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Donald N. Sherard 
Mrs. William Swanson 
Mrs. Frank Emerson 
Miss Jennie Williams 
Richard I. Frost, Chairman 
Willis Hughes 
William T. Nightingale 

Member at Large Kenneth E. Dowlin 










Attorney General C. A. (Bud) Brimmer Cheyenne 



William H. Williams Director 

Mrs. Mary Purcella Secretary 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 

Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 

Darrel Thiel Chief, Museum Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published biannually in the spring and fall 
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 contributors. 

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

Copyright 1971, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 43 

Spring, 1971 

Number 1 


Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
/4550c/V/re Editor 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1970-1971 

President, J. Reuel Armstrong Rawlins 

First Vice President, William R. Dubois Cheyenne 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Lucille Patrick Cody 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, William H. Williams Cheyenne 

Post Presidents 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

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

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins 1958-1959 

Mrs. Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo 1959-1960 

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 

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 
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, Uinta, 
Washakie and Weston Counties. 

State Dues 

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Send State Membership Dues to: 

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Zable of Contents 



By Howard Lee Wilson 


By Charles Oliver Downing 
Edited by Sharon Reed Smith 


By Glen A. Humpherys 


By Julie Beaver Diller 



By Ellis L. Yochelson 


Minutes of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting 


Trenholm, The Arapahoes, Our People 134 

Hunton, John Hunton's Diary, Volume 6, 1885-1889 135 

Bonney, Battle Drums and Geysers: The Life and Journals of 

Lieutenant Gustavus Cheyney Doane 137 

Fremont, The Expeditions of John Charles Fremont. Volume I: 

Travels from 1838-1844 and Map Portfolio 138 

Ellis, General Pope and U. S. Indian Policy 140 

Yost, Medicine Lodge, The Story of a Kansas Frontier Town 141 

Foner, The United States Soldier Between Two Wars, 1865-1898 .. 143 
Strate, Sentinel to the Cimarron: The Frontier Experience of 

Fort Dodge, Kansas 145 

Eberhart-Schmuck, The Fourteeners. Colorado's Great Mountains 146 

Kelly, Navajo Roundup 147 

Russell, The Wild West 148 


INDEX 153 


"Along the Little Horn" 
Following page 32 

EKKO Radio Verification Stamp 

In the Studio 

With the Controls 

KFBU Transmitting Equipment 
Following page 64 

"Belle and C. O. Downing with Dill" 
"Belle and Friends" 

"Early Automobiles in Goshen County" 
"Homesteader's Picnic, July 4, 1911, at Bear Creek" 
Powell Monument Dedicated 
"The Days That Are No More . . ." 

"Along the Little Horn" is the title of the cover paint- 
ing by artist Joseph H. Sharp. The painting is assumed 
to have originated in Montana in the period 1902-1912. 
In his book, Artists and Illustrators of the Old West, 
Robert Taft says, "Sharp was bom in 1859, began the 
study of art in Cincinnati at the age of 14. He had a part 
in the founding of the artists colony at Taos, having first 
visited there in 1893. Sharp had a position with the 
Cincinnati Art Academy from 1892 until 1902 when he 
resigned to devote all his time to painting themes in 
Indian country. For a number of years beginning in 
1901 he had a summer studio on the Crow agency of 
Montana. He became a permanent resident of Taos in 

'Xopoftke World'' J^roadcastSt 
Wyoming's Sarly Kadlo 


Howard Lee Wilson 


On Thursday, December 10, 1925, a broadcast originated from 
radio station KFBU. The principal speaker was Nellie Tayloe 
Ross, the first woman governor of one of the United States of 
America. There was also a brief address by the Right Reverend 
Nathaniel Seymour Thomas, Episcopal Bishop of Wyoming. 

The announcer referred during the broadcast to the fact that it 
came from the "top of the world," Laramie, Wyoming, a phrase 
which became both slogan and motto of the station, whose trans- 
mitters were located over seven thousand feet above sea level. 

The station possessed other unique characteristics. It was 
housed in the basement of St. Matthew's Cathedral, the result of 
the imaginative mind of Bishop Thomas, and, on this particular 
night, was broadcasting with new equipment provided by Mrs. 
Edward H. Harriman, widow of the late president of the Union 
Pacific Railroad. 

Mrs. Harriman had underwritten the cost of more modern and 
powerful transmitting facilities since the earlier 25-watt transmitter 
had purportedly prevented a possible collision between two Union 
Pacific trains. This night was a triumph for the bishop and his 
radio station, but KFBU had been on the air prior to 1925. 

Wyoming's relative remoteness in the twenties makes the intro- 
duction of a radio by 1923 a somewhat remarkable achievement. 
The first of the broadcasting stations, KDKA, Pittsburgh, opened 
on November 2, 1920, according to Frederick Lewis Allen in his 
history of the 1920s, Only Yesterday. 

Allen is cited here because in a necessarily brief review of the 
impact of radio in America he specifically mentions that the rector 
of Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, Dr. Edwin J. Van Etten, 
"permitted the services at Calvary Church to be broadcasted."^ 

One who availed himself of the opportunity to speak over the 

1. Allen, F. L. Only Yesterday (Perennial Library, New York, 1964), 
page 64. The initial broadcast was on Sunday, January 2, 1921. 


radio as guest preacher was Bishop Thomas, missionary bishop of 
Wyoming. The experience, and hstener reaction to it, provided 
the bishop with the inspiration to use this new communication tool 
for the furtherance and expansion of his work in Wyoming. The 
thought was already planted in his mind and he mentioned it in a 
radio sermon from Calvary Church on Sunday, April 9, 1922. 

A letter from Wheeling, West Virginia, dated April 10 was a 
confirmation of the plans he had in mind : 

Rev. N. S. Thomas 
Pittsburg Pa. 
Dear Bishop: 

It was with great pleasure that Mrs. C. C. Woods, Mrs. W. W. 
Vardy and the undersigned, listened to your sermon last evening in 
Calvary Church Pittsburg by wireless at the residence of Mr. C. C. 
Woods of Park View this city. Was very distinct and greatly enjoyed, 
it's just simply wonderfuU, and we especially noted what you had to 
say about radiating from Laramie Wyoming and provided we are for- 
tunate enough and have the apparatus mi^t-it-not-be possible in the 
future to hear your sermons from there. Thanking you for so forceful 
an address, and trusting that we may have the pleasure again soon, 
we remain 

Yours truly 

Mrs. C. C. Woods 

Mrs. W. W. Vardy 
By W. W. Vardy 

The word was also delivered in Wyoming in a news story in the 
Wyoming State Tribune on Thursday, April 13, 1922, Headlined 
"Bishop Thomas Talks by Radio to People Far From His Pulpit," 
it read: 

At the Trinity Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Rt. Rev. 
Nathaniel S. Thomas, bishop of Wyoming, this week is delivering ser- 
mons that are heard by people in all parts of the country. The 
arrangement is made possible by the use of the radio-phone. 

The service takes place at 12:30 p.m. daily, so that it is heard by 
people in the Rocky Mountain section at 2:30. 

There is no record of the reception of these broadcasts by any- 
one in Wyoming, but a delayed message from a listener in Naper- 
viUe, Illinois, must have been encouraging. This member of the 
Naperville Radio Club sent the follov^ng penciled note on a 
"Radiogram" form to Bishop Thomas at Laramie dated April 19, 

Dear Rev: 

Am writing you to report the reception of your sermon here on 
Sunday nite April 9th. Your voice was easily understandable with one 
stage of amplification. 

I heard that part of your sermon where you referred to your plan of 
putting sets in each church of your jurisdiction. 

I would have wrote sooner but did not know your address. I ob- 
tained the same from the Chicago Daily Journal Apr. 20 writeup. 


I received church services the same day from Chicago and Pittsburg. 
Hoping to hear you again I remain 

Yours for radio 

J. A. Stoos 


Surely this convinced the Bishop, if he needed convincing, that 
if his voice could reach from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Naper- 
ville, Illinois, a broadcasting station of his own would indeed be 
able to cover the 97 thousand square miles of his missionary dis- 
trict. Accordingly he utilized the press. Page 13A of the Sunday, 
April 23, issue of the Kansas City Star carried this release: 


Science May Aid Services of Wyoming "Sky Pilots." 
NEW YORK, April 22. - Churchgoers in Wyoming will be served their 
sermons by radio if the plans of the Rt. Rev. Nathaniel Seymouth (sic) 
Thomas, D.D., Episcopal Missionary Bishop of Wyoming, mature. 

"What I want," he said here, "is a radio outfit which will carry 300 
or 400 miles. I will install it in the cathedral in Laramie and send to 
the small, scattered missions throughout the state the full service and 
sermon which we have there each Sunday. 

At the same time the bishop contacted Wyoming's delegation in 
the Congress. Telegrams were dispatched to Francis E. Warren, 
at that time chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, and 
to Frank W. Mondell, then floor leader of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. Both wrote to say that they were sending everything 
available. Mondell noted in his letter of April 25, "The recent 
unusual interest in radio matters reveals the fact that there is very 
little data of this sort published. I assume that it will not be long 
until there will be more of it and I shall keep in mind your interest 
when there is anything new." 

Senator Warren, having first answered by telegram (April 24) 
followed with a letter on the same date which said, in part: 

I am sending also a copy of two laws which have to do with public 
use of Government-owned radio stations; and also a copy of Senator 
Poindexter's bill which has been before the Committee on Naval 
Affairs for some time upon the subject of regulation of radio com- 
munication. Nothing whatsoever is being done with the Poindexter 
bill, so you need not give much time to its contents. I am sending it 
merely as a sort of "curiosity." 

"Curiosity" Bill S. 31 may have been, but its provisions for 
licensing, its recommendation for the creation of a national radio 
commission, and its insistence on strong regulatory controls were 
harbingers of the Federal Radio Commission which ultimately put 
KFBU, Laramie, off the air. 

With the "very httle data of this sort published" Bishop Thomas 
began to familiarize himself with the technical jargon of a radio- 
crazed nation. He gave thought, as well, to the method of support- 
ing his project financially and, in this same month of April 



broached initial plans to share facilities and costs of the operation 
with the University of Wyoming in Laramie. University President 
Aven Nelson responded to this overture favorably, indicating that 
"Our Board of Trustees meets next Tuesday, however, and I shall 
then lay the whole matter before that larger membership so as to 
give you an authoritative statement within a week." 

With these preliminaries cared for, Bishop Thomas began to 
negotiate for the actual purchase and installation of suitable equip- 
ment — at a suitable price. The New York City press release found 
its way into many printed sources, and alert suppliers quickly 
deluged the bishop with offers to sell him what he said he wanted, 

A letter from Webster Groves, St. Louis, Missouri, opened, 
"This morning's (April 21) telegraphic news announces your 
intention to procure a RADIO outfit . . ." and quotes the closing 
lines of the press release verbatim. The writer, William H. Forse, 
hand-wrote his proposal in near copper-plate script replete with 
underlinings, arrows, and key words printed in capital letters for 
em^phasis. He possessed 15 Marconi receiver-transmitters "re- 
moved from U.S. Submarinechasers, Navy Standard — Government 
guarantee of good condition" at the bargain price of $462.50 per 
unit plus freight. The proposal attracted the bishop sufficiently to 
respond, but with caution, and with an introduction aimed, one 
suspects, at impressing Mr. Forse that he was dealing with a man, 
bishop though he be, who had some knowledge both of business 
methods in general and radio in particular: 

May 3, 1922 
Wm. H. Forse, Esq., 
Auto Transport Company, 
St. Louis, Mo. 
My dear sir : 

I have your letter of the 21st on a letterhead with no address on 
it. I hope you will receive my letter. I suppose your letter comes 
from St. Louis. 

... I do not know whether those old Marconi transmitters, which 
are built for the purpose of transmitting dots and dashes over the 
Morse Code, are equipped for the best work in telephony. Is this a 
sparking or a continuous wave instrument? 
Sincerely yours, 

(N. S. Thomas) 

The letter was a bluff, if not a stalling tactic. It is difficult to 
determine the reason for the sarcastic opening lines. Forse's letter 
is quite decent. Perhaps his suggestion that "You'll have to reach 
a decision very promptly, and advise. Thus also you may combine 
commercial business — if so inclined, as a means of maintenance of 
the structure and equipment and emertainment — as well as SERV- 
ICE." The idea that commercialism and evangelism be mixed may 
have ruffled him. 

In spite of the confident-sounding technical queries, the bishop 


had written on the preceding day to the president of Westinghouse 
Electric & Mfg. Co.: 

I have just received the enclosed letter. I know nothing whatsoever 
about the Marconi transmitter. 

The bishop had met President Edwin M. Herr through a mutual 
friend while in Pittsburgh in April, and at that time had "a short 
talk" with him. The time had arrived for top-level professional 
help. He goes on: 

The fact that I was interested in a broadcasting station was a matter 
of general press report and has occasioned me to be bombarded on all 
sides by selling agencies who have one thing and another to dispose of. 
... If this Governatorial^ instrument will do the work, it seems as 
tho it were an opportunity to purchase a $3000 instrument for $462.60 
I should value an expert opinion from any of your engineers to 
whom you might care to refer it. 


/%/ N. S. Thomas 

The letter, however, was never mailed. The signed original and 
the stamped, addressed envelope are still in the KFBU file in 

The bishop abandoned the idea of using Marconi instruments 
when he discovered an inquiry from a source closer to him, the 
Radio Distributing Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. The com- 
pany's president, Rulon S. Howells, informed Bishop Thomas that 
his concern was the distributor for Westinghouse equipment as well 
as other makes. In responding to this letter the bishop again took 
express pains to establish his own position and connections : 

I think I should like a Westinghouse machine. I had a talk with the 
President of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, 
Mr. Kerr, v/hen I was in Pittsburgh and went over his projecting sta- 
tion. [ wanted to buy a machine of him, but he told me that the Radio 
(Distributing Company?) was the selling company of his out put.^ 

Mr. Howells quickly replied to the effect that a broadcasting 
station v/ould run about $800, and receiving sets about $215 each. 

2. sic Random House Unabridged Dictionary lists no such word. 

3. The question may be raised as to why the correspondence with Mr. 
Forse in Webster Groves took place at all. First, the "war surplus" goods 
had the promise of being a good bargain. Secondly, having just returned 
from an extended trip in the east the Bishop's mail was doubtlessly piled on 
his desk in order. He would well have dictated letters to Mr. Forse before 
realizing that Radio Distributing Company was the outlet already recom- 
mended to him by the Westinghouse president. The letter quoted from here 
is addressed simply to 'The Radio Company" in Salt Lake. This would also 
account for failure to mail the letter to Mr. Herr (or Kerr) in Pittsburgh. 
It would hardly do to make inquiries about other equipment without having 
first investigated the recommendation made verbally by the top man at 


Thomas' answer to this is not available, but it was responded to 
by telegram: 

We can meet all requirements as specified in your letter . . . STOP 
Total cost two thousand two hundred dollars installation charges extra 
STOP This price includes every item for a complete broadcasting 
station and the four receiving sets specified STOP 

The cost of all this seemed to upset the bishop. He complains that 
having recently visited the University of Colorado at Boulder he 
found that "their broadcasting station has cost them between $200 
and $300, and that their broadcasts are heard in Texas and else- 
where at a distance of more than a thousand miles." Nor was he 
completely satisfied with the power and capability of the receiving 
sets. "For that sum," he wrote, "Kansas City is advertising a 
Receiving Set with two amplifiers which will pick up Catalina and 
Pittsburgh, when the static is at all favorable."* 

At any rate, the bishop promised to visit Salt Lake in person to 
discuss the matter further, and having done so, wrote Howells to 
proceed with the work. 

Howells sent a letter informing the bishop that his company 
would arrange for all details in connection with applying for the 
broadcast license which had to be negotiated through San Francisco 
and required detailed technical data. He also enclosed a contract, 
the financial provisions of which irritated the bishop exceedingly. 
The agreement virtually called for payment in advance. Thomas 
said he would pay only when the equipment was "on the ground" 
in Laramie. 

A lively exchange of letters and telegrams ensued. In the midst 
of it the bishop left on another trip, and, discovering on his return 
that Radio Distributing Company was in a new location sharing 
space with another firm, his suspicions grew. 

In vain Mr. Howells sought to explain. His suppliers operated 
on a cash-in-advance basis; the move was temporary pending the 
completion of larger quarters made necessary by the mushrooming 
demand for radio equipment; his bankers at Zion Savings Bank 
and Trust Company would (and did) testify to his integrity; he 
would agree to wait for payment until the government approved 
the license application, but no later. 

On June 15 the bishop rejected all proposals and announced that 
he would decline to sign the contract. In fact "I have this day 

4. The mention of Catalina Island is suggestive. Later, when writing of 
the events of the blizzard and KFBU's part in averting the Union Pacific 
wreck, the version was that the signal from Laramie was picked up in 
Catalina Island and relayed. (A phrase "from Catalina to Pittsburgh" would 
have appealed to Bishop Thomas and would have perhaps prompted the 
later error. 


given order to a gentleman in Laramie to install my broadcasting 
station for me."^ 

The gentleman was Warner N. Crosby. He was actually an 
engineering student at the University of Wyoming. He held a 
second-grade commercial license for radio which was one of the 
requirements necessary for procuring a broadcasting license. Pick- 
ing up parts in Laramie and Denver, Crosby worked from July 1 
through October installing his built-from-scratch unit in three 
rooms of the basement of St. Matthew's Cathedral. With a qual- 
ified operator and the requisite technical data available the license 
to broadcast was duly applied for and was issued on October 3, 
1922. The license, granted for three months, shows that the power 
to the antenna was 10 watts, and its estimated normal day range 
was 25 nautical miles. The call letters assigned were KFBU.'' 

An accounting of construction costs for material alone through 
October 20 reveal that $1378.96 had been expended for a unit 
which could deliver only 10 watts of power to its antenna. 

Bishop Thomas, enroute to General Convention, in September 
wrote a note to his secretary, Alice Caldwell, and enclosed some 
"cheques" to pay bills on the radio. He cautioned her to make no 
more payments to the Crosby Radio Shop, but rather to the 
suppliers direct. He added: 

Mr. Crosby seems an excellent young man but I know nothing of 
his financial responsibility. 

It was a great joy to see Mrs. Thomas. 

Be sure to send Mr. Hardin and Mr. Beatty Confirmation Blanks, 
and Mr. Beatty 25 Baptismal Certificates, 

/s/ N. S. Thomas 

The last two sentences of this note written on a train are hints 
of the larger perspective in which this account must be weighed. 

The radio project was only one of the manifold activities of 
Bishop Thomas. As a missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church 


5. Some weeks later, on August 23, 1922, Howells, on the letterhead of 
his new company, Western Radio Sales Co., wrote Bishop Thomas to inform 
him that he had an assembled transmitter for sale at $700 and asked to be 
informed if the bishop was interested or not. Thomas evidently did not 
reply at all. Salt Lake exacted a measure of revenge later when the ASCAP 
office in Salt Lake reprimanded the bishop for trying to introduce commer- 
cial messages on his non-commercial station! 

6. Licenses were then issued by the Department of Commerce and were 
jointly signed by its secretary and the Commissioner of Navigation. Naval 
influence on radio was marked at this point, strongly so in the Poindexter 
Bill supra. 

The call letters appear to have been assigned arbitrarily. The first letter, 
K, then as now, was common to all stations in the West. 

It occurs to this writer, in pure fancy, the "FBU" could be considered to 
mean "Forceful Bishop's Undertaking." 


he was immersed in the pastoral and administrative responsibilities 
of his own jurisdiction, Wyoming, and had financial accountings 
and missionary speaking responsibilities to the Domestic and For- 
eign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church in its New York 
headquarters. (It was this body which financed the deficits of the 
missionary areas.) He was prominent in the organizational hfe 
of the Episcopal Church, was a powerful and much sought after 
speaker throughout the country. His wife was in poor health, a 
circumstance which was to delay the bishop's close contact with 
his radio station's growth and development. 

The railroad journey was probably to Portland, Oregon, where 
the Episcopal Church was holding its triennial General Convention. 
In addition to the crowded agenda of such meetings Thomas took 
part in a ceremony which normally would have been a part of the 
renowned Portland Rose Festival held earlier in the year, but which 
had been deferred until convention time for special reasons. The 
winner of the gold medal for the season's best rose was George C. 
Thomas of Philadelphia. It was to be named, in honor of his 
mother, "The Mrs. George C. Thomas Rose." 

Reporting the event, the Portland Oregonian September 17, 
1922, stated: 

Bishop Thomas, one of the most finished speakers who has ever 
graced the platform of the auditorium, delivered a masterful and 
beautiful address on the history of the rose, its association with his- 
tory, art and religicnJ 

Not mentioned in the newspaper account was the warm tribute 
paid by Bishop Thomas to the winner's father, and the honoree's 
husband, George C. Thomas, Sr. The senior Thomas had been the 
treasurer of the Episcopal Church's missionary board for many 
years, and had been a member of the Reverend Nathaniel Thomas' 
parish in Philadelphia prior to the latter's election as missionary 
bishop of V/yoming. 

Meantime, in Laramie, young Crosby labored with KFBU's 
tubes, batteries, generator and condensers. When the bishop, now 
an honorary member of the Portland Rosarians, returned home, 
harsher realities of life awaited. A letter from the present mission- 
ary board treasurer relayed a demand for information on the 
bishop's and Wyoming's indebtedness. Thomas replied with a list 
stating that he was trying to get "six per cent money in sufficient 
amounts to take up this eight per cent money" already borrowed 
against the time when the next mission board appropriation was 
expected. He concluded: 

7. The extract from the Oregonian plus the full text of the Bishop's 
address appear in The Wyoming Churchman, October, 1922, issue pp. 11-13. 


So far as I can foresee the future, I shall have no large ventures on 
hand for some years to come, so when this indebtedness is paid I shall 
have a notable reduction in my budget. 

Had George C. Thomas still been treasurer, the Wyoming bishop 
might have received more sympathetic inquiries from New York. 
Such problems did not completely turn his attention away from 
KFBU. In October he wrote several letters dealing with the 
minutiae of stringing the antenna wires from the cathedral spire. 
He obtained the data on wind velocities from the Cheyenne weather 
bureau to determine how sturdy a tower or pole would have to be 
to support it. At least, in October, KFBU was transmitting on an 
experimental basis, but this raised new difficulties about which the 
bishop felt compelled to write at length to Crosby. 

There had been no written agreement between the two men. 
Now the bishop felt the time had come, since "Such a steady stream 
of complaints have come to my ears with reference to your opera- 
tion of my radio . . ." 

Criticism still comes from the street that our experimentation is a 
nuisance to others who are listening in. The last criticism was that 
Mr. Mondell'sS speech in Denver, which was broadcasted, was so inter- 
rupted by us that it was not heard. Now it seems to me that your 
experimentation with broadcasting should be done when you have a 
definite listener in at some other than the time that the main broad- 
casting stations are operating. One reason why I am permitting any 
broadcasting at the present time is that you should be sufficiently 
familiar with your apparatus, so that when our own extended program 
is ready for broadcasting, it may be well done from the start. Broad- 
casting for the amusement of your admiring gallery must stop. . . 
Now I want this private performance in the little room containing our 
property stopped, and any receiving in the future for outsiders must 
be done in the main room where the large receiving set with its mag- 
nifiers are to be installed. If you will, kindly put the soft pedal on 
your broadcasting from now on until such time as we have our main 
aerial up and broadcasting is of some value, and address your attention 
to putting in a receiving set of such merit that the people of the city 
may avail themselves of it, I shall be pleased. 

This letter dated November 1 was rewritten two days later, but 
was not changed much. The bishop clarified his last statement 
quoted above in the second version: 

Will you install our large receiving set in the main room downstairs 
and so adjust its magnifying equipment that what is received can be 
heard throughout the room; when this is done I wish the public to be 
invited nightly to hear whatever may be broadcasted. 

Accompanying this second letter was an agreement which dealt 
with complaints and directives to Crosby. But its first clause was a 
real shock: 

8. Congressman Frank Mondell of Wyoming. 


The party of the second part (Crosby) will fashion, assemble and 
operate the radio apparatus . . . free of all monitory (sic) charge by 
way of salary, bonus or commission. That as a return for this, the 
party of the first party (N. S. Thomas) will grant unto the party of 
the second part all privileges which such broadcasting from such a 
station will permit him in the selling of receiving sets and other radio 
apparatus, as may result from the advantageous position which the 
broadcaster of this station possesses. 

The bishop was pinching pennies and obstreperous operators with 
a vengeance! 

The agreement further provided for Crosby's supervision by 
a broadcasting committee of the Cathedral, "the Chairman of 
which ... is Mr. Thurmond (sic) Arnold of this city."^ 

A letter to Thurman Arnold, dated November 4, runs as follows: 

My dear Mr. Arnold: 

I am inclined to think we ought to have a Chairman on the 
Radio equipment, to act as a control of Mr. Crosby in the interest of 
our broadcasting. Mr. Crosby is an ardent, energetic young man but 
I think he lacks experience and the education necessary to properly 
obtain the best results with the equipment which have and hope to 
have. As the work of the Committee, so far as efficiency is concerned, 
will depend upon the excellence of the broadcasting, I am convinced 
that we should have another sub-committee under your general 
chairmanship having to do with the equipment. I do not know 
whether Mr. Bellamy will serve, but I think your persuasive offices 
will be compelling. 

Ben C. Bellamy, still living in Laramie, was persuasively com- 
pelled. "The last time I saw Thurman before he died," he recalls, 
"we had a drink to old KFBU." Bellamy worked with Crosby, 
particularly with the generators, in an effort to increase the trans- 
mitter's power and range. 

The station was due to have an unusual test of its output. On 

9. This was Thurman Arnold (1891-1969), who at the time was practic- 
ing law in Laramie with his father. He was elected mayor of Laramie in 
1923, called to be dean of the Law College of the University of West 
Virginia in 1927, invited to join the Law Faculty of Yale University in 
1930, sworn in as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust 
Division in 1938. From this position he was appointed to the Federal 
Appellate Bench, but resigned to work in his own law firm wdth partners 
Abe Fortas and Paul Porter, among others. 

The author is indebted to Messrs. Fortas and Porter for a printed booklet 
of personal reminiscences of Thurman Arnold's life and work originally 
given at a memorial service for him at the National Cathedral, Washington, 
D. C, November 20, 1969. 

The author was present on that occasion, and earlier had officiated at 
Thurman Arnold's burial service and committal at St. Matthew's Cathedral, 
November 10, 1969. 

None of those present recalled, one suspects, that the service was being 
held directly above the old radio rooms, the behavior of whose operator Mr. 
Arnold had been invited to regulate. 


the night of November 5, 1922, the south-eastern portions of 
Wyoming was subjected to a severe snow storm. A Union Pacific 
freight train left Laramie, eastbound for Cheyenne, the route pass- 
ing over Sherman Hill at over 8000 feet, highest point on the line. 
The freight train, delayed by blowing snow and poor visibility, had 
been ordered to enter a siding but before accomplishing the 
maneuver, was rammed from the rear by a double-headed express 
train, blocking the tracks completely. An employee, returning to 
Laramie, brought news of the derailment, but it was not possible to 
communicate with Cheyenne as the telegraph and other wires were 
"down" due to the storm. 

To add almost too much drama to a serious situation William M. 
Jeffers, vice-president and general manager of the Union Pacific, 
was in Laramie. The Wyoming Churchman of November, 1922, 
gave this concise account: 

When the word reached here of the wreck early Sunday morning, 
and General Manager Jeffers realized that the wires were all down 
and that it was impossible to get into communication with Cheyenne, 
he got into touch with Mrs. N. S. Thomas and through her with the 
operator of the Cathedral sending station, W. R. (sic) Crosby. Mr. 
Crosby, although it was 2 o'clock in the morning, went to work at once 
in an effort to get communication with either a receiving station at 
Cheyenne or at Rawlins. When he could get no answer he tried 
Denver, and that failing he picked up an amateur station, 9 ANQ, at 
Kansas City. The operators there got word to the Union Pacific office 
and a message was in turn sent back to the office at Cheyenne, the 
wires being all right from that direction, and the wrecker was started 
on its way. (See Appendix B) 

A few days later the bishop dictated two letters : 

November 9, 1922 
W. M. Jeffries (sic), Esq., 
General Manager 
Union Pacific Railroad Co., 
1408 Dodge St., 
Omaha, Nebr. 
My dear Mr. Jeffries (sic) : 

I was very glad indeed that our limited radio equipment was 
sufficient to assist you in your work for humanity the other night. I 
want you to know that this radio will always be open for your use, 
and for the use of anybody, without charge whatsoever. 

I am quite displeased with Mr. Crosby for sending you a bill without 
my knowing it, altho he says you were kind enough to request him to 
send you a bill and that you would see that it was paid. I want you 
to know that there is no bill for services rendered. If you feel that the 
case was unusual in that it got Mr. Crosby out of bed, and you want 
to make him a personal gift, that is purely a personal matter with 
which I am not concerned, but I want you to know that no bill can go 
out from the Cathedral for services rendered. This position we have 
taken for all people, let alone the Union Pacific Railroad Company, 
to which I am indebted for many things, in many directions. 

With warm personal regards, believe me, 


November 9, 1922 
Mr. B. C. Bellamy, 
Laramie, Wyo. 
My dear Mr. Bellamy: 

Mr. Crosby has left bag and baggage, taking with him every- 
thing that he says is his. I should like to have a complete inventory 
taken . . . and should like your advice as to the next step we should 

... A short time ago he told me that there was nothing here that 
was his. Today it looks as though he had taken everything in sight. 

Faithfully yours, 

Twelve days later he wrote Bellamy again to ascertain what 
progress was being made on "procuring a broadcaster for our 
projecting apparatus." During December he wrote several com- 
panies, as well as his Philadelphia architect Walter H. Thomas, 
for information on steel girder towers to support a larger antenna. 
The averted train wreck incident languished (to be used later with 
telling effect), and Mr. Crosby disappeared from active association 
with the bishop and KFBU. Crosby is truly KFBU's "forgotten 

Mrs. Thomas' critical state of health would shortly require an 
extended trip out of the country accompanied by her husband. 
But in nine months Bishop Thomas had seen his dream become 
near reahty. KFBU existed. It had been of service during a 
railroad catastrophe, but it was not yet "on the air." 


The year 1923 found Mrs. Thomas in such poor health that she 
was advised to take a long rest at lower altitudes. As a result the 
bishop and his wife left Wyoming for Europe on an extended trip 
of nearly nine months, visiting Spain, Italy, Greece, the Holy Land 
and Egypt. 

The fortunes of KFBU hung in suspension until rather late in 
the year. While this state of affairs existed, however, there was an 
item of interest published in the April, 1923 issue of The Wyoming 
Churchman as the lead article of the column "General Church 
News : " 

On the afternoon of Easter Day, Bishop Anderson of Chicago de- 
livered an Easter message throu^ the agency of the Westin^ouse 
Radiophone Broadcasting Station KYW. It is estimated that one 
hundred thousand persons heard the sermon. 

It is doubtful that the story was a "plant" to keep readers of the 
Churchman interested in KFBU. With the exception of the account 
of the use of the radio to avert the train wreck, virtually no mention 
was made of KFBU in the monthly pubhcation of the missionary 
district of Wyoming. 

Though it could hardly be appreciated at the time, it was a young 
engineer from KYW who came to Laramie in 1925 and was killed 


while installing the new equipment provided by Mrs. Edward 
Harriman. Enroute to his Mediterranean trip the bishop had 
stopped in New York where he met Mrs. Harriman. In fact he 
and Mrs. Thomas were guests in the Harriman home, and it was at 
this time that the generous widow-philanthropist mentioned that if 
the bishop was ever in particular need she v/ould try to help him. 
The conversation must have been a far-ranging one for the follow- 
ing appeared in the Laramie Boomerang on May 12, 1923: 


Coming as the most startling bit of information uncovered here in 
recent years is the news that Laramie has virtually been selected as 
the location for a $1,000,000 Episcopal seminary which Mrs. E. H. 
• Harriman, widow of the late railroad magnate whose foresight and 
confidence in the West brought about the building of the Union 
Pacific Railroad into the gigantic system it is today, hopes to build, 
in fulfillment of her life-long wishes to erect and maintain an institu- 
tion of higher learning for young women of Episcopal faith. 

WTiile the information comes as a rumor and without confirmation 
by members of the church, it is regarded as a well-founded report, 
coming on what is believed to be good authority, and that it will 
eventually be authenticated by a formal announcement to be made 
with the perfection of Mrs. Harriman's plans is believed certain. 

It is understood that the idea of establishing the academy at Laramie 
was conceived by Bishop N. S. Thomas of the Wyoming diocese, who 
is at present on a tour of Europe, and that upon his return to this 
country or some other time shortly thereafter will assist Mrs. 
Harriman in drafting final plans. 

Since it was not the habit of the bishop to release anything about 
his plans until they were fully implemented and underwritten, it is 
as well that he was "in Europe" when this news was leaked. 
Someone's angrily-held pencil circled the phrases "as a rumor", 
"without confirmation," and "what is believed to be good author- 
ity" in the clipping kept on file. 

The publication of news such as quoted above would have had 
embarrassing local effects, for the bishop already had an academy 
for girls in Laramie. 

Just a few years earlier Edward Ivinson, pioneer merchant and 
banker of Laramie, had turned his mansion and carriage house, 
together with the entire city block they rested upon, to the bishop 
and the Episcopal Church. The property was to become "The 
Jane Ivinson Memorial Hall, The Cathedral School for Girls," and 
was intended primarily to serve girls from isolated ranching areas. 
The girls attended the University school, lived at "Ivinson Hall," 
as it was later, and more popularly called, and there received not 
only living quarters and supervision, but religious training and the 
"social graces" as well. 

Ivinson had made the gift, but had not given title to the property. 
At the age of 93 Ivinson remarried and, according to Bishop 
Thomas' correspondence, his new wife, when she discovered that 


the deed had not been conveyed to the church, "stripped the house 
not only of its furniture, but of its electrical fixtures, cellar equip- 
ment and carpets." To replace all this and do other remodeling 
cost over $21,000. Mrs. Thomas gave $7,000 in cash plus a 
good deal of furniture from her own home. The balance was 
borrowed and by October, 1923, the banks wanted their money. 
The bishop turned to Mrs. Harriman and others for the funds to 
liquidate the loan. Whether or not the story of the million-dollar 
seminary brought this crisis to such a level can only be con- 

By December the bishop was able to turn again to his radio 
station. KFBU's license was renewed and permission was given 
by the radio inspector in Seattle to transmit experimentally before 
10 a.m. or after midnight. 

To replace Warner Crosby the bishop turned again to the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming and enlisted the services of Earl R. Witzel, 
instructor of applied electricity and mechanics. It was under 
Witzei's operation that KFBU went on the air regularly with a 
power of 25 watts. 

The first broadcast of a church service took place on February 
17, 1924. The sermon was delivered by the Very Rev. William 
Scarlett, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis. A second 
sermon was preached in the evening by Dean Thomberry of St. 
Matthew's Cathedral. 

One response to the initial program was sufficient to revive the 
enthusiasm of the bishop measurably. Dr. and Mrs. Eager at the 
Kansas State Hospital, Topeka, wrote to the bishop the following 
day inquiring about the station and asking for programs and times 
since "We are kept pretty close here attending the sick . . . and it 
is such a treat and so enjoyable when we can 'tune in' to your good 
programs . . . and spend a restful evening after our day's work 
is done." 

The bishop quickly wrote to Frank Burrage as his publicity 
chairman for radio broadcasting'^ to take a more direct hand in 
the broadcasts. 

I wish you would get in touch with the Mayori2 and find out what 
publicity he wishes given to secular week day programs, which I think 
he now has in hand. May I also suggest that you act instead of Prof. 
Witzel as the publicist (i.e. announcer). Word has reached me that 
he is a little too lengthy in his announcements. 

10. Mrs. Harriman did not furnish the money. A grant from hard- 
pressed Episcopal Church headquarters eased the burden of this and other 
obligations early in 1924. Wyoming's economy and its banks were also in 
trouble this year. 

11. Burrage was also editor and publisher of the Laramie Republican- 

1 2. Thurman Arnold. 


The letter continued with such niceties as suggesting to Burrage 
that when hymns were announced not only was the number in the 
Episcopal hymnal to be given, but the corresponding numbers in 
the Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran as well so that "people 
can take down the numbers, get their own Hymn Books and have 
a part in the service." The bishop also suggested a signal system 
using fiashUghts so that the choir could be cued to come into the 
Cathedral after all these announcements had been made by the 
"publicist." Another long memorandum was directed to his 
executive secretary, Robert Home, to arrange for programs on 
public health, agricultural information, weather reports, book re- 
views (by a professor at the University), music and lastly a chair- 
man of a committee on lectures "so as to capture any famous 
person in town," including political speakers since this was a 
presidential campaign year. 

The bishop went on the air on March 2, preaching on a regular 
Sunday broadcast, and again the following Wednesday evening, 
it being Ash Wednesday. Some days later the bishop wrote to 
Witzel to say that he had received a letter from Dixon, Wyoming, 
to the effect that broadcasts from Texas could be received, but not 
from Laramie. He wondered if the "aerial is right for broadcasting 
in our own territory." 

He sought Witzel's advice on moving the location, erecting two 
aerials "with counterpoises if necessary. "^^ In conclusion he wrote: 

I do not like to throw good money after bad, but on the other hand 
as we are using our radio at the present time I do not believe it justifies 
the original expense nor the labor you are putting into it. My feeling 
is that we should greatly improve our service or abandon it. I am not 
however temperamentally so constituted as to abandon anything that I 
once take hold of. 

Witzel was sympathetic. A new 500-watt station would cost 
about $10,000 but he felt that he could sell some of the present 
equipment, add new parts to increase the power and build a new 
antenna placed in such a way that the signal would be stronger in 
Wyoming. The cost of this would be about $2,500. He also 
noted that KFBU was occasionally heard in Sheridan, approxi- 
mately 240 air miles to the north, but only at night. Witzel had a 
deep concern for KFBU. He advised Bishop Thomas to get a 
couple of licensed operators who lived in Laramie. His own 
future was uncertain in that his job was training men from the 
Veteran's Bureau, and its contract with the University might not be 
renewed the following year. Then he added this comment which 

13. A counterpoise is "a network of wires or other conductors connected 
to the base of an antenna, used as a substitute for the ground connection." 
Random House Dictionary of the English Language. 


may well have been the genesis of the motto which later was used 
by KFBU: 

Another suggestion would be immediate publicity announcing the 
erection of 'The highest broadcasting station in the world . . ." 
. . . But of course the first thing is the station of sufficient volume such 
that it will be a pleasure to listen to rather than the Banjo Kids, etc. 

Witzel also asured the bishop that he "would operate your set 
for one Sunday service each week without charge for my time and 
keep the storage batteries properly charged during the summer. ^^ 

The broadcasting continued with Witzel working to improve the 
existing equipment. Readers of The Wyoming Churchman saw 
more frequent reference to the Cathedral radio station. The Easter 
services had been heard at nearby ranches. The University win- 
ners in academic contests came to the studio and performed their 
winning speeches, vocal and instrumental selections. Several per- 
sons phoned in to say they had received this program. In Novem- 
ber the Red Cross cause was publicized by KFBU. The students 
at the Episcopalian Club in Laramie rendered a program of college 
songs and yells and also a vesper service every Sunday. 

The greatest outreach of all occurred at Christmas when the 
midnight service at the Cathedral was picked up by a listener in 
Montclair, New Jersey, who wrote a card to Witzel. 

The Laramie Republican-Boomerang carried the story and 
observed : 

This is the farthest which these services have been heard, to the 
knowledge of Mr. Witzel, and is a very great distance, considering the 
size of the station, which seems to prove that the altitude of this city 
is an aid to long-distance transmission. i"* 

The bishop had been "in the east" speaking on the missionary 
work of "his Church," from mid-September through December 4. 
It seems quite likely that during this period the bishop met Mrs. 
Harriman again. Personal contact and conversation (for there are 
no letters to or from Mrs. Harriman in the files), Witzel's cost 
estimate for a new broadcasting plant, the bishop's determination 
not to "abandon anything that I once take hold of," and the 
recollection that KFBU once aided the Union Pacific Railroad, 
combined to bring forth a suitable response from the wealthy 
benefactress. KFBU and the bishop of Wyoming were on the 
threshold of an almost unbelievable new year, 


The year 1925 was undoubtedly the zenith of Nathaniel S. 
Thomas' tenure as bishop of Wyoming. The Convocation of the 

14. Letter of April 25, 1924. 

15. Reprinted in the Wyoming Churchman, February, 1925, p. 5. 


Missionary District of Wyoming met in Casper on February 11 
and 12. St. Mark's, the host church, was the largest parish in the 
district, and had just completed and opened a new $120,000 
church. Designed by the bishop's "favorite" architect, Walter H. 
Thomas of Philadelphia, the bishop described it as "the finest 
parish church west of the Allegheny Mountains.^*' 

In this setting the bishop could, and did, communicate to the 
representatives of his jurisdiction some dramatic information. 

So 1925 Convocation's note was one of joy and thankfulness for 
notable material achievement . . . Bishop Thomas, in his address, 
announced the other good news. The munificent gift of $200,000 for 
the erection of Sherwood Hall by Mrs. Mary Sherwood Blodgett; the 
gift of $15,000 by Charles B. Voorhis for the erection of a dormitory 
for Ivinson Hall; the gift to enlarge the Cathedral broadcasting station 
KFBU from 25-watt to 500-watt power; the erection and dedication of 
the Memorial Peace Cross in the Cathedral Square at Laramie; the 
purchase of a residence for the student pastor at Laramie at a cost of 
$12,000; the progress of the drive for $50,000 for the Cathedral Home 
for Children at Laramie, were the details of the cause for praise and 
thanks to God for His blessings in splendid achievement of the past 
year and for future plans. With devout thankfulness Convocation 
sang its Gloria in Excelsis at the great opening service of its sessions. i" 

The bishop apparently did not sing the pubhc praise of Mrs. 
Harriman. A brief article in the same issue of the Wyoming 
Churchman identified the donor simply as Mrs. Edward Harriman. 
No further reason or identification was given. In his correspond- 
ence, however, he referred on February 18 to the situation: 

Mrs. Harriman has given me $12,000 for a new 500-watt broad- 
casting station, so 1925 has been a wonderfully memorable year, as 
indeed it ought to be as it is the sixteenth-hundredth anniversary of 
the Council of 

Later, in May and June, he said much the same in letters to Will 
Coe, but it was more or less in passing as he was pressing Coe for 
the $25,000 to match what was being raised locally for the 
Cathedral Home and was being gallant about Coe's unsuccessful 
effort to have him elected as bishop of Long Island. With the 
year unfolding in such promising fashion the bishop could be 
casual about the possibility of a translation to the eastern seaboard. 

It may now be apparent that KFBU was only one of several 
items claiming the bishop's attention in 1925. It consisted of only 

16. The Wyoming Churchman, March, 1925, p. 1 

17. Ibid., p. 4. 

18. Letter to Grace Scoville, 10 East 52nd Street, New York, February 
18, 1925, Miss Scoville was one of the bishop's major underwriters for 
favorite projects large and small. Together with William Robertson Coe 
and Charles B. Voorhis, Miss Scoville was a member of the trio of con- 
tributors to whom the bishop immediately turned when a new plan came 
to mind. 


a part of a greater dream to provide a religious, academic and 
cultural complex in the city of Laramie, Wyoming, most of it 
centered on a square block in the downtown area where the 
cathedral stood. The dreams were acquiring some substance and 
Laramie was not unaware. Editor Burrage of the Republican- 
Boomerang printed the following editorial: 

The announcement in this evening's Republican Boomerang of the 
immediate construction of Sherwood Hall on the Cathedral Square, 
following so closely upon the other improvements contemplated by 
Bishop Thomas — these building operations, coupled with those al- 
ready noted in these columns in the way of commercial buildings and 
houses, are a splendid indication that the wonderful record made by 
Laramie in 1924 is likely to be surpassed in 1925 . . . 

In this connection a word of appreciation should be expressed to 
Bishop Thomas for his activities in this line. Not only is Bishop 
Thomas a man of vision, a man who builds as much for the future as 
for the immediate present, but he is also one of those rare men who 
combine with his vision the ability to translate his dreams into realities. 
Many a man can build great air castles, plans which look well on 
paper and sound well when described, but most of us when it comes to 
turning these dream children into brick and stone do not get beyond 
the first steps of enthusiasm. Not so the Bishop. Convinced of the 
feasibility of his schemes he is able to make others see them from his 
own viewpoint and, since those he selects to help him have the means 
to do so, it is indeed a happy outcome that attends his efforts . . .i» 

The bishop, since the February convocation, had already taken 
one extended trip to St. Louis and New Orleans. Now he departed 
for a series of confirmation visitations in the state which found him 
in a different community in Wyoming virtually daily from March 
21 to May 25. While he was on this demanding itinerary further 
news was released. Charles B. Voorhis "of Kenosha, Wis. and 
Dubois, Wyo.," in addition to previously announced gifts, was 
now giving a $30,000 organ to St. Matthew's Cathedral. This was 
a delayed announcement according to the Laramie Republican- 
Boomerang as quoted in The Wyoming Churchman:^^ 

This became known to a member of the Republican-Boomerang 
staff some time before the visit here a week or two ago of Ernest S. 
Skinner . . . one of the world's leading authorities on organ building, 
but at the request of certain church officials, was not published at the 
time, pending completion of the arrangements. 

". . . the specifications were drawn up by Mr. Skinner, in conjunc- 

19. Laramie Republican Boomerang, March 20, 1925. 

20. April, 1925, p. 6. The interviewee in the second paragraph was 
William Green, formerly an organist at York Minster, England. Bishop 
Thomas met him in Rome in 1923 and arranged to have him come to 
Laramie. He planned to have Green become principal organist at the 
Cathedral and teach at the University. The Cathedral Vestry and the 
University were not amenable to these plans, and Green was made principal 
of Sherwood Hall. This was not suitable, and Green later left for a post in 


tion with Bishop Thomas, Professor Frisbie and myself with the two- 
fold purpose of having an organ worthy of the Cathedral, and also an 
organ eminently suited for broadcasting work." 

The bishop returned to Laramie in June to take part in a summer 
school for clergy and church workers which he had plaimed to 
make an annual affair. After its successful inaugural there was a 
visit by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Right 
Reverend Ethelbert Talbot who earlier had been bishop of Wyo- 
ming. Bishop Thomas must have been particularly pleased to have 
his eminent predecessor return to Laramie in this auspicious year. 

The Thomases then left for another trip through Wyoming, a 
combination of holiday and official visitation. The noteworthy 
event was the dedication of the Chapel of the Transfiguration at 
Menor's Ferry in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.-^ 

This small log chapel with a reredos window framing the prin- 
cipal peaks of the Teton Range was planned by the Reverend Royal 
H. Balcom, a clergyman who functioned as an administrative 
assistant and "trouble-shooter" for Bishop Thomas. 

Balcom had functioned in this role at the Church's mission on 
the Wind River Indian Reservation. Having straightened out 
matters at St. Michael's, Ethete, he was dispatched by the bishop 
to a similar task in Jackson Hole. Balcom's recollection of the 
use of a plate glass window behind the altar at Ethete's log chapel, 
("Our Father's House," the Arapaho Indians called it) suggested 
its use at Menor's Ferry. It was, and still is, one of the popular 
tourist attractions in Wyoming. 

Balcom was now called to Laramie by the bishop and given the 
title of archdeacon. He needed someone to supervise the many 
projects in Laramie, including the radio station. The actual 
installation of the equipment was contracted to the Western Radio 
Corporation of Denver. This company was formed by George S. 
Walker, and his son, George DeForest Walker, to build and oper- 
ate KFAF, a 550-watt station in Denver. To construct and 
operate KFAF the Walkers engaged Elden F. Horn from the 
Westinghouse Company in Chicago. With his arrival an arrange- 
ment was made with The Denver Post and other individuals where- 
by a new corporation, Mountain States Radio Company was 
created. In Bishop Thomas' scrapbook there is an undated clip- 
ping from the Post which introduced Horn to its readership. Horn 
was to write articles on radio for the Post and readers were urged 
to listen to the Tuesday and Friday night concert programs as weU 
as music and "The Post flashes of late news events, baseball scores, 
sports, market and weather conditions" every night except Thurs- 
day from 8 to 9 p.m. 

21. Funds to complete this chapel were contributed by Charles B. 
Voorhis, The Wyoming Churchman, February, 1926, p. 20. 


Concerning Horn's credentials, the article stated: 

Mr. Horn supervised the construction and was the operator at the 
famous Westinghouse broadcasting station, KYW, in Chicago, up until 
the first of May, when George S. Walker, president of the Western 
Radio Corporation, secured his services to construct and operate 

A photograph with the story shows Horn to be a young man of 
studious demeanor wearing pince-nez glasses. It was this expert 
who came to Laramie to construct the enlarged KFBU. 

The bishop, meantime, was enroute to another general conven- 
tion of the Episcopal Church meeting in New Orleans. Character- 
istically, he traveled there via Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York 
and Washington, D. C, visiting seminaries, attending a wedding — 
very likely — calling on his financial friends, Coe, Miss Scoville and, 
possibly, Mrs. Harriman. 

Three years earUer the bishop had been in attendance at a 
similar church convention when the original KFBU was being built 
and the incident of Warner Crosby's emergency message paved the 
way for the construction of the improved KFBU. 

Now a second dramatic incident followed the first, just three 
years (lacking a week) later. On October 29, Elden Horn was 
electrocuted while installing KFBU's new generators. 

Elden F. Horn, aged 26, a native of Chicago and the business part- 
ner of Bernard L. White of Denver in the Mountain States Radio 
EHstributing Company of that city, was instantly killed Tuesday night, 
October 29th, at 10:50, while adding the finishing touches to the radio 
broadcasting station at St. Matthew's cathedral. 

. . . The body of Mr. Horn received the full shock of 7,500 high 
volts, 1,080 kilocycles, and he perhaps never knew just what had 
happened . . . 

Mr. Horn, although still a very young man, was considered one of 
the most eminent radio engineers in the United States. He refused an 
offer of $8,000 a year to join with Mr. White in the installation of the 
Cathedral plant, and was immensely proud of it and the completeness 
of every detail . . . 

The funds for the installation were contributed by Mrs. E. H. 
Harriman, widow of the long-time president of the Union Pacific, who 
took this means of showing her appreciation of the good work being 
done in the Missionary District of Wyoming, Protestant Episcopal 
Church. The station has been heralded as a complete installation of 
many of the newer and most approved appliances for successful radio- 
casting. It would have been placed in service immediately following 
the tests, to have been completed last night. The death of Mr. Horn 
will not hinder this, however, those in charge being in a position to 
complete all the plans as at first laid out.23 

22. News clipping with pencilled notation "Denver Post," in Thomas 
scrapbook, page 251. 

23. Reprinted in The Wyoming Churchman, November, 1925, p. 12 from 
the Laramie Republican-Boomerang. 


Details of the tragedy were sent to Bishop Thomas by Arch- 
deacon Balcom on October 3 1 : 

My dear Bishop Thomas: 

The enclosed cHpping will give you a fairly accurate description 
of the terrible accident which occurred in the radio room of the 
Cathedral on the night of October 29th, Mr. Horn's father came up 
from Denver yesterday morning, but almost immediately drove his 
son's car back so that he might be with his wife. Unfortunately, I 
learned nothing of the accident until noon. As I went home for lunch 
I stopped in at the radio room to deliver a transmitter part and some 
mail to Mr. Horn. At the same time the manager of the telegraph 
office was looking for him. 1 chatted with him for a while and then 
went on home. Neither of us knew anything about the accident. 
Shortly after noon the doctor^-* who was in attendance called me 
under the impression that I had called him. He first gave me the 
information. I was then summoned by the coroner, who made an 
investigation, and listened to the account of Tucker.--"' Tucker, him- 
self, did a very heroic thing which is not sufficiently set forth in the 
enclosed article. It seems that Horn had warned him that the wires 
were loaded, then himself, in a moment of mental apparition (sic) 
rested his elbow on a bolt head which fastens the switchboard to the 
frame, and put his hand on one of the large fifty watt transmitter 
tubes. Tucker was standing at some little distance from him and saw 
his hand break out with fire. In spite of the fact that he might have 
been killed himself (Tucker) leapt to his rescue and pulled him off the 
board. He (Horn) stood for a moment, his fingers half closed as if 
he were holding a baseball, brought his left hand around and placed it 
under his right hand, raised his head and looked at Tucker, and then 
fell over to the floor — dead. Horn was an unusually nice little fellow. 
I had stopped him several times to see if I could be of help to him. 
He was tremendously enthusiastic about the plant and delighted to 
show the various little tricks through which he had brought about 
improvements. The same evening he was killed he had arranged a 
revolt (sic) control in the radio room by means of which the generator 
could be shut off. As he finished this piece of work he remarked 
"There is no danger of anyone being electrocuted now." I have written 
to his father that we are greatly distressed that no one in your office 
knew of the sad accident, for though we could have been of no use to 
his son, we might have been able to be of some service to him. I am 
ordering some floors (sic) sent to the address in Denver, in your 
name, thinking that would be your desire. 

Sincerely yours. 

It is evident that Balcom, who dictated this, and the secretary 
who transcribed it, were still rather shaken by the event. The 
Reverend Franklin Smith, editor of The Wyoming Churchman, 
paid tribute to Horn in the December, 1925 issue :^^ 

One day this writer watched the radio engineer at work on the 

24. Dr. H. E. McCollum. He arrived within ten minutes of the accident. 
Details in the Laramie Republican-Boomerang, October 31, 1925, p. 1. 

25. Ross Tucker, "head of a local electrical store, in the Lastra Block.'* 

26. Page 17. 


instaJlation. Young Elden Horn had made a name for himself already. 
He had the true scientific idealism that has made possible the world's 
progress, that scorn of material interest that is ever the mark of the 
world's higher life. So he declined a flattering commercial post to 
install the Cathedral station. 

"It is for the Church of God," said the young engineer, "and I am 
going to put my best into it." 

He did. He put his life into it. Like the soldier's epitaph may be 
written of Elden Horn: "Died in the line of duty." 

If Cathedral Station KFBU lives up to its traditions, how great its 
future for service. 

Horn's devotion to the station was no editorial fancy. The Wyo- 
ming Churchman noted: 

E. C. Page, consulting radio engineer, who was employed by the 
estate of the late E. F. Horn to complete KFBU, is returning to 
Chicago on January 28. after having turned over the station to young 
(George) Walker. It was necessary for the Horn estate to send to 
Chicago to obtain an engineer to complete the design and construct 
KFBU, which, it may be added, has been done very successfully.-" 

KFBU did run its tests and was ready on schedule for its official 
opening on December 10 as the description which opened this 
study affirms. An appropriate editorial appeared in the Repub- 
lican-Boomerang on the eve of the inaugural broadcast. It reveals 
that the slogan "the top-o'-the world station" had already been 
"coined" and that millions who had never heard of Laramie and 
Wyoming would learn of it through the broadcasting station. 

The editorial concluded by recognizing the role of Mrs. Har- 
riman : 

Here in the topmost city on the great railroad which her late dis- 
tinguished husband made into the finest transportation system in the 
United States, and that means the world, how fitting it is that this 
unique and different memorial of their names should have its abiding 

To this point no one had put in print the relationship between 
the averted wreck in 1922 and the gift of Mrs. Harriman. The 
drama of it all was to be reserved for the bishop who, in the course 
of the formal opening broadcast "delivered a brief address, giving 
the history ... of the broadcasting station."-^ 
There exists in the diocesan files the first sheet of what must have 
been the bishop's remarks that evening. It begins: 

The Venerable Royal H. Balcom, Archdeacon of Wyoming, has 
suggested to me that I tell you the story of the Radio Station being 
opened tonight in Laramie, "the top of the world." 

Last winter we had a small station in the Cathedral whose cross 

27. February, 1926, p. 21. 

28. The Laramie Republican-Boomerang, December 9, 1925. 

29. The Wyoming Churchman, December, 1925, p. 3. 


lifts its head higher than any cross set in any city of this country, 
and were somewhat interested in broadcasting. One night there came 
a terrible blizzard. . . . 

In approximately 300 words the bishop summarized the situation, 
his recounting the episode to Mrs. Harriman in New York, and her 
promise to foot the bill for the expanded station facilities. He 

Elton (sic) F. Horn, the gloriously talented young man who was 
testing out the machine he had built, was electrocuted. All of the 
great undertakings in the world have been paid for in human life. 
And so it has been with this station, K.F.B.U. This radio station 
which saved hundreds of lives by forestalling a gigantic wreck, has 
taken this beautiful young life.-^-*' 

This vignette, recopied and slightly rewritten by the bishop and 
others, had an interesting life of its own which will be examined 

But now the way was open to publicize the "new" KFBU. The 
January issue of The Wyoming Churchman carried on its cover a 
photograph of Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross in the KFBU studio. 
On the right stands Otto Gramm, chairman of the committee for 
the occasion. On the left are Archdeacon Balcom and Bishop 

Inside are two entire pages devoted to the reporting of the 
December broadcast and several other specials which preceded and 
followed. Some 500 letters had been received from listeners 
before the publication date of this issue. The programs had been 
heard "from Chicago to Winnipeg, from Vancouver to San Diego, 
and from El Paso to St. Louis." 

A member of the U.S. Marine Band who caught the broadcast 
in San Diego wrote to call "attention to the excellence of the music 
by the Empress orchestra, particularly the bass viol;" but a listener 
in Eugene, Oregon, stated that he failed "to catch the best the 
piano could do, and said it sounded like a piano tuner at work." 

In a note from an admirer at El Centre, Calif., it was mentioned 
that the message from the "top o' the world" came through to El 
Centro, "the bottom o' the world," Laramie being over 7,000 feet 
above sea level and that California city, in the Imperial Valley, being 
57 feet below sea level. The writer heard the slogan, heard the 
orchestra playing, heard the piano, heard people talking in the room, 
and wondered at the marvelous science of it all.^i 

Among the early responses to KFBU was a very tangible one 
from the Charles E. Wells Music Company of Denver. The 
Colorado concern made a gift of a Chickering grand piano to the 
Laramie station — so that the piano music would run less risk of 

30. The full text appears in Appendix A. 

31. The Wyoming Churchman, January, 1926, p. 6 


sounding like a piano tuner at work. The news story was headed 
by the fact that Bishop Thomas had just "returned from Denver," 
which is not without its significance.-^- 

The programming included educational and cultural offerings 
as well. Dr. Sam Knight of the University geology department 
lectured on "Time, Space and Speed." The University chorus and 
orchestra broadcast Handel's "Messiah" in its entirety on Sunday, 
December 20, by remote facilities from the University gymnasium. 
Wide response greeted this effort, with the extremes reported next 
day by the Republican Boomerang: 

High tribute for "The Messiah," as sung at the University gym yes- 
terday afternoon by a chorus of 150 men and women, comes from the 
Medicine Bow in the shape of a telegram to KFBU radio station from 
the "Bucket of Blood Saloon." The telegram reads: 

"Program came in fine. None of the boys moved for two hours." 

From Denver also came warm warm praise by telegraph. Mrs. 
Smith, wife of the artist who sang the tenor solos, was the sender of 
this message. 

Both Mrs. Smith and the patrons of the "Bucket of Blood" had 
heard "The Messiah" as the result of KFBU broadcasting, which 
rather eloquently shows, among other things, the great breadth and 
scope of radio, not alone in the matter of distance, but in diversity of 


With the literal craze developing over radio the habits of a 
nation were changing sharply. The value of transmitting religious 
services over the air brought conflicting viewpoints. The Wyoming 
Churchman carried two articles about this problem. One, included 
in the February, 1925, number was entitled "Radio Religion" by 
the Reverend R. B. Grobb. Grobb was not a Wyoming clergyman 
and his article was probably a part of a religious news service 
available to the Wyoming Churchman. 

Grobb examined both sides of the question reasonably fairly. 
He conceded that radio could tap those who never went to church, 
and radio might well be the threshold over which the church might 
be moving into an era of fruitful service. But he also pointed out 
that the renowned preachers and superb music heard on radio 
would also have the effect of making the local church, choir and 
minister, appear to be rather mediocre. 

He observed that one great drawback was the inability of the 
listener to truly participate in or contribute to such worship. He 
stated in conclusion that "devotion may attend a radio congrega- 
tion, but the chances that it will not figure very largely."^^ 

A more favorable judgment was offered by the Very Reverend 

32. The Wyoming Churchman, January, 1926, p. 19. 

33. The Wyoming Churchman, February, 1925, pp. 10-11. 


Paul Roberts, dean of St. Michael's Cathedral, Boise, Idaho, in 
the pages of the Churchman two issues later. Some excerpts : 

. . . We have had a broadcasting outfit . . . for about a year and a 
half34 Whether it satisfies people or keeps them away from the 

church it is difficult to say . . . But there is no apparent decrease in 
the attendance at the Cathedral and I find absolutely no disposition 
on the part of people who have been regular church-goers to stay 
away and be satisfied at home . . . 

A few weeks ago one of our most faithful communicants, confined 
to her bed for seven or eight weeks and eager to hear the services and 
sermons was satisfied. We took a small crystal set into her room, 
attached it to the bed spring upon which she was lying for an aerial 
and to the radiator for a ground and since then, lying in bed, she has 
heard the entire services . . . 

... In the long run ... its value in scattering the seed can never be 
calculated as it reaches out into the sick rooms and hospitals, into the 
lonely mining camps or ranger stations, into the isolated lives on many 
a farm far from any church building . . . lodges there and grows up 
to bear abundant fruit. f"'"' 

If Bishop Thomas had any question in his own mind it is fair to 
assume that he would have agreed with Dean Roberts. In any 
event, following the triumphant beginning — or second beginning — 
Engineer Page prepared a mimeographed form letter which was 
sent to all correspondents of KFBU with its program schedule. 

Religious services or programs were scheduled for Sundays from 
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 to 11 p.m. Mondays 
and Fridays from 9 to 11 p.m. were for "secular" programs, 
Saturday was reserved for testing from midnight to 1 a.m. The 
initial thrust of KFBU was largely oriented to the religious and 
educational fields, as Archdeacon Balcom reported in a prospectus 
which outlined the aims of KFBU. Also he spoke of plans to 
provide weather reports daily, ("This alone should bring to the 
cattle and sheep industries of the state a saving of many hundreds 
of thousands of dollars.") and that the University would be re- 
sponsible for one program each week. 

Our primary consideration in religious broadcasting is to reach the 
unchurched people in the state of Wyoming. 

... It is the intention of the station to build up a vast radio congre- 
gation who will . . . enroll as members of KFBU's congregation. The 
whole program for the station is broad and comprehensive. There is 
no particular interest in sending out a particular brand of Protestant 

34. This would suggest that the Idaho Cathedral preceded Wyoming's in 
having a broadcasting station. However, one suspects that it had a more 
placid existence than did KFBU. Dean ^Roberts ended his active ministry 
at St. John's Cathedral, Denver, and as speaker at a Religious Emphasis 
Week at the University of Wyoming, strongly moved the writer to consider 
entering the Ministry. 

35. The Wyoming Churchman, April, 1925, p. 20. 


Episcopalianism, and from time to time there will be heard irom the 
station voices of clergymen other than our own.^e 

Balcom noted that already the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Meth- 
odist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and Baptist pastors or 
laymen had agreed to cooperate. Receipted bills for remote 
control charges in the KFBU files indicate that this ecumenical 
project was actually earned out . . . even to the extent of remote 
broadcasts from other Laramie churches. 

When "Radio News," a New York-based magazine wrote KFBU 
on November 21, 1927, to learn "of your experience with radio as 
a means of spreading religious enlightenment" for an article it was 
preparing on the subject, Director Smith gave the following 
evaluation : 

Our religious broadcast includes a daily noon-day Chapel Serv- 
ice . . . and the broadcast of the Sunday morning service from the 
Cathedral, also. In addition to this a movement was started last year 
known as the Radio Church which included a week night religious 
service with a question box. We found quite an interest in responses 
from our hearers. Many questions were sent in for answer by people 
evidently seeking information. It is our opinion that our religious 
broadcast is appreciated by a great number of people, but the formal 
broadcast of a religious service is not as effective as the more informal 
and personal character of what is called the "Radio Church." 

The expansive feelings generated by early success resulted in a 
resolution by the members of the Cathedral Chapter concerning 
the station. The archdeacon's report had been submitted to them 
and they responded by adopting the following: 

Whereas, the Cathedral broadcasting station, KFBU, a foundation 
made possible by the generosity of Mrs. E. H. Harriman, being now in 
effective operation, be it 

Resolved, That in view of the privilege thus offered this Diocese by 
the possession of a large and completely equipped radio broadcasting 
station, and of the great possibilities for usefulness of this agency in 
furthering the work of the Kingdom of God, the Cathedral Chapter 
thankfully approves the same, and endorses the inclusion in the budget 
of the District of a sum necessary for its operating expenses. 37 

The words were more encouraging than the results proved to be. 
The archdeacon, replying to an inquiry from the Chamber of Com- 
merce at Minot, North Dakota, stated that the station cost about 
$2,500 a year to operate. The money never came easily and 
KFBU was not licensed as a commercial station. 

One amusing incident illustrates the struggling state of KFBU 
as late as 1928. On April 23 of that year a sharp letter was 
sent to KFBU, Attention Bishop Thomas. The writer, Hugo B. 
Anderson, resident counsel for the American Society of Com- 

36. The Wyoming Churchman, February, 1926, p. 9. 

37. The Wyoming Churchman, February, 1926, p. 6. 


posers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) took the Bishop to task 
for infringing upon his non-profit status for which ASCAP granted 
a special license free of cost as contrasted with the "substantial 
fees" which commercial stations were charged to perform or play 
music of ASCAP's members. Specifically: 

We particularly call your attention to a program sponsored by 
W. H. Holliday & Company, Radio Department, between 11:30 and 
11:45 p.m. on April 18, 1928, in connection with which the musical 
numbers belonging to the members of this Society were publicly 

May we ask that you investigate this matter and let us know if there 
has been any change in the policy of your station. If sponsored pro- 
grams are to continue over your station it will be necessary for us to 
cancel your present license and ask that you make other arrangements 
with us. . . . 

The Reverend Franklin Smith, editor of The Wyoming Church- 
man, now director of KFBU responded hastily. Far from making 
a profit, the question was to keep the station operating at all. 
"Various business men of Laramie have been interested in the 
Station and, knowing the financial difficulties under which we labor 
in financing the Station, have expressed a desire to make a donation 
to the Station, towards its running expenses and upkeep." Smith 
explained that "we" decided that 

if these business men were thus interested that it would be within 
the rights of our license to allow them to hire artists for a pro- 
gram with the understanding that not being a commercial station 
and having no right to sell time for advertising, the advertising on 
such program would be strictly limited to the announcement, "this 
program is furnished through the courtesy of the Com- 
pany, Street, Laramie." This is no question of 

profit . . . since the total amount of donations . . . was inconsiderable 
and what donations were received were applied to the running 
expenses of the Station. 

But Smith probably realized how weak a case he had, and ended 
with a promise to cease such practices at once. Rulon Ho wells, 
of Salt Lake City, would have relished this exchange in view of his 
treatment by Bishop Thomas in 1922. 

This example only illustrates what was a continual problem for 
KFBU, and further reveals the weakness of so many of the bishop's 
plans. He was successful in beginning and capitalizing many pro- 
grams, but the assured income for their future was rarely arranged 
for and this provided difficult going from the outset. 

Since the University was sharing in the use of the facilities of 
KFBU the bishop was not averse to asking President A. G. Crane 
to arrange for the University to help pay operating costs. Addi- 
tionally he offered a church-owned house to a sorority and the 
upstairs floor of the new Sherwood Hall for the overflow of stu- 
dents. Housing was short at the Wyoming campus and the bishop 
had space — and needed money. An arrangement with the Uni- 
versity to pay the salary of the "operator," (i.e. Engineer George 


D. Walker) and one-half of operating costs was concluded. This 
was happily reported to Mrs. Harriman in a letter from the bishop 
on March 11, 1927. 

But this solution merely raised another problem. The University 
shared the costs, but also used the radio more than before, and 
frequently by remote broadcast from the University itself. This 
imposed a strain on KFBU's microphones, and extra equipment 
was required. The bishop sought to explain this to Mrs. Harriman: 

The (Our) station was not equipped in the first place for such a 
load of remote control, with the result that switching so heavy a 
voltage from one microphone to another without the instruments to 
lessen the shock which, I understand, has much the same effect as 
springs have under a motor car, our microphone has become 
"packed," — a word I do not understand, but which, the Operator tells 
me, is well known. I am inclosing you his letter. 

Would you be willing to add to the equipment of this station the 
apparatus which Mr. George Walker, our operating engineer says 
we need . . .?^^^ 

A week later the bishop wrote again. The letter was typewritten, 
but on a different machine, suggesting that the bishop typed it 
himself. At the end he apologizes for this but giving as a reason 
that Mrs. Harriman could read it better and that it was a business 
letter. It opened: 

March 18, 1927 
My dear Mrs. Harriman: 

Your telegram arrived this morning and stirred us to the quick, 
it read: "Bishop Thomas, Laramie, Wyoming. Order additional 
equipment but do not try to encompass the world. . . ." 

As it was, KFBU had difficulty enough in trying to encompass 
the state of Wyoming. There was, of course, much interference, 
particularly in nighttime broadcasting. So, in March, 1927, the 
station adopted a policy of daytime broadcasting and sent this news 
with an accompanying schedule to the newspapers of the state. 

There was possibly some reluctance over this move as daytime 
listening was not expected to be too heavy in the "twenties". Pre- 
sumably everyone would be at work with no time for the radio until 
evening. A poll of KFBU listeners, however, indicated it would be 
worth trying. The first daytime broadcasts were lectures which 
included such titles as "What Constitutes a Good Forage," "How 
May I Learn to Know the Important Poisonous Plants in My 
Country?" and "Does Alfalfa Build Up Soil Fertility?". But sure- 
fire appeal was guaranteed for the week of the state basketball 

38. Letter of March 11, 1927. The carbon copy suggests that there was 
some indecision over whether to begin the sentence with "The" or "Our." 
The latter might have been intended to include Mrs. Harrimon. On the 
other hand, it might have appeared that the bishop was over-possessive. 
Therefore, "The" was substituted. 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


Stamps such as this one for KFBU were sent to listeners who reported hearing a station's broad- 
cast. They were collected by many throughout the country in the 1920s. 


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tournament always held in mid-March. KFBU broadcast the 
results and standings to date both in the afternoon and evening. 

As programs of special interest occurred telegrams were sent to 
key newspapers through the state which were expected to fashion a 
news story out of twenty words or less, such as "VESPER MUSI- 
NOON." When, on June 21, the citizens of Laramie gave a 
dinner for Bishop Thomas the speeches were aired on the Cathedral 
station. The afternoon broadcasts were presumably upgraded 
when KFBU subscribed to a service provided by the Department 
of Agriculture. Scripts for several series were offered, and of these, 
"Housekeeper's Chat" and "Special Farm Features, Young Folks' 
Program" were selected. 

The Harriman gift of additional equipment greatly improved the 
ability of the engineers to quickly tune the proper frequency and 
hold it once it was set. In reporting these enrichments The 
Wyoming Churchman, keenly aware of the past, added this: 

The removal of all parts of the transmitter having high voltage to 
the back of the panel will practically eliminate the danger of electro- 
cution to the operators or others. ^9 

In September the remote facilities of KFBU were taken to 
Cheyenne to cover a banquet given there in honor of Colonel 
Charles Lindbergh. The air hero's speech was broadcast "live" to 
launch a series of fall programs following a cut-back during the 
summer to a daily chapel service from the Cathedral at noon. 

The favorable image of KFBU was tarnished in October as a 
result of the poor publicity accruing from the Atwater Kent con- 
test. As this national contest was planned, each state was to hold 
a vocal talent contest to be broadcast by a radio station in that 
state, the winners there to go on to regional, then national compe- 
titions. Voting by those who listened to the broadcast, as well as 
by six judges in the studio, was to determine the winners in each 
state. The audition in Wyoming was to take place on October 26, 
1927. Chairman for Wyoming was Mrs. James Mackay of Chey- 
enne, who was also choir director for St. Mark's Episcopal Church 
there. The contest, when broadcast, did not cover the state at all 
well, and a decision was made to choose the winners solely on 
points awarded by the judges present for the audition. 

Mrs. Mackay, in reporting all this to the Wyoming State Tribune, 
was quoted in that newspaper on November 4 as saying "Owing 
to the fact that the radio was not received in any part of the state 
the Atwater Kent Foundation authorized that no mailed votes or 
Little Theater votes should be counted ..." Director Franklin 

39. September, 1927, p. 3. 


Smith was furious. He wrote the Tribune, Mrs. Mackay, and every 
stale newspaper which had picked up the story, demanding a 
retraction. He wrote to Chancellor T. S. Taliaferro at Rock 
Springs, and then to Bishop Thomas in Philadelphia, asking per- 
mission to sue for libel. Both counseled coolness and restraint as 
there was no legal case against the paper, and Mrs. Mackay was 
not personally liable. The bishop offered some sound advice: 

Even if Mrs. MacKay (sic) did retract, what would be gained? 
The damage is done. The thing for you to do is to make use of your 
columns in the Wyoming Churchman (filtering the vitriol out of your 
pen), and simply make a statement. 

I think the thing to do is to publish . . . every favorable notice that 
we can get from any location that hears us. Make no comment as to 
the criticism, for it will but give publicity to what is a fact, namely, 
that in spite of our doing the best we can, broadcasting from our 
Station is not as satisfactory as it should be.-"' 

Enthusiasm for sports was another matter, however, and KFBU 
utilized this avenue to recover lost prestige. The state football 
championship that year was to be played for by the Cheyenne 
and Worland high schools at a neutral field in Douglas, Wyoming. 
A strong Worland supporter, B. L. Schaffer, contacted KFBU, 
offering to pay the cost of a remote broadcast of the game so that 
it could be heard in Worland. Marion W. Gieseking, who had 
succeeded George Walker as engineer for the station, was willing 
to try and the arrangements were made. Gieseking was an avid 
amateur, or "ham", something of an inventor, and the project 
appealed to him. Taking a short wave transmitter and sending the 
play-by-play in "continental code" to Laramie (over a hundred air 
miles) it was decoded by a Mr. Walton and broadcast by voice in 
the regular manner. 

Mr. Schaffer was delighted with the broadcast and the score 
(Worland 19 - Cheyenne 0.) He enclosed a check to cover the 
cost of his program for which he had been billed $34! He further 
reported, "I had an audience of 75 here on Saturday and that was 
not bad, so you can see that we were awake." 

Not only did KFBU try to improve its coverage, but the federal 
authorities were attempting to clear the air waves. The Federal 
Radio Commission changed KFBU's wave length three times in 
less than a year. In March, 1928, it decreed that KFBU must 
share time with station KFUM in Colorado Springs. This neces- 
sitated meetings between the officials of the two stations to set up a 
basic schedule, and required occasional letters, phone calls and 
telegrams to take care of special emergency situations. For ex- 
ample, KFUM relinquished its time to Laramie so that the state 
basketball tournament could be aired fully. KFBU, in return. 

40. Letter of December 20, 1927. 


transferred its Sunday morning church broadcasts to the evening, 
so that the Presbyterian church in Colorado Springs, which reached 
a greater audience, could use that time slot. 

Franklin Smith made a comprehensive report in May of 1928 
to which he attached a tabulation of responses to the station. 
Between June 1, 1927, and May 10, 1928, a total of 1934 mail 
and telegraph responses had been received. There were from 44 
states ( including Wyoming with 406 responses) plus Canada (68), 
Alaska (1), Hawaii (2), and the District of Columbia (1). Of 
the states at some distance, California led with 649, and New York 
registered a remarkable 35. Such widespread interest was due not 
only to the high level of interest in radio itself, but by an equally 
fascinating phenomenon known as the "Ekko stamp." 

Undoubtedly spurred by requests from listeners. Smith ordered 
200 of these in February of 1928. The Ekko Company, of 
Chicago, was a manufacturer of radio products, but developed 
the stamp idea as a promotional device. The company provided a 
handsomely engraved stamp approximately one by one-and-one- 
half inches in size. An outsized eagle perched on a portion of a 
globe was flanked by two radio towers emitting lightning-like bolts 
of power. A space to overprint station call letters and the phrase 
"Verified Reception Stamp" gave the stamp its custom character. 
The cost to the station was two-and-a-half cents per stamp. Along 
with the stamps Ekko provided an equal number of "Proof of 
Reception Cards." These were pre-printed postcards which al- 
lowed the collector to fill in date, time, station received and a brief 
description of the program heard. The listener-collector then 
mailed this with a dime to the station, who verified the information 
on its station log and returned its stamp and another card. 

The enthusiasm and persistence of some of the collectors was 
avid almost to the extreme. When KFBU suspended operations in 
the spring of 1929 letters still were received asking for stamps, and 
some tried again after being assured that the station was not oper- 
ating and their ten cents refunded. One man in Brooklyn noted 
that he had 725 stamps in his collection. He already possessed a 
KFBU stamp, but now that the call letters had been changed to 
KWYO he desired one of that variety. 

Mr. Fred O. Makosky, of Springdale, Connecticut, wrote three 
times about his stamp. When his original request was not filled 
he tried again, remarking that he did "not wish to be a nuisance," 
and "I suppose you have an enormous mail to reply to, so I will 
wait." This was in May, 1929. In August he wrote again. He 
had obtained a KWYO stamp from the Ekko Company directly 
and was returning the money he had been refunded in Laramie. 
His collection stood at 462, and he further enclosed a snapshot of 
his four-tube receiver with a giant speaker cone which must have 
been three feet in diameter, being taller than a chair standing next 
to it! 


As a final sidelight to the programming and listener reaction to 
the station, two items are offered. The first deals with an unusual 
service performed by the station as reported m The Wyoming 
Churchman of March, 1928: 

The Western Union telegraph office in Laramie, received a telegram 
for a man named Cloonan, at Fluorspar, on the Laramie, North Park 
and Western. The telephone line to the mine was out of commission, 
and Operator Rollins at the Western Union placed a call on the radio 
broadcasting apparatus at the Cathedral. In five minutes the section 
foreman at Northgate, near the fluorspar mine, called the Laramie, 
North Park and Western office, telling it to get the message from Mr. 
Rollins and he would deliver it to "Mike" at Fluorspar. Ed Fanning 
at Northgate also heard the radio and he rode on horseback to find 

And, in February, 1928, the Churchman printed a response 
received from a listener who was a penitentiary inmate: 

KFBU, Laramie, Dear Sirs: I hope that you will not be offended at 
me, a prisoner, for writing and telling you that I heard your station 
this morning at 1 o'clock and it was very plain, also the program was 
fine. One would not think that we can hear so plain here in jail as 
there is so much steel here, steel bars on the windows, steel cells, 
steel doors and some of the prisoners are in jail for stealing. 

Editor-Radio Director Smith had heeded his superior's advice, 
removed the virtriol from his pen and labored diligently to brighten 
KFBU's reputation — like stainless steel! 


In June, 1927, the Wyoming Churchman startled its readers 
with the announcement that Bishop Thomas had resigned. The 
news came without warning. No significant reasons were given for 
his action. Newspapers about the state ran commendatory edi- 
torials praising the bishop and expressing disappointment over the 

Thomas had presented his resignation to the House of Bishops at 
its meeting in New York on June 1. There is little evidence to 
suggest that anyone in Wyoming was aware of his plan. Editor 
Franklin Smith ran a laudatory and regretful editorial-news story 
in the Churchman and followed it with the text of a letter from the 
presiding bishop to Bishop Thomas in which he appointed the latter 
provincial bishop with full authority until his successor was elected 
and consecrated. Since the House of Bishops was in session it was 
its prerogative to elect a successor since Wyoming was a missionary 
district and not a self-supporting diocese of the church. Accord- 
ingly, at that same meeting, the house elected the Reverend H. 
Percy Silver, S.T.D., rector of the Church of the Incarnation, New 
York City. This news was also recorded in the same issue of 
The Wyoming Churchman. 

Everyone asumed that Thomas' role as provisional bishop would 


be a matter of a few weeks or months at the most. Silver, however, 
declined the election. Another was not held until the General 
Convention of 1928 where the Reverend George H. Thomas was 
elected, and he, too, declined. The presiding bishop then appointed 
the Right Reverend Granville Gaylord Bennett, bishop of Duluth, 
to act as provisional bishop of Wyoming. Since no bishop for 
Wyoming was consecrated for Wyoming until December 15, 1929, 
the interim arrangements were not only awkward in themselves, 
but particularly so with regard to the fate of the cathedral station, 

Under these circumstances the bishop of Duluth made periodic 
visits to Wyoming for confirmation visitations and some admin- 
istrative work, but the bulk of administrative routine was handled 
by the missionary district's council of advice, of which The Very 
Reverend David W. Thornberry, Dean of St. Matthew's Cathedral, 
was chairman.^^ 

Both Dean Thornberry and Bishop Bennett were responsible 
for the ongoing activities of their respective primary jobs, and 
between them had to devote additional time and correspondence to 
the life and work of the Missionary District of Wyoming. Most 
actions prepared by Thornberry had to be submitted to Bishop 
Bennett for final approval and authorization. Therefore, Bishop 
Thomas was removed from the scene when the Atwater Kent 
"scandal" broke, although as provincial bishop it was to him that 
Director Smith turned for advice on the matter. But by 1928 
much of the responsibility of KFBU's future fell upon Dean 
Thornberry. Bishop Thomas, however, was still the owner of 
record of KFBU and was a factor to be reckoned with until the end. 
Some observations, appraisal and tentative conclusions about 
Bishop Thomas will be made in the final section, but now it is 
in order to follow the events and actions of KFBU's final days. 

As early as 1926 it was apparent that changes in federal policy 
were forthcoming. Writing again to the Minot Chamber of 
Commerce, Archdeacon Balcom observed: 

The radio situation is now, however, in such a state of chaos that I 
would consider it unwise at this time to make a large investment. As 
you probably know, the control of radio was, last summer, taken out 
of the hands of the Department of Commerce. Now there are no 
restrictions whatever. If the legislators at Washington ever find time 

41. Dean Thornberry's son, David Ritchie Thornberry, who was a page 
at the 1927 Convocation of the Missionary District (at which Bishop 
Thomas gave his farewell address), was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese 
of Wyoming on May 1, 1969. The present bishop recalls his most intimate 
association with KFBU as the effort on several occasions to use his bow 
and arrow to cut KFBU's aerial wires which were suspended between two 
steel towers, one on the east tower of the Cathedral, and the other on the 
roof of Sherwood Hall. 


to act during the coming session, it may be that new stations will not 
be allowed to operate. I would suggest that you have your lawyer 
look into this matter very carefully before making an investment.^2 

When Franklin Smith wrote Bishop Thomas in April of 1928 
he evidenced some concern as to whetiier KFBU would be able to 
continue in its present state: 

As I wrote in my last letter, it might be possible for us to secure 
allocation as a Regional Station with one thousand watt power but, in 
order to carry this, we must spend from $1500 to $2500 in improve- 
ments on the Station. Unless this money can be obtained, I see no 
reason for applying to the Radio Commission for allocation with 
increased power. 43 

The source of Smith's information came from President Crane 
at the University. A communication from the University of 
Maryland to all land grant colleges warned that changes in radio 
were forthcoming and that those with radio stations should look 
to protecting their broadcasting outlets. Smith discovered the 
details of this and communicated them to Bishop Bennett. The 
plan of the Federal Radio Commission was that three classifica- 
tions of stations would be inaugurated: national, with "unHmited 
power;" regional, with 1000-watt power; and local with 250-watt 
power. Since the local limitation would be unsatisfactory for 
the University's use, it was felt that expansion to one thousand 
watts was essential. President Crane, who had secured the services 
of an expert, physics professor Charles A. Culver, of Carleton 
College, Northfield, Minnesota, had Culver's report on KFBU and 
his recommendation that the power increase be made. The ob- 
stacle, of course, was money. The University was in sore straits 
in this regard due to the decrease in oil royalty revenues. 

Smith and Crane invited Bishop Bennett to Laramie for a 
conference on the whole matter, and Smith wrote to Bishop 
Thomas explaining all these details and requesting him to sound 
out Mrs. Harriman for the estimated $2,500 for the project. There 
is reason to suspect that Smith and Bennett began to beUeve that a 
closer relationship with the University would be a beneficial thing, 
especially in negotiations with the Federal Radio Commission. 

42. Letter to David S. Owen, Secretary of the Minot Chamber of Com- 
merce. The legislators did act in 1927, and a stronger Federal Radio 
Commission was the result. 

In closing this letter, Balcom added some words which bespeak the 
agonies of sad experience: "In purchasing a station, it would seem a wise 
thing to invest in a standard machine. To do otherwise lets one in on an 
enormous amount of trouble." 

43. Letter of April 17, 1928. This letter has affixed to it the one avail- 
able sample of KFBU's Ekko Stamp. The letterhead also proclaims that 
KFBU is operating at 100 watts, but, obviously, this was untrue. In other 
letters this claim was "x-ed" out and the true figure of 500 typed in. 


Such intelligence disturbed Bishop Thomas. He took issue with 
several statements in Professor Culver's report, and was particu- 
larly upset about what he saw as the implication that the trans- 
mitters and studios would be moved to the campus. He began his 
reference to KFBU's "frank" or "franchise" to operate, comparing 
it to a seat on the Stock Exchange — a privilege of salable value. 
These two expressed concerns were to be instrumental in the 
actions — or attempted actions — to follow shortly. 

Bishop Thomas was so anxious about these impending develop- 
ments that he secured a long interview with the presiding bishop of 
the Episcopal Church, John Gardner Murray, and the church's 
executive assigned to domestic missionary matters, Charles Tomp- 
kins. In thanking the presiding bishop for his "audience," Bishop 
Thomas wrote that he felt that Tompkins "can now understand 
the situation quite fully." How fully he did understand will soon 
be seen. 

Although Bishop Thomas' suspicions were aroused, the nego- 
tiations proceeded at Laramie. The University trustees were will- 
ing to authorize Dr. Crane to investigate the radio situation further, 
and Crane felt that pending the arrangements of details the Uni- 
versity should file petitions with the Federal Radio Commission 
which were shortly due. Crane, too, felt that the bargaining 
position would be stronger in the University's name. 

Franklin Smith wrote at length to Bishop Thomas to allay his 
suspicions concerning KFBU's disposal. But he pressed the bishop 
to deed over the station to Bishop Bennett since there was some 
question as to whether title went to the provisional bishop auto- 
matically. This only increased Thomas' skepticism, as did the 
suggestion that KFBU be put in Presiding Bishop Murray's name. 

Even the Episcopal Church's law firm found this inadequate, 
opining that a corporation set up between the church and the 
University of Wyoming would be more advantageous in that the 
corporation would be eligible for membership in the National 
Association of Broadcasters, a decided advantage. 

Meantime, other efforts clouded the issue. Former KFBU 
engineer George D. Walker offered to buy the station and remove 
it to Denver. A KFBU staffer, for reasons not quite clear, wrote 
the Federal Radio Commission to apply for permission to erect a 
new 1000-watt station in Laramie. This baffled the commission, 
which assumed that KFBU was hale and hearty. The commission 
would entertain an application for a station of that power in 
Cheyenne, but Laramie was eligible for only a 250-watt station as 
long as KFBU operated. 

Since this correspondence is in KFBU's files it might be reason- 
able to assume that church and university officials were preparing 
an alternate strategy in the event that Bishop Thomas proved to be 
uncooperative. It was a sound idea, and one which perhaps should 
have been pursued. But the correspondence also reveals that the 


applicant, William J. Reed, eventually withdrew the Laramie appli- 
cation in favor of the University and announced his intent to apply 
for the Cheyenne option. 

In June, 1928, a radio committee appointed by Bishop Bennett, 
met to hear a report by Franklin Smith on the current situation. 
He made a strong case for turning KFBU over to the University. 
A motion was passed concurring with this recommendation pend- 
ing the approval of the Federal Radio Commission, Bishop Thom- 
as, Mrs. Harriman and Presiding Bishop Murray. 

On the strength of this Bishop Bennett, on August 14, made a 
formal proposal to the university through President Crane. For the 
sum of one dollar, the Missionary District of Wyoming would turn 
over to the university trustees the equipment and, "insofar as we 
are able to grant them, the franchises of the Radio Station of 

KFBU " Arrangements for the church to rent and pay for 

upkeep of remote facilities for religious broadcasting was also 
insured with a token dollar payment. Details were to be cast in 
proper contract form. The provisional bishop concluded: 

I wish that we might see our way clear to continue, but we cannot 
do so. Therefore, as a Church, interested in the cultural and educa- 
tional side of life, we turn to our co-worker in the cause, the Univer- 
sity, and raise our "Macedonian cry."^^ 

The balance of the year 1928 was characterized by the awareness 
of the Federal Radio Commission of what was afoot in Laramie, 
and the Reed applications, described above, were being settled. 
At last. Dean Thornbury officially notified the commission of the 
intent to execute the transfer to the university. In responding, 
Commissioner Harold Lafount informed the dean that there should 
be no objection to such transfer, that he had recommended ap- 
proval and that the commission would give the matter "immediate 

It may be helpful at this point to identify and bracket the major 
figures in the bizzare exchanges which foUow. Bishop Thomas 
was the most mobile, being, during the year, at Philadelphia, New 
York, Europe and Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Florida, near Palm Beach. 
Presiding Bishop Murray, Charles Tompkins and the counsel for 
the National Council of the Episcopal Church, Davies, Auerbach 
and Cornell (hereinafter known as "The Church's law firm") were 
in New York. (Bishop Murray was vacationing in Nova Scotia 
during part of the summer.) Dean Thomberry was in Laramie, 
Bishop Bennett in Duluth and Wyoming, and the Federal Radio 
Commission was in Washington, D.C. 

44. Letter of Bishop Bennett to President A. G. Crane, August 14, 1928. 
Most of this section's events are derived from correspondence among the 
principals involved. There was no public account of these actions of such 
revelatory nature. 


The year began with permission being given KFBU to change its 
call letters to KWYO. The university was interested in a better 
identification symbol. It had brief possession, however, and this 
favored designation is now being used in Sheridan, Wyoming, by 
the commercial station there. 

Bishop Murray was in contact with Bishop Thomas to obtain 
his signature to the transfer, but on February 19 he received the 
following telegram: 

Willing to transfer radio station when informed of terms of transfer 
When President of University pledge to operate station is forwarded 
WTien Mrs. Harriman consents to alienation of her gift is received 
When reasons for this transfer prior to institution of my successor are 

(signed) N. S. Thomas 

The last of these specifications seemed to impress Bishop 
Murray, but for the moment he sent copies of the wire to Bishop 
Bennett and Tompkins plus a covering letter to Bennett (carbon 
to Tompkins) advising Bennett to inform Thomas as fully as 
possible and suggesting that Thomas was the logical one to sway 
Mrs. Harriman. 

In Laramie Dean Thornberry supervised the drafting of con- 
tracts with what he felt to be suitable safeguards for the church, 
and informed Presiding Bishop Murray on April 1 that five copies 
of the contract had been sent to Bishop Thomas for his signature. 
He added that in the past year the cost of operating the station had 
been about $5000, of which the University had contributed $1500. 
A copy for Bishop Murray was enclosed. 

President Crane wrote Dean Thornberry two weeks later to say 
that no signed contracts had been received. Engineer Gieseking's 
resignation had been accepted and "as far as we are concerned the 
Station is now closed." Crane was willing to proceed in spite of 
this if only Bishop Thomas would sign the release. 

Presiding Bishop Murray wrote to Thornberry at the same time. 
Bishop Thomas was unavailable, but he, Murray, had one or two 
changes to suggest on his own. Further he would like to review 
the whole proposal with his counsel (the church's law firm) but he 
was absent from the city and might not return for a week or two. 
Thornberry quickly apprised Bishop Bennett of these develop- 
ments, the latter preparing to leave for Wyoming to settle the 

Commissioner Lafount wrote President Crane asking for proof 
of the assignment of license since the current one was to expire 
on June 15. 

In New York, Charles Tompkins sent the contract to the 
church's law firm, along with some suggestions he had made and 
added this : 


I have purposely delayed for it is doubtful now if we get this con- 
tract in shape to make the transfer before the new Bishop for 
Wyoming is elected which we expect will take place along about the 
first of October . . . My own judgment is that the newly elected 
Bishop should be the one to make final decision as to the disposition 
of this station. 

Dean Thomberry wisely wrote the commission for an extension, 
then the best direction possible from the objections of the presiding 
bishop, had revised contracts drawn and sent to New York and to 
Bishop Thomas hoping to get some action prior to the expiration 
date of the hcense — only ten days away. 

The church's law firm, having examined the original contract, 
wrote that they had made a revision of their own which ought to be 
checked out with all parties involved. President Crane was trying 
to get the Thomberry revision to his trustees, but there were delays. 
All this transpired on June 14, on which date at 3:35 local time a 
telegram arrived in Laramie: 



This development put the church and the university at a decided 
disadvantage. Their application at the hearing, set for September 
3 would find them petitioning for renewal of a non-operating instal- 
lation. The Boston Globe, June 23, 1929, in an article headed 
"Radio Commission Bans Five Stations" reported that the five, 
KWYO among them, "have been removed from the air for deviat- 
ing from their assigned frequency." 

Thomberry assured Crane that he would try to have the con- 
tracts executed prior to the hearing so that the University would be 
the applicant with whatever advantage this might hold. On July 3 
he again beseeched the presiding bishop to find Bishop Thomas 
and encourage him to sign since the dean was not certain where 
Bishop Thomas could be found. But before his letter could reach 
Nova Scotia, Bishop Murray wrote to say: 

. . . after a very full conference with our Counsel and earnest con- 
sideration of the matter I have decided to postpone all action . . . until 
next October. I can not but feel that this courtesy is due whomsoever 
may be charged with the duties of administering the affairs of the 
District permanently ^^ 

45. Letter of Bishop Murray to Dean Thomberry dated July 4, 1929 
from Chester, Nova Scotia. 


In August the presiding bishop wrote Tompkins, who had sent 
him the new draft of transfer, stated that he approved it, and quoted 
again the letter above, but now asking Tompkins his judgment in 
the matter, and how Mr. Hotchkiss, one of the church's law firm, 
would feel about it? 

On December 28, 1929 Mr. Tompkins wrote to the church's law 
firm, not to Mr. Hotchkiss, but to a Mr. Feild (sic), to inquire if 
"our privilege to broadcast from . . . Laramie, Wyoming has not 

As you have seen by the papers we now have a Bishop in Wyoming, 
Rt. Rev. Elmer Schmuck, D.D., having been consecrated a week or so 
again is now about to leave for Wyoming. I do want to help him in 
every way I can. 

In January, 1930, Tompkins wrote the new bishop enclosing a 
copy of a letter from the Federal Radio Commission "which seems 
to indicate that at least at the present time your troubles with 
KFBU are settled." The letter stated that at the hearing renewal 
of this station's license had been denied and that "it is doubtful 
whether the Commission would favorably consider an application 
for a new station." 

The new bishop of Wyoming wrote the church's law firm for 
some explanations, but no immediate indications were forthcoming. 
More information would be required, and so Bishop Schmuck 
wrote to his predecessor in Florida whose lengthy reply conveys a 
good deal between-the-lines feeling : 

... I suppose that (Bishop) Bennett began his work under general 
directions to cut expenses. I suppose he was told that Thomas was 
extravagant, which he probably was . . . 

... the first I heard was that he has taken steps to transfer our prop- 
erty to the University, later he found that the title to this station was 
in my name and that he could not transfer it without my consent. 
. . . Mrs. Harriman had given the station to the church, not to me, but 
the Government wished the Bishop of the church to be the person 
registered as holding the property. 

... I wrote to Mrs. Harriman to ask if she had any objections to 
transferring the property to the University ... it was simply a cour- 
teous thing to do ... I saw that Mrs. Harriman was not greatly in 
favor . . . but she did not demur and gave her consent. 
... I signed the transfer, but called attention ... to the agreement 
which did not seem to protect the church in its use of the station; but, 
having signed the deed, I supposed it was left entirely to the National 
Council to put the matter through. I saw Mr. Tompkins just before 
sailing for Europe and the only thing which had prevented the trans- 
fer .. . was a phrase or two . . . 

. . . That I still hold title to the station was to me a complete astonish- 
ment . . . especially as KFBU has been dead ever since these letters 
were abandoned, and some others substituted. 

... I am sure if you feel we are throwing away something of value . . . 
you could save it if you put enough steam behind the effort ... It 
is all a question of what one wants. 
. . . You ask "Am I correct in understanding that you are unwilling to 


the transfer to the University retaining privileges for the church?" 
Unequivocally no. 

. . . there is nobody to which the franchise should go comparable to 
the University. 

. . . The value is in its use, its franchise, its prestige, and the psy- 
chology behind the thing; the material value is almost nothing.^^ 

The letter, along with others written earlier, says almost as much 
about Bishop Thomas as a person as it does about his projects. 
It is almost in the spirit of his own phrase "the psychology behind 
the thing" that the concluding appraisal of KFBU and its principal 
creator will be made. 


Part of that psychology is the use Bishop Thomas made of the 
blizzard of 1922 in which KFBU played a part. Not only did he 
shape it into a terse and moving tale for the expanded KFBU 
inaugural in December, 1925, but evidently concluded that it was 
worth repeating at other times and other places. 

On February 7, 1926, the bishop was again guest preacher at 
Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, the service and sermon being broad- 
cast over KDKA. In the course of his remarks the bishop repeated 
the story. It was heard in Laramie by C. L. Clark who informed 
the press that he "caught enough to know that it was Bishop 
Thomas . . . telling of the storm on the Union Pacific which led to 
the installation of the cathedral broadcasting station, KFBU."*'^ 

It was also received by Charles D. Stewart in his lakeside home 
near Hartford, Wisconsin. Stewart was a frequent contributor to 
The Atlantic Monthly, and having heard the bishop's tale informed 
the editor of that publication. Both agreed it was "worthy of being 
put on paper." Stewart then wrote the bishop for details. He 
commented that he habitually made "a special try for Dr. Van 
Etten*^ of Calvary in Pittsburgh" for his wife's sake, and that night 
"you came rolling in . . . with wonderful power. Mrs. Stewart 
declares your intonation is magnificent." 

Stewart begged for details, and with his trained eye noted some 
questionable details which he wished to have further information. 
Thomas responded with the typed version (of which several copies 
still remain in the file) and this elicited further queries on points of 

46. Extracts of letter from Bishop Thomas to Bishop Schmuck, February 
19, 1930. One can only surmise that the document the bishop claims he 
signed was one to Presiding Bishop Murray which the church's law firm 
advised against accepting. 

47. Original story in the Laramie Republican-Boomerang, reprinted in 
The Wyoming Churchman, March, 1926, p. 9. 

48. The Wyoming Churchman in February, 1928, carried a general news 
item to the effect that Dr. Van Etten had completed his year of consecutive 
broadcasts and was said to have been the first to preach a sermon via radio. 


clarification. And although this correspondence is full of promise, 
an examination of The Atlantic Monthly from 1926-32 reveals 
that Stewart did not submit his story, although other articles by 
him appear with some frequency. 

In May another inquiry appeared from a journalist of consider- 
able repute, Mrs. Richard Lloyd Jones, wife of the editor of 
The Tulsa Tribune, visited Laramie and heard the story which she 
passed on to her husband upon her return. It is "a story which 
appeals to my journalistic instinct," he wrote the bishop, "and 
which I am tempted to make use of in one of my editorial Saturday 
Sermonettes." He, too, listed some specific questions of fact he 
would need to put the story in proper perspective. The bishop 
being absent on confirmation visitations, this letter was answered 
by Archdeacon Balcom who enclosed another copy of the "ap- 
proved text" of the tale. 

Richard Lloyd Jones did make use of the material. It not only 
appeared in the Tribune, but was later gathered into a booklet 
entitled "Burning Springs," which was a compilation of several of 
the Saturday Sermonettes. 

The bishop obtained at least one copy of "Burning Springs" 
which he sent on to Mrs. Harriman and announced his intention 
of trying to obtain several more copies.^^ 

As inquiries came in the prepared copies were sent in response.^" 
They were revised to the extent of changing Catalina Island to 
Redlands, California, for instance, but the basic text remained. 
The bishop used poetic license in his account which served his 
purpose well and was well-suited to broadcasting use. 

Still another version of the story was written by C. M. Cosby of 
Laramie. He embroidered the fact further, stating that the bishop 
was present and was actively involved in the episode. In some way 
not apparent this description became the basis for a story which 
appeared in the September 2, 1926 issue of The Chicago Evening 
Post Radio Magazine. Alongside the text is a photograph of the 
KFBU studio with small inset photos of Mrs. Harriman, Bishop 

49. None of tJiem remain in the files. The book was apparently put out 
by the Tribune itself. It is not in the Library of Congress, since Senator 
Gale McGee tested that source for the writer. An inquiry to The Tulsa 
Tribune was responded to generously by Richard Jones's son, Jenkin, who 
sent a photocopy of the pages in question. The Thomas version was used as 
sent. The pickup of KFBU "by a boy in Catalina Island" remains as does 
the bishop's consistent misspelling of Vice-President Jeffers' name. 

Jones' moral is interesting and rather contemporary. He wrote: "We 
need churches that are concerned with today . . . that dare to speak in terms 
of modem life. 

"The only church that can save is the church attuned to the time, that has 
the wattage power to broadcast intelligence. . . ." 

50. Full text appears in Appendix A. 


Thomas and Archdeacon Balcom. The bishop nonetheless was 
pleased with this and ordered reprints within the week. 

What should be clear in all this is that the bishop used the bliz- 
zard episode tor publicity purposes, but for what motive? 

It is the writer's opinion that the bishop was using this method as 
a means of gettmg his name before the pubhc with the hope of 
being elected to an eastern diocese. His last opportunity was in 
1925 when W. R. Coe and others were willmg to arrange for his 
name to be placed in nomination in Long Island, Earlier, in 1920, 
he had been elected to be bishop of Delaware, but declined. Twice 
he was nominated for the prestigious diocese of New York but 
failed to get a majority of votes. 

Bishop Thomas' scrap book is filled with newspaper clippings, 
one of which is particularly revealing. The cUpping is identified 
in a penned note as having appeared in "Stageland and Society," 
March 13, 1909: 


Bishop Talbot has long held his own, as the Beau Brummel of the 
House of Bishops in America, and also more than made good in this 
particular at the Lambert (Lambeth) conference last season. But he 
will shortly have a rival in the field in Nathaniel Thomas, the popular 
rector of Holy Apostles, who has lately been elected to the Bishopric 
of Wyoming, Bishop Talbot's old stamping ground. 

Mr. Thomas has been elected Bishop to various dioceses, but has 
always declined the honor. Now! he has accepted. Bishop's sleeves 
are so becoming! There is no doubt that the West will not have him 
for very long, as George C. Thomas, one of the best men that ever 
graced Philadelphia in any way, will endeavor to have him brought 
back to the East. George C. can do it, as he is practically the arbiter 
of the Philadelphia diocese. 

Gossip-column venom notwithstanding, it is significant that the 
bishop retained it for his memory book. It suggests in its way that 
here was a man of seaboard orientation, educated in Minnesota, 
to be sure, but also in England. His personality, tastes, ambitions 
and performance were strongly molded by this environment in spite 
of his midwestem antecedents. 

He was a headline-maker wherever he went, as his scrap book 
eloquently testifies. He was, at least in the beginning, a capable 
and powerful speaker with voice and appearance to match. 

His close association for many years with George C. Thomas was 
a real factor, and the columnist is probably right in assuming that 
he could well have exerted the influence necessary to recall the 
bishop of Wyoming to an eastern diocese. But this friend's un- 
timely death removed this source of influence and it is not just to 
expand this study that the address at the Portland rose festival is 

As has been observed, the possibility of election to the diocese 
of Long Island, might have been seriously considered if it were 
not for the fact that the year 1925 held such promise. One can see 


that Bishop Thomas may well have felt that the great plans for 
Wyoming could actually be carried out, and that hope was so 
strong that he reluctantly declined this final opportunity to be 

Mrs. Thomas' poor health must also be considered as a factor in 
a wide appraisal. Aside from the incident described, she was, in 
1927, bitten by a dog suspected of being rabid, and there was a 
painful 40-day period of innoculations and observation all filled 
with anxiety.^^ 

The implementation of his plans had a glaring weakness. Money 
was often forthcoming for their establishment, but little success was 
enjoyed by the bishop in endowing them suitably. It was a fatal 

The bishop once complained to WiUiam Robertson Coe^^ that 
"so far the state has done miserably." He was referring to the lack 
of support to raise matching funds offered by Coe for the Cathedral 
Home for Children, and it was true in other areas as well. 

Two points relate to this aspect of the situation. For one thing, 
the bishop was away from his jurisdiction as much as he was in it, 
and his pastoral relationship with the majority of his flock was 
minimal. A whirlwind series of confirmation visitations from one 
Wyoming community to another in rapid succession would not be 
the route to developing the deepest relationships. The bishop could 
and did cultivate the Very Important People in Wyoming (as well 
as outside it) but to a lesser degree did he exhibit real concern 
for others. 

The other factor was economic. As Dr. T. A. Larson points 
out so clearly^^, Wyoming entered the era of depression much ear- 
lier than other parts of the country. This in itself curtailed finan- 
cial support of the church generally, and the bishop's programs in 
particular. And, as the decade wore on, even the Coes, ScovUles 
and Voorhis' began to retrench in their contributions. The sources 
were simply drying up for the bishop, and it was not as apparent to 
him in 1925 as it was in 1927. 

Thomas was regarded as something of a maverick by the church 
officials in New York. He was probably regarded as a pirate by 
the eastern bishops into whose jurisdictions he came, often depart- 
ing with sizeable gifts for the work in Wyoming to the chagrin, and 
possibly envy, of his fellow bishops. 

51. The stone altar in the chapel of St. Matthew's Cathedral was given 
by the bishop as a thanksgiving for his wife's recovery, a fact not disclosed 
for some time. 

52. Letter to Coe, June 8, 1925. 

53. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1965). The point is clearly made beginning on page 411, and 
pertinent material occurs throughout most of Chapter 14. 


It is not clear if the grandiose projects built upon uncertain 
financial foundations caused the first two men elected to replace 
him to decline the honor. It may be significant that Elmer 
Schmuck, who did accept at long last, had been an officer in the 
Episcopal Church's national council and was, perhaps, chosen to 
give some stability to the missionary district of Wyoming. 

Occasionally in his enthusiasm, or in desperation, he became 
party to unusual actions. For instance, Mr. Coe's offer of $25,000 
to Cathedral Home was conditional on the bishop's cooperation 
in disseminating an article of Coe's regarding taxation to Wyoming 
and Montana newspapers. Arranged to appear that it was an 
innocent request from the bishop to Coe, it was, in fact, Coe's 
idea from the start, and he shrewdly guessed that his opinions 
would be enhanced or paid attention to, if they were accompanied 
by the announcement of a large and locally significant gift. 

The bishop did his part, but the views of Coe did not appear to 
seriously effect the economy, capital or labor. 

It is by no means to be assumed that the bishop was a man 
without principles. He had a view of the church, the nation and its 
culture which was not precisely the prevailing view of these same 
things in Wyoming. He did accomphsh a great deal through his 
energy and persistence, and the ability to oversee a whole group of 
plans at various stages of development — all overlapping in time — 
v.'hile yet traveling widely, speaking often, and working to achieve 
his manifold goals in a variety of ways. 

His efforts to find able men to function as archdeacons, execu- 
tive secretaries and directories in one form or another evidence 
both his concern for having someone in Wyoming to coordinate and 
further pursue the work in his absences, and the further problems 
which could arise when that deputy was not overly-effective. 

It must be admitted that there are limitations in viewing a few 
years of a man's work in the perspective of a single facet of it, in 
this case KFBU. Yet there is a certain suggestiveness of similarity 
between KFBU and its prime mover. Both were developed in the 
east and encountered difficulties in performing well in the west. 
The technology of radio changed and improved almost from day to 
day, and the dreams of Bishop Thomas grew, developed, existed 
and faded in like manner. 

KFBU was closer to the bishop's heart, perhaps, than some of 
the other endeavors he initiated. Because it was a new technique, 
loaded with promise, its appeal was extraordinary for the person- 
ality of one like Bishop Thomas. With it he sensed great oppor- 
tunity to spread rehgion and culture as he had received them and 
wished to share them. 

It was a worthwhile — even noble — concept which feU short in 
execution. It was frustrated by a variety of circumstances, not the 
least of which was the bishop's own stubbornness. But even in 
retrospect he could describe, rather well, his vision: 


The value is in its use, its franchise, it prestige, the psychology behind 
the thing; the material value is almost nothing. 

There is also the value of examining the successes and failures of 
those who pioneered in early Wyoming radio. 

In The Wyoming Churchman (March, 1928, p. 14) Bishop 
Thomas wrote the following appreciation of Bishop Ethelbert 

"When Bishop Talbot's book, 'My People of the Plains,' appeared in 
1907, it did more than any other missionary book of the time to 
interest the people of the East with the Church's work in the West. 
He wrote with freedom and intimacy, which, I think, in some places in 
Wyoming was misunderstood. But there was a kindliness and gen- 
erosity of spirit in it . . . which will make the book a permanent con- 
tribution to the annals of the development of the West." 

May this account of Bishop Thomas' work with KFBU be 
received in the same spirit. 


The following account was prepared by Bishop Thomas for his 
own use as well as for distribution to inquirers who heard his 
sermons and broadcasts where this story was related. 

As a point of accuracy it should be noted that the cross atop St. 
Matthew's Cathedral is the highest of any cathedral in the country, 
though not of any church or city. 


Last winter we had a small station in the Cathedral, whose cross 
lifts its head higher than any cross set in any city of this Country, 
and were somewhat interested in broadcasting. One night there came 
a terrible blizzard tearing down all telephone and telegraph Hues 
entering Laramie both from the East and from the West. A fruit 
train from the Pacific Coast crashed into a freight coming over the 
Borie cut-off, spilling about twelve cars over the tracks. The three 
trains, the Overland Limited, the Los Angeles Limited, and the Pacific 
Limited, were due to leave Cheyenne within a very few minutes of one 
another. There were no available means of communication with 
Cheyenne, and unless word could be gotten to Cheyenne to hold 
these trains, the chances were that the most terrible wreck in the 
history of the railroad would ensue. 

A track hand managed to reach Laramie on a small gasoHne 
speeder, hurried to the dispatch office and reported the wreck. All 
wires were down and there was no way by which to communicate with 
Cheyenne. It so happened that Vice-President Jeffries (i/c), General 
Manager of the railroad, was in the City at the time in his private car. 
Someone suggested to him that it might be possible to broadcast a 
warning by the Morse Code, using the small broadcasting station at 
the Cathedral. It was then after midnight, but the request was broad- 
casted that anyone picking up the message should wire Cheyenne from 
the East via Kansas City, at once telling of the disaster. The message 
was picked up by a boy in Redlands, California. It was sent by 
Western Union along the line of the Santa Fe to Kansas City. The 


message reached Cheyenne just five minutes before the Overland 
Limited was due to leave that place and the wreck did not occur. 

On a visit to New York I happened to tell this story to Mrs. Edward 
H. Harriman, widow of the late railroad magnate, and she told me to 
install an adequate broadcasting station in the Cathedral and that she 
M/ould be responsible for the bill. In fulfillment of the promise in 
1924, we finished the erection of our station a few weeks ago. 

Elton (sic) F. Horn, the gloriously talented young man who was 
testing the machine he had built, was electrocuted. All of the great 
undertakings in the world have been paid for in human life. And so 
it has been with this Station K.F.B.U. This radio station which saved 
hundreds of lives by forestalling a gigantic wreck, has taken this 
beautiful young life. 

I thought that you might be interested in hearing this story of our 
station, K.F.B.U. 

Very truly yours. 

This account, originally prepared in late 1925, and slightly 
revised later, may be compared with the actual events of 1922 
contained in Appendix B immediately following. 


The events of November 5-6, 1922, were more complex than 
suggested by any of the writers who described the role of KFBU 
three or more years later. 

Accounts of the situation published by Laramie and Cheyenne 
newspapers contain information by which the reader may measure 
the interpretation of the bishop and also of Mr. Cosby. 

The Wyoming State Tribune in Cheyenne published a Sunday 
edition on November 5 while the Laramie Republican and Laramie 
Boomerang did not have Sunday issues and covered the story on 
Monday the sixth. 

The Tribune going to press in the early hours of Sunday morning 
indicated that one passenger train was already stalled in snowdrifts 
two miles west of Cheyenne, the storm being so intense that the 
passengers had to remain with the train in spite of its proximity 
to the city. 

Communications were broken or intermittent in all directions, 
passenger train No. 7, whose whereabouts was unknown, finally 
arrived in Cheyenne at 12:20 a.m. Sunday morning. The news 
story added that it would not be sent on westward untU communica- 
tions were restored. Thus, just prior to the accident at Buford, 
there was no disposition in Cheyenne to allow trains to proceed 
toward Laramie. 

Monday's Tribune reported that three accidents had taken place 
on the previous day. The first was at Hillsdale, east of Cheyenne, 
and the tracks had been cleared rather quickly. The second was at 
Borie (9.6 miles west of Cheyerme) where Extra No. 260 was 
struck from the rear by Extra No. 228 at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday 
morning. Both trains were eastbound to Cheyenne from Laramie. 
This blockage was also cleared, though with some difficulty. 


The third accident was the one at Buford (29.4 miles east of 
Laramie) and the one in which KFBU figured. At this point an 
eastbound extra freight train was rammed by the first section of 
Train No. 6 which was drawn by two locomotives and consisted of 
baggage and mail cars only. The time given for this incident was 
1:45 a.m. Sunday. 

The Laramie Boomerang reported that the freight had received 
orders at Tie Siding (18 miles east of Laramie) to proceed 11.3 
miles further to Buford, there to take the siding and clear the main 
line for No. 6 following. Winds and blowing snow delayed this 
maneuver so that the freight had entered the siding, but had not 
cleared the main line when it was overtaken and struck by 
the mail-express section of No. 6 at a speed, estimated by the 
Boomerang, to be between 35 and 40 miles per hour. Crewmen 
in the freight's caboose were among the fatalities. 

In its Monday report of the accident the Laramie Republican 
made the only reference to the use of KFBU based on an interview 
with a Union Pacific company physician : 

Dr. Hamilton who was called to the wreck on the first train sent 
from this city . . . adds some details that are very interesting. He 
tells of the attempt of General Manager Jeffers who was here when 
word of the wreck was brought to the city, to enlist the wireless in 
covering the gap between Laramie and Cheyenne when the telephone 
and telegraph wires went out. He called Mrs. N. S. Thomas, wife of 
the bishop, and they together called W. N. Crosby, formerly the man- 
ager of the Postal Telegraph and Cable company, now a vocational 
student at the university, who employed the radio set at the cathedral 
for S.O.S. calls. Mr. Crosby was finally able to communicate with 
Fresno, California, who knew nothing of the wreck, of course, and 
could get nothing through that would help. He agreed to lend his aid, 
however, and they were picked up by the Denver office. There a boy 
was in charge, and he could do little, but between the Laramie and 
Fresno stations, with what aid Denver could give them, they raised 
Kansas City, where the message was relayed to Cheyenne and the 
offices of the Wyoming Division at that place were communicated 
with. A wrecking outfit was started to the scene of the wreck, but it 
was stalled before reaching Buford, and could do little.54 

The Tribune, on the same day, noted that "The Western Union 
line to Denver was never actually out of commission, although use 
of it was difficult at times Saturday night and Sunday morning." 
Presumably it was by this means that the message from Kansas 
City was relayed. 

In Tuesday's issue, the Tribune observed that the U. S. Air Mail 
radio at the Cheyenne air field was being used to assist in dispatch- 
ing trains. 

The Laramie Boomerang carried, on November 9, a story from 
Casper concerning Norman Hood, an amateur radio operator, who 

54. Laramie Republican, November 6, 1922, p. 5. 


used his equipment to inform Burlington Railroad officials in 
Denver of the location of two C.B. & Q. trains stalled near 
Wendover, Wyoming. His message was relayed to Denver by 
amateur station 9ANQ of Kansas City.^^ 

All three newspapers subsequently ran stories of the calling of 
investigations and inquests, but their results were not immediately 
forthcoming since congressional and gubernatorial elections had 
taken place on Tuesday, November 7. The Democratic party 
scored an unexpected upset sweep at the polls and monopolized 
the media for many days at the expense of the follow-up on the 
railroad accidents. 

There was no editorial comment by any newspaper about the 
accidents. The Tribune and the Boomerang both carried, within 
the week, a syndicated editorial featuring the comments of Lady 
Asquith of Britain. She compared sleeping car accommodations 
in the U.S. very unfavorably with those in England and Europe! 

It would be fair to assume, in conclusion, that the role of KFBU 
during the Union Pacific's difficulties was useful, but not critical. 
William Jeffers, in Laramie, was not as aware of all that his 
employees in Cheyenne knew. His action was wise, resourceful 
and prudent, but the Umited evidence available suggests that Union 
Pacific authorities in Cheyenne were acting with great caution and 
would hardly have released trains to the west until matters radically 
improved with respect to full information on train locations and 
the restoration of communications. 

It is extremely improbable that the catastrophic collision held 
out as a possibility — even certainty — by later writers would have 
occurred at all. 

55. The story in the November, 1922, issue of The Wyoming Churchman 
was a conflation of this story in the Boomerang and the report of Dr. 
Hamilton in the Laramie Republican. 

of a Qoshen County Momesteader 


Charles Oliver Downing 

Edited by 

Sharon Reed Smith 


Recollections of a Goshen County Homesteader was written almost 
exclusively from notes kept by C. O. Downing. Part of the text, 
however, is from stories told by C. O. and Belle. It was written to 
give an insight into homestead living in Wyoming and the development 
of the Goshen County area at the turn of the century. 


Charles Oliver Downing was born in New York State in the Uttle 
town of Himrods, August 24, 1883, the third son of George F. and 
Minerva Downing. 

His paternal grandmother, Dorothy Kitterer, came from Alsace- 
Lorraine, a small region in northeastern France, which at that time 
was part of Germany. In C. O.'s words, "I remember her as being 
tall, well-groomed, in good health and congenial. Her husband, 
John Downing, who was of English descent, passed away and was 
buried at Himrods, when my father was 17. Since he was the 
oldest of the children, my father was forced to work and bring 
home the earnings to support his mother and brother, Charles, and 
sisters, Lillian, Mate, Anna, and Margaret. These were all frugal 
and industrious people. Charles was a carpenter by trade, and also 
worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Uved in Pennsylvania. 
The sisters eventually married and lived rural lives in the state of 
New York. I was always glad when Uncle Charlie came to visit us. 
He was jolly and had a special way of making us children feel im- 

Enos Morse, a Welchman, was C. O.'s maternal grandfather; 
his wife's maiden name was Kelley. According to C. O., "When 
the German and English get to quarreling inside of me, I call the 
Irish Kelley up to laugh them out of it." 

There were four children in C. O.'s family. Fred, the eldest son, 
was bom in 1880; Frank in 1881; and the sister, Mabel, in 1884. 


All of the children were taught to work at an early age and daily 
chores were assigned to each. They helped hoe the garden, milk the 
cow, gather eggs, and feed the hogs. C. O. recalls, "In those days, 
many families kept a cow and chickens and grew most of their own 
vegetables. Some families even owned fruit trees, and often Father 
and Mother and all of us children would pick apples and other 
fruit for these people in order to receive a share for ourselves. 
Each summer, Mother canned about 200 jars of fruits and vege- 
tables for our winter use. We children also gathered hickory nuts 
and walnuts from nearby woods. We had a large cellar where we 
stored apples, nuts, cabbage, carrots, and turnips. Living was 
hard work in those days, but we were brought up learning to work 
and accepted it as a fact of life." 

Himrods was a small community. The schoolhouse for the area 
was located one mile south of Himrods, and children walked to and 
from school each day. According to C. O., "The teacher had all 
eight grades so it was largely up to the individual child to dig out 
the facts of learning himself. Father had taught school in that 
building before we entered there. Father loved studying and books. 
Although he did a lot of day-labor work, he always had a book 
with him and read while eating his noonday meal." 

Because there was no high school at Himrods, and the Downings 
wanted their children to have the advantages of more education, 
the family moved to the town of Dundee, after C. O. completed 
second grade. C. O. says, "The part of my grade school exper- 
ience that I remember most distinctly is having to stay in the third 
grade two years before going on to fourth." The high school in 
Dundee, known as the Dundee Academy, was a private school. 
By the time the Downing children had finished grade school, the 
Dundee school system had bought the Academy building and was 
conducting a regular, four-year high school program, conforming 
to the New York state requirements. There C. O. studied geom- 
etry, English, four years of Latin, two years of Greek and one year 
of German, among other subjects. Fred quit after one year of 
high school and went to work in a mercantile store. Frank quit 
after two years and took a job in the same store. Mabel and C. O. 
both completed four years of high school and received their diplo- 
mas in 1903. 

Durmg this time of learning in Dundee, C. O. recalls that, "The 
German-English idea of thrift gave way to the desire of ownership, 
Father bought a house in Dundee, and we were all happy to have a 
place of our own. All these years I have been proud of Father for 
this and for other things he did for his family." 

Throughout his grade school years, C. O. did small chores for a 
widow. The chores included emptying the ashes from the two 
stoves, bringing in buckets of coal and kindling and shaking the 
rugs. For each day of work, he was paid five cents which was used 
for necessary items such as shirts. In addition to the work for the 


widow, C. O. sold the weekly paper from Elmira on the streets on 
Saturday nights, and delivered it to homes on Sunday, usually 
selling a total of 140 papers each weekend. 

Later, while attending high school, he worked part time in Ed 
Dailey's grocery store in Dundee. Before school in the morning, 
he opened the store, swept it out, washed the windows, and put 
items out on display. The owner came to relieve him at 8:40, and 
C. O. went to school. At noon, he went back to the store to allow 
the owner to go out for lunch. He then ran back to school after 
stopping at home for a sandwich. When school was out, C. O. 
went back to the store to run errands and deliver goods. While 
working there, he learned to grind coffee, cut bacon, fill bottles 
from a vinegar barrel and weigh out cookies and candy. 

After high school, C. O. worked in a clothing store in Dundee, 
and then spent one year at Colgate Academy and another at Syra- 
cuse University. Following this training, he took the teacher's 
examination and received a New York state teaching certificate. 
Armed with these credentials, he taught school one year in a coun- 
try school about 25 miles northwest of Dundee, receiving $30 per 
month, out of which he paid board and room at a nearby farm- 

C. O.'s brothers, Fred and Frank, had gone to Duluth, Minne- 
sota, before C. O. was out of high school. Frank was a secretary 
at the Y.M.C.A. there, and Fred went across the river to Superior, 
Wisconsin, to work as manager of the linen department in the Roth 
Brother's Department Store. The two brothers went back to 
Dundee one summer vacation and persuaded their younger brother, 
the teacher, to go back with them. 

C. O. found a job in a large department store in Duluth, but after 
the trip west from Dundee he had wandering fever. Late in the 
summer, he bought a train ticket to Wahpeton, North Dakota. He 
had heard about the large wheat fields there and wanted to see 
them for himself. Following his arrival in Wahpeton, he rode in a 
local wheat company wagon out to the fields where he saw 36 
binders cutting wheat on 640 acres. Back near Dundee, 20 acres 
of wheat was considered a lot! For the rest of that day, C. O. 
helped by driving a small, two-horse mechanic's cart. When a 
binder broke down, and this happened fairly regularly, the driver 
of the broken machine put his hat on top of his long whip and 
pulled out of the line of binders. This was the signal for the 
repairman to be taken to the broken binder in the little cart, and 
soon the machine was back in the line again. 

C. O. stayed there that evening and returned to Wahpeton the 
following day, Sunday. After church he met a wheat farmer who 
enlisted his help. C. O. agreed, and shocked wheat for a week. 
At the end of that time the farmer said, "Downing, they are thresh- 
ing wheat over at the neighbor's. Take a gunny sack and put some 


blankets in it, get that wheat rack wagon and that team and go 
over there. The crew boss will tell you what to do." 

C. O. was told to go out into a field and get a load of wheat 
shocks. As he drove the team onto the field he was joined by 
another man, and together they pitched shocks onto the wagon. 
C. O. drove the loaded wagon alongside a large threshing machine. 
The two men climbed on the load and started pitching bundles into 
the machine. CO. was greatly surprised to see another wagon 
pull up on the other side of the machine, and to see two men 
pitching bundles in from that side too. This threshing was done on 
a much larger scale than in the East. At 9:00 o'clock a boy 
brought out a pail of sandwiches along with plenty of water to 
drink. Then, at noon, all work stopped and the crew went to the 
cook shack to eat. There was plenty of good food, and all ate 
heartily. By 1:00 p.m. the whole crew was back pitching shocks 
into the threshing machine or going out to the fields to load 
bundles. At 4:00 p.m. out came more sandwiches. The workers 
helped themselves and went right on working until 7:00 p.m. and 
then went to the cook shack for the evening meal. After supper, 
the help climbed into the haymow of the barn for the night, and a 
short night it was. After the roll call, which was done by states, 
the men drifted off to sleep. At 4 : 00 a.m. the call came, begiiming 
another arduous day, "You teamers get out. Get those teams fed 
and harnessed." 

When it was time to move on to another spot, the crew boss 
instructed C. O. to hitch his team to the cook shack and take it two 
miles down the road to the next threshing spot. C. O. didn't know 
too much about this kind of work, but he wasn't afraid to try. The 
cook rode inside the cook shack and continued to make his next 
meal without a break. Very little time was lost. 

All of this was brand new for a young rover from New York, 
and was most enjoyable. Having been taught to work when he 
was growing up was paying off. 

After six v/eeks of harvesting, C. O. had earned $250, which 
was a lot of money in those days. He took the train back to Duluth 
and from there, went to Indiana University. He signed with Fred 
Bennett of the Balfour Company to sell fraternity and sorority 
jewelry and he continued the enterprise through the winter at 
colleges in Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. While 
riding on the train from Ames, Iowa, to the University of Nebraska 
at Lincoln, C. O. met a man with an idea that caused a decisive 
change in his life. His seat partner, seeming to realize that C. O. 
was a young adventurer at this stage in his life, told him that he 
was going to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to see about some homestead 
land. He asked C. O., "Why don't you go to Wyoming and take 
a homestead?" 

C. O.'s first response was, "What is a homestead?" The m£in 
went on to explain that a person could get 160 or 320 acres of land 


free from the government by homesteading it. The Homestead 
Act required a person to select his land, enter a filing on it at a 
federal land office, live on it a certain length of time, and make 
proof of residency to the land office. If the requirements were 
satisfied, title to the land was issued. The idea intrigued C. O. 
and at Lincoln he wrote to Washington and had homestead infor- 
mation sent to him at General Delivery, Lawrence, Kansas, which 
was his next stop. At Lawrence, he studied the homestead laws 
thoroughly, then bought a ticket Denver, Colorado. The moun- 
tains seemed very high to C. O. who was accustomed to the hills in 
New York, and in the thin air of the higher altitude, they seemed 
quite near. From Denver, he went to Cheyenne, 

The state of Wyoming was just about twenty years old when 
C. O. arrived in 1910. Cheyenne, the capital, was merely a grown- 
up western town. The capitol building stood at the upper end of 
the street and the magnificent red stone Union Pacific depot stood 
at the lower end of the long street. The three-story Inter Ocean 
Hotel was the center of Cheyenne business. The town was oriented 
around the Union Pacific Railroad, whose double tracks could 
hardly handle the numerous passenger and freight trains. Talk 
around town at that time was that the Union Pacific Railroad 
controlled Wyoming. It was said the Union Pacific named the 
Wyoming territorial governors and that this control by the Union 
Pacific had continued after statehood. As Wyoming's oil, gas, iron 
ore and other mineral resources were developed, with the resultant 
increase in population in other portions of the state, some of the 
Union Pacific's influence in the legislature was lost. 

Cheyenne had the atmosphere of the West. Cattle were the 
main topic. Homesteaders were coming, filing on lands, and they 
were not liked by the cattlemen. But the Cheyenne business 
houses felt their economy growing as lumber, posts, wire, wind- 
mills, groceries, and house supplies moved out to the homesteads. 
Cheyenne not only was the capital, but the county seat of Laramie 
County as well. Fort D. A. Russell with its foot soldiers and 
cavalry added to the western spirit of Cheyenne, 

C. O, viewed Cheyenne and the surrounding area, and walked 
the streets to get the feel of it all. Shortly after his arrival in 
Cheyenne, a man tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I will 
locate you on a homestead near Chugwater." This man, along 
with the man on the train, greatly changed the life of the young 
adventurer from New York. 


C. O. asked the man for more information, and he said, "For 
$150 I will pay the expense of the train, the travel to the land, the 
return trip expense, and the filing fee." 

To this C. O, replied, "Man, I don't have $150, and if I did 
I wouldn't give it to you," 


The man laughed and said, "We are going up on the train in the 
morning. You pay me $25 and pay your own train fare and I will 
help you locate the land. But keep quiet about it because the 
others going are each paying me $150." 

Years before the homesteaders came, the Chugwater Creek area 
north of Cheyenne was inhabited by Indians. To get meat from 
the buffalo herds, the Indians formed two lines leading to a cliff. 
Other Indians, riding horses, herded the buffalo toward the cliff 
between the two lines, driving buffalo over the cliff to their death. 
As the buffalo hit the ground near the stream, they made a chug- 
ging sound. The stream was called Chugwater by the Indians, a 
name later adopted by the ranchers. 

C. O. and company arrived in Chugwater at the Burlington rail- 
road depot and found a general store, the Swan Land and Cattle 
Company headquarters, a one-room schoolhouse, and several 
dwellings, one of which was occupied by Jack Porter. Jack was 
employed to drive the men across the prairie east of Chugwater to 
select their homestead. He had a team of western horses hitched 
to a mountain wagon with three seats. They traveled across 
Chugwater Creek, past the Swan buildings, up a long hill and on 
to the open prairie. There were no houses, no roads, no trees, no 
fences, just low rolling hills and level ground, all covered with 
prairie grass. Jack had been a cowboy for the Swan Company, 
more familiarly known as the Two-Bar, because of the brand they 

At one time, the Swan Land and Cattle Company ran 100,000 
cattle and 75,000 sheep on the public range. Their summer range 
was 75 miles west on the west side of the mountains. Much of 
their livestock was brought to Chugwater Creek for the winter 
where there was plenty of hay and shelter. They had 75 sheep 
dogs. Those dogs reportedly were imported from Australia, be- 
cause the American dogs would mind only one master while the 
Australian dogs would attend sheep with any master. Most of the 
sheepherders were Mexicans and would remain in employment for 
short periods of time only — ^hence the importance of the Australian 
dogs. Wyoming law made it a penitentiary offense for a herder to 
leave a band of sheep without first being relieved by another herd- 
er. At the headquarters in Chugwater, the company maintained 
a large house for its employees, many of whom belonged to the 
local Masonic lodge. C. O.'s prior membership in that lodge would 
soon serve to establish him in the new community. But being in 
the midst of that large ranch operation was a test for a greenhorn 
from New York. 

Huge ranches and miles of prairie were new to C. O. On and on 
they went through the endless prairie grass. This was completely 
different from the wooded areas of the East. Finally, Jack drove 
to the west end of a long valley and stopped the team. The locating 
man, Charles Christy, said, "Men, this is where your homesteads 


are. Emery, your homestead land is at this edge of the valley. 
Kelley, your homestead joins Emery's on the east. Bacon, your 
homestead is next to Kelley's, and Downing, your land is at the 
east end of the valley — the best of all." It all looked alike to C. O. 
Jack drove the team back to Chugwater and Christy paid him for 
his service. The men stopped at the Swan boarding house in 
Chugwater for some food, then rode the train back to Cheyenne. 
The next morning Christy led them to the federal land office where 
each filed a homestead entry on the lands they had visited. The 
other three men filed on 320 acres. C. O. filed on 160 acres — the 
southeast quarter of Section 34, Township 21 North, Range 64 
West of the 6th Principal Meridian, Wyoming. It was spring, 
1910. He had no intention of staying very long in any place at 
that time, but if he would live on his homestead for 14 months, 
submit proof of residence, and cultivate the required 40 acres, he 
could purchase the land for $1.25 per acre. 

After several days in Cheyenne, C. O. was getting used to west- 
ern ways — he even bought a saddle and a horse. Another home- 
steader was driving a team and wagon out to a neighboring 
homestead some 50 miles north of Cheyenne. They left Cheyenne 
together a little after noon and arrived at the Warren ranch by 
night. There they had supper and the horses were fed. Most 
westerners made travelers feel welcome to share a meal on their 
way. In the morning, they continued northward. That night at 
Bear Creek, they stopped at the Griffin ranch. Homesteaders were 
to fence the lands previously freely roamed by cattle and sheep, yet 
the ranchers took care of any and all travelers who happened by. 
The third day, C. O. and his traveling companion arrived on their 
homesteads. C. O. bought lumber in Chugwater and had it hauled 
to his land, a distance of 16 miles. From this lumber, C. O. and 
another man built a shack ten feet square with two windows. The 
door, made from the extra lumber, faced south. The roof slanted 
to the north and the floor was made of shiplap boards six inches 
wide. There was no foundation, just runners on small pieces of 
prairie stone; and it was unpainted. A drop side cot; a three- 
legged, wood-burning stove; a table built from two-by-fours; and a 
kerosene lamp completed the furnishings. C. O. built a fence 
around ten acres to keep range cattle away from his rustic new 
home. Finally he bought a buggy and taught his horse to pull it. 
Now he could go to a spring in the nearby canyon to get water. 

It was now time for C. O. to think about earning some money. 
Armed with his education at Colgate and Syracuse and his year of 
teaching experience near Dundee, he went to the University of 
Wyoming at Laramie and took an examination for teaching in 
Wyoming schools. It was a proud and happy moment for C. O. 
when he was given a certificate to teach. 

School districts were large and the schools needed teachers. 


Ranchmen controlled the schools and were on the school boards. 
Much of the land was federally owned, not patented. The small 
amount of patented land was owned and controlled by ranchmen 
and their livestock grazed free on the public lands, so there was 
little tax money for schools. The district that mcluded the school 
at Chug water and the land C. O. had filed on was 20 miles east- 
west by 60 miles north-south, J. C. Underwood, a ranchman 
living 30 miles south of Chugwater, was clerk of the district. C. O. 
wrote to him, asking for a teaching job. Mr. Underwood wanted a 
teacher for the one-room school at his ranch, for his children and 
the children of other ranchers in the area, and he assigned that 
school to C. O. Shortly after that, however, C. O. was asked to 
teach in Chugwater. Underwood said he would release him from 
his school and assign him to the Chugwater school if he could get 
another man to take his place. C. O. wrote to another teacher he 
had met in Laramie, telling him about the job and this man agreed 
to take the Underwood school for $50 per month. The only 
problem now was to make some money to tide him over until his 
first teaching check in September. 

The big rodeo and celebration, Cheyenne Frontier Days, took 
place in August. C. O. went to Cheyenne and applied for work in 
a cafe where they needed an extra counter man during Frontier 
Week. He had worked as a counter man during his college days 
at Syracuse. He bought a black jacket for one dollar and went to 
work counter-hopping the next morning. About 11:30 that 
morning, in came a well-dressed man who ordered a beef sandwich 
and a glass of beer. C. O. ordered the sandwich and went through 
the door joining the bar and bought a glass of beer. The man left 
a quarter tip, after finishing his lunch. Later, C. O. found out that 
the man was U. S. Senator Francis Warren. He came in daily, 
ordered his lunch, and left C. O. a quarter tip. C. O. went home 
with $18 for the week. 

C. O. went back to Chugwater and employed Charlie Brandon 
to put down a well for water at the homestead. He hit water at 
236 feet and C. O. paid him 50-cents a foot. Brandon put casing 
part way down, then he installed pipe to the bottom of the hole and 
put a pump on the pipe. C. O.'s teaching paid for these homestead 

Frank Brain, who had a homestead three miles away, was hired 
to plow the required acres on C. O.'s homestead, and was paid $3 
per acre for plowing 40 acres, 


There were several homesteading laws in effect at this time. The 
one that applied to the Chugwater area was the Homestead Act 
which allowed a maximum of 320 acres to each settler. Most of 


the homesteaders filed on the full 320 acres. The residence re- 
quirement was five years with 80 acres cultivated. The Kinkaid 
Act allowed filing on 640 acres, but that was in Nebraska. Many 
of the people who filed on lands east of Chugwater came from 
Iowa, so a post office was created in this area about 12 miles east 
of Chugwater, it was logically given the name Iowa Center, and 
Mrs. Earl Arnold was named postmistress. 

Some of the homesteaders filed only on 160 acres, and com- 
muted from town after the required 14 months residence. A few 
came with money and built substantial houses and bams and lived 
as they had before. They fenced their land, put down wells, and 
bought cows to milk. They plowed the prairie sod and planted 
crops, usually with horses and machinery. Railroads prospered 
with the incoming homesteaders who quickly developed the public 
lands. Before long, wheat, flax, oats and livestock were being 
shipped out. Machinery, materials, and lumber were bought from 
mercantile companies in Cheyenne and Chugwater. Young men 
without families worked for the ranchers and put their earnings 
into buildings and machinery for their newly acquired lands. Some 
homesteaders employed their neighbors to plow the required 
acreage and seed it. Gradually, money was moving into the area. 
Because Chugwater was slow in creating markets for the grain, 
the farmers organized a cooperative and C. O. bought stock in it to 
help the community. 

Fences were put up around the homesteads, marking section 
lines, which the rough roads usually followed. Some of the men 
took their teams and graded a short road in front of their land. 
Because the county seat was in Cheyeime, 50 miles south of 
Chugwater, the county commissioners were slow in realizing the 
new development. As a matter of fact, there was not enough tax 
money to meet all the newcomers' needs. Most of the commis- 
sioners were ranchmen. The homesteaders settled on the public 
prairie, which had previously been free grazing for the ranchers' 
livestock, so they didn't look kindly toward spending money for 
roads to help those who were destroying their way of life. How- 
ever, the homesteaders bought goods in Cheyenne and helped the 
general economy of the county and state, and gradually overcame 
the ranchers' adversity. 


C. O. opened the one-room school at Chugwater in the fall of 
1910. There were 14 pupils, from the Swan Company families, 
and from homestead and other ranch families. There were several 
grades, and C. O. was kept quite busy. He rode his horse from his 
homestead 16 miles out to start this term of school. The horse was 
turned loose within the school grounds, which were fenced. Grass 
was plentiful, and Chugwater Creek passed through the grounds. 


Mrs. Austin had a boarding house for the Swan employees, and 
C. O. ate there too. Thus, he soon was settled in the western com- 
munity. One requirement for all the students at his school was that 
each read a book aloud at home once each month. Some students 
groaned about it, but they all read a book. The size of the book 
was left to each student. Each student's word was taken at the end 
of the month, and a record was kept. This requirement was talked 
about around the Chugwater area. 

C. O. completed the eight-month term of school at Chugwater 
and Jess Yoder asked him to teach a six-month term at his ranch 
during the summer. The school board of the district approved this, 
so C. O. finished the school at Chugwater on a Friday and Monday 
morning started the summer ranch school at Jess's ranch, six mUes 
from his homestead. The schoolhouse there was made of sod with 
a door made of planks. Foot- wide boards were put on the roof, 
and sod was put on top of those boards. Two windows illuminated 
the inside of the building for this school. School was disrupted 
only once during the six-month term, when a skunk was discovered 
under the floor. The children were dismissed while C. O. pulled 
up the floor boards and got rid of the animal. Classes were 
resumed the following day. Early in the morning C. O. rode his 
horse to school, taught until 4:00 p.m., and rode back to his shack 
for the night. He wore his western boots both for riding and 
teaching school. The ranch children also wore boots, so C. O. 
was right in style. Years after, one of the pupils at the school told 
C. O., "The best days of my Ufe were the days I spent at that 
school. The life was free and easy. We learned there the things 
we needed later to get us through life." 

C. O. rode as the crow fUes across the open prairie. On many 
occasions, he rode up over a hill and scared up several antelope 
and occasionally a deer. At times he rode through many cattle 
grazing on the prairie. The prairie was covered with wild flowers 
amidst the grass. Cattle, horses, and antelope found early grass on 
the ridges to feed on during and after spring blizzards. The grass 
was short, but it was said that it contained almost as much protein 
as oats. Later came the gramma grass, which grew taller and had 
leaders from the stem containing seeds with strength for the grazing 
stock. The prairie wheat grass came on a little later, grew taUer, 
and gave the stock strength after the other grasses of the prairie 
ripened beyond choice for the cattle and horses. Many tons of 
native prairie hay were cut to stack for winter use. It was mostly 
cut in the large valleys where the winter snow and the spring rains 
added the moisture that develops taUer grass. Cattle grew fat on 
these western prairie grasses and were shipped to market for 
slaughter. The cattle roundups for shipping in the faU required 
many cowboys to drive the cattle to the raikoad shipping points. 
The Swan Land and Cattle Company was said to have 100,000 
cattle and almost as many sheep grazing on the free prairie at the 


height of its operation. Other ranches were also beUeved to have 
large numbers. 

By this time another school was needed east of the Iowa Center 
community. The ranchman school board members told the com- 
munity that the district would pay for the lumber, provided the 
parents would haul out the materials and construct the building. 
All of the community helped with this project and the building 
was ready for school in the fall of 1911. The school board re- 
quested that C. O. teach in this new community building. So, after 
finishing the Jess Yoder school on Friday night, C. O. started the 
new school the following Monday morning with 32 children of all 
ages in attendance, from first grade through the eighth grade. By 
four o'clock in the afternoon, the teacher was ready to go east two 
miles to his homestead shack for peace and quiet. The next morn- 
ing back he went to school to help each pupil with his learning. He 
took a lunch to get him through the noon hour. 

C. O. taught 27 months with only three weeks off. During that 
time, he was cutting posts in a nearby canyon to fence the 
remainder of his 160 acres. 

L. B. Hunt, owner of the Chugwater Mercantile Company, asked 
one Friday morning, "Downing, are you riding out to your home- 
stead this afternoon?" C. O. said, "Yes." Hunt said, "Ride my 
horse, Gunpowder, out. I have a carload of potatoes here on the 
track and I want the people out east to know that it is here, so they 
can come in and get a supply of potatoes. Gunpowder won't buck 
you off, and it won't hurt to ride him hard. Just ride zigzag north 
and south from the main route and spread the word, but when you 
get to your homestead don't turn Gunpowder loose. If you do, 
you can't catch him." 

After school, C. O. rode Gunpowder toward his home, spreading 
the news of the carload of potatoes as he went. He stopped at a 
community meeting, while an old-fashioned literary society was in 
progress. Many were there, including a young lady named BeUe 
Charlson, who might have been the reason he stopped. He arrived 
home late that night, put the rope around Gunpowder's neck, and 
went to bed. However, when he looked out in the morning, he 
saw that Gunpowder had gotten the rope off, and try as he might, 
he couldn't catch him. When he got the horse in a comer of the 
fence, Gunpowder would jump and run to the far side of the ten 
acres. There was nothing to do but to go for help. C. O. walked 
west, but no one was at home at the first stop. He walked to the 
next habitation and no one was home there either. Finally, he 
arrived at the home of Bill Wright, who was a good horseman. 
He drove C. O. back to his place and the two of them were able 
to catch Mr. Gunpowder. C. O. was mighty glad. He paid Bill, 
saddled Gunpowder, and after the pasture gate was closed, he 
mounted and gave Gunpowder a hard 16-mile ride into Chugwater. 



All the prairie land from Chugwater east to C. O.'s homestead 
and even farther was settled by homesteaders. Houses and bams 
were built and fences erected; the prairie took on the patchwork 
look of farming and stock raising; wagons traveling to and from 
Chugwater wore ruts for roads; and at night, one could see lights 
shining from homes in all directions. Railroad cars brought 
machinery, livestock and household goods. Many homesteaders 
milked cows and sold cream or raised chickens and sold eggs. 
Soon, incomes improved family living. Community meetings in 
schoolhouses or at the larger houses brought people together. 
Literary societies were formed with semi-monthly meetings and 
there were spellmg contests, book reviews, debates, and public 
speaking, all with food brought in for a full evening. C. O. attend- 
ed many of these where he met his neighbors, old and new. After- 
wards, he rode to his homestead shack for the weekend. Many 
Saturday night dances were held — people rode miles for an all 
night dance, and then rode home in the morning light. 

One large dance was held at the Kelly ranch, about one mile 
north of the town of Chugwater. This ranch had a large log house, 
with many rooms. Everyone was invited to the dance and C. O. 
asked Belle Charison to go with him. The dance master was Bill 
Yates who was an old-time cowboy and had a ranch of his own on 
Bear Creek. A three piece orchestra was engaged for the music. 
There were square dances, two-steps, and waltzes, with at least 
three sets in different rooms. Bill called all three sets, and when 
one set got mixed up, Bill stopped the music, straightened it out 
and went on with the dance. 

The homesteaders had been named "Wrinkle Bellies" by the 
ranchmen. This came from the supposition that the newcomers 
didn't have enough to eat and their bellies had wrinkles. However, 
at Thanksgiving and Christmas, all the people of the community 
met at one homestead for a feast. All brought food and there was 
singing, horseshoe pitching, racing, wrestling and a ball game. 
It was a happy, congenial but hard-working group. 


When JuUa Isabelle Charison and Ameha (Millie) Marvick 
decided to leave Iowa to homestead in Wyoming, relatives came 
from far and near to tell them goodbye. They were afraid they 
would never see the girls again. Belle's aunt presented her with a 
small bottle of whiskey for snake bites, and a can of black pepper 
to be thrown in the eyes of fresh cowboys. 

Belle and Millie came from the town of Story City, Iowa, just 50 
miles north of Des Moines, and filed on adjoining homesteads near 
Iowa Center. Their shacks were built near a common boundary 
so they were close to each other. 

Photo courtesy of C. O. Downing 

This photograph was taken in front of Belle's homestead shack. C. O.'s shack was joined to 

the rear of the structure. 

Photo courtesy of C. O. Downing 

Belle is second from the left in this photograph. 



Photo courtesy of C. O. Downing 

Photo courtesy of C. O. Downing 





















































































































































































O U 







































A school was needed for the children in this community and the 
Iowa Center school board employed Belle to teach. The board 
paid the teacher $50 a month and furnished books which were 
gathered from schools that had been at the ranches. Because there 
was no tax money to build a school, the parents of the community's 
children chose a building on a temporarily vacated homestead. 
The building was about sixteen feet square and the prairie ground 
provided the only floor. On a Monday morning, Belle went to 
the building to open school. As she opened the door, out ran a 
young steer. Undaunted, Belle entered the building, took the 
names of the children, and started school. Belle was patient, a 
good teacher, and the parents and the school board were pleased 
with her work. 

Years later, Miss Charlson, then Mrs. Downing, told her daugh- 
ters, Lois and Dorothy, a little about homesteading. One of them 
mentioned that it seemed a bleak and rather lonesome life. Belle 
replied that she was lonely at times, but the wind, for which eastern 
Wyoming is notorious, kept her company. However, the wind was 
responsible for scattering her suitcases and their contents for miles 
upon her arrival at the shack. She had chosen an acreage with a 
large ravine — a poor choice as far as the future value of the land 
was concerned. But Belle thought it would be picturesque and it 
provided a break in the monotony of the prairie land. Fortunately, 
the ravine caught and held many of the articles contained in the 
errant suitcases. 

With the coming of Miss Charlson to Iowa Center, C. O.'s inter- 
est in the literary society and various other social activities in- 
creased sharply, and the two of them enjoyed many happy hours 
together. After a while, they decided to be married. 

The wedding was set for a Saturday, but due to a bad snow 
storm, was postponed until the following Monday. During the 
ceremony, held at the preacher's shack, newly hatched chicks under 
the preacher's bed provided the only wedding music. 

Fuel was scarce on the prairie so a week after the wedding the 
newlyweds set out on a honeymoon trip to Lone Tree Canyon to 
gather a wagon load of pine and cedar. 

After Belle proved residency and improvement on her homestead 
land, she had her shack joined to C. O.'s to form a two-room shack! 
C. O. had a board granary built and a windmill installed on his well. 
Many neighbors brought their cattle and horses there for water. 
The homesteaders worked together and helped each other in 
many ways. 

The Downings were fortunate in having Wid and Ida Eyler for 
neighbors. Ida showed Belle how to dress chickens, make pies and 
bake bread and, on at least one occasion, she cut up a hog that had 
just been butchered and showed the new bride how to make head 
cheese. Belle was learning a lot, but at times life on the homestead 
seemed hard indeed. She was particularly saddened when one of 


the pigs ate several of the baby chicks she was raising. Another 
pet, a horse named Doll, was bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake 
while grazing and her nose swelled until she could be heard 
wheezing a mile away. Belle applied a soda and vinegar poultice 
daily for several weeks and gradually Doll recovered. 

In August, 1913, Belle's father, C. J. Charlson, passed away. 
The message was telephoned to Cheyenne then to the Yoder ranch, 
and Myrtle Yoder rode out to the homestead with the message. 
C. O. quickly hitched the team to the old buggy and drove across 
Fox Creek Canyon to bring the news to Belle's sister, Helen. Both 
sisters took the only passenger train south for Cheyenne. A 
closely-knit family was all assembled when Nellie, another sister, 
received the message. She had been singing with the Saint Olaf 
Choir in Europe. She was aboard the "Hellige Olav Steamer" at 
the time, and was landed quickly. She boarded a train on the 
Lackawanna Railroad and soon joined the family. C. O. went 
back to the homestead and his teaching. 

After spending a few weeks at home, Nellie went to Des Moines 
for further business schooling. Belle returned to the homestead 
with her younger sister, Cora, in tow and C. O. helped Cora find a 
teaching job. Cora was then given the dubious pleasure of driving 
Doll two and a half miles to school and back. Doll was slow, but 
Cora found she could coax her to go faster by singing to her. So 
away they went each day, arriving just in time for school. 

C. O.'s new frame granary was on a concrete foundation, and 
with her woman's touch, Cora soon made it her sleeping quarters. 
With the addition of bed springs and a mattress to a two-by-four 
frame, Cora had a comfortable bed. Late one night, Wid Eyler 
sneaked over to the granary, opened the door, and threw a coyote 
hide on Cora's bed while she slept. Just as she was recovering 
from that surprise, a neckyoke, which was hanging on the granary 
wall, fell on her bed, but Cora was a good sport, was afraid of 
nothing, and thoroughly enjoyed her little "guest house." 


The big news on the homestead was Jess Yoder's new Buick 
automobile, the first in the area. The only problem about owning 
the first automobile in the area was that the only roads over the 
prairie were wagon trails, and now that Jess had a car he needed 
a road. His ranch was about 30 miles from Chugwater, where he 
had to go for supplies every few weeks. To remedy the situation, 
he fastened a regular walking plow to the back of a wagon, pulled 
by two horses, and started out across the prairie, making a furrow 
as he went. To complete the job, he turned around and made a 
second furrow next to the first one on the way back. C. O. was 


surprised to see this crude road-making outfit pass his homestead 
after seeing nothing but horseback riders and an occasional wagon. 
The road was built and other homesteaders purchased cars as time 
went on. The addition of automobiles made a big change in 
homestead living. 

Jess had been the foreman for the Two Bar outfit before settling 
on his own ranch and becoming the foreman of the "Shot-Gun 
outfit." The "Shot-Gun outfit" was the name given collectively to 
all the small ranchers on Fox Creek, Bear Creek, and Horse Creek 
who went together for the spring and fall roundups. 

All the ranches in the area, large and small, including the large 
Swan Company, went together and buUt a north-south drift fence 
across pubhc land about ten miles east of Chugwater Creek. This 
fence prevented the Swan cattle from ranging too far east from 
Swan headquarters in Chugwater and kept the Shot-Gun cattle 
from drifting too far west into Swan country. 

Teddy Roosevelt, then President of the United States, ordered 
all fences taken down from public lands to make room for the 
homesteaders. Both Swan and Shot-Gun ranchers ignored the 
order and left the drift fence up. The President then ordered the 
cavalry in Cheyenne to move out to the fence and cut it down. 
The posts were cut to the ground and the wire cut to bits with no 
resistance from the ranchers. Some of the stubs can still be found 
today. Homesteaders coming in gathered the posts for firewood as 
they settled. 


From 1884 to 1910, Laramie County extended 35 miles north 
of the North Platte River, which flows east from central Wyoming 
to the Nebraska- Wyoming border. Many people settled on home- 
steads, ranches, and in small towns along the river. Consequently, 
Cheyenne, the county seat, was a long distance for many of the 
people in the northern part of Laramie County to travel for county 
business, including recording deeds, patents, securing marriage 
licenses, and other registrations. In order to receive better repre- 
sentation in Cheyenne, these people sent petitions to the governor, 
which resulted in the election of a senator from the North Platte 
community. The senator, J. L. Sawyer, secured passage of legis- 
lation which allowed the residents of the area to vote whether or 
not they wished to form a new county. The residents of northern 
Laramie County were quick to take advantage of this new legisla- 
tion and outlined an area which included Iowa Center, extending 
north-south 72 miles and east-west three miles west of the Iowa 
Center post office to the Nebraska-Wyoming line. These bound- 
aries included the North Platte and the area 36 miles north of 
that river. 


Following this legislation, Governor Joseph M. Carey appointed 
a clerk and a commission to hold an election for the people of the 
area to vote whether or not they wanted to form a new county. 
These men set up voting precincts, one of which was Iowa Center. 
C. O. was named a judge of election and Belle was named the clerk 
of election. The voting took place at Christy's homestead, Christy 
had operated a small store in a town in Iowa and had brought a lot 
of merchandise with him, including a number of small hats for 
boys. C. O. bought these caps and distributed them to the boys in 
the area prior to the election; all who voted at Christy's Iowa 
Center precinct voted in favor of the new county. Although some 
ranchers at the southern end of Laramie County had voted against 
the resolution, the majority of the electorate in the designated area 
voted for the forming of the new county. In 1911, the new county 
of Goshen was created. The name was chosen in a roundabout 
way from the name of a cowboy, Goshen Hale, who worked for 
the Union Cattle Company. 

The Union Cattle Company, an English outfit with headquarters 
on Bear Creek, ran thousands of cattle on the prairie of eastern 
Wyoming and western Nebraska. These were the times of the 
open range. Much of the land was owned by the federal govern- 
ment, except for a few spots on streams, and cattle ranged on public 
grass the year around. The Union Company had title to thousands 
of homestead acres up and down Horse Creek, Bear Creek, Fox 
Creek and on Cherry Creek, primarily because they had their 
cowboys file homesteads on these streams. The story goes that a 
Union Cattle Company cowboy filed on a piece of land, built a 
little house 20 inches square, and then went to the land office to 
make proof. The question was asked, "Have you a house on this 
land?" The answer was, "Yes, a house 20 by 20." No one looked 
into the matter and the cowboy was granted the land. Later on, 
this cattle company sold 35,000 acres to the Lincoln Land Com- 
pany and quit the Wyoming and Nebraska cattle business when 
the homesteaders started fencing the public ranges. 

Many cowboys were needed in the spring and also in the fall to 
round up cattle, but in the winter, when they weren't needed, many 
of the cowboys lived in canyons where water, wood and game were 
plentiful. One cowboy, by the name of Goshen Hale, wintered 
with some of his friends in what was called Lone Tree Canyon, a 
few miles north of the Fisher Ranch. The foreman and the chore 
boy wintered on the Fisher Ranch. In the early spring, the fore- 
man said to the chore boy, "Go over to Goshen's hole and tell the 
cowboys it is time to come to the ranch for the spring roundup." 
After that the lower prairie was called Goshen Hole and Goshen 
County took its name from this area. At that time the assessed 
valuation of the county was $3,500,000. In fifty years, the 
assessed valuation leaped tenfold to $32,000,000. 


After the new county was formed, an election was held to select 
the county seat. Along the North Platte River, the town of Tor- 
rington was estabhshed a few miles west of the Nebraska state line. 
Ten miles west, the town of Lingle was thriving. Naturally, the 
citizens of both Torrington and Lingle wanted their towns to be the 
new county seat of Goshen County. The officers of the Burlington 
Railroad which ran through both towns owned much of the land 
and lots in Torrington. Just before the election which determined 
the county seat, the citizens of Torrington and the surrounding area 
agreed to build a new court house building if Torrington was 
selected. This offer swung the votes, and in 1912, a new building 
valued at $20,000, was erected at no cost to the taxpayers of 
the new county. 

The new county now needed officers and C. O. decided to run 
for the post of county superintendent of schools. He was inter- 
ested in organizing the one-room schools and in getting adequate 
textbooks and materials for all students. 

C. O. borrowed a saddle horse from the Jess Yoder ranch. He 
set out early in the morning, rode all day, a distance of 45 miles, 
passed one house, and arrived in Torrington. For the next two 
days he visited with people in Torrmgton, soUciting their votes 
then rode back to his homestead to await the results of the elec- 
tions. He was elected, and was to be sworn in on January 5, 
1913, in Torrington. The day before his swearing-in, C. O. hired 
Frank Brain to drive him to Torrington. They had no thermom- 
eter, no phone, and no weatherman, but they knew it was a very 
cold ride. During the trip, the two men took turns running behind 
the buggy to warm up. When they arrived in Torrington late at 
night, they learned that it was 30 degrees below zero. Had they 
known how cold it was, they probably wouldn't have made the trip. 

C. O.'s office was in a small, rented building in Torrington in 
which the county clerk also maintained his office. However, C. O. 
didn't stay long in Torrington because it was important for him to 
locate all the schools of the county. There were two teachers in 
Torrington, one in Lingle and one in Fort Laramie, but there were 
many schools on ranches scattered about the county. C. O. drove 
for three weeks with team and buggy to locate the schools and he 
became acquainted with all the schools and their teachers. The 
county school board and the new superintendent met and divided 
the county into four school districts — District Number One ex- 
tended across the north part of the county; Number Two was the 
area around Fort Laramie; the Torrington area was District Three; 
and the south end of the county was District Number Four. The 
system of town and ranch schools improved with the ever-expand- 
ing population and tax base of the county. CO. required all the 
children in the county schools to write him a letter once a month. 


He thought it was good experience for them and it also was en- 
lightening for him. 


E. B. Hudson had been the manager of the PF Ranch and had 
developed a farm near Torrington along the Lucerne canal. About 
1903, the Burlington Railroad built across the south side of the 
farm and E. B. set up a post office at his home with Mrs. Hudson 
as postmistress. The post office was called Wyncote. The railroad 
set off an aged passenger coach for a depot, and employed a 
station master. Several stores were started, and the town of 
Wyncote was on its way. The railroad company asked Mr. and 
Mrs. Hudson for additional land for switching. Mr. Hudson told 
them they could have what footage was needed, but Mrs. Hudson 
saw a chance to make a Uttle money, so she said, "You measure off 
the land you need and we will give a price on it." 

The land three miles east along the railroad right of way be- 
longed to H. D. Lingle. He heard of the needs of the railroad and 
immediately told the railroad to move the station to his land and he 
would give them all the ground they needed for track. A few days 
later a Burlington engine with several men and a flat car backed 
up to the Wyncote station. The passenger car station was loaded, 
and the engine moved east to the Lingle land where the passenger 
car was left for a station at the future site of Lingle, Wyoming. 
With the loss of the Burlington station, the town of Wyncote dried 
up, and stores were moved to the Lingle townsite. Eventually, the 
post office was moved to the town of Lingle, and Wyncote was 
virtually forgotten. 


Wyoming Territory was formed with the present Wyoming state 
boundaries. Five counties were formed, all extending from the 
south line of the territory to the north line and the seat of govern- 
ment of each was situated on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad, 

Several trails were used by emigrants crossing the territory 
headed for Oregon and California. Some of the emigrants grew 
tired of their traveUng and settled along these trails. Old Fort 
Laramie was a major stopping place for travelers following the 
Oregon Trail. Marshall Field of Chicago had a contract wi& the 
United States Government to furnish supplies to the fort and the 
suppUes were brought in by wagon. 

The first known settlers in the Torrington area were Sioux 
Indians with their Chief Red Cloud. Their headquarters were 
along the banks of the North Platte River between the present 
towns of Torrington and Lingle. 

Red Cloud, along with many other Indian chiefs signed a treaty 


with the United States promising that their tribes would migrate to 
reservations and remain there. For a long time after this treaty 
was signed, Red Cloud and his followers remained in the Torring- 
ton-Lingle area. Finally, he was paid a large sum of money by the 
PF Ranch Company to move to the reservation. Fine native hay, 
abundant grass and game, water, and wood had sustained the 
Sioux hunting culture. The next settlers were impressed with these 
same qualities of the area, but were interested in irrigated farming. 

John Coy came from the east and settled near the town of Fort 
Collins, Colorado, where he raised hay and cattle. When his son 
was nearing the age to strike out on his own, John and his neighbor 
searched the foothills of the Rockies for a spot for the son. He 
traversed the Laramie, North Platte, and South Platte rivers, and 
finally selected the benches of the North Platte where Torrington 
now stands as the best place for developing irrigated farming. In 
1883, he filed for water rights with the territory of Wyoming on a 
ditch from the North Platte which would provide water for this 
land. John Coy provided the horses and the equipment from his 
Fort Collins outfit for the buUding of the ditch. William Curtis 
was working for Coy at Fort Collins. Coy promised Curtis that if 
he would come to the North Platte valley and assist in constructing 
the ditch, he would give Curtis water rights for a tract of land near 
young Coy's. The ditch was built before the state of Wyoming was 
created. William Coy and William Curtis established homesteads, 
planted alfalfa, leveled the land, irrigated with the water from the 
river, started with a few cattle and set the roots for a new com- 
munity. At that time the nearest railroads were 90 miles away at 
Alliance, Nebraska, and 50 miles away at Wheatland, Wyoming. 

John Cameron and John Steinmetz helped work on the Coy 
ditch and later, in 1886, filed for rights to build a second ditch 
which become known as the Torrington canal. Today it serves 
many farms in the Torrington area. 

Later, Curtis, Cameron, Steinmetz and the few others of this 
locality, petitioned the federal government to estabhsh a post office 
under the name of Torrington, Wyoming. William Curtis was 
bom at Torrington, Connecticut, and had selected this name. 

The government built the northside Government Ditch from 
1900 to 1905, using mules and dump carts. The Burlington 
Railroad built the line up the valley in 1904 and the town of 
Torrington was incorporated and laid out on its present site. 
Irrigated crops provided feed for cattle and sheep which were sent 
to market in Omaha. 

Step by step the country developed. The government built the 
southside canal, which was completed shortly after World War I 
and the lands to be watered by it were withdrawn from entry in 
order to give servicemen the only right to file homestead entries 
on it. Some 212 farm units were started by these servicemen. 

Torrington later acquired its own municipal electric light plant. 


It acquired water and sewer for the homes of the town, paved its 
streets and developed more farms. The cement school building 
built in Torrington was ridiculed on the grounds that there would 
never be enough students to use all of it. Later, it was full to 
overflowing. The area was developed by the energy and determi- 
nation of many men. 

After three terms as county superintendent, and one term as 
county assessor, C. O. decided if he could manage the business of 
the county schools, he might be able to handle a business of his 
own. He bought a house in Torrington and started a real estate 
office. The real estate business grew as the town of Torrington 
grew. C. O. and Belle lived in Torrington and raised their three 
children there. 


On page 230 of Vol. 42, No. 2, October, 1970, a footnote to the 
article, "Voting Patterns in the Wyoming Constitutional Conven- 
tion of 1889," should read as follows: Zero equals a no vote or 
an absence. The YYYNNN indicate the yea or nay characteristic 
of the votes in the Guttman scaleogram. 

Zke Crow Mian Zreaties of 1868 



A. Glen Humpherys 

In the years immediately following the Civil War, the Crow 
Indians were part of a four-cornered confrontation of power. They 
also were victims of inefficient, uncorrelated government actions. 
But the Crow were successful in preserving a large portion of their 
ancestral lands. 

The economic development of the American West by railroads, 
mining, and settlement was the most powerful, disruptive force. 
Industry that had rapidly expanded during the Civil War was 
mainly located in the Ohio River Valley and New England. The 
railroads that were linking the California wealth, markets, and 
Pacific parts to the industrial East cut across the Indian-dominated 
Great Plains. 

The second movement to change the basic way of life of the 
Plains Indians was the humanitarian civilization program of the 
19th Century liberals. The Office of Indian Affairs was the gov- 
ernment agency through which this viewpoint was spread just as 
the army was the agency protecting the railroads. These two gov- 
ernment methods, force and peace, confronted the divided and 
warring Indian tribes. Many Indians used raids and hostility in 
response to the railroad intrusion, thereby answering force with 
force. Red Cloud and his band of Sioux were the outstanding 
example on the northern plains of Indians using power politics. 
The Crow represented the fourth corner of the power position. By 
peaceful alliance with the United States Government, they hoped to 
obtain a strong aUy to protect them against other Indian tribes. 
The Crow also used the peaceful treaty process to preserve their 
tribal lands. In the midst of this conflict of respective interests, 
the government was inefficient, disinterested, uncoordinated. The 
two Crow treaties of 1868 are illustrative of this inept government 
role, with one being ratified and the other disregarded. 

Part of the circumstances that created these basic and significant 
Crow treaties grew out of the Union Pacific Railroad stretching the 
edge of civilization arrow-like toward the Wyoming plateau. There 
the Bozeman Road linked the outpost forts of Laramie, Fetterman, 
Reno, Phil Kearny, C. F. Smith, and ElUs to the Montana boom 
towns of Virginia City, Diamond City, and Last Chance Gulch. 
These iron bands and dirt traces cut across the hunting grounds of 


most of the Plains Indians. The resulting raids against workers, 
travelers, and settlers were also widespread against the freighters, 
stage drivers, and gandy dancers. However, it was completion of 
the railroad that made possible the treaty concession demanded by 
both the Crow and Sioux to abandon the forts along the Bozeman 
Road. Traffic could go west by rail to the Great Salt Lake then 
north by wagon or coach across Idaho to Montana. 

Mining in Montana was another factor, in addition to railroads, 
that created a need to locate the Indian tribes on a clearly defined 
reservation. The Blackfeet, Sioux, Crow, Gros Ventre, and 
Flathead tribes all claimed the mountains of Montana. But since 
mines were dug where the ore might be found without regard to 
the unwritten and poorly defined Indian claims, the miners wanted 
not only freedom from attack but also mining rights on the Indian 
lands. This could be accomplished either by treaty or removal. 
Lacking faith in the ability of treaties to keep peace, the acting 
governor of Montana, Thomas F. Meagher, a former Union 
officer, in April of 1867, created a force of volunteers to protect 
against Indian depredations. On September 9, 1867, after an 
unsuccessful chase to overtake Indians on the Yellowstone, the 
Seventh Regiment of Volunteers left Camp Meagher to attack the 
Crows on the Sweetwater River. They felt there was no doubt of 
the hostility of the Crows. ^ This regiment of Montana troops 
almost involved the United States in an interminable war with the 
Crows except for the timely intervention of the regular army. The 
use of volunteer troops was further condemned by the policy 
recommendation that no governor or legislature of states or terri- 
tories be permitted to call out and equip troops for the purpose of 
carrying on war against Indians. Since Colorado troops were 
involved in the war of 1864-65 with the Cheyennes, and the 
hundred-day men perpetrated the butchery at Sand Creek, the 
army wanted control of Indian affairs directly and did not want 
either the militia or the civilian Indian agents disrupting order on 
the frontier.2 

Congress made provision in July, 1867, for a top-ranking com- 
mission to make peace, settle Indians on reservations and, if 
possible, remove the causes of hostilities. This group differed 
from the usual presidential appointees that made treaties with the 
Indians in that the prestige and composition of the commission 
added to its power. President Andrew Johnson appointed Lieu- 
tenant General William T. Sherman and Brevet Major Generals 
William S. Harney and Alfred H. Terry as members of the Indian 
Peace Commission. Commissioner of Indian Affairs Nathaniel G. 

1. New York Times, September 22, 1867, p. 4. 

2. U. S. Congress, House, Report of the Indian Peace Commission, 40th 
Cong., 2d Sess., 1868, Exec. Doc. 97, p. 22. 


Taylor, a former Methodist minister, and Senator John B. Hender- 
son of Missouri, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian 
Affairs, had places provided by law on the peace group. Samuel 
F. Tappan of Colorado, and John B. Sanborn, both of whom had 
been generals in the volunteer forces, were named to the com- 
mission.^ Later, Brevet Major General Christopher C. Augur was 
added to the group when Sherman was called to Washington.^ 

The commission held its first meeting at the headquarters of 
General Sherman in St. Louis on August 8, 1867. The group 
organized with N. G. Taylor as president and Ashton S. H. White, 
also of the Office of Indian Affairs, as secretary. Tappan and 
Sanborn were named as a purchasing committee for supplies.^ 
The commission then proceeded to conduct peace councils with 
the Plains Indians despite widespread opinion that money would be 
wasted on useless treaties, that the war had been provoked by 
agents for their own profit and that the army was growing restless 
for victory.^ 

The Indian summer fires had swept the prairies for hundreds of 
miles.''' Then, brisk fall winds revealed the lateness of the season 
as the commissioners arrived at Fort Laramie in November, 1867, 
following their successful treaty council at Medicine Lodge Creek. 
The commission was disappointed that Red Cloud and his band of 
Sioux had not come to Fort Laramie.'' However, the commission 
did hold a council with the Crow, The commissioners knew that 
the Crow were friendly and that good management would keep 
them peaceful. The Crow were bitterly hostile to the Sioux who 
had driven them from their country on the Powder and Big Horn 
Rivers and were occupying it themselves. 

On November 12, 1867, beaver trappers, buffalo hunters, trad- 
ers, and Laramie loafers crowded into the quartermasters store- 
house for the Crow treaty council. The Crow chiefs among whom 
were White Horse, Wolf Bull, Shot-in-the-Face, and Blackfoot 
appeared with full costume. The chiefs forded the Laramie River, 
followed by their women and children. Chanting a Crow song, 
the chiefs filed into the storehouse where the commissioners and 
the Crow leaders were seated on chairs and benches which formed 
a circle when filled in by the secretary, agents, interpreters and 

3. New York Times, July 27, 1867, p. 5. 

4. Telegram, Grant to Augur, October 5, 1867, NARS, RG 98, LR, Dept. 
of the Platte. As cited by James C. Olson, Red Cloud and the Sioux 
Problem (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), p. 59. 

5. New York Times, August 9, 1867, p. 1. 

6. Ibid., July 28, 1867, p. 4. 

7. Deseret Evening News, November 21, 1867, p. 1. 

8. New York Times, November 29, 1867, p. 2. 


journalists. All the others moved in around the room as the Crow 
treaty council began.^ 

As silence was established, Dr. Mathews, U. S. agent for the 
Crows, arose and presented to the commission the chiefs of the 
Crow nation. Turning toward the chiefs, Mathews introduced the 
commissioners sent from Washington to make peace. The council 
then was opened by Commissioner Taylor, who deUvered his usual 
preliminary speech which contained many fine promises and 
soothing words. ^" His speech was translated by Pierre Chene, a 
Canadian, and by John Richard, Jr., who also was the messenger 
who summoned the Crow to council.^^ 

Bear's Tooth arose and honored the commission by four times 
repeating this ceremony as related by the correspondent of the 
New York Times: 

"Father" said he to Harney, "smoke and take pity on me" which 
request the general gladly complied with. "Father" he repeated to 
Col. Tappan "smoke and remember me and my people." 
"Father" he again said, handling the hookah up to Sanborn, "smoke 
and remember me and my people, for we are very poor." 
"Father" he said, turning to Taylor "smoke and give me what I shall 
ask" and handling the pipe to Generals Augur and Terry he again 
said to each, "Father, smoke, I have come from afar, grant me what 
I shall ask, and take pity upon me." 

Three times did he repeat the ceremony, uttering only the simple 
adjuration "Father take pity upon me; smoke and grant me what I 
shall ask," then slowly walking to the center, and casting a sweeping 
look aroimd, he commenced his speech as follows. 
"My friends and fathers, last spring I came from the Big Horn and 
one of your young men said that you were coming to see us. This 
fall, when the leaves of the trees were falling the Crows were on the 
Yellowstone, and a messenger from you came to invite us to a pow- 
wow. He brought me ten plugs of tobacco and thus delivered your 
message. I studied about it, and at last, though it was a long journey, 
I concluded to come, and in answer to the invitation I said 'yes, yes.' 
I want my father to come to Fort Phil Kearny, and not to Laramie, 
and I said that if he came I would say 'yes, yes' to everything he would 
ask. But then the cold days of winter came and I had to come to 
Laramie, I therefore want my fathers to say 'yes, yes' to every request 
of mine. I have been waiting for you a long time. I am hungry and 
cold. Look at me well all of you. I am a man like each of you. I 
have limbs and a head like you. We all look like one and the same 
people. I like my children to prosper and grow rich." 
Then getting up he walked up to Taylor and Harney, and lifting up 

9. Wilson O. Clough, ed. and trans., "Fort Russell and Fort Laramie 
Peace Commission in 1867," Historical Reprints, Sources of Northwest 
History No. 14, Missoula: State University of Montana, p. 7. Reprinted 
from The Frontier: A Magazine of the Northwest, XI, (January, 1931). 

10. New York Times, November 23, 1867, p. 8. 

11. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent (Washington: National Archives Microfilm publica- 
tion, Microcopy No. 21, 1943), 86:111. 


his voice he cried out "Achan! Achan! Achan! Father, Father, 
Father, listen well; call your young men back from the Big Horn. It 
would please me and my people. Your young men have gone on the 
Powder River Road and have destroyed my timber and green grass 
and have burnt up the country. Father! Your young men have gone 
on the road and have killed my game — my buffalo. They did not kill 
to eat, they left it where it fell. Father, were I to go to your country 
to kill game or your cattle, what would you say? Would you not 
declare war? Well, the Sioux proffered me hundreds of mules and 
horses to go with them to war; I did not go. A long time ago you 
made a treaty with the Crow Nation and afterwards you took a chief 
with you to the States. He has never returned. Where is he? We 
have never seen him, and we are tired of waiting for him. Give us 
what he left, for we have come for his last words. I have heard that 
you have sent messengers to the Sioux; but the Sioux tell me that they 
will not come. You have cheated them once. The Sioux tell us in a 
jeering way — 'Ah, the white fathers are calling to you. You are going 
to see them. Ah, they will treat you as they have treated us. Go and 
see them and then come back and tell us what you have heard. The 
white fathers will beguile your ears with soft words and sweet prom- 
ises, but they will never keep them. Go and' see them and they will 
laugh at you.' In spite of these words of the Sioux I have come to 
see you. When I go back I expect to lose more than half my horses. 
Father, Father, the Great Spirit made us all, but he put the red man 
in the centre surrounded by the whites. Ah, my heart is full and sad. 
All the Crows and the old chiefs of bygone days our forefathers, told 
us often, 'Be friendly to the palefaces for they are mighty.' We their 
children have obeyed. A long time ago, over forty years, the Crows 
camped on the Missouri. Our chief was knocked on the head by a 
white chief." (Here he was interrupted by Gen. Harney who said, 
"Ah! I remember the time, but the White Chief was crazy!") 
"On the Yellowstone stream there were three wagons camped, and 
there were four palefaces with them. Four Crows went up to them 
and asked for a piece of bread; One of the white men took out a gun 
and shot Sorrel-Horse, a chief, dead. And many other things have 
happened in just the same manner, but we jump over them. These 
things I tell you to show you that the palefaces have done wrong, as 
well as the Indians. 

("That's so," loudly responded Gen. Harney. "The Indians are a 
great deal better than the whites are.") 

"Sometime ago I went to Fort Benton because we had done some 
wrong. Also, and begged pardon from the white chief at that post. 
I gave him nine mules and sixty robes as atonement for what my tribe 
had done. I thus paid for my wrong. I then went on the Big Horn to 
Fort Smith and found that there were whites there. I went up to 
shake hands with the officers, but they replied by shoving their fists in 
my face and knocking me down. That is the way we are treated by 
your young men. Father, you talk about farming and about raising 
cattle. I don't want a hear it. I was raised on buffalo and I love it. 
From my birth I have been raised on buffalo meat, and left to move 
my camp where I like — to roam over the prairies at will. Fathers, 
fathers, take pity upon us. I am tired of talking. 
"You father," said he, as he concluded his speech, and turning to 
Taylor, took off his mocassins and handed them to the commissioner, 
"keep your feet warm with these mocassins."i2 

12. New York Times, November 23, 1867, p. 8. 


To give greater emphasis to the demands the Crow were making 
of the commission, Blackfoot, a Crow warrior of gigantic stature, 
rose up and shaking hands with each individually, implored them to 
be patient and listen to him; to open wide their ears and grant his 
request. Divesting himself of his robe he folded it around the 
commissioner as a token of brotherhood.^'^ 

Peaceful, friendly relations with the white man had been the long 
range policy of the Crow tribe from the days of the early trappers. 
Surrounded by hostile tribes and lacking close Indian allies, the 
Crow attempted to ally with the whites, for these Crow chiefs 
wisely recognized the superior power of the palefaces. Secondly, 
the Crow were acting as a negotiating team not only for their own 
interests but also as an example to Red Cloud. Both Red Cloud 
and his hostile followers and the Crow desired the Bozeman Trail 
be closed and the army posts removed. Red Cloud refused to meet 
with the Indian Peace Commission until the forts were actually 
closed and his demands satisfied. The Crow council demands and 
possible treaty were a peaceful example that Red Cloud could 

The previous major treaty to which the Crow were parties had 
been signed in 1851. That agreement gave passage to the 
California Trail. For this right-of-way, 50 years annuities were 
stipulated in the treaty but the Senate cut this to ten years. This 
bad faith demonstrated by the government was pointed out by 
Blackfoot as well as the fact that annuity goods had only been 
received by the Crow two or three years. Since the last treaty had 
not been kept in the strict letter of the promises, this caused the 
Crows "to doubt whether it was really of any use to make any 
more treaties. "^^ 

The second day of the council was started by a carefully read 
speech of Commissioner Taylor expressing thanks to the Crow for 
not having avenged the mistreatment they had received. PainfuUy 
he expressed the requirement for reservations since settlements 
were being established on the Great Plains and the buffalo were 
disappearing. A concession of hunting rights off the reservation 
was tendered along with the incentive that whites would be 
restricted from the reservation.^^ 

Blackfoot arose in response to Taylor's invitation and asked for 
payment for the part of land on which they were located. "You 
have not observed the one you signed at Horse Creek. Pay first 
what you owe us, and you shall speak afterward about concluding 
another treaty!"^^ Commissioner Taylor and Generals Harney and 

13. Ibid. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Clough, 12. 

16. Ibid. 


Sanbom all declared that for ten years the indemnities due the 
Indians had been sent regularly from Washington; and if they 
had not been received it was because the agents had stolen them. 
This feeble excuse demonstrated that the treaties were between 
unequal powers. Had an envoy to England stolen treaty funds, 
the treaty would not be considered fulfilled. Also, the Senate had 
changed a major provision of the 1851 treaty in reducing the 
number of years of annuity payments. This significant change had 
not been approved by all of the Indians involved. Therefore, 
Blackfoot was expressing the fact that bad faith by the United 
States government was a hindrance to any meaningful treaty 
agreement. Since the demands of the Crow chiefs and Red Cloud 
to abandon the forts had not been met, the Crow did not sign the 
treaty, using the excuse that all the Crow chiefs were not present. 

An agreement was made to council again the following June at 
Fort Phil Kearny. ^^ This appointment would be changed to the 
disadvantage of the Crow by again making them travel the extra 
distance to Fort Laramie. A willingness was also verbally ex- 
pressed by the Crow to have a reservation set aside for them on the 
Missouri River extending from the mouth of the Yellowstone and 
running south to the Big Horn River. ^^ Then gifts were given to 
the Crow and plans were made for the spring meeting which, 
hopefully, would include Red Cloud. Thus, the commission would 
be required to return again to this outpost on the Laramie River 
and to the fringe of stunted cottonwoods, a few willows, flaunting 
sunflowers, and long prairie grasses. ^^ 

The weakness of the national government in extending influence 
over the frontier Indians is illustrated in the appointment of the 
Crow Indian Agent. From Washington, D. C, on October 25, 
1867, Charles E. Mix, acting commissioner of Indian affairs, sent a 
letter to Commissioner Taylor enclosing the appointment certifi- 
cate from the secretary of the interior for J. P. Cooper as special 
agent for the Mountain Crow Indians. Mr. Cooper also was 
advised of his appointment and instructed to furnish a bond of 
$20,000, including two or more sureties. His compensation of $5 
per day plus travel expenses started at the date of his bond which 
was filed October 29, 1867, at the U. S. Circuit Court, Omaha, 
Nebraska.^*^ Mr. Cooper was still in Omaha December 20, 1867, 
when he was informed that Dr. H. M. Mathews had been appointed 
agent to the Mountain Crow. The appointment of Mr. Cooper was 

17. Ibid. 

18. New York Times, November 29, 1867, p. 2. 

19. Ibid., November 23, 1867, p. 8. 

20. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received by the Office of 
Indian Affairs, 1824-1881: Montana Superintendency 1864-1880 (Washing- 
ton: National Archives Microfilm publication, Microcopy No. 234), 488: 


changed to be special agent for the Prairie or Missouri River Crow 
Indians, located at or near the mouth of Milk River in Montana 
Territory. He was ordered to proceed to the area soon to observe 
conditions and the disposition of the Indians.^^ Bad weather pre- 
vented Cooper from going to the River Crow but he did appear in 
Washington, D. C, at the Office of Indian Affairs by the end of 
March, 1868, to collect his salary of $775 for services from 
October 29, to March 31, 1 868.22 Agent Cooper, who then trav- 
eled West, was used by the Office of Indian Affairs on several 
special assignments. He later arrived at Fort Laramie in August, 
1868, to help conclude the treaty with Red Cloud. But his 
appointment and work little benefitted the Crow. This is an 
example of a problem within the Indian service absentee agents. 

Dr. H. M. Mathews, who had been with the peace commissioners 
since August, 1867, and was well acquainted with the Crow 
Indians, was appointed a special agent by Commissioner Taylor. 
The letter of appointment was delivered November 15, 1867, at 
Fort Laramie after the conclusion of the Crow council. The letter 
informed Mathews that he was appointed a special Indian agent 
for the Crow Indians and other tribes inhabiting the country in the 
vicinity of Forts Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith.^^ 

While at Fort Phil Kearny Agent Mathews received a report 
from L. P. Bradley, who was at Fort C. F. Smith on the Big Horn 
River. On January 10, 1868, Bradley indicated the Mountain 
Crow numbering about 3,500 were poor and dependent almost 
entirely on buffalo for their existence. The habits of the buffalo 
were such that the herds left the area of Fort Smith and went to the 
lower river valleys during the winter months. Therefore, the Crow 
could not depend on them for food and would need assistance 
from the government. The second part of the Crow nation, the 
Missouri River Crow, was located near the mouth of the Big Horn 
River. This band of about 2,500 was better off than the Mountain 
Crow in that they had obtained good blankets by trading at the 
Missouri posts. 

Both of the branches of the Crow tribe blamed the army and the 
Bozeman Trail for the scarcity of game that had put them in a 
position of poverty, for the buffalo was the wealth of the Indian. 
The buffalo furnished not only food but clothing, and buffalo robes 
provided the means of exchange for the Indians to trade for the 
other items they wanted. It was an immediate vital interest of all 
the tribes of the northern Plains to have the army and emigrants 

21. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 85:162. 

22. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:680. 

23. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent, 85:367. 


removed from their hunting grounds.^^ By hostilities, Red Cloud 
had effectively reduced travel on the Bozeman Trail. Most of the 
Montana travel was routed across Idaho to connect with the stage- 
coaches and freight lines of the central route. With the steady 
advance of the railroad on the central route, travel to Montana by 
way of Utah became even easier, thus making it possible to grant 
the demand to close the Powder River route. 

The army reluctantly agreed to close the forts on the Bozeman 
Trail during the summer of 1868. This decision gave hope to the 
peace commissioners that a successful treaty council with the tribes 
of the northern prairie could be held in the early spring at Fort 
Laramie. In late March, 1868, Agent Mathews was instructed to 
proceed from St. Louis to the Mountain Crow country to deliver 
assistance goods and induce the Mountain Crow to meet the com- 
mission at Fort Laramie. At Omaha, Mathews received instruc- 
tions to purchase not more than 500 pounds of powder with lead 
and caps in proportion. He also was to obtain from the peace 
commission stores at North Platte City and Laramie, five bolts of 
blue and five bolts of scarlet cloth. The major concession that 
Mathews was to announce to the Crow was abandonment of the 
posts on the Powder River road, provided the Crow kept their 
treaty date.-^ Commissioner Taylor also arranged with General 
U. S. Grant for Mathews to obtain 1,500 suits of military clothing 
of a kind suitable for the Crows and other northern Indians.-*^ In 
addition, Mathews was authorized to obtain from military posts 
enroute, including Fort C. F. Smith, surplus clothing and con- 
demned stores to be given to the Crow as best fit the judgement of 
Agent Mathews. By comparison, however, when N. G. Taylor 
went to New York to purchase annuity goods, he obtained for the 
Arapahoes and Cheyennes "250 rifles, 500 'Remington' revolvers, 
1,000 pounds of powder, 3,500 pistol caps and 1,700 rifle caps, as 
well as 1,500 pounds of lead." The peaceful Crow were brought 
to council at the cheapest price possible. 

On April 1, General Sherman informed the other members of 
the commission assembled at Omaha that he must respond to a 
telegram from the sergeant-at-arms of the United States Senate and 
be in Washington April 6 to testify in the impeachment trial of 
President Andrew Johnson.^''^ However, it was April 13 when 
Sherman testified before the Senate in a very stormy session regard- 
ing the position of secretary of war ad interim which had been 
tendered by President Johnson.-^ 

24. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:1222. 

25. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent, 86:35. 

26. Ibid., 79. 

27. Ibid., April 13, 1868, p. 2. 

28. Deseret Evening News, April 14, 1868, p. 2. ^ 


Also absent from the commission was its president, N. G. Taylor. 
He was in New York purchasing annuity goods for the Indian 
service. He was to become involved with the Indian problem in 
Kansas and entirely miss the commission proceedings at Fort 
Laramie. The rest of the commissioners, with J. B. Sanborn as 
president pro tern, proceeded to Fort Laramie and concluded a 
treaty with the Brule band of Sioux.-^ 

Meanwhile, opposition to the civilizing, humanitarian policy of 
the commission was being expressed in Montana, where the mining 
towns would be particularly affected by the abandonment of the 
Powder River road. The Daily Gazette, pubUshed at Helena, 
Montana, expressed the interest of the Montana miners and the 
industrial developers in demanding a policy of armed force toward 
the Sioux, Crow, and Blackfeet. The people of Montana wanted 
peace even at the expense of catacombs of savages. Their "policy 
would be to whip the murdering, thieving prowlers of the plains and 
forests into good manners when they deserve it and treat them well 
as long as they behave them selves. "^*^ 

In addition to the Indian Peace Commission, the second govern- 
ment process that resulted in a treaty with the Crow was being 
initiated in April, 1868. James M. Cavanaugh, delegate to the 
House of Representatives from the Montana Territory, had ar- 
ranged the appointment of W. J. Cullen of Helena, Montana, as a 
special Indian agent. Formerly, CuUen had been a commissioner 
dealing with the Indians in Minnesota. He was instructed to meet 
and conclude treaties with the Blackfeet, Gros Ventres, Crow, and 
other tribes in Montana in order to extinguish their claims to the 
Montana mining area. Cullen was receiving his appointment and 
instruction to locate the Montana tribes on reservations while the 
peace commission was at work at Fort Laramie.^^ 

In Washington, D. C, General Sherman had completed his 
testimony in the impeachment trial by April 21, and proceeded 
tovv^ard Fort Laramie to join the Peace Commission. He arrived 
in Cheyenne April 30, and was met at the station by a number of 
officers and a company of cavalry which accompanied him as 
escort to Fort Russell. ^^ Meanwhile, on April 29, the commission 
concluded a treaty with the Brule band of Sioux at Fort Laramie.^^ 
Red Cloud had refused to come to council until the Powder River 
posts were abandoned. However, the Oglala and the Miniconjou 
bands of Sioux were on the trail toward Fort Laramie. After 

29. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent, 86:317. 

30. Ibid., April 24, 1868, p. 2. 

31. Ibid., 1158. 

32. Deseret Evening News, May 9, 1868, p. 2. 

33. Robert G. Athearn, William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement 
of the West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956), p. 196. 


arriving at Fort Laramie, Sherman added his signature to the Sioux 
treaty which was eventually left at Fort Laramie. Signatures were 
added throughout the summer and fall.'^^ 

The Indian Peace Commission that greeted the Mountain Crow 
band included General Sherman, who had been absent from the 
previous November meeting. Taylor, who had headed the Novem- 
ber talks, was not present but all of the other commissioners were 
familiar to the Crow and knew of their feelings and requests. The 
Crow accepted the pledge to remove the posts on the Bozeman 
Road. They especially wanted the abandonment of Fort C. F. 
Smith, which was centrally located in the Crow Reservation. This 
May 7 treaty signing permanently established a reservation for the 
Crow on part of their traditional lands. The Northern Cheyenne 
and Arapaho tribes made an agreement with the same commission- 
ers three days later on May 10, 1868.^^ All of the Fort Laramie 
treaties signed in the spring of 1868 resulted because of the belief 
of the Indians that the Bozeman Trail would be closed that summer 
and the soldiers removed. The second approach to forcing this 
Indian demand was the refusal of Red Cloud to cease hostilities and 
make a peace treaty. By combining these two approaches, the 
pressure was applied to the government throughout the summer 
and fall of 1868 to keep its promise to close the Powder River 
trail. When November arrived and the promise was fulfilled. Red 
Cloud, without losing face, could sign the Sioux treaty that was left 
at Fort Laramie. 

Returning to Cheyenne on May 13 were Generals Sherman, 
Augur and Terry, and Mr. Tappan. General Harney and Senator 
Sanborn remained at Fort Laramie to meet the Oglala Sioux and 
also to arrange for the removal of the large numbers of Indians at 
Fort Laramie to their reservations. The Commission divided again 
at Cheyenne with General Sherman and General Tappan heading 
for Fort Sumner, New Mexico, to conclude a treaty with the 
Navajo tribe. General Augur went to Fort Bridger to meet with 
Chief Washakie and the Shoshone and Bannocks. General Terry 
went to Forts Randall and Sully to prepare for the placement of the 
Indians on reservations. Thus the Indian Peace Commission 
separated following the Fort Laramie treaty council.^® 

By making his mark on the document. Pretty Bull, with ten other 
Crow chiefs, agreed to the treaty that still forms the basis of the 
Crow land titles. The treaty provided for continued peace with the 
government and for offenders from both groups to be subject to 
the laws of the United States. The reservation boundaries were 

34. Charles J. Kappler, ed., India?} Affairs: Laws and Treaties (Washing- 
ton: Government Printing Office, 1904), II, p. 998-1012. 

35. Ibid. 

36. New York Times, May 15, 1868, p. 5. 


precisely established, with the eastern boundary placed on the 
107th degree of longitude from the southern Montana boundary to 
mid-channel of the Yellowstone River. The northern boundary 
followed the southwesterly mid-channel of the Yellowstone up- 
stream to where it crossed the 45th degree of north latitude, which 
is today in Yellowstone National Park. The line then continued 
eastward along the 45 th degree to the point of beginning, thus 
forming a large, wedge-shaped reserve containing the Big Horn 
River, Pryor Mountains and the valley of the Little Big Horn.^^ 
By peaceful means, much of the Crow land was safeguarded in a 
reservation. The United States government recognized by ratifi- 
cation of the treaty the Crow tribe's title to the land. The long 
range Crow policy of peace with the white man here proved 
beneficial. The Crow had not been placed on a reservation as the 
result of war and defeat, but had preserved their land by choice. 
The United States government did not give them their land for 
they had traditionally owned it. This treaty, which forms part of 
the basic law of the United States, recognized the Crow tribal land 
claims as defined in the reservation boundaries. 

The agreement also provided an agency be constructed on the 
reservation. The agency was to consist of a warehouse; agency 
building for the residence of the agent; residence for a physician; 
five other buildings for a carpenter, blacksmith, farmer, miller, and 
engineer; a school house; and a good steam circular sawmUl with 
grist and shingle miUs attached. When the agency was fully con- 
structed, this reservation was to be the permanent home of the 
Crow and they were to make no permanent settlement elsewhere. 
The agent was to reside at the agency and the land was to be 
surveyed for farming. A school was going to be established and 
attendance made compulsory for children of both sexes from ages 
six to 16. In addition, instruction in farming was to be provided, 
along with seeds and implements to start. A cash prize of $500 a 
year would be awarded to the ten persons growing the best crops 
for the three years after farming commenced.^^ All of these treaty 
provisions reflect, in definite terms of cows, teachers, and doctors, 
the general Indian policy of civilization and settlement. This 
peaceful approach of the Office of Indian Affairs was a humani- 
tarian contrast to the previous policy of conquest and destruction. 

In payment for the surrendered land, annuity goods enumerated 
in the treaty were to be provided by September 1, of each year. 
Each male over 14 was to receive a suit of woolen clothing consist- 
ing of a hat, pants, flannel shirt, and a pair of woolen slacks. Each 
woman over 12 was to receive a flannel shirt, woolen hose, 12 
yards of calico and 12 yards of cotton domestics. Boys and girls 

37. Kappler, II, 1008. 

38. Ibid., 1010. 


each were to receive enough flannel and cotton to make a suit and 
also a pair of woolen hose. The quantity of these goods would be 
based on a yearly census submitted by the agent. To guard against 
fraud, the treaty provided that the president would annually detail 
an officer of the army to be present and attest the delivery of all 
the goods to the Indians. The officer was to inspect and report not 
only on the quantity and quality of the goods but also on the 
manner of their delivery.^'' This provision for military supervision 
of the Indian agents was written into the Fort Laramie treaties. 
This reflected the demand by the military members of the com- 
mission to transfer the Office of Indian Affairs from the Depart- 
ment of the Interior to the Department of the Army. 

Another important article in this treaty signed by Sherman, 
Harney, Terry, Augur, Sanborn and Tappan, was the democratic 
principle of majority consent. The land held in common by the 
tribe could not be disposed of by treaty or other means without the 
signatures of at least the majority of all adult male Indians of the 
tribe. Thus, an approach was made to universal manhood suffrage 
in tribal affairs. 

Even though much of the nation viewed the treaty process as a 
necessary step to settling the Indians, The Montana Post carried a 
front page editorial speaking out against the treaty. The Crow 
treaty was labeled a sellout to the central route because the reserva- 
tion blocked the proposed northern railroad route. In addition, the 
Powder River Road was being closed. Also, with fear of reserva- 
tion-based depredations, the commission was denounced, with the 
deliberate exception of General Sherman, as being composed of 
"corrupt or visionary ninnies."*^ 

Congress was very concerned with reconstruction readmission of 
the southern states and the power of Congress in relation to the 
office of president. Since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 
Andrew Johnson had been president. During this period, the fight 
between Congress and the president culminated in the impeach- 
ment of Johnson. His trial before the United States Senate dis- 
rupted the regular flow of business during the spring of 1868. 
Following the acquittal of Johnson, a large backlog of business 
waited to be transacted before the Congress went home to cam- 
paign. Many Republicans were particularly anxious to leave 
Washington in order to nominate General Ulysses S. Grant for 
president. The impeachment process had narrowly failed to re- 
move the unpopular Johnson. Election victory was the next ex- 
pedient means to change the man in the White House. Indian 
treaties, especially those with peaceful tribes, took low priority as 
Senate business. On the last weekend before recess, the Crow, 

39. Ibid., 1011. 

40. The Montana Post, May 22, 1868, p. 1. 


Navajo, Cheyenne, and Arapaho treaties were ratified, July 25, 
1868, in a late evening executive session of the Senate.^^ This 
brought to a successful conclusion the first part of the 1868 Crow 
treaty process. 

The second part of the process of Crow treaty making was being 
conducted by W. J. Cullen. He had been appointed a commis- 
sioner to make treaties with the Blackfeet, Crow, Gros Ventres, and 
the mixed Bannocks and Shoshones. Cullen, having received his 
commission in Washington, D. C, April 30, 1868, proceeded to 
Helena, Montana, by way of Salt Lake City, Utah.^^ jje was 
instructed by Charles Mix, acting commissioner of Indian affaks, 
to attempt to make a treaty with the Crows as one nation but if this 
was not possible to settle the River Crow with the Gros Ventre on a 
reservation separate from their common enemy, the Blackfeet.*^ 

Agent CuUen arranged for a meeting with the River Crow at 
Fort Hawley on the Missouri River. He arrived at Fort Hawley 
from Fort Benton on July 7. The Gros ventre band arrived, and 
by July 13, a treaty agreement had been reached. On July 15, the 
Prairie or River Crow followed the example of their friends, the 
Gros Ventre, and signed a treaty wherein their title was extin- 
guished to the Montana hills except for a reservation near the 
Gros Ventres.^^ 

Cullen returned upstream to Fort Benton on the Missouri River 
aboard the steamer Leni Leoti. The Captain, David Haney, while 
at Fort Hawley, witnessed the treaty made by Agent W. J. Cullen 
on the part of the United States with the principle chiefs and head 
men of the Crows and Gros Ventre Indians. He also heard the 
speeches of the "Big Indians" who were well disposed and satisfied 
with the treaty they signed. Captain Haney observed that the 
treaty "was fully explained to them, which, I think, has not been 
generally the case.""*^ 

While on board the Leni Leoti, Cullen wrote the Washington 
office reporting the attitude and disposition of the Gros Ventre and 
River Crows by observing, "I have been among all these Indians 
without soldiers and have been treated by them kindly and v/ith 
respect. "^^ He had also been able to have a census taken of the 
Crow and Gros Ventre. This census served as a basis of providing 

41. U. S., The Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 2d Sess., 1868, Part 5, 

42. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:941. 

43. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent, 86:348. 

44. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:977. 

45. The Montana Post, July 31, 1868, p. 6. 

46. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:977. 


the assistance promised in the treaty.*^ At Fort Browning, Cullen 
made arrangements to feed these two tribes out of supphes drawn 
from Fort Shaw and the Blackfoot fund. This assistance was to 
supplement the hunting until the Indians could raise a crop the 
following summer.*'^ 

Leaving Montana and traveling to Washington, D. C, Cullen 
submitted the summer's collection of treaties to Commissioner 
Taylor on October 19, 1868.^^ Congress was not then in session 
and would not return to Washington for serious work until both the 
November elections and the holiday season had concluded. The 
rest of the Indian Peace Commission documents also were awaiting 
the third session of the 40th Congress for senatorial approval. In 
the lame duck congressional session of the Johnson administration, 
passage was secured for the Indian Peace Commission documents. 
But the low priority treaties with peaceful Indians that had been 
signed by Cullen and the Montana chiefs never received senatorial 
consent. The unsuccessful second Crow treaty illustrates the low 
interest of the national government in Indian affairs. With this one 
tribe, the Crow, the government of the United States produced two 
treaties in 1868. One treaty was successfully enacted and it 
defined the Crow tribal reservation and began the civilizing settle- 
ment process. The second treaty was well presented to the Prairie 
band of the Crow tribe but was lost in official ineptness. 

Actions to fulfill the provisions of the Fort Laramie treaty with 
the Mountain band of the Crow tribe started with the founding of 
an agency. The agency buildings were constructed of cottonwood 
logs during the summer and fall of 1869.^*^ This first agency was 
located on a bench of land beside Mission Creek about ten miles 
down river from Livingston, Montana.^^ First Lieutenant E. M. 
Camp was the Crow agent responsible for the occupation of the 
first agency. While he started farming operations, his most marked 
achievement was in uniting both bands of the Crow tribe on the 
reservation. In May of 1 870, some 60 lodges of River Crow came 
to the agency expressing their intention to remain with the 
Mountain Crows. Both bands went together on their summer hunt 
and were afterwards joined by the rest of the River Crow.^^ 

The Crow nation, by following a long-term poUcy of alliance 

47. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Records of the Office of Indian 
Affairs, Letters Sent, 88:185. 

48. U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received, 488:1119. 

49. Ibid., 1053. 

50. U. S. Department of Interior, Report of the Secretary of the Interior: 
1870 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870) I, 661. 

51. Thomas B. Marquis, Memoirs of a White Crow Indian: Thomas H. 
Leforge (New York: The Century Co., 1928), p. 32. 

52. U. S. Department of Interior, Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 
1870, 662. 


with a stronger power, secured by this treaty-making process a 
title recognized by the United States government to a portion of the 
land they claimed. This land title was to be protected by the 
United States government from encroachment not only of other 
Indian tribes but also from white settlers. In addition, Fort C. F. 
Smith on the Big Horn River was abandoned about July 27, 1868, 
marking the removal of the Powder River road from the Crow 

Railroad constrution on the central route had pushed construc- 
tion crews and trains toward the Rocky Mountains. The violence 
between raiding parties of Indians and the railroad construction 
workers gave rise to a demand for peace. Congress created an 
Indian Peace Commission to place the unsettled tribes on reserva- 
tions. In Montana, many miners and settlers regarded the Indians 
as a threat to their safety and had openly supported Governor 
Meagher in raising a volunteer militia to forcefully remove the 
threatening menace of local Indians. 

These economic developments in the West demanded settlement 
of the Indian problem. A humanitarian policy of health service, 
education, and agriculture was implemented along with the reserva- 
tion system. Force and violence as Indian pohcy were gradually 
being replaced. But as the two Crow treaties illustrate, the ineffi- 
cient and disinterested national government was the reluctant 
vehicle of change. These treaties were also involved in the power 
struggle between the U. S. House of Representatives and the Senate 
ovr the control of Indian affairs.^^ Secondly, the dispute over the 
transfer of the Office of Indian Affairs to the army was inter- 
mingled with the Indian Peace Commission. And finally, it is 
remarkable that the Crow tribe was able to preserve its tradi- 
tional lands despite the treaty system. 

Public Documents 

U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received by the Office of Indian 
Affairs, 1824-1881. Montana Superintendency 1865-1880. Washington: 
The National Archives. Microfilm pubUcation. Microcopy No. 234. 

U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Records of the Office of Indian Affairs, 
Letters Sent. Washington: The National Archives, Microfilm publication. 
Microcopy No. 21. 

U. S. Congress. The Congressional Globe. 40th Congress 2d Sen. 1868. 

U. S. Department of the Interior. Report of the Secretary of the Interior 
1870. Washington; Government Printing Office, 1870. 

U. S. House of Representatives. 40th Cong. 2d Sess. Ex. Doc. No. 97. 

53. Loring Benson Priest, Uncle Sam's Stepchildren: The Reformation of 
United States Indian Policy, 1865-1887 (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univer- 
sity Press, 1942), p. 96. 


U. S. Office of Indian Affairs. Report on Indian Affairs by the Acting 
Commissioner for the Year 1867. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1868. 


Athearn, Robert G. William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the 
West. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956.) 

Clough, Wilson O. ed. and trans. "Fort Russell and Fort Laramie Peace 
Commission in 1867." Historical Reprints, Sources of Northwest History 
No. 14. (Missoula: State University of Montana.) 

Kappler, Charles J. ed. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. 5 vols. 
Washington: Government Printing Office 1904. 

Marquis, Thomas B. Memoirs of a White Crow Indian: Thomas H. 
Leforge. (Nevi^ York: The Century Co. 1928.) 

Olson, James C. Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem. (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1965.) 

Priest, Loring Benson. Uncle Sam's Stepchildren: The Reformation of 
United States Indian Policy 1865-1887. (New Brunswick: Rutgers Uni- 
versity Press, 1942.) 


Deseret Evening News. 1867-1868. 
The Montana Post, 1867-1868. 
New York Times, 1867-1869. 


Ft. Fetterman. Everyone knows about where Ft. Fetterman is 
located, it having been once an important mihtary post, during the 
Indian troubles in this country. When the post was abandoned the 
large buildings were sold to individuals, and quite a town has been 
established here. It is situated on a high level eminence overlook- 
ing the surrounding country, on the south bank of the North Platte, 
and is certainly a beautiful site for a town. Were it not on a 
military reservation there is little doubt that the railroad company 
would locate its town here, but at present that seems impossible. 
Ft. Fetterman now has the following business houses: 3 general 
merchandise stores; 2 hotels; 1 bank; 1 hospital; 1 meat market; 
1 variety store; 1 hardware; 1 drug store; 1 livery, 2 barber shops; 
1 blacksmith shop; 1 restaurant; 1 saddlery; 6 retail and 1 whole- 
sale liquor establishments; 2 land offices; 2 notaries; 2 lawyers; 
1 doctor; 1 newspaper; deputy clerk of courts; telegraph, post- 
office, etc. Men are coming in every day and establishing new 
businesses and the town is having quite a boom. Thousands of 
people will visit this section during this season and all are invited 
to stop and see us at our rooms in the postoffice building, north 
side of the parade ground. 

— The Rowdy West, June 2, 1886 

It can be given in a cup of coffee or tea without the knowledge 
of the person taking it, effecting a speedy and permanent cure 
whether the patient is a moderate drinker or an alcoholic wreck. 
Thousands of drunkards have been made temperate men who have 
taken the Golden Specific in their coffee without their knowledge, 
and today believe they quit drinking of their own free will. No 
harmful effects result from its administration. Cures guaranteed. 
Circulars and testimonials sent free. Golden Specific Co., Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio. 

— ^Advertisement 

The Daily Boomerang, January 5, 1885 

Robert Estelle. Dealer in and hauler from Crow Creek of Soft 
Water to regular customers. Nine Barrels of Water for $2. 
Orders left at Russell and Graham's opposite Eagle House prompt- 
ly attended. 

— Advertisement 

Cheyenne Daily News, April 14, 1875 

A Q lance at Kock Springs 

Julie Beaver Diller 

The decade from 1920 to 1930 — to some it was "the age of 
prosperity;" to others it was "the age of the crash." To the older 
folks it was "the Golden Twenties;" to the younger set, "the Roarin' 
Twenties." To nearly everyone in the country the period of 
1920-1930 was an exciting decade. 

For those people living in the southwest corner of the state of 
Wyoming the center of activity settled around the coal mining 
community of Rock Springs whose population of 6,456^ was 
comprised largely of immigrants who worked the mines for a living. 

Life here was little different than anywhere else. These v/ere the 
days before zippers and antibiotics, before Scotch tape and tele- 
vision. It was the era of narrow muddy roads when standard 
equipment for autos included chains for the tires. It was a time 
when one dollar started a savings account at the First National 
Bank of Rock Springs and a time when an eighth grade education 
was no longer adequate. The importance of attending high school 
was stressed and high school booklets carried advertisements such 
as the following : 


It promotes health and gives physical training 
It trains you for a vocation 

It trains you to become a good citizen 

It trains you to be mentally and morally sound 

It trains you in the enjoyment of leisure hours 

A High School Education gives an increased earning power which if 
capitalized at 5 per cent would be equal to a working capital of 


Business Training Mining Electricity Manual Training Home Ec 

Science History Citizenship Economics Physical Training 

French Spanish Latin English Mathematics Art Music 


This was the age of silent movies and several theatres were in 
existence: the Lyric, the Oracle, the Rex and the Grand. But 
most theatre-goers watched with interest the formation of the 

1. 1920 Census records. Office Secretary of State, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

2. Rock Springs High School "Souvenir Program — 1920" 


Rialto Amusement Company of Tom and Mary Berta and the 
organization of original stockholders which included Antone 
Facinelli, Etore Allais, Edward Crippa, J. G. Rumsey, John Perko, 
P. C. Bunning, John Mrak, Antone Justin, John Berta, Anne 
Magagna, Antone Mengoni, A. E. Young, V. J. Facinelli, August 
Martello, Mike Radakovich, Flo Leonardi, Sam Ward, John W. 
Hay, Charles Sparks, William Gottsche, Tom Berta and Mary 

All of Rock Springs watched as the construction of the Rialto 
Theatre progressed. By the time of the opening the papers 

In the construction of the Rialto great care was taken. The lighting, 
heating and ventilating systems are the very best and most modern. 
The stage is arranged so as to accomodate the largest productions of 
vaudeville, stock or road shows. The seating capacity of the theatre 
is approximately one thousand three hundred. The building is fire- 
proof, being built almost entirely with the best quality of brick and 

On February 21, 1921 the long-awaited day arrived. The 
opening day's showings were free to the public and it was estimated 
that three thousand people flocked to see the new theatre. All day 
long pictures, newsreels, cartoons and special features were shown. 
Letters and telegrams poured in from all over the country, con- 
gratulating Tom Berta on what was termed "the finest theatre in 

The first production to be shown was John Golden's "Three 
Wise Fools." Vaudeville played each Sunday; the acts came from 
". . . Marcus Loew's new Vaudeville House in Salt Lake City. 
Included with the acts was a movie, with the total price per person 
running forty to sixty cents for balcony seats, sixty to seventy-five 
cents for main floor and ninety cents for exclusive loges."^ 

In addition to the road shows and vaudeville acts which came to 
the Rialto, it served as a theatre and stage for local groups. The 
first such local entertainment, the B.P.O.E. Minstrel Show, took 
place only a couple of days following the new theatre's opening. 
Ever}' seat in the house was filled, 1,264 to be exact, and the 
audience was most receptive. It was reviewed as being "one of 
the best performances ever given in Rock Springs."^ 

The desire of the manager, Tom Berta, to bring good shows to 

3. Files Mrs. J. H. Goodnough. 

4. "Industrial Review - 1921 Sweetwater Co.", Published by Rock Springs 

5. Goodnough, op. cit. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Files, John J. Brueggemann. 


the people was expressed in the following letter sent to members 
of the community : 

Dear Sir or Madam: — 

We have arranged for such a splendid line of Moving Pictures to be 
shown at the Rialto Theatre, "Beautiful", that we want to call your 
attention to the pictures booked for March showing. 

We also wish to advise that we have equipped the New Rialto with 
all the latest projection equipment, employed a Six Piece Union 
Orchestra under the leadership of John J. Brueggemann, expert picture 
player. We have perfect ventilation and comfort. 

It is the intent of the management to present good road shows in 
season, Marcus Loew's Vaudeville road shows on every Sunday eve- 
ning, starting March 20th. Season reservation can be made. 

It is our intention to present everything in amusements that has 

Kindly look over the list of pictures in column to left, to be shown 
during March. 

Hoping you will avail yourself of the privilege of attending some of 
our shows. We earnestly solicit your patronage and will endeavor to 
make your evening with us a pleasant one. 

Sincerely yours, 
Rialto Amusement Co., 
By Thomas Berta, Manager 

P.S. For information as to coming shows 'Phone 40.^ 

Road shows needed an intermediate location between Denver 
and Salt Lake and Tom Berta saw to it that the Rialto became that 
location. Consequently big shows played frequently in the Rialto. 
In less than a month after its grand opening the Rocket reported 
a coming attraction: 

The most tuneful, the funniest, and the best acted comic opera in a 
generation. This in a sentence expresses the opinion of New York 
critics upon the one great hit of the past theatrical season. For 
"Ruddigore" is a masterpiece whose popularity has never been 
equalled. It took the New York public by storm, and it drew multi- 
tudes for month after month. 

Columns might be written about the many tuneful numbers of 
"Ruddigore." Shrieks of laughter greet the burlesques of the familiar 
characters of old fashioned melodrama that W. S. Gilbert has intro- 
duced into this best of his operas. To see "Ruddigore" is to be 
captured by it on the instant, and to see it once, is to want to see it 
many times. 

All this is proved by the fact that during its long run in New York, 
many people, including some of the notables of the theatrical profes- 
sion, saw it many times, and enjoyed it all the more every time they 
laughed at its humor and listened to its music. 

So much for "Ruddigore" itself. What is more important is the 
company of stage celebrities that are bringing it to this city, where at 
the Rialto Theatre, on Sunday evening, March 20, it will be given for 
the first time. In the cast will be Eugene Lockhart, George Bogues, 
Marionne Godbourt, Alice May Carley, Bertram Goltra and Joseph 

8. Ibid. 


Florian, all well known artists in their lines. This is the same all star 
company which has made "Ruddigore" the sensation of New York.® 

In the spring of 1921 the Metropolitan Grand Opera Singers 
arrived for a three-day appearance. The papers reported: 

The Rock Springs musical season for 1921 will get away to an early 
opening this week with the appearance of the Metropolitan Grand 
Opera Singers at the Rialto Theatre next Sunday, Monday, and 

Four singers of the first magnitude comprising the principal stars of 
the Senora Grand Opera Company who were heard last year with such 
evident enjoyment, have been secured by Manager Berta, who will 
present each p>erformance a different program of grand opera and 
popular selection in connection with the regular feature picture 

In addition to the four principals, who are Sperla Castel, mezzo, 
Beatrice Pizzorni, soprano; and Eduardo Lejarazu, baritone; Ricardo 
Clark, tenor; and Ignacio Del Castillo will appear as accompanist and 
Luisa Armes as support. From the cities where they have played 
during the past year, excellent reports precede these singers, and it 
would seem that this company is endowed with unusually capable 
artists who not only possess wonderful voices, but who are also actors 
of ability. 

Music lovers will remember especially Eduardo Lejarazu in his por- 
trayal of the title role in "Rigoletto" in which he has delighted musical 
critics in most of the prominent cities of the United States. Before 
touring with the Senora Grand Opera Company he was a member of 
the Boston Opera Company who acclaimed him not only as one of 
the world's greatest baritones, but also a wonderful actor. 

In addition to the regular nightly performances, a special matinee 
will be given on Sunday, at 2:00 p.m. for the benefit of those unable 
to attend the night performances. i^ 

Little did the people of Rock Springs realize what impact the 
opening of the Rialto Theatre would have on their lives during the 
next years. They were given the opportunity to be entertained by 
the "greats" of show business, for Berta was true to his word and 
through the years such famed personaUties as Sydney Greenstreet 
and Jeanette MacDonald were to appear in the road show, "Mitzi," 
Otis Skinner in "Sancho Panza," Jane Fooshee in "No, No 
Nanette." Paul Whiteman appeared with his concert orchestra and 
John Philip Sousa with his renowned band. "Abie's Irish Rose," 
"Blossom Time," "Smilin' Through," — the list goes on and on. 
People in Rock Springs and the surrounding area took advantage 
of the good entertainment, some traveling from ranches as far 
away as 125 miles. 

Nor did the people of Rock Springs realize the tremendous 
influence that the leader of the Rialto's orchestra, John J. Brueg- 

9. Rocket, Rock Springs, March 11, 1921. 
10. Brueggemann, op. cit. 


gemann, would have on so many of the townspeople in the years 
to follow. 

John Brueggemann was born in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, and later 
was graduated from the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music in 
1909. Mr. Brueggemann, educated to earn his living by playing 
the violin, found himself playing in theatre pits as did many 
musicians of this period. He conducted theatre orchestras in 
various parts of the United States and Canada for a short time. 
With the onset of World War I, he became a member of the 1 09th 
Infantry band of the 28th (Iron) Division, A.E.F. and was later 
discharged from what was then known as Fort D. A. Russell, near 
Cheyenne. For a short time he ventured into commercial pursuits 
but, fortunately for Rock Springs, his love of music prevailed and 
Tom Berta hired him as orchestra leader at the Grand Theatre in 
Rock Springs. Pending the completion of the new Rialto, Mr. 
Brueggemann spent several months in Laramie directing the or- 
chestra at the Empress Theatre, returning for the opening in 1921. 
In addition to his duties in directing the orchestra, which was to 
grow in size from the original six to ten pieces, and provided 
"mood" music as background for the silent pictures and musical 
accompaniment for the vaudeville and stage shows which came 
through, Brueggemann found the time to offer private lessons to 
eager students and soon he had a reputable School of Music. 

For several years prior to Brueggemann's arrival in Rock 
Springs, the high school had been trying to create enough interest 
among the student body to organize a high school orchestra. 
Attempts had ended in failure. Mr. Brueggemann brought new 
hope and by late 1921 the first mention of an orchestra was made: 

Our High School will have an orchestra this year. Mr. Bruegge- 
mann, our director and leader, has the line-up already, and practice 
has begun. 

For the past few years our school has been unable to organize an 
orchestra owing to the difficulty in getting members to join. This 
year they plan to have one of the best orchestras in the city, which will 
no doubt be true. 

This orchestra will not be of the "jazz" quality, it is a symphony 
having six violins, mandolin, cornet, trombone, piano and drums. 
During the year the members are planning to give a concert, this 
will probably be in May. They will also play at school entertainments, 
programs and commencement exercises. 

Many applications have been handed in, and soon the orchestra will 
be increased. Those who have already begun practice are: Leno 
Ceretto, Owen Hakilla, Heimo Loya, Hazel Justin, first violin; Lucille 
Dixon, piano; Robert Muir, cornet; John Berta, trombone; Charles 
Pedri, drums. n 

The first performance of the high school orchestra was presented 
to the student body of the junior and senior high school. The 

11. Brueggemann, op. cit. 


second was a public appearance at the new Club House of the 
Union Pacific Coal Company. 

Thus began new interest in many of the younger people toward a 
hfelong love of the musical arts. Although always serving in the 
capacity of volunteer, Mr. Brueggemann gave of his time freely and 
willingly and through his devotion was to become an influence 
in the community. 

One of the highlights of the spring of 1923 was the dedication of 
a new elementary school. The Rocket reported that event in detail. 

On Thursday evening of last week, appropriate exercises were held 
in dedication of the new Yellowstone elementary school of this city. 
A large attendance was noted, and that all might see the advantages 
of the modern operation of schools in this city, a regular class session 
was held for 30 minutes, and each room had a splendid display which 
added to the interest of the event. 

The dedication ceremonies included music, vocal, and instrumental, 
recitations, etc. including addresses by Miss Morton, state superintend- 
ent of public instruction. Superintendent Schwiering, and Dr. Cham- 
bers, president of the board. 

Mrs. Morton pointed out the necessity of looking ahead in educa- 
tion, and complimented the school board and school system of Rock 
Springs in glowing terms, stating that this city led the state in some 
features and was in the front rank in others. She complimented the 
board on their building three^^ schools with only $150,000 to work 
with, and said she couldn't understand how they did so well. 

Mr. Schwiering, superintendent of schools, explained that it was by 
efficient management on the part of the board coupled with commun- 
ity and state cooperation, that made possible a saving in the neighbor- 
hood of $100,000 to the taxpayers of School District No. 4 In brief, 
they secured $250,000 for their bond issue of $150,000. The things 
which contributed to this were the donation of school sites by the 
Union Pacific Coal Company for the Lowell and Roosevelt schools 
and the joint donation by the State Board of Charities and Reform and 
the U. P. Coal company of the Yellowstone School site. Another 
saving was the selling of the bonds to the State of Wyoming at full 
value. The bids were also let at a time when the board were able to 
save at least $20,000 on building materials. is 

1924 was the year that Peter Christian Bunning, a German 
immigrant who had worked in the mines to save money to establish 
a business career, was elected mayor. He was to serve his com- 
munity faithfully for the next ten years. The crowning achieve- 
ment of Bunning's administration was to turn what was then 
cesspool into a grass-covered city park, known in later years as 
"Bunning Park." 

. . . Rock Springs was then (January 1, 1924) the largest city in the 
United States without sanitary and storm sewers, paved streets, ade- 
quate lighting and water system, and sidewalks. The roads, for streets 
they were not, were strewn with loose gravel and punctuated with 

12. Yellowstone, Lowell, and Roosevelt were built at this time. 

13. Rocket, Rock Springs, May 4, 1923. 


chuck holes at frequent intervals. Here, obviously, was a mining 
village that had grown beyond its residents' expectations, a town and 
city that had outstripped all attempts to equip it with the conveniences 
and facilities that are a modern community's birthright. Mayor 
Bunning looked the situation over with that fierce but shy blue gaze 
of his, and then he shut his teeth hard on the inevitable cigar and 
went to work. The job was to take him ten years to finish. i^ 

When Bunning proposed a city park his friends smiled at such 
an idea as even sagebrush had a hard time making a go of it in the 
soil, such as it was. Through sheer perseverance Bunning was able 
to win the aid of the U.P. Coal Company and a park site was 
selected at the place where Bitter Creek had once been. 

. . . Watching the work being carried forward, the people laughed 
and called it "Bunning's Folly," but within a short time the "Folly" 
had become a park of no mean pretensions. Where sagebrush had 
drooped, grass thrived. It was impossible, but it was true. The per- 
sistence of the stocky little man with the white mustache had 
won out. 15 

On August 21, 1936, just one year following his death, a 
memorial fountain of rose-colored granite was dedicated to the 
memory of Mayor Bunning. 




1923 to 1933 




So reads the inscription on the memorial as it rests among the 
many trees, shrubs, and flowers that were planted by the man 
"who saw more in life than in gathering dollars. "^*^ 

At the dedication ceremony many speakers gave fitting testi- 
monials to Mayor Bunning, and the Union Pacific Coal Company 
band, led by James Sartoris, played appropriate airs, Eugene 
McAuliffe said in part: 

We are not honoring 'Chris' Bunning in dedicating this beautiful 
memorial to his memory, but instead we are honoring ourselves, 
whose privilege it was to know him, to work with him, and to live 
with him. This beautiful memorial fountain, located immediately in 
front of the monument erected to the memory of the men of Rock 
Springs and vicinity who died in the Great War, in a sense completes 
the consecration of Bunning Memorial Park, and I know that those 
of our citizens who love beauty and who come down here to see and 

14. History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines, 1868-1940, Union Pacific 
Coal Company, The Colonial Press, Omaha, Nebr. 1940, p. 220. 

15. Ibid., p. 223. 

16. Ibid., p. 226. 



enjoy the same, will, through the medium of this memorial, be 
reminded of the thought that inspired this lovely park, and I trust that 
our present Mayor's successor, whoever he might be and whenever 
he may come into office, and whatever happens, will maintain the 
standard of care established by our late friend and his successor, 
Mayor Muir.i^ 

Bunning Park was like an oasis in an area of land which some- 
times was compared to the surface of the moon. Here townspeople 
could visit the park and enjoy its beauty and solitude, apart from 
the cares of the day. The difficulty in maintaining the grounds was 
little understood by newcomers to the community who were often 
chagrined by the signs of "Warning: Stay off the Grass." But to 
those who had seen the area in its original state, this small piece 
of land would always be something special. 

Rock Springs was a community of hard-working people, largely 
immigrant miners. The Union Pacific Coal Mines had an average 
employment of 2,447 with an average wage per pay period of 
$166.20. Average employment figures rose in 1923 to 3,302 
with an average wage per pay period of $184.39.^^ 

The Biennial Report for 1925-26 gave the following infor- 

A verage 

per month 

Hours per 



A vg. Pay 

days work 

1925, Carpenters 


$1,121/2 hr 


1926, Carpenters 


1.121/2 hr 


1925, Painters 





1926, Painters 





1925, Electrical Workers 





1926, Electrical Workers 





1925, Barbers 




9 (1926 same) 

1925, Meat Cutters 




10 (1926 same) 

1925, Laundry Workers (male) 




8 (1926 same) 

1925, Laundry Workers (female) 




8 (1926 same) 

1925, School Teachers (male) 




1925, School Teachers (female) 




School Janitors (male) 




School Janitors (female) 




Leisure hours were spent in various ways. In the summer, 
favorite picnic spots in the area were Kent's Ranch, Cedar Bricks, 
and 6-mile spring. There were formal dancing clubs, teimis, and 
golfing at Kent's Ranch. 

The half-way mark of the twenties brought the first annual 
Union Pacific Old Timers celebration, an event which was to gain 

17. Ibid. 

18. "Fourth Biennial Report of the Labor Department, 1923-24, "Dept. 
of Labor and Statistics, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

19. "Fifth Biennial Report of the Labor Department, 1925-26," Dept. of 
Labor and Statistics, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 


momentum throughout the years to follow. It was at this time that 
269 members, their wives and guests gathered together to pay 
tribute to the longtime employees of the Union Pacific. The date 
was June 13, 1925. 

"The morning was taken up with the registration and with the for- 
mation of the association, the business meeting being held in the Elks 
auditorium. James Moon, of Rock Springs, and the oldest active 
employee of the company, was elected president, Robert Cardwell, of 
Hanna, vice-president, and C. P. Wassung, of Rock Springs, secretary- 
treasurer. A board of directors of seven members was also chosen. 
John Doak, of Rock Springs and Thomas Cook, of Hanna, were 
named for the one year terms; James Besso, of Winton, and George F. 
Wylam, of Cumberland, for the two year terms; and Charles Morgan, 
of Superior, Joseph Miller, Sr., of Reliance, and John McTee, Sr. of 
Rock Springs were named for the three year terms. 

At registration, service buttons were presented to all of those who 
had been in the service of the company for more than 20 years and 
less than 40 years. James Dewar and C. P. Wassung had charge of the 
issuance of these buttons. Buttons will be mailed to those not attend- 
ing. A group photograph was taken at the Elks Home., 

Shortly after 1 o'clock, the visitors gathered in front of the Elks 
Home, forming a line of march. Led by the Cumberland band of 55 
pieces, they marched to First Aid park for the ball game between 
Rock Springs and Reliance, witnessing the humbling of the Rock 
Springs team by Reliance. The score was 8-5. 

Tlie Cumberland band is an excellent organization, and has within 
its ranks not only men but several children of considerable musical 
ability. Their music did much to help in the festivities of the day. 

During the afternoon, a musical program was offered at the Elks 
auditorium for the entertainment of the wives and families of the 
visiting old timers. The program was excellent, Brueggemann's 
orchestra and the individual musical numbers gaining much applause 
and appreciation from the audience. 

The day was crowned by a banquet and old time dances at the Elks 
Home. More than 400 people were seated at the banquet tables to 
enjoy the excellent feast served by the Congregational Ladies' Aid."-'-' 

President Eugene McAuliffe spoke during the banquet in appre- 
ciation of the long years of service that the old timers had spent 
with the Union Pacific Coal Company. He said, 

"I would like to know that you will leave this meeting for a few 
short moments tonight, journeying back to the land of memory, back 
to the days when you were young, when gray hairs seemed a long way 
forward, and when your wives were first your sweethearts, as I hope 
they are yet. It does us no harm to travel back along the old road, 
recalling the friendships of early days, the faces of those we know and 
worked with and loved, how much perhaps we did not rightfully 
measure then. A man cannot be eligible to your association whose 
years are such that he does not stand at least midway on the trail; 
behind lies youth, ambition, dreams, often mixed with sorrows that 
seemed insurmountable then; in front the trail winds westward toward 
the sun, the end we cannot see, but it is somewhere ahead. If you 

20. Brueggemann, op. cit. 


men and women who are here tonight will forget all that was harsh 
and unfriendly in the past, recalling that which was joyous and cheery 
and lovable (and there is lots (sic.) of such in the world) you will 
have a good time and you will want to come again. "2i 

The honor roll of those entitled to gold buttons representing 
service of more than forty years was as follows: David Abrah, 
Robert Belam, Thomas H. Butler, Peter Boam, Sr., William Bean, 
Sr., Leo Chee, Ah Chung, Robert Cox, Robert Cardwell, Ah 
Chinn, Joseph Dyett, Tliomas T. Edwards, Ah Fung, Ah How, An 
Him, Theodore P. Henkell (retired), Chris Johnson, Thomas 
LeMarr, James Moon, William Price, Patrick Russell, W. W. 
Williams, Joe Kong, Leo Ting, Thomas Crofts, Charles Morgan, 
Robert Muir (retired.) "2- 

Early in 1926 Rock Springs received word that their city was to 
be included in John P. Sousa's last tour across the country. Mayor 
Bunning issued a proclamation in the local newspaper: 


"Lieut.-Commander John Philip Sousa, has done more for the cause 
of good music than any other man, woman or organization in Amer- 
ica. More than a quarter of a century ago, John Philip Sousa 
assembled a band of the best musicians obtainable and in all of those 
years, without assistance from individuals or communities, depending 
entirely upon the popularity of his organization and its music for his 
financial success, he has presented programs appealing to all classes of 
people. And he has brought to countless cities and towns throughout 
the country the best music they have known. Without Sousa, they 
would have been bereft of any opportunity to acquire an appreciation 
for the world's greatest music. 

Hence, the news that Sousa is coming to our city in his seventieth 
year, cannot fail to arouse in the people of Rock Springs the happiest 
anticipation. Thursday, February 4th, is the date of his engagement 
at the Rialto Theatre. The fact that 'the' Lieut. Commander is going 
to honor us by directing the Elks Juvenile Band in a special number at 
the matinee. Let us call it "SOUSA DAY," and let it be an occasion 
for rejoicing throughout the city. I commend its observance to the 
people and suggest that a welcome be given "The March King". 

May he be spared to return to us many, many times."23 

The fact that a Rock Springs musical organization was to have 
an honor that few such bands could boast lay in the directing by 
Sousa of Brueggemann's Elks Juvenile Band. News items report- 
ing this honor were to be found in The Chicago Tribune as well as 
Mt. Vernon's Democrat. Hundreds of persons from Rock Springs, 
Green River, and the surrounding camps attended the two concerts. 
People who had heard Sousa on his earlier appearances in Rock 
Springs as early as 1904 were in the audience, as well as children 

2L History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines, op. cit., p. 263. 

22. Brueggemann, op. cit. 

23. Ibid. 


who were hearing and seeing him for the first time. On this, his 
33rd tour of the United States as a leader of a band, his popularity 
was attested "when the audience paid tribute after tribute to the 
master's own march compositions as they were played. As the first 
strains of "Stars and Stripes Forever" swelled through the Rialto, 
Thursday evening, the entire audience burst into applause of this 
wonderful old march."^'* 

Particular enthusiasm was given when Sousa picked up his baton 
and led Rock Springs' own youth in music. The Miner reported, 
"Sousa, the great band master, made this statement after the stu- 
dents had played: 'It's the best musical organization of its kind that 
I have heard in my travels.' This is some compliment to Prof. 
Brueggemann as well as the young musicians."^'^ 

In the five years that Brueggemann had been a resident of the 
community, a high school orchestra had been organized and was 
entertaining the local people with regular performances, an Elks 
Juvenile Band had been established and received its highest honor 
in Sousa's stop in Rock Springs. In 1926 attention began to be 
directed toward the success of seven young jazz players, better 
known as "Paul's Juvenile Symphonators." Organized and directed 
by Paul Cazin, an instructor from the Brueggemann School of 
Music, this group, said to be "the youngest jazz band in America"^^ 
left in July of 1926 for an extended tour of Wyoming and Colo- 
rado. They received enthusiastic reception wherever they played: 

"The curtain just wouldn't stay down at the Rialto Thursday night 
and again and again it was raised to give the audience another glimpse 
of Paul's Symphonators, at the conclusion of their program. And 
even at that, the youngsters merited every bit of the ovation they 
received, for their work was splendid. Rock Springs likes to honor its 
home folks and the reception was given in the usual Rock Springs 

"The Symphonators have made wonderful progress during the year 
that has elapsed since they first appeared as an organization. New 
instruments have been added, their stage presence is easier, and the 
year's progress in music shows that they have worked faithfully. The 
result is a splendid little novelty orchestra, playing in good time and 
tone, full of life, and with the enthusiasm which only youth can give. 
The personnel of the orchestra, their instruments and ages are as 

Roland Miller, the Coming Tom Brown, Saxophone, age 15. 

Nephi Young, Violin and Sax, age 15. 

Donald Miller, Violin and Bass, age 16. 

Oliver Cundy, Trombone, age 15. 

Donald Mills, Trumpet, age 14. 

Vernon Ward, Piano, age 15. 

Leais Miller, Drums, Chimes, Xylophone, age 14. 

24. Brueggemann, op. cit. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid. 


All are pupils of the J. J. Brueggemann School of Music except 
Vernon Ward, who is the pupil of Mrs. Mary Morris. They are all 
students of the Rock Springs High School, just happy normal boys, 
who find enjoyment in their music . . . 

Mr. Cazin, their manager and director, is an instructor in the 
Brueggemann School of Music, a member of the Rialto Orchestra 
and better yet, a lover of boys . . . Without doubt, this organization 
will play an important part in the entertainment of the community 
during the next few years, and who knows what honors the future 
may have in store for them? Anyhow we'll all keep our eyes and 
ears open. "2" 

The famed International Night came into being in the year 1926. 
Reverend Stephen D. Pyle of the First Baptist Church of Rock 
Springs was also acting as good fellowship chairman of the local 
Lions Qub. Serving in this capacity he invited some twenty 
foreign-speaking men to be guests of the club. The idea was 
received with such enthusiasm that plans were arranged imme- 
diately to demonstrate the Pyle idea.-^ 

The first International Night was held on May 11, 1926. A 
local Rock Springs paper covered the event: 

"An impressive demonstration of the fact that America is the 'Melt- 
ing Pot' of the nations, and that Rock Springs is an important part of 
the 'Pot' which invites the blood of every continent to share its life, 
was witnessed in this city Tuesday when the Lions' Club was host at 
an 'International Day' celebration. 

Glimpses into the intimate life and customs of people from all parts 
of the globe, entertainment featured by yellow men, brown men, white 
men, black men and red men, and the spirit of broadest fraternity were 
manifest when representatives of 43 different nationalities assembled 
for common interest and common enjoyment. 

After spending a half hour mingling in informal fellowship, the 
guests of the Lions' Club were treated to a program featuring excep- 
tional talent, colorful costumes, interesting personalities and enter- 
tainment paraphernalia of rare qualities. The appearance of Rosie 
Tayo, formerly of Ispaster, Spain, in native song and dance; the 
Samisen solo by Mrs. K. Yasumune, Japanese, and the tamboritza 
quintette by handsome gentlemen of Croatian origin are just a few 
of the unusual features which so delighted the guests. "29 

Following this part of the entertainment representatives of forty- 
three nationalities were introduced. 

". . . 'I love (some one of the Old Lands.) I love America, 

too,' was heard in forty-three languages and dialects. Not always 
these words. Always this theme. I love America. Everybody was 
eager to tell it. Here were men and women from the Orient, from 
China and Japan and Korea. Here were representatives from almost 
all the countries of Europe, from North and South America, from 
Mexico and from the Holy Land, solid and valued citizens telling the 

27. Brueggemann, op. cit. 

28. W.P.A. Manuscript, "International Night," Wyoming State Archives 
and Historical Department. 

29. Brueggemann, op. cit. 


same tale, many so long in America it seemed strange to think of them 
as of foreign birth; others a few — visibly affected by this recognition 
of their country and its contribution to American life, eager to wor- 
thily represent that country and most eager to express appreciation of 

It was a wonderful gathering with its entertainment features of 
national music, singing and dancing in costume. And surely the 
native-born Americans must have felt new gratitude for the country 
that has brought from the corners of the earth to enrich its life, the 
color and rhythm and warmth of its foreign-born citizens."30 

The second International Night was held in 1927 at the Rialto 
Theatre with an attendance of 1500 people.-^^ A large turnout was 
anticipated and it was therefore decided to limit admission to adults 
only. In addition to the 1264 seats in the main house of the 
theatre, 125 additional chairs were set up on the stage and more 
than 200 crowded the aisles. About three hundred were turned 
away for want of standing room. 

Grace Webb recalled the evening and wrote : 

"Governor Emerson in his opening address said, 'I cannot speak the 
language of all of you, but I can smile at you in my language and you 
can smile at me Slovakian, Greek or whatever your nationality may be 
and that will be a middle ground on which to base our understanding 
and friendship.' The warm smile of friendship, the one universal 
language, was beaming on the face of each of the fifteen hundred 
people in attendance throughout the evening. 

A great lesson in Americanism was learned by each of the foreign- 
ers, and Americanism in Rock Springs took on a broader, fuller, 
deeper meaning as it absorbed the elements of Old World culture 
contributed by the forty-six different nationalities represented in the 
pageant. Each gave to all the others and took from them lessons in 
human nature and manhood and reached a better understanding of 
and respect for the word 'brotherhood.' 

One of the most impressive features of the evening was the candle 
lighting ceremony in which an Englishman extended a burning candle 
to liglit a candle held by a representative of another foreign group, 
saying as he did so, 'As Light Begets Light, So Love Begets Love the 
World Around.' The man receiving the light repeated this impressive 
sentence in his own tongue and passed the light to his neighbor till the 
forty-six groups had all responded. 

Some of the entertainment features of the evening were: Greeks in 
striking costumes showing the blue of Crete and the white of the 
mainland as they sang the Greek national anthem, 'Ethinikos Ennos'; 
the Slovenian song and drill by 46 children in costume; the Slovakian 
folk dance; and the TyroHan number also in native costume. 'Old 
Black Joe' enacted by J. D. Epps presented a touching picture. 'La 
Marseillaise' was sung by Rachel Mercy and a selection on the bag- 
pipes was rendered by John Hero of Calcutta, India. 

Dr. Oliver Chambers read messages which had been received for the 
occasion from Charles Evans Hughes, former Secretary of State and 
candidate for president of the United States in 1916; Senators John 

30. Employees' Magazine, The Union Pacific Coal Company, Washing- 
ton Union Coal Company, August 1926, Vol. 3, No. 8, p. 252. 

31. Archives op. cit. 


B. Kendrick and Francis E. Warren; Congressman Winter; the Am- 
bassadors of France, Japan, Germany, England, Poland; and the 
ministers of China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Swit- 
zerland and Persia; and the Charge de Affaires of Norway. 

Elaborate exhibits prepared by the different foreign groups were on 
display at the Elks Home following the Rialto program. Expense of 
time and money were not spared in making the exhibit complete. 

A three-ring circus made things lively in the auditorium throughout 
the evening. Miss Rosie Tayo's Spanish songs, dances and instru- 
mental numbers by the Slovenians, Slovaks, Basques, and Italians were 
particularly delightful numbers. 

Later in the evening a number of talented entertainers performed 
impromptu. George deBernardi sang several Italian selections. Sev- 
eral accordian numbers were delightful and Pierre Baly did some 
dances which caused every one to marvel at his ability. Grandmother 
Mrak was persuaded to give an exhibition in spinning and to sing as 
she did so the characteristic Slovenian spinning song. 

On the whole, Rock Springs felt that the event was of such great 
merit and such tremendous possibilities that it must be repeated 
each year. "32 

The third International Night celebration took place January 31, 
1928, in the Rialto Theatre and the foreign exhibits were displayed 
in the adjacent Elks Home. Interest in the annual affair had 
grown to the ponit that more nationalities were represented and 
fresh ideas were used for displaying the interesting aspects of 
the native culture represented. Special entertainment features were 
presented by Slovenians, Scots, Basques, Slovaks, Japanese, Finns, 
Greeks, Croatians and Italians. Grace Webb adds that: 

"Following the entertainment features, the Rock Springs citizenship 
class of 21 persons was presented. Greetings read were from the 
White House, from various foreign legations, ambassadors, ministers, 
and men prominent in national and international affairs. 

The candle lighting ceremony was again presented, it being the 
most impressive feature of the evening. 

The principal speaker of the evening was Fred B. Smith of New 
York City, chairman of the AlUance of International Friendship. 
Governor Frank Emerson and Melvin Jones, secretary of the Lions 
Club also gave short talks. 

The Elks Home was the usual scene of foreign exhibits. The Greeks 
were unusually picturesque in their Cretian and Evzone (sic) cos- 
tumes, the latter being the regalia of the body guard of the Greek 
Kings and presidents of the Greek Republic. 'Grandmother Mrak* 
again sang her spinning song as she manipulated the ancient wheel. 
The Slovaks displayed handloom work and in the Japanese teagarden 
Japanese women served tea and rice wafers while selections on the 
samisen were played. The Chinese also served refreshments as did the 
Slovaks and Greeks. 

Informal entertairmient was provided by talent from various groups 
in all parts of the large building during the entire evening and these 
features were the most delightful of the entire carnival. Truly, in the 
words of Confucius. 'All within the four seas are brothers.' "33 

32. Ibid. 

33. Ibid. 



The fourth and final International Night celebration ever to be 
held took place on December 3, 1928, with the largest number of 
representatives yet to participate in the ceremonies. Two thousand 
persons were reported in attendance and at least one thousand 
more suffered the disappointment of being turned away because 
there simply was no available standing room left. As Grace Webb 
aptly remarked: 

"The humanity of all the world in miniature; the dress worn, the 
language spoken, the music, the art, the dances, the culture of peoples 
from the great centers of population and from remote quarters of the 
earth; a kaleidoscopic view of races, creeds, and nations of every 
continent gathered in mutual friendly accord; such was the annual 
International Night as celebrated at Rock Springs, Wyoming. 

In closing let me say it's a deplorable fact that these International 
Night celebrations were not repeated in succeeding years. Rev. Pyle 
answered a call to China and while the interest and enthusiasm of the 
foreigners did not wane, the movement died for want of a leader and a 
sponsorship, though the kindly feeling, understanding and respect for 
their fellow men and fellow nations engendered by the associations 
with each other in giving these celebrations have not died in the hearts 
of the people. "34 

Rock Springs was not only becoming known as a community 
where all ethnic groups could co-exist in peaceful harmony, but it 
was also rapidly achieving recognition as a town of musical talent 
and harmony. 

The year 1927 brought the organization of a Kiltie Band, formed 
by the Union Pacific Coal Company. ^^ The uniform adopted was 
that of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, the "Black Watch." The 
tartan was that of the Stewarts. The magnificent uniforms were 
expensive — reputedly worth $10,000. 

The Wyoming Scotchmen piped and drummed with their kilts 
and sorans swinging, and they were good. They performed in 
Omaha, competed in California, were present for the opening of 
the highway up Pikes Peak. They marched at rodeos, county fairs 
and football games — and the people loved them.-'^*^ 

By 1928 two teachers from the Rock Springs high school, Miss 
Emma Roessler and Elmer Halseth, in addition to their regular 
duties had organized a girl's glee club, a boy's glee club, and a 
mixed chorus. 

This was the year that Rock Springs brought home all the 
honors from the state competitions held annually at Laramie. The 
awarding of the cherished Gold Medal in the various fields of 
competition went to the top boy or girl from the entire state's field 

34. Ibid. 

35. The former Pipe-Major, Mr. Wm. H. Wallace, who organized and 
so splendidly trained the band, was later succeeded by Pipe-Major Alec 
(Sandy) Davidson. 

36. "The Empire", The Denver Post, date unknown. 


of entries. This particular year Rock Springs not only won a gold 
medal in the violin competition (awarded to a Rock Springs- 
Brueggemann student that year making it the sixth consecutive 
win for Brueggemann) but also in voice competition and basketball. 
Rev. Pyle, wanting to share the fact that Rock Springs could 
proudly contribute mixed nationalities in the state competition 
phoned the editor of the Republican-Boomerang of Laramie during 
the tournament week to inform him that there was an international 
aspect of the entrants. The editor wrote: 

". . . The parents of one of the players on the Rock Springs basket- 
ball team were born in Poland, those of another in Germany, two of 
them have Finnish parents, another's father and mother came from 
Jugo-SIavia, and still another one had parents who were natives of 
Norway. Two other members of the team are just two generations 
removed from Germany and Norwegian parentage. 

This same international aspect also manifests itself in the academic 
contests. The parents of the boy who entered the finals in violin, 
Arvo Maki (sic), were born in Finland, and Tom Jones, in the finals 
in voice, is of Welsh extraction. Other entrants in the academics were 
two girls of Swedish and Finnish descent."'^' 

When John Brueggemann arrived at Rock Springs in 1921 to 
assume the duties at the Rialto he never dreamed that he would 
make Rock Springs his home for the next forty-odd years. With 
his wife, Mildred, he settled down to raising a family of three 
daughters and he began a livelihood which would be more reward- 
ing and satisfying in spirit than in material wealth. 

Brueggemann was interested in transforming the latent musical 
potential of the townspeople into an active, enjoyable, usable talent. 
It was largely through his persistent efforts that Rock Springs 
received the distinction of becoming a musically educated com- 

The fact that Brueggemann's violin students won the state gold 
medals annually from 1923 through 1929 at the Laramie compe- 
titions was a unique recognition of his abilities as a teacher. This 
in itself would have been a worthy contribution for any one person 
of any community. These winners were awarded the opportunity 
of playing in the National High School Orchestra, an annual event 
and certainly a memorable thrill for each winner.^^ Several of the 
winners, after playing in the National Orchestra with other superior 
musicians from all comers of the United States, recognized the 
desire to continue violin study in larger musical centers, Bruegge- 
marm again served a useful purpose in helping each student select 
a good musical college compatible with his aspirations and abilities. 
Of the hundreds of students who developed musical abilities under 

37. Rocket, Rock Springs, March 30, 1928. 

38. Appendix, list of gold medal winners. 


the guiding influence of John Brueggemann, many have kept in 
touch with him throughout the years. Former students — those 
who use their musical talents vocationally and have gained a wide 
reputation in the musical field, as well as those students who enjoy 
their musical talents in hours of leisure — are continually grateful 
to their first and dearly beloved violin teacher. A former student 
of Prof. Brueggemann, in paying tribute to small town musicians 
in a national musician's magazine stated. 

". . . Brueggemann had something to offer. He taught, and saw 
early fruition of his efforts. As soon as he could afford it, he 
equipped his home with the latest model phonograph and recordings 
of the great artist performers. Students were invited to come in and 
listen. There were many conversations about music being taught and 
heard in other parts of the country. Discussion about the great sym- 
phony orchestras in the east and middle-west were frequent. He 
played recordings and mentioned that some of the musicians who 
played in these orchestras came from very small towns in Europe and 
in America; that there was an opportunity for anyone who had an 
earnest desire to play, and that Rock Springs musicians were not 
exceptions. It was an inspiration to hear him spin yarns about the 
musical accomplishments in the great schools in Indiana and Illinois — 
states he knew so well. '39 

Out of its meager beginnings as a high school orchestra which 
Brueggemann directed in a volunteer capacity — never to be reim- 
bursed as a member of the high school staff — came Wyoming's 
first symphony. Because he wanted the best possible for Rock 
Springs, Brueggemann was not satisfied with providing music less 
than the best. The symphony's library was widely varied and well 
adapted to the membership's abilities.* Adrian Reynolds, con- 
sistently interested in the cultural growth of the area, reported that : 

"Beethoven's First and Fifth Symphonies, Wagner's Reinzi Overture. 
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, Grieg's Peer Gynt, Grainger's 
Country Gardens, Victor Herbert's melodies give but a fair idea of the 
variety and completeness of their presentations. Accompanying pro- 
grams, taken from concerts of the past few years further attest to the 
versatility of the organization. Musicians of note who have heard 
their performances have praised them highly and one radio station, 
KOA, of the NBC chain, offered them time on the air. The unusual 
thing is not that it is a notable organization, but that it is a fine 
organization of musicians in a small coal mining city, the membership 
serving without pay."'*'^ 

A Laramie paper paid tribute to Rock Springs and its orchestra 
in 1928 when Frank Sumner Burrage, editor, wrote: 

39. Dr. Sylvan D. Ward, Music Educators Journal, "A Tribute To The 
Small Town Musician," Vol. 43, Number 6, June-July, 1957, pp. 26-28, 

40. Brueggemann, op. cit. 

* Upon his retirement in 1964 Brueggemann donated the musical scores 
and orchestra parts used by the symphony — nearly 30 boxes full — to the 
University of Wyoming's division of music. 


"We have just been handed a program of a concert to be given by 
the Rock Springs Symphony orchestra in that city on Thursday, 
November 17. How many people knew that Rock Springs had such 
an organization? 

Perhaps unwittingly you may have thought that the Sweetwater 
county metropolis, very famous for its coal mines, gave itself over 
chiefly to the mining industry. That may be true in a bread and butter 
sense, but it is very far from true in an educational cultural way. 

Rock Springs has long been known for its splendid school system. 
Its high school graduates for many years have given a splendid account 
of themselves at the University, and presiding over those schools have 
been some of the best school men of the state. 

Rock Springs, too, has been well and favorably known for some of 
its singing organizations. We have heard Rock Springs choirs that 
would have done credit to a city of 100,000 people. Now comes the 
announcement of this symphony orchestra and its concert. 

It is the program, however, that gives the true indication of its 
musical standard. It is one thing to have an orchestra, but the real 
test is— What does it play? 

Well at this particular concert the Rock Springs orchestra is to start 
off with the first movement of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. 
Then later it plays the superb "Finlandia", by Sibelius, and closes with 
Beethoven's magnificent Egmont Overture. Think of that for one 
program, and consider what that means in the way of musical progress 
in a state like Wyoming. 

Our congratulations to the Rock Springs Symphony! May it con- 
tinue to flourish and to promote the cause of the true and beautiful 
in music here in this state of cowboys, sagebrush and Bitter Creek.''^! 

Music continued to flourish in the Sweetwater area and by May 
of 1929 the county was to celebrate its first annual May Music 
Festival. The Star reviewed the event: 

"Sweetwater County's First Annual May Music Festival, the com- 
bined orchestras of the Rock Springs, Reliance and Green River high 
schools, given on last Monday evening in the Lincoln high school audi- 
torium in this city, proved the greatest musical treat ever given in this 
city by Sweetwater County talent, and the program struck a responsive 
chord in the hearts of those who heard, and ruled and sv/ayed at will 
the audience which sat in awe, with the wonder of the classical pro- 
gram rendered by these youthful artists, under masterful direction of 
Prof. John J. Brueggemann. 

The first annual appearance in a May Festival Musical of Sweet- 
water County's high school talent, left none to be disappointed. More 
than sixty of the high school students took part in the combined 
orchestra, and they were as one in responding under the masterful 
direction of Prof. Brueggemann. It was a program to delight, to rule 
by the touch of these young people, who had developed the touch of 
the master under Mr. Brueggemann's instructions, the harmony was 
pulse-moving in its rendition, and left a lingering memory of a supe- 
rior moment musical. 

. . . That Prof. Brueggemann has done more for the youth in 
Sweetwater County in developing musical talent than any individual 
that has ever endeavored to impart his talents to others, and the many 
splendid programs that have been given by his pupils in the various 

41. Reprinted by the Rocket, Nov. 18, 1928. 


towns of the county, stamps him as a man who possesses unusual 
talent in his work, and has the added advantage of a personality that 
is most pleasing and wins the confidence, and brings out the best 
efforts that it is possible for his pupils to put forth, with the result 
that he works wonders in a manner that reflects credit to both his 
pupils and himself. 

He never tires in giving unstinted service at all times to aid the 
musical talent in the young people of the county, and this unselfish 
attitude, and his great accomplishments in the Sweetwater County 
schools, should give him the loyal support of every man and woman 
in the county. 

. . . Mr. Charles Nicoll, who had much to do with the bringing of 
the May Festival to Green River, during the course of the program, 
made a short but most forceful talk on the splendid work that had 
been accomplished in the county schools by Prof. Brueggemarm, and, 
among other things to his credit, stated, 'that the group of musical 
artists that was gathered upon the auditorium platform, was a living 
demonstration of his ability as a musical instructor and director.' 

Good music is an acquired taste. It is like a good cigar. The indi- 
vidual who has never smoked one, believes that a cheap cigaret or 
pipe is the best smoke obtainable, but after smoking a few good cigars, 
he acquires a taste. Therefore, anyone who hears a program such as 
was given on last Monday evening, has little inclination for the less 
classical programs. Those present had a taste of such a marvelous 
musical treat, that while jazz is not objectionable in its proper place, 
it can never be a substitute for the treat given on this occasion."42 

The introduction of talking pictures took Brueggemann from the 
theatre pit, but by this time his School of Music and influence had 
grown to such proportions that he did not mind the financial loss 
brought about by the change. Neighboring communities sought 
his services and each week he traveled many mUes to develop 
musical education in Superior, Reliance, Green River, as well as 
Rock Springs. Many of Brueggemann's students have done well 
for themselves. Pupils have scattered across the country since the 
days of yesteryear. Some are teaching in colleges; some are playing 
in orchestras in cities. Others have sought other lines of vocation 
but continue to enjoy music as a pleasant pastime. 

When asked to write as guest columnist for the Wyoming 
Clubwoman, Brueggemann expressed his philosophy clearly when 
he said : 

". . . In order that the profession of music teaching may reach a 
worthy level — even of minimum attainment — requires only this: that 
each one of us make every effort to become individually well prepared; 
that no less a standard inspire all the teaching we do; and lastly, 
that we find our greatest interest in life in our profession and not in 
something else. 

Just as long as music is used as a pin-money means of escape from 
a limited income, so long it will be taught without wholly right pur- 
pose, method or cultural effect. If it appeal to us as a hard days' 
work, for which we are thankful when it is done, we have thrown our 

42. Green River Star, May, 1919. 


effort with the wrong cause. But if it be the first and absorbing 
interest in life, if it appeal to the best effort of which we are capable, 
if the joy of accomplishment in its service give us joy in return, we 
may know that we have chosen our profession wisely. 

. . . The teacher who is musical, educated, cultured; who is tactful, 
sympathetic, encouraging; whose natural and attained equipment 
makes for distinct character, is a benefit to any community. Such a 
teacher is indispensable in the musical scheme of things . . . The 
music teacher must be able to support himself and while supporting 
himself, benefit the community by what he does.''^-^ 

John Brueggemann practiced daily these principles. Through 
his efforts Rock Springs developed a worthy cultural envi- 

As the twenties drew to a close the people awaited the thirties 
in anticipation. By 1930 the population had swelled to 8,440.^^ 
In spite of the crash of the previous October, prices and incomes in 
Rock Springs remained relatively unaffected. 

These were the days before Hitler and atomic blasts, before 
super highways and traffic Ughts. 

Ten years had brought many changes to the lives of the people of 
the southwest comer of Wyoming, and many precious memories 
would be recalled when times got bad. Not a person lived through 
these years who did not sometime, somewhere look back on the 
twenties as the good ol' days — a time that each day brought a new 
experience — a time when it was great to be alive and living in 
Rock Springs, Wyoming. 


1920 Census Records, Office of Secretary of State, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

1930 Census Records, Office of Secretary of State, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

Rock Springs High School "Souvenir Program — 1920" 

Files, Mrs. J. H. Goodnough, Rock Springs. 

"Industrial Review - 1921 Sweetwater County," Published by Rocket, Rock 

Springs, Wyoming. 
Files, John J. Brueggemann, Rock Springs. 
Rocket, Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1920-1930. 
Miner, Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1920-1930. 
Green River Star, Green River, Wyoming, 1920-1930. 
History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines, 1S68-1940, Union Pacific Coal 

Company, The Colonial Press, Omaha, Nebr., 1940, pp. 220-226. 
"Fourth Biennial Report of Labor Department, 1923-24," Department of 

Labor and Statistics, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
"Fifth Biennial Report of Labor Department, 1925-26," Department of 

Labor and Statistics, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
WPA Manuscript, "International Night", Wyoming State Archives and 

Historical Department. 

43. Brueggemann, J. J., "The Education of the Music Teacher," The 
Wyoming Clubwoman, Vol. 8, No. 4, Casper, April 1928, p. 10. 

44. Brueggemann received additional recognition as composer. Orches- 
trations written include "Wyoming Moods," "Wyoming Butterfly Caprice," 
and "Wyoming Youth." 

45. 1930 census, Office of the Secretary of State, Cheyenne, Wyo. 



Employees' Magazine, "The Union Pacific Coal Company," Washington 
Union Coal Company, August 1926, Volume 3, Number 8, p. 252. 

"Empire", The Denver Post, date unknown. 

Sylvan D. Ward, "A Tribute To a Small Town Musician," Music Educators 
Journal, Volume 43, Number 6, June-July, 1957, pp. 26-28. 

Brueggemann, John J., "The Education of the Music Teacher," The Wyo- 
ming Clubwoman, Volume 8, Number 4, Casper, Wyoming, April, 1928, 
p. 10. 

Dorothy Harmon, Rock Springs. 


Wyoming Gold Medal Winners 

Winner and year 

1923 - Leno Ceretto 

1924 - Sylvan Ward, Ph.D. 

Vocation and residence 1968 

1925 - Heomo Loya, Ph.D. 

1926 - Donald Miller 

1927 - Adolphus Roncoglio 

1928 - Arvo Mackey 

1929 - Stewart Blunk 

1931 - Olga Sarcletti 

(Mrs. Ludwig Plemel) 

Rocket-Miner, Rock Springs 

Professor of Music, 

Illinois Teachers College, 


Professor Music, 

Monmouth College, Illinois 

Sylmar, California 

Music - avocation 

Music store in Oakland, 

Residence Richmond, Calif. 

Union Pacific 

Rock Springs, Wyoming 


Denver, Colo. 

Rock Springs 

Roster of High School Orchestra 1923 

Leno Ceretto 
Heimo Loyo 
Hazel Justin 
Owen Hakkila 
Sylvan Ward 
Donald Miller 
Samuel Morrison 
Harriet Moffitt 
Wesley Chester 
Willard Feldscher 
Marie Esselstein 
Charles Ballard 
Ethel Crookston 
Andy Lash 
Thomas Turchan 
Robert Wilde 
John Wendt 
Samuel Hickerson 
George Angelovich 
Oreo Portanen 
Matt Medill 
George Sprowell 
Georgia Simerl 
Arvo Mackey 

Rosie Tayo 

John J. Brueggemann 

Anselm Asiala 
Robert Warinner 
Roland Miller 
Will Chester 
John Lammie 
Rone Pellet 
Wayne Wunola 
Verbon Taucher 
Horace Moffitt 

Robert Muir 

John Berta 

Louise Syme 

Charles Pedri 


Newfork Items. FIRST ANNUAL AUTO SHOW. The first 
annual automobile show came off Friday afternoon with a nice 
crowd present. It was a beautiful sight to see the nicely decorated 

John Vible and Sons 40 h.p. Overland car took first prize while 
A. L, Faler's 40 h.p. Auburn car took second prize. After the 
prizes had been awarded everyone present was given a ride. Danc- 
ing followed after supper; although the gathering was not very large 
everyone went home saying it was one of the best times they 
ever had. 

— Pinedale Roundup, December 21, 1911 

INDIANS. Yesterday a party of about 200 Indians of assorted 
sexes and sizes came up Crow Creek to within about three miles of 
this city where they erected lodges and are now ready for anything 
from matrimony to manslaughter. 

— Cheyenne Daily Leader, July 18, 1868 

Fortune will favor Laramie in 1885. The rolling mills will soon 
start up, the soda beds will be utihzed; the Union Pacific may build 
a branch into the park; the big silver brick works will be built. 
Everything looks favorable. 

— The Daily Boomerang, January 7, 1885 

A box containing a black bear was received at an express office 
in San Francisco the other day with this inscription: "Black bare. 
Ef yew don't want to get bit, kepe yer fingers outen the crax." 

— Cheyenne Daily Leader, October 27, 1870 

Work is to be resumed on the Elk Horn mine, in the Snake River 
section, as soon as the water can be pumped out. Three carloads 
of ore recently shipped from the property gave returns of $97 per 
ton in silver and copper. 

Monuments and Markers 
to the Zerritorial Surveys 


Ellis L. Yochelson 

Everyone interested in western history knows of the four terri- 
torial surveys headed by Hayden, King, Wheeler, and Powell, that 
collectively from 1867 until 1879 investigated the geology, geog- 
raphy, ethnology and natural history of the west. Because 1969 
was the centennial year of John Wesley Powell's first trip down the 
Green-Colorado River, celebration of his accomplishments was 
front page news. Before the enthusiasm generated by that occasion 
is lost, it might be useful to consider what the average tourist can 
see to encourage his curiosity about all four survey chiefs. A 
number of fine accounts and biographies have been written of their 
exploits, but one would think that geographically-oriented investi- 
gations should leave a large number of tangible marks on the 
landscape. Except in the case of Powell's first trip, this does not 
seem to be the case. 

John Wesley Powell was a great scientist and an even greater 
organizer and administrator of scientific policy. It does not lower 
his accomplishments one whit to add that he was a late-comer to 
western exploration and that he headed a tiny organization operat- 
ing on a busted shoestring. The cost of the various stone monu- 
ments and bronze plaques along the river from Green River, 
Wyoming, to Grand Canyon National Park would have covered a 
substantial part of his operating budget. I compiled a list of the 
existing markers in Geotimes (volume 14, number 5, 1969), but 
activities during Powell Centennial added others and for the sake 
of completeness they might be mentioned here. 

The granite marker erected in 1949 at Green River, Wyoming, 
has been supplemented by a magnificent five-foot square stone 
slab. The front is engraved with a map of the route and one boat 
passing through canyon rapids; the obverse carries a portrait of 
Powell and a description of his accomplishments in exploration. 
This monument is situated in the newly designated Expedition 
Island National Historic Site. Designation of this site and the two 
markers collectively constitute a fitting testimonial to the start of 
Powell's voyage. 

On June 26, 1969, the National Park Service conducted a 
local Powell Centennial Celebration at Split Mountain Gorge in 
Dinosaur National Monument on the south side of the Uinta 


Mountains. They placed a bronze plaque 16%" wide x 18Vi" 
high on a large pebble-conglomerate boulder near the Split 
Mountain launching ramp. The inscription is: 















The largest monument to Powell in terms of square miles, but 
also the one least likely to be seen by the average tourist — at least 
until the day a boat trip down the Colorado is average — lies further 
down river in Desolation Canyon, on the western edge of the Hill 
Creek extension of the Uinta and Ouray Reservation. It occupies 
the middle third of the river stretch between Ouray and Green 
River, Utah, in an area in which paved roads are absent and even 
horse trails are uncommon. 

On the west bank of the river at Sand Wash where a former ferry 
crossed the Green River, a large monument has been constructed of 
native flagstone, ten feet across at the base and six feet, eight inches 
at the top. It is seven feet high and bears three signs. On the 
lower right is the Bureau of Land Management emblem and on the 
upper right a tablet noting that Desolation Canyon is designated as 
a registered national historic landmark. To the left is a larger 
descriptive plaque. One side shows the course of the river and its 
tributaries through the canyon and at the bottom of the text is a 
photograph of one of the Powell boats (from the 1871 expedition) 
in the canyon. The explanatory text is: 


Major John Wesley Powell and nine men left Green River, 
Wyoming, May 24, 1869, in four wooden boats to chart the Green 
and Colorado rivers — one of the last unexplored regions of the United 

When the Powell party passed this point on July 7, one man had left 
the expedition and one boat had been wrecked. The group camped 
that night on the east bank below here. 

While exploring the west side of the river the next day, the one- 


armed leader found himself stranded on a ledge. George Bradley 
used his long underwear to pull the major to safety. They noted 
"the scenery is wild and desolate" and Powell named it Desolation 

More than 60 rapids later, the explorers had passed through 
Desolation Canyon, Coal Canyon (later renamed Gray Canyon) and 
on to Gunnison's Crossing near present Green River, Utah. 

A second Powell expedition retraced the route in 1871. 

It is a simple monument, but the very simplicity gives it a 
majesty which some of the more accessible markers do not have. 
Unfortunately, most people who do not take the rough dirt road to 
launch a raft or boat for a trip through Desolation Canyon will 
never see it, for the river and the paved roads are not in proximity. 
On the other hand if it were more convenient to civilization, there 
would not have been any reason for Powell's exploration. The 
Utah 1969 Official Highway Roadmap has a small insert which 
designates a series of roads as "The Powell Memorial Highway" 
running from Green River, Wyoming, through St. George, Utah, 
but it does not come close to this marker. In fact the Green 
River, Utah, monument is the only Powell Marker on the river 
that can be seen on this highway. Since this article includes cor- 
rections, I should note that the sign reported by me at Green River 
is about 200 yards east and technically is in Elgin, Utah. 

The Bureau of Reclamation has never named a dam for Powell. 
However, they have made amends for the oversight. Downriver, 
a plaque has been placed on the parapet wall of the powerplant 
transformer deck. The canyon downstream serves a backdrop. 
On the Visitor Center terrace parapet wall, at a spot which over- 
looks both the dam and the reservoir, another tablet states: 















The honor to Powell in the field of reclamation is most appro- 
priate. It is picking nits to note an error, but Powell headed the 
Bureau of Ethnology; after his death it became the BAE. This 
bureau is nearly unique in government circles for it grew smaller 


and smaller through the years and eventually disappeared without 
giving rise to another agency. 

Still further down the Colorado a large circular bronze medallion 
has been added to the stone work of the Powell memorial over- 
looking Bright Angel Creek, on the South Rim of Grand Canyon 
National Park. It reads °POWELL EXPEDITION° - 1869 - 
100th ANNIVERSARY - 1969. and has a side view of the major 
at about the time of this voyage, against a background of the 

To correct an earlier uncertainty, Powell, Wyoming, definitely 
claims J. W. Powell as its namesake even though said town was 
named in 1914 after his death. Powell, Nebraska, northwest of 
Fairburg is small enough to have been missed in the first account; 
it isn't clear whether Major Powell was involved. The artifical 
Powell Lake in Wisconsin probably has no connection; but some 
historically minded person might have thought to name it after the 
farmstead of the Powell's which was near by. 

Even though Powell began his greatest single accomplishment at 
the Union Pacific railway bridge at Green River, Wyoming, just a 
few feet north of Exploration Island, one can argue that he is a 
marginal figure to Wyoming. Please, let me explain before every- 
one rises in wrath to smite me down. I mean marginal in a geo- 
graphic sense only! Powell's ideas trancended artifical boundaries, 
but maps show that most of his field work was confined to Utah. 

If Wyoming feels the need of a geologic patron saint, they might 
look to Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden. Although the Hayden Geo- 
logical and Geographic Survey of the Territories as such dates from 
1867, he was first of the four chiefs to be in the field starting 
western exploration in 1853. A bronze plaque in Bear Butte State 
Park, near Sturgis, South Dakota, records Hayden as the first man 
to climb the butte. In a strict interpretation this would not really 
count as a monument to the Hayden Survey. 

Closer to the mark, at the entrance to the town park in Glenrock, 
Wyoming, is a granite monument which at the top has a medallion 
of a covered wagon and "Oregon Trail Memorial". Below is the 
engraved legend: 












A plaque attached at the base reads : 






The monument was not actually put up until 1933, and much of 
the cost was borne by the people of Westfield. So far as I can 
determine this is the only monument on the land to Hayden's work. 

Hayden was the only one of the four territorial survey chiefs who 
unequivocally and publicly has a town named after him. On U. S. 
Highway 40 in Grand County, just west of Hayden, Colorado, 
there is a large wooden sign with impressed lettering. 























One might suspect Mr. Jackson aided with this marker also. 

Hayden, Arizona, is a town in good standing, but almost cer- 
tainly it was named for the unrelated Arizona Hay dens. In one 
of the early accounts of place names of the United States, Hayden 
Hills, California, was given as named for him, though another 
source states the name to be from that of a local miner. Hayden, 
Montana, was supposed to be named for the explorer; neither exists 


now or at least has a post office. There were obscure places named 
Hayden in New Mexico and Oklahoma, but who can now say for 
whom they were named? 

Hayden is also the only one of the four territorial chiefs whose 
office was marked in any way. On December 13, 1933, the 
six surviving members of his survey — W. H. Holmes, G. B. 
Chittenden, Ernest Ingersol, W. H. Jackson, S. B. Ladd, and F. D. 
Owen — gathered at Washington, D. C. in a poignant ceremony to 
dedicate a bronze tablet, stating: 



















Jackson may have been responsible for the headquarters tablet 
in Washington, but some Hayden scholars think that the guiding 
force was W. H. Holmes. In any event it says something about 
Hayden that he could have inspired such loyalty. The sequel to 
this noble gesture is unfortunate. In the 1950s the building lobby 
in which the plaque was installed was remodeled. No one Siought 
to care for the tablet, and it ended as scrap copper. Historical 
markers are just as ephemeral as any other man-made object, and 


someone has to see to their preservation as well as to their installa- 
tion. It also demonstrates that plaque markers are not necessarily 
the leaders in the field of punctuation. 

The Smithsonian Institution "castle" in Washington in a sense 
was Powell's headquarters, but no tablet marks this. Many emi- 
nent men worked and even lived in that building; were appropriate 
signs to each erected, the building would be covered. His house 
still stands in Washington, but it is an area scheduled for urban 
renewal. The Hoee Iron Building, which first housed the U. S. 
Geological Survey and the Adams Building, which housed the 
Bureau of Ethnology, both organizations that were derived from 
Powell's survey, have long since vanished. Both of King's ad- 
dresses in Washington are now memories floating in air above a 
depressed expressway. King's headquarters in San Francisco and 
Virginia City apparently are not marked; some of the Fortieth 
Parallel reports were written at the American Museum in New 
York, but this point is not generally known. No one really seems 
to have cared where Wheeler hung his hat. 

Actually, Clarence King might be a better candidate than Hay- 
den for honorable consideration in Wyoming, at least in terms of 
square miles covered. His United States Geological Exploration of 
the Fortieth Parallel took him across most of the width of the state. 
This survey also mapped a swath through Nevada, Utah, and 
northern Colorado, but monuments to this achievement are con- 
spicuous by their absence. Two tiny spots in Colorado used to be 
called King; this is such a common name in mining country that 
one cannot assume that a patronym was involved. 

Lieutenant Wheeler's United States Geographical Survey West 
of One Hundredth Meridian, did not map in, but they 
did cover a great deal of the rest of the western United States. It 
might be worth recording that as with King, no note is taken of this 
anyv/here by a sign or marker. No western towns seem to have 
been named for Wheeler. However, things may be looking up for 
his memory as the Forest Service visitor's center to be erected in 
Humbolt National Forest, Nevada, does plan to comment on his 

Prominent geographic features ought to be fine monuments to 
explorers, even if they do not bear historical signs giving derivation 
of the name. However, the absence of signs may be critical, for the 
origin of names is often hard to track down. For example, King 
River in California has nothing to do with Clarence. Mount 
Clarence King, Fresno County, California, was named for him, 
but it was done during explorations of the Brewster party for the 
California Survey; it commemorates King, long before he achieved 
Fortieth parallel fame. Powell never worked in that state, but 
there is a Mount Powell in King's Canyon National Park. 

Wheeler Crest in Inyo and Mono Counties, Wheeler Ridge in 
Kem County, and Wheeler Peak in Toulomne County, California, 


are enigmas. Perhaps they were named for George M., but more 
hkely they were named for another Wheeler. The one prominent 
mountain that was properly and exphcitly named by the U. S. 
Geological Survey in honor of Lt. George Montague Wheeler is 
Wheeler Peak (13,063 ft.) in White Pine County, Nevada. There 
is also a Wheeler Peak (13,160 ft.) the highest point in New 
Mexico, in Taos County, New Mexico; it probably was named for 
Lieutenant Wheeler. Wheeler Wash at the north end of the 
Hualpai Mountains in Mohave County, was definitely named for 
him, even if it isn't a mountain. 

Alaska has a Wheeler Peak (3,731 ft.) on Admiralty Island, 
named for him by a Navy surveyor! The one Powell Peak (2,662 
ft. ) , of the two in the state, which is named for the Major is in the 
Coast Mountains about 100 miles east of Sitka. Hayden Glacier 
runs five miles to join Malaspina Glacier in the St. Elias Mountain. 
King this and King that dot the landscape, but none seem to have 
been named for the geologist. 

As every good map reader knows, the Uinta Mountains of Utah 
are the place to look for the names of early explorers. King's 
Peak in Duchesne County (13,528 ft.) is the highest point in Utah. 
Mount Powell (13,159 ft.) in Summit and Duchesne Counties and 
Hayden Peak (12,485 ft.) in Summit County, commemorate the 
other two men. It may be coincidence or it may have been a subtle 
reminder of the struggle for civihan versus military control of 
exploration that the Lieutenant is not singled out for a mountain 
peak in the stately Uintas. Before we read too much politics into 
geography, one should note that the Mount Powell 7^/^ -minute 
quadrangle only received its name in 1969. 

In Kootenai County, Idaho, Hayden Lake was named for a Matt 
Hayden, but the obscure town of Haden, Idaho, in Teton Valley 
was supposed to be named for F. V. Hayden, in spite of the postal 
service spelling. In the west, Colorado is authentic Hayden terri- 
tory. Mount Hayden graces the San Juan Mountains in Ouray 
County. There is Hayden Creek, a right-hand branch of the River 
in Fremont County; Pass, between Fremont and Saguache Coun- 
ties; Guich, in Lake County; Park, in Teller County; Butte, in 
Huerfano County; and Peak, part of the Elk Mountains in Pitkin 
County. There may be more. Unfortunately, the absence of his- 
torical signs is once again critical for the unwary are here warned 
that the first two were named for a settler on Texas Creek; the 
others seem to be dedicated to F. V. Hayden. Various pieces of 
real estate in Rocky Mountain National Park are named for Al 
and JuUan Hayden. 

Colorado has honored Powell with Powell Peak in Larimer and 
Grant Counties and Mount Powell (13,534 ft.) in Eagle and 
Summit Counties, Mount Powell was named in 1868 before the 
canyon voyage. A few minor streams and lakes have also been 
given his name. However, except where there is a fight, as in the 


futile attempt to change the designation of Copeland Mountain to 
honor Clarence King, most geographic names today are just terms, 
without any inner meaning either to tourists or local inhabitants. 

Arizona also bears place names that were given to honor the 
leaders of the territorial surveys; naturally Grand Canyon National 
Park is the place to look. Powell Plateau is prominent on the 
north side of the river as an outlier of the Kaibab Plateau, and gives 
the name to the Powell Plateau 15-minute quadrangle; at least one 
tourist map gives this incorrectly as Powell's Plateau. Powell 
Spring is in this quadrangle. Powell Point is where the monument 
stands near Park Headquarters on the South Rim of the Canyon. 
At the Canyon is an obscure Wheeler Point and even more obscure 
King Crest. It is a shame that with all the names given to features 
in the canyon to commemorate various geologists, and other scien- 
tists, nothing has been named for Hayden. Perhaps in the early 
days, this was an indication of the rivalry between the Powell and 
Hayden surveys; perhaps people just forgot. For those who would 
challenge, please note that Mount Hayden in the park is named 
for Charles Trumbull Hayden who founded Tempe. 

Appropriately, there is a great park-like area called Hayden 
Valley in Yellowstone National Park but that is all. Hayden's 
Fork, a name formally used in that park, is now Nez Perce Creek. 
Hayden was the name of the most respectable mountain in the 
nearby Teton Range of Wyoming, but every one knows it as Grand 
Teton. F. V. Hayden's role in establishing the park surely should 
be commemorated in some way. The National Park Service does 
a good job with campfire talks and trailside exhibits, but something 
more obvious seems appropriate. 

Administrations change and often maps change accordingly. 
Lieutenant Wheeler made it big on the western maps with the 
establishment in 1908 of Wheeler National Monument in Mineral 
County, Colorado. He was a man who never had any good luck, 
and in 1950 this monument was abolished, and the area is now 
incorporated into the expanded Rio Grande National Monument. 
This is not bad considering that Powell National Forest, as a 
named entity in Utah, lasted from 1908 until 1945. Hayden 
National Forest, also established in 1908, only lasted until 1929, 
with the Colorado part going into Routt National Forest and the 
Wyoming portion into Medicine Bow National Forest. 

There may be additional places named for these four men, but 
this list seems to cover the principal ones. At any rate, the prin- 
cipal geographic features in the United States have been named and 
there is scant opportunity to place more names on the land. 

Even in death these territorial explorers are obscure, and it is 
difficult to find their gravesites. The first to die was Hayden in 
Philadelphia in 1887. He is buried with his wife in Woodland 
Cemetery, West Philadelphia. A mildly Victorian style, cross- 
shaped granite monument bears the somewhat repetitive legend: 









Clarence King was the second to go, dying in 1901 in Phoenix, 
Arizona. He is buried at Island Cemetery, Newport, Rhode Island. 
The marble headstone is engraved : 







JAN. 6, 1842 


DEC. 24, 1901 



Major Powell died the following year in Haven, Maine. As 
befitted a veteran of the Civil War, he was buried at Arlington 
National Cemetery and his grave marking was that standard to the 

Wheeler's final fate is saddest of all. Major (retired) Wheeler 
died in New York City, apparently on the street. May 3, 1905, and 
his body was unclaimed by relatives. However, the Army takes 
care of its own, and he was interred in the cemetery at the United 
States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in section 10 
not far from the Old Cadet Chapel. His simple marble marker 





MAY 3, 1905 

There is one happy note to this general theme of obscurity of 
grave sites. In 1909, Powell's friends in Washington rallied for 
one last time following the congressional appropriation for con- 
struction of the Grand Canyon Monument. With the approval of 
President Taft, they raised a huge granite monolith to him. On 
the front is a medallion of the Major, and below it is carved: 


1834 1902 



1835 1924 

The reverse of the monument gives the Major's Civil War Record. 
Obviously, the date of Mrs. Powell's death was added later, but 
this is a common custom with family monuments. 

This monument stands on Plot 408, Section One of Arlington 
National Cemetery not far from the grave registration office. It is 
slightly off the Washington D. C. tourist main line, but well worth 
the effort to visit, for the medallion of the Major may be the best 
likeness of all those rendered of him. If one has the time to look 
up the Interior Department museum, it contains four paintings of 
interest. These are done by W. H. Jackson to reflect the spirit of 
each of the territorial surveys. They are not great art, but they 
do the job. 

The famous Cosmos Club in Washington, D. C, holds lectures 
in the John Wesley Powell Auditorium. Powell Memorial Museum 
is at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington. It should also be 
put on record that the graduating class of 1923 erected on campus 
a monument of granite to him. 

King seems to have been forgotten completely in the academic 
world. However, the Geology Department of the University of 
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, holds forth in Hayden HaU. The 
Department of Topography, United States Army Engineer School, 
Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is in Wheeler Hall. Perhaps the only plaque 
in the country commenting on his efforts is on the west end of the 
building. The last sentence might be questioned a bit by historians, 
but with some justification, it states: 





TERRITORIES 1871-1884 




The Hayden Gold Medal is an award of great esteem given for 
work in geology and paleontology, presented every three years by 
the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences; like many other scientific 
awards below the level of the Nobel Prize, it does not attract any 
general attention. Still further down the list on significance is 
another monument created by Mrs. Hayden. There used to be a 


granite horse watering trough at 39th and Baltimore in Phila- 
delphia, outside the gate of the Woodland Cemetery. It was 
inscribed : 




Lack of horses and a new highway caused this fountain to vanish 
from the scene. There was a World War II Liberty Ship, the John 
W. Powell, but it, too, is long gone. 

Utah, Colorado and Arizona issued commemorative medals 
during the special ceremonies connected with the PoweU Centen- 
nial; the Arizona portrait of Powell is that which was added to the 
Grand Canyon National Park monument. The Major was most 
certainly a national figure and fully deserving of the honor of 
having a postage stamp issued at the anniversary of his voyage. 
People might like to know that the original painting from which the 
stamp was designed hangs in the John Wesley Powell Museum; 
the museum itself in Page, Arizona, is the result of effort by local 
citizens. For some years the Southwestern Section of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science has had an annual 
Powell lecture. The special exliibit at the Smithsonian Institution 
in 1969 was both outstanding and appropriate. 

There is not much question but what the major would have 
enjoyed all the fuss in 1969. He was no shrinking violet at any 
stage of his career. As a scientist he used other scientist's data but 
was also more than generous in sharing his data and ideas with 
others. I think that he might have been the first to say that his 
efforts were only one facet of the attempt to gain better insight into 
the west and that the other territorial explorers deserved equal 
credit for their efforts. The field is wide open for individuals or 
dedicated groups to mark routes, noteworthy spots and acknowl- 
edge the overall accomplishments of the three forgotten men. 

Of course, the names of assistants and members of the four 
territorial surveys also dot the western landscape, but they do not 
directly relate to the four survey chiefs. Someone alse may have 
the fun of compiling them. No one is perfect, and the same goes 
for compilations. However, even if the number of historical signs 
and geographic features is double that given here, chary praise is 
still being given to the western surveys and to these men who 
helped build the science of geology a century ago. 

Being one of the few native-born Washingtonians (D.C.) and an 
easterner by up-bringing, most of the places mentioned are places 
I would like to visit, rather than spots I've seen. This compUation 
is due entirely to the kindness of friends and strangers who took 
the time to answer inquiries. 

Wyoming State Mistoricai Society 


Worland, Wyoming September 11-13, 1970 

Registration for the seventeenth annual meeting of the Wyoming 
State Historical Society began at 7:30 p. m., Friday, September 11, 
1970, in the lobby of the Friendly Innkeeper in Worland. The 
members enjoyed seeing slides of National Girl Scout Center West, 
located in the Worland-Ten Sleep area. Refreshments were served 
by the Washakie County Chapter. 


After a continental breakfast served in the Hospitality Room 
of the Stockgrower's Bank, Mrs. Hattie Bumstad, president, con- 
vened the meeting. Al Finneseth, president of the Worland-Ten 
Sleep Chamber of Commerce, welcomed members of the Society to 
Worland. Mrs. Bumstad called the attention of the group to the 
beautiful gladioli arranged around the room, grown by David 
Wasden, of Cody, and brought to the meeting by him. 

Curtiss Root moved that the reading of the minutes of the 
sixteenth annual meeting be dispensed with since they had been 
published and were available to all members. The motion was 
seconded and carried. The secretary then read the minutes of the 
Executive Committee meeting held in Casper on May 17, 1970. 
There were no corrections or additions and they were approved 
as read. 

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


September 6, 1969 - September 12, 1970 

Cash and investments on hand September 6, 1969 $18,565.50 


Dues $ 4,454.00 

Pinettes 4.80 

Interest (Savings) 944.11 

Life Members (3) 150.00 5,552.91 


Annals of Wyoming 


Annual meeting (Newcastle) 






— 0— 

Junior Awards 







Officer's expenses 





Committee Expense (Awards) 







— 0— 

Bond & Sec. of State 


Misc. (Foundation Fund) 




Certificate (Executive Headquarters) $10,000.00 

Federal Building & Loan 2,088.88 

Capitol Savings (Life members) 4,714.98 

Federal Building & Loan (Memorial) 521.40 

Cheyenne Federal Bldg. & Loan 1,632.65 


First National checking account 

Cash and investments on hand September 12, 1970 




1968 1969 1970 

Annual Members 1246 1278 1396 

Life Members 54 54 53 
Lost four, gained three life members 

The president appointed the following committees: auditing, 
Howard Watt and Mrs. Burton Marston; resolutions, Mrs. Elsa 
Spear Byron and Mrs. Mabel Brown. She also appointed Burton 
Marston timekeeper and Jack MueUer parliamentarian. 

Dr. T. A. Larson reported for the scholarship committee that 
William Bamhart had completed his history of Carbon County. 
Robert Murray is still working on the history of Johnson County 
and Ray Pendergraft on the history of Washakie County. Current 
holders of grants-in-aid are Gordon Chappell and Eugene Gallo- 
way. The scholarships for county histories pay $500, the indi- 
vidual receiving $200 when he is awarded the scholarship and 
$300 when the finished work is accepted by the scholarship com- 
mittee. Grants-in-aid are for a total amount of $300, with $100 
paid when the grant is awarded and $200 paid upon acceptance of 
the work. Interested persons should write for further details to 
the executive secretary of the Wyoming State Historical Society, 
State Office Building, Cheyenne. 

The Projects Committee report was given by Reuel Armstrong, 
who said that he had sent letters to every Chapter president asking 


that ( 1 ) a local chairman be appointed to serve on the Foundation 
Fund Committee and (2) each Chapter choose a site worthy of 
preservation, and report to him. He had a response from only 
two Chapters. 

William Dubois reported that awards would be presented at the 
banquet on Saturday evening. 

The report of the trek was also given by William Dubois who 
stated that more than 160 persons participated in the Oregon Trail 
Trek in July, from Guernsey to Fort Fetterman. He also stated 
that the weather was perfect, the papers interesting, and that this 
is one activity of the Society which all members and their friends 
can enjoy. 


President Hattie Bumstad reported that as president of the State 
Society she had met many fine people and enjoyed her term of 
office. She said it had been a very rewarding year for her. Due 
to the fact that most Chapters do not meet on weekends, the only 
time she was free, she had been able to make only three official 
visits to the Big Horn, Fremont and Washakie County Chapters. 
She announced that a chapter will be organized in the near future 
in Hot Springs County. 

Secretary-Treasurer Maurine Carley reported that some Chap- 
ters have not yet sent annual dues to the Society, thus creating a 
shortage of Society funds and the inability to meet budget require- 
ments. She strongly urged prompt payment of Society dues, and 
also that changes of address be reported promptly to the Executive 
Office. She emphasized that it is expensive for the Society to 
have Annals of Wyoming and "Wyoming History News" returned 
to the Executive Office for re-mailmg. 

A note from Mrs. Violet Hord, Casper, president of the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society in 1965-66, was read. She expressed 
her regret that she had to miss the meeting because of illness. 

A drawing was held, with door prizes being awarded to Dorothy 
Hecox, Pinedale, and Louise Hallowell and Mary Purcella, both of 

At this time the meeting of the Wyoming State Historical Society 
was recessed, and re-convened as the Foundation Fund Corpora- 
tion. Ed Bille, chairman of the Foundation Fund, gave his report 
as follows: To date $1,540 has been collected, all of which has 
been deposited in the Wyoming National Bank of Casper. Mem- 
bers of the board pay their own expenses. Forty-five letters have 
recently been mailed to prospective donors. The principal contri- 
butions have come from individuals and firms in the Casper area. 
A dramatic cause and effective publicity are needed to interest 
potential contributors to the Foundation, Mr. Bille suggested. 

Mrs. Bumstad announced that the terms of Dr. Larson and Mrs. 
Wilkins as members of the Foundation Fund board of directors 


have expired. Frank Bowron nominated Dr. Larson and Mrs. 
Wilkins to continue as Board members. Burton Marston moved 
that the secretary be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for the 
two nominees. The motion was seconded and carried. 

Dr. Larson commented on the fact that federal matching funds 
are available to carry out projects of the Foundation Fund, and that 
successful completion of the projects will undoubtedly take a 
long time. 

The Foundation Fund meeting was adjourned and the Wyoming 
State Historical Society was again convened at 10:35 a. m. 

Mr. Howard Watt, auditor, reported that the treasurer's books 
had been examined and found correct. 

Frank Bowron, Casper, chairman of the Wyoming Library Asso- 
ciation, read the legislative program of the Library Association as 
follows : 

1. The Wyoming State Library, Archives and Historical 
Board be abolished and a new board for the State Library be 

2. The hmit on the salary of the State Librarian be abolished. 

3. The revenues from permanent state funds be given to 
county and state libraries. 

Mr. Bowron moved that the Wyoming State Historical Society 
endorse the legislative program of the State Library Association. 
The motion was seconded. The Parliamentarian stated that the 
three points would have to be voted on separately. Mrs. Katherine 
Halverson suggested that the Society should have a longer time to 
consider the acceptance of the legislative program before voting 
on it. Paul Knowles amended the motion to read that the entire 
legislative program of the Wyoming Library Association be re- 
ferred to the Historical Society Legislative committee. The motion 
was seconded and carried. Reuel Armstrong further moved that 
the amendment be amended to refer the matter to the Executive 
Committee of the Wyoming State Historical Society for considera- 
tion at the October meeting. The motion was seconded and carried. 

A letter was read inviting the Society to hold the 1971 annual 
meeting in Green River. A motion was carried to accept the 

Mr. Bowron moved that in view of the large savings of the 
Wyoming State Historical Society reported by the treasurer, the 
savings program of the Society be reviewed with a possibility of 
placing savings where they might earn larger interest. Motion was 
seconded and carried. 

Miss Carley moved that the single annual Society dues be raised 
from $3.50 to $5 and joint annual dues be raised from $5 to $7, 
effective January 1, 1971. Burton Marston, delegate from the 
Albany County Chapter, moved that the motion be amended as 


follows: that dues be raised one dollar for both single and 
family memberships. This motion was seconded and voted on 
unfavorably. Mr. Bowron amended the motion to increase single 
life memberships to $100 and joint life memberships to $150. 
The amendment was voted upon favorably and the original motion 
was carried. Mr. Dubois moved that a five-year installment 
payment program be established for life members. Mr. Armstrong 
then stated that there is no provision for installment payment in 
the by-laws, and he moved that the by-laws (Article II, Section 
2) be amended to provide for installment payments. This motion 
was seconded and carried and the original motion was then 
seconded and carried. 

Mr. Marston suggested that a study of the relationship between 
the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department and the 
Wyoming Recreation Commission be' made. Following discussion 
he moved that the Legislative Committee be instructed to study 
these agencies and report to the Executive Committee at the next 
meeting. Neal Miller stated that the law presently provides for 
cooperation of these agencies. 

The meeting was adjourned at noon. 

A delicious salad-bar luncheon was served at the Worland 
Country Club. Thermometer and pen favors were at each place, 
and the head table was decorated attractively with fresh gladioli. 

The invocation was given by the Reverend Gerald Dingman, 
after which Ray Pendergraft, master of ceremonies, introduced 
state and county officers of the Society. Following luncheon Mr. 
Armstrong read a poem entitled "Hold-up at the Nowood Store", 
written by Mr, Pendergraft, and Edness Kimball Wilkins spoke on 
"Wonder Women of Wyoming — Famous and Infamous." Saca- 
jawea, Narcissa Whitman, Esther Morris, Nellie Tayloe Ross, 
"Poker Alice", "Calamity Jane", "Cattle Kate" and Lou Polk 
were the subjects of her very entertaining talk. 


Only highlights of chapter reports are given here as complete 
reports are located in the files of the Society. Reports were called 
for in the order in which the Chapters joined the Wyoming State 
Historical Society. At the right of each chapter name is a number 
indicating the number of persons who responded to Chapter roll 
call when the reports were presented. 

Fremont County ( 1 ) When the Wyoming Recreation Com- 
mission requested help at South Pass City in restoration work, the 
Chapter donated carpenter help on the hotel. They also assisted 
in fiUing in a grave which had been vandalized. 

Campbell County The group continues its practice of placing 
books in the George Amos Memorial Library in memory of de- 
ceased members. It continues the sale of the reprint of the Gillette 
Cookbook, first published in 1916. A history of the Campbell 


County courthouse, soon to be razed, was developed through a 
student committee headed by Darrell Olds, and placed in the 
county library. 

Goshen County (4) Nine dinner meetings were held. The 
summer activity committee is one of the busiest in the chapter. 
Each year the Chapter presents a book to the outstanding history 
student in Eastern Wyoming College at Torrington. 

Laramie County (8) The Chapter has worked during the year 
with the Cheyenne Model City program. One meeting was held 
at Pine Bluffs, and the others in Cheyenne. 

Albany County (4) At a youth meeting children pantomimed a 
buffalo hunt. The Chapter submitted six entries for awards. On 
the summer Ranch Tour 26 ranches were visited. 

Natrona County (4) A marker has been approved for the spot 
where the Bridger Trail crosses the present highway. The Chapter 
will assist with the 1971 Oregon Trail trek. 

Carbon County (6) The last standing stage station in Carbon 
County was moved from Lake Creek, four miles north of Saratoga, 
to the site of the CuUeton Memorial Museum in Encampment, 
where it was put on a concrete foundation. The cost of the moving 
was paid by the Chapter. 

Johnson County The group helped purchase and restore an old 
sheep wagon which was placed with a roundup wagon and a chuck 
wagon on the lawn of the Gatchel Museum. 

Washakie County (19) The Chapter still hopes to obtain the 
old post office building for a museum. They spent a great deal of 
tim^e planning for this annual meeting. 

Park County ( 1 ) The Chapter built and entered a float in the 
annual Cody Stampede parade, and won a second place prize of 
$30. Special events during the year were a box social and a 
Chinese auction. 

Sweetwater County ( 1 ) The Chapter has been involved in the 
observance of the centennial of Sweetwater County. They have 
studied the history of the county through the original record books. 

JJinta County. No report. 

Sheridan County (3) The Kendrick mansion was purchased 
for $30,000 and is being developed as the Trail End Museum. 
Thousands of visitors have registered since it opened. One of the 
most successful special events at the Museum was an exhibit of 
Wilham GoUings' paintings. 

Weston County (2) The Green Mountain school, one of the 
oldest in the county, is being restored, and will soon be moved to 
the park near the Anna Miller Museum in Newcastle. 

Platte Country (2) The group hosted a party in Guernsey for 
Oregon Trail trekkers, and also served refreshments to 250 people 
who attended the dedication of the Oregon Trail ruts near Guernsey 
as a National Registered Historic Landmark. 

Big Horn County. No report. 


Teton County (6) The annual bake sale and barbeque lunch 
held in the Jackson town square netted the Chapter $375. Because 
of the recently passed mill levy, the Chapter has received $4,500 
from Teton County. This has been used in restoring the Robert 
Miller cabin, now a National Registered Historic Site. Members 
of the Chapter are looking forward to a visit to the Fort Hall Indian 

Crook County The principal activity for the year is their 
museum, temporarily located in the new court house basement. 
Articles are being received, but the doors are not yet open to the 
public. Research is being done by the group on Harry Longa- 
baugh, "The Sundance Kid." 

Niobrara County The principal project was establishing the 
Stage Coach Museum which was opened on May 15. An old 
Deadwood stage is one of the featured items. The Chapter has 
276 members. 

Another drawing for door prizes was held following Chapter 
reports, and those whose numbers were drawn were Mrs. Burton 
Marston, Maurine Carley, Mrs. Paul Knowles and Elizabeth Scott. 

Corsages from the Washakie County Chapter were presented to 
Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Burnstad and a boutonniere was given to 
Mr. Leo Rhodes, convention chairman. 


The Awards Dinner was held at Antone's Wagon Wheel Club. 
The invocation was given by the Reverend Gerald Dingman, after 
which members enjoyed songs from "The Corn Is Up", a musical 
produced in Worland which received a Wyoming State Historical 
Society award in 1969. 

Donald Becker, master of ceremonies, introduced past presidents 
of the Society who were present. They were Frank Bowron, 
Casper; Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper; Neal Miller, Cheyenne; 
Dr. T. A. Larson, Laramie; and Curtiss Root, Torrington. 

Junior awards were presented by Mr. Miller as follows : Cynthia 
Grimm, Newcastle, first place, essay on Nellie Tayloe Ross; 
Cynthia Walck, Casper, second place, essay, "Rudefeha"; Stephen 
Bower, Newcastle, third place, essay, "Big Ideas But Not Much 

The speaker of the evening was Justice John J. Mclntyre, of the 
Wyoming Supreme Court, who spoke on the history of the Wyo- 
ming judicial system. It was a very informative and entertaining 

Historical awards were then presented by William Dubois, sec- 
ond vice-president of the Society, to these recipients: 

Maurine Carley, Cheyenne, the L. C. Bishop Award for her 
outstanding organization of the 1970 historical trail trek. 

Publications Awards, Books: Lucille Patrick, Cody, for her 
book, The Candy Kid; Bill Judge, Casper, for his book, Old Fort 


Caspar; Sharon Lass Field, Cheyenne, honorable mention for her 
book, Fort Fetterman's Cemetery. 

Publications Awards, periodicals, magazines, newspapers: Dr. 
T. A. Larson, Laramie, for his two articles, "The New Deal in 
Wyoming," and "Woman Suffrage in Western America"; Martha 
Thompson, Carpenter, for numerous articles published in the 
Wyoming Eagle and the Wyoming State Tribune; Curtiss Root, 
Torrington, for numerous articles published in the Torrington Tele- 
gram; Torrington Telegram for printing numerous articles dealing 
with Wyoming history; John Halsey, Alexis Mitich, Lory Tunnell, 
Vicky Genoff, Vicky Stockton, Tony Sears, Tom Perino, Bill 
Johnson, Dana Davis, Andy Mitich and Kenny Morgan for their 
articles which appeared in Bits and Pieces magazine; Mrs. V. J. 
Reckling Bales, Laramie, for several articles published in the 
Laramie Boomerang and Cheyenne newspapers. 

Activities Awards: Albany County Chapter for their Laramie 
Plains Museum at Laramie and the promotion of the museum; 
Albany County Chapter for their annual Old Time Ranch Tour, 
July 18-19, 1970. 

Special Fields Awards: Frank Bowron, Casper, in the field of 
photography for his work in reproducing historic photographs for 
slide presentations. 

Fine Arts Awards: Milton Larson, Cody, for his stamped 
leather picture of a male Indian head; Margaret Schumacher, 
Cheyenne, for her one-act opera, "The Wyoming Tea Party"; 
Dixie Lynne Reece, Leiter, honorable mention for her painting of 
Nels Martin's homestead cabin. 

Cumulative Contribution Award: Robert Murray, Sheridan, 
for a wide variety of accomplishment in the field of history, in- 
cluding writing, interpretation, preservation, research and promo- 
tion; Maurine Carley, Cheyenne, for her contribution to Wyoming 
history as an author, teacher, lecturer, promoter and her years of 
service as an officer of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 

Cash Awards: $400, Sheridan County Chapter for the Trail 
End Museum; $200, Crook County Chapter for the Court House 

Elsa Spear Byron read a resolution expressing the appreciation 
of the Society for the courtesies of the Washakie County Chapter 
during this annual meeting. Mabel Brown read a poem, "Hills," 
written by Fred E. Holdredge, a 91 -year-old resident of Ther- 
mopolis. He was present at the dinner and was introduced to the 

Mrs. Betty Hayden, Jackson, chairman of the nominating com- 
mittee, announced the election of the following officers for 1970- 
71: President, J. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins; 1st Vice President, 
William Dubois, Cheyenne; 2nd Vice President, Lucille Patrick, 
Cody; Secretary-Treasurer, Maurine Carley, Cheyenne. 

Mrs. Burnstad then turned over the gavel to Mr. Armstrong who 


said he would continue to carry out some of the plans which had 
been initiated. He thanked the Washakie County Chapter for the 
fine meeting and then presented Mrs. Bumstad with a certificate of 

Dancing was enjoyed after the banquet. 


Society members were guests of the Wyoming Industrial Insti- 
tute at breakfast. Superintendent B. D. Kuchel welcomed the 
group and explained the basic philosophy on which the School is 
administered. He emphasized that many aspects of the "jail" 
concept have been discarded, and it is hoped that further advances 
in this direction will be possible in the future. In lieu of a guided 
tour of the school, considering the somewhat limited time and the 
cold, wet weather conditions, Mr. Kuchel had arranged that two of 
the boys present a video tape they had helped to produce to orient 
new boys entering the school. It was exceptionally well done. 
This was followed by a series of quesions from the audience which 
were answered by Mr. Kuchel and the two young men who had 
presented the program. 

Maurine Carley 

Book Keviews 

The Arapahoes, Our People. By Virginia Cole Trenholm. (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970). Index. lUus. 

372 pp. $8.95. 

Here is an excellent companion volume for The Shoshonis, 
which the same press published in 1964 for the same author, 
although Mrs. Trenholm was aided on that occasion by Maurine 
Carley. These two volumes belong on the same shelf since together 
they cover the history of the only two Indian tribes now resident in 

In dealing with the Arapahoes, as was true also of the Shoshonis, 
the historian was not able to focus on a unified people. For almost 
a century and a half the Arapahoes have been divided into northern 
and southern branches, now located respectively in Wyoming and 
Oklahoma. This separation has, of course, complicated the his- 
torian's task, but she has bridged the gap about as well as anyone 
can. A journalist by training, she has assembled her story from 
previous studies by anthropologists, ethnologists and historians, 
and she has herself interviewed many Indians and gone to manu- 
script sources and government documents. 

Mrs. Trenholm makes no pretense of being a revisionist. Rather, 
she is a synthesist. She presents a clear, straightforward account of 
the Arapaho experience down to about 1900, insofar as it is known. 
The qualification is necessary because much of the pre- 19th- 
century story is lost forever, and remains conjectural and con- 

In the first half of the 19 th century, however, observers began 
reporting their impressions — observers such as Robert Stuart, 
Edwin James, Francis Parkman, Rufus Sage, Lewis H. Garrard, 
George F. Ruxton and Thomas Fitzpatrick. Mrs. Trenholm's 
judgment (p. 122) that the 22-year-old Parkman, on the basis of 
brief acquaintance, "well understood the nature of the Indian" 
comes as something of a surprise. She is on firmer ground when 
she credits Thomas Fitzpatrick with knowing the Indians very well, 
after many years among them. She quotes Fitzpatrick extensively. 

Mrs. Trenholm thinks that before the white man came the 
Arapahoes led a pretty good life, "well organized and satisfactorily 
adjusted" (p. 68), and with the individual able to live "to the 
fullest his life of freedom." Although generally sympathetic with 
the Arapahoes, she does not romanticize their Ufe. She notes the 
drudgery of the women and mentions bloody wars with several 
other tribes. She explains that it was the threat of starvation around 
1860 that caused depredations on the whites to multiply. She 
gives a chronological account of the tribe's tragic relations with the 
whites in the 1860s and 1870s. 


In 1878 the Wind River Shoshonis were persuaded to accept on 
their reservation as temporary guests the northern Arapahoes who 
for a short time had been with the Sioux at Red Qoud Agency. 
The northern Arapahoes have shared the Wind River reservation 
ever since, though not without friction and not without eventual 
reimbursement of the Shoshonis by the federal government. 

Well done as this study is, one hesitates to express regret that 
20th-century history is barely touched. Mrs. Trenholm does de- 
scribe at considerable length the eight-day Sun Dance ceremony as 
witnessed by the anthropologist George A. Dorsey in 1901. Also, 
she herself participated in an all-night peyote cult ceremony at 
Ethete, Wyoming, in 1966. She describes the ritual with careful 
attention to details, commenting that "It takes a great amount of 
controlled thinking to overcome the nausea that results" from 
taking peyote. Illustrating the peculiar twists and turns that 
acculturation may take, a fan used in the Wind River peyote 
ceremony was made from 24 magpie feathers, with a Kennedy 
half-dollar at the center of the cluster. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

John Hunton's Diary: Wyoming Territory. Volume 6, 1885-1889. 
Edited by L. G. (Pat) Flannery. (Glendale, Calif.: The 
Arthur H. Clark Company, 1970). Index. Illus. 293 pp. 

The "boom and bust" of the range cattle industry in Wyoming 
during the 1880s stands as one of the salient events in the economic 
history of Wyoming Territory. Numerous survey histories of 
Wyoming and the High Plains relate this sobering cycle of events. 
Yet we cannot really understand the range cattle industry of that 
decade without knowing how it affected those involved. This 
volume of John Hunton's Diary gives us the opportunity to see how 
it affected one of the principals involved — on a day-to-day basis. 
In short, it humanizes a series of events which is oft times treated 
in a "matter-of-fact", depersonalized way. 

As 1885 opened, prosperity and happiness characterized John 
and Blanche Hunton's lives. Just six months before, they com- 
pleted a city residence in Cheyenne and began dividing their time 
between cattle ranching at Bordeaux and Cheyenne's society. By 
1885, Hunton had built up an estate valued at nearly a quarter of a 
million dollars, become well known in many parts of the Territory, 
and been elected to the Board of Governors of the prestigious 
Cheyenne Qub. 

Through the next three and one-half years, Hunton's diary 
entries give us glimpses of the ebb and flow of his daily routine. 
These glimpses include not only the personal highlights but also 


the myriad of daily events which consumed such a large amount 
of his time. Highlight events included the continual expansion of 
his land holdings by taking up "Desert Land" homesteads (after 
friends and associates filed on them at his request) ; his election as 
Commissioner of Laramie County; and his continual deficit spend- 
ing — a major factor in his personal financial crisis of 1887. Those 
time-consuming daily events included such things as his semi- 
annual struggle with severe attacks of hay fever, his daily ranch 
routine, his favorite social pursuits of playing Pedro at the Chey- 
enne Club and attending the theatre, and just plain loafing (in this 
score he's perhaps more honest than many diarists in admitting 
"loafing" or "doing nothing".) 

Hunton's life during those active, trying years tells an accurate 
story of fairly typical frontier ranch hfe. However, I am quite 
sure that his diary would have little meaning to many readers, if it 
were not for the skillful, thorough editing by the late Pat Flannery. 
His work adds perspective and provides the necessary framework 
for understanding the true nature of the times in which Hunton 
lived. Without that editing, we would lose track of important 
Wyoming events while the scene of action shifts to the Hunton's 
visit back home in Virginia. And, perhaps more importantly, 
without his editing, we'd know absolutely nothing of Hunton's 
activities during the 17-month period for which diary entries are 
missing — August, 1888 to December, 1889). It was during that 
time Hunton accepted appointment as Fort Laramie's Post Trader 
in an unsuccessful attempt to recoup his financial losses of '87. 

I find the new, larger format and smooth binding of this volume 
an improvement over the five previous volumes of this series. 
Their imitation suede binding is most attractive, but it also makes 
it almost impossible to remove one volume from the other four of 
the set on a book shelf without bending or mutilating its paper 

I find only one shortcoming with the book; unfortunately, the 
volume begins with it. For some reason, strange to me, the fore- 
word for the year 1885 begins with an inventory of guns and 
watches from the back of Hunton's 1892 diary and has nothing to 
do with 1885. Although Flannery's commentary is most interest- 
ing, its irrelevance might tend to discourage some readers at the 
outset. I would encourage readers to bear with the editor, their 
efforts will be rewarded. 

The book's objective is succinctly stated on the copyright page: 
to "preserve a true picture of day-to-day life on the frontier and 
other accurate details of Wyoming's early history and develop- 
ment." It succeeds most interestingly and effectively! 

Oft times a journal of this type holds particularly pleasant sur- 
prises for certain readers. That pleasant surprise from this volume 
came for me in Hunton's entry of February 18, 1886. In describ- 
ing the beginning of one of his return journeys from Virginia to 


Wyoming, Hunton wrote "George Young took the baggage". My 
wife hails from that same Piedmont region of Virginia as did 
Hunton, and George Young was her great-grandfather. 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site Thomas E. White 

Battle Drums and Geysers: The Life and Journals of Lieutenant 
Gustavus Cheyney Doane. By Orrin H. and Lorraine Bonney 
(Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc., 1970). Illus. Index. 
622 pp. $15.00. 

Gustavus Cheyney Doane was an extraordinary pioneer. Born 
in Illinois in 1840, he trekked to Oregon with his family in 1846, 
worked his way through the University of the Pacific (where he 
acquired the scientific knowledge that was to distinguish his later 
writings), served in the Civil War on the Union side, and, as a 
career officer, participated in the major Indian campaigns following 
the Civil War — from the Sioux and Nez Perce Wars to the Apache 
campaigns. Doane's whole career was actuated by a love of 
adventure and a drive for exploration. "One cannot explore the 
earth's surface from an observatory, nor by mathematics, nor by 
the power of logic," Doane once wrote, "it must be done phys- 
ically. . . ." True to his nature, Doane led the Howgate expedition 
to the Arctic in 1880, and repeatedly (but unsuccessfully) peti- 
tioned the United States government to send him to Africa to search 
for the elusive source of the Nile River. But his most significant 
contribution as an explorer was his factual account of the Yellow- 
stone expedition of 1870. The expedition was made up of nine 
prominent citizens of Montana and was escorted by a small cavalry 
detail under Lieutenant Doane's leadership. 

Prior to 1870 the Yellowstone region was truly terra incognita. 
The stories of the early trappers were embellished and stretched, 
tall tales and wild rumors circulated freely, and the few printed 
accounts were largely unknown (and to the extent known, were 
suspect) in 1870. Doane's 25,000-word account, which provided 
the curious with the first accurate description of the Yellowstone 
region, is precisely what he felt a journal of exploration should 
be — "a faithful delineation . . . — truthful, plain, unembellished: a 
simple narrative of facts observed. . . ." Despite this attention to 
factual and scientific clarity, however, Doane's journal, with its 
vivid descriptions of natural wonders observed, ranks with those of 
other great explorers of the American West. Doane fell in love 
with Yellowstone, and his journal, the first official report on the 
region, helped prepare the way for the Yellowstone Act of 1872. 
During the later years of his hfe (he died in 1892), Doane longed 
for an assignment to Yellowstone National Park, but his request, 
ironically, was not granted. 


The book is divided into three sections. Part I is the story of 
Doane's life, while Part II contains his complete journal of the 
1870 expedition (first printed by Congress in 1871 as a Senate 
executive document), as well as excerpts from the accounts of 
other members of the party. Part III contains Doane's journal of 
the Snake River expedition of 1876-77. The journals are supple- 
mented with introductory commentaries and thorough annotations, 
and the well-documented text is enhanced by numerous photo- 
graphs, illustrations and maps. Orrin H. and Lorraine Bonney, 
authors of Guide to the Wyoming Mountains and Wilderness 
Areas, know the Doane territory well, and they have given scholars 
and historical buffs a work of enduring significance. Battle Drums 
and Geysers is a handsome, well-printed contribution to Western 

Morningside College Michael B. Husband 

Sioux City, Iowa 

The Expeditions of John Charles Fremont. Volume I: Travels 
from 1838-1844 and Map Portfolio. Edited by Donald 
Jackson and Mary Lee Spence (Urbana: University of Illi- 
nois Press, 1970) Index. Illus. 854 pp. $22.50 Vol. 1, 
maps. $10 maps only. 

This work — thus far only Volume I and the map portfolio have 
been published — must represent years of labor by the editors, 
Donald Jackson and Mary Lee Spence. 

The average reader may have the tendency to look askance at 
an expensive book which is only "Volume I" of a projected series. 
But if he is interested in Fremont and his explorations, this series 
is sure to be "the Bible" for years to come on the subject. The 
maps, by expeditions cartographer Charles Preuss, are remarkable. 

With painstaking research, the editors have tracked down and 
annotated every document that sheds any light on Fremont's life 
and explorations. They have become "pathfinders" themselves, 
leading the reader on an exploration of discovery which might have 
been a tedious trip without the "map" their notes have drawn. 

The documents are arranged in a chronology that makes for easy 
reading, but even more important, gives the reader an insight into 
the logistics — and politics — that Fremont faced on every one of his 

There is a mass of information contained in the financial records 
that is available nowhere else. It is interesting to note, for instance, 
that the men who accompanied Fremont on his 1842 expedition — 
mostly French voyageurs — were paid a salary scale that varied 
from 62 1/2 cents per day as a "common hand" (Francois Tessier) 
to the rather princely sum of $100 a month as guide (Christopher 


Carson). Every item of food and equipment used by the expedi- 
tions is also accounted for. Fremont had to pay 15 1/2 cents a 
pound for coffee he bought from P. Chouteau and Company at St. 
Louis when the 1842 expedition was outfitted, but once on the 
plains, prices changed radically and Fremont was gouged $2 a 
pound for coffee by Bent & St. Vrain at Fort St. Vrain. 

Most interesting, though, are the letters and orders to Fremont 
from his commanding officer. Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Abert, chief 
of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. Abert would fluctuate 
from high praise of Fremont's explorations to repetitive cautions 
about his lack of administrative abilities. Abert's letters regarding 
the 1843 expedition to Oregon are classic. 

"Perserverence in the course you have commenced cannot fail 
to lead to distinction," Abert gushed in a letter to Fremont on April 
26, 1843. One month later, Abert was almost frothing at the 
mouth when he'd gotten word the ambitious young explorer had 
requisitioned an unauthorized howitzer and ammunition to take 
along to Oregon. 

"Now, Sir, what authority had you to make any such requisi- 
tion," Abert wanted to know. "... I fear the discretion and 
thought which marked your first expedition will be found much 
wanting in the second." 

Abert finally recalled Fremont from St. Louis to Washington to 
answer the charges, but the explorer was already on the trail. I 
must admit to a certain prejudice against John Charles Fremont. 
As the editors point out, his career "was marred by disasters large 
and small" and "his character was flawed by vanity and by hunger 
for recognition and financial gain." I share something of Bernard 
DeVoto's contempt for Fremont's inexplicable behavior during the 
conquest of California and his mutiny against Stephen Watts 

Yet there was in him the stuff of greatness, nonetheless. He was 
the harbinger of Manifest Destiny. As Jackson and Spence point 
out, "there was enough toughness of spirit to carry him five times 
across the plains and Rockies under conditions of intense priva- 
tion." The reports of his expeditions, co-authored by his beautiful 
wife and ghost writer, Jessie Benton Fremont, were devoured by 
an impatient public champing at the bit to be on their way to 
Oregon or California. 

The editors compare the relationship of John Charles and 
Jessie Benton Fremont to George Armstrong and Elizabeth Bacon 
Custer. Evidence indicates that Custer was something of a rakehell 
who wasn't always true to "Libbie." No taint of this kind seems to 
have attached to the Fremonts. Jessie Benton, whose beauty in a 
painted portrait recalls the young Elizabeth Taylor, could probably 
have had any man in Washington. She chose the dashing — and 
illegitimate — John Charles Fremont and never regretted her choice 
for a moment. 


Some lines penned by her in later years reflect not only her feel- 
ings, but also an honest estimate of her husband's value to his 
country: "Railroads followed the lines of his journeyings — a 
nation followed his maps to their resting place — and cities have 
risen on the ashes of his lonely campfires." 

Cheyenne Pat Hall 

General Pope and U. S. Indian Policy. By Richard N. Ellis. 
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1970). 
Index. Illus. 287 pp. $10.00. 

Victor at Madrid and Island No. 10, controversial loser at 
Second Manassas, able departmental commander in the West, 
Major General John Pope was all of these. Dr. Richard N. Ellis, 
director of the American Indian Historical Research Project and 
assistant professor of history at the University of New Mexico, has 
selected a much maligned army officer as the central figure for his 
first book. Most of what is known today about John Pope con- 
cerns his Civil War years. Except for a brief sketch written during 
the 19th century, a book on Pope's role in the Northwest {The 
Civil War in the Northwest by Robert Huhn Jones, Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), and a few articles in various 
periodicals, very little has been written on General Pope's years in 
the West. Although Dr. Ellis' book is not so much a biography as 
a study of the development of Western Indian policy during the 
last half of the 19th century, it does include much about the 
personality of Pope and his role as a military commander in the 
West. Perhaps Dr. EUis will use this volume as the basis for a 
future book-length biography of Pope. 

The book is divided into two broad sections : one covering those 
years in which Pope was commander of the Department of the 
Northwest (1862-1865) and the Division of the Missouri (1865- 
1866), and the other dealing with Pope as commander of the 
Department of the Missouri (1870-1883). The two concluding 
chapters provide a summation of Pope's abilities as a military com- 
mander and as an implementor of Indian policy, and the various 
attempts by the government at different types of policies through- 
out the latter half of the 19th century. Little is mentioned of 
Pope's position as commander, from 1867 to 1868, of the Third 
Military District of the South (which included the former Con- 
federate states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida), or his positions 
as commander of the Department of California and the Division 
of the Pacific from 1883 until his retirement in March 1886. 
These phases of his career might not have had a bearing on the 
writing of this volume but it would be interesting to learn if Pope's 
experiences in the war-torn South and among the recently freed 


blacks, influenced his Indian policy when he returned in 1870 to 
command the Department of the Missouri. Although Pope was 
perhaps one of the more important commanders in the West during 
his era, the glory and the fame went to the colorful field com- 
manders; men such as Crook, Miles, Custer, and Mackenzie. 

Dr. Ellis should be commended for his fine contribution to the 
field of 19th century U. S. military-Indian relations. However, a 
few comments are in order. The selection of photographs is 
adequate but there are no maps. In a volume such as this, that 
covers an area from Minnesota to California and from Montana to 
Arizona, and includes many of the significant battles and cam- 
paigns of the Indian Wars, at least one map is a necessity. The 
bibliography is most comprehensive and thorough, but the index is 
somewhat skimpy. 

Pros and cons can be found on footnote format but this reviewer 
prefers the notes at the bottom of each page. Nothing is more 
frustrating than having to turn from a page to the back of the book, 
search for the correct footnote for the proper chapter, and then 
return to the page (if you haven't lost your place in the meantime) . 

There are a number of errors in the text, some probably the 
fault of the printer, others purely factual. On page 32 is a state- 
ment: "the Santa Fe trade (opened by WilHam Becknell in 1821)". 
William Becknell opened the Santa Fe trade in 1822. Dr. Ellis has 
Colonel Henry B. Carrington commanding the 27th Infantry Regi- 
ment as it passed through Fort Laramie in June 1866 on its way to 
construct new forts along the Bozeman Trail. At this time Colonel 
Carrington was commanding the 18th Infantry Regiment. It 
wasn't until September 21, 1866, that one of the battalions of the 
1 8th Infantry officially became the 27th Infantry. 

The University of New Mexico Press has published many fine 
volumes in the past, and Dr. Ellis' work is no exception, but this 
reviewer does feel that the price of $10 might cause a prospective 
buyer to hesitate before adding this fine book to his library. 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site B. William Henry, Jr. 

Medicine Lodge, The Story of a Kansas Frontier Town. By Nellie 
Snyder Yost. (Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc., 1970) 
Illus. 237 pp. $6.00 

Those of us who live in Kansas have known that the town of 
Medicine Lodge, while not having a unique history, has had an 
extremely interesting one. This story by Nellie Snyder Yost, based 
on material gathered by I. N. Hewitt, a long-time resident of 
Medicine Lodge, depicts the high and low points of the town's life. 
It is not the usual dry relation of data interspersed with occasional 
flashes of mediocrity that we normally associate with local histories. 


Instead it is a warm compassionate biography of a town that has 
had more than its share of problems and successes common to 
most short grass settlements. Mrs. Yost writes well and tells a 
fascinating tale of Indians, cowboys, bandits, floods, politicians, 
tornadoes, crusaders and plodding progress. 

Even before there was a town by the name. Medicine Lodge 
was a prominent place because it had been the site of a grand 
council of Indians and United States commissioners who met there 
in the fall of 1867 to agree upon certain documents of peace. A 
large entourage of newspaper and magazine reporters had attended 
the councils and their words reached a large portion of the civilized 
parts of the country. Interest in the councils has continued so that 
even now, every five years, Medicine Lodge commemorates the 
event with a large scale pageant which depicts not only the historic 
event but also the whole settlement of the West. 

Probably the most exciting episode in the life of the town of 
Medicine Lodge occurred on a late April morning in 1884 when 
the marshal and assistant marshal of Caldwell, a cowtown south- 
east of Medicine Lodge, attempted to rob the Medicine Valley 
Bank with the help of two cowboys. The president and cashier of 
the bank died as a result of the affair as did all four of the would-be 
robbers, the marshal by gunshot and his henchmen by hemp. 

Barber and surrounding counties were then in the midst of a 
profitable range cattle industry. Hundreds of cattle were grazed 
on thousands of acres of land in the Indian country by large outfits 
like the Comanche County Cattle Pool. Medicine Lodge was the 
headquarters for some of these and busmess was good. 

The cattle bubble burst in the great blizzard of 1886 and 
Medicine Lodge watched a new era of small ranchers and farmers 
come to life. This time it was not a period of prosperity and life 
was pretty prosaic in Barber county. 

To take their minds off the routine of living citizens played with 
politics and delighted in the antics of "Sockless Jerry" Simpson 
who alternated Congressional terms with Chester I. Long during 
the 1890s. As that game began to pall Carry Nation stepped in 
with her rocks, brickbats and httle hatchets to enliven the scene. 
Medicine Lodge was her residence when she began her anti-liquor 
crusade and it soon became the shrine of those who opposed the 
devihsh liquid. Though she moved on to larger and more sophisti- 
cated cities. Medicine Lodge remains known as her home town. 

People like J. N. "Poley" Tincher and I. N. "Jibo" Hewitt, who 
was responsible for the book, continued the town's reputation for 
colorful characters. Floods, tornadoes and other more usual facets 
of the town's past pale when compared to its flamboyant residents. 

The primary fault in the preparation of the book is the lack of 
good source materials. The citations that are given are not always 
to material as reUable as a historian might wish. And I'U even 


forgive Mrs. Yost for calling Caldwell City Marshal-Medicine 
Lodge Bank Robber Henry Brown "Hendry" even though all con- 
temporary evidence points to the more common name. 

Kansas State Historical Society Joseph W. Snell 

The United States Soldier Between Two Wars: Army Life and 
Reforms 1865-1898. By Jack D. Foner (New York: Human 
ities Press, 1970) Index. 229 pp. $7.50. 

This historical book, though limited to 151 pages, is a well- 
documented expose of the conditions confronting the soldier in the 
U. S. Army during the years 1865-1898. 

Source material, listed in an appendix, is extensive and numer- 
ically referenced in the body of the text without distracting the 
reader from the continuity of the story the author attempts to 

Military historians, and others who are interested in military 
history, should welcome this word picture of the lot of the early-day 
common soldier, which over the years all too slowly evolved from 
intolerable hardship, cruelty and disregard of human values result- 
ing inevitably in low morale, insubordination and high rates of 
desertion to a point where change had to be made. Improvements 
in clothing, messing, housing pay, military and fatigue duties, 
recreation, public acceptance and relationships of the private 
soldier with non-commissioned officers and officers were long 
overdue. They were only realized because of the foresight, under- 
standing and insistence of a few enlightened leaders at all command 
levels, reinforced by assistance and moral support from political 
office holders, newspaper editors and a concerned public. 

Of particular interest is the book's treatment of the Army's legal 
system, the caste system and opportunities for advancement. A 
considerable portion of that which was bad was the result of 
traditional concepts handed down from the British and old-time 
U. S. Army custom, aided and abetted in all too many cases by 
some officers who firmly believed that harsh punishments, arbi- 
trarily and capriciously imposed for minor or fancied infractions 
of discipline, were absolutely essential for the good order of the 

Justice, in its true sense, was too frequently treated in a cavalier 
manner with alleged offenders all too often placed in confinement, 
with subsequent courts-martial proceedings a mere formahty to 
confirm prevailing beliefs that the private soldier was inherently a 
bad actor and only got what he deserved. 

Courts-martial sentences, for similar offenses, varied consider- 
ably. Sentences were quite often severe in terms of months or 


years in servitude, and hard labor was characterized by poor living 
and work conditions, bad diet, insensitivity and brutality of guards; 
all of which was magnified in severity by lack of proper clothing 
and protection from the elements. 

The author points out that the Army caste system which pre- 
vailed was one of the primary reasons for the private soldier's 
disaffection with Army service. This circumstance, plus the low 
esteem in which the soldier was held in the eyes of the civilian 
populace, was a chief cause of desertion. 

Many soldiers of the era could not read or write and because of 
lack of skills sought service in the Army especially during periods 
of high unemployment throughout the United States. Army pay, 
though low by present day standards, and free board and room, 
served as an inducement for recruiting. When work conditions 
improved on the outside, however. Army desertions increased. 

That part of the book dealing with the Negro in the Army 
following the Civil War points up many of the problems faced by 
the Negro, and other minorities, in the Army in that time period. 
For a long time only whites were eligible by Army regulations for 
enlistment. Eventually four regiments, two of Infantry and two of 
Cavalry, were organized and manned entirely by Negro soldiers, 
except for white officers. These units performed admirably despite 
discontent among the white officers assigned for duty. Negro 
soldiers were not permitted to aspire to, or achieve, officer status. 

Several companies of Indians were organized as attachments to 
regiments west of the Mississippi River. White officer and political 
opposition soon saw the abandonment of this concept, however. 

Throughout the book the reader is left with the feeling that the 
author has a deep sense of compassion and empathy for the soldier, 
expecially those in the lower ranks. Mr. Foner has documented 
many instances where the soldier, in a generic sense, has been the 
victim of injustice, mistreatment and debasement of rights to which 
he is entitled as a human being. The author has not hesitated to 
place the blame upon those in command for disavowing responsi- 
bility for, or aiding in the carrying out of such abuses. The author 
points out also that not all of the officers were insensitive to the 
grave deficiencies in the Army system. Ample evidence is in the 
book that many officers and civilians held a deep concern for, and 
desire to improve the welfare of the private soldier. 

Mention of incidents which took place in troop garrisons at Fort 
Bridger, Fort Sanders, Fort Washakie and Camp Pilot Butte should 
be of interest to Wyoming readers. 

Cheyenne Robert Outsen 


Sentinel to the Cimarron: The Frontier Experience of Fort Dodge, 
Kansas. By David Kay Strate. ( Dodge City : Cultural Herit- 
age and Arts Center, 1970) Index. Illus., 147 pp. 

Acting as an anchor on the westernmost flank of a frontier line 
which extended along the Arkansas River for miles, Fort Dodge 
faced southward, a sentinel to the Cimarron during most of its life 
as an important miUtary post. The history of this frontier fort, 
eclipsed because of the color of the boisterous nearby cattle town 
of Dodge City, has been carefully traced by David Kay Strate in 
this fact-filled little volume. Beginning with a rather sketchy 
treatment of the historical background of Fort Dodge, Strate dis- 
cusses the crude beginnings of the fort when it served as an outpost 
for those traveling westward into Colorado Territory or those 
fording the Arkansas to push south and west along the legendary 
Santa Fe Trail into New Mexico. After the Treaty of Medicine 
Lodge in 1867, the activities of Fort Dodge were directed toward 
the south to "hold the line of the Arkansas" against the Indians 
who had been expelled from the buffalo country between the 
Arkansas and Platte rivers. The various military expeditions dis- 
patched south from Fort Dodge to pacify the restive Plains Indians 
are chronicled by the author. The familiar campaigns of General 
Winfield S. Hancock, the lionized William Tecumseh Sherman, 
and Nelson A. Miles during the late sixties and early seventies are 
retraced. The tragic migration of Dull Knife and his sad Chey- 
ennes is retold. But more important is Strate's contention that the 
"constant vigilance and tenacious field engagements" emanating 
from Fort Dodge and other posts along the Arkansas were ulti- 
mately more important than the "colorful but rather ineffective" 
major campaigns sent to subdue the southern Plains Indians. 
Strate concludes his study with the coming of the settler's frontier, 
the establishment of Dodge City as a railhead at the end of the 
Western cattle trail, the closing of the fort in 1882, and the 
eventual establishment of the present soldier's home at Fort Dodge. 

The most interesting part of this valuable new monograph, in the 
reviewer's opinion, dealt with the building and operation of the fort 
rather than the celebrated Indian campaigns with which Fort 
Dodge was associated. The digging of temporary sod dugouts, 
described by General John Pope as "holes not fit to be dog 
kennels," is chronicled. The rigorous and often monotonous life 
of the soldier at the fort is detailed, even to a brief discussion of the 
careful segregation of blacks and whites throughout the post. The 
prevalence of scurvy, diarrhea, venereal diseases, rabies, alcohol- 
ism and pneumonia is analyzed to take much of the glamour out 
of military life, but the result is to provide a more realistic under- 
standing of the soldier's life in the Old West. 

Strate's narrative does not always hold together as it should. 
The tendency not to include the Christian names of important 


people when they are introduced was particularly distressing to this 
reviewer. Many of his historical conclusions have already been 
well established. But his heavy reliance on primary materials, 
particularly the invaluable accounts found in the Records of the 
War Department, do make this study worthwhile, a needed contri- 
bution to Western historiography. Photographs, maps, and illus- 
trations, although of uneven quahty, further enhance this recent 
publication of the Cultural Heritage and Arts Center of Dodge City 
and aid the Center in its expressed purpose to preserve our national 

University of Northern Colorado Robert W. Larson 

The Fourteeners. Colorado's Great Mountains. By Perry Eber- 
hart and Philip Schmuck. (Chicago: Swallow Press, Inc., 
1970) Index. Illus. 128 pp. $10.00. Paper $3.95 

This book sets out to probe the mystique of that exclusive 
"fraternity," the Colorado Fourteeners, and to capture the natural 
beauty of the great peaks, 53 of them, that reach above the magic 
mark of 14,000 feet. 

Facts, legendary, historic, and oddball, are presented. Statistics 
and survey data are spiced with the tragic, the amusing, the curious 
anecdotes that most Colorado mountains collect. 

It was extremely interesting, for instance, to be reminded again 
that the Mount of the Holy Cross was formerly a national shrine 
which drew thousands of pilgrims who waited for miracles; and to 
have my memories of Long's Peak whetted again, although I was a 
bit shaken by the author's statement, "Keyhole Trail, now one of 
the more popular routes up the west face, was not discovered until 
1940." (The Keyhole Route was being used in 1921 when I first 
climbed the peak although subsequent to those years the National 
Park Service went in and dynamited the path across all difficult 
climbing slabs and painted it with "ham and egg" marks.) 

The black and white pictures used to illustrate each mountain 
are the straightforward wide-screen type, giving clear and detailed 
views. However, the lack of captions is unfortunate. From what 
direction are we looking at the peaks? 

A good map keys in all the mountains with their ranges and 
access roads. 

Obviously this book is not intended as a guide book for the 
mountain climber, but an entertaining and beautifully illustrated 
introduction to Colorado's primadonna peaks for the armchair 
traveler and mountain lore collector. 

Houston, Texas Orrin H. Bonney 


Navajo Roundup. By Lawrence C. Kelly. (Boulder, Colo.: 
Pruett Publishing Co., 1970) Index. Illus. 192 pp. $8.95 

Although Lawrence C. Kelly already has one book on the 
Navajo to his credit, the present volume solidly reinforces his 
reputation as an Anglo historian of this Athapaskan-speaking 
people. In his first work, The Navajo Indians and Federal Indian 
Policy (University of Arizona Press, 1968), Kelly analyzed the 
problems faced by the Dine (the name by which the Navajo refer 
to themselves) in the first three and one-half decades of the 
twentieth century. In Navajo Roundup he treats an earlier period 
in the complex history of Navajo-Anglo relations, dealing with Kit 
Carson's successful campaign, 1863-65, to move most of the 
Navajos to Fort Sumner (known as the Bosque Redondo) in 
eastern New Mexico. 

This study is a collection of letters from the campaign which 
Kelly has linked together with a narrative that furnishes a much 
needed background. It reflects not only Kelly's diligent research 
in the National Archives but his selectivity as well. Faced with a 
large number of unpublished letters, he could easily have suc- 
cumbed to the temptation of including many more than he chose. 
The quaUty and interest of the work are improved because he 
selected only that correspondence which pertained to the "conduct 
of the campaign itself." The volume contains 47 previously pub- 
lished letters as well as 50 new ones. The latter enable Kelly to 
provide a re-interpretation of some aspects of the campaign. He 
suggests, for example, that Carson's mid-winter trip into Canyon 
de Chelly has been misunderstood. Even though the Navajos 
surrendered in large numbers as a result of this trip, Kelly asserts 
that they were persuaded not by Carson's "show of force" but by 
his just dealings with them. Carson convinced them that his goal 
was "emigration," not "extermination." 

In Kelly's narrative and in the letters themselves, Carson clearly 
is the hero. Even though Kelly criticizes the legendary mountain 
man for his inabiUty to impose discipline upon his troops and for 
his repeated postponement of the de Chelly trip, Carson emerges as 
a humanitarian in his treatment of the Indian and as a "reluctant 
warrior" who would rather have been in Taos with his growing 
young family than out in the field. On the other hand, General 
James H. Carleton, who directed the campaign from Santa Fe, is 
shown as an impatient, unbending officer who maintained a single- 
minded, stubborn attitude toward moving all of the Navajos to the 
Bosque Redondo. Carleton's nature is best revealed by his refusal 
to acknowledge that there were more Navajos than the Bosque 
would hold or that the Federal government was willing to support. 
Moreover, Carleton's hope that this experiment would be the 
solution for the problem of the Navajo was soon proven false. In 


1868, only five years from the beginning of Carson's campaign the 
Navajos had signed a treaty and moved back to their homeland. 

Navajo Roundup gives a vivid picture of Indian campaigning in 
the 1860's, and, in the process, destroys any romantic notion of 
adventure the reader might have had. However, as the author 
himself admits, the work does not presume to give the Indian 
point of view. Kelly suggests that such an account should soon be 
forthcoming by "some young Navajo conversant with both the 
Indian and the white traditions." 

Albuquerque, N. M. Margaret Szasz 

The Wild West. By Don Russell (Fort Worth: The Amon Carter 
Museum, 1970). Illus. Index. 149 pp. 

In his latest book, Don Russell makes one thing very clear — 
pity the persons (including this reviewer) who never attended a 
Wild West show. His The Wild West (Russell points out that 
Cody never used the term "show") is a delightful, colorful book. 
The enjoyable text goes well with the numerous illustrations — 
photographs of performers, show scenes, behind-the-scenes activ- 
ities and numerous showbills, the latter in full color. 

Though theatrical and circus entrepreneurs had developed fea- 
tures later incorporated into the Wild Wests, it was Buffalo Bill 
Cody who pulled it all together, creating a new type of entertain- 
ment. Cody's creation was to thrill millions of people throughout 
the United States and Europe prior to World War I, Thou^ the 
war and rising costs brought the demise of many shows, the grow- 
ing sophistication of the motion picture industry (utilizing many 
former Wild West stars) was the real successful enemy. 

Cody, Carver and Miller Brothers are the big names of the Wild 
West extravaganzas, but, as Russell points out, there were many 
small competitors traveling the length and breadth of the land, 
about whom there is virtually nothing known. Occasionally a star 
would come out of one of these imitators, joining one of the big 
shows, and attaining nationwide fame, while the discovering show 
rolled into oblivion. 

W[vl\q Russell details the ups-and-downs of the various Wild 
Wests, this is not a dry business history. It seems unlikely that 
anyone could write a dull study of so exciting a business. As Cody 
was the leading Wild West figure and as Russell is the leading Cody 
authority, it is natural that much of the book centers on that noted 
Wyoming booster. Despite the claims of various business manag- 
ers, Russell makes a good claim for the business ability of Buffalo 
Bill. Even though he continually made expensive, poor invest- 
ments, it must be recognized that he had had the ability to make 
the money to invest. It is also made clear how enemies Cody 


made in show business did much to blacken his very real contribu- 
tions as a genuine frontier personage. 

Through his readable text and the well-selected illustrations 
(though not always located to the best advantage), Don Russell 
and the Amon Carter Museum have brought forth a deUghtful 
creation, sure to provide readers with hours of enjoyment. The 
book grew out of an exhibition of Wild West poster art at the 
Amon Carter Museum, and, for those of us unable to attend it, 
Russell's book will serve as a suitable substitute. 

Nebraska State Historical Society Paul D. Riley 

Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, Hunting Scenes and 
Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of Amer- 
ica: a reproduction. By George CatUn. Introduction by 
Harold McCracken. (Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc., 
1970) Limited edition reprint. 25 plates. 24 pp. text. 

The Charles M. Russell Book. By John Willard. Foreword by 
U. S. Senator Mike Mansfield. (Seattle: Superior Publish- 
ing Co., Salisbury Press, 1970) Illus. 64 pp. $15.95. 

A Classified Bibliography of the Periodical Literature of the Trans- 
Mississippi West. A Supplement (1957-67). By Oscar Os- 
bum Winther and Richard A. Van Orman. (Bloomington: 
Indiana University Press, 1970) Index. 340 pp. $5.00 

Two Leggings: The Making of a Crow Warrior. By Peter Nabo- 
kov. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1970) Index. 
Ulus. 226 pp. $2.25 (Paperback, Apollo Edition). 

'Aunt' Clara Brown. Story of a Black Pioneer. By Kathleen 
Bruyn. (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1971) Index. 
Illus. 206pp. $3.95 (Paperback). 

The Wake of the Prairie Schooner. By Irene D. Paden. (Carbon- 
dale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970) Reprint, 
Index. lUus. 514 pp. $2.95 (Paperback, Arcturus Books). 

Bankers and Cattlemen. By Gene M. Gressley. (Lincoln: Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1971) Index. Illus. 320 pp. 
$2.25 (Paperback, Bison Book). 


Fossil Discoveries in Wyoming. Reports by members of the Union 
Pacific expedition. (Cheyenne: Triple R Press, 1970). 
Reprint. lUus. 67 pp. $3.95 (Paperback). 

Western Wagon Wheels. By Lambert Florin. (Seattle: Superior 
Publishing Co., 1970). Index. Illus. 183 pp. $12.95. 

Dictionary of Pagan Religions. By Larry E. Wedeck and Wade 
Baskin. (New York: Philosophical Library, 1971) 363 
pp. $10.00. 

Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane. By Herself. (Cheyenne: 
Triple R Press, 1970) Reprint. 7 pp. $1.00. 


Howard Lee Wilson is Dean of St. Matthew's Episcopal 
Cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming, a position he assumed in October, 
1968. Bom in Canton, Illinois, November 1, 1925, he came to 
Wyoming in June, 1948. He has served as assistant minister at 
St. Mark's Church in Casper, Vicar of St. Thomas' Church, 
Dubois, and St. Helen's, Crowheart. Dean Wilson also was Arch- 
deacon of Wyoming from 1958 to 1963 and Vicar of St. Stephen's, 
Casper, from 1963 to 1968. He received his B. A. degree from the 
University of Wyoming in 1950 and his M. Div. degree from the 
Church Divinity School, Berkeley, California, in 1953. His article, 
"The Bishop Who Bid for Fort Laramie," was published in Annals 
of Wyoming in October, 1962, and reprinted in The Historical 
Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Dean Wilson is 
married, has three daughters, is president of Wyoming Alpha 
Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, and president of the Laramie Min- 
isterial Association. 

Charles Oliver Dov^ning, whose reminiscences of Goshen 
County homesteading were prepared in collaboration with his 
granddaughter, Sharon Reed Smith, has a real estate and insurance 
business in Torrtagton, Wyoming. Born August 24, 1883, at 
Himrods, New York, he came to Wyoming in June 1910. He 
taught schools at Chugwater and Iowa Center, Wyoming, from 
1910 to 1912 and was superintendent of Goshen County schools 
from 1913 to 1918. He also served as assessor of Goshen County, 
1923-1924, and two terms as chief clerk of the Wyoming House of 
Representatives. His other publications include Wyoming Legis- 
lative Procedure, 1924, and Civil Government of Wyoming, 1926, 
in cooperation vnth. A. H. Dixon, Another publication, Stories of 
the North Platte Valley, Wyoming, is in preparation. His grand- 
daughter is collaborating on the publication. Mr. Downing has 
been in private business since 1925. 

Alfred Glen Humpherys is completing a Ph.D. program in 
history at the University of New Mexico. He received his B. S. 
and M. A. degrees from Brigham Young University in 1963 and 
1964 respectively. He was a history instructor at Ricks College, 
Rexburg, Idaho, from 1965 to 1969, and a social studies teacher 
in the Cardston School Division, Cardston, Alberta, Canada, from 
1964 to 1965. His other publications include "The Life of Thomas 
L. (Peg-leg) Smith," The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade, edited 
by LeRoy R. Hafen, volume 4, the Arthur H. Clark Co., 1968, and 
"Peg-leg Smith," Idaho Yesterdays, Spring 1966. He is a charter 
member of the Western History Association, and served on the 


board of directors of the Upper Snake River Valley Historical 
Society from 1966 to 1969. He is married and has three sons. 

Julie Beaver Diller was bom in Cheyenne. She attended the 
University of Wyoming from 1953 to 1955, and Western Wyoming 
Junior College at Rock Springs in 1968-1969. It was while attend- 
ing the Rock Springs school that she wrote "A Glance at Rock 
Springs." She received her B. A. degree in education from the 
University of Wyoming in 1971 and is a third grade teacher in 
Cheyenne. Her husband, Donald G. DiUer, is a Wyoming High- 
way Department engineer. The couple has three sons. 

Ellis L. Yochelson is a native of the Washington, D. C. area 
and has been an employee of the U. S. Geological Survey for 19 
years. He is an invertebrate paleontologist and for a number of 
years collected fossils in the western United States. A 1959 trip to 
Green River, Wyoming, sparked his interest in Major Powell, and 
from that arose an interest in the others who laid the groundwork 
for the Geological Survey. He received his B. S. and M. S. degrees 
from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. from Columbia. He 
has about 100 scientific pubhcations to his credit. Mr. Yochelson 
is married and has three children. 


Alliance, Neb., 71 

"Along the Little Horn," painting by 

Joseph H. Sharp, cover 
American Society of Composers, 

Authors and PubHshers, 30-31 
Anderson, Hugo B., 30 
The Arapahoes Our People, Virginia 

Cole Trenholm, review, 134-135 
Arnold, Mrs. Earl, 61 
Arnold, Thurman, 14 
The Atlantic Monthly, 44-45 
Atwater Kent Foundation, 33-34, 37 
Augur, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Christopher 

C, 75, 76, 83, 85 

Bruegemann, John J., 94-95, 96, 

100, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110; 
Bruegemann School of Music, 95, 

101, 102 
Buford, 50, 51 

Banning, Peter C, 92, 96, 97, 100; 

Running Memorial Park, 96, 97, 

Bureau of (American) Ethnology, 

115, 119 
Burlington Railroad, 52, 58, 69, 70, 

Burrage, Frank Sumner, 18, 19, 22 


Balcom, Rev. Royal H., 23, 25, 26, 

27, 29, 30, 45, 46 
Battle Drums and Geysers: The Life 

and Journals of Lieutenant Gus- 

tavus Cheney Doane, By Orrin H. 

and Lorraine Bonney, review, 

Bear Butte State Park, S.D., 116 
Bear Creek, 59, 64, 67, 68 
Bellamy, Ben C, 14, 16 
Bennett, Rt. Rev. Granville Gaylord, 

Berta, John, 92, 95 
Berta, Mary, 92 
Berta, Tom, 92, 93, 95 
Blodgett, Mrs. Mary Sherwood, 21 
Bonney, Orrin H. and Lorraine, 

Battle Drums and Geysers: The 

Life and Journals of Lieutenant 

Gustavus Cheney Doane, review, 

Bonney, Orrin H., review of The 

Fourteeners, Colorado's Great 

Mountains, 146 
Borie, 50 
Boston Globe, 42 
Boulder, Colo., 10 
Bozeman Road (.Trail) 73, 74, 78, 

80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 88 
Brain, Frank, 60, 69 
Brandon, Charlie, 60 
Bradley, George, 115 
Bradley, L. P., 80 
Bright Angel Creek, Ariz., 116 

Caldwell, Alice, 1 1 

California Trail, 78 

Cameron, John, 71 

Camp, Lt. E. M., 87 

Carey, Gov. J. M., 68 

Casper, 21 

Cathedral Home for Children, 21, 

47, 48 
Cathedral Square, 21-22 
Cazin, Paul, 101, 102 
Chapel of the Transfiguration, 23 
Charles E. Wells Music Co., 27 
Charlson, C. J., 66; Cora, 66; Helen, 

Charlson, Julia Isabelle (Belle) (Mrs, 

C. O. Downing), 63, 64, 65, 66, 

72; photos following p. 64 
Chene, Pierre, 76 
Cherry Creek, 68 
Cheyenne, 15, 49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 57, 

59, 60, 61, 66, 67 
Cheyenne Frontier Days, 60 
Cheyenne Weather Bureau, 13 
The Chicago Evening Post Radio 

Magazine, 45 
Chittenden, G. B., 118 
Christy, Charles, 58, 59, 68 
Chugwater, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 

64, 66; name origin, 58 
Chugwater Creek, 58, 61, 67 
Chugwater Mercantile Co., 63 
Clark, C. L., 44 
Cloonan, Mr., 36 
Coe, WilHam Robertson, 21, 24, 46, 

47, 48 
Colorado River, 113, 114 
Colorado Springs, Colo., 35 



Cooper, J. P., 79, 80 

Cosby, C. M., 45, 50 

Coy. John, 71 

Crane, A. G., 31, 38, 39, 40, 41 

Crosby. Warner N., 11, 12, 13, 14, 
15, 16, 18, 24, 51; radio shop, 11 

The Crow Indian Treaties of 1868, 
An Example of Power Struggle 
and Confusion in United States 
Indian Policy, by A. Glen 
Humpherys, 73-89 

Cullen, W. J., 82, 86, 87 

Culver, Charles A., 38-39 

Curtis, William, 71 

Ethete, 23 

Expedition (Exploration) Island Na- 
tional Historic Site, 113, 116 

The Expeditions of John Charles 
Fremont. Volume 1. Travels 
from 1838-1844 and Map Port- 
folio, ed. by Donald Jackson and 
Mary Lee Spence, review, 138- 

Eyler, Wid, 65, 66 

Eyler, Ida, 65, 66 


Denver, Colo., 11, 15, 23, 27, 28, 
51. 57 

The Denver Post, 23 

Desolation Canyon, 114, 115 

Dewar, James, 99 

Diller, Julie Beaver, A Glance At 
Rock Springs, 91-111 

Dinosaur National Monument, 113, 

Dixon, 19 

Douglas, 34 

Downing, Charles Oliver, Recollec- 
tions of a Goshen County Home- 
steader. Edited by Sharon Reed 
Smith, 53-72; photos following 
p. 64 

Downing, Anna, 53; Charles, 53; 
Dorothy, 65; Mrs. Dorothy Kit- 
terer, 53; Frank, 53, 54, 55; Fred, 
53, 55; George F., 53; John, 53; 
Lillian, 53; Lois, 65; Mabel, 53, 
54; Margaret, 53; Mate, 53; 
Minerva, 53 

Dubois, 22 

Dundee, N. Y., 54 

Eberhart, Perry and Philip Schmuck, 
The Fourteeners. Colorado's 
Great Mountains, review, 146 

Ekko Company, 35 

Elgin, Utah, 115 

Elks, Juvenile Band, 100, 101 

Ellis, Richard N., General Pope and 
U. S. Indian Policy, review, 140- 

Episcopal Church, Wyoming, 5-52 

Episcopalian Club, 20 

Fanning, Ed, 36 

Federal Radio Commission, 7, 34, 
38, 39, 40, 42, 43 

Field, Marshall, 70 

Fisher Ranch, 68 

Flannery, L. G. (Pat), John Hun- 
ton's Diary, Wyoming Territory. 
Vol. 6, 1885-1889, review, 135- 

Foner, Jack D., The United States 
Soldier Between Two Wars: Army 
Life and Reforms 1865-1898, re- 
view, 143-144 

Forse, William H., 8 


Benton, Mont., 77, 86 

Bridger, 83 

Browning, Mont., 87 

Ellis, Mont., 73 

Fetterman, 73 

Hawley, Mont., 86 

Laramie, 69, 70, 73, 75, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 83 

Meagher, Mont., 74 

Phil Kearny, 73, 79, 80 

Randall, Mont., 83 

Reno, 73 

Russell (D. A.), 57 

Smith (C. F.), Mont., 73, 77, 80, 

81, 83, 88 

Sully, Mont., 83 
The Fourteeners. Colorado's Great 

Mountains, by Perry Eberhart and 

Philip Schmuck, review, 146 
Fox Creek, 67, 68; Canyon, 66 
Fort Collins, Colo., 71 

General Pope and U. S. Indian 
Policy, by Richard N. Ellis, re- 
view, 140-141 



Gieseking, Marion W., 34, 41 

A Glance At Rock Springs, by Julie 
Beaver Diller, 91-111 

Glen Canyon Dam, 115 

Glenrock, 116 

Goshen County, 68; 69; photos fol- 
lowing p. 64 

Goshen Hole, name origin, 68 

Government Ditch, 71 

Gramm, Otto, 27 

Grand Canyon National Park, 113, 
116, 121; Monument, 122 

Gray Canyon (Coal Canyon), 115 

Grand Theatre, Rock Springs, 91, 95 

Green River, 113, 115, 116; Utah, 
114, 115 

Griffin Ranch, 59 

Grobb, Rev. R. B., 28 

Gunnison's Crossing, 115 

Holmes, W. H., 118 

Homestead Act, 57, 60 

Homesteading, photos following 
p. 64 

Hood, Norman, 5 1 

Horn, Elden F., 23, 24, 25, 26, 50 

Horse Creek, 67, 68 

Howells, Rulon S., 9, 10, 31 

Hudson, E. B., 70; Mrs., 70 

Humpherys, A. Glen, The Crow 
Indian Treaties of 1868. An 
Example of Power Struggle and 
Confusion in United States Indian 
Policy, 73-89 

Hunt, L. B., 63 

Husband, Michael, review of Battle 
Drums and Geysers. The Life 
and Journals of Lieutenant Gus- 
tavus Cheyney Doane, 137-138 


Haden, Ida., 120 
Hale, Goshen, 68 
Hall, Pat, review of The Expeditions 

of John Charles Fremont, Volume 
1, Travels from 1838-1844, 138-140 
Haney, Capt. David, 86 
Harney, Bvt. Maj. Gen. William S., 

74, 76, 77, 78, 83, 85 
Harriman, Mrs. Edward H., 5, 17, 

18, 20, 24, 26, 30, 32, 33, 38, 40, 

41, 43, 45, 50 
Hayden, Al, 120 
Hayden, Charles Trumbull, 121 
Hayden, Julian, 120 
Hayden, Ferdinand Vandeveer, 113- 

124; Emma Woodruff (Mrs. F. 

v.), 122 
Hayden, Ariz., 117; Celo., 117; 

Mont., 117; N. M., 118; Okla., 

118; Butte, 120; Creek, 120; Fork, 

121; Glacier, 120; Gold Medal, 

123; Gulch, 120; Hall, 123; HiUs, 

117; Lake, 120; Mount, Ariz., 121; 

Colo, 120; National Forest, 121; 

Park, 120; Pass, 120; Peak, 120; 

Valley, 121 
Hayden, Matt, 120 
Henderson, Sen. John B., 75 
Henry, B. William, Jr., review of 

General Pope and U. S. Indian 

Policy, 140-141 
Hillsdale, 50 
Himrods, N. Y., 53, 54 

Indian Peace Commission, 74, 78, 
82, 83, 88 



Bear's Tooth, 76 

Blackfoot, 75, 78, 79 

Pretty Bull, 83 

Red Cloud, 70, 71, 73, 75, 78, 79, 

80, 81, 82, 83 
Shot-in-the-Face, 75 
Sorrel Horse, 77 
White Horse, 75 
Wolf Bull, 75 


Arapahoe, 81, 83 

Bannock, 83, 86 

Blackfeet, 74, 82, 86 

Cheyenne, 81; Northern, 83 

Crow, 73-89; Mountain, 79, 80, 
83, 87; Prairie or Missouri 
River, 80, 86, 87 

Flathead, 74 

Gros Ventre, 74, 82, 86 

Shoshone, 83, 86 

Sioux, 70, 71, 74, 77, 82; Oglala, 
82, 83; Miniconjou, 82 
Ingersol, Ernest, 118 
International Night, Rock Springs, 

Inter Ocean Hotel, 57 
Iowa Center, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68 
Ivinson, Edward, 17; Jane, 17 



Jackson. Donald and Mary Lee 
Spence, The Expeditions of John 
Charles Fremont. Volume 1. 
Travels from 1838-1844 and Map 
Portfolio, review, 138-140 

Jackson, William Henry, 117, 118, 

Jackson Hole, 23 

Jane Ivinson Memorial Hall, The 
Cathedral School for Girls, 17, 21 

Jeffers, William M., 15, 49, 51, 52 

John Hnnton's Dia>-y: Wyoming 
Territory. Vol. 6, 1885-1889, Ed. 
by L. G. (Pat) Flannery, review, 

Jones, Richard Lloyd, 45; Mrs., 45 


Kansas City Star, 7 

Kelly, Lawrence C, Navajo 
Roundup, review, 147-148 

Kelly Ranch, 64 

Kerr (Herr), Edwin M., 9 

Kiltie Band, 105 

King, Clarence, 113-124; death, 122; 
James Rivers, 122; Florence Lit- 
tle, 122 

King's Canyon National Park, 119; 
Peak, 120 

King Crest, 121; Mount Clarence, 
119; River, 119 

Kinkaid Act, 61 

Knight, Dr. Sam, 28 

Lincoln Land Co., 68 

Lindbergh, Col. Charles, 33 

Lingle, H. D., 70 

Lingle, 69, 70, 71 

Lone Tree Canyon, 65, 68 

Lucerne Canal, 70 

Lyric Theatre, Rock Springs, 91 


Mackay, Mrs. James, 33-34 
Makosky, Fred O., 35 
Marvick, Amelia, 64 
Mathews, Dr. H. M., 79, 80, 81 
McAuIiffe, Eugene, 97, 99 
Meagher, Gov. Thomas F., 74, 88 
Medicine Bow, 28 
Medicine Lodge, the Story of a 

Kansas Frontier Town, by Nellie 

Snyder Yost, review, 141-143 
Memorial Peace Cross, 21 
Menor's Ferry, 23 
Minot, N. D., 30 
Mix, Charles E., 79, 86 
Missionary District of Wyoming, 

Mondell, U. S. Rep. Frank W., 7, 13 
Monuments and Markers To The 

Territorial Surveys, by Ellis L. 

Yochelson, 113-124 
Morse, Enos, 53 
Mountain States Radio Co., 23 
Murray, Bishop John Gardner, 39, 

40, 41, 42 

Ladd, S. B., 118 

Lafount, Commissioner Harold, 40- 

Laramie, 5-52, 60 
Laramie Boomerang, 17, 50-52 
Laramie County, 67, 68 
Laramie, North Park and Western 

Railroad, 36 
Laramie Republican, 50-51 
Laramie Republican-Boomerang, 20, 

22, 26, 28 
Lawrence, Kan., 57 
Larson, Robert W., review of 

Sentinel to the Cimarron: The 

Frontier Experience of Fort 

Dodge, Kansas, 145-146 
Larson, T. A., 47; review of The 

Arapahoes, Our People, 135-136 


Navajo Roundup, by Lawrence C. 
Kelly, review, 147-148 

National Association of Broadcast- 
ers, 39 

Nelson, Aven, 8 

North Platte River, 67, 69, 70, 71 


Office of Indian Affairs, 84, 85 

Oracle Theatre, Rock Springs, 91 

Oregon Trail, 70 

Owen, F. D., 118 

Outsen, Robert, review of The Unit- 
ed States Soldier Between Two 
Wars: Army Life and Reforms 
1865-1898, 143-144 



PF Ranch, 70, 71 

Page, E. C, 26, 29 

Paul's Juvenile Symphonators, 101 

Porter, Jack, 58 

Postal Telegraph and Cable Co., 50 

Powder River Road. See Bozeman 

Powell, John Wesley, 113-124; Mrs. 
Emma Dean, 123; Liberty Ship, 
124; Auditorium, 123; Museum, 
124; Monument, photo, following 
p. 64 

Powell, Colo., 120; Lake, 115; 
Mount, 119; National Forest, 121; 
Neb., 116; Peak, 120; Plateau, 
121; Point, 121; Spring, 121; 
Wyo., 116 

Pyle, Rev. Stephen, 102, 105, 106 

Radio Distributing Co., 9, 10 

Radio News, 30 

Radio Stations: KDKA, 5, 44; 
KFAF, 23-24; KFBU, 5-52; 
KFUM, 34; KWYO, See KFBU; 
KYW, 16, 24 

RawHns, 15 

Recollections of a Goshen County 
Homesteader, by Charles Oliver 
Downing. Edited by Sharon Reed 
Smith, 53-72 

Reed, WiUiam J., 40 

Rialto Amusement Co., 92, 93; 
Theatre, Rock Springs, 92, 94, 95, 
101, 103, 105; Orchestra, 102 

Richard, John, Jr., 76 

Riley, Paul D., review of The Wild 
West, 148-149 

Roberts, Very Rev. Paul, 29 

Rock Springs, 34; 91-111 

Rocky Mountain National Park, 
Colo., 120 

Rollins, Mr., 36 

Ross, Gov. Nellie Tayloe, 5, 27 

Russell, Don, The Wild West, re- 
view, 148-149 

St. George, Utah, 115 

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 21, 33 

St. Matthews Cathedral, 5-52 

St. Michael's Church, 23 

Sanborn, John B., 75, 79, 82, 83, 85 

Sand Wash, 114; Ferry, 114 

Sawyer, Sen. J. L., 67 

Scarlett, Very Rev. William, 18 

Schaffer, B. L., 34 

Schmuck, Rt. Rev. Elmer, 43, 48 

Schmuck, Philip, and Perry Eber- 
hart, The Fourteeners. Colorado's 
Great Mountains, review, 146 

Scovilles, — , 47; Miss, 24 

Senora Opera Co., photo following 
p. 64 

Sentinel to the Cimarron: The 
Frontier Experience of Fort 
Dodge, Kansas, by David Kay 
Strate, review, 145-146 

Sharon Reed Smith, ed.. Recollec- 
tions of a Goshen County Home- 
steader, by C. O. Downing, 53-72 

Sharp, Joseph H., painting "Along 
the Little Horn," cover 

Sheridan, 19, 41 

Sherman, Lt. Gen. William T., 74, 
75, 81, 82, 83, 85 

Sherman Hill, 15 

Sherwood Hall, 21, 22, 31 

"Shot-Gun Outfit," 67 

Silver, Rev. H. Percy, 36-37 

Skinner, Ernest S., 22 

Smith, Rev. Franklin, 25, 31, 34-40 

Smithsonian Institution, 119, 124 

Snell, Joseph W., review of Med- 
icine Lodge, The Story of a Kan- 
sas Frontier Town, 141-143 

Sousa, John Philip, 100, 101 

South Platte River, 71 

Spence, Mary Lee and Donald 
Jackson, The Expeditions of John 
Charles Fremont, Volume I. 
Travels from 1838-1844, review, 

Split Mountain Gorge, 113 

Steinmetz, John, 71 

Stewart, Charles D., 44-45; Mrs., 44 

Story City, la., 64 

Strate, David Kay, Sentinel to the 
Cimarron: The Frontier Exper- 
ience of Fort Dodge, Kansas, 
review, 145-146 

Swan Land and Cattle Co., 58, 59, 
62, 67 

Sweetwater County May Music 

Festival, 108-109 
Szasz, Margaret, review of Navajo 

Roundup, 147-148 



Talbot, Rt. Rev. Ethelbert, 23, 49 
Taliaferro, T. S., 34 
Tappan, Samuel F., 75, 76, 83, 85 
Taylor, Nathaniel G., 74-75, 76, 77, 

78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 87 
Tempe, Ariz., 121 
Territorial Surveys, 113-124 
Terry, Bvt. Maj. Gen. Alfred H., 

74, 85 
Teton Range, 23, 121 
Thomas, George C, 12, 46; George 

C, Sr., 12; Mrs., 12-23 
Thomas, Rev. George H., 37 
Thomas, Rt. Rev. Nathaniel, 5-52; 

Mrs., 15, 16, 18, 47, 51 
Thomas, Walter H., 16, 21 
Thornberry, Rev. David W., 18, 37, 

Tie Siding, 51 

Tompkins, Charies, 39, 40, 41, 43 
"Top of the World" Broadcasts: 

Wyoming's Early Radio, by How- 
ard Lee Wilson, 5-52 
Torrington, 69, 70; name origin, 71; 

Torrington Canal, 71 
Torrington, Conn., 71 
Trenholm, Virginia Cole, The Arap- 

ahoes. Our People, review, 134- 

Tucker, Ross, 25 
The Tulsa Tribune, 45 
Two-Bar Ranch, 67; brand, 58 


Uinta Mountains, 113-114, 120 

Underwood, J. C, 60 

Union Cattle Co., 68 

Union Pacific Coal Co., 95, 99 

Union Pacific Old Timers, 98-99 

Union Pacific Railroad, 5, 15, 20, 
44, 49-52, £7, 70 

University of Colorado, 10 

University of Wyoming, 8, 11, 18, 
19, 20, 28, 29, 31, 32, 38, 39, 40, 
41, 44, 59 

The United States Soldier Between 
Two Wars: Army Life and Re- 
forms 1865-1898, by Jack D. 
Foner, review, 143-144 

Vardy, W. W., 6; Mrs., 6 
Voorhis, Charles B., 21, 22; 
Voorhis, — , 47 


Wahpeton, N. D., 55 

Walker, George DeForest, 23, 26, 
31, 32, 34, 39 

Walker, George S., 23-24 

Walton, Mr., 34 

Warren, U. S. Sen. Francis E., 7, 60; 
Ranch, 59 

Wassung, C. P., 99 

Webster, B. M. Jr., 42 

Wendover, 52 

Western Radio Corporation, 23-24 

Westfield, Mass., 116, 117 

Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., 
9, 23 

Wheatland, 71 

Wheeler, Lt. George Montague, 113- 
124; death, 122 

Wheeler Crest, 119; HaU, 123; Na- 
tional Monument, 121; Peak, 
Calif., 1 19, Nev., 120, N. M., 120, 
Alaska, 120; Point, 121; Ridge, 
119; Wash, 120 

White, Ashton S. H., 75 

White, Thomas, review of John 
Hunton's Diary. Wyoming Terri- 
tory. Vol. 6, 1885-1889, 135- 

The Wild West, by Don Russell, 
review, 148-149 

Wilson, Howard Lee, "Top of the 
World" Broadcasts: Wyoming's 
Early Radio, 5-52 

Wind River Indian Reservation, 23 

Witzel, Eari R., 18, 19, 20 

Woods, Mrs. C. C, 6 

Wright, BUI, 63 

Wyncote, 70 

The Wyoming Churchman, 15, 16, 
20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 
33, 34, 36, 49 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 
Seventeenth Annual Meeting, 125- 

Wyoming State Tribune, 6, 33, 34, 
50, 51, 52 



Yates, Bill, 64 

Yellowstone National Park, 121 

Yellowstone School, Rock Springs, 

Yochelson, Ellis L., Monuments and 
Markers to the Territorial Sur- 
veys, 113-124 

Yoder, Jess, 62, 63; ranch, 66; 69 

Yoder, Mrs. Myrtle, 66 

Yost, Nellie Snyder, Medicine 
Lodge, the Story of a Kansas 
Frontier Town, review, 141-143 

Zion Savings Bank and Trust Co., 


^ On 













Donald N. Sherard 
Mrs. William Swanson 
Mrs. Frank Emerson 
Miss Jennie Williams 
Richard I. Frost, Chairman 
Willis Hughes 
William T. Nightingale 

Member at Large Kenneth E. Dowlin 










Attorney General C. A. (Bud) Brimmer Cheyenne 



William H. Williams Director 

Mrs. Mary Purcella Secretary 

Mrs. Katherine HLalverson Chief, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 

Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 

Darrhl Thiel Chief, Museum Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published biannually in the spring and fall 
and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. 
Copies of previous and current issues also are available for sale to the public 
and 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 the con- 

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

Copyright 1971, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

iA^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 43 Fall 1971 Number 2 

Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
Associate Editor 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1971-1972 

President, William R. Dubois Cheyenne 

First Vice President, Henry F. Chadey Rock Springis 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Dudley Hayden Jackson 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, WiLLiAi^r H. WiLLUMS Cheyenne 

Past Presidents 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt DoMiNiCK, Cody 1956-1957 

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

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins.. 1958-1959 

Mrs. Thelma G. Condit, Buffalo 1959-1960 

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 

Mrs. Hattie Burnstad, Worland 1969-1970 

J. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins 1970-1971 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
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Zable of Contents 



By John A. Lent 



By William W. Savage, Jr. 


By Robert L. Munkres 


By Brian Jones 



By Philip J. Mellinger 



Compiled by Maurine Carley 


Armstrong, / Ha\e Spoken. American History Through the 

Voices of Indians 296 

Mothershead, Swan Land & Cattle Company 297 

Athearn. Union Pacific Country 299 

Woods, Wyoming Country Before Statehood 300 

Emmons, Garden in the Grasslands 302 

Malmquist, The First 100 Years. A History of the Salt Lake 

Tribune 1871-1971 304 

Murray, Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail 306 

Wessels, Born To Be a Soldier 307 

Ferrell, Gilpin Gold Tram 308 


INDEX 312 


Pole Camp and Home of John Sublett 
Following page 200 

Legh R. Freeman 

The Frontier Index 

Index Inside pages 

Bear River City, 1868 
Following page 272 

Sweet Water Station. I.T. 

Platte Bridge Station 

Plan of Platte Bridge Station 

"The Days That Are No More . . ." 

"Pole Camp and Home of John Sublett, at Elk Moun- 
tain, Carbon Co. Wyo.," is the title of the cover sketch. 
While not identified as a Merritt D. Houghton sketch, 
Houghton almost certainly was the artist. A very similar 
sketch appears in Houghton's book. Views of Southern 
Wyoming pubUshed in 1904 by the Herald Publishing 
Company, Grand Encampment, Wyoming. The rendi- 
tion which appears in the book is entitled "The Home 
and Pole Camp of John Sublette." While apparently 
sketched from the same viewpoint as the cover sketch, it 
varies slightly in detail. 

Zke Press on Wheels 



John A. Lent 

One of the most fascinating,^ yet least heralded, newspapers in 
the history of American journalism has to be The Frontier Index. 
Called the "press on wheels" by its owners, Legh (also Leigh) R. 
Freeman, and brother, Fred K., the Index is said to have published 
in anywhere from 14 to 25^ different places, many of which were 
on the Union Pacific railhead through Nebraska, Colorado, Wyo- 
ming and Utah, And as one historian^ has stated, "Everywhere 
this peculiar paper appeared it was the pioneer, but nowhere except 
at Laramie did it mark the permanent establishment of the press." 

Legh Freeman, at different times in his Ufe, pubUshed news- 
papers from Nebraska to Washington, aU of which he considered 
part of the Index series.* The paper was called The Kearney 
Herald when he purchased it in Nebraska; was changed to The 

1. In a letter to Grace Raymond Hebard, University of Wyoming librar- 
ian, June 27, 1916, newspaper historian James Melvin Lee said: 'To my 
mind, this newspaper The Frontier Index is among the most interesting in the 
history of American journalism." 

2. Much debate exists as to the number of places in which The Frontier 
Index published. As the Index, not by its other names after 1868, the paper 
appeared in Kearney City and North Platte, Nebraska; Julesburg, Colorado; 
Fort Sanders, Laramie, possibly Benton, Green River City and Bear River, 
Wyoming. To give some indication of the range of places where the Index 
supposedly published, we cite these sources: 

In a flowery eulogy written after Legh's death in 1915, the author said 
Legh Freeman published in 25 places "along the way following the construc- 
tion of the Union Pacific railroad by the government." ("In memoriam Legh 
Richmond Freeman, Editor and Publisher Freeman's Farmer for 55 Years," 
memorial brochure issued soon after Legh Freeman's death. In Joe F. 
Jacobucci Collection, Hebard Room, University of Wyoming Library, 

Another eulogy speech declared that the "Frontier Index was moved along 
the lines of that railroad about twenty-four times before it reached its final 
location ... at Ogden . . . Utah." {Ibid.) 

Lee also said the Index was published at "twenty-five different places 
along the line of the Western advance. ..." (James Melvin Lee, History of 
American Journalism (Boston and New York: 1923), pp. 322-323. 

3. Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Wyoming," Annals of 
Wyoming, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 732-734. 

4. Joseph F. Jacobucci, who did considerable research on the Index and 


Frontier Index in Fort Kearney or Kearney City (Nebraska) and 
continued under that name througli North Platte (Nebraska), 
Julesburg (Colorado), Fort Sanders, Laramie, possibly Benton, 
Green River City and Bear River (Wyoming); changed to Ogden 
Freeman in Utah; to Daily and Weekly Inter-Mountain (being a 
merger of his The Frontier Index and The Glendale Atlantis), then 
Inter-Mountains Freeman and later Union-Freeman, all in Butte 
City (Montana) ; back to Frontier-Index (with hyphen) in Thomp- 
son Falls (Montana), which was discontinued July 5, 1884. Free- 
man then left for Yakima County, Washington, where he took over 
the Yakima Record and later the Pacific Coast Dairyman. When 
he retired he was managing editor of an illustrated weekly, North- 
west Farm and Home, earlier called the Washington Farmer. 

If Freeman was not the publisher of one migratory newspaper 
published in numerous locations, and the data shows he was not 
once he left Wyoming, then he must have been one of the predeces- 
sors of media manipulators so common in the twentieth century. 

The Freeman brothers were originally from Virginia and both 
Legh and Fred had served in the American Civil War on the side 
of the South, probably as telegraph operators behind the hnes. 
Evidence is scanty that Legh was actually a telegrapher but there 
is correspondence in the Department of Defense-^ which indicates 
Legh had offered his services to the Union as a telegraph spy. He 
was later captured by Union forces in Kentucky and imprisoned 
until he took the oath of allegiance to the United States on October 
27, 1864. After the war, Legh, and later Fred, came West and 
worked as telegraphers at Fort Kearney, Nebraska. 

Legh Freeman is described as being "bombastic, somewhat 
eccentric; he was always flamboyant, aggressive and rigidly positive 
in his beliefs. Though he died almost in obscurity in Yakima in 
1915, his contributions to newspapering on the frontier cannot be 
underestimated. ' '^ 

the Freemans, believed Legh Freeman owned a number of different news- 
papers in his lifetime which he liked to think were all part of The Frontier 
Index. In a letter to the Historical Society of Montana, January 7, 1937, 
Jacobucci wrote: "I think it probable that there was in Montana no paper 
actually called The Frontier Index. Freeman liked to think that the paper, 
which he renamed after purchasing The Kearney Herald in Nebraska in 
1865, had a continuous existence, when actually he was merely the owner of 
various papers, under various names, in several towns in the West. In that 
case it is probable that Freeman established or took over the Glendale 
Atlantis on his arrival in Montana in 1879 and later moved it to Butte 
changing the name to the Intermoiintain." 

5. Letter to Jacobucci from War Department, Adjutant General's Office, 
December 3, 1936. In Jacobucci Files, op. cit. 

6. Robert F. Karolevitz, Newspapering in the Old West (Seattle: Supe- 
rior Publishing Co., 1965), pp. 169-170. 


As a forerunner of Wyoming journalism/ Freeman's The Fron- 
tier Index set a precedent of wild and woolly newspapering that 
even Bill Nye's Laramie Boomerang (named after Nye's mule), 
Merris C. Barrow's Bill Barlow's Budget (an eight page weekly that 
cost $3 a year or $300 for 300 years), Asa Shinn Mercer's North- 
western Livestock Journal and the Platte Valley Lyre found diffi- 
cult to follow. 

One characteristic the Index possessed which was common to its 
Wyoming and Western colleagues was an unrestrained language 
when describing the riches, beauties and commercial possibilities of 
the frontier towns. Barrow probably captured this enthusiasm on 
the part of frontier editors when he wrote in 1903: 

The Wyoming newspaperman is an optimist, if there ever was one. 
Even in his sober moments — and he has 'em — he sees things. Given a 
country store or two at an isolated cross-roads and he builds a 
city; ... a forty dollar addition to your modest shack makes it a 
mansion, and his town is the only town, and the best ever. He is 
always willing to fudge a little in handling cold fact, and as prophet 
he simply skunks Elijah and all his ilk. ... Of necessity, he is some- 
times a liar; but to sorter toy with the truth in prophetic spirit for the 
good of the country or community in which he lives is with him a 
labor of love, and by reason of a special dispensation granted him 
directly from Deity, these trifling idiosyncrasies which we of the 
profesh term 'essential errors' are not charged up against him in the 
Big Book.** 

Linford captured the spirit of The Frontier Index along these same 
lines when she wrote, "Its space was devoted to proclaiming 
breezily the advantages of the particular community from which it 
issued its sheet."^ 

Despite such promotional zeal, editors faced a formidable task in 
that there was very little to make for stable territorial development 
in the Rocky Mountain West, Towns cropped up overnight, it is 
true, but they died just as quickly when the railroad construction 
crews passed through or when the mining boom^^ petered out. 
However, as John Hanson Beadle, editor of the Corinne (Utah) 
Reporter observed, editors of his day really believed their towns 
were destined to boom. 

7. For list of Wyoming imprints of the era, see: Wilhelmina Carothers 
(ed.), "Check List of Wyoming Imprints 1866-1890," American Imprints 
Inventory, Historical Records Survey (New York: Kraus Reprint Corp., 
1964). See pp. 10-11 for description of The Frontier Index. 

8. Bill Barlow's Budget, October 19, 1903. 

9. Velma Linford, Wyoming: Frontier State (Denver: Old West Pub- 
UshingCo., 1947), p. 278. 

10. One author described the mining booms in this fashion: "The boom 
itself turned out to be an abortive business that ran the course from pros- 
perity to ghost town more rapidly than was usual on mining frontiers." 
(Elizabeth Keen, Wyoming's Frontier Newspapers, Laramie: University of 
Wyoming, 1956, master's thesis. Also published in Annals of Wyoming, 


As for the railroad, little doubt exists that it wasn't the greatest 
single factor^^ in opening up what is now Wyoming and Utah. As 
the construction of the Union Pacific railbed approached these 
states, railway agents staked out towns along the right of way; the 
difficulty, however, was that many of these towns folded up in 
traditional tent-town fashion after the crews departed. 

Whereas normally newspapers get started once a town is laid 
out, The Frontier Index reversed the procedure; it anticipated 
where the next winter terminus of the UP would be and went ahead 
to help develop the town. Because the railroad was estabhshing 
some of the first towns in Wyoming, the Index in turn became the 
"first newspapers"^' in the state. 


Newspaper and printing historian, Douglas McMurtrie, after 
attempting to reconstruct the Index story, wrote, "Published first 
at one place and then another, the 'Frontier Index' has a decidedly 
elusive history."^^ That was an understatement. The many tales 
that surround The Frontier Index, most colored in retelling, in 
addition to the mobility of the newspaper physically and of the 
Freemans mentally, make it difficult to separate fact from myth. 
Usually, easily verified data such as a paper's name becomes con- 

under same title. Vol. 33, No. 2, Vol. 34, No. 1, Vol. 34, No. 2, Vol. 35, 
No. 1. 

Wyoming historian T. A. Larson, agreed that the birth of Wyoming towns 
was something other than a planned action: 

"It is sometimes supposed that there was an orderly procession of towns 
across Wyoming, like beads being strung one after another. On the con- 
trary, new towns arose almost simultaneously, owing partly to the speed of 
advance, and partly to speculative enterprise. One correspondent aptly 
described the railroad towns as being engaged in a game of leapfrog." 
T. A. Larson, Historv of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1965), p. 57. 

11. Myers pointed out the people pinned their hopes on the railroad. 
"In the mountains there were the gold, silver or copper strikes drawing 
prospectors or mine workers and those who flocked to serve or prey upon 
them. On the prairies or plains the same function was performed by 
stampeders to grab up land claims. In both types of terrain railroads could 
bring the purchasing power of thousands ... to terminal construction points. 
(John Myers Myers, Print in a Wild Land (Garden City: Doubleday, 1967), 
p. 49. 

12. The Index is referred to as "first newspapers" because it was the 
pioneer in a number of places. Fort Bridger had the first Wyoming news- 
paper, Cheyenne the second, the Index was the third when it published at 
Fort Sanders, the fourth in the state's history when it appeared in Laramie, 
the fifth newspaper was Sweetwater Mines at South Pass City and the eighth 
city to have a newspaper was Bear River when the Index published there. 
McMurtrie, (Hattiesburg, Miss.: Printed for Book Farm, Early Printing in 
Wyoming and the Black Hills, 1943), pp. 30-44. 

13. McMurtrie, "Pioneer printing in Wyoming," op. cit., p. 736. 


fused in the case of the Index. Legh Freeman himself had trouble 
in recounting the different places he had published newspapers 
when asked to do so later in his life. Reports of the riot in Bear 
River (Wyoming), in which the Freemans' Index was burned out 
by an angry mob, offer another example of the murkiness of details 
in the Index story — anywhere from scores to none were killed dur- 
ing the riot, the reports showed. 

What was the policy of the newspaper? What did it avow or 
disavow?^^ Again, the answer must depend on which period one is 
asking about and the frame of mind of the Freemans at that time. 
However, it seems they were consistently for land promotion and 
Freeman-enterprise promotion; regularly against Ulysses S. Grant 
(referred to in the Index as "Useless Slaughter" and "Horse Use- 
less" Grant). The brothers were quoted as being against slavery 
although the paper's motto for a number of issues showed that did 
not mean they were for the black man: ". . . and screams forth in 
thunder and lightning tones, the principals [ivc] of the unterrified 
anti-Nigger, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian party — Masonic Democ'- 
racy." For sure, Freemans and Index alike were for the develop- 
ment of a separate entity called Wyoming, some people claiming, 
including Legh Freeman, that the Index and Freeman were re- 
sponsible for applying that name to the territory.^^ 

14. Here is what one author summed up as the Freemans' policies: 

'The anti-comment was levelled largely at the Republicans, Repubhcan 
Reconstruction policy, the army and the Indian policy. The pro - comment 
was on the possibilities of the West and its new railroad communities." 
(Burton Deloney, "Press on Wheels," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 14, No. 4, 
p. 303.) 

15. Historian C. G. Coutant felt that if Freeman did not name the new 
territory, then he did more to popularize the name than anyone else. 

". . . There has been much discussion, for a number of years, as to who 
first applied the name Wyoming to this section of the country. Leigh 
Richmond Freeman, of the state of Washington, makes the claim that he, in 
the spring of 1866, while en route from Fort Kearney, Nebraska, to Fort 
Laramie to attend a Peace Conference, wrote a letter for publication to his 
paper and dated this correspondence Third Crossing of Lodge Pole Creek, 
Wyoming Territory.' This, he says, was the first time the name was applied 
to the 'southwestern half of Dakota.' Freeman, undoubtedly, did more to 
popularize the name Wyoming than any other man. He had numerous 
articles in his 'Pioneer Index' [sic^ advocating the name and there is no 
doubt that such editorial work had its effect on the people in this country 
and those who afterwards inserted the name in the bill creating Wyoming 
Territory. This editor says : 'The word Wyoming was taken from Wyoming 
Valley, Pennsylvania, rendered famous from Campbell's beautiful poem 
"Gertrude of Wyoming." The word means "Mountains with valleys alter- 
nating." Or, as we construed it: "Here God has bent down the backs of His 
mountains for man to make his habitations." ' " (C. G. Coutant, The 
History of Wyoming: From the Earliest Known Discoveries, 3 volumes, 
Laramie: Chaplin, Spafford & Mathison, 1899, pp. 621-622.) 

T. A. Larson, another Wyoming historian, credits a James M. Ashley with 
suggesting the name Wyoming for the territory. (Larson, op. cit.) 


Although most of their efforts were for self-aggrandizement, the 
Freemans also were for law and order, municipal government and a 
number of political candidates who fit their fancy, most notably 
brother Fred. That the Freemans promoted themselves frequently 
can be gleaned from the number of advertisements and notes that 
call attention to what Legh Freeman was doing on one of his many 
excursions or what the reader could get by dealing with "Freeman 
Bros. Real Estate Agents" or by staying at their Frontier Hotel. 
Those in the enemy camp, whatever that should be at any given 
time, were treated unmercifully for impartial reporting was not one 
of Legh or Fred Freeman's strong suits.^*' 

The Frontier Index had its birth at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, the 
same garrison which sheltered and employed Hiram Brundage, 
founder of the first newspaper in Wyoming, The Daily Telegraph}"^ 
at Fort Bridger. An army camp was not an unusual birthplace for 
newspapers of that day because it was around such forts that the 
settlers clustered for protection from Indian attacks. 

With the purposes of attracting attention to the West and pro- 
viding news of the Civil War for the soldiers and residents about the 
fort, Moses H. Sydenham in 1 862 established the Kearney Herald 
at Fort Kearney. "But from want of proper support and other 
causes," according to Sydenham,^^ he did not keep the paper for 
long, passing it to Seth P. Mobley, a soldier in the Seventh Iowa 
Cavalry, and Brundage, the telegraph operator at Fort Kearney. 
The Mobley-Brundage partnership did not endure either: 

They issued a weekly paper. TTiat arrangement did not last for long, 
for a new telegraph operator soon appeared in the person of Leigh R. 
Freeman, a red-hot, unreconstructed 'secessionist' fresh from the 
southland and the theatre of the southern civil war, where he had been 
a telegraph operator under the Confederate government. . . . He 
bought out the old Fort Kearney Herald, press and material, and 

16. Anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at the files of The 
Frontier Index would have to disagree with Linford's remark: "Along 
with the UP, the Index hustled across mountains and deserts, a noisy, 
good-natured, mouthpiece for a noisy, transient population. It broadcast 
impartially [author's italics] the enterprise of the Union Pacific and the 
merits of each region and terminal which railroad and paper reached 
together." (Linford, op. cit., p. 279.) 

17. For men on the Daily Telegraph and Hiram Brundage, see: 
McMurtrie, "The Fourth Infantry Press at Fort Bridger," Annals of 
Wyoming, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 347-351; Joe F. Jacobucci, "Hiram Brundage 
and Wyoming's First Newspaper," chapter typescript for book Jacobucci 
proposed on Wyoming journalism but never published. Typescript dated 
April 20, 1939, in Jacobucci Files, University of Wyoming Library. 

18. A. C. Edmunds, Pen Sketches of Nebraskans, (Lincoln: R. & J. 
Wilbur, 1871) p. 213. 


started the Frontier index with them.'^* He then got a brother of his 
to come out from Virginia, Fred K. Freeman, and removing the press 
and material to old Kearney City or 'Adobe Town' continued the 
Frontier Index there for some time. There it became the democratic 
party organ in Kearney County. . . . After that, the two brothers trans- 
ferred the press and material to the north side of the Platte for service 
as a pioneer press in the lead of the constructing forces building the 
Union Pacific railroad. Then they changed the name of their paper 
from the Frontier Index to The Frontier Index On Wheels and thus it 
kept along at the mushroom towns that sprang up — for a time at the 
head of the railroad construction.-" 

As for Brundage, he left Fort Kearney destined for Fort Bridger 
where he started the Daily Telegraph, June 26, 1863. Late that 
year, he left the Telegraph and via Montana ended up back at Fort 
Kearney by early 1865, "possibly engaged as telegraph operator 
and publishing the Herald."^^ Brundage probably recommended 
the Herald in April, 1865, published it through June and then sold 
his interest to Mobley, who also had returned to Fort Kearney. 
Mobley continued publication of the Herald until December 
1865,-2 when he sold out to Legh R. Freeman and Fred K. Free- 
man, the former a telegrapher at the fort since the departure of 
Brundage six months earlier. 

Legh Freeman's recollections of the birth of The Frontier Index 
are in no way similar to the above account; he takes his connections 
with the paper back to 1850, and other times to 1847, through 
what seem to be vicarious experiences: 

In the spring of 1850, a colony of Mormons left Council Bluffs as a 
reinforcement to Brigham Young, who had already established him- 

19. The change of name was not made at once after the purchase. As 
late as January 17, 1866, the Nebraska Herald at Plattsmouth acknowledged 
the receipt of a copy of the Kearney Herald published by Leigh R. Freeman 
at Fort Kearney. 

20. Letter from Moses H. Sydenham to Lincoln (Nebraska) State Journal, 
March 6, 1906. 

In another letter quoted in Root and Connelley's The Overland Stage to 
California, Sydenham said: 

"Leigh R. Freeman came to Fort Kearney about the year 1864 or 1865, 
just after the war was over: for he had been an operator (telegraph) within 
the Confederate lines, and he and his brother were Democrats of the strong- 
est secessionist type — Freeman came to take charge of the telegraph office 
at Fort Kearney. He was not even a printer and had no press or type 
whatever (when he came). Before he came to Fort Kearney, I had sold my 
press and printing outfit to Seth P. Mobley of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, 
who purchased it to do some printing for the army and publish a paper 
besides. L. R. Freeman purchased the outfit of Mobley and then started his 
paper, The Frontier Index, which was published for a while at Fort Kearney 
and Kearney City and then started it along at the terminal stations of the 
Union Pacific railroad, for a time at Plum Creek, then at North Platte and 
then at Julesburg, Laramie, etc. until he finally stopped at Butte, Montana." 

21. Jacobucci, op. cit. 

22. Edmunds, op. cit., pp. 195-198. 


self at Salt Lake City. With this party was J. E. Johnson, who had 
with him a small army press and a few fonts of type. He and some 
of his friends settled temporarily on Wood River, a tributary of the 
Platte, . . . and during the stay of the party, Johnson begim [sic] the 
publication of a paper. The Indians were found to be hostile and 
drove them on to the American Mecca. The printing outfit was 
abandoned and knocked into pi, but Legh R. Freeman coming along 
gathered up what was left and by whittling out with a jack-knife the 
missing pieces, began the publication of the Frontier-Index in the Fort 
Kearney garrison. The printers were detailed from the ranks of the 
army; the devil was a drummer boy; the imposing stone was made of a 
two inch oak plank obtained from the Quartermaster's Department 
and the ink stone was presented by the Government painter who had 
used it in grinding and mixing paints. Quarters were set apart by the 
Secretary of War for this first printing office that ever crossed the 
Missouri above St. Louis. The principal patronage came from the 
military posts, and as outfitting towns sprang up at Omaha, Platts- 
mouth, Nebraska City and Leavenworth, the business men of those 
places found use for advertising space.^-'- 

Legh did not say when he actually began printing newspapers 
although throughout his lifetime, he talked in terms of 1850 as the 
beginning of the Index and of his own career in newspapering. In 
1850, Legh Freeman was eight years old. His brother Fred con- 
sidered May, 1866, as the birthdate of the Index, a much more 
realistic figure.-^ "It was published on an old time handroller 

23. Legh R. Freeman, "Notes on Pioneer Printing and Newspaper Pub- 
lishing in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana," 33rd anni- 
versary story in Butte City Union Freeman, June 24, 1883, from McMurtrie, 
The History of the Frontier-Index, the Ogden Freeman, The Inter mountains 
Freeman and the Union Freeman, (Evanston, 111.: 1943) pp. 7-8. 

Legh Freeman wrote similarly about the founding of the Index in the 
June 19, 1877, anniversary issue of his Ogden Freeman, reprinted in J. Cecil 
Alter, Early Utah Journalism, (Salt Lake City: Utah Historical Society, 
1938) p. 155. 

Other versions of the founding of the Index were given by Hubert 
Bancroft. History of Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, (San Francisco: 
1890) p. 532; and McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Wyoming," op. cit., 
p. 737. See also: Samuel A. Bristol, "Newspaper Press of Wyoming," dated 
1884, eight page manuscript in Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. 

24. Jacobucci found in his research in 1937 that the Freemans published 
the Kearney Herald as early as January 6, 1866. A copy bearing that date, 
owned by the family of General Henry B. Carrington, was marked Volume 
1, Number 2 and listed Legh R. Freeman as publisher. In a reader adver- 
tisement in that issue. Freeman advised the public: 

"Persons wishing to obtain the earliest telegraphic accounts of the pro- 
ceedings of the United States Congi-ess, the Legislature of Nebraska; the 
progress of the Mexican and Chilian wars, and other excitable news, should 
subscribe at once to the Kearney Herald, which will furnish all items of 
importance at least two days in advance of any other means of intelligence. 
The outfitters of the Missouri River cities will find it greatly to their interest 
to advertise in the Herald, as all freighters and passengers buy it. For sale 
at the Post-Office of the City and Garrison, the Stage Office, and the 
Pacific Telegraph Office." ("Across the Plains with Bridger as Guide," by 


press, which had been abandoned by General Jos. E. Johnston 
[sic], who prior to 1861 was in command of the United States 
troops in the far western territories,"-^ Fred recalled. With Legh 
spreading misinformation such as the 1850 founding date, there is 
little wonder that sources place the Freemans in such places as 
Montana in 1885 and Washington in 1855. 


About the time the Freemans took over the Kearney Herald, the 
Union Pacific was starting its westward expansion from near 
Omaha. The rapidity with which the rails were laid amazed the 
world; for example, by the end of 1866, after a year of construc- 
tion, the steel had reached North Platte, 300 miles west of Omaha. 
The huge crews hired by the grading contractors, plus the saloon 
keepers, prostitutes and gamblers who pandered after the crews, 
made up mobile towns whose life expectancies were from four to 
five months. The Frontier Index, seeing a fast dollar to be made, 
became the organ of these moving towns. 

As soon as the railroad reached Kearney City, it was obvious to 
the Freemans that profit lay in sticking with the railroad. No 
longer a struggling little sheet depending on the few merchants 
around the fort for business, the Freeman newspaper began doing a 
boom business in advertising and job printing for firms as far away 
as Omaha. When the Union Pacific pushed beyond Kearney City, 
the traveling town had two new citizens — the Freeman brothers. 
Jacobucci said of the Freemans' departure from Kearney City in 
the fall of 1866: 

The publishers (Freemans) were astute enough not to try to set up 
their newspaper at some grading camp on the plains, where money 
flowed freely, but mostly into the grabbing hands of gamblers and 
sporting house proprietors. Instead, Legh and Fred headed their ox 
teams for North Platte, Nebraska, already designated as the winter 
terminus of the Union Pacific and already inhabited by four thousand 
adventurers who were throwing together tent-houses to be prepared 
for the booming business of winter, when construction would be 
slowed if not halted by prairie blizzards. 2« 

On their way to North Platte, the Index wagon train was held up 
but, according to Fred Freeman, "when the raiders found that the 
freight was only a printing outfit, they left in disgust."^^ 

Henry B. Carrington Scribner's Magazine, Vol. 85, No. 66 January 1929). 
See also: Jacobucci, "The Frontier Index," chapter manuscript proposed for 
book on Wyoming journalism, never published, Jacobucci Files, University 
of Wyoming Library. 

25. Unpublished manuscript by Fred K. Freeman written for James 
Melvin Lee, New York University, October 1916. Original in Hebard 
Room, University of Wyoming Library. 

26. Jacobucci, "The Frontier Index," op. cit. 

27. Unpublished manucript by Fred K. Freeman, op. cit. 


Business was just as brisk in North Platte — as long as the town 
lasted. The Index was very successful printing small circulars and 
charging $20 per 100 words. In fact, business was so good a new 
Washington hand-press was substituted for the older roller press. 
Once the work was finished to and beyond North Platte, the city 
was depopulated within 48 hours. The new inhabitants moved on 
to the next terminus, Julesburg, in the northeastern comer of what 
is now Colorado, the Index being the first enterprise to reach that 
town in January, 1867, Legh Freeman told of the shift from North 
Platte to Julesburg: 

One day it [the Index} printed the outside of the paper in North Platte 
City, dating it Julesburg, then the outfit was put aboard of the cars and 
after being transported 100 miles, was set out on the greensward of the 
unbroken prairie, a set of tarpaulins stretched over, the locals rustled 
up, and Julesburg had her paper the same day the outside had been 
printed 100 miles away.-*^ 

The earliest extant copy of J^ke Frontier Index was published at 
Julesburg, July 26, 1867. (Now on display at Union Pacific 
Historical Museum in Omaha. ) A note on page three of this issue, 
which was printed on grocer's wrapping paper, apologized that 
"The Index is one day behind time, on account of waiting for our 
paper to come, but we are at last disappointed, and compelled to 
issue on brown wrapping paper."-^ Right under that item, the 
Freemans announced that subscribers would find their papers in 
the post office because "the boys are too negligent to be trusted as 

Two other notes in the Julesburg paper point out the acquisitive- 
ness on the part of the publishers as weU as their exaggerated sense 
of humor: 

The U.P.R.R. dumped out several car loads of coal last evening in 
front of our office, which is now readily retailing at three dollars per 


The weather has been so hot for the past week that the thermometer 
had to be lengthened for the mercury to run up. It has ranged from 
120 to 126 in the 

Next stop for the peripatetic Index was Fort Sanders, Dakota 
Territory, a garrison located between Laramie and Cheyenne. 
McMurtrie and others^- have made the statement that the Index 

28. Legh R. Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

29. The Frontier Index, July 26, 1867, p. 3. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Ibid. 

32. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Wyoming," op. cit., p. 734. 


published at Cheyenne for a short time in the summer of 1867, but 
Jacobucci refuted that claim with considerable evidence : 

On October 2, 1867, appeared the item in the Daily Denver Gazette 
which was evidently the basis for McMurtrie's assumption that the 
Index was printed at Cheyenne: 'From the Julesburg Index we extract 
the following line: "The Frontier Index rolls on to Cheyenne tomor- 
row." ' Whether the Freemans intended at that time to stop at Chey- 
enne cannot be said, but three things make it seem fairly certain that 
they did not issue the Index there, nor at any place between Julesburg 
and Fort Sanders. First, no mention of its being published in Chey- 
enne is made in Tlie Cheyenne Leader. . . . Files of the Leader in the 
Wyoming State Library are almost complete from the first issue 
[September 19, 1867] and a careful search failed to reveal any item 
in reference to the Index as being published in Cheyenne, although the 
Leader frequently has paragraphs about other Cheyenne newspapers, — 
the Argus and the Rocky Mountain Star — including news of their 
establishment later in the fall of 1867. Second, the Leader does men- 
tion the Index's passing through Cheyenne. The following is from the 
issue of November 2, 1867: 'Mr. F. R. \sicli Freeman, of the Frontier 
Index, is in town, on his way to Fort Sanders. He leaves, with his 
press, in a few days. We shall be glad to welcome the Index.'' Refer- 
ences to The Frontier Index as a Fort Sanders publication are frequent 
in later issues of the Leader. Thii'd, Legh Freeman never mentioned 
Cheyenne as a stopping place of the Index. Both in items in late 
issues of the Index and in his letter to C. G. Coutant he refers to the 
Index's being published at 'Kearney, North Platte, Julesburg, Fort 
Sanders . . . ,' Cheyenne being in every instance omitted. ^^ 

Because issues of the Index from July 26, 1867, to March 6, 
1868, do not exist, one has to rely on items in regional newspapers 
for a record of the Index whereabouts. The Cpteyenne Leader in 
December-''^ reported that the Index "has resumed publication at 
Fort Sanders, forty miles west of Cheyenne"; the Daily Denver 
Gazette^^ during the same month quoted the Index of December 
24: "Our exchanges will please address the Index at Fort Sanders. 
Remember, we are on wheels — fifty miles west of Cheyenne." 
Nearly a month later, the Leadet^^ said that the Index was planning 

33. Jacobucci, "The Frontier Index," op. cit. See also: McMurtrie, 
Early Printing in Wyoming and the Black Hills," op. cit. 

N. A. Baker, founder of The Cheyenne Leader, agreed that the paper left 
Julesburg destined for Fort Sanders but his information must be scrutinized 
carefully because he also did not remember the paper ever having published 
at Laramie City: 

"The next stopping place (after Julesburg) was Fort Sanders — a short 
distance east of Laramie City. I have no knowledge of the 'Index' noted 
ever being in Laramie City . . . Fort Steele, was the next point of venture 
for the 'Index' — close to Benton. Benton was a 'red-hot' town in those days, 
succeeded only a brief time later by the town of Rawlins." (Letter from 
N. A. Baker to Grace Raymond Hebard, October 25, 1928. In Jacobucci 
Files, University of Wyoming Library.) 

34. The Cheyenne Leader, December 21, 1867. 

35. Daily Denver Gazette, December 31, 1867. 

36. The Cheyenne Leader, January 27, 1868. 


to open a branch printing office at the Sweetwater mines in western 
Wyoming, with the "stem" remaining in Fort Sanders. 


Apparently the Freemans wasted no time in boasting Fort 
Sanders as the metropohs of the West; in fact, their first issue there 
in December, 1867, is said to have contained a "verbose and 
sanguinary prophecy on the future of Fort Sanders.""' It was here 
too that the Cheyenne newspapers and the Index started their 
epithet-filled exchanges as to which town was the better — Chey- 
enne or any town the Freemans boasted. An example: 

The Frontier Index says Cheyenne will have to 'cave' to Fort Sanders, 
and that there is 'three or four thousand men' in that neighborhood. 
Pshaw! we've got three or four thousand babies in Cheyenne and 
aduhs in proportion. Dry upl'^*< 

By February, 1868, the Cheyenne newspapers were so wearied 
by the exaggerations of the Index that they referred to the paper as 
"the munchausen organ at Fort Sanders"^^ and used Index promo- 
tion articles as pieces of humor in their own papers. 

But it could not be denied that Fort Sanders did enjoy a great 
measure of prosperity in the spring of 1868 and so did the Index. 
As many as 14 and 15 of the paper's 24 columns were filled with 
advertising, in addition to a number of paid reader's notices. 

A sidelight to the Index story at Fort Sanders was Fred 
Freeman's account of a serious injury he sustained while moving 
the Index presses to that fort. It is presented here not only as part 
of the newspaper's history but more importantly as an example of 
the Freemans' method of showing themselves as heroes. 

The Frontier Index with all its paraphernalia was transported over the 
Black Flills Range in three large wagons, 6 mule teams, to its new 
destination in charge of the senior proprietor, F. K. Freeman. ... A 
serious accident happened to F. K. Freeman on the descent of the 
mountain. . . . He was riding horseback wrapped in heavy winter 
clothing and furs, the thermometer 20 degrees below zero, when he 
noticed an empty carriage attached to his rear loaded wagon had 
become uncoupled. ... He halted the teamsters and told them to 
hurry back and make fast the empty vehicle. While they were busy 
recoupling, the front team started to move on. Mr. Freeman, numb 
and chilled from the cold, dismounted from his horse, ran to the front 
of the moving team, caught hold of the bridle reins of the off leader. 
. . . The sudden check frightened him, causing him to rear up and 
throw Mr. Freeman on his face under the mule's feet. The wagon 
containing 6700 pounds of castings and machinery passed over his 

37. Jacobucci, "The Frontier Index," op. cit. p. 9. 

38. The Cheyenne Leader, December 27, 1867. Quoted in Jacobucci, 
"The Frontier Index," op. cit. 

39. The Cheyenne Leader, February 26, 1868. 


shoulders, rendering him for the moment unconscious. He regained 
his senses . . . and told the men to put him in one of the wagons, 
ordering the rear teamster to mount his horse and ride full speed down 
the mountain to Fort Sanders . . . , and ask the Army Surgeon there 
to send an ambulance and hospital steward post haste to meet the 
wagon train before night. All of this country at that time was infested 
with hostile Indian tribes. [Upon reaching the fort Freeman was 
examined at which time he told the doctor that when the wagon rolled 
over him, he heard his shoulder blades and other bones crack. Upon 
closer examination, it was found those weren't bones cracking but his 
hairbrush, pencils, watch, toothbrush and comb which hade been in his 
shirt pocket.] . . . He could not move his head and other portions of 
the body for two months . . . during that time he read his obituaries 
and a number of lengthy eulogies in the Denver, Salt Lake, Virginia 
City . . . and other western papers. ... He wrote his editorials and 
copy from day to day in bed. . . .^*^ 

Other than the reports m area newspapers already mentioned, 
knowledge of the Freemans' pubhshing exploits in Fort Sanders is 
limited to two extant copies of the Index from that stopping place.*^ 
On March 6, 1868, the Index discussed what later seemed to be an 
imaginary dream city of Legh's — Freemansburg, Arizona : 

Freemansburg will be a charming refuge for all oppressed nonradical 
Americans. It is destined to be one of the principal cities of the great 



The new power press for the Freemansburg paper has been ordered, 
and will soon be on the road to Arizona. It will be one of the most 
complete printing offices between Chicago and San Francisco.'*^ 

The March 24, 1868, Fort Sanders edition of the Index was quite 
similar in its promotions of Freemansburg, a city that materiahzed 
"no further than the glowing and reaUstic dreams of Legh and Fred 
Freeman." Jacobucci, in his attempts to locate Freemansburg, 

The Arizona State Historian has no record of any actual settlement 
and the standard works on the Colorado River do not mention this 

40. Unpublished manuscript by Fred K. Freeman, op. cit. 

41. The Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California, has the following issues 
of the Index, which have been microfilmed and are available in that format 
at the University of Wyoming Library: 

Julesburg: July 26, 1867; Fort Sanders, Dakota Territory: March 6 and 

24, 1868; Laramie Citv, Dakota Territory: April 21 and 28, May 5, 19, 22, 
26, 29, June 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 30, July 3, 7, 1868; Green River City, 
Utah Territory: August 11, 18, 21, 25, 28, September 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 

25, 29, October 2, 6, 9, 13, 1868; Bear River City, Wyoming: October 30, 
November 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 1868. The special Laramie City Edition of July 
21, 1868, has been reprinted and numerous copies available. Author of this 
paper has a reprint in his files. All of above issues have been read carefully 
by author of this paper. 

42. The Frontier Index. March 6, 1868, pp. 2, 3. 


dream metropolis. Actually, steam navigation for any distance up the 
Colorado River was never practical.-*^ 

Both Fort Sanders issues were devoted also to discounting 
rumors and stories that were derogatory of Laramie City, the city 
they knew would be their next destination. An editorial in the 
March 24 issue, for example, warned citizens that land buyers were 
spreading the rumor that Laramie lacked any minerals of worth, 
thereby hoping to get the land for low prices. "Do not sacrifice 
your property for a whistle," the Index counseled. 

Because The Frontier Index, as most western newspapers, de- 
pended heavily upon exchange newspapers for outside news, it was 
little wonder that Fred Freeman would write in the March 24 

Editors get their exchanges for their own use and not to be carried 
away by persons too stingy to subscribe for a paper themselves. Ex- 
changes are to an editor what any other sort of material is to any sort 
of mechanic, and like all good mechanics, he likes to have his material 
convenient for use at any moment he desires to use it.^^ 

Despite the paper's praise for Laramie, the Index preferred to 
remain at Fort Sanders apparently, not arriving in Laramie until 
the rails had passed that city. The Freemans and Index were in 
reality booted out of Fort Sanders by the commandant, a General 

43. Jacobucci, 'The Frontier Index," op. cit., pp. 12-13. 

In her letter to Jacobucci, Elizabeth Toohey, historian of Arizona State 
House (undated) said: 

"I think that we would be quite safe in saying that the town of Freemans- 
burg never materialized; at least we have no record of any settlement of 
that name." 

At the time, the Freemans thought they had a settlement though as 
revealed from this advertisement which ran in the Index regularly: 
"Freeman Bros., 
"Real Estate Agents, 

"Buy and sell real estate at the successive termini towns of the great 
railroads across the continent. Also, at Freemansburg, Arizona Territory, 
at the mouth of the Virgen River, the head of steam navigation on the 
Colorado River — the Mississippi of the West — from which railroads will 
soon diverge to every part of the mountain territories. It is supposed that 
Freemansburg will be the Capitol of the new Territory of Aztec. 

"Also agents for lands in the town and about the harbor of San Diego . . . 
where there is fourteen miles of deep wharfage in a harbor better protected, 
and entered with less difficulty during storms and fog, than San Francisco." 

44. The Frontier Index, March 24, 1868, p. 4. 

Other news sources the Freemans and any other Western editor tapped 
were mentioned by Myers: 

"An editor in any given town made it a point to find out what fellow 
residents were receiving informative letters from various quarters of Ae 
country. ... He also knew who were the magazine subscribers, and who 
had friends in the East who would forward new books." Myers, op, cit., 
p. 30. 


Gibbon.^' The editors said they were never afforded an explana- 
tion concerning their expulsion but they assumed it was because 
they had charged the general with being a North Carolina 'tar-heel' 
and southern sympathizer rather than the Grant man he thought 
himself to be. The Fremans' answer to this 'rumor' : 

Now who supposes that we would be so extremely foolhardy and 
self-sacrificing, in the midst of a despotic, radical republican adminis- 
tration of terror, while military government tyrannizes over three- 
fourths of the United States, as to say ought against or to impeach the 
politic principles of one of our soldier dignitaries! Not us! No sir! 
Life is sweet — the love of life would aione forbid the charge. We will 
not tell half of what we know until after Pendleton is put where Grant 
wants to be; then we will blow our long winded bazzoo to the sorrow 
of many a little tyrant. ^*> 

Claiming a fear of the government and pretending to be intim- 
idated to speak out, the Index nevertheless spent portions of the 
next month's issues lambasting the general with sarcastic remarks. 
In the June 2 issue the editors revealed that the general had con- 
verted their Fort Sanders office into a beer saloon, that he would 
eventually rent out back rooms of the ex-newspaper office for a 
billiard hall and that he grazed his flock of sheep on government 
land. "But if your stock dare to touch a sprig of government 
grass, it is penned up and you are fined big," the Index^"^ 

WTien newspapers as far away as Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago 
and Washington picked up the Index story on the general and 
emphasized his ownership of a beer saloon, the Index commented: 

TOO BAD, TOO BAD— . . . Now we insist upon having General G. 
let alone, he is running Uncle Sam's machine, and a 'poor white 
citizen' has no right to question his unchangeable edicts. He is sus- 
tained by the black radical 'powers that be' — his name is legion. . . .^s 

In the same issue, quoting the Rocky Mountain Herald as saying 
the "Frontier Index will Index Gen. Gibbon a httle closer than he 
thinks," the Freemans replied "No sir, miUtary and nigger radical- 
ism will not allow us 'poor white trash' to gainsay the actions of our 
soldier lords."^^ 

Persistent in their efforts to defame the general, as they were any 

45. According to Legh Freeman, the brothers had run into trouble with 
the military authorities at Fort Kearney as well: 

"Our press has always been remarkably bold and fearless in behalf of the 
right. At Fort Kearney, when the military attempted to muzzle it, we moved 
two miles to Kearny [sic] City, just beyond the reservation line, and bom- 
barded the fort." Legh Freeman, "Notes on printing . . . ," op. cit., p. 9. 

46. The Frontier Index, May 19, 1868, p. 3. 

47. Ibid., June 2, 1868, p. 3. 

48. Ibid.. June 5, 1868, p. 2. 

49. Ibid. 


time they set out to promote or demote, the editors in subsequent 
issues threatened to "make some body howl" when Pendleton "gets 
into the U.S. wagon,"^'' asked innocently "Don't you know you are 
liable to be shot or guillotined for daring to question the actions 
of a military officer of the United States?"^^ and predicted "The 
guillotine is ready for us, but needs oiling."^- 

Another Freeman dream vanished while the Index was at Fort 
Sanders. The brothers had planned a branch of the Index in the 
Sweetwater mining district near South Pass (Wyoming) but aban- 
doned the idea when the Sweetwater Mines,^^ another migratory 
newspaper, set up shop there January 27, 1868. 


As elsewhere, the Index prospered in Laramie too. From the 
first Laramie editions in April,^* 1868, until the Index moved on 
in July of the same year, the paper advertised wares and services of 
Cheyenne, Dale City (Dakota Territory), Omaha, Salt Lake, 
Chicago, Green River, North Platte and Denver merchants and 
professional men. On the circulation side. Freeman listed selling 
agents at Green River, Salt Lake City, Virginia City, San Francisco 
and St. George (Utah). In fact, most of the issues of the Index 
published in Wyoming showed an economic stability not found in 
most newspapers of the West at that time. In a Green River City 

50. Ibid., June 12, 1868, p. 3. 

51. /ft W., June 16, 1868, p. 2. 

52. Ibid., June 19, 1868, pp. 2, 3. 

53. For more on the Sweetwater Mines, see: Linford, op. cit., p. 278; 
The Sweetwater Mines: A Pioneer Wyoming Newspaper, Douglas C. 
McMurtrie (Minneapolis: privately printed, 1935) 6 pp.; Keen, op. cit., 
pp. 83-6; South Pass 1868: James Chisholm's Journal of the Wyoming Gold 
Rush. Lola Homsher, ed., (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1960) 
pp. 38, 42-43, 218, 234-235; Coutant, op. cit., p. 637; Jacobucci Files, Uni- 
versity of Wyoming Library; Jay Gurian, "Sweetwater Journalism and 
Western Myth," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 79-88; original 
issues of Mines in Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California; microfilm of same 
in University of Wyoming Library, Laramie. 

In the May 22, 1868, Index the Freemans commented on the birth of the 
Sweetwater Mines: 

"Who Got Up the Sweetwater Stampede? 

"Those who may evince a sufficient interest, can possibly catch an insight 
into these matters by ascertaining who were the real owners of the printing 
paraphernalia shipped from the Vedette office, to Fort Bridger, for the 
purpose of starting the Sweetwater Mines — not only the paper of the mine, 
but the unwarranted stampede, which has caused thousands of poor miners 
to exert themselves against all difficulties to reach the reported rich 
diggings. . . ." 

54. The first issue from Laramie City that survives is that for April 21, 
1868. The Cheyenne Leader of March 17, 1868, however indicated fiiat the 
Index was being published in Laramie by March, 1868. 


edition, the Freemans boasted a circulation of 15,000,^^ at the 
same time claiming to be "the official Democratic organ of Wyo- 
ming Territory, and of the mountain region generally."^^ When 
other newspapers of the West were hurting for a lack of news- 
print,^^ the Index wrote in a Laramie City edition : 

A SELL — There is a 'sell' going the rounds about the Index having to 
'suspend' on account of their supply of paper being exhausted, by a 
large 'chunk of human flesh, for mechanical purposes.' Suckers, don't 
you bite — it's a mistake — the Index has paper enough to last two 

Whereas most Western newspapers were forever pleading with 
subscribers to pay their way,^^ such admonitions do not appear in 
the available issues of the Index. A rare exception does not sound 
like the wolf-at-the-door pleas of numerous other publishers : 

Sometimes my letters — the effusion of a well developed cranium — are 
botched up by plug typos. The reason the Frontier Index employs 
such typos, is that you sent your advertisements and subscriptions 
with remittances for one term, only, and haven't renewed the 
puteralinelum. Be more prompt in payment, and you'll get the 
benefit of my talent. . . .6« 

The following paragraph is more in keeping with the style the 

55. The 15,000 circulation figure would have to be another figment of 
Freeman's imagination, especially in light of the fact that the Los Angeles 
Star in 1873 had only 500 subscribers, the Houston Age in the same year, 
325 and The Cheyenne Leader, 280. In fact, a circulation of 15,000 in the 
1 860s would have placed the Index among the largest papers in the nation. 

56. The Frontier Index, August 25, 1868, p. 2. 

57. For example, Dtseret News of Salt Lake, started its life with this 

"Rags! Rags!! Rags!!! Save your rags. Everybody in Deseret, save 
your rags; old wagon covers, tents, quilts, shirts, etc., etc., are wanted for 
paper. The most efficient measures are in progress to put a paper mill in 
operation the coming season in this valley and all your rags will be wanted." 
Alter, op. cit., p. 281. 

58. The Frontier Index, June 23, 1868, p. 2. 

59. Some of the more interesting are: 

"ITie postal law makes it larceny to take a paper and refuse to pay for it." 
The Big Horn Sentinel (Buffalo, Wyoming), July 30, 1887, p. 3. 

"Some women knead dough with gloves on; if (paid) subscriptions don't 
come in faster, I will need dough without anything on." Molson (Wash- 
ington) Leader, in Myers, op. cit., p. 54. 

"We will take money, bonds, bills, cast off clothing, or anything else 
animate or inanimate in exchange for our newspaper efforts." Flagstaff 
(Arizona) Sun-Democrat, in Myers, op. cit., p. 56. 

"Plea, bring cheese, corn, butter, etc., to pay for subscription." Deseret 
News, June 15, 1850 

For other examples, see: Alter, op. cit.; Early Printing in Colorado, 
Douglas C. McMurtrie and Albert Allen (Denver: A. B. Hirschfeld Press, 

60. The Frontier Index, May 26, 1868, p. 1. 


Freemans used in dealing with subscribers and potential sub- 
scribers : 

Any young lady who will send us a club of six new subscribers, we will 
either marry her ourself. or use our prevailing endeavors on the young 
man of her choice. We have blank licenses on hand for the purpose 
already signed. Nothing to do but call on the parson.^^i 

An important advertisement used in every issue of the Index 
after May 22, 1 868, not only boasted about the paper's circulation 
and advertising revenue but also set down the Index's editorial 
policy. It is printed here in full because the Freeman brothers' 
many prejudices show through so plainly : 

TO ADVERTISERS! The Frontier Index. Established 1865. The 
pioneer paper of the Plains — of the successive terminal towns of the 
Union Pacific Railroad — as the gigantic continental thoroughfare pro- 
gresses westward: And of the Territory of Wyoming!! 
Our travelling correspondents and agents have extended the circulation 
throughout Montana, Idaho, Utah, Aztec, Arizona, California, Nevada, 
Wyoming, Dakota, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, 
Nebraska, Kansas and the East and South!!! 

It is to be found in the reading rooms of every ranch throughout the 

It is the only 'Gentile' paper that is conducted in such a conciliatory 
manner as to have secured a general circulation among the wide-spread 
business element of the Mormons!!!!! 

It does not advocate sending an army of 'Spoonies' to plunder and lay 
waste the peaceful mountain homes — ravish the women; and entail 
starvation upon the orphaned children of an harmonious brother- 
hood — a brotherhood which has converted a savage sage brush desert 
into the happiest community in America!!'!:! 

As the emblem of American Liberty, the Frontier Index is now 
perched upon the summit of the Rocky Mountains; flaps its wings over 
the Great West, and screams forth in thunder and lightning tones, 
the principals [sic] of the unterrified anti-Nigger, anti-Chinese, anti- 
Indian party — Masonic Democracy!!!!!!*'^ 

Among the advertisers, one might guess from the praise for the 
Mormons in the above statement, was Brigham Young. Fred 
Freeman met with the "cordial and friendly" spiritual leader in the 
spring of 1868 and claimed he came away with a "big subscription 
list and extensive advertising contract."^^ 

It is very likely that the Freemans' "Business on Wheels" enter- 
prises, plus their Frontier Hotel in Laramie, had something to do 
with the Index's financial security. The hotel was among 500 
buildings that sprang up in a period of two weeks in Laramie, 
"chiefly devoted to the more gaudy types of sin and pleasure."^* 
Laramie roared for awhile but as early as June 30, 1868, after the 

6L The Frontier Index, June 16, 1868, p. 3. 

62. Ibid., May 22, 1868, pp. 1, 2. 

63. Unpublished manuscript by Fred K. Freeman, op. cit. 

64. McMurtrie, "Pioneer printing in Wyoming," op. cit., p. 734. 


railroad crews had passed beyond the town, The Cheyenne Leader 
commented "all that remains of Laramie is a cast-off undershirt, an 
empty bottle and The Frontier Index." 

While at Laramie, the Index was edited by Fred Freeman, Legh 
still acting as roving correspondent, filing letters from "Eastern 
Terminus Central Pacific Railroad, Nevada," "Argenta, Nevada," 
"San Pedro to San Francisco, California," and of course, "Free- 
mansburg, Aztec Ter., Sanctum of the American Libertarian." In 
most of his letters, he compared wherever he was with Laramie 
and the latter city always came out the better. It was during the 
spring of 1868 that many of his dispatches were signed "Horatio 
Vattel, General in Chief, and editor of the official organ of the 
armies of Masonic Democracy," a name he claimed was given to 
him by phrenologists in Nevada. 

Fred Freeman, meanwhile, kept up a steady barrage against the 
Cheyenne newspapers and any other detractors from his belief that 
Laramie would become the halfway metropolis between Salt Lake 
and Omaha. He pointed out that 1,000 lots had been bought in 
Laramie during the first week of settlement and as one of his 
headlines proclaimed: 

The People are on Tip-toe!/The Contract is Let for Machine/Shops, 
Blacksmith Shops, and/Round Houses at Laramie/City./Unequalled 
Water Power! /Water-Works in Progress!/THE TOWN^^ 

On other occasions he predicted that "six months hence, Shian 
will be composed of two saloons, two dance houses — and another 
saloon,"^* that Cheyenne will "always be a stirring little-village, but 
it can never become a town"^^ because it was too near Laramie and 
that the Leader, Star and Argus would in less than three months 
"be left out on the prairie, and will constitute the whole of what 
was once known as Shian I"*'^ 

Continually emphasizing it was on wheels, the Index said in a 
May, 1868, issue: 

The Shian Leader is having a spell of cat fits, because the 'press on 
wheels' is moveable, while the Leader, Argus and Star are 'dead 
stationary!' The Leader is inclined towards the blues. Shian don't 
afford it pap enough to keep it from whining. Poor Leaderl it has got 
to be the leader of the 'hind end.' What a pity it is that Brigham 
Young won't have mercy on the Shian squibs, and build them up 
another 'magic city.'^^ 

All the time he was praising Laramie, Fred was also making 
plans to move on to North Platte Crossing, 100 miles west of 
Laramie, where a portable tent printing business was to be set up. 

65. The Frontier Index, April 28, 1868, p. 3. 

66. Ibid. 

67. The Frontier Index, May 5, 1868, pp. 2-3. 

68. Ibid. 


The Laramie Index was to remain "until the next terminus is 
located; and if the people desire a live paper we will give them a 
permanent office (in Laramie)."^*' In the June 5, 1868, Index, 
Fred announced the Freemans would add a printing office to North 
Platte Crossing's "sixty outfitting houses, ten dance haUs and two 
hundred saloons,""^ 

Although the June 1 6 Index stated a part of the "Frontier Index 
shebang" had already gone to North Platte Crossing, by the time 
of the next issue, three days later, the Freemans had decided against 
this town as a stopping place. An advertisement in the June 19 
Index asked for two good teams to transport the paper's printing 
operations from North Platte Crossing to Green River City. 

Fred's importance to the Index can be gauged by looking at the 
four issues of the paper from June 23 to July 7, 1868, a period 
when Fred had gone back East "to visit the scenes of his child- 
hood"^^ — and attend the National Democratic Convention, inci- 
dentally. During his absence, the Index was made up of filler 
material, tail tales, Shakespearean stories and other items lifted 
from books or exchange newspapers. 

Jacobucci claimed^^ the Freemans published two editions during 
July and part of August, 1868, one in Benton, "one of the wildest 
stopping places of 'Hell on Wheels,' " and the other in Laramie. 
Letters written in later years by Legh Freeman and an item^^ in the 
Green River City Index of August 11, 1 868, verified that the Index 
published at Benton but no copies survive that place. A copy of 
the Laramie City edition of that period has been preserved, how- 
ever. It is a four page issue containing three columns and measur- 
ing seven by eleven inches as compared to the regular editions of 
fifteen by nineteen. Dated July 21, 1868, this miniature version of 
the Index carried an explanation that "our paper will be issued in 
the shape of to-day's sheet until the main office opens up at Green 
River City 250 miles west of here."^^ Apparently the Index 

69. Ibid., May 29, 1868. 

70. Ibid., June 2, 1868, p. 2. 

71. 76 W., Junes, 1868, p. 3. 

72. Ibid., June 23, 1868, p. 2. 

73. Jacobucci, "The Frontier Index," op. cit. 

"When the main part of the printing plant started west, Fred had re- 
mained in Laramie with a job press and some other printing materials and 
issued in reduced size The Frontier Index — Laramie City Edition. . . . Soon 
after Fred . . . packed up the remainder of the Index's plant and moved on to 
Benton where he issued the 'Benton Edition' — probably in the same style as 
the smaller Laramie edition. Legh had gone on to Green River City by 
wagon with the larger part of the printing plant, stopping at Benton only 
overnight to transfer the equipment from cars to wagons." Ibid. 

74. The item stated: "Business was so lively that we telegraphed the 
Laramie edition of our paper, to wheel at once to Benton, and we since learn 
that our new power press is threshing out the work there." 

75. The Frontier Index — Laramie City Edition, July 21, 1868. 


appeared, or announced its intention to appear, in this mini-format 
before July 21; The Cheyenne Leader of July 18 said: "The inter- 
mittent Index is reduced to three columns in size, and is now on a 
wheelbarrow bound for Salt Creek, via Green River."'^ 

While at Green River City, the Index reported, "Freeman and 
Bro., are fitting up a new printing office in Laramie City, for 
another Democratic paper edited after the style of the Frontier 
Index,"""' but such a project apparently did not get off the ground. 

In an inaugural editorial at Green River City, the Freemans 
asked the city's 2,000 residents to give the paper their liberal sup- 
port and "you shall never lack a liberal supporter."^** "Liberal 
support" included heeding messages such as, "Mark this — For 
every thirty dollars mailed to us, from beyond the limits of Wyo- 
ming Territory, we will send six copies of the Frontier Index, to 
one address, for one year,"^^ or "Notices in this column ["Local 
Affairs"] twenty-five cents per line — they ^ are worth half a dozen 
notices in any other part of the paper."^" Forever selling the 
Index, Legh, when a stray bullet from a barroom scuffle almost 
sent him to boot hill, used the occasion to point out the Index's 
popularity : 

We are requested to state that the man who came within a foot of 
sending a random ball through our liver last Monday night was not 
big Jack O'Neil but little Jack O'Neil. We knew we were correct in 
stating that the violator of the city ordinance against discharging 
firearms within the city limits was Jack O'Neil; and we have to boast 
that we have never had to retract, correct or explain away any asser- 
tion made in this paper. The people know it; reference to our files 
will show it. This is one of the features that constantly increase the 
popularity of the Froitier Indexfi^ 

(index practices did not deviate while the paper was encamped 
at Green River City: the paper emphasized Green River City as a 
great place to do business while at the same time keeping an eye 
on Bryan City and Bear River City as more lucrative terminus 
towns; it still attacked other newspapers; still pushed Laramie, this 
time as the state capitol; and still threw epithets at unfavorable 

Taking the place of The Cheyenne Leader as newspaper enemy 
number one in the Index book was the Sweetwater Mines, tempor- 
arily published at South Pass City, Wyoming: 

Bonus Bummers — ^The good people of Green River City complain that 
there is a printing machine back in the hills about Sweetwater, which 

76. The Cheyenne Leader, July 18, 1868, p. 4. 

77. The Frontier Index, September 8, 1868, p. 1. 

78. Ibid., August 11, 1868, p. 2. 

79. Ibid., September 8, 1868, p. 3. 

80. Ibid., August 18, 1868, p. 2. 

81. Ibid., October 2, 1868, p. 3. 


has had an agent here for some weeks, appealing to the liberality of 
Western men to give them a bonus in order that they may move down 
here. The Sweetwaterites who have become citizens of Green River 
City say that they shoveled the way for the Mines into South Pass City 
last winter, that a petition was then handed around for contributions 
to build the machine a shebang; this they declined to do, and further- 
more decline to shovel the v/ay for the Mines back to this place or 
furnish them enough funds in advance to buy a new office. Our 
people are white people and they want no branch organs of the Salt 
Lake Military Vedette among them. If the Mines wanted to pioneer 
this country, it ought to have started with 'The Press on Wheels' 
several years ago. This is only the seventh railroad town that we have 
been at since we opened up at Kearney in '65 and we have never asked 
one cent of bonus. We expect to continue to give our patrons the 
worth of their money.""- 

Certain other newspapers didn't fare much better than the 
Mines. The Salt Lake Reporter was called a "low down skunk of 
perdition" ;^^ the Idaho Statesman, "the Chinese, Indian, African 
organ of Idaho Territory" ;^^ Sioux City Register, "the scum-skim- 
ming sheet" ;^" the "Cheyerme Weakly Star";^^ and the Index said 
of the Vedette, ". . . the devil editor of the Military Thumbpaper 
Reporter as he sneaks thru the back alleys of Salt Lake City, on his 
nocturnal mission in cleaning privies, commonly advertised by such 
gutter snipes as 'night work. . . .' "^^ 

As national and state elections grew nearer in the fall of 1868, 
the Index hammered away at "Useless Slaughter" and "Horse 
Useless Grant," and other candidates who became "sneaking, 
treacherous, hypocritical, two-faced, dough-headed liar and 
cheat,"^^ "the bleating, niggerized, mongrel and Judased Kidder,"^® 
"the asinine nonentity and low-bred ignoramus from 'Shian' with- 
out brains enough to make a speech of ten lines, void of gramatical 
[sic] errors."^^ Describing a political meeting of an opponent, the 
Index reported his audience consisted of "two negro barbers, three 
Chinese laundrymen, one Plymouth Rock Puritan and a few drunk- 
en tools who were hired to be around."^^ Surprisingly, the Index 
did not puff up Legh Freeman's campaign for Council that year. 

The Freemans exposed one candidate, the Republican nominee 
for delegate to Congress, as wanting to buy off the Index: 

Burleigh, the infamous ex-Indian agent, . . . who has enriched himself 

82. Ibid., August 11, 1868, p. 3. 

83. Ibid. 

84. Ibid., September 22, 1868, p. 2. 

85. Ibid., October 6, 1868, p. 2. 

86. Ibid., October 2, 1868, p. 3. 

87. Ibid., September 25, 1868, p. 3. 

88. Ibid., October 6, 1868, p. 2. 

89. Ibid. 

90. Ibid. 

91. Ibid., October 9, 1868, p. 2. 


by stealing Indian goods and receiving Congressional lands, has rushed 
over here with his pocket full of money and his heart full of cloaked 
infamy and tries to throw Gen. Todd, the regular Democratic nominee, 
off of the track by buying enough votes in Wyoming to elect him. He 
sent his striker Judge Ford, to Freeman to get him to sell out the 
Frontier Index and his own soul for the sum of fifteen hundred 
dollars. Freeman refused to recognize Ford, the renegade. . . .•'- 

The Index added that later Burleigh himself visited the Freemans 
and asked for the Index's "price." The Freemans requested a 
written bond for $1,500 to, as they put it, get "him in black and 
white and exhibit his paper on the stump," but the candidate 
"smelled a mice" and would only pay in cash which was refused. 

When the elections of 1868 went Republican, the Index head- 
lined, "Grant and Colfax elected/The Country Gone to Halifax." 

Politics played a key role in the Freemans' lives for decades — 
with the brothers either running for office, refusing offices or 
playing kingmakers. For example, one reads in the Laramie City 
Index^^ where Laramie citizens had petitioned the use of Fred 
Freeman's name for mayor (he declined "being a candidate for any 
office"). In one of Legh's letters later in life, he tells us he had 
been a member of two populist state conventions in Washington in 
1894 and 1896, had been a "prominent candidate for Congress; 
and only missed being made United States Senator by the last 
legislature [sic], by a Scratch."-*^ Legh was a candidate for the 
United States Senate again in 1910 and again was defeated. Other 
records showed that Fred had been a member of the Nebraska 
Territorial Council and when the territory became a state, he was 
elected state senator. QAt Bear River City, Fred was nominated for 
mayor but worked against the nomination. While at the same city, 
he was urged to accept the nomination for delegate to Congress 
from the new territory of Wyoming for a short term ending March, 
1869. He did not accept — this time because he thought he could 
not accomplish anything in such a short term of office. ] 


What was being said of the Index at this time? What was the 
news content of the itinerant journal? 

As has been brought out before. Rocky Mountain newspapers 
were not sparing in their criticisms of colleagues — The Frontier 
Index definitely not an exception. The Reveille (place of pubUca- 
tion unknown), is quoted in the Index of October 2, 1868, as 
saying of the Index: 

92. Ibid. 

93. Ibid.. May 5, 1868, p. 3. 

94. Letter to C. G. Coutant from Legh R. Freeman, April 26, 1897. In 
Jacobucci Files, University of Wyoming Library. 


That filthy rebel sheet. The Frontier Index, is always filled with 
ribaldry and gross abuse of the government or some of its agents. It 
seems to gloat and grow fat with the lowest biUingsgate it can com- 
mand in ministering to its vulgar appetite by pouring out abuse upon 
anything or any person who stood by our country in the time of her 
trial. From the tone of the Index we should judge the editor would 
make a good member of the Ku Klux Klan. . . . 

The Salt Lake Daily Reporter of September 12, 1868, said, ''The 
Frontier Index says it is the mouthpiece of Wyoming Democracy. 
We were mistaken, badly mistaken, as everyone is likely to be 
occasionally. We had come to the conclusion that the Index was 
the entire butt end of the Democracy of Wyoming!" 

Examining the contents of the Index, what stands out is the 
abundance of gossipy and sometimes trivial items, discussed here 
by another pioneer editor, Fred Hart of the Austin, Nevada, Reese 
River Reveille'. 

One day, while out in search of an item, I asked a fellow citizen 'what's 
the news?' 'Nothing startling,' he replied. Nothing startling! That 
man would never do for a newspaper reporter in a small interior town. 
Nothing startling indeed! Why, as he made that remark, two dogs 
were preparing articles for a prize fight right in front of his store; a 
wagon loaded with wood could be seen in the distance which was sure 
to pass his way, if something didn't break down. . . .^^ 

Here is a sampling of some of the "startling" events listed in the 
Index from time to time : 

CORRECTION — ^We stated in an issue of the Index, a week or two 
since, that Mr. Bill Summers, a well known ranchman of Little 
Laramie, had been killed in a personal difficulty at Wyoming. It was 
all a mistake; our informant begs to 'take it back.' Bill is as lively and 
jolly as ever. (We would have made the correction sooner, but 
thought his chances, as a citizen of Wyoming, for being 'knocked on 
the head' were pretty good, and concluded to wait a week and see if 
some body wouldn't confirm the reporter.) (May 29, 1868, p. 2) 

Three fist fights on the streets yesterday. No body kilt. 

(June 9, 1868, p. 3) 
One of the town's 'mollies' was on the rampage yesterday. She made 
the feathers fly — drunk as a 'fiddlers tincker.' She bawled and she 
squalled. Never before did we see the likes. (June 12, 1868, p. 3) 
One badger and fourteen dog fights in Laramie on Sunday last. 

(June 23, 1868, p. 2) 
John McCleary, who deals faro at Rounds and Morris lost $1600 the 
other night. (September 22, 1868, p. 3) 

The Siamese twins, Chang and Eng, are about to have a surgical 
operation performed in Paris which will separate the brothers from 
each other and from each other's wives. (July 21, 1868) 

Gen'l Jack Casement came near drowning, Wednesday last, by his 
horse falling in the swift channel, while aiding his men in driving 
stock across the river. The boys helped the Gen'l out. 

(July 21, 1868) 

95. Myers, op. cit., p. 26. 


Nearly every edition of the Index carried a lengthy letter on the 
West, written by either Legh or correspondent Chance Harris; 
short items of national news taken from the telegraph; local tidbits; 
exchanges from other newspapers; and considerable editorial com- 
ment, the latter more likely than not inserted into news stories. 

Although the business side of the newspaper has been treated 
already in this paper, it is necessary to point out here that the 
Index, while at Green River City, had some difficulty collecting job 
printing and advertising payments, giving rise to this notice: 

If we buy a shirt, hat or draft of you, we must pay for it. If we take 
a drink out of your bar, you take two bits out of our pocket. If we 
take a weed, you smoke us out of a quarter. Vice versa. If we give 
you a notice, you pat us on the back one, two or five dollars worth. . . . 
If you intend or want to go to kingdom come decently don't for God's 
sake try to bamboozle the editor of this paper into a gratis puff. 
Bamboozles are played, we're chuck full of them. Our stomack [sic} 
is weaK and no more will digest. We can't scratch your back unless 
you scratch ours. Advertise and you'll sleep well; pay us for writing, 
and you'll get rich; support the paper and you'll die happy, and 
suddenly, thereby saving a doctor's bill.'^*J 

In an effort to collect a job printing bill, the Index wrote that a 
"certain erratic firm" had better pay their bill or "we will publish 
the name in next Friday's issue" ;®^ and holding true to its promise, 
in the next Friday's issue, the name was given, advising other 
papers in the region: "Mountain papers pass him around."^^ 
Another threat appeared in the last edition at Green River City 
that "If the money for the biU of city printing is not handed in to 
this office in a day or two, the delinquent wiU get blown higher than 
Gilderoy's kite, in every issue of this paper, during the next 75 

The Freemans perpetually made the claim that they had inside 
information where the next winter headquarters of the railroad 
would be located. But it seems their inside sources misled them 
while they were stationed at Green River City. The Index 
published a number of Bryan City advertisements, stating that a 
great rush for that town had commenced and "It is supposed to be 
Sie Winter Terminus. "^°^ In fact, private citizens, including the 
Freemans, had laid out Green River City as the winter halting place 
and were quite surprised when the railroad went right beyond there 
"without paying the least attention to the enterprising town-lot 
speculators who expected to make money by forcing the company 

96. The Frontier Index, October 6, 1868, p. 2. 

97. Ibid., August 18, 1868, p. 3. 

98. Ibid., August 28, 1868, p. 3. 

99. Ibid., October 13, 1868, p. 3. 

100. Ibid., September 15, 1868, p. 3. 


to recognize the large town."^"^ In its first Green River City 
edition, the Index, again wrongly, predicted that: 

The company certainly intends to build round houses and machine 
shops here. This is a natural point. God Almighty made it so and 
the railroad company does not propose to unmake it.i^'- 

But the railroad did "unmake" it and Green River City was all 
but dead. By the middle of September, 1868, the Index saw the 
writing on the wall and announced, fairly accurately this time, "it 
will require but fifteen days more for the smoke to be ascending 
from the nostrils of the iron-hoofed horse at the metropolis of 
Green River.''^^' 

The next stop for the Index was not Bryan City, but Bear River 
City, destined to be the burial place for the Index. In an early 
Bear River City edition, the Freemans labelled their new home 
town "the liveUest city, if not the wickedest in America." Three 
weeks later tl^y probably believed very strongly that the city was 
the wickedest?) But more on that a Uttle later. 

Namecalling and editorial puffs adorned t^e pages of the first 
Index (October 30, 1868) at Bear River City. / Much was made of 
the activities in Bryan City of a "pusillanimous puke" who had 
failed to pay an Index advertising bill at Green River City and was 
now "bilking" residents of Bryan in real estate deals. (On the 
complimentary side. Bear River City became ". . . greatest coal 
and timber station on the Union Pacific," a town containing oil 
wells in its suburbs, "five of the most superior white si;lphur springs 
in America," and "a stratum of the purest fire-clay,"/ 

At Green River City, Legh Freeman began a relentless protest 
against the postal service, imploring in one issue : 

To the Benton, Fort Bridger, and Salt Lake City Postmasters — In the 
name of the Holy Mother of Moses, do look after our mail matter, 
and let us have a few more exchanges. 1*^4 

Before departing Green River, he applied for the postmaster's 
position at Bear River City so that he would "know that it is run 
properly for the benefit of the community, and that our own mails 
come and go regularh' "^^'^ Once appointed, Legh used the occa- 
sion to strike at Grant and the United States government: 

. . . Directly after taking the iron-clad oath we swallowed a dose of 
epsom salts, to work it off. Grant's term of office does not commence 
until March 4th, 1869, so we entertain no fears of being ousted 
during this winter.ioe 

lot. Coutant, op. cit., pp. 682-683. 

102. The Frontier Index, August 11, 1868. 

103. Quoted in Daily Denver Gazette, September 30, 1868. 

104. The Frontier Index, September 8, 1868, p. 3. 

105. Ibid., November 6, 1868, p. 3. 

106. Ibid. 


In the following issues, the new postmaster continually used his 
newspaper and government post to attack Wells Fargo as monop- 
olizers and poor carriers of the mail. For instance, he ended one 
story with "Marked copies of this issue [in which Index editorial- 
ized about Wells Fargo service], and others containing similar 
disclosures will reach the Postmaster General and his assistants, 
provided Wells, Fargo and Co. do not steal them out of the 
sacks."^"^ In still another issue, Legh's concern about the mailing 
of exchange newspapers made it apparent that possibly Wells Fargo 
was not to blame solely: 

To Exchanges. — We send you our papers so directed that you get it 
without detention from forwarding. We have stopped here for the 
winter. Will you be good enough to cease addressing us at our former 
places of publication — Kearney, North Platte, Julesburg, Fort Sanders, 
Laramie, Benton and Green River. . . A^'^ 

Politics were not slighted while the paper remained at Bear River 
City; once Legh was certain Grant had won the presidency, he 
advised his readers to prepare for the worst at the hands of "Grant, 
the whisky-bloated, squaw-ravishing adulterer, monkey-ridden, 
nigger-worshipping mogul."^"^ 


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

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

Wus ez free ez the clear mountain 

That was Bear River City. 

"Roughs stand no show," the Index bragged in its first number at 
Bear River City, immediately taking a stand against the "villains 
now prowling around our city."^^^ The Index fuurther stated, 
"The gang of garroters who were recently driven away from some 
of the lower railroad towns . . . had better go slow or they will find 
the place too hot for their vocation." Whether because of Index 
stories, we don't know, but by the time of the next issue, an "All 
Good Citizens" committee had formed and ordered "the gang of 
garroters . . * to vacate this city or hang within sixty hours from this 
noon."^^2 All of the lawless element did not heed the notice, 
however, even though the November 6 Index reported "most of the 
cut-throat gang ordered to leave have vamosed," there being only 

107. Ibid., November 13, 1868, p. 2. 

108. Ibid., p. 3. 

109. Ibid., p. 2. 

110. The complete poem, "The Fight at Bear Town," by Elizabeth Arnold 
Stone appeared in Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 186-189. 

111. The Frontier Index, October 30, 1868, p. 3. 

112. Ibid., November 3, 1868, p. 3. 


several left "who have the mark of the beast in their forehead."^^ 
Within a week the "All Good Citizens" committee decided words 
were not enough to curb the lawlessness and took action as reported 

Three Men Hung. — On Wednesday morning, the 11th inst., little 
Jack O'Neil, Jimmy Powers, and Jimmy Reed, three notorious rob- 
bers, were found hanging to a beam extending from an unfinished 
building. . . .^i^ 

A one man whispering campaign — launched by a debtor the 
Index had "advertised" for not paying for some job printing — 
accused Legh Freeman of being the "Chief of the Vigilantes," or 
better known as "All Good Citizens" committee, Legh replied: 

It has been whispered throughout this community that we are 'Chief 
of the Vigilantes.' We have never been connected with the vigilantes 
at any time, though we do heartily endorse their action in ridding the 
community of a set of creatures who are not worthy the name of 
men. . . . When such open and high handed acts as these are com- 
mitted every hour of the night or day, by men who follow murder and 
robbery for a livelihood, we not only justify the people in administer- 
ing a sure and speedy retribution, but we say that we are in favor of 
hanging several more who are now in our midst. It is well known 
that wherever we have sojourned in the Territories, we have opposed 
violence in any form, and given the common law priority, but when 
very fiends assume to run our place of publication, there are plenty of 
men who rather delight in doing the dirty work of hanging without us, 
as was evidenced Tuesday night, and as will be witnessed again if the 
ring leaders are foimd in town by midnight of this, Friday, November 
the 13th."5 

From this point on, the story is quite confused as there are no 
surviving copies of the Index in Bear River City after November 17. 
However, a first-hand account^^^ has it that on November 19, a 
gang of railroad graders became quite intoxicated in the city, at 
which time three of them were arrested. The Index came out the 
following day with its customary law and order pitch declaring Bear 
River City had "stood enough from the roudy [sic'] and criminal 
element and it was time to call a halt." Agitated by the Index 
statement, a mob of 200 graders hastily gathered, marched to the 
jail and released the prisoners. Fired with the success of this 
accomplishment, they then went for the editor of the Index. 
Alexander Toponce, a Bear River City meat contractor who took 
credit for Legh's escape, said: 

There was a mule standing ready saddled at the door of my tent and I 

113. Ibid., November 6, 1868, p. 3. 

114. Ibid., November 13, 1868. 

115. Ibid. 

116. Alexander Toponce who was a merchant in Bear River City at 
the time. In Reminiscences of Alexander Toponce, Pioneer, Alexander 
Toponce (Ogden: Published by Katie Toponce, 1923) pp. 167-170. 


jumped on him and raced down to the editor's tent. The crowd got 
to the front door as I got to the back of the tent. 1 cut a long slit in 
the back of the tent with my knife and got him out in the mule and he 

(Other accounts differ, of course. Chance Harris, Legh's assist- 
ant at Bear River City, related "at the time of the onslaught, the 
editors, very fortunately, were in another part of the city, or they 
would in all probability have been killed. "^^^ Harris' version of the 
escape appeared in The Deseret News, thusly: 

Mr. Harris was afterwards secured by the mob, but managed to escape 
by declaring that they were mistaken in the man, that he had nothing 
to do with the Index, but was cook at the Star Restaurant. Mr. 
Freeman was subsequently secured by the mob, who seemed deter- 
mined to kill him, but through the kind offices of Patsey Marley, the 
pugilist, he managed to make his escape and he and Mr. Harris, 
through the assistance of friends and a good disguise, succeeded in 
escaping from the city.i^^ \ 

A third interpretation written for The Cheyenne Leader, Novem- 
ber 20, 1868, said the graders attacked not because of a specific 
campaign on the Index's part, but: 

retaliating for injuries claimed to have been sustained by the operators 
of the shovel, by the execution of two or three notables recently at 
this city. . . . Our friend, Mr. Freeman, the editor, seems to have been 
absent from the office at this time, and a concerted movement with 
flaming torches was made against the sole progressive institution of 
which we can boast, encircling the building, the foremost spirits of the 
devilish clan entered and applied the match which soon created seeth- 
ing, serpent-like flames, enveloping the building and sealing the fate 
of the 'press on wheels' of Wyoming. The forms were made up and 
everything in readiness for going to press, this being the day of publi- 
cation of the journal. . . . The workmen, or attaches of the office, 
were restrained from recovering their apparel from the ill-fated office, 
with threats cast of being bound, if an attempt was made in that 
direction, and cast into the mass, to share the fate of the burning 
property. . . . The only attempts at personal violence were made 
against the persons of the editor of the Index and one of the police, 
who, it seems, was over zealous in the discharge of his duties before 
the melee became general. ^^'^ 

A Dr. Frank Harrison, physician for the construction crews. 

117. Ibid.,1^. 170. 

118. The Deseret News, weekly edition, November 25, 1868, p. 8. 

119. Ibid. 

120. Jacobucci felt all three stories suffered: Mrs. Stone's accoimt of 
Bear River City riot was based on the reminiscences in old age of Dr. Frank 
Harrison. "While Alexander Topence was an eyewitness to most of the 
riot, his account was written in his old age. Contemporary telegraphic 
dispatches were probably sent by an excited person who overestimated the 
number of persons killed. Although they agree in a general way, these 
three accounts of the Bear River fracas vary in many details." Jacobucci, 
"The Frontier Index," op. cit. 


gave this description of Legh Freeman's escape, be it via the back 
end of a tent or from another part of town: "He was traveling so 
fast you could have played checkers on his coattails."^^^ 

Legh himself remembered the incident a little differently and the 
reason for the bum-out very differently. He said the graders 
"besieged the office, gutted and sacked it . . . and threatened to 
bum us in it, and would undoubtedly have left nothing but a 
greasespot of our mortal remains, but not a milk-white steed con- 
veyed us to Fort Bridger."^22 jjg added that "the marble imposing 
stones were reduced to lime and the type ran down the hillside as a 
molten mass."^^'^ It was Legh who, later, spread the story that he 
was bumed out because of his real estate endeavors: 

And in the course of human events when we thought we had a right to 
lay out towns independent of the Credit Mobiiier [Union Pacific 
finance company] ring, we did so, and for this, and for exposing the 
frauds of that hydra-headed monster, its chief had a riot brought on 
us at daylight November 20, 1868, composed of several thousand 
graders, headed by cut-throats of the most desperate type who were 
paid $15,000 to head the mob. . . . Like an avenging nemesis, we 
proceeded to New York [after the riot], entered complaint against the 
Credit Mobiiier ring, for frauds perpetrated on the American people, 
had the directors arrested, their safe blown open and proved by the 
contents the charges we made, then carried the war into Africa, by 
bringing out the expose in Congress. . . . This done, we camped for a 
time at our coal mines in Wyoming, while the material was en route to 
rebuild the printing office at Ogden.i24 

Brother Fred also remembered it had been a business dispute 
that spurred the graders to bum out the Index, but he gave 
it a different twist from what Legh said. According to Fred, 
the conflict resulted over numerous coal mines owned by the 

. . . the construction company of the Union Pacific furnished them 
[the Freemans] with cars to transport the coal all along the com- 
pleted line of the road. They received fine prices for it, and were in 
possession of fabulous wealth, but when the Construction Company 
turned that portion of the road over to the U.P. Owners they, seeing 
that it was a great property, notified the discoverers to get off. . . . 
L. R. Freeman . . . was loath to give up the coal fields and tried to 
stand his ground. The U. P. Authorities forthwith called upon 1000 
railroad laborers . . . , made them drunk on bad whiskey, and incited 
them to burn the Frontier Index office. 125 

But, whereas Legh recalled bringing the business enemies to their 
knees in Congress, Fred said he and his brother had been advised 

121. Vinta County, Its Place in History, Elizabeth Arnold Stone, 
(Laramie: 1924) p. 84. 

122. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

123. The Union Freeman, June 24, 1883. 

124. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

125. Unpublished manuscript by Fred K. Freeman, op. cit. 


by a New York lawyer to abandon their fight, that the Union 
Pacific was the "biggest combined steal syndicate that had ever 
been known," and "that the company was stronger than the 

One must doubt Legh's claims on the basis of newspaper stories 
of the time which based the origins of the riot at the Index's law 
and order campaign. Also, the Index contains no exposes or even 
mentions of the Credit Mobilier and it would have been very unlike 
the Freemans to not mention the organization if it had been 
plaguing them before Bear River City. Finally, many of the bits 
of information in Legh's account of the investigation of Credit 
Mobilier just didn't happen as he said they did nor when he said 
they did. 

Jacobucci felt the only possible connection of land dealings with 
the Bear River riot lies in Freeman blasts at the Bryan City 
promoters. He said: 

There is the possibility that the 'pusillanimous puke' who 'bilked' per- 
sons with Bryan lots, or some other Bryan promoter, made his way 
to Bear River and took revenge on Freeman by participating in, not 
inciting or leading, the riot.^'^ 

But back to the Bear River City riot. After burning the Index, 
the gang entered the main part of town and burned the jail. A 
group of citizens, in the meantime, barricaded themselves in a 
grocery store and opened fire on the mob — killing anywhere from 
none to forty of them. Exaggerations abound here too: the first 
reports said 25 of the mob were dead, 50 or 60 wounded; Legh 
Freeman reported 40 dead to the Salt Lake Telegraph. The 
Sweetwater Mines thought not more than nine died; Historian 
H. H. Bancroft said 14; Historian C. G. Coutant said "no one was 
killed but several persons were badly injured." Contemporary 
newspapers were just as confused; both The Deseret News weekly 
edition for November 25 and The Cheyenne Leader for November 
20 said 25 were killed, 50 or 60 injured.^-^ Another dispatch to 
the Leader on November 20 said police killed seven and wounded 
eight of the "miscreants." Early dispatches feared that Legh 
Freeman had been killed and that the entire city would be fired: 

Women and children are fleeing for safety. The citizens have sent to 
the railroad grading camps for reinforcements. The utmost terror and 

126. Jacobucci, 'The Frontier Index," op. cit. 

127. The Cheyenne Leader of November 21, 1868, in one story said 20 
of the mob were dead and 35 injured; another story in the same issue made 
this correction: 'The mob lost two killed. It is not known how many were 
wounded, . . . Last night's despatches were incorrect as to the nimiber of 
killed. Some of those thought dead were only wounded. This morning it is 
positively certain that the whole number of the mob dead reaches eleven." 


confusion prevails, as it is impossible to distinguish friends from 
enemies. 1-^ 

The mob's fury subsided during the night so that when troops 
arrived from Fort Bridget the next morning, — summoned by Legh 
Freeman some sources say — they found order restored. 

Bear River City residents promised Legh their continued support 
and he, in turn, telegraphed Chicago for a new press. But as the 
rails pushed beyond Bear River City, Legh abandoned the notion 
of reviving the Index there. His new plans included these, as 
reported in The Deseret News: 

The Frontier Phoenix 
We are informed that the late Index will start again in the course of a 
few weeks at Ogden. A much larger and better establishment has been 
purchased in New York, and is now 'on wheels' enroute to its future 
home in the Great Salt Lake Valley. The pluck manifested by the 
Freeman brothers is commendable and worthy of liberal support. 
Its new style will read Phoenix instead of IndexA^^ 

Legh had told the Salt Lake Telegraph on December 9, 1868, 
that his paper "shall rise. Phoenix-like, from her ashes, to still 
advocate the cause of right and truth, to denounce tricksters and 
mobocracy, uphold the good and faithful, "^^^^ but again there is no 
record that the Phoenix was ever published.^^^ Ogden was to have 
a paper published by Legh Freeman but not until 1875, after he 
had returned from a lecture tour of the East (talking about his 
adventures in the West), where he had been married. Fred 
Freeman left for the East in 1869, and before he left, according 
to his own testimony, he shipped the "main office" of the Index 
from Laramie (in 1869) to his brother in Corinne, near Ogden.^^^ 


With his bride, Legh Freeman issued volume one, number one 
of the Ogden Freeman on June 18, 1875. According to an 
unusually modest report by Legh, the paper was named by the 
Mormon hierarchy: 

. . . the Mormon apostates said they had revelations of a line of 
Freemen, and that in the conflict for the mastery, they witnessed the 

128. The Cheyenne Leader, November 20, 1868, p. 4. 

129. The Deseret News, December 16, 1868. 

130. And on December 10, 1868, Legh told the Telegraph, "We will soon 
be on wheels again, to rise as Phoenix from the white heat, under the name 
of the Frontier Phoenix. A few more weeks will find us hotter than red, in 
the vicinity of Ogden, to advocate the right and annihilate the demons in 
sheep's clothing." 

131. One author said the "Phoenix rose only in Freeman's dreams." 
Alter, op. cit., p. 160. 

132. Unpublished manuscript by Fred K. Freeman, op. cit. 


defeat of the Kingmen, and the victory of the Freemen, and they 
especially urged that the name of the paper, which was to voice the 
interests of the Freemen of Utah should be called the Ogden Freeman. 
To this we protested on the grounds that some persons might imagine 
that we named it after ourselves. But they were so persistent that we 
finally yielded. . . .i^s 

Mrs. Freeman handled the Freeman while Legh was off on his 
many trips and was quite proud of her accomplishments if this 
Salt Lake Tribune story be true: 

The editress of the Ogden Freeman says: 'Be it recorded as a part of 
the history of Utah, that a Virginia born and bred lady came to Utah 
unacquainted with a single soul, and within a period of six weeks 
organized, established and conducted the Ogden Freeman; took charge 
of two infant sons, and gave birth to a third, and in that time was 
never censured, because her endeavors to assist her husband did not 
accord with notions.' — Six weeks is a short time; it must have been in 
the air. Sister !134 

Everything was all right as long as she was "editress," but when 
Legh became involved with the paper, its non-interference pohcy 
disappeared quickly. An Ogden directory for 1883 said of Legh's 

But when Freeman arrived here the policy of the newspaper was soon 
changed. He was a strong anti-Mormon — in fact he was sort of wild 
Tshmaelite — his hand was soon turned against every man that he could 
bulldoze, but he sometimes met with severe retaliation. . . , Freeman 
was in continual hot water during the time he remained here in conse- 
quence of his malignity and abuse of many of the citizens.i^s 

Legh's pronounced anti-Mormon pohcy was strange not because 
he was without bias and because he was a great displayer of 
diplomacy, but rather because he had advertised his Index for 
months as "the only 'Gentile' paper that is conducted ... to have 
secured a general circulation among the wide-spread business 
element of tihe Mormons!!!!" At one time he had even advocated 
the nomination of Mormon leader Brigham Young for president of 
the United States.i^e 

133. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit., p. 10. 

134. Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1875. 

135. Directory of Ogden City and Weber County, 1883, p. 62. Other 
directories also made note of Freeman and his papers. Pettingill's News- 
paper Directory in 1878, p. 185, WTOte: "Ogden Freeman, semi-weekly, 
Tuesdays and Fridays. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh R. Freeman, publishers. — This 
office was destroyed by the Credit Mobilier mob at Bear River City, after 
having been published at two military garrisons and nine terminal towns. 
The Freeman being anti-Mormon, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian and favoring the 
revivification of the silver industries by urging Congress to remonetize silver 
is the favorite of the people of all the Territories. . . ." 

136. The Frontier Index, May 29, 1868, p. 2. 


Invoking the reader's sympathy for his "causes," Legh later 
wrote, again in vague terms, about his Ogden days: 

When we began there, not a Gentile owned a foot of ground nor a 
shelf full of goods in town. We threw down the gage of battle so 
vigorously that one of the first telling scenes in the strife, was the 
incarceration of the editor in a Mormon Bastile. This act rallied and 
united all the elements of strength that we could hope for. We had 
with us the Federal Courts at Salt Lake, and we advised the people 
to appeal all cases to that tribunal. We had a double motive in this; 
the first to put a stop to the inflow of blood money into the Mormon 
treasury; and the second to create a demand for a federal court at 
Ogden, which would have the effect to bring the people from several 
of the most populous counties into Ogden, to trade.i-^^ 

Legh also reminisced later in life that he did not know of a single 
enemy he had left in Ogden, that all the people were favorites of 
the Freeman. Apparently Legh had a short memory for in March, 
1876, he had had a "business controversy" with a Joseph Blyman, 
a newspaper man, in the settlement of which he "used a cudgel so 
freely as to leave some claret stains about the sanctum. . . ."^^^ 
Possibly he remembered his paper's version of the dispute which 
made Legh not only the victim of Blyman's attack but of a mis- 
carriage of justice as well: 

Incarcerated In A Mormon Bastile. — Martial law needed in Utah. 
The priestcraft attempt to suppress the free press of Utah. An emis- 
sary armed with a deadly weapon assails the editor of the Freeman. 
Mormon priests commissioned as policemen — rush in and give no 
chance for a possibility of bail, but drag a man from a bed of pro- 
tracted sickness at the dead hour of night. Warrant retained by the 
Mormon sheriff -priest for 18 hours, so as to preclude release on bail. 
Unmercifully forced through a howling, pelting snowstorm, to the 
private residence of a Mormon Chief Justice of the Peace, without 
being allowed a wrapping, a stimulant or to attend to the wants of 
nature. A bilk, who has committed the highest crime known to the 
social laws of the Hebrews. A wife deserter, does the dirty assassin's 
work for the Mormons. The motive is to check the American influ- 
ence of the Freeman, and to suppress the Press, while the Federal 
officials wish to make the organ of the Federal Government in 

Legh lost this case in more ways than one, for the contemporary 
press picked up the story and gave him a lot of adverse publicity 
he did not need. One paper said that Legh for some time 
had coveted death, that he "was not a bad showman in the 
maniac business."^^*^ another reported that Mormon authorities had 
"chucked Freeman in jail, and now the editor doesn't know whether 

137. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

138. Utah Evening Mail, March 31, 1876. 

139. Ogden Freeman, April 3, 1876. 

140. Utah Evening Mail, April 19, 1876. 


he is a 'freeman' or not."^^^ Here are other remarks about the 
Freeman, clipped from Wyoming newspapers. The Laramie Daily 
Sentinel of November 26, 1876, said: 

The Ogden Freeman is the most entirely worthless as a newspaper of 
anything, so called, we ever saw, but we wouldn't part with it under 
any consideration. . . . We keep it for our exchange thieves to bite on. 

Humorist Bill Nye, writing in the Cheyenne Daily Sun, April 13, 
1877, said: 

The Weekly Sentinel is published on Monday; the Black Hills Pioneer 
is published on tinted paper; the Cheyenne Sun is published on the 
second floor; the Chronicle is published on A Street; the Ogden 
Freeman is published on 'tick'. 

That Legh was continually in trouble in Ogden was evidenced 
from reports of him in neighboring papers as well as his own 
Freeman. In the spring of 1877, he was doing battle — physical 
type again — with the postmaster of Ogden who had attempted to 
"assassinate the editor . . . with an iron-shod bludgeon," Legh 

He does it premeditatedly, after weeks and months of threatening. 
Dr. advances opinion that Mr. Freeman is liable to die from his inju- 
ries any time. TTie Mormon police defy the Deputy U. S. Marshal to 
arrest [the postmaster]. 1*2 . . , 

Within a week. Freeman was sending dispatches from Sweet- 
water, Wyoming, thereby proving what many readers suspected — 
his serious injuries had been prefabricated. 

In early 1878, Cheyenne newspapers were editorializing on 
another Legh Freeman court case; this time he was a defendant in 
a coal theft case. 

L. R. Freeman, editor of the Ogden Freeman, has been arrested for 
stealing coal from the Utah Northern R. R. cars, which generally stand 
very near his office, and has been bound over in Jusitce Middleton's 
Court under $200. bond to appear in District Court for trial. Some 
time since he wore a very long beard reaching down to his waist. 
Trying to put up a job upon one of the citizens of Ogden, he made a 
failure, and as a fruit of his effort the man went for him and pulled 
out, by the roots, the whole of that long beard. Now he wears a 
modest mustache and shaves his chin.i^s 

The semi-weekly Freeman was a business success, carrying a 
fair advertising patronage and maintaining a circulation of from 
26501*4 to 6950."" However, in November, 1876, Legh was 
willing to sell as much as a half interest in the paper to any man 

141. Cheyenne Daily Sun, April 5, 1876. 

142. Ogden Freeman, April 3, 1877. 

143. The Cheyenne Leader, January 19, 1878. 

144. American Newspaper Directory, 1878, in Alter, op. cit., p. 162. 

145. City Directory of 1878-Ogden, in Alter, op. cit., p. 162. 


capable of acting as foreman of the shop. His advertisement ran 
in the Freeman until December 15, 1876: 

The office is established on a healthy, paying basis, and is dependent 
on no ring, clique or party for support. Everybody reads the papjer 
because it is made so lively, that they cannot help it. We have 
enough brand new newspaper material to publish a large morning 
daily. . . . The Freeman is now a semi-weekly, circulation: Utah 1100, 
Wyoming 550, Montana 100, Idaho 175, Nevada 750, Nebraska 100, 
other territories 350, other states 300, total 2925. 

Self promotional matter still fiUed Freeman's newspaper as it 
had the Index. On May 25, 1 877, one read "Drop off your surplus 
publications from other localities, and prepare for a first-class 
Daily sent out from the railroad center of the Inter-Mountains." 
Again on April 30, 1878, Legh promised his readers a daily but 
the Freeman remained semi-weekly. ^^*^ 

The Freeman will begin pubUcation of a Daily, containing the tele- 
grams, as soon as our fireproof building shall be completed; and it will 
rely on its own merits for sustenance, without the solicitation of any 
bonus or subsidy, and we pledge the people we will not beg, borrow 
or steal. 

During 1878, this bombastic statement, characteristic of Legh, 
ran repeatedly in the Freeman: 

The Freeman being progressive and aggressive and Anti-Mormon, 
Anti-Chinese, Anti-Indian and the only publication that is especially 
devoted to the news and the interests of the Inter-Moimtains, has es- 
tablished circulation among two millions of liberal spending Western- 
ers, with whom it is the favorite! 

Despite such boasts, the paper dropped to weekly frequency 
after November 1, 1878, and eventually quit Ogden sometime after 
the first of July, 1879. The Freemans then headed for Montana. 
En route, Legh's wife, Ada, who had played such a significant role 
in the Freeman's life, was mortally wounded when a shotgun was 
accidentally discharged in the carriage in which she was traveling. 
She survived the wound seven days, four of them in Butte City, 
Legh's next journalistic destination. 


In Butte City, Legh changed his newspaper's name back to the 
Frontier-Index (with hyphen) and published the first issue there 
August 5, 1879. Immediately, he and the Index were being 
persecuted, if we listen to Legh: 

No sooner were we well under way here, than an unscrupulous ring of 

146. Bound files of Freeman from September 5, 1876, to June 27, 1879, 
in Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

Legh and his brother, Fred K. Freeman were the owners of The Frontier Index, the newspaper 

thev called the "Press on Wheels" 





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border ruffian adventurers began to place obstacles in our path. They 
resorted to tricks beneath the contempt of Mormons and too dishon- 
orable for the countenance of even a mining camp. With eagerness to 
impede our progress, for the purpose of eventually getting control of 
our outfit, they laid snares that required the wile and craft of the 
most fertile brain to outwit them. On the representation that a joint 
stock company would be raised for the purpose of conducting an 
influential Republican paper, they leagued with a set of Mormons to 
attempt to defame us.i^t 

But Legh was not to be stopped and very quickly, he had erected 
a press in Butte City with a branch in Glendale where he pubHshed 
the Atlantis one year under contract, after which he drew the 
branch outfit into the home office. 

Stories and advertisements in the Glendale Atlantis showed that 
Legh had not lost his touch. Pointing out a need for advertising, 
the Atlantis ran this item: 

A Pike County man who was being shaved yesterday . . . jumped six 
feet out of his chair, and came near losing one of his ears, by the razor, 
when a blast was fired [Glendale was a mining town] in the pit. He 
said he labored under the hallucination that he was a victim of an 
earthquake. . . . But then that fellow had been taking his drinks where 
they don't advertise to support their home town paper, and a few 
gulps more of such sheep dip as he had imbibed would have produced 
an effect on his nervous system tending to make him believe that 
judgment was at hand and 'Old Nick' lifting the roof of the infernal 
regions, with a pitchfork in one hand and a crucible of hot lead and 
brimstone in the other. i*^ 

Legh's advertising know-how did not diminish while in Montana 
either, judging from this squib for a brewery: 

One of the prettiest pictures in town is hanging Ln Frank Gilg's 
Brewery. It is an oil painting of a half nude maiden developed into 
a form voluptuous and poetical with hair falling naturally down her 
bosom, as she lies at full length on some mossy rocks beside a rippling 
stream of limpid water coursing its way through a mountain defile 
similar to the one in which we live. Byron's poems are spread out 
before her love-flashing eyes, while trout glide along the stream wink- 
ing at the nymph, and the black pine squirrels and jack daws leap from 
bough to bough, chattering among the over hanging trees. . . . The 
painting is a very refined one, portraying rare and chaste beauty and 
virtue, and is an excellent specimen of fine art.i^^ 

After consolidating several offices and subscription lists. ^'^*^' Legh 
decided to change his Index name to Inter-Mountains or Daily and 
Weekly Intermountain, "intermountains" being a word of his 
coinage, he said. 

147. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

148. Myers, op. cit., pp. 40-41. 

149. Ibid., p. 200. 

150. The consolidation brought together Frontier-Index, Ogden Freeman, 
Glendale Atlantis, Jeffersonian, Workingmen's Union and Inter-Mountains 


No sooner had we accomplished this than the same set of adventurers 
who had beset our path here, had printed in the Miner office a paper 
under nearly the same name, barely dropping the 's' and leaving out 
the hyphen. ... no one can conceive what their object is, except to 
confuse the public into the belief that it is our paper . . . and induce 
the public to believe that their dishonest schemes are honest.i"! 

In an ensuing court battle, Legh, however, was allowed to keep 
the name,^'- but he changed it again, this time to Inter-Mountains 
Freeman, "in order that all men might know the genuine from the 
fraud."^^^ This all happened about January 1, 1881. 

A logotype of an 1881 edition read: 

Inter-Mountains Freeman. 
Frontier Index Series Vol. 31, No. 76 
Tntermountains Freeman Series, Vol. 1, No. 46 
Butte City, Montana, Sunday, December 4, 1881. 
Established June ISSO.i-'i* 

The Inter-Mountains Freeman was consolidated with the Daily 
Labor Union, a paper published in Freeman's shop, on March 25, 
1883, to form Union-Freeman, which, in turn, was succeeded by 
the Butte City Union, November 4, 1883, to February 24, 1884.i'55 

From April 12 to July 5, 1884, Freeman was at Thompson Falls, 
Montana, a mming camp where he pubHshed another Frontier- 
Index briefly, of which the Salt Lake Evening Chronicle said: 

That irrepressible rustler, Legh R. Freeman, has consolidated the 
Chronicle, Herald, Ogden Freeman, Inter-Mountains, Daily Labor 
Union, Atlantic isic^ and Union Freeman in one huge ten page journal 
called The Frontier Index, and finally stopped his 'press on wheels' at 
Thompson Falls, a 'magic city' in the pine woods on the N. P. 
railway. . . .1°^ 

From Thompson Falls, Legh Freeman shipped his plant to 
Yakima Valley, Washington. According to his son, in corre- 
spondence to Jacobucci, Legh had been urged by two directors of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad to start a paper in Old Yakima. 

He made a preliminary trip there in the spring of 1884, and his 
imagination was evidently fired by the agricultural possibilities of the 
section, because when he returned with the plant in September 1884, 

151. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

152. Ogden Daily Herald, June 9, 1882, reported: "Judge Galbraith has 
refused the order asking for restraining Legh R. Freeman from publishing a 
paper in Butte, under the name of 'Intermountain.' " 

153. Legh Freeman, "Notes on . . . ," op. cit. 

154. Copy preserved by Miller Freeman, mentioned in Jacobucci Files, 
University of Wyoming Library. 

155. Files of these issues in Historical Society of Montana. 

156. Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, April 16, 1884, in Alter, op. cit., 
p. 167. 


it was lo establish the first farm paper in the state, or rather then the 
territory of Washington, naming it the Washington FurmerA^'^ 

Before the Farmer came into existence however, Legh had 
absorbed the Yakima Record and later the Pacific Coast Dairyman. 
With Legh as managing editor, a Capital Publishing Company 
established the Washington Farmer, September 20, 1884. Later 
it was renamed Northwest Farm and Home and was edited by 
Legh R. Freeman until his retirement. A 1904 book (An Illus- 
trated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties) revealed 
that the Northwest Farm Home traced its beginnings to 1847, "near 
Fort Kearney, Nebraska, by Joseph E. Johnson, who sold the plant 
and business to Mr. Freeman in 1859." 

Another volume in 1906 (An Illustrated History of Skagit and 
Snohomish Counties) showed Legh Freeman was still in the land 
business and still had dreams of his own city. He developed a 
tract of land in Washington and called it the town of Gibraltar. 


Because the history of American journalism, until very recently, 
dwelled extensively on the success stories of the metropolitan 
newspapers and the James Gordon Bennetts, tales such as that of 
the Index, were often lost — or worse yet deemed unimportant in 
books that gave only a half dozen pages total to the Rocky Moun- 
tain West region. But the pioneering roles played by the Freemans 
and their Index's, Inter-Mountains' and Freeman's must not be 
underestimated. For it was newspapers such as the Index and 
newspapermen such as the Freemans who had a big hand in pro- 
moting, developing, and in the Index's unique situation, laying out 
Western cities and towns. They truly opened up the West as much 
as did the buffalo hunter, Indian fighter or raihroader. 

157. Letter from Miller Freeman to Jacobucci, February 22, 1937. 


WILL IT BE A SUCCESS? There is a question as to whether 
the big Pathfinder government dam at Alcova, on the North Platte 
river, above Casper, is going to be a success. This immense mass 
of rock and cement, which has been in course of construction for 
some three years, has just been completed. It backs up the water 
into what is said to be the largest reservoir in the world, holding 
over 1,080,000 acre feet of water. The dam is constructed 
between two cliffs and is 200 feet high. 

The dam is built in the main channel of the North Platte river, 
which runs torrents when it is at flood. During the construction 
of the dam, part of the water of the river was run through a large 
tumiei and openings were left in the base of the dam. These were 
calculated to be large enough to carry the normal flow of the river, 
the surplus flood waters being backed up and reserved for future 
use when the low water mark is reached. Sufficient water will 
then come from the big reservoir to fill the Inter-state canal, which 
is taken out of the North Platte river below Guernsey, Wyoming, 
and several hundred miles below the loca-state Pathfinder canal, 
being about 80 miles long, will bring the waters of this big 
reservoir of Central Wyoming onto farms 50 miles over the state 
line into Nebraska. 

Since the completion of the big dam, the reservoir is fast filling 
with water while all the outlets are open and before the Platte river 
has gained its flood-tide. Government engineers are said to have 
figured out that the flow of the river at high water is sufficient to 
fill two such reservoirs, and residents along the Platte valley below 
the big dam, and in the neighborhood of Casper, are reported to be 
worrying considerably as to what the result will be after the 
reservoir fills with the present flow of the stream, and when the 
June and July floods begin. 

The danger of a sudden breaking away of the confined waters 
is feared at a point on one side of the main dam, where a declevity 
at the lower end of the reservoir is protected only by a small dam, 
under which there is no solid foundation. Engineers are said to 
have drilled 60 feet at this point and to have failed to locate any 

With a sudden pressure of over 1,000,000 acre feet of water, 
which would be exerted at this point, able engineers report that 
they fear the overflow at this point where the flood waters are sure 
to overtop the reservoir will tear away the present small dam and 
eat down into the soft earth below and cause disastrous floods in 
the Platte valley. 

The only theory that has been figured out to contradict this 
result, is that the pressure of water at the base of the main dam, 
being increased as the water rises in the reservoir, will result in 
forcing more water through the present outlets and thereby causing 
the flow through them to equal that of the river. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1909 

Plmkett of the BK 


IN THE 1880s 


William W. Savage, Jr. 

Of the hundreds of British emigrants to the American West in 
the last quarter of the nineteenth century, none seemed less suited 
to the harsh life of the frontier than Horace Curzon Plunkett. 

He arrived in Wyoming Territory in October, 1 879, at the age of 
25, a son of Irish nobility, reared in the lap of luxury, Oxford- 
educated, and weakened by tuberculosis. But within a decade he 
became one of Wyoming's leading figures, a cattle baron whose 
handling of widespread interests in livestock and land revealed 
ke^n business acumen. His conspicuous activities notwithstanding, 
Plunkett has received only sUght notice in studies of the western 
range cattle industry and British investment enterprise.^ 

Ill health prompted Plunkett's journey to America. He con- 
tracted tuberculosis after returning home from Oxford in 1877. 
The disease had killed his mother and a brother and sister, and 
by 1879, doctors agreed that he should seek a drier climate before 
he met the same fate. They suggested either South Africa or the 
Rocky Mountains.^ Plunkett chose the Rockies, perhaps feeling 
that conditions in South Africa were more conducive to emigration 
than immigration. The Zulu War erupted in 1879, and the British 
dead at Isandhlwana left little doubt that there were better places to 
recuperate.-'' Moreover, the West offered wealth as well as health, 

1. Helena Huntington Smith, The War on Powder River (New York: 
McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966) devotes a chapter (pp. 99-107) to 
Plunkett, although he was in no way connected with the Johnson County 
War. Smith's observations are based on a spotty reading of Plunkett's diary, 
her quotations are frequently incorrect, and her conclusions reflect a com- 
plete misunderstanding of Plunkett the man and Plunkett the entrepreneur. 

2. Sir Horace Plunkett, The Rural Life Problem of the United States: 
Notes of an Irish Observer (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1919), 6; 
Margaret Digby, Horace Plunkett, An Anglo-American Irishman (Oxford: 
Basil Blackwell, 1949), 2, 16, 21. Digby's is the standard biography of 
Plunkett, but the section on Wyoming is largely impressionistic. 

3. For a summary of conditions there, see Edward C. Tabler (ed.), 
Zambezia and Matabeleland in the Seventies . . . The Journal of Richard 
Frewen, 1877-1878 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1960), 188. 


a consequence of the post-Civil War beef bonanza then dominating 
the economic life of the Great Plains and Rockies.^ 

Part of Plunkett's diary has been lost, so little is known of his 
first two years in America. With his partners, Beau Watson and 
Alexis and Edmond Roche, he settled on the EK Ranch near the 
Powder River in Johnson County, Wyoming.'' Britons Richard 
and Moreton Pre wen had resided in the Powder River district for a 
year, but some Wyomingites were still unaccustomed to foreigners. 
The cowpunchers who would work for them found it hard to 
believe that these men "actually came from across the Atlantic."® 

The first year for which a complete record of Plunkett's activities 
survives is 1 88 1 . As was his custom, he spent the winter months in 
Ireland and returned to the United States in late April.^ Stopping 
over briefly in New York and Chicago, Plunkett traveled to Omaha 
to investigate opportunities for land speculation. He went also to 
LeMars, Iowa, where Moreton Pre wen owned a 950-acre farm. 
The quality of the soil impressed him, and for a moment he con- 
sidered becoming a sodbuster, but the romance of plowing could 
not offset the benefits of what John Qay later called the "cham- 
pagne air that was a tonic to body and soul," so the Irishman 
continued on his way.^ 

When Plunkett reached Wyoming, he spent several days in the 
territorial capital and roomed at the famous Cheyenne Club, where 
he discussed recent developments in the cattle business with his 
fellow members. During his winter absence, Plunkett had been 
elected to membership in the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association 
at its annual meeting. He talked with N. R. Davis, who later 
became president of the Association, and their conversation cen- 
tered on a topic of common concern: the danger of overstocking 
Wyoming ranges and thus creating conditions conducive to disaster 
during a severe winter.^ 

4. The economic appeal of the West to the Briton is discussed in Herbert 
O. Brayer, "The Influence of British Capital on the Western Range-Cattle 
Industry," Tasks of Economic History, Supplement, IX (1949), 85-98. 

5. Digby, Plunkett, 21. The diary does not mention Beau Watson. 

6. James H. Cook, Fifty Years on the Old Frontier as Cowboy, Hunter 
Guide, Scout, and Ranchman (New ed., Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1957), 98. Herbert O. Brayer, "The 76 Ranch on Powder River," 
The Westerners (Chicago Corral), VII, No. 10 (December, 1950), suggests 
that the Frewens may have influenced Plunkett's decision to reside in 
Wyoming. The point is not substantiated by either Plunkett's diary or 
Moreton Frewen, Melton Mowbray and Other Memories (London: Herbert 
Jenkins, Ltd., 1924). 

7. Diaries of Sir Horace PlunkeU, 1881-1931. MSS in the Plunkett 
Foundation for Co-operative Studies, London. Microfilm copies in the 
McKissick Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. April 27, 1881. 

8. Diary, May 15, 17, and 18, 1881; John Clay, My Life on the Range 
New ed., (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962), 73. 

9. Ibid., 235; Diary, May 25, 1881. 


At the EK, Plunkett explained to Alexis Roche a plan he had 
devised to relieve their overcrowded pasture. He hoped to create 
a safety valve by leasing farms in the Midwest, near the Chicago 
and Northwestern Railroad. Cattle could be sent there for fatten- 
ing before being shipped to the Chicago market. Plunkett planned 
to place the Roches in charge of the feed lots while he remained 
in Wyoming to act as an agent for cattlemen wishing to use the 
facilities. Later, on a trip East, he and Alexis agreed to look for 
farm land in lowa.^*^ 

In September, partnership difficulties arose. Plunkett usually 
disapproved of Alexis Roche's character — he evidently considered 
the details of Roche's frequent indulgences too indelicate to 
include in his diary — but this time the problem was E. B. R. 
Boughton, a young man not counted among the original partners. 
Perhaps he joined Plunkett and the others in 1880 or 1881, but in 
any case, he made himself immediately obnoxious to everyone. 
Boughton was 23 years old and endowed with a powerful conceit — 
the result, Plunkett concluded, of a sheltered youth. He once 
angered Plunkett by saying within earshot of the Irishman that he 
had learned more about the cattle business in two weeks than his 
partners had in two years. Boughton did httle work around the 
ranch, but neither Plunkett nor the Roches could afford to buy out 
his interest, which must have been substantial. The confUct was 
resolved only after a reorganization of the partnership, the creation 
of a new company, and a radical change in Boughton's person- 
ality,^^ wrought in part, no doubt, by the socially-levelmg en- 

The annual trip to the Chicago cattle market interrupted ranch 
routine, temporarily ending the round of arguments between the 
partners. Plunkett left the EK to catch the Union Pacific, but on 
his way he met Richard Frewen, who spoke of a fantastic scheme 
he and his brother had concocted to obtain from the federal 
government a monopoly on tourist accommodations at Yellowstone 
Park. With the backing of several railroads, they hoped to build 
hotels in the park and provide them with everything for the tourists' 
comfort, including a fine selection of boats and carriages. Visitors 
would enter the park, Frewen said, via stagecoach from the Utah 
Northern line. He invited Plunkett to join the venture, but the 
Irishman hesitated, noting privately that Richard Frewen was the 
worst businessman he knew — except for Moreton, who would be 
the third partner. ^^ 

Plunkett and his associates had an unusually difficult time ship- 
ping their cattle in 1881. Through railroad error, the beeves were 

10. Ibid., June 3 and July 6, 1881. 

11. Ibid.. September 1 and October 17 and 28, 1881. 

12. Ibid., September 4, 8, 9, 16, and 17, 1881. 


not loaded on time and had to be penned overnight without feed. 
Once they were aboard, Plunkett had httle time to rest. During 
each of the train's frequent stops, he had to walk beside the cars, 
prodding the cattle to make them stand. They were crowded 
twenty to a car, and if they lay down, there was a chance that some 
would suffocate.^"^ It was hard work, and Plunkett must have been 
frustrated by tlie knowledge that, despite his efforts, prospects for 
selling beef at high prices were poor, since shipments that season 
had been heavy. Indeed, when Plunkett reached Chicago, he found 
the market gorged with 12,000 head of cattle. Not until the last 
day of September could he dispose of his beef, and only then at 
wretched prices.^^ 

Plunkett and his partners began the 1882 season by making 
extensive cattle purchases. They were very nearly cheated by 
N. W. Wells, a man who attempted to do business by telegraph. 
Wells misrepresented the size of his herd, for which the partners 
had been willing to pay $47,000, sight unseen. They discovered 
the ruse in time and saved their money. From other sources, they 
bought some 1,450 head of stock for their range.^^ Later, Plunkett 
went into business with two men named Windsor and Coble on 
range near the headwaters of the Powder River. With that venture 
launched, Plunkett approached Thomas Sturgis, one-time secretary 
of the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association and considered by 
some to be the territory's leading man, about forming a cattle 
company. Apparently, they reached a tentative agreement, but 
Plunkett's diary mentions no further arrangements in 1882. Sturgis 
did suggest that N. R. Davis might have a herd the two could buy. 
Plunkett investigated and found that Davis was asking $510,000 
for 17,000 head of cattle, including calves. Davis valued his 384 
horses at $40 each.^^ 

In 1882, Moreton Frewen formed the Powder River Cattle 
Company, Limited, a joint stock company to which he traded his 
Wyoming holdings in return for managership for five years and 
one-third of the shares of common stock. ^^ Through his assistant 
manager, Frank A. Kemp, Frewen offered Plunkett $175,000 for 
the EK Ranch. Plunkett was mildly amused but dampened 
Frewen's hopes of expanding his new company by replying that the 
partners would consider a figure nearer $260,000 for cattle and 
range rights.^** 

At the end of the year, Plunkett contracted EK cattle to the 

13. Ibid., September 23, 1881. 

14. Ibid., September 25 and 30, 1881. 

15. Ibid., June 6, 7, 20, and 21, and July 4, 1882. 

16. Ibid., September 7, 11, 14, and 29, and October 17, 1882. 

17. Brayer, "The 76 Ranch," 77. 

18. Diary, August 18 and 22, 1882. 


Powder River Cattle Company for 1883 at five cents per pound, 
delivered in Chicago. The deal would prove to be lucrative for 
Plunkett, but it was indicative of Moreton Frewen's bad judgment. 
Although Plunkett complained of a poor market in 1882, beef 
prices had reached the apex of the boom. The average figure was 
$4.50 per hundred pounds. The EK cattle Plunkett sold in 1882 
averaged 1,186 pounds,^-' which worked out to approximately $53 
per head. The same cattle, contracted to Frewen's company at 
five cents per pound, would bring more than $59 each. Amidst 
the raad scramble for profits, Moreton Frewen had bought cattle 
for more than he could make by selling them. 

The longer Plunkett remained in Wyoming, the more involved 
his business arrangements became. By the beginning of the 1883 
season, he belonged to three companies, all of which paid dues to 
the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association. Besides his partner- 
ships with the Roches and Windsor and Coble, he had an agree- 
ment with Windsor and Andrew Gilchrist.-*^ Gilchrist, a Scotsman 
and former member of Buckingham Palace's Life Guards, was a 
prosperous rancher from Cheyenne. In May, 1883, he and 
PlunJcett spoke of purchasing land at the terminus of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad, which was expected to be Tacoma, Washington. 
When they discovered that the railroad might decide to favor 
Portland, Oregon, over Tacoma, the two decided to confine their 
speculation to cattle.^^ 

Later in the year, Plunkett and Gilchrist joined former Wyoming 
governor John Wesley Hoyt, Thomas Sturgis, Cheyenne banker 
Morton E. Post, W. P. Maxwell, W. C. Irvine, and Judge Joseph 
M. Carey, currently president of the Wyoming Stock Growers' 
Association, to form the Wyoming Development Company, a syn- 
dicate estabUshed to irrigate 60,000 acres of potential farm land 
eighty miles northeast of Cheyenne. Seeking to aid the advance of 
agriculture in Wyoming, these men, many of whom were ranchers, 
spent nearly $500,000 excavating ditches and blasting tunnels to 
carry water diverted from the Laramie River to company land. In 
October, 1883, Plunkett became vice-president of the syndicate.-- 

19. T. A. Larson, Historv of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1965), 187; Diary, October 1, 6, and 9, 1882. 

20. Clay, My Life on the Range, 68-70. 

21. Diary, July 15, 1882, and May 9 and July 3, 1883. The idea has 
been erroneously attributed to Plunkett. See Digby, Plunkett, 31. 

22. Diary, May 10 and October 2, 1883; Hubert Howe Bancroft, The 
Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, XXV: History of Nevada, Colorado, and 
Wyoming (San Francisco: The History Company, 1890), 799-802; Maurice 
Frink, Cow Country Cavalcade: Eighty Years of the Wyoming Stock 
Growers Association (Denver: Tne Old West Publishing Co., 1954), 51. 
The diary lists Hoyt as a member of the syndicate, but Bancroft does not. 
Plunkett's early references were to the "Wyoming Improvement Company," 
but later that became "Wyoming Development Company." 


The Chicago market was flooded again in 1883. Plunkett sold 
his cattle at below average prices but noted in his diary that 
Moreton Frewen, on the five-cent deal of the year before, had lost 

While Plunkett was preparing to leave for his winter holiday in 
Ireland, Thomas Sturgis asked if he would dispose of $500,000 
worth of Sturgis' Union Cattle Company stock in Europe. He 
offered Plunkett a commission of five per cent, payable in stock 
transferred to his name, and managership of the Union company at 
an annual salary of between $3,000 and $3,500. Plunkett agreed 
to act as Sturgis's agent."^ 

In May, 1884, Plunkett and Gilchrist bought 40,000 acres of 
Union Pacific land near the property of the Wyoming Development 
Company and adjoining a small spread in which the two men held 
an interest. They bought the land, which sold for one dollar per 
acre, because it was adjacent to the rapidly-expanding Swan Land 
and Cattle Company, and they hoped to make a profit when the 
Swan outfit ran out of range. Within a week, Boughton added 
95,000 acres to the partners' property, and the three men formed 
a land and cattle company capitalized at $2,000,000. The 
$135,000 owed for the railroad acreage was payable in ten annual 
installments at six per cent interest. But in less than a month, the 
partners turned the financial tables on the Swan company by selling 
it 50,000 acres at a net gain of fifty cents per acre.-^ Later in the 
year, Plunkett and Gilchrist organized the Frontier Land and Cattle 
Company, capitalized at $1,100,000, with shares selling for $100 
each. Plunkett became president at $3,000 per year, and Gilchrist 
served as vice-president and general manager, while Boughton, the 
largest investor, was appointed treasurer. Trustees of the company 
included Plunkett's other partners, Alexis Roche and Windsor and 

Depression marked the beginning of the 1885 season, but 
Plunkett optimistically believed that good times would return to 
Wyoming. In Plunkett's absence, the Frontier Land and Cattle 
Company had struggled through the winter. Its capital was un- 
touched, and shares were still worth par value, so Plunkett hoped 
that at least the initial investment could be saved. That other 
ranchers also were losing money became apparent by late October, 
when measures to reduce cowboys' wages and abolish free board at 

23. Diary, October 10, 1883. Brayer, 'The 76 Ranch," 80, suggests that 
the Frewens refused to comply with the terms of the contract. The diary 
does not substantiate this. 

24. Diary, October 14, 1883. 

25. Ibid., May 8, 9, 12, and 15, and June 7, 1884. See also Harmon Ross 
Mothershead, The Swan Land and Cattle Company, Ltd. (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press. 1971), 117-118. 

26. Diary, July 17 and October 13, 1884. 


ranches were introduced at a Wyoming Stock Growers' Association 
meeting. The season, Plunkett commented, was his worst since 

In the spring of 1886, a quarrel began that would destroy com- 
pletely any vestiges of friendship remaining between Plunkett and 
Moreton Frewen. During 1885, the Powder River Cattle Com- 
pany, under Frewen's management, consisted of 48,625 head of 
cattle and landed property valued at $258,000. Yet, high operation 
costs displeased the company's directors, who blamed the situation 
on Frewen. He agreed to resign if the directors would appoint 
T. W. Peters of Cheyenne to take his place, and so saying, he left 
Wyoming. In February, 1886, the directors created a special 
board to investigate the affairs of the company in America, and its 
report cleared Frewen of any charges of extravagance. Still, he 
had several enemies among the directors, men to whom he owed 
large sums of money, and because of their opposition, he was not 
reinstated as manager.-"" 

In March, Frewen heard a rumor that the directors might offer 
Plunkett managership of the company. Irritated by the directors' 
failure to act on his recommendation of Peters, Frewen wrote to 
Plunkett, saying that should the Irishman accept the position, he 
would file suit in Wyoming to regain it. A few days later, the 
directors formally asked Plunkett to take the job. He accepted, 
and Frewen and his brothers vowed revenge.-* Apparently, they 
had not forgotten the five-cent fiasco of 1882. 

When Plunkett arrived in Wyoming to assume his duties for the 
Powder River Cattle Company, he received word from London that 
Moreton and another Frewen, Edward, had been appointed direc- 
tors. Plunkett was shocked by the news. He fully expected to be 
relieved as manager. Suddenly, however, Moreton, for reasons 
known only to himself, assured Plunkett of his support on the 
board. Richard Frewen, angered by his brother's defection, aban- 
doned the vendetta, and tempers were allowed to cool.^*' 

Meanwhile, Plunkett confronted problems of a more immediate 
nature. The EK foreman had been arrested for horse stealing. To 
be without one's foreman at round-up was bad enough, but 
Plunkett missed his services as an intermediary between the part- 
ners and the ranch hands. Because they believed Plunkett to be a 

27. Ibid., May 6 and 12, October 26, and December 31, 1885. 

28. Walter Baron von Richthofen, Cattle-Raising on the Plains of North 
America (New ed., Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), 55; 
London Economist, March 20, 1886, 365; Brayer, "The 76 Ranch," 79-80. 
Allen Andrews's recent biography of Frewen entitled The Splendid Pauper 
(Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1968) has little to 
say about either Plunkett or tlie feud. 

29. Diary, March 21 and 26, and April 29, 1886. 

30. Ibid., May 3 and 12, 1886. 


leader in the cattlemen's efforts to reduce their wages, the cowboys 
had become openly hostile. During the long winter, some had 
announced that they were considering shooting him. Plunkett tried 
to take their threats in good humor, but the tenseness of the 
situation unnerved him. He resented the accusations of men whom 
he considered blackguards.'*^ 

In October, 1886, financial difficulties within the Frontier Land 
and Cattle Company forced the partners to divide company prop- 
erty among themselves. It was an attempt to purchase individual 
control, but PJunkett, concerned that he might be accused of 
chicanery as president, decided to take only a share of the assets 
remaining after the property had been divided by the other part- 
ners.^- While Plunkett worked to salvage the investment, a prauie 
fire spread across company land, burning fences and feed and 
scattering the cattle. Two weeks later, the hard winter of 1886-87 
struck, and Plunkett wrote in his diary that the snow was so deep 
that the tops of the fences were not visible.^-^ 

Plunkett resigned as manager of the Powder River Cattle Com- 
pany in February, 1887, and noted that everyone but Edward 
Frewen was anxious for him to reconsider. Publicly, he declined, 
but privately he indicated a willingness to continue for an increased 
salary. Moreton Frewen again changed his allegiance, and at a 
meeting in March, he castigated Plunkett before the board. His 
raving had no apparent effect on the directors, who again urged 
Plunkett to take the job. A month later, Frewen filed suit in 
Wyoming to regain the managership, and Plunkett expressed fear 
that the action would wreck the company.''^ 

Upon returning to Wyoming, Plunkett met with Thomas Sturgis 
to discuss a cattle trust that Sturgis had proposed. Sturgis hoped to 
pool several Wyoming ranches with the holdings of Nelson Morris, 
a Chicago meat packer. The scheme, as Plunkett understood it, 
was an attempt to make cattle paper — notes and mortgages in 
which livestock was offered as security — a medium of speculation. 
As Gene M. Gressley has pointed out, the possibility of a gigantic 
trust involving all of the major beef-producers in the United States 
had been rumored throughout the West since 1886. Sturgis's plan 
later materialized as the American Cattle Trust. Interestingly 
enough, in 1888, Richard G. Head of New Mexico, one of the 
trust's western representatives and an associate of Sturgis, told 
Plunkett that the idea had originally been a huge swindle designed 
by Sturgis to save his failing Union Cattle Company.^^ 

31. Ibid., June 18, 1886. 

32. Ibid., October 18, 1886. 

33. Ibid., November 4 and 19, 1886. 

34. Ibid., February 15, March 29, and April 18, 1887. 

35. Ibid., April 17, 1887, and May 24, 1888; Gene M. Gressley, Bankers 
and Cattlemen fNew York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), 258-262. 


During the spring of 1887, Plunkett again turned his attention to 
Powder River Cattle Compan}^ business. In May, he and Fred 
Hesse, foreman of the outfit, estimated the number of cattle on 
company range in Wyoming and Montana to be 14,000 exclusive of 
calves. The size of the herd had diminished rapidly, and both men 
agreed that the company faced bankruptcy unless the remaining 
cattle could be sold. Plunkett began to sell beef as quickly as he 
could. By July, the extent of the winter's toll became known, and 
reports that Plunkett received indicated that losses amounted to 
75 per cent of range stock. The Irishman worked to set the 
company's accounts in order, but he found that shareholders 
had claims for approximately $665,000, while the company had 
only $375,000 with which to meet its liabihties.^*' 

Plunkett considered abandoning his western interests at the end 
of 1887. His father was too old to attend to family business, and 
he wanted the benefit of his son's financial experience. Yet, 
Plunkett could not leave without tying up loose ends. Although he 
obtained an offer for some land held by the Powder River Cattle 
Company in Canada, other matters required his personal attention, 
and in the spring of 1888, Plunkett traveled once again to 
Wyoming. He sold the ungathered beeves of the Frontier Land 
and Cattle Company to the American Cattle Trust for a $15,000 
cash dov/npayment and dissolved his partnership with Coble, He 
retained an interest in two other ranches, hoping that the cattle 
business would recover from the winter of 1886-87 to usher in a 
new era of prosperity. Finally, in July, he and Fred Hesse joined a 
group of men to form an investment and loan company to operate 
in Johnson County. They created only the rough framework of 
an organization, and Plunkett, the treasurer, admitted in his diar>' 
that the company had no funds. Still, when money returned to 
Wyoming, he wrote, the men would be ready to make their share.^''' 

Several factors combined to terminate Plunkett's western so- 
journ. His eldest brother succumbed to tuberculosis and his father 
died early in 1889, leaving Plunkett as the only person to admin- 
ister the profitable but far-flung family holdings. In addition, he 
had become involved in the English cooperative movement, the 
principles of which he hoped to transplant in Ireland. On this 
would rest his future reputation. His health was vastly improved, 
and that had been his reason for going West in the first place. 
Moreover, as heir to the family fortune, he was, by his own admis- 
sion, wealthy enough to avoid the physical labor that ranching 
required. At that point, he simply ceased to be a cattleman.^* 

36. Diary, May 23 and 28, June 9, July 2, and August 8, 1887. 

37. Ibid., December 31, 1887, and March 27, May 26, June 9 and 16, 
and July 11, 1888. 

38. Digby, Plunkett, 39; New York Times, March 27, 1932, II, 5; Diary, 
December 31, 1888, and February 22 and December 31, 1889. 


Plunkett kept an interest in both the Wyoming Development 
Company and the Powder River Cattle Company, although the 
property of the latter soon fell into the hands of Fred Hesse, who 
had become its major creditor. The accounts of the Frontier Land 
and Cattle Company were not settled until 1911. Plunkett trans- 
ferred much of his Wyoming property to the Nebraska and Wyo- 
ming Investment Company of Omaha, with which he corresponded 
on business matters until five years before his death.^** 

Plunkett witnessed within ten years the advent and dissolution of 
the great American beef bonanza. The decade was a tumultuous 
one, and it marked him for the rest of his life. His name became 
legend among Wyoming cattlemen, some of whom ascribed in- 
credible feats to die frail Irishman. Charles A. Guernsey's con- 
tention that Plunkett could play two games of chess "with separate 
opponents at the same time, calling his moves from the court near 
by while playing tennis" would surely have embarrassed Plunkett, 
had he lived to read it.^'^ And even after his departure from the 
High Plains, the Irishman could not escape notice as a one-time 
cattleman. The romantic appeal of that earUer day followed him 
back to Europe, and when he died in 1932 at the age of seventy- 
eight, even the stodgy London Times acknowledged that Plunkett 
had once lived somewhere in the remote American West. "A lover 
of outdoor life, with the temperament of a pioneer," the obituary 
said, "he bought a ranch in Montana."*^ 

39. Ibid., October 21 and 24, 1890; Brayer, 'The 76 Ranch," 80; Horace 
Plunkett to John Chaplin, April 13, 1911, and Horace Plunkett to W. 
Lieberoth, October 30, 1917. MSS in the Plunkett Foundation for Co- 
operative Studies, London. Microfilm copies in the McKissick Library, 
University of South Carolina, Columbia. 

40. Charles A. Guernsey, Wyoming Cowboy Days (New York: G. P. 
Putnam's Sons, 1936), 74. 

41. The Times (London), March 28, 1932, 12. 

Soda Spring St 
Curiosity of the Zrail 

Robert L. Munkres 

This is the last in a series of five articles on the Oregon Trail by Dr. 
Munkres which have been published in the Annals of Wyoming since 
April, 1968. The manuscripts are based on emigrant diaries, primarily 
those in the collection of Paul C. Henderson, of Bridgeport, Nebraska. 
The present-day town of Soda Springs, Idaho, took its name from this 
spring noted by the emigrant diarists. Ed. 

Those who journeyed west along the Oregon-CaUfomia Trail 
during the days of an expanding frontier saw widely varying scen- 
ery. Some, hke Windlass Hill in Ash HoUow, they would just as 
soon have forgotten; others they marveled at — the wind-eroded 
starkness of Chimney Rock, the spectacle of the Canyon of the 
Platte, the rocky ruggedness of the Devil's Gate, and the green 
beauty of the Fort Bridger valley. Between Fort Bridger and Fort 
Hall, the emigrants encountered a brand new type of natural 
phenomenon— -Soda Springs — which a surprising number of them 
described in the same way.^ The following are typical examples of 
travelers' initial reactions: 

A few yards from our camp is a curious spring called the Soda Spring.2 
These Springs are a greate natural curiosity .3 

1. The naming of Soda Springs has not been fixed, either as to the time 
of naming or as to the person who performed the act. Charles Kelly and 
Dale Morgan, however, suggest that Caleb Greenwood may have done the 
honors. For their statement, see Charles Kelly and Dale Morgan, Old 
Greenwood. Revised edition. (Georgetown, Calif.: The Talisman Press, 
1965. p. 73. 

2. "Diary of Jason Lee". Copied from the Oregon Historical Quarterly 
for 1916. Vol. XVII. January 26, 1949, by Devere Helfrich. p. 17, entry 
for Wednes, July 9, 1834. 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 encouragement. 

3. Charles L. Camp (editor), James Clyman, Frontiersman 1792-1881. 
The Adventures of a Trapper and Covered-Wagon Emigrant as told in his 
own Reminiscences and Diaries. (Portland, Ore.: Champoeg Press, 1960). 
p. 101, entry for Sept. 7, 1944. 


There are quite a number of springs here which are certainly a great 

They are the greatest curiosity to be seen on the route. Cover 40 
acres of ground. . . .•'» 

These springs are indeed a great curiosity — holJow cones nearly three 
feet in diameter and four feet high are formed by the mineral 
water. . . . There are over twenty of these cones in this vicinity.® 

Daniel Toole, writing to his brother from Fort Hall in August of 
1846, expressed what was surely the majority attitude when he 
wrote that "The curiosities that are to be seen upon the plains, are 
enough to compensate me for all my troubles. The soda springs 
are a curiosity indeed."" There were, however, those who were 
considerably less impressed. John Howell (1845) agreed that 
"The soda springs are a curiosity but I was very much disappointed 
from reports."^ 

Many diarists, of course, recorded lengthy descriptions of this 
natural wonder. Several of such descriptions will suffice for our 
purposes, however, because they tend to be quite similar. 

Went ten miles off our route with Husband, Mr. McLeod & a few 
other, to visit Soda Springs. Was much delighted with the view of the 
wonders of Nature we saw there. The first object of curiosity we 
came to were several white mounds on the top of which were small 
springs of soda. These mounds were covered with a crustation made 
from the evaporation of the water which is continually running in 
small quantities from these springs." 

4. 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. (Glendale, Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark 
Co., 1940). p. 157, entry for August 1. 

5. "Diary of James Frear 1852," p. 10, entry for Tuesday, June 15th. 

6. "Diary of E. W. Conyers, A Pioneer of 1852, Now of Clatskanie, 
Oregon." As copied from the Transactions of the Thirty-Third Annual 
Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, June 15, 1905. p. 25, entry for 
July 22, Thursday. Hereafter, this source will be referred to as the "Diary 
of E. W. Conyers". 

7. "Daniel Toole to His Brother, Fort Hall, August 2, 1846" in Dale 
Morgan (editor). Overland In 1846: Diaries and Letters of the California- 
Oregon Trail. Volume II. (Georgetown, Calif.: The Talisman Press, 1963). 
p. 631. 

8. "Diary of an Emigrant of 1845, Diary of John Ewing Howell", 
p. 147, entry for 5, Tuesday (August, 1845). 

9. Clifford Merrill Drury (editor), First White Women Over the Rockies: 
Diaries, Letters, and Biographical Sketches of the Six Women of the Oregon 
Mission who made the Overland Journey in 1836 and 1838. Vol. I: Mrs. 
Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Henry H. Spalding, Mrs. William H. Gray, and Mrs. 
Asa B. Smith. (Glendale, Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1963). p. 76, 
entry for July 30th (1836). Hereafter, this source will be referred to as 
'''Mrs. Marcus Whitman". 


J. QUINN THORNTON (1846): We drove one mile and a half, 
and encamped at the most remarkable group of soda Springs. ... In 
the rear of the locality of the springs are several thousand acres of a 
flat rocky tract. The flat rock appeared to come just up even with the 
surface of the earth. They are seamed in every direction, with con- 
tinuous cracks of fissures of unknown depth. These are filled with 
small fragments of rocks which once presented every variety of angles 
but which are now in great measure rounded off. . . . The bed of the 
river, for several hundred yards, is at all times violently agitated by 
the gas which is generated below being sent up into the atmosphere. 
The nose, applied to many of the dry fissures in the rocks in the 
vicinity, detects the gas at once. I saw several places in the neighbor- 
hood, upright cylindrical rocks, consisting of the white substance 
deposited by the evomitions (sic) of the waters at the conical eleva- 
tions already described. They were from two to four feet in height, 
and from twelve to eighteen inches in diameter. At the top, they were 
very concave. . . . One of these rocks was beaten down, and broken 
into fragments: as a curious boy takes in pieces his toy, that he may 
see the inside. . . . There are, likewise, in the vicinity many small 
conical elevations, and several large ones, in the apex of a few of 
which is an aperture, through which, in some instances, the water still 
gushed out, and ran down the sides of the cone, leaving upon them a 
white sediment, which has. without doubt produced these singular 
formations, which look more like works of art. than of nature.^o 

JOHN C. FREMONT (1843): In about six miles' travel from our 
encampment, we reached one of the points in our journey to which we 
had always looked forward with great interest — the famous Beer 
Springs. The place in which they are situated is a basin of mineral 
waters enclosed by the mountains, which sweep around a circular bend 
of Bear river, here at its most northern point, and which, from a 
northern, in the course of a few miles acquires a southern direction 
towards the GREAT SALT LAKE. A pretty little stream of clear 
water enters the upper part of the basin, from an open valley in the 
mountains, and, passing through the bottom, discharges into Bear 
river. . . . 

Although somewhat disappointed in the expectations which various 
descriptions had led me to form of unusual beauty of situation and 
scenery, I found it altogether a place of very great interest; and a 
traveler for the first lime in a volcanic region remains in a constant 
excitment, and at every step is arrested by something remarkable and 
new. There is a confusion of interesting objects gathered together in a 
small space. A round the place of encampment the Beer springs 
were numerous; but, as far as we could ascertain, were confined 
entirely to that locality in the bottom. In the bed of the river, in front, 
for a space of several hundred yards, they were very abundant; the 
effervescing gas rising up and agitating the water in countless bubbling 
columns. In the vicinity round about were numerous springs of an 
entirely different and equally marked mineral character.!! 

10. J. Quinn Thornton, Oregon and California in 1848. (New York: 
Harper & Brothers, 1864), pp. 63-64, entry for August 3. 

11. Brevet Col. J. C. Fremont, Oregon and California: The Exploring 
Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California. To which is 
added a description of the Physical Geography of California, with recent 
notes of the Gold Region from the latest and most Authentic sources. 
(Buffalo: Geo. H. Derby & Co., 1849), p. 173, entry for August 25th, 1843. 


The mounds or cones, so frequently noted, were formed by a 
process explained by at least two observers. Mrs. Velina Williams 
(1853) stated that 'The water contains a gas, . . . and when 
exposed to the sun and air it passes but a short distance before it 
forms a crust or solid of scarlet hue, so that the constant boiling of 
any of these springs will form a rock on the height of its source."^^ 
George Keller (1850), physician to the Wayne County Company, 
described the process in more sophisticated terms. 

The water is impregnated with carbonic acid, which gives it the 
property of holding certain minerals in solution. As it issues from the 
surface it loses this gas, and the minerals are precipitated. By this 
process large mounds of calcareous matter have been formed. i-^* 

Not far from Soda Springs, almost all travelers observed an even 
more unusual sight. The need for brevity, as well as diarists' 
tendencies toward descriptive similarity noted earlier, make unnec- 
essary the reproduction of a great many lengthy comments about 
this site. Excerpts from the diaries of Joel Palmer (1845), John 
C. Fremont (1843) and Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly 
(1849), more than adequately convey the general impression 
experienced when viewing Steamboat Spring. 

JOEL PALMER: Three hundred yards below the crossing of this 
branch, and immediately on the bank of the river, is the Steamboat 
Spring. The water has formed a small cone of about two and a half 
feet in height, and three feet in diameter, at the base. A hole of six 
inches in diameter at the top, allows the water to discharge itself. It 
swells out at intervals of eight or ten seconds, and sometimes flows 
four or five feet in disjointed fragments. ... Is produces a sound 
similar to the puffing of a steamboat, but not quite so deep. It can 
frequently be heard at the distance of a quarter of a mile. About six 
feet from this is a small fissure in the rock, which is called the escape- 
pipe or gas-pipe. It makes a hissing noise, corresponding with the 
belching of the spring, i^ 

JOHN C. FREMONT: In a rather picturesque spot, about 1,300 
yards below our encampment, and immediately on the river bank, 
is the most remarkable spring of the place. In an opening on the 

12. Mrs. Velina A. Williams, "Diary of a trip across the plains in 1853. 
Supplemented by the recollections of O. A. Stearns, a nephew of Mrs. 
Williams." Copied from the Transactions of the Forty-Seventh Annual 
Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, (Portland, Oregon: Chausse- 
Prudhomme Co., Printers, 1922), p. 25, entry for August 8. 

13. Geo. Keller, A Trip Across the Plains and Life in California, A 
Description of the Overland Route; Its Natural Curiosities, Rivers, Lakes, 
Springs, Mountains, Indian Tribes, &c., &c.: The Gold Mines of California: 
Its Climate, Soil, Productions, Animals, &c., With Sketches of Indian, 
Mexican and Californian Character: To which is added, A Guide of the 
Route From the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. (White's Press: 
Massillon 1 -51), p. 23. 

14. Joel Palmer, Journal of Travels Over The Rocky Mountains, p. 19, 
entry for August 4 (1845). 


rock, a white column of scattered water is thrown up, in form Uke a 
jet-ii'eau, to a variable height of about three feet, and, though it is 
maintained in a constant supply, its greatest height is only attained at 
regular intervals, according to the action of the force below. It is 
accompanied by a subterranean noise, which, together with the motion 
of the water, makes very much the impression of a steamboat in 
motion; and without knowing that it had been already previously so 
called, we gave to it the name of the Steamboat spring;. The rock 
through which it is forced is slightly raised in a convex manner, and 
gathered at the opening into an urn-mouthed form, and is evidently 
formed by continued deposition from the water, and colored bright 
red by oxide of iron. . . . Within perhaps two yards of the jet-d'ean is 
a small hole of about an inch in diameter, through which, at regular 
intervals, escapes a blast of hot air with a light wreath of smoke, 
accompanied by a regular noise. i"' 

GEIGER AND BRYARLY: The greatest curiosity of all, however, 
is what has been named "The Steamboat Spring." This is situated 
upon the edge of the river, half a mile from the first spring. Out of 
solid rock, with a hole 1 foot in diameter, gushes forth the water, 
foaming, whizzing, sizzling, blowing, splashing & spraying. It throws 
it up from two to three feet high. There is a little intermission of a 
few seconds every now & then, which makes it resemble more "The 
Palaces of the Deep." A few feet from this large one are two smaller 
ones, which are phizzing away all the time and somewhat resemble 
the scape-pipe of a Steamer. i*' 

The noises produced by Steamboat Spring reminded most emi- 
grants of steam whistles, steam pipes or steam boats, as illustrated 
by those diarists just cited. J. Goldsborough Bruff (1849), how- 
ever, was struck by "The resemblance of the sound it gives, to that 
of a steamboat's paddles, under water,"^^ while Orange Gaylord 
(1850) thought it "sounds something like the noise of a water 
wheel."^^ Jason Lee (1834), on the other hand, described "a 
hole . . . where the atmosphere strongly impregnated with sulphur 
issues in a manner that strongly resembles respiration and with such 

15. Brevet Colonel J. C. Fremont, op. cit. pp. 173-174. 

16. David Morris Potter (editor). Trail to California: The Overland 
Journal of Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly. (New Haven: Yale 
University Press), p. 145, entry for Wednesday, July Uth, 1849. EUsha 
Perkins (1849) somewhat more vividly described the waters as coming out 
"in gusts like throwing pails of water in the air." Thomas D. Clark (editor), 
Gold Rush Diary: Being the Journal of Elisha Douglass Perkins on the 
Overland Trail in the Spring and Summer of 1849. (Lexington: University 
of Kentucky Press, 1967), p. 91, entry for Wednesday, Aug. 8. 

17. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines (editors), Gold Rush: The 
Journals, Drawings, and other papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff, Captain, 
Washington City and California Mining Association April 2, 1849-July 20, 
1851. Centennial edition. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1949), 
p. 91, entry for 17 (August, 1849). 

18. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", compiled 
by Lillie Moore, a granddaughter. As copied from the Transactions of the 
Forty-fifth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, Portland, 
July 19, 1917. p. 6, entry for July 2. 


force as to be heard several rods and is quite warm."^-' In like 
manner, Asahel Munger (1839) noted that the spring "would 
seem to be gasping for breath drawing in wind which makes a 
guggling (sic) noise when passing in, then out comes the water in 
a half steam, as though mixed with gas and pressed out with 
tremendous force. "-f* The hole from which these noises issued was 
labeled by Richard Owen Hickman (1852) as "an aperture in the 
stone, through which a hissing noise proceeds . . . called the Safety 
Valve of the Steamboat Spring."^^ John Kearns (1852) provided 
an explanation for the cacophony of sound produced in this vicin- 
ity. It was, he wrote, "caused by soda coming in contact with the 
Alkali, which is abundant here, and water continually uniting 

The combination of elements referred to by Mr. Kearns not only 
created noise, it also produced appreciable amounts of gas, the 
effects of which were most pronounced. In July, 1836, Narcissa 
Whitman looked at "some rocks a Uttle below in the opening" 
where she saw "dead flies & birds in abundance which had ap- 
proached so near the crater, as to be choked with the gas which it 
constantly emits."--' Mrs. Whitman went on to note that "On 
putting the face down, the breath is stopped instantly, & a low 
rumbling noise like the roaring of fire is heard beneath. "^'^ Orange 
Gaylord (1850) agreed that "The water boils and foams all around 
the edges, just as if there was a hot fire under it, and so strong with 
acid that, if a person holds his head a little below the surface of the 
ground, they cannot draw more than one-half of a breath in the 
natural way of breathing,"^^ Joel Palmer ( 1 845 ) and John Kearns 
(1852) both felt that the gas given off was potentially quite 
dangerous; Palmer noted that "The gas emitted from this fissure is 
so strong that it would suffocate a person, holding his head near 
the ground,"^^ while Kearns described "a vapor so strong that no 

19. "Diary of Jason Lee", op. cit. 

20. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", p. 8, entry for 16 (July, 1839). 

21. M. Catherine White (editor), The Journal of Richard Owen Hickman: 
An Overland Journey to California in 1852. Historical Reprints, Sources of 
Northwest History No. 6. Reprinted from the Historical Section of The 
Frontier, a magazine of the Northwest, published at The State University 
of Montana, Missoula. Vol. IX, No. 3, March, 1929. p. 15, entry for 
July 5th, '52. 

22. John T. Kearns, "Journal of Crossing the Plains to Oregon in 1852," 
As copied from the Transactions of the Forty-Second Annual Reunion of the 
Oregon Pioneers Association, Portland, June 25, 1914. p. 16, entry for 
Thursday, July 22. 

23. "Mrs. Marcus Whitman", op. cit. 

24. Ibid., pp. 76-77. 

25. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", op. cit. 
pp. 5-6. 

26. Joel Palmer, op. cit. 


person could live five minutes with their heads below the top of the 
ground in these holes. "^^ 

John C. Fremont (1843) experienced a somewhat different 
reaction to the gasses just alluded to. The Colonel first referred to 
a "Doctor Wislizenus, a gentleman who had several years since 
passed by this place, and who remarked, with very nice observation, 
that smelling the gas which issued from the orifice produced a 
sensation of giddiness and nausea;" then "Mr. Preuss and myself 
repeated the observation, and were so well satisfied with its 
correctness, that we did not find it pleasant to continue the experi- 
ment, as the sensation of giddiness which it produced was certainly 
strong and decided."-^ A short time later a "huge emigrant wagon, 
with a large and diversified family . . . halted to noon" near 
Fremont, who then asked one of the young men "to stoop down 
and smell the gas, desirous to satisfy myself further of its effects. "^^ 
The young man, "his natural caution . . . awakened by the singular 
and suspicious features of the place, . . . declined my proposal 
decidedly, and with a few indistinct remarks about the devil whom 
he seemed to consider the genius loci.'"-''^ 

In spite of the noise and odor, some emigrants were apparently 
taken with the place. In July of 1851, after viewing Steamboat 
Spring, Mrs. E. A. Hadley wrote in her diary, "I never saw 
anything so splendid in all my life."^^ 

Occasionally, emigrant journals contain a reference to "The 
Boiling Springs" which, according to Vincent Geiger and Wakeman 
Bryarly (1849) "boils up from crevices in the rocks in a thousand 
different places, making the surface foam & hiss, as boiling 
water. ""- 

At the lower part of the spring, the water descended again in the 
ground, this being the only outlet. This was also Soda. In fact the 
whole earth seemed to be saturated & filled with this water, & it is 
bursting out from every crevice & hole that you can find.^s 

Daniel Toole (1846) noted that the "noise like it was boUing . . . 
can be heard a quarter of mile off. The water foams like suds, and 
is a Uttle above milk warm."^^ Mrs. Elizabeth Geer (1847) agreed, 
except for describing the water as "blood warm."^-'^ 

27. John T. Kearns, op. cit. 

28. Bvt. Col. J. C. Fremont, op. cit. p. 174. 

29. Ibid., pp. 174-175. 

30. Ibid., p. 175. 

31. "Diary of Mr. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851," p. 17, entry for Thurs- 
day, July 3. The original of this diary is in a private museum of pioneer 
relics in Lake View, Ore. 

32. David Morris Potter, op. cit. 

33. Ibid. 

34. "Daniel Toole to his Brother, Fort Hall, August 2, 1846", op. cit. 

35. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer". As copied from the 


One final physical characteristic attracted the attention of some 
passers-by. A number of the springs had dried up, but the sub- 
terranean passages through which water had flowed remained. The 
result was described by Major Osborne Cross (1849) and J. Quinn 
Thornton (1846). The former noted "a hollow sound as you 
walk or ride over them,"^*' while the latter observed that "The 
ground in many places emits a hollow sound, upon receiving the 
tread of feet."^'^ Samuel Parker (1845) used more colorful 
language: "to gelip (gallop) a horse, it sounds like wood hitting an 
empty barrel, all hoUow."^*^ 

The unusual geographic features of the area were attributed by 
many to, in the words of Osborne Russell (1834), "volcanic 
action . . . (of) some remote period the evidences of which, how- 
ever still remains in the deep and frightful chasms which may be 
found in the rocks, throughout this portion of country which could 
only have been formed by some terrible convulsion of nature. "^^ 
In like manner, John Boardman ( 1 843 ) wrote that "The country 
for miles is full of fissures, very deep, where the rock are rent and 
thrown into many shapes,"**^ while Celinda Himes (1853) com- 
mented simply "There were large holes in the ground and rocks 
had been thrown up sometimes for rods in length. . . . Stones 
looked as if they had been burned."*^ As was so frequently the 
case, John C. Fremont ( 1 843 ) gave a more detailed description of 
the "very remarkable, yellow-colored rock, soft and friable, con- 

Transactions of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer 
Association, Portland, June 19th, 1907. p. 8, entry for Aug. 22 (1847). 

36. Raymond W. Settle, op. cit. 

37. J. Quinn Thornton, op. cit., p. 63. 

38. "Diary of Samuel Parker, 1845," p. 5, entry for July, 26. A copy of 
this diary is held by the Oregon Historical Society. The original is in the 
possession of a granddaughter, Miss Cornelius Parker, Portland, Ore., 
Feb. 28, 1933. 

39. Osborne Russell's Journal of a Trapper, Edited from the original 
manuscript in the William Robertson Coe Collection of Western Americana 
in the Yale University Library; with a biography of Osborne Russell and 
maps of his travels while a trapper in the Rocky Mountains, by Aubrey L. 
Haines. (Portland: Oregon Historical Society MCMLV.) Champoeg Press, 
Reed College, p. 4, entry for July 7, 1834. Hereafter, this source will be 
cited as Osborne Russell. 

40. *The Journal of John Boardman: An Overland Journey From 
Kansas to Oregon in 1843," Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 2, October, 
1929, Number 4. p. 10, entry for Thursday, 7th. 

41. "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. 21, entry for 
Mon, Jul. 25. 

Elisha Perkins (1849) "picked up nvmierous specimen of fused metal 
sulphates etc. also petrifactions & lava" but quickly found that "the limited 
weight of my packs will not admit of my carrying home with me". TTiomas 
D. Clark, op. cit. 


sisting principally of carbonate of lime and oxide of iron, or regular 
structure, which is probably a fossil coral."*- 

Joel Palmer (1845) and Richard May (1848) were among 
those who described some of the other features of the immediate 
vicinity of Soda Springs. Palmer noted that "a grove of cedar and 
pine timber extends from the river back to the mountain, a distance 
of two and a half or three miles; the space between the road and 
the river is covered with grass; but between it and the mountain it 
is barren of vegetation of any kind."^'^ The description recorded 
by Mr. May is more eloquently poetic. 

Nature has dealt out bountifully of her best gifts here. She has 
given the live invigorating stream, a beautiful little river, a moun- 
tainous and healthy country, also a tolerable good soil and mountain 
streams to irrigate it, fine and wholesome grass for any quantity of 
cattle. The very ground on which these springs are situated are 
nicely decorated with the evergreens of the forest. Add to all this the 
magnificent grandeur of the surrounding mountains covered with pine, 
cedar, fir and quaking asp.^* 

Just as most diarists at least mentioned Soda Springs, a very 
large percentage also imbibed of the local beverage. As might, 
perhaps, be expected, the opinions held about the taste and effects 
of the liquid were as mixed as were the components of the water 
itself. And the extent of the latter mixture was best conveyed by 
John C. Fremont (1843), who indicated that "By analysis, one 
quart of the water contains as follows:" 


Sulphate of magnesia 12.10 

Sulphate of Lime 2.12 

Carbonate of lime 3.86 

Carbonate of magnesia 3.22 

Chloride of calcium 1.33 

Chloride of magnesium 1.12 

Chloride of sodium 2.24 

Vegetable extractive matter, &c. 0.85 


The extent of divided opinion about the soda waters of Idaho is 
easily ilustrated. Of a sample of 27 diarists, 16 expressed the 
opinion that the waters were good and 11 adopted a contrary 

42. Brevet Colonel J. C. Fremont, op. cit. p. 175. 

43. Joel Palmer, op. cit. 

44. Richard May, "A Sketch of a Migrating Family to California." 
Entry for Aug. 3rd (1848). 

45. Bvt. Col. J. C. Fremont, op. cit. George Keller (1850) also analyzed 
the water of Soda Springs. He fixed the following percentages : "Carbonate 
of Lime 95.50; do. Magnesia .50; Silica, Alumina, and loss 7.90". Geo. 
Keller, op. cit. 


position. The range of disagreement is highlighted when one 
juxtaposes a series of conflicting evaluations. 

The water was fine, only needed lemon syrup, to render it perfect 
soda water.^^' 

The taste of the water is somewhat metallic and by no means 
pleasant compared with the springs in the bottom and immediately in 
the vicinity of this place.*" 

The water is clear and has a smart taste like small beer, though it 
has more of the sting to it than any beer I ever drank. I drank freely 
of it. It had a very good effect.^** 

The Strongest Spring ... is so highly charged that it almost takes 
your Breath to drink a cup of it Quick from the Spring.*'-* 

The water . . . sparkles and tastes just as a glass of soda will, pure 
and cold."''^ 

Many of the emigrants relish the taste of this soda water and drink 
freely of it, but I cannot endure it.^^ 

Drunk freely of the water, found it very pleasant. •"- 

. . . the famous Soda Springs . . . are not so good as has been repre- 
sented. Only one or two of our company liked it. It tasted like weak 
vinegar with a little saleratus in it.'^-^ 

The water, sweetened and mixed with acid, makes a beautiful effer- 
vescing drauglit.54 

Its taste was to me unpleasant being that of soda water without any 
syrup or flavoring, slightly acid, also a very distinct metallic taste, & a 
foetid old swamp like flavor combined. ^5 

. . . encamped near Soda Springs, where we took a good drink of the 
best soda water that 1 ever tasted.^e 

There is considerable gas rises at this place through the earth that 
gives the water a peculiar flavor but rather disagreeable than other- 

The physical effects of drinking these waters was also the subject 
of at least modest differences of opinion. The company to which 
Count Leone tto Cipriani (1853) belonged "drank a deal of the 
water, and it produced on all of us a satisfying, purgative effect."^* 

46. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, op. cit. 

47. Raymond W. Settle, op. cit. 

48. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", op. cit. p. 7. 

49. Charles L. Camp, op. cit., pp. 101-102. 

50. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851," op. cit. 

51. "Diary of E. W. Conyers", op. cit. 

52. "Mrs. Marcus Whitman", op. cit., p. 77. 

53. "Diary of Mrs. Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer", op. cit. 

54. 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. 12, entry for Sim, Aug. 15. 

55. Thomas D. Clark, op. cit. 

56. "Diary of James Frear 1852", op. cit. 

57. "Diary of an Emigrant of 1845, Diary of John Ewing Powell", op. cit. 

58. Ernest Falbo (Translator and Editor), California and Overland 
Diaries of Count Leonetto Cipriani from 1853 through 1871 Containing the 


Dr. Benjamin Cory (1847) shared this reaction: '1 drank quarts 
of this delicious water. A few of our company did not relish it, a 
diuretic with me."'''^ Sarah Smith ( 1 838 ) , on the other hand, drank 
the water and found that "It produced a little sickness,"^" while 
Richard May (1848) noted enigmatically that "The waters have an 
influence on the system when drank of."*^^ 

All of the differences just noted are undoubtedly the resuk, in 
part, of differing individual tastes. Osborne Russell ( 1834), how- 
ever, mentions a factor probably of equal importance. 

On the right hand or East side of the river ... is 5 or 6 mineral 
springs some of which have precisely the taste of soda water when 
taken up and drank immediatelyO) others have a sour, sulperous (sic) 

From the earhest days of travel, Soda Springs was also very 
frequently referred to as Beer Springs. "^^ The logic of the second 
name is quite apparent, as James Pritchard (1849) pointed out, 
because of "the acid tast (sic) and effervessing gasses contained in 
these waters."^^ Another dimension had been added to such an 
explanation six years earlier by Colonel Fremont ( 1 843 ) , when he 
wrote that "Beer springs, ... on account of the effervescing gas 
and acid taste, have received their name from the voyageurs and 
trappers of the country, who, in the midst of their rude and hard 

account of his cattle drive from Missouri to California in 1853; a visit with 
Brigham Young in the Mormon settlement of Salt Lake City; the assembling 
of his elegant prefabricated home in Belmont, the first of consequence 
lOn the San Francisco peninsula, later to become the Ralston Mansion. 
(Portland, Ore.: Champoeg Press. 1962), p. 103, entry for Tuesday, August 
9 (1853). 

59. ''Diary of Dr. Benjamin Cory, Crossing the Plains", p. 18, entry for 
July 14 (1847). 

60. Clifford Merrill Drury (editor), First White Women Over the 
Rockies: Diaries, Letters, and Biographical Sketches of the Six Women of 
the Oregon Mission who made the Overland Journey in 1836 and 1838. 
Vol. Ill: Diary of Sarah White Smith (Mrs. Asa B. Smith). Letter of Asa B. 
Smith and other documents relating to the 1838 Reenforcement to the 
Oregon Mission, p. 99, entry for 24th. Tues (July, 1838). Hereafter this 
source will be referred to as "Diary of Sarah N\'hite Smith". 

61. Richard May, op. cit. 

62. Osborne Russell, op. cit. 

63. For example, James Pritchard (1849), John C. Fremont (1843), 
John McGlashen (1850) and C. W. Smith (1850) all use this title, either 
by itself or in combination with the more popular name. 

64. Dale L. Morgan (editor). The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard 
from Kentucky to California in 1849 With a biography of Captain James A. 
Pritchard by Hugh Pritchard Williamson. With an introduction, bibliog- 
raphy, and a chart of travel by all known diarists west across South Pass in 
1849 drawn by J. Goldsborough Bruff. (Denver: The Old West Publishing 
Company, 1959), p. 102, entry for Friday, June 29th. Hereafter this source 
will be cited as "The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard." 


lives, are fond of finding some fancied resemblance to the luxuries 
they rarely have the fortune to enjoy."®"' 

Although most pioneers used the terms "Soda Springs" and 
"Beer Springs" interchangeably, at least two emigrants believed 
they referred to different locations. Rufus Sage (1857) distin- 
guished between them on the grounds that "The water of the one he 
finds on tasting to be excellent natural soda, and that of the other, 
slightly acid and beer-Uke; the draught will prove delicious and 
somewhat stimulating, but, if repeated too freely, it is said to pro- 
duce a kind of giddiness like intoxication.""** Henry Allyn ( 1 853 ) , 
after passing the fork of the Port Neuf and Bear Rivers, "came to 
the Beer Springs, as great a natural curiosity as the Soda", whose 
water "boils up from the bottom like a common spring, which 
keeps the surface in motion, but it is not forced up by gas, like the 
Sodas, but runs spontaneously. "^'^ Mr. Allyn rather liked the water 
of Beer Springs, whose "taste very much resembles small beer and 
to me is not at all disagreeable."®^ He went on to add: 

I drank nearly a pint and it had no bad effect, but set me to belching 
wind from the stomach, on which it set very light. But I am not 
acquainted enough with chemistry to explain the phenomena of either 
this or the Soda Springs.^** 

In addition to being drunk, there was another use to which the 
waters of Soda Springs could be put; according to Major Osborne 
Cross ( 1 849 ) , "It was also used in making bread and was a very 
good substitute in the place of saleratus."'^ In fact, Richard May 
( 1 848 ) thought that "The water taken from these springs is much 
better than salaratus to mix up bread stuff. It rises very well and is 
much sweeter."^^ The ultimate accolade, however, came from 
Sarah Smith (1838) who compared the water most favorably with 
yeast; she found "it excellent for making bread, no preparation of 
the water is necessary, take it from the fountain & the bread is as 
light as any prepared with yeast."''^ 

65. Bvt. Col. J. C. Fremont, op. cit., p. 173. 

66. Rufus B. Sage, Rocky Mountain Life; or, Startling Scenes and Peril- 
ous Adventures in the Far West, During an Expedition of Three Years. 
(Boston: Wentworth & Company; 86 Washington Street, 1857), p. 257, 

67. "Journal of Henry Allyn, 1853. A record of daily events during a 
trip from Fulton County, 111., Across the Plains to the Willamette Valley, 
Oregon Territory. In the year 1853; with a brief description of the scenery 
and curiosities along the road." As copied from the Transactions of the 
Forty-Ninth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneers Association, Portland, 
June 16, 1921. pp. 30-31, entry for July 14, Thursday. Hereafter this 
source is cited as the "Journal of Henry Allyn, 1853". 

68. Ibid.,ip. 31. 

69. Ibid. 

70. Raymond W. Settle, op. cit. 

71. Richard May, op. cit. 

11. "Diary of Sarah White Smith", op. cit. Saleratus as a substitute for 


The water of Steamboat Spring, when compared to those of Soda 
Springs, was held in decidedly lower esteem by those who sampled 
it. Although George Keller (1850) maintained that "In chemical 
constitution this water is somewhat similar to that of the Soda 
Springs,"'^"' no one else was aware of much similarity. Orange 
Gaylord (1850), for instance, noted that the water "foams and has 
the taste of Soda-water and is warm,""^ while the best Major 
Osborne Cross could say for it a year earlier was that "The taste of 
the water is said to be much the same as the other springs in the 
bottom, but to my taste it was more metallic, warmer, and not so 
highly impregnated with gas."^^ Joel Palmer (1845) did not even 
describe the taste of Steamboat Spring's produce; rather, he noted 
an interesting peculiarity about it. T^e water, he wrote, "is luke- 
warm, and has a miUcy appearance; but when taken in a vessel 
becomes as transparent as crystal."^*' Other travelers gave pungent 
evidence of more negative reactions. John C. Fremont (1843) 
and Richard Owen Hickman (1852) expressed markedly similar 
opinions. The former described the water as having "a pungent 
and disagreeable metallic taste, leaving a burning effect on the 
tongue,"'' while the latter noted it had "a sharp, biting taste and 
leaves a sort of metalic (sic) taste in the mouth. ""^ It is no wonder 
that John Boardman (1843) 'Traveled till 10 at night to find 
water, and made a poor camp" since the water of Steamboat Spring 
"tastes much of copper."^'-* By all odds, however, Nathaniel Wyeth 
(1834) gave the most succinct evaluation when he observed that 
"here a warm spring . . . throws water with a jet . . . which is like 
Bilge water in taste.""^*^ Richard May (1848) perhaps found the 
most useful characteristic of the water. 

I laid off my hat and adjusted my clothing so as to bathe my face 
thinking that if it had a wholesome influence on the system when 
drank it would have a like influence when bathed in.'^i 

The waters of Steamboat Spring may have been unpalatable, but 

yeast was first encountered in the Sweetwater Valley and particularly in the 
vicinity of Independence Rock and Devil's Gate. The reactions to it were 
not quite as varied as those to the waters of Soda Springs; most emigrants 
thought saleratus a reasonably satisfactory replacement for yeast. 

73. Geo. Keller, op. cit. 

74. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", op. cit., 
p. 6. 

75. Raymond W. Settle, op. cit., pp. 158-159. 

76. Joel Palmer, op. cit. 

11. Bvt. Col. J. C. Fremont, op. cit., p. 174. 

78. M. Catherine White, op. cit. 

79. "The Journal of John Boardman: An Overland Journey From 
Kansas to Oregon in 1843", op. cit. 

80. Nathaniel Wyeth, July 8, 1934. Cited in Georgia Willis Read and 
Ruth Gaines, op. cit., p. 619, footnote 267. 

81. Richard May, op. cit. 


another spring in this vicinity was actually dangerous. "Near the 
soda spring is a poison spring," Myra Eells (1838) recorded, "and 
it generally proves fatal to whatever drinks it. A number of our 
horses feel its sad effects today; one belongs (sic) to the company 
died; supposed to have drank freely of the water."^^ In 1851, John 
Zeiber probably saw the same spring, which he described as "an 
alkali basin of clear water, where one of Bowman's oxen sickened 
and died on the morning of."^-^ Most emigrants apparently avoided 
this source of potential difficulty and danger, perhaps for the reason 
noted in the Dinwiddle Journal ( 1 853 ) : "After leaving the springs 
we crossed a very pretty creek of clear looking water, but said in 
some of the guides to be poisonous water. , . ."'*'* 

Natural phenomena seem to elicit the same reaction from a great 
many observers; something in the make-up of humans leads them 
to attempt to interfere with such phenomena, apparently just to see 
what will happen. Soda Springs and Steamboat Springs were no 
exception. For reasons best known to hunself, a member of 
Vincent Geiger's and Wakeman Bryarly's ( 1 849 ) party "reached a 
cup into it (Steamboat Spring), when it was immediately drawn 
from his hand into the hole. He, however, delved down for it, & 
found it the length of his arm in, & required a considerable jerk to 
get it out."^"' Orange Gaylord (1850) was also intrigued by 
Steamboat Spring, particularly by the water which "when forced 
from the spring, is thrown up perpendicularly two feet high and 
from that to five feet."^^ After "The water flew in my face several 
times ... I threw several large stones in the hole, but it did not 
seem to make any difference in the leaping of the water."^^ A 
more direct effort to impede the flow of Steamboat Spring was 
made by Jason Lee (1834) who "put a wet tuft of grass upon it 

82. "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 Annual Reunion, Portland, Oregon, June 18, 1889. p. 20, 
entry for Wed, July 25. 

83. "Diary of John S. (Shunk) Zeiber, 1851." As copied from the 
Transactions of the Forty-eighth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer 
Association, Portland, July 1, 1920. p. 16, entry for Thu, Aug. 7. 

84. Margaret Booth (editor), Overland From Indiana to Oregon: The 
Dinwiddie Journal. Sources of Northwest History No. 2. Reprinted from 
the Historical Section of The Frontier, A Magazine of the Northwest, pub- 
lished at the State University of Montana, Missoula, Vol. VIII, No. 2. 
March, 1928. p. 9, entry for Friday 15th (July, 1853). 

85. Davis Morris Potter, op. cit. This story is somewhat reminiscent of 
the one about the cowboy's hat which, sucked into a hole in the ground, led 
to the discovery of Wind Cave in South Dakota. 

86. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", op. cit., 
p. 6. 

87. Ibid. 


and forced it in with my foot";*** the pressure was too great for him 
to "succeed in entirely preventing the escape of the air", but he 
nonetheless "observed while the grass was closely pressed into the 
hole that the waters spurted with more force and more constancy 
and when my foot was removed the grass instantly raised."*^ What 
might have happened had his effort at plugging Steamboat Spring 
been successful must not have concerned Mr. Lee, even though he 
himself reported that "A man on whom I can depend who visited 
the spring before I did said when the hole was stopped there was a 
cracking underneath resembling the report of a gun."^" 

Not every one, of course, conducted such experiments. Some 
either lacked interest in such things or were too busy. Others had 
their attention directed elsewhere by circumstances not under their 
control. Mary Richardson Walker (1838), for example, wrote in 
her diary only that she "camped at the Soda Springs;" such brevity 
may well have been the result of the fact that "My horse fell and 
tumbled me over his head."^^ J. G. Bruff (1849), on the other 
hand, was more interested in sketching a picture of Steamboat 
Spring than in impeding its natural operation. He was, in fact, so 
interested in his drawing that his wagon train got three miles ahead 
of him — and a storm came up 

... I walked hard to reach shelter at Camp, but caught a ducking. 
The gust came on, it blew heavy, and rain's in torrents, while the 
forked ligh(t)ning flashed about, in the most appalling manner, — 
seeming to strike tlie earth, several times, very near me: and the 
crashing thunder made the earth tremble, and it reverberated among 
the lofty cliffs & hills, around. I felt some apprehension — running 
across the plains in this thick demonstration of electricity, with my 
bright double-barrel'd gun, gleaming in the flashes. 

I reached the corral, breathless, and sought shelter from the gust, 
under a wagon, where 2 other men were crouched. It was quite a 
heavy gale for half an hour, blowing from every point of the compass. 
There we remained, cold wet and cramped up, like all the rest of the 
company, except the sentinals, — who, — poor fellows! had to take it.®2 

Probably the most unusual, and certainly one of the most painful, 
attempts to stop the forceable discharge of water from Steamboat 
Spring was reported by E. W. Conyers (1853). 

One of our company, R. L. Doyle, made a wager that he could 
stop the flow of water from this spring by sitting on the crevice. He 

88. "Diary of Jason Lee", op. cit. 

89. Ibid. 

90. Ibid. 

91. Rufus A. Coleman (editor), The Diary of Mary Richardson Walker, 
June 10-December 21, 1838. Sources of Northwest History No. 15. Re- 
printed from The Frontier, A Magazine of the Northwest, published at the 
State University of Montana, Missoula. Vol. XI, No. 3. March, 1931. 
p. 9, entry for Tuesday, July 24. 

92. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, op. cit., pp. 92-94. 


waited until the water began to recede, then took off his pants and 
seated himself on the crevice. In this position he waited for the flow. 
He did not have to wait very long for the flow. It came gradually at 
first, but increased in force every moment. Doyle soon began bobbing 
up and down at a fearful rate. At this stage of the fun several of the 
boys took hold of Doyle and tried to hold him on the crevice, but in 
this they failed, for the more weight they added to Doyle the more 
power the spring seemed to have, and Doyle kept on bobbing up and 
down like a cork. Finally Doyle cried out: "Boys, ther is no use 
trying to hold the divil down. It can't be did, for the more weight 
you put on the more the devil churns me. I am now pounded into a 

Those who traveled the road west had deliberately pulled them- 
selves away from that which they had previously known, but all 
carried memories of other more familiar places. As a result, 
diarists were sometimes moved to compare new sights with old 
memories. Charles Putnam, writing to his father from Fort Hall 
on August 8, 1846, told how "We stopped three days at the Soda 
Springs where we enjoyed ourselves as much as though we had 
been at Saratoga N.Y.".^* The peripatetic Colonel Fremont (1843) 
gave evidence of how seasoned a traveler he was by observing "The 
Beer or Soda springs ... are agreeable, but less highly flavored 
than the Boiling springs at the foot of Pike's Peak, which are of the 
same character."^^ And EUsha Perkins (1849), remembering a 
valley in far-off Ohio, remarked that the Bear River was "much 
more of a stream than I had supposed . . . , quite as large as the 
Muskingum above Zanesville."^^ 

Not all emigrants, being daily exposed to new experiences, saw 
the present in terms of the past. A number, rather, looked at new 
territory and saw possibilities for the future. Osborne Russell 
(1834) and James Frear (1852), separated from each other by 
almost two decades, made similar predictions about the future of 
Soda Springs. Russell, a trapper himself, speculated that "This 
place which now looks so lonely, visited only by the rambling 
trapper or sohtary Savage will doubtedless at no distant day be a 
resort for thousands of the gay and fashionable world, as well as 
Invalids and spectators. "^^ Mr. Frear wrote simply that Soda 
Springs was "destined to be one of the most noted places of resort 
in North America."^** Henry Spalding (1838) added another 
dimension to these prognostications by suggesting that "when a 
railroad connects the waters of the Columbia with those of the 

93. "Diary of E. W. Conyers", op. cit. 

94. "Charles F. Putnam to Joseph Putnam, Fort Hall, August 8, 1846" in 
Dale Morgan (editor), op. cit., p. 633. 

95. Bvt. Col. J. C. Fremont, op. cit., p. 175. 

96. Thomas D. Clark, op. cit., p. 89, entry for Monday, Aug. 6 (1849). 

97. Osborne Russell, op. cit. 

98. "Diary of James Frear 1852", op. cit. 


Missouri, this fountain may be a source of great gain to the com- 
pany that shall accomplish such a noble work."^" Richard May 
(1848) agreed that "Here everything does allure and must in time 
attract the capitalist and fashionable as well as the valitudinarians 
of the land,"^"" but he saw the possibility of another type of com- 
mercial venture: "About midway between the upper spring and 
the Steamboat spring there is a mill site where the water could be 
thrown upon an overshot wheel 22 feet in diameter."^**^ 

Intriguing though these speculations are, they all proved to be 
inaccurate. Soda Springs and its immediate environs today are 
under water, covered by the Soda Point Reservoir. Predicting the 
future was as hazardous then as it is now! 

During the years of greatest travel on the Oregon-California 
Trail, emigrants frequently encountered Indians, usually Shoshoni, 
in the vicinity of Soda Springs. As an example, Mrs. Velina Wil- 
Uams (1853) noted "The Shoshoni Indians have a village near 
here'V"" while the entry in James Frear's diary (1852) was even 
briefer— "Shoshoni Indian Village. "^''•^ Mrs. E. A. Hadley was 
more informative in her account, writing "we are pretty well in the 
mountains and among the shoshone or snake Indians. They at 
present appear friendly. "^^^ 

Indians had, of course, discovered Soda Springs long before 
white men ever penetrated the region; they were apparently also 
aware of the unique qualities of its waters, setting "a great reUance 
upon their virtues for a numerous class of disorder."^"^ Unlike the 
white man, Indians found the natural properties of the earth, as 
well as the water, useful. In 1852, Richard Owen Hickman 
observed that "The earth around it (Steamboat Spring) for miles 
is the color of ochre . . .";io9 ^^q years earlier, Orange Gaylord 
(1850) saw "two other springs, the water of which is a bright 
vermiUion red. They foam and boU the same as the other springs. 
There happened to be an Indian there. He told us that they used it 

99. Clifford Merrill Drury (editor), The Diaries and Letters of Henry H. 
Spalding and Asa Bowen Smith relating to the Net Perce Mission 1838-1842. 
(Glendale, Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1958), p. 235. 

100. Richard May, op. cit. 

101. Ibid. He also noted another interesting feature: 'This little stream 
runs under a natural bridge which the road crosses and falls into Bear 

102. Mrs. Velina A. Williams, op. cit. 

103. "Diary of James Frear 1852", op. cit. 

104. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit. Of all the 
tribes encountered by emigrants in present-day Nebraska, Wyoming and 
eastern Idaho, the Shoshoni most consistently maintained a reputation for 
friendship toward the whites. 

105. Burnett, cited in Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, op. cit. 
p. 619, footnote 267. 

106. M. Catherine White, op. cit. 


for painting themselves."^"^ "There is also large beds of clay in the 
vicinity of a snowy whiteness", according to Osborne Russell 
(1834), "which is much used by the Indians for cleansing their 
clothes and skins, it not being inferior to soap for cleansLug wool- 
lens or skins dressed after the Indian fashion."^''^ Asahel Munger 
(1839) likened the whiteness of the clay to that of "our common 
earthen (ware)"; he also indicated that it was "used by the Indians 
in all parts of the mountains for whitening skins &c."^"'^ 

Although the Shoshoni were generally friendly, as noted earlier, 
they liked horses as well as any tribe of the high plains and 
mountains. To acquire horses they, in common with aU tribes of 
the region, raided the herds of neighboring bands. Not surpris- 
ingly, when white men took the road west in increasing numbers, 
the Indians simply considered their horse herds as additions to the 
list of possible targets for acquisitive activity. John Keams ( 1 852) 
was luckier than many. 

I came near upsetting an Indian last night who sought to steal while 
I was on guard. I happened to see him between me and the moon as 
it was going down about 1 1 o'clock at night, and I kept a close lookout 
for him, and as he came around near where I was laying behind one 
of the oxen, I leveled my gun to shoot him. but the tumbler of the 
lock being out of order, it went when I let go of the hammer, so I 
missed him, but I had the pleasure of hearing him set his feet down 
pretty fast for half a mile.^^*' 

An acquaintance of the Reverend Edward Evans Parrish (1844) 
was not so fortunate. On a cloudy Sunday in September, "an 
Indian and his squaw came to us and I traded for some antelope 
meat. The Indian speaks English and is quite intelligent . . . 
A Mr. Mahan bought a horse from the Indian and paid for him, 
the animal to be delivered in the morning."^^^ The next day the 
party reached Soda Springs which, Reverend Parrish observed, 
"are a curiosity indeed" i^^^ he then added the intelligence that 
"The Indian did not deliver the horse as agreed, so the pay was 

107. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", op. cit., 
p. 6. 

108. Osborne Russell, op. cit. 

109. "Diary of Asahel Munger and Wife", op. cit., p. 8. 

110. John T. Keams, op. cit., p. 16, entry for Friday, July 23. 

111. "Crossing the Plains in 1844: Diary of Rev. Edward Evans 
Parrish." As copied from Ihe Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Asso- 
ciation Sixteenth Annual Reunion, Portland, Oregon, June 15, 1888. Himes 
Printer, Portland, Oregon, p. 19, entry for Sun, Sep 8. 

112. Ibid., p. 19, entry for Mon, Sep 9. 

113. Ibid. White men, of course, had a long record of failure to deliver 
on promises made to Indians through treaties and other agreements. One 
such treaty was the Soda Springs Treaty, which was signed with the Shoshoni 
and Bannocks on October 14, 1863. For an account of the terms and 


Not only Indians and emigrants frequented the locale of Soda 
Springs. By the early 1850s, trail travel was sufficiently large to 
make trading a profitable venture. In 1850, both Orange Gaylord 
and Joseph Rhodes encountered traders; the former simply referred 
to "another company of traders",^^* while the latter "Saw a great 
many Indians and traders."^'"' Two years later. Reverend John 
McAllister and Mrs. Cecelia Adams made the following brief 
notations in their respective diaries: ". . . trading posts, etc.",^^^ 
and "Found a trading station at the Steamboat Spring.''^^^ By 
1853 business apparently picked up, because on July 15 Mr. 
Dinwiddle "passed several trading estabhshments and a blacksmith 
shop ... ."^^^ A year later to the month, the party to which Sarah 
Sutton belonged arrived at Soda Springs and found perhaps the 
same "blacksmith shop and two or three Traders. "^^'* The traders 
had no flour to sell, but "when they had it they sold it for $25 a 
hundred."^^'" "Whiskey was 1.50 a pint, cheese 50 cents a pound", 
Mrs. Sutton learned, but her group "didnt spend a dime with them 
and hardly ever do."^-^ The diary entry closed with a somewhat 
sarcastic comment: "Good looking whites, living with Indians 
should not be noticed. "^2- 

More frequently than not, of course, trading establishments did 
have goods of interest to emigrants, even though the latter did not 
always have the necessary medium of exchange. Mrs. E. A. 
Hadley's train (1851) found "a trading estabhshment" at Soda 
Springs and "a number of white Spaniards and Mexicans . . . who 
have droves of horses and fine looking ones."^-^ The party 

impact of this treaty, see Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley, 
The Shoshonis: Sentinels of the Rockies. (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1964), p. 206. 

114. "Diary of Orange Gaylord to California and Oregon 1850", op. cit., 
p. 6. 

115. Merrill J. Mattes, "Joseph Rhodes and The California Gold Rush 
of 1850". Annals of Wyoming, Volume 23, Number 1. p. 67. entry for 
June the 29th, 1850. 

1 16. "Diary of Rev. John McAllister, a Pioneer of 1852." As copied 
from the Transactions of the Fiftieth Annual Reunion of the Oregon 
Pioneers Association, Portland, June 15, 1922. p. 14, entry for Aug. 10. 

117. Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., p. 12, entry for 
Mon, Aug. 16. 

118. Margaret Booth, op. cit. 

119. "Diary of Sarah Sutton." Copied from the typed copy belonging to 
Mrs. Frances T. McBeth, 1520 WeUington Street, Oakland 2, California 
May 28, 1857. p. 14, entry for July 6 (1854). 

120. Ibid. 

121. Ibid, 
ni. Ibid. 

123. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit. 


"bought some horses of the Mexicans", increasing the size of their 
herd to "18 head, which look well . . . ."124 

No matter how spectacular or interesting a landmark might be, 
almost all pioneers viewed it from the perspective of the journey 
they had undertaken, as Richard May illustrates: "These springs 
are situated on Bear River about 60 miles east of Fort Hall and 
near 1300 from Independence, Missouri."^^^ For most of them, 
the trail west was the link between a remembered yesterday and a 
hoped-for tomorrow. Some maintained the link with memory by 
writing to those left behind and by recording their names for the 
information of any who came after them. Mrs. E. A. Hadley 
(1851 ) is an example: "At Thomases Fork, was a chance to send 
letters to Fort Leavenworth on the Mo. and one of the whites 
who registered the names of the emigrants. We had ours put 
down . . . ."^-^ 

Others came to trail's end at Soda Spring, and, except for mem- 
bers of the immediate family and perhaps other members of the 
train, their names were shortly forgotten. As other trains passed 
the site of last rites, brief entries might be made in diaries, as they 
were in those of Mrs. Cecelia Adams and Mrs. Maria Belshaw. 
On July 22, 1853, Mrs. Belshaw wrote "Passed three graves, three 
dead cattle" ;^-^ just less than a year earlier, on Sunday, August 15, 
1852, Mrs. Adams noted briefly "Passed two graves. Encamped 
tonight at Soda Springs."^28 

Most emigrants, however, looked ahead to the next step to be 
taken on the way west. Half a dozen miles beyond Soda Springs 
earlier decisions were implemented and close friends sometimes 
parted company — as others had back down the trail at the "Parting 
of the Ways" in southwestern Wyoming. Here the Oregon- 
California Trail divided, "the left goes to California and the right 
to Oregon, they part in a pretty level place . . . ."^^9 WMle 
". . . some of the California emigrants go up to Ft. HaU",^^*^ for the 

124. Ibid. 

125. Richard May, op. cit. 

126. "Diary of Mrs. E. A. Hadley, Across in 1851", op. cit. Carving 
one's name in prominent stone outcroppings was another popular method of 
recording the fact that one had passed that way. Two of the favorite places 
for such activity were Register Cliff and Independence Rock along the North 
Platte and Sweetwater Rivers respectively. 

127. "Diary Kept By Mrs. Maria A. (Parsons) Belshaw". Copied from 
New Spain and the Anglo-American West by Herbert Eugene Bolton, pp. 
219-243 inclusive. Copied by Devere Helfrich, March 8, 1950. p. 10, 
entry for July 22nd (1853). 

128. Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., p. 12, entry for Sun., 
Aug. 15. 

129. Margaret Booth, op. cit. 

130. "Diary of Celinda E. Himes (Afterwards Mrs. H. R. Shipley) 1853", 
op. cit. 


most part those bound for Oregon "left the track of the Cali- 
fomians . . for good about six miles from the spring/'^^i 

So they went their separate ways and pursued their individual 
dreams. But as stories of the road west were handed down to 
second and third generations, we may be certain that some of them 
told of that "curiosity of the trail" called Soda Springs. 

131. Mrs. Cecelia Emily McMillen Adams, op. cit., p. 12, entry for 
Mon., Aug. 16. 



LaFors, the celebrated detective, who established a reputation 
when he trapped Tom Horn, the notorious range murderer, who 
played an important part in the capture of the seven men charged 
with the raid upon the Springs Creek sheep camps and murder of 
Alleman, Emge and Lazier, and was instrumental in bringing to a 
close the cattlemen's fight upon Crook county sheepmen, a few 
days ago, left for northern Wyoming today. 

LaFors has been in the employ of the Wyoming Wool Growers* 
association for some time and is working in the interests of the 
sheepmen generally in putting a stop to sheep camp raids, sheep- 
stealing, burning of camps and wagons, the woolgrowers' associa- 
tion being compelled to employ detectives and attorneys to enforce 
the laws against the outlaws, as in many counties the authorities 
are either afraid to do their duty or are grossly negligent. While 
there is not a single instance on record where sheepmen have 
retaliated against their persecutors, and they do not intend to do 
so now, they demand that raiders, incendiaries and murderers pay 
the penalty for their crimes. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1909 

editorial in the Natrona County Tribune of Casper tells the prog- 
ress of the metropoUs in a nutshell: 

With a new ten thousand-doUar depot, and a new twenty- 
five-thousand-dollar state hospital, a new thirty thousand-doUar 
Masonic temple, besides several new business blocks and numerous 
new residences to be built in Casper this summer, and the many 
handsome business houses and fine residences and the beautiful 
court house already built, and the putting in of two hundred 
thousand dollars worth of asbestos machinery on Casper moun- 
tain, and the re-opening of the oil refinery in this city, and the 
operation of the old o3 wells at Salt Creek and the drilling of 
numerous new ones, and the building of a pipeline from the wells 
to the refinery, the prospect for Casper becoming the greatest and 
best city in Wyoming is not in the least discouraging. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, June, 1909 

JokH Kichard, fr. 
and the KilUng at better man 

Brian Jones 

With the signing of the Laramie Treaty by certain hostile Sioux 
chiefs in 1868 a tenuous peace descended on the northern plains. 
Forts Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith, both objects of hatred to the 
Indians, were abandoned, and Hfe in the remaining military posts 
took on a less urgent and more humdrum aspect. 

The utter monotony of frontier existence that then set in was 
relieved — for the enlisted men — by ball games, gymnastic exer- 
cises, and occasional visits to the local hog ranch; and for the 
officers and their ladies by the odd ball or social gathering, or 
mildly daring picnic in the country under the protective guns of the 
men. Almost the only excitement was that caused by visits from 
the Indians, Sometimes they came formally, in full regalia, to 
shake hands with the residents of the forts and obtain a free meal; 
at other times they came a little less formally, in warpaint on fleet 
ponies, to dash howling round the posts after stray stock and an 
occasional scalp. 

Such was life at Fort Fetterman in 1869. Situated on La Prele 
Creek, south of the North Platte about 87 miles west of Fort 
Laramie, it was constructed in 1867 as one of the chain of forts 
guarding the Bozeman Road. Originally having accommodations 
for more than 500 men^ it had gradually dwindled in force to two 
companies of infantry — ^barely 1 80 foot-soldiers who were virtually 
useless for pursuing mounted hostile Indians. Ada A. Vodges 
who arrived at the post in April in company with her husband 1st 

1. That is to say three companies of infantry, four companies of cavalry, 
and one hundred citizen employees. See Ritter, Charles, "The Early History 
of Fort Fetterman: Emigrant Trail Trek No. 10" Annals of Wyoming, 
Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 220. 

NOTE: The writer would like to extend his thanks to Dr. John S. Grey for 
generously supplying material from his own researches, and to 
Sharon Lass Field for extracts from the Fort Fetterman Daily 


Lieutenant A. W. Vodges, 4th Infantry, gives a very good account 
of the fort in the late sixties and early seventies.^ 

Like most military establishments at that time Fort Fetterman 
was serviced by civilians who were either employed directly by 
the army or took contracts for the supply of various goods, and in 
the summer of 1869 Hiram B. (Hi) Kelly and John Richard Jr., 
took a sub-contract from Wilson and Cobb to furnish the post with 
wood and hay. According to their no-doubt gentleman's agree- 
ment, Kelly was to supply the oxen and put in the wood, and 
Richard was to supply the mules and put in tiie hay. 

Hi Kelly was one of Wyoming's legendary characters. Bom in 
Missouri in 1834 he had traveled all over the West, prospecting for 
gold in California and Colorado, driving freight wagons to New 
Mexico and Utah, and working at most of the mihtary estabUsh- 
ments in Wyoming. In 1864 he had married Elizabeth Richard, 
daughter of old mountain man Peter Richard, and cousin of John 
Richard Jr. To Kelly this was probably just another wood job: 
his great break was to come the following year when he would take 
200 head of cattle into the Chugwater Valley and within fourteen 
years make himself a quarter of a million dollars in the stock 

John Richard Jr. (the name was pronounced and sometimes 
written as Reshaw) was the half-blood son of the old Indian trader 
John Richard Sr. Young John was bom about 1844 and grew up 
in the vicinity of the Fort Laramie and Platte Bridge areas, assisting 
his father in the Indian trade. In 1864 he freighted goods to 
Virginia City, Montana, and there went into partnership with W. S. 
McKenzie and F. Lund trading with the Crow Indians. Assisted 
by his brother Louis, Baptiste 'Big Bat' Pourier, and Minton 
'Mitch' Bouyer, he was principal in supplying Fort C. F, Smith 
with goods and provisions when it was under siege by the Sioux. 
Returning to Wyoming in 1 868 he had been one of the half-breed 
mnners sent to the Sioux camps to bring the chiefs in for the 
Laramie Treaty. He was a man of undoubted inteUigence and 
astuteness, with many business interests in and around Fort Lara- 
mie. Chiefly an Indian trader, he appeared willing to tum his hand 
to anything and was in partnership with several people in various 
enterprises. John Richard was a weU-known and in some respects 
popular young man but had two unfortunate failings; a penchant 

2. Adams, Donald K., ed. 'The Journal of Ada A. Vodges 1867-71" 
Montana, the Magazine of Western History, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 2-17. 

3. Letter from Hiram B. Kelly, Denver, to H. E. Grain, 22 March 1915, 
reprinted in the Wyoming State Tribune 29 July 1923. See also Jones, 
Brian, "Hi Kelly: Pioneer" The English Westerners' Brand Book, Vol. 11, 
No. 3, pp. 6-10. 


for hard liquor and a weakness for women. These were to prove 

He also had the unhappy knack of getting into trouble with the 
authorities, whether by his own design or the manifestations of 
others, and an example of this came to hght in a letter written by 
Captam R. S. Lamotte from Fort Ellis, Montana Territory, to 
Brevet Major General W. A. Nichols at St. Louis. Lamotte, who 
was the military agent for the Crows, reported that 100 head of 
beef cattle deUvered to the Crows in the summer of 1868 by 
Colonel H. M. Matthews and supplied by John Richard Jr., had 
been reclaimed by Richard and driven to Laramie. "What was 
done with them no one knows, but from Richard's anxiety to have 
the Crows send the cattle back, and his taking them away after 
wards, it looks as if there were some [mis?] understanding between 
him and Dr. Matthews.""* Richard had allegedly informed the 
Indians that by accepting the cattle they virtually sold their lands 
to the Government and would be obhged to relinquish their rights 
to these lands. 

Moreover Richard had stated that he was a friend of the Crows 
and an enemy of the whites, and had advised them to form an 
alliance with the Nez Perces, Blackfeet, Sioux and Shoshonis, and 
thereby overcome the whites with ease. "This Richard is, I under- 
stand, making strenuous efforts to obtain the contract for building 
the Crow mission, in which I hope he wiU not be successful, as I 
attribute a good deal of the distrust and difficulty among the Crows 
to his representations."^ 

Richard's rejoinder was to seek the assistance of General John 
B. Sanborn, late of the Indian Peace Commission, who wrote to 
N. G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, refuting the charges 
supposedly made by "Bear Tooth and other chiefs of the Mountain 
Crows." Sanborn dismissed the question of the beef cattle by 
quoting statements and certified vouchers from Richard, Matthews, 
the "said chiefs", and Lieutenant Colonel L, P. Bradley, all of 

4. For fuller discourses on John Richard Sr. and the Richard family in 
general see McDermott, John Dishon, "John Baptiste Richard" The Moun- 
tain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, Leroy R. Hafen ed. (Glendale, 
Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1965). Vol. 2, pp. 289-303, and Jones, 
Brian, "Those Wild Reshaw Boys" Sidelights of the Sioux Wars, (London: 
English Westerners' Special Publication No. 2, 1967) pp. 5-46. 

5. Captain R. S. Lamotte, Fort Ellis, to Brevet Major General W. A. 
Nichols, Assistant Adjutant General, Military Division of Missouri, 24 
December 1868. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Letters Received 
by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81, Upper Platte Agency 1869, Record 
Group 75. National Archives. (Hereinafter referred to as Letters Received, 
Office of Indian Affairs.) 

6. Ibid. 


which proved that the cattle had been supplied to and consumed 
by the Crows.^ 

On the more serious charge of incitement he stated: 

The charge that he endeavored to incite the Indians to war, other- 
wise than to join our troops against the Sioux, is absurd and prepos- 
terous. Our fears at the time were that the Crows would join the Sioux 
against us. The messengers were all charged to do their utmost to 
prevent such a result. No other one did so much to prevent this as 
John Richard, Jr. He visited the Crows and induced them to come all 
the way to Laramie, where they had not been since 1851, to meet the 
Commission. When he had accomplished this, he went to the Sioux 
camp of Man Afraid of his Horse and Red Cloud, with his life in his 
hand, where he came very near to laying it down, and held a council 
with both of these chiefs, and brought to the Commission their sayings 
and conclusions, viz., that they would not make peace until the 
military posts were removed from the Powder River Road. Although 
this demand, if granted, was in direct conflict with his individual 
interests, for he was a heavy contractor with the Government at these 
posts and was fast accumulating a fortune thereby. 

I therefore feel confident that the Crow chiefs never made the state- 
meats ascribed to them, and that the charges had their origin in the 
interested and fertile brain of some interpreter who appreciates filthy 
lies above truth, and therefore request that they shall not be construed 
as creating a stain upon Richard in the department.^ 

Taylor endorsed this letter: "I know the facts stated within to 
be true." 

On 6 February 1869 John Richard Jr. obtained a license from 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to trade with the Powder River 
Sioux. Adolph Cuny and Allen T. Chamblin stood as sureties, 
while the employees were listed as Adolph Cuny, clerk, and Louis 
Richard and Baptiste Bondi (Fourier?), traders.** This was quite 
a coup for Richard, as an order had been issued in November 1868 
forbidding anyone to trade with the Indians off their reservation.^** 
Richard's license, which had been drawn up under the supervision 
of John B. Sanborn, was accompanied by a permit signed by 
General W. S. Harney, another peace commissioner, which afford- 
ed that the trader would be free from military interference. Harney 
later claimed that he had been tricked into signing the permit, that 
he had not intended to allow Richard to trade in the places desig- 
nated, and that the license should be revoked as soon as possible. 
But by this time Richard had departed for his trading grounds 
having promised General C. C. Auger, Commanding the Depart- 

7. John B. Sanborn, Washington D. C, to N. G. Taylor, Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs, 22 February 1869. Letters Received, Office of Indian 
Affairs, 1869. 

8. Ibid. 

9. Licenses for the Indian Trade, 1849-73, Record Group 75, National 

10. Spring, Agnes Wright, "Old Letter Book Discloses Economic History 
of Fort Laramie 1858-1871" Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 287. 


ment of the Platte, that he would locate near the mouths of 
Horsehead and Beaver Creeks on the Big Cheyenne River, and 
would use no arms, ammunition or liquor in his trade. This 
promise was greeted with derision by certain citizens of Cheyenne 
who avowed that if he used no powder, lead or guns he would make 
no trade. ^^ 

Richard eventually settled on Rawhide Creek, a few miles from 
Fort Laramie, and commenced trading with all-comers. On 
1 April 1869 W. G. Bullock, in a letter from Fort Laramie to 
Robert Campbell & Co. of St. Louis, wrote: "John Richards Jr. 
has been allowed by Genl Sherman to trade with all the Indians on 
the North side of the Platte, Crows, Sioux, Arapahoes and Chey- 
ermes. But he has not yet been able to cross the River as the 
Indians object to having any trader but myself. The Cheyennes 
and Arapahoes who have about two hundred pack robes (and very 
superior ones) sent word that [they] would not trade their robes 
to anybody but me, and I must get goods for them. Col. D>'e would 
give me permission, but his orders forbid his doing so."^- And 
again on 14 April: "The Indians still hang around the vicinit}^ of 
this post in a starving condition. But I nor anyone else is allowed 
to trade with them but John Richard Jr."^'' 

However, Richard's reign as the trading king of the Upper Platte 
soon came to a summary end when General Harney achieved his 
object in revoking his Ucense. Richard was so moved to write a 
letter of complaint to his friend John B. Sanborn, who was a part- 
ner in the firm of Sanborn and King, attorneys at law in Wash- 
ington. After announcing that the Indians were peaceable he 

Geni. Harney has slop my license to trade and wish you would be 
kind to see Parker ask him whether it is so or not for I do more good 
by trading with them than harm for I send most of them to Missouri 
if come the northern Cheyennes and Arapahoes they have to have a 
place to trade they have not traded yet they are peaceable they 
cant go south on account of the other Indians down there fighting 
after got me to buy ten thousand dollars worth of goods then stop me 
half way I dont think it is justice for it was nothing but fit you all 
promise the Indians they should trade round Ft. Laramie if I had 
don eanything out of the way I would not blame him for stoping me 
but I have not give him any cause and live up to the Law all was 
[always?] ready to help the government all it was in power to do 
what was right but I can't not stand this having a lot of goods on my 
hand witch it is not fit for any other market . . M 

11. Olson, J. C, Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem, (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1965) pp. 86-87. 

12. Spring, Agnes Wright, art. cit., p. 292. 

13. Ibid. p. 293. 

14. John Richard Jr., Fort Fetterman, to John B. Sanborn and Charles 
King, Councellors-at-Law, 1 July 1869. Letters Received, Office of Indian 
Affairs, 1869. 


Sanborn and King referred this letter to E. S. Parker, Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs, with the observation that "from our 
knowledge of the writer we deem him incapable of any course of 
action that would merit the course that seems to have been pursued 
towards him. We respectfully suggest that the matter be referred 
to the proper officer unmediately in the vicinity of Ft. Fetterman 
with instructions to authorize Richard to continue his trading with 
the Indians under his Ucense and in accordance with its terms, 
unless consideration of some policy require otherwise." This letter 
was endorsed over to Governor Campbell for investigation. Camp- 
bell apparently requested that Richard come in to see him but 
receiving no reply he let the matter rest, after having advised the 
Indian Off ice. ^^' 

Thus, within the space of a few months John Richard had 
two brushes with the military which, while trivial, were no doubt 
annoying, and he could not have been in a frame of mind receptive 
to army authority when in the fall of 1869 he quarelled with a 
soldier at Fort Fetterman. According to Baptiste Fourier, who 
was employed by Richard at the time, John was in the house of a 
"loose woman" when a corporal — unnamed — had entered and 
ordered him to leave. Richard would have contested this order 
but a display of arms by the military promptly altered the situation 
and being unarmed he left the house, warning his man that he 
would get even with him.^^ 

Richard's camp was about three miles from the fort, and staying 
there were his mother and father, his squaw, his sisters Josephine 
and Rose, and Hi Kelly's wife Elizabeth. Nearby was a camp of 
mixed half-breeds and Mexicans. In the early hours of 9 Sep- 
tember a band of horse-stealing Indians put in an appearance, ran 
off about a dozen head of stock from the Mexicans and half-breeds, 
and paid a visit to Richard's camp. Old man Richard later 
managed to get into the fort where he reported that his camp was 
surrounded and he feared everything would be captured. Captain 
Henry W. Patterson, commanding officer at Fort Fetterman, 
immediately dispatched 1st Lieutenant P. H. Breslin, Company E, 
4th Infantry, with 35 men to protect the camp and move it closer 
to the post. Breslin marched up river and soon came across a 
party of Sioux blandly sitting in their tipis announcing that they 
were "peaceable Indians." After a brief parley with the Indians 
the lieutenant returned to the fort, much to Patterson's chagrin. 
Ada Vodges gives a graphic account of this raid, describing how 

15. Sanborn and King, Washington, D. C, to E. S. Parker, Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs, 10 July 1869. Letters Received, Office of Indian Affairs, 

16. Interview between Baptiste Fourier and Eli S. Ricker, 7 January 1907. 
Nebraska Historical Society. 


the Indians dashed through the garrison at full speed, yelling and 
hollowing like wolves, and how Lieutenant Breslin returned from 
his expedition without having fired a shot. "The commanding 
officer, Capt. Patterson, was furious with him as he was sent out to 
kill them and not to have pow-wow."" 

The lack of power that Indian chiefs had over their people is 
indicated by the fact that Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses had already 
sent word that this war party had left the Tongue River and was 
heading south. The Indians were Laramie Loafers under the 
leadership of Cut Penis and a half-breed named Henry Goule, and 
neither Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses nor Red Cloud could control 
them. Patterson ended his report of the raid sadly lamenting the 
fact that he had no mounted men available to pursue or punish the 

And as if Captain Patterson did not have enough on his plate, in 
the afternoon or early evening of 9 September John Richard Jr., 
fired two shots into Corporal Francis Conrad of Company E, 4th 
Infantry. Patterson's report of this shootmg is as follows: 

On the 9th inst. John Richard a half breed, subcontractor under 
Wilson & Cobb, without any provocation shot and killed Corporal 
Conrad of Comp "E" 4th Infty., who was standing unarmed near the 
sutler's store. No one was near except two unarmed citizens, and the 
desperado rode off with his squaw and is supposed to have gone to 
the Sioux. 

Richard is a very dangerous and smart man, if he has gone to join 
the indians he will make a great deal of trouble. 

I have taken possession of all the property he left, in value about 
two thousand dollars, and will hold it until directed to give it up. 

His train is now on the Sweetwater, if it comes in I will seize it. 

This murder was without excuse, he killed the man from mere 
bravado. Richard is well known throughout all this country, has 
property, I am told in Omaha and Cheyenne, he will of course try to 
get hold of his property, and I would respectfully suggest that his 
description be telegraphed through the Department. He formerly 
lived in Montana. He is about twenty-five years of age, five feet 
eight or ten inches high, a dark moustache, slight figure, of good 
appearance and address, speaks English well.i^ 

Ada Vodges, to whom this must have been one of the most 
disturbing days of her life, records the incident in brief and colour- 
ful fashion. Her diary entry for Thursday 9 September reads : 

This p.m. we had quite another excitement. One of the half breeds 
(John Reshaw) shot one of our best sergeants, in a drunken fit, and 

17. Adams, Donald K., art. cit., p. 9, and Captain Henry W. Patterson, 
4th Infantry, to Brevet Brigadier General George D. Ruggles, 14 September 
1869. Letters Sent, Fort Fetterman, Record Group 393. National Archives. 

18. Patterson to Ruggles, cited above. 

19. Ibid. Also Patterson to Brevet Brigadier General F. F. Flint, 13 
September 1869. Letters Sent, Fort Fetterman, Record Group 393. National 


the whole garrison was in arms against him. To night the sentinals, 
are posted in all directions to catch him in case he should try to get in 
to night after his things. As Wayne [Anthony Wayne Vodges, her 
husband] is Officer of the day, & has to visit the guard, & these sen- 
tinals, every two hours, I feel quite anxious about him, as he 
[Richard?] said he would be in again. The orderly sleeps here to 
night, in case he should be wanted.^o 

Captain Patterson's assertion that this killing was without excuse 
and was an act of bravado seems an illogical conclusion. Richard 
really had nothing to gain from a show of bravado, especially in 
front of only two unarmed civilians, and it is difficult to see whom 
he would be trying to impress by such an act. Baptiste Fourier's 
version of this affair is that some soldiers had gone to Richard's 
camp to move it closer to the fort and in doing so had tipped over a 
wagon, destroying his property and stealing much of his goods. 
Richard had been on a haying trip and when he returned and found 
the condition of his camp and property he was very angry. He got 
into the fort with a load of hay, sought out Big Bat and asked him 
not to interfere with him, saying that he had stopped him a good 
many tunes before. This would seem to indicate that the slightly 
older Fourier had been a steadying influence on the hard-drinking, 
reckless Richard, and such a request would surely have warranted 
a query as to his intentions. Nevertheless Big Bat assured him 
that he would not interfere with him. Richard later shot Conrad 
and rode back to his camp in seemingly leisurely manner where he 
remained an hour before fleeing to the Sioux, taking with him his 
squaw and a village of Cheyennes that had been camped nearby. 
It must be pointed out that Fourier did not actually witness the 
shooting as he had been sent out to collect the results of the fall 
election, and he learned of the incident on his return. Big Bat's 
testimony is understandably a little confused with the passing of 
some forty years, but it remains as one of the best indications of 
Richard's motive at that particular time.^^ 

In the light of Fatterson's report and Ada Vodges' diary entries 
it would appear that any damage to Richard's camp or property 
was committed by the aforementioned Indians, and that the soldiers 
had gone to the camp to protect it from further molestation. 
However it is not entirely without the bounds of possibility that 
the troops, finding themselves on a wild goose chase, behaved in a 
generally riotous manner and took the opportunity to help them- 
selves to some of Richard's trade goods. It is significant that 
Corporal Conrad was from Company E, and it was probably 
Company E men that were sent to the camp. Evidently there was 

20. Ada Vodges' Diary. Manuscript HM 29201, p. 130, reproduced by 
kind permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. 

21. Pourier-Ricker Interview, previously cited. 


no doubt in John's mind, and the pattern of events seems to have 
been first his altercation with a corporal — who must have been 
Conrad — ^followed by the destruction of his property, and cuhni- 
nating in an outburst of drunken fatal violence. 

Years later Hi Kelly wrote that Richard had ''got drunk and 
riding along in front of the settlers [sic] store, he shot a soldier who 
was sitting along side the settlers store and then went with the 
Indians that were on the war path." This overt act on Richard's 
part could not have endeared him to Kelly. John's share of the 
hay contract stUl had to be fulfilled and although Kelly tried to get 
it annulled it was pointed out by the quartermaster in Omaha that 
the hay was needed and that he was obligated to provide it. Kelly 
eventually had to purchase a hundred tons at the Cache la Poudre, 
Colorado, and haul it 200 miles to the fort. He reckoned he lost 
$5,000 on that deal.^- 

Corporal Conrad lingered a day or two before dying from his 
gunshot wounds. The Post Return for the month of September 
shows that Conrad died on the 11th, but as the same Return 
records the shooting as happening on the 10th it cannot be regarded 
as absolutely accurate; however the Muster Roll for Company E, 
4th Infantry, for October notes that Conrad was shot by a half- 
breed Indian and died 11 September 1869. Ada Vodges' diary 
entry for Sunday 12 September records: "The Corporal buried this 
afternoon who was shot on Thursday." Conrad was about 25 
years of age, having enlisted in the 4th Infantry in New York on 
9 May 1865 at the age of 21. A native of Prussia, Germany, he 
was formerly a farmer by occupation and is described as being five 
feet four inches tall, with dark hair and complexion and grey eyes. 
He re-enlisted in Company C, 4th Infantry, at Fort Laramie on 9 
May 1868, evidently being later transferred to Company E. His 
body was buried in the Fort Fetterraan post cemeter}', but with the 
demilitarization of the post in 1882 was removed and reinterred at 
Fort MacPherson, Nebraska.^^ 

Captain Patterson's fears that Richard had gone to join the 
Indians were well founded. The Sioux were then encamped on the 
Tongue River, and Richard sought refuge in the village of Yellow 
Bear, chief of the Spleen Band of Oglalas, where he later married 
the chiefs sisters. Whether he accompanied any war parties is a 
matter for conjecture, although it has been stated often enough, and 
he himself is supposed to have boasted of assisting a war party 
kill some soldiers near Fort Fetterman.^^ Certainly the letter 

22. Kelly letter, previously cited. 

23. Enlistment papers of Francis Conrad, Records of the War Depart- 
ment Record Group 94. National Archives. Also Field, Sharon Lass, 
Fort Fetterman's Cemetery, (Cheyenne, Wyo.: 1970) p. 5. 

24. This was a boast made minutes before his death in 1872, according 


printed in the Omaha Weekly Herald in December must have 
fostered the notion that Richard was out to cause big trouble with 
the Sioux. Written by the Whetstone "Traveler" Whistler and 
dated 22 November it stated that three young Sioux Indians from 
Red Cloud's camp on the Powder River had arrived at the 
Whetstone Agency with rather startling information: 

John Reshaw, or Richards, who murdered a soldier at Fort Fetter- 
man, some time ago, immediately after committing the deed, fled to 
"Red Cloud's" camp, who is known to be the most bitter enemy of 
the whites in the entire Sioux nation. Here Reshaw, who is a half- 
breed Sioux, and a very intelligent one, and acknowledged to possess 
great courage, worked arduously and constantly to perfect a peace 
between the northern Sioux and Crow Indians, who have, from time 
immemorial, been bitter enemies. In this he was partially successful. 
Visiting the Crow camp, beyond the Big Horn river, where he has 
heretofore resided for five years, and whose dialect he speaks fluently, 
and where he had established for himself quite a reputation as a 
hunter and warrior, he had but little trouble in gaining his ends. He 
succeeded in inducing about half the Crows to visit the Sioux and 
make a treaty, the main object of which is to wage a terrible and 
continued war against the whites.^Ji 

In retrospect it seems ludicrous to suppose that the Sioux would 
even make peace with the Crows let alone join them in battle, and 
Richard would certainly have been a remarkable man if he could 
have effected such a union. Nevertheless the Whetstone Traveler 
earnestly drew General Auger's attention to the above, and forecast 
that there would be Uvely times on the eastern and southern borders 
of Montana, Sweet Water, and on the Union Pacific Rail Road 
between Cheyenne and Green River, and also around Forts Lara- 
mie and Fetterman, and Fort Buford near the mouth of the 
Yellowstone. "If Reshaw puts himself at the head of this new 
arrangement, with his natural cunning and nerve, and consumate 
knowledge of the whites and the entire country, you may depend 
upon it tiiere wiU be a long and hard fight."^* 

to Billy Gamett. It would appear that between September 1869 and June 
1870 (the period that Richard was with the Indians) only two soldiers were 
killed by Indians in the vicinity of Fort Fetterman. These were privates 
John A. McCallister and George McKenna of Company K, 2nd Cavalry, 
who were killed at LaPrele Canyon, about 15 miles from the post, on 29 
October 1869 while on a hunting trip. Neither body was scalped or muti- 
lated, nor were their possessions taken except their horses. This was barely 
more than a month after Richard had fled among the Sioux, and his frame 
of mind may have been such that he could have been with the party 
responsible for these killings. This does not mean that he was definitely 
implicated, but if his boast was true then this would seem to be the only 
incident in which he could have been involved. See Billy Garnett's interview 
with Eli S. Ricker, 10 January 1907. Nebraska Historical Society, Adams, 
Donald K., art. cit. p. 9, and Field, Sharon Lass, op. cit. p. 6. 

25. Omaha Weekly Herald, 8 December 1869. 

26. Ibid. 


On the same day that this item appeared Jules Ecoffey wrote the 
following letter from Omaha to John B. Sanborn: 

You have probably heard of John Richard, Jr. killing a soldier last 
fall at Ft. Fetterman when he was on a drunken spree. He is now 
with the Indians and if reports are correct, he is trying to get the Sioux 
and Crows to make peace together for the purposes of making war on 
the whites. These reports I do not believe, as I have heard from him 
lately, and he wishes to know if there is any show for him to get clear 
of that murder. Please inform me if there is any way that he can be 
helped out of this trouble. If he remains an outlaw, I am afraid he 
will put himself at the head of hostile Indians and the Govemmant will 
have a bitter war with them. Please see Mr. Parker and get his 

And so once again Sanborn found himself called upon in defense 
of John Richard. His letter of 6 January 1870 to the Commis- 
sioner of Indian Affairs is an eloquent plea on Richard's behalf, 
and contains an interesting reason for the shooting which the half- 
breed was to stick to thereafter: 

You are already aware that John Richard Jr killed a soldier at Fort 
Fetterman last autumn, and immediately fled to the camp of the 
Ogallalla Band of Sioux. He now remains with these Indians. He has 
a large number of relatives in the western bands of Sioux and in the 
Crow Tribe. He has hitherto been a most zealous and faithful friend 
of our government and people, and performed service of inestimable 
value. He saved the garrison at Fort C. F. Smith from starvation and 
capture during the winter of 1866 after the massacre at Fort Phillip 
Kearney, and to do it exposed his person and property to destruction 
both by hostile Indians and the severity of the weather in that latitude 
and altitude in winter. It was through his influence that the Crow 
Nation at this critical time were prevented from joining the hostile 
Sioux and at length with these same Sioux brought into council with 
our Commission and induced to make and maintain peace. He has 
done much other valuable service for our government and people. 
The man he killed was a stranger to him and one against whom he 
could have had no malice. It seems that he had given information of 
some whisky dealers and had been warned to be on his guard as they 
had threatened to kill him. While under this apprehension he became 
intoxicated and killed a man who was his friend or at least not an 
enemy. His act would not constitute murder under our State laws. 
His exile among Indians or his destruction is to the government the 
loss of a most influential and valuable servant. I therefore respect- 
fully ask for him an investigation of the circumstances and causes of 
the homicide by some military or other officer stationed in that 
vicinity who shall be required to extract the facts in the case and make 
such recommendations as justice and the interests of the public service 
require. I make this application to your Bureau instead of the War 
Department for the reason that I am of the opinion that the public 

27. Jules Ecoffey, Omaha, to John B. Sanborn, 8 December 1869. 
Letters Received, Office of Indian Affairs, 1869. 


interests to be effected by the proceedings asked come almost ex- 
clusively within its control and management.^* 

In true governmental fashion the Commissioner handled this 
letter like a hot brick and swiftly passed it on to the War Depart- 
ment with the observation that: "Richard is a dangerous man, and 
while in the situation of an outlaw, at large among wUd Indians, 
may be able to produce great mischief and I think it very important 
that some action be taken, immediately, but as he is with Indians 
who are not upon a reservation and not under the supervision of 
this office but under the jurisdiction of the War Department who 
also may have full report of the killing at Fetterman, I respectfully 
recommend that General Sanborn's letter be referred to that 
Department for such action as they may deem proper."^^ 

On 10 January a petition was sent to the President from the 
Whetstone Agency pleading that Richard be pardoned for the 
"unfortunate affair" for which he was now exiled "among Indians 
located in or near Powder river country," Somehow the petitioners 
had managed to locate the kilhng at Fort Laramie and date it as 
August instead of September. The concern was that: 

Richard, being a half-breed, has great influence among said Indians, 
and on account of his supposed banishment from among the whites — 
his former associates — we have been led to fear that he would use his 
influence to create among them an increased animosity to the whites 
and endeavour to bring on a war in the 

However, having been informed by his father and friends that if 
pardoned by the Government he would return to his people and 
use his influence among the Indians for peace, and in every way 
conduct himself as a good citizen of the United States, the petition- 
ers requested that he be pardoned and allowed to return, "beheving 
as we do, that it will result in much good toward preserving 
peace — not only among Indians now away from reservations but 
also among those upon reservations." There then followed 73 sig- 
natures headed by the Indian Agent Captain DeWitt C. Poole, 2nd 
Lieutenant Fielding L. Davies, and 1st Lieutenant A. O. Woodson. 

28. John B. Sanborn, Washington, D. C, to E. S. Parker, 6 January 1870. 
Letters Received, Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs Division, 
Record Group 48. National Archives. 

29. E. S. Parker, Washington, D. C, to J. D. Cox, Secretary of the 
Interior, 12 January 1870. Letters Received, Department of the Interior, 
Indian Affairs Division, Record Group 48. National Archives. 

30. Petition from the Chiefs and Head Men of Brule and Ogallalla Sioux, 
Half-breeds, Whites and Officers of the United States Army, resident and 
located at and near Whetstone Agency, Dakota Territory, to the President of 
the United States, 10 January 1870. Case File No. C-274. Records of the 
Office of the Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington National 
Records Center. Record Group 204. National Archives (Hereinafter 
referred to as Case File No. C-274) . 


The Indians who put their marks to the paper were Spotted Tail, 
Swift Bear, Two Strike, Blue Horse, Black Bear, Standing Elk, 
Fast Bear, Lone Bear, Big Crow, Whirl Wind, Blue Tonimyhawk, 
Beans, Big Foot, Knock Down, Present the Pipe, and Tall Man. 
The remaining signatures were of half-breeds and squawmen 
residing in the area, prominent among them the Bordeaus and 

Brevet Major General John E. Smith submitted a testimonial to 
the Adjutant General's Office stating that while in command of 
the Mountain District, comprising Forts Reno, Phil Kearny, and 
C. F. Smith, he had known Richard as trader and interpreter at 
Fort C. F. Smith during the years 1867-1868: 

He has great influence over the Mountain Crows as well as several 
Bands of the Sioux, (with the latter he is connected by marriage.) His 
services were very valuable, and he had the entire confidence of the 
Authorities on the Plains. I do not know anything of the circum- 
stances of his killing a soldier at Fort Fetterman, but in view of his 
past services as well us future usefulness I would recommend that he 
be not only leniently dealt with, but if possible pardoned. This would 
be sound policy in the present condition of affairs in the Powder River 
Country, as I consider Richard would be very dangerous as an 

On 7 February General Sanborn wrote to the Adjutant General's 
Office enclosing the petition and Colonel Smith's report, and re- 
questing the return of Richard's merchandise which had been 
impounded by the military. He was curtly informed that "the 
Secretary of War decides that Richard should deliver himself to 
the civil authorities of Wyoming, but his goods should not be 
delivered to him until his guilt or innocence is determined by 
proper investigation. "•'^'' 

The one fact that emerges from all the foregoing is that Richard 
was generally regarded as a dangerous and influential man, capable 
of stirring the Indians into various kinds of mischief. If the frontier 
readers of the Omaha Herald took the Whetstone Traveler's warn- 
ing seriously then the non-appearance of hordes of combined Sioux 
and Crow warriors must have considerably allayed their fears. 
However in March came news that again caused great apprehension 
among the settlers. John Richard Jr., sent word through his father 
to Colonel F. F. Hint, Commanding Officer at Fort Laramie, that 
Red Cloud and Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses, together with 1,500- 
2,000 warriors, would visit the post at the end of the month to 

3L Ibid. 

32. Endorsement of Colonel and Brevet Major General John E. Smith, 
War Department, to the Adjutant General's Office, 8 February 1870. Case 
FUe No. C-274. 

33. E. D. Townsend, Adjutant General, Washington, D. C, to John B. 
Sanborn, 15 January 1870. Case File No. C-274. 


trade in accordance with tlie late treaty, or to fight if not allowed 
to trade. This report caused Flint, "an accomplished Gentleman 
and a superior soldier", to send a slightly panicky telegram to the 
Adjutant General's Department stating that this information was 
credited by the older residents, and requesting "a strong force 
of Cavalry should be here prepared for any emergency."^^ 

One could reasonably wonder whether the fighting talk were Red 
Cloud's or John Richard's, although the fact that the Sioux — or 
some of them — were evincing a hostile attitude is indicated in a 
letter from Major Alex. Chambers, Commanding Fort Fetterman, 
in which he states that chiefs of the Northern Cheyennes had 
arrived at that post professing peace and wishing to disassociate 
themselves from the Sioux who had "too many notions", meaning 
that there was a "difficulty of controling the young men by the 
different Chiefs, some being for war and others for peace."^^ In 
fact, Red Cloud himself appears to have been hedging towards a 
peaceful solution to the troubles besetting his people, and his 
sudden and unexpected request to visit Washington for peace talks 
took many by surprise. Both of Red Cloud's biographers are 
rather vague about this incident, and while Hyde suggests that it 
was a put up job arranged by a Mr. Benjamin Thatfiam of New 
York City,^^® Olson says that "John Richard Jr. seems to have had a 
great deal to do with it."^^ Billy Gamett and George W. Colhoff, 
interviewed by Judge E. S. Ricker, go so far as to state that the 
whole affair was arranged by John Richard in conjunction with 
certain others.^ 

According to Gamett, Richard was at that time in partnership 
with Jules Ecoffey and Adolph Cuny running an estabUshment 
elegantly known as a hog ranch a few miles below Fort Laramie — 
probably the Three Mile Ranch or its predecessor — and while 
suffering his self-imposed exile among the Sioux his interests were 
being looked after by his brother Louis. Occasionally John would 
slip down to attend to business, and on one of these clandestine 
visits a scheme was cooked up, with W. G. Bullock involved, by 

34. Telegram from Brevet Brigadier General F. F. Flint, Fort Laramie, 
to General G. D. Ruggles, 11 March 1870. U. S. Army Continental Com- 
mands 1821-1920, Department of the Platte. Record Group 393, National 

35. Major Alex. Chambers, Fort Fetterman, to the Assistant Adjutant 
General's Department, 1 1 April 1 870. Letters Received, Department of the 
Platte, 1870, and telegram from Chambers to General G. D. Ruggles, 1 April 
1870 U. S. Army Continental Commands 1821-1920, Department of the 
Platte, Record Group 393 National Archives. 

36. Hyde, George E., Red Cloud's Folk (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1957) pp. 173-174. 

37. Olson, J. C, op. cit. p. 93. 

38. Garnett-Ricker Interview, and interview between George W. Colhoff 
and Eli S. Ricker, 22 November 1906, Nebraska Historical Society. 


which he would be freed of the murder charge that had been filed 
against him if he could induce Red Cloud to visit Washington.'^^ 
If indeed this was the case then perhaps the legal hand of John B. 
Sanborn may be detected at the back of it. 

By April Red Cloud was near Fort Fetterman, and on 2 May 
Governor J. A. Campbell v^TOte to E. S. Parker objecting to a 
telegram sent by General Sherman to General Auger ordering Red 
Cloud to leave the vicinity of Fort Fetterman and return at once 
to his reservation. Apparently Campbell had telegraphed the 
Indian Bureau on 29 April recommending that negotiations be 
extended to Red Qoud, and he deemed it imprudent on the part of 
the Government to disregard any overtures made bv the hostile 

Whatever the intrigues of Red Cloud, the Indian Bureau, a 
gentleman in New York, or John Richard Jr., the visit to Washing- 
ton was finally decided, and Colonel John E. Smith was assigned 
to arrange the trip. The official interpreters were W. G. Bullock, 
John Richard Jr., and James McCloskey. Red Dog immediately 
lodged an objection against Richard and wanted Leon Bullardy 
(Palladay?) instead, but Red Cloud overruled him and Richard 
was taken along.*^ The party of Sioux chiefs left Fort Laramie on 
26 May and reached Washington early in June.^" 

In Washington Red Cloud made a brief and rather incoherent 
mention of Richard's shooting affray: "This yoimg man [Richard] 
is mine. The whites have taken him away from us. Richard took 
away all his stock and shot at him. At Fort Fetterman Richard was 
a contractor there cutting hay for the Government. Indians took 
all he had. He was going to kill them. He has done something 
and he wants to tell the Great Father and has brought him here."^^ 
This confused statement — which may have been the fault of the 
interpreter — makes one suspect whether Red Cloud really knew 
anything about the affair at all. 

Exactly what Richard had to teU the "Great Father" is contained 
in an affidavit made before Charles Walter, notary public, in the 
District of Columbia, County of Washington, on 4 June 1870. 
Richard, duly sworn, stated tiiat he was 28 years of age, bom on 
the North Platte River in the country occupied by the Dakota 

39. Garnett-Ricker Interview. 

40. J. A. Campbell to E. S. Parker, 2 May 1870. Letters Received, 
Office of Indian Affairs, 1870. 

41. Special Report of Colonel John E. Smith, 17 July 1870, quoted in 
Robinson, Will G., "Digest of the Reports of the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs as Pertain to Dakota Indians 1869-1872" South Dakota Report and 
Historical Collections, Vol. XXVII (1956) p. 228. 

42. Report of Colonel John E. Smith, 15 July 1870, Report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1870. 

43. Olson, J. C, op. cit. p. 106, n. 22. 


Indians. His father was a citizen of the United States and a native 
of Missouri; his mother was a fuU-blood Dakota Indian, which 
made him a member of the Dakota Nation of Indians. 

His version of the shooting is that two months prior to the 
homicide he was asked by Colonel WilUam McEntire Dye, then 
Commanding Fort Fetterman, whether he knew any of the persons 
who had brought whiskey onto the post the previous day and dis- 
tributed it among the soldiers. Richard replied that on the previous 
day he had in fact encountered four men about seven miles from 
Fort Fettennan, on the road between Cheyenne and the post, with 
a cart and two horses tandem carrying 40 gallons of whiskey. His 
description of tlie men was so good that within a short time two of 
them were arrested and punished and the liquor was destroyed. 

Several friends of these men, among them the soldier he later 
killed, were "greatly agravated and enraged against him" for giving 
the information that had led to their arrest, and threatened to take 
his life as soon as Colonel Dye was relieved of his command and 
left the post. This threat was often repeated in front of certain 
persons at the fort, bemg Taylor a servant of Colonel Dye, George 
Lake, John Hutton, Frank Yates, and one Carr. Lake, Carr, and 
Yates, who knew the soldiers well, told Richard that they believed 
these threats and that he should be on his guard. 

On the fatal day (25 August according to Richard) he entered 
the post and visited the blacksmith's shop. While riding in the fort 
he observed that he was being closely watched by the soldier he 
afterwards killed. This soldier, whose name he did not know, was 
one of those who had been the loudest in their threats against him. 
On his return to his camp outside the post he was warned by 
Thomas Reed to look out as one of the men who had threatened 
him had been round the sutler's store ever since he went in. Being 
greatly excited and believing that the soldier was lying in wait to 
kill him, he rode back to the post and fired his pistol twice at the 
soldier who fell mortaUy wounded. His excuse was, therefore, 
self-defense, and he had shot the man, whom he "verily believed 
was a desperado" solely to protect his own life as there were no 
peace officers in the country. 

He furthermore stated that he was and always had been a "true, 
faithful, and zealous friend of the United States and the govern- 
ment and people thereof and that he had never levied war against 
them but had often fought against his own people and had encour- 
aged and aided the troops of the United States in every way pos- 
sible, often at the peril of his own life. He had some influence 
among his people and believed that if protected and encouraged by 
the United States he could do a lot of good among his people and 
save much life and "treasure" for the Government. 

He had done all in his power to keep his people and nation 
peaceful yet the people of Wyoming believed that he was trying to 
induce the Indians to go to war against the whites, and for this 


reason he was sure that he would not get a fair and impartial trial 
in the Territory, and that the jury — "made up of women as well as 
men" — would bring in a verdict that expressed public sentiment, 
which was unjustly annoyed at him. 

He therefore pleaded either that the President would grant him 
amnesty and pardon for the offence he had committed, or that the 
Attorney General would order the District Attorney of Wyoming 
Territory to enter a nolle prosequi on the indictment for murder,*^ 

Accompanying this affidavit was a petition from the "citizens of 
the Territory of Wyoming" on behalf of "John Richaw ... a half 
breed of the Sioux tribe of Indians, a nephew of Red Cloud and 
first cousin of Spotted Tail powerful chiefs of that warlike 
nation. "^^ 

The petitioners thought that this homicide "though wholly 
unjustifyable and perhaps inexcusable, yet had in it some mitigating 
circumstances which uneducated savages or those inured to their 
habits and customs might deem in strict accordance with justice." 
There then came the story of the shooting which closely followed 
Richard's own account: 

. . . afterwards fearing the consequences Richaw fled to his tribe 
and being a man of superior intelligence and influence has probably 
exorcised them to stir up strife against the whites in order to save 
himself from capture. Your Petitioners would further represent that 
said Richaw has no desire to be hostile to the whites but would rather 
assist them in opposition to any war which may be waged upon them 
by the Indians and that said Richaw with his great influence could 
probably succeed in inaugurating a terrible war or of checking one in 
accordance with his position as friend or foe.^^ 

The petitioners earnestly requested that Richard be pardoned 
because "as a matter of public policy it might be better to do 
so ... if by doing so a dangerous and formidable foe can be 
converted into an active and efficient ally, and thus avoid a further 
and extensive loss of human life."^^ 

This petition was signed by more than 60 leading citizens, mer- 
chants, firms, and companies of Wyoming, mostly from Cheyenne. 
Two of the signatories have become very well known in Cheyenne's 
history — R. S. Van Tassell and Posey S. Wilson, 

While Richard was making his affidavit, three friends of his were 
supplying a glowing testimonial before Notary Public Fredk. 
Koones. Having been duly sworn, William G. Bullock, G. P. 

44. Affidavit of John Richard Jr., in regard to the homicide committed 
by him at Fort Fetterman in August A. D. 1869, Washington, D. C, 4 June 
1870. Case File C-274. 

45. Petition from citizens of the Territory of Wyoming to His Excellency 
U. S. Grant, Prest. of the United States, undated. Case File No. C-274. 

46. Ibid. 

47. Ibid. 


Beauvais, and Jules Ecoffey stated that they had traded with and 
been intimately connected with the Oglala Band of Sioux for more 
than 20 years, and during this time had been well acquainted with 
Richard, and that: 

John Richard Jr. has always been a quiet, steady, upright business 
man and always been true and friendly to the whites; that at various 
times he has made great sacrifices of property and exposed his life to 
comply with the wishes and execute the orders of officers of the army 
in the Indian country; that he has repeatedly served as scout, guide and 
messenger for officers of the military and civil service, and has always 
been faithful and reliable; that he has never been a disorderly person, 
but has always been respective of the rights of others; and that from 
their acquaintance with the man they fully believe that he would never 
kill any man unless in self defence; that he has great influence among 
the Indians, which he has heretofore always used for our government 
and people and which they fully believe he will continue to use, and 
that they fully believe that the welfare of our whole frontier and of the 
Indians will be greatly subserved by amnesty being extended to him, 
or the entering of a nolle prosequi on the indictment found against 
him in Wyoming Territory.*"* 

A character reference for these three men themselves was sup- 
plied by S. A. Strickland, U. S. District Attorney from Nebraska, 
while S, F. Nuckolls, delegate from Wyoming, scrawled a hasty 
note on a spare piece of paper: 

I respectfully recommend that amnesty be granted to John Richard 
or that a nolle prosequi be entered on the indictment found against 
him in Wyoming Territory. I would also state that I am well ac- 
quainted with W. G. Bullock, G. P. Beavais and Jules Ecoffey and that 
they are men of the highest business standing and that their statements 
are entitled to full credit whether made on oath or not.*^ 

Some consideration must be given to Richard's account, and 
Captain Patterson could hardly have been expected to connect the 
shooting with an incident that happened before he took command 
of Fetterman. Nevertheless there are inconsistencies from other 
accounts; Richard makes no mention of the Indian raid, the dam- 
age to his property, and fails to acknowledge a fact that others had 
attested to — that he was drunk at the time. Also when he makes 
such a mistake over the date one can only wonder how much of his 
testimony is accurate. The writer has tried unsuccessfully to locate 
the District Court Records for the Territory of Wyoming for the 
years 1 869-70, and has therefore not seen the original indictment 
or the statements of any witnesses — should they exist. It would be 

48. Testimonial of William G. Bullock of Fort Laramie, W. T., G. P. 
Beauvais of St. Louis, Mo., and Jules Ecoffey of Omaha, Neb., Washington 
D. C. 4 June 1870. Case File No. C-274. 

49. Endorsement of S. F. Nuckolls, Delegate from Wyoming, Washing- 
ton D. C. 4 June 1870. Case File No. C-274. 


interesting to see what Messrs. Taylor, Lake, Hutton, Yates, Carr 
and Reed had to say on the subject. 

On 20 June 1870 the Cheyenne Daily Leader observed that: 

Somebody has asserted that President Grant has pardoned John 
Reichard, the half-breed, who was taken to Washington by Red Cloud. 
Such a proceeding is not possible. He must first be tried before our 
courts, found guilty, and sentenced, after which a pardon will be in 
order, and prove a very desirable as well as probable experience for 
Mr. Reichard. That this will eventually be the result is believed by all 
our citizens. Its justice is questionable, but its policy is generally 
admitted. Concessions of this kind to the red skins and their friends 
we cannot, hardly approve, however politic they may seem. Our idea 
is that war, effectively and vigorously waged, is the true policy towards 
the Indians. It certainly would be but simple justice to the whites, and 
very inconvenient to Mr. Reichard and his red friends.''''' 

The Sioux party was by this time on its way home and the editor 
of the Leader recorded in typically sarcastic fashion the arrival of 
Red Cloud at Omaha: "Lo! the conquering hero comes! His 
squaw is with him. He shaketh off the noxious dust of civilization 
and longs for the war paint of his people , . ,"^^ and more in the 
same vein. Red Cloud had reached Omaha on Tuesday 21st and 
was leaving on Wednesday on the westward-bound train. "The 
renegade Richard is with him, and doubtless the two have many 
scruples against coming where the western character of white 
people abound too thickly."^^ 

Immediately under this item appeared another headed "Pardon 
of the Murdered Reichard" stating: 

In our issue of yesterday we stated our belief, that such an event as 
the pardon of Reichard, was impossible, for the reason that he has 
never been tried, found guilty, and sentenced for his crime, and that 
there was therefore, no authentic basis upon which to issue a pardon. 
Since then we have been informed by undoubted authority, that the 
President has given him a written pardon, with which document 
Reichard now returns, bearing it in his pocket. Herein then really 
lies the whole secret of Red Cloud's visit to Washington; viz, to pro- 
cure legal absolution for the crimes of his friend. He has been suc- 
cessful in that, and it seems, met with a rebuff to his other demands. 
How the sequel will result, will now soon be unfolded in the drama of 
frontier events.^s 

The editor was, of course, correct in his original speculation that 
without a trial and conviction there could be no question of a 
pardon being issued, and the following letter from the Attorney 
General's Office to the U. S. District Attorney in Cheyenne should 
have been all that was needed to protect Richard from prosecution: 

50, Cheyenne Daily Leader 20 June 1870. 

51, Cheyenne Daily Leader 11 June 1870. 

52, Ibid. 

53, Ibid. 


Such extenuating circumstances are shown to the President to exist 
in relation to the case of John Richard, jr. otherwise called John 
Richards, jr. who is indicted in the Territory of Wyoming for murder, 
as satisfy him, that, if tried and convicted, it would be a proper case 
for the exercise of executive clemency; and as public considerations of 
grave importance render it more suitable that if such clemency is to be 
extended, action should be had at once, you are directed to enter a 
nolle prosequi upon that indictment, and not to have any process 
issued for the arrest or detention of said Richard upon that charge. s* 

Yet strangely enough, on the same day that the above letter was 
written a document purporting to be a pardon was issued: 


John Richard }r Wyoming T. 

Offence — Homicide, committed at Fort Fetterman August 1869 

(Fugitive from justice) Filed June 8, 1870 
Recommended for pardon by the Chiefs & Head-men of the Sioux, 
officers of the U.S. Army and many citizens of the Territory as a 
matter of public pohcy. 

U.S. Attorney directed to enter a nol. pros June 8, 1870 
(See Instructions book "B" p 53.) S5 

It is plain to see that this so-called pardon simply reiterates the 
letter directing a nolle prosequi to be entered on the murder indict- 
ment, and it would appear to have been issued merely so that 
Richard could carry a piece of insurance in his pocket. Joseph M. 
Carey, the U. S. District Attorney for Cheyenne, acknowledged the 
Attorney General's directive on 16 June,^^ and on 29 June 1870 
the Secretary of War requested that an official copy of the pardon 
be transmitted to the War Department.^^ 

By July Richard was back brazenly carrying on his business 
around Forts Fetterman and Laramie. On 3 1 July he found him- 
self in a place where no doubt certain officers would have liked to 
see him some months earher — the guardhouse at Fort Fetterman. 
But he was merely being held as a witness to the attempted killing 
of one "Toussaint" by his cousin Joseph Richard.^^ 

54. E. R. Hoar, Attorney General, Washington, D. C, to District 
Attorney Joseph M. Carey, 8 June 1870. Attorney General's Office 
Instruction Book A, Vol. 2, pp. 531-532, Record Group 60. Nationid 

55. Record of Pardon Cases, Vol. C, p. 274, Records of the Office of the 
Pardon Attorney, Record Group 204. National Archives. 

56. Joseph M. Carey, South Pass City, to E. R. Hoar, 16 June 1870. 
Records of the Attorney General, Record Group 60, National Archives. 

57. Secretary of War, Washington, D. C, to the Attorney General, 29 
June 1870. Records of the Attorney General, Record Group 60. National 

58. On 22 July 1870 Cheyenne Indians attacked the party of John and 
Joseph Richard and "Toussaint" (Toucon) about ten miles from Fort 


On 1 1 March 1871 the Cheyenne Daily Leader announced in its 
column headed "Our Fetterman Letter' that: "John Richard, the 
murderer of James McCloskey, was married again at Laramie the 
other day. His other legitimate wife lives here.""'* Richard's bride 
was undoubtedly Emily Janis, the half-blood daughter of Nicholas 
Janis. His other "legitimate" wife was probably Louise Merrivale, 
daughter of Jose Merrivale; Baptiste Fourier states that Richard 
had married Louise in 1864 and that they had afterwards settled in 
Bozeman, Montana, and certainly John was associated with Jose 
Merrivale in Bozeman. 

It turns out that Richard was not the murderer of James Mc- 
Closkey. This act was committed by one John Boyer who shot 
McQoskey and a soldier named John Lowry at the Six Mile Ranch 
on 27 October 1 870. Like Richard, Boyer fled among the Sioux, 
but unlike Richard he had no friends in high places and in April 
1871 paid the supreme forfeit for his crimes.®" 

But retribution of a kind was not far off for John Richard. 
When the Red Cloud Agency was established near Fort Laramie in 
July 1871 he moved in with Jules Ecoffey, trading under the firm 
of Richard & Company. Things appeared to be going weU for him 
when, on a summer evening in 1872, he again pulled the trigger of 
his gun in a drunken fit of anger and killed liis former brother-in- 
law Yellow Bear, following an argument over one of the chiefs 
sisters. Scarcely was the deed done when the chiefs friends fell 
upon him with their knives, and John Richard received his death 
from their blades.*^^ 

And so on 17 June 1870 died this strange man. A man of 
acknowledged courage, intelligence, and influence, he could have 
done so much to help his people the Sioux, yet could not overcome 
the peculiar homicidal streak in his character that eventually 
brought him down. 

Fetterman en route for Box Elder Creek. The Richards returned to the post 
then left for Fort Laramie in company with Jules Ecoffey (E. Coffee). On 
the 31st John Richard and one "Calluff" with three squaws came into Fort 
Fetterman where Richard reported the killing of Toussaint by Joseph 
Richard on the road between Fort Laramie and Fort Fetterman. While 
John Richard and Calluff were detained in the guardhouse as witnesses, 1st 
Lieutenant Carl Veitenheimer, 4th Infantry, was sent with four men to 
Louis Richard's wood camp on Box Elder to arrest Joseph Richard. It was 
subsequently discovered that John Richard's report was incorrect, and that 
while murder was certainly attempted Toussaint had managed to escape. 
See the Daily Journal of Events, and Post Return for Fort Fetterman, July 

59. Cheyenne Daily Leader 11 March 1871. 

60. Cheyenne Daily Leader 21 April 1871. 

61. Billy Gamett's eyewitness accoimt as told to Eli S. Ricker is the best 
source for this particular incident. 


The coal fields of Wyoming cover about 2000 sq. miles. Thir- 
teen new mines are reported opened for the past year but the coal 
production is lower than for 1907, owing to a strike last spring 
which tied up the mines for a period. 

Much interesting information regarding the Wyoming coal fields 
in detail is to be found in the Bulletins of the U. S. Geological 
Survey, which is engaged in a study of these fields in connection 
with the other fuel supplies of the west. 

In the northern district, the new mines are most numerous and 
the demand for the product almost unprecedented. The coal is 
hgnite, of a high grade usually and the Big Horn basin mines 
especially are only the outposts of a great army of producers which 
will be mustered m the next few years. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, Augast, 1909 

More attention has been directed to the oil and gas fields of 
Wyoming during the past year than for the previous 10, and by a 
class of men competent to handle the problem successfully. The 
two most accessible and best known fields have been tied up in 
useless litigation and dispute for the past three years and produc- 
tion has been nothing in consequence. 

There are 19 recognized oil fields in Wyoming and the greatest 
possible range of product has been noted, but active development 
is necessary and fair freight rates essential before any commercial 
uses may be generally made of these oils. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, August, 1909 

The mines of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Co. at Sunrise, in 
Laramie county, produce the iron mined in Wyoming. This is a 
great up-to-date plant, equipped for economical work and steady 
production. The ore is a hematite, similar to the Lake Superior 
ores and the quantity is enormous. 

A similar deposit occurs at Bradley Peak in northern Carbon 
county, but so far is undeveloped, being 50 miles from the nearest 
railroad transportation. There is a smaller body of ore at Rawlins, 
on the Union Pacific railroad. 

During the past year many eastern iron firms had representatives 
in Wyoming seeking investment lands and prospecting work has 
been quite active in many sections. 

A find of chrome iron has been opened south of Glenrock, in 
Converse county and some test shipments made and indicated a 
high grade of material. 

The titaniferous iron deposits, well known locally for many 
years have been again prospected this year, but no results of tests 
made public. Tungsten and iron ores have been reported from the 
Wind River range above Lander. 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal, August 1909 

frontier Camp to Small Zown 



Philip J. Mellinger 

The American small town has been characteristically a highly 
organized, structured community. A person's community role was 
defined through his participation in locally organized political, 
social, and economic activities. A frontier community was quite 
a different matter. It did not function as a political organism: 
instead, it was an unstructured, unorganized patch of residential 
settlement. Yet many smaU towns began as "frontier" commun- 
ities and had to change drastically in order to create cohesive small 
town institutions. Many of the early settlers who had come seeking 
an unstructured frontier situation would continue to reside in the 
very different, highly organized small town. Community life was 
revolutionized during the important "transition period" between 
the frontier camp and small town growth phases. 

The career of HartviUe, a small community in eastern Wyoming, 
shows how the frontier camp to small town transition was accom- 
plished. The first white men to explore near Hartville were Fort 
Laramie troopers, who prospected for precious metals near the 
fort as a casual, spare-time activity. Some cattle outfits driving 
herds up the Texas Trail and some disappointed Black Hills gold 
miners also visited the area west of the fort in the late 1870s, but it 
failed to attract them as permanent settlers. Then, in 1881, a 
promising copper strike brought hundreds of prospectors to the 
lower end of narrow Eureka Canyon. The prospectors' camp, 
located at the approximate center of the anticipated copper mining 
area, was named "Hartville." 

Hartville consisted of a congeries of shack residences and taverns 
in the early 1880s, and spent its leisure time creating the raw 
material for future Wild West legends. The camp was not organ- 
ized politically, and its only known public service facility was a 
long hitching rail provided for the benefit of the Saturday night 
crowd which rode in from the surrounding cattle country. TTie 
population waxed and waned with the rise and decline of ore 
prospects and national copper market prices until nearly the end 
of the century. 

In 1899, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, a Pueblo, 
Colorado, based coal and steel firm, became interested in Eureka 
Canyon iron prospects and began buying up local claims, construct- 
ing mining facilities, importing labor, and building homes. New 


residents poured into the canyon — several hundred in a few 
months. Most settled in shacks, tents, and dug-out hillside caves 
in previously depopulated HartvUle, but some moved into new 
houses at the upper end of the canyon, which the "C, F. and I." 
was building into a separate camp, "Sunrise." Hartville, still 
virtually without the public resources and services of a permanent 
community, was incorporated as a Wyoming town in mid-1901. 
Its physical dimensions were limited by its frontier origins — ^it 
bordered on several still workable mining claims. One claim, the 
"Jehosiphat," protruded into what would be the very center of 
town. Hartville was still effectively run by a small clique of tavern 
owners. Two taverns had survived from the mining camp years, 
and the owners of one, Chris Fletcher and his family, virtually 
"bossed" Hartville affairs in 1901. Despite Hartville's town char- 
ter, it continued to look and to act like a frontier camp.^ 

Hartville had a population of 776 in 1900, and 500 to 800 more 
people lived in Sunrise and other unincorporated areas nearby.^ 
Their combined population was a blend of several waves of 
in-migrants who had come in response to the area's changing 
economic situation. Almost all of the early Black Hills miners 
were gone, but some ex-soldiers and cattlemen had continued 
living near the canyon through the eighties and nineties, and they 
now constituted a distinct group of "old settlers." Retail stores 
and service establishments had been opened by a group of small 
businessmen who had moved to Hartville from nearby small towns 
during the 1899 boom. Many recently arrived foreign immigrants 
came to the canyon from 1899 on, to work as unskilled laborers 
for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. 


The "Hartville gang" — Chris and Daisy Fletcher, Chris' brother 
Jack, and their cronies — completely controlled Hartville political 
affairs in 1901. The town even appointed a special policeman "to 
guard and protect the property of C. D. Fletcher and to officiate in 
and around the buildings of C. D. Fletcher to wit: Theater and 
Saloon."-" An opposition faction was organized, and accusations, 
arrests, and brawling highlighted election day in 1906, The 1910 
election featured a series of fights and arrests which ended with a 
private citizen "relieving" the town marshal of his gun, the mayor 
seizing the marshal's badge, and another citizen swearing out an 

1. Hartville was one of only several dozen incorporated towns in the 
entire state in 1901. 

2. Hartville's population was only about 200 in 1920, and the population 
of Sunrise was 518. 

3. Hartville Town Record, I, 15. 


arrest warrant against the hapless law officer for having "wrong- 
fully appropriated . . . chickens." The town's justice of the peace, 
was also jailed after that election. In 1912, the outgoing political 
administration locked its successors out of the town hall, which 
forced them to hold their initial meeting in the Eagles' lodge 
building. In addition, two holdover councilmen chose not to 
attend council meetings, and so the town government ceased 
operation entirely for several months because it lacked a quorum. 
But from 1913 on, a series of candidates won elections with com- 
fortable pluralities, and election strife disappeared. "Compromise" 
mayors who did not actively support any political faction were 
elected. In 1918, the formerly controversial Chris Fletcher quietly 
became mayor without any significant political strife. The Hart- 
ville frontier politics had metamorphosed into the relatively unex- 
citing small town variety in less than two decades.^ 

Public facilities and services created during the 1900-20 period 
were also of a "transitional" character. A Hartville schoolhouse 
opened for a few local school-age children in 1901. By about 
1907, the town began grading its main street. Beginning in 1910, 
an effort was made to develop conventional sources of revenue: 
water rate bills and real estate assessments were instituted. These 
were not the customary revenue-raising devices of a frontier com- 
munity and so both were initially difficult to collect — the town 
remained chronically short of money. Street lights, public garbage 
collection, and privately-ovmed telephone service were instituted 
between 1910 and 1912. The town's frontier jail had been a cage 
fabricated out of railroad ties, and one prisoner had escaped by 
merely removing the hinges from its door. A new masonry jaU 
replaced it in about 1913.° A serious interest in sanitary reform 
developed in 1910: pigs were to be kept out of town, and cattle 
kept near the residential area were declared to be "annoying and 
disagreeable to the neighborhood. . . ."® Some Greek herders who 
operated mUk and cheese businesses watered their goats and sheep 
at a town hydrant until 1915, when they were told to keep their 
flocks at least a mile away from the town. Hartville finally pro- 
hibited all livestock maintenance in a strongly worded ordinance 
passed in 1917. Despite all of these elementary improvements, 
Hartville did not get a stable, small town revenue system until 
about 1920. In 1917, the town was still giving its citizens a choice 
of paying taxes or contributing their own labor toward the repair of 

4. Hartville Uplift, June 25, 1910, p. 1; Hartville Town Record, I, 198- 
212, 250, 287; Ibid., II, 54, 79. 

5. Hartville Town Record, I, 133, 146, 160, 203, 215, 219; Interview with 
Mrs. Ella Covington Webb, early Hartville area resident, March 8, 1967; 
Hartville Uplift, February 9, 1910, p. 1. 

6. Hartville Town Record, I, 136-137. 


the streets. In the same year, the town's water pumpmg equipment 
was repaired without cost through the agency of a nearby lime 
quarry owner, who received a parcel of town property for the 
bargain price of one dollar in lieu of more conventional com- 

HartviUe's most difficult political problem was inherited from its 
frontier years: a Black HUls prospector's 1888 copper and iron 
claim, the "Jehosiphat," included within its bounds the future cen- 
ter of Hartville. The land had been sold to a Fort Laramie 
teamster named Charley Wright, who together with his friend, Joe 
Wilde, threatened to develop the claim's theoretical mineral 
potential after 1900, and its greater value as real estate had become 
obvious. The Jehosiphat land probably had no substantial mineral 
value, but its central location in the developing community, in an 
attractive, wide portion of the canyon, and the fact that it con- 
tained the natural spring which was the main source of Hartville 
water made it an essential future acquisition for the town.^ Hart- 
ville officials obtained patent to the entire Hartville townsite on 
December 13, 1902, and from then on, there were two apparently 
valid claimants for the Jehosiphat land. Portions of the "Key- 
stone," "Modoc," and "Independent" claims were also included in 
the townsite, but the Jehosiphat's owners and their friends were the 
only claimants who pushed their interests vigorously.^ 

The townsite case impoverished Hartville by delaying public 
facilities improvements and depressing the value of local property 
until it was settled by the United States Secretary of the Interior in 
1910. By then, the struggle had gone through the local land 
office, a district court, and the Wyoming Supreme Court. Wilde 
and Wright won the patent case, and they proceeded to extract 
money from the many disgruntled occupants of town lots on their 
claim, including the Town of Hartville itself, which was forced to 
purchase the fifty-front-foot lot on which the town hall stood for 
$1200, an outrageous price during the 1900-1920 period. Joe 
Wilde even threatened to charge the town a rental fee for the past 
use of his property. In 1916, he announced that he had only sold 
town lots, but had retained his title to subsoil rights on his mining 
claim. He then refused to pay a full assessment for paving of 
sidewalks and alleys and instead offered the town a flat $100 for 
aU of his property assessments. The financially depressed town 
government eventually accepted his offer, but went on Htigating in 
1918 in an effort at making the Jehosiphat assessable "the same as 

7. Ibid., I, 239; Ibid., II, 2-3, 56, 60, 63-65, 112, 115. 

8. "Map of Hartville," 1907; Alice Catlin Guyol, "Hartville," a Works 
Progress Administration typescript; Cheyenne State Leader, May 6, 1910, 
p. 7. 

9. Platte County Clerk's Office, Hartville Townsite Deeds, Book No. 127, 
dated February, 1904. 


Other lots in town."^'* The Jehosiphat townsite case was an extreme 
example of the difficulty encountered in changing a frontier mining 
camp into a small town. 


Social behavior in Hartville and Sunrise retained a "frontier" 
aspect into the early years of the twentieth century, becoming 
more typically "small town" only about 1920. Criminality and 
general violence were quite common in mining and cattle frontier 
communities, community social organizations were typically lack- 
ing, and newcomers, whatever their national origins, were often 
accepted on a rough basis of social equality. The Hartville area 
manifested all of these characteristics in its frontier phase, and lost 
most of them during its transition period. 

In frontier HartviUe, according to a contemporary witness, many 
acts of lawlessness were never punished, and "many a shooting 
scrape there was simply termed 'self-defense.' "^^ A number of 
men were shot and at least two were murdered between 1900 and 
1910, and there were many fights, some horse rustling, and a 
dynamiting incident. Exceptionally large numbers of patients were 
admitted to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company's employees' 
hospital during the years 1903 to 1908 for "gunshot wounds," 
"scalp wounds," and "cuts."^^ Gambling and prostitution were 
major business enterprises in Hartville, and were conducted openly 
through about 1915, despite statewide prohibition of both activ- 
ities. Citizens as prominent as the Chris Retcher family were 
involved in criminal adventures. In mid-1900, Chris was facing 
a jail sentence, which he apparently avoided. Some months 
later, his wife Daisy fired several shots at him, and early in 
1905, Daisy was charged with assault and with threatening a 
witness with a gun. After a lapse of a few months, Chris, Daisy, 
and two friends pleaded guilty to a charge of "riot," and a montii 
after the riot problem was settled, Chris was accused of assaulting 
a man. About 1908, Fletcher allegedly engineered a "white 
slavery" arrangement. ^''' 

10. Platte County Clerk's Office, Range Book, Block 6; Hartville Town 
Record, L 314, 319; Ibid., H, 38, 76. 

11. Jfohn K. Rollinson, Pony Trails in Wyoming (Caxton, Ida.: Caxton 
Printers, 1945), p. 213. 

12. Arrest warrant records entitled "Justice Docket," for Hartville, and 
for Laramie County; Hartville Town Record, I, 15, 27; Interview with Tony 
D. Konoposis, early Hartville resident, March 6, 1967; Colorado Fuel and 
Iron Company, Hospital Report of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company for 
1900-08, passim. 

13. "Justice Docket, Justice of the Peace," for Guernsey, Wye, pp. 58, 
59, 65; Konoposis Interview. 


Crimes of violence were relatively less frequent after 1910. 
Guns and knives sent fewer men to the hospital, and there were few 
court cases involving violence. Almost all of Hartville's genuinely 
sensational criminality occurred before 1915, including, of course, 
the fracases associated with elections. Neither gambling nor 
prostitution had been totally eliminated by town ordinances by 
1920, but gambling was strictly licensed and forced out of sight in 
1919, and prostitutes were regulated at least as early as 1907, 
when their business locations and hours were restricted. Prostitutes 
were later forced out of Hartville entirely. 

Hartville's criminality may have been abated through state law 
enforcement as well as through community evolution. In 1913, 
Wyoming's governor J. M. Carey complained of towns in which 
"gambling is running wide open . . . [and] under the pretext 
of these being 'wide-open' towns or 'frontier' towns, the good 
people . . . close their eyes to the daily breaking of the law. . . ."'^^ 
The state was able to take increased cognizance of Hartville's 
criminal infractions from then on, because a 1912 reorganization of 
Wyoming counties brought the county seat (and county sheriff) 
from distant Cheyenne to Wheatland, sixty miles nearer HartvUle. 
The state's interest in law enforcement undoubtedly helped elim- 
inate this aspect of the frontier in Hartville, but so did, in at least 
equal measure, the growth of a proportionately larger female, and 
then juvenile population. Hartville was increasingly made up of 
families and family residences, and the number of young single men 
proportionately, and probably absolutely decreased between 1910 
and 1920. 

Hartville "boosting," the characteristic American method of 
merchandising a frontier community, began before there was an 
incorporated town. Hartville was to be "the Pittsburgh of the 
West," claimed its Iron Gazette in 1899. It would have steel and 
iron works, and other ancillary industries. ^^ However, there was 
no community-wide effort to develop a sense of cohesion and to 
generate interest in public works and public services in frontier 
Hartville. But in 1909, the Wyoming Tribune (Cheyenne) pub- 
lished some material which generated a major community reorgan- 
ization movement in Hartville. The Tribune announced that the 
HartvJUe "authorities . . . make the law to suit themselves," and 
that "the town mentioned has not yet thrown off the habiliments of 
the frontier." The article provided an ample quantity of lurid 
detail. i« 

14. Cheyenne State Leader, August 4, 1913, p. 2. 

15. Iron Gazette (Hartville), November 17, 1899, p. 6; Ibid., February 2, 
1900, p. 1; Wyoming Industrial Journal, I, No. 4 (September, 1899), p. 67; 
Ibid., II, No. 8 (January, 1901), p. 221. 

16. "Says Lid is Off at Hartville," Wyoming Tribune (Cheyemie), April 
9, 1908, p. 8. 


The response in Hartville was electric. A new newspaper, the 
HartviUc Uplift, was estabUshed in January, 1910, to answer the 
Tribune. The Uplift did not engage in extravagant boosting for 
city status on the basis of a hoped-for steel industry (which the 
town had never ceased to regard as a possibility). Instead, it 
advertised the town's solid commercial and residential advantages, 
and discounted its frontier reputation. The Uplift's editor contin- 
ually reminded his readers of the need for improved sanitation, 
more trees and grass, a railroad depot, a bank, and a lumberyard. 
The impetus for the development of these and other community 
facilities encouraged the development of a more complex com- 
munity social structure. A Commercial Club was organized in 
1910, and Eagles, Woodmen of the World, Oddfellows, Rebeccas, 
Royal Neighbors, the Salvation Army, and a number of ethnic 
organizations were functioning by 1912. The Sunrise settlement 
had a new Y.M.C.A. building after 1915, which in turn brought 
more new activities, including ice skating, bowling. Boy Scouts, 
and knitting classes. In February, 1911, a Hartville audience 
responded enthusiastically to a visiting Episcopal bishop's plea for 
improved morality and for the establishment of a new church. 
The "Church of Our Savior" was built, and church and Sunday 
School affairs were soon a major concern of a group of Hartville 
housewives. The Hartville community spoke and organized itself 
so as to allay permanently the charge that it was a frontier town.^" 

At least half the people living in Hartville and Sunrise during the 
1900-1902 period were recent immigrants from Europe and Asia, 
including 200 or more Italians, about 200 Greeks, dozens of 
Scandinavians, English, Syrio-Lebanese, and Japanese, and a scat- 
tering of other groups. The first few Greeks, Itahans, and Syrio- 
Lebanese who came to Hartville had stumbled into the area 
through fortuitous circumstances, but most post-1899 Hartville 
area immigrants quit Europe because of encouraging news from a 
relative or friend who hved near the Sunrise mines. There is no 
evidence that war, crop failures, or personal disaster forced their 
departure from home. Many were young, single, lower-middle 
class men who had lived in or near fairly small European towns. 
Their adjustment to the American environment was considerably 
affected by the behavior of their fellow residents in Hartville and 
Sunrise. ^^ 

The contrast between older residents and immigrant newcomers 
was not great. Hartville and Sunrise, as a frontier area with a 

17. Cheyenne State Leader, May 6, 1910, pp. 6-7; Hartville Uplift, 
February 6, 1910, p. 4; Ibid., June 11, 1910, p. 4; Ibid.. June 25, 1910, p. 1; 
Guyol, "Hartville," pp. 5-7; Hartville Town Record, I, 174; Colorado Fuel 
and Iron Company, Industrial Bulletin, 1917, passim. 

18. Interviews with twenty early Hartville area residents, 1966-1967. 


limited variety of economic activities, tended to attract a population 
which was homogenous in respect to age, sex, social class, and 
general attitude and motivation. Even many of the early business- 
men and mine personnel were young, unmarried, and often middle- 
to-lower middle class, optimistically seeking some measure of 
adventure and economic betterment in an unstructured community. 
In some respects then, the immigrants fitted relatively well into the 
frontier HartviUe area community. 

At first, the immigrants lived in ethnically-segregated residential 
areas both in Hartville and Sunrise, such as the Sunrise "Greek 
boarding house." By 1910, however, immigrants were selecting 
housing on the basis of physical attractiveness and proximity to the 
mines, and ethnic residential divisions were already blurred. Immi- 
grants were first employed as unskilled labor at Sunrise. They 
advanced rapidly. By 1904, a recent Italian immigrant had 
become a foreman, and others attained positions of increasing 
responsibility within the next several years. In Hartville, Greek 
and Italian bakeries, grocery stores, and saloons were common in 
1910. An equitable proportion of the members of the 1910 
Hartville Commercial Club were recent immigrants. Hartville 
itself employed immigrants in teaming work for street repair, one 
of the few jobs that the town had to offer. The Testolin brothers, 
who were recent Itahan immigrants, made money from teaming, 
real estate, home building, and operating an exceptionally large 
general store and saloon.^^ 

The Hartville immigrants integrated socially with relative ease. 
An Italian immigrant had joined the essentially Anglo-American 
Woodmen of the World organization as early as 1904. Many 
Italian and Greek men married "American" girls. The Episcopal 
Church was apparently available for use by Hartville and Sunrise 
Catholics (mostly Italians) until a Catholic church began function- 
ing, and many Greeks attended Episcopal services. 2*^ 

An immigrant's success in politics probably depended upon his 
social and economic acceptance in the community, and upon his 
citizenship status. A Syrio-Lebanese became a town council mem- 
ber and then acting mayor before 1910, and an Italian was elected 
mayor in 1914. In general, immigrants were somewhat under- 
represented in the HartvUle government, but ethnic background 
was apparently not a major factor in town elections.^i 

19. Ibid., Range Book, passim.; Hartville Uplift, February 19, 1910, p. 1; 
Ibid., March 5, 1910, p. 1: Hartville Town Record, I, 127. 

20. Interview with Mrs. Elizabeth Annie Howe, early Hartville area 
resident, March 6, 1967; Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, Camp and 
Plant, January 30, 1904, p. 68; C. E. Coffey, "A Survey of Certain Phases of 
the Public School of Sunrise, Wyoming," (Unpublished Master's dissertation. 
Department of Education, University of Wyoming, 1933), p. 14. 

21. Hartville Town Record, I, 192; Ibid., II, 20. 


Recent immigrants in 1900 to 1920 Hartville and Sunrise exper- 
ienced no further significant status change as the transition was 
completed, and the former frontier camp became a small town. If 
such a change of status did take place, it might have taken the form 
of a series of setbacks in the immigrants' progress toward integra- 
tion. Small towns were typically less inclined to accept recent 
immigrants than were unstructured frontier communities, and also 
the general Anglo-American attitude toward minorities was less 
receptive in the post-World War years. There are possible indica- 
tions of some degree of retrogression in the acceptance of immi- 
grants. A small Ku Klux Klan chapter was founded in the vicinity 
of Hartville, although its effect was negligible, and the local Dante 
Alighieri Society found itself suspect, again to a minor extent, of 
possibly "unpatriotic" behavior. Both of these were local instances 
of national phenomena, and rather unimpressive ones at that. 

The immigrants could not be suddenly rejected because they had 
been thoroughly integrated into the community during the frontier 
years, and the integration, of course, had been made possible 
because they very much resembled the other groups of frontier 
HartviUe area residents. Immigrants were probably accepted more 
readily in frontier communities than in any others in recent 
America. On the other hand, they may have faced the worst 
possible adjustment difficulties when they came to recent American 
small towns. In this instance, the critical element in determining 
their adjustment in the community was the stage of community 
development extant upon their arrival. 


There was a major economic transition in Hartville between 
1900 and 1920. Limitless expansion was hopefully anticipated 
during the frontier period. Because the community soon stopped 
growing, businessmen had to carefully organize local economic 
affairs, which involved limiting access to some commercial oppor- 
tunities and upgrading the quality of local business. By 1920, the 
transition had been accomplished, and a small town economy had 
been created. 

The 1889 dream of a "Pittsburgh of the West" in Eureka 
Canyon was half forgotten a decade later. In its place was a set 
of more reasonable hopes — for a bank, a depot, and a lumberyard. 
But some Hartville businessmen, operating on a still more realistic 
basis, had already begun to limit access to some important portions 
of Hartville business. Saloons and brothels were probably the most 
lucrative businesses in frontier Hartville, because of the many hard- 
living young single patrons in Eureka Canyon. Because of their 
apparent profitability, these businesses became too numerous and 
too visible during the 1900-1920 period. 

The saloon business was easy to enter. Even a recent immigrant 


could raise enough capital to sell liquor to his fellow countrymen 
on a small scale, sometimes as a sidehne in a grocery store or 
bakery. Expansion capital could be derived from initially high 
profits. License fees for both wholesale and retail establishments 
were formally set by the state legislature, but the Hartville Town 
Council re-set them locally. Rate adjustments were frequent. 
Retail licenses cost $1000 in 1906, $700 early in 1907, and $200 
later in the year. They were raised in June, 1908, lowered in 
September, and raised again in December. They were $1000 
again in 1909, when wholesale license fees began to shift as rapidly 
as retail fees had previously done.-- Saloon license fees tended to 
rise sharply when more people apphed for licenses, but when dis- 
appointed applicants withdrew their requests, license fees were 
lowered, and occasionally incumbent saloonkeepers were given 
refunds. The Town Council probably over-represented the inter- 
ests of the incumbent saloon owners, but it appears that fees were 
not used as a means of discriminating against immigrants. Recent 
immigrants were able to open saloons at least as early as 1907, and 
several immigrants operated saloons in 1910. Neither were higher 
fees invoked to solve Hartville revenue problems. Hartville's 
greatest projected expansion of public works occurred in 1910 and 
1911, after the wholesale fee had dropped, and complaints about a 
dearth of public funds were more frequent from 1914 on, when 
liquor license rates had been stabilized and new forms of tax 
assessment were in effect. 

The number of saloons was kept at about six, except during 
several brief prosperous periods, when there may have been ten or 
more. In 1915, the Town Council voted to routinize its procedure: 
a maximum of three saloons and two coffeehouses were to be 
licensed. From 1916 on, the number of annual saloon hcense 
requests did not exceed three.--^ The amount of available liquor 
business and the number of entrepreneurs who could profitably 
share it had been definitely established. Additional saloons might 
drive existing saloonkeepers out of business. Since community 
growth prospects no longer retained any measure of frontier opti- 
mism, saloonkeepers accepted small town status for Hartville 
before 1920. 

Brothel operations were controlled on the same general basis. 
Prostitution in Hartville was flourishing at the turn of the century, 
but in 1907, the Town Council appointed a committee "to govern 
and regulate Baudy Houses [sic] and Lewd Women in the town of 
Hartville." Refulation of brothels served another small town- 
developing function: despite their commercial importance, they 

22. Hartville Town Record, I, 15, 38, 53, 69-76, 82, 95, 137, 161, 164; 
Platte County Clerk's Office, License Register, Book 1. 

23. Ibid. 


were not socially acceptable, and had to be made inobtrusive. The 
1907 Town Council ordered prostitution off Main Street, while 
providing a town lot for two men who openly expressed their 
interest in developing a new brothel on it. In 1908, "lewd women" 
were excluded from "wine rooms," in another apparent effort to 
create a "respectable" main street. Inmates of the brothels were 
fined five dollars a month, beginning 1908, and brothel proprietors 
were fined ten dollars.^* 

The regulations enacted by the Town Council during the tran- 
sition years did not ehminate, or even greatly diminish protitution 
in Hartville. The deliberations of the town fathers centered around 
eliminating the disreputability associated with the brothels, rather 
than the brothels themselves. The fines were collected approx- 
imately every other month from the same persons, and they did not 
cause the demise of the offending business establishments. Fines 
were not, in effect, used as punitive charges, but rather as tax 
assessments which must have been quite helpful in financing new 
public facilities during the transition years. They were also a sop 
to a group of petitioners, who beginning in 1910, became increas- 
ingly vocal and organized in opposition to Hartville prostitution.^"^ 
Hartville became more conventionally respectable, and it began to 
create more conventional small town techniques for raising revenue 
after about 1910. Fewer young, single men came to work at the 
Sunrise mine because there was only a limited amount of work 
to be done, and there was to be no steel industry in the canyon 
area. The men of Eureka Canyon grew older, and many married. 
Women and children were an increasingly important part of the 
local population. Brothels, as well as the old-time saloons, were 
frontier businesses in Hartville, and they were disappearing at the 
close of the transition period. 

HartviUe and other recent American communities like it, which 
grew from frontier camps into small towns, made a complex series 
of transitional adjustments. Study of the process by which small 
town communities were created is needed. Understanding this 
process requires the future examination, in historical perspective, 
of the political, social, and economic mechanisms used to effect 
community change, and of the groups and individuals who used 
them. Comparative studies of communities which began develop- 
ing in various eras of American history, and comparisons between 
urban and small town development from frontier antecedents 
would be most instructive in contributing to a better general 
understanding of the growth of American residential communities. 

24. Hartville Town Record, I, passim.; Interviews; "Justice Docket,' 
Hartville; Town of Hartville, "Financial Record of the Town Hartville,' 
p. 3. 

25. Hartville Town Record, I, passim. 

Zliird Segment 
of the Oregon Zrail 


Trek No. 22 of the Historical Trail Treks 

Compiled by 

Maurine Carley 

The third segment of the Oregon Trail, from Douglas to Inde- 
pendence Rock, was covered by the trek on July 11, 1971. No 
attempt has been made to give mileage of the trail, as it was fre- 
quently necessary to travel on the freeway because of fencing and 

SATURDAY, JULY 10, 1971 

7:30 P. M. The Pioneer Association of Wyoming graciously per- 
mitted the trekkers to congregate at their Pioneer Log Cabin on the 
State Fair Grounds in Douglas. On behalf of the Association Miss 
Alzire Cross gave a warm welcome and the ladies of Douglas, with 
Mrs. Juanita Rice, chairman, served coffee, lemonade and cookies 
to the assembled crowd. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Henderson of Bridge- 
port, Nebraska, showed slides of a trek along the Overland Trail. 

SUNDAY, JULY 11, 1971 

177 participants, 72 cars 

GUIDES: Leroy Moore and Joe Keenan 

7 : 30 A.M. The Pioneer cabin was the meeting place for registra- 
tion, introductions and a group picture which was recorded on 

8:00 A.M. A recent flood made it impossible to go to the first 
known grave on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming so the story was 
told in Douglas. 

By Joe Keenan 
On May 18, 1843, about 1,000 American men, women and 


children gathered at Fitzhugh's Mill near Independence, Missouri. 
Among Qiem were the Applegates, Burnetts, Nesmiths, Fords, 
Hembrees, Keysers, Stewarts, Martins, Howells, Williams and 
many other families who were to make their presence felt in the 
Oregon Country. Among them were lawyers, merchants, mechan- 
ics, laborers, and last but not least, their leader. Dr. Marcus Whit- 
man, and his nephew Perrin Whitman. This was Dr. Whitman's 
second trip to Oregon as he, his wife and the Spaldings had made 
the trip seven years earlier. Now the great westward migration 
had begun. 

On May 22 the wagons finally got under way and the travelers 
had their last look at the "Big Muddy." This was a well equipped, 
well supplied caravan of covered wagons. They were pulled by 
oxen, horses and mules. Oxen predominated for they were more 
patient, less excitable and stood the long journey across the prairie, 
plains and mountains better than horses and mules. They weren't 
so likely to be stampeded by the Indians and provided beef in cases 
of necessity. A few milk cows were trailed along to supply milk 
and butter. 

On July 1 the first covered wagon baby, a girl, was bom to the 
P. G. Stewarts. Another girl was bom on July 6 to the John B. 
Penningtons. The coming of these youngsters within a week had a 
soothing effect on the ruffled tempers and jaded nerves of the 
travelers. Young sage hens and the most tender parts of the buf- 
falo, the tongue and the hump, were brought to the mothers of 
these new arrivals. Neither births nor deaths could stop the 
wagons for very long as the constant order was "Keep Moving." 

The following is a quote from the Nesmith record which touches 
the heart. "Thurs July 20, 1843 I came on ahead with Capt 
Gantt and advance guard. Passed over some very rough roads 
and at noon came up to a fresh made grave with stones pHed on it 
and a note tied to a stick informing us that it was the grave of Joel 
J Hembree child of Joel J Hembree and who was killed by a wagon 
passing over the boy. At the head of the grave stood a stone 
containing the name of the child. The first death on the expedition. 
The grave is on the left hand side of the trail, close to Squaw 
Butte Creek." 

On today's maps the name of the stream does not appear but as 
the wagons of Nesmith's party were five days out of Fort Laramie 
and the mileage given by Nesmith totaled sixty-nine miles, the spot 
where the Hembree child was laid to rest was evidently somewhere 
west of the present town of Douglas, Wyoming. 

In the Hembree Bible little Joel's death is recorded as occurring 
on July 17th. Nesmith arrived on the scene three days later. This 
indicates that the emigrants were traveling in detached groups and 
were not apprehensive of Indian attacks. 

The little grave was lost for about 120 years. In 1961 when 
Glen Edwards, the present owner of the ranch, was leveling some 


ground he chanced on a black stone with writing on it and saw the 
name Hembree engraved there. This led to the discovery of the 
Hembree boy's grave. 

The mileage and location of the grave by Nesmith's calculations 
were almost perfect. The father or friend who carved the date and 
the boy's name on that particular black rock did an excellent job 
as it is as legible today as the day it was made. The Hembree boy 
was one of thousands who died following the Oregon Trail 
west. Most are resting in unmarked graves along the same trail 

8:15 A.M, We departed west on the old highway, crossed the 
Platte, drove under the freeway and took a right turn on the Cold 
Springs road for a short distance then continued west. After six 
miles we passed the Bill Hooker marker on the Bozeman Trail at 
our left. Although Pizon BiU Hooker bullwhacked on the Med- 
icine Bow-Fort Fetterman Road only four years in the 1870s, he is 
still eulogized by this stone. Another marker close by states that 
the Oregon Trail was four miles south and Fort Fetterman seven 
miles north. 

After crossing La Prele Creek (La Prele is the French name for 
a kind of grass that grows in the vicinity) the countryside changed 
from cultivated fields to sagebrush. At 12 miles we entered the 
freeway to exit four miles later on the Barber Road. A turn to 
the left under the freeway brought us to a "private road" which led 
to the Barber ranch where we passed through their barnyard, 
crossed the Little Box Elder and proceeded up a sloping hill for 
two miles to the Mary Kelly grave. A sign on the fence reads, 
"This enclosure provided by John H. Wiggins in memory of his 
cousin, LITTLE MARY KELLY. Wyoming State Historical 
Society. 1966." 


By W. W. Morrison 

On May 17, 1864, a party consisting of six souls left Geneva, 
Kansas, by covered wagon enroute to the gold fields of Montana. 
In the party were Josiah Kelly, his wife Fanny Wiggins KeUy, their 
adopted daughter Mary, a child of about ten years of age, Gardner 
Wakefield and two colored servants known only as Frank and 

Soon after starting they were joined by Mr. Sharp, a Methodist 
minister. Sometime later they overtook a larger wagon train. Mr. 
Larimer, his wife Sarah, and their eight-year-old son, left the large 
train and joined the Kellys in their small train. Not long after this, 
a Mr. Taylor joined the Kelly train, making a total of eleven in aU, 

Their route was along the Big and Little Blue rivers, thence up 















































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Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 

This plan of Platte Bridge Station is a copy from im original sketch by Lieutenant Caspar 
Collins in the wnter of 1863-1864. Collins was killed in an Indian battle near the station in 
865. The copy was made by the late Loren C. Bishop in 1935 from originals at Colorado State 
University, then Colorado Agricultural College. 









































the south side of the Platte to Lower California crossing and over 
the divide to Ash Hollow. From there they followed the south side 
of the North Platte river to where the "Bow String" leaves the river 
near Horseshoe Creek. They came to the south bank of the river 
again some few miles east of Deer Creek, where there was a station 
consisting of a telegraph office and a few soldiers. 

For convenience and speed Josiah Kelly's little wagon train, con- 
sisting of four wagons and eleven people, had traveled a goodly 
part of the way alone. They camped with larger trains on a few 
occasions, where rivers were to be forded. It is recorded that their 
four wagon-beds were used in crossing the South Platte, and they 
were manned by about twenty men. 

At outposts and ranches along the way they were given assur- 
ance that the Indians were peaceful, and there would be nothing to 
fear. At both Fort Laramie and Horseshoe Station they were 
reassured of the safety of the road and the friendliness of the 

Late afternoon of July 12th, the little wagon train wound its way 
through the timber skirting Little Box Elder. Crossing the stream 
they ascended the opposite bank up a gentle slope of some two or 
three hundred feet to where the road leveled off again for a half 
mile or so. This crossing is now covered by waters from a dam 
which you can see to the southeast of us. The historic crossing was 
located about two hundred feet upstream from the dam. 

Immediately upon reaching the level stretch of road, a party of 
about 250 Indians, painted and equipped for war, appeared on the 
bluff before them to the northwest without warning, uttering their 
war whoops and firing a volley of guns and revolvers in the air. 
The main body of Indians moved down toward the train, halted 
for a while, then sent out part of their band to circle the train from 
a distance. 

The wagon train came to a halt, and Mr. Kelly advanced to meet 
the chief, endeavoring to find out their intentions. The savage 
leader, Ottawa, a war chief of the Ogalalla band of the Sioux 
nation, rode forward striking himself on the breast and saying, 
"How! How! Good Indian me." He pointed to those around him 
and assured Mr. Kelly they were, "Heap good Indians, hunt buffalo 
and deer". 

The Indians collected around the wagon train, shaking hands 
and requesting food and clothing, growing more insolent each 
moment in their demands. The men of the train were all busy 
preparing food for the savages when all of a sudden the Indians 
displayed their true intentions. There was a simultaneous dis- 
charge of arms, and when the smoke cleared Mr. Wakefield was 
mortally wounded, Mr. Sharp, Mr. Taylor and one of the servants, 
Frank, lay dead upon the ground. 

The Indians sprang into the wagons, tearing off covers, breaking 


open boxes and trunks and distributing or destroying the contents. 
A short distance in the rear a man on horseback and a family in a 
lone wagon came in sight. The chief quickly dispatched part of 
his band to capture or cut them off. The horseman riding ahead 
was overtaken and killed. The husband of the family quickly 
turned his team around and started back at full speed. Giving 
the whip and lines to his wife, who held in her arms their youngest 
child, he went to the back of his wagon, keeping the Indians at bay 
with his revolver. The Indians finally left the wagon and rode 
back to the terrible scene of massacre. In the race with death the 
wagon cover was riddled with bullets and arrows, one passing 
through the sleeve of the child in its mothers arms. 

When the shots were fired at the massacre site Mr. Larimer ran 
into some nearby timber. Mr. Kelly, Mr. Wakefield and the 
colored servant, Andy, hid in some tall grass and sage brush, until 
it became dark. In trying to find these four men one savage 
approached within a few feet of Mr. Kelly. The only thing that 
saved his life was a huge rattlesnake lying close by which gave a 
warning rattle, causing the savage to back away from the spot. 

Mrs. Larimer, her son, Mrs. Kelly and little Mary were put on 
horses and led northward over the hills by the savages into cap- 
tivity. Mrs. Larimer and her son escaped during the second night 
with the Indians; but Mrs, Kelly was a captive for more than five 
months before being delivered up by the Indians at Fort Sully. 

After the Indians had left the scene of the massacre, Mr. Kelly 
and Andy left their hiding places and retraced the trail to where 
a large wagon train was in camp and there took refuge for the 
night. The next morning they moved on with the large train and 
soon came upon the massacre site. After searching for some time 
they found Mr. Wakefield still alive in his hiding place, pierced by 
three arrows. Mr. Larimer had spent the night in trying to elude 
his savage pursuers and had been shot with an arrow in one of his 

The bodies of Mr. Sharp, Mr. Taylor and the colored servant, 
Franklin, were discovered where they had fallen. A wide grave 
was prepared, and the four bodies, including the dead horseman, 
were lowered into it. A buffalo robe was placed over them, and 
the loose earth was piled upon the grave. Then the wagon train 
continued on its way to Deer Creek station where a report was 
made to Captain Rhineheart, commanding officer there. 

During the first hour ride into captivity Mrs. KeUy planned an 
escape for little Mary who was riding behind her on their horse. 
She told the girl to drop gently down, hide among the sage brush 
for a while then try to find her way back to the trail, where she 
might be found by some passing emigrants. She added that she 
had scattered small bits of her letters along the way for Mary to 


follow and that the creek they had just crossed could be easily 
waded. The creek was the Little Box Elder. 

Little Mary spent the night alone on the prairie and the next 
day found her way back to the trail. A party of three or four 
soldiers returning from Fort Laramie noticed the little figure on the 
bluff overlooking the trail. There was a ravine between them and 
the girl, and they were about to cross over to her when a party of 
Indians came in sight. The soldiers had just passed the scene of 
destruction, and suspecting that Mary was a decoy, and that the 
ravine might be full of Indians, they whipped up their horses and 
fled to Deer Creek station, where they related their story. 

On the morning of the 14th, Mr. Kelly, who was now at Deer 
Creek station, succeeded in getting a squad of soldiers to go with 
him to the scene, for he had recognized the description of the figure 
on the bluff as that of little Mary. There they discovered the 
mutilated remains of the murdered girl. Three arrows had pierced 
the body, and the tomahawk and scalping knife had done their 
work. When discovered, her body lay with the hands outstretched, 
as if she had received, while running, the fatal arrows. 

Extracting the arrows, they tenderly wrapped the body in a 
winding sheet. A grave was prepared near by, and the little form 
was laid to rest in a grave beside the trail. 

As a matter of record, I first did research at Little Box Elder 
crossing in 1945 and returned for four succeeding summers. When 
satisfied that we had located the crossing, the mass grave, the spot 
where little Mary fell and Mary's grave, we marked the sites with 
wooden markers. Previously there had been only mounds of rocks 
to indicate the graves. After conversing with Mr. O. D. Ferguson, 
an old-timer in the vicinity who had obtained his information from 
a talk given by William Henry Jackson, pioneer photographer and 
painter, we felt more confident about the locations. Mr. Jackson 
had passed by the sites shortly after the massacre. 

The site we marked where Mary feU is just west of the wire fence 
we can see from here, and a little below the scars of the old trail 
passing through the ravine a few rods east of here. The wooden 
marker may have fallen down in recent years, but the stones mark- 
ing the spot should still be there. 

When the dam was built in 1954 the remains in the mass grave 
were re-buried here beside those of little Mary. 

9:30 A.M. We returned to the freeway and we passed the old 
Careyhurst ranch now knovm as the Bigsby ranch. 

We continued toward the Pacific Power Plant and the Platte 
River. After making a U-tum around a country school house a stop 
was made below the Unthank grave. The trail came down the hill 
past the grave. 

We all scrambled up a steep bank to hear the history of the 
grave. One lucky man found an arrow head near the grave. 


By Leroy Moore 

Thousands of emigrants died on the western trails. Ezra 
Meeker, who traveled to Oregon by oxteam, estimated that 5,000 
persons were buried in the year 1852 along the Oregon Trail. The 
great majority died of cholera and were buried in unmarked graves. 
Only a few have permanent markers such as this Unthank grave. 

There is very little documented information concerning Alvah H. 
Unthank in the registration papers at old Fort Laramie, Wyoming. 
The records consist primarily of a few old newspaper clippings and 
a copy of compiled genealogy of the Unthank family. 

Alvah H. Unthank was a member of a party of goldseekers on 
the way to California. The group left the town of Newport in 
Wayne County, Indiana, on March 30, 1850. Newport was 
located in the extreme east-central part of the state and later 
changed its name to Fountain City. 

Alvah Unthank was only 19 years of age when he carved his 
name on Register Cliff near present-day Guernsey. Less than a 
week later he became ill, and died of cholera on July 2, 1850, and 
was buried about four miles east of present day-Glenrock. Dr. 
Huff of Fountain City had a diary written by Henry W. Puckett, a 
member of the party who made it to California. The diary contains 
a graphic description of Unthank's sickness and death. 

After Alvah's death, members of his family visited Fountain City 
in an effort to find the names of the people in his caravan but were 
unable to find many. However, they did discover the names of 12 
men who were in the party. Two of them, Albertson Lamb and H. 
Lanter, passed away before Alvah Unthank did. Samuel Curtis 
died in what is now Idaho. The four men were buried along the 
trail in the same manner. 

The Unthank headstone and grave were shown on the program, 
"The Winning of the West," on nation-wide television which was 
narrated by Gary Cooper. His comment was, "Here was one 
who didn't make it." 

It is interesting to note that in 1869, O. N. Unthank, a cousin 
of Alvah's, also carved his name on Register Cliff. He served as 
telegraph operator at old Fort Laramie from 1869 to 1874. His 
son, L. B. Unthank, carved his name on the cliff in 1931. It is no 
longer possible to carve names there as a high wire fence surrounds 
the bluff. 

Another little story connected with the deaths along the Oregon 
Trail is that of Mrs. George Masiker who was traveling west in July 
1852. While her wagon train nooned near the Platte River she 
noticed a grave nearby and walked over to inspect it. The 
whitened shoulder blade of a buffalo with a name written on it in 
lead pencil caught her attention. By looking carefuUy at the 
writing she deciphered the name of Salomon Trumble. Startled, 


she read it again thinking her eyes had deceived her but there was 
no mistake. It was the name of her father who had started west the 
year before and had never been heard from. She had found the 
answer at last. 

As a tribute to the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail and to 
those who lost their lives helping settle this country, I have here a 
poem that expresses the importance of preserving their memory. 
This poem is from the book, "The Oregon Trail", by Walter 

ITiere are no new worlds to conquer, 
Gone are the last frontiers, 
And the steady grind of wagon wheels, 
And of the sturdy pioneers. 

But their memory lives like a thing divine, 
By their valorous deeds and brawn. 
For the trail that led to the storied west. 
Was the long hard trail to Oregon. 

10:15 A.M. We returned to the cars and followed the guides to 
Glenrock where a turn to the right in the middle of town took us 
to the site of Deer Creek Station. Joe Keenan has made an 
attractive stone monument to perpetuate the site. Between the 
pillars of stone an iron Pony Express rider gallops above an old 
covered wagon wheel. 

By Joe Keenan 

Deer Creek Station, situated about one-fourth mile south of 
where Deer Creek empties into the Platte River, has seen many 
famous pioneers, scouts and hundreds of emigrants who were on 
their way west to settle in California or Oregon or the Salt Lake 

General J. C. Fremont, with Kit Carson as guide, camped here 
July 26, 1842. They left their wagons hidden in the brush along 
the creek and proceeded westward by pack train. 

The Mormons played a definite role in Deer Creek history. 
Brigham Young with his party of 148 people, 72 wagons, 94 
horses, 53 mules, 66 oxen, 17 dogs, some chickens, farming imple- 
ments, tools and a small cannon camped here June 10, 1847. The 
following excerpt is taken from the Latter Day Saints Emigrant 
Guide which was published in 1848. "Deer Creek 30 ft wide 2 ft 
deep. Latitude 42-52-50 Altitude 4,864 Lovely place to camp 
Swift current, clear water and an abundance of fish. Nice grove of 
timber on banks and a coal mine about V^x mi up on the east side." 

Many emigrants crossed the Platte here in those early days. 
Some were taken across in crude boats for the sum of $3.00 each, 
and some were drowned while fording. On June 20, 1849, seven 


men were drowned in two days while trying to get their wagom 
across the river 12 miles above here. The cold water and swift 
current made this crossing very dangerous and difficult. One 
emigrant had this to say about his crossing on June 23, 1849: 
"In one place there were six men towed ashore by hanging to the 
tail of one mule and a rider on him at that. While in another place 
they were making extreme efforts to save a man from drowning. 
A boat sank with a wagon containing women and children, but it 
struck a sandbar and they were saved. I was carried outside the 
cattle by the swift current and saved myself by catching the tail of 
one as 1 passed him and letting him tow me to shore. We will long 
remember the crossing of the Platte." 

The first Christmas in this area was celebrated here in 1859 by 
some members of the German Lutheran church, some soldiers and 
a few Indians complete with a tree and gifts. Music was supplied 
by a German violin player and an army captain with a flute. 
After the gifts were distributed an Indian squaw asked why the 
Great Spirit didn't give them full sacks of sugar and flour instead 
of such little amounts. 

In 1860, Deer Creek became a Pony Express Station. By 
October, 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph line was com- 
pleted, and it then became a telegraph station with Oscar ColUster, 
a small man weighing only 100 pounds, the operator. 

At that time there was quite a settlement here consisting of 18 
buildings and three corrals. The road ran in a westerly fashion 
dividing the town. On the south side were 12 buildings owned by 
the government — a long telegraph office, a store room, officer's 
quarters, a commissary, laundry, mess room, kitchen, blacksmith 
shop, quarters for soldiers and a stable. A French trader by the 
name of Bissonette owned the six buildings and one corral on the 
north side. All the buildings were made of logs and the corrals 
were built stockade fashion with the logs nine feet high set close 
together in the ground and sharpened at the top to prevent the 
Indians from climbing over. 

The Indians, although marveling at the mystery of the ''Singing 
Wires", hated them and fearing their strange power, cut them down 
repeatedly. Often they would bum the poles and carry away great 
lengths of wire. On the day Abe Lincoln delivered his annual 
message to Congress, Collister's wire was cut and he had to go to a 
point near Box Elder Creek to make repairs before he could relay 
the message to California. 

During Collister's stay at the Station the chief amusement was 
dancing. Soldiers, emigrants and Indians entered wholeheartedly 
in the fun. The Indian women couldn't speak English but quickly 
learned to dance the quadrille to the lively tunes of a French 

Several Indian chiefs became friendly with Collister. Among 
them was Sitting Bull who was trying to learn to read so Collister 


gave him the old newspapers. When the big chief, Man-Afraid-of- 
His-Horse, who stood six feet, four inches tall, watched Collister in 
awe while he clicked the telegraph key he said to the trader, 
Bissonette, "The Little Man is good medicine." A young Indian 
maiden by the name of Bright Star fell madly in love with Collister 
and pleaded with him to leave when she dreamed that his life was 
in danger, though she knew she might never see him again. 

In 1862, the government stationed soldiers at Deer Creek to 
protect the emigrants and the station. After the travel season was 
over the soldiers were withdrawn with the exception of B Squad 
under a Captain Hays who remained here for the winter. About 
this time a band of smallpox-stricken Indians wandered into Deer 
Creek causing panic among the settlers. However, they were given 
temporary shelter in the blacksmith shop which was burned to the 
ground the day they left. 

Bissonette's trading post was bought by the government for 
military purposes in 1865 and burned by the Indians the following 
year. At the same time 1 50 Indians drove five men from the Deer 
Creek telegraph station, burned all the buildings, cut down the 
wires and burned the poles. It has never been rebuilt. 

In September 1961, I buUt this monument which stands before 
us as a memorial to the last Pony Express rider who left Deer 
Creek 100 years ago almost to the very month. The horse and 
rider are copied from the official Pony Express stamp. 

Someday I hope to do more to keep the memory of Deer Creek 
Station alive and to honor the brave pioneers who passed through 
here so that our country could expand and become the great nation 
it is today. 

1 1 :00 A.M. Some time was spent looking at artifacts and items of 
historical interest in Mr. Keenan's shop. We then departed from 
Glenrock on old Highway 87. After three miles we passed a Pony 
Express marker and an enclosure which contains the graves of M. 
Ringo and J. P. Parker. Parker's monument reads — "J. P. Parker 
died July 1, 1860 Age 41 yrs Iowa". The trail closely paralleled 
the highway here. 

One mile after leaving the graves we turned right to get on the 
old, old highway for a stop at the Ada Magill grave. The little 
marker reads, "The daughter of C W and N C Magill died July 3, 

By Jim Fenex 

Although I have known the grave site of this little girl since 
1905, I have been unable to find many facts on the cause of her 
death or where her wagon train was going other than those given by 
Clark Bishop on a previous trek. 


Mr. Bishop said that Ada, the three-year-old daughter of the 
Magill's, became ill at Deer Creek Station but the family continued 
west. They stopped here where she died. Her parents buried her 
in a little box and walled the grave with rocks. Later a brother ate 
a poison weed and he also died along the way. 

W. W. Morrison added this information — that he had researched 
the grave and found that the little girl's father was a freighter 
through here in the 1860s. When the two children died in 1864 
the family was on its way from eastern Kansas to Oregon. Mr. 
Morrison has a picture of Ada's mother given to him by a de- 
scendant of the Magills. 

In the early 1900s my brother and I discovered this grave when 
we were looking for our Indian ponies. At that time the Indians 
from Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas would start the first of 
September to migrate from their reservations to Indian Territory 
which is now Oklahoma to spend the winter months. They came 
back to their own reservations early in the spring. If we didn't get 
our ponies when we heard they were coming our horses would be 
driven off with their herd. In 1906 we moved to the Locket Ranch 
just across the track here and during the next few years we visited 
this little grave quite often to keep it well marked with stones and 
decorated with wild flowers. 

The old wagon road between Glenrock and Casper was located 
very near this grave. About 1911 or 1912, when the first auto- 
mobiles were in use, the state engineers surveyed this area for a new 
graded road. We kids worried that the new road would go right 
over the grave. About that time Maud Dawes, county superin- 
tendent of schools, came to Glenrock and hired a team and buggy 
from the livery stable to take her to the Big Muddy community to 
visit the school. I happened to be at the stable and told her about 
the new road going over the grave. When she returned to Douglas 
she immediately contacted the state engineers and the county com- 
missioners and had the remains moved to the present site. 

If you will look about and ponder for a moment I think you will 
agree that the position of this little grave is a focal point from which 
you can see many historical locations and developments in Con- 
verse County. Next to the grave is an Oregon Trail marker and a 
Pony Express marker. Just a few feet north is the Chicago and 
North Western Railroad track which was laid in 1886. Across the 
Platte River just a mile north is the Burlington Railroad which was 
buUt in 1912 and on which I worked as a mule skinner. A mile or 
so north on the divide is the old Bozeman Trail. 

Much credit for the care of the grave sites you have visited today 
should be given to Howard Jackson, a deputy sheriff in the late 
1890s and early 1900s. He personally built the first fence around 
the Unthank grave and around the Parker and Ringo graves just 
two miles east of this spot. 

Others who tended this grave were W. W. Morrison and his 


daughter, Wanda, who in 1946 planted lilies here. Before this trek 
Joe Keenan cleared off the grave, cut the weeds so the stone could 
be read, and painted the fence. 

11 :30 A.M. We continued on the old highway to the freeway and 
passed the Big Muddy Oil Field sign on our right. After 17 mUes 
we came to the outskirts of Casper, passed the refinery, rode 
through Mills, crossed the Platte and stopped at the Isaac Walton 
Park for picnic lunches. The Natrona County Chapter had pre- 
pared coffee and lemonade for us. 

After lunch there was time to visit the museum at Fort Caspar 
and wander around the grounds inspecting the old buildings and 
the piUngs of the famous Platte River Bridge. At 12:15 we 
gathered under the shade of a tree to hear the story of Fort Caspar. 


By William Judge, 

Curator, Fort Caspar Museum 

The city of Casper welcomes the members of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society trek to Fort Caspar, for the old fort is maintained 
by the city of Casper without help from the county, state or federal 
government. The citizens of Casper are proud of their historical 
background and their affiliation with this old fort which has had 
much publicity in films, magazine articles and on television. Each 
year on July 26 the people of Casper commemorate the death of 
Caspar Collins, for whom the city was named, with a suitable 
memorial ceremony. 

In the early 1800s the United States became interested in the 
West. The government gave leaves of absence to army officers 
and granted franchises to fur companies in exchange for informa- 
tion about the country. Many of our landmarks in Wyoming bear 
the names of these early travelers — Fremont Peak, Sublette and 
Sheridan Counties and Bonneville Dam. 

Soon Oregon and California became the mecca of the West. 
The jumping-off place for all western directed traffic was the state 
of Missouri. The northern route led along the Platte River for 700 
miles and became known as a manifold trail as some of the trails 
took short cuts, others took more circuitous routes but all struck 
the Oregon Trail sooner or later. At the time the Platte River was 
sometimes described as a river of rushing and wild waters a 
thousand feet wide. 

The early travelers followed the Platte after crossing over to it 
from the Blue River in Nebraska. The south side of the river was 
the more appealing route for there were not so many bad lands and 
sand hills. There were fresh, spring-fed mountain creeks of pure 
water located conveniently at the right distances for camping. 


However, the Mormons usually traveled north of the Platte River. 
This point on the Oregon Trail at the Big Bend of the river was 
known as Camp Platte. Its location was too strategic to be long 
neglected because it was approximately half way between Missouri 
and Oregon, half way between Missouri and the gold fields in 
California, half way between the winter quarters of the Mormons 
in Iowa and their destination in Utah. Here was the end of the 
plains road and the beginning of the mountain road. A constant 
stream of emigrants passed through here from 1840 to 1860. 

Brigham Young, leading the first party of Mormon settlers, was 
detained here by a flood on June 12, 1847. Instead of waiting for 
the waters to recede he sent a party of men to the Black Hills to get 
timber for a ferry boat. During the ten days he spent here other 
wagon trains arrived and he ferried them across the river. Brigham 
Young was not one to neglect business opportunities so he left a 
crew of nine men to operate the ferry for the benefit of other 
western travelers and home seekers as well as for himself. 

Camp Platte then became known as the Mormon Ferry and 
retained that name until 1859 when the famous Platte bridge was 
built by Louis Guinard. The bridge was a 1000 feet long, 13 feet 
wide and had 28 cribs or piers for support which were 30 feet 
apart. The cribs were built of interlaced logs and were filled with 
rocks for ballast against the ice-laden waters of the spring floods. 
The cribs were spaced 30 feet apart with only one on the far side 
of the river. 

The fort was used as a stage station from 1851 to 1862 when it 
became necessary to transfer the stage line south to the Overland 
Trail because of the aggresive Indians. The Pony Express operated 
here during its short-lived but romantic existence from April 23, 
1860, until October 22, 1861. Its termination was brought about 
by the building of the first transcontinental telegraph Ime which 
began operations October 24, 1861. Many of tiie stations along 
the Oregon Trail saw all these methods of communication used. 

Due to their low-powered source of electrical power, these sta- 
tions were relay stations. Thirty to 40 miles seemed to be the 
maximum distance messages could be sent. Deer Creek Station to 
the east and Sweetwater Station to the west were the nearest 
stations to this fort. 

In 1865 Platte Bridge Station became a permanent fort consist- 
ing of stores, a blacksmith shop, a telegraph station and enough 
adobe buildings to garrison 100 men. The most tragic day in the 
history of the fort occurred on April 26, 1865, when Caspar 
ColUns, a twenty-year-old lieutenant, led 25 young men against 
3,000 Indians to his death. On November 21, 1865, Platte Bridge 
Station was officially named Fort Caspar in his honor. 

When the fort was abandoned in 1867, most of the hardware 


and furnishings were sent down to the new Fort Fetterman near 
Douglas. The buildings which could not be salvaged were said to 
have been burned by the Indians within 24 hours after the garrison 

The people of Casper wanted the old fort rebuDt. Although it 
required several years to raise the necessary funds it was finally 
accomplished when matched by money from the federal govern- 
ment. A blade was brought out and the surface soil removed until 
the old foundations and hearthstones were found. The fort was 
rebuilt to the original plans and specifications of the original build- 
ings. The upper parts of the fireplaces were constructed from the 
original foundation stones. 

Besides being a recognized historic site, it has the reputation of 
housing one of the finest small museums in the entire west. It 
maintains an informal atmosphere that appeals to the majority of 

GUIDES: Henry Jensen and William Judge 

1:45 P.M. Directly outside the Fort Caspar gates we turned left 
to cross the Platte, ride through Mills and turn left again on 
Highway 20. After three miles we made another left turn on the 
new Poison Spider road just south of the tank farm. The Oregon 
Trail, which was also the Mormon Trail here, paralleled our route 
to the south through the sand hills. 

After seven miles we again turned left on a good county road to 
the south. Our road went through a break in the hills known as 
Emigrant Gap. By looking closely we could see the old trail 
winding down a hill on the left. The ridge above was known as 
Emigrant Ridge. The creek at the bottom of the Gap was called 
Poison Spider Creek because many of thp emigrants drank from 
it and became ill. It was on this creek that Robert Stuart built his 
cabin, the first in Wyoming, in 1812. 

2:00 P.M. After traveling three miles on this road we turned left 
on the "Oregon Trail Road" which is practically on the old trail. 
Evidence of the trail is shown by more abundant vegetation where 
the wheels passed. The country is desolate with many patches of 
alkaU. Eight miles down the road is another landmark to the right 
which is called the Avenue of Rocks. This is a stretch of rim 
rocks several yards in length and from ten to 30 feet in height. 
Many emigrants made this a resting place and carved their names 
on the rocks. 

Willow Creek, hardly visible today as »it meanders through the 
grass on the left, was a welcome sight to the travelers long ago. 

Thirteen miles from the beginning of thfe "Oregon Trail Road" 
we took the left hand road at the fork. In two miles we arrived at 
Willow Springs, a place eagerly anticipated by the pioneers. 



By Helen and Paul Henderson 
(Read by Bill Dubois) 

Today Willow Springs are several cool, pure water springs sur- 
rounded by a few clumps of willow brush and a small meadow of 
lush native grasses. In early times they were an important land- 
mark for the mountain men and covered wagon pioneers. Now 
they are an almost forgotten spot along the great Emigrant Road 
of yesteryear. 

They are located approximately 28 miles southwest of Casper, 
Wyoming, in a cove on the northern slopes of Ryan Hill. For the 
ox teams, they were at the end of a two-day drive over a rough, 
sandy and highly alkaline region from the North Platte and Sweet- 
water Rivers, The fur trappers, emigrants and other early travel- 
ers frequently referred to them as an "oasis" in this stretch of 
semi-desert land. In former times a much greater growth of 
willows existed here. The campers' axes thinned them out until 
now only a few small clumps remain to perpetuate the name. 
Willow Springs. 

Before the white man's emigration period this small spot of 
"nature's blessings" was a favored camping grounds for the various 
Indian tribes that roamed the "Mako Sica" region. Later the 
French trappers referred to the country as "les mauvaises terres a 
truser." As one gazes today upon this once vital spot in the lives 
of our forefathers he may probably ponder on who was the first 
man to drink of these pure waters and perhaps camp here. Credit 
for it cannot be given to Robert Stuart and his little party of 
Astorians in 1812 as they closely followed the route of the North 
Platte River in their memorable journey through this heretofore 
unexplored region. However, they did go into winter quarters for 
a short time on the banks of the river some 15 miles northeast of 
WiUow Springs. It appears that Jim Clyman might have been the 
first man here in 1824, as he traveled eastward from the Rocky 
Mountains. He could have been making a short cut at the bend of 
the Platte river. 

In 1827, William H. Ashley led a fur brigade into the mountains 
and the Salt Lake Valley. In this outfit he had a small cannon 
mounted on wheels. It is possible that those wheels left a track for 
the Smith, Jackson and Sublette expedition laden with Indian trade 
goods in 1830, as they went into and out of this Indian country. 

Two lonely fur traders, Gordon and Brown, came along in 1831, 
and spent some 30 days here at WiUow Springs hiding from a band 
of roving Indians. 

W. H. Anderson, traveling westward with William Sublette's fur 
caravan, wrote in his diary, "June 6, 1834 ... On the divide as it 
is called, of the Platte and its tributary, the Sweetwater, there is a 


most beautiful and extensive view ... I have seen ten bands of 
buffaloe at a time , . . Our course today is S. W. We camp tonight 
at a lovely spring. . . ." 

From the statement made by Anderson, traveling with a group of 
long-time mountain men, it appears that the name Willow Springs 
had not come into general use by this time even though the large 
fur caravans of Bonneville, Wyeth, Sublette and others had camped 
at the "oasis" during the previous years. 

The first covered wagon pioneer train emoute to the far west 
camped overnight here, July 4, 1841. John Bidwell, a member of 
that train noted in his diary: "Sunday (July) 4, 1841 Passed our 
way over hills and dells, scorched with heat. Came to a small 
copse of red willow, from which issued excellent springs of water, 
three buffalo were killed, distance 22 miles." 

Fremont traveled this stretch of the road in 1 842 but he did not 
mention Willow Springs. 

In 1843, the "On to Oregon" emigration period commenced. 
Many diaries of those and other westward travelers to California 
and other points in the West mentioned the favorite camping 
ground at Willow Springs. The overland mail service started in 
1854 so by 1858 a mail station came into being here. A Pony 
Express station, Willow Springs, appears in the Russell, Majors 
and Waddell records of 1860-1861. 

The stage line via Fort Laramie and the Great South Pass was 
abandoned in 1862 for a more southern route through Bridger's 
Pass. The decline of Willow Springs began at that time. Within 
a few short years the buildings tumbled down and the willow 
thicket had been cut down for fuel. The only sign of Ufe was the 
humming wire of the telegraph (1861) that passed by on its 
solitary way to the land of the setting sun. Cattle replaced buffalo. 
The Indians went their way to the reservations to eke out a bare 
existence on the scanty supply of tough beef and beans doled out 
by the Indian agents. 

Today the Willow Springs issue forth their pure, cool and clear 
waters. Callers are few and far between. Seldom do children's 
voices ring out in laughter here. The fiddle, banjo and Jew's harp 
of those active, early days are stilled. 

Shall we, as progressive American citizens, let the memories of 
this historic spot become lost? Are there not some among us who 
will erect a monument of stone in commemoration of this historic 
spot, here and there dotted with a few graves of those true pioneers 
of yesterday? 

William Judge added the following interesting information about 
Willow Springs: 

After the long succession of alkali, soda and sulphur-laden 
waters, the clear cool waters of Willow Springs must have tasted 
like nectar from the Gods to the weary Oregon travelers who 
paused at this green-sodded oasis on the sun-burned prairie. 


However, the Springs here deteriorated considerably in tlie last 
forty years. At one time Willow Springs had a flow that could 
accomodate any wagon train within reason. Now where you see 
clumps of willows it is an indication that there is a small spring, 
but no longer do these flow enough to merge into a good sized 
creek. There was also at one time an attempt to create a small 
reservoir here but evidently there has been a cloudburst that 
destroyed die dam. 

During the period of migration and even up to the late 1960s 
there was evidence of the Oregon Trail dividing itself here into a 
traffic pattern that wound its several ways past the various springs 
that dotted the valley. The trails converged at the top of the ridge 
to the southwest to head across the level prairie for Independence 
Rock, the Sweetwater and Devil's Gate. 

As romantic and appealing as Willow Springs and the vicinity is, 
I could never reconcile the descriptions given the vicinity by army 
stories and diaries. In particular was the one graphic account by 
an officer relating the events of one night when the Indians had 
stolen stock and vanished over a nearby saddle in the hills to 
make good their escape in short order. I made several trips to this 
vicinity trying to fit the action to the terrain without any satisfac- 
tory answer. 

Finally, an elderly sheepherder riding a horse gave me the 
answer when I related my dilemma to him. He answered that he 
had been told by retummg soldiers and other early civilian settlers 
that the Army had not used, or camped at, the same lower Willow 
Springs as the civilian travelers but rather had camped at an upper 
Springs just below the ridge to the north. When I saw the upper 
Springs, to which he pointed, there was the saddle gap perfectly 
outlined as in the army stories. The reason for this separate camp 
was that the army cut several miles off a dogleg that the civiUans 
made by following the water course of Willow Creek. The tele- 
graph line had been built on the shortest route between relay 
stations and of course took advantage of any short cut to save 
money in materials and time consumed by the army on its patrols. 

Willow Springs is noted as the last overnight stop made by 
Sergeant Amos J. Custard and his wagon train escort of 23 enhsted 
men before their death on the 26th of July, 1865, near the Platte 
Bridge Station. 

3:05 P.M. We continued on our way up Prospect Hill. It didn't 
seem like a hill to us in our cars but it was hard going for the wagon 
trains. We crossed a dam on Fish Creek and saw on our right an 
Indian rock alignment perhaps 150 yards long. No one knows 
why the Indians placed the stones in this long line. 

The view ahead was spectacular as we could see several moun- 
tain ranges in the distance — the Seminoe, Ferris, Granite, Green 
and Rattlesnake, forming a massive panorama of strength against 


the sky. As we traveled along and looked closely we could also 
see Devil's Gate, a deep gash, and Independence Rock, which looks 
like a huge sleeping hippopotamus. 

At the end of the "Oregon Trail Road" (32 miles long) we 
turned right on the Casi>er-Rawlins highway. As we made the turn 
we could see the gully in the hills across the road where Ella 
Watson and Jim Averell, accused rustlers, were hanged from a tree 
which overhung the gully. 

On our left we passed several of the Soda Lakes, which caused 
the emigrants much trouble as well as sickness, and came to 
Independence Rock. In 1 822, the Ashley-Henry Expedition on its 
first journey to the West for furs, camped at this rock on July 4th. 
During the celebration the rock was christened "Independence 
Rock," the name by which it has been known for 150 years. 

4:05 P.M. As we were behind schedule we went directly to the 
site of Sweetwater Station, a lovely spot located one mile east of 
Independence Rock above the Sweetwater River. 

By Edness Kimball Wilkins 

I don't know when or why the road past Independence Rock was 
changed. Originally the Oregon Trail, the Overland Trail, the 
stagecoaches and the Pony Express all passed between the Sweet- 
water River and Independence Rock, two of the most famous 
landmarks on the route of early-day travelers to the West from the 
days of the trappers and mountain men. 

Independence Rock was named by Father DeSmet "The Regis- 
ter of the Desert" because of the many names carved on its surface, 
but his own name and those of Jim Bridger, Captain Bonneville, 
General Fremont, the Whitmans and Spaldings and many others 
famed in our history cannot now be found. Apparently they were 
lost when emigrants celebrating the 4th of July, placed gun powder 
in a crevice in the great rock, lit a long fuse, and blew off the west 
face of the great granite mass. 

There are several stories of how the river received the name of 
"Sweetwater." One is that a party of trappers had a pack-mule 
loaded with their supply of sugar. The animal slipped while cross- 
ing the stream, the pack fell into the water, the sugar, of course, 
was dissolved, making the water sweet. 

Another story is that William Ashley, the famous fur trader, had 
come across the country with his trappers in 1823, and finally 
camped beside the unnamed river. The water was clear, cold and 
delicious as compared to other streams in the area that contained 
alkali. It left a pleasant taste in the mouths of the trappers, and 
so Ashley called it Sweetwater. 

That great granite mass called Independence Rock played a 


strange part in the campaign for election of a president of the 
United States in 1856, and is considered one of the issues that 
defeated a famous general. John Charles Fremont, great western 
explorer, was at Independence Rock on the Sweetwater on August 
22, 1842, and that evening Fremont chiseled his name among the 
others on the great black granite mass, and he also carved on the 
Rock the emblem of Christianity, the cross. He carefully recorded 
the event in his official journal: 

"Here, not unmindful of the custom of the early travelers and 
explorers in our country, I engraved on the rock of the Far West 
the symbol of the Christian faith. Among the thickly inscribed 
names I made on the hard granite the impression of a large cross, 
deeply engraved, which I covered with a black preparation of India 
rubber, well calculated to resist the influence of wind and rain. It 
stands amidst the names of many who have long since found their 
way to the grave, and for whom the huge rock is a giant grave- 

It was one of Fremont's finest gestures. But 14 years later his 
eloquent words were used against him in one of the bitterest cam- 
paigns in our history, with fanatical religious intolerance and hatred 
playing a vital role in the outcome. His opponents charged that 
the General was a "secret papist" — a member of the Roman 
Catholic church, and they offered as proof on pamphlets widely 
broadcast throughout the country, the excerpt from his report. 
"J. C. Fremont's Record. Proof of his Romanism. Imitating 
other Roman Catholic explorers, and those alone, in his expedition 
to the Rocky Mountains in 1842, he made on the Rock Inde- 
pendence the sign of the cross, a thing that no Protestant explorer 
ever did or ever would do." Independence Rock which you have 
just passed on our trek, was used as the bitter weapon in the 
campaign that defeated General Fremont for the presidency of the 
United States. 

Establishment of Sweetwater Station where we are now standing, 
and of others along the Trail, was the result of building of the 
telegraph line. You have heard the history earlier of the Oregon 
or overland trail, and the migration of half a million people over 
this route on their way to California or Oregon. One of the great 
problems of the early days on the frontier was lack of communi- 
cation with the East. Letters to various army posts were usually 
sent to Fort Leavenworth, and then forwarded whenever possible. 
Many never arrived. A stage line for mail was finally established 
in 1851, carrying mail and packages from St. Louis to Salt Lake 
City. The goverrmient contract required the roundtrip journey to 
be made in 42 days, and after a time the trip was made twice a 
month. Passengers were also carried. About that time Louis 
Guinard built a bridge here across this river, called the Sweetwater 

With the great migration and settlement of the West, military 


protection was required, and to supply the soldiers at the various 
posts and to transport provisions to the settlers and emigrants, big 
freighting outfits v/ere organized. One company, by 1858, had at 
work on the western plains 3500 wagons, 40,000 oxen, and 4000 
employees. This company bought the stage line, and by spring of 
1859 had a daily passenger and mail service operating. 

Now, in the West, a new empire was building — California. But 
back beyond the Mississippi, civil war was ready to burst into 

A struggle to hold California in the Union was under way, but 
2000 miles of unsettled land stretched between. Fast communi- 
cation was needed — and so the Pony Express was formed; the trip 
from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, was now 
made in less than ten days. The mail schedule had been cut 
in half. 

But still faster communication was needed, so the Government 
offered a subsidy of $40,000 a year for ten years to the builder of 
the first telegraph line across the plains. It was completed October 
24, 1861, and sounded the knell of the Pony Express. The dashing 
figures, flying from station to station in face of storm and death 
itself, became only a memory. 

Telegraph stations were built at many places across the present 
state of Wyoming, which was then known as Idaho Territory, and 
here where we stand today was one of them — Sweetwater Station. 

The Indians soon realized the value of the telegraph line to the 
white man, and the threat to themselves, and they were constantly 
cutting the wires, tearing down the poles, burning the stations and 
killing the men. It was necessary to station soldiers at the tele- 
graph stations along this route. 

In 1861 the Civil War took the regular soldiers from their sta- 
tions in the West to fight in the south; the Indians that had been 
attacking in small groups now formed into large bands; they 
attacked the stage lines and telegraph stations, captured the horses, 
mules and stores, killed the agents and settlers. 

Colonel W. O. Collins, father of Caspar Collins, back in Ohio 
had volunteered for service in the Civil War, and was appointed a 
colonel of volunteer cavalry, commanding troops from Ohio. But 
instead of sending him to fight in the South, he was sent with his 
troops to fight Indians in the West. Caspar, a boy of 17, went with 
his father. His letters to his mother were filled with the enthusiasm 
of a boy over the wild game, the birds and the country. Here is 
his description of his first arrival at the spot where we now stand. 
It was another Sunday, June 16th, 1862. 

"Sweetwater Bridge. 
"Dear Mother: We are camped at this point, about 180 miles 
from Fort Laramie. We had a very short stay at Laramie, only 
about four days. We are going farther tomorrow. The paymaster 


is here, paying off the men. This is the worst country for winds I 
ever saw. Yesterday, very soon after we started, it commenced 
blowing and raining full in our faces, and after a while it turned to 
hail and it came down so hard that they had to stop the train 
until it slackened. After we got in camp it commenced to blow, 
and it is blowing yet. . . . Our guide, Major Jim Bridger, went off 
this morning up in the mountains to get out of the wind. He says 
he is going to get in some canyon and make a large fire. . . . Yester- 
day morning Mr. Pallady shot an antelope near the camp, and he 
and I and our French servant dragged him to the tent before my 
father and Major Bridger were up. Antelope is the finest flesh 
ever tasted. It resembles venison a little but it is not so dry. . . . 
The Indians keep stealing horses and other stock from the mail 
stations, and now and then they shoot a man, but troops cannot get 
near them. Wherever a few men are stationed, they are as quiet as 
lambs. . . . We see bear every day or two but have shot none yet, 
they running away too fast. They are the regular grizzly, and one 
of them was so large one of our officers mistook him for a buffalo." 

Two years later Caspar Collins had entered the Army and 
because of his experience out here in the West, had been commis- 
sioned a second lieutenant. He was 19 years old. 

After commissioning he was returned to the West where he had 
been serving, and was placed in charge of four stations. His 
headquarters were at Sweetwater Station where we are now stand- 
ing, and his responsibility covered 104 miles of this wild territory, 
protecting the telegraph line and escorting emigrant trains as far as 
the top of the South Pass Country. Here is the description he 
wrote home on December 13^ 1864, from Fort Laramie, Idaho 
Territory, as Wyoming was then called: 

"I am now stationed on Sweetwater River, a tributary of the 
Platte. I have four block stations under my charge. The first is 
Sweetwater Bridge, the bridge by which the emigrants cross the 
river on their way to California and Oregon; the second is Three 
Crossings of the Sweetwater Bridge, the bridge by which the emi- 
grants cross the river on their way to California and Oregon; the 
second is Three Crossings of the Sweetwater; the third, Rocky 
Ridge; and the fourth is South Pass. I make my headquarters at 
the first. I was summoned down here on a court-martial and came 
down in five days, two hundred and twenty miles, by myself most of 
the way, but I had places to sleep at night, 

"The weather was awful, but I was well protected and had a 
horse that would travel eight miles an hour for twelve hours, and I 
came right through. I rode from Le Bontes Creek to Horse Shoe 
Station, twenty-five miles, in two hours and ten minutes, the ther- 
mometer 10 degrees below zero all the time." 

Sweetwater Station was fairly large and well constructed. It 
had been built by the men of Company D of the 11th Ohio, and 
was intended to house 40 men with their horses, mules and equip- 


merit, but at that time there were only 20. Blockhouses were at 
two comers of the station, and a 1 5-foot high palisade or stockade 
surrounded part of the buildings. The same protection of lookouts 
and blockhouses and palisades also helped protect Three Crossings. 
Lt. Collins visited the four stations monthly, sometimes making the 
round trip in five days. 

Four months later the picture had changed in many ways. Lt. 
Collins had word that a very large number of troops were on the 
road; the 11th Kansas was said to be between Sweetwater Station 
and Fort Laramie. Some of Collins' men from the 11th Ohio had 
been killed by Indians and supplies captured, but he assured his 
family in Ohio that he had the station well defended and invulner- 
able to Indian attack. In the same letter he stated: 

"The weather at this post is excellent at present; but above here 
at South Pass, which is also under my command, two men froze 
lately. ... I have just returned from that abominable section of 
country. Dr. Rich and I went up together. We were two days 
getting twenty-five miles, and then had to leave our horses on 
account of the snow and walk in. 1 frosted my feet. . . . There are 
places there where the snow is ten feet deep for miles, the crust 
hardly bearing a man. The lowest point in the pass is about eight 
thousand feet above the sea; and about twenty miles off, but 
appearing as if close at hand are the Wind River Mountains, hiding 
their heads in the clouds. The pass has never been impassible for 
the same length of time. It closed up about the middle of October, 
and no sign of thaw yet, all the snow that has fallen during the 
winter being still on the ground. There are drifts in the canyons 
on the Sweetwater below the station sixty or seventy feet deep. . . . 
We are all much rejoiced to hear of Lee's surrender, but our spirits 
were thrown into a deep gloom today by receipt of the intelligence 
of the assassination of our beloved President. The country will find 
it difficult to replace its loss. I would write oftener but it is almost 
impossible to get letters from here to Fort Laramie, the road being 
unsafe for mail carriers, and large bodies of men cannot be spared 
from the post on this road. 

"I have written twice since New Year's but as you did not get 
them I suppose they miscarried. I have received four letters from 
you this month, some of them rather old.'' 

The young lieutenant added a postscript to the letter to his 
mother, saying, "If anything happens to me, I will telegraph." 

It was a prophetic ending. Three months later he was dead, 
killed in an attempt to rescue a military wagon train near what is 
now Old Fort Caspar, named in his memory. 

In the meantime Sweetwater station had been attacked time after 
time by the Indians. The great increase of troops that had been 
expected did not materialize. His garrison and many others were 
fighting against tremendous numbers of Indians, an almost hope- 
less war. 


The Civil War liad ended, and the demand was under way for 
economy, for cutting down the army, for demobilizing the men 
who had enlisted for the duration of the Civil War. Many troops 
mutinied against being kept in the army to fight Indians in the 
West. Great leaders such as Red Cloud had developed among the 
Indians. They had little trouble holding their own against the 
inferior numbers of the white troops. They had secured vast 
amounts of guns and ammunition from their attacks on the wagon 
trains, stage coaches and stations along the mail routes. The 
Indians felt they were becoming masters of the situation in the war 
against the whites. 

Gold had been discovered on the South Pass, and gold seekers 
flocked in. The Indians ran off their stock time after time, and 
killed and scalped the miners and settlers, freighters and supply 
parties. Parleys were held, treaties were signed and broken. 
Troops were withdrawn, and the power of the government in this 
western country became weaker and weaker. 

The government and the people in the East were sick of the 
Civil War and of all wars — especially the Indian wars that were 
so far away. Politics and politicians entered the picture. The cry 
was for economy, and as has happened so often in our country 
after a war, the economizing was on the army. The military 
stations along the old Oregon Trail were ordered abandoned — 
Sweetwater Station and South Pass and Fort Caspar and all the 
others — and the telegraph stations were left without protection of 
troops, to be burned by the Indians. 

Sweetwater Station, Independence Rock, and this western coun- 
try had again become the property of the Indians, while Lt. 
Caspar Collins, just 20 years old, and the stations he had defended, 
and the men he had led, had become our history. Note: Quota- 
tions from Lt. Collins' letters are from the book Caspar Collins, by 
Agnes Wright Spring. 

4:30 P.M. The caravan retraced its way back to the highway and 
turned toward Casper. Twenty miles down the road the Pathfinder 
Reservoir and Dam are between us and the Pedros Mountains. It 
was in a cave in those mountains that a pygmy mummy was found 
several years ago. 

We traveled slowly on the "picture turn off", a look-out point, to 
see beautiful Alcova Lake and the Fiery Narrows. It was here that 
Fremont, known as the Pathfinder, lost most of his equipment 
when his boat capsized. Near here are also Fremont Canyon and 
Jackson Canyon, named for the pioneer photographer. 

Later v/e passed an old government bridge built to aid the con- 
struction of Pathfinder Dam in 1903 and crossed Bates Creek, 
named for Captain A. C. Bates of Bates Hole fame. On the left 
are the red rocks where John Wayne's "Hell Fighters" was filmed. 


5:30 P.M. We stopped at the Robert Stuart and Oregon Trail 

By Henry Jensen 

Robert Stuart was a member of Wilson Price Hunt's expedition 
which traveled westward across Wyoming in 1811. The next year 
he set forth with six companions — Robert McClellan, Joseph 
Miller, Benjamin Jones, Francois LeClaire, Andre Valle and 
Ramsay Crooks, on a return journey from Astoria, Oregon, to 
report back to John Jacob Astor in St. Louis that his land and 
water expeditions had met at Astoria. 

Some authorities credit Robert Stuart and his men with the dis- 
covery of South Pass. Others believe they came within 12 or 15 
miles of it. In any event they discovered the Sweetwater and the 
North Platte Rivers along which the Oregon Trail later followed. 

The legend on this historical sign where we are standing gives a 
brief account of his stay in this area. "Approximately two miles 
northwest of here is the location of the cabin built by Robert 
Stuart's party of Astorians. They were enroute from Astoria to 
St. Louis to report to J. J. Astor the fate of his ship which was 
destroyed by Indians, and the crew killed. Stuart and six com- 
panions left Astoria, June 29, 1812, reached Wyoming in Novem- 
ber, after winter had set in. Footsore and hungry they found game 
plentiful here and buUt a cabin. They had planned to stay until 
spring, but after Indians discovered their cabin they left in the 
night and continued eastward down the river." 

The exact location of Stuart's cabin has never been determined, 
but according to his journal, the winter camp established on 
November 10, 1812, was one mile below the mouth of Poison 
Spider Creek in a grove of cottonwoods surrounded by willows. 

Stuart's journal has this to say about their "Chateau of Indo- 
lence" as they called it. "We were yesterday and today busily 
employed in transporting our meat to camp (18 buffalo in all) and 
building the hut, all of which business was finished before dusk. 
Our cabin is 8 feet by 1 8 with a fire in the middle after the Indian 
fashion. The sides are 3 feet high (six feet in Stuart's travel mem- 
oranda) and the whole covered with Buffalo Skins so we have now 
a tolerable shelter and 18 black cattle." 

In his journal Stuart expresses the hope that they could remain 
undiscovered by the Indians in their camp. The hope was in vain. 
On December 10th a party of 23 Arapahoes found their retreat 
and in the manner of Indians ate great quantities of the winter food 
supply and carried more away with them. 

Frightened by this encounter and afraid that the Indians might 
return with reiMorcements, Stuart and his companions determined 


to move down the Platte to some safer spot. Accordingly on the 
i3th of December they left their snug abode and began a cold 
miserable journey to a second winter camp near the present town 
of Torrington. 

It is a coincidence that this first white man's habitation in 
Wyoming is less than five miles from the Oregon Trail which was 
later traversed by hundreds of thousands of Americans going West. 

5:50 P.M. In just a few miles we made our last stop of the day 
across the highway from a marker commemorating the Battle of 
Red Buttes. 

By Tom Nicholas 

The exact spot where Sergeant Amos Custard and his men were 
killed has never been definitely located. Many historians still 
study diaries to gain new clues to the location. Others with metal 
detectors and shovels go over the ground to find the site, but the 
mystery still remains to baffle this and perhaps future generations. 

The morning of July 26, 1865, Captain Henry C. Bretney with 
ten men arrived at Platte Bridge Station, having come from Sweet- 
water Station enroute to Fort Laramie. Bretney reported to the 
commanding officer, Major Anderson, and told him that a rescue 
party should be sent immediately to Willow Spring Creek to bring 
in Sergeant Custard's wagon train that was returning from Sweet- 
water Station. He added that he had seen thousands of Indians 
lurking in the hills around the station. 

The following is a quotation from A. J. Mokler's book, Fort 
Caspar: "About 11 o'clock, looking to the west, the men at Platte 
Bridge Station saw the wagon train consisting of twenty-four 
soldiers and three wagons coming toward the fort. They were on 
the hill less than five miles distant. The soldiers at the station 
knew they could not make their way through the thousands of 
Indians and rescue the men of the wagon train, and they twice 
discharged the old brass caimon to warn them that there was 
danger ahead. The men on the hill could hear the warning, but at 
the same time they saw a great number of Indians coming toward 
them. The train kept coming forward with aU possible haste imtil 
it reached a point just about four miles due west from the fort. 

"The advance guard of five men on their horses, in charge of 
Corporal James W. Schroeder, made a run for the river, which was 
about a quarter of a mile to the south. A few Indians pursued 
them. The soldiers on their horses plunged into the stream, but 
James Ballew was shot and fell from his horse when he was about 
thirty yards from the south bank. His body was never found. 
The remaining four men arrived safely across, but had proceeded 
less than a mile when Edwin Summers was shot and kiUed. The 


Other three, Corporal Schroeder, Byram Swam and Henry Smith, 
continued to work their way toward the fort." 

During this time Sergeant Custard and the 19 men left with the 
train stopped on a hill and formed three sides of a square with the 
wagons. The west side was open. Lt. W. Y. Drew's diary tells the 
sad story. "From the roof of the station and with the aid of a large 
spyglass, we had a good view of what was going on at the train. 
The first Indians that came in to the scene charged right on to the 
train but were repulsed, and as more of them arrived they again 
made a charge but were again driven back. After this for some 
time there did not seem to be much going on, but every once in 
awhile we would see a puff of smoke from the wagons, which 
showed that the fight was still going on. . . . When the puffs were 
getting closer and closer together we knew the end could not be far 
off." The soldiers requested that they be allowed to go to the aid 
of their comrades but this was refused. The Indians finally set fke 
to the wagons and killed Sergeant Custard and his brave men in 
their improvised fortress. 

Mr. Mokler, Casper's historian, continues with the story: "On 
the same day, (July 28) that Lt. Hubbard was sent out to bury the 
nineteen men. Corporal Schroeder was sent out on the south side 
of the river to find and bury the bodies of his comrades. Summers 
and Ballew. He found the body of Summers about one mile south 
of the river, where he dug a grave and buried it. He said that while 
he was digging the grave for Summers he could plainly see the 
twenty-five men in command of Lt. Hubbard on the hill on the 
north side of the river digging the trench in which Custard and the 
nineteen men were to be buried. 

Corporal Schroeder was in Casper a few days during the summer 
of 1926, and he attempted to locate the spot where Sergeant 
Custard and his brave men were massacred and buried, but the 
condition of the country had changed so much in the interim of 
sixty-one years that he was unable to recognize any of the land- 
marks that were familiar to him at the time of the battle, and he 
said he would not attempt to say where the men were buried. 
Neither was he able to find the grave of Edwin Summers, whose 
body he buried on the second day after the battle. 

TTiere are three Fort Caspar cemeteries. The one in the hills 
north of us, one at the Fort Caspar east gate and the one just west 
of Isaac Walton Park where we had lunch today. 

6:10 P.M. A pleasant day was drawing to a close and everyone 
was hungry so we hurried toward Casper. 

The Natrona County Historical Society had arranged an infor- 
mal dinner at Lee's Restaurant on the Natrona County Fair 
Grounds. It was a buffet with plenty of good food and good 
fellowship. A fine climax for our 1971 trek! 

Mook Reviews 

I Have Spoken. Virginia Irving Armstrong, compiler. (Chicago: 
The Swallow Press, Inc. 1971). Index. 206 pp. $6. 

Seattle's words, in 1854, "The White Man will never be alone," 
were prophetic. "When . . . the memory of my tribe shall have 
become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm 
with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's 
children think themselves alone . . . they wiU not be alone. At 
night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you 
think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that 
once filled and still love this beautiful land . . . Dead, did I say? 
There is no death, only a change of worlds." 

Whether it be in the Finger Lakes area of New York, where, 
through some strange phenomenon of sounds, the valleys rever- 
berate with the death drums of the Senecas, or in the vastness of 
Wyoming, where "talking rocks" are records of the exploits of the 
long ago fathers, the spirit ot the Red Man Ungers, The plaintive 
cry of a Cayuga chief (1808) seems to repeat itself: "Have we, 
the first holders of this region, no longer a share in your history?" 

We of the white race are saddened by the realization that we are 
no more able to understand the words of the past when "old men 
talk in the winds" than to interpret the sunset. We are not even 
capable of deciphering the petroglyphs and pictographs, for which 
no key has been found. 

Virginia Irving Armstrong, compiler of / Have Spoken, has per- 
formed a singular service in the field of Uterature with her anthol- 
ogy of Indian orations, which chronologically arranged, briefly 
sketch the history of the Indian from the 1700's to the present day. 
There is pathos as well as pride and courage in the speeches. And, 
throughout, there is an undying devotion to the land. 

The Secretary of War, in 1789, voiced the opinion that if it were 
possible to instill in the Indian a love for exclusive property, it 
would be the first step in the civilizing process. The orations show 
a complete disregard for private ownership. Tecumseh, answering 
for the Shawnees, summarized the universal attitude of his people. 

"Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as 
the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of 
his children?" When offers and bribes could not induce the Red 
Man to relinquish his land — his Mother Earth — other methods 
had to be found to satisfy the avarice of the White Man. Finally, 
the Indians were pushed from one location to another until they 
were "penned up in little spots" — their reservations, which in many 
cases were then taken from them. 

We regret that Mrs. Armstrong omitted reference to the Great 
Treaty Council of 1851, though brief allusions are made to it in 


several speeches. The Horse Creek Council, as it was called 
because the location had to be changed from Fort Laramie to the 
grassy area at the mouth of Horse Creek, was the most dramatic 
occasion in the history of the West. In council. Cut Nose, of the 
Arapahoes, surpassed all others in his eloquence. 

There are, in / Have Spoken, excerpts from three speeches made 
by Washakie, the Shoshone chief, but his most famous utterance is 
not included. "'Do a kindness to a white man, he feels it in his 
head, and the tongue speaks; do a kindness to an Indian, he feels 
it in his heart. The heart has no tongue." Thus he spoke when 
he was being urged to send a word of thanks to the President of the 
United States, who had presented him with a handsome saddle. 

Professor Frederick W. Turner III, of the University of Massa- 
chusetts, wrote the fine, analytical introduction, which gives the 
reader a basis for judgment before reading the selections. He 
considers the words of the Indian, poetic or plain, "a potential 
source of our cultural health." He speaks of them as "a way into 
another and necessars view of our world," and he believes that 
"we need to take them seriously, not merely as folklore." 

The pattern which they follow begins and ends with an expres- 
sion of peace. As early as 1 820, a Qiippewa woman spoke with 
historic foresight when she said, "The might of my people is ended; 
this I have long known. Accept it, my brothers, let us live in 

The story of the Indian is far from peaceful. Rather, it is one 
of turmoil, of suppression and isolation or of assimilation, of 
segregation or of integration, of acculturation, but not of extinction. 
Vine Deloria, Jr., the Sioux author of Custer Died for Your Sins, 
expresses it this way : "We are a people unified by our humanity. 
And from our greater strength we shall wear down the white man 
and outlast him." 

Cheyenne Virginia Cole Trenholm 

The Swan Land and Cattle Company, Ltd. by Harmon Ross 
Mother shead (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1971). 203 pp. Index. Illus. $7.95. 

In this brief book Dr. Mothershead presents a scholarly, 
detailed but fascinating and very readable history of the rise and 
fall of one of the significant foreign-owned cattle companies which 
were a phenomenon of the American West in the 1880s. 

The Swan Company or Two Bar, as it is commonly referred to, 
was the offspring of an initially happy union of American cattle 
and Scottish money in 1883 — an era when western cattlemen 
sought new markets and new capital and Great Britain sought not 
only beef but fertile ground for new investments. 


Drawing primarily, but by no means exclusively, on the exten- 
sive resources in the Swan Collection of the Western Range Cattle 
Industry Study in the State Historical Society of Colorado, this 
painstaking work skillfully weaves the many factors which are the 
history of the Swan Company. Without belaboring the matter of 
the development of the western range cattle industry, which is 
amply summarized in the opening pages, the author focuses imme- 
diately upon the founding of the Swan Land and Cattle Company, 
Ltd., and upon its founder and first manager, Alexander Hamilton 

While the book deals intricately with the corporate structure and 
business operations of the company, these matters are inseparable 
from the personahties around whom the business was built and 
through whom it flowed. Personalities such as Alexander Swan, 
John Clay, the late Curtis Templin and Finlay Dun and their 
relationships to the company emerge in sharp focus. 

Far from being a sentimental appraisal of times past, yet not 
devoid of sentiment, matters of mismanagement, accusations of 
embezzlement, illegal fencing, good times and bad aU are discussed 
with equal candor and supported by extensive documentation. The 
reader is intimately involved with the company from its optimistic 
birth in 1883, the throes of financial plight and near ruin in 1887, 
reorganization, introduction of sheep to the ranges and the advent 
of the dry farmer, renewed optimism with the rise of prices during 
World War I, postwar depression years, sale of the Scottish com- 
pany and incorporation of The Swan Company in Delaware in 
1926, the begiiming of final liquidation in the 1940s through 
dissolution in 1951. 

If one were to seek serious fault with the book, he would be 
hard-pressed to find it. Some readers might find distracting the 
many references to financial transactions in the British monetary 
system if, indeed, they are concerned about the intimate details of 
those transactions and are not familiar enough with that system to 
convert it to dollars and cents. A Wyoming reader may question 
the reference to Willie Nichol as the alleged victim of Tom Horn 
because he is aware that it was Willie Nickell. But such things 
should not distract the reader seeking the story of the company and 
they most certainly do not detract from the readily apparent excel- 
lence of scholarship with which the author pursued his subject. 

One of the most puzzling questions is why The Swan Company, 
incorporated under Wyoming laws on August 2, 1951, was not 
discussed in slightly more detail. 

While Mr. Templin's efforts to have the company incorporated 
under Wyoming law rather than Delaware law are discussed, the 
"Swan Company" (sic) of Wyoming is but briefly referred to in. 
the closing lines. 

It may have been interesting to note that the Swan Company 
name did not pass with the passage of the Delaware corporation in 


1951. On the same day the Delaware corporation ceased to exist, 
August 2, The Swan Company filed for incorporation under Wyo- 
ming law with capital stock of $2,699.75, or 10,799 shares at 25 
cents each and Curtis Templin as agent. The incorporation cer- 
tificate, in fact, was not revoked until February 8, 1971. While 
only a faint vestige of the original company. The Swan Company 
of Wyoming was a corporate reaUty. It must be kept in mind, 
however, that the final revocation of the corporate certificate of the 
Swan Company of Wyoming is something which the author could 
quite justifiably have been unaware of. 

What emerges from this work is a beautifully researched, thor- 
oughly documented, significant contribution and tribute to Wyo- 
ming history, the West, the Swan Company and the men who 
made — and unmade — it. 

Wyoming State Archives and John W. Cornelison 

Historical Department 

Union Pacific Country. Bv Robert G. Atheam. (Chicago: Rand 
McNally&Cc, 1971). Index. Illus. 480 pp. $15. 

Scholars have awaited the publication of this book with excited 
anticipation. Robert Atheam, a history professor at the University 
of Colorado, is the first researcher permitted access to the records 
and correspondence of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The 
author proposed to study "how the American West was penetrated, 
settled, and developed," not the exclusive story of a railroad cor- 
poration. Union Pacific Country details the years from its con- 
ception to its bankruptcy in 1897. The book broadens our knowl- 
edge and attempts to satisfy the critics' indictments of earlier Union 
Pacific histories. 

The book has many merits. To his credit, Athearn has generally 
dispensed with the details of construction. He sympathetically 
treats the entrepreneurial motives and risks of the railroad's leader- 
ship; but too frequently, the story reverts to the traditional tale of 
finance and management. 

Athearn also utilized the extensive archives of the Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and reveals the heretofore 
unfamiliar, persistent, and mutually profitable intimacy between 
the railroad's executives and the elders of Zion. 

Agricultural settlement and production in Nebraska were essen- 
tial for the road's early income. For the miUtary, the road reduced 
freight costs, eliminated scattered forts, and expedited strategic 
mobilization against the Plains Indians. 

Following the thesis of Thomas C. Cochrane's Railroad Leaders, 
the author contends that the Union Pacific built or took over 
branch lines in Colorado, Utah, Montana, and the Northwest as a 


defensive counter against tlie thrust of other railroads into its 
economic domain. Four chapters detail this expansion. The 
author asserts that the cumulative restrictions of the road's special 
relationship with the federal government, particularly the Thurman 
Act of 1877, caused its financial trials and ultimately its bank- 

The book, however, is a qualified success. Foremost, it lacks 
analysis; instead, it substitutes description and hyperbole. Second- 
ly, the author has failed to enter the recent debates of railroad 
history. An afterthought dispenses with the seminal contention 
that this enterprise was economically premature; and he ignores 
the systematic critique drawn by Wallace Farnham in his assess- 
ment of earlier Union Pacific histories contained in Gene Gressley's 
The American West: A Reorientation. Athearn suggestively notes 
the railroad's role in stimulating urban development, but this topic 
and the expanding metropolitan net of Omaha over the region 
merits a chapter to itself. 

This raises another concern. What specifically was the Union 
Pacific Country: an economic hinterland? an interstate political 
borough? As a practical necessity, the railroad participated in 
state and national politics but this involvement is discussed only as 
an incident to the construction of the branch lines. 

The book neglects to discuss the effects of freight rates, com- 
parative receipts of the different branches, agrarian discontent, 
labor relations, and the cultural role of the railroad for western 

In balance, however, both scholars and lay readers should wel- 
come this book. Multiple, successive dependent clauses, which a 
conscientious editor should have pruned, mar an otherwise smooth 
style. The book is abundantly endowed with illustrations and 
competent maps; but again, the absence of graphs or any charts 
reflects the disinterest of the book in quantitative measurement. 
In one volume, Robert Athearn has synthesized a considerable 
mass of sources into a readable, generally comprehensive history of 
a large region and its single most important economic institution. 
He has competently told the story of penetration and settlement, 
and one may hope that Union Pacific Country wiU stimulate re- 
newed interest and several monographs on the role of the railroad 
among western historians. 

Cheyenne Michael V. Lewellyn 

Wyoming Country Before Statehood. Four Hundred Years Under 
Six Flags. By L. Milton Woods. (Worland: Worland Press, 
1971). Index. lUus. 218 pp. $7.95. 

For any person interested in the history of Wyoming, this is a 
fine reference book. For specific points of interest, the book is 


provided with an excellent index, and, for greater detail, with a 
limited, but germane, bibliography. 

Outstanding is the word to describe the author's use of 61 simple 
maps to assist the reader in tracing the many changes in boundaries 
which affected the land mass now known as Wyoming. The sub- 
title reference to six flags indicates at once the yo-yo existence, 
and one does not have to look earlier than 1800 to find six flags 
over Wyoming country. And, if Indian tribes had had flags, the 
number would at least double. 

There are so many novel political and geographical anomalies in 
this history that I hesitate to mention any for fear of omitting some 
which would strike a chord of fascination to a reader. 

But indulge me a venture. Most of Carbon County was once 
part of the Republic of Texas. It was, moreover, the first part of 
Wyoming country to fall within the boundaries of a State. It was 
part of Santa Fe County, Texas. When Texas was admitted to the 
Union (1845) slavery was a hot issue, and it was permitted to 
enter with slavery. All of the rest of Wyoming country was in 
"free" territory. 

How come the Texas panhandle extended as far north as Carbon 
County? Simple. In those days no cadastral engineers had any 
reason to be in the West. Hence boundaries were fixed by natural 
features in the landscape. The Republic of Texas (1836) laid 
claim, and made it stick, to all land east of the source of the Rio 
Grande and west of the source of the Arkansas. Latitude 42° 
had been the boundary between the United States and Spain fixed 
by the Florida Treaty of 1819. Even the Texans' claim did not 
venture north of that latitude. 

At that time (1836) Wyoming country was shared by the United 
States, Mexico, Texas, and Great Britain (which jointly occupied 
the Oregon country with the United States for 10 years.) Inci- 
dentally, the Texas extension lasted until 1850, when the United 
States bought it and other land from the State for 10 million 

The Continental Divide features in many of the early treaties. 
This left the Red Desert, or the Great Divide Basin, in limbo, 
because it is still not certain where the divide is in that vast area. 
Mr. Woods, and others, take the western position, and hence 
conclude the Basin was never in the Oregon country. 

The book treats the various Indian land possessions, claims and 
reservations, and the treaties with clarity, if that word can be used 
in this regard. Our country was once the great hunting ground for 
Crows in the north, the Shoshoni in the southwest, and the Chey- 
enne - Arapahoes in the southeast — all with incursions from other 
neighboring tribes. The later compression started in earnest in 
1868 by various treaties, one of which gave the Sioux the right to 
hunt on any lands north of the North Platte River "so long as 
buffalo may range thereon." 


The last half of the book weaves through the maze of territorial 
changes. The author gives us a convenient recapitulation and 
chronology near the end of the book. It shows (and the text gives 
the pertinent history) that parts of our country were embraced in 
the boundaries of 13 different territories. That certainly must be a 
world's record! 

Some of the territories took title because nobody else wanted it. 
For the most part, it was just land — very few people. But, remem- 
ber, we are talking about a time before Wyoming became a terri- 
tory in 1868 and backwards to 1800, when Indiana Territory 
received part of the district of Louisiana. 

Did you know that the Congressional Act which created Indian 
Territory in 1834 was passed just one month after William Sublette 
broke ground for Fort William, later to be known as Fort Laramie? 

The stories of the frontier forts, or the trails, or the hunters, or 
the building of the railroads are not, of course, elaborated upon in 
this book. The brief understanding of what led up to those stories 
makes a most worthwhile and readable story. 

Rawlins J. Reuel Armstrong 

Garden in the Grasslands. By David M. Emmons. (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1971). Index. Illus. 220 
pp. $10. 

In this attractively packaged, medium length (198 pages), 
slightly over-priced ($10) elaboration of his 1969 University of 
Colorado dissertation, David M. Emmons has attempted a two-fold 
purpose: to chronicle the "boomer literature" of land promotion 
in the Central Great Plains; and to study the potency of the idea 
"America the Garden" as worked out in that region. 

What emerges at the surface level is a well-researched survey of 
the boomer literature of Kansas and Nebraska in the 1870-1890 
"sod house frontier" era. "Boomerism" is studied in all of its 
aspects: Who were the land boomers? Who sponsored and bene- 
fited from their activities? Where was locus of their efforts? What 
tactics and strategy did they employ? What generalizations can be 
made about their literature? What results can be attributed to 
their efforts? All these points and more concerning the movement 
are dealt with by Emmons. His result is a volume that is a major 
contribution to the history of land promotion in general, and to the 
history of Kansas and Nebraska in particular. 

A geographer, who generally delimits his regions based upon a 
criterion of similar characteristics existing in most sub-areas of the 
region, might well question Emmons' chosen area of study. His 
"Central Great Plains" include Kansas, Nebraska, and eastern 
Colorado and Wyoming. If one were delimiting his region accord- 


ing to principal economic activity, historical chronology, and geo- 
graphic conditions, a much better case could be made for inclusion 
of the Dakotas than for the included portions of Wyoming and 
Colorado. However, once having chosen to include Wyoming 
Emmons should have consulted the specialists of Wyoming's terri- 
torial poUtical climate, cattle kingdom era, and Johnson County 
War (Gould, Gressley, Larson, H. H, Smith, and others) prior to 
making simplistic judgements on these topics. 

Whereas Emmons is quite successful in surveying the boomer 
literature of his region, he does stumble a bit with his analysis of 
the "Garden" image as revealed in boomer literature and related to 
the Great Plains development. In part, his ineffectiveness arises 
from the task, not his treatment. Numerous historians (including 
Hofstadter, H. N. Smith, P. N. Carroll, Leo Marx, Rod Nash) have 
grappled with only mixed success with the problem of detecting the 
temper of the "American mind" toward the ideas of conquest of 
wilderness, virtues of yoemanry, and creation of America the 
Garden at particular places and times in our past. In Emmon's 
case, he has shown that the Garden image was most evident in 
boomer literature; he has done nothing to show the impact of this 
idea upon the American Mind at his chosen time and locus. 

The major thrust of the book is directed toward demonstrating 
that in Kansas and Nebraska the Garden image was employed in 
the 1870s and 1880s to confront and defeat the commonly-held 
Desert image that had been created as a result of the journals of 
Pike, Long, Parkman and Gregg. In short, Emmons is dealing 
with a clash of ideas! Immediately one wonders if (as Emmons 
states) the Desert concept was dominant in the 1840s, only to be 
superseded by the Garden image by 1870, then, why did the 
boomers spend the next twenty years (and Emmons the next 170 
phages) attacking the Desert image. Emmons calls it "one of the 
strange ironies of American history" that the Desert image was 
strongest at a time (1840s) when Americans were proclaiming 
their Manifest Destiny over the same region. Instead, this might 
be merely testimony to the weakness of the image on the public 
mind. What is truely ironical is that the "myth of the Garden" was 
employed to confront the "myth of the Desert". In the end both 
were proven erroneous. 

Emmons further states that it "is here irrelevant" whether or not 
the Desert image was popularly held. Not so! He is tracing the 
clash of conflicting ideas; a knowledge and elaboration of the rela- 
tive strength of each over time is essential for successful completion 
of his task. This reviewer suspects that the Desert image was only 
narrowly held, that it was actually "used" by promoters as sort of a 
"straw man" to be devastated by the Garden image rather than 
being a force to be confronted, and that the author has missed this 
subtlety. Another idea, inherent in the historical march toward 
achievement of the American Dream, is that of "progress." For 


"progress" to occur, a certain amount of wilderness and desert had 
to be present as the testing ground for the virtuous and hardwork- 
ing yoeman to carve out his paradisiacal Edenic Garden. A society 
could not start with perfection and aspire to "progress!" 

Beyond this, there are several questions that should have been 
dealt with in any treatment of the Garden idea for the author's 
chosen time and place. How did the "myth of the Garden" arrive 
at the "sod house frontier"? How had over two centuries of his- 
torical experience modified the Puritan view of the perfect society? 
What effect did life on the "sod house frontier", did Hofstadter's 
increasing "commercial realities," and did the fact of constant 
agrarian population mobility have upon the idea of the Garden? 
How did the idea leave the region? In sum, the author has por- 
trayed the Garden idea as a constant of American history. This 
view fails to account for the ongoing modification of the idea 
resulting from ever-changing events and conditions of the Amer- 
ican historical experience. 

University of Wyoming Charles G. Roundy 

The First 100 Yews. A History of The Salt Lake Tribune 1871- 
1971. By O. N. MahnquisL (Salt Lake City: Utah Histor- 
ical Society, 1971) Index. lUus. 454 pp. $8.00. 

The Salt Lake Tribune is not the biggest, most influential, most 
quoted or even the "best" — however, one may choose to apply that 
adjective — newspaper in the United States. But surely it was 
founded under a set of circumstances unique in American history, 
for its role was that of a spoiler for the Mormon Church 100 years 
ago, in a day when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 
was pretty much in control in Utah Territory. 

It is quite possible that with this unusual background, The Salt 
Lake Tribune might very well lay claim to having preserved the 
Mormon faith, or at least the LDS church as the strong and viable 
entity that it is today. For what the Tribune did in the first 40 
years of its existence was to provide a foil for what had begun to 
evolve as a powerful church-state organization that controlled not 
only the religious beliefs of its members who made up perhaps a 
majority of the citizens of Utah, but their economic and political 
life as well. 

It would seem likely that had this situation been allowed to 
prevail, the Mormon movement, at least as we know it today, might 
have been destroyed by the counter-forces generated outside Utah. 
As it was, the collection of gentiles (non-Mormons) and apostate 
Mormons, and even those within the church itself who for reasons 
best known to themselves covertly opposed some Mormon pohtico- 
economic policies, that marched behind the banner of The Salt 


Lake Tribune managed to change the policies of church leadership 
that inclined toward dominance of all matters both spiritual and 
temporal; to give it opposition on which the Mormons have seemed 
to thrive over the better part of two centuries, and to provide it 
with new direction sufficient to permit its survival. 

On the surface it was David vs. Goliath; the puny strength of the 
Tribune at the beginning, matched against a seemingly monohthic 
organization headed by one of the most superb leaders this or any 
other country ever has seen since Moses, namely Brigham Young, 
hardly seemed a fair contest. But also consider that the three 
original founders of the Tribune were excommunicated Mormons 
and one beguis to get the idea that the church leadership, which 
was ideal for a period of intense peril and travail such as attended 
the Mormons in 1830s, 1840s and 1850s, no longer quite suited 
the needs of a period of growth and development in the second half 
of the 19th century. 

It is clear there was opposition to the Mormon leadership not 
only from without the church, but from within as well. 

The Tribune's first two decades were devoted primarily to serv- 
ing as a gadfly to the church climaxed by the 1890 Manifesto of 
Mormon Church President Wilford Woodruff which rejected the 
Mormon practice of polygamy and which marked the begiiming of 
decline of opposition to the church's policies although, ironically, 
the newspaper's original founders rejected any opposition to the 
practice of polygamy. 

Undoubtedly the Tribune's most unusual and colorful owner in 
its first century was Tom Kearns, bom of Irish immigrant parents 
in Canada, who left home as a mere lad because of a poolhaU 
fracas which Tom apparently won (he was handy with his fists), 
and eventually wound up in Park City, Utah, where he became a 
silver mine millionaire at an early age. Although possessed of only 
a grade school education, Tom was intelligent, big-hearted and 
lucky; not only was he quick-witted but also witty and is credited 
with the pun that "it takes a great mine to run a newspaper." 

Kearns was elected to the United States Senate and took office in 
January, 1901; early impressed by the political necessity of obtain- 
ing press support, he took the quick and practical route of buying 
one — which turned out to be The Salt Lake Tribune. 

If the impression given by the Tribune's history of its first 100 
years is correct, Kearns was not a heavy-handed proprietor and, 
officially at least, for years was not much in evidence around the 
paper. Perhaps his most important contribution was the hiring of 
a man who was to make the greatest impact on the Tribune to date. 
The secretary was J. F. Fitzpatrick, an Irishman like Tom Keams, 
and the son of a locomotive engineer. 

Fitzpatrick obtained only a high school education and attended 
business college long enough to learn some of the rudiments of 
being a personal secretary, which is the job for which he was hired 


by Keams in 1913. Kearns, who served only four years in the 
Senate before he was politically upended by Reed Smoot, an 
apostle of the Mormon Church, apparently was badly in need of 
an amanuensis and confidant as well as an adviser, and young 
Fitzpatrick provided all three. Furthermore, when Keams died 
apparently of a stroke only five years after employing his male 
secretary, Fitzpatrick stood by to loyally and honestly serve the 
ex-senator's widow as representative of the family's ownership in 
the Tribune. By this time the newspaper, which had been some- 
thing of afterthought of an ambitious pohtician when it was pur- 
chased by Kearns 17 years earUer, was beginning to loom as a 
major asset in his estate because of the marked decline of the once 
opulent mine in Park City. 

From 1918 to 1960 and perhaps even beyond, to the present, the 
Tribune largely was a creature of J. F. Fitzpatrick who directed it 
most ably until his death in the latter year. Possibly his greatest 
contribution to the Keams estate was buying the half-interest in the 
paper owned by David Keith, Keams partner in the silver mine, for 
$300,000 in 1918 shortly after the death of both Keith and Keams. 
Given fuU rein in conducting the family's business affairs, Fitz- 
patrick did not hesitate in making a $30,000 down payment for 
the Keith interest, thus putting the Keams heirs in full ownership, 
and Fitzpatrick in full control of the Tribune. 

Fitzpatrick made the Tribune the newspaper it is today, and 
without doubt the greatest investment Tom Keams made was in the 
rather simple and nominal act in 1913 of hiring this man as his 

O. N. Malmquist has done a notable job under the aegis of the 
Utah Historical Society in compiling the story of the Tribune. In 
many ways it is a history not only of the Tribune but also of Salt 
Lake City and the state of Utah, which is as it should be for a 
newspaper that does a job well. 

Editor, Wyoming State Tribune James M. Flinchum 

Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail. The Saga of Bent's Fort. By 
Robert Murray. (Bellevue, Nebr.: Old Army Press, 1970). 
Illus. 50 pp. 

This book is a synopsis history of the famous Bent's Fort, fur 
trading post for Southem Plains tribes and oasis for travelers, 
mountain men, and military patrols. Murray has produced an 
excellent synthesis which places Bent's Fort in its historic per- 
spective. He briefly discusses the fur trade and the frontier in 
general terms and then describes the lives and careers of Ceran St 
Vrain and Charles and WilUam Bent, partners in the Bent's Fort 


venture. Excellent descriptions of the fort, both while under 
construction and after completion, are included. 

The historical significance of the fort is clearly delineated, and 
ample attention is devoted to sketching, trading, and treating with 
Indians, supplying military patrols before and during the Mexican 
War, and hosting explorers and adventurers. Murray has done one 
other thing many historians neglect. He has traced the history of 
the post after its abandonment and partial destruction in 1849, 
after being occupied for 16 years. The use of the fort by stage 
lines, the removal of interest in the site by Colorado citizens and the 
final acquisition of it by the National Park Service : these, too, are 
a part of the story of Bent's Fort. 

The work is well illustrated with contemporary pictures of the 
fort, and people and events connected with it. A "Pictorial Port- 
folio" includes plans of Bent's Fort and contains photographs of 
objects found during the course of NPS excavations at the site. 
The illustration of a lens from a telescope is somewhat insignificant, 
a Northwest tradegun sideplate is erroneously identified as "from 
[a] Hudson's Bay Company trade musket", parts from Indian 
trade rifles shown are not identified as being from Deringer rifles, 
and the engraving of Jim Beckwourth has, by this time, become 
shopworn from overexposure in Western literature. 

Murray has, in Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail, produced a 
popular work about Bent's Fort that will serve the general reader 
well. Scholars may find it of limited use as a ready reference on a 
topic and phase of Western history. 

Wyoming State Archives and James A. Hanson 

Historical Department 

Born to be a Soldier: The Military Career of William Wing Loring. 
By William L. Wessels, (Fort Worth: Texas Christian Uni- 
versity Press, 1971). Index. 120 pp. 

The career of one of America's most capable, yet unacknowl- 
edged, military leaders is briefly told in this book by William L. 
Wessels. W. W. Loring did not attend West Point, nor did he 
receive any other formal military training. His first experience 
came when, as a volunteer in the Florida Militia, he fought in the 
Seminole War. Although he enlisted as a private, by 1837 he had 
attained the rank of second Ueutenant. 

After the war, Loring returned to private life, but in 1846 was 
commissioned a captain in the newly-formed regiment of Mounted 
Riflemen. Serving with this regiment in the Mexican War, Loring 
was twice breveted for gallant and meritorious service at the battles 
of Contreras and Churubusco, and later at Chapultepec, In the 
latter battle he lost his left arm. This was not, however, too great 


a handicap, for he ultimately rose to the rank of colonel in the 
Mounted Rifles. 

Even later, Loring resigned from the United States service and 
quickly attained the rank of major general in the Confederate 
Array. His military career did not even end after the Civil War. 
For a period of ten years, Loring was a key figure in the Egyptian 
army where in 1879 he retired with the rank of Fereck Pasha. 

Wessell's account of Loring's pre-Civil War career is unfor- 
tunately, but necessarily, shallow. A lack of material has left the 
author with a problem, but he succeeds quite well in using the 
material he does have, and manages to relate Loring and his life 
to the whole of United States military involvement in the Trans- 
Mississippi West. Of special importance to those interested in 
Western history are those brief, yet concise, chapters dealing with 
movements of Loring and the Mounted Rifles as part of the small 
and scattered western army of the period. They served not only 
on the Oregon frontier, but fought Indians in the South West, and 
took part in the Mormon War of 1857. Loring's controversial 
career in the Civil War is well covered and the account of his days 
on the banks of the Nile River is also well done. The particular 
part of the story dealing with his career in Egypt is aided in the 
Appendix, with the inclusion of a newspaper interview which gives 
many insights into that part of his life. 

In covering a period of over half a century in so few pages, the 
author makes a number of generalizations which will not stand up 
to the criticism of learned students and readers. Quite unfor- 
tunately, Mr. Wessells seems to become a little too highly involved 
with and impressed by his subject. W. W. Loring is indeed an 
unsung figure in the settlement of the western United States. Yet, 
it is doubtful, as the author contends, that his name deserves to be 
ranked alongside those of Meriwether Lewis, WiUiam Qark, and 
John Charles Fremont. 

Unfortunately for the more serious reader the book's index is 
somewhat brief, and there are no footnotes. Indeed, the exclusion 
of a bibliography is especially unfortunate. 

On the whole this book is weU written and enjoyable to read. 
It is also a highly acceptable addition to the library of anyone 
interested in military or western history. 

Laramie James H. Nottage 

The Gilpin Gold Tram. By Mallory H. Ferrell. (Boulder: Pruett 
Publishing Co., 1971). Index. Illus. 112 pp. $8.95. 

Gilpin County, once one of Colorado's great gold mining areas, 
is now a well-lmown tourist attraction, centered at Central City. 
Even the casual visitor cannot miss the significance of mining in 


this county's history, as there are plenty of remains left to view, 
some of which rank as first-rate tourist traps. Only the particularly 
interested or knowledgeable, however, would see what is left of the 
two-foot-gauge railroad which ran from the mills at Blackhawk to 
the mines above. 

Construction began in 1887, and the line eventually reached a 
length of 26.4 miles, as it meandered around the mountains to 
reach various mines. Its most significant contribution was to cut 
the cost of shipping ore, thereby allowing the more abundant 
lower-grade ores to be mined profitably. From 1887 until 1917 
this little railroad operated, braving snow, numerous derailments, 
and shifting mining fortunes. Finally, with few mines operating 
and profits plunging, the last owner, the Colorado and Southern 
Railroad, ceased operations. For a while the road had even been 
a transporter of tourists, hauling visitors to mines and on excursions 
in the mountains. 

MaUory Ferrell, rail buff and airline pUot, has produced a slim 
volume, which is obviously a labor of love. He is assisted by 
Boulder artist Howard Fogg, who has drawn some skillful sketches 
of the operations and a host of pictures which tell the story 

The text is a mixture of fact and antiquarianism, which supple- 
ments The Gilpin Gold Tram's strong point, the pictures of the 
trains, mines, people, and towns. Some repetition is noticeable, 
but it does not hinder the reader's progress to a serious degree. 
Included at the back of the text are semi-appendices covering 
such topics as detailed scale drawings of cars, mines served, and a 
list of employees. 

Pruett Press is to be congratulated on publishing a book of 
limited interest, yet one which in a small way makes a contribution. 
The reproduction of photographs is first-rate and the book's gen- 
eral format enhances the overall presentation. This is definitely a 
volume for railroad and mining buffs. 

Ft. Lewis College Duane Smith 

On The Border With Crook. By John G. Bourke. (Lincoln: 
The University of Nebraska Press, 1971). 491 pp. $2.25. 
(Paperback, Bison Book.) 

Tales of the Frontier. From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup. 
Selected and Retold by Everett Dick. (Lincoln: The Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1971). Illus. 382 pp. $2.25. 
(Paperback, Bison Book.) 


John A. Lent is associate editor of the International Com- 
munications Bulletin and resides in Iowa City, Iowa. He was a 
visiting associate professor at the University of Wyoming in 1969- 
1970 and has served as an associate professor at universities in 
Wisconsin and West Virginia. Mr. Lent holds B.A. and M.A. 
degrees from Ohio University and did his Ph.D. work at Syracuse 
University and the University of Iowa. He also attended the 
University of Oslo and Sophia University at Tokyo. He is a 
member of various honorary and professional organizations in 
journalism, history and Enghsh and has pubUshed four books and 
nearly 50 articles in professional journals in 11 nations. He and 
his wife Martha have three daughters and a son. 

William W. Savage, Jr. of Norman, Oklahoma, has taught 
history and journalism at the University of South Carolina and 
history at the University of Oklahoma, in addition to having been a 
Visiting Lecturer in History at Iowa State University. He has 
worked as a staff writer for The State newspaper and as editorial 
assistant for Southern Publishers, Inc., both in Columbia, South 
Carolina. Mr. Savage also has been a field worker in the oral 
history project of the University of Oklahoma's American Indian 
Institute. A member of a number of professional and honorary 
groups, he received a B.A. in journalism from the University of 
South Carolina and his M.A. in history from the same school. He 
currently is a University of Oklahoma Press FeUow. He has 
published articles or book reviews in Journal of the West, The 
Chronicles of Oklahoma and The South Carolina Historical Mag- 

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 Wisconsin 
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 organizations. 

Brun Jones of Basingstoke, England, is the associate secretary 
of the English Westerners' Society and has been interested in the 
American West, particularly Wyoming, for a number of years. He 
and his wife have a three-year-old daughter and Mr. Jones is 
engaged in the engineering profession. 


Philip J. Mellinger is working toward his Ph.D. at the Uni- 
versity of Chicago and is a part-time instructor in American History 
at Van der Cook College of Music in Chicago. He has taught at 
the Illinois Institute of Technology and plans to teach at the 
University of Indiana. He did his undergraduate work at the 
University of Chicago and received his M.A. from Roosevelt 
University in Chicago. Mr. Mellinger is a member of professional 
historical associations as well as national organizations such as the 
American Civil Liberties Union, Wilderness Society and Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He and his wife Janet 
have one son. 



The fourth paragraph, page 290, should read as follows: 
"I am now stationed on Sweetwater River, a tributary of the 
Platte. I have four block stations under my charge. The first 
is Sweetwater Bridge, the bridge by which the emigrants cross 
the river on their way to California and Oregon; the second is 
Three Crossings of the Sweetwater; the third. Rocky Ridge; 
and the fourth is South Pass. I make my headquarters at the 
first. I was summoned down here on a court-martial and 
came down in five days, two hundred and twenty miles, by 
myself most of the way, but I had places to sleep at night." 


Adams, Mrs. Cecelia, 233, 234 

Allyn, Henry, 226 

American Cattle Trust, 212, 213 

Anderson, W. H., 284 

Andy, 272, 274^ 

Argus, 175, 183 

Armstrong, J. Reuel, review of 
Wyoming Country Before State- 
hood. Four Hundred Years Un- 
der Six Flags, 300-302 

Armstrong, Virginia Irving, / Have 
Spoken, review, 296-297 

Ash Hollow, 215 

Ashley, William H., 284, 287 

Atheam, Robert G., Union Pacific 
Country, review, 299-300 

Auger, Gen. C. C, 240, 246, 251 

Avenue of Rocks, 283 


Ballew, James, 294 

Barrow, Merris C, 167 

Battle of Red Buttes, 294-295 

Beadle, John Hanson, 167 

Bear River (City) 166, 185, 187, 

190; photo following p. 200; riot, 

169, 191-195 
Beauvais, G. P., 254 
Beer Springs, 217, 225, 226, 230 
Belshaw, Mrs. Maria, 234 
Bennett, James Gordon, 203 
Benton, 166, 184, 190 
Bidwell, John, 285 
Bill Barlow's Budget, 167 
Bissonette, — , 278 
Bissonettes, 249 
Blyman, Joseph, 198 
Boardman, John, 221, 227 
Boiling Springs, 221, 230 
Bondi, Baptiste (Fourier?), 240 
Bordeaus, 249 
Born to he a Soldier. The Military 

Career of William Wing Loring, 

by William L. Wessels, review, 

Boughton, E. B. R., 207, 210 
Bouyer, Minton (Mitch), 238 
Bowman, — , 228 
Boyer, John, 257 
Bozeman, Mont., 257 

Bozeman Road, 237 

Bradley, Col. L. P., 239 

Breshn, 1st Lt. P. H., 242-243 

Bruff, J. Goldsborough, 219, 229 

Brundage, Hiram, 170, 171 

Bryan City, 185, 189, 195 

Bryarly, Wakeman, 218-219, 221, 

BuUardy (Pallady?), Leon, 251 
Bullock, William G., 241, 250, 251, 

253 254 
Buriei'gh, — , 186-187 
Butte City, Mont., 166, 200 
Butte City Union, 202 

Campbell, Gov. (John A.), 242, 251 
Capital Publishing Company, 203 
Carey, Joseph M., 209, 256, 264 
Carley, Maurine, compiler, "Third 

Segment of the Oregon Trail," 

Carr, — , 252, 255 
Carson, Kit, 277 
Casement, Gen. Jack, 188 
Central Pacific Railroad, 183 
Chambers, Maj. Alex., 250 
Chamblin, Allen T., 240 
Cheyenne, 174, 175, 176, 180, 183, 

209, 251, 252, 264 
Cheyenne Club, 206 
Cheyenne Daily Leader, 255, 257 
Cheyenne Daily Sun, 199 
The' Cheyenne Leader, 175, 183, 

185, 193, 195 
Chicago and Northwestern Rail- 
road, 207 
Chimney Rock, 215 
Chugwater Valley, 238 
Church of Our Savior, Hartville, 

Cipriani, Count Leonetto, 224 
Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail. The 

Saga of Bent's Fort, by Robert 

Murray, review, 306-307 
Clay, John, 206 
Clyman, Jim, 284 
Cobb, — , 238 

Coble, — , 208, 209, 210, 213 
Colhoff, George W., 250 
Collins, Caspar, 281, 282, 289, 290, 




Collins, Col. W. C, 289 
Collister, Oscar, 278, 279 
Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 

259-260, 263 
Conrad, Cpl. Francis, 243, 244, 245 
Conyers, E. W., 229 
Corinne, Utah, 167, 196 
Cornelison, John W., review of The 

Swan Land and Cattle Company, 

Ltd., 297-299 
Cory, Dr. Benjamin, 225 
Credit Mobilier, 194, 195 
Crooks, Ramsay, 293 
Cross, Maj. Osborne, 222, 226, 227 
Cuny, Adolph, 240, 250 
Curtis, Samuel, 276 
Custard, Sgt. Amos, 286, 294-295 

Daily Denver Gazette, 175 

Daily Labor Union, 202 

Daily Reporter, 188 

The Daily Telegraph, 170, 171 

Daily and Weekly Inter mountain, 

Daily and Weekly Inter-Mountain, 

Dale City, 180 
Dante Alighieri Society, 267 
Davies, 2nd Lt. Fielding, 248 
Davis, N. R., 206, 208 
Dawes, Maud, 280 
"Deer Creek Station," by Joe Kee- 

nan, 277-279 
The Deseret News, 195, 196 
Devil's Gate, 215 
Diuvidddie, — , 233 
Dinwiddle Journal, 228 
Doyle, R. L., 229-230 
Drev/, Lt. W. Y., 295 
Dye, Col. William McEntire, 241, 


EK Ranch, 205-214 

Ecoffey, Jules, 247, 250, 254, 257 

Edwards, Glen, 271 

Eells, Myra, 228 

Emigrant Gap, 283; Ridge, 283 

Emmons, David M., Garden in the 

Grasslands, review, 302-304 
Eureka Canyon, 259, 267, 269 

Fenex, Jim, "Little Ada Magill," 

Ferrell, Mallory H., The Gilpin 

Gold Tram, review, 308-309 
Fiery Narrows, 292 
The First 100 Years. A History of 

the Salt Lake Tribune, by O. N. 

Malmquist, review, 304-306 
Fletcher, Chris, 260-261, 263 
Fletcher, Daisy, 260, 263 
Fletcher, Jack, 260 
Flinchum, James M., review of The 

First 100 Years. A History of 

the Salt Lake Tribune, 304-306 
Flint, Col. F. F., 249, 250 
Ford, Judge, 185 
"Fort Caspar," by William Judge, 



Bridger, 170, 171, 190, 194, 196, 

Buford, N. D., 246 
Caspar, 281-283 
Ellis, Mont., 239 
Fetterman, 237 
Hall, Ida., 215, 230, 234 
Kearney, Neb., 166, 170, 171, 

172, 203 
Phil Kearny, 237, 249; Kearney 

(Kearny), 247 
Laramie, 237, 238, 241, 245, 248, 

249, 250, 257, 259, 262 
Platte, Camp, See Fort Caspar 
Reno, 249 
Sanders, 166, 174, 175, 176, 177, 

178, 180 
Smith, (C. F.), Mont., 237, 238, 

247, 249 

Fourth Infantry, 238, 242 
Frank (Franklin), 272, 273 
Frear, James, 230, 231 
Freeman, Fred K., 165-196 
Freeman, Legh R., 165-203; photo 

following p. 200; Mrs. Ada, 196, 

197, 200 
Freeman Bros. Real Estate Agents, 

Freemansburg, 177, 183 
Fremont, John Charles, 217, 218, 

221, 222, 225, 227, 230, 277, 288, 

Frewen, Edward, 211, 212 
Frewen, Moreton, 206, 207, 208, 

209, 211, 212 
Frewen, Richard, 206, 207 



Frontier Camp to Small Town. A 
Study of Community Develop- 
ment, by Philip J. Mellinger, 259- 

Frontier Hotel, 170, 182 

The Frontier Index, 165-203; photos 
following p. 200 

Frontier-Index, 166, 200, 202 

The Frontier Index on Wheels, 171 

Frontier Land and Cattle Company, 
210, 212, 213, 214 

The (Frontier) Phoenix, 196 

Hartville Uplift, 265 
Head, Richard G., 212 
Hembree, Joel J., 271, 272 
Henderson, Paul C, 215; Helen and 

Paul, "Willow Springs," 284-286 
Hesse, Fred, 213, 214 
Hickman, Richard Owen, 220, 227, 

Himes, Celinda, 222 
Hooker, "Pizon Bill," 272 
Howell, John, 216 
Hoyt, John Wesley, 209 
Hubbard, Lt., 295 
Hattcn (Hunton?), John, 252, 255 

Garden in the Grasslands, by David 

M. Emmons, review, 302-304 
Garnett, Billy, 250 
Gaylord, Orange, 219, 220, 227, 

228, 231, 233 
Geer, Mrs. Elizabeth, 221 
Geiger, Vincent, 218-219, 221, 228 
Gibbon, Gen. John, 179 
Gibraltar, Wash., 203 
Gilchrist, Andrew, 209, 210 
The Gilpin Gold Tram, by Mallory 

H. Ferrell, review, 308-309 
Glendale, Mont., 201 
The Glendale Atlantis, 166, 201 
Goule, Henry, 243 
Grant, (Ulysses S.), 169, 179, 186- 

187, 190, 255 
Green River City, 166, 180, 184, 

185, 186, 190 
Gressley, Gene M., 212 
Guernsey, Charles A., 214 
Guinard, Louis, 282, 288 


Hadley, Mrs. E. A., 221, 231, 233, 

Hanson, James A., review of Citadel 

on the Santa Fe Trail. The Saga 

of Bent's Fort, 306-307 
Harney, Gen. W. S., 240, 241 
Harris, Chance, 189, 193 
Harrison, Dr. Frank, 193 
Hart, Fred, 188 
Hartville, 259-269; photo following 

p. 272 
Hartville Commercial Club, 265, 



Irvine, W. C, 209 

Idaho Statesman, 186 

/ Have Spoken, by Virginia Irving 

Armstrong, review, 296-297 
Independence Rock, 287, 288 
"Independent" claim, 262 
Indian Peace Commission, 239, 240 



Red Cloud, 257 
Whetsone, 246, 248 


Beans, 249 

Bear Tooth, 239 

Big Crow, 249 

Big Foot, 249 

Black Bear, 249 

Blue Horse, 249 

Blue Tommy Hawk, 249 

Cut Penis, 243 

Fast Bear, 249 

Knock Down, 249 

Lone Bear, 249 

Man Afraid of His Horses, 240, 

243, 249, 279 
Ottawa, 273 
Present the Pipe, 249 
Red Cloud, 240, 243, 246, 249, 

250, 251, 253, 255 
Spotted Tail, 249, 253 
Standing Elk, 249 
Swift Bear, 249 
Tall Man, 249 
Two Strike, 249 
Whirl Wind, 249 
Yellow Bear, 245, 257 



INDIANS (Continued) 


Arapahoe, 241 

Blackfeet, 239 

Cheyenne, 241, 244; Northern, 

Crow, 238-239, 240, 241, 246, 
247; Mountain, 239, 249 

Nez Perce, 239 

Shoshoni, 232, 239 

Sioux. 237, 238, 239, 240, 242, 
244, 246, 250, 253; Ogallalla 
(Oglala), 247, 254; Spleen 
Band, Oglala, 247, 254 
Inter-Mountains, 201 
Inter-Mountains Freeman, 166, 202 
Iron Gazette, 264 

Jackson, Howard, 280 

Jacobucci, (Joseph F.), 175, 177, 

184, 195, 202 
Janis, Emily, 257 
Janis, Nicholas, 257 
"Jehosiphat" claim, 260, 262 
Jensen, Henry, 283; "Robert Stuart," 

John Richard, Jr. and the Killing at 

Fetterman, by Brian Jones, 237- 

Johnson County, 206, 213 
Johnson, J. E., 172 
Johnson, Joseph E., 203 
Johnston, Gen. Joseph E., 173 
Jones, Benjamin, 293 
Jones, Brian, John Richard, Jr. and 

the Killing at Fetterman, 237-257; 

biog., 310 
Judge, William, "Fort Caspar," 281- 

''83' ''SS 285 
Jufesburg, Colo., 166, 174, 175 


Kearney City, Neb., 166, 171, 173, 

The Kearney Herald, 165, 170, 171, 

Kearns, John, 220, 232 
Keenan, Joe, 270; "Joel J. Hem- 

bree's Grave, 1843," 270-272; 

"Deer Creek Station," 277-279 
Keller, George, 218, 227 

Kelly, Hiram B. (Hi), 238, 242, 245; 

Mrs. Elizabeth, 242 
Kelly, Josiah, 272, 273, 274; Mrs. 

Fanny Wiggins, 272, 274; Mary, 

274, 275 
Kemp, Frank A., 208 
"Keystone" claim, 262 
Koones, Frederick, 253 
Ku Klux Klan, 267 

Lake, George, 252, 255 

Lamb, Albertson, 276 

Lamotte, Capt. R. S., 239 

Lanter, H., 276 

LaPrele Creek, 237 

Laramie. 166, 174, 178, 180, 181, 

182, 183, 187, 196 
Laramie Boomerang, 167 
Laramie Daily Sentinel, 199 
Larimer, Mr., 272, 274; (Mrs.) 

Sarah, 272, 274 
Le Claire, Francois, 293 
Lee, Jason, 219, 228 
Lent, John A., The Press on Wheels. 

A History of the Frontier Index 

of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, 

Elsewhere?, 165-203; biog., 310 
Lewellyn, Michael V., review of 

Union Pacific Country, 299-300 
Linford, Velma, 167 
"Little Ada Magill," by Jim Fenex, 

Lowry, John, 257 
Lund, F., 238 


McAllister, Rev. John, 233 

McCleary, John, 188 

McClellan, Robert, 293 

McCloskey, James, 251, 257 

McKenzie, W. S., 238 

McLeod, —,216 

McMurtrie, Douglas, 168, 174, 175 

Magill, Ada, 279 

Mahan, — , 232 

Malmquist, O. N., The First 100 
Years. A History of the Salt 
Lake Tribune, review, 304-306 

Marley, Patsey, 193 

Masiker, Mrs. George, 276 

Matthews, Col. H. M., 239 

Maxwell, W. P., 209 



May, Richard, 223, 225, 226, 227, 
231, 234 

Mellinger, Philip J., Frontier Camp 
to Small Town. A Study of Com- 
munity Development, 259-269; 
biog., 311 

Mercer, Asa Shinn, 167 

Merrivale, Jose, 257 

Merrivale, Louise, 257 

Miller, Joseph, 293 

Mobley, Seth P., 170 

"Modoc" claim, 262 

Mormons, 182, 196-199 

Mormon Ferry. See Fort Caspar 

Morris, Nelson, 212 

Mothershead, Harmon Ross, The 
Swan Land and Cattle Company, 
Ltd., review, 297-299 

Mountain District, 249 

Moore, Leroy, 270; "The Unthank 
Story," 276-277 

Morrison, W. W., "Story of Little 
Mary Kelly," 272-275 

Munger, Asahel, 220, 232 

Munkres, Robert L., Soda Springs: 
Curiosity of the Trail, 215-235; 
biog., 310 

Murray, Robert, Citadel on the 
Santa Fe Trail. The Saga of 
Bent's Fort, review, 306-307 


Nebraska and Wyoming Investment 

Company, 214 
Nesmiths, 271 
Nicholas, Tom, "Story of Sergeant 

Custard's Fight," 294-295 
Nichols, Bvt. Maj. Gen. W. A., 239 
North Platte Crossing, 183, 184 
North Platte, Neb., 166, 173, 174 
Northern Pacific Railroad, 202, 209 
Northwest Farm and Home, 166, 

Northwestern Live Stock Journal, 

Nottage, James H., review of Born 

to be a Soldier. The Military 

Career of William Wing Loring, 

Nuckolls, S. F., 254 
Nye, Bill, 167, 199 

Ogden Freeman, 166, 196-200 
Omaha Herald, 249 

Omaha Weekly Herald, 246 
O'Neil, Jack, 185, 192 
Oregon Trail, 215-235 

Pacific Coast Dairyman, 166, 203 

Palmer, Joel, 218, 220, 223, 227, 

Parker, E. S., 242, 251 

Parker, J. P., 279 

Parker, Samuel, 222 

Patterson, Capt. Henry W., 242-243, 
244, 245, 254 

Pennington, John B., 271 

Perkins, Elisha, 230 

Peters, T. W., 211 

Platte Bridge, 238 

Platte Bridge Station, photos follow- 
ing p. 272; See Fort Caspar 

Platte Valley Lyre, 167 

Plunkett of the EK. Irish Notes on 
the Wyoming Cattle Industry in 
the 1880s, by William W. Savage, 
Jr., 205-214 

Plunkett, Horace Curzon, 205-214 

Poison Spider Creek, 283 

"Pole Camp and Home of John Sub- 
lett, at Elk Mountain, Carbon 
Co., Wyo.," sketch, cover; cap- 
tion, p. 4 

Poole, Capt. DeWitt C, 248 

Post, Morton E., 209 

Pourier. Baptiste (Big Bat), 238, 
242, 244, 257 

Power River Cattle Company, 208- 
209, 211, 213, 214 

Powder River Road, 240 

Powers, Jimmy, 192 

The Press on Wheels. A History of 
The Frontier Index of Nebraska, 
Colorado, Wyoming, Elsewhere? , 
by John A. Lent, 165-203 

Preuss, — , 221 

Pritchard, James, 225 

Putnam, Charles, 230 

Rawhide Creek, 241 

Reed, Jimmy, 192 

Reed, Thomas, 252 

Reese River Reveille, 188 

Register, 186 

Reporter, 167 

Reshaw, John, See Richard 



Reveille, 187 

Richard & Company, 257 

Richard, Elizabeth, 238 

Richard, John Sr., 238 

Richard, (Reshaw) John, Jr., 237- 

Richard, Josephine, 242 

Richard, Louis, 238, 250 

Richard, Peter, 238 

Richard, Rose, 242 

Ricker, Judge E. S., 250 

Ringo, M., 279 

Robert Campbell & Co., 241 

"Robert Stuart," by Henry Jensen, 

Roche, Alexis, 206, 207, 210 

Roche, Edmond, 206 

Rocky Mountain Herald, 179 

Rocky Mountain Star, 175, 183 

Rocky Ridge, 290 

Roundy, Charles G., review of Gar- 
den in the Grasslands, 302-304 

Russell, Osborne, 222, 225, 230, 

"Story of Little Mary Kelly," by 
W. W. Morrison, 272-275 

"Story of Sergeant Custard's Fight," 
by Tom Nicholas, 294-295 

Strickland, S. A., 254 

Stuart, Robert, 284, 293-294 

Sturgis, Thomas, 208, 209, 210, 212 

Summers, Bill, 188 

Sunrise, 259, 265, 267, 269 

Sutton, Mrs. Sarah, 233 

Swan Land and Cattle Company, 

The Swan Land and Cattle Com- 
pany, Ltd., by Harmon Ross 
Mothershead, review, 297-299 

Sweetwater, 199 

Sweetwater Bridge, 290 

Sweetwater Mines, 180, 185-186, 

Sweetwater mining district, 180 

"Sweetwater Station," by Edness 
Kimball Wilkins, 287-292; photo 
following p. 272 

Sydenham, Moses H., 170 

Sage, Rufus, 226 

Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, 202 

Salt Lake Military Vedette, 186 

Salt Lake Telegraph, 195, 196 

Salt Lake Tribune, 197 

Sanborn, Gen. John B., 239, 240, 
241, 247-248, 249, 251 

Savage, William W., Jr., Plunkett of 
the EK. Irish Notes on the Wyo- 
ming Cattle Industry in the 1880s, 
205-214; biog., 310 

Schroeder, Cpl. James W., 294, 295 

Seventh Iowa Cavaky, 170 

Sharp, Mr., 272, 273, 274 

Sherman, (Gen. William T.), 241, 

Six Mile Ranch, 257 

Smith, Duane A., review of The 
Gilpin Gold Tram, 308-309 

Smith, Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E., 249; 
Col., 251 

Smith, Sarah, 225, 226 

Soda Point Reservoir, Ida., 231 

Soda Springs: Curiosity of the Trail, 
by Robert L. Munkres, 215-235 

South Pass, 180, 290 

South Pass City, 185-186 

Spalding, Henry, 230 

Steamboat Spring, 218-219, 220, 
221, 227, 228, 229, 231, 233 

Stewart, P. G., 271 

Taylor, 252, 255 

Taylor, Mr. — , 272, 273, 274 

Taylor, N. G., 239, 240 

Texas Trail, 259 

Thatham, Benjamin, 250 

Third Segment of the Oregon Trail, 

Douglas to Independence Rock, 

Trek No. 22, 270-295 
Thompson Falls, Mont., 166, 202 
Thornton, J. Quinn, 217, 222 
Three Crossings of the Sweetwater, 

Three Mile Ranch, 250 
Todd, Gen., 187 
Tongue River, 243 
Toole, Daniel, 216, 221 
Toponce, Alexander, 192 
"Toussaint," — , 256 
TrenhoLm, Virginia Cole, review of 

/ Have Spoken, 296-297 
Trumble, Salomon, 276 


Union Cattle Company, 210, 212 
Union-Freeman, 166, 202 
Union Pacific Country by Robert G. 
Athearn, review, 299-300 



Union Pacific Railroad, 168, 171, 

173, 194-195, 246 
Unthank, Alvah H., 276 
Unthank, L. B., 276 
Unthank, O. N., 276 
"The Unthank Story," by Leroy 

Moore, 276-277 
Utah Northern Railroad, 207 

Valle, Andre, 293 
Van Tassell, R. S., 253 
Virginia City, Mont., 238 
Vodges, Lt. A. W., 238; Mrs. Ada 
A., 237, 242, 243, 245 


Wakefield, Gardner, 272, 273, 274 

Walker, Mary Richardson, 229 

Walter, Charles, 251 

Washington Farmer, 166, 203 

Watson, Beau, 206 

Wayne County Company, 218 

Wells, N. W., 208 

Wells Fargo, 191 

Wessels, William L., Born to be a 

Soldier. The Military Career of 

William Wing Loring, review, 

Wheatland, 264 
Whistler, Whetstone 'Traveler," 246, 

Whitman, Dr. Marcus, 271; Mrs. 

Narcissa Prentiss, 216, 220; Per- 

rin, 271 
WUde, Joe, 262 

Wilkins, Edness Kimball, "Sweet- 
water Station," 287-292 

"Willow Springs," by Helen and 
Paul Henderson, 284-286 

Wilson, — , 238 

Wilson, Posey S., 253 

Windlass Hill, 215 

Windsor, — , 208, 209, 210 

Wislizenus, Dr., 221 

Woods, L. Milton, Wyoming Coun- 
try Before Statehood. Four Hun- 
dred Years Under Six Flags, 
review, 300-302 

Woodson, 1st Lt. A. O., 248 

Wright, Charley, 262 

Wyeth, Nathaniel, 227 

Wyoming Country Before Statehood. 
Four Hundred Years Under Six 
Flags, by L. Milton Woods, re- 
view, 300-302 

Wyoming Development Company, 
209, 210, 214 

Wyoming Stock Growers' Associa- 
tion, 206, 208, 209, 210 

Wyoming Tribune, 264, 265 

Yakima, Wash., 166 
Yakima Record, 166, 203 
Yakima Valley, Wash., 202 
Yates, Frank, 252, 255 
Yellowstone Park, 207 
Young, Brigham, 171, 182, 197, 
277, 282 

Zeiber, John, 228 


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.