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. •i^-'i / *^ » /< 

^/^r/i^^ 7975 




Donald N. Sherard 



Mrs. William Swanson 



Mrs. Frank Emerson 



Mrs. George W. Knepper 



Richard I. Frost, Chairman 
Willis Hughes 



William T. Nightingale 


Member at Large 

Kenneth E. Dowlin Casper 
Attorney General C. A. (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 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 1973, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

^mals of Wyoming 

Volume 45 

Spring, 1973 

Number 1 

Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
. Associate Editor 

Published biannually 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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Zable of Contents ^r:^^;^ 



By Charles G. Roundy 



By James H. Nottage 



By David E. Miller 


By H. R. Dieterich 


1936-1942 _ 69 

By James A. Hanson 



By Alan Culpin 


By Peg Layton Leonard 




Otis, The Dawes Act and the Allotment of Indian Lands 126 

Clough, Past's Persisting (Collected Poems) 127 

Mertz, Pale Ink: Two Ancient Records of Chinese Exploration 

in America 129 

Grieff, Lost America 130 


INDEX _ 133 


G. L. Luhn Letter Cover 

Officers at Fort Fetterman 26 

Parting of the Ways 48 

True Parting of the Ways 50 

Parting of the Ways Marker 50 

"Cretaceous Landscape" 59 

"Chuck Wagon Serenade" 62 

Riverton Post Office Mural 64 

La Bonte Creek 110 

Pierre (Pete) La Bonte 113 

The text of the G. L. Luhn letter shown 
on the cover is included in the article, "The 
Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition of 
1876 As Seen Through the Letters of Cap- 
tain Gerhard Luke Luhn," published in this 
issue. (Photo courtesy Western History 
Research Center, University of Wyoming). 

Zke Origins 

and Early Development 

of Dude Kancking in Wyoming 

Charles G. Roundy 

The dude ranch is the single most unique contribution of the 
Rocky Mountain West to the ever-growing national vacation in- 
dustry. Drawing upon nineteenth century origins and favored by 
conditions at the turn of the century, dude ranching gained its 
identity and developed into a minor industry in Wyoming and 
Montana during the first three decades of this century. For a few 
brief years it was the principal tourist activity of those two states, 
and from Wyoming and Montana it spread to nearly a dozen other 
states, including even Florida. 

In Wyoming and Montana the infant industry of dude ranching 
reached the peak of its prosperity in the late 1920s, before it had 
really matured as an industry. After 1929 a series of outside, 
uncontrollable, adverse factors and an internal resistance to change 
combined to retard further expansion of the industry, and, in time, 
to bring about a gradual decline of dude ranching. The result is 
that dude ranching, once the top vacation-related activity in Wyo- 
ming and Montana, has been relegated to a position of economic 
insignificance in the broad-based tourist industry of the 1970s.^ 
Even so, the story of how dude ranching came into being and grew 
to prominence there in the early decades of this century is an 
important chapter in the regional and national history of the vaca- 
tion industry.- The principal focus of what follows will be upon 

1. Since 1960 there have been three studies conducted relative to Wyo- 
ming's out-of-state travelers, and none of the three have given more than 
passing attention to the role of dude ranching in what has become Wyo- 
ming's third-ranking industry, tourism. See Richard E. Lund, A Study of 
Wyoming's Oiit-Of-State Highway Travelers, (Laramie: University of Wyo- 
ming's Division of Business and Economic Research. 1961); and Clynn 
Phillips and Dwight M. Blood, Outdoor Recreation Participation By Oiit-of- 
State Visitors in Wyoming. Volume II of Outdoor Recreation in Wyoming. 
(Laramie: University of Wyoming's Division of Business and Economic 
Research. March, 1969). 

2. This article was originally prepared for presentation at Colorado State 


Wyoming, although it should be stressed that a very similar and 
interrelated trend of development was unfolding in Montana at the 
same time.-^ 

Before considering the origins and early development of Wyo- 
ming dude ranching, it will first prove useful to define the terms 
"dude," "dude ranch," and "dude wrangler." Struthers Burt, a 
pioneer dude wrangler and author in the Jackson Hole country, 
defined a dude as simply "someone, usually a person not resident 
in the country, who hires someone else to guide him or cook for 
him, or who pays money to stay on a ranch."^ There has been 
considerable misunderstanding and many bruised feelings over the 
use of the word dude, much of this arising out of the habit of 
old-time westerners to preface the noun "dude" with the adjective 
"damned." To salve the bruised feelings of some dudes, several 
ranches adopted the label "guest" as an alternative, although gen- 
erally the guests considered themselves as dudes, despite all the 
good natured kidding. As Struthers Burt charitably concluded 
his musings upon dudes, "To be a dude is a perfectly honest 

A dude ranch was defined in 1933 in the Dude Ranch Magazine, 
the official publication of the Dude Ranchers' Association, as 
follows : 

They are ranches which take paying guests; They are a direct evolu- 
tion of the old cattle ranches, and many of them are now operated in 
both capacities. Composed of little groups of cabins, corrals, and 
bunk houses, all of which are familiar to the native westerner of the 
cattle country, they are rustic and unique and afford unequalled oppor- 
tunities for enjoyment of the outdoors under conditions of freedom 
and naturalness. The majority of these ranches are in Wyoming and 

While this in-house definition seems to stress origins from early 
cattle ranches of the region, the Dude Ranchers' Association has 
long accepted into full membership the so-called "mountain ranch- 

University's summer Western History Conference, August 10-12, 1972, and 
as such only sketches the outlines of the development of dude ranching in 
Wyoming prior to 1929, pointing the direction, hopefully, to additional 

3. To some extent, the Wyoming story cannot be told without inclusion 
of the Montana development during the same era. On the other hand, as 
will be seen, Wyoming was somewhat unique as a tourist draw nationally, 
and many of the outstanding early dude ranchers were Wyomingites. Since 
1926, when it was founded, the Dude Ranchers' Association has been essen- 
tially a Wyoming-Montana organization, which has drawn dude ranchers in 
the two states closer together than was the case previously. 

4. M. Struthers Burt, The Diary of a Dude Wrangler, (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1924), p. 60. 

5. Ibid., p. 61. 

6. Item in Dude Rancher Magazine, March, 1933, p. 6. 


es," located where stock raising has never been feasible/ Gener- 
ally at mountain ranches, horses and pack mules, taken up in the 
summer, have been the only livestock. While only a few within 
the dude ranching fraternity have been opposed to considering 
mountain ranches, taking summer guests, as bona fide dude ranch- 
es, there has been general agreement that mountain lodges catering 
strictly to hunters in the fall should not be considered as dude 

Dude ranches have a number of characteristics that distinguish 
them from other types of tourist accommodations. They have 
never catered to transient, overnight guests. All guests have come 
by reservation only, generally after an exchange of references, and 
usually for a lengthy stay. While at a dude ranch, a guest has 
always been considered as a friend visiting his western host. Cen- 
tral to all true dude ranches has been an emphasis upon leisurely 
western living and simple horse-oriented activities.'' 

A dude wrangler is the western host who operates a dude ranch 
and takes responsibility for the welfare and entertainment of his 
visiting dudes. Dude wrangling has not always been considered as 
an honorable western profession, and in the early years many who 
engaged in it preferred to be called simply ranchers. With the 
publication of Caroline Lockhart's The Dude Wrangler in 1921 
and Struthers Burt's Diary of A Dude Wrangler three years later, 
the term began to gain acceptance in the western language.'* And 
as the growth of dude ranching began to have a demonstrated effect 
upon the local economies of the various dude ranch towns, the 
profession came to be regarded as even respectable. 

Twentieth century dude ranching in Wyoming drew upon diverse 
tourism origins that can be traced back to pre-territorial Wyoming. 
Almost as soon as white men began to travel and engage in fur 
trapping and trading activities in Wyoming, there were tourists, 
usually wealthy, young, European adventurers, who wished to 

7. An often printed explanation by the Dude Ranchers' Association states 
that "there are basically two types of western dude ranches, with many 
ranches falling into both types." One is the working ranch, at which part 
of the operation is devoted to raising livestock and agricultural crops; the 
other is the mountain ranch, "designed primarily to care for guests where 
horses are often the only livestock." Here quoted from Dude Rancher 
Magazine, Spring, 1969, p. 26. 

8. Over the years many of the dude ranches have relaxed their insistence 
on some of these points, whereas in the view of some they are no longer 
dude ranches, but instead are considered open to "tourism." Old-time dude 
ranchers make a sharp distinction between their trade and tourism. How- 
ever, before tourism came to mean what it has since 1945, many of the 
dude ranches used the word in their literature. For example, see Custer 
Trail Ranch brochures, Eaton Ranch Collection, Western History Research 
Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

9. Caroline Lockhart, The Dude Wrangler, (New York: Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1921). 


travel along with the mountain men. In a sense, Bill Sublette was 
probably the first dude wrangler in Wyoming, and a Captain 
William Drummond Stewart, from one of the old noble families of 
Scotland, the first dude.^" Stewart was fascinated with the lonely, 
adventurous life of the mountain men of the Rockies, and begin- 
ning in 1833 he made several trips with Sublette and his associate 
Robert Campbell to the fur bearing regions of Wyoming. For the 
right to tag along with the party, Stewart paid Bill Sublette $500 
for that first trek westward in 1833.^^ 

Ten years later, after the fur industry's bonanza years had passed 
and after an absence of five years, Stewart made a sentimental 
return to Wyoming, this time bringing with him what has been 
labeled the first dude party to visit the region. In a mutual arrange- 
ment that foreshadowed later dude ranching partnerships, Stewart 
spent the winter and spring of 1843 traveling to eastern cities, 
recruiting "gentlemen sportsmen" willing to pay to join a party for 
summer adventure in Wyoming.^- Sublette, meanwhile, gathered 
and wintered the necessary horses and mules at his ranch near St. 
Louis and worked at putting together a working party of horsemen, 
muleteers, camp servants and hunters. That summer a party of 20 
dudes and 30 workers spent four months crossing the Great 
American Desert, hunting in the Wind River Mountains, visiting 
the Green River fur rendezvous, and returning to St. Louis. The 
entire trip held no purpose other than to provide a pleasurable 
experience for the party of gentlemen sportsmen, and can truly b2 
called the first dude party to visit Wyoming. ^'^ 

From the late 1830s through the 1850s, numerous tourists vis- 
ited Wyoming, despite its remoteness from any easy means of 
transportation. Often these travelers would stay for a spell at the 
fur industry-owned Fort Laramie, hiring guides and hunters and 
purchasing provisions, prior to heading out across Wyoming. In 
1846 author Francis Parkman visited the post, hired the services of 
famed hunter Henry Chatillon, and then spent several months 
hunting and seeking adventure in Wyoming's wilderness. ^^ Prince 
Paul of Wurtemburg, a veteran of many journeys in America dating 

10. See Mae Reed Porter and Odessa Davenport, Scotsman in Buckskin: 
Sir William Drummond Stewart and the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade, (New 
York: Hastings House, Publishers, 1963); and John E. Sunder, Bill Sub- 
lette, Mountain Man, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1959). 

11. Porter and Davenport, op. cit., p. 27. 

12. Ibid., pp. 201-257; Sunder, op. cit., pp. 194-216. 

13. Lola Homsher, Outline of Wyoming History, (Laramie: University 
of Wyoming's Division of Business and Economic Research, 1965), p. 10. 
The significance here is not the brief mention of the Stewart-Sublette ex- 
pedition in Homsher's pamphlet, but the reference to this party by a 
Wyoming historian as "the first group of dudes" in the state. 

14. C. G. Coutant, History of Wyoming, (Laramie: Chaplin, Spafford & 
Mathison, Printers, 1899), pp. 304-306. 


from 1823, visited Fort Laramie in the company of two inexper- 
ienced adventure seekers. It would be unfair to label Prince Paul 
a dude, but certainly his two companions fall into that category.''' 

Perhaps the most publicized pre -territorial tourist to visit Wyo- 
ming was Sir George Gore, a wealthy Irish nobleman who jour- 
neyed overland from St. Louis in the spring of 1854, engaged the 
services of Jim Bridger to guide his hunting party, and spent the 
next two years trophy hunting in Wyoming and the surrounding 
area.^'' These are only a few of the better known tourists to visit 
Wyoming during this period, the ones who left a record of their 
travels. There are numerous obscure references to other hunting 
parties and adventurers in Wyoming at the time. And to the 
degree that these travelers were dependent upon others in the 
region for lodging, horses, and provisions, they can be considered 
as precursors of the twentieth century dude. 

Territorial status came to Wyoming in 1 868 on the rails of the 
Union Pacific Railroad, and soon thereafter came growing numbers 
of adventure seeking travelers, generally Europeans. Robert G. 
Atheam's book Westward The Briton is a fascinating compilation 
of the impressions of British travelers in the Far West during the 
last third of the nineteenth century, and contains further testimony 
that traveling in the West was a favorite pastime of wealthy young 
Europeans, particularly the British.'" Many of these travelers, 
who could now reach Wyoming with ease by rail, were attracted to 
the newly designated (in 1872) Yellowstone National Park and the 
fabled hunting grounds of Jackson Hole in northwestern Wyoming. 
Also this region was soon attracting the attention of government 
officials interested in developing the tourist potential of the region. 
In 1881 Wyoming's territorial governor, John W. Hoyt, traveled 
through the Yellowstone region to dramatize his efforts to obtain 
a "good highway" from the Union Pacific line to Yellowstone 
Park.^*^ Two years later President Chester A. Arthur traveled up 
the Wind River valley, across into Jackson Hole, and up through 

15. Translations of the so-called "Bauser Summaries" of the Prince Paul 
of Wurtemburg diaries are included in the Grace Raymond Hebard Collec- 
tion, Western History Research Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 
See particularly "An Account of Adventures in The Great American Desert" 
and "A Brief Account Concerning the Exploration of the Region About Fort 
Laramie, the Laramie Peak, the Black Hills, the Wind River Mountains, 
Independence Rock, South Pass, and Parts of the Rocky Mountains." as 
translated by Professor L. C. Butscher. 

16. Forbes Parkhill, The Wildest of the West. (New York: Henry Holt 
and Company, 1951), pp. 129-140; Coutant, op. cit., pp. 324-328. 

17. Robert G. Athearn, Westn-cinl The Briton. (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1953). 

18. T. A. Larson, History of Wyominq, (Lincoln: University of Ne- 
braska Press, 1965), pp. 136-138. 


Yellowstone Park on a business-pleasure journey designed to 
explore this new "national playground."' •' 

Wealthy Europeans and easterners were hunting in Jackson Hole 
prior to settlement there in 1884. As soon as the valley was 
settled, homesteaders found a ready demand for lodging, outfitting, 
and guiding during the best hunting seasons. Soon the famihes of 
these early hunters were visiting the valley, staying as paying guests 
in some of the homestead cottages, and enjoying the inspiring 
beauty of the Grand Teton Mountains.-" This practice of home- 
steaders to take in paying summer and fall guests was not unique 
in Jackson Hole. Early in the 1890s a similar arrangement was 
recognizable in the Cody area. Jim McLaughlin's homesteaded 
Home Valley Ranch at the head of the Southfork of the Shoshone 
River became the best known visiting place near Cody. It was to 
Jim McLaughlin's homestead that 21 -year-old LH. "Larry" Larom 
came as a dude in June, 1910. Within a few years Larom and a 
partner had obtained the homestead and in a few years turned it 
into the best known dude ranch in the West.-^ 

Before the turn of the century there were a few attempts to 
convert the ever-present demand for vacation accommodations into 
a regular business.— The most successful of these projects was 
that of William S. "Billy" Wells, who came to Wyoming from 
Colorado in 1897. Wells constructed the Gros Ventre Lodge on 
Tosi Creek, east of the Green River country in the Wind River 
Mountains, and between 1897 and 1906 operated it as a well- 
known hunting lodge. Although it was essentially a hunting lodge, 
some authors have referred to the Gros Ventre Lodge as the first 
dude ranch in Wyoming.^^ 

Despite later distinctions, it should be clear that these early 
homesteads taking guests and mountain hunting lodges were direct 

19. Josephine C. Fabian, The Jackson's Hole Story, (Salt Lake City, 
Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1963), pp. ix-xiii. 

20. Jackson Hole's resident historian, Mrs. Elizabeth Hayden, has traced 
the origins of dude ranching in that region back to these early visits by 
hunters and their families to the early homesteaders' cottages in the valley. 
Letter. Mrs. Elizabeth Hayden to author, April 21, 1972, in author's files; 
Mrs. Hayden, private interview, Jackson, Wyoming, May 19, 1972. 

21. 1. H. "Larry" Larom, private interview, Valley Ranch, Valley, Wyo- 
ming, May 21, 1972. 

22. One such attempt was the elaborate hunting lodge, Merymere, con- 
structed in the early 1890s on the north end of Jackson Lake by Ray Ham- 
ilton and John Sargent. See David J. Saylor, Jackson Hole, Wyoming: In 
the Shadow of the Tetons, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970). 
This partnership was dissolved under mysterious circumstances, a story that 
has become part of the legend of Jackson Hole. For a thinly disguised and 
perhaps unhistorical account of the tale, see Burt's Diary Of A Dude 
Wrangler, pp. 266-211 . 

23. Dorothy Martz, "Oldest Dude Ranch Is Now Deserted," a historical 
feature article in the Casper Star-Tribune, April 27, 1968. 


forerunners of the twentieth century mountain dude ranch. The 
distinction that later dude ranchers drew between mountain ranch- 
es and hunting lodges has always been blurred by the fact that a 
good number of dude ranchers have historically taken hunters and 
done outfitting in the fall, using the summer dude ranch as the 
fall hunting lodge. The one clear distinction has been that activities 
of a hunting lodge have differed from the family, horse-oriented 
activities at a dude ranch. 

The second basic ancestral line of the twentieth century Wyo- 
ming dude ranch was the working stock ranch, usually a cattle 
ranch. Wyoming's cattle industry, Uke her earlier fur industry, 
was characterized by a meteoric rise and a rapid decline, all within 
the decade of 1878 to 1888.-^ Unlike the fur industry, however, 
the cattle bonanza left the residue of a healthy, fairly stable eco- 
nomic activity behind in Wyoming. 

Many of Wyoming's cattle ranches were English owned and 
managed.-'' These became favorite visiting places for the large 
numbers of traveling countrymen of the same social standing. 
The TJ Ranch, north of Gillette, and center of the early Bennett- 
Hamilton-Moncreiffe cattle holdings, was a favorite summer place 
for the owners, families, friends, and travelers, although in the 
winters the ranch was practically deserted as nearly everyone 
returned to England.-'^ Moreton Frewen's ranch became a haven 
for traveling Englishmen.-'' While there is little evidence to show 
that these ranches had any formalized system for charging visitors, 
it is only logical to assume that some means of sharing of expenses 

Two English owned ranches on the Laramie Plains contributed 
to the origins of dude ranching. In the early 1880s both Richard 
Brackenbury's ranch near Medicine Bow, and the Gresley-Robbins 
ranch near Centennial were taking English boys as "apprentices'" 
or "learners" in the stock raising business.-'^ Capitalizing upon the 
romantic attraction of a Wyoming cattle ranch that swept through 
upper segments of British society in the 1880s, these ranches 
charged up to $500 a year for each boy who came to learn and 
work.-^ One of the earliest "learners" to visit the Gresley-Robbins 
ranch was young, Oxford-educated, Clement "Ben" Bengough. 
He so liked life in Wyoming that he gave up a castle and a large 

24. Lewis L. Gould, Wyoming: A Political History, 1 868- 1 896, (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), pp. 63-69. 

25. Ibid., p. 66. 

26. Manuscript Files, "Ranch-TJ," Western History Research Center. 
University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

27. Athearn, op. cit., p. 46. 

28. R. H. Burns, A. S. Gillespie, W. G. Richardson, Wyoming's Pioneer 
Ranches, (Laramie: Top-Of-The-World Press, 1965), pp. 636-63V. 238-248. 

29. Ibid., p. 244. 


inheritance for life in a log cabin on the Laramie Plains. In later 
life he was honored with the title, "the first dude on the Laramie 

( Another early dude to visit Wyoming was Owen Wister, who at 
age 25 ventured west of Pennsylvania for the first time in 1885.-^^ 
In the summer of that year Wister and other tourists spent several 
weeks at Major Frank Wolcott's VR Ranch on Deer Creek, not far 
from the present site of Glenrock.'^- Commenting upon his accom- 
modations, Wister wrote into his diary on July 7, 1885: "I sleep 
out in a tent and take a bath every morning in Deer Creek. "^"^ 
Eleven days later he recorded that bed bugs had entered his tent, 
the result of a visit by some of the cowboys of the ranch. '^^ That 
summer Major Wolcott took time out from the cattle business to 
organize and direct an elaborate hunting expedition to upper Deer 
Creek for the benefit of Wister and his fellow tourists.-^'' 

Wister did not record in his diary what he paid Wolcott for the 
visit of more than a month, nor does he even verify that he did pay. 
However, in view of the number of visitors at the VR that summer, 
the length of Wister's stay, the time and expense to Wolcott in 
outfitting the hunting expedition, and Wister's repeated use of the 
word "tourists," it is only logical to assume that these were paying 
guests. It will upset some to hear Major Frank Wolcott, Civil 
War veteran, territorial marshal, cattle baron, and leader of the 
Johnson County invaders, referred to as a dude wrangler.'^'' But in 
the summer of 1885 it appears he was just that. 

This informal type of dude ranching, which was then looked 
upon as just a sideline ranching activity and not as a separate 
economic activity, must be recognized as a direct precursor of the 

30. Biographical Manuscript Files, "Clement 'Ben' Bengough," Western 
History Research Center, University of Wyoming Laramie. 
/ 31. See "Owen Wister's Notebook, July - August, 1885, First Trip to I 
/ Wyoming," Owen Wister Collection, Western History Research Center, ' 
I University of Wyoming, Laramie. 
V^ 32. Ibid. 

33. Wister's entry for July 7, 1885 was published in its entirety in his 
daughter's book, Fanny Kemble Wister Stokes, Owen Wister Out West: ..His 
Journals and Letters (edited), (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 
1958), pp. 31-32. 

34. For mention of the bedbugs that visited Wister's tent, one has to 
turn to the notebook entry for July 18, which was not selected by Mrs. 
Stokes in the volume. 

35. Owen Wister might be labeled a perpetual dude. Coming first in 
1885. over the next 35 years or so, he was at Sam Aldrich's lodge near Cody 
in 1910, at the JY in 1911, on his own Jackson Hole spread in 1912, at 
Trapper Lodge in the early 1920s. In fact, Wister is seen numerous times 
at various cattle and dude ranches in Wyoming during the early years of this 


36. Biographical Manuscript Files, "Major Frank Wolcott," Western 
History Research Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 


dude ranching industry that developed in Wyoming after 1900. 
Thus, by the turn of the century, Wyoming had a long heritage of 
what might be labeled "informal tourism." By that time, however, 
there had arisen a series of favorable conditions for tourism, and 
dude ranching was to be the first formalized tourism activity in 
Wyoming. These favorable conditions (they might be labeled 
"pre-conditions" for the growth and development of Wyoming dude 
ranching), when considered in concert, explain the transformation 
of Wyoming's informal tourist activities into an infant industry of 
considerable social and economic significance.-^^ Therefore, prior 
to considering the shape of the early development of twentieth 
century dude ranching in Wyoming, it will prove instructive to 
consider briefly these favorable conditions. 

By 1900 America was facing the sobering reality that there was 
no longer a western frontier; that increasing industrialization and 
urbanization were wreaking change upon the essential character of 
America. There was in the air a sense of irrecoverable loss as 
America was being torn further and further from its pioneering- 
agrarian heritage. '^^ The resulting unease in the public mind mani- 
fested itself in a variety of ways: support for a national parks 
movement; support for the new conservation movement under the 
leadership of Gifford Pinchot; the rise of a so-called "wilderness 
cult" that glorified all things wild; a "back to nature" surge. •^'•' 
The relatively unsettled American West afforded the best oppor- 
tunity for a return to nature, to America as it had been. 

37. There will be no attempt here to statistically prove the significance of 
dude ranching to Wyoming early in this century. The statistical base for 
such a project has simply never been compiled, nor will it likely ever be. 
Precious few dude ranches have retained any financial records of any type, 
and all too often dude income was merely considered as additional agricul- 
tural income. It was 1938 before the Dude Ranchers' Association saw the 
importance of gathering statistics from its membership, and even then the 
attempt was met with mixed results. In short, the conclusions regarding the 
growth and prosperity of dude ranching included in the text of this paper 
are derived from impressionistic sources, such as newspaper stories of the 
era and later Interviews with participants in early dude ranching. 

38. The U. S. D. I. Census Bureau first officially proclaimed the "end of 
the frontier" in the census of 1890. While there has been massive scholar- 
ship dealing with the impact of the "lost frontier" on America, the pioneer- 
ing article was Frederick Jackson Turner's 1893 address to the American 
Historical Association, "The Significance of the Frontier in American His- 
tory," reprinted in Frontier and Section: Selected Essays of Frederick 
Jackson Turner, edited by Ray A. Billington (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: 
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961) pp. 37-62. 

39. The best concise treatment of the "wilderness cult" appears in Rod- 
erick Nash's Wilderness and the American Mind. (New Haven: Yale 
University Press, 1967), pp. 141-160. Peter J. Schmitt's Ph. D. dissertation. 
"Call of the Wild: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America, 1900-1930." 
University of Minnesota, 1966, (which has recently been published) deals 
extensively with the "back to nature" surge that swept the urban East 
around the turn of the century. 


Closely associated with this surge of interest in wilderness and 
wild things was an intense public interest and glorification of the 
American West. Fed by the novels of Owen Wister and his copiers, 
by the popularity of William F. Cody's "Wild West Show" and the 
rodeos that followed it, and in a few years by the horse operas on 
film, America was caught up in a love affair with the wild-and- 
woolly west that had just passed from the scene in Wyoming. ^*^ 
This combination of public interest in wilderness and all things 
wild, together with the romanticized view of the American West 
that was becoming popular, was a powerful magnet upon those 
Easterners who could afford to travel to the West. 

Wyoming became the focus for many of those who traveled early 
in this century as a result of its reputation as the "national play- 
ground." Just a hundred years ago this past year Congress set 
aside more than two million acres of northwestern Wyoming as the 
nation's, indeed the world's, first national park.^^ Two decades 
later, in 1891, Congress authorized and President Cleveland desig- 
nated the nation's first national forest, again in Wyoming. The 
million acres set aside as the Yellowstone Forest Reserve was 
eventually split up into four national forests in northwestern Wyo- 
ming.*- In 1906 President Roosevelt proclaimed the first national 
monument at Devils Tower in northern Wyoming. This clustering 
of national recreation sites in northwestern Wyoming was to serve 
as a focal point for easterners traveling in the Rocky Mountain 
West. By 1900 Yellowstone National Park was attracting more 
than 18,000 tourists per year, a figure that was to mushroom to 
260,000 within the next three decades.*-^ Yellowstone National 
Park and the surrounding attractions also served as a focal point 
for the development of the dude ranch industry in Wyoming. When 
spotted on a map, the dude ranches of Wyoming have always 
shown a definite clustering pattern around the Yellowstone Park- 
Jackson Hole region. Obviously the reputation of a "national 

40. Owen Wister's novel The Virginian went through 14 printings in its 
first year, 1902, and was the precursor of literally thousands of twentieth 
century "Westerns" in print and on film. In his preface Wister noted that 
"Time has flowed faster than my ink," noting that an era had passed before 
his eyes in the few short years since his first trip west to Wyoming in 1885. 

41. Louis C. Cramton, Early History of Yellowstone National Park And 
Its Relation To National Park Policies, (Washington: United States Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, 1932). The Centennial has yet to produce a cen- 
tury history of the Park, although there is a broad mass of literature dealing 
with various aspects of Yellowstone National Park history. 

42. John Ise, United States Forest Policy, (New Haven: Yale University 
Press, 1920), pp. 119-121. 

43. The figure for 1900 is given in T. A. Larson's History of Wyoming, 
p. 344, and the figure for 1929 comes from a file of Yellowstone National 
Park press releases, Dave Jones Collection, Western History Research 
Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 


playground" played an important role in the development and 
location of Wyoming's dude ranch industry. ^^ 

There were additional factors contributing to the favorable 
climate for tourism at the turn of the century. After 1901, when 
the Burlington Railroad's "spur" reached Cody, all the towns in 
northwestern Wyoming that were to develop into dude ranch towns 
were within a day's travel of either the Union Pacific, the Burling- 
ton or the Northern Pacific railroads. The dudes could now easily 
reach the town of their choice. In the East the very urbanization 
and industrialization that was causing the desire to go West, to get 
away from the cities, had also created a growing wealthy class that 
could afford the time and expense of a summer vacation in the 

Out of the interplay of all of these factors there arose a tre- 
mendous demand for vacation accommodations in northwestern 
Wyoming. The result was the rise of the dude ranch industry. 
Accommodations were provided at the old cattle ranches, left over 
from the bonanza days of the cattle era, and at mountain ranches, 
homesteaded to meet the demand. As the number of dudes com- 
ing West increased, it was a simple matter to throw up another log 
cabin or two each spring. As Struthers Burt phrased it, "The 
demand was there before the supply," and so dude ranching grew 
"willy-nilly."^-^ During the first three decades of this century dude 
ranches sprang up all across northwestern Wyoming, in a sweeping 
arc from the Sheridan area westward over the Big Horn Moun- 
tains, across the Big Horn Basin to the Cody country, down the 
Southfork and up the Northfork of the Shoshone River to the east- 
ern gates of Yellowstone Park, southward down into Jackson Hole 
and Dubois, and on down the Hoback River to the upper Green 
River Valley. Actually dude ranches were located all across the 
state, but the overwhelming majority of them were clustered in 
northwestern Wyoming. 

The Eaton Ranch, nestled in the foothills of the Big Horn 
Mountains, west of Sheridan at Wolf, Wyoming, has often been 
referred to as the first real dude ranch in Wyoming. Actually, as 

44. Wyoming, then, had the nation's first national monument, first 
national park, and first national forest. Eventually it was to have two 
national parks, five national forests, and a large Indian reservation, all of 
which attracted tourists, and most of which were located in the northwestern 
part of the state. As has been indicated, these national playgrounds pro- 
duced a strong centrahzing effect upon the state's dude ranch industry. This 
is easily explained in terms not only of locating in an area near tourist 
concentrations, but also in terms of locating near "free" recreation areas. 
A dude ranch at the edge of a national park or forest needs only a few acres 
of land for facilities and stock areas. 

45. M. Struthers Burt, Powder River, Let 'er Buck, (New York: Rine- 
hart & Company, Inc., 1938), p. 358. 


we have seen, there is good reason to dispute this claim in that it 
was 1904 before Howard Eaton and his brothers moved the ranch 
from Medora, North Dakota, to Wyoming. By that time Wyoming 
already had a heritage of dude-like operations, and a series of 
favorable conditions were already at work in several areas bringing 
about early dude ranching activity. Still, it was a perfected product 
that Howard Eaton brought to the Sheridan area in 1904, and there 
is little doubt that it was extremely influential in shaping the nature 
of other local dude ranches. 

To backtrack just for a moment, it should be pointed out that 
while Eaton's Ranch may or may not have been the first dude 
ranch in Wyoming, it certainly can claim the title of the first dude 
ranch in the West. To a great extent, Howard Eaton invented 
dude ranching and then perfected it during the two decades pre- 
ceding the move to Wyoming in 1904.^" Howard Eaton came west 
from Pittsburgh in 1879 and estabUshed the Custer Trail Ranch 
near Medora, North Dakota, where within two years he was joined 
by his brothers Alden and Willis. The main line of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad ran right through Medora, and soon the Eaton 
brothers found that their horse ranch was overrun with friends 
visiting from the East. 

In 1882 one of the guests, a Bert Rumsey from Buffalo, New 
York, seeing what a burden he and the other guests had become, 
suggested to the Eaton brothers that he be allowed to pay for his 
lodging and the use of a horse. Reluctantly the Eaton brothers 
agreed to accept his money, and thus, accidentally, a new industry 
was bom. In 1883 Howard Eaton took his first party of dudes 
through Yellowstone Park, and thereafter his treks through the 
national parks and Indian reservations of the West became models 
emulated by other, later, dude ranchers. By 1904 Howard Eaton 
realized that the spectacular scenery and the national attractions 
were west of the Dakota badlands, and so, in that year, he and his 
brothers moved to Wyoming. ^'' 

46. Mrs. John B. Duncan, private interview, Sheridan, Wyoming, March 

27, 1972; Miss Angela Buell, private interview, Sheridan, Wyoming, March 

28, 1972. Both Mrs. Duncan and Miss Buell were associated with the 
Eaton Ranch for half a century, dating from 1916 in Mrs. Duncan's case. 
Each knew all three of the original Eaton brothers, and all three generations 
of Eatons since involved in the management of the famous dude ranch. 
Also, both Mrs. Duncan and Miss Buell have researched in the old records 
of the Eaton Ranch on the origins and early development of that particular 
ranch, making these two interviews by the author here particularly useful 

47. The Eaton Ranch has yet to find its historian, and certainly there 
should be an account of the West's original dude ranch and the important 
contributions of Howard Eaton and his brothers to the developing American 
West around the turn of the century. There have been numerous minor 
historical articles concerning the Eaton Ranch, most of them appearing in 


When the Eatons came to the Sheridan area, they found that 
tourism had already reached the towns of Dayton, Ranchester, 
Sheridan, Big Horn, Story, and Buffalo, in the form of seasonal 
hunters lodging at some of the local ranches and summer guests 
staying at the Sheridan Inn. Yet none of these ranches can be 
considered as fully developed dude ranches, and none thought of 
themselves as that. Taking in hunters was strictly a side-line 
activity. Sheridan had advanced from the status of just another 
"cow town" in 1892 when the Burlington Railroad reached there 
from the east and the Sheridan Inn was constructed to meet the 
growing demand for accommodations for hunters and tourists. 

Within a decade after the Eatons had arrived, there had sprung 
up in the Sheridan area ten dude ranches and four hotels to meet 
the demand for accommodations.^^ Eaton's was the largest of the 
dude ranches, and no doubt influenced the growth of the others. 
One of the earliest to follow suit was the IXL Ranch near Dayton. 
Settled in 1892 by a Captain Grissell of the Ninth Lancers, a crack 
cavalry troop which gave the ranch its name, the IXL by 1912 had 
come into the hands of another Englishman, J. B. Milward, who 
operated it as a dude ranch. One of the oldest dude ranches in the 
region, the IXL only recently closed its doors to guests. Among 
the other dude ranches to appear before 1915 were the three 
operated by the Frank Hortons, the HF Bar, Trail Lodge, and the 
Paradise Ranch. Before 1915 M. T. Evans had established Tepee 
Lodge above Big Horn as a semi-private hunting lodge and then as 

historical editions of newspapers or in Dude Rancher Magazine, but as yet 
nothing of any substance. The best written record of life at the Eaton 
Ranch during the 1915-1933 period appears in the writings of Mary Roberts 
Rinehart. Among her many works, those dealing with dude ranching and 
Howard Eaton are The Out Trail (New York: Robert M. McBride & Com- 
pany, 1932); Through Glacier Park: Seeing America First With Howard 
Eaton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1916); Tenting Tonight: A 
Chronicle of Sport and Adventure in Glacier Park and the Cascade Moun- 
tains (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1918); Summer Comes To The 
Ranch, which is Book III (pp. 169-203) and Riding The Circle, which is 
Book IV (204-253) of the diverse volume Nomad's Land (New York: 
George H. Doran Company, 1926); and My Story: A New Edition and 
Seventeen Years (New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1948). The 
interviews with Tom Ferguson, Mrs. John B. Duncan, and Miss Angela 
Buell, all cited elsewhere in this paper, were particularly helpful to the 
author. These were tape recorded and transcriptions will be added to the 
collections of the Western History Research Center. University of Wyoming. 

48. An excellent summary of all existing tourist-resort facilities in the 
Sheridan area was included in Herbert Coffeen's Sheridan-published The 
Tepee Book, March- April-May 1915 issue. In fact, this entire issue of this 
short-lived, but interesting, publication was devoted to the topic of tourist 
spots in the area. 

49. Allen "Ike" Fordyce, private interview. Big Horn, Wyoming, March 
27, 1972; and The Tepee Book. op. cit. 


a dude ranch. ^'' After cattle conditions went bad around 1920, 
Willis Spear began taking dudes at the Spear Ranch below Sher- 
idan, and in 1923 constructed the Spear-O-Wigwam mountain 
ranch.""" By 1915 there were ten dude ranches; by 1920, 16; by 
1924, 25; and by 1929, 31 in the Sheridan region east of the Big 
Horn Mountains. ^""^ 

1929 was the peak year for dude ranches in the Sheridan area. 
Since then there has been a steady decline in dudes and dude 
ranches, and a current listing of dude ranches reads much like a 
1915 listing: Eatons, Tepee, HF Bar, Paradise, and Spear-O- 
Wigwam. Tom Ferguson, president of the Dude Ranchers' Asso- 
ciation and operator of the Eaton Ranch, points out that the Eaton 
physical plant has not increased since 1919."*- Angela Buell, a 
50-year-member of the Eaton "family" has stated that never again, 
after 1929, were there as many dudes at Eatons or in the Sheridan 
area."*-^ One by one, the mountain ranches that had drawn dudes 
to every canyon and valley on the eastern slope of the Big Horns 
have gone out of business, many of them being bought up by 
former dudes. ''^ 

Across the Big Horn Mountains and down into the basin by the 
same name, dude ranching was scattered. The best known of the 
dude ranches on the western slope of the Big Horns was Trapper 
Lodge on Trapper Creek. Operated between 1910 and 1930 by 
Watson and Gay Wyman, this ranch became known as the "intel- 
lectual dude ranch" after its clientele of painters and authors.'*^ 
Across the Big Horn Basin lies some of the most fertile ground in 
Wyoming for dude ranching, the Cody region, 

Cody was even later than Sheridan in developing, not even being 
settled to any degree until after 1896. As has been seen, Yellow- 
stone Park was already attracting tourists into the area in large 
numbers by the turn of the century, yet they generally entered from 
the north and west and south. Between 1900 and 1903 a series of 

50. Elsa Spear Byron, private interview, Sheridan, Wyoming, March 28, 

51. These figures were compiled by counting ranches listed in Burlington 
Railroad booklets entitled "Dude Ranches in the Big Horn Mountains, 
Wyoming." The booklets were undated when printed, but can be dated by 
internal evidence pertaining to the ownership of individual dude ranches. 
These booklets are located in the Manuscript Files, Western History Re- 
search Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie, filed under "Dude Ranch- 
es — Big Horn Mountains Region." 

52. Tom Ferguson, private interview, Eaton Ranch, Wolf, Wyoming, 
March 27, 1972. (Tom's wife Nancy is the daughter of "Big Bill" Eaton, 
Alden Eaton's son.) 

53. Buell interview, op. cit. 

54. Buell interview, op. cit.; Duncan interview, op. cit. 

55. Marguerite D. Wyman's unpublished manuscript "Through The Year 
On a Dude Ranch," in the Marguerite D. Wyman Collection, Western 
History Research Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 


events occurred that ensured forever that Cody was to be a thriving 
tourist town: the Burhngton Raihoad's "spur" reached Cody in 
1901, the road to the East Gate was completed in 1903, and 
between 1901 and 1903, William F. Cody constructed the Irma 
Hotel in Cody, the Wapiti Lodge just over half-way to Yellowstone 
Park, and Pahaska Tepee at the east gate. In a sense, this repre- 
sented an early chain of tourist lodges.''" 

At about the same time, 1903, Sam W. Aldrich first opened the 
Aldrich Lodge near the head of the Southfork of the Shoshone 
River, just a few miles below Jim McLaughlin's Home Valley 
Ranch. During that first decade of the new century, Fred J. 
Richard and Ned Frost formed a partnership in outfitting and 
guiding that was to become well known in hunting circles across the 
nation. In 1910 they established the Frost-Richard Ranch up the 
Northfork on the road to Yellowstone.''^ Nearby was the Holm 
Lodge, founded in 1907 by Tex Holm, though operated for nearly 
four decades by J. V. Howell. In 1910 21 -year-old I. H. "Larry" 
Larom visited the Home Valley Ranch for the first time, which 
he had acquired with a partner by 1915, and was to develop into 
the famed Valley Ranch. •''*^ 

In many ways the development of dude ranching in the Cody 
and Sheridan regions parallel each other. Starting with no bona 
fide dude ranches in 1903, each had more than two dozen by 1929. 
Each town had an influential leader in dude ranching: Sheridan 
had Howard Eaton who invented and perfected the dude ranching 
product; Cody had Larry Larom who, more than anyone else, 
organized the new industry and marketed the product in the East. 
Each region had its interpreter: Sheridan had Mary Roberts Rine- 
hart and Cody had Caroline Lockhart. A basic difference between 
these two dude ranching centers was that whereas Sheridan's dude 
ranching origins came more out of working stock ranches, the Cody 
ranches generally traced their origins to early tourism. While dude 
ranching has declined steadily in Sheridan and surrounding 
towns since 1929, it remains fairly stable in the Cody region, an 
area where tourism has mushroomed dramatically in the past 
four decades. 

Moving down into Jackson Hole, one can trace a similar pattern 
of development in the early years of this century. The first modern 
dude ranch there was the JY, begun in 1908 by Lou Joy in partner- 

56. Fred Garlow, private interview, Cody, Wyoming. April 1, 1972. Mr. 
Garlow is the first grandson of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and has 
lived all of his life in the Cody country, engaging in the dude and tourism 

57. Richard "Dick" Frost, private interview, Cody, Wyoming, March 31, 

58. Larom interview, op. cit. 


ship with Struthers Burt.-^" When the partnership failed after the 
1911 season, Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross homesteaded the 
Bar BC, which is commonly recognized as the second dude ranch 
in the valley/"* Dude ranching was slower to develop there, prob- 
ably due to the remoteness of Jackson Hole from main rail lines. 

By the 1920s, when dude ranching really began to take hold in 
the valley, outside factors were appearing on the horizon that 
would, in time, retard further development of dude ranching in 
Jackson Hole. It was in 1926 that John D. Rockefeller II first 
became interested in buying up a large part of the valley, for 
eventual transferrance to the Grand Teton National Park, and 
although Rockefeller favored some dude ranching in the valley, 
numerous dude ranches of the 1920s have now reverted to the 
park."^ It was in the 1920s that John S. Turner started his family 
in dude ranching, and his grandsons, Harold, John, and Don 
Turner currently operate the largest dude ranch in Jackson Hole, 
the Triangle X.'''- 

By the late 1920s, there were a dozen or more dude ranches in 
Jackson Hole, and another dozen south and east of the valley that 
advertised themselves as located in Jackson Hole. 

Dubois, to the east of Jackson Hole, was also a thriving little 
dude ranch town in the 1920s, the most famous of a half dozen 
ranches located there being that of Charles C. Moore, the C. M. 
Ranch. Below "Little Jackson's Hole," which was south of the 
town of Jackson, were several more dude ranches extending south- 
ward down the Hoback River to the upper valley of the Green 
River. Altogether, by 1929, there were nearly 100 dude ranches 
in Wyoming, most of them within this Sheridan-to-the-Green River 
arc in northwestern Wyoming. 

Struthers Burt has stated that dude ranching grew "willy-nilly," 
meaning in a compulsive, unplanned, unorganized manner. Each 
ranch was an individual enterprise, and in the early years there 
was no sense of being part of a larger industry. Organization was 
forced upon dude ranching from within and from without. The 
internal force for an association of dude ranchers was Larry Larom 

59. Elizabeth Hayden, From Trapper to Tourist in Jackson Hole, (Jack- 
son. Wyoming: By tiie author, 1957), pp. 40-41. 

60. IhicJ.. p. 41: Burt wrote an interesting account of his and Carncross' 
homesteading and construction of the Bar BC in his Diary of A Dude 
Wrangler, pp. 87-136. 

61. The creation and expansion of Grand Teton National Park, especially 
the two-decade-long expansion struggle, has never been adequately dealt 
with historically, although the best published treatment thus far is included 
in Saylor, op. cit., pp. 154-213. Also see David C. Swain's Horace M. 
Allhright, Wilderness Defender, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 

62. Harold Turner, private interview, Triangle X Ranch, Moose, Wyo- 
ming. May 19, 1972. 


of the Valley Ranch near Cody. Since going into the dude busi- 
ness in 1915, Larom had relied heavily upon his close associates 
in New York journalism to publicize his ranch and dude ranching 
in general. He saw the need for an industry-wide promotional 
effort, to educate potential guests as to what a Wyoming dude 
ranch had to offer. 

Tn the fall of 1926 Larom, working closely with railroad officials, 
called together some 25 dude ranchers at Bozeman, Montana, and 
together they formed the Dude Ranchers' Association. •■•• The 
railroads played an important role in bringing the dude ranchers 
together and in supporting the resulting association in the late 
1920s and throughout the 1930s.*'^ Originally the Dude Ranchers' 
Association was principally a promotional group, organized to sell 
the idea of dude ranching. "'• However, in drawing dude ranchers 
together, it also served a social function, and it made dude ranchers 
aware that they were part of a new industry, with common interests 
and common problems. Only later did the Association take on a 
political function.*'*' Most of the Dude Ranchers' Association's 
history is beyond the scope of this paper. It is still a going con- 
cern, approaching its fiftieth year, currently under the presidency 
of Tom Ferguson of the Eaton Ranch. The current executive 
secretary of the Association is Peggy Schaffer, formerly of the Two 
Bar Seven Ranch of Tie Siding, Wyoming, and Virginia Dale in 
Colorado. ^^ 

By 1929, then, dude ranching had all the appearances of a new. 
fast-growing industry approaching maturity. Within 25 years dude 
ranching had come from nothing except a tourism heritage of an 
informal variety to nearly a hundred ranches in Wyoming alone.*''^ 
The three-year-old Dude Ranchers' Association had expanded 
from the 25 original members to 91 by the end of the 1929 season. 

63. Larom interview, op. cit. 

64. Ihid. 

65. Ibid.; Ferguson interview, op. cit. 

66. Ihid. 

67. As has been stated, the Dude Ranchers' Association was organized 
in the fall of 1926 and the scope of this paper is essentially through only 
1929. As such, the Dude Ranchers' Association is not really dealt with 
here, and presents still another possibility for additional related research 
and scholarship. The fiftieth convention will be in the fall of 1975, sending 
the association into its fiftieth year through the season of 1976. 

68. This figure of nearly a hundred dude ranches in Wyoming by 1929 
was arrived at by compiling a list of all "advertised" dude ranches that could 
be located for that year in newspapers, railroad literature, and individual 
ranch brochures. It should be pointed out that less than half of these. 45 
to be exact, were then members of the Dude Ranchers' Association. Com- 
pilation was from materials in the Manuscript Files, Western History 
Research Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie, under the heading 
"Dude Ranches" and the numerous sub-headings and cross-references. 


Half of these were Wyomingites.'*-' Each year of the 1920s had 
seen expansion in numbers of ranches and expansion on individual 
ranches. Cody business and civic leader Jacob M. Schwoob ex- 
pressed the prevailing optimism in the industry when, speaking to 
the 1929 convention, he predicted: 

The industry is just in its infancy . . . and it is very reasonable to 
predict a rapidly expanding industry wtiich will entertain a hundred 
thousand people each summer at our dude ranches. 'i'" 

However, as the dude ranchers gathered together at Billings, 
Montana, that fall, little did they realize that their best days were 
already history. After that season, a series of adverse outside 
factors halted the growth of this new industry, and within a few 
years sent it into gradual decline. The chronology of four decades 
of decline in dude ranching is beyond the scope of this paper. ^^ 
Suffice to say that dude ranching never again attracted as many 
visitors as it did in 1929, and since that year there has been a 
steady decline in numbers of ranches operating in the state. After 
World War II there came into being a large, diversified tourism 
industry in Wyoming of major economic significance, which by the 
1960s had relegated dude ranching to relative economic insig- 

However, the author would be remiss if the reader were left 
with the impression that dude ranching is dying out altogether in 
Wyoming. For despite the relative insignificance of dude ranching 
when compared to the overall vacation industry of Wyoming, and 
despite the very real decline in numbers of dudes and ranches over 
the last four decades, there are still a number of financially sound 
dude ranches operating in Wyoming. Most of these are located 
off the heavily traveled highways, behind unrevealing, non-promo- 
tional signs, usually out of sight down a curving, grassy road. They 
are unspectacular, and their dudes in town are indistinguishable in 
the crowd, and so the dude ranches now go unnoticed. Still, a few 
of these continue to offer a different kind of experience for visitors 

69. Compilation is from a list "Active Members — Dude Ranchers' Asso- 
ciation" on pp. 117-118 of the printed Minutes of the Fourth Annual Dude 
Ranchers' Meeting Held At Billings, Montana In The Northern Hotel Tea 
Room, November 18, 19, 20, 1929. It is obvious from this list that although 
the Dude Ranchers' Association was open to membership from any state, it 
was essentially a Wyoming-Montana association. 

70. "Address delivered to the 1929 Dude Ranchers' Association conven- 
tion," Jacob M. Schwoob Collection, Western History Research Center, 
University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

71. The statement, "The chronology of four decades of decline in dude 
ranching is beyond the scope of this paper." might easily be misleading. It 
tends to obscure the fact that despite a general, overall decline in dude 
ranching since 1929, there have been numerous successful dude ranches 
started since that year, some of which are still prospering. Treatment 
beyond 1929 would reveal some outstanding later dude ranchers. 


not willing to join the vacation crowd of millions that annually 
passes through Wyoming. 

In conclusion, the impact of dude ranching upon those peoples 
and the localities it affected should be considered. The dudes came 
west seeking pleasure, adventure, escape from urban America, a 
glimpse of the Old West, and some leisure living. Larry Larom 
advertised his product as "Simplicity of Living."^- One has only 
to read the numerous testimonials written in to the Dude Rancher 
Magazine, or the books of Mary Roberts Rinehart, to realize that 
the dudes found what they came for. The fact that dudes came 
back year after year to visit "Uncle Howard," "Uncle Alden," and 
"Uncle Willis" Eaton indicates their satisfaction with life at the 
Eaton Ranch. When the dude ranches began to fail after 1929, 
numerous dudes bought these up and made their homes in the 

The impact of dude ranching upon the dude wrangler was hit 
upon by Struthers Burt in an unpublished manuscript of the late 

Homesteading. desert claiming, and stock ranching are sternly local 
and deep rooted in the soil; they give a man a subjective outlook. 
That is, he looks from the inside out and his interests are inclined to 
be narrow and expert. Dude wrangling also penetrates deeply into the 
roots of a country, but it spreads out more among those roots, takes 
in more earth, and, above ground, is objective, national, and even 
international. The dude wrangler, if he is ordinarily intelligent, is 
constantly being forced to modifv and amend his own ideas and im- 
pressions through perpetual and deeply intimate contact with hundreds 
of various kinds of people from all over the United States and even 
Europe . . . On the one side he has the people of his state, and his 
neighbors, on the other he has the whole world.""-* 

This broadening effect that Burt wrote of also made itself felt 
in the dude ranching towns of Wyoming, especially in those towns 
such as Sheridan where numerous dudes settled on their own 
ranches. The whole social, intellectual, cultural, and economic 
climate of Sheridan, Cody, and Jackson has been enriched by 
contacts with Eastern dudes. Additionally, the simple fact that 
dudes were interested in western heritage, in rodeos, in western arts 
and crafts, has served as a strong impetus for retaining these best 
aspects of western life and heritage. 

The economic impact of dude ranching is difficult to assess, in 
that sound statistics reflecting the role of tourism have traditionally 
been elusive. Dude ranching had long passed its peak before 

72. Larom interview, op. cit. 

73. Rinehart, op. cit. 

lA. M. Struthers Burt, unpublished manuscript, "The Highlanders; An 
Informal Biography of Wyoming," pp. 7-8, M. Struthers Burt Collection. 
Western History Research Center. University of Wyoming, Laramie. 


there was any real interest in assessing its economic role in the 
state, and precious few dude ranches have left any records to 
posterity.^"' Still, it is certain that dude ranching saved many 
failing cattle ranches in the 1920s, by the extra income that was 
generated. The interest and promotional assistance provided by 
the railroads indicates that dude passengers were an important 
segment of their summer travelers. Local economies were en- 
riched by money-spending dudes in town and by the local pur- 
chasing of the operating ranches. And it was because of dude 
ranching that Wyoming first began to look into tourism as an 
industry of major economic significance.''^'^ 

The American West benefited in a number of ways from dude 
ranching. It has already been shown how dude ranching worked 
toward the preservation of the best aspects of western life and 
heritage. One particular contribution of dude ranching, which 
remains significant in the 1970s, arises out of the fact that dude 
ranchers have always been concerned with the preservation and the 
perpetuation of the natural resources of the West. In a sense this 
interest in conservation can be traced to economic self interest, in 
that their product has always been the beauty of the relatively 
unspoiled West, the wilderness and the wildlife. But the interest 
and contributions to the cause of conservation by such men as 
Howard Eaton, Charles C. Moore, Larry Larom, and Struthers 
Burt is traceable to higher motives than mere self interest. Since 
its earliest days, the Dude Ranchers' Association has been inter- 
ested and active in conservation matters in Wyoming and Montana. 
Even in the 1970s dude ranchers, such as Allen "Ike" Fordyce of 
Tepee Lodge and John Turner of the Triangle X Ranch, remain in 
the forefront of Wyoming conservation issues, and the entire asso- 
ciation remains interested in general conservation issues.'''^ 

75. For more than 15 years, the Western History Research Center at the 
University of Wyoming, Laramie, under the leadership of Gene M. Gressley 
has been actively collecting materials pertaining to all aspects of the eco- 
nomic and social development of the Rocky Mountain West. There are 
substantial holdings in livestock industry history, mining history, petroleum 
history, water resources history; but there are only three collections of any 
size dealing with dude ranching. This reflects the scarcity of ranch records 
for this economic activity. 

76. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, state officials began mentioning 
dude ranching as a source of state income. However, no reliable statistics 
were gathered at that time, as recreation industry data-collecting techniques 
had yet to be worked out. 

77. "Ike" Fordyce has played an active role in citizen involvement in 
U. S. Forest Service decisions affecting the future of the Big Horn Moun- 
tains and the Big Horn National Forest. John Turner, a trained wildlife 
ecologist and state legislator, has become a principal spokesman of conser- 
vationists in Wyoming, in addition to his dude ranching activities at the 
Triangle X with his brothers and mother. The role that dude ranchers can 
play as conservationists in the 1970s was suggested by Margaret E. Murie 



In sum, dude ranching has had a most beneficial effect upon all 
concerned. Its impact in bare economic terms has never been 
assessed, although it is now insignificant in comparison to the 
overall vacation industry. Still, in the years before tourism struck 
full force in the West, dude ranching was obviously a significant 
local economic factor. It is beyond economic considerations, how- 
ever, that dude ranching has had its most beneficial effect on the 
overall development of twentieth century Wyoming. 

in an address to the Dude Ranchers' Association Convention, November 19. 
1970, entitled "Dude Ranchers Are Influential People." (Copy inckided in 
the Olaus & Margaret Murie Collection, Western History Research Center, 
University of Wyoming, Laramie.) 












Zke ^Ig Mom and yellows tone 
SzpcdltioH of 1876 



James H. Nottage 

Portions of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas were alive with 
military activity in 1876. A proclamation had been issued, with 
the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, designed to 
force all non-treaty Sioux Indians into recognition of the United 
States government. By January 31, 1876, they were to settle on 
established reservations. If they did not do so, they would be 
forced onto the reservations, and, if necessary, be severely chas- 
tised in the process.^ 

Three columns of troops went in pursuit of the alleged "hostiles" 
who did not respond to the proclamation. General Alfred Terry, 
commander of the Department of Dakota, led his troops, including 
George A. Custer and the ill-fated Seventh Cavalry, out from Fort 
Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory. The second column was 
led by Colonel John Gibbon from Forts Shaw and Ellis in Mon- 
tana, while from Fort Fetterman, Wyoming Territory, the third 
column was led by the commander of the Department of the Platte. 
General George Crook. - 

Crook's was the first of these groups to take the field and on 
March 17, 1876, part of his command, under Colonel J. J. Rey- 
nolds, attacked a Cheyenne village on the Powder River. The 

*Note. The following letters are printed with the kind permission of 
Luhn's granddaughter, Marion Sheehy of Palo Alto, California. The Luhn 
papers were deposited by her at the Western History Research Center of the 
University of Wyoming, where Dr. Gene M. Gressley and his staff were 
most helpful in making them available for study and publication. 

1. Lt. Gen. P. H. Sheridan (Commanding), Record of Engcigemeiits with 
Hostile Indians within the Military Division of the Missouri, from IS6S to 
1882, (Washington: GPO, 1882),' p. 49. 

2. For a general history of the Indian War of 1876 see Edgar I. Stewart. 
Custer's Luck, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955). 


village was captured, but Reynolds withdrew and the circumstances 
of this action led to his being court-martialed by Crook. ^ 

It was not until May of 1876 that the campaign was resumed. 
On the 29th day of that month Crook led 15 companies of cavalry 
and five companies of infantry out from Fort Fetterman. In 
command of Company F of the Fourth Infantry was Captain 
Gerhard Luke Luhn, who had just returned to his command after 
a three-month leave of absence in the East. For Luhn, the Big 
Horn and Yellowstone Expedition would be just one more high 
point in a long and active military career. 

This green-eyed, fair-haired captain was born in Elbergen, Ger- 
many, in 1831, and had traveled with his family to the United 
States in 1845. On January 10, 1853, in St. Louis, Missouri, he 
enlisted as a private in the Sixth U. S. Infantry. Until the Civil 
War, he would serve with this unit over vast areas of the West, and 
take part in a number of well known incidents of the period.^ 

Detailed at first for the construction of Fort Ridgely, Minnesota, 
Luhn and his company found themselves transferred to Jefferson 
Barracks, Missouri, later in 1854. Here they took part in the 
build-up of troops for a punitive expedition to chastise Sioux 
Indians who had taken part in the Grattan Massacre of August 18, 
1854. This expedition, under the command of Colonel Wilham 
S. Harney, resulted in the Battle (or massacre) of Ash Hollow 
where the Sioux were soundly defeated. Luhn, however, had been 
detailed with parts of his company to help garrison Fort Kearney, 
and did not take part in the battle.'^ 

From Fort Kearney Luhn was later transferred to Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. In May of 1857 he served as part of the escort 
under Colonel Joseph E. Johnston when the southern boundary of 
Kansas was surveyed.*"' Later, beginning in March of 1858, Luhn, 
(by now a first sergeant) served with another escort when Colonel 
William H. Hoffman was assigned with several troops of cavalry 
and infantry to transport supplies being sent West for soldiers 
taking part in the so-called "Mormon" or Utah War. The supplies 

3. This part of the campaign is well covered in J. W. Vaughn, The 
Reynolds Campaign on Powder River, (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press. 1961). 

4. Autobiography of Gerhard Luke Luhn, 1831-1918, MS in The Western 
History Research Center of the University of Wyoming, pp. 1-3; and 
Registers of Enlistments in the U. S. Army, 1798-1914, microfilm copy in 
the files of Fort Laramie National Historic Site. 

5. Luhn op. cit., pp. 8-9; for a complete discussion of the Sixth U. S. 
Infantry and its activities prior to the Civil War, see Ralph P. Bieber (ed.) 
Eugene Bandel, Frontier Life in the Army, 1854-1861, (Glendale: Arthur 
H. Clark Co.. 1932). 

6. Luhn, ibid., pp. 10-16; Bieber, ibid., pp. 41-44. 


were delivered despite heavy snowfall and Luhn's Company E 
became part of the garrison at Fort Bridger." 

Luhn was soon on the move, however, and would serve, until 
transferred east during the Civil War, at various posts in California. 
That transfer came in September of 1861 and Luhn and the Sixth 
U. S. Infantry were soon quartered in Washington, D. C. During 
the first part of the war, Luhn was present with the Sixth Infantry 
at Gaines' Mill and Mechanicsville in the Peninsula Campaign in 
Virginia in 1862. He was taken prisoner by the Confederates, and 
later in 1862 was sent north in a prisoner exchange after being held 
at Libby Prison and Belle Isle in Richmond, Virginia. 

On November 12, 1862, Luhn's enlistment ran out and he re- 
turned to his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, to enter private business. 
A short three months later he accepted a commission as second 
lieutenant in the Fourth U. S. Infantry. After reporting for duty 
he served in the battles of Second Bull Run or Manassas, Antietam, 
Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. On April 2, 1865, he was 
awarded the rank of brevet captain for gallant and meritorious 
service in front of Petersburg, Virginia.^ 

Luhn's post-Civil War career varied from recruiting duty in the 
East to Indian fighting, patrol duty, and garrison activity in the 
West. In 1867, while in Nebraska as commander of Company K 
of the Fourth Infantry, he was ordered to guard workers on the 
Union Pacific Railroad from attack by Indians. In the summer of 
1868 three companies of the Fourth Infantry, including Luhn and 
Company K, were ordered to change station from Fort Sedgwick, 
Colorado, to Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory, and arrived at their 
new station on July 9, 1868.*^ On January 21, 1869, Luhn was 
appointed Regimental Quartermaster and served in that capacity 
until January 1, 1871.^" Following two years recruiting service in 
the East, Luhn was stationed at Fort Bridger, and then at Fort 
Fetterman, Wyoming Territory, until the campaign of 1 876. After 
that he served at Fort D. A. Russell outside of Cheyenne, and was 
its commanding officer in 1877 and 1878.^^ From September 
until October 1879 he was the ranking officer at Fort Sanders 
south of present day Laramie.^- Following this duty, Luhn served 
with his company at various locations including Fort Bridger, Fort 

7. Luhn, ibid., pp. 21-23; Bieber, ibid., pp. 49-55. 

8. Luhn, ibid., pp. 38-70; Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and 
Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903, (Washington: GPO. 
1903). Vol. I, pp. 646-647. 

9. Luhn, ibid., pp. 71-75; Letter, A. J. Slammer, Lieut. Col. command- 
ing, Fort Laramie, to A. G., Dept. of the Platte, July 9, 1868. Letters sent, 
copy on file at Fort Laramie National Historic site. 

10. G. O. #1, Hq. Fort Laramie, January 21, 1869; Luhn, ibid., p. 75. 

11. Jane R. Kendall, "History of Fort Francis E. Warren," Annals of 
Wyoming, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 55. 


Niobrara in Nebraska, Rosebud Indian Agency in South Dakota, 
Spokane, Washington, and Fort Sherman, Idaho. He had attained 
the rank of captain on December 31, 1875 and retired with that 
rank on February 19, 1895.^-^ Even upon retirement his military 
career did not end. He soon became a military instructor at 
Gonzaga College in Washington state and served in that capacity 
for six years. Luhn and his wife traveled throughout the United 
States following his final retirement.^^ He died in Spokane, Wash- 
ington, in 1920. 

The following letters, as written by Gerhard Luke Luhn while 
serving with General George Crook's Big Horn and Yellowstone 
Expedition of 1876, are presented for several reasons. Although 
not satisfied with his education or confident in his writing ability, 
Luhn had a style of expressing himself which could be colorful, 
concise, and perceptive. His letters reveal much factual informa- 
tion about a campaign which is often overshadowed by the activ- 
ities of an officer named Custer and his demise on June 25, 1876, 
in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Also, Luhn's personal atti- 
tudes and reactions toward commanders, fellow officers, campaign- 
ing and Indian fighting are not unlike those of other officers and 
participants in the expedition. 

When the Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition left Fort Fetter- 
man on May 29, 1876, Luhn was in high spirits. By June 2 he 
optimistically noted in his diary that there was "plenty of Indian 
sign," and hoped for an early confrontation with the hostiles and a 
quick return home. Mail deliveries were rather erratic and de- 
pended upon messengers sent to and from the column. Luhn said 
little in his first letter dated May 29th, at 10 o'clock in evening, 
but had much more news in the second letter dated June 1 1.^-"* 

12. Ray Revere, A History of Fort Sanders, Wyoming, (Unpublished 
MA thesis, University of Wyoming, August, I960), p. 26. 

13. Heitman, op. cit., Vol. 1, pp. 646-647. 

14. Luhn, op. cit., pp. 104-105. 


June 1 1th 4 P.M. Currier leaves this evening we moved camp from 
Tannge River too goose Creek about 15 miles just got into camp, 
it is raining many kisses to you aW^^' 

Big Horn & Yellowstone Expedition 
on Tannge River 1 90 miles from 
Fetterman June 9th 1 876 
My Dear Wife 

Corpl Hardy & Harris came in last night and this morning while 
I was yet in bed an orderly brought me your letter, next to seeing 
you and the children it was the greatest pleasure that I could have 
received, we arived here on the 7th and I belive this will be the 
permenant camp for the Infantry, but cant say what Genl Crook is 
going to do until he hears from the guides who left on the 2d at 
Fort Reno for the Crow Indian reservation to bring a lot of Crow 
Indians as scouts, our march so far has been undesturbed by 
Indians and we have not seen an Indian since we left, night before 
last.^" one or more Indians came within about six hundred yards 
of our camp on a high bluff on the River and talked quite a while 
but as the guides were away for the Crows no body knows what 
they realy did say. one of the packkers who understands sioux 
says that they wanted to know where the half breeds were and if 
we had any Crow Indians with us, but it gave us something to talk 
about, and before night there were a dozen different versions of 
what they said.^'^ I am happy to know that my Darling Wife and 
children are well. I got a bad cold in my bowells during those few 
days of very cold weather we had, and was quite sick when we got 
to Reno but Dr. Patskey [Patzki] gave me two doses of medicine 
when we got into camp and next morning I was all right The 4th 

15. The letters are here presented literally with no alterations in Luhn's 
capitalization, poor spelling or erratic punctuation. 

16. Luhn is obviously referring here to the Tongue River. He consist- 
ently spells it Tannge throughout the letters. 

17. Fort Reno had been established on June 28, 1866, and was aban- 
doned on August 18, 1868, following the Fort Laramie Treaty of that same 
year. After proceeding north from this site, the column also passed over 
the former location of Fort Phil Kearny and the site of the Fetterman 
Massacre of December 21, 1866. Robert W. Frazer, Forts of the West, 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965), p. 184; and Luhn's diary 
entries for June 5-6, 1876. 

18. One of the newspaper reporters traveling with column, John F. 
Finerty. suggests that some felt the visitor could have been one of the 
expected Crow scouts. If he was a Crow, he may have been scared away 
by the packer speaking to him in Sioux. Luhn diary entry for June 7; John 
F. Finerty, War-Path and Bivouac. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
1955), pp. 89-90; see also, John G. Bourke, On the Border with Crook. 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 1971), p. 295; and Oliver Knight. 
Following the Indian Wars. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), 
p. 177. 


day out it snowed from 5 until 10 a.m. and the preveous days 
having been so warm we felt it very much, with the exception of 
about 6 hours @ Reno my health has been very good, we have a 
beautifull camp where Peno Creek comes into Tannge River. . . . 
I am glad Henrys Pony is getting along nicely, he must not ride out 
to far or go near the Platte, and the Lapareal [LaPrele] is danger- 
ous when high, I will now wait for something els to turn up. and 
only say that our mess is A No 1 Mr. Strahorn one of the Reporters 
messes with us.^'' we have all kinds of game Buffoloe, Elk, Ante- 
lope, Willow grous doves, soft shell Turtle, Pickeral and diferent 
kinds of Fish, we expected to have some Trout but we are eight 
miles from where goose creek emties into Tannge River and goose 
creek is the stream that has plenty of Trout, when we left old Phil 
Kearny we expected to make our permenant camp on goose creek, 
so Capt. Noys [Noyes] took 10 men and went ahead to fish 
expecting that we would camp there that night, the consequence 
was that he and his party slept away from camp that night and 
came in next morning @ sunrise, any person not in camp when it 
gets dark has to remain away for fear of being shot by the pickets, 
we passed over the very ground where Ma'or Fetterman and 83 
men [81 men in all] were killed some years ago, dont you belive 
all the rumors you hear about the wariors leaving to fight us. 
There sure were a Thousand Warriors at the Agencies, all we are 
afraid of that we wont find them, I do wish that Mr Sitting Bull 
would come and give us battle, we are all ready, and if we could 
get one good fight out of him we would soon be back to Fetterman. 
it is raining and getting quite chilly. 6:30 P.M. I went on as 
officer of the Day @ 6 P.M. @ 6.30 we have retreat and Co 
Inspection, and while I was Inspecting my company, the pickets 
commenced firing, and like a flash about 75 Indians appeared on a 
high bank of Tannge River about 600 yards from our camp and 
let loose on us. It lasted about one hour, we had three Horses shot 
and two men hit with spent bullets, I had a buisy time of it posting 
pickets until about 9 P.M. the night passed over quietly, and I feel 
first rate this morning it rained last night and is very cold this 
morning, it reminded me of old times to hear the bullets go by 
zip.-" Chambers was just in and told me that we would move 
camp @ 8 A.M. tomorrow and that the currior would return as 

19. Writing basically for the Rocky Mountain News, Robert E. Strahorn 
also reported for the Chicago Tribune, Omaha Republican, Cheyenne Sun, 
and New York Times. Knight, op. cit., p. 169. 

20. This minor skirmish was invigorating for the entire command. It is 
curious to note that Lieutenant Thaddeus H. Capron of the Ninth Infantry 
wrote in his diary, much like Luhn, that "The zipping of the bullets remind- 
ed me of days gone by." Thaddeus H. Capron Collection, MS in The 
Western History Research Center of the University of Wyoming, entry June 
9, 1876. 


soon as we reached our new camp, which I understand is to be 
about 14 miles from here on goose creek,-^ so that will have some 
Trout fishing after all, dont be alarmed about me Dearest, I run no 
risk by hunting or fishing I dont go outside of camp only when 
duty calls me, such as posting pickets and the like, we shall remain 
no doubt in our new camp until the guides return, and as soon the 
return, the train will leave for Fetterman, I dont know what com- 
panies go but I dont want to go if I can help it, I would like to see 
you all but I much rather not go which I will explain to you some 
other time, so dont feal bad if you dont see me with the train, now 
dearest Wife and children I hope to soon see you again kiss the 
children for me give the enclosed to Robinson-- your Affectionate 


Camp on Goose Creek 
June 15th 1876 
My Dear Wife 

This is a stirring day with us. About 150 Crows and 86 Snakes 
came in last evening. We are off this evening or to morrow morn- 
ing. The crows brought the news that Sitting Bull is about 80 
miles from here where the Tannge River emties in to Yellow Stone 
River the Infantry is going to be mounted with four days rations 
one hundred rounds of Ammunition per man, it will be a hard ride 
and if God only gives me my health to stand the ride, and if Sitting 
Bull makes a stand F. Co shall not be last into it and first out. 
Gibbons is camped uposite the Indian and cant cross the Yellow 
Stone on acount of high watter, but can look into Sitting Bulls 
camp, now dearest God bless you and the children I kiss you all. 
I think we will be home sooner than we expected Your ever loving 

G. L. Luhn 

Camp on Goose Creek 
June 19th 1876 
My Dear Wife 

Four days this morning we left this Camp 1 80 Infantry mounted 
on mules and all the Cavelry 100 rounds per man and four days 
rations first day we marched 42 miles we were in the sadle from 

2L Major Alexander Chambers was in overall command of the Infantry 
with the expedition. 

22. Second Lieutenant Henry E. Robinson of the Fourth Infantry was 
stationed at Fort Fetterman. 


6 A.M. until 2 P.M. mounted again at 4 P.M. and marched until 
9 P.M. next morning we left camp about 6 A.M. @ 8 A.M. the 
column was halted oweing to the scouts comming in and reporting 
having seen the Indians drive a heard of ponies, but the Indian 
scouts had not been in more then an hour when the Crows spied 
the Sioux near us and the fireing commenced, we had unsadled, 
Capt Munsons Company and mine we the first out as skirmishers, 
Genl Crook thought it would not amount to much thinking there 
were only a few hundred of them but he found out in a very few 
minutes that he had Mr Sitting Bull with his entire band to fight, 
so that in a short time all the Infantry was out, but soon came back 
sadled our mules and went at a galop for about a mile deloyed as 
skirmishers mounted and dismounted and went into the red skins. 
The battle lasted about four hours when the all of a sudden dis- 
apeared, and did not show themselves again, we lost in the Cavelry 
9 men killed and about 20 wounded Cain had three men wounded 
two slightly and one man whom was shot by his own company 
will loose his leg my men did not get a scratch. Corpl Roper got a 
hole through his hat, the three companis of the 9th also escaped 
unhurt, the train leaves here in a few days and I guess I will come 
with it, providing Chambers sends me. 100 men are going as 
guard, enclosed you will find Sioux Indian head dress picked up on 
the Battlefield by Babtiste, I had my hands full and had no time to 
look after trophies I will tell you all if I come. The Sioux left 14 
Indians dead and must have carried off several. The Indians 
fought there very best but had to skin out it is suposed that Sitting 
Bull had probably 1500 Indians, write to William about it,-^ there 
will be 5 companies more of Infantry to camp out with next train 
God bless you all and many kisses to you all, Capt Gui [Guy] V. 
Henry was badly shot both cheak bones carrying away the nose 
Your Affectionate Husband 

G. L. Luhn 

Luhn recorded a much more detailed description of the Rosebud 
battle in his diary, almost five weeks after the fighting occured. 
The account follows as written in his diary on July 23, 1876.-^ 


"Having marched about five miles on the morning of the 17th 
of June we were orderd to unsadle on the left bank of Rosebud 
The 2d Cav. were below us on left bank and the 3d on right bank, 
we had been unsadled a few minutes when I saw Van Vleit [Vliet] 

23. William L. Luhn was the Captain's brother and a resident of Cin- 
cinnati. Ohio. 

24. The most thorough account of the battle is found in J. W. Vaughn, 
With Crook at the Rosebud, (Harrisburg: The Stackpole Company, 1956). 


across the creek I stepped over and sat down and talked to him & 
Crawford and Chase, wondering at a halt so early when all of a 
sudden shots were rapidly fired on the left side of Rosebud and 
below the Cavelry, I ran to my Company saw Chambers he ordered 
Muson [Munson] with his Co to deploy my Company was second 
in line I asked if I should go he said yes I was going to take my 
entire company but he ordered me to leave about 10 men with the 
mules, when I marched my company near the foot of the hill by 
the flank formed line and deployed on the right fours which joined 
my right near Musons left we soon got within good distance of the 
Sioux and Dickens [Dickson] of my company dropped a horse 
second shot he fired, we could have hurt the Sioux considerable 
had it not been for the Crows & Snakes who were skirmishing with 
the Sioux all this time.-"' we remained on the field probably about 
% of an hour when we were orderd to go for our mules and saddle 
up, and as soon as saddled Munsens [sic], Burrows [Burrowes] 
and my company went up a long sloping hill (^; a trot and gallop. 
formed line mounted then dismounted and deployed as skirmishers, 
Cains and Burts Co followed us up the hill as soon as they were 
saddled, the Companies deployed on the hill were Munsons Cain 
and mine, Burt & Burrows were orderd with there Companies to 
the left where Col Royall was hard pressed with four companis of 
Cav. and sustained heavy loss of nine killed and twenty aught 
wounded and it is my candid opinion had it not been for Burt & 
Burrows Cos who poured in there fire by the Volleys Royall would 
have a different story to tell. Munsons Cains and my Co as soon 
as deployed marched for a round bute on the far end of the hill 
from where the Indians were anoying us very much, they left 
when we got within four or five hundred yards of them, although 
the poured in brisk fire all the time not a man was hurt, the entire 
lenght of this hill was about IVi miles, while four companies of 3 
under Royall were being hard pressed and Van Vleit with Craw- 
fords Co was holding a hill on the opposite side of the Rosebud 
Noyes with 5 companies of the 2d and Mills with four Companis 
of the 3d were riding @ a brisk pace for the Villiage through the 
Canion of Rosebud, but Genl Crook countermand the order and 
Capt Nickerson caught them about six miles into the Canion when 
he gave them Crooks order, had they gone on they would no doubt 
have met the same fate that Custer and his command did, the 
Infantry also were orderd to follow the Cavelry, but it was counter- 
manded before we got Started, the Indians were well handled I't^ 
a the reflection of the sun in a looking glass. The left the field likeV 

25. The Indian allies were wearing strips of red flannel over their 
shoulders to distinguish them from the hostiles. Apparently this flannel did 
not serve its purpose when viewed from a distance, so on July 15 it was 
replaced with small white flags. Luhn diary entry for July 15. 1876. 


a flash which we could not account for at the time but we now 
know that they were all called to the Villiage to help in slaughtering 
our Cavelry as soon as they would get near the end of the Canion." 
Following the Battle of the Rosebud, General Crook withdrew 
the entire command and returned it to his supply base on Goose 
Creek. On June 21 part of the command left camp to return to 
Fort Fetterman with the wounded and the supply train of 104 six 
mule teams. Samuel Munson's Company C of the Ninth Infantry 
and Luhn's Company F of the Fourth Infantry, under the com- 
mand of Major Alexander Chambers, served as escort. They 
returned to Crook's camp on July 13 with five additional com- 
panies of infantry and the restocked supply train. After the Rose- 
bud battle, the Shoshone Indian allies had returned to their homes 
near Fort Washakie. On July 1 1 over 200 of them, led by 
Chief Washakie, returned to further reinforce Crook's command. ^^ 
Luhn's correspondence with his wife did not resume again until 
after his return to Crook's main camp. 

Camp Cloud Peak July 16th 
4 P.M. 
My Dear Wife and children 

we arived here safe with our train on the morning of the 13th 
inst. two Co of Cavelry met us @ Phil Kearny, Crook had become 
somewhat anxious about us but there was no danger with seven 
Companies of Infantry but when we were comming with the emty 
train only two companys as guard they might have bothered us 
considerable, we heard of the Custer afair @ Old Reno dont be 
afraid about us what ever may happen they wont be able to get 
away with us as they did with Custer, Our Cavelry are not going 
to go in mounted and when they are on foot the must and will fight. 
Three men of the 7th Inf came through from Terry as curriers. 
They brave fellows voUenteerd, after it had been tried by scouts 
twice and run back each time, the came over part of our Rosebud 
battle field, the Indians have moved and taken only what was most 
necessary, all the other things were distroyed by Terrys troops it 
took them two days to destroy everything @ present sitting bull is 
about 45 miles from us in the mountains due west from us, we are 
o aiting for the 5th cavelry and some Yute Indians 50 I believe to 
oe commanded by Lt. Spencer and I expect when they all come and 
everything is ready which wont be however before 8 or 10 days 

26. Luhn diary entry, June 21; Capron, op. cit., June 20, 21, and July 13 
and 14: Grace R. Hebard, Washakie, (Glendale: Arthur H. Clarke Co., 
1930). pp. 193-194; Martin F. Schmitt, General George Crook: His Aiito- 
hiopraphy, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), p. 199. 


from now we will go for sitting bull about 1500 strong of which 
10 companies will be Infantry and I am satisfied we will be able 
to take care of us, we may sustain heavy loss but if we do we will 
have our mark on the Indians. I wish you would write to your 
Father and tell him to go to the Life Insurance office and apply 
for a special permit for me to be here, dont forget it, we have 
drill skirmish every day, now Darhng what ever may happen you 
may depend upon it will be strictly in my line of duty, you wont 
hear from me again likely until after a fight, and I hope that the 
next battle will deside the thing, so that those that are spared can 
go home in peace, Genl. Terry wrote a very pritty letter to Crook 
asking him to cooperate with him Terry that he would not excersise 
any control over Crook on account of his seneority,-' but I dont 
think that Crook thinks of acting in concert with Terry, those brave 
men that came from Terry command are going back this evening, 
there are just about 9 chances out of ten that they wont get through 
the direction they have to go. I supose you have or will hear of 
Lt Sibleys narrow escape with 25 men and Frank and Battise the 
guides, they lost all the Horss and had to travel about 50 miles 
without anything to eat.-*^ I will send you my diary when we leave 
for the fight which wont be until the 5th Cav. come which gives us 
in all 23 companies of Cav. and 10 companies of Inf. God bless 
you and the Children is the earnest prayer of your loving Husband 

G. L. Luhn 

I drew all the money at Tillotson-^ write to William If anything 
should happend me dont go to the Burgh if you can help it. You 
will get $30 per month pension, you might have some trouble in 
getting the insurance unless your Father got the permit I write 
this Dearest only as a matter of business, the Indians may have all 
scatterd before we are ready to go for them and may not have the 

27. The letter in question is probably the same dispatch mentioned by 
Luhn which was carried to Crook by the three men from the Seventh 
Infantry. It is printed in Loyd J. Overfield II. The Little Big Horn. The 
Official Documents, (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark, Co.), p. 56. 

28. Lieutenant F. W. Sibley with just a few men. guided by the scouts 
Frank Grouard and Baptiste Fourier, had been detailed by Crook to scout 
the surrounding country. They were attacked by Indians, forced to abandon 
their horses and return on foot to the main camp. The ordeal is recounted 
in Joe DeBarthe, Life and Adventures of Frank Grouard. (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1958), pp. 136-146; and Finerty, op. cit.. pp. 

29. E. Tilliston was the sutler at Fort Fetterman, John Hunton. "Fort 
Fetterman," MS dated November 20, 1925. in the Western History Research 
Center of the University of Wyoming, Fort Fetterman File. 


chance to fire a shot but it is well enough to be prepared, so kiss 
the children for me and I remain your loving Husband-"' 

G. L. Luhn 

July 17th 
My Dear Wife 

This letter was to go last night by Genl. Crooks curier, but we 
were camped about five miles apart and consequently the Curier 
did not come to Camp and take the mail. This Curier we have 
hired that is the Infantry Batalion and pay him $75.00 for the trip, 
and have agreed to pay him 250 per letter for those he brings back, 
dont send any letter but your own you can give me all the news, 
we moved camp and are now within 100 yards of Crooks Hd 
Quarters, a beautifull camp close up against the Big Horn range, 
watter ice cold. I think the permit I got some time ago from the 
Life insurance company covers or rather permits my being in this 
Indian country but tell yourFather if it does not clearly say so, let 
him get a special permit, it will not cost any more, only they will 
pay you probably 10 per cent less if I should get killed, which I 
do not intend doing but you know Dearest it is well to be prepared. 
Remember me to Robinson. Tell him not to come unless he has a 
good oportunity my health was never better, I can march 24 miles 
jump creeks and it does not hurt me in the least. All the men are 
in excellent health and if Sitting Bull does not scatter his tribe, I 
think we will teach him a lesson even he wont forget, Kiss the 
Children and many from your ever loving husband 

G. L. Luhn 

Camp Cloud Peak July 20th 1876 

My Dear Wife and children 

We moved camp about IVi miles west yesterday, we move camp 
every two or three days on account of grass. Kelly the currier who 
started on foot for Terry came back last night, having run against 

30. Camp Cloud Peak was just a new name for the camp on Goose 
Creek. The camp was dominated by an almost "picnic-like atmosphere" at 
this time. According to Lt. T. H. Capron, liquor was flowing about camp 
on July 14. Luhn became embroiled in a "Bitter personal quarrel" with 
another officer, identified by Capron only as Crittenden (possibly Lieuten- 
ant Albert B.). Their differences were settled the same day. James T. 
King, "General Crook at Camp Cloud Peak," Journal of the West, Vol. XI, 
No. 1, p. 120; and Capron, op. cit., July 14, 1876. 


Indians near the Rosebud,'^^ so it seams that Mr. Sitting Bull has 
gone back to the, or near the same place where we fought him on 
the 17th of June, he did go to the Big Horn mountains after the 
Custer and Reno fight, our camp is only about 3 miles from the 
main range, we are about 40 miles from the Rosebud but the way 
we will have to march to get there will be @ least 50 miles, Spencer 
with the Yute Indians about 50 in number is expected to day and 
the 5th Cavelry is looked for about the 28th they may come by 
Fetterman I hope the will so that we can get a paper mail. 
3 Crow Indians came in last evening from Terrys with dispatches 
duplicate to those brought by the three soldiers of the 7th Infantry. 
Our men are in good health and as we have skirmish drill daily 
they will I have no doubt do all we can expect of them. You better 
make some preparation for new under cloths for me, when I get 
through with this campaign the wont be worth much. Kiss the 
Children for me, and that God will bless you all is the prayer of 
your Affectionate Husband G L Luhn 

Sergt Rousell [Russell] gave me 30.00 dollars I wish you would 
pay that sum to his wife 

Camp on South fork of Tannge river 
July 22d 

We moved camp yesterday to this stream, which was about five 
miles from out last camp, the tents were scarsely pitched when Jim 
Harwood and Hodge came into camp, with the mail and I am so 
much pleased with your good long letter and the news paper clip- 
pings. They have been much sought after, they came for them 
from the Cavelry camp, you are such a good thoughtfull Wife, I 
will kiss you for your kindness when I get home, just think. 
Chambers told his Wife to cut clippings out of news papers 'and 
here I get all the clippings and he dont get any, dont you say 
anything about it, but he was real angry about it. The next thing 
now we are looking forward to is Spencer with the Yutes and the 
5th Cavelry. I return the Rosebud fight, you may want to send it 
to your Father or William Now Dearest kiss the Children for me 
and I trust that I may soon see you all again in good Health, I 
doubt if the Indians will stand to give us a fight 

Your Luke 

31. After trying several times, Kelly apparently did get through to 
General Terry. Finerty, op. cit., pp. 226-227. 


Camp on South Tannge River 
Sunday morning July 23d 1876 

My Wife & Children 

I just learned that Jim Harwood or some Currier would go out 
this P.M. I have nothing new to tell you. 1 expect this will be 
the last currier before the 5 th come and I expect that we will be 
on the trail of Sitting Bull soon after, I shall write up my diary to 
the day we leave and cut it out of the book and put it into an 
Envelope leave it with Capt Fury [Furey] Q.M. to send to you by 
first opertunety.^- This is a beautifull country for summer camp- 
ing the streams are like Blacks fork ice cold, and plenty of trout. 
I dont go fishing myself, I buy all the fish [illegible] for our Mess 
from the Snake Indians, they are good fisherman, and catch plenty. 
The Indians have Horse races every evening when the take there 
war Horses to keep them in condition, they run them up and down 
for about one hour, then the Indians go to camp and have there 
regular evening dance and song. The sometimes keep us awake, 
of late they have kept there paw waw up so late, now Darling kiss 
the children for me. dont be alarmed about me if a Currier should 
come and not bring a letter from me. The command is so large 
that Curriers are sent off very quietly sometimes. 

Your Affectionate Husband 
G. L. Luhn 

Between July 23 and August 2 Luhn wrote no known letters to 
his wife. In the interval he became increasingly bored with idle 
camp life while the command awaited further reinforcements from 
the Fifth Cavalry. He wrote in his diary that, "I am getting tired 
of this thing, although I must say, I have not felt better for years, 
and all our Companis are in excellent trim for battle if we are to 
have it, it would certainly be much better if he [Sitting Bull] will 
stand and deside the question in a good battle than to run after him 
all summer and probably have a winter campaign." 

Camp on Tannge River Aug 2d 8 P.M. 
My Dear Wife 

Four scouts of Col Merritts command came in about Vi hour 
ago. Col. Merritt is on goose creek about 15 miles from here we 
move camp tomorrow about 15 miles from here where Merritt will 

32. This was not done, although on August 8, Luhn started to keep two 
diaries with the same objective apparently in mind. 


join us, and I guess by the or on the 5th we will no doubt be on the 
road after S.B. we have had scouts out for several days but cant 
learn anything defenet as to the whereabouts of S.B. but the gen- 
eral impression is that his tribes have scatterd.-^-' All the news I 
have I have written in Williams letter, I receivd yours with the 
telegram and Robinsons letter, I am myself satisfied that we wont 
bring S.B. to battle this year, so I think I will run my risk, it seams 
extorsion to charge $250.00 extra if the means $250.00 including 
my present primium I guess we better pay it, you suit yourself, as 
I said before I think we wont have much to fear from the Indians 
this fall, . . . Aug 4th marched 22 miles yesterday, we leave our 
train here and go with pack mules from here I think to morrow, 
the 5th joined us last evening, I reed lots of letters from my dear 
Wife, and the box such a treat. I wish all men had such wives, 
you are so thoughtfull, it is almost painfull for me to receive so 
much and some nothing. I am very buisy to day getting my 
Company ready. I expect Plummer will be assigned to my com- 
pany, for duty in the field. -^^ I pray that God will keep my Darling 
Wife & children in good Health Your Affectionate Husband Luke 
Tell your Father to get the daily N. Y. Times of 13th of July it 
gives the truest account of the Rosebud battle. Currier is going 
give "R" [Robinson] his letter and send Wm. his. I kiss you and 
children God bless you we are off at 4 AM tomorrow 


Mouth Powder River on the Yellow Stone 
Aug. 18th 1876 
My Dear Wife and Children 

I expect by the time this makes you we will be on our way home, 
or to the Redcloud Agency. We left our wagon train on the goose 
Creek on the morning of the 5th inst with 15 days rations one 
blanket and one overcoat to Officers & men. The men had to carry 
one days rations and 100 rounds of Amunition on there persons, 
and the Officers had to carry four days rations and there blanket & 
overcoat on there Horse, we went to the Rosebud, our old battle 
field and the suroundings was burnt off we camped about 10 miles 
below, and marched down the creek, and went through were the 
Indians had there Viliage the time of the Rosebud fight it was 
about 3 miles in lenght, and that day struck there trail, which we 

33. The hostile tribes were breaking up and scattering. They apparently 
had been doing so since the Custer battle. George E. Hyde, Red Cloud's 
Folk, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1937), pp. 274-275. 

34. The man in question is probably Second Lieutenant Satterlee C. 
Plummer of the Fourth Infantry. 


followed until we met about 10 A.M. and both commands went 
into camp,'^'^ we replenished our rations to 15 days again and 
Terry took that many days for his command also on Pack animals, 
next morning we took up the trail again which led to Tannge River 
and then down Tannge within 35 miles of Yellow Stone, to Powder 
River, when we got to Powder we were about 50 miles from 
Yellow Stone which we were anxious to see on account of two or 
three steamboats that were suposed to be there, we followed the 
trail down the Powder, to the Yellow stone, and found that several 
small trails turn off towards the Agency, still the main trail run to 
the Yellow stone and keeps down the right bank for quite a distance 
and scatters again and suposition now is that all the the Agency 
Indians have gone to the Agency, and that Sitting Bull and Crasy 
Horses people have crossed the M. O. River, everything shows that 
the will not give us another fight, many of the Cavelry horses are 
giving out, three days ago the Cav. abandond seven Horses, we had 
rain four days in succession, one night while asleep the watter got 
under me and I got Rumatishm in my right hip, and for four days 
I was hardly able to get into or out of the saddle, I am quite well 
again I ride except when my Company is in the lead, and as it was 
in the lead I marched 29 miles, so you may know that I feel pritty 
well, we found one steamer here the Far West, she has gone to 
Bring up suplies or down which Terry left at the mouth of the 
Rosebud, we expect to get a few extra stores from Terrys Com. 
we have had nothing since the 5th inst but Coffee bacon and hard 
bread, which we cook in all manner ways which our utensils permit, 
I have a Coffe pot, a quart tin cup and a spoon & my Hunting knife 
which is all, I would give $2Vi a quart for some of that good soup 
you used to cook, but never mind, if God will only spare our health 
I intend to make up for lost time next winter, I went down the 
Yellow Stone this morning had a wash, and put on a Clean pair of 
drawers & socks, I carried an extra pair of each, I have no under- 
shirt except what I have on, the river watter is very muddy and I 
am afraid to have it washed still I see no other chance, the Sutler 
has undershirts but charges four dollars for them which I do not 
intend to pay, with much love to you and children and ever so 
many kisses, and trusting I will see you all within a month I 
remain your affectionate Husband 

Luke Luhn 

I saw Powell of the 6th Inf he is in Terrys command 

35. With the addition of the Fifth Cavalry to the expedition on August 
3. the command numbered over 2000 men. When Terry finally joined 
Crook, the combined commands had over 4000 men. Schmitt, op. cit 
pp. 200, 202. 


Various rumors were running throughout the camp at this time. 
On August 10, Luhn erroneously noted in his diary that, '"S. B. 
[Sitting Bull] is Safe enough now — S. B. reported killed as com- 
ming from his sister who is married to a half-breed (ai Ft. Lincoln." 

Luhn was also becoming increasingly tired of his duty. On 
August 15 he wrote that he was "still suffering very much ... I 
dont know where this thing will end I aught to be home." 

The pressures on all the men were great and one example serves 
to illustrate this. As early as July 25, Captain Avery B. Cain of 
the Fourth Infantry showed signs of being insane. One of the 
reporters with the expedition, Robert E. Strahorn, has written that 
Cain, who ate in the same mess as Luhn and Strahorn, at one time 
violently insisted "upon limiting our food to chow-chow pickles." 
On August 19 Cain was removed from the expedition on the 
steamer Far West and returned to his home in the East.-^^ 

After leaving the supply train on August 5 with fifteen days 
rations, the column faced forced marches, long hours, adverse 
weather and limited food supplies. All of these factors contributed 
to the suffering, and this part of the campaign soon came to be 
known as the "starvation march" or "horse-meat march." By 
early September, Crook found himself to be as much in search of 
supplies as he was Indians. Difficult as the situation was, most of 
the men did hold up and a good sense of humor served to make 
things more bearable. At one time Luhn and Strahorn stood in 
the rain dividing their last spoonful of beans. As Strahorn tells it, 
"I held the spoon in one hand with my revolver threateningly 
flourished in the other." Luhn, similarly armed, "with utmost 
decision drew his bowie knife through the beans indicating our 
respective proportions." Luhn and Strahorn then ate the last of 
their beans, all the while flourishing their revolvers, to the amuse- 
ment of everyone watching them.-'''' 

Following a minor battle with the Indians at Slim Buttes on 
September 9, Luhn again wrote his wife, bringing her up to date 
on what had been happening. 

Owl Creek Dakota Ter 
Sept 10th 1876 
My Dear Wife & Children 

I wont write much as I expect to be home by last of this month, 
we have done some great marching since we left the train, and men 

36. Robert E. Strahorn, Ninety Years of Boyhood. MS, Caldwell: Col- 
lege of Idaho, 1942, pp. 173-174; Luhn diary entries for July 25 and August 
19, 1876. 

37. Strahorn, op. cit.. pp. 200-201; See also Knight, op. cit.. p. 270. 


& Officers have had very rough time, which would take me to long 
to explain now, we joined Terry on the Rosebud about the 1 3th of 
August,-^'' he was traveling with his wagon train in luxoury & 
plenty where we had no shelter of any kind but overcoat and 
two blankets, Terry sent his train back and also started with pack 
mules we followed Indian trail to Tannge, to Powder where it split 
all up into small parties, we went to Yellow Stone River and got 
rations from Terrys Steamboats, and started again towards Little 
M. O. River not an Indian could we see, now our rations began to 
get low again and we had to go to Lincolm in the M. O. River or 
to the black hills Dead wood and some other small places where 
somebody said we could get rations, the greatest distance was Dead 
wood but Genl Crook desided to go there and we started making 
30 and as high as 34 miles on half rations, on the 8th horse meat 
was issued in place of other meat,'^-' when we were about 100 miles 
Dead wood Mills with 150 men 5 officers and thirty five pack 
mules were sent in ahead to make forced marches when they got 
about half way they came upon an Indian Village of 35 lodges 
Captured the entire Village and suplies about 175 ponies they dried 
meat amounted to enough to fead this command for two days, we 
have nothing now of any kind of rations but this dried meat. To 
night another party goes in for rations, and I hope we will get them 
soon, I think I can hold out three days longer without eating Horse 
meat, I forsaw this thing and saved some pork, we get our ration 
the same as they men, some of the Officers have allready eaten 
Horse meat, all the particulars I can give you now of the Capture 
of the Indian Villiage is, that we lost two killed and 8 or 10 slightly 
wounded. Van Lutwitz [Von Leuttwitz] was shot in the knee and 
his leg was amputated yesterday, he feals pritty well to day. The 
Indians lost about 32 of which 7 are prisoners, and the balance 
killed American Horse was badly wounded and died last night. 
Mills attacked the Villiage about 5 in the morning when he was 16 
miles only ahead of us the main CoUumn as soon as he had taken 
the Villiage he sent Courier to Crook, Mills was afraid another 
Villiage might be near and come with those escaped and give him 
a trashing, and retake there stock, we pushed along as fast as we 

38. It was on August 10. The two columns traveled together until 
August 23. The Field Diary of General Alfred H. Terry, (Bellevue: The 
Old Army Press, 1970). p. 31; Schmitt, op. cit., p. 204; Bourke, op. cit., 
pp. 360-362. The Indian allies had left the command on August 20 because 
of the lack of action or activity. 

39. Like everyone else, Luhn found the idea of eating horse meat to be 
repulsive. On September 8 he wrote in his diary, "during the day several 
Horses that had given out were shot by the men and the best cuts of meat 
taken from them, our men were still in good spirrets, I saw two Cav. men 
cutting at an old horse, when the Inf Collumm came up, and our men 
would mimic the Buzzard." 


could, it was a stormy morning and hard marching we reached the 
Villiage about 12 n, it had cleared up, I had had my dinner, and 
had taken a wash the first one for seven days, and was putting 
on my blause, when the alarm was given and Indian were in all 
directions, all the Infantry were sent out, and we must have sur- 
prised the Indians we could not get them nearer then 800 or 1000 
yds. the evedently expected to find Mills with his 5 companis only 
in place they found about 1800 soldiers it was well for Mills we 
were there, as they would have been to many for his 150 men. My 
love to you all Dear Katie I never felt better, but want to go home 
to get clean cloths and something to eat 

Yours & Luke 

Camp on White wood Creek 

15 miles from Crook City Sept 15th 1876 

My Dear Wife and Children 

I hope our hardship is nearly over we arived on the Bell[e] 
Fourche a river about the size of the Laramie on the 13th after 
making a march from 5 a.m. until 10 P.M. 38 miles on nothing but 
jerked Venison captured from the Indians and Horse meat over a 
soft alkalie country it having rained for six consecutive days, the 
mud would stick to the mens feet so that they would look like 
twice its natural size, men were strung all along the road a Co 
Cavelry was sent out next morning to pick them up, I have not 
slept in a dry blanket until last night for 10 days, the men marched 
180 miles on just 2Vi days half rations and one days V4 ration and 
Horse meat and jerked venison, I inspected my mens stockings last 
night, and found 45 men out of 50 that had no stockings at all and 
the other five were full of holes, men had there feet wrapped up 
with pieces of blankets and other rags, about the time we got into 
camp on the 13th a Beef herd and three wagons with Com. stores 
came in and Beef flour Coffe sugar and bacon were issued, also a 
Sutler or two came in and such cooking and eating I never saw, 
Bubb came back from the town of Dead Wood this morning,^" 
and will have 20 more wagons with Com in this day. Bubb left us 
on the road to go in and buy suplies, I never saw such a raged 
dirty set of looking men and Officers. I started with a pice of 
soap and a towel, owing to the constant rain I lost my soap and 
consequently only washed 3 times in 180 miles, my last wash was 
at Rabit Creek about 4 P.M. and was just putting on my blause 
when the Indians tried to jump us I got my Overcoat on in a hurry. 

40. Lieutenant John W. Bubb was the Acting Commissary of Subsistence 
for the column, Vaughn, op. cit., p. 11. 


and all the Infantry remained out until dark, Mr Strahorn for- 
junately remained in camp, and we had a shank of Antelope he 
cooked it and when I got in I made the best tasting meat of my life 
I do belive, We do not know what is going to be done now some 
say we are going in if that is the case I will be home in about 25 
days or 30, but no one can tell what Crook is going to do, unless he 
is orderd to bring us in he may keep us for two months more, thank 
God through all this hardship, my health has been splendid with 
exception of about for days Rumatism and 2 days Nuralogy, We 
have now had three curlers within the last 24 hours. Crook is going 
in and has turned the command over to Genl Merrit [Merritt] and 
I believe now that we will go home as fast as we can march in, we 
are about 290 miles from Fetterman so that with the usual delays 
we aught to be home by the 10th of October, I will tell you all the 
news when I get home .... much love to you all 

Your Luke many kisses 

Luhn's great hope for returning to Fort Fetterman at an early 
date was not realized. It was not until October 24, 1876, at Red 
Cloud Agency, that the expedition was disbanded and Luhn and 
his company were ordered to return to Fetterman. 

On November 2 they were approaching Fort Fetterman. Three 
miles from the post Luhn saw something approaching, "some 
mounted more afoot all mixed up when I got nearer I found they 
were all children. My son Henry . . . having the best mount was 
in Command. "^^ 

So it was that the soldiers of Company F, Fourth United States 
Infantry, were welcomed home by their children. The Big Horn 
and Yellowstone Expedition was over, but what had it accom- 
plished? In a military sense it was a failure. Crook, forced to 
abandon the field, had lost, or at best come out even, against the 
Indians at the Rosebud. His only real military victory was at Slim 
Buttes on September 9. 

His failures, however, mattered Uttle. Later expeditions would 
mean a series of defeats for the plains Indians. Forced to surren- 
der, return to the reservations, or die trying to fight, the Indian 
would, within 15 years, be completely subjugated to white rule. 

41. Luhn diary, op. cit., October 24, 1876 and Autobiography, op. cit., 

Zke Parting of the Ways on the 

Oregon Zrail-the Bast Zerminal 

of the Sublette Cutoff 

David E. Miller 

An examination of numerous diaries kept by overlanders during 
the decade following the 1 844 opening of the Greenwood-Sublette 
Cutoff (usually now referred to as the Sublette Cutoff) convinced 
me some years ago that the present "Parting of the Ways" historic 
marker located on Wyoming State Highway 28, some 23 miles 
northeast of Parson, does not accurately mark the spot where that 
Cutoff diverted from the original Oregon Trail. Yet the informa- 
tion found on that marker tends to give that impression. Thou- 
sands of unwary travelers have stopped at that site, examined the 
marker and the adjacent terrain and left with a feeling of deep 
satisfaction, mistakenly feeling that they have visited the true east 
end of the famous Sublette Cutoff that took most of the California 
Forty niners to the gold fields. 

In reality, the current marker is placed at the spot where the 
South Pass City-Green River stage road turned to the left, leaving 
the Oregon Trail at that point. That fork in the road had nothing 
to do with the thousands of Oregon-bound migrants. Salt Lake- 
bound Mormons or California-bound goldrushers who traversed 
the Oregon Trail long before South Pass City was founded and 
before stagecoach wheels had left their scars on the landscape. 

A majority of the available diaries kept by west-bound migrants 
are those of the Mormons and goldrushers. All of them wrote of 
the easy passage over South Pass and expressed joy at the pleasant 
surroundings of Pacific Spring — they were finally in Oregon Coun- 
try. Many diarists noted the dangers of the boggy terrain at the 
spring and reported that cattle, rushing to water and grass, often 
mired through the springy turf to become hopelessly stuck in the 
mud below. Stinking, decaying carcasses eventually contaminated 
the water, rendering it hazardous for human consumption. But 
drink it they must; there was no other. 

After crossing Pacific Creek a mile or so below the spring the 
trekkers faced a long 25 mile stretch before reaching the next 
palatable water at Little Sandy Creek. This segment of the trail 
was probably the most difficult yet encountered. Hundreds of 

5 ^ 


wagons had pulverized the soft earth into a mass of powder-fine 
dust reportedly varying from 2 to 6 inches in depth. If the wind 
was blowing (and it too often was) clouds of biting, choking dust 
swirled around like blinding snow in a Wyoming blizzard. Most 
travelers found it necessary to use handkerchiefs over their mouth 
and nose; a few of the most fortunate had come prepared with 
goggles. In contrast, an occasional company encountered bitter 
cold weather in this region. A major snowfall or rainstorm trans- 
formed the dusty trail into a quagmire. 

Even more important than the dust and/or mud, was the short- 
age of water and forage for the animals, which were often herded 
for several miles away from the trail in search of grass. Worst of 
all was the lack of fresh water. Alkali-infested pools, especially 
at the Dry Sandy, proved fatal to draft animals already half worn 
out from too many hours and days pulling the heavy loads. Nu- 
merous diaries mention the dozens of stinking carcasses lining the 
road through this desolate region. Too often the dead animals 
were left where they had fallen, sometimes actually blocking the 
track. And in the days when horse power was real, the loss of 
animals was critical, necessitating the discarding of tools, chains, 
furniture, stoves, bacon and other heavy articles from the over- 
loaded wagons; sometimes even wagons were abandoned. 

While plodding along this portion of the trail trekkers had to 
decide which way to go — over the original Oregon Trail by way of 
Fort Bridger, or by way of the Sublette Cutoff which would cut an 
estimated 75 miles from the seemingly endless road. Most of the 
traffic, except for the Mormons, chose the Cutoff even though it 
was known to include a stretch of 35-40 miles (between the Big 
Sandy and Green Rivers) without water and with very little grass. 
Many, of course, eager to get to the land of gold, had made the 
decision long before they reached this region. 

Except for the condition of the trail already alluded to, the first 
major obstacle to be overcome was Dry Sandy Creek. Although 
not always "dry," its alkaU waters constituted a major hazard. 
Relatively little trouble was experienced in crossing it. 

Six miles beyond the Dry Sandy was the Parting of the Ways — 
the east end of the Sublette Cutoff, 19.5 measured miles west of 
South Pass; approximately 9.5 miles west of the point where 
present Highway 28 crosses the old Oregon Trail. It is located 
near the center of Section 4:T.26N,R.104W., three miles due 
north of Highway 28, measured from a point 13 miles northeast of 
Parson. While most diarists simply estimated the distances, some 
(such as William Clayton) had accurate roadometers attached to 
their wagons and could thus report the exact distances from water 
to water. Distances recorded in Clayton's Emigrants' Guide check 
out perfectly with modern speedometer readings. 

Today the route of the old road is easily followed. After cross- 
ing Pacific Creek a mile or two below its source the trail strikes a 



David E. Miller 


David E. Miller 



southwesterly direction, angling gradually to the bench land north 
of the stream, traversing the location of the present Fremont- 
Sublette County line about a quarter of a mile south of the point 
where Wyoming Highway 28 crosses that same boundary. The 
highway intersects the Oregon Trail right at the southeast corner of 
the fenced area now improperly designated as the "Parting of the 
Ways." The old road parallels the present highway for nearly a 
mile at that point before swinging to the northwest in order to 
reach a satisfactory spot where the Dry Sandy could be easily 
crossed, or forded if the stream happened to be in flood stage as a 
result of recent storms. The crossing site lies just inside the north- 
east corner of Section 29:T.27N,R.103W. A Pony Express sta- 
tion was subsequently established at that site. After crossing the 
Dry Sandy the trail keeps to the high ground north of that stream 
for six miles to reach the true Parting of the Ways. At that point 
the Mormons took the left fork and most of the California and 
Oregon-bound migrants kept to the right. 

During the heyday of the overland traffic many signposts and 
other informational markers of various kinds were left at the 
junction, bearing messages to friends who were coming that way — 
somewhere back along the trail. All would have to pass that point. 

Through the years most segments of this portion of the Oregon 
Trail have been kept open and in use by ranchers and sportsmen. 
The only difficult spot is the crossing of Dry Sandy Creek which 
may be troublesome for an inexperienced driver; those with four- 
wheel-drive vehicles have no trouble at all. 

Right in the fork of the trail at the Parting of the Ways is a 
small stone marker, not more than a foot high into which has been 
cut "F. BRIDGER" (with an arrow pointing to the left) and 
"S. CUT OFF" (with a similar arrow pointing to the right). How 
long that marker has been there and who placed it I do not know, 
but would be happy to learn. At least, it is located in the proper 

The Bureau of Land Management has recently placed appro- 
priate markers along this segment of the trail. The accompanying 
map indicates their locations. 

Whatever action would be necessary to correct the information 
found at the present Parting of the Ways marker and to inform 
visitors to the site where the true fork in the trail is located is 
strongly recommended by this writer. 

Professor Miller has intentionally kept this article brief, with no 
quotations or citations from journals, since he is planning a major 
publication covering the Oregon Trail, and its various branches and 
cutoffs, between South Pass and Bear River. He hopes to include 


with the publication a "more or less accurate" map showing the 
Sublette Cutoff, Slate Creek Route, Dempsey Cutoff and Kenney 
Cutoff, as well as fords and ferries over the Green River. Field 
work for the trails project is being supported by a grant from the 
University of Utah Research Fund. (Editor). 

J^ew Deal Mt In Wyomingz 
Some Case Studies 



We now recognize the significance of those New Deal programs 
that encouraged and supported art and artists during the depres- 
sion years of the 1930s.^ At a critical time these measures sus- 
tained a host of painters, musicians and writers, fostered a creative 
productivity that cut across all the fine arts. The programs laid 
the philosophical groundwork for a federal patronage of the arts, 
an idea that today finds expression in the National Endowment for 
the Arts and its funded sponsorship of state arts councils. They 
enhanced the cultural possibilities of American life at a time when 
the country badly needed such reassurance and they demonstrated 
ways the government might contribute in such matters. Though 
unemployment relief was usually (not always) a major element in 
the programs, they did in fact produce a quantity of lasting art. 
Our essay deals with this legacy in Wyoming and the context of its 
creation. In the case studies (below. Part II) some of the prob- 
lems of depression art and New Deal bureaucracy come into sharp 
focus. In Part I, we provide a framework for understanding how 
the New Deal efforts to subsidize art worked, what their objectives 

There were four separate New Deal efforts to underwrite Amer- 
ican art and artists. One of these. The Works Progress Admin- 
istration's Federal Art Project, included four major components 
under the headings of music, painting, drama and writing. This 
project — the WPA/FAP — was aimed directly at the creation of 
jobs for the unemployed. Functioning from 1935 to 1943, it was 
part of the vast public works program to promote economic re- 
covery. The WPA/FAP remains the best known of the four 

1. By now the secondary literature on these programs is voluminous. 
For bibliography, a general discussion of art and the New Deal and for an 
extension of the material in this essay, see Joel Bernstein, "Government 
Subsidization of Art during the New Deal," and Jacqueline Petravage, "A 
Study of Three New Deal Art Projects in Wyoming," both unpublished 
M.A. theses in American Studies, University of Wyoming, 1963 and 1972. 


federal projects, by far the largest and most diverse. Its activities 
ranged from experimental theater projects and community art 
centers to the compilation of sources for state and local history, 
the indexing of native design and folklore materials and of course 
to the support of artists, writers and musicians in their professional 
roles. Its impact was cultural in the broadest sense and it remains 
outside the main focus of this essay. 

Preceding the WPA/FAP was the short-lived Public Works of 
Art Project (PWAP). Administered through the Treasury Depart- 
ment, but funded by the Civil Works Administration, PWAP was a 
stop-gap and experimental measure. Functioning through the 
winter of 1933-1934, it never resolved whether "relief" or "art" 
should come first in its work, though it aimed to provide decoration 
for public buildings. 

Two other art projects emerged from the Treasury Department 
during the depression years. In 1934 it estabUshed a Section of 
Painting and Sculpture to decorate new federal buildings where 
money for such art work was included in the congressional appro- 
priation as a small percentage of the building costs. The Section 
operated until June of 1943. A similar effort was the department's 
Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP), but in this project funds 
came from the Works Progress Administration. The idea here was 
to channel relief moneys into public building decoration and its 
administrators insisted on recognized talent that was demonstrably 

In brief, the New Deal art projects emerged from an experimen- 
tal program (the PWAP) and developed in two directions. The 
WPA/FAP stressed relief over art and its administrative centers 
tended to be state and local. The Treasury projects (the Section 
of Painting and Sculpture and TRAP) emphasized art above relief 
and were administratively centered in Washington. Each of the 
programs had its own aims, philosophy and procedures. As each 
of the four pursued its mission, there emerged 48 separate stories — 
one for each state — and at the grass-roots level there was finally 
the experience of a given project carried to completion under the 
auspices of the federal program. 

We know very little about this last transaction between the artist 
and his governmental employer, yet one must go to this level to 
answer some crucial questions about the art programs.- Was there 
censorship? How did the bureaucracy deal with the artist in his 

2. Indispensable documentary sources in this matter are in the National 
Archives, Social and Economic Branch, Record Group 121 [Public Build- 
ings Service]. The Record Group is further divided into entry numbers, 
with each of these indicating a set of files. Reference to a primary docu- 
ment then is through its description with its group and entry numbers, as in 
"A toB", date, RG 121/104. 


creative activity? What was the reaction of the artist to his being 
employed by the government? What problems emerged from the 
context of federally subsidized art? And finally, what is the 
"history" of those individual art works that remain still to be 
seen — murals, sculptures and the like? 

The art programs found little on which to build in Wyoming. 
There were few professional artists here and not much interest in 
the tradition they represented. The entire problem of a federal art 
patronage was new; with few guidelines, neither artist nor adminis- 
trator knew quite what to expect. When Frederic Hutchinson 
Porter assumed the job of director of the PWAP in Wyoming he 
located both artists and projects and as he recalled, served in the 
office without pay.-^ The first of the federal efforts, PWAP under- 
wrote a handful of Wyoming commissions, all in Cheyenne, where 
Porter Uved and worked. "Bunk" Porter was a well known archi- 
tect and artist himself. He reported to PWAP's regional director 
in Denver who in turn was responsible to Edward Bruce, heading 
the program from within the Treasury Department in Washington. 
Launched in December, 1933, PWAP was phased out in April, 
1934, and officially terminated in June. Porter recalled three 
projects completed in the several months of his directorship which 
are confirmed in the agency's records in the National Archives.^ 
These were a mural on the library wall of McCormick Junior High 
School in Cheyenne, a decorative frieze around the upper walls in 
the same library and a set of decorations in the dome of the State 

The mural portrays an episode from the lore of frontier Wyo- 
ming — the reading of Shakespeare's work to Scout Jim Bridger. 
Bridger is reputed to have traded a yoke of oxen for a volume of 
Shakespeare's plays and to have paid a clerk at Fort Laramie to 
read the book to him. The mural was conceived and executed by 
two artists in the Cheyenne area, Libbie Hoffman and Jeanette 
Kaiser. The same two women worked on the capitol dome, decor- 
ating its inner surfaces with gold leafing and replicas of the state 
and territorial seals."' Archival records in Washington indicate that 

3. Interview with co-author Petravage, Cheyenne, November 29, 1971. 

4. Frederic Hutchinson Porter interview. He also recalled a fourth proj- 
ect done by his people for which there is no record in the PWAP files. This 
was an easel painting, now lost along with the name of the artist. On the 
other hand, PWAP records list a project not recalled by Porter. This was 
Regional Project #22, a set of drawings for mural decorations in the Uni- 
versity library, Laramie. This was included in a roster of projects "under- 
taken" in Region Eleven sent by George Williamson [Regional Director] to 
Edward Bruce, April 26, 1934, RG 121/115. Since WilHamson used the 
term "undertaken" and since his report came as PWAP was terminating its 
projects, we are left with Porter's account of "completed" work. 

5. Porter interview, op. cit.; Williamson to Edward Bruce, April 23, 1934. 
RG 121/105. 


a third artisan, William Reed of Laramie, also worked for a time 
on this job/' Porter had suggested the project and had arranged 
it with state officials. Accompanying the mural in the junior high 
school was a decorative frieze comprised of names drawn from 
Western and Wyoming history; the project was done by Frank 
Stuart Lewis, a local sign painter.' 

It is accurate but perhaps unfair to dismiss the PWAP with its 
three jobs in Cheyenne, as an enterprise of little consequence. It 
is true that only four of the 44 artists employed in Region Eleven 
were from Wyoming; Colorado accounted for 35 and the Dakotas 
for five.^ But PWAP was an emergency measure. Jobs were 
needed, and to Porter's credit he met the need with some honestly 
decorative projects. His painters were treated as artisans; paid by 
the week rather than by commission, they were categorized first or 
second class much as unemployed craftsmen were classified in the 
broader relief program, the CWA. Their weekly pay ranged from 
$26.50 to $42.50. Porter took a personal interest in his projects, 
offering suggestions and criticisms to his artists. However, PWAP 
lasted less than six months; its relief overtones reappeared in the 
all-encompassing WPA and somewhat later in the Treasury Relief 
Art Project (TRAP). 

TRAP was organized in July, 1935, an agency in the Treasury 
Department, but funded from the relief-oriented Works Progress 
Administration. Unlike PWAP, this project was administratively 
centered in Washington. TRAP'S aim was to shift artistic talent 
from local relief rolls to projects built around the decoration of 
federal buildings. Olin Dows, Chief of TRAP in Washington, 
worked through local volunteer advisors who were invited to 
suggest projects and unemployed artists of recognized ability. The 
arrangement was awkward and insistence upon first-rate artists, 
who were demonstrably on relief, limited the program's potential. 
When Dows wrote to Porter in Cheyenne, the one-time head of 
PWAP in Wyoming indicated his willingness to help with sugges- 
tions; he noted there was "quite a Uttle talent" in Wyoming but was 
uncertain about how much of this would be available from relief 
rolls.-' Dows thanked Porter and went on to acknowledge that lists 
he had received from other state advisors were disappointing. 
"Almost all artists are needy and are in need of employment," he 

6. "Projects File", RG 121/5. 

7. Porter interview, op. cit.; Williamson to Forbes Watson, April 13, 
1934, RG 121/106. 

8. PWAP Report to Federal Emergency Relief Administrator, in "Extra 
Copy" file, RG 121/105. The report covers the over-all activities of PWAP, 
from its inception to its end in 1934. The agency worked through 16 re- 
gions, those of its parent organization, the Civil Works Administration. 

9. Frederic Hutchinson Porter to Olin Dows, August 28, 1935, RG 


admitted, but it appeared to him that few good artists were actually 
on relief. ^'^ To the head of the art department at the University of 
Wyoming in Laramie, Dows echoed the problem; there were plenty 
of federal buildings that needed decoration, but finding artists for 
the work was another matter. ^^ TRAP files in the National 
Archives indicate that the project earnestly tried but could not 
identify any artists in Wyoming for support. So burdened by a 
policy that mixed unemployment relief with quality art, TRAP 
lasted three years. In 1938 it was dissolved as an expendable 
duplication of WPA efforts. 

It remained for another agency within the Treasury Department 
to demonstrate the feasibility of a genuine federal art patronage. 
The Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture was established in 
the fall of 1934. (In October 1938, it was renamed the Section of 
Fine Arts.) Its administrators in Washington, Edward Bruce, its 
chief, and Edward Rowan and Forbes Watson, his assistants, were 
clear in what they wanted and unhampered by the relief require- 
ments of TRAP.^- Bruce's organization sought the best decorative 
art it could find for the embellishment of new federal buildings. It 
expected this work to reflect the themes and style of the American 
scene, with a hope that it would strike a responsive chord in the 
general public. Working with the architectural plans for new 
buildings, the Section made suggestions for decoration and sought 
to earmark a portion of the building costs for art work. 

The Treasury Section used no local intermediaries; its officials 
dealt directly with the artist himself who was usually picked in 
competition with other artists. If the commission was a major one, 
involving $5000 or more, the Treasury Section conducted a nation- 
al competition; for smaller projects, local or regional contests suf- 
ficed. When the reservoir of artists was small (as in Wyoming) 
and where the money allocated for the art work was minimal, com- 
missions often went to those whose work had ranked well in earlier 
competitions. Within its over-all objectives, the agency had con- 
siderable discretion in these matters. The artist was paid in 
installments, usually three, as his work progressed from prelim- 
inary drawings to the finished product. His contract with the 
government stipulated that a photographic record of the work be 
submitted to the Washington office. Through the sketches, scale 
color drawings and photographs the Section in Washington fol- 
lowed the project, making suggestions and criticisms along the 

10. Dows to Porter, August 31. 1935, RG 121/119. 

11. Dows to E. E. Lowry, October 3, 1935, RG 121/119. 

12. Bruce and Watson had been key federal personnel in the PWAP 

13. This complete pictographic record adds a unique dimension to the 
history of the Treasury Section. 



In the nine years of its operation, the Treasury Section under- 
wrote about 1100 major decorative projects; six of these were 
executed in Wyoming. These included murals for the post offices 
of Kemmerer, Worland, Powell, Greybull and Riverton and a 
sculpture for the post office in Yellowstone Park. 


In July, 1937, the Section invited Eugene Kingman to submit 
plans for a set of murals to decorate the post office in Kemmerer, 
Wyoming. The commission was a small one — $660 — and King- 
man's earlier work, submitted in competition for work at Mesa 
Verde National Park, brought him the job. The artist journeyed 
to Kemmerer, surveyed the locale, decided on the subject matter 
for his murals and then went to Providence, Rhode Island, to work 
out sketches and scale drawings for his painting. He was allotted 
216 days to complete the work and the commission was to include 
all costs. ^^ 

Kingman chose for his miurals scenes illustrating the fossil beds 
around Kemmerer, their excavation and the kinds of prehistoric 
life found in them. Working his ideas into pilot drawings, the artist 
found it necessary to satisfy the Treasury Section people as well as 
himself. The work went through several revisions; at one point, 
the Washington office wrote the artist as follows: 

Your revision has been studied by the members of the Section and it 
is our feeHng that by placing the figure where you have, you have 
sacrificed some of the drama of the original design. ... It is our 
suggestion that you move the new figure much farther down in the 
composition on a diagonal leading from left to right. ^-'^ 

The artist accepted the suggestions and by June of 1938 his work 
was completed. The murals installed, Kingman was pleased with 
his work and local reaction to it. 'T wasn't sure how much of an 
appeal dinosaurs would make for these people," he wrote to 
Edward Rowan in Washington, but he added he was speaking to 
the local Lions club that evening on the whole business of the 
murals and the work that had gone into them.^*' Kemmerer's post- 
master, Andrew Morrow, was enthusiastic in his praise of the 

14. Edward Rowan to Director of Procurement, July 2, 1937; Eugene 
Kingman to Rowan, August 9 and September 23, 1937; Rowan to Kingman, 
October 5, 1937; Kingman contract, October 27, 1937, RG 121/133. All 
documents pertaining to Treasury Section commissions in Wyoming are 
included in this group and file; its designation is implicit in all documenta- 
tion which follows. 

15. Rowan to Kingman, March 23, 1938. Suggestions from Washington 
came earlier as well; Rowan to Kingman, October 12, 1937. 

16. June 5, 1938. 





H. R. Dieterich 


One of three murals in the Kemmerer Post Office 

paintings. The artist had put in long hours to see that the work 
was done as it should be, and his cooperative spirit had also 
impressed Morrow. "It was a pleasure to know such a man and 
to see his work," he wrote. The murals centered on a subject of 
local interest and they had already received much favorable com- 
ment. The Kemmerer Gazette echoed the postmaster in an article 
describing the paintings and commending the artist "on his talented 
work."^' Kingman himself thought the incorporation of geological 
motifs into the mural had been a most interesting problem to work 
out. Three years later, then Director of the Philbrook Art Museum 
in Tulsa, he asked the section for some of his preliminary Kem- 
merer drawings; he planned to use them in lectures on the problems 
of mural painting.^^ 


In November, 1937, the Section invited Louise Ronnebeck of 
Denver, Colorado, to submit sketches for a mural in the Worland 
post office. The agency had hoped to find a Wyoming artist for 
the job, someone who had placed well in regional competitions; 

17. Andrew Morrow to Rowan, June 14, 1938; Gazette clipping, dated 
June 10, 1938. 

18. Kingman to Bruce, June 21, 1938: Kingman to Rowan. March 12. 


one had materialized and the Denver artist was picked on the basis 
of her sketches for an El Paso, Texas, competition.^'' The Worland 
commission was for $570 and the artist was allowed 119 days for 
its completion. The Section wrote Ronnebeck that the mural 
called for a "simple and vital design" based on a theme appropriate 
to the locale. -'' She submitted four sketches to the Washington 
office; of these one that depicted the Indian and pioneer past as 
displaced by an economy of oil, ranching and irrigation seemed 
most acceptable. Ronnebeck had not visited Worland but had 
corresponded with the postmaster there about an appropriate sub- 
ject matter for the mural. ^^ She worked on her painting in the late 
spring of 1938 (the contract was dated 1 February 1938), com- 
pleting it in June of that year. In the course of the commission she 
spent a good deal of effort explaining and defending her concep- 
tions to the Washington office. The problem centered about the 
artist's treatment of the mythic and historic elements of her paint- 
ing — Indians, bison — which she wished to incorporate as a kind 
of dream background in the mural. At one point she called on a 
professional acquaintance, the director of the Denver Art Museum, 
for support and he wrote that her attack on the general problem 
was both original and promising.-- The continual suggestions from 
Washington were phrased with tact and with an obvious effort to 
leave final decisions with the artist but the correspondence suggests 
that the Section took even a small commission quite seriously. 
Nor did the artist take offense at the suggestions. Having sub- 
mitted sketches to an architectural firm in Denver (the concern had 
been favorably impressed by her Worland design) she assured the 
Section that its commission came first. The Denver firm liked her 
work but its client was reluctant to add the expense of her decora- 
tion; "What would the artists do without the government?" she 

Once the mural was installed, Rowan wrote from Washington 
that he was glad the artist had persisted in her ideas and that her 
painting had combined elements of fantasy and reality "quite 
successfully." Ronnebeck noted that the mural seemed to please 
the people of Worland and that she had much enjoyed carrying out 
the commission; its execution seemed to have added to her reputa- 

19. Memoranda to Director of Procurement, April 8 and November 8 

20. Rowan to Louise Ronnebeck, November 9, 1937. 

21. Ronnebeck to Rowan, November 16 and December 30, 1937. 

22. Donald Bear to Rowan, April 1, 1938; the dialogue of suggestion and 
rejoinder between patron and artist can be followed in letters from Rowan 
to Ronnebeck, January 17, February 14 and March 23, 1938, and from 
Ronnebeck to Rowan March 31, and April 17, 1938. 

23. Ronnebeck to Rowan, June 4, 1938. 


tion as an artist, she added in a final letter. From Worland, the 
postmaster endorsed her work, pleased with the favorable comment 
on it and certain that it was a "real addition" to the building.-^ 


The mural in the Powell post office was completed in December, 
1938, the work of a professional artist who had done similar work 
for post offices in Montana and North Carolina, and who had 
shown her work in various art exhibitions. Verona Burkhard 
received the Powell commission on the basis of designs she had 
submitted in the Dallas, Texas, post office competition. Trained in 
the east and from a family of artists, Ms. Burkhard lived at the 
Klondike Ranch near Buffalo when she received the $880 Powell 
commission.-^* Visiting Powell in July, 1938, the artist determined 
that the theme for her painting would be local agricultural and 
livestock production as these were linked to the Shoshone Irriga- 
tion Project. Preliminary drawings and sketches met the approval 
of the Section in Washington but in the course of the work its 
officials made minor suggestions to the artist concerning compo- 
sition and balance.-*' Again, Rowan, representing the Washington 
office, was careful to suggest rather than direct; do not incorporate 
our suggestion he wrote in one letter "unless you yourself are 
convinced that it adds interest to the composition."-' As the artist 
finished her work, she described reactions to it. 

The mural looks much better than the color sketch, and all the stock- 
men that have seen it think the animals are just right. I realize that 
most of the people here know little or nothing about painting, how- 
ever. I have tried my best to put quality and good painting in this 
work — as well as make it understandable to the layman. 28 

On receiving a photograph of the finished work. Rowan compli- 
mented the artist on her handsome painting, a sentiment that was 
echoed in a letter from the assistant postmaster in Powell. The 
artist concluded her work with a note of appreciation for the job 
and the hope that she might secure another similar assignment.-^ 

24. Rowan to Ronnebeck, June 18, 1938; Ronnebeck to Rowan, June 25 
and July 11, 1938; P. F. McClure to Rowan, July 11, 1938. (The painting 
was transferred to the new Casper post office when the old Worland post 
office became excess to the needs of the government in the 1960s.) 

25. Memoranda to Director of Procurement, January 12 and June 7, 
1938. "Mural Painting by Verona Burkhard." 

26. Rowan to Verona Burkhard, July 11 and July 12. 1938; Burkhard to 
Rowan. July 26, 1938. 

27. Rowan to Burkhard, October 18, 1938. 

28. Burkhard to Rowan, December 2, 1938. 

29. Rowan to Burkhard, December 7, 1938; Lowell O. Stephens to 
Rowan. December 27, 1938; Burkhard to Rowan, December 28. 1938. 



H. R. Dieterich 


GreybuU Post Office Mural 


In June, 1939, the Treasury Section conducted a national com- 
petition from which 48 paintings were selected, one for a post 
office commission in each of the states. The December 4th issue 
of Life magazine carried a brief story on the contest and reproduced 
the 48 winning designs. Manuel Bromberg's painting, "Chuck 
Wagon Serenade," was picked for Wyoming's new post office in 
Greybull; Bromberg, a 22-year-old artist studying at the Colorado 
Springs Fine Arts Center, had exhibited his painting widely and 
had done murals for the Section in both Oklahoma and Illinois.-^" 
The Greybull commission was for $840 and with the Life article, 
Greybull residents had a preview of their new mural. From civic 
clubs in Greybull came notes of protest, the tone of which is 
indicated by this exerpt: 

Many exceptions have been taken to the proposed mural. Including 
such things, as the peculiar looking individuals supposed to be cow- 
boys, the background of rather uncertain description and the lack of 
any feeling to the picture.-^^ 

30. "Mural Painting by Manuel A. Bromberg," (memo); "Information 
for preparation of Bromberg contract" (memo). 

31. Joseph Spangler (Greybull Lions Club) to W. W. Howes (postmaster 
general's office) December 9, 1939. The Greybull Club, too, had protested 
in a letter, W. A. Simpson to Public Buildings Administration, December 5, 


Unlike the other Section commissions done in Wyoming, the Brom- 
berg painting had no direct Hnk with the immediate locale; a prairie 
scene of cowboys singing to the accompaniment of harmonica and 
guitar, the mural was the product of the artist's own imagination. 
The theme is universal rather than local, the figures stylized, not 
overtly realistic. Writing from Washington, Rowan came to the 
defense of the painting. To one of the critics he pointed out that 
it had been chosen in a competition "open to every American 
artist," that its design was truly distinguished and that its details 
could, of course, be tailored to the Wyoming locale.'^- Made aware 
of the tensions, Bromberg assured Rowan that he would strive to 
win over the local people and that he would be "extremely cautious 
with the authenticity of the costumes and the region. "-^-^ 

Thanks to his prize-winning design, Bromberg worked with few 
suggestions from Washington. The mural was first exhibited at the 
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and when he had seen pictures 
of it. Rowan commended the artist; "The work seems to us authen- 
tic in feeling, beautiful in painting quality, vital in design and 
distinctive in mood."-^^ The mural was installed on September 4, 
1940; the postmaster thought it a "real work of art", and that it 
would be appreciated by most of the people in the area.-^'' Brom- 
berg too was pleased with the outcome : 

The entire staff of the post office have been more than kind and happy 
about the mural; they assisted me no end with the installation. The 
postmaster is delighted and the natives of the Town, as much as I 
could gather from their comments seemed more than satisfied. Which 
makes for a happy ending.36 

Not SO happy a note was the young artist's economic plight. 
Correspondence with the Section in the course of the commission 
suggests that his financial status was most precarious. The first 
segment of his commission pay he used to cover old debts; the 
Greybull assignment itself had kept him from qualifying for local 
relief payments, yet on a day-to-day basis he was without "financial 
sustenance. "^^ In a final letter to Rowan, the artist sketched a 
situation which plagued many artists during the depression: 

At this point I am tempted to burden you with personal troubles 
(financial) .... I realize that you must receive many such letters. 
So when I say I am in great need of the final payment and another 

32. Rowan to W. A. Simpson, December 15, 1939. 

33. Manuel A. Bromberg to Rowan, December 28. 1939. 

34. Rowan to Bromberg August 22, 1940. 

35. Fred W. Chamberlin to Supervising Architect, September 5, 1940. 

36. Bromberg to Rowan, September 9, 1940. 

37. Bromberg to Rowan, February 10. 1940; also Bromberg to Rowan. 
August 16, 1940. 



commission I know you won't take it too lightly. Believe me it irks 
me to annoy you about such matters. . . ."-^^ 


On February 10, 1942, the Treasury Section invited George 
Vander Sluis of Colorado Springs to submit designs for a mural 
that would go in the Riverton post office. The 13x6 foot painting, 
completed some eight months later was the last Treasury Section 
job done in Wyoming. Vander Sluis was picked for the $850 

H. R. Dieterich 


Riverton assignment on the basis of an entry he had submitted for 
a Denver mural compeition.^'^ By this time, the country was 
involved in the war, a fact that intruded on the Riverton commis- 
sion in two ways. The artist was pressed to complete his work 
before military induction and the Section itself was unsure of its 
mission, in the new war-time setting. Rowan advised the artist 
to contact the postmaster and citizenry at Riverton regarding 
suitable subject matter and "to learn of their attitude toward pro- 
ceeding with a mural decoration in their federal building at this 
time."^^ Sentiment favored the work and the postmaster suggested 
as an appropriate theme for the painting the farm and livestock 

38. Bromberg to Rowan, September 9, 1940. 

39. Rowan to George Vander Sluis, February 10, 1942. 

40. Rowan to Vander Sluis, February 11, 1942. 


industry of the locale. ^^ In May the Section approved the color 
sketches with only minor suggestions and in September the mural 
was completed. Rowan liked the artist's work; 'There is a nice 
stamp of authority in the presentation of the sheep in this painting 
which can come only from serious observation."^- From Riverton, 
Postmaster J. E. Smith wrote that "the work seems to have been 
very satisfactorily done and is being admired by the patrons to a 
quite considerable extent. "^'^ The war provided a post script to 
the commission. In November the artist, now in uniform and 
writing from his post in Maryland, told Rowan he would accept an 
invitation to visit at Rowan's home, but passes were restricted. 
"When I do get the chance I will call you. Am becoming a soldier 
and I hope to be a good one."^^ 

Yellowstone Park 

Fronting the post office at Mammoth Hot Springs in the Park are 
a pair of carved stone grizzly bear cubs. The two animals are the 
work of Mrs. Gladys Fisher, a Denver artist who completed the 
commission for the Treasury Section between 1939 and 1941. A 
native of Colorado, she had studied professionally in New York 
and Paris, and when invited to do the Park sculpture she had 
already completed a similar decoration for the entrance of the 
Denver post office. In its invitation to Mrs. Fisher, the Section 
outlined the commission: the sculptures were to be of animals 
characteristic of the Park; the medium, stone or artificial stone; 
the total allocation, $2000.^'' The artist gathered her information. 
She suggested the bear as an appropriate animal and urged that 
carved, rather than cast stone, be used. Her cost estimated ex- 
ceeded that of the allocation by about $500 however, and though 
"terribly interested" she was reluctant to undertake the job.^" A 
further exchange with the Section made clear that the allocation 
could not be raised and the artist agreed to work the problem out 
in her second choice, artificial stone. ^'' She submitted sketches and 
obtained bids on the materials, in the course of which she deter- 
mined that using Indiana limestone and working from small scale 
models she could avoid the cast stone alternative and just "break 
even."^^ The Section was pleased with the preliminaries but at this 
point circumstances disrupted the artist's work. An emergency 

41. Vander Sluis to Rowan, March 5, 1942. 

42. Rowan to Vander Sluis, September 24, 1942. 

43. J. E. Smith to Rowan, October 27, 1942. 

44. Vander Sluis to Rowan, December 1, 1942. 

45. Inslee A. Hopper (Consultant to Chief, Treasury Section) to Gladys 
Fisher, March 30, 1939; Fisher biographical memo. 

46. Fisher to Hopper, April 20, 1939. 

47. Hopper to Fisher, May 9, 1939; Fisher to Hopper, May 12, 1939. 

48. Fisher to Hopper, August 4. 1939. 


appendectomy and subsequent complications kept Mrs. Fisher 
from work on the commission for about six months.^'' Despite the 
delay, the section held the commission for her; in February with her 
scale models completed and approved, she received her formal 
contract. Paid in installments as each of the three-and-a-quarter 
ton sculptures was set in place, the artist was allotted 486 days to 
complete the project."'" Her problems continued however; costs of 
stone cutting and transportation absorbed nearly three quarters of 
her commission with other expenses leaving less than $200 for the 
artist's pay.-"^^ 

The stone cutting firm in Indiana sent photographs as its artisans 
worked from the models and Mrs. Fisher forwarded the pictures to 
the Section. The arrangement was not altogether satisfactory and 
the Section had reservations about the sculpture as it appeared in 
the photographs, but it was understood that the artist would do a 
final touching up of the surfaces as the figures were installed. '*- 

Circumstances again intervened. There is in the Section files the 
announcement of a baby girl, born to the Fishers in the spring of 
1941. Still, by September the limestone bears were finally set in 
front of the Park post office. The artist had carefully arranged 
the details of their installation but she found it impossible to super- 
vise the job at the site and thought a final treatment of the surfaces 
superfluous. Would final photographs of the job suffice for the 
completion of her commission, she asked. ^''^ The Section asked for 
such pictures and on their receipt wrote that the work seemed ex- 
cellent."'"' There is no record of a final carving. 

Somewhat later, however, the postmaster in the Park gave his 
unvarnished appraisal of the work: 

These Sculptured Bears' resemblance to real bears is rather vague, 
especially here in Yellowstone Park where bear Isic] are so common, 
and everybody is very familiar with real bear. "Mrs. Fisher's con- 
ception of a bear must be rather vague" is the opinion of most of the 
residents of Yellowstone Park. 

The Bears do greatly improve the appearance of the Building tho, and 
are welcome additions. . . .•''■'' 

49. Hopper to Fisher, August 7, 1939; Alan Fisher (the artist's husband) 
to Hopper, August 29, 1939 and November 28, 1939. 

50. "Information for preparation of contract," (Fisher). 

51. Fisher to Hopper, February 20, 1940; and Fisher to Hopper, October 
16, 1940. 

52. Fisher to Hopper, February 20, 1941; Hopper to Fisher, February 
26, 1941. 

53. Fisher to Hopper, September 20, 1941. 

54. Hopper to Fisher, September 25 and October 2, 1941. 

55. Joe D. Kurtz to Office of the Commissioner, Federal Works Agency, 
November 14, 1941. 


In Washington, the Section remained unshaken by the vagueness of 
its bears. The press release which finally covered the commission 
pointed out that these were broad interpretations, not imitations of 
bears in stone and that in such a decoration the artist was striving 
for a harmonious relationship between textures and architectural 

With the Park commission and the one in Riverton (1942), the 
Treasury Section's work in Wyoming came to a halt. The Section 
itself lasted not much longer, dissolved in June, 1943, as the nation 
turned to the war effort. 

One need not argue that the four federal arts programs left a 
spectacular residue in Wyoming. Such was not the case but art 
is a matter of the spirit, ideally a part of the consciousness of a 
people. It may be that the New Deal experiments had a dispro- 
portionately greater impact on this frontier state than elsewhere, 
because the arts in Wyoming had so long been undernourished. 
Contemporary criticisms of the New Deal's art projects missed their 
mark in the Wyoming experience. Here was no vast "make-work" 
program, allowing hordes of would-be artists to boondoggle their 
way to a pay check. Nor were the Wyoming commissions for both 
PWAP and the Treasury Section marked by leftist propagandizing 
and avant garde experimentation. The work here was conven- 
tional, competently done and in keeping with both the needs and 
the tastes of Wyomingites. 

The government itself progressed from the PWAP which treated 
the artist as a salaried technician to the Treasury Section in which 
the canons of artistic and creative integrity were followed with some 
care. In the commissions we have documented, the supervision 
from Washington came through carefully phrased suggestions and 
if the artist was not left completely on his own, he enjoyed a good 
deal of autonomy in the execution of his project. It is true that 
there was a general stipulation that the Wyoming commissions 
should reflect the concerns of the state but within this framework 
the artist apparently worked easily and was delighted to do so. 
The commissions often enhanced his professional status and even 
in the experimental PWAP he was dealt with as an individual. The 
Wyoming experience with the New Deal programs may not be 
typical; it is admittedly a small part of the whole. Yet the total 
experiment seems more than worthwhile in retrospect, even apart 
from its work-relief aspects. While its decorative legacy to Wyo- 
ming may have been limited, it is by no means inconsequential. 

56. Press Release; Rowan wrote to Postmaster Kurtz in the same vein 
on November 28, 1941. 



Boiling water is a very important desideratum in the making of a 
good cup of coffee or tea, but the average housewife is very apt to 
overlook this fact. Do not boil the water more than three or four 
minutes; longer boiling ruins the water for coffee or tea-making, 
as most of its natural properties escape by evaporation, leaving a 
very insipid liquid, composed mostly of lime and iron, that would 
ruin the best coffee, and give the tea a dark, dead look, which ought 
to be the reverse. 

Water left in the tea-kettle overnight must never be used for 
preparing the breakfast coffee; no matter how excellent your coffee 
or tea may be, it will be ruined by the addition of water that has 
been boiled more than once. 


One full coffee-cupful of ground coffee, stirred with one egg and 
part of the shell, adding a half cupful of cold water. Put it into the 
coffee boiler, and pour on to it a quart of boiling water; as it rises 
and begins to boil, stir it down with a silver spoon or fork. Boil 
hard for ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the fire and pour 
out a cupful of coffee then pour back into the coffee-pot. Place 
it on the back of the stove or range, where it will keep hot, ( and not 
boil); it will settle in about five minutes. Send to the table hot. 
Serve with good cream and lump sugar. Three-quarters of a 
pound of Java and a quarter of a pound of Mocha make the best 
mixture of coffee. 

Iced Coffee 

Make more coffee than usual at breakfast time and stronger. 
When cold put on ice. Serve with cracked ice in each tumbler. 

Iced Tea 

Is now served to a considerable extent during the summer 
months. It is of course used without milk, and the addition of 
sugar serves only to destroy the finer tea flavor. It may be pre- 
pared some hours in advance, and should be made stronger than 
when served hot. It is bottled and placed in the ice-chest till 
required. Use the black or green teas, or both, mixed, as fancied. 

Wine Whey 

Sweeten one pint of milk to taste, and when boiling, throw in 
two wine glasses of sherry; when the curd forms, strain the whey 
through a muslin bag into tumblers. 

Excerpts from The White House Cook Book, 1887 

Zke historical Kecords Survey 
Jn Wyoming 


James A. Hanson 

The National Survey 

The origin of the Historical Records Survey (HRS) was ground- 
ed in earlier projects of the Federal Emergency Relief Adminis- 
tration and the Civil Works Administration. Late in 1933, the 
American Association of Archivists and Librarians and the Amer- 
ican Historical Association contemplated the use of unemployed 
labor for archival research.^ The CWA was first approached by 
them but labor cutbacks in February, 1934, rendered any new 
project unfeasible. A Commission on National Archives Survey 
was established. Among its members were Robert C. Binkley, 
historian at Western Reserve University, and Colonel J. M. Scam- 
mell of the National Guard Bureau at Washington, who had a 
deep interest in the keeping of military and official records. Var- 
ious proposals were drawn up, but none of them were instituted 
because of the prohibition on new federal projects included in the 
Emergency Relief Act (ERA) of 1934. Consequently, the Com- 
mission essayed to achieve local support for an archival survey. 

The new Emergency Work Program of the FERA, the Work 
Division, was directed by Jacob Baker, and finally, in October, 
1934, made funds available to local groups of the CWA and ERA 
for archival research.- These funds ran out in October, 1935, 
leaving the survey's future in doubt, and work at a standstill. 

Harry Hopkins, administrator of the Works Progress Adminis- 
tration (WPA), was interested in a national archival survey, and 

1. William F. McDonald, Federal Relief Administration and the Arts. 
(Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1969), p. 753. Information in 
the remainder of the first section is taken from McDonald, pp. 754-826. 
unless otherwise cited. 

2. McDonald, op. cit.; Jacob Baker was born in 1895 in Colorado. He 
was a teacher, engineer, and personnel manager by profession, and helped 
establish the Vanguard Press in 1926. Baker directed the WPA's Work 
Relief and Special Projects after 1933. 


through Raymond Moley hired Luther H. Evans, a poHtical scien- 
tist at Harvard, to draw up plans for it.-^ Evans was a Texan, a 
stickler for accuracy, and had never been an administrator. While 
knowing little of the CWA and ERA projects, he realized the worth 
of that type of records program. By July 23, 1935, the basic plans 
for the HRS were drawn and an initial allotment of $15 million 
had been made. Two projects were to be administered — the Fed- 
eral Archives Survey, an inventory of federal records nationwide, 
which was finished in June, 1937, and a state-local records survey. 

Evans was appointed HRS national supervisor on October 1, 
1935. The fledgling project was put under the tutelage of the 
WPA's Writers' Project (FWP) with which it had httle in common. 

Historical Records Surveys were set up in every state between 
January and May 1, 1936. The WPA was co-sponsor with what- 
ever state agency would accept the responsibility. The HRS was 
generally ignored by the FWP, nationally and locally, except when 
it came to finances. Frequently writers received their salaries from 
HRS funds. On October 15, 1936, the HRS did become an inde- 
pendent part of Federal Project One, which eliminated friction 
between the HRS and FWP.^ The assistant state supervisor in 
charge of the HRS became the State Director of the project. When 
the ERA Act of 1939 was passed, the sponsorship of WPA was 
transferred to the states and the national office of the HRS was 
merged with WPA's research and records program. 

The state directorships of the HRS were marked by a high 
turnover in personnel. Evans demanded discipline, accurate re- 
ports, and hard work. At least part of the failures of the HRS 
must be placed on the shoulders of the national supervisors. The 
Church Records Project, for example, never had a single instruc- 
tion manual for field workers, and the manuscripts program was 
never satisfactory in either technique or consistency. 

The survey generally provoked few of the attacks that other 
programs of Federal One did. It was, first of all, a rather uncon- 

3. Ibid. Luther Evans was born in 1902. He received a B.A. (1923) 
from the University of Texas, and the M.A. (1924) and Ph.D. (1927) de- 
grees from Stanford in political science, and modern European and Amer- 
ican history. He taught government at New York University, 1927-1928, 
political science at Dartmouth, 1928-1930, and was professor of politics at 
Princeton, 1930-1935. He resigned from the HRS to become Librarian of 

4. Ibid. Federal One was a part of the Works Progress Administration 
from 1935 to 1939. It supported and subsidized on a national scale the 
culturally involved portions of the labor force. Artists, writers, musicians, 
actors, and archivists were given employment by it. Because of the fact that 
it frequently used the services of professional people and the intellectual 
community, the cost of Federal One was generally higher per person em- 
ployed, and many of the theatre projects and some of the art work was 
severely criticized as being "unamerican." 


troversial thing to dig through musty records; second, Evans swore 
that he would not have "eyes bigger than the stomache" as did the 
rest of WPA; and third, Evans made certain that learned societies 
were properly informed of the HRS's contributions to research.' 

Competent workers were hard to find; seven states had acute 
problems in finding qualified supervisory personnel." J. M. 
Scammell stated "here we have to deal not only with simple 
psychopathic cases and frustrated females, but hop-heads, homos, 
and all sorts of people whom the WPA could not get on with. ..." 

The philosophic guidance for the HRS came primarily from two 
men, Evans and Binkley. Evans wanted no ambitious project, but 
rather one which could do some work, one which would keep the 
yearly average salary per person employed at a maximum of 
$1000, as the whole Federal One project had not, and one that 
would be national in scope. He was cautious and wanted "no 
WPA-type holding corporation." On the other hand, Robert C. 
Binkley, historian, Ubrary scientist, and advisor to Evans, preferred 
a survey which would produce masses of data on specific areas, as 
opposed to a general nationwide program. Local records were 
badly neglected, and the neglect was growing worse. Local and 
state histories had developed as an offshoot of the antiquarian 
school, from which scholars "departed generations ago." Chamber 
of Commerce publications were more akin to advertising than 
history. With the decline of the local unit's records, Binkley felt 
the decisions made by the citizen on the local level, where one has 
a greater share in decision making, were uninformed. The HRS 
was a new experiment in American relief work. Whereas the other 
parts of Federal One employed only a small portion of the white 
collar workers, here was a program for the rank and file clerks and 
stenographers. The work would be of social value, it would not 
interfere with normal business, it was of a nature that the program's 
manpower could fluctuate with the national economy, the work 
could be done by persons of average intelligence, and it was work 
which could be accomplished in places where there were consider- 
able numbers of unemployed white collar workers.' Binkley, more 
than Evans, saw the HRS as a massive, factory-like operation 
which would delve into every type of record, even to the point of 

5. MacDonald states that Binkley served as unofficial liaison between 
Evans and the academic community. 

6. McDonald, op. cit., pp. 774, 778; By Evan's admission, the best ad- 
ministered states were Louisiana, North Carolina and Oklahoma. The 
seven problem states were Georgia, South Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, 
Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. 

7. Robert C. Binkley, The Why of the White Collar Program, n.p.,n.d., 
probably the American Historical Association, ca. 1938, pp. 1-3. 


investigating library checkout slips to determine the intellectual 
levels of people and communities. '^ 

Evans finally, after a year and more of resistance, yielded to 
Binkley and the program fragmented into a variety of surveys. All 
sorts of projects were undertaken outside of public records — so 
that the original state and local government records inventories 
were never finished in the six years of the HRS's existence. 

In June, 1936, Evans made plans for publication of collected 
data, but only if the data were accurate, useful and up to date. 
Whether from other duties or from Evans' insistence on accuracy, 
ten per cent of the field work nationwide still remained unfinished 
in June, 1942. 

The HRS was under state sponsorship after the passage of the 
ERA Act of 1939, but little effect was felt. The states were 
generally able to furnish their share of expenses in kind, such as 
storage and office space and supplies. Evans departed the HRS 
for the Library of Congress and Sargent Child succeeded him on 
March 1, 1940.'' Other more difficult problems gnawed away at 
the effectiveness of the HRS. The ERA Act of 1939 stipulated 
that employees were to be dismissed, unless war veterans, after 1 8 
months. New workers could scarcely be trained at a fast enough 
rate; the best workers were turned out. 

Upon Child's accession to the directorship, the direction of the 
HRS, as with the WPA, turned to preparation for war. The his- 
torical emphasis of the project declined: vital statistics took its 
place. A survey of organizations useful for home defense was 
undertaken and then dropped because prior approval had not been 
obtained. Buildings suitable for storage of federal records in the 
event of an attack upon Washington were also inventoried. The 
HRS was terminated in April of 1942. The Survey had started 
well, but it had become too diversified to complete its tasks in six 
years. The years just prior to World War II saw it diverted from 
its intended purpose, and finally, the advent of the War caused its 
demise. Had it lived, one can only speculate as to its far ranging 
effects; as it was, the results of the HRS were just beginning to be 
felt by historians and archivists when the HRS was eliminated and 
the nation's attention turned to other things. 

8. Max H. Fish, ed., Selected Papers of Robert C. Binkley, "The Cul- 
tural Program of the W.P.A." (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 
1948), p. 245. 

9. McDonald, op. cit.; Sargent Child received a B.A. from Amherst and 
his M.A. and Ph.D. (1928) in history and political science at Columbia. 
Under his administration, a national advisory council to the HRS national 
director, serving until June, 1942. 


The Survey in Wyoming 

The birth of the Wyoming Historical Records Survey was 
fraught with false labor pains; attempts to produce some sort of 
technically workable and financially viable records project were 
made in Wyoming two years before the national program was 
inaugurated. A group of federal agencies combined forces and 
formulated a proposal for a study of all state records, but due to 
problems previously discussed, the implementation was left to the 
individual states. J. M. Scammell of the National Guard Bureau 
pursued the idea and attempted to establish a survey in "the 
Western states" as funds from various sources might permit. It 
was a haphazard attempt, at best: "time was more important than 

The Democratic governor of Wyoming, Leslie A. Miller, was 
written to by Scammell, but no help was forthcoming. Such a 
project was financially impossible at that time. Undaunted, Scam- 
mell wrote the adjutant general of Wyoming, General R. L. Esmay, 
"I hope that you have not run into any more difficulties; and if you 
have, that you will try to hold the organization together and plan 
means to carry out the programs in a different form and with other 
means. "^^ 

The organization did languish, however, as funding could not be 
achieved at that time. Late in 1934, the issue was again taken up, 
this time by Dan Greenburg, former oil company public relations 
officer and chairman of the Wyoming State Planning Board. ^- 

10. Lt. Col. J. M. Scammell, National Guard Bureau, Washington, D. C, 
to Laura White, University of Wyoming, Laramie, March 10, 1934. WPA - 
Historical Records Survey, Early Organization of Survey, Records Group 69, 
National Archives Building (hereafter referred to as RG 69, NA.) 

11. Scammell to Gen. R. L. Esmay, A.G., Cheyenne, March 10, 1934. 
WPA - Historical Records Survey, Early Organization of Survey, RG 
69, NA. 

12. Dan Greenburg was born in Chicago in 1888. His family moved to 
Idaho when he was a small boy. He attended law school in Chicago, then 
returned to Idaho as a reporter for a northwest news syndicate. He was 
appointed a colonel in the Idaho state militia in 1915, a major in the 
national guard in 1916, was chief of recruitment in Idaho in 1915-1916, 
and during World War I, directed the state's Civilian Defense Administra- 
tion. Giving up his career in journalism, he moved to Wyoming in 1921. 
Greenburg was public relations officer for the Midwest Oil Company and 
edited the Midwest Review which contained county history sketches. In 
1935, Standard Oil Company acquired Midwest, and Greenburg, an active 
Democrat, was looked after by Democratic governor, Leslie A. Miller. He 
was appointed executive secretary of the State Planning Board and the 
Water Conservation Board. The State Planning Board later became a part 
of the Wyoming Travel Commission. Greenburg was instrumental in 
getting legislation passed to establish a state Historical Landmarks Com- 
mission and in acquiring the site of Fort Laramie which was turned over to 
the federal government. He became chairman of the State Planning Board 


The CWA, in October, was able to make a few funds available for 
the hiring of four people in Wyoming for archival survey work. 
Fortified with at least a little money, Greenburg launched a small 
survey, which, while not producing an abundance of results, did get 
publicity and some people off relief rolls J -^ When the money and 
the project ran out in October, 1935, the state WPA offices had 
surely gotten wind of the new project being forged. F. M. Strong, 
Wyoming state assistant director, Professional and Service Proj- 
ects, wired Bruce McClure, his director, urgently requesting funds 
for some sort of project to preserve pioneer records in Wyoming. ^^ 

With the creation of the HRS as a federal project in January, 
1936, Greenburg was questioned by Mart Christensen, state direc- 
tor of the WPA Writers' Projects, concerning his survey's progress 
and accomplishments.'"' Greenburg did more than answer ques- 
tions; he volunteered to work without pay (but with expenses) to 
set up the Historical Records Survey in Wyoming.'^' Here was a 
golden opportunity — experienced personnel at no salary. Chris- 
tensen immediately took him on, and the two began working fran- 
tically to submit a proposal for funding. 

On January 4, 1936, Henry G. Alsberg, national director of the 
FWP, wrote Christensen that the Federal Writers' Projects had 

in 1936 before retiring in 1939, but was then appointed chief census taker 
for Albany. Laramie, and Carbon Counties for the 1940 census. He was 
in the process of securing funds for marking the Pony Express Route and 
reorganizing the Cheyenne Club when he died of a heart attack on January 
1, 1940. He was a member of the Explorer's Club, the Wyoming Press 
Association, the Wyoming Geographic Board, and chairman of the Wyo- 
ming State Auto Association. Among friends who sent their regrets were 
Peter Steffanson, famed Arctic explorer, and William H. Jackson, early 
western photographer. ([Cheyenne] Wyoming Tribune, January 2, 1940, 
p. 1.) 

13. Greenburg to Scammel, August 2, 1935, WPA-HRS, Early Organ- 
ization, RG 69, NA. 

14. McDonald, op. cit.: F. M. Strong, Cheyenne, to Bruce McClure, 
Washington D.C., October 1, 1935 (telegram), WPA-HRS, Early Organiza- 
tion, RG 69, NA. Bruce McClure was executive secretary of the FERA 
under Harry Hopkins, and was procedure and policy man for the Profes- 
sional and Service Projects. Frank M. Strong was state director, P&SP, 
from 1935-1938, and directed the WPA after Metz stepped down. He was 
a civil engineer in 1942. (Polk's City Directory, Cheyenne, 1929-1930, 
1931-1932, 1935, 1937-1938, 1939-1940, 1942, 1945. All other biographical 
data on Wyoming HRS employees, unless otherwise noted, is from that 
source.) Will G. Metz, rancher from Sheridan County, Wyoming, was 
WPA state director from 1936-1938, and then took over the administration 
of the Emergency Relief Administration in 1938. 

15. Mart Christensen was Registrar, U. S. Land Office in Cheyenne in 
the period 1929-1934. He headed the Wyoming Federal Writers' Project 
until 1938, when he resigned to run for state treasurer. He was state 
treasurer from 1939-1944. He died October 12, 1944 at the age of 72. 

16. Mart Christensen, Cheyenne, to Luther H. Evans, Washington, D. C, 
April 16, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, Wyoming State Series, 
RG 69, NA. 


been authorized to administer an allotment made to the WPA for 
the conduct of a "Survey of State and Local Historical Records."'^ 
Luther H. Evans was appointed national supervisor and Mart 
Christensen was to assume the added burden of directing the new 
Historical Records Survey in Wyoming and the new title of State 
Supervisor. A tentative allotment of $3570 was made to Wyoming 
for three months' operation with at least ten employees.^'' Hiring 
of employees began on March 4, 1936, even though the first 
proposal for funding the HRS in Wyoming was denied on the 9th 
by Luther Evans.'" His reason for turning down the first proposal 
was that non-labor expenses were estimated to be 23.9%, whereas 
the maximum acceptable by the national office was 20%. By 
March 11, a revised application had been prepared and submitted. 
It asked for $3583 for three months' funding, employing 16 work- 
ers from relief rolls. Four hundred dollars was assigned to travel 
and per diem; the form was signed by Greenburg, "Local Technical 
Advisor," F. M. Strong, Assistant State Director in Charge of 
Professional and Service Projects, and Mart Christensen.-" 

But while this application was in the mail, Evans proceeded to 
act. He notified Christensen by wire on March 12 that funds for 
the project were released as of March 6.-' Christensen had written 
to Evans on March 10, 1936, outlining his office staffing for the 
HRS, which may have induced the national supervisor to proceed 
ahead of schedule. Christensen, with Greenburg's assistance, out- 
lined the staffing as follows: 

1. Cheyenne: State Supervisor, five typists 

2. HRS - Laramie, U. of Wyo., one assistant superintendent, 
three helpers 

3. HRS - Fort Bridger State Museum, one assistant superinten- 
dent and two helpers. 

4. HRS - Cheyenne, State Capitol Building, one assistant super- 
intendent and five helpers. 

5. HRS - Cody, Buffalo Bill Museum, one assistant superinten- 
dent and two helpers. 

6. HRS - County Library, Sheridan, one assistant superinten- 
dent and two helpers. 

17. Henry G. Alsberg, Washington, D. C, to Christensen, January 4. 
1936. WPA - Central Correspondence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

18. Evans to Christensen, February 27, 1936. WPA - Central Corre- 
spondence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

19. Christensen to Evans, March 4, 1936. WPA-HRS, Project Appli- 
cations, RG 69, NA, and Evans to Christensen, March 9, 1936. WPA-HRS. 
Project Applications, RG 69, NA. 

20. "Request for Project Approval-Wyoming," March 11, 1936. WPA- 
HRS, Project Applications, RG 69. NA. 

21. Evans to Christensen, (telegram). March 12, 1926. WPA-HRS, 
Project applications, RG 69, NA. 


This called for an initial total of 25 employees. Greenburg's name 
was again put forth as one who was "thororoughly conversant with 
this class of work, having supervised the previous CWA and ERA 
National Archives Project." Christensen added that "it is our 
purpose to make this work flexible so that we may eliminate 
workers or add to, as the occasion demands. "-- 

Of interest is an additional letter sent the next day with the 
second application. In it, Christensen stated that Greenburg and 
not he had dictated the letter of March 10. Evidently Christensen 
had not read it before affixing his signature. Second thoughts 
had entered Christensen's mind upon perusing it later, and he 

I note that he [GreenburgJ made frequent reference to state superin- 
tendents and assistant superintendents and I am anxious to inform you 
that the State Superintendent will be myself . . . those Assistant Super- 
intendents referred to by Mr. Greenburg will merely be workers. I 
hope that this will be understood so that there will be no delay in 
releasing the funds. -'^ 

Some confusion resulted in Washington because of letters being 
written by one person and signed but not read by another.-^ 

Notification of funding, for the entire project through June 30, 
was sent on March 11, 1936. With it was a warning not to have 
cost overruns.-"' A sum of $7200 for the survey of federal records 
was allotted, and two days later an additional $3600 was provided 
for the survey of state and local historical records through May 15. 
Eventually the latter would become the paramount project of the 
Wyoming HRS.-" 

These allocations were made directly to the HRS rather than to 
the FWP to preserve the new project's legal integrity.-^ The survey 
was to "enable scholars and others who are interested in the basic 
records of our civilization to know what historical materials exist 
in Wyoming. "-"^ 

The Wyoming HRS was intended to devote its efforts to the 

22. Christensen to Evans, March 10, 1936, WPA-HRS, Project Appli- 
cations. RG 69, NA. 

23. Christensen to Evans, March 11, 1936. WPA-HRS, Project Appli- 
cations, RG 69, NA. 

24. Evans to Christensen, March 14, 1936. WPA-HRS, Project Appli- 
cations. RG 69, NA. 

25. Baker to Will G. Metz, State Administrator, WPA, Cheyenne, Wyo- 
ming. March 11, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, Wyoming State 
Series, RG 69, NA. 

26. Baker to Metz, March 13, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

27. Baker to Metz, March 13, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

28. Baker to Metz, May 12, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 


"discovery, preservation, and making accessible of the basic mater- 
ials for research in the history of this state." The workers were to 
collect information on the existence and general characteristics of 
archival materials to be included in a Guide to Historical Collec- 
tions. Existing catalogs and indexes were to be deposited in the 
Library of Congress, and a union list of the materials prepared. 
Where such catalogs were lacking, the records were to be inven- 
toried, and existing inventories were to be edited. From these 
sources, a master inventory of the public records of state and local 
government would be produced. Furthermore, the survey had as 
part of its objectives the collection of information concerning the 
housing and care of records and in some instances (only when 
special instructions to that affect were issued) individual items of 
special historical significance were to be listed or copied. 

The HRS was designed to operate as did the Writer's Project, 
with and through the field organization of the WPA. All per- 
sonnel were originally responsible to WPA authority. The offi- 
cial designation of the Wyoming survey was O.P. 65-1703. The 
WPA work symbol was 1885-5. The Wyoming state director of 
the Federal Writers' Projects was designated as state supervisor of 
the HRS and was responsible for the work done on the survey. An 
assistant to the state director was to devote all of his energies to this 
survey. Local project units corresponded for the most part, to the 
other Writer's Projects, with supervision to be provided by Writer's 
Projects employees. Three classes of workers were to be em- 
ployed: professional workers, which included journalists, histor- 
ians, and librarians; skilled workers, made up of research students, 
research workers and professional workers, which included less 
experienced employees and clerical help. The National Supervisor 
assigned workers' quotas and fund allotments. 

Offices were to be the same as those used by the Federal Writers' 
Projects. The state director was to make all preliminary arrange- 
ments with officials, appoint a research editor and train workers.-'' 

The workers were to survey and inventory federal records (ter- 
minated in 1937), state and local records, church records, manu- 
script collections, and imprints before 1 890. A separate form was 
provided for each, and daily progress reports were to be submitted 
to the state office. Classes in basic English were set up in Laramie 
County for the field workers close enough to attend. The field 
workers' job called for some basic research and library techniques 
which many of them did not possess. "Field workers wandered 

29. Luther Evans, Manual for the Historical Records Survey. WPA. 
1936. pp. 1-9. See also Mart Christinsen, Instructions to Field Workers. 
Wyoming Historical Records Survey Collections, Wyoming State Archives 
and Historical Department, State Office Building, Cheyenne, (hereafter 
referred to as HRS),A-hHD. 


aimlessly about their jobs for many months" with little supervision 
or comprehension. Officials frequently objected to new people 
coming in, fingering their records, and asking embarrassing ques- 
tions."-^" The monumental task of merely putting records in order 
consumed much valuable time, and the field workers were relegated 
to being file clerks, which, if it improved public relations with 
officials, delayed the project. 

Among the points stressed repeatedly in the original state man- 
ual, accuracy and careful training of survey workers were most 
emphasized. "Great precaution should be taken that all data 
collected will, as far as possible, be errorless." Admonitions to be 
observed included divulging material in the records to the public, 
and removal of documents from the depository; a long list of do's 
and don't's was appended for distribution to the field workers. 

Finally, ten basic forms were made up for data collection. Each 
form was used for specific information — painting and sculptures, 
storage space, library volumes and maps. In all, the beginning of 
the HRS appeared auspicious. A great need for such a massive 
inventory, if not already felt, would be in the future. The survey 
would provide such data, its workers would be off the relief roles 
and producing useable data, and government — county, state and 
federal — would benefit in the end.'^^ 

Greenburg consulted with Governor Miller and special arrange- 
ments were made so that the new HRS staff would not be crowded, 
"like sardines," into the cramped basement of WPA headquarters 
at the governor's mansion. Rather, special offices were set aside 
for them in the state capitol building, "near Mr. Greenburg and 
under his quasi direction." Actually, Christensen was losing any 
control he may have had; Greenburg and Miller selected Leon 
Frazier, ex-school teacher from Torrington, as assistant state su- 
pervisor without consulting the state director. They dispatched 
Frazier out into the state to line up workers and then informed 
Christensen that he had a new subordinate.'^- Jacob Baker, assist- 
ant administrator of the WPA in Washington, announced that 
"after a careful canvass of the field of candidates, we believe that 
the logical person for the position of Assistant State Supervisor in 
Wyoming is Mr. Leon D. Frazier," a man whom Greenburg and 

30. Record of Program Operation and Accomplishment 651.3188. His- 
torical and Cultural Records Survey - Wyoming, WPA Service Division, 
Final State Reports, RG 69, NA. 

31. Evans, op. cit., pp. 10-16, and Instructions to Field Workers, HRS, 
A + HD. 

32. Christensen to Evans, April 16, 1936, WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 


the governor had selected a month before and who was already 
traveling in service to the HRS.-^-^ 

An early and acute problem soon evidenced itself; unemployed 
workers of the type necessary for the Survey could not be obtained 
in Wyoming. Frazier, Greenburg's leg man, selected his workers 
with an eye on quality and ignored the 90% relief workers rules. 
Fifteen non-relief people were hired, compared with six on relief 
rolls. The Wyoming federal records portion of the HRS had 17 
non-relief and ten relief persons. On May 30, 1936, Greenburg 
received a telegram from Luther Evans, advising him that there 
were too many non-relief workers on the Historical Records Sur- 
vey, and that there was doubt that salaries would be paid.-^^ 

Will G. Metz., closer to the problem, was sympathetic to the 
difficulties of Greenburg, and asked for a 50 or even 100 percent 
exemption from the relief rule, even though Harry Hopkins, on 
November 26, 1935, had extended non-relief hiring to a maximum 
of 25 per cent. Metz stated "I do not wish to be guilty of crip- 
phng or shutting down [the HRS] but ... I shall be forced to at 
least cripple the project by enforcement of 90-10 rule unless 
exemption is granted." All efforts had been made, he contended, 
but Greenburg was unable to find properly qualified relief workers. 
Greenburg, on his own initiative, had then proceeded to hire non- 
relief employees. Metz thought that a 50 percent exemption would 
be satisfactory, and that he would not act until Baker replied.'^"' 
Dispensation on a 75-25 ratio (90-10 was normal) was granted for 
six months and then revoked. Ten additional professional and 
technical workers who were on relief roles to augment the project 
were not hired until after June 8, 1936, when exemption from 
the 90 percent relief requirement was given. The difficulties re- 
turned which led ultimately to friction and the state director's 

Orders from Washington in October, 1936, called for the com- 
plete segregation of the HRS from the FWP in Wyoming for 
administrative purposes to differentiate the roles of the two proj- 
ects. -^^ The WPA office in Cheyenne requested that Greenburg be 
left as state director of the HRS, owing to his efficiency and suc- 
cess. J. M. Scammell, after 1936 the Regional Director of the 

33. Baker to Metz, May 12, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence. Wyo- 
ming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

34. Evans to Greenburg (telegram). May 30, 1936. WPA-Central Cor- 
respondence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

35. Metz to Baker, May 30, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence. Wyo- 
ming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

36. Baker to Metz, June 8, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, Wyo- 
ming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

37. Evans to Strong, October 28, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence. 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 


HRS, and based in Cheyenne, reviewed Greenburg's work and was 
"quite well pleased with the progress made so far."-^*^ Evans replied 
that Greenburg was a good man, and his position with the HRS was 
somewhat extraordinary: 

We have not issued any formal letter of appointment for Mr. Green- 
burg, but have welcomed his fatherly interest in the Historical Records 
Survey. We have, also, permitted him to travel at the expense of the 
project. In view of the fact that we soon expect to be in very serious 
difficulties relative to non-relief exemptions, it seemed to be best not 
to charge Mr. Greenburg against our non-relief quota by placing him 
officially on the survey. •^•* 

With separate HRS directors after November, 1936, Scammell 
re-evaluated his estimation of the Wyoming project. He noted that 
all county inventories finished as of October 1, 1936, were to be 
published by December 15. Of the eleven county surveys com- 
pleted, only three would be ready by that date. Scammell was 
obviously irritated that the HRS in Wyoming was "75 percent short 
of the assigned objective." The reasons were simple: lack of field 
supervisors and lack of any coherent statewide planning. New 
supervisors' positions remained unfilled, and editorial work was 
lagging. The HRS in Wyoming needed a full-time director, an 
editor and three assistants, and three field supervisors. Frazier, 
assistant to Greenburg, was appointed State Director, but became 
ill and resigned before he received official confirmation.^" 

With Frazier unable to continue, with Mart Christensen and the 
FWP formally divorced from the HRS, the position went to Dan 
Greenburg. His appointment as state director, HRS, was made on 
December 15, 1936.^^ Greenburg, long prone to disregard rules 
of hiring relief workers, and having produced no materials for 
publication, was forced to resign after eleven months. Luther 
Evans, when conditions called for it, could be devastatingly direct. 
After gaining some relief for the Wyoming problems and seeing no 
final production of data, he finally could tolerate no more and 
asked for Greenburg's resignation. Evidently there was some sort 
of misunderstanding, for Evans reiterated his order by telegram, 
adding that if Greenburg did not vacate his office by October 1, 
1937, the Federal Bureau of Investigation would be called in (for 
what purpose was not stated.)^- The post was taken over by 

38. Strong to Evans, October 23, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

39. Evans to Strong, October 28, 1936. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

40. Scammell to Strong, November 21, 1936. Letters of Criticism, His- 
torical Records Survey, Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. 

41. Evans to Greenburg, December 15, 1936. WPA-Central Correspond- 
ence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

42. Evans to Greenburg (telegram), September 30, 1937. WPA-Central 
Correspondence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 


Donald Snyder, who remained in office until May 1, 1938.^"' 
Snyder had been Greenburg's assistant; Evans thought that Snyder 
had been the main force behind the work that had been done in 

Having worked with Agnes Wright Spring, and realizing that she 
was a production force of the type needed for the Survey, Snyder 
tried to give her a raise and transfer her from the FWP to the 
HRS.^" Cries of foul came from Alsberg, and Metz, WPA state 
administrator, reassured him that she would not be given either a 
raise or a transfer. 

To pull a key person away [from the FWP] which is certainly as 
worthwhile, if not much more worthwhile, than the Survey ... is 
indefensible. ... If the Historical Records Survey could not continue 
without the services of Mrs. Spring, it might be a very good idea to 
discontinue the project.^" 

Mrs. Spring remained a writer and editor, however, and the HRS 
fumbled along without her and was not prematurely terminated. 

In May 1938, the first county inventory from Wyoming was 
submitted for criticism, a year and a half after the first 1 1 had been 
scheduled for publication. It arrived fully two years after the 
survey was begun and three directors had gone their way. The 

43. William Bixby of Cheyenne was interviewed by the writer on May 8, 
1971. Mr. Bixby was employed by United Air Lines in 1941, and knew 
Donald Snyder. Snyder was a "lead man" or crew chief at the Cheyenne 
airport where the UAL modified B-17 "Fortress" bombers. The planes were 
flown to Cheyenne from their point of manufacture near Seattle, Washing- 
ton. The Cheyenne facilities consisted of four lines with five crews (each 
directed by a lead man) on each line. There were three shifts, making 60 
crews in all. The crews put in all armament, added sky domes, bubbles, 
bomb bay racks, reserve fuel tanks, and armor plate. The crews also 
painted the bombers and added national markings. Snyder remained there 
through World War II and was a shift foreman in 1945. He left Cheyenne 
in 1945 and his present whereabouts were unknown to Mr. Bixby. 

44. Evans to Scammell, September 30, 1937. WPA - Central Corre- 
spondence, Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

45. Agnes Wright Spring, a resident of Willitts, California, was born 
January 5, 1894. From 1913 to 1918 she was Wyoming assistant state 
librarian. State librarian from 1918 to 1921, she was state historian and 
state supervisor of weights and measures, 1918-1919. Mrs. Spring was an 
editor of the Wyoming Stockman-Fanner, 1914-1938, a supervisor on the 
Wyoming FWP, 1938-1941, and editor-in-chief of the Wyoming Guidebook. 
In 1927, she wrote a biography of Caspar Collins, for whom Casper, Wyo- 
ming is named. From 1950 to 1963 she was intermittently editor of the 
Colorado Magazine and Colorado state historian. She retired in 1964. 
(Biography File, Historical Division, Wyoming State Archives and Histor- 
ical Department (A + HD). 

46. Donald Snyder to Evans, December 6, 1937, and Metz to Alsberg, 
March 23, 1938. WPA-Central Correspondence, Wyoming State Series, 
RG. 69, NA. 


acting state director was Louis Ash, who gave up his position to 
Claude Campbell in June.^' 

The outline for county inventories was sound, covering organiza- 
tion, environment, history and economic and social developments. 
There were, however, too many details requested for a clerk to 
research, let alone write into suitable prose. Perhaps this portion 
of the HRS would have best been left to the Writers' Project. ^^ 

Laramie County, the first inventory to be pubhshed (1938), 
received a careful going-over by the national office before being 
sent to the mineograph machines. Evans picked apart the indexing 
from a variety of directions — words, references, punctuation, etc. 

Claude Campbell, whether from the mass of paperwork gener- 
ated by previous administrations or through real editorial ability, 
did manage to get Sweetwater, Platte, and Goshen County inven- 
tories published before his resignation on January 1, 1940. The 
same criticisms of drafts sent to Washington were heard — poor 
indexing, poor chronology, incompleteness of listings, inadequate 
citations, spelling errors, repetition, a lack of development of 
themes and poor documentation. For example, Sweetwater Coun- 
ty had no hospital and no hospital board, but outlines carried a 
section for this, and the field worker(s) dutifully made up a section 
on the county hospital board. As Evans remarked, "I do not think 
the comments given in my letter . . . have yet resulted in much 
improvement."^" Platte County's inventory was "an adequate piece 
of work" with only five pages of general criticisms offered by the 
national office."'" In a two-page criticism, however, the Lincoln 
County inventory was vehemently criticized as being "too frag- 
mentary" and the writer of the county history had "infinite patience 
with details" but not with citations. ^'^ Sargent Child, who succeed- 

47. Sargent Childs to Louis Ash, May 27, 1938, and Evans to Claude 
Campbell, June 15, 1938. Letters of Criticism, HRS, A+HD. Louis Ash, 
and his wife La Wanda were two of the four CWA-ERA survey people hired 
by Greenburg in 1934. The two wrote Cheyenne: The Magic City: From 
the Official Records, in 1935. There is evidently only one copy extant. It 
is MSS. 233, Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. Louis 
Ash was listed as a salesman in 1936-1937, then was employed by the HRS 
in 1940, and was a storekeeper at Fort Francis E. Warren in 1945. Claude 
Campbell was a salesman for Security Building and Loan in Cheyenne, 
1929-1932. From 1932 to 1938 he was sales manager for the Capitol Coal 
Company in Cheyenne before going to work with the HRS. After he re- 
signed from the HRS, he spent five years as editor for the Wyoming State 
Highway Department. 

48. OutHne, County Inventories, and Child to Ash, May 27, 1938. Let- 
ters of Criticism, HRS, A+HD. 

49. Evans to Campbell, December 14, 1938. Letters of Criticism, HRS, 
A + HD. 

50. Florence Kerr to Campbell, October 4, 1939. Letters of Criticism, 

51. Unsigned memorandum dated January 30, 1940. Letters of Criti- 
cism. HRS, A + HD. 


ed Evans in 1940, approved both the Goshen and Park County 
inventories with a minimum of corrections. ''- 

The state director, after January 1, 1940, was Benjamin H. 
Mcintosh.''-^ During his tenure only one inventory, Goshen County, 
was published. -''^ Of all the state directors, Mcintosh enjoyed the 
longest period of service. Much of his time was swallowed up by 
petty administrative details, such as workers reporting each others' 
accomplishments on their own time sheets and the inability of new 
field workers to report work done.''"' He did stress, in a three-page 
memorandum, the need for increased production on the county 
inventories, but little came of it.""^ 

The ills of the Wyoming HRS returned on January 17, 1940. 
R. H. Slover, regional supervisor, research and records, sent a four 
page memorandum to L. G. Flannery, WPA State Administrator."''' 
A revamping of the chain of command was in order; the new plan 
was meticulous, and criticisms were numerous. Archival research 
was to be stepped up and church and book inventories cut back. 
Evidently, Slover felt that the main purpose, a public records sur- 
vey, was being displaced by secondary projects. "•'' 

Field supervision was woefully inadequate in Wyoming, being 
carried out through correspondence instead of personal contact. 
Workers on the project had been poorly selected, and training or 
coordination had been ignored to the point that the Wyoming HRS 
was a collection of individual employees and not an organization. 
Field supervision, project planning, public relations, progress re- 
ports, production controls — in short, the administration — was a 
general failure. 

52. Child to L. G. Flannery, State Works Projects Administrator, July 9, 
1940. Letters of Criticism, HRS, A4-HD. 

53. Benjamin H. Mcintosh, a high school principal in Cheyenne from 
1929 to 1932, was Wyoming State Commissioner of Education from 1932 
to 1936. He was Assistant Director of the FWP, then State Director of the 
HRS from 1940-1941, and finally State Director, Professional and Service 
Projects until 1942 when he retired. 

54. WPA Final Report, Wyoming, WPA Service Division; Final State 
Reports, RG 69, NA. 

55. Mcintosh to Pauline Lewis, Sheridan, Wyoming, and Mcintosh to 
Allegra Spencer, Newcastle, Wyoming, August 29, 1940. WPA Form DPS 
21,HRS, A+HD. 

56. Memorandum to Field Workers. Instructions for Field Workers, 
HRS, A + HD. 

57. McDonald, op. cit., p. 772; Slover served as HRS state director in 
Oklahoma before moving to Denver as HRS regional editor. L. G. "Pat" 
Flannery was a newspaper publisher from 1923 to 1938. He also published 
John Hunton's Diary, a multi-volume autobiography of a Wyoming pioneer. 
He died in 1964. (Biography File, Historical Division. A + HD). 

58. Robert H. Slover, Regional Supervisor, Research and Records, to 
Flannery, January 17, 1940. WPA-Central Correspondence, Wyoming State 
Series, RG 69, NA. 


The new administrative setup recommended by Slover called for 
a director who would be an administrator, delegate authority, be a 
public relations man and "be a good judge of personnel." The 
assistant director was to be a general helper to the director. The 
office manager was next in the chain of command; his duties were 
those of turning all field material into publishable documents as 
well as the flow of work in the state office. An operations clerk 
would be responsible for all forms and timekeeping, and would be 
assisted by a forms checking editor. The various projects would 
be directed by individual editors — churches, imprints and manu- 
scripts, state records and local records. A field supervisor would 
provide assurance of initially accurate data collecting and properly 
trained workers. A stenciling, mimeographing, and assembling 
unit would complete the state office staff."''* 

The criticisms were probably accurate and the suggested im- 
provements were no doubt needed. But only two non-relief work- 
ers were allowed on the Wyoming HRS; the Director was one and 
the field supervisor was supposed to be the second. Where, in 
Wyoming in 1940 was one to find unemployed individuals on relief 
who could fulfill the outlined duties? The question was never 
answered. The suggested staff rearrangements did not occur. 

That the editorial work was far behind the field work is indicated 
by some notes on scratch sheets in Mcintosh's handwriting, dated 
"1-19-40." On it he listed the records inventories of 11 counties 
as being completed but unpublished. In the two years before the 
survey ended, only two were duplicated for distribution. With the 
sheets are numerous organization charts, probably done to conform 
with Slover's reorganization plan of January 17, 1940.'''"' 

One good piece of evidence exists for making the assumption 
that the quality of employees varied considerably. During two 
months in 1941 (March and April), one field worker requisitioned 
two thousand forms of her work, while another asked for "1 #2 
pencil, 15 sheets onion skin, 10 sheets letter head, and 8 sheets 
carbon paper." Checking the lists of supplies sent to the 27 work- 
ers then employed, this tremendous variation seems to be perpet- 
uated, some workers gobbling up forms and supplies, while others 
proceeded at a snail's pace.''^ 

Another source of delay presented itself; war clouds were gather- 
ing and Binkley's point of view was widely accepted. The HRS in 
Wyoming, as in other states, became a place to put other activities 
of a survey nature. Most of 1940 was spent in preparing an index 
of every alien in the state for the federal "Bureau of Immigra- 

59. Slover to Flannery, January 17, 1940. WPA-Central Correspond- 
ence. Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

60. Miscellaneous Papers, HRS, A+HD. 

61. Reports on Supplies Sent Field Workers, HRS, A+HD. 


tion."*'- An Automobile Graveyard Survey was done in 1941 in 
preparation for defense use of scrap metals. No records from this 
survey could be found. "-^ The ill-fated Survey of the Civilian 
Defense Activities was begun in July, 1941 at the request of 
Florence Kerr, Commissioner of WPA community service projects 
but was discontinued as prior approval from Fiorello LaGuardia's 
Office of Civilian Defense had not been obtained."^ 

Mcintosh, an able administrator, resigned January 1, 1942, in 
favor of Henry Challender who served as state supervisor of the 
HRS during its last months of existence.'"'"' 

Six months after Pearl Harbor, the Wyoming HRS was still 
cranking out work. The preliminary Church Records of the Vital 
Statistics Report was published, the Park County Inventory was 
printed, but the key volume, the index of all state and local govern- 
ment records, was, after two years, still in the planning stage. ''"^ 
Challender, state supervisor of the HRS, asked for an extension of 
time before the workers were transferred to war work. He even 
optimistically requested more money and permission to survey all 
state school records. A penciled note by that paragraph reads 
"Can't do it — sorry — if sponsor wants to complete it OK with 
proper credit to HRS." The sponsor, the Wyoming State Library, 
did not wish to do so, for it was not begun.*"'' 

The end of the Wyoming Historical Records Survey occurred in 

62. Record of Program and Accomplishment, 651.3118. Historical and 
Cultural Records Survey-Wyoming, WPA Service Division, Final State Re- 
ports, RG 69, NA. 

63. Record of Program and Accomplishment, 651.3118. Historical and 
Cultural Records Survey-Wyoming, WPA Service Division, Final State Re- 
ports, RG 69, NA. 

64. Record of Program and Accomplishment, 651.3118. His. and Cult. 
Rec. Survey - Wyo., WPA Service Div., Final State Reports, RG 69 NA. 

65. Child to Harry Challender, January 1, 1942. Misc. Correspondence, 
HRS, A + HD. Challender's widow, Agnes Challender, is living in Chey- 
enne. She was interviewed by the writer on May 7, 1971. Her husband 
was born in Iowa on April 24, 1889. He attended Stanford University and 
received a B.S.Ed, and an M.S.Ed. Volunteering in World War I, he lost 
his hearing in an artillery regiment. After the War. he taught at Shoshoni 
and Hanna, Wyoming. Mrs. Challender described her husband as "close 
mouthed" about his work with the HRS. She said he traveled a great deal 
trying to check up continually on field workers, and he left the HRS as soon 
as "he could get a good job." Evidently, Mr. Challender disliked the HRS 
and WPA. Mrs. Challender quoted him as saying " 'You felt like a bum on 
WPA.' My husband would never have been on it if he hadn't been deaf." 
After the HRS terminated, Challender became Education Director at Fort 
Francis E. Warren, a position he held until his death in 1954. 

66. Challender to Child, May 12, 1942. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 

67. Challender to Child, May 12, 1942. WPA-Central Correspondence, 
Wyoming State Series, RG 69, NA. 


June, 1942."'' Agnes Wright Spring noted that the records of the 
Federal Writers' Projects were placed in storage on January 8, 
1942.61* While no direct mention of the HRS was made, the WPA 
Final Report from Wyoming stated that 

Mr. Fulton D. Bellamy served as State Administrator until March 
1943, at which time the liquidation of the Works Projects Administra- 
tion was completed. The period from December 7, 1941 to the close 
of WPA activities was accomplished by waves of Administrative reduc- 
tions, and the administrative staff reached a basic minimum in Octo- 
ber, 1942. '•• 

The unpublished materials of the Wyoming HRS were moved 
into storage at the State Library in Cheyenne on December 22, 
1942. The records amounted to 30 linear feet of documents.'^^ 
In 1954, they were transferred to the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department, State Office Building, in Cheyenne. The 
records, which contain almost no correspondence from the project, 
are currently stored in nine cardboard boxes. The records have 
shrunk to one third of their former size; only ten feet three inches 
of linear shelf space are now occupied by them. Few people use 
them; the HRS records are for the most part forgotten. But per- 
haps, someday, another weary student of things past will delve into 
the folders and rediscover a source of the state's history. 


In all, the Wyoming Historical Records Survey was something 
less than a success. True, it had offered employment to a few 
dozen people in a time of few jobs, and in a state with a small 
population the employment was no doubt important. The project 
never did reach expected production levels, yet one is again forced 
to play the role of apologist and say that the goals were unrealistic 
in regard to the staff size and training of workers. 

While the initial objectives of the Historical Records Survey 
were no doubt understood by the supervisory personnel in Wyo- 
ming, the initial aspects of securing adequate field personnel, of 
producing an end result, and of managing such a large geographic 
unit with no field supervisors were underestimated. At the close of 
the Survey in Wyoming, (June, 1942), it was estimated that all 

68. Record of Program and Accomplishment, 651.3118. Hist, and Cult. 
Rec. Survey-Wyo., WPA Service Division, Final State Reports, RG 69, NA. 

69. J. D. Newsom to Agnes Wright Spring, January 14, 1942. Wyoming 
State Series, Correspondence re: unpublished Materials & Depository, RG 
69, NA. 

70. WPA Final Report, Wyoming. WPA Service Division - Final State 
Reports, RG 69, NA. Fulton D. Bellamy was Assistant State Engineer 
before taking over the administration of the WPA in Wyoming in 1938. 

71. Mcintosh to Kerr, December 23, 1942. Wyo. State Series, Final 
Inventory of Wyoming State HRS Files, RG 69, NA. 


inventories begun in the 16 counties would have been pubhshed 
in another year. 

The HRS in Wyoming was a federal project until 1939, and then 
became a state project with local supervision. The four original 
types of activity within the states were inventories of county rec- 
ords, church records, manuscripts, and imprints prior to 1890. 
The project was initially sponsored by the WPA as a part of the 
Federal Writers' Project; after 1936, as a separate entity, and after 
1939, it was co-sponsored by the Wyoming State Library and 
county and municipal governments. 

No maximum or minimum numbers of workers were set; gen- 
erally, each of the 16 counties whose records were surveyed had 
only one or two field workers. The state office was located in 
Cheyenne; field workers had no set base of operation other than the 
offices, churches, and libraries in which they did research. The 
state supervisor, or director, was directly in charge of the individual 
field workers; throughout the life of the HRS in Wyoming, no field 
representative was officially appointed even though repeatedly 
recommended by higher administrative echelons. The state super- 
visor was personally responsible for worker training. 

The procedures used within the state were developed from guide- 
lines issued from the national and regional offices. SuppUes and 
work room were furnished primarily by the individual counties. A 
variety of forms were used for daily and cumulative tabulations of 
accomplishments; these reports were, in some cases, the only 
source of information on work progress. "- 

The program itself, then, did make some minor contributions to 
clerical skills and education of secondary white collar workers. In 
making any final assessment of the state project, it must be com- 
pared with the HRS as a whole. When that is done, the Wyoming 
HRS was about average in completion rate, personnel problems, 
and work quality. High turnover of personnel, difficulties in train- 
ing workers, and editorial backlogs plagued most states. 

The HRS in Wyoming was conducted with a variety of isolated 
employees and frequently changing assignments. Work quality 
fluctuated with the abilities of the workers. Much of the accom- 
plishments were of doubtful nature. Buildings were changed, new 
county officials have been elected, and the inventories and surveys 
moulder in cardboard boxes. The efforts of the Wyoming HRS 
did, however, undoubtedly improve the quality of record keeping 
in the state, provide employment in a time of need, and preserve 
some records that would otherwise have been lost or destroyed. 

72. Record of Program Operation and Accomplishment 651.3118. His- 
torical and Cultural Records Survey - Wyoming. WPA Service Division, 
Final State Reports, RG 69, NA. 


Selected Bibliography 

Published Works 

Fish, Max H., ed.. Selected Papers of Robert C. Binkley, (Cambridge: Har- 
vard University Press, 1948). 

Binkley, Robert C, The Why of the White Collar Program, n.d., probably 
published by the American Historical Association. 

Evans, Luther H., Manual of the Historical Records Survey, (Washington 
D.C.: WPA, 1936). 

McDonald, William F., Federal Relief Administration and the Arts. (Co- 
lumbus: Ohio State University Press, 1969). 

Polk's Cheyenne City Directory, (Salt Lake City: Polk Publishing Com- 
pany, 1929-1945). 

Unpublished Sources 

Works Progress (Projects) Administration - Historical Record Survey, Rec- 
ord Group 69, National Archives Building, Washington, D.C. 

Historical Record Survey, Wyoming State Archives and Historical Depart- 
ment, State Office Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 



Historical Records Survey 

Report on Status of Files 

March, 1942 

County Archives Inventories 

1. Albany County. Field forms (1940) 795 pp. Entries not written. His- 
torical sketch material from field, 160 PP. In file No. 2. 

2. Big Horn County. Field forms (1940) 98 pp. Entries not written. 
Historical sketch material from field, 140 pp. In file No. 2. 

3. Carbon County. Field forms (1939) 259 pp. Entries not written. In 
file No. 2. 

4. Campbell County. Final draft submitted to National Office. Original 
forms (1939-1940) approximately 700 pp. In file No. 5. 

5. Converse County. Field forms (1940) 73. Entries not written. His- 
torical sketch material from field, 7 pp. In file No. 2. 

6. Crook County. Field forms (1939-1940) 217 pp. Entries not written. 
Historical sketch material from field, 131 pp. Entries not written. In 
file No. 2. 

7. Fremont County. Field forms 1939-1941 311 pp. Entries not written. 
Historical sketch material from field, 29 pp. In file No. 2. 

8. Goshen County. Published 1940. Original field forms (1938-1939) 
approximately 550 pp. in file No. 5. 

9. Hot Springs County. Field forms (1939-1940) 40. pp. Entries not 
written. Historical sketch material from field, 10 pp. In file No. 3. 

10. Johnson County. Field forms (1939-1940) 730 pp. Entries not writ- 
ten. Historical sketch material from field, 72 pp. In file No. 3. 

11. Laramie County. Published 1938. Original Field forms (1938) 700 
pp. in file No. 5. 

12. Lincoln County. Published 1941. Original field forms (1938-1939) 
approximately 630 pp. in file No. 5. 

13. Natrona County. Field forms (1939-1940) 231 pp. Entries not writ- 
ten. Historical sketch material from field, 19 pp. In file No. 3. 

14. Niobrara County. Field forms (1939-1940) 429 pp. Entries not writ- 
ten. In file No. 3. 


15. Park County. Stencils now being cut. Original field forms (1938-1939) 
approximately 700 pp. In file No. 5. 

16. Platte County. Published 1939. Original field forms (1938-1939) 
approximately 640 pp. In file No. 5. 

17. Sheridan County. Field forms (1939-1941) 667 pp. Entries being 
written. Historical sketch material from field, 350 pp. In file No. 3. 

18. Sublette County. Field forms (1938) 234 pp. Entries not written. 
Historical sketch material from field, 17 pp. In file No. 3. 

19. Sweetwater County. Published 1939. Original field forms (1938) 800 
pp. In file No. 5. 

20. Teton County. Field forms (1939) 106 pp. Entries not written. His- 
torical sketch material from field, 25 pp. In file No. 4. 

21. Uinta County. Field forms (1939-1941) complete. 293 pp. Entries 
not written. Historical sketch material from field, 55 pp. In file No. 4. 

22. Washakie County. Field forms (1939-1941) 240 pp. Entries not writ- 
ten. Historical sketch material from field, 161 pp. In file No. 4. 

23. Weston County. Field forms (1939-1940) 270 pp. Entries not written. 
In file No. 4. 

County Archives Inventories (Comm. Records) 

24. Albany County. Briefing of Commissioners Record, 343 pp. In file 
No. 6. 

25. Converse County. Briefing of Commissioners Record, 23 pp. In file 
No. 6. 

26. Crook County. Transcription of Commissioners Record, 144 pp. In 
file No. 6. 

27. Fremont County. Transcription of Commissioners Journal, 555 pp. 

28. Hot Springs County. Transcription of Commissioners Record, 1958 pp. 
In file No. 6. 

29. Johnson County. Transcription of Commissioners Journal, 410 pp. 
In file No. 6. 

30. Natrona County. Briefing Commissioners Record, 74 pp. In file 
No. 6. 

31. Niobrara County. Briefing of Commissioners Record, 13 pp. In file 
No. 6. 

32. Sublette County. Briefing of Commissioners Journal, 14 pp. In file 
No. 6. 

88. Teton County. Trasncription of Commissioners Journal, 503 pp. In 
file No. 6. 

State Archives Inventories 

101. Sweetwater County. Field forms of buildings, (1939) 80 pp. In tile 
No. 6. 

Municipal Archives Inventories 

201. City of Cheyenne. Field forms (1939) 67 pp. Entries not written. 

202. City of Kemmerer. Field forms (1938) 48 pp. Entries not written. 
In file No. 3. 

203. City of Kemmerer. Briefing of City Clerk's Journal, (1938) 50 pp. 
In file No. 3. 

Public Records 

950. Key Volume Material for "County Government in Wyoming". Brief- 
ing of Supreme Court Decisions as recorded in Wyoming Reports No. 
1-56. All cases affecting county officers briefed. 444 pp, 8 1 '2 x 11, 
handwritten. In file No. 7. 

951. Legal File. Abstracts from Session Laws of Dakota Territorv. 1862- 
1869; Wyoming Territory, 1869-1888; Session Laws of Wyoming, 


1890-1939; and Constitution of Wyoming, 1890. Abstract of all laws 
governing county offices. Approximately 1530 abstracts on 8 1/2 x 11 
handwritten sheets. In file No. 7. 
952. Attorney General Opinions. Briefing of the opinions of the Attorney 
General of Wyoming, from 1889 to 1902. Opinions concerning county 
offices used. 402 pp. 11x8 1/2 sheets, handwritten. In file No. 7. 

Inventory of Church Archives 

C-1. Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Wyoming. Pub- 
lished 1939. 
C-2. Inventory of Churches in Wyoming. 474 Field forms. In file No. 8. 

Inventory of Historical Sites 

1200. Field Forms (1939-1941) 105 pp. In files 2,3,4. 

Inventory of Vital Statistics 

1201. Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Wyoming. Published 1941. 

1202. Guide to Vital Statistics Records in Wyoming. Church Archives, 
Preliminary Edition. Final draft near completion. 

1203. Vital Statistics Forms. 141 Field forms covering all public records 
of vital statistics. In file No. 1. 


The Map Forms consist of approximately 750 maps. These are political, 
land tenure, and communication maps only, and are located in the offices of 
the County Clerk and the Assessors. The one map of historical value is the 
original Plat of Cheyenne made in 1867 by General G. M. Dodge, Chief 
Engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad. 


Filing of Individual Manuscript field forms (19 HR) 94 forms. Manu- 
script depositories (17 HR) 9 forms, and Manuscript Depository Reports 
(21 HR) 9 forms. 


Carnegie Library 

Weston County Library 

Carbon County Library 

Carnegie Library 

Public Library 

Crook County Red Cross Library 

Veterans Administration Facility Library 

Hot Springs County Carnegie Library 

Goshen County Library 

Platte County Library 

(National Archives, RG. 69, State Series 651-3118, Final Inventory of State 
HRS Files). 

Per cent 









Rock Springs 













Wyoming HRS Records 

Archives and Historical Department 

Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Box Title 

I. Archives: State Government 

WPA HRS 1936-1940 
County Officers Inventory 
Compiled Session Laws 1867-1939 
Instructions to survey workers. 
II. Educational Program - Pictures 
Legal Status of Wyoming Women 
Archaeological Reports 
Historic Records Survey Manual 
Manuscript Collections by county 
Painting and Statuary Reports. 

III. Bibliographies - Congressional Library 
Editorial helps 

Military reservations survey 
Forts of Wyoming 
Storage space surveys by county 
Session Laws on: 

Workman's Compensation 

Mines & Inspector of Labor & Statistics 
County Offices 

Supreme Court Decisions 

Attorney General's opinions 

IV. Church Records 

By County 

By Denomination 

Inventories - County Records 

V. Albany - Crook 

VI. Crook - Hot Springs 

VII. Hot Springs - Natrona 

VIII. Niobrara - Sweetwater 

IX. Teton - Weston 



To Dress Cucumbers Raw 

They should be as fresh from the vine as possible, few vegetables 
being more unwholesome when long gathered. As soon as they 
are brought in, lay them in cold water. Just before they are to go 
to table take them out, pare them and slice them into a pan of fresh 
cold water. When they are all sliced, transfer them to a deep dish; 
season them with a little salt and black pepper, and pour over them 
some of the best vinegar. You may mix with them a small quantity 
of sliced onions, not to be eaten, but to communicate a slight flavor 
of onion to the vinegar. 

Celery Undressed 

Celery is sometimes sent to the table with dressing. Scrape the 
outside stalks, and cut off the green tops and the roots; lay it in cold 
water until near the time to serve, then change the water, in which 
let it stand three or four minutes; split the stalks in three, with a 
sharp knife, being careful not to break them, and serve in goblet- 
shaped salad glasses. 

To crisp celery, let it lie in ice- water two hours before serving; 
to fringe the stalks, stick several coarse needles into a cork, and 
draw the stalk half way from the top through the needles several 
times and lay in the refrigerator to curl and crisp. 

Cold Slaw 

Select the finest head of bleached cabbage — that is to say, one 
of the finest and most compact of the more delicate varieties; cut 
up enough into shreds to fill a large vegetable-dish or salad-bowl — 
that to be regulated by the size of the cabbage and the quantity 
required; shave very fine, and after that chop up, the more thor- 
oughly the better. Put this into a dish in which it is to be served, 
after seasoning it well with salt and pepper. Turn over it a dressing 
made as for cold slaw; mix it well, and garnish with slices of hard- 
boiled eggs. 

Mixed Summer Salad 

Three heads of lettuce, two teaspoonfuls of green mustard 
leaves; a handful of water-cresses; five tender radishes; one cucum- 
ber; three hard-boiled eggs; two teaspoonfuls of white sugar; one 
teaspoonful of salt; one teaspoonful of pepper; one teaspoonful of 
made mustard; one teacupful of vinegar; half a teacupful of oil. 

Mix all well together, and serve with a lump of ice in the middle. 

"Common Sense in the Household." 

Excerpts from The White House Cook Book, 1887 

A ^tief Mis tor y of Social and 

Domestic jCife Among tiic 

Milii(H'y in Wyoming, 



Alan Culpin 

The position taken by social history in the field of the past can be 
compared to the role of the ordinary soldier in relation to the army. 
It is the ordinary soldier who lays the groundwork, does the dirty 
details, and caters to the whims of the officer. Similarly, social 
history provides the essentials, accounts for the details, and presents 
the focus behind which the more dramatic poUtical and diplomatic 
histories are seen. But today, the latter are caught firmly in the 
quagmire of revisionism, and social history is still on the ascent. 

It is hoped, therefore, that this paper will serve to provide the 
reader with an overall view of military aspects of social history as 
it occurred on one section of our frontier. It is not within the 
range of this paper to compare this area with any other, nor does it 
provide contrast within itself with civilian life. Its purpose is 
simply to provide a view into the social and domestic lives of the 
military as they existed. If this is sufficient to increase the interest 
of the reader in this subject, or if it proves useful to the researcher, 
then its purpose has been completed. 

Social and domestic history of military life has two generally 
divergent characteristics — that of the officers and that of the com- 
mon soldiers. The patterns of life, like the privileges of each one, 
are quite different despite their similar purpose and environment. 
The officer commanded and the enlisted man obeyed; the officer 
was more likely to be married, whereas the enlisted man was 
usually single; the officer was paid a pretty good salary, while the 
enlisted man earned a pretty small one. Thus, throughout this 
account many differences between the two will appear. 

Between 1849, when Fort Laramie became a military post, and 
1 890, when the state of Wyoming was created, the territory cov- 
ered by present day Wyoming belonged to Nebraska Territory, 
Idaho Territory, and Dakota Territory.^ Because of these devia- 
tions, some of the accounts that have been used may at times cross 


the borders of present-day Wyoming, but there are no radical 
changes in social history that result. 

In 1867 an officer on the Wyoming frontier, commenting on 
military life, said: 

I often think that with all the peril, hardships, and fatigue of a sol- 
dier's life, there is something fascinating in it after all. The martial 
music, the noise and bustle of coming into camp, and going out, the 
anticipated evening halt, with its delightful rest; the pipe of tobacco 
as you lie in the warmth of the campfire digesting your hearty meal, 
smoking and either engaged with your own thoughts or listening to 
some legend that is always told among a party of officers.- 

It is a characteristic of the military man to be able to view the 
bright side of the most unpleasant situation and to forge a way of 
life from the most barren of existences. John Finerty, war corre- 
spondent for the Chicago Times, referred to Wyoming in 1876 as 
being little more than a desert, with its military posts the worst in 
the United States for duty.-^ The soldier facing duty in this region 
had to carefully select his wardrobe and household effects, bearing 
in mind that he might receive no additions when stationed far from 
the railroad, the overland express being "too expensive a luxury." 
Fortunately, life was much simpler then than now. Few in the 
army were rich and no one tried to live any better than his earnings 

Upon arrival at his appointed location, the soldier would find 
only the most primitive of quarters. If he were fortunate, they 
would at least be airtight and waterproof; however, this was rarely 
the case. Typical are those described by Mrs. Elizabeth Custer: 

Government wastes no money in ornamenting army quarters. They 
are severely plain, with plastered walls, woodwork that was once 
painted, perhaps, but bears little trace of the brush now . . . The 
kitchen was the exasperating place. It often lacked the simplest con- 
trivances to make work easy. There was no sink . . . The cook opened 
the door and flung the contents of the dishpan or garbage bucket as 
far to one side as the vigorous force of her arms would send it."" 

Water for washing and drinking was collected in barrels from a 
local stream. It was usually very hard. When clothes were put on 
the line to dry it was a struggle to keep them there and the wind 

1. See Appendix. 

2. Major Henry C. Parry, "Letters From the Frontier- 1867," Annals of 
Wyoming, Vol. 30, No. 2, p. 137. 

3. John F. Finerty, War Path and Bivouac, (Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1961), pp. 7, 8, 22, 28, et. seq. 

4. Merrill J. Mattes, Indians, Infants and Infantry, (Denver: The Old 
West Publishing Company, 1960), pp. 26-27. 


used to whip the edges of table clothes and sheets into a fringe or 
even ribbons.'' 

Furnishings were sparse. Army blankets sewn together served 
as rugs, and packing boxes, perhaps covered with calico, were used 
as toilet tables and wash stands. If coal oil was available, lamps 
could be used, but since that fluid was often lacking, candles were 
the more common form of lighting. Pillows were stuffed with hay, 
as were mattresses. If pictures had been brought, they could be 
used to brighten up a drab wall or cover a hole in the plaster." 

When an officer brought his family with him to the frontier 
military post, he might wisely hire a maid to accompany them, thus 
relieving his wife of the more rigorous duties of their household. 
Major and Mrs. Andrew Burt and the Custers were fortunate in 
this respect with their Maggie and Eliza, who, it appears, were 
loyal, willing workers. "Army people like the negroes," says Mrs. 
Custer, "and find a quality of devotion in them that is most grateful 
when one is so dependent on servants, as everyone is in military 
life."' It is doubtful that this comment applied to the enlisted 

The majority of a soldier's daily life was naturally involved with 
military affairs which typically entailed care of horses and mules, 
building of new barracks, cutting and hauhng wood (when there 
were no contractors to perform this duty), and providing escorts 
when needed. Because of the frequent friction caused by white 
expansion, it was considered necessary to give the military full 
control of all civilian activities. Wagon trains could be and often 
were held up by post commanders if it were thought unsafe for 
them to travel.'^ Similarly, until the establishment of local civilian 
law enforcement, the military filled this position. 

In the 1860s a civilian at Fort Laramie was found in possession 
of three army blankets. He was arrested and tried by a military 
court, an officer presiding as judge. 

"What is your name," inquired the judge. 

"Pat Murphy, yer honor," replied the defendant. 

"How come you in possession of the blankets, Mr. Murphy?" 

"They are mine. I had them made." 

"How does it happen that these blankets are all stamped U.S.?" 

"Those are my initials," replied Pat. 

"Your initials! How do you make that out?" 

5. Elizabeth B. Custer, Following the Guidon, (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1890), pp. 226-231. Elizabeth Custer was the wife of Colonel 
George Custer. 

6. Mattes, op. cit., p. 64. 

7. Custer, op. cit., pp. 227-228. 

8. LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen, eds., The Diaries of William Henry 
Jackson, Frontier Photographer, The Far West and the Rockies Historical 
Series, ] 820-1 87 5, Vol. 10, (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 
1959), p. 197. 


Well sir, it's like this. 'U' stands for Pat and 'S' stands for Murphy." 
Pat got three weeks in jaill*^ 

Whether in garrison or on campaign, eating played its normal, 
major role in the lives of officers and soldiers, with the greater 
benefits of that life-sustaining habit being accrued by the officers. 
Though they had to purchase their own rations, whereas the 
enlisted man was provided for by the government, the former 
received as pay from $1400 to $3500 per year^" while the lowly 
enlisted man received only $156 to $408 per year.'^ In addition, 
officers received a 10% increase (approximately $140-350) for 
every five years of service whereas the enlisted man received a $12 
increase after the same period. 

The ration per man was provided by the commissary in the 
following amounts: 

Per day - 1V4 lbs. beef or % lb. of pork 

18 oz. of bread or flour. 
Plus per 
100 men - 10 lbs. of coffee, 15 lbs. of sugar, 2 qts. of salt, 4 qts. of 

vinegar, 4 oz. of pepper, 4 lbs. of soap, IVz lbs. of 

candles. 1- 

If the enlisted man had a family for whom he had to provide, 
he was hard pressed to make ends meet. Sergeant Leodegar 
Schnyder, ordnance sergeant at Fort Laramie for many years, 
wrote an official complaint stating he found "it almost impossible 
to subsist on the Ration . . ."^^ 

Though prices were sufficiently high to cause careful budgeting 
by officers' wives, they usually enjoyed a sufficiency and frequently 
a great variety of food. Major Henry C. Parry, while assigned as 
medical officer to the Union Pacific Railroad Commission under 
General Grenville Dodge, wrote from Fort Halleck, D.T., in 1867: 

No band of rovers ever lived better than we do, and I doubt if any 
rich person in his town house or country retreat commands such lux- 
uries as daily attends us. Our existence is a continual round of 
pleasure and comfort . . . We breakfast not only on "bacon and 
hardtack" ... we have on the table broiled antelope or elk steaks, 
garnished with the kidneys or livers of those animals, nicely cooked 
potatoes and onions and the most delicious of fish — trout, trout as 
large as the largest you see at home in the springtime, good hot coffee. 

9. Mrs. Charles Ellis, "Robert Foote," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 15, 
No. 1, p. 56. 

10. Robert A. Murray, "Prices and Wages at Fort Laramie 1881-1885," 
Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 36, No. 1, p. 19. 

11. Ibid., p. 19. 

12. Ibid., pp. 20-21. 

13. Leodegar Schnyder to Lieutenant Richard B. Garnett, Oct. 8, 1853, 
Fort Meyer Archives, in John Dishon McDermott, "Fort Laramie's Silent 
Soldier," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 11-13. 


pure white sugar, hot cakes and golden syrup make up the meal . . . 
since I have left Crow Creek, I have feasted on the meat of elk, ante- 
lope, black tailed deer, rabbit, grouse, pheasant, sage hen and trout. 
Delmonico of New York and Parker House of Boston may outdo us 
in plate and ornaments of the table, but we can excel in the richness 
and variety of food.^^ 

Major Perry was more fortunate than most of the mihtary in the 
Wyoming area at this time. Some, Hke Major Andrew Burt, were 
wise enough to purchase a cow and a few chickens before leav- 
ing Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, for Fort Bridger, Wyoming, in 
1866.^"' This allowed them fresh eggs, milk, cream butter, and 
even ice cream, with the aid of ice from the Fort Bridger ice house. ) 
But apart from these luxuries, plus fresh beef from the herd of 
John Robertson (also fondly termed "Uncle Jack Robinson") their 
daily fare was very unexciting. Mrs. Burt said: 

In the valley there was no garden and consequently we had no veg- 
etables, unless they were brought from Salt Lake City, and this made 
them too expensive to indulge in, except on rare occasions. i" 

In addition, they were able to obtain desicated vegetables, which 
they tried once and, sorely disappointed, never again added them 
to their larder. However, desicated vegetables were a mainstay of 
the soldiers' diet. They are described as being made of "onions, 
cabbages, beets, turnips, carrots and peppers steamed, pressed and 
dried. They were pressed, after they were dry, into cakes twelve 
inches square and an inch thick. "^^ The poor private, earning but 
$13 a month, had the choice of eating this mushy mixture or going 
hungry. To grow a garden was next to impossible, for if anything 
would grow in the sandy, alkaline soil, it more than likely provided 
a meal for a regiment of grasshoppers. ^"^ In fact, fresh vegetables 
were virtually unobtainable in many forts, particularly those of the 
Bozeman Trail, (Forts Reno, Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith ).^'' 

The result of poor diet among the enlisted men can be seen 
through the high incidence of scurvy and desertion. Scurvy was 
prevalent every winter in most of the frontier forts and was con- 
stantly mentioned by the post surgeons. Many cases occurred 
during the winter of 1867 at Fort Phil Kearny and Fort C. F. 
Smith, with some deaths resulting.-" In the same year. Colonel 

14. Parry, op. cit., pp. 138-139. 

15. Mattes, op. cit., p. 27. 

16. Ibid., pp. 64-65. 

17. Eugene F. Ware, The Iiulian War of 1864 (New York: St. Martin's 
Press, 1960), p. 282. 

18. Ibid., pp. 99-200; also Mattes, op. cit., p. 45. 

19. William Murphy, "The Forgotten Battalion." Annals of Wvomino, 
Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 392. 

20. Ibid., p. 393. 


George Armstrong Custer laid the blame for poor food on the 
Government contractors : 

Dishonest contractors at the receiving depots further east had been 
permitted to perpetrate gross frauds upon the government, the result 
of which was to produce want and suffering among the men. For 
example, unbroken packages of provisions shipped from the main 
depot of supplies . . . were when opened discovered to contain huge 
stones for which the government had paid so much per pound accord- 
ing to contract price. Boxes of bread were shipped and issued to the 
soldiers of my command, the elements of which had been baked in 
1861. yet this was 1867 . . . Bad provisions were a fruitful cause of 
bad health . . . scurvy made its appearance . . . for all these evils 
desertion became the most popular antidote. To such an extent was 
this the case, that in one year one regiment lost by desertion alone 
more than half of its effective force. -^^ 

If located at an army post, extra provisions could normally be 
obtained through the post sutler whose store was the only one 
available and who thus enjoyed a monopoly, though his prices were 
under the control of the post commander. In 1852 and 1853 at 
the Fort Laramie sutler's store, a loaf of bread could be obtained 
for 600, while in Chicago that same loaf was selling for only 100; 
in addition, vinegar cost $2 per gallon, tea, $21 per pound, dried 
apples, $12 a bushel, flour, $12-$ 18 per 100-pound sack, bottled 
peaches, $4 per quart, and whiskey was $1 per pint." By 1888, 
with the aid of the railroad and despite inflation, flour was only 
$4.50-$6 per 100-pound sack, vinegar, 650-750 per gallon, dried 
apples, $21 per 100 pounds, peaches, 27Vi0 per quart can, and 
whiskey had risen to $1.50 per pint.-- 

When on the march, which was frequently all summer and 
occasionally during the winter, the soldier was dependent on his 
rations, which were subject to reduction during shortages, and 
whatever wild game could be had.--^ 

Occasionally visiting officers would drop in while a regiment 
was on the march. Such events could cause considerable prob- 
lems when it came to feeding these guests, particularly because 
fresh provisions were eaten quickly in order to prevent spoilage. 
Elizabeth Custer, while accompanying her husband during the 
summer of 1868, gives an account of how this problem was dealt 

He (Colonel Custer) offered to take the people off to see the horses, 
the camp, the stream on which we lived, the bluff beyond, to view 
the vastness of the plains. Then, left to ourselves, we sent around at 

21. George Armstrong Custer, My Life on the Plains, (Norman: Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma Press, 1962), p. 64. 

22. Murray, op. cit., pp. 20-21. 

23. Diary of Henry A. Peirce, in Richard D. Rowen, ed., "The Second 
Nebraska's Campaign Against the Sioux," Nebraska History, Vol. 44, No. 
1, p. 27. 


once to the other messes to find if anyone had meat, game, eggs, or 
anything cookable. If they failed us, as they generally did . . . then 
the commissary ham or bacon, often inexpressibly salty and dry, 
became the piece de resistance for the hurried breakfast table. ( But ) 
the undaunted head of the house came back with his people in fine 
humor, and managed to whisper to me in a roguish manner, "I've got 
them good and hungry; they won't mind what they eat now."-* 

A Story told by this same lady mentions an officer, who though 
low on supplies, was nevertheless still hospitable, and invited a 
guest to a dinner consisting of two dishes: "When one, the rice, 
was declined, he was asked to help himself to the mustard!"-"' 

While the soldiers were stationed in their forts, they usually had 
a little more time to devote to entertainment than when in the field. 
A variety of amusements were enjoyed which included dancing, 
theatricals, musical performances, card playing and drinking par- 
ties, horse racing, story telling and reading and writing letters. 

Dancing generally fell into two categories; first, as a participating 
pastime and, secondly, as a spectator sport. Of the former, there 
are many references found in accounts of the period. Typically, 
where officers and their wives were present, Mrs. Burt gives an 
insight : 

We had many dances and social gatherings, all at our houses .... 
Colonel Reeve added greatly to our pleasure by his cordiality and 
kindness and often called the figures for the young people in the 
square dances, in the merriest manner. "Forward", "a la main left", 
"ladies to the right" sound faintly in my ears now. The two step was 
then unknown, but we waltzed with delight, and danced the "galop"!-^ 

Other dance steps of the day included the polka, schottische, 
Virginia Reel, and the quadrille.-' 

The enlisted men were less fortunate when it came to finding 
dancing partners, particularly if the post were a remote one. 
Nevertheless, they might be held quite frequently, using other 
soldiers as dancing partners. Private H. Harbers recalled that 
"dances were given bymonthly [sic] by the companies and the 
strongest drink we could get would be lemonade" while at Camp 
Sully in the early ISVOs.-*^ However, 7th Cavalryman Ami Frank 
Mulford preferred "stag" dances in 1 877 because such dances were 
"when we have all the fun by ourselves and no officer to bother us. 
We dance all the popular dances and take turns being the opposite 

24. Elizabeth B. Custer, op. cit., p. 235. 

25. Ibid., p. 234. 

26. Mattes, op. cit., p. 25. 

27. Alice Mathews Shields, ed. "Army Life on the Wyoming Frontier,' 
Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 339. 

28. Don Rickey, Jr., Forty Miles a Day on Beans ami Hay, (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), p. 198. 

29. Ibid., p. 199. 


The spectator sport consisted of visiting a local Indian village to 
witness a scalp dance or other variety of Indian dance. These 
were usually highly colorful affairs with the Indian men being 
nearly naked, while their women wore their finest buckskins in 
which were set the most beautiful bead work. •^'^^' The reaction to 
these dances by white observers often lacked appreciation of the 
Indian style. Mrs. Canfield termed them "ridiculous,"-" while 
Private Henry Pierce decided that they were too "wild and radical 
to us still. "■^- 

A more tranquil form of entertainment, theatricals, was found in 
several forts in Wyoming. While at Fort D. A. Russell, near pres- 
ent-day Cheyenne, Mrs. Burt commented: 

Among the officers and ladies enough theatrical talent appeared to 
make it possible to place on the stage many very entertaining plays 
such as "Caste" . . . "Lend Me Five Shillings" and others . . . Mrs. 
Royall as the duchess, with her young daughter as the prince, assisted 
by Major Burt as Ruy Gomez made "Faint Heart Never Won Fair 
Lady" a brilliant success. •^•^ 

Few forts were fortunate enough to enjoy the talents of Major Burt. 
During the 1880s he published and produced two plays that en- 
joyed considerable success in New York and Chicago. -^^ 

Theatricals and the like were particularly useful in whiling away 
the long hours of the winter evenings, and since there were almost 
always a few men with acting ability, performances were staged 
frequently. "They were generally of some light, witty, flashy kind, 
with an occasional heavy piece from Shakespeare. "•^•^ 

Where regimental bands were stationed at a particular fort, there 
was no want for music. Where this was lacking, there were usually 
enough men musically inclined to put together an ensemble, often 
with the added attraction of good voices harmoniously blended. 
At Fort Laramie in 1864, the men organized a Glee Club and, 
accompanied by musicians, serenaded various officers and places, 
even the sutler's store. •'^*' There was also musical ability among the 
ladies, who would lend their talents to the social entertainment. 

30. Agnes Wright Spring, "An Army Wife Comes West, Colorado 
Magazine. Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 258-259, contains an excellent description of 
just such a dance. 

3L Ray H. Mattison, ed., "An Army Wife on the Upper Missouri," 
North Dakota History, Vol. 20, No. 4, p. 207. 

32. Peirce diary, op. cit., p. 35. 

33. Mattes, op. cit., p. 18L 

34. Mattes, op. cit., pp. 242-246. The names of his plays were "May 
Cody: or Lost and Won," starring "The Honorable W. F. Cody," and 
"Robin Rood and Rosalinda," a comedy opera. Both works were produced 
in 1882; not bad for a man described by General Sheridan as one of the very 
best Indian fighters in the game. 

35. Ware, op. cit., p. 203. 

36. Ibid., p. 250. 


Mrs. Burt mentioned that "to hear Mrs. Bradley's rich soprano 
voice sing 'Robin Adair' is recalled ... as a rare delight."'' Min- 
strel shows were popular in this day to the extent that one group, 
"The California Minstrels," made up of soldiers at Fort Bridger, 
felt they were good enough to demand an admission charge of 
50 cents.'^*^ 

Margaret Carrington told of a cheerful evening in 1866 when 
the officers and men of the 18th U.S. Infantry got together for 

The stringband gave us a splendid orchestra, and the violins and violin- 
cello, the clarinets and the flute, the french horns and the trumpet, the 
trombone and the tuba, alternately supplied the solo, or replenished 
the chorus, as the bones and banjo called for their interference. Faces 
only were unfamiliar; and the fifteen or twenty sergeants and soldiers 
who, with fine voices, perfect harmony, and the usual bon mots of 
Ethiopian Minstrelsy . . . did as full justice to their music as they had 
effectually transformed themselves from Caucasian to African by the 
pervasive laws of burnt cork."*" 

The more remote the location, the fewer the opportunities and 
variety of entertainment; this was the rule that governed any 
locality. From December, 1867, until April, 1868, Fort C. F. 
Smith, the last post on the Bozeman Trail, was totally isolated due 
to the activities of Red Cloud's band, who vigorously opposed the 
intrusion of white soldiers. Consequently, their fund of activities 
was limited. At Fort Laramie the soldiers enjoyed every entertain- 
ment available. Card playing and drinking played a prominent 
role in leisure time activities. Since social etiquette forbade drink- 
ing and gambling in the presence of women the officers would 
retire to the back room of the sutler's store where an almost con- 
tinuous game of poker was going on.^" 

In this respect the officers were little different from the men. 
Harry Young points out that the majority of officers were "heavy 
gamblers and hard drinkers." Often they gambled with civilian 
contractors who were at a distinct disadvantage. "If the officers 
were heavy losers, which was frequently the case, they would give 
their I.O.U.s in settlement, but which they never intended to pay, 
and the citizens never dared to enforce payment, because, on 
account of their contracts, they were ... in the clutches of the 
officers," who decided who would get contracts.^^ 

The enlisted man could find similar amusement at the local 

37. Mattes, op. cit., p. 181. 

38. James Stuart, "The Yellowstone Expedition of 1863," Contributions 
to the Historical Society of Montana, Vol. 1, p. 196. 

39. Margaret Carrington, AB-SA-RA-KA, (Philadelphia, J. B. Lippin- 
cott, 1879), pp. 51-52. 

40. Ware, op. cit., p. 201. 

41. Harry Young, Hard Knocks. (Chicago: Laird & Lee, 1915), p. 83. 


civilian dives, popularly known as 'hog ranches.' Payday was his 
big opportunity, followed by a day of more or less convalescent 
activity. Of payday at Fort Laramie on July 29, 1870, the surgeon 
wrote that the troops were paid in the afternoon, and "as a neces- 
sary consequence, the number of patients in the hospital was at 
once increased, with nothing, however, more serious than a broken 
rib or two, several sprains, and bruises with a few scalp wounds . . . 
pay-day casualties."*- Doubtless they were accompanied by the 
universal hangover! 

The one exception for drinking permitted in the presence of 
ladies occurred when parties took place during the Christmas sea- 
son. These annual festivities were the excuse for lavish dinner 
parties, often two or three being attended by the officers and their 
wives during the course of an evening. Rarely seen delicacies 
appeared on the table, having been carefully hoarded for this 
purpose. Describing Christmas at Fort Laramie in 1863, Mrs. 
Collins says: 

The tables, 3 long ones, accomodated about 75 . . . They had roast 
pig, roast beef and cold broiled ham, jellies, pickles, coffee, tea, peach- 
es, cake, mince pie and ice cream ... we have another invitation for 
cake and eggnog at Mrs. Bullock's (tonight) .... and there were a 
few songs sung ... a serenade from the band who played 'Home 
Sweet Home' and 'Soft in the Stilly Night'.^s 

Christmas at Fort C. F. Smith in 1867 was an affair that re- 
flected a diminishing food supply that was to leave the garrison on 
a diet of corn before fresh supplies were received by them the 
following spring. Mrs. Burt's account states that: 

For our Christmas dinner . . . beside a roast of venison, which replaced 
turkey, we revelled in our one precious can of currant jelly and the 
highly prized cans of corn and tomatoes. A delicious entree was a 
venison pate made and cooked by a soldier, a Frenchman by birth, 
who excelled in making this special dish. Raisins brought by us for this 
very occasion enabled me to have the pleasure of delighting, with plum 
pudding, the appetites of three bachelor friends who . . . pronounced 
the dinner a complete success. ■*■! 

During the warm summer months, a popular diversion was to be 
found in horse and mule racing. Nearly every troop of cavalry 
had a horse that the men felt would run. When a company of 
cavalry visited another troop, the inevitable result of a brag would 
be a challenge. Colonel Homer Wheeler described such an event 
near Fort Washakie in the 1870s: 

We had a horse in L troop ridden by Trumpter Bandsome which was 
supposed to be a world beater. I arranged a race with one of the 

42. Rickey, op. cit., p. 204. 

43. Spring, op. cit., pp. 252-253, 255. 

44. Mattes, op. cit., p. 144. 


officers of the 3rd cavalry, his troop belonging to the regular garri- 
son . . . The race was for a stake of fifty dollars, and the distance was 
four hundred yards. At the appointed time the whole command turned 
out to witness the race. There was a crowd of several hundred includ- 
ing Indians . . . The horses got off in good shape. They were neck 
and neck for the first few yards, then the horses would alternately 
forge ahead. I had arrived at the conclusion that the third cavalry 
horse was the better of the two. Near the finish he was a little 
ahead . . . suddenly he flew the track, attempting to go for the stable, 
which was nearby. The rider, in trying to keep the animal on the 
track, pulled him up just enough to allow my horse to pass. The 
judges decided the fifth cavalry horse had won the race.^^ 

Mule racing was usually what was called a slow race. The last 
mule to cross the line won, and sometimes, the character of the 
mule being what it is, the "races" would last more than an hour. 
In selecting a mule, the meanest, orneriest animal would be picked 
out, and then, prior to the start, the riders would switch mounts. 
In this way no one could be sure of what he was going to ride.^'^ 

For those who had the ability, reading and writing helped to 
while away the hours. A great debt is herein owed to those who 
spent their time in this manner and whose writings were saved to 
be examined later by historians; these writings have enabled the 
latter to determine various aspects of frontier life. Many officers 
and men kept journals and diaries while others saved the letters of 
thpir kinfolk and friends. 

Some of the forts in the Wyoming area had libraries, or access 
might be given by a civilian to a private collection. Judge WilUam 
A. Carter, post sutler at Fort Bridger, and a man noted for his 
hospitality, was said to have the best collection of books in Wyo- 
ming up to the time of his death in 1881.^' He hired a governess 
in 1860 for his children and allowed others to attend free of charge. 
Miss Fannie Foote was the first teacher at his little school, and a 
building was constructed in 1866 to house the growing number of 
children in attendance. In a similar vein, he allowed those who 
wished to use his library facilities. The first school in Wyoming 
was conducted at Fort Laramie in 1852 by the Reverend Richard 
Vaux, post chaplain, for the children of officers. ^"^ In 1868 the 
post surgeon at Fort Laramie noted that enlisted men could attend 

45. Colonel Homer Wheeler, Buffalo Days, (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Mer- 
rill, 1923), pp. 120-121. 

46. Custer, op. cit., pp. 131-146. 

47. R. S. Ellison, Fort Bridger, Wyoming, A Brief Histor\, (Sheridan: 
Mills Co., 1938), p. 72. 

48. George Justine Bale, "A History of the Development of Territorial 
PubHc Education in the State of Wyoming 1869-1890," MA Thesis. Univer- 
sity of Colorado, 1938, from an excerpt. Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 11, No. 
1, p. 9. 


evening classes held by the post chaplain if they wished to do so.^^ 
He also made note of reading facilities in the same year: 

There is a post library in the adjutant's office containing about 300 
old, nearly worn out books. A number of papers and periodicals are 
subscribed for from the post general fund and kept in the library room 
to which the enlisted men have access."''* 

Poor though these collections may seem to the modern reader, 
accustomed as he is to his town or university library with its tens 
of thousands of dusty volumes, they were nevertheless superior 
collections to those available to most soldiers on the Wyoming 
frontier. The other sources of reading material were mail and 
newspapers, and with irregular delivery due to the activities of 
hostile Indians, particularly noticable in the 1860s, it might be 
several weeks before receiving new sources of information and 

When all else failed, a good storyteller could bridge the gap 
between the mails. One of the most famous of these entertainers 
was Jim Bridger, who served for many years as a professional scout 
throughout Wyoming. His accounts of the spectacular scenes in 
the Yellowstone area, which he had apparently visited in 1844, 
were, for a long time, doubted or accepted with tongue in cheek. 
Nevertheless, a pushy or gullible listener could easily be drawn in. 
One day in 1866, while captain Anson Mills was in command at 
Fort Bridger, a British officer arrived on the overland stage on his 
way around the world. On meeting the famous Jim Bridger, the 
Englishman pressed the scout for some interesting accounts of his 
experiences. Reluctantly, Bridger told the following story: 

Well, I think the most thrilling adventure I ever had on the frontier 
was in the winter of 1855, when Jack Robinson and I went trapping 
about two hundred miles down the Green River in the Ute country. 
We knew the Utes were unfriendly, but we did not think they were 
warlike, so we got two horses and a pack outfit and in December went 
into camp on the Green River. We had spent two months trapping, 
and were about ready to return, when early one morning we saw a 
large party of warriors coming up the stream. We had only time to 
saddle our horses, gather our rifles and ammunition and mount. We 
estimated their party at about one hundred, and started up the river 
at full speed, abandoning everything we had in camp. 

As we became hard pressed, one of us would dismount and fire, 
then mount and pass the other, and he would dismount and fire, and 
so continuing, checking our pursuers until we gained some ground. 
We continued this method of defense all day, and by night had killed 
some thirty of the Indians . . . The next day . . . (after hiding in timber 
that night) ... we started to lead our horses out . . . but had no 
sooner started than we heard the Indians behind us. 

49. Rickey, op. cit., p. 194. 

50. Ibid., p. 195. 


We continued our defense until two o'clock, when we had killed 
thirty more of the Indians. This left only about forty to continue the 
pursuit, but they did not seem at all discouraged ... By this time our 
broken horses began to give way at the knees. Observing a narrow 
canyon, we concluded to follow it as it gave us a better chance of 
defense than the open . . . Matters were desperate. The canyon walls 
were perpendicular, three hundred feet high, and growing narrower 
every mile. Suddenly, around a bend in the canyon, we saw a water- 
fall, two hundred feet high completely blocking our exit. 

Here Mr. Bridger paused. The captain all aglow with interest cried 
anxiously, 'Go on, Mr. Bridger, go on! How did you get out?' 

'Oh, bless your soul, captain,' answered Bridger, 'we never did get 
out. The Indians killed us right there!'"'! 

After the chuckles had died away, and if the tenderfoot had 
accepted the jibe good naturedly, the conversation might turn to 
other pastimes. Hunting was a popular topic. 

Almost without exception, every book and article about this 
period is filled with accounts of the quantity of fish and game seen 
in the Wyoming area. This is particularly true of the time prior to 
1890, after which, due to the wholesale slaughter taking place, 
there was a considerable reduction in numbers of animals, most 
notably, the buffalo. With the opportunity for sport laid virtually 
on their doorstep, the officers, and to a lesser extent the men, 
engaged in frequent excursions in search of game. 

In the spring of 1867, while engaged in his first expedition 
against the Indians, Colonel Custer had an experience that might 
have prevented the massacre at the Little Big Horn nine years later. 
Seeing some antelope two miles ahead of his column, Custer, 
accompanied by his bugler and hunting dogs, gave chase. After 
riding at full speed for several miles, he realized that his dogs 
could never run down the antelope, so he called them off. By this 
time, his bugler, being mounted on "a common-bred animal,"" had 
fallen far behind and had rejoined the column, which was no longer 
within the range of Custer's vision. While attempting to ascertain 
how far he was from his troops, he spotted a very large buffalo, 
gave chase, and in doing so, ran a considerable distance further. 
He was able to run the buffalo to a point where it became tired 
and winded, whereupon Custer prepared to dispatch the magnifi- 
cent animal with his revolver. Without warning, the buffalo 
wheeled and attempted to gore his horse, with Custer's reaction 
as follows: 

So sudden was this movement, and so sudden was the corresponding 
veering of my horse to avoid the attack, that . . . my finger, in the 

51. Ellison, op. cit., p. 49-51, from Anson Mills "My Story." (Washing- 
ton, D.C.: The Author, 1918). Also mentioned by Colonel Homer Wheeler, 
op. cit., pp. 369-71. 


excitement of the occasion pressed the trigger, discharged the pistol, 
and sent the fatal ball into the very brain of the noble animal I rode. 

Having dispatched his horse, Custer was left alone on foot in 
hostile Indian territory facing an angry buffalo. Fortunately, or 
unfortunately, depending on the reader's point of view, he survived 
both dangers.^- 

Occasionally an opportunity to demonstrate his courage was 
presented to the hunter, and this usually involved the grizzly bear, 
a formidable foe. During the Powder River campaign of 1865, 
Captain Palmer, accompanied by General Patrick Connor and 
some members of his staff, chanced upon a huge grizzly while out 
hunting one day. According to Captain Palmer: 

One of our party. Trainmaster Wheeling, with more daring than the 
rest of us cared to exhibit, rode up to within a few rods of the patch 
[of plum bushes in which the bear was sheltering]; the bear would 
rush out after him . . . close to his heels, snapping and growling, at 
the same time receiving the fire of our Sharps rifles. After receiving 
same. Mr. Grizzley would retire and again Wheeling would draw him 
out of the plum patch. 

It took 23 balls to kill the ferocious animal which weighed 1800 
pounds according to the best estimate. ^""'-^ 

On another occasion, an account of a hunt is given by John F. 
Finerty while on the Yellowstone Expedition of 1876. Becoming 
separated from the rest of their party, Finerty and Colonel Anson 
Mills spotted a couple of buffalo in the Big Horn Mountains of 
northern Wyoming. After shooting both of them, they took only 
the tongues, despite being well mounted and able to carry con- 
siderably more.^^ The tales of such waste are legion in the old 
days of the West, although the military were normally less guilty 
of this crime by virtue of having more mouths to feed. With the 
large amounts of game being killed, the enlisted men usually ben- 
efited from the leavings of the officers and often enjoyed the priv- 
ilege of participating in the hunt. 

Elizabeth Custer points out that there used to be so many wild 
turkeys in 1868 "that the soldiers' messes had all they wanted 
while the command remained in the locality they frequented." For 

At one point . . . General Sheridan and his staff came upon an im- 
mense number of turkeys . . . Between half-past five and half-past 
seven they killed sixty-three with rifles . . . This officer remembers to 
have seen General Custer cut the head from a turkey with a Spencer 

52. George Armstrong Custer, op. cit., pp. 49-52. 

53. LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen, ed.. Captain H. E. Palmer's account of 
the Conner Expedition, in Powder River Campaigns and Sawyers Expedition 
of 1865, Far West and the Rockies Historical Series, Vol. Xlt, p. 123. 

54. Finerty, op. cit., p. 111. 


repeating rifle at two hundred yards. The poor soldiers, armed only 
with their short range carbines, of course saw many a shot go foul, 
but if they happened to be the selected orderlies of the officers they 
were often permitted to use the rifle . . . One of the officers afforded 
great amusement at the time . . . because of an attack of "buck fever." 
At sight of a tree weighed down to the ends of the branches with 
turkeys, he became incapable of loading, to say nothing of firing, his 
gun; he could do nothing but lie down, great strong man as he was, 
completely overcome with excitement. •"'•'• 

Trout fishing was another sport that provided excitement and 
action for the members of the mihtary during moments of leisure. 
It was also a sport in which the wives could, if they chose, partici- 
pate. Sarah Canfield noted in her diary an afternoon in 1866 

We went fishing today in the Judith River which is a beautiful moun- 
tain stream. Nahum [her husband, Lt. Canfield] caught some grass- 
hoppers for bait and baited my hook which I threw into a quiet pool 
near the bank. Before he had time to bait his own hook, I landed on 
the bank a fish weighing about 5 lbs. I repeated the performance 
four times then when he had caught three or four, we went to the 
Ft. [sic] with fish enough to share with the officers. '»<' 

While at Fort Bridger, Major Burt frequently took Mrs. Burt and 
their small child to any one of a number of different streams in the 
area. Fort Bridger is located between the Hams Fork and Black's 
Fork of the Green River, which even today provides rewarding 
angling to those interested in this art. Mrs. Burt, while comment- 
ing on her own lack of skill, pointed out that "men who wear rub- 
ber boots and wade out into the rushing water rather rejoice in 
casting a fly under these difficulties.""'^ At the other extreme from 
the art of fishing, seining with a net was used by the enlisted men 
with considerable results. On one occasion 1200 trout were caught 
in a relatively short period of time."''^ 

Thus, despite the rigors of military life in frontier Wyoming, 
sufficient diversion was available in order to make that way of life 
palatable. Certainly a rosy enough picture could be painted to 
attract the civilian who might be in search of the good Ifie. How- 
ever, he should give thought to the advice one soldier offered his 
brother in September 1858: 

You frequently hear people say if you are too lazy to work, enlist. 
Now, if you think that a soldier's life is a lazy one, you will find 

55. Elizabeth B. Custer, op. cit., pp. 32-33. 

56. Mattison, op. cit., pp. 212-213. 

57. Mattes, op. cit.. p. 67. 

58. I. R. Conniss, ed., "Recollections of Taylor Pennock," Annuls of 
Wyoming, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2, p. 208. 


yourself much mistaken ... I am well enough satisfied, but, Frederick, 

Doubtless this was good advice, as the soldiers' day was normally 
so filled with duties that there was but little time for pursuit of 
pleasure. The soldiers' life was a rough, unenviable one whose 
days were long and whose rewards were short. If he were an 
officer, his position was endowed with many benefits and often he 
thoroughly enjoyed the way of life. On the other hand, the 
ordinary soldier received few favors, and the high evidence of 
desertion attested to his honest opinion of army life. Without the 
benefit of a little whiskey and card playing, hunting and fishing, 
music and theatricals, or an occasional delicacy from the sutler's 
store, it is probable the desertion rate would have been far higher, 
and certainly life in a state prison could have been no worse. The 
amusements available, therefore, were the necessary anesthetic to 
this otherwise austere and often dangerous way of life. Few com- 
plaints were written, but there are suggestions that many were 
voiced, and it is doubtful that discipline alone would have mastered 
the headstrong American spirit that surged through these soldiers' 

Hence the role of the social and domestic life of the military was 
of crucial importance to the success of military operations in Wyo- 
ming. It would be pure speculation to attempt to determine the 
effects of there being no military support for white expansion in 
this area, but doubtless it would have been significant. The im- 
portance of military operations to the success of white expansion- 
ism is comparable to the importance of social history to the 
politico-diplomatic historical complex. To a very large extent, it 
can be safely assumed that the one would not have occurred with- 
out the aid of the other. 


During the period covered by this paper, Wyoming belonged to 
the following Territories: 

Nebraska Territory: May 30, 1854 to March 3, 1863. 
Idaho Territory: March 3, 1863 to May 26, 1864. 
Dakota Territory: May 26, 1864 to July 29, 1868. 
Wyoming Territory: July 29, 1868 to July 10, 1890. 
On July 1 0, 1 890, Wyoming became a state. 

59. C. E. Gould to Frederick Gould, Letter of Sept. 24, 1858, in 
"Soldiering on the Frontier," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 83-84. 



Vegetables of all kinds should be thoroughly picked over, throw- 
ing out all decayed or unripe parts, then well washed in several 
waters. Most vegetables, when peeled, are better when laid in 
cold water a short time before cooking. When partly cooked a 
little salt should be thrown into the water in which they are boiled, 
and they should cook steadily after they are put on, not allowed 
to stop boiling or simmering until they are thoroughly done. Every 
sort of culinary vegetable is much better when freshly gathered and 
cooked as soon as possible, and, when done, thoroughly drained, 
and served immediately while hot. 

Onions, cabbage, carrots and turnips should be cooked in a great 
deal of water, boiled only long enough to sufficiently cook them, 
and immediately drained. Longer boiling makes them insipid in 
taste, and with too little water they turn a dark color. 

Potatoes rank first in importance in the vegetable line, and con- 
sequently should be properly served. It requires some little intelli- 
gence to cook even so simple and common a dish as boiled pota- 
toes. In the first place, all defective or green ones should be cast 
out; a bad one will flavor a whole dish. If they are not uniform 
in size, they should be made so by cutting after they are peeled. 
The best part of a potato, or the most nutritious, is next to the skin, 
therefore they should be pared very thinly, if at all; then, if old, the 
cores should be cut out, thrown into cold water salted a little, and 
boiled until soft enough for a fork to pierce through easily; drain 
immediately, and replace the kettle on the fire with the cover partly 
removed, until they are completely dried. New potatoes should be 
put into boiling water, and when partly done salted a little. They 
should be prepared just in time for cooking, by scraping off the 
thin outside skin. They require about twenty minutes to boil. 

Potato Snow 

Choose some mealy potatoes that will boil exceedingly white; 
pare them, and cook them well, but not so as to be watery; drain 
them, and mash and season them well. Put in the sauce-pan in 
which they were dressed, so as to keep them as hot as possible; 
then press them through a wire sieve into the dish in which they 
are to be sreved; strew a little fine salt upon them previous to 
sending them to table. French cooks also add a small quantity of 
pounded loaf sugar while they are being mashed. 

Excerpts from The White House Cook Book, 1887 

Quest for Ca J^o^te J^ears End 


Peg Layton Leonard 

"La Bonte Creek in Converse County, Wyoming, begins as a 
stream in the Laramie Peak region and the adjacent mountains of 
the Medicine Bow National Forest and, like many other creeks and 
rivers, eventually falls into the thousand-mile-long North Platte 
River and thence to the wide Missouri." So begins the authentic 
story of eastern Wyoming's well-known La Bonte Creek, as re- 
searched by Pierre (Pete) La Bonte, Jr. for his historical account, 
"La Bonte — Mountain Man of the Creek" (1969). 

La Bonte, a Massachusetts newspaper advertising executive, first 
became aware of Wyoming's "La Bonte link" in history in 1954. 
Since that time he has devoted much time and effort in pursuit of 
information leading to the exact man for whom Converse County's 
creek. La Bonte community and La Bonte Hotel in Douglas were 
named. For 15 consecutive summers, Pete La Bonte traveled in 
Wyoming, first, to see what information he could uncover about 
this mystery man who left his name so indelibly marked in the 
annals of Wyoming history, and secondly, to learn if his own 
lineage could be traced to him. 

Among Wyoming's many streams, the La Bonte is quite special 
in that it has gathered considerable history during its known exist- 
ence since the days of the explorer, the fur trader and the mountain 
man trapper. 

"Its background," writes La Bonte, "deserves to be recalled by 
presenting here factual evidence obtained from early journals, 
diaries and histories written mostly by men who were there, proving 
that the hunter, mountain man, trapper La Bonte, supposedly 
located on the creek, was really there." 

LaBonte states earlier in his account that contemporary histor- 
ians, including the late Bernard De Voto, had flatly denied that any 
La Bonte or La Bontes, save Louis and Jean-Baptiste La Bonte ( as 
history records, they were among the 45 engages of the overland 

(See photo opposite page) Smathers Photo 

La Bonte Creek at its confluence with the North Platte River, 10 miles south 
of Douglas. The broad bottom meadow, photographed from a 150-foot 
river bluff looking southwest toward Laramie Peak, is from all descriptions, 
the historical site of Trapper La Bonte's "camp", mentioned in early-day 
journals and diaries of trappers and emigrants who were in the area in the 
early 1800s. 


party led west in 1810 by William Price Hunt) had ever set foot 
in the Rockies. After Hunt's unsuccessful Astorian venture broke 
up, these two La Bontes never retraced their steps. They stayed 
in the Pacific Northwest and later took service with the Hudson's 
Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. 

"The first authentic account of a La Bonte," notes Pete, 
"appears in the 1802-1812 account book of fur trader Pierre 
Chouteau, St., now in the archives of the Missouri Historical 
Society, St. Louis, Missouri." 

In the "Diary of WiUiam H. Ashley" (March 25 to June 27, 
1825), edited by Dale L. Morgan in the April, 1955, Bulletin of 
the Missouri Historical Society, are a number of items relating to 
Ashley's dealings with trappers of the Provost party ( at rendezvous 
July 1, 1825) in which group a La Bonte is identified several times. 

Morgan states that a David La Bonte figures in the account 
books in the 1830s and 1840s. In addition to "David" La Bonte 
in the American Fur Company accounts, the Missouri Historical 
Society has on record a "Daniel" La Bonte (1841-1852), an 
"Etienne" La Bonte (1831-1836), and a "Rousseau" La Bonte 

"The Thoroughness of Morgan's findings are irrefutable," com- 
ments La Bonte. "No La Bonte in the records? Indeed there is. 
Not only one but FOUR La Bontes were recorded as having been 
in the Rocky Mountains at one time or another from 1802-1852." 

In Mr. Morgan's more recent work. The Rocky Mountain Jour- 
nals of William Marshall Anderson. The West in 1834, (San 
Marino, Calif.: The Huntington Library, 1967), the following 
appears: "August 19, 1834 — . . . We laid by this evening at La 
Bonte's camp for the purpose of having some mules shod . . ." 

Again, on August 19, ". . . We stopped early at La Bontee's 
cabins, to shoe the horses and mules of three men to be sent 
express to the Bluffs. Mr. Fitzpatrick and I will accompany them, 
to Fort William on Laramiee's Fork, where we will remain until 
the company shall overtake us. ..." 

According to Morgan's footnotes: 

Anderson's use of the expressions "La Bonte's camp" and la Bonte's 
cabins" is tantalizing, for the name reflects some incident of the fur 
trade era, undated and unexplained, from which La Bonte Creek 
derived its name. Rufus Sage, passing by with a company of trappers 
toward the end of February 1842, "encamped at the forks of a small 
stream called La Bonte's Creek. Near the confluence of its waters 
with the Platte are the remains of a log cabin, occupied by a trading 
party several years since" {Scenes in the Rocky Mountains, p. 114). 
Field's account of the Hiram Scott tragedy, written in 1843, mentioned 
Scott's having become too ill to ride a horse at "a point known as 
'Lebonte's Cabin,' on the Sweetwater" [i.e., the North Platte] {Prairie 
and Mountain Sketches, p. 64). Theodore Talbot on Aug. 7, 1843, 
alluded to "the valley of 'LaBonte's cabins," {Journals, p. 35); and 
Francis Parkman, between June 21 and July 10, 1846, referred to 
"LaBonte's Camp {Journals, II, 445-454). 



"We learn so much from Morgan's footnotes," continues Pete. 
"They again confirm the presence of a La Bonte or La Bontes in 
the Rocky Mountains, as did Ashley's book of account." 

To sum up: Morgan infers quite logically that David La Bonte 
(rather than Davis, it being a French name) was the "possible" 
La Bonte who estabhshed his camp on the North Platte at its 
junction with La Bonte Creek. Taking it from this fair judgment 
and there being no other possibility, then David La Bonte who was 
"out of employ" after leaving Taos and who was no doubt familiar 
with the creek area, having trapped it during previous seasons, 
could have selected this camp site for good reasons. 

Principally, the spot was on the 
Oregon Trail, the earliest of roads 
west. He could have contact and 
trade with the travelers and sho2 
horses, as it appears he did for 
Anderson's party. This probably 
was his occupation during the 
summer. Winters would find him 
at his former trade of trapping 
on his own account on many 
creeks and streams of the area. 
What better selection for greater 
contentment for a Mountain Man 
than this yet unnamed location — 
"La Bonte's Camp?" 

In describing the locale, La 
Bonte writes, "Today, the two 

forks which feed the main La -^^ LA BONTE 

Bonte, irrigate the ranches of the ^ 

La Bonte community, an area of about 50 square miles. 

"As the creek flows northward, it passes near the site of the 
old La Bonte Pony Express Station (Camp Marshall, 1863 ) on the 
Oregon Trail. Here, also, a few yards away, is a stone marker 
inscribed by the late L. C. (Clark) Bishop and the late Albert G. 
Sims, which indicates the spot where Bill Hooker, buUwhacker- 
freighter, had his dugout cabin in the 1870s. 

"Six miles further downstream, La Bonte Creek comes to a 
broad bottom meadow of some 40 acres and at last empties into 
the North Platte. 

"From all known descriptions in the records of early day Oregon 
Trail travelers this, therefore, is the site they called 'La Bonte's 
Camp' — 'at the confluence of La Bonte Creek and the North Platte 
River.' It can be nowhere else." 

La Bonte concludes his historical account, "La Bonte — Moun- 
tain Man of the Creek," by stating that it was Paul Henderson, 
historian and Western trail buff of Bridgeport, Nebraska, who, 
upon reading Anderson's Journals in 1968, called his attention to 


Dale Morgan's footnotes regarding La Bonte's Camp, purportedly 
located on La Bonte Creek south of Douglas. 

It was agreed between Henderson and La Bonte that during the 
latter's trip to Wyoming that coming summer, the two of them 
would look over the site. So it was in July, 1968, according to 
La Bonte, that he, Henderson, and trail enthusiast Lyle Hildebrand 
of Douglas, found the "Camp" area in a meadow precisely as 
described by various Oregon Trail travelers. 

Henderson passed over a number of places with a metal detector 
where, in all probability, a cabin, stable or shed for horseshoeing 
might have been. But he got no signal. 

"The time spent there was only a couple of hours," writes 
La Bonte. "It would take days or weeks to do the work properly 
over the whole ground. We all concurred, however, that we had 
visited the actual 'La Bonte's Camp' at 'the confluence of the North 
Platte and La Bonte Creek.' Surely it could be nowhere else!" 

This article updates "The Quest for La Bonte," by Pierre 
La Bonte, Jr., which was published in Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 
27, No. 2, and coincides with the publication late in 1972 of the 
booklet, "Wyoming La Bonte Country," by Peg Layton Leonard. 

Wyoming State Mistorical Society 


Lusk, Wyoming September 8-10, 1972 

Registration for the nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Wyoming 
State Historical Society began at 7:00 p.m., Friday, September 8, 
1972, in the D.A.R. cabin in George Washington Park. Ruby 
Wilkison entertained at the organ while members registered. Cof- 
fee, punch and homemade cookies were served. 


At 9:00 a.m. President William Dubois called the meeting to 
order in the Elks Lodge Room. After a welcoming speech by Joe 
Jones, mayor of Lusk, the business of the Society began. 

Mr. Henry Jensen moved that the minutes of the 1971 annual 
meeting be dispensed with. The motion was seconded and carried. 
The minutes of the April Executive Committee meeting were read 
by the Secretary. 

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


September U, 1971-September 9, 1972 

Cash and Investments on 

hand September 11, 1971 








Interest (Savings) 


Life Members (3) 








Annals of Wyoming 


Annual meeting 





Grant in Aid 



County Chapters 



Officer's Expenses 













Phone (Secretary) 22.21 

Bond, Secretary of State, 

bank checks 8.32 6,712.12 

Committee Expense 











Certificate (Federal Bldg. & Loan) 
Certificate (Capitol Bldg. & Loan) 
Federal Building & Loan 
Federal Building & Loan (Memorial Fund) 
Capitol Building & Loan (Life Members) 
Cheyenne Federal Building & Loan 









Cash in First National Bank & Trust Co. 


Cash & Investments on hand September 9, 1972 



1969 1970 
Annual Members 1,278 1,396 
Life Members 54 53 







The President appointed Judge Reuel Armstrong as parliamen- 
tarian. W. N. Wibel, Ruth Hicks and Wanda Vasey were asked 
to audit the books and Molly Seneshale and Alice Antilla were 
appointed to the Resolutions Committee. 


Scholarship Dr. T. A. Larson explained the Scholarship and 
Grant in Aid Program. The Society offers grants to persons who 
will undertake to write histories of Wyoming counties. These 
awards amount to $500 — $200 at the beginning of the project and 
$300 upon completion. Holding such grants at the present time 
are: Robert Murray (Johnson County); Ray Pendergraft (Wash- 
akie County) ; Dorothy Milek (Hot Springs County) . The Society 
also offers grants in aid for other projects which involve research 
and writing. These awards pay $300 total: $100 at the beginning 
and $200 upon completion. Mrs. Karen Love completed her proj- 
ect in June of this year. It was a biography of J. B. Okie, well- 
known pioneer of Lost Cabin, Wyoming. Initial grants in aid have 
been made for two other projects: Gordon Chappell is making a 
study of the "Alliance of the United States Army and the Union 


Pacific Railroad in Southern Wyoming" and Mike Lewellyn is 
studying the political career of John B. Kendrick. 

Trek Henry Jensen stated that special thanks are due to the 
Carbon County Chapter for presenting an evening's entertainment 
before the trek and to the Fremont County Chapter for arranging 
the dinner Sunday evening in Lander. This was the biggest trek 
to date — 300 participants and 110 cars. Several tourists joined 
the group by mistake. Some enjoyed themselves and some didn't. 

Nominating Joe Laughton announced the members of his 
committee are Mabel Brown from Newcastle and Nancy Nichols 
from Casper. 


President, William R. Dubois: I considered it a great honor to 
be elected President of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Most 
certainly, I have been very proud to serve the group. 

The most exciting event of the past year was the banquet in Cody 
honoring the 100th Anniversary of Yellowstone Park and the 
National Park Service. I was happy to have had the opportunity 
to attend. It was a great night in Wyoming history. 

The Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley and I, with her 
sister and Mr. Robert Larson, made a tour around the state calUng 
on 16 of the county chapters during June. We were impressed by 
the hospitality, the dedication and concern of the chapter officers, 
the interesting and excellent county museums, and by our beautiful 
state of Wyoming. I was able to call on the Natrona, Goshen and 
Fremont County Chapters at other times during the year. 

The Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department under 
the direction of William Williams has progressed a great deal 
during the past year. My work with them has been rewarding. 
They have been helpful in many different aspects. 

I feel that the Wyoming State Historical Society has a great deal 
of potential as a lobby group in the legislature. Saving and pre- 
serving our heritage is and should be our paramount goal and state 
help is necessary. 

Our greatest need in the organization is more youth. These 
people will be the ones who will keep up with the preservation 
programs in the future. It is most important that we attract more 
young people into our membership. 

First Vice President, Henry Chadey: 1. A series of workshops 
sponsored by the Historical Society and the Wyoming Archives 
and Historical Department was considered. The Historical De- 
partment is planning such a series in the future. These workshops 
would be planned to inform the public concerning various historical 
subjects: preservation, museums, etc. This project could be 
funded by a federal grant from the Council for the Humanities, 


2. We are still working with the Wyoming Recreation Commission 
in developing a program of help for South Pass restoration. Basi- 
cally the problem has been that money offered by the Society could 
not be matched with federal grants in aid. Future planning should 
be done in cooperation with the Wyoming Recreation Commission. 

3 . The State President was requested to offer the help of the Society 
to the Wyoming Bicentennial Commission in planning a program 
for 1976. 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Betty Hayden: I would like to 
suggest that the Wyoming State Historical Society Awards Program 
needs careful revision. Categories should be changed and pro- 
vision should be made for Junior Historians and for cash awards 
for the county projects. It is hoped that each Chapter will have 
an enthusiastic Awards Chairman who will submit nominations for 
awards each year. 

Secretary, Miss Maurine Carley: I would like to plead with the 
Chapter secretaries to get their dues into the office as soon as 
possible after the first of the year. Also please notify the Archives 
and Historical Department, State Office Building, Cheyenne, about 
a change of address. It is costly to re-mail Annals and "History 

For the second time, both last year and this year, I have had to 
withdraw $600 from savings to meet our expenses. Everything 
seems to cost more, especially pubhcation and postage. It is soon 
going to be necessary to raise the dues again. 

In the last two years the cost of the Annals has increased from 
$1.35 to $1.52 to $1.87 per copy. Since the Historical Society 
pays for most of the Annals, I suggest that the President of the 
Society be informed when bids for the Annals are presented. It 
upsets our budget when the Annals cost $350 more than allocated. 

Very soon we will have to pay for the use of the state computer 
to put the addresses on Society mail. The present addressograph 
is worn out. 

Executive Secretary, William H. Williams: Mr. Williams intro- 
duced seven members of his staff, including Pat Hall, Director of 
the Wyoming Bicentennial Commission and Miss Sella Ribeiro, 
Mr. Hall's secretary. Regarding the oral history program, he 
reported that the Department has received a federal Humanities 
Grant to develop an oral history program and a trained coordinator 
will travel throughout the state in the next three months to conduct 
workshops and organize oral history groups. It is proposed that 
the Society take over the sales desk in both the Cheyenne and the 
Fort Bridger Museums as a money making project for the Society. 
However, a ruling has been requested from the Attorney General 
as to whether this may be done by a non-profit organization. 

At 10:30 a break was enjoyed when coffee, juice, doughnuts and 
cookies were served by the ladies of the Niobrara County Chapter. 


The rooms were gay with the beautiful gladioH brought by Mr. 
and Mrs. Dave Wasden of Cody. 

After the break, Mr. Armstrong moved that Mr. WiUiams' 
proposal that the Society sell articles in the museums be referred to 
the Executive Committee. The motion was seconded and carried. 

Mr. Dubois announced that the next meeting of the Executive 
Committee will be in Casper on October 15. He emphasized that 
chapter presidents are members of the Executive Committee. The 
Secretary will inform the Committee of the time and place of this 

Mr. Wibel reported that the Auditing Committee found the 
Treasurer's books to be correct and in order. 

Mr. Dumbrill asked why the Annals of Wyoming were partially 
financed by the Society rather than by the Department. The Pres- 
ident stated that this provision is in the constitution of the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society. 

In response to a question about membership, Mr. Dubois stated 
that the Society policy is for members to belong to both the state 
and county organizations. 

Chapter treasurers were asked to get a tax form from their 
county tax office and to report on Form #990 as a "Tax Exempt" 
organization. There is a toll-free telephone number in Cheyenne 
which can be used if further information is needed. 

Mr. Hall stated that the Bicentennial Commission was interested 
in suggestions for Wyoming's Bicentennial observance. He would 
like to organize a Bicentennial Committee within each community. 

Miss Carley announced that plans for the 1973 Oregon Trail 
Trek from Parson to Cokeville have already started. Dr. Larson 
suggested that the Society might sponsor a special trek in 1976, 
the Bicentennial year. 

Mrs. Claude Blakeslee from Casper suggested that three-year 
gift memberships in the Society be given to youths who have done 
something worthwhile in the historical field. 

The President reported that an invitation for the 1973 state 
meeting was given last year by Big Horn County. J. W. Brazelton, 
for the Teton County Chapter, extended a verbal invitation for 
1973. The Executive Committee will decide where the meeting 
will be held. The Sheridan County Chapter issued a written invita- 
tion for the 1974 Annual Meeting and the Fremont County Chap- 
ter gave a verbal invitation for the State Society to meet there 
in 1975. 


Only highlights of chapter reports are given here. Complete 
reports are in the executive headquarters files. 

Albany County Chapter (Dr. Larson). The Chapter helped 
finance the purchase of the Ivinson property which is now the 
home of the Laramie Plains Museum. They are now trying to 


collect early mowing machines, rakes, "go-devils" and stackers. 
The Chapter had an interesting meeting with a history class at the 
Junior High School. Their Old Time Ranch Tour was a success 
as usual. 

Campbell County Chapter (Mrs. Josephine Lucas). Gillette is 
anxious to start a museum. 

Carbon County Chapter (Mrs. Walter Lambertsen). The Car- 
bon County Chapter was host for the 1972 trek members on the 
evening of July 15. The group gathered at the Jeffrey Center in 
Rawlins where they were entertained with refreshments and a 
clever skit called, "A Musical Trip on the Oregon Trail." On 
June 22 they met with Mr. Dubois and Miss Carley who were 
making their official visit. 

Fremont County Chapter (Norbert Ribble). The programs this 
year have been of a very high cahber and of a fine historical char- 
acter. Some of these were papers on Chief Washakie, historic 
Indian trails, early history of the Shoshone Indians and early 
Lander doctors. A contribution was made to the Foundation 
Fund. The Chapter hosted the Sunday dinner at the end of the 

Goshen County Chapter (James Petty). Monthly dinner meet- 
ings are held. An important new project was the establishmsnt of 
a Goshen County historical file. Copies will be made of docu- 
ments, publications, talks and interviews, which will be of interest 
to anyone researching Goshen County. There will be three copies 
of this file — one for the Society, one for Goshen County Library 
and one for Eastern Wyoming Community College. Two school 
buses were used on the successful local summer tour. 

Hot Springs County Chapter (Mrs. Etta Payne). The residents 
of the Pioneer Home gave short reviews of their lives in Wyoming. 
The Chapter is also planning to erect a marker at the site of Gebo 
to preserve the history of this ghost town. A pot-luck picnic was 
held June 25. Residents of Pioneer Home, Canyon Village and 
Canyon Hills Manor were invited. 

Johnson County Chapter (C. Vance Lucas). The stand-out 
activity of the Johnson County Chapter was their exhibit at the 
county fair in August. Stuart Frazier deserves much credit for 
making copies of the old photographs collected for the exhibit. 
Well over 500 people viewed the exhibit. One large meeting was 
held with the volunteers for the Preservation of Oral History, at 
which time Mrs. Katherine Halverson was the speaker. 

Laramie County Chapter (Mr. Dubois). Fifty dollars was 
contributed toward a plaque which was placed on "Big Boy", a 
steam engine used by the Union Pacific and now a permanent 


exhibit in Holliday Park. At one meeting Mrs. H. Paul Haiiowell 
showed a collection of photographs made by her father, the late 
J. E. Stimson. He was a prominent early photographer of Chey- 
enne. Another member, Virginia Trenholm, presented Mr. and 
Mrs. Willie Dewey and their children in an authentic Arapaho 

Lincoln County Chapter (Mrs. W. J. Cranor). An annual 
chuck wagon dinner was held in early June. Also in that month 
the state president and secretary visited the Chapter for luncheon at 
Mrs. Norma Dwyer's home near LaBarge. Senior citizens who 
helped settle Lincoln County were honored by the Chapter. The 
primary interest this year was the study of pioneer businesses. 
When completed the information will be compiled in booklet form 
and preserved for local history. 

Natrona County Chapter (Miss Kathleen Hemry). The Chapter 
has joined with other organizations to petition the county commis- 
sioners to rename a new bridge east of Casper with its original 
name, Mystery Bridge. The Society has gone on record as sup- 
porting a project by the ASCS which will entail lining irrigation 
ditches near the Poison Spider Road. This will enhance the area 
near parts of the Oregon Trail and the Red Buttes cemetery. 

Niobrara County Chapter (Mrs. Archie Huey). Over 4000 
people visited the Lusk Museum in the last three months. A stair 
glide has been installed to the second floor, a fossil room has been 
started in the basement and a slab fence is being built to enclose the 
grounds back of the museum. The oldest building in Lusk has 
been moved to the back of the museum. It was originally known 
as the "Old Iron Clad Store" from the mining town of Silver Cliff. 
A well-organized annual meeting was planned by the members of 
the Niobrara Society. 

Park County Chapter (Mr. Wibel). The Park County Chapter 
and the city of Cody have been willed $1500 from the estate of 
Edgar D. (Kid) Wilson for the erection of a stone monument with 
a bronze plaque commemorating the pioneer stage drivers of Wyo- 
ming and the pioneers of Park County. Three summer treks were 
enjoyed. Jerry Wight presented a fine program on the Nez Perce 
flight. Wilford Hanson gave an interesting program on the Dead 
Indian Site. 

Platte County Chapter (Mrs. Patricia Erickson). Throughout 
the year the Chapter, in conjunction with the Cow-Belles, has met 
the third Monday every month to work on their oral history proj- 
ect. Cassette tape recorders are used and two copies of cassettes 
and manuscripts are being made. One copy will circulate, the 
other will be in a non-circulating permanent file at the Platte Coun- 
ty Library. About 50 tapes and manuscripts have been collected. 
A very successful antique show was also held. 


Sheridan County Chapter (Mrs. Jos Laughton). This has been 
an exciting year for the 72 members working at the Trail End 
Historic Center. In addition to member volunteers there were 25 
young people, ages ten through 18, who also helped regularly. 
Through a grant from the Wyoming Interim Committee on the 
Humanities Robert Murray, of Western Interpretive Services, has 
been hired to formulate the master plan for the Center. With a 
grant through the Wyoming Recreation Commission and from the 
federal funds for the Preservation of Historic Homes, much work 
has been done to stabilize and preserve the home, the carriage 
house, the sheds and the corral. In addition, regular monthly 
meetings were held with interesting programs. 

Sweetwater County Chapter (Mrs. Seneshale). The Sweetwater 
County Chapter was privileged to host the 1971 annual meeting 
and it was a gratifying experience. They joined the Lincoln County 
Chapter on their picnic below Fontenelle Dam and thoroughly 
enjoyed their company and the barbecued beef. A trip to Parson's 
Cabin in Brown's Park with a Utah group was most interesting. 

Teton County Chapter (Mr. Brazelton). The Chapter, as usual, 
made a substantial profit at its annual Boardwalk Sale in May. 
A basement room in the county library has been made available to 
the Society for a museum. Over 1 100 items have been catalogued 
and put on display under the direction of Elizabeth Brownell, a 
trained archivist. The original contract for the sale of the town 
square in Jackson has recently been found. A $25 share of stock 
and one dollar in cash was paid for it. Sixty-five people enjoyed 
a fine Thanksgiving-Christmas dinner on November 18 and gifts 
were exchanged. 

Washakie County Chapter (Ray Pendergraft). Six members of 
the Washakie County Chapter took part in the state Trek on the 
fourth lap of the Oregon Trail from Devil's Gate to South Pass. 
The Chapter has devoted its efforts toward getting its members 
more closely oriented to local history. Programs were on John 
Colter, Spring Creek Raid, Nowood country and the mystery 
deaths in Little Canyon Creek. Several members have given talks 
at the National Girl Scout Center West during the summer. 

Weston County Chapter (Mrs. Mary Capps). In November a 
sourdough pancake supper kicked off a membership drive. Admis- 
sion was by membership only and 50 new members were added to 
the roll. In June, 25 members climbed Inyan Kara Mountain, 
which has been nominated for the National Register of Historic 
Places. They found George Custer's name carved in "the flinty 
album of the summit" just as it was reported in the official journals. 
The big summer trek was along most of the Wyoming portion of 
the Custer Expedition route of 1 874. The trip was made in a bus 


furnished by the school district. Local teachers were guests on 
the trek. 


At this time the meeting of the Wyoming State Historical Society 
was recessed and convened as the Wyoming Foundation Fund, 

Mr. Jensen moved that Ed Bille and Miss Hemry be re-elected 
as Foundation Fund board members for 3-year terms (1972-1975). 
Mrs. Wilkins' and Dr. Larson's terms expire in 1973. 

Mrs. Wilkins reported that $2400 had been donated in memory 
of deceased members. $5000 recently received from the Tonkin 
Foundation is specified to be used in an educational historic film. 
If anyone is interested in assisting in the project they should contact 
Mr. WilUams or Mr. Hall at the State Office Building. 

The Foundation Fund meeting was adjourned and the Wyoming 
State Historical Society was again convened. 

Mr. Jensen reported that the State Highway Department will 
include the Bridger Trail on the official state highway map for 

Mrs. Wilkins announced that a sign had been placed at the 
highway turn-off to Independence Rock. A letter has been received 
by Mrs. Wilkins recommending that the stage station seven miles 
south and east of Lander and also the stage station at Muddy Gap 
be restored. 

Mr. Dubois asked that all members be sure and see the displays 
that have been put in the store windows downtown for the benefit 
of the Historical Society meeting. 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. 


One of the highlights of the two days was the style show, 
"Clothes from Former Years" at the luncheon at the Masonic 
Temple served by Guild and Circle members of the Congregational 
Church and the B&PW. One of the dresses dated back to 1870 
and all were worn before 1920. 

After the meeting was adjourned many people visited the Stage- 
coach Museum with its fine collection of old vehicles on the first 
floor and its unusual collection of pioneer household articles on 
the second floor. A stair glide has been installed for the con- 
venience of the public. 


The Awards Banquet was held in the Elks Lodge at 7:00 p.m. 
with George Clark, president of the Niobrara Chapter, acting as 
Master of Ceremonies. The tables were attractive with flowers 
from Congressman and Mrs. Teno Roncalio and from Mr. and 


Mrs. Pfister. Lighting was furnished by old-fashioned kerosene 

Mr. Dubois introduced the past presidents of the Society. They 
were: Mrs. Violet Hord, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins, Mrs, 
Hattie Burnstad, Dr. T. A. Larson, Curtiss Root and Judge J. 
Reuel Armstrong. 

C. A. Brimmer, Wyoming's attorney general, was the speaker of 
the evening. He praised the Society for preserving the memories 
of our great state and linked the past history of the vigilantes with 
the present concept of law and order. 

The Resolutions Committee extended thanks to the Niobrara 
County Chapter for the many courtesies extended during the 

The officers elected for 1972-1973 were announced as follows: 

President: Henry Chadey, Rock Springs 
First Vice President: Richard Dumbrill, Newcastle 
Second Vice President: Henry Jensen, Casper 
Secretary-Treasurer: Maurine Carley, Cheyenne 

Mrs. Annabelle Hoblit was presented with a beautiful jade pin 
and earrings from the Niobrara County Chapter for her capable 
chairmanship of the Annual Meeting. 

Historical awards were presented by Mrs. Hayden, chairman of 
the Awards Committee: 

Richard Dumbrill, the L. C. Bishop Award, for his planning and 
successfully carrying through the Custer Trail Trek. 

Fern Nelson, the Publications Award, for her series of articles 
on Jackson Hole old timers in The Jackson Hole Guide. 

Elizabeth Thorpe, Cumulative Award, for her continuing work 
in Weston County history in many fields. 

Ila Lewis of Lander, the Museums and Displays Award, for her 
life -long interest and active participation in preserving the history 
of Fremont County. 

Russ Arnold of Newcastle, the Best History Teacher Award, for 
his inspiring teaching and state-wide participation in the teaching 
of history at Newcastle Junior High School. 

Mabel E. Brown, the Fine Arts Award, for her pageant "A Peek 
at the Past", a history of northeast Wyoming's Black Hills Region. 

A certificate to the Sheridan County Chapter for converting 
Trail End (the John B. Kendrick home) into a museum. ($400 
Grant, 1970) 

A certificate to Weston County Chapter for bringing in a country 
school house and restoring it ($400 Grant, 1971) 

A certificate to Crook County Chapter for mannequins for the 
court scene in their museum in Sundance ($200 Grant, 1970) 

Mr. Dubois presented the gavel to Mr. Chadey who made a very 
brief acceptance speech. He then presented Mr. Dubois with the 
President's Appreciation Certificate. 



A complimentary breakfast was served in the Stagecoach Mu- 
seum at 8:00 a.m. by the Niobrara County Chapter. 
At 10:00 a.m. two tours left the Museum. 

1 . Eight cars went on a short tour to Hat Creek stage station led 
by Ed Cook and Bob Scott. 

2. Thirty cars followed Mr. and Mrs. WiUiam Nuttall on the day- 
long tour to the Spanish Diggings where the trekkers had a picnic 
lunch. Soft drinks were donated by the Lusk Chamber of Com- 
merce. In the afternoon, the group went on to the Fossil Beds 
near the Nuttall Ranch. Mrs. Mae Urbanek read a paper on the 
Spanish Diggings and Mrs. Nuttall explained the Fossil Beds. 

Maurine Carley 

ISook Uevkws 

The Dawes Act and the Allotment of Indian Lands. By D. S. Otis, 
Edited and Introduction by Francis Paul Prucha (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1973). Index. 206 pp. 

In 1887, the United States Congress passed the Dawes Act 
providing for the allotment of Indian lands in severalty. Its pur- 
pose was to break down tribal identification and habits, and make 
Christian farmers of the Indians. The act failed in its stated inten- 
tions, but in a single decade Indian lands were reduced from 
150,000,000 to 75,000,000 acres. D. S. Otis' book is a valuable 
analysis of the Dawes Act and the unfortunate effects of its first 
13 years. 

Although it was written in the early 1930s, the book has not 
suffered severely from the 40 years which interrupted its publica- 
tion. In early 1934, Congress was contemplating the Wheeler- 
Howard Bill which proposed to reverse the allotment-assimilation 
policy of the previous 65 years. The new Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, John Colher, proposed a policy which would encourage 
tribal organization and identity. D. S. Otis was assigned to write 
a history of allotment under the Dawes Act. His manuscript was 
printed in the transcript of the hearings before the House of 
Representatives Committee on Indian Affairs. Those hearings 
received very little circulation and Otis' work has gone unnoticed 
until now. Its availability is especially timely in light of the current 
interest in the government's Indian policy. 

Otis begins his study with a brief discussion of allotment agita- 
tion before 1887. After evaluating the aims and motives of the 
allotment movement, the organizations which supported allotment, 
and Indian attitudes and responses to the new policy, Otis gets to 
the heart of his study — the failure of allotment. This failure, he 
says, is evidenced in the insufficient education given new Indian 
landowners, and the pernicious effects of the ill-advised leasing 
policy. Otis regards leasing as the single most damaging factor. 
It undermined the Dawes Act's noble motives. Instead of becom- 
ing independent farmers and citizens of the Repubhc, a practice 
was begun which extended well into the 20th century. Many 
Indians were permanently separated from their lands through fair 
means or foul. 

In his concluding remarks, Otis suggests a fair-minded approach 
is necessary to properly evaluate the Dawes Act and the allotment 
of Indian lands. The humanitarian reformers must be given credit 
for their noble intentions, and the multitude of forces unleashed by 
America's westward expansion must be recognized. As in other 


periods, Otis notes, men of all types — from the high-minded moral- 
ists to unscrupulous speculators — played a role. 

Although this book provides heretofore unpublished informa- 
tion, it suffers from some serious shortcomings. Otis leaves many 
questions unanswered. The role of representatives from western 
states is suggested but not explored in depth. Indian attitudes 
are taken primarily from agents' reports — hardly an unbiased 
source! In fact, that is perhaps the book's greatest weakness. It 
relies too heavily upon published and unpublished government 
sources. It would have been enlightening to know how western 
newspapers reacted to the Dawes Act, or what, if anything, western 
congressmen were saying about the act in their private corre- 

Francis Paul Prucha's brief introduction doss not overcome 
these weaknesses. Prucha mentions recent scholarship, but he 
does not spend any time discussing the contributions authors such 
as H. E. Fritz and L. B. Priest have made to the questions raised 
by Otis. It would have also been instructive to learn more of the 
Otis-Collier association, and of Collier's purpose in assigning Otis 
to write a history of allotment. Despite these deficiencies, the book 
provides important information for anyone seeking to comprehend 
the government's policy toward its Indian wards. 

Wyoming State Archives and Gordon Olson 

Historical Department 


Past's Persisting. (Collected Poems). By Wilson Clough. (Lara- 
mie: University of Wyoming Publication, 1972). 83 pp. 

Wilson Clough, professor emeritus of English and of American 
Studies at the University Wyoming, has selected and collected in a 
slim paperback the best — and his favorites — among the poems he 
has written. This is an essential addition to any collector's library. 

Quite aside from Dr. Clough's high status among western men 
of letters, his poetry about Wyoming is the best of the genre, 
informing with art and scholarship the pictures of natlie which 
have inspired in others so much emotion-charged formless poesy. 
Pictures these poems are, too: beautifully selected and lighted 
photographs, some with figures; none is static. All of them make 
the Wyoming reader whisper, "I've been there! I've been there!" 

His lens has caught for all time the abandoned mining camp, 
the snow storm, the old graveyard on a naked hill, the waters 
going their separate ways at the Continental Divide. It has por- 
trayed the distress of the lost dude hunter and delineated the lesson 
which must be learned by all newcomers to Wyoming: the ele- 


ments are impersonal, and in this country they force man to come 
to grips with that cool impersonahty. 

Dr. Clough's collection includes poems on other subjects, on 
war, for instance; his Jubilate I think would rank with the best of 
A. E. Housman's bitter-humane pieces on that subject. He has 
also written in foreign languages and done translations, and some 
of these are preserved in this book. 

Wilson Clough came to teach at the University when he was 30 
years old. Behind him, aside from an upstate-New York back- 
ground, a tour of army duty and foreign study, was a meticulous, 
scholarly preparation in the language arts, what Prof, 'enry 'iggins 
called "the divine gift of articulate speech," (although HIS value, 
of course, was on phonetics.) 

In Wyoming, the young Clough must have been often baffled 
and frustrated by the fresh young rural faces in his classroom, for 
it was probably rare for these students to understand the precise 
value of language. Twelve years in classrooms, in that day, had 
persuaded few of them that a string of words was anything but a 
useful, blunt tool; that a word could be a precision instrument or a 
thing of beauty was a brand now and highly suspect idea. 

In all humility and humanity, the young teacher wrote in 1933: 

All words that mouths may form have truth. The word 
That gropes and falters short of accents sure 
Confesses past dispute that life has stirred 
Beneath the uncouth sign, the hint obscure 

Beneath the uncouth sign, the hint obscure He was 

learning from his students in order to teach them. He recognized 
the validity of their outdoors-oriented childhoods, understood that 
know-how was often more important than words. And he loved 
them enough to spend a lifetime teaching them the power and grace 
of language in literature, and in the shaping of our history. His 
vocation has become a rich part of Wyoming's inheritance, along 
with the poems he wrote to describe and define what touched and 
moved him. 

Wilson Clough is still a vigorous and active man of many parts 
and interests. Despite sentimental trips back to his eastern home 
country, he has become "of Wyoming". If these poems, collected, 
were not proof, a single poem would serve, the tender Little 
Grandson, a memory of an afternoon spent in the Wyoming moun- 
tains with a beloved child, the written memory tendered as a gift. 
This is what he wanted to say to the child, and thanks to his art, 
he could say it! 

Riverton Margaret Peck 


Pale Ink: Two Ancient Records of Chinese Explorations in 
America. By Henriette Mertz. (Chicago: The Swallow 
Press, Inc., 1973). Index. Illus. 175 pp. $6.95. 

When President Nixon went to mainland China last year, the 
world's headhnes failed to note that he was merely returning an 
honor paid to the people of the American continent some 4000 
years ago. 

Just as Mr. Nixon visited the ancient capital, the Great Wall, 
the Forbidden City, so did Yu, a future emperor of China, tour 
many of our continent's wonders, including 1 southwestern states, 
when he journeyed here sometime around 2250 B.C. 

The story of Yu and of other ancient Chinese visitors is brought 
to light again in Pale Ink. Miss Mertz argues that not only did 
visits by Chinese to North and Central America occur hundreds of 
years ago, but that written proof of such ancient contact between 
Asia and America still exists in Chinese archives. 

Her theories rest on the world's oldest known work of geog- 
raphy, the "Shan Hai Kang" ("The Classic of Mountains and 
Seas,") written by Yu 4000 years ago, and on the story of "Fu 
Sang," the odyssey of a Buddhist monk, which dates from the 5th 
century A.D. 

These two eyewitness accounts survived book burnings, wars, 
and several condensations only to be dismissed as pure fable and 
myth by succeeding generations. 

But, Mertz wondered, if the books were no more than Chinese 
whimsey, why did they contain such meticulous notes on mileage 
and direction traveled, flora, fauna, human groups encountered, 
and the extraordinary geography of the strange and beautiful 
foreign land? She decided to take the ancient writers at their word 
and to faithfully follow the hard geographical clues they provided. 

With Yu's "Classic of Mountains and Seas," Mertz started out in 
China, crossed "the Great Eastern Sea" on her map as directed, 
pinpointed the place of arrival, and then continued to follow what 
turned out to be an incredibly accurate road map extending mile 
for mile down the torturous back of the Continental Divide, from 
Winnipeg in Canada to Mazatlan in Mexico. 

The Classic described a veritable 2000-mile Cook's Tour from 
Western Canada to Mexico that also took in Washington, Oregon, 
Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, California, Nevada, 
Arizona, and Texas. 

According to Henriette Mertz, the high point of such a journey 
was a visit to what Yu's Classic calls "the Grand Luminous Can- 
yon." To an ancient Chinese traveling east, the spot seemed no 
other than "the place where the sun was born," and Mertz points 
but that Chinese poetry and literature fairly bulge with cantos of 
glowing reminiscence. Apparently, she concludes, hundreds of 
Chinese made their way to this place — our own Grand Canyon. 


Henriette Mertz, a native Chicagoan, brings many years of 
experience as a lawyer to the study of unsolved cultural mysteries. 
Her researches have taken her countless times to the interiors of 
Mexico and South America. 

Lost America, From the Mississippi to the Pacific. Ed. by Con- 
stance M. Greiff; foreword by James Biddle. (Princeton: 
The Pyne Press, 1972). Index. Illus. 243 pp. $17.95. 

Lost America contains a general introduction, keyed with illus- 
trations, to the development (or lack thereof) of the preservation 
movement in the Western United States. Progress continues to 
take its indiscriminate toll of resort palaces, private homes designed 
for leisure and graceful living, office buildings which provided a 
human, spacious scale for mundane commerical enterprise, church- 
es and synagogues. This book is a clear call to stop, look and 
listen before every architectural ornament and edifice from the past 
which enriches our daily life with beauty and meaning is dynamited 
to speed the increasing flow of human and commercial traffic. The 
sod huts, cliff dwellings, plantation houses, banks, churches, court- 
houses and ghost towns gathered in the book endure only in pic- 
tures. San Francisco, St. Louis, Austin, Santa Fe, Denver, Min- 
neapolis, Portland, Cheyenne and Seattle are all represented in the 
pages of Lost America. An epilogue chronicling current and key 
preservation battles across the country is a unique summation of a 
highly critical national situation. 

The Yogi of Cockroach Court. By Frank Waters. (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1972). 275 pp. (Paperback, 
Bison Book). 


Charles G. Roundy has been research historian at the Western 
History Research Center, University of Wyoming, for the past 
three years. A native of Maine, he earned his B.A. and M.A. 
degrees in that state, completing his master's work at the Univer- 
sity of Maine at Orono in 1970. Mr. Roundy has had numerous 
articles pubUshed on ecological, recreational and conservation 
subjects and is a member of several professional organizations. 

James H. Nottage is currently enrolled in the graduate pro- 
gram at the University of Wyoming where he earned his B.A. 
degree is history in 1972. Nottage is a native of Wyoming and a 
fourth generation Laramie resident. He is a member of the 
American Association for State and Local History, the Colorado- 
Wyoming Museum Association and the Company of Military 
Historians. His special area of interest in Western history is the 
U.S. Signal Corps and weather bureau operations in the West. 

David E. Miller is professor of history at the University of 
Utah. He formerly served as director of the Western History 
Center at the University and is former chairman of the department 
of history. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from Brigham Young 
University and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. 
He has published widely in historical journals, including the 
Pacific Historical Review, Pacific Northwest Quarterly and Utah 
Historical Quarterly. His current research is on the identification 
and mapping of various branches of the Oregon Trail from South 
Pass to Bear River. 

Herbert R. Dieterich, Jr., professor of history and American 
studies at the University of Wyoming since 1958, has previously 
taught at Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado. He earned 
B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. 
at the University of New Mexico. His teaching and research 
interests are in 19th century American history, especially in the 
areas of intellectual and cultural history. 

James A. Hanson, museum director, Museum of the Fur Trade, 
at Chadron, Nebraska, holds B.S. Ed. and M.S. Ed. degrees from 
Chadron State College, and is enrolled in the graduate program at 
the University of Wyoming. He has appeared as a radio lecturer, 
has published in various newspapers and periodicals, and has one 
book in press at the present time. 


Alan Culpin is a graduate student in the department of history, 
University of Colorado. He previously attended the Dean Close 
School, Cheltenham, England, and served for three years with the 
U. S. Army at Fort Bragg, N. C. His hobbies include fly fishing, 
hiking and horseback riding and trailing. 

Peg Layton Leonard (Mrs. Edward G.) is a news correspond- 
ent and feature writer for the Douglas Budget and the Casper Star- 
Tribune newspapers. She has had articles pubUshed in historical 
magazines in recent years, and has received various awards for her 
writing. Mrs. Leonard in 1952 was a victim of polio which 
resulted in paralysis and she uses a mouth wand to type her 
material for publication. A native of Douglas she attended 
Stephens College and the University of Colorado. 


Aldrich, Sam W., 19 
Alsberg, Henry G., 74, 81 
American Association of Archivists 

and Librarians, 69 
American Historical Association, 69 
Arthur, Pres. Chester A., 9 
Ash, Louis, 82 
Athearn, Robert G., 9 
Automobile Graveyard Survey, 85 


Baker, Jacob, 69, 78, 79 

Bellamy, Fulton D., 86 

Bengough, Clement "Ben", 11-12 

Bennett-Hamilton-Moncreiffe, 1 1 

Biddle, James, foreword, Lo^/ ^4/^^/- 
ica, from the Mississippi to the 
Pacific, review, 130 

"The Big Horn and Yellowstone Ex- 
pedition of 1876 as Seen Through 
The Letters of Captain Gerhard 
Luke Luhn," by James H. Not- 
tage, 27-46 

Binkley, Robert C, 69, 71, 84 

Brackenbury, Richard, 1 1 

Bridger, Jim, 9, 105 

"A Brief History of Social and Do- 
mestic Life Among the Military 
in Wyoming," by Alan Culpin, 

Bromberg, Manuel, 62 

Bruce, Edward, 55, 57 

Buell, Angela, 18 

Bullock, Mrs., 102 

Bureau of Immigration, 84 

Burkhard, Verona, 61 

Burlington Railroad, 15, 17, 19 

Burt, Maj. Andrew, 95, 97, 100, 
107; Mrs., 95, 97, 99, 100, 101, 
102, 107 

Burt, Struthers, 6, 7, 15, 20, 23, 24 

Cain, Capt. Avery B., 43 
Camp Cloud Peak, 36, 38 
Camp on Goose Creek, 33-34 
Camp on South Fork of Tannge 

[Tongue] River, 39, 40, 41 
Camp on White Wood Creek, 45 
Campbell, Claude, 82 
Campbell, Robert. 8 

Canfield, Lt. Nahum, 107; Mrs., 

100, 107 
Carley, Maurine, compiler, "Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society. 

Nineteenth Annual Meeting," 1 15- 

Carncross, Dr. Horace, 20 
Carrington, Margaret, 101 
Carter, Judge William A., 103 
Challender, Henry, 85 
Chambers, — , 34, 35, 36, 39 
Chatillon, Henry, 8 
Cheyenne, 80 
Child, Sargent, 72, 82 
Chouteau, Pierre, 112 
Christensen, Mart, 74, 75, 76, 78, 80 
"Chuckwagon Serenade," photo, 62 
Civil War, 28, 29 
Clough, Wilson, Past's Persistinif, 

review, 127-128 
Cody, William F., 14, 19; "Wild 

West Show," 14 
Collins, Mrs. [W. O.], 102 
Commission on National Archives 

Survey, 69 
Connor, Gen. Patrick, 106 
"Cretaceous Landscape," photo, 59 
Crook, Gen. George, 27-28, 30, 31, 

34, 35, 36, 37, 43 
Culpin, Alan, "A Brief History of 

Social and Domestic Life Among 

the Military in Wyoming," 93-109; 

biog., 131 
Custer, George A., 27, 30, 35, 36, 

105, 106; Mrs. Elizabeth, 94, 95, 

98, 106 


The Dawes Act and the Allotment 

of Indian Lands, by D. S. Otis, 

review, 126-127 
Devil's Tower, 14 
Department of Dakota, 27 
Department of the Platte, 27 
Dieterich, H. R., and Jacqueline 

Petravage, "New Deal Art in 

Wyoming: Some Case Studies,' 

Dry Sandy Creek, 49. 51 
Dude Rancher's Association. 6. 18, 

21, 24 
Dude Ranch [Rancher] Magazine, 

6, 23 



Eaton, Alden, 16 

Eaton, Howard, 16, 19, 24 

Eaton, Willis, 16 

Esmay, Gen. R. L., 73 

Evans, Luther H., 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 

79, 80, 82, 83 
Evans, M. T., 17 

Green River rendezvous, 8 
Greenwood -Sublette Cutoff. See 

Sublette Cutoff 
Greybull, mural, post office, 58, 62, 

63; photo, 62 
Grieff, Constance M., ed.. Lost 

America, from the Mississippi to 

the Pacific, review, 130 
Grissell, Capt., 17 
Gros Ventre Lodge, 10 
Guide to Historical Collections, 11 

Far West, steamboat, 42, 43 
Fetterman, Maj., 32 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, 80 
Ferguson, Tom, 18, 21 
Finerty, John F., 106 
Fisher, Mrs. Gladys, 65, 66 
Foote, Miss Fannie, 103 
Fordyce, Allen "Ike", 24 

Forts and Camps 

Abraham Lincoln, D. T., 27, 43 

Bridger, 29, 97, 101, 104 

Ellis, Mont., 27 

Fetterman, 27, 28, 29, 32, 36, 39, 

Halleck, 96 

Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 28 

Kearney, Neb., 28 

Laramie, 8, 9, 29, 93, 95, 96, 98, 
100, 101, 102, 103 

Leavenworth, Kan., 28 

Niobrara, Neb., 30 

Phil Kearny, 32, 36, 97 

Reno, 31, 97; (Old), 36 

Ridgely, Minn., 28 

Russell, D. A., 29 

.Sanders, 29 

Sedgwick, Colo., 29 

Shaw, Mont., 27 

Sherman, Ida., 30 

Smith, C. F., Mont., 97, 101, 102 

Washakie, 36, 102 
Flannery, L. G., 83 
Frazier, Leon D., 78, 79, 80 
Frewen, Moreton, 11 
Frost, Ned, 19 
Fury [Furey], Capt., 40 

Gibbon, Col. John, 27 
Gore, Sir George, 9 
Goshen County, 82, 83 
Governor's Mansion, 78 
Grand Teton National Park, 20 
Greenburg, Dan, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 
79, 80, 81 


Hanson, James A., "The Historical 
Records Survey in Wyoming, 
1936-1942," 69-91; biog., 131 

Harbers, Pvt. H., 99 

Harney, Col. William S., 28 

Harwood, Jim, 40 

Henderson, Paul, 1 14 

Henry, Captain Gui [Guy] V., 34 

Hildebrand, Lyle, 114 

"The Historical Records Survey in 
Wyoming, 1936-1942," by James 
A. Hanson, 69-91 

Hoffman, Libbie, 55 

Hoffman, William H., 28 

Holm, Tex, 19 

Holm Lodge, 19 

Hooker, Bill, 113 

Hopkins, Harry, 69, 79 

Horton, Frank, 17 

Howell, J. v., 19 

Hoyt, Gov. John W., 9 

Hunt, WilHam Price, 112 


Agents and Agencies 
Redcloud, 41, 46 
Rosebud, 30 

Chiefs and Individuals 
American Horse, 44 
Crasy [Crazy] Horse, 42 
Sitting Bull, 32, 33, 34, 36, 39, 
42, 43 


Ash Hollow, 28 

Battle of the Little Big Horn, 

Grattan Massacre, 28 
Rosebud Fight, 34-36, 41, 46 
Slim Buttes battle, 43, 46 



Indians (Continued) 


Cheyenne, 27 
Crow, 31, 33, 34, 35 
Shoshone, 36 
Sioux, 27, 28, 34, 35 
Snakes, 33, 35, 40 
Yute [Ute], 36, 39 
Irma Hotel, 19 

Johnston, Col. Joseph E., 28 
Joy, Lou, 19 


Kaiser, Jeanette, 55 

Kemmerer, mural, post office, 58; 

photo, 59 
Kingman, Eugene, 58, 59 

LaBonte, Daniel, 112 

LaBonte, David, 113 

LaBonte, Etienne, 112 

LaBonte, Jean Baptiste, 111 

LaBonte, Louis, 1 1 1 

LaBonte, Pierre (Pete), 111, 113 

LaBonte, Rousseau, 112 

LaBonte Camp (Cabins), 112, 113, 

114; Creek, 111, 112, 113, 114; 

Hotel, 111; Pony Express Station, 

LaGuardia, Fiorello, 85 
Laramie County, 77, 82 
Larom. I. H. "Larry", 10, 19, 21, 23, 

Leonard, Peg Layton, "Quest for 

LaBonte Nears End," 111-114; 

biog., 131 
Lewis, Frank Stuart, 55 
Library of Congress, 77 
Lincoln County, 82 
Lockhart, Caroline, 7, 19 
Lost America, From the Mississippi 

to the Pacific, ed., Constance M. 

Grieff, foreword, James Biddle, 

review, 130 
Luhn, Captain Gerhard Luke, 27- 

46; letter, photo, cover 


McClure, Bruce, 74 

McCormick Junior High School, 
mural, 55 

Mcintosh, Benjamin H., 83, 84, 85 

McLaughlin, Jim, 10, 19 

Medora, N. D., 16 

Merrit [Merritt], Gen., 40, 46 

Mertz, Henriette, Pale Ink: Two 
Ancient Chinese Explorations in 
America, review, 129-130 

Metz, Will G., 79, 81 


Fifth Cavalry, 36. 37, 39, 40 

Fourth Infantry, 28, 29, 43, 46 

Ninth Infantry, 36 

Second Cavalry, 34, 35 

Seventh Cavalry. 27, 36 

Third Cavalry. 34, 35 

Sixth Infantry, 28, 29 
Miller, David E., "The Parting of 

the Ways on the Oregon Trail — 

the East Terminal of the Sublette 

Cutoff," 47-52; biog., 131 
Miller, Gov. Leslie A., 73, 78 
Mills, Anson, 104, 106 
Mills, — , 44, 45 
Milward, J. B., 17 
Moley. Raymond. 70 
"Mormon" War, 28 
Moore. Charles C, 20, 24 
Morrow, Andrew, 58. 59 
Mulford. Cavalryman Ami Frank, 

Munson, Capt. Samuel, 34, 35, 36 
Murphy. Pat, 95, 96 


"New Deal Art in Wyoming: Some 
Case Studies." by H. R. Dieterich 
and Jacqueline Petravage, 53-67 

Nickerson, Capt.. 35 

Northern Pacific Railroad. 15. 16 

Nottage. James H.. "The Big Horn 
and Yellowstone Expedition of 
1876 as Seen Through the Letters 
of Captain Gerhard Luke Luhn," 
27-46; biog., 131 

Noys [Noyes], Capt., 32. '35 


Office of Civilian Defense. 85 
Officers at Fort Fetterman, photo. 



Olson, Gordon, review of The 
Dawes Act and the Allotment of 
Indian Lands, 126-127 

"The Origins and Early Develop- 
ment of Dude Ranching in Wyo- 
ming," by Charles G. Roundy, 

Otis. D. S. The Dawes Act and the 
Allotment of Indian Lands, re- 
view, 126-127 

Pacific Creek, 47 

Pahaska Tepee, 19 

Pale Ink: Two Ancient Records of 

Chinese Explorations in America, 

by Henriette Mertz, review, 129- 

Palmer, Capt., 106 
Park County, 83, 85 
Parkman, Francis, 8 
"The Parting of the Ways on the 

Oregon Trail — The East Terminal 

of the Sublette Cutoff," by David 

E. Miller, 47-52 
Parting of the Ways, map, 48 
Parting of the Ways marker, 47; 

photo, 50 
Past's Persisting, by Wilson Clough, 

review, 127-128 
Patskey [Patzki], Dr., 31 
Peck, Margaret, review of Past's 

Persisting, 127 -US 
Perry, Maj. Henry C, 96, 97 
Petravage, Jacquehne, and H. R. 

Dieterich, "New Deal Art in 

Wyoming: Some Case Studies," 

Pierce, Pvt. Henry, 100 
Pinchot, Gifford, 13 
Platte County, 82 
Porter, Frederic Hutchinson (Bunk), 

55, 56 
Powell, mural, post office, 58, 61 
Prince Paul of Wurtemburg, 8-9 
Prucha, Francis Paul, foreword. The 

Dawes Act and the Allotment of 

Indian Lands, review, 126-127 

"Quest for La Bonte Nears End," by 
Peg Layton Leonard, 111-114 



Bar BC, 20 

CM., 20 

Custer Trail, N. D., 16 

Eaton, 15-16, 18, 21, 23 

Frost-Richard, 19 

Gresley-Robbins, 1 1 

HE Bar, 17, 18 

Home Valley, 10, 19 

IXL, 17 

JY, 19 

Paradise, 17, 18 

Soear, 18 

Spear-O-Wigwam, 18 

Tepee Lodge, 17, 18, 24 

TJ, 11 

Trail Lodge, 17 

Trapper Lodge, 18 

Triangle X, 20, 24 

Two Bar Seven, 21 

Valley, 19, 21 

VR, 12 

Wapiti, 19 
Reed. William, 55 
Reeve, Col., 99 
Reynolds, Col. J. J., 27-28 
Richard, Fred J., 19 
Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 19, 23 
Riverton, mural, post office, 64, 65; 

photo, 64 
Robertson, John, 97, 104 
Rockefeller, John D. II, 20 
Ronnebeck, Louise, 59, 60 
Roper, Col., 34 
Roundy, Charles G., "The Origins 

and Early Development of Dude 

Ranching in Wyoming," 5-25; 

biog., 131 
Rowan, Edward, 57, 58, 60, 63, 64, 

Royall, Col., 35 
Rumsey, Bert, 16 

Scammell, Col. J. M., 69, 71, 79, 80 

Schaffer, Peggy, 21 

Schwoob, Jacob M., 22 

Schnyder, Sgt. Leodegar, 96 

Sheridan, Gen., 106 

Sheridan Inn, 17 

Slover, R. H., 83, 84 

Smith, J. E., 65 

Snyder, Donald, 81 

Spear, Willis, 18 

Spencer, Lieut., 36 



Spring, Agnes Wright, 81, 86 
Stewart, William Drummond, 8 
Strahorn, Robert E., 32, 43, 46 
Strong, F. M., 74, 75 
Sublette, Bill, 8 
Sublette Cutoff, 47-52 
Survey of the Civilian Defense Ac- 
tivities, 85 
Sweetwater County, 82 

Terry, Gen. Alfred, 27, 36, 37, 38, 

39, 42 
Tillotson [Tilliston], E., 37 
Torrington, 78 
Tosi Creek, 10 
Trapper Creek, 18 
True Parting of the Ways, photo, 50 
Turner, Don, 20 
Turner, Harold, 20 
Turner, John, 20, 24 
Turner, John S., 20 


Union Pacific Railroad, 9, 15, 29 
"Uncle Jack Robinson." See Rob- 
ertson, John 


Wells, William S. "Billy", 10 

Wheeler, Col. Homer, 102 

Wister, Owen, 12, 14 

Wolcott, Maj. Frank, 12 

Wolf, 15 

Works Progress Administration 
(WPA), and Programs, 53-67, 69- 

Worland, mural, post office, 58, 59 

Wyman, Watson, 18; Gay, 18 

Wyoming State Archives and Histor- 
ical Department, 86 

Wyoming State Capitol, frieze, 55 

"Wyoming State Historical Society, 
Nineteenth Annual Meeting," 115- 

Wyoming State Library, 85, 86 

Wyoming State Planning Board, 73 

Yellowstone Forest Reserve, 14 
Yellowstone National Park, 9, 10, 

14, 15, 16, 18 
Yellowstone Park, sculpture, post 

office, 58, 65 
Young, Harry, 101 


VanLutwitz [Von Leuttwitz], 44 
Vander Sluis, George, 64, 65 
Van Vleit [Vliet],— , 34, 35 
Vaux, Rev. Richard, 103 



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. 


fer. . i 




nvading Stockmen Regularly Besieged 
a Ranch House in Johnson County. 


reds of Men Flocking to the Scene and 
) Consequences May be Disastrous. 

vernor Asks the President for the Fort McKinney 
(ops— Three Rustlers Shot— On ^ of the Invaders 
Dying at the Hospital. 

Delalie D«iiailt. 

I. Wyo.. April 12.— UelUble 
the Dortk WM reaeived bcre 
D C. B. Moore tod B. V. Sam 
itridaD e*me in. They left 
Booa Sktardky. At that time 

DO iotimatioD ot trouble and 
f kDoaro oi the ttaitiog aortb 
iditioo into JohnaoD ooaoty. 
. R. Smith's raooh. tweoty 
I Buffalo, tbev met Jaak Fli« 
, who had beeo hailed at the 
uA pumoed by part of the oat- 
irtv. The RC raooh ia oo the 
*der, twelre mile* weit ol 
It was oooe the Petera & All- 
bat laU^ly hai beeo rao by a 

Nolao aod ha* been the reo- 
r nz or eight of the roetlen. 
ei fiheaa milee further (rest 
ly he waa oomlfig to Smith'* 
>«der nver orosiiOK to join the 
laoty delaKBUoo lo the DoukIi* 
He w»B moaoted aod oo- 
lii eoo waa driTiOR aod bad 
n and cuo io the wigoo. 
ihey reached the KC raooh 
neveral hoodred yardi ahead of 
He nw eeveral mao Maadiaii 
I ban cTideotlv watohiox the 
Ho of them ealled oo him (o 
liin baoda. He thooxbt it wait 
e boya plavioc a joke, bat ooe 

Bred at him. 

ed aod rode t>aak to the wicoo 
!ot his can aod helped bis boy 

the honea looae aod helped 
it By thie time aboot tweoty 
From the oreek to bis left. He 
IT rode oorth ioto the Iiills. 
s iollewed for halt a mile by the 
(red eootioaooiil) \od Flagg nid 
t shou were dred at him, 
hem at 200 vardi' raoce. At 
<\*tK toaod RobL Foote, Tbad 
).C. Browo. the JohoaoD coooty 
■bo retoroed with him lo Bof- 

aimcd to kouw the two men 
sailed him aod swear* be will 

o of the party waa CTidaotJy to 

J p. m. — 
oouotry io 
Don't know 

MoCalloocb, propnetor oi the stage line, 
had sUrtod to UiUatte but received word 
lo retnrn to Buffalo. A ooarier (oiox io 
bot baste reached a small oamp of ru»tleni 
on Powder river yesterday, but what news 
he bears is not known. 

Twenty miles of Buffalo. 
Couriers are sooariog the 
search of men lo help 6ght. 
which side. 

Fifleeo miles irom Baffsio, 4 p. m. — 
The driver of the down coach savs sixty- 
one aaltlemen are corralled at the T. A. 
raooh ten miles irom Buffalo. Nite 
Champion and Nick Ray, both alleged 
rattlers, are killed. Four men aupposed < 
be stockmen tr« wounded. R>y wst 
homed. Joe Elliott and C^ocoo sre with 
the stockmen. Soldiers sre lo go out 
this evening. Firing ban been going on 
nearly all day between ibe rustlers and 
white oaps. A mao who tried to repair 
the telegraph lines wis prompllv xhot at. 

The Seal of Mar. 

Hpectal iJUpalcb luTli.- I.«ader. 

BuiTALO, Wyo., April 12. — Wbeo the 
men •vno onlled out of Cbeyeune last 
Taeeday •ivenioti on a special tram with 
•verytbiog io liieir possession Irom dvUj 
mite to a newspaper reporter and 
forth as if to a grand picnic, they 
Ir did not oount Ibe roet. NowVbeiVare 
in a poaitioD, where, bolorc 'n.hey 
have ealen up all of their resour'Tcs, ibey 
will have ample time lor refl''Ctioo. The 
party who Irfi Cbcveooe one week sgo 
got lo Nate Champioo's s' 4 o'clock Sal- 
ardar morning, surrouov.ed the house 
aod an almost tentiononit (ire was kept up 
till aftemooo. Champion, Kay and prob- 
ably another loan were in the house. As 
the ftgbt progreawd Champion from lime 
to time wrote io 


An account of it which tfier bo was 
dead was taken with the ragalalors aod 
read aloud in the presence of 8am T. 
Clover of the Chicago Ilrrald. 

Everything else failing ibe retulaiors 
took a load of hsy, backed it agsiosi ihe 
boose, ihoa sbeltring themselves from 


are, ia a small fori built of hewed lugt aod 
carta works whieh they have built 
gINCI BKlitO coaaALRu. 
It ia probably to be used ts a \%A resort 
in case the rusJen sooceed io burning the 
bouse aod stable. They have some ride 
pits and probably some aod.;rgrouod pass- 
ages. There are about forty-five ol them 
now. Wbeo I left Arapabne Brown, 
who owns a grist mill here aod is leader 
of the 


Said he had 175 men. We met twenty 
or twenty-five oo our way io, aod they 
are still coming and include able oodied 
men, mere boys aod gray haired old meo. 
Of the 175 meo oo the ground 1 ghoolJ 
say. judging from their appearaooe aod 
what I hear, that 125 were ranchmen, 
twenty-five more meobaaios aod worklog- 
men who each own a pieoe of land. The 
other twenty-five are rnatlers, gamblen 
aod meo from about town. Brown has 

WBiLK snsaiFy anoi;ij 
is reoroiling officer. One of tbeui is K. 
P. Brown of Sheridan ooanty. one is K. 
U. Snider, the fiisl settlor of Fort Mc- 
Kinney. whom I know ts a perlect gen- 
tleman aod a good frieod to the wood 
chooperH aod workers about here at that 
lime. Ooe ia Hugh Delitall 
I worked in 

io l»79. Hugh 
young man, squi 
he is the same 
the sooot, was 
lers yesterdty, 

I Ittid (o I 

you a ruatU-r 

iodiKoaot aoswer. 'b\i\ i '^o^figb^og f- 

my home and pro 

Speaking of 
cattlemen taocht these bo^Yo steal 


are camped in the Cooreotion ranch a ball 
mile from the regulalom, but they keep 
thru surrounded aod during all the ter- 
rible night the tlas(>es of their luos could 
be seen M)m the gullies ao^ hilU sur 
roundin lb 

the ruMbHyWChid ihe 

. Thi 

but at 
fylisbt fired a valley and ooe ballet 
threw dirt in a citizen's face. Tber are 
ammooiiioD. The^fitiieos 

at the T.V ranch and it in b> 
II capture ibem til to 
sberifT ioslnirts the offioiri i 
roads aod trrest til auspicii 
The three setllera killed 
Champion. Nick Ray and Koi 
The latter wta burned in hish 
la Ckereaae 
The oewa of ibe true situs 
permette CbsTenne until I 
evening, tithough Uov. Btrb< 
tpprited uf the true silutlioo 
day. Telegraphic commonica 
established and news la begin 
in here very freely The sin 
Buffalo is overcruwdcd tod bi 
redhot all Diglil The guve 
adviaere were j;.i until a laic 
uigbt receiviOK toJ seodioi: 
Orders have beon rcoi-ivod f 
ington to start uui ibe trooia 
is t list of olEi-ial lelegrtma 
sent yraterdty 

BifKALo, \\ \.. , April r.'. 
her: An trojed torco <>l tbo 
have invajod this conotv io 
law, htve immiuiueJ two t 
burijed one buildioii tod qui 
fied tbrmselvcs on the T.V rai 
miles.suuih iif liulTalo. I )ui 

M«KmneK>d^rdi-ri'J to ubi 
down 'i^S^ rc^llian. The 
here iH ifreat aod the »'ravet 
eotertaioed tiy all I'lyal eilize 
destitute ul arms and am 
aSDiiit ihe sheriff iu this « 
pray you lo give this your io 
teotiuo. Yours with resixHJt 

C. .1 II... 
Actiog Mayor I'f Buffal'j an 
of B.iarl oT (.'.maty Comoj 

.1 F Bat 

CaI^•E>^E, Wyo.. Kvt\\ 
('. .1. llo«er»oo. Acting Ma 
Have Jire<-u-d alat 
i9t 10 rrsloriog order and 
pon president In dir..-t I 
If we ftf whipped.' Broi^^l "^^'" ^" l^' ■" ■'*l>^Kinorv to 
"there will bo nooe hiii .-..lilenieii left, lor |"**-"" 
II ^^ead 

or lo 


r the ojilitary will 
ver to the civil au- 

"\'ca. ' stid he, 
tgree lo turn theio 
thorilies. " 

There tre some youcg meo in ti.e 
ptrty, however, who sty the white ctps 
shtll alt be killed. Tbe rustlers tod clli- 
tens htve captured iliroe now .\rp Jl 
llammood wagons, thirii'eo lioniea t.i.iOii 
rounds of ammuoitioo. dynamite, poisuo, 
handcuffs tod two men besides the three 
teamsters. Thif Joes not locluJe the 
Chictgo Herald reporter, who adoiita tbtt 

1^^ *« 

m.-'urri-otidn and r.-f 
Kverv |)os,'<ible pro.-tutioii ■<hi 
t.i priT.-ni l.>i«« •■! life 

.\M..- \\ I 
Hi I KAi ... \\ VII . .Vpril 
.\tuiw W Ktrber. ^>over^oc 
mtodor in I'hicf -From rep. 
ediv o>rreol so truied bcidv 
have turnrj KC rtaeh tod 
(.^toiMoo sod Niek llav 
body, siity strong, are now i 
the T.\ ranch, thirteen miU- 
falo. surrounded by the oli 
P<jese of I'll toen, who are 
atoolkinen io eheek tut .-ao 
them Skirmisbios i.i goiog 
ally Would ov»t 1 'i live 
stock toeo from their lotreceh 
n«ng r WMild dii no ll.ore 









Member at Large 

Donald N. Sherard 


Mrs. William Swanson 


Mrs. Frank Emerson 


Mrs. George W. Knepper 


Richard I. Frost, Chairman 


Willis Hughes 


William T. Nightingale 


Kenneth E. Dowlin 


Attorney General C. A. (Bud) Brimmer 




Willum H. Willums Director 

Robert L. Strickland Director, State Museums 

Mrs. Katherine Halverson Chief, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Chief, Archvies 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 1973, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

iA^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 45 

Fall, 1973 

Number 2 

Katherine Halverson 

John W. Cornelison 
Associate Editor 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1973-1974 

President, Richard S. Dumbrill Newcastle 

First Vice President, Henry Jensen Lysite 

Second Vice President, Jay Brazelton Jackson 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Jane Huston 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 

Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs 1972-1973 

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. 

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Zable of Contents 


By B. W. Hope 



By Barton R. Voigt 



By Lavina M. Franck 



By William W. Savage, Jr. 



Compiled by Maurine Carley 


Bowles, Our New West. Records of Travel Between the 

Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean 264 

Mullan, Miners and Travelers' Guide to Oregon, Washington, 
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Via the Missouri 

and Columbia Rivers 264 

Lass, From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake: An Account 

of Overland Freighting 266 

Cash, Working the Homestake 267 

Hassrick, Frederick Remington. An Essay and Catalogue to 
Accompany a Retrospective E.xhibition of the Work of 

Frederic Remington 268 

Faulk, Stout, The Mexican War: Changing Interpretations 270 

Cvtigh, Adams County: The People, 1872-1972 271 

Creigh, Adams County: A Story of the Great Plains 271 



INDEX 275 


The Cheyenne Daily Leader, April 13, 1892, page 1 Cover 

TA Ranch 160 

Johnson County Invaders at Fort D. A. Russell, Cheyenne 162 

Joe Elliott at About 80 Years of Age 174 

U. S. Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney 176 

Illustration No. 1, Siouan Costume 226 

Illustration No. 2, Siouan Costume 229 

Illustration No. 3, Siouan Costume 230 

Green River Crossing 250 

Names Hill 256 

The cover is a portion of page 1 of The Chey- 
enne Daily Leader, April 13, 1892, published 
during the Johnson County Invasion. Joe 
Elliott, whose story is published in this issue, 
was one of the participants in the invasion. 
The cover photograph was made by Pat Hall 
from microfilm of the Leader filed in the His- 
torical Research and Publications Division of 
the Wyoming State Archives and Historical 

^oe Blliott's Story 

B. W. Hope 

Joe Elliott (1860-1946) was a stock detective for cattlemen's associations 
in Wyoming and South Dakota in the 1880s and 1890s. His name appears 
frequently in accounts of the range conflicts of those years. Particularly, 
histories and reminiscences of the period name him as one of those involved 
in the hanging of Tom Waggoner, as a member of the party that attacked 
Nate Champion in the fall of 1891, and as one of the "invaders" in the 
Johnson County War. 

I met Joe Elliott in Boise, Idaho, in the early 1940s. I found him to be 
an old gentleman who might have been a retired military man. He was 
intelligent, well read, a respecter of law and authority, somewhat reserved 
and severe in manner, but, as we became better acquainted, willing enough 
to talk about his past life. 

In conversations that extended through several months, he told me of his 
experiences in the early days in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and 
Montana. As my notes on our conversations began to grow into a sequen- 
tial account of his past life, we decided that after the war we would take a 
trip into Wyoming and South Dakota, in expectation that visting old scenes 
would bring forth new and more complete memories of his experiences. 
But before this expedition into the past could be undertaken Joe Elliott 
died, April 17, 1946. 

The following record of Joe Elliott's reminiscences was set down as 
nearly as possible in his own words. Much of it is exactly as he told it. 
and all of it is as faithful as possible to Mr. Elliott's recollections, his 
opinions, and his manner of speech. Absolute accuracy cannot be guaran- 
teed, of course, due both to the possible deficiencies in my note taking 
and to the limitations of Mr. Elliott's memory. Particularly, it should be 
pointed out that he never saw my manuscript (since it was considered to be 
preliminary to the more complete account that I intended to draft after our 
trip to Wyoming) and he thus had no opportunity to correct or clarify the 
record. However, I regularly checked and rechecked with him concerning 
matters on which my notes were incomplete or uncertain, and I believe that 
the possibility of serious inaccuracy is minimal. 

Here, then, is Joe Elliott's story, as he told it to me. 

I was born May 2, 1860, in the township of Leroy, Dodge 
County, Wisconsin. My father, Charles Amiah Elliott, was from 
New York State, originally. He served in the Mexican War, under 
Taylor's command, I believe, but didn't get into any of the fighting. 
For some reason they were in camp for a long time around New- 
Orleans. They left the camp, finally, and went across the Gulf to 
Vera Cruz, but Scott had already taken the city of Mexico, and the 
war was over. After they returned, to that same camp, my father 
contracted what they called at that time "chronic diarrhea." He 
was discharged from the army on that account, and he was rejected 
for that reason when he volunteered for service in the Civil War. 


Mary Elizabeth Davis was my mother's name; the Davis family 
lived at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. I had six brothers and sisters, 
Charles Earl, born in 1851, Elvin Rogers, Ida May, myself, 
Florence, Jack, William Marian. 

The youngest boy was born in Nebraska; all the rest of us in 

About '69 or '70 we left Wisconsin and went to Owatonna, 
Minnesota; drove over there in the dead of winter, with a team 
and bob sled. I remember we crossed the Mississippi at La Crosse, 
on the ice, and hit the railroad at Rochester. The family was put 
on the train for Owatonna there, while my father came on with the 
team and sled. 

We bought a piece of land there. But it was a timbered country, 
and there was a lot of grubbing to do — hard work. We kept get- 
ting reports from the open plains country. My two older brothers 
went out there to look the country over, and they made a favorable 
report. So, after a couple of years in Minnesota, we sold out, got 
two yoke of oxen, and traveled overland. 

We visited my father's brother, David Horatio Elliott, at Elk 
Point, and then went on and crossed the Missouri at Yankton. But 
one night while we were camped somewhere about the mouth of 
the Running Water, the Indians had one of their jubilees there, 
whooping it up in the night, dancing and yelling. My folks had 
heard that back in Wisconsin; my mother especially got nervous 
about it. They hitched up in the night and backtrailed. It seems 
to me that I can remember that — the drums beating and the 
wagons going in the night. 

In Cedar County, Nebraska, we were told of a place on Bow 
Creek where a man had built a house and then gone off and left it. 
We went right down there and took up a homestead. I helped 
survey our land — I have those numbers in my head now: the SVi 
of the SEVa and the S^/z of the SWV^ of Section 21, Township 31, 
Range 2 East, on the 6th principal meridian. 

I helped break prairie that summer. I drove the oxen and my 
father held the plow. My older brothers were away working for 
wages; one of their jobs, I remember, was salvaging goods from a 
sunken steamboat, the Ida B. Reese II. And I remember they 
went to California for a while. 

The next year we had a popping good crop, 30 bushels to the 
acre. We got along bully for a year or so after that, and then the 
next year the grasshoppers cleaned the country as bare as a road. 

The speculators got the choice of the land there, and the settlers 
got what was left, and sometimes got the best land too. The spec- 
ulators generally got the timbered sections, and paid taxes on it 
that built school houses for the settlers' children. And when the 
speculator came to get his timber he found a lot of stumps. 

In '76 my two older brothers and I started freighting to the 
Black Hills. We had some oxen, and bought more, and rigged up 


two wagons. My brothers had freighted the year before, from Fort 
Randall to the agency on White River — Spot's camp, they called 
it, meaning the chief. Spotted Tail. 

We didn't go through to the Hills, that first trip — got scared out 
by the Indians. We kept meeting parties of them, coming back 
from the Custer battle, I suppose. We got as far as Pinos Springs, 
half-way between Pierre and the mines, and turned back. 

On the way back, coming along the Running Water, we heard a 
voice, "Hello boys! Hello boys!" It turned out to be an old 
hunter named George Owens. Everybody knew him by his 
moustache — one side of it was white, the other side brown. He 
had studied to be a priest, but couldn't stay away from the open 

At this time, he was hunting elk. I met him years later, around 
about '83, killing buffalo out of Terry, Montana. I've been told 
that after the buffalo were gone, he got in among the cowpunchers 
and the rustlers, and was one of those hung in Granville Stuart's 

In '77 we freighted through to the Hills. Going into Rapid City, 
I remember, we found four men hanging on a tree out on a hill 
from town. They'd stolen some stage company horses. A couple 
of us went up — there they were, four on one limb. Some men 
were there burying them — they'd let them down on a canvas, then 
flop them over into a hole. Then they threw the canvas in on top 
of them. "Let them all go to hell together," one of the burying 
party said. 

My father was killed that year, when his team ran away with a 
wagon. I came back home and stayed with my mother for a while. 

My brothers left that country some time after that, and settled 
out on the Little Lewis River in Washington, and were there the 
last I knew of them. One of the family — I believe it was my 
oldest brother's boy — disappeared there, and was believed to have 
drowned. I last heard from them at the time of our Johnson 
County fight, while we were being held at Fort D. A. Russell. My 
brother heard of a Joe Elliott in that scrap, and wrote me, saying 
he had a brother in that country by that name, and saying some- 
thing like this, "If you are he, I'm glad you're on the side you are." 
I answered that letter, and I don't think I heard from them again. 

Also while I was at Fort Russell, my sister Ida May visited me. 
She was married and living somewhere near Sacramento, Cali- 
fornia. Later, while I was working for the South Dakota Stock- 
grower's Association, my other sister Florence visited me for 
several days in Sturgis. I don't remember that she was ever 

At the time of that Johnson County scrap, I believe my brother 
Jack was around Buffalo someplace. The last I knew of my 
youngest brother, William Marian, I think he was working at Fort 
Meade, at Sturgis. 


After my brothers left, I went to work for other outfits, whacking 
bulls along the Pierre road. For the most part, I worked for John 
Doherty, one of the best men I ever knew. 

In the winter we'd go out to some place we had picked, put up a 
tent and hunt, and tan deerskins, while the oxen wintered out. We 
generally wintered on the Cheyenne or its tributaries, or over on 
Bad River. Doherty had ranches in that country. 

In all the time I was in the Black Hills, I never panned a pan of 
dirt or stuck a pick in gravel. There was plenty of other work — 
making shingles, getting out wood, hauling hay for ore haulers 
and hacks. 

Calamity Jane I knew, of course — everybody did. There's lots 
of books written about her, and everyone I've seen is false from 
beginning to end. 

John Kinselmann was a character who was a character. I stayed 
with him one night, and all John said in the time I was there was, 
to a fellow with him, "Our colt is a better colt than so-and-so's." 
One man was with him for 35 days on a wagon trip and never 
heard him speak. Honest John was a money-maker. He had the 
biggest wagon and the longest whiplash of any man in the country. 
One time he walked off and left his camp and freight outfit — cattle, 
wagons, and all, everything he had — and never went back to it. 
In later years I used to meet him; he tended bar in Wittenbaugh's, 
in Sturgis. 

Along about '79 or thereabouts, Fred Evans, a forwarding agent 
at Pierre, got the freighters to agree to a price of $1.50 a hundred 
for freight into the Hills. After he'd got all the business from the 
Northwestern Stage and Transportation Company, he refused to 
pay the $1.50 rate. 

So the freighters struck, got together into a freighters union — 
Bull Union, they called it — and refused to haul for him. He got 
mule teams to move the freight, but after they'd get out on the road 
a day or two the burrs on their wagons would get lost, and they'd 
be bogged down. I helped steal some of those burrs off those 
wagons. It came to court; the freighters hired Colonel Parker 
from Deadwood and won out, finally. 

In '81 the railroad came into Belle Fourche from Chadron, and 
it was Molly-bar-the-door for the freighters. John Doherty, the 
Porter brothers, and some others were considering going into the 
cow business, and they sent me on west to scout around for a good 
range to locate on. 

I've often thought of the little things that change a man's whole 
life. At a fork in the road a mile or two west of Spearfish I drove 
my pack horse ahead of me and let him decide whether I went to 
Wyoming or Montana. He took the left-hand fork, and I went to 

Down near the present town of Moorcroft, below the 101, at a 
horse ranch owned by Stocks Miller, I struck a man named O. F. 


Bacon, and hired out to him. Bacon was manager for Marvill, 
Horsey, and Co., of Laurel, Delaware. They had turned loose 
over on the head of Black Thunder in '80. 

My first job for Bacon was cutting and hauling poles for a 
branding corral. Bacon came up and helped me carry them out to 
where we could get at them with a team. 

Bacon didn't run a wagon on the roundup that year, and I don't 
think I rode on the roundup. But I was sent out to find the 
roundup by Bartlett Richards. He sent me with some letters to 
take to Bacon. I was several days trailing the roundup — caught 
them near Antelope Springs. Bacon was with Joe Hazen's wagon. 
Joe Hazen was later elected sheriff of Converse County, and was 
killed by George Curry after the hold-up of the U. P. at Rock 

After the roundup. Bacon threw in his cattle with the T7 herd, 
and Bacon and I trailed with them down to Little Thunder. From 
there I took our stock on to the ranch. That was the last I saw of 
Bacon in that country. The letters Fd brought him was some 
important business with the company — some misunderstanding, 
and he lit right out for the east. Years later, in Boise, I heard of a 
prominent sheepman named O. F. Bacon (O. Frank Bacon, he 
used to sign his checks, and "Oooo Frank Bacon," the cowpunch- 
ers on the roundup would yell), and I looked him up, and found 
it was the same man. 

So that summer of '82 Charley Andrews, Dave Bickle and I ran 
the outfit on our own, until the company sent out L J. Morgan 
to take Bacon's place. 

Morgan — we called him Big-foot — was green but willing. At 
first he was lost all the time. We always had a man or two out 
looking for Morgan. But in time he turned out to be a crack 
cowman, and one of the best ropers I ever saw. He was always 
practicing, and after he learned how the rest of us would just stand 
back and watch when Morgan took down his rope. 

As I recall, Morgan got Alec Black as range foreman — a good 
cowman, too. When he quit he went up around Malta, Montana, 
and I was range foreman after that. 

Morgan was manager, but on the range he worked under me as 
a hand, took orders from me in the daily work. He kept the books 
and paid the wages; I did the hiring and firing. 

Winters there, for the most part, we just laid around, ate and 
slept, and looked after our saddle horses. We'd go out every week 
or so and see where they were. We'd go into Sundance, of course, 
to the saloons — about all there was for a cowpuncher to do. At 
the ranch, we used to sit out and watch for a rider to come along, 
bringing news or mail. Life got pretty monotonous; we were 
always glad to see anyone. 

After a year or two as range foreman for the Six Half Circle I 
was appointed foreman of the general roundup. The Wyoming 


Stockman's Association appointed a commissioner for each round- 
up district in the state, as I remember it, and he appointed the 
roundup foreman for that district. I believe that was the way I 
got my job. 

It was the roundup foreman's job to scatter his men out so as to 
cover the country, and to select a point to which each day's drive 
would be made. The drives from different localities would be held 
back, and worked separately. Each outfit would work rotation 
around the different herds, so that they were all being worked 
at once. 

The 101 — the Standard Cattle Company — alone branded 20,000 
calves there every year for a number of years. I've had as high as 
300 men on one roundup, and we rounded up as many as 12,000 
head in one day. That was below the head of the Belle Fourche, 
up near Pumpkin Buttes. That was the biggest roundup I ever 

I've seen the 101 lose as many as a thousand calves in one day. 
There's only one way to drive cows and calves — get behind them 
and let them go. If you start crowding them they'll split — the cows 
get separated from the calves, and then they start milling back to 
look for them. Windelling, on this day, started handling too many 
cattle with too few men. He had 10,000 cows and calves, working 
short handed, and when he tried to move them, away they'd go. 
You'd find a dead calf behind every sagebrush, after that drive. 

At first we made our beef drives to Long Pine, way down below 
Chadron, then to Chadron, and then, after about '85, I believe, to 

Right there at Smithwick I performed my best feat as a cow- 
puncher. We often had stampedes while crossing railroad tracks 
with cattle. A hoof would strike a rail, the herd would throw up 
their heads, and be gone. We used to cover the rails with sand to 
try to prevent that. At this time I speak of, our beef herd stam- 
peded there at Smithwick while we were crossing the tracks, and I 
tied down three steers in half a mile. 

I was just a pretty good roper — not a show to some men I know 
of. That long-legged Morgan had us all beat after he finally 
learned how. 

My roping was handicapped somewhat by an injury I received 
as a boy. Back on the homestead in Nebraska one day I was 
carrying a beetle — a wooden sledge — when I slipped and fell. The 
beetle came down on my hand, breaking the third finger on my 
right hand. I have never been able since to close my right hand 
into a fist. As I say, it has handicapped my roping a little, and 
slowed my pistol shooting too. 

A couple of chance circumstances helped to give me a reputation 
as a pistol shot, though. It was the job of the roundup foreman to 
get rid of all the big-jaws that showed up. Once on a roundup I 
ran a big-jaw steer out of the herd, and killed him with a snap 


pistol shot. Another time a dog came by chasing a rabbit, off 
quite a distance, and I pulled my gun and shot that rabbit. I could 
have fired all day and not hit that rabbit again. Both times in a 
crowd, just where it would do me the most good. With a rifle, I 
didn't care whether I had a reputation or not; I was good enough 
to get along without one. 

A big problem on the roundup, of course, was the disposal of the 
mavericks — unbranded stock that wasn't running with its mother, 
so that it could be claimed on that basis. Originally, we followed 
what was called the rule of accustomed range: the maverick was 
put in the brand of the man who claimed the range where it was 
found. That worked fine as long as it worked at all. But there 
came to be plenty of room for contention there, with several men 
perhaps able to claim the range where the maverick was picked up. 
So the practice was adopted of selhng all mavericks to the highest 
bidder, the proceeds going to the Association to take care of 
roundup expenses. The mavericks were bid for each day in 
advance, and it was my job as roundup foreman to see to it that 
they were branded with the brand of the highest bidder. 

The rustlers could deal me a lot of misery, by cutting out the 
mavericks and hiding them from me. The punchers wouldn't help 
me — they weren't paid 40 a month to fight thieves. I didn't blame 

Down at Pumpkin Buttes, one time, we were rounding up cattle. 
Some fellows cut out some cattle and put them in another bunch. 
I put the steel to my horse and put them back where they belonged. 
They cut them out again, and I put them back again. Two of the 
outfit got off their horses with their Winchesters in their hands 
while the others were cutting them back and said, "If you want 
those cattle, cut them out again." "Oh," I said, "I think I made a 
mistake on the brands." 

Do you think a man would take those kind of things and then 
not want to get back at the men that did them? It's human nature 
to want to get back. 

After the hard winter of '86-'87, when so many cattle died, the 
PLR and Six Half Circle were turned over to Billy Ricketts to run 
with the Half Circle L outfit, and I was out of a job. 

I'm not clear on my moves for the next year or so. I jumped 
around so much at that time that I'm not sure of dates. 

I drove one or two herds for the 101. They were driving up 
onto Beaver Creek in Montana. One, I think, 1 drove part way 
and turned over to Doc Long, who was driving a herd ahead of me, 
and I went back after another bunch. 

I took a crew and went over and rounded up Uncle Whit's 
(E. W. Whitcomb's) horses. He wanted me to stay with him, on 
the expectation that he and his foreman would part company, and 
that I would take over. But I wouldn't do it. I told him, "If 


you're going to fire George now, I'll go to work." But I didn't 
want the job otherwise. 

Jack Rogers was sheriff of Crook county. He told me that if I 
wanted to, to come in and work for him as deputy sheriff. I didn't. 
I think I went up and got one man, and brought him back to 

It was at about this time that I went to work for the Association 
as a stock detective. They put me at Merino (now Upton). That 
was my headquarters as long as I worked for the Wyoming 

I started a graveyard there at Merino. A gambler came in there, 
and got awful sick. I was going to Newcastle — I think I was going 
to see the authorities to get them to do something for him, but when 
I got there I got word that he was dead. I went back, picked out a 
place and buried him. Then one morning I found a fellow we 
called Jimmy the Butcher lying in the weeds near my place, dead. 
I went out and buried him. I've often wondered if that graveyard 
was kept up. 

When the railroad built through there Merino was the winter 
headquarters for a good many of the men that worked on it. When 
they built on west the next spring they just went off and left it. 
I bought a house there for a few dollars — two or three, I think. A 
fellow asked me what I'd give him for his house — a good three or 
four room house. I said I didn't want it. He said, "Well, give me 
three dollars," — or whatever it was — "and you can have it." I 
gave it to him, and never went in the house, so far as I remember. 

That was the year they had the Indian Ghost Dance scare, that 
was ended when the troops wiped out Bigfoot's band at the Battle 
of Wounded Knee. The tenderfeet in Merino had a meeting to 
discuss what should be done. Me and some of the old-timers there 
sat around and joked them about it. They appointed me as a scout 
to go out and look around, and if I saw any Indians wearing war 
paint, I was to come back and tell them. I told them that if their 
scout ran across any Indians wearing war paint, he wouldn't come 

One of the most talked-about and written-about happenings of 
those times in Wyoming was the hanging of Tom Waggoner, in 
June of 1 89 1 . So far as I know, it's never been officially discov- 
ered who killed Wagonner. But I know that for lots of people in 
that country there never was any mystery about who hung 
Waggoner — they know and always have known that / did it. 

The book Malcolm Campbell Sheriff, by Robert David, puts the 
question this way: "If Waggoner was a cow thief, he was hanged 
by the stock men, and if he were honest, as all accounts show him 
to be, then he undoubtedly was killed by the rustlers. . . ." 

On that basis, there's no question of who killed Waggoner, 
because he was one of the worst thieves I ever knew of. 

Billy Lykins told me of one of Waggoner's stunts. A bunch of 


emigrants came through that country with big fine horses, and Tom 
Waggoner sHpped out and set them afoot — ran off their stock. 
When he thought they'd soaked long enough, he went down there, 
in a neighborly way — "Hello, folks." They told him their horses 
had been stolen. "Oh yes," he said, "it's these big cattlemen over 
here. I've got a little ranch here, and they're stealing from me, 
too." Well, since he hved in the country, and knew who had their 
horses, they made arrangements with him to look for them, and 
so that he could get them when he found them, they gave him a bill 
of sale for the missing stock. He brought them some cayuses to 
get them out of the hills. And they were no sooner out of there 
than he was shipping those horses out and selling them down 
around Lincoln, Nebraska. 

He stole a fine team of horses from me there, and changed their 
brands, but they got away and came back to me. A couple of 
boys working for Waggoner told me all about it. I found Wag- 
goner in a wholesale liquor store in Merino where he was sitting 
on a barrel. I told him about it — when he stole them, where he 
changed the brands, and so forth. He said, "What the hell are 
you going to do about it?" I took off my hat and slapped him 
across the face with it. I thought he'd get up, but he didn't. I 
threatened then to get him, and when he turned up missing every- 
body put two and two together and knew that I was the man who 
had done that job. "Elliott said he'd get him — and he's done it." 

His brother John came to Ed Fitch in Merino one day, and 
asked if Tom had been arrested. Three men had come to his 
ranch a couple of weeks before, and took him away, and his wife 
assumed he had gone to jail. Tom always had lots of money stand- 
ing out, and they didn't worry about him, until they found his 
horse out on the range. Fitch told John, "Let's go to Elliott. He'll 
know." Well, I knew the conditions — I had a good idea what 
must have happened. I said, "He's been hung." After he was 
found, people were sure I'd done it. "He said Tom'd been hung, 
didn't he?" 

I said I'd go out with them and help look for him. We went out 
to Wagonner's ranch and started a search — they went down one 
gulch and I went down another, and I found him. I went back to 
the ranch; I didn't say anything about it — I wanted those fellows 
to find him, and they did — swung back and found him, and lit 
out for Merino. 

Mrs. Waggoner told me the story. Three men had come there — 
a big man, a tall man, and a little man, she said — and had put Tom 
on a horse, tied his feet under the horse's belly, and took him away. 

When the boys got back from town we went out and buried him. 
He'd been hanging 16 days in June, and it was impossible to move 
him, of course. The rope had stretched, I remember, till his feet 
were resting on the ground, with his knees bent. Some of the boys 
made a box, and we let him down in it and buried him right there. 


Angus, the sheriff of Johnson County, knew I had nothing to do 
with that hanging. I had gone up on the Rosebud River after a 
prisoner. He was on a roundup there; Sheriff Willy and I rode out 
there and told him to come along — had no trouble with him at 
all — and took him down to Buffalo and put him in Angus's jail. I 
was on my way down to Newcastle with that prisoner when 
Waggoner was hung, and Angus knew it, and told me how he 
knew it. 

A book called The Longest Rope [by D. F. Baber, as told by 
Bill Walker] tells about the Waggoner case; says that Shock Hall, 
"foreman of the 21 horse ranch," was one of the men. Shock Hall 
wasn't foreman of the 21, and he had nothing to do with that 
hanging, or anything Uke it. He wasn't that kind of a man at all. 

The same book says, "The officials took over the horse herd and 
refused to settle with Tom's widow." 

She was his widow, and Tom was "head of a family," as the 
book says — they had two children — because the authorities had 
come up there that spring and made Tom take her into town and 
marry her. They knew what was coming up. 

I guess I was one of those "officials." Fred Coates was appoint- 
ed administrator of the estate, and I went up to guard and help 
round up those horses. They were shipped out and sold, some of 
them, I think, way down in the south. I don't think she got much 
out of them, because horses weren't worth anything at that time, 
nor for years after, not until the Boer War. 

Tom had over 1200 head of straight-branded horses; he never 
kept a horse on his range unless he could put his brand on it. 
Henry Keats had a bunch of fine horses, unbranded so that he 
could sell them in the eastern markets. All his colts turned up 
missing. You could spot every one of those colts in Waggoner's 

While I was up there looking after those horses a man who was 
managing Mr. Whitcomb's ranch — he was a fellow Mason, Fd 
met him in lodge meetings, but I don't remember his name — rode 
over and warned me to look out for myself; a bunch of men had 
come in there and inquired about me. Every day for some time 
there two men would come down and inquire about stray horses — 
different men each time. 

One of the men who helped me bury Waggoner was Scrub 
Peeler (real name Dave Lee, I think). When Scrub came up from 
Texas, he got into a scrap over on the Little Missouri and killed a 
man. He was tried, and came clear, and then came over in that 
country. Later he ran a saloon in Gillette. Scrub was a good 
man. He didn't stand in with the rustlers, and I can prove it by 
something that happened. 

I was coming up to Gillette from Merino and was within a 
couple of miles of Gillette when I met a man I knew coming across 
the country. He said, "Don't go into Gillette. They'll kill you. 


Come on over to my place." But I went on in, and went to Scrub's 
saloon. As I went in four or five cowpunchers backed off in a 
comer, squatted up on some card tables. I could tell by the way 
they acted that they wanted to get me. I talked to Scrub, had a 
drink. He gave me a tip to come in again; he wanted to talk to me. 

The next morning he reported to me what was going on. 

I think it was on this same trip that I nearly got hung for some- 
thing I didn't know anything about — something that never hap- 
pened, in fact. Jack Garner was in town, and he wanted me to go 
home with him. Jack was a Texas puncher — came from the same 
part of Texas as Roosevelt's first vice president, and looked like 
him too. I had located him on his ranch, as I did several others. 
They'd ask me if I knew where there was a good location, and I'd 
take them out and show them a good place to locate. Well, Jack 
wanted me to go home with him. I wouldn't; I had some place 
else to go — went out to Charley Moyer's and trimmed some colts 
for him. (Charley was another one I'd located.) Jack rode on 
out, and I went out toward Charley's. The next morning a man 
came in from Jack's saying that Jack's horse had come in without 
him, with blood on the saddle. 

Wilse Ridgeway told me later that if I'd come in there while that 
excitement was on they'd have hung me sure. Or if it had turned 
out that Jack had been shot, everybody would of known that I 
was the one that did it. 

But they found Jack. He'd apparently fallen off his horse and 
wandered over to a couple of brothers who were homesteading 
there. They sobered him up and brought him home. 

People thought at that time, or pretended to, that I was paid to 
dry-gulch men at so much a head. 

I was headed back to Merino, after this incident, and had 
stopped and unsaddled and was waiting for night, when a couple 
of fellows rode over a hill in sight, then turned and rode back over 
the hill again. I saddled up and rode off north at a walk, leisurely. 
When I got over the ridge out of sight I circled back at a run to 
come in behind them. They were just walking back to their horses. 
They got on and shook their six-shooters at me. I let go three or 
four shots at them, not trying to hit them. They leaned over their 
horses and got out of there. I went on a ways and waited for night 
and then went on in. 

I'd been over in Weston County, and was coming back, one 
time, riding across country, as I always did, and came up on a little 
hill and saw a man down in a bunch of cattle swinging a rope. I 
got off my horse, and sat down, watching him, and fell asleep. 
When I woke up they were right on top of me. It was Jack Gamer 
and a young fellow named Otto Chenoweth, who had worked for 
us, I think. I went down to Jack's house with them. Jack swore 
by all the gods in the calendar that he'd quit. I talked to the boy 
alone, told him what was coming up, that he'd better quit while he 


could. He seemed to be a fine young man, from an eastern family. 
He left the country, and went straight, so far as I know. 

(Contrary to Joe EUiott's assumption, Chenoweth — according to 
A. J. Mokler's History of Natrona County — left the country for 
a time, but then returned, got into trouble with the law on 
various charges, and was finally committed to an Eastern sani- 
tarium. B.W.H.) 

We told Jack Garner, and others too, that if they wanted beef to 
come around to the ranch and get it — we preferred to have our 
beef killed all in one place. But Jack started rustling, and was 
caught; his pardner was killed and Jack sent to the pen. 

(In 1891, some months after the Wagonner lynching, Joe 
Elliott was involved in another of the notorious incidents of the 
Wyoming range troubles. Nate Champion, an alleged rustler on 
the upper Powder River, was attacked at his cabin by three or four 
men, and Elliott was charged with being one of the attacking 
party. B.W.H.) 

Sheriff Angus came down from Buffalo to get me. I met him 
on the train; we talked along as two friends would, but he never 
told me what was wanted until we got to Newcastle. I spent the 
night in jail at Newcastle, and we took the train the next morning 
to Gillette. There, he turned me over to Jim Swisher. I was told 
by several friends that the rustlers were getting out of town to beat 
the stage to Suggs, to hang me there that night. I didn't like the 
sound of that, so I told Jim Swisher that I wanted a Colts .45 and 
a box of cartridges. He got them for me, but made this specifica- 
tion: that I tell Angus, in his presence, that I had them. So when 
we got on the stage — a sleigh, it was — I told Angus that I was 
going to Buffalo with him, all right, but that a friend had slipped 
me a .45, and I wanted to know if he'd let me keep it. Angus 
looked at me a minute and said yes. 

Going down Spotted Horse Creek, the sleigh upset. There was 
a woman passenger, and she was hurt a little, I believe. Angus's 
Winchester fell out into the snow, and he asked me to go back and 
find it. I did, went back and got it, and I carried the Winchester 
from there on. When we got down to Suggs I went into the eating 
house, carrying the Winchester, with the .45 sticking out of my 
pocket. The sheriff just went in there with me, and then went out 
again. When I got ready to go Angus wasn't there. I figured he 
was talking to those thieves who wanted to hang me, telling them 
they couldn't do it. 

Years later, when I was a stock detective in South Dakota, I was 
eating at ScoUard's hotel in Sturgis one night when a lady spoke to 
me. "You don't know me, do you?" I said no. "I'm Mrs. 
Sample, who was there at Suggs when you ate there that night." 
She asked me to come up to the parlor when I was through eating. 
I did, and she told me this: "When you was there that night the 
rustlers" — she named them — "had gone back to Tommy Gard- 


ner's cabin, and the next morning, after you were gone, they came 
traiUng back to our place. And to save their faces they said they 
couldn't find the trail." I believe that Angus talked them out of 
it, though maybe the fact that I had that .45 and the Winchester 
had something to do with it. 

In Buffalo I gave a temporary bond of $1000, I believe, and 
Angus turned me loose. But he told me, "Don't go down on the 
South side — stay up in the stage station." I did, for the most part, 
but it got monotonous. I was walking up and down in the street 
one day, and a couple of fellows started walking up and down with 
me. Angus came over and joined the procession, fell in with me, 
talking along, and nothing came of it. 

Another time, one night, I says to McCullough, the owner of the 
stage line, "Let's go down and get some oysters."' We went over 
to the restaurant, sat down at a table, and the rustlers began com- 
ing out of the street and out of the kitchen till the place was full of 
them. Johnny finished his oysters in a hurry, but I ate as calmly 
as I could — you've got to be calm in a situation like that. When I 
was through I went up to the counter and paid, Johnny got the 
door open, and I turned and stepped out. They piled out into the 
street but didn't follow us. They could see that .45 in my pocket. 

A preliminary hearing was held to see if I should be held for 
trial. During the hearing Angus kept two or three deputies, and 
Danny Mitchell, the city marshall, between me and the rustlers. 
I sat ready to get up quick. I made up my mind that if shooting 
started I'd put my chair through the window and go out after it. 
They had me pretty nervous. 

Nate Champion testified against me. I might have passed him 
on the streets of Buffalo; I suppose I did. But I never knew him 
until he stood up there and said, "That man thar. ..." I was the 
man who stood out there and held the gun in two hands until he 
came into my sights and then run. Does that make sense? What 
the hell was I there for? If I was going to run why didn't I run? 
If I was waiting there to shoot him why didn't I shoot him? I 
must have been close. 

The verdict was that I should be held for trial, but I had 
arranged for bond so that I could get out of Buffalo in the mean- 
time. I learned, though, that Angus had another warrant for me 
in his pocket, ready to serve on me as soon as my bonds arrived. 
I told my friends that when my bond arrived to say nothing about 
it, but to let me know as soon as Angus went out of town. 

When word was brought to me that Angus had left town, I 
walked down the street, into the drug store, and right out the back 
and down the alley down to the brush. Jim Craig was there with a 
big fine horse, a popping good horse, with a Winchester on the 
saddle and a pair of wire cutters. He told me, too, that things 
were shaping up, that something big was going to happen, and that 
I was to go to Cheyenne. 


I rode out Southeast toward Powder River. It was high and 
looked bad, big chunks of ice floating in it. But I jumped my 
horse into it, and found that the river was running over the old ice; 
we crossed on top of that old ice, with no trouble at all. I felt 
good when we hit the bank, with Powder River behind us. I struck 
out across country, cutting fences when I had to. When I got to 
Gillette, I asked the deputy there if they'd sent any word from 
Buffalo to take me. He said, "It wouldn't do them any good if 
they had." 

1 took the train down to Hastings, and then to Cheyenne. Along 
the Platte, somewhere, I remember, I went into an eating house to 
eat, and there sat Fred Coates and his wife. There was a warrant 
out for Coates for that shooting, too. No one would ever have 
believed but what that meeting was planned. 

That book {The Longest Rope) calls Fred Coates a "gunman." 
"He'd kill his mammy for fifty dollars." I'd like to read that to 
Fred. He didn't carry a gun, and never lifted his hand against 
those fellows. He was a friend of mine — that was enough for them, 
I guess. 

At the time I was arrested, the papers around the country car- 
ried stories about it. The Omaha World Herald — I think that was 
my folks' paper — had headlines: "EUiott the Lyncher in Toils of 
the Law!" They were worried; wrote and asked what was going 
on, and if I needed any help. 

In Cheyenne I learned for the first time the details of what Craig 
had hinted at — the attack on the rustlers that they call now the 
Johnson County Invasion. We had known for a long time that 
something like that would happen. It had to happen, if the cow- 
men there were going to be able to stay in business at all. But this 
was the first definite information I had on what was planned. 

Now, I hear it said — that book says it — that the cattlemen 
wanted the settlers wiped out, killed off — just to get the grass. 
That's all nonsense. I know. And I think I had as thorough a 
knowledge of the row there as any man could have. 

I located several men there on our range myself. Others did the 
same. Some of them were like Jack Gamer, that we had to send 
to the pen for rustling. Others, like Charley Moyer, we got along 
fine with. 

It was the rustling that had to be stopped. Not just settlers 
killing beef for their own use, but butchering it and selhng it in 
wholesale lots in the towns and the railroad construction camps. 
Ninety per cent of the people in that country ate cattleman's beef. 
There was nothing we could do about it. We didn't try. The 
cheapest way was just to give it to them, and we did. 

Angus told me himself that in Buffalo a butcher's meat, on the 
hooks, ready to retail, cost him seven cents. Yet men were selling 
beef there for three and four cents. That had to be stolen beef. 


And what they couldn't sell they gave away. The people they gave 
it to were the rustler's friends — that's human nature. 

The courts couldn't stop that rustling. Juries wouldn't convict. 
I knew a fellow there — well, I was in jail with him, and knew him 
on the range too — who was convicted of stealing a quarter or a 
half of a beef, to make the crime petty larceny, and save him from 
a penitentiary sentence. The implication was that the rest of that 
steer was still running around on the range. 

The rustlers sent his wife in to get him to pump me. Instead of 
pumping me, he found out from his wife what the rustlers were 
doing, and told me about it. 

Afterwards, when I was down in California, I heard of a man by 
the same name being convicted there for rusthng. 

Something had to be done, yes, but not what we did nor in the 
way we did it. Our affair was badly planned and badly managed 
all the way through. What we should have done, when we heard 
that the rustlers were planning this shot-gun roundup, was to have 
gone into Buffalo with a few good men, say 20 well armed men, 
and told the people there that we didn't want any trouble, but that 
we were going to see to it that the roundup was held according 
to custom and law. We'd have had Angus on our side, I'm sure 
of it. I believe that suggestion was made, and rejected. I didn't 
make it; I was just a hired man. 

(Mike Shonsey, the other surviving member of the "invaders", 
has expressed substantially the same opinion to me. B.W.H.) 

I wish I could do something to square the feeling against Red 
Angus. He did me favors, treated me square all the way. He 
could have been on our side as well as not. But they had Frank 
Canton boosting the other way. 

The night before we left I walked the streets of Cheyenne with 
Mr. [E. W.] Whitcomb — Uncle Whit, we called him — and went 
out to his house, trying to persuade him not to go along. He 
listened to me, but he said, "Joe, I don't like it, but I've promised 
to go, and I'm going." I said, "There'll be no more said about it." 

That book {The Longest Rope) talks about him "cussing like a 
sailor" and "yelling hke a maniac." Mr. Whitcomb — calm, quiet 
old New Englander. I think he told me that he had never killed a 
deer or a game animal in his life, and he'd been in that country 
since Civil War days, or before. He told me of knowing Jim 

Tom Smith and Jeff Mynett were the only two of the Texans 
I had much to do with. Tom Smith was a bully good man. He 
was no "assassin." 

Jeff Mynett, I believe, was the man who killed Champion. He 
was the best shot I ever knew. I think it was Tom Smith told me 
this: Jeff brought in a prisoner, and he was shot up a little. The 
judge said, "I'm getting tired of having these prisoners brought in 
all shot up. I don't think there's any need of it." When he was 


through the prisoner spoke up and said, "Don't blame Jeff. If he'd 
shot a second slower I'd have killed him." 

In recent years I've heard, from Mike Shonsey, I think, that Jeff 
Mynett was waylaid and killed by four horse thieves. 

(Joe Elliott's story of the "Invasion" follows the account given 
in Malcolm Campbell, and adds little to it, except for the correc- 
tions given below. It may be useful to set down here a summarized 
account of the raid. 

The cattlemen's party was made up of Texas men recruited by 
Tom Smith, and Wyoming ranchers, foremen, and stock detectives. 
The Texans and some of the Wyoming men boarded a special train 
in Denver, on April 6, 1 892, were joined in Cheyenne by the rest 
of the party, including Joe Elliott, and went on to Casper where 
they saddled up and headed towards Buffalo early on the morning 
of the seventh. The next morning they arrived at Tisdale's ranch 
on Powder river and spent the day there. Mike Shonsey, foreman 
for the Western Union Beef Company, joined the party here, bring- 
ing word that several of the most prominent of Johnson county's 
rustlers were at Nate Champion's cabin on the KC ranch some 14 
miles away. The invaders moved on this cabin that night, arriving 
some time after daybreak. They found, however, that Champion's 
rustler guests had departed, and that two itinerant trappers were 
camped here. Fortunately, the trappers walked out and were 
taken into temporary custody, and the attack on Champion and 
his pardner Nick Ray began with the killing of Ray. After 
Champion had held off the party through the day, his cabin was 
fired and the rustler killed as he made a break for safety. Mean- 
time, passersby had escaped the invaders and were spreading the 
word that the cattlemen were starting in to kill off the population 
of Johnson county. The invading party started for Buffalo, but 
discovering the extent of the opposition gathering against them, 
made a stand at the TA ranch some dozen miles from the town, 
and were surrounded there by an army of rustlers, small ranchers, 
and townsmen under the leadership of Sheriff Red Angus. After 
three days of siege, with no fatalities on either side, the battle was 
ended by the arrival of troops from Fort McKinney in Buffalo, 
who took the invaders into custody. They were then taken to Fort 
Russell in Cheyenne, and placed on trial. Months of legal quib- 
bling ended in January of 1893, when the cases were dismissed 
because of a double lack of Johnson county funds and Laramie 
county jurymen. B.W.H.) 

The story of our fight in Malcolm Campbell is substantially 
correct, but it is inaccurate in a good many of its details. 

First, it has me answering questions there on the train, giving 
information I didn't have. 

The place where it tells about Ed Towse sleeping with me the 
first night, at Tisdale's: "Ed Towse slept on a bunkhouse floor 
beside Joe Elliott, who, because of his dangerous occupation was 


ever on the alert. No less than five times did Towse awaken to 
find Joe sitting up, his cix-shooter in his hand, peering off into the 
darkness of the house." Now, a man doesn't do that. If you hear 
something in the night, you don't sit up and make a target of 
yourself. Let the other fellow do the moving. I slept with Towse, 
all right, but they've made up the rest of it, or expressed it wrong. 

Then, where it tells about Jack Flagg and his stepson riding 
down on us when we had Champion surrounded in the cabin at the 
KC ranch, the story is not right. It tells of Joe Elliott shouting 
down from the bluffs, "Shoot the scoundrel, he's Jack Flagg." I 
didn't know Jack Flagg. I could have shot that fellow in the eye — 
he rode right past me. But I didn't know who he was, and he was 
riding right down into the middle of those fellows — I just let him 
go on down to them. Naturally, I didn't say that, and I don't 
remember hearing anyone else up there yell out anything. 

The book is wrong again when it says I was sent to guard the 
wagons. I don't remember who was sent, but I know I wasn't. 

As to the building of those fortifications there, the Malcolm 
Campbell book gives the credit for that to Major [Frank] Wolcott. 
Frank Canton, in his book, says that he was responsible for the job. 
I never go out of my way to throw bouquets at myself, but I've 
got to say that it was me that forced the building of those fortifi- 
cations there. 

After we had ridden in there, I spoke to Canton, and told him 
what I thought should be done. He just lit his pipe and said noth- 
ing. Then I spoke to A. B. Clarke — I knew him well. He said, 
"We can't all run this thing, Joe." I said, "I know it." Then I 
went to Mr. Whitcomb, because I knew he'd listen to me and that 
they'd listen to him. I told him what had to be done there, and I 
said, "I don't propose to be caught here like a rat in a trap. If 
they don't build a rifle pit on that ridge there, Whit, I'm going to 
ride out of here, and some of the best men you've got here will go 
with me." 

He went back and talked to the Major and the rest, and after a 
bit the Major gave orders and we went to work digging trenches 
and building barricades. And once we got started we did a good 
job of it, because we had everything there to work with. 

And I think the story of the surrender there must be mostly 
imaginary. The book says that we had agreed to make a dash for 
it, try to get away or die fighting, and that we were waiting for the 
signal when the bugle sounded. I don't recall any such plan. 
When the troops arrived, the fellow we called the Texas Kid and I 
were up in the loft of the barn building us a barricade so that we 
could shoot down at some of those fellows in a trench. We could 
see them down to the waist, but we had just inch boards to protect 
us from their return fire. We were building a little breastworks. 

Sometime before that, I saw a man out there, on horseback, 
sitting sideways to me. I took as good a bead on him as I could. 

r--f. ; {, 


and when I fired he flopped forward in the saddle and rode out of 
sight. I found later that the man was Howard Roles, Angus's 
deputy. He told me that I shot him through the coat, just back 
of the shoulders. That's one time that I made a bad shot that I 
was darn glad of it. Howard Roles was a good man. 

Jack Tisdale, I remember, made a run for ths rifle pit there once, 
with bullets zip-zip-zipping around him, and he fell. I thought he 
was shot. Then he jumped up and started chasing his hat. 

Right after all this was over. Jack Tisdale got married, and some- 
time later became interested in Alaskan mining. He was in New 
York on business when he disappeared, and his body was found in 
East River. I read this in the papers in California. 

The book tells of Fred Hesse's long range rifle. I don't remem- 
ber what gun Hesse had, but it was me that had the gun on that 
trip. It was Billy Luykins gun — a Sharps 40-90 with a Frewen 
Patent breech. Billy left it with Ijams (pronounced Imes) for me, 
and I took it back to Ijams when we got back to Cheyenne. 

Billy Luykins — he did the rustlers more harm than anyone else 
in the country, and they never even knew he was there. I knew 
him, worked with him, but I never knew where he stayed, where 
he was from, or anything about him. I remember the first time I 
met him. I got orders to get on the train and go to such and such 
a siding, then get off and go along the tracks to where I'd find a 
man by a pile of ties. That was Billy Luykins. 

After the troops had taken us to Buffalo, while we were under 
guard at Fort McKinney, word was brought in that Dud Champion, 
Nate Champion's brother, wanted to see Mike Shonsey and me. 
I had known Dud on the range — a slow-moving, slow-working 
man. We refused to see him. I had no gun, and if he had killed 
us there, he could never have been convicted in that country. I 
told Mike then that we'd have to look out for him, that he'd try to 
kill whichever one of us he could get to easiest. It turned out to be 
Mike. After we'd been tried and turned loose in Cheyenne, and 
Mike was up near Lusk, Dud Champion rode up to Mike where 
he was out watching a herd with a couple of other fellows. Mike 
beat him to the draw and killed him. 

When we left Fort McKinney to ride to the railroad an incident 
happened that impressed me with the power of the military, of 
disciplined troops, and I often think of it. Leaving the fort we ran 
into a bunch of those rustlers blocking the way past a patch of 
willows. The soldiers tried to shove them out of the way; they 
wouldn't move. Major [E. G.] Fechet gave the order, "Ready 
arms!", and 300 carbines flashed out. Those fellows moved! 

Those soldiers didn't like us, and they made it plain. They'd 
been stationed there in that country, and their sympathies were all 
on that side. (Dunning's "confession" says that the soldiers had 
been getting stolen beef, or stealing it themselves, and putting the 


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money they saved by not drawing beef rations into luxuries, so 
that they were able to have "plum duff three times a day". ) 

Down at Fort Russell we weren't guarded; we went wherever 
we pleased. A new officer came in one night to check up on the 
prisoners; Billy Irvine and I were the only ones there. He said, 
"Where's all these prisoners?" Billy Irvine waved his hand toward 
the beds, "Why, they're right here. Don't you see them?" He 
caught on. "Oh, yes, I see them." 

I don't remember the fight among the Texans that the Campbell 
book speaks of, but I remember a consequence of it. The soldiers 
came in and took all our guns. I went to the commanding officer, 
Major [H. C] Egbert. I told him, "You know we go down town. 
I can get a gun if I want it. I'd like to have a gun, but I don't want 
it unless I have your permission to have it." He got up and went 
out for a minute, came back in and talked with me for a while. 
An orderly came in and put a package on the desk in front of me, 
and went out. The major and I talked on for a while, and then I 
took the package and left. My pistol was in the package. 

Years later, in Oregon, I had a friend Sid Luce who had been a 
soldier in the Philippines. I asked him if he had met Colonel 
Egbert there. He said, "I helped carry his body off the field." 

After the trial was over, Mike Shonsey started to Montana to 
take charge of a herd there, and I went along as, I suppose, what 
you'd call a bodyguard. We left the train at Moorcroft, and Billy 
Ricketts, of the Half Circle L, met us at the 101 with horses. He 
warned us to turn back, said we'd be killed if we didn't. The man 
in charge of the ranch at the 101 asked us if we planned to spend 
the night there. We said, yes, we'd planned to. He said, "You're 
welcome, of course, but if you stay I'm going to take my family 
and get out of here, because there'll sure be a battle before morn- 
ing." Well, that convinced us, and we turned back. 

After this I was sent to work with Sam Moses, near the Ne- 
braska line. Whether I was working for the Wyoming or the South 

(See photo opposite page) 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


Standing, left to right: Tom Smith, A. B. Clarke, J. N. Leslie, E. W. Whit- 
comb, D. Brooke (The Texas Kid), W. B. Wallace, Charles Ford. A. R. 
Powers, A. D. Adamson, C. A. Campbell. Frank Laberteaux, Phil Diifran, 
Major Frank WolcoU, W. E. Guthrie, W. C. Irvine, Bob Tisdale. Joe Elliott, 
John Tisdale, Scott Davis; seated, rear, left to right: Fred De Billier. Ben 
Morrison, W. J. Clarke, L. H. Parker, H. E. Teschemacher, B. C. Schulze; 
seated second row, left to right: W. H. Tabor, J. A. Garrett, W. A. Wilson, 
J. Barlings, M. A. McNally, Mike Shonsey, Dick Allen. Fred Hesse, Frank 
Canton; seated, front, left to right: William Little, Jeff Mynett, Bob 
Barlings, S. Sutherland, Buck Garrett, G. R. Tucker, J. M. Benford, 

Will Armstrong. 


Dakota Association I'm not sure; I made the change about that 

I remember a couple of the cases we handled. 

There was a fellow we called Spokane, who had a little place on 
Hat Creek. He'd drive out, shoot down what he wanted, and haul 
it in to a fellow in Edgemont who'd dispose of it for him. 

We watched him one day — Sam, Ed Blaikie and me — until he'd 
made his kill, and then we made a run on him. Sam yelled for 
him to surrender, but he jumped and grabbed his six-gun, and then 
jumped back behind the beef. He took a shot at us, and we 
opened up on him and wounded him in a place or two. He yelled 
out then; Sam told him to stand up. He did. When we got up 
there to him, Sam asked him what he started shooting for. "Spoke, 
what did you do a fool thing like that for?" He said, "I figured 
you sons of bitches would kill me anyway, so I might as well put 
up a fight." That's the kind of idea they had of us. He got five 
years, I think. 

We had another case at about that time over in the northwest 
corner of Nebraska. A pair of ranchers over there were driving 
cattle into an old stable, and butchering them there. Sam and I 
and another fellow sat up with them until they started their kill in 
the morning, and then made a run on them. The bam was a half 
dugout, built into the side of a hill, with a hole in the top of it for 
shoveling hay down to the stock. One of the fellows crawled out 
of the hole and ran off. We yelled for him to stop, but he was deaf, 
and it's a wonder we didn't kill him. But the other boys got him 
stopped without hurting him. I jumped down the hole into the 
stable, where the other man was, with Sam right behind me. It 
was dark-like, and I couldn't see this second man. When I did 
see him, he was standing there with a big Colts .45 in both hands, 
just paralyzed with fear, too scared even to drop his gun when I 
yelled at him. I walked up to him and took the gun out of his 
hands. That was what you can call a hell of a situation — his wife 
and kids crying and yelling out there, and me afraid I was going to 
have to kill him. 

They were tried at Harrison, I think. Sam didn't want me to go 
down there; I had such a reputation in that country that he knew 
he'd never get a conviction if the jury knew I had anything to do 
with it. But they were acquitted anyway, Sam told me later; a big 
storm came up during the trial, and the ranchers on the jury wanted 
to get home to their stock, so they just turned them loose. 

It was at about this time that I went up and went to work for 
the Western South Dakota Stockgrower's Association. As time 
went by I discovered that the worst thieves in the country were a 
few of the men who hired me. One of them told the Association 
he didn't want me to come up in his part of the country — "didn't 
want to antagonize the people." . I found out later that he had a 
better reason than that for not wanting me around. 


One outfit in Deadwood had a big furnace under their slaughter 
house, where they burned their hides. When someone suggested 
that they be looked over, this same fellow said, "Oh, they're too 
big — they wouldn't pull anything crooked." 

This man and his partner stole $200,000 worth of cattle in one 
summer, I was told, stealing from the company this first fellow 
was working for. 

Another pair bought a herd there, and the man in charge of the 
herd worked with them to rob his company. They bought the 
inspector in Omaha to get the cattle through, and told the eastern 
owners that the Indians had stolen their beef. 

Another big cattleman took me to his home in Sturgis for dinner, 
introduced me to his family, treated me nice — and spread-the- 
news-to-Mary : "Look out — there's a detective in the country." 

The head of the Association was honest, a front man. He didn't 
know anything. He wrote me, when he sent me out on a job, 
"The success of your mission depends entirely upon your identity 
remaining unknown." The biggest thief down there was one of 
the men who had hired me. 

Here in Boise, Bill [Al?] Currington told me this story. He 
overheard Frank Stewart, the secretary of the Association, and 
someone else discussing who they should send out on a job. They 
decided to send me. Bill sent his brother Gene out to warn some 
friends of theirs that I was coming down. 

The first job I did was over on the Belle Fourche, and 1 sent 
back for more help — too much ground to cover. They sent me 
Ed Hart. The thieves were stealing stock in the Short Pine hills, 
and hauling the beef into Belle Fourche. About all we could 
manage to do was scare them off, make them quit stealing. 

The son of the man who had the beef contract for the reserva- 
tion told me, "This is rustling country, and the rustlers will do more 
for you than the cowmen will." 

I knew what that meant. They wanted to buy me. 

But I didn't sell. 

I liked that stock detective work. It was a good job. But it 
got mighty disagreeable in that country. It's like this: you ride 
out across country; there's a ranch here, one over there, ranches 
strung along the creek. You assume that these cattlemen — you 
assume that they're cattlemen when you go in there — you assume 
that they're your friends; you're working for them, working to 
protect them. Then, gradually, you find out that they're against 
you, that they don't want you in there, that you're working for 
your enemies. 

There were more thieves between the Black Hills and Pierre 
than there were cattlemen. 

There were men that wanted me, that fought for me and kept 
me there. 

"This is rustling country," that fellow said. He was right. 


Gene Currington, here in Boise, has told me, "I don't see how 
you stayed ahve in that country, Joe. I knew so many men who 
said they were going to get you; so many groups of men threaten- 
ing to kill you." 

That was principally because of the reputation I got over in 
Wyoming. "Joe Elliott — he's the man that murdered all those 
people over there." 

I ran up against that all the time. 

I had been buying cattle, and was sitting in a hotel in Belle 
Fourche figuring up my books one time, when I heard a commo- 
tion out in the street. I said, "What's going on?" "Oh," some- 
one said, "there's a fellow out there trying to get in to kill you." 
He was drunk; his wife and friends were trying to stop him. They 
got him stopped. I knew his wife, and I knew him. He wasn't a 
tough nut, wasn't that kind of a fellow at all. I finished up my 
books, and then left the hotel by the back way. 

I bought a good many cattle around Belle Fourche at that time. 
Reddy Hale, Jack Hale's brother, put up the money and I did the 
buying. The day we shipped, cattle dropped fifty cents a hundred 
on the Chicago market. We just broke even by the skin of our 
teeth. That was enough for me. 

At another time, in Sturgis, a man nearly made me kill him, and 
he didn't even know me. Sheriff Jesse Brown came and told me 
this fellow was trailing me, and said, "Don't let those fellows run 
you out of town, Joe." I took my Winchester into Fred Willard's 
butcher shop and hung it there. I said, "If that fellow trails me 
in here Tm going to kill him." Willard says, "That's all right with 
me, Joe." Well, he followed me, all right, followed me into the 
shop. I was standing back there with my hand on my gun when 
he came in. I could have taken him into my pile, all right. He 
stood there a minute, and turned around and walked out. And 
then Willard cussed me because I didn't kill him. "Joe, why didn't 
you kill him?" Well — you can't do that way. I couldn't take up a 
quarrel with every man that was against me; I couldn't kill them all. 

When Ed Lemmon went back to South Dakota after visiting me 
here, he saw this Joe Green, and Green told him, "I'd be glad to 
shake his hand in friendship." I was glad to hear that. 

I met Calamity Jane again during this time. I was sent up to 
Miles City after a prisoner. I had a requisition from our governor 
to the governor of Montana, but there was a flaw in it. I sent it 
back to South Dakota to get it corrected. 

While I was waiting for it to come back, I used to go fishing; 
used to cross the Yellowstone on a ferry there. 

Staying at the hotel where I did, was a nice quiet young man 
about my age, named Burke. We got acquainted and went fishing 
together. One day he asked me if I'd ever known Calamity Jane. 
I said J had. "Well," he said, "she's my wife, and she'll be down 
here after a while." He told me she'd been cooking in a logging 


camp when he met her. She did come down, and we made friends 
right away — talked about old friends in the Hills. She'd cook our 
fish for us. They had a little girl, that I assumed was theirs. 

Before long 1 got my papers back, and took my prisoner back 
to South Dakota. We traveled by wagon. At the Powder River 
crossing some friends told me that the rustlers had learned I was 
coming through the country and that they were going to take my 
prisoner away from me. But I didn't see anyone till I was out a 
few miles past Stoneville — Alzada — when I saw a man coming on 
the road, with a Winchester under his leg. I handed the lines to 
the prisoner, and held my Winchester across my lap and watched 
the rider as he went by. He might have been completely inno- 
cent — probably was — but I didn't give him any chance. 

I had told the prisoner that if his friends tried to take him away 
from me I'd kill him first, and he was pretty nervous. 

Not long after that the Burkes came down and stayed at Scol- 
lard's hotel in Sturgis. Scollard was mad at me about that — 
"sending Calamity Jane to my hotel" — but she was all right, she 
behaved herself. She looked and acted just like a big German 

Later she went up to a mining camp — Terry, above Lead City — 
and I understand she died there. 

I don't think I ever saw Calamity Jane drunk, or carrying a 
gun — and look at all the stories they tell about her now. In the 
early days she was just a town woman, of course, a common 
prostitute, plying her trade at Pierre and in the Hills. But I think 
all this shoot-em-up stuff they write about her is pure fiction. 

Years later, I saw in the California papers Scollard's name listed 
as one of the jurors in the trial of Abe Ruef, the San Francisco 
political boss. 

In Sturgis ("Scoop", or "Scoop-town", we called it in the early 
days) I had a room at V. M. Beaver's house, and a bam where I 
could keep my horse, so that I could come into town or leave any 
time I wanted without attracting attention. 

Beaver and Jesse Brown took turns being sheriff there for a long 
time — all the time I was in that country, at least. The law provid- 
ed that a man could hold office for only one term — two years, I 
think — so first one and then the other would be sheriff. Beaver, 
when he wasn't sheriff, would be night marshall in Sturgis. I was 
deputy sheriff under both of them. At one time, I was a deputy 
sheriff in three counties at once. 

I was at Beaver's the day Fred Willard killed Roy Sewell. 

Roy broke jail (he was there for rustling), stole a Winchester 
from Fred Willard's butcher shop — walked in and took it off the 
wall — and went down to the livery stable. I think he told them to 
saddle his horse. Then he started back up the street. It was said 
that he was going back to kill a man before he left town. The man 
ran a little store there — a sort of a confectionery or variety store — 


and the story was that he'd told something on Roy that wasn't true. 

Fred ran across the street to the hardware store and got a gun 
and went down the street toward the barn. He told me later that 
he figured he'd be responsible if anyone was killed with that gun 
Roy had taken from him. He saw Sewell coming, and ordered 
him to drop the gun. Sewell fired and missed; Fred shot Sewell 
and he bled to death in just a little while. 

They said that Roy's sweetheart came where he was lying, and 
dipped her handkerchief in his blood. 

That was a damn fool thing for Roy to do. He could have just 
walked into the brush there and no one would have hunted him 
very hard. He was a well-liked young man. 

I was in Sundance the time Jack O'Hara was killed in the fight 
at Stoneville. Jack had said to Fred Willard, "First time you want 
a posse, give me a chance. I'd like to go out with you." I think 
Fred was a deputy U. S. marshall at that time. 

Some time after that Fred had a warrant for Axelbee, and heard 
that him and his horsethieves were over at Stoneville. He took his 
brother Cap — I think Cap was sheriff at Custer — and Jack O'Hara, 
and went out there. When they came into town they didn't stop 
at the saloon, but went on over to the hotel — Stone's place. They 
hadn't much more than got there than Axelbee's bunch, over at the 
saloon, pulled out — got in the brush along the river. Fred and 
Cap and Jack ran out and the ball opened. Some of Axelbee's 
pack animals got loose and ran back, and the boys at the saloon 
commenced shooting in front of them trying to scare them back to 
the outlaws. Like all fool cowpunchers, they favored the outlaw 
against the officer. Axelbee's gang thought the boys in the saloon 
were shooting at them, and opened up on them — I think they killed 
two of their friends there. 

O'Hara was killed about the first fire. Fred and Cap thought 
the shot came from the saloon. O'Hara knew he couldn't live but 
a few minutes. He said, "Remember me to the wife and kids." 
It was about Christmas time, and he said, "I'll miss the Tom and 
Jerries, won't I?" 

One of the outlaws was wounded but got away to a ranch down 
the river. The foreman sent word he was there. Fred went down 
and got him — killed him there. 

I asked Fred later what became of Axelbee, and he told me this: 
"Cap and me found him in a cabin down on O'Fallon Creek, and 
left him there." 

At one time. Lew Stone was suspected of being in with the 
rustlers. The vigilantes had hung a couple of them — strung them 
up with their money and watches piled under their feet, it was said, 
to show that this killing wasn't for money. Then they sent word 
to Lew Stone to leave the country. He posted a notice, to this 
effect: "Whoever has investigated me has made a mistake. I'm 
not guilty, and I'm going to stay." And he did stay. 


Lew Stone was a fine man. There ought to be a monument to 
him in that country. 

I helped arrest and convict the men who murdered old Johnny 
Myers on his ranch there, southeast of Sturgis. I had known old 
Johnny years before, when we were both freighting into the hills. 
After the freighting days were over, he'd bought himself a little 
place where he could cut a lot of wild hay, and went into the cattle 

He was feeding calves there one evening when three men came 
along. He invited them to stop in, and went to getting supper for 
them, while they sat on a bunk watching him. Jay Hicks, one of 
the three, pulled his pistol and yelled, "Hey, old man!" Johnny 
turned and threw up his hands, and Jay shot him — claimed he 
thought he was going to put up a fight. While he lay there on the 
floor they demanded his money; he gave them all he had — 36 dol- 
lars. They insisted he had more, but he didn't. He had shipped 
cattle, and they assumed he had the money for them. 

They left him lying there, and built a fire in the middle of the 
room, intending to burn the house down, but it just burned a hole 
in the floor and went out. 

He was found within a few days. We discovered the date he was 
killed by checking on a bottle of medicine he had there. We knew 
when he got it — Jim Bard had got it for him — and the dose, and 
we measured it out and found just how long it had been before he 
was killed. He was a very methodical old fellow, and we knew he 
would have taken it just according to the prescription. We found 
later that we had figured it just right. 

We discovered that Jay Hicks and his friends had bought a 
pistol — "to shoot coyotes", they'd said at the time. They all had 
Winchesters. That just about meant a man-killing. 

Then an old man, who lived in the same neighborhood — I be- 
lieve he was married to Jay Hicks' sister — suspicioned that they 
had done it, and came and told us so. 

To get the goods on them, I went down one night and crawled 
up on one of their dirt-roofed cabins, where they were all gathered 
playing cards, and listened down the stove pipe to them talking, 
and heard them tell the whole thing. 

We got out warrants for them, and Sheriff Beaver and me rode 
out there. Jay was chopping wood. He gave us no trouble. 
When we took his gun we found it was empty. I asked him. "Why 
are you carrying an empty gun. Jay?" He said, "Better empty 
than loaded, sometimes." Which was true enough, all right. 

Then we went up and got the others — Bob Hicks, Will Walker, 
and Bob Walker. Bob Walker had nothing to do with it, but we 
wanted him anyway. 

We were razzed about those arrests. No one believed they'd 
done it. On the way in with the prisoners, we stopped at Gene 
Holcomb's ranch, and they razzed me about it. "You don't really 


believe those boys are guilty. You're just trying to build up a 
reputation for yourself." 

I told Tom Howry, the prosecuting attorney, what I knew, but 
I also told him I wouldn't get up on the stand and tell that story; 
no one would have believed it. 

We kept the prisoners apart. We kept Jay Hicks and Bob 
Walker in Sturgis, I believe, Bob Hicks at Rapid, and Will Walker 
in Custer. We cautioned the jailer never to speak to Bob Walker, 
and not to let anyone else talk to him. 

Our problem was to hold them until we got more and better 
evidence. The examining magistrate was Judge Ash. It was his 
custom to stop in at Whittenbaugh's saloon early afternoon and 
get a drink. I got the sheriff and the prosecuting attorney to go 
with me to where he was, in the back room, and talk to him. We 
had a drink or two, and then we asked him, "Can you hold them 
for us?" He said, "Well, boys, you haven't enough evidence." I 
said, "I know positively that they did it." 

He fidgeted a little while, and then said, "I've known you for a 
long time, Joe, and I never knew you to pull a bad stunt. I'll hold 
them for you." 

We kept getting razzed about those arrests. The school children 
took a vote, and voted them not guilty. 

In a few weeks Bob Walker began asking for the sheriff, but we 
let him sweat a while, until finally he told the whole story. Then 
we showed Will Walker his brother Bob's confession, and he ad- 
mitted it all. 

When the trial came up. Will Walker and Bob Hicks got prison 
sentences, and Jay Hicks was sentenced to hang. I sat in the 
window behind the judge when sentence was pronounced. Jay was 
as calm as any man, but the judge's legs were trembling. At the 
hanging, I put on the black cap, and when I pulled Jay's legs 
together it threw him a little off balance, and Conkhn put out his 
hand to steady him. Jay smiled and said, "I'm a Uttle unsteady 
this morning." He was the calmest man of us all. 

The fall of 1900 I decided to leave that country, and I decided 
that the best way to go was just to walk out — to disappear. I 
wanted to make a clean break with the whole thing, to put it all 
behind me. I was tired of having to be on the watch every minute, 
tired of making enemies. 

I was up at Jack Boyden's, hunting and fishing. I left my horse 
and saddle and other stuff right there, took my Winchester and 
struck out, headed south and west. The first night I stayed at a 
house in Bear Gulch, the next I camped out, the third I stopped at 
a section house below Merino. On the fifth day I walked right by 
where we'd buried Waggoner nearly ten years before. That night 
I saw a storm was coming, so I built a wickiup in a cottonwood 
grove and slept there. It snowed like blazes the next day. I came 
to a sheep wagon, and built me a fire near it. The owner and his 


wife came up there, bringing grub to the herder, and they told me 
to go on in the wagon, but I waited for the herder to come in, and 
spent the night there with him. 

The next day, I believe, I made it into Douglas. The man at 
the livery stable there thought I was Joe Elliott — he'd worked with 
me — but I talked him out of it. He said, "Aren't you Joe Elliott?" 
I said no. 1 told him I'd come up with a herd, and made an ass of 
myself, and wanted to get back home. 

On the way south from Douglas, a Frenchman by the name of 
Cully — Calais — overtook me in a wagon, and picked me up. He 
had a place up on the head of La Bonte. I spent a few days up 
there with him, pretending to prospect for copper. There was a 
good deal of it in there, all right. 

I left there and headed on south. It was snowing, and it kept 
getting deeper. I saw a light, finally, that turned out to be a ranch 
owned by a couple of railroaders — two fine fellows. They told me 
a story of pawning a diamond ring with Johnny Owens, and of 
Owens refusing to give it back to them. I left my Winchester 
with them — told them I'd send back for it, though I knew I never 

I went on from there to a mail carrier's. He rented me a horse, 
and we struck out together across the plains to Rock Creek. I was 
glad I didn't try that on foot. There was no timber, and it was 
cold. It took us till after dark to make it on horseback. 

The agent at Rock Creek sent to Omaha for my ticket, and had 
it sent through with the conductor on the train for me. It cost me 
just half as much to buy a ticket for Sacramento from Omaha as 
from Rock Creek. 

I arrived there on Christmas day. It was warm, and I shed my 
overcoat and caught pneumonia. I stayed at a hotel — the Great 
Western — until I was well; then paid my bill and left. 1 went over 
to Davisville. I walked into a hotel there, put my valise on the 
counter, and said, "I'd like to speak to the proprietor." The man 
at the desk said, "I'm the proprietor." I said, "I need a room for 
the night, but I'm broke." He turned the book around to me. 
"Sign right here." 

I signed, and he gave me a room. The next morning 1 was 
eating in the dining room and the man waiting table said, "Are you 
on the road?" — meaning are you broke? I said yes, and he gave 
me enough food to last a man two or three days. Frank Hunt was 
the name of the man who ran that hotel. I went back to the desk 
and said, "I'd like to have some underwear out of my suitcase." 
He said, "Take the suitcase, I don't want it. Take it along." Well, 
I didn't take it; I didn't want it. 

I slept in a barn that night. A hobo I met on the road showed 
me how to burrow down in the hay, but I nearly froze. The next 
day I went over to Dunnegan. I walked into a hotel; a man sat 
there reading a newspaper. I said, "I need a room, and I haven't 


any money." He put the paper down. "Oh, I get that forty times 
a day," and put the paper back up. I said, "Thank you", and 
turned to go. He called to me, "Wait a minute. Will you work?" 
I said, "Yes." Within a week he went to San Francisco, leaving 
his girl Cammy in charge of the kitchen, and me in charge of the 
office and stable. Then for a time I worked for his son in a 
vineyard. I almost had to sneak away from there to leave them. 
Over in Red Bluff, I stacked hay for an old man, who wanted 
me to go into the hog business with him. He wanted me to take 
charge of the hogs, and take an interest in them for my pay. But 
I didn't want to raise hogs; I wanted to get into the mines. 

I went over to Weaverville, and went to work at the Dutch Creek 
placer, augur drilling. There were a lot of dead holes in the pit 
we were working in. I didn't say anything for a time, but then I 
got enough of it and went down to the office and asked for my time. 
They kept me waiting around there all day. Finally the superin- 
tendent said to me, "Don't you want to work for us?" I said, "Yes, 
but not up in that hole." Well, they gave me a job around there. 
Later on they laid off 60 men, and kept me and one other fellow. 
I figured they didn't want me to leave — suppose someone was 
killed up there, and I had quit because it was too dangerous? 

Working there on the crew was an old fellow, O. L. Slack, from 
Maine, who had been in the country a long time. He was a great 
talker, like most of those old fellows, and he'd tell the crowd about 
some rich ground he had found once on Forty Dollar Gulch, while 
he was out hunting. He said he'd taken a sample, and got 75 
cents a pan. He'd say, "I'm going up there some time." I tried to 
get him interested in going; finally went up there to his place and 
stayed with him for a while. We panned around his place; we 
could stick the box in anywhere and make a dollar a day. But 
every time I'd suggest going out to look up this place he'd talked so 
much about, he'd say, "Oh, there's plenty of time." Well, I guess 
there was. 

I got disgusted. I went down to Junction City and went to work 
for Frank Blake — and later for Jim Mullane — in the butcher shop. 
Like most cowpunchers, I was a sort of a left-handed butcher. 

Later, I went up Forty Dollar Gulch and looked for this rich 
ground on my own. The first place I stuck my pick I hit right into 
it. I got a pardner, Jim O'Neill, and worked it two or three win- 
ters, and cleared about $6000 out of it. 

I've never been able to understand that. This old Slack had 
been going past that ground, within sight of it, on his way to town 
at least once a week for 20 years, and never took the trouble to do 
anything with it. 

I hired some Chinese to work for me there. I'd stand around 
and boss them, tell them what to do. Finally one of them said to 
me, "Joe, you nice fellow, you alia time talky-talk too much. 


China boy, he heap savvy how to do it." So I kept my mouth 
shut and let them work. They savvied, all right. 

I think it was my first winter on that ground that I went down 
to Folsom prison. 

They had had a big break down there. The prisoners just 
rebelled and took over the prison. The authorities soon got things 
under control, though. 

They sent out an appeal for men. A friend of mine, who was 
or had been a member of the state legislature, told me about it, and 
suggested that I go down. I did, but I stayed only two or three 
days. I liked the place they gave me to stay fine, and the Captain 
of the guards was a first-class man, but 1 couldn't stand the 
hours — four hours on and four hours off. The warden tried to 
talk me into it, but I wouldn't stay. 

Two or three winters there I went down to Chico and herded 
geese for McKnight, I think his name was. He owned or leased a 
whole series of ranches there. My job was to keep the wild geese 
out of the winter wheat — camp out there with a shotgun and scare 
them away. 

I bought an orchard 18 miles from Chico, at Cohassett. I left 
an old miner, Ben Sain, on it, to look after it. He got tired of 
staying there and left it. I got a chance to sell it, and let it go — 
doubled my money. 

I bought an interest in a mine there at Junction City, owned by 
Fred Hass. It was good ground, but we got into legal difficulties 
and lost out. 

There was a mortgage on it, and the interest, I think, was past 
due. I took $300 in to the banker who held the mortgage; he 
hemmed and hawed and wouldn't take it. I sent it to another 
bank, subject to his order. This banker was a cripple. He couldn't 
walk, but could ride a bicycle; rode all around town, a strange 
thing it that country. 

We had a lawsuit over it. The case was tried in the local court 
there in Weaverville, before Judge Jimmy Bartlett. We lost, but 
appealed to the state supreme court, and they sent the case back 
for a new trial. 

By that time, though, I was up in Oregon, and our lawyer. W. C. 
Bissell, had gone over to Manhattan, Nevada, and died there. 
I just let it go. Fred Hass came up to where I was working, at 
Plush, and asked me to sign some papers so that he could get 
something out of it. I said, "All right, Fred," and signed them. 

I walked out of Weaverville with $12 in my pocket. Johnny 
Boice — he was sheriff there, afterwards — offered to loan me a 
hundred dollars, but I refused it. A sister of Jim O'Neill, my 
partner at the Gold Dollar, offered to put up the money to fight 
out the lawsuit — she said she could raise $6000 — but I couldn't 
take it. Too much risk. 

I went up past Fort Jones, where U. S. Grant was stationed back 



before the Civil War, and on into Oregon. I went by boat down to 
Klamath Falls, then by stage over to Lakeview and over to Plush. 
The stage out to Plush was just a wagon. At noon, they turned 
the horses out to graze, then hitched up again and went on. 

Plush was a new camp. I had a chance to make some money 
there. But I had a pardner. He and I located some claims, right 
between the two main prospects. J. J. Riley and the other pro- 
moters there told me they could get us $4000 for our claims. Jack 
Green, my pardner, went up in the air when I suggested it — he 
thought I was working with them to cheat him. I was with them 
a good deal, went fishing with them, and so on. I figured it was 
good business to associate with men like that, but my pardner 
thought I was selling him out. Everyone was puffing us on what 
good claims we had. He wanted $10,000 for his share. 

I was there about four years, I think. I was a deputy sheriff at 
Plush for some time, but there wasn't much in it — only the fees, 
and in an isolated place like that they didn't amount to much. 

B. W. Hope Photo 



Riley hired me to make a report on their holdings there. There 
was a payment coming due, and they wanted a report before 
they made it. I reported unfavorably, and they didn't make the 

Riley hired me to go scouting for them — looking for good pros- 
pects. I went first to National, in Nevada. I had started for 
some other camp, but Riley wrote me that it had blowed up (it 
hadn't, it turned out) and for me to stay in National. Sid Luce 
came down from Plush and wintered there with me. 

Then I came to Boise. After I'd been here a few days, I walked 
out to St. Luke's Hospital with a man, to visit a patient, and then 
wandered out to the hills north of town, just to rubber around. I 
met a man working at a flume there, and we talked a while to- 
gether. I complained about the expenses here. I think I was pay- 
ing three dollars a day at the Pacific Hotel. He said, "You don't 
need to worry about board here. There's lots of little boarding 
houses here where you can eat reasonably. My sister is running 
one right down here." 

He gave me the number. I went around — knocked at the 
door — and met the lady who became my wife. 

I often think about my life, the mistakes I made, the bad luck 
I had, and think, "If I'd done this or that . . ." But I wouldn't 
change a minute of it, if I could, because it all brought me here, to 
this: my wife, my sons in the service, my daughter here, these 
grandchildren. I wouldn't ask more of life than this. 

Courtesy of T. A. Larson 

Joseph C. O'Makoney 

and tke 1952 Senate S lection 

in Wyoming 


Barton R. Voigt 


Nineteen hundred and fifty-two looked as though it would be a 
good year for the Republican party. For 20 long years, through 
the Great Depression and World War II, the people of the United 
States had chosen Democrats to lead the country against the 
problems of the economic crisis at home, and the shock of war 
abroad. The Democrats had brought vast changes, as the New 
Deal and the Fair Deal challenged old social and economic beliefs. 
Americans of the 1930s and 1940s had been willing to accept most 
of these changes as extreme but necessary weapons against the 
depression and the problems of war. But throughout the two dec- 
ades of Democratic rule, a great many Americans had kept their 
strong conservative biases. 

The end of the war in 1945 gave those with a more conservative 
philosophy an opportunity openly to espouse their beliefs without 
danger of being accused of interfering with the administration dur- 
ing wartime. The first Republican Congress since the days of 
Herbert Hoover was elected in 1946. Questions of "reconversion," 
wartime federal controls, inflation, strikes and shortages were 
central issues during the new postwar period. In addition, the 
development of the Cold War so soon after the end of the World 
War produced in many Americans a sense of "what's the use?" 
and a desire for a new isolationism. On top of all these problems, 

Submitted to the Department of History and the Graduate School of the 
University of Wyoming in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree 
of master of arts, this analysis is based on a county-by-county study of the 
vote in 1952, as compared to earlier elections, and stresses the importance 
of state and local issues and Democratic party problems in determining the 
outcome of the election. 


the spectre of the Communist threat in Europe gave many Amer- 
icans a feeling of grave insecurity.^ 

By 1948, discontent with President Truman's handling of do- 
mestic and foreign problems was widespread. Even most Demo- 
cratic party leaders agreed that Truman probably should not be 
re-nominated for the presidency.- But in one of the most spec- 
tacular presidential campaigns in American history, Truman's 
"shock tactics" stimulated a much larger voter turn-out than had 
been expected, and he was returned to the White House. Unfor- 
tunately for the Democrats, however, their problems had just 
begun. In 1949 a moderate recession hit the country, the Russians 
exploded an atomic bomb and the huge Republic of China fell to 
the Communists. The Truman administration was assailed from 
all sides in response to the decaying world situation, and in the 
midst of the turmoil, the Alger Hiss case astounded the nation with 
the possibility that the American government, itself, might be in- 
fested with Communists. As can be expected in American politics 
in such situations, "Give 'em Hell Harry" and his party caught 
more "hell" than they managed to give out. No matter whether 
blame could be directly traced to the administration: 

Whatever the merits and deficiencies of the Roosevelt-Truman han- 
dling of the Communist problem, the Democrat leadership was a 
perfect devil to be flayed. What party had been in power while Com- 
munism made progress inside and outside the United States?-"^ 

As if the previous year had not brought enough trouble for the 
Truman administration, the events of 1950 continued to shatter the 
hopes of re-establishing peace and prosperity. That summer, the 
North Koreans invaded South Korea, bringing the United Nations 
and the United States face-to-face with their first major postwar 
test. Along with the new war came another major price spiral in 
the United States, adding to the business uncertainties that already 
existed as a result of earlier recessions and spirals. The crippling 
burden of problems being carried by the Democratic administration 
grew even heavier as the Kefauver Senate Investigating Committee 
began uncovering instance after instance of corruption within the 
federal government. As a last straw. President Truman's firing of 
the extremely popular General Douglas Mac Arthur in April, 1951, 
brought down upon Truman a barrage of complaint and abuse. 

It was no wonder that the Republicans looked forward to the 
1952 elections with hope and great expectations. Democratic 

1. For a good analysis of this period, see either Eric F. Goldman, The 
Crucial Decade — and After; America 1945-1960 (New York: Random 
House, 1960), or Cabell B. Phillips, The Truman Presidency (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1966). 

2. Goldman, op. cit., p. 89. 

3. Goldman, op. cit., p. 118. 


foreign and domestic policies in the past several years had become 
increasingly unpopular. The triple threat of Korea, Communism 
and corruption gave Americans of both major political faiths and 
all economic classes reason to feel insecure and to desire change. 
The biggest problem of the Republicans was to find the presidential 
candidate who could best capitalize on the discontent. Even with 
all the conservative feeling present in 1952, the Republicans passed 
by their seemingly most obvious choice for the presidential nom- 
ination, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. After a long courtship, the 
G. O. P. finally managed to win over General Dwight D. Eisen- 
hower as the party's nominee. With popular, middle-of-the-road 
"Ike" at the head of the ticket, the Republicans confidently pre- 
pared for the election. 

The Democrats, not as optimistic as their opponents, also passed 
by their expected candidate, Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, 
and nominated Governor Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois as their 
standard-bearer. With widespread popular appeal nowhere near 
that of General Eisenhower, Governor Stevenson faced a formid- 
able task. 

Along with control of the executive branch of the federal gov- 
ernment, the Republicans wanted to gain control of the legislature. 
Realizing the extent of their candidate's popularity, they hoped 
to use Eisenhower's coattails to change the make-up of Congress 
in their favor. Party statisticians calculated that this strategy 
would succeed or fail according to the outcomes of elections in 
twelve states where party control was narrowly balanced between 
Democrats and Republicans.^ Newsweek magazine devoted a 
special article each week from September 15 through November 
3, 1952, to what it considered the 15 crucial Senate races which 
would decide the make-up of the new Senate."' Time and Lije 
magazines agreed that 1 5 races were central to the fight for control 
of Congress.*' In all four of these diagnoses, Senator Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney of Wyoming appeared as one of the major targets of 
the Republicans. 

Senator O'Mahoney was singled out for attack for several rea- 
sons. Writing of Wyoming politics the month before the election, 
the Rocky Mountain News commented: 

4. "How Parties Line Up For 1952," V. S. News c^ World Report. 
Volume XXXI, November 30, 1951, pp. 26-27. The 12 states, with a total 
electorate vote of 121, were Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Utah, Washington 
and Wyoming. 

5. Newsweek, Volume XL, September 15 through November 3. 1952. 

6. "The Fight for the Senate," Time, Volume LX, November 3, 1952. 
pp. 27-28, and "470 Local Elections Will Decide the New President's 
Congress," Life, Volume XXXU,, November 3, 1952, p. 49. 


Senator O'Mahoney is one of the chief targets in the G. O. P. cam- 
paign to win control of the United States Senate. He is the oldest, 
the most influential and highest on the seniority list of the Democratic 
senators the Republicans believe they have a chance to beatJ 

The Republicans hoped that, despite O'Mahoney's position as one 
of the highest ranking Democratic senators, the G. O. P. in tradi- 
tionally Republican Wyoming might be able to capitalize on gen- 
eral discontent with the Democrats and special grievances against 
O'Mahoney to turn the Senator out of office. 


Joseph Christopher O'Mahoney was born in Chelsea, Massa- 
chusetts, on November 5, 1884, and spent his boyhood there. 
After attending Columbia University for three years, he went west, 
living first in Denver, Colorado, and then moving to nearby 
Boulder. In 1912 he was a Bull Moose Republican and in 1916 
he supported Woodrow Wilson for the presidency. In 1916 he 
was invited by Wyoming's Governor John B. Kendrick to come to 
Cheyenne as city editor for the State Leader, Kendrick's news- 
paper. When Kendrick went to Washington D. C. the following 
year as Wyoming's new Democratic Senator, he took O'Mahoney 
with him as an assistant. 

During the 1920s O'Mahoney became a leading member of 
Wyoming's Democratic Party, running most of the party's cam- 
paigns. In 1924, he ran for the U. S. Senate, but was defeated in 
the primary election by Robert R. Rose.^ Four years later he 
became Democratic National Committeeman from Wyoming. In 
the presidential election year of 1932, he was named vice-chairman 
of the Democratic National Committee and helped write the plat- 
form for the national party. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was 
elected to the presidency, O'Mahoney's close connection with Jim 
Farley, who had been chairman of the Democratic National Com- 
mittee, helped him achieve a position of importance in the new 
administration. He was mentioned as a possible choice for several 
posts, including the attorney generalship (he had finished a law 
degree while working for Senator Kendrick), Secretary of the 
Interior, and head of the Federal Land Office. Finally, Roosevelt 

7. Rocky Mountain News (Denver), October 3, 1952, clipping, Joseph 
C. O'Mahoney Collection, File Box 169, no folder, Western History Re- 
search Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie. (O'Mahoney Collection 
hereinafter referred to as OMC; FF will be used to indicate File Folder.) 

8. 1925 Wyofning Official Directory and 1924 Election Returns, com- 
piled by the Secretary of State, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1925. The vote was 
6906 to 4480. L. E. Laird, another Democrat, received 3400 votes. 


appointed him first assistant to the new postmaster general, Jim 

A big break came for O'Mahoney in 1933 when, upon the 
sudden death of Senator Kendrick, Wyoming's Democratic Gov- 
ernor Leslie A. Miller appointed O'Mahoney to replace Kendrick 
until the next election.^" The following year, O'Mahoney success- 
fully defended his seat against the Republican Vincent Carter, for 
both the unexpired term and a regular term to begin in 1935. 

In the Senate, O'Mahoney worked hard for Wyoming's interests, 
within the general tenets of the New Deal. In 1937, the Sugar Act 
which he sponsored supported domestic sugar over Cuban sugar. 
Beginning in 1938, he helped keep foreign beef out of the United 
States. During the war, he earned the sobriquet "Mr. Wool" by 
using his influence to bring about a program of government pur- 
chase of wool. He also worked to keep the oil and mineral 
resources on the public domain available to the public for develop- 
ment. His biggest claim to fame, both in Wyoming and at the 
national level, was when he stood firm against President Roosevelt 
over the court packing issue. ^^ In recognition of his ability as a 
political economist, O'Mahoney was named chairman of the 
Temporary National Economic Committee in 1939. 

O'Mahoney's Wyoming supporters showed their appreciation for 
his endeavors by re-electing him to the Senate in 1940 and 1946. 
The 65,022 votes he received in 1940 was the largest number of 
votes ever given a candidate in Wyoming's history. A sampling of 
several of the pieces of legislation in which Senator O'Mahoney was 
involved during the years preceding 1952 suggests the types of 
issues in which he was interested and the kinds of positions he 
took: The O'Mahoney-Hatch Oil and Gas Act of 1946 was an 
attempt to increase oil and gas royalties; in 1948 O'Mahoney spon- 
sored public backing of the development of the mineral and agri- 
cultural resources of the West; in 1948 he also suggested public 
control of industrial price increases; later in the same year he spoke 
out in favor of repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act; two years later he 
submitted a bill in the Senate calling for an excess profits tax, and 
backed an amendment which was meant to help block loopholes in 

9. Short biographies of O'Mahoney can be found in Carl Moore. "Joseph 
Christopher O'Mahoney: A Brief Biography," Annals of Wvoining. Volume 
41, Number 2 (October 1969), pp. 159-186, and in "O'Mahoney for Ken- 
drick," Time, Volume XXIII, January 1, 1934, p. 7. 

10. Miller's decision came as a result of a conference with noted Wyo- 
ming Democrats Tracy McCraken and John D. Clark, Carl Moore, op. dr., 
p. 175. 

11. Gene M. Gressley, "Joseph C. O'Mahoney. FDR, and the Supreme 
Court," Pacific Historical Review, Volume XL, May 1971, pp. 183-202, 
and Thomas Richard Ninneman, "Joseph C. O'Mahoney: The New Deal 
and the Court Fight," unpublished Ph. D. dissertation. University of Wyo- 
ming, Laramie, 1972. 


the Clayton Anti-trust Act; after the Korean invasion, he made a 
speech suggesting that an ultimatum be delivered to the Red 
Chinese and the Russians demanding an end to North Korean 
attacks against the South. ^- 

"Senator Joe," as O'Mahoney was called by many of his con- 
stituents and friends, was 68 years old in 1952, and had been in 
the U. S. Senate for 19 years. If re-elected, he would become the 
sixth-ranking Senator in the seniority structure so important in 
Congress. Most significant to Wyoming, he was chairman of the 
Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The extent of 
O'Mahoney's national popularity and widespread appeal is re- 
flected in the many laudatory recommendations given him in 1952 
and earlier. In previous presidential elections, he had been men- 
tioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate for the Democrats. 
Before the 1952 Democratic National Convention met, some 
prominent western Democrats suggested O'Mahoney as a favorite 
son candidate for the presidency from the mountain states. ^^ 
Another favorable suggestion came from U. S. News & World 
Report in August 1952: 

Joseph C. O'Mahoney, Senator from Wyoming, would be a natural 
Stevenson choice for Secretary of the Interior. This job, dealing with 
public lands, traditionally goes to a Westerner and the Senator is 
ifamiliar with its problems. i^ 

The July-August edition of the Mountain States Beet Grower, 
official organ of the West's sugar beet growers, commented on this 
news magazine's suggestion, congratulated Senator O'Mahoney for 
his hard work for domestic sugar interests, and added its hope that 
the Senator would remain in the Senate. ^^ As the beet growers 
well knew, there was little chance that O'Mahoney would become 
the new Secretary of the Interior. On August 1 , he had been sent a 
copy of the proposed Beet Grower article, and on August 4, he had 
written to Richard W. Blake, Executive Secretary of the National 
Beet Grower Federation, indicating the wording he wanted for the 
last paragraph of the magazine's article: "It is not likely that 

12. OMC, File Box 6 contains O'Mahoney's speeches and legislation 
during this period. 

13. Colorado Democratic National Committeeman Barney Whately was 
behind the suggestion. O'Mahoney refused the offer, claiming that favorite 
sons hindered the people in making their choice of candidates and that he 
wanted to remain in the Senate. O'Mahoney's telegram to Whately squelch- 
ing the idea is in OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign 

14. "The Top Men If Stevenson Wins," U. S. News & World Report, 
Volume XXXIII, August 1, 1952, pp. 31-32. 

15. "Senator O'Mahoney Mentioned for High Government Post," Moun- 
tain States Beet Grower, Volume XV, July- August 1952, p. 6, OMC, File 
Box 170, FF: Campaign. 


Joe O'Mahoney would surrender a seat in the United States Senate 
to accept another position. "^•^ 

As this statement to the beet growers' magazine suggests, Senator 
O'Mahoney had few, if any, doubts that he would return to the 
Senate after the 1952 election. But by the time he began making 
serious plans for his campaign, his opponent had been campaigning 
for nearly two years. Frank A. Barrett had been elected governor 
of the state in 1950, and had used that position to make him- 
self well known throughout the state. Late in 1951, reports of 
"spontaneous uprisings" in favor of Barrett challenging Senator 
O'Mahoney in 1952 began to appear in various state newspapers.^' 
The news of the possible candidacy of Governor Barrett did not 
surprise O'Mahoney and his political advisers. Barrett was the 
most logical Republican candidate if there was to be a real at- 
tempt to unseat O'Mahoney, and the Democrats realized that the 
Governor posed more of a threat than would be expected from 
other candidates. As Frank M. Thomas of Cheyenne wrote to 

Frank Barrett has been campaigning for this election every day for 
the past two years. "State business" has taken him into every com- 
munity of pop. 5 or more and he's missing no bets whatever. i*^ 

Governor Barrett had an impressive political record behind him, 
having been elected to the United States House of Representatives 
every two years since 1942, and then elected to the governorship 
in 1950. Barrett, a Lusk attorney, was one of the most vigorous 
and popular campaigners in Wyoming political history. As gov- 
ernor, he had made few enemies, with his emphasis on economy 
being popular throughout the state. Some of his actions had been 
interpreted by his opponents as being more political than admin- 
istrative: he had attempted to "pack" the Board of Trustees of 
the University of Wyoming, and he had established numerous state 
boards and agencies, which his detractors saw as mere attempts 
to create patronage and political friends.^-' But his tenure as 
governor had been quite successful, and he was the most popular 
Republican in the state. 

16. Blake's letter and O'Mahoney's reply are in OMC. File Box 169, FF: 
O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

17. See, for example, the editorial in the Kemmerer Gazette. April 6, 
1951. OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. The 
similar wording of the reports of these "spontaneous" meetings suggests 
that they may have had a common origin — perhaps the pen of a Republican 

18. Frank M. Thomas, Cheyenne, letter to O'Mahoney, June 29, 1952, 
OMC. File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

19. For a good account of Wyoming politics during this period, see T. A. 
Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
1965), Chapter 17. 


After preliminary meetings as early as October, 1951, with 
Ewing T. Kerr, the state G. O. P. chairman, Barrett acted the part 
of the devoted governor, unwilling to give up the state executive 
mansion for a try at the U. S. Senate. All the while, the state's 
Republican newspapers continued to print editorials urging him to 
oppose O'Mahoney. Finally, in April, 1952, Barrett announced 
that he was bowing to public pressure to run against the senior 

Meanwhile, Senator O'Mahoney seemed unconcerned with the 
prospect of being challenged by Barrett. In late June and early 
July, 1952, two months after Barrett announced, several state 
newspapers began carrying reports that "O'Mahoney for Senator" 
clubs were being formed around the state to urge the Senator to 
run for re-election.-*^ But not until July 7, less than four months 
before the election, did O'Mahoney announce his intention to run 
once again. He had been in Wyoming earlier in the year, but he 
did not return to the state for the final campaign until August 9. 
Even after the August 19 primary election, when Barrett polled 
35,444 votes to O'Mahoney's 27,334, O'Mahoney showed no sign 
of pessimism about the forthcoming election : 

I would judge, however, from the size of the RepubHcan vote in the 
primary after an intensive organizational campaign of more than a 
year that our Republican friends are not quite as strong as they fondly 
hope. I well remember the Kendrick campaign in 1922 when Mondell 
made a similar vigorous pre-primary campaign in an effort to unseat 
Kendrick. He received some 25,000 votes plus and Kendrick had 
scarcely 14,000. The Republican press insisted that Kendrick was 
through. Came election day and Mondell still had his 25,000 plus, 
but Kendrick was elected. -i 

As the campaign went into full swing, it became evident that a 
real "battle of titans" was shaping up in the Wyoming Senate race. 
O'Mahoney's main strength was in the relatively Democratic cities 
along the Union Pacific Railroad in the southern part of the state. 
His success depended on the size of the turn-out of the labor vote. 
He had much support among the cattlemen and sheepmen, but 
these two groups were traditionally Republican, had supported 
Barrett in the past, and might not support O'Mahoney to their 
usual extent in 1952. Barrett and the Republicans were strongest 
in the rural and upstate precincts.^^ Previous elections had proven 
the vote-getting abilities of both men. In 1946, O'Mahoney had 
been elected to the Senate with a 10,129 vote majority over his 

20. Clippings from Wyoming newspapers describing the rise of these 
clubs are in OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: State Convention, May 12, 

21. O'Mahoney, letter to John W. Songer, Sheridan, September 16, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 

22. Larson, op. cit., Chapter 17. 


Opponent. Barrett was elected to the governorship in 1950 with 
12,000 more votes than his opponent. Such victories were sub- 
stantial in a state where the total vote during this period was 
usually only about 100,000. 

As the 1952 election drew near, O'Mahoney was believed to 
hold a slight advantage over Barrett, but it was obvious that 
a "campaign of anything less than championship caliber could 
easily lose him his Senate seat."-"^ For the first time since 1934, 
the Republicans thought they had a chance to beat Senator 


In most American elections, the party in power is held to 
account for the condition of the country. When there are serious 
domestic and foreign problems, as there were in 1952, this ac- 
counting can become a definite political burden. As a top-ranking 
member of the Democratic party, Senator O'Mahoney received a 
good deal of partisan abuse as Governor Barrett and the Repub- 
licans sought to use popular discontent as a weapon in the cam- 
paign for O'Mahoney's Senate seat. 

The major national issues of the Korean War, the threat of 
Communism both at home and abroad, and corruption within the 
federal government (designated by South Dakota's Senator Karl 
Mundt as K1C2) were chief points in the RepubUcan attack against 
O'Mahoney. In addition, the problems of inflation and the huge 
rise in government spending under the Democrats were utilized by 
O'Mahoney's opponents in the campaign. When Frank Barrett 
announced his intention to run against O'Mahoney, he pointed to 
five basic issues which he felt made it necessary for him to oppose 
the Senator: "Dishonesty in government, the administration's for- 
eign poUcy, the Korean War, extravagance and waste in govern- 
ment, and centralization of power in Washington.-^ An editorial 
in the Buffalo Bulletin in early May reflected the importance of 
these issues in the G. O. P. assault on Senator O'Mahoney and the 
Democrats : 

The time is now come when the man in the field, the mine, the shop, 
must face the issues and set the course of this country for four critical 
years. Under self-government he must answer these challenges with 
his ballot: 

1. The threat of Communism. . . . 

2. The Korean stalemate. . . . 

23. CTPS News Release, Cheyenne. October 9, 1952, OMC, File Box 
169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

24. "Barrett Points to 5 Issues in Launching for Senate," Wyoming State 
Tribune, May 13, 1952, clipping, OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section:" State 
Convention, May 12, 1952. 


3. Prodigious government spending, the highest tax collections in 
history and the most worthless dollar. 

4. Intrenched corruption in government. 

5. Inflation. ... 

6. Socialism. . . .-^ 

A repeated Republican compaint against O'Mahoney was that 
he had been merely a New Deal — Fair Deal "rubber stamp" and 
that he was part of the Democratic "Red coddling" and corruption 
and bungling which had nearly lost the peace after World War II.-® 
An example of this attack on O'Mahoney appeared in the Pinedale 
Roundup in mid September: 

O'Mahoney's 18 years in the U. S. Senate, supposedly representing 
the people of Wyoming, has been straight down the New Deal — Fair 
Deal line, towards bigger government, more spending, more federal 
control. . . .'^ 

Even Governor Barrett's "positive" promises were related to "fail- 
ures" of O'Mahoney and the Democrats: "Barrett with Eisen- 
hower can bring a close to the needless slaughter of our youth 
in Korea; Barrett can restore peace with prosperity; Barrett will 
drive the Communists from government service; Barrett will reduce 

The nature of these national issues put Senator O'Mahoney on 
the defensive, which had not been his style of campaigning during 
the New Deal and World War years. Now he was being forced to 
explain rather than to attack. At the state and personal level he 
also had to take this stance, as the Republicans seized every 
opportunity to belittle his efforts for Wyoming. When the Sen- 
ator's excellent seniority position was emphasized by Democratic 
strategists, the Republicans managed even to turn that around and 
use it against O'Mahoney. They charged that 19 years experience 
and seniority did little good when O'Mahoney did not use them to 
Wyoming's best advantage. Republican newspapers complained 
that the only time O'Mahoney ever bothered to come home to 
Wyoming was when he was forced to face re-election: 

Along with the rustling of spring, we hear that Senator Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney is beginning to rustle a little and that in all probability he 
will soon be back in Wyoming all dressed up in his best Sunday-Go- 
To- Vote-Getting suit. 

In a way, it will be nice to see him. He doesn't get back often. 

25. "Register and Vote," Buffalo Bulletin, May 1, 1952, clipping, OMC, 
File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

26. CTPS News Release, Cheyenne, October 9, 1952, OMC, File Box 
169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

27. "O'Mahoney the Big Shot," Pinedale Roundup, September 11, 1952, 
clipping, OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Stevenson Visit 9/52. 

28. Barrett campaign advertisement, Wyoming State Tribune, November 
3, 1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 


He's been awfully busy being a cog among all the little New Deal — 
Raw Deal cogs. Every six years Senator O'Mahoney exhudes [sic] 
deep interest in his state. . . . Why? Because every six years he needs 
the help of the folks in Wyoming to keep him in Washington.-'' 

An article in the Wyoming State Tribune in 1950 had addressed 
itself to how Senator O'Mahoney was not keeping close touch with 
the people of the state. The article was motivated by the fact that 
O'Mahoney's predictions regarding the 1950 elections in Wyoming 
had been totally wrong. Suggesting that it was a dangerous sign 
when a man who was dependent on the people for his professional 
survival was unable to tell how they were thinking, the paper 
warned its readers that it was just two short years until O'Mahoney 
would again stand for re-election. •^•' 

In November 1951, the Republican Casper Tribune-Herald 
blasted O'Mahoney for a speech he had delivered before the Rocky 
Mountain Oil and Gas Association supporting a federal govern- 
ment-sponsored synthetic fuel program. In his speech, O'Mahoney 
had asked that sectional economic and political differences be put 
aside to show the world that different groups in this country could 
work together for production. In response to this statement, the 
Tribune-Herald commented: "What the world has got to do with 
it, we don't know, except that in recent years, Senator O'Mahoney 
has shown a good deal more interest in the world than in Wyo- 
ming."'^^ (Emphasis added). 

O'Mahoney's political advisers were aware of the resentment 
caused by his too infrequent returns to Wyoming, and approached 
the Senator about it at various times. Tracy McCraken, the 
shrewd Cheyenne newspaperman, and a staunch Democrat, wrote 
to O'Mahoney in July 1952, mentioning the subject: 

The other day when Harriman was here there were Democrats from 
several sections of the state. Intentionally I drew out as many as I 
could, and 1 can tell you that at least three-fourths of them said, "Joe 
ought to be reelected, but it is seldom if ever we get to see him any 
more — and if he doesn't spend practically all of his time in Wyoming 
from now till election he may well be beaten. "•^- 

Two weeks later, O'Mahoney's administrative assistant, Pat 

29. "It's That Time of Year," Thermopolis Independent-Record. April 24, 
1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign 

30. "Is He Losing Touch?" Wyoming State Tribune. November 10, 1950, 
quoted in Carl Moore, op. cit.. p. 182. 

31. "With an Eye and an Ear to '52," Casper Tribune-Herald. November 
16, 1951, OMC. Scrapbook FF, Section: Speeches, 1951. 

election day in my opinion. ^^^ 

32. Tracy McCraken, Cheyenne, letter to O'Mahoney, July 9. 1952. 
L. G. Flannery Collection, Western History Research Center, University of 
Wyoming, Laramie. (Flannery Collection hereinafter referred to as LGFC.) 


Flannery, wrote to him from Fort Laramie and brought up the 
subject of McCraken's letter: 

I also read Tracy's letter with much interest, although the situation 
he talks about is not new — and I think not nearly as serious as it was 
some time ago. ... A leisurely tour over the state . . . will make the 
issue that is worrying Tracy ... a completely dead duck before 
election day in my opinion.-^-"' 

Probably, Flannery underestimated the harm done by O'Ma- 
honey's long absences from Wyoming. As late as mid-September, 
state Democrats were trying to warn O'Mahoney that the problem 
was really hurting his prospects for re-election.-^^ In a campaign 
rebuttal of this accusation, O'Mahoney stressed the pressures of 
committee assignments in Washington and the necessity of staying 
in the capital to vote on important legislation. But these explana- 
tions, coming in late 1952, did little to alleviate the feeling in the 
state that he had not been home enough in the past years. 

In earlier elections, O'Mahoney had been able to benefit from 
the general popularity of the Democratic Party. When the Demo- 
crats came into power in 1933, they had the opportunity to chastise 
the Republicans for failing to correct the rapidly declining eco- 
nomic situation. Twenty years later, circumstances were reversed, 
and the Democrats found themselves under attack from various 
segments of the economy. In Wyoming, several powerful special 
interest groups held grudges against the administration. Agricul- 
ture in general was not faring well. When the Senate Appropria- 
tions Committee cut $200,000,000 out of the $931,000,000 budget 
for agriculture for 1953, farmers across Wyoming and the nation 
were naturally upset.'^"' The farmer was doing poorly as compared 
to earlier years. The number of acres planted in potatoes in 
Wyoming, for instance, showed a drastic decrease in the years 
preceding 1952, and not all of the harvest could be sold.''*' The 
market for beans, another important Wyoming product, was also 
badly reduced. A beangrower from GreybuU, Mrs. Lucille Wiley, 
wrote to Senator O'Mahoney in September 1952, explaining the 
problem : 

The farmers are most unhappy about bean conditions and bean prices 
and want to know what is going to happen. . . . Bean prices are 
$7.25 — when and if they can sell — much lower than the cost of grow- 

33. Pat Flannery, Fort Laramie, letter to O'Mahoney, July 24, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 169. FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

34. George C. McCormick, Thermopolis, letter to O'Mahoney, Septem- 
ber 10. 1952, OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 

35. Material on this budget cut is in OMC, File Box 163, FF: June 3, 
1952 O'Mahoney — "Senate Makes Substantial Cuts in Agriculture Appro- 
priations Bill." 

36. U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1950 Census 
of Agriculture, Volume I, Part 29, p. 55. Acreage dropped from 12,537 
acres in 1944 to 6964 in 1949. 


ing can stand. . . . I'm holding two crops of beans in storage in Basin, 
because I couldn't sell them.-^" 

The cattle industry, one of Wyoming's most influential economic 
and political forces, was not suffering as badly as were some 
agricultural pursuits. From 1945 to 1950 there had been a gen- 
eral increase in the number of cattle in the state (982,664 to 
1,027,723), but several counties had seen decreases rather than 
increases. •^'* The stockmen in these counties, who were generally 
Republican, might be expected to be antagonistic toward existing 
conditions, and might not hesitate to support Barrett. 

The plight of Wyoming's other principal agricultural industry, 
wool growing, was especially serious in 1952. From 1945 to 
1950, the number of sheep in Wyoming had decreased by 34 
percent.'^" Only two counties, Sweetwater and Uinta, showed an 
increase during this period. This "wool crisis" was nationwide in 
scope, and was mixed up with both domestic and foreign policies 
of the Truman administration. The O'Mahoney-Hatch Amend- 
ment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1949 had called for 
government support of domestic wool prices at a rate of 60 to 90 
percent of parity price. The Commodity Credit Corporation had 
been keeping up the wool price by direct purchase of wool, but in 
1952 a new policy was established whereby the price would be held 
up by a program of loans to wool producers.^"' Wool interests 
opposed this change for several reasons. First of all, a loan was 
not nearly as desirable as direct purchase. Also, the new policy 
stipulated that the loan could go only to the person holding title 
to the wool, which greatly complicated and hindered the wool- 
growers' legal and financial transactions. 

To further complicate matters, the United States was producing 
domestically only about 150 million pounds of wool per year, while 
the country consumed about 600 million pounds. Foreign pro- 
ducers, especially Australia, Argentina and Uruguay supplied the 
difference. In 1951, just as the Korean War increased America's 
need for wool (for army uniforms), the Russian government began 
a program of buying wool above the international market price. 

37. Lucille Wiley. Greybull, letter to O'Mahoney, September 20. 1952, 
OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 

38. U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1950 Census 
of Agriculture, op. cit., pp. 46-47. The counties showing a decrease were 
Big Horn, Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Laramie, Lincoln, Park. Sheridan, 
Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Washakie and Weston. 

39. U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1950 Census 
of Agriculture, op. cit., pp. 46-47. The decrease was from 2,803,643 to 

40. Release from the Department of Agriculture, February 20, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 163, FF: "Wool Price Support Program to Operate through 
Loans in 1952". 


thus driving prices far above their normal levels and creating a 
wool shortage. The woolgrowers in the United States, who had 
always opposed the practice of importing foreign wool, were now 
faced with the unique threat of government-sponsored experiments 
with synthetic material as an attempt to counter the wool scarcity.^^ 

This peculiar situation posed a real political threat for Senator 
O'Mahoney. The influential wool-growing interests of Wyoming 
wanted to see neither continued importation nor government sub- 
sidization of "wool substitutes." O'Mahoney's dilemma was that 
he had to support continued importation to prevent experimenta- 
tion, or vice versa. Also, O'Mahoney, who was rather a "hawk" 
on the Korean War, was on the Senate Army Appropriations Com- 
mittee, and was thereby partly responsible for providing the army 
with suitable clothing. When faced with a serious crisis, such as 
the one facing the wool-growers, people do not tend to see the 
limitations on the actions of those to whom they look for guid- 
ance. The wool-growers were no different; and any action Senator 
O'Mahoney took was sure to cause some discontent among this 
extremely important political element in Wyoming. 

An equally complex and politically dangerous situation existed 
within one of Wyoming's leading non-agricultural industries. Sev- 
eral questions were tied up in what could be called the "oil issue" 
which turned out to be so important in 1952. First of all, there 
was some doubt, at least in many Republican minds, as to whether 
or not Senator O'Mahoney had faithfully served the oil industry 
while in the Senate. When O'Mahoney pointed with pride to the 
O'Mahoney-Hatch Act of 1949 as an example of his attempts to 
support natural resource development, the G. O. P. claimed that 
this act was at least 14 years too late, and pointed in turn to 
the O'Mahoney Act of 1935 as an example of the harm O'Mahoney 
had done to the industry.^^ 

A second aspect of the "oil issue" was the so-called "tidelands" 
question. During the Second World War, President Truman had 
decided that it was in the nation's best interest to claim the lands 
and resources of the continental shelf which lay outside the three- 
mile limit generally observed in international law. Truman's 
action set off a lengthy controversy, as the states most directly 
involved, California, Texas and Louisiana, vehemently opposed 
federal control of the area. Supposedly, the conflict was judicially 
determined when on June 23, 1947, in the California case, and on 

41. OMC, File Box 6 contains several file folders on this wool crisis. 

42. OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Oil Issue. The O'Mahoney Act of 
1935 called for royalties up to thirty-two percent. OMC, File Box 163, FF: 
Jan. 21, 1952 "Wyoming Expected to receive six million dollars in oil 
royalties says Sen O'Mahoney." The O'Mahoney-Hatch Act of 1949 pro- 
vided more money to states with Federal, Indian and Naval Reserve lands. 


June 5, 1950, in the Texas and Louisiana cases, the United States 
Supreme Court held that the United States had paramount author- 
ity over submerged lands off the coasts of these states. ^-^ This 
decision, however, did little to end the dispute. Congress tried to 
overrule the Court by passing a law giving the area in question 
to the states. This was promptly vetoed by President Truman. 
While Congress debated over what to do about the veto. Senator 
O'Mahoney and Senator Clinton P. Anderson of New Mexico 
proposed a compromise measure to allow for continued develop- 
ment of the area's resources during the controversy. On the veto 
itself, O'Mahoney sided with the President in deciding that the 
submerged lands, which were seaward of the three-mile limit, 
properly belonged to the federal government, and not to the states. 
Many people in Wyoming, a state with vast natural resources, saw 
the tidelands issue as a good chance to gain for the states needed 
revenue, and to re-emphasize the role of the state within the federal 
system. When the national Repubhcan platform in 1952 pledged 
itself to "restore the tidelands and their resources" to the states 
involved, the question had become a full-blown political issue. 

A third element of the oil-related issues in Wyoming in 1952 was 
the controversy over the Casper Federal Land Office. In 1949- 
1950, the federal government initiated a program of consolidating 
the numerous land offices in the West, leaving only one office in 
each state. Senator O'Mahoney had opposed this action, but his 
opposition had not succeeded in preventing completion of the pro- 
gram. When the new consolidated land office for Wyoming was 
located in Cheyenne, rather than in Casper, where most of the 
business had previously been transacted, Casper and Central Wyo- 
ming blamed O'Mahoney. A Casper newspaper, in a rather bitter 
article in September, 1951, voiced the opinion that O'Mahoney 
had failed to do anything about the removal of Casper's land office 
facilities to Cheyenne because of his political relations with south- 
ern Wyoming and the generally Democratic "Union Pacific" 

In an indirect way, a decades-old oil-related issue, that of a 
severance tax on crude oil taken out of the state, also had some 
importance in the 1952 election. The roots of the issue were in 
the 1950 gubernatorial election. At that time, the expected Dem- 
ocratic candidate had been William "Scotty" Jack. But in Feb- 
ruary, 1950, Jack disgusted the Democrats by accepting a $12,000 
a year position as the executive vice president in charge of public 

43. The information on this controversy is in OMC, File Box 155. FF: 
January 18, 1951 Release by JCO'M On Submerged oil lands resolution. 

44. "What Has He Done For Us Lately?" Casper Morning Star, Sep- 
tember 11, 1951, clipping, OMC, Scrapbook FF, Section: Politics Local — 


relations for the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association. This 
move gained more significance when it became clear that one of 
the major issues of the campaign would be the question of a state 
severance tax. Former Congressman John J. Mclntyre, the even- 
tual Democratic candidate for governor, came out in favor of the 
tax. The Republican candidate, Congressman Frank A. Barrett, 
"stepped aside and permitted the oil industry to smite Mclntyre 
hip and thigh. "^•'' 

For the 1952 Senate election, the fact that Mclntyre had become 
anathema to the oil industry was not as important as the fact that 
Frank Barrett had thereby gained the support of the influential 
industry. In conjunction with the numerous other oil-related polit- 
ical issues in 1952, this positive attitude toward Governor Barrett 
on the part of the oil interests certainly did not help Senator 
O'Mahoney in his attempt at re-election, and it obviously gave 
Barrett one more advantage in the contest. 

One other issue was also of major importance in the 1952 
Wyoming Senate election. Like the tidelands controversy, it was 
based on the opposition of many Wyomingites to a stand the 
Senator had made on a national question. After World War II, 
the United States government had purchased the Santa Margarita 
Ranch in California to build a Marine training center (Camp 
Pendleton). With this purchase, the government acquired the 
water rights which had belonged to the ranch. The Fallbrook 
Utility Company, which had interest in the area involved, tried to 
keep the United States from securing the water. The U. S. Depart- 
ment of Justice brought suit in district court to try to determine 
the water rights, and the Fallbrook Utility Company retaliated by 
trying to get Congress to take the case away from the courts. A 
bill to that effect passed the House, and was referred to the Senate 
Committee on Interior and Insular affairs, of which O'Mahoney 
was chairman. During the committee hearings. Senator O'Mahoney 
sided with the federal government. ^*^ This position, along with his 
position in the tidelands question, appeared to many people to be 
antagonistic to the rights of the states and the rights of individuals, 
and seemed to be just another example of New Dealish centralizing. 

This conglomeration of national, state and personal issues, then, 
faced the two candidates for Wyoming's contested Senate seat as 
they prepared to begin campaigning in earnest. The nature of 
the issues put Governor Barrett on the offensive and Senator 
O'Mahoney on the defensive. Throughout their respective cam- 

45. Larson, op. cit., p. 514. 

46. For a brief analysis of this issue, and O'Mahoney's position concern- 
ing it, see O'Mahoney's letter to Mrs. Charles Jarrard, Kaycee, October 24, 
1952, OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 


paigns, both men returned, sometimes by choice and sometimes 
not, to these central issues. 


Governor Barrett and the RepubHcans knew that there were 
many issues they could "take to the people" in their attempt to 
unseat Senator O'Mahoney, and they exploited as many of those 
issues as possible. Continuously, they harped on the theme that 
O'Mahoney's seniority did little for Wyoming since he did not 
effectively utilize it. E. D. "Ted" Crippa, Republican State Com- 
mitteeman from Rock Springs, suggested in April, 1951, for 
instance, that the Senator's seniority had failed to get any defense 
projects for Wyoming.^" Governor Barrett asked why O'Ma- 
honey's seniority had not been used to prevent "meddlesome New 
Deal-ish" price controls from ruining the condition of agricul- 
ture.^"* Republican newspaper advertisements repeatedly referred 
to "O'Mahoney's Failure" to do anything about Korea, corruption 
in government, the Communist threat, high taxes and so on.^^ 
Two motion pictures, "The Fallbrook Story," and "Freedom's 
Shores" were circulated around the state to demonstrate O'Ma- 
honey's "failures." In the first movie, he was castigated for using 
his position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior and 
Insular Affairs to "bottle up" legislation which would have solved 
the water rights controversy in favor of the local interests; in the 
second movie, he was attacked for his position on the tidelands 
issue. The Republicans tried to make O'Mahoney's stands on 
these issues appear as threats to fundamental individual and state 
rights. In one partisan speech, for example, the state's Republican 
attorney general said that: 

The ranches, farms, indeed, the very homes and livelihood of Wyo- 
ming's people have been placed in jeopardy by O'Mahoney. . . . Fed- 
eral bureaucrats have not — as far as the public knows — seized private 
properties of Wyoming's ranchers and farmers, [but] the "handwriting 
is on the wall" as evidenced by the taking of the tidelands and the 
seizing of private properties under a New Deal-coated supreme court 
decision. 50 

47. OMC, Scrapbook FF, Section: Politics Local — 1951. Between April 
8 and April 13, 1951, Crippa's statement was printed in several newspapers, 
including the Rock Springs Rocket, the Casper Tribune-Herald, the Ther- 
mopolis Independent Record and others. 

48. Casper Tribune-Herald, October 17, 1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 
167, FF: Clippings. 

49. See, for example, the G. O. P. advertisement in the Torrington 
Telegram, October 13, 1952, clipping, OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Mc- 
Carthy 10/13/52. 

50. "Harnsberger Lashes at O'Mahoney," Wvoming State Tribune. 
March 30, 1952, clipping, OMC. Scrapbook HH.' Section: Fav. Son — 
V.P.— 52. 


Senator O'Mahoney tried to counter this kind of attack by 
issuing statements clarifying his position on the tidelands and by 
repeating his belief that, since the states historically had never held 
any right to the areas in question, they could not now claim that 
right/'^ But this position was not well accepted in Wyoming and 
these issues remained important in the campaign. 

Another issue which the G. O. P. successfully exploited was the 
intra-state squabble over the consolidation of the federal land of- 
fices in the state. Whenever the Senator visited Casper during the 
campaign, the Republicans made a point of running advertisements 
in the local newspapers, re-emphasizing the failure of O'Mahoney 
to prevent the removal of Casper's office. '*- O'Mahoney tried to 
alleviate the pressures of this issue by publicizing in February, 
1952, a letter he had written to Secretary of the Interior Oscar L. 
Chapman requesting reconsideration of the consohdation. But 
nothing came of this letter, and when the Casper Chamber of 
Commerce polled all major state candidates as to whether they 
favored return of the office to Casper, the Senator could only 
respond that the question would have to wait until a hearing could 
determine the best site.'''^ 

Even more damaging to O'Mahoney than the land office fight, 
which caused extremely hard feelings only in Casper, was the bad 
condition of the sheep industry. O'Mahoney, who had been called 
"Mr. Wool" in the past, could not escape the consequences of the 
public's opinion that President Truman and the Democrats were 
responsible for the wool industry's crisis. Playing on this general 
attitude, the Republicans used the state's newspapers as a forum 
from which to blame O'Mahoney for the sheepmen's problems. -'^ 
Specifically, they pointed to such Democratic measures as recip- 
rocal trade agreements, which tended to bring more foreign wool 
into the United States, reduced grazing lands, and the State Depart- 
ment's failure to apply countervailing duties on imported wool. 

51. This point, as to whether or not the states had ever had legal claim 
to the area, was the central question in the controversy. O'Mahoney, and 
the Supreme Court, said "no;" while most state government officials, most 
Republicans and many Democrats said "yes." For O'Mahoney's position, 
see LGFC, File Box 1, FF: Political Material— Miscellaneous 1937-1953. 
For the opposing viewpoint, see Raymond Moley, "The Tidelands Issue," 
Newsweek, Volume XL, September 15, 1952, p. 108. 

52. Mrs. Velma Funda, Casper, letter to Pat Flannery, March 31, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

53. OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Land Office. 

54. Examples of this G. O. P. newspaper campaign are Harold Josendal, 
"An Open Letter to the Wool Growers of Wyoming," Casper Tribune- 
Herald, October 5, 1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 169, no folder, and Mrs. 
Dan Kirkbride's statement which appeared in several Wyoming newspapers 
during August, 1952. Clippings of her statement are in OMC, Scrapbook 
HH, Section: Wool Issue. 


As with other issues, O'Mahoney's office issued statement after 
statement in an attempt to show that the Senator was doing the 
best he could for the sheep industry. In January, 1952, an 
O'Mahoney press release stated that he was urging the Department 
of Agriculture to begin a more advanced program of price supports 
for wool.^^ Eight months later, his office reported that President 
Truman had ordered an investigation into the importation of wool 
from Argentina and Uruguay, with the intention of adding new 
duties to wool imports.^'' These statements, however, were not 
enough to convince the sheepmen to give their support to O'Ma- 
honey, and as a Casper Tribune-Herald writer put it, "the ears of 
'Mr. Wool' must have burned" when he heard that the Wyoming 
Wool Growers Association decided that, as individuals, members 
should support Eisenhower, Barrett and Harrison (the Republican 
candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives)."'" The wool 
crisis had proven too powerful to allow the sheepmen, generally 
Republican in most cases, to vote for Senator O'Mahoney. 

These issues, along with the general frustration caused by 
national problems, put Governor Barrett and his party in a favor- 
able position for the election. But Senator O'Mahoney did not go 
into the campaign unarmed. His able administrative assistant, 
L. G. "Pat" Flannery, was well versed in Wyoming politics, and 
took care of most of the details of the campaign. The Senator also 
had the support of the state's leading newspaperman, Cheyenne's 
Tracy McCraken. Wyoming's labor unions, as usual, endorsed the 
Senator. Former Governor Leslie A. Miller, at the instigation of 
Pat Flannery, wrote a letter in August, 1952, to John F. Sullivan 
of Laramie, giving the reasons he thought O'Mahoney should be 
returned to the Senate. This letter was then given to the press, 
and Miller's endorsement was publicized. ■'•■"' The same tactic was 
also used later, when John W. McCormack wrote O'Mahoney from 
Washington, asking how he could help the campaign. O'Mahoney 

55. Press Release, OMC, File Box 163, FF: Jan 31, 1952 O'Mahoney 
Urges Program to Stimulate Wool Production. 

56. "Probe Ordered Into Wool Imports," Rock Springs Daily Rocket, 
September 4, 1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 167, FF: Campaign. In this 
instance, at least, Senator O'Mahoney evidently had some influence with the 
administration. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Republican from Massachu- 
setts, complained that Truman's proposal to put a fifty percent fee on raw 
wool imports, a proposal which came out of O'Mahoney's suggested investi- 
gation, would kill the New England textile industry. Lodge further com- 
plained that the fee was a mere political trick designed to save O'Mahoney. 
Several letters and newspaper clippings dealing with this issue are in OMC, 
File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 

57. "Wool Growers Want a Change," Casper Tribitne-Herahl. September 
25, 1952, clipping, OMC, File Box 167, FF: Clippings. 

58. Miller's letter, which was written by O'Mahoney's staff, is in OMC. 
File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 


had McCormack make available to the Wyoming press a statement 
that the current piece of legislation in the House reimbursing the 
Indians of the Wind River Reservation for lands lost to the new 
Boysen Reservoir was due directly to the personal influence of the 
senior Senator from Wyoming.^" 

O'Mahoney's counterattack for the charge that he neglected 
Wyoming while in the Senate was to question the ability of Gov- 
ernor Barrett to carry out the duties of the chief executive of the 
state while engaging in a two-year campaign for the U. S. Senate. 
In April, 1952, an article in the Laramie Daily Bulletin took the 
Governor to task for using his position as governor as a campaign 

There is no law compelling one to serve as governor more than a few 
months before anxiously eyeing the United States Senate. Up and 
down and across the state and back, the governor has constantly trav- 
eled from almost the day he assumed office a little more than a year 
ago, causing many to be amazed at how the gentleman can be away 
on the knife and fork circuit so great an amount of time and still cope 
with the multitudinous problems that must even to this day daily 
manifest themselves in the office of a chief executive of a sovereign 

Another mark against Barrett, at least to one group of Wyo- 
mingites, was the fact that he, a Catholic, was trying to unseat 
O'Mahoney, another Catholic. A Thermopolis attorney, Gerald 
A. Stack, wrote to Senator O'Mahoney in October, 1952, to tell 
him of this complaint against Barrett, and also suggested that "the 
Masons pushed Barrett's candidacy for the main reason of getting 
rid of at least one Catholic office holder.""^ O'Mahoney tried to 
capitalize on this apparent Catholic displeasure with Barrett by 
having Mrs. O'Mahoney write a form letter to be sent around the 
state, commenting on the rumors of Catholic concern with the 
attempt by Barrett to defeat a member of his own faith. *'^ 

Financially O'Mahoney was well enough off for the campaign, 
although as usual Wyoming's Republicans were at an advantage 
monetarily. According to his official filing receipts, the Senator 
received a total of $26,855 in contributions, while his expenses 
amounted to only $21, 539. *'-^ But the total amount of the contri- 
butions to O'Mahoney's campaign does not reflect accurately the 
extent of support available to him in Wyoming. As his filing 

59. The correspondence between McCormack and O'Mahoney is in 
OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 

60. Editorial from the Laramie Daily Bulletin, April 25, 1952, clipping, 
OMC. File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

61. Gerald A. Stack, Thermopolis, letter to O'Mahoney, October 25, 
1952. OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. 

62. Mrs. O'Mahoney's letter is in OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 

63. OMC, File Box 9, FF: Campaign Receipts & Expenditures Report — 
1952 — Filing Receipt. 


receipts show, only $6430 of the total $26,855 came from inside 
Wyoming; $20,075 came from outside the state. A handful of 
political and labor organizations, plus a few wealthy friends from 
outside Wyoming, contributed $11,300, or over one-third of the 
total, to the Senator's campaign.**^ Of the in-state receipts, well 
over half came from O'Mahoney's home town, Cheyenne. 

According to a Drew Pearson radio broadcast, Governor Barrett 
also had his share of financial support from outside the state. On 
September 28, 1952, Pearson commented about the Wyoming 
campaign during his Sunday evening program: "The duPonts are 
pouring money into Wyoming to defeat Senator Joe O'Mahoney. 
They are sore at O'Mahoney for blocking special tax write-offs for 
the duPont factories making synthetics."""' Pearson's statement 
had reference to O'Mahoney's retort, as chairman of the Joint 
Congressional Committee on the Economic Report, that if the 
government ever decided to give special tax deductions to synthetic 
fiber producers, he knew of "no company that needs Government 
incentives less than Du Pont.""" 

Pearson's broadcast caused quite a squabble in Wyoming during 
October, and turned into an issue itself. Republican State Chair- 
man Ewing T. Kerr immediately denied that Barrett received any 
financial assistance from the duPont company. But Tracy Mc- 
Craken's Wyoming Eagle professed a belief that the story was 
undoubtedly true. Finally, Harold Brayman, the director of the 
duPont company public relations department, wrote to Kerr, the 
Eagle and Senator O'Mahoney categorically denying that any 
duPont money was being used in the Wyoming campaign — not 
only was such a contribution illegal, it was against company 

While the state's newspapers were saturating the public with 
political advertisements and partisan editorials, and the candidates' 
offices were supplying statements calculated to gain support on 
favorable issues and to minimize the attention paid to unfavorable 
ones, Barrett and O'Mahoney themselves were traveling up and 

64. O'Mahoney's filing receipt shows the following contributions: John 
D. Clark, Washington, D. C, $2000; Robert Palmer. Denver, $1000; 
Democratic Campaign Fund Committee. $2850; Democratic National Com- 
mittee, $700; Congress of Industrial Organizations — Political Action Com- 
mittee, $2000; Labor's League for Political Action, $1000; National Com- 
mittee for an Effective Congress, $1000: and Amalgamated Political Action 
Fund, $750. 

65. Excerpt from Drew Pearson radio broadcast, OMC. File Box 169. 
no folder. 

66. OMC, File Box 155. FF: July 13. 1951: "Senator Sees No Need 
For Amortization Aid to Dupont Synthetics." 

67. Harold Brayman, letter to O'Mahoney. October 21. 1952. OMC, 
File Box 170, FF: Campaign; and OMC, Scrapbook HH. Section: Du Pont 
Money 10/3/52. 


down the state. Both men made a point of appearing in every 
county at least once, paying special heed to the more populous 
counties. Neither spent much time in the smaller counties with 
fewer voters. O'Mahoney's itinerary was carefully drawn up by 
Pat Flannery, and Raymond B. Whitaker, the Democratic state 
chairman, provided O'Mahoney with a detailed analysis of what 
he considered the areas and counties needing special attention.*'^ 

Barrett and O'Mahoney approached campaigning somewhat 
differently. Barrett, who had a great deal of personal appeal, 
stumped the state, shaking everyone's hand and speaking to anyone 
who would listen. O'Mahoney, on the other hand, tried to exploit 
his power of persuasive rhetoric by making more formal speeches 
before groups meeting especially to hear him speak. Perhaps the 
age difference between the two men (O'Mahoney was 68; Barrett 
only 59) made this difference in style necessary; but for whatever 
reason, the difference was a mark in Barrett's favor, as his style of 
campaigning was better suited to Wyoming voters in general, and 
to the particular need in 1952 to influence as many people as 

Joseph C. O'Mahoney was an expert politician by 1952. But all 
his years of experience could not prevent his campaign from having 
the appearance of a "comic opera" at times. It was almost as if 
his political "luck" had run out. In October 1951, for instance, 
Pat Flannery, O'Mahoney's main connection with Wyoming, was 
preparing to meet with the state party leaders to choose a new state 
chairman. Just at that time, Flannery broke a toe, had to have it 
surgically removed, and the consequent hospitalization kept him 
from participating personally in the Democratic gathering. 

A somewhat similar experience kept O'Mahoney from attending 
the 1952 Democratic National Convention, and slowed down the 
early preparations for his campaign. In July, 1952, he entered 
Bethesda Hospital for a hernia operation. The operation was suc- 
cessful and there were no complications (which was fortunate, in 
view of O'Mahoney's age), but the Senator's departure for Wyo- 
ming was delayed by several weeks. 

In keeping with this tragic-comic pattern, the Democratic presi- 
dential candidate, Adlai E. Stevenson, managed to fall far short 
of his expected performance when he spoke in Wyoming in 
September. Stevenson's headquarters had written to Senator 

68. Raymond B. Whitaker, Casper, letter to O'Mahoney, August 19, 
1952. OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 
Whitaker suggested concentrated effort in the following order of impor- 
tance: Union Pacific area, central Wyoming, and the Big Horn Basin; or, 
by counties, Laramie, Sweetwater, Natrona, Carbon, Fremont, Albany, 
Park, Goshen and Sheridan. Whitaker suggested concentrating on these 
counties on the basis of a study of past elections, most important issues in 
each county, and numbers of voters. 


O'Mahoney, requesting suggestions as to what Stevens should 
stress in his Wyoming speech. The Senator had suppUed a short 
list of constructive proposals for resource development in the 
West. But when Stevenson arrived at the auditorium in Cheyenne 
where he was to deliver his speech, he discovered that he had 
left his notes on his airplane. According to a Time reporter 
who was traveling with Stevenson, "In five minutes, the governor 
[Stevenson] hastily scribbled down an outline, oblivious to the 
throng of onlookers. "'^•* The result was a rather unimpressive 
speech describing Stevenson's boyhood visit to Wyoming. 

Vice President Alben W. Barkley also spoke in Wyoming in 
favor of Senator O'Mahoney, and his speech did less, if possible, 
than Stevenson's, to impress the people of Wyoming with the need 
to keep O'Mahoney in the U. S. Senate. The major point of 
Barkley's speech was that O'Mahoney was a "national figure, a 
national statesman." Declaring that the Democrats would stand 
on the record of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, Bark- 
ley concluded his Jefferson- Jackson Day keynote address by prais- 
ing the fine work O'Mahoney did in Washington.'" These "com- 
pliments," of course, were not apt to be well received in Wyoming, 
where O'Mahoney was specifically being attacked for being too 
much of a "national figure" and a "New Deal cog." Commenting 
on Barkley's speech, the Casper Tribune-Herald reflected the gen- 
eral Wyoming reaction to this old New Deal rhetoric: 

Vice President Barkley obviously visited Casper for Senator O'Ma- 
honey's political health and not to pay tribute to Thomas Jefferson, 
who would find little recognizable in present-day Democracy. . . . 
A 20-year-old administration that goes back 30 years for a political 
whipping boy is devoid of a sense of reality. Today's war and stran- 
gling taxation are products of Truman, not Harding. "i 

The tone of Senator O'Mahoney's campaign was set by this 
series of accidents and political faux pas. With the general feeling 
that it was "time for a change" prevalent in Wyoming and across 
the nation, O'Mahoney could not afford to run a relatively second- 
rate campaign. But from the very beginning, he had failed to 
really grasp the seriousness of the Barrett threat. He shrugged off 
the large Republican vote in the primary election. He waited to 
begin preparations for his campaign until he was prompted by 
Flannery, McCraken, Whitaker and other state Democratic leaders. 
He failed to recognize that he could not atone for his neglect 

69. "The Way West," Ti?7ie. Volume LX, September 15. 1952. p. 24. 
O'Mahoney's suggestions for Stevenson's speech are in a letter to Mr. Philip 
Stern, Springfield, Illinois, September 2, 1952, OMC, File Box 170. FF: 

70. Barkley speech, OMC, Scrapbook HH. Section: Barkley Visit 52. 

71. "More Than Tub-Thumping," Casper Tribune-Herald. March 26, 
1952, clipping, OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Barkley Visit 52. 


(whether real or imagined) of Wyoming by a few statements in 
late 1952. And in addition, many of his stands on major issues 
ran contrary to the opinions of a majority of Wyomingites. 

As the election approached, it was evident that O'Mahoney was 
in real political trouble. His own "Wyoming Tru-Poll Committee" 
estimated that he would receive only 37 percent of the vote. In 
late summer, a poll taken by the Wyoming Press Association 
showed that of 17 replies received from state newspapers, 14 
favored Barrett, only three favored O'Mahoney. On (October 30, 
less than a week before the election, the Riverton Review predicted 
that Barrett was definitely leading the Senator in 20 of the state's 
23 counties.'- Even one of O'Mahoney's secretaries admitted, in 
a personal letter in late October, that the Senator's chances for 
re-election were not good.'-^ 

Unfortunately for Senator O'Mahoney, these predictions were 
quite accurate. Governor Barrett carried 16 of the 23 Wyoming 
counties and defeated O'Mahoney by 4255 votes. General Eisen- 
hower overwhelmed Governor Stevenson in Wyoming, winning 
by a 33,113 vote margin. Robert R. Rose, Jr., the Democratic 
candidate for the House of Representatives, lost to his Republican 
opponent, the incumbent Congressman William Henry Harrison, 
by 25,602 votes. '^^ All Senator O'Mahoney could claim was that 
he had done the best of the losers. 


Joseph C. O'Mahoney lost his U. S. Senate Seat in 1952 by only 
4255 votes. Before any quahtative judgments can be made as to 
the "why" of the defeat, a quantitative assessment of the vote is 
necessary. As Table 1 illustrates. Governor Barrett carried 16 
counties compared to the seven carried by O'Mahoney. Geo- 
graphically, the election followed normal trends — the Republican 
Barrett carried the northern and central sections of the state, while 
the Democratic O'Mahoney carried the southern or "Union Pa- 

72. The Final Tru-Poll report is in LGFC, File Box 2, FF: Election 
Material, 1952. The results of the Wyoming Press Association poll are in 
OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: O'M Files, July 7. The Riverton Review 
predictions are in OMC, Scrapbook HH, Section: Teacher Support. 

73. Eugene O'Dunne, Jr., Washington, D. C, letter to Miss Mary Mahan, 
Cheyenne, October 29, 1952, OMC, File Box 169, no folder. O'Dunne is 
replying to a letter from Miss Mahan, one of Senator O'Mahoney's secre- 
taries. The wording of O'Dunne's letter suggests that Miss Mahan con- 
fided to him a secret belief that the Senator would lose the election. 

74. The official vote tallies can be found in 1953 Wyoming Official 
Directory and 1952 Election Returns, compiled by the Secretary of State, 
Cheyenne, 1953, p. 57. The votes were: 

Eisenhower 81,047 Barrett 67,176 Harrison 76,161 

Stevenson 47,934 O'Mahoney 62,921 Rose 50,559 



cific" area. O'Mahoney's best showing was in staunchly Demo- 
cratic Sweetwater County, where he bested Barrett by 3795 votes. 
His worst showing was in Natrona County, where he lost to 
Barrett by 2272 votes. 

A University of Wyoming professor of Political Science, John B. 
Richard, has classified Wyoming's counties according to their 
tendency to favor one poUtical party over the other.'"' Richard 
used SR (Strong Republican) and SD (Strong Democratic) to 
indicate strong party identification, MR (Moderate Republican) 

Table 1 
1952 Wyoming Senate Election'*^ 





Carried By 






Big Horn 



— 846 





— 754 










— 648 





— 824 










— 803 


Hot Springs 



— 266 

























— 228 




















— 297 










— 505 










— 886 





— 417 







and MD (Moderate Democratic) to indicate relatively strong party 
identification, and LR (Leaning Republican) and LD (Leaning 
Democratic) to indicate weak but present party identification. As 

75. John B. Richard, Government and Politics of Wyoming (Dubuque, 
Iowa: W. C. Brown Book Company, 1966), p. 25. 

76. The data is from 1953 Wyoming Official Directory and 1952 Election 
Returns, op. cit., p. 57. 







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can be seen in Table 2, 12 counties which Richard classified as SR, 
and which had consistently given Barrett a higher percentage of 
their vote than they had given O'Mahoney, were carried by Barrett 
in 1952.'^^ These counties were Campbell, Converse, Crook, Fre- 
mont, Goshen, Johnson, Niobrara, Park, Sublette, Teton, Wash- 
akie and Weston. O'Mahoney had won all of these counties 
except Johnson and Niobrara at least once in the past, but they 
could all have been expected to go to Barrett in 1952. 

Five counties — Albany, Carbon, Laramie, Sweetwater and 
Uinta — formed the core of O'Mahoney's Democratic bloc of votes. 
The Senator had never failed to win in any of the five counties. 
Governor Barrett, on the other hand, had a miserable combined 
record of only seven wins in 25 tries in the counties. O'Mahoney 
had consistently averaged close to 60 percent of the vote in each of 
the five counties, while Barrett had averaged less than 50 percent. 
Professor Richard ranked them all as Democratic to one degree or 
another. None of these counties could have been expected to 
break this pattern in 1952. 

Two counties, Lincoln and Platte, which normally split their 
votes fairly evenly between the two parties, continued to follow this 
pattern in 1952. Lincoln County is classified by Richard as LR 
in national elections, but had never failed to give its vote to Senator 
O'Mahoney. Governor Barrett had won Lincoln County three of 
five times, and had a slightly lower average percent of the vote in 
the county than O'Mahoney had. O'Mahoney carried Lincoln 
County again in 1952, but Barrett's challenge in a generally 
Republican year brought this margin of victory down to 60 votes. 

In Platte County, which Professor Richard also labels LR, the 
records of Barrett and O'Mahoney were even closer than in 
Lincoln County. O'Mahoney had won in Platte County every 
time he ran, averaging 55 percent of the vote. Barrett had also 
carried the county in each of his election bids, averaging 54 percent 
of the vote. As in Lincoln County, O'Mahoney barely edged 
Barrett in Platte, winning by 67 votes. Neither county was of 
great significance to the final outcome of the election. 

A total of 19 of Wyoming's 23 counties, then, followed typical 
voting patterns in the Senatorial election of 1952. The remaining 
four counties — Big Horn, Hot Springs, Natrona and Sheridan — 
showed unusual voting results to one degree or another. Big Horn 
County, for instance, had given Senator O'Mahoney 57 percent 
of its vote in all of his previous races for the Senate. But Barrett 
had also carried Big Horn County each time he ran for office, and 

78. The statistics are in Wyoming Official Directoiy and Election Re- 
turns, op. cit. 


had averaged 56 percent of the vote — only one percent less than 
O'Mahoney. Big Horn County is a moderately Republican county 
and might be expected to favor Governor Barrett slightly over 
Senator O'Mahoney. But while O'Mahoney was able approxi- 
mately to maintain his usual vote total in the county, his percentage 
dropped 15 points to 42 percent! Governor Barrett increased two 
points from his average percentage, getting 58 percent of the vote. 
This indicates that Big Horn County voters turned out in unusual 
numbers in 1952, and that most of the additional voters voted 
Republican. It does not indicate increased displeasure with 
Senator O'Mahoney so much as it reveals an increase in support 
for the Republican Party. 

This pattern was very nearly repeated in Hot Springs County. 
In the past. Senator O'Mahoney had averaged 64 percent of the 
vote in this MR county. Barrett had averaged somewhat less — 
around 52 percent. But as in Big Horn County, while O'Mahoney 
was able to approximate his normal previous vote total, his per- 
centage of the vote dropped to 44 percent. Barrett's record 
number of votes indicates, as was the case in Big Horn County, 
that the increase in votes was mostly Republican. Evidently, the 
Republicans were able to influence more new voters than were the 

The election results in these two counties were not of primary 
importance to the final outcome of the race as neither county 
produced a great margin of victory for the Governor. The other 
two counties which deviated from normal trends were much more 
significant in the long run. Senator O'Mahoney lost Natrona 
County by 2272 votes — over half his final deficit. He had never 
lost Natrona County before, having averaged 58 percent of the 
vote. Barrett had carried the county three times in five tries, 
averaging four percent less than O'Mahoney. Natrona County 
is categorized by Professor Richard as MR and might have been 
expected to go over to Barrett in 1952 by a slight margin. But 
while O'Mahoney managed to best his previous record vote in the 
county by 96 votes. Governor Barrett received 3339 more votes 
than he had ever before received in the county! As in other 
counties, Barrett and the Repubhcans received the majority of 
votes cast by new voters in Natrona County. 

Sheridan County was similarly important in 1952, giving Barrett 
a 1814 vote margin over O'Mahoney. This was the Senator's 
first loss in Sheridan County. Barrett had lost the county the first 
time he ran for Congress, in 1942, but had won it every two years 
since. O'Mahoney 's average percentage, 57, was five points better 
than that of Barrett. In 1952, the Senator received 3862 votes 
in Sheridan County, approximately half-way between his worst 
and best efforts. But Governor Barrett once again raised his vote 
record in the county, getting 1772 more votes than ever before. 



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The record turn-out of voters resulted in O'Mahoney dropping 17 
points from his average percentage. 

Probably the most unique feature of the 1952 Wyoming Senate 
race was that it truly was a "battle of titans." Joe O'Mahoney 
and Frank Barrett were undoubtedly their respective parties' most 
popular candidates. O'Mahoney had already been elected to the 
U. S. Senate three times. Barrett had campaigned successfully 
across the state five times during the past decade. Significantly, 
the two men had never before faced each other in an election. This 
meant that the Wyoming voters had never been forced to choose 
between them, and that party lines could be crossed to vote for 
both of them if the voter so desired. This, of course, was all 
changed in 1952. One notable consequence of the clash in that 
year was the inevitable loss to the opposition of certain counties 
which had always been won in the past. 

Both Governor Barrett and Senator O'Mahoney held perfect 
records in 13 of Wyoming's counties. In 1952, Barrett won 12 
of the counties which he had always won in the past, losing only 
Platte County to O'Mahoney.'-' The result in Platte County was 
not too significant or surprising, as the Senator also held a perfect 
record in that county, and had a slightly higher average percentage 
of the vote there. As it was, the spht in 1952 was only 67 votes. 

Unlike Governor Barrett, Senator O'Mahoney was able to carry 
only seven of the 1 3 counties in which he held a perfect record — 
Albany, Carbon, Laramie, Lincoln, Platte, Sweetwater and Uinta. ^f* 
TABLE 3 is an analysis of the six counties which O'Mahoney lost 
for the first time in 1952 — Big Horn, Campbell, Hot Springs, 
Natrona, Sheridan and Washakie. Three of the counties. Big 
Horn, Campbell and Washakie, were in Governor Barrett's perfect- 
record column. Campbell and Washakie counties are SR counties, 
and logically might have gone with Barrett. Big Horn County, as 
has already been shown, went to Barrett with only slightly more 
votes than might have been anticipated. 

Hot Springs, Natrona and Sheridan counties, all moderately 
Republican, also voted against Senator O'Mahoney for the first 
time in 1952, even though he approached his usual number of 
votes in each of them. As Table 3 illustrates, the record vote 
which Barrett attracted in 1952 was too much for Senator 
O'Mahoney to counter. O'Mahoney lost these counties not be- 

79. The 13 counties which Barrett had always carried were Big Horn, 
Campbell, Converse, Crook, Fremont, Goshen, Johnson, Niobrara, Park, 
Platte, Sublette, Washakie and Weston. 

80. O'Mahoney had always carried Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Car- 
bon, Hot Springs, Laramie, Lincoln, Natrona, Platte, Sheridan, Sweetwater, 
Uinta and Washakie. 


cause his vote decreased, which it did not, but because his oppo- 
nent's vote increased to so great an extent. 

Natrona and Sheridan counties, two of the counties which 
O'Mahoney lost for the first time in 1952, were part of a group 
of five counties which did him the most damage that year. In 
those two counties, plus Fremont, Park and Johnson counties, 
Barrett's margin of victory over the Senator was more than 1000 
votes. Such a large deficit, when the total deficit was only 4255 
votes, was extremely harmful to the Senator's bid for re-election. 
Table 4 analyzes the five counties' contributions to O'Mahoney's 

It is safe to say that Senator O'Mahoney had no chance of 
winning Johnson County. He had never won it in the past; Barrett 
had never lost it. Barrett was the strongest vote getter that had ever 
run against O'Mahoney, and Johnson County was strongly Repub- 
lican. Even the margin of defeat is not too surprising, as O'Ma- 
honey's vote total had decreased in the county in each of his past 

Fremont County and Park County were also both strongly 
Republican. O'Mahoney's record was better in these two counties 
than it was in Johnson County, but Barrett held an edge here, too. 
As the statistics in Table 2 and Table 4 show, the results in 
Fremont and Park counties were not far out of line from what 
might have been expected. Barrett had consistently averaged a 
higher percentage of the vote in both counties, and there was no 
reason for that to change in 1952. 

The two remaining counties which were so harmful to the 
Senator's hopes, Natrona and Sheridan, have already been dis- 
cussed. Before 1952, O'Mahoney had had a perfect record in both 
counties, while Barrett had lost Sheridan County once and Natrona 
County twice. The loss of these two counties for the first time, and 
by such a large margin, was probably the most damaging blow to 
Senator O'Mahoney's campaign. 


Even with the benefits of hindsight, it is impossible to look back 
on the Wyoming Senate election of 1952 and say for certain why 
people voted the way they did. Doubtlessly, the general frustration 
with the Truman administration, with Communism, corruption and 
Korea, and with economic problems caused many people to turn 
to the Republican Party. Also, many people vote a party line 
regardless of issues, and this was undoubtedly the case with many 
of Wyoming's voters in 1952. When the major issues and normal 
county voting patterns are taken into account, most of Wyoming's 
counties appear to have followed what can be considered expected 
political behavior. But not all of Wyoming's counties aligned 


themselves the same way in reaction to the national issues. Obvi- 
ously, there were local issues which influenced the vote in some 
counties more than in others. As the preceding chapter showed, 
the two counties which deviated most from their previous voting 
patterns were Sheridan and Natrona. They were also two of the 
counties which voted most strongly against Senator O'Mahoney. 

The loss of Sheridan County was not a total surprise to the 
Senator. In August 1952, Raymond B. Whitaker, the state Dem- 
ocratic chairman, had suggested in a letter to O'Mahoney that 
special attention would have to be paid Sheridan County if the 
Senator desired to maintain his 1946 margin of 592 votes. *^^ 
Whitaker cited Governor Barrett's record vote in the county in 
1950 as evidence of his popularity there. 

Another warning to O'Mahoney concerning Sheridan County 
came from Wyoming's other Democratic U. S. Senator, Lester C. 
Hunt. Hunt wrote to O'Mahoney in September, explaining that a 
study of voting trends had convinced him that Sheridan County 
would be especially bad for O'Mahoney in 1952.'*- Senator Hunt 
did not address himself to the factors that would be working against 
O'Mahoney in Sheridan County, but a letter which O'Mahoney 
received from Louis J. O'Marr later in the same month specified 
two issues which were harming the Senator's reputation in the 
county; O'Marr reported that "the sheep interests are against you" 
and the "Leggett case may have hurt you there. ^^ 

Apparently, Sheridan County's sheepmen had individually gone 
the same route as the Wyoming Wool Growers Association, favor- 
ing Barrett over O'Mahoney. The senator received other corre- 
spondence from friends in Sheridan County which claimed that 
prominent wool growers, some of them Democrats, were saying 
that they could not vote for either O'Mahoney or Stevenson.^* 
The wool crisis which was doing so much harm to the sheepmen 
across the state was also creating a great deal of political trouble 
for Senator O'Mahoney. 

The "Leggett case" which was mentioned by Mr. O'Marr as an 
important issue was a very complex case which was only indirectly 
related to Sheridan County. The roots of the case went back to 

81. Raymond B. Whitaker, Casper, letter to O'Mahoney, August 19, 
1952, OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

82. Lester C. Hunt, Washington, D. C, letter to O'Mahoney, September 
4, 1952, OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 

83. Louis J. O'Marr, Washington, D. C, letter to O'Mahoney, September 
21, 1952, OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

84. John W. Songer, Sheridan, letter to O'Mahoney, September 18, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. Songer told O'Mahoney that a 
"formerly active" Democrat with large sheep holdings, Dr. J. E. Carr, was 
openly opposing the Democratic candidates. 


1947, when a man named Alford F. Leggett became part owner of 
the Motor Sales Company in Cody.'*"' During the next three years, 
Leggett became sole owner of the company and expanded the 
business through a series of loans from several banks and the 
Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1949, he was given half 
of a $100,000 loan from the R. F. C, but in 1950 the Omaha 
branch of the agency refused to grant him the other $50,000. He 
then hired Frank O'Mahoney, an attorney from Worland with 
R. F. C. experience, to help him secure the rest of his loan. After 
repeated attempts to deal with the Omaha office of the R. F. C, 
all failures, Frank O'Mahoney took Leggett to Washington, D. C. 
to meet his uncle. Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney. The Senator 
called in two financial experts from Washington banks and had 
them assess the situation. When they saw no reason for the loan 
to be withheld, O'Mahoney talked to R. F. C. officials in Wash- 
ington and asked them to investigate the matter. Shortly there- 
after, the loan was advanced to Leggett, and Frank O'Mahoney's 
law offices received payment from Leggett in the form of tv/o 
automobiles valued at $4100. 

The assistance which Senator O'Mahoney gave his nephew and 
Mr. Leggett was not unique. As a matter of course, all senators 
help constituents in their dealings with federal agencies. The prob- 
lem in this instance came when, in late 1950, Leggett's business 
collapsed, and he still owed the federal government over $82,000. 
The audit which resulted from his bankruptcy revealed that he had 
falsified his net worth when he had first applied for the R. F. C. 
loan. He was tried in federal court and convicted for fraud. In 
1951 he began to serve a year-and-a-day sentence in a federal 

The "Leggett case" became a political issue of major importance 
to Senator O'Mahoney in 1952 when two former associates of 
Leggett, Fred F. McGee and Ernest Goppert, both Cody bankers, 
were brought to trial in Sheridan on charges of helping Leggett 
falsify his report to the R. F. C. Leggett was brought out of prison 
to testify at the trial of the two men, and during his testimony he 
was forced to relate all his dealings with Senator O'Mahoney. The 
Senator's nephew was also called to testify. During the month of 
August, the Sheridan Press gave the case page-one headlines. Sen- 
ator O'Mahoney received much adverse publicity during the trial 
and the association of his name with "government corruption" 
i certainly did him no good, especially since many of the acts 

85. The details of the Leggett case, and O'Mahoney "s connection with it. 
are scattered throughout O'Mahoney's papers. Major pieces of information 
are in OMC, File Box 9. FF: Leggett, A. F., and in OMC, Scrapbook HH. 
Section: Leggett Case 8/12/52. 


of corruption during the Truman administration dealt with the 
R. F. C. and fraudulent loans.^*^ 

Another issue which hurt O'Mahoney in Sheridan County had 
to do with federal budget problems. High taxes had caused a 
general demand for cuts in federal expenditures, but no one wanted 
the budget cut in an area which affected personal interests. Farm- 
ers and ranchers had complained about the cuts in the 1953 budget 
for the Department of Agriculture. In Sheridan County, many 
people were particularly upset when they heard that the U. S. 
House of Representatives had cut the finances of the Veterans 
Administration."' The V. A., in turn, had claimed that the budget 
cut forced a subsequent cut in their finances available to individual 
V. A. hospitals, such as the one in Sheridan. As the most "reach- 
able" member of the administration party, Senator O'Mahoney 
received the wrath of the people, who considered the situation one 
more example of O'Mahoney's failure to represent Wyoming's 
interests in the Senate. 

Like the wool crisis, the Legget case and the Veterans Admin- 
istration budget cuts in Sheridan County, there were several issues 
which reached maximum importance in Natrona County. The 
people of Casper, the center of Wyoming's oil industry, were espe- 
cially concerned with Senator O'Mahoney's stand on the tidelands 
issue, which they saw as threatening local control of natural 
resources. The consolidation of Wyoming's federal land offices 
in Cheyenne, and the removal of the Casper office, all under a 
Democratic administration, caused a tremendous amount of hard 
feelings against O'Mahoney in Casper. And even without these 
issues, the fact that Governor Barrett had managed to get commit- 
ments from many oil companies during the 1950 gubernatorial race 
meant that Senator O'Mahoney could not hope to gain these oil 
companies' support.^^ 

In appraising the role of Natrona County in Senator O'Ma- 
honey's defeat in 1952, an article in the Western Political Quarterly 
in 1953 focused its attention on the oil industry and the wool 
growers.'"' Finding it significant that "Natrona's economy is dom- 
inated by oil and wool," the article went on to say that "Senator 
O'Mahoney had undeniably done a great deal for these interests 
but it was clear that the interests felt he had not done enough 

86. For a review of the R. F. C. loan scandals of the era, see Jules Abels, 
The Truman Scandals (Chicago: Henry Regney Co., 1956). Abels has 
several chapters on R. F. C. scandals. 

87. OMC, File Box 168, FF: O'M Comm: Independent Offices. 

88. Frank L. Bowron, oral interview, Laramie, Wyoming, September 29, 

89. John T. Hinckley, 'Wyoming,' in "The 1952 Elections in the Eleven 
Western States," Western Political Quarterly, Volume 6, Number 1 (March 
1953), pp. 93-138. This lengthy article was edited by Hugh A. Bone. 


recently."^*' Furthermore, economic interests do not like to sup- 
port a candidate that eventually loses, nor do they like to oppose 
an eventual winner. Thus, much of Governor Barrett's support 
from the oil and wool interests came more from shrewd politics 
than from actual complaints against O'Mahoney: 

That two interests, oil and wool, came close to formal opposition to 
Senator O'Mahoney suggests that their leaders felt confident of a 
national Republican victory. . . . Congressman Barrett's reputation for 
economic interest representation during his four terms in the House 
made him the perfect alternative [to Senator O'Mahoney] .i^i 

What backing the Senator had among these interest groups was not 
enough to cause them to give him their open support in the face of 
a sure Republican victory. 

With all these problems in Natrona County, it was quite evident 
that the struggle there would be uphill for the Senator. To add to 
his problems, O'Mahoney was notified in late 1951 that a serious 
financial crisis faced the Casper Morning Star, the only Democratic 
newspaper in Natrona County.'*- According to Pat Flannery, the 
Star was losing approximately $7000 a month and was on the 
verge of bankruptcy. Even Ernest Wilkerson, a strong Democrat, 
was threatening to sell his shares of the daily newspaper's stock. 
Democrats in Casper feared that Republican interests might buy 
out the paper and turn it into a mouthpiece for the opposition. 
Jack Scott, a Democrat and part owner of the Star, indicated his 
willingness to take over more shares of stock as a tax deduction if 
the Democrats would guarantee $35,000 to keep the paper going 
until after the 1952 elections. This deal was never arranged, and 
in September, 1951, Flannery wrote to the Senator describing the 
folding up of the Star as a daily and the decision by its owners 
(which no longer included Ernest Wilkerson) to print the paper as 
a weekly.^'^ The loss of this daily "propaganda" in the year before 
the election, in a crucial county, was a serious blow to the Senator 
in his bid for re-election. 

This combination of issues and circumstances in Natrona and 
Sheridan counties, then, doubtlessly contributed a great deal to 
Frank Barrett's election to the U. S. Senate in 1952. The two 
counties were central to the Barrett victory for two main reasons — 
their large margins in favor of Barrett and the fact that O'Ma- 
honey's loss in them was far out of proportion to his previous races. 
They were not the only important counties in 1952, nor were they 

90. Hinckley, op. cit., p. 137. 

91. Hinckley, op. cit., p. 137. 

92. Pat Flannery, Ft. Laramie, memo to O'Mahoney, September 4. 1951, 
OMC, File Box 154, FF: Memos from Pat Flannery. 

93. Pat Flannery, Ft. Laramie, letter to O'Mahoney, September 17. 1951, 
OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 


the only counties with local issues.''^ But Joe O'Mahoney had 
always done relatively better in both counties than Barrett had 
done, and his loss of the two counties by a total margin of 4087 
votes was disastrous to his campaign. Johnson, Park and Fremont 
counties also cost O'Mahoney many votes, but they were strongly 
Republican and "strongly Barrett" counties which the Senator had 
little chance of winning. It was the reversals in counties such as 
Natrona, Sheridan, Big Horn and Hot Springs — counties which he 
might have won — which cost O'Mahoney the election. And of 
these four counties, Natrona and Sheridan were by far the most 


D wight D. Eisenhower became President of the United States 
in 1952 with a landslide victory over Adlai E. Stevenson. Looking 
back on the campaign, most political analysts agreed that Eisen- 
hower's personal popularity and the Korean War were the deciding 
factors in the Republican victory. -'-^ As the pollster, Louis Harris, 
stated, "If one were to find a single, basic root cause out of which 
the impatience and protest of 1952 grew, it would have to be the 
failure of the Administration to bring the Korean fighting to a 
successful close."'"' 

Senator O'Mahoney was content to apply this same type of 
reasoning to explain his defeat in the Wyoming Senate election. 
In answering friends' and constituents' letters in the months follow- 
ing the election, O'Mahoney continually returned to the theme of 
Eisenhower's popularity and the Korean conflict as the reasons for 
the Republican victory. Writing to Mrs. Oliver M. Presbrey of 
New York in December, O'Mahoney called himself "a political 
casualty of the Korean War.""" In several other letters, he empha- 
sized General Eisenhower's promise to go to Korea as the over- 

94. In Fremont County, for instance, farmers on the Riverton Reclama- 
tion Project were exceedingly displeased with federal efforts to make the 
Project lands irrigable, and had complained to Senator O'Mahoney about 
their problems several times in the past. In the 1952 election, all the 
Project precincts voted for Barrett. For an analysis of the problem, see 
LGFC. File Box 2, FF: Memoranda — 1952, and W. M. Haight, Riverton, 
letter to O'Mahoney, November 24, 1952, OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 

95. "Social Revolution or Housecleaning?" New Republic, Volume 
CXXVII, November 24, 1952, pp. 12-13; Louis Harris, Is There a Repub- 
lican Majority? (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954), p. 23; Ronald J. 
Caridi, The Korean War and American Politics: The Republican Party as a 
Case Study (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968), passim. 

96. Harris, op. cit., p. 23. 

97. O'Mahoney, letter to Mrs. Oliver M. Presbrey, New York, December 
24. 1952, OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 


whelming cause of Governor Barrett's triumph. In November, 
for instance, he wrote: 

Reviewing the Senatorial election now, I feel that Eisenhower's 
promise to go to Korea, and the manner in which the Republicans 
capitalized this statement to convince unwary voters that it meant the 
end of the war, switched enough votes in the last several days to make 
the difference between victory and defeat/'^ 

Much of the Senator's post-election correspondence with friends 
stressed the Republican presidential candidate's role in the general 
Democratic defeat. O'Mahoney liked to remind people that Eisen- 
hower received 63 percent of Wyoming's vote, while Frank Barrett 
could only manage 5 1 percent.'-*" In attempting to console a fellow 
Wyoming Democrat after the election, O'Mahoney suggested that 
"Our democratic [sic] friends throughout the State should re- 
member that this was an Eisenhower landslide, not a Republican 

In only a few letters to close friends and fellow senators, did 
O'Mahoney admit that other issues besides the Korean War and 
Dwight D. Eisenhower had had some influence in Wyoming's 
Senate election. Four letters which he wrote to friends between 
November 10 and November 12 listed the "submerged lands" 
(tidelands) as second in importance only to the Korean War as 
an issue. ^"^^ But O'Mahoney failed to mention this issue in other 
correspondence, and aside from a few references to falling agri- 
cultural prices, he did not bring up any other issues. 

Pat Flannery, O'Mahoney's political assistant, was as convinced 
as O'Mahoney that Eisenhower and Korea were the keys to 
Governor Barrett's victory. In his final election analysis, Flannery 
tried to absolve Wyoming's Democrats of the blame for O'Ma- 
honey's defeat: 

This was not a defeat of the Democratic Party by the Republican 
Party or the Democratic principles of government by the Republican 
principles. It was a victory of a magic name which had been a house- 
hold word and idol in most American homes for the past 10 years. 
Without this magic name, O'Mahoney would have been re-elected by 

98. O'Mahoney, letter to Robert Chaffin, Torrington, November 15, 
1952. OMC, File Box 170, FF: Campaign. Similar statements can be 
found in O'Mahoney's letters to John Bentley, Laramie, December 11, 1952 
and to Tom Rees, Laramie, December 13, 1952, OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 

99. O'Mahoney, letter to Mrs. Virginia J. Mann, New York. OMC. File 
Box 44, no folder. 

100. O'Mahoney, letter to Lowell O. Stephens, Cheyenne, December 29, 
1952. OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 

101. O'Mahoney, letter to Mike Mansfield, November 10, 1952; O'Ma- 
honey, letter to Thurman Arnold, Washington, D. C, November 10. 1952; 
O'Mahoney, letter to Maurice Rosenblatt, New York, November 10, 1952; 
O'Mahoney, letter to Senator Lister Hill, Washington, D. C. November 12, 
1952— all in OMC, Scrapbook J J. 


a majority equal or exceeding the largest majority he ever received in 
previous elections, and Bob Rose would have probably been the next 
Congressman. i*J- 

Surprisingly, Governor Barrett did not try to take personal credit 
for defeating Wyoming's senior senator. In his response to a 
U. S. News & World Report inquiry, Barrett emphasized the role 
of national issues in the Wyoming election. His telegram to the 
news magazine read: 

People wanted complete change, were solidly behind Eisenhower 
and wanted to support him with a Republican Senator. Contributing 
factors were stalemate in Korea, mess in Washington, as well as 
local factors. . . A*^-^ 

Constituents and friends who wrote to the Senator after his 
defeat had various explanations for his failure to gain re-election. 
One woman, obviously a Barrett supporter, sent O'Mahoney a 
"crying towel" with a donkey sewn on it, and wrote that she was 
pleased that finally the "pinko supporters were being run out of 
office. "^"^ Senator James E. Murray of Montana, in explaining to 
O'Mahoney why he thought Barrett won, said that "I understand 
that the sheep and wool people worked openly against you."^^'' 
During the campaign rumors had existed to the effect that Texas 
and California oil companies, angry about O'Mahoney's stand on 
the tidelands question, were spending vast sums of money in 
Wyoming to help defeat the Senator. O'Mahoney, himself, was 
convinced that the accusation was true, and several friends wrote 
to him after the election indicating that they held the same behef. 
U. T. McCurry of Los Angeles wrote to O'Mahoney about meeting 
Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman and of being told by 
Chapman that "the Hunt oil interests of Texas spent about one 
million dollars to defeat you."^*^*^ Most of O'Mahoney's corre- 
spondents, however, agreed with the Senator that General Eisen- 
hower's coattails were the controlling factor in the election, and 
that O'Mahoney was "one of the victims of the terrible five-starred 
catastrophe. "^"^^ 

The Eisenhower landslide doubtlessly had a great deal to do with 

102. Pat Flannery, "1952 Election," LGFC, File Box 2, FF: Election 
Material, 1952. 

103. '"Why I Won'— 'Why I Lost,'" U. S. News & World Report, 
Volume XXXin, November 14, 1952, p. 83. 

104. Rebecca R. Wyncoop, Casper, letter to O'Mahoney, not dated, 
OMC, File Box 168, FF: O'M Personal. 

105. James Murray, Montana, letter to O'Mahoney, November 22, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 44, no folder. 

106. U. T. McCurry, Los Angeles, letter to O'Mahoney, December 2, 
1952, OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 

107. Peter D. Vroom, Chicago, letter to O'Mahoney, November 11, 1952, 
OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 


Governor Barrett's victory over Senator O'Mahoney in 1952. But 
a closer look at Wyoming politics, the state Democratic party, and 
Joseph C. O'Mahoney reveals a set of circumstances that boded ill 
for the Senator, regardless of national issues. Wyoming is gen- 
erally a Republican state, and for a Democratic candidate to 
succeed in the state, his party must show unusual zeal. The New 
Deal years had helped Wyoming's Democratic party and they had 
helped Joe O'Mahoney; both had prospered from the national 
swing toward the party of Franklin Roosevelt. By 1952, however, 
the political benefit of being a "New Dealer" was gone and 
Wyoming's Democrats faced a difficult task. Unfortunately for 
O'Mahoney and his party, they continued to act as if they could 
still campaign on their New Deal record and past Republican 

Wyoming's Republicans were well prepared for the 1952 cam- 
paign and took advantage of Democratic inertia to control the 
contest. John T. Hinckley, analyzing the 1952 Wyoming election 
for the Western Political Quarterly, observed that: 

Wyoming politics has probably never seen such co-ordinated and 
concentrated use of local and county partisans as that demonstrated by 
the Republicans in 1952. By contrast, the Democratic effort was 
notably lacking in organization, supervision, or lower echelon activity. 
Indeed the party failed even to nominate candidates for fourteen seats 
in the legislature. i'^^ 

For some reason, in the face of the greatest challenge of his 
career. Senator O'Mahoney and the Democrats put on one of the 
most lackluster, lethargic and disorganized campaigns in many 
years. The Wyoming Democratic Party in 1952 was lacking in 
central leadership, direction and organization. In the primary 
election, for instance, five rather antagonistic candidates battled for 
the party's nomination for the U. S. House of Representatives. ^*^^'^ 
The Republicans, on the other hand, had only one candidate for 
that position. To further complicate the Democrats' problems, 
many of the party leaders became embittered with each other when 
they could not decide whether to support Estes Kefauver, Adlai E. 
Stevenson or some other presidential candidate at the national 
convention. In addition, not everyone was satisfied with the work 
of the state Democratic chairman, Raymond B. Whitaker.^^" Cer- 
tainly, these problems were not totally Senator O'Mahoney's fault, 
but as the head of Wyoming's Democrats and the major party 

108. Hinckley, op. cit., p. 136. 

109. The five candidates were Alice de Mauriac Hammond. Frank M. 
Thomas, Sidney G. Kornegay, Carl A. Johnson and Robert R. Rose, Jr. 
Rose was the victor. 

110. Mrs. Velma Funda, Casper, letter to Pat Flannerv, June 9, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 169, no folder. 


candidate running for office in 1952, he had the responsibiUty of 
seeing that they were ironed out. 

One very serious situation which hurt the Democratic cause in 
Wyoming in 1952, was the presence of Robert R. Rose on the state 
ticket as candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives. Rose 
was a Casper attorney and former mayor who, with the help of 
Senator O'Mahoney, had become an Assistant Secretary of the 
Interior in 1951. Rose was not particularly well liked across the 
state, and when he began to receive increased income from oil 
leases which he held, his integrity was called into question. Mrs. 
Velma Funda, a Casper Democrat, wrote to Senator O'Mahoney in 
April 1952, before Rose was nominated for Congress, and sug- 
gested that the Senator not even send Rose to Casper to campaign 
for him, since the news around Casper was that O'Mahoney got 
Rose the job with the Interior Department so that "both could 
become millionaires from oil leases. "^^^ 

Unfortunately for the Democrats, this accusation did not prevent 
Rose from entering politics in 1952. After a bitterly fought pri- 
mary campaign, he defeated his four opponents and became the 
Democratic nominee for Congress. He did very poorly in the 
election, carrying only Carbon and Sweetwater counties. In his 
home county, Natrona, he fared even worse than Senator O'Ma- 
honey, losing to William Henry Harrison 10,476 votes to 5832 
votes. ^^- 

After the election. Senator O'Mahoney received several letters 
from Wyomingites who claimed that it was his support of Rose 
which lost him his Senate seat. A. J. Hardendorf of Lander wrote 
that he agreed with the majority of people to whom he spoke that 
O'Mahoney's support of Rose cost him the election because Rose 
had very little support even within the Democratic Party. ^^'^ An- 
other constituent told O'Mahoney in a letter that: 

I think the worst thnig you did was probably bringing about the 
appointment of Robert Rose to the position of Assistant Secretary of 
the Interior. I give you credit for having the understanding to judge 
men well enough to know that Rose was in no way qualified for this 
position, that his past experience did not justify it. . . . If you had 

HI. Mrs. Velma Funda, Casper, letter to O'Mahoney, April 10, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. Pat Flan- 
nery answered Mrs. Funda's letter for O'Mahoney, explaining that Rose's 
oil leases were perfectly legal as he had held them before he accepted his 
job in Washington, D. C. Flannery's letter to Mrs. Funda is filed in the 
Senator's papers along with her letter to O'Mahoney. 

112. 1953 Wyoming Official Directory and 1952 Election Returns, op. 
cit., p. 57. 

113. A. J. Hardendorf, Lander, letter to O'Mahoney, December 27, 1952, 
OMC, File Box 44, no folder. 


appointed me the Queen of Sheba it would not have been any 
worse, ii'* 

Whatever the merits of Rose's candidacy, or his qualifications 
for the Interior Department position, his unpopularity and conse- 
quent poor showing in the election hurt the Democrats in 1952. 
In a Republican year, they needed a strong ticket, not a ticket that 
failed even to unite their own party. 

The worst shortcoming of Wyoming's Democrats in 1952 was 
the miserable condition of the county party organizations. Senator 
O'Mahoney received numerous letters from across the state com- 
plaining that the county organizations were doing little or nothing 
for the campaign. George C. McCormick, writing to O'Mahoney 
from Thermopolis in April 1952, explained that "In this county we 
are handicapped by our chairman, A. R. Zimmerman being sick 
all the year and spending the winter at Phoenix, leaving no one in 
authority to look after party interests."""' From Sheridan County, 
a key county in the election, O'Mahoney received a report that 
Democrats there "surely are not alive as they never have a meeting 
or do a thing. ""*^ Three weeks before the election, a Natrona 
County Democrat described for O'Mahoney party organization in 
that county: 

I am worried and concerned over the lack of unity and agreement 
in our State and County Democratic Committees in Natrona County, 
also there is no cooperation or seemingly no understanding between 
the two committees.! 1" 

After election day, county Democratic leaders had nothing better 
to say concerning their organizations' efforts. From Douglas, John 
T. Miles wrote to O'Mahoney the day after the election apologizing 
for his county's effort: 

I am ashamed of our showing yesterday. . . . When the polls opened 
on Tuesday, I had two checkers report out of twenty-one. Our State 
Committeeman & his wife both failed to even show up during the day 
& spent the evening with Republicans.ii'^ 

George C. McCormick, who had earlier lamented the Hot Springs 
County Democratic chairman's winter in Phoenix, wrote to O'Ma- 
honey on November 14 that "locally the Democratic organization 

1 14. Charles G. Moore, Dubois, letter to O'Mahoney, November 6 
1952, OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 

115. George C. McCormick, Thermopolis, letter to O'Mahonev. ,\pril 2 
1952, OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

116. Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm M. Hise, Sheridan, letter to O'Mahonev 
August 11, 1952, OMC, File Box 169. no folder. 

117. Mrs. Mary I. Astin. Casper, letter to O'Mahoney. September 11 
1952, OMC, File Box 169, FF: O'M PER: 1952 Campaign Material. 

118. John T. Miles, Douglas, letter to O'Mahoney, November 5. 1952 
OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 


practically failed to function at all."^^'' Goshen County Democrats 
were much more explicit in their letters to O'Mahoney as to what 
had been wrong with the campaign. One obviously irate county 
leader even had some disguised praise for the Republicans in his 
condemnation of Democratic effort: 

Goshen County and its workers didn't do what I wanted them to do, 
nor did they follow up my suggestions and I was terrible disappionted 
[sic}. I have learned from past experiences you can't sit on your 
fanny and expect results, you just have to put out some energy and 
thats what won for the republicans, they put in lots of time and effort, 
they drove miles and miles, held meetings night after night, besides 
standing on streets all day handing out all the rot and trash they could 
think of, besides their women worked with them day and night.^^'J 

In a somewhat more analytical tone, another Goshen County 
Democrat, Robert N. Chaffin, explained to Senator O'Mahoney 
that the results of the election were much better in the precincts 
where good organizations had been built, but that there were just 
too few precincts with good organizations.^-^ 

Individually, these examples of malfunctions within the Demo- 
cratic party in Wyoming may seem insignificant or even humorous, 
but taken together, they indicate a very serious problem — the 
Democrats were simply unorganized in 1952. 

Senator O'Mahoney had become increasingly less popular in the 
years preceding 1952 as the Wyoming electorate began to feel that 
he was not representing Wyoming properly. The Senate race of 
1952 revolved mainly around issues in which the Senator held 
unpopular views and around issues related to the most controver- 
sial aspects of the New Deal and the Truman administration. The 
tidelands issue, the Fallbrook case, the Leggett scandal and the 
Korean War all contained political trouble for O'Mahoney because 
he did not see eye-to-eye with the people of Wyoming concerning 
the main questions involved. O'Mahoney's position was also in 
jeopardy because various Wyoming economic and political inter- 
ests were suffering from conditions which they at least partially 
blamed on the Senator and his party. Many farmers and ranchers 
opposed O'Mahoney because of the general agricultural depression 
and the wool crisis. Casperites were alienated because of the 
removal of the Federal Land Office to Cheyenne. Many Sheridan 
residents resented cuts in the budget for the Veterans Administra- 
tion hospital in that city. The general issues of Communism, 
corruption in government and the Korean War affected all the 

1 19. George C. McCormick, Thermopolis, letter to O'Mahoney, Novem- 
ber 14. 1952, OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 

120. Oliver J. Colyer, Torrington, letter to O'Mahoney, not dated, OMC, 
Scrapbook J J. 

121. Robert N. Chaffin, Torrington, letter to O'Mahoney, November 25, 
1952. OMC, Scrapbook JJ. 


people of Wyoming, and contributed to the overall shift to the 
Republican Party. 

Perhaps without all these unfavorable issues, Senator O'Ma- 
honey could have afforded to run a less-than-perfect campaign and 
could have afforded to let the state Democratic organizations 
fall into a state of inertia. But with the issues against him, 
O'Mahoney's failure to recognize the Wyoming Democratic party 
for the skeleton it was, proved to be his undoing in 1952. And he 
would have had to begin reorganizing the party long before he 
began his campaign in 1952 to have prevented the Republican 

Senator O'Mahoney's predominant weakness as a candidate in 
1952 was the belief held by many Wyomingites that he spent far 
too much time in Washington, and that he returned to Wyoming 
only when he was forced to campaign for re-election. His detrac- 
tors claimed that he never bothered to return to the state to find 
out what the people of Wyoming wanted him to do in the Senate. 
The Republicans used his unpopular stands on such issues to show 
that O'Mahoney either did not know what his constituents desired, 
or else he refused to represent their wishes in Washington. To the 
people of Wyoming, it did not matter if Joe O'Mahoney was 
becoming, to quote Vice President Alben W. Barkley, a "national 
figure, a national statesman." Nineteen years seniority in the U. S. 
Senate did not mean anything to the people of Wyoming if that 
seniority was not used in the best interests of the state, and the 
people believed that they should be the judges of their own best 

This belief that O'Mahoney did not come home enough and that 
he neglected the interests of Wyoming probably hurt him politically 
more than any other issue in the 1952 campaign. But what was 
even more damaging to the Senator's chances for re-election was 
the fact that his long absences from Wyoming had caused him to 
allow his party organization and his political contact with the state 
to degenerate. 

Joe O'Mahoney had been an excellent politician in his time. He 
had headed Wyoming's Democratic party for over two decades. 
He had been Wyoming's all-time record vote getter. He had been 
elected to the U. S. Senate as a Democrat three times in a 
Republican state. But in 1952, he and his party were unprepared, 
or unable, or unwilling to wage an effective campaign. Strate- 
gists for both parties were aware that the vote in 1952 would 
likely be a record vote. But only Wyoming's Republican party 
was ready to capitalize on this possibility, and through superb 
organization and campaign effort it successfully courted the state's 
new voters and the independent vote. O'Mahoney and the Demo- 
crats, on the other hand, failed to realize the work it would take 
to beat Frank Barrett. Barrett was very well known and well liked 
across the state. Most of the new voters were probably aware of 


his record as governor, or had seen him campaign in 1950. On 
the contrary, O'Mahoney had not campaigned since 1946, and the 
new voters were not as likely to be familiar with his past accom- 
plishments since the U. S. Senate is not as close to home as the 
state governor's mansion. 

With the prospect of a record voter turn out, and most of the 
issues favoring the Republicans, O'Mahoney's only chance for 
victory was to inform as many people as possible of his past record 
and of the benefits of keeping him in the Senate. But the Senator 
and his party put out far too little effort to accomplish this objective 
in 1952. The county and state Democratic organizations were in 
poor condition, with little coordination between them and less en- 
thusiasm for their task. O'Mahoney, himself, did not seem to take 
seriously the difficulty of defeating Governor Barrett. He took 
Barrett's good showing in the primary election lightly. He waited 
until after mid-summer to begin campaigning in earnest. He wait- 
ed until the months before the election to try to combat the 
accusation that he came home far too seldom. During the cam- 
paign, he concentrated his effort in Democratic counties, "preach- 
ing to the faithful," when he should have been out trying to convert 
independents and new voters. This great difference between the 
exertions of the Republicans and the remissness of O'Mahoney and 
the Democrats was reflected in the election. Voter turn out was 
highest in Barrett's strongly Republican counties and lowest in 
O'Mahoney's few Democratic counties. ^-- 

Whether or not Senator O'Mahoney's long tenure in the nation's 
capital had caused him to neglect the wishes of Wyoming's people, 
it certainly had caused him to fail to keep up with Wyoming 
politics. Though one of his favorite accomplishments, O'Ma- 
honey's coveted seniority in the U. S. Senate did him more harm 
than good politically in 1952. While gaining it, he had lost contact 
with the people of Wyoming. In becoming a national statesman, 
he had failed to remain a Wyoming politician. 

122. "Teton County Has Highest Percentage," OMC, Scrapbook GG. 




Abels, Jules. The Truman Scandals. (Chicago: Henry Regney Co., 1956). 
Bernstein, Barton J. "Elections of 1952." History of American Presidential 

Elections. Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Volume IV. (New 

York: Chelsea House, 1971). 
Branyan, Robert and Larsen, Lawrence H. The Eisenhower Administration, 

1953-1961. (New York: Random House, 1971 ). 
Caridi, Ronald J. The Korean War and American Politics: The Republi- 
can Party as a Case Study . (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 

Press, 1968). 
Goldman, Eric F. The Crucial Decade — and After; America, 1945-1960. 

(New York: Random House, 1960). 
Harris, Louis. Is There a Republican Majority?. (New York: Harper and 

Brothers, 1954). 
Larson, T. A. History of Wyoming. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 

Press, 1965). 
Phillips, Cabell B. The Truman Presidency. (New York: The Macmillan 

Company, 1966). 
Richard, John B. Government and Politics of Wyoming. (Dubuque. Iowa: 

W. C. Brown Book Company, 1966). 


Ninneman, Thomas Richard. "Joseph C. O'Mahoney: The New Deal and 
the Court Fight." Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation. University of 
Wyoming, Laramie, 1972. 


U. S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. 1940 Census of 
Population. Volume II, Characteristics of the Population, part 7, 
Utah — Wyoming. Washington, D. C: Government Printing Office, 

. 1950 Census of Agriculture. Volume I, Counties and State 

Economic Areas, part 29, Wyoming and Colorado. Washington, D. C: 
Government Printing Office, 1952. 

1950 Census of Population. Volume II, Characteristics of the 

Population, part 50, Wyoming. Washington, D. C: Government 
Printing Office, 1952. 
Wyoming. Wyoming Official Directory and Election Returns. Compiled 
by the Secretary of State. Cheyenne, Wyoming: 1925, 1935, 1941, 
1943, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953. 


Barrett, Frank A. Collection. Western History Research Center, Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, Laramie. 

. Papers. Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne. 

Flannery, L. G. Collection. Western History Research Center, University 
of Wyoming, Laramie. 

McCraken, Tracy S. Scrapbooks. Wyoming State Historical Department. 

O'Mahoney, Joseph C. Collection. Western History Research Center, 
University of Wyoming, Laramie. 



Bowron, Frank L. September 24, 1972, Laramie, Wyoming. 


Bone, Hugh A. "New Party Associations in the West." The American 
Political Science Review. Volume XLV (1951), pp. 1115-1125. 

"The Fight for the Senate." Time. Volume LX, November 3, 1952, pp. 

"470 Local Elections Will Decide the New President's Congress." Life. 
Volume XXXIII, November 3, 1952, p. 49. 

Gressley, Gene M. "Joseph C. O'Mahoney, FDR, and the Supreme Court." 
Pacific Historical Review. Volume XL (May 1971), pp. 183-202. 

Hinckley, John T. 'Wyoming,' in "The 1952 Elections in the Eleven West- 
ern States." Edited by Hugh A. Bone. Western Political Quarterly. 
Volume VI, Number 1 (March 1953), pp. 93-138. 

"How Parties Line Up for 1952." U. S. News & World Report. Volume 
XXXI, November 30, 1951, pp. 26-27. 

Moley, Raymond. "The Tidelands Issue." Newsweek. Volume XL, Sep- 
tember 15, 1952, p. 108. 

Moore, Carl. "Joseph Christopher O'Mahoney: A Brief Biography." 
Annals of Wyoming. Volume 41, Number 2, October 1969, pp. 159- 

"O'Mahoney for Kendrick." Time. Volume XXIII, January 1, 1934, p. 7. 

"Perspective: Economic Politics." New Republic. Volume CXXVI, March 
24, 1952, p. 7. 

"The Senate Contests." Newsweek. Volume XL, October 27, 1952, p. 34. 

"Senator O'Mahoney Mentioned for High Government Post." Mountain 
States Beet Grower. Volume XV, Number 6 (July and August 1952), 
p. 6. 

"Social Revolution or Housecleaning?" New Republic. Volume CXXVII, 
November 24, 1952, pp. 12-13. 

"The Top Men If Stevenson Wins." U. S. News & World Report. Volume 

XXXIII, August 1, 1952, pp. 31-32. 
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XXXIII, November 14, 1952, p. 83. 



Egg Nog 

Beat the yellows of twelve eggs very light, stir in as much white 
sugar as they will dissolve, pour in gradually one glass of brandy 
to cook the eggs, one glass of old whiskey, one grated nutmeg, and 
three pints of rich milk. Beat the whites to a froth and stir in last. 


Koumiss is prepared by dissolving four ounces of white sugar in 
one gallon of skimmed milk, and placing in bottles of the capacity 
of one quart; add two ounces of baker's yeast, or a cake of com- 
pressed yeast to each bottle. Cork and tie securely, set in a warm 
place until fermentation is well under way, and lay the bottles on 
their sides in a cool cellar. In three days, fermentation will have 
progressed sufficiently to permit the koumiss to be in good con- 


Herbs for Winter 

To prepare herbs for winter use, such as sage, summer savory, 
thyme, mint or any of the sweet herbs, they should be gathered 
fresh in their season, or procure them from the market. Examine 
them well, throwing out all poor sprigs; then wash and shake them; 
tie into small bundles, and tie over the bundles a piece of netting 
or old lace, (to keep off the dust); hang up in a warm, dry place, 
the leaves downward. In a few days the herb will be thoroughly 
dry and brittle. Or you may place them in a cool oven, and let 
them remain in it until perfectly dry. Then pick off the leaves, and 
the tender tops of the stems; put them in a clean, large-mouthed 
bottle that is perfectly dry. When wanted for use, rub fine, and 
sift through a sieve. It is much better to put them in bottles as 
soon as dried, as long exposure to the air causes them to lose 
strength and flavor. 

Hasty Cooked Potatoes 

Wash and peel some potatoes; cut them into slices of about a 
quarter of an inch in thickness; throw them into boiling salted 
water, and, if of good quality, they will be done in about ten 

Strain off the water, put the potatoes into a hot dish, chop them 
slightly, add pepper, salt, and a few pieces of fresh butter, and 
serve without loss of time. 

Excerpts from The White House Cook Book, 1887 

A Keview and Junctional 
Analysis of Siouan Costume 


Lavina M. Franck 

The word "Plains" is no more than a geographic term, but it is 
customarily used to denote those Indian tribes who lived in areas 
between the Rocky Mountains and the Missouri River, and be- 
tween northern Texas and southern Manitoba. Most Plains tribes 
had migrated to this territory from some other place, and have 
occupied this area for only several hundred years. Their tribal 
divisions are the Arapaho, the Assiniboin, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, 
Commanche, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa and the Sioux. 

The cultures of these Plains Indian tribes reached high develop- 
ment and had various commonalities. Ecological exploitation of 
the buffalo sharply distinguishes the Plains tribes from the Wood- 
land, the Basin and the Southwestern tribes. This cultural struc- 
ture was in existence prior to the horse, the fur trade or other 
influences from the white men. All Plains tribes relied upon 
buffalo as an economic base: their nomadic lives were adapted to 
the wandering ways of the buffalo; they ate buffalo meat as their 
main diet; buffalo hides and the hides of such animals as elk and 
antelope provided materials for their clothing; their homes were 
movable tipis covered with the hides of buffalo. There was, in 
Plains Indian cultures, a complete absence of agriculture and fish- 
ing. There was no weaving, no basketmaking and no true pottery 
making. There was little carving done in either wood, bone or 
stone. Tribal organizations were based on the camp circle and 
tribal fraternal and military societies were exclusively male in 
membership. Each tribe had its own distinctive and meaningful 
ceremonies and rituals, it is true, but generally, all Plains Indian 
tribes observed the Sun Dance ceremonies. 

"Sioux" is an abbreviated form of the word "Nadowessioux." 

Field Museum of Natural History 
Illustration No. 1 


An Algonkin word meaning "the snake-like one" or "enemy" was 
"Nadowesiweg." Through much evolution, however, the final form 
of the word, at least as used by the white man, is the one we know 
as "Sioux." "Dakota" was used by members of the Sioux nation 
to mean "friends" or "allies." 

The Sioux first met white men in about mid-seventeenth century. 
At that time the Sioux were living in a mainly agricultural economy 
in an area northwest of the Great Lakes. Another tribe, the 
Ojibwa, was engaged in continuous warfare. The Ojibwa were 
friendly to French fur traders but the Sioux were not, and when 
the French supplied firearms to the Ojibwa, the Sioux were driven 
out of this territory into a western area along the Mississippi River. 
Eventually, the Sioux gave up all phases of their former agricultural 
ways and adopted a life style in harmony with their new territory, 
the Plains. 

There was, to be sure, a branch of Siouan stock which had 
migrated from the Middle West to settle in the river areas of the 
Santee and Peedee of the Carolinas, leaving their kin to migrate 
upwards to the Dakotas. The present study, however, will not 
include the eastern group. 

Then, because their existence was dependent upon the buffalo, 
the Sioux developed a hunting, nomadic culture. They lived in the 
center of buffalo areas and buffalo became their main food source. 
From buffalo bones were made tools and from buffalo hides wear- 
ing apparel, tipis, shields and many accessories. By the beginning 
of the nineteenth century the Sioux had fully established themselves 
as a buffalo-hunting culture. They had adopted the horse to their 
use and were expert horsemen. They had established, too, their 
reputation as a warlike nation. Siouan life had become essentially 
one of wandering and warfare. 

The clothing patterns of any culture depend upon degrees of 
technological expertise as well as upon the materials available in a 
physical environment. For the Sioux, the major source of clothing 
material was the hide of buffalo, elk and deer. A tanned deerskin 
is referred to as a buckskin. When skin was dehaired and scraped 
but not tanned, it is referred to as rawhide. Generally, rawhide 
was used, to mention some examples, in the construction of moc- 
casin soles, shields, drums and storage cases. 

When skins were to be attached together, they were cut and 
edges were perforated with a bone awl. Then the cut pieces were 
attached by threading sinew through the perforations. All of this 
was the work of tribal women. It has been observed that the 
clothing of northern Plains tribes was fitted more closely than that 
of southern Indians. With the exception of the buffalo robe, most 
clothing for both sexes was fitted, or anatomical. Probably the 
protective value of a fitted garment worn in winter cold was a 
discovery of those northern tribal women. 



While clothing of all Plains Indians was similar in form and 
materials, their decorative details differed among the southern, 
central and northern tribes. At one time, before much trading with 
the whites, garb was a truly distinguishable clue to tribal origin. 
Southern Plains costumes were usually undecorated excepting for 
the lavish use of fringe; fringing had become a highly developed 
technique among southern tribes. The central Plains Indians used 

decorative details in amounts 
varying according to their lo- 
cation north or south. 

Most northern Plains Indi- 
ans, including the Sioux, deco- 
rated their clothing in various 
applied designs. Animal and 
human hair, fur, bead and quill 
embroidery were favored for 
decorative uses and paints, 
from pigments of both plant 
and earthen origin, served to 
decorate both body and cloth- 
ing. Ornaments such as ear- 
rings of shells, quilled arm- 
bands, gorgets of shells and 
claw necklaces were added. 

A general review of Sioux 
clothing shows that there was 
not a wide variety of clothing. 
Each sex had a distinctive 
mode of dress but there were 
few main pieces for each sex. 
The following descriptions of 
Sioux clothing mention those 
worn during the eighteenth and 
early nineteenth centuries and 
before the Sioux met the white 

Principal items of clothing 
for the Sioux male were his 
robe, breechclout, shirt, leg- 
gings, moccasins, belt and 
headgear; cuffs and gauntlets 
were usually reserved for cere- 
monial wear. A buffalo robe, 
when used at all, was the main 
Field Museum of Natural History covering of his body; a whole 
Illustration No. 2 hide was used. Every man wore 

YELLOW HAIR, ROSEBUD SIOUX a breechclout made of soft 



skin measuring about a foot wide and four to six feet long. It was 
worn by being passed between the legs and pulled under his belt at 
both front and back; the ends hung down in an apron effect. The 
leggings of the Sioux man extended from ankle to thigh and were 
held by thongs attached to their tops, and tied to a waist-belt. 
These belts were made of narrow strips of skin and worn around 
the waist to hold up the breechclout, and to serve as a support for 
the leggings and knife sheaths. Generally, the early Plains Indians 
did not wear shirts. However, the Sioux did begin the use of the 
shirt from some distant, early time, and presumably found them 
another protection against the cold. During winter months fur 
mittens were worn by both sexes. 

Usually, Sioux men did not wear caps except during cold weath- 
er. Many types of headgear were significantly connected with 
ceremonial and ritual. The war bonnet was worn by certain men 

Field Museum of Natural History 
Illustration No. 3 


of the tribe and was of two types: some in which feathers were 
placed straight up, and others whose feathers sloped at an angle 
from the headband. Siouan war bonnets were of the latter type, 
slanting backward and flaring out. Sometimes the cap, or crown, 
of the bonnet was trimmed with fur and hollow horns. (Illus- 
tration 1 ) 

Customary footgear of the Sioux was the moccasin. A type 
common to the Plains Indians had a hair-leather sole and an upper 
body extending to the ankle-bone. Finely worked bands of flat- 
tened porcupine-quill decoration grace the uppers of some fine 
Siouan moccasins in the collections of the Field Museum of Natural 
History in Chicago. Except through use, there is no discernible 
right or left foot in the shaping of the moccasin. 

As with men's clothing, Siouan women's apparel consisted of but 
a few main pieces, the robe, dress, leggings and footwear. Her 
buffalo robe was similar to that of the man's. Her dress, which 
was her main body covering, might be either of two main styles: 
one was made by sewing two skins up the sides and across the top; 
leaving the arm and neck openings; the other was more complex 
in that a bodice sleeve unit was attached to a skirt unit with a 
waistline seam. The woman's leggings usually reached from ankle 
to knee and were kept in place by a garter tied around the calf. 
Her moccasins were similar to those of the man although her belt 
over the dress was much wider than a man's belt. 

Children usually went naked, when weather permitted, for their 
first several years, especially so in summer and in the tipi during 
winter. As children grew older, they were dressed in the styling 
of adults. 

The role that clothing plays within any cultural group can be 
understood by analyzing the functions of their clothing since 
apparel and adornment are part of the integral social patterning of 
all societies. An analysis of function involves the examination of 
instrumental and expressive functions of a group's clothing and 
adornment, and in such analysis, a particular item of clothing may 
serve as either an instrumental or expressive function, or both — 

Instrumental function denotes the service of clothing to the 
wearer. Clothing may be worn by the human being for protection 
from his physical and social environment — to keep warm or dry, 
to fend off an enemy's weapons, or to keep evil spirits at bay. And 
garments may be used in an instrumental way such as in an intent 
to realize a desired goal, to get a job, a social status or attract a 
mate. Instrumental function of apparel is evident also in the 
special ritual garb of rites of passage; the wearer of this special 
clothing moves from one status to another, as in a wedding, a 
baptism or in the granting of collegiate degrees. 


Expressive functions of clothing suggest its communicative as- 
pects. In this function, clothing may be said to transmit some 
message about the wearer — rank, status, sex, age, occupation, and 
occasionally, religion. Within the implications of expressive func- 
tion, the wearer announces his position in his own social grouping. 

A functional analysis of clothing and adornment is applicable 
to the relationship between garb and mores of any social order. 
But in this present writing, the clothing and adornment of the 
Sioux, or Dakota, Indian nation only is under analytical considera- 
tion for their intertwining relationship of garb to social patterns. 

Siouan men and women learned to endure a harsh physical 
environment which turned searing hot summers and freezing win- 
ters upon them. They were able to live through these climatic 
extremes partly because they adapted and used clothing as pro- 
tection against those adverse elements. 

The buffalo robe was an important body covering for both men 
and women. This hide was well suited in its function as a robe 
because of its size and its pliable texture. In winter these robes 
were worn with the hair turned inwards. For summer use such 
skins were scraped and dehaired so that they were thinner and 
lighter and consequently cooler. 

The moccasin was constructed of an upper body of soft skin for 
ease in wearing, but a tough rawhide sole gave the wearer pro- 
tection against rough terrain on the Plains. Moccasins made of 
buffalo skin, with the fur intact, were worn during winter, and 
men's shirts were cut and fitted so that, in cold weather, a protec- 
tive defense for the body was created. It is interesting that usual 
Plains Indian attire did not allow for pockets. A belt provided a 
device on which to hang bags, pouches and knife-sheaths. 

Activities of Sioux men centered around hunting and warfare. 
Some of their clothing developed as devices to protect the warrior 
in battle, but interpretation of this varied. A warrior or hunter 
gained what freedom of movements he thought necessary during 
these activities by eliminating as many items of clothing as possible; 
he might wear only his breechclout and moccasins during a battle 
so that he would not be hampered by restricting clothing. How- 
ever, other Siouan men dressed in their finest garb, such as buck- 
skin shirts, leggings, arm bands and bone breastplates in the belief 
that, should they die in battle, their enemies would see them at 
their best. 

Generally, all warriors wore insignia that would assure them 
magic protection in battle. These insignia or amulets were taken 
from birds or animals they admired, such as hair from the buffalo, 
claws from the bear or feathers from the eagle. To some extent 
all animals were of some sacred symbolism to the Indian mind for 
the Sioux lived constantly with these creatures, and a wealth of 
tribal legends and familiar associations attributed magical powers 
to certain beasts. To wear some such amulet was a way in which 


a human might gain an inherent quahty of that bird or animal or 
that some special ability of that animal might be transferred to him. 

The buffalo and some other large animals were revered by the 
Sioux for special powers of strength and stamina. After all, the 
buffalo was the most important of four-legged animals; it supplied 
their food, their clothing and even their houses, which were made 
from its tanned hide. How natural then that this magnificent 
animal, containing all these splendid qualities, should be to the 
Sioux a symbol of the universe! 

Shirts and shields decorated with the painted figure of a bear 
would impart the fierceness of the savage bear to the user of these 
implements. During some ceremonial dances deerskin armbands 
were worn so that the dancer would have the deer's fleetness and 
grace of movement. Carrying an amulet to which owl feathers 
were attached gave one the owl's special ability to see in the dark. 
The design of a turtle had its own special meaning. 

Eagle feathers were highly prized among all Plains tribes and 
were used both as war insignia and as ritual symbols. A war 
bonnet of eagle feathers could transfer the courage and speed of 
the eagle to the bonnet wearer; a war shield painted and decorated 
with eagle feathers had similar special powers. Golden eagle 
feathers were especially prized. Since the spotted eagle flies higher 
than all creatures and sees everything, he is akin to the sun; his 
feathers are veritable rays of the sun and when the warrior carries 
one of these feathers, the wearer actually becomes the eagle, and 
those all-surveying powers are transferred to the Indian himself. 

Some warriors embellished their shields with cabalistic designs 
which appeared to them in visions and dreams. Such vision- 
inspired designs were thought to have supernatural elements of 
protection and might be painted on various war weapons. The 
Indian might always carry with him this symbol, whether inspired 
from vision or from material animal or object, so that its power 
could always guide him; he might feel himself actually identified 
with that principle. 

Amuletic devices were used also for other reasons than those of 
protection in battle. For example, the birth of a child was a happy 
event in a family and during the mother's pregnancy, the grand- 
mother of the unborn child made two earthen-clay lizards or tor- 
toises. A lizard, or a tortoise, is difficult to kill and their special 
inherent powers were invoked in a symbolistic transfer to the 
unborn child to assure viable delivery. After the child's birth, one 
animal amulet would serve as a receptacle for the umbilical cord 
and the other was additional protection to the child in warding off 
evil forces. The amulet was attached to the child when he was old 
enough to walk and wear clothing. 

The culture of the Plains Indians was rich in symbolistic ritual 
and the Sioux tribes were no exception. Sioux ceremonies included 
offerings, prayers for protection, celebrations of victories, laments 


for the dead, and the Sun Dance. Special rituals were celebrated 
before hunts and battles, usually as entreaties for protection against 
enemy arrows and evil spirits. 

The Sun Dance was a major sacred ceremony which would last 
for some days, and usually was an annual occurrence. For this 
ceremony, the male participants wore special garb and painted their 
bodies and faces. Buffalo hides, rabbit skins, red and blue paint, 
eagle feathers and other skins had appareling use in these rituals. 

There were many varieties of buffalo dances and ceremonies. 
Sometimes dance participants would be dressed to represent an 
entire buffalo herd. In other variations, only the buffalo mask 
and tail might be used by participants in the ceremonies. 

Clothing and adornment, including body paint, had their role in 
all these various rites. Special ceremonies called for special cloth- 
ing for the participant — special in that the garments were different 
from everyday attire. For instance, a breechclout when used as 
ritual dress was longer than the everyday one — its apron-Uke ends 
hung to the ankle-bones of the wearer. Ceremonial breechclouts 
were decorated while those used every day were not. Women's 
dresses for ceremonial and gala use were heavily embellished with 
quilled or beaded embroidery, elk's teeth or shells. Ceremonial 
leggings and moccasins for both men and women were richly 
ornamented with dyed quill work or beads. (Illustrations 1 and 2) 

The Sioux made face and body paint from earth as well as from 
organic sources. Various parts of the body were painted for 
various reasons: as protection against the sun, wind and insects; 
symbolic markings which represented membership in certain soci- 
eties; for performance of brave deeds; and also for personal decor- 
ation without significant symbolism. 

Coloration in decoration did not carry the same meanings to all 
tribes but was particular and individual instead. Generally then, 
black represented death, red represented hfe, yellow was symbolic 
of joy; white indicated peace and purity, while blue could have the 
meanings of sadness, trouble or sky. 

Possession of a scalp was symbohc of victory, and related to the 
ritualistic belief that the human spirit was in the human hair. 
Taking an enemy's scalp was part of the retahatory aspects of 
battle for if the enemy were not scalped, his spirit would seek 
vengeance upon its slayer. Scalp dances honored successful war- 
riors and celebrated war victories. During these dances scalps 
were hung from poles and carried by the warriors' mothers and 
sisters dressed in their very best clothing. In the dance ritual, 
warriors who were garbed in imitation of birds or animals imitated 
the sounds and movements of these creatures. Sometimes such 
dancers affected feathered bustles and horns. Body paint was 
integral to the scalp dance and black facial paint was used by all 
dance participants as a symbol of victory. 

Some rituals were reserved to the women only. Young Sioux 


maidens participated in a puberty ceremony; after her first stay in 
the women's retreating lodge, she was dressed in new garments and 
new paint was applied to her face to show that she had become a 
woman. Virtue among Sioux women was highly valued and every 
woman had the responsibility of defending herself. When she was 
away from the family tipi, she carried a knife in her belt for self- 
protection. She wore, also, a chastity belt of soft doeskin when- 
ever she went beyond the purlieu of family authority. 

Every tribe had various male organizations whose special inter- 
ests related to warfare, and prowess in war was much emphasized 
among the Sioux. Although, individually, such societies might 
differ from each other in structure, each had its own symbols, 
initiation rituals and dances. Usually the main purpose of such a 
society was the waging of war upon the enemy but secondary 
functions could include service as tribal police and as escort guards 
during the great buffalo hunts. 

One of the best-known soldier societies was a group called the 
Sioux Strong Hearts. Members of this association, to mark the 
bravest of their brave warriors, sometimes wore otter-skin sashes 
which draped over one shoulder and hung to the ground. On the 
battlefield a sash-wearer might pin his sash to the ground and vow 
never to retreat; the staked sash would not be removed no matter 
how fierce the battle waxed. However, should the warrior's entire 
lines have to retreat, his fellow warriors removed the stake from 
the sash to relieve him physically from the battle and symbolically 
from his vow. But had the warrior himself removed that stake 
from his sash, he would be forever disgraced in the sight of his 
fellow warriors. 

Courtship among Siouan young people was observed in a series 
of fixed procedures. When a young man desired to talk to a 
maiden, he would meet her in front of her family's tipi. If they 
wanted to talk privately, he might enfold both himself and the girl 
in his robe. During courtship the young man paid more attention 
to his personal grooming, used perfumed grease, wore his finest 
robe, displayed his best beaded or quilled moccasins and brushed 
his hair. The hairbrush he used might be the rough side of a 
dried buffalo tongue, or porcupine bristles tied together with sinew, 
and all this grooming and musking was intended to enhance his 
male sex appeal. During the engagement and at the marriage, 
clothing and horses were given by the young man's family to the 
girl's family. 

Customary burial procedure for the dead was the placing of the 
dead body on a scaffold or up in a tree. In preparation of the 
man's corpse for burial, it was customary to dress him in his finest 
clothing, which might include beaded-sole moccasins and eagle 
feathers for the hair. The body was then wrapped in a buffalo 
robe along with his war weapons, war paint and amulets and tied 
with thongs to form a large bundle which was then placed on a 


scaffold. When a woman or girl died, her sewing kit and awl were 
included in the bundle with the body. Traditional mourning for 
the dead decreed that relatives slash their bodies, cut their hair and 
paint their faces. 

When a warrior was killed in battle and on enemy ground, he 
should remain unburied. Later, his fellow warriors avenged his 
dead spirit by taking an enemy's scalp during battle to serve as a 
symbol of the dead warrior's spirit. 

Expressive function of clothing is the communication of a mes- 
sage about the wearer, such as rank, status, sex, age and occupa- 
tion. Siouan social structure was built basically around the family 
hunting group. Although leadership might be hereditary, some 
headmen attained their status on their war records, successes in 
hunting, memberships in popular societies and powers attributed to 
visions. Since courage was a prime virtue in the Sioux way of 
hfe, status and social position of leadership were rewards to those 
who excelled in warfare. Acclaim was given to those who dis- 
played fearlessness during battle, and the symbols of such a man's 
prestige and honor were the scalp shirt and eagle-feather war 

The scalp shirt was bestowed as a symbol of bravery. Its wearer 
accepted the scalp shirt during a special ceremony and took upon 
himself responsibility for leadership and good example. Such a 
shirt might be painted either blue and yellow, or red and green, 
with hair from scalps trimming the sleeves and across the shoulders. 
(Illustration 2) Should it happen that the shirt wearer did not 
continue to display courage during battle and buffalo hunts, he had 
to give up his shirt and the status it meant. 

Bravery in the presence of the enemy was particularly honored 
among Siouan warriors. The measure of this honor came to be 
known by the French-Canadian word, coup. Originally awarded 
for striking the enemy, coups were later recognized in other feats of 
bravery and daring, but generally the system of coup was one of 
war honors, i.e. a warrior who struck or touched the enemy "count- 
ed coup.'' The enemy need not be killed since touching him and 
risking death could require greater risk than shooting at him from 
a distance. Each time a warrior "counted coup'' he was allowed 
to symbolize the count by adding a feather in his headdress. A 
warrior's status in his group depended upon his coup count; those 
warriors who had counted many coups were considered to be men 
of great importance. 

The war bonnet of the Plains Indians is his best-known head- 
dress. It was a symbol of the many coups the warriors had counted 
and therefore of his personal merit. Should the rows of feathers 
attached to his headdress hang to the ground, this would indeed 


symbolize the courage of a warrior brave in battle. (Illustration 3 ) 
Eagle feathers were especially prized in this headgear because of 
the Indian's reverence for the courage, striking power and grandeur 
of the eagle. 

Within the system of coups there were various gradations of 
merit — for touching the enemy, for killing the enemy, for scalping 
the enemy and for stealing the enemy's horse. While the eagle 
feather was the usual appareling symbol of the coup, this recog- 
nition could also be made by symbolical designs painted on the 
body and clothing. When a warrior killed an enemy in hand-to- 
hand combat, he won the right to paint a red hand on his clothing 
or on his horse. When a warrior rescued a friend from death dur- 
ing battle, he won the right to paint a cross on his clothing. When 
the rescue was made by carrying his friend on his own horse, a 
double cross was used. Coups were heralded forth also by painted 
vertical stripes on the legs. If the stripes were red, the indication 
was that the wearer had been wounded. Red coup feathers re- 
corded body wounds while notched feathers indicated a wounded 
horse. When the warrior counted coups by stealing horses from 
the enemy, painted horse hoofs on co wp-feathers or leggings 
showed the number of stolen horses. If many horses had been 
stolen, the warrior indicated this heroism by wearing a small rope 
and moccasins attached to his belt. Honor was accorded Siouan 
scouts, for their expertise in finding the enemy, by a symbolic black 
feather torn down the center. 

Some of the ornaments and clothing of a Sioux tribal member, 
signifying status, did not derive from acts of battle. The young 
single man wore a quilled band headdress to which were attached 
two feathers and from which horsehair hung to the middle of the 
back. Sometimes the designs on robes showed a status of the robe 
wearer; a particular robe design could show sex, age or marital 
status of the wearer. Young girls who had not reached maturity 
wore their hair braided down the back and tied with pendants. 
Those who had attained maturity wore their hair braided over the 

Bear claw necklaces, shell earrings for pierced ears and shell 
gorgets might demonstrate degrees and types of status. Sex was 
indicated by the arrangement of shell or bone beads in the gorget 
or breastplate. A man's gorget was constructed so that parallel 
rows of beads or shells were arranged horizontally. A woman's 
neckline was put together so that parallel rows of shells or beads 
were strung vertically. Most gorgets or breastplates were long and 
sometimes reached to below the waistline. (Illustration 1) 

Among the Sioux the roles of men's and women's apparel were 
distinctive and separate. Each sex was identified with specific 
forms of clothing. Men wore the typical male garb and women 
the typical female garb, as already described. 

Among the Sioux there were occasionally males who could not 


compete in such activities as war and hunt, and managed to avoid 
these activities by adopting the role of women and wearing wom- 
en's clothing. In addition, they adopted activities usual to women, 
such as tanning and quilling, and live in their own tipis placed 
near an outside edge of the camp circle. These male transvestites 
were not ostracized from their tribal group and were feared some- 
what : since they had the bodies of men and hearts of women, they 
might possess supernatural powers. 

Sex was indicated to some extent, too, with the type of design 
which decorated clothing. Both men and women wore a spider- 
web design on their robes but some robes had red horizontal stripes 
and were worn by women and children. Unmarried women's robes 
usually were decorated with a row of shell medallions across the 
bottom edge. Unmarried men's robes bore horizontal bands of 
quill work and four large decorative medallions. 

The fashion of how a robe was to be worn was left much to 
individual tastes but generally the animal head was worn to the left. 
A woman hung her robe over both shoulders while a man arranged 
one end under his left arm and one side over his left shoulder. 
This arrangement was held in place by a belt. The right arm was 
free for activity. 

Parallel with clothing and role, certain occupations were dis- 
tinctively for either men or women, and were confined to that sex. 
The making of clothing, shelters and other everyday objects was 
assigned to women. Women tanned buffalo hides, cut, sewed and 
decorated clothing, prepared hides and decorated hide coverings 
for the movable tipis and constructed these tipis. Women also 
cooked and dried meats, picked wild berries, gathered roots and 
supplied the wood for campfires. 

Another division of sex was apparent in the types of application 
of decorative designs. A man favored realistic design such as 
might tell the story of a hunt or battle and he painted his own 
shields and decorated his own war lances. Since the Sioux had 
much faith in visions and were inspired to record designs perceived 
during these visions, he could thenceforward feel that the vision- 
inspired design had supernatural powers for protection. He creat- 
ed his tools for the hunt, warfare and rehgious use, preferring to 
make his own bows and arrows, wooden bowls, horn spoons, 
spears, drums and rattles. There was a belief among the Sioux 
that shields and other war objects were sacred to the male and that 
if a woman touched one of these sacred objects, contamination 
occurred and efficiency of the magical powers was lost. 

Occasionally, the making and decorating of an object was the 
joint effort of both man and woman. For example, a pipe fre- 
quently represented such a joint effort in that the man made the 
wooden stem and bowl and the woman decorated this stem with 
quillwork, or beadwork, and made and embelUshed a pipe bag. 

Sioux women had little or no role in any display of violent 


behavior, least of all in war or hunt. They did organize com- 
petitive societies and held peaceful quilling shows wherein their 
handcrafts vied for honors. Among these crafts, quilling had more 
prestige since it required finger dexterity whereas tanning required 
only strength and stamina. Porcupine quills used in this craft were 
trimmed and dyed with vegetable dyes. 

Porcupine-quill embroidery had long been a feminine craft 
among the Cheyenne and Arapaho. But the more northerly tribes 
particularly excelled in this craft. After the men had killed the 
animals, the quills had to be removed immediately and were sorted 
by size and stored in bladder bags. Longer quills might be used in 
the decoration of cases or bags. The quills were softened, some- 
times in the mouth or in a soakbath, and were then flattened with 
a bone instrument. An awl was used to perforate the hides. 
Among the Plains Indians a technique of parallel threads was used 
which held the quills in rigid, straight bands. In the beadwork of 
a later day, either a lazy-stitch, in which beads were strung on 
threads, or an overlay-stitch, which secured the beads tightly to the 
surface in a smooth, even pattern was customary. 

Increased demands by the white man for animal skins in their 
trading with the Sioux increased the work of women in their prep- 
aration and dressing of buffalo, deer and elk skins. Trade with the 
white man deeply affected native Siouan costuming. New dyes 
were introduced and were used in quill dyeing, but from those first 
seasons of contact quills were more and more to be replaced by 
glass beads. Geometric patterns continued in beadwork, as these 
patterns had been used with quills: triangles, circles and squares 
arranged in various designs. 

Quillwork, and the beadwork done later, remains today some of 
the most characteristic of Siouan decoration. Bands of quillwork 
were applied to men's shirts and leggings in removable strips. Both 
quillwork and beadwork decorated handles of war weapons, leather 
bags, baby carriers, cradles, robes, headdresses, leggings, mocca- 
sins, dresses and storage bags. Paint appears in combination with 
quills or beads on the same robes, clothing and accessories. 

A woman artisan might create her own designs and use the same 
design on many objects. Certain women became identified with 
certain designs which might be inherited from one generation to 
another in the same family. Just as boys were taught by the 
fathers to make and use war weapons, girls were taught by their 
mothers to quill and to bead. It was a cultural career and girls 
who were adept at quillwork or beadwork and could tan hides were 
regarded as potentially good wives. 

Within the two general classes of instrumental and expressive 
functions are to be found, then, all the accouterment of the Sioux 
we can denote by the word clothing, and the related equipment, as 
tipis and incidental accessories. As with the Cheyennes. other 
Plains Indians, or indeed with many primitive cultures, these two 


functions are openly evident and are the only two of any impor- 
tance. Instrumental and expressive, then, are terms which exactly 
typify the clothing in Siouan culture. 


Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, (New York: Holt-Rinehart 

and Winston, Inc., 1971). 
Brown, Joseph E., recorder and ed.. The Sacred Pipe; Black Elk's Account of 

the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, (Baltimore: Penguin Books, Inc., 

Douglas, F. H. and D'Harnoncourt, R., Indian Art of the United States, 

(New York: Distributed by Simon and Schuster, 1941). 
Forb, Peter, Maris Rise to Civilization, (New York: Avon Books, 1968). 
Hassrick, Royal B., The Sioux, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 

Hunt, W. Ben, Indian Crafts and Lore, (New York: Golden Press, 1954). 
Hunt, B. W. and Burshears, J. F., American Indian Beadwork, (Milwaukee: 

The Bruce Publishing Co., 1951). 
Lowie, Robert, Indians of the Plains, (Garden City, New York: The 

Natural History Press, 1963). 
Mason, Bernard S., The Book of Indian-Crafts and Costumes, (New York: 

A. S. Barnes and Company, 1947). 

Nurge, Ethel, The Modern Sioux, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 

"The Plains Indian Clothing," Denver Art Museum, Department of Indian 
Art, Leaflet No. 24, May, 1931, 2nd Edition, August, 1942. 

"The Plains Indian Tribes," Denver Art Museum, Department of Indian Art, 
Leaflet No. 23, 2nd printing, March, 1945. 

Powers, G. P. Indians of the Northern Plains, (New York: Putnams Sons, 

Roach, Mary Ellen and Eicher, Joanne, Dress Adornment and the Social 
Order, (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1965). 

Sandoz, Mari, These Were The Sioux, (New York: Hastings House, 1961). 

Wissler, Clark, Indians of the United States, (New York: Doubleday, 
Anchor Books), 1966). 

Wissler, Clark, "Some Protective Designs of the Dakotas," American Mu- 
seum of Natural History Anthropological Papers, Vol. 1, 1907. 

Wyoming and the Shaping 
of a Presidential Mviser 

William W. Savage, Jr. 

The efforts of agricultural reformers during the Progressive Era 
to promote rejuvenation of the intellectual, social, and economic 
life of the American farmer contributed to President Theodore 
Roosevelt's appointment in August, 1908, of a Commission on 
Country Life. The commission, which counted among its mem- 
bers such prominent figures as Liberty Hyde Bailey, Gifford 
Pinchot, and Walter Hines Page, sought to assess living conditions 
in rural America. Although it enjoyed no Congressional support 
and survived only a few months, it collected much information and 
issued a report that had considerable influence on subsequent 
agricultural policy. Roosevelt believed that the commission "did 
work of capital importance," and Pinchot termed it "the first 
effective step ever taken" toward the solution of America's rural 
problems.^ In the planning for the commission and the work it 
would do, the influence of one man loomed large. He was Roose- 
velt's friend and adviser. Sir Horace Curzon Plunkett, an Irishman 
who from 1879 to 1889 was a rancher in the Powder River district 
of Johnson County, Wyoming Territory.^ 

Although Plunkett left Wyoming partially because of his growing 
involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, and while much of 
his advice to Roosevelt was based upon his experience in Irish 
agriculture, it is clear that the years spent in Wyoming provided 
the foundation for his friendship with the President and influenced 
his views on what he later called the "rural life problem" of the 

1. Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, voL 
XX of The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926), 405; Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground 
(New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1947), 343. See also Clayton 
S. Ellsworth, "Theodore Roosevelt's Country Life Commission." Agricul- 
tural History, XXXIV (October, 1960), 155-172, and William L. Bowers, 
"Country-Life Reform, 1900-1920: A Neglected Aspect of Progressive Era 
History," ibid., XLV (July, 1971), 211-21. The commission is viewed in 
the broad context of Roosevelt's conservation program in Samuel P. Hays, 
Conservation and The Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation 
Movement, 1890-1920 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959), 134- 
135, 144. 

2. Roosevelt, Autobiography , 404; Pinchot, Breaking New Ground. 340. 


United States. "Without this ranching experience," one historiaii 
has noted, "which included annual financial deficits, round-ups, 
and sleeping three in a bed with snoring cowboys, Plunkett would 
never have appealed much to Roosevelt."^ Whether Plunkett's 
years as a rancher counted more with Roosevelt than the quality of 
his advice perhaps remains to be seen, but there is no question that 
Roosevelt liked and respected the Irishman and greatly valued his 
counsel.^ For both men, certainly, the West was common ground. 

Roosevelt ranched for several years on the Little Missouri 
River in Dakota Territory. He published voluminous observations 
on western life in the 1880s and thus provided material for innu- 
merable essays by historians bent on re-hashing everything that he 
wrote. There is a wealth of evidence pointing to the impact of 
Roosevelt's western experience on his subsequent political career 
and the development of many of his attitudes.'' But what of 
Plunkett? How did the West affect him, and what bases, besides 
common experiences, did it provide for his friendship with Roose- 
velt? The questions are worth answering, simply because of Plun- 
kett's role in the formulation of American domestic policies in the 
early years of the 20th century. 

Horace Plunkett published no western memoir, but he kept a 
careful account of his Wyoming activities in his diary, a virtually 
untapped source for the social and economic history of Wyoming 
and the high plains during the peak years of the beef bonanza. 
In this record may be found his views of American society in 
general and western life in particular and intimations of the social 
forces that influenced him. It suggests the sources of what Plun- 
kett's biographer, Margaret Digby, has called his understanding 
"of the vast sprawling energy, the ideaUsm and commercialism, 
the crudity and generosity of a country which, before he died, was 

3. Ellsworth, "Theodore Roosevelt's Country Life Commission," 156. 

4. See Theodore Roosevelt to William Howard Taft, December 21, 1908, 
in Elting E. Morison (ed.), The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol. VI 
(Cambridge; Harvard University Press, 1952), 1433. 

5. Roosevelt's observations are conveniently contained in Theodore 
Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and Ranch Life and the Hunting 
Trail, both Vol. I of The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition 
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926), and both of which have 
appeared in several editions. Representative of the secondary material on 
Roosevelt the rancher are Albert T. Volwiler, "Roosevelt's Ranch Life in 
North Dakota," Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota, IX 
(October, 1918), 31-49; Ray H. Mattison, "Roosevelt's Dakota Ranches," 
North Dakota History, XXII (October, 1955), 147-161; Gerry Nelson, 
"Roosevelt's Ranch Life in the Badlands," North Dakota History, XXIV 
(October, 1957), 171-174; and Edward and Frederick Schapsmeier, "Theo- 
dore Roosevelt's Cowboy Years," Journal of the West, V (July, 1966), 
398-408. See also Russel B. Nye, Midwestern Progressive Politics: A His- 
torical Study of Its Origins and Development, 1870-1958 (East Lansing: 
Michigan State University Press, 1959), 224-225, 228. 


to play a part of unimagined importance in the affairs of England, 
Ireland and the world. "^ 

Frederick Jackson Turner, in his famous essay, identified the 
frontier as "the line of most rapid and effective Americanization," 
and he counted among the intellectual traits that the frontier 
bestowed upon its white inhabitants those of strength, acuteness, 
inquisitiveness, inventiveness, materialism, individualism, energy, 
and exuberance.' During his years in Wyoming, Plunkett reflected 
all of those traits and was, as both his diary and his biographer 
suggest, effectively "Americanized," matters of nationality and 
domicile to the contrary notwithstanding. The West, or his recol- 
lection of it, had an enormous impact on Plunkett, measurable even 
when, in the presence of civilization in the east or in Europe he 
seemed to remain aloof from his experience there. 

Plunkett emigrated to the United States from necessity — he had 
tuberculosis and was told to recuperate in elevations higher and 
drier than those afforded by England or his native Ireland — and 
with some reluctance. He apparently expected the worst from 
Americans, and if his diary is correct, that expectation was fully 
satisfied. Once, upon returning from a holiday in Ireland in 
1881 — the first year for which a complete record of his activities 
survives — he was cheated out of $21 by New York customs offi- 
cials because, he said, he refused to bribe them to hasten his entry 
into the country. A week later, he found himself in an Omaha 
hotel, surrounded by a group of "unpleasant" people, most of 
whom appear to have been dry-goods drummers heading west." 
Other diary entries Plunkett made during 1881 are typical of 
complaints that became increasingly frequent: newspaper report- 
ers hounded him (even at that late date Britons were celebrities) 
and distorted his remarks; lawyers representing one of his Wyo- 
ming cattle companies in a range dispute were incompetent bun- 
glers; cowboys were frequently filthy and usually crude; and Amer- 
icans were generally clannish and disliked Britons." 

The country as a whole seemed little more than a frontier to 
Plunkett, and he leveled criticism at his surroundings as readily as 
he did the people in them. The odor of the stockyards spoiled 
Chicago for him, and while he breathed more easily in Wyoming, 

6. Margaret Digby, Horace Plunkett, An Amflo-Anieriain Irishnum (Ox- 
ford: Basil Blackwell, 1949), 38. 

7. Frederick J. Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American 
History," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the 
Year 1893,201,226-221. 

8. Diaries of Sir Horace Plunkett, 1881-1931. Microfilm copies in the 
McKissick Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. May 7 and 
15, 1881. 

9. Ihid., May 16, 19, 20, 21, and 25. July 2 and 21. and November 22. 


the environment harbored other hazards to health and peace of 
mind. His lungs benefited from the fresh western air, but food 
and water very nearly ruined him. A visit to Ogallala in 1881 
resulted in a debilitating three-week bout with diarrhea, and three 
more years of similar occurrences did nothing to help his general 
condition. ^^' In 1884 the 30-year-old Irishman weighed only 132 
pounds, far below his normal weight, and that is perhaps the most 
striking indication of the toll that had been taken of his health. ^^ 
Yet he endured. He was nervous and excitable, and doctors re- 
peatedly told him that rest was essential.^- But rest was not an 
easy thing for Plunkett to find in Wyoming during the 1880s. 

Plunkett was involved in several cattle-raising operations in 
Wyoming, and not the least of these was the EK Ranch, which he 
owned in partnership with E. B. R. Boughton and Alexis and 
Edmund Roche. '-^ Because of his health, the Irishman tried to 
restrict his activities on the ranch, leaving most of the physical 
labor to his partners. He performed instead the menial tasks, 
which quickly proved to be physical enough. Plunkett churned 
butter, cooked, chopped wood, fed chickens, and milked the EK's 
four dairy cows. In addition, he had to contend with two young 
elk, acquired by the partners as pets, and an orphaned foal that 
had not been weaned. The work was heavy, interrupted only by 
Plunkett's efforts to set ranch accounts in order, a tiresome chore 
terminated at last by his discovery and mastery of the double-entry 
system of bookkeeping. In all, ranch life served as a potent 
corrective to his aristocratic notion that Sunday was always a day 
of rest.^^ 

Ranch routine was broken by the annual round-up, conducted 
under the auspices of the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association. 
Plunkett could tolerate the roundup and subsequent "hair, dust, 
and corruption" of branding as long as the weather remained 
pleasant, but his experience in 1883 revealed that one of these 
events was not necessarily like another. In that year, Plunkett 
got a late start and had to obtain the services of a guide to locate 
the main party of stockmen working the roundup in his district. 
At Nowood Creek, the Irishman's horse refused to swim, rolled 
over in midstream, and drowned. While the guide retrieved his 
saddle and personal property, Plunkett swam ashore on the wrong 

10. Ibid., July 20 and August 1, 1881. 

11. Ibid., August!, 1884. 

12. Ibid., September 14, 1881, and August 19, 1885. 

13. For an account of Plunkett's business activities in Wyoming, see 
William W. Savage, Jr., "Plunkett of the EK: Irish Notes on the Wyoming 
Cattle Industry in the 1880's," Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 43, No. 2, 205-214. 

14. Diary, June 5, 10, 11, and 15, July 31, and August 26, 1881. 


side of the creek and had to swim back. He tracked the round-up 
on foot and found it seven days after leaving the ranch. ^'' 

Visits to Cheyenne provided welcome relief from that sort of 
thing, and the city's attractions stood in vivid contrast to the rigors 
of ranch life. In Cheyenne, Plunkett discovered, one might play 
lawn tennis before breakfast and by evening become involved in a 
debate, not about cattle, but over the relative merits of agnosticism 
and Roman Catholicism.^*^ To enjoy these pastimes, however, one 
had to tolerate the foibles of one's fellow man. Plunkett noted that 
the pleasanter aspects of life in Cheyenne vanished when the city's 
besotted citizenry chose, as he claimed it did in 1882, to sell its 
votes on election day to the highest bidder.^'' Even the famed 
Cheyenne Club, despite its strictures against drunkenness, exper- 
ienced its less austere moments, and Plunkett, ever the man of 
moderation, was there to record them. In 1884 he described a 
dinner given by the club's American members for their British 
counterparts. It proved to be a fiasco because many of the hosts 
were inebriated to the point of incapacitation before the affair 
began. ^^ 

More than once, Plunkett detected antagonism on the part of 
Wyoming cattlemen directed toward Britons. But ethnocentrism 
was not one of Plunkett's characteristics, and he did not respond 
by adopting the British cause. Often, Britons visited the EK 
Ranch, and the Irishman at first welcomed them, thankful for the 
company in the relative solitude of Powder River. Later, however, 
he changed his mind. Visitors were slow to leave and thus became 
a financial burden. They interrupted business generally, and Plun- 
kett believed that they made their hosts unpopular with Wyoming- 
ites by refusing to adapt to western customs. ^"^ Occasionally they 
became too much to bear. In October, 1881, for example, 
Plunkett was forced to seek refuge in the Cheyenne Club when 
17 guests ensconced at the EK remained underfoot to prevent 
him from doing any work.^*** 

Eventually, the West eroded some of Plunkett's aristocratic ve- 
neer. Despite his initial willingness to criticize the shortcomings 
of others, he spent a great deal of time and energy assisting his 
neighbors in business matters, advising them and providing finan- 
cial backing that was often unavailable from other sources. His 
kindness and generosity came to be universally acknowledged.-^ 
Yet Plunkett was a shrewd businessman, and so were the men he 

15. Ibid., June 12, 1883. 

16. Ibid., September 15, 1881, and July 15, 1884. 

17. Ibid., November 7, 1882. 

18. Ibid., October 14, 1884. 

19. /Wrf., October 11, 1881. 

20. Ibid., October 23, 1881. 

21. Ibid., June 16, 1883, and November 2, 1887. 


most admired. Typical of these was Joseph M. Carey, succinctly 
described by John Clay as a "judge, governor, senator, ranchman, 
capitalist, a man who . . . devoted much of his life to public 
work."-- He was a partner, with Plunkett and several other cattle- 
men, in the Wyoming Development Company, a syndicate formed 
to assist the improvement of agriculture in the territory by irrigating 
several thousand acres of potential farmland. Carey impressed 
Plunkett with three things: his money, his home, and his wife — 
in that order.-''' 

Plunkett's assessment of Carey and the scale of values it reveals 
are perhaps not surprising in view of Wyoming's opportunity- 
oriented business environment in the 1880s, but they do serve to 
underscore what came to be, for Plunkett, a rule of thumb about 
social stratification in the American West. In Wyoming, the 
Irishman noted, professional people were distinctly inferior to 
non-professionals. He attributed the situation to the fact that the 
region's material advantages afforded greater opportunity to spec- 
ulators and investors than to those who worked for wages. -^ 

Comparisons between Plunkett's experiences in the West and 
those of the man he would later advise in Washington are easily 
made. Both Roosevelt and Plunkett were physically weak men, 
and their years on the range strengthened them. Plunkett came to 
the vigorous life in a roundabout fashion, to be sure, but he always 
acknowledged that the decade he spent in Wyoming provided the 
basis for his good health in later years. Indeed, the once tubercular 
Irishman lived to be 78, and, as an index of his activity, it may be 
said that he became an accomplished airplane pilot only a few 
years before his death.-'' 

Both men shared the cowboy life — Plunkett was more the entre- 
preneur — and both were impressed by the western environment, 
the majesty of the land. Like Roosevelt, Plunkett objected to the 
sight of nature despoiled.-*' And like Roosevelt, he recognized 
what Anglo-American civilization had done to the Indian, although 
his response to Indians was far more patronizing than Roose- 
velt's.-' In short, both men could feel that they had been a part of 

22. John Clay, Mv Life on the Range (New ed., Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press. 1962), 71. 

23. Diary, May 10 and October 2, 1883, and October 16, 1884. 

24. Ihid., June 26, 1885. 

25. New York Times, March 27, 1932, II, 5; The Times (London), March 
28. 1932, 12. 

26. Diary, June 22, 1881. 

27. Ihid.. May 18, 1881, and June 28, 1885. Roosevelt's attitudes are 
summarized in The Winning of the West, I, Volume VIII of The Works of 
Theodore Roosevelt, National Edition (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 
1926), 79-82. 


something grand, something to which many would wish to return, 
amid the growing complexities of the 20th century. 

If comparisons are easily made, so, then, are contrasts. Roose- 
velt was more the egalitarian, or pretended to be. In terms of his 
antecedents and the preconceptions with which he confronted the 
West, Plunkett was Americanized but retained some of that aristo- 
cratic veneer.-'^ In actuality, the gulf between the men in this 
regard was greater than it seemed, and the fact that it did not 
impede their friendship owed much to Plunkett's romanticizing 
about his western experience. 

Writing in 1910, for example, Plunkett referred to his memories 
of a "characteristically American hospitality," but he noted little 
of it in his diary during the 1880s.--' He indicated personal knowl- 
edge of "the Supreme Court of Judge Lynch," but the diary reveals 
that incidents of violence in Plunkett's Wyoming were rare in- 
deed.-^" He claimed that the West had "no politics and no poli- 
ticians," but the diary clearly contradicts him.'" Accustomed to 
more than Wyoming had to offer in the 1880s, but unfamiliar with 
less, Plunkett perceived of the frontier as something other than 
what it was. For him, the Powder River was as Turner's "meeting 
point between savagery and civilization," a frontier area wherein 
one's property might be purloined by passing Arapahoes, where 
work was a dawn to dark proposition, where association with 
others similarly situated was a necessary, desirable, and safe 
thing. •^- Twenty years later, Plunkett had forgotten that Cheyenne, 

28. He could never, for example, get along with cowboys, no matter how 
often he ate, slept, and worked with them. He often acknowledged his 
inability to understand them. Diary, May 27, 1883, and August 5, 1884. 
Helena Huntington Smith, The War on Powder River (New York: McGraw- 
Hill Book Company, 1966), 101-102, and Harry Sinclair Drago, The Great 
Range Wars: Violence on the Grasslands (New York: Dodd, Mead & Com- 
pany, 1970), 254, make much of this point, but for the wrong reasons. 
Plunkett's inability to comprehend the cowboy psyche had no effect on his 
dealings with cowboys. Matters of wages, free board at ranches, and the 
like occupied Plunkett on an entirely different level. See Savage. "Plunkett 
of the EK," 210-212. 

29. Sir Horace Plunkett, The Rural Life Problem of the United States: 
Notes of an Irish Observer (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1910), 

30. Ibid., 110. The only diary entry even remotely suggesting violence 
concerned the discovery of an unidentified corpse on the north bank of the 
Powder River near the EK in the summer of 1884. The man, dead for four 
or five days, had been shot, dragged by the heels for approximately 50 
yards, and dropped into a gulch. An inquest in Buffalo accomplished noth- 
ing of substance but produced four popular theories about the man's iden- 
tity: he was either a range detective, a horse thief, the victim of an Indian 
attack, or he had been murdered by his partner because the two had only 
one horse between them. Diary, June 20, 1884. 

31. Plunkett, Rural Life Problem. 110. 

32. Ibid., 109-10; Turner, op. cit., 200. 


a metropolis with electric lights and telephones, was all the while 
close at hand.^^ He had forgotten, too, the unpleasantness of those 
years. His frontier was psychological, not geographical, and he 
was thus able to refine and elaborate upon his memory of it. And 
as his westering experience became more remote in time, his recol- 
lections became more glorious. Consequently, the aristocrat be- 
came submerged beneath the pioneer and the romantic.^^ 

For these reasons, Plunkett appealed to Theodore Roosevelt, 
and the two men became friends. The circumstances are signifi- 
cant because of the Irishman's role as the President's trusted 
adviser, but beyond that, they are important because they reflect 
the impact of the West on one man's thinking. Turner suggested 
that the physical frontier was "at first too strong" for the indi- 
vidual.^^ Plunkett's example suggests that the frontier is a state of 
mind that may never be entirely overcome. 

33. Francis E. Warren, "Report of the Governor of Wyoming," Report 
of the Secretary of the Interior (Washington: U. S. Government Printing 
Office, 1886), II, 1036. 

34. In 1910 Plunkett identified himself as having been a participant in 
the "frontier-pioneer stage" of western development. The diary entry for 
May 18, 1881, suggests that Plunkett preferred ranching to farming because 
it was more "romantic." The drudgery of ranch life he described in later 
years as "exciting." Plunkett, Rural Life Problem, 110. 

35. Turner, op. cit., 201. 

Tifth Segment 
oft he Oregon Zrail 


Trek No. 24 of the Historical Trail Treks 

Sponsored by the Wyoming State Historical Society, the Wyoming 
State Archives and Historical Department, the Sweetwater County 
Chapter and the Lincoln County Chapter. The trek was under the 
direction of Maurine Carley and Henry Jensen from the State 
Historical Society and Tom Shaffer from the Wyoming Recreation 


Captains: Wyoming Highway Patrolmen, Captain 

Leonard Wold, Loy Arnoldi 
Wagon Boss : Gordon Wilson 
Announcer: Milt Dinger 

Guides: Henry Chadey, Chester Buck, Jacob Antilla 
Historian: Maurine Carley 
Registrars: Jane Houston, Meda Walker 
Tickets : Roz Bealey 
Photographer: Henry Chadey 

SATURDAY, JULY 14, 1973 

7:30 P.M. The Sweetwater County Chapter was the host in the 
new Rock Springs High School for approximately 100 people who 
had gathered to take part in the historical trek. After the group 
had viewed a collection of fine paintings, Henry Jensen presented a 
slide program of historic spots between South Pass and the Green 
River. Cookies, coffee and punch were served by the local chap- 
ter. Officers for the trek were introduced. 

SUNDAY, JULY 15, 1973 

Caravan: 120 people, 32 cars 

7:30 A.M. The trekkers congregated at the Holiday Inn sign on 
the western edge of Rock Springs. 

GUIDES: Henry Chadey, Tom Shaffer 

7:30 A.M. Since it was sprinkling, the photographer eliminated 
picture taking, and we left immediately on Interstate 80 which 



'>*'?'* * ,'/ 


closely follows the Overland Stage route. Rock Springs once was 
a stage station on this route. 

Many interesting formations were seen between Rock Springs 
and Green River. Pulpit Rock loomed ahead on the left, Castle 
Rock, first photographed by William H. Jackson, was seen above 
the twin tunnels. Immediately after the tunnels the Sugar Bowl 
and Cream Pitcher were identified, as well as the Palisades, a long 
row of high bluffs on the right. 

It was from Green River that John Wesley Powell began his 
exploring expedition down the Colorado River in 1869, from the 
point now known as Expedition Island, a National Historic Land- 
mark. Also located at Green River was a stage station and a ferry. 

We soon crossed the Green River which was a stream well 
known to the fur trappers. Eight of the 1 6 rendezvous were held 
along its banks or its branches from 1825 to 1840. Four miles 
farther we turned right on the LaBarge road. This part of Wyo- 
ming might appear to be utterly worthless but there are valuable 
trona deposits under the surface. The plant on the right is owned 
by the Stauffer Chemical Company and is one of the largest pro- 
ducers of soda ash in the world. 

In the distance Pilot Butte was seen on the right horizon. The 
Oregon Trail lies about 30 miles north of the Butte. On clear 
days South Pass can be located at the eastern end of the beautiful 
snow-covered Wind River Range, approximately 70 miles to the 

As we neared the Lombard Butte we crossed the Oregon Trail 
at a 30° angle and soon turned right toward the Green River. 

8:30 A.M. We arrived at the site of the Lombard Ferry and a 
Pony Express station on the bank of the river. Although it was 
still sprinkling everyone left their cars and gathered around the 


/- by Henry Chadey 

*vWe are stopped this morning at the location of the Green River 
Station on the Green River. This station served as a Pony Express 
and Overland Freight Station. As you look on this bench area 
you'll see two rock piles where the beams for the ferry were set 
and further south are the remains of rock building foundations. 
The pole near the river was purportedly one of the original tele- 
graph poles of the Creighton Line. At various times groups have 
explored the surface area and found military buttons, square nails 
and various pieces of glass which were identified from bottles of 
the 1850s and 1860s. 

The Big Sandy enters the Green River below this site and any 
activity in this area before 1846 was in Mexican Territory. 


A short chronology of the area follows: 

Jedediah Smith reached the vicinity in March, 1824, hunting for 

William H. Ashley started his trip down the Green River in 
1825 to establish the first Rocky Mountain Fur Rendezvous and 
to explore what is now the Flaming Gorge and other canyons of the 
Flaming Gorge Recreation Area. 

In 1832, Captain Benjamin L. E. Bonneville crossed to the north 
with the first caravan of wagons to cross South Pass en route to 
the "grand encampment," and later moved north to establish his 
fort, which became known as "Bonneville's Folly." 

In 1841 Bartleson-Bidwell company, the first important emi- 
grant party to take the trail to California, traveled in this area. 

John C. Fremont passed this way in 1843 on his expedition to 
map the Oregon Trail. 

In 1847, the Mormons under Brigham Young crossed to the 
south of the mouth of Big Sandy on their way to Utah. 

Howard Stansbury crossed here in 1852 on his way to survey the 
Salt Lake region. 

Many emigrant trains crossed this area from 1829 to 1868 going 
to Oregon, California and Utah. 

Colonel A. S. Johnston and his troops came this way in 1857 to 
take the new governor to Utah Territory to replace Governor 
Brigham Young. This was the beginning of the Mormon War. 
It was in this vicinity that the Mormons burned three wagon trains 
of supplies headed for Johnston's Army and forced him to spend 
the winter south of Fort Bridger at Camp Scott because the Fort 
had been burned. 

Between April 3, 1860, and October 24, 1861, Pony Express 
riders stopped at the station. 

('After the gold discovery in 1867 at South Pass, these fords and 
ferries were used by the people and freight wagons going to South 
Pass and vicinity from Utah and the towns of Bryan, Granger and 
Green River City., 

In the 1870s and 1880s these crossings were used by cattlemea 
moving their cattle from Oregon country to the Wyoming ranges.) 

During the era of prohibition, many stills in the cottonwoods of 
the Green River produced moonshine. This is a period that needs 
further research and documentation. 

Where did the trails go and where were the ferries located? For 
an answer, let's look at the South Pass. From the east all the trails 
converged at the Pass. Once through, and we are speaking of the 
period 1 824-1870, the trails began to fan out. This was the result 
of climatic conditions, amount of grass, fear of the Mormons and 
Indians and a tremendous wish to get to the promised land in the 
shortest time. 

Seventy-five percent of the crossings were made in a 30-mile 
section of the river and we are now within that location. 



The names and location of some of the ferries follow: The 
Names Hill Crossing, five miles below LaBarge, can be seen from 
the highway. About four miles below, other ferries were operated 
and have recently been referred to as the Anderson Ranch Cross- 
ing. Threp miles below was the old Mormon Ferry, utilized in 
the 1850s. 1 

(Just below the Fontenelle Reservoir on the Lincoln-Sweetwater 
County border was located the Case Ferry which was used by 
travelers going down Big Sandy and going northwesterly for 18 
miles to cross at the Green River and travel westward along Slate 
Creek. This is in the same location as the recent Dodge Suspen- 
sion Bridge which was used by ranchers and sheepmen in the 
1920s and 1930s. 

i^ere at the site of the Green River Station, there were various 
ferries including another Mormon Ferry in 1 849 and one operated 
by non-Mormons. In 1849 when the second ferry was started, it 
caused the Mormons to reduce the fee from $5.00 a wagon to 
$3.00. The Lombard Ferry operated at this location or perhaps 
one -half mile up the river. It is my opinion that William Lombard 
was a late comer since his homestead was established on the river 
in October, 1898, and his homestead was located on the east side 
of the river. To the west of us is a butte named after him and the 
trail leading from -the Green River to Granger has been designated 
as Lombard Road. ) 

(Three and one-naif miles below here is located the Robinson 
Ferry. ) Several years ago George Stephens recovered an anchor 
chain which was wrapped around a deadman, and a twelve-strand 
cable used in crossing the river was found at ths site. The cable 
was taken by Frank B. Kistner and it was determined that the cable 
had been handmade from the same material as the 1861 trans- 
continental telegraph line. 

The boat itself was recovered many years ago by a Mr. Austin, 
who floated it downstream and used the timbers in the construction 
of a barn. One side, or" main timber (hand hewn) about 25 feet 
long, was seen by Mr. Kistner on November 29, 1969, in the 
manger of the Austin ranch barn in excellent condition. The other 
timbers have been recently removed, as some were used as up- 
rights, and rotted where they were in contact with the ground. The 
remains of these removed timbers were still nearby. The old 
Robinson house has burned, but the remains were on the east side 
of the river flat (NE bank) at the base of the first gravel terrace 
about 200 yards east of the ferry landing. An old road runs 
directly from the Emigrant Trail (SE/4, Sec. 10, T. 21 N.. R. 
109 W. ) to the ferry landing. 

The story is told that the Robinson home was attacked by 
Indians, and that only one girl escaped. She later found her way 
to a local trapper who helped her reach relatives in New Jersey. 
About 30 years ago she returned to Green River and related the 


Story to the father of a Mrs. Higginson who in turn passed it on to 
George Stephens. 

^Below the Robinson Ferry about two miles is the Palmer Ford. 
It was in this area that the Brigham Young party crossed in 1847. 
It was also the location-^f the road from Bryan to the Sweetwater 
in the 1860s and 1870s.j 

(a ferry was located at Green River City until the bridge was 
built in the 1 890s. Two ferry crossings existed below the town of 
Green River. One was the Holmes Ferry and the other the 
Brinegar Ferry. This one ended when the waters of Flaming Gorge 
Reservoir rose to make the lake in the late 1960s.^ 

.There are many stories about the ferries and the crossings in 
the diaries of the emigrants. Here are three which may be of 

The various commercial ferries were vastly profitable, but some of 
the emigrants simply didn't have the cash to use them. Leander 
Loomis of the Birmingham (Iowa) Emigrating Company in 1850 
found such a situation at the west end of the Sublette Cutoff in west- 
ern Wyoming. There the Green was 330 feet wide, fairly fast and 
deep. The ferry operator was getting $7 a wagon and $1 a head for 
livestock. Loomis did the job himself for nothing, but he lost 12 
hours of the several days he had saved by avoiding Ft. Bridger.i 

Their [the Mormons] first move against Bridger was an attempt to 
take over the Green River ferries, which had been owned and operated 
by Mountain Men for many a season past. But the Mountain Men 
unlimbered their guns, stood off the covetous Saints, and that season 
collected as usual some $300,000 from emigrants crossing in their 

Indignantly, the Mormons filed suit; That was a big laugh around 
all the campfires in the mountains!- 

In Wyoming Cattle Trails, John K. RoUinson quotes W. H. 
Harvey who was moving cattle from Ford Bridger to the Carter 
Ranch of the South Fork of the Stinking Water (Shoshone River) : 

From Granger we followed the old Overland Road. We were a day 
getting to Green River. We swam the saddle animals over and crossed 
the teams and wagon on a ferry. Peter Apple was the ferryman. I 
think it was about forty miles up the river from Green River City. 
We camped here; the next day we camped on the Big Sandy. 

9:15 A.M. The rain stopped and the day turned into a typically 
beautiful Wyoming day. The caravan returned the short distance 
to the highway and drove to FonteneUe for a rest stop. 

10:00 A.M. We proceeded to Highway 189 and turned north to 
follow along the shores of FonteneUe Reservoir. The Sublette- 

1. Franzwa, Gregory M., The Oregon Trail Revisited, (St. Louis: Patrice 
Press Inc., 1972). 

2. Vestal, Stanley, Jim Bridger, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
1 946 ) . 


Greenwood Cut-off and another branch of the Oregon Trail once 
crossed the Green near here. We didn't have time to stop and 
read the sign by the Reservoir so here it is : 


To the Shoshone Indian, this river was the Seeds-Kee-Dee Agie, 
(Prairie Chicken River). On Sept. 16, 1811 the Astorians near its 
headwaters termed it the Spanish River. To the Spaniards far to the 
South it was the Rio Verde (Green River). Jedediah Smith and his 
ten mountain men, making the first westward crossing of the South 
Pass by white men, camped near here Mar. 19, 1824 on the Seeds- 
Kee-Dee. They trapped the river and its forks which were named for 
them; LaBarge, Ham's, Black's, Smith's, Henry's, etc. These waters 
were considered as the greatest beaver waters ever known. The upper 
reaches became the center of the fur trade and Rendezvous. In 1841 
the fur trade had ceased but the trappers had blazed the trail for 
emigrants. For forty-nine years over the Oregon and California Trails 
thousands of emigrants going west, crossed these waters near by. The 
many that drowned and died were buried along the river banks. The 
mountain men guided, manned the ferries and traded with the emi- 
grants. Graves, marked and unmarked, names cut in the rocks, and 
wagon trails worn deep, remain with the legend and lore of a great 
river of the west. The Green. 

Sublette County Historical Society 
U. S. Bureau of Land Management 

Lincoln County Board of Commissioners 
U. S. Bureau of Reclamation 

10:40 A.M. We arrived at Names Hill. 



Karen Buck 

There are two important trails here in the Names Hill area. In 
1832, Captain B. L. E. Bonneville led a fur-trapping expedition to 
the Green River Valley. His trail crosses the river at or near the 
mouth of LaBarge Creek and travels the west bank of the Green 
River both north and south. Bonneville trapped on the river until 
1835 and one of his main camps was on Fontenelle Creek where he 
built a stockade. Incidentally, his fur trapping expedition was a 
failure financially. 

The other, in which we're most interested, is the Sublette Cut-off. 
Most travel on this route, between the Sandy and the Green, was at 
night because of the heat on the desert and the lack of water. The 
Sublette Cut-off was established in 1844 by Caleb Greenwood 
when he guided the Stevens-Townsend-Murphy party to California. 
The main branch of the Sublette Cut-off was about eight miles 
north of the Big Sandy and crossed the Green River several miles 
below the mouth of LaBarge Creek. About two miles south of this 



crossing was one used more by the wagon trains, known as Names 
Hill Crossing. 

Names Hill is important as one of the best-known emigrant 
registers. Travelers stopped here to carve their names on the soft 
limestone rock. The earliest dated inscription is 1825. One of 
the most legible is "James Bridger — 1844." The initials of J. B. 
are carved on several neighboring cliffs. Bridger could not write, 
but he could have carved his name with help, or it could have been 
done by someone else. Many names were destroyed when the 
highway was built. 

Julius Luoma relates the following incidents which occurred 
after he moved to his ranch at Names Hill. 

Many years ago a man stopped to visit with Mr. Luoma. He 
said that he was seven years old when he crossed the Green River 
with his family in a party of emigrants. At this time there were 
nine ferries operating on the Green River between the mouth of 
Stead Canyon and the Names Hill Crossing. 

During the 1930s Mr. Luoma was visited by an elderly couple 
who were following the Sublette Cut-off and Oregon Trail with the 
aid of a grandfather's diary. According to the diary, the train 
camped on the west side of the Green River at the foot of a flat- 
topped mountain. This would put them in the upper end of Mr. 
Luoma's pasture. The grandfather decided to walk upriver from 
the wagon train camp. When he hadn't returned by evening, the 

Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department 


members of his family became concerned and organized a search 
party for him. He was found not far away where Indians had 
killed and scalped him and left him lying at the edge of the river. 
His body was brought back to camp and according to the diary, 
was taken across a slough and buried at the edge of the trees. Mr. 
Luoma has looked time after time for the grave, but has never 
been able to locate it. 

Here on the cliff is carved the name NANCY. It is believed 
that the Nancy who carved her name here is the same Nancy Hill 
buried on the west side of Ham's Fork. 

Somewhere in this immediate area, evidence of a massacre has 
been found. In an article written by Ella Holden and published in 
Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 5, Nos. 2/3, is a short description of 
what they found at this site. 

On the east side of the Green River, on both sides of the mouth 
of Stead Canyon, are names of more passing emigrants. Several 
years ago we copied down some of the names and dates. Some of 
these are: James G. Didwam — June 2, 1853; J. F. Sandres — 
(Month broken off) 30th day, 1852; Throp— July 22, 1850; V. 
Hay— June 23, 1820; James Wm. Clover— July 19, 1849. Many 
names were on the ledges that have broken off and fallen into the 

From Names Hill, the trail crosses the Muddy and goes over the 
hill into Fontenelle Creek. Fontenelle Creek was named for one of 
the early free trappers, Lucien Fontenelle. Fontenelle Creek, also 
called Willow and Bear Creek, was a favorite camping spot after 
the Green River was crossed. During the 1850-1859 conflict be- 
tween the Mormons and the United States, the Mormons forced 
Colonel Albert S. Johnston to move some of his men and horses 
from Fort Bridger to Fontenelle Creek for winter forage. 

The Fontenelle Creek area was never entirely deserted from the 
time of its discovery. When the first permanent white settlers, 
Justin J. Pomeroy and family, moved here in 1874, the sole occu- 
pant of the fertile valley was a trapper named John W. Smith. 

In September of 1897, Thomas B. Crews, a lawyer from St. 
Louis, Missouri, visited the Fontenelle Valley in search of informa- 
tion regarding the death of Pinkney W. Sublette, early trapper and 
explorer. With the help of valley ranchers, Mr. Crews was able 
to locate the grave and a tombstone marked P.W.S. — D. 1865. 
He took the skeleton and tombstone back to Missouri, but the 
circuit court refused to accept this evidence and declared Pinkney's 
death as 1828. His remains were then put in the county clerk's 
vault. In 1935, through the efforts of Perry W. Jenkins, Pinkney's 
bones were brought back to Wyoming and re-buried in a grave 
near the monument to Father DeSmet near Daniel, overlooking the 
site of the Green River Rendezvous. 

From Fontenelle Creek the Sublette Cut-off follows a south- 
westerly course to Slate Creek where it joins the Kinney Cut-off at 


Slate Creek. Two main camp areas are Pine Grove and Emigrant 
Springs where the trail proceeds in a more westerly direction. 

Here again at Emigrant Springs are names carved in the rocks: 
Joseph Hildt— July 4, 1852; Ike Elwood, I.O.A. August 3, 1853; 
T. H. West, Ohio — 1859. About a mile south of Emigrant Springs 
are several large rocks and here we find the names of W. H. 
Overholt and J. C. Johnston — August 12, 1878; O. Gaylord — 
June 1853, J. W. Ford— June 18, 1853 and W. A. Williams- 
July, 1850. 

After climbing Oyster Ridge, the trail drops down into Pomeroy 
Basin, crosses it, and climbs steeply up the side of Commissary 
Ridge where the trail drops down into the Ham's Fork River 

11:00 A.M. From Names Hill we retraced our steps for several 
miles — this time watching for ruts of the old trail on our right. 
After rounding Round Mountain we located an Emigrants Spring 
to our right, in green trees below the red cliffs, high on the side 
of a mountain. It was at this spot during the migration days that a 
quartermaster army supply train, hauling supplies and food to Fort 
Hall, was massacred by white men dressed as Indians. 

After we passed the old Willow Springs Station we dropped 
down into a lovely green valley to parallel Ham's Fork for several 

12:00 noon Everyone was hungry so we stopped at the Ham's 
Fork picnic grounds to eat our lunches under the big trees and 
listen to guitar music furnished by the Kemmerer Eagles. 

GUIDES: Jacob Antilla, Chester Buck 

12:50 P.M. After this friendly interlude all were ready for the 
mountain roads in western Wyoming. Commissary Ridge, a part 
of the journey dreaded by the emigrants, was pointed out on the 
ridge. The Dempsey Road and Sublette Cut-off lie north of that 
ridge and another branch of the old trail is this side of it. Seven- 
teen years ago trek No. 7 followed the old trail. The following 
excerpt is from the account of that 1956 trek on these mountains. 
"With our practiced eyes of detecting the old trail we could see it 
going straight up a small mountain. Surely this was one place the 
pioneers were more determined than we — but no — the lead car 
gathering speed, bounced, lunged and hesitated but finally stopped 
at the top. The passengers, hanging on with both hands, were 
thrown from side to side as the drivers followed the dim trail 
through the grass past a grave on the lonely hillside. As each car 
made the top the trekkers jumped out to cheer the successful climb 
of all the other cars." 

Modern cars make it impossible to closely follow the old trails 
today so we have to see them from a distance. 


1:10 P.M. We turned right from the county road toward the lone 
pine on the rim of the bench overlooking Ham's Fork Valley. 


By Alice Antilla 

We are standing on the east rim of the Ham's Fork plateau at 
Lone Pine. From here the north rim is approximately eight miles 
away. It runs west to Emigrant Springs and south where we came 
up to the top a few minutes ago. The first range of mountains on 
the east is the Absoroka or Commissary Ridge and those in the 
background are called the Oyster Range. The valley below us is 
the Ham's Fork valley, named for Zacharias Ham, a trapper — one 
of Ashley's lieutenants in 1824. Ham's Fork starts from a small 
spring 40 air miles north of Kemmerer in the Devil's Hole country 
and runs into Black's Fork, a principal tributary of the Green. 

Two major emigrant roads crossed Ham's Fork in this vicinity. 
The Greenwood-Sublette Cut-off came down over Bradley Pass 
from the mountain to the east and passed two large springs which 
are referred to in many emigrant's diaries. Where it reached the 
floor of the valley it came directly across the meadow to the west, 
crossed Ham's Fork and proceeded up Quaking Aspen canyon in 
the mountains west of the valley. After circling around the foot- 
hills it went right up that white ridge to the top of Red Hill. The 
old trail is about 25 feet on the north side of the white, pointed 
ridge. From the top it goes directly to the west following Quaking 
Aspen canyon for IVi miles with Meadow Canyon on the north. 

When Meadow Canyon runs out Robinson Hollow is on the 
north. It is one and two-tenths miles from here to another Emi- 
grants Springs at the head of Robinson Hollow. Many of the 
emigrants mentioned this spring and this grove of trees and how 
beautiful they were — the pines are so tall and straight. The 
B. L. M. has enclosed the spring and piped the water to three water 
tanks for cattle. 

From Emigrant Springs to the Oregon Trail junction at the head 
of Fish Creek it is three and six-tenths miles. On the way down 
this mountain the wagons had to be rough-locked in order to make 
the steep two-mile descent. On the steepest part there are three 
sets of wagon tracks which are easy to see today. As the canyon 
narrows they come together, continue on down the south side of 
the canyon and follow a ridge to the bottom of Rock Creek valley 
where there is another nice spring. 

The road continues west over the mountain and is again quite 
steep as it goes down into the Bear River valley where it takes a 
northwesterly course out at what is now the Thompson ranch on 
Sublette Creek. 


Four miles from the top of the mountain on the south side of the 
road is a grave marked: Alfred Corum, died July 4, 1849. The 
following article was taken from the Kemmerer Gazette, April 30, 


Julius Luoma of this city, intensely interested in pioneer events, 
especially in regards the old Oregon Trail, recently received a letter 
from Emil Kopac of Oshkosh, Nebraska, who has given a great deal 
of his time toward research, giving a part of a diary written by one 
who had traversed that trail. It is interesting in that it recounts the 
death of one who is buried near the old trail on the Dempsey rim 
north of Kemmerer. This Corum grave is plainly marked at the 
present time. 

Mr. Kopac says: "At last the long looked for has come to light. 
In the journal of Bennett C. Clark of Cooper county, Missouri, whose 
companions consisted of the following: Beverly Lampton, John Tuck- 
er. William T. Cole, Samuel Peters, John Corum, Newton C. Peters, 
Jesse Newman, William Norman, Mark Cole, John N. Bibson, Alfred 
Corum. Andrew B. Cole, John Brown, John Hill, Thomas Craig, Lewis 
Hutchinson, James M. Hill, Herod Corum, Simeon Corum, James 
Campbell, James W. Newby, Hardise Reddick and Dr. Saul J. Tutt, 
who left April 10, 1849 for the California gold fields, as shown by an 
entry in a journal written July 2d in the Missouri Historical Review, 
October 1928, the death of Corum is related. 'Reached Smith's Fork 
of the Bear river after a rough days travel where we found a large 
number of Snake Indians encamped. (Here the writer wishes to cor- 
rect an error of the diarist. This was Hamsfork as he transposed the 
names, calling Smith's for Hamsfork. Diarists often called Ham's 
Fork of Bear River instead of Green River.) Beyond the stream 
ascended a very long and exceedingly steep hill which led up to a high 
tableland on which we found a great abundance of the finest grass. 
Here, on account of the increased illness of Alfred Corum, who had 
been sick a week or ten days, we laid up a day. . . . 
'July 3 - Whilst lying by some 200 wagons passed us and Alfred con- 
tinued to grow worse and as there was no prospect of his living, it was 
deemed prudent for the wagons to start the next morning. According- 
ly they left on the 4th, leaving behind the Bearbourn and a party of 
six men to render every service to our dying friend. As there was no 
wood or water near us we concluded to move him about IV^ miles 
where were found both. About 1 o'clock he died without a struggle 
and in full possession of all his faculties unto the last. 

"It was truly melancholy to reflect that whilst our friends at home 
were doubtless enjoying this great anniversary of national independ- 
ence in the usual way, we were performing the last sad offices to one 
of our dead companions. 

"July 4 - The wagons reached this day a small valley in the moun- 
tains (Rock Creek near Bear river) with abundant grass, having trav- 
eled this day about 12 miles. Road exceedingly rough. 

"July 5 — Struck the Bear river about 8 o'clock. Road fine. Crossed 
this day Ham's Fork at which we had great difficulty. The Bear river 
valley abounds in grass of the most superior quality. The road also 
down the Valley, except at the crossing of the tributary streams is 
very good. We traveled this day about 30 miles." 

It should be realized that the trees and some of the springs have 
changed since this diary was written. The trees at the Emigrant 


Spring back in 1934 came right to the spring, and now, half of the 
grove is nothing but dead logs. Many of the diaries mention the 
abundance of the pretty blue flax flowers on the table land. Most 
every year they are still beautiful. 

There are five other graves near the Corum grave but they have 
no markers. Nancy Hill's grave is a short distance farther up on 
the hill on the north side of the road. Nancy Hill, according to 
Irene Paden's The Wake of the Prairie Schooner, (New York: The 
Macmillan Co., 1945), was "a goddess of a girl, six feet tall and 
magnificently healthy. She was well in the morning and dead at 
noon. The family had to proceed immediately with the wagon 
train but her lover remained to mourn for two days then rode after 
the others. He returned three times to visit her grave in the 
following fifty-three years." 

The Dempsey Trail, also known as the Dempsey and Hockaday 
road, was discovered by John Hockaday, an experienced moun- 
taineer, in the 1850s. Robert D. Dempsey came to Wyoming as a 
trapper. When the fur business dropped off he became involved 
with the military in the Fort Bridger territory and made trips to 
Montana to the Bitter Root Valley to feed army horses. He also 
engaged in horse trading with the emigrants. 

We won't be able to see this trail today but it comes out of the 
head of Dempsey Basin and follows down the second canyon from 
the one we go down, turns north up Rock Creek over the mountains 
even with Cokeville. This was also known as the Military Road. 
There is a fork about half way down the east side of the Ham's 
Fork valley. The south branch came down Trail Creek. This was 
probably used when Dempsey Creek was at high water level as 
Dempsey Creek is gummy red clay. 

1 :40 P.M. After enjoying the sight of the massive mountains and 
the peaceful valley below we returned to the good mountain road. 
Five miles farther, on the right, we could see the narrow white 
limestone ridge on which the Trail ascended. Indians hidden in 
the trees on the other side once surprised and massacred an emi- 
grant train there. 

When we reached 8000 feet elevation we passed another Emi- 
grant Springs near a small clump of quaking aspen through which 
the Trail angles off to the left. The drop below into Rock Creek 
valley was so steep that the wagons had to be roughlocked in order 
to make the descent. We crossed the trail and traveled down 
another steep winding road in low gear among beautiful trees, 
white columbine, wild roses and pink geraniums. 

After crossing the floor of the valley and checking the trail where 
the emigrants made their precarious descent we began our climb 
up Rock Creek Ridge, also known as Tump Range. 

2:45 P.M. On top we stopped at the rim for an awe-inspiring 
view of the Bear River Valley far below. Here Karen Buck picked 


up a perfect arrow point and Eileen Shaffer found a $2.00 roll of 
1964 Jefferson nickles bringing together the past and the present. 


By Dorothy L. Somsen 

Today we are standing on the very ground trod by thousands of 
people who passed this way in search of a new, more exciting way 
of life over 100 years ago. 

Extending north and south is the wide, fertile Bear River Valley. 
With plenty of water, game and fish, it must have been a comfort- 
ing sight to these footsore, weary travelers. Bear River is a big 
muddy stream. In the spring its banks flood over and a large part 
of the valley is covered with water. Bear River heads in the Uinta 
Mountains above Evanston, and empties into Great Salt Lake. 
The pioneer trail follows the river to McCammon, Idaho. There 
the river makes a horseshoe bend and flows back to the Great 
Salt Lake. 

To the north of us we see one of the largest tributaries of the 
Bear River, named Smith's Fork, which heads in the Bridger 
National Forest, south and east of Smoot. It was named for the 
trapper, Jedediah Smith. 

Several diaries tell of travel through this area and of passing 
between two large hills, one smooth and round and the other having 
columns of vertical rock on its face. They were without doubt 
speaking of our Big Hill and Rock Peak just to the north and east 
of Cokeville. They also speak of crossing a large stream of water 
here (Smith's Fork). Some forded it and others tell of a toll 
bridge. Smith's Fork passes between Big Hill and Rocky Peak. 

Olive Somsen Sharp told me that her father, Henry J. Somsen, 
came to this area in 1 879 as a railroad worker getting out ties for 
the building of the Oregon Short Line railroad. He built a home 
near where the present highway bridge crosses Smith's Fork and 
she said that her father operated a toll bridge at the crossing. 

Colorful characters make colorful history. Such a one was 
Mother Ryan who served meals to railroad travelers when the 
trains to Oregon stopped here. She lived in the section house by 
the railroad. One day she received a message to prepare one of 
her famous elk steak dinners for a group of railroad officials who 
were en route west. It was midsummer and elk were high in the 
mountains and very hard to find. She asked Rocky Stoner, a local 
hunter who usually supplied her game, what could be done. He 
told her not to worry, that was no problem. Meat was supplied 
and Mother Ryan served her usual delicious dinner and the train 
moved on, but Rocky Stoner's gray mule was never seen again. 

3:15 P.M. In low gear the caravan followed the guides for a steep 
drop of 2000 feet to the floor of the beautiful Bear River Valley. 


At the foot of the mountain Charles JuUan pointed out the steeper 
route down the mountain which the emigrants followed. We then 
rode on the old trail for a mile or so. 

3:50 P.M. After leaving the grandeur of the mountains we passed 
through the Thompson ranch and returned to the highway. As we 
traveled south we paralleled the original Oregon Trail coming 
north from Fort Bridger. 

4:20 P.M. A stop was made at the foot of Fossil Butte, a National 
Monument, where a very attractive ranger-naturalist, Beth Ulrich, 
told us the history of the Butte. One of the largest deposits of 
fossil fish in the world is located in the hght-colored sandstone cliffs 
on both sides of the valley. 

5:00 P.M. We were on our way back to Frontier and the Utah 
Power picnic grounds for a barbecue put on by the Kemmerer 
Eagles. After generous servings of beef and chicken with all the 
trimmings, farewells were said and Trek No. 24 came to an end 
after a happy, pleasant, exhilarating day in the Wyoming moun- 

Mook Ucviews 

Our New West. Records of Travel Between the Mississippi River 
and the Pacific Ocean. By Samuel Bowles. 1869. (New 
York: Arno Press, 1973). Reprint. 524 pp. $24. 

Miners and Travelers' Guide to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyo- 
ming and Colorado. Via the Missouri and Columbia Rivers. 
Prepared by Captain John Mullan. 1865. (New York: Arno 
Press, 1973). Reprint. 153 pp. $8. 

Arno Press, under the advisory editorship of Ray A. Billington, 
has brought forth additional books in the Far Western Frontier 
series, including Mullan's Miners and Travelers' Guide to Oregon, 
Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, first pub- 
lished in 1865, a typical, if less sensational, immigrant's guide of 
that era. Mullan advised prospective travelers to eschew the 
Southern and Isthmus routes to the Pacific for the "new" one, a 
journey which would involve a land distance of only 624 miles. 
For those willing to take his advice, Mullan provided a detailed 

The itinerary, which begins at Walla Walla and works eastward, 
describes distances, availabiUty of wood, water, and grass, and road 
conditions. If the immigrant has followed Captain Mullan's in- 
structions on acquiring his outfit, hopefully paying the suggested 
fair prices, he should complete the journey between the navigable 
portions of the Missouri and Columbia rivers in about 47 days. 

The remainder of the book itself includes Mullan's observations 
on the mountains, minerals, Roman Catholic missionaries, and 
Indians. All, save the latter, are lauded. Many of the same 
subjects, with some oratorical flourishes added, are covered anew 
in "The Geography, Topography, and Resources of the Northwest- 
ern Territories," an address delivered by Mullan to the American 
Geographical and Statistical Society of New York. A 44-page 
addendum, largely mining regulations and newspaper clippings of 
ore discoveries, completes the book. 

The price of Samuel Bowles' Our New West is $24. At first 
glance, there seems to be little justification for such an outra- 
geous figure. The Dutch, as I recall, received a whole island for 
that amount. Yet, Our New West, except for the price, is a 
thoroughly delightful book, and just might be worth the cost. 

Samuel Bowles traveled through the West in 1865 in a party 
which included Vice President Schuyler Colfax and William Bross, 
the lieutenant governor of Illinois. Bowles's descriptions of West- 
em landmarks are comparable to those of Franklin Langworthy in 


Scenery of the Plains, Mountains and Mines. Unlike Langworthy, 
however, Bowles shows an interest in people, and includes them in 
his writing. He divides the American Indian, for example, into 
"good" and "bad," according to their degrees of assimilation. The 
Plains Indian comes out bad, especially in connection with his 
attacking the good. Good or bad, however, all Indians must sub- 
mit to reservation Ufe, according to the author. Moreover, Indians 
must be prepared to change reservations now and again since 
" 'The earth is the Lord's; it is given by Him to the Saints for its 
improvement and development; and we are the Saints.' " 

Latter Day Saints fare worse than Indians in Our New West. 
During his visits in and around Salt Lake City, Bowles was ob- 
viously fascinated by the Mormon settlements. His cultural bias 
against polygamy, however, would not allow him to be entirely 
sympathetic. He denounced polygamy as being demeaning to 
women, going so far as to charge that male converts had been won 
over by the prospects of obtaining several servants/wives. Monog- 
amous Mormons received a better press from Bowles; polygamists 
invariably acquired qualifications tacked onto their virtues. Brig- 
ham Young's leadership abilities are admired, yet his household is 
criticized and his sermon delivered for his distinguished visitors 
receives an especially critical review. 

Bowles departed Deseret and proceeded to California. There, 
he became concerned about the prejudice and hostility displayed 
toward the Chinese, his own prejudices being of the pacific cate- 
gory. The Chinese, in Bowles' view, were valuable assets as 
cheap labor and should be encouraged to emigrate from China by 
a land prepared to protect them from injustice. The author com- 
pares the Chinese to other minority groups in America, pointing 
out that the better sort among the Chinese could "... beat a raw 
Irishman in a hundred ways; but while he is constantly improving 
and advancing, they stand still in the old ruts." The better sort 
included the "Two Chinese Merchants, San Francisco," illustrated 
on page 395. The gentlemen pictured, however, are neither mer- 
chants nor Chinese. They are Samurai. 

The number of Americans who can distinguish between Chinese 
merchants and Japanese warriors has hopefully increased since 
1869. For those who cannot, these reprints should be read with 
caution. The majority of us, however ignorant we be on some of 
the subjects covered in these books, are not ignorant in all. Armed 
with the proverbial grain of salt, the reader can obtain valuable 
insights into 19th century American notions surrounding the 
Northwest, as well as enjoy them for their original purposes — the 
dissemination of data about a very interesting part of the world. 

Oklahoma State University Bill L. Turpen 



From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake: An Account of Over- 
land Freighting. By William E. Lass. (Lincoln: Nebraska 
State Historical Society, 1972). Illus. Maps. Appendices. 
Notes. Bibliography. Index. 312 pp. $7.95. 

From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake is the third book by 
William Lass, whose other contributions to frontier history include 
A History of Steamboating on the Upper Missouri River, and /. 
Morrow, Frontier Photographer, which he co-authored. 

Dr. Lass has been a professor of history at Mankato State Col- 
lege, Minnesota, for twelve years and speciahzes in writing the 
history of America's western frontier. He is a frequent contributor 
to historical journals and currently is writing a history of the 
Minnesota-Canadian boundary under a grant from the Minnesota 
Historical Society. 

From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake is a comprehensive 
work on overland freighting activities through the Platte Valley in 
the period 1848-1869, and its brief revival from 1876-1880 to the 
Black Hills. I say comprehensive because I know of no other work 
on this subject which treats it so thoroughly. 

Lass opens his book with a descriptive chapter on "Outfitting 
and Operating Wagon Trains." Here he deals with technical as- 
pects of the freighting business such as equipment, selection of 
animals, hitching, driving, and he describes the bullwhackers and 
muleskinners who were responsible for getting the freight to its 

The opening chapter lays a firm foundation for the subsequent 
chapters. It is most helpful in defining terminology for those who 
may not be familiar with overland freighting. 

Lass' generous use of maps, illustrations and tables expands the 
detailed narrative and helps the reader visualize life on the trail. 

Besides being thoroughly documented, the book includes in one 
appendix, biographical sketches of 100 important freighters and, 
in another, a list of 200 individual freighters or their companies. 
The biographies and the list will be of great interest and importance 
to researchers. For example, I know of one instance in which the 
biographical appendix helped to clarify a question concerning 
freighting in Wyoming. 

The entire book, of course, is a significant contribution to fron- 
tier history and researchers and scholars will find it most helpful. 
The general reader of the history of the trans-Missouri West also 
will find this an interesting and rewarding volume. 

Lass' book is Volume 26 in Publications of the Nebraska State 
Historical Society. 

Wyoming State Archives and John Cornelison 

Historical Department 



Working the Homestake. by Joseph H. Cash. (Ames: University 
of Iowa Press, 1973). Index. Illus. 141pp. $5.95. 

Working the Homestake is a brief description of workers, work- 
ing conditions and plant operations of the Homestake gold mine 
and the town of Lead, South Dakota, where it is located. This is 
a story of the workers — "individually and collectively." 

The Homestake is the largest, most successful and most enduring 
gold mine in the Western hemisphere. Technically the Homestake, 
like several other large gold mines, is really several mines or shafts 
exploiting the same lode. The original Homestake discovery was 
made by the two Manuel brothers, Fred and Moses, in partnership 
with Hank Harney and Alex Engh in the spring of 1876. After 
opening the mine sufficiently to expose the ore they sold their mines 
to a syndicate headed by Senator George Hearst in 1877-1878. 
Over the next few years Hearst bought up most of the mines 
centered on the lode and most of the land where the city of Lead 
is located. 

From the beginning the Homestake required capital and organ- 
ization plus the employment of deep shaft miners. Hearst pro- 
vided the former and the Cornish miners — the "Cousin Jacks" — 
the latter. The Cornish were eventually joined by Irish, Slavonians, 
Italians, Scandinavians and smaller groups of other nationals. 
These were assimilated into an effective work force under nearly 
autonomous superintendents. Several national societies were 
formed and each nationality had its own settlement. Non-Euro- 
peans were nearly non-existent in the mines but did perform a 
variety of menial tasks in town. The town and mine were originally 
located on Indian territory and from the beginning the miners were 
dependent on their own resources and talents for protecting prop- 
erty and establishing law and order. This was first accomplished 
by miner's laws, then by a local union and finally by the Home- 
stake Mining Company itself. 

The Homestake owned nearly all the town and mining prop- 
erties and the miners ran the town, but it was not entirely or 
necessarily a "company town" as that term generally implies. The 
company and the miners did provide most of their own needs — 
recreational facilities in the nature of a theatre, library, swimming 
pool, billiards room, bowling alley, card room, gymnasium, all free 
except the theatre; a hospital, along with an industrial health pro- 
gram, well advanced over any contemporaries; and a public educa- 
tion system which was a leader in the state. A kindergarten pro- 
gram was started by the women but became the primary interest of 
Phoebe Hearst. 

The highlight of the workers' role was the lockout of 1909-1910. 
This resulted from an attempt of the Western Federation of Miners 
to establish a closed shop. In the ensuing struggle the local union 


and the W.F.M. were brought to a standstill by the company. The 
W.F.M. made an all-out effort to organize the Homestake but 
failed and unionism did not come to the Homestake until 1933. 
Since that time workers' activities and labor activities have been 
quite normal. In essence the miners and the company, with rare 
exception, have been very good for each other. 

Working the Homestake, is well, perhaps excessively, docu- 
mented. The author has relied on company records and reports, 
bulletins, a considerable number of personal interviews, govern- 
ment documents, newspapers and periodicals. These give an 
added strength to the work. Yet, the reader is often left more 
with an impression or a general picture of the workers than he is 
with real knowledge. To appreciate the work it is necessary to be 
familiar with some of the other works on the Black Hills — includ- 
ing Greever and Parker, — and on mining in general. The book 
is neither a social history nor a labor history but rather an account 
of the general conditions in the community. It will be of most 
use and interest to those interested in Black Hills mining, mining in 
general, and those interested in urban development in the West. 

Northwest Missouri State Harmon R. Mothershead 



Frederic Remington. An Essay and Catalogue to Accompany a 
Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of Frederic Remington. 
By Peter H. Hassrick. (Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 
1973). lUus. 48 pp. $3.00. 

"... the living, breathing end of three American centuries of 
smoke and dust and sweat. I knew the derby hat, the smoking 
chimneys, the cord-binder, and the thirty-day note were upon us 
in a resistless surge. I knew the wild riders and the vacant land 
were about to vanish forever, and the more I considered the 
subject the bigger the Forever loomed." So wrote Frederic Rem- 
ington in 1905 in recalling his thoughts after his first visit to the 
West in 1881. He was only 19 at the time but he was to return 
to that rapidly changing West again and again to capture with his 
sketches and finished paintings aspects of what was and what had 
been the drama of the American West of the 19th century. 

A study of the art works illustrated in this catalogue makes one 
both delighted and sad — delighted with what has been retained of 
that passing scene by Remington and others of his ilk; sad that 
there have been so few artists active during the past 70 years to 
pursue the visual recording of the continuing story of that West. 
True, the old West died sometime during the latter part of the last 


century, as Remington and others were fully aware, but the dra- 
matic altering of the landscape, the way of life, the changing 
attitudes towards the preservation of the nature and essence of 
mountain and plain — all combine in conjunction with and opposi- 
tion to progress and growth to make for still another epic of the 
West. But no Remingtons have captured these changes and we 
are the poorer for it. Some artist should have shown us how 
Aspen, Vail and Jackson Hole looked before the condominiums 
were planted by developers across fragile hillsides for searchers 
after winter-summer fun and games; before miles and miles of 
four-lane highways made scars across the land to link sprawling 
urban areas with other sprawling developments or metropolitan 
disasters; before clear, fast running mountain streams were cov- 
ered over or "improved" by having their courses altered and their 
banks concreted; before trailer camps replaced grassy meadows; 
before most wildlife and wilderness became prey to trailbikes, 
snowmobiles, helicopters, floatplanes and jet ports. But that was 
not to be. Remington died in 1909 and, as Hassrick has written: 
"Perhaps Remington's demise was not as untimely as it would 
appear. He had reached the apex of his career and was accepted 
by critics, fellow painters, and the public alike . . ." Certainly 
Remington had done his share and the time of his concern had 
passed, even by the time of his death. If the chore of a continuing 
record was to be done, it would be done by others. But, somehow, 
except for fragments, the story was not kept. Photography had 
come to take the artist's place — but the photographic telling of the 
tale is not quite the same ... as a perusal of this catalog and of 
Remington's work will attest. 

This is a brief essay by Mr. Hassrick — only 4 1 pages plus notes 
and photos — but it offers a good review of Remington's life and 
work. It contains some new information, especially concerning the 
roots of the artist's training and inspiration. Seldom before has a 
writer recognized the true influences on Remington's 20th century 
work. The American impressionist, J. Alden Weir, instructor and 
friend, and other American impressionists of the late 19th century 
and early 20th century, not French impressionism, touched Rem- 
ington's later style. Several of the works after 1900, some of 
which are illustrated, bear this out. Strangely, this fact seems to 
have been a secret known only by a few until now. 

If one would have regrets at all about the splendid exhibition 
and catalogue put together by the Amon Carter Museum it would 
be that several extremely strong works by Remington from the 
famed Gilcrease Collection in Tulsa were not represented. Other- 
wise, this is a must for Remington fans. 

Director James T. Forrest 

University of Wyoming 
Art Museum 


The Mexican War: Changing Interpretations. Ed. by Odie B. 
Faulk and Joseph A. Stout, Jr. (Chicago: The Swallow 
Press, Inc., 1972). Index. Maps. 224 pp. (Paper) $3.95. 

To most Americans the Mexican War is a disgraceful episode in 
American history. Continually the United States has been por- 
trayed as the aggressor — waging a vicious war against Mexico and 
seizing the American West as spoils of the conquest. However, 
today through careful research of the events leading to hostilities 
and a re-examination of Mexican attitudes, this interpretation is 
being challenged by some scholars. This book is a collection of 17 
selected essays seeking to explore new information and place the 
Mexican War in its proper historical perspective. 

Arguing that the conflict was not entirely the fault of President 
James K. Polk's desire for expansion, this book asserts that there 
are many previously ignored incidents which resulted in the two 
nations resorting to the final arbitrator — force. The contest be- 
tween the Federalist and Centralist for control of the Mexican 
government, the long-standing claims controversy between America 
and Mexico, together with previously accepted notions such as a 
"Slaveocracy Conspiracy," "Manifest Destiny," and the American 
desire for California are examined as background for the conflict. 
These questions, combined with an explanation of many actual 
events of the war and its aftermath constitute the bulk of this book. 

Peaceful attempts by America to acquire California and the 
previously deteriorating relations between the two contestants are 
examined in an attempt to portray the position of both countries 
immediately preceding the conflict. Anthony Butler, and his 
ineptness, along with Orazio de Santangelo, and his claim, are 
explored to determine their part in the decision to resort to force. 
Sectionalism and political fragmentation within the United States 
and the attitude of Whig abolitionists are investigated to conclude 
their effect on the outbreak of hostilities. Also the episode of 
Commodore Thomas Ap Catesby Jones and his seizure of Mon- 
terey in 1842 is utilized to illustrate the competition of various 
European nations and the United States for the acquisition of 
territory on the Pacific coast. 

The actual military campaigns of the war, and the reasons for 
the American victory also are examined. The superiority of 
American artillery is pointed out, and the hardship suffered by 
American troops is exposed. The involvement of Texas volun- 
teers — Los Diablos Tejanos — and their desire for revenge for 
previously committed Mexican atrocities, together with the adven- 
tures of Stephen Watts Kearney and the capture of Santa Fe, New 
Mexico, is discussed. 

The final portion of this book deals with the conclusion of the 
war. The "all-Mexico movement" in the United States, Nicholas 
P. Trist's part in the final peace treaty, and post-war efforts of 


filibustering are examined. An investigation of changing inter- 
pretations of the Mexican War and differing opinions for its out- 
break form the conclusion. 

Offering new insight into the reasons behind the instigation of 
hostilities between the United States and Mexico, in conjunction 
with descriptions of various episodes during and after the conflict. 
The Mexican War should be of interest to the general public as well 
as scholars. Though not attempting to explain every aspect of the 
Mexican War, this book does illustrate the violent chmax to the 
three-century old contest for control of the American West. 

Oklahoma Historical Society Kenny A. Franks 

Adams Coumy: The People, 1872-1972. Ed. by Dorothy Weyer 
Creigh. (Hastings, Nebr.: Adams County-Hastings Centen- 
nial Commission, 1971 ). Index. Illus. 311pp. $25. 

Adams County: A Story of the Great Plains. By Dorothy Weyer 
Creigh. (Hastings, Nebr.: Adams County-Hastings Centen- 
nial Commission, 1972). Index. Illus. 1106 pp. $25. 

In Adams County: The People, 1872-1972, the editor and her 
small volunteer staff have tried to include the biographies of a 
cross-section of the people who made Adams County, Nebraska, 
what it is today. The biographies of over 1600 residents of the 
county appear in this well-researched volume. By no means is 
their story the complete history of the people of Adams County. 
The purpose of the book is to provide the reader with a repre- 
sentative cross-section of the population of the county during the 
past century. The variety of occupations of the Nebraskans 
appearing in this volume illustrates that no attempt was made to 
limit the list to those individuals in any specific social or economic 
level. This book will be welcomed as an excellent reference source 
by those who are interested in the lives of those who settled and 
developed Adams County. 

Adams County: A Story of the Great Plains is the companion 
volume in this two-volume project undertaken by the Adams 
County-Hastings Centennial Commission. An even more ambi- 
tious project than the first volume, this book seems to attempt to 
encompass practically everything of any significance which con- 
tributed to the development of Adams County. It is not surprising 
that at times it is quite difficult for the reader to place everything in 
proper perspective. 

The initial third of the book is devoted to a chronological 
arrangement of a pre-1870 introduction and a decade-by-decade 
history of Adams County since 1870. The people of Adams 


County experienced in varying degrees many of the disasters and 
triumphs which made up the history of the past century of a county 
located on the Great Plains. The history of this county is an 
interesting microcosm of life in the whole region and it can be 
viewed as a valuable case study. 

Gleaned from a multitude of sources, hundreds of illustrations 
provide an important supplement to the text. Perhaps a good 
introduction to the illustrative material would have been a photo- 
graph of the Indian skin painting Segesser II, now located in 
Lucerne, Switzerland. There is a strong possibility that this pan- 
orama of the Villasur massacre is one of the earliest attempts to 
depict life in the general area encompassed by this book. 

Other segments of the book are devoted to such topics as the 
origins of the people, the city and county governments, the histories 
of the legal profession, schools, churches, organizations and the 
cultural activities of Adams County. In addition to the author, 
nine individuals contributed to the writing and research which 
made this volume possible. The incredible detail would have been 
virtually impossible without the dedication of Creigh and her nine 
collaborators. The work of the nine contributors is identified by 
a code or a by-line. 

This book and its sister volume are valuable contributions to an 
understanding of the history of the Great Plains. The author and 
those who assisted her are to be congratulated for their successful 
completion of this formidable task. These books will also serve as 
definitive reference works on this period of the history of Adams 
County, Nebraska, for many generations. The fruits of the efforts 
of Creigh and the other members of the centennial commission will 
be a valuable source for scholars and all those who wish to gain an 
understanding of life on the Great Plains during the past century. 

Missouri Southern State College Robert E. Smith 

Joplin, Missouri 


Ben W. Hope was born at Cody in 1912. After graduate work 
at the University of Iowa, first in Western History and then in 
Speech, he earned the M.A. in Speech at Iowa, the Ph.D. at Ohio 
State University, and since 1947 has taught rhetoric and argumen- 
tation at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. 

Barton R. Voigt received his M.A. in history from the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming in June, 1973. He received his early education 
in ThermopoUs. Voigt counts politics and participating sports 
among his hobbies. He and his wife and young son live in Chey- 
enne, where he is a research historian with the Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Department. 

Miss Lavina M. Franck is a faculty member of the School of 
Home Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 
She has previously taught at Indiana University, the University of 
West Virginia and the University of California at Los Angeles. 
She is a member of several professional groups, including the 
American Association of University Professors. Other publica- 
tions include the book. Textiles for Homes and People, published 
in 1973 by Ginn and Co., co-authored with M. Vanderhoff and 
L. Campbell. 

William W. Savage, Jr., is assistant editor of the University of 
Oklahoma Press. His article, "Plunkett of the EK: Irish Notes 
on the Wyoming Cattle Industry in the 1880s," was published in 
Annals of Wyoming in 1971. He has also had articles pubUshed 
in Journal of the West, Montana, the Magazine of Western History, 
Chronicles of Oklahoma and Scholarly Publishing. His book. The 
Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association, has just been published by 
the University of Missouri Press. Dr. Savage received the A.B. 
and M.A. degrees from the University of South Carolina and the 
Ph.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught 
history at the University of South Carolina, Iowa State University 
and the University of Oklahoma. 

better to the Editor 

To the Editor of Annals of Wyoming 

In the interest of accuracy, clarity and biographical complete- 
ness, may I add this brief note as an addendum to the article on 
New Deal art in Wyoming (Annals, Spring, 1973), authored by 
Jacquehne Petravage and myself. The photographs which illus- 
trate the piece (post office murals in Kemmerer, Powell and Riv- 
erton) enhance the text and we appreciate the extra effort taken 
by the Annals to include them. However, they were not taken by 
me, as one might assume from the credit lines below the pictures; 
the originals of these photos are in the archives of the Treasury 
Section of Painting and Sculpture in Washington. These prints, 
unearthed by co-author Petravage during research on her MA 
project, show the commissions at the point of their completion and 
were filed with the government by the artists under the terms of 
their contracts. Those interested in this aspect of the article will 
find additional pictures of the New Deal art commissions in Wyo- 
ming, in Ms. Petravage's thesis, in the Coe Library, Laramie. 

A further impression I would correct here is one that might be 
drawn from the fact that my co-author's name appears neither in 
the table of contents nor in the "Contributors" section of the spring 
number of the Annals. The oversight is unfortunate because the 
essay was a cooperative venture; we collaborated as equals in the 
essential tasks of research and writing. Ms. Petravage is an able 
young scholar in her own right and the biographical material that 
should have been included in the "Contributors" section would 
note that she has an undergraduate degree from the University of 
Dayton (1970) and an M.A. in American Studies from Wyoming 
(1972). She held a summer internship in the National Collection 
of Fine Arts in Washington (1971 ) and while in residence for her 
M.A., she held a Coe Fellowship in American Studies. More 
recently (August, 1973) she has married into a pioneer Wyoming 
family; her husband is Malcolm Craig Campbell of Sheridan. She 
and her husband are currently pursuing further work at the Uni- 
versity here in Laramie. 

As the senior person who made arrangements for publication of 
the piece, I should have made doubly certain that the above facts 
were clearly made; I welcome this opportunity now to keep the 
record straight. 



Professor, History and 

American Studies 
The University of Wyoming 
Laramie, Wyoming 


Adams County: The People, 1872- 

1972, ed. by Dorothy Weyer 

Creigh, review, 271-272 
Adams County: A Story of the 

Great Plains, ed. by Dorothy 

Weyer Creigh, review, 271-272 
Agricultural Adjustment Act of 

1949, 189 
Anderson Ranch Crossing, 253 
Andrews, Charley, 147 
Angus, Sheriff Red, 152, 154, 155, 

156, 157, 158 
Antilla, Alice, "Story of the Ham's 

Fork Country and the Oregon 

Trail," 259-261 
Apple, Peter, 254 
Ash, Judge, 170 
Ashley, William H., 252 
Axelbee, — , 168 


Bard, Jim, 169 

Bacon, O. F., 146-147 

Barkley, Vice Pres. Alben W., 199, 

Barrett, Gov. Frank A., 177-222 

Bartelson-Bidwell Company, 252 

Bartlett, Judge Jimmy, 173 

"Bear River Valley in Cokeville 
Area," by Dorothy L. Somsen, 

Beaver, Sheriff V. M., 167, 169 

Bickle, Dave, 147 

Birmingham (Iowa) Emigrating 
Company, 254 

Black, Alec, 147 

Blaikie, Ed, 164 

Blake, Richard W., 182 

Bonneville, Capt. Benjamin L. E., 
252, 255 

Bonneville's Folly, 252 

Boughton, E. B. R., 244 

Bowles, Samuel, Our New West. 
Records of Travel Between the 
Mississippi River and the Pacific- 
Ocean, 1869, review, 264-265 

Boyden, Jack, 170 

Boysen Reservoir, 196 

Brayman, Harold, 197 

Bridger, James, 256 

Brinegar Ferry, 254 

Brown, Sheriff Jesse, 166, 167 
Buck, Karen, "Names Hill," 255-258 
Burke, — , 166 

Calais, (Cully), 171 

Calamity Jane, 146, 166, 167 

Campbell, Malcolm, 159 

Canton, Frank, 157, 159 

Carey, Joseph M., 246 

Carter, Vincent, 181 

Case Ferry, 253 

Cash, Joseph H., Working the 
Homestake, review, 267-268 

Casper Federal Land Office, 191 

Chadey, Henry, "Green River Fer- 
ries." 251-254 

Chaffin, Robert N.. 220 

Champion. Dud, 161 

Champion. Nate, 143, 154, 155, 157, 

Chapman, Int. Sec. Oscar L., 194, 

Chenoweth, Otto, 153 

Cheyenne, 245, 247-248 

Cheyenne Club, 245 

Clarke, A. B., 159 

Clayton Anti-trust Act, 182 

Clover, James Wm., 257 

Coates, Fred, 152, 156 

Commodity Credit Corporation. 189 

Corum, Alfred. 260 

Cornelison, John, review of From 
the Missouri to the Great Salt 
Lake: An Account of Overland 
Freighting, 206 

Craig. Jim. 155 

Creigh. Dorothy Weyer. ed.. Adams 
County: The People, 1872-1972. 
review, 271-272; ed., Adams 
County: A Storv of the Great 
Plains: 271-272. 

Crews. Thomas B.. 257 

Crippa. E. D. "Ted," 193 

Currington. Gene. 165. 166 

Curry, George. 147 


Dempsey and Hockaday Road, 261; 

See Sublette Cut-off 
Didwam. James. 257 



Dieterich, H. R., Letter to the Ed- 
itor, 273 
Digby. Margaret. 242 
Dodge Suspension Bridge, 253 
Doherty, John, 146 
Dunning, — , 161 

Egbert, Maj. H. C, 163 
Eisenhower, Gen. Dwight D., 179, 

186. 195, 200, 214, 215, 216 
Elliott. Joe. 143-172 
Elwood. Ike. 258 
Emigrant Springs, 258 
Evans Fred, 146 
Expedition Island, 251 

Fallbrook case, 220 

"The Fallbrook Story," movie, 193 

Fallbrook Utility Company, 192 

Farley, Jim, 180 

Faulk, Odie B., and Joseph A. Stout, 
Jr.. ed.. The Mexican War: 
Changing Interpretations, review, 

Fechet, Maj. E. G.. 161 

"Fifth Segment of the Oregon Trail. 
Green River to Cokeville," com- 
piled by Maurine Carley, 249-263 

Fitch. Ed, 151 

Flagg. Jack, 159 

Flannery. L. G. "Pat", 188, 195, 
198. 199. 213. 215 

Fontenelle. Lucien. 257 

Fontenelle Creek. 257 

Fontenelle Reservoir. 253 

Ford. J. W., 258 

Forrest, James T., review of Frederic 
Remington. An Essay and Cata- 
logue to Accompany a Retrospec- 
tive Exhibition of the Work of 
Frederic Remington, 268-269 


Bridger, 257 
McKinney, 158, 161 
Russell. D. A., 145. 158, 163 

Franck, Lavina M.. "A Review and 
Functional Analysis of Siouan 
Costume," 227-238; biog., 273 

Franks, Kenny A., review of The 
Mexican War: Changing Interpre- 
tations, 210-21 \ 

Frederic Remington. An Essay and 
Catalogue to Accompany a Retro- 
spective Exhibition of the Work 
of Frederic Remington, by Peter 
Hassrick, review, 268-269 

"Freedom's Shores," movie, 193 

Fremont, John C, 252 

From the Missouri to the Great Salt 
Lake: An Account of Overland 
Fregihting, by William E. Lass, 
review, 266 

Funda, Mrs. Velma, 218 

Gardner, Tommy, 154-155 

Garner, Jack, 153, 154, 156 

Gaylord, O., 258 

Goppert, Ernest, 2 1 1 

Green, Jack, 174 

Green, Joe, 166 

Green River, 251, 255 

Green River Crossing, photo, 250 

"Green River Ferries," by Henry 

Chadey, 251-254 
Green River Station, 253 
Greenwood, Caleb, 255 
Greybull, 188 


Halcomb, Gene, 169 

Hall, Shock, 152 

Ham, Zacharias, 259 

Ham's Fork, 258 

Hardendorf, A. J., 218 

Harris, Louis, 214 

Harrison, Rep. William Henry, 195, 
200, 218 

Hart, Ed, 165 

Harvey, W. H., 254 

Hass, Fred, 173 

Hassrick, Peter, Frederic Reming- 
ton. An Essay and Catalogue to 
Accompany a Retrospective Exhi- 
bition of the Work of Frederic 
Remington, review, 268-269 

Hay, v., 257 

Hazen, Joe, 147 

Hesse, Fred, 161 

Hicks, Bob, 169, 170 

Hicks, Jay, 169, 170 

Hildt, Joseph, 258 

Hill, Nancy, 257 

Hinckley, John T., 217 

History of Natrona Coimty, by A. J. 
Mokler, 154 



Holmes Ferry, 254 

Hope, B. W., "Joe Elliott's Story,' 

143-172; biog., 273 
Howry, Tom, 170 
Hunt, Frank, 171 
Hunt, Lester C, 210 

Kerr, Ewing T., 184, 197 
Kinney Cut-off, 257 
Kinselmann, John, 146 


Ijams, — , 161 

Chiefs and Individuals 

Alfred Night Pipe, Chief, photo, 

Alfred Night Pipe, Mrs., photo, 

Annie Black Spotted Horse, 
photo, 226 

Daniel Hollow Horn Bear, Mrs., 
photo, 226 

Hollow Horn, photo, 230 

Joseph Frightened, Chief, pho- 
to, 226 

Leucy Owns The Battle, photo, 

NoBell, Mrs. Kate, photo, 226 

Spotted Tail, Chief, 145 

Yellow Hair, photo, 229 

Zouie Hollow Horn Bear, pho- 
to, 226 
Soldier Societies 

Sioux Strong Hearts, 235 

Sioux, 227-238 
Irvine, Billy, 163 

Jack, William "Scotty," 191 

Jimmy the Butcher, 150 

"Joe Elliott's Story," by B. W. Hope, 

Johnson County Invaders, photo, 

Johnson County Invasion (War), 

143, 156, 157, 158 
Johnston, Col. A. S., 252, 257 
Johnston, J. C, 258 
"Joseph C. O'Mahoney and the 1952 

Senate Election in Wyoming," by 

Barton R. Voigt, 177-224 


Keats, Henry, 152 

Kendrick, Gov. John B., 180, Sena- 
tor, 181, 184 

Lass, William E., From the Missouri 
to the Great Salt Lake: An Ac- 
count of Overland Freighting, re- 
view, 266 

Lee, Dave, (Scrub Peeler), 152 

Leggett, Aiford F., 210, 211, 212 

Lemmon, Ed, 166 

Letter to the Editor, by H. R. Die- 
terich, 274 

Lombard, William, 253 

Lombard Butte, 251 

Lombard Ferry, 251, 253 

Lombard Road, 253 

The Longest Rope, by D. F. Baber, 
as told by Bill Walker, 152, 156 

Loomis, Leander, 254 

Luykins, (Lykins) Billy, 150, 161 


MacArthur, Gen. Douglas, 178 

McCormick, John W., 195, 196 

McCormick, George C, 219 

McCraken, Tracy, 187, 188. 195, 
197, 199 

McCullough, Johnny, 155 

McCurry, V. T., 216 

McGee, Fred F.. 211 

Mclntyre, John J.. 192 

Malcolm Campbell, Sheriff, by Rob- 
ert David, 150 

Merino, (Upton). 150 

The Mexican War: Changing Inter- 
pretations, ed., Odie B. Faulk and 
Joseph A. Stout, Jr., review. 270- 

Miles. John T.. 219 

Miller, Gov. Leslie A., 181, 195 

Miller, Stocks. 146 

Mitchell. Danny. 155 

Mondell. [F. W.], 184 

Morgan. 1. J.. 147 

Mormon Ferry. 253 

Moses. Sam. 163 

Mothershead. Harmon R., review of 
Working the Homestake, 267-268 

Moyers. Charley. 153. 156 

Mullane. Jim, 172 

Myers. Johnny. 169 

Mynett, Jeff, 157-158 




"Names Hill," by Karen Buck, 255- 

Names Hill Crossing, 252, 256 

National Beet Grower Federation, 

Northwestern Stage and Transporta- 
tion Co., 146 


O'Hara, Jack, 168 

O'Mahoney, U. S. Sen. Joseph C, 
177-224; photo, 176 

O'Mahoney, Frank, 211 

O'Mahoney-Hatch Act of 1949, 190 

O'Mahoney-Hatch Amendment, 189 

O'Mahoney-Hatch Oil and Gas Act 
of 1946, 181 

O'Marr, Louis J., 210 

O'Neill. Jim, 172, 173 

Our New West. Records of Travel 
Between the Mississippi River and 
the Pacific Ocean, 1869, by Sam- 
uel Bowles, review, 264-265 

Overholt, W. H., 258 

Owens, George, 145 

Owens, Johnny, 171 

Palmer Ford, 254 
Parker, Col., 146 
Plunkett, Sir Horace Curzon, 241- 

Porter brothers, 146 
Powder River, 245, 247 
Powell, John Wesley, 251 
Prairie Chicken River. See Green 

Presbrey, Mrs. Oliver M., 214 
Pumpkin Buttes, 148-149 

Quaking Aspen Canyon, 259 



FK, 244, 245 
Half Circle L, 163 
KC, 158, 159 
101, 163 
TA, 158; photo, 160 

Ray, Nick, 158 

Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 

211, 212 
"A Review and Functional Analysis 

of Siouan Costume", by Lavina 

M. Franck, 227-238 
Richard, John B., 201, 204, 205 
Richards, Bartlett, 147 
Ricketts, Billy, 149, 163 
Ridgeway, Wilse, 153 
Riley, J. J., 174, 175 
Rio Verde. See Green River 
Robinson Ferry, 253 
Roche, Alexis and Edmund, 244 
Rock Springs, 193 
Rogers, Jack, 150 
Roles, Howard, 161 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 180, 181, 

Roosevelt, Pres. Theodore, 241, 242, 

246, 247, 248 
Rose, Robert R., Jr., 180, 200, 218, 

Ryan, Mother, 262 

Sain, Ben, 173 

Sample, Mrs., 154 

Sandres, J. F., 257 

Savage, William W., Jr., "Wyoming 
and the Shaping of a Presidential 
Advisor", 241-248; biog., 273 

Seeds -Kee- Dee Agie. See Green 

Sewell, Roy, 167 

Shonsey, Mike, 157, 158, 161, 163 

Slack, O. L., 172 

Slate Creek, 257-258 

Smith, Jedediah, 252, 255 

Smith, John W., 257 

Smith, Robert E., review of Adams 
County: The People, 1872-1972, 
n\-272; review of Adams Coimty: 
A Story of the Great Plains, Ill- 

Smith, Tom, 157-158 

Spanish River. See Green River 

Stack, Gerald A., 196 

Standard Cattle Company (101), 148 

Stansbury, Howard, 252 

Stevenson, Gov. Adlai, 179, 198, 
200, 210, 214, 217 

Stevens -Townsend- Murphy (emi- 
grant) party, 255 

Stewart, Frank, 165 

Stone, Lew, 168, 169 

Stoner, Rocky, 262 



"Story of the Ham's Fork Country 
and the Oregon Trail," by Alice 
Antilla, 259-261 

Stout, Joseph A., Jr., and Odie B., 
Faulk, ed.. The Mexican War: 
Changing Interpretations, review, 

Sublette, Pinckney W., 257 

Sublette Cut-off, 255-257 

Sullivan, John F.. 195 

Swisher, Jim, 154 

Taft, Sen. Robert, 179 

Thomas, Frank M., 183 

Throp, — , 257 

Tisdale, Jack, 161 

Towsa, Ed, 158-159 

Truman, Pres. Harry S., 178, 179, 
189, 190, 191, 194, 195 

Turner, Frederick Jackson, 243, 248 

Turpen, Bill L., review of Our New 
West. Records of Travel Between 
the Mississippi River and the Pa- 
cific Ocean, 1869, 264-265 

Voigt, Barton R., "Joseph C. O'Ma- 
honey and the 1952 Senate Elec- 
tion in Wyoming," 177-224; biog.. 

Western Political Quarterly, 212, 

Western South Dakota Stockgrow- 
er's Association, 164 

Western Union Beet Company, 158 

Whitaker, Raymond B., 198, 199, 
210, 217 

Whitcomb, E. W., 149, 157, 159 

Wiley, Mrs. Lucille, 188 

Wilkerson, Ernest, 213 

Willard, Cap. 168 

Willard, Fred, 166. 167, 168 

Williams, W. A.. 258 

Wind River Reservation, 196 

Wolcott, Maj. Frank, 159 

Working the Homestake, by Joseph 
H. Cash, review, 267-268 

Worland, 211 

"Wyoming and the Shaping of a 
Presidential Adviser." by William 

W. Savage, Jr.. 241-248 

Wyoming Senate Election. 1952, 
analysis, 200-209; tables, 201-203, 

Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion, 244 

Wyoming Stockman's Association, 
147, 148, 150 

"Wyoming Tru-Poll Committee," 

Wyoming Wool Growers Associa- 
tion, 195, 210 


Waggoner, Tom, 143, 150 
Walker, Bob, 169, 170 
Walker, Will, 169-170 
West, T. H., 258 

Young. Brigham. 252 

Zimmerman, A. R., 219 


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 pohtical 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.