, 4th Arty., July 12, 1858." Four companies of the 4th 
Artillery were stationed at Fort Laramie in 1858 and '59, the only 
time artillery units were ever stationed there. This was one of the 
times, the first, when it was proposed to abandon Fort Laramie 
and build a new fort at Cheyenne Pass, near Cheyenne. Camp 
Walbach was established there as a preliminary to building a fort 
and a company of this 4th ArtiUery established that camp. 

A short distance west of the fenced area of Register Cliff is a 
trail cemetery in which are several graves. For them the bright 
dream of a golden El Dorado or a home in Oregon ended here. 


Perhaps here also, at times in ghostly assembly, gather the men and 
women who passed this way to conquer and settle the West. 

4:05 P.M. Since the many cars were parked so nicely and we 
could see the Sand Point marker (43 M.) a short distance away, 
Mr. Goertz gave his paper here. 

By Allen Goertz 

Sand Point was the name given the area of the meadow at the 
foot of what is now called Register Cliff. It was a favorite stopping 
place of the emigrants traveling west from Fort Laramie. To us in 
this day it doesn't seem like much of a day's trip but if we traveled 
the route they took behind a team of oxen I am sure we would be 
ready to camp, too, by the time we reached this spot. 

Seth Ward and William Guerrier built a stone fort or trading 
post here in the 1840s. That is about one hundred and twenty- 
nine years ago. Sometime around 1850 Jules Ecoffey built a stage 
station here that was used for a Pony Express stop for many years. 
I could find nothing to indicate the actual spot where the trading 
post stood. Perhaps someone in the crowd might know something 
about that. I understand the old stage station stood just over the 
fence south and perhaps a little east of the Pony Express marker, 
which you see from here. For many years a remnant of the old 
chimney of the stage station marked the spot but time has erased all 
signs of this once busy place. 

In 1841, approximately 100 emigrants traveled through here. 
By 1 850 the number had increased to 50,000. Just take a moment 
to look around you and imagine the activity that was taking place 
in this quiet meadow. 

Now a few words about the men who built here. Seth Ward 
came west to Fort Lupton, Colorado, in 1836, and began trading 
with the Indians before forming his partnership with Guerrier in the 
1840s. After their venture here he formed a partnership with a 
Mr. Fitzhugh and they became sutlers at Fort Laramie where he 
remained until 1871. Seth Ward was a remarkable man, making 
strong friends with army officers, trappers and Indians. At the 
time he was sutler he had freighting outfits on the road from here 
to the Missouri River. 

On February 16, 1858, William Guerrier was in the Powder 
River country trading with the Indians. In the front of his wagon 
along with his other trade goods was an open barrel of gunpowder, 
which he kept covered with an old blanket. Unnoticed to him one 
of his employees had removed the blanket. Mr. Guerrier returned 
to his wagon and stepped upon the tongue with a lighted pipe in his 
mouth. A spark from his pipe dropped into the powder, there was 


a terrible explosion and the old trader who had faced many dangers 
through his life was no more. 

Jules Ecoffey, who ran the stage station here, became a great 
friend of the Indian Chief Red Cloud. When the delegation of 
Indian chiefs was taken to Washington to try to convince them of 
the benefits of settling on the reservation, Red Cloud insisted his 
friend accompany them, Ecoffey remained active in trade with the 
Indians for many years after they were put on the reservations. 

4:10 P.M. We retraced our route back through the lovely wooded 
pasture to take a road over the hills to our left. At the top of the 
hill the trekkers left their cars and enjoyed walking in the deep ruts 
(44 M.) made by the wagon wheels in the sandstone formation 
100 years ago. 

4:35 P.M. Back in the cars we rode a short distance to the Lucin- 
da Rollins grave (44.5 M.) at a beautiful, peaceful spot above the 
Platte River. 

By Helen Henderson. Read by Robert Larson 

It is difficult to say where Lucinda Rollins came from. One 
story is that her grave was first discovered by the late C. A. Guern- 
sey, an early settler and rancher in the Guernsey area, and another 
story is connected with John C. Fremont. 

In 1934, the Historical Landmarks Commission began a project 
to construct a drive south of the town of Guernsey to be called 
Covered Wagon Drive. During construction of the drive, survey- 
ors discovered the base of a headstone from which the top portion 
was missing. Thinking that the stone had been moved from some 
other location, the workmen dug downward and found a shallow 
grave. Later, the top portion of the stone was found some distance 
from the grave. 

The headstone was of a chalk-rock substance, one and one-half 
by two feet, and of irregular shape. On it was carved the name 
Lucinda Rollins. The balance of the inscription, copied from an 
old notebook, says she died in June of 1847 or 1849, and that she 
was from Ohio. So far as it is known at this time, no one has found 
a diary telling of the death of Lucinda Rollins. 

The grave is on a knoll on the south bank of the North Platte 
River not far from where the river leaves the canyon and makes a 
sharp bend toward the east. Close by the grave, the old trail di- 
vides, with the left branch ascending Warm Springs Draw. The 
right branch goes through a narrow, rocky pass to Rifle Pit Hill, 
past Cold Springs and toward the Wendover area — the route gen- 
erally followed by the Guemsey-Wendover wagon road of later 


In conjunction with the estabUshment of Covered Wagon Drive, 
the citizens of Guernsey and other public-spirited persons erected a 
large, white cement monument at the site of the RoUins grave. The 
original headstone was placed in a recess behind a thick glass 
shield. It served its purpose well for a number of years but van- 
dals eventually broke the protective glass, removed the stone and 
apparently crushed it to bits. For what reason it was done, no one 
knows except the vandals. 

However, the record has been written and the site is marked on 
maps so perhaps the true story of Lucinda Rollins may still come 
to light. 

The late George Houser, publisher of the Guernsey Gazette, told 
the story of this grave in a special edition of his newspaper. He 
quoted the diary of John C. Fremont, published in a book, The 
Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and Cali- 
fornia. The trip was made in 1842, and the book was published 
in 1849. Colonel Fremont told of camping near the mouth of 
Warm Springs Draw where they found grass for their animals. At 
this place they attempted for the first time to set up the 18 -foot 
Indian lodge which they had procured from the Indians at Fort 
Laramie. Fremont's interpreter, Mr. Bissonette, arrived and was 
accompanied by an Indian and his wife. She laughed at their 
awkwardness and offered her assistance. They accepted then and 
there, and for some time afterward, until the men learned to erect 
it by themselves. So it seems very likely that the site of Fremont's 
camp was near the knoll where the Lucinda Rollins grave is 

Colonel Fremont mentioned that there was a small prairie on the 
left bank of the river that would be a good location for a military 
post. We recognized this place as being the site of the town of 
Guernsey. He mentioned the groves of cottonwood on the river 
and the pines on the hills. He commented on the abundance of 
good building rock. 

5:00 P.M. We then traveled the river road for 1,000 yards and 
turned left to pick up the old trail again as it passed through breaks 
and divided into several trails. In three miles we stopped at Warm 
Springs (47 M.), the "wash tub" of the emigrants. This was a place 
anticipated by the early travelers. The 1969 trekkers also enjoyed 
the stop as they drank from the spring which gushed between rocks, 
or waded in the warm streamlet. Others searched for arrow heads 
and one man was lucky enough to find a perfect one. 

By Paul Henderson. Read by Grant Willson 
Warm Springs has been mentioned in many of the diaries written 


by emigrants who passed through here during the trail days. A few 
of these diaries are Captain John C. Fremont's 1 842 report, Joseph 
E. Ware's Emigrants' Guide to California in 1849, William Clay- 
ton's diary in 1847 and J. Goldsborough Bruffs dairy in 1849. 

Today I shall tell of my exploring trips in this region in 1926. 
Les Robertson, another history buff, and I looked up Charley 
Wright, who served as a soldier at Fort Laramie for a number of 
years when it was an active post. In his Model-T Ford, we fol- 
lowed the old Oregon Trail westward from the ruts to Warm 
Springs Draw where it forked. The right hand branch ascends a 
narrow defile, passes through what Charley called the Cold Springs 
Pass, thence via the Cold Springs, Rifle Pit Hill, the old 1849 
military limestone quarry and kilns to the S. Dill grave. This trail 
continues in a northwesterly course over to Cottonwood Creek near 

Near the junction of the two forks were some names on a smooth 
place on the canyon wall. Some of the older ones were as follows: 

David F. Branson, Apr. ? 1852 

F. Davis. 

B. B. Day, May 29, ?? 

David Minioto, Wh?n, Ohio 

W. M. Dean. 1861 

Clifford Dickensen in party with W. Z. Long, C. & W. Hub- 

We took the left hand road and went up Warm Springs Draw, 
but not until we examined a very large and very old cottonwood 
tree where many years ago an Indian had told Charley to dig. It 
looked like an old burial tree to me. 

The old Oregon Trail was followed up to Warm Springs, a little 
over a mile from the forks heretofore mentioned. Here a pert 
stream of water bursts from a hole in a large bed of Pennsylvania 
limestone. Stansbury, in 1849, said its temperature was 81 de- 
grees. It appears to be about the same temperature now. 

Some seventy-five yards above this spring another large spring 
boils up in a quicksand basin. It seems about the same tempera- 
ture as the other. Some fifty feet on westward there is an old lime 
kiln in ruins. The fire grates had been fashioned from old stage 
coach axles and hand wrought irons. Here and there were blobs 
of fused sand and rocks. T^ey are of various sizes and colors and 
some resemble glass crystals. 

Above this whole setup on a bench of land we found numerous 
Indian artifacts of stone. Evidently this had been a camping 
ground, as there were stone tipi rings. From here Charley took us 
over to some early emigrant graves on a bench of land south of a 
dry wash. Recent flood waters have cut into this high bank and 
it is quite possible that some graves have been washed away. There 
are four or five remaining, the names on the two remaining head- 


Stones so badly eroded they cannot be deciphered. About one 
more cloudburst m these hills and these graves will disappear. 

From here we went to a spot where Charley said eight or ten 
wagons were burned a long time ago. Scattered about in several 
places were quite a few wagon irons and several badly burned 
wheel hubs. There seems to be no doubt about a wagon train 
being burned here. 

Not too far away were twelve small piles of water-worn gravel- 
boulders. There were no headstones, but from the size and shape 
and position it seemed likely that they, too, were graves. I made 
a chart of their location and position since I had run out of fihn 
for my camera. 

Driving back to Warm Springs Draw the branch of the old trail 
coming from above the springs to Cottonwood Creek via Porter's 
Rock was picked up and followed to Dead Timber Creek. Com- 
posed of sands and clays of the Brule formation, it reminded me of 
Hobo Rock down in Nebraska. The emigrant trail spUts and pass- 
es on either side of this unusual rock, then joins again in a single 

5:30 P.M. Reluctantly, we followed the trail back to the river 
bridge and turned into Guernsey. 

6:00 P.M. On behalf of the Platte County Chapter, Mr. Goertz, 
president had arranged a diimer for us at Crazy Tony's Restaurant. 
When Ken Bowman called, "Follow the wagon boss!" the friendly 
crowd fell in line for a fine smorgasbord. Farewells were said and 
Trek 20 came to a successful end with the trekkers looking forward 
to Trek 21 next year. 

CASPER Mrs. Mary Hutchison 

Erving G. Harmeier ISfc/t^^ftion 

J^ne pis? ^^ ^^^°"^^^^ iiS^^ ^- ^°^^°" 

Mrs. Edness KimbaU Wilkim ^fs. Margaret Portser 

CHEYENNE Dorris Sander 

A-r AXi, T Tj A ^11 Eleanor R. Thompson 

Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Armdell Mrs. Graham Walker 

Rosalind Bealey Grant Willson 

Mr. and Mrs. Rolla Bray 

Maurine Carley CHUGWATER 

Mai-y Carpenter ,, , ,, .„ „, 

Mrs. James CarUsle Mr. and Mrs, Allen Rhoades 

Mr. and Mrs. John Cornelison 

Lt. Col. and Mrs. A. C. Einbeck & ENCAMPMENT 

Ja^ef L. Ehernberger ^^^ ^"^ ^rs. O. E. Garinger 

Katherine Evans x2r\T>^ t at> ax/ttc 

Mrs. Alice Flannery ^^^^ LARAMIE 

Veda M. Hoffman Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Rymill 

Jane Houston Thomas E. White 




Mr. and Mrs. C. K. Banks 
Joe Keenar 


Dorothy and Fred Beny 


Mrs. Candace Dowers 

Mrs. Wilma Marlott 

Mr, and Mrs. R. E. Schwab 


Pauline and Jim O'Keefe 


Oscar Yoder 


Joe Steinbrech 


Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Duhrsen 
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Hager 
Mr. and Mrs. Burton Marston 


Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Watson 


Edward Bailey 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dumbrill and 

Joe Mundell 
Mike Pecha 


Joseph M. Adams 

Mr. and Mrs. Ken Bowman 

Mrs. E. B. Cope 

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Ellis 

E. A. Froyd 

Bob Fuss 

Dale Goering 

Mrs. Frank Graham 

Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Hahn 

Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Hertzler 

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Hobson 

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Keenan 

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Kidney 

Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Lynch 

Hattie F. May 

Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon Peterson 

J. Petty 

Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Robinson 

C. M. Roby and family 

Curtiss Root 

Mrs. Phil Rouse 

Warren Russell 

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sand 

William J. Shay 

Diane Sittner 

Carol Swenson 


Don, Karen and Lorena Ellicott 
Vida Langdon 
Mrs. Dale Miller 


Mr. and Mrs. Allen Goertz 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Newkirk 


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hughes 

Mr. and Mrs. Mack Smitih and Pat 


Gabriel A. Bedish, Jr., Grand Island 

Mrs. Joy Buckley and Scott, Harrison, 

Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Couch, Lyman, 

Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Couch, Henry, 

Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Enlow, 

Kimball, Nebraska 
Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Krueger, Gering, 

Mr. and Mrs. William Lemley, 

Scottsbluff, Nebraska 
Daniel Mount, Harrisburg, Nebraska 
Mrs. Elizabeth White Rouse, Yimia, 

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Mitchell, Carmel, 

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mayhole, Jody and 

Tim, Fort Collins, Colorado 
Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Townsend and 

Mark, Denver, Colorado 

Wyoming State Mis tor teal Soeiety 


Hattie Burnstad 

As I review where our organization stands today, it seems to me 
this is a "year of decision." We have been going on for several 
years with many short-term, fragmented projects. We've tried 
them all. Perhaps it is now time for real concentration. 

In the first place, three years ago we produced an Historical 
Foundation Fund and we have left it to starve and languish ever 
since. It took a tremendous amount of time and work on the part 
of a few people to organize this. They did a fine job and we have 
the framework of a great project here, but if we want it to amount 
to something, we've got to give it some time, support, and attention. 

I hope every chapter has cooperated with our first vice-president, 
established a committee, and chosen a project. I wish that you 
would all take two more steps : ( 1 ) consider sources in your com- 
munity for funding and, (2) make some effort to fund. Otherwise 
I think we must take a long look at this brain-child of ours and 
determine what its future shall be. 

Are we satisfied with the relationship between county chapters, 
state society, and state department? Do these need to be exam- 
ined, re-defined, and worked over? Whose responsibility is it to 
keep the communications lines operating? What services should 
each expect from the other? 

Perhaps even our purposes and policies need a review. Time 
does change them and nothing is so discouraging as a group of pur- 
poses that no one has any intention of fulfilling. This is one of 
the reasons they have a right to accuse us of hypocrisy. 

Our awards and scholarship program has grown by leaps and 
bounds in the last ten years. We've added categories, increased 
awards, and received greater cooperation. Is this what we want? 
Is it getting adequate state coverage? Is it adequate to our day of 
mass media? Are we accomplishing the intended purpose? Again, 
are we fragmented in our effort? 

In this year we are certainly going to have to make some deci- 
sions concerning the financial operation of our organization. Just 
like everyone and everything else we are being caught up in the 
tangle of increasing operational costs. There are several ways we 
can go; we are fortunate that we've had many years of wise finan- 
cial direction. 


We are growing; two new county chapters in the past few 
months. We welcome these fine, enthusiastic groups and we want 
to render them the assistance they need and want. We have nearly 
the enitre state organized now, which is much better in volunteer 
groups than many which function in our state. 

I hope no one feels I am chastising anyone. If so, I assure you 
that it is with a wet noodle, as Ann Landers would say. 

What I am trying to say, I think, is that we are a vital, growing 
organization and let's continue to function as such. 

I am urging you all to give much of this some serious thought and 
to come to Worland in September prepared to express your ideas 
and help to determine many of these questions. 

Have a happy "trekking" summer and I will see you all in my 
home town in the fall, I HOPE! 

Newcastle, Wyoming September 5-7, 1969 

Registration for the Sixteenth Annual Meeting began at 7:30 
P. M., Friday, September 5, at the Anna Miller Museum in New- 
castle. The members enjoyed seeing the museum, and Mrs. Mary 
Capps, director of the Mobile History Unit, gave an entertaining 
slide lecture on the Jenney Stockade. Refreshments were fur- 
nished by the Newcastle Woman's Qub. 

After a continental breakfast Saturday, served by the Beta Sigma 
Phi's in the Episcopal Parish Hall, Richard Dumbrill, president of 
the Weston County Chapter of the Wyoming State Historical So- 
ciety, welcomed the members. 

At 9:15 A. M., Curtiss Root, president of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society, called the meeting to order, Reuel Armstrong 
acted as parliamentarian. A moment of silence for departed mem- 
bers was observed. Following the introduction of officers, Mrs. 
Edness KimbaU Wilkins moved that the reading of the minutes of 
the Fifteenth Annual Meeting be dispensed with since they had 
been published and were available to all members. The motion 

The secretary read the minutes of the May executive committee 
meeting. Since there were no additions or corrections they were 
approved as read. 

The treasurer gave the following report which was placed on file 
for audit: 



September 7, 1968 - September 6, 1969 

Cash and investments on hand September 6, 1968 





Interest (Savings) 


Life Member 


A Gift 




Annals of Wyoming 
Annual Meeting - Jackson 



Junior Awards 




Officers' Expenses 





Committee Expenses 





18. 9 



Bond (Secretary of State) 
Refund to County 
Transfer gifts to Memorial 









Federal Building & Loan 
Capitol Savings (Life memberships) 
Federal Building & Loan (Memorial) 
Cheyenne Federal Building & Loan 








First National checking ac< 


i September 6, 1969 



Cash and investments on han< 






Annual Members 




Life Members 





Following the Treasurer's Report, Executive Secretary Neal E. 
Miller read a telegram from Senator Cliff Hansen expressing his 
disappointment at being unable to attend the Annual Meeting. 

Rose Mary Malone and Henry Chadey were appointed to the 
Auditing Committee, with Mary Purcella and Bob Murray appoint- 
ed tellers to count the ballots with Dorothy Keenan, chairman of 
the Nominating Committee. Mrs. Betty Hayden and Mrs. Walter 
Lambertsen were named to the Resolutions Committee. 


Mr. Root explained that the Wyoming Historical Foundation 
Fund was a separate organization although it is an arm of the 
Society. He recessed the Society meeting and called the group to 
order to discuss the Foundation Fund as members of the Wyoming 
Historical Foundation Fund. Ed Bille, chairman of the Founda- 
tion Fund Committee, gave a brief summary of the accomplish- 
ments of the Fund to date. He feels that the Society should take a 
more active part with more support from the county chapters. 
Natrona County has given the best support so far, financially. 
Fremont County has also contributed. He announced that there 
were four vacancies on the Fund Board of Directors. The follow- 
ing people were nominated to fill the vacancies: Kathleen Hemry, 
L. P. Burris, Mrs. Violet Hord and Ed Bille. Edness Kimball 
WUkins and Dr. T. A. Larson still have one year each to serve. 

Mr. Armstrong moved that nominations cease and a unanimous 
ballot be cast for the four. The motion passed. Mrs. Bumstad 
suggested that they draw lots to determine the terms of the new 
members. Miss Hemry and Mr. Bille will serve three-years terms, 
and Mr. Burris and Mrs. Hord will serve two-year terms as a result 
of the drawing. 

Mr. Armstrong moved that each chapter select a chairman of a 
special committee to work with the Foundation Fund Board for 
two purposes: (a) to raise funds locally and (b) to submit a proj- 
ect to be considered, A completed list of suggested projects will be 
sent to each chapter from the Foundation Fund Committee. The 
motion passed. William Judge amended the motion to stipulate 
that all monies collected for the Fund by chapters go into the 
general fund but the membership should work to increase this fund 
before drawing from the Society funds. The amendment passed 

The Foundation Fund meeting was adjourned and the Society 
meeting reconvened. 


Mr. Judge moved that the $10.00 charter fee for new chapters 
be waived since it was not enforced for the latest chapters and there 
was the possibility of receiving only two more into the Society. 
The motion passed. 


At this time, Kay Einbeck and Leo Rhodes each received as a 
door prize a copy of "Bits and Pieces" magazine. 

Under new business, Mr. Dumbrill made the following motion: 

Whereas monetary awards to local chapters of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society would provide additional reasons for local societies 
to cooperate with the State Society and would provide incentive for 
additional constructive activities in the field of local history in towns 
and counties throughout the State, it is moved that the Wyoming State 
Historical Society acting through its Awards Chairman, initiate two 
additional awards each year beginning with the awards at the 1970 
annual meeting, said awards to be made in the following manner and 
for the following purposes: 

1. Two awards shall be made each year if applications are made 
which in the eyes of the judges are meritorious. A first place award 
in the amount of $300 shall be awarded and a second place award in 
the amount of $200 shall be awarded. 

2. Awards shall only be made to local historical societies properly 
affiliated with the Wyoming State Historical Society. 

3. Societies seeking the awards shall submit applications in writing 
to the Wyoming State Historical Society no later than June 1 of each 
year. The applications may be based on projects that the local society 
has completed or upon a proposed project. If the project is proposed 
the Wyoming State Historical Society may make such limitations on 
the use of the awards as shall guarantee the application of the funds to 
the proposed project. 

4. The applications shall be judged by a committee appointed by the 
awards chairman with the approval of the Executive Committee. This 
committee shall judge the applications on the criteria of merit and 
need together with a proper regard to the historical value that the 
project will have to the community in which the chapter is located 
and the State of Wyoming, 

5. Awards will be presented at the annual meeting in September of 
each year. 

6. Each local society applying for an award shall state in its appli- 
cation that it will agree to submit a report to the Wyoming State His- 
torical Society at the annual meeting following the presentation of the 
award which will outline in detail how the award money was used and 
in what manner it has benefitted the local society. 

7. If it becomes necessary the Wyoming State Historical Society is 
hereby authorized to use the interest on the principal amount of its 
savings accounts to finance these awards. 

Dr. Larson amended the motion by increasing the amounts paid 
for projects from $300 to $500 for first place and from $200 to 
$300 for second place. Mr. Armstrong then amended the amend- 
ment by adding the word "maximum" before $500 and $300. The 
amendments and motion passed. 

Mr. Miller said that publication costs were increasing and that 
there is less and less of a margin in the cost of the Annals of Wyo- 
ming and "Wyoming History News." He proposed that an in- 
crease in state dues would help to defray costs. No motion was 
made to that effect, and the matter was not acted upon. 


Mr. Miller also reported that the 1969 Wyommg State Legisla- 
ture authorized the formation of the Wyoming State Art Gallery 
and gave the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 
the responsibility of seeing it function as a part of Wyoming State 
Government. He stated that a beginning has been made with the 
hanging in the State Museum of some art works from the perma- 
nent collections of the department. However, since no appropria- 
tion was issued with the responsibility, funds are needed to buy 
works of art that come to the Department's attention. These worl^ 
are by Wyoming artists and consist of Wyoming and western scenes 
although not always done by a native artist. 

He said that a plea was made in the May, 1969, "Wyoming 
History News" for the public subscription of monies to purchase 
a painting of a well-known Wyoming figure but that since only two 
responses were received, the painting was returned to its owner. 

On consignment at the present time are two oil paintings of 
Western scenes that would be a valuable addition to the Art Gallery 
at a cost of $550. While Mr. Chadey moved that $1,000 be trans- 
ferred from the Society's savings account to aid the Wyoming State 
Art Gallery, the motion died for lack of a second. 

Mrs. Arthur Scott of the Teton County Chapter, presented the 
following resolution: 

Whereas the administration of the Yellowstone National Park has 
removed all historical signs from said Park on the grounds that the 
Park has been designated a "natural" rather than an "historical" park, 
and rangers there are therefore not trained to answer tourist questions 
concerning the history of the park, 

Be it therefore resolved that the Wyoming State Historical Society 
request Yellowstone National Park restore its historical signs. 

According to Mrs. Scott, the Teton County Chapter has written 
to Superintendent Anderson of Yellowstone National Park asking 
that the signs be restored. Senator Hansen has done likewise, and 
publicity has been given to the idea through the news media. 

Mr. Dumbrill moved the adoption of the resolution and it passed. 

Mr. Dumbrill presented the following resolution: 

Be it resolved by the Wyoming State Historical Society that the 
thanks of the Society be expressed to the Wyoming Recreation Com- 
mission, Neal E. Miller, director of the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department, the Wyoming State Highway Department, 
Mabel Brown, Betty Thorpe and the workmen at the Wyoming State 
Penitentiary for the special effort and cooperation they exhibited in 
obtaining and erecting four historical marker signs in Weston County 
before the beginning of this state convention and that letters contain- 
ing copies of this resolution be sent by the secretary to the persons and 
departments named in this resolution. 

He moved the adoption of the resolution and the motion passed. 
Mr. Chadey reported that the treasurer's books were correct 
and in good order. 



Scholarship Committee. Dr. T. A. Larson, chairman, announced 
tht anyone seeking a Grant-in-Aid or Scholarship should write to 
the Society's executive secretary for the forms that need to be com- 
pleted. Grants-in-Aid amount to $300, of which $100 is paid at 
the beginning of the project, and $200 upon its satisfactory com- 
pletion. Scholarships amount to $500, of which $200 is paid at 
the beginning, and $300 upon completion. Dr. Larson said that 
William Barnhart, recipient of a scholarship, had completed his 
history of Carbon County. Robert Murray and Ray Pendergraft 
are working on the histories of .Tohnson County and Washakie 
County respectively. Gordon Chappell and Eugene Galloway are 
working on papers under the Grant-in-Aid program. 

Projects. Mrs, Hattie Bumstad, chairman, announced that she 
had sent letters to each chapter explaining the two continuing 
projects (a) placing money in the Memorial Fund and (b) urging 
the writing of histories of early local busmesses. 

Trek. Mrs. Mary Hutchinson gave a short review of the success- 
ful 1969 Trek on the Oregon Trail. There were 145 participants. 
Mrs. Walter Lambertsen added that the Annual Meeting and the 
Historical Trail Trek are two Society activities that all members 
can enjoy. 

Foundation Fund. Ed Bille, chairman, announced that he has 
prepared envelopes of materials for chapter presidents about the 


The President's Report was presented by Curtiss Root. 

As Wyoming State Historical Society president, I made five 
visits to chapters which had invited me.. They were Laramie, Al- 
bany, Sweetwater, Natrona and Goshen Counties. I received an 
invitation to visit the Teton County Chapter but unfortunately I 
was unable to accept. 

We have added two new chapters this year. Charters have been 
granted to Lincoln County and Converse County making a total of 
20 county chapters of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 

I represented the Society at the dedication of the Platte Valley 
Historical Society's museum at Gering, Nebraska. I was invited to 
participate in the dedication of a marker at the Ferdinand Bran- 
stetter Post No. 1, American Legion at Van Tassell, which was to 
take place this afternoon but had to decline because of our meeting 
here today. 

Two executive committee meetings were held during the year. 
One was in Cheyenne in October and the other in Casper in May. 

In June, I assisted Miss Carley and others in preparing for the 


annual trek sponsored by the State Society and the State Archives 
and Historical Department. We went over the route planning the 
stops and the talks to be made and the time schedule. 

The Society president is automatically a member of the Wyo- 
ming Consulting Committee on Nominations to the National Reg- 
ister of Historic Sites. The first meeting of the Committee was held 
in October in the Western History Research Center at the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming. Dr. Larson is the chairman of the Committee. 
Thirteen sites were selected for nomination in the National Regis- 
ter. They were Castle Gardens petroglyph site, Cheyenne-Black 
Hills Stage Route Historic Area, Fort Bridger, Fort Fetterman, 
Fort Fred Steele, Fort Washakie, Glenrock Buffalo Jump prehis- 
toric site, Medicine Wheel, Menor's Ferry, Miller Cabin, Names 
Hill, Powell Colorado River Expedition site, and Union Pass. All 
sites nominated were accepted and enrolled in the National Regis- 
ter of Historic Sites as sites of national importance. In June, a sec- 
ond list of four sites was voted on by mail. They were Ferdinand 
Branstetter Post No. 1, American Legion at Van TasseU, Francis 
E. Warren Air Force Base, Jenney Stockade and the Wyoming 
Governor's Mansion. 

I received special invitations to attend three ceremonies com- 
memorating the 100th anniversary of the John Wesley Powell 
Colorado River Expedition held this summer at Green River, Wyo- 
ming, Glen Canyon Dam and Grand Canyon National Park, but 
unfortunately I was unable to attend any of them. 

In July, I met with a group in Lusk which expressed interest in 
forming a chapter in Niobrara County. They are an enthusiastic 
group so we soon may have our 21st county chapter. [The Nio- 
brara County Chapter has since received its charter. Ed.] 

Thank you for permitting me to serve as your Society president 
for a most interesting and rewarding year. 


Miss Maurine Carley, secretary, reported that she had obtained 
a non-profit permit which reduced the postage for "History News" 
from six cents to 1.6 cents. Pinettes are still for sale. 

Invitations for the 1970 Annual Meeting were presented by the 
Washakie County Chapter and the Sweetwater County Chapter. 
Mr. Dumbrill moved that the Executive Committee select the 1970 
Annual Meeting location at its October meeting. The motion 
passed. [The Executive Committee selected Worland as the site of 
the 1970 Annual Meeting. Ed.] 

At noon, the meeting adjourned for a luncheon at the Newcastle 
Country Club. The theme was "Woman Suffrage Anniversary," 
and in this vein, Mrs. Mary Capps acted as toastmistress. After a 
delicious buffet, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins spoke briefly and 
read a letter from Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross, former governor of 


Wyoming and first woman governor in the United States. Mrs. 
Ross had asked Mrs. Wilkins to read the letter. 

Dr. Larson spoke on "New Light on an Old Topic — Woman 
Suffrage." Miss Rose Mary Malone won the book Bill Nye's 
Western Humor as a door prize, and Curtiss Root won the book 
Old Fort Caspar. 


Complete reports are filed in the Society archives. Only high- 
lights are presented here. 

Weston County: Mr. Dumbrili told that their three main efforts 
for the year had been continuing the Anna Miller Museum and van 
project, placing four historical signs and plaiming this annual 

Washakie County: Mr. Rhodes said that his county chapter was 
principally concerned with obtaining the old post office building 
for their museum. 

Uinta County : No report. 

Teton County: (read by Betty Hayden) . Plans are being made 
to restore and refurnish the Robert Miller cabin. Two rooms will 
be used by the chapter and the rest as a museum. 

Sweetwater County: Mr. Chadey said that the highlight of the 
year came in May with the John Wesley Powell Centennial Cele- 
bration. The Society cooperated with other agencies to make the 
celebration a great success. 

Sheridan County: (read by Joe Laughton). The chapter has 
purchased the Kendrick mansion, Trail End, which they opened in 
July to visitors. Volunteers from the chapter act as guides. E. W. 
Golling's pictures are being collected for the mansion. 

Platte County: No report. 

Park County: Mrs. Lucille Patrick told that the Society and 
other organizations now use the old Buffalo Bill Museum as a 
meeting place. The fall meeting is always a trek. Over a hundred 
vehicles from the Big Horn Basin and southern Montana joined it 
last fall. 

Natrona County: Mr. Burris reported that the Society is ser- 
iously considering the publication of reminiscences by Irene Patter- 
son, one of their members. 

Lincoln County : No report. 

Laramie County: (read by Jack Mueller) . In November mem- 
bers met in the Governor's Mansion as the guests of Mrs. Hath- 
away, who described the mansion in detail. In April A. S. Jessup 
told of his experiences as an early superintendent of the Cheyenne 

Johnson County: No report. 


Goshen County. Dorothy Keenan reported with pride that they 
had furnished the State president this year. They are still working 
hard to reduce the debt they owe for freight on items for their 

Fremont County: Mr. Steinbreck said that the members are 
working on the history of place names in their county. A donation 
of $15 was made to the Wyoming Historical Foundation Fund. 
They have 30 paid members. 

Crook County: No report. 

Converse County: No report. 

Carbon County: Mr. Armstrong said that their meetings are 
usually preceded by a carry-in dinner. The program for one meet- 
ing was a short reminiscence by each member. They enjoy many 

Campbell County: Mrs. Lucas reported that the Campbell 
County Commissioners recently included in their 1969-1970 budg- 
et $10,000 for a Gillette-CampbeU County Museum sponsored by 
the Campbell County Chapter. In November a program was given 
on Christmas mementoes of the past. Each member told the his- 
tory of the item he displayed. 

Big Horn County : No report. 

Albany County: (read by Dr. Larson). The activities of their 
chapter centered around two main areas of interest (a) the Lara- 
mie Plains Historical Museum and (b) the monthly programs. 
The Society sponsored an informal get-together for "old-timers" 
which proved a success. 

During a drawing for door prizes, Lucille Goode, Ed Bille and 
Neal Miller received copies of Jubilee Memories. 


Two bus loads of Society members enjoyed a tour in the country 
on the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Road along Beaver Creek. With 
Mabel Brown and Betty Thorpe as competent guides, historic spots 
were pointed out and exciting stories related about early settlers. 
Stops were made at the old Boyd Post Office and a prairie store. 
The Witness Trees attracted the most attention. 


After the invocation by the Reverend A. J. Bemschein, Mr. 
Dumbrill introduced the people at the head table. Mr. Miller then 
introduced the members of his staff who were present. 

Jim Sylvester, accompanied by Pat Sewell, entertained the guests 
with the song "Danny Boy" and a medley of western songs. 

Mabel Brown had the honor of introducing the speaker of the 
evening, Neltje Kings, owner of the Sheridan Inn. She gave an 


account of the Inn's history and told many humorous sidelights and 
problems connected with its reconstruction, all of which she thor- 
oughly enjoyed. 

The State was well represented and the members were proud to 
stand for their county when the roll was called. 

Mr, Miller presented the following junior historian awards: 

1st place (Junior High School) -Sandra Kay Smith, Buffalo, 
for her essay, "Basque People." 

2nd place (Junior High School) -Marie Gammon, Buffalo, for 
her essay, "Johnson County War." 

3rd place (Junior High School )-Margo Brown, Buffalo, for 
her essay, "Homesteading in Wyoming." 
The girls who received the awards introduced their parents. 
Mr. Armstrong, chairman of the Awards Committee, presented 
the following awards, assisted by Mr. Chadey: 

Mae Urbanek for her book. Almost Up Devils Tower. (Lusk) 

Lucille Patrick for her book, The Best Little Town by a Dam 
Site. (Cody) 

Paul Prison for his biographical book, The First White Wom- 
an in the Big Horn Basin. (Worland) 

Elizabeth J. Thorpe for her article, "Tony Mills Fight With a 
Grizzly." (Newcastle) 

Alice Stevens for her historical articles in the Laramie Boom- 
erang. (Laramie) 

The Rawlins Daily Times for its publication of the pamphlet, 
"The Wild West." 

Union Pacific Railroad Company for historical photographs. 

Union Pacific RaUroad Company for best use of historical 
materials in advertising. (Cheyenne) 

Station KSGT for taped recording and program on the Gros 
Ventre slide, (Jackson) 

Union Pacific Railroad Company for radio programs on Wyo- 
ming history presented in 1969. (Cheyenne) 

Mae and Jerry Urbanek for their bibliography on Wyoming 
literature. Know Wyoming. (Lusk) 

Ray Pendergraft for his poem, "Critter Too Tough to Die." 

Maxine Watson for the musical score of the operetta, "The 
Corn's Up." (Worland) 

Ellen Adams for the lyrics of the operetta, "The Corn's Up." 

Dorothy Froyd co-author of the operetta, "The Corn's Up." 
Honorable Mention awards were received by: 

Loretta Jewell for her book Homesteading the Prairie. (Car- 


Elsa Spear Byron for her book Bozeman Trail Scrapbook. 

William L. Marion for his article, "Pioneer Incident at Wash- 
akie's Hot Springs." (Lander) 
Lucille Patrick for her series of historical anecdotes published 

in the Cody Enterprise. (Cody) 
Martha Thompson for her articles on Bums and vicinity which 
were pubhshed in the Wyoming Eagle, February 1969. 
Marian Geddes for compilation of the pamphlet, "The Wild 

West." (Rawhns) 
Charlotte Vivion for compilation of the pamphlet, "The Wild 

West." (Rawlins) 
Marybelle Lambertsen for compilation of the pamphlet, "The 

Wild West." (Rawlins) 
Mabel E. Brown for her periodical Bits and Pieces. (New- 
Rock Springs Centennial Cultural Festival for a music and 
dance program presented in September 1968. (Rock 
A Cumulative Contribution award went to Adrian Reynolds of 
Green River, for his effective leadership for many years and his 
service as chairman of the Powell Expedition Centennial in 1969. 
Mrs. Angeline Weller of Casper, received the Wyoming History 
Teacher Award for 1969. 

Mr. Root introduced the following past presidents of the Society 
who were present: Mrs. Edness IGmball Wilkins, Mrs. Charles 
Hord, Dr. T. A. Larson, and Neal E. Miller. He also introduced 
two members of the Wyoming State Library, Archives and His- 
torical Board, Mrs. Dudley Hayden and Mrs. Virgil Thorpe. 
Mrs. Hayden read the following resolution: 

Be it resolved that the members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society extend to the Weston County Chapter sincere thanks for stag- 
ing an efficiently run annual meeting and showing exquisite hospitality 
to all of the delegates and friends of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. We commend them for creating a coxmty museum and for 
their innovative work in establishing a mobile museum. 

The 1969-1970 officers were announced and include: Mrs. 
Hattie Bumstad, president; J. Reuel Armstrong, first vice presi- 
dent; William Dubois, second vice-president; Miss Maurine Carley, 
secretary-treasurer; Neal E. Miller, executive secretary. 

Mr. Root presented the gavel to Mrs, Bumstad who made a brief 
acceptance speech and presented Mr. Root with a Presidents' 
Appreciation Certificate. 

Following the banquet, old time dances were performed by the 
Newcastle Ballroom Dance Qub and then there was group partici- 
pation in the dances. 

From 8:00 A. M. to 10:00 A. M. on Sunday, September 7, 


sourdough pancakes with all the trimmings were served on the lawn 
of the Dumbrill home. The morning was beautiful, the hospitaUty 
genuinely western, and the food delicious. Weston County mem- 
bers were excellent hosts. 

Following the breakfast, the Weston County Chapter sponsored 
a bus tour to the Black Hills with visitations scheduled for Mount 
Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Hill City and other sites of 
historical interest. 

We all look forward to meeting again at our next annual meeting. 

Maurine Carley 


The great Hanover irrigation canal, which reclaims 37,000 acres 
of fine agricultural land near Worland in Big Horn county, has just 
been completed at a cost of $250,000. 

Practically all of the land under the canal has been taken up by 
scores of prosperous farmers from Iowa, Ohio and nearly all of the 
Mississippi valley states. That these people have given up homes 
in the rich Mississippi valley for artificial irrigation in Wyoming 
speaks volumes for the future greatness of Wyoming and other 
semi-arid states as agricultural empires. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1906 


A company of Ohio capitalists have filed articles of incorpora- 
tion with County Clerk Sheldon of Fremont county, setting forth as 
the purpose of the corporation, the building and operation of an 
electric and steam railroad in Fremont County and central Wyo- 
ming, and the operating of an automobile line from the end of the 
railroad to Lander until the road has been completed. 

After the Wyoming and Northwestern is completed into Lander 
they propose to construct a railroad line, steam or electric, from 
Lander to Wind River agency and Fort Washakie, and from Wash- 
akie down Wind river to Arapahoe sub-agency on the Northwestern 
line. There is ample capital back of the enterprise. The automo- 
biles will arrive in a short time and begin conveying passengers 
from the nearest railroad point to Lander. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1906 

^ook Keviews 

The Great Platte River Road. By Merrill J. Mattes. (Lincoln: 
Nebraska State Historical Society, 1969) Index. Illus. 521 
pp. $7.95. 

The attractive exterior of The Great Platte River, a book reason- 
ably priced at $7.95, only serves as an introduction to the total 
attractiveness of this book. Not only is the content extremely well 
handled, but the type is easy to read, and the bibliopegy is excel- 
lent. The publishers have done a job of which they may be proud. 

The book deals generally with the old emigrant routes along 
both banks of the Platte and North Platte Rivers. Specifically, it is 
concerned with five major "jumping off places" along the Missouri 
River, and the routes to Fort Laramie, with variants of both. 

In the preface, Mattes indicates that many of these Missouri 
River jumping-off places united at or near the second Fort Kearny, 
Nebraska, to become the "Great Platte River Road." The Road 
went on beyond Fort Laramie to South Pass, but the book itself 
deals only with those portions of the Road between the Missouri 
River and Fort Laramie. 

Here is a work that fully justifies the use of the word definitive. 
This monumental writing merits the attention of discerning readers. 
In its 521 pages, containing over 700 narratives of travel, the book 
is not designed for a few hours of careless reading. It deserves 
much more consideration than that. 

Because the book is so interestingly and compellingly written, 
its reader will feel himself to be a part of one of the greatest migra- 
tions in American history. He will find himself procuring the 
guide books, organizing the train, quarreling with associates, quail- 
ing before storms, witnessing courtships and marriages, assisting at 
births, ministering to the ailing, and burying the dead. He wUl 
meet the "noble red man" first-hand to discover that the Indian 
was more often smelly than noble. 

With wonder, the reader will view Chimney Rock and other 
famous landmarks along the Trail. With fear, he will ford the 
swift flowing Platte, dismayed by the strangeness of his ever- 
changing environment. 

In spirit, al least, the reader will travel along, picking his com- 
pany from the old and the young, the good and the evU, the gen- 
erous and the avaricious. He will stand up with the brave and 
falter with the timid. But by the time he reaches Fort Laramie with 
his ghostly companions, he will be an expert on what life must have 
been on the Great Platte River Road. 

Mattes effectively uses direct quotations of those who traveled 


the risky road in the 1 800s and these quotations are what make the 
book such a real experience for a reader. 

"We had a dreadful storm of rain and hail last night and very sharp 
lightning. It killed two oxen. . .The wind was so high I thought it 
would tear the wagons to pieces. Nothing but the stoutest covers 
could stand it. The rain beat into the wagons so that everything was 
wet. In less than 2 hours the water was a foot deep over our camp 
grounds. As we could have no tents pitched, all had to crowd into the 
wagons and sleep in wet beds with their wet clothes on and without 
supper. . . ." 

"An emigrant died near Scottsbluffs. . .his jaw was shot away when a 
loaded pistol fired from a breast pocket. . . ." 

"Coming down the river bottom we passed a row of twenty graves. 
By the inscription on the headboards, we learned that they had died 
within a few days of each other of cholera. . . .It was my privilege in 
later years to become acquainted with a refined lady who had buried 
her husband here, and she, besides caring for her two little children, 
drove her team through to the coast." 

The author should be credited with a book that is well-written, 
accurate, and comprehensive. It is this reviewer's guess that this 
volume will become a classic among books about the pioneer trails 
of the old West. 

Eastern Wyoming College William J. Shay 


Woman Suffrage and Politics. By Carrie Chapman Catt and Net- 
tie Rogers Shuler. Introduction by T. A. Larson. (Seattle 
and London: University of Washington Press, 1969) Re- 
print. Index. 504 pp. $10.50. 

Woman Suffrage and Politics is an outstanding book dealing with 
the history of the woman suffrage movement in the United States. 
Its original copyright came just three years after women were 
granted fuU voting rights on the national level. 

No person in the United States was better qualified than Carrie 
Chapman Catt to write a book dealing with the inner story of the 
enfranchisement of women. From 1890 when she attended her 
first suffrage meeting until the passage of the 19th Amendment, 
Mrs. Catt was the acknowledged leader. In 1900 she replaced the 
aged Susan B. Anthony, who had been the dominant figure of the 
movement during the nineteenth century. Mrs. Shuler had been a 
corresponding secretary of the national suffrage association and 
was able to give valuable service in doing some of the research. 

The book provides its readers with a lively account of the woman 
suffrage movement from the first meeting of the woman's rights 
convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. It is a brilliant 
surmnary of the seventy-two-year campaign to win the right to vote 


for women on a national basis and the relationship of the move- 
ment to politics. 

Dr. T. A. Larson of the University of Wyoming has written an 
outstanding introduction of the new edition of this book. He men- 
tions the reasons for the writing of the book and gives a brief 
biography of each author. The remainder of the introduction deals 
with the book itself — its successes and failures — and a brief history 
of women in politics during the past fifty years. Dr. Larson has 
spent considerable time doing research on the woman suffrage 
movement in the West, No finer scholar could have been chosen 
to prepare the introduction. 

People of Wyoming will find great pleasure in reading this book. 
They paved the way by giving women the right to vote in 1869, 
and therefore the fifty-year struggle to achieve suffrage for women 
in the United States became aU the more interesting. 

Dr. Larson concludes his introduction by saying, "To read Wom- 
an Suffrage and Politics is to renew one's faith in the capacity of 
women to accomplish great ends when they set their minds to it." 
I firmly agree with this statement. 

Cheyenne William R. Dubois 

Longhorns North of the Arkansas. By Ralph F. Jones. (San An- 
tonio: The Naylor Company, 1969) Illus. 371pp. $7.95. 

Mr. Jones has written an excellent description of the cattle drives 
and life on the high plains with the early day cowboys and ranches. 
The first half of the book is obviously drawn from personal par- 
ticipation. It contains a mass of detail about the actual day by day 
life of the cowboy which is unusual and shows his knowledge of 
his subject. He can make the trail herds believable. He describes 
the round up wagons, the actual hard work of the cowboys, the 
cook and the food he prepared. Only someone who grew up with 
the cowboys knows that they were terribly hard on their horses, 
and Mr. Jones says one man would ride down four horses in a long 
day's work on the round up. Their rough humor, their many 
accidents and extremely hard Hfe, all are part of an unforgettable 

He begins with the cattle herds moving up the "ladder of rivers" 
from Texas, covering the distribution of herds in the early days on 
the open range, and the gradual development of the ranges and the 
round up system. He knows about tiie Longhorns, the gradual 
importation of the English breeds and improvement in cattle 

Since he grew up in southeastern Wyoming, his stories of Hi 
Kelly and all other old timers are particularly good. Why the 
author did not bother to provide an index is a question. In any 


book of this kind, with names and places of interest to local resi- 
dents, an index is a necessity. 

The title, "Longhoms North of the Arkansas", covers approxi- 
mately the first half of the book and this part, published alone, 
would have been a gem of valuable information. Unfortunately, 
after this excellent work, the author proceeds to write a history of 
Wyoming and the surrounding area, the cattle industry, the state 
government, with biographies of some state leaders; and then he 
threw in a biography of Tom Horn, All of these have been written 
many times before, and probably more accurately. It is put to- 
gether from wherever the author collected it and there are even 
occasional errors, such as a statement that Mrs. Frances Warren 
Pershing died in the San Francisco earthquake, page 187, and 
that WiUiam Cody headquartered his Wild West Show in Cody, 

The author does a particularly fine job of depicting the transi- 
tional period following the severe winters of 1886 and 1887, during 
which time the smaller ranches became established in the Wyo- 
ming-Montana area. These were trying times and only the most 
persistent and determined men were able to recover from the effects 
of this horrible winter and continue in the ranching business. 
Those that did soon became the leaders of Wyoming and today 
their sons and grandsons are prominent in the state. 

Generally, Mr. Jones' book provides good historical reference 
material for future generations, and is a compliment to both his 
excellent memory and his writing ability. 

Secretary-Treasurer Harriet Prosser 

Chalk Bluffs Ranch, Inc. 

The Boston-Newton Company Venture. By Jessie Gould Hannon. 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1969) Illus. 224 
pp. $6.95 

The prime requirement for a book of this type is a diary or 
diaries reflecting better than average observational capabilities on 
the part of the writer, plus an abihty to record what is observed. 
Mrs. Hannon's grandfather, Charles Gould, and David Jackson 
Staples kept diaries which meet this requirement admirably. The 
author has enhanced the diaries' impact by juxtaposing concurrent 
accounts so they are mutually supportive. Particularly in the first 
two chapters, other sources contemporary with the journals are 
used to very good advantage in providing the setting of the great 

This reviewer found two other facets of the book quite helpful. 
The first consists of chapter three and the epilogue. The former 
contains a reasonably detailed descriptive listing of the company 


roster, and the latter a short summary of what happened to the 
travelers subsequent to their arrival in California. After spending 
several hours engrossed in the events in the daily lives of a com- 
pany, it is nice to know how the story comes out, as it were. Foot- 
notes constitute the second facet. Mrs, Hannon has used them 
with sufficient frequency to add significantly to the information 
contained in the diaries, thus raising the reader's interest level, 
without being obtrusive. 

It must be noted, however, that the footnotes contain an occa- 
sional error, an oversimplified explanation, or a questionable de- 
scription. Several examples may be noted: 

(1) P. 118 — General Harney's attack on Little Thunder's 
camp did not occur in Ash Hollow, but on Bluewater Creek over 
six miles to the northwest. 

(2) P. 125 — Robert Campbell and WilUam Sublette did not 
sell Fort William to the American Fur Company as implied, but 
rather to Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jim Bridger and Milton Sublette. 
This trio subsequently sold out to "the Company". 

(3) P. 128 — General Ashley did not head the American Fur 
Company, which was the brainchild of John Jacob Astor. In the 
text, Fitzpatrick is credited with the effective discovery of South 
Pass; it might have been noted that another mountain man of some 
stature shared the leadership of that party — Jedediah Smith. Fur- 
thermore, to describe Thomas Fitzpatrick as a "trader for the 
American Fur Company" may cause a few raised eyebrows. In 
1824, "Broken Hand" was in his early years as a mountain man, 
an occupation not adequately described by such a tame term as 
"trader"; also, it would be more than a decade before he was con- 
nected with the American Fur Company. 

(4) P. 139 — Mrs. Hannon cites one source indicating that 
Independence Rock was apparently named in 1825. Althou^ this 
date is still the subject of some disagreement, most researchers 
make it four to five years later. For instance, J. Cecil Alter, in 
Jim Bridger, claims 1830 as the correct year and Charles L. Camp, 
in James Clyman, holds that 1829 is the more probable date. In 
addition, Father De Smet's name for the landmark is usually re- 
corded as "The Great Register of the Desert" rather than "of the 

In sum, however, the diaries are interesting, quite detailed and 
nicely edited. Accounts such as these convey a feel for "the road 
west" and for those who traveled it in a way not possible in second- 
hand treatments of the subject. The Boston-Newton Company 
Venture will be a welcome addition to the libraries of all who are 
interested in the Oregon-California Trail and the emigrants who 
traversed it. 

Muskingum College Robert Munkres 

New Concord, Ohio 


The Candy Kid. James Calvin "Kid" Nichols, 1883-1962. By 
Lucille Nichols Patrick. (Cheyenne: Flintlock Publishing 
Co., 1969) Illus. 179 pp. $10. 

The Candy Kid, life of James Calvin "Kid" Nichols, told by his 
daughter, Lucille Patrick of Cody — whose first book, Best Little 
Town by a Dam Site journalistically struck a home run — is one of 
those volumes collectors of western Americana wUl want for 
their own. 

The book, best of all, contains a wealth of photographs reflecting 
the post-territorial days era around the turn of the century in 
Wyoming and then, each decade in turn through the '50s. The 
photographs will supply future research artists with valuable infor- 
mation as time goes along. 

The account of Nichols' life, much in diary form and much 
through the eyes of his daughter, journalistically draws the reader a 
portrait of a man who drifted into the infant Cody country, emerg- 
ing pretty raw from territorial days, to live his life, to settle and to 

His story, a "rags to riches" one, is of a man who met life 
head-on — with a smile on his face. A smithey's son, he became 
a championship wrestler of his day and finally one of the leading 
industrialists in the country. 

Not content with an ordinary life composed of rearing a family 
and amassing a fortune, the Candy Kid continually took on "in 
sport" all that was in nature and his environment. It appears 
almost as though he considered it a personal challenge to "do it all" 
while he was here. 

He took on the U. S. Army in Yellowstone Park, challenged the 
Arctic, the world's largest game animals in Africa and eventually 
politicians, bureaucrats and leading business men, one at a time. 
He never lost his generosity of spirit or his zest for living along 
the way. 

By his own account, "It was April, 1925, and the doctors had 
given me up to die. They solemnly declared that nothing short of a 
complicated operation offered any hope and they didn't seem too 
darned sure about that either. 

"I didn't exactly feel like kicking off yet. Spring was just around 
the comer. Green things were beginning to show. Dead things 
were coming to life and it seemed a damn poor time to quit living 
so before anyone laid me away, I had things to do. I made up my 
mind the doctors didn't know what they were talking about and 
figured that overweight, lack of exercise and too much fancy food 
and drink had slowed me down. If I could Uve the natural, simple 
life for a while, I should surely get all right again. 

"So I wired to a guide ... for a month's stay in the heart of 
British Columbia and then I hopped a train and was off. Along 
the route, a telegram was delivered to me. It was from my 


M.D. . . . warned of consequences of such an undertaking and 
ORDERED me back. To hell with him; I kept on and reached 
Ashcroft on April fourteenth." 

Several days later, in the wilderness, he shot a bear. Nichols 
did not die until 1962 after having lived several other lifetimes. 
One thing about Nichols — he had endurance. 

The book is loaded with vignettes, each a potential book or 
another story. As a sidelight, written portraits of others who also 
contributed much to Wyoming history are included. For example, 
"Buffalo Bill" Cody, who befriended the "Kid" during lean times, 
comes through with his magnificence in some "never before writ- 
ten" accounts. 

Probably the books's most significant contribution is the com- 
pilation of this portion of Wyoming history before time forced its 

Cheyenne Wanda Banta 

The Memoirs of Andrew McMaster. By Mae Urbanek. (Lusk: 
Lusk Herald Press, 1969) lUus. 127 pp. $3.50. 

The Memoirs of Andrew McMaster, as told to and written by 
Lusk's Mae Urbanek, is a reminiscence that will be of interest to 
almost everyone in Niobrara County. 

The pity is that it should have been of interest to everyone in 
the state. 

McMaster was a Niobrara County rancher, banker and politician 
during the first half of this century. In his various positions in 
public and private life he doubtless had many tales to tell. 

Some of the more interesting parts of the book tell of McMaster's 
first job, driving an early FWD truck in the Salt Creek oil fields 
near Casper; and later, his start as a potato rancher at Van Tassell. 
Other intriguing glimpses of Wyoming in the early part of this 
century are given. 

Too much of importance has been left out, though. There is 
almost no mention of the depression's effect on eastern Wyoming 
ranchers and the great blizzard of 1948-49 rated only a few 

The McMaster memoirs give the reader a diet in abundance of 
folksy anecdotes and local stories, but only a taste of what Mc- 
Master might have told. 

Cheyenne Pat Hall 


The Horse in Blackjoot Indian Culture with Comparative Material 
from other Western Tribes. By John C. Ewers. (Washing- 
ton: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology 
Bulletin 159, Reprint, 1969) 374 pp. $12.50. 

A relatively scarce publication relating to the equestrian Black- 
foot Indians of the northern Plains and peripheral cultural mani- 
festations is once again available to the student of Plains ethnology. 
This book is the culminative result of many years research in which 
the author traces the acquisition, acceptance, and utilization of the 
horse by the tribes that comprise the Blackfoot Indian Culture. 
John Ewers is the senior ethnologist with Smithsonian Institution's 
Department of Anthropology, and he has studied Plains history 
and ethnology for close to thirty years. 

Ewers' fieldwork was accomplished by utilizing informants who 
lived during the waning years of an equestrian way of life. This, 
of course, terminated with the liquidation of the bison from the 
plains. His fieldwork centered around the Blackfoot reservation 
located near Browning, Montana, and extended from 1941 through 
1944. Unpublished manuscripts relating to the early period of 
exploration, the fur trade, and a large body of published materials 
relating to the Plains were then analyzed and included to some 
degree within this exhaustive study of the Blackfoot. The tables 
are definitive and illustrative materials consist of clearly defined 
pen and ink renditions drawn by a Blackfoot artist. The plates 
include not only early sketches and photographs, but they also 
illustrate scarce ethnological artifacts dealing with the Plains Indian 
horse complex. 

Of interest is the fact that the acquisition of the horse by the 
Blackfoot Indians was through theft from other tribes and not by 
trading. This trait continued throughout the equestrian existence 
of the Blackfoot prior to the disintegration of the horse complex. 
Horses served a number of functions within the culture of the 
Blackfoot. They were easily fitted into the long established pattern 
of the utilization of the dog in the moving of camps. Horses 
changed the method of the hunt from the earlier surround to the 
chase. Individual ownership of horses indicated wealth and status 
within the tribe and warfare, long practiced on foot, was revolu- 
tionized. The horse even played an important role in the family 
and the religion of the Blackfoot. 

Horse accoutrements are illustrated by the actual specimen or 
detailed drawings complemented by copious descriptions. These 
descriptions are listed under cultural traits relating to riding gear 
and travois and transport gear traits. The remaining trait sections 
are those of care, breeding, training, riding and guiding, camp 
movement, hunting, warfare, trade, social relations, recreation, 
and religion. 

The last two sections of the book are concerned with the influ- 


ence of the horse on the Blackfoot Indian Culture and what Ewers 
has defined as the Plains Indian Horse Complex. A short appen- 
dix follows citing the acquisition and the utilization of mules by the 
Plains and other tribes. This book will stand as one of the defin- 
itive works on the equestrian culture of the Blackfoot, and it will 
serve as a guide for future studies relating to the Plains Indian. 

Archeologist Thomas P. Barr 

Kansas State Historical Society 

Westward to Promontory. By Barry B. Combs. (Palo Alto: 
American West Publishing Company, 1969) Illus. 79 pp. 

Early in 1868, Andrew J. Russell was hired as official photog- 
rapher for Union Pacific, then steadily building its way westward 
across the continent. Unfortunately, he was not hired until half 
the line had been constructed. During the Civil War, Russell had 
served as official photographer to the construction corps of the 
United States Military Railroads, and he had learned his craft well. 
The photographs that Russell took of the last six hundred miles of 
Union Pacific construction across Wyoming and Utah, now pub- 
lished in handsome format, insure his standing as an important 
mid-nineteenth century photographer. 

Barry B. Combs, Director of Public Relations for Union Pacific, 
has created an outstanding pictorial document using four dozen of 
Russell's photographs. His text, a combination of Union Pacific 
history and discussion of individual photographs, is balanced and 
readable. Always he stresses importance of the particular illus- 
tration — a steam shovel shown in use at Hanging Rock, even 
though legend tells us the line was buUt by hand. His use of 
enlargements of sections of other photographs, particularly group 
scenes, is impressive and valuable. 

Published during the Union Pacific centennial year, Russell's 
photographs are vivid contemporary documents illustrating a gigan- 
tic enterprise. But this is not to imply that it is but another book 
for railroad buffs. There is fascinating material here for social, 
regional, architectural and industrial historians, both professional 
and amateur. In particular, historians of Wyoming and Utah will 
find Russell's photographs primary source material in researching 
life in their states during 1868 and 1869. 

It seems unfair to single out two or three individual photographs, 
but several are of particular note. Dale Creek bridge (page 25) is 
an amazingly complex construction and immediately catches the 
viewer's attention; later one begins to notice the construction camp 
in the foreground, with its very primitive log and sod shelters and 
all the paraphernalia necessary for such an enterprise. 


Another shows General Jack Casement standing beside his con- 
struction train (page 42), wearing a Cossack hat, fur-trimmed coat 
and knee boots. Holding his buUwhip at the ready. Casement 
looks into the distance, while a scattering of laborers pose casually 
alongside the tracks. Atop the train (boxcars) are the laborers' 
tents, as well as one or two wood A-frame shelters. 

But one could go on, picture after picture — the new Laramie 
Hotel along the tracks, the great windmill and watertank, also at 
Laramie, Bear River City when end-of-tracks, or the panoramic 
view showing the testing of the new bridge at I)evil's Gate. 

Westward to Promontory is an extraordinary frontier document 
and no review can adequately describe it. The price is high, but 
the buyer will receive many hours of pleasure. 

Research Associate Paul D. Riley 

Nebraska State Historical Society 

Denver's Mayor Speer. By Charles A. Johnson. (Denver: Green 
Mountain Press, 1969) Index. Illus. 255 pp. $5.95 

A book on Robert W. Speer is most welcome. In his career as 
Denver's mayor in the early 20th century, Speer embodied the 
contradictory trends of urban politics in the Progressive period. A 
champion of the "City Beautiful" movement, Mayor Speer won 
plaudits from urban planners for his efforts to improve Denver's 
public facilities and create an attractive metropolitan environment. 
Leaders of Denver's municipal reform movement brushed aside 
these achievements, and accused Speer of corruption, a tolerance 
for vice, and a criminal allegiance to the city's traction and utility 
interests. To men like Judge Benjamin B. Lindsey and George 
Creel, Speer was an agent of "The Beast," the machine that gov- 
erned Denver for its own illicit ends. 

Historians of urban progressivism now see the battle between 
reformers and bosses like Speer in less melodramatic terms. They 
note the elitist bias of the proponents of clean government, and per- 
ceive that a political machine performed genuine services for the 
working population and emerging ethnic groups within American 
cities. These scholars recognize that much of the apparent cor- 
ruption and graft arose from the rapid expansion of urban func- 
tions, and the need to supply the wants of a growing population. 
In short, the history of urban America in the first two decades of 
this century is still unwritten and Denver offers as good a subject 
for this process as any city in the nation. 

Mr. Johnson is aware of these considerations in a vague way, but 
his study of Mayor Speer lacks scholarly rigor and sharp analytic 
focus. The autitior's tendency to indulge in digression does not 
help. Chapters on Judge Lindsey, Senator Thomas Patterson, and 


Others disrupt the narrative and increase the confusion of the book. 
Mr. Johnson does not know how to tell a coherent story, and often 
rehes on extended newspaper and trial quotations to do his work 
for him. His grasp of the general historical background is most 

But the major flaw of the book is Mr. Johnson's failure to consult 
the works of historians like Blake McKelvey, Richard Wade, and 
Samuel P. Hays. Professor Hays' article on the politics of munici- 
pal reform, in particular, would have given Mr. Johnson some 
notion of the complexities of his topic and enabled him to place 
Speer's activities in a solid historical context. The author should 
also have looked at the Lindsey Papers and might have made better 
use of the periodical articles on Denver that appeared during 
Mayor Speer's tenure. 

The Green Mountain Press has done a pleasing job with the text 
of Mr. Johnson's manuscript, but the absence of footnotes and the 
brevity of the bibhography are annoying. Unattributed quotations 
from unknown sources have no value. Scholarly publishing de- 
mands more than this perfunctory performance. 

University of Texas at Austin Lewis L. Gould 

Island in the Rockies: The History of Grand County, Colorado, to 
1930. By Robert C. Black III. (Boulder: Pruett Publishing 
Company, 1969) Index. Illus. 435 pp. $10.00. 

Regional history, at best, is a satisfying means of expression for 
the local-minded historian — a dredging of facts and minutiae heav- 
ily larded with genealogy. Not so for the author of Island in the 
Rockies, for he, in meticulous detail, with style and wit, brings into 
focus the wilderness environment, the joys, sorrows, and passions 
of its inhabitants, as well as the momentous and transitory events 
of the developing society. Professor Black's work is one of the 
most interesting examples and treatments of regional history to 
come to my attention. 

The pioneers of Grand County, and Middle Park in particular, 
came to a land surrounded by moimtains, which have always dom- 
inated both the land and its people. Held one time by Spain, 
Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and finally the United States, Mid- 
dle Park by 1862 attracted the attention of trappers, traders, sports- 
men, "scientists," advocates of Manifest Destiny, tourists, promot- 
ers, and prospectors. Hot Sulphur Springs, the central feature of 
the area, became Saratoga West to the many hopefuls seeking the 
therapeutic value of its waters and of Colorado's climate. This 
aroused interest for a transcontinental railroad through Middle 
Park which would result in "the marriage of the two halves of the 
continent" and become a speculators' dream. 


Grand County, carved from grandiose Summit County in 1874, 
was the scene of early Ute contacts which are reflected in tragedies 
later in the century. That summer saw the beginning of serious 
settlement, although there were more tourists — fishermen and 
hunters — than settlers. Three rough log hotels had been construct- 
ed; also, a road over Berthoud Pass for vehicles, which was super- 
ior to the earlier RoUinsville and Middle Park Wagon Road. How- 
ever, "the new county in fact was what Middle Park had always 
been: an island engulfed by mountains whose power to separate 
had been lessened only a little." 

During the last quarter of the century Grand County experiences 
are typical of many frontiers — severe, discouraging winters, excite- 
ment attendant on the discovery of minerals, political and judicial 
squabbles, alignment of loyalties and hatreds, and a classic "shoot- 
ing." Humiliation came in 1886, when the county was reduced to 
nearly half its size designated a decade earlier; however, the new 
century brought "readjustment and stability." The coming of the 
iron horse and penetration of the Divide by the Moffat Tunnel were 
steps forward but not complete solutions for the isolation of the 
beautiful mountain island. 

The names of men and women who helped forge the state and 
county are interwoven with tales, tragic and amusing — all these are 
cast before the larger scene of a growing state and maturing nation. 

Island in the Rockies is interesting but not very easy reading, for 
it is packed with meaty fare. Excellent photographs and maps 
enhance the author's refreshing prose; extensive footnotes for each 
chapter, an impressive bibliography, and a first-class index attest 
his exhaustive research. 

University of Colorado Clifford P. Westermeier 

The Great West in Paintings. By Fred Harman. Introduction by 
Dean Krakel. (Chicago: The Swallow Press, 1969) Illus. 
185 pp. $30. 

There are some fine western painters around and if we shall 
never see the likes of a Remington or Russell again, there are a few 
of a later generation of artists who have managed to capture the 
spirit of these two great portrayers of the west. George Phippen 
was one of these, as is Nick Eggenhofer. Now we can add to the 
hst the not unfamiliar name of Fred Harman of Albuquerque, New 
Mexico. It's been some ten years since Fred put his famed comic 
strip character. Red Ryder, out to pasture, but since then his time 
has been well spent. 

This reviewer always admired Harman's comic strip art. He 
had a knack for suggesting movement and excitement in his work 
by utilizing just the right touch of exaggeration. He could give 


more life to the drawing of an old chair than most artists could to a 
bucking horse. And that chair would have character, too. 

Harman's exciting drawing style has been successfully carried 
over into his painting and this handsome book is a most proper 
setting to show off the best of his work. This volume is not too 
large as many such art books are and is simply and beautifully put 
together. There are thirty-two color reproductions of his paintings 
and fifty-seven in black and white. Dean Krakel has written a 
most suitable introduction and each reproduction is accompanied 
by a short, informative paragraph describing the action or mood 
suggested by the painting. It is an attractive format and the lack 
of a wordy text enhanced, I thought, the real object of the book — 
the paintings. 

While color is a striking feature of Harman's paintings, horses 
remain his objects of interest above all else. They are working 
horses always, but beautiful animals — well proportioned, sleek 
muscled and, mostly, in action. And Fred Harman's horses are 
moving, jumping, twisting and turning as only an old cowboy 
artist's brush can make them. 

This reviewer's favorite painting was titled, "The Way Station," 
and showed a stagecoach arriving in a cloud of dust and flashing 
hooves as a pair of Indians watched impassively from across the 
road. "The way station," wrote Harman in the brief text accom- 
panying the illustration, "offered a short rest and a cup of coffee 
for weary travelers while the stage driver was given fresh horses 
for the dusty, rough roads on ahead. Drummers, gamblers, and 
mebbe even a 'mail order bride' were part of the new breed making 
up the civilization moving west. What was their rush, wondered 
the Indians. They'd get to the end of the world too quick." And 
perhaps Fred Harman would think so too. 

A beautiful book and well worth the price. 

Fresno, California William B. Secrest 

The National Register of Historic Places 1969. By the U. S. De- 
partment of the Interior, National Park Service. (Washing- 
ton, D. C. : Superintendent of Documents, Government Print- 
ing Office, 1969) Index. Illus. 352 pp. $5.25. 

This attractive volume is unique due to its status as an active 
expression of our national policy of historic preservation. The 
National Register is the official listing of properties significant in 
American history, architecture, archeology and culture called for 
by the Congress in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. 
In addition to recognition of their significance, the properties listed 
are accorded protection from Federal highway, dam, and other 
projects by Section 106 of that Act which provides: First, that the 


head of the directly or indirectly responsible Federal agency shall 
take into account the effect of the undertaking on any listed site. 
Second, that he must afford the Advisory Council on Historic Pres- 
ervation a reasonable opportunity to comment on the project prior 
to funding or licensing it. 

Although this provides no injunctive power to halt Federally 
funded undertakings that threaten registered properties, it does 
assure that their cultural values will be considered in project plan- 
ning. The Advisory Council, composed of six Federal officers of 
cabinet rank, the Chairman of the National Trust for Historic 
Preservation and ten citizens appointed by the President of the 
United States, constitute high-level forum for assessing the public 
interest and recommending courses of action. 

This is the first biennial publication in book form of the National 
Register. It was prepared by the staff of the National Register in 
the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation of the National 
Park Service. It lists over 1100 properties owned, preserved and 
managed by city, county, State, Federal and private agencies, and 
individuals in the United States and Territories. Included are 
about 170 areas administered by the National Park Service, the 750 
or so sites which have been declared eligible for registration as 
National Historic Landmarks by the Secretary of the Interior plus 
about 200 places nominated by the States and approved by the 
National Park Service. 

Additions to the Register by Congressional authorization of new 
units of the National Park System or by Secretarial approval of 
National Historic Landmarks will be few in number. Additions 
from State nominations, however, are expected to number in 
thousands. These nominations are made by a state liaison officer 
appointed by the governor to supervise the program within the 
state. In Wyoming the Executive Director of the Wyoming Rec- 
reation Commission has been so designated. A professional staff 
makes a statewide survey and reports to a review committee. If 
the property meets National Register criteria, nomination is then 
recommended. The 24 places in Wyoming currently Usted in the 
National Register are but the first two dozen steps of a long march 
toward recognition and preservation of the State's heritage. 

The entries, arranged alphabetically by State and county, pro- 
vide data as to location, date and ownership plus brief statements 
of the significant facts which justify the listing. Adding to the 
book's value and interest are 200 fine photographs and scale draw- 
ings plus an excellent index. 

To all concerned citizens the National Register should be a 
source of knowledge and pride, a guide to inspiring places, and a 
spur to continuing action. 

National Park Service David L. Hieb 

Diamond, Missouri 


Historic Western Churches. By Lambert Florin. (Seattle: Su- 
perior Publishing Co., 1969) Index. lUus. 192 pp. $12.95 

In his foreword Mr. Florin explains the limitations he has had to 
put on selection of churches to photograph and record. He focuses 
attention on those that have had an especially colorful history or 
unusual architecture. He seems to be entirely ecumenical in his 
selection of denominations represented: Catholic, Methodist, Pres- 
byterian, Lutheran, Anglican, Congregational, Latter Day Saints, 
Baptist, Jewish, Christian, Indian Shaker, Russian Orthodox, Unit- 
ed Brethren, and Community or inter-denominational. 

Separating the material by states or provinces and again by 
towns or locations he presents a history of the religious and other 
life in each area, history which he has gathered from extensive 
reading and from consulting local people who know about their 
churches and their towns. 

The result is an engaging account of people and places ac- 
companied by approximately two hundred excellent photographs. 
Nearly every church he mentions is pictured. But some churches 
pictured and their explanations do not appear in the body of the 
discussion. Perhaps he had more material than he could use, and 
the extra pictures became "fillers." In general his method is to 
give a brief account of the establishment of each town — now mostly 
ghost towns — and the development of religious congregations in 
each as well as the history of the particular churches he wishes to 
emphasize. An amusing mass of material is presented with no 
irreverence. Bits of unusual facts appear: the woollen flag at the 
Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Zena, Oregon; the case of the 
restless padre at Isleta Mission, San Augustine, New Mexico; the 
famous prayer supposedly uttered by a little girl whose father was 
assigned to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Bodie, California; 
the use of a Jewish rabbi to dedicate the Zion Lutheran Church in 
Trinidad, Colorado; the ecumenical library provided by the Gold 
Avenue Methodist Church in Pinos Altos, New Mexico, on com- 
mand of William Randolph Hearst's mother; a pulpit built by the 
Baptist wife of the Methodist builder of the church at Menlo in 
Washington used by both denominations. 

Mr. Florin relates this book repeatedly to others he has pub- 
lished previously, with many references to Boot Hill and Western 
Ghost Towns as well as to six others of his series. One is led to 
read them all. 

Some weaknesses appear in this book. It is hard to accept the 
style in some places — sentence fragments and comma splices inter- 
spersed with full sentences. Omission of subjects or verbs or 
articles gives the discussion a jerky style. There is some confusion 
in the meaning of the word "church" — a group of people banded 
together religiously, or a building? Mr. Florin gives many dates, 
but not consistently for all churches. Nor is he definite on present 


use. Sometimes I had to draw my own conclusions from the pic- 
ture. The book needs proofreading; even the illuminated initial 
words in each section have errors, and there are obvious mistakes 
in dates in several instances. The book would benefit greatly from 
even rough maps for each section. 

My chief criticism is the omission of any church in Wyoming. 
In a survey that covers Montana to Washington, British Columbia 
and Yukon Territory to California, and New Mexico to Colorado, 
why leave out Wyoming? Twelve states or provinces in the West 
but not us! We have ghost towns too, and churches in them, and 
old churches in some other locations. Mr. Florin allots consider- 
able space to Oregon, that being his native state. 

Despite the book's slight deficiencies I found it most fascinating. 
The author presents the people and their religious leaders sympa- 
thetically and entertainingly. His pictures are delightful and well 
produced. Of all the discussions I enjoyed most the presentation 
of the Indian Shaker Church at La Push in Washington. It shows 
Mr. Florin at his best in depicting people of the West and their 

Casper College Rose Mary Malone 

The Log Cabin in America: From Pioneer Days to the Present. 
By C. A. Weslager. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University 
Press, 1969). Index. lUus. Index. 382 pp. $12.50. 

This book represents the latest attempt to synthesize what is 
known about the log cabin in America, its Old World antecedents, 
and its development and spread from one frontier to the next. The 
author intends the book for the general reader and also as a re- 
placement for Shurtleff's The Log Cabin Myth, published in 1939, 
but now long out of print. He repeats much of the information 
presented in Shurtleff's classic study, but at the same time adds 
considerable new data, mostly collected by himself. 

The book consists of eleven chapters divided into three parts. 
Part I, "Log Cabins on the American Frontier," discusses the 
spread of log cabins westward, the Indians' influence on house 
building and their use of the log cabin, and the European use of 
logs for building. Part II, "Log Cabins in the Original Colonies," 
reviews the contributions of the various ethnic and religious groups 
who first settled the eastern coast of the United States. Part II is 
perhaps the better of the three. Of interest is the fact that more 
importance is given to the Swedes and especially the Finns for their 
contributions to log cabin building techniques than most other 
scholars are willing to give. Part III, "Log Cabins in American 
Politics", tells how the log cabin was used by politicians for their 
own gain. A chapter of conclusions ends this section of the book. 


In addition there is a foreword which details the author's field trips 
in search of log cabins and an Appendix giving a description of 
how a log cabin was built in 1 820. 

With the exception of a few comments in the conclusions con- 
cerning the introduction of log buildings into Alaska and California 
by Russians, scarcely any mention is made of log cabins in the 
trans-Mississippi west. In fact, this book is not about the log cabin 
in America nor does it cover the time period stated in the sub-title. 
It is instead about log cabins in the eastern United States; and, 
except for an occasional comment to the contrary, confines itself 
to the pre-Civil War period. Thousands of log cabins, most of 
which were constructed after the 1860s, still stand in timbered 
areas west of the Mississippi River. These remain to be studied. 

Because the author presents his own observations and field stud- 
ies of log cabins, the book will be of value to those interested in this 
kind of architecture. It clearly is not, on the other hand, to be 
taken as the final word nor is it meant to be. 

Assistant Archaeologist James E. Ayres 

Arizona State Museum 
University of Arizona 

Cleaning and Preserving Bindings and Related Materials, by Car- 
olyn Horton. Second edition, revised. (Chicago: Library 
Technology Program, American Library Association, 1969). 
87pp. nius. Paper. (LTP Publication No. 16) $4.50 

First published in September, 1967, Cleaning and Preserving 
Bindings and Library Materials proved to be one of the most pop- 
ular publications of the Library Technology Program, and the sec- 
ond, revised edition includes a number of changes. 

The text by Mrs. Horton, a hand bookbinder and expert in the 
field of conservation of library collections, is directed toward the 
inexperienced librarian as well as the skilled conservator. Infor- 
mation included in the publication ranges from the proper method 
of removing books from a shelf to a detailed outline of the means 
by which book collectors, conservators, and librarians may organ- 
ize and carry out the renovation and repair of large or small book 

Various leather preservatives and other materials used in con- 
servation are appraised, and a glossary and a selected, annotated 
bibliography, together with lists of supplies and equipment and 
sources of supply are included. 

In the revised edition, Mrs. Horton has made a number of 
changes in the text, expanded and updated the bibliography, and 
made changes in the list of supplies and equipment. Some of the 


illustrations, by the noted illustrator Aldren A. Watson, have been 
slightly modified by the artist, and an index has been added. 

Also added is a summary of tests carried out on various com- 
mercially available book-cleaning and conditioning products for the 
Library Technology Program by an independent testing laboratory, 
and a work-flow diagram. 

The publication is the first in a series on the conservation of 
library materials planned by the Library Technology Program. 

Certainly the publication will be of great value to all of those in 
any way concerned with the conservation of library materials. 


Under this head we give a synopsis of the doings among the 
mines of the state. The bulk of this news matter is received from 
our special correspondents who receive regular pay for truthful 
and faithful reports. Any kind of advertising or doubted matter is 
cut out by the editor. We aim to give our readers only the truth 
as to development, there being frequently too much humbug in 
reports from the mines. What we desire is the news as regards 
actual work in the mines and prospects of the state so that investors 
and others interested may learn the facts. 

The Dill Company, operating at Rambler, is adding to its equip- 
ment. The company has just let a contract for 500 cords of wood. 

The Toronto Girl group, located below Dillon, has recently been 
incorporated. There are several veins on the property showing 
value in copper and hematite. It is located west of the Haggarty 

It is stated that the Copper Glance company is about to do some 
additional work on its holdings. The property is one which has a 
nice showing and needs but sufficient development to make it a 

The Echo Copper Mining company has resumed work on its 
holdings near the Ferris-Haggarty. The work on the Creede 
group is opening up fine copper values. Work will be continued 
through the season. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, August, 1906 


Robert L. Munkres has been an assistant professor of political 
science at Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio, since 1960. 
Before that time he was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin 
Extension Division. He was a seasonal ranger-historian at Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site in 1956, 1957 and 1958. He did 
his undergraduate work at Nebraska Wesleyan University and 
earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Nebraska. 
He is affiliated with numerous professional and historical asso- 

M. Paul Holsinger is an associate professor of history at Ilh- 
nois State University, Normal, Illinois. He received his B.A. de- 
gree from Duke University in 1959, his M.A. from the University 
of Denver in 1960, and his Ph.D. from the University of Denver in 

1964. He has held teaching positions at Oregon State University 
and Michigan State University. Recently Mr. Holsinger has had 
various articles on legal history published in Pacific Historical Re- 
view, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, American Journal of Legal His- 
tory, Mid-America, The Historian, and Michigan History. 

Berten W. Allred of Oldtown, Maryland, has been a cattle 
rancher since 1965. From 1928-1930 he was a sheep rancher in 
Wyoming, and he served as a range conservationist with the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service from 1935- 

1965. Bom in Moab, Utah, he attended Utah State University 
from 1918-1922 and in 1930-1931, and the University of Ne- 
braska in 1940-1942, receiving his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the 
Utah school. A member of the Potomac Corral of The Westerners, 
he was on the committee that edited the Corral's book. Great West- 
ern Indian Fights. In addition he has authored one book and co- 
authored six other books and four U.S. Department of Agriculture 
bulletins. Mr. Allred also has some 400 articles and book reviews 
to his credit. 

William Rush Pagel, a native of Egan, South Dakota, is a 
labor relations executive now residing in Glen EUyn, Illinois. He 
attended the University of South Dakota and received his B.A. 
degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he was graduated 
cum laude in 1924. A member of numerous historical societies 
and clubs, Mr. Pagel actively pursues his hobby of genealogical 
research on early American and western families. He was a 
speaker during the Albany County Old Time Ranch Tour in 1961. 

Beginning with this volume and number of Annals of Wyo- 
ming, each issue will contain an index of the information in 
that particular issue. 

In the past, no index was available for Number 1 of a 
specific volume until Number 2 was published some six 
months later. The Number 2 issue carried a cumulative 
index for the two numbers that made up a volume. 

The editorial staff of Annals of Wyoming believes that an 
index in each number will greatly enhance the research value 
and general utility of the publication. As in the past, pages 
wiU be numbered consecutively in Numbers 1 and 2 of each 

The editors invite comments from the readers concerning 
the new indexing procedure. 


Abbe, N., 59 

Ackley, Richard Thomas, 13, 18, 27, 

Adams, Mrs. Cecelia, 8, 11, 26, 27 

Adams, George, 65 

Adams, Joseph M., "The Iron 
Bridge," 88; "Old Fort Platte," 
88-89; "The Mormon Ferry," 89 

Allen, Mr., 85 

Allen, Miss, fiancee of Lieut. John 
L. Grattan, 86 

AUred, B. W., and W. R. Pagel, 
George Morgan, Pioneer Importer 
and Breeder of American Here- 
fords, 57-76; biog., 135 

Alsup, Jack, 82 

Altman, Henry, 62 

American Fur Company, 83, 84, 87 

American Hereford Cattle Breeders 
Association, 59, 61, 62 

Anderson, William Marshall, 35 

Arnold, C. P., 69 

Arnold, Thurman, Assistant U.S. 
Attorney General, 69 

Artillery, 4th, Co. E, 97 

Ash Hollow: Gateway to the High 
Plains, by Robert L. Munkres, 

Astor, John Jacob, 78, 96 

Astoria, 78, 96 

Astorians, 78 

Auguste, Lucien, 84 

Ayres, James E., review of The Log 
Cabin in America: From Pioneer 
Days to the Present, 132-133 

Bell, Edna, 68 

Bell, Col. Edwin Jasper, 58, 64, 67, 
68, 69 

Bell, Manvin George, 68 

Bell, Marguerite, 68, 69 

Bissonette, Joseph, 100 

Bishop, L. C, 77 

Black, Robert C. Ill, Island in the 
Rockies: The History of Grand 
County, Colorado, to 1930, re- 
view, 127-128 

Bluewater Creek, Battle, 39 

Bolles, C. E., 69 

Bordeaux, James, 84, 89 

Boston-Newton Company Venture, 
The, by Jessie Gould Hannon, re- 
view, 120-121 

Bozeman Trail, 90 

Branson, David F., 101 

Breish, Lloyd, 62 

Bridger, Jim, 97 

Bridger's Ferry, 91 

Brooks, Gov. B. B., 45 

Brown, John 24, 33 

Bruff, J. Goldsborough, 28 

Brule formation, 102 

Brummer, C. G., 86 

Bryant, Edwin, 18, 26, 42 

Bullock, Thomas, 88 

Burnstad, Hattie, President's Mes- 
sage, Wyoming State Historical 
Society, 104-105 


Bamforth, Emma Amelia, 69 

Banks, Ed, 83 

Banta, Wanda, review of The Candy 
Kid. James Calvin "Kid" Nich- 
ols, 1883-1962, 122-123 

Barr, Thomas P., review of The 
Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture 
with Comparative Material from 
other Western Tribes, 124-125 

Bartlett, I. S., 81 

Bell, Clara Morgan (Mrs. E. J.), 
58, 66, 69 

Calamity Jane, 93 

Campbell, Robert, 80 

Candy Kid, The. James Calvin 
"Kid" Nichols, 1883-1962, by Lu- 
cille Nichols Patrick, review, 122- 

Carbon County Gold Mining and 
Milling Company, 64 

Carey, Gov. Joseph M., 81 

Carleton, J. Henry, 15, 25, 31, 36 

Carley, Maurine, compiler. The 
First Fifty Miles of the Oregon 
Trail in Wyoming, 77-103 

Carpenter, Helen, 7, 13, 18, 32, 33 

Carrington, Col. Henry, 90, 92 

Carwardine. T. J.. 58 



Catt, Carrie Chapman and Nettie 

Rogers Shuler; introduction by T. 

A. Larson, Woman Suffrage and 

Politics, review, 118-119 
Cavalry, 11th Kansas Volunteer, 97 
Cedar Creek, 16; Grove, 15 
Chalmers, Robert, 21, 33, 36 
Chandless, William, 6, 13, 39, 40 
Charbonneau, Baptiste, 80 
Cheyenne Club, 64 
Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Route, 

Cheyenne Pass, 97 
Cleaning and Preserving Bindings 

and Related Materials, by Carolyn 

Horton, review, 133-134 
Clark, Jefferson Kennerly, 80 
Clark, Thomas, 59 
Clark, Wiliiam, 80 
Clary, William L., grave, 79 
Clay, John, 62 
Clyman, James, 96 
Coffee, E., 92-93 
Cold Springs, 99, 101; "Cold 

Springs," by Curtiss Root, 79-81; 

massacre, 81 
Combs, Barry B., Westward to 

Promontory, review, 125-126 
Conyers, E. W., 8, 21 
Cooke, Philip St. George, 18, 91, 92 
Corthell, N. E., 49, 50, 52 
Cory, Benjamin, 21 
Cooper Hill Mines, 64 
Cottonwood Springs, 96 
Covered Wagon Drive, 99-100 
Crowell, Henry P., 62 
Culbertson, Charles M., 58, 59 
Cuny, A., 92-93 

Davis, F., 101 

Day, B. B., 101 

Dean, W. M., 101 

Denver's Mayor Speer, by Charles 
A. Johnson, review, 126-127 

Dickensen, Clifford, 101 

Dill, S., grave, 101 

Dixon, Daniel, 91 

Dougherty, — , 14 

Douglas Willan - Sartoris Brothers 
Company, 64; Ranch, 67- 69 

Dowe, H. T., 97 

Doyd, C. D., 97 

Drips, Andrew, 83 

Dubois, William R. review of Wom- 
an Suffrage and Politics, 118-119 

Earl, Adam, 59 
Ecoffey, Jules, 98-99 
Elkhorn Company, The, 64 
Elkhorn Horse and Land Company, 

Emerson, Willis G., footnote, 88 
Ewers, John C, The Horse in Black- 
foot Indian Culture with Com- 
parative Material from other 
Western Tribes, review, 124-125 

Faler, Clyde Morgan, 70 

Faler, Ernest Clyde, 70 

Farrar, Fred, 49 

Fayette Land and Cattle Company, 

Ferris Haggarty Mine, footnote, 88 
Fetterman, Capt. William, 91 
Fetterman Massacre, 91 
Field, Matthew C, 20, 41, 80 
Fitzhugh, Mr., 98 
Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 96, 97 
Flannery, L. G. (Pat), 93-94 
Florin, Lambert, Historic Western 

Churches, review, 131-132 
Fontenelle, Capt. Lucien, 83 
Forman, George, 8, 41 


Fort Bernard, 86, 87 

Fort John, 89 See Fort Laramie, 
Fort William 

Fort Laramie, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 
85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 
93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101 

Fort Lupton, Colo., 98 

Fort McPherson, Kan., 86 

Fort Phil Kearny, 90, 92 

Fort Platte, 87, 88-89 

Fort Reno, 91 

Camp Walbach, 97 

Fort William, 80, 96 
"Fort Bernard," by R. J. Rymill, 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site, 

89, 90 
"Fort Laramie's Hog Ranch," by 

Thomas E. White, 92-93 
Forsyth, Gen. George, 92 
Frear, James, 23 
Fremont, Capt. John C, 17, 79, 97, 




Gafford, J. C, 65 

Gaylord, Orange, 6, 30 

Geer, Mrs. Elizabeth, 8 

George Morgan, Pioneer Importer 
and Breeder of American Here- 
fords, by B. W. Allred and W. R. 
Pagel, 57-76 

Gibbs, George, 13, 18, 19, 41 

Gibson, Leura Homsley, 95 

Goering, Dale, 78-79 

Goertz, Allen, "Sand Point Stage 
and Pony Express Station," 98-99, 

Gold Coin Mining and Milling Com- 
pany, 64 

Goode, Samuel, 61 

Gould, Lewis L., review of Denver's 
Mayor Speer, 126-127 

Grand Encampment, footnote, 88 

Grattan, Lt. John L., 38, 83, 86 

Grattan, Peter, 86 

"Grattan Massacre," by W. W. Mor- 
rison, 83-86; monument, 83 

Gray, William, 36 

Great Platte River Road, The, by 
Merrill J. Mattes, review, 117-118 

Great West in Paintings, The, by 
Fred Harman, review, 128-129 

Greeley-Poudre irrigation district, 

Guernsey, C. A., 99 

Guernsey Gazette, 100 

Guernsey-Wendover Wagon Road, 

Guerrier, William, 98-99 

Gunter, Julius, 49 


Hall, Pat, review of The Memoirs of 
Andrew McMaster, 123 

Hannon, Jessie Gould, The Boston- 
Newton Company Venture, re- 
view, 120-121 

Hanover County, 44-46; Canals Sys- 
tem, 44; Canal Company, 44-46; 
Investment Company, 44; Land 
and Irrigation Company, 44 

Harman, Fred, The Great West in 
Paintings, review, 128-129 

Harmon, Appleton Milo, 17, 29 

Harney, Gen., 38, 39, 40 

Harris, Sen. W. A., 65 

Harris, Dr. William, 68 

Hebard, Grace Raymond, 81, 95 

Henderson, Helen, "The Lucinda 
Rollins Grave," read by Robert 
Larson, 99-100 

Henderson, Paul, 96; "Warm 
Springs," read by Grant Willson, 

Hereford Corporation of Wyoming, 

Hershey, B., 59 

Hieb, David L., review of The Na- 
tional Register of Historic Places, 

Himes, Celinda, 18, 19 

Historic Western Churches, by Lam- 
bert Florin, review, 131-132 

Hobo Rock, Nebraska, 102 

Holsinger, M. Paul, Wyoming V. 
Colorado Revisited. The United 
States Supreme Court and the 
Laramie River Controversy, 1911- 
1922, 47-56; biog, 135 

Homsley, Bailey, 94; Benjamin 
Franklin, 94-95; Joe, 95; Leura, 
95; Mary E., 93-95; Sarah Ellen, 

Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture, 
The, with Comparative Material 
from other Western Tribes, by 
John C. Ewers, review, 124-125 

Horseshoe Station, 91 

Horton, Carolyn, Cleaning and Pre- 
serving Bindings and Related Ma- 
terials, review, 133-134 

Hot Springs County, 45 

Houser, George, 100 

Hoyt, Percy, 70 

Hubbard, C, 101 

Hubbard, Leslie E., 50 

Hubbard, W., 101 

Hunke, Herbert Spencer, 68; Mar- 
guerite, 69 

Hunton, John, 86 

Husky Oil Company, 63 

Husted, James D., 62; Raymond, 62 

Hyde, George, 28 


Red Cloud, 88 
Spotted Tail, 88 


Little Thunder, 39, 83 
Red Cloud, 99 
Sacajawea, 80 



INDIANS (Continued) 

Sitting Bear, 83, 84, 85 
Washakie, 46 


Cheyenne, 91 

Cheyenne, Northern, 37, 38 

Pawnee, 35, 36 

Sioux, 35, 36, 40, 88, 91 

Sioux, Brule, 39, 84-85, 89 

Sioux, Miniconjou, 84-85 

Iron Bridge, Fort Laramie, 87-88; 
"The Iron Bridge," by Joseph M. 
Adams, 88; photo, following p. 88 

Irwin, Charles, 70 

Island of the Rockies: The History 
of Grand County, Colorado, to 
1930, by Robert C. Black III, re- 
view, 127-128 

Jamason, John, trading post, 79 

Jamison, Samuel M., 30, 33 

Jessop, Bert, 82 

Jones, R. K., 97 

Jones. Ralph F., Longhorns North 
of the Arkansas, review, 119-120 

Johnson, Charles A., Denver's May- 
or Speer, review, 126-127 

Johnston, Col. Albert Sidney, 97 

Johnston, William G., 11, 12-13, 22, 


Keenan, Mrs. Dorothy, 78 
Keil, WilUam, 20 
Keller, George, 9, 31, 41 
Kenderdine, Thaddeus S., 6, 13, 19, 

21, 27, 32, 40 
Kennedy, William Clark, 80 
King Bridge Company, 88 
Knight, Wilbur, geologist, 64 

Lacey, John W., 49, 50, 52 
Laramie Boomerang, 65-66 
Laramie Daily Boomerang, 64 
Laramie, Hahns Peak and Pacific 

Railroad, 69 
Laramie-Poudre Reservoirs and Ir- 
rigation Company, 47 

Larson, Robert, reader, "The Lu- 

cinda Rollins Grave," by Helen 

Henderson, 99-100 
Lawrence, W. M. H., Ranch, 71 
Lazear, George, 62 
Lazear, Robert Wells, 62 
Leavy, T. E., 62 
Lewis and Clark Expedition, 80 
Lienhard, Heinrich, 12 
Linforth, James, 11 
Lobenstine, William C, 22, 23, 27 
Log Cabin in America, The: From 

Pioneer Days to the Present, by 

C. A. Weslager, review, 132-133 
Lone Tree, 11, 12 
Long, W. Z., 101 
Longhorns North of the Arkansas, 

by Ralph F. Jones, review, 119- 

Lowe, Percival, 16, 31 
"Lucinda Rollins Grave, The," by 

Helen Henderson, read by Robert 

Larson, 99-100 
Lupton, Lancaster P., 88, 89 
Lyman, Vincent Page, 8 


McClellan, Sen. George, 45 
McIIlvain, Dan, 62 
McGlashan, John, 18, 33, 42 
McKinstry, George, 12, 19, 26 
McNealey, Viola, The Seven Days 

of Hanover County, 44-46 
Magraw (McGraw) Col., 16 
Malone, Rose Mary, review of His- 
toric Western Churches, 131-132 
Marshall, Bert K., 97 
"Mary Homsley Grave," by W. W. 

Morrison, 93-95 
Mason, James, 31 
Mattes, Merrill J., The Great Platte 

River Road, review, 117-118 
Memoirs of Andrew McMaster, The, 

by Mae Urbanek, review, 123 
Menefee, Arthur, 12, 27 
Milgate, Henry, 93 
Millbrook Ranch, Laramie, 58, 64, 

66, 67, 68 
Miller, T. L., 58, 59 
Milligan, Bill, 82 
Minioto, David, 101 
Morgan, Catherine Agnes, 58, 65, 

Morgan, Clara Alma, 60, 67-68 
Morgan, Edmund George, 60, 69-71 
Morgan, Edna, 70 
Morgan, Mrs. Emma, 70 



Morgan, Ethel, 71 

Morgan, George Forbes, 58, 65, 71 

Morgan, George P., St., photo, fol- 
lowing p. 56 

Morgan, George Frederick, family 
genealogy, 73-76 

Morgan, George Frederick, 57-76; 
photo, following p. 56 

Morgan, Julia Redman, 58, 72 

Morgan, Sarah Workman, 64 

Morgan, Thomas J., 64 

Morgan Mining and Improvement 
Company, 64 

Morgan, Wyoming, 64 

Morman Ferry, 87; "The Mormon 
Ferry," by Joseph M. Adams, 89 

Moorman, Madison Beryman, 22 

Morrison, W. W., "Grattan Mas- 
sacre, 83-86; "Mary Homsley 
Grave," 93-95 

Munger, Ashael, 11, 12 

Mimkres, Robert L., Ash Hollow: 
Gateway to the High Plains, 3-43; 
review of The Boston-Newton 
Company Venture, 120-121; biog, 


National Register of Historic Places, 
1969, The, by the U.S. Depart- 
ment of the Interior, National 
Park Service, review, 129-130 

Nebraska State Hereford Associa- 
tion, 62 

New Orleans Picayune, 80 

Nielson, Glenn E., 63; Nielson En- 
terprises, Inc., 63 

1911 Map of Wyoming, showing 
Hanover County, photo, following 
p. 56 

North American Copper Company, 
footnote, 88 

Northwest Livestock Journal, 62 


Oden, Herman, 94; Jacob N., 94; 
Sarah Fine, 94 

Old Bedlam, 91 

"Old Fort Platte," by Joseph M. 
Adams, 88-89 

Oregon Trail, First Fifty Miles in 
Wyoming, Trek, 77-103 

Ornduff, Donald R., editor, Amer- 
ican Hereford Journal, 57 

Owens, John (Johnny), 81, 82 

Pacific Fur Company, 96 

Pagel, Carrie Edith, 58; William 
Reinhart, 58, 72 

Pagel, William Rush and B. W. All- 
red, George Morgan, Pioneer Im- 
porter and Breeder of American 
Herefords, 57-76; 70; biog., 135 

Palmer, Col. I. N., 91 

Palmer, Joel, 17, 42 

Parrish, Rev. Edward, 9 

Patrick, Lucille Nichols, The Candy 
Kid, James Calvin "Kid" Nichols, 
1883-1962, review, 122-123 

Pattison, Rachel, 28 

Perkins, Elisha, 15, 29 

Peterson, Hans, 84 

Phillips, John (Portugee), 90-92 

Piercy, Frederick, 11 

Pinedale Roundup, 70 

Platte River Ferry, 79 

Pony Express, 79, 98-99 

"Portugee Phillips' Ride," by Thom- 
as E. White, 90-92 

Powers, Tom, 81, 82 

President's Message, Wyoming State 
Historical Society, by Hattie Burn- 
stad, 104-105 

Preuss, Charles, 79 

Price, Clark, 93 

Pringle, Virgil, 12, 26, 42 

Prosser, Harriet, review of Long- 
horns North of the Arkansas, 

Prothers, Jonathan, 14 

Redman, Julia, 65 

"Register Cliff," by William J. Shay, 

Rhodes, Joseph, 19, 21 
Richard's Fort Bernard, 87; Rich- 
ards brothers, 87 
Rifle Pits, 78-79; Rifle Pit Hill, 99, 

Riggs, Miss, 90 
Riley, Paul D., review of Westward 

to Promontory, 125-126 
Rim, The, 83 
Robertson, C. F., 44 
Robertson, Les, 101 
Rock Ranch, 81; battle, 82; "The 

Rock Ranch," by Curtiss Root, 

Rollins, Lucinda, 99-100 
Root Curtiss, "Cold Springs," 79- 

81; "The Rock Ranch," 82-83 



Rudefeha Mine, footnote, 88 
Rymill, R. J., 86, 93; "Fort Ber- 
nard," 86-87 

Sage, Rufus, 17, 23, 35, 36 

"Sand Point Stage and Pony Express 
Station," by Allen Goertz, 98-99 

Sample, R. W., 59 

Sartoris, Lionel, 67 

Sartoris Brothers, 63, 64 

Scott, Charles A., 14 

Scoville, Alton T., 69 

Scoville, Cassie, 69 

Secrest, William B., review of The 
Great West in Paintings, 128-129 

Shay, William L, "Register Cliff," 
96-98; review of The Great Platte 
River Road, 117-118 

Shockey, R. G., letter by, 90 

Shotwell, — , 9 

Seven Days of Hanover County, 
The, by Viola McNealey, 44-46 

Shuler, Nettie Rogers and Carrie 
Chapman Catt; introduction by 
T. A. Larson, Woman Suffrage 
and Politics, review, 118-119 

Sixteenth Annual Meeting, Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society, 

Smith, Al, 83 

Smith, Asa Bowen, 10-11, 18, 22, 
25, 37 

Smith, C. W., 15, 32 

Smith, Charlie, 90 

Smith, Jedediah, 96 

Smith, Mrs. Mack, 90 

Smith, Mattie, 83 

Snyder, Sgt., 85 

Sotham, T. F. B., 59, 65 

Sprague Ranch, 63 

Stansbury, Capt. Howard, 10, 21, 
22, 23, 28 

Stewart, Solomon, 80 

Stewart, Sir William Drimimond, 
20, 80 

Steamboat, bucking horse, 70 

Storm Scene in the Rocky Moun- 
tains, June 6, 1853, photo, follow- 
ing p. 56 

Stryker Mortuary, Laramie, 71 

Stuart, Robert, 16, 96; campsite, 78 

Studebaker, J. M., 59 

Sublette, Milton, 97 

Sublette, Solomon, 20 

Sublette, William, 20, 80 

Suckley, George, 23 

Sullivan, Sen. Pat, 45 

Sutton, Sarah, 18, 25, 27, 31, 32, 34, 

Swan, Alexander Hamilton, 60, 62, 

Swan Land and Cattle Company, 

Ltd., 60, 61, 62, 63, 83 

Taylor, Sarah Ellen Homsley, 95 
Taylor, Calvin, 23, 41 
Texas Trail, 83 
Thomas, Ted, 63 
Thornhill, Rebecca Oden, 95 
Thornhill, Bryant, 95 
Tomkins, E. A., 87 
Turner, Philip, 61 


Underwood, John, 97 

U.S. Department of the Interior, 
National Park Service, The Na- 
tional Register of Historic Places, 
review, 129-130 

Unthank, A. H., 97 

Unthank, O. B., 97 

Unthank, O. N., 97 

Urbanek, Mae, The Memoirs of An- 
drew McMaster, review, 123 

Van Devanter, Justice Willis, 51, 52, 

53, 54, 55, 56 
Van Tassel Ranch, 69 


Wallis, Noah, 66 

Ward, Seth, 98 

Ware, Capt. Eugene R., 17, 23, 24, 
25, 37 

Ware, Joseph E., 101 

"Warm Springs," by Paul Hender- 
son, read by Grant Willson, 100- 


Warm Springs Draw, 99-100 

Warren, Francis E., 64 

Warren, Lt. G. K., 39 



Wasburg, Goodwin, 96 

Washakie County, 44, 45, 46 

Weslager, C. A., The Log Cabin in 
America: From Pioneer Days to 
the Present, review, 132-133 

Wessells, Lt. Col. Henry, 91 

Westermeier, Clifford P., review of 
Island in the Rockies: The His- 
tory of Grand County, Colorado, 
to 1930, 127-128 

Westward to Promontory, by Barry 
B. Combs, review, 125-126 

White, Thomas E., "Portugee Phil- 
lips' Ride," 90-92; "Fort Lara- 
mie's Historic Hog Ranch," 92-93 

Whitehouse, A. W., 63 

Wilkinson, J, A., 27, 31, 37, 38 

Willan, Douglas, 63, 64 

Willson, Grant, reader, "Warm 
Springs," by Paul Henderson, 100- 

"Windlass Hill." See Ash Hollow 

Wisner, Mrs. Sara, 37 

Woman Suffrage and Politics, by 
Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie 

Rogers Shuler; introduction by T. A. 
Larson, review, 118-119 

Wright, Charley, 101 

Wyatt, H., 97 

Wyeth, Nathaniel, 5 

Wyoming Hereford Ranch, 57, 61, 
62, 63 

Wyoming Hereford Association, for- 
mation of, 61 

Wyoming Highway Patrol, 71 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 
Sixteenth Annual Meeting, 105- 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 
Presidenfs Message, by Hattie 
Burnstad, 104-105 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Officers, 1969-70, photo, follow- 
ing p. 88 

Wyoming V. Colorado Revisited. 
The United States Supreme Court 
and the Laramie River Contro- 
versy, 1911-1922, by M. Paul 
Holsinger, 47-56 

Yeomans, J. H., 61 

Young, Rresident Brigham, 89 


^Mws of Wtjom'mg 


»- — p.-ir-saagy— ^!tei!y<yr^'» ''''^g j[ _ '"" i g-^.^""^' 'j" "■!" - ■— —- r ^ ~- ^/" ' » -'" ■ »■' ■ 

H e ?■" ' D A N 

S O f4 


M 1,1 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 



October 1970 





Robert St. Clair 

Mrs. Wilmot McFadden 

Mrs. Frank Emerson 

Rock Springs 


Miss Jennie Williams 



Richard I. Frost, Chairman 



Mrs. Virgil L. Thorpe 



William T. Nightingale 





Mrs. Dudley Hayden 



Attorney General James E. Barrett 




Neal E. Miller Director 

Walter B. Nordell Administrative Assistant 

Mrs. Mary Purcella Secretary 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research ana 

Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and October 
and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 
Copies of current issues may be purchased for $2.00 each. Available copies 
of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be obtained by writing to 
the Editor. 

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

Annals of Wyoming articles are abstracted in 
Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life 

Copyright 1970, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 42 

October, 1970 

Number 2 

Neal E. Miller 
Executive Editor 

Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
Associate Editor 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1970-1971 

President, J. Reuel Armstrong _ RawliM 

First Vice President, Wiixiam R. Dubois Cheyenne 

Second Vice President, Mus. Lucille Patrick „ Cody 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Neal E. Miller. Cheyenne 

Past Presidents 

Frank L. Bowkon, Casper. „ 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander _ _ 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody _ _ 1956-1957 

Dr. T. a. Larson, Laramie „ _ 1957-195S 

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins „ - 1958-1959 

Mrs. Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo „„ 1959-1960 

E. A. Littleton, Gillette _ „ 1960-1961 

Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper. _ 1961-1962 

Charles Ritter, Cheyenne 1962-1963 

Neal E. Miller, Rawlins 1963-1965 

Mrs. Charles Hord, Casper _ 1965-1966 

Glenn Sweem, Sheridan _ _ „ 1966-1967 

Adrian Reitjolds, Green River _ _ 1967-1968 

CuRTiss Root, Torrington _ _ 1968-1969 

Mrs. Hattie Burnstad, Worland 1969-1970 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
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Zable of Contents 



By Jeanne Robertson Vap 



ROAD WEST -_ 191 

By Robert L. Munkres 



By Gordon Morris Bakken 



By Philip A. Kalisch 




Trek No. 21 of the Historical Trail Treks 
Compiled by Maurine Carley 


Kelsey, Frontier Capitalist: The Life of John Evans 275 

Ames, Pioneering the Union Pacific: A Reappraisal of the 

Builders of the Railroad 276 

Haines, The Buffalo. The Story of American Bison and Their 

Hunters from Prehistoric Times to the Present 277 

Triplett, The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James _.. 279 
Seymour, Western Incidents Connected with the Union Pacific 

Railroad 280 

Malone-Roeder, The Montana Past _ _. 281 

Bateman, The Navajo of the Painted Desert „. 283 

Rundell, In Pursuit of American History 283 


INDEX 286 



Infantryman's Dress Helmet 
Following page 192 
The Tetons 
Crossing the Barriers 
Sketch of Fort Fetterman, 1880 
Double Officer's Quarters, Fort Fetterman 
Melville C. Brown 
Louise S. Smith 
Following page 248 

"The Days That Are No More . . ." 
Approach to Shoshone Dam 
Shoshone River Below the Dam 
Dam and Spillway 
Alpine Scene at Shoshone Dam 

Uniforms worn by members of various army units in 
Wyoming are well represented in the collections of the 
Wyoming State Museum. Many characteristics of the 
uniforms can be traced to French and German origins as 
indicated by the Model 1881 dress helmet for enlisted 
infantrymen, regimental band, shown on the cover. This 
model was first authorized in October, 1885, and was 
officially used until July, 1902. 

Zhe Qrand Z etc Hi 

JroHtier J^ewspaper 

in the Z went let k Century 


Jeanne Robertson Vap 


The Grand Teton weekly newspaper first appeared in Jackson, 
Wyoming, on December 29, 1931. Published by a group of local 
citizens to fight the proposed extension of the Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park, it loudly condemned the land-buying activities of John 
D. Rockefeller, Jr., who had been purchasing lands in the Jackson 
Hole country since 1929 with the intention of donating them to the 
government for preservation as a national park. The Grand Teton 
ran for two and one-half years, and was outlasted by Jackson's 
regular weekly of long standing, the Jackson's Hole Courier. 

In this study the Grand Teton newspaper is considered as pro- 
jecting into the twentieth century the character of Wyoming's fron- 
tier press, in its role in the "war" which raged between it and the 
Courier in the early thirties. 


"Jackson Hole is unique. Most of us aren't happy unless we're 
miserable. We have our bitter feuds here, but we don't have clan 
killings. We try to worry each other to death. Our idea of winning a 
battle is to put out as much propaganda as possible on one side and 
get the people with us, and then, when they lose interest, the other side 
puts out their propaganda and gets the people with them."i 

Many had considered the July 29, 1929 dedication of the small, 
150-square-mile Grand Teton National Park as the end of 30 years 
of regional debate about the national park issue.^ But it was only 
the beginning. 

At the time the Grand Teton began publication, Jackson, then a 

1. Investigating the Grand Teton National Park Extension. Remarks of 
Richard Winger, Hearings on S.R. 250, U.S. Senate Subcommittee of PubHc 
Lands, 75th Cong., 3d sess. (Jackson, Wyo., 1938), p. 215. 

2. Horace Albright, letter to editor, Jackson's Hole Courier, Jackson, 
Wyo., Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 18. 


town of 533,-' already had a regular weekly newspaper, the Jack- 
son's Hole Courier (publishing since April, 1914).^ 

In typical country weekly fashion, the Courier claimed to be 
nonpartisan.^ On the park extension issue, the editor "tried to 
maintain a one-man bandwagon, and ride the fence, but he got so 
dizzy that he took a tumble and fell off on one side of the fence — 
the park extension side."^ 

The Courier took its initial stand for park extension on April 30, 
1931. By December of that year the opposition in Jackson Hole 
had become organized sufficiently to "launch a spick-and-span 
new newspaper with the euphonious heading, the Grand Teton."^ 
The war of propaganda was on. 

Newspaper in-fighting in Wyoming was recorded as early as 
November 20, 1869, when the Cheyenne Leader suddenly found 
itself with a competitor, the Wyoming Tribune. The new paper 
was owned by Edward M. Lee, Wyommg's first territorial secre- 
tary, and a man unpopular in the community. Announcing the 
appearance of the "new squirt," the Leader explained, "after much 
labor, that official of mountainous rottenness, 'Slang' Lee, has 
brought forth a mouse . . ." (November 23, 1869).* 

Hailing the collapse of the Tribune on August 14, 1871, the 
Leader stated, "Cheyenne requires one good newspaper. How well 
it can support more is attested by the stubborn fact that nine news- 
papers of various kinds have gone where the woodbine twineth in 
the four years that C!heyenne has been a town."^ 

Although Wyoming was the next to last of all the states to re- 
ceive the benefits of the printing press, ^'^ the early decades of her 
settlement saw many newspapers in proportion to the population.^^ 
In her M.A. thesis, "Wyoming's Frontier Newspapers," EUzabeth 
Keen recounted the story of the press in Wyoming prior to July 10, 
1890, when Wyoming was admitted to Statehood. "If a small town 
had a Republican newspaper. Democrats tried to establish a rival 
paper, or vice versa. Publication in some instances would be start- 
ed hteraUy overnight, go on for a few weeks, and then for any 

3. 1930 Census, U.S. Census Bureau, Wash., D.C. 

4. Collection of Jackson's Hole Courier, (microfilm) Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Dept., Cheyenne, Wyo., Vol. VI, #14. 

5. Courier, Aug. 30, 1928. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Kemmerer Gazette, Dec. 13, 1931. 

8. Douglas McMurtrie, Early Printing in Wyoming and the Black Hills 
(Portland, Me.: Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1942) p. 281. 

9. Loc. cit. 

10. Ibid., p. 267. 

11. Elizabeth Keen, "Wyoming's Frontier Newspapers," (M.A. Thesis, 
University of Wyoming, 1956), Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 33, No. 2, Oct. 


number of valid reasons, chiefly that of lack of money, newspapers 
would suspend publication."^^ 

"One of the chief forces leading to the founding of so many 
newspapers was the heightening of controversy and the heating of 
emotions in days preceding political elections. . . . Papers which 
had little more than political comment to offer their readers seldom 
survived for very long."^^ 

The Grand Teton did not survive its cause. It began publication 
when a "Senatorial investigation of the Snake River Land Company 
was in the offing."^^ (The Snake River Land Company, financed 
by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., began buying up land in Jackson Hole 
in 1927. It was only in April, 1930, that Rockefeller's connection 
with the company and his intentions of donating the land to the 
federal government for a national park were made public. ) ^° 

The Grand Teton launched its attack on Rockefeller and the 
"Snakes" of the Snake River Land Company in December, 1931. 
On June 9, 1932, Senators Kendrick and Carey introduced Senate 
Resolution 226 calling for an inquiry into the activities of the Snake 
River Land Company and the National Park Service in furthering 
national park extension in the Jackson Hole Region. ^^ 

The hearings were scheduled for August, 1933, and as that date 
approached, sharpening hostilities were mirrored in the increasing 
use of bold-faced type and banner headlines in the pages of the 
Grand Teton. The climax in the propaganda war came in May, 
1933, when the Grand Teton devoted many full-page spreads to 
telling the story of the controversy from the anti-extensionist point 
of view.^^ Flamboyant charges against "those who betrayed their 
neighbors for 30 pieces of silver,"^^ the "hirelings of Rockefeller 
who, by traitorous deeds, hoped to secure a few crumbs from the 
rich man's table,"^" and clever jingles, "Horace's Hilarious Ho- 
kum,"2*^ covered the printed page. 

The investigation failed to substantiate any of the charges that 
the Grand Teton had been making. The Grand Teton commented 
only: "Senatorial Subcommittee completes its labors.''^^ 

The battle lost, the Grand Teton continued fighting, "The people 

12. Ibid., p. 136. 

13. Ibid., p. 158. 

14. Kemmerer Gazette, Dec. 13, 1931. 

15. Harold P. Fabian, letter to editor, Jackson's Hole Courier, Apr. 6, 
1933, Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 28. 

16. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 20. 

17. Bill Simpson, Grand Teton, May 9, 16, 23, and June 6, 1933, Hear- 
ings on S.R. 250, op. cit., pp. 232-255. 

18. Grand Teton, June 6, 1933. 

19. Grand Teton, March 8, 1932. 

20. Grand Teton, Jan. 12, 1932. 

21. Grand Teton, Aug. 15, 1933. 


of Jackson Hole need not fear any park extension unless and xintfli 
your senators and representatives in the United States congress 
fully consent thereto . . ."^^ 

But even Senator Carey, who had stood like "the Rock of 
Gibraltar with cudgel polished to fight park extension,"^^ deserted. 

On May 31, 1934, he introduced S.3705, a measure adding to 
the National Park the 30,000 acres bought by John D, Rocke- 
feller, Jr.24 

Although the resolution passed the Senate, it was never acted 
upon. "Carey's inspiration, "^^^ the Grand Teton, breathed its last 
on May 19, 1934, protesting rumors that it would fold.^^ 

The newspaper which claimed, "like John Paul Jones, we'll die 
fighting,"— did.^^ 

The Grand Teton was taken over by the Jackson's Hole Courier, 
whose editor at the time, Wilford Nielson, still resides in Jackson. 
Nielson would like never to hear of the Grand Teton again. He 
bought it, liquidated it, never kept a copy.^* 

"Dime by dime the purse runs dry: 
One by one, beyond recall, 
Mushroom papers droop and die."^^ 


On March 16, 1943, President Roosevelt established the Jack- 
son Hole National Monument, which set aside 221,600 acres of 
land adjoining Grand Teton National Park on the east. Mr. 
Roosevelt chose the executive order shortcut as a means of circum- 
venting the states' rights champions in Congress who were blocking 
park extension legislation. The Monument included the long- 
debated 32,117 acres purchased by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for 
donation to the Grand Teton National Park.^® 

In his comprehensive History of Wyoming, T. A. Larson de- 
scribed the storm of disapproval which the President's order pro- 
voked. "Even at that late date, all the Wyoming newspapers, the 
Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the Dude Ranchers Associa- 
tion, and the Wyoming Taxpayers Association argued against the 
monument because it would take one-third of the county's taxable 

22. Grand Teton, Oct. 24, 1933. 

23. Grand Teton, Dec. 29, 1931. 

24. Remarks of A. B. Cammerer, Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 42. 

25. Courier, Sep. 3, 1932. 

26. Collection of Grand Teton, (microfilm) Wyoming State Archives 
and Historical Dept. (Cheyenne, Wyo.), Vol. I, #2. 

27. Grand Teton, Feb. 2, 1932. 

28. Information obtained in correspondence with Horace M. Albright 

29. Elizabeth Keen, op. cit., p. 141. 

30. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebras- 
ka Press, 1965), p. 499. 


property off the tax rolls, would threaten grazing rights, hunting 
and fishing privileges, and control of the famous elk herd,"^^ 

These were the same arguments against park extension published 
in the Grand Teton in the early thirties under headlines reading: 
"Dude ranch possibilities in Jackson Hole," "How Rockefeller, Jr., 
will remove thousands of dollars from Teton County tax rolls," 
"Restrictions placed upon small sheep and cattle men burdened by 
low prices and scant ranges," "Why not give the Jackson Hole 
country the benefit of its own elk herd," and "Robbing the widow 
of her mite."^^ 

In July, 1943, former Wyoming Governor Leslie A. Miller stated 
in the Casper Tribune-Herald that "the dramatic stories about dis- 
possessing the ranchers, ruining the cattle business and taking up- 
wards of 200,000 acres off the tax rolls, amount to nothing but 
hysterical or malicious bunk."^^ 

The Grand Teton's cries were still being echoed in June, 1943, 
when the Wyoming Stock Growers Association president told the 
annual convention, "this is the Boston Tea Party and we will never 
rest until we are in fact, as well as in name. Sovereign States."^^ 

Yet, there was a difference. The Grand Teton was not pub- 
hshed to champion "States' Rights" as an abstraction, but rather to 
attack individuals, the "Fabian-Albright-Rockefeller" triumvirate. 

This was the tragedy. Personal animosities and prejudices, such 
as were aired and aggravated in the Grand Teton, had clouded the 
park extension issue with an emotionalism which prevented its 
resolution for over 30 years. The citizens of Jackson Hole who 
were so busy fighting Rockefeller and the Park Service, failed to 
recognize that the interests of the extension proponents were not 
inimical to their own. They too hoped to see the town of Jackson 
flourish as a community and were eager to preserve the scenic 
beauty of the surrounding area as an economic asset, not a liability. 

According to the Grand Teton, "Rockefeller was worse than 
Stalin, Dictator of the Slavs, a man who had robbed the widow of 
her mite, and sent her out into the world an outcast, without home 
or fireside. It would have been less cruel to have stood her against 
the wall to face the firing squad."^^ Was such invective partly 
responsible for S.R. 226 introduced on June 9, 1932, proposing an 
investigation of Rockefeller's Snake River Land Company and its 
concessionary corporations? Had the Grand Teton "called the 
hand of park extensionists"?^^ 

31. Ibid.. V. ^99. 

32. Grand Teton, Jan. 19, 1932, Jan. 5, 1932, May 31, 1932, Mar. 22, 
1932, and Oct. 4, 1932. 

33. T. A. Larson, op. cit., p. 501. 

34. Ibid., p. 500. 

35. Grand Teton, Oct. 4, 1932. 

36. Kemmerer Gazette, Jan. 30, 1931. 


In trying to establish the Grand Teton's place in the park exten- 
sion controversy, I am relying on the acounts of that controversy as 
related in three letters written by Harold P. Fabian, Horace M. 
Albright, and Vanderbilt Webb. Although Fabian served as Rock- 
efeller's legal agent, Webb as President of the Snake River Land 
Company, and Albright as Director of National Parks, I consider 
their letters to be authorative sources despite an obvious pro- 
extension bias. After considerable discussion, these letters were 
printed in the transcript of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee Investiga- 
tion of the proposed enlargement of Grand Teton National Park 
held in Jackson, in August, 1938. Written in the spring of 1933 at 
the request of Wilford Nielson, editor of the Jackson's Hole Cour- 
ier, these letters were published in the Courier at that time, and 
thus early establishing them as chronicles of the controversy.^^ 

I supplement the information contained in these letters with the 
more interpretive account related by Albright in an official inter- 
view taped in September, 1967.^^ 

The Jackson Hole country north of the Gros Ventre River was 
first recommended for park status in 1898 by Charles Walcott who 
explored the area as a Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 
Theodore Roosevelt had made a very strong statement about saving 
the Teton country after hunting expeditions in 1893 and 1903.^^ 
But until the armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, most of the 
country had but one thought — and that was the war. 

Horace M. Albright, then Superintendent of Yellowstone Park, 
launched his campaign to save the Teton country in August, 1919, 
by calling his first public meeting in Jackson. "It was one of the 
roughest meetings I have ever seen! They accused the Park Serv- 
ice of ruining the country. Anything we did down here would ruin 
the dude business. They did not want tourist development."^'^ 

But it was at that first "local stampede meting" that Albright 
recognized, "I was at heart in agreement with the Jackson Hole 
people. They wanted to preserve their country intact, and this was 
what I wanted to do."" 

In 1917 a state highway department was established in Wyo- 
ming. By 1918 there were 15,900 registered automobiles, ten 
times as many as there had been five years earlier.*^ As enthus- 
iasm for more and better roads spread throughout the state in the 

37. Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., pp. 5-41. 

38. Interview with Horace M. Albright, former National Park Service 
Director, by Assistant Superintendent Robert Haraden and Chief Park 
Naturalist William Dilly, at the Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson, Wyo., Sep. 
12, 1967. 

39. Ibid., p. 5. 

40. Ibid., p. 10. 

41. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 8. 

42. T. A. Larson, op. cit., pp. 407-408. 


early twenties, the dude ranchers of Jackson Hole were suddenly 
concerned that their valley be protected from an "invasion of tin 
can tourists" which the highways would bring. 

Albright was invited to attend a meeting in the Maude Noble 
cabin on July 26, 1923. Here, he was approached by a few old 
inhabitants of Jackson Hole who had been opposed to the National 
Park Service but who were nevertheless eager to remove the area 
from possible commercialization and turn it into a national recrea- 
tional area.^^ 

It is significant that at this meeting it was decided to try to get 
financial support from the East for the preservation of the Jackson 
Hole as a sort of "museum on the hoof." Jack Eynon, a rancher, 
and Dick Winger, former owner and publisher of the Jackson's 
Hole Courier, went East with this intention on $2000 raised by 
Albright, Struthers Burt, and their friends.^* 

It was in 1924 that Jackson Hole first welcomed a most impor- 
tant easterner, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Returning again in July, 
1926, Rockefeller became captivated with Albright's dream of 
preserving the Teton country. He asked for a map and price 
schedule of the lands in the area which Albright took East to him 
in the winter of 1926-27. Rockefeller was going to realize the 
"dream" by purchasing these lands and donating them to the 
federal government for a national park.^^ 

Rockefeller's representatives hired the Salt Lake City law firm of 
Fabian & Clenendin, and Harold P. Fabian organized the Snake 
River Land Company as a Utah corporation on August 25, 1927. 
The Jackson State Bank was designated as the principal office of 
the company in Wyoming, and R. E. Miller, the bank president, 
was employed as the resident purchasing agent in Wyoming. 
Neither MiUer nor Fabian was informed as to the identity of the 
principals in whose interests they were acting.'*^ 

"Publicity for such an undertaking would have been fatal. Any 
announcement that Mr. Rockefeller contemplated making exten- 
sive purchases in Jackson Hole would have resulted in such an 
immediate skyrocketing of prices as to require the abandonment of 
the project."^^ 

It was only on April 6, 1930, that Rockefeller's connection with 
the Snake River Land Company and his intentions of donating the 
newly purchased land to the National Park Service was released to 
the press.^^ 

43. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 3. 

44. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 11. 

45. Ibid., p. 14. 

46. Harold P. Fabian, letter, op. cit., p. 23. 

47. Ibid., p. 21. 

48. Ibid., p. 28. 


When Miller's contract with the Snake River Land Company 
expired on December 31, 1929, it was not renewed. Fabian sug- 
gested that Miller had not been purchasing land quickly enough.^^ 
Opponents of park extension suggested that Miller quit when he 
found out who was behind the Snake River Land Company.^" 

Tricked into participating in the conspiracy to "steal Jackson 
Hole, lock, stock, and barrel," Miller testified that Vanderbilt 
Webb, the president of the Snake River Land Company, had as- 
sured him that the purchases he was making, while for conservation 
and preservation of the scenic beauties and the wildhfe, had no 
connection with park creation or park extension.^^ He produced 
as evidence a letter addressed from Webb to himself, dated May 3, 
1928, "you can rest assured and can honestly assure others that our 
project is entirely independent from the new park, and has nothing 
whatever to do with it, although I can't see what difference it should 
make to an individual whose land we are buying what it is being 
bought for, provided we pay the price for it."°^ 

Richard Winger, who replaced Miher as purchasing agent for the 
Snake River Land Company, and subsequently worked continually 
to secure within the park system the lands purchased by Rockefel- 
ler for that purpose, testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee 
of Public Lands in August, 1933, "It was not until the winter of 
1928 that I learned who was behind it . . . that the Rockefeller 
Foundation was buying land for park and game purposes. I felt 
left out, quite piqued over it."^^ 

The short session of Congress in December, 1928, saw many 
national park bills signed. The Grand Teton National Park bill, 
signed on February 26, 1929, created a small 150-square-mile na- 
tional park completely within Wyoming's boundaries. Also, the 
long-debated Yellowstone Park boundaries were partially adjusted 
with the signing of the Norbeck bill on March 1, 1929. 

Many considered the park extension issue to be closed. Albright 
was said to have promised at one of the public meetings held in 
1928 that, "if the pending Teton Park proposal should be approved 
by Congress, that would be the end of national park extension 
projects. "^^ When the Snake River Land Company made public 
its park extension plans in April, 1930, and Albright's cooperation 
in these activities was revealed, there were many who felt "be- 

49. Ibid., pp. 26-27. 

50. Bill Simpson, Grand Teton, Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 246. 

51. Investigating the activities of the Snake River Land Co., as related to 
the proposed Grand Teton National Park Extension, Hearings on S.R. 226, 
U.S. Senate Subcommittee of Public Lands, 73rd Cong., 2d sess. (Jackson, 
Wyo., 1933), p. 36. 

52. Ibid., p. 40. 

53. Remarks of Richard Winger, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 159. 

54. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 17. 


trayed" or at least "piqued," like Richard Winger, at being left out. 
They had been passed over, neither consulted nor informed while 
an "Eastern money bags" and a federal agency proceeded to map 
out the future of their valley. They did not share the national park 
ideal as described by A. B. Cammerer when recounting the story of 
its development in 1938: 

A bunch of explorers sitting around their fireside, mulling over ex- 
periences of the past few weeks when one of them said, "this is some- 
thing too big and too wonderful for any one man, so I will take the 
Yellowstone Falls"; and another one said, "I would like to have the 
lower geyser basin," and another, "I'll take the upper geyser basin," 
and another wanted the hot springs. But one said, "This is too big for 
any of us, it belongs to the nation."^^ 

There were many in Jackson who considered the National Park 
Service to be merely another federal, bureaucratic agency, locked 
in a fight with other agencies such as the Forest Service, and the 
Elk Commission to get control of Jackson Hole. 

Unwilling to be pawn in a power struggle, the citizens of Jackson 
were eager to assert their local autonomy. And what better way 
could there be than with a local newspaper, written and published 
by a group of citizens? 


In his book on American Journalism, Frank Luther Mott de- 
scribes the typical country editor as "usually one of the most im- 
portant men in the town — a leader in public affairs. "^^ 

Horace M. Albright sought out Jackson's "country editor" when 
he launched his campaign in 1928 to win local support for park 

"I had no contact at all in the Jackson Hole that I knew, so I 
did like lots of other people do, you go to the newspaper office. 
I went to the newspaper office in Jackson and got acquainted 
with Dick Winger who owned the Jackson's Hole Courier at that 

But in Jackson, Wyoming, in 1918, the local newspaper editor 
did not hold the political power which Albright had expected he 
would. Albright later recognized this over-estimating the power of 
the press as his one big mistake. "It was a very serious one. I 
didn't look further than Winger. I didn't make any inquiries about 
the people of Jackson Hole other than Winger. I didn't find out 
that a man in Jackson was really king of this hole down here — 
Robert E. Miller. Had I gone at this thing correctly, I would have 

55. Remarks of A. B. Cammerer, Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 204. 

56. Frank Luther Mott, American Journalism (New York: Macmillan 
Co., 1962), p. 479. 

57. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 7. 


got acquainted with Mr. Miller. I would have recognized him as 
tiie man to talk to. Instead of that, I talked to a relative newcomer, 
a young man who had the newspaper."^^ 

It is probable that Robert E. Miller, the man Albright "slighted" 
in 1918, financed the Grand Teton some 10 years later. 

Such was the conclusion of Mrs. Harold P. Fabian, local histor- 
ian and author of the Jackson Hole Story. ^^ (Mrs. Fabian owns 
one of the two existing private collections of the Grand Teton in 
which her husband is so often attacked as Rockefeller's legal coun- 
sel and vice president of the Snake River Land Company.)®" 

Miller was a rich man. More than $75,000 of mortgages on 
Jackson Hole properties, held by Miller, President of the Jackson 
State Bank, and the bank itself, had been cleared up as a result of 
Rockefeller's land-buying operations as indicated in testimony at 
the time of the U.S. Senate Subcommitte Investigation in 1933.®^ 
Miller testified that as an individual he had held $10,000 in mort- 
gages, paid up to him by people selling their lands to the Snake 
River Land Company, and that in 2 1/2 years of service he re- 
ceived $13,000 in commissions from the Snake River Land Com- 
pany.®2 (He served as purchasing agent from June 15, 1927, to 
December 31, 1929.)«3 

On record in opposition to the creation of national parks since 
1919, when Congressman Mondell first introduced his bill for the 
extension of Yellowstone Park,®^ Miller felt that the Snake River 
Land Company officials had deceived him, assuring him that the 
land purchases had nothing to do with the new national park.^ 
(Evidence is cited in the preceding chapter.) 

A Jackson Hole rancher since 1885, Miller had once served as a 
forest supervisor. He admitted to running a thousand head of 
cattle in the National Forest in the summertime.®^ His hostihty 
towards the Park Service, and Mr. Albright in particular (the 
modem Machiavelli" attacked so often by the Grand Teton), were 
widely recognized, 

Harold Fabian testified, "Mr. Albright told me Mr. Miller had 
been opposed to the Park Service and to Mr. Albright personally 
for a number of years. Albright felt that if Miller knew that he had 

58. Ibid., p. 9. 

59. Statement made to the author by Mrs. Josephine Fabian, Salt Lake 
City, Utah, Sep. 16, 1968. 

60. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 30. 

61. "Land Profiteering Alleged," New York Times, Aug. 10, 1933, p. 13. 

62. Remarks of Robert E. Miller, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 59. 

63. Ibid., pp. 37-60. 

64. Ibid., p. 36. 

65. Letter from Vanderbilt Webb to Robert E. Miller, Hearings on S.R. 
226, op. cit. 

66. Remarks of Robert E. Miller, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 47. 


anything to do with the inception of the Snake River Land Com- 
pany, that Mr. Miller would probably not have anything to do with 
it — because of personal animosity to Mr. Albright."^^ 

During the U.S. Senate Subcommitte Investigation of 1933 Mil- 
ler denied having any interests in any newspaper project in the 

Bill Simpson, the recognized editor and publisher of the Grand 
Teton, corroborated Miller's testimony that the paper was in no 
way indebted to Mr. Miller or his bank. It was a stock proposition 
and Simpson listed Van Vleck, Gill, MerciU, and Gabbey as the 
principal stockholders of the Grand Teton PubUshing Company.®* 

The first issue of the Grand Teton was edited by "The Three 
Musketeers," C. R. Van Vleck (secretary and treasurer), C. H. 
Brown (business manager), and J. P. Doman, Jr., (solicitor and 
temporary editor). It was "owned, controlled, and published by 
your neighbors and friends," until April 12, 1932, when, in accord- 
ance with the August 24, 1912, Act of Congress, a complete state- 
ment of ownership and management as of April 1 st, was included.''^" 
At that time, Frank Lovejoy, William L. Simpson, and C. H. 
Brown shared the honors. 

What positions did the "puppets boasting ownership of the 
Grand Teton"'^'^ hold in the town of Jackson? 

C. R. Van Vleck, a resident since 1906, owned the Jackson 
Mercantile Company, and a summer home on the shores of Jackson 
Lake, built on land issued him with a Forest Reserve permit.^- 

Van Vleck's personality as well as his strong feelings against 
park extension are evident in an incident which occurred after the 
August, 1919, meeting in Jackson, as related by Horace Albright: 

,Mrs. Tollman, the wife of a federal official, the public lands com- 
missioner, had been in Van Vleck's store, to buy some things and a 
group of people who were at the massacre the night before were talk- 
ing about hanging the government officials. They didn't specify my 
name. And they were talking about what kind of rope they would 
use. They had rope on spools ... I suppose they saw her come in, 
you know, and they just started this line of talk. But they had her in 
terror. 73 

C. H. Brown was a blacksmith, and president of the Lions 
Qub.'^^ (Doman's Bar still stands at the entrance to Grand Teton 
National Park at Moose.) 

67. Remarks of Harold P. Fabian, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 72. 

68. Remarks of Robert E. Miller, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 61. 

69. Remarks of Bill Simpson, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 62. 

70. Courier, Mar. 31, 1932. 

71. Courier, Feb. 15, 1934. 

72. Remarks of C. R. Van Vleck, Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., p. 159. 

73. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 12. 

74. Grand Teton, Jan. 17, 1933. 


Frank Lovejoy served Jackson for 27 years, with the Jackson 
Valley Telephone Company, until that Company was taken over 
by the Mountain States Telephone Company, causing the Courier 
to remark, "a relief to many who have felt it necessary to mail 
important telegrams to the nearest telephone office, rather than file 
them at the local station . . . but the question 'what will Fred do 
now for a means of disseminating the news,' is already answered as 
he blossoms out as a new editor for the Grand Teton.''''^ 

On March 22, 1932, G. S. Bott, a job printer who came up from 
Kemmerer to work on the Grand Teton, "^^ replaced Doman as 
solicitor on the masthead. 

It is not until July 22, 1932, that William L, Simpson is given 
full credit as the sole editor of the Grand Teton. Was the Grand 
Teton losing its backers? Or had they merely decided to be 

Bill Simpson was certainly the frontier editor of the West, airing 
his prejudices freely in the columns of his paper. Horace Albright 
gives us a brief biographical sketch of the Grand Teton's editor: 

A man named Simpson, Bill Simpson, the father of Senator Simp- 
son who just retired, came over here from Cody. He had killed a 
son who just retired, came over here from Cody. 

So he came down here. He had a brother who was a guide down here, 
Jim Simpson. He was an intelligent fellow (Bill) and he was engaged 
by the enemy in Jackson.'''^ 

Simpson testified in the investigation of 1933, "owing to illness, 
a few years ago I came back here, not to practice law so much, but 
just to live here during my allotted time."'^ 

"Simpson had no previous journalistic experience, I think: al- 
though I may be incorrect," wrote Bill McDougall, who worked as 
a reporter for the Grand Teton during the first few months of its 

It was while attending a winter luncheon meeting of the Jackson 
Lions Club that McDougall (then employed as a fishing guide for 
S. N. Leek) approached a group of gentlemen opposed to park 
extension. "I gave them a fervent sales talk on my abilities as an 
editor and newspaper reporter, and on the glowing future of a 
sports and recreation magazine with its base in Jackson Hole. 
This, I thought, would do them more good nationally than a local 

75. Courier, Mar. 31, 1932. 

76. Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H. McDougall, Salt Lake City, Utah, letter to 
author, Nov. 28, 1968, A. L. S., p. 2. 

77. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 29. 

78. Remarks of Bill Simpson, Hearings on S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 62. 

79. Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H. McDougall, letter to author, op. cit., (except 
where footnoted, the remainder of this chapter is taken from McDougall 


weekly, for this fight would be won or lost in Congress which 
authorizes national parks and their acquisition. They turned down 
the magazine idea in favor of a weekly newspaper," 

McDougall was hired as a reporter for the Grand Teton, "I 
wrote all the news copy except the editorials, 1 think," Eugene 
Tumey, a college friend of McDougall's sold the advertising. Bill 
Simpson was editor and publisher. There were feature articles by 
S, N. Leek, already famous for his photographs of the Jackson Hole 
Elk Herd. 

McDougall cited the Elk Bar as one of his news sources, "al- 
though I was so poor I could seldom buy a drink." Sometime in 
January or February of 1932 he and Tumey were informed that 
the Grand Teton could no longer afford to hire them. McDougall 
left Jackson Hole, "flat broke and hungry, but in good spirits, re- 
turning in May, 1932, with three other young men to prospect for 
gold. On August 23, 1932, we read in the Grand Teton that 'Bill 
McDougall is now prospecting at Stanley Reasor's place. Bill 
worked on the Grand Teton last winter and is well-known through- 
out Jackson'." 

From the ignominy of the Grand Teton, McDougall was hired 
as a correspondent by the Salt Lake Telegram, an evening daily, 
and working up through the usual routes of reporting, re-write, 
assistant city editor, resigned in 1939 to travel to the Far East, 
working for a while in Tokyo on the Japan Times, then joining the 
United Press in its Shanghai Bureau. After returning to the United 
States, McDougall spent a year at Harvard as a Neiman Fellow, 
then another year in the Washington Bureau of United Press, 
resigning in 1948 to study for the Catholic priesthood. He is now 
the Right Reverend Monsignor McDougall of Salt Lake City's 
Cathedral of the Madeleine, 

McDougall was the exception. He stood out against a masthead 
of transient owners, the Three Musketeer editors, and the colorful 
Old West Bill Simpson; nor was he the local poet plying his pen 
for the anti-park extension cause, 

A storm of protest has been raised 

And echoes o'er the land, 

So I will add my voice with theirs, 

By taking pen in hand. 

I really cannot see the use 

Of Hoover's policy, 

In clamping down the lid so tight 

On us, by jiminyl^o 

Lucille Deloney appeared as news editor in September, 1932, 
Bill Simpson's name was dropped from the masthead of the Grand 

80. Grand Teton, Dec. 22, 1931. 


Teton on April 2, 1934, and Helen Hansom was listed as editor in 
the last edition of May, 1934. 


"The opposition in Jackson Hole is becoming organized, who 
before the end of this year will have their own newspaper, pub- 
lished in Jackson, which will carry on in the great move to block 
the invaders."^^ 

The launching of the Grand Teton was announced by the Kem- 
merer Gazette on December 13, 1931. 'The Jackson Hole coun- 
try is to have a spick-and-span new newspaper, which will appear 
for the first time next Wednesday." Congratulating the officers of 
the newly formed Grand Teton PubUshing Company, the Gazette 
added, "the new company has ordered a complete commercial 
printing plant, which was shipped via Kemmerer yesterday for 
overland transportation from this city. Later, machinery for the 
newspaper will be installed. Until that time, the newspaper wiU 
come from the press of the Kemmerer Gazetted 

Meanwhile, the Grand Teton, "expecting in the near future to 
have a linotype and a newspaper press, that we may publish our 
newspaper complete right here in our office at Jackson, busied 
itself moving the plant, weighing several tons, to Jackson."^^ 

Publishing under a hyphenated masthead, the first issue of the 
Grand Teton explained, "The Reason for the Hyphen in the Grand 
Teton'?, name," 

Some of the readers of the Grand Teton may ponder over the addi- 
tional name, the Kemmerer Republican that appears on the mastheads. 
The Grand Teton Publishing Company purchased this franchise from 
the Kemmerer Gazette in 1924, and thus, the Republican, which, how- 
ever, in no sense indicates the politics of the Grand Teton, will con- 
tinue as part of this newspaper. One reason for the purchase of the 
Republican name, subscription list, and good will is to make the new 
Jackson newspaper a legal publication from the start, instead of hav- 
ing to publish 52 consecutive issues before it could acept legal 
notices . . . fi'-^ 

The Grand Teton was referring to a Wyoming statute, effective 
July 1, 1931: 

The publication of any legal notice or of any printing or advertising 
required to be published under the laws of this State shall be of no 
force or effect unless at least once each week for a period of 52 
consecutive weeks . . . which has a paid circulation of not less than 
500, each of the pages of which is not less than 10 x 14 inches. 

Provided, however, that any paper of legal newspaper status at the 
time of the passage of this Act shall not be affected hereby. 

81. Kemmerer Gazette, Dec. 13, 1931. 

82. Grand Teton, Dec. 22, 1931. 

83. Grand Teton, Dec. 22, 1931. 


Provided, however, that the provision of this Section sliall not 
apply in counties where no newspaper has been regularly issued for 
52 consecutive weeks, nor where there is but one newspaper in the 
county, nor in any county where no newspaper can meet the require- 
ments of this Act.'^^ 

The Grand Teton was eager to attain legal status so that it could 
accrue some revenue by publishing legal notices. 

Bill McDougall explained, "in order to begin immediately with 
legal advertising, a prime source of revenue to a country weekly, 
they bought the franchise of the defunct Kemmerer Republican, 
as well as its equipment." 

"They managed to ship in a job press from Kemmerer, but 
winter snows kept the newspress from coming in. So the Grand 
Teton was printed in Kemmerer (170 miles away) and mailed to 
Jackson. Until the Hoback Canyon was closed by snow, the mails 
came in by truck; after that they went by rail to Victor, Idaho, and 
by horse-drawn sled over Teton Pass into Jackson Hole."^-'* 

The arrival of the new press overland from Kemmerer was never 
announced in the Grand Teton. Mrs. Harold P. Fabian, Horace 
Albright, and Bill McDougall all affirm that the Grand Teton was 
always printed in Kemmerer. 

As early as February 6, 1931, the Kemmerer Gazette anticipated 
the Grand Teton's editorial style — vituperative to the point of be- 
ing ridiculous: 

Delving into the Future Shows What Could Happen to Happy 
Prosperous Jackson Hole: 

Wyoming: Old timer sheds a tear as he visualizes results of phil- 
anthropic move to create parks of what is left of the West's last 

Jackson, Wyoming, 1928 ... a thriving, growing little city. 

Jackson, Wyoming, 1938 . . . "Your pump's empty, got any gas? 
How much is it? Forty cents, great Scott . . . How far is it to 
Jackson? What, this is Jackson? What happened? Cyclone wipe 
er out?" 

"Worse than that . . ." 

"See that black streak in the sky over yonder? Storm coming up?" 

"That's no storm. Them's buzzards." 

In January, 1932, the Kemmerer Gazette was "published by 
Lester G. Baker," with no variation in this statement through No- 
vember 25, 1932; but the issue of the paper for December 2, 1932, 
stated that it was "published by C. Watt Brandon, Editor and Man- 
ager."®^ (Brandon had also served as editor of the Sheridan 
Journal, a triweekly, and was the founder of the Pinedale Roundup 

84. S.C.S. 27-825. 

85. Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H. McDougall letter to author, op. cit. 

86. Katherine Halverson, Wyoming State Archives and Historical De- 
partment, Cheyenne, Wyo., letter to author, Oct. 29, 1968, A.L.S. 


and the Kemmerer Camera, and was "one of Wyoming's oldest and 
most popular publishers." )^^ 

Baker's antagonism towards the National Park Service was re- 
corded as early as the "local stampede meeting" in Jackson, in 
August, 1919. Albright wrote, "Lester Baker, whom I had never 
seen before, and have not seen since, had been driven into a ditch 
by a yellow bus in Yellowstone Park and was holding me respon- 
sible for the accident."^^ 

Harold Fabian added, "Mr. Lester G. Baker, the editor of the 
Kemmerer Gazette, had gone over the entire project at my office in 
January, 1930. He expressed his approval, but said that he had 
always been an opponent of so-called park extension and he did 
not feel he could take a position which apparently would be revers- 
ing himself until we had placed the facts of our project publicly 
before the people of Wyoming. "^^ This was done (as mentioned 
earlier) on April 6, 1930. The Gazette's editorial policy on park 
extension did not change. 

On July 23, 1931, the Courier commented, "It's rather hard to 
understand why editor Baker is taking so much interest in the 
welfare of Teton County at this time . . . roaring, ranting, and 
raving in the Kemmerer Gazette." And on August 13, 1931, it 
carried a two column head, "Kemmerer Gazette again Embarrasses 
Wyoming ... its August 7 edition branded the Salt Lake Tribune 
as the long-distance selling agent for Rockefeller's Jackson Hole 

McDougall wrote, "a Kemmerer man, whose name I have now 
forgotten, but who had published either the Republican or another 
newspaper in Kemmerer or Rock Springs was largely instrumental 
in getting the Republican franchise and helping set up shop in 
Jackson .... Heads were written in Kemmerer where it was 
made-up and printed. "^° 

But it was financial necessity, more than sympathetic editorial 
policies, which cemented the bond between these two papers. 

The Grand Teton had neatly evaded a statute designed to dis- 
courage "mushroom newspapers," at a time when the Depression, 
the incursions of radio, and the expensive new linotype machinery 
forced many of the nation's newspapers into merger and consolida- 
tion. (In January, 1930, the Sheridan Post Enterprise purchased 
a new press at a cost of $30,000, quite a substantial investment. )^^ 
Between 1914 and 1940 the number of country weeklies published 
in the United States diminished from 14,000 to 11,500.^2 The 

87. Courier, Nov. 13, 1930. 

88. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 8. 

89. Harold P. Fabian^ letter, op. cit., p. 28. Emphasis added. 

90. Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H. McDougall, letter to author, op. cit. 

91. Courier, Jan. 16, 1930. 

92. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit., p. 729. 


Kemmerer Gazette itself provides a case in point, for it was the 
product of the consoUdation of the Kemmerer Camera and the 
Kemmerer Republican (on May 2, 1934).^^ The national trend 
was also evidenced elsewhere in Wyoming. On November 13, 
1930, the Courier noted, "Two More Wyoming Papers Consolidat- 
ed with the sale of Sheridan's two papers, the Post Enterprise and 
the Journal to a company of Sheridan county men." 

Frank Luther Mott's statement, "the job-printing office was an 
integral part of the country newspaper business,"^^ is apphcable to 
the Grand Teton. McDougall singled out the principal problem in 
publishing the Grand Teton as a lack of money. "Advertising and 
job printing were essentials, for circulation revenue was so low."^^ 

The Grand Teton frequently ran a subscription order blank at 
the bottom of the front page, "FILL OUT THIS BLANK AND 
MAIL NOW," and cost its readers $2.00 a year — in advance. 

Admonishments to "Read it First in the Grand TetonV were 
accompanied by boasts, "Some don't like us — AMEN! Some don't 
tolerate us — YEAH! Subscription lists show our friends are 
legion. '"^^ Still, the Grand Teton advertised, even publishing verse 
written in praise of the paper. Without any record of the subscrip- 
tion lists, we can assert only that the Grand Teton "was for Sale at 
Kay's Sweet Shop in Jackson."^" 

Due to incursions of the radio, and the Depression, newspaper 
advertising dropped 15% in 1930, 24% in 1931, 40% in 1932, 
45% in 1933.^^ The Grand Teton showed evidence of this grim 
situation. By publishing on Tuesday, it followed the example set 
by many country weeklies trying to avoid competition with the 
growing Sunday papers.^^ 

A series of cartoons plugging the merits of advertising appeared 
on the front page on April 12, 26, and May 5, depicting such scenes 
as a service station attendant telling the driver of a car marked 
"Business," "What you need. Sir, is advertising oil."^'^'^ 

A supporting editorial declared, "It is the observation of the 
editor after 30 years spent in advertising, many merchants think 
that advertising is like hog calling . . . this is not so."^^^ 

The running story of the thirties, a report on the Depression, and 
the methods used to combat it, Chicago's soup kitchens, and the 

93. Collection of Kemmerer newspapers, (microfilm) Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Dept., Cheyenne, Wyo. 

94. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit. 

95. Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H. McDougall, letter to author, op. cit. 

96. Grand Teton, Dec. 13, 1932. 

97. Ibid., May 9, 1933. 

98. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit., p. 480. 

99. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit., p. 480. 

100. Grand Teton, May 3, 1932. 

101. Ibid.. Feb. 7, 1933. 


NRA's blue eagle were relegated to the inside pages of the Grand 

Proclaiming that the "Future is Bright!" the Grand Teton ex- 
plained, "the world has been saturated these past 12 months with 
depression propaganda. It has been singing the 'Hard Time Blues' 
until it was out of breath. Did we say the world? All of it but 
Jackson Hole. For the Depression seems not to have hit this little 
valley of ours in the same measure it cracked everyone else."^'^^ 

Perhaps Jackson Hole was protected from the severest effects of 
the Depression by her remoteness. As T. A. Larson states, "Ac- 
customed as they were to frugal living, the people of Wyoming 
suffered less from the Great Depression of the 1930's than did the 
nation."^*^^ But the Grand Teton's optimism focuses on Jackson 
Hole's economic potential. The purchases of the Snake River 
Land Company are proof that many residents were having a hard 
time and were eager to sell their land and get out. 

This situation created a strange incongruity in the pages of the 
Grand Teton. The story, told by the home-print front and back 
pages, was often different to that told on the inside pages of the 
Western Newspaper Union "boiler plate." Organized in Des 
Moines, Iowa, in 1880, the Western Newspaper Union was one of 
21 such companies supplying 3000 weeklies, two-fifths of those 
being published at the time. "After an individual payment for 
metal, the cost of the use of the 'boiler plate' as it came to be 
called, was only 25 cents a column. "^^'^ Mr. Albright adds inter- 
esting background relevant to the "boiler plate" which appeared in 
the Grand Teton, stating that John Dickison Sherman, the editor of 
the Western Newspaper Union at the time was a close personal 
friend of his. His wife was president of the General Federation of 
Women's Clubs, a group active in conservation. ^'^^ This helps to 
explain yet another instance of incongruity. On February 28, 
1933, the "boiler plate" pages of the Grand Teton carried a photo- 
graph and article, highly laudatory, about the philanthropic Rocke- 
feller family. The front page continued to condemn the Snakes of 
the Snake River Land Company, Rockefeller's crowd. 

A page of comics appeared for the first time on July 5, 1932. 
Among the regularly featured syndicated columnists were: Fannie 
Hurst, Will Rogers, the cowboy philosopher, and Ed Howe, a 
country editor famed for his pithy editorial paragraphs. 

"Current News Events the World Over" included: the kidnap- 
ping of the Lindbergh baby, the rise of Hitler, visiting royalty, and 
Franklin Roosevelt's election to the presidency. 

Local news items were scattered among the anti-park extension 

103. T. A. Larson, op. cii., p. 441. 

104. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit., p. 479. 

105. Interview with Horace M. Albright, op. cit., p. 30. 


articles on the front page: "Beautiful phenomenon seen here last 
week — three giant rainbows," "Last Leap Year Dance for Four 
Years — turn out girls, show the town you're a sport," "New Saw 
for Wort's Camp," and "Single Leg Saves Hen — adopted as house- 
hold pet."io« 

The Grand Teton was a typical country weekly. Social an- 
nouncements, news bulletins, and advertisements were run in a 
single column, separated only by a dash. But even here, two and 
three line space fillers, calling the hand of park extensionists were 
scattered throughout. 


The Jackson's Hole Courier did not immediately recognize the 
appearance of the new local weekly, the Grand Teton. However, 
it commented obliquely in December, 1931: "Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park again brings black headlines to Wyoming papers, as 
another session of Congress opens. "^°^ 

Jealous of its position as the only newspaper in the community, 
the Courier had "always appreciated the power of the country 
press — a tremendous factor in building up an American spirit and 
consciousness and in turning public opinion into wise avenues. "^"^ 
It frequently ran self-conscious editorials defining the role of the 
country press. 

Like most country weeklies, the Courier depended upon rev- 
enues from job printing, display advertising (at 25 cents per col- 
umn inch), and legal notices (at 10 cents per line).^*^^ It had 
financial difficulties long before the appearance of its competitor, 
often publishing reminders "to all subscribers who have recently 
received statements from the Courier, we would be pleased to 
receive a remittance, as we need the dough,"^^*^ and apologizing 
that "many a good editorial thought goes haywire on a country 
weekly because editors are kept busy hustling financially. "^^^ 

The Courier, like the Grand Teton, ran several sheets of syndi- 
cated copy from the Western Newspaper Union Service, Bell Syndi- 
cate Inc., and the McClure newspaper syndicate. Columnists hke 
Fannie Hurst, Ed Howe, and Will Rogers were featured on these 
pages in each issue. 

"Jackson Happenings" were covered in a regular column, usually 
on the front page, and the comings and goings of "ye old editor," 
Walter E. Perry, were also treated as top news stories. ^^- Sep- 

106. Grand Teton, Jan. 12 and Dec. 20, 1932. 

107. Courier, Dec. 24, 1931. 

108. Courier, Sep. 6, 1928. 

109. Courier, Dec. 18, 1930. 

110. Courier, Nov. 29, 1928. 

111. Courier, l!iov. 14, 1929. 

112. Courier, Apr. 9, 1928. 


arate paragraphs were allotted to the small outlying communities 
of Moose, Kelly, South Park and Moran. Art cuts of a moose and 
an elk, and a photograph of the Teton mountain range adorned the 
masthead, with frequent pictures of the area by S. N. Leek (later a 
contributor to the Grand Teton as a strong anti-extensionist) scat- 
tered throughout.^^-^ 

The Courier consciously projected the kind of local color which 
would appeal to the Eastern dudes. PubUcity for the Jackson Hole 
area was an objective as important as disseminating the news. 

It is not until March 17, 1932, three months after it started pub- 
lication, that the Grand Teton is mentioned in the Courier, and then 
only in the context of a letter to the editor, writen by a citizen 
whose good name had been slurred by the Grand Teton. 

In an editorial in the same issue the Courier stated, "It has been 
the policy of the Courier to ignore wanton attacks flung at various 
men in political and other life of the county ... we shall continue 
to ignore those of intangible and immaterial form." 

Rockefeller, Albright, Fabian, and the Snake River Land Com- 
pany officials disregarded the charges made against them in the 
Grand Teton.^^'^ The Courier later took issue with the Snake River 
Land Company on its attitude toward publicity as impractical, 
conceding that they "shouldn't take cognizance of the scurrilous 
attacks that smear the pages of the Grand Teton; still, the facts are 
needed and the Courier proposes to give the story."^^^ 

From March 31, 1932, until August, 1933, the Courier and the 
Grand Teton exchanged editorial blows. It was an interesting 
battle to trace, "much as the Courier disapproves of a fight between 
two newspapers."^ ^^ 

Jackson's two attorneys,^^" Wilford Nielson and Bill Simpson, as 
editors of the opposing papers, used the park extension issue as an 
excuse to air their personal differences. The Grand Teton charged 
that Nielson was "an inactive, incompetent county attorney who 
has failed in his duty . . . this newspaper welcomes any attack upon 
him through the court or otherwise. "^^^ (Nielson was re-elected as 
county attorney in November, 1932.)^^^ And the Courier criti- 
cized "Editor Simpson, who boasts a smattering knowledge of 
the law — has apparently overlooked Chapter 78, Session Laws of 

113. Courier, Dec. 11, 1930. 

114. Statement made to the author by Mrs. Josephine Fabian, op. cit. 

115. Courier, Sep. 29, 1932. 

116. Courier, Mar. 22, 1934. 

117. Grand Teton, Dec. 22, 1931. 

118. Grand Teton, Aug. 23, 1932. 

119. Courier, Nov. 10, 1932. 

120. Courier, Mar. 8, 1934. 


Obviously, both lawyers were familiar with the Wyoming Con- 

Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects 
being responsible for the abuse of that right; and in all trials for libel, 
both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good intent 
and justifiable ends, shall be sufficient defense, the jury having the 
right to determine the facts and the law, under direction of the 

T. A. Larson, then Director, School of American Studies, Uni- 
vresity of Wyoming, who had studied thoroughly the circumstances 
of the Grand Teton National Park extension, wrote, "I do not recall 
any mention of hbel or slander suit stemming from the con- 
troversy. "^^^ 

The Courier's stand, favoring park extension, pre-dated Editor 
Nielson and Simpson's Grand Teton. On January 3, 1929, the 
Courier began publishing editorials clipped from other Wyoming 
newspapers on the Teton National Park question. "We're going to 
reprint all that we find so that the Readers may judge for them- 
selves."^^^ And the Courier did follow through with arguments 
pro and con. 

"The Jackson Courier editor says 'some say yes, and some say 
no' ... he doesn't know what the people of Jackson think about 
jt "124 Editor Perry of the Courier answered some prodding from 
the Dubois Frontier, "our analysis of the situation might surprise 
our Dubois friends, it's changed somewhat from our last expres- 
sions on the subject — analysis will come in an early issue. It will 
be impersonal so far as possible."^-^ Yet, in January, 1931, the 
Courier continued to assert its neutral position, "We are always 
pleased to publish opinions about park extension, regardless of the 
attitude of the writer. We find food for thought in all of them."^^^ 

It was on April 30, 1931, that the Courier made its "Declaration 
of Independence." 

"What little we've had to say about park extension has been 
more in favor of the plan rather than against it . . . we've tried to 
ride the fence . . . the editor got so dizzy that he took a tumble and 
now finds himself on that side of the fence known as park ex- 

C. H. Brown and L. G. Gill both withdrew their advertising from 
the Courier, "since Perry fell on the wrong side."^-^ Walter Perry 

121. State Constitution of Wyoming, Article I, Section 20. 

122. T. A. Larson, Laramie, Wyoming, letter to author, Nov. 12, 1968, 

123. Courier. Jan. 3, 1929. 

124. Courier. Nov. 27, 1930. 

125. Courier, Nov. 27, 1930. 

126. Courier, Jan. 1, 1931. 

127. Courier, Mar. 14, 1931. 


appeared as editor and owner for the last time on June 9, 1932. 
The announcement that Wilford Nielson had bought control of the 
Courier was not carried until September 15, 1932, along with the 
admission that Nielson had been supervising the publication for 
several weeks. 

The Grand Teton anticipated these events, charging, on May 10, 
1932, "Wilford Nielson heads the Rockefeller Press." These 
charges that the Courier was subsidized by Rockefeller money were 
investigated in the August, 1933, Senate Subcommittee investiga- 
tions and were not substantiated. 

The Courier was uninformed about the Snake River Land Com- 
pany as of August, 1929. Speculating upon its activities it wrote, 
"Upon good authority we have learned that the Snake River Land 
Company is a company of rich. Eastern sportsmen. Although the 
purpose of it all has been somewhat clouded with mystery, one who 
should know has remarked that the lands west of the Snake River 
would be turned over to the government as an addition to the 
Grand Teton National Park. The editor doesn't want to boost or 
knock the Snake River Land Company as condition's haven't 
clarified themselves enough for or against."^28 

The Courier appeared to be surprised to learn of Rockefeller's 
backing for the Snake River Land Company, when it published 
Fabian's press release of April 6, 1930, "Snake River Land Com- 
pany Officials Break Secrecy."^^^ 

Subsequent letters from these officials, published in the Courier 
were written, according to Richard Winger, "only on invitation. 
If a promiscuous campaign for public education were started, they 
would at once lay themselves liable to the accusation of putting out 

Winger served as editor and pubUsher of the Courier from 1917 
to 1918. He gave it up when hired by a group of cattlemen as 
propagandist to fight the extension of Yellowstone Park in 1919. 
Later he worked as Snake River Land Company agent purchasing 
lands for the extension of Grand Teton National Park.^^^ In 1929 
Winger approached Harold Fabian about purchasing the Courier. 
*T had no information about the Snake River Land Company at 
that time, but was eager to be in on the ground floor ... to get 
started in the recreation business ... we hoped to get hold of the 
Courier and make it a sort of recreation publication . . . but Fabian 
made it very plain that the Snake River Land Company could have 

128. Courier, Aug. 15, 1929. 

129. Courier, Apr. 10, 1930. 

130. Courier. Jan. 22, 1931. 

131. Remarks of Richard Winger, S.R. 226, op. cit., p. 151. 


no connection with a newspaper, nor assist in its purchase or 

Knowing that a mortgage sale was about to be held on the 

Courier by several men inimical to the extension plan, Struthers 

Burt (eager to prevent the opposition from acquiring a newspaper) 

also approached the Snake River Land Company about buying the 

newspaper, "They were wise enough to say, of course, they would 

Wilford Nielson corroborated the testimony that "neither Rocke- 
feller or any of his agents have had anything to do with the paper 
while they were representatives of this company." He explained 
how he first became involved with the Courier. Walter Perry, then 
the editor of the Courier came to Nielson's law office when he was 
about to have a mortgage foreclosed on some of his property by a 
local contractor, represented by attorney Bill Simpson. At that 
time. Perry suggested that a corporation be formed and that stock 
be sold for enough money to take care of his indebtedness. At the 
time of the Senate investigation in August, 1933, Nielson testified 
that he owned $8000 worth of the stock. His wife, Mrs. Nielson, 
held $500, and Mrs. Allen Reid held $1500 at that time.i34 

The Courier began to imitate the Grand Teton, scattering cap- 
italized words through editorials for additional emphasis: "We 
LOVE the Senator, and our childish trust is SO implicit. We just 
KNOW he will solve all our problems and requite this burning 
affection."^^^ Layout was no longer perfectly balanced. The front 
page was quite choppy with heads of varying sizes and frequent 

The Courier "perusing the pleasantries that percolate from Simp- 
son's prolific pen,"^^^ began to make up jingles of its own, renam- 
ing the Three Musketeers, the "Must-get-theirs."^^' Remarking 
about a Grand Teton caption, "Park Extensionists Don't Like 
Him" appeared under a picture of stem-faced Senator Carey, the 
Courier relabelled the picture, "What's wrong with this photo?"^^^ 
as though it were a boiler plate picture puzzle. 

Often it seemed that the Courier's "Principal objection was to 
the Grand Teton's mis-spelling of the county attorney's name 
(Nielson), perhaps due to an oversight of Editor SIMPONS."^^^ 

Reflecting the new awareness of the role of Congress in the local 
controversy as the August, 1933, U.S. Senate Subcommittee in- 

132. Ibid., p. 160. 

133. Remarks of Struthers Burt, S.R. 226, op. cit., pp. 17-18. 

134. Remarks of Wilford Nielson, S.R. 226, op. cit., pp. 470-472. 

135. Courier, Aug. 25, 1932. 

136. Courier, Mar. 31, 1932. 

137. Courier, Mar. 31, 1932. 

138. Courier. Aug. 25, 1932. 

139. Courier, Oct. 20, 1932. 


vestigation drew near, "Jackson Happenings," were relegated to 
the inside pages, being replaced by "Washington Current Com- 

On February 15, 1934, the Courier anticipated Bill Simpson's 
resignation of May, 1934, "underlying our exasperation and dis- 
gust, we have a feeling of sympathy for our esteemed fellow editor, 
William Simpson. Peculiarly fitted by temperament and disposi- 
tion, certainly the small group of disgruntled men for whom he has 
labored can find no fault with their servant as he rallies the rem- 
nants of his ragged forces in a 'last stand'." 

The final death knell of the Grand Teton was sounded on May 
31, 1934, by the Courier, when it announced the wedding of 
Lucille Deloney, former news editor of the Grand Teton: 

Simpson's cause was lost before he even started. Miller had pur- 
chased 30,000 acres of land for the Snake River Land Company before 
Simpson took up his cudgel ... As the Snake River Land Company 
advanced, the Grand Teton burned the bridges behind them ... to 
have turned back would have been a confession of guilt, admission to 
things they were accused of . . . and so, the parade went on. The 
Courier leading the way, the Snake River Land Company in the mid- 
dle, and the Grand Teton bringing up the rear.i^i 

Whichever paper "led the way," both had become involved in 
the "war of propaganda." Reading over these papers today one 
wonders how such charges and countercharges could have been 
taken seriously. 

The Courier didn't know "what it would do without Bill Simp- 
son."^^^ It even nominated him "to fry the fish at the dedication 
of the greater Grand Teton National Park." Still, it was relieved 
that "tiiere should be but one local newspaper, independent in 
politics, with park extension a soft pedal . . ."^^^ 


Wyoming's editors and publishers in 1932-33 are best character- 
ized, according to T. A. Larson, by the pride they took in the 
state's posture of self-reliance.^*^ 

Evidence of this attitude, as well as an indication of Wyoming's 
editorial opinion on park extension is found in articles, cHpped 
from the state's many newspapers and reprinted in the Courier. 
(The series of "borrowed" editorials on park extension begins on 
January 3, 1929, as stated in my last chapter.) 

The Cheyenne Tribune and the Casper Herald-Tribune were 

140. Courier, Aug. 3, 1933. 

141. Courier, Apr. 5, 1934. 

142. Courier, Mar. 29, 1934. 

143. Courier, Apr. 5, 1934. 

144. T. A. Larson, op. cit., p. 443. 


among the first to be quoted as favoring the creation of the Teton 
National Park.^^^ But Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming's only two 
cities with populations exceeding 10,000 (Cheyenne with 17,097 
and Casper with 16,764)^^^ were not representative. Their papers 
imitated the metropolitan daily rather than the country weekly 
style, in their eagerness to open up Wyoming to industrial develop- 
ment (as witnessed by the Casper Herald-Tribune's Industrial 
Edition). 147 

But the Courier also carried editorials clipped from the smaller 
papers of the state. The Dubois Frontier, Kemmerer Gazette, 
Green River Star, Lusk Herald, Riverton Review and the Sheridan 
Post Enterprise were among the contributors. 

Wyoming's chronic sectionalism was weakened by the park ex- 
tension issue. Letters from citizens' groups in Lusk, Buffalo, Grey- 
bull, Sheridan, Rock Springs, Riverton, ThermopoUs, Powell, Raw- 
lins, and Cody, submitted in evidence in the Senate Investigation 
of 1938, indicated that the opposition was not limited to one 

The editorials reprinted m the "neutral Courier''' in 1929-31 
are not always easily labelled pro or con. They were, however, 
well documented. Perry seemed to have known personally every 
newsman in the state of Wyoming, and credited every source of 
"borrowed" news. Taking issue with the Kemmerer Gazette, he 
chided, "be consistent. Baker [the editor], be consistent."^'*^ 
Complimenting an editorial in the Green River Star, he commend- 
ed editor Davis for his good work.^^*' When Sheridan's two papers 
consolidated, he included a brief biographical sketch of the former 
editor of the Journal, C. Watt Brandon, one of Wyoming's oldest 
and most popular publishers who had founded both the Pinedale 
Roundup and the Kemmerer Gazette.^^^ 

The country weekly editor in Wyoming at this time still needed 
to be a good back-shop man. When a new publication, the Gillette 
Daily Journal, appeared in Gillette, under the ownership and man- 
agement of Harmon C. Rice, Walter Perry described him as "an 
all-round printer of exceptional ability. If Rice wasn't a thorough 
printer, we would be led to believe that he was making a mistake 
in putting in a daily. "^^^ (Perry's own father, S. D. Perry, had 
been editor and publisher of the Gillette News in 1904.) 

In the perspective of the period, the Grand Teton's, affiliation 

145. Courier, Jan. 3, 1929, Mar. 7, 1929. 

146. Courier, June 19, 1930. 

147. Courier, Mar. 19, 1931. 

148. Hearings on S.R. 250, op. cit., pp. 90-100. 

149. Courier. Aug. 20, 1931. 

150. Courier, Veb. 19, 1931. 

151. Courier, Nov. 13, 1930. 

152. Courier, Dec. 18, 1930. 


with the Kemmerer Gazette does not seem so suspect. The fight 
between the Courier and the Grand Teton was not unique. 

On March 22, 1934, the Courier cheered, "Go to it!" as the 
Kemmerer and Rock Springs papers began to battle over the move- 
ment to make Rock Springs and not Kemmerer the point of diver- 
sion for Jackson Hole mail. 

Ernest H, Linford, now professor and head of the Journalism 
Department at the University of Wyoming, who was working at 
that time as a reporter for Laramie and Cheyenne papers wrote, 
"We regarded the Grand Teton as a paper put out by a special 
interest group."^^^ Evidence indicates that even the Grand Teton 
had a place in Wyoming's press family. 

An article, "With Wyoming Publishers," reprinted from the 
Inland Oil Index in the Courier, gave the latest gossip from the 
Wyoming press. Along with several amusing anecdotes, and the 
announcement that "Pat Flannery of the Goshen News has been 
nominated on the Democratic ticket for the legislature," came the 
item, ''Grand Teton threatens to depopulate Jackson by running 
out the bootleggers, prostitutes and pimps — provoked by a sub- 
scriber who got knocked in the head in a bootlegging joint." 

The Lusk Herald added, "although we guarantee our subscribers 
a reasonable amount of protection, danged if we are going to pro- 
tect you if you get mixed up in a scrape like that."^^^ 

The Grand Teton was represented by Fred Lovejoy, president of 
the Grand Teton Publishing Company, at a meeting of the Wyo- 
ming Press Association in Cheyenne in January, 1933. The Grand 
Teton boasted, "our reception by the independent and unfettered 
press of Wyoming has been gracious and cordial."^^" 

Evidently Bill Simpson was not ostracized by the other editors in 
the state. On July 30, 1931, the Courier recorded Arlan W. Coons' 
(editor of the Basin Republican Rustler) visit to Bill Simpson who, 
"having helped to lay out the Jackson to\Misite in 1897 on land 
that he owned, is once more back home and practicing law." 

On December 29, 1932, the Grand Teton announced that "Bill 
Simpson represents the AP. From now on, news from Teton 
County will at least have back of it, for good or bad, who sent 
it out." 

Tracy S. McCraken had already launched his career at the time 
of the Grand Teton's publication. At the time of his death in 1960 
he had built a newspaper empire controlling 7 of the 10 daily 
newspapers in the state. ^^^ Although McCraken consolidated and 
merged papers, nevertheless, he upheld the personaUsm and local- 

153. Ernest H. Linford, letter to author, Nov. 15, 1968. 

154. Courier, Sep. 15, 1932. 

155. Grand Teton. Jan. 19, 1932. 

156. T. A. Larson, op. cit., p. 573. 


ism of the Wyoming press. Recognizing the frontier-spirit of the 
press, McCraken later insisted that each of his papers "had a great 
measure of autonomy — in fact it has virtual autonomy."^^^ 

On December 31, 1931, the Courier announced that "the editor 
and publisher of the Wyoming Eagle, and co-publisher of the 
Gillette News Record and Newcastle News Letter, heads the newly- 
formed Rocket Publishing Company which has bought the Rock 
Springs paper." 

Although McCraken's success has been attributed to "revolu- 
tionary ideas,"^^^ Wyoming's Mr, Big embodied many of the char- 
acteristics of the country weekly editor, reflecting the versatility 
required in territorial life in the 20th century press. 

On June 13, 1926, when McCraken bought a bankrupt weekly 
newspaper, the Wyoming Eagle, his staff consisted of two linotype 
operators. "He was his own ad man, editorial writer, bookkeeper, 
pressman, reporter, and janitor." Six years later when the fat little 
weekly was a power in the state, and McCraken was a power in the 
Democratic Party, he converted it to a daily paper, the Wyoming 
Morning Eagle. By August 1, 1937, McCraken had forced his 
Republican opposition into a merger under which he retained 5 1 % 
of the Eagle and got 50% of the Tribune. The Wyoming State 
Tribune had ignored completely the advent of McCraken. ^^^ 

The Courier, which headlined the visit of editor Deming of the 
Wyoming State Tribune on November 5, 1931, was publishing an 
increasing number of editorials clipped from the Wyoming Eagle 
by 1934. 

But the Denver Post and the Salt Lake Tribune were cited more 
often than newspapers within the state, as the source of news on the 
park extension issue. Even these sources were not always reliable. 

Senator Carey, the "cow-conscious" champion of the stockman 
was misquoted in the Denver Post: 

A short time ago when I was in Denver, I was interviewed by Miss 
Frances Wayne of the Denver Post. This interview was as most inter- 
views. Miss Wayne asked me a great many questions, and made a few 
notes, and afterwards an interview was published and attributed to me 
stating that the Snake River Land Company, or its agents, had burned 
ranches and fences of people unwilling to sell their places. This did 
occur, but it occurred AFTER lands had been purchased, improve- 
ments were destroyed, including buildings and fences. I objected to 
this as destruction of taxable property. i<50 

Harold Fabian recounts another incident involving Senator 
Carey and his eagerness to release a "late development" which 

157. Lee Olson, "Revolutionary Newspaper Ideas Behind McCraken's 
Rise," Denver Post, July 13, 1952, p. 2AA. 

158. Loc. cit. 

159. Ibid. 

160. Remarks of Robert D. Carey, Hearings on S.R. 226, p. 150. 


never occurred. At a public meeting in Jackson, on September 2, 
1929, discussion was confined to problems of game management. 
The only action taken was a unanimous vote for adoption of the 
Winter bill which proposed the purchase of lands for the elk 

"After we returned home, an AP dispatch, under Cheyenne 
date line of September 10, was published in the Rocky Mountain 
News of Denver, Colorado, stating that at a meeting with Senator 
Walcott, Senator Carey said that representatives of Mr. Rockefeller 
had indicated they would approve Senator Carey's plan for the 
state park in the Jackson Hole country. The same article was 
published in the Cheyenne Tribune. None of us had agreed with 
Senator Carey's proposal for obvious reasons. "^^^ 

The editorial opinion of the Denver Post expressed at the con- 
clusion of the Senate Subcommittee Investigation of 1933 suggested 
a disdain for the "back fence spat of neighbors who have nothing 
better to do — not even a tempest in a teapot, it was more like a 
squall in a thimble."^^^ 

The Salt Lake Tribune added, "Carey promised an explosion of 
crookedness and graft that fizzled like a toy balloon."^^^ 


The Grand Teton National Park controversy received little pub- 
licity in the national press before the Rockefeller "trial by proxy" 
at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee Investigation of August, 1933. 
Although Yellowstone Park, set aside as early as 1872, had often 
come before the public in the nation's press, the Grand Teton 
mountain range was seldom heard of on the eastern seaboard. The 
press, however, could not resist Senator Carey's promise of a 
"nation-rocking scandal" in the context of the Teapot Dome.^^* 

The importance of getting Eastern financial support was recog- 
nized early by proponents of the "dream" to save Jackson Hole 
country. It is significant that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., had actually 
seen the area on two trips in 1924 and 1926, accompanied by 
Horace M. Albright, whose press agent activities on the national 
level were untiring. 

Albright's efforts to bring journalists West were duly noted in 
the Grand Teton: "Albright, finding the opposition strong in Jack- 
son Hole against park extension, called propagandists into the 

Let us trace the press agent activities of Mr. Albright as he 

161. Harold P. Fabian, letter, op. cit., p. 35. 

162. Courier, Aug. 17, 1933. 

163. Ibid. 

164. (Editorial) New York Times, Aug. 6, 1933, p. L 

165. Grand Teton, Jan. 3, 1933. 


outlines them in the 1967 interview, and the April 5, 1933, letter 
published in the Courier, which I have already cited as source 

"I made many trips to the Jackson Hole," Mr. Albright re- 
marked, "and I always took with me people who would appreciate 
the charm and beauty of the region and who, at the proper time, 
could be depended upon to help carry out our conservation 

The first reference to visiting newsmen is in connection with the 
Frontier Day Celebration in Cheyenne in the summer of 1919. A 
large group of Easterners, making the trip under the auspices of 
the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, crossed the state into Cody, and went 
from there through the Yellowstone Park.^^^ 

In September of that year, Elizabeth Frazer and Emerson 
Hough, both writers for the widely read Saturday Evening Post, 
were received as honored guests. The editor of the Post joined Mr. 
Albright in the summer of 1920, bringing with him his writers 
Emerson Hough and Hal G. Evarts. Herbert Corey, a writer for 
Colliers, also made the trip that summer. ^^^ 

As a result, the Saturday Evening Post that year carried several 
stories about the area: "Land of the Whopper," and "Last Wilder- 
ness," by Elizabeth Frazer, and "Pawning the Heirlooms," by 
Emerson Hough.^^^ The Post was joined by other magazines pro- 
moting the preservation of the Jackson Hole country and the Yel- 
lowstone Park, such as the Literary Digest and Outlook magazine. 

In 1921 a celebration was held for the opening of the road over 
Togwotee Pass. Emerson Hough, then writing for the Covered 
Wagon, traveled with Mr. Albright and Senator Kendrick. It was 
on this trip that Mr. Hough gathered material for his book, North 
of 36. This colorful account of the great cattle drives of Senator 
Kendrick's youth also appeared in serial form in the Saturday 
Evening Post, and later in motion pictures. ^'^° 

Although the Saturday Evening Post figured prominently in 
bringing the Jackson Hole country before the nation, it did not 
always have positive repercussions on the local level. In an article, 
written by Kenneth Roberts, which was published in the Post, Mr, 
Albright was titled, "the Grand Duke of Yellowstone." 

"He couldn't have possibly used a worse name. Now what he 
was trying to say was that I had a wonderful domain. It was 
laudatory, but the fellows in Jackson caught it up. They said, 'we 

166. Horace M. Albright, leUer, op. cit., p. 9. 

167. Ibid., p. 8. 

168. Ibid., p. 9. 

169. Saturday Evening Post, May 1, Jan. 24, Sep. 25 (1920). 

170. Horace M. Albright, letter, op. cit., p. 10. 


don't want any Grand Duke down here. We're not going to have 
any monarchy. We're not going to have any feudal system'. "^'^^ 

The Grand Teton caught this up, visiting royalty made good 
news copy, and "no King of medieval times was ever more avari- 
cious than H. M. Albright."i72 

The town of Jackson realized more than ever the value of public- 
ity, although its motive was not park extension, but rather tourism 
and the dude ranch business. The Courier often congratulated 
Struthers Burt, a Jackson rancher and author of the Diary of a 
Dude Wrangler, as "Wyoming's most celebrated novehst."^"^^ 

In March, 1929, the Courier "suggested again to the powers that 
be that members of the National Editorial Association be present at 
the Grand Teton National Park dedication. That would be one 
plumb good way of calling the world's attention to the new park 
and Jackson Hole . . . the publicity would be worth thousands to 

The National Editorial Association had attended the 1922 Semi- 
centennial Celebration of the creation of Yellowstone Park, and 
the New York Times had carried the story.^'^^ Ten years later, the 
Grand Teton pointed out, "some of the editors visited Moran, but 
NOT JACKSON . . . they went East agitating a great national park 
of all northwest Wyoming, and federal control of all wildlife."^^^ 
(The National Editorial Association, composed mostly of country 
weekly editors, had established national headquarters in St. Paul 
in 1919.)^" 

In 1929, dedication ceremonies at Grand Teton National Park 
were attended by NEA members from 36 states. The Courier 
was delighted with the slogan they coined, "Wyoming Worth 

Yet, the dedication of July 29, 1929, was not mentioned in the 
New York Times. The few, pro-conservation editorials which ran 
in the New York Times in the mid-twenties had been written with 
reference to the proposed extension of Yellowstone Park. (The 
Norbeck bill of March 1, 1929, provided a compromise adjustment 
of Yellowstone's boundaries.) Yellowstone had geysers and bears, 
which made good feature material. 

But the Senate Subcommittee Investigation of August, 1933, 
suddenly brought the Grand Teton National Park to the nation's 

171. Horace M. Albright, interview, op. cit., p. 17. 

172. Grand Teton, June 21, 1932. 

173. Courier, Aug. 16, 1928. 

174. Courier, Mar. 7, 1929. 

175. "President Harding sends a Message of Celebration of 50th Anni- 
versary of Reserve," New York Times, July 16, 1922. 

176. Grand Teton, May 9, 1933. 

177. Frank Luther Mott, op. cit., p. 729. 

178. Courier, Oct. 31, 1929. 


attention. On February 12, 1933, the Times carried the first item 
announcing "an investigation by the Public Lands Committee of 
the National Park Service plan for enlarging the Grand Teton and 
Yellowstone Parks, with respect to the connection of the Snake 
River Land Company and its concessionary corporations with the 
proposed expansion." The Senate had authorized a $5,000 appro- 
priation, to execute Senate Resolution 226. 

The day-by-day account of the "charges and counter charges, 
the chaotic conditions of the present and numerous plans,"^^^ was 
carried by the Times from August 5-12, 1933. 

The uninformed Easterner was early provided with the back- 
ground of the controversy. ^^° But the fight going on between 
Jackson's two papers, the Courier and the Grand Teton, was never 

Staff correspondents seemed to be most impressed with the local 
color of the event. A story printed on August 8 began, "Motley 
Throng of Picturesque West Faces Senators in Log Cabin in 
Jackson Hole." 

"In the log cabin headquarters for the Jackson Hole legionnaires, 
with the Teton peaks looming in the distance (here we question his 
accuracy as the Teton mountain range is not visible from the town 
of Jackson). The session room was packed to the doors with 
picturesque prospectors, mountaineers, park rangers, ranchers, and 
business men."^^^ 

Another story elaborates on the same theme, "A Senatorial in- 
quiry has seldom had a more magnificent setting. Sustained by the 
red meat of the wild animals they killed in this greatest game region 
of the United States, invigorated by the high altitude and the bitter 
winter cold, and wresting crops from the soil with primitive tools, 
they have bred a virile and daring strain of Americans. Cattlemen 
and sheepmen, cowboys and cowgirls, prospectors taking a holiday 
from creek sands and canyon rocks to have a look at a senator . . . 
tourists on cow-ponies guided by motion-picture cowboys are now 
a familiar sight in this onetime hideout of gun-toting badmen."^^^ 

Reporters delighted in quoting these Westerners, "Mrs. A. R. 
Dale, county school superintendent wanted her wail heard, 'we 
women folks have to dig and scratch and we have an awful time 
getting along'."^^^ 

The conservative New York Times carried the Jackson Hole 

179. George Gerling, "Inquiry into Jackson Hole Called Fight for the 
West," (Editorial) New York Times, Aug. 6, 1933, p. 1. 

180. Ibid. 

181. "Back Rockefeller in Teton Inquiry," New York Times, Aug. 8, 
1933, p. 20. 

182. William Atherton Dupuy, "Jackson Hole," New York Times, Aug. 
20, 1933. p. 6. 

183. New York Times, Aug. 11, 1933, p. 9. 


Story in second sections and inside pages, but heads like "Flareup 
Marks Teton Hearing,"^^* and "Land Profiteering Alleged in 
Teton,"^^^ underlined the excitement of this "fight for the West." 

The Times' editorials favored the proposed park extension. 
"The State of Wyoming will be losing something in taxes, (less 
than $10,000 a year) but this should be more than balanced by the 
expenditure within the state of those drawn to it . . . Millions will 
have a chance to see the most striking range in the entire Rocky 
Mountain region."^*^ 

About Rockefeller they commented, "the nation should be grate- 
ful to the citizen who, with high patriotic purpose, has recovered 
for 'public benefit' these surrounding areas of the nourishing moun- 
tains,"^^^ and "gold has been transmuted at his touch into the yet 
more precious metal of lake, forest, and mountain."^^^ 

A few Easterners were finally beginning to notice Jackson Hole, 
Wyoming. They recognized the benefits they would derive from 
the extension of the Grand Teton National Park. Conservation 
was coming into vogue. 


The story of the Grand Teton newspaper, and the "war of prop- 
aganda" fought between two local weeklies in Jackson, Wyoming, 
in the early thirties, occupies a unique place in the history of jour- 
nalism in Wyoming. Publishing in the 20th century, the Grand 
Teton embodies many of the characteristics associated with the 
frontier press of Wyoming's territorial days. 

Yet, the Grand Teton was also very much a part of its own time, 
the Depression-racked thirties. It did not outlast its reason for 
being, it did not survive the brief lull in hostilities in the Grand 
Teton National Park extension issue which occurred after the Sen- 
ate Subcommittee Investigation of August, 1933. 

One questions the significance of the local press in this park 
extension controversy. How could it influence a battle which 
would eventually be won or lost in the nation's Congress 2,000 
miles away? 

Although the Grand Teton's "storm of protest" appeared as a 
"squall in a thimble" to many living far from Jackson, still we can 
define its role in the controversy as a delaying action. It aired and 
aggravated the bitter hostilities and unreasoned prejudices which 

184. "Flareup Marks Teton Hearing," New York Times, Aug. 11, 1933. 
p. 9. 

185. New York Times, Aug. 10, 1933, p. 13. 

186. "Jackson Hole," (Editorial) New York Times, Aug. 10, 1933, p. 16. 

187. New York Times, May 7, 1934, p. 16. 

188. "Rockefeller and the Yellowstone," (Editorial) New York Times, 
Feb. 27, 1933, p. 14. 


prevented the resolution of the park issue for over thirty years. It 
was not until 1950 that a compromise bill was passed establishing 
the enlarged Grand Teton National Park. 

The Grand Teton was a propaganda sheet put out by a special 
interest group. But even as an evanescent country weekly, for 
two-and-a-half years it stood in the way of a "dream" from which 
generations of Americans would benefit, 


Grand Teton, Dec. 29, 1931 - May 15, 1934. 
Jackson's Hole Courier, Aug. 1928 - Mar. 1936. 
Kemmerer Gazette, Jan. 30 - Dec. 13, 1931. 
New York Times, Aug. 1933 - May 1934. 

Books and Articles 

Keen, Elizabeth. "Wyoming's Frontier Newspapers." Annals of Wyoming, 
Vol. 33, No. 2 (October, 1961). 

Kuntz, Eugene D. Newspaper Laws of Wyoming. 

Larson, T. A. History of Wyoming. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1965. 

McMurtrie, Douglas. "Early Printing in Wyoming." Papers of the Bib- 
liographical Society of America, XXXVI (Fourth Quarter, 1942), pp. 

Mott, Frank Luther. American Journalism, A History, 1690-1960. New 
York: Macmillan Co., 1962. 

Olson, Lee. "Tracy McCraken's Rise to Power." Denver Post, July 13, 

Saturday Evening Post, May 1, Jan. 24, Sep. 25, 1920. 

Goyernment Documents 

U.S. Congress. Senate. Subcommittee of Public Lands. Investigating the 
Activities of the Snake River Land Company, as Related to the Proposed 
Extension of Grand Teton National Park. Hearings (Jackson, Wyoming, 
Aug. 7-10, 1933) on S.R. 226, 73rd Cong., 2d sess. Washington: G.P.O., 

U.S. Congress. Senate. Subcommittee of Public Lands. Investigating the 
Proposed Grand Teton National Park Extension. Hearings (Jackson, 
Wyoming, Aug. 8-10, 1938) on S.R. 250, 75th Cong., 3d sess. Washing- 
ton: G.P.O., 1939. 

Interviews and Correspondence 


Albright, Horace M., former National Park Service Director, with author, 

Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson, Wyoming, Sept. 10, 1968. 
Albright, Horace M., by Assistant Superintendent Robert Haraden and Chief 

Park Naturalist William Dilly, Jackson Lake Lodge, Jackson, Wyoming, 

Sept. 12, 1967 (taped). 
Fabian, Mrs. Josephine, with author. Salt Lake City, Utah, Sep. 14-17, 1968. 
Correspondence : 

Albright, Horace M., Oct. 26, Nov. 18, 1968, Los Angeles, Calif. 
Fabian, Mrs. Josephine, Nov. 15, 1968, SaU Lake City, Utah. 
Halverson, Mrs. Katherine, Chief, Historical Research and Publications 

Division, Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, Cheyenne, 

Wyo., Oct. 3, Oct. 16, Oct. 29, Nov. 20, Dec. 16, Dec. 24, 1968. 


Kuntz, Eugene, Dean, College of Law, University of Oklahoma, Norman, 
Okla., Oct. 24, 1968. 

Larson, T. A., Director, School of American Studies, University of Wyo- 
ming, Laramie, Wyo., Nov. 12, 1968. 

Linford, Ernest, Chairman, Department of Journalism, University of Wyo- 
ming, Laramie, Wyo., Nov. 15, 1968. 

McDougall, Rt. Rev. Msgr. W. H., Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake 
City, Utah, Nov. 28, 1968. 

Schafer, Edwin, Public Relations Director, Union Pacific Railroad Co., 
Omaha, Nebr., Nov. 7, 1968. 

Simpson, Milward, former Governor of Wyoming, son of Bill Simpson 
{Grand Teton editor), Cody, Wyo., Sep. 11, 1968. 

Winger, Mrs. Marta (wife of Richard E. Winger), Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 6, 

One of the growing industries among the raikoads of Wyoming 
is the gravel trade on Sherman Hill, thirty-six miles west of Chey- 
enne on the main line of the Union Pacific. Several years ago the 
officials of the company made the discovery that the decomposed 
granite of which there is an unlimited supply, made a very good 
ballast. A number of carloads of the material were taken out and 
given a careful test, not alone for ballasting purposes but for paving 
as well. Several shipments were made to Denver, Omaha and 
other cities along the line of the Union Pacific, where the gravel 
was used for paving purposes with very satisfactory results. Dur- 
ing the past two years there has been a steady stream of cars from 
Sherman HUl loaded with gravel en route to the lines of the Union 
Pacific in Nebraska, where it has been used as ballast. This year 
the gravel pits are being v/orked on a larger scale than ever before, 
and the demand for the decomposed granite has become so great 
that the company has found it necessary to open another pit on the 
west slope of the hill about three mUes from the old workings. The 
gravel from the new beds will be used in ballasting the new cutoff 
lines west of Laramie on the main line. This gravel business 
necessitates the employment of a large force of men, and the bene- 
fits accruing from the industry are incalcuable. 

— The Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1 899 

'L. ZraueL Sport and Mventure'' 



(Wednesday^ [October] 28th. — Started at 7 a.m. by train for 
Fort SaunderSjUwo hundred and eighty miles west of North Platte, 
a journey occtipying fifteen hours. The road for some distance 
continued along the valley of the Platte. It was curious to look out 
of the car windows and see herds of antelope scampering away 
across the plain, and wolves, disturbed in their feast on the rotting 
carcass of a buffalo, stealing away to the ravines. From Cheyenne 
the road rises with a grade of seventy feet to the mile to Sherman, 
the highest point, eight thousand two hundred and sixty feet above 
the level of the sea, and seven thousand three hundred above the 
Missouri at Omaha. It is hard to reahse the fact that one is passing 
over part of the great Rocky Mountain chain, as the summit is 
reached by a succession of table lands so gradually sloping up to 
this height that the rise is almost imperceptible to the eye. De- 
scending slightly from Sherman to Fort Saunders, which is seven 
thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, (we got out 
of the train, and proceeded to the quarters of the officers stationed 
there, j 

We were received most kindly by General Gibbon commanding 
the post, and the officers of the 30th infantry, who promised us a 
hunt through the best part of the Rocky Mountains as soon as the 
bad weather, which was evidently coming on, should have passed. 
Meanwhile we gladly accepted their offer of lodging and entertain- 
ment at the fort. 

Thursday, 29th. — The heavy clouds which had been gathering 
for the last twenty hours over the mountains, came down in a storm 
of wind and snow while the thermometer stood at fifteen degrees 
below freezing point (Fahr.), and very lucky we thought ourselves 

This article consists of two chapters from the book, Ten Thousand Miles of 
Travel, Sport and Adventure, by F. Trench Townshend, B. A., Captain, 2nd 
Life Guards, which was originally published in 1869 by Hurst and Blackett, 
Publisher, 13 Great Marlborough Street, London. The material is used 
through the courtesy of the Western History Department of the Denver 
Public Library and Dr. Evadene Swanson, of Fort Collins, Colorado. Ed. 


to be under the shelter of a comfortable hut with a good fire, 
instead of under canvas on the bleak plain. In the intervals be- 
tween the snow-storms we drove into Laramie city, about two 
miles from the fort. 

In the West every wretched little collection of frame and canvas 
houses is called a city. Laramie, on the borders of Nebraska and 
the territory of Wyoming, is one of the new towns called into 
existence by the railway on the hitherto uninhabited plain. It is 
situated on the river Laramie, some distance south of its junction 
with the Platte, and probably possesses about two thousand inhab- 
itants. It consists of four or five streets with brick or wooden 
buildings, though the favourite material for the construction of the 
stores is frame and canvas mixed. Drinking and gambling saloons, 
and brothels, compose the majority of the houses. The embryo 
city, however, boasts of a really fine railway hotel just opened, and 
a bank. Of church or chapel I saw no signs. The population is at 
present a floating one, comprising some of the vilest scum of the 
earth — murderers, thieves, and loose women. The two former 
classes have lately been a good deal thinned by the exertions of 
that secret tribunal known and dreaded as the Vigilantes, or Vig- 
ilance Committee. 

I was told that most of the respectable storekeepers were mem- 
bers of this society, which exercises the functions of judge, jury, 
and executioner on all such murderers, or horse-thieves — whose 
crime is considered much worse even than that of taking the life 
of a fellow-creature — as they can catch. The sentence is carried 
out at night, and the very morning of our arrival at Laramie, the 
bodies of six horse-thieves were found hanging to the timbers of a 
frame-house in course of construction in the town, and four more 
dangled from the telegraph poles along the railroad; while under- 
neath was posted a notice, signed, "The Vigilance Committee," 
to the effect that, unless Bill Smith or Joe Brown (naming some 
suspected thieves) cleared out of Laramie at once, they would be 
served in the same manner. This lynch law is a stern necessity in 
these western towns, where those whose duty it is to carry out the 
behests of justice are often such unprincipled scoundrels that they 
can be bribed for a few doUars to let off the worst criminals. 

I was told by the officers stationed at Fort Steel of a case which 
occurred at Benton, a mile from that fort. A well-known bully 
shot a man in a drinking house just for sport. When brought up 
before the district judge, though he openly boasted of having fre- 
quently committed similar acts, he was admitted to bail of a few 
dollars, and of course disappeared as soon as released. I heard 
another story, in which the bully fortunately got considerably the 
worst of it. A gentleman was sitting by the stove in the public 
room of the hotel at Laramie, when a buUy swaggered in and spat 
on the gentleman's boot. The latter remonstrated, whereupon the 
fellow spat in his face, and was immediately rewarded by being 


knocked down. Jumping up, foaming with rage, he attempted to 
stab the gentleman, but was prevented by the bystanders. It was 
then arranged that each should be armed with a bowie knife, and be 
shut up in a dark room upstairs, there to fight it out. The arrange- 
ment was carried out; and after waiting some time a heavy fall was 
heard. On opening the door the bully was discovered dead on the 
floor, while his conqueror had only a wound through the arm. 

It would occupy a volume to relate all the tales of murder, vio- 
lence, and crime that were told me, as events of daily occurrence in 
these lawless Western cities, where every man goes about with a 
pair of revolvers and a bowie knife in his belt, and on the slightest 
provocation, or merely for sport, shoots down a man, knowing well 
that the chances are fifty to one he is never punished for his crime. 

On Friday morning, 30th, the weather having cleared up the 
previous evening, we found everything ready to start by sunrise. 
Our party was under the command of General Gibbon, with Colo- 
nel Dodge, and Captain Coates of the 30th Infantry, twenty-five 
men and a sergeant of the same regiment, and twenty-four men 
and a non-commissioned officer of the 2nd Cavalry. Three wag- 
gons and an ambulance conveyed the stores, tents, guns, &c. The 
morning, though bright, was bitterly cold, with hard frost, and the 
rising sun showed the ranges of the black hills and Rocky Moun- 
tains white with fresh-fallen snow. 

Our route lay south across the plain of Laramie, by the banks of 
the river of the same name, which we followed for about twenty 
miles to the foot of the mountains. There we left the river on our 
right, and crossed a spur of the great mountain range. We then 
descended an almost perpendicular bank and struck the Laramie 
river again in the valley, where we selected a sheltered bend of the 
stream for a camping ground, having marched about thirty-five 
miles. During the march I made my first acquaintance with the 
small shrub called the sage plant, which grows from one to four 
feet high, and gives out a highly aromatic scent when crushed. It 
covers the whole face of the country, mountains, valleys, plains, 
and deserts alike, from the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevada. 

Long before reaching the latter mountain range, I became deeply 
imbued with an undying hatred for the everlasting sage bush. It is, 
however, useful in its way, the dry stocks serving for firewood on 
the alkali plains where no trees grow, and the white sage affording 
excellent pasturage for horses and cattle. From the flowers of the 
bush a horrible decoction is made, which is called tea, and is given 
as such to the unfortunate travellers across the plains. 

Though large herds of antelope covered the hill sides, they were 
so shy that our day's bag only consisted of two of them, and a few 
wild duck. Every night that we passed in the Rocky Mountains 
the cold was so intense that water froze into a solid lump when left 
inside the tent, and every river, pond, and swamp was covered with 


ice in the morning. The days were, however, beautiful, with a 
cloudless sky and hot sun. 

Saturday 31st, we started at 6.30 a.m. and forded the river, 
following up the course of the stream about five miles. We then 
struck off to the right and commenced the ascent of the great ridge 
of the Rocky Mountains, which divides Wyoming from Colorado. 
While we were scattered about in search of game, I came across as 
pretty a sight as a sportsman would wish to see. Leaving my horse 
in charge of my orderly, I crept forward to look over the brow of a 
hill, and saw below me, about one hundred and fifty yards distant, 
a small round lake, the banks of which were clothed with rich green 
grass, and swarmed with antelope and deer. Some of them were 
pawing the ice, endeavouring to break it, that they might get their 
morning drink. Some were lying down in the long grass, and oth- 
ers fed or played about. I watched them for some minutes before 
I crept a little nearer and broke up their pleasant party by sending 
a bullet through the heart of a fine buck antelope. 

The difficulties of our route began on reaching the great belt of 
pine forest which clothes the main ridges of the mountains. The 
trail we were following, being only used by Indians and a few white 
trappers when hunting, was not wide enough to admit the passage 
of the waggons. The men had, therefore, to be set to the tiresome 
task of cutting a road through the forest. Not only had the living 
trees to be cut down, but the dead ones, which lay piled together 
on the ground, had to be removed, so that our progress was very 
slow and laborious. The snow lay nearly two feet deep, and we 
frequently came across swamps in which mules and horses sunk 
up to their bellies. Trees had, therefore, to be cut down and a 
corduroy road made across the shaking ground before the waggons 
could pass. 

Toiling up for about two miles through this cold gloomy forest, 
we at last reached the summit of the pass, about 12,000 feet above 
the level of the sea. The snow all round us showed tracks of bears, 
panthers, and wolves, and in one place the huge footprints of a 
grizzly bear were distinctly marked, leading away through the forest 
towards the higher peaks. 

Descending on the other side through about a mile of the same 
dense forest, we reached a more open country. Then winding 
along the side of a mountain which was so steep that we expected 
every moment the waggons would be over-turned and smashed, we 
at last reached the northeast extremity of what is called the North 
Park, and did not get our camp pitched until some hours after 
sunset, having been fourteen hours doing a distance of only twenty 
miles. Four antelope and two black-tailed deer constituted the 
day's bag. 

Sunday, 1st November. The North Park consists of a plain 
about thirty miles long by fifteen broad, through which flows the 
North Platte River, rising in one of the surrounding moimtains. 


The plain is in Colorado, about 10,000 feet above the level of the 
sea, surrounded by the finest ranges of the Rocky Mountains, 
which tower many feet above it, and are covered with everlasting 
snow. It is well watered by innumerable streams which run down 
from the hill sides through deep ravines to the Platte, and is cov- 
ered with long sweet grass and sage bushes. The name of Park is, 
however, misapplied, as, though the hill sides are well timbered 
with pine, cedar, and quaking aspen, there is not a single tree on 
the level plain. 

The spot where we had pitched our tents had been kept clear of 
snow by the thick branches of five gigantic pine trees, and the huge 
dead trunks of several more which lay around afforded us a plenti- 
ful supply of fuel. So, having posted sentries round the camp in 
case a prowling band of Indians should be attracted by the light of 
our fires, we heaped on a number of logs, until the flames shot up 
into the clear frosty night, and the heat thrown out by the blazing 
pile obliged us to keep at a respectful distance from it. Then I 
heard that the hills around had been much infested with Indians, 
and that two of our party, while hunting among them a month pre- 
viously, had had a narrow escape. They were stalking heard of 
antelope, when the Indian war whoop, "ough, ough, ough!" sud- 
denly rang through the air, and ten mounted Indians dashed at 
them. They drew up behind a rock, — the cavalry on the right 
hand, the infantry on the left (one of them was mounted, the other 
on foot), — and awaited the enemy. Several times the Indians 
attempted to dislodge them, but so well did these brave hunters 
defend themselves, that at last the Red Skins retired. 

Giving the men and horses a day's rest, which they much needed 
after the severe march of the previous day, we started off with our 
guns to explore the Park, and see what we could get for the dinner- 
table. The General and I made for the mountains along the 
northern side of the Park, while another party crossed over to the 
southern side. The magnificent range of mountains which sur- 
round the Park are unequalled in Europe for extent and height, 
though surpassed by the Alps in grand and striking scenery. 

Skirting the northern base of the mountains, we met several 
herds of antelope and a few deer, but so wild that we could not get 
within five hundred yards of them. The mountain streams which 
we crossed, flowing tiirough narrow ravines, were partially frozen. 
Every hundred yards or so they were dammed up by the largest 
beaver dams I had seen, some of them being as much as twenty 
feet high by ten to fifteen wide. In the middle of the deep pools 
thus made was the conical-shaped house of the industrious Uttle 
animals, who are easily killed when the pools are frozen over, by 
demolishing their houses, and shooting them as they try to escape. 
Large numbers are trapped by the Indians, whose deserted wig- 
wams and traps were frequently found on the banks of the streams. 

In the course of our ride we came upon a very curious natural 


formation, a regular desert of fine white sand, about a mile in 
length by the same in breadth; from the edge of which flowed a 
spring of pure fresh water. Though we passed over a large extent 
of country, we could not get near enough to any of the few deer or 
antelope we saw to shoot them. Among the sage bushes, however, 
we put up and shot some large birds, called sage hens. These birds 
are nearly as large as turkeys, and are of a grey plumage. They 
are, I believe, only found in the Rocky Mountains, and appear to 
bear the same relationship to the grouse found among them that 
the black-cock bears to the Scotch grouse. 

On our return to camp we found that the other parties had been 
equally unsuccessful in the way of large game, having only bagged 
some wild duck, sage hens, and a nearly white mountain hare, 
which they call a jackass rabbit. A sportsman whom they met, 
one of a large party who had been hunting in the Park for four 
months, told them that game had now become so scarce that they 
had been obliged to move their camp some miles away. Indians 
had been hunting the south-west end of the Park, and had scared 
away all the game from that part. 



Monday 2nd, we struck our tents and made for the north-western 
end of the Park, where the river Platte issues from it. Sending the 
waggons round to follow the course of the river, we took a shorter 
cut, and passed through a very deep and narrow canon, where our 
horses could hardly keep their legs on the frozen ground. We then 
crossed a pass on our right, and on reaching the top saw below us 
the river Platte winding through a grassy plain. On the banks, a 
large herd of antelope were feeding. Approaching quite near 
them, under shelter of the hill, we spread out and surrounded 
them, so that they must either swim the river or break through our 
line. They chose the latter alternative, and as they dashed past us, 
we killed five of them at about ten yards' distance. As soon as the 
waggons came up we stowed away the meat in them. We had some 
difficulty in discovering a ford, as our road lay across the river, 
which is here both broad and deep. Having got the waggons 
safely over, — a process which entailed a deal of swearing on the 
part of the mule drivers, — we struck an old exploring party's trail. 
This led us up a long and wide valley, which extends about eighty 
miles in a north-westerly direction from the entrance to the North 

The Platte River crosses this valley, and does not flow along it, 
as is represented in all the maps I have seen of the country. Hav- 
ing crossed the valley, the river pursues its course through a narrow 


gorge of the mountains, and flows northward through a succession 
of deep canons, in the very heart of the Medicine Bow range, a 
course parallel with, but a good deal lower than the valley along 
which we marched. 

After crossing several small tributaries of the Platte, we followed 
one into a narrow gorge where the overhanging mountains nearly 
met above our heads; riding through this gorge a short distance, we 
came to a small piece of meadow-land covered with rich green 
grass, which presented the most tempting spot for a camping 
ground. A little back from the river, half-burnt logs and bones of 
antelope, deer, and elk, together with a nearly perfect head of a 
big-horn, or mountain sheep, showed that a camp of hunters had 
not long left the spot. We were not, therefore, surprised when on 
turning a comer, about a mile distant, we came upon a wild-looking 
figure dressed in a greasy buckskin coat, old felt hat, and long 
boots, into which were tucked a tattered pair of blood-stained 
pants. Beside him grazed a bony three-cornered looking mustang. 
On seeing us the figure sprang up; but discovering that we were 
friends he sat down again and proceeded with the occupation from 
which we had disturbed him, which was that of drinking a horn of 
whiskey and water, and filling his cheeks with plugs of tobacco. 
In the former occupation we immediately joined, and he told us 
that he had, as we supposed, been one of the party the site of whose 
camp we had just left. The party, consisting of three hunters, had 
just broken up their camp, and his two companions had pushed 
on a-head, being in a hurry to reach Fort Steel, and dispose of the 
skins and furs they had collected. They had had tolerably good 
luck, and he assured us we ought to meet plenty of elk and big- 
horns. As our friend was himself bound for the hunters' camp we 
had heard of from the party we met in the North Park, we assured 
him we had seen no trace of Red Skins, and then regained our 
waggon trail. 



Reports pertaining to the great October storm that swept over 
the United States during the seven days following the change to the 
new moon on the 17th, are coming in very slow, but the general 
consensus is that although there have been but very few Uves lost, 
the damage to stock and property was considerable while the 
sufferings caused by the storm to those who had to be out was 
intense in many cases. 

The deaths so far reported from the state are, namely the loss of 
a sheep herder near Rawhns; the loss of a brakeman on the Union 
Pacific west of Granger. 

Much suffering was caused to stage drivers owing to the heavy 
snow obliterating all signs of a road in places where there is no 
possible way of guiding the horses or driver. 

Like the railroads the stages arrived irregular and in some cases 
no mail at all was delivered for days, although frequent and ex- 
pensive attempts were made by the drivers to deliver the mails. 

In one case, that of the Laramie-Sibylee route, the driver left 
Wayside after dinner and turned up at Kings, six miles distant late 
at night almost famished. He started from Kings the next morning 
and has not been heard from since, up to the present time of writ- 
ing, five days later. He may have perished or found some friendly 
haven from which he could not start away or send word. On 
Thursday, the 25th the contractor himself started for Wayside at 
noon and turned up at Kings the next afternoon, exhausted from 
hunger and exposure, having been on the road over 24 hours 
without anything to eat. 

When night came and he was in deep snow without the least sign 
of a road Mr. Trabing unharnessed the horses and let them go 
while he dug the snow from the rear of the wagon and took all the 
covering he could find on the wagon to make himself a bed and let 
the storm cover him with snow. 

With daylight the next morning he made for the King ranch 
where he arrived, as stated, late that afternoon in a condition 
bordering on frenzy. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, October, 1906 

The big reservoir of the Wheatland Colony, situated on the Lara- 
mie Plains, will be filled this year. This reservoir has a water line 
of thirty-five miles, and is the largest irrigation reservoir in the 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1903 

Wms, Mothers, T)aughterst 
Women's Cife on the Koad West 


Robert L. Munkres 

The opening and settling of the west is frequently described in 
terms of sturdy frontiersmen challenging nature, and other men 
when necessary, for dominance in a virgin land. Such a description 
is, however, but half the story. 

The graduates of America's stiffest "survival school", the Moun- 
tain Men, blazed the major trails to the high country of Colorado, 
Wyoming and Montana, and on to the Pacific. But an aura of 
permanence settled over the land only when the trapping brigades 
gave way to emigrant trains. As men brought their wives, mothers 
and daughters along the Platte-Sweetwater Route, the trapper's 
trail became the Oregon-California Trail. One writer has even 
suggested that "There was the seed of American wealth. There 
was the great romance of all America — the woman in the sun- 
bonnet; and not, after all, the hero with the rifle across his saddle 

At the outset, emigrant trains were organized so as, hopefully, to 
facilitate the progress of all concerned — men, women, children, 
wagons and sometimes pack animals and cattle. The order of 
march was governed by considerations of safety, not precedence, 
according to Myra Eells (1838). 

The wagons are all covered with black or dark oil cloth, they move 
first, one directly after the other, then the packed animals and cattle. 
Sometimes we ladies ride behind the whole, sometimes between the 
hindermost wagon and the mules, as circumstances may be. It is not 
safe for any to be far in the rear, because they are always exposed to 
be robbed of their horses and, if not, killed by wild Indians, Them- 
selves left to wander on foot. The company generally travel on a fast 
walk, seldom faster. When we are fairly on our way we have much 
the appearance of a large funeral procession in the states. Suppose 
the company reaches half a mile.2 

1. Emerson Hough, The Passing of the Frontier (New Haven, 1918), pp. 
93-94. Quoted in Everett Dick, "Sunbonnet and Calico, The Homesteader's 
Consort", Nebraska History, March, 1966, p. 3. 

2. "Journal of Myra Eells. Kept while passing through the United States 
and over the rocky mountains in the spring and summer of 1838". As 
copied from the Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association, Seventeenth 


On occasion, of course, the occupants of a train might disregard 
such organizational requirements. Lydia Milner Waters (1855) 
described one of the more flamboyant of such exceptions. 

Ten wagons had horses only, which made their owners our "aris- 
tocracy". They would not conform to the rules, would not stand 
guard, and made themselves very disagreeable. The ladies dressed in 
their merinos, white collars, chains, rings, and brooches. They had 
their crockery ware instead of tin, and late into the night they danced 
and sang and fiddled, so hardly anyone could sleep for the noise they 
made. Soon they found it too slow to travel in a train with oxen, and 
left us, expecting to gallop into California.^ 

We may assume, with a high degree of certainty, that this train 
soon found it necessary to operate in a manner more nearly like 
that described by Mrs. Eells. 

The trip west was, under the best of circumstances, a demanding 
one, and the difficulties increased rather than lessened as the 
journey progressed. The continuing physical exertion of constant 
travel was a prime cause of exhaustion, as the following entries in 
Myra Eells' (1838) diary indicate. 

Sunday-May- 13 . . . ride eight hours, twenty-five miles without food 
for ourselves or animals. I do not get off my horse during the whole 
distance. . . . 

Fri-May-25 . . . eight and one fourth hours, twenty-five miles . . . 
Mr. Eells and myself hardly able to sit up, but obliged to eat, drink 
and work as though we were well; think it is trying. 

Sat-May-26- Mr. Eells could neither eat supper nor breakfast, but 
must do his duty in camp and ride, he knows not how far. moved at 
half past six, ride till noon, stop two hours, then ride four and one 
half hours; ten hours, thirty miles . . . A 

Asahel Munger (1839) noted the same problem; he wrote "E. 
(Eliza) tired out — rode 18 or 19 miles without stopping. . . . E. 
so much exhausted that she could not take her supper with us — 

Annual Reunion. Portland, Oregon, June 18, 1889. P. 9. Entry for Mon- 
Apr-30. Unless otherwise indicated, this and subsequent footnotes refer to 
materials in the files of Mr. Paul Henderson of Bridgeport, Nebraska. The 
author hereby gratefully acknowledges Mr. Henderson's cooperation and 

3. Lydia Milner Waters, "Account of a Trip". Quarterly of the Society 
of California Pioneers. Newberry microfilm: 3-14. Compiled by M. J. 
Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 3/46. P. 3. An even 
greater rarity was observed by Richard Owen Hickman in 1852. He "met 
a company of Packers from Oregon. There was two women along who 
were riding mules, straddle at that. I thought to myself they would see the 
old elephant before getting to Missouri, if they had not already seen it." 
The Journal of Richard Owen Hickman. An Overland Journey to California 
in 1852. Edited by M. Catherine White. Historical Reprints, Soiu"ces of 
Northwest History, No. 6. State University of Montana, Missoula, pp. 
9-10; entry for Sunday, June 10th, '52. 

4. "Journal of Myra Eells", op. cit., pp. 11 and 13, entries for Sunday, 
May 13, Fri - May - 25 and Sat - May - 26. 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 
Stimson Photo Collection 


Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

From C. G. Coutant's History of Wyoming 


Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


This photograph probably represents the period of civilian occupancy of the Fort after its 
abandonment by the military in 1882. Today, a building of this type houses a branch of the 
Wyoming State Museum on the site. The only other building remaining is an ordnance 

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though after resting a while she could eat."^ The physical demands 
on Twiss Bermingham (1856) and his wife were even greater, for 
they were members of the Mormon Handcart Expedition. At one 
point, the carts had to be pulled "thru heavy sand, some places the 
wheels were in up to the boxes"; ", . . weak from thirst and 
hunger . . . exhausted with the pain of the boils", Mr. Bermingham 
was unable to help his wife, "sick-and poor Kate — at the same time 
crawling on her hands and knees" in order to keep up with the 

For some, the physical burdens of travel weighed even more 
heavily because of the added complication of poor health and sick- 
ness. While traveling along the Platte in 1838, Mrs. Mary Rich- 
ardson Walker wrote: "My health at present is rather feeble, and 
I find it difficult to keep up a usual degree of cheerfulness. If I 
were to yield to inclination, I should cry half my time without 
knowing what for."^ The next day, sick with diarrhea, she "cried 
to think how comfortable father's hogs were".* A year later, 
Asahel Munger (1839) noted that his wife's "health not as good as 
usual — though she has endured the journey much better than we 
could have expected — the horse she rides is not an easy traveler".* 

In addition to the limitations placed on the individuals involved, 
sickness also caused delays for the entire party. For example, the 
train with which the Reverend Edward Evans Parrish (1844) trav- 
eled lay by for three days during the first week in June because of 
the illness of two ladies. ^° 111 health, of course, did not affect every- 
one, and those who enjoyed fuU vigor and vitality sometimes were 
less than completely compassionate with regard to their less for- 
tunate companions. Mrs. E. A. Hadley (1851) was one who 
manifested such a point of view: "It is true that a great deal suffer 
during this long journey, but it is one half owing to carelessness and 
mismanagement. Little or no sickness as yet I know of, health is 
a great blessing on this road. I for one never enjoyed myself 
better and never had better health."^^ 

5. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", p. 2, entry for Sun. 19th (May). 

6. 'The Diary of Twiss Bermingham", p. 8, entry for Aug. 3 - Sunday. 

7. "The Diary of Mary Richardson Walker, June 10 — December 21, 
1838". Edited by Rufus A. Coleman. Sources of Northwest History, No. 
15. State University of Montana: Missoula, p. 3, entry for Sunday, 10. 

8. Ibid. p. 4, entry for Monday, 11. 

9. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", op. cit., p. 2. entry for Fri. 17 

10. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish". 
As copied from the Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association Six- 
teenth Annual Reunion, Portland, Oregon, June 15, 1888. pp. 3-4, entries 
for Sat-Jun-1, Sun-Jun-2, and Thu-June-6. 

11. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", p. 10, entry for Mon- 
day, June 2. The original of this diary is in a private museum of pioneer 
relics in Lake View, Oregon. 


All of the illnesses experienced were, in varying degrees, incon- 
venient, debilitating and potentially dangerous. But one was 
placed apart in the minds of the emigrants — cholera, one of the 
greatest (perhaps the greatest) killers of the trail. 

We reached the Platte River, Cholera broke out, and Uncle Silas' 
family not being strong after measles, he was the first to take down 
with it and lived only a short time, we had to make a rough box from 
planks taken out of the wagons and we wrapped his body in bed 
clothes and buried him. It was so sad to see his family leave the 
lonely grave never to see it again. 

We had traveled only a day or so, when two of his boys were stricken; 
we had an old doctor in the train but he would not allow them to have 
a drop of water and it was most most distressing to hear their pitiful 
begging for water, and such suffering I hope I may never see again. 

One little fellow died and we buried him as we did his father; but 
several miles apart; the other one lingered a few days longer and 
before death released him, he went blind. One of his sisters took 
down and my mother stayed in the tent with the boy and I remained 
in the wagon with the girl. 

The night, the last night the boy crawled out of bed and around the 
tent begging for water; my mother had left him for a moment to see 
how the girl was getting along. The little fellow died before daylight 
and we put him away as we had the others. 

Mother now took charge of the girls. We did not always have water 
but my mother always filled kegs when we were near water; and when 
this poor girl began begging for water, mother said; "Just as soon as 
the teams stop at noon I will steal and bring you water from our 

In a short time we all stopped at noon; a shower of rain had fallen 
and wet the covers of this poor girl, and she had gotten ahold of the 
wagon cover and was sucking it and her face was black and dirty from 
the cover. Mother gave her a table spoonful of water just as if it 
were medicine, and she was the only one that recovered.12 

Although the actions of the doctor just described met with 
apparent disapproval, many trains did not have even such services 
as these available. In the absence of a trained physician there 
were, at most, three options open to those needing medical atten- 
tion. The first was simply to be fortuitously located in close 
proximity to another party with whom a doctor was traveling. 
Helen Carpenter's party (1856) was so located: 

Came near forgetting to say, that should the services of a physician 
be required, one may be found in one of the trains ahead — His ad, 
freshly written in bright red keel, was conspicuously placed on each of 
the cedar slabs to the memory of the soldiers — "Dr. J. Noble." The 

12. "Narrative of Mary Jane Long, crossing the plains in 1852, written 
by Mary Jane Long and dated April 1915", p. 2. The original of this 
memoir is on file with a relative of its author, Mrs. Nels Nortness of 
Kalama, Washington. 


Dr. is a deep thinker, for no more slightly [sic.l place could have been 
selected to catch the eye of the entire traveling public.^3 

The second option sometimes available was to find someone in 
the train who, though not a doctor, had at least read some books 
deahng with medical matters, A number of persons exercised this 
option by calling for the services of Edwin Bryant ( 1 846) . In one 
instance, he was asked to treat "a woman of about thirty-five or 
forty" who was "of a naturally vigorous constitution, and inclined 
to corpulency."^^ "A burning fever had flushed her face to the 
color almost of scarlet except small circles of corpse-like pallor 
around the lips and eyes. Her respiration was so difficult, that 
frequently she gasped to recover her breath. She could not speak 
audibly, but made known her wants in whispers. "^-^ It seems that 
several weeks before, "after having labored hard in washing during 
a hot day exposed to the sun, she had imprudently bathed in very 
cold water."^^ The exposure resulted in a very bad cold and fever 
which turned into pneumonia in spite of her ingestion of quite a 
variety and quantity of medicines. The medicines had, in fact, 
further drained and exhausted her. Thus, Bryant had to tell the 

that any medicines which I possessed, would only aggravate the dis- 
ease and render her more feeble than she now was; that they must 
make warm teas and prevail upon her to drink them in large quantities 
every hour in the day, and with this treatment and good nursing, it 
was possible for her to recover. With this advice I left them, fully 
persuaded that the woman would not live twenty-four hours. But I 
have since learned that my advice was followed, and that the patient 
recovered and is now a healthy woman.17 

The third and final option was one which all reasonably well 
organized and equipped wagon trains utilized — carrying various 
medicines and remedies in each wagon. Self -treatment of sickness, 
of course, is always a chancy proposition. The level of medical 
sophistication attained on the trail is perhaps exemplified by this 
entry in the diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer ( 1 847 ) . 

Passed through St. Joseph on the bank of the Missouri. Laid in our 
flour, cheese and crackers and medicine, for no one should travel this 
road without medicine, for they are almost sure to have the simimer 
complaint. Each family should have a box of physicking Isicl pills, 

13. Helen M. Carpenter, Overland Journey. Newberry microfilm 4 -7. 
Compiled by M. J. Mattes - 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge - 2/46. p. 4, 
entry for June 25th. 

14. Edwin Bryant, What I Saw In California, p. 70, entry for July 11. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Ibid., p. 71. 

17. Ibid. 


a quart of castor oil, a quart of the best rum, and a large vial of pep- 
permint essence.^^ 

Home treatment, while probably preferable in most cases to no 
treatment at all, created another potential danger. In the case of 
Lucy Henderson's younger sister, it was a fatal danger. 

I shall never forget that camp. Mother had brought some medicine 
along, she hung the bag containing the medicine from a nail on the 
sideboard of the wagon. My playmate, the Currier girl, who was of 
my own age, and I discovered the bag, and so I decided to taste the 
medicine. I put a little on my tongue, but it didn't taste good, so I 
•took no more. The Currier girl tasted it, made a wry face, and handed 
the bottle back. My little sister, Salita Jane, wanted to taste it, but I 
told her she couldn't have it. She didn't say anything, but as soon as 
we had gone she got the bottle and drank all of it. Presently she came 
to the campfire where mother was cooking supper and said she felt 
awfully sleepy. Mother told her to run away and not bother her, so 
she went to where the beds were spread and lay down. When Mother 
called her for supper she didn't come. Mother saw she was asleep, so 
didn't disturb her. When mother tried to awake her later she couldn't 
arouse her. Lettie had drunk the whole bottle of laudanum. It was 
too late to save her Hfe. Before we had started father had made some 
boards of Black walnut that fitted along the side of the wagon. They 
were grooved so they would fit together, and we used them for a table 
all the way across the plains. Father took these walnut boards and 
made a coffin for Salita and we buried her there by the roadside in 
the desert. 1^ 

In spite of the foregoing problems and difficulties, life on a 
wagon train tended to follow routine patterns based on the work 
that had to be done. For most of the women, crossing the conti- 
nent had little effect on the number of meals to be prepared; it just 
made such preparation more of a chore. Helen Carpenter's (1856) 
reaction is probably typical: 

From the time we get up in the morning, until we are on the road, 
it is hurry scurry to get breakfast, and put away the things that neces- 
sarily had to be pulled out last night — while under way there is no 
room in the wagon for a visiter, nooning is barely long enough to eat 
a cold bite — and at night all the cooking utensils and provisions are 
to be gotten about the camp fire, and cooking enough done to last 
until the next night. 

Although there is not much to cook, the difficulty and inconven- 
ience in doing it, amounts to a great deal — so by the time one has 
squatted around the fires and cooked bread and bacon, and made 
several dozen trips to and from the wagon, washed the dishes (with 

18. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer". Transactions of the 
35th Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association. Portland, June 
19th, 1907. p. 3, entry for June 3. 

19. Mrs. Matthew P. Deady, "Crossing the Plains to Oregon in 1846". 
Reported by Fred Lockley, and published in the Oregon Journal. As copied 
from the Transactions of the Fifty-Sixth Annual Reunion of the Oregon 
Pioneer Association for 1928. p. 2. Mrs. Deady's maiden name was Lucy 
Ann Henderson. 


no place to drain them) and gotten things ready for an early breakfast, 
some of the others already have their night caps on — at any rate it is 
time to go to bed.2<J 

The culinary requirements of an emigrant party were met by 
carrying a minimal amount of necessities with the train and by 
"living off the land" for everything else. One natural product, 
available particularly in the Sweetwater Valley, which substituted 
for baking soda and yeast was saleratus. Among others, Mrs. Geer 
(1847) made reference to it. 

This saleratus is far from being equal to artificial saleratus, although 
looks as good. We got a great deal of it. Some kept and use it; 
others threw it away. It will not foam buttermilk one bit. I knew a 
person to fetch some through and sell it to a merchant for 50 cents 
per pound, not telling him what kind it was.21 

Quite a variety of meats were obtained by hunting; among the 
meats thus available at various points in the journey were antelope, 
deer, buffalo, rabbits and sage hens.^^ Most of the time hunting 
was a task performed by the men, but there was an occasional 
exception, such as the one reported by Reverend Parrish (1844). 
Somewhere between the forks of the Platte, a herd of buffalo was 
spotted. Several men chased the herd closer to the train, where 
"our boys, with guns, soon brought down three or four . . . The 
scene was so interesting that some of our women actually joined in 
the chase."^^ The results of such a hunt were, of course, usually 
shared with the entire company; Mrs. Eells (1838), for example, 
reported that "Some of the company kill three deer — gave us a 
piece. . . ,"^^ 

Individual taste being what it is, emigrants differed in their 
assessment of the taste of these new kinds of foods. Mrs. Cecelia 
Adams (1852), thought that "mountain hen . , . resembled a 
prairie hen, but I think it superior in flavor and is somewhat 
larger."^'^ Mrs. E. A. Hadley (1851), on the other hand, saw 
"some hens called sage hens. I have heard say that they were 
good to eat, some of our company killed some, and I think a skunk 
preferable, their meat tastes of this abominable mountain sage, 

20. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., p. 2, entry for June 22. 

21. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit., p. 6, entry for 
July 26. For other references to saleratus, see Robert L. Munkres, "Inde- 
pendence Rock and Devil's Gate", Annals of Wyoming, April, 1968. 

22. These types of meat were referred to by, among others, Mrs. Eells 
(1838), Mrs. Sutton (1854), and the Reverend Mr. Parrish (1844). 

23. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish", 
op. cit., p. 10, entry for Wed-Jul-17. 

24. "Journal of Myra Eells", op. cit., p. 11, entry for Sunday, May 13. 

25. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams". As copied from the Transactions of the Thirty-Second Annual 
Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association for 1904. p. 8, entry for 


which I have got so tired of that I can't bear to smell it, they live 
wholly upon it and it scents their flesh."26 The low opinion of 
sage hens held by Mrs. Hadley was matched by her attitude toward 
some other types of food, and by her suspicions about those who 
seemed to like everything they ate. 

, . . some of our company killed a mountain sheep, or more properly 
a mountain goat, . . . had some to eat. I merely tasted it so as to say 
I had eat some, but do not like it, the rest said it was good, but I know 
they think better all the time, for they taste of everything they get, 
even to black birds and call them good. We have 3 english men in 
our train who eat everything, have a kettle of soup every day. One 
day, they had a black bird soup.^f 

The variety and quality of fresh meat available represented only 
one of the areas in which emigrants rapidly became aware of sub- 
stantial differences between their current life style and that which 
they had left in the "States". They had, for instance, been accus- 
tomed to taking sufficient quantities of firewood for granted; as 
they moved further west, this situation changed drastically. Even 
during the earlier part of the journey wood was sufficiency scarce 
to be prized highly. The train to which Mrs. E. A. Hadley ( 1851 ) 
belonged, camping on the North Platte River some 45 miles below 
Fort Laramie, found "plenty of timber such as it is, it is mostly 
cotton wood, but in the states we would not call it plenty, but it 
seems plenty to us after doing so long without any plenty for 
camping purposes. . . ."^^ That same day, Mrs. Hadley's party 
acquired an unexpected treasure when they found "on the bank of 
the river a log of pine, which I suppose had drifted there which was 
delightful. It was so full of pitch that little of it done our cooking 
very well, we carried some of it a number of days."^^ 

On those increasingly frequent occasions when wood was not 
available, another form of fuel native to the region had to be 
sought. The gathering of what were euphemistically called "buf- 
falo chips" was a task frequently assigned to the women and 

Buffalo chips scarce and in good demand. Many of the ladies can 
be seen roaming over the prairie with sacks in hand, searching for a 
few buffalo chips, but most of them have discarded their gloves and 
are gathering the buffalo chips with their bare hands.^o 

26. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit., p. 12, entry 
for Monday, June 9. 

27. Ibid., p. 14, entry for Wednesday, June 18. 

28. Ibid., p. 11, entry for Wednesday, June 4. 

29. Ibid. 

30. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852". As copied from the 
Transactions of the Thirty-Third Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer 
Association. June 15, 1905. p. 10, entry for Jime-12-Saturday. 


In like manner, Helen Carpenter (1856) noted that, in the 
absence of wood, "various chip gatherers may be seen, bag in hand, 
intent on getting enough to cook the evening meal — it would be 
amusing if it were not dire necessity which drives them to it. Hale 
made a gathering this evening, and reported to mother that he got 
'some good fresh ones'."^^ 

As the wagon columns pushed on to the high plains of present 
day Wyoming, timber became mostly a memory and even the 
buffalo chip supply diminished to the point of disappearance. 
Nature, in one of her kindlier moments, supplied still another sub- 
stitute. Some eight day's journey beyond Fort Laramie, E. W. 
Conyers (1852) wrote: "No wood, but we used wild sagebrush 
instead, which is indeed a splendid substitute, making a very hot 
fire and excellent for cooking purposes. This is our first day 
among the sagebrush, which grows here in great abundance. We 
have bid farewell to the buffalo chips and the ladies have discarded 
for good their buffalo gloves. "^^ Wood was, by all odds, the pre- 
ferred fuel. As to the relative merits of sagebrush and buffalo 
chips as alternatives to firewood, Mrs. Elizabeth Geer's (1847) 
evaluation is instructive: "Still we have sage to cook with. I do 
not know which is best, it or 'buffalo chips'. Just step out and pull 
a lot of sage out of your garden and build a fire in the wind and 
bake, boil and fry by it, and then you will guess how we have 
to do."33 

There was another area of supply which, on occasion, also dif- 
fered markedly from that with which most emigrants are familiar — 
the quahty of water available. For the most part, the Oregon- 
California Trail was marked by a reasonably adequate supply of 
water; the major rivers — Platte, Sweetwater, Green, Bear and 
Snake — and their many tributaries provided a more or less constant 
source. The quality, however, sometimes left a bit to be desired. 
The Platte, for example, usually carried enough water, but, accord- 
ing to Mrs. Cecelia Adams (1852); "It is a very muddy stream. 
We can settle it with alum so that it is very good. Generally get a 
pint of mud out of every pail of water."^^ Infrequently, the trav- 
elers would encounter naturally heated water and water with a high 
mineral content. Mrs. Velina Williams (1853) experienced both 
near the Humbolt River: 

Saw a number of warm springs boiling out from under the moun- 

31. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., p. 4, entry for June 25th. 

32. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 13, entry 
for June-29-Tuesday. 

33. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit., p. 7, entry for 
July 31. 

34. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 5, entry for Fri-June-25. 


tain. The water is clear and pure, its Temperature rather more than 
blood heat. There were also a number of mineral springs in the can- 
yon. Half a mile from its mouth quite a creek is formed of tepid 
water having a very peculiar taste and when any quantity of soap is 
added it thickens like starch.35 

As the wagon trains crossed the high country, the travelers could 
avail themselves of still another good source of water. "We are 
traveling through South Pass" wrote Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight 
(1853), and "have traveled over a very rough, rocky road . . . over 
mountains close to banks of snow. Had plenty of snow water to 

In spite of the difficulties and drawbacks of continuous travel, 
most women did themselves proud in terms of the bill of fare they 
maintained. The following two diary excerpts are cases in point. 

MRS. CECELIA ADAMS (1852): ... conclude to stay here and 
recruit [sic.] our team. They have stood the journey very well, but 
want some rest. But we find a great deal to do. P. done some wash- 
ing and I baked bread and pumpkin and apple pies, cooked beans and 
meat, stewed apples and baked suck-eyes in quantity sufficient to last 
some time, besides making Dutch cheese.37 

SARAH SUTTON (1854): The girls are washing and baking apple 
and peach pie, stewing beans and rabbit and appear very happy; all are 
in good health and no trouble. We have only eight girls to do all the 
work. This trip is fun to them.38 

On more special occasions, the menu was such as would please 
any palate, then or now. About three and one-half days beyond 
Fort Laramie, Edwin Bryant (1846) was invited to eat the evening 
meal with Mr. and Mrs. Branham. In describing the efforts of the 
latter, Bryant wrote "that the epicure of the 'settlements' may not 
sneer at our mountain entertainment, I will state, that in addition 
to the dish just named (wild green peas), there were on the table 
smoking biscuits, fresh butter, honey, rich milk, cream, venison 

35. Mrs. Velina A. Williams, "Diary of a Trip Across the Plains in 1853". 
As copied from the Transactions of the Forty-Seventh Annual Reunion of 
the Oregon Pioneer Association. Portland, June 19, 1919. Portland, Ore- 
gon; Chausse-Prudhomme Co., Printers, 1922. p. 27, entry for August 26. 
Warm Springs, near Register Cliff, in eastern Wyoming and Soda Springs in 
eastern Idaho are two of the more prominent locations of "hot" springs 
described in many emigrant diaries. 

36. "Diary of Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight, an Oregon Pioneer of 1853", 
p. 9, entry for Tuesday-June-21. 

37. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 6, entry for Sun-Jun-27. 

38. "Diary of Sarah Sutton". Copied from the typed copy belonging to 
Mrs. Frances T. McBeth, 1520 Wellington Street, Oakland 2, California, 
May 28, 1957. p. 19, entry for July 28-Friday. Less than a month later 
"Mrs. Sutton was taken sick with Mountain Fever and lingered six weeks 
and buried at the foot of the mountains near Tysh Valley, leaving four help- 
less children; the youngest was four years old. (Ibid., p. 23). 


Steaks, and tea and coffee. With a hearty welcome what more 
could a man with an appetite desire?"^^ 

The train to which E. W. Conyers (1852) belonged celebrated 
the Fourth of July near Independence Rock. The ladies of the 
party prepared what can only be termed a feast. 


Roast Antelope, Roast Sagehen, Roast Rabbit, Antelope Stew, Sage- 
hen Stew, Jack Rabbit Stew, Antelope Potpie, Sagehen Fried, Jack 
Rabbit Fried. 

White Bread, Graham Bread, Warm Rolls, fresh from the oven. 

Pound Cake, Fruit Cake, Jelly Cake, Sweetwater Mountain Cake, 
Peach Pie, Apple Pie, Strawberry Pie, Custard Pie. (A dozen or more 
varieties, both of cake and pies, not enumerated.) 

Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and Good, Cold Mountain Water, fresh from 
the brook. The snowball was brought into use in making a fine lot of 
Sweetwater Mountain ice cream.'^o 

Preparing food "on the move" was not, as already noted, the 
easiest of tasks. Of the many problems encountered, Mrs. Phoebe 
Judson (1853) described one which was as humorous as it was 
unexpected. After baking bread in a Dutch oven, Mrs. Judson: 

. . . turned it out on the grass to cool, while I attended to my house- 
work in our wagon home. Hearing the merry laughter of children, I 
glanced in that direction, and what was my dismay to see little Annie 
standing on my precious loaf. I found that she and little Alta Bryant 
had been having a most enjoyable time rolling it on the grass. 

The outcome of Mrs. Bryant's baking was even more ludicrous. She 
set her sponge in the bread pan to rise and left it in the wagon, where 
her little boy, less than two years old, was sleeping, while she, with 
others, went for a short stroll. When she returned to the wagon, she 
found her little boy in the bread pan, up to his knees in the dough.'^i 

While food preparation was the task probably performed most 
frequently by the distaff members of a party, it was by no means 

39. Edwin Bryant, op. cit., p. 64, entry for July 1. 

40. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 20, entry 
for July-4-Sunday. Independence Day was here celebrated by "the boom- 
ing of small arms", nailing the flag to the top of a forty-foot flag staff, 
singing the national anthem, reading the Declaration of Independence and 
listening to an orator who "spoke for over half an hour, and delivered, off- 
hand, an excellent oration" even though said orator and his friends had 
earlier gone "to the Devil's Gate, where they obtained a little too much 
'firewater', and by the time they reached the camp were considerably under 
the influence." (Ibid.). 

41. Phoebe G. Judson, A Pioneer's Search, Bellingham, 1925. Newberry 
microfilm 2-30. Compied by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise 
Ridge — 12/45. p. 3. 


the only one. Periodically a train would lay over a day or so to 
allow the animals to "recruit" and the men to make whatever 
repairs were necessary and possible. At such times, the women 
would "do up our washing and clean up our rooms and put our 
beds to sun",^- as well as do what mending as was required.^^ Not 
all women followed such a domestic work pattern, E. W. Conyers 
(1852), stopping for lunch a day's travel from Fort Hall, saw "a 
couple of ladies , . . riding along the road driving some loose cattle" 
which "broke into a run for our cattle."*^ One of the women 
simply stopped, but the other whipped her horse into a full gallop 
in an attempt to control the cattle. Quickly recognizing that she 
could not succeed alone, the latter called to the former for help. 

The answer came back from the lady seated on her horse out in the 
road; 'Let 'em rip, I tell you, let 'em rip. You very well know that we 
can't get them cattle past this train. Let 'em rip, I tell you.' And they 
did 'Let 'em rip.' We soon drove up and yoked our cattle and started 
on our way, while the ladies followed after, having no further trouble 
that day with their cattle.45 

Even when men took care of herding the stock, according to 
Helen Carpenter (1856), "Some women have very little help about 
the camp, being obliged to get the wood and water (as far as 
possible), make camp fires, unpack at night and pack up in the 
morning — and if they are Missourians have the milking to do, if 
they are fortunate enough to have cows."^^ Mrs. Carpenter con- 
sidered herself "lucky in having a Yankee for a husband, so am well 
waited on."^^ 

If a woman was in ill health, as noted earlier she still had to 
carry on. Between Big Sandy and Green River, Mary Richardson 
Walker (1838) "come to get off my horse almost fainted. Laid as 
still as I could till after tea; then felt revived. Washed my dishes, 
made my bed, and rested well. In the morning spent an hour 
washing, rubbing and dressing. Feel quite well again. But 45 
miles to ride in one day is hard."^^ 

Of course, every one had to "make do" with a minimum of 
equipment, which meant that items frequently had to be put to 
oUier than their normal use. Very early in the trip, for example, 
Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Eells (1838) determined that 
the kettles used for cooking would, after scrubbing, also serve as 

42. "Diary of Sarah Sutton", op. cit., p. 4, entry for May 6. 

43. "Journal of Myra Eells", op. cit., p. 14, entry for Thu-May-3L 

44. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 26, entry 
for July-25-Sunday. 

45. Ibid. 

46. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., p. 2, entry for June 22. 

47. Ibid. 

48. "The Diary of Mary Richardson Walker, June 10-December 21, 
1838", op. cit., p. 7, entry for Monday 16 (July). 


wash tubs. Only four days out of Westport, they encountered 
another problem. The water was "so hard, it took all our strength 
and a great portion of our soap, besides, our clothes would not look 
well, which spoiled our anticipated merriment, but we found that 
we could heat water, wash, boil and rinse in the same kettle. "^^ 

Such male attention as was directed to the completion of these 
tasks is illustrated by Edwin Bryant (1846) who, "at an early hour 
after breakfast", observed "fires, kettles, washtubs, and piles of 
unwashed linen, showing conclusively that a general lustration was 
to be performed by the female portion of our party,"^^ A week 
later, he again "noticed that the small branch was lined with fires, 
kettles, tubs, and all the paraphernalia necessary to the process of 
purifying linen."'^^ 

The practice of the domestic arts was not the only aspect of 
family life that manifested itself on the road west. Domestic diffi- 
culties occurred even in the best families in the "States"; possibly 
their frequency and certainly their variations were substantially the 
same on the high plains and in the mountains. E. W. Conyers 
(1852), for instance, encountered as good an example of wifely 
domination in the Sweetwater Valley beyond Independence Rock 
as one may find anywhere. 

About noon we passed a train that had stopped for lunch by the 
roadside. Just as we came abreast of them we observed three men 
seated on the tongue on one of their wagons, when a large sized 
woman, weighing something over 250 pounds, with sleeves rolled up 
above her elbows, stepped out in front of the three men, smacking her 
fists and shaking them under the nose of the little man seated in the 
center, as though she intended to leave nothing but a grease spot after 
she got through with him. Then she commenced a harangue of 
abusive language that ought to shame the most profane person on the 
face of the earth. This little man she dominated was her husband. 
She berated him for everything that was good, bad, or indifferent, 
charging him with bringing his wife and children out into this God- 
forsaken country to starve and die. To the honor of the little man, 
I will say, that he sat there like a bump on a log, seemingly taking it 
all good-naturedly, without making any answer whatever. Perhaps he 
was afraid to open his mouth in self-defense, and that silence was the 
better part of valor. 52 

49. "Journal of Myra Eells", op. cit., p. 10, entry for Thu-May-3, 

50. Edwin Bryant, op. cit., p. 20, entry for May 19. 

51. Ibid., p. 29, entry for May 26. 

52. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 20, entry 
for July 6, Tuesday. It is not likely that Mrs. Maria Belshaw (1853) had 
her own sex in mind when, bemoaning the swearing which took place regu- 
larly, she wrote "It chills my blood to hear them. O God thou knowest how 
stands their account with Thee." "Diary Kept by Mrs. Maria A. (Parsons) 
Belshaw". Copied from New Spain and the Anglo-American West by Her- 
bert Eugene Bolton, pp. 219-243 inclusive. Copied by Devere Helfrich, 
March 8, 1950. p. 8, entry for July 12. 


John Boardman (1843) and Mrs. Celinda Himes (1853) re- 
counted family splits revolving around parent-child relations. Ac- 
cording to the former, the daughter of one Mr. Ayers "left him 
for beating her and is going to California with Mr. Martin.""^ The 
latter knew of "a lady who recently married", traveling in a nearby 
train, whose "husband, back near Pacific Springs, ... set her out 
of the wagon, giving her .... Another company took her in and 
like her very much. Her husband says she was ugly to his children. 
She being his second wife."^^ 

Finally, Mrs. Elizabeth Geer (1847) described a familial fracas 
that virtually defies categorization. 

This morning one company moved on except one family. The 
woman got mad and would not budge, nor let the children go. He had 
his cattle hitched on for three hours and coaxing her to go, but she 
would not stir. I told my husband the circumstance, and he and Adam 
Polk and Mr. Kimball went and took each one a young one and 
crammed them in the wagon and her husband drove off and left her 
sitting. She got up, took the back track and traveled out of sight. 
Cut across, overtook her husband. Meantime he sent his boy back to 
camp after a horse that he had left and when she came up her hus- 
band says, "Did you meet John?" "Yes," was the reply, "and I picked 
up a stone and knocked out his brains." Her husband went back to 
ascertain the truth, and while he was gone she set one of his wagons 
on fire, which was loaded with store goods. The cover burnt off and 
some valuable articles. He saw the flames and came running and put 
it out, and then mustered spunk enough to give her a good flogging. 
Her name is Marcum. She is cousin of Adam Polk's wife.^s 

Poor health, exhaustion and household tasks were burdens 
whose weight was daily felt by emigrants. As if these were not 
enough, other problems cropped up unexpectedly, and frequently 
with damaging results. One such problem was that of accidents, 
which all tried to avoid but few succeeded completely. At some 
point in the journey virtually every train experienced one or more 
accidents that were amusing rather than dangerous. For Marion 
Battey (1 852) and her friend Waity, such an event occurred the day 
their party crossed the Missouri River. The two women were 
instructed to hold "some mules while the rest of the company 

53. 'The Journal of John Boardman: An Overland Journey from Kan- 
sas to Oregon in 1843". Utah Historical Quarterly, October, 1929, Vol. 11, 
No. 4. p. 109, entry for Monday, 28th (August). Mr. Boardman goes on 
to say that "Ayers also put Foster out of his wagon, as he says, for trading 
away his ammunition to the Indians." (Ibid.). 

54. Diary of Celinda E. Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley) 1853". 
As copied from the Transactions of the Forty-Sixth Annual Reunion of the 
Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, June 20, 1918. p. 24, entry for 

55. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit., p. 10, entry 
for Sept. 15. 


assisted in ferrying the wagons."^^ One of the mules bolted, drag- 
ging Miss Battey with him; she managed to wind the rope around a 
small tree, bringing the mule to a "quick pause in his flight"; she 
was "so elated ... at this exploit that several minutes elapsed be- 
fore I discovered the loss of a finger nail. The mule didn't get 
away anyhow, so let them laugh it will be my turn sometime."^^ 
About noon, the pair again were each in charge of a mule carrying 
a pack load of flour: 

... the one led by Waity commenced kicking furiously and finally 
succeeded in turning the pack saddle so that the sacks of flour came in 
contact with his heels and the flour flew, so did all romantic ideas. 
But the laugh was on my side this time, so hastily tying my mule to a 
small tree I ran with all speed for assistance whilst Waity stood with 
true heroism holding fast the lariat screaming at the top of her voice 
for help. It soon came and mula [sic] to retrieve his good name 
stood quietly for his pack to be replaced and behaved admirably the 
remainder of the day.58 

A much less physical accident, but one obviously considered to 
be quite damaging, was noted by Mrs. Ceceha Adams (1852). 
Early in June, she wrote that "Last night my clothes got out of the 
wagon and the oxen ate them up, so I consider I have met with a 
great loss, as it was my woolen dress. "^^ 

Lydia Milner Waters (1855) described another type of incident, 
one which caused no inquiry but which, nonetheless, was poten- 
tially dangerous. Camped one afternoon, the party observed so 
many buffalo that "the hills on the opposite side of the Platte were 
perfectly black with them. Five of them came near where we 
were . . . and would have run over the tents had the women not 
shaken their aprons and sun bonnet, and shouted at them which 
made them turn to avoid us."*"^ 

Those who trailed west did so seeking the better life which many 
found and many did not. Among other problems, a variety of 
accidents rapidly dispelled any unduly romantic notions held by 
emigrants. Twiss Bermingham (1856), for example, wrote that 
"This morning an old women belonging to our company was bitten 
by a rattlesnake in the leg and before half an hour her leg swelled 
to four times its thickness."^^ The menace of river crossings faced 
every train; Mrs. Elizabeth Geer (1847) recorded two fatal acci- 

56. Marion W. Battey, Scenes and Adventures of an Overland Journey to 
California, Beginning April 10, 1852. Historic Landmarks Commission, 
City of San Jose, 988 Franquette Avenue, San Jose, Caifornia, 95125. p. 9, 
entry for 15th (May). 

57. Ibid., p. 10. 

58. Ibid. 

59. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 2, entry for Sun-Jun-6. 

60. Lydia Milner Waters, op. cit., p. 4. 

61. "The Diary of Twiss Bermingham", op. cit., p. 8, entry for Aug. 16. 


dents. On the Snake River, a man "Swam after them (cattle), and 
before he got across he sunk to rise no more. He left a wife and 
three children."^^ The next day another man on horseback crossed 
the river after cattle, "and while coming back by some means got 
off the horse and sunk and was seen no more. He left a wife and 
six helpless children. ... It is supposed that there was a whirlpool 
in the bottom of the river."^^ Another type of accident which 
occurred with some frequency, latter day mythology notwithstand- 
ing, involved firearms. George Fox (1866) provides a not un- 
usual example: "Came to camp about 6 P.M. The first thing told 
us was one of the men was accidentally shot. ... A lady handing 
him the pistol it went off, hit his hand and went into his side. They 
don't think he will live-''^-* 

One of the most frequent accident-causing instruments on a 
wagon train were the wagons themselves. Because they spent 
more time in and around the wagons, women and children seemed 
particularly prone to being run over or thrown out. In a surprising 
number of instances, however, no injury resulted. Mrs. Ameha 
Knight (1853), working in the wagon, assumed someone else was 
watching her son, who came around the front wheel of the wagon 
just as it started to move. He fell under the wagon, but "Somehow 
. . . kept from under the wheels, and escaped with only a good, 
or I should say, a bad scare."^^ Much more inexplicable are the 
cases of individuals who fell under the wheels of moving wagons, 
but still escaped serious injury. Within a week, Mrs. Mario Bel- 
shaw (1853) described two such incidents: "May 27th. ... A 
child in company ahead of (us) fell out of a wagon was run over 
badly bruised no bones broken. June 2nd. . . . Mrs. Coonts was 
getting into her wagon, sUpped and fell under the wagon, two 
wheels passed over her, no bones broken."*^ There is no indica- 
tion how heavily loaded these wagons were, but Twiss Bermingham 
(1856) conveyed this information about an "old woman (who) 
was run over by one of the wagons. The front wheel went over her 
thighs and the back wheel over her shins, and singular to say, altho 

62. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit., p. 9, entry 
for Sept. 7. 

63. Ibid. 

64. "George W. Fox Diary", Annals of Wyoming. January, 1932, Vol. 
8, No. 3. p. 586, entry for July 4, 1866. For information on the type and 
frequency of firearms accidents, see Robert L. Munkres, "The Plains Indian 
Threat on the Oregon Trail Before 1860", Annals of Wyoming, October, 
1968, pp. 215-218. 

65. "Diary of Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight, an Oregon Pioneer of 1853". 
op. cit., p. 12, entry for Friday- July-22. 

66. "Diary Kept by Mrs. Maria A. (Parsons) Belshaw", op. cit., pp. 2-3, 
entries for May 27th and June 2nd. 


the wagon was laden with 32 cwt. of flour, not one of her bones 
was broken."^^ 

The lack of physical injury apparently marked other wagon acci- 
dents with similar frequency. Celinda Himes (1853) and three 
other women were in a wagon which tipped over going down the 
bank of the middle fork of the Blue River. Two of the women 
"jumped out in the mud and water," the other two could not get out 
"until the cover was removed and some of the things taken out."®® 
"None were much hurt," although "Everyone was very much 
frightened;" "on the whole but httle damage was done" except that 
"The contents of the provisions chest were mostly emptied into the 
stream.""^ Edwin Bryant (1846) described a similar incident. A 
pregnant woman and a small child she was carrying in her arras 
were "precipitated into a pool of water" when their wagon upset.'^^ 
The wagon tongue was broken, everything in the wagon was "thor- 
oughly wet and plastered with mud" but "no other damage was 
done" and the occupants "escaped without material injury."^^ 

Those involved in the accidents described above should have 
deemed themselves extremely lucky; such accidents always carried 
the potential for serious injury, or worse. The Reverend Edward 
Evans Parrish (1844) reported three mishaps, two in one day. In 
the latter instance, two wagons turned over, with one "hurting Wm. 
Bowman's wife who lay sick inside" and the other slightly injuring 
the arm of "Rev. Mr. Cav's . . .little son (who) lay asleep in the 
wagon. "'^2 jj^e third accident was more serious. A small girl 
named Rebecca, "trying to get on or off the wagon, . . . slipped and 
fell, the wagon wheel rolling over and breaking her thigh, a sad 
accident for her and us all. Glad, however, that it is no worse.""' 
Leonora Gaylord (1853) had a similar accident before the wagon 
train "had passed out of the settlements."^^ A surgeon was fetched 

set the bone and gave instructions for the making and arrangement of 
a contrivance, or bed (a little box just large enough to hold the child, 
the injured limb having previously been encased in a smaller box), to 
swing from the bows of the wagon top. . . . one lady would sit at the 

67. "The Diary of Twiss Bermingham", op. cit., p. 8, entry for Aug. 16. 

68. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipey) 1853", 
op. cit., p. 12, entry for Tue-May-19. 

69. Ibid. 

70. Edwin Bryant, op. cit., p. 35, entry for June 3. 

71. Ibid. 

72. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish". 
op. cit., p. 7, entry for Wed-July-3. 

73. Ibid., p. 20, entry for Sun-Sep-22. Eighteen days later, Reverend 
Parrish noted that Rebecca was getting along as well as could be expected; 
"She complains not much except of pain occasioned by the jolting of the 
wagon over rocks and rough places." Ibid., p. 22, entry for Wed-Oct-9. 

74. "Diary of Orange Gaylord's Second Trip Westward". As copied 
from the Transactions of the Forty-Fifth Annual Reunion of the Oregon 
Pioneer Association, Portland, July 19, 1917. p. 6. 


foot of the little bed and one at the head and prevent any swinging 
jars from the motion of the traveling wagon, day after day for weeks 
and at night time, too, to administer to the wants of the childJ^ 

Reverend Parrish was justifiably thankful that Rebecca's acci- 
dent was "no worse." Virgil K. Pringle (1846) and William Newby 
(1843) provide the only examples necessary of the sudden finality 
with which tragedy could, and all too frequently did, strike. 

PRINGLE: Made an early start from the springs intending to go to 
the Port Neuf, but was stopped by an awful calamity in 3Vi miles. 
Mr. Collins' son George, about 6 years old, fell from the wagon, and 
the wheels ran over his head killing him instantly, the remainder of the 
day occupied in burying him.'^^ 

NEWBY: July 18 — A very bad road. Joel J. Hembree son Joel 
fel [sic J off the waggeon (sicA tung Isic] & both wheels run over 
him. July 19 — ^Lay buy [«c.] Joel Hembree departed this life about 
2 oclock.77 

Children being children, it was almost inevitable that some of 
them would get lost or be left behind. Although they were usually 
found, such incidents provided a harrowing experience for all con- 
cerned. Mrs. Belshaw and Mrs, Knight, both going west in 1853, 
noted similar accidents about a month apart. In the case of the 
former, two boys went to get a horse and one returned to the 
wagons; the other, only 7 years old, couldn't see the wagon, took 
a wrong turn and got lost. About thirty minutes later he was 
missed, unsuccessful inquiries were made, then a 30 to 40 man 
search party hunted until sunset. 

What agony did his parents endure during this time and what anx- 
iety did his friends have until a man came to our wagon at sunset with 
the news that the child was safe in a camp nine miles from us. He 
followed the river Vi mile then struck out towards the road and came 
up to those wagons. They took him in and treated him kindly. While 
we were searching the rocks and ravines thoroughly.^s 

Mrs. AmeUa Knight's daughter, Lucy, was so busy watching 
other wagons cross the river she wasn't aware that her own wagon 
was ready to move; everyone in the wagon assumed that someone 
else was looking after Lucy. Thus, the child was unwittingly left 
behind and "not a soul missed her until we had gone some miles, 
when we stopped a whUe to rest the cattle, just then another 
train drove up behind us, with Lucy . . . (who) was terribly fright- 

75. Ibid. 

76. "Diary of Virgil K. Pringle, 1846". As copied from the Transactions 
of the Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, July 1, 1920. p. 10, entry for 

77. "William Thompson Newby's Diary of the Emigration of 1843**. 
p. 3, entries for July 18 and July 19. 

78. "Diary Kept by Mrs. Maria A. (Parsons) Belshaw", op. cit., p. 5, 
entry for June 22nd. 


ened and so were some more of us when we found out what a 
narrow escape she had run. ... It was a lesson to all of us."^'* 

Children, of course, were not the only emigrants who came near 
getting lost. Marion Battey and her friend Waity (the same two 
who had trouble with mules on the Missouri) "concluded to take 
a foot path that led down the side of the mountain, and looked a 
much shorter and better way to reach the valley than to follow the 
road."^*' They followed the path into a ravine that took them out 
of sight of the road; they then began to wonder if they were follow- 
ing an emigrant trail or one made "by an Indian (which) . . . 
would terminate at the door of his private residence. "^^ With that 
thought in mmd, the pair "ran along so fast that an Indian or a 
grizzly bear would not think of pursuing . . .," until they once again 
came in sight of the road.^^ p^^ ^j^is point — hot, tired and out of 
breath — they paused for a cool drink of water, bathed their heads 
and feet, and 

gathered wild currants until we thought our train had time to reach 
the valley, then seeking the road again we enquired of emigrants . . . 
if any had seen the Oneida Company. Our astonishment and dismay 
could scarcely be exceeded on receiving the intelligence from them 
that no such company had been seen. We soon saw some of our com- 
pany however, who told us that our wagons would overtake us shortly 
as they had just left them coming down the last hill.s-"^ 

It has been said of weather on the high plains that if one dislikes 
it, stand firm for a bit and it will change. Most emigrants would 
have willingly vouched for the changeability of the elements, as 
well as for their periodic violence. In particular, the wind im- 
pressed itself upon the memories of most travelers. Helen Car- 
penter (1856), for instance, wondered "just how hard the vidnd has 
to blow, before it is called a tornado" since her party was "visited 
last night by the most violent wind storm that we ever exper- 
ienced — the wagon was so shaken up, that one could not tell which 
way the vibrations were, backward, forward, sidewise or all to- 
gether."^^ Her aunt, perhaps unwisely curious, put "her head 
outside (and) came near going over board, and lost a fine silk 
handerchief that was doing duty as a night cap."^^ 

In a sense, the Carpenter party was lucky in that they were in a 
wagon during the storm; those who used tents could expect them to 
collapse with some regularity during the elements' onslaught. 

79. "Diary of Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight, an Oregon Pioneer of 1853", 
op. cit., p. 14, entry for Monday- August-8. 

80. Marion W. Battey, op. cit.. Vol. II, pp. 23-24, entry for 21st (July). 

81. Ibid. 

82. Ibid. 

83. Ibid. 

84. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., p. 4, entry for June 25th. 

85. Ibid. 


Sarah Sutton's party "Had a dreadful storm during the night. It 
thundered, wind and rained. The wind blew the tents down in the 
night. . . . We thought the wagons would blow away. . . ."^^ The 
next morning it was still "storming so . . . that the women can't 
come out and the men have had a great time getting breakfast. 
They were good enough to bring us some to the wagons. ... it 
cleared this afternoon in time to dry our things."^^ Nathaniee 
Myer (1853) had a similar experience. 

Last night it thundered, rained and blowed, continued all this day, 
last night Walkers and us put up five tents and this morning they were 
all blowed down but two. The women and men made shift to get 
some breakfast such as it was. Mother, Lizzie and all the children, 
and myself remained in the wagon, the bed clothes in the wagon are 
considerably damp and wet, the men's bedding are all wet.^s 

In the case of Asahel Munger (1839), although "most of the 
tents v/ere blown down," he "stood out side of our tent and held it 
by the help of E. and Mrs. C. who were inside holding with all then- 
might."^^ Since the purpose of a tent is to protect one from in- 
clement weather, the necessity of Mr. Munger's action would seem 
to diminish its usefulness considerably. 

When storms such as these blew up, it was anyone's guess as to 
how long they might last. The disturbance referred to by Mr. 
Munger "continued about an hour."^^ Similarly, CeUnda Himes 
(1853) reported that "After about an hour the rain abated in a 
measure although it continued raining some all night. . . ."^^ On 
the other hand, Lydia Milner Waters (1855) and Twiss Berming- 
ham (1856) endured severe climatic conditions of much longer 
duration. Mrs. Waters noted that "about two o'clock a heavy 
thunderstorm came up and poured until eleven that night.""^ The 
party of Mr. Bermingham encountered a storm of similar duration: 
"About 12 o'clock a thunder storm came on, and the rain fell in 
torrents. . . . Rain continued until Sam the following moming."^^ 

86. "Diary of Sarah Sutton", op. cit., p. 5, entry for May 16. 

87. Ibid. 

88. "Diary of Nathaniee Myer, Crossing the plains in 1853". p. 4, entry 
for Apr. 23. Two days later, "the women engaged (in) airing the bed and 
other clothes they need, the rain and storm wetted a good many of them". 
Ibid., p. 4, entry for Apr. 25. 

89. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", op. cit., p. 2, entry for Mon. 
20th (May). Mr. Munger also noted the phenomenon that "the storm came 
up from two directions, clouds above appeared to move in the opposite 
(direction) from the clouds below. . . . Ibid. 

90. Ibid. 

91. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley) 1853", 
op. cit., p. 13, entry for Sun-May-29. 

92. Lydia Milner Waters, op. cit., p. 2. 

93. "The Diary of Twiss Bermingham". op. cit., p. 8, entry for Aug. 3- 



It is apparent, however, that the length of the storm had no 
necessary impact on the discomfort caused, Celinda Himes, re- 
ferred to above, 

. . . was awakened by a violent storm of rain. Water poured in tor- 
rents and we were soon drenching with rain. We succeeded in keeping 
some of our clothes and bedding comfortably dry. . . . After which we 
lie down as best we could and I slept most of the time till morning, 
which the storm having ceased, was cold and cloudy.84 

Twiss Bermingham's family were in their tent "standing up to 
our knees in water and every stitch we had was the same as if 
draged [sic] thru a river."**^ Ten days later, "Kate was obliged to 
travel all day with out a shift and nothing on but a shawl and 
petticoat and those half wet."^^ That night the party "camped on 
the wet ground in a wet blanket as well as ... go to bed superless 
[sic.]. No wood to make a fire and very bad water. "^^ Even with 
sufficient wood it was not always possible to lessen the dampening 
effect of the weather. The experience of Myra EeUs (1838) is a 
case in point: "It rains so that, notwithstanding we have a good 
fire, we cannot dry our clothes at all. Obliged to sleep in our 
blankets wet as when taken from our horses."^*^ 

After soakings such as those just described, the warmth of the 
sun was much appreciated. Unfortunately, however, a few days 
of unbroken warmth usually marked the emergence of another 
source of discomfort, to which both Mrs. Elizabeth Geer (1847) 
and Mrs. Cecelia Adams (1852) were prepared to testify: 

MRS. GEER: You in 'the States' know nothing about dust. It will 
fly so that you can hardly see the horns of your tongue yoke of oxen. 
It often seems that the cattle must die for the want of breath, and then 
in our wagons, such a spectacle — beds, clothes, victuals and children, 
all completely covered.99 

MRS. ADAMS: From the time we crossed the dividing ridge, be- 
tween Bear and Snake rivers, the soil or surface has changed. Hitherto 
it has been composed mostly of coarse sand, but now it has a mixture 
of clay with it, and when tramped up by the numerous teams and wag- 
ons it makes the most beautiful cloud of dust you ever saw. Many 

94. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley) 1853". 
op. cit., p. 13, entry for Sun-May-29. 

95. "The Diary of Twiss Bermingham", op. cit., p. 8, entry for Aug. 3- 
Sunday. Among others, Mary Richardson Walker (1838) also reported 
"Rainy; the water came into the tent". "The Diary of Mary Richardson 
Walker, June 10-December 21, 1838", op. cit., p. 4, entry for Monday, 11. 

96. Ibid., p. 8, entry for Aug. 13. 

97. Ibid. 

98. "Journal of Myra Eells . . .", op. cit., p. 11, entry for Sat-May-12. 
The next morning as they put on their wet clothes Mrs. Eells was "so strong- 
ly reminded of by gone days that I cannot refrain from weeping". Ibid., 
p. 11, entry for Sunday-May-13. 

99. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit., p. 9, entry for 
Aug. 29. 


times it is so thick you cannot see ten feet, and you have to shut your 
eyes and go it blind. i"*^ 

If dust alternating with downpours is not enough, perhaps one 
more instrument of agitation deserves mention. They were called 
gnats, sand flys and other less printable epithets, but Sarah Sutton 
(1854) found it possible to describe even mosquitos in a literary 

As soon as we stopped we were attacked with {.sic.} the most 
savage, warlike enemy and they gave us the alarm by the sound of 
their horn, and they were well armed with a long sharp spear to meet 
us for war. As soon as we met there were heavy battles fought but no 
lives taken. On our side there was some bloodshed, it is true, but on 
the enemy's side hundreds were killed and wounded but none missed. 
They were of the Mosquito tribe and well known the world»i 

From the beginning of travel over the Oregon-California Trail, 
the one expectation uniformly held by emigrants was that of seeing 
Indians. Many, expecting to be attacked somewhere enroute, 
probably felt as did Myra Eells (1838) when she wrote "met 
some eight or ten Pawnees, and many more encamped on the river; 
we are in dangerous country."^''- In fact, many trains made no 
contact, other than sighting, with Indians during the entire trip, 
and an appreciable number did not even see any great number of 
native Americans. Some travelers, at least during periods of few 
or no hostilities, entertained reasonably charitable attitudes to- 
wards those across whose land they were passing. Mrs. E. A, 
Hadley (1851), for example, described a village of "Soos" as being 
"kind and hospitable and . . . the most poUte and cleanest tribe on 
the road . . . (who) are whiter, to than any that we have seen."^"^ 

The assessments of the beauty of Indian women by white males 
varied with about the same frequency and to the same degree as did 
their judgments concerning white women. Vincent Page Lyman 
(1860) demonstrates clearly, however, that judgments do not 
always inform; a day's travel below Fort Laramie, he "Met a 
couple of ladies on horse back . . . (who) were halfbreeds dressed 
in silks and looking beautiful as a shirt around a stovepipe.''^"^ 

Much of the association between emigrants and Indians occurred 
at forts, trading posts and shared campsites. The activities which 
normally ensued consisted of begging, trading and gift-giving. 
Eliza Munger's (1839) experience is representative; she "received 

100. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. ciL, entry for Sun-Aug-22. 

101. "Diar>' of Sarah Sutton", op. cit., p. 14, entry for July 2-Sunday. " 

102. "Journal of Myra Eells . . .", op. cit., p. 11, entry for Sat-May-12. 

103. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit., p. 9, entry 
for Friday, May 3. 

104. "Diary kept by Vincent Page Lyman, 1860, across Wyoming", entry 
for June 3. 


a present of a pair of moccasons [sicV from the Indian wife of 
one of the employees at Fort Laramie and "made her a present in 

Nearer the end of the Oregon Trail, in the Umatilla Valley, 
Andrew Chambers' father (1845) was offered a more unusual 
trading proposition. 

Mary Jane, my sister, was then a comely girl about sixteen years of 
age. Indian chiefs offered father fifty horses and a hundred blankets 
for her; they didn't care whether the girl was willing, they wanted a 
white Kloochman isic.]. This was their custom, to pay for their 
Kloochman. This scared Mary Jane, and she didn't want to show 
herself when the Indians were around. i<^^ 

Two years earlier in 1843, Pierson Barton Reading was offered a 
"bargain" the exact reverse of that just described. During a visit 
of some Snake Indians to his camp: 

One old withered crone, who looked worse than the witches in Mac- 
beth, was particularly desirous to sell me a young and quite pretty 
squaw for a camp keeper and cook. The price she set for this copper 
colored damsel was a "Bungo", the Snakes' word for horse. At my 
refusing to strike a trade, she left camp in a great pet [sicJ spitting 
out all the maledictions the tongue could make use of.ioT 

Sometimes the relationship between individuals from the two 
cultures developed in a very complicated and mysterious way. 
E. W. Conyers' (1852) train passed "a small band of Indians, 
said to be of the Sioux tribe," who were apparently "on the lookout 
for something or some person.''^*^^ "One squaw in particular" 
looked carefully at everyone, until "she came across a man in a 
company back of our train that she apparently was well acquainted 
with. This man, whose name was Morgan, could talk with her 
native language and was seemingly very glad to see her. With this 
man's family she remained whilst the balance of the band soon 
disappeared."!"^ More than two weeks later, Conyer's party again 
saw a friendly band of Sioux. From them, or at least from some- 
one, more information was obtained. 

We are told that the squaw remained with Morgan's family until 

105. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", op. cit., p. 5, entry for Fri, 14 

106. Andrew J. Chambers, "Crossing the Plains in 1845", p. 4. 

107. "Journal of Pierson Barton Reading, In His Journey of One Hun- 
dred Twenty-Three Days Across The Rocky Mountains From Westport On 
the Missouri River, 450 Miles Above St. Louis, to Monterey, California, On 
the Pacific Ocean, In 1843". Quarterly of The Society of California Pio- 
neers. September, 1930. Volume VII, Number 3. p. 175, entry for Thurs- 
day, August 31st. 

108. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 10, entry 
for June- 11 -Friday. 

109. Ibid. 


Mrs. Morgan was delivered of a girl child, which the mother named 
Platte, that name designating the place where the child was bom, this 
man Morgan and the squaw dropped out of sight and were not seen 
nor heard of any more. Some say that the squaw killed him, while 
others maintain that Morgan deserted his wife and family and will- 
ingly accompanied the squaw, i^o 

Most emigrants, as noted earlier, assumed that Indians posed a 
measurable threat to their safety and well-being. And some of 
them had encounters which did little to alleviate their suspicions. 
Marion Battey (1852) and friend Waity once again fell prey to 
their proclivity for wandering away from the train. This time, near 
Fort Laramie, they were gathering flowers, out of sight of the 
wagons; an approaching rider whom they assumed to be a hunter 
turned out to be an Indian. 

The Indian rode directly in front of us and haulted [5/c.] so near 
us that his horse almost touched our bonnets. I ventured to look at 
him once, but met such a savage frightful stare from his piercing black 
eyes that I was glad to look any where else. At that moment the tops 
of our wagons appeared in sight. The Indian saw them and rode away 
as hastily as he came, and in the same direction another Indian on 
horseback that had not yet reached us turned at the same moment and 
they both soon disappeared among the bluffs. We were told by some 
emigrants that came along that we had just escaped from being carried 
off. What their intentions were we shall probably never know. 

Miss Battey's fears may have been justified. Near "Little Box 
Elder creek some 80 miles beyond Fort Laramie," Fanny Kelly, 
Sarah Larimer, Mrs. Kelly's five year old adopted daughter and 
Mrs. Larimer's eight year old son were captured by Oglala Sioux 
as a result of an attack on their wagon train.^^^ xhe first night 
Mrs. Kelly slipped her daughter off the horse and left her in the 
hope she would be rescued; later that night Mrs. Kelly also tried to 
escape. She was recaptured in short order; upon finding her 
daughter, the Oglala killed and scalped her. The next night Mrs. 
Larimer and her son did escape; after several days of wandering 
they came upon the telegraph station at Deer Creek. According 
to her own account, Mrs. Kelly was sold to the Blackfoot Sioux 
who possibly thought to use her as a cover for an attack on Fort 
Sully. However that may be, her captors did take her to the fort 
where she was freed by the army. It is, perhaps, a commentary 
on human nature that the two women subsequently became in- 
volved in a law suit over the publication of memoirs; the suit was 
won by Mrs. Kelly, but an out-of-court settlement was arranged. 
The court costs were never paid.^^^ 

110. Ibid., p. 13, entry for June-28-Monday. 

111. Marion W. Battey, op. cit., p. 16, entry for 16th (June). 

112. Alan W. Farley, "An Indian Captivity and Its Legal Aftermath" 
The Kansas Historical Quarterly, Winter, 1954. p. 249. 

113. Ibid., pp. 250-255. 


John Zeiber (1851) presents further evidence of the reality of 
an Indian threat. Near the great falls of the Snake River, he saw 
"a very large new grave with an inscription on the head board, 
informing that Elizabeth and Hodson Clark, mother and son, aged 
67 and 23 years, lay buried there, and that they had been killed by 
the Indians on the 8th of August 1851. They were of Scott Co. 
Ills."^^^ A young woman was shot at the same time; the Indians 
left her for dead after throwing her off a precipice. Although 
severely wounded and with a broken kneecap, she nonetheless "was 
still alive and in a fair way to recover when she passed Fort 
Boisee [j/c.]."^^^ 

In spite of events such as these, the appearance of Indians in no 
sense resulted automatically in a dangerous confrontation. Mrs. 
Cecelia Adams (1852) and a friend walked some distance ahead of 
their train. At the bottom of a "very steep hill . . . some Indians 
on horseback came along;" the women started back, "Found they 
were nearer than we had expected and so we stood still and looked 
at them. They looked at us very smilingly. Painted Faces and 
long hair hanging down on the back. We passed on and left them 
standing, gazing at us."^^^ 

A final point should be made. While the presence of Indians 
sometimes spelled trouble, there were also occasions on which such 
an appearance proved to be of positive value. Mrs. Inez Parker 
(1848) recalled that, in the Cascade Mountains, her mother had 
such an experience. 

On the worst and longest of these mountain sides, while the men were 
getting the wagons down, mother took sister Helen, then about nine 
months old, to the bottom, leaving me at the top, and set her in an 
open spot, far enough from the road, she thought, to be perfectly safe, 
and hastened back for me. On her way up she met about a dozen 
Indians on horseback. Terrified for her babe, she flew, caught my 
hand, and hastened back at her best speed, nearing the bottom, she 
saw the Indians gathered on the very spot where she had left the child, 
apparently trampling it. Breathless, she ran, to find them gathered 
in a circle around the baby protecting it till her return! speechless, 
and well-nigh fainting, she motioned her thanks, and they nodded, 
smiled, and rode away.n'^ 

In spite of the obvious problems and perils of the great migra- 
tion, there is little evidence that the majority of those involved 

114. "Diary of John S. Zeiber, 1851". As copied from the Transactions 
of the Forty-eighth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association. 
Portland, July 1, 1920. p. 17, entry for Fri-Aug-15. 

115. Ibid., p. 21, entry for Thu-Sep-11. 

116. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 8, entry for Tue-Jul-13. 

117. Mrs. Inez Eugenia Adams Parker, "Early Recollections of Oregon 
Pioneer Life". As copied from the Transactions of the Fifty-sixth Annual 
Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association for 1928. p. 3. 


spent undue effort worrying over what lay ahead and fretting over 
what had been left behind. Problems were anticipated where pos- 
sible and faced when they arose, even if not always with the verve 
of those who enjoy meeting a new challenge. Rather, the day's 
difficulties were usually met with surface complaints, but also with 
the underlying equanimity bom in those who dream of a better 
life and who believe they are actively engaged in the pursuit of that 
dream. In like manner, many felt periodic, albeit usually tem- 
porary, pangs of regret or nostalgia for what had been left in the 
"States." But those who sought the gold of California, the fertile 
land of Oregon or the isolation of the Salt Lake Valley all shared a 
common characteristic, an overriding conviction that what lay 
ahead was potentially far superior to whatever had been left 
behind. The fact that many found their expectations less than 
completely satisfied, and some found the price of passage fatally 
high, did very httle to dampen the ardor or discourage the dreams 
of those who followed. It should not, therefore, be surprising that 
someone, in this care Mrs. E. A. Hadley (1851), should enter in 
their diary the following observation: "We are a merry crowd, 
while I am journaling one of the company is playing the violin 
which sounds delightful way out here. My accordian is also good, 
as I carry it in the carriage and play as we travel."^^^ Many also 
attempted, whenever possible, to maintain the customs retained 
from a more genteel atmosphere. At Fort Laramie, Myra Eells 
(1838) invited "Capts. Drips and Fontanelle . . . with Mr. Wood, 
(to) take tea with us."^^^ Shortly after they left Westport, Mrs. 
Eells and some friends had experimented with a much more dan- 
gerous diversion. After finishing the wash one day, the group of 
ladies had "a little sport with the fire running in the dried grass in 
the prairie."^^" 

The acquisition of food, described earlier, was serious business, 
and normally was so treated. Sarah Sutton (1854), for example, 
noted simply "we . . . camped for the night on a fork of Bear 
River. . . . Have caught some fish in the river."^-^ On the other 
hand, appropriate circumstances prevailing, this task became a 
form of amusement although Mr. Ivins may well have been a bit 
put out at his wife's success! 

118. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit., p. 5, entry 
for Friday, May 9. 

119. "Journal of Myra Eells . . .", op. cit., p. 14, entry for Thu-May-31. 
The women with the earlier Whitman party had one of the more distin- 
guished visitors for tea. When they stopped at Fort Laramie, they were 
undoubtedly surprised to find an English nobleman in temporary residence — 
Sir Wilham Drummond Stewart, 

120. Ibid., p. 10, entry for Thu-May-3. 

121. "Diary of Sarah Sutton", op. cit., p. 14, entry for July 2-Sunday. 


We halted at noon on the bank of a beautiful little stream called 
Goose Creek. It was filled with speckled trout. Mr. Ivins took out 
tackle and went fishing. I went, too, but talked so much that he be- 
came disgusted and sent me off. Not having any more fishing tackle 
I fixed up a thread and pin hook, and to my great surprise caught a lot 
of little beauties before he had a bite. We staid [sic] some hours, 
until we had caught a fine fry for supper, and reluctantly left the 
spot. 122 

Finally, although drenched by thunder storms, burned by the 
sun and choked by dust an eminently undesirable number of times, 
those on their way west enjoyed at least some of the scenery. The 
country near the Loup River was, for instance, described by Mrs. 
Cecelia Adams (1852) as "a beautiful part of the country and very 
level. Once in a while see a bird. We do enjoy ourselves very 
well. We have some good neighbors in our company."'-'^ A little 
more than a year later, and further west, Mrs. E. A. Hadley 

. . . passed one lone tree, which was cedar, about 100 yards from 
the river looks very singular there being no tree nor shrub for a hun- 
dred miles, remind me of the Charter Oak, scenery delightful, find 
some of the most beautiful flowers none that we see in the states ex- 
cept wild roses, I love to walk along and gather them. . . .124 

Nor was delight with the beauty and contrasts of nature restrict- 
ed to the early part of the trip. In late July, 1853, one day before 
crossing the Sweetwater for the last time, Mrs. Velina Williams' 
husband brought her "a bunch of flowers and a string of ripe straw- 
berries in one hand and snowball in the other, gathered from 
opposite sides of the stream near our camp."^^^ About one month 
earlier, and within a few miles of South Pass, Mrs. Amelia Stewart 
Knight (1853) wrote "Husband brought me a large bucket of 
snow and one of our hands brought me a beautiful bunch of flowers 
which he said was growing close to the snow, which was about 6 
feet deep. . . . The Wind River Mountains are off to our right. 
Among them is the Fremont's Peak. They look romantic covered 
with snow."^^^ 

It is very apparent that, in the broad sense, the pattern of life on 
the trail was much the same as in the "States." Hardships and 
pleasure, grief and joy all had their place in the cycle of existence; 
the causes and manner of occurrence perhaps differed, but here as 

122. Virginia W. Ivins, Pen Pictures. Newberry microfilm 2-28. Com- 
piled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by Louise Ridge — 12/45. p. 3. 

123. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 3, entry for Sat-June-12. 

124. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit., p. 9, enu-y 
for Friday, May 30. 

125. Mrs. Velina A Williams, op. cit., p. 22, entry for July 22. 

126. "Diary of Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight, an Oregon Pioneer of 1853", 
op. cit., p. 9, entry for Tuesday June-21. 


elsewhere the threads of birth, life and death were woven into that 
seamless web which men variously call existence and eternity. 

The evidence of the end of the cycle abounded all along the road. 
In a two-week period in June of 1852, Mrs. Ceceha Adams' party, 
traveling from central Nebraska to Ash Hollow, passed 145 
graves. ^-^ Even so high a figure as this is not necessarily accurate 
because graves, through the working of the elements, disappeared 
quite rapidly. Those emigrants faced with the tortuous necessity 
of burying a loved one were, however, far more worried by another 
threat to grave sites. "The men dug a deep grave and cut cotton- 
wood and laid it over him to quite a thickness to prevent the coy- 
otes from unearthing the body — which no doubt they did anyway. 
We had seen numbers of graves destroyed that way.''^^*^ Fre- 
quently lumber was not available, so other protective measures 
were attempted. 

Our lumber run out and his mother took her feather bed and bed 
clothes and wrapped his body up and the men put grease wood in the 
bottom of the graves and over the body and covered all with sod. so 
we had another hard sorrow to leave-so many, and never to know but 
what they were dug up either by wolves or Indians. i29 

Those who took such precautions had good reason to think a 
grave might be disturbed. Mary Jane Long ( 1 852) , who made the 
preceeding entry in her diary, went on to report that "Often we 
came across graves which had been opened and feather beds cut 
open and feathers scattered on the ground. We saw one feather 
bed with sheet and pillow on it and the imprint where the head had 
lain was still plainly visible. "^^° The following year, Celinda Himes 
(1853) and a companion "After tea . . . went to see a grave. It 
was a young lady. The body had been dug up by wolves. Bones 
and clothing were scattered around."^^^ The matter-of-fact tone of 
such a description represented, in the minds of some, something 
besides death to be feared. Helen Carpenter (1856) is a good 
example. One night in July, her party, "tired . . . cross and wet," 
settled around their campfire; 

Not until the next morning did we see that the camp-fire was on a 
grave — but it was not moved, I have mentioned our growing indiffer- 
ence, and can but think that (what) we are obliged to endure each 
day is robbing us of all sentiment — it is to be hoped we will not be 
permanently changedA^^ 

127. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams, op. cit., entries for June 16 - June 29 inclusive. 

128. Lydia Milner Waters, op. cit., p. 3. 

1 29. "Narrative of Mary Jane Long . . .", op. cit., p. 2. 

130. Ibid. 

131. "Diary of Celinda Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley) 1853", 
op. cit., p. 13, entry for Sun-May -29. 

132. Helen M. Carpenter, op. cit., p. 9, entry for July 3rd. 


Whatever the cause, the list of those who did not survive the 
great migration included all age groups. Most of the elderly who 
started the trip undoubtedly knew that there were long odds against 
them withstanding the rigors of the venture. Thus, it is not unusual 
to find a diary entry such as this: 

This afternoon we passed seven new-made graves. One had four 
bodies in it, and to all appearances they were laid on the top of the 
ground and the dirt thrown over them. Most of them were aged 
people. It was written on some of the headboards that they died with 
cholera. We find good bedclothes and clothing of all kinds, but do 
not pretend to touch one of them.i''^ 

Mrs. Sarah Keyes, 70 years old, hoped to accompany her son- 
in-law as far as Fort Hall, "where she expected to meet her son who 
emigrated to Oregon two or three years since. "^-^^ Her health and 
age were such "Her physicians had announced to her that she could 
live but a short time, and this time she determined to devote to an 
effort to see her only son once more on earth."^^^ During the 
early hours of May 29, 1846, in present day Nebraska, Mrs. Keyes 

A humble grave was dug under the spreading boughs of a venerable 
oak, about sixty or seventy yards from the wayside, and thither her 
remains were followed by a silent, thoughtful, and solemn company of 
emigrants. i3« 

Adults at various stages in the prime of life were by no means 
exempted from fatal dangers. Richard Owen Hickman (1852) 
noted the death by cholera of "The fathers and husbands" of "a 
company of four teams,"^^^ and Reverend Parrish (1844) recorded 
simply that "Mrs. Seebern died Sunday, August 4th and Mrs. Frost 
last night, August 12."^-^^ Finally, a man named Myers was struck 
by lightning while in his carriage during a thunder storm. It 
"struck the top of his head and run down his neck and side, escap- 
ing out of the carriage without leaving a mark, except for a small 
bit of broken moulding on top."^-^^ The unfortunate man, who left 

133. "Crossing the Plains in 1852 (by) Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillan 
Adams", op. cit., p. 3, entry for Mon-June-14. 

134. Edwin Bryant, op. cit., p. 31, entry for May 29. 

135. Ibid. 

136. J. Quinn Thornton, Oregon and California in 1848. New York: 
Harper & Brothers, 1864, p. 21, entry for May 29th. The death of Mrs. 
Keyes has been relegated to the periphery of the history of the party with 
whom she traveled in view of the tragic events which subsequently overtook 
the Donner Party. 

137. The Journal of Richard Owen Hickman. An Overland Journey to 
California in 1852. op. cit., p. 6, entry for Sunday, May 30th, '52. 

138. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish", 
op. cit. p. 13, entry for Tue-Aug-13. 

139. Lydia Milner Water, op. cit., p. 13. 


a wife and three-month old child, had been trying "to keep the 
blinds down to prevent the lining from getting wet. . . ."^*" 

The death of children was particularly poignant. Several exam- 
ples are scattered throughout this article. It will, therefore, be 
sufficient to mention but a few more. Mary Jane Long (1852) 
recorded the death of a boy, already weakened by measles, from 
cholera,"^ Reverend Parrish (1844) the death of "John Nichol's 
child Elizabeth . . . (who) had lain long in the fever"^*- and Virgil 
Pringle ( 1 846) the passing of a daughter of one Mr. Shelton "from 
a swelling on her throat occasioned by the scarlet fever before they 
left the state(s) . . ."^"^'^ Mrs. Belshaw (1853) expressed what must 
have been the prevalent feelings toward such happenings: 

One company just burying a boy 2 years old. It was just and right in 
the sight of God to take the child. The tender mother grieved bitterly 
to think she must leave her child in the cold and silent grave on the 
plains. 144 

The death of a husband and father always left the family in a 
pit of despair; on occasion, it also meant that the women and chil- 
dren had to depend on friends or "go it alone." In the case of the 
"company of four teams" mentioned above by Richard Owen 
Hickman (1852), "the widows were on their way back to the 
states; but here they met some friends who persuaded them that to 
attempt to return would be more dangerous than to go on, so they 
turned right about face and began to travel over a portion of (the) 
Platte valley for the third time."^^'^ A month and a half later, while 
crossing the Bear River Mountains, E. W. Conyers (1852) and 
his party: 

. . . caught up with a widow woman who had buried her husband back 
on the Platte. She had four or five little helpless children to care for. 
All the rest of her company had gone on, leaving her alone with her 
team and little ones to get over the mountains the best she could. She 
had three yoke of cattle to her wagon. When we overtook her she was 

140. Ibid. Mrs. Waters goes on to say "I kept a lock of his hair which 
was burnt off by the lightning and gave it to his wife some days afterward. 
No one else had thought of cutting it for her". Ibid., pp. 3-4. This custom 
apparently was widespread. On occasion, the hair of the deceased was 
arranged in some artistic fashion and framed. An example of this type of 
art form is on display in the museum in the State Office Building in 

141. "Narrative of Mary Jane Long . . .", op. cit., p. 2. 

142. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish", 
op. cit., p. 13, entry for Thu-Aug-15. 

143. "Diary of Virgil K. Pringle, 1846", op. cit., p. 5, entry for Wed- 

144. "Diary Kept by Mrs. Maria A. (Parsons) Belshaw", op. cit., p. 10, 
entry for July 26th. 

145. The Journal of Richard Owen Hickman. An Overland Journey to 
California in 1852. op. cit., p. 7, entry for Sunday, May 30th, '52. 


driving wooden wedges between the fellows [sic.l and the tire of the 
wagon wheel. Mr. Burns offered the lady his services. The wheels of 
the wagon had shrunk so much that it required wooden wedges three- 
quarters of an inch thick driven under the tire all around the wheel to 
keep the tire on, and then there was no assurance of it lasting until she 
got down the first hill. After the wheel was repaired Mr. Burns 
offered to drive the team and help her get down the mountain, but she 
very kindly declined the offer, picked up her whip, gave it a whirl and 
a crack and started on down the mountain. We did not see or hear 
anything more of her after leaving the summit. That company should 
have seen to it that this poor woman had all the assistance she required 
to take her safely through to her journey's end. But such is life on 
the plains. Here it is every one for himself and the devil take the 
hindmost. 146 

On the Burnt River, Conyers encountered a much more pitiful 
case, a family of six abandoned on the road; their cattle were dead 
and the husband was so sick he was "scarcely able to raise his head 
from the pillow."^*' After offering their assistance, Conyers' com- 
pany learned that the family had been driving another man's team 
and wagon in exchange for transportation. When the husband 
took sick, his wife attempted to carry on, even though the owner 
insisted that the children walk so as not unduly to tire his animals! 
The family discarded most of their possessions in order to lighten 
the load, and the mother periodically carried her youngest child 
while the others walked. Nonetheless, the owner, still dissatisfied, 
abandoned them with but two days provisions. When Conyers' 
group came upon them, the family was literally unable to move. 
Not only was the husband non-ambulatory but the children's feet 
were "covered with sores, and swollen to near twice their natural 
size, caused by their long and continued walk over the rocks and 
hot sands of the plains. Their shoes having given out, the mother 
had swathed their little feet in rags, and also her own feet, to pro- 
tect them as much as possible from the sharp rocks and burning 
sand."^*^ Upon hearing that a Presbyterian minister named Yantis 
was with a train not far behind, the family, after tearfully extending 
their thanks, decided to wait for him since he was "an old friend 
and neighbor of ours, and has plenty of room, and we are confident 
he will provide for us."^*^ A story such as this more than confirms 
the observation Mr. Conyers entered in his journal: "If there is any 
meanness in a man, it makes no difference how well he has it 
covered, the plains is the place that will bring it out."^^^^ 

The ending of life may have been a prominent feature of trail 

146. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852", op. cit., p. 24, entry 
for July-18-Sunday. One cannot avoid speculating about the possibility that 
this woman was one of those earlier referred to by Richard Owen Hickman. 

147. Ibid., p. 35, entry for Aug-23-Monday. 

148. Ibid., p. 36. 

149. Ibid., p. 37. 

150. Ibid. 


life, but so was the process of renewal. As early as 1841, for 
instance, Joseph Williams "was called upon to many a couple of 
young people belonging to our company, without law or license, 
for we were a long way from the United States. Perhaps this was 
the first marriage in all these plains, among white people."^^^ 
Three years later to the month, Reverend Edward Parrish (1844) 
reported that "Last night we had a wedding in camp. Mr. Martin 
Gilham to Miss Elizabeth Asabill by E. E. Parrish. Both young. 
Hope they may do well."^^^ 

Something more than two months later, Reverend Parrish noted 
"the birth of a fine son in Lt, Hoover's family. I believe the woman 
and child are doing well."^^^ The delivery of a child "somewhere 
on the road to Oregon" was bereft of most of the preparations and 
virtually all of the facilities now deemed mandatory. The birth of 
a son to Mr. and Mrs. Judson is admirably illustrative. The wagon 
train reached La Bonte Creek on the evening of Saturday, June 
25, 1853. 

The Sabbath dawned most serenely upon us, a bright, lovely morn- 
ing, the twenty-sixth of June. I am certain of the date, for the day 
was made memorable to me by the birth of a son. 1^4 

The captain of the party suggested naming the child "Piatt La 
Bonta," after the place of his birth. Not entirely satisfied with the 
suggestion, Mrs. Judson substituted the name of her grandfather, 
"so the little fellow took his place in the ranks of life under the 
name of Charles La Bonta Judson."^^^ At Mrs. Judson's urging, 
the train moved on the next morning, even though the party had 
suggested stopping for a day or so because of the "new emigrant." 
The day's journey was a difficult one over rough hills and through 
hard winds; not surprisingly, Mr. Judson "drove over the stones 
as carefully as though they were eggs."^^^ 

When we halted for our noon lunch the ladies hurried to our wagon 
with anxious inquiries. Are you alive? etc. I quieted their fears by 
informing them that little "Bonta" and I were doing finely — that Aimie 
held on to her little brother with both hands while going down the 
steepest hills, for fear that he would roll out of bed among the pots 
and kettles. Mr. Judson had buttoned and tied the wagon covers 

151. Joseph Williams, Narrative of a Tour. Cincinnati, 1843. New- 
berry microfilm 2-12. Compiled by M. J. Mattes — 1945; transcribed by 
Louise Ridge — 12/45; re-typed by R. Mackrill — 1963. p. 4, entry for 
May 27th. 

152. "Crossing the Plains in 1844, Diary of Rev. Edward Evans Parrish", 
op. cit., p. 3, entry for Tue-May-2L 

153. Ibid., p. 13, entry for Tue-Aug-13. 

154. Phoebe G. Judson, op. cit., p. 4. 

155. Ibid. 

156. Ibid. 


down so closely that I could not get a peep out, and I suffered but 
little inconvenience from the wind and dust.^^^ 

Edwin Bryant (1846) observed, participated in and reported the 
occurence of the complete cycle of life and death within a two-hour 
period. As one of the most naturally dramatic examples of such 
experiences, it deserves a complete rendering. 

About five miles from our encampment we were met by three men 
belonging to an emigrant company, which they had left last night 
about twenty-five or thirty miles in advance. They were in search of 
a doctor. A boy eight or nine year of age had had his leg crushed by 
falling from the tongue of a wagon, and being run over by its 
wheels. . . , 

After a most fatiguing and exhausting ride, we reached the encamp- 
ment to which I had been called about five o'clock, P.M. The men 
who had been sent for me had given no description of the case of 
fracture. . . . When I reached the tent of the unfortunate family to 
which the boy belonged, I found him stretched out upon a bench made 
of planks, ready for the operation which they expected I would per- 
form. I soon learned, from the mother, that the accident occasioning 
the fracture had occurred nine days previously. That a person pro- 
fessing to be a "doctor", had wrapped some linen loosely about the 
leg, and made a sort of trough, or plank box in which it had been con- 
fined. In this condition the child had remained, without any dressing 
of his wounded limb, until last night, when he called to his mother, 
and told her that he could feel worms crawling in his leg! This, at 
first, she supposed to be absurd; but the boy insisting and examination 
of the wound for the first time was made, and it was discovered that 
gangrene had taken place, and the limb of the child was swarming with 
maggets! They then immediately dispatched their messengers for me. 
I made an examination of the fractured limb, and ascertained that 
what the m.other had stated was correct. The limb had been badly 
fractured, and had never been bandaged; and from neglect gangrene 
had supervened, and the child's leg, from his foot to his knee, was in 
a state of putrefaction. He was so much enfeebled by his sufferings 
that death was stamped upon his countenance, and I was satisfied that 
he could not live twenty-four hours, much less survive an operation. I 
so informed the mother, stating to her that to amputate the limb would 
only hasten the boy's death, and add to his pains while living; declining 
at the same time, peremptorily, all participation in a proceeding so 
useless and barbarous under the circumstances. She implored me, with 
tears and moans, not thus to give up her child without an effort. I 
told her again, that all efforts to save him would be useless, and only 
add to the anguish of which he was now dying. 

But this could not satisfy a mother's affection. She could not thus 
yield her offspring to the cold embrace of death, and a tomb in the 
wilderness. A Canadian Frenchman, who belonged to this emigrating 
party, was present, and stated that he had formerly been an assistant 
to a surgeon in some hospital, and had seen many operations of this 
nature performed, and that he would amputate the child's limb, if I 
declined it, and the mother desired it. I could not repress an involun- 
tary shudder when I heard this proposition, the consent of the weeping 
woman, and saw the preparations made for the butchery of the little 
boy. The instruments to be used were a common butcher-knife, a 
carpenter's handsaw, and a shoemaker's awl to take up the arteries. 

157. Ibid., pp. 4-5. 


The man commenced by gashing the flesh to the bone around the calf 
of the leg, which was in a state of putrescence. He then made an in- 
cision just below the knee and commenced sawing; but before he had 
completed the amputation of the bone, he concluded that the operation 
should be performed above the knee. During these demonstrations 
the boy never uttered a groan or a complaint, but I saw from the 
change in his countenance, that he was dying. The operator, without 
noticing this, proceeded to sever the leg above the knee. A cord was 
drawn round the limb, above the spot where it was intended to sever 
it, so tight that it cut through the skin into the flesh. The knife and 
saw were then applied and the limb was amputated. A few drops of 
blood only oozed from the stump; the child was dead — his miseries 
were over! 

Between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, I was invited to 
attend a wedding which was to take place in the encampment. The 
name of the bridegroom I did not learn, but the bride was a Miss 
Lard, a very pretty young lady, who, I doubt not, will be ancestress of 
future statesmen and heroes on the shores of the Pacific. The wedding 
ceremonies were performed by the Rev. M. Cornwall, and took place 
in the tent of her father. The candles were not of wax nor very 
numerous, nor were the ornaments of the apartment very gorgeous or 
the bridal bed very voluptuous. The wedding-cake was not frosted 
with sugar, nor illustrated with matrimonial devices, after the manner 
of confectioners in the "settlements;" but cake was handed round to 
the whole party present. There was no music or dancing on the occa- 
sion. The company separated soon after the ceremony was performed, 
leaving the pair to the enjoyment of their connubial felicities. This 
was the first wedding in the wilderness, at which I had been guest. 

After we left the bridal tent, in looking across the plain, I could see 
from the light of the torches and lanterns the funeral procession that 
was conveying the corpse of the little boy whom I saw expire, to his 
last resting-place, in this desolate wilderness. The faint glimmer of 
of these lights, with a knowledge of the melancholy duties which those 
carrying them were performing, produced sensations of sadness and 

While surveying this mournful funeral scene, a man arrived from 
another encampment about a mile and a half distant, and informed 
me that the wife of one of the emigrants had just been safely delivered 
of a son, and that there was, in consequence of this event, great rejoic- 
ing. I could not but reflect upon the singular concurrence of the 
events of the day. A death and funeral, a wedding and a birth, had 
occurred in this wilderness, within a diameter of two miles, and within 
two hours' time; and to-morrow, the places where these events had 
taken place, would be deserted and unmarked, except by the grave of 
the unfortunate boy deceased! Such are the dispensations of Provi- 
dence! — such the checkered map of human suffering and human 

In reading this account, and any others, dealing with those who 
traveled the road west, each individual may emphasize either life 
or death on the trail, as satisfies his own needs and desires. It 
seems appropriate, however, to close this article on the note of birth 
and life, thus reflecting the optimism and toughness in the face of 
adversity that characterized those "First Ladies of the West." 

158. Edwin Bryant, op. cit., pp. 44-48, entry for Jime 14. 

Voting Patterns in the Wyoming 
Constitutional Convention of 1889 


Gordon Morris Bakken 

Historians have ably described Wyoming's constitutional con- 
vention debates and its product, but the voting patterns that deter- 
mined the substance of Wyoming's constitution have been neglect- 
ed.^ The people elected 55 delegates to the convention, but only 
49 attended, and three-fourths of their number determined the 
nature of fundamental law. Sectional loyalty, economic interest, 
and personality assertion formed the blocs of delegates that forged 
the constitution. In this context, an analysis of delegate voting 
patterns provides insight into the process of constitution-making in 

The delegates represented an economic cross-section of the 
territory. Lawyers, bankers, ranchers, merchants, farmers, min- 
ers, and railroaders were present. Eighteen delegates were lawyers 
and were influential in debate. However, resident politicos and big 
cattlemen hke Harvard-educated Hubert E. Teschemacher were 
also dominant in debate. 

The convention voting patterns reflected much of Wyoming's 
political history. The early sectional split between the populous 
southeastern counties of Laramie and Albany, and the western 
counties of Carbon, Sweetwater, and Uinta was evident in voting 
behavior. Northern county delegates often alUed with western 
counties against the south to secure favorable apportionment and 
tax provisions. Wyoming politics were based on personalities 
rather than ideology and this too was evident in the convention. 

1. On the work of the convention see T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), p. 243-26L Lewis L. 
Gould, Wyoming, A Political History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale U. Press, 
1968), p. 13, 48, 112-13. H. J. Peterson, The Constitutional Convention of 
Wyoming (Laramie: University of Wyoming, 1940). On the delegates see 
Marie H. Erwin, Wyoming Historical Blue Book (Denver: Bradford-Robin- 
son Printing Co., 1946), p. 631-47. Also see John D. Hicks, The Constitu- 
tions of the Northwest States (Lincoln, Nebraska: U. of Nebraska Studies, 
vol. 23, 1-2, 1923). Journals and Debates of the Constitutional Convention 
of the State of Wyoming (Cheyenne: The Daily Sun, 1893). 


Factions were built upon these loyalties and also upon the eco- 
nomic interests connected with them,- 

The voting behavior of the delegates can be described quanti- 
tatively through the use of the computer. One technique of identi- 
fying groups of delegates acting in concert is cluster bloc analysis.^ 
This device focuses upon the voting record of each delegate com- 
paring it with every other delegate. The pair-agreement scores 
produced by such comparison are placed in a matrix with the 
highest agreement score in the upper left corner. Other scores are 
added and a cluster bloc formed. The Guttman scaleogram is 
another technique of description. This program focuses upon 
individual roll calls. It isolates a roll call in which a small group of 
delegates votes against the rest of the convention. Then it adds 
subsequent roll calls in which this small group is joined roll call by 
roll call by other delegates. Since this original small group voted 
in such a manner, its delegates are considered to have held a 
radical position. The added roll calls express an increasingly 
moderate position. The last added roll call may contain a group of 
delegates diametrically opposed to the original small group of 
delegates. Roll calls arranged this way form a scale which ranks 
delegates according to their attitude on a particular issue. 

Both techniques have limitations. The cluster bloc may not 
expose shifting patterns of agreement among the delegates and does 
not reveal relative extremeness of position in comparison with 
other members of the cluster bloc. It may require the researcher 
to make arbitrary decisions concerning the outer limits of the 
clusters. For the cluster bloc to operate as a useful descriptive 
agent, the researcher must vary minimum bloc agreements so that 
bloc composition corresponds to observed behavior. The scale- 
ogram masks but does not complete destroy temporal relationships. 
It does not isolate self-conscious groups of like-minded delegates. 
Moreover, of special significance for Wyoming's constitutional con- 
vention, it discards delegates who fail to respond to half the roll 
calls. In sum, neither the cluster bloc technique, nor the Guttman 
scale is perfect or all revealing; but if used together in conjunction 
with the debates and the tactics of parliamentary procedures, these 
methods can reveal the constituent factors which produced Wyo- 
ming's constitution. 

2. This analysis is based on seventeen roll calls concerning women's 
suffrage, salaries, labor, constitutional offices, and taxation. Journals . . 
Wyoming, p. 51, 69, 70, 79, 87-89, 92, 105, 108, 109, 116, 122. 

3. See Lee F. Anderson, et al., Legislative Roll-Call Analysis (Evanston, 
III.: Northwestern U. Press, 1966). 


The Wyoming convention record presents further Hmitations 
upon quantitative analysis. We must utilize non-unanimous votes, 
but the majority of roll calls are of this nature. This, of course, 
indicates the general agreement that delegates displayed on those 
issues. However, the total number of delegates voting on these 
issues was small, again indicating that a small group of delegates 
were significant constructors of the constitution. Another problem 
is the small sample. The delegates seldom left a long series of roll 
calls on an issue. Hence, scaleogram and cluster bloc descriptions 
must be based on a limited number of roll calls. This, however, 
does not detract from the utility of the methodology. As descrip- 
tive agents, they portray delegate patterns otherwise unrealizable. 
Moreover, correlation with ideational positions can fortify be- 
havioral stances illustrated by voting patterns. 

One benefit derived from this analytical framework is insight 
into the relational aspects of voting behavior and delegate absence. 
As T. A. Larson has noted, many of the influential men of the 
territory were not delegates and absenteeism was prevalent.^ We 
find that only seven of the 46 delegates responding to analyzed roll 
calls voted on all issues. Nine delegates failed to respond 64.71% 
of the time.^ However, if we consider this absence as a form of 

4. Larson, Wyoming, p. 245. 

On particular issues see pages 248, 251, 

and 246 







Mortimer N. Grant 



Mine Owner 


Meiville C. Brown 





George W. Fox 




William E. Chaplin 





Alexander L. Sutherland 





George Ferris 





George C. Smith 





Charles L. Vagner 





James A. Casebeer 





R. C. Butler 





Charles W. Burdick 





Meyer Frank 





William C. Irvine 





Merris C. Barrow 





DeForest Richards 





Douglas A. Preston 





Herman G. Nickerson 



Probate judge 


Henry S. Elliott 





Charles H. Burritt 





John M. McCandlish 




Noyes Baldwin 





Henry G. Hay 





Elliott S. N. Morgan 





Charles N. Potter 





John A. Riner 






behavior and utilize it quantitatively as such, we can construct 
cluster blocs considering the factor and compare them to cluster 
blocs based only on actual votes cast. For example, utilizing a 
50% minimum bloc agreement, we find six blocs based on actual 
votes cast. 

Charles H. Burritt, Johnson, D., lawyer 
94 Henry Asa Coffeen, Sheridan, D., merchant 
83 92 Alexander L. Sutherland, Albany, R., rancher 
94 88 92 Mortimer N. Grant, Albany, R., mine owner 
81 88 91 88 John M. McCandlish, Johnson, D. 
77 82 92 82 94 Elliott S. N. Morgan, Laramie, R., lawyer 
71 79 92 79 77 86 Jonathan Jones, Uinta, R., mine developer 
58 67 71 67 67 75 89 James A. Casebeer, Carbon, R., newspa- 
70 80 86 80 100 100 86 83 Caleb P. Organ, Laramie, D., cattleman 
63 69 73 69 73 81 69 64 100 Charles N. Potter, Laramie, R., 


William E. Chaplin, Albany, R., newspaperman 
93 Herman G. Nickerson, Fremont, R., probate judge & county 

100 100 Johrx K. Jeffrey, Laramie, R., banker 
100 93 100 Thomas R. Reid, Laramie. D., U.P. employee 
83 85 88 85 Anthony C. Campbell, Laramie, D., lawyer 
77 71 81 79 94 George V/. Baxter, Laramie, D., cattleman 
75 85 87 77 87 88 Frederick H. Harvey, Converse, D., lawyer 
77 86 87 79 87 75 87 George C. Smith, Carbon, R., lawyer 
82 92 86 83 86 73 86 93 John W. Hoyt, Albany, R., ex-terri- 
torial governor 
100 100 89 100 67 67 78 75 86 Edward J. Morris, Sweetwater, 

D., mayor of Green River 


Anthony C. Campbell 





George W. Baxter 





James A. Johnston 



Irrigation expert 


Caleb P. Organ 





John K. Jeffrey 





Thomas R. Reid 



UP employee 


Hubert E. Teschemacher 





Henry Asa Coffeen 





Frederick H. Harvey 





Clarence D. Clark 





Frank M. Foote 



UP agent 


Jesse Knight 





Charles V/. Holden 





Jonathan Jones 



Mine developer 


John L. Russell 





Asbury B. Conway 





Edward J. Morris 



Mayor, Green River 


Herman Menough 



UP Coal Co. 


Mark Hopkins 



UP Coal Co. 


John W. Hoyt 



Ex-territ. governor 


Louis J. Palmer 





Henry S. Elliott, Johnson, D., lawyer 

90 George W. Fox, Albany, R. 

80 91 Charles W. Holden, Uinta, R., lawyer-rancher 

83 77 100 Frank M. Foote, Uinta, R., U.P. agent 

67 50 67 80 Merris C. Barrow, Converse, R., newspaperman 

Hubert E. Teschemacher, Laramie, R., cattleman 
83 Chares W. Burdick, Carbon, R., rancher-lawyer 
65 100 Melville C. Brown, Albany, R., lawyer 

70 100 90 Mark Hopkins, Sweetwater, R., U.P. Coal Co. superin- 


58 67 67 90 Louis J. Palmer, Sweetwater, D., lawyer 

65 100 65 80 75 James A. Johnston, Laramie, D., irrigation expert 
65 83 65 80 58 77 Henry G. Hay, Laramie, R., merchant-cattleman 
53 50 53 50 50 67 60 William C. Irvine, Converse, D., rancher 

Noyes Baldwin, Fremont, D., merchant 

100 Clarence D. Clark, Uinta, R., lawyer 

100 87 John L. Russel, Uinta, D., legislator 

100 75 92 Charles L. Vagner, Carbon, R., entrepreneur 

100 75 90 71 Asbury B. Conway, Sweetwater, R., lawyer 

Douglas A. Preston, Fremont, D., lawyer 

100 Herman Menough, Sweetwater, R., U.P. Coal Co. foreman 

64 100 John A. Riner, Laramie, R., lawyer 

Utilizing absence as a form of dissent in voting behavior, we also 
find six blocs, but these blocs reveal more significant alignments 
within the convention. One bloc of 1 8 delegates, because of their 
cohesive efforts, were very influential in the convention due to the 
lack of concerted opposition to their point of view. 

Charles H. Burritt, Johnson, D. 

94 Mortimer N. Grant, Albany, R. 

94 88 Henry Asa Coffeen, Sheridan, D. 

77 82 82 Elliott S. N. Morgan, Laramie, R. 

77 82 82 88 John M. McCandlish, Johnson, D. 

65 71 59 65 71 Hubert E. Teschemacher, Laramie, R. 
65 71 59 53 53 65 James A. Johnston, Laramie, D. 

71 77 77 77 77 65 71 John K. Jeffrey, Laramie, R. 

71 77 65 71 59 59 71 77 George W. Baxter, Laramie, D. 

71 77 65 77 65 65 71 88 88 Anthony C. Campbell, Laramie, D. 

59 65 65 77 65 65 71 88 77 88 Charles N. Potter, Laramie, R. 
53 59 59 65 65 65 77 77 59 65 77 Henry G. Hay, Laramie, R. 
65 71 59 65 65 65 71 77 82 77 65 71 F. H. Harvey, Converse, D. 
77 71 71 65 65 65 65 77 82 77 65 65 88 Melville Brown, 

Albany, R. 
65 71 59 65 65 65 65 77 71 77 65 65 77 77 G. C. Smith, 

Carbon, R. 
53 59 59 65 65 59 53 77 59 65 65 65 65 65 77 H.G.Nickerson, 

Fremont, R. 
59 65 65 59 59 53 59 77 65 65 65 59 59 59 71 94 T. R. Reid, 

Laramie, D. 
53 59 59 53 53 53 59 71 59 59 65 59 53 53 65 88 94 W. E. 

Chaplin, Albany, R. 

Jonathan Jones, Uinta, R. 

65 John L. Russell, Uinta, D. 

53 77 Clarence D. Clark, Uinta, R. 


Asbury B. Conway, Sweetwater, R. 
65 Louis J. Palmer, Sweetwater, D. 
53 82 Mark Hopkins, Sweetwater, R. 

John W. Hoyt, Albany, R. 

59 Caleb P. Organ, Laramie, D. 

59 53 Charles L. Vagner, Carbon, R, 

Merris C. Barrow, Converse, R. 

88 DeForest Richards, Converse, R. 

82 94 Noyes Baldwin, Fremont, D. 

71 82 88 Herman Menough, Sweetwater, R. 

71 77 77 82 Meyer Frank, Crook, D. 

71 77 77 71 88 George Ferris, Carbon, R. 

88 82 77 77 77 65 Charles W. Burdick, Carbon, R. 

82 82 77 71 71 65 82 R. C. Butler, Carbon, R. 

Henry S. Elliott, Johnson, D. 
65 Charles W. Holden, Uinta, R. 
53 77 George W. Fox, Albany, R. 
59 59 59 Frank M. Foote, Uinta, R. 

Most significant in this latter group of blocs is the description of 
sectional bloc voting. Laramie, Uinta, Sweetwater, Carbon, and 
Converse county delegates voted together generally despite party 


Sectionalism, evident from the whole convention record, was 
particularly pronounced on fiscal issues. On the salaries of con- 
stitutional officers, Wyoming delegates aligned themselves with 
western counties, particularly Uinta, opposing delegates from Lara- 
mie and Cheyenne. However, the eastern delegates had the voting 
power and imposed their will upon the cow counties.® * 



















6. For votes see Journals . . . Wyoming, p. 108, 122. 
* x=yes vote 
o=negative vote. Ed. 




The sectionalism involved in the question of the disbursement of 
tax revenues was also evident when questions of institutional power 
came before the convention. The authority of municipal corpora- 
tions to tax and to acquire prior appropriative rights to water 
stimulated heated debate and raised questions of constitutional 
and legislative delegation of governmental power. Similarly, the 
composition and authority of the legislature and judiciary provoked 
debate. The delegates here responded with votes reflecting both 
sectional loyalty and ideological positions.^ 























7. See Ibid., p. 255-70, 272, 277-86 on municipal corporation. For the 
votes see Ibid, p. 51, 79, 88-89. 














The Guttman scaleogram corresponds favorably to ideational posi- 
tions expressed in the debates. For example, George C. Smith 
assaulted the municipal taxing power, but was opposed by Charles 
N. Potter who offered an amendment which returned power to 
legislative hands. Smith occupies a radical position while Potter 
maintains a moderate one, exactly the position of his status quo 
proposal. George W. Fox, more vehemently opposed to Smith's 
proposal, occupies a position even further away on the scale.® 
Other examples are available, but these suffice to demonstrate the 
correlation of behavioral and ideational positions portrayed by the 


When the Wyoming convention met in 1 889, female suffrage had 
been the territorial law for twenty years. The first session of the 
territorial legislature passed a woman suffrage act and it remained 
on the statute books despite a repeal measure which was vetoed by 
the governor a year later.^ The same legislature which granted 
women political rights had also extended market place rights to 
them.^^ Wyoming's women participated as equals in both the 
political and economic spheres of territorial life. This long exper- 
ience was a central topic of debate in the convention and, combined 
with sense of the equity and justice involved, was determinative of 
delegate behavior. 

A majority of the delegates viewed the territorial suffrage exper- 
ience as successful and voted to have it continue. Led by Melville 

8. For their ideational positions see Ibid, p. 261-262. 

9. See Larson, Wyoming, p. 74-94. Gould, Wyoming, p. 26-27. 

10. Laws . . . Wyoming, 1st. session, ch. 19; 7th session, 154. Granger 
V. Lewis Bros. (1880), 2 Wyo. 231. 


Brown, president of the convention, the female suffrage advocates 
rebuffed an attack on the territorial experience and countered with 
claims of its success and justice. ^^ A brief effort to limit female 
suffrage to school elections was greeted with complacency. ^^ x^e 
suffragists were confident of their strength and their arguments. 
The political arena was not chaotic due to female voters. Equity 
was on the side of women taxpayers. In the last analysis, as the 
Laramie Boomerang observed, "it would [have been] an easier 
matter to level the mountains in Wyoming than to prevent them 
from providing ... the vote [to] women. "^^ The territorial ex- 
perience was conclusive proof to the delegates that female suffrage 
was not only right, but also politically workable. 

In the context of 19th century America, Wyoming's suffrage 
provision was liberal, an expansion of political participation in 
democratic society. However, considering Wyoming's long exper- 
ience and the context of the suffrage article as a whole, the delegate 
actions were quite conservative. While the delegates were willing 
to extend the vote to women, they also incorporated a hteracy test 
for all voters. The struggle over a literacy test graphically sep- 
arated the liberals from the conservatives in the convention. Lib- 
erals desired increased participation in the political processes, while 
conservatives sought to protect the "purity of the ballot" and their 
own social and economic interests from "the vast hordes." The 
Guttman scale portrays the split of ideology in the convention. 
Liberals occupy the upper part, favoring female suffrage and 
opposing the literacy test. The vast middle ground is occupied by 
delegates who favor female suffrage and the literacy test. Con- 
servatives, opposing female suffrage and favoring the literacy test, 
occupy the bottom of the scale. 









IL Journals . . . Wyoming, p. 346 (Campbell termed the territorial law 
a joke), 352-3 (Brown" lauds territorial law), 347 (Baxter, who introduced 
the bill termed it "right, fair, and just"). The Cheyenne Daily Sun, Sept. 7, 
1889 noted that the danger apprehended from the adoption of women's 
suffrage was not as great as had been anticipated. The Daily Boomerang 
(Laramie), Sept. 9, 1889 noted the twenty year experience had been a 

12. Cheyenne Daily Leader, Sept. 12, 1889. 

13. The Daily Boomerang, Sept. 9, 1889. 















xxxo R. C. BUTLER, CARBON, R. 


The issues created strange bedfellows. Anthony C. Campbell who 
sought separate submission for female suffrage, a general oppo- 
sition tactic, joined George Baxter who introduced the section in 
opposition to a literacy test. Campbell's separate submission 
scheme can be explained in terms of his fears that Congress would 
not accept the Constitution with it included. This was a pragmatic 
rather than an ideological position. Campbell used the absurd to 
discredit Uteracy test proponents with an amendment requiring that 
"no person shall be entitled to vote who cannot translate Hamlet's 
Soliloquy into Pennsylvania Dutch." Douglas A. Preston, who 
held the most radical voting record, branded the literacy test as a 
disaster to Wyoming's economy. This was in opposition to Fred- 
erick Harvey's observation that "it is uniformly agreed that the 
most serious problem which confronts us is the simple question of 
the ignorance of the vast hordes that are coming in among us year 
by year."^"* The liberals were small in number. Both female 

14. For the votes see Journals . . . Wyoming, p. 69, 116. On ideational 
positions, p. 370-72 (Campbell and Baxter), p. 385 (Preston), p. 389 


suffrage and a literacy test were conservative measures, and a 
generally conservative delegation adopted them. 

The suffrage question offered a more definable ideological issue 
and their voting behavior demonstrated a departure from a more 
sectional tendency. However, not all delegates expressed idea- 
tional positions and their voting behavior positioned them on an 
ideological issue. Delegate alignment also illustrated their sec- 
tional loyalties. Although fragmented by ideological positions, 
delegate behavior still followed a sectional pattern. Moreover, the 
issue again demonstrated the lack of partisan loyalties. 


The study of Wyoming constitutional convention delegate be- 
havior suggests several new dimensions for continued research. 
The territorial experience was significant in terms of general dele- 
gate behavior and specific constitutional provision. This may sug- 
gest that further study of the territorial experience is needed for a 
greater understanding of state legal development. The delegate 
concern for municipal corporations may indicate that they were 
significant in the overall development of territorial Wyoming. 
More generally, quantitative devices provide historians with an 
additional dimension of description useful in assessing legal-consti- 
tutional development. Our assumptions about legislative behavior 
in the territorial period and in statehood are amenable to such 
analysis, and may provide us with a greater understanding of Wyo- 
ming's legal and poUtical development. 



State Engineer Fred Bond has offered a solution of the great 
range problem now confronting the sheepmen and cattle-growers 
of Wyoming, which will assuredly terminate in serious trouble 
unless steps are taken to eradicate the evils which exist. 

Engineer Bond, who has made a careful and thorough study of 
the vexing problem, suggests that all of the pubUc lands in the State 
now used by cattle owners and sheepmen be divided into large 
tracts, part of which will be used by cattlemen and the rest by 

The dividing lines could be established in conformity to the 
exigencies of the case and would end all the trouble which is now 
making its appearance in the form of too frequent filings. 

It is proposed to create a commission whose duty it will be to 
study the situation and establish the dividing lines for the herds of 
cattle and flocks of sheep. The commission would have the power 
to adjust all differences which might arise over the establishment of 
a line or the changing of lines, and as the division of public lands 
would be made in accordance with the number of cattle or sheep 
grazed the system could be put into effect without friction of any 

The recommendation of Engineer Bond seems to meet with 
general approval on the part of those interested, and it is probable 
the Interior Department will be urged to adopt some measures of 
this kind to put a stop to the range war which exists in a quiescent 
state all over Wyoming. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1903 

Centennial, Wyoming. A new railroad town in the Centennial 
Valley thirty-two miles west of Laramie, on the line of the Laramie, 
Hahn's Peak and Pacific Railway. Is worthy of attention at this 
time on the part of real estate investors and parties desiring a new 
location for business. 

This town will be a division point of the "Laramie Plains Line" 
and several industries of importance will be estabHshed at this 

Terms of sale, $10 in cash on each lot at time of purchase, bal- 
ance $5 per month, without interest. Prices and particulars upon 
application. Jos. B. McKee, Secretary. Local Agent, Centennial, 

— Advertisement, The Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1899 

Zhe Woebegone Miners 

of Wyoming X 

a Mistory of Cod Mine Masters 

in the Equality State 

Philip A. Kalisch 

Although coal was discovered in Wyoming as early as 1834, the 
first coal mining on a commercial scale did not begin until the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company built across the territory from 
1867 to 1869. 

As soon as the track entered Wyoming, prospecting for coal near 
the route began and the first mines were opened up at Carbon, 
Point of Rocks, and Rock Springs in early 1868.^ Many Chinese 
laborers were brought in to work the mines and total production of 
about 7,000 tons in 1868 was quickly surpassed in 1869 with a 
yield of over 58,000 tons.- Coal mining quickly developed into 
the leading industry of the sparsely settled territory. Additional 
mines were soon opened up along the transcontinental raihoad at 
Almy in Uinta County and Hanna in Carbon County.^ In 1882, 
nearly 600 more Chinese were brought in to work the mines in 
southwestern Wyoming and this caused tension and ultimately, 
violent race riots which resulted in the near elimination of Orientals 
from the mines.^ The places made vacant were filled by immi- 

1. James T. Hodge, "On the Tertiary Coals of the West," in U.S. Geolog- 
ical Survey of the Territories, Fourth Annual Report, part 4 (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1871), p. 318; "Wyoming Coal Fields," Scien- 
tific American Supplement, LXV (May 30, 1908), p. 345. 

2. A. R. Schultz, "The Southern Part of the Rock Springs Coal Field, 
Sweetwater County, Wyoming," in U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin, 381, 
Contributions to Economic Geology, 1908, Part II (Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1910), pp. 250-251. 

3. Ibid., p. 250; U.S. Bureau of Mines Technical Paper 484, Analyses of 
Wyoming Coals (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1931), pp. 

4. U.S. Senate, Report of the Immigration Commission, Immigrants in 
Industries, Part 25, Japanese and Other Immigrant Races in the Pacific 
Coast and Rocky Mountain States (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1911), p. 281. 


grants from Europe who were attracted to the coal mines in the 
latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The largest groups 
of foreign-bom by 1920 included 16,600 Russians and 12,600 
Italians .M 

( Indeed, in the Rock Springs coal mine region as many as forty 
European racial stocks were said to be represented. Sweetwater 
County in 1910 had a total foreign-born population of 5,119 as 
compared to 5,814 native whites. The foreign-born element in- 
cluded large numbers of Itahans, Slavs, Greeks, Mexicans, Finns, 
Germans, Czechs, Austrians, Danes, French, Hungarians, Japa- 
nese, Irish, Norse, Poles, Russians, Swedes, Welsh, Scottish, and 
English.6 ) 

The predominant belief concerning risk in early Wyoming coal 
mining history was the fatalistic idea that coal mining fatalities 
were part of the industry and the avoidance of accidents was largely 
the responsibility of the miners.'^ The first major disaster occurred 
at Almy on March 4, 1881, where nearly the whole mining crew at 
the time was Chinese. A fire had been burning underground in an 
adjacent part of the mine for about five years but had been walled 
off with stone. Between 9:00 and 10:00 A. M. on the fatal day 
a terrific explosion set the mine slope on fire and burned the build- 
ings on the surface, killing 35 Chinese and three white men.* The 
mine had been in operation since 1869 but this was the first major 
accident. The supposition as to the cause was that "gas accumu- 
lated and in some way communicated with the fire."^ 

A little over five years later, Almy was again the scene of 
tragedy as just before midnight on January 12, 1886, the local 
residents were "startled by a loud report as of thunder" and sud- 
denly the "sky was illurainated for miles like a bright-yellow 
sunset."^^ A terrific explosion of gas from the No. 4 mine blew 
all of the building near the shaft opening into kindling wood, 
"sending great timbers and rocks three-quarters of a mile."^^ Two 
unfortunate miners on their way back down into the mine with 
some empty cars were as far as the third level when "the explosion 
broke the cars into fragments and shot them as out of a camion" 

5. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 
1920, Volume III, Population (Washington: Government Printing Office, 
1922), pp. 1148-1150. 

6. Ibid., Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. 

7. U.S. Bureau of the Mines Information Circular 6791, Accident Exper- 
ience and Cost in Wyoming Coal Mines (Washington: Government Print- 
ing Office, 1934), p. 1. 

8. Cheyenne Weekly Leader, March 10, 1881. 

9. Ibid.; Note: A disaster is defined by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as an 
accident which causes the death of five or more miners. 

10. Deseret Evening News [Salt Lake City, Utah], January 14, 1886. 

11. Deseret Evening News, January 15, 1886. 


and blew them to pieces. ^^ what little remained was found a 
considerable distance from the portal. 

The eleven men and two boys who had been in the mine were 
killed. It was speculated that the explosion originated at the thir- 
teenth level where gas was probably ignited by a miner's helmet 

After more than nine years without a major coal mine catas- 
trophe, 62 men were killed in a huge blast (March, 1895) at the 
Red Canyon No. 5 mine several miles from Almy.^^ It came 
about 5:45 in the evening and many miners had quit for the day 
and left the mine or the death Ust would have been much larger.^** 
The shock of the explosion was felt for miles around and was dis- 
tinctly heard at Evanston seven miles away.^^ A little boy, who 
had come to the mine with a horse and buggy to take his grand- 
father home, was driving over a slope near the mouth of the mine 
on the public highway at the moment of the explosion. He and the 
horse were thrown almost perpendicularly into the air 25 feet and 
all fell in a heap. Although the buggy was demolished, mirac- 
ulously the boy was not harmed. ^'^ It took days to reach some of 
the victims and as soon as the bodies were recovered, they were 
quickly buried due to the "bad odor of the charred flesh."^^ 

After the turn of the century the major coal mining activity in 
southwestern Wyoming shifted from the Almy area 50 miles north 
to the Kemmerer coal field and with it the probability of disaster. 
On the night of February 26, 1901, in the Diamondville No. 1 
mine, some coal ignited and a ma'or fire ensued. ^^ Dense clouds of 
black smoke filled the mine and although some of the men were 
able to escape, others, largely immigrants who could not under- 
stand English, became confused and bewildered-^*^ The tragic 
result was that 26 of the men died of suffocation and the entrances 
of the mine were plugged to help stop the fire.^^ Just eight months 
later, 22 men were killed at the same mine when gas was ignited 
while the miners were fighting another fire. Again the mine was 
sealed and the bodies were recovered later after the seals were 

Hanna was the scene of Wyoming's worst mming disaster on 

12. Ibid. 

13. Ibid., January 19, 1886. 

14. New York Times, March 22, 1895. 

15. Omaha, Morning World-Herald, March 22, 1895. 

16. New York Times, March 22. 1895. 

17. Ibid. 

18. Omaha, Evening World Herald, March 23, 1895. 

19. "Mine Fire at Diamondville, Wyoming," Mines and Minerals, XXI 
(April, 1901), p. 388. 

20. Ibid. 

21. Ibid..p.3S9. 

22. U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 586, Historical Summary of Coal 


June 30, 1903, when a resounding explosion kiUed 169 men at the 
Hanna No. 1 mine.-^ Flames burst out of the portal and the mine 
was filled with debris.^"* Although 46 men managed to escape, 
bodies of other men and mules were "found throughout the 
mine.''^'"^ A survivor indicated that a shot to bring down coal had 
ignited gas and dust. Again it was necessary to seal the openings 
of the mine in order to bring the fire under control.-^ 

DiamondviUe was the scene of a third disaster when on Decem- 
ber 2, 1905, all 18 men on the night shift of the No. 1 mine were 
killed in a huge explosion.^^ The shock from the blast was "felt aU 
over town, rocking buildings violently," and left no trace of "stone 
and cement stoppings 18 to 24 inches thick."28 Rescue attempts 
were to no avail and the mine was closed.^** 

Hanna was again in the news on March 28, 1908, and numerous 
families lost their breadwinners when a first explosion about 3:00 
P. M., killed 18 men and at 10:30 that night a second blast en- 
tombed 41 rescuers including the Wyoming Mine Inspector.^" As 
the second explosion caused even further damage to the interior 
tunnels and started a fire, it was found impossible to enter the 
mine.''*^ After 32 bodies were recovered, the mine was permanently 
sealed and became the tomb of the other 27 men inside.'^ This 
disaster and a number of minor accidents resulted in a fatality rate 
of one man kUled for every 67,000 tons of coal mined in 1908, the 
worst record of any state that year.^^ 

The following three disasters took less of a death toll. Six men 
were killed and 20 injured in a coal dust explosion caused by a 
"blown out shot of black powder" at Kemmerer No. 4 mine in 
January, 19 12.^^ Five others were killed in a freak accident at the 
Cumberland No. 2 mine on April 30, 1914 when a coupling be- 
tween the third and fourth mine cars broke while a train of ten 
cars was being hauled up the slope with 62 men aboard.^^ The last 

Mine Explosions in the United States, 1810-1958 (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1960), p. 23. 

23. See the list of accidents in U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 
6765, Wyoming Coal-Mine Explosions 1881-1931 (Washington: Govern- 
ment Printing Office, 1934), p. 2. 

24. Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 1, 1903. 

25. Ibid., July 2, 1903. 

26. Ibid., July 6, 1903. 

27. Cheyenne Daily Leader, December 3, 1905. 

28. Ibid., December 6, 1905. 

29. Ibid., December 7, 1905. 

30. Cheyenne Daily Leader, March 28, 1908. 

31. Ibid. 

32. U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 586, p. 29. 

33. U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 115, Coal-Mine Fatalities in the 
United States, 1870-1914 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916), 
p. 62. 

34. U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 586, p. 53. 

35. U.S. Bvu-eau of Mines Bulletin 616, p. 50. 


seven cars started uncontrolled back down into the mine, "gaining 
terrific momentum," Many of the miners threw themselves from 
the cars and escaped certain death but several men were "horribly 
crushed" to death and others were permanently crippled.^* The 
cars had been equipped with a "safety rope" in addition to the 
couplings but this had also broken from the strain.^' At Sublet, 
Wyoming, on July 26, 1920, six men died from a powder explosion 
in the magazine building.^^ A coroner's inquest concluded that 
the conflagration was caused by one of the men "striking a keg of 
powder with a mallet" causing a "spark which lit the powder."^^ 

Wyoming's second worst mining disaster came at the Frontier 
No. 1 mine at Kemmerer on August 14, 1923.*" Ninety-nine men 
were entombed three-quarters of a mile below ground with a fire 
raging in the shaft following an explosion which "choked the exits 
and poured tons of earth and rocks into the shaft over the heads of 
the miners."*^ Some of the men might have been rescued if they 
had remained at their working locations instead of attempting to 
get out by running through the smoke and gasses.^- One group of 
21 men wisely barricaded themselves into a far area of the mine 
and held out until they were rescued.*^ Although about 135 men 
had been working in the mine at the time of the blast, ordinarily 
250 miners would have been underground. Fortunately the day 
was the occasion of an important religious festival and about 125 
men were taking a holiday.** Investigations later concluded that 
the accident was caused when a fireboss attempted to re-light his 
flame "safety lamp" with a match and this ignited some gas that 
had accumulated.*^ 

A little over a year later 39 more miners were kiUed in an 
explosion at Sublet No. 5 mine.*^ Most of the victims "were 
quickly killed by flame and suffocation." The cause was listed as 
accumulated gas being "ignited by an arc from a locomotive trol- 
ley."*^ The last Wyoming coal mine disaster came 78 miles from 

36. Ibid. 

37. Ibid. 

38. G. W. Grove, "Preliminary Report" on Accident at No. 6 mine; 
Sublet, Wyoming, July 26, 1920, in Bureau of Mines Bulletin 616, p. 82. 

39. Ibid., p. 83. 

40. U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 6765, p. 6. 

41. Omaha, Morning World Herald, August 15, 1923. 

42. D. Harrington and H. E. Munn, "Report of the Explosion at Frontier 
No. 1 Mine, Kemmerer, Wyoming, August 14, 1923" in Bureau of Mines 
Bulletin 586, p. 94. 

43. Omaha, Morning World Herald, August 15, 1923. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Harrington and Munn, p. 94. 

46. U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 6765, p. 7. 

47. E. H. Denny and K. L. Marshall, "Report of the E.\plosion at Sublet 
(No. 5) Mine, Sublet, Wyoming, September 16, 1924" in Bureau of Mines 
Bulletin 586, p. 100. 


Afton at the Vail Truck Mine on Deadman Creek which was 
located at 8,200 feet elevation. On February 11, 1938, a violent 
explosion "from a blown out shot" killed five men and blew cars 
and three bodies out of the mine.** The mine foreman's wife ran 
to the scene and helped one injured man into the house. Using 
skis, she "traveled through four feet of snow to Young's ranch for 
help."^** Rescuers rushed to the mine by plane and skis but found 
both the injured man and the others dead.^^ 

Coal mine disasters in Wyoming became less frequent as pro- 
duction declined. While mining had reached over nine million 
tons in the early 1920s, it dropped off during the Depression, 
bounced back during World War II, and tapered off in the post- 
war period.^^ The all-time high was reached in 1945 when 
nearly ten million tons of coal was produced. Dieselization of 
the railroads took away an important segment of the market 
and by 1958 production was down to less than 1.66 million 
tons.^2 Although the 1960s saw some resurgence in Wyoming 
coal mining in terms of tonnage as production climbed back 
over three million tons, the day of the traditional coal miner was 
virtually over.^^ An average of only three hundred men were 
employed daily as coal miners in 1968 compared with over 8,300 
in 1913.^* Almost all production in the late 1960s was by strip 
mining and using bulldozers and heavy machinery, each man was 
producing an average of about 45 tons per day.^^ By way of com- 
parison, in the 1 890s miners of Wyoming had produced an average 
tonnage per man each day of only two tons.^^ The state had a total 
cumulative production of nearly 450 million tons of coal by 1968 
and an annual output of around 3.8 million tons.^'^ 

The booming days of the past with thousands of immigrant 
miners were over for good. Only the shells remained of such 
formerly busy coal mining towns as Almy, Cumberland, Sublet, 
Spring Valley, and Diamondville which collectively had been pop- 
ulated by thousands of people. Indeed, only the vast worked-out 
rooms below ground gave evidence of the toil, sweat, and risk of 
the woebegone coal miners of Wyoming's past. 

48. B. W. Dyer, "Geological Survey Report" in Bureau of Mines Bulletin 
586, p. 144. 

49. Ibid. 

50. Ibid. 

51. U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States 
(Washington: G. P. O., 1864-1932); U. S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals 
Yearbook (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932-1968). 

52. Minerals Yearbook, 1958. 

53. Minerals Yearbook, 1967, p. 339. 

54. Ibid., p. 330. 

55. Ibid. 

56. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1924, p. 485. 

57. Minerals Yearbook, 1968, p. 306. 

Practical Mousckeep'mg 

The book Practical Housekeeping was published in 1886 by 
Buckeye Publishing Co., Minneapolis, Minn. According to the 
publisher's notice in the book, the volume is a revised and enlarged 
edition of a publication entitled Buckeye Cookery and Practical 
Housekeeping. What follows are portions of two chapters of 
Practical Housekeeping entitled "The Laundry" and "The Cellar 
and Ice-House." The book is dedicated, "To those Plucky House- 
wives who master their work mstead of allowing it to master them." 


When inviting friends to visits of a week or more, try to fix the 
time for a visit to begin the day after the ironing is done. The girl 
feels a weight off her mind, has time to cook the meals better, and 
is a much more wilUng attendant upon guests. 

Do not have beefsteak for dinner on washing or ironing days - 
arrange to have something roasted in the oven, or else have cold 
meat also. 

Do not have fried or broiled fish. The smell sticks, and the 
clothes will not be sweet; besides the broiler and frying-pan take 
longer to clean. 

As for vegetables, do not have spinach, pease, string-beans, or 
apple-sauce. All these good things take time to prepare, and can 
be avoided as well as not. Have baked white and sweet potatoes, 
macaroni, boiled rice, parsnips, sweet corn, stewed tomatoes, and 
canned vegetables in winter. For dessert, baked apples and cream, 
bread-pudding, or something easily prepared. 

When removed from the person, clothing, if damp, should be 
dried to prevent mildew, and articles which are to be starched 
should be mended before placing in the clothes-basket. Monday is 
the washing day with all good housekeepers. The old-fashioned 
programme for a washing is as follows: Use good soft water if it 
can be had. If not, soften a barrel-full of well-water by pouring 
into it water in which half a peck or more of hard wood ashes 
have been boiled, together with the ashes themselves. When 
enough has been added to produce the desired effect, the water 
takes on a curdled appearance, and soon settles perfectly clear. 
If milky, more ashes and lye must be added as before, care being 
taken not to add more than is necessary to clear the water, or it will 
affect the hands unpleasantly. On the other hand, if too little is 
put in, the clothes will turn yellow. Gather up all clothes which 
are ready on Saturday night, and the rest as they are taken off; 
separate the fine from the coarse, and the less soiled from the 


dirtier. Scald all table linen and articles which have coffee, fruit, 
or other stains which would be "set" by hot suds, by pouring over 
them hot water from the tea-kettle and allowing them to stand until 
cool. Have the water in the tub as warm as the hand will bear, 
but not too hot. (Dirty clothes should never be put into very hot 
clear water, as it "sets" the dirt. Hot soap-suds, however, has the 
opposite effect, the water expanding the fiber of the fabric, while 
the alkali of the soap softens and removes the dirt.) Wash first 
one boiler full, taking the cleanest and finest through two suds, 
then place in a boiler of cold water, with soap enough to make a 
good suds. A handful of borax to about ten gallons of water helps 
to whiten the clothes and is used by many, especially by the Ger- 
mans, who are famous for their snowy linen. This saves in soap 
nearly half. For laces, cambrics, etc. an extra quantity of the 
powder is used, and for crinolines (requiring to be made stiff), a 
strong solution is necessary. Borax, being a neutral salt, does not 
in the slightest degree injure the texture of the linen. Its effect is 
to soften the hardest water. Another way to whiten clothes is to 
throv/ a handful of tansy into the boiler in which clothes are boiling. 
It will make the water green, but will whiten the clothes. Let them 
boil, with cover off boiler, not more than five or ten minutes, as 
too long boihng "yellows" the clothes. (Some advocate strongly 
no boilmg. ) Remove to a tub, pour over them cold water slightly 
blued, and turn all garments, pillow-slips, stockings, etc., wrong- 
side out. (If there are more to boil, take out part of the boiling 
suds, add cold water, and fill not too full with clothes. Repeat 
until ail are boiled. The removal of part of the suds, and filling up 
with cold water, prevents the suds from "yellowing" the clothes.) 
Wash vigorously in this water (this is called "sudsing"), wringing 
very dry by hand, or better with the wringer, as the clear appear- 
ance of the clothes depends largely on thorough wringing. Rinse 
in another tub of soft water, vv'ashing with the hands, not simply 
lifting them out of the water and then wringing, as is practiced by 
some, because all suds must be rinsed out to make them clear and 
white. Wring and shake out well and put into water pretty well 
blued, putting in one article after another until the first boUerful 
is all in. Stir up occasionally, as the blue sometimes settles to the 
bottom, and thus spots the clothes. (This time well-water may be 
used if soft water is difficult to obtain.) Wring out again and for 
the last time, placing the clothes which are to be starched in one 
basket, and the rest, which may be hung out immediately, in an- 
other. While the first lot of clothes is boiling, prepare the second, 
take out first, put second in boiler, and "suds" and rinse first. In 
this way the first is finished and hung out while the later lots are 
still under way. Have the starch ready as hot as the hand can 
bear, dip the articles and parts of articles which need to be 
very stiff, first "clapping" the starch well in with the hands, 
especially in shirt-bosoms, wristbands, and collars, and then thin 


the starch for other articles which require less stiffening. When 
starched, hang out on the line to dry, first wiping the line with a 
cloth to remove all dirt and stains. Shake out each article until it 
is free from wrinkles, and fasten securely on the line (with the 
old-fashioned split clothes-pins), being careful to hang sheets and 
table-linen so that the selvage edges will be even. The line 
should be stretched in the airiest place in the yard, or in winter 
a large attic is a better place for the purpose. (Freezing injures 
starch, and for that reason it is better in winter to hang clothes 
out unstarched until dry, then taking in, starching and drying in- 
doors.) When dry, remove from line to clothes-basket, place 
clothes-pins as removed in a basket kept for the purpose, take 
down and roll up the Une, remove basket, line, and pins to the 
house, and put the two latter into their proper places. The clothes- 
line should always be carefully put up out of the weather when not 
in use. Wipe it carefully with a clean cloth before hanging out 
clothes, and always count clothes-pins when gathering them up. 
Every housekeeper ought to provide a pair of mittens for hanging 
out clothes, to be used for this purpose and no other. Cut them 
from clean flannel (white seems the most suitable), and line them 
with another thickness of flannel, or make them double, if the 
flannel is thin. These should be kept in a clean place ready for this 
particular business, and nothing else. A good and handy place to 
keep them is in the clothes-pin bag. Turn all garments right side 
out, shake out thoroughly, sprinkle (re-starching shirt-bosoms, 
wristbands, and collars if necessary). Shake out night-dresses and 
under-garments so as to free them from creases, and if they are 
ruffled or embroidered, dip them in thin starch, pull out smoothly, 
fold first, and then, beginning at the top of each garment, roll up, 
each by itself, in a very tight roll, and place in the basket; fold 
sheets without sprinkling, having first snapped and stretched them, 
and lay on the rest; over all spread the ironing blanket and let them 
stand until next morning. Next day iron, beginning with the sheets 
(which, as well as table linen, must be folded neatly and carefully, 
so that the selvage edges will exactly come together. Or, another 
way to fold and iron a sheet is to bring bottom over top, then bring 
back bottom edge to edge of middle fold, leaving top edge; iron the 
upper surface, then turn the whole sheet over, fold the top edge 
back to the middle edge, and again iron upper surface; this leaves 
the sheet folded in four thicknesses; now bring the selvage edges 
together and iron the upper surface, and the sheet is done) and 
taking shirts next, cooling the iron when too hot on the coarse 
towels. In ironing shirts a "bosom-board" is almost indispensable, 
and an "ironing-board" is a great convenience for all articles. The 
former is a hard wood board an inch thick, eighteen inches long, 
and eight wide, covered with two thicknesses of woolen blanket 
stuff, overlaid with two more of cotton cloth. The cloth is wrapped 
over the sides and ends of the board and tacked on the back side, 


leaving the face plain and smooth. The ironing-board is covered 
in the same way, but is five feet long, two feet wide at one end, and 
narrowed down with a rounded taper from full width at the middle 
to seven inches at the other end, and the comers rounded. This 
board may be of any well-seasoned wood which will not warp, and 
should be about one inch thick; on this all the clothes are conven- 
iently ironed. Always use cotton holders for the irons. Woolen 
ones are hot to the hand, and if scorched, as they aften are, the 
smell is disagreeable. In ironing a shirt or a dress, turn the sleeves 
on the wrong side, and leave them until the rest is done, and then 
turn and iron them. In this way the bosoms are less likely to 
become rumpled. Pull muslin and lace out carefully, iron it over 
once, and then puU into shape, pick out the embroidery and pro- 
ceed with greater care than before. Embroideries should be ironed 
on the wrong side over flannel. Always have near a dish of clean 
cold water, so that any spot which has been imperfectly ironed may 
be easily wet with a soft sponge or piece of linen, and ironed over 
again, or any surplus bit of starch removed. As fast as articles are 
finished, they should be hung on the clodies-dryer until thoroughly 
dry, especial care being taken with those which are starched stiff, 
as tiiey retain the starch much better if dried very quickly. Thor- 
ough airing is necessary, twenty-four hours being none too much. 

If a machine is used in washing, it is better to soak the clothes 
over night in warm soft water, soaping collars and wristbands, and 
pieces most soiled. Have separate tubs for coarse and fine clothes. 
In soaking clothes for washing Monday, the water should be pre- 
pared Saturday night, and all clothes which are ready thrown in, 
and the rest added when changed. 

Another method is to half fill tubs Saturday night with clear, soft 
water, warmed a little if convenient, but not too hot, made into a 
weak suds; in one put the finer articles, such as muslins, cuffs, 
collars, and shirts; in another put table-linen; in another bed-linen; 
in another the dish cloths and wiping towels, and in still another 
the coarsest and most soiled articles; always put the most soiled 
articles of each division at bottom of tub; cover all well with water 
and press down. Rub no soap on spots or stains, as it will "set" 
them. Of course, articles which can not be had on Saturday night 
are put in the next day as they are changed. Monday morning, 
heat not very hot a boiler full of clean soft water, add to it water 
in which soap was dissolved Saturday night by pouring hot water 
over it, and stir it thoroughly; drain off the water in which the 
clothes were soaked after shaking them up and down vigorously 
in it, pressing them against the sides of the tub to get out all the 
water possible. Then pour over them the warm suds, and wash 
out as before described, washing each class separately. If found 
impracticable to make so many divisions, separate the coarse and 
fine, and the least soiled and the dirtiest. 

In the summer, clothes may be washed without any fire by soak- 
ing overnight in soapy soft water, rubbing out in the morning, 


soaping the dirty places, and laying them in the hot sunshine. By 
the time the last are spread out to bleach, the first may be taken up, 
washed out and rinsed. This, of course, requires a clean lawn. 

Before washing flannels shake out dust and Unt; use soft, clean, 
cold water, in winter merely taking the chill off. Let the hard soap 
lie in the water, but do not apply it to the clothes. Wash the white 
pieces first, throw articles as fast as washed into blued cold water, 
let them stand twenty or thirty minutes, wash them through this 
water after dissolving a little soap in it, wring hard, shake and hang 
up. Wash colored flannels in the same way (but not in water 
used for white, or they will gather the Unt), and rinse in several 
waters if inclined to "run". When very dirty, all flannels should 
soak longer, and a little borax well dissolved should be added to 
the water. This process is equally good for washing silk goods and 
silk embroideries. Calicoes and fancy cotton stockings may be 
washed in the same way, except that no soap should be used in the 
rinsing. Wash gray and brown linens in cold water, with a httle 
black pepper in it, and they will not fade. For bluing, use the best 
indigo tied in a strong bag made of drilling. 


The cellar, when properly constructed and cared for, is the most 
useful room in the house, and no dwelling is complete without one. 
It is economy of expense and ground-space to build it under 
ground, and this plan gives the best cellar whenever the site of the 
house permits thorough drainage. The base of the foundation wall 
of the house should be laid a little below the floor level of the 
cellar, and the first layer should be of broad flag-stones, so placed 
that the edges will project a few inches beyond the outer face of the 
wall. This effectually prevents rats from undermining the cement 
floor, which they often do when this precaution is neglected, dig- 
ging away the dirt until the floor breaks and gives them access to a 
new depot of supplies. In burrowing downwards, they invariably 
keep close to the wall, and when they reach the projecting flagging, 
give it up and look for an easier job. To secure the cellar from 
freezing, the wall, above the level of the deepest frost, should be 
double or "hollow," the inner wall being of brick four inches thick, 
with an air-space of two inches between it and the outer wall, which 
should be of stone and twelve or fourteen inches thick. The brick 
wall should be stiffened by an occasional "binder" across to the 
stone. The hollow space may be filled with dry tan-bark or saw- 
dust, or left simply filled with the confined air, "dead air" being 
the most perfect non-conductor of heat known. The windows, 
which should be opposite each other when possible, to secure a 
"draft" and more perfect ventilation, should be provided with 
double sash — one flush with the outer face of the wall, which may 
be removed in summer, and the other flush with the inner face, 
hung on strong hinges, so that it may easily be swung open upward 


and hooked there. In winter, this arrangement lets in light, but 
with its space of confined air, keeps out the frost, A frame cov- 
ered with wire netting should take the place of the outer sash in 
summer, to keep out everything but the fresh air and light. The 
walls should be as smooth as possible on the inner side, and neatly 
plastered; also the ceiling overhead. The floor should be first 
paved with small stones, then a coat of water-lime laid on, and over 
this a second coat, as level as a planed floor. There should also be 
double doors, one flush with each face of the waU; and a wide out- 
door stairway, through which vegetables, coal, etc. may be carried, 
is indispensable. The depth should be about eight feet. 

Such a cellar may always be clean, the air pure, and the tempera- 
ture under complete control. It will consequently keep apples and 
pears two or three months longer than an ordinary cellar, prolong- 
ing the fruit season to "strawberry-time." If it extends under the 
whole house — the best plan when the state of the purse permits it — 
it may be divided into apartments, with brick walls between — one 
for vegetables, one for fruits, one for provisions, one for the 
laundry, and a fifth for coal and the furnace, if one is used. In one 
corner of the cellar, under the kitchen, may also be the cistern, the 
strong cellar wall serving for its outer wall. A pump from the 
kitchen would supply water there for domestic uses; and a pipe 
with a stop-cock, leading through the wall into the cellar, would 
occasionally be a convenience and save labor. It is better, how- 
ever, as a rule, to locate the cistern just outside the house, passing a 
pipe from it through the cellar wall below the deepest frost level, 
and thence to the kitchen. If built in the cellar, the cistern should 
be square, with heavy walls, plastered inside with three coats of 

All the apartments of a cellar should be easily accessible from 
the outside door and from the kitchen stairway. In the vegetable 
apartment, the bins should be made of dressed lumber, and painted, 
and located in the center, with a walk around each, so that the 
contents may easily be examined and assorted. The fruit shelves, 
made of slats two inches wide and placed one inch apart should be 
put up with care and neatness, and with equal regard for conven- 
ience and easy access. Their place should be the most airy part 
of the cellar; the proper width is about two feet, and the distance 
apart about one foot, with the lowest shelf one foot from the floor. 
Pears will ripen nicely on the lower shelves under a cover of woolen 
blankets. The supports should, of course, be firm and strong. 
The bottom shelf should be of one board, on which to scatter fine 
fresh lime to the depth of an inch, changing it two or three times 
during the winter. A shelf, suspended firmly from the ceiling, and 
located where it wUl be easy of access from the kitchen, on which to 
place cakes, pies, meats, and any thing that needs to be kept cool 
and safe from cats and mice, is an absolute necessity. Its height 
prevents the articles placed on it from becoming damp, and gather- 




1^ ^^}<z::^ 

4C "^-^1^ 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


Approach to Shoshone (Buffalo Bill) Dam from the east through Shoshone Canyon. 

*(,see footnote, page 251) 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

Shoshone River Below the Dam. View toward the West, 
"(see footnote, page 251) 

'" V ""■"'■ '.A ^li. 





Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

Dam and Spillway 
'(see footnote, page 251) 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

'An Alpine Scene at Shoshone Dam, Wyo." 
"(see footnote, page 251) 


ing mold, as they sometimes do when placed on the cellar floor. In 
planning shelves for cans, crocks, casks, etc., regard should be had 
to economy of space by making the distance between the shelves 
correspond to the articles to stand on them, and it is well to so 
place the lower shelf that the meat barrels, etc., may be placed 
under it. The temperature of a cellar should never be below 
freezing, and if it is raised above fifty by a fire, outside air should 
be admitted to lower it. The best time for ventilating the cellar is 
at noon, taking care in hot weather not to admit so much outside 
air as to render it warm. A simple and excellent plan for ventila- 
tion, where the location of the kitchen chimney admits it, is to pass 
an ordinary stove-pipe through the floor upward beside or behind 
the pipe of the kitchen stove, and thence by an eblow into the 
chimney. The draft of the chimney will carry off all the impure 
air that arises in the cellar, and if too great a current is created, it 
may be brought under complete control by a valve at the floor. 

The cellar must be frequently examined and kept perfectly sweet 
and clean. There is no reason why it should not be as neat as the 
living rooms, and as free from cobwebs, decayed fruit and vege- 
tables, and all other forms of filthiness. Whitewashing walls in 
winter will aid in giving it tidiness. 

If the cellar is constructed above ground, the entire walls should 
be double, with air space between, double windows and doors being 
even more necessary than when under-ground. Above all, the 
floor should be on a level with that of the kitchen, to save the 
woman-kilhng stairs. If there are stairs, let them be broad, firm, 
and placed in the light if possible. Of course, every cellar should 
have thorough drainage. In laying a tile drain, if in the horseshoe 
form, place the circular side down; the narrower the channel, the 
swifter the current and more certain to carry off sediment. 

The Store-room 

A clean, tidy, weU-arranged store-room is one sign of a good 
methodical housekeeper. When stores are put away at hap-hazard, 
and taken out at any time and in any quantity, disorder and ex- 
travagance prevail. A store-room ought to be large, airy, cool, and 
dry. Such a room is not always to be had, but even if a closet has 
to be put up with, it may be kept clean. Shelves would be ranged 
around the walls, hooks fastened to the edges of the shelves. The 
driest and coolest part of the rooms should be kept for jams, jellies, 
and pickles. All the jars should be distinctly labeled at the front, 
so that they will not all need to be taken down every time a par- 
ticular jar is wanted. Biscuits or cakes should be kept in closely 
covered tin boxes; lemons should be hung in nets. Soap should be 
bought in large quantities, and cut up in convenient-sized pieces, 
so that it may be dry before it is used. Coffee, when roasted, 
should be kept in small quantities; if unroasted, it will unprove with 
keeping. Stores on no account should be left in the papers in 


which they were sent from the grocer's, but should be put into tin 
canisters or earthenware jars closely covered, and each jar, like the 
jam, should be labeled. Stores should be given out regularly, 
either daily or weekly. In order to check their consumption, the 
housekeeper will do well to keep in the store-room a memorandum 
book, with a pencil fastened to it, and in this book she should enter 
the date on which all stores were brought in or taken out. By 
means of these memoranda she can compare one week's outgo with 
another, and immediately discover any extravagance. A hammer, 
a few nails, a little gum, a ball of string, a few sheets of foolscap, 
and a pair of scissors, should always be kept in the store-room. 

The Ice-house 

Ice is one of the greatest of summer luxuries, and indeed is al- 
most a necessity. It is so easily put up, even in the country, and so 
cheaply protected, that there is no reason why any one who is able 
to own or rent a house may not have it in liberal supply. A cheap 
ice-house may be made by partitioning off a space about twelve 
feet square in the wood-shed, or even in the bam. The roof must be 
tight over it, but there is no necessity for matched or fine lumber 
for the walls. They should, however, be coated with coal-tar 
inside, as the long-continued moisture puts them to a severe test 
and brings on decay. Ice should be taken from still places in run- 
ning streams, or from clear ponds. It may be cut with half an old 
cross-cut saw, but there are saws and ice-plows made for the pur- 
pose to be had in almost every village. In cutting ice, as soon as 
it is of sufficient thickness and before much warm weather, select a 
still day, with the thermometer as near zero as may be. Ice handles 
much more comfortably and easily when it is so cold that it imme- 
diately freezes dry, thus preventing the wet clothes and mittens, 
which are the sole cause of any suffering in handling it; and ice put 
up in sharp, cold weather, before it has been subjected to any thaw, 
will keep much better and be much more useful in the hot days of 
summer than if its packing had been delayed until late winter or 
early spring, and then the ice put up half melted and wet. The best 
simple contrivance for removing blocks of ice from the water is a 
plank with a cleat nailed across one end, which is to slip under the 
block, which shdes against the cleat, and may then be easily drawn 
out with the plank, without lifting. Cut the ice in large blocks of 
equal size, pack as closely as possible in layers, leaving about a 
foot space between the outside and the wall, and filling all crevices 
between the blocks with pounded ice or sawdust. Under the first 
layer there should be placed sawdust a foot thick, and arrange- 
ments should be made for thorough drainage, as water in contact 
with the ice will melt it rapidly. As the layers are put in place, 
pack sawdust closely between the mass of ice and the wall; and 
when all is stored, cover with a foot, at least, of sawdust. In using 
ice, be careful to cover all crevices with sawdust, as the ice will melt 


rapidly if exposed to the air. The less ventilation and the more 
completely an ice-house is kept closed, the better the ice will keep. 
The cold air which surrounds the ice, if undisturbed by currents, 
has little effect on it; but if there are openings, currents are formed 
and the warm air is brought in to replace the cold. This is espe- 
cially the case if the openings are low, as the cold air, being the 
heavier, passes out below most rapidly. For this reason great care 
must be taken to fill in fresh saw-dust between the walls and the 
mass of ice, as it settles down by its own weight, and the melting 
of the ice. There is no advantage in having an ice-house wholly 
or partly under ground, if it is constructed as directed above. Fine 
chaff, or straw cut fine, may be substituted for sawdust when the 
latter is difficult to obtain. Of course, the building may be con- 
structed separately, in which case the cost need not be more than 
twenty-five to fifty-dollars. 

If the plans of E. E. Gillett, the well-known banker of Thermop- 
olis, do not miscarry, Thermopolis and Garland may be connected 
by an electric car line within the next year. Eastern capitalists 
have become interested in the scheme, which embraces the build- 
ing of 100 miles of road and the expenditure of $1,500,000. The 
power to be used will be generated at the Big Horn River, along 
which the line will run. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1903 

*These Joseph E. Slimson views of Shoshone Canyon in the early 1900s 
no longer are visible to the passing motorist. Built as part of Wyoming's 
first federal reclamation project, the first contract for the dam was awarded 
in 1905. However, the contractor abandoned the project and it was put into 
the hands of another company in 1906. The dam was completed in 1910. 
It was first named Shoshone Dam but the name later was changed to Buffalo 
Bill Dam. 

Second Segment 
of the Oregon Zrail 


Trek No. 21 of the Historical Trail Treks 

Sponsored by 





Under the direction of 
Maurine Carley and Curtiss Root 

Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, Trek Historian 

July 11 -12, 1970 


Captain: Phil Novakovich, Wyoming Highway Patrolman 

Wagon Boss : Jim Ehemberger 

Announcer: Bill Dubois 

Guides: Claude Adams, Bill Shay, Joe Keenan, Leroy Moore 

Historian: Maurine Carley 

Registrars: Meda Walker, Jane Houston, Roz Bealey 

Tickets : Mary Hutchison 

Press: Platte County Record-Times, Glenrock Independent 

A journey over the first 50 miles of the Oregon Trail in Wyoming 
was enjoyed by 146 interested trekkers in 1969. This year the trek 
followed parts of two branches of the old trail from Guernsey, near 
Cold Spring, to Fort Fetterman. Mileage figures below indicate 
the distance covered on the 1970 trek, but the actual mileage be- 
tween stations on the old trail can be found in the Annals of Wyo- 
ming, April, 1956, Vol. 28, No. 1. 


SATURDAY, JULY 11, 1970 

Mr. Claude Adams, president of the Platte County Historical 
Society, invited all trekkers to a get-acquainted party on Saturday 
evening from 7:30 to 9:30 at the Fireman's Hall in Guernsey. 
The new film, "The First Road West," recently released by the 
Wyoming Recreation Commission, was shown by Mr. Root. After 
the program lemonade and homemade cookies were served. 

SUNDAY, JULY 12, 1970 

Caravan: 65 cars, 166 participants 
Guides: Claude Adams, Bill Shay 

8 :00 A.M. The caravan met at the Frederick ranch two miles west 
of Guernsey on Highway 26 near the Cold Spring marker. Mrs. 
Stella Frederick graciously invited the group to view her extensive 
collection of artifacts which have been found on her ranch. 

Tickets for the Sunday dinner in Douglas were sold to those who 
registered for the trek. A group picture was taken and those in 
charge of the trek were introduced. 

9:00 A.M. The long caravan started on a good country road back 
of the ranch which passes through a lovely landscape as the road 
skirts timberland with beautiful, blue Laramie Peak in the distance 
to the left. After four miles we crossed the old trail where there 
is an Oregon Trail marker. In fact, the trail was never far from 
our road. 

9:15 A.M. Our first stop was at the old Badger Station (7 M.) on 
Cottonwood Creek where a tall marker has been placed by the Rice 
family and the Colorado and Southern Railroad. The marker 
reads, "At this point the Oregon Trail crossed. Erected by Robert 
Rice VP&GM-C&SRR Jan. 1, 1921." The trail was dis- 
tinct on the hill at our back as we approached the marker. 

By Claude Adams 

We are now at the Badger Station or the Lower Bitter Cotton- 
wood Crossing, as it was called in 1881. Later, Bitter was left off 
and the creek was known only as Cottonwood. 

My father, George S. Adams, came west in 1881 from Worces- 
ter, Massachusetts. He came by rail to Denver and on to Chey- 
enne, then by stage to Chug Springs, Fort Laramie and to Badger 
Station. He filed a pre-emption right on the land from here down 
the creek to Wendover, Wyoming. 

On August 1, 1887, the Cheyenne and Northern Railroad was 
completed to Wendover which was then across the Platte River on 


the north side. Large stockyards were built, and cattle were 
shipped from the south and unloaded at Wendover. They were 
then trailed north. 

In 1889 Badger Station was established at this spot. Iron ore 
was hauled from the Chicago Mine near Sunrise by team and 
wagon and loaded on the railroad cars here to be shipped to 
Pueblo, Colorado. The rate of pay for hauling this ore was 80 
cents per ton. Later it was raised to a dollar per ton. A. B. 
Fowler was the wagon boss of the crew. 

During this time J. Hauphoff put up a large building just west of 
the trail and south of the railroad tracks here. It housed the feed 
store, eating house, lodgings, a saloon, dance hall and post office. 
Two of Mr. Hauphoff s children are buried on top of the hill just 
east of the road we came on. 

By 1900 the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was built from 
the Platte River at Guernsey to Hartville Junction. Then the ore 
from Sunrise was hauled by rail to Hartville Junction where the 
Colorado and Southern took over. When the railroad was built to 
Hartville Junction this did away with Badger Station and the teanr 
and wagon freight route. Consequently everything moved away 
from Badger. 

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad built a tunnel 
road to Wendover which was then located on the south side of the 
Platte in 1913. The iron ore was shipped to Wendover which did 
away with the CNRR from Guernsey and ended Hartville Junction. 

9:35 A.M. We continued on the road which turned southwest 
along the railroad tracks. Laramie Peak was now seen to the 
right. After crossing the track at the old site of Hartville Junction 
and going up a long divide a stop was made near Porter's Rock 
(10 M.). This rock, probably 20 feet high, was mentioned in 
many of the early journals and many names were carved on its 
surface including that of Porter Rockwell in whose honor the rock 
was named in 1847. Rockwell was one of Brigham Young's gun- 
men, or law enforcers. He was responsible for a number of killings 
while doing his duty. He later became the head of the Danites, a 
police force sent to frighten the enemies of the Mormons. 

The Oregon Trail passed on both sides of the Rock and followed 
down to Cottonwood Creek on the right of us. 

10:00 A.M. We continued our journey through strip-farming 
country for three miles, when an abrupt right-angle turn was made 
to the right. We then paralleled the Cottonwood Creek Valley 
through which the Trail passed. After two more miles we passed a 
ranch in a green field near the creek. This was the site of the 
famous Cottonwood Springs enjoyed by the emigrants on the Trail. 
It was a good day's journey for them from Cold Spring which we 
passed only an hour ago near the Frederick ranch. Army wood 


trains hauling lumber from Laramie Peak also made this a camping 

Shortly after passing the ranch we turned right on old Highway 
87 and stopped at Cottonwood Creek (22 M.) Coleman Butte 
was on our left as we made the turn, 

By Helen Henderson, Read by Bill Dubois 

It should be stated that there were two Cottonwood Stations in 
this vicinity. The older one is listed as a Pony Express Station and 
is about one-half mile distant from this point. 

This Cottonwood Station was perhaps a stage stop between home 
stations as it is approximately fifteen miles from Horseshoe Creek 
Stage Station, It apparently was a mail station and probably was a 
telegraph station on the transcontinental line, 

Cottonwood Creek itself is mentioned in all the diaries and jour- 
nals of the pioneers as well as in the military reports and the itin- 
eraries of stage and Pony Express routes. 

Captain Howard Stansbury's report of 1849 seems to describe 
the vicinity of Cottonwood and Horseshoe Creeks very well. From 
his report the following has been gleaned : 

Leaving Fort Laramie on July 18th, Captain Stansbury reports 
that his party left the valley of the Warm Springs branch and 
crossed over to a branch of Bitter Creek, an affluent of the Platte, 
down the valley of which it winds until it reaches the main stream. 
They followed the valley the whole day, crossing the stream several 
times, and camped on the left bank after a short march of ten and 
one-half miles. He was detained here by the serious illness of one 
of his men. During the day they had passed fragments of about a 
dozen wagons that had been broken up and burned by the owners. 
Near them piled in one heap were several hundred pounds of 
bacon. There were boxes, bonnets, trunks, wagon wheels, whole 
wagon bodies, cooking utensils and almost any article of household 
furnishings one could mention. These things were found from 
place to place abandoned because there were no means for the 
o^^^lers to transport them further. 

Stansbury describes Bitter Creek as a fine, clear stream with 
swift current. He mentioned the large amount of driftwood heaped 
upon its banks. He examined the bluff on the opposite side of the 
stream. The various types of soil, rock and fossils were described. 
The hunters brought in the choice parts of three fat buffalo cows. 

On Saturday, July 21st, they followed up the dry bed of a fork 
of the creek for three or four miles, then crossed over a high ridge 
and descended into a narrow ravine forming the heads of a branch 
of Horseshoe Creek. Following down they finally reached the 
beautiful stream. Horseshoe Creek. He mentioned that there were 


two tracks here, one crossing below the junction of the two forks, 
200 yards to the right, the other crossing both forks. 

Upon the top of the ridge dividing Bitter Creek and Horseshoe, 
he passed some enormous blocks of granite, lying upon the surface; 
some were cubes of twenty feet. He described the flowers and 
plants and the red color of the clay and sandy limestone and the 
sandstone as well as the pebbles and rocks in the streams. The 
trail continued to be strewn with tools, stoves and fragments of 
broken wagons. White beans had been thrown away by the sack- 
ful; all this within 50 miles of Fort Laramie. 

Travelers before and after 1849 pretty much followed the same 
route. Mail routes were established, stations built, then abandoned 
as the telegraph line made its way across the continent. One diary 
of 1862 tells of Ann Firth's grave a few miles above Fort Laramie; 
she died August 24th, 1862. This party camped at an old mail 
station some 22 miles from Fort Laramie. Next day they traveled 
on and camped that night at an old mail station. Here a baby boy 
was bom to one of the families. On another day they camped for 
dinner at an old mail station and once more before they left the 
Platte they camped for the night near an old mail station! 

A diary kept in 1860 by Sir Richard Burton, who traveled by 
stage, listed mail stations where mules were changed between St. 
Joseph and Salt Lake City. His itinerary mentioned as No. 25 the 
mail station at M. Badeau, nine miles from Fort Laramie. No. 26 
was Ward's Station on the Central Star, small ranch and store (18 
miles). Passing over rough and bad roads they crossed Bitter 
Cottonwood Creek in 14 miles, passed an Indian shop and store 
and driving on came to Mail Station No. 27 at Horseshoe Creek. 

A photocopy of a mail contract of the Overland Mail lists sta- 
tions from Sacramento to St. Joseph, service commencing on July 
1, 1861. In this vicinity is listed Horseshoe Station, Nine Mile and 
Fort Laramie. The unnamed station seems to fit the Cottonwood 

It is difficult to find this station mentioned by name. Stage 
travelers usually listed the places where meals were served or an 
overnight stop was necessary. From many sources there is evi- 
dence that a station existed on Cottonwood Creek in the early 

10:45 A.M, We left on the old highway which practically parallels 
one branch of the Oregon Trail. This section of the road passes by 
wooded hills and through a small canyon. After traveling 1 1 miles 
we turned right off the highway on a dirt trail for Twin Springs 
(33 M.) two miles distant. 


By Virgmia Cole Trenholm, Read by Robert Larson 
The Oregon Trail hugged the Platte River wherever possible be- 


cause of the excellent campgrounds it provided. There was run- 
ning water for livestock, driftwood for campfires, and shade for the 
weary travelers. But there were places where the river, with its 
deep cuts and canyons, could not be followed. This made it neces- 
sary for the wagon trains to veer into the more open country. 
Such was the case between what is now known as the Cassa Flats, 
a natural campsite, and the bend of Horseshoe Creek, where the 
Mormons established the first of their five mail stations linking 
Salt Lake with Fort Laramie. 

Since the flats and Horseshoe Bend were so near, it is unlikely 
that numerous wagon trains corralled at Twin Springs. And yet 
the emigrants tarried long enough to fill their water barrels at the 
bubbling springs and sometimes even to bury their dead on the rises 
above. Four unidentifiable graves were located during our 30-year 
residence in this area. 

It was at Twin Springs that the Johnston Army breakfasted in 
1857. Mention of it is made in the diary of Judge William A. 
Carter, first sutler at Fort Bridger, who came west with Colonel 
Albert Sidney Johnston. After breakfast, the expedition made its 
way across "the beautiful Horseshoe Valley" to find the Mormon 
Mail Station in smouldering ruins. 

The only structure known to have been built at the springs was a 
road ranch house occupied by M. A. Mouseau and his Indian wife 
in the 1860s. It was hastily evacuated by the Mouseaus, who fled 
to Fort Fetterman when Crazy Horse, then camped at Bull's Bend 
of the Platte, took to the warpath and made a surprise attack at the 
Horseshoe Road Ranch. The three-day encounter, known as the 
Battle of Horseshoe Creek, was the only Indian battle of conse- 
quence ever to take place in Platte Count}'. 

It started March 19, 1868, at the road ranch at Horseshoe, 
which was still being operated as a telegraph station although the 
main line then followed the more southerly Overland Stage Route. 
At the end of the first day's fighting, the Indians withdrew and 
came to Twin Springs, where they begged food of Bill Harper and 
George Harris, who had remained. 

Then Crazy Horse and his warriors returned to harass the men 
at Horseshoe. Captain John R. Smith, who later wrote of his 
experience, and his three companions fled in the darkness from the 
burning buildings at Horseshoe and augmented their numbers by 
two, Harris and Harper, when they reached Twin Springs. Work- 
ing fast, they cached all of their valuables — flour, coffee, tea, 
canned goods, and a ten-gallon keg of whisky — in a hole they 
made under the middle of the house. They then set fire to the 
building so that it would collapse, and the sod roof would hide their 
cache. Trusting that the fire would be contained by closed win- 
dows and doors long enough for them to make a getaway, they 
started toward the Bellamy ranch on Cottonwood, about 11 miles 
away. Late morning they met Dave Dampier, a French employee 


of the Hudson's Bay Company, who was on his way to Twin 
Springs in search of a horse that had strayed. Finding the Indians 
camped at Bull's Bend, he gladly joined the small band of refugees. 

When they reached the foothills, later known as the Diamond A 
Hills, they looked back over the level plain to see a band of more 
than 60 Sioux coming toward them as fast as their ponies could 
gallop. When Smith paused to take aim at Crazy Horse, a bullet 
barely missed his heart. It went through his sleeve and flattened 
itself on a rock behind him. He lost no time joining his comrades 
on a knoll above. There he found Bill Harper, with an arrow im- 
bedded in his eye. When he pulled it out, his eyeball came with it. 
He vowed that it would just make him fight that much harder, but 
he was the first to fall. 

The white men scored several hits while the Indians swarmed 
around them. During the maneuvering which followed, three of 
the Horseshoe men were wounded — Smith, by an arrow in his arm; 
Bill Worrell, by an arrow that severed the tendons in the top of his 
left foot, and Bill Hill, by an arrow that hit him in the back of the 
head. Bleeding profusely, Hill begged his comrades to shoot him. 
When they refused, he took his own life rather than fall into the 
hands of the Indians. Dave Dampier, the next to be killed, was 
shot in the back by a gun. 

The survivors managed to hold off the Indians until peace terms 
could be arranged. Crazy Horse, who was hungry and tired of 
fighting, made it known that he wished to return with the white men 
to their camp for food. "You four brave men," he said. "We kill 
three of you. We not want to fight you any more." 

They were almost famished when they reached Twin Springs. 
Smith, who started to dip up a drink with an old, black coffee pot 
one of the Indians had been carrying, thought it seemed heavy. 
Looking inside, he found the scalps of his three comrades. He 
flattened himself out on the ground beside the Indian who had been 
carrying the coffee pot and drank from the refreshing spring. 

Before the cache was uncovered, the Indians were required to 
unstring their bows and stack them, with their guns, at the old 
hitching rack. As Smith records, "We put the Indians in a half 
circle with the chief in the center, with one of us to watch them 
while the other two of us were digging the dirt off the cached goods. 
After awhile we got everything in order and handed the stuff out 
to them. They divided it out to the rest of the warriors. When I 
came down to the ten-gallon keg of whisky, I turned the faucet and 
let the greater part of it run out in the bottom of the pit. The 
Indians knew nothing about it, but when the savages who were 
helping us lift out the grub saw the keg, they told the Indians who 
were sitting in the half-circle, and they all made a rush with cups 
and old cans — anything they could get to hold the firewater. But 
we fooled them and would not let them drink it there, and gave it 
to their chief to take to their camp on the Platte River." 


When the Indians were gone, the white men went into their small 
rock-walled fortress to dress their wounds. They were not entirely 
without food as they had managed to save some crackers and 
cheese from their cache. After lighting candles and placing one in 
each of the portholes to cause the Indians to believe they were still 
there, they managed to escape. This time they reached the Bel- 
lamy ranch without incident. 

No trace of the Mouseau house has been found, but it was an 
exciting day at our ranch several years ago when my husband came 
in with the news that he had located the fortress. Sure enough, by 
removing the top soil we could trace the outline in stones. Charred 
fragments found within the circumference indicated that the In- 
dians might have returned and set fire to the roof, all that they 
could burn. 

11 :30 A. M. After returning to the old highway we turned right 
then made a stop at the base of Sibley Peak, a familiar landmark, 
to enter Highway 87. The Oregon Trail has been on our right 
since leaving Twin Springs. After two miles on the highway we 
pulled off the road to see the only remaining remnant of Horseshoe 
Station, the partially filled well (37 M.). 


By Bill Shay 

Sibley Peak, a landmark today as it has been through the years, 
stands brooding over the centuries of history that have passed 
through Horseshoe Creek VaUey. 

We who call ourselves a "trek," are to the old peak just one more 
of the countless caravans which have passed within its shadow. 
The Indian and his travois, the mountain man and his pack ani- 
mals, the emigrant and his covered wagons, the army with its old 
blue escort wagons, they all have visited this valley and frequently 
paused to enjoy its cool, swift-flowing waters. 

Who was the first white man to view this pleasant, fertile valley? 
Undoubtedly it was Robert Stuart in 1812 as he passed along the 
north bank of the North Platte on his journey to the Atlantic Coast. 

After a lapse of 12 years the next white men to discover this 
landmark were Thomas Fitzpatrick and his companions. Some of 
the party were undoubtedly the first white men to actually cross 
this valley. In 1841 Thomas Fitzpatrick passed this way again 
accompanied by the Reverend Jason Lee and his party who were 
on thek way to serve God in the Oregon country among the 
Indians. Fitzpatrick was also guiding John Bidwell and his party 
of 60 who were bound for the Pacific coast. This was but the first 
small surge of the emigrant tide destined to reach its peak of 55,000 
persons in 1852. 

From 1841 on for 30 years, literary-minded emigrants recorded 


in their diaries and journals visits to this charming place so dif- 
ferent from the barren country through which they had been pass- 
ing. The more practical-minded of them thankfully noted that 
here good water, grass and wood were available in abundance. 
Such entries were eloquent testimony that camping places, having 
ail three of these essential commodities in abundance, were few 
and far between. 

An emigrant in 1 845 recorded, "At the end of fourteen miles we 
rested at Horseshoe Creek, a beautiful stream of clear water, lined 
with trees and with wide bottoms on each side covered with excel- 
lent grass. At this point our road was about three miles from 
the river." 

William Clayton, the recorder for Brigham Young's advance 
party enroute to establish their new Zion in the Salt Lake Basin, 
had special reason to make note of his two visits to Horseshoe. On 
his trip west in 1847, his odometer broke down here as it also did 
on his return trip east in that same year. His journal entry of 
Sunday, 12th, (September 1847), enroute east is as follows: "We 
camped at Heber's Spring on Horseshoe Creek. We found that the 
spring had ceased running, but there was water in the creek a little 

An emigrant in 1849 strikes a slightly different note in his entry 
dated June 20. "Started early and went to Horseshoe Creek where 
we were at noon. There is a spring of water here that is very 
nasty tasting water. Horseshoe Creek is a strong-running stream 
of clear, cool water and runs off Laramie Peak, which peak is so 
close that we can now distinguish the trees growing on it." 

Captain Howard Stansbury of the Army Corps of Topographical 
Engineers shows his scientific training with this journal entry for 
Saturday, July 21, 1849 — "Following down this ravine which 
gradually widens into a broad valley walled in by steep bluffs, much 
cut by ravines and entirely destitute of timbers, we reached Horse- 
shoe Creek, a beautiful stream of running water, clear, soft, and 
very cool. There were two tracks here, one crossing below the 
junction of the two forks two hundred years to the right, the other 
crossing both forks." 

In the year 1851, another traveler through here, and a most 
unlikely one at that, was a professional photographer named Jones. 
He was engaged in taking photographs of scenes along the Oregon 
Trail. It may be surmised that, impressed by the beauty of this 
valley, he took pictures here. What such photographs would be 
worth today! It was not to be, however, as west of here on Box- 
elder Creek he was literally picked bare by Crow Indians, and his 
photographs and equipment were destroyed. 

The Mormon X.Y. Express established a mail station here in 
1857 bordered on the north side of the creek by gardens. This 
also served as one of the way stations to assist emigrant converts 
on their way to Utah. 


Buffalo Bill, according to one biographer, had an encounter with 
outlaws while hunting on Horseshoe Creek. At this time Bill was a 
Pony Express rider. 

In 1857 Mormon authorities destroyed their extensive installa- 
tions here as well as all their other stations on the trail. This action 
was intended to harass the United States Army's Utah Expedition, 
which was enroute to Utah to enforce federal authority there. 

In 1859 the Central Overland Stage Line established a station 
known to history as Horseshoe Station, located in the field east of 
the highway and south of Horseshoe Creek. This station was sur- 
rounded by a stockade enclosing the station buildings and a well. 
The clump of weeds in the field marks the site of the well which 
collapsed several years ago. This station was a division head- 

The superintendent in 1861 was the notorious Jack Slade. Slade 
had a disagreeable habit, when in his cups, of killing persons he 
disliked. Apparently his "cups" at times were secured from the 
establishment of E, W. Whitcomb, who ran a trading store west of 
the highway. Slade's wife, Virginia, had the happy idea of burning 
down Whitcomb's establishment as a way of keeping Jack sober 
for longer periods of time. She "liquored up" the station employ- 
ees and had them set fire to Whitcomb's trading post. All that was 
saved from the building was some tobacco and two containers of 
whiskey; one of which was broached for the refreshment of all 
concerned. The other was thrown into the well. The boys liked 
the illumination provided by the store so well that they proposed to 
bum the station also. This action was prevented by Mrs. Slade, 
who upset the remaining whiskey and threatened to shoot anyone 
who made a move to bum the station. All of this was during Jack's 
absence. His remarks following his retum have not been recorded. 
Slade finally came to his end at a rope's end in Virginia City, 

Mark Twain, traveling through here on his way to Nevada in 
1861, has in his book, Roughing It, noted: "We breakfasted at 
Horseshoe Station six hundred and seventy mUes out from St. 

For a brief 18 months in 1860 and 1861 this was a Pony Express 
station as well as a stage station. The stage station was abandoned 
in 1862 when the Overland moved its route to southern Wyoming. 

When Ed Creighton's overland telegraph line came through in 
1861, he estabHshed here the first telegraph station west of Fort 
Laramie. It was to this station that "Portugee" Phillips came on 
Christmas Day 1866, to telegraph to the commanding officer at 
Fort Laramie word of the Fetterman disaster near Fort Philip 

After the Overland Stage Company abandoned this station. Cap- 
tain John R. Smith, later a prominent Johnson County rancher, 


and two companions took over the buildings and operated them as 
a road ranch. The telegraph station continued in operation. 

On the morning of March 19, 1868, there started here a battle 
between a band of Oglaia Sioux under Cliief Crazy Horse, and 
Captain John R. Smith and his companions, Marion Thomburg, 
Bill Worrell, and Bill Hill. The Indians hid on the south side of 
nearby Sibley Peak until detected by John Smith and a companion, 
who went to Sibley Peak to investigate the cause of their dogs' 
barking. The Indians then attacked the station. The attack con- 
tinued intermittently for two days, with the Indians finally burning 
the stable, stockade and ranch building on the night of the second 

The defenders took refuge in what Smith described as a part 
dugout and part sod fort, large enough to accommodate the four, 
having several loop-holes in the wall. Under cover of darkness and 
Sibley Peak, the men left this fort, loaded a wounded horse with 
their extra clothing and their combined cash resources of five hun- 
dred dollars that Smith had placed in a pocket of his spare trousers. 
This entourage made its way to the neighboring road ranch at Twin 
Springs about four miles southeast of Horseshoe, where they were 
joined by two men. 

After they buried the Twin Springs groceries under the ranch 
building, they set this building on fire, and the reinforced party 
continued their flight toward Bitter Cottonwood Creek. Enroute 
another man joined the group, making the total seven. 

Pursuing Indians overtook the fugitives near South Bear Creek, 
where they were compelled to fight for their lives. 

Harper was twice wounded before being killed. One of the 
wounds was made by an arrow in his right eye. He pulled the 
arrow out, bringing the eyeball with it. 

After three days of fighting, the killing of seven Indians and three 
whites. Chief Crazy Horse agreed to discontinue the battle in return 
for the food cached at Twin Springs. 

When word of the fight reached Fort Laramie, troops were sent 
to bury the dead and bring the four surviving, wounded whites to 
the post hospital for treatment. 

Captain Smith estimated the financial loss to himself and his 
associates as being over $16,000. 

I have been unable to find out if Horseshoe Station was ever 
rebuilt after its burning during the fight. Nor have I ascertained 
if the telegraph station was ever reestabhshed. 

In April 1880 there was a Horseshoe Ranch in operation, pre- 
sumably as a road ranch, as in that month John Hunton paid 
"Horseshoe Ranch" $7.25, evidently for road accommodations. 

And now one brief, fond glance at Horseshoe in the days of its 
glory. On July 28, 1847, an emigrant wrote, "Camped at a nice 
place called Horseshoe Creek. Mother and Sarah washed clothes." 


Mr. Jack Lancaster, owner of the ranch and the site of Horse- 
shoe Station, welcomed the group and assured us the well would 
never be bulldozed in. He hopes to restore the station. 

12: 30 P.M. We crossed the Oregon Trail at the Horseshoe Station 
marker as we left the ranch. On the way to Glendo we crossed the 
trail three more times. 

Since time was running short, the Heck Reel monument (39 M.) 
at the south end of Glendo was merely pointed out as we passed. 

12:40 - 1 :45 P.M. The story of the Heck Reel tragedy was told 
as lunch was being eaten in a small picnic ground at the north end 
of Glendo (40 M.). 

By Margaret Mitchell Wilson 

Heck Reel, the owner of the wagon train, was a prominent Wyo- 
ming businessman and lived on his ranch, the H.R., on the North 
Laramie River. In the early '90s my father, George Mitchell, 
bought this ranch. It is still owned by George Mitchell, Jr., and 
uses the brand originally used by Heck Reel. 

The Elkhom wagon train encounter took place August 1 , 1 876, 
on Elkhorn Creek, on what is now known as the Ed Foy, Sr. ranch. 
It is about 12 miles northwest of Glendo. 

Heck Reel was the owner of this wagon train which was freight- 
ing government goods from Cheyenne to Fort Fetterman. 

Ves Sherman, one of the best buUwhackers and horsemen in the 
country, was working for Mr. Reel and was riding "scout" on this 

George Throstle was the wagon boss. Before leaving Cheyenne 
on this trip, Mr. Reel told Throstle to hire men and have them load 
the wagons and be ready to leave Cheyenne the morning of July 7. 

All kinds of men were hired. Throstle was also told to give each 
man a good forty-five six-shooter and a forty-four Winchester rifle 
as there were plenty of Indian signs seen along the North Platte 

The wagon train left Cheyenne the morning of July 7, 1876, and 
traveled the old Cheyenne-Black Hills road until it came to Bor- 
deaux. From there it traveled the Cheyenne-Fort Fetterman Cut- 
off, by way of Billy Bacon's road ranch, which was later known as 
Uva. Then it passed the Tobe Miller ranch, now the Coleman 
ranch, on Cottonwood Creek to tlie St. Dennis road ranch on 
Horseshoe Creek. From there it struck the Fort Laramie-Fort 
Fetterman road. The wagon train planned to camp on Elkhorn 
Creek for the night. It stopped at a spring shortly before starting 
up the Elkhorn Hill and watered the livestock. Both Sherman and 


Throstle, being on horseback, stayed back until the last wagon was 
up. Each wagon had at least one trail wagon and some had two. 
After all were up the hill, Sherman and Throstle rode ahead. They 
were about 300 yards from the lead team, traveUng along a 
divide — Elkhorn on the left and deep draws on the right — when a 
large group of Indians, thought to be near a hundred, came out of 
the draw, shooting as they approached. 

Three bullets struck Throstle and one struck Sherman. Throstle 
threw up his hands and said, "Oh my God!" and fell from his horse. 
The Indians, yelling and shooting, tried to head Sherman off from 
the wagon train. Sherman said, "Throstle's horse made a wUd 
rush for the train and the Indians, whipping, shooting and yelling, 
caused the horses to circle instead of running straight. I had no 
time to shoot as I used both feet and both hands to whip with." He 
reached the wagons safely and then gave the order to corral the 

The best men were driving the lead teams and knew what to do 
so in a short time the wagons were being corraled. All the while 
the men were shooting back at the Indians with their six-shooters. 
Irish Pete, one of the drivers, was shot through the leg. Sherman 
called for the rifles, but only one man knew where they were. He 
jumped on a wagon and started throwing off sacks of flour while 
other men threw up breastworks. The guns had 5000 pounds of 
flour on top of them. Finally they got to the rifles. The Indians, 
thinking that the white men had only six-shooters, came up closer. 
They were yelling hideously, lying down on their horses' sides 
while shooting under the horses' necks. They seemed to have 
plenty of ammunition and were doing a lot of damage to the work 
cattle and the few saddle horses that were with the train. 

A Mexican was driving the next to last team and a Missourian 
the last team. The Missourian saw he had no chance to get his 
team corraled so he left them and ran to the Mexican's wagon and 
whacked it in, using one hand to shoot and the other to drive with. 
The Mexican had deserted his wagon at the first of the fighting and 
crawled in among the dry goods in one of the lead wagons. 

After the men got the rifles and shot a few rounds, the Indians 
fell back but kept watching them from a distance. The men lay 
there for the rest of the day. As night came on, the Indians came 
up to the wagon that was left outside of the circle at about 300 
yards distance. It was loaded with 10,000 pounds of bacon and 
40 kegs of beer. The Indians threw off the beer, rolled some of it 
down the hill and set the wagon and bacon on fire. Mr. Ed Foy 
tells us that for many years the barrel hoops from the beer kegs 
lay scattered on the ground near where the wagon was burned. 
The blaze from the burning bacon was tremendous. It was said 
that it was so light within the corraled wagons one could see to 
pick up a pin. 


The Indians did not seem to realize the poor position the white 
men were in, and seeming to be afraid of them, did not attack 

The Mexican had a little dog of which he was very fond. The 
dog was gun shy and ran out of the camp at the first sound of the 
guns. That night, Irish Pete and Sherman were sitting side by side 
keeping a lookout when they saw something moving towards them. 
Pete whispered, "It's an Indian — we'll both shoot," which they did 
A dog howled, and the Mexican screamed, "You have killed my 

The next morning the men, after scouting around and seeing no 
Indians, unyoked the oxen and drove them to Elkhom Creek to 
water. Some of the men went to see the teams that were hitched 
to the burned wagon. The wheel team of oxen was burned to 
death. The next team was slightly burned but had managed to 
pull the front wheels free from the burning wagon. Five teams 
were found grazing around stiU hitched together. 

About 11 : 00 o'clock in the morning they broke camp and drove 
the lead wagon up to where Throstle's body lay. The Indians had 
taken his clothes, scalped him and cut his heart out. He was 
placed on a tarpaulin and laid on top of the groceries. 

Then they all started for Fort Fetterman, still two days' journey 
away. On the way they met two cowpunchers riding south and 
asked them if they had seen any signs of Indians. They laughed 
and said that they had lived for two years on the La Prele and had 
never even seen an Indian. Sherman told of the fight of the night 
before and stepped up on the wagon and uncovered Throstle's 
body. They took a long look, whirled their horses and raced back 
toward Fort Fetterman. 

That night the wagon train camped at La Bonte Station and the 
next day reached Fort Fetterman. There Throstle's body was 
given a decent burial. 

GUIDES: Joe Keenan, Leroy Moore 

1:45 P.M. It was not possible to follow the Heck Reel route so 
we continued on Highway 87 which parallels the branch of the 
Trail we have followed from Horseshoe Station. Part of the old 
Trail now Ues under Glendo Lake. 

Our next stop was made at the Platte River (53 M.) where Jim 
Bridger once operated a ferry. A marker about 1500 feet from the 
ferry site states that it was established by Bridger in 1864. 

Rock hounds enjoyed the collection of rocks and fossils at the 
Conoco Station. A large horn was displayed which was only 
recently found in the vicinity. A tiny hole had been bored through 
the closed end of it. There were many conjectures as to its use 
in the early days. 


2:25 P.M. We followed the north branch of the old Trail as we 
turned on a dirt road before the overpass and continued west along 
the Burlington tracks toward the mountains. The Oregon Trail 
paralleled this road but was nearer the river. We passed through 
miniature bad lands and saw Sugar Loaf Peak, a well-known land- 
mark for the pioneer travelers. 

3 :00 P. M. After traveling fourteen miles we turned left on a dirt 
road, recrossed the Platte and turned left again on a paved road 
which follows along the banks of the Platte toward La Bonte 

3:15 P. M. At a small Oregon Trail marker placed by the State 
of Wyoming in 1913 we stopped to hear a paper. It was impos- 
sible to reach the La Bonte Station because a bridge had been 
washed away. The history of the station was given here (75 M.) 

By Lyle Hildebrand. Read by Joe Keenan 

The stage station here was named after a hunter named La 
Bonte, the son of a Kentucky mother and a French father. He was 
reared in Mississippi. In 1825 he wintered in Brown's Hole on 
the Green River, and in 1826 he married a Snake squaw named 
Chil-Co-The (the reed that bends). He later acquired a second 
squaw and they lived on the South Platte. While La Bonte was 
hunting on the North Platte, Arapahoes destroyed his lodge and 
took the squaws. The first one escaped and returned to him in 
1828. Soon he appeared on this creek with an Indian named 
Cross Eagle, and while he was trapping, unfriendly Indians at- 
tacked the camp located at the fork of the creek and killed the 
squaws of the trappers. Thereafter, the creek was known as La 
Bonte Creek. After this. La Bonte moved on to Lewis Fork of 
the Columbia River. 

The diary of William H. Jackson, 1 866, states that the old road 
passed the ruins of Fort La Bonte. Evidently this was the year the 
station was burned. Further evidence of this date lies in the diary 
of Jake Pennock, who on August 5, 1865, recorded that he camped 
at La Bonte Station. 

The diaries of such travelers as Alex Ramsey, 1849, E. B. 
Famum, 1849, Celinda Himes, 1853, and George Keller, 1851, 
all indicate the same impressions of the surrounding country: 
"little grass, wretched country, steep hills, etc." and La Bonte was 
a welcome relief with beautiful trees and water. Perhaps it was 
the dry trail between Horseshoe and La Bonte that gave them this 


The La Bonte crossing was at no fixed point because of the 
action of floods upon the banks. Perhaps the most used crossing 
is to the south of us, because at this point the creek often was an 
eighth of a mile wide due to low banks and sandbars. Evidences 
of crossings may be found for four or five miles up and down the 
creek; however, the stage station was the focal point of all 

The following excerpt is from La Bonte, Mountain Man of the 
Creek, by Pierre La Bonte, Jr.: "La Bonte Creek in Converse 
County, Wyoming, begins as a stream from the Laramie Peak 
region and the adjacent mountains of the Medicine Bow National 
Forest and, hke many other creeks and rivers, eventually falls into 
the thousand-mile-long North Platte River and thence to the wide 

For years La Bonte had its own post office and appeared on 
maps. Its mail now is serviced out of Douglas. Northward, the 
stream is virtually a river and runs through the Fred Dilts ranch 
beside the site of the old La Bonte Pony Express Station on the 
Oregon Trail. A few yards from here, at a bend in the river, is a 
stone marker inscribed by the late L. C. Bishop and the late Albert 
G. Sims, which indicates the spot where Bill Hooker, bullwhacker 
and freighter, had his dugout cabin in the 1870s. 

Six miles farther on, the stream comes to the southerly bounds 
of a broad bottom meadow of some 40 acres. It then follows the 
base of a very high hogback on the east side of the meadow till at 
last LaBonte Creek ends its journey, emptying into the North 

On the opposite side, from the same southern entrance, a second 
hogback of almost equal height stretches northwesterly to where 
that, too, is cut off by the Platte. At this point, the entire closing 
of this hidden, park-like area is completed by an 80-foot rimrock 
bluff bordering the north side of the Platte. 

From aU known descriptions in the records of early-day Oregon 
Trail travelers, this is the site they called "La Bonte's Camp" — at 
the confluence of La Bonte Creek and the North Platte River." 

Dale Morgan is one of the best sources of information verifying 
the presence in the Rocky Mountain region of men named La 
Bonte. In his various writings on the fur trade he refers to four 
different La Bontes in the area at one time or another from 1802 
to 1852. It is not definitely known which one the camp was 
named for. 

3:45 P.M. Wagon ruts were still clearly visible on our right as we 
back tracked from the marker. The country was much prettier as 
we retraced our way down the valley crossing Wagonhound Creek, 
Bed Tick Creek and stopped for a paper near the red earth for- 
mations (86 M.). 




By W. W. Morrison 


John Ball 1842: 

Harriett 1845: 

Palmer 1845: 

Thornton 1846: 

Brigham Young Party .. 1847: 

"June 15. We came to the Black Hills, so 
called because of the thick growth of ce- 
dar. Here, also, we found red sandstone. 
It was a region of rattle snakes and large 
fierce bears. Some of the best hunters of 
Captain Sublette's party shot one five or 
six times before they killed him. Snow 
was seen in the mountains, although the 
middle of June " 

"June 22. This morning we commenced 
our zigzag course through the red hills. 
Roads bad; traveled fifteen miles, and en- 
camped on a small stream affording wood 

"July 3. This day we traveled about 15 
miles. Six miles brought us to a small 
branch, where is a good camp. Near this 
camp there is an abundance of marble; 
varigated with blue and red; but is full of 
seams; The hills in this vicinity are of red 

shale formation The roads very 

rough and dusty." 

"July 2. We rose early this morning; but 
in consequence of some of our cattle hav- 
ing wandered away we did not move until 
about 7 A.M. The country over which we 
passed was hilly with much sand in the 
little valleys and plains. We came to water 
in the afternoon, and in the evening en- 
camped on the bank of a small stream, 
good water, where we had an abundance 
of wood; but grass deficient in quantity 
and quality. The day was clear and the 
high winds blew about the sands. . . . The 
face of the whole country wore a very 
dreary and barren aspect. The last five 
miles was over red soil, and red sand- 
stone " 

"July 3. At a very early hour we broke 
our encampment, and were on our way. 
The red soil and red sandstone of the 
previous day, were observed for several 
miles " 

"Wed. June 9. The main camp resumed 
their journey at 7:45 A.M. Taking a turn 
to the left, the brethern, after traveling a 
short distance, had to go over a hill and 
then descend into the valley full of red 
sand and red stones which some of the 
brethern thought should be named "Red 
Valley" and about ten feet wide". 


Hastings 1847: 

Farnham 1849: 

Gieger & Bryarly 1849: 

Loomis -... 1850: 

"July 3. This day moved as before up hill 
and down; camped near the red banks. 

"July 4. This day Sunday, traveled across 
the Red Banks; the dust blew blew all over 
us; camped on a beautiful creek." 

"June 21. We nooned on LaBonta Creek, 
a stream 2 rods wide by 2 feet deep. In 
the afternoon went 4 or 5 miles through 

hills of Spanish brown colored earth 

And bold looking red rocks while going 
through this region everything except this 
red earth looked green". 

"June 18. Today we have been among 
red sand, or red hills, with very short 
grass. On the hills we noticed hundreds 
and thousands of large crickets or grass- 
hoppers of every color and hue". 

"June 6. Got under way this morning at 

5 o'clock. Drove brisk rather fast 

Traveled through a mountainous country, 
but roads very good, hard as flint- we 
passed today many hills composed of what 
is called red sand, I think, however, that it 
is more the appearance of clay, than sand, 
it looks something like Spanish brown. 
We pased today many curiosities, one of 
which was a high mound of rocks, some 
75 or 80 feet high and piled up so per- 

"June 26. This day we crossed Timber 
Creek and Marble Creek. Road very rough. 
The hills for considerable distance in the 
neighborhood of Marble Creek are of red 
shale formation, and the country is pic- 
turesque and interesting. We advanced 
about twenty-two miles. We encamp near 
the bed of a dry branch which had neither 
wood nor water". 

Irene Paden, in her book, Wake of the Prairie Schooner writes of 
her trip over this part of the country: "The first is Wagon Hound 
Creek; and it could always be identified by description, for it was 
red, the soil rocks were almost audibly red, from the burnt hue of 
Mexican pottery to the clear vivid tone of madrone trunk. Between 
three and four miles of the road were deep with what appeared to 
be brick dust. It rose in billows and hid the teams. One woman 
was so impressed by the lurid color and the general look of drastic 
upheaval that she painfully crawled to the top of one of the 
"mountains of red stone" and inscribed upon it: "Remember me 
in mercy O Lord". 

4:20 P.M. Our next stop was at the Red Rock marker at the 
junction of the Bozeman and Oregon Trails (87 M.). From this 




point the Bozeman and Fetterman Trails are identical to Fort 

By Leroy Moore 

During the eariy years of travel there was a need for a route 
between the Oregon Trail and the Yellowstone River, so the gov- 
ernment set aside $60,000 for an exploring expedition to find it 
In 1857, Captain F. W. Raynolds and Lieutenant H. E. Maynadier 
with Jim Bridger as guide, traveled along the route which was later 
to bear the name of Bozeman in 1863. This route ran along the 
east side of the Big Horn Mountains. Even earlier than this, 
De Smet and the Indians traveled this route in their journey to the 
Fort Laramie Council of 1851. In 1862 John M. Bozeman and 
John Jacobs used this trail on their way eastward from Montana. 
Then in 1863 Bozeman used it again on his way back to Montana. 

Although there was much gold discovered in parts of Wyoming, 
it was the Montana gold fields at Virginia City that made the 
Bozeman Trail necessary for gold seekers and freighters. The 
route was a short cut from the Oregon Trail to the gold fields. 

The Bozeman Trail on the east side of the Big Horns, and the 
Bridger Trail on the west side of the Big Horns were tested to see 
which one was the more practical. The Bozeman was the shorter 
route and was considered the best, but the Bridger was the safer 
because it avoided the dangerous Powder River Indian country. 

Some of the bloodiest battles in the history of Indian warfare 
occurred along the Bozeman Trail. Therefore, at the end of two 
years, the government was forced to abandon it in 1868 to appease 
Red Cloud, the great Sioux war chief. 

The forts built along the Bozeman Trail for the protection of 
travelers were C. F. Smith, Phil Kearny and Reno. All were 
abandoned after the government closed the trail. 

John M. Bozeman, for whom the trail was named, was killed by 
the Indians along the Yellowstone, April 19, 1867. Thus, history 
remembers him as one of Wyoming's greatest trail blazers. 

4:45 P.M. Our last stop was at Fort Fetterman (103 M.), a 
dreary, desolate outpost in the 1860s. This fort was considered to 
be the worst assignment officers or men could receive. 

By Joe Keenan 

On this high grassy plateau overlooking the Platte River on the 
north, the La Prele Creek and the Bozeman Trail on the west was 
the place where Major W. M. Dye with Companies A, C, H & I of 
the 4th Infantry, began building Fort Fetterman on July 19, 1867. 


It was named in honor of Bvt. Lt. Colonel William J. Fetterman 
who underestimated the fighting abilities of the Sioux Indians. He 
paid for that mistake, not only with his own life but the lives of 
every man in his command, when they were ambushed and killed 
near Fort Phil Kearny on December 21, 1866. 

The fort was not important until all the other forts on the Boze- 
man trail had been abandoned. It then became the chief outfitting 
post for many of the campaigns against the Indians. As the last 
outpost on the Indian border, it was enlarged and equipped as a 
supply base and the expeditions of the seventies set out from here. 
At one time Fort Fetterman had accommodations for three com- 
panies of Infantry, four companies of Cavalry and one hundred 
citizen employees. Its permanent garrison was little more than a 
warehouse crew. 

The reservation on which this fort stood was about ten miles 
long, east and west, and five miles wide, north and south. In 
conjunction there were large reserves for hay and one for wood. 
All the logs for the fort were cut by enlisted men, and the two saw- 
mills on the post converted them into lumber. At first the build- 
ings were very primitive. The sick were treated in tents until late 
in 1867 when some of the buildings were completed. The hospital 
was hastily thrown together from logs from the abandoned hospital 
at Fort Caspar. 

Fort Fetterman was considered by many to be one of the most 
dreary and desolate in the entire West, and it is said soldiers desert- 
ing was far from uncommon. At roll call it was found that many 
had gone "over the hill" and were missing. 

Water was obtained from the Platte River at first by a water 
wagon. Thanks to the efforts of Captain Edwin M. Coates and his 
men, a pumping system was installed in the '70s. Hauling the 
water was usually done by prisoners sentenced to hard labor and 
hauling water at 40^ below zero was just that. 

The fort had a vegetable garden of about four acres and some 
milk and eggs were available. All canned goods had to be 
freighted from Camp Carlin, 130 miles to the south. Mail was 
sent and received once a week for part of the year, but from Jan- 
uary to June mail was received only twice a month. 

The general duties of the garrison were guard duty, escort duty 
for the mails, telegraph wire repair, cutting and hauling logs, mak- 
ing adobe bricks, ferrying Indians across the Platte and military 
drill. Amusements for the men consisted of ball playing, hunting 
and some gymnastic exercises. Later on there was the Hog Ranch 
across the river. The mean strength of the fort in 1868 was 295 
men, and in 1869 it was 214 men. 

When Red Cloud, Spotted TaU and other Sioux chiefs visited 
Washington, D.C. in June 1870, at the invitation of the govern- 
ment. Red Cloud asked President Grant to give up Fort Fetterman. 
The President replied that the fort was needed to protect whites 


against bad Indians, Red Cloud also asked Grant for arms and 
ammunition for buffalo hunting, but he got little encouragement. 
Grant advised the chiefs to begin farming and to raise cattle. 

Red Cloud dismissed his numerous western critics with these 
words, "My Father has a great many children out West with no 
ears, brains or heart." Another Sioux, the rotund Chief Red Dog, 
was quoted as saying, "When the Great Father first sent out men 
to our people, I was poor and thin. Now I am large and stout and 
fat. It is because so many liars have been sent out here. I have 
been stuffed with their lies." 

The first white children born here were twin girls bom to Mr. 
and Mrs. Hogerson. Mr. Hogerson was a civilian and head 
mechanic at the fort. 

Up until 1874 the only defense against the Indians were the 
rifles and side arms of the soldiers. However, the first cannon 
were brought in when the Indians began to get more troublesome. 

During the Indian Wars of 1876, three military expeditions 
under the command of General George Crook were organized and 
started from Fetterman. The first left during March. The second 
and largest body of troops departed May 27, 1876, and was con- 
stantly in the field until late in October. The third campaign, 
against the Northern Cheyennes, left December 1, 1876, and was 
out during that month which was without doubt the most severe 
on men and animals in the annals of Indian warfare. Most of the 
wounded, sick and disabled from these military campaigns even- 
tually found their way into the hospital at Fetterman. 

After the Indian Wars, Fetterman's importance from a military 
standpoint ceased and the troops were gradually withdrawn. It 
was abandoned in 1882. At one time the fort consisted of some 
thirty or more buildings. Now only two remain — the officer's 
quarters and the ordnance storehouse. 

On a hill about one-fourth mile southeast of here is a small 
cemetery. No soldiers are buried there now, as they have been 
moved to a National Cemetery. The civilians still he in peace and 
many of them have relatives who are living in and around this area 
at the present time. 

Fort Fetterman was purchased by the State of Wyoming in 1962 
from rancher Eddie Gibbs. At the same time Eddie donated the 
cemetery to the State. Restoration of the buildings was begun in 
1965. While the dedication ceremonies were going on a wagon 
train from Newcastle on its way to the State Fair stopped over at 
the Fort. The wagons drawn up in a circle, the horses and mules 
contentedly munching their oats, the smell of good food being 
cooked over open fires, the happy laughter of people, both young 
and old, and even the merry notes of a violin all helped to make it 
a very impressive and authentic dedication ceremony. 

This was an old story to Fort Fetterman and I am sure that if the 
old fort could talk it would tell us that it was mighty proud, happy 


and thankful, not only for that night alone, but also for the fact 
that it will be here for many, many years for people to see and visit 
and then remember the part it played in the history of the West. 

5:30 P.M. After inspecting the museum the caravan drove ten 
miles to Douglas (113 M.) where a real western dinner had been 
arranged for us at the LaBonte Hotel by Mrs. Herb Hendricks and 
Mrs. Barbara Roumell, members of the Converse County Histor- 
ical Society. It was a fitting climax for our day on the Trail. 



Mr. and Mrs. Ben Bastian and Jeff 
Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Youtz 


Ed Arbes 

Mrs. Vernon Bitner 

Mrs. C. C. Hutton 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jensen 

Timothy J. Mahoney 

Rose Mary Malone 

Mrs. R. H. Miller, Sr. and Paula 

Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Mills 

Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Post 

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Simpson 

Tom Tegoski 

Randy Tier 

Mrs. Edness K. Wilkins 

Mr. and Mrs. Phil Young 


Rosalind Bealey 

Mr. and Mrs. Milton Binger 

Mrs. Rolla Bray 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Burke and 

Mauri ne Carley 
Mrs. James Carlisle 
William Dubois 
Jim Ehernberger 
Lt. Col. and Mrs. A. C. Einbeck 
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Francis 
Jane Houston 
Mary M. Hutchison 
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hutchison 
Ann Guy Johnston 
Robert R. Larson 
W. W. Morrison 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Mueller 
Jack F. Mueller 
Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Nelson, Sr. 
Mrs. Charles Ritter 
Dorris Sander 
Eleanor Thompson 
Edna S. Vaughn 

Meda Walker 

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Wheeler 


Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Haslam 


Mr. and Mrs. Claude Adams 

Betty Riley 
Ellen G. Spens 


Mr. and Mrs. B. W, Henry, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Stout 


Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Daly 

Mr. and Mrs. Al Stenson 

Mrs. Margaret Wilson and Shelley 


Mitch Anderson 

Mr. and Mrs. Ty Butcher 

Mrs. Herb Hendricks 

Joe Keenan 

Leroy L. Moore 

Mrs. Barbara Roumell 


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Berry 

Mr. and Mrs. Roger Darnell and 

Stella M. Frederick 
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Lowe and Brian 
John Powers 


Mr. and Mrs. Steve Caligiore 


Mrs. Elma R. Jones 


Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Smith 




Mr. and Mrs. Burton W. Marston 


Grace Vandel 


Judge and Mrs. J. Reuel Armstrong 

Mr. and Mrs. Van Horeman 

Bob Lambertsen 

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lambertsen 


Ken Bowman 

Jenny De Bolt 

Dr. and Mrs. George Glover 

Mrs. Lloyd Hunter 

Mr. and Mrs. Pete Keenan 

Mrs. Harry W. Kelly 

Mr. and Mrs. Mahlon Peterson 

Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Peterson 

Jim Petty 

Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Robinson 

Curtiss Root 

Mrs. Phil Rouse 

Bill Shay 

Dr. Kayo Smith and family 


Helen Borthwick 

Mr. and Mrs. Allen Goertz 

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hall 

Marie Miller 

Emma Robinson 

Mary Garrett Swan 


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hu^ies 

Mr. and Mrs. Mack Smith 


Mr. and Mrs. Bill Coffee, Harrison, 

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Fairchild, 

Bridgeport, Nebraska 
Lucretia Green, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 
Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Krueger, Gering, 

Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Payton, 

Las Vegas, Nevada 
Karen and Helen Sander, La Valle, 


^ook Keviews 

Frontier Capitalist: The Life of John Evans. By Harry E. Kelsey, 
Jr. (Boulder: State Historical Society of Colorado and the 
Pruett Publishing Company, 1969) Index. Illus. 371 pp. 
$12.50, Regular, $15.00, Deluxe. 

"He was a hardheaded business man, but also civic-minded 
(207) ." Into so few words are distilled both the life of John Evans 
and the thesis of author Harry E. Kelsey, Jr., Director of the Mich- 
igan Historical Commission. Kelsey's objective is the destruction 
of the stereotype of the nineteenth century American capitalist as a 
"ruthless, hard-bitten entrepreneur" (xi), and the career of Colo- 
rado's second territorial governor afforded the author an ideal case 
in point. Few lives have had such balance; seldom has one man 
achieved both varieties of success — financial and civic — in such 

Frontier Capitalist is good social as well as economic history. 
The mood of the times and the sensitivity of Evans are captured by 
the author who begins with the Quaker heritage of his subject. The 
reader cannot avoid being impressed with Kelsey's account of the 
many roles of John Evans — physician, educator, social reformer, 
religion lay leader, government official, and capitalist. While the 
descriptions of mid-nineteenth century American society in which 
Evans matured are interesting, perhaps the most vivid lesson of the 
biography is the impact of real estate speculation in the economic 
development of the West, an activity too often overshadowed by the 
more easily dramatized aspects of our history. 

Of particular interest to residents and students of the Rocky 
Mountain West, of course, are Kelsey's interpretations of Evans' 
role in territorial politics and railroading. Despite his keen insight 
into the nature of the Indian problem, it was the inability of Dr. 
Evans to do the impossible — span the cultural gap separating white 
and red man — which resulted in the Governor's forced resignation. 
Evans recognized the fallacy of plans for converting Indians to 
tUlers of the soil, suggesting instead pastoral activities as more real- 
istic. And he attempted to separate hostile from friendly tribes- 
men in the minds of settlers and poHcy-makers. Nevertheless, 
political realities prevailed. 

Not all scholars of Western history and Rocky Mountain buffs 
agree with Kelsey's assessment of Evans' role — or lack thereof — 
in the Chivington Massacre, nor will they all accept his evaluation 
of the relationship of Jay Gould with railroader Evans. But this is 
as it should be, Kelsey, formerly Colorado state historian, has 
maintained a balance in this well-written biography regardless of 
his stated proclivity — "All of his railroad enterprises were intended 
to help himself, Denver, and Colorado, in about that order (207)." 


A minor fault might be assessed the author for the brief redundancy 
regarding the Berthoud Pass survey (125 & 169-70). Based to a 
large extent on the John Evans Collection of the State Historical 
Society of Colorado and on government documents, Kelsey's re- 
search was meticulous and praiseworthy. The footnotes (102 pag- 
es) are at the end of the text and are handled typographically in the 
text so as not to disrupt the casual reader. Nearly three dozen well 
chosen illustrations constitute, in effect, a bonus. The publishers 
should, indeed, be proud of their craftsmanship — they have pro- 
duced a book of exceptional character. Scholars of the Rocky 
Mountain West and residents of the area will want to have a copy. 

University of Southern Mississippi John D. W. Guice 

Pioneering the Union Pacific: A Reappraisal of the Builders of the 
Railroad. By Charles Edgar Ames. (New York: Appleton- 
Century-Crofts, 1969) Index. lUus. 591 pp. $10.95. 

This book is a highly significant, though in some respects re- 
stricted, contribution to American economic and business history. 
Within the limits Mr. Ames has set for himself, his research has 
been careful and thorough as he has canvassed an extensive body 
of printed literature including newspapers, periodicals, government 
documents and secondary accounts as well as important manuscript 
collections. These materials were significantly supplemented by 
access to hitherto unknown documents in possession of descendants 
of Oakes and Oliver Ames. The use of these sources was much 
facilitated by the fact that the author is a direct descendant of 
Oakes Ames. 

The product of this investigation is a substantial summary ac- 
count of the financial and promotional aspects of the building of 
the Union Pacific Railroad. Unfortunately the meticulous quality 
of the research is not matched by the written presentation as there 
is marked tendency toward the excessive use of direct quotations. 
Fifteen chapters provide a brief background of the enterprise, 
describe the Credit Mobilier, focus on the personalities of Oakes 
and Oliver Ames, chronologically narrate the building of the rail- 
road in detail from 1865 to 1869, record the impending insolvency 
of Oakes, analyze the accompanying political intrigues and censure 
of Oakes, and chronicle the last months and the deaths of the two 
brothers in the 1870s. The last chapter entitled "Reason Returns" 
recounts the attempts to exonerate the family name. 

As many Wyomingites may recall, there had been a demand for 
a transcontinental railroad since 1848 with five possible routes 
surveyed during the 1850s. Ultimately Congress authorized the 
overland route between the Missouri River and California in 1862 
and three years later the Union Pacific began building westward 
from Omaha. Financing was undertaken by the Credit Mobilier 


of America, a speculative firm sponsored by Oakes Ames, a cap- 
italist and Congressman from Massachusetts from 1867 to 1873, 
his brother Oliver Ames, a manufacturer and promoter, and Thom- 
as C. Durant, a veteran railroad builder and vice president of the 
Union Pacific. With criticism mounting over the financial prac- 
tices of the Credit Mobilier in 1867-1868, Congressman Oakes 
Ames distributed at least 1 60 shares of the company's stock among 
his fellow Representatives and Senators at par value although some 
beheved it to be worth at least double. Subsequent Congressional 
investigations in 1872 revealed that some of the politicians had 
been allowed to pay for their stock out of accumulated dividends. 
For this and other dubious practices, Oakes was censured by the 
House of Representatives for "seeking to procure congressional 
attention to the affairs of a corporation in which he was interested." 

A saddened and disillusioned man, Oakes returned home to 
Massachusetts where he died within a matter of weeks. Control of 
the Union Pacific was then seized by the scheming stock manipu- 
lator. Jay Gould, who used the railroad as a pawn in his jugglery of 
the Kansas Pacific, Denver Pacific, Central Pacific, and Missouri 
Pacific between 1874 and 1879. After using the company for his 
own purposes, Gould discarded it abruptly and set the Union 
Pacific on the course to inevitable bankruptcy in 1893. 

Despite the commendation which this book deserves, there seems 
to be a lack of conceptual discrimination between the ideals and the 
reahty of the business ethics of Oakes and Oliver Ames. It is not 
enough to merely state that "much that was then accepted as 
normal philosophy about profit-making is now outlawed" and that 
the censure of Oakes "made him one of the earliest scapegoats of 
an awakening public conscience," How did a man of such high 
moral principles use his elected office in Congress to distribute 
shares of stock where, as he put it, "they will do most good for us?" 
A discussion of Social Darwinism would seem to be in order to help 
explain such discrepancies. Insofar as the concepts of "social 
responsibility" and "democratic traditions" are concerned, the 
Ames brothers do not emerge as Saints. However one must at the 
same time remember that the primary objective of a businessman, 
then as now, is to run his enterprise as efficiently and sharply as 
possible and to realize a maximum profit within the letter of 
the law. 

West Texas State University Philip A. Kalisch 

The Buffalo. The Story of American Bison and Their Hunters 
from Prehistoric Times to the Present. By Francis Haines. 
(New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1970) Index. Illus. 

242 pp. $7.95 

This book condenses the story of the North American buffalo, 


from the early extinct species to the present Bison bison, that we 
are all familiar with. ITie writer presents a brief survey of move- 
ments of prehistoric bison herds and postulates human population 
movements and the methods of buffalo procurement at that time. 
This is followed by a description of the buffalo and its habits from 
birth to death. The historical acquisitions of horses by the Indians 
and the subsequent effects on the buffalo herds are presented. 
Horse period methods of buffalo hunting for a number of Indian 
tribes including Apache, Comanche, Osage, Sioux, and Black- 
feet are described. 

After a consideration of the Plains Indian and his changing rela- 
tionship with the buffalo, as a result of the introduction of the horse, 
attention turns to the white man and his effects on the buffalo 
herds. First came the mountain men and the early explorers, who 
had little or no effect on the buffalo herds themselves, but left 
some written accounts. The effects of trading, the trade in the 
southwest across the Santa Fe Trail, and the fur trade on the Upper 
Missouri and to the north in Canada are considered. The devastat- 
ing effects of the hide hunter, the opening of the West to the live- 
stock operators, the building of the railroads, the encroachment of 
gold seekers and the final decimation of many remaining buffalo 
herds by the Indians themselves, which ended the true Plains 
Indian culture, are considered. No longer did the Plains Indians 
have an economic base for survival and they were forced into 
reservation life. The book ends with a brief resume of the short 
revival of the Indian hopes for supernatural help in removal of the 
white man and return of the buffalo herds as expressed by the 
Ghost Dance of the 1890s. Also, at the end there is mention of 
the attempts at domestication, preservation of the species, and the 
location and size of a number of present-day buffalo herds. 

This book presents the story of the buffalo from an interesting 
perspective and the historical material is good. Many specialists, 
however, will have criticisms, especially on the early chapters. The 
book needs a comprehensive bibliography and many sources are 
not documented. The anthropologist will wince at the 15,000 B.C. 
date for the Folsora Site, which is at least 6,000 years too early. 
Linguists will be apprehensive of the evidence for population move- 
ments of the Uto-Aztecans and Siouan groups that are described. 
The physical anthropologist will want to know the data which 
shows the Comanche to be a shorter-legged population than 
neighboring tribes. The paleontologist will want to know what 
evidence indicates that the modern bison came up from Mexico to 
occupy the spaces left by the extinct species and, also, the claim 
that the mastadon disappeared early and the horse lived on for 
several thousand years, which is contrary to existing evidence (see 
P. Martin and H. Wright, Jr.; Pleistocene Extinctions) . In another 
section of the book it claims the horse disappeared 15,000 years 
ago, which is several thousand years too early. 


The bulk of the book constitutes a good popular account of the 
North American buffalo but it is unfortunate that the prehistoric 
data was not checked for accuracy. These are the kinds of mis- 
takes that tend to be perpetrated in the minds of the ordinary 

University of Wyoming George C. Prison 

The Life, Times and Treacherous Death of Jesse James. By Frank 
Triplett. Edited by Joseph Snell. (Chicago: Sage Books, 
The Swallow Press, 1970) Index. Illus. 344 pp. $15.00. 

This book, quite simply, is a reprint of Frank Triplett's rare 
biography of Jesse James. That Triplett's effort is neither good 
history nor good literature seems to be beside the point when 
viewed from 88 years after its original publication in 1882. Editor 
Snell himself takes pains to point out Triplett's historical inaccu- 
racies and editorial defects both in his fine introduction and foot- 
notes. However, he is restrained in his criticism, presumably 
trusting the ability of serious students to penetrate Triplett's bias, 
carelessness and liberal use of irrelevant material. As for the 
literary quality, Triplett makes his own excuses, citing the haste 
with which the book was written. 

The book is, above all else, an unabashed apology for the 
Jameses and a polemic against Governor Thomas Crittenden. With 
respect to the former, Triplett may well have known a good thing 
when he saw it. If he actually relied as heavily upon the contribu- 
tions of the mother and wife of Jesse James as the promotional 
statements on the original title page allege, he probably could not 
have done otherwise. With respect to the latter, he is less under- 
standable and more convincing. 

In spite of all its defects, Mr. Snell has done a service on two 
accounts in making this book available again. 

First, it was contemporary in being published a mere seven 
weeks after Jesse was killed by Bob Ford. While it demonstrates 
one more time that objective history can seldom be produced so 
close to hand, it also demonstrates the influence of contemporary 
writing on subsequent interpretation. No matter how often or how 
well historians may show that Jesse James was a cold-blooded 
killer and thief, cruelly insensitive to his victims and society, the 
image of a heroic cavalier and latter-day Robin Hood will persist. 
Triplett, whatever his motives, contributed in no small measure to 
this image. 

Second, Triplett poses a question of current interest: Is the 
individual accountable for his own actions? He labors long to 
develop the thesis that Jesse James was stimulated to a career of 
crime by injustices perpetrated against him and his family during 


the Civil War and that a noble hero of his proportions could not 
have been expected to react other than to take revenge upon so- 
ciety. Had Jesse been captured then, he probably would have been 
hung. If he were to be captured in 1970, the courts very possibly 
would find extenuation. Perhaps the key to understanding Trip- 
lett's motives for his sympathetic treatment of Jesse James on the 
one hand and attack upon Governor Crittenden, representing 
society, on the other, is that he was 90 years ahead of his time. 

Mr. Snell properly suggests reading this book hand-in-hand with 
some other more authoritative book on the same subject. Cer- 
tainly it is not to be recommended as a primer; but for those stu- 
dents of Jesse James and American outlawry who can afford the 
rather steep price or who can't restrain themselves, The Life, Times 
and Treacherous Death of Jesse James is assured to bring them 
many happy hours re-living those turbulent years when Jesse James 
rode supreme among outlaws. 

Cheyenne Daniel Y. Meschter 

Western Incidents Connected with the Union Pacific Railroad. By 
Silas Seymour. (Cheyenne and Wheatland, Wyo.: Triple R 
Press, Reprint, 1970). 129 pp. $3.25. 

First published in 1867 by D. Van Nostrand, New York, West- 
ern Incidents includes personal accounts by the author of his visit 
to Wyoming and Colorado in 1866 as consulting engineer for the 
Union Pacific Railroad. 

Many of the experiences recorded in the book had been pub- 
lished in the New York Times. Seymour then compiled his writ- 
ings, added a section on the Union Pacific Railroad Excursion to 
the 100th Meridian of Longitude in 1866, and dedicated the whole 
to Major General John A. Dix. Dix was president of the railroad 
but he missed the excursion because he received an appointment 
as U. S. Ambassador to France in October, 1866, just before the 

Reprints must be viewed in the context of the times in which they 
were written, and Seymour's effort is no exception. Though 
couched in the formal writing style of the 1800s, Seymour's ac- 
counts of his personal experiences have the ring of great adventure 
about them. Indeed, a journey to the fledgling west of the 1860s 
was an adventure, and a trip from Denver to Berthoud Pass, now 
taken for granted, was a challenge to man and beast. 

In his compilation, Seymour included a copy of an interesting 
letter he wrote to the National Intelligencer, February 10, 1866, 
for the purpose of untangling what he felt was doubt and confusion 
in the minds of the people and some members of Congress con- 
cerning the Union Pacific Railroad. 


The letter points out that there were nine organizations known as 
Pacific railroads at the time. Seymour proceeds to define each of 
them and their relationships, if any, with the Union Pacific Rail- 
road which was building westward across the continent. 

The book is a desirable volume for those specifically interested 
in railroad history, or generally interested in Western history. 
While there is no attempt to present the book as anything but a 
reprint, the publisher could have enhanced the volume if he had 
seen fit to include even a brief foreword or afterword of a few 
paragraphs on the character of Colonel Silas Seymour, consulting 

While Edwin L. Sabin, in his 1919 book. Building the Union 
Pacific Railway, described Seymour as ". . . an expert in railway 
construction . . .," Robert West Howard, in The Great Iron Trail, 
1962, said Seymour was "... a comic bouffe relief . . ." to the 
individualism and initiative displayed by others engaged in con- 
struction of the railroad, and" that he ". . . had never been able to 
accept the crosstie as the logical support for T-rails, so still advo- 
cated the use of parallel timbers without crossties as the best rail 

It would seem that Colonel Seymour was an enigmatic individual 
who merits a more complete introduction to the reader than is pro- 
vided by his letter to Major General Dix, which opens the book 
and explains why it was written. 

John W. Cornelison 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

The Montana Past. Edited by Michael P. Malone and Richard P. 
Roeder. (Missoula: Montana State University Press, 1970) 
Illus. 376 pp. 

In their foreword, Michael Malone and Richard Roeder again 
note, as have many others, that much of the writing concerning 
Montana's past has been romantic and exaggerated. They could 
have added "like that of the rest of the West." Furthermore, spe- 
cific themes have dominated the interpretation of Montana's his- 
tory, namely, the corporate denizen — the Anaconda Company, 
economic exploitation and political pollution. The editors con- 
clude with the observation, hardly startling, that future scholars 
will continue to examine this historical tradition, refining some 
phases of it, refuting others. 

I commend the editors for their restrained, if prosaic, summa- 
tion. In the age of historical throw-out, it is lamentably easy to cry 
for revisionism for the sake of revising. For whoever writes of 
Montana, or elsewhere in the West, will have a difficult, not to say 


impossible, task of dodging the all-pervasive issues of colonialism 
and political domination. Nine of the twenty essays in this an- 
thology, devoted to Montana in the twentieth century, are written 
in one way or another against the backdrop of these subjects. 

The editors argue that journalists of the ilk of Jerre C. Murphy, 
Christopher P. Connolly and Joesph Kinsey Howard are to be held 
primarily responsible for this muckraking tradition. This may be 
partially true, yet as the essays by K. Ross Toole, Richard Ruetten, 
Vernon Jenson and Leonard Bates indicate in one way or another, 
they have all carried out the topics developed by this journalistic 
scourge. In fact a journalist, Joesph Kinsey Howard, has written 
what remains the finest one-volume history of Montana, which 
should temper most historians' egos. 

As book ends to their compilation, the editors somewhat enig- 
matically have chosen two relatively pessimistic views of the West. 
The introductory one, "The American West: A Perpetual Mirage," 
by the late renowned Walter Prescott Webb, informs his readers 
that the desert has been an "overriding influence" in the history of 
the West. The finale, "The Great Plains: A Voiceless Region," 
by the Montana sociologist and missionary for Western regional- 
ism, Carl F. Kraenzel, insists that the revitalization of the Great 
Plains will come only through regional cooperation and urbaniza- 
tion. Undoubtedly it is more of a commentary on Westerners than 
on Kraenzel to suggest that his voice has been one crying in the 
wilderness. Not that Westerners have missed regional organiza- 
tions, but as the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Educa- 
tion and the Federation of Rocky Mountain States have illustrated, 
they have been pretty tepid affairs. As far as accomplishing their 
purpose, perhaps the most successful one has been the Western 
Athletic Conference, though one hastily adds that this is not an 
endorsement of coaches for governors. 

Between Webb and Kraenzel are eighteen articles, all but one 
(Robert Peterson's review of the completion of the Northern Pa- 
cific in Montana ) are reprinted. That this number of essays, with 
perhaps the exception of one or two, can withstand anotiier ex- 
posure is tribute to the discrimination of the editors. In chronol- 
ogy, they have an even balance between the nineteenth and twen- 
tieth centuries. The subject matter shows a similar counterpoise, 
from the analysis of the Montana fur trade by Paul PhiUips, to 
Allan Oviatt's suggestive piece on mining camps and the Pacific 
commercial orientation, to Stanley Davison's investigation of rec- 
lamation, to Thomas Payne's look at the current political scene. 
All of which is to say, this is reason enough for this anthology's 

University of Wyoming Gene M. Gressley 


The Navajo of the Painted Desert, By Walter L. Bateman. (Bos- 
ton: Beacon Press, 1970) Illus. 120 pp. $5.95 

Magic mystery, written for children in simple words, is also a 
study in andiropology and sociology for adults in this book. The 
author has gone to much work and research to record fears and 
superstitions of Navajo Indians, and sacred songs by which their 
witch doctors chased away evU spirits. 

"He (witch doctor of Singer) knew what to do, for he had done 
it many times. He had no written list and could not have read a 
list had someone written one. He remembered. He had memor- 
ized the exact details of the nine-day ritual (for curing the sick 
one) . He had memorized nine days of songs, nine days of prayers, 
nine days of painting prayersticks and ritual, nine days of sand- 
painting." This is all given in detail with words of the songs. 

However, all is not folklore mystery and chants. The book also 
tells how boys learn to be brave; and how girls learn to make a 
primitive life more beautiful with their work. There were ho 
schools in Navajo land a hundred years or more ago about the time 
the book records the Indian life. History of the Navajo race is told 
in a child's language. The book is beautifully illustrated with pen 
and ink sketches by Richard C. Bartlett. 

Lusk Mae Urbanek 

In Pursuit of American History. By Walter Rundell, Jr. Fore- 
word by U.S. Archivist James B. Rhoads. (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1970). Index. 445 pp. $7.95. 

Rundell's book is a report on survey findings concerning the use 
of original documentary source materials in the teaching of Amer- 
ican history at graduate levels in our institutions of higher learning. 
The survey's purpose "was to investigate those parts of graduate 
training in United States history related to research, with emphasis 
on source materials." 

The author, armed with a Ph.D. degree from Yale, authorship of 
several respected books and articles in the field of American his- 
tory, funds from the Ford Foundation, and an engaging personality, 
went on a two-year pursuit of American history. 

With dictating equipment and survey questionnaires, he person- 
ally tracked his imposing quarry: 557 interviewees; 70 institutions 
offering the Ph.D. in history; 2 universities with a terminal M.A. 
in history and 40 other institutions. 

Professor Rundell must have disarmed almost everyone by his 
systematic approach, his interviewing technique and with the bait 
that "if further grants were to be made to bolster graduate research 
in history, it would be well to have some reaction from the profes- 
sion concerning its practices and needs." As a result, not only does 


he report surprisingly candid statements from named interviewees 
but he also received an encouragingly high response to the mailed 

The book is laced with wit, humor and sympathetic charm, yet 
he is dead serious when he concludes a major problem is "poor 
communication between professors of history and persons with 
other historical and curatorial vocations" and when he decries "The 
lack of cooperation that has too often characterized relations be- 
tween researchers and custodians does discredit to both." 

Topics reported probably would not be of interest to the casual 
reader because the book is offered as an evaluation pointing out 
directions for future research and training to those persons and 
institutions intimately involved with research in and writing of 
United States history. 

In the closing chapter of the book, "Research Needs," he identi- 
fies and elaborates upon the three major problems that prevent 
research in United States history from being as effective as pos- 
sible: "access to original sources is often difficult; communication 
between academic and nonacademic historians needs improvement; 
and more adequate training in historical methodology is necessary." 

There are ten appendices, covering the survey itself as well as 
microfilm sources, travel, and spending money for local sources. 

Cheyenne Julia A. Yelvington 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


Jeanne Robertson Vap is presently a resident of Sacramento, 
California, while her husband is attending the medical school of the 
University of California at Davis. She has attended Creighton 
University, the University of Arizona and Stanford University. 
From the latter school she received her B.A. and M. A. degrees. 
Her professional experience includes teaching and writing and one 
summer as public relations director for the Grand Teton Lodge Co. 
In the summer of 1966, as a PACE volunteer, she produced, 
directed and narrated a series of cultural exchange programs broad- 
cast in Spanish on educational television in Arequipa, Peru. 

Robert L. Munkres is an associate professor of political sci- 
ence at Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio. Before joining 
the faculty there he was an instructor at the University of Wiscon- 
sin Extension Division. He was a seasonal ranger-historian at Fort 
Laramie National Historic Site for three years. He completed his 
undergraduate work at Nebraska Wesleyan University and received 
his M. A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Nebraska. He is 
affiliated with numerous professional and historical associations. 

Dr. Gordon M. Bakken, assistant professor of history at Cali- 
fornia State College at FuUerton is a native of Wisconsin, He holds 
B.A., M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. 
He has previously had articles on the West published in Arizona 
and the West and the Nevada Historical Quarterly. He is a mem- 
ber of the American Historical Association, Organization of Amer- 
ican Historians and Western History Association, 

Philip A. Kalisch has been Assistant Professor of History and 
Social Sciences at West Texas State University, Canyon, Texas, 
since 1969. He received his B.A, and M,A. degrees from the 
University of Nebraska, and his Ph.D. in history from The Pennsyl- 
vania State University. Articles by Dr. Kalisch have appeared in 
such publications as History of Education Quarterly, Nebraska 
History, The History Teacher, and The Clearing House. He also 
wrote a book entitled The Enoch Pratt Free Library of Baltimore: 
A Social History. Dr. Kalisch formerly was an instructor of his- 
tory at Northwest Missouri State College, part-time instructor of 
history at The Pennsylvania State University, and history teacher 
at High Point Senior High School, Beltsville, Maryland. He is a 
member of numerous professional organizations. 


Adams, Cecelia, 197, 199, 200, 205, 
211, 215, 217, 218 

Adams, Claude, 253; "Badger Sta- 
tion," 253-254 

Adams, George S., 253 

Afton, Wyo., 242 

Albany County, 225 

Albright, Horace M., 153, 154, 155, 
156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 
166, 168, 176, 177, 178 

Almy, Wyo., 237, 238, 239, 242 

Almy No. 4 Coal Mine, 238 

Ames, Charles Edgar, Pioneering 
the Union Pacific: A Reappraisal 
of the Builders of the Railroad, 
review, 276-277 

Asabill, Elizabeth, 222 

Ash Hollow, 218 


Bacon, Billy, road ranch, See Uva. 

Badeau, M., 256 

"Badger Station," by Claude Adams, 


Baker, — , 173 

Baker, Lester G., 163, 164 

Bakken, Gordon Morris, Voting 
Patterns in the Wyoming Consti- 
tutional Convention, 1889, 225- 
235; biog., 285 

Ball, John, 268 

Basin Republican Rustler, 174 

Bateman, Walter L., The Navajo of 
the Painted Desert, review, 283 

Battey, Marion, 204, 205, 209, 214 

Baxter, George, 234 

Bear River Mountains, 220 

Bed Tick Creek, 267 

Bellamy Ranch, 257, 259 

Belshaw, Mrs. Mario, 206, 208, 220 

Benton, Wyo., 184 

Bermingham, Kate, 192; Twiss, 193, 
205, 206, 210, 211 

Bidwell, John, 259 

Big Horn Mountains, 270 

Bitter Creek, 255, 256 

Bitter Cottonwood Creek, 262 

Boardman, John, 204 

Bordeaux, 262 

Bott, G. S., 160 

Bowman, Mrs. William, 207 

Bozeman, John M., 270 

Bozeman Trail, 270, 271 

"Bozeman Trail," by Leroy Moore, 

Brandon, C. Watt, 163, 173 

Branham, Mr. and Mrs., 200 

Bridger's Ferry, 265, 270 

Bridger Trail, 270 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 177 

Brown, C. H., 159, 169; Joe, 184; 
Melville C, 232, 233; photo, fol- 
lowing p. 192 

Bryant, Alta, 201; Edwin, 195, 200, 
223; Mrs., 201, 203, 207 

Bryarly, — , 269 

Buffalo Bill, 261 

Buffalo, Wyo., 173 

The Buffalo, The Story of American 
Bison and Their Hunters from 
Prehistoric Times to the Present, 
by Francis Haines, review, 277- 

Bull's Bend, 258 

Burns, Mr., 221 

Burt, Struthers, 155, 171, 178 

Burton, Sir Richard, 256 

Cammerer, A. B., 157 

Campbell, Anthony C, 234 

Carbon, Wyo., 237 

Carbon County, 225, 230 

Carey, U. S. Sen. Joseph M., 151, 

152, 171, 175, 176 
Carley, Maurine, 253 
Carpenter, Helen, 194, 196, 199, 

202, 209, 218 
Carter, Judge William A., 257 
Casper, Wyo., 173 
Casper Herald-Tribune, 172, 173 
Casper Tribune-Herald, 153 
Cassa Flats, 257 

Central Overland Stage Line, 261 
Chambers, Andrew, 213; Mary 

Jane, 213 
Cheyenne, Wyo., 150, 173, 174, 183, 

Cheyenne-Black Hills Road, 263 
Cheyenne-Fort Fetterman Cut-off, 

Cheyenne Frontier Days, 1919, 177 
Cheyenne Leader, 150 



Cheyenne and Northern Railroad, 

Cheyenne Tribune, 172, 176 
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 

Railroad, 254 
Chicago Mine, 254 
Qiicago and Northwestern RaUroad, 

Clark, Elizabeth, 215; Hodson, 215 
Clayton, William, 260 
Coal Mines, 237-242 
Coal Mine Disasters, 237-242 
Coates, Capt. Edwin M., 185, 271 
Cody, Wyo., 173, 177 
Cold Spring, 253 
Coleman Butte, 255 
Coleman Ranch, 263 
Colliers, 177 
Collins, George, 208 
Converse County, 230, 267 
Conyers, E. W., 199, 201, 202, 203, 

213, 220, 221 
Coons, Arlan W., 174 
Coonts, Mrs., 206 
Corey, Herbert, 177 
Cornelison, John W., review of 

Western Incidents Connected with 

the Union Pacific Railroad, by 

Silas Seymour, 280-281 
Cornwall, Rev. M., 224 
Cottonwood Creek, 254, 255, 257, 

263; Valley, 254 
Cottonwood Springs, 254 
"Cottonwood Station," by Helen 

Henderson, 255-256 
Covered Wagon, 111 
Creighton, Ed, 261 
Crook, Gen. George, 272 
"Crossing the Barriers," sketch, C. 

Hall, photo, following p. 192 
Cumberland, Wyo., 242 
Cumberland No. 2 coal mine, 240 


Dale, Mrs. A. R., 179 
Dampier, Dave, 257, 258 
Danites, 254 
Davis, — , 173 
Deadman Creek, 242 
Deming, W. C, 175 
Denver Post, 175, 176 
Deloney, Lucille, 161, 172 
Delegates to the Wyoming Constitu- 
tional Convention, 225-235 
Diamond A Hills, 258 
Diamondville, Wyo., 240, 242 

Diamondville No. 1 Coal Mine, 239, 

Dilts, Fred, ranch, 267 
Dodge, Col., 185 
Dornan, J. P., 160; Jr., 159 
Dornan's Bar, 159 
Douglas, Wyo., 267 
Dress Helmet, U. S. Army, photo, 

cover; caption, p. 148 
Drips, Capt., 216 
Dubois, Bill, reader, "Cottonwood 

Station," 255-256 
Dubois Frontier, 169, 173 
Dude Ranchers Association, 152 
Dye, Major W. M., 270 

Eels, Myra, 191, 192, 197, 202, 211, 
212, 216; Mr., 192 

Elk Bar, 161 

Elk Commission, 157 

Elkhorn Creek, 263, 265 

Elkhorn Hill, 263 

"The Elkhorn Wagon Train En- 
counter," by Margaret Mitchell 
Wilson, 263-265 

Evanston, Wyo., 239 

Evarts, Hal G., 177 

Eynon, Jack, 155 

Fabian, Harold P., 153, 154, 155, 
156, 158, 163, 164, 168, 170, 175; 
Mrs., 158 

Farnham, — , 269 

Farnum, E. B., 266 

Fetterman, Bvt, Lt. Col. William J., 

Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 259 

Flannery, Pat, 174 

Fontanelle, Capt., 216 

Forest Service, 157 


Carlin, 271 

Caspar, 271 

Fetterman, 265, 270-273; two 

photos, following p. 192 
LaBonte, 266 
Laramie, 198, 200, 256 
Phil Kearny, 270, 271 
Reno, 270 

Saunders [Sanders], 183 
Smith (C. F.), 270 
Steel [Steele], 184 



"Fort Fetterman," by Joe Keenan, 

Fort Laramie-Fort Fetterman Road, 

Fort Laramie Treaty Council, 1851, 

Fowler, A. B., 254 
Fox, George, 206; George W., 232 
Foy, Ed, 264 
Foy, Ed, Sr., ranch, 263 
Frazer, Elizabeth, 177 
Frederick, Mrs. Stella, 243 
Frederick Ranch, 253 
Fremont's Peak, 217 
Frison, George C, review of The 

Buffalo. The Story of American 

Bison and Their Hunters from 

Prehistoric Times to the Present, 

Frontier Capitalist: The Life of 

John Evans, by Harry E. Kelsey, 

Jr., review, 275-276 
Frontier No. 1 coal mine, 241 
Frost, Mrs., 219 

Gabbey, —,159 

Gaylord, Leonora, 207 

Geer, Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith, 
195, 197, 199, 204, 205, 211 

Geiger, — , 269 

General Federal of Women's Clubs, 

Geological Survey, 154 

Gill, —,159 

Gill, L. G., 169 

Gillette Daily Journal, 173 

Gillette News, 173 

Gillette News Record, 175 

Gilliam, Martin, 222 

Gibbon, Gen. John, 183, 185, 187 

Gibbs, Eddie, 272 

Glendo Lake, 265 

Goshen News, 174 

Grand Teton National Park, 149- 

The Grand Teton, 149-182 

The Grand Teton: Frontier News- 
paper in the Twentieth Century, 
by Jeanne Robertson Vap, 149- 

Grand Teton Publishing Company, 
159, 162, 174 

Grant, President U. S., 271-272 

Gray, Mrs., 202 

Green River Star, 173 

Gressley, Gene M., review of The 
Montana Past, edited by Michael 
P. Malone and Richard P. Roed- 
er, 281-282 

Greybull, Wyo., 173 

Gros Ventre River, 154 

Guice, John D. W., review of Fron- 
tier Capitalist: The Life of John 
Evans, 275-276 

Guttman Scaleogram, 226, 232, 233 


H. R. Ranch, 263 

Hadley, Mrs. E. A., 193, 197, 198, 
212, 216, 217 

Haines, Francis, The Buffalo. The 
Story of American Bison and 
Their Hunters from Prehistoric 
Times to the Present, review, 277- 

Hanna, Wyo., 237, 239 

Hanna No. 1 coal mine, 240 

Hansom, Helen, 162 

Harper, Bill, 257, 258 

Harriett, — , 268 

Harris, George, 257 

Hartville Junction, 254 

Harvey, Frederick, 234 

Hastings, — , 269 

Hauphoff, J., 254 

Heber's Spring, 260 

Hembree, Joel, 208 

Henderson, Helen "Cottonwood Sta- 
tion," 255-256 

Henderson, Lucy, 196; Salita Jane 
(Lettie), 196 

Hickman, Richard Owen, 219, 220 

Hildebrand, Lyle, "La Bonte Sta- 
tion." Read by Joe Keenan, 266- 

Hill, Bill, 258, 262 

Himes, Cehnda, 204, 207, 210, 211, 
218, 266 

Hog Ranch, 271 

Hogerson, Mr. and Mrs., 272 

Hoover, Lt., 222 

Horseshoe Bend, 257 

Horseshoe Creek, 255, 256, 257 

"Horseshoe Creek Crossing and 
Stage Station," by Bill Shay, 259- 

Horseshoe Ranch, 262 

Horseshoe Road Ranch, 257 

Horseshoe Station, 265 

Horseshoe Valley, 259 

Hough, Emerson, 177 

Howe, Ed, 166 

Hurst, Fannie, 166 




Independence Rock, 200 



Chil-Co-The, 266 

Crazy Horse, 257, 258, 262 

Cross Eagle, 266 

Red Cloud, 270, 271, 272 

Red Dog, 272 

Spotted Tail, 271 


Battle of Horseshoe Creek, 257- 


Fetterman Fight, 271 


Arapaho, 266 
Northern Cheyenne, 272 
Sioux, 271-272 

Inland Oil Index, 174 

In Pursuit of American History, by 

Walter Rundell, Ir., review, 283- 

Ivins, Mr., 216, 217 


Kalisch, Philip A., The Woebegone 
Miners of Wyoming: A History 
of Coal Mine Disasters in the 
Equality State, 237-242; review of 
Pioneering The Union Pacific: A 
Reappraisal of the Builders of the 
Railroad, 116-111; biog., 285 

Kay's Sweet Shop, 165 

Keen, Elizabeth, 150 

Keenan, Joe, "Fort Fetterman," 270- 
273; reader, "La Bonte Station," 

Keller, George, 266 

Kelly, Fanny, 214 

Kelly, Wyo., 168 

Kelsey, Harry E., Jr., Frontier Cap- 
italist: The Life of John Evans, 

Kemmerer, Wyo., 160, 162, 163, 

164, 174, 239, 241 
Kemmerer Camera, 164, 165 
Kemmerer Gazette, 162, 163, 164, 

165, 173, 174 

Kemmerer Republican, 162, 163, 

164, 165 
Kemmerer No. 4 coal mine, 240 
Kendrick, U. S. Sen. John B., 151, 

Keyes, Mrs. Sarah, 219 
Kimball, Mr., 204 
Knight, Mrs. Amelia Stewart, 200, 

206, 208, 217; Lucy, 208 

Jackson, William H., 266 

Jackson, Wyo., 153, 154, 157, 159, 

161, 162, 163, 164, 174, 176, 177, 

178, 180 

Jackson Hole, Wyo., 149-182 
Jackson Hole National Monument, 

Jackson Lake, 159 
Jackson Mercantile Company, 159 
Jackson State Bank, 155, 158 
Jackson Valley Telephone Company, 

Jackson's Hole Courier, 149, 150, 

152, 155, 157, 160, 164, 165, 167, 

168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 

175, 177, 178, 179 
Jacobs, John, 270 
Johnston, Albert Sidney, 257 
Judson, Mrs. Phoebe, 201; Mr. and 

Mrs., 222; Annie, 201, 222; 

Charles La Bonta, 222 

La Bonte, Pierre, 266 

La Bonte, Pierre, Jr., 267 

La Bonte, Wyo., 267 

La Bonte's Camp, 267 

La Bonte Creek 222, 266, 267 

La Bonte Crossing, 267 

"La Bonte Station," by Lyle Hilde- 

brand, read by Joe Keenan, 266-267 

Lancaster, Jack, 263 

La Prele Creek, 270 

Laramie, Wyo., 174, 184, 230 

Laramie Boomerang, 233 

Laramie County, 225, 230 

Laramie Peak, 253, 254, 255, 260, 

Lard, Miss, 224 
Larimer, Sarah, 214 
Larson, Robert, reader, 'Twin 

Spring," 256-259 
Larson, T. A., 166, 169, 172, 227 



Lee, Edward M., 150 

Lee, Rev. Jason, 259 

Leek, S. N., 160, 161, 168 

The Life, Times and Treacherous 

Death of Jesse James, by Frank 

Triplett. Edited by Joseph Snell, 

review, 279-280 
Linford, Ernest H., 174 
Literary Digest, 177 
Long, Mary Jane, 218, 220 
Loomis, — , 269 
Lovejoy, Frank, 159, 160 
Lovejoy, Fred, 174 
Lower Bitter Cottonwood Crossing. 

See Badger Station. 
Lusk, Wyo., 173 
Lusk Herald, 173, 174 
Lyman, Vincent Page, 212 


Malone, Michael P., and Richard P. 

Roeder, editors, The Montana 

Past, review, 281-282 
Marcum, Mrs., 204 
Maynadier, Lieut. H. E., 270 
McCraken, Tracy S., 174, 175 
McDougall, Bill, 160, 161, 163, 164, 

Medicine Bow National Forest, 267 
Mercill, — , 159 
Meschter, Daniel Y., review of The 

Life, Times and Treacherous 

Death of Jesse James, by Frank 

Triplett. Edited by Joseph Snell, 

Miller, Gov. Leslie A., 153 
Miller, R. E., 155, 156, 157, 158, 

Miller, Tobe, ranch. See Coleman 

Mitchell, George, 262; Jr., 262 
Mondell, U. S. Rep. Frank W., 158 
The Montana Past. Edited by 

Michael P. Malone and Richard 

P. Roeder, review, 281-282 
Moore, Leroy, "Bozeman Trail," 

Moose, Wyo., 159, 168 
Moran, Wyo., 168, 178 
Morgan, Mr., 213, Mrs., 214, Platte, 

Mormon X. Y. Express, 260 
Morrison, W. W., "Quotes From 

Various Diaries About The Red 

Earth Country,' " 268-269 
Mott, Frank Luther, 157, 165 

Mountain States Telephone Com- 
pany, 160 

Mouseau, M. A., 257, 259 

Monger, Asahel, 192, 193, 210; 
Eliza, 192, 212 

Munkres, Robert L., Wives, Moth- 
ers, Daughters: Women's Life on 
the Road West, 191-224; biog., 

Myer, Nathaniee, 210 


National Editorial Association, 178 
The Navajo of the Painted Desert, 

by Walter L. Bateman, review, 

Newby, William, 208 
Newcastle News Letter, 175 
New York Times, 178, 179, 180 
Nichols, John, 220; Elizabeth, 220 
Nielson, Wilford, 152, 154, 168, 

170, 171; Mrs., 171 
Nine Mile, 256 
National Park Service, 151, 153, 

155, 157, 164 
Noble, Dr. J., 194; Maude, 155 
The Norbeck BUI, 156, 178 
North Platte River, 198, 199 

Oneida Company (wagon train), 

Oregon Trail, Second Segment, 

Trek, 253-274 
Outlook, 111 
Overland Stage Company, 262 

Paden, Irene, 269 

Palmer, — , 268 

Parker, Inez, 215 

Parrish, Rev. Edward Evans, 193, 
197, 207, 208, 219, 220, 222 

Pennock, Jake, 266 

Perry, S. D., 173; Walter E., 167, 
169, 171, 173 

Pete, Irish, 265 

Phillips, "Portugee," 261 

Pinedale Roundup, 163, 173 

Pioneering the Union Pacific: A Re- 
appraisal of the Builders of the 
Railroad, by Charles Edgar Ames, 
review, 276-277 



Point of Rocks, 237 

Polk, Adam, 204 

Porter's Rock, 254 

Potter, Charles N., 232 

Powell, Wyo., 173 

Practical Housekeeping, reprint, 

Preston, Douglas A., 234 
Pringle, Virgil K., 208, 220 

'Quotes from Various Diaries About 
The Red Earth Country,' " by W. 
W. Morrison, 268-269 

Ramsey, Alex, 266 

Rawlins, Wyo., 173 

Raynolds, Capt. W. F., 270 

Reading, Pierson Barton, 213 

Reasor, Stanley, 161 

Red Canyon No. 5 coal mine, 239 

Red Earth Country, 268-269 

Reel, Heck, 263 

Reid, Mrs. Allen, 171 

Rice, Harmon C, 173 

Riverton, Wyo., 173 

Riverton Review, 173 

Roberts, Kenneth, 177 

Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 149, 151, 

152, 153, 155, 156, 158, 164, 166, 

168, 170, 176, 180; Foundation. 

Rock Springs, Wyo., 164, 173, 174, 

175, 237, 238 
Rocket Publishing Company, 175 
Rockwell, Porter, 254 
Rocky Mountain News, 176 
Roeder, Richard P., and Michael P. 

Malone, editors. The Montana 

Past, review, 281-282 
Rogers, Will, 166 

Roosevelt, President [Franklin], 152 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 154 
Root, Curtiss, 253 
Rundell, Walter Jr., In Pursuit of 

American History, review, 283- 


Second Segment of the Oregon 
Trail, Cold Spring to Fort Fetter- 
man, Trek, 253-274 

Seebern, Mrs., 219 

Seymour, Silas, Western Incidents 
Connected with the Union Pacific 
Railroad, review, 280-281 

Sharp, — , 269 

Shay, Bill, 253; "Horseshoe Creek 
Crossing and Stage Station," 259- 

Shelton, Mr., 220 

Sheridan, Wyo., 173 

Sheridan Journal, 163, 165, 173 

Sheridan Post Enterprise, 164, 165, 

Sherman, John Dickison, 166 

Sherman, Ves, 263, 264, 265 

Sherman, Wyo., 183 

Shoshone (Buffalo Bill) Dam and 
area, four photos, following p. 
248; footnote, p. 251 

Sibley Peak, 259, 262 

Simpson, William L., 159, 160, 161, 
168, 171, 172, 174 

Slade, Jack, 261; Virginia, 261 

Smith, Bill, 184 

Smith, Capt. John R., 257, 258, 261, 

Smith, George C, 232 

Smith, Louise S., photo, following 
p. 192 

Snake River, 206 

Snake River Land Company, 151, 
153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 166, 
168, 170, 171, 172, 175, 179 

Snell, Joseph, editor. The Life, 
Times and Treacherous Death of 
Jesse James, by Frank Triplett, 
review, 279-280 

South Bear Creek, 262 

South Park, 168 

South Pass, 200 

Spring Valley, Wyo., 242 

Stuart, Robert, 259 

Sublet, Wyo., 241, 242 

Sublet No. 5 coal mine, 241 

Sugar Loaf Peak, 266 

Sutton, Sarah, 200, 210, 212, 216 

Sweetwater County, 225, 230, 238 

St. Denis road ranch, 263 
Salt Lake Telegram, 161 
Salt Lake Tribune, 164, 175, 176 
Saturday Evening Post, 177 

Teapot Dome, 176 

Ten Thousand Miles of Travel, 

Sport and Adventure, by Capt. F. 

Trench Townshend, excerpt, 183- 




Teschemacher, Hubert E., 225 
Teton Mountains, photo, following 

p. 192 
Thermopolis, Wyo., 173 
Thornburg, Marion, 262 
Thornton, — , 268 
Throstle, George, 263, 264, 265 
Tollman, Mrs., 159 
Townshend, Capt. F. Trench, Ten 

Thousand Miles of Travel, Sport 

and Adventure, excerpt, 183-189 
Trek participants, list, 273-274 
Trenholm, Virginia Cole, 'Twin 

Spring," 256-259 
Triplett, Frank, The Life, Times and 

Treacherous Death of Jesse 

James, edited by Joseph Snell, 

review, 279-280 
Turney, Eugene, 161 
"Twin Spring," by Virginia Cole 

Trenholm, 256-259 


Uinta County, 225, 230 

Union Pacific Railroad Company, 

Urbanek, Mae, review of The Nava- 
jo of the Painted Desert, by Wal- 
ter L. Bateman, 283 

Uva, 263 

Walker, Mary Richardson, 193, 202, 

Ward's Station, 256 

Waters, Lydia Milner, 192, 205, 210 

Webb, Vanderbilt, 154, 156 

Wendover, 253, 254, 255 

Western Incidents Connected with 
the Union Pacific Railroad, by 
Silas Seymour, review, 280-281 

Western Newspaper Union, 166 

Whitcomb, E. W., 261 

Williams, Joseph, 222; Mrs. Velina, 
199, 217 

Wind River Mountains, 217 

Winger, Richard, 155, 156, 157, 170 

Wives, Mothers, Daughters: Wom- 
en's Life on the Road West, by 
Robert L. Munkres, 191,224 

The Woebegone Miners of Wyo- 
ming: A History of Coal Mine 
Disasters in the Equality State, by 
Philip A. Kalisch, 237-242 

Wood, Mr., 216 

Worrell, Bill, 258, 262 

Wyoming Constitutional Convention, 
1889, 225-235 

Wyoming Constitutional Convention 
Delegates, 225-235 

Wyoming Eagle, 175 

Wyoming Press Association, 174 

Wyoming State Highway Depart- 
ment, 154 

Wyoming State Tribune, 150, 175 

Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion, 152, 153 

Wyoming Taxpayers Association, 

Vail Truck Mine, 242 

Van Vleck, C. R., 159 

Vap, Jeanne Robertson, The Grand 
Teton: Frontier Newspaper in the 
Twentieth Century, 149-182; biog., 

Vigilantes, 184 

Virginia City, Mont., 270 

Voting Patterns in the Wyoming 
Constitutional Convention, 1889, 
by Gordon Morris Bakken, 225- 


Wagonhound Creek, 267, 269 
Waity, — , 204, 205, 209, 214 
Walcott, Charles, 154 

Yantis, — , 221 

Yellowstone National Park, 154, 

156, 158, 164, 170, 176, 177, 178, 

Yellowstone River, 270 
Yelvington, Julia A., review of In 

Pursuit of American History, 283- 

Young, Brigham, party, 1847, 268 
Young's Ranch, 242 

Zeiber, John, 215 


The Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department has as its func- 
tion the collection and preservation of the record of the people of Wyoming. 
It maintains the State's historical library and research center, the Wyoming 
State Museum and branch museums, the Wyoming State Art Gallery and 
the State archives. 

The aid of the citizens of Wyoming is solicited in the carrying out of its 
function. The Department is anxious to secure and preserve records and 
materials now in private hands where they cannot be long preserved. Such 
records and materials include: 

Biographical materials of pioneers: diaries, letters, account books, auto- 
biographical accounts. 

Business records of industries of the State: livestock, mining, agriculture, 
railroads, manufacturers, merchants, small business establishments and of 
professional men such as bankers, lawyers, physicians, dentists, ministers and 

Private records of individual citizens, such as correspondence, manuscript 
materials and scrapbooks. 

Records of organizations active in the religious, educational, social, eco- 
nomic and political life of the State, including their publications such as 
yearbooks and reports. 

Manuscript and printed articles on towns, counties and any significant 
topic dealing with the history of the State. 

Early newspapers, maps, pictures, pamphlets and books on western 

Current publications by individuals or organizations throughout the State. 

Museum materials with historical significance: early equipment, Indian 
artifacts, relics dealing with the activities of persons in Wyoming and with 
special events in the State's history. 

Original art works of a Western flavor including, but not limited to, 
etchings, paintings in all media, sculpture and other art forms.