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Amals of Wyoming 

Spring, 1972 










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

Member at Large Kenneth E. Dowlin 










Attorney General C. A. (Bud) Brimmer Cheyenne 



WiLLUM H. Williams -. Director 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records 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 and America: History and Life 

Copyright 1972, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 44 Spring 1972 Number 1 

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 Springs 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Dudley Hayden Jackson 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, William H. Williams 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. M.KC\^ovGM.u 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. 
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, Hot Springs, Johnson, Laramie, 
Lincoln, Natrona, Niobrara, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Teton, 
Uinta, Washakie and Weston Counties. 

State Dues 

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Joint Life Membership (Husband and Wife) $150.00 

Annual Membership 5.00 

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same address) 7.00 

Send State Membership Dues to: 

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Executive Headquarters 
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Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001 

Zable of Contents 


By Henry A. Kirk. Edited by Daniel Y. Meschter 



By Robert A. Murray 

By Tony McGinnis 


By Glenn R. Burkes 


Minutes of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting 


Burroughs, Guardian of the Grasslands. The First Hundred 

Years of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association 117 

Urbanek, Chief Washakie 118 

Hampton, How the U. S. Cavalry Saved Our National Parks 119 

Barry, The Beginning of the West. Annals of the Kansas 

Gateway to the American West, 1540-1854 121 

Levitan and Hetrick, Big Brother's Indian Programs — With 

Reservations 122 

McDowell, The American Cowboy in Life and Legend 124 


INDEX 128 



Yellowstone Falls 
Following page 16 

Old Faithful Geyser 

The Fountain Hotel 

The Yellowstone Lake Boat Co. Store 

Yellowstone Lake Boat Leaving Thumb 

Grotto Geyser in Action 

Lunch Station at Thumb of Lake 

Jupiter Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs 

The Golden Gate, Near Mammoth Hot Springs 

Mrs. Joseph E. Stimson at the Cone at Thumb of Lake 

Photographer Joseph E. Stimson in Camp at the Cody Gateway 
to Yellowstone National Park 

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establish- 
ment of Yellowstone National Park as the world's first 
national park. In recognition of the Park's centennial, 
the editors felt it appropriate to devote the photographs 
in this issue to scenes related to the Park. The 12 photo- 
graphs in this issue, including the cover picture "Yellow- 
stone Falls," are from the Joseph E. Stimson Photo Col- 
lection of the Wyoming State Archives and Historical 

Skty J) ays 
Zo and Jn yellows tone Park 


Henry A. Kirk 

Edited by Daniel Y. Meschter 

There are many accounts of tours to and through Yellowstone 
National Park ranging from penciled inscriptions on the backs of 
picture postcards to scholarly treatises by world-famous naturalists 
bound in thick books. Among the more appealing, although by no 
means scientific, accounts are those by ordinary residents of states 
adjacent to the Park who made their pilgrimage by team and 
wagon. Most of these accounts simply were told and retold until 
memories faded and the lives of the travelers were fulfilled and 
their stories lost. A few have been preserved in print. This is 
one of them. 

In the summer of 1892, Henry A. Kirk, his sons-in-law Isaac C. 
Miller and Amandes Startzell, and their families traveled north- 
westerly across the state of Wyoming from Rawlins to Cooke City, 
Montana, at the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, 
through the Park, south through eastern Idaho and the Bear River 
Valley in western Wyoming, and back to Rawlins across the 
southern part of the state, all by horse and wagon. In all, the 
whole trip almost certainly exceeded 1 000 miles across many areas 
which were just then beginning to be settled. 

Kirk's account of the trip is preserved in five letters which he 
wrote to the Carbon County Journal in Rawlins during the trip. In 
his letters he makes several references to a journal he was keeping; 
but this apparently was not preserved. 

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Kirk letters is his 
description of the journey to the Park. Like many another non- 
professional writer, he seems to have been so overwhelmed by the 
scenic grandeur of the scenery just before entering the Park and in 
the Park itself that his pen failed him. And like many another 
diarist, his enthusiasm for writing wanes with each succeeding letter 
so that the first letters are the most detailed. 

Significant to Wyoming historians is the fact that each of the 
three heads of families individually was an authentic Wyoming 
pioneer. Contrasted, these three men demonstrate the diverse 


backgrounds of the men who settled Wyoming early and gave the 
state its distinctive characteristics. 

Henry A. Kirk^ (sometimes referred to as Albert H. Kirk) was 
born on June 1, 1836, in Galena, a small town in central Ohio 
north of Columbus. Details of his early education have not been 
documented, but it must have taken him through elementary school 
and quite possibly secondary school as well. As a young man of 
1 7 or 1 8 he located in Indiana where he married Mary E. Parrish 
in 1855. To this marriage were bom two daughters: Ada on 
August 26, 1856, and Alta Evelyn in August, 1861. It is possible 
that he was associated in farming with his father-in-law in Steuben 
County, Indiana, during this time.- He returned to Ohio during 
the Civil War and served in Co. K, 185th Ohio Infantry for 20 
months from February, 1864, until October, 1865.^ 

Mary Parrish Kirk died in 1867 and he shortly thereafter mar- 
ried Alma M. Parrish, who in all likelihood was his first wife's 
sister. To this marriage were born two more children: Zoa in 
August, 1868, and Boyd A. on March 2, 1870 — both in Indiana. 

Kirk was lured to the west in 1871. There is some evidence that 
he went first to Boise, Idaho; but if so, he soon returned to Fort 
Steele, Wyoming, about six miles east of Rawlins, where he began 
work for the Union Pacific Railroad as a section hand and boarding 
house master. Sometime in the winter of 1871-1872 he moved to 
Rawlins where he taught for three and one-half years. 

Like many another young man seeking his fortune in early 
Wyoming, Kirk tried to take advantage of other opportunities. In 
late 1873 he opened the Rawlins House Hotel^ in Rawlins and also 
attempted the practice of law^. However, he failed in both of these 
enterprises. First he failed of admission to the bar^ and then lost 
the hotel when the mortgage was foreclosed in 1875." 

From 1875 to 1880 he taught school at Hilliard in the western 
part of the Territory. Unsettled for a few years after this, he 

1. Biographical sketch of H. A. Kirk derived from: 1880 Decennial 
Census, Hilliard, Uinta County, Wyoming; Kirk-Startzell monuments, Raw- 
lins Cemetery, Rawlins, Wyoming; Wilkerson Biographies, Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Obit., Boyd Kirk, 
Laramie Boomerang, September 30, 1902; Obit., Henry A. Kirk, Carbon 
County Journal, August 13, 1904; Obit., Zoa Kirk Eson, Rawlins Republican, 
July 23, 1925; Obit., Alma N. Kirk, Rawlins Republican, May 28, 1931. 

2. Obit., A. N. Parrish, Carbon County Journal, January 21, 1882. 

3. Special Census of Civil War Veterans, 1890, RawUns, Carbon County, 

4. Laramie Daily Independent, October 6, 1873; October 11, 1873; 
October 28, 1873. 

5. Laramie Daily Independent, October 22, 1873; November 5, 1873. 

6. Laramie Daily Independent, December 6, 1873. 

7. Laramie Daily Sentinel, April 6, 1875; Laramie Daily Sun, May 17, 


clerked in freight offices at Piedmont, Wyoming, and Silver Bow, 
Montana, and then returned to Rawlins where he was the jailer 
for about eight months in 1882. At last, in 1883, he took up 320 
acres of land around a spring a couple of miles northeast of 
Rawlins and for a number of years engaged in the dairy business. 

Throughout his life in Wyoming he was a frequent letter writer, 
discussing current topics of interest or describing occasional trips 
in the press. He often was the Fourth of July speaker and was 
active in G.A.R. affairs. 

By contrast, Isaac C. Miller was foreign-born.^ He was a native 
of Denmark where he was born in 1844 and emigrated to the 
United States in 1864. In 1868 he followed the Union Pacific 
Railroad west to Bitter Creek and then back to Rawlins where he 
was a store clerk. During the next decade he tried gold mining at 
Hahn's Peak, Colorado, became a liquor dealer, was a partner in a 
meat market'', and owned a saddle and harness business.^" In 
1880 and again in 1882 he was elected to consecutive terms as 
Carbon County sheriff. 

His most important effort, however, was an association with 
J. J. Hurt, later of Natrona County, in the sheep raising business. 
This was an early recognition of the suitability of the dry Wyoming 
prairies for sheep and from this beginning the Miller family built 
one of the outstanding ranch operations in Wyoming. 

In 1 874 Miller married Ada Kirk, the eldest daughter of Henry 
A. Kirk. Altogether they had seven children. 

Amandes Startzell had a more humble background." He was 
born on January 6, 1848, in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, one 
of 13 children of Swedish parents. Nothing more is known of him 
until his enlistment in Philadelphia on August 28, 1876, in Com- 
pany E of the Third U. S. Cavalry. However, it is not difficult to 
imagine that being one of 13 children in rural Pennsylvania did 
not offer many opportunities for either education or material 

With the Third Cavalry he served at several posts in Wyoming. 

8. Biographical sketch of Isaac C. Miller derived from: 1870 and 1880 
Decennial Census records, Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming; Marriage 
record. Carbon County. Wyoming, February 7, 1874; Obit., Ada Kirk 
Miller, Rowlins Republican, May 8, 1909; Obit., I. C. Miller, Rowlins 
Republican, June 6, 1912, Carbon County Journal, June 7, 1912. 

9. Carbon County Journal, October 2, 1886. 

10. Carbon County Journal, July 14, 1883. 

11. Biographical sketch of Amandes Startzell derived from : 1880 Decen- 
nial Census, Fort Steele, Carbon County, Wyoming; Kirk-Startzell monu- 
ments, Rawlins Cemetery, Rawlins Wyoming; Muster Roll, Co. E, 3rd. U. S. 
Cavalry, National Archives and Records Center, General Services Adminis- 
tration, Washington, D. C; Marriage records. Carbon County, Wyoming, 
April 3, 1890; Obit., Amandes Startzell, Rawlins Republican-Bulletin. Mav 
28, 1938. 


In September, 1879, Company E was assigned to the White River 
Expedition under the command of Major T. T. Thornburgh.^^ 
Attacked by Ute Indians at Milk Creek, Colorado, and the com- 
manding officer killed during the initial onslaught, the expedition- 
ary force lay under siege for six days until rescued by relief forces 
summoned by courier. While the battle itself may not have had 
great military significance, the events of which it was a part shortly 
led to the removal of the Utes from northwestern Colorado and the 
opening of that area to settlement by white Americans. 

Startzell was a carpenter by trade, but performed the duties of a 
saddler in the cavalry. After his discharge, he settled in Rawlins 
and engaged in the mercantile business for many years. In 1 890 
he married Alta Evelyn Kirk Holt, the widowed second daughter 
of Henry Kirk.^^ 

It should be remembered that Kirk was writing for readers to 
whom he and his trip were well enough known so that he could pass 
over some details and explanations. Although he states in the first 
letter that the party included 1 7 people in no place does he bother 
to list them. In the text of the letters he specifically identifies only 
Ike Miller, Boyd Kirk, Boyd's mother (Mrs. Kirk), Mamie (Miller), 
and Charley Schroeder (the cook). "Dasch" is obviously a nick- 
name, possibly for Boyd Kirk, and equally possible for some other 
men in the party. N. E. Heckenlively may have been some friend 
of one of the families; but its being a possible rendering of "heck- 
and-lively", again perhaps referring to Boyd Kirk, suggests a cer- 
tain lack of authenticity. In addition to the five named, it is a safe 
inference that the party included Amandes and Alta Kirk Startzell, 
Ada Kirk Miller, Zoa Kirk, Henry Kirk himself, three or four of the 
older Miller children, and perhaps two or three hired men to help 
the cook and to drive one or more of the four wagons used. 


(Carbon County Journal, Saturday, July 31, 1892) 

Wind River, Wyo., July 17 — In accord with my promise, I will try 
to write you a few lines from this point of our journey, and to start 
with, I may say, by way of explanation, that for more than a year past 
the Miller, Startzell and Kirk families have, when together, been plan- 
ning and calculating a trip to the national park and, after various 
delays, Thursday, July 7, at 3 o'clock p.m., we rolled the outfit, con- 
sisting of seventeen persons, a horse for each, a mess wagon, a baggage 
and grain wagon and two excursion spring wagons, out of Rawlins, 
camping that night at Bell Springs. The numerous delays in Rawlins, 
although vexatious, proved in the outcome to be very fortunate to us, 
as we had only time to pitch our tents and eat our supper when we 

12. For a fuller account of the White River Expedition see Sprague, 
Marshall, Massacre, the Tragedy at White River, (Boston: Little, Brown 
and Company, 1957) 

13. Obit., J. C. Holt, Carbon County Journal, July 24, 1886. 


were glad to*betake ourselves to the tents, as a heavy thunder shower 
was upon us, which continued to pour until 2 o'clock next morning. 
This storm has been the only deterring event in our journey thus far. 

There would have been no need for an earUer start to reach Bell 
Springs, about 15 miles north of Rawlins. Long hours of daylight 
during July would have given sufficient light to make camp and 
there was no reason to go further since the next suitable camping 
place was a full day journey, at their pace, beyond Bell Springs. 

The storm originated in the Sweetwater and Owl creek ranges of 
mountains, and in its advance burst into four separate and distinct 
waterspouts, the track of each being plainly marked by the rise of 
streams, filling of alkali ponds, mud, etc. 

Kirk is stretching a point in his reference to the Owl Creek 
Mountains which are about 100 miles beyond the Sweetwater 
Mountains and well out of his sight. The Sweetwater Mountains, 
including elevations now better known as Green Mountain, Crooks 
Mountain, and Whiskey Peak, were well within his vision although 
still 30 or 40 miles away. Summer storms across Separation Flats 
between the north end of the Rawlins Hills where Bell Springs is 
located and the Sweetwater Mountains, although infrequent, are 
known to be especially violent. Many dried-up ponds in the 
Separation Flats are crusted with white salt or soda during dry 

The morning of the 8th. at 4:30 saw our camp astir, and at 6 o'clock 
our tents were struck and we were upon the way. About 8 o'clock 
we began to enter the track of the storm proper, and all the rest of the 
day we wallowed through mud and water. We saw immense herds of 
antelope which had been driven down from the hills by the storm, but 
they were too distant for a shot and the ground was too soft for our 
hunters to go after them on horses. Soon after passing Bull Spring 
more and more evidences of the severity of the storm were seen: 
grass, weeds and bushes were washed out by the roots, rivers of water 
were running in the roads, and in one place twelve telegraph poles in 
succession were either prostrated or the tops all knocked to pieces by 
lightening, and splinters from the poles were scattered all over the 
prairie for rods around. You may well imagine that we thanked our 
lucky stars we were encamped only upon the edge of the storm. 

Bull Spring is on the old Rawlins to Lander wagon road a few 
miles west of the present highway. A dry lake nearby called Bull 
Spring Lake was later mined for a thick crust of soda and salt 
which had evaporated in the bed of the lake. 

Tonight we camped at Lost Soldier. The tops of the mountains all 
around were covered with newly fallen snow, and all our blankets 
were brought into requisition. We pitched camp at 2 o'clock p.m. and 
in the evening we climbed to the top of an adjoining hill and witnessed 
the most gorgeous sunset I ever saw. The mountains being covered 
with snow, the declining sun clothed them in a magnificent cast of 
silver sheen, and in an hour after, the moon being at full, she tried 
her hardest to create in her rise the beauty left by the sun. 


Lost Soldier was a stage stop on the Rawlins-Lander stage line 
and the first good camping place north of Bell Springs. 

July 9th. we struck camp early and at 6:30 were again on the go, 
passing along the base of Green mountain, a beauty, and took our 
noonday meal on the site of the burnt-out O'Neil ranch, scarcely a 
trace of which remains. At 3 o'clock p.m. we pulled out for Signor's 
where upon the bank of Sweetwater we camped, having passed the 
afternoon within sight of Split Rock and the scene of the Averell and 
Ella Watson hanging. At this place we killed our first mess of sage 

Kirk mentions a number of well known places and events in this 
short resume of the approximately 40 miles traveled on July 9. 
The Rawlins-Lander wagon road from Lost Soldier passed along 
the south side of Green Mountain to a stage station at the south end 
of a gap — Crooks Gap — through the mountain. The route can be 
followed over dirt and graveled roads. The O'Neil Ranch refers to 
a homestead along the creek in the gap attempted in 1885 by 
Arthur O'Neil, an English boilermaker who worked for the railroad 
in Rawlins in the early 1880s.^^ The circumstance of its burning is 
not known. From the north end of the gap the road crossed level 
plains to the road ranch run by Eli Signor near where the Lander 
wagon road crossed the Oregon Trail. Split Rock, a famous 
Oregon Trail landmark, is easily visible from near Signor's. The 
postoffice at Signor's was known as Rongis, or Signor spelled 
backwards. Again Kirk may have stretched things a bit by refer- 
ring to the scene of the Averell-Watson hanging which took place 
beyond Split Rock to the east from his vantage point and well out 
of sight. ^■'' 

Sunday, July 10th. we pitched our camp just at the south line of 
'Buck' Taylor's ranch, which, by the way, used to be the Brooks & 
Carrington ranch, and 'Buck' was early in camp with a number of 
ponies, eager for a sale or trade. Dasch bought of him a fine chestnut 
sorrel. We moved only up to the bridge today, and had the company 
of Mr. E. T. Payton of the Cheyenne Leader, who remained with us 
until we pulled out Monday morning. 

The distance from Signor's to the site of the Brooks & Carrington 
Ranch was about six miles. Kirk implies that the party camped 
there on the night of July 9 rather than at Signor's which may be 
accounted for by the fact that Signor's was on the north side of the 
Sweetwater River while the wagon road was still on the south. The 

14. 1880 Decennial Census, Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming. A very 
dim notation in the original General Land Office tract book for Sections 7, 
8, 17, and 18, Township 28 North, Range 92 West identifies the location and 
dates O'Neil's applications as May 22 and December 2, 1885. 

15. For a fuller treatment of the Averell-Watson lynching set in its 
historically important context see Smith, Helena H., The War on Powder 
River, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966) 


distance from Taylor's to the Sweetwater Bridge traveled on the 
10th was about nine miles. 

E. T. Payton was a correspondent for the Cheyenne Leader. 
He made a long trip through Wyoming during the summer of 1 892 
writing observations of local affairs which were printed in the 
Leader two or three times a week. He fails to mention meeting the 
Kirk party, but describes Buck Taylor as a former wild west show 

July 11th. we started for the Murphy oil wells, which we reached at 
3 p.m., and found that the Hon. Mike had gone to Lander to attend 
court. We were much disappointed at not being greeted with his 
familiar chuckle, but concluded to while away the time as best we 
could without him listening to the song of the myriads of mosquitoes. 
But Judge Knight and Mr. Dodge had passed us at Lost Soldier and 
they had told him in Lander, and at sunset we were aroused from our 
lethargic ruminations, induced by our first mess of trout, by his hearty 
guffaw, and from that until 10 o'clock at night Ike's gentle murmur 
and Mike's musical titter were heard echoing among the hills and 
along the banks of the Little Popo Agie. The oil wells have often been 
written up by abler pens than mine, but the half has not been told, 
and sight alone can only tell it, so I will only say that thousands of 
barrels of oil are standing there in pools, lakes and old river beds, 
awaiting only transportation, when Mike Murphy and his associates 
can count themselves millionaires. Mike would hear no word of our 
going on next day, and we were not averse to stopping, so that July 
12th. was passed in viewing the sight of spouting oil wells, fishing in 
the Little Popo Agie, taking 'Kodak' visiting with Mike, looking his 
garden oe'r, and also visiting with his nearest neighbor down the river, 
whom we knew sixteen years ago in the western part of the state, 
W. B. Trosper by name, and upon whose ranch Payton locates the 
Murphy oil wells Payton may well be excused though, for mixing 
things a little, as his sight and sense was somewhat eclipsed by asso- 
ciation with Mr. Trosper's handsome daughters. Misses Lucy and 
Edna, and it became for some time quite questionable with us whether 
or not we should have any young men to accompany us any further 
on the trip, even Charley, the cook, being "bad gone" and almost 
declining to go another foot toward the old Yellowstone park. 

Up until the last eight or nine miles before reaching "Murphy's'" 
oil wells, the Kirk party had followed the Rawlins and Fort 
Washakie Road and telegraph line which was built in 1880.^" 
Their route from east of the oil wells to Lander followed down 
Twin Creek to its confluence with the Little Popo Agie and thence 
northerly to Lander while the telegraph line and road turned north 
through hills passing east and north of Lander to Fort Washakie. 

"Murphy's oil wells" are now the Dallas oil field. The drilling 
of the wells was based upon the existence of an oil seep or tar 
spring in which oil found its way to the surface in a spring and 
partially evaporated to form a tar residue. Based upon even earlier 

16. Cheyenne Leader, July 19, 1892 

17. Carbon County Journal. July 3, 1880; October 2. 1880. 


reports by trappers, a successful search was made for this spring by 
Captain B. L. E. Bonneville in 1833. Mineral rights in the land 
were acquired by a group which included Mike Murphy and the 
discovery well was drilled in 1884, finding oil at 300 feet.^'^ Large 
scale production was prevented by the absence of low cost bulk 
transportation facilities and the field remained shut-in until Murphy 
sold out in 1903 to a British company. 

From 1872 to 1876, Mike Murphy was one of the best known 
residents of Rawlins where he was the proprietor of a clothing and 
dry goods store. In 1875 he was elected to the Wyoming Legisla- 
ture from Carbon County, which accounts for Kirk's use of "Hon." 
He sold out his business in 1876 and "rushed" to the gold fields 
in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Although he probably never 
realized the oil millionaire status Kirk predicted, he is said to have 
received $400,000 for his interest in the Dallas field. ^'^ 

Judge Knight was a District Judge at this time. Born in New 
York in 1850, Jesse Knight was an early settler at South Pass City, 
Wyoming where he was postmaster for a time.-'^ He was a 
successful lawyer and was Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme 
Court at the time of his death in 1905. Mr. Dodge almost cer- 
tainly was his court stenographer. 

Kirk appears to have known Trosper previously from the time 
of his residence at Hilliard. 

Payton had visited the Murphy oil wells several weeks earlier 
and the error referred to was contained in his article in the Leader. 

July 13th. Mr. Murphy and Mr. Trosper and his family accompa- 
nied us to Lander, where we went into camp in Mr. Batten's "pasture." 
Murphy and the Trosper young people remained with us until we 
struck camp the 15th. In the afternoon we all went eight miles up the 
Big Popo Agie to see "The Sink" which all who visit Lander should do, 
as it is certainly not only a very curious freak of nature, but as a sight 
for those who delight in the wonderful it will pay more than a thou- 
sand per cent on the cost of taking the trip. 

The Big Popo Agie at this place is not so wide as the Platte at Ft. 
Steele, but I think it flows full as much water, which comes tumbling 
down the side of a mountain at fully a quarter pitch until it strikes 
the rocky side of the mountain, where by sheer force it has cut away a 
great cave in the solid rock, forming in the same a turbulent whirlpool 
in which every drop of the water sinks from sight, going, no one knows 
where, but sinking with such force as to engulf great trees, root and 

18. For a summary of the history of the Dallas Oil Field and technical 
description see: Ptasynski, Harry, Dallas Dome - Derby Dome Area, 
Wyoming Geological Association Guidebook to the Southwest Wind River 
Basin, 1957, pp. 127-131, with bibliography. 

19. Wyoming Tribune, April 10, 1905; Lander Clipper. April 14, 1905; 
April 21, 1905. 

20. Record of appointments of postmasters. Record Group 28, National 
Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 


branch, which, it is supposed, are deposited in some great cave in the 
mountain, as no one has ever observed the exit of any very large drift. 

About one-fourth of a mile down the river again makes its appear- 
ance, and at this place there is an undiscoverable depth of water, 
swarming with trout and other fish; the best fishing, however, is about 
two miles above the whirlpool. Where the river sinks out of sight, 
and from that to the place of its exit, "The Sink" forms a natural 
bridge, and the curious feature of the bridge is, that in crossing, you 
come out upon the same side of the river. It in subterranean depths 
undoubtedly follows on a like course. 

Thursday, July 14, we went again to "The Sink" to take a more 
extended view. In the cave are the names of thousands of sight-seers, 
inscribed in pencil, paint, chalk, and even hewn in the everlasting rock. 
We caught a fine mess of trout on this last trip. 

Kirk's description of this remarkable feature is creditable. The 
Sink is now protected as one of Lander's outstanding attractions 
and visitors are invited to feed huge trout which can be seen in the 
pool where the river emerges from its cavern in an enormous 

Friday, July 15, we went only to Ft. Washakie, where we camped 
near the Hot Springs, remaining there two days waiting the decline of 
water, that we might with safety cross the Wind river, which at this 
point is a very rapid and dangerous stream. Those who claim to be 
acquainted with the routes were of a variety of opinions as to the best 
course to pursue, but after due consideration of the difficulties attend- 
ant upon packing over the Wind river and Shoshone ranges, we decid- 
ed to follow the course as recently marked out, and, after having 
enjoyed the baths for a couple of days, purchased grain and other 
necessaries, seen all we wanted of soldiers and Indians, upon Sunday, 
July 17, and having heard that the water had sufficiently subsided in 
Wind river so that we could safely pass, at 7 o'clock we struck camp 
and rolled out across the Indian reservation, crossing the most beauti- 
ful country that it has ever been my fortune to see in Wyoming, 
dotted with farms, farm-houses and ranches. Arriving at the Wind 
river and safely crossing the same, we went into camp at 3 o'clock 
p.m., tired, weary and hungry. After satisfying our appetites, despite 
mosquitoes, which were very numerous (in fact millions of them), we 
retired early, and passed the night soundly wrapped in the arms of 

Fort Washakie, about 15 miles northwest of Lander, for many 
years had been the outpost of advancing civilization in central 
Wyoming. Manned by the military, it was an agency for the 
Shoshone Indians upon whose reservation it was located. The hot 
springs not far from the Fort, although not really very hot, had a 
voluminous flow and at the time of Kirk's visit were well regarded 
for therapeutic value. Kirk's route from Fort Washakie was gen- 
erally northerly 15 or 18 miles to the place where they forded the 
Wind River. 

Monday morning, July 18, at 7 o'clock a.m., we were all ready and 
pulled out diagonally across the Wind river bottom traveling about 
eight miles before reaching the first bench, then by five different 
steps we were raised to five different mesas, the greater portion of 
which were covered with a magnificent growth of grass and a floral 


display which was very gratifying to the eye. These mesas are very 
fertile, could easily be irrigated and would make the finest farming 
land in America: but for a number of years, perhaps, they must be 
encumbered by the Noble Red Man, as they are yet within the confines 
of the reservation. This was a long day's drive, as we found no water 
fit for cooking purposes until arriving at Spring creek, immediately at 
the foot of Owl Creek mountains, where we had the grandest camp as 
yet on the trip. 

Still following a northerly route, Kirk's party ascended several 
levels of benches to the foot of the Owl Creek Mountains north of 
the Wind River valley. The farmer in Kirk comes out in his 
observations on the potential for irrigation which were fulfilled. 
Most of the route from just north of Lander was across the 
Shoshone Indian Reservation; Kirk was repeating editorial opinion 
that the Indians would eventually be evicted in favor of white 

So far we have been traveling through a country with which many 
of your readers are personally acquainted, and its scenery and most 
points of interest have often been written for publication, and I have 
endeavored in my writing not to be platitudinous. Hereafter I shall 
be more expHcit. 

At 6 o'clock the morning of July 19 we began the ascent of the Owl 
Creek mountains, arriving at the summit at 9 o'clock. We had two 
double teams for about two miles from this point, and with the field- 
glasses we obtained a magnificent view of the reservation clear back 
to Wind river. Much snow is still hanging upon many of the Owl 
Creek and Shoshone ranges, which the morning sun shining upon 
covers with a glare everything to the eye, yet beautiful to behold. A 
fine growth of splendid pine timber is to be seen upon these mountains 
in many places, and in the little parks upon the very top are many 
springs of clear ice-cold water. 

This has been the hardest part of the route so far. We are now 
encamped upon Grass creek, a stream of clear, cold water, fringed for 
miles with a beautiful growth of cottonwood, and one of the tributaries 
of the Big Horn. We saw millions of mammoth crickets on these 

Having crossed the Owl Creek Mountains, the party now was 
faced with crossing the drainages of a number of streams which 
flow east into the Big Horn River. This was done by following a 
zig-zag course upstream, across a divide, downstream to the con- 
fluence with another stream and upstream again repeatedly. Grass 
Creek later achieved fame as an early Wyoming oil field. Kirk, 
however, must have meant North Fork of Owl Creek instead of 
Grass Creek as their camping place on the 19th. infra. 


{Carbon County Journal, Saturday, August 13, 1892) 

Mammoth Hot Springs, National Park. Aug. 1 — Well, here we are 
at last after twenty-five days of travel, most of the time very hard 
travel, too, but relieved by something of interest at every stage of our 


From Fort Washakie to Meeteetse, the Kirk party followed a 
road which eventually would have taken them into Montana. This 
road had probably been in use less than seven years at the time. 
Regular mail service between Fort Washakie and Billings, Mon- 
tana, made postoffices along this road possible. After crossing out 
of the Indian Reservation at the summit of the Owl Creek moun- 
tains, the party descended to and across Owl Creek and then north 
across a divide to the North Fork of Owl Creek. Their camp on 
the night of July 19th probably was close to Embar postoffice 
where Kirk could have mailed the first letter.-^ 

Two and a half miles from camp we came to '21' creek, which we 
followed for ten miles. After leaving '21' creek we crossed a very 
hilly country for five miles to Grass creek and Gooseberry, in the 
valleys of which are a good many fine ranches, the LU ranch being 
the finest, surrounded by great meadows, waving fields of oats, alfalfa 
and other farm crops, the entire valley being a pictured romance of 
farm life. We camped early and spent the afternoon picking goose- 
berries, of which there is an untold quantity. The folks made about 
ten gallons of gooseberry jam. Very fine. 

Making gooseberry jam along the route is an activity seldom 
engaged in by the average Yellowstone tourist! 

Thursday, July 21st., we broke camp early and followed the course 
of Gooseberry creek for about ten miles in a northwesterly direction. 
This is a beautiful little valley, dotted with ranches and diversified 
with groves of very fine timber that look almost as though they had 
been planted by the hand of art; while the mountain sides are covered 
with dense forests of pine, spruce and hemlock, and where the valley 
proper breaks into the hills there is an almost unbroken line of 
terraced, pillared and minerated rocks, rising almost perpendicularly 
in many places to a height of 150 or 200 feet. Turning directly north 
upon leaving Gooseberry valley, we entered a strip of badlands, some 
seven or eight miles wide, in which we secured some fine kodaks of the 
most singular formations that we have yet passed. Emerging from 
these badlands we descended a very steep declivity into the broad and 
beautiful valley of the Grey Bull, a very rapid and beautifully pellucid 
stream, swarming with trout and grayling and grandly fringed with 
Cottonwood, box elder and other kinds of timber, among which I 
observed a number of scyamore and honey locust, the first I've ever 
seen west of the Missouri river. At the bridge, which by the way is a 
very solid and good government structure, we found Wm. McNally, a 
blacksmith who used to work for Mr. Candlish, at whose shop we had 
quite a job of shoeing, wagon repairing, etc., done, of which we stood 
sorely in need, as rough roads and hills had made sad havoc upon the 
outfit. In the Grey Bull valley are fine fields of grain of all kinds, 
and the valley looks like the east, it having been settled and farmed 
for twenty-five years past. Here we bought some fine grain for our 
teams and some fresh home grown vegetables for ourselves. 

21. Much of the route from Rawlins to the Stinkingwater River can be 
traced on General Land Office plats of original cadastral survey which show 
geographic features. 


James Candlish was a pioneer resident of Fort Steele and would 
have been well known to Miller and Startzell as well as Kirk. 
McNally is not found mentioned in the usual references, but 
appears to have been known to the party from former times. 

We passed a very pleasant night on the banks of the Grey Bull, after 
having eaten fish until cloyed, and upon the morn of Friday, July 22, 
rolled out early for Sage Creek, twenty miles distant. From Meeteetse 
postoffice, which is kept by the Widow Wilson, in a fine new log hotel, 
between the mouth of Meeteetse creek and Grey Bull, we passed to the 
northwest over another strip of badland for some seven miles, when 
we descended again into the valley of Meeteetse, up which we travelled 
for some five miles amid the handsomest ranches and grandest grazing 
grounds that it has ever been my fortune to see in Wyoming, not even 
excepting the Wind river reservation. We stopped at the ranches of 
Mr. G. W. Wise and were treated to all the fresh milk we could get 
away with. We also supplied ourselves with a number of pounds of 
good fresh ranch butter. A mile and a half from Wise's ranch we 
came to Arland, a small village having a postoffice, a good hotel, a 
store and an unlimited quantity of the best of coal, the main opening 
to the mine being just 100 paces from the hotel kitchen door. I saw 
more cattle yesterday and today than upon all the rest of the trip, 
belonging principally to the M Bar outfit and Judge Carey. The whole 
country is underlaid with coal and it is of such excellent quality that 
the people burn even the croppings in their cooking stoves. 

Kirk fails to mention that the original name of Meeteetse was 
first "Frank" and then "Franc" for Otto Frank whose cabin was 
about a mile and a half from Meeteetse postoffice. From this 
point, the party left the road leading to the north and veered north- 
westerly. The old Meeteetse postoffice seems to have been three 
or four miles south of where Meeteetse is now and the party crossed 
the hills in the "V" between the Grey Bull and Meeteetse Creek. 
From here their route was northwesterly in a direct line toward 
Cooke City. Wise's ranch was about eight miles west of Meeteetse 
postoffice and Judge Carey was the well known Wyoming pioneer 
lawyer, governor and U. S. Senator, Joseph M. Carey, whose cattle 
operations were widespread throughout the state. 

Saturday, July 23d, we travelled only eighteen miles, arriving at 
Stinking Water bridge at 2 o'clock p.m., and although this stream has 
such an unmusical name, it is the most beautiful and clearest, sweet 
tasting and pure stream I ever beheld, abounding in fish and flowing 
through a grand wide valley. It takes its name from the fact of its 
headwaters flowing through and between mountains of sulphur and 
other minerals which at that point gives the water a peculiar scent. 

The Stinking Water is now the Shoshone River and the place of 
crossing was about where Cody, Wyoming, is now. Kirk is close 
to the truth although the "mountains of sulphur" is an exaggeration. 
There are sulphur hot springs up the stream from Cody and 
numerous deposits of solid sulphur in the rocks along the river 
v/hich had their origins in extinct hot springs. 

"It is getting too dark to write any longer, and the mosquitoes are 

Stimson Photo C oHection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


j*ji m %%, ■% Jtjm 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


The Yellowstone Lake Boat Company was organized in 1889. Headed by E. C. Waters, the 
company operated boats on Yellowstone Lake. 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 



I— I 





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Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


This cone probably is the one referred to in Henry Kirk's article for the Carbon County Journal, 

Saturday, September 17, 1892, in which he said fish could be caught in the lake, dropped into 

the cone and cooked in two minutes. Kirk's article appears in this issue in "Sixty Days to and 

in Yellowstone National Park," edited by Daniel Y. Meschter. 

Stimson Photo Collection 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 



just beginning to get in their work. Will continue tomorrow. Have 
read no mail yet and of the opinion Perry has forgotten instructions. 

The reference to Perry was to Perry L. Smith, the postmaster at 
RawUns. Perry Smith was another Wyoming pioneer senior even 
to I. C. Miller.-^ Evidently it had been arranged for him to forward 
mail to the postoffice at Mammoth Hot Springs. 

Virginia Cascades, National Park, Aug. 3 - Sunday, July 24, was a 
very cold morning, and the whole party wore their wraps all the fore- 
noon, winding around the foot of the northeast spur of the Shoshone 
range, amid dense forests of pine and hemlock, catching the breeze all 
the time from the snowbanks on the peaks. About noon we passed 
between Heart peak and the main range, going in a westerly direction 
along the north side of the spur. At 3 o'clock we arrived at Chap- 
man's ranch, a very handsome place in a vale of about a thousand 
acres, one vast meadow, highly improved and growing most all kinds 
of tame hay. Mr. Chapman is a great cattle and horse raiser, but the 
Wood river horse thieves, of which Jack Bliss was the leader, got away 
with 400 of his finest horses this last spring about twenty head of 
which is all he has thus far been able to recover. At this place we 
hired a guide to go with us as far as Cooke City. We began the 
ascent of Dead Indian hill immediatey upon leaving Chapman's and 
camped after four miles of climbing. It has been quite a hot after- 
noon, and the big black flies are so numerous as to make the teams 
wild. We travelled about twenty-five miles today. 

From the crossing of the Stinking Water, the route was north 
and west up Cottonwood Creek, across a divide and down Skull 
Creek to Pat O'Hara Creek which is probably where the Chapman 
Ranch was located. From here to Cooke City their road led them 
through some of the remotest and most scenic mountain terrain in 
Wyoming. The difficulty of the route from Chapman's to Cooke 
City is clearly shown by the judgement of the party to hire a guide 
for this part of the journey. It is odd that they did not camp at 
Chapman's, but went four miles on. 

Monday, July 25th. \ye were on the way at 7 o'clock, continuing our 
climb of Dead Indian hill, the summit of which we reached at 11:30 
a.m., all the time, until we arrived at the foot again at 3 p.m., traveling 
through scenery that I do believe Switzerland cannot surpass. The 
trail winds along the side of the hill eleven miles in ascent and five 
miles in descent, in many places very steep. For at least two miles 
the road runs along the edge of a canon where the water runs some 
400 or 500 feet immediately beneath. All worked hard until 4 o'clock, 
and we made but thirteen miles progress, camping at Sunlight creek. 
a deep, rocky, rapid stream, the crossing of which we all fear and shall 
feel greatly relieved when it is safely crossed. But I must revert once 
more to Dead Indian hill and its scenery. Six horses were required 
in many places to take up our wagons, and we were seven hours in 
traversing eleven miles of ascent, while on the descent of five miles 

22. For a biography of Perry L. Smith see Meschter, Daniel Y.. "History 
of the Presbyterian Church in Rawlins, Wyoming," Annals of Wxomim;. 
Vol. 38, No. 2 and Vol. 39, No. 1. 


rough lacks [j/c] on both hind wheels were the continuous order; but, 
oh! the scenery. Lofty forests from the beginning, trees so high you 
must take two looks and a squint to see the top of them, and so thick 
one cannot see but a rod or two into them, rocky gorges both to the 
right and left, of interminable depth; clear, gurgling streams of snow 
water crossing the road at frequent intervals; ice cold springs on every 
hand, and the flowers dazzHng to behold, while the rock formations 
assume all manner of grotesque and curious shapes — spires, turrets, 
minarets, terraces, castles, in every direction, while every niche upon 
the mountain sides is filled with nature's own statuary, gorgeous to 
behold. "Kodak" got many good views, so that on the whole we feel 
amply repaid for our toil. 

Tuesday, July 26th. early in the morning, we started to cross Sun- 
light creek, but it was 1 1 o'clock before the last wagon ascended the 
bank upon the opposite side. The crossing is not more than fifty feet 
wide, but is filled with huge boulders, upon which both our baggage 
and mess wagon got fast, and all the men of the party, except myself, 
worked for three and a half hours in the ice cold flood, leaving to 
unhitch from the baggage wagon in mid-stream and draw it out back- 
ward, the water dashing half way up on the wagon and completely 
drenching our beds and spare clothing. Boyd was the only one who 
got a head-and-ears dunking, and at this Mamie fainted dead away 
and his mother went into a fit of hysterics. Finally all got safely 
across, experiencing nothing worse than the delay and ducking, not 
even breaking a rope. Today we only made twelve miles advance, but 
the scenery of yesterday, intensified, has been repeated. Would that I 
had the descriptive ability of Wakeman and the pencil of a Raphael, 
and then I could give you an idea of its loveliness. But all I can say 
must fail to give anything but a faint conception of its beauty and 
grandeur. I must, however, hurry forward, giving ony a synopsis of 
my notes, which are quite complete. 

Wednesday morning, July 27, found us breakfasting in the clouds, 
floating all around us, above us, below us, everywhere; and so misty 
and cold that all our extra clothing was again brought into requisition, 
nor was it relinquished until 10:30 a.m., when we descended into the 
valley of Clark's fork, and the sun burst forth from the clouds of mist 
which had enveloped us and revealed a scene of transcendant beauty, 
of which I may write in the future. This day and the 28th., 29th., 
30th., and 31st. were one continued repetition of what I have been 
attempting to describe, only the scenery at each step becomes more 
beautiful, wild and romantic. Should I attempt to write what I feel, 
I would occupy too much space, so I will skip over to the afternoon 
of the 31st. when at 4 o'clock we came in sight of Terrace mountain, 
upon and at the base of which are the Mammoth Hot Springs of the 
Yellowstone National Park. We camped this time one mile above the 
government post, immediately at the base of the terraces, which in the 
glorious evening light are one glittering, dazzling, gorgeous mass, very 
trying to the eye, but the one great engrossing object of vision, look as 
you will. A description in my next. 

Kirk is not explicit, but it would appear likely that the party 
entered Yellowstone Park from the northeast down Tower Creek 
and across the Yellowstone River to Mammoth Hot Springs. The 
trip from Rawlins to Mammoth had taken 25 days. He does not 
keep his promise of a description of Mammoth Hot Springs in his 
next letter. 



This third letter was delayed in the mails and so was the last one 
published well after the party had arrived back in Rawlins. 

(Carbon County Journal, Saturday, September 17, 1892) 

In camp near the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Aug. 7, 1 892 — 
As I have so much to write, keeping as I do a very extended and 
minute account of our trip, I must ask you and my readers to excuse 
leaping from one place to another, frequently quite distant from each 
other, and some time in the future, when I shall have placed my notes 
in readable shape, I will give you the whole story, should it prove 
worth publishing, and now for this day's record. 

Kirk has passed over the party's activities from August 2 to 6. 
Presumably they would have spent August 1 in camp at Mammoth 
before traveling out into the park. From this and the Virginia 
Cascades dateline on August 3, it is evident that they went south 
from Mammoth past Obsidian Cliff to Norris Geyser Basin and 
then east to Virginia Cascades. From there it was an easy trip to 
the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River and then south up the 
river to Yellowstone Lake in time for the boat excursion on the 7th 
so vividly described in this letter. The text indicates that the 
"Lillah" sailed from at or near the present location of Fishing 
Bridge and landed for lunch at West Thumb where excursionists 
from Old Faithful enroute to Canyon were picked up. As Kirk 
points out, the excursionists had the option of making this part of 
the trip from Old Faithful to Canyon Hotel by either stage or boat. 

Six o'clock a.m. saw our camp astir in busy preparation for a boat 
ride, in the beautiful little steamer "Lillah", 98 feet in length and 18 
feet wide and capable of carrying 200 passengers, commanded and 
partly owned by Comrade A. W. Waters, past department commander 
of Montana. Having already breakfasted (fish, as usual, forming the 
principal constituent element of the repast) the cook proceeded to 
make our provisions as safe as possible against a probably raid of 
bears during our absence, one having had the boldness to come within 
fifty yards of our camp this morning while we were at breakfast, which 
the boys drove away by pelting with tin cans. They would have tried 
to rope him, but for hearkening to the advice and solicitations of their 

Yesterday morning we were entertained by the very pretty and 
pleasing sight of a couple of black tails quietly nipping the tender 
herbage of the park about sixty yards from our camp, while our horses 
were inquisitively sniffing about them, as though they would not like 
to scrape a closer acquaintance. When the bears appeared only about 
three rods from them, aloft went heads and tails and they began such 
a scene of prancing, snorting and capering as it had never fallen in the 
lot of any of us to witness, finally ending in a hasty and ignominious 
retreat of a half mile or more to the further side of the park, where the 
scene was re-enacted, as though the roll were being called to find if 
any had fallen in the momentous but bloodless conflict, and you may 
be assured that only by strong effort and much coaxing could they be 
again induced to go into that part of the park; and all day, (so the 
soldier guard said who had an eye to our belongings while we were 
gone) whenever they thought of it the prancing and snorting was 


renewed. It seems very singular how tame game of all kinds has 
become here since being encircled by the protecting arm of our great 
and glorious Uncle Samuel. 

The women having donned their best, which by the way is magnifi- 
cent, consisting of white wool slouch hats and bloomer dresses with 
divided skirts, arrayed the children in gorgeous attire, the men, with 
overalls turned inside out in order to present the cleanest side, and Ike, 
clothing himself in the wish that he had brought his new hat along 
for the occasion, you should have seen us at 8:30 a.m. — Charley 
Schroeder, the cook, wearing a paper picadilly, turned the second time, 
which he brought along for gala feats in the van — wending our way to 
the "Lillah" which sails every morning at 9 promptly. Upon boarding 
the boat we found ourselves the cynosure of all eyes as being "that 
party of campers, the young ladies of which ride horseback a la 
clothespin" and in the midst of tourists from all parts of the world, 
even China contributing her quota. We, however, stood the inspec- 
tion, remarks and all the rest of it, and had a very enjoyable day, 
landing at 1 1 a.m. at the hotel pier in the southwest extremity of 
Thumb bay, where we ate our noon lunch, spending the remainder of 
our two hours' stay in looking at the geysers, hot springs, paint pots, 
etc., that line the coast northwest from the hotel for a distance of three 
miles or more. There are sixty-six geyser cones and hot springs in 
this basin, so I am informed, the temperature of the water averaging 
190 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon one of these geyser cones which 
extends into the lake some, at an elevation at its top of eight feet, 
formed by the silicious deposit of the intensely hot spring in its centre, 
one can catch one of the multitude of fishes swimming about its base, 
and, without changing his position or removing the the fish from the 
hook, drop him into the vividly green pond, cook him in two minutes, 
and one old fisherman avers if he has provided himself with a little 
salt he can eat him before he is done kicking. However truthful this 
may be I know not, but I do know that in four minutes every particle 
of fish will be cooked off the bones and you will draw upon nothing 
but a fish skeleton. This is called Fisherman's Cove (?) — and of it 
we obtained a very truthful photo. 

The phrase "a la clothespin" is a graphic expression describing 
how the ladies rode astride their horses rather than using sidesad- 
dles which were favored by ladies during the Victorian era. The 
Kirk party must have looked shabby compared to the more elegant 
tourists who were paying their way. 

One o'clock having arrived, and with it the coaches bearing tourists 
from the Upper Geyser basin, who have the choice to make the trip to 
the Canon hotel either by boat or stage, we found upon returning our 
passenger list increased by about twenty-five names, and we promptly 
started upon our return trip, making the entire circuit of the southern 
and eastern shores, passing many beautiful headlands, sailing across 
"The Fingers," cutting the mouth of the Upper Yellowstone, running 
past many islands covered with forests and exquisite verdure; then out 
into the middle of the lake, where we hove to for fifteen minutes, and 
the field glasses were brought into requisition. By their use we caught 
glimpse of the valley of the Yellowstone at the north, while beyond in 
majesty towered the Beartooth range. Equally grand at the east the 
Shoshones arose, and in the southeast was to be seen the distant 
Stinkingwater range, while directly at the south Mt. Sheridan loomed 
in grandeur, and at the southwest the mighty Tetons arose, burying 
their lofty peaks among the clouds. Upon the west was the Conti- 


nental Divide, the grand old Rockies proper, and all of these covered 
with a glittering mass of silvery snow that never disappears. 

On Yellowstone Lake, Kirk was nearly due west of where the 
party had crossed the Stinkingwater River more than two weeks 
earlier. It would be several decades before a road would be driven 
through to the Park across Sylvan Pass from Cody, Wyoming. 

After contemplating this awe inspiring scene, gorgeous beyond de- 
scription in the afternoon sunlight, we resumed our movement and at 
4:15 were landed in safety at the wharf from whence we started, 
having made a trip of seventy mies, being well satisfied with the day's 
study of the mysterious ways and works of nature and nature's god. 

That we were tired goes without saying and, after partaking of a 
supper which would tickle the palate of kingly epicure that the cook 
had the foresight to have prepared, we chatted for a couple of hours 
with some neighborly campers from Helena, Montana, who visited us, 
and upon their departure sought our tents and were soon wrapped in 
the embrace of old Morpheus, sleeping as only tired and contented 
campers can sleep. 


(Carbon County Journal, Saturday, August 20, 1892) 

Mammoth Hot Springs, National Park, August 10 — Wednesday we 
arose early, and after having performed my usual morning ablutions 
and taken a five mile walk from camp, I came into the basin of the 
Upper Geysers, ascended the cone of Old Faithful, and after a brief 
survey of the panorama spread out at my feet, I seated myself on one 
of the dozen or more of the little terraces on the northern side of the 
cone, in plain view of the hundreds of columns and jets of steam aris- 
ing from the geysers and the numerous hot springs of the basin, undis- 
turbed by anything mortal or immortal, save the occasional rumblings 
of Old Faithful's subterranean thunder, which could cause an occa- 
sional trembling of the surrounding formation. I will attempt to give 
something of a word picture of the sight as it appeared to my feeble 
conception. Directly to the north and upon the side of Firehole river, 
after crossing a neat foot bridge, you find Bee Hive geyser about 100 
feet from the river, deriving its name no doubt from the peculiar shape 
of its cone, it being about four feet in height, by three feet in diameter 
at the top and seven feet at the bottom. It has an opening, or crater, 
which is about eighteen inches across, gradually growing smaller till 
the base of the cone is reached, giving it somewhat the appearance of 
a hoze nozzle reversed. Through this the water is shot forth with 
terrible force to the height of 170 to 220, or even 250 feet, and its 
eruptions occur three times a day when it gets one of its streaks of 
regularity. It is, however, quite irregular and frequently plays as often 
as every three hours, when, having apparently exhausted its resources, 
it will remain inactive for a week or more at a time. These extra 
exertions of the Bee Hive generally follow the activity of the Giantess, 
and as she was quiet during our stay we had the pleasure of seeing but 
one exhibition from the Bee Hive and that not so strong as a great 
many, so the soldier guards say. But even this was a great sight, the 
water rising to an estimated height of 190 or 200 feet. Having written 
thus far, but the increased rumblings and a few premonitory spurts 
from Old Faithful I was made aware that its time for activity was 
nearly due, and precisely at 5:15, just as the sun had risen to such a 
height as to fully clear the tops of the surrounding forest trees, and 


flood the basin with mellow morning light, there burst from the cone 
with the rapidity of an arrow a jet of water, 2x6 feet, rising in majesty 
to the height of 150 feet, where it stood apparently motionless, emit- 
ting great clouds of vapor that hung like a shroud around it, while the 
air was filled with strong sulphurous fumes escaping from the ascend- 
ing stream; the earth trembling, subterranean muttering, mumbling and 
thundering, and anon sharp explosions, being the attendant sounds, 
while the spectators, with open eyes and mouths and heads thrown 
back, gazed at this sublime spectacle, which is repeated every sixty- 
three minutes, scarcely ever varying five minutes, day or night, year 
after year, age after age, the grandest exhibition ever beheld by mortal. 
And all of this without money and without price. I had the good 
fortune to witness the same exhibition by full moon, an account of 
which I will give you after the election mudslinging is done; but for 
the present I must ask to be excused from writing any more letters, 
as I am obliged to write till late at night in order to keep my notes up 
to date. 

Kirk passes over the 8th and 9th and on the 1 0th is obviously in 
the Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful. Possibly the Carbon 
County Journal took the Mammoth Hot Springs postmark for a 
dateline. All mail from the Park at this time went through the 
postoffice there. 


{Carbon County Journal, Saturday, September 10, 1892) 

In camp near the headwaters of Bear River, Aug. 23, '92. — Leaving 
the Yellowstone National Park on the 11th. inst., we wended our 
devious way down the Madison river in a southwesterly direction to 
Henry's lake, where, upon the morning of the 14th. we parted com- 
pany with N. E. Heckenlively, he deeming it best to return to Rawlins, 
as he thought he had spent as much time on the trip already as was 
expedient for him to spare from his studies. And by the way, in his 
so suddenly leaving us hangs a bear story, which Charley Schroeder 
is the best hand to relate, and one, too, that he delights in telling. 
Apropos of bear stories, I must relate a little experience in that line 
of my own. 

It is evident here that Kirk's party left the Old Faithful area on 
the 10th and went down the Firehole River, possibly camping that 
night at Madison Junction. They left the park near the present site 
of West Yellowstone, Montana. Henry's Lake is somewhat further 
west in Idaho. Their route from there took them south along the 
eastern edge of Idaho into western Wyoming. 

The afternoon of the 12th., after going into camp, the appetites of 
the whole party still craving trout, I concluded after dinner to go to 
the river about two miles distant and try to catch a mess. At 5 o'clock 
I started out, having a low, meadowy flat for about a mile and a half 
first to cross; then passing through a thick growth of young pine for 
200 yards or so, I came in hearing of the roar of the river. There I 
paused in a little park, fastened my line on the rod and baited my 
hook, and made a rush to pass through (as I supposed) a thin skirting 
of willows along the river's bank. I all at once emerged from the 
willows upon the shore of a beaver bayou, some twenty feet wide, 


and upon the opposite side was a little park, probably about four by 
two rods in dimensions, and in the middle of the park, just as I pushed 
aside the willows and came into view, arose upon her haunches an old 
she bear, having with her two very pretty little cubs perhaps three 
months old, she sitting up and gazing at me and I as intently gazing at 
her, while the cubs all unconscious of an audience, continued their 
gambols. For twenty seconds, perhaps, we thus eyed each other; then 
the old one dropped on all fours, struck her claws into the grass and 
soft earth and threw it in a cloud over her back, and emitted an un- 
earthly waugh! waugh! The cubs scampered away in the bushes be- 
hind her, she giving me an ugly look and an angry growl, as if in 
remonstrance at the disturbance, then slowly stumbling off in pursuit 
of the cubs. 

It is needless to say I was somewhat relieved at seeing that bear's 
tail, as during all the time we studied each other I could feel my hair 
raising my hat until it seemed like I had on the tallest kind of a plug, 
and the sweat breaking through every pore as profusely as though 
laboring in a harvest field. 

Upon her retreat I made myself scarce as soon as possible, going 
through willows and pine and skipping quite nimbly over old fallen 
tree trunks, forgetting till at camp all about fish, and all things else 
except to reach a comparatively safe place, the bear meanwhile being 
as glad, undoubtedly, to be rid of my company as I was of her, she 
having the advantage, however, of not having to listen to the jibes of 
her companions. 

I saw many beautiful places between the national park and this 
place, but the finest of all was the Salt river valley, which we left 
about noon today. This valley was about fifty miles long, extending 
nearly due northwest, by three miles wide on an average, and is settled 
by Mormons. The people have the best and most finely cultivated 
ranches, the best stock and crops I've seen on the trip, and all of this 
has been accomplished in the last nine years. 

The Salt River is along the Wyoming-Idaho line and the valley 
referred to is probably the Star Valley of Wyoming. It was early 
settled by Mormons from Utah and justly deserves Kirk's admira- 
tion. Today it is rich farm land and famous for its dairies. 

Will tell you a whole lot more when I get home, which will be in 
about nine or ten days, I hope. 

H. A. Kirk. 

According to Kirk's time table, the party expected to return to 
Rawlins about September 2. If this prediction proved accurate, 
the return trip took 22 days and the whole trip 57 days including 
10 days in the park. 

The following year Kirk returned to Lander to lecture on the trip 
and to show the pictures he took.-^ Kirk was reported working on 
a book during the following winter, but so far as is known nothing 
came of this effort except the title, "Sixty Days to and in Yellow- 
stone Park".24 

23. Carbon County Journal, September 9, 1893 

24. Carbon County Journal, February 4, 1893 


Wyoming's Frontier Day. Third Annual Celebration, August 
23rd and 24th, 1899. Frontier Day is no longer an experiment. 
Last year's celebration was such an unqualified success, and met 
with such hearty praise on all sides, that the success of future events 
is assured. This year's programme will contain the most popular 
features of former events, and many new ones. The committee 
solicits suggestions and correspondence in the interest of the cele- 
bration. For information address E. W. Stone, Chairman, Chey- 
enne, Wyo. 


Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1 899 

"The Colorado Road." The Colorado & Southern Ry. THIS IS 
TOURIST TIME. "The Colorado Road reaches all of the im- 
portant scenic points in the Rocky Mountains. ****j^g \[jiqs, also 
pass through the "Sportsman's Paradise" where hunting and fishing 
are unsurpassed ****Elegant through trains between Denver and 
Houston ****Denver and Cripple Creek* ***Denver and Fort 
Worth* ***Service and appointments first class in every partic- 
ular* ***For information concerning route, rates of transportation, 
etc., address T. E. Fisher, Gen'l Passenger Agent, The Colorado 
Road, Denver Colorado. Ours is the Only Standard Guage Sleep- 
ing Car Line Between Denver and Cripple Creek. 


Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1 899 

The Wyoming Hereford Association is now gathering its spring 
crop of calves at the Hereford Ranch six miles west of Cheyenne. 
Thus far the owners have had good luck and have had no losses. 
It is stated that this is the largest herd of registered Herefords in 
the country. The entire calf crop for the ensuing three years has 
been sold to John E. Fairwell of Texas. 

Wyoming Industrial Journal, May, 1 899 

^///^r> Might, 
investor's 'Despair 



Robert A. Murray 

On some maps of west-central Wyoming, out at the end of a 
dimly-traced track lies a tiny dot, with the name Miner's Delight 
close by. In an age when backcountry travel has become a sig- 
nificant recreation activity, this is sure to attract some attention. 
The name itself fairly drips with "the dew of promise" to today's 
ghost town buff, as it did to wandering miners and unwary investors 
alike for almost half a century in Wyoming's youth. 

Part of the lure now lies in the physical remains of mining 
settlement with its antiquarian appeal. Surely behind such a name, 
and the cluster of mining structures and shacks it represents there 
must also be some lure for the folklore-seeker, the reader of western 
history, and perhaps for the scholar. We believe all these classes 
of reader may find a closer historical look interesting, since very 
little factual information on this old community appears in print. 
In taking such a look, we found that the facts are on the one hand 
less glamorous than the flights of fancy to which the sight of these 
ruins have carried some writers. On the other hand, the facts we 
have found serve to interrelate the story of Miner's Delight with 
the greater story of the mining-west. They also reveal in some 
detail the normal activity and the ups and downs of a camp that is, 
if anything, pretty typical of the western mining camp. It is a story 
much more filled with the heights of human hope and despair than 
it is with bonanza wealth. The fact that this camp saw three 
unsuccessful periods of development over a period of only forty 
years is a tribute to the "will to believe" common to gold camp 
folk, to the tenacity of the western miner and the gullibility of 
otherwise knowledgeable financiers.^ 

1. The best studies of value to the general reader interested in the mining 
history of the west include: 

Otis Young, Western Mining, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 



The South Pass mining country Hes on the slope at the south- 
eastern end of the Wind River Mountains. Most of the significant 
rock formations are metamorphosed rocks, mostly schists. Miner- 
alization is generally associated with quartz. Over the mining area 
itself, most of the overlying early sedimentary formations were 
stripped away by erosion, and are represented today on the margins 
of the area by the limestone cliffs to the northeast of Beaver Creek. 

Millions of years of erosion cut on down into the metamorphosed 
rocks, exposing, weathering and eroding the mineralized veins. 
The chemical and physical weathering processes freed a great deal 
of the gold in the exposed veins, and carried it downstream to be 
entrapped in streambed irregularities, or left standing in stream 
course changes. By the beginning of the historic period, fairly 
substantial placer deposits accumulated along the streams and 
gulches of the district. 

At the same time, weathering and erosion steadily admitted 
groundwater to fissures in the formations below. This induced 
chemical action that freed a part of the gold from the upper 
portions of the veins. - 

The lure of precious metals formed one of the first inducements 
to exploration in the age of discovery. With the conquest of the 
West Indies, and more significantly with the harvest of accumu- 
lated treasures in Mexico and in Peru, it became for a long period 
the primary reason for many explorations in the New World. The 
mines of Mexico and the Andes continued under Spanish rule to 
pour out their trains of treasure.*^ 

Settlers of the French and English colonies further north soon 
accepted disappointment in their search for mineral wealth, and 
settled down to more routine economic activity. The most sig- 
nificant exception for years was the rediscovery of Indian-worked 
gold placers in the southern Appalachians in 1793. Compared to 
Latin American mines, the initial yield was small. In 1829 a real 
rush occurred and by 1866 the region had poured an estimated 20 


Rodman W. Paul, Mining Frontiers of the Far West, (New York: Holt, 
Rinehart and Winston, 1963). 

William S. Greever, The Bonanza West, (Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1963). 

2. See: Frank C. Armstrong, "Preliminary Report on the Geology of the 
Atlantic City-South Pass Mining District, Wyoming," unpublished manu- 
script, 1948, copy in BLM files, Lander. 

3. One of the best discussions of the lure of gold for Spanish explorers 
will be found in: Stephen Clissfold, The Seven Cities of Cibola, The Early 
Spanish Expeditions to North America. (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 
Inc., 1961). 


million dollars into the nation's currency and commerce.^ More 
significantly, it led to the displacement of the Cherokee and other 
Indians in one of the classic cases between settlers and Indians to 
reach the Supreme Court, along with a memorable clash between 
the Court and the President/'' 

More immediately important to the American West was the 
practical training many Georgians acquired in the prospecting and 
exploitation of placer deposits. Georgians figure prominently in 
most of the landmark discoveries of placer gold in the West. The 
techniques of the western prospector and the placer miner derive 
from a combination of Georgian and Mexican practices.'^ 

The story of gold in the American West begins with the discovery 
of a few flakes of gold in a mill race under construction at Johann 
Sutter's colony of New Helvetia along the Sacramento River in 
January of 1848. Significantly, the discoverer, James W. Marshall, 
and others present including Isaac Humphreys (who did the first 
"panning" there) had some experience in the Appalachian gold 

The detailed story of the exploitation of the California gold 
fields provided sufficient historical accounts to fill a substantial 
library. Most significant to our story here, however, is the fact 
that the California gold rush altered the established pattern of ex- 
ploration and development of the U. S. Frontier. No longer did the 
frontier push steadily ahead in a wave-like sequence of economic 
development of resources. First, a massive wave of emigration 
moved to California. At its peak, about 50,000 persons a year 
took the long and difficult covered wagon trip to the California 
diggings, supplemented by thousands more who made the trip 
by sea. 

The first decade of placer mining in California brought the fusion 
of Appalachian and Mexican work techniques. It also saw the 
end of easily worked placer deposits that could be worked by the 
average individual miner. It brought the beginnings of hard-rock 
gold mining that blended again the Appalachian and Mexican 
practices with an infusion of technical know-how from Britain and 
from northern Europe. 

The California placer mines during the peak years created a 
generation of miners and of other specialists supportive to placer 
mining, and the beginnings of a corps of hard-rock gold miners. 
As opportunities for individual wealth in California diminished 

4. T. A. Rickard, A History of American Mining, (New York: McGraw- 
Hill Book Company, 1932), pp. 18-19. 

5. Grant Foreman, Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civil- 
ized Tribes of Indians, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1932). 

6. An outstanding discussion of the technical history of western mining 
methods will be found in: Otis E. Young, Jr., op. cit. 


with the exhaustion of easily accessible deposits, many of these men 
set out to prospect the mountain and basin country that had been 
skipped over by the rush to California. Most of these prospectors 
and miners radiated out from California. Where they found pay- 
ing placers, or promising ledges, a new gold rush soon started, 
repeating all over again the technical, social and economic phe- 
nomena of the California Gold Rush on a larger or smaller scale 
as dictated by the resources that became available. From 1858 to 
1 890, the mining frontier in the west was not a frontier line in the 
classic sense, but scattered enclaves of mining settlement. The 
most primitive were but clusters of prospectors' shacks along some 
thin-pay placer gulch. The larger ones became complex urban 
outposts, often isolated hundreds of miles from their main supply 

From California, the gold (and silver) seekers moved to the 
Washoe and Comstock of Nevada, to the Front Range country of 
Colorado, to northern California, to Oregon, then to Oro Fino, 
Salmon River and Boise Basin in Idaho, then to Montana, and to 
parts of Utah. 

By the end of the War for Southern Independence in 1865, the 
major placer deposits in all the above locales were being rapidly 
exhausted, and mining moved into the high-capital-requirement 
stage wherever prospects would support it. The placer miners 
moved on. Soon west-central Wyoming came to their attention. 
Here, too the "Georgians" and the "Old Californians" played a key 
role in the discoveries. 


The literature of the mining west is full of tales of early gold 
discoveries, usually predating the California rush. None of these 
finds came to anything, and most are at best preserved as bits of 
folklore passed through so many retellings as to lose all specific 
details. The newspaper Sweetwater Mines, published such an 
account as part of an early history of the district in its March 24, 
1869 issue." It is essentially the same story as appeared in the 
January 14, 1868, issue of the Cheyenne Argus.^ The story has 
been widely reprinted in both historical accounts and geological 
reports. We include it herewith: 

Gold in the Sweetwater district was first discovered in 1842 by a 
Georgian who came here with the American Fur Company for the 
recovery of his health. After remaining a year he started for home, 
intending to organize a company and bring them here to work the 

7. Sweetwater Mines, March 24, 1869, microfilm copy in Western 
Interpretive Services collections. 

8. Cheyenne Argus, January 14, 1868. 


mines. He never reached his home, however, and was supposed to 
have been killed by the Indians. Thirteen years elapsed, when a party 
of forty men arrived here. They prospected the whole length of the 
Sweetwater, found gold everywhere in the river, as well as in all of its 
tributaries, and turned the main stream from its channel 400 yards. 
A small shaft eight feet deep, from which they took from 2 to 10 cents 
worth of gold per pan, was sunk and worked some time. When winter 
approached they abandoned their enterprise to winter at Fort Laramie, 
where they intended to provision themselves for a year and get a 
supply of necessary tools in the spring. This done they started, but 
when two days on their way were overtaken by United States dra- 
goons and brought back to the fort. The leader was sent to prison 
for some imaginary offense and the property of the company con- 

In 1858 the leader returned to this region but did no mining until 
1860, when he and eight others commenced mining on Strawberry 
Gulch. Their rotten sluices, rockers and toms remain there to the 
present day. During 1861, mining was abandoned because men could 
make more money putting up hay and delivering telegraph poles for 
the Overland Stage Company. In the fall of 1861, however, fifty- 
two men had collected at South Pass City ready to commence mining 
in the early spring of 1862. Their locations were selected and pros- 
pects over-promising, when like a thunderbolt the Shoshone Indians 
broke down upon them, robbed them of everything and drove 
them off.'J 

We feel it appropriate to comment on the above quotation. We 
have been involved in research at considerable depth in government 
records, both military and civil, and in traders' materials, emigrant 
diaries and the like. While we can find no evidence to refute these 
early assertions of prospecting in the Sweetwater country, we must 
also state that we have encountered no evidence whatever of a 
confrontation between such a party and the troops operating in the 
region. We believe we have sufficiently researched the military 
records to have encountered documentation of such an incident 
had it occurred. We believe there may be some confusion in the 
account stemming from the fact that in 1855, General William S. 
Harney, then conducting a punitive expedition against the Sioux, 
compelled all the traders of the region to concentrate at Fort 
Laramie where their activities could be more closely supervised 
by the army.^^ 

We have encountered no further nor more detailed data on the 
1860-1862 ventures. It is not at all surprising that the area was 
prospected in a desultory fashion before that date. With many 
Georgians passing through it may seem surprising that the paying 
placers were not developed earlier than they were. It is our opin- 
ion that this is mainly due to the intense publicity of the California 

9. G. C. Coutant, History of Wyoming (v. 1), (Laramie. Wyoming, 
1899), p. 637. 

10. Sioux Expedition letters and orders, 1855-1856, copies in the files of 
Fort Laramie National Historic Site. 


rush, the comparative climate of the two areas, and the fact that 
few of the emigrants except the Georgians had any practical knowl- 
ege of prospecting until they got to California, where they "learned 
the trade." 

As indicated in the above quote, there were competitive attrac- 
tions for workers in the early 1860s. First during the years 1858 
through 1 860 there was a line of stagecoach stations built along the 
old Oregon Trail route. Then in 1860, a set of additional inter- 
spersed stations for the famed Pony Express. In 1861 came the 
building of the Pacific Telegraph. And the next year, in mid-1862, 
the Overland Stage Route was relocated far to the south on the 
famous "Overland Route." Subsequently the telegraph line also 
moved. All these activities provided abundant jobs for men from 
the same footloose labor market that might have otherwise turned 
to prospecting.^^ 

Pioneer Wyoming historian C. G. Coutant lists several more 
1862 parties, giving no documentation for his statements. Coutant 
was a newspaper editor for a time at Lewiston.^^' He may have 
directly interviewed some surviving "old timers" or still more likely 
some men who had "known some old timers", so except where he 
provides documentation, his assertions should be used with some 

Seasoned Montanans, with Colorado and California experience, 
reached the area in 1863, when James Stuart (brother of the 
longer-lived and more famous Granville Stuart) led a party of 
prospectors through the Big Horn Basin, the Wind River country, 
and the Sweetwater country, returning via Fort Bridger, Soda 
Springs, and the Red Rock Valley and Horse Prairie. The Stuart 
party found no diggings that "paid" from their viewpoint.^* 

We should point out that the men of this party, along with the 
seasoned prospectors of the next few years were what General 
Hazen in 1866 termed "fifteen dollar a day men."^^ When dig- 
gings averaged less per man/day, they were not interested and 

1 1 . There are a large number of good accounts of these developmental 
activities. Some of the most useful are: 

Leroy R. Hafen, The Overland Mail, (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Co., 

W. Turrentine Jackson, Wagon Roads West, (Berkeley: University of 
California Press, 1952). 

Robert E. Reigel, The Story of the Western Railroads, (New York, 

12. The Lewiston Gold Miner, copy in the Lander Public Library. 

13. Coutant, op. cit. 

14. James Stuart, in Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, 
V. 1, 1876. 

15. General William B. Hazen, reports on his 1866 tour of inspection to 
Montana, Idaho, and Utah. See Robert A. Murray, 'The Hazen Inspec- 
tions of 1866," Montana, The Magazine of Western History, January, 1968. 


moved on to prospect some new area that promised better pay. 
Some of them, like Jeff Standifer who came in '66 had tried out 
every major gold strike from 1849 on, skimming off the best and 
moving on.'" 

Coutant, citing H. G. Nickerson of Lander (participant in the 
gold rush, and later prominent citizen of Fremont County ) , asserts 
that soldiers who had served on the telegraph line had observed a 
prospector working the gulch near the later Carissa finds and 
washing out his gravel in Willow Creek.'" Nickerson does not 
mention this in his "Early History of Fremont County," reportedly 
written in 1886.'^ 

Coutant goes on to assert that a Lieutenant William H. Brown 
and some of his men prospected on a gulch north of Rock Creek in 
1864, which they named the "Buckeye" in honor of their regiment's 
home state of Ohio. It is evident from Coutant's account that he 
either corresponded with Brown or interviewed him. Coutant 
relates several thin and disconnected incidents that may have come 
to him from Brown, about other prospectors in 1864.''* 

The First Nevada Volunteer Cavalry garrisoned Fort Bridger 
during much of the War period. The Nevada and California 
volunteer units contained large numbers of men with at least some 
experience in prospecting and mining. General Patrick Connor, in 
command of troops along the transcontinental routes, encouraged 
prospecting with a view to attracting more settlers. 

He states in one of his reports for 1863: 

Having reason to believe that the Territory is full of mineral wealth, 
I have instructed commanders of posts and detachments to permit the 
men of their commands to prospect the country in the vicinity of their 
respective post, whenever such course would not interfere with their 
miUtary duties, and to furnish every proper facility for the discovery 
and opening of mines of gold, silver and other minerals. The results 
so far have exceeded my most sanguine expectations.-*^ 

Later the same year, he published a circular in the newpaper 
Union Vedette that says in part: 

. . . for the purpose of opening up the country to a new, hardy, and 
industrious population, deems it important that prospecting for min- 
erals should not only be untrammeled and unrestricted, but fostered by 

16. Standifer appears at many points in The Works of Hubert Howe 
Bancroft, (San Francisco: The History Company, 1890), Vol. 25, covering 
Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, and in newspaper accounts of the period. 

17. Coutant, op. cit. 

18. Herman G. Nickerson, "Early History of Fremont County." Quar- 
terly Bulletin of the Wyoming State Historical Department. Vol. 2, No. I. 
pp. 1-13. 

19. Coutant, op. cit. 

20. Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Vol. 50. Part II, 
pp. 656-657. 


every proper means. In order that such discoveries may be early and 
reliably made, the General announces that miners and prospecting 
parties will receive the fullest protection from the military forces in 
this district, in the pursuit of their avocations, provided, always that 
private rights are not infringed upon. 

. . . The General . . . also directs that every proper facility be extended 
to miners and others in developing the country: and that soldiers of 
the several posts be allowed to prospect for mines, when such course 
shall not interfere with the due and proper performance of their 
military duties.21 

With the end of the war, and the prospective muster out of the 
volunteer troops, many of these miners made plans to stay in the 
regions where they served, rather than go home to the more crowd- 
ed labor markets of the established mining camps. 

Coutant reports that Major Noyes Baldwin of the 1st Nevada 
Volunteer Cavalry at Fort Bridger led a prospecting party of 40 
men to Strawberry Creek, Beaver Creek, and on into the Wind 
River valley in the late summer of 1865.-- 

Major Baldwin and Johnathan F. Skelton at Fort Bridger, 
grubstaked a prospecting party consisting of Johnathan A. James, 
D. C. Moreland, William Jameson, William Burch and W. H. 
Shoemaker. This party gave a signed agreement to Baldwin, dated 
October 31, 1865.^^ They organized as the Lincoln Mining Dis- 
trict upon arrival in the Sweetwater country.-* James sent in a 
written report on March 1 8, 1 866. It is evident that he was follow- 
ing up specific leads gleaned from the tales of earlier prospectors. 
He outlines the geology of the country and then says : 

"I am not yet prepared to give you a definite report concerning the 
Quartz on willow creek. We spent about one month there, but the 
weather was so intensely cold and so much snow, that we did not have 
a chance of thouroly trying any of the ledges that are visable, while 
we were there we burnt and washed out in a horn spoon croppings 
from several of the ledges, but have not found any thing in them yet, 
in fact Major we think most of the leades here are basterd, from their 
striking similarity, to the basterd quartz of Montana and Idaho Camps, 
but that there is one good ledge in that immediate vicinity, we have 
not a doubt, for we have tested those digings that old Cambell had out 
there enough to satisfy us, of that fact . . ."-^ 

James goes on to allude to a ledge discovered in 1865 by Mr. Eddy, 
and to discuss prospects on Rock Creek and Strawberry. 

The pace of prospecting accelerated in 1866, throughout western 

21. Union Vedette, November 20, 1863. 

22. Coutant, op. cit. 

23. Agreement between these parties, on file In the Western History 
Research Center, University of Wyoming Library, Laramie. 

24. On file in Grace R. Hebard Collection, Western History Research 
Center, University of Wyoming Library, Laramie. 

25. Letter, Johnathan James to Noyes Baldwin, March 18, 1866, Hebard 
collection, as above. 


and northwestern Wyoming. "Captain Bludsoe" came down Wind 
River with 45 men. A large party of Idaho and Montana miners 
entered the region from the north, from Bozeman, Montana. 
Jefferson Standifer led this group. He remained prominent in the 
South Pass region for several years. This party prospected the 
front of the Absorokee Range from Montana around the west side 
of the Big Horn Basin. Near Wind River Canyon, they met 
Bludsoe's party and joined them to prospect the Wind River 
country. Part of the Montanans under Robert Bailey turned back 
and prospected the Big Horns in late summer. Standifer and 
Bludsoe and their men prospected on the Sweetwater and in the 
Wind River mountains before breaking up their large prospecting 
parties for the winter. None of these parties were particularly 
satisfied with the results of their season's work.-" 

Still more prospectors returned to the South Pass Country in the 
spring of 1867. Noyes Baldwin returned to the area that year. 
Henry Ridell, Frank Marshall, Harris B. Hubbell and Richard 
Grace formed one of the first parties on the ground. In mid-June 
the prospectors formed the "Shoshonie Mining District". Among 
the first lode claims filed were the "Cariso" and the "King Solo- 
mon". Both became well known and eventually the "Cariso" 
became known as the "Carissa" which name it bears to this day.-' 

News of these discoveries reached Salt Lake City by July 1, 
Omaha by the 12th,-'^ and Chicago by July 13, 1867.-'' This pub- 
licity accelerated the prospecting activity and miners working the 
northern portion of the mineralized area at South Pass organized 
the "California Mining District."'^" 

In September, 1867, the Miner's Delight lode was located along 
with a number of placer claims along the tributaries of Beaver 

The party making the "Cariso" find reportedly got out about 
$1100 in dust and a like amount in "specimen ore" within a short 
time, and sent it to Salt Lake City for provisions. This would have 
been the party bringing the first news of this strike to the Salt 
Lake papers. •^- 

About 150 Sioux and Cheyenne Indians attacked the settlement 
of miners along Willow Creek on July 22, 1867. Many of the 

26. See: Idaho World, August 18, 1866; Montana Post, October 27. 
1866; Owyhee Avalanche, October 27, 1866; Montana Post, March 16, 1867. 

27. H. H. Bancroft, op. cit. also: "Mining Records of the Shoshonie 
District" Carter County Book I, (BLM Oil Shale Project microfilms) 

28. Omaha Herald, July 12, 1867. 

29. Chicago Tribune, July 13, 1867. 

30. Book XVII, Carter County Records, (Oil Shale Project films). 

31. "Letter by a miner at South Pass City, to the Virginia Trespass," 
reprinted in the Sweetwater Mines, April 1, 1868. 

32. See newspaper accounts above. 


miners were ill-prepared and poorly armed, and retreated to the 
trading posts along the trails leading to the mines. •'^"' Soon, how- 
ever, they began to filter back, and by mid-August, there were 
reportedly about 200 men in the region. Perhaps still more arrived 
before winter.-^^ 

The prospectors who wintered there got a taste of isolation and 
of the long winter at the 8000 feet elevation of the mining settle- 
ments. The first venturesome pack train into the area in 1868 
started out on February 23, as early as it dared: 

"A train consisting of three teams and a number of pack animals 
started from Henry's Fork on the 23d, bound for Sweetwater. This 
outfit will get into the mines if it is possible, opening the road, and 
there is little doubt that when once opened — the season now being so 
far advanced — it will be kept open.-^'' 

Newspapers in Salt Lake, Cheyenne, Omaha and Chicago all 
took note of the populap/ interest in the Sweetwater Mines as the 
region became known. (A newspaper called the Sweetwater Mines 
appeared that winter, first publishing at Fort Bridger, but oriented 
toward the building gold rush.^^ Its editor received a letter from 
"Hank Whip" in Salt Lake City, written on March 14, and pub- 
lished it in their March 2 1 edition : 

The city is filled with strangers en route for the Sweetwater mines. 
The western coaches are coming in now loaded down with passengers 
for that destination. Wells, Fargo & Co. will reap a rich harvest from 
the Sweetwater travel this season. Whenever W. F. & Co. stock the 
road between Fort Bridger and South Pass City, and I understand 
they will shortly do so, you may look for an influx of passengers 
whose ijumber will require a dozen daily coaches to accommodate 

On March 11, 1868, the Cheyenne Leader estimated between 
700 and 1000 men were in the mining region.^^ 

Spring of 1868 brought a considerable rush of both prospectors 
and the curious to the mining region. Most of the latter departed 
by mid-summer, when Indian raids much disturbed the country. 
The newspapers and other commentators all make considerable 
point of the short stay and rapid departure of the curiosity seekers, 
the first-time gold seekers, and assorted other opportunists who 
found few attractions here. Specimen ore from the first shallow 

33. Bancroft, op. cit., pp. 731-32. 

34. Ihid., also items in Cheyenne Leader, Omaha Herald, scattered 
through the period, esp. Cheyenne Leader, March 11, 1868. 

35. Frontier Index, March 6, 1868. 

36. Fred B. Rogers interview with Adam Aulbach, reported in pp. 133- 
134. Major Fred B. Rogers, Soldiers of the Overland, (San Francisco: 
Grabhorn Press, 1938). 

37. Sweetwater Mines, March 21, 1868 

38. Cheyenne Leader, March 11, 1868. 


pits and shafts of the best looking claims stirred the imagination of 
experienced miners and not-so-experienced capitalists and much of 
the summer of 1868 appears to have been given over to securing 
the machinery, tools, and reserves of capital with which to explore 
the quartz veins further. The more skilful placer miners during 
this period took out much of the more heavily concentrated placer 

Aside from the activities of the placer miners, the last half of 
1868 and the first half of 1869 seem to have been given over to 
development work on the most promising lode mines, such as the 
Carissa at South Pass City, the King Solomon not far away, and the 
Miner's Delight at Spring Gulch, near the hamlet known as 
Hamilton City. 

The towns of South Pass City and Atlantic City were laid out 
largely on the hopes of real estate speculators based upon the flow 
of persons to the country in that first rush of the spring of 1868. 
A considerable number of buildings were erected in the two major 
towns, but there is good evidence that most of them were never 
occupied, and that a relative handful of businesses held on past 
the mid-summer exodus of 1868!-^'^ 

Through that summer of 1868, developers of the lode mines were 
hurriedly bustling about with their assay reports in hand, mustering 
capital. Most of the serious and experienced miners were eagerly 
awaiting the arrival of mills, for only in quantity milling could they 
obtain a really good reading on production-run ore. The first 
milling appears to have been done in power driven arrastras on 
June 26, 1868.^° Several weeks earlier, Tozier and Eddy had pur- 
chased a six-stamp mill from a Salt Lake firm. This did not get into 
operation until July 20.^^ A number of mills were reported to be 
on the road that summer, but in total there was little production 
from the lode mines. Most production, during this peak year of 
the boom came from the placers, now being worked by a steady 
group of professionals and the more patient of the amateurs. 

( The Union Pacific Railroad pushed into southwestern Wyoming 
inM868, and its demand for ties, for labor and teams for grad- 
ing, for timber and labor for bridge construction created a mar- 
ket that conveniently absorbed many men from the dying South 
Pass gold rush. It appears to have lured many away from marginal 
diggings to the security of long-season, steady construction jobs, 
and the towns of Green River City and Bear River City thronged 
with a level of activity unknown in the gold camps. ) 

39. James Chisholm journal, in Lola M. Homsher, Soidh Pass. IS6S. 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1960), pp. 62-76. 

40. Sweetwater Mines, July 3, 1868 

41. Ibid, also: statement by E. B. Eddy, p. 331, House Executive 
Document #207, 41st Congress, 1st Session, Statistics of Mines and 
Mining . . . Rossiter W. Raymond, ed., (Washington: GPO, 1870). 


Newspaperman James Chisholm found South Pass City a village 
of 50 or 60 inhabitants, on September 12.^- Walking on the next 
day to Atlantic City, he found "about 60 good log cabins, and at 
first sight one would say, here is a considerable settlement. But 
when you descend and pass through the silent city, very few of the 
huts bear any traces of a housewarming. In fact they were all built 
on speculation. I saw at least one family — a mother and a few 
flaxen-haired children, and further on 1 came to a cabin labled 
'Atlantic Hotel' and another near it 'Saloon' . . ." Moving on to 
Miner's Delight, he found some activity on the mine of that name, 
little production, and a modest population, mainly hired hands at 
the mine and placer miners. ^'^ 

The mills arrived in variety and number by the spring of 1869, 
and this gave some impetus to hard-rock mining activity. None 
the less the special territorial census taken by a U. S. Marshall 
revealed but 1517 persons! This in the entire mining region.^"* 

Tozier & Eddy's mill on Hermit Gulch crushed $55,000 worth 
of ore between 20 July 1868 and 1 July 1869.^-^ The Cariboo 
produced about $5000 worth. The Miner's Delight mill reported 
between $60,000 and $70,000. The same professional source com- 
puted a total, including placer mining activity of $155,000 gross 
gold production for the entire district from July 1, 1868 to July 1, 
1869!^" All emphasis at this point seems to have been upon the 
prospects for the district, rather than on production to date. It 
seems noteworthy that the cost of the stampmills in actual opera- 
tion on the road in July of 1869 including transportation and 
installation costs approximately equals the total value of the gold 
produced to that date.^' Clearly a good deal of the wealth from 
placer claims of the major partnerships was being poured into 
improvements on their lode claims, along with all the outside 
capital they could muster. Most promotion of the mines at this 
stage was based on quotes of $30 to $40 or even greater production 
per ton. Assays on the choice deposits of weathered rock close to 
the surface ran in that area and on selected specimens, even higher. 
Both miners and investors at this stage appear to have been filled 
with hope that the values would hold up and the leads increase in 
volume with depth. These are famous beginners' and promoters' 
fallacies in western mining. Even working miners pointed out the 
improbability to Chisholm. 

The fall of 1869 was a "selling" time in the South Pass Gold 

42. Chisholm, in Homsher, op. cit. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Special Territorial Census, quoted by Homsher, op. cit. p. 218 

45. Tozier report in Raymond, cited above under 41. 

46. Raymond, 1870, op. cit. 

47. Ibid. 


country. Records of real estate deeds and bills of sale for com- 
mercial and personal property bear this out. The skilled and 
fortunate sold out their claims at substantial cash prices. Others 
drew in outside capitalists to build the mills and bring the bonanza 
within reach. Other old hands saw the "writing on the wall" and 
sold bar stocks and fixtures at South Pass City for less than the 
apparent cost of freight to get them there a year earlier! The news- 
paper South Pass News sold for less than $2200, building equip- 
ment, stock and fixtures!^'' 

The story at the end of the '69 season might be summed up by 
saying that there were good values coming from shallow shafts in a 
few mines. There was no way to tell how far they would go, and 
some men essentially bet on them. 

The "fifteen dollar a day" prospectors continued to exit from 
the region through 1 869. In our examination of southern Montana 
materials in relation to earlier projects, we find many of the persons 
who prospected the South Pass country reappearing at Bozeman 
and other points used as prospectors' bases in Montana by 1869. 
They continued to drift back to Montana through 1870.^'* Other 
seasoned westerners drifted on to other activities. John "Portugee" 
Phillips apparently made one trip here in 1868, but found tie 
cutting on the railroad and hay and beef contracting with the army 
more profitable.''" 

It is possible to obtain a great deal of detail about population 
and business activity for 1870 from the federal census, taken in 
that year. The total population recorded for the entire district 
is 1166.'^i 

The discovery and promotion group at Miner's Delight sold off 
some of their holdings to secure capital in this period. With these 
infusions of capital, most activity was directed to the installation of 
new machinery for mining and milling, and decreasing volumes of 
ore were actually mined. 

Since much of the actual gold production in this development 
period was in placer gold, it is difficult to obtain precise figures. 
Wells, Fargo & Co. maintained a record of gold shipments from 
their South Pass City station, which has fortunately survived. This 
gives a profile rather than a total, of course, but as a profile we 

48. "Bills of Sale" in BLM Roll #3. Carter County Records. 

49. This is confirmed by the 1870 census schedules for the precincts 
around Bozeman and on the upper Yellowstone which we have examined in 
microfilm at the Montana Historical Society in Helena. See also Topping, 
op. cit. 

50. Robert A. Murray, "The John 'Portugee' Phillips Legends, A Study in 
Wyoming Folklore," in The Army on Powder River. Bellevue. Nebr.: Old 
Army Press, 1969). 

51. U. S. Census schedules, photocopies in Wyoming Archives and 
Historical Department and in Western Interpretive Services collections. 


feel it is important. This set of books reveals a total of just 
$60,000 dollars shipped in 1870, a bit more than $36,000 shipped 
in 1871, and but a trickle thereafter. •"*- It seems quite evident that 
a great deal more in the way of machinery and equipment and 
supplies was going into the country than was coming out in the 
form of gold. This was by no means an uncommon phenomena in 
western mining. 

The most speculative ventures resembled the Carissa, where the 
"English company" 

After being put in possession of the mine, it was ascertained that they 
were not only unable to pay for the mine, but also to work it. They 
had evidently bought it on speculation, hoping their stock could be 
sold on the record of the Cariso. Since that time nothing has been 
done on the mine.^^ 

The better ones in early production tended to put it all back on 
the ground and more, in the form of machinery. 

The trend continued, and in 1877, Dr. F. M. Endlich of the 
U. S. Geological Survey said: 

During the time I visited the districts (July and August), but very 
little work was carried on and few of the mines only could be 

By 1880, the population of the district dropped by still more."^ 
After that date most revivals of activity centered around the 
activities of a sequence of generally unfortunate concerns. These 
mostly fall into a pattern, wherein carefully edited material from 
geological reports on potential and past production were placed in 
the hands of eastern capitalists along with development proposals. 
A company would be formed, substantial sums spent reopening a 
mine or group of mines, building milling equipment, and the like, 
only to have the enterprise collapse when a true appraisal of the 
cost/yield ratio was made. This is clearly the case with the Hub 
Gold Mining Company venture at Miner's Dehght, in 1881 with the 
Clark/Richards/Walsh ventures at the same mine 25 years later, 
with the Snowbird, the infamous Dexter M. & D., and the Timba- 
Bah, and the various desultory reopenings of the Carissa.^*^ The 
one really bright exception to this pattern is the E. T. Fischer placer 

52. Wells, Fargo & Co. shipment books, (1870-1877, South Pass City) 
Originals in the Wyoming Archives and Historical Department, Cheyenne, 
microfilms in Western Interpretive Services collections. 

53. House Executive Document 151, 3d Session, 42nd Congress, 1872- 
1873, p. 306. 

54. F. M. Endlich, (in Hardin) U. S. Geological and Geographical 
Survey of the territories of Idaho and Wyoming, 1877, Government Print- 
ing Office, Washington, D. C, 1879. 

55. U. S. Census schedules, as above, but for 1880 

56. See detailed discussions under the mines involved, below. 


mining operation on Rock Creek 1935-1941, which was carefully 
planned, efficiently managed and brought in a substantial yield in a 
"final sweep" of the often worked gravel deposits.-^" 

In general, each successive boom and failure in the sequence left 
the communities involved a bit more "played out". Each succes- 
sive operation "skimmed the high grade" a bit more. People 
directly interested in gold mining activity steadily turned from 
mining to mines, to mining and capitalists, as any sort of develop- 
ment or maintenance work brought a certain amount of spending 
in the community. 

Evaluation of total significance for a district such as this presents 
a complex set of problems. Using the popular criteria of total 
production places the district very low on the western scale of 
mining camps. The most reliable figures assembled without a view 
J to promotional use indicate Wyoming's total gold production from 
X 1867 to 1955 as $1,925,863.^^ Much of this came from the South 
Pass region. It does not indicate a profitable region, overall. This 
is not much more gross return total, than the average annual net 
profit after taxes of Homestake mine, for example! The rush here 
was brief, with relatively small numbers of persons involved. His- 
torian Tom Nicholas, of Casper, has compiled an index to persons 
known or strongly believed to have been present at the South Pass 
gold rush, or in the early camps. The list is under 2000 names 
total, compiled from newspaper accounts, land records, and all 
other sufficient reminiscent material that we would have to say his 
list covers not just the rush, but a period extending at least as late 
as 1880. Some of these persons were there very briefly. ^^ 

Judging by numbers of people involved, or by total gold produc- 
tion it was, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, "not really much of a 
gold rush, but it was the best we had" in Wyoming! Even the use 
of the most grossly inflated promotors' estimates of total production 
(around $6 million to $7 million) would not change this. We 
should add a further cautionary note, that what we might term the 
"promotional conspiracy" to secure expansion of investment in 
Wyoming's mines extended from the last and least mucker and 
teamster up to the state geologist and the state inspector of mines 
at times. In their official reports and in their contacts with 
promotors, it is evident that they could not bring themselves to say 
anything really bad about even the worst of the South Pass mines. 
In report after report, the tenor is "these would be really good 
mines if someone would only put enough money into them." Ob- 

57. Charles L. Ross and E. D. Gardner, U. S. Bureau of Mines I. C. 
6846. Placer Mining Methods of E. T. Fischer Co., Atlantic City. Wyo.. 1938 

58. U. S. Bureau of Mines, Minerals Yearbook. 1955. (Washington: 
GPO, 1958), p. 1207. 

59. We have interviewed Mr. Nicholas at length, and have examined 
his index and files. He resides at 1315 So. Elm, Casper, Wyoming. 


viously the same might be said for virtually any western excavation, 
and this truth ultimately penetrated to the furthest crevices in the 
halls of mining finance. 

And yet, we feel that so far as the territory and the immediately 
surrounding region are concerned, the significance may be more 
than can be simply measured in net gains and losses. First, the 
gold rush was so timed that it brought a surplus of labor into the 
area in time to facilitate construction of the most expensive and 
difficult stretch of the Union Pacific railroad, and the accompany- 
ing realignment of telegraph lines. Second, virtually all the devel- 
opment money, including the periodic losses of eastern investors, 
poured into the regional economy. Freighters perhaps profited the 
most, followed by the suppliers of food, clothing, miners tools, 
mining equipment. Much of this spending had an impact as far 
away as Salt Lake and Denver. Third, the presence of the mining 
community helped to speed the settlement of the Wind River Valley 
and the development of its early farms, along with providing added 
impetus to the coming of the cattle industry. Fourth, the presence 
of the mines established here stimulated the federal government to 
build Camp Stambaugh here, and Camp Brown, in the Wind River 
Valley. The spending by the federal government in support of 
these two posts and their garrisons probably exceeded the direct 
economic effect of the mines themselves during their most pro- 
ductive years. 

All of this activity was viewed as beneficial by the citizens of the 
territory and of the region, because it improved the cash-flow 
situation of the economy. Nationally, the results were less desir- 
able, but in that time, and in this region, one could have found few 
defenders of the national interest as opposed to prevailing regional 
economic interests. Can we today, either? 


The Miner's Delight complex, as a historic entity includes the 
townsite variously known as Miner's DeUght or Hamilton City, 
the Miner's Delight group of mines, along with placer ground on 
Meadow Gulch, Yankee Gulch, Spring Gulch, and mill sites and 
placer ground on Beaver Creek. 

This component of the South Pass mining region did not produce 
significant discoveries in the very earliest prospecting of the region. 
It first breaks into the news in the summer of 1867. Organized 
that summer as the "California Mining District," under the federal 
mining law of 1866, it quickly became a popular placer mining 
district, as filled with prospectors as the rest of the region.^" 

60. See California Mining District materials in the BLM Oil Shale 
Project microfilms of the Carter County records. 


One such team found the "Miner's DeHght Lode," on a ridge at 
the head of Spring Gulch in September of 1867."^ There is some 
disagreement as to who, precisely, was the first of the group to 
find it. Both Frank McGovern and Johnathan Pugh are credited 
with the find. Pugh, along with George McKay (reportedly first 
involved as a mine superintendent) remained in the country for 
some years, and folklorists seem to have obtained some of their 
data from them. Pence and Homsher credit Pugh with one of the 
discoveries involved, and Major P. A. Gallegher with another. ''- 
Contemporary newspaper accounts say: 

"The ledge was located last September by Frank McGovern and 
others,". The same account says "Major Gallegher bought into the 
claim, ",*'-^ while another newspaper item a few months later says 
"The Major is the principal owner in the 'Miner's Delight' . . .""^ 

Also involved at an early date was Jack Holbrook. At any rate 
it was McGovern, Holbrook, Pugh and Gallegher who set out to 
develop the mine. All of them were involved in a number of other 
individual holdings, partnerships, and activities. We must caution 
that these involvements are so complex that it is unsafe to say 
precisely "where the money was coming from" at any given time.''^' 

Pugh and McGovern for example, filed a claim on April 22, 
1868 "one mile each way up and down Beaver Creek" as a mill 
site.*'^ Gallegher was involved in partnerships throughout the 

The earliest newspaper notice of activity at this end of the South 
Pass Region we have encountered appears in the Sweetwater Mines 
for March 21, 1868: 

Having for the first time today obtained a copy of your spicy and 
enterprising paper, I tiiought I might contribute a letter to it that per 
chance would prove interesting to some of your numerous readers. 1 
find the old California miners of this district are alive to their own 
interests and the interests of the district. Notwithstanding the inclem- 
ency of the season a great deal of prospecting has been done. New 
discoveries are continually being made, both in quartz and in gulch 
diggings. Messrs. Shively, Rice and Chace lately discovered and 
located a very fine ledge called The 'Kearsarge' running parallel 
with it, and supposed to be equally as good. Another lode was dis- 
covered by Mr. Bennett on the 23d of February, but he has not been 

61. Sweetwater Mines, April 1, 1868 

62. Mary Lou Pence and Lola Homsher, Ghost Towns of Wyoming, 
(New York: Hastings House, 1956). 

63. Sweetwater Mines, Wednesday, April 1, 1868 

64. Frontier Index, August 25, 1868. 

65. All of these men are mentioned frequently in the land title and 
partnership and other records in the Carter County Records in the Oil 
Shale Project films. 

66. Water pre-emption in the records of the California Mining District, 
Carter County films. 

67. See above, but also county court records for the 1870s. 


able to do much as yet towards developing it. Enough work, however, 
has been done on it to demonstrate its being as rich, I think as the 
'Miner's Delight' ledge. I have seen $16.50 taken from 22 lbs. of its 
rock, worked by hand mortar process — a very inaccurate method of 
obtaining the full value of the ore. Many new ledges have recently 
been located, but as no work has been done on them I refrain for the 
present speaking about them. I cannot say as much for the placer 
mines as I can for the quartz claims; the latter I think, will beat the 
world. Yet, there are, in my opinion, sufficient placer diggings to 
make times exceedingly lively for a year or two, and furnish material 
to set the quartz ball rolling. And soon the thunder of quartz mills 
will be heard in almost every gulch and ravine throughout this whole 
country, making music sweeter far to miners ears than the softest 
tones of an Aeolian harp.^^ 

The first notice of a town in the area appears three months later, 
in the same paper: 

Hamilton City situated in Spring Gulch in California District is 
growing apace some thirty buildings are up and more in course of 
construction. Spring Gulch is turning out the bright ore in very 
comfortable quantities and more dust can be seen there and in the two 
adjacent gulches, Yankee and Meadow, than in any other locality in 
the Sweetwater country. Ten companies are at work in Spring Gulch, 
two by Comstock and Co., three by McGovern, Holbrook, Owen and 
Co., one each by Chace and Rice, Patton Vose and Co., Fitzpatrick, 
Townsend and Dalton, Smith & Co., and others; and all appear con- 
tent with result of their labors. In answer to our enquiries most of 
them assured us that they could make $100 per diem to each hand if 
they had 250 inches of water to wash with. Before another season 
rolls around, an abundance of water will be brought in when we 
prophesy the yield of gold will astonish all tender-foot-dom.*59 

We feel it is particularly important to note that the summer of 
1 868 saw mostly placer mining activity. It was just impossible to 
develop any sort of mine overnight. An appraisal of not only the 
financial but the logistic considerations will make this clear.. 

Here also are the beginnings of the "if they had" syndrome that 
plagued this camp from beginning to end. The fact remained that 
they did not have 250 inches of water, and had no rational prospect 
of obtaining it at an early date. 

Discoveries throughout the district aroused interest sufficiently 
that there was a great stir about getting mills for processing the 
quartz. They were some time in coming, however, and the asser- 
tions of an early large production of gold from the quartz veins is 
just not supported by fact.''''^ 

68. Letter "J.M.H." California Mining District to Editor March 7, 1868, 
printed in March 21, 1868 Sweetwater Mines. 

69. Sweetwater Mines, July 3, 1868. 

70. The Sweetwater Mines and the Frontier Index both carry quite a 
number of items relating to mills and rumors of mills, and their arrival at 
various points on the road in. 


Using time-tried methods, and working hard while water was 
available, the placer miners took a fairly good yield from the 
Miner's Delight area through the spring of 1868. Some of the 
reports include : 

(May 30) "The California Placer Mining Co.'s claims are turning 
out very well considering the amount of water they have (only about 
10 inches.) They took out $137.50 one day this week, working three 
hands. This result we saw ourselves and can vouch for." .... 

"We saw on Thursday last upwards of $1,200 in gold dust, 
weighed out at the store of J. A. Nye & Co. . . from the placer claims 
in California District; among others we visited were Sheppard & Co's 
claims in Meadow and Yankee gulches. Although these gentlemen 
have but very little water, scarce 15 inches to work with, yet their 
claims are paying remarkably well . . ."^i 

(June 10) "Mr. Owens in from the Miner's Delight Ledge, California 
District, informs us that the miners engaged in Spring Gulch are 
making from one ounce to three ounces per day to the hand, with a 
very limited supply of water . . ."''^ 

(June 17) "Major P. A. Gallegher left us yesterday for Salt Lake 
City, carrying some $15,000 in gold dust, the proceeds of our much 
abused placer claims. This makes over $20,000 shipped this week, 
and yet but few claims have so far opened . . ." 

. . . "From Frank McGovern, Esq., Recorder of California District, we 
gather the following items about placer mining in Spring Gulch. At 
the lower claim with one sluice worked by three men, they took out 
on the 6th inst $96, on the 9th $122, and on the 10th $128. At the 
upper claim, working a 'Tom' with one man shoveling and one tending 
sluice they have averaged. $40 a day, right along. "^ 

Hamilton City acquired its first store early in July of 1868. 
Frank McGovem built and stocked it, "more for the accommoda- 
tion of the miners of that vicinity than with the idea of making 
huge profits on them."^^ 

There may have been some earUer processing in hand mortars, 
one-mule arrastras, and the like, but milling got its real start in the 
region on Friday, June 26, when the "splendid power Arrasta of 
Messrs. Fairfield, Bronson and Marshall," began operations. This 
was evidently a waterpower affair, located somewhere near South 
Pass City.'^ 

There may have been an abortive start at milling in Yankee 
Gulch a bit earlier. A. K. M. Kenaly, E. G. St. Ledger and T. K. 
Poiree owned a four-stamp mill there. "^ It was reported to be a 

71. Sweetwater Mines, May 30, 1868. 

72. Sweetwater Mines, June 10, 1868. 

73. Sweetwater Mines, June 17, 1868. 

74. Sweetwater Mines, July 11, 1868. 

75. Sweetwater Mines, July 3, 1868. 

76. The bills of sale for Carter County contain one covering this mail 
and the transfer from the partnership to Nichols. 


crude affair, and not much used until autumn when D. C. Nichols 
bought it.*^^ 

On June 13, 1868, the Sweetwater Mines reported the purchase 
of a six-stamp mill in Salt Lake City by Tozier and EddyJ*^ In 
due course the mill was shipped to the mines and assembled on 
Willow Creek, near the mouth of Hermit Gulch. "^ This mill was 
powered by an "overshot water wheel of 20 feet diameter and 4 
feet breast."'*" It was a long haul by wagon from the Miner's 
Delight country to this mill, and the results of the first milling of 
Miner's Delight ore none too satisfactory, one writer reporting a 
Hamilton City consensus that "there must be a screw loose in 
Toger's Mill." 

Tozier and Eddy apparently adjusted their operations success- 
fully that summer however, for on September 8, the report reached 
Green River that: 

. . . the little Stamp Mill there cleaned up $14,000 from last week's 
run of 103 tons of ore from the Miner's Delight lead ■'^- 

It seems probable that this was pre-sorted ore, in view of the cost 
of wagon transportation to the mill, and the high yield they 

Despite numerous newspaper reports of Major Gallegher's plans 
for stamp mills for his mines'^'' nothing seems to have materialized 
until fall. 

A mill-run yield of this kind stimulated investment in the district, 
and soon afterward it was reported that: 

Jno. J. Walsh, of Chicago, came out to Sweetwater a short time since, 
examined the mines, located ground on several leads, and at once 
ordered a fifteen stamp quartz mill and a twenty horse power steam 
engine. This is the first steam engine for a mill in the Sweetwater 
Mines. Other enterprising capitalists see the correctness of Mr. 
Walsh's judgement and are about to follow suit in bringing out steam 

Walsh's mill was variously reported as 15 or 20 stamps, and its 
progress reported in the newspapers.'''* On arrival it proved to be 
a ten-stamp mill, put in operation on January 14, 1869. This 
represents the first continuous milling activity in the Miner's 

77. Chisholm, pp. 94-95 in Homsher, op. cit. 

78. Sweetwater Mines, June 13, 1868. 

79. Sweetwater Mines, June 27, 1868. 

80. R. W. Raymond (1870) op. cit. 

81. Chisholm. in Homsher p. 95, op. cit. 

82. Frontier Index, September 8, 1868. 

83. Several items in Sweetwater Mines at various times. 

84. Sweetwater Mines, September 29, 1868. 

85. Frontier Index, November 16, 1868; Sweetwater Mines, Nov. 25, 


Delight area. The first USGS report on the district is based on 
data gathered in the summer of 1869, and this report describes 
the mill: 

The Miner's Delight mill has ten stamps, and is driven by a 40 
horse-power engine, which uses two and one half cords of wood per 
day. The stamps weigh 425 pounds each, and crush from 10 to 12 
tons of ore per 24 hours. They are geared to fall 14 inches, at the 
rate of from 40 to 70 drops per minute; 70 for hard and 40 for 
decomposed quartz. The tailings are very rich in both gold and 

This mill has been running all the time from January 14, 1869 to 
July 5, with the exception of only twenty-five days used for cleaning 
up and repairing. It is owned by Holbrook, McGovern and Walsh. 
Their charges for hauling and crushing a ton of ore are $15. The ore 
worked so far, has averaged about $40 per ton; some of it yielded 
as high as $200, some only $16 per ton. It is estimated that the mill 
has extracted from $60,000 to $70,000 worth of gold from ore taken 
out of the Miner's Delight lode.'^^ 

Newspaper correspondent James Chisholm arrived at Miner's 
Delight on September 13, 1868, after the rush of spring and early 
summer had ended. The casual, curious and dilletante had made 
their departure, and fairly steady placer miners were bringing in 
the greater part of the district's returns. Chisholm's journal, ably 
edited by historian Lola Homsher, gives an intimate picture of 
mining activity and day to day life in the little hamlet. ^^ 

Chisholm describes the community as "A number of log houses 
nestled snugly enough near a field of young trees and bushes." He 
describes the steady habits and daily work of the small number of 
miners in the surrounding gulches. He describes at length their 
"day of rest" on Sunday, featuring cards and an abundance of 
drink. But he contrasts the "quiet life of this mountain camp, and 
the roaring hells of railroad towns which I have but recently 
quitted." Clearly, this village was not the rip-roaring gold rush 
town folklorists have made it out to be. It appears singularly quiet 
in fact."''^ The "bars" at this stage in Miner's Delight seem to have 
been no more than an adjunct to the store (or perhaps two stores). 
There were but four women in the town, only one of whom arrived 
with a shady reputation. This latter, called by the Miners "Candy", 
soon attached herself to the household of Jack Holbrook, of mill 
and mining ventures."" It would appear from the indications in 
the 1870 census that the attachment became substantial, and pos- 
sibly permanent!"*^ 

Chisholm speaks of two miners by day and two by night working 

86. Raymond (1870) op. cit. 

87. Homsher, South Pass, 1868, op. cit. 

88. Chisholm, in Homsher, ibid. 

89. Ibid. 

90. Census Schedule for Hamihon City, June 16, 1870. 


the Spring Gulch placers, and washing out "$25 to the hand per 
day". Major Gallegher worked at the placer diggings himself. In 
anticipation of the coming of the stamp mill, the partners in the 
Miner's Delight began to widen the shaft, turning up new specimens 
of "jewelry ore", with visible free gold. Chisholm notes the differ- 
ences of opinion on the value of this as a portent of mine 
prospects. ''^ 

All told, the picture is one of a relatively quiet camp. The 
shortage of water was a universal complaint, and doubtless a major 
factor in restricting placer mining activity in the period of Chis- 
holm's visit. The Sweetwater Mines says on November 25, 1868, 
"Work is almost entirely suspended in the gulches . . ."^- 

Lode mining activity started to pick up as the mill neared 
completion. Naturally some men found employment in erecting 
the mill buildings, and assembling the machinery. The steam 
power plant created a demand for wood at from $5 to $10 per 

The partnership of Comforth, Allan and Anthony bought the 
northeast 600 feet of Miner's Delight from Gallagher, Pugh and 
Chase for $18,000, and prepared to order another mill early in 
December.^^ This was not an operational reality, however until 
June 25, 1869.»^ 

The availability of the mill brought the mine to a higher state of 
development by early July, 1869, when the USGS personnel 
examined it. Theirs is the first really detailed description of the 
mine, and we quote it in full: 

The discovery shaft is located on the east side of the gulch. It is 
50 feet deep, and was accidentally burnt a short time ago. About 
100 feet southwest of this shaft, a second one has been sunk to a 
depth of a hundred feet, and about 130 feet still furthur on is a third 
shaft, 65 feet deep. Two horse-whims have been constructed to hoist 
ore and water. After the addition of the second whim, it was possible 
to keep the water down; it had troubled the miners very much before, 
and even forced them to stop sometimes. At the bottom of the last 
mentioned shaft a cross cut leads to the lode. Drifts have been started, 
one 20 feet to the southwest, the other 25 feet to the northeast. . . .^^ 

In the same neighborhood, they examined the Bennett Line 
Lode, which had only a 50-foot shaft, and the World-beater Lode, 
". . . so far really innocent of beating the world. . . ."^^ 

Turning to the subject of placer claims, their report: 

91. Chisholm in Homsher, op. cit., p. 142-145. 

92. Sweetwater Mines, November 25, 1868. 

93. Raymond, op. cit. (1870). 

94. Sweetwater Mines, December 5, 1868. 

95. Raymond (1870) op. cit. 

96. Raymond, ibid., p. 335 

97. Raymond, ibid., pp. 336-337. 


Gold has been found in nearly every gulch in the Sweetwater dis- 
trict, but the attention of miners being more prominently directed 
towards prospecting for lodes and quartz mining, gold washing has 
been rather neglected so far. Several gulches, however, as for instance 
Spring Gulch, Cariso Gulch, and several claims on Rock Creek, have 
been and are worked profitably. This gold dust is generally rough 
and not found at any considerable distance from the lodes. Near the 
veins, however, the claims are usually very rich. 

The incHnation of Spring Gulch is only five degrees. McGovern 
& Co. have worked in this gulch for some time. They have taken out 
as much as $200 a day with three hands; but during last summer the 
general drought prevented operations to a great extent and left them 
only a few inches of water. The pay gravel is about three feet thick 
and only a few feet below the surface. The largest nugget taken 
weighed six ounces. 

Yankee Gulch and Meadow Gulch run parallel to the foregoing. 
They are rich in gold, but the lack of water prevents them from being 
worked at present. It is reported that all the above mentioned gulches 
can be supplied with plenty of water by a ditch to be run from 
Beaver Creek. 

The diggings in Willow Gulch prospect in spots as high as six and 
eight cents to the pan; the general average, however, is about $3 per 
day to the hand. 

The claims on Cariso Gulch and Rock Creek have paid well. Some 
gold has been taken from Atlantic, Hermit, and Smith Gulches; but on 
the whole, gulch mining is still in its very infancy in the Sweetwater 
district, and a large field remains open for prospectors. 

The following is a more detailed statement in relation to the pro- 
ductiveness of the different gulch-mining claims, and a list of the mill 
ditches on Rock Creek, above Atlantic City. 

Smith's Gulch, between Atlantic City and Hamilton.- First claim, 
above the road, 3 men wash out 4 ounces 16 pennyweights per week; 
2nd claim, below the road, 3 men wash out 6 ounces per week; 3d 
claim below the road, 6 men wash out 18^^ ounces per week, (a 
nugget worth $34 was found in this claim;) 4th claim, below the road, 
not worked at present; 5th claim, below the road, 2 men wash out 
4 to 5 ounces per week; 6th claim, below the road 2 men wash out $50 
per week; 7th claim, mouth of Atlantic Creek, 4 men wash out 6 
ounces per week. 98 

The 1870 census schedules for Wyoming are quite useful in 
appraising the situation that summer. Hamilton City, as the village 
along Spring Gulch near the Miner's Delight mine was known, had 
but 75 inhabitants at the peak of the season! Fifty-three of these 
were adult men. Of this number 40 were miners, one a plumber, 
two carpenters, one stationery engineer, one laborer, two teamsters, 
accounting for most of the men supposed to be working on the 
mine. Other than these there was one farmer, one grocer, one 
farm laborer, one shoemaker. There was but one "liquor dealer". 
A careful analysis of the housing arrangements and apparent rela- 
tionships of most of the women present makes it apparent that 
the most ancient profession was not represented here!^^ 

98. Raymond, ibid. 

99. U. S. Census of 1870, schedule for Hamihon City. 


Hence the camp hardly meets the usual criteria of a "prosper- 
ous" mining camp. This was its most active year for development 
on the lode mines, too. In less than a year's time, the Miner's 
Delight mine had been pushed from a single 85 foot shaft to one of 
50, one of a hundred and a third of 65 feet, along with considerable 
drifting. 1'^'^ 

We previously intimated that much of what came out in this 
period went back into the ground in the form of machinery and 
labor. By late 1870, things began to tighten up financially. The 
first hint of this came in late spring when the partnership of Frank 
McGovern, John (Jack) Holbrook and Margaret (Mrs. Johnathan) 
Walsh, owners of the ten-stamp mill, sued Gallagher, Pugh and 
their associates for non-payment of an account of $22,500 for 
milling ore. The matter was resolved out of court, the milling 
partnership dropping their suit, in return for a share in future 
proceeds, an adjustment of the charges, and other matters covered 
by an agreement signed on June 15 of that year.^"^ 

Through late 1870 and early 1871, the court records show a 
rash of law suits, liens and other evidences of tightening fiscal 
situations. ^•'- 

The slack appears to have been taken up by the opening of new 
mines. Reporting on the situation for the 1872 edition of the 
Rossiter Raymond reports which described the situation thus : 

Miner's Delight, or Hamilton City, is in a more prosperous condition 
than either of the two last-mentioned camps. In fact, no diminution 
of its population is discernible. 

The old Miners' Delight mill has been idle during the last year for 
most of the time, but at present a force of men are taking quartz from 
the mine, which, it is estimated, will yield $20 per ton. 

The Hartley mine, the west extension of the Miners' Delight, has 
been improved during the past year by the erection of a fine 20-stamp 
mill and hoisting works. A test run was made before the erection 
of the mill of 30 tons, yielding $30 per ton. 

The East End Miners' Delight, consisting of 800 feet, owned by 
R. W. Shawhan, of Tiffin, Ohio, has also been improved by the 
erection of a fine 20-stamp mill and hoisting works, with 6-inch 
cornish pump, all run by one 40-horse-power engine. This mine is 
now in full operation, and shows a quartz vein of from 2 to 5 feet in 
width. The rock yields from $8 to $15 per ton. Cost of mining and 
milling, superintendent's salary included, $6 per ton. 

The gulch mines were vigorously worked during 1872, giving em- 
ployment to about one hundred men, and yielding upon an average $8 
per day to the man. Cost of wood, delivered, $3.50 per cord; miner' 
wages, $4 per day; mechanics, $5 per day. 

The above shows that the amount of development so far is not large, 
yet it must be remembered that this region has had no benefit of 

100. Raymond, op. cit. 

101. Bonds, Agreements and Contracts, BLM Roll #3, Carter County 

102. County Court Docket in BLM Oil Shale Project films. 


working capital, each mine being dependent upon its yield for its sub- 
sequent development.^"'^ 

The year 1870 saw the departure of some of the old placer 
miners, lured away to participate in the expedition from Cheyenne 
to the Montana country. With them went Henry Comstock (of 
Comstock Lode legend) who had spent the period 1868-1870 in 
the Miner's Delight area.^"^ He was probably the community's 
most nationally-known citizen. At this point however, beset by 
"enough debihties for three ordinary men,"^""' he was down on his 
luck. Things did not improve for "Pancake Comstock" in Mon- 
tana, and he committed suicide that year in Bozeman.""' 

The 1874 fiscal year report of the Secretary of the Interior is 
noncommittal and guardedly optimistic at best about the situation 
on the Sweetwater mines. It gave more attention to the new dis- 
coveries on the Clark's Fork in Montana, the latest in a series of 
rushes that steadily drew prospectors away from South Pass.^"'^ 

Mining at Miners Delight became still more clearly marginal by 
1877. Dr. F. M. Endlich of the Hayden surveys headquartered 
that summer at Camp Stambaugh, and made several visits to the 
area. He says: 

"Comparatively little vein-mining is carried on here at present, as 
heretofore the gulches have yielded a good deal of gold. Miner's 
Delight Mine is the only one worked at the present time. The entire 
claim is separated into three divisions, which have received special 

Young America 
This mine forms the eastern extension of the vein. ... A mill with 
20 stamps crushes the ore obtained from this portion of the vein. It 
is said to run about $15 to $20 per ton; but richer ore is expected in 
some new openings. 

Miner's Delight 
The middle portion of the vein has received this name. ... A shaft 
145 feet in depth has been sunk, and some interior developments have 
been made. At the time of my visit, buildings and machinery upon 
the surface had been completed and it was stated that work would 
soon be actively resumed. 

Western Extension 
This is the third portion of the entire vein. It is not worked at present. 
Upon the vein a shaft has been sunk 100 feet in depth. A 20-stamp 

103. House Executive Documents, No. 151, 3d Session 42nd Congress, 

104. See references to Comstock in the Records of the California 
Mining District, ibid.; also: schedule of the 1870 Census for Hamilton City. 

105. T. A. Rickard, op. cit. 

106. Topping, op. cit. 

107. Report of the Secretary of the Interior for 1874. (Washington: 
GPO, 1875). 


mill located on the premises formerly crushed the ore, but now 
lies idle " 

Relative the placers, Endlich comments: 

In the neighborhood of this town numbers of gulches have been and 
are worked. Prominent among them is Spring Gulch. The gravel is 
rather course, loosely cemented, and contains an appreciable quantity 
of coarse gold. It is stated that miners here wash out $6 to $7 per 
day. All the work is carried on, on a comparatively small scale. 
Other placers that have been worked in this vacinity are Meadow, 
Promise, Irish, and Beaver Gulches. Horace Gulch is considered as 
one of great promise. Twin Gulch is supplied with water by a ditch 
several miles in length, and is said to yield good results. 

From the observations which I made while examining this region, 
I am persuaded that a large amount of gold exists in the various 
deposits of drift and dirt. It seems, however, that the washing of small 
quantities, with an insufficient supply of water, prevents the gulches 
from proving generally remunerative. Were it possible to obtain an 
adequate water-supply, and to carry on the work on a large scale 
during the entire length of the open season, I have no doubt that 
placer-mining would here be a paying operation. The gold which we 
find so widely distributed has been carried downward from the more 
elevated regions. It has collected in all such places where we would 
generally expect to find either fluviatile or local glacial drift. So far 
as can be determined, the original places of deposition of the metal 
are to be looked for in the outcrops of auriferous veins. Decomposi- 
tion has set the gold free there, and erosive agents have removed it to 
such localities where it could most conveniently accumulate.!"'^ 

The old mining camps languished and declined steadily for a 
few more years. The 1880 census was taken June 1. On that 
date the population of the community was 45 ! Of these 3 1 were 
men. Nineteen of the men were miners, one an engineer, one a 
painter, one a blacksmith, two were laborers, and two were 
teamsters. Men engaged in work clearly not directly related to 
mining were the inevitable saloonkeeper, one storekeeper, two stage 
drivers, and one stage stock tender. Not a very lively placel''^"'^ 

It was likely a place filled with hopeful rumors, however. For 
on May 7, 1880, there arrived "a mining man" named William 
Clemens, from Utah. Clemens came to make an examination of 
the Miner's Delight property on behalf of Adam Kuhn, an Ogden 
businessmen. Clemens gives a physical description of the property. 
He performed extensive computations upon the underground work- 
ings, and states that 58,400 feet of the mine had been worked. 
Projecting the existing digging to 400 feet, he forecast that an 
additional 261,600 feet were available to that depth. Clemens 
estimated that the gross take to that date from the mine was 

108. F. M. Endlich in Hayden, U. S. Geological and Geographical Survey 
of the Territories of Idaho and Wyoming, 1877 pp. 146-147. 

109. 1880 census schedule, Miner's Delight, Wyoming Territory. 


$400,000, and called attention to estimates of men who had 
worked there, of $500,000 to $600,000. On simple pro rata basis, 
• he concluded that working the mine to the 400 foot level would 
yield a gross product of $1,396,890. 

Clemens suggested to Kuhn that if he were to reopen the mine, 
he favored extending it to the 400 foot level, and then running 
2800 feet of drifts to accomplish this. He forecast a yield of 
over $130,000 from the ore directly thus obtained during de- 
velopment. ^^*^ 

Based on the Clemens report, Adam Kuhn and others in Ogden, 
New York, and Boston bought the Miner's Delight mine. They 
then organized the Hub Gold Mining Company, as a Maine cor- 
poration, with non-assessable stock. They set up a rather intricate 
scheme for controlling stock sales to avoid the stock speculation 
that had plagued many eastern mining investors. Kuhn was 
appointed resident agent and mine superintendent, with offices in 
Ogden. Clemens was hired as "Assistant Superintendent and 
practical manager."^^^ 

Adam Kuhn "owing to sickness" went to Europe for the winter 
of 1880-1881. Clemens procured supplies and tools and early in 
March, 1881, went to Miner's Delight to set up operations. Then 
their troubles started! ^^- 

On pumping out the lower levels of the mine, it was found that 
the workings needed re-timbering. The machinery proved to be in 
worse condition than Clemens had expected. As the situation at 
the mine worsened, Mr. Kuhn took another trip to Europe, while 
the directors sent out representatives to see what was going on.^^^ 

They found still more problems with machinery. They made a 
number of tests on samples of ore, which gave very encouraging 
results. Later events proved that if the test ore was not "salted," 
then it was at least selected from some of the specimen and jewelry 
ore the mine was capable of turning out in small quantities on 
occasion. Based on the reports of these tests, and progress with 
the machinery, they recommended additional work on the mine. 
The company sold more stock, and borrowed money, too. Work 
continued through the winter, and milling of ore started on 
February 5, 1882. The run and cleanup were completed on 
March 15, and the word went out on the 16th that 443 tons of ore 

110. Report of William Clemens on the Miner's Delight Mine, May 12, 
1880, in Report of the Directors of the Hub Gold Mining Companx to the 
Stockholders, Boston, May 1, 1882, pp. 4-6. 

111. Report of the Directors, ibid., p. 1, and pp. 7-10, Directors' State- 

112. Ibid., pp. 10-11. 

113. Ibid., p. 11 


yielded only $4200!^^^ Clemens nevertheless recommended con- 
tinuing the work. The company ordered work stopped imme- 
diately and again sent Mr. Charles Richards to investigate. He 

The whole affair, as demonstrated by sad experience, has been an 
exaggeration of fair weahh into bonanza wealth, an over confidence in 
others' judgements, and too much reHance upon our ore test of last 
summer. These rich specimens, and such specimens occasionally 
come from the mine today, but not so frequently as they did last 
summer. 11"' 

The total work accomplished other than repairing and adding to 
the machinery, was sinking the shaft 58 feet, a winze of 36 feet, 
and extending 684 square feet of drifts. They had expended 
$82,561 over and above the cost of the mine, and had received 
about $4,000 worth of ore as a result. ^^''^ Thus ended the Hub 
fiasco. There is no evidence that they ever reopened operations, 
although Kuhn maintained an interest in the area, and in 1886 
had the property resurveyed and filed on all surrounding aban- 
doned claims himself.^^' 

Other mines in the region had their ups and downs, mostly 
downs, over this same period, but the Miner's Delight group of 
mines saw no new activity until well after the turn of the century. 
Professor Wilbur C. Knight of the University of Wyoming said 
in 1901: 

Since 1877 until recently this district has been anything but prosper- 
ous. Each year some of the mines would work a small force of men, 
but most of them have been continuously idle. Occasionally the spell 
has been broken by some promoter visiting the camps and securing a 
bond on a mine, and in a few cases some money has been spent in 
un-watering and opening up old shafts and drifts, but all of this kind 
of work availed nothing . . .n^ 

It appears that after some litigation following the Hub Mining 
Company affair, the property wound up back in the hands of Kuhn 
and some of his Ogden associates. They engaged Professor E. C. 
Lindeman to examine the property. Lindeman delivered a glowing 
report covering the entire group of holdings, now up to some 136 
acres via Kuhn's locations and relocations of the 1880's.^^^ 

E. C. Bartlett and William Sturgis prepared a development 

114. Ibid., p. 17 

115. Richards report, ibid., p. 20. 

116. Financial statements appended to above report, balance sheets, 
May 1, 1882. 

1 17. Survey plate and claim notices in BLM files. 

118. Wilbur C. Knight, Bulletin #5, Wyoming University School of 
Mines, The Sweetwater Mining District, Fremont County, Wyoming, 
Laramie, 1901 

119. E. C. Lindemann, unpublished report, BLM files. 


proposal for the property,^-" and obtained the support of Senator 
Clarence D. Clark, a Richard C. Adams of Washington, D. C, and 
Edmund J. Wells. They bought the property and organized the 
Miner's Delight Mining Company. ^-^ They solicited the opinion of 
state mine inspector Noah Young, who claimed to have worked in 
the mine in its early days.^^- Young, like many Wyoming mining 
men before and after his time told them just what they wanted to 
hear. His report is perhaps the most flamboyant set of exaggera- 
tions we have examined about the mine, coupled with several 
curiously cautionary passages. ^-'^ 

Wells went out to manage the mining operations. During the 
eight months between April and December of 1907, the firm 
expended over $27,000 directly on the mine. Their balance sheet 
shows that they were handling their books in essentially the same 
fashion as the Hub Company had, i.e., capitalizing the old machin- 
ery and equipment and buildings at a value that probably exceeded 
its market value appreciably.^-^ They mined no ore during 1907, 
but simply got ready to mine. They planned to spend about 
$4,800 in additional equipment and fixtures in the spring of 

The company found that the use of wood for boiler fuel was 
now impracticable, as the cost was up to $6 to $7 per cord. 
Exploring alternative fuels, they found that oil from the newly- 
developed Popo Agie oil fields would be the cheapest boiler fuel. 
Pushing further into this area of the business, it is reported that 
the company purchased oil land, commenced drilling their own 
well. They also studied the potential market for electric power, 
and explored the possibility of developing a sizeable power plant to 
serve the entire mining region. ^-*^ 

We have not been able to determine precisely what happened to 
the Miner's Delight Mining Company, but is is evident they were 
far extended in operations that would have required much develop- 
ment capital. This occurred at a time when the country was in a 
severe depression (1907 panic). In 1914, the state geologist's 
office said: 

"At the other end of the district, is the Old Miner's Delight 

120. E. C. Bartlett and William Sturgis, unpublished report and develop- 
ment proposal, BLM files. 

121. Unpublished report by E. C. Bartlett and William Sturgis, BLM 

122. E. J. Wells, "Report on the Miner's Delight Mine . . ." Nov. 25, 
1907. BLM files. 

123. Noah Young to E. J. Wells, March 23, 1907, quoted in Wells 
report above. 

124. Financial statements api>ended to Wells report. 

125. Cost projections for 1908, accompanying Wells report. 

126. Henry C. Bealer, A Brief Review of the South Pass Gold District, 
Laramie, 1908 


property with a similar record, but idle for years, and now full of 
water, so that no examination can be made."^^^ 

The townsite at Miner's Delight underwent these same cycles of 
decline, redevelopment and abandonment that accompanied the 
fate of the major mines close by. It also served as a base for the 
increasingly marginal placer work in the area. In common with 
the rest of the district, the last real influx of individual placer 
miners to these smaller gulches came in the period of 1932-1936, 
when the lack of job opportunities occasioned by the depression, 
coupled with the rise in gold "prices in 1935 brought many jobless 
persons who could raise some kind of meagre stake to the district. 
Here they lived as squatters in the abandoned cabins, and panned a 
little with available water in season. Most of their occupancy was 
seasonal, and in all, the sort of community a Steinbeck might best 
describe. ^2^ Not only had the gravel in the best locations been 
handled many times since the 1860s, but manpower even at 
depression costs could not effectively handle gravel that in the best 
and biggest gulches yielded around 12 to 20 cents per cubic yard.^-^ 

Careful study of the early geological reports and the Hub Gold 
Mining Company, along with Adam Kuhn's surveys, and the 
reports of E. J. Wells and others of the 1907 period all make it 
possible to secure a fairly coherent picture of the structural 
evolution/decline sequence at Miner's Delight Mine. The whole 
group of mines here sat abandoned from 1882 to 1907, and was 
virtually in ruins when Wells first arrived (see his reports, cited 
above). Consequently, we doubt if any of the mining structures 
themselves date earlier than 1907. 

We believe this to be the case for the most part at the town site, 
with one notable exception. The exception is the so-called "Bryant 
Cabin", building No. C on Pierson's ground plan of the site.^-^*^ 
We now believe that this may be one of the buildings from Camp 
Stambaugh, probably the bakery, blacksmith shop, or carpenter 
shop. These buildings as shown on the Camp Stambaugh ground 
plans all had the right approximate dimensions. The "Bryant 
Cabin" is made of logs-in-panels, using work techniques typical of 
the army buildings of the period. We now know that two other 
Camp Stambaugh structures were for many years located at Min- 
er's Delight. These are the two buildings, much remodeled, on 
Mrs. Obert's property in Lander. By comparison with the Camp 

127. L. W. Trumbull, Atlantic City Gold Mining District, Fremont 
County, State Geologist's Office, Bulletin 7, Series B, Laramie, 1914. 

128. It seems notable that this era appears to have contributed the largest 
number of the "beached" automobiles and related period trash that survives 
in the area today. 

129. Fischer Company Report, op. cit. 

130. Lloyd M. Pierson, "South Pass Historical Area Building Stabiliza- 
tion," unpublished report in BLM files, August 7, 1970 


Stambaugh data, they are the commissary storehouse and the 
quartermaster storehouse. The sale of these buildings at Camp 
Stambaugh came but a month before the known beginnings of 
actual operations on the Hub reopening of the Miner's Delight 
mine.^^^ We believe that storekeeper James Kime, or other parties 
may have bought these three structures and reassembled them at 
Miner's Delight. 

We have carefully checked the Hub Gold Mining Company 
structures against the Stambaugh plans, and do not believe that 
they represent relocations of the Stambaugh buildings, as non^ of 
the dimensions match. It is entirely conceivable, however, that 
logs from some of the Stambaugh structures may have been used in 
some of the Hub Company construction activity here. 

Since the Hub Gold Mining Company's steam power plants used 
wood for fuel, it is entirely possible that many Camp Stambaugh 
structures went through the fireboxes of Hub Company boilers !^-^- 

Over the past few years, the structures and ruins on the Miner's 
Delight townsite have come into federal ownership, administered 
by the Bureau of Land Management. To date, the 1907 remnants 
from the Miner's Delight mine are still in private ownership. In 
either case today's visitors should take care not to deface or damage 
the structures that remain as the sole visible link with a long and 
varied history of mining development in this part of Wyoming's 
back country. 


During the late summer of 1971, the writer's business firm. 
Western Interpretive Services, was privileged to be able to partici- 
pate in long-range planning for the Bureau of Land Management's 
projected South Pass Historic Mining area, a multiple use recrea- 
tion-development. During the course of these studies much new 
historical material on the Miner's Delight community came to light, 
and we felt it was worth presenting here. 

Special thanks are due to Mr. Bob Saunders, of the BLM's 
Cheyenne office, Mr. Frank Pallo and members of his staff at the 
Lander District office, to Mr. Tom Nicholas of Casper, and to my 
own capable assistant, William R. Barnhart of Cheyenne. 

South Pass history holds a number of challenging possibilities 
for the scholar. The old land records in the collections of the 
Western History Research Center at the University of Wyoming in 
Laramie are a particularly important resource. 

131. Camp Stambaugh ground plans from National Archives, copies at 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department and at Western Inter- 
pretive Services. 

132. See Camp Stambaugh notes on sale of buildings. 


FLOUR For Everybody! The Wheatland Roller Mill Co. of 
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tured in the west. Good flour makes good bread. Good bread is 
one of the best agencies to keep man in health and restore health 
to the sick. BOYER'S WHEAT-EN, manufactured by the Wheat- 
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puddings. Ask your Grocer for flour, Wheat-en, corn meal and 
ground food-stuffs manufactured by the Wheatland Roller Mill 
Company. For particulars apply to J. B. Boyer, Manager, Wheat- 
land, Wyo. 


Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1 899 

Prof. Campson F. Scribner, chief of the grassology division of the 
Agricultural Department, who has been visiting the ranges of the 
West this season, says the ranges are badly overstocked and there 
has been a great deterioration of grass upon them. Upon the 
advice of Prof. Scribner, Secretary Wilson, in his next annual 
report, will recommend that the Government cease the policy of 
allowing free grazing and substitute a system of leases. As an 
incentive to leasing, the lessee will be given the preference in pur- 
chase when the land is sold. Secretary Wilson's idea of the leasing 
question was expressed by him in a recent interview in which he 

"The policy of leasing the grazing lands of the West by states 
cannot but operate very beneficially, and would eliminate much of 
the trouble over the range question. Let the title remain in the 
Federal Government by all means, but give the state the use of the 
lands — i.e., the money which would be derived from their rental. 
It would be a dangerous move to give the land itself to the states, 
because before long there would be neither state or government 
land; but if it is simply a question of the State disposing of the 
annual income from rentals, a proper system of expenditures would 
soon become established." 

Wyoming Industrial Journal, September, 1899 

ScoHomic Warfare 
OH tke J^ or t kern Plains 


Tony McGinnis 

A little-discussed area in the study of the American West is the 
warfare between the Indian tribes. Yet, it is difficult to understand 
the Indian or his relations with whites, without recognizing one of 
the primary elements of existence among those tribes — the constant 
intertribal warfare. American Indian nations battled each other, 
not only for economic or protective reasons, but because in their 
societies a man's worth, to a great extent, was measured by his 
courage and daring in combat. 

The case of the Crow, or Absaroka Nation, and its warfare with 
surrounding tribes, which dates well back into the 18th century, 
provides an example of both the peculiarities of Indian fighting 
and its sociological and economic foundations. Of primary im- 
portance in the struggle of the Crows was the land they occupied. 
Its quality and abundance caused it to be the focus of conflicts 
more serious than traditional intertribal raiding parties. The 
position of the Crows for the first three-quarters of the 19th cen- 
tury was one of fighting to maintain their territory. In the end, as 
settlers filled up the last areas of the West, the Crows came very 
near to losing all of their land to the Sioux, who were sometimes 
aided in this endeavor by the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Through 
the years this small tribe managed to hold on to all or most 
of its country against overwhelming odds. The position of the 
Crows seems to have been a rather unique one because of their 
particularly rich land. This territory was encircled by many 
enemies. It is probable that the conquest of the hostile Indians by 
the whites preserved the Crows from annihilation by the other 

In order to understand the wars of the Crows it is first necessary 
to distinguish between their way of fighting and that of conven- 
tional warfare as exemplified by more advanced nations. The Earl 
of Dunraven, an Englishman visiting the West in 1874, gave a good 
general picture of the principles of Indian fighting: 

Judged by our standards, the Indians are as a rule cowards, and we 
suppose therefore that they must be convinced of our superiority in 
courage. Not a bit of it. They look upon our bravery as the height 
of folly, and find us lacking entirely in those great qualities they so 


much admire. We cannot endure the tortures of physical pain or 
starve as they can. Their mode of carrying on war is quite dissimilar 
to ours, and they do not appreciate that desperate, bull-dog courage 
that leads a soldier to struggle to the bitter end against overpowering 
odds; nor do they highly esteem a man who is ready at all times to 
sacrifice his life for the cause. On the contrary they would regard 
such an [sic] one as a fool who had parted with a valuable commod- 
ity, namely his life, without obtaining an adequate return for it. 

Dunraven went on to stress the value of life to the Crows, who had 
to have men to supply food and defend the tribe. Only occasion- 
ally, he said, did they mass great numbers and risk losses in order 
to destroy the enemy. Rather, the tendency was to uphold the 
individual who could bring glory to himself and his people by his 
own actions in the face of the enemy. ^ 

The individual and his accomplishments as a warrior were a very 
important part of tribal life. The Crow chief. Plenty-coups, and 
Zenas Leonard, a fur trader who was often among the Crows, 
both emphasized the molding of the young boy into his hfe as a 
warrior. The greater part of his interest in growing up was the 
continual rivalry involved in his preparation for a life of confront- 
ing skilled adversaries. - 

The Crows, although a small tribe, were of warlike character. 
James Beckwourth, the mountain man who lived among them for 
years, noted that the excitement of war was the temperament that 
best suited them."* Captain Benjamin Bonneville was the leader 
of a combined expedition to the west in the 1830s, both for trading 
and gaining military information. He gave a description of the 
Crows that exemplified the usual observations of the time, finding 
them generally a savage and violent tribe. ^ 

Despite this aggressive nature, there is evidence of a tendency 
on the part of the tribe to maintain a defensive position and try to 
avoid large-scale battles that proved costly to the all-important 
supply of men. In 1805, the Canadian fur trader, Francois 

1. The Earl of Dunraven, The Great Divide: Travels in the Upper 
Yellowstone in the Summer of 1874 (second edition; revised; London: 
Chatto and Windus, 1876), pp. 110-112. 

2. Frank B. Linderman, Plenty-coups, Chief of the Crows (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1962; 1930), pp. 8-9 and John C. Ewers (ed.). 
Adventures of Zenas Leonard, Fur Trader (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1959), pp. 142-143. 

3. Charles G. Leland (ed.). The Life and Adventures of James P. Beck- 
wourth, Mountaineer, Scout, Pioneer and Chief of the Crow Nation; Written 
from His Dictation by T. D. Bonner (New York: MacMillan & Company, 
1892), p. 256. 

4. Washington Irving, The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., 
edited by Edgeley W. Todd (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1961), p. 33. 


Larocque, wrote that the Crows seldom went to war, but when 
they did fight, they stayed mostly on the defensive.'' Dunraven 
found the tribe not usually prone to fighting wars." Edwin Denig, 
a western trader who wrote an excellent study of the Crows in the 
1850s, maintained that it was always the other tribe, not the 
Absaroka, that broke peace agreements.'^ 

Evidently the Crow warriors held some repute as skilled and 
courageous combatants. The Jesuit missionary. Father Pierre 
De Smet, observed that the tribe was "considered as the most 
warlike and valient [5/c]."^ Although a basic policy of defense 
was maintained, small war parties were dispatched; in the early 
part of the 1800s the nation was said to be the only one daring 
enough to go north to attack the Blackfoot Tribe. Beckwourth, 
although most of his praise was directed toward himself, found the 
Crows to be good individual fighters. Particularly was this true 
on horseback where they were the most expert of all the tribes. 
On horses, Beckwourth claimed, they were more than a match for 
any other Plains warriors." 

One of the primary reasons underlying the continuous hostilities 
between the Crows and other tribes was the importance of horses. 
The nomadic Indians of the Great Plains depended greatly upon 
the horse for use in hunting, transportation, and war. In short, 
horses constituted a major part of the wealth of these tribes. 

An important pastime of the Crows, as with the other tribes of 
their area, was horse stealing. In 1853 Indian Agent Alfred 
Vaughan described it as their principal object in life and something 
for which any risk was taken. ^"^ The Crows were notorious as 
skilled horse thieves. Denig, in 1856, described horse stealing as 
a principal cause for "continued war." There were constant raids 
in which lives were lost, revenge fulfilled, and horses shifted from 
tribe to tribe. ^^ Stealing horses, then, seems to have been an 
economic cause for war, as well as a test of skill and courage. 

The feelings expressed by Beckwourth on the Crow horseman- 
ship were echoed by many observers. Larocque found that they 

5. L. J. Burpee (ed.), Journal of Larocque, From the Assiniboine to the 
Yellowstone, 1805. Publication of the Canadian Archives No. 3 (Ottawa: 
Government Printing Bureau, 1910), p. 65. 

6. Dunraven, op. cit., p. 111. 

7. Edwin Thompson Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, 
edited by John C. Ewers (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961). 
p. 152. 

8. Hiram Martin Chittenden and Alfred Talbot Richardson (eds.). Life. 
Letters and Travels of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S. J. 1801-1873. Ill 
(New York: Francis P. Harper, 1905), p. 1035. 

9. Leland, op. cit., pp. 147-148. 

10. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 1853. Sen. Ex. Doc. 
1, Part I, 33 Cong., 1 Sess. (Series 690), p. 355. 

11. Denig, op. cit., pp. 144-145. 


could perform any feat on horseback, having been trained from 
early childhood in that endeavor.^- Bonneville stated that they 
were the best horsemen of all the tribes. ^•'' It is evident that the 
Crows' expert use of the horse helped them to compete for years 
against enemy tribes that outnumbered them. 

It is important to remember the struggles of the Crows as a way 
of life. The economic overtones of the Crows' wars were of 
primary importance, but the cultural aspect of the fighting must 
not be ignored. Glorifying conflict with the enemy was not only 
an integral part of manhood, it was also a challenging athletic 
endeavor. In short, warfare was bred into the Crow character by 
a long history of social tradition, as was the case of most prim- 
itive Indian tribes. 

The territory around the upper portion of the Yellowstone River 
was always alluded to by travelers and observers as the "Crow 
country." By the very fact of its being referred to so often, it 
gains a distinction in the reader's mind. This land inhabited by the 
Crows, because of its location and wealth in game and other 
necessities for existence, was much coveted by the surrounding 
tribes. From the description attributed to the Crow Chief 
Arapooish during the 1830s, one can understand why these people 
were determined to hold on to their land. He pointed out that the 
Crow country was ideally situated and that when one left it, no 
matter in what direction, some benefits of the land were lost, 
whether they were game, water, or climate. The territory of the 
Crows combined both the advantages of the mountains and the 
plains. ^^ 

The boundaries of an area inhabited by a nomadic people are 
difficult to determine precisely, but general hmits can be estab- 
lished. Denig attributed a large territory to the Crows. 

The country usually inhabited by them is through the Rocky Moun- 
tains, along the heads of Powder River, Wind River, and Big Horn, 
on the south side of the Yellowstone, as far as Laramie's Fork on the 
River Platte. They also are frequently found on the west and north 
side of that river as far as the head of the Muscleshell River and as 
far down as the mouth of the Yellowstone.! 5 

In 1826, General Henry Atkinson and, in 1840, Father De Smet, 
both found the Crow district to include the present Black Hills of 
South Dakota.^'' Although the tribe roamed over this vast region, 

12. Burpee, op. cit., pp. 64-65. 

13. Irving, op. cit., p. 34. 

14. Ibid., pp. 164-165. 

15. Denig, op. cit., p. 139. 

16. Letter from the Secretary of War Respecting the Movements of the 
Expedition Which Lately Ascended the Missouri River, 1826. House 
Doc. 117, 19 Cong., 1 Sess., p. 11; and Chittenden, op. cit., I, pp. 238-239. 


the central part of its land seems to have been the area centering 
on the river basins of the Yellowstone, Powder, Big Horn, Tongue 
and Rosebud Rivers. Perhaps more specifically the Big Horn 
River area was the heart of the region; according to the legend of 
creation, the valley of the Big Horn was especially set aside for the 
Crows by the Great Spirit. 

The richness of the Crow lands was confirmed and reiterated by 
travelers from the early 1800s through the 1870s. As early as 
1805, Canadian fur traders of the Northwest Company were 
excited about them for possible fur trapping, when they heard 
"that beavers were numerous in their rivers as buffaloes and other 
large animals were in their plains or meadows. . . ."^^ William 
Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was told by Missouri 
River Indians about the Big Horn River area, which was said to 
abound in buffalo, elk, deer and antelope.^'* In 1856 Indian Agent 
Alfred Vaughan gave the Crow country high praise in describing 
the great abundance of different types of game, wild fruit and 
vegetables, good grass, water, and wood. Significantly, he went 
on to say that, "no country I have yet examined seems to me more 
adapted to the wild Indian than this."''* Captain James Stuart, in 
his Yellowstone expedition of 1863, was astonished at the abun- 
dance of game, and noted, "No wonder the Crows like their 
country; it is a perfect paradise for a hunter."-'' As late as the 
1870s, when white buffalo-hunters were scouring the plains for 
those beasts, there were references to the abundance of game in 
the Crow land. 

This great wealth of the land they inhabited set the stage for the 
"fate" of the Crows. They were to fight continuously to control it 
for more than 70 years of the 19th century. In addition to 
this period of war, the Crows spoke of many years of conflict 
previous to the coming of the white man. 

Father De Smet found the Indians of the Upper Missouri to be 
quite violent compared to other tribes, and involved in constant 
warfare among themselves.-' Due to the ambiguous nature of 
Indian warfare, one cannot trace the Crows' exact positions of 

17. Charles MacKenzie, "The Mississouri Isic^ Indians, Narrative of 
Four Trading Expeditions to the Mississouri, 1804-1805-1806," in L. R. 
Masson's Les Bourgeois de la Cornpagne dit Norde-ouest I (New York: 
Antiquarian Press Ltd., 1960), p. 341. 

18. Reuben Gold Thwaites (ed.). Original Journals of the Lewis and 
Clark Expedition 1804-1806, V, (New York: Dodd. Mead & Company. 
1904), p. 297. 

19. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1856. House Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part I, 34 Cong., 3 Sess. (Serial 893), p. 633. 

20. "The Yellowstone Expedition of 1863," CHSM I (Helena: Inde- 
pendent Publishing Company, 1876), pp. 156-157. 

21. Chittenden, op. cit., II, p. 628. 


conflict and neutrality with other peoples. There were certain 
tribes with which the Crows were always in conflict. With others, 
warfare and peace were constantly changing variables. Neverthe- 
less the Crows were at war with a great many different tribes, some 
of whom outnumbered them considerably. Geographically, the 
tribe was effectively surrounded by aggressors. According to their 
legend of the creation, the Crows were placed, by the Great Spirit, 
"in the midst of their enemies, because their hearts were strong. "-- 

The following list of tribes, who fought against the Crows at one 
time or another, gives an idea of the magnitude of the forces facing 
the latter: the Arikara; the Nez Perces; the Cree; the Bannocks; 
the Blackfeet, who also included the Piegan and the Bloods; the 
Shoshoni; the Flatheads; the Assiniboin; the Gros Ventres of the 
Prairies; the Sioux; the Northern Cheyenne; and the Arapaho. 
Even the distant Pawnee were raided on occasion. This list does 
not presuppose that the Crows were constantly fighting all of these 
tribes. On the contrary, some tribes were engaged more than 
others because of their proximity, or the traditional hostility or 
hatred felt toward them. In addition, there were often peace 
agreements and even trading with potential enemies. 

Two groups of opponents, which most often fought the Crows 
and were substantial threats to their sovereignty, were of most 
importance. To the north and west were the Blackfeet, joined by 
the Bloods and the Piegan. To the south and east were the Sioux, 
aided by the Cheyenne and the Arapaho.-"^ De Smet maintained 
that each of these tribes, along with the Assiniboin and Cree, were 
continually invading Crow country. Each nation outnumbered the 
Crows, so that, as the Jesuit said in 1854, their manpower had been 
greatly diminished in the past ten years. -^ The Fort Laramie 
Treaty of 1851, in certain instances, effected some manner of 
peace among the Indians of the Upper Missouri. However, the 
Blackfeet and the Sioux continued to fight, primarily, it seems, 
against the Crows. 

Before the middle of the 1 800s, when the Sioux came to be the 
major threat to the Crows, the Blackfeet were the latter's unre- 
lenting antagonists. The war between the two tribes was a heredi- 
tary and bloody conflict, to which fuel was continually added by 
periodic excursions against one another and consequent desires for 
revenge. In 1856, Denig described the Crow feeling toward the 
Blackfeet in the following manner: ". . . the Crows are solicitous 
for peace with all tribes except the Blackfeet, with whom they wish 
to be at war as long as one of them remains."^^ As late as the 

22. "Bradley Manuscript, Book F," CHSM VIII, p. 211. 

23. Denig, op. cit., p. 144. 

24. ChiUenden, op. cit., Ill, pp. 1036-1037. 

25. Denig, op. cit., p. 195. 


1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, when the Crows and Blackfeet were on 
reservations and supposedly at peace, there were still incidents of 
hostilities between them. 

While mentioning the Sioux as enemies of the Crow Nation, one 
must also include the Northern Cheyenne and the Arapaho, who 
ultimately joined the Sioux in dispossessing the Crows of much of 
their land. As early as 1804 William Clark reported that the 
Absaroka fought against both the Sioux and the Cheyenne.-^' In 
1 822 the same two tribes were apparently responsible for an attack 
on a Crow village, in which the latter sustained a considerable 
loss — one from which the tribe never recovered.-^ With the 1 850s 
came a steady increase in Sioux encroachment on Crow territory. 
Then, in the 1860s and 1870s this situation was magnified, because 
the Sioux were being pushed westward by the movement of white 
settlers into the West; therefore they ran into the Crows. The 
Sioux, as a permanent force, were latecomers to the Upper Mis- 
souri's intertribal conflict over buffalo. Although the Crows had 
fought the Sioux for years, the truly decisive battle with that tribe 
did not begin until after the mid-nineteenth century. 

From around 1860 to almost 1880, were trying years for the 
Crows as they fought desperately against the incoming hordes of 
Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The numerical superiority of the 
Sioux alone was overwhelming. John Finerty, a war correspondent 
for the Chicago Times, in 1876 estimated the number of Sioux 
warriors at 5000. Although his complete accuracy may be doubt- 
ful, he went on to state that the Sioux, combined with the Chey- 
enne, "were more than a match for all the other tribes com- 
bined. . . ."-^ At this time the Crow population was 3300, being 
able to field 900 warriors. ^^ 

It is easy to see why Thomas Leforge, a man who lived a good 
part of his life with the Crows, recalled that "a coup counted upon, 
or a scalp taken from, a Sioux or a Cheyenne conferred the highest 
credit upon the victorious warrior. "-^'^ Plenty-coups maintained 

26. Thwaites, op. cit.. I, pp. 130, 189. 

27. "Journal of James H. Bradley, 1876," CHSM II (Helena: State 
Publishing Company, 1896), p. 179. The number of Crows killed in the 
battle was given to Bradley as 5000. Although this figure is completely 
unrealistic, that the tribe did suffer a significant loss is reasonable, as the 
story was mentioned by other Crows. 

28. John F. Finerty, War-Path and Bivouac (Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1961; 1890), p. 13. 

29. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1879. House Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part V, 46 Cong., 2 Sess. (Serial 1910), p. 198. 

30. Marquis (ed.). White Crow, p. 43; Robert H. Lowie, The Crow 
Indians (New York: Rinehart and Company, Inc., 1935), p. 216: defines 
coup as, "The touching of an enemy — whether he was hurt or not . . ." 
This is the narrow definition of the term. It was sometimes used in general 
to refer to feats in battle. 


that the bravest of the Crows' enemies were the Striped-feathered- 
arrows, or Cheyenne, with the Flatheads being second.^^ Finerty 
found the Crows reinforcing General Crook's campaign of 1876, to 
have "a wholesome respect for Sioux prowess. "^^ 

As has been noted, the Crows, particularly in later years, seemed 
to maintain a defensive posture in regard to the costly, revengeful 
wars of attrition. Although the Absaroka Nation was warlike in 
character, often taking the offensive, this seemed to manifest itself 
primarily in small raiding parties. Any large battles were usually 
fought in the tribe's own territory, after it was invaded. Due to 
their small numbers, the Crows could not afford many large-scale 
forays into enemy country. 

This defensive policy appears evident for some years before the 
final onslaught of the Sioux. The Lewis and Clark Journals noted 
that the tribe was engaged in "a defensive war with the Sioux, and 
Assiniboins, and the Ricares."^^ In 1805 Francois Larocque 
wrote : 

The fear of some of their neighbors with whom they are at war 
compels them to that [living together], as collectively they can repulse 
a greater party of their enemies, than when divided into small bands; 
though at such seasons [sic] as they are not liable to be attacked, 
they part for a short while.34 

Most of the Indian tribes of the Upper Missouri relied solely on 
hunting, primarily buffalo, for their livelihood. While in search 
of the buffalo, encroachment on territory claimed by others was 
quite common. In 1849 Father De Smet referred to these incur- 
sions as common to all the tribes, including the Crows, and the 
cause of endless and bloody warfare that was gradually diminishing 
the different peoples. ^^ Zenas Leonard, in 1834, wrote in the 
same vein, referring to the scarcity of game in different areas 
causing the movement of tribes, which led to strife among them. 
John Ewers, the editor of Leonard's Journal, went on to note that 
the Crows were in the greatest danger because of their position 
between the Blackfeet on the north and the Sioux on the east.^^ 
Captain Bonneville wrote of the Crow country as the best buffalo 
country in the world, and that the Crow Nation was often in confUct 
with the Pawnee, Arikara, Arapaho, and Blackfeet, while trying 
to defend it.^" Lieutenant James Bradley stated that the Crows 
seldom left their own land, but waited there in order to attack 

31. Linderman, op. cit., p. 50. 

32. Finerty, op. cit., p. 82. 

33. Thwaites, op. cit., VI, p. 103. 

34. Burpee, op. cit., p. 56. 

35. Chittenden, op. cit.. Ill, pp. 1188-1189. 

36. Ewers, op. cit., p. 139. 

37. Irving, op. cit., pp. 383-384. 


invaders.-^** Indeed, the Crow country seems to have been most 
often the battlefield of these warring peoples. 

The 1850s heralded more enemy movement into Crow land and 
an ever increasing conflict over hunting grounds. De Smet spoke 
of "continual excursions" of Sioux, Assiniboin, and Blackfoot war 
parties throughout the territory. -^^ In 1885 Agent Vaughan re- 
ported the failure to deliver government annuity goods to the 
Crows due to the encroachments of Sioux war parties.^" One can 
see that the Crows greatly feared the power of the Sioux. Con- 
temporary with Vaughan's statement, however, James Chambers, 
a trader at Fort Sarpy, observed that, although the Crows feared the 
Sioux, they were still foolish enough to venture out in raids against 
this hostile foe.^^ 

The Absaroka Nation, existing in a state of continuous warfare, 
was in danger of annihilation at an early date, even before the great 
wars with the Sioux in the 1860s and 1870s. Already, in 1832, 
the artist George Catlin told of the Crows being "cut to pieces" 
by the Blackfeet and Sioux and "their former great strength de- 
stroyed."^- Also in the 1830s, Captain Bonneville numbered the 
warriors at about 1500, but added that the wars with the Black- 
feet were gradually taking their toll.^'^ Edwin Denig, around 
the middle of the century, gave the most pessimistic forecast — that 
the Crows would eventually become extinct from war and disease: 

Situated as they now are, the Crows cannot exist as a nation. Without 
adequate supplies of arms and ammunition, warred against by the 
Blackfeet on one side and most bands of Sioux on the other, straying 
along the Platte trail where they contract rapid and deadly diseases, 
together with the unnatural customs of destroying their offspring, will 
soon lead to their entire extinction. Or if a few remain they will 
become robbers and freebooters on any and all persons passing through 
the solitary regions of the Rocky Mountains. 

The editor of Denig's work, John Ewers, appended this statement, 
noting that he had talked to some Blood and Piegan Indians in the 
1940s who maintained that the Crows would have been wiped out 
by the Blackfeet and the Sioux if the United States Government 
had not ended intertribal warfare. ^^ 

By the 1860s the tribes of the Upper Missouri were settled on 

38. "Bradley Manuscript, Book 2," CHSM, VIII, p. 154. 

39. Ibid., p. 665. 

40. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1855. Sen. Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part 1, 34 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 810), p. 395. 

41. "Original Journal of James H. Cambers, Fort Sarpy," CHSM. X 
(Helena: Naegele Printing Co., 1940), p. 100. 

42. George Catlin, Episodes from Life Among the Indians and Last 
Rambles edited by Marvin C. Ross (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1959), pp. 148-149. 

43. Irving, op. cit., p. 166. 

44. Denig, op. cit., p. 204. 


reservations. The warfare between the Crow and their enemies 
seemed to slow down a bit, all except that with the Blackfeet and 
particularly the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. These tribes 
swept into the Yellowstone country and gave certain veracity to 
the possibility of Crow extinction. 

The period from around 1860 to 1868 was a major turning point 
for the Crow people. The United States Peace Commission of 
1 868, formed to put an end to the Powder River War, gave the rich 
hunting grounds around the Powder River to the Sioux. This area, 
by an earlier Fort Laramie treaty, had been partially Crow land 
and partially Sioux. By the time this land was ceded to the latter, 
however, they had already grabbed it for themselves by gradually 
driving the Crows back almost to the headwaters of the Yellowstone 

Early in the 1860s, the Sioux and their allies pushed across the 
Powder and Tongue Rivers. While the "River" division of the 
Crows was not threatened to a great extent, the Mountain Crows, 
further south, found themselves confined, for the most part, to the 
land around the Big Horn and Little Big Horn Rivers.*-^ Here they 
were also hemmed in by the Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegan to the 
north. In these years the Crows can be visualized as often being 
concerned primarily with avoiding their enemies. The trader 
Henry Boiler, in 1860, mentioned a Crow band going south to the 
Wind River Mountains in order to escape meeting either the Sioux 
or the Blackfeet.*** Five years later. Upper Missouri Indian Agent 
Mahlon Wilkinson reported that the whole Crow Nation was as far 
north as the Milk River, trying to avoid the Sioux."*" The reason 
for the Sioux and Cheyenne invasion was given by a chief of the 
latter tribe in a council with Colonel Henry Carrington, in 1866: 

The Sioux helped us. We stole the hunting grounds of the Crows 
because they were the best. The white man is along the great water 
and we wanted more room. We fight the Crows, because they will not 
take half and give us peace with the other half.^*^ 

The Sioux certainly won a great victory from the Powder River 
War, by the removal of the three army forts in the area and by 


45. Most early sources do not differentiate between the two divisions of 
the tribe. With the greater organization of Indian Affairs at the last of the 
nineteenth century this differentiating increased. Although the Mountain 
and River Crows had the same enemies, the part of this paper concerned 
with the Sioux invasion is more interested in the former group, since their 
geographic location placed them in contention with the largest number of 
invaders from the east. 

46. Boiler, Among the Indians, p. 333. 

47. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1865. House Ex. 
Doc. 1, 39 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 1248), p. 407. 

48. Carrington, AB-SA-RA-KA, p. 17. 


gaining part of the rich Crow hunting grounds. John Finerty 
described the results as significantly portentous for the Crows: 

The abolition of the three forts named fairly inflated the Sioux. The 
finest hunting grounds in the world had fallen into their possession, 
and the American Government, instead of standing by and strengthen- 
ing the Crows, their ancient friends and allies, unwisely abandoned the 
very positions that would have held the more ferocious tribes in check. 
The Crows had a most unhappy time of it after the treaty was ratified. 
Their lands were constantly raided by the Sioux. Several desperate 
battles were fought and, finally, the weaker tribe was compelled to 
seek safety beyond the Bighorn River. Had the Sioux and Crows been 
left to settle the difficulty between themselves, few of the latter tribe 
would be left on the face of th earth to-day. ^^ 

In 1869-1870, Peter Koch, a resident of the town of Muscleshell 
in Montana Territory, rather effectively summed up the military 
history of the Crows up to that point in the century. Until the 
middle of the century, he said, they had been concerned primarily 
with fighting the Blackfeet and the Cheyenne, and only occasionally 
ran into the Sioux. However, where the Crows had before ranged 
as far as the mouth of the Yellowstone, in his time they seldom 
went below the mouth of the Big Horn River or the bend of the 
Muscleshell River because of the continuous threat of the Sioux. 
Although that tribe greatly outnumbered the Crows, Koch main- 
tained that the latter were holding their own, because they were 
better armed and because they were generally better fighters.''" 
During the 1860s then, the Crows had lost, for the first time, a 
sizable portion of their territory. From this point until the late 
1870s the warriors of the tribe were committed to holding on to as 
much of their land as possible. Against the persistent incursions 
of their enemies, this was a difficult task. 

The story of the period following the Powder River War, until 
the Sioux were defeated by the whites, emerges with the Crows 
vainly holding out against overwhelming invading forces. From 
the narrative of Plenty-coups one gathers the impression of the 
Crows being engulfed by Sioux encroachment to the extent that 
they were often unable to meet their foes in battle. The chief 
referred several times to the need to move the village in order not 
to fight against unfavorable odds.^^ This was also the interpreta- 
tion the Indians gave to their agent in 1870. They were surround- 
ed by enemies, the Crows said, and often had to retreat because of 
their inferior numbers and fewer weapons. ^^ 

49. Finerty, op. cit., pp. 15-16. 

50. Peter Koch, "Life at Muscleshell in 1869 and 1870," CHSM. II 
(Helena: State Publishing Co., 1896), p. 300. 

51. Linderman, op. cit., pp. 137, 153, 256. 

52. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 1870. House Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part IV, 41 Cong., 3 Sess. (Serial 1449), p. 663. 


The onslaught of the Sioux is well represented in the Crow 
Agency reports of the years 1871-1876. In the years 1871, 1872, 
and 1 873, Agent F. D. Pease reported that because of the constant 
warfare between the two nations, the progress in "civilizing" the 
Crows was quite slow. Sioux raiding parties continually overran 
the reservation, killing people, running off livestock, and in general 
making it unsafe for the Crows. "^-^ 

In the years 1875 and 1876, as the Sioux threat grew, Agent 
Dexter Clapp reported disruptions on the reservation. The Crows 
were always in a revengeful spirit. They had little thought for 
farming but only wanted more guns with which to fight the Sioux.-^^ 

Although the Crows' land was reduced to a reservation by the 
1870s, this did not keep the Sioux and Cheyenne from continuing 
to drive the Crows back, deeply penetrating this reservation. As 
early as 1869 occasional Sioux raiding parties were pushing into 
the Wind River Mountains in the southern portion of Crow country. 
On the east the Absaroka Tribe was soon restricted to the left bank 
of the Big Horn River. The Sioux-controlled territory stretched to 
that point as its western boundary, while the Yellowstone served as 
its northern boundary. Lieutenant Bradley, in 1876, maintained 
that the Crows usually stayed even farther west than the Big Horn 
River — on the east bank of Pryor's Creek — and seldom went down 
to the Big Horn except in large numbers because of the amount of 
Sioux harassment.''*''' All of this aggrandizement by the Sioux was 
accomplished after the Treaty of 1868. 

Throughout this period the increasing weakness of the Crow 
Nation became evident. In 1871, for instance, the Montana 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, J. A. Viall, said that its members 
seldom ventured out of their reservation except for short hunts, due 
to their fear of the Sioux.^'' In the stories of Plenty-coups can be 
seen the almost maddening frustration of the Crow's natural desire 
for combat, which came with the tribe's growing military impo- 
tence. The men were able to continue their small raids, but when 
the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho moved against them in force it 
was a different story. The frustration of a young man, desirous of 

53. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1871. House Ex. 
Doc. 7, Part V, 42 Cong., 2 Sess. (Serial 1505), pp. 835-836; Report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1872. House Ex. Doc. 1, Part V, 42 Cong., 
3 Sess. (Serial 1560), pp. 662-664; and "Report of the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, 1873." House Ex. Doc. 1, Part V, 43 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 
1601), p. 616. 

54. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1875. House Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part V, 44 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 1680), pp. 563, 803-805; Report of 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1876. House Ex. Doc. 1, Part V, 44 
Cong., 2 Sess. (Serial 1749), pp. 491-492. 

55. "Journal of Bradley," op. cit., II, p. 182. 

56. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1871, House Ex. 
Doc. 1, Part V, 42 Cong., 2 Sess. (Serial 1505), p. 830. 


glory, was illustrated by Plenty-coups and his comrades when their 
village moved in retreat from a strong force. It was composed of 
the above three tribes, and faced the Crow camp from across the 
Big Hom.^" 

Given this ominous situation, the Absaroka Nation looked for 
friends. The Shoshoni became fairly permanent allies, and the 
Nez Perces and Bannocks sometimes helped. These tribes were 
also enemies of the Sioux, who generally fought all of the non- 
hostile nations of the area. In the late 1870s the Crows often 
served as scouts for, or fought with, the United States Army, par- 
ticularly against the Sioux. When a band of Crows joined General 
Crook's expedition in 1876, their chief. Old Crow, gave the 
reasons for their aid. They wanted to reclaim their lands stolen 
by the Sioux and have revenge on that tribe. •"•'^ Years later. 
Plenty-coups gave very similar reasons for helping the whites: 

Our decision was reached, not because we loved the white man who 
was already crowding other tribes into our country, or because we 
hated the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, but because we plainly saw 
this this course was the only one which might save our beautiful 
country for us.s** 

Plenty-coups was proud of the fact that the Crow chiefs had seen 
the power of their enemies and of the whites and had recognized, 
at an early date, that the only possibility of retaining their country 
was to help the whites.^" In this they were relatively successful. 

After the years 1876 and 1877, with most of the hostile Sioux 
coming into reservations, the long years of the Crow's defensive 
war came to an end. One comes across occasional incidents of war 
parties, but on the whole the tribe was rather secure on its reserva- 
tion. What hostile Sioux that were left, were dissuaded from 
incursions into Crow land due to the proximity of military posts. 
Plenty-coups mentioned the infrequency of raids and war parties 
against the nation's enemies in the 1880s.*'^ 

It is difficult to ascertain the loss in men sustained by the Crows 
during these years of war. They probably lost no more than their 
enemies. However, the Crow losses were more costly because they 
were a small tribe. In the last twenty years of fighting there was 
apparently no overall decrease in the Crow population. In 1879, 
Agent A. R. Keller said they could field 900 men out of a 
population of 3300.^- In 1853 the nation also numbered around 


Linderman, op. cit.. 

pp. 135-137. 


Finerty, op. cit., pp. 

, 67-68. 


Linderman, op. cit.. 

p. 154. 




Linderman, op. cit.. 

p. 227. 


Refer to note 29. 


3000.^^ Lieutenant Bradley confirmed the former figure, but 
pointed out that their strength had been drastically reduced in the 
previous hundred years.*'^ Much of this undoubtedly occurred from 
disease and from the defeat in 1822, of which Bradley spoke. In 
addition, however, one can document a rather substantial loss in 
manpower in the years between the 1830s and the 1850s, when the 
Crow's situation was steadily worsening. Compared to the 900 
warriors of 1853, Bonneville reported 1500 in the 1830s.^^^ Zenas 
Leonard spoke of 1600 in 1834.^*' Beckwourth also put the num- 
ber at around 1600.^^ Denig, in the 1850s, said the Crow lodges 
had been reduced from 800 to 460, but he did not give any dates. •'^ 
As has been noted. Father De Smet, in the 1840s, felt that the 
Crows were being rapidly diminished. Although all of these figures 
may not be exact, there is little doubt that the Crows were being 
reduced. If the war with the Sioux had continued, the Crow tribe 
almost certainly would have faced annihilation, as was foretold by 
Edwin Denig, John Finerty, and Father De Smet. 

Like all tribes of the Upper Missouri, the struggle of the Crows 
came, in part, from a socially inherent search for glory in war, and 
also from an economic necessity to defend their hunting grounds or 
find more productive ones. For the Crows, particularly in later 
years, the economic need of defending their country seemed to be 
the overriding factor of the tribe's warfare. The peculiarity of the 
tribe's situation came from its geographic location within probably 
the most abundant hunting grounds in the Northern Plains. Be- 
sides this, the Crow country was literally surrounded by tribes, 
most of whom the Crows fought for many years. As has been 
shown, the available statistics on the Crow population demonstrate 
a probable loss in manpower from the 1830s to 1850s that was 
undoubtedly due in part to warfare. The conflicts of the Crows, if 
continued, could well have led to their elimination as a people. 

One must not be overzealous in applying theories to an Indian 
war of this type. It is somewhat paradoxical, after viewing tribes 
like the Blackfeet and Sioux as bitter enemies of the Crows, to 
learn that captives taken by the latter often lived happily with them, 
and that in the conflict of the 1870s there were times of friendliness 
and trading between the Sioux and the Crows. In speaking of his 
enemies, the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho, Plenty-coups assured 
his biographer that the Crows did not hate their foes.®^ Thomas 

63. Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1853. Sen. Ex. Doc. 1, 
Part I, 33 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 690), p. 354. 

64. "Journal of Bradley," op. cit., II, p. 182. 

65. Refer to note 43. 

66. Ewers, op. cit., p. 139. 

67. Leland, op. cit., p. 147. 

68. Denig, op. cit., p. 142. 

69. Refer to note 59. 


Leforge, in reviewing his days as a "white" Crow warrior, spoke of 
his recent friendship with old Sioux enemies and quipped, "I appre- 
ciate now that those deadly combats were a sportive game more 
than a killing because of hate."^*^ Taking into consideration the 
physical and mental hardiness of the American Indian, p)erhaps it 
is not surprising that, poised alongside the chauvinism of a deadly 
and earnest economic struggle, was also the seemingly irrational 
competition of a game of stealing horses and counting coups. 


"Out in the cold," an expression frequently applied in the United 
States and England to persons who have been driven out of office, 
or have not obtained the appointments they desired and solicited, 
is nearly a century old, and was one of the sayings of P. H. B. 
Wyndhim in 1784. 

The common phrase, "Castles in the air," was used by Robert 
Burton in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," over 250 years ago, and 
has since been used by Dean Swift, Henry Fielding, Phillip Sydney, 
Colley Cibbar, Charles Churchill, William Shenstone and innumer- 
able others until it has become a very common expression. 

"Going the whole hog." This phrase originated in Ireland, where 
a British shilling has been called a "hog" time out of mind. In 
Ireland, if a fellow happened to have a shilling, when he met his 
friends he would stand treat, even if the expense reached the whole 
amount — in plain words, that he would "go the whole hog" to 
gratify them. 

"I have a bone to pick with you" is a phrase that is uncompli- 
mentary to the ladies at starting. It means, as is well known, having 
an unpleasant matter to settle with you; and this is the origin of the 
phrase: At the marriage banquets of the Sicilian poor, the bride's 

70. Marquis, op. cit., p. 345. 


father, after the meal, used to hand the bridegroom a bone, saying : 
"Pick this bone, for you have undertaken a harder task." 

"Dead as a door nail." This proverbial expression is taken from 
the door-nail — that is, the nail on which, in old doors, the knocker 
strikes. It is therefore used as a comparison to anyone irrevocably 
dead; one who has fallen (as Virgil says) multa morte — i.e., with 
abundant death, such as reiteration of strokes on the head would 
naturally produce. 

"As dead as a herring," has a simple origin. That fish, which, 
when fat, is called a "bloater," dies immediately upon its removal 
from the sea. It wants air, and can live only in salt water; whereas 
an eel lives a long time after leaving the native element. Swimming 
so near the surface of the water as it does, the herring requires much 
air, and the gills when dry cannot perform their function — that of 

Falstaff— What! Is the old King dead? 
Pistol — As a nail in door. 

— Shakespeare 

The phrase "putting the cart before the horse" can boast of great 
antiquity, having first been quoted by Lucian, the great Greek 
writer, nearly 1,700 years ago. Francis Rabelais, the French 
satirist and wit, whose "Gorgantua" was published in the year 
1533, has the phrase "He placed the carriage before the steed." 
No derivation of it can be given, but the meaning is very obvious, 
and refers to those who begin to do a thing at the wrong end. 

There is a mode of declaring by the words "he has kicked the 
bucket" that a person is dead. There is a tradition that Balsover, 
having hung himself to a beam while standing off the bottom of a 
pail or bucket, kicked the vessel away in order to pry into futurity, 
and it was up with him from that moment. There is a story of a 
dairy maid, who, having upset a pail of milk, was assailed by her 
rural beau with, "There! you've kicked the bucket!" To which her 
ready and clever answer was: "No, I've only turned a little pail" 

— Cheyenne Daily Leader, June 25, 1880 
Reprinted from Troy (N.Y.) Times 

Mistory of Zeton County 


Glenn R. Burkes 


Teton county has many peculiarities, and hopefully many of 
them will become obvious in the course of this study. One, how- 
ever, deserves mentioning at this point: Teton county is a "one- 
town" county. The town is Jackson, the county seat. With a 
population of about 2000 full-time residents, Jackson, the county's 
only incorporated town, is located at the south end of the valley of 
Jackson Hole. The town of Jackson contains Teton County's 
legal system, hospital, high school, doctors, law enforcement agen- 
cies, court house, and approximately one-half of the county's 

Jackson Hole virtually completes the picture where human 
habitation is concerned; the rest of the county is mountainous and 
heavily forested. For this reason, "Jackson Hole" and "Teton 
County" are almost synonymous, and most writers to date have 
considered them as such. Since almost all of the county's citizens 
live in the valley, and always have, this association is understand- 
able, though very unique. Jackson Hole and Teton county are, in 
fact, so congruent economically, socially, and politically that it is 
sometimes difficult and often needless to differentiate between 
them. After park extension became a bitter issue, land outside of 
Jackson Hole figured prominently in the dispute, but the people 
involved in the struggle lived in the valley itself. Geography, then, 
has made the valley a complete entity, an "island" surrounded by 
extremely rugged terrain. The county lines, as a result, are less 
obvious and important limits than is the case with most counties. 
The mountains around Jackson Hole have proved to be more 
tangible boundaries. 

The mountain men used the word "hole" to describe a valley 
enclosed by mountains, and often named "holes" after members of 
their circle who frequented the area. In this case it became 
"Jackson's Hole," for the trapper David E. Jackson. The posses- 
sive has gradually been dropped in common usage down through 
the years, though a few old timers still use the original form. The 
town's first newspaper. The Jackson's Hole Courier, also used the 
old form until its demise in the early 1960s. 

Several histories of Jackson Hole have been written, all of which 
have concentrated on specific chapters of the area's colorful past. 
None has attempted to treat the subject as a county history, perhaps 


because Jackson Hole itself has been the setting for most of the 
county's recorded history. In the following pages I have attempted 
to present the highlights of Teton County's history, from the fur 
trade to the present, under one cover. 


Teton County has an area of 2873 square miles and just over 
4000 hardy citizens. Situated in northwestern Wyoming, it is 
bordered on the west by the state of Idaho, on the north by Yellow- 
stone National Park, and on the east and south by the Wind River, 
Gross Ventre, and Hoback Mountains. 

A truly phenomenal display of prehistoric geological activity, 
the mountain valley that is one of the dominant terrain features of 
Teton County is known as Jackson Hole to the millions of people 
who visit it each year. Its western boundary is the Teton Moun- 
tains, an alpine range of crystalline granite which, along with 
Jackson Hole, forms a setting of almost unparalleled beauty. 
Without foothills, and abruptly rising 7000 feet from the valley 
floor, this rugged range, with its glaciers and jagged peaks, is 
recognized as one of the most uniquely formed geological phe- 
nomena in North America. The Tetons are approximately 75 
miles long, and extend from Pitchstone Plateau in Yellowstone 
Park, south to a point about six miles north of the Grand Canyon 
of the Snake River. ^ The range bristles with pinnacles ranging from 
10,000 to almost 14,000 feet above sea level. The valley runs 
roughly 60 miles north and south, and is about 12 miles across at 
its widest point.- The mountains and valley have geological unity, 
inasmuch as they originated at the same time, and a brief look at 
the geological activity which created them is in order. 

On opposite sides of the "Teton Fault," which is the line where 
the mountains meet the valley floor, two adjacent earth blocks were 
displaced in relation to one another. Uplifted 7000 feet and tilted 
westward, the west block became the Tetons, whereas the east 
block was depressed to form Jackson Hole. A mountain range 
formed in this manner is called a "fault-block" range, and a valley 
so formed is termed a "fault-trough." This is not the only moun- 
tain-valley relationship of its type in the west (the Sierra Nevadas 
are another example), but it is the only one with such compactness. 
As a result of this circumstance, the bulk of the entire range may 

1. William O. Owen, "The Naming of Mount Owen," Annals of Wyo- 
ming, Vol. 5, Nos. 2/3, pp. 72-77. 

2. Merrill J. Mattes, Colter's Hell and Jackson's Hole (National Park 
Service: Yellowstone Library and Museum Association and the Grand 
Teton Natural History Association, 1962), p. 4. 


be observed as one unobstructed panorama from almost any point 
in the valley proper.^ 

When viewed from the valley floor, the Teton Range's fault- 
block characteristics are obvious — the almost vertical configuration 
of its eastern face, the triangular facets where the inter-canyon 
ridges terminate, and the hanging position of the canyons. Also 
the eastern slope is without foothills, further evidence of the clean 
cut along the Teton Fault. On the western slope, however, the 
rocks are merely upturned and foothills are very much in evidence.^ 

Another striking feature of the Tetons' interesting geological 
heritage is the contrast between the flat-topped peaks, such as 
Mount Moran, at the Range's extremities, which are still blanketed 
by the strata that once covered the entire block, and the sharp- 
tipped granite spires toward the center of the range, such as the 
Grand Teton, which have been stripped of all overlaying strata and 
carved from the hard crystalline rock underneath.'' 

The blanketing sedimentary deposits which form the topsoil of 
Jackson Hole provide evidence that at least three glacial periods 
have assisted in the creation of the present terrain features of the 
area, periods during which the peaks were sculpted into their final 
forms, and the resulting debris was leaving its indelible record for 
geologists to interpret. It was during the last glacial period that 
Jackson Lake, in the northern end of the valley came into existence 
from melted ice, and likewise the pitted section farther south, 
known locally as the pothole country; these potholes were formed 
when isolated portions of ice were covered by outwash deposits, 
later to melt and cause depressions. Thus, the general terrain 
features of Jackson Hole are a mute testimony to perhaps two 
million years of history, years during which nature was kept busy 
sculpting an area that has no peer for ruggedness and primitive 
beauty, and which may literally be described as a meeting ground 
for glaciers. ** 

Jackson Hole extends almost from the northern to the southern 
ends of Teton County. Elevations run from about 6000 feet in the 
southern end of the valley to around 6600 in the north-central part. 
The valley floor is fairly flat, with the exception of such higher 
features as Blacktail Butte and Gros Ventre Buttes. The Gros 
Ventre Range forms the southeastern boundary of Jackson Hole. 
The core of this range, like that of the Tetons, is composed of 
crystalline rock, but the 1 1 ,000-feet-high peaks at the crest of the 
range are, unlike the lofty Teton peaks, composed of sedimentary 

3. Fritiof M. Fryxell, The Geology of Jackson Hole (Washington, D. C. 
National Parks Association, 1944), p. 4. 

4. Ibid., p. 6. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid., pp. 10-11. 


rock. The Gros Ventre River valley is a dividing point between 
the range of the same name, and the Mount Leidy Highlands 
farther north. Mount Leidy, with an elevation of 10,317 feet, is 
the highest point in this area of moderately deformed sedimentary 
rocks. North across the valley of the Buffalo Fork River, the 
Pinyon Peak Highlands blend into the Volcanic Plateau of 
Yellowstone Park." 

Water covers 43,330 acres of Teton County. ■"* The predominant 
water feature in the county is Jackson Lake, its western shore being 
contiguous with the eastern base of the Tetons. Besides Jackson 
Lake, there are numerous other lakes in Teton County, the largest 
of which are Two Ocean Lake and Emma Matilda Lake in the 
Pinyon Peak Highlands; and Leigh, Jenny, Bradley, Taggart, and 
Phelps lakes, all situated along the eastern slope of the Tetons 
between Jackson Lake and the south end of Jackson Hole. The 
Snake River flows from Jackson Lake, and virtually all streams 
draining Teton County are its tributaries. The second largest 
stream in the county is the Gros Ventre, which converges with the 
Snake just north of the town of Jackson. 

Teton County's climate is dry and cool. July temperatures 
average around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although the mercury 
sometimes reaches 80 during that month, which is the hottest 
period of the year. The coldest month is January, when tempera- 
tures can drop to as low as 65 degrees below zero. Average annual 
precipitation for the valley of Jackson Hole is 15.33 inches, where- 
as in the higher areas it may reach as high as 30 inches, because of 
the heavy snowfall which blankets these areas for as long as one 
third of each year. Almost 90 per cent of the precipitation falls 
in the form of snow, and high in the Tetons, snow flurries may 
occur at any time during the year. The period of highest precipi- 
tation is from late December to late January, and the lowest is 
from late June until mid- July. The growing season averages a 
scant 60 days, usually beginning in the latter part of June.^ 

The area which is now Teton County was left to nature and the 
Indians until fur trading expeditions began entering the area. The 
Tetons reputedly received their name from the French-Canadian 
trappers who accompanied the British on one such early expedition. 
The three loftiest peaks in the Teton Range (now called Grand, 
Middle, and South Tetons) were romantically dubbed "Les Trois 
Tetons" (the three breasts) by the lonely French-speaking trap- 
pers.^" Although rivaled by several other names at various times 

7. Teton County Wyoming (Employment Security Commission of Wyo- 
ming), p. 3. 

8. Ibid., p. 1. 

9. Ihid., p. 4. 

10. Mattes, op. cit. p. 7. 


throughout the period of exploration, the preference of the French- 
Canadian trappers was destined to pass the test of time. 

One of the largest enclosed valleys in the Rocky Mountains, 
Jackson Hole was not an easy area to enter, and the mountains 
surrounding it required careful traversing if a reasonably trouble- 
free entry was to be effected. Seven passages to and from Jackson 
Hole have been used in historic times: northward up the Snake 
River; northeastward up Pacific Creek to Two Ocean Pass; east- 
ward up Buffalo Fork to Togwotee Pass; eastward up the Gros 
Ventre to Union Pass; southward up the Hoback to Green River; 
and westward via Teton Pass or Conant Pass (at the south and 
north extremities of the Teton Range) to Pierre's Hole.^^ 

John Colter has generally been accorded the honor of having 
been the first white man to enter Teton County. A $5-a-month 
private with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Colter's job had been 
to help supply the party with wild meat, a duty which he performed 
remarkably well. As Lewis and Clark were descending the 
Missouri River on the return trip in August of 1806, Colter was 
given permission when the party had reached the Mandan villages, 
to join two Illinois trappers, Forrest Hancock and Joseph Dickson, 
who were on their way to set up trapping operations along the 
Yellowstone River. After what appears to have been an unprofit- 
able winter for Colter, he set out for St. Louis in the spring of 
1807, paddling a canoe down the Missouri. This time he made it 
as far as the mouth of the Platte River, where he was intercepted 
by Manuel Lisa, who was taking a trapping brigade in keelboats 
up the Missouri. Lisa must have considered himself fortunate for 
having made the encounter, for the experienced Colter was imme- 
diately hired to act as guide and hunter for the fur expedition. So, 
once again, Colter returned to the wilderness. Lisa built his log 
fort (named "Fort Remon" after his son, but more commonly 
called Fort Manuel, or simply Lisa's Fort, after Lisa himself) at 
the mouth of the Big Horn River. It was from here that Colter 
made the famous trek that has become the subject for so much 
controversy among historians; and which took him into areas until 
then unknown to white men. Traveling with weapon, ammunition, 
and a 30-pound pack, Colter covered about 500 miles of some 
of the roughest terrain in North America, and did it in the dead 
of winter. His assignment was to carry word to the Crows that his 
employer would receive their trade goods, and to act as an ambas- 
sador of good will to any of the other tribes of the area who were 
interested. ^- 

Based upon Lisa's narrative to Henry Brackenridge and a con- 

11. Ibid. 

12. Burton Harris, John Colter: His Years in the Rockies (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952), pp. 74-75. 


versation which Colter had with William Clark in 1810 in St. 
Louis, Colter's probable route has been plotted by several scholars. 
One of the most accepted composites is that Colter ascended the 
Big Horn, then went up the Shoshone to the vicinity of present 
Cody, went south around the foot of the Absarokas, up Wind River 
to Union Pass, into Jackson Hole, thence across Teton Pass into 
Pierre's Hole, thence north through Conant Pass to the west shore 
of Yellowstone Lake and northeast to the crossing of the Yellow- 
stone near Tower Falls, thence up the Lamar River and Soda Butte 
Creek, back across the Absarokas again, from there south to the 
Shoshone River, then back to Lisa's Fort by way of Clarke's Fork 
and Pryor's Fork.^'^ The first known white man into Wyoming and 
the recognized discoverer of Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole 
was to have numerous other harrowing experiences before he 
finally left the mountains, including a pitched battle between the 
dreaded Blackfeet after he had been stripped naked and told to 
run for his life. Colter endured every hardship the mountains had 
to offer, and returned to St. Louis in May, 1810. Here he acquired 
a bride and enjoyed a mere three years of civilized living before 
dying of jaundice in 1813, at the approximate age of 38. 

Although John Colter certainly deserved the honor which history 
has accorded him as the first man into the Teton area, the credit 
for doing something about it must go to some of his more loqua- 
cious successors. In the spring of 1810, three mountain men — 
John Hoback, Edward Robinson, and Jacob Rezner — with Andrew 
Henry's first expedition, accompanied Henry on a foray from his 
fort on the Big Horn to the beaver-rich Three Forks country. This 
area happened also to be popular with the consistently bad- 
tempered Blackfeet, who chased them across the Continental 
Divide, possibly through Targhee Pass, to the North Fork of the 
Snake (since renamed Henry's Fork). Cabins were built here, 
and, called "Henry's Fort," this encampment became the first 
American settlement on the Pacific slope. ^^ It is quite likely that 
the party trapped and hunted in Jackson Hole during the winter of 
1810-1811, as evidenced by the familiarity with the area which 
Hoback, Robinson and Rezner later displayed. 

In the spring the party ran out of food and decided to divide into 
three groups. Henry headed north to his fort on the Missouri to 
carry word of the disaster; one faction traveled south toward Santa 
Fe; and the now seemingly inseparable and invincible Hoback, 
Robinson and Rezner pursued an easterly course which probably 
routed them over Teton Pass, across Jackson Hole, and out through 

13. Mattes, op. cit., pp. 14-15. 

14. Merrill J. Mattes, "Jackson Hole, Crossroads of the Western Fur 
Trade, 1807,-1829," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XXXVII (April, 1946), 
pp. 87-108 (hereafter cited as P.N.Q.). 


Togwotee Pass. From here they pushed on to the Arikara villages 
on the Missouri, where they built a dugout canoe and started down 
the Missouri.^^ 

It is at this point that the famous "Astorians" and the American 
Fur Company enter the picture. John Jacob Astor was a New 
York businessman, and secured the charter from that state in 1 808 
which brought the American Fur Company into being. One of his 
schemes was to establish a post at the mouth of the Columbia and 
cash in on the wealth which he hoped to extract from the great 
northwestern wilderness area. His subsidiary Pacific Fur Com- 
pany was organized expressly for this purpose, and two expeditions 
were accordingly dispatched, one by sea around Cape Horn, and 
the other to retrace Lewis and Clark's overland route. Both were 
to reach their destination, but only after much suffering; and while 
Astor's enterprises were no earth-shaking financial success, they 
had a considerable impact. Astor's post on the Columbia was the 
first organized occupation of Oregon, an element of great impor- 
tance later when the U. S. was trying to establish a legal claim to 
that area. And the overland party had the distinction of being the 
first transcontinental expedition after Lewis and Clark. 

Astor's partner in the grandiose scheme was Wilson Price Hunt, 
the leader of the overland group. Before embarking. Hunt talked 
with the already legendary John Colter, recently married, and now 
living near Charette, Missouri. It seems only logical that Colter 
would have given Hunt some useful advice concerning the perils of 
the trackless wilderness which the latter was about to enter. At any 
rate, early in 1811 the overland Astorians started up the Missouri 
with their keelboats. On May 26, as they were near the mouth of 
the Niobrara River, they met none other than the ubiquitous 
Hoback, Robinson, and Rezner, who were paddling their dugout 
canoe down the Missouri. The three, apparently not yet ready to 
admit defeat, joined Hunt's party as guides and hunters, just as 
Colter had with Lisa four years before. It is possible that it was 
their reports of hostile Indians which induced Hunt to abandon 
the river route at the Arikara villages and proceed overland, which 
he did on July 18. From here the group consisted of 82 horses, 62 
men, and the squaw and two children of the interpreter, Pierre 
Dorion. (Dorion's squaw was the next woman to make the 
overland journey after Sacajawea.^*^) Hunt led his group over the 
plains, across the Big Horn Mountains, and up the Wind River. 
In a quest for improved hunting they changed courses and headed 
in the direction of the Green River (then called "Spanish River" )^' 

15. Ibid. 

16. Mattes, Colter's Hell and Jackson's Hole. op. cit.. p. 94. 

17. Harrison Clifford Dale, The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Dis- 
covery of a Central Route to the Pacific. ] 822-1 829 (Cleveland: The Arthur 
H. Clark Company, 1918), p. 34. 


and on September 16 descended into the Green River Valley via 
Union Pass. From here they could see the Tetons, which the party 
referred to as "Pilot Knobs." Here they had a buffalo hunt, 
crossed the low divide into Hoback Basin, and reached the con- 
fluence of the Snake and Hoback Rivers in Jackson Hole. Pre- 
sumably, it was at this time that the Hoback River was named.'^^ 
Hunt's party then moved on across the Snake River and Teton 
Pass, where they found Henry's abandoned fort. They then fol- 
lowed the Snake, divided forces, and after great difficulties, most of 
the party finally made it to Astoria, via the Snake and Columbia 
Rivers. Hunt and his Astorians, so far as is known, were the first 
Americans to visit Green River and to cross Union Pass.^"^ 

On June 29, 1812, seven Astorians, led by Robert Stuart, started 
overland from the mouth of the Columbia to carry dispatches to 
John Jacob Astor in St. Louis. Theirs was the first organized 
eastbound transcontinental expedition after the return of Lewis and 
Clark, and in the course of the journey, they discovered South Pass 
and the route which was later to become famous as the Oregon 
Trail. On October 7 they crossed Teton Pass into Jackson Hole, 
and exited via Hoback Canyon. On April 30, 1813, the emaciated 
group reached St. Louis. ^"^ 

By 1812 American interest in the western fur trade was flagging. 
There are several possible explanations for this, including the 
savagery of the Blackfeet and a conspicuous lack of interest on the 
part of the U. S. government; but, undoubtedly, the factor having 
the greatest effect was the War of 1812. Astor's partners in the 
Pacific Fur Company, rather than let the company's interests be- 
come a prize of war, sold out to the British Northwest Company 
for $40,000.-^ When the energetic Donald McKenzie returned to 
New York to present Astor with the money and company papers, 
the latter angrily fired him on the spot.^- At this turn of events, 
McKenzie joined his erstwhile competitor, the "Nor'westers," and 
in 1818 he was placed in charge of the Snake River Division of that 
company. He led a fur brigade to the Snake River Valley the same 
year, and in 1819 took a small group to what must have been 
Yellowstone Park and Jackson Hole, as his description of the 
terrain all but eliminates any other alternative.^^ It may have been 
on this occasion that the Tetons and Pierre's Hole were named.-^ 


18. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXVII, op. cit., p. 94. 

19. Dale, op. cit., p. 35. 

20. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXVII, op. cit., p. 98. 

21. Elizabeth Wied Hayden, From Trapper to Tourist in Jackson Hole 
(Elizabeth Wied Hayden, 1957), p. 13. 

22. Ibid. 

23. Hayden, op. cit., p. 13; and Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXVII, op. cit., p. 98. 

24. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXVII, op. cit., p. 100. 


In 1821 the cutthroat competition which had developed between 
the two British giants — The Hudson's Bay Company, and the 
Nor'westers — was ostensibly ended when the two merged. This 
produced a seemingly unchallengeable force, and very substantially 
strengthened the British Crown's claims to the Oregon country. 
But challenged these claims were, and this came in the form of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, which was organized in St. Louis 
the next year by General William H. Ashley and Andrew Henry. 
With its "one hundred young men," this company launched an 
onslaught into the fur frontier which was destined to leave an 
indelible mark on the history of the west. Among this band of raw 
recruits were men who later became legendary — Jim Bridger, 
Hiram Scott, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jim Clyman, Jedediah Smith, 
Etienne Provot, William Sublette, and David E. Jackson. The 
latter made his contribution to history by having Jackson Lake and 
Jackson Hole named after him. 

In 1824 seven trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 
led by the young, mild-mannered, Bible-quoting Jedediah Smith, 
crossed Jackson Hole via Hoback Canyon and Conant Pass, on 
their way to the rich but still extremely dangerous Blackfoot 
country. On his return trip, Smith rediscovered South Pass, 
and recrossed Jackson Hole on his way to Henry's post on the 

In the meantime, Jim Bridger and a party of six were trapping 
the headwaters of the Snake in Jackson Hole. They remained here 
until rendezvous time in July, when they left for the rendezvous 
on the Big Sandy. After the rendezvous, they returned to the 
headwaters of the Snake. Bridger did not sever relations with the 
area for the next 35 years.^*' In the autumn of 1825 Bridger, 
Fitzpatrick and 30 trappers followed the Jedediah Smith route into 
Jackson Hole and ascended the Snake into Yellowstone Park.-' 

In the summer of 1 826 the Rocky Mountain Fur Company sold 
its interests to three individuals who by this time enjoyed fine 
reputations in the trade, namely Jedediah Smith, William Sublette, 
and David E. Jackson. They perpetuated the aggressive reputation 
of the company and increased their profits, as well as the record 
of their exploits. Meanwhile, the fur trade continued to expand, 
and the annual rendezvous became an established institution. 

In the summer of 1829 William Sublette, as a new partner in the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, returned from St. Louis with a 
large outfit, which included Thomas Fitzpatrick, Joe Meek, and 
Jim Bridger. He crossed Togwotee Pass into Jackson Hole where 

25. Ibid., pp. 100-101. 

26. Walcott Watson, History of Jackson's Hole before the Year 1907 
(New York: 193—), pp. 27-28. 

27. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXVII, op. cit., p. 103. 


he had arranged to meet with David E. Jackson, who had not 
attended the 1 829 rendezvous on the Popo Agie. The two parties 
had their own Httle rendezvous on the shores of Jackson Lake, 
and it is commonly believed that it was at that time that William 
Sublette named the lake, as well as the enclosed valley, after his 
partner.-^ It is possible, however, that the two terms went into 
general usage gradually. Surprisingly, almost nothing is known 
about this phantom trapper who gave his name to one of the most 
famous areas in the west, but he must have been competent and a 
leader of men to have remained a working partner in one of the 
most powerful of the fur companies throughout four peak years 
when competition was keenest. One thing that can be assumed, 
however, is that the valley of Jackson Hole held a strong attraction 
for the mysterious Jackson, since he spent so much time there. It 
was his territory.-^ 

The partners of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company decided 
in 1830 to sell their interests to Jim Bridger, Milton Sublette 
(William's younger brother), Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jean Baptiste 
Gervais, and Henry Fraeb. At this point, David E. Jackson 
returned to St. Louis and disappeared from the pages of history.^*^ 

By 1830 Jackson Hole had been pretty thoroughly explored, but 
activity in the area was by no means diminishing. In fact, during 
the decade ending in 1 840, the area was entered by no fewer than 
30 trapping and trading expeditions.'^^ Jackson Hole was near the 
center of an action-fraught circle of about one hundred miles 
radius, which included the headwaters of the Snake, Green, Yellow- 
stone, Wind, and Missouri Rivers. •^- 

It was inevitable that such an area, once its nature became 
obvious to the world, would attract fortune-seeking parties in 
increasing numbers. The first group of note to visit Jackson Hole 
in the 1830s was Nathaniel Wyeth's in 1832. He and his party 
arrived at the annual rendezvous, which was being held in Pierre's 
Hole (just across Teton Pass from Jackson Hole, and today called 
Teton Basin-^'^), in the welcome company of William Sublette, as 
Wyeth and his people were in a sickened, half-starved condition. 
Wyeth had already lost some of his horses to Indians, and the Gros 
Ventre attack following the rendezvous, with the ensuing Battle of 
Pierre's Hole on July 18, probably made him eager to embark for 

28. Ihid., pp. 105-108. 

29. Merrill J. Mattes, "Jackson Hole, Crossroads of the Western Fur 
Trade, 1830-1840," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XXXIX (January, 1948), 
p. 4. 

30. Watson, op. cit., pp. 31-32. 

31. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXIX, op. cit., p. 4. 

32. Ibid., p. 3. 

33. Fritiof M. Fryxell, "The Story of Deadman's Bar," Annals of Wyo- 
ming, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 129-148. 


points distant. Having repulsed the attack, during which over 20 
Indians and three whites died,-^^ Sublette and Wyeth, bound for the 
lower Snake via Teton Pass, encamped to allow the wounded Sub- 
lette to recuperate. On the 25th seven men who ultimately hoped 
to accompany him to St. Louis lost their patience and set out alone. 
They are identified as More of Boston, Foy of Mississippi, Alfred 
K. Stephens, two grandsons of Daniel Boone, and two unidentified 
men. They were attacked in Jackson Hole by a war party of Gros 
Ventres and More and Foy were killed instantly. The five sur- 
vivors retreated to Sublette's camp, where Stephens died of his 
wounds. •''"' These could have been the first white casualties in 
Jackson Hole.'^" It is at this juncture that Captain Benjamin L. E. 
Bonneville, on a leave of absence from the U. S. Army for the joint 
purposes of trade and exploration, joins in the activity. Enroute to 
the upper waters of the Salmon, and probably having entered 
Jackson Hole by the Gros Ventre River, Bonneville claimed to have 
found the remains of the hapless Foy and More, and to have given 
them a decent burial.-^' This is in direct conflict with the testimony 
given by Warren A. Ferris, who stated that on July 14, he and his 
party deposited the bones in a tributary of the Hoback;"''^ so it is 
possible that the romantic Bonneville (or even Irving) improved 
upon the truth a bit. 

The uncompleted post which Bonneville had abandoned on the 
upper Green River was the site of the 1833 rendezvous, and several 
of the parties crossed the Teton country en route. In early July, 
both Wyeth and Bonneville crossed Teton Pass, where the latter 
lost a horse. Also in attendance were agents of the Rocky Moun- 
tain and American Fur Companies, Stuart's party, and a large 
number of Snake Indians. Robert Campbell, who had just arrived 
with a large supply outfit from St. Louis, passed through Jackson 
Hole and Pierre's Hole, and returned in ten days with a cache of 
furs; ten men accompanied him.-^-* 

The year 1834 was eventful for the fur trade: it marked the end 
of high fur prices; the Rocky Mountain Fur Company was dis- 
solved, giving the American Fur Company a virtual monopoly; 
John Jacob Astor disassociated himself from the fur trade by 
selling out to Pierre Chouteau in St. Louis ;■*" and the death knell 
was sounded for the rendezvous system with the establishment of 

34. B. W. Driggs, History of Teton Valley Idaho (Caldwell, Idaho: The 
Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1926), p. 67. 

35. Washington Irving, Adventures of Captain Bonneville (New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1868), pp. 104-105. 

36. Watson, op. cit., p. 35. 

37. Irving, op. cit., p. 122. 

38. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXIX, op. cit., p. 14. 

39. Watson, op. cit., p. 39. 

40. Ibid., p. 41. 


two permanent trading posts — Fort Hall near the junction of the 
Snake and Portneuf, and Fort Laramie at the confluence of the 
Laramie and Platte. That fall, Jim Bridger, Thomas Fitzpatrick, 
and Milton Sublette, now with the American Fur Company, led a 
party through Jackson Hole to the Yellowstone country; included in 
this party were Joe Meek and Kit Carson. ^^ 

The next year was also a milestone in the history of Teton 
County, for it was at this time that the first missionary entered the 
area. In August 1835 the tireless Jim Bridger, again accompanied 
by Joe Meek and Kit Carson, led a band of trappers from the 
rendezvous at Fort Bonneville, ^- reaching the mouth of the Hoback 
on the 25th. With the Bridger party was the Reverend Samuel 
Parker and a delegation of Flatheads. Parker had come west with 
Dr. Marcus Whitman to establish a mission in Oregon, but the 
unexpected enthusiasm of the Flatheads at the rendezvous'-^ had 
prompted the devoted Whitman to return east for more mission- 
aries; Parker, however, chose to remain with the Flatheads. On 
Sunday, August 23, Parker preached a sermon in Hoback Canyon, 
and undoubtedly spoke of Christianity to the Indians as the party 
crossed Jackson Hole, though there is no hint of a formal sermon 
there. In Jackson Hole the party split, with Bridger and his trap- 
pers going north, while the Flathead guides led Parker over Teton 
Pass, bound for the Columbia.^' 

The mountain fur trade was monopolized by the American Fur 
Company by 1836. Directing its field operations at this time were 
Andrew Drips and Lucien Fontenelle. Most of the trappers were 
now employees of that company, although some were organized 
into independent bands, and had contracts with the company. Jim 
Bridger headed such a group. Furthermore, the lakes and streams 
in the low country were by now depleted and the main activity was 
confined to the high country, especially in the Yellowstone area in 
the mountains east and northeast of Jackson Hole.'° 

The rendezvous of 1836 and 1837 were held on the Wind River, 
and the rendezvous of 1838'*^ was held in the Hayden Valley below 
Yellowstone Lake.'" Jackson Hole was the center of this activity, 

41. Mattes, P.N.Q., XXXIX, op. cit., p. 18. 

42. It was at the rendezvous at Fort Bonneville in 1835 that Kit Carson 
and Captain Shunar engaged in a mounted duel; Carson shot Shunar's gun 
from his hand. Watson, op. cit., p. 42. 

43. Ibid. 

44. Ibid. 

45. Ibid., p. 43. 

46. There were two full-scale rendezvous in 1838 — the one in Hayden 
Valley, plus another later rendezvous on the Wind River. J. Cecil Alter, 
Jim Bridger (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962), p. 164. 

47. Watson, op. cit., p. 43. 


and in 1837 the Three Tetons first appeared pubHcly by their 
present name on the Bonneville map.^'^ 

Both Jim Bridger and Kit Carson led bands of trappers through 
Jackson Hole on the way to the Green River rendezvous in 1839, 
and the following year Lucien Fontenelle led 100 men, including 
Carson, through Jackson Hole for a fall hunt on the Yellowstone, 
and returned to the 1 840 rendezvous on the Green River. ^■* 

The famous Belgian priest, Father Pierre DeSmet, held the first 
mass in the Rockies north of the Spanish settlements in late June 
or early July, 1 840."'"' Father DeSmet had come to the area at the 
invitation of the Nez Perce Indians, and it was just before his party 
entered present Teton County from the south, near the town of 
Daniel, that the famous mass was said. The group reached the 
mouth of the Hoback about July 10 and crossed the Snake River,''^ 
traversed Teton Pass into Pierre's Hole, then headed northwest. "'- 

The year 1841 signalled the end of the rendezvous system, and 
by 1842 the American fur trade was in a moribund condition, a 
victim of mismanagement, fluctuating trade patterns, settlement of 
the land, swiftly changing styles, and the attendant drop in fur 
prices. The Teton country, which had been the stage for one of the 
most dramatic scenes in the history of the west, and the center of 
activity for a generation, was now forgotten. This uniquely spec- 
tacular area, five days' ride from Fort Hall, far from the Oregon 
Trail and the valleys of Montana, and far from the later Bozeman 
Trail and Virginia City Road, seems to have been left untouched 
by white hands for the next twenty years. 


From 1840 until 1860 the Teton-Yellowstone country was for- 
gotten by virtually everyone except a handful of early-day mountain 
men who had hunted and trapped the area. Jim Bridger was one 
who never forgot the splendor of the place, and he appropriately 
guided the expedition which "rediscovered" the Tetons and Jackson 
Hole in 1860. 

Captain W. F. Raynolds of the Army Corps of Topographical 
Engineers was ordered to lead an exploring party into the Yellow- 
stone country, the first such government expedition into the area. 
In May of 1860 Raynolds led his men to the confluence of the 
Wind River and Popo Agie. Here the expedition divided on May 

48. Mattes, Colter's Hell and Jackson's Hole, op. cit., p. 7. 

49. Watson, op. cit., p. 44. 

50. Ibid., p. 45. 

51. The Snake River (the "Mad River" of the Astorians) was first 
publicly designated on the Greenhow map of 1840. Mattes. Colter's Hell 
and Jackson's Hole, op. cit., p. 7. 

52. Watson, op. cit., p. 45. 


24. Raynolds, it was decided, would take his segment up Wind 
River and cross to the headwaters of the Yellowstone. The rest of 
the group, under the leadership of Lieutenant Maynadier, was to 
move around the eastern and northern periphery of the Absarokas 
and meet Raynolds at the Three Forks of the Missouri on July 1 ; 
he made it on July 3. Raynolds arrived at their prearranged meet- 
ing place first, but had his share of the problems en route. Ray- 
nolds ascended the Wind River according to plan and made a 
troublesome crossing of Union Pass. Raynolds named Union Pass 
at that time.^ He turned north and attempted to cross Two Ocean 
Pass to the headwaters of the Yellowstone, but failed because of 
hopelessly deep snows. The party then followed the Gros Ventre 
into Jackson Hole, coming in view of the Tetons on June 9. It 
required several days to cross the swollen Snake River, and one 
man was lost in the effort. They finally succeeded with a thong- 
bound frame boat covered with a rubberized blanket which had 
been smeared with pitch.^ 

Raynolds kept his party in Jackson Hole for several days before 
moving on. He and his geologist, Ferdinand V. Hay den, wanted to 
climb the Grand Teton, but Jim Bridger convinced them that it was 
impossible.'^ While in the valley, where they remained until June 
18, Raynolds was visited by a band of Chief Cut Nose's Snake 
Indians.^ Bridger then led the expedition over Teton Pass into 
Pierre's Hole, and this proved to be his last look at the Tetons. 

Shortly after Raynolds returned to civilization with his expedi- 
tion the Civil War broke out and less important matters, such as 
exploration, were forgotten for the duration of the conflict. Also, 
the discovery of gold in Montana in 1862 did much to diminish the 
popularity of adjacent areas; and while the Raynolds report was 
not made public until 1868, the expedition's maps were published, 
and found great usefulness in the hands of Montana gold-seekers 
after 1862.^ 

Most of the activity in the Jackson Hole area during the 1 860s 
can be traced to gold fever, the Raynolds expedition excepted. 
Walter W. DeLacy organized the first prospecting party of note to 
enter Jackson Hole. Delacy, an early-day Montana engineer and 
surveyor, left Virginia City, Montana, with his party of 42 men on 
August 3, 1863. They headed south into Idaho until reaching the 
Snake River, then followed it upstream to Jackson Lake. The 

1. William F. Raynolds, "Report on the Exploration of the Yellowstone 
and the Country Drained by that River," 40th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate 
Executive Document 77 (1868). 

2. Ibid. 

3. Ibid. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Hiram Martin Chittenden, Yellowstone National Park. (Cincinnati: 
The R. Clarke Company, 1895), p. 55. 


ruggedness of the trail caused two of DeLacy's pack horses to slip 
over the side and fall onto the rocks along the raging Snake River 
far below.^ This party was not equipped for topographical recon- 
naissance, as DeLacy and his men appear to have been interested 
only in prospecting for paydirt. DeLacy himself remarked that 
"opportunities for making any very accurate or extended observa- 
tions were very limited. There was not a telescope, and hardly a 
watch, in the whole party. "^ 

The expedition encamped near the mouth of Buffalo Fork where 
the men decided to break up into small parties in order to cover 
more terrain. Diligent searching throughout the last week in 
August unearthed none of the precious metal, the men became 
disheartened, and the project was abandoned. Fifteen men re- 
turned home by the same route the party had used to enter the 
valley. DeLacy and 27 members of the party went north into what 
is now Yellowstone Park, but again with no luck. Although 
DeLacy failed in his prospecting efforts, his wanderings were 
significant. He published a map soon afterwards which was 
remarkable for its general accuracy of topographical detail in the 
Teton- Yellowstone area; he also kept a journal" of his daily activ- 
ities, although it was not published until 1876. 

In 1864 James Stuart led a 73-man prospecting expedition from 
Deer Lodge, Montana, to the valley of the Stinking Water (Sho- 
shone). The party splintered at this point and most of the men 
returned to the Montana settlements. One small band, however, 
went south all the way to the Sweetwater River and crossed to the 
Green and Snake Rivers. They followed the Snake to Jackson 
Hole where they prospected briefly, then recrossed the Continental 
Divide at Two Ocean Pass, descended the Yellowstone, passed 
Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and 
moved on beyond the present limits of the Park." 

Jackson Hole and the surrounding mountains and canyons never 
yielded precious minerals in paying quantities. The optimism of 
early-day prospectors is still evidenced in the valley floor, however. 
About 1870 a ditch was constructed to divert water from the 
mountains to placer mines in the valley. Today known as "Ditch 
Creek," this channel still exists as mute testimony to the labors of 
one hard-working party. Also, numerous prospect pits may still 
be found in Jackson Hole. 

6. Walter W. DeLacy, "A Trip up the South Snake River in 1863," 
Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana (Helen, Montana: 
1876), p. 120. 

7. Ibid., p. 118. 

8. Ibid., pp. 113-143. 

9. Granville Stuart, "Life of James Stuart," Contributions to the State 
Historical Society of Montana (Helena, Montana: 1876). pp. 36-79: and 
Chittenden, op. cit., p. 55. 


Ferdinand V. Hayden, who had accompanied the Raynolds party 
as geologist, later became famous after having conducted several 
expeditions into the intermountain west. James Stevenson com- 
manded the Snake River division of Hayden's 1872 expedition, and 
spent considerable time mapping and exploring the Teton area. 

In September of 1872 Stevenson began leading his party from 
the Yellowstone country toward the Tetons. Richard Leigh, a 
Jackson Hole hunter and trapper who guided the party while in this 
area, met Stevenson above Jackson Lake, and here they made camp 
September 19-21. Leigh was a picturesque individual and is a 
story in himself. An Englishman by birth, he married a Shoshone 
Indian girl, and his protruding incisors earned him the nickname 
"Beaver Dick."^" The party camped on the shore of Jackson Lake 
September 22-24, on String Lake at the base of the Tetons Sep- 
tember 25-26, and exited the valley via Teton pass on October 1.^^ 

Most of the lakes in Jackson Hole were named after the members 
of Stevenson's party — Bradley Lake after Frank H. Bradley, chief 
geologist, and Taggart Lake after his assistant, W. R. Taggart. 
Jenny Lake was named in honor of "Beaver Dick's" Shoshone 
Indian wife, and Leigh Lake commemorates the colorful English- 
man himself. Phelps Lake owes its name to an itinerant hunter 
who frequented the area. Coulter Creek was named for John M. 
Coulter, Hayden's botanist, and Mount Leidy for his paleontologist. 
Mount Moran honors the now legendary artist, Thomas Moran, 
who accompanied the expedition as a guest. However, the famed 
pioneer photographer, William Henry Jackson, took the first known 
photographs of the Tetons at this time. His pictures were to make 
him one of the expedition's most valuable members. ^- 

Curiously enough, the Grand Teton had been renamed Mount 
Hayden earlier in 1872, but enjoyed little if any popularity outside 
of Hayden's own circle; and it is to Hayden's everlasting credit that 
he himself did not favor changing the Grand Teton's name.^^ 

The primary importance of the 1872 Hayden Expedition is that 
as a result of their reports on the phenomena of the Yellowstone 
region, for example. Mammoth Hot Spring, Upper Geyser Basin, 
Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and 
field reports on zoology, geology, botany, paleontology, and mete- 

10. "Beaver Dick" Leigh's diary is on file in the Western History Re- 
search Center, University of Wyoming. Olaus and Margaret Murie's Wapiti 
Wilderness devotes a chapter to Leigh's diaries. 

H. Ferdinand V. Hayden, Sixth Annual Report of the United States 
Geological Surveys for the Year 1872 (Washington: 1873). 

12. Ibid.; and William H. Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire (New 
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), p. 512. 

13. B. W. Driggs, History of Teton Valley, Idaho (Caldwell, Idaho: 
Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1926), p. 119. 


orology, the area was made into a national park.^^ Also, this 
expedition was particularly important for the effect that it had on 
place names in Jackson Hole. Most of the region's major lakes, 
as well as several creeks and mountain peaks, received names at 
that time. For the most part, those names are still used today. 

The Jones Expedition of 1873 is apparently one of the least 
known expeditions to enter the Jackson Hole area. This is ironic 
in view of the fact that Captain W. A. Jones, the expedition's com- 
mander, left a detailed account.^"' The purpose of the expedition, 
in the words of Brigadier General A. A. Humphreys, chief of 
engineers, was to provide the data necessary to "open a route that, 
whatever may be the advantages of the Missouri River route, would 
tend to keep down rates, and would prove advantageous to the 
government in the transportation of military and Indian supplies."^" 
Jones' orders were to conduct a reconnaissance northward from 
Fort Bridger to Yellowstone Park and the settlements north of it, 
by way of the Wind River Valley and upper Yellowstone. The 
proposed road would provide a direct route from the Union Pacific 
Railroad to the above-mentioned area. Despite the thorough 
fashion in which Jones accomplished his mission, no such route was 
established; however, his discovery of Togwotee Pass in early 
September of 1873^" makes the journey worth remembering. 

One of the last and most remarkable of the exploratory expedi- 
tions into the Teton country was the Doane expedition. With 
orders to explore the Snake River from Yellowstone Lake to the 
Columbia, Lieutenant Gustavus C. Doane embarked from Fort 
Ellis, Montana, on October 10, 1876. Doane was an experienced 
and adventuresome soldier and expressed little reluctance to tackle 
this rugged piece of terrain, even though winter was about to set in. 
He carefully outfitted his six-man mounted detail with Arctic cloth- 
ing and equipment and began the gruelling march. Doane had 
commanded the military escort which accompanied General Wash- 
burn's 1870 Yellowstone expedition (sometimes called the Doane- 
Washburn Expeditions^) and was already familiar with some of the 
terrain in question. 

14. Before the vote was taken regarding the creation of Yellowstone 
Park, Hayden placed copies of William H. Jackson's photographs and port- 
folios on every congressman's desk, an act which must have influenced the 
legislators. This friendly persuasion also was a positive influence, no doubt, 
in securing further appropriations for future expeditions. 

15. William B. Jones, Report on the Reconnaissance of Northern Wyo- 
ming, Yellowstone Park, made in the Summer of 1873 (Washington: 1875). 

16. Ibid. 

17. Goetzmann, op. cit., pp. 409-412. 

18. Edmund Christopherson, Behold the Grand Tetons (Missoula, Mon- 
tana: 1961), pp. 29-31; and Elizabeth Wied Hayden, From Trapper to 
Tourist in Jackson Hole, op. cit., pp. 29-30. For Doane's earlier role in the 
Doane-Washburn Expedition, see Lt. Gustavus C. Doane, "The Yellowstone 


On the third day, their heavily laden wagon collapsed near Mam- 
moth Hot Spring and the supplies had to be trans-loaded to pack 
animals. They encamped at the outlet of Yellowstone Lake on 
October 23 to weather a severe blizzard. Deciding that lake travel 
would be faster and easier, the party assembled the boat, the parts 
of which had been packed with their provisions. They made 15 
miles before high waves swamped the craft. They salvaged and 
dried their equipment, repaired the boat, and carried it to Heart 
Lake. Doane's emaciated band reached Jackson Lake on Novem- 
ber 23, having left Fort Ellis 43 days before. They not only had 
to cope with unfavorable terrain as they went, but also with terrible 

The situation was by that time growing desperate for Doane and 
his men. They shot a deer near Moran Bay, but the animal was 
diseased and every man in the expedition became violently ill. By 
now both sick and hungry, the men ate their fatigued horses. Near 
present Wilson, the tired group met John Pierce, "Beaver Dick" 
Leigh's trapping partner, who gave them a quarter of elk meat. 
After a nightmarish walk down the edge of the Grand Canyon of 
the Snake, during which they lost the rest of their equipment, 
Doane led his group into the Idaho mining country. Having gone 
80 hours without food, all members foundered from overeating. ^^ 

Doane and his men then started for Fort Hall, Idaho. En route 
they were intercepted by an infantry detail which had been sent to 
arrest them as deserters. The crowning blow came when they 
discovered that a $30 reward had been placed on the head of 
every man in the expedition! In spite of his ordeal, Doane favored 
retracing the latter part of his journey, feeling that the area de- 
served more attention than he had been able to give under such 
adverse circumstances. His request was refused, however, and the 
party returned to Fort Ellis. ^^ 

The year 1860 marked the beginning of a long series of expedi- 
tions into the Teton country. Between 1860 and 1876 there were 
at least four major, government-sponsored explorations, plus the 
several large prospecting parties which operated in the area. Both 
sources provided a really large amount of data on geography, 
geology, topography, wild plant and animal life, and the history of 
Jackson Hole and the Tetons. The result was that the area re- 
ceived more attention than its remoteness would at first glance seem 
to justify. Of course, Yellowstone Park was, after 1872, under- 
standably the center of attention. Nevertheless, the Teton area had 
received enough publicity by the last decade of the century to 

Expedition of 1870," 41st Congress, 3rd Session, Senate Executive Document 
51 (1870-71). 

19. Christopherson, op. cit., pp. 29-31; and Hayden, op. cit., pp. 29-30. 

20. Ibid. 


likewise fire the imagination of many park-minded people. The 
wonders of the Yellowstone and the exploration which advertised 
the splendors of both areas helped establish a framework for the 
movement which later resulted in the creation of Grand Teton 
National Park. 

The great changes which were sweeping the Rocky Mountain 
west by the 1860s and 1870s had very little direct impact on the 
Teton country, that is, the building of the railroad, the subjugation 
of the Indians, the coming of the cattle industry. This fact in itself 
appealed to some outdoor-minded people, though, for after the first 
prospecting parties appeared on the scene, a more or less perma- 
nent citizenry came into being in Jackson Hole. Trappers again 
came to the area, but of a type far different from Ashley's "one 
hundred young men." These latter-day mountain men simply eked 
out a living by hunting and trapping wild game. The profit motive 
had become much less important with the decline of the American 
fur market, and about all one could now expect for a free, simple, 
unhindered way of life. 

By the 1880s, the world was already awakening to the natural 
beauty which characterizes the Tetons, due largely, as noted earlier, 
to the publicity which neighboring Yellowstone Park was by then 
receiving. In 1883 President Chester A. Arthur took a very 
elaborate pack trip into Yellowstone, perhaps the largest and best 
equipped expedition of its kind ever to enter the area. The Presi- 
dent had a party of dignitaries with him, and was escorted by a 
troop of cavalry. Of 18 camps made, six were in Jackson Hole.-^ 

Also by the 1880s Jackson Hole and the surrounding country 
had become known to a small circle of European hunters of royal 
blood and considerable means. However, none of them left much 
of a mark on the wildly primitive area, and the task of taming it 
devolved on hunters of a less pretentious kind. During this decade, 
several hunters and trappers were working the area for both pleas- 
ure and profit, and some of them had built permanent cabins by 
1884. By 1885 a small trickle of settlers began entering Jackson 
Hole. As Elizabeth W. Hayden explains: 

John Holland decided to settle in Jackson Hole instead of trapping 
there off and on, and in 1884 built a cabin on the present government 
ranch near his friend John Carnes and his Indian wife. It was the first 
homestead in Jackson Hole, and had the first territorial water right in 
the valley. Carnes and Holland brought the first wagon in by way of 
Green River, Bacon Creek and the Gros Ventre in 1884. 

Robert E. Miller came to locate permanently in 1885, eventually to 
become the wealthiest man in Jackson Hole and a leading citizen. 
Frank Woods and William Crawford came in 1886, followed by 
"Uncle Jack" Hicks, John Cherry and Dick Turpin. That same year 
Joe Infanger and Adolph Miller drove in the first wagon to come over 

21. Elizabeth Hayden, op. cit., p. 30. 


Teton Pass on its own wheels. The year 1888 saw J. Pierce Cunning- 
ham in Jackson Hole, as well as Steve Leek and his partner Nicholas 
Gas. The following year Leek went out and brought in his half- 
brothers, Charles and Ham Wort. Mose Giltner, Brig and Andy 
Adams and John Sargent and his partner Ray Hamilton, great grand- 
son of Alexander Hamilton, came about this time. Martin Nelson 
brought his wife Berthe and four-year-old daughter Cora over Teton 
Pass on horseback in 1888. When the first Mormon families came in 
1889 they found forty bachelors settled in the valley as well as the 
Nelson family and Johnny Carnes and his Indian wife Millie.^- 

Because of its remoteness and inaccessibility, it was perhaps 
inevitable that Jackson Hole would attract a number of people who 
preferred their law in small doses, if at all. One such individual 
was a picturesque character with the unlikely name of "Teton" 
Jackson. Jackson (the third famous — or perhaps in this case 
infamous — Jackson to be associated with Jackson Hole, having 
been preceded by David E. Jackson the trapper, and WiUiam H. 
Jackson, the frontier painter and photographer) was a slippery 
desperado with a price on his head and a long record of offenses, 
including both robbery and murder.-'' In the early 1880s he had 
about a dozen toughs on his payroll, and used Jackson Hole as a 
base of operations for horse-stealing forays into Idaho. "Teton" 
seems to have had things his own way until he made the mistake 
of crossing Johnson County when Frank Canton was sheriff. Can- 
ton, who possibly exceeded even "Teton" Jackson in slipperiness, 
proved to be more than a match for the outlaw from Jackson Hole, 
neatly apprehended him, and had him trundled off to the peni- 
tentiary in Boise. The presence of such elements in Jackson Hole 
prompted Canton to refer to it as "the most talked-of outlaw 
rendezvous in the world. "^* 

In 1886 another incident occurred which lends credence to 
Sheriff Canton's candid reference. Four German prospectors, 
August Kellenberger, T. H. Tiggerman, Henry Welter, and John 
Tonnar, moved from Butte, Montana, into Jackson Hole to search 
for gold. Tonnar was a newcomer to the prospecting party, and 
there is evidence that he was by no means its most popular member. 

One day A. F. Free, a conductor on the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road, was fishing along the Snake River when he came upon three 
badly decomposed bodies. Closer examination proved that they 
were the bodies of Welter, Tellenberger, and Tiggerman. 

Meanwhile, in July, Tonnar had suddenly shown up in Pierre's 
Hole at the ranch of Emile Wolff, who, ironically enough, had been 

22. Ibid., p. 31. 

23. Edward Everett Dale, ed., Frontier Trails: The Autobiography of 
Frank M. Canton (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966), pp. 
36-42; and William Gardner Bell, "Frontier Lawman," The American West, 
Vol. L No. 3 (1961), p. 8. 

24. Dale, op. cit., p. 37. 


Welter's boyhood friend. Tonnar explained that the others had 
gone hunting, and immediately went to work for Wolff as a ranch 
hand. After the bodies of his companions had been found, Tonnar 
was taken into custody and tried in Evanston the following year. 
He confessed to the gruesome killing, saying that he had acted in 
self defense. Sinch each of the three dead men had a peculiar gash 
in his head with no other wounds evident, Tonnar's self-defense 
plea sounded flimsy, but he was cleared and released for lack of 
witnesses. He immediately disappeared. That section of the 
Snake River along which the bodies of the three prospectors were 
found is still called "Deadman's Bar."-'' 

Settlers continued to trickle into the Teton area throughout the 
late 1880s, and by 1889 there were 64 people living within the 
confines of what is now Teton County.-*^ By the early 1890s, 
Jackson Hole contained a flourishing, if somewhat remote, com- 
munity. It was still a very wild area too, as events in the 1890s 
would illustrate. 

During the fall of 1892, two alleged horse thieves entered Jack- 
son Hole with a splendid string of horses. At first, their character 
seems not to have been questioned, for Pierce Cunningham sold 
them hay and loaned them his cabin on Spread Creek. As the 
winter wore on, several ciitzens claimed to have recognized some of 
the horses' brands as those of various local ranchers and concluded 
that the two men must definitely be rustlers. 

In the spring of 1893 a United States marshal by the name of 
Anderson led a 16-man posse comprised of local citizens to the 
Cunningham cabin to apprehend the bandits. The men of the 
posse concealed themselves in the barn at night and ambushed the 
two men, Spencer and Burnett, as they came out of the cabin the 
next morning. "Swede" Jackson, Cunningham's partner, and Ed 
Hunter were also in the cabin at the time. Hunter, apparently 
ignorant of what was happening, fired a shot at his neighbors in the 
posse, but since neither Hunter nor Jackson was implicated in 
horse-stealing operations, charges were not pressed against them. 
The bodies of the two supposed rustlers were buried nearby.-' 
Some of the local citizens were something less than proud of the 
incident at the Cunningham cabin, and it has been suggested that 
the posse members were perhaps more strongly motivated by the 
reward which they hoped to collect for apprehending the two men, 
than by a desire to see justice done. 

The first post office in Jackson Hole was established on the 

25. Fritiof M. Fryxell, "The Story of Deadman's Bar." Annals of Wyo- 
ming, op. cit., pp. 129-148. 

26. Elizabeth Stone, Uinta County: Its Place in History, (Laramie: 
1924), p. 233. 

27. Elizabeth Hayden, op. cit., pp. 33-34. 


Frank E. White ranch in 1892. It was called Marysvale in honor 
of White's wife, who was the first postmistress. The post office 
was moved to John Simpson's ranch on Cache Creek in 1894, and 
renamed Jackson. It is interesting to note, however, that Marys- 
vale remained the headquarters for the settlers for some time.-'^ 

Although Jackson is Teton County's only incorporated town to 
this very day, it is not the only major settlement in the Valley. 
Wilson was founded in 1895 by Elijah N. "Uncle Nick" Wilson, an 
early-day Mormon settler. "Uncle Nick's" colorful career included 
such episodes as living two years with the Lemhi Indians, and 
riding for the Pony Express. The first white births, as well as the 
first deaths among the settlers in the valley, were in the Wilson 
family. Effie Wilson was born in 1891, and two of Sylvester 
Wilson's children died of diptheria. Sylvester was "Uncle Nick's" 
brother and leader of the first Mormon party into what is now 
Teton County. The first cemetery was in South Park, immediately 
south of the town of Jackson.-^ 

The Mormons had the first church in Jackson Hole, and it was in 
South Park, having been built in 1894.^*^ That group also had the 
first church in the town of Jackson. It was constructed in 1905 
at a cost of $3000. Fourteen families contributed $2500, while the 
Mormon church came forth with $500. Parker and Mullins were 
the building contractors.^^ By 1911 the Episcopalians, inspired by 
the Reverend Royal H. Balcom, had built a rest home, and by 1916 
had begun work on a hospital and church. By 1912 the Baptists, 
under the guidance of Reverend Baxter, could also boast the con- 
struction of a church.^2 

This flurry of church activity should not be interpreted to mean 
that the citizens of Jackson Hole suddenly succumbed to an attack 
of religious fervor. The erection of a new church was, and in a 
small community sometimes still is, one measure of progress, a 
headquarters for social activity and community action. 

William Dunn and Al Austin drove the first car into Jackson in 
1911; it was a Cadillac. By 1915, Charles Wort and Richard 
Winger had opened an automobile business in Wort's livery bam. 
In 1916 Walt Spicer opened Jackson's first actual automobile 

Institutionalized local financing became available in 1914 when 
the Jackson State Bank opened with a modest capital of $10,000. 

28. Agnes Wright Spring, "An Indian Fight in Jackson Hole," Old West, 
Vol. Ill, No. 3, (1967), p. 2. 

29. Elizabeth Hayden, op. cit., pp. 31-32. 

30. Ibid., p. 32. 

31. Stone, op. cit., p. 242. 

32. Elizabeth Hayden, op. cit., p. 38. 

33. Ibid. 


Robert E. Miller was president of the new bank, Hyrum Deloney 
was vice-president, and Harry Wagner was cashier.'^* 

As will become increasingly apparent in later chapters, the area 
that is now Teton County has, in both the nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries, possessed a knack for making national headlines. For 
example, a unique incident occurred in 1920 which aroused amuse- 
ment and interest throughout the nation: Jackson, having been 
incorporated in 1914, became the only city in the United States 
to be governed by a woman mayor and an all-woman city council. 
The mayor was Mrs. Robert E. Miller and the council consisted of 
Mrs. William Deloney, Mrs. Crabtree, Mrs. D. H. Haight, and Mrs. 
C. R. Van Fleck.^^-' 

The citizens of Jackson Hole were becoming more poHtically 
conscious and this awareness was not without its practical con- 
siderations. When Wyoming became a territory in 1868, a strip 
of land along the entire western boundary was left unorganized. 
The next year, the entire strip became Uinta County, with Evan- 
ston, in the southern end, as the county seat. Since Jackson Hole 
lay at the extreme northern end of this newly organized area, it 
meant that the people there were about 200 miles from their county 
seat!^^^' Aside from the enormous distance involved, the true sig- 
nificance of this situation can be fully appreciated only if one 
considers the weather that characterizes western Wyoming through- 
out much of the year, and that the horse was still the only mode of 
travel. Of course, there were not enough people in Jackson Hole 
and the surrounding area in the 1860s to show that the problem 
really existed; furthermore, the few people who were there that 
early were intent on hunting, trapping, prospecting, or exploring, 
and would have had a very limited amount of political business to 

The situation was rapidly changing, however, by the late 1880s, 
and by the turn of the century, the citizens of northern Uinta 
County were at a terrific disadvantage. In 1912 the situation was 
ameliorated somewhat when Lincoln County was created from the 
northern portion of Uinta County. The county seat was Kem- 
merer, which meant that the people of Jackson were still over 1 80 
miles away, and this, understandably, was never very satisfactory 
to them. 

In 1921 a final solution was found for the problem. Teton 
County was created from the northern end of Lincoln County, with 
Jackson as the county seat. It is an interesting fact that Teton 
County fell considerably short of meeting minimum requirements 
for county status, in both revenue and population. Though illegal, 

34. Ibid. 

35. Stone, op. cit., p. 238. 

36. Elizabeth Hayden, op. cit.. p. 25. 


and challenged by a number of lawsuits, the new county was al- 
lowed to remain in existence. The area's remoteness was undoubt- 
edly considered as a positive factor when a special act was later 
passed legalizing the unusual creation of Teton County. Even so, 
the county did not start functioning as a political entity until the 
beginning of 1923.^^ 

In July of 1923 Teton County's first session of district court was 
held. Judge Arnold presided.^*^ At long last, the people who lived 
in the shadow of the majestic Tetons had their own government. 
Their political isolation was now complete. 


One of Teton County's major natural resources is its high 
concentration of wild game. For over a century the area's excellent 
hunting has attracted outsiders from all over the world, and has 
provided local residents, from the days of the first settlers, with a 
convenient and substantial source of revenue. 

As early as 1837 Captain William Drummond Stewart^ of 
Murthly Castle, Scotland, led an elaborate hunting party into 
Jackson Hole. The effects of such activities were, of course, of no 
economic importance until there were people in the area to 
capitalize on the expensive tastes of wealthy sportsmen. By the 
1880s and 1890s the situation was beginning to change, due in 
part to the publicity which Jackson Hole had received as a result 
of the reports of well-heeled sportsmen, but due also to the fact 
that many of the local residents recognized that their services as 
hunting guides had a ready market; hence, non-resident hunting 
was encouraged and solicited. The latter was undoubtedly one 
factor, among several others, to be sure, which helped set the stage 
for one of the most important court cases to date involving wildlife 
management and the enforcement of state game laws. Known as 
the "Race Horse Case,"^ this dispute was not settled until 1896, 
though the groundwork had been laid during the previous gen- 

On July 3, 1868, at Fort Bridger, then in Utah, but in Wyoming 
three weeks later, when Wyoming became a territory, the United 
States government concluded a treaty with both the Shoshone and 


37. File folder in Western History Research Center, University of 

38. Stone, op. cit., p. 241. 

1. Mae Reed Porter and Odessa Davenport, Scotsman in Buckskin (New 
York: Hastings House, 1963), p. 161. 

2. For a readable narrative of the events in Jackson Hole regarding the 
Race Horse story, see Agnes Wright Spring, "An Indian Fight in Jackson 
Hole," Old West, op. cit., pp. 2-7, 36. 


Bannock tribes of Indians. Variously known as the "Connor 
Treaty," or the "Fort Bridger Treaty," Article 4 of the document' 
gave these Indians the right to hunt on lands of the United States 
as long as these same lands were unoccupied and peace prevailed 
among Indians and Whites on the borders of the areas involved. 
Also, the Connor Treaty created the Wind River Reservation in 
Wyoming and the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho. It is an inter- 
esting and somewhat curious fact that both tribes voluntarily 
divided their numbers between the two reservations. This is of 
importance later, as these Indians frequently exchanged visits and 
often hunted together. 

Significantly, Jackson Hole, the hunting rights for which were 
ceded to the two tribes as a part of the unoccupied area in question, 
soon became a favorite hunting ground for the Indians. This was 
perhaps inevitable considering the availability of elk there. Fur- 
thermore, it can hardly be argued that Jackson Hole was anything 
but unoccupied in 1868. 

It should be pointed out that some of the problems of Wyoming's 
elk were recognized almost as soon as the territory was organized, 
at both territorial and national levels. As early as 1869 Congress 
approved legislation which prohibited the sale of elk and other big 
game between February 1 and August 15. This was clearly aimed 
at "market hunting" and did not prevent hunters and trappers from 
occasionally replenishing the larder with fresh elk meat. In 1871, 
however, the restrictions became a bit more severe, with a closed 
season for all big game from March 1 to August 15. 

The importance of the Jackson Hole elk herd increased in pro- 
portion to the increase in the human population. When Wyoming 
became a state on July 10, 1890, more effective game laws were 
passed. Almost immediately, hunting was suspended completely 
throughout ten months of the year. A glimpse at the fabulous 
hunting in Wyoming was provided in September of 1892 when 
Theodore Roosevelt wrote in Century magazine about elk hunting 
at Two Ocean Pass.^ In 1895 machinery was set up for the 
management of the state's wildlife when the Wyoming Game and 
Fish Commission replaced the Wyoming Fish Commission which 
had been created in 1879; concurrent with the creation of the new 
agency, a $20 non-resident license law was passed. Also, the big 
game season was closed except during the months of September, 
October, and November, and was limited to males only."^ 

3. "In Re Race Horse," Federal Reporter, LXX (November, 1895-Jan- 
uary 1896), p. 599, Western History Research Center, University of Wyo- 

4. Robert L. Casebeer, Range Conservationist, Teton National Forest, 
U. S. Forest Service, Private Interview. Jackson, Wyoming, April, 1966. 

5. Federal Reporter, p. 603. 


Even before the enactment of the 1895 state game laws, the 
Secretary of the Interior, to whom the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs was directly responsible, must have foreseen possible trou- 
ble between Indian hunting parties and white settlers in some of the 
newly occupied lands, if not specifically in Jackson Hole. There is 
an implied uneasiness in his 1889 circular to all Indian agents 
reminding them that the Connor Treaty of 1868 allowed the 
Indians to kill only as much game as was necessary for their needs, 
and that slaughtering animals just for their hides was a violation 
of the treaty.*"' Five years later, in 1894, this admonition was again 
called to the attention of Indian agents. 

It might actually have been the passage of the new hunting 
regulations in 1895 which caused, or at least expedited, a con- 
frontation between Indians and white settlers. The Indians could 
still hunt anywhere at any time. However, the white citizens, 
many of whom were not only ranchers, but by this time big game 
guides as well, had their activities sharply curtailed by a new set 
of rules. 

By the summer of 1895 the situation was explosive, to say the 
least. During the early summer, Indians, mostly Bannocks from 
Fort Hall, killed elk throughout the Jackson Hole area. The white 
settlers decided that the situation had already gotten out of hand 
and decided to do something. They protested to the Indian agent 
at Fort Hall, and to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Wash- 
ington, D. C. They insisted that the Bannocks were leaving most 
of the meat to rot, and demanded that appropriate action be taken. 
Nothing was done. Constable William Manning telegraphed an 
appeal to the Secretary of War. His telegram was ignored. Con- 
stable Manning, a former buffalo hunter who had fought Indians 
under General Nelson Miles, decided that if the Jackson Hole elk 
were to be saved from extinction, immediate action would be 

Governor W. A. Richards insisted that even the Indians must 
obey the state game laws, and in so doing established an important 
precedent. Other states which were affected by the Connor Treaty 
were apparently making no effort to force Indian compliance with 
state game laws. Richards, however, promised Manning and Jus- 
tice of the Peace Frank Rhodes his full support in making Indian 
arrests, and full protection in the event of involvement with federal 

Constable Manning, confident of the governor's support, and no 
doubt a little bitter at the federal government's lack of cooperation, 
organized a 10-man posse and began patrolling the Gros Ventre 
River for poachers. Subsequently, they encountered a small band 

6. Spring, op. cit., p. 3. 

7. Ibid., p. 36. 


of Indians, both Bannocks and Shoshones, and arrested them. The 
Indians had in their possession over 200 elk hides prepared for 
tanning. The Indians were tried for hunting out of season and 
Rhodes fined each of them $75 and costs; unable to pay, their 
horses and equipment were confiscated to cover the court costs. 
Four of the arrested Indians were Shoshones, were relatively 
cooperative, and told the authorities that a large number of 
Bannocks who were camped in the Hoback Basin with a band of 
Shoshones were looking for trouble. 

The convicted Bannocks were taken to Evanston to serve their 
sentences. The authorities at the county seat were of a very dif- 
ferent view, however, never themselves having challenged the 
validity of the Connor Treaty. They were further upset when it 
was revealed that the defendants had not committed the alleged 
crime in full view of the arresting officers; that is, the poachers 
had not actually been caught in the act.'^ 

The people of Jackson Hole had now been either rebuffed or 
ignored by authorities at every level of government from county to 
national, with the sole exception of Governor Richards, and even 
he had given only moral support. The last straw came when three 
special constables who attempted to arrest a party of Bannocks 
with fresh elk hides in their possession were forced, at gunpoint, 
to leave empty-handed. This was a bitter pill to swallow and it 
was then that the white settlers decided to unilaterally put an end 
to the poaching problem. 

The target was the Indian camp in Hoback Basin. Meanwhile, 
the camp had been alerted by the hunting party which had resisted 
arrest. The Shoshones, not wishing to press the issue with angry, 
armed settlers, parted company with their Bannock friends and 
moved east to a new camp on Green River. The Bannocks sat 
tight and continued their activities. 

Realizing that a successful coup would require some planning, 
the settlers conducted a thorough reconnaissance before deciding 
upon their tactics. They decided not to attack from the north, 
which was the logical and most direct route, since the Indians 
would obviously expect just that. Instead, they planned to ap- 
proach from the east and take the savages by surprise. Thirty- 
eight men were deputized at the prearranged rendezvous at Warm 
Springs on the Gros Ventre River. In conjunction with their plan 
to cross over onto Green River, then proceed down to Hoback 
Basin, the party made camp the second night on the divide between 
the two rivers. The next morning they sighted the Shoshone camp 
at the confluence of Green River and Rock Creek. After a few 
tense moments, the hopelessly outnumbered Shoshones surrendered 
and the entire party, complete with equipment, was taken to 

8. Ibid., p. 4. 


Marysvale. Plans were then made to round up the Bannocks by 
employing the same general plan of attack.^ 

Manning's next posse was considerably smaller than the previous 
one, consisting of only 22 men. Through the use of scouting par- 
ties, the posse was able to pinpoint the exact location of the 
Bannock camp, as well as the number of Indians, lodges, and 
horses. The camp was completely surrounded just before day- 
break, and the Indians, after a short moment's reflection, wisely 
surrendered. The camp was large and the posse members feared 
trouble on the way back. In this, they were not disappointed. 

Constable Manning, hoping to avoid a fracas, but not wishing to 
lose any of his prisoners, ordered his men to shoot the horse from 
under any Indian attempting to escape. When the caravan broke 
noon camp on the Hoback River, the Indians very carefully mount- 
ed their best and freshest horses. The significance of this move 
appears to have escaped their captors at the time. While traveling 
single file down the narrow trail, a sudden prearranged signal 
cleverly sent all Indians in a wild dash to the right, making it 
clumsy for right-handed shooters to find easy targets. A few shots 
were fired in the melee, and the settlers were left with one aged 
Indian dead, a badly wounded Indian youth, a two-year-old pa- 
poose, and well over 100 head of Indian ponies and pack animals 
loaded with duffle. One papoose was lost in the scuffle and never 
found. All Indian duffle and equipment was left in a pile on the 
ground and the horses were turned loose. The settlers returned 
to their homes empty-handed, and a report was telegraphed to 
Governor Richards. News of the "Indian Trouble" traveled hke 
wildfire on the outside as a New York newspaper proclaimed: 

The local settlers, themselves now thoroughly alarmed at the 
prospects of Indian war, hurriedly constructed three "forts:" one 
at Irv Wilson's ranch, one at the Robert E. Miller ranch, and a 
third at the Pierce Cunningham place. ^'^ 

The situation in Jackson Hole was by that time a most dangerous 
one. The Indians at Fort Hall were in a very ugly mood. Also, 
Governor Richards telegraphed Washington that 200 Indians, 
presumably Utes, had been seen near South Pass, plus 47 Sioux 
on Bad Water Creek; all were armed, mounted, and traveling 
without women and children. The War Department, the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, and Governor Richards were trying desperately 
to keep abreast of events in Jackson Hole. Finally, two troops of 
the Ninth Cavalry were sent to the scene, and elements of the 
Eighth Infantry were placed on alert at Fort Hall. Agents at the 

9. Ibid., pp. 5-6. 

10. Ibid., p. 6. 


Sioux, Shoshone, Lemhi, Uintah, and Ouray agencies were ordered 
to call all of their Indians home.^^ 

The Indians were not without their sympathizers. After investi- 
gation, both the Interior and War Departments felt that the Indians 
were being deprived of their treaty rights and that the Jackson Hole 
settlers were incensed simply because the Indians were cutting into 
what had become a lucrative business centered around guiding and 
tourism.^- Nor had the killing of the old Bannock gone unnoticed. 
A United States marshal arrested William Manning and several of 
his men and took them before a grand jury, which refused to indict 

Governor Richards by now had been placed in a most embar- 
rassing position, since Manning had acted with his approval. Fi- 
nally, both sides agreed to settle the dispute with a test case in 
court. It was decided that Chief Race Horse of the Bannocks 
would represent the Indian and hence, the government's side; 
charges already were pending against him for having killed seven 
elk out of season. At his trial in the Cheyenne Circuit Court, 
many people in the state were either outraged or disappointed when 
Judge John A. Riner found him innocent and ordered his release. 

Much of the nation's press had been devoting considerable space 
to the Race Horse case. Generally speaking, a particular news- 
paper's stand was governed by its proximity to Wyoming, and 
therefore the amount of "unoccupied" land in its area. The 
Omaha Bee, Chicago Record, and Chicago Times-Herald, for 
example, supported Judge Riner's decision. The Salt Lake Herald, 
and the Rocky Mountain News agreed that the judge had grossly 
erred. Of the 1 7 Wyoming newspapers investigated, only two were 
not hostile to the court's ruling. The following typifies the reaction 
of the majority of Wyoming's newspapers : 

Judge Riner's decision against the state in the Jackson Hole trouble 
may be and probably is good law, but it is very unfortunate for the 
state, nevertheless. It means that in the future certain portions of 
Wyoming will be overrun with lousy redskins and that the wild game 
will be exterminated in a few years. It means further that there will 
be innumerable conflicts between the White settlers who are amenable 
to the state laws and the redskins, who can slaughter game at will. An 
appeal will be taken from Judge Riner's decision to the Supreme Court 
of the United States. i-i 

The case was appealed at Governor Richard's insistence. While 
Judge Willis Van Devanter was in the process of preparing Wyo- 
ming's case, he hinted at the political importance of the case when 

11. Ibid., pp. 7-36. 

12. Ibid., p. 36. 

13. Ibid. 

14. The Laramie Republican, VI (November 23, 1895), Race Horse File, 
Western History Research Center, University of Wyoming. 


he wrote to the following to Senator Francis E. Warren: "If the 
Governor's course can be sustained by the Supreme Court it will 
help his administration and will help us [the Republicans] polit- 
ically all over the state and will do us untold good in the northern 
half of Uinta County . . ." Judge Van Devanter convincingly 
presented his state's case before the Supreme Court, for on May 25, 
1896, the court reversed Judge Riner's decision. The Supreme 
Court ruled that Wyoming had entered the union on a basis equal 
with the original states, that each individual state had the unques- 
tioned right to establish and enforce its own game laws, and that 
the land in question was no longer unoccupied territory as it had 
been in 1868.i^ 

The status of Indian treaties which were in conflict with the 
sovereignty of individual states was thereby resolved, and Wyoming 
was permitted to regulate its game harvest. All agencies concerned 
agreed to the release of Chief Race Horse. ^*^ Sheriff John Ward 
of Uinta County, into whose custody the Chief returned after the 
Supreme Court's decision, set him free, and no further charges were 
pressed against any of the Indians concerned. The Bannocks later 
were compensated for their lost hunting rights. ^^ Thus, an im- 
portant milestone was reached in the fight to save the elk of 
Jackson Hole, although, as we shall see, the battle really had 
just begun. 

Indiscriminate poaching for hides, heads, and meat has by no 
means been the only threat to the elk population. The elk, much 
to his misfortune in times past, possesses one other commodity 
which has proven too much a temptation to man. That is the 
two ivory-like canine teeth, or "tusks," common to every adult 
animal of both sexes. These enjoyed a rash of popularity around 
the turn of the century with members of the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, [B.P.O.E.] who prized them as watch 
fobs and the emblem of their organization. Thus encouraged by a 
ready and lucrative market, a new breed of poacher was bom. 
Furthermore, since an exceptional pair of bull elk tusks brought as 
much as $85,^^ it is understandable that the strongest and finest 
herd sires were the first to be harvested. The debilitating effects 
of this practice were not long in appearing. 

15. United States Reports, CLXIII (October Term, 1895), pp. 505-516, 
Race Horse File, Western History Research Center, University of Wyoming. 

16. Arrangements for dropping further charges against Race Horse and 
his accomplices are discussed in the letters of Governor William A. Richards, 
U. S. Attorney General Judson Harmon, and D. M. Browning, Commission- 
er of Indian Affairs, Race Horse File, Western History Research Center, 
University of Wyoming. 

17. Spring, op. cit., p. 36. 

18. The Wyoming Tribune, March 19, 1915. 


Tusk-hunting first began in Jackson Hole in 1904.^-' By 1906, 
it was evident that these activities were decimating and weakening 
the herd and that something had to be done. The citizens of 
Jackson Hole called a meeting, to which the offenders themselves 
were invited. The tusk-hunting ring was being run by two men 
named Brinkley and Purdy, who were subsequently ejected from 
the valley and their gang broken up.-" In 1907 tusk-hunting 
became a felony.^^ The practice continued sporadically, however, 
until the B.P.O.E. undermined the main market with a decree 
against the elk tusk as that lodge's emblem. 

The inroads made into the Jackson Hole elk population over the 
years, though dramatic, were inconsequential when compared to 
the greatest and most serious threat — starvation. To an extent, 
starvation had plagued the herd even before the valley was settled, 
so the entire problem did not result from the encroaching civiliza- 
tion. For example, devastating losses have been recorded as far 
back as 1882, and thousands perished in the blizzard of 1886- 
1887." However, widespread settlement, with the resultant dis- 
appearance of elk range and forced migratory changes, has pro- 
vided the impetus for an elk management problem of crisis 

Originally, most of the elk of Jackson Hole migrated south out 
of the valley to the Green River country and various plains areas 
during the winter, where the snow was not so deep and grass was 
better.-"^ When summer came each year, the animals moved back 
to Jackson Hole and the surrounding mountains. By about 1904, 
there were enough sheep on the ranges to the south to interrupt this 
pattern. Simultaneously, the ranchers in Jackson Hole were stock- 
ing the range fast enough to put a serious squeeze on the elk there. 

In the winter of 1909-1910, it was estimated that about 14,000 
elk tried to winter in the vicinity of the present National Elk 
Refuge.'^ By mid-February, starvation had set in. A local mass 
meeting petitioned the state legislature, which was then in session, 
for funds to feed the herd. In the meantime, local ranchers began 
feeding operations, but half of the herd died anyway. The state 
legislature did appropriate $5000 to buy hay and to reimburse the 
ranchers who had already provided hay; but the state quickly 
realized its inability to cope with the situation and appealed to the 
federal government for assistance.-^ 

19. Casebeer interview, op. cit. 

20. Ibid. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Ibid. 

23. Aimer Nelson, Supervisor of the National Elk Refuge (Retired), 
Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, June, 1966. 

24. Ibid. 

25. Ibid. 


Edward Preble, a government biologist, investigated the elk 
situation in the spring of 1910. As a result of his report the federal 
government began a feeding program which, with many refine- 
ments, exists today. 

Even though much had been done to publicize the problems of 
the Jackson Hole elk herd, the animals were still in grave danger 
in 1910. It was that year that the first elk transplants were made 
to other parts of Wyoming.-^' The winter of 1910-1911 again pro- 
duced heavy losses. The state spent $1500 for hay, but this again 
proved inadequate and about 2500 elk starved before spring.-^ 
This occurred in spite of the fact that in March, 1911, state funds 
had again been augmented by a federal appropriation, this time in 
the amount of $20,000.-'^ During the winter of 1911-1912, the 
same pattern emerged — more state appropriations ($3406), more 
federal appropriations ($5872), and more dead elk.-^ The years 
1909-1912 were the hardest in this century for the elk. 

From 1912 to 1916, however, the situation was reversed, and 
the seriously threatened herd found a reprieve in the form of 
relatively easy winters, substantial appropriations from the federal 
government, and the embryonic beginnings of a permanent refuge. 
Congress appropriated $50,000 in 1912 to purchase the first 1760 
acres of the National Elk Refuge. The following year, 1000 acres 
of adjoining federal lands were added.'^'^ The four-year period 
beginning in 1912, when the elk numbered about 17,000, was a 
much-needed period of renewal for the herd, and the number of 
animals increased considerably. Unfortunately, the situation again 
changed abruptly during the winer of 1919-1920, when an ex- 
tremely severe winter killed half of the herd. A count in 1921 
showed a total of 9346 animals, which is the all-time low.-^^ The 
gigantic herds of elk were now as irretrievably gone as the even 
larger herds of buffalo, both casualties of the unrelenting pressures 
of civilization. 

A more scientific effort was made in the 1920s to study habits 
and diseases of the elk, with an eye to maintaining a smaller and 
healthier herd. In 1927 the U.S. Biological Survey sent a young 
biologist named Olaus Murie to Jackson Hole to study the elk 
problem. A pioneer researcher on elk diseases, especially necrotic 
stomatitis, Murie won an international reputation for himself, and 
his published works still stand as a primary source of scientific data 


26. Casebeer interview, op. cit. 

27. Ibid. 

28. Ibid. 

29. Ibid. 

30. Olaus J. Murie, The Elk of North America (Harrisburg, Pa.: The 
Stackpole Company, and Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, D. C, 
1951) p. 317. 

31. Casebeer interview, op. cit. 


on the elk. Stephen N. Leek, a pioneer photographer and early 
settler in Jackson Hole, also did much to publicize the plight of the 
Jackson Hole elk with numerous articles, supported by his splendid 
early photography work. 

Herd management was improved on a continuing basis, and the 
entire program was expended in size and scope, as illustrated by 
the following: in 1925 the Izaak Walton League started a trend 
when it bought 1760 acres from funds raised by public subscription 
($36,000) to enlarge the National Elk Refuge;'^- on April 15, 
1927, President Calvin CooUdge signed Executive Order 4631 
"withdrawing certain lands in Teton County from settlement, 
location, sale, or entry pending determination as to advisibility of 
reserving the lands for elk refuge purposes. '^-^ In 1934 congres- 
sional appropriations purchased 12,000 acres of private land for 
an extension of the elk refuge, to which 3000 acres of the public 
domain were added ;^^ in 1937 the federal government appointed 
the Commission of the Conservation of the Elk of Jackson Hole, 
Wyoming, which held its first meeting on March 3 of that year;'^'' 
President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order on Novem- 
ber 14, 1936, setting aside lands of the public domain in Jackson 
Hole for addition to the National Elk Refuge; in 1936-1937 five 
and a half miles of elk-proof fence was erected on the south and 
west boundaries of the refuge; on November 6, 1943, the Wyoming 
Game and Fish Commission and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
signed an agreement to limit the number of elk wintering in the 
National Elk Refuge to not more than 7000 animals, and hunting 
on a restricted basis was permitted within the refuge as one means 
of control.^^ In 1949, 2744 acres of federal lands were added to 
the National Elk Refuge.^' 

The present size of the National Elk Refuge is about 24,000 
acres.^^ Within its confines, approximately 7000 elk are fed each 
winter.^" This, however, does not comprise the entire feeding 
operation, as the refuge is only one of 23 feeding areas in the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission's District Number 1 .^^' The 
annual hay harvest from government lands goes as high as 3000 
tons.*^ The hay is harvested on a contract basis, stored on the 

32. Murie, op. cit., p. 317. 

33. Casebeer interview, op. cit. 

34. Nelson interview, op. cit. 

35. Casebeer interview, op. cit. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Nelson interview, op. cit. 

39. Kenneth Martin, District Supervisor. District No. 1, Wyoming Game 
and Fish Commissioner, Private Interview, Jackson. Wyoming, AprU. 1966. 

40. Ibid. 

41. Ibid. 


National Elk Refuge, and fed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Com- 
mission; the hay for all feeding operations outside the refuge is 
bought from local ranchers.^- The total number of elk which are 
fed in the Teton unit of District Number 1 is approximately 

The Jackson Hole elk herd should dominate any study of Teton 
County's wildlife. The relative importance of the elk herd justifies 
and provides an explanation for this. The elk pervade literally 
every phase of life in the area — economic, political, and social. 
The economic importance alone is stupendous. For example, the 
Jackson's Hole Courier estimated in June 1915, that the Jackson 
Hole elk herd was worth $1,000,000 to the state, and $80,000 to 
Jackson Hole alone. The accuracy of these figures would be hard 
to prove or disprove, but if this was true in 1915, then the herd's 
worth today is almost inestimable. There are, of course, other 
species of wildlife in Teton County, including moose, black bear, 
bighorn sheep, and deer; but it is the elk which have been the focus 
of national attention for over 70 years. This is how it will un- 
doubtedly remain. 

Consider for example, the number of agencies involved in elk 
management, and the amount of money each puts into the local 
economy through federal payrolls. Federal employees purchase 
consumer goods locally, much feed for the elk is purchased from 
local ranchers, and dozens of local citizens are federally employed. 
The elk herd is responsible for much of this. Also, the herd brings 
thousands of hunters to the county every fall who spend a great 
deal of money in the area. More elk are taken by hunters every 
season in Teton County than all other species of big game put 

(To be concluded) 

42. Ibid. 

43. Ibid. 

44. G. R. Rajender, Floyd K. Harmston, and Dwight M. Blood, A Study 
of the Resources, People, and Economy of Teton County (Laramie, Wyo- 
ming: 1967), p. 19. 

Wyoming State Mis tor lea I Society 


Green River, Wyoming September 10-12, 1971 

Registration for the eighteenth annual meeting of the Wyoming 
State Historical Society began at 7:00 p.m., Friday, September 10, 
1971, in the lobby of the Sweetwater County Court House in Green 
River. The Rock Springs Italian Singers entertained the members 
for an hour after which refreshments were served by the Sweetwater 
County Chapter. The visitors also enjoyed the museum and its 
interesting collections, including many beautiful Chinese items. 


At 9:00 a.m. the President, Judge J. Reuel Armstrong, called the 
meeting to order in the Community Room of the Sweetwater Court 
House. After a welcoming speech by Richard Wagner, mayor of 
Green River, the business of the Society began. 

Dr. Robert Burns moved that reading of the minutes of the 1970 
annual meeting be dispensed with. The motion was seconded and 
carried. Minutes of the May Executive Committee meeting were 
read by the Secretary. 

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


September 12, 1970-September 11, 1971 

Cash and Investments on hand September 12, 1970 $19,375.74 


Dues $ 5,637.50 

Pinettes 6.00 

Interest (Savings) 1,118.66 

Life Members (3 joints, 28 individual) 1,675.00 

Refunds 145.75 8,582.91 

Annals of Wyoming 


Annual meeting-Worland 









County Chapters 





Officer's Expenses 




Committee's Expenses 















Bond-Secretary of State 



Foundation Fund 





Certificate (Federal Building & Loan) 
Certificate (Capitol Building & Loan) 
Federal Building & Loan 
Capitol Savings (Life Members) 
Federal Building & Loan (Memorial) 
Cheyenne Federal Building & Loan 


First National Bank & Trust Company of Wyoming 

Cash and Investments on hand September 11, 1971 
7965 7969 7970 

Annual Members 1246 1278 1396 

Life Members 54 54 53 















The President introduced William H. Williams, Executive Sec- 
retary of the Society. Mr. Williams said that he did not feel very 
well acquainted with the program of the Society since he had been 
connected with it only five months, but hoped to learn more about 
it during this meeting. Judge Armstrong then introduced Neal E. 
Miller, Mr. Williams' predecessor. 

The Secretary read several letters of appreciation. One was 
from Sheridan County Chapter thanking the Society for the $400 
award received last year. One was from a couple who enjoyed the 
trek and another was from Dixie Lynne Reese, Leiter, Wyoming, 
who received an award for her painting. A letter from the State 
Highway Patrol stated that they had enjoyed escorting the Society's 
trek caravan in July. 

The President read a telegram from Senator Clifford P. Hansen 
expressing good wishes for the success of the meeting. 


Henry Jensen, David Wasden and Louise Graf were appointed 
to the auditing committee. Dr. T. A. Larson, Mrs. Lael Miller 
and Dr. Robert H. Bums were named to the resolutions committee. 


Scholarship. Dr. Larson reported that four county histories 
have been completed and two have not. Two people are still 
working on Grant-in-Aid projects. In answer to an inquiry about 
the availability of the county histories. Dr. Larson said that the 
University of Wyoming would xerox them for five cents per page. 

Projects. William Dubois reported that in response to letters 
he sent last fall to Society members an overwhelming majority 
were in favor of restoring the Houghton and Colter General Store 
in South Pass City as a Society project. However, the State has 
funds for that project and it has been suggested that the Society 
provide a water and fire protection system instead. The amount of 
$ 1 0,000 allocated for the general store restoration is still available 
for a suitable project. Mr. Dubois asked that suggestions for other 
projects be sent in writing to him or to the Executive Board. 

Trek. Henry Jensen gave an interesting resume of the 1971 
trek and said plans for the 1972 trek are already progressing. The 
President then commended Dr. Bums for planning and conducting 
many old-time ranch and mining country tours. He also asked that 
each Chapter secretary send in a list of future summer tours to be 
published in "Wyoming History News" so members from over the 
State could participate. 

There was discussion about many badly weathered historical 
signs throughout the state. Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins moved 
that the Society provide a sign at the turn off at Independence Rock 
since the present sign indicates only a rest area. E. L. Taliaferro, 
State Highway Commissioner from Green River, said he would 
take care of providing such a sign. 

Dr. Bums recommended the marking of the old Bath ranch 
house and Bengough grave site along Interstate 80 west of Laramie. 

The Chapters were reminded to be on the alert to preserve our 
historic landmarks. Mrs. Wilkins reported that the spectacular 
Avenue of Rocks west of Casper has been partially destroyed by 
road construction. 

A discussion arose over the Parting of the Ways sign. Mr. 
Williams was asked to look into the historical accuracy of the 
legend on that sign. 

Mrs. Wilma Johnson, from Burlington, explained the Trail Town 
project. Bob Edgar, of Cody, has collected and restored several 
old buildings and set them up on an old trail near Cody. He has 
personally bourne all the expense so far, but Dr. Larson suggested 
that assistance might be available from a federal Humanities grant. 


At ten o'clock a break was enjoyed when coffee, juice and rolls 
were served by the ladies of the Sweetwater Chapter, The rooms 
were gay with the beautiful gladioli bouquets brought by Dave 
Wasden from Cody. 

When the meeting was again called to order Mr. WiUiams, as 
Executive Secretary, reported that an oral history workshop held 
in several towns throughout the state last spring had been very 
successful and that follow-up workshops might give additional help 
to local groups. He suggested that the Society is closely related 
to the Archives and Historical Department, and can be of great 
help to chapters by furnishing research assistance. The trek will 
be video taped next year he said, and this would make a good 
program for a meeting. 


At this time the meeting of the Wyoming State Historical Society 
was recessed and re-convened as the Wyoming Foundation Fund, 
Incorporated. Ed Bille, chairman, gave his report as follows: To 
date $2,265.41 has been collected and deposited in the Wyoming 
National Bank of Casper. Nothing has been withdrawn. Addi- 
tional donations have been promised. He asked that all Society 
members be more aware of the Fund and its potential, and espe- 
cially reminded the meeting that memorial contributions are wel- 
come in small or large amounts. 

Mrs. Violet Hord and Ken Burris were re-elected as Foundation 
Fund board members for three-year terms (1971-1974). It was 
reported that the terms of office of Mr. Bille and Kathleen Hemry 
expire in 1972 and Mrs. Wilkins' and Dr. Larson's terms expire 
in 1973. 

The Foundation Fund meeting was adjourned and the Wyoming 
State Historical Society was again convened at 10:40 a.m. 

The Secretary asked the Chapter presidents for suggestions to 
improve the wording on the membership dues reminder cards. 
She also reminded them to be sure to pass on the Society handbooks 
to newly elected officers. 

Dr. Larson urged chapters to apply for matching funds from the 
National Endowment for the Humanities to finance their projects. 
Details can be obtained from the Program Coordinator, Wyoming 
Interim Committee for the Humanities, Room 135, Aven Nelson 
Building, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82070. 

Mrs. Wilkins announced that Dave True of Casper would give 
the old Little Bear stage station on the Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail 
to any organization which will restore and maintain it. The Exec- 
utive Committee was instructed to make a survey of the practica- 
bility of acquiring the site and structure. 

During a discussion of young people's participation in the So- 
ciety's activities, Katherine Halverson, member of the staff of the 


Archives and Historical Department, said she has material about 
junior historian societies which would be helpful in organizing 
junior historical groups. Anyone interested may write to her. 

Mr. Jensen reported that the auditing committee found the 
treasurer's books to be correct and in good order. 

The meeting was adjourned at noon. 

Luncheon was served at the Eagle's Hall to 103 guests with 
Adrian Reynolds acting as master of ceremonies. The Reverend 
Ronald P. Schutt gave the Invocation. W. R. Print, Operating 
Superintendent of the FMC Corporation, was the speaker. He 
gave the history of trona which was formed by precipitation from 
lakes which covered the area millions of years ago. Trona was 
discovered in 1937 but was not mined until 1953 when the FMC 
Corporation started a plant. There are 40 different trona beds in 
the vicinity. Trona is made into soda ash which is the basis for 
glass, detergents and numerous other products. 


The afternoon meeting was called to order promptly at 2:00 
p.m. in the Court House. 

Only highlights of Chapter reports are given here. Complete 
reports can be found in the Society files in Cheyenne. 

Weston County Chapter (Mrs. Mary Capps). Emphasis has 
been on the Anna Miller Museum where five new display cases 
have been added. About 40 programs can now be presented in 
the mobile history van. These programs are especially prepared 
for young people. 

Albany County Chapter (Dr. Robert Burns). The Chapter is 
engaged in the extensive project of taping interviews with pioneer 
residents. This project is called "Pioneer Voices" and is made 
possible by a grant for materials from the Grant-in-Aid program of 
the University of Wyoming Graduate School. 

Hot Springs County Chapter (Dorothy Milek). This Chapter 
was organized in the late spring of 1971 with 36 members. They 
are already recording stories of the area — one strange one about 
pigs being brought in to kill rattlesnakes. 

Big Horn County Chapter (Mrs. Wilma Johnson). Big Horn 
County is very interested in the development of Bob Edgar's Trail 
Town. They are also famous for their sourdough breakfasts 
which they serve on many occasions. 

Washakie County Chapter (Ray Pendergraft) . The Chapter met 
eight times during the year and twice in Thermopolis helping the 
Hot Springs Chapter organize. They have started a tape library 
and a library of historical photographs. The annual meeting of the 


State Society in Worland last year has helped make the whole 
town history minded. A marker was placed on the tree which was 
used as an anchor for the ferry years ago. 

Carbon County Chapter (Mrs. Jean Lambertsen). At one meet- 
ing Paul Petzoldt showed colored slides of the New Year's climb up 
the Grand Teton which he organizes and leads each year. Three 
summer treks were enjoyed — one to see the old Indian Baths near 
Encampment. The Chapter is still working toward the restoration 
of Fort Steele. 

Crook County Chapter (Read by Maurine Carley). The grand 
opening of the new museum was held Sunday, April 25, in Sun- 
dance. The $200 award received from the State Society last year 
was spent for two mannequins and wigs to use in a courtroom 
scene. They represent the Judge and the "Sundance Kid." 

Teton County Chapter (J. W. Brazelton). The Chapter spon- 
sored a visit by 83 year-old Rosa Koops, daughter of Beaver Dick 
Leigh, for whom Leigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park is 
named. She arrived with nine relatives from Fort Hall, Idaho. 
Seventeen Teton County members made a return visit to Fort Hall. 
Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickle confirmed the re-naming of 
Hanging Lake to Dudley Hay den Lake. The annual Boardwalk 
Cookout was a huge success. 

Fremont County Chapter (Norbert Ribble) . The Chapter made 
a contribution to the Wyoming Historical Foundation Fund. It 
protested the issuing of a beer license at state-owned property in 
South Pass City. It was also active in preserving the old Tweed 
Halfway House in Red Canyon and erecting suitable signs. A 
carry-in lunch is enjoyed at each meeting. 

Sweetwater County Chapter (Sam Leckie). A fourth grade 
class dramatized several important events in Wyoming history for 
a Chapter meeting. In June a trek was taken to Names Hill with 
the Lincoln County Chapter. Visits were made to the original 
potash plant and the first soda well. Plans were made for the 
annual meeting. 

Laramie County Chapter (Katherine Halverson). Mrs. Edness 
Kimball Wilkins was the speaker for the annual January banquet. 
Pioneers are honored at each Chapter meeting. 

Sheridan County Chapter (Mrs. J. E. Laughton). The Chapter 
is very busy with "Trail End," the former home of Senator John 
B. Kendrick, which they bought, restored and now operate as a 
museum and historical center. This year special emphasis is being 
placed on the carriage house. The Chapter has also printed a very 
attractive brochure about the two buildings. Sheridan County 
Chapter received a $400 award last year for their outstanding 


accomplishments. A part-time secretary has been hired to help 
the volunteers. They enjoyed two treks. 

Park County Chapter (Dave Wasden). An interesting trek was 
made to view the pictographs at Hamilton Dome and those in 
Oregon Basin. A committee is now at work cataloging local his- 
torical material with the help of the Park County librarian. This 
summer the Chapter has been endeavoring to identify the people 
who were buried in a little cemetery which was in use before the 
town of Cody was founded. 

Lincoln County Chapter (Mrs. Alice Cranor). Since the Chap- 
ter was organized in 1968 the membership has grown to 77 mem- 
bers. In December they have an old-fashioned Christmas dinner 
and a tree trimmed with popcorn and candles. In June they have 
an annual chuck wagon dinner cooked in Dutch ovens. One group 
begins the cooking the day before and another group joins them 
about 3:30 a.m. The Chapter helped Boy Scouts from Utah earn 
merit badges for cleaning up the Names Hill site. 

Niobrara County Chapter (Mrs. Annabelle Hoblit) This is the 
first time Niobrara County has been represented at a State meeting. 
They installed an air conditioner in the museum, painted the main 
exhibit room upstairs and built a pine-slab wall for exhibits. They 
have interested juniors in working for historical awards and held 
an appreciation dinner for summer volunteers. 

Natrona County Chapter (Henry Jensen). The main activity 
was helping plan and conduct the 1971 historical trek along the 
Oregon Trail. It has been suggested that a relief carving be cut 
showing pioneers, Indians, a hand cart and a covered wagon on the 
Sweetwater Rocks. This would compare in size with Mount 

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. 


The Awards Banquet was held at Little America at 7:00 p.m. 
Place favors were first-day covers commemorating the 100th anni- 
versary of John Wesley Powell's 1869 expedition down the Green 

Frank Prevedel served as an able master of ceremonies. The 
Reverend E. Patrick Trujillo gave the Invocation and Henry 
Chadey introduced the three state offciers present, Judge J. Reuel 
Armstrong, president; William Dubois, first vice president; and 
Maurine Carley, secretary-treasurer. Sam Leckie introduced the 
past presidents of the Society who were present. They were Dr. 
T. A. Larson, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins, Neal E. Miller, Adrian 
Reynolds and Mrs. Hattie Bumstad. 


The speaker was Dr. Charles S. Peterson, former director of the 
Utah Historical Society, who told about the two expeditions on the 
Green River made by John Wesley Powell and his men. On the 
first trip in 1869 his men "came cheap" as they were all adventur- 
ers. In 1872 he made his second trip with educated men who 
recited poetry or read King Lear while floating down the river. 
These expeditions were unparalled adventures and made an essen- 
tial contribution to the understanding of the West. 

The Resolutions Committee extended thanks in considerable 
detail to the many people who had worked to make the convention 
such an outstanding success. 

The officers elected to serve for 1971-1972 were announced as 

President: Wilham Dubois, Cheyenne 
First Vice President: Henry Chadey, Rock Springs 
Second Vice President: Mrs. Dudley Hayden, Jackson 
Secretary-Treasurer: Miss Maurine Carley, Cheyenne 

Historical awards were then presented by Mrs. Wilkins, on be- 
half of Mrs. Violet Hord, acting chairman of the Awards Com- 

Esther Allan, Jackson, for arranging the visit and celebration for 
Rosa Leigh Koops. 

Grand Encampment Museum, Inc., Mrs. Bert Oldman, Presi- 
dent, Encampment, for promoting museum activities and restoring 
local historical sites. 

Alberta Seaman and Douglas Seaman, Worland, for establishing 
a private museum. 

Edness Kimball Wilkins, Casper, for conducting a seminar of 
historical lectures at Natrona County High School and for many 
other lectures given at the request of groups throughout the State. 

Junior Historian Activities Group, Worland, for their booklet, 
"Worland's First 70 Years." 

Orrin and Lorraine Bonney, Kelly, for their book Battle Drums 
and Geysers. 

Virginia Cole Trenholm, Cheyenne, for her book The Arapa- 
hoes, Our People. 

Norman Weis, Casper, for his book Ghost Towns of the North- 

Tom Shakespeare, Arapahoe, for his book The Sky People. 

In Wyoming Magazine, Howard Rhodes, Casper, publisher, for 
historical articles on Wyoming. 

Buffalo Bulletin, Jack Williams and Jim Hicks, Buffalo, pub- 
lishers, for its annual historical edition. 

Mabel Brown, Newcastle, for historical articles published in 
Bits and Pieces. 

Vera Saban, Worland, for her historical article "A Dream of 
Lush Valleys," published in Real Frontier. 


Pat Hall, Cheyenne, for many historical articles published in the 
Cheyenne newspapers. 

Julie Evans, Saratoga, for her historical article published in the 
Saratoga Sun. 

Becky Petrie, Newcastle, for "Early Settlers in Weston County," 
published in Bits and Pieces. 

Karolea Tupa, Newcastle, for "Life of Mr. and Mrs. Luther 
Pyles," published in Bits and Pieces. 

Terri Hockett, Newcastle, for "The Foltzes, A Pioneer Family," 
published in Bits and Pieces. 

Myma Grendahl, Newcastle, for "The Foltzes, A Pioneer Fam- 
ily," published in Bits and Pieces. 

Kathy Farella, Newcastle for "Batista Farella," published in 
Bits and Pieces. 

Janet Pzinski, Newcastle, for "Mrs. Joe Lissolo, Sr." published 
in Bits and Pieces. 

Deborah Ward, Newcastle, for "Elizabeth Wells, The Doctor's 
Wife," published in Bits and Pieces. 

Karen Shook, Newcastle, for "My Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. 
Robert Shook," published in Bits and Pieces. 

Elizabeth J. Thorpe, Newcastle, for her paintings "The Prairie 
Church at Four Comers" and "Fawcett Cabin on Stockade Beaver 

Sandy Deuel, Lusk, for her historical sketches used on the 
Niobrara Chamber of Commerce brochure. 

Radio Station KYCN, Wheatland, Grover Allen, owner, for 
presenting historical programs arranged by the Laramie Peak 

Laramie Peak Cow-Belles, Wheatland, for arranging historical 
programs presented over Station KYCN. 

Paul Knowles, owner. Radio Station KSGT, Jackson, for his- 
torical broadcasts presented over Station KSGT. 

William F. Bragg, Casper, for historical broadcasts "Wyoming's 
Colorful Past," presented over Station KATL 

Michael D. Yandell, Casper, for photographs of Teton and 
Yellowstone National Parks. 

Donald Ellicott, Lusk, for a geology project. 

James Ellicott, Lusk, for a geology project. 

Pacific Power & Light Company and Idaho Power Company for 
naming the $300 million power plant. The Jim Bridger Plant. 

Honorable Mention awards were made to: 

Mrs. L. G. Flannery, Cheyenne, for editing Volume 6 of The 
Hunton Dairies. 

Hugh Knoefel, publisher. Northern Wyoming Daily News. Wor- 
land, for historical articles published in the Northern Wyoming 
Daily News. 


Duane Groshart, Worland, for historical-related sports articles 
published in the Northern Wyoming Daily News. 

Gerald Bardo, Lusk, for promoting historical activities in Nio- 
brara County through the Lusk Herald. 

Ray Pendergraft, Worland, for his historical poems, music, 

Dr. George Prison, Laramie, for archaeology projects at Fort 
Kearny and buffalo diggings throughout the State. 

A Cash Award of $400 was made to Weston County Chapter 
for moving and restoring Green Mountain School House. 

Judge Armstrong presented the gavel to Mr. Dubois who made 
a brief acceptance speech then presented Judge Armstrong with a 
President's Appreciation Certificate. 


Breakfast was served at 8:00 a.m. from a tent on Expedition 
Island where Powell and his men had breakfast before they started 
their dangerous and exciting trips down the Green River more than 
100 years ago. 

At 10:00 a.m. two tours left the Island: 

1 . A day-long tour to Flaming Gorge Recreation area includ- 
ing the first Green River Rendezvous site in 1825. Guide, Adrian 

2. A three-hour tour to Green River, White Mountain and 
Rock Springs. Guide, Henry Chadey. 

Maurine Carley 

^00 k Reviews 

Guardian of the Grasslands. The First Hundred Years of the 
Wyoming Stock Growers Association. By John Rolfe Bur- 
roughs. (Cheyenne: Pioneer Printing and Stationery Co., 
1971). Index. Illus. 430 pp. $15.00. 

Mr. Burroughs' comprehensive and soundly researched history 
of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association will, without doubt, 
be a definitive source of information for years to come, not only 
for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association itself, but for the 
cattle industry of the state. One authority on the cattle industry 
is quoted in the foreword: "Read the history of the Wyoming 
Stock Growers Association and you will read not only the history 
of the State of Wyoming but the history of territorial Wyoming and 
even of the rugged frontier of pre-territorial days." 

In the words of the author, "This is true. It is true because the 
history of Wyoming and the growth of the cattle industry in Wyo- 
ming are virtually synonymous. By and large, the same men who 
gave the Wyoming Stock Growers Association its character were 
the men who created first the Territory of Wyoming then the state. 
Nowhere else in this country has a comparable situation existed." 

The thorough documentation of the study establishes its author- 
ity for the serious student of Western history. Having worked 
with the author in the course of some of his research, we can attest 
to his meticulous and scholarly techniques of researching and 
selecting material. 

The dominant theme threaded throughout the impressive work 
is the indispensable grass — without which there could have been no 
livestock industry in Wyoming or the West. Mr. Burrough's first 
chapter, "What's In a Name?" begins: "The most important name 
in Wyoming is a common noun spelled g-r-a-s-s." He closes his 
book with this paragraph: "On the surface very little has changed 
in Wyoming since the coming of the cattle more than a hundred 
years ago. The cattle still are there — and so is the invigorating 
climate. The grass, and the Indians (save for a token few) who 
harvested the buffalo are long gone. But listen closely as the wind 
sweeps the Wyoming plain, and you will hear a ghostly refrain 
which never fails. 'I am the grass,' it seems to say, iet me work.' " 

One is tempted to mention many — or even all — of the intriguing 
chapter headings in Guardian of the Grasslands, as a brief review 
of the logical sequence of the book. A few selected ones, however, 
are indicative of the scope of the book: "Six Heifers and a Bull," 
"Cognac in Cow Country," "Cops and Robbers on the Range," 
"Black Balls and Bad Neighbors," "Wind on the Prairie," "Grass 
and the Great White Father," "The Distaff Side," and "Rounding 
Out the Century." 


The same individual flavor that characterizes these headings is 
also typical of Mr. Burrough's narrative style — informal, easy 
writing with subtle humor frequently evident, but at the same time 
decisive and informative. 

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association made no mistake in 
commissioning John Burroughs to write their history for the 1972 
centennial of the organization, and whatever other impact the one- 
hundred year observance may make, this book will stand as a 
permanent and substantial contribution. 

Chief, Historical Research and Katherine Halverson 

Publications Division, Wyoming 
State Archives and Historical 

Chief Washakie. By Mae Urbanek. (Boulder: Johnson Publish- 
ing Co., 1971). Index. Illus. 150 pp. $5.00. 

Enthusiasts of Wyomingana and those interested in Indians 
should be pleased with Mae Urbanek's new Chief Washakie of the 
Shoshones, published by the Johnson Company, Boulder, in 1971. 
Few biographies of this important chief had been written pre- 
viously. The most scholarly one, Washakie, by Grace Raymond 
Hebard, appeared in 1930. Since it is now out of print, it is not 
readily available to the average reader. Neither is Dr. Keith's 
1935 poetic version of Washakie's life. An Indian Odyssey, cur- 
rently unavailable except in rare book collections. 

Mrs. Urbanek has done valuable service in compiling a new 
biography of the Shoshone chief. She relies heavily on Dr. 
Hebard's book but arranges her material in more strictly chron- 
ological order, with less emphasis on the history of the region and 
more on the customs of the Shoshone Indians. Several of the 
illustrations were also used by Dr. Hebard, but many are new to 
books on Washakie, bringing knowledge of his descendants up to 
1970. Mrs. Urbanek has quoted many primary source materials — 
Hebard files on Washakie at the University of Wyoming containing 
letters from persons who knew him and from members of his 
family, army and Indian affairs records, interviews with army 
officers and Indian agents, post traders, and frontiersmen contem- 
porary with Washakie. 

One adverse criticism is the type face. The book seems to lack 
authority and sophistication because of being lithographed instead 
of printed. I should have liked Mrs. Urbanek to use the maps 
from Dr. Hebard's book, if that were possible. Probably she could 
have obtained permission from the A. H. Clark Co., since she did 
use the reservation map as end sheets. 


The book has an easy style, simple enough even for elementary 
school pupils. It should prove an asset to collections of Western 
Americana. The chief charm is the presentation of much descrip- 
tion of the life and customs of Shoshone Indians, both as nomads 
and as strugglers to adjust to reservation restrictions. This is a 
sympathetic treatment but not cloying with sentiment even in 
praising the great Chief Washakie. 

Western History Librarian Rose Mary Ma lone 

Casper College 

How the U. S. Cavalry Saved Our National Parks. By H. Duane 
Hampton. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971 ). 
Index. Illus. 246 pp. $8.95. 

Dr. H. Duane Hampton, Professor of History at the University 
of Montana at Missoula, provides a most interesting and timely 
account of a little known chapter in military and civil government 
history in the western United States. In contrast to many books 
about the American west. Dr. Hampton's book contains a great 
deal more of significance than one might expect from the catchy 

The author provides one of the best backgrounds we have ever 
seen in print on the history of the national park idea and the 
development of the earliest national parks. It is concise, readable, 
and yet extremely well documented. Dr. Hampton has examined 
carefully the detailed administrative background of Yellowstone 
National Park from its formation in 1872 to the coming of military 
control in 1886. He has done the same thing with the background 
of Yosemite National Park, exposing fully the inadequacies of civil 
administration under control of the State of California. In both 
these instances, Dr. Hampton provides a considerable amount of 
valuable insight into the inadequacy of the framework of law, the 
judicial framework, and the administrative situation in which ear- 
lier civilian superintendents of both park groups had to function. 
He gives an extremely good idea of the detailed context of frontier 
politics, frontier attitudes that clashed with early conservationist 
ideas concerning these two critically important parks in the 
American west. 

The author examines in considerable detail the processes and 
ideas that led up to the sending of troops to garrison both Yellow- 
stone and Yosemite. He examines the military administration of 
each park in depth and throughout introduces interesting incidents 
to show how effectively the military commanders involved devised 
operating expedients to meet the challenges posed by the inad- 
equacies of law in dealing with surrounding groups of frontiersmen. 


Dr. Hampton effectively sets forth the changing conditions on 
the frontier surrounding each park that required an expanded 
management program. He explains the effectiveness of the Army 
in developing some of the basic concepts that underlie key aspects 
of park management to this day. 

The author then goes on to examine the legal responses that 
Congress ultimately made to secure a framework for administration 
and law enforcement in both sets of parks. Many of these actions 
of Congress in this period and the consequent actions of adminis- 
trative officials helped to lay the groundwork for the development 
of an effective civil management of the national parks at about 
the time of the first World War and also laid the groundwork 
for the development of other national parks. 

Dr. Hampton then goes on to explain with care the transition 
from military to civil government as the National Park Service 
itself was formed in the teens of the current century. 

In his closing chapter, the author points out the importance of 
historical examination of our park policy. He very effectively 
interrelates some of the present day controversies over national 
parks and other national resource matters to comparable situations 
in the past and points out a number of valuable historic lessons that 
we might use in dealing with the complex pressures and interests 
upon our park and conservation and environmental movements 

As to subject matter, content, format, and printing quality, this 
book is one of the best to come out of University of Indiana press 
in recent years. 

The bibliography is one of the best we have seen on the early 
years of the national park service. Dr. Hampton has researched 
in depth both civil and military government records in the National 
Archives and virtually all of the published material of consequence. 

All told, the book is an attractive piece of work from both the 
author and publisher standpoints. We regard it as a must for those 
interested in the history of the national parks movement, in conser- 
vation issues of the present day, and for the many who have an 
interest in the military history of the American west. The book 
does a great deal to explain the interaction between military and 
civil government that was necessary in so many aspects of western 
history in the particular context of the national parks situation. It 
will do much to dispel popular misconceptions about the calibre 
of officers and men that served in the United States Army in the 
west in the late years of the 19th and early years of the 20th 
century. The only thing that may restrict the readership of this 
book to some degree is the price of $8.95, necessitated by rapid 
rises in publishing costs such as we have seen affect many other 
books. We sincerely hope that with the large amount of publicity 
achieved by the national parks in connection with the Yellowstone 


centennial year that the publisher or some other pubHsher may 
effectively present a paperback version that can get in the hands 
of as many of the millions of park visitors as possible. 

Western Interpretive Services Robert A. Murray 


The Beginning of the West: Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the 
American West, 1540-1854. By Louise Barry. Foreword by 
Dale L. Morgan. (Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, 
1972). Index. Illus. 1296 pp. $14.75. 

A more appropriate title for this comprehensive work would 
have been difficult if not impossible to find, for Louise Barry has 
reached well beyond the borders of Kansas to embrace over 300 
years of the history of the trans-Missouri West. 

In a single volume spanning some 1300 pages, including a 
minutely detailed 60-page index and 72 pages of illustrative 
material, the author offers the reader knowledge she has gained 
in her more than 30 years of research and writing on the American 
West. While originally pubhshed from 1961-1967 as a series of 
articles in the Kansas Historical Quarterly, the present volume 
enfolds those articles, with their myriad of invaluable source 
materials, under a single cover for ease of access and ready 

It goes almost without saying that this volume of some 640,000 
words is a most significant contribution to the history of the 
American West and most certainly should have a place in every 
library, and in the hands of all students of the West, be their interest 
professional or personal. 

Beginning with Coronado's 1540 incursion into the Southwest in 
quest of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola, the book, in the form of 
a chronological annals, spans and interweaves such matters as 
exploration, the fur trade, missionary activities, the westward 
emigration, Indian relations, military affairs, and settlement to 
1854, closing with an announcement of the appointment of the 
first Kansas territorial officers, June 30, 1854. 

Though in the form of an annals rather than a narrative history, 
the book easily lends itself to narrative reading, reference or 
browsing. While the pre-territorial history of Kansas emerges in 
sharp focus, Wyoming readers will find information on such famil- 
iar subjects as Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger, the Oregon Trail, the 
fur trade, and on personalities such as Jim Bridger, Thomas 
Fitzpatrick, Seth Ward,and many other subjects and people. 

Through no stretch of the imagination could this valuable com- 
pendium be said to be Hmited in scope just to Kansas and its 
immediate environs. Through the far-reaching viewpoint of the 


author and her diligent use of many valuable sources, this major 
contribution surely is destined to become a primary tool of western 
historical research. 

Louise Barry and the Kansas State Historical Society are to be 
commended not only for making the the information in this volume 
available but for doing so at such a reasonable cost as well. 

Research Historian, John Cornelison 

Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

Big Brother's Indian Programs — With Reservations. By Sar A. 
Levitan and Barbara Hetrick. (New York: McGraw-Hill 
Book Co. 1971.) Index. Illus. 228 pp. $8.95. 

Professors Levitan and Hetrick of the Center for Manpower 
Studies of George Washington University present in this work a 
clear, concise summary of the various endeavors the United States 
government is engaged in to better the lot of the reservation 
Indians. The authors have divided their analysis into sections 
depicting the general situation, past and present, of the Indians 
and those specifically discussing the areas of Indian education, 
health services, community structure and the development of the 
economic and human resources on the reservations. Their con- 
cluding chapter is an effort to draw the data together to come up 
with pragmatic solutions to the staggering difficulties confronting 
Native Americans on the reservations. 

The authors, while making efforts to remain objective, clearly 
indicate the goals which they feel should govern government-Indian 
relations in the future. These "controlling principles" include the 
greatest possible control by the Indians themselves over programs 
designed to help them; the recognition and preservation of cultural 
differences among Indians; the fastest possible improvement of 
living conditions on the reservations; the development and increas- 
ing self-sufficiency of reservation economies; and giving the Indians 
the option of retaining their geographic and legal separateness from 
the rest of the population rather than forcing them into the majority 
society. To a large extent their analysis of the governmental pro- 
grams affecting the Indians is colored by the degree to which 
these programs conform to the principles which the authors find 

Levitan and Hetrick's book is somewhat refreshing in these days 
of charges of Bureau of Indian Affairs indifference and malign 
intent in that it demonstrates the fantastic problems inherent in the 
efforts of governmental agencies, primarily the B.I.A., in dealing 


with scattered, extremely diverse tribes living in geographically 
different environments. Although the authors justifiably lambaste 
the Bureau for its all too often authoritarian and erroneous dictates 
to the Indians, they do point out that the age-encrusted and bureau- 
cratic top-heavy agency has in recent years made a sincere effort to 
change its ways and to include Indians in the making of policy 
decisions affecting their own welfare. The Bureau has also, 
although late in the game, begun the training of Native Americans 
to occupy meaningful positions in its administrative structure. 
Whether the momentum which the Bureau is building up in these 
moves will be sustained and expanded in the future is, however, a 
matter of conjecture. At the present time things Indian are "in" 
and the glare of publicity is on the matter of the relationship be- 
tween the government and the Indians. When the inevitable 
slackening of interest on the part of the majority society towards 
Indian matters occurs, the vested interests profiting through the 
maintenance of the traditional governmental attitudes towards the 
Indians will reassert their patterns of exploitation unless permanent 
safeguards are built into the bureaucratic structure. 

The authors realize that the Indians are not completely without 
responsibility in the failure or lack of implementation of desirable 
governmental programs. The resistance of traditionally minded 
tribal leaders acts as a drag on the introduction of reforms, as do 
the differing cultural values of the Indians concerned which some- 
times leads them to reject aid obviously beneficial to their welfare. 
Here of course are instances where the government must be as 
flexible as possible in obtaining maximum Indian participation in 
the formulation of reforms in order to overcome or bypass such 

The problems of Indian education are enormous in scope, in- 
volving not only cultural differences but such real factors as bilin- 
gualism and geographic isolation. Economic advancement on the 
reservations is hampered by the lack of investment funds, the 
unwillingness of industries to locate on the reservations and by the 
realization that some reservations simply do not have any econom- 
ically viable base on which to erect an industrial superstructure. 
Again cultural factors intrude as in cases where industries have 
located on the reservations hiring women in far greater numbers 
than men; a situation leading to family breakups and the emotional 
emasculation of the males involved. 

In presenting these facts concerning the government-reservation 
Indian situation in an easily assimilable manner, the authors have 
made a considerable contribution to the understanding of the posi- 
tion of America's most depressed minority today. 

Head, Wisconsin State Universities Norman Lederer 

Ethnic and Minority Studies Center 
University of Wisconsin, Platteville 


The American Cowboy In Life and Legend. By Bart McDowell. 
Photographed by William Albert AUard. (Washington, D. C: 
National Geographic Society, 1972) Index. Illus. 212 pp. 


"Most anything you want to say about cowboys is true. But the 
important thing is they take care of cows." This description of the 
American cowboy was uttered by a pioneer cattleman who hap- 
pened to be author Bart McDowell's grandfather. The old man 
summed it up pretty well. At some point of their lives most 
genuine cowboys do take care of cows. Of course, we would have 
to exclude some of the modern rodeo hands who do nothing but 
rodeo and some of the Hollywood characters the public mistakenly 
calls cowboys. 

McDowell, National Geographic senior editor, grew up on his 
grandfather's cow outfit in Old Mexico and knows the gritty side 
of ranching. This knowledge and experience reflects throughout 
the work. While gathering material for the book McDowell lived 
on ranches from Mexico to Canada and traveled more than 13,000 

Photographer William Albert Allard, says, "Though I live in 
Virginia, the West is my favorite area. I love both the land and its 
people." Allard is a master of his craft and here again a love of 
the subject shines through. The photographs are superb. Although 
AUard's pictures are the primary illustrations for the book, there 
are others. These include reproductions of paintings by Russell, 
Remington and other artists as well as some old time photographs. 

The scope of the work is from the Conquistadores to the present 
and includes some of the West's most colorful characters — Chis- 
holm. Goodnight, Will Rogers, Bill Pickett, the 100-year-old 
pharoah-featured Cherokee Jack Hart, the world's oldest living 
cowhand whom the author calls a living link with the old cattle 

No treatise on the cattle industry or its people would be complete 
without including Wyoming with her triumphs and tribulations, 
and we are not left out, as Wyoming ranches, history and person- 
alities are interspersed throughout the work. 

The A merican Cowboy In Life and Legend should appeal to the 
serious student of western history, cowboy buffs or anyone who 
just wants enjoyable reading. Written with plenty of savvy and 
humor, it confirms the claim of the old cowhand who said, "I'd 
know a cowhand in hell with his hide burnt off. Its the way he 
stands, walks and talks." 

Associate Editor Neal Blair 

Wyoming Wildlife 



Indian Leaders Who Helped Shape America, 1600-1900. By 
Ralph W. Andrews. (Seattle: Superior Publishing Co., 1971). 
Index. Illus. 184 pp. $12.95. 

Primarily a pictorial presentation, as are most of Andrews' 
books, this study portrays the decline and fall of the American 
Indian. The author has successfully shown the dignity and 
greatness of Indian leaders, and the tragedy of a people 
destined to be displaced from their native territory. 

Highways Into History. Ten Trails of Discovery that Led Amer- 
ican Pioneers on their Journey to Nationhood. By Alice 
Fleming. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1971). Index. 
Illus. 150 pp. $7.95. 

The colorful stories behind ten roads and trails is told in this 
very readable volume. The many highways that cross our 
country are the story of our nation's growth. They were 
blazed by Spanish missionaries, British soldiers and American 
frontiersmen and emigrants. Mrs. Fleming has included his- 
torical facts, anecdotes and photographs of landmarks and 
points of interest which are open to the public. The historic 
"highways" in her book are the Boston Post Road, The 
Wilderness Road, the Albany Post Road, the Iroquois Trail, 
Trail of the Conquistadores, the Natchez Trace, the Great 
National Turnpike, El Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail and 
the Route of the Pony Express, and the Oregon Trail. 

Cowboy Slang. By Edgar R. Potter. (Seattle: Superior PubHsh- 
ing Co., Hangman Press, 1970). Illus. 64 pp. 

Illustrated with sketches and photographs, this informal little 
book is quick and easy reading. It contains a glossary of 
cowboy slang terms and working vocabulary, information on 
how to read brands and a rodeo dictionary. 

Soldier and Brave. Editor, Robert G. Ferris (Washington: U. S. 
Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1970). 
Index. Illus. 453 pp. 

A new, hardcover edition of a previous publication, this title 
is Volume XII in the history series. The National Survey of 
Historic Sites and Buildings. Subtitled "Historic Places Asso- 
ciated with Indian Affairs and the Indian Wars in the Trans- 
Mississippi West, "the book relates the ethnic clash generated 


by the advancing tide of westward emigration in the 19 th 
century and its consequences. Maps, antique photographs 
and reproductions of 19th century sketches supplement the 

The National Park Service. By William C. Everhart. (New York, 
Washington, London: Praeger Publishers, 1972). Index. 
Illus. 275 pp. $9.00. 

Publication of this book coincides with the one-hundredth 
anniversary of the first national park, Yellowstone. It is the 
story of the agency which administers the country's parks and 
national monuments. Of particular interest is the author's 
handling of the preservation-versus-use issue. 


Red Feather Lakes. The First Hundred Years. By Evadene 
Burris Swanson, assisted by Ted Dunning. (Fort Collins, 
Colo.: 1971.) Illus. 87 pp. $3.00. 

The Discovery of Yellowstone Park. Journal of the Washburn 
Expedition to the Yellowstone and the Firehole Rivers in the 
Year 1870. By Nathaniel Pitt Langford. Foreword by 
Aubrey L. Haines. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1972). Index. Illus. 125 pp. $1.95, paper. $4.95, cloth. 

Indian Fights and Fighters. By Cyrus Townsend Brady. Introd. 
by James T. King. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1971). Index. Illus. 423 pp. $2.25. (Paperback, Bison 

The Historian' s Handbook. A Descriptive Guide to Reference 
Works. By Helen J. Poulton, assisted by Marguerite S. 
Howland. Foreword by Wilbur S. Shepperson. (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1972.) Indexes. 304 pp. 

Pioneros Cubanos en USA, 1575-1898. By J. Isern. Privately 
pubhshed, 1972. 


Daniel Y. Meschter, formerly of Cheyenne, and presently a 
mining engineer with the U. S. Forest Service in Portland, Ore., has 
contributed articles to Annals in the past. A member of the 
American Institute of Mining Engineers and the Presbyterian His- 
torical Society, he spent nearly ten years in Wyoming. He received 
his education at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and at 
Washington University in Missouri, and served in the U. S. Navy 
from October 1943 to May 1946. His hobbies include stamp 
collecting, western history, painting and music. Currently he is 
working on a history of the Rankin family of Carbon County and 
codifying the history of Presbyterianism in Oregon. 

Robert A. Murray of Sheridan, is another contributor whose 
name is familiar to readers of Annals and to western historians 
through his many publications in the field. Currently director of 
Western Interpretive Services in Sheridan, he has served as a 
consultant on western history, a teacher, and a National Park 
Service historian at various parks and museums. He received his 
education at Wayne State College in Nebraska and Kansas State 
University. Among his publications are Military Posts in the 
Powder River Country of Wyoming, 1865-1894; The Army on 
Powder River; Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail; and a number of 
other works. Currently, he is working on a history of Johnson 
County, Wyoming. 

Tony McGinnis is a graduate student at the University of 
Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. Born in Childress, Texas, he 
served as a lieutenant in the army from 1965-1967 and saw service 
in Vietnam. He was a high school teacher and coach from 1967 
to 1969, and attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, 
Colorado, 1961-1965. 

Glenn Burkes, a native of Arkansas, came to Wyoming as a 
youth. He attended Goshen County Community College (now 
Eastern Wyoming College, Torrington) and completed his under- 
graduate work at the University of Wyoming. He served as an 
enlisted man in the army from 1961-1963, attaining the rank of 
sergeant. He entered the army again in 1968 as an officer and 
presently holds the rank of captain. He is expected to return to 
the United States soon from Germany where he and his family have 
been since 1970. He was on the staff of Fort Laramie National 
Historic Site as a seasonal historian in the summers of 1966-1967. 
He is a charter member of the Council on Abandoned Military 


Adams, Andy, 92 

Adams, Brig, 92 

Adams, Richard C, 53 

The American Cowboy in Life and 
Legend, by Bart McDowell, re- 
view, 124 

American Fur Co., 28, 79, 83, 84 

Anderson, U. S. Marshal, 93 

Arland, 16 

Arthur, Pres. Chester A., 91 

Ashley, Gen. William H., 81 

Astor, John Jacob, 79, 80, 84 

Astorians, 79, 80 

Atalntic City, 35, 36, 47 

Atlantic Creek, 47; Gulch, 47 

Atlantic Hotel, 36 

Austin, Al, 94 

Averell, (Jim), 10 

Bliss, Jack, 17 

Boiler, Henry, 66 

Bonneville, Capt. B. L. E., 12, 58, 

60, 64, 65, 70, 83 
Bozeman, Mont., 33, 37, 49 
Bradley, Frank H., 88; Lake, 88 
Bradley, Lieut. James, 64, 68, 70 
Bradley Lake, 76 
Bridger, Jim, 81, 84, 85, 86 
Brinkley, — , 103 
British Northwest Company, 80 
Brown, Lieut. WilHam H., 3 1 
Buffalo Fork River, 76 
Buil Spring, 9 
Burch, William, 32 
Burkes, Glenn R., History of Teton 

County, (Part I) 72-106; biog., 127 
Burnett, — , 93 
Burroughs, John Rolfe, Guardian of 

the Grasslands, review, 117-118 


Bailey, Robert, 33 

Balcom, Rev. Royal H., 94 

Baldwin, Maj. Noyes, 32, 33 

Barry, Louise, The Beginning of the 
West: Annals of the Kansas Gate- 
way to the American West, 1540- 
1854, review, 121-122 

Bartlett, E. C, 52 

Baxter, Rev., 94 

Bear River City, 35 

Beaver Creek, 26, 32, 33, 40, 41 

Beaver Dick, See Richard Leigh 

Beaver Gulch, 50 

Beckwourth, James, 58, 59, 70 

Bee Hive Geyser, 21 

The Beginning of the West: Annals 
of the Kansas Gateway to the 
American West, 1540-1854, by 
Louise Barry, Foreword by Dale 
L. Morgan, review, 121-122 

Bell Springs, 8, 9, 10 

Bennett Line Lode, 46 

Big Brother's Indian Programs-With 
Reservations, by Sar A. Levitan 
and Barbara Hetrick, review, 122- 

Big Horn Basin, 30, 33 

Blacktail Butte, 75 

Blair, Neal, review of The American 
Cowboy in Life and Legend, 124 

Cache Creek, 94 

California Gold Rush, 28 

California Mining District, 33, 40 

California Placer Mining Co., 43 

Campbell, Robert, 83 

"Candy," 45 

Candlish, James, 16 

Canton, Frank, 92 

Canyon Hotel, 19, 20 

"Captain Bludsoe," 33 

Carey, Joseph M., 16 

Cariboo, 36 

Cariso Gulch, 47 

Cariso (Carissa), 33 

Carissa (Mine), 31, 35, 38 

Carley, Maurine, Wyoming State 
Historical Society, Eighteenth An- 
nual Meeting, Minutes, 107-116 

Carnes, John, 91, 92 

Carnes, Mrs. Millie, 92 

Carson, Kit, 84, 85 

Carrington, Col. Henry, 66 

Casper, 39 

Catlin, George, 65 

Century, 97 

Chace and Rice, 42 

Chambers, James, 65 

Chapman, Mr., 17 

Cherry, John, 91 

Cheyenne Argus, 28 



Cheyenne Circuit Court, 101 

Cheyenne Leader, 10-11, 34 

Chicago Times, 63 

Chicago Times-Herald, 101 

Chicago Record, 101 

Chiej Washakie, by Mae Urbanek, 
Review, 118-119 

Chisholm, James, 36, 45, 46 

Chouteau, Pierre, 83 

Clapp, Dexter, 68 

Clark, Richards, Walsh, 38 

Clark, Sen. Clarence D., 53 

Clark, William, 61, 63 

Clemens, William, 50, 51, 52 

Clyman, Jim, 81 

Cody, 16, 21 

Colter, John, 77, 79 

Commission of the Conservation of 
the Elk of Jackson Hole, Wyo- 
ming, 105 

Comstock, Henry, 49 

Comstock & Co., 42 

Conant Pass, 77 

Cornforth, Allan and Anthony, 46 

Connor, Gen. Patrick, 31 

Connor Treaty of 1868, 97, 98, 99 

Cooke City, Mont., 5, 16, 17 

Coolidge, Pres. Calvin, 105 

Cornelison, John, review of The Be- 
ginning of the West: Annals of 
the Kansas Gateway to the Amer- 
ican West, 1540-1854, 121-122 

Cottonwood Creek, 17 

Coulter, John M., 88; Lake, 88 

Crawford, William, 91 

Crook, Gen., 64, 69 

Crooks Gap, 10 

Crooks Mountain, 9 

Cunningham, J. Pierce, 92, 93, 100 


Dallas Oil Field, 11-12 

De Lacy, Walter W., 86, 87 

DeSmet, Father Pierre, 59, 61, 62, 
64, 65, 70, 85 

Dead Indian Hill, 17 

"Deadman's Bar," 93 

Denig, Edwin, 59, 60, 65, 70 

Dexter M.&D. (Mine), 38 

Dickson, Joseph, 77 

Doane, Lt. Gustavus C, 89; Expe- 
dition, 89, 90 

Doane-Washburn Expedition, 89 

Dorion, Pierre, 79 

Dunn, William, 94 

Dunraven, Earl of, 57, 59 

East End Miner's Delight. 48 
Economic Warfare on the Northern 

Plains, by Tony McGinnis, 57-71 
Eddy, Mr., 32, 35 
Eighth Infantry, 100 
Emma Matilda Lake, 76 
Endlich, Dr. F. M., 38, 49, 50 
"English company," 38 
Evanston, 93, 99 
Ewers, John, 64, 65 

Fairfield, Bronson and Marshall, 43 

Ferris, Warren A., 83 

Finerty, John, 63, 64, 67, 70 

Firehole River, 21, 22 

First Nevada Volunteer Cavalry, 31, 

Fischer, E. T., 38 
Fisherman's Cove, 20 
Fishing Bridge, 19 
Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 81, 84 
Fitzpatrick, Townsend and Dalton, 

Fort Bridger Treaty, (1868), 97 
Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, 62 


Bonneville, 84 

Bridger, 30, 31, 32, 34, 96 

Brown, 40 

Hall, Idaho, 84. 98. 100 

Henry's, 78 

Laramie, 29, 84 

Lisa's Fort, 77 

Manuel, See Lisa's Fort 

Ramon, (Remon), See Lisa's Fort 

Sarpy, 65 

Steele, 6, 16 

Stambaugh, 40, 49, 54, 55 

Washakie, 13. 15 
The Fountain Hotel, photo follow- 
ing p. 16 
Fontenelle, Lucien, 85 
Foy, — , (Mississippi), 83 
Fraeb, Henry, 82 
Frank, Otto. 16 
Free, A. F., 92 

Gallagher. Pugh and Chase. 46 
Gallegher. Maj. P. A., 41. 43. 44. 46 
Gas, Nicholas, 92 



Gervais, Jean Baptiste, 82 

Giantess, (geyser), 21 

Giltner, Mose, 92 

The Golden Gate near Mammoth 
Hot Springs, photo following p. 

Gooseberry Creek, 15 

Grace, Richard, 33 

Grand Teton, 75, 76, 88 

Grass Creek, 14 

Green Mountain, 9, 10 

Green River City, 35 

Gros Ventre Buttes, 75 

Gros Ventre Mountains, 74 

Gros Ventre Range, 75 

Gros Ventre River, 76 

Gros Ventre River Valley, 76 

Grotto Geyser In Action, photo fol- 
lowing p. 16 

Guardian of the Grasslands, by John 
Rolfe Burroughs, review, 117-118 


Hahn's Peak, Colo., 7 

Halverson, Katherine, review of 

Guardian of the Grasslands, 117- 

Hamilton, Ray, 92 
Hamilton City, 35, 40, 43, 44, 47, 

Hampton, H. Duane, How the 

U. S. Cavalry Saved Our National 

Parks, review, 119-121 
Hancock, Forrest, 77 
"Hank Whip," 34 
Harney, Gen. William, 29 
Hartley Mine, 48 
Hayden, Ferdinand V., 86, 88 
Hayden, Mount, See Grand Teton 
Hazen, Gen., 30 
Heckenlively, N. E., 8, 22 
Henry, Andrew, 78, 81 
Henry's Lake, 22 
Hermit Gulch, 36, 44, 47 
Hicks, "Uncle Jack," 91 
Hilliard, 12 
History of Teton County, by Glenn 

R. Burkes, (Part I) 72-106 
Hoback, John, 78, 79 
Hoback Mountains, 74 
Holbrook, Jack, 41, 45, 48 
Holland, John, 91 
Holt, Alta Evelyn Kirk, 8 
Homsher, Lola, 41, 45 
Homestake Mine, 39 
Horace Gulch, 50 

Horse Prairie, 30 

How the U. S. Cavalry Saved Our 
National Parks, by H. Duane 
Hampton, review, 119-121 

Hub Gold Mining Company, 38, 51- 
52, 53, 54, 55 

Hubbell, Harris B., 33 

Hudson's Bay Company, 81 

Humphreys, Isaac, 27 

Hunt, Wilson Price, 79 

Hunter, Ed, 93 

Hurt, J. J., 7 




Shoshone, 101 
Sioux, 101 


Arapooish, 60 

Blood, 65 

Cut Nose, 86 

Old Crow, 69 

Plenty-coups, 58, 63, 68, 69, 70 

Race Horse, 101, 102 


Powder River War, 66, 67 
"Race Horse Case," 96, 101 


Fort Hall, Idaho, 97 
Wind River, 97 
Shoshone, 14 


Arapahoe, 57, 62, 63, 64, 66, 68, 

69, 70 
Arikara, 62 
Assiniboin, 64, 65 
Bannock, 62, 69, 97, 98, 99, 102 
Blackfoot, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 

67, 70 
Blood, 62, 66 

Cheyenne, 33, 57, 63, 64, 66, 67, 

68, 69, 70; Northern, 62, 63 
Cree, 62 

Crow, 57-71 
Flathead, 62, 64, 84 
Gros Ventre, 62, 83 
Lemhi, 94 
Nez Perce, 69 
Pawnee, 62 
Piegan, 62, 65 



INDIANS (Continued) 
TRIBES (Continued) 

Ricare (Arikara), 64 

Shoshoni, 62. 69, 96, 99 

Sioux, 33, 57, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 
68, 69, 70, 71, 100 

Snake, 86 

Ute, 100 
Infanger, Joe, 91 
Irish Gulch, 50 
Izaak Walton League, 105 

J. A. Nye & Co., 43 

Jackson, David E., 72, 81, 82, 92 

Jackson, "Teton," 92 

Jackon, 72, 76 

Jackson Hole, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 

81, 82, 84, 85, 87, 89 
Jackson Lake, 76, 81 
Jackson's Hole Courier, 106 
Jackson State Bank, 94 
Jackson, "Swede," 93 
Jackson, William Henry, 88, 92 
James, Johnathan A., 32 
Jameson, William, 32 
Jenny Lake, 88 
Johnson County, 92 
Jones, Capt. W. A., 89, Expedition, 

Jupiter Terrace, Mammoth Hot 

Springs, photo following p. 16 


Keller, A. R., 69 

Kellenberger, August, 92 

Kenaly, A. K. M., 43 

Kime, James, 55 

King Solomon (mine), 33, 35 

Kirk, Ada, 6, 7 

Kirk, Mrs. Alma Parrish, 6 

Kirk, Alta Evelyn, 6 

Kirk, Boyd, 8 

Kirk, Henry A., Sixty Days to and 
In Yellowstone National Park, 
edited by Daniel Y. Meschter, 

Kirk, Mrs. May Parrish, 6 

Kirk, Zoa, 6, 8 

Kirk, Mrs., 8 

Knight, Prof. Wilbur C, 52 

Knight, Judge, 12 

Koch, Peter, 67 

Kuhn, Adam, 50, 51, 52 

Lander, 13 

Lander wagon road, 10 

Larocque, Francois, 59, 64 

Lederer, Norman, review of Big 
Brother's Indian Programs-With 
Reservations, \ 22- 1 23 

Leek, Stephen N. (Steve), 92, 105 

Leforge, Thomas, 63, 71 

Leidy, Mount, 88 

Leigh, Richard, 88, Lake, 88 

Leigh Lake, 76 

Leonard, Zenas, 58, 64, 70 

Levitan, Sar A. and Hetrick, Bar- 
bara, Big Brother's Indian Pro- 
i^rams-With Reservations, review, 

"Lillah," (steamboat), 19 

Lincoln Mining District, 32 

Lindeman, Prof. E. C, 52 

Lisa, Manuel, 77 

Lost Soldier, 9-10 

Lunch Station at Thumb of Lake, 
photo following p. 16 


McDowell, The American Cowboy 
in Life and Legend, review, 124 

McGinnis, Tony, Economic Warfare 
on the Northern Plains, 57-71; 
biog., 127 

McGovern, Frank, 41, 43, 48 

McGovern & Co., 47 

McGovern, Holbrook, Owen and 
Co., 42 

McKay, George, 41 

McKenzie, Donald, 80 

McNally, Wm., 15 

Madison Junction, 22 

Malone, Rose Mary, review of Chief 
Washakie, 118-119 

Mammoth, 19 

Mammoth Hot Springs, 18 

Manning, Constable William, 98. 
100, 101 

Marshall, Frank, 33 

Marshall, James W., 27 

Marysvale, 94, 100 

Maynadier, Lt., 86 

Meadow, 42 

Meadow Gulch. 40, 43, 47, 50 

Meek. Joe. 81, 84 

Meeteetse, 15, 16 

Meschter, Daniel Y.. editor. 5/.\7v 
Days to and In Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, by Henry A. Kirk, 
5-23; biog., 127 



Miles, Gen. Nelson. 98 

Miller, Mrs. Ada Kirk, 8 

Miller, Adolph, 91 

Miller, Ike, 8 

Miller, Isaac C, 5, 7, 16 

Miller, Mamie, 8 

Miller, Robert E., 91, 100 

Miner's Delight, 25-55 

Miner's Delight, Investor's Despair, 
by Robert A. Murray, 25-55 

Moran, Thomas, 88; Mount, 88 

More, (Boston), 83 

Moreland, D. C, 32 

Morgan, Dale L., foreword, The 
Beginning of the West: Annals of 
the Kansas Gateway to the Amer- 
ican West, 1540-1854, review, 

Mormons, 94 

Mount Leidy, 76 

Mount Moran, 75 

Mrs. Joseph E. Stimson at the Cone 
at Thumb of Lake, photo follow- 
ing p. 16 

Murie, Olaus, 104 

Murphy, Mike, 11, 12 

Murray, Robert A., Miner's Delight, 
Investor's Despair, 25-55; review 
of How the U. S. Cavalry Saved 
Our National Parks, 119-121; 
biog. 127 

Muscleshell, Mont., 67 


National Elk Refuge, 103, 104, 105, 

Natrona Co., 7 
Nelson, Mrs. Berthe, 92 
Nelson, Cora, 92 
Nelson, Martin, 92 
Nichols, D. C, 44 
Nicholas, Tom. 39 
Nickerson, H. G., 31 
Ninth Cavalry, 100 
Norris Geyser Basin, 19 
Northwest Company, 61 
Norwesters, 80, 81 


Obert, Mrs., 54 

Obsidian Cliff, 19 

Old Faithful Geyser, 19, 21, 22, 

photo following p. 16 
Omaha Bee, 101 

O'Neil, Arthur, 10 

Oregon Trail, 10, 30 

Overland Stage Company, 29 

Owl Creek, 14, 15 

Owl Creek Mountains, 9, 14, 15 

Pacific Fur Company, 79, 80 

Pacific Telegraph, 30 

Parker, Rev. Samuel, 84 

Parker and Mullins, 94 

Pat O'Hara Creek, 17 

Patton Vose and Co., 42 

Payton, E. T., 10, 11 

Pease, F. D., 68 

Pence, (Mary Lou), 41 

Phelps Lake, 76, 88 

Phillips, John "Portugee," 37 

Photographer Joseph E. Stimson in 

Camp at the Cody Gateway to 

Yellowstone National Park, photo 

following p. 16 
Piedmont, 7 
Pierre's Hole, 77. 80, 82, 92; Battle 

of 82 
Pierce, John, 90 

Pilot Knobs, See Teton Mountains 
Pinyon Peak Highlands, 76 
Poiree, T. K., 43 
Pony Express, 94 
Preble, Edward, 104 
Promise Gulch, 50 
Provot. Etienne, 81 
Pugh, Johnathan, 41 
Purdy, 103 



Brooks & Carrington, 10 

'Buck' Taylor, 10 

Chapman, 17 

Irv Wilson, 100 

LU, 15 

M Bar, 16 

O'Neil, 10 

Robert E. Miller, 100 

Simpson, John, 94 

"21," 15 

White, Frank E., 94 
Rawlins, 5-7, 8, 9, 10, 16 
Rawlins and Fort Washakie Road, 

Rawlins House Hotel, 6 
Rawlins-Lander Stageline, 10 
Raynolds, Capt. W. F., 85, 86 



Red Rock Valley, 30 

Rendezvous, 1836, 1837, 1838, 84; 

1839, 85 
Rezner, Jacob, 78, 79 
Rhodes, Justice of the Peace Frank, 

98, 99 
Richards, Charles, 52 
Richards, Gov. W. A., 98, 99, 100, 

Ridell, Henry, 33 
Riner, Judge John A., 101, 102 
Robinson, Edward, 78, 79 
Rock Creek, 39, 47 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 81, 

82, 83 
Rocky Mountain News, 101 
Rongis, 10 

Roosevelt, Pres. Franklin, 105 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 39, 97 

Standifer, Jefferson, 31, 33 

Startzell, Mrs. Alta Kirk, 8 

Startzell, Amandes, 5, 7, 8 

Steamboat "Lillah," 19 

Stephens. Alfred K., 83 

Stevenson, James, 88 

Stewart, Capt. Wiiham Drummond, 

Stinking Water bridge, 16 
Strawberry Creek, 32 
Stuart, Granville, 30 
Stuart, James, 30, 61, 87 
Stuart, Robert, 80 
Sturgis, William, 52 
Sublette, Milton, 84 
Sublette, William, 81, 82, 83 
Sunlight Creek, 17 
Sweetwater Bridge, 1 1 
Sweetwater Mines, 28, 34, 41, 44, 46 
Sweetwater Mountains, 9 
Sweetwater River, 10 
Sylvan Pass, 21 

Sage Creek, 16 

Salt Lake Herald, 101 

St. Ledger, E. G., 43 

Salt River, 23 

Schroeder, Charley, 8, 20, 22 

Scott, Hiram, 81 

Separation Flats, 9 

Shawham, R. W., 48 

Sheppard & Co., 43 

Shoemaker, W. H., 32 

Shoshone River, 16 

Shoshonie Mining District, 33 

Signor, EH, 10 

Silver Bow, Mont., 7 

Sixty Days To and In Yellowstone 

National Park, by Henry A. Kirk, 

edited by Daniel Y. Meschter, 

Skelton, Johnathan F., 32 
Skull Creek, 17 
Smith & Co., 42 
Smith Gulch, 47 
Smith, Jedediah, 81 
Smith, Perry L., 17 
Snake River, 76 
Snowbird (mine), 38 
Soda Springs, 30 
South Pass, 26, 29, 33, 35, 37, 39, 

40, 41, 80 
South Pass City, 34, 35, 36, 37, 43 
Southern Pacific Railroad, 92 
Spencer, — , 93 
Spicer, Walt, 94 
Split Rock, 10 
Spread Creek, 93 
Spring Gulch, 35, 40, 41, 43, 47, 50 

Taggart Lake, 76, 88 
Taylor, Buck, 1 1 
Terrace Mountain, 18 
Teton Basin, See Pierre's Hole 
"Teton Fault," 74, 75 
Teton Mountains. 74, 80 
Teton Range, 75, 76 
Third U. S. Cavalry, 7 
Thornburgh, Maj. T. T., 8 
Three Tetons, 85 
Tiggerman, T. H., 92 
TimbaBah (mine), 38 
Togwotee Pass, 77, 89 
Tonnar, John, 92, 93 
Tower Creek, 18 
Tozier, — , 35 
Tozier and Eddy, 44 
Tozier & Eddy's mill, 36 
Treaty of 1868. 68 
Trosper, W. B., 11 
Turpin. Dick, 91 
Twin Gulch, 50 
Two Ocean Lake, 76 
Two Ocean Pass. 77, 97 


Union Pacific Railroad, 6, 7, 35, 40 

Union Pass, 77, 86 

Union Vedette. 31 

U. S. Biological Survey, 104 



U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 105, 

U. S. Geological Survey, 38 
United States Peace Commission, 

1868, 66 
University of Wyoming, 52 
Upper Geyser Basin, 20, 22 
Urbanek, Mae, Chief Washakie, 

review, 118-119 

Van Devanter, Judge Willis, 101, 

Vaughan, Alfred, 59, 61, 65 
Viall, J. A., 68 
Virginia Cascades, 19 


Walsh, Jno. J., 44 

Walsh, Margaret (Mrs. Jonathan), 

Ward, Sheriff John, 102 
Warm Springs, 99 
Warren, Sen. Francis E., 102 
Waters, Comrade A. W., 19 
Watson, Ella, 10 
Wells, Edmund, 53 
Wells, Fargo & Co., 34, 37 
Welter, Henry, 92, 93 
West Thumb, 19 
West Yellowstone, Mont., 22 
Western Extension (mine), 49 
Whiskey Peak, 9 
Whitman, Rev. Marcus, 84 
Wilkinson, Mahlon, 66 

Wilson, Effie, 94 

Wilson, Elijah N. "Uncle Nick," 94 

Wilson, Irv, 100 

Wilson, Sylvester, 94 

Wilson, 94 

Willow Creek, 31, 33, 44 

Willow Gulch, 47 

Wind River Canyon, 33 

Wind River Mountains, 74 

Wind River valley, 32, 40 

Winger, Richard, 94 

Wise, G. W., 16 

Wolff, Emile, 92, 93 

Woods, Frank, 91 

World-beater Lode, 46 

Wort, Charles, 92, 94 

Wort, Ham, 92 

Wyeth, Nathaniel, 82, 83 

Wyoming Fish Commission, 97 

Wyoming Game and Fish Commis- 
sion, 97, 105, 106 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 
Eighteenth Annual Meeting, min- 
utes, 107-116 

Y&nkcc 42 

Yankee' Gulch, 40, 43, 47 
Yellowstone Falls, photo, cover 
Yellowstone Lake Boat Leaving 

Thumb, photo following p. 16 
The Yellowstone Lake Boat Co. 

Store, photo following p. 16 
Yellowstone National Park, 18-22, 

Yellowstone River, 18 
Young America (mine), 49 
Young, Noah, 53 





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. (B 

(Bud) Brimmer Cheyenne 



William H. Williams Director 

Robert L. Strickland Director, State Museums 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archives and Records Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is pubhshed 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 and America: History and Life 

Copyright 1972, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 44 Fall 1972 Number 2 

Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
Associate Editor 

Published bianniially by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1972-1973 

President, Henry F. Chadey Rock Springs 

First Vice President, Richard Dumbrill Newcastle 

Second Vice President, Henry Jensen Casper 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, William H. Williams 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 

William R. Dubois, Cheyenne 1971-1972 

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, Crook, Fremont, Goshen, Hot Springs, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, 
Natrona, Niobrara, Park, Platte, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, 
Washakie and Weston Counties. 

State Dues 

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Zabte of Contents 


PACIFIC - 193 

By Robert A. Murray 


Edited by Francis Boyer 


By C. Lee Mills 


By Virginia Cole Trenholm 


By David L. Shaul 

HISTORY OF TETON COUNTY. (Conclusion) 241 

By Glenn R. Burkes 



Compiled by Maurine Carley 


Reiger, The Passing of the Great West. Selected Papers of 

George Bird Grinnell 287 

Keithley, The Donner Party 288 

Young, Dodge City: Up Through a Century in Story and 

Pictures .' '.. ' 289 

Settle, Overland Days to Montana in 1865. The Overland Diary 

of Sarah Raymond and the Journal of Dr. Waid Howard 290 

Hinman, The Golden Age of Shotgunning 291 

White, Hostiles and Horse Soldiers. Indian Battles and 

Campaigns in the West 293 

Olson, /. Sterling Morton 294 

Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt Outdoorsman 295 


INDEX 301 


Barracks, Fort Fred Steele Cover 

Bachelor Officers at Fort Steele 142 

Bridge Tender's House 155 

Ordnance Magazine at Fort Steele 180 

The Loading and Sorting Dock 204 

Cabin at Carbon Timber Company Town 204 

Harry Boyer 208 


PEOPLE 222, 228. 229. 230 

Arapahoe Indians Smoking in Council 234 

Southern Arapahoes in Council 234 

The building on the cover is one of the two surviving 
barracks at Fort Fred Steele. According to Robert A. 
Murray, author of "Fort Fred Steele: Desert Outpost on 
the Union Pacific," the surviving barracks underwent a 
number of modifications over the years to adapt them to 
various uses. He says the basic central structure of each 
remains, however, with few alterations. The south bar- 
racks appears to retain its kitchen, while the north one, 
shown on the cover, retains the main structure of its 
porch. Both are among the oldest and best preserved 
soldier barracks in the entire west. (Cover Photo by 
Cozort, Wyoming Studio, Rawlins) 

Jort 7red Steele: 

Desert Outpost on the 

Union Pacific 


Robert A. Murray 




Military history of Wyoming is to this day very incompletely 
researched. Posts such as Fort Laramie and Fort Phil Kearny, 
along with such officers as Grattan, Caspar Collins and Fetterman 
and other assorted losers have drawn most of the attention. Many 
of the state's military posts and battle sites are little known to the 
average history buff or the general reader. 

Fort Fred Steele is one of the posts in this category. We have 
often heard the question in historical circles: "Fort Fred Steele, 
where in hell is Fort Fred Steele?", despite the fact that over two- 
million out-of-state tourists and countless traveling citizens of 
Wyoming whisk by within a mile and a half of it each year on 
Interstate 80! The question deserves an answer. 

Fort Fred Steele lies on the left bank of the North Platte River 
at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing of that stream. This is just 
about 15 miles east of Rawlins, and about 12 miles by jeep trail 
south of Seminoe Reservoir. Here stand a handful of historic 
buildings, including some of the best survivals of their type in the 
west, along with ruins and identifiable sites of most of the fort's 

For some months now we have been involved in intensive re- 
search on this interesting old post. We hope this brief survey of 
our findings will interest others in the current efforts of many 
interested groups and individuals to save this site and these historic 


Historical Background 

Many of Wyoming's military posts got their start in connection 
with a trader or emigrant trail of some kind. Not so Fort Fred 
Steele. Its entire history is closely interwoven with the story of the 
Union Pacific Railroad in this region.^ 

There is now abundant documentation to show that the comple- 
tion of a transcontinental railway was one of the great national- 
interest issues of the mid-nineteenth century. Actually, it probably 
ranked second only to the matter of national survival contested in 
the Civil War, and was a matter in which route selection was the 
only issue of a sectional nature at hand. With the preponderance 
of popular support and economic power settling these issues simul- 
taneously at an increasing rate after the summer of 1863, interest 
turned toward the transcontinental rail line at an increasing pace in 
the closing years of the war. 

. Indian hostilities that broke out along the old Oregon/California 
trail through Wyoming in 1862 were complicated by the introduc- 
tion of volunteer units as replacements for the regulars who had 
previously garrisoned the western posts, and more or less steady 
warfare ensued along the old trails. With this convenient excuse, 
the Overland Stage lines in 1862 moved south to the shorter and 
faster "Overland Route" that entered present day Wyoming via 
Virginia Dale, and traversed the Laramie Plain, crossing the North 
Platte River about 12 miles above the present site of Fort Fred 

Government surveyors had been over much of the country in 
what is now southern Wyoming in the period 1856-1859, as a part 
of the wagon road surveys activity, the military engineering attend- 
ant to the Utah Campaign, and the preliminary studies for the 
Pacific Railroad.^ Now, beginning in the spring of 1865, company 
surveyors moved west from Omaha, rapidly pinning down the 
precise choice of routes for a low-gradient rail line through the 

1. For a comparison with the various aspects of Fort Fred Steele history 
with the other types of posts mentioned, one should refer to: LeRoy R. 
Hafen and Francis M. Young, Fort Laramie and the Pageant of the West, 
(Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1938); Robert A. Murray, Military Posts 
in the Powder River Country of Wyoming, 1865-1894, (Lincoln: University 
of Nebraska Press, 1968.) 

2. Fred B. Rogers, Soldiers of the Overland, (San Francisco: Grabhorn 
Press, 1938). LeRoy R. Hafen, The Overland Mail, (Cleveland: Arthur H. 
Clark Co., 1926). 

3. W. Turrentine Jackson, Wagon Roads West, (Berkeley: University 
of California Press, 1952). 

4. Wesley S. Griswold, A Work of Giants, (New York: McGraw-Hill 
Book Co., 1962). Robert G. Atheam, Union Pacific Country, (Chicago: 
Rand McNally, 1971). 


These survey parties were small, and in view of the three years 
of increasing Indian hostility along the trails, they anticipated 
trouble with the Indians. The Connor Campaign of 1865 was 
largely a punitive and diversionary move to keep the hostiles away 
from the line of railroad surveys and construction. The construc- 
tion of Fort Connor (soon renamed Fort Reno) on Powder River 
was a continuation of this goal.'' In a large measure so was the 
garrisoning of Fort Reno with regulars and the construction of 
Fort Philip Kearny and Fort C. F. Smith further up the Bozeman 
Trail in 1866.^ As the rail lines advanced across Nebraska in 
1866, the army estabUshed supply bases at major points along the 
track, stationed small forces at the individual stations of the com- 
pleted line, and kept a screen of patrols out ahead of the main 
construction parties. The railroaders themselves were well armed 
and reasonably well disciplined to anticipate and ward off Indian 

The government had acknowledged the importance of the rail- 
road as a consideration in western military operations in 1865, as 
we noted above. Early in 1867, the matter was given additional 
weight, as General Grant noted in a letter to General Sherman : 

Now that the Government has assumed the obligation to guarantee the 
bonds of the Pacific Railroad, it becomes a matter of great pecuniary 
interest to see it completed as soon as possible. Every protection 
practicable should be given by the military, both to secure the rapid 
completion of the road and to avoid pretext on the part of the builders 
to get further assistance from the government.*^ 

In the spring of 1867, the major transfer point for army supplies 
from rails to wagons was a temporary depot of some size at North 
Platte Station in Nebraska.® By early fall, this function was filled 
by the new depot (destined to permanence) at Cheyenne.^" From 
this point the army and the railroad officials could look ahead to 
about three hundred miles of "Indian Country" of any real 

5. J. B. Upsher, Secretary of Interior, to Edwin Stanton. Secretary of 
War, letter, January 12, 1865, published in War of the Rebellion. Ser. I. 
XLVIII, Pt. I, pp. 498-499; also, for material on the Connor Campaign: 
Hafen, LeRoy R. and Ann W., The Powder River Campaign and Sawver's 
Expedition. (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1961). 

6. Murray, op. cit. 

7. Grenville M. Dodge, How We Built the Union Pacific Railway. 
(Denver: Sage Books reprint, 1965). 

8. Letter, U. S. Grant, General of the Armies of the United States, to Lt. 
Gen. W. T. Sherman, Commanding the Military Division of the Missouri, 
January 26, 1867. 

9. For example, quartermaster and ordnance correspondence with Colo- 
nel John E. Smith, 27th Infantry, indicates that he loaded his trains with 
supplies here before heading up country for the Bozeman Trail posts in May 
of 1867. Letters Sent & Received, Headquarters. Department of the Platte, 
RG98, National Archives and Records Service. 












































concern. Some bands of Sioux and Cheyenne were still active 
from the very outskirts of Cheyenne City through the Laramie 
Plains and upper Platte region, especially during the construction 
season. The Northern Arapahoes were in substantial control of 
most of the country at the south end of the Big Horns, the Sweet- 
water Valley, the upper portion of the South Fork of the Powder 
River, and with seasonal aid from the Cheyennes were raiding the 
Shoshoni along Wind River. 

Some bands of the Shoshoni had always maintained a generally 
friendly attitude largely to secure assistance against the Cheyennes 
and Arapahoes pushing into their country. Other Shoshoni and 
their Bannock relatives had been soundly thrashed at Bear River 
by Connor in 1863.^^ 

The Utes of western Colorado ranged north over the Red Desert 
and the nearby mountains seasonally. Their attitude was question- 
able, but assumed to be more or less friendly at this point. '- 

As of late fall, 1867, Fort Laramie and the newly created Fort 
Fetterman assumed the role of major bases for any potential field 
operations and for patrolling that would keep large forces of Sioux 
and Cheyennes away from the railroad. These posts lay over 90 
miles north of their respective rail supply points, and this left about 
ten thousand square miles of potential territory for operations 
against hostile Indians west of the Laramie Range and south of the 
mountain barrier that bordered the northern bend of the North 
Platte River. 

The army's strategic approach hinged on careful use of develop- 
ing rail transportation beyond the immediate critical period of 
construction activity. Effective and widespread patrolling of forces 
in the field could suffice in the early months of 1868. Beyond this 
the first step was to abandon Fort Halleck on the Overland Route 
(at the foot of Elk Mountain), and remove its garrison to the 
projected point where the railroad would cross the Laramie River. 
This was accomplished by the summer of 1 866. The new post was 
at first called Fort John Buford, but the name was soon changed to 
Fort Sanders (partially to avoid confusion with another Fort 
Buford in Dakota ).i-^ 

The army then projected that another post at the critically im- 
portant North Platte River Crossing would serve as the central 
base of operations in the area. 

Long-established Fort Bridger tied down the western end of 
the region. 

10. Peggy Kircus, "Fort D. A. Russell." Annals of yV'Yoniing. Vol. 40. 
No. 2, October, 1968. 

1 1 . Rogers, op. cit. 

12. Robert Emmitt, The Utes and the Settlement of Colorado. 

13. Robert W. Frazer, Forts of the West. (Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1965), p. 185. 


As the rail line advanced, troops from these three posts could be 
used to garrison the stations and tie and construction camps as 
needed during seasons of active Indian hostility. 

Strategy and economics of a stringently-poor post-Civil War 
regular army were closely interrelated. The railroad, once com- 
pleted, could be expected to move troops quickly and efficiently 
to points of trouble along the line. Any station could quickly 
become the supply base for an expedition against the Indians, 
while troops could be wintered in economy and relative comfort at 
the major posts along the line.^^ 

As we shall see, the concept worked out well, and the army 
fulfilled its mission effectively in the region for the next 18 years. 
The very effectiveness of military operations here has, more than 
any other factor, worked against general public knowledge of the 
fort's history. Carrington, Fetterman, and Custer are practically 
household words; but all too few Americans have heard of the 
successful officers who steadily worked toward the solution of the 
"Indian Question" as a military problem, like Bradley, DeTro- 
briand, Merritt and their subordinates whom we shall discuss at 
Fort Fred Steele. Only a modest number of history buffs even 
know of Richard I. Dodge and James S. Brisbin through those 
men's own writings or of Arthur MacArthur except through his 
son. And all of these and more were part of the "Fort Steele team" 
in the closing years of the Indian wars in Wyoming. 

"The Ball Opens" 1868-1869 

During late 1866 and into 1867, the railroad pushed west from 
Lone Tree Station to Cheyenne, over 300 miles of hostile Indian 
country. It was with considerable relief, coupled with uncertainty 
as to the Indian situation over the next stretch that the railway 
builders and the railway camp-followers settled down in the sprawl- 
ing board-and-canvas town on Crow Creek late in 1867. This 
uncertainty in civilian minds came about through an examination 
of the events of the recent season.'"' Surely, the army had given a 
uniformly good account of itself against the "Northern Indians" in 
1 867, at the Wagon Box Fight, the Hayfield Fight and a number 
of smaller skirmishes that year.^" At the same time, however, 
much of the combat strength on the plains was tied up in Kansas 

14. Robert G. Athearn, William Teciiinseh Sherman and the Settlement 
of the West, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956), many refer- 
ences to views of Sherman and others on the strategic and tactical implica- 
tions of the railroads. 

15. Ihid. p. 171-188. 

16. Murray, op. cit.\ also: Roy E. Appleman, two papers in Great West- 
ern Indian Fiqhts, Potomac Corral of the Westerners, (Garden City, N. Y.: 
Doubleday &'Co., Inc., 1960). 


and in eastern Colorado, awaiting what promised to be another 
season of intense campaigning.^' The situation was further com- 
plicated by the announcement early in the year that the army would 
be directly involved in a new set of treaty negotiations with the 
northern plains tribes at a number of points, with Fort Laramie, 
only about 90 miles away from Cheyenne, getting top billing as the 
seat of "peace talks. "^'^ 

These talks would surely bring together a sizeable concentration 
of Indians "in to share the presents" if nothing else, and most 
westerners did not particularly favor such a concentration. 

A taste of trouble along the older trails came early in the season. 
On March 18, a detachment of Co. K, 18th Infantry, had a skirmish 
near the Fort Fetterman sawmill, losing one man. Two days later 
civilians at Horseshoe and at Twin Springs Ranches fought the 
Indians, losing three men. Out along the projected rail line at 
Rock Creek, a wood party successfully stood off Indians, killing 
one of the hostiles on April 3.^'' 

By mid-April, both construction and military activity were under 
way. Brigadier General C. C. Augur, commanding the Depart- 
ment of the Platte, was also involved in the treaty negotiations and 
opened a "Headquarters in the field" at a camp near Fort Laramie. 
Here he kept in touch with both the peaceful and hostile aspects 
of Indian relations. On April 16, he wrote to Grenville M. Dodge 
of the Union Pacific: 

I have put Gibbon in charge of line west of Sanders. You had 
better see him and determine between you what is necessary. 

There are but two(2) small bands of Indians out, and they will. I 
think, soon be brought in. Not an Indian from the Republican has 
been out, and only a few young men from the North, who got mad 
here at Laramie and went out to steal. 

Twenty! 20) Brules have gone out to bring in the stock captured 
from along Lodge Pole. 

I do not believe there will be any general Indian trouble. Not an 
Indian that the commission treated with last year has been troublesome 

It remains to be seen what we can do with the Northern ones.-" 

Despite his air of confidence when communicating with the railroad 
officials. Augur was prepared for any trouble, for the next day, his 

17. Donald J. Berthrong, The Southern Cheyennes. (Norman: Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma Press, 1963). 

18. Athearn, op. cit. Remi Nadeau, Fort Laraniie mid the Sioii.x Indians, 
(Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967). 

19. George W. Webb, Chronological List of Eni;ai;en}ents between the 
Ref>iihir Army of the United States and Various Tribes of Hostile Indians, 
which Occurred During the Years 1790-I89S. Inclusive. (St. Louis: Wing 
Printing and Publishing Co., 1939), p. 36-37. 

20. Telegram: C. C. Augur to G. M. Dodge. April 16, 1868, letters and 
telegrams sent. Headquarters, Department of the Platte in the Field near 
Fort Laramie, RG98, NARS. 


A. D. C, Captain G. B. Russell, wrote to Colonel John Stevenson 
of the 30th Infantry to expect orders for himself and the four com- 
panies of his regiment commanded by Major Richard I. Dodge to 
join Colonel John Gibbon's command in the region west of Fort 

On the 19th of April, the records place Major Dodge's battalion 
near Fort D. A. Russell (at Cheyenne). They moved swiftly up 
country, crossing Cheyenne Pass on the 20th, and spending the 
21st through 23d at Fort Sanders, apparently outfitting for the 
field and conferring with Colonel John Gibbon. From there the 
column moved out along the line of construction. On the 26th, 
they were at Rock Creek, the 28th at Medicine Bow River, the 30th 
at Brown's Summitt, and on the 2nd of May, the column was at the 
North Platte Crossing.-- 

This first show of force of the season came none too soon. The 
grading crews of the railroad were moving fast, about three miles a 
day, according to the Frontier Index. Indians attacked one of 
these groups of workmen on Thursday, April 23, wounding three 
of the workmen seriously enough to require hospitalization, and 
another slightly. The paper sharply noted the relationship of 
Indian troubles to the negotiations, saying: 

The men say they saw the Indians coming, and could have escaped, 
but as they were dressed in soldier's uniform they supposed it was a 
scouting party. The Indians draw soldiers uniform from the Agents 
at Fort Laramie, and come down on the grade and kill the laborers.-'^ 

This does not appear to have been idle journalistic speculation, for 
photos in General Augur's own collection show numerous Indians 
in possession of items of issue uniform, in the good condition of 
recent issue. -^ The same issue of the newspaper noted the passage 
of Dodge's four-company column through Laramie City the day 
following the incident.-"' Two of the wounded men died not long 
after, A. McConner on the 30th of April, and C. King, on the 
morning of May 5?^ 

21. Telegram: Russell to Stevenson, April 17, 1868, Hq. Dept. of the 
Platte in the Field, RG98, NARS. 

22. Special Orders #2, Bn. of 30th Inf., April 19, 1868; Circulars of Bn. 
of 30th Inf., April 21, 22, 23, 1868; S.O. #7, Bn. of 30th Inf., April 26, 
1868; S. O. # 10 and 11, Bn. of 30th Inf., April 30 and May 2 resp. 1868. 

23. Frontier Index, Laramie, D.T.. April 28, 1868. 

24. This set of pictures is well known and many of them have been 
widely published. The originals are on file at the Newberry Library in 
Chicago, many individual views are on file at Wyoming Archives and His- 
torical Department and a substantially complete set of copy negatives are 
on file at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. 

25. Frontier Index, Laramie, April 28, 1868. 

26. Frontier Index, Laramie, May 5, 1868. 


Major Dodge made his headquarters at the crossing from the 2nd 
on, though the battaUon was seldom concentrated at one place 
during the spring and early summer.-^ Formal orders for the 
establishment of a military post at the North Platte Crossing of the 
U. P. were issued as General Orders # 16, Headquarters, Depart- 
ment of the Platte on May 12, 1868.-'' Dodge began to use the 
name Fort Steele on June 18, in orders and correspondence; but 
he did not officially establish the post according to his monthly post 
return until the 30th of June, 1868.--' 

During June, he had only Company B at the North Platte Cross- 
ing, with Company G stationed at Medicine Bow during most of 
the month, then patrolling from that point to Elk Mountain, on to 
the Overland crossing of the North Platte, and ultimately into camp 
at the end of the month at "Warm Springs."-^" 

During this same period. Company A camped eight miles north 
of Elk Mountain, guarding woodcutters, telegraph builders and 
track layers on the rail way. '^^ 

Company F camped at and patrolled around Rock Creek guard- 
ing the railroad bridge and grading contractors. •^- 

Dodge began getting out some construction lumber early in June, 
but this may have been simply for flooring and framing for his tents 
in anticipation of arrival of better equipment, funds, and civilian 
employees for construction work at a later point. -^'^ 

Some historians have tended to overlook the importance of 
activities on the part of the Fort D. A. Russell, Fort Sanders, Fort 
Fred Steele garrisons in the summer of 1868 in favor of the 
dramatic swirl of events at Fort Laramie. A substantial amount 
has been written about the 1868 treaty. There was a swarm of 
Indians there. A distinguished list of treaty commissioners vied 
for center stage with a colorful selection of "chiefs" from the 
various plains tribes. The government handed out a small fortune 
in various presents, and the Indians paraded in it for the photog- 
rapher General Augur brought along. Most westerners knew the 
impact of the treaty could not be very great, when the Indians had 
no truly organized government that could secure compliance, and 
when it was politically improbable that the white government could 
be much more effective once the frontier moved a bit further in on 
the Indian country. Perhaps the most valuable yield of the whole 

27. S. O. #28, Fort Steele, June 18, 1868, RG98, NARS. 

28. G.O. #16, Hq. Department of the Platte, May 12. 1868. RG98. 

29. Post Return, Fort Fred Steele, for June 1868, RG98. NARS. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Ibid. 

33. S.O. #23, Hq. Bn. 30th Inf., June 5, 1868, RG98. National Archives. 


great show was the number of Indians it kept tied down in talk 
while the rails pushed west. 

Throughout the summer, the Indians in their usual fashion did 
continue to look for targets of opportunity along the line of rail 
construction. That there were few casualties is a tribute to the 
efficiency and discipline of the troops in their patrol and escort 
duty, along with the heavy salting of Civil War combat veterans 
among the railroad construction men. All the while the talks 
dragged on at Fort Laramie, the slim ribbon of steel unwound 
across the Laramie Plains and the desert to the west, providing the 
ultimate regional answer to the Indian question. 

The troops were spread thinly along the line and further dis- 
persed by escort and patrol duty. 

On June 1 1 , one civilian was killed near Cooper's Creek. -^^ By 
the 20th of June, grading was under way west of the North Platte, 
and the Indians attacked one group of workmen and killed and 
scalped two men. On the same day, 

... a party of five Indians dashed down to the bank of the river, 
directly opposite to where the soldiers are quartered, and drove off six 
head of stock.^s 

The editor of the item acidly commented : 

At last accounts the soldiers were busy cleaning their guns, and it is 
thought will start in pursuit of the "red devils" in a few days.3*> 

Such a comment betrayed the fact that the editor had not yet been 
west to the crossing, where the June rise in the river was a good 
deal more perilous than a few Indians. It is worth comment also 
that the troops in the Powder River country in 1866 learned at 
considerable cost the lesson about hasty and disorganized pursuit 
of Indian stock thieves. 

The fact that there were few attacks bears out our contention 
that the troops were doing their job well. Plainsmen had long 
known that one seldom saw a hostile Indian if he gave evidence 
of alertness and preparedness. (Perhaps this is one of the greater 
and more general truths of human relations and applicable far 
beyond historic Indian affairs. ) 

There were a lot of other complications to military life that 
summer. As is weU known, the westward course of the railroad 
attracted a host of hangers-on. Land and townsite speculators 
often led the march. The "Hell-on Wheels" town of tents, boards 
and pre-fabricated structures paced its movements to the peak con- 
centration of construction payrolls. Moving out of "winter quar- 

34. Frontier Index, Laramie, June 16, 1868. 

35. Ibid. 

36. Frontier Index, Laramie, June 23, 1868. 


ters" in Cheyenne and Laramie, the lead elements of this particular 
frontier arrived at the North Platte Crossing late in May.'^" 

They adopted General G. M. Dodge's name of "Brownsville" for 
their camp, and hoped it would become the crossing town. By 
this time they should have known better. It is quite evident that 
townsite speculation was one of the profitable sidelines for railroad 
officials and their close associates. There could be no profit in a 
pre-empted townsite, and this was no exception."'' 

As the rails drew closer, the townsite developers associated with 
the road surveyed a new site about a mile-and-a-half west of the 
crossing and named it "Benton" after the long-lived and vociferous 
old western promoter Thomas Hart Benton. •^•' 

Brownsville had a short and turbulent life that was directly ter- 
minated by military action. The first notice of the gathering of 
speculators there appears in the May 28 edition of Frontier Index.*" 
On June 2, the same paper announced it was sending a recently 
acquired second press to North Platte Crossing, beginning a process 
of "leapfrogging" offices that characterized its further movement 
across Wyoming. ^^ By the 19th of June, the paper announced that 
its office would not stop at Brownsville, but would move on to 
Green River.^- 

Shortly after the official establishment of Fort Fred Steele on 
June 30, Major Richard I. Dodge sealed Brownsville's fate in 
General Orders # 1 of that post on July 2, 1868. He proclaimed 
a three-mile-radius military reservation around the post. At the 
same time, he forbade citizens to reside at any other point within 
the reservation than at "the R. R. town known as Benton." He 
further placed Benton under military authority until such time as 
the territorial legislature (far away in Yankton, D. T.) should grant 
the community a city charter. He appointed J. P. Bartlett, a U. S. 
Commissioner, as Provost Judge of the military reservation, with 
appeals from his decisions only to the post commander.^" 

On July 7, the newspaper, still in Laramie, published a report 
from Benton datelined July 4 which said: 

The new town is being built up pretty rapidly, and business is opening 
up brisk. Town lots are worth from $150 to $280. The town of 
Brownsville is moving over the river as fast as they can take them 
across the ferry. The town has been unusually quiet for the past 

37. Frontier Index, Laramie, May 28. 1868. 
38. Grenville M. Dodge, notebook in the Grenville M. Dodge Papers, Coun- 
cil Bluffs (Iowa) Free Public Library. 

39. Frontier Index. Laramie, June 2, 1868. 

40. Frontier Index. Laramie, May 28, 1868. 

41. Frontier Index. Laramie, June 2, 1868. 

42. Frontier Index. Laramie, June 19, 1868. 

43. G.O. # 1, Ft. Fred Steele, D.T., July 2. 1868. RG98, NARS. 

44. Frontier Index, July 7, 1868. 


On July 13, Dodge published General Orders #3, giving de- 
tailed law-enforcement regulations for the town and providing for 
a speedy trial and punishment of offenders. In additional orders 
on the 15th and 17th of July, Dodge set up a permanent provost 
guard detail and added further regulations about imprisonments 
and trials. ^■'' 

The peak of the boom at Benton apparently occurred early in 
August, when a writer of Frontier Index visited the place, describ- 
ing it as "some two hundred framed tents and portable buildings," 
and made reference to "perhaps, three thousand people in and 
around Benton and many trains outfitting for Green River. "^'* At 
this point, the railroad was operating that far, and this was the 
jumping off place for points further west. 

On August 17, Colonel Stevenson, now in command of the post, 
offered the citizens of Benton the option of adopting a de facto 
civil government for the town, whereupon he would withdraw the 
provost guard. ^" The necessity of a civil government for Benton 
must have been nearly past, for on August 25, the Frontier Index, 
by then publishing at Green River City, said, "The whole of Benton 
is on the road to Bryan City."^'^ 

Stevenson withdrew the last provost guard at Benton on Sep- 
tember 7.^" Roving ad-salesman/reporter Chance L. Harris of the 
Frontier Index wrote on 5th: 

Business is rather dull in this city at present. Everybody is getting 
ready to move to the new town of Bryan at their earliest opportunity."'" 

Four days later he writes : 

Virtue asserts her sway; plethoric pocket-books are safe from midnight 
marruders; cold weather has choked off the daily demi-monde baths 
in the Platte. 
Benton is happy as a mackerel in cashmere socks. ''i 

In the Dakota Territorial elections of October 13, Benton is 
listed as one of the points returning votes, with just under 300 votes 
cast. Since there are no separate returns for Fort Steele, we must 
presume this total includes the vote of soldiers, railroad workers 
and others at both the post itself and Benton."'- 

As quickly as Dodge's order in July had forced the move from 

45. G.O. #3, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, July 13, 1868; S.O. #44, Hq. Ft. Fred 
Steele, July 15, 1868; S.O. #45, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, July 17, 1868. 

46. Frontier Index, Green River City, August 11, 1868. 

47. G. O. #21, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, D.T., August 17, 1868, RG98, 

48. Frontier Index, Green River City, August 25, 1868. 

49. G.O. #38, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, September 7, 1868. 

50. Frontier Index, Green River City, September 5, 1868. 

51. Frontier Index, Green River City, September 10, 1868. 

52. Frontier Index, Green River City, October 31, 1868. 


Brownsville to Benton, an order from Stevenson in November 
brought about Benton's end, for on November 23, the Colonel 
ordered all liquor sales at that point to cease under threat of 
destruction of property and confinement at hard labor at the post.'''^ 
So ends the Benton story. Later military correspondence indicates 
that even the railroad did not establish a permanent station there, 
but centralized its activity quickly at Fort Steele itself as the rails 
moved on.^^ Benton was through military control probably the 
quietest end-of -track town on the entire rail line! 

While the flurry of railway construction activity swept past the 
Fort Steele area, many other things were going on that affected the 
development of the post. Through the closing weeks of July, 
troops at Fort C. F. Smith, Fort Philip Kearny, and Fort Reno 
sorted and packed their supplies and equipment. Supplies not 
worth transporting to another potential point of use were dumped 
nearby. Useful and valuable supplies were loaded into a stream of 
wagon trains and then taken overland to Fort Fetterman and Fort 
Fred Steele. The abandonment of the Bozeman Trail posts was 
really quite well timed. The flurry of military activity in the 
region kept some of the Indians watchful at least. The stores that 
were abandoned at each post gave them something interesting to do 
for a while (several weeks in the case of the Cheyennes at Fort Phil 
Kearny.) And by the time the posts had been abandoned for 
several weeks, the railway was beyond the most potentially hostile 
country, with troops stationed at each station to guard it, and 
patrols ready to respond to telegraphic calls for help. 

Supplies from the northern posts that came to Fort Fred Steele 
included the sawmills and related equipment from Fort Reno, and 
with them an experienced sawmill engineer (civilian), B. T. Ryan.''"' 
With the arrival of this equipment, the post quartermaster. Lieu- 
tenant Scott, made an appeal for funds with which to hire other 
skilled workmen to round out the force needed for construction at 
the post.'''^' 

On top of patrolling for hostile Indians, guarding the small rail 
stations and construction camps, beginning construction of the 
post itself, providing a government for the temporary town of 
Benton, the soldiers of the garrison were called out frequently in 

53. S.O. #93, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, November 23, 1868. RG98. NARS. 

54. Ltr. R. deTrobriand, Col. 13th Inf., Commanding Post, to A.G.. 
Dept. of the Platte, October 13, 1873, Ft. Fred Steele letters sent, ROS, 
National Archives. 

55. Murray, op. cit., Athearn (both) op. cit. 

56. Ltr. 2d Lt. John Scott. AAQM to Post Commander, July 30, 1868, 
endorsement, John D. Stevenson, Col. 30th Inf. Comdg. Post to Ch.Q.M., 
Department of the Platte, July 30, 1868, RG98, NARS. 


pursuit of stock thieves.'*^ Once in June a force went west at the 
request of railroad officials to quell a threatened riot in connection 
with labor problems at the construction camps near Green River.^" 
A busy season for a garrison that averaged 300 men, scattered over 
a territory some two hundred miles long and 50 miles wide! 

In the afterglow of the Fort Laramie Treaty negotiations, the 
government had General Augur issue a circular to post command- 
ers in the Department of the Platte on August 29, instructing them 
carefully on their relationship with bands of Indians they might 
find hunting or roaming in the recently ceded territory where the 
Indians still had hunting rights until the land was occupied. ^'^ 

The recipients must have read this in some amusement, for with 
treaties, sun dances, and assorted other summer festivities com- 
pleted, the Indians were on the move again. 

A large force of Indians was reported on the 27th of August to 
have crossed the mountains near the head of LaPrele Canyon, 
scattering out over the Laramie Plain. At Cheyenne, a man was 
reported killed and scalped within sight of town. The stage line 
briefly suspended operations between Cheyenne and Denver. On 
the 29th, a section hand was beaten by Indians at Separation Creek, 
some 30 miles west of Fort Steele.*'*^ 

Troops were alerted all along the line. Their vigilance paid off 
in preventing the incidents that could have occurred. There was 
one skirmish near Cooper's Creek on the 29th. ''^ 

The general air of Indian activity along with persistent brushes 
between citizens and Indians in the region outside the reservations 
assigned in the treaties led to a new circular from Department of 
the Platte headquarters on October 1, 1868: 

Since the issue of Circular of August 29th. 1868 concerning the rights 
of Indians to hunt over the ceded land, their conduct has evinced such 
general hostiUty that in the opinion of the proper authority their 
further stay between the North Platte and the Smoky Hill rivers is 

The friendly Indians have withdrawn from that country and you are 
instructed that hereafter until further orders all Indians found there 
are to be regarded as hostile and treated accordingly.*'^ 

57. S.O. #27, Hq. Ft. Steele, June 16, 1868, RG98, NARS. Frontier 
Index. Laramie, June 5, 1868; S.O. #31, Hq. Ft. Steele, D.T., June 26, 1868; 
G.O. #25, Hq. Ft. Steele, D.T., August 21, 1868; G.O. #36, Hq. Ft. Steele, 
September 5, 1868. 

58. Telegram, S. B. Reed, UPRR to Gen. C. C. Augur, Dept. of the 
Platte. June 5, 1868. 

59. Circular to Commanding Officers, Department of the Platte, August 
29, 1868, Ft. Steel Letters Received, RG98, NARS. 

60. Frontier Index, Green River City, August 29, 1868. 

61. Ibid. 

62. Ibid. 


After this brief flurry of activity, the Sioux appear to have largely 
withdrawn northward to hunt in the now undisturbed country east 
of the Big Horns and around the Black Hills. The Cheyennes, 
however, became embroiled further in conflict along the trails 
connecting the Kansas settlements with those of Colorado, as yet 
without a rail connection. This was the autumn of furious warfare 
on the Kansas and Colorado plains, the autumn of Beecher Island, 
and ultimately of the Washita.''"- 

During those months, Fort Fred Steele's garrison gained a respite 
in which to make rapid progress on construction of the post. 

Logs were cut in the Grand Encampment valley and along the 
slopes of Elk Mountain. The two steam sawmills at the post 
rapidly turned them into timbers and lumber for basic construction. 
Steadily the tent camp occupied by Dodge's and Stevenson's men 
during the summer gave place to a procession of structures put up 
in proper procedural order. First came housing for supplies. Some 
simple plank and canvas warehouse space appears in a Hull photo. 
Barracks were ordinarily next in order of priority. These were 
ready for occupancy by the first of December, 1868."^ Two of 
these 1868 log barracks still stand, two of the oldest surviving 
barracks of the few that still exist from the western forts. Officers 
quarters were ready for occupancy by the first of February, 1869,'^^ 
though laundresses and married n. c. o. quarters were still framed 
and floored canvas tents for several more years."" 

By midwinter, then. Fort Fred Steele had all the main essentials 
of a typical western post plus the advantages of good transportation 
and communication. It was ready to fall into the ordered, but not 
always routine, pattern of frontier post function. 

63. Athearn, . . . Sherman . . . op. cit. 

64. Assistant Surgeon J. K. Corson and AA Surgeon R. A. Christian. 
Fort Steele, W.T., in Surgeon General's Office, Circular #4. A Report on 
Barracks and Hospitals, with Descriptions of Military Posts. Wn.D.C. GPO. 
1870, p. 357-358. 

65. Circular #8, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, February 2, 1869, RG98, NARS; 
letter to officers, February 12, 1869, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, re/assignment of 
quarters, letters sent. RG98, NARS. 

66. Letter, 1st Lt. G. M. Bascomb. RQM 13th Inf. AAQM Ft. Fred 
Steele, to Post Commander, October 11, 1872; endorsement of Post Com- 
mander to Ch.Q.M. Dept. Platte, October 11. 1872, all in L.S. Ft. Fred 
Steele, RG98, NARS. 


STEELE, 1869-1886 

A review of the army's operations based on Fort Fred Steele is 
revealing in a number of ways, but it is especially informative in 
these areas: It reveals the vital interrelationship of military and 
railroad operations in the West. It gives a good cross-section of the 
broad range of army activities in the West. It emphasizes the 
greatly extended radius of operations for each of the posts along the 
rail line. And it re-emphasizes, as we have contended for a long 
time, that the seemingly quiet and little-known posts were often 
among the more successful centers of military operations. 

From the very beginning of the army's operations in the West, 
logistic factors had always been the main constraint upon the 
army's effectiveness. Wagon transportation was a high-cost form 
of transport. It was hampered by a limited range of operations 
and a rapidly diminishing return in its delivery capability. To 
illustrate this briefly: 

The basic field ration for a soldier, packed for use on campaign 
would average out at around three pounds per man per day.^ The 
six-mule wagon could carry up to 3500 pounds of payload on easy, 
dry trails. In winter and over poor roads this would be reduced to 
around 1500 pounds. Average loadings in the West might be 
around 2500 pounds in most situations. Allowing for a conserva- 
tive loss and damage figure (probably representing fairly good 
travel conditions), one wagon load of rations would last a 300 man 
batallion about a week. But the six mules drawing the wagon 
would themselves consume 378 pounds of com!- Delivered to the 
post that served as the expedition's jumping-off base, the corn may 
have cost as much as 300 per pound including its transportation to 
that point. Each wagon was driven by a citizen teamster who was 
paid around $45 per month and ate the same quantity of rations as 
the soldiers. Additional wagons were required for camp equip- 
ment, ammunition, spares of weapons, wagon parts, the blacksmith 
and the wheelwright's tools and equipment. And in every case, the 
mules pulling the wagons had to be fed. A cavalry column, re- 
quiring 12 pounds of corn per-horse-per-day added to the logistic 
burden. In terms of the real values of money and the limited 
level of the national budget and the national economy of the 
time, operating costs for a column in the field quickly reached an 
astronomical level. 

A classic case is the Connor Expedition of 1865, in which three 
sizeable columns pushed out into the Powder River country, only 

1. #1191, Revised Army Regulations, A.G.O., Washington, D.C., 1861 

2. Ihid. #1121. 



to be withdrawn when army cost-accountants found that Connor 
was running up a transportation-cost-alone of over a million dollars 
a month.^ 

The railroad changed all this for any post that it reached, and for 
any railroad siding that could become a base of operations practi- 
cally overnight. By the time its main buildings were under con- 
struction in late summer and early fall of 1868, Fort Fred Steele 
was two days away from Omaha. ^ It was an easy six hours by rail 
from its major supply base at Cheyenne Quartermaster Depot, and 
only about four hours away from support of other troops at Fort 

The small detachments stationed along the rail line in summer 
could telegraph for help of any kind and expect it to arrive in a 
few hours. 

The strategic implications of the coming of the railroad and the 
telegraph to any given area of the West cannot be overestimated! 
These two systems brought with them the capability for rapid tacti- 
cal response and for effective strategic operations. Together they 

Photo by Junge, Wyoming Recreation Commission 


The Union Pacific Railroad bridge tender's house at Fort Steele was built 
around 1869-1870, near the point at which the Union Pacific bridges 
spanned the North Platte River. This photo was taken in June, 1972. 

3. Hafen, LeRoy R. and Ann W.. The Powder River Campaigns and 
Sawyer's Expedition, (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1961). 

4. Union Pacific Railroad schedules and timetables in the Colorado 
Railroad Museum, Golden, Colorado. 

5. Ibid. 


increased the effectiveness of any given body of troops many fold. 
We emphasize the point since Fort Fred Steele lived out its useful 
life in a strategic context woven together with these communication 
and transportation links. 

Winter was often a time of quiet at western posts, but this did 
not last long that first winter at Fort Fred Steele. On the last night 
in January, 22 mules were stolen from a contractor's train at the 
post. Lieutenant J. H. Hays and eight enlisted men went in pur- 
suit. They recaptured all the stock in two fights with the thieves, 
and captured five of the thieves.^ 

Lieutenant Hays led a party scouting for hostile Indians toward 
Fort Fetterman early in March. His force consisted of himself, 
two other officers, 21 soldiers, and two citizens." 

The garrison had early proof that the Indians had not abandoned 
the region when on March 22 a band of Indians ran off mules from 
a government wagon train within V-A miles of the post. 

.... 2nd Lt. R. H. Young, 30th Infantry, with 35 men from Co.'s 
A.B.F.H.& I., 30th Infty. (mounted on mules) were sent in pursuit, 
with the Indians having several hours start They, however, came up 
to the camp of the red skins about 10 o'clock p.m.; when the party 
dismounted and leaving the animals in the rear attacked the Indians 
(about 30-40 in number) from two sides and after a short fight suc- 
ceeded in routing them taking possession of all the stolen stock and 
nine horses and four mules and the entire equippage belonging to the 
Indians. They returned to this post next day having traveled 120 
miles in 20 hours. Casualties 5 Indians killed. Number wounded 
unknown owing to the darkness of the night. No casualties on our 
side. . . .•'' 

Later in the spring, another incident gives an early example of 
the cooperation of posts and units in breaking up the Indian's free- 
dom of movement in the region. On May 21 the commanding 
officer at Fort Sanders relayed a telegram he had received from 
Fort Fetterman reporting that "about 30 Minnecongious under 
Lone Horn's Son passed through Red Butte Canyon toward the 

6. Telegram, Col. John Stevenson, Ft. Steele to Adjutant General, De- 
partment of the Platte, February 1, 1869. Letters Sent, Ft. Steele, Record 
Group 98, National Archives and Records Service. Telegram, Stevenson to 
AGDP, February 3, 1869; Post Return, Ft. Steele, March 1869. 

Note: Hereinafter, we will be abbreviating our citations in the interest 
of keeping footnotes to a useful length. Letters and telegrams origi- 
nating at Fort Steele will be assumed to be from Letters Sent, those 
directed to Fort Steele from other headquarters will be assumed to be 
within the post's Letters Received (Documents File) unless otherwase 
noted. Material from the various headquarters should be assumed to 
be in RG98, National Archives and Records Service unless otherwise 

7. Tabular Statement of Campaigns, Expeditions and Scouts by the Ft. 
Steele garrison, March 31, 1869. 

8. Post Return, Ft. Steele, March, 1869. 


Rail Road a few days ago."" That same day, Lieutenant J. H. 
Spencer with a detachment from the post had a skirmish with this 

Throughout this period, returns carry the usual notation about 
troops performing the routine garrison duties and furnishing escorts 
for trains. 

This was the summer of Colonel E. A. Carr's extensive opera- 
tions in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska, and from the extent of his 
campaign it is evident that most of the hostile Cheyennes and many 
other Indians were concentrated in that region during the main part 
of the summer.^^ 

Following their dispersal by Carr in July at Summit Springs, the 
hostiles scattered far and wide to recoup their losses and secure 
meat for the coming winter.^- As commonly happened, they 
resumed hostilities in late summer. 

Troops escorting wood trains from Fort Laramie had a skirmish 
and lost one man near Laramie Peak on September 12. Two days 
later there were two fights out in the Wind River country, with a 
total of three soldiers and one civilian killed, two Indians killed and 
ten wounded. ^-^ 

Action came next to the Fort Steele garrison on the 15th. A 
detachment from Company B, Fourth Infantry under Lieutenant 
J. H. Spencer, fought with about 300 Indians at Whiskey Gap, 
losing one man.^^ 

On the 17th, stage coaches and mail escorts were attacked at 
widely separated places such as Twin Creek (in the South Pass 
country) and Point of Rocks. ^-^ 

The country then quieted down somewhat until December, when 
a mail escort between Fort Laramie and Fort Fetterman skirmished 
with the hostiles. ^"^ Clearly the 1868 treaty had not brought an 
end to hostilities here nor elsewhere around the periphery of the 
Indian Country. ^^ 

9. Telegram, PoUer (Ft. Sanders) to CO., Ft. Steele, May 21, 1869. 

10. George W. Webb, Chronological List of Engagements, cited in full 
in Part I, p. 46. 

11. Lt. Gen. P. H. Sheridan (Commanding) Record of Engagements with 
Hostile Indians within the Military Division of the Missouri, from 1868 to 
1882. Washington, GPO, 1882, p". 21-23. (hereinafter cited as Record of 

12. Savoie Lottinville (ed.) George Hyde, Life of George Brent, (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), p. 328-340. 

13. Record of Engagements, p. 23-24. 

14. Ibid., p. 24. 

15. Ibid. 

16. Ibid. 

17. Robert G. Athearn, Willia?n Teciimseh Sherman and the Settlement 
of the West, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956). E. S. Top- 
ping, Chronicles of the Yellowstone, (ed. Robert A. Murray), (Minneapolis: 
Ross & Haines, 1968). 


The pace of Indian movements in the region soon accelerated. 
On New Years Day of 1870, the telegraph line carried news to 
Omaha and to Fort Steele of a report by an Arapaho Indian that a 
party of Sioux had passed their camp near Red Buttes, headed for 
either Fort Steele or the Sweetwater country.^'^ Major W. H. Lewis 
of the 7th Infantry, commanding Fort Fred Steele at this time, sent 
out Lieutenant R. H. Young and a mounted detachment from the 
post. They spent a day scouting in the direction of expected 
approach, but without contacting the Indians.^'' 

On March 28, a group of Indians and/or half breeds staged a 
horse raid on the edge of Rawlins, and got away with two civilian 
horses. Three of their own horses were wounded by return fire, 
and one of their number called "long or short Joe" was killed in 
the skirmish.-*^ 

The army's new mobility along the rail Unes is illustrated by one 
move to reenforce the points along the line in the spring of 1870. 
On April 4, the Headquarters, Department of the Platte, sent out 
Captain Henry E. Noyes, 2nd Cavalry to base himself at Medicine 
Bow and scout the country near the passes through the moun- 
tains.-^ Captain Thomas B. DeWees of the 2nd Cavalry was 
ordered two days later to take his company to Rawlins, scouting 
the country north of there in similar fashion.^- And in addition, 
the post commander at Fort Fred Steele sent out Lieutenant G. M. 
Bomford with a detachment of mounted infantry to scout the 
country north of Percy and Medicine Bow.-^ 

During this active winter, the Fort Steele garrison also went to 
the assistance of six trains snowed in at points along the route 
between there and Laramie.^* 

Assistance to citizens in many capacities was a routine army 
function, long established in the West. Early in June a prospecting 
party called the "Big Horn Expedition" passed Fort Fred Steele. 
Major James S. Brisbin, by then in command of the post, sent a 
note to their leader, saying in part: 

... I congratulate you upon your safe arrival at this post and take 
occasion to say that any assistance I can render you, personally or 
officially, will cheerfully be accorded. If you should need to repair 

18. Telegram, Capt. Eugene Wells, Ft. Fetterman to CO. Fort Steele, 
January 1, 1870; telegram, G. B. Russell, DP, to CO. Ft. Steele, January 2, 

19. Telegram, Major Lewis, Ft. Steele to AGDP, January 3, 1870. 

20. Telegram, CO. Ft. Steele to CO. Ft. Laramie, March 29, 1870. 

21. Ltr. AGDP to Noyes, April 4, 1870. 

22. Ltr. AGDP to DeWees, April 6, 1870. 

23. Ltr. Bomford to Post Adjutant, Ft. Steele, April 7, 1870. 

24. Grenville M. Dodge, How We Built the Union Pacific Railroad, 
reprint by Sage Books, Denver, 1962. 


any of your wagons or harness, the shops and tools at this post are at 
your disposal.-'' 

Hostile Indians next moved against the miners scattered through 
the placers of the South Pass country. Captain D. S. Gordon of 
the 2nd Cavalry was in that area when one of the attacks came. 
His company pursued a band of Indians near Miner's Delight on 
May 4, 1870. When they caught up with them, a sharp fight 
ensued in which seven Indians were killed. Gordon's force lost 
Lieutenant Charles Stambaugh and one enlisted man. The camp 
Gordon's men established that month eventually became a perma- 
nent post named Camp Stambaugh.-'' 

Lieutenant C. T. Hall with a detachment of Company I, 2nd 
Cavalry, had a skirmish with Indians near Medicine Bow on June 
25.-^ Reports came in the next morning to Fort Steele of Indians 
sighted from the train near Como Bluff and Medicine Bow.-"* 
Brisbin, Noyes, and DeWees all coordinated their movements by 
telegraph in patroling the area.-'' 

One of Brisbin's patrols, under Lieutenant R. H. Young, struck 
a force of 200 Indians at Pine Grove Meadow on June 27, killing 
15 Indians, having but one soldier wounded, and routing the 
Indian force. ^*^ 

DeWees' company (A, 2nd Cavalry) was ordered into the field 
from Rawlins again in August to escort Governor McCook to the 
Ute Agency and back. By the time they returned to Rawlins, they 
were called in to winter at Fort Fred Steele.-*^ 

In the fall of 1870, another type of operation occupied some of 
the garrison and staff of Fort Fred Steele. The sheriff of Carbon 
County occasionally had civilian prisoners and no jail in which to 
house them. From time to time, the county officials brought 
civilians to the post and had them confined in the Fort Steele 
guardhouse. Acting under orders from the Commanding General, 
Department of the Platte, the post commander billed the county 
for their board. Thus began a long controversy between the army 
and the county over this practice. Ultimately, the Commanding 
General, Department of the Platte, ordered all the posts in the 
department to discontinue this service to civilian authorities. "- 

25. Ltr. Brisbin to W. T. Kuykendall. June 3. 1870: also: Toppins. 
op. cit., p. 81-82. 

26. Record of Engagements, p. 27. 

27. Record of Engagements, p. 28. 

28. Telegram. Brisbin to AGDP, June 26. 1870. 

29. Ltr. Brisbin to Noyes, June 27. 1870. 

30. Record of Engagements, p. 28. 

31. Ltr. Lt. Col. H. A. Morrow to AGDP, August 9. 1870: endorsement, 
AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele on same: telegram. Adjt. Ft. Steele to Lt. O'Brien. 
Rawlins, Oct. 28, 1870: telegram. Lt. Col. Bradley, to AGDP. October 29. 

32. Ltr. Col. Morrow to Probate Judge D. T. Edmonds. August 8, 1870; 


The year 1871 was one of the quietest of the decade on the 
plains, and the garrison of Fort Steele was not involved in any 
active campaign against the Indians. As evidence of the beginning 
of changes in the region, though, labor troubles arose close by in 
the mines at Carbon. Not long after the completion of the railroad 
through the region, coal deposits were discovered to be of adequate 
quality and quantity to serve as locomotive fuel. 

The Wyoming Coal Mining Company served for a time as oper- 
ating contractors for the railroad's mines. •^'"' At Carbon, about 40 
miles east of Fort Fred Steele, the miners struck for higher wages 
on April 20, 1 871 . After several days of negotiations, the majority 
of miners broke off negotiations and threatened the men who had 
agreed to resume and did in fact resume work. The major faction 
then imprisoned the workers in the mine and further threatened 

Lieutenant Col. A. G. Brackett, 2nd Cavalry, soon received 
orders from Department of the Platte Headquarters to proceed to 
Carbon with a force to intervene in the dispute. -^^ Colonel Brackett 
took with him Captain Seth Bonney and 1st Lieutenant W. M. 
Waterberry, and Company D, 13th Infantry. They traveled by a 
special UPRR train to Carbon, arriving about 8:30 p.m. on 
April 29. •^•> 

On their arrival, Brackett found that the threatened miners had 
barricaded themselves in the mine after the rioters ran cars of 
flaming material to the mine entrance to attempt to smoke them 
out. The rioters' temper was such that Brackett reported he 
expected to have to fight them. There was no fight, however, and 
the troops settled down to guard the mining company and railroad 
property.-^*' The main force under Captain Bonney remained until 
May 16, and a force of 15 men under a sergeant remained until 
June 4.-^' 

This was not to be the last time the troops from Fort Steele were 
called to intervene in strikes and riots, but they had a respite from 
this duty for a few years. 

Ltr. C. W. Willson to CO. Ft. Steele, November 7, 1870; identical letters: 
Lt. Col. A. G. Brackett to J. W. Hugus, J.P.. and P. Lemon, Sheriff, June 1, 

33. Anon., History of the Union Pacific Coal Mines. (Omaha: Colonial 
Press, 1940), p. 43-44. 

34. S.O. #66, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, April 29, 1871. 

35. Ibid. 

36. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP, April 1871; statement: James Williams, 
Sup't. of Mines, same date. 

37. Telegram: AGDP to CO. Ft. Fred Steele, May 5, 1871; telegram, 
Brackett to C E. Wilson. Co. Atty., May 7, 1871; S.O. #70, Hq. Ft. Steele, 
May 6, 1871; S.O. #79, Hq. Ft. Steele, May 16, 1871; S.O. #81, Hq. Ft. 
Steele, May 19, 1871; S.O. #87, Hq. Ft. Steele, May 31, 1871; S.O. #89, 
Hq. Ft. Steele, June 4, 1871. 


There were a variety of other events in 1871 that gave abundant 
diversion from police work! Clarence King of the U. S. Geological 
Survey led his expedition out of Fort Steele early in May, having 
received forage for his stock there. •^'' 

Early in June, about 40 Utes, among them the later prominent 
"Ute Jack", Hunter and "Douglas", came to Fort Steele and sought 
to trade. Unable to do so, they left amicably and headed for their 

On July 2, 1871, word reached the post that gold had been 
discovered in the Seminoe range about 35 miles north of the post.^" 
Soon Silas Reed, Surveyor General for Wyoming Territory, re- 
quested an escort from Brackett to explore the area, and Brackett 
endorsed his request and applied for permission to take out an 
expedition to ascertain both the extent of the discoveries and the 
probability of Indian trouble in the area.^^ 

An expedition led by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Morrow, 1 3th 
Infantry, returned on August 1 1 , and forwarded his maps and 
journal of the expedition to the Omaha headquarters. In his report, 
he commented upon a number of new geographic discoveries about 
the course of the Platte, the geologic character of the region trav- 
ersed, and upon the initial discoveries of the prospectors. He 
closed with a recommendation that the mining district be attached 
to the jurisdiction of the post.^- General Augur soon ordered: 

The Seminole Mining District is attached to the command of Fort Fred 
Steele, W.T., and the Commanding Officer of that post will take neces- 
sary steps to afford protection to miners there, should it become 
necessary. -i'^ 

Morrow made one more trip to the mining area with a small 
escort that summer.*^ 

The year 1872 was another quiet one, operationally, at Fort 
Fred Steele. That year most of the action centered along the 
Yellowstone, where the Baker Expedition and the Stanley Expedi- 
tion were surveying for the Northern Pacific Railroad, and where 
prospectors were working the mountains of southern Montana and 
northern Wyoming.^'' 

When the surveying party of Downey and Grant of the U. S. 
Geological Survey requested an escort in August of 1872, Captain 
Thomas B. DeWees, commanding Fort Fred Steele stated that: 

38. S.O. #78, Hq. DP. May 10, 1871. 

39. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP, June 11, 1871. 

40. Ltr. Bracken to AGDP, July 2, 1871. 

41. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP, July 11, 1871. 

42. Ltr., Morrow to AGDP, August II, 1871. 

43. S.O. #142, Hq. DP, August 14, 1871. 

44. S.O. #146, Hq. Ft. Steele. September 10, 1871. 

45. Record of Engagements, p. 32-33. 


. . . from reports from the miners there are nearly fifty men there. 
They have neither seen nor heard of Indians this past spring or 

The sole engagement of the season occurred in early September 
when Lieutenant Randolph Norwood, with Company B, 2nd Cav- 
alry, attacked a hostile band between Beaver Creek and the Sweet- 
water, killing one Indian.^' 

Each summer, the army kept up the general practice of garrison- 
ing the stations along the UP Railroad during the season when 
Indians would likely be on the move. 

The troops so engaged were roused by one good scare in mid- 
summer of 1873. Sheriff William Hawley of Carbon County 
telegraphed the post on June 28 that a man had been shot and 
stock stolen near Rawlins on the 27th. He stated that he, with a 
nine-man posse, had pursued the hostiles south to Pine Grove 
where they had a brief fire-fight with them. He requested troops 

Colonel Regis DeTrobriand, commanding the post, replied that 
all his cavalry was at Medicine Bow Station.^-' Hawley then asked 
for "25 stand of good guns and supply of ammunition.""'" DeTro- 
briand refused to supply these. "'^ 

All kinds of rumors ensued, because there had been a band of 
Utes camped near the town racing horses with the citizens. Some 
thought the "raid" was somehow involved as an aftermath of the 
horse races. Some thought Hawley and the posse were having a 
little "horse raid" of their own. DeTrobriand cautiously investi- 
gated. Territorial Governor John A. Campbell went through to 
Rawlins on the train and investigated the situation himself and 
conferred with De Trobriand on his return. He could not put 
together the facts either, but applied to DeTrobriand for a small 
detachment to be stationed in Rawlins to watch the situation.^^ 
This DeTrobriand did on July 1 J'^' 

Lieutenant B. H. Rogers and 16 men went down to Rawlins to 
camp and investigate the affair. Rogers was able to determine 
that the citizens were confused because there had been a visit 
of a friendly party of Utes as well as an attack by a band of 

On the night of July 14, 1873, a band of Indians, supposed also 

46. Ltr. DeWees to AGDP, August 2, 1872. 

47. Record of Engagements, p. 33. 

48. Telegram, Hawley to CO. Ft. Steele, June 28, 1873. 

49. Telegram, DeTrobriand to Hawley, June 28, 1873. 

50. Telegram, Hawley to DeTrobriand, June 28, 1873. 

51. Telegram, DeTrobriand to Hawley, June 28, 1873. 

52. Telegram, DeTrobriand to AGDP, July 1, 1873. 

53. S.O. #62, Hq. Ft. Steele, July 1, 1873. 

54. Ltr., DeTrobriand to AGDP, July 13, 1873. 


to be Arapahoes, raided a hay cutters' camp on Pass Creek at 
the foot of Elk Mountain. Through telegraphic communication, 
DeTrobriand launched a cooperative effort with the post com- 
mander at Fort D. A. Russell. Captain Deane Monahan, 3rd 
Cavalry, went out from that post by train to Percy, while Captain 
Thomas B. DeWees, 2nd Cavalry, took his company out from Fort 
Fred Steele. DeWees did not find any considerable sign of hostiles, 
and DeTrobriand held Monahan's company at trackside at Percy 
to await DeWees' report. Upon its receipt, DeWees was withdrawn 
to his summer post at Medicine Bow, and the troops from Fort 
D. A. Russell rode the train back to their post. This is but one 
example of how the telegraph and the railroad saved countless 
miles of futile "rumor chasing" marches over the years."'"' 

These flurries of activity were just as arduous for the men 
involved as campaigns with some visible result, and hence disliked 
by most hands, except through providing a change from garrison 
routine. They were a necessary part of the process of settling the 
region. It seems particularly noteworthy in the above incidents 
that the army did not move hastily, but made a careful effort to get 
the facts straight in order not to launch a punitive expedition that 
would have opened a more general state of Indian warfare! 

The nearest serious engagement between troops and Indians that 
year occurred when Captain "Teddy" Egan's command of two 
companies of the 2nd Cavalry out of Fort Laramie recovered 18 
horses and mules from a Sioux war party on the North Laramie 
without casualties on either side."'" 

The year 1874 saw extensive Indian operations of various kinds 
by the army on the Northern Plains. These got an early start on 
February 8 when the agent at Whetstone Agency in Dakota report- 
ed that a war party had left his agency to attack the Utes ( almost 
a thousand mile ride!), and that they had augmented their supplies 
with stolen government beef."'' Other Sioux were in the field, too, 
since on February 9, Lieutenant L. H. Robinson and one enlisted 
man were killed on the sawmill road near Laramie Peak.^'' 

Within a week, troops from Fort Fred Steele were involved. 
Companies B and K, 1 3th Infantry, and Company A, 2nd Cavalry, 
went by rail to Cheyenne, then marched to Fort Laramie to join a 
massive force called the "Sioux Expedition" under Brevet Major 

55. Telegram, DeTrobriand to Bomford, July 12. 1873; telegram. DeTro- 
briand to Dewees, July 12, 1873; Ltr, DeTrobriand to Monahan, July 15. 
1873; Ltr., DeTrobriand to AGDP, July 17. 1873. 

56. Record of Engagements, p. 36. 

57. Ltr., Whetstone Agency to Col. John E. Smith. CO. Ft. Laramie. 
February 8, 1874, in Document file, 536 AGO 1874 (Sioux Expedition 
records), RG98, National Archives. 

58. Record of Engagements, p. 39. 


General John E. Smith. This force marched into northwest Ne- 
braska to the major Sioux agencies, "Red Cloud Agency" and 
"Spotted Tail Agency." Here they established "Camp Robinson" 
and "Camp Sheridan" respectively. Both of these posts attained 
some permanence.''^ 

The troops remaining at Fort Fred Steele and those sent in from 
other posts as reenforcements saw plenty of activity that summer, 
too. There were some Sioux back in the region, and the Arapahoes 
alone provided plenty of action! 

On June 17, word came into Rawlins of trouble with Indians 
out in the country. The well-known Ute Jack was in town with a 
few Utes. Someone attacked Jack, who was "cut badly about the 
head." Trouble was feared, but did not materialize. •''^ 

In response to Arapaho raids upon the Shoshoni, Captain A. E. 
Bates, with a sizeable cavalry force and numerous Shoshoni scouts 
and allies went looking for the concentration of Arapahoes. They 
attacked the Arapahoes on July 4 in the mountains at the head of 
Nowood Creek. "^^ Returning from this campaign. Bates swept 
down the Sweetwater, looking for more scattered bands of Arapa- 
hoes. He fought one group on the 13 th on Sweetwater, and 
another on the 19th in the Rattlesnake Hills. *^- 

Bates operated out of Camp Brown, on Wind River, but the 
troops at Fort Fred Steele were busy during this period, too. 
Telegrams from the Headquarters, Department of the Platte, on 
July 3rd and 6th alerted the commanding officer of Fort Steele to 
the activities of Sioux hostiles around Laramie Peak, and on the 
Box Elder Road out of Fort Fetterman.^-^ 

On July 16, action came much closer! About 7 a.m. that day: 

... a party of about twenty-five Indians came within a quarter of a 
mile of the post about 7 a.m. and drove off some stock belonging to 
emigrants camped on the Platte, at the same time showed themselves 
on three sides of the post, attempting to gather up loose stock be- 
longing to citizens. Fire was opened on them promptly, and they 
retired taking only three or four head of stock, I think. A squad of 
Infantry was sent to trail them a few miles. They crossed over the 
Platte about six miles below here and took a northeast course . . .^^ 

59. Telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, February 13, 1874; Telegrams 
(2) AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, February 14, 1874; S.O. #20, February 14, 
1874, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele. 

60. Telegram, E. H. Danforth, Rawlins, to CO. Ft. Steele, June 18, 1874. 

61. Record of Engagements, p. 40; also: Capt. A. E. Bates, 2nd Cavalry, 
Report, filed at Camp Brown, W.T., July 7, 1874 (photostat in Western 
Interpretive Services collections). 

62. Record of Engagements, p. 40; also: photostats of Bates Maps in 
Western Interpretive Services files. 

63. Telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, July 3, 1874; telegram, AGDP 
to CO. Ft. Steele, July 6, 1874. 

64. Ltr. Bradley to AGDP, July 16, 1874. 


The same party of Indians had attacked a handcar between 
Rawlins and the post, as well as a section crew eight miles west of 
the post. A party of 40 citizens from Rawlins pursued them for 
some distance.^'' 

Repeated evidence of Indians in the country to the north led 
Colonel Bradley to send out Captain Henry W. Wessells and a 
company of cavalry (recently arrived at Bradley's request from 
Fort D. A. Russell) to look for the Indians. Since these soldiers 
were new to the country, Bradley hired M. B. Earnest as a guide 
for them at $4 per day.^^' The column scouted the Seminoe 
Mountains, and followed Indian trails some 90 miles beyond the 
Sweetwater, returning by way of Rawlins on July 30.^'' 

While they were gone, action came from another quarter. On 
the evening of July 26, Indians ran off 70 horses from an emigrant 
caravan between Carbon and Medicine Bow.""^ A train engineer 
reported seeing the Indians go north in the direction of Fort 

Then on August 1 , Indians attacked a civilian haying party about 
1 5 miles south of Rawlins, killing a man named Johnson. Bradley 
sent Wessells' company out to scout that area.^" Wessells scouted 
the area to the southwest for four days, and reported that there 
appeared to be small bands of Indians throughout the region, 
attracted by the large herds of western stock that were being driven 
through on the old trails. ^^ 

On August 11,1 874, Bradley ordered Captain Wessells to take 
his company as well as Co. D, 13th Infantry, to the Sweetwater 
Country to establish a scouting camp."- 

The intensive campaigning and scouting by troops from Fort 
Steele and Camp Brown during 1874 apparently paid off. The 
Arapahoes quieted down appreciably, and the Sioux did not come 
into the region so frequently during 1 875. The one Indian incident 
of note in 1875 occurred in April, when 17 Indians ran off all the 
stock at the Ferris Mines. "-^ In response, 25 men of Co. A, 2nd 

65. Ibid. 

66. S.O. #107, Hq. Ft. Steele. July 19, 1874; Ltr. Bradley to AGDP. 
July 20, 1874. 

67. Telegram, Wessels to Bradley, July 30, 1874; Ltr. Bradley to AGDP. 
July 31, 1874. 

68. Telegram, O. Collister, Carbon, to Capt. Clift. Medicine Bow. July 
26, 1874; telegram, Clift to Bradley, July 26, 1874. 

69. Telegram, Clift to Bradley, July 27, 1874. 

70. Telegram, J. B. Adams to Bradley, August 1, 1874: Chexenne Daily 
Leader, August 4. 1874, p. 1; S.O. #118, Hq. Ft. Steele. August 1, 1874. 

71. Ltr. Bradley to AGDP, August 6, 1874. 

72. S.O. #124, Hq. Ft. Steele, August 11, 1874. 

73. Telegram, CO. Ft. Steele to AGDP, April 20, 1875: telegram. E. 
Hunt, Rawlins to CO. Ft. Steele, April 20, 1875; telegram, Dewees. Ft. 
Steele to AGDP, April 22, 1875. 


Cavalry, were sent out under Lieutenant M. E. O'Brien, with Tom 
Sun as a guide, to scout through the mining country.'^ 

Late in the summer of 1875 as a part of a general procedure at 
agencies in the west, the post commander at Fort Fred Steele 
became responsible for the inspection and safe delivery of agency 
goods to the Utes at White River, Colorado.'"' 

November of 1875 brought a recurrence of labor troubles in 
Wyoming. In that month, strikes and riots occurred at both 
Carbon and Rock Springs. In both cases, troops were sent out 
from Fort Fred Steele. The situation was sufficiently threatening 
that re-enforcements were sent to both places a few days after the 
initial contact. "^'^ Both forces were withdrawn early in December,'^ 
but additional trouble threatened at Rock Springs, and a company 
was sent back in on December 23.'^'^ This time the troops at Rock 
Springs were not withdrawn until March 10, 1876.'" 

The year 1876 is best remembered nationally as a year of in- 
tensive campaigns in northern Wyoming and southern Montana 
and western Dakota, campaigns that with mopping up activities in 
1877 and 1878 substantially cleared the hostile portions of the 
Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians from a vast region to the 
west of the Black Hills, from the North Platte River to the 
Canadian line. Most of the attention of historians has focused on 
those military posts that furnished the immediate jumping off base 
for troops in these expeditions, such as Fort Abraham Lincoln, 
Fort Laramie, Fort Fetterman, and Fort Ellis. In reality, none 
of these posts had sufficient garrison to furnish the entire force 
for their own part of the expeditions of that period. Each one drew 
from a broad radius almost all available men for field service. 
General Crook in the Department of the Platte, drew upon most of 
the posts along the rail line within his jurisdiction.^*^' He took some 
of the troops from Fort Fred Steele in March,"^^ and more in May 
of 1876.'^- Many of these men fought with Crook at the Rosebud 

74. S.O. #48, Hq. Ft. Steele, May 23, 1875. 

75. G.O. #12, Hq. Military Division of the Missouri, Chicago, August 
14, 1875. 

76. Post Return, Ft. Steele, November, 1875; S.O. #104, Hq. Ft. Steele, 
November 14, 1875; S.O. #105, Hq. Ft. Steele, November 16, 1875. 

77. Telegram, Lt. R. P. Brown, to CO. Ft. Steele, Dec. 11, 1875. 

78. Post Return, Ft. Steele, December 1875; S.O. #124, Hq. Ft. Steele, 
December 23, 1875. 

79. Post Return, Ft. Steele, March, 1876. 

80. On the Sioux/Cheyenne War of 1876-77, see: Edgar I. Stewart, 
Custer's Luck, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956). J. W. 
Vaughn, With Crook at the Rosebud, (Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole, 1956). 
J. W. Vaughn, The Reynolds Campaign on Powder River, (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1961). 

81. Ft. Steele, Post Return, March, 1876. 

82. Post Return, Ft. Steele, May, 1876; S.O. #45, Hq. Ft. Steele, May 
12, 1876. 


in June. Others escorted his suppHes and equipment. Some par- 
ticipated in the "starvation march" and the SHm Buttes fight. 

■' 'Twas out upon the Yellowstone 

We had the damndest time. 
We made the trip with Rosebud George, 

Six months without a dime . . .'""'■' 

As the major campaigns on the northern plains tapered off dur- 
ing 1877, troops at Fort Fred Steele made improvements on the 
wagon road from Rock Creek Station to Fort Fetterman."^^ Part of 
the garrison patrolled the country to the north in July.^"' And right 
in the middle of this active season, Company K, 2nd Cavalry, was 
called away to Omaha, where a sizeable force assembled from 
many posts on the plains to go by train to Chicago to intervene in 
the 1877 railroad strike there. "**' 

Late in August, part of the garrison rode to Green River and 
then marched across country to the Big Horns. ^'' And late in Sep- 
tember, a scouting party ranged through the country south of the 

In December of 1877, about 28 lodges of Ute Indians left their 
reservation in Colorado and roamed the country between Rawlins 
and Snake River. They were hunting, but reportedly near starva- 
tion. The army stated they could come into Fort Steele to await 
rations from the Indian Bureau. There were continued delays in 
the Bureau supplying rations to them, and they did not come to the 
post.'*'* Army officers there were sympathetic to the plight of the 
Utes, and in one message stated: "How is it that through all this 
trouble and starvation, we hear nothing from their agent, the 
Reverend Mr. Danforth?"-*" 

The army was to have abundant reason to question the relation- 
ship between the Utes and their missionary-agents over the next 
two years. A great deal has been written about the whole Ute 
affair, but essentially the situation was fairly simple. Throughout 
the 1860s and 1870s, a number of religious, philanthropic and 
miscellaneous "do-gooder" organizations sought to intervene in 

83. From a soldier version of the song "The Regular Army. O!" widely 
circulated, and reprinted by Don Rickey. Jr., in 1958, at Custer Battlefield. 
Crow Agency, Montana. 

84. Telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, July 11, 1877. 

85. S.O. #109, Hq. Ft. Steele, July 21, 1877. 

86. S.O. #61, Hq. Military Division of the Missouri, Julv 25, 1877: 
telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, July 25, 1877; S.O. #111. Hq. Ft. 
Steele, July 25, 1877. 

87. Chappell notes in Western Interpretive Services collection. 

88. S.O. #141, Hq. Ft. Steele, Sept. 23, 1877. 

89. Telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, December 4. 1877: S.O. if 152, 
Hq. Ft. Steele, December 5, 1877. 

90. Ltr. Major W. E. Thomas to Mr. C F. Perkins. Dec. 8. 1877. 


Indian affairs. In a number of cases, they severely criticized 
existing Indian Bureau policies and activities. Almost uniformly 
they castigated the army for its Indian fighting activities. And 
steadily they built up pressure for a more direct role in Indian 
affairs. As a result of this during those two decades, a number of 
representatives of what were essentially missionary groups were 
appointed as Indian agents to various tribes. This was the case 
at the Ute Agency with the "Reverend Mr. Danforth" and with his 
successor, Nathan Meeker. 

Now we believe that history holds abundant examples of the 
fact that one of the most destructive forces in human affairs is an 
idealistic man of vision suddenly possessed of power over the lives 
of others. The Utes are a case in point. While on the sidelines, 
men like Meeker had made a number of useful and practical 
criticisms of individual aspects of Indian relations. Once in direct 
charge, and faced with the practical business of dealing with an 
alien and primitive culture, these godly Indian-lovers found their 
religion inadequate to the task, and turned more and more toward 
forced-acculturation in their efforts to make the Indian into a 
shirt-and-trousers, short-haired, go-to-church-on-Sunday, quarter- 
section farmer. But they were dealing with men of pride and 
courage to whom warfare was an essential part of living. A chal- 
lenge to such an approach was almost inevitable at nearly all the 
western reservations; and when it came, the men of ideals had to 
call on the army to back them up. The crisis conditions built up 
steadily at the Ute agencies in western Colorado through 1878 and 

In September of 1878, the garrison at Fort Steele furnished the 
transportation and escort for a group of special commissioners sent 
to the Ute Agency to negotiate with the tribe. •'- 

Suddenly, trouble arose from another quarter. The Northern 
Cheyennes, confined for nearly a year at a reservation in Indian 
Territory, broke away and raced northward in an epic attempt to 
reach the country they knew and loved in the north. They raided 
a number of ranches on their way across Kansas, and the army was 
ordered to intercept them."'^ Troops from Fort Steele, Fort San- 
ders, Fort D. A. Russell, and Sidney Barracks were all involved in 
their pursuit and attempted interception. Major Thomas Thom- 
burg, the commanding officer at Fort Steele at the time, led one of 

91. Rockwell Wilson, The Utes, A Forgotten People, (Denver': Sage 
Books, 1956); Record of Engagements, p. 88-92. 

92. Telegrams, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, September 11 and 12, 1878; 
S.O. #92, Hq. Ft. Steele, September 12, 1878. 

93. See: George Bird Grinnell, The Fighting Cheyennes, (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915); Mari Sandoz, Cheyenne Autumn, (New 
York: McGraw-Hill, 1953) is a popular account of this trek. 


the pursuing columns in western Nebraska. On October 2, they 
had a sharp fight, losing five men.''^ 

Little more than a month after the pursuit of the Cheyennes, 300 
miles away in western Nebraska, troops from Fort Steele were 
asked by the new Ute Agent, Nathan C. Meeker, for assistance in 
locating a band of Utes believed to have left the reservation and 
gone to the Sweetwater country.'''' 

Company E, 3rd Cavalry, was still a part of the Fort Steele 
garrison, though it remained camped near Camp Sheridan, Ne- 
braska, for several months. In January of 1879, the Cheyennes 
broke out of confinement at Fort Robinson, and these Fort Steele 
troops participated in their pursuit and in combat with them in the 
period January 12 to 22, 1879.''*" 

During the spring of 1879, Captain Lawson took Company E, 
3rd Cavalry, on a scout through the Wind River Mountains.''' 

Agent Meeker did not get on well with Ute charges. In March, 
he requested that the troops at Fort Steele be used to force wander- 
ing Utes to come back to the reservation."'' He made repeated 
accusations that these wandering bands of Utes were committing 
depredations such as starting forest fires, raiding ranches, and the 
like.*^^ The army did not agree with the truth of these statements, 
and Thornburg said so in a number of his communications. Finally 
on July 27, 1879, he wrote: 

I made inquiries and could not find such a state of affairs to exist, 
but did find that the Indians had killed a great deal of game and used 
the skins for trade. The miners they visited in this section were not 
molested, but on the contrary were presented with an abundance of 
game. No stock has been molested, and as far as I can learn, no one 
attributes the burning of timber to these Indians. i'"' 

He forwarded letters received from "nearly every ranchman within 
a hundred miles of this post" in support of his statements. 

Conditions at the Agency itself grew steadily worse that summer. 
On September 14, Meeker appealed directly for help at the Agency 
itself. Thornburg checked with Department of the Platte head- 
quarters, and on September 16, received orders to proceed to the 
agency to protect the government employees and property. Secur- 

94. Telegram, Bourke to CO. Ft. Steele. September 25, 1878: telegram, 
Bourke to CO. Ft. Steele, October 2, 1878; telegram, Thornburg to Blsbee, 
October 3, 1878; telegram, Bourke to CO. Ft. Steele, October 2. 1878; 
telegram, Bourke to Lt. Keeffe, October 4, 1878; telegram, CO. Cp. Robin- 
son to CO. Ft. Steele, October 1 1, 1878; Record of Eni>agements. p. 81. 

95. Endorsement of Nov. 25, 1878, fwd. Meeker's letter of Nov. 11, 1878. 

96. Post Return, Ft. Steele, January, 1879. 

97. S.O. #30, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele. May 15, 1879; report of Captain 
Lawson, June 6, 1879. 

98. Ltr. Meeker to Thornburg, March 17, 1879. 

99. Ltr. Meeker to Thornburg, July 7, 1879. 

100. Ltr. Thornburg to AGDP, July 27, 1879. 


ing additional men from Fort D. A. Russell by rail, Thornburg set 
out on September 21.^"^ 

While Thornburg was enroute, the Utes killed Meeker, and some 
other employees, captured most of the other civilians at the agency, 
and marched to meet Thornburg's command. The two forces met 
late on the morning of September 29 at Milk River. The Utes 
opened fire on the Thornburg column, and a general fight ensued. 
Thornburg and nine enlisted men were killed, and the force sur- 
rounded and pinned down. Civilian guide Joe Rankin (later a 
famed U. S. marshal for Wyoming) slipped through the Ute lines 
at night and rode all the way to Rawlins, where he telegraphed the 
news of the fight. 

Colonel Wesley Merritt at Fort D. A. Russell quickly assembled 
a force of over 2000 men by railroad and brought them to Rawlins, 
where he left somewhat more than 500 as a reserve to guard the 
settlements in his rear, and marched south with the remaining 1400 
to relieve the beseiged column. Merritt's force had several fights 
with the Utes, who then agreed to negotiate for the release of the 

The close of the Ute Uprising brought the beginning of quiet and 
stable years at Fort Fred Steele, but not without one final Indian 
scare that called out troops from the post. In the spring of 1880, 
a settler in North Park, Colorado, reported seeing a band of hostile 
Indians. The story grew as messengers carried it from settlement 
to settlement, and ultimately to Fort Sanders. Troops from that 
post and Fort Fred Steele assembled at Laramie and marched off 
into North Park, to discover that rumors, confusion, and exaggera- 
tion had substituted for wandering Indians in this instance, and the 
whole expedition was picked up on the records as a "field exercise"' 
or "practice march", charge to training! ^"'^ 

Fort Steele served as a base for continued surveillance of the 
Ute country until a new post. Fort Duchesne, could be built near 
the Ute Agency. 

Late in the summer of 1885, white coal miners of a variety of 
recently emigrated ethnic groups attacked the Chinese miners of 
the settlement of Rock Springs, Wyoming, killing 26 and driving 

101. Telegram. Thornburg to AGDP, September 14, 1879; telegram, 
Thornburg to AGDP, September 19, 1879; telegram, Thornburg to AGDP, 
September 21, 1879; Fort Steele Post Return, September 1879. 

102. Record of Engagements, p. 90-92; also: William Owen manuscript 
"Joe Rankin's Ride" in Carbon County Library, Rawlins, Wyoming, and 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department; L. D. Greene manu- 
script in Order of Indian Wars Veterans files, Army War College Library, 
Carlisle Barracks, Penn. 

103. S.O. #65, Hq. Ft. Steele. May 29, 1880, and extensive correspond- 
ence in the Fort Sanders and Fort D. A. Russell records in RG98, NARS. 


the rest out of town, and substantially destroyed the Chinese quar- 
ter. On September 4, troops from Fort Fred Steele moved by rail 
to Rock Springs to protect federal and railroad property. The 
situation proved sufficiently tense that a sizeable force of soldiers 
remained there, establishing Camp Pilot Butte. ^"^ 

With this new post, and the posts in the Ute country, there was 
less need for troops at Fort Fred Steele, and in the summer of 1886 
came the decision to abandon this post. 

In summary, we must say that the operations at Fort Steele, in 
substance, equal or exceed those that were based on most posts in 
Wyoming and in the region. In terms of operations and functions, 
it was a very typical and representative post, providing more than 
the usual amount of active field service for its troops due to the 
ease of transportation afforded by the railroad and the facility of 
communication afforded by the telegraph. 



Study of basic structural history seems to us quite important to 
the effective understanding of other aspects of the history of a 
particular site. This is true if we are discussing a site in which we 
need to be able to visualize the physical setting of events, and 
equally true of a site such as Fort Fred Steele, where there may yet 
be an opportunity to preserve the physical setting of a broad range 
of historic events. 

Despite this importance to either actual or imaginary visual 
reconstruction of the historic scene, it is often neglected by even 
the most competent historians with the result that the general 
public, along with large numbers of more serious readers of history, 
continues to harbor a number of misconceptions and stereotypes 
when they think of given types of historic sites. In order to break 
away from these misconceptions about army posts in the west, the 
reader should endeavor to understand something of the context and 
the processes of design and construction as carried on by the army 
in the West. 

During the second half of the 19th century, construction at 
military posts (other than coastal fortifications, arsenals, and cer- 
tain other special cases) was the responsibility of the Quartermaster 
General's Department. During the Fort Fred Steele period, this 
function was exercised through a chain of staff officers extending 
down through each successive command level. Next below the 

104. Telegram, AGDP to Chipman, September 4. 1885; S. O. #116. 
Hq. Ft. Steele, September 4, 1885; telegram, Chipman to AGDP. November 
18, 1885; telegram, AGDP to CO. Ft. Steele, November 19. 1885. 


Quartermaster General's office lay the Chief Quartermaster, Mili- 
tary Division of the Missouri, headquartered in Chicago. Then 
came the Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Platte, head- 
quartered in Omaha. And during some periods a District Quarter- 
master, as in 1868, at Fort Sanders. Through most of the Fort 
Fred Steele period, however, there was no District Quartermaster, 
but rather a support function consisting of Cheyenne Quartermaster 
Depot located adjacent to Fort D. A. Russell. Cheyenne Depot 
functioned as a supply point rather than a step in the staff-chain. 
Each of these staff-chain levels was usually headed by an officer 
who held a commission in the Quartermaster General's Department 
rather than a line commission. Their function at each level was 
clearly a staff function, and they did not command the next lower 
level of quartermaster officer except through communications ap- 
proved by the commanding officer of the headquarters involved 
(in practice often by his adjutant, who prepared documents for the 
commander's signature). 

At the post itself, the quartermaster function was carried out by 
an "Acting Assistant Quartermaster" who signed his correspond- 
ence with his name, rank, organization, and the initials "A.A.Q.M." 
for a title. Now the A.A.Q.M. for a given post in the West was 
usually a line officer detailed to this duty in addition to those that 
pertained to his position in a particular unit. The sheer demands 
of the administrative work within the scope of this assignment often 
meant that such an officer could not participate in much of the 
drills, training, and disciplinary work usually expected of a com- 
pany-grade officer. Often a post commander would assign a 
lieutenant to this work so that a captain could remain in direct 
command of the company of men involved. If possible, he would 
select a senior first lieutenant with some experience for the work; 
but there was never any assurance that he had such an officer 
available, nor that he would not lose him via transfer at any given 
time. Usually the officer involved at the individual post had no 
special training for the work, unless he happened to also be serving 
in the capacity of Regimental Quartermaster, an assignment that 
he might carry with him from one post to another and into the field 
as the unit changed stations. Of course, in that event, he had a 
double burden of administrative paper work. 

The accounting for receipts and disbursements of funds and the 
planning and budgeting of many expenditures were about as com- 
plex as they are today in governmental activities. The principal 
difference is that all accounting operations were handled manually 
and were hence very time consuming. 

To assist with this work load, the post quartermaster ideally had 
from one to two or three civilian clerks who were more or less 
skilled in accounting, and received pay ranging from $100 to $150 
per month, a very high figure in that period, when laborers got $35 


per month and teamsters $45! Each post usually had also a 
Quartermaster Sergeant, usually an n.c.o. of considerable seniority 
and experience, and the most stable mainstay of the entire q.m. 
function at any given post Other workers in the issue rooms and 
warehouses were likely to be enlisted men temporarily detailed for 
the purpose. 

Other citizen employees of the Quartermaster Department di- 
rectly involved in the construction trades would include black- 
smiths, steam sawmill engineers and sawyers, carpenters, wheel- 
wrights, stone masons, and other skilled tradesmen. Depending on 
their level of proficiency and their specialty, they got wages of from 
$55 to $125 per month. Sometimes they were hired and released 
with distressing frequency as the budget and the immediate need 
for their services dictated. This made it difficult to keep really 
good men available, though the sawmill engineer, the blacksmith, 
and the wheelwright all were likely to remain many months, and 
often many years, in the employ of a given post. 

It is important to realize that planning for construction at a given 
post seldom drew upon the talents of an architect or an engineer. 
The army had certain standards for space for various functions, 
based on the numbers of men and animals to be served by the 
buildings involved. These space requirements were most stringent- 
ly observed in the case of barracks and of stables, where the health 
of the fighting force and its transportation could suffer most directly 
from overcrowding and other conditons. Officer quarters always 
had plenty of space, but there were general levels of space and 
convenience assumed for given grade-level ranges. 

Storage buildings were designed to house certain volumes of 
material based on the projected needs of the garrison involved. 

To simplify the construction of army buildings in a situation 
where architects and engineers could not be present at every post, 
the army in 1868 began to issue simplified "standard plans" for 
barracks, officer quarters and other structures. These were simple 
outline plans based on space and functional requirements. They 
were really quite well done, but they were intended to be inter- 
preted by the post quartermaster and his subordinates and civilian 
skilled workmen so as to permit maximum flexibility in the use of 
locally available construction materials and the skills available 
within the enlisted garrison, for the enlisted men of a post usually 
furnished the force of unskilled and semi-skilled labor that built the 
structures involved. Enlisted men doing semi-skilled work of the 
construction trades drew a substantial "extra-duty pay" allowance, 
and these assignments were much sought after. This did not apply 
during such time as men were working on barracks for themselves, 
as the quartermaster considered that the work was being done "by 
the men directly benefitted," and hence, there was no need for 
incentive pay! 


Adding all these factors together, it becomes clear that structures 
of a given class at one army post are very seldom precisely like 
those of the same class at some other post, even for the same time 
period. The same general "standard plan" might be adapted to log 
construction at one post, stone at another, brick at another, and 
so on. Individual adaptations might be made in design to meet a 
situation of immediate import, such as housing more than the 
regular number of persons. There might be more or less machin- 
ery for making lumber and shingles at one place than at another, 
and so on. 

So if one engages in structural restoration of a given building, 
it will require a great deal of individual study as a part of its 
detailed restoration planning. 

At the master-plan level of planning, it seems appropriate to 
examine the general construction history of given classes of build- 
ings at the post, with special emphasis placed upon those that 
survive and those that have special possibilities for reconstruction 
as a part of the over-all plan. This is what we have done for Fort 
Fred Steele. 

* In a normal situation, the army had a standard sequence of 
construction at a new post. The highest priority was for store- 
houses to shelter the unit's supplies. Second place went to barracks 
for the enlisted men of the command. Next came quarters for the 
officers of the command, followed by stables for the animals, and 
so on down in declining order of priority. Sometimes there were 
variations in this order of construction, but if they were major ones, 
they usually became a matter of critical record on the part of some 
inspecting officer. 

In the case of Fort Fred Steele, we shall find that the general 
construction priority was followed, but we shall not examine the 
buildings in precisely that order, since we wish to group those 
buildings that have restoration or reconstruction potential earliest 
in this segment of the report for convenience in reference. The 
troops at Fort Fred Steele were numerous enough (about 300) by 
the autumn of 1868 that a number of facets of construction activity 
could be more or less assembly-lined, and a number of structures 
proceeded nearly simultaneously toward completion, though the 
general completion sequence met accepted practice. 

We shall begin our examination of the structures by looking at 
the barracks, since two of them survive as both the oldest and best 
preserved of early structures in the whole region. 


Major Richard I. Dodge ordered the beginnings of some lumber- 
ing activity in the spring of 1868. As we indicated in an earlier 


section of this report, we believe this may have been to secure 
material for framing up tents for his main camps of the season.^ 

With the abandonment of the posts on the Bozeman Trail, some 
of their supplies and equipment were shipped to Fort Fred Steele. 
It appears that the sawmills, engines, planing mills, lath mills, and 
shingle machine from Fort Reno arrived at Fort Fred Steele in 
July.- Accompanying them came B. T. Ryan, a skilled sawmill 
engineer who had been drawing $100 per month at Fort Reno. 
Colonel Stevenson, now in command, recommended hiring Ryan 
at $125 per month to set up and operate the mills.'' 

We know, of course, that it took some time to get the machinery 
unpacked, assembled and running long enough to shelter itself, and 
to provide material for the temporary storehouses to shelter sup- 
plies. But it is evident that construction on the barracks must have 
begun in late September or very early October of 1868, for in 
answer to an inquiry about fire protection, Stevenson wrote: "the 
barracks being in an unfinished state . . ."^ 

The barracks were occupied by December 1, 1868,'' so their 
construction proceeded rapidly; though on completion, they lacked 
many of the features that would be necessary to make them com- 
pletely comfortable. The earliest description of these structures 
was published in 1870: 

. . . They were built on stone foundations, without cellars, of pine logs, 
squared on three sides and set in substantial frames, the interstices 
filled with mortar. Each company barrack, is 80 feet long by 35 feet 
wide, with a piazza, 10 feet in width, which extends along the entire 
front, with the exception of the space taken up at each end by rooms 
9 feet square, which are occupied by the first sergeant and quarter- 
master's sergeant as offices. The interior of the building is, in one 
large room, warmed by two stoves with drums, and well lighted by 
numerous windows. The chimneys are of stone. The dormitories are 
calculated for 100 men each, allowing 456 cubic feet of air-space per 
man. Ventilation by open fireplaces through the chimneys. Double 
bunks are used with ordinary bedsacks and blankets.'' 

The statements about heating and ventilation are somewhat contra- 
dictory, as we have, at this point, no reason to believe that open 
fireplaces in the sense that term is usually understood were ever 
built here. Probably the difficulty is in our understanding of their 

1. S.O. # 14, Hq. Bn. 30th Inf in camp on No. Platte R. May 6, 1868. 

2. Ltr. Lt. John Scott, AAQM to Post Commander, Fort Fred Steele, 
July 30. 1868; Ltr., CO. Ft. Steele to Ch.Q.M.D.P., July 30, 1868. 

3. Scon to Post CO., September 15, 1868; endorsement CO. to Ch. 
Q.M.D.P., Sept. 16, 1868. 

4. Ltr. Stevenson to AGDP, October 29, 1868. 

5. Cir. #4, War Department, Surgeon General's Office Dec. 5, 1870, 
p. 357. 

6. Ibid, p. 357-358. 


use of terminology, and we assume they mean that ventilation was 
furnished by the force of the stove drafts. 

Kitchens and mess-halls were not yet completed at the time the 
above was written in 1870. The report says: 

Temporary kitchens of three framed wall tents are in rear of each 
company barracks, and are provided with a good cook stove, and a 
cellar for roots. Company bakeries, of adobe, are located under the 

Not long after the completion of the barracks, Stevenson ordered 
the building of sinks in the rear of the barracks hne: 

"6 feet wide 
14 feet long 
■10 feet deep and a perfect parallelogram"'* 

In 1870, they were described as: 

Large and well-constructed frame sinks are placed 100 feet in rear of 
each company quarters, each provided with two ventilators.-* 

Initially five barracks were built, and the documentary description 
varies somewhat from the commonly quoted published description 

"Barracks finished: 

5 company quarters with stone foundations, each 80 feet long by 30 
feet wide, 12 ft. story, half-pitch roof. Porch 10 ft. wide, with ser- 
geant's room at each end, size 10 x \0A^' 

Construction of each building had consumed 22,450 feet of pine 
boards and framing, and 1 1 ,000 feet of pine half -logs, as well as 
60,000 shingles." 

Late in 1870, the barracks lying along the "north" (actually 
n.w.) line of the parade ground, at right angles to the general 
barracks line, was converted into a hospital under orders from 
Headquarters, Department of the Platte.^- It subsequently served 
a number of other purposes, but never again served as a barracks. 

There was considerable delay in getting proper kitchens for the 
barracks. Ultimately kitchen development went through several 
stages. It would appear that the barracks were served by their 
framed-tent kitchens described above until at least 1873, and then 
the work may have proceeded irregularly.^^ 

In the meantime, the original pine board flooring in the barracks 

7. Ibid. 

8. Circular #1, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, Jan. 4, 1869. 

9. Cir. #4, WD, SCO, Dec. 5, 1870, p. 358. 

10. Maj. N. B. Switzer, LG. Inspection Report, July 20, 1869. 

11. J hid. 

12. Cir. #4, SGO, p. 359. 

13. See subsequent section on hospitals. 


had nearly worn out, and Colonel DeTrobriand, in the spring of 
1873, requested "eastern" pine for this purpose, stating that the 
local pine was not fit for this kind of service.*^ Finally, after a 
great deal of correspondence, DeTrobriand obtained over $2500 
to be expended on improvements on the barracks. They did not 
get the eastern flooring, however, as Lieutenant Bascom, the post 
quartermaster made a special trip to Fort Bridger to purchase 
flooring material there. ^•'^' 

With one of the original barracks in use as a hospital in the fall 
of 1873, additional quarters were needed for a company of troops 
added to the garrison that fall. This need was met by converting 
the commissary storehouse south of the tracks as a temporary 

By the spring of 1875, the tent-kitchens had gone out of use, and 
in fact had probably been phased out late in the fall of 1873 or 
early in 1874 in favor of: 

... A kitchen and mess room, 15 by 80 by 9 feet, built of rough 
lumber, in some cases lined with tar paper, stands in the rear of every 
barrack, i'^ 

These rough board kitchens served the barracks for quite some 

Several changes appear, along with some additional descriptive 
material in the 1875 report. This report confirms the existence of 
the roof ventilators on the barracks by the spring of 1875. Con- 
sidering army practices at the time, we expect these, if not built in 
the original construction (see statement by post surgeon, quoted 
above), were added at the latest in the 1873 construction season.^" 
Ventilators are not shown in the artist's sketches of the post, but 
this kind of detail often gets left out. They appear in all the photo- 
graphs. It is important to note that the 1875 report confirms the 
use of glass windows in the ventilators to provide light even when 
the ventilators were closed.-" 

The 1875 report also notes that each barracks had 12 windows, 
with 12 8"xl2" panes of glass each.-^ 

This same report describes the sinks as "well floored and seated, 
and with a window and two capped ventilators to each."-- 

14. There are frequent references to the need to complete the company 

15. Ltr. DeTrobriand to Ch.Q.M.D.P. May 13, 1873. 

16. Ltr. DeTrobriand to Ch.Q.M.D.P. Sept. 13, 1873. 

17. Ibid. ltr. DeTrobriand to AGDP, Sept. 24, 1873: ltr. DeTrobriand 
to AG, Mil.Div. Mo., Oct. 13, 1873. 

18. Cir. #8, WD, SCO, May 1, 1875. p. 382. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Ibid, p. 382. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Ibid. 


By 1 875, the "new Army-pattern single iron bedsteads" were 
in use in all of the barracks except that of Company A, 2nd Cav- 
alry, which continued to use old wooden double bunks due to the 
large number of men in relation to the space available.^-'' 

The temporary barracks did not compare very favorably with the 
regular ones: 

It is a rude affair, 80 by 30 by 12 feet in dimensions, one-half of it 
built of logs with plastered chinks, the other of boards battened. The 
walls of the dormitory are covered with tar-paper. 

A building of rough boards, battened and painted, with a shed roof, 
18 by 25 by 9 feet large, is attached to this barrack as mess and wash 
room. The kitchen is in the main building, a space 10 by 30 by 12 
feet having been partitioned off from the dormitory.-^ 

The regular barracks are very well illustrated at this midpoint in 
active military operations in the region, by a photograph that shows 
them reasonably close-up. This photograph, previously identified 
as "about 1884" we can date with some accuracy. It probably was 
taken in the late spring or early summer of 1877. The date is 
based on the fact that in the foreground of the photo lies the 
massive main mast of the new flagstaff, ready for installation in its 
step in front of the bandstand. This staff was prepared and in- 
stalled in May and June of 1877 (see section on flagstaff). 

In this photo, the buildings have a "plastered" look about them. 
We find that "In November, 1873, the quarters were coated with a 
drab-colored wash made from a kind of cement found in the 
neighborhood of the post."-'' 

Early in 1876, the post commander reported: 

But slight changes have been made since last report, with exception 
of the infantry barracks, which have been lathed and plastered and are 
quite comfortable.-" 

The same letter goes on to criticize and in the process to describe 
the kitchens that had been added several years earlier: 

The kitchens and dining rooms, being built in rear of the main build- 
ings and against and running parallel with them are decided objection- 
able, as they both obstruct sunlight and proper ventilation, besides 
impregnating the barracks rooms with steam and odor from the 

The barracks, however, received only limited attention for the 
next few years. The floors were wearing thin, but only the exterior 

23. Ibid. 

24. Ibid. 

25. Ibid, p. 383. 

26. Ltr. Gordon to AGDP, January 4, 1876. 

27. Ibid. 


received significant treatment in 1878, when they were "re-daubed 
and white-washed."^"' 

In 1879, the Company commander of Co. I, 3rd Cavalry, 
requisitioned 200 feet of shelving lumber for the storeroom of his 
company's barracks. ^^ 

A report of January, 1880, describes the barracks as having 
walls "covered well with tar-paper"-^", which we take to mean some 
of the inside walls, since some of this tar paper remains in certain 
areas, covered by later remodeling efforts, as in the first sergeant's 
room of the one still preserving that room. 

Correspondence in 1880 and 1881 reiterates the condition of the 
lean-to kitchens and the rapid wearing of the floors. ^^ These com- 
plaints were repeated all through 1882, and at one point estimates 
were prepared for a new two-story barracks to house 200 men; but 
this was never carried beyond the cost estimate stage. •'^- 

First Lieutenant William Quinton of the 7th Infantry, serving as 
post quartermaster, laid the groundwork for the final improvements 
of the barracks in April of 1883. He suggested that framing be 
placed over the logs and siding placed over the framing to provide 
a weather tight surface.''-' He also suggested replacing the existing 
kitchens with new ones. Both these suggestions were accomplished 
that fall and winter.''^ The new kitchens were still built out from 
the back east side or end of each barracks, on a "stone foundation 
and good frame buildings."'''' 

At the annual inspection in September of 1884, it was noted that: 

The barracks are sufficient in capacity and in good condition, except 
that they all need new floors badly; they have all been weatherboarded 
and painted since the last annual inspection. •''f' 

In June of 1892, the four remaining barracks were sold at 
auction along with the other buildings. Three of them were bought 
by Mr. E. D. Worthy and one by Cosgriff Brothers, at $50 each. 
The northernmost and southernmost of these barracks were no 
longer standing in 1901 when the Fireman's Fund Insurance Com- 

28. Ltr. Thomas to Ch.Q.M.D.P. 

29. Ltr. Wm. D. Beach to Post Q.M., Dec. 5. 1879. 

30. Ltr. S. A. Wolf to Ch. Engr. DP, Jan. 8, 1880. 

31. Ltr. Maj. A. W. Evans, inspection report for Fort Fred Steele, Sept. 
2 and 3, 1880, RG 159, Inspector General's records; Medical History file. 
Dec. 1880; ltr. Evans, insp. report 12-15 Sept. 1881, RG159 NARS. 

32. Estimates by M. S. LeMoine, Architect, in letters received, bv the 
QMG, RG92, NARS. 1882. 

33. Lt. Wm. Quinton, annual report of inspection of public buildings, 
April 19. 1883. 

34. LG. Inspection Report, Lt. Col. Edwin Mason, Oct. 13, 1883. RG159, 

35. Medical History file, August. 1883. 

36. Inspection Report, Lt. Col. H. L. Chipman. 7th Inf. Sept. 4. 1884 
RG92, NARS. 



Photo by Cozort, Wyoming Studio, Rawlins 

Built in 1881, this magazine is one of two constructed at the post and it is 

the only one which has survived. The first magazine was a dugout, 18 x 20 

feet, with a sloping dirt roof. 

pany investigator mapped the site. Only the two central barracks 
remained then, and both of these structures still stand today. 

Over the years, a number of modifications were made to adapt 
the surviving barracks to various uses. (See section on the post- 
military history of the Fort Steele area ) . 

The basic central structure of each remains, however, with few 
alterations. The south barracks appears to retain its kitchen, while 
the north one retains the main structure of its porch. Both are 
among the oldest and best preserved soldier barracks in the entire 
west, and deserve to be preserved and restored and interpreted. 
We shall examine the requisites for this in a later portion of our 


We shall discuss the magazine next, since the second of two 
magazines built at the post survives today in very good condition, 
and it is one of the most attractive structures of this type surviving 
in the West. 

The function of the magazine at a military post is primarily that 
of providing storage for artillery ammunition, components for 
loading artillery ammunition, quantity storage of small-arms am- 
munition, and other explosive and combustible materials such as 


powder, fuse, signaling fireworks and the materials for their man- 

Where possible, a magazine was located at a distance from the 
main concentration of buildings that might be easily damaged by 
fire or explosion, or in such a location that intervening terrain 
would provide some protection. •^'^ 

In contrast to some of the other categories of structures, Fort 
Steele had but two successive magazines. One of these is shown 
on the early post plans. It is described as "an excavation 18 by 
20 feet, with a sloping dirt roof."-^" In other words, a dugout. 
Such a structure was far from ideal for the purpose, and it is 
surprising that a better magazine was not built earlier than it was. 
We can only conclude that improvements in the many other struc- 
tures were regarded as more critical. Artillery pieces were few in 
number and only modest quantities of ammunition were kept at 
hand at a post just overnight from an ordnance depot.^" Fort Fred 
Steele generally had only a single mountain howitzer, and some- 
times a Gatling gun at hand.^^ 

The story of the surviving magazine at Fort Fred Steele begins 
with an inquiry from the Department of the Platte about repairs for 
the old magazine.^- Post Commander Captain William H. Bisbee, 
4th Infantry, asked Lieutenant Frank Heath of Cheyenne Ordnance 
Depot if there were plans or bills of material for approved maga- 
zines available. ^-^ Based on his correspondence with Heath, he 
supplied a bill of materials for a stone magazine similar to one 
constructed earlier at Fort D. A. Russell. ^^ 

Plans went forward fairly rapidly. By the first of December, 
1880, the magazine door, and the iron work for the structure had 
been fabricated in the shops at Department of the Platte Head- 
quarters in Omaha. ^•'' Lumber for the structure was shipped from 
Omaha in late March or in April of 1881 .^" Stone work was under 
way by early May.*' 

In a fiscal-year report on July 1, 1881, the post quartermaster 

37. Ordnance Manual, GPO, 1861. 

38. Ibid. 

39. Cir. #8, WD SGO, May 1875. 

40. Cheyenne Depot is also an Ordnance Depot in this period. 

41. Outline Description of Posts in the Military Division of the Missouri, 
Chicago, 1876. 

42. Ltr. AGDP to Bisbee, Dec. 20, 1879. 

43. Ltr. Bisbee to Heath, Dec. 26, 1879. 

44. Ltr. Bisbee to AGDP, Febr. 9, 1880. 

45. Ltr. Ch. Q.M.D.P to CO. Ft. Steele. Dec. 1, 1880. 

46. Ltr. Beach to Ch. Q.M.D.P. March 22, 1881. 

47. S.O. #50, Hq. Ft. Fred Steele, May 5. 1881. 


"There is only one building constructed during the fiscal year, viz: 
an Ordnance magazine at the aggregate cost of SSOO."*'^ 

There were no modifications recorded to this building during the 
remaining years the army spent at Fort Fred Steele. 

At the sale of buildings in June of 1882, it was sold to one F. 
Hess for $5.00.^" It suffered less over the years than other struc- 
tures. On several occasions contractors used it for explosives 
storage, and in relatively recent years, it has served as a granary. 
Someone replaced its original tin roof with shingles, but the internal 
structure remains much the same but for the removal of shelving. 

The Bridge Tender's House 

"We should like at this point to intersperse one non-military 
structure, because it is within the group of surviving historic struc- 
tures at Fort Fred Steele . This is the U. P. Railroad bridge 
tenders house. 

We have uncovered very little documentary history on this struc- 
ture. Because of its ownership by the railroad, the men involved 
in making army plans of the post usually just penned in a con- 
venient rectangle and so labeled it. 

The house is a neat Uttle "salt box" structure of one-and-a-half 
stories. We discovered in examining all of the photos made in the 
military period at Fort Steele that this structure shows in its present 
location in a number of them back to the 1 870's. The army ground 
plans of the post back to 1870 show the building. 

Since both the first and the second U. P. timber bridges crossed 
the river at approximately the same point (side by side, one a good 
deal lower at the east end than the other) this house was quite 
"close to work" for the bridge tender involved. We believe the 
house probably dates from not later than sometime in 1870, more 
probably from 1 869, when the first station and other buildings were 
built in permanent form here. 

The structure has remained in use in recent years, and is quite 

The Quartermaster Buildings 

Over the years the largest number of structures at the post were 
used to house various functions of the quartermaster department. 
This is not surprising, since all transportation, all construction, and 
most supply functions channeled through this department. Again, 
we would like to take one particular structure out of sequence 

48. Ltr. Loving to QMG, U.S.A., July 1, 188L 

49. Report of sale of buildings, Abandoned Military Reservations File, 
Ft. Fred Steele, (Dept. Interior Records) NARS. 


simply because it survives, and discuss it first for convenience of 
the reader with Hmited time. This is the stone "corral". 

The Stone Corral 

The use of the term for this structure is as confusing in army 
correspondence as it is to the modern-day viewer. Upon careful 
examination of the correspondence, we can only conclude that the 
confusion is to a degree deliberate. It may be a bit of semantic 
exercise in the interest of getting more use out of the appropriations 
available, and this is a practice as old as armies, we are sure. As 
we will see below, the army had a sequence of corrals and stables 
at the post. Some of these served the animals that were a part of 
Quartermaster Department transportation. The QMD also had a 
number of various workshops, housed in an assortment of build- 
ings. The story of the new "corral" really starts in the fall of 1873 
when Colonel Luther P. Bradley reports : 

. . . The corral at this post, where all the transportation is kept, is very 
unsafe. A part of the roof of the stables has lately fallen in . . ."'" 

In June of 1874, Bradley forwarded estimates of construction 
materials for new buildings needed at the post and included a 
"Quartermaster corral. ""'^ Asked to justify some of his requests, 
Bradley replied in part: 

. . . The Quartermaster's corral is unserviceable and unless a new 
corral is built, or very considerable repairs put upon the old one, the 
public animals will not have proper shelter next winter, if the cavalry 
stable is occupied. "»- 

During the fall of 1875, "A considerable amount of stone has 
been hauled for the new corral. "•"'•^ Hauling of stone was sus- 
pended due to bad weather in January of 1876, but resumed as the 
weather improved.-"'^ Department of the Platte supplied $805 
worth of building materials to supplement those available at the 
post for the corral, ■"•'' and the structure was evidently complete by 
the fall of 1876. 

When completed, the enclosure consisted of a stone wall, with 
buildings lining three interior sides. The northeast side held a 
small stable 30x50 feet and a blacksmith shop, of the same dimen- 
sions. The northwest side contained a three-room carpenter shop, 
and the south end of the southwest side a wagon-shed.''" 

50. Ltr. Bradley to AGDP, Oct. 28, 1873. 

51. Ltr. Bradley to AGDP, June 18, 1874. 

52. Ltr. Bradley to AGDP, Sept. 5, 1874. 

53. Ltr. Dewees to AGDP, Nov. 5, 1875. 

54. Ltr. Gordon to AGDP, Jan. 4, 1876. 

55. Endorsements, Ch.Q.M.D.P. to Omaha Depot, March 18. 1876. 
et. seq. 

56. Ground plans and inspection reports. 


The structure is always referred to as "the corral" but all evi- 
dence is that quartermaster stock was kept in one of the nearby 
stables that had earlier served as a cavalry stable. 

If stock was kept in the stable portion of this structure, we can 
envision it largely as a place for those waiting to be shod, those 
drawing wagons in and out for repair and the like. Primarily, the 
corral served to shelter in a convenient grouping a set of workshops 
that were all doing closely interrelated work on a number of proj- 
ects, particularly those concerned with transportation. 

Other Quartermaster Corrals, Stables and Cavalry Stables 

During 1868, there appear to have been very few government 
horses and mules at the post. Colonel Stevenson's men built a 
temporary stable "of slabs and covered with earth,"''^ to shelter 

At some point in 1869, a corral (probably also of slabs) with a 
shed running around its interior was built at the northwest extrem- 
ity of the post. This lay on the low ground to the northwest of the 
later stone corral. It was 250 feet square. This structure is shown 
on an Anton Schonborn 1869 drawing, and placed accurately on 
the 1 870 ground plan. Careful examination of aerial photographs 
reveals a rectangular area of vegetation change and soil disturbance 
such as one would expect to find on such a site. 

This "old corral" was vacated by the end of December, 1874, 
and replaced temporarily by a smaller one made of slabs salvaged 
from the old sawmill.''*^ 

There appear to have been no cavalry stables at the post until 
very late 1870 or early 1871. Company A, 2nd Cavalry, began 
cutting logs for this purpose in the summer of 1870, but the stable 
had not been completed by November. This work must have been 
accomplished by not long after, however. The finished stable was 
a frame structure, 35x200 feet.-''" An 1875 report described them 

. . . They measure 100 by 35 by 18 feet; are constructed of sawed 
pine logs, battened on the side, with ends of battened pine boards. The 
roof is shingled and has two ridge ventilators. There are forty-eight 
stalls, each divided by a swinging bar, accommodating ninety-six 
horses. The stable is situated in the bottom under the bluff, and its 
refuse matter carted away and dumped into the river. '^f' 

At some point before 1 880, a new cavalry stable was built. This 
was a frame building 28x200x10 (to the eaves). It is shown on a 

57. Ltr. Stevenson to AGDP, Oct. 29, 1868. 

58. Ltr. Dewees to AGDP, Dec. 30, 1874. 

59. Ltr. DeTrobriand to AG, Mil. Div. Mo., Oct. 13, 1873. 

60. Cir. #8, WD SGO, May 1, 1875, p. 383-384. 


later plan."^ These two stables served through the remainder of 
the life of the post. 

The older stable sold at the auction in 1892 at $5.00, and the 
better one for $15.*^- Both were probably quickly demolished for 
their salvage value as usually happened with these large structures. 


These installations were basic to most construction operations 
at Fort Steele, for only a small amount of lumber was shipped in 
from other points, the one lot of lumber for the magazine, and one 
lot of flooring for the barracks, mentioned above. 

As we also indicated above, sawmill operations started in the 
summer of 1868, with the mills and accessories brought in from 
Fort Reno. These were first located on the river bank, about 
one-half mile s.s.e. of the main part of the post. This is on the 
low ground in the eastward swinging bend of the river now called 
the Pacheco land. This was a convenient point at which to land 
logs floated down from the Encampment area, where much of the 
early army logging was done. Aerial photos show evidence of 
ground disturbance over a rectangular area, with one corner not 
far from the river bank. Mihtary reservation maps agree with this 
as the location of a quadrangle of quartermaster buildings that 
included the mills themselves, a wheelwright shop, storage shed 
quarters for the extra-duty men, quarters for the wheelwright, and 
a blacksmith shop and coal shed. At virtually all the other posts 
we have studied, the sawmill structures and those in the immediate 
sawmill complex were usually hastily thrown together of posts and 

This outlying complex was abandoned in the spring of 1871. and 
the sawmill 

removed to the high ground, and much nearer the post, the removal 
being absolutely necessary as the river was rapidly cutting away the 
bank on which the mill formerly stood. '''^ 

It appears from ground plans that only one mill was set up at 
this new location, about 500 feet upstream from the bridge tender's 
house. The other engine was probably the one located in a new 
structure on the bluff immediately behind the guardhouse and used 
to pump water from the river. Part of the sawmill shed burned in 
1882 and was replaced with similar construction. 

Blacksmith Shops 

In addition to the blacksmith shop that was built in 1876 as a 
part of the stone corral complex, there were several earlier struc- 

61. Wolf to Ch. Engr. DP. Jan. 8. 1880. 

62. Reports on sales of bldgs, op. cit (see 49 above) 

63. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP. May 21, 1871. 


tures to fulfill this important function. One of these as mentioned 
immediately above was associated with the 1868-1871 sawmill 
complex on the river bottom to the s.s.e. of the post. A second 
one was located near the second sawmill site immediately south of 
the post, and of course, the third was located in the stone corral. 

Carpenter's Shops 

One of these, 21x60 feet, was located immediately south of the 
main quartermaster storehouse complex on the early ground plan. 
This structure, along with an adjacent granary was destroyed along 
with all its contents in a fire on the evening of August 14, 1872.^'* 

A new carpenter shop was built some distance southwest of the 
new sawmill site. This was a frame structure of pine lumber, 
60x20x10 feet.""' This structure still stood at as late as 1880, but 
is marked on that year's plan as "unoccupied." 

Quartermaster Storehouses and Offices 

The focal point of most quartermaster activity once the main 
construction at the post was completed was the quartermaster 
storehouse, the issue office, and the quartermaster offices. Since 
the bulk of Fort Fred Steele supplies came in by rail, the main QM 
complex was located along a railway siding, south of the mainline 
trackage. Two large buildings served as storehouses. These were 
large board-and-batten structures of rough lumber. One of them 
was 130x30x12 feet, the other 100x30x12 feet. They formed 
two sides of a rectangle that was completed by fencing and used as 
a storage yard.*'''' 

Nearby stood the granary (the first one destroyed in 1872, a 
replacement built soon after 50x20x10), a large coal house 
100x30x10, and an assortment of other smaller structures at 
various times."" 

Commissary Structures 

The Commissary of Subsistence Department was organized 
along similar staff-section lines to that described above for the 
Quartermaster Department. The role of the Commissary Depart- 
ment was the supply of the issue ration items to the company 
kitchens and mess rooms, the operation of the post bakery, and the 
sale of ration items and a limited list of other food products and 
related items to commissioned officers, enlisted personnel and 
citizen employees. 

64. Lt. H. V. Pratt to AGDP, August 15, 1872; S.O. #92, Hq. Ft 
Steele, August 15, 1872. 

65. Cir. #8, WD SCO, May 1, 1875, p. 383. 

66. Ibid. 

67. Ibid, and ground plan sequence. 


Through most of the history of Fort Fred Steele, the Commissary 
Department (administered by a detailed officer, the "Acting Assist- 
ant Commissary of Subsistence", AACS) was located in a large 
warehouse building located immediately east of the quartermaster 
complex, near the rail siding. This structure housed both the 
storage and the issue offices, until expansion of the garrison in 
1 874 brought about its conversion for one winter into a barracks. 
During the year the building was so used; the Commissary Depart- 
ment occupied a partitioned off, floored and lathed and plastered 
segment of the QMD storehouse to the west of it. Subsequently it 
moved back into the storehouse. Attached to the south side of 
the east end of the building was a lean-to that housed the butcher 
shop, where fresh beef (delivered to the post on the hoof and 
butchered here) was issued to the company cooks and sold to 
qualified purchasers.*"^ 

We should note that the commissary of subsistence usually main- 
tained a sizeable storage cellar for potatoes, onions, carrots, and 
the like. These are not shown on the plans, but ground disturb- 
ances near the site of the warehouse may be the remnants 
of such cellars. 

Water Supply 

Throughout the life of the post, water was obtained from the 
river and distributed to the post daily by a water wagon. Until 
1871, this was evidently done with a hand pump. In that year 
when the sawmills were relocated, one of the engines was placed 
in a new shed behind the guardhouse. Here it pumped water when 
needed to fill the water wagon. It also stood by as a water pump 
in case of fire. In 1872, a two inch water line was laid from this 
pumping station out across the parade as shown on the plan, and 
under the tracks to the area of the quartermaster complex.'"'" This 
line was instrumental in saving the warehouses in the 1872 fire that 
destroyed the blacksmith shop and granary.^"* The small diameter 
pipe soon rusted or became clogged and was replaced with a four- 
inch line. The four-inch line extended only to hydrants near the 
quarters lines at opposite sides of the parade. ^^ 

The engine driving the water pump had one other use and that 
was driving a small circular saw to cut kindling wood.'- 

68. Cir. # 8, op. cit. and inspection reports. 

69. Cir. #4, 1870, SGO; ground plans. 

70. Ltr. Pratt to AGDP. August 15, 1872. 

71. Later ground plans. 

72. Cir. #8 WD SGO, 1875. 



As we noted in connection with the discussion of the barracks, 
above, at first the companies stationed at the post drew their flour 
ration and baked their bread in ovens dug out in the banks of the 
bluff nearby.'-^ 

By late 1870, however, a post bakery 20x40x10 feet, of rough 
lumber, with brick ovens, had been built near the commissary 
storehouse.'^ It was damaged, but not beyond repair, by one of 
the fires in ISTZ.'"* Apparently this bakery served for the life of 
the post. 

We should take a moment at this point to comment on the mode 
of business operation of an army bakery. The army ration set by 
Congress provided for the allowance of a specified weight of bread 
or the same weight of flour to each man. In the field, the troops 
carried "hard bread", but in garrison it became the practice for 
each post to have a bakery. Since a pound of bread requires 
appreciably less than a pound of flour, the flour issue for each 
company was posted on the books to the bakery. The company 
cooks then drew an issue of bread of equal weight. The surplus 
of flour was then baked into various bakery goods and sold to 
officers and to citizens. The office of the commissary of sub- 
sistence took their money and issued a written order for the desired 
items which they turned in at the bakery. The cash profits after 
the purchase of other necessary ingredients went into the post fund, 
from which recreational equipment, library materials and other 
items of benefit to all the men of the garrison or of a particular 
company were purchased. 

We should note here that Fort Laramie National Historic Site 
has recently completed the restoration of a fully functional 1870s 

Officer Quarters 

Officers of the Fort Fred Steele garrison remained quartered in 
wall tents until early February of 1870.'^*^' During these early 
months at the post, officer quarters were built following the sub- 
stantial enclosure of higher priority structures. The availability of 
good building stone and of good sawmills and other milling equip- 
ment meant that Fort Fred Steele had quarters which were much 
better than many posts of the period, and the equal of most, any- 
where in the army. 

73. Cir. #2, WD SGO, 1870. 

74. Cir. #4, WD SGO, 1870. 

75. DeTrobriand to AGDP, report on fires in 1872. 

76. (Post) Cir. #8, Hq. Ft. Steele, Febr. 2, 1869. 


The quarters consisted of one large single quarter so superior in 
space and design that it was designated as the "Post Commander's 
Quarters" and in early correspondence as "Post Headquarters."' 
It stood at the center of the quarters line. It was described as: 

... a stone building one and a half stories high, with an additional 
frame building in the rear. The dimensions of the main part are 44 
by 36 feet, containing eight rooms; the back building contains three 
rooms, and is 28 by 25 feet.'''" 

Four other houses were what we would call "duplexes" today, 
which were called "double-quarters" at that time. 

Each is 44 by 34 feet, and is divided into two halls, with rooms on 
each side. 

This same 1875 report elaborates: 

In general, these houses are superior in style, plan, and finish, and are 
all lathed and plastered. Some have small cellars under the kitchens, 
and all possess good-sized enclosed yards in rear. During 1873, their 
walls were for the most part kalsomined by enlisted men. Each set 
is intended to accommodate a captain and two lieutenants. ""* 

Now this same surgeon general's office publication stirs up what at 
this point is a complete mystery. It makes reference to a building 
essentially the same as the other double quarters, located to the 
east of the southernmost duplex otherwise mentioned, and to the 
west of the adjutant's office. It says this building was used as a 
headquarters for a time, and refers to this structure being replaced 
as a headquarters by the adjutant's office.''-' 

Such a building is shown on the 1870 ground plan, but is not 
shown on the later ground plans. Neither the photos of the post 
during army days, nor modern aerial photos disclose evidence of a 
building on this site. We are inclined to dismiss it as a "never- 
built" that hung around from the 1 870 ground plan to confuse 
everyone. Solution to this problem must be an archeological one, 
since the record makes no mention of any destruction or demolition 
of a building on this particular site. 

Adjutant's Office 

Functional headquarters of the post through which the chains of 
command funneled all communication was the adjutant's office. 
This was a simple one-story building which could have been con- 
verted to a set of quarters if the need arose. It was another board- 

77. Cir. #8, WD SGO. May 1, 1875, p. 383. 

78. Cir. #8, WD SGO, May 1, 1875, P. 383. 

79. Ibid. 


and-batten structure of rough pine lumber, 36x28x10, "lathed and 
plastered, containing five rooms, for necessary offices."*^" 

Ultimately the officer's quarters, and the adjutant's office ac- 
quired fences around their back yards, to enclose the outhouses, 
the coal sheds, wood sheds, and other odds and ends of informally 
built storage structures that grew up over the years. Descriptive 
material in the files concerning the abandonment of the post indi- 
cates that by 1886 most of the officer quarters had boardwalks and 
covered ways connecting the kitchen wing of each quarters with its 
latrine, doubtless a great wintertime convenience at a place like 
Fort Steele! 

Laundress Quarters (Married Enlisted Men's Quarters) 

For most of the period Fort Fred Steele was occupied by the 
army, each company of soldiers was allowed several women to do 
the laundry for the men. Each was provided housing, rations for 
herself and her children, and authorized to collect at the pay table 
an amount fixed by the post council of administration. Sometimes 
this was a flat rate per man and sometimes a charge per piece or 
volume of clothing. These women also did laundry for the families 
of the officers of their company at a piece rate. In practice, those 
who arrived at a post without a husband in tow soon acquired one, 
regardless of age or infirmities.^- Frequently, they married a man 
not otherwise entitled to family quarters, and through their com- 
bined efforts brought home a fair income. They did not usually 
occupy very plush quarters, however. Anton Schonbom, in his 
1869 sketch, shows the laundress quarters as wall tents scattered 
over the low ground northeast of the post. In the spring of 1871, 
Colonel A. G. Brackett wrote, "The laundresses live in tents . . ."^-^ 

Two years later, some of them were quartered in the row houses 
that had been built east and northeast of the barracks. There were 
ultimately five houses in one row and four in the other. Each was 
a frame structure with shingle roof. Each set of quarters was a 
two-room lathe-and-plaster finished apartment. ^^ 

When the post was at peak strength in the mid-seventies, some 
laundresses were still living in tents. ^''' The small four-unit laun- 
dress quarters burned on the afternoon of April 9, 1886; and these 

80. Ibid. 

81. Fragmental report in the Abandoned Military Reservations file, 
Interior Department records, NARS. 

82. Don Rickey, Jr., Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay, (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1963). 

83. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP, May 21, 1871. 

84. Cir. #8, WD SGO, p. 382. 

85. Ibid. 


were not replaced before the post was abandoned.""' The number 
of laundresses had evidently declined by this time for it was re- 

The building was occupied by company tailors and shoemakers and 
one woman who was doing washing for the different companies. ^^ 

Of the n.c.o.'s at the post, only the commissary sergeant had 
special quarters assigned. This was a house at the southwest 
corner of the built-up area of the post; it was a frame structure 
(probably board-and-batten ) of modest size, with fenced yard.""^ 

CiviUan Employee Quarters 

We have already noted the wheelwright's quarters that once 
stood in the sawmill quadrangle one-half mile s.s.e. of the post. 
Most of the time the teamsters, skilled laborers and other men 
employed by the quartermaster at these western posts were single 
men, particularly in the early years. This was not always so, of 
course. There is less good documentation on the nature of quar- 
ters for these employees than for other personnel. Generally there 
were two or three sets of quarters so occupied. The best of these 
are described in the 1875 report: 

Besides these there are the quarters for the civilian employees at the 
post. These are three in number; No. 1, built of rough pine lumber. 
50x20x9 feet in extent; No. 2, of pine slabs, 25x30x10 feet; and No. 3. 
of split pine logs, 24x14x10 feet. All of these are lathed, plastered, 
and have shingled roofs, and two have inclosed yards in rear. There 
is a separate mess-house attached to these buildings 30 by 20 by 10 
feet large. It is built of rough pine lumber, and has an inclosed yard.'^-' 


The guardhouse was another of the focal points of army activity 
at the post. More than just a place of confinement for those await- 
ing trial or under sentence, it contained the office of the officer of 
the guard, the place where members of a given guard rested when 
not on post, and served as the storage place for tools used for 
certain prisoner work details and some other kinds of fatigue 

For many years, Fort Fred Steele had a very poor guardhouse, 
and even at peak of development, it was marginal compared to 
those at many posts. 

86. Ltr. Chipman to AGDP, April 10, 1872. 

87. Ibid. 

88. Cir. 8, WD SGO. 

89. Cir. #8, WD SGO. May 1, 1875. 


A publication of the Surgeon General's office in 1870 said of 
this building: 

The guardhouse is located between the barracks and the edge of the 
bluff, and consists of a log house, 19 by 16 feet, without windows, 
and covered with shingle roof. It is warmed by stoves.'^'* 

Some of this description seems anticipatory at least and cer- 
tainly deceptive! For on May 21, 1871, Colonel Brackett wrote: 

There seems to be an absolute necessity for the erection of a new 
guard house as the one now in use is a most shabby affair with a 
canvas roof which is altogether unsafe. '*i 

The Inspector General's office the next year describes it simply 
as "built of wood."^- 

The new guardhouse must have been completed within the same 
year, as in September of 1872, a prisoner attempted to set it on fire, 
but was foiled by the quick response of the men called out by the 
alarm, and the proximity to the pumping station and water supply. 
It is described in this account as a stone building.^^ 

A fuller description of the guardhouse was pubhshed in 1875: 

In 1871 the present guardhouse was built of stone quarried in the 
vicinity. Its dimensions are 50 by 23 by 11 feet. It is divided into 
two rooms of equal size, separated by a hall four feet wide. The 
guardroom is lighted and ventilated by two large windows, and a door 
leading into the hall, and the prison by two small windows (barred) 
on opposite sides near the ceiling. Ten prisoners is the average 

The guardhouse in common with other structures needed new 
flooring in 1878, and Major Thomas stated that since only one-inch 
pine boards of local manufacture were available he had laid them 
in a double thickness for better wear.^-^ 

By 1880, there was an addition of frame construction 20 feet 
long at the south end, serving as an ordnance storehouse.^** 

The post surgeon had to inspect the guardhouse as one of the 
requisites of his monthly sanitary report and his parallel entry in 
the Medical History of the Post. In his record for November of 
1880 he said: 

I would respectfully recommend that the Prison room in the guard- 
house be warmed by a stove. The prisoners, I think, should have an 

90. Cir. #4, WDSGO, 1870. 

91. Ltr. Brackett to AGDP, May 21, 1871. 

92. Randolph B. March, Outline Description of Military Posts, GPO, 
Wn.. 1872. 

93. Ltr. DeTrobriand to AGDP, Sept. 29, 1872. 

94. Cir. #8, WD SGO, p. 383. 

95. Ltr. Thomas to Ch.Q.M.D.P., March 11, 1878. 

96. Ltr. Wolf to Ch. Engr. D.P., Jan. 8, 1880. 


opportunity to warm and dry their feet when they return from labor 
to the guardhouse in the evening.**''^ 

Further on in his report, Surgeon Caldwell mentions that the 
maximum temperature for the month was 57 degrees Farenheit, 
and the minimum temperature for the month was —41 degrees 

The guardhouse continued to attract the attention of the post 
surgeons. It was recorded that the prison room was plastered in 
August, 1882,'**^ but it is mentioned as "poorly ventilated" in De- 
cember of 1883."''* In one of the last mentions of it, the surgeon 
recorded in December of 1884 that the prison room and guard 
room both smelled bad because of prisoner food spilled on the 
floor, soaking into the boards. ^"'^ 


For a variety of reasons, the hospital generated a volume of 
correspondence much greater than that of some other structures at 
Fort Fred Steele. Partially, this is a result of the extensive record 
keeping of the post surgeon on top of other records relative to 
structures. Part of the reason is found in the fact that there was a 
sequence of hospitals here despite the relatively short life of the 

For over two years, the hospital was a purely makeshift affair, 
with five hospital tents strung out in line as a ward, and three 
similar tents at right angles to house other functions. The tents 
were blanket lined and heated with stoves. They were framed up 
with lumber. The surgeon general's office states that, "This 
establishment proved tolerably comfortable."^*'^ 

During the fall of 1870, the northernmost of the barracks were 
converted to a hospital. This served through the completion of a 
new hospital of special design in 1876.^^'- 

With the move to the new hospital, the old barracks/hospital 
served such uses as bath house, school room, and shops for com- 
pany artificers. While serving in the latter capacity, it was de- 
stroyed by fire in January of 1879.^''^ 

The regular post hospital itself was destroyed by a fire started by 
coals falling from a stove to an unprotected floor on May 9, 1882. 

97. Med. History File, Nov. 1880. 

98. Med. History File. Aug. 1882. 

99. Med. History File, Dec. 1883. 

100. Med. History File, Dec. 1884. 

101. Cir. 4, SGO, Dec. 5, 1870. 

102. Ibid.: extensive correspondence 1874-1876. 

103. Ltr. Thornburg to AGDP 


One of the barracks was vacant at the time, and a temporary hos- 
pital was set up in this that month.^'^^ 

To meet this need for still another hospital at Fort Steele, the 
Department Quartermaster had the old hospital at Fort Sanders 
dismantled and salvageable materials shipped by rail to Fort 
Steele. In May of 1883, Headquarters, Department of the Platte, 
contracted for the erection of the new hospital by James East.^'^'^ 

The hospital functions moved into the new building, which 
lacked painting and shelving and other finishing touches, on June 
16, 1 883.^"*' It was built on the site of the building that had burned 
in 1882.^'" Additional finishing touches continued every few 
months until it was learned the post was to be abandoned. ^'^* At 
that time all moveable fixtures along with shelving, counters and 
bookcases were removed and shipped to Fort Duchesne, on the 
Ute Reservation.^"-' 


In our experience, one often gets questions about buildings to 
fulfill these functions. The library is the one of the three that got 
the most attention, since it was supported by allocations from the 
post fund. Military posts seldom designated a given building as a 
chapel in this period, when church attendance in the army was apt 
to be light; and if there were a post chaplain, he might be of such 
denomination as to serve principally the commissioned officers' 
families. Schools were of three kinds: classes for officers in mili- 
tary subjects; classes, usually night classes, for enlisted men aimed 
at increasing the literacy rate in the army and improving linguistic 
ability of immigrants, and schools for the children of the garrison. 
There were so few commissioned officers that recitations in tactics 
and the like could be held in almost any convenient office. Fre- 
quently the night school for enlisted men and day school for chil- 
dren would utilize the same space. We should point out that it was 
difficult to obtain teachers at the western army posts, so often 
school was not held for extended periods. 

At Fort Fred Steele, these functions shared a single structure, 
surprisingly referred to as a "chapel." This little building stood 
amidst the quartermaster/commissary complex south of the U. P. 
railroad tracks, not really very far from the post trader's store and 
the saloon. It has been described as: 

104. Medical history, May 1882. 

105. Ltr. Chipman to AGDP, May 19, 1883. 

106. Medical History, June 1883. 

107. I.e. Inspection Report, Oct. 13, 1883. 

108. Med. Histories, et. seq. 

109. Med. History, August 1886. 


The chapel, which is also used as a post library and court-martial 
room, 20 by 40 by 10 feet, is built of pine boards, battened, lathed, 
plastered, and shingled. The books are arranged in suitable closets. H'^ 

The building is seldom mentioned except by listing in the post 
records. In 1876, it was reported that: 

A post school has been established in the chapel for the benefit of the 
children in the Garrison. m 


The Fort Fred Steele post cemetery occupies a position within 
easy reach of the existing road into the fort area. 

The first mention of the cemetery that we find is an order detail- 
ing a corporal and five men to build a fence around the post 
cemetery. ^^- This detail worked for almost a month. ^^^ 

In 1872, the cemetery is described as: 

. . . 176 by 115 feet, about eight hundred yards from the post, fence 
partially completed, headboards to all graves of soldiers. n-^ 

Cemetery fencing was a continuing problem. It was replaced in 
1878.^^'^' In 1881, an inspecting officer noted that it "needs re- 
pairing and whitewashing," and in 1882 it "needs repairing. "^^*' 

The 1882 report noted: 

Some kind of a durable headstone should be provided, as those made 
by the Post Q.M. last but a short time.^^" 

In 1883: 

The cemetery is not in good condition, it requires a new fence, and 
many of the graves should be filled in and rounded up. The names on 
a number of the headboards became obliterated by the action of the 
weather. Nearly all of the headboards should be replaced with new 

and in 1884: 

"The fence is down."ii'' 

110. Cir. #8, WD SGO 1875. 

111. Ltr. Gordon to AGDP, Jan. 5, 1876. 

112. S.O. #182, Hq. Ft. Steeel, Nov. 4, 1870. 

113. S.O. #192, Hq. Ft. Steele, Nov. 22. 1870; S.O. #199, Hq. Ft. 
Steele, Dec. 3, 1870. 

114. R. B. March, Outline Description of Military Posts. 1872. 

115. Ltr., Thomas to AGDP, March 11. 1878. 

116. Post Commander's Inspection reports for 1881 and 1882, RG159 

117. Ibid. 

118. Ibid.. 1883. 

119. Inspector General's Inspection report, 1884, RG159. NARS. 


An inspecting officer wrote in July of 1886, just a few months 
before the post was abandoned : 

The post cemetery is not in good condition. It is surrounded by an 
unpainted picket fence. Not all of the graves have the prescribed 
headboard. In those that have been erected, there is no uniformity in 
size, and none of them are numbered. There are no walks in the 
cemetery, and as it is far above irrigation, except at enormous expense, 
no trees or shrubs can live there. The cemetery has been much 
neglected, and is a very dreary spectacle. 120 

Upon abandonment of the post, the tract comprising the ceme- 
tery was reserved from sale by the Interior Department at the 
request of the Secretary of War}^^ 

At this time there were one officer, 24 soldiers, three children 
of officers, five children of soldiers, two soldiers' wives, and 45 
civilians buried in this cemetery. ^-^ 

Ultimately in 1892 (we have not established a precise date), the 
soldier dead were removed to Fort McPherson National Cemetery 
in Nebraska. This occurred after the disposition of the surround- 
ing lands, so it appears likely that the cemetery tract is still in public 

The graves that remain there range from "unknown citizens" to 
such frontier notables as Jefferson Standifer, who made virtually 
every gold rush from 1849 on!^-^ 

Private Buildings 

The post trader was a person appointed by the Secretary of War, 
who was permitted to carry on trade at a given army post under 
regulations of the army. J. W. Hugus held the post tradership at 
Fort Fred Steele during most of its occupancy, though in the 
closing years he maintained a business partnership with a former 
clerk, Fenimore Chatterton, who finally bought out the tradership 
from Hugus about the time the army decided to abandon the post. 
Chatterton is of special interest in that he was prominent in the 
development of the community of Saratoga, active in business and 
politics in Rawlins, and many years later became governor of 
Wyoming. ^--^ 

120. Ibid, for July 1886. 

121. File #1455, QMG, 1886. 

122. Ibid. 

123. Ltr. Col. Elmer Kell, QMG, to P. E. Daley, Oct. 28, 1955. 

124. Standifer is in grave #39. see: E. S. Topping, Chronicles of the 
Yellowstone, (R. A. Murray, ed.), (Minneapolis: Ross and Haines; 1968). 
W. J. McConnell, Manuscript "Idaho Inferno" in the Bancroft Library; 
Frontier Index, Green River City editions, 1868. 

125. Fenimore Chatterton, Yesterday's Wyoming, Powder River Publish- 
ers, 1957. 



The post trader maintained a sizeable complex not from the 
railroad station and the quartermaster and commissary buildings 
south of the tracks. Included were the store, the trader's house, a 
fenced yard and outbuildings, and a saloon across the road. This 
growing and changing group of buildings is described briefly in 
some of the army reports, though not in the detail of the military 

The trader's store drew civilian trade from a considerable area, 
and Chatterton asserts that at the peak of activity here the gross 
business volume ran as much as $350,000 per year.^-*^ 

The Hotel 

East of the trader's complex lay a privately owned hotel, built 
and operated by E. C. Bowen under a permit from the post com- 

Other Structures 

We should mention the propensity of the army at a western post 
for building small sheds, lean-tos, and other auxiliary buildings 
about as often as the need developed, and demolishing them when 
they became too dilapidated to serve further. We are sure this was 
the case at Fort Steele. 

Railroad Structures 

During the army years at Fort Fred Steele, the Union Pacific 
built three successive bridges. The first was a skimpy, timber 
trestle to get the first line across the river. It was replaced, prob- 
ably within a year, by a substantial timber truss bridge. 

By the 1880s a still stronger wrought-iron bridge spanned the 
North Platte. 

Finally in the years after abandonment of the post, the railroad 
double-tracked the line, changed the grade alignment and built a 
new steel bridge, still in use. 

In addition to the bridges and trackage and the bridge tender's 
house, we have discussed previously, the railroad maintained a 
sizeable station here, replacing and expanding this complex as 
needed. There was the usual trackside water tower. 

As the volume of traffic on the line increased, this became a 
more important water point. After the abandonment of the post, 
the railroad built a massive brick pumping station which still 
stands. It housed large steam driven, coal fired pumps, and stored 

126. Ibid. 

Ill . Abandoned military posts file. Interior Dept. Records. 


water in a large brick underground reservoir on a hill to the south- 

We will discuss other structures that have left some evidence at 
Fort Steele in our section on the post-military period here. 

Fire History 

In an era of wood and coal heating stoves, kerosene lamps, 
candles and other hazards, it is not surprising that fire was one of 
the most serious dangers at a western army post. We have already 
outlined the limited reach of the post's water supply even at peak 
of development and have mentioned some of the more notable 
fires. The post commander issued a large number of detailed 
orders relative to preparedness and procedures for fire prevention 
and fire-fighting. Despite these there was a worse fire history here 
than at most western posts. Some of the important fires with their 
causes in brief are : 

March 30, 1870, slab-building (soldiers theatre) — arson 

July 8, 1872, guard house — arson 

July 23, 1872, bakery — defective chimney 

July 26, 1872, stable at C. O.'s house — arson 

July 31, 1872, trash heap in trader's yard — unknown 

August 14, 1872, carpenter shop and granary — suspected arson 

May 9, 1882, post hospital — hot coals from stove 

Dec. 13, 1882, engine house and sawmill — unknown 

The post-military fire history is, of course, even more extensive. 

The foregoing is a summary of the structural history of Fort 
Steele during the army occupancy. We will discuss the abandon- 
ment and post-military structures in another section of the report. 


Life at Fort Steele bore a great deal of similarity to life elsewhere 
in the frontier army during the period 1868-1886. For a general 
background on the subject, the seriously interested should turn to 
such excellent studies as Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay, by 
Don Rickey, Jr. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963.). 

The same organization and discipline that made the army a 
functional combat organization set the framework for a social 
stratification so clear cut and widely separated that one's view of 
the frontier army depends very much on whether he is looking at 
affairs at a given post from the standpoint of an enlisted soldier, a 
commissioned officer or socially-equal civilian, or a civilian em- 
ployee of the government. 

The lowest paid second lieutenant got $1260 per year, plus 
extensive perquisites. His cash pay alone was over three times the 


earnings of a typical civilian in that era of dollar-a-day common 
labor and $2.00 a day skilled labor on the farms and in the factories 
of the east. A lieutenant colonel or colonel commanding the post 
typically got well over $4000 per year and still more defined and 
undefined "fringe benefits." 

By contrast, the private got but $13 per month and his rations 
and quarters, while the commissary sergeant could not hope to 
progress beyond $35 per month and a better set of quarters! 

The post trader and his chief clerk and their families were about 
the only citizens except railroad executives that were admitted to 
the select little society of the commissioned officers and their 

Citizen-employees ranged from the $35 per month laborer and 
the $45 a month teamster (who drew both rations and quarters) to 
the reasonably well-paid blacksmith, stone mason, or carpenter 
who, according to urgency and labor supply, might draw around 
$85 to $100 per month and quarters. 

The biggest single factor in making Fort Steele a different sort 
of post than Fort Laramie or Fort Fetterman as far as living condi- 
tions was the simultaneous presence of telegraphic communication, 
good mail service, and rail passenger and freight service from the 
very outset of construction at the post. Omaha, with its head- 
quarters, Department of the Platte, was only two days away by rail. 
There are practically no complaints recorded in the post records of 
the quantity, quality, or delivery of food supplies, forage, or fuel. 
This stands out in sharp contrast to many other posts off the 
rail line. 

The presence of the rail line with freight trains several times daily 
altered one other factor of life at the post, too. It made it much 
easier to desert the service here than at Fort Fetterman, Fort 
Washakie, or Fort Phil Kearny, as examples. On either the 
freight or passenger trains, it was possible for a soldier to get to 
Rawlins quickly, easily and relatively cheaply. Fort Fred Steele 
had an almost continuous procession of garrison court martials, 
with the most common charge being that of getting drunk in 
Rawlins and missing the train back to the post, or getting into 
other trouble in that still-brawling frontier town. 

Considering the length of occupancy and the relatively small 
garrison. Fort Fred Steele also had a greater incidence of arson, 
use of narcotics and theft. 

Still, there was a good deal of healthy amusement, too, when 
settlers from the ranches and from Rawlins flocked in for the 
Fourth of July, for example. Or when officers of the garrison 
built an ice boat to run on the frozen river. 

Post Surgeons regarded it as a healthy place to be stationed. It 
had a better water supply than most posts, despite an occasional 
complaint from the surgeon that drainage from the hotel yard and 
the trader's corral were polluting the stream above the water point. 


There was a relatively low incidence of new cases of venereal dis- 
ease. The garrison suffered from colds and sinus conditions in 
winter and from diarrhea and eneritis in summer (as did most of 
the population of the country in that period). 

Considerable color was added by the presence of a number of 
noted officers as members of units or as post commanders here 
over the years. Colonel Richard I. Dodge became well-known for 
his books 33 Years Among Our Wild Indians, and The Plains of 
the Great West, both still being reprinted. Colonel Regis DeTro- 
briand wrote Military Life in Dakota, long available in only his 
native French. Both he and Colonel Albert G. Brackett were 
noted as military historians, DeTrobriand for his studies on the 
Civil War, and Brackett for his History of the U. S. Cavalry. Major 
James S. Brisbin made the ranching west famous with his Beef 
Bonanza, or How to Get Rich on the Plains. Many of the post's 
officers were involved in Indian campaigns of note. 

Most notable in later years was Captain Arthur MacArthur, 
ultimately a general, a pioneer in the study of far eastern military 
affairs, and the father of one of the most famous generals of all. 

As we noted in the previous part. Post Trader Fenimore Chat- 
terton eventually became governor of the state. His predecessor 
and business partner, J. W. Hugus, invested some of his profits in 
a little village bank and two hundred acres of land that became the 
heart of Pasadena, California. 

Brigadier General George Crook, long-time commander of the 
Department of the Platte, used this as a jumping-off place for a 
number of his lengthy hunting trips of the 1880s. 

And always, the daily trains, the wires, and the news that came in 
with regularity, kept Fort Fred Steele as it was intended to be, very 
much in touch with the rest of the nation and the rest of the army. 


The second half of the 1880s was a time of reorganization and 
consolidation for the units and garrisons that had substantially 
brought an end to the "Indian question" as a military problem. 
The trend was to bring the scattered companies of men together 
into substantial units for greater efficiency and for better training 
in the tactics of larger units and modern warfare. A few selected 
posts in each region served as points of concentration. Old, worn, 
isolated posts, and posts far from sources of potential trouble were 
being abandoned in favor of newly built or newly expanded posts 
in favored locations. Some areas of contact with the reservation 
Indians were still regarded as potential trouble spots deserving 
reenforcement. Where possible, the processes of change were 

General Crook wanted to reenforce Fort Duchesne at the Ute 


Reservation and decided to use the three companies at Fort Steele 
for this purpose. General Alfred Terry, at that time Commanding 
General of the Military Division of the Missouri, concurred, and 
recommended abandoning Fort Steele in a letter to the Adjutant 
General on July 30, 1886.' On August 6, Terry ordered the 
troops from Fort Steele transferred to Fort Duchesne and a guard 
to be supplied to Fort Steele from the garrison of Fort D. A. 

On August 12, President Grover Cleveland ordered the military 
reservation of Fort Fred Steele transferred to the control of the 
Secretary of the Interior.-^ 

By this time, the troops at Fort Steele were already packing up all 
valuable property for the move.* The guard detail. Lieutenant 
E. F. Howe and 22 men of the 17th Infantry out of Fort D. A. 
Russell, arrived to take over guard duty and assist with the packing 
of property."' The post hospital closed on October 20, 1886." 

Shortly after abandonment by the last of the regular garrison, 
"Hall and Roe" of the Fort Steele area asked permission to rent 
one or two of the vacant buildings. They were informed that the 
War Department did not have authority to do this.' 

On November 19, 1886, the Secretary of War wrote to the Sec- 
retary of Interior requesting that the area of the Post Cemetery be 
excepted from sale or transfer because of the military burials 
remaining in it.^ As we indicated in the section on the history of 
the cemetery, this was done; and we have not found evidence yet 
that this land has ever been transferred from army jurisdiction, even 
though the military burials were removed. 

The Secretary of War, on November 24, 1886, requested that 
the Secretary of Interior designate a custodian so that the War 
Department could relinquish its control over the reservation." The 
Interior Department had no funds for the purpose, however, and 
had to wait until the coming fiscal year.'" 

Lieutenant Howe and 1 9 of his men left Fort Steele to return to 
Fort D. A. Russell on November 3, 1886, leaving Corporal George 
A. Spencer, Co. D. 17th Infantry, and two privates of his company 
in charge of the government property at Fort Steele. ^^ 

1. Ltr. Terry to AGO. July 30. 1886. 

2. Ltr. Terry to AGO. August 6. 1886. 

3. Proclamation, by President Grover Cleveland, August 12, 1886. 

4. Medical History of Fort Fred Steele, August. 1886 (SGO records) 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Ltr. Hall and Roe, Ft. Steele to Military Division of the Missouri- 
Nov. 6, 1886, and endorsement from Mil. Div. Mo. dated Nov. 15, 1886- 

8. Ltr. War to Interior, Nov. 19, 1886. 

9. Ltr. War to Interior, Nov. 24, 1886. 

10. Ltr. Hawkins, Interior to Secy. War, Dec. I, 1886. 

11. Roster #5, Department of the Platte, Dec. 27, 1886. 


Certain citizens, writing from Fort Steele, asserted that govern- 
ment property was being misused and that Spencer's guard was not 
doing its job, so by late December Lieutenant G. N. Roach went to 
investigate. He concluded that Spencer was doing his job very 
well under the circumstances. Kilpatrick Brothers, "contractors 
on the Railroad building south to Aspen, Colorado," were using the 
Q. M. storehouses as a warehouse, and storing their explosives in 
the magazine. E. D. Worthy had moved into the commissary 
sergeant's quarters and was using them for a restaurant. Hugus 
and Chatterton still had employees at the store and other trader's 
buildings. Mr. Has Sleiger was running a hotel and using other 
buildings for stables and a slaughterhouse. Main contractors and 
freighters were using some other structures. Roach, in his report, 
went on to say: 

From what I could see or learn, I judge that during the last two months 
Fort Steele has been crowded with contractors and laborers on the 
railroad being constructed South. 

With little or no shelter or accommodation outside of the government 
buildings, many without means and some women and children. i- 

Other officials in their endorsements on this report said, in essence, 
that they thought it better that the buildings be occupied instead of 
vacant under the circumstances. 

With the coming of the new fiscal year, Secretary of War Endi- 
cott renewed his request that the Department of Interior appoint a 
custodian. ^'^ Late in October of 1887, the new custodian for the 
Interior Department, Mr. L. W. Bennett, assumed control of the 
post; and the soldier guard was withdrawn to Fort D. A. Russell 
on October 23, 1887. 

In December of 1891, the Department of the Interior had a 
board of appraisers value the buildings at the Fort.^^ With their 
report in hand, it was possible to prepare to sell the buildings at 
public auction. The coming auction was advertised in newspapers 
in the surrounding region.^"' 

Most of the buildings were sold at auction on June 7, 1892. The 
proceeds of this sale were $1316.50. A few buildings remained 
unsold. ^"^ In October of 1892, a new appraisal on the remaining 
structures was filed. ^' On February 23, 1893, the last of the 
buildings were sold.^'^ 

12. Ltr. Roach to Post Adjutant, Ft. D. A. Russell, Dec. 31, 1886. 

13. Ltr. Endicott to Sec'y. Interior, July 12, 1887. 

14. Roster, Department of the Platte, Dec. 1, 1887, and letter, Sec'y 
Interior to Commissioner, General Land Office, Dec. 15, 1891. 

15. Ltr. Joseph Maul Carey to Commissioner, GLO, Feb. 22, 1892. 

16. Ltr., register, U.S. Land Office for Wyo., to GLP, June 9, 1892. 

17. Ltr., register, U.S. Land Office for Wyo., to GLP, Oct. 20, 1892. 

18. Ltr., register, U.S. Land Office for Wyo., to GLP, Oct. 27, 1893. 


We believe it may be of some importance to note that purchase 
of buildings did not convey title to any land and that purchasers 
were advised in writing that if they left the buildings on the land 
more than 30 days, they did so at their own risk.^" 

With the completion of these sales, the remaining land at Fort 
Fred Steele (except the cemetery) became part of the public 
domain, ending 25 years of direct federal on-site administration of 
the site. 


Some old army posts didn't "just fade away" like the old soldiers 
of song, but vanished practically overnight at the hands of settlers 
hungry for seasoned lumber, incendiarists, red and white, or the 
elements. In the 80 years since the government turned the build- 
ings over to civilian owners, many of the buildings have been dis- 
mantled for salvage, burned through carelessness or vandalism, 
and otherwise destroyed. The wonder is that there is so much 
left here, in a place that has never really had the protective isolation 
of many frontier post sites. 

Even as the soldiers moved away, as we saw in the preceeding 
part, railroad contractors and their laborers were moving in. At 
the turn of the century, more railroad construction on the Union 
Pacific and connecting lines brought additional activity to the 

The biggest single industry in the immediate area for many years 
was the collection, sorting and loading of railroad ties, mine tim- 
bers, and the manufacture of a number of lumber and log by- 
product items. Several of the tie camp and mill operators and 
promoters in this field organized the Carbon Timber Company in 
1900. For a number of years, this company held the major tie 
contracts for its mining subsidiaries. One of the antecedent firms, 
J. C. Teller and Company, had a loading plant for ties on the bank 
of the river opposite Fort Steele. 

This plant burned in 1902, but was rebuilt by the Carbon Timber 
Company. This company opened extensive logging operations at 
Hog Park, Encampment Meadows, and other points in the En- 
campment area. They bought ties from the individual tie hacks 
at 12 cents to 16 cents each, in the woods, or 20 cents each 
delivered to streamside. In addition, they cut logs for mining ties, 
mine timbers and other heavy construction lumber. The ties. 

19. Several notices within correspondence of Abandoned Military Reser- 
vations file. 

Note: All the above data are to be found in the Abandoned Military Reser- 
vation File on Fort Fred Steele, Interior Department Records, NARS. except 
where indicated otherwise. 




Photo by Junge, Wyoming Recreation Commission 


This is a telephoto view of the Carbon Timber Company's dock from near 
the Fort Steele cemetery site. The photo was taken in 1972. 

Photo by Junge, Wyoming Recreation Commission 


timbers, and logs were floated down the river to the Fort Steele 
area, held there by a boom, and loaded after sorting. 

The Carbon Timber Company built its own town south of the 
railroad and east of the river. There was a company headquarters 
building, a company store, a number of houses. There was over a 
mile of railroad sidings, several loading and sorting decks, sawmills, 
and a substantial powerhouse. 

The peak years for this community were 1903-1907. After that 
date, they ran into increasing competition from other sources and 
other companies. They became involved in timber trespass litiga- 
tion with the U. S. Forest Service. 

The key figures in the company were closely linked with the 
management of the Union Pacific Railroad for some time, but as 
the railroad management structure changed, they found less and 
less protection from competition. 

With the death of some of the leaders in the company from 1906 
to 1930, it steadily lost ground. After that time, motor transporta- 
tion and modern logging and lumbering methods rapidly made 
obsolete the tie hacks and their colorful annual pilgrimage to Fort 

Protected by the isolation on the east side of the river, the 
Carbon Timber Company town has suffered less from vandalism 
and the deterioration of heavy use that has been the lot of Fort 
Steele. There remains a substantial part of the town and the 

The land immediately surrounding the historic buildings at Fort 
Steele passed into the hands of Cosgriff Brothers, a ranching firm 
in the 1900s. They made use of some buildings, maintaining a 
sheep-shearing pen, warehouses, and the store here for some years. 
They moved their local headquarters to Walcott in 1904.- The 
Leo Sheep Company, owned today by Charles Vivion and his sons, 
Vern and Bob, acquired the Cosgriff holding in 1915, and still own 
considerable land in the area.-^ 

As we indicated in the chapter on structural history, many 
buildings were dismantled for salvage in the 1 890s. At each new 

1. This account of Carbon Timber Company investigations is based on 
the following sources: 

Unpublished: "Memorandum Covering the Past History, Present Organ- 
ization and Status and Probably Future of the Carbon Timber Com- 
pany." November 7, 1914. (In the old files of Medicine Bow Na- 
tional Forest now a part of the holdings of the Western History 
Research Center of the Library, University of Wyoming, Laramie) 
Collection of Grand Encampment Herald newspaper clippings. Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, same collections. Unpublished manuscript on Carbon 
Timber Co. and Wyoming Timber Co., Wyoming Archives and His- 
torical Department. Cheyenne. 

2. Interview, Charles Vivion, Rawlins. June, 1972. 

3. Ihid. 


wave of local prosperity, some venturesome soul would build one 
new building or rebuild something from the old post. Some of 
these buildings remain today. Along the northeast side of the 
parade stands a small frame house that probably dates from the 
early 1900s. Another of late '90s vintage stands across a barracks 
location. There has been a concrete floored garage on the site of 
the old barracks/hospital structure. The James Hanson house and 
sheds from the 1900 period still stand, also occupying a former 
barracks location. 

South of the tracks there are scattered concentrations of house 
ruins, sheds, and dugouts. As late as 1964, we saw many of these 
hovels when inhabited by transients and other squatters. News- 
paper accounts testify to a continuation of the serious fire-history 
of the post, and most of the major structures that are missing have 

Today, Interstate Highway 80, a mile-and-a-half away, with its 
new rest area and commercial cluster, are revolutionizing regional 
transportation much as did the railway in 1868. Perhaps in the 
context of this new era, Fort Steele can recapture part of its former 
spirit through communication of the story of military and transpor- 
tation history across this transcontinental route, and tell the story 
of the region's development in logging, mining, and stockraising to 
some of the millions who pass nearby. 

Marry ^oyer in Wyoming, 187$ 

Edited by Francis Boyer 

What a job it must be to write good history! This I have found in my 
own very amateur efforts to preserve for family and friends what seemed to 
me interesting episodes in regard to my own forebears. My admiration 
grows for "A Virginia Gentleman", written by my mother in her late 
seventies, about her father and his family. 

However, here is another go at preserving family records, in the shape 
of letters from my father to his parents during a trip he made to Wyoming 
in 1878, when he was 23 years of age. 

I vaguely remember hearing from my mother that Father made this trip 
for his health. Just what his ailment was I do not know, but in one of his 
letters he writes of his weight being 135 pounds, "a little more than my 
average, home", so that he can scarcely be thought of as robust, though, as 
other letters show, he must have been a pretty tough citizen, as he expressed 
it, not the least tired after a ride of 25 miles to Fort Fetterman. 

My only other background recollection is that Father was always rather 
proud of his having preceded his friend Gwen Wister into the romantic 
cowboy West by seven years or so. Wister made his first trip to the West in 
1885, and published his most famous book, The Virginian, in 1902. 

In 1878 Wyoming was a pretty wild country. It had become a territory 
in 1869 — a state in 1890 — and the climax of our Indian troubles was in 1876 
with the "Custer Massacre" at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. 

The Union Pacific Railroad was built through the southern part of the 
Territory in 1867-1869, about ten years before Father's visit. 

The population of the Territory in 1870 was just a little better than 9000. 
(1^1970 it was around 331,600.k 

(Wolcott's Ranch, Father's base,)seems to have been 25 miles or so from 
Fort Fetterman, which was established as a military post in 1867. and 
named in honor of Captain (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel) William J. Fetter- 
man who, with his whole command, was killed in a fight with the Indians 
in December, 1866. 

In 1868 a number of other forts were abandoned, but Fort Fetterman 
continued as a post until 1882, and was a most important factor during the 
mid- 1880s, serving as a base for several important Indian campaigns. Its 
supplies were freighted in some 70 miles from Fort Laramie, or from 
Medicine Bow on the Union Pacific. 

Obviously I could present a more detailed historical background for this 
material, but the center of interest is the letters themselves. So here they 

'' y'',y,\-' ■ >-^^'^- 

Phulo Cuuriesy ui rriiiicis Boyer 
This tintype of Harry Boyer may have been made not too many years prior 
to his trip to Wyoming in 1878. 


The Ranch near 

Fort Fetterman 
By candlelight at some 
uncertain hour of the 
19th June A. D. 1878 


My dearest: 

Imagine me sitting tailor fashion on our blankets in the 
tent with a high wind threatening rain without, writing on some half 
dozen of old Chicago papers in my lap, for a desk, with an eagle 
quill for a pen, a pen that I made myself, and plucked from an 
eagle's wing and then do not blame my chirography which is 
surprisingly good under the circumstances I assure you. Had I 
pencil and good drawing paper I should certainly send you some 
sketches of this place, but I have neither and a pen sketch must give 
you some faint idea of my surroundings. 1 had intended in my 
other letter from Fort Fetterman telling you many things I was 
then too hurried to write and that ere I have finished may be too 
sleepy now to remember. 

^'Wolcotts Ranch" is on Deer Creek about four miles 
from its mouth in The Platte — two tents and three "dugouts" 
complete the establishment with four men besides ourselves. ) We 
are in a valley at the foot of the mountains, with table land and flat 
and hill around us, a much diversified country and in the Fall 
abounding with game, Grouse, Sage Hen, Ducks, Antelope, Black 
and White Tail Deer, Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk, Beaver, Buffalo, 
etc. I forgot to tell you that coming over the Rockys, Tom and I 
saw a Mountain Lion, a long creature as high as a big Newfound- 
land, a big Grey Wolf, and Elk and a smaller wolf, which I shot at, 
at about 300 yards and nearly gave him a fit, as it was a perfect line 
shot but a foot beneath him; the others we pursued but they 
galloped off. I had a very pleasant visit at the Fort, the Major 
being on excellent terms with the garrison and they entertaining 
us nicely. 

I wrote you we killed a Buffalo going over. Yes, as we 
came to the top of a little rise there was a tremendous bull looking 
over at us — tremendous is the word appropriate for you cannot 
imagine their immensity. He would make two big steers and a calf 
or two over. Going back we tried to chop his horns off, but they 
were so hard the hatchet blade broke in two and we left him with 
no trophy other than his tail. Two days ago, alone, I started out 
on an antelope hunt and when about three miles from camp I saw a 
black speck some two miles in the distance. Can that be a buffalo? 
thought I, well here goes to find out. As I neared it I was certain 
it moved, but whether a horseman, steer or buffalo I was not 
decided. The nearer I approached the more convinced I was that 


it was naught else than a big bull buffalo — at about half a mile it 
turned tail and disappeared. I put spurs to my horse and away 
over a hill to head Mr. Bull — reaching the top there he was about 
200 yds. from me, walking slowly and looking for me — then he 
came head on for a little ways. I galloped around him to get a 
shoulder shot, wheeled and as I did so, he started off on a 
lumbering gallop. I let fly and took him fairly in the shoulder 
possibly through the heart, he stopped and I expected him to 
charge, but he walked slowly away and lay down on a slope. I 
knew then he was fatally hit, but they are hard to kill, so I rode 
around coming within 100 yards and fired into him some seven 
more shots, one unfortunately hit his horn and shattered it badly. 
But my first shot killed him. I rode home and told the incredulous 
Major I had killed a buffalo. Ike and I started out in the night 
then to find him. It was dark and rainy and we roamed over the 
hills some time before I got my bearings, when there he lay, stiff, a 
monster. Ike cut off a haunch, his hoofs and tongue and his tail 
is nailed up before the tent. So that was my first buffalo. 

Yesterday Wolcott took me to the wildest place. Deer 
Creek Canon where the water rushes down between the mountains 
to the valley below. We were looking for Deer and Bear. The 
Canon is a great place for bear a little later. We had to dismount 
and climb with our horses over rocks and debris you would hardly 
think they could go, and after crawling thus half up the Canon, left 
our horses and slid down to the creek, nestled under a rock, smoked 
and napped. We saw some 40 antelope but got none. I had my 
shot gun and killed 6 or 8 sage hens which are very good eating. 
There are any quantity of Rattlesnakes but they do not fear them 
much. We killed two big ones day before yesterday. I will send 
the rattles to you in a box by mail. The snakes make a peculiar 
locust like noise very distinct. Now I must stop and will add what 
is worth writing before Sunday. I pray for your good health and 
blessing — that you will both enjoy Narragansett. 

With love 

The Ranch 

July 24th 78. 
My darling Mother: 

I am writing in my tent by candle light (Jerry the deer 
hound has just thrust his nose between the flaps prospecting I 
suppose for a possible chance of sleeping on my blankets). Shall 
I describe it? I made the bed I am lying on a day or two ago of 
poles nicely joined and nailed together with a bottom of willow 
poles laced with switches and a very good and substantial bed it is, 
quite the "boss" on the ranch. On this my mattress stuffed with 


hay then the buffalo robe and blankets; two saddle cloths and my 
overcoat for a pillow and of necessity sleep in drawers and woolen 
shirt. We aree allee same daytime. My furniture is perforce 
primitive — my saddle and bridle in a corner on a rack — a soap 
box on four posts makes a closet for ammunition etc. A pair of 
magnificent elk antlers nailed on a post makes a beautiful and 
effective gun and clothes rack — another soap box nailed to the tent 
post is a useful shelf for bricaback, etc. An old bayonet driven in 
my bedstead is my candle stick, my pen an eagle quill, my ink 
bottle slung to one of the elk prongs and here am I writing on a 
cartridge box to my loved one. Here am I after a hard days hunt, 
alone, but extremely successful for 1 shot three antelope in three 
consecutive shots which is quite a feat for a "tenderfoot" and good 
for any one. Received congratulations all around and am 
regularly installed camp hunter. Yesterday I fired sixteen shots 

and killed one but so the luck and skill too (page 

torn out) I know the country pretty well and what 1 don't 

the horse does for these horses have the same affinity for home as 
the lodestone the pole and if one is uncertain of the direction these 
bronchos tell him quickly enough. 

It is a grand sensation roaming these mountain prairies 
with deep canons and rough gulches and then rising to high bluffs 
that overlook the whole country, armed with a rifle that seems so 
much more manly weapon than a shot gun. The men habitually 
ride and work armed with rifle carbine or revolver and knife and 
occasionally hatchet in a belt and very picturesque these cow- 
punchers and bullwhackers seem. Often I wish to sketch them, but 
I could not portray the charm. We are all the best of friends and 
it's "Harry" or "Bill" or "Tom" without distinction. 

\The stock business of course is the trade of the country. 
Wolcott has ambitious notions of success, and if pluck and energy 
will win he gets his (page torn out . . . ^ . 

I have written you for 500 cartridges "Model 76" and 
for a pipe which I hope will be sent which I hope will be a good 
one. Ammunition of course is a prime necessity and many shells 
get lost in the excitement. These will be the only expenses I shall 
have and what money I now have will doubtless last until my 
return. Send me too whatever papers you can, the Norristown 
Herald, etc. and any magazines you may buy besides Harpers and 
Scribners which Wolcott takes. I should like my Greens Outline 
of History and Shakespere and when you have the stamps ( first 
class) a novel or two. I am a great trouble am I not? 



The Ranch 

August 5th 1878 
My dearest All: 

I am writing again in the old style — the ink slung on the 
elk's horns by a bit of string — a cottonwood fire mouldering in the 
middle of the tent, its sweet aromatic smoke driving away the 
mosquitoes with which some nights we are bothered. The tent is 
filled with the smoky fumes through which my penny dip mounted 
on my bayonet candlestick burns dimly and could you look under 
the tent flap you would see me curled up on my buffalo robe in a 
pair of Sioux hunting moccasins and in a pair likewise of California 
overalls, with burned nose and the reddest face you ever beheld on 
your son with a compensation in the way of a beautiful tan on arms 
and hands writing on a rough board to the dearest parents in the 
world. (Do not you Father toss this letter to Mother saying, "You 
read it — I can't!" "Too much trouble" etc. for remember my 
surroundings and the difficulties of a clerkly hand. I am indeed 
dehghted with the cheerful tone of your letters from Cape May. 
Indeed I cannot tell you how bright it made today. 

The men tell me I am growing stouter and judging by 
my color I am healthier. Sometimes I gaze into the glass Narcissus 
like and hope for more fat to make the Apollo. I am becoming a 
mighty hunter and my renown grows in the Camp. I am camp 
hunter and keep meat in stock for seven men. They always look 
for me to bring in game now and call me "tenderfoot" no longer. 
I am almost daily in the saddle seven, eight, ten hours, and do not 
become fatigued. My last trip, on Saturday, was across to 
"Muddy", starting early. Shot two antelope, packed them on my 
horse, no small exertion I tell you they will weigh 75 or 100 lbs. 
and then footed over the foot hills eight miles to Camp. That 
rather surprised the boys and they think me plucky. 

I spent this forenoon chopping a way to a bathing pool 
and accomplishing that, dammed the creek to make it deeper then 
"Major" and I took a bawth. I digged the spring and stoned it — 
cut steps and made a convenient wharf to tote water easier for 
washing and culinary purposes and so trying to earn my board, go 
nightly with easy conscience to my bunk. 

Bob Chambers has come — an old hunter miner scout — 
chuck full of hairbreadth escapes and wild adventures on plain 
and mountain. He entertained me all Sunday with his tales. He 
was bom among the Sioux. His Father was a trapper for the 
American Fur Company and was eventually killed on the Laramie 
Plains that I crossed coming here, by the Indians. Bob has been 
captured often himself but has managed to escape. He gives me 
points on hunting — will tan my skins and later we are going on a 
grand hunt. He is the chap that can live on raw unsalted meat 


alone for indefinite time and thrive on it, and considers raw elk's 
brains well mashed the greatest delicacy in the world. He is a 
splendid fellow, handsome, straight, and though brought up in 
these wild mountains, among mining camps and so on, neither 
drinks, swears nor gambles. 

I feel a little tired now and have a big ride tomorrow. A 
thousand thanks for the ammunition and the pipe — if perchance it 
has not been sent before this reaches you, I wish you would send 
in the box that spy glass of mine, it will be extremely valuable 

If you find that cigars cost little to send by mail as all 
things under 4 lbs. can be, I should like even a half a box of 
imported or first class Key West. You can not get them in N. . 
Wolcott wishes to be remembered to you both. My love to all who 
care for me and so again good night. 

Your affectionate 


Fort Fetterman August 6th 

( This morning I rode 25 miles to the Fort bringing some 
telegrams' for Wolcott and letters. iWill ride back this evening. 
I am not the least tired and I must be in fine kelter to do it so 

With love 


"The Ranch" 
Sep. 14th 1878 

It seems a long time ago since I have either written or 
heard from you and just as I was looking forward to a trip 
tomorrow to the Post to send this to you and get your letters, 
comes "Chico" from the pole patch with news of an accident to the 
wagon or the bull team and perforce the Major must go at once to 
superintend repairs — so my hopes for tomorrow are gone, and as 
almost all the a^blebodied horses are off with "Tom" and "Ike" ,on 
the "round up")l cannot ride, and so must wait impatiently until 
we can get off. 

It is more than two weeks since we have been to the Fort 
and it seems a far longer time. I heard from an "outfit" that was 
here yesterday that an express package was awaiting me there. 
The cartridges, no doubt, and I thank you exceedingly for them, 
(have them now — 16tg.) 


How I long to be with you both again — there is a deal of 
sameness in this life and it is beginning to seem very aimless and a 
wasting of precious time without the greatest gain 1 wish — think of 
it, almost three months I have been here. There is nothing to do 
but hunt and that is my constant occupation and were it not for 
the grander hunting in the late fall months of elk and blacktail, I 
would be quite ready to return. My health is the prime consider- 
ation but that has not remarkably changed — I have not gained the 
50 lbs. I longed for. The Major and I get along admirably; I know 
his peculiarities now, like him and he likes me. He presented me 
with a pair of buckskin breeches that button with bright steel 
buttons down the side and have a very "giddy" look indeed. 

Last Saturday the water froze in the wash basins and the 
mountains about were covered with snow — the nights grow colder 
and all things are putting on a wintry look. You know my aversion 
home to early rising, the source of great vexation to my dear daddy, 
but you should experience a rising these frosty morns, a trip to the 
creek to wash and the water so cold after turning out from under 
blankets and buffalo robe. 

Three or four days ago I went with some five of the men 
and the Major up the canyon road, they fixing it to bring down 
poles, and camped out there two nights. Imagine a roaring fire of 
pitch pine logs with these rough frontiers — men warming around it, 
while Deleo prepares the beans for supper, and the cold wind 
sweeping down through the pass. A clear crisp night, the moon- 
light streaming against the pale gray rocks far overhead, the strange 
opaque shadows for all the world like a stage effect with calcium 
lights. Sleep in your breeches, pull off your shoes, roll up your 
coat for a pillow, pull covers over head and go to sleep to a lullaby 
of whistling winds trying to creep under blanket with you. 

I hear of a lake some 1 2 miles from here at the foot of 
Casper mountain filled with thousands of teal and mallard ducks 
and shall just wait till the weather gets cold enough to keep them 
well and camp there some night and kill a whole slew of them. 

O Mither, O Mither! how I wish you could cook some 
of this fat blacktail in the old way, in chafing dish and currant jelly, 
for venison here seems but tender meat and nothing more, though 
our new cook is a good one and makes cherry pies and hash and 
tolerable bread, and does broil meat instead of frying, the popular 

I finish this at the Fort on the 16th in haste. I have 
ridden over for the mail — the dear mail and will return tonight on 
the "Blue filly" and tomorrow will strike out over the mountains 
with a pack horse to join the "round up"\and hunt with them clear 


up to Casper. They have seen lots of elk and blacktail and killed a 
bear but two days ago. I expect them to have something worth 
writing. Have the newspaper letter which reads well. Excuse the 
scrawl — but I am in great hurry. You may not hear again for a 
couple of weeks, but be assured I am well. 

God bless you both to the fullest and Father's improve- 
ment. My thoughts are with you always. 


I like the Maj. better daily. T weighed 135 lbs. without 
coat or vest, a little more than my average home, but it is good 
sohd muscle I think, and will not overdo the riding. 

The Ranch 

And here it is the last day of September and after a week 
at Casper I am back again in my tent writing to the only two bodies 
in the world who I know love me — perchance I should be asleep at 
this hour but did I try without writing to you, it would be but 
conning over in the dark, or in such moonlight as shines through 
my tent, all that I wish to write you now. I'll write a while till my 
legs get stiff and then for a snooze. 

Today I returned from Casper. "Casper" is the remains 
of an old fort abolished in 66 and named after a Lieutenant killed 
by the Sioux. He went out to meet a train and saw a few Indians 
on a hilltop — pursued them from hill to hill till suddenly up rose 
some thousand warriors, and Casper with some 30 men were slain 
and not a man escaped to tell the tale. And to Casper I went 
(some 35 miles) on Monday last, driving a sorrel pack horse with 
my bedding for his burden — following the old California trail over 
which have travelled many thousands of pilgrims, emigrants, 
prospectors, trappers, to find luck or a lonely grave in the Great 
West. It winds along with the windings of the Platte for the river 
roadways are the surest and best. 

I rode a little Texas race mare as pretty and gritty as a 
horseman could wish, with a heart branded on her quarter. The 
day after my arrival there, John Lynn, ""Missouri", a boy of 17, and 
myself, hunted over Casper mountains and right good sport we 
had. Up the rockiest kind of ravine we rode to its top, seeing bear 
and elk "sign" almost the whole length, pools where bears had 
wallowed and not yet quite settled, over places one would hardly 
think a horse could climb. The nearer we reached the top the 
more cautiously we advanced, and on peering over the last crest we 
saw feeding in a beautiful glade on the other side of the mountain a 
band of elk, some thirty or more, quietly grazing. We dismounted 
and making a detour on foot to leeward came within 300 yards of 


them when they started. They ran over the crest of another hill, 
and a grand sight it was to see these magnificent creatures, one after 
another, stop for a moment on the hilltop, proudly look around, 
and then disappear. You have seen Landseers "The Battle" well! 
they were such creatures! I shot a magnificent buck — the other 
none. He fell on the hillside and in his dying struggles rolled 
crashing through the timber down to the bottom of the ravine 
below, over and over, maybe 50 yards. 

Then next John Lynn killed a blacktail which was hung 
on a tree. It then was nearly noon — for it was a long ways to the 
mountain from Casper — and so we sought a spring and lunched. 
Then striking eastwards we soon found a herd of some 250 elk and 
John and Missouri killed three. I could have killed many more 
but would not. (I however shot a blacktail.) For I cannot bear 
to kill such huge beasts to let the most part rot on the ground or 
feed the wolves and bears. Packing some of the meat on the pack 
horse we started for camp and reached there sometime after 

The next day early John Lynn sent "Missouri" up the 
mountain with a pack horse to bring down the blacktail and more 
elk meat, and as luck would have it, at the foot of the mountains 
Missouri struck two bears. He saw them a long ways off and 
circled around between them and the timber. When he had come 
within 150 yards he let fly and wounded both but not fatally. 
Well! each squealed like the deuce and each one, thinking I 
suppose, that the other had hurt it, set to fighting in the most 
scientific manner with much shrieking. First one would knock the 
other down and vice versa, while Missouri laid quiet, enjoying the 
fight. He shot again and in attempting again to stick in a cartridge, 
frightened a blacktail nearby who went bounding by. The bears 
look up and seeing Missouri, one made for him ferociously, 
snorting and scaring the boy badly. He turned tail and ran for his 
horse nearby, who began snorting too and prancing about in a way 
that made it difficult to mount indeed! so that when Missouri was 
on him and away, the bear was but a few steps from him. But he 
gathered in the other, and packed him in. But alas! he left all that 
splendid meat on "Caspers" top to rot and rot, for none save the 
bears or wolves will ever eat it. 

The next day we had planned for a buffalo hunt, but 
word came that General Miles was coming down from Camp 
Brown some 150 miles north. And about 10 o'clock he came. 
Far off over the hills was a moving speck steadily growing larger 
till one could see horsemen and pack mules. On they came and 
crossed the Platte just above that ranch, five companies and three 
pack trains splashing through the swift River. They halted just at 
the ranch to distribute the mail the Sutler had brought them out and 


a number of the soldiers came rushing in to buy milk and meat.) 
John gave them half the bear and a big quarter of elk. In a shoirt 
time they filed by, Merrit riding ahead, real regulars, dusty and 
dirty, with hats of every conceivable pattern and many without a 
trace of regulation uniform. Five companies and after them three 
pack trains of mules with little bells on the leaders tinkling as they 
passed. A novel and interesting sight to me. But still more so was 
the little band of 15 Arrapahoe braves with them as scouts and 
trailers. Last year the Arrapahoe tribe encamped near Casper and 
were constantly at the ranch, and they silently rode up on their 
ponies to woodpile where we were seated, dismounting and squat- 
ting on the logs, began rolling cigarettes. 

Such immovable, stolid countenances I never saw, and 
I watched them, stared at them with childish curiosity. But one 
got up and walking over to John said, "Howgh! John" shaking 
hands. We talked to them for some time without a word in reply, 
but looking at us steadily with their keen eyes. I finally addressed 
me to an intelligent looking chap with, "How far down are you 
going?" No reply. I repeated it, and after a brief silence he said, 
"Don't know." When are you coming back? He held up three 
fingers with a sweep of his arm from East to West. Three days. 
But so we talked ai\d they soon were laughing and talking in their 
queer gutterals among themselves. They said, "Wasseno heap" 
(buffalo plenty) two fingers up to the north (two days journey). 
"Who is boss of this outfit?" He nodded he was. He was Young 

They wore hats with eagle feathers in the crown and 
maybe an eagle wing hanging behind to their long black locks 
bound with red. A shirt, a blanket hanging around their waists 
and a kind of blouse breeches with the seat cut out. All wore 
moccasins and some leggings. Their ponies were trapped out with 
silver ornaments and squaw work on saddles and bridles, the 
Indians themselves wore silver earrings and necklaces, and brace- 
lets of copper or brass. Their saddles Indian made and stirrups of 
deer hide. They smiled at my curiosity for I investigated every- 
thing. They rode away thumping their horses sides with heels, 
and singing in queer monotone, hi yah hi yah hi hi hi hi hi yah hi 
yah. None knew English but "Young Friday". These Arrapahoes 
were once hostiles and allies of the Sioux nation but are now on a 
reservation near Camp Brown. 

Colonel, no Captain, Montgomery to whom you know I 
had a letter from Gen. Emory, was with this command, and in the 
afternoon John (who is Cary's foreman) and I rode some 15 miles 
below to their encampment, where I introduced myself to Mont- 
gomery, was introduced to his brother officers, took supper and 
had a nice little time. He asked me to go along down to the Fort 


and camp with him. I shall ride down to the Fort in a day or two 
to see them. 

At nightfall John and I rode home and John, who had 
been interviewing the sutler, was in a colloquial and reflective 
humor, giving me the whole history of his life from the time as 
apprentice hatter, he, with a printer, a bookbinder and tailer, ran 
away to see the world. How he had risen in the army, and resigned 
a First Lieutenancy because he was refused a short leave of 
absence. How he had worked on the Mississippi levees, and on 
steamers and barges, and followed the Pacas trail in Texas, always 
making money, and always spending it. In his confidential humor 
he told me the boys all liked me and thought "there was no one 
like "Harry' '\ And we talked about religion — this semi-tight 
cowpuncher and this wise tenderfoot as they rode in the starlight 
with the coyotes howling mournfully and that cowpuncher showed 
the manly spirit that with its many weaknesses tried to do all that 
a man can do — his duty. The boys call him "Old John" but 
though 49, he says he'lll dance on their graves. 

The next day John and I rode out to see Buffalo, and I 
had determined not to kill a bull, but only a cow if her hide was in 
condition. After riding 15 or more miles out we saw a bunch, but 
bulls. We rode up within 1 50 yards when they started and it is 
amazing how rapidly such clumsy looking creatures get over the 
ground. I chased them half a mile on my little mare and could 
have killed them all, and never shot for I will not waste this brute 
Ufe for the pleasure of a shot. Nor did 1 shoot an antelope, and I 
could have killed a dozen or more, for they were on all sides of us 
within range. Well, I chased these bulls and rode a long ways but 
a length behind them, ready for a turn when my rifle sling broke 
and let the muzzle drag, when I must stop and repair damages. 
Then we about and rode home. And rode by an Indian grave, the 
brother of Black Coal, chief of the Arrapahoes, who was killed 
there last winter on a buffalo hunt. A bull ran on him, upset his 
horse, and broke his neck. He lies about two miles from the ranch 
with nothing but the bones and hide of his slain war horse to mark 
the spot. The grave is not filled to the top, but is some three feet 
down, and on it grows a bed of prickly pears or cactus, that wolves 
may not disturb his last repose. On my way back I shot a sage 
hen on the way with my rifle, and I think I can do it pretty often 

Captain Coates is going either up the Medicine Bow 
road or back of Casper in a week or more and I expect to have very 
good sport with him and pack some horns and hides in. 
. . . the pines like silhouettes against the sky, and between a vista 
of rolling prairie far below me, and miles and miles away to the 
horizon. Retracing my way to ascend and descend another 


mountain — to see an antelope or magnificent blacktail jump before 
me. I would not shoot as I could not burden my horse. Once a 
blacktail doe with two well grown fawns jumped from the brush 
and watched me some 40 yards off — it was an exquisite picture 
as they stood, their beautiful ears pointed towards me until satisfied 
with the scouting they jumped into the timber. 

Finally I came down to the plains again — the sun had 
set and I had about determined to picket, build a fire and turn in 
in saddle blankets — not at all discomposed save at the notion of 
going supperless and breakfastless the next day. The country 
seemed utterly strange and I had satisfied myself I was some 10 
miles above camp when 1 caught sight of the "Chimneys" the ruins 
of an old overland stage station. I was but four miles below the 
ranch but in among the high hills. All day in the saddle save 15 
min. at noon. The rain is pattering on my tent. I have been long 
riding and am tired. Good night 

This is Monday and I have ridden over to the Post to get 
your letters and send you this, and am again writing as usual at 
Forsters desk. A ride of twenty-five miles is a commonplace thing 
to me now and I do it without fatigue. Very often I ride at night, 
getting back to the ranch at midnight. 1 love those solitary rides 
by the dog towns all asleep, through the deep mysterious shadows, 
fording creeks with rush covered banks, rushes reaching to my 
saddle bow. Though sometimes I hardly know my position — the 
hills look strange in the moonlight, and the old cottonwoods have a 
spectral weird appearance. But there flows the Platte a mile or 
two to the north, there the high range to the south, both landmarks 
one cannot lose for long on hill or plain. Curious cattle stand in 
the road, wondering what the night traveler may be, till with raised 
tails and lowered heads they stampede snorting over a hillside. 

This morning as I went to breakfast there stood a polecat 
at the kitchen dugout door. I shouted, "A skunk" and rushed for 
my rifle. Returning found the animal making himself much at 
home within, lapping the cats' milk with great relish, the kittens 
looking on wonderingly at that animal of strange perfume. To 
shoot him would ruin all the stores and to attempt his expulsion 
would be as bad. There he stood with tail conveniently poised over 
his back, and last evening when I started he had comfortable 
quarters behind the flour sacks, enjoying a nap. A strange cat for 
kitchen pet. 

Fort Fetterman October 2nd 78. 

I rode in yesterday and will go back to the ranch 
tomorrow. I find the 5th Cavalry still here and am hand in glove 
with the officers — all gentlemanly nice fellows. 


You see I have determined to return and not stay 
longer — with your approval. . Wolcotts house will not be finished 
I'm afraid this winter, though I would not mind living in. tent, yet 
I would not care to impose myself on him so long a time. N Could 
I go into a law partnership in Cheyenne with any one as a junior 
member I would need to work harder and be more confined than 
at home with even less pecuniary gain, in so short a time. So home 
I'm going, sink or swim. 

The papers do all come and are a treat and well worth 
their postage to me. The Sterns History did not come and it is too 
late now to send it, though I would have read much in it had it 
been here. Send me some more of those cheap Riverside Lakeside, 
etc. reprints of the best novels. I fear you will become worried by 
the delay or my last letter as you must have nearly a week yet to 
wait ere you receive it. 




The assurance comes from a private source that the Union 
Pacific will build to Grand Encampment this year. It is possible 
that the contracts will be awarded and work started within the next 
few weeks. The president of a large company that is spending 
about $300,000 in Wyoming this season, extending their enterprise 
through the Grand Encampment and Battle Lake districts, said to 
the writer in Salt Lake on Monday: "I am in receipt of a letter 
from General Manager Dickinson of the Union Pacific which gives 
me the assurance that the development of Grand Encampment and 
Battle Lake will not be long retarded because of the lack of railroad 
facilities." Such an assurance would hardly be given unless it had 
been decided to build the line this year. 

— The Wyoming Industrial Journal, August, 1900 
From Rawlins Republican 


The Burlington is pushing its work of construction from Toluca, 
Mont., towards Cody City in the Big Horn district, as rapidly as 
possible. The object is to get as much of the surface work done as 
is advisable before cold weather comes. Surface work cannot be 
handled with any degree of success during the winter months in the 
Northwest, but the heavy work, such as tunneling and blasting out 
ledges can be handled with little inconvenience. 

Recently a large number of farmers have gone into the Big Horn 
Basin from all over the country and taken up land. The Govern- 
ment offered to give to the State of Wyoming a large area of land, 
provided it be put under irrigation by a certain time. That caused 
an extra effort on the part of Wyoming to get the land irrigated 
before the time expires. The date will be reached some time next 
year, and in the meantime ditches are being made throughout the 

As soon as the Burlington gets its line down into the Basin it is 
believed that the whole territory ceded by the Government, or all 
that is fit for farming purposes, will soon be taken up and ditched. 

— The Wyoming Industrial Journal, August, 1 900 

The highest price paid for wool under sealed bids at the storage 
warehouse in Rawlins this season was 16 1^2 cents a pound, while 
the minimum figure was 15V4 cents. 

— The Wyoming Industrial Journal, July, 1900 






C. Lee Mills 

Sketches by 
David Laymon 


Prologue : 

The strong and lasting bands, 

So tightly wrought between 
Conglomerate of lands, 

Whose only binding mean 
Was people who are blest 

To occupy their space; 
And from this fact to wrest 

A title as a race. 
The race was known as Crow, 

Absaroka, the land. 
This land and people grow 

In well-knit marriage band. 
No land becomes a place 

Until its people make 
Some marks upon its face, 

And change in both does take. 
So with the marriage bed. 

It shapes its occupants. 
And as the two are wed 

Will change with all events. 
This land, this people, shy 

At change which shapes the two. 
Tomorrow's facts today are wry 

And both resent the new. 
Anticipation brings 

The sharpest pain of change, 
And mating living things 

Brings pain of utmost range. 
Except the blood is shed. 

Except the cost is paid. 
No mating can be said 

To forge a marriage made. 
So land and people came 

To mate, and felt the pain 
Of change, of fate, and name. 

But union did maintain. 

Absaroka they called her, Home land of the Crows. 
A land made strong and awesome by her very size. 
She was no land for idle journeying, they built 
Her miles too long, and laid her mighty sinews far 
From seas, or rivers fit for sails. The quest of men 
From other worlds, who saw her changeful vastness first 
Could scarce believe their sight. John Colter's Hell they heard 
About, and laughed between their frequent cups 


Of Taos lightning, as they counted plew, at fairs 
On rivers Bear and Green, in days of fancy furs. 

From south to north one counts her three, divided twice 
By mountain ranges, high and difficult to cross. 
And yet, by river once and then by people twice. 
The banns were read, and she became Absaroka. 

To start, the valley of the Wind, that wint'ring land 
Beneath protecting mountains, south by west, and clothed 
With nutrous grasses, watered well and wooded, too. 
And then the stream through canyon turns to reach the springs 
Of Washakie, and ancient lake beds dry and sere. 
Where run the Ten Sleep, the No Wood, and the Owl. 
The mighty Stinking Water and the lower streams 
Join to make a carving tide to tear the Big Horn range 
In two, to reach the Yellowstone, And over there 
To find a land of better soil, more deeply grassed. 
It is a land apart, divided in itself: 
The Wind, the Basin, and the Land Beyond, each gives 
A flavor to the whole. 

There is precision fully built into the length 
And breadth of any land. The rocky coast, the deep 
Attenuated bays and harbors yield to sands 
And pleasant reaches of the easy welcome strands. 
But change from one to other comes as strictly fit 
As if an architect had drawn it with his rule. 
And all lands are drawn so; all in balanced care 
For tree and plain, for lake and river flow. No land 
May suffer change, from source however caused, without 
A shift in balance from this meaning symmetry. 

So was it from the very start of Europe's flow 
Of conquest on this continent. The red man was 
A child of nature, living well within the ways 
Of nature's balance. Change of place he often made, 
But change in place did never once occur to him. 
Perhaps his paucity of numbers made his marks 
Upon the land so faint no eye of mind could trace. 
Perhaps some happy turn of personahty 
Allowed his life and land to wed in amity. 
Such thoughts as these are for the ones who spin the webs 
And weave a meaning into history, beyond 
The sense of time. But all events make marks we see 
And know. Caucasian flow of life upon the land 
Made changes, bitten deep in root and patient soil, 
That seemed but waiting for Columbus' sail. This home 
Of Crows, this beautiful Absaroka, except 
For coming of the horse and changes that it made. 
No changes knew until the fur trade, fecund, felt the prod 
Of Lisa, and of Ashley's men, who came long miles 


For beaver plew. Themselves they threw upon the scales 
Of balance, growing old by seasons, while the men 
At home grew rich. 

But once the mark of fortune bold 
Was laid upon the land, the changes quickly showed, 
And once the change began, no hand of fate could hold 
The difference of posture for the land, or shift or 
Turn could stop the trend; no more the flying arrow bowed 
Could change direction to its targe. So was it that 
Though journey after journey seemed to meet defeat; 
Be floundered at a Mandan village, or turned back 
By Sioux or Ree hostility, the change was made. 
The beaver's fur, the bison's coat, the humble pelt 
Of muskrat, and the coyote's hide, became the gold 
That mounted high the fur trade fortunes of the world. 
The marts of Montreal, of London, Amsterdam, 
St. Louis and New York, all knew the size of catch 
That Lisa made; that Ashley brought down in the fall. 

This land had had its changes wrought by clime, 
Recorded in its rocks, the scriving marks of time: 
Now seas, now shore, now marsh, now trees, now plain. 
The marks so plainly called to mind, we now explain, 
By shells and bones, red cliffs and valleys tan. 
All speaking to the questring mind of man. 
But what she was and what her former way had been 
Was most indeed made true by the very bowel and bone 
And sinew of her being. She was no land for weak 
Or wayward lovers. To bed with her required a man 
Of heart, once giv'n ne'er withdrawn. Her clime was rough 
With heat and cold, with little moisture, bitter springs. 
No tinsel gold and silver marred her depth of worth, 
But seams of coal and pools of oil lay deep beneath her skin. 
That skin to touch was rough and prickly with stiff sage 
And cactus; with prairie dog, and rattler fanged 
To sting the careless and the weak. To bed with her 
A people must be strong and love her strength — her ups 
Of mountains, like no others in their brawny shoulders, 
With sky topped granite peaks back ranging. 
Her rimey sweat of alkali around the fetid sinks. 
Her rushing freshet streams, which thinned to trickles dim 
In summer's heat. To bed with her a man must feel 
The renal need to join his raging strength with hers. 
A love of giant powered strength or no love at all. 

But seldom does the love of man without some aid 
From other than his own desires such heights attain; 
Some motive from the stars, some spark divine, some love 
Beyond his Umping human will to wed the land. 
But what the Gods most need the Gods provide; and love 


The spark divine, the added motive fire was lit, 

And man and land to fruitful marriage found the way. 

It happened so. Above the canyon black and sheer. 

Where the Big Horn river rived the Big Horn mountain range. 

Some worshippers, a thousand years ago, had built 

A giant wheel with cairns at point, in which a man 

Could make his peace with the Great Spirit of them all. 

And no man knows the name or time when this was done. 

Some venturer, some Toltec, or even Mayan race. 

So far from home and yet so high, not far from God, 

Stopped as they traced the backbone of the continent 

To worship and to meditate upon the acts of God. 

Nor did they leave a single trace of what or when, 

Or who it was who dared thus worship Him. 

The Crow 
Acutely prized the place and made his worship there. 
He never knew, perhaps he never cared, who made 
The place, who ranged the stones, received the grace. 
To make it such a sacred spot. But this he knew, 
Great Spirit spoke there, and he heard and was at peace. 
And when his final prayer was made and he was cleansed, 
He faced the sun and saw the Tongue begin its race 
To reach his cousins on the river far below. 
And at his back the crest broke sharply down a mile 
To level at the Basin floor, where Shell and Greybull meet 
The Horn. The gentler North was broken in its slow 
Descent by the canyon of the Horn so wild and dread : 
While south the peaks rose grandly to the sky, their heights 
No man would scale until the Paleface conquest came. 
And peace beyond his dream came down down upon him then 
As down to teepee comfort he returned; to life 
Of everyday, return to cares, to vigilance. 
To plans for war and peace : but stronger now because 
The Spirit spoke of strength and gave the Land to him. 
When Verendrye, in forty-three, 
Two centuries ago, first saw the Shining Mountains, 
The Crows were river people, round the lower Yellowstone. 
Before that time we scarcely know, except to say, 
They were Hidatsa cousins, kith and blood. The press 
Of movement from the east came more and more, and Crows 
Became a people divided in themselves: a part 
Remained the River Crows, a larger part moved west 
To wed Absaroka. This wedding of the land 
Of the people must have been no more than eighty years 
From the first movement of the tribes long years ago. 
When the Pilgrim landing first unsettled all the tribes. 
And life within that span or two, or three, of lives 
Before the pressing, battling, scourge of westing Sioux 


Must surely set the mark of deeply powered love 

Upon this people. Strong they bred themselves, and strong 

Their spirit grew. But strength and weakness grew within 

The hearts of this most fortunate and gifted race. 

They knew no fear, yet pursuit of war became a game, 

And in a time and place where war was serious, 

They seemed to think it was for fun and not for hate. 

Yet mistake him not, he was no weakling for this view. 

This mind, the influence of this trait made him at once, 

A friend of men, and the finest horse thief in the west. 

The hates they bore were often tempered by a milk 

Of wisdom, rude justice, not yet reached by simpler folk. 

And not much seen in stone age culture. So they lived: 

More mannerly than most, yet caught between the top 

And bottom of their times. Or yet perhaps the fact 

Of separation gave them split of mind and heart. 

Perhaps their mystic history, scarce known but felt 

Unconsciously could make them different indeed. 

Perhaps still more, a legend rooted in their past 

Is often mentioned, with the telling indirect: 

What out and out they would not say, about a One, 

A Great One, without name, as is most proper now, 

Who was a woman, an Amazon of strength and will, 

No progeny had she, no line was left to rule. 

But in a culture built upon the male, this tribe 

Looked back to female founding. This fact alone 

Could make the difference of thought and changeful heart. 

A land divided into three, a river with 
Two names : A biforated race of stone age men 
With less than simple make-up in their genes : 
This was the wedding, this the marriage carried out. 
To give Absaroka the name of land and race. 

The signs of trapper's kill, the whole wide trek 
Of mountain men, seemed quite impossible to change 
A land so vast and variable as this, but change 
It did. First off, the harvest of the plew, that king 
Of furs, the lordly beaver's coat — an animal 
Of strange industrious habits he. He chose his home 
On stream and river course, and dammed them to his will. 
For ponds to house his homes and store his winter food. 
From mountain freshet down to slow and aimless streams 
Upon the plains, the aspen and the cottonwood 
Were groomed and trimmed to build his dams and make 
The bark that fed this saw-toothed mason of the streams. 
So wide spread were his labors that, before the traps, 
Scarce was a stream from mountain crest to ocean floor 
Without some damming in its course. The lakes and ponds 
Thus formed became a nature-built-in flood control. 



That, once its loss was real, has immeasurably sent 
The floods of spring to annual destruction of 
The marge and borders of the river land. 

Three facts 
Of life controlled this land, from eastern forest green 
To mountain crest and intermountain valley land : 
The beaver, and the bands of roving Indians, 
And great humped bison grazing on the prairie sod. 
The beaver, and the bison long were planted there before 
The thoughts of man began to guess about their dates 
In time. The Indian but lately horsed, from stock 
That Coronado lost in time not long ago, 
Made little scratch upon the land. The beaver's tooth 
As we have seen, made fullest use of every drop 
Of scanty rain that fell upon the ground. This one 
Remaining factor was the mammoth, meaty cow. 
We call the bison. Nature seemed in joking mood 
When she designed this buffalo. A frame and weight 


Too large to match the shortish spindly legs he had. 

His sense of smell was keen, his eyes scarce measured up 

To prairie distances. His biologic needs 

Seemed filled by strong fecundity, and herd instinct 

Far greater than his small brain would suggest. 

Of all the factors on the plain this herdful beast 

Was once the first one to be seen, and from his fall 

Would come the greatest change. For once the land was crossed. 

And roads came following close behind, the pasture lands 

For this vast herd were banded straight across 

Its annual migrant search for grass. This fording thwart 

Across their grazing flow, abetted by the greed 

Of slaughter, almost unbelievable, soon brought 

Within the single life of man, extinction to 

This prairie king. The beaver and bison both 

Were nature's well deveopled species, but they fell 

Before the traps and rifles made for men of greed. 

And thus by greed, and not intent, a way was made 

For cow and plow — sod shanties placed where poles 

Of teepees once had been. By cow alone the change 

Could not have come. The plow without the cow could not 

Prevail. But cow and plow and shanty came at once. 

These three together changed the whole mid-continent, 

And with it changed Absaroka. 

And yet so strong 
A land was this, that all the marks of marching men 
Could not obliterate the basic skeleton 
Of bone and structure laid beneath the drift 
Of wind, or rain, or snow, or man, or beast, or scratch 
Of plow, or dam, or city's waste. It was so strong 
That marks of prehistoric seas and shores are yet 
Apparent to the sight of those with knowledged eyes. 
And, strange as it may seem, this wide long view 
Has been enhanced and lambent made by that same wit 
For which we sigh, and whose changes we deplore. 

These basins on the north and south of Owl Creek Range, 
Which splits the flow and makes the river into two : 
The Wind and Horn — one stream, but named as though 
Each one was single in itself; these basins large 
Could not be known as arms of ancient Bonneville, 
Until some plodding research man could find the shells 
And fossils bare, which mark the shores and deeps 
Of prehistoric lake — perhaps of ocean too. 

Or take that strange arbitrament of waters' flow, 
Which one great oval sink sets down upon the crest 
Of waters of the continent. It has its length, 
Its major axis, footing where the mountains and 
The limping Popo Agie part their ways. For space 


Of hundred miles along, and fifty miles across 

The drainage flow to neither ocean, but contains 

Itself within its oval bowl. The men who came 

This way, whatever their intent, were mazed to find 

Some streams that nowhere went. This strangeness sensed 

But never truly known until the tools of man. 

More accurate than the eye could measure out, 

described the depths and secrets of this land. 

A thousand other facts about this land now plain 

Were never guessed at 'til the white man came. 

Yet this wedding of the Crows, a tribal band. 

To wonderful Absaroka was just as right 

And bound as if these facts were known by brestling babes. 

This was the marriage bed, the place where fate decreed 
That Crows and land should mate to give the place 
A name. As ever is it in our way of Ufe, 
No mating is without the passage of a name. 
So from this bed arose both people and the land 
To answer to the lovely name, Absaroka. 

Absaroka was rimmed 
By Blackfoot Piegans on the north, deep bitten 
By hatred for the favored people to their south. 
Shoshoni, Gros Ventre, and the Bannock names, to west 
Were carved on valleys wide, beyond the Pilot Knobs : 
Fair game when horse and maid called men in mating spring. 
The land, at south by west, soon petered into drought. 
It bred the Utes, scarce more than digger tribes. 


But to the east, from Platte to way beyond the Milk, 

Hidatsa nations roamed. And with them other folk. 

But lately come from Arkansaw and Cimmeron. 

The very calling of their names brings starts and chills 

Of apprehension. All were peoples out of place, 

With prods and stings of wrongs, of old and fresh insults. 

The Tetons, Brule, Niobrara, Ogalala names, 

Minneconjou, Black Kettle, many peoples known as Sioux. 

And up along the Platte, and pushing north were 

Native Pawnees, traveling Cheyennes and Arapahoes. 

No hidden Crow teepee, no maid gone gathering wood 

Or digging prairie onions was safe alone from rape 

Of the wide marauding stealth from out that warlike east. 

Absaroka once a land serene, became 

A constant, shifting, striving battlefield. 

This people known as Crow are dimmed in mystery 

Before they lived above the Mandan villages. 

We only know them as a river valley tribe 

Who lived athwart the gaping mouth of Yellowstone. 

The clue of language puts them in the family 

With Sioux. Hidatsa people they. The tangled web 

Of Indian families of tribes — a guessing game 

At best. But language traits are of some use 

In telling who is what to whom. But what and who 

They were before the first initial push from east 

Was made, no guess is worth the taking. One could guess 

They were but poor relations on the western fringe 

Of older, stronger stock in Minnesota land. 

Perhaps more proudly heritaged, they moved before 

Our records mark the change. We find them in this place 

A gracious land which must have been more fruitful then 

Before the beaver's loss was felt. But as the weight 

Of greed for furs was felt the wood and grass and food 

Grew less and less. 

It must have been a century 
Before the Great White Father bought the land from France, 
We do not know, we only guess the happenstance. 
But sure we know they would not move before the horse, 
The distances of big Absaroka so great, 
Were such that unhorsed people would not move to live 
There else their move was forced. This common fact must date 
The plains-wide movement of the tribes. But horses are 
Not native to America, and Spanish drives 
For gold and converts come not much before the time 
We choose. The necessary time for horse to move 
Out from these movements through the West would occupy 
Such time as we suggest. 


It is of interest 
To note that while our mind's eye see the Plains 
Inhabited by Indian horsemen justly known, 
Yet Indian horse names, Cayuse, Appaloosa famed, 
Pinto come from ultra-montane tribes of horse and men 
Perhaps the fact of Coronado's loss of horse 
Was never quite so much a populating force. 
As was the steady trickle of enabling mounts 
To make the life of plains and buffalo secure. 

But once the Crows were horsed, whenever time we know 
The place. Up stream they went to occupy the land. 
The Tongue and Powder, Rosebud too, small Goose Creeks clear, 
The Greasy Grass and Clark's Fork, all well before 
The Big and Little Horn were tapped. What Paradise 
Of water, grass and wood, of game from grouse to bear? 
No fecund land more welcome made to questing bands. 
No mating bed more satisfied a man's desire. 

The life was season geared and rootless save the moves 
Made moon by moon for meat and berries, fur and grass. 
And yet for them the moves were not from want or need. 
For each new season brought its fruitful joy renewed. 
And when the moons of summer waned found valleys deep 
Up Wind, beneath the woods or in the edge of black 
And hooded hills. Or in the Basin up the streams 
That flowed from mountains to the west. Or yet 
If bolder on the Horn called Little, just outside 
The canyon's mouth, or over on the Rotten Grass. 
These places first would blossom with the teepee poles 
To greet the white of winter. Aspen and the great 
Boled Cottonwood grew close, to eke the forage scarce 
With bark for painted cayuse when the snow lay deep. 
The pole travois had bent and slowly carried all 
Provisions for the appetites of men; the fruits and meats 
All dried and cured in their bags; the fatted mix 
That we call sausage was a pemmican for them. 
All these with creature comforts and the current kill 
Of elk and deer and antelope; a dog perhaps 
Should company arrive just as the bottom of 
The pot showed bare. It seems a harsh and dismal life 
But those who knew received its comforts and its joys. 
If luck held out — No cry of Sioux, no enemy 
From Niobrara's hills, no spotting dot upon 
The grim horizon's edge, and if the winter's want 
Did not draw the bellies tight beyond the constant need 
Of hunger, and wood and forage held, then moon 
Of spring would come. The first wild green of growth 
Would make the camp breath strong with onion and with sprouts 
Of all that slumbered through winter's snowy drouth. 


The mares dropped colts, the Utters then were whelped, 

And maids in nature's spring went trysting in the brush. 

It was a season to replenish all the warp and woof 

Made threadbare by tightly belted winter's lack. 

And as the Spring progressed the thawing snows swelled rill 

And river to the flood stage. It was a short space 

Of safety, when grass had not yet fleshed the horse. 

And flooding streams stopped well the swift marauder's raids. 

But soon the summer moons were shining down upon 

The plans of warrior and the hunt. The bison moved. 

The elk retreated to the mountains, and the busy time 

Was once more come. Raids and warfare, danger bright 

With deeds of skill and wonder. Young men counted coup, 

Old men told about the fire what deeds they did 

When they were young. Dandies dressed and women worked 

To dress their men. This was the clanging boastful time. 

Then once more moons of summer waned to chilling fall. 

This was the blissful honeymoon of fruitfulness, 
Perhaps a space of years for three lives long. 
No matter just how many moons were passed content. 
With just enough of everything to make the tribe 
Both strong and wealthy in the things that counted there 
And then. But change was in the air, the sound of guns 
Became no stranger to the ear, the sight of men 
From far beyond the East, with wonders strangely tuned 
To make what was enough before seem small and short 
Of worth. New names and places far removed from what 
Had thrilled the camp not long ago. Un-rest and want 
In face of what was still the plenty of their lives. 
All red men faced this change. Most fought against the ones 
Who brought it to their times. 

The Crows, because to seal 
A horse was just as much a coup, no matter what. 
As was the scalping of an enemy — for them the game 
Was war not hate; the Crows continued on to steal 
But seldom fought except for joy of fighting, so 
The tribal name became a pleasure to the whites. 

Perhaps their long years spent in sheltered spots 
Beyond the ordinary tracks of men. Perhaps, 
Who knows? Except to say that on the plains and out 
Beyond in mountains, basins, deserts, trackless miles, 
This favored people, and this favored land and place became 
A home for wintering fur men and for their traps. 



Photo Courtesy of Kansas State Historical Society 


This sketch is by Theodore R. Davis, Harper's Weekly, June 29, 1867. 

Photo Courtesy of Division of Manuscripts, 
University of Oklahoma Library 


This photograph was taken by E. E. Palmer in 1894. 

Arapahoes in CouhcU 


Virginia Cole Trenholm 

In prereservation days, no Indian council was complete without 
the sharing of the calumet. Smoke from campfire and pipe alike 
wafted messages upward to the Great Spirit and assured His bless- 
ing on treaties which were too often broken. 

Theodore R. Davis, who had been an artist-correspondent during 
the Civil War, caught the spirit of the occasion when he sketched 
General Winfield Scott Hancock's 1867 council with the Arapahoes 
at Fort Dodge. Davis was with the force of 1400 men, said to 
have been the largest that had ever been sent against the Southern 
Plains tribes up to that time. 

The artist did not identify the Indians in his historic sketch, but 
the bearclaw necklace — a mark of distinction — and the position 
next to the General indicate that Little Raven, chief of the Southern 
Arapahoes, holds the pipe. During the years the Arapahoes 
claimed Colorado as their heartland, the chiefs favorite campsite 
was on Cherry Creek, where Denver now stands. It was here that 
he was host to Albert D. Richardson, of the Boston Journal; Henry 
Villard, newspaperman and later president of the Northern Pacific 
Railroad; and Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune. All were 
leading journalists of their time. 

Richardson considered Little Raven, with his "manly form and 
human, trustworthy face, the nearest approximation of an ideal 
Indian" he had ever met. Villard, who was present at the dinner 
given in the chief's honor after an unofficial peace agreement was 
reached (May 25, 1859), called him "a very sensible and friendly 
disposed man." He observed that "he handled his knife and fork 
and smoked his cigar like a white man." Greeley, who found it 
easier to converse with the English-speaking Left Hand, a lesser 
chief, spoke of the Arapaho as shrewd in his way and "every bit as 
conservative as Boston's Beacon Street or our Fifth Avenue." 

According to Government Documents, Little Raven's compan- 
ions at the Fort Dodge council were Yellow Bear, Beardy (both 
Southern Arapaho band chiefs), and Cut Nose, the Northern 
Arapaho head chief who surpassed all others in his eloquence at 
the Horse Creek Council in 1851. While smoke exudes from his 
mouth. Cut Nose, to the right of Little Raven, taps his left breast, 
the tribal sign of the Northern Arapahoes. It signifies "Good 
Hearts," "Mother Tribe," or "Mother People." The Northern 
bands enjoyed this distinction because they were keepers of the 
Sacred Pipe, which is said to have come to their nation when the 


world began. The tribal fetish is still safely guarded by the North- 
ern Arapahoes on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming 

The remarks of artist Davis are as revealing as the picture. In 
Harper's Weekly, June 29, 1867, he describes the ritual of "the 
smoke" as he observed it at the council. The half-circle, he ex- 
plains, was formed from west to east, with all faces toward the 
south. The pipe, after being lighted by the owner, was passed to 
the person at the east end of the line. After receiving it, he made 
several motions peculiar to himself, took one puff, which he blew 
toward the resting-place of the Great Spirit, and two or three rapid 
puffs, which he inhaled. Then he passed the pipe to his neighbor, 
who at once went through his peculiar motion or sign, and smoked 
his allotted number of times before passing it on to his right. 

Meanwhile each smoker sat perfectly quiet, with smoke curling 
slowly from his nose and mouth. When the pipe reached the last 
man, it was handed back to the eastern end of the semicircle, and 
the smoking commenced again. The lighted pipe followed the 
direction of the sun. 

The pipe was loaded with "a fragrant preparation of sumach 
leaves, willow bark, sage leaf and tobacco, the whole saturated 
with some preparation made from the marrow taken from buffalo 
bones." This, he might have added, was the mixture preferred by 
the Southern Arapahoes, who now reside in western Oklahoma. 
The Northern bands used kinnikinnick and tobacco. 

Davis seemed unaware that four puffs were necessary each time 
and that the pipe had to be passed exactly four times. To the 
Arapahoes, who had always adhered to ritualistic form, four was 
the magic number. It represented "the four old men," the four 
winds, or the directions. 

By 1 894, when the accompanying picture was taken of a South- 
ern Arapaho council, the Indian's way of life had been disrupted 
and acculturation was strongly marked. The white man's influence 
is apparent from the chairs to the clothing worn by those present. 
Gone were the blankets, the bows and arrows, the meticulous half- 
circle. Gone, too, was "the smoke" which had been a part of the 
Indian's cultural heritage. 

Zlic Meaning 
of the J^ame Sacajawea 


David L. Shaul 

Just as there are two schools of thought accounting for the date 
and place of Sacajawea's death, there are two opposing translations 
of her name. One form, spelled as Tsakakawea or Sakakawea, is 
derived from two words meaning "bird woman" in the Hidatsa 
language. Another form of the name, spelled Sacajawea, means 
"boat launcher" in the Shoshone tongue. This article will discuss 
the validity of both translations and their relationship to the theo- 
ries concerning their famous owner's demise. 

The "South Dakota theory," which maintains Sacajawea died at 
Fort Manuel, South Dakota, in 1812,^ has come to be associated 
with the Hidatsa interpretation, because the Hidatsa lived in the 
Dakotas. Likewise, the "Wyoming theory," which holds that 
Sacajawea was buried at Fort Washakie, Wyoming, in 1885,- has 
become linked with the Shoshone translation of the name, since the 
Wyoming Shoshones were Sacajawea's original tribe. Even though 
the meaning(s) of Sacajawea's name prove(s) nothing about her 
death, the supporters of both the Wyoming and South Dakota 
theories have adopted the derivations of "Sacajawea" as corollaries 
to their respective opinions. 

Dr. Grace R. Hebard firmly states in Sacajawea, Guide of the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition that the spelling of Sacajawea Peak in 
Wyoming was based on ". . . the spelling of Lewis' and Clark's 
original journals, and on the mistaken assumption that Sacajawea 
was a Hidatsa name meaning Bird Woman, a conclusion not here 
accepted."'^ Dr. Hebard felt the uniquely Shoshone derivation of 
the name so important to her theories concerning Sacajawea's later 
life, that she wrote nine pages in support of it. 

Dr. Hebard's main reasoning against the Hidatsa version was: 
"Sacajawea is a pure Shoshone name and consequently could not 

1. Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley, The Shoshonis. Sentinels 
of the Rockies (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), p. 220. 

2. Ibid. 

3. Grace R. Hebard, Sacajawea. Guide of the Lewis and Chirk Expe- 
dition (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1933), p. 290. 


have been given at the Mandan villages."* She gave linguistic 
support for the Shoshone, but she ignored the possibility that 
Sacajawea, as a captive among the Hidatsa, would have been given 
a name of that tribe, since neither her husband (Toussaint Char- 
bonneau) nor her Hidatsa neighbors could speak Shoshone. It is 
also logical that the woman's Hidatsa name would have been given 
to Lewis and Clark, for the same reason. 

At this point it should be stated that both derivations may be 
substantiated by impartial reference to sources on the respective 
languages, and we will begin with Hidatsa. In Ethnology and 
Philology of the Hidatsa Indians, we find the following statement: 
"Names of females often . . . end with mia mils (wiis), all of which 
mean woman. Ex. . . . tsakakawiis, Bird-Woman, . . ."'^ Splitting 
this in two, we get tsakaka (bird), and -wiis. This later element is 
appended to the end of a woman's name, and comes from the root 
mia (\\na,bia). The sounds m, w, and b are equivalent in Hidatsa^ 
and the closely related Crow.' (This is why Lewis writes "Sah-ca- 
gee-me-ah" on August 17, 1805, instead of the usual "-we-ah." 

The Shoshone derivation of "Sacajawea" is analyzed by the 
Reverend John Roberts, the late missionary to the Wind River 
(Wyoming) Shoshones, as follows: " 'Sac' is boat, canoe, or raft; 
'a' is the; 'ja-we,' launcher . . ."■'' The first element is easily 
verified by citations from early vocabularies: sock (boat),^ schake 
( boat/canoe ),^'^ and -shuk (boat).^^ 

The definite article (Roberts' second element) in Shoshone is 
not suffixed -a, but rather an m-, n- or ng- prefixed to the noun.^- 
The second a in saca is the objective suffix, ^^ indicating that sac 
is the object of the verb iawe, meaning "to throw/cast."^* (Direct 

4. Ibid., p. 286. 

5. Washington Matthews, Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa 
Indians, Miscellaneous Publication No. 7, U. S. Geological and Geographical 
Survey (Washington, D. C: 1877), p. 98. 

6. Dorothea V. Kaschube, Structural Elements of the Language of the 
Crow Indians of Montana, University of Colorado Studies in Anthropology 
No. 14 (Boulder: 1967), pp. 7-8. 

7. Matthews, op. cit. p. 90. 

8. Hebard, op. cit. pp. 288-289. 

9. Joseph A. Gebow, A Vocabulary of the Snake or Shoshone Dialect 
(Salt Lake City: 1859), p. 11. 

10. J. C. E. Buschmann, Die Spuren der Aztekischen Sprache im Nord- 
lichen Mexico and Hoheren Amerikanischen Norden (Berlin: 1859). 

11. John Wesley Powell, "Gosiute Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes," 
MS, National Anthroplogical Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 
D. C. 

12. D. B. Shimkin, "Shoshone II: Morpheme List," International Journal 
of American Linguistics, Vol. 15, No. 4, (October, 1949), p. 209. 

13. Wick R. Miller, "Grammatical Notes . . . for the Short Course in 
Shoshoni Offered by Wick R. Miller, Fall, 1968," University of Utah, 1968, 
p. 2. 

14. Shimkin, op. cit. p. 211. 


objects stand before the verb in Shoshone.^"') We may now revise 
Roberts' analysis: 

Sac -a jawe a 

Boat/canoe object suffix throw/cast ? 

The only problem is that the Shoshones do not pronounce the a 
after jawe. "The last 'a' is silent, although we on the reservation 
pronounce all the syllables including the last one, stressing 'jah/ "'*' 
On the other hand, the Hidatsa do pronounce the final a, and 
Lewis and Clark must have heard one, or they wouldn't have writ- 
ten one. Helen Crawford, a proponent of the South Dakota theory, 
cites the following ways Sacajawea is spelled in the Original Jour- 
nals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806 (New York, 

Sah-cah-gar we-ah 
Sah-cah-gah we a 
Sah-cah-gar Wea. '' 

The decisive evidence in favor of the Hidatsa derivation is a 
Journals entry by Lewis for May 20, 1 805 : "this stream we called 
Sah-ca-ger we-ah (Sah ca gah we a) or bird woman's River, after 
our interpreter the Snake woman. "^"^ 

Yet we can't ignore the fact that the Shoshone interpretation of 
the name is valid. In Winged Moccasins (New York, 1954), a 
fictional biography of Sacajawea, Frances Joyce Farnsworth tries 
to rectify this antithesis in the following way: 

"My name has no part of it," answered Sacajawea firmly. "My 
mother has told me about my name. It is motion. She gave it in the 
sign language when I was very young. Whether it is of a flying bird 
or a boat being launched does not matter. "i" 

Such an explanation is clever, but not factual. 

Elwyn B. Robinson, in History of South Dakota, gives a more 
realistic solution. 

"Sacajawea" is Shoshone for "Boat Launcher" and has nothing to do 
with "Sakakawea," which is Hidatsa for "Bird Woman."-" 

15. D. B. Shimkin, "Shoshone I: Linguistic Sketch and Text," Interna- 
tional Journal of American Linguistics. Vol. 15, No. 3 (July, 1945). p. 177. 

16. Quotation attributed to the Reverend John Roberts, in Hebard, 
op. cit. p. 289. 

17. Helen Crawford, "Sakakawea," North Dakota Historical Quarterly. 
Vol. 1, No. 3 (April, 1927). 

18. Reuben Gold Thwaites. ed.. Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition, 1804-1806. Vol. 2, (New York: 1904), p. 52. 

19. Frances Joyce Farnsworth, Winged Moccasins, (New York: Julian 
Messner, 1954). 

20. Elwyn B. Robinson, History of North Dakota (Lincoln, Nebraska: 
1966), p. 44. 


This appraisal of the situation is more in keeping with the evidence 
considered here, yet it does not seem that the closeness of the two 
names is pure coincidence. Perhaps the Shoshones, aware of the 
Hidatsa name of their famous daughter, approximated it in their 
own tongue, not merely imitating the sound, but giving it the 
meaning so necessary for an Indian name.-^ It seems unlikely, 
though not impossible, that the Hidatsa would have given their 
captive a name approximating her Shoshone name, since she was 
of comparatively little importance to them, being a female captive, 
and since they were ignorant of her native language. 



Buschmann, Johann Carl Edward, Die Spiiren der Aztekischen Sprache 
im Nordlichen Mexico and Hohern Amerikanischen Norden (Berlin: 1859). 

Farnsworth, Frances Joyce, Winged Moccasins (New York: Julian Mess- 
ner. 1954). 

Gebow. Joseph A., A Vocabulary of the Snake or Shoshone Dialect (Salt 
Lake City, 1859). 

Hebard, Grace Raymond. Sacajawea, Guide of the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1933). 

Kaschube, Dorothea V., Structural Elements of the Language of the 
Crow Indians of Montana, University of Colorado Studies in Anthropology , 
No. 14 (Boulder, Colorado: 1967). 

Matthews, Washington, Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa In- 
dians. Dept. of the Interior, U. S. Geological and Geographical Surveys, 
Miscellaneous Publications, No. 7 (Washington, D. C: 1877). 

Robinson, Elwyn B., History of North Dakota (Lincoln: 1966). 

Trenholm, Virginia Cole and Maurine Carley, The Shoshonis, Sentinels of 
the Rockies (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964). 


Crawford, Helen, "Sakakawea," North Dakota Historical Quarterly, Vol. 
1, No. 3. (April, 1927). 

Hall. Rev. C. L., "The Grosventre Spelling of the Name, Bird Woman," 
Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Vol. 1 (Bis- 
mark. North Dakota, 1906). 

Shimkin, D. B., "Shoshone I: Linguistic Sketch and Text," International 
Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 15, No. 3, (July, 1945). 

, "Shoshone II: Morpheme List," International Journal of 

American Linguistics, Vol. 15, No. 4 (October, 1949). 


Miller, Wick R., "Grammatical Notes, . . . for the Short Course in 
Shoshoni offered by Wick R. Miller, Fall, 1968," University of Utah, 1968. 

Powell, John Wesley, "Gosiute Vocabulary and Grammatical Notes," 
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 

21. It has been conjectured that the Shoshone name was commemorative. 

Mistory of Zeton County 

Glenn R. Burkes 


(The reader is reminded that references to the present or the 
future throughout this manuscript relate to 1968, when the thesis 
was compiled, and not to 1972, by which time some of the pro- 
jected plans have been completed and other changes have occurred. 
Editor. ) 


It should by now be obvious that Teton County has been the 
scene for considerably more than its fair share of controversy. Up 
to this point, however, emphasis has been placed on those problems 
relating to the earlier phases of exploration, law enforcement, 
political organization, and, of course, wildlife management. Most 
of these issues have been satisfactorily handled and have long since 
ceased to stir even a token amount of controversy. Elk manage- 
ment is a partial exception to this, although there are no current 
management problems which appear to be unsurmountable; more 
about the county's ubiquitous elk later. 

The land itself has been the source of Teton County's most bitter 
controversy since John Colter first revealed to the outside world 
the wonders of the area. The unequaled beauty of the Tetons and 
the surrounding mountains, dense forests, shimmering lakes, and 
crystal clear, rushing mountain streams have been the real culprits. 
Three generations have now fought over how and by whom this 
rugged area is to be utilized and best enjoyed. 

It is something of a mystery, in view of the interest which the 
Tetons later generated, that the initial creation of Yellowstone Park 
did not extend farther south, to include the Teton Range and Jack- 
son Hole. As early as 1898 the superintendent of Yellowstone 
Park recommended that 800,000 acres to the south be added to 
the park. The people living in the area, though few in number, 
made clear their intentions of holding the area, and the proposition 
apparently gained very little support. Meanwhile, the entire area 
south of the park, including the Tetons and Jackson Hole, had been 
designated as the Yellowstone Timber Stands Reserve. President 
Benjamin Harrison accomplished this by presidential proclamation 
in 1891. In 1907 the Teton Forest Reserve was created from the 
entire forest area draining into Jackson Hole; the opposition to this 


move was very slight. The following year, the same area became 
Teton National Forest. 

The first real controversy over management of land and water 
resources in Jackson Hole developed about 1905 or 1906. The 
question of damming Jackson Lake/ a natural body of water, was 
hotly debated at that time.- Advocates of park extension were 
relatively quiescent until 1919, when U. S. Representative Frank 
Mondell (R-Wyo) introduced a bill in the House to extend Yellow- 
stone Park south to the Buffalo River. The bill passed the House, 
and possibly would have been passed by the Senate, but for the 
vigorous opposition of Senator Nugent of Idaho. Nugent mistak- 
enly interpreted the proposed extension to include some of Idaho's 
prime sheep range, hence his action in opposition. The bill came 
so close to becoming law, however, that the opposition back in 
Wyoming was moved to action. Enough of the dude ranchers in 
Jackson Hole were fearful of losing their territory, and therefore 
their livelihood, to enlist sympathy for their cause. The fight was 
taken up in the state legislature, where a resolution was adopted 
opposing any extension of Yellowstone Park. 

The early local opposition to making a park out of the Teton 
country was, from the beginning, accompanied by a substantial 
number of people who were favorable to such a proposition. For 
one thing, it is hardly likely that Congressman Mondell's 1919 bill 
was solely his own brainstorm; though it is hard to say just how 
much support his proposal enjoyed in Jackson Hole. 

By 1923 several of Jackson Hole's more prominent citizens were 
advocating action which would somehow preserve at least the 
northern portion of Jackson Hole for posterity. They were prompt- 
ed, no doubt, by attempts to commercialize the lakes of the valley 
for irrigation purposes, and the recent near-ruination of beautiful 
Jackson Lake for the same purpose. On July 26, 1923, a step was 
taken which led directly to the formulation of the later, much- 
discussed, "Jackson Hole Plan." On that day, Struthers Burt, 
Richard Winger, Dr. Horace Carncross, Joseph R. Jones and John 
L. Enyon met Superintendent Horace Albright of Yellowstone Park 
in Maude Noble's cabin at Menor's Ferry. They presented Super- 
intendent Albright with a plan to add the above area to Yellowstone 
Park.'^ The idea was to buy up the private land concerned, the 
financial backing for which would, hopefully, come from eastern 
businessmen and sportsmen who had vacationed in Jackson Hole. 

1. Jackson Lake was called "Lake Biddle" by William Clark on his 1810 
map; "Teton Lake" by Warren Ferris; and "Lewis Lake" by Joe Meek. 

2. Jackson Lake was finally dammed in 1916, primarily to provide Idaho 
farmers with irrigation water. 

3. Sheridan Journcd November 4, 1930. 


Attempts to raise funds ended in failure, however, and the project 
remained dormant for some time. 

A new ray of hope for park-minded people appeared in 1926. 
That summer John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his family toured Yel- 
lowstone Park, always a favorite spot for the Rockefellers. As 
Albright personally guided Rockefeller around the area, he remem- 
bered that day at Maude Noble's cabin in 1923, and the abortive 
results. Although Albright later stated that he never at any time 
asked Rockefeller for his support, he admitted that he did mention 
the meeting which had occurred three years earlier.^ In driving 
through Jackson Hole, Rockefeller reportedly found that "the 
roadsides were littered with billboards, ramshackle buildings, and 
abandoned farmhouses.""' One informed individual states that 
Rockefeller was also alarmed at the plight of the long-suffering elk, 
which he saw as much the victims of indiscreet fencing, as severe 
winters, and decided to do something about it.^' 

Whatever Rockefeller's motives may have been, he did decide to 
do something about it. It is hard to imagine that Rockefeller could 
have had a realistic idea of just what a Pandora's box of night- 
mares he was opening when he later told Albright that he planned 
to take positive action. 

Rockefeller's plan, which had the wholehearted support of 
Albright, was to purchase a large portion of the private land in the 
northern part of Jackson Hole for presentation to the federal gov- 
ernment at a later date. He specifically hoped that it would be 
added to Yellowstone Park. Future visitors, he reasoned, would 
then be guaranteed a clean, uncommercialized view of the majestic 
Tetons from the valley itself. In 1927 he implemented plans to 
begin buying land from the private owners in the area. This was 
accomplished by the creation of the Snake River Land Company. 
Rockefeller made $1,000,000 available for this project. Kenneth 
Chorley and Vanderbilt Webb were Rockefeller's representatives 
in the land program. Harold P. Fabian, from the firm of Fabian & 
Clendenin, Salt Lake City, Utah, was Rockefeller's western legal 
agent. The Snake River Land Company was incorporated under 
the laws of Utah, with Webb and Fabian as president and vice- 
president, respectively. Robert E. Miller, Jackson banker, was 
purchasing agent, and land purchases began the same year. P. W. 
Spaulding of Evanston, Wyoming was Miller's legal assistant. 

The land purchasing went smoothly for the most part, and 

4. Raymond B. Fosdick, John D. Rockefeller. Jr.: A Portrait (New 
York: Harper, 1956), p. 311. 

5. Ibid. Several Jackson Hole residents today believe that, although 
Rockefeller probably had an accurate vision of v^'hat would have happened 
later, the beauty of the landscape had not been marred in 1926. 

6. Governor Leslie Miller, Private Interview, Cheyenne, Wyoming. April, 


Robert E. Miller continued buying land throughout the Jackson 
Hole area until July, 1929. The source of the purchase funds was 
not divulged, and Rockefeller's connection with the company was 
one of history's most carefully guarded secrets. Even Fabian, who 
was vice-president of the Snake River Land Company, was ignorant 
of the source of the purchase funds, and Rockefeller's association 
with the business, for over a year after purchasing had begun! To 
just what extent the other officials of the company were aware of 
their true employer's role is hard to determine. At any rate, in 
July, 1929, Richard Winger was hired to conduct purchases west of 
the Snake River. On January 1, 1930, Winger assumed full com- 
mand of buying operations, and Miller severed connections with 
the Snake River Land Company. 

Why Miller quit the company is open to question. It has been 
suggested that he was used as a purchasing agent only until after 
he had acquired the land which was under mortgage to his bank.' 
Perhaps he became disenchanted with the clandestine manner in 
which purchases were being made. Or perhaps his experience as a 
former supervisor in the U. S. Forest Service, policies of which 
are sometimes in conflict with those of the Park Service, influenced 
his decision to leave a company which was buying land for inclu- 
sion in a park. Whatever Miller's reasons may have been, it is 
somewhat ironic that he later became not only a vociferous critic of 
Rockefeller's land program, but emerged as one of the opposition's 
most influential leaders. 

Interestingly enough, while the Snake River Land Company was 
feverishly buying Jackson Hole farm and ranch land for addition to 
Yellowstone Park, another closely related, though distinguishably 
different movement was keeping pace. This was the drive by 
interested local citizens, spearheaded by the same people who had 
met in Maude Noble's cabin in 1923, to create a separate park 
encompassing the Teton Mountains themselves. It was related to 
the Rockefeller program, since much of the local support is trace- 
able to the same individuals, with Albright lending encouragement 
to both projects. It was quite different, however, since a park 
created from the mountain peaks involved only Forest Service land 
(most of it not even suitable for livestock grazing) not private land, 

7. Aimer Nelson, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, June, 1966. 
Olaus Murie, in Wapiti Wilderness (New York: Knopf, 1966) p. 120 has 
this to say: "For some reason Rockefeller selected a new purchasing agent. 
And that changed the whole climate of the valley. From that moment on, 
the banker and all his associates, many of them cattlemen, were bitterly 
opposed to the Jackson Hole Plan. They now seemed to see in it the ruin 
of the cattle business and all freedom of enterprise in Jackson Hole. The 
plan did not take in the whole valley, but they felt they could not trust the 
forces behind it; they felt there were Park Service people who wanted every- 
thing 'rim to rim.' " 


thereby weakening the standard arguments of the local opposition. 
Furthermore, even though Rockefeller was certainly favorable to 
the proposed new park, he did not provide the impetus for its 

In conjunction with the Grand Teton National Park proposal, a 
subcommittee of the Senate Public Lands Committee met in Jack- 
son Hole during July, 1928. Senator John Kendrick (D-Wyo) as 
well as the ever-present Superintendent Albright, attended. Also 
in attendance at the well-advertised public meeting were 77 resi- 
dents of Jackson Hole. When these people were asked to cast an 
informal vote on park status for the Tetons, the score ran 76 to 1 
in favor. 

Bolstered by what appeared to be an unchallengeable local 
mandate, in the 1928-1929 session of Congress, Senator Kendrick 
agreed to sponsor a bill to create a park apart from Yellowstone. 
Albright, understood to represent the Park Service's official posi- 
tion, assured Kendrick that no further extension efforts would be 

The new 96,000 acre park did not arouse a great deal of resent- 
ment, probably because most people saw its existence as good 
advertisement for Teton County. Furthermore, management reg- 
ulations were lenient, to say the least: the Wyoming Game and 
Fish Commission continued to control the wildlife; area landowners 
were allowed grazing rights in suitable areas; local citizens were 
permitted to use dead and down timber; and existing claims for 
homesteads, minerals, and rights-of-way were even recognized.^ 
Long before the establishment of Grand Teton National Park, con- 
siderable friction had prevailed between the Park Service and 
Forest Service on the area's administration; and the liberal regu- 
lations governing Grand Teton National Park's management are 
suggestive of a tempering of the former's pure preservation philos- 
ophy, if not an outright adoption of the multiple-usage philosophy 
of the latter. ^^' The newly created park was generally well accept- 
ed, although some of the cattlemen were apprehensive. The cattle- 
men of Wyoming had characteristically opposed park extension as 
the issue began to creep into state politics during the 1920s, and 
the Wyoming Stock Growers Association was pretty consistently 

8. Governor Clifford Hansen, Private Interview, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
April, 1966. Later, when park extension efforts not only failed to cease, but 
were actually intensified, many local people became very irate about Al- 
bright's 1929 assurances. The opposition did not generally blame Kendrick, 
but merely saw him as another of Albright's victims. 

9. Dwight M. Blood, Floyd K. Harmston and G. R. Rajender. A Study of 
the Resources, People, and Economy of Teton County (Laramie: University 
of Wyoming, 1967), p. 14. 

10. Fosdick, op. cit., p. 310. National parks have usually been created 
from Forest Service lands, a fact which has caused resentment in the Forest 
Service. Also, the philosophies of the two services differ greatly, and this 
has not helped matters. 


hostile to the whole concept. ^^ In 1929, however, the issue was 
still more a Teton County issue than a state issue; and on the 
surface, the creation of a new park almost solely from jagged 
mountain peaks, which promised an administration by a liberal set 
of rules, not so different from the customary Forest Service regu- 
lations, must have given the whole package a rather innocuous 

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was simultaneously buying land, through 
the Snake River Land Company, for inclusion in Yellowstone Park. 
These plans were still a closely guarded secret, however, when 
Grand Teton National Park was dedicated. 

In 1930, Governor Frank C. Emerson urged the Snake River 
Land Company to make its plans public and explain their inten- 
tions to the people.^- In April, 1930, the company gave the public 
the complete picture, Rockefeller's connection not excluded. Com- 
pany officials explained that Mr. Rockefeller had by choice cus- 
tomarily remained anonymous in such ventures in order to avoid 
publicity; also, that it was just good business for a man of Rocke- 
feller's known financial means to work anonymously in a project 
of this type in order to keep prices from skyrocketing, and to 
prevent massive land speculation. 

Emotions ran high. Some local people felt deceived simply 
because of the secrecy involved. Some were no doubt angry when 
it became obvious that they probably could have asked more for 
their land and gotten it. Furthermore, they now felt duped by 
Albright's assurances the previous year that the Park Service was 
interested only in the Teton Mountains themselves. Also, it 
seemed certain that the transfer of a large amount of private land 
to the federal government would wreak havoc with the county 
tax structure. 

To further heighten the apprehension of local residents, the 
meeting of a Senate Special Committee on Wildlife Resources at 
Moran that same year had ominous overtones. At this meeting, 
W. C. Deloney, J. L. Enyon, J. D. Ferrin, and Richard Winger 
proposed the now famous "Jackson Hole Plan." This plan pro- 
posed that the existing Grand Teton National Park be extended east 
across the Snake River and include Rockefeller's land (by then in 
the neighborhood of 30,000 acres), plus a very large amount of 
Forest Service territory. The committee enthusiastically approved. 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission was by now becom- 
ing worried. What would happen to the elk if the entire area were 
put in a national park where hunter pressure could not be used to 

11. Miller interview, op. cit. 

12. In December of 1927 the company explained the project to Wyo- 
ming's representatives in Congress and to the governor; but Rockefeller's 
role was not mentioned. 


help control the herd? What about the state's right to manage and 
control its wildlife? Many local citizens could still remember when 
the U. S. Supreme Court had upheld the state when the threat was 
still from the Indians. Now the government itself seemed to be 
trying to infringe on the state's right to manage its wild game. 
Sharing the burden with the federal government of feeding the elk 
in winter was one thing, but the proposed new change in manage- 
ment status was something else. Also, the cattlemen now felt that 
their apprehension throughout the move to create Grand Teton 
National Park was soundly based indeed. 

In November, 1930 the Sheridan Journal published Albright's 
feelings on the subject: "Grand Teton National Park was created 
in the spring of 1929 and its eastern boundaries were known at the 
time to be rather temporary, based on the pendency of the other 
project [the Jackson Hole Plan.]"^'' Albright further stated that 
before the creation of Grand Teton National Park, a petition was 
circulated among the residents of Jackson Hole which, in his words, 
''a large majority signed." This, he alleged, was evidence that the 
people wanted a park, and were willing to cooperate in creating 
one. The following is the petition as it appeared in Albright's 

We believe that the entire Jackson Hole area should be set aside as 
a recreation area, or should be administered as a recreation area 
through whatever agency, state or national, is considered best fitted to 
do it. In this connection, we wish to point out that under the present 
administration of the public domain here, which is by the Forest Serv- 
ice, we are confronted by a policy which works to the detriment of 
stock raising without definitely turning the country over to wildlife and 

We have tried stock-raising and from our experiences have become 
of the firm belief that this region will find its highest use as a play- 
ground, and in this way will eventually become the greatest wealth- 
producing region of the state. The destiny of the Jackson Hole 
country is as a recreation area, typical of the West, for the education 
and enjoyment of the nation as a whole. It is inevitable that it shall 
someday become such a region, and we favor a definite setting aside of 
the country at one time, rather than piecemeal, to its recreational 
purpose. We will be willing to not only cooperate in every way toward 
the realization of this big step, but we will at any time, in the further- 
ance of it, sell our ranches for what we consider a fair price. "^-t 

A copy of the original, signed petition is not available. It is quite 
possible that a large number of people might have signed such a 
document. It is also just as possible that if they did, many of them 
were indignant when the complete activities of the Snake River 
Land Company were made public. 

By 1931, the whole park issue in Teton County was so fraught 

13. Sheridan Journal, November 4, 1930. 

14. Ibid. 


with controversy that the House Appropriations Committee had 
cut off appropriations for the already existing Grand Teton Na- 
tional Park, except for a minimal fund for road maintenance and 
park protection. The following year saw the beginning of legis- 
lative action to try to settle the land controversy. In June, 1932, 
Senators Kendrick and Robert D. Carey (R-Wyo) introduced a 
resolution (Senate Resolution 226) to investigate the activities of 
the Snake River Land Company and the National Park Service. 
The resolution was approved the following February and a com- 
mittee was appointed. Rockefeller, who was certain that nothing 
illegal would be unearthed, welcomed the senate investigation as a 
means of clearing the air. 

Hearings were conducted in Jackson Hole in August, 1933. A 
total of 39 witnesses were called to testify. It was discovered that 
the Snake River Land Company had purchased over 32,000 acres 
of private land, at an average price of almost $40 per acre.^'^ This 
price was above the average going price for land in Jackson Hole 
at that time. Nobody testified that he had been swindled or 
underpaid for his land. Tales of many kinds made the rounds 
concerning threats made to landowners who were reluctant to sell, 
burned buildings, and other types of unethical activities. It was 
even rumored that there might be a connection between the Snake 
River Land Company and the General Land Office in Washington, 
D. C. There was no evidence to support any of these allegations, 
however, and both the Snake River Land Company, and the Park 
Service were given a clean bill of health by the committee. Rocke- 
feller's only real mistake (and this was certainly not an illegal one) 
seemed to be the cloak-and-dagger secrecy which characterized 
his land buying operations. 

There is little doubt that many of the people of Jackson Hole 
were eager to sell their land. The generally poor condition of the 
American farmer and rancher in the 1920s, even before the general 
crash hit in 1929, was reflected to an even greater degree in Teton 
County than elsewhere and was a normal economic circumstance 
there. Because of the area's short growing season, high elevation, 
severe winters, and remote location, even the better land was little 
more than marginal when used for agricultural purposes. Livestock 
had to be fed expensive feed throughout the greater part of the 
year. Stock feed which was shipped into the area, or farm and 
ranch products which were shipped out, had to be moved without 
good highways or a railroad system. Even the historically poor 
roads into the valley were closed throughout much of the year, and 
were not the greatest in the West even when open. In short, until 
recent years, life in Jackson Hole was a pioneer experience. The 

15. Joanne M. Kuczrwski. "History of the Jackson Hole Plan" (Unpub- 
lished Plan B Paper, University of Wyoming, I960), p. 8. 


valley has a history of poverty rivaled only by the most depressed 
areas of Appalachia. Several long-time residents of Jackson Hole 
stated recently that the Great Depression did not noticeably affect 
Teton County for several years after the crash, and that when it 
did its effects were relatively light; this, they believe, was because 
of the area's isolation and extremely primitive economic structure.''' 
Before the advent of the Snake River Land Company, land had not 
been an easy commodity to sell. For example, one prominent 
Teton County real estate agent recently said that during the first 
decade of this century, land sold for under $10 per acre in Jackson 
Hole, and that land at that time was not acceptable collateral for 
a bank loan!^" In view of the prevailing economic situation in 
Teton County in the 1920s, it seems logical to believe, then, that 
Rockefeller did several families a favor. 

Senator Clifford P. Hansen (R-Wyo), whose family strongly 
opposed Park extension from the beginning, today believes that 
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was the person with the foresight and 
vision, and that Rockefeller's motives and actions were completely 
unselfish. Senator Hansen thinks less highly of the actions of some 
of the federal officials involved in park extension, however. He 
points out, for example, that Superintendent Woodring of Grand 
Teton National Park once had a survey crew working up the west 
side of the Snake River from Wilson north. This suggestion of a 
new highway which would bypass Jackson was presumably cal- 
culated to put those citizens of the area who opposed extension in a 
more flexible frame of mind. Senator Hansen also states that there 
were cases where rural mail routes were suddenly changed, post 
offices cancelled, and road construction stopped, again presumably 
to bring pressure to bear on uncooperative residents. Also, better 
roads would have increased tourist travel, which in turn would 
have driven land prices upward. ^^ 

The 1933 senate investigation, which failed to expose corrupt 
practices on the part of any party or agency concerned, and which 
served to demonstrate that many of the local people did still favor 
park extension, produced a rather ironic result. Senator Carey, 
who had clamored for the 1933 investigation, all the while suggest- 
ing a scandal of "Teapot Dome" proportions, apparently was con- 
verted to the cause of park extension. On May 28, 1934, he 
introduced a bill in the Senate which would have added 260,000 
more acres to Grand Teton National Park! It passed the Senate, 
and only an adjournment of Congress prevented further action. 

16. George Kelly, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, April, 1966; and 
Noble Gregory, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming. April, 1966. 

17. Michael Yokel, Private Interview, Wilson, Wyoming, December, 

18. Hansen, interview, op. cit. 


Again in 1935 Senators Carey and O'Mahoney introduced a bill to 
extend the Park, but it languished and died. Thus, the hotly 
debated issue lingered throughout the 1930s — investigations, accu- 
sations, rumors, attempted settlement, attempted legislation — a 
seemingly endless struggle. The favorable legislation attempts 
were no doubt due in part to the influence of Leslie A. Miller, 
Democratic governor of Wyoming (1933-1939), who had consist- 
ently favored park extension. Governor Miller believed, in fact, 
that his support of Rockefeller and the Park Service cost him the 
election of 1938.i-' 

The upshot of all this was that a bitter rift developed among the 
people of Teton County, placing them in two separate camps on 
the issue of park extension; Rockefeller was left to pay taxes on 
32,000 acres of land which his intended recipient, the United 
States, was unable or unwilling to accept; Wyoming's representa- 
tives in Congress were confused and uncertain as to the true wishes 
of their Teton County constituents; and the congressional col- 
leagues of Wyoming's representatives were bewildered by the 
inconsistent and sometimes seemingly contradictory posture of their 
harried associates from Wyoming, whenever the park extension 
issue reared its controversial head. 

Eventually, Rockefeller grew weary of government inactivity 
and the colossal tax burden which resulted from his Teton County 
lands. In 1942 he wrote Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes 
that if the government did not find a way to accept his gift (which 
up to that time had cost him roughly $1.5 million) within a year, 
he would dispose of it to any satisfactory buyer. Ickes was by now 
certain that a park extension bill would never be passed in Con- 
gress. He also understood how Rockefeller's extraordinary pa- 
tience could be wearing thin after 1 5 years of frustration. In short, 
Ickes believed this to be truly the last chance. The secretary 
advised Franklin D. Roosevelt of the situation, and it was called 
to the president's attention that by the provisions of the 1906 
Antiquities Act, national monuments, unlike national parks, could 
be created by executive order. 

On March 16, 1943, President Roosevelt established Grand 
Teton National Monument by executive order. It consisted of 
221,610 acres of land bordering the Park on the east, including 
32,1 17 acres of Rockefeller land and 17,000 acres of private land 
within the monument.-" 

If the land issue had been a bombshell in Jackson Hole ten years 
earlier, it was now a nuclear explosion by comparison. Journalist 
Westbrook Pegler stormed in his newspaper column that "President 

19. Miller, interview, op. cit. 

20. T. A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 1941-1945 (Laramie: Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, 1954), p. 196. 


Roosevelt and Harold Ickes have recently perpetrated in the state 
of Wyoming an Act of Annexation which follows the general lines 
of Adolph Hitler's seizure of Austria."-^ The outcry from the state 
of Wyoming was stupendous. Dr. T. A. Larson states that "in 
opposition to the executive order stood Governor Hunt, Senator 
O'Mahoney, Senator Robertson, Congressman Barrett, Milward L. 
Simpson, J. Elmer Brock, Charles A. Meyers, Clifford Hansen, 
Felix Buchenroth, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, and 
practically all of the state's newspapers except the Wyoming Labor 
Journal."-'- Former Governor Leslie Miller was about the only 
leading public figure from Wyoming who defended the President's 
proclamation. A large segment of the nation's outdoor publica- 
tions also supported the proclamation.--' 

Secretary Ickes pointed out that approximately 75 per cent of 
the land in the new monument was already under federal owner- 
ship, and that the rights of private property owners within the 
boundaries of the monument would be respected. The local oppo- 
sition angrily countered that, nevertheless, fully one third of the 
county's taxable real estate had been removed from the tax rolls. 
This amounted to a loss of about $10,000 per year.-^ 

Milward Simpson (later both Wyoming governor and U. S. 
Senator), attorney for the Citizens Committee of Jackson Hole, 
favored a plebiscite for the people of Wyoming. Senator E. V. 
Robertson (R-Wyo), who collected 7000 signatures on his anti- 
monument petition, agreed with the plebiscite suggestion. Gov- 
ernor Hunt predicted that such a plebiscite would prove that fully 
99 per cent of the state's population was opposed to park ex- 

States' rights were the overriding issue where Wyoming's public 
officials, state agencies, and press were concerned. They saw this 
as an unprecedented and brazen attempt to override the wishes of 
the people of the state and their representatives in Congress, and a 
totalitarian abuse of executive authority. Governor Lester Hunt, 
particularly, reacted with the speed of lightning, and clung to his 
position with bulldog tenacity. He immediately admonished the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to ignore the proclamation 
and to retain jurisdiction of the wildlife inside the monument. He 
vowed that he would use all of the police power at his disposal 
(presumably the National Guard and state highway patrol) to 
forcibly eject any federal authority which attempted to assume 

21. New York World-Telegram, June 16, 1943. 

22. T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1965), p. 499. 

23. Mr. and Mrs. Rod Lucas, Private Interview, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 
June, 1966. 

24. Kuczrwski, op. cit., p. 20. 

25. Larson, Wyoming's War Years, op. cit.. p. 199. 


control over the monument.^^ He appealed to the governors of 
other western states to support his position. The governor of five 
states-^ responded to Wyoming's cry of distress and met with 
Governor Hunt in Salt Lake City on April 9. They passed a 
resolution asking FDR to rescind his proclamation, and that the 
Antiquities Act be repealed by Congress.-'^ In May the state of 
Wyoming filed a suit in federal district court to keep the govern- 
ment from assuming control over the monument.^^ 

Also in May, 1943, occurred a colorful and dramatic episode in 
the opposition's defiance of federal authority. Forty armed riders, 
including movie star Wallace Beery and Teton County Commis- 
sioner Clifford P. Hansen (later governor and presently U. S. 
Senator), without federal permission, staged a cattle drive across 
Grand Teton National Monument. There was no gun play and the 
Park Service took no action to stop the drive; it is remembered 
primarily for its widespread press coverage. -^'^ 

Not surprisingly, resort was made to the inevitable congressional 
investigation, this time at Senator O'Mahoney's request. The 
Public Lands Committees of both the House and Senate met in 
Jackson in August, 1943. O'Mahoney presided, with Robertson 
and Barrett both present as committee members. At the hearings. 
State Game Warden Lester Bagley testified that the creation of the 
monument would prove harmful to the elk herd, while Clifford 
Hansen predicted similar dire results for Jackson Hole's ranchers. 

Just four days after the proclamation. Congressman Barrett 
introduced the first of a series of bills which were aimed at the 
raonument.^^ Before a vote was taken in the House, Governor 
Hunt appealed by mimeographed letter to each member of the 
House. When the vote was taken in December, 1944, the House 
voted for the bill 178 to 107. The Senate voted unanimously in 
favor of the Barrett bill. FDR vetoed the measure, invoking the 
precedents already established under the Antiquities Act, but 
hinted at a possible reimbursement of Teton County for tax losses. 

26. Hansen interview, op. cit. 

27. Sidney P. Osborne, Arizona; E. P. Carville, Nevada; John Vivian, 
Colorado; Herbert B. Maw, Utah; and Earl Warren, California. 

28. Jackson's Hole Courier, April 15, 1943. 

29. Hearings were held at Sheridan, Wyoming in August, 1944. Judge 
T. Blake Kennedy ruled that the court was without jurisdiction. He decided 
that it was a controversy between the executive and legislative branches; but 
he did voice disapproval of the federal government's position. Since Grand 
Canyon National Monument had been created under the provisions of the 
Antiquities Act, it would have been slipshod law, and the results perhaps 
legally unacceptable, had Judge Kennedy ruled FDR's action unconstitu- 

30. See Time, XLI (No. 20), 1943, p. 21. 

31. Barrett introduced two more anti-monument bills in 1945 and in 


Barrett was unable to muster enough support to override the veto. 

One effect that the Grand Teton National Monument contro- 
versy had was to provide an escape valve for Roosevelt's critics 
who were resentful of his policies, but who were reluctant to attack 
a president engaged in conducting a war. Here was an issue where 
FDR and his policies could be openly criticized without suggesting 
a rift in the common war effort. Senators Everett Dirksen (R-Ill) 
and Carl Curtis (R-Neb) and Congressman Charles Halleck 
(R-Ind) attacked Roosevelt's proclamation with gusto.''- 

Some of the more realistic members of the opposition realized 
that the land fight was lost when FDR issued his executive order in 
1943. After failing to undo the act, attempts were made at com- 
promise. For example the opposition suggested that Snake River 
be used as an eastern boundary for the monument.^'' Another was 
that the area in question be turned into a state park instead of a 
national monument; there was no machinery to administer a park 
of such proportions, however, and Leslie Miller was convinced 
that the stockmen would not allow any such machinery to be 
created by the state legislature.^^ 

After the initial hysteria caused by FDR's proclamation had 
subsided, a stalemate developed. The monument was an accom- 
plished fact, and the federal government gave no signs of giving in 
to what Ickes and Albright saw as a small group of selfish and 
influential cattlemen who had only their own interests at heart. 
The opposition, though beginning to weaken from what promised 
to be a long and perhaps fruitless battle, maintained enough unity 
to keep the monument from being effectively administered. Sen- 
ator O'Mahoney, who was on the Senate Appropriations Com- 
mittee, repeatedly had a rider attached to the Interior Department's 
annual appropriations, stating that no funds were to be used to 

32. Naturalist Dilley, Grand Teton National Park, Private Interview, 
Moose, Wyoming, April, 1966. The issue never became a political issue 
in the sense that party lines conditioned response. Teton County has histor- 
ically been Republican country, just as Wyoming has been, and the initial 
response to FDR's proclamation was one of indignation throughout the state. 
Governor Hunt, a Democrat, vehemently denounced FDR. O'Mahoney, 
though less rabid in his opposition, sided with Miller. Grand Teton National 
Park had been created from a bill introduced by Senator Kendrick, a Demo- 
crat. Senator Robertson and Congressman Barrett were Republicans, and 
both opposed the proclamation. Clifford Hansen believes that "opposition 
in Wyoming was not an expression of anti-New Dealism. since 95% of both 
parties in Teton County opposed the move." Of course. Rockefeller himself 
was a Republican. Former President Herbert Hoover strongly supported 
the actions of both FDR and Rockefeller on this issue. 

33. Senator Hansen still feels that this idea has merit, especially in regard 
to wildlife management. 

34. Miller interview, op. cit.. Governor Miller remarked that even the 
U. S. Congress appeared hamstrung, so influential was the Wyoming dele- 


administer Grand Teton National Monument. Thus the situation 
remained for seven years. 

On the home front the opposition never let the people forget the 
fight for very long. One manifestation of this occurred in 1945 
when Wyoming State Senator Felix Buchenroth (Robert E. Miller's 
close ally, and successor in the Jackson State Bank) introduced a 
resolution in the state senate urging all of Wyoming's elected offi- 
cials to continue to oppose the monument, and asking that restitu- 
tion be made to the state of Wyoming.-^"' As the deadlock con- 
tinued, however, most parties on both sides of the controversy 
became more amenable to a compromise and a final solution. 

The breakthrough came in 1950 when Senators O'Mahoney and 
Lester Hunt (who had traded his governor's chair for a seat in the 
U. S. Senate) introduced a compromise bill. It passed both houses 
of Congress and President Truman signed it on September 14, 
1950. This bill abohshed Grand Teton National Monument, the 
lands of which then became part of a greatly enlarged Grand Teton 
National Park. It also provided tax reimbursement on a 20-year 
declining scale,'^*' rights-of-way for livestock, continuance of current 
leases and grazing permits, and cooperation between state and 
federal agencies in the management of the elk herd. 

Throughout the controversy over park extension, elk manage- 
ment became a somewhat controversial issue in itself. The prob- 
lem was a complex one even before park extension was openly 
advocated, as has already been described. The Wyoming Game 
and Fish Commission was understandably not anxious to lose the 
management jurisdiction which it had exercised when the Jackson 
Hole elk herd had ranged almost exclusively over state, private, and 
Forest Service lands. Furthermore, the Forest Service (a federal 
agency ) , already irate at seeing over a quarter of a million acres of 
its domain transferred to the Park Service since 1929, found itself 
in covert sympathy with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission 
(a state agency). This moral alliance was perhaps the natural 
result of the common conservation philosophy which the two 
agencies shared, that is, controlled but perpetual utilization of 
natural resources. This explains why, throughout the park exten- 
sion, the Forest Service sympathized not only with the Game and 
Fish Commission, but with the cattlemen as well.^^ 

As a means of pacifying all of the agencies involved in elk man- 
agement, as well as local outfitters, dude ranchers, and other con- 

35. Jackson's Hole Courier, March 1, 1945. 

36. The tax repayment plan was being considered at least as early as 
1930, when Albright himself mentioned it. Sheridan Journal, November 4, 
1930. From 1950 to 1963, Teton County and the state of Wyoming received 
$375,024 through the tax reimbursement program. Blood, Harmston, and 
Rajender, op. cit., p. 15. 

37. Miller, interview, op. cit. 


cerned citizens, Public Law 787 was passed in Congress in 1950. 
It was a part of the overall compromise package. By its provisions, 
closely supervised hunting is allowed in Grand Teton National Park 
to help control what would otherwise be a too-large elk population. 
The Park Service agreed to support its enactment, but with genuine 
misgivings, being fearful of the precedent it might establish. Such 
fears appear to have been unnecessary, because Grand Teton 
National Park is still the only national park in the entire United 
States where even supervised hunting is permitted. In this case it 
was regarded as a necessity, and required the passage of a special 

Wildlife authorities believe that hunting in Grand Teton National 
Park will eventually decrease in importance as a means of con- 
trolling the elk herd. A few years back, the Park Service, Forest 
Service, and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission entered into a 
five year elk management program-^^ which could eventually elim- 
inate the necessity for hunting in the Park, or at least diminish its 
scope. About 80 per cent of the elk which migrate into Jackson 
Hole from the north each winter move through the Park and could 
reach the National Elk Refuge without being fired upon, except 
for the controlled hunting in the Park.'^-' If the current program 
produces the desired results, gradually increased hunting pressure 
inside Grand Teton National Park will move the migratory routes 
of the northern animals farther east, where hunters may hunt on 
Forest Service land with only normal hunting restrictions, an 
arrangement which would be more suitable for everyone concerned. 

The uniqueness of the land and wildlife situation in Jackson Hole 
sets the area apart from all other similar areas, both in the formu- 
lation of national park policies and in the regulation of the wildlife. 
In no other area do so many regulatory agencies have overlapping 
jurisdiction over wildlife. All agencies concerned today see the 
problem as a common one, however, and coordinate their work to 
a remarkable degree. Their cooperation is a testimony to the high 
caliber of the personnel which staff these agencies. As employees 
from these agencies gradually become more a part of the local 
community, old differences are dissipated even further. Enthusi- 
asm for the Teton country is a common bond which might some 
day reduce the park extension controversy to nothing more than an 
interesting chapter in Wyoming history. 

38. Details on this program were supplied by Kenneth Martin. 

39. Ira James Yorgeson, Range Biologist. Wyoming Game and Fish 
Commission, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, April, 1966. 



On the surface, it might appear strange that the people who most 
strongly opposed FDR's 1943 executive order said nothing when 
the compromise bill was passed in 1950. Some of this quiescence 
was due in part, no doubt, to a realization by the opposition that 
total victory was impossible. It seems logical to believe, however, 
that by 1950 many members of the opposition were voluntarily 
beginning to modify their earlier opinions. After the Second World 
War, dude ranching and tourism became so important to the local 
economy that few people were willing to turn back the clock. 
Today, most people support Grand Teton National Park. Even 
the county's cattlemen no longer constitute a solid bloc of oppo- 
sition. Senator Clifford Hansen now frankly says that Rockefeller 
used the only avenue available to preserve the scenery.^ 

The face of the cattle industry is still changing in Teton County, 
and it is undeniable that this trend is a direct result of park exten- 
sion. This is reflected in the fact that only 15,720 acres (0.87% ) 
of land in the entire county still remain in private hands.- Only 
about a dozen large cattle ranches remain in operation, and most 
of these rely heavily on government grazing permits. Also, inas- 
much as the federal government continues to acquire private land 
in small lots, particularly within the park, the trend toward a small- 
er cattle industry in the county is continuing. Thus, the relative 
decline in the economic importance of cattle ranching, as dude 
ranching and tourism increase in scope, is accompanied by an 
actual decline in land area as more real estate is used for non- 
agricultural purposes. This, in turn, has the natural effect of 
raising real estate prices on the remaining private ranch lands. 
Michael Yokel, Wilson real estate agent, points out that $5000 
per acre is not considered a high price today for land in Jackson 
Hole.'' Such high prices could possibly eradicate the institution of 
cattle ranching, since it makes sense economically to sell land 
rather than raise cattle. However, most of the remaining ranchers 
already live well, will probably "keep the land in the family," and 
would be reluctant to pay the terribly high taxes on once-cheap 
land sold at a huge profit. 

In view of this trend, it is possible to say that agriculture has very 
httle chance of increasing in economic importance. A recent eco- 
nomic study shows that "the agricultural sector, particularly cattle 
ranching, was the third most important source of basic income for 

1. Governor Clifford Hansen, Private Intervievi', Cheyenne, Wyoming, 
April, 1966. 

2. TTie federal government owns 1,771,260 (96.30%), while state and 
local governments own another 8410 acres (less than one half of 1%). 
Blood. Harmston and Rajender, op. cit., p. 6. 

3. Michael Yokel, Private Interview, Wilson, Wyoming, December, 1966. 


the county [the first being tourism and the second governmental 
expenditures], but the contribution of basic dollars to the economy 
from this sector is relatively limited. The cattle industry does not 
show much promise for growth due to the gradual decline in ranch 
acreage."^ Today it is common in Jackson Hole to combine cattle 
ranching with dude ranching during the summer and fall tourist 
season. Ranching adds a western flavor to the valley, and it would 
be to everyone's disadvantage if the cattle industry were to die out 
completely. It is unlikely that it ever will. So far, it has simply 
changed with the times. 

Dude ranches, or guest ranches, which cater to vacationers and 
big game hunters, now form a separate business, though the prac- 
tice is still frequently integrated with cattle ranching. Dude ranch- 
ing has also had to adapt to changing times, and has benefited 
overall. Before World War II, when all roads into Teton County 
were bad, when few people had money to finance expensive vaca- 
tions, and when nationwide travel was not as common as it is today, 
the dude ranch was an exclusive institution which only the well-to- 
do minority could enjoy. In those days tourists were fewer, stayed 
longer, and spent more money per person than today. For the 
most part, the same vacationers returned to the same ranches year 
after year, and were attracted not only to the beauty of the Tetons, 
but to the remoteness and privacy of Jackson Hole. 

Today the situation is much different. There are still the faithful 
customers who return each year, but they no longer constitute the 
majority. A higher living standard, better highways, improved 
automobiles, and more leisure time have changed the complexion 
of dude ranching. Now it is the vacationing millions who spend 
money in Teton County each year, constantly increasing in volume 
until tourism has become the county's primary source of income.'' 
The number of visitors to Grand Teton National Park has actually 
doubled over the past ten years; currently about 2.7 miUion people 
visit the park annually.** With this fantastic increase has come a 
sharp upturn in the number of campers to stop in the area. Camp- 
er volume is now reaching near-crisis proportions, since neither the 
Park Service nor the Forest Service is presently able to increase 
camping facilities at a fast enough rate to keep up with camper 
traffic during the summer. Lodging in the town of Jackson is now 
likewise inadequate at the peak of the season. 

Teton County's major economic flaw is the seasonal nature of its 
economy. The tourist boom is heavily concentrated in the months 
of July and August. This trend is gradually changing as more 
people start traveling earlier and staying later. Summer tourism 

4. Blood, Harmston, and Rajender, op. cit.. p. 3. 

5. Ibid., p. 35. 

6. Ibid. 


now starts as early as May, and the influx of fall hunters for the 
long elk season extends the season well into November. Tradi- 
tionally, however, the profitable season has coincided with the 
summer months. This has always meant that local residents have 
too much to do during summer and too little during winter. In the 
summer Jackson Hole has never had to compete for tourist dollars, 
but winter has been a far different story. The cold season has 
always been long and hard economically for Jackson Holers. 

Extensive plans are now under way to provide Teton County 
with a more balanced economy. The Jackson Hole Chamber of 
Commerce" has long been advocating a winter opening of the 
national parks as an added off-season attraction. Indeed, hopes 
are high that someday there will be no "off-season" in Teton 
County. Recent developments indicate that these hopes are real- 
istic. For example, it is probable that Yellowstone Park will 
someday be kept open on a year-round basis, at least major roads 
and main points of interest. Of course, the more spectacular parts 
of Grand Teton National Park are visible every day of the year 
from the highway through the valley, which is kept open at all 

Cutter racing is another activity which has become popular in 
Jackson Hole in recent years. This event consists of racing two 
horse-drawn chariot-type vehicles, or "cutters," over a quarter-mile 
track; the track is snow-packed and each cutter is drawn by two 
thoroughbreds or quarterhorses. Cutter enthusiasts operate within 
the framework of the All American Cutter Racing Association, 
which sponsors races throughout eastern Idaho and western Wyo- 
ming. Finals are held in Jackson Hole, at which time the cham- 
pion is crowned. Spectators from all parts of the world gather to 
watch these western Ben Hurs compete. 

Riding the feed sleighs in the National Elk Refuge during winter 
elk feeding operations is an activity which is gaining in popularity 
with winter visitors. Its possibilities are limited as a drawing card 
for winter vacationers, but it does provide an interesting diversion 
for those who come to the area for other winter sports. 

Skiing is the sport which can, and many authorities believe will, 
revolutionize the country's entire economic structure. If any 
activity can extend Teton County's summertime economy into a 
year-round economy, it is skiing. This invigorating sport has really 
already begun to have an impact. Though Jackson Holers have 
skied for many years, the first truly modern ski area with chair-lift 
facilities came into being in 1946. It was that year that Neil 
Rafferty's Snow King Mountain Ski Area went into operation. 

7. Superintendent Anderson made history by becoming the first National 
Park Service superintendent to serve on the board of directors of the 
Jackson Chamber of Commerce. 


Snow King has heavy use during skiing season, with as high as 500 
skiers per day. This mountain virtually begins at the south edge 
of the town of Jackson and, consequently, is popular with school 
children. It is sophisticated enough for expert skiers too, and 
many local people prefer it because of its convenience. 

The giant of the ski industry not only in Teton County, but in 
all of Wyoming, is the new Teton Village ski area located twelve 
miles west of Jackson. Financed partially by a federal loan and 
incorporated as the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation, this organiza- 
tion has in a very short time accomplished a great deal. Situated 
outside Grand Teton National Park at the south end of the Tetons, 
this mountain has 4135 feet of vertical drop, a 63-passenger aerial 
tram, and three double chair-lifts. These facilities can accommo- 
date 3000 skiers per hour. The mountain consists of eight main 
ridges with many secondary ridges. Much of the slope is covered 
with scattered trees, as well as open meadows and bowls, and 
heavily timbered areas laced with trails. Normally there is an 
abundance of snow with frequent new snows to rejuvenate the 
snow pack. The shortest run is over two miles long.'' 

Paul McCollister, one of the co-developers of the mammoth 
project, confidently asserts that Teton Village will seriously com- 
pete with Aspen, Vail, and Sun Valley. He points out that when 
complete, the area will be even larger than Aspen proper, and 
should be better. A dozen more chair-lifts are being planned, 
plus 33 more plush ski lodges similar to the three already in use. 
There are over one hundred home sites, ten of which now have 
homes on them. In addition, there are sites for 700 condominium 
apartments. In the three complete lodges, there are about ten 

Teton Village will be a totally self-sustaining resort area when 
completed, with shops, restaurants, night clubs, barber and beauty 
shops, delicatessens, drug stores, cleaner and laundry service, gift 
shops, clothing stores and, of course, ski shops. They will all be 
on the ground floors of the commercial chalets. There will be 
paved streets and underground utilities. In short, the area will be 
a complete community (with Alpine architecture) if current plans 
materialize. In summer, Teton Village's lodges will house vaca- 
tioners. A completed Teton Village could sleep 6000 guests, or 
more than the present population of Teton County. 

Paul McCollister spent a great deal of time in Europe carefully 
researching the newer, more successful ski resorts, and the best 
features of all of them are present in Teton Village. The Snow 
King Corporation is in favor of the new ski area, since improved 

8. Paul McCollister, Private Interview, Teton Village. Jackson Hole, 
Wyoming, November, 1966. 


and enlarged facilities bring more skiers to the entire area. Togwo- 
tee Lodge is also involved in a new ski development, made possible 
through a Forest Service lease. 

Skiing and outdoor winter recreation are changing the entire 
winter scene in Teton County. In winter the number of vacationers 
will probably always be smaller than in summer, but it is also true 
that winter visitors stay longer and spend more money. 

The increase in winter sports activity has brought about a 
marked improvement of transportation facilities during the snowy 
season. Frontier Airlines now has regular daily flights into Jackson 
Hole from Denver; and two bus lines provide service into Jackson. 
One surprising fact is that the Jackson Hole Airport (the only 
airport in the United States inside a national park) now has more 
boardings than any other airport in Wyoming, including Cheyenne.'* 

The Teton Mountains themselves are another important attrac- 
tion to a special, hardy breed of outdoorsmen. Mountain climbing 
is an old sport and, with the exceptions of hunting and fishing, is 
no doubt the oldest in Teton County. The Tetons are well-suited 
to climbing, being of a superior rock, and rugged enough to chal- 
lenge the world's best climbers. In some ways, the Tetons are 
superior to many world-famous European climbing areas, which 
they match in ruggedness, but the Tetons have less rock fall, and 
less snow and ice. 

In 1842 a Frenchman named Michaud made the first recorded 
attempt to climb the Grand Teton; he made it above the lower 
saddle. In 1872 James Stevenson, while leading the Snake River 
division of Hayden's expedition of that year, and Nathaniel P. 
Langford, first superintendent of Yellowstone Park, decided to 
climb the Grand Teton. After their climb, they reported to their 
party, and to the rest of the world, that they had reached the sum- 
mit. William R. Taggart, who kept a detailed journal while with 
the Stevenson party, mentioned in his entry for that day that "two 
Messrs. Stevenson and Langford reached the summit. They re- 
ported the summit as level and only about one hundred feet by 
sixty."^^ In the June 1873 issue of Scribner's Monthly Langford 
published an account of the last 600 feet of the historic climb. He 
made references to such phenomena as mountain sheep tracks and 
mountain flowers on the summit, both of which seemed surprising, 
considering the Grand Teton's elevation and ruggedness. 

William O. Owen (at that time state auditor, and for many years 
deputy United States surveyor for the state of Wyoming) unsuc- 

9. Marjorie Waller, Manager, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Private 
Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, November, 1966. 

11. William Rush Taggart diary, p. 14, Western History Research Cen- 
ter, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. 


cessfully attempted to climb the Grand Teton in 1 89 1 .^- The more 
familiar Owen became with the Tetons, however, the more con- 
vinced he became that Langford had never reached the summit. 
After several more unsuccessful attempts over the next few years, 
Owen reached the summit during a climb in 1898.^-^ After com- 
pleting the climb, Owen became thoroughly convinced that Lang- 
ford had never laid eyes on the summit. In answer to Langford's 
description of the conditions on top, Owen said, "there isn't a 
mountain flower within a thousand feet of the summit, and a moun- 
tain sheep would no more be able to climb the last six hundred 
feet than he would to climb the Washington Monument. "^^ Owen 
hotly contested Langford's official claim as the first to scale the 
Grand Teton, and 30 years later, in 1928, the Wyoming state legis- 
lature passed a resolution which credited Owen with the historic 
feat. Grand Teton National Park also recognizes Owen's claim. 
As it turned out, Langford's own preposterous account was used 
as the most convincing evidence against him; it was also regarded 
as strange that he had left no sign or marker of any type to help 
substantiate his claim. Today, Owen is widely recognized as the 
conqueror of the Grand Teton, and one of the major peaks in the 
Teton range has since been named after him. 

Another ascent of the Grand Teton was not made until August 
25, 1923, when Quin A. Blackbrun, Andy DePiero, and D. F. 
DeLap made the harrowing climb; Owen's 1898 markers were 
found intact. ^^ 

Since the 1920s, several more routes to the summit of the Grand 
Teton have been worked out, though the Owen route is still one of 
the most popular. The sport of mountain climbing in the Tetons 
has gradually increased in popularity. In 1965, 454 people scaled 
the Grand Teton alone. Today almost every mountain peak in 
Grand Teton National Park has been climbed. ^"^ 

In the 1920s Paul Petzoldt, a prominent mountain climber who 
did much to promote the sport in the Tetons, opened a mountain 
climbing school at Jenny Lake. Now famous as the School of 
American Mountaineering, it is owned and operated by Glen 
Exum. The school is run for the public and is open daily during 
July and August. Several instructors, all expert climbers, teach 

12. Emma Matilda Lake in Jackson Hole is named after Owen's wife. 

13. There were five other men in Owen's party: Bishop Frank Spalding. 
Thomas Cooper, Frank L. Peterson, John Shive, and Hugh McDerment; the 
Owen party reached the summit on August 1, 1898. Wyoming State Tribune 
and Cheyenne State Leader, July 20, 1929. 

14. Elizabeth Arnold Stone. Uinta County: Its Place in Histoiy (Lara- 
mie: Laramie Printing Company, 1924) p. 244. 

15. Wyoming State Tribune and Cheyenne State Leader. July 20. 1929. 

16. Doug McLaren, National Park Service. Private Interview, Moose, 
Wyoming, June, 1966. 


various phases of the sport to both novices and experienced climb- 
ers. Exum, who has made about 300 ascents of the Grand Teton, 
was the first American to make a solo ascent of the Matterhorn.^' 

In addition to Exum's school, the National Park Service has a 
trained mountain rescue team which caters to injured, stranded, 
and dead^^ climbers. This highly skilled team, which consists of a 
minimum of 1 8 members, mostly seasonal park rangers, have saved 
many lives, and are an indispensable asset to mountain climbing in 
the Tetons.^'^ 

Today, the Tetons are so widely known throughout the mountain 
climbing fraternity that the area advertises itself. The Tetons' 
unusual combination of ruggedness and accessibility place them 
among the world's finest for climbers of all levels of experience. 

A recent development in Teton County, but one which will 
almost surely continue to expand, is what might be described as a 
"cultural renaissance." This movement has manifested itself pri- 
marily in the form of the Jackson Hole Fine Arts Foundation. 
Ernie Hagan and George Hufsmith initiated the program in the 
summer of 1962. Consuela Von Gontard, Marie Scott, and Byron 
Jenkins were among the corporate signers.-" 

The activities of the Fine Arts Foundation are summer oriented 
and provide a welcome respite to local residents who are over- 
worked and harried during the summer tourist season. Such insti- 
tutions as a 65-member symphony orchestra must come as a 
pleasant surprise to many vacationers who prefer some of the 
vestiges of civilization even while on a western vacation. Some of 
the nation's best conductors and musicians have performed in 
Jackson since the advent of the Fine Arts Foundation. Jackson 
Hole in summer now echoes with the music of Wagner, Beethoven, 
Ravel, Mozart, Hayden and other composers of renown. The 
season runs from the first week in July through the first week in 
August, with at least two concerts every week. Throughout the 
summer there are also several other activities, including a film 
festival, an art show, art schools, a music school, a photography 
exhibit, and ancient Indian dances presented by Reginald and 
Gladys Laubin. A lecture series has also been successful on a 
limited basis.-^ 

Considering all of the areas encompassed in the overall fine arts 

17. Edmund Christopherson, Behold the Grand Tetons (Missoula, Mont.: 
Edmund Christopherson, 1961) p. 47. 

18. Mountain climbing fatalities, though few, do occur. Fatalities among 
climbers in the Tetons have averaged 1 or 2 per cent per year for the past 
15 years. This is very low considering that there are from twelve to four- 
teen hundred climbers per season. McLaren, interview, op. cit. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Grant Hagan, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming, June, 1966. 

21. Ibid. 


program, music has been the most successful, since it is a more 
elaborate production, and it appeals to a wider audience. In addi- 
tion to the regularly programmed concerts, there are children's 
concerts and evening concerts in the town park. The latter, which 
were poorly attended at first, have since become a great success. 
A climate for fine arts has been created and cultivated in Jackson 
Hole, and the local people now anticipate and expect fine arts 
productions. Also, fine arts are becoming an important means of 
advertising Jackson Hole, since many vacationers now have their 
hotel and motel reservations synchronized with the summer festival 
season. Even the budget of the foundation, which in 1966 was 
over $35,000, is economically important to Teton County, since 
most of it is spent in the area. The local people have contributed 
generously to the foundation, and the board of trustees, executive 
committee, and other positions are filled largely by volunteers. 
The people, then, support the fine arts movement. One of its 
spokesmen summed up the purpose of the program with the re- 
mark that "fine arts should inject a richness into life's every day 
routine. "-- 


Teton County's natural wonders — Jackson Hole, the Tetons, a 
rugged outdoor atmosphere — have given the area a prominent 
position on the map of Wyoming and the United States. Recent 
statistics reveal that Grand Teton National Park is now Wyoming's 
number one tourist attraction and, therefore, is a tremendous eco- 
nomic asset to the entire state. 

In spite of the county's sparse population, it has managed to 
exert its share of influence in the political sphere. Within the last 
decade, Teton County has produced no fewer than two governors 
and two U. S. Senators. Hence, it would appear that the county's 
political importance is no less now than in the days when a gov- 
ernor's stand on park extension could cost him re-election. 

Grand Teton National Park is now well accepted by most 
Jackson Holers, and few people today argue that tourism has not 
more than compensated for tax losses. In trying to find a con- 
sensus among members of the older generation in Teton County 
as to why and by whom park extension was so strongly opposed, 
one opinion stands out above the rest; many local people came to 
realize that a new park would mean a massive influx of outsiders 
and sweeping changes in the old, familiar, unhampered, austere 
way of life. One long-time resident notes "a Wyoming ambiv- 
alence: the people want outside money, but not outsiders!"^ 

22. Ibid. 

1. Elizabeth Hayden, Private Interview, Jackson, Wyoming. April. 1966. 


Jackson Hole today does have a special, cosmopolitan atmos- 
phere that makes the area unique. The Second World War and 
the increase in travel during and after the war has had an impact. 
As the fame of the area has spread, with stories of its rugged 
beauty and isolation, many types of individuaUsts, from anti-social 
nature lovers to wealthy socialites and even royalty, have moved to 
this "last of the Old West." Perhaps most of all. Grand Teton 
National Park has attracted millions of visitors who mostly spend 
their money and move on, but who also leave a bit of themselves 
behind. Large numbers of tourists cannot help but leave changes 
in their wake. Some changes, at least in the way of improved 
facilities and accommodations, are necessary to make people want 
to return. Grand Teton National Park, with its high visitation, 
now nearing three million people per season, has finally passed 
even Yellowstone National Park in visitation. 

The influx of resident federal employes has also caused social 
changes and expanded the cosmopolitan atmosphere at the grass- 
roots level. The impact of this must be great, for example, in the 
schools. Twenty-five per cent of the children in the county's five 
grade schools (Jackson, Wilson, Grovont, Moran, and Alta) are 
the children of federal employes and, therefore, come from all parts 
of the United States. 

A great many people in Jackson are being convinced that the 
point of diminishing returns has been reached where visitation to 
the area is concerned. Overcrowding is very definitely destroying 
one of Jackson Hole's most valuable assets, which is simply the 
western atmosphere. Jackson was the first town (and probably 
the only town) in Wyoming to ask the highway commission to 
conduct a feasibility study for a highway bypass.- This would take 
some of the summer traffic from downtown Jackson, and would 
permit those vacationers who stop over to be more comfortable. 
Teton County has literally become a playground for an entire 
nation. Current trends point in the direction of even greater in- 
creases in tourism, a gradual shift toward a more evenly balanced, 
year-round economy, and greater prosperity for local residents. 

The old timers were correct in believing that sweeping changes 
would result if Teton County were made into a vacation land. 
It is certain that very few local people from any age group would 
really be willing to return to the days when Jackson Hole was an 
isolated mountain community. Though many people still dream 
of the days when life was simpler, it is doubtful that anyone, even 
older generation Jackson Holers, one having tasted the luxuries of 
civilization, would return to a primitive existence. All local people 
jealously love and defend Jackson Hole and the Tetons; however. 

2. Marjorie Waller, Manager, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Private 
Interview, November, 1966. 


they are willing to share their outdoor paradise with the rest of the 
world. F. V. Hayden, the great explorer of the early west, could 
not have known how accurate his prophecy for the Teton and 
Yellowstone country was when he exclaimed almost a century ago, 
"I cannot here even attempt to locate these glories of the landscape; 
one finds them on every mountainside and in nearly every valley. 
When better known they will make of Wyoming ... a region of 
resort for pleasure-seekers from every part of the world."'' 


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Murie, Olaus J., The Elk of North America (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 
The Stackpole Company; and Wildlife Management Institute Washing- 
ton. D. C, 1951). 

Murie, Olaus J., The Spirit of Jackson Hole (Washington, D. C: National 
Parks Association, 1943). 

Murie, Olaus, and Murie, Margaret, Wapiti Wilderness (New York: Knopf, 

Stone, Elizabeth Arnold, Uinta County: Its Place in History (Laramie: 
Laramie Printing Company, 1924). 

Stuart, Granville, "Life of James Stuart," Contributions to the Historical 
Society of Montana (Helena, Montana: Rocky Mountain Publishing 
Company, 1876). 

Vinton, Stallo, John Colter (New York: E. Eberstadt, 1926). 


Bell, William Gardner, "Frontier Lawman," The American West, Vol. I, 

No. 3 (1964), pp. 4-13. 
Fryxell. Fritiof M., "The Story of Deadman's Bar," Annals of Wyoming, 

Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 129-148. 
Mattes, Merrill J., "Jackson Hole, Crossroads of the Western Fur Trade, 

1807-1829." Pacific Northn-est Quarterly, Vol. XXVII (April, 1946), 

pp. 87-108. 
Mattes, Merrill J., "Jackson Hole, Crossroads of the Western Fur Trade, 

1830-1840," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. XXXIX (January, 1948), 

pp. 3-32. 
Owen, William O., "The Naming of Mount Owen," Annals of Wyoming, 

Vol. 5, Nos. 2 and 3, pp. 72-77. 
Spring, Agnes Wright, "An Indian Fight in Jackson Hole," Old West, Vol. 

Ill, No. 3 (1967), pp. 2-7, 36. 
Time. Vol. XLI, No. 20 (1943), p 21. 

Unpublished Works 

Kuczrwski, Joanne M., "History of the Jackson Hole Plan," Unpublished 

M. A. Thesis, University of Wyoming, 1960. 
Watson, Walcott, "History of Jackson's Hole before 1907," Unpublished 

M. A. Thesis, Columbia University. 193.'. 


Jackson's Hole Courier, 1909-1961. 

Sheridan Journal, November 4, 1930. 

Wyoming State Tribune and Cheyenne State Leader, July 2, 1929. 

Numerous newspapers, newspaper sections, and newspaper clippings, in the 

Race Horse File and Grand Teton National Park File, Western History 

Research Center, University of Wyoming. 

Jourtk Segment 
of the Oregon Zrail 


Trek No. 23 of the Historical Trail Treks 

Sponsored by the Wyoming State Historical Society, the Wyoming 
State Archives and Historical Department, the Carbon County 
Chapter and the Fremont County Chapter of the State Historical 


Captains : Captain Leonard Wold and Richard Klouda, 

Wyoming Highway Patrol 
Wagon Bosses: Leroy Moore, Joe Keenan, Milton Binger 
Announcer: Bill Dubois 
Guides : Henry Jensen, Tom Shaffer 
Historian : Maurine Carley 

Registrars: Jane Houston, Meda Walker, Roz Bealey 
Tickets: Mary Hutchison 
Photographer: Alan Lessel 

SATURDAY, JULY 15, 1972 

7:30 P.M. The Carbon County Chapter was the host for approxi- 
mately 150 people who had gathered to take part in the historical 
trek. After a visit to the museum they enjoyed an appropriate 
musical program entitled, "A Diary Set to Music Along the Oregon 
Trail," arranged by Mrs. Walter Lambertsen. The Misses Connie 
and Betty Engstrom and Mrs. Karen Lambertsen participated in 
the program. 

The refreshment table was decorated with covered wagon lamps 
loaned by Robert Wright. Cookies and punch were served by the 
local chapter. Officers for the trek were introduced. 

SUNDAY, JULY 16, 1972 

Caravan: 280 people, 110 cars 

6:30 A.M. A caravan of trekkers left Rawlins to meet many 
others from Casper at the Tom Sun Ranch west of Devil's Gate. 
Registrations were completed and tickets for the dinner in Lander 
were sold. Many visited the Sun museum and inspected the 
markers across the road. 


By Mrs. Tom Sun, Sr. 

Tom Sun, senior, was born Thomas Debeausoliel of French- 
Canadian parents. His mother died when he was a small boy; and 
as he did not get along well with his stepmother, he ran away from 
home in Montreal at the age of eleven. He knew of an uncle in 
Montana and thought he could reach him. When he got to the 
Missouri River he met a French trapper named LeFever, called 
"Dakota" by the Indians, who taught him much of the lore of the 
plains. They trapped on rivers and streams on down to St. Louis. 
During the Civil War he worked on construction, helping to keep 
trains running for the Union Army. 

After the war he trapped along the streams and followed the 
Platte into Colorado and Wyoming. Buffalo Bill Cody, Tom Sun 
and Boney Earnest were scouts and guides for several years at Fort 
Fred Steele which was established primarily as headquarters for 
troops protecting the builders of the new transcontinental railroad. 
Fort Steele was occupied as an army post from June, 1868, to 
August, 1886. 

Later, Buffalo Bill went east to start his Wild West show. He 
was meeting people who were interested in hunting and he sent 
many hunters to Wyoming. Tom Sun and Boney Earnest would 
meet them in Rawlins and outfit them for the trip. This ranch 
spot, near Devil's Gate, was Sun's headquarters where they stopped 
before going on to Yellowstone, the Big Horn Mountains or wher- 
ever game was plentiful. 

Sir John Rae Reid came from England to hunt and became a 
close friend of Tom Sun. He was interested in the large herds of 
cattle and sheep going west along the several trails. When he 
returned to England from a hunting trip in 1877 he sent 1000 
pounds sterling to Mr. Sun to purchase cattle. A partnership 
between the two was formed. 

It was an uphill fight, as cattle were not worth much and the 
winters were hard. John Clay wrote this about Sun later when they 
were friends and neighbors: "They met disaster together and it 
was a sad and sorrowful sort of time that made rich men paupers. 
And yet when they went down to his ranch and stayed overnight, 
there was no sign of trouble. The generous hospitality of himself 
and his good wife was ever before you. A royal host with a wealth 
of stories concerning frontier life. He loved to dwell on the past 
when buffalo were plentiful. But amid all this he had fortitude, 
for he stuck to his ranch when many old timers had packed up and 

In 1878, Edwin C. Johnson came out to hunt from Connecticut. 
He camped at Brown's Canyon the first night, and came on to Sun's 
headquarters on the Sweetwater the next day. They spent the day 
arranging the gear needed and made plans for the hunt. They took 


three pack horses and went to Sand Creek at the east end of the 
Ferris Mountains and on across the Platte River. There were 
hundreds of elk as well as many antelope and deer. All heads 
were saved and meat taken for food. They killed elk, deer, ante- 
lope, mountain sheep, and a grizzly bear. After cleaning and 
packing the heads, Mr. Johnson left for Connecticut. 

While Mr. Johnson was here, a herd of 5000 cattle went through 
on the trail from Idaho and they talked about going into the cattle 
business together. They decided to take up desert claims. Each 
one could prove up on every 40 acres they could get water on 
within the acre grant. Mrs. Johnson took the claim at Independ- 
ence Rock (the east end); Tom Sun took the one from Devil's 
Gate west; Mr. Johnson took the middle pasture; and his nephew 
proved up on the Cherry Creek pasture. They then began to fence. 
Billy Johnson, the nephew, came up from Fort Collins in 1882 to 
go on the cattle drive. In March they went on the train to Utah, 
then by six-horse-stage to Baker City, Oregon, via Boise, Idaho. 
They gathered the cattle, about 3000 head, bought saddle horses 
and started the drive home. They used the dipper brand for a trail 
brand and got here in good shape. After building pens and brand- 
ing on West Cherry Creek, the Hub and Spoke brand was bom. 

Mr. Johnson came out each spring and stayed until after shipping 
in the fall. At that time the price of cattle was very low and he was 
discouraged. His wife had loaned money to the outfit and wanted 
to be repaid so he was determined to sell. Sun was reluctant and 
wanted to hold. He asked Johnson to wait as he thought cattle 
would come up five cents a pound, but in the spring of 1892, 
Johnson went to Chicago and sold the cows for $15 per head. He 
sold to Jordan of Montana and they were delivered in 1892 and 

In the fall of 1893 Sun bought cattle from Wilcox in Saratoga 
and also bought out Johnson's share of the ranch thus going into 
business for himself. Some of the original "3-Dot" herd that was 
left was brought in by the riders and kept in pastures. These cattle 
were so wild that the men were afraid to get in the corrals to brand 
the calves. They roped them from the top fence rail and dragged 
them out under the poles to brand them. 

In 1883, Tom Sun married Mary Hellihan, a young woman who 
had come from Ireland at the age of 16 and was employed at the 
Rawlins House, a hotel and eating place run by the Union Pacific 
for its passengers and employees. Of this union four children were 
born: Tom, Jr., Anastasia, Adelaide, and Eva. Anastasia died as 
a small child and Eva died while attending high school in Salt Lake. 
Tom, Jr., who has managed the ranch since his father died in 1909, 
married Ellen Lynch of Rawlins in 1913. They still reside at the 
ranch. Adelaide married George Smith of Buffalo and is still a 
frequent visitor at the ranch. 

Mr. Sun's memories include wagon trains and handcart caravans 


on the Oregon Trail which passed here where the old highway went 
past the gate. The trail is visible in many places up and down the 
river from here. The little meadow to the east of Bernard Sun's 
house was an overnight camping spot for them. It should also be 
noted that the Pony Express route followed the Oregon Trail, as 
did the first telegraph line built in 1861. 

Many people erroneously believe that the Oregon Trail went 
through Devil's Gate. There is no way a wagon, or even a horse, 
could go through the Gate as the river fills it and is rocky and rapid. 
The Oregon Trail went through the gap just south of Devil's Gate, 
where the old highway is. 

In closing, let us recall the verse about a young lady who once 
jumped off Devil's Gate: 

Here lie the remains of Carolyn Waite. 

Her redemption came too late 

For she met her fate at the Devil's Gate. 

GUIDES: Henry Jensen, Tom Shaffer 

8:35 A.M. We departed west on the old highway with the Ferris 

Mountains on the left and the Sweetwater River on the right. The 
Oregon Trail is at the foot of the bluffs by the river. 

8:45 A.M. After traveling a short two miles we stopped at the 
Martin's Cove marker. 

By Bill Bragg, Jr. 

I'd like to hark back well over 1 00 years to certain events which 
led to the naming of this area as Martin's Cove. The word cove 
means a secluded nook, in this case, place of shelter. The name 
Martin came from Edward Martin, the commander of Handcart 
Company Number Five of Mormon converts, who struggled into 
this cove during late November, 1856. 

The idea of handcart companies came from Brigham Young 
and his advisors. They reasoned that slow moving, canvas-covered 
Conestogas cost much more than flimsy handcarts built of strong, 
but light wood. Also, those who had come to Salt Lake had 
walked by the big wagons, so why couldn't new converts throw 
their personal belongings on a handcart and push or pull it across 
the plains to Zion? 

The idea was sound. The trouble was the people. They were 
not mountain men used to constant combat with the elements. 
They were not stringy, lean soldiers used to long hours on the trail. 
These people were European emigrants. They had no idea what 
would happen to them in a sudden Nebraska hailstorm. They had 
never faced the ground winds in Wyoming carrying stinging bits of 
dust grinding into their eyes. They were not ready to face an early 


fall blizzard ripping and searing its way across the flats, filling the 
draws with chest-high snow, crusting the ground with ice, and 
stunning each person with varying bullet-like blasts of icy wind 
that take your breath away. At Florence, Iowa, their captain gave 
strict instructions that no one was to be allowed more than 17 
pounds of personal belongings. This included their clothing and 
their bedding. At night, they were told, they were to sleep 20 
people under one tent. Usually, a couple of big wagons hauled 
food and provisions, but never enough. Some cows came along 
to be used to feed the company. 

One rule of the Oregon Trail was that it was not wise to go 
beyond Fort Laramie after July first, as early fall storms might 
catch a slow moving caravan. A case in point was the Donner 
Party when 36 out of 81 persons died a tragic death in the 
California mountains. 

The First Handcart Company moved out from Florence with 
274 persons on its lists, and Salt Lake was sighted 60 days later. 
Only 1 3 persons died along the Oregon Trail from weakness, heat, 
exhaustion, exposure and disease in this handcart company. 

Then the Second Company left with 221 on its rolls. They lost 
only seven and arrived in Salt Lake City 64 days later, on Septem- 
ber 26, in pretty good shape. Immediately behind them the Third 
Company departed. They also arrived 64 days later and like the 
Second reported seven deaths. 

In the case of the Fourth Company they left Florence too late, on 
August 17. They made it to Salt Lake all right, but in 84 days. 
Instead of leaving seven dead, they lost 67. The penalty for leaving 
late might have been much greater, except that a rescue team met 
them in the vicinity of Fort Bridger with clothing and food. 

Handcart Company Five left Florence on August 27. Edward 
Martin rounded up 576 people, all of whom had come from 
England under his command. He had been held up at Florence 
waiting for supplies, more carts and tents. He knew he was late 
and said so later. Still, his people wanted to get on to Zion, so 
they left singing hymns joyfully at the prospect of finally seeing 
their dreams come true. Along with 576 persons young, middle- 
aged, and one veteran of Waterloo, Martin had 146 carts, seven big 
wagons, 30 oxen and 50 cows. A normal number of deaths oc- 
cured on the way to Fort Laramie. When they arrived at that post, 
provisions had run so low that fathers and mothers were reduced to 
selling watches and jewelry or anything else that they had of value, 
for food. 

It was October 8, 1856, when they again headed west. Just 
beyond Casper, near Red Buttes, the weather changed overnight 
into a snarling winter blizzard. Little children, whose shoes had 
been taken from them so their feet would toughen, had only canvas 
to cover their feet. Fathers who had valiantly pulled the carts from 
Florence thus far simply lay down and died. One woman later said 


she slept all night beside her husband who died earlier that night, 
and recounted how long the night had seemed. Still, they pushed 
on, hoping the weather would change. By then a foot of snow 
covered the floor of the valley, ice formed on the North Platte, and 
in each little draw snow lay up to eight feet deep. Cows died along 
with people, and in far away Utah, Brigham Young dispatched a 
rescue team to the aid of the Fifth Company. The Mormon leader 
had been unaware of the Fifth Company on the trail until the 
Fourth Company arrived in Salt Lake City. 

But the rescue team arrived only after 1 50 persons had perished 
between Red Buttes and Martin's Cove. When they struggled into 
this shelter, two 1 8-year-old boys carried women, children and men 
too weak to stand across the Sweetwater all day long. Then they 
too, lay down and died. Here the survivors drew together to wait 
their fate. Just when the storm would seem to lift, another icy blast 
took its place. When the rescue unit arrived, one man said, 
". . . . you can imagine between five and six hundred men, women 
and children, worn down by drawing handcarts through snow and 
mud; fainting by the wayside; falling, chilled by the cold; children 
crying, their limbs stiffened by the cold, their feet bleeding and 
some of them bare to the snow and frost. The sight is almost too 
much for the stoutest of us; but we all go on doing all we can, not 
doubting nor dispairing." At last, 95 days after they left Florence, 
the Fifth Handcart Company arrived in Salt Lake City. They had 
lost over 150 persons. 

9:00 A.M. We proceeded on the old highway which bears to the 
left. On our left Whiskey Gap was pointed out. According to 
C. G. Coutant, it derived its name from an incident in 1862, when 
Major O'Farrell and Company A of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry 
were escorting the rolling stock and horses of the Overland Stage 
Line when the stage route was being changed from the Oregon 
Trail to the Overland Trail farther south. The first night's camp 
was at this gap, where there was a fine spring. The Major noticed 
some of his men were intoxicated, ordered the wagons searched for 
whiskey and a barrel was discovered in the last wagon searched. 
O'Farrell ordered the barrel smashed, and, as it happened, the spot 
was just above the spring and the whiskey poured into the camp's 
water supply. The soldiers quickly saved what they could of the 
whiskey in cups, canteens, buckets and camp kettles, and others lay 
on the ground and drank the spring water. A half hour later, few 
sober men could be found in camp, but the effects wore off by 
morning and the soldiers were ready for duty. 

Twelve miles farther along we turned right on the Lander road 
(Highways 789 and 287). Ahead was a good view of Split Rock 
in the Sweetwater Rocks on the right. Signs along the road indi- 
cated that we traveled in Fremont, Natrona, Carbon and back into 
Fremont County in the distance of one mile. 


9:40 A.M. Having traveled practically on the old trail for nine 
miles we stopped for a talk. 


By Beulah Walker 

Split Rock, located on the Oregon Trail, was a well-known land- 
mark, watched for by the many emigrants on their westward 
journey. From the east this landmark could be seen a day before 
it was reached and two days after leaving it. A fort was built on 
the south side of the rock across the Sweetwater River. A tunnel 
was dug to the river to get water without being seen by Indians. 
This fort was also used as a Pony Express station until it was 
destroyed by fire. The Pony Express ran from April 3, 1860, to 
October 24, 1861, or about eighteen months, carrying letters and 
mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. It 
took 10 days less time by Pony Express than by stage coach. 

Edward Creighton from Nebraska, with his crew of men, built 
part of the transcontinental telegraph line across Wyoming west, to 
meet a crew building the line east from California. Creighton's 
crew completed their work to Salt Lake City a week ahead of the 
California crew. The first message was sent over the telegraph 
line October 24, 1861, bringing to an end the romantic, colorful 
and dangerous rides of the Pony Express riders. 

In later years a small log building served as the Split Rock post 
office where mail came in only once a week. All settlers in the 
Sweetwater valley had to go there to receive their mail. This post 
office was discontinued in the early 1940s, when a mail route was 
started over the new Highway 287. Mail was picked up and 
received twice a day for the next 1 6 years at Home On The Range 
Service Station. 

10:00 A.M. The Mcintosh Split Rock Ranch is on the left as we 
departed. After three miles we slowed down to see the Split Rock 
marker on the bank of the Sweetwater. 

10:15 A.M. We pulled off the road and walked a quarter of a 
mile to see some of the best preserved ruts on the old trail. Our 
attention was called to Castle Rock on the skyline to the southeast. 


By Henry Jensen 

I would like to thank Bill and Virginia Mcintosh for their gra- 
cious permission for our caravan to stop here to inspect the old ruts 
along the Oregon Trail. I have spoken to them of the possibility 


of having this spot made a National Historic Site so that it might 
be preserved for future generations. They are agreeable. 

We do not know when the first wagon made its imprint here but 
we do have indisputable evidence that thousands followed it. Here 
also is evidence that the classic movie spectacular showing 500 
Conestoga wagons lined up one behind another over hill and dale 
is in error. From a practical viewpoint, 500 wagons or even half 
that number stretched out single file through Indian country would 
be next to impossible to defend, so that the leaders, being practical 
men, had their trains travel two, three or even four abreast when 
the terrain permitted and there was danger of attack. Here we 
have evidence that at least some of the trains using this portion of 
the trail traveled as much as four abreast. 

To the southeast of us is a rock formation known as Castle Rock. 
One look makes further explanation of its name unnecessary. 
Many names have been carved on the soft sandstone of this forma- 
tion, the oldest being that of W. K. Sublette 1849. History makes 
no mention of a W. K. Sublette. According to Miss Carley, the 
one of the four famous Sublette brothers for whom Sublette County 
is named, William L., died in 1845 in St. Louis. Sublette being a 
rather unusual name it is entirely possible that W. K. was a relative. 

Other names carved in the rock and still legible are Wm Jennings 
June 15, 1853; D. L. Thomas June 10, 1863, Wis; A. Craig May 
28, 1850; A. Kraft Aug 23, 1884; and C. Kraft Aug 21, 1881 and 
Aug 23, 1884. 

1 1 :00 A.M. After we all admired the arrow head found by Bill 
Judge we went on our way. The trail lies between the highway and 
the river at the foot of the Sweetwater Rocks. The Gap in the 
Green Mountains on the left is called Crook's Gap in honor of 
General Crook, famous Indian fighter in the 1870s. Just north of 
the Gap is Crook's Mountain on the Continental Divide. On our 
right is a canyon where two of the three crossings of the Sweetwater 
are located. 

1 1 :25 A.M. We stopped at Jeffrey City where rest rooms and gas 
stations were available. During this stop Mrs. Florence Kirk, the 
oldest settler in the vicinity, told about the country. 

By Florence Kirk 

Many words have been written over the years about the Three 
Crossings on the Sweetwater River and the emigrant trail. All tales 
are different. Who can say which is the most accurate? 

According to one record, the first crossing was below the canyon 
to the east of Sand Gap, the second crossing was above the canyon 
at the mouth of Buffalo Creek, and the third crossing, several miles 


west at or near Ice Slough, was at the mouth where it enters the 
Sweetwater River. Brigham Young used the third crossing near 
what is known as Morrison Pocket. Near the first crossing was a 
Pony Express station which was burned in 1860. A telegraph 
station was located at the same place. At the time the station was 
being attacked by Indians in 1861, the telegrapher was sending a 
message telling of the attack. He said he had hidden all the gold 
and silver in an old Dutch oven to save it. The line went dead 
before the message was completed. No doubt the man was killed. 
The building was then burned. Every year people who have read 
or heard about this event come to the site of the old station with 
hopes and dreams of finding that hidden Dutch oven and the 
treasure it holds. 

In 1928, the bodies of 14 or more soldiers buried near the old 
Pony Express station were moved to a government cemetery for 
their final resting place. One grave remains; the marker reads 
"Bennett Tribbott, Co. B-1 1 Ohio." His grave was there before 
the militia came and the engraving on the marker was done after 
the other graves were moved. 

1 1 :40 A.M. As we left Jeffrey City we noticed that the Sweetwater 
Rocks came to an end on our right. The Trail is between the first 
two ridges. A large rock off by itself between the ridges was the 
scene of an Indian attack where three people were killed and 

After ten miles we slowed up for the Ice Slough sign. During 
emigrant days, the water which froze solid in winter remained as ice 
under the overlying peat until early summer, when it became an 
offensive smelling bog. Many of the 49ers enjoyed a cold drink 
here but many others were disappointed later in the summer. 

The trail crossed the highway at this point then went up over a 
hill to the southwest. 

12:00 noon. Picnic lunches were eaten at the Sweetwater Crossing 
where some enjoyed tables and shade. Others spread blankets and 
ate in circles on the ground, frontier style. 

1:00 P.M. As we left the Crossing the beautiful snow-capped 
Wind River Mountains were an awesome sight in the distance 
ahead. On top of Beaver Hill, at an Atlantic City sign, we turned 
left from the highway on a country road, traveled over rolling hills 
and began the gradual ascent to the historic South Pass mining 
area. The Mormon Trail, as well as several branches of the 
Oregon Trail, passed through this part of the country. In fact we 
traveled on the trail for approximately 25 miles on our way to Fort 


By Ila Lewis 

When the Civil War ended in 1865, the major placer deposits of 
gold in California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and 
Utah were exhausted and the mining industry there was taken over 
by people with extensive capital to mine on a much larger scale. 
Soon the placer miners moved on to greener fields and the west- 
central part of Wyoming was their destination. In 1869 and 1870, 
many people were attracted to Wyoming by reports that the Sweet- 
water mines were rich with gold. As the miners came, three small 
towns sprang up: South Pass City, Atlantic City, and Hamilton 
City, more commonly known as Miner's Delight. 

The mining industry helped to speed the settlement of the Wind 
River Valley. It was a good fertile place to raise crops such as 
vegetables, apples, grains and hay. Cattle were soon brought in. 
The federal government decided to build a fort in the Wind River 
Valley, called Fort Augur, later known as Camp Brown. It was 
first situated where Lander now is. During the summer especially, 
Sioux and Arapahoe Indians raided the mining camps and mur- 
dered the people in wagon trains and freight wagons. Some means 
of protecting the people seemed imperative, and a fort was also 
established in the mining area. The Second Cavalry was sent to 
man this post. On May 4, 1870, First Lieutenant Charles B. 
Stambaugh was shot from his horse by raiding Indians as he was 
helping defend a party of freighters. As a tribute to him the new 
fort was named Camp Stambaugh. 

Fort Stambaugh was established as a permanent post in August, 
1870. It is situated in present-day Fremont County, but when 
built it was in Sweetwater County, Wyoming Territory. The alti- 
tude at the fort is 7714 feet. 

Dr. S. A. Greenwell, acting assistant surgeon of the army at Fort 
Stambaugh, gives us the following interesting descriotion of the old 
fort in his report to Washington in 1875: 

"The post or camp is located upon a plain formed by a natural 
depression in the country, and which embraces nearly the whole 
extent of the reservation which extends a mile either way from the 

"The boundary of the plain is formed by rough and broken 
country upon all sides with the exception of the northwest, where 
rise the Wind River mountains to the height of about 600 feet 
above the fort. 

"The soil being alkaline is unproductive, even with irrigation, 
which has been practised for the purpose of making a company 
garden, without success. 

"The only vegetation that flourishes here is the wild sage. Dis- 
tant from the post about sixteen miles, in the sheltered valleys and 
along the streams grass of good quality may be found, and also 


vegetables such as potatoes, squashes, and cabbages are grown but 
they are frequently destroyed before reaching maturity by the 
appearance of snow and frost, which may occur in any month 
of the year. 

"Timber in the immediate vicinity of the fort is very scarce, none 
other than cottonwood in small quantities being found bordering 
the streams. In the mountains about twelve miles distant, pine 
timber abounds, from which material was obtained for building 
the fort and from which the annual supply of wood is now 

"The animals in the vicinity are the gray wolf, coyote, antelope, 
elk, deer and the cinnamon and grizzly bears. The smaller game 
consists of jack-rabbits, porcupine, beaver, gopher, sage -hens and 
a few ducks along the streams. Fish are found in considerable 
numbers, though small in size. The nearest stream from which 
fish are caught is Twin Creek, nine miles from the post. 

"The climate is exceedingly dry during the summer, rain seldom 
falling. The atmosphere is dry and bracing. The fall of snow 
generally begins early and may be expected in any month of the 
year; but usually the winter commences about the first of October 
and continues until June, and is generally very severe, snow falling 
to a great depth, attended with violent winds and extreme cold. In 
the winter of 1871 the snow upon the parade grounds was twenty 
feet deep. The guard house and the adjutant's office were only 
accessible through tunnels which were cut through the snow. The 
coldest day observed was January 24, 1871. The mercury fell 
to 35° below zero. 

"The post is built of wood, principally pine and cottonwood, 
obtained from the mountains about twelve miles distant. The 
buildings were all erected without any special foundation other than 
the ordinary sleepers of hewn logs. The barracks, two in number, 
built of hewn logs 80 by 32 feet with an L shape 48 by 20 feet, are 
one story high, and were completed in November 1870. They are 
shingled and whitewashed, and one set of quarters are ceiled. They 
are protected on the outside with boards and battens; one chimney 
on each end and built of bricks; the dormitories, each 60 by 30 
feet affording 418 cubic feet of air to each man. There are five 
windows, twelve panes each, in the dormitory. The old wooden 
bunks, which were formerly used have been replaced by new ones 
made of iron. The space of 20 feet partitioned off the main part 
of the building is divided into an orderly-room, store room, and 
lavatory. The L part comprises a mess-room 32 feet by 20 feet, 
and a kitchen 1 6 by 20 feet. There is also a cellar under one of the 

"The post bakery, 32 by 20 feet, is situated about 25 yards from 
the hospital, and has a capacity for baking 300 rations at one time. 

"The married soldiers' quarters are four in number, built of 
round logs, 20 by 20 feet, and designed for four rooms each. The 


roofs are shingled. But, these quarters are not comfortable, being 
in bad repair. 

"There are four buildings for officer's quarters, built of hewn 
logs 48 by 36 feet; six rooms, each 16 by 15 feet, with a hall 
through the center 5 feet wide; three rooms on each side of the hall. 
The houses are all one story high, plastered between the logs, 
ceiled and lined inside with boards and canvas and papered; pro- 
tected on the outside by boards and battens. There are nine rooms 
which are unfinished. Each house is intended for two families. 
The front rooms each have two windows, the other rooms, one. 
The commanding officer's house has a kitchen attached, and a 
porch in front; the former 24 by 24 feet, and the latter 26 by 7 
feet wide. 

"The guard house is of hewn logs, covered with boards and 
earth, 20 by 20 feet, divided into two rooms; one front room for the 
guard, and the other for prisoners. One end of the prison-room is 
divided into three cells, each 9 feet high, 6 feet long and three feet 
wide, ventilated by holes through doors and ceiling; the house is 
ventilated by doors, windows and grating. 

"There are two storehouses, one quartermasters and one com- 
missary, each 64 by 16 feet, built of hewn logs, covered with boards 
and battens. There is a good brick chimney in the commissary 
building which is warmed by a stove. 

"The stable is built of round logs, 1 80 by 30 feet, covered with 
poles, gunny-sacks, and earth, and plastered between the logs with 
mud. A good well of water is in the stable. 

"There are six other buildings, used respectively as grain-house, 
butcher-shop, adjutant's office, quartermaster's office, carpenter- 
shop and blacksmith-shop. There is one building, about 300 yards 
south of the post, used as a slaughter house. About 50 yards east 
of the post is a corral for mules. 

"There are sinks built of lumber in the rear of each barracks, 
officer's quarters, hospital and two in the rear of the married 
soldiers' quarters. 

"The hospital building is 40 by 36 feet, built of hewn logs, one 
story high, covered with logs and earth, and protected on the sides 
by boards and battens, and was erected in the month of October 
1870. It contains five rooms, with a hall 7 feet wide for a distance 
of 16 feet, thence continued 5 feet wide for 24 feet to the rear of 
the building, through the center. On one side are the ward, 32 by 
16 feet and the kitchen 14V2 by 8 feet. The ward has a capacity 
of six beds. Upon the opposite side are the office and dispensary 
13 by 16 feet, steward's room, 15 by 16, and mess room, 14V2 by 
3 feet. The loft over all these rooms is used as a store room. The 
office is lined, canvassed and papered, the steward's room is also, 
and the other rooms canvassed only; all ceiled overhead. It was 
originally intended that a kitchen should be attached to the hos- 
pital, but it has not been built, although a kitchen is needed, as the 


rooms now occupied for the kitchen and mess-room were intended 
for isolation wards and consequently there is no room that can be 
used as such, which should be the case in a well regulated hospital. 
Several applications have been made to have the hospital building 
completed according to the original plan, but each has been a 
failure so far. 

The hospital is warmed by wood-burning stoves, and is ventilated 
through the doors, windows, and floors, to a greater extent than is 
necessary for the comfort and protection of the occupants. The 
ward is lighted by three windows; steward's room, mess-room, and 
kitchen by one each, and the office has two. There is no bath- 
room attached to the hospital. 

"No drainage or sewerage is required other than the natural 
slope the grounds afford. A stream of water, brought in a ditch 
from a gulch about a half mile distant, runs during the summer 
through the post, thus aiding in drainage and sewerage, and also 
affording an abundant supply of water for all purposes except 
drinking and cooking, and affording convenient means for extin- 
guishing fires. The water used for drinking and cooking is ob- 
tained from two wells, one in front of the married soldiers' quarters 
and the other in the rear of the officers' quarters. There are two 
other wells used only for the animals as the water is of an alkaline 
character. There are no special arrangements for bathing at the 
post. All refuse matter is transported outside of the post and 
scattered over the plains. 

"During the summer there are frequent Indian raids, generally 
supposed to be Sioux and Arapahoes, who have succeeded in 
murdering the settlers and stealing their stock. The nearest friend- 
ly Indians are the Shoshones and Bannocks, on their reservation 
near Camp Brown, about fifty-two miles distant. 

"The principal route of travel to the fort is over the Sweetwater 
stage line from Bryan on the Union Pacific Railroad, over which 
the mails were brought three times each week. 

"The prevailing diseases in the post and surrounding country are 
catarrh, rheumatism and erysipelas. Malarial fevers are almost 
unknown. Two cases of typhoid fever have occurred since the post 
was established. During the past two and a half years but very 
few cases of venereal disease have been treated, most of the cases 
being brought from other places, but few having been contracted 
in the vicinity of the post." 

After Dr. Greenwell wrote this report some additional buildings 
were put up, including a church on the northeast part of the post. 
This was a welcome addition for the residents of the fort. 

There were many interesting people at Fort Stambaugh through 
the eight years of its existence, and as a consequence, the residents 
of South Pass City, Hamilton City and Atlantic City visited there 
often. A number of people who were later to become prominent 


in the Lander Valley, were active in the affairs of the fort. Dr. 
W. C. Stephenson, who became the first Indian Agent at Fort 
Washakie, was a well-known figure there. He married Hannah 
Gertrude Irwin at Fort Stambaugh and their first child, Helen 
Gertrude was born there, the first white child born at the fort. She 
later married George Baldwin, who was the first white child born 
in the Lander Valley. 

Major Noyes Baldwin, who had been active in several army posts 
in Wyoming Territory, and had since been mustered out of service, 
found this wild country had great appeal and he asked for and 
received an appointment as postmaster and post-trader at Fort 
Stambaugh. He later started the store in Lander which is still 
one of the leading businesses, the M. N. Baldwin Co. 

Another who contributed to the history of the region was young 
Robert H. Hall, who had recently come to Wyoming from Sacketts 
Harbor, New York, to work for Noble Brothers hauling freight 
from Bryan, a U. P. railroad station, to the mines, the fort and on 
to Lander Valley. On one of his stops at the fort, the commanding 
officer learned that Mr. Hall was a telegraph operator and hired 
him. He worked at the job until the fort was closed. In April, 
1878, Mr. Hall returned to New York and married Amelia Lyon 
who returned to the fort with him. They lived at the fort until it 
closed. She later became Lander's first school teacher. 

In August, 1878, the fort was abandoned. The mines were be- 
ginning to close and many people were leaving the area. The 
Indians were not as hostile as they once had been and there seemed 
little further need for Stambaugh. The fort touched in many ways 
the lives of pioneer people who remembered it with gratitude and 
appreciation for its contribution to their safety and social lives. 
Some say that there wasn't as much gold taken during the eight 
years of its existence as it cost to build the fort, but who is to say 
what its value was. Some of the buildings were moved to neighbor- 
ing towns; only one, to my knowledge, is in Lander, the property 
of Mrs. Edna Obert. 

As we stand here today amidst the piles of earth, broken brick 
and shiny pieces of glass and crockery with the pungent scent of 
the sage in the sweet mountain air we must ponder, in all serious- 
ness, the tremendous undertaking this project was for the builders 
of the fort, the two companies of the Second Cavalry and their 
families, who lived here through all kinds of weather, harrowing 
experiences and hardships. Soldiers and pioneers all — we salute 


3:15 P.M. After a typical mountain drive we arrived in Atlantic 
City where we passed the general store and drove up a hill to St. 
Andrew's Episcopal Church which has recently been restored. A 
splendid view of the little town was had from this vantage point. 


By Tom Shaffer 

The town of Atlantic City was begun on April 15th, 1868, about 
eight months after South Pass City was established. A newspaper 
estimate of the population in 1869 was 500 persons, but the 1870 
census counted 325. In that year, the town contained four general 
stores, a hardware store, a second hand store, two drug stores, two 
hotels, a cigar store, two livery stables, two breweries, a lumber- 
yard, a dance hall, two blacksmiths, three restaurants, and seven 
saloons. There were also several quartz mills, saw mills and an 
arrastra nearby. The town was served by two daily stage lines, 
one from Point of Rocks, and one from Bryan City which also 
carried Wells Fargo express. Of some 1500 mining claims and 
approximately 1 50 mines in the area, only about 50 mines were 
profitable. The saloon and store we drove by are original, as are 
both of the livery stables and many of the cabins one can see from 
this point. 

The large log building seen on the far side of town is one of the 
most famous structures here. It is the Carpenter Hotel, built about 
1900 by Jim and Ellen Carpenter. For years it was well known 
for its excellent, yet low cost, family style meals and homey atmos- 
phere. Purchased in 1963 by Paul and Gina Newman, it is now 
operated as the Miner's Delight Dining Room, with gourmet meals 
served by reservation only. Much of the original furniture and 
character of the building have been retained by the new owners. 

The straight line seen running along the upper half of the hills 
above the hotel is the Grainier Ditch. Built in the '80s, at a cost of 
$100,000, it was 15 miles long and contained several flumes. Emil 
Grainier, the French engineer who conceived and engineered the 
project, envisioned it as a supplier of water to mining operations 
along Rock Creek. Due to the many washouts and resulting cost 
of maintenance, it was a financial failure and Mr. Grainier had to 
skip the country. 

In the 1870s, as the boom ended and mines started to fill with 
water, the people began to leave. By the turn of the century only 
100 were left and in 1950 Atlantic City had only two permanent 
residents. With the advent of the iron mine in 1958, construction 
crews for a time populated the town. In the mid 1960s, employees 
of the iron mine and summer home seekers re-discovered the town 
and the population began a slow increase. At the present time 
there are about 35 permanent residents and a summer population 
of around 100. 

The town is envisioned as the commercial center for the Historic 
South Pass Mining Area, which is being developed and maintained 
by the Bureau of Land Management, the Wyoming Recreation 
Commission, the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Depart- 


ment and private citizens in cooperation with several other agencies 
and organizations. 

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, standing here, was built around 
1900. It stood neglected and decaying for several years until the 
late 1960s, when some local residents began its restoration. Work 
was far enough along that services could be held in 1969, and 
restoration was completed in 1971. All of the furnishings, includ- 
ing the lights, are original. Many of the pieces required a great 
deal of repair due to water damage. Services are held at 4:00 p.m. 
each Sunday throughout the summer months. 

3:35 P.M. The road from Atlantic City was scenic over the 
mountains and through the trees. Time did not permit us to take 
the road on which many mines were located but we saw the Carissa 
mine (Cariso was the original spelling). It was the first major 
discovery, proved to be the richest in the district and closed for the 
last time about 1960. 

3:50 - 4:25 P.M. Everyone wandered around South Pass City 
looking at the restored hotel, saloon, general store, jail and the 
cave which was where residents went for safety during Indian 

4:25 P.M. As we left South Pass City we passed the old jail and 
traveled up the hill. On the left is a small cemetery. Only three 
markers remain although approximately 90 persons were buried 
here. As we crossed the cattle guard the Oregon Trail veered off 
to the left. It continued seven miles to South Pass Station, com- 
monly known as Burnt Ranch. This was at the site of the last 
crossing of the Sweetwater for those who came on the westward 
branch of the trail from Ice Slough. It was from Burnt Ranch 
that the Lander Cutoff began. 

On the distant horizon to the left can be seen Continental Peak. 
To the right are the flat-topped Oregon Buttes. These were so 
named because they were the first land in Oregon country sighted 
by the pioneers. Shortly after crossing the Sweetwater River we 
turned off the highway on a good dirt road. The railroad we 
crossed was built in 1958 to carry the ore from U. S. Steel's 
Atlantic City iron mine. 

One half mile from the railroad we left the road to drive directly 
on the Oregon Trail to South Pass, where are located two interest- 
ing markers — one for Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding, the 
first white women to cross South Pass. The other marker was for 
Ezra Meeker who had used three modes of travel through the 
pass — ox team, automobile and airplane. 


By Norman Dickinson 

May I preface my remarks by giving credit to my good friends 
Fred D. Stratton and Fred Stratton, Jr. for their information about 
the two markers in front of you. The Strattons owned South Pass 
City for seven years from 1948 to 1955. Fred D. Stratton was 
married to Ada Nelle Nickerson, daughter of Captain H. G. Nick- 
erson. Fred Stratton, Jr. is a grandson of Captain Nickerson. The 
captain was living in Virginia City, Montana, when he heard of the 
gold strike at South Pass and moved to here in 1868. He was 
president of the Oregon Trail Commission from 1913 to 1921. 
This commission was responsible for marking the Oregon Trail in 
cooperation with the D.A.R. and the S.A.R. While living in 
Lander, Captain Nickerson carved stone markers in his back yard 
and hauled them to the sites by team and wagon. He marked 
many sites and was often accompanied by Fred Stratton. 

In June, 1916, Captain Nickerson placed the Whitman-Spalding 
marker which you see before you. A few feet to the right of this 
marker, to the east, you see the original South Pass Oregon Trail 
Marker placed by Ezra Meeker in 1903. He traveled in a covered 
wagon drawn by oxen in 1852 while enroute to Oregon. In later 
years he organized the Oregon Trail Memorial Association and 
placed many other markers. He said that he placed the markers 
"to preserve the identity of the track and to honor the pioneers 
who wore it so wide and deep by their feet and by the hooves of 
their oxen and the grind of their wagon tires." 

The terrain in our vicinity is as gentle as on the prairie. The 
snow-topped Wind River Range, which is a part of the Continental 
Divide, is to the north, and just out of sight is the 13,785-foot 
Gannett Peak, Wyoming's highest elevation. The elevation here is 
about 7500 feet so South Pass is well over a mile lower than 
Gannett Peak. The Wind River Mountains accommodate mankind 
by making a decided downslope in this area. Animal and Indian 
trails were the predecessors of the Oregon Trail. You are standing 
between the Sweetwater River which drains to the east and Pacific 
Creek which drains to the Pacific Ocean. Ezra Meeker placed the 
marker about as close as he could get it to the top of the divide. 
South Pass City is some 15 miles to the northeast and its altitude 
is 7805 feet. 

Elephant Butte is directly west of the markers and three or four 
miles to the south are the Oregon Buttes. From Highway 28 we 
can see Pacific Springs in the valley near the west end of Elephant 
Butte. The springs are the origin of Pacific Creek. The Oregon 
Trail passed miles south of both Atlantic City and South Pass City. 
Neither of these villages existed during the greater migration per- 
iod. We are on the exact site of the Oregon Trail but must realize 
that the many square miles around us allow passage over the divide 


in many places and certainly this happened. South Pass is not a 
distinct col as are many mountain passes. If you have tried to 
follow the Sweetwater from Split Rock to the top you have exper- 
ienced the most rugged terrain and it is little wonder that pioneer 
letters spoke highly of the pass itself. South Pass may be con- 
sidered the keyhole for the nation's western migration. It has been 
estimated that more than 300,000 people migrated over it during 
the mid-nineteenth century. Ezra Meeker estimated that 40,000 
used the pass in 1852 and that the mortality for this year was 5000. 
If you wish to consider our surroundings a stage, nothing in Shake- 
speare can surpass the comedy and tragedy that occurred on this 

Robert Stuart and the returning Astorians crossed South Pass 
October 22, 1812. Stuart gave the pass its name. He had been 
with the Wilson Price Hunt expedition which crossed Union Pass 
in 1811 and probably named South Pass because Union Pass was 
farther north. Some authors credit Jim Bridger and Provot with 
discovery of South Pass in 1823. General William H. Ashley 
with 43 trappers explored the area in 1823 and Ashley named the 
Sweetwater. In 1824 Thomas Fitzpatrick of Ashley's Fur Com- 
pany established the first rendezvous on the Green (Sisk-ke-dee) 
River and he crossed South Pass to reach the river. The much- 
traveled Captain Benjamin Bonneville crossed the pass in 1832 and 
is credited with taking the first wagon train over the pass. The 
year 1843 is generally given as the beginning of the great migration. 

Gold was first discovered at South Pass in 1842. A member of 
the American Fur Company made the discovery, and was killed by 
Indians shortly after. His discovery led to an influx of gold- 
seekers. In July, 1847, the Old Mormon Trail was established 
over South Pass when a Mormon Partv used it enroute to Mexican 
Territory. Many of you have seen the memorial marker on Rock 
Creek which tells of the tragic deaths of members of the Mormon 
Willie Company which was cought in a blizzard in 1856. 

What is known as Burnt Ranch was originally the South Pass 
Stage Station established by Russell, Majors and Waddell in 1859. 
This was essentially the Y in the Oregon Trail as various trails, 
depending on the destinations of groups and individuals, branched 
from this station. The significance of this station has been under- 
estimated. Colonel W. F. Lander began his survey for the Lander 
Cutoff at the Burnt Ranch area in 1856. The government desig- 
nation for the cutoff was the Fort Kearney, South Pass and Honey 
Lake Route. The cutoff was to proceed to Fort Hall in Idaho. 
Annals of Wyoming for April, 1959, contains a very good map of 
the Lander Cutoff on page 76. The trail marker may be seen to 
your right as you travel west on Highway 28. It is a short distance 
east of the South Pass Continental Divide marker. 

The Pony Express used South Pass in 1860 for 18 months. 
The Ben HoUaday Overland Stage Company and Wells Fargo and 


Company both established a stage line to service South Pass in the 

5 :00 P.M. We retraced our route to the highway. As we traveled 
along we watched for the Lander Cutoff sign on the right. This 
road was originally used by the Indians and trappers of the fur 
period. General F. W. Lander improved it in 1859 under a 

Another Fort Stambaugh monument was seen on the left over- 
looking U. S. Steel's Atlantic City iron mine. Red Canyon, one of 
the most beautiful places in Wyoming, was on the left as we went 
down the mountain. This valley is now a winter range for elk and 
owned by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. The ranch 
house at the bottom of the valley was built around a stage station. 
The road winding down Red Canyon was part of a stage road to 
Camp Brown, which was located where the town of Lander now 


6:30 P.M. Mr. Norbert Ribble, president, and members of the 
Fremont County Chapter arranged an excellent dinner for us at the 
Elks' Club in Lander. It was a come-as-you-are buffet and was 
a fine climax for our day on the old trail. 

Book Kcuiews 

The Passing of the Great West. Selected Papers of George Bird 
Grinnell. Ed., John F. Reiger (New York: Winchester Press, 
1972). Index. Illus. 182 pp. $8.95. 

In June, 1870, Professor Othniel C. Marsh and twelve assistants 
departed New Haven, Connecticut, for a geological expedition in 
the "wild and woolly" American West. Among this party of 
adventurers was George Bird Grinnell, a man destined to roam 
virtually every part of the Great West during his lifetime. Grin- 
nell's early association with the Audubon family, his intimate con- 
nection with Marsh, his flair for adventure, and his enchantment 
with the West stimulated his interest in natural history. Thus he 
joined both George Armstrong's Custer's expedition into the Black 
Hills in 1874 and William Ludlow's excursion into Yellowstone 
Park in 1875. Moreover, Grinnell made numerous other explora- 
tions and purchased a ranch in southeastern Wyoming. By 1883 
he had become the editor of Forest and Stream and a pioneer 
conservationist; he had seen "progress" despoil the West he so 

According to John F. Reiger, Grinnell greatly influenced Theo- 
dore Roosevelt's views on conservation, preparing him to accept 
the ideas of Gifford Pinchot. In addition to crusading for preser- 
vation of the nation's natural wonders, Grinnell became an author- 
ity on the Plains Indians. He lived until 1929, continuing his 
crusades for ecology almost until the day of his death. The focus 
of this book is on the years from 1870 to 1883 when Grinnell 
witnessed The Passing of the Great West. An introduction, a 
chapter on his early years, and an epilogue are used to place this 
period of his life in its proper perspective. 

Professor Reiger lets Grinnell tell as much of his own story as 
possible, with the major source being the adventurer's unpublished 
memoirs. The format of the book is unlike most editions of 
private papers; rather, it resembles a biography with Reiger spic- 
ing Grinnell's writings with introductions, transitions, interpreta- 
tions, and conclusions. This is done with such skill that the 
narrative flows quite smoothly. The success of this approach is 
due not only to the editor's expertise, but also to the eloquent 
quality of Grinnell's writing. Grinnell's prose is packed with 
action and description. Indeed, adjectives and adverbs in profu- 
sion are used to paint pictures with words, allowing the imaginative 
reader to share vicariously the sights and emotions experienced by 
Grinnell as he journeyed through the West. 

Scholars will be pleased to find that the book is documented 
carefully, although the notes inconveniently are placed in the back 


of the book. Also included is a "Selected Bibliography" and an 
ample index. Two large sections of photographs contain many 
interesting scenes, including pictures of Laramie and Cheyenne. 

Anyone interested in the old West or in the beginnings of the 
conservation movement in America will find this book delightful. 
It is both scholarly and readable. 

Oklahoma State University, Paul F. Lambert 


The Donner Party. By George Keithley. (New York: George 
Braziller, 1972). 175 pp. $6.50. 

An effort to put a complex, tragic episode of history into poetic 
narrative is bound to upset the purists — the pure historians and the 
pure poets. 

For poetic license inevitably rules out strict accuracy; in turn, 
the demands of the true life tale restrict the poet. 

Understanding this, George Keithley, a young California poet 
with distinguished work behind him, has produced a beautiful, 
somewhat fictionalized, long poem recounting the disturbing jour- 
ney and disaster of the Donner Party in 1846. 

In the spring of that year a group of farm families, led by 
George Donner, set out from Springfield, Illinois, for California. 
With high hopes for the promised country where "All year you can 
smell the bloom in the air and farm the fertile land," they reached 
Independence, Missouri, and were joined by others bound for 
California. Crossing the Mississippi and on into the Great Plains, 
their train of 500 wagons traversed "miles of yellow meadow." 

Events of the spring and early summer are almost idyllic; with 
George Donner's eyes and simple language we see the land and 
sky and water, the Little Sandy crossing in Wyoming, the Wasatch 
Mountains of Utah. 

Then "all around the snow began to whine in the air." 

Trapped in the Sierra snows that winter without provisions, 
betrayed by guides and faulty maps, the travelers faced incredible 
hardships. Morale sank and heroism faltered. 

Earlier the expedition had foundered in the salt desert. The 
straggling families, out of water, had watched their cattle die. 

Starving men resorted to the horrors of cannibalism. 

With dignity and understatement, the tragedy unfolds and death 
approaches for the remnants of the Donner Party. 

"The jays perch in the pines and cry 
and wherever we may sleep 
among the dead we will rise 


together under the trees 
like men who are set free 
from the folly of a dream 

into the fragrant morning. . ." 

George Keithley has written a minor American epic poem, 
characterized by restraint, simplicity of style, and lack of poetic 
devices. The three-line stanza form, adhered to rather to the point 
of monotony, only occasionally introduces rhyme. 

Not the style, but the content, however, will remind some read- 
ers of Stephen Vincent Benet's "John Brown's Body," others of 
Homer and the tales in the Odyssey. 

The trek of the Donner Party was a grim one, and the poet gives 
it dimension by a faithful study of the land it trangressed. He not 
only researched the history of the ill-fated journey, but he retraced 
the route, even snowshoeing in winter into the Sierras and the area 
of the Donner camp sites, and through what is now called Donner 

There is a message in man's constant battle with the forces of 
earth and nature and with himself. A few of the starving band 
escaped to safety. George Donner and his wife are left dying, and 
in the man's imagination they are buried under the earth, bodies 
pressing upward towards the California land of their desire. 

Our western history has inspired too little poetry, it seems to me. 
We have need of another Walt Whitman, another Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, who set a votive stone at Concord, 

"That memory may their deeds redeem. 
When, like our sires, our sons are gone." 

So let us not nit-pick, from the historian's view, a narrative poem 
in which history and fantasy merge. That reality and the imagina- 
tion can co-exist is here demonstrated, leaving us with an intensely 
moving human experience. 

Laramie County Community College Adeline McCabe 


Dodge City: Up Through a Century in Story and Pictures. By 
Fredric R. Young (Dodge City: High Plains Publishers, 
1972). Index, lllus. 202 pp. $10.00. 

This is an engaging book. Prepared for Dodge City's centennial 
celebration, it captures in a lively text and more than 500 illustra- 
tions the full flavor of that community's early days as a military 
outpost, trading center, railhead, and cattle town. It recalls vividly 
the famous and infamous men and women who built a legend 
around Dodge City that still persists in the popular mind. And it 
provides a fascinating pictorial chronicle of the town after the 


collapse of the cattle economy which documents its transition into 
the twentieth century. 

Fredric Young acknowledges an intellectual debt to Dodge 
City's earlier historians, Stanley Vestal and Robert R. Dykstra. 
His treatment falls somewhere between theirs in the historiography 
of Kansas cattle towns, but ultimately it is the most satisfying. 
Young allows the sources to speak for themselves and neither 
embroiders fiction on a fabric of truth nor reads between the lines 
in search of history-as-it-never-was. The result is as refreshing as 
it is rewarding. 

Local history published locally has the reputation of being 
notoriously bad, but this handsome book is a noteworthy excep- 
tion. It avoids, for the most part, the kind of booster journalism 
common to such volumes, and for that the author and publisher 
must be commended. It is to be hoped that their example will be 

University of Oklahoma Press William W. Savage, Jr. 

Overland Days to Montana in 1865. The Diary of Sarah Raymond 
and The Journal of Dr. Waid Howard. Ed. by Raymond W. 
and Mary Lund Settle. American Trail Series, Vol. 8. (Glen- 
dale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1971). Index. lUus. 232 pp. 

The book contains the diary of 25-year-old Sarah Raymond, 
covering the period from May 1, 1865, to September 6, 1865, and 
the journal of Dr. Waid Howard, from about June 16, 1865, to 
September 12, 1865. 

Miss Raymond, her mother, Delilah M. Raymond, and two 
younger brothers were on their way from northeastern Missouri 
to Virginia City, then Idaho Territory, now in the state of Montana. 

Sarah Raymond was indeed an exceptional person, as her diary 
clearly reveals. This removes the document from being just an- 
other emigrant journal to add to the already voluminous collections 
of such materials. The diary deserves to be called a classic among 
narratives of travel along frontier trails. 

Sarah had a zest for living that made each morning the start of a 
new and exciting adventure, and a flair for words that enabled her 
to reflect her excitement and wonder at the ever-changing events 
that each day brought. She was thus able to convey that excite- 
ment and wonder to readers of her narrative and kindle their 
interest so that they, in a sense, become companions on the trail. 

Dr. Waid Howard was a member of a train which traveled and 
camped close to the train of which the Raymond family were 
members. Dr. Howard, on his visits to the Hardinbrooke train, 
often talked with Sarah. His first visit was in search of "the best 


and most wholesome bread that is baked on this road," which he 
had been told he would find at the Raymond wagons. 

Dr. Howard's journal is much like most of the journals kept by 
travelers on western trails, except that he does show that he pos- 
sessed a sense of humor. 

Attached to the journal is a poem by the Doctor concerning his 
journey, which is more notable for its geographic references than 
its poetic values. 

Sarah and the Doctor were in neighboring wagon trains and 
dated the entries in their narratives, making it possible to compare 
the entries. This adds to the interest and the value of both 

The editor's unusual arrangement of Sarah's diary is difficult to 
follow. The pages are divided lengthwise into two columns. About 
half of each column is used for reproduction of the diary; the upper 
portion of the left-hand columns and the lower portion of the 
right-hand columns for this purpose. This device allowed the 
placing of two pages of a 1902 publication of the diary to be 
placed on one page of the volume being reviewed, pubhshed in 
1971. This format results in small print that makes the reading 
more difficult. No explanation is given for the departure from 
normal book form. 

There are five pages of photographs and one sketch in the 
volume, as well as an eleven-page "Introduction" by the editors, 
which is followed by a map of the route traveled. A bibliography 
and an index are also contained in this interesting book. 

Eastern Wyoming College William J. Shay 


The Golden Age of Shotgunning. By Bob Hinman. (New York: 
Winchester Press, 1971). Illus. 175 pp. $8.95. 

Obviously, The Golden Age of Shotgunning was written and 
published in expectation that a special class of readers, an all but 
captive group, would guarantee at least a return of the expenses 
involved. The sport of shotgunning (field and traps) claims suffi- 
cient devotees to insure that much for almost any good book pub- 
lished on the subject. Beyond these dedicated followers it is a 
sport possessing, especially in its trap-ground and duck-marsh 
clubhouses, a certain historic prestige — in fact an appeal to snob- 
bery if taken in that light. Also it is one of a few sports, not 
physically too strenuous, which offer to the sheltered, civilized 
man an opportunity to prove prowess in a primordial skill. Thus, 
the book will be opened by others than those who are intensely 
and factually interested in its subject. Once into it a number such 


will continue to the end for Mr. Hinman proves himself an inter- 
esting story teller who writes in an easy, pleasing style. 

According to Mr. Hinman this golden age of shotgunning, be- 
cause of social and technological developments (the settling and 
populating of virgin lands on the one hand, and the results of 
mechanical and scientific advancements on the other hand), came 
into its flowering during the final three decades of the 19th century. 
In developing his theme he writes about the hunting scene — the 
wilderness inevitabily succumbing to increasing population and 
agricultural expansion; the market hunter — providing a relatively 
small but not unimportant share of a developing nation's food 
supply; the significantly popular shooting matches — live targets 
and clay birds; the mechanics of a phenomenon that was both a 
sport and a profession — trap equipment, field equipment, shot and 
powder; the gun — muzzle loaders, breech loaders, true cylinder 
barrels and choke bores; the men who shot the guns — crack shots 
and cranks; and the men who made the guns — inventors and mas- 
ter craftsmen. 

Hinman's description of the hunting scene is interesting and, if 
read carefully, provides much food for reflection. He evidently 
has been a keen observer in the wilderness but, more important, 
has realized that no one person — if for no other reason than the 
shortness of a single lifetime — can see, and fully comprehend from 
what he sees, all of nature's workings. He has, for example, delved 
deeply into the history of the passenger pigeon and, though briefly 
said in his writing, the reasons behind the extinction of that species. 
It would undoubtedly broaden the consciousness of some of today's 
"instant ecologists" if they were able to read with an open and 
discerning mind not only what he has put down in legible print but 
what is implied between the lines — though not explicitly developed, 
perhaps because not explicitly relevant to the chosen theme. It 
also could be helpful if a few of today's wildlife managing experts 
should, by chance, give a careful reading to his observations. Too 
many such officials suffer from an imbalanced education, they 
know all of the scientific facts about an individual animal but are 
sadly handicapped by an inadequate academic perspective of any 
total species. 

The balance of this book, as meagerly recorded in a preceding 
paragraph, is not of general public interest. It is more properly 
intended for the membership of a distinctive sportsmen's grouping. 
Hinman's recitation of shooting champions and their records is, 
for example, as boring to the layman as the study of a full season's 
box scores of any baseball team would be for anyone other than a 
dyed-in-the-wool fan of the particular team. But for him, for the 
true shotgun enthusiast, this list of champions and records may 
make as enthralling reading as is, one presumes, scripture to the 

Regardless of reception by the general public, the fraternity of 


shotgun enthusiasts being a large one this book will prove of 
interest to an extensive audience. 

Wyoming Recreation Commission Nedward Frost 


Hostiles and Horse Soldiers: Indian Battles and Campaigns in the 
West. By Lonnie J. White et al. (Boulder, Colo.: Pruett 
Publishing Co., 1972) Illus. 231pp. $8.95. 

The fascination of the American public with the Indian Wars of 
the West is the apparent reason for the compilation of this volume 
of previously published essays. In the January, 1972, issue of the 
Journal of the West Lonnie J. White was guest editor for a special 
volume devoted to the Indian campaigns, and four of those essays 
are included here. Five other chapters, each by Professor White, 
were published in earlier issues of the same journal. 

The chapter topics should be familiar to most readers, for all 
have been described numerous times before. Lonnie White re- 
counts the well-known story of the Sand Creek Massacre, which 
has been the subject of a thorough book by Stan Hoig as well as 
many articles and chapters in other books. He also describes the 
engagements at Saline River and Prairie Dog Creek in 1867, the 
role of the Nineteenth Kansas Cavalry in Phil Sheridan's winter 
campaign in 1868-1869, and battles in the Texas Panhandle during 
the Red River War of 1874. All have been described before, and 
little can be added to these accounts. 

While the first five chapters at least have some continuity in that 
they all involve the tribes of the central and southern plains, the 
remaining four chapters have no such unity. Jerry Keenan, for 
example, describes the Wagon Box Fight, a Wyoming battle that 
has been studied and restudied, while James T. King evaluates 
George Crook's actions following the Battle of the Rosebud. As 
King is preparing a biography of Crook and this controversial 
episode forms a portion of his overall evaluation of the general, 
this is the most important chapter in Hostiles and Horse Soldiers. 

The concluding items consist of the edited letters of Major 
Edwin Mason, a participant in the Bannock-Paiute War of 1878, 
and the reminiscences of a trooper who served during Nelson 
Miles' campaign against Geronimo. The latter is quite general and 
was obviously written some years after the events although the 
editor does not indicate when it was written and fails to provide 
any information about the author. 

There is no discernible theme to this book. It does not single 
out and emphasize the most significant battles with the western 
tribes; it does not concentrate on a particular tribe or region; it 
does not provide much in the way of new perspectives and infor- 


mation. Instead it is simply a miscellany of previously published 
essays about well-known events. 

University of New Mexico Richard N. Ellis 


J. Sterling Morton. By James C. Olson (Lincoln: Nebraska State 
Historical Society Foundation, 1972.) Index. lUus. 451 
pp. $7.95. 

Current intense interest in ecology has served to enhance the 
stature of J. Sterhng Morton, founder of Arbor Day, prominent 
Nebraska politician and Secretary of Agriculture during Grover 
Cleveland's second administration. Republished in commemora- 
tion of the one-hundredth anniversary of Arbor Day, this biogra- 
phy provides both an examination of its subject and his role in the 
development of Nebraska, as territory and state, and the nation in 
a time of unusually stressful change. 

James C. Olson, formerly departmental chairman and dean in 
the University of Nebraska and director of the Nebraska State 
Historical Society, is now Chancellor of the University of Mis- 
souri — Kansas City. He is the author of the standard History of 
Nebraska and Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem. This study, 
originally published in 1942, was based largely on the previously 
unused Morton papers. 

Morton's prominence in Nebraska dated from the early terri- 
torial days. He served as acting governor and territorial secretary 
and sought election as territorial delegate to Congress, as governor 
and United States senator following statehood. He promoted the 
Democratic party as willing candidate and campaign manager. His 
determination to serve Nebraska stimulated his pursuits as an 
agriculturalist and horticulturalist. Finally, he served as a forceful 
and colorful speaker, writer and lobbyist for Nebraska railroads, 
particularly the Burlington and Missouri. As Olson clearly delin- 
eates these aspects of Morton's career his attitude toward his 
subject becomes clear. Simultaneously, the reader may be ques- 
tioning the author's basic assessment of Morton the individual. 
For example, Olson never doubts Morton's belief that what was 
good for the Burlington was good for Nebraska. And yet, as the 
author points out, the rift between Morton and his colleague, Dr. 
George L. Miller, editor of the Omaha Herald and defender of that 
city's Union Pacific interests, began over the danger of sectional- 
ization of the party and the state which stemmed from a conflict 
between the competing railroad interests the two men represented. 
Further, the book's sympathetic tone is discerned in the treat- 
ment of Morton's ambivalence toward "the value of public life." 
Although Morton eschewed active political life in the 1 870s, before 
and after that decade he appeared to be the "eternal candidate"; 


and Olson accepts at face value the politician's contradictory 

The author's basic approach, however, does not diminish the 
basic value of the book. Professor Olson provides a thorough 
chronicle of Morton's activities in state and national politics. He 
details Morton's resistance to former crony William Jennings Bryan 
over the money question. The staunch free-trade position which 
he held, and which earned him many enemies from within his own 
state's Democracy, is also placed in state and national perspective. 
Morton's outstanding, if controversial, tenure as Secretary of 
Agriculture is of particular interest to Westerners. The spoils 
system basis for appointments and alleged paternalistic activities 
(such as the traditional distribution of free seed to farmers) of his 
department were targets in his strenuous campaign for economy 
and efficiency. All of this advanced him as a Bourbon leader. 
Indeed, Morton's career is an illustration of the ideology and 
efforts of conservative Democrats which enabled the Republican 
party of the late 19th century to piece together a majority program 
and appeal. But his promotion of tree planting perhaps over- 
shadows his political endeavors. He was not interested only in the 
physical environment; rather he felt that trees possessed a moral, 
character-shaping force which they could impart to people. At 
this stage in our history, both phases of Morton's career make a 
re-consideration of him important and the reappearance of his 
study welcome. 

University of Nebraska David H. Hoober 


Theodore Roosevelt Outdoorsman. By R. L. Wilson. (New York: 
Winchester Press, 1972). Index. Illus. 278 pp. $12.95. 

This book is for hunters and lovers of guns. There are many 
illustrations and detailed descriptions of many types of guns. It 
contains information not found in other books about this famous 
man, who was "always in a state of perpetual motion." 

Physically weak and with poor eyesight, Theodore Roosevelt 
first conditioned himself to a vigorous life in Dakota Territory, 
starting in 1883 when he was 35 years old. At what later became 
Medora, North Dakota, he became a cowboy and ranch owner, 
spending long hours in the saddle. "Here," he said, "the romance 
of my life began." It was a romance and love of nature and 
natural things that deeply influenced his whole life. After the 
tragic loss of both his wife and mother at the same time in New 
York, cowpunching and hunting revitalized Roosevelt. He wrote, 
"The country is growing on me, more and more; it has a curious, 
fantastic beauty of its own . . . How sound I do sleep at night!" 

As a New York politician and legislator, Roosevelt was always 


Strongly opposed to corruption in government and worked for 
minority groups such as the poorly paid laborers and farmers. He 
spoke vigorously for political reform and often sacrificed his desire 
for outdoor activity to promote good government. He was also a 
student of literature and a writer. Hunting Trips of a Ranchman 
was the first of his many books. A keen observer of nature, 
he wrote in a clear, flowing style full of vivid descriptions of his 

Politically, he worked vigorously for justice in early public 
offices he held: police commissioner of New York City and assist- 
ant secretary of the U. S. Navy under President McKinley. 

When war with Spain came after the sinking of the battleship in 
Havana harbor, Roosevelt, as a lieutenant-colonel, organized his 
regiment of volunteer cavalrymen, mostly cowboys. He drilled 
these men with Spartan discipline. Later in Cuba these "Rough 
Riders" made their famous charge up San Juan Hill, led by 
Roosevelt and facing withering rifle fire. 

Home after the war and idolized by many, Roosevelt became 
governor of New York, and, unwillingly, vice-president of the 
United States as he did not want a "do-nothing" job. But he soon 
became president after McKinley's assassination. His first official 
act was ending a major coal strike. Then in November, 1902, 
Roosevelt went on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi. He found no 
bears but a guide brought an old lame bear bound with ropes into 
camp so "he would be sure and get one." Roosevelt refused to 
shoot the bear. Hence the "Teddy Bear" story and many popular 
Teddy Bear toys. 

Politicians will enjoy reading about Roosevelt's presidency; his 
organization of the "Bull Moose" party when he could not agree 
with Republican leaders; and his defeat and Taft's when Woodrow 
Wilson was elected president. Hunters will enjoy the account of 
his safari to Africa after big game. Oddly enough, on his last hunt 
in 1915 in Quebec, a bull moose chased him and his guide and 
kept them paddling for over an hour in a canoe. 

Thinking ahead of his time, Roosevelt was a great conservation- 
ist. To him the fullness and quality of life in America was directly 
dependent on the nation's ability to conserve its natural resources. 
As president he created the U. S. Forest Service, and signed into 
existence five national parks. 

Lusk Mae Urbanek 

The Oregon Trail Revisited. By Gregory M. Franzwa. (St. Louis: 
Patrice Press, 1972). Index. Illus. 417 pp. $7.50. Paper, 

Professional and amateur Oregon Trail historians have re- 
ceived this book with enthusiasm. It is equally useful and 


enlightening to the armchair historian and to the Trail buff 
who literally follows the old route across the Western states. 
The book is in two parts, the first a broad history of the 
Oregon Trail and its impact upon 19th century America, 
followed by a brief, general outline of its route. The second 
part is a detailed guide designed to direct the reader to the 
exact points where the old trail crosses the public roadways of 
the present time. This section includes a great deal of inter- 
esting historical data pertinent to the specific areas being 
visited. Foreword of the book is by George B. Hartzog, Jr., 
director. National Park Service. 

Kemmerer, Wyoming. The Founding oj An Independent Coal 
Town. 1897-1902. By Glen Barrett. (Kemmerer: Quealy 
Services, Incorporated, 1972). Illus. 92 pp. 

Published during Kemmerer's 75th anniversary year, this 
study is the initial part of a larger study which will mark the 
town's centennial observance in 1997. The book is based on 
many books, documents and public and private records. 
Kemmerer is unique in that it was founded by both coal and 
railroad interests and nearly a third of the book is devoted to 
the town's beginnings. The early years from 1897 to 1902 
have been researched for the express purpose of identifying 
the objectives of the town's founders, the response of the 
people who struggled with the perplexing community-com- 
pany relationship and the nature of the institutions they es- 

The Restoration oj Leather Bindings. By Bernard C. Middleton. 
Drawings by Aldren A. Watson. (Chicago: American Li- 
brary Association, 1972). Index. Illus. 201pp. $10.00. 

This volume is the second in the American Library Associa- 
tion's Library Technical Program series. Conservation of 
Library Materials. It is an excellent companion volume to 
the second edition of Carolyn Horton's Cleaning and Pre- 
serving Bindings and Related Materials, published by the 
ALALTP in 1969. Middleton thoroughly covers the meth- 
odology and equipment used in effective restoration of leather 
bindings. His excellent narrative is implemented through 
Watson's fine technical illustrations. 

Texans, Guns & History. By Col. Charles Askins. (New York: 
Winchester Press, 1970). Index. Illus. 246 pp. $8.95. 

Col. Askins is a San Antonio resident and veteran of the U. S. 
Border Patrol. He is the author of six other books and some 


1000 articles and stories in various magazines. This book, 
through a combination of an informative text and a collection 
of rare photographs, brings to the reader many colorful char- 
acters and exciting incidents of early Texas. 

Maverick Tales. True Stories of Early Texas. By J. D. Ritten- 
house. (New York: Winchester Press, 1971 ). Index. 248 
pp. $8.95. 

This is a collection of true tales from the country southwest 
of Red River, the stream that separates Oklahoma from 
Texas. The region includes western Louisiana, most of 
Texas, and a part of New Mexico. For many years the 
author owned and operated the Stagecoach Press, New Mex- 
ico's only private handpress devoted exclusively to printing 
fine books on Southwestern Americana. The author says the 
book was not written for the professional historian but as a 
sampler for the world, to be read for pleasure. 

Cooking Over Coals. By Mel Marshall. (New York: Winchester 
Press, 1971). Index. 314 pp. $8.95. 

Author of this unusual cookbook is a former newspaperman, 
who has pursued the hobbies of outdoor sports and cooking 
for many years. This book has not only the recipes, but also 
the simple techniques and basic equipment that make cooking 
over coals a pleasure. Most of the recipes are concerned with 
the preparation of wild game — the origin of outdoor cook- 
ery — and commercial meat substitutes are suggested. There 
are also dozens of recipes for fish, vegetables, stews and 
desserts which can be prepared over the open fire, as well as 
most of the classics for outdoor baking. 

The Meaning of Freedom of Speech. First Amendment Freedoms 
from Wilson to FDR. By Paul L. Murphy. (Westport: 
Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972). Index. 401 pp. 

Murphy is professor of history and American Studies at the 
University of Minnesota, and currently is Visiting Fulbright 
Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. In this book, 
the role of dissent and its suppression in American life is 
analyzed. The period encompassed by the book is 1918- 

The West of Owen Wister. Selected Short Stories. Introduction 
by Robert L. Hough. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1972). Bison Book. 247 pp. $4.50. Paper, $1.95. 


Robert A. Murray, of Sheridan, is a frequent contributor to 
Annals and is well known in the western history field through his 
many publications and extensive research. Currently director of 
Western Interpretive Services in Sheridan, he has served as a con- 
sultant on western history, a teacher, and a National Park Service 
historian at various parks and museums. He received his educa- 
tion at Wayne State College in Nebraska and at Kansas State 
University. Among his publications are Military Posts in the 
Powder River Country of Wyoming, 1865-1894; The Army on 
Powder River, and Citadel on the Santa Fe Trail. 

Francis Boyer was born in Penllyn, Pennsylvania, in 1893. 
Now retired, he formerly was chairman and president of Smith 
Kline & French Laboratories in Philadelphia. He is the son of 
Henry C. Boyer whose letters appear in this volume. Francis 
Boyer attended Episcopal Academy, 1903-1906; Groton School, 
1906-1912; Harvard College, 1912-1915; and Cambridge Uni- 
versity, England, in 1919. He saw military service on the Mexican 
border in 1916 and in France from 1917-1919. He is a member 
of the Philadelphia Club and an honorary Fellow of the Royal 
Society of Medicine, London. 

The Reverend C. Lee Mills is a retired Priest of the Episcopal 
Church and currently Rector Emeritus of Christ Church, Redondo 
Beach, California. He was ordained June 21, 1931, at St. Peter's 
Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, served at the Church of the Holy 
Communion in Rock Springs and was Vicar of Jackson Hole. 
Reverend Mills also has served at churches in Arizona and Cali- 
fornia. Born at Laurel, Nebraska, in 1899, he moved to Wyoming 
in 1900. He received his B.A. degree at the University of Michigan 
at Ann Arbor in 1925. In 1931, he received his Bachelor of 
Divinity from Seabury Divinity School in Minnesota, and in 1971, 
he received his Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western Divinity 
School in Illinois. His hobbies include music. Western Americana 
and history, and poetry. An early memory is of attending the 
dedication of the Fetterman Monument near Story and shaking 
hands with General Henry B. Carrington. 

Virginia Cole Trenholm, of Cheyenne, received her B.J. and 
M.A. degrees from the University of Missouri. Before moving to 
Wyoming in 1932, she was on the faculty of Stephens College and 
Park College. Her published books are Footprints on the Frontier; 
Wyoming Pageant and The Shoshonis: Sentinels of the Rockies, 


both co-authored with Maurine Carley; and The Arapahoes, Our 
People, published in 1970. Mrs. Trenholm is a member of numer- 
ous honorary and professional organizations and is listed in Who's 
Who of American Women and Foremost Women in Communi- 

David Shaul, Cheyenne, is a student at the University of 
Arizona in Tucson. He is majoring in the Chinese language and 
expects to be graduated with a B.A. degree in 1973 after com- 
pleting three years of study. An honor graduate of Cheyenne East 
High School in 1970, he expects to earn a degree in music after 
completion of his language work. In the summer of 1972, Shaul 
was awarded a Smithsonian Institution fellowship to work in an 
American Indian language program in Washington, D.C. 

Glenn Burkes, a native of Arkansas, came to Wyoming as a 
youth. He attended Goshen County Community College (now 
Eastern Wyoming College, Torrington) and completed his under- 
graduate work at the University of Wyoming. He served as an 
enlisted man in the army from 1961-1963, attaining the rank of 
sergeant. He entered the army again in 1968 as an officer and 
presently holds the rank of captain. He and his family recently 
completed a tour of duty in Germany. He was on the staff of 
Fort Laramie National Historic Site as a seasonal historian in the 
summers of 1966-1967. He is a charter member of the Council 
on Abandoned Military Posts. 

David Laymon, who drew the sketches for "Absaroka, The 
Land and People," in this issue, is a freshman student at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, majoring in art. A graduate of Cheyenne's 
East High School in 1972, he was active in concert choir and the 
school's musical productions, intramural sports and Art Club. His 
parents are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Laymon of Cheyenne. 


"Absaroka. The Land and People," 
by C.Lee Mills, 222-231 

Albright, Horace, 242, 243, 244, 
245, 246, 247, 253 

All American Cutter Racing Asso- 
ciation, 258 

American Fur Company, 212 

Antiquities Act, 1906, 250, 251 

Arapaho Indians Smoking in Coun- 
cil, photo, 234 

"Arapahoes in Council," by Virginia 
Cole Trenholm, 235-236 

Ashley, Gen. Wm. H., 285 

Askins, Col. Charles, Texans, Guns 
& History, review, 297-298 

Atlantic City, 277, 280, 281, 282-283 

Augur, Brig. Gen. C. C, 145, 147, 
152, 161 


Bachelor Officers at Fort Steele, 
photo, 142 

Bagley, Lester, 252 

Baker Expedition, 161 

Baldwin, George, 281 

Baldwin, Maj. Noyes, 281 

Barrett, Glen, Kemmerer, Wyoming. 
The Founding of an Independent 
Coed Town. 1897-1902., review, 

Barrett, Congressman, 251, 252 

Bartlett, J. P., 149 

Bascom, Lieut., 177 

Bates, Capt. A. E., 164 

Beaver Creek, 162 

Beecher Island, Colo., 153 

Beery, Wallace, 252 

Ben Holladay Overland Stage Com- 
pany, 285 

Bennett, L. W., 202 

Benton, Thomas Hart, 149 

Benton, 149, 150, 151 

Big Horn Expedition, 158 

Bisbee, Capt. William H., 181 

Blackburn, Quin A., 261 

Bomford, Lieut. G. M., 158 

Bonneville, Capt. Benjamin, 285 

Bonney, Capt. Seth, 160 

Bowen, E. C, 197 

Box Elder Road, 164 

Boyer, Francis, ed., "Harry Boyer in 
Wyoming," 207-220; biog., 299 

Boyer, Harry, 207-220 

Bozeman Trail, 141, 175 

Brackett, Col. Albert G., 160, 161. 
190, 192, 200 

Bradley, Col. Luther P., 165, 183 

Bragg, Bill, Jr., "Handcarts to Heav- 
en," 271-273 

Bridger, Jim, 285 

Bridge Tender's House, photo, 155 

Brisbin, Maj. James S., 144, 158, 
159, 200 

Brock, J. Elmer, 251 

Brown's Summit, 146 

Brownsville, 149, 151 

Buchenroth, Felix, 251, 254 

Buffalo Creek, 275, 276; River, 242 

Burkes, Glenn R., "History of Teton 
County," 241-265; biog., 300 

Burnt Ranch. See South Pass Sta- 

Burt, Struthers, 242 

Bryan City. 150, 280, 281, 282 


Cabin at Carbon Timber Company 

Town, photo, 204 
Campbell, Gov. John A., 162 
Caldwell, Surgeon, 193 
Carbon, 160. 165, 166 
Carbon Timber Company, 203, 205 
Carey, Robert D.. 248, 249, 250 
Carissa (Cariso) Mine, 283 
Carley, Maurine, compiler, "Fourth 

Segment of the Oregon Trail. 

Tom Sun Ranch to South Pass." 

Trek No. 23 of the Historical 

Trail Treks. 268-286 
Carncross, Dr. Horace. 242 
Carpenter, Ellen, 282 
Carpenter, Jim, 282 
Carpenter Hotel, 282 
Carr, Col. E. A.. 157 
Casper. 215. 216, 217, 218 
Casper Mountain, 214, 215 
"Castle Rock," by Henry Jensen, 

Cavalry, Second, 158, 159, 160, 162, 

163, 166, 167, 178. 184: Third, 

163, 169, 179 
Chambers, Bob, 212 



Charbonneau, Toussaint, 238 

Chatterton, Post Trader Fenimore, 
196. 197, 200, 202 

Cheyenne, 141, 144, 145, 149, 152, 
163, 220; City, 143 

Cheyenne Ordnance Depot, 181 

Cheyenne Pass, 146 

Cheyenne Quartermaster Depot, 155, 

Chinese miners, 170 

Chorley, Kenneth, 243 

Cleveland, Pres. Grover, 201 

Coates, Captain, 218 

Cody, "Buffalo Bill," 269 

Colter, John, 241 

Commissary of Subsistence Depart- 
ment, 186, 187 

Como Bluff, 159 

Connor, — , 143 

Connor Campaign, 1865, 141 

Connor Expedition, 1865, 154, 155 

"Cooking Over Coals," by Mel Mar- 
shall, review, 298 

Cooper's Creek, 148, 152 

Continental Divide, 284; Peak, 283 

Cosgriff Brothers, 179, 205 

Craig, A., 275 

Creighton, Edward, 274 

Crook, Brig. Gen. George, 166, 200 

Crook's Gap, 275; Mountain, 275 

Crow Creek, 144 

Curtis, Sen. Carl, 253 


Danforth, Rev., 167, 168 
Davis, Theodore R., 235, 236 
Debeausoleil, Thomas. See Sun, 

Tom. Sr. 
Deer Creek, 209; Canyon, 210 
DeLap, D. F., 261 
Deloney, W. C, 246 
Denver, Colo., 152, 253 
DePiero, Andy, 261 
DeTrobriand, Col. Regis, 162, 163, 

177, 200 
Devil's Gate, 269, 271 
DeWees, Capt. Thomas B., 158, 159, 

161, 163 
Dickinson, Norman, "Story of South 

Pass," 284, 286 
Dirksen, Sen. Everett, 253 
Dodge, Gen. Grenville M., 145, 147, 

149, 150 
Dodge, Major Richard I., 144, 146, 

149, 174, 200 

"Dodge City: Up Through a Cen- 
tury in Story and Pictures," by 
Fredric R. Young, review, 289- 

The Donner Party, by George Keith- 
ley, review, 288-289 

Earnest, Boney, 269 

Earnest, M. B., 165 

East, James, 194 

Egan, Capt. "Teddy," 163 

Elephant Buttes, 284 

Elk Mountain, 143, 147, 153, 163 

Ellis, Richard N., review of Hostiles 
and Horse Soldiers: Indian Bat- 
tles and Campaigns in the West, 

Emerson, Gov. Frank C, 246 

Emory, General, 217 

Encampment, 185; meadows, 203 

Endicott, Sec. of War, 202 

Enyon, John L., 242, 246 

Exum, Glen, 261, 262 

Fabian, Harold P., 243, 244 

Farnsworth, Frances Joyce, 239 

Ferrin, J. D., 246 

Ferris, Mines, 165 

Fetterman, Capt. (Bvt. Lieut. Col.) 
William L, 207 

Fireman's Fund Insurance Com- 
pany, 179 

Fitzpatrick, Thomas, 185 


Abraham Lincoln, 166 
Augur. See Camp Brown. 
Bridger, 143, 177 
Brown, 164, 165, 217, 277 

C. F. Smith, 141, 151 
Connor (Reno), 141 

D. A. Russell, 146, 147, 163, 165, 
168, 170, 172, 175, 181, 201, 

Dodge, 235 

Duchesne, 170, 194, 200, 201 

Ellis, 166 

Fetterman, 143, 145, 151, 156, 

157, 164, 165, 166, 167, 199, 

207, 209 
Halleck, 143 



John Buford (Sanders), 143 
Laramie, 143, 145, 148, 157, 163, 

166, 199, 207 
Manuel, 237 

Philip Kearny, 141, 151, 197 
Pilot Butte, Camp, 171 
Reno, 151, 185 
Robinson, 169 
Robinson, Camp, 164 
Sanders. 145, 146, 147, 155, 156, 

168, 170, 172 
Sheridan, Camp, 164, 169 
Sidney Barracks, 168 
Stambaugh, 159, 277-281 
Fred Steele, 139-206, 269 
Washakie, 199, 237 

"Fort Fred Steele: Desert Outpost 
on the Union Pacific," by Robert 
A. Murray, 139-206 

Fort Kearney, South Pass and Hon- 
ey Lake Route. See Lander Cut- 

Fort Laramie National Historic Site, 

Fort McPherson National Cemetery, 

"Fourth Segment of the Oregon 
Trail. Tom Sun Ranch to South 
Pass," Trek No. 23 of the His- 
torical Trail Treks, Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, 268-286 

Franzwa, Gregory M., The Oregon 
Trail Revisited, review, 296-297 

Frontier Index, 146, 149, 150 

Frost, Nedward, review of The 
Golden Age of Shotgunning, 291- 

Gannett Peak, 284 

Gibbon, Col. John, 146 

The Golden Age of Shotgunning, by 

Bob Hinman, review, 291-293 
Gordon, Capt. D. S., 159 
Grainier, Emil, 282; Ditch, 282 
Grand Encampment Valley, 153 
Grand Teton National Park, 245, 

246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 252, 253, 

254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 263, 

264; Peak, 261, 262 
Grant, General, 141 
Greeley, Horace, 235 
Green River, 149, 150, 152, 167 
Greenwell, Dr. A. S., 277, 280 


Hagan, Ernie, 262 

"Hall and Roe," 201 

Hall, Lieut. C. T., 159 

Hall, Robert H., 281 

Halleck, Congressman Charles, 253 

Hamilton City. See Miner's DeHght. 

"Handcarts to Heaven," by Bill 

Bragg, Jr., 271-273 
Hansen, Sen. CHfford P., 249, 251, 

252, 256 
Hanson, James, 206 
Harris, Chance L., 150 
Harrison, Pres. Benjamin, 241 
"Harry Boyer in Wyoming," ed., 

Francis Boyer, 207-220 
Hayden, F. V., 265 
Hays, Lieut. J. H., 156 
Hawley, Sheriff WilHam. 162 
Heath, Lieut. Frank, 181 
Hebard, Dr. Grace R., 237 
Hellihan, Mary, See Mrs. Tom Sun, 

Hess, F., 182 
Hinman, Bob. The Golden Age of 

Shotgunning. review, 291-293 
Historic South Pass Mining Area. 

"History of Teton County." by 

Glenn R. Burkes. 241-265 
Hog Park. 203 

Hoober, David H.. review of /. Ster- 
ling Morton. 294-295 
Hostiles and Horse Soldiers: Indian 

Battles and Campaigns in the 

West, by Lonnie J. White, review, 

Hough, Robert L.. The West of 

Owen Wister. review. 298 
Howe. Lieut. E. F.. 201 
Hub and Spoke brand. 270 
Hufsmith. George. 262 
Hunt. Governor. 251. 252. 254 
Hugus. J. W.. 196. 200, 202 

Ice Slough. 276 

Ickes. Harold. 250. 251. 253 



Red Cloud. 164 
Spotted Tail. 164 
Ute. 159. 168. 170 
Whetstone, 163 
Bureau, 167. 168 




Beardy, 235 
Cut Nose, 235 
Douglas, 161 
Hunter, 161 
Left Hand, 235 
Little Raven, 235 
Lone Horn's Son, 156 
Sacajawea, 237-240 
"Ute Jack," 161, 164 
Yellow Bear, 235 
Young Friday, 217 


Hayfield Fight, 144 

Milk River, 170 

Rosebud, 166-167 

Slim Buttes Fight, 167 

Ute Uprising, 170 

Wagon Box Fight, 144 
Reservation, Ute, 194, 201 
Territory, 168 


Arapahoes, 162, 163, 164, 165, 
166, 280; Northern, 143 

Bannock, 143, 280 

Cheyenne. 143, 151, 153, 157, 
166. 169; Northern, 168, 169 

Sioux, 143, 153, 158, 163, 164, 

165, 166, 280; Brule, 145 
Shoshoni, 143, 164, 280 

Utes, 143, 161, 162, 163, 164, 

166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171 
Infantry, Fourth, 157; Seventh, 158, 

179: Thirteenth, 160, 161, 163, 
165; Seventeenth, 201; Eighteenth, 
145; Thirtieth, 146 
Irwin. Hannah Gertrude, 281 


J. C. Teller and Company, 203 

J. Sterling Morton, by James C. 

Olson, review, 294-295 
Jackson. 262, 264 
Jackson Hole, 241-265 
Jackson Hole Fine Art Foundation, 

"Jackson Hole Plan," 242, 246, 247 
Jackson Hole Ski Corporation, 259 
Jackson Lake, 242 
Jenkins, Byron, 262 
Jennings, William, 275 
Jenny Lake. 261 

Jensen, Henry, "Castle Rock," 274- 

Johnson, Billy, 270 
Johnson, Edwin C, 269, 270; Mrs. 

Johnson, — , 165 
Jones, Joseph R., 242 


Keithley, George, The Donner Party, 
review, 288-289 

Kemmerer, Wyoming. The Found- 
ing of An Independent Coal Town. 
1897-1902, by Glen Barrett, re- 
view, 297-298 

Kendrick, Sen. John, 245, 248 

Kilpatrick Brothers, 202 

King, Clarence, 146, 161 

Kirk, Florence, "The Three Cross- 
ings of the Sweetwater," 275-276 

Kraft, A., 275 

Kraft, C, 275 

Lambert, Paul F.. review of The 
Passing of the Great West. Select- 
ed Papers of George Bird Grin- 
nell, 287-288 

Lander, Col. W. F., 285, 286 

Lander Cutoff, 283, 286 

Langford, Nathaniel P., 260, 261 

LaPrele Canyon, 152 

Larson, Dr. T. A., 251 

Laramie, 149, 158, 170; City, 146 

Laramie Peak, 157, 163, 164 

Laramie Plain, 152; Plains, 140, 
143, 148 

Laubin. Gladys, 262 

Laubin, Reginald, 262 

Lawson, Captain, 169 

Laymon, David, sketches, "Absa- 
roka. The Land and People," 
222-231; biog., 300 

LeFevre, "Dakota," 269 

Leo Sheep Company, 205 

Lewis, Ila, "The Story of Fort Stam- 
baugh," 277-281 

Lewis, Maj. W. H., 158 

Lone Tree Station. 144 

Lynch, Ellen, 270 

Lynn, John, 215, 216, 217 

Lyon, Amelia, 281 




MacArthur, Capt. Arthur, 144, 200 

Marshall, Mel, Cooking Over Coals, 
review, 298 

Martin, Edward, 271, 272 

Martin's Cove, 271, 273 

Maverick Tales. True Stories of 
Early Texas, by J. D. Rittenhouse, 
review, 298 

McCabe, Adeline, review of The 
Donner Party, 288-289 

McConner, A., 146 

McCollister, Paul, 259 

McCook, Governor, 159 

The Meaning of Freedom of Speech. 
First Amendment Freedoms From 
Wilson to FDR, by Paul L. Mur- 
phy, review, 298 

"The Meaning of the Name Saca- 
jawea" by David L. Shaul, 237- 

Medicine Bow, 147, 158, 159, 163, 
165, 207, 218; River, 146; Station. 

Meeker, Ezra, 283 

Meeker, Nathan C, 168, 169, 170 

Menor's Ferry, 242 

Merritt, Col. Wesley, 170 

Meyers, Charles A.. 25 1 

Michaud, — , 260 

Middleton, Bernard C, The Resto- 
ration of Leather Bindings, re- 
view, 297 

Miles, General, 216 

Miller, Leslie A., 250, 251, 253 

Miller, Robert E., 243, 254 

Mills, C. Lee, "Absaroka. The Land 
and People," 222-231; biog.. 299 

Miner's Delight, 159, 280 

Miner's Delight Dining Room, 282 

M. D. Baldwin Co., 281 

Monahan, Capt. Deane, 163 

Mondell, Rep. Frank, 242 

Montgomery, Captain, 217 

Morrison Pocket, 276 

Morrow, Lieut. Col. Henry, 161 

Murphy, Paul L., The Meaning 
of Freedom of Speech. First 
Amendment Freedoms from Wil- 
son to FDR, review, 298 

Murray, Robert A., "Fort Fred 
Steele: Desert Outpost on the 
Union Pacific," 139-206; biog, 

National Elk Refuge, 255, 258 
Newman, Paul and Gina, 282 

Nickerson, Ada Nelle, 284 
Nickerson, Capt. H. G., 284 
Noble, Maude, 242, 243, 244 
Noble Brothers, freighters, 281 
North Park, Colo., 170 
North Platte, 197; Crossing, 146, 

147, 149; Station (Nebr.), 141 
Northern Pacific Railroad, 161 
Norwood, Lieut. Randolph, 162 
Nowood Creek, 164 
Noyes, Capt. Henry E.. 158, 159 
Nugent, Senator, 242 


Obert, Mrs. Edna, 281 

O'Brien, M. E., 166 

O'Farrell, Major, 273 

Olson, James C, /. Sterling Morton, 

review, 294-295 
Omaha, Nebr.. 155, 158, 167. 172, 

181, 199 
O'Mahoney, Senator, 250, 251. 252, 

253, 254 
Ordnance Magazine at Fort Steele, 

photo, 180 
Oregon Buttes, 283 
Oregon Trail Memorial Association, 

The Oregon Trail Revisited, by 

Gregory M. Franzwa, review, 296- 

Overland Crossing, 147 
Overland Days to Montana in 1865. 

The Diary of Sarah Raymond and 

The Journal of Dr. Waid Howard. 

ed. by Raymond W. and Mary 

Lund Settle, review, 290-291 
Overland Route, 140, 143 
Overland Stage, 140; Line, 273 
Owen, William O., 260, 261 

Pacific Creek. 284; Springs. 284 

Pass Creek, 163 

The Passing of the Great West. Se- 
lected Papers of George Bird 
Grinnell, ed., John F. Reiger. re- 
view. 287-288 

Percy. 158. 163 

Petzoldt, Paul. 261 

Pine Grove, 162; Meadow, 159 

The Platte (river). 209, 215. 216. 

Point of Rocks. 157. 282 

Pony Express, 271, 274. 285 

Provot, (Etienne), 285 



Quinton, 1st Lieut. William, 179 


Rafferty, Neil, 258 


Horseshoe, 145 

Wolcott's, 209 
Rankin, Joe, 170 
Rattlesnake Hills, 164 
Rawlins, 158, 159, 162, 164, 165, 

167, 170, 196, 199 
Red Butte Canyon, 156 
Red Buttes, 158 
Reed, Silas, 161 
Reid, Sir John Rae, 269 
Reiger, John F., The Passing of the 

Great West. Selected Papers of 

George Bird Grinnell, review, 287- 

Tlie Restoration of Leather Bindings, 

by Bernard C. Middleton, review, 

Richardson, Albert D., 235 
Rittenhouse, J. D., Maverick Tales. 

True Stories of Early Texas, re- 
view, 298 
Roach, Lieut. G. N., 202 
Roberts, Rev. John, 238 
Robertson, Sen. E. V., 251, 252 
Robinson, Elwyn B., 239 
Robinson, Lieut. L. H., 163 
Rock Creek, 145, 146, 147, 282; 

Station, 167 
Rock Springs, 166, 170, 171 
Rockefeller, John D. Jr., 243, 244, 

245. 246, 248, 249, 250, 256 
Rogers, Lieut. B. H., 162 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 250, 251, 

252, 253, 256 
Russell. Capt. G. B., 146 
Russell, Majors and Waddell, 285 
Ryan, B. T., 151, 175 

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 281, 

Sand Gap, 275, 276 

Saratoga, 196 

Savage, William W. Jr., review of 
Dodge City: Up Through a Cen- 
tury in Story and Pictures, 289- 

Schonborn, Anton, 184, 190 

Scott, Marie, 262 

Seminoe Mountains, 165 

Seminole Mining District, 161 

Senate Special Committee on Wild- 
life Resources, 246 

Separation Creek, 152 

Settle, Raymond W. and Mary Lund, 
Overland Days to Montana in 
1865. The Diary of Sarah Ray- 
mond and The Journal of Dr. 
Waid Howard, review, 290-291 

Shaffer, Tom, "Story of Atlantic 
City," 282-283 

Shaul, David L., "The Meaning of 
the Name Sacajawea," 237-240; 
biog., 300 

Shay, William J., review of Over- 
land Days to Montana in 1865. 
The Diary of Sarah Raymond and 
The Journal of Dr. Waid How- 
ard," 290-291 

Sherman, Gen. (W. T.), 141 

Simpson, Milward L., 25 1 

Sioux Expedition, 163 

Sleiger, Has, 202 

Smith, George, 270 

Smith, Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E., 164 

Snake River, 167- 249, 253 

Snake River Land Company, 243, 
244, 246, 247, 248, 249 

Snow King Mountain Ski Area, 258, 

South Pass, 283, 284-286; Station, 

South Pass City, 277, 280, 283, 284 

Southern Arapahoes in Council Near 
Colony, Oklahoma, photo, 234 

Spalding, Eliza, 283 

Spaulding, P. W., 243 

Spencer, Cpl. George A., 201 

Spencer, Lieut. J. H., 157 

Split Rock, 274 

"The Split Rock Telegraph and Pony 
Express Station," by Beulah Walk- 
er, 274 

Stambaugh, Lieut. Charles B., 159, 

Standifer, Jefferson, 196 

Stanley Expedition, 161 

Stephenson, Dr. W. C, 281 

Stevenson, James, 260 

Stevenson, Col. John, 146, 150, 151, 
175. 176, 184 

"Story of Atlantic City," by Tom 
Shaffer, 282-283 

"The Story of Fort Stambaugh," by 
Ila Lewis, 277-281 



"Storv of South Pass," by Norman 

Dickinson, 284-286 
"The Story of the Tom Sun Ranch," 

by Mrs. Tom Sun Sr., 269-271 
Stratton, Fred D., 284 
Stratton, Fred Jr., 284 
Stuart, Robert, 285 
Sublette, William L., 275 
Sublette, W. K., 275 
Summit Springs, 157 
Sun, Adelaide, 270 
Sun, Anastasia, 270 
Sun, Eva, 268 
Sun. Tom Sr., 166, 269, 270; Mrs., 

"The Story of the Tom Sun 

Ranch, 269-271 
Sun, Tom. Jr., 270 
Sweetwater Rocks, 276 

Taggart, William, 260 

Terry, Gen. Alfred, 201 

Teton County, 241-265 

Teton Forest Reserve, 241 

Teton National Forest, 242 

Teton Village, 259 

Texans, Guns & History, by Col. 
Charles Askins, review, 297-298 

Theodore Roosevelt Oiitdoorsman. 
by R. L. Wilson, review, 295-296 

Thomas, D. L., 275 

Thomas, Major, 192 

Thornburg, Maj. Thomas, 168, 169, 

"The Three Crossings of the Sweet- 
water," by Florence Kirk, 275-276 

Tie Loading and Sorting Dock, pho- 
to, 204 

Togwotee Lodge, 260 

Trenholm, Virginia Cole, "Arapa- 
hoes in Council," 235-236; biog., 

Tribbott. Bennett, 276 

Truman, President, 254 

Twin Creek, 157, 278 

Twin Springs Ranch, 145 


Union Pass, 285 
U. S. Forest Service. 244. 245 
U. S. Geological Survey, 161 
Urbanek, Mae, review of Theodore 
Roosevelt Oiitdoorsman. 295-296 

Villard, Henry, 235 
Virginia Dale, Colo., 140 
Vivion, Bob, 205 
Vivion, Charles, 205 
Vivion, Vern, 205 
VonGontard, Consuela, 262 


Walcott, 205 

Walker, Beulah, "The Split Rock 
Telegraph and Pony Express Sta- 
tion," 274 

"Warm Springs," 147 

Washita, Okla., 153 

Waterberry, 1st. Lieut. W. M., 160 

Webb, Vanderbilt, 243 

Wells Fargo and Co., 285 

Wessells, Capt. Henry W., 165 

The West of Owen Wister, Selected 
Short Stories, by Robert L. Hough, 
review, 298 

Whiskey Gap, 157, 273 

White, Lonnie J., Hostiles and Horse 
Soldiers: Indian Battles and Cam- 
paigns in the West, review, 293- 

White River. Colo., 166 

Whitman, Narcissa. 283 

Wilson, R. L.. Theodore Roosevelt 
Oiitdoorsman, review, 295-296 

Wind River, 164; Mountains. 169 

Winger, Richard, 242, 244, 246 

Wister, Owen, 207 

Wolcott (Major Frank), 209, 210, 
211. 212, 213, 214, 215. 220 

Woodring, Supt., 249 

Worthy, E. D.. 179. 202 

Wyoming Coal Mining Company, 

Wyoming Game and Fish Commis- 
sion, 246, 251, 254. 255 

Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion, 245, 251 


Yellowstone National Park, 241, 
242. 243. 244. 246. 258. 260 

Yellowstone Timber Stand Reserve. 

Yokel, Michael, 256 

Young, Fredric R., Dodge City: Up 
Through a Centiirv in Stor\ and 
Pictures, review, 289-290 

Young, 2nd Lieut. R. H., 156, 158. 


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. 

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