Skip to main content

Full text of "Annals of Wyoming"

See other formats

of Wyoming 

Spring 1976 









Member at Large 

Mrs. Donald M. Casey Cheyenne 

Mrs. William Swanson Rawlins 

Mrs. Frank Emerson Evanston 

Mrs. George W. Knepper Buffalo 

Jerry Rillahan Worland 

Willis Hughes Moorcroft 

William T. Nightingale, Chairman Lander 

Frank Bowron Casper 
Attorney General V. Frank Mendicino Cheyenne 



William H. Williams Director 

Buck Dawson Director, State Museums 

Mrs. Katherine A. Halverson Director, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Director, 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 

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

Copyright 1976, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 48 Spring, 1976 Number 1 

Katherine a. Halverson 

John C. Paige 

William H. Barton 

Editorial Assistants 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1975-1976 

President, Jay Brazelton Jackson 

First Vice President, Ray Pendergraft Worland 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Mabel Brown Newcastle 

Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Ellen Mueller 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 

ft' ' Adrian Reynolds, Green River 1967-1968 

''•'' CuRTiss Root, Torrington 1968-1969 

^\ Mrs. Hattie Burnstad, Worland 1969-1970 

h'l J. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins 1970-1971 

William R. Dubois, Cheyenne 1971-1972 

Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs 1972-1973 

Richard S. Dumbrill. Newcastle 1973-1974 

Henry Jensen, Casper..... 1974-1975 

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 

Life Membership $100.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and Wife) 150.00 

Annual Membership 5.00 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address) 7.00 

Institutional Membership 10.00 

Send State Membership Dues To: 
Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
Barrett Building 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002 

Zable of Contents 


By David P. Robrock 5 

WYOMING, 1837-1937 

By James H. Nottage 77 


By Paul L. Hedren 103 

JUNE 25, 1876 

Custer's Last Battle, By Captain Charles King. Introduction by 

Paul L. Hedren 109 

General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876, 

By Elizabeth B. Custer 127 

"Is General Custer Alive Today?" from Sheridan News, 

December 8, 1937 129 


Minutes of the Tvv'enty-second Annual Meeting 133 


Hanson, Metal Weapons, Tools and Ornaments of the Teton 

Dakota Indians 142 

Marriott and Rachlin, Plains Indian Mythology 143 

Spence, Territorial Politics and Government in Montana, 

1864-1889 144 

Schoenman and Schoenman, Letters from North America, 

By John Xantus 146 

Stenzel, James Madison Alden. Yankee Artist of the Pacific 

Coast, 1854-1860 147 

White, Chronicle of a Congressional Journey. The Doolittle 

Committee in the Southwest, 1865 148 

Langley, To Utah With the Dragoons and Glimpses of Life in 

Arizona and California 150 

Haines, The Plains Indians: Their Origins, Migrations and 

Cultural Development 151 

Tanner, A Biography of Ezra Thompson Clark 152 

Carriker and Carriker, An Army Wife on the Frontier: The 

Memoirs of Alice Blackwood Baldwin, 1867-1877 153 

Waters, To Possess the Land: A Biography of 

Arthur Rockford Manby 154 


INDEX 157 


Seal of the Territory of Wyoming Cover 

Fort Fetterman 1870. Sketch by John Wesley Whitten III 4 

Present Day Reconstruction Fort Fetterman Ordnance Storehouse 46 
Restored Double Officers Quarters, Fort Fetterman Historic Site .. 62 

The Union Pacific Depot, Cheyenne 78 

Ten Minutes at Carbon, Wyoming Territory 78 

A Troop of U. S. Cavalry Drilling Near Fort Steele 89 

The Depot at Green River Station, Wyoming Territory 91 

Merritt Dana Houghton 93 

Elling William GoUings 95 

Charles A. Belden Photograph, "The Old Fiddler" 97 

Hans Kleiber 98 

Title Page of First Edition of "Laramie;" or The Queen of Bedlam 102 

Brigadier General Charles King 105 

Custer's Last Battle, Drawing by Gail Mercatante 117 

(Cover note on page 101) 

A Mistory of Jort Merman, 
Wyoming, 1867-1882 

David P. Robrock 

FORT FETTERMAN: 1867-1869 

The Post was established in July 1867, and in 
the following month the Indians in the vicinity 
were actively hostile. 

— Surgeon General's Report, 1870 

Military Situation - 1867 

In May 1867 General William Tecumseh Sherman wrote, "I 
think this year is our crisis on the Plains." Demands were being 
made upon his dwindling forces from all parts of the plains. He 
concluded that the greatest threat came from the Sioux Indians 
massed along the Bozeman Trail. To meet this threat he planned 
to organize an expedition of 2000 men at Fort Laramie and 
advance into the Powder River country, all the way to the Yellow- 
stone River if necessary. The plan was cancelled when the gov- 
ernment ordered him to undertake no offensive action until the 
efforts of the Indian Peace Commission of 1867 were exhausted.^ 
As a result his forces remained scattered in many small posts. 

With action against the Indians forbidden, he concentrated on 
protecting major hnes of communication. In accordance with this 
strategy two new forts were established in the Department of the 
Platte. Fort D. A. Russell was built at Cheyenne to protect the 
railroad construction crews and to serve as a supply depot. Fort 
Fetterman was established at the junction of the Oregon and 
Bozeman Trails to protect passing emigrants and wagon trains and 
to support any future operations in the Powder River country. 

The task of establishing Fort Fetterman was given to a battalion 

(Photo opposite page) 
— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 
Fort Fetterman. 1870 
Sketch by John Wesley Whitten III 

iRobert G. Athearn, William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of 
the West, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1956). pp. 64-65. 
Hereafter Athearn, Sherman. 


of the 4th Infantry under Major Wilham McE. Dye.^ He arrived 
at Fort Laramie early in June 1867 with his command of nine 
officers and 283 men. General Christopher C. Augur's orders 
were to take four companies of the 4th Infantry "to the vicinity of 
the mouth of La Prele Creek" and construct a fort "to be upon the 
main traveled route between [Fort Laramie] and the Mountain 
District." Dye was to explore the area for possible sites with the 
exact location to be chosen by General Augur, Commander of the 
Department of the Platte, upon his arrival.^ 

Dye marched his battalion to the area and arrived at La Prele 
Creek on June 27. There he estabHshed a temporary base, "Camp 
Sill." The area between Forts Laramie and Caspar was an im- 
portant one on the northern plains. On the south bank of the 
North Platte River ran the Oregon Trail, the main east-west route, 
and the Pacific Telegraph Line. Telegraph stations had been 
established on each of the major creeks in the area, La Bonte, 
La Prele, and Deer, and at the Platte River Bridge prior to the 
Civil War. Each station had been the scene of Indian skirmishes 
during the 1862-1865 period, and most were abandoned. Camp 
Marshall was built on La Bonte Creek in 1864 to strengthen the 
defenses of the area. Creation of the Bozeman Trail increased the 
area's importance. In 1867 the defense of the area was provided 
by Forts Laramie and Caspar, with a company stationed at Bridg- 
er's Ferry. 

The Founding of Fort Fetterman 

In the Fort Fetterman area the land north of the Platte River is 
gently rolUng and covered with sagebrush. South of the Platte 
begin the foothills of the Laramie Range. This higher land is cut 
by many stream beds and draws. In 1869 the area was officially 
described: "Surrounding country healthy; winters long and spring 
very short and windy: country rolling and vegetation very im- 
perfect." Game was "tolerably abundant," and it was noted that 
the area had once been the center of the buffalo range though they 
were now "not found within 30 miles." The elevation was 
approximately one mile above sea level, and the average tem- 
peratures reportedly fluctuated between the extremes of 111° 

2The army was in a state of flux at this time. Tlie 4th Infantry had its 
authorized thirty-four officers but only 732 of its authorized 1200 men, of 
whom 220 deserted during the course of the year. Replacements during the 
year included 112 new recruits and seven captured deserters. For further 
discussion see U. S. Congress, House, Report of the Secretary of War, 
House Ex. Doc. No. 1, 40th Cong., 2nd sess., 1867, pp. 424, 433, and 

•^Fort Laramie Post Records, Record Group 98, National Archives, Wash- 
ington, D. C. Microfilm copies on file at the Wyoming State Archives, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. Letters Sent file, letter dated June 14, 1867. 


and — 20°. "High winds are prevalent; hail storms are frequent; 
and much snow falls during the winter."^ 

Although Dye scouted the surrounding area for possible sites, 
the best location was near his camp. Two hundred yards to the 
right of the mouth of the La Prele and two hundred yards south 
of the Platte rises a plateau, approximately 130 feet high "con- 
taining nearly one square mile . . . the first step above the valley 
of the Platte", Dye wrote. The plateau overlooked four fords in 
the immediate area, important because of the prevalence of quick- 
sand in the Platte, and rose above the surrounding countryside on 
three sides. Only a small hill rising off the plateau to the south- 
east, later to become the post cemetery, dominated the site. Be- 
sides offering good military positions and access to plenty of water, 
the site was within eighteen miles of a large timber stand to the 
south which would provide adequate lumber for construction.^ 

The battalion moved onto the plateau on July 9, and on July 31, 
received the order to name the prospective fort "Fetterman" in 
honor of Captain William J. Fetterman, killed in the battle near 
Fort Phil Kearny the year before. As of August 10, no work had 
been done on the fort because General Augur had not given final 
approval to the site. The arrival of a large supply train of con- 
struction materials from Fort Russell, under Colonel Nelson B. 
Switzer, solved this problem. With Switzer's approval of the site, 
work began immediately to ready the fort for the approaching 

On his march north Switzer established direct communications 
between the fort and Cheyenne by building a new road from the 
Cheyenne-Fort Laramie road. The new road which began at the 
Bordeaux Ranch and curved northwest to the Oregon Trail was 
known as the "Fetterman Cut-Off."" This road became the main 
supply road between the Bozeman Trail forts and the railroad 
depots. Establishment of this road also made Fort Fetterman a 
strategic crossroad, with the Oregon Trail going east to west and 
the Bozeman Trail and supply road going north to south. 

The fort was planned in the standard military design. The 
foundations for two barracks and officers' quarters were laid out 
on either side of a parade ground. A telegraph and an adjutant's 
office were located at the south edge of the parade ground. These 

^U. S. War Department, Surgeon General's Office Circular No. 4, Decem- 
ber 5, 1870," pp. 350-353. Photostatic copy on file at Coe Library, Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. Hereafter "Surgeon General's Report, 1870". 

^Fort Fetterman Post Records, Letters Sent file, letter dated August 10, 
1867. Hereafter Letters Sent. 


''^ Virginia Cole Trenholm, "The Bordeaux Story," Annals of Wyoming, 
July 1954, pp. 122-123. The road was also known as the Bordeaux and 
Switzer Cut-Off. 


buildings were enclosed by a stockade. A laundress quarters, 
stables and storehouses were located outside the stockade. A 
wood reserve and sawmill were established on Box Elder Creek, 
fourteen miles south of the fort. A hay reserve was paced off on 
Deer Creek, twenty-two miles to the west.'"* 

The establishment of Fort Fetterman made Fort Caspar unnec- 
essary, and it was officially abandoned in October. Soldiers sal- 
vaged all usable materials. Several buildings were dismantled and 
carried to Fort Fetterman, including the hospital. It was reas- 
sembled at Fort Fetterman in December and served, with many 
renovations, as the post hospital until the fort was deactivated.'^ 

Military Operations - 1867 

The command fell into the daily routine of guard, poUce, fatigue, 
and escort details. The men were kept on constant alert by the 
bands of Indians seen near the camp every day.^** Mihtary opera- 
tions from Fort Fetterman began July 11, when a detachment 
escorted a supply train to Fort Reno. Escorts were provided from 
Fort Fetterman for all wagon trains traveling between Forts Reno, 
Caspar, and Laramie. There was little civilian traffic in the area, 
and all wagon trains were either military or under government 
contract. The largest of these trains consisted of thirty-six wagons 
bound for Fort Caspar, escorted by an officer and thirty men from 
Fort Fetterman on September 12.^^ 

The two major battles of 1867 took place along the Bozeman 
Trail. At the conclusion of the annual Sun Dance that year the 
Sioux and Cheyennes rode out to destroy Forts C. F. Smith and 
Phil Kearny. The "Hay Field Fight" and the famous "Wagon Box 
Fight" resulted, along with possibly 120 Indian casualties. Aside 
from these two battles the war that year was one of small raids 
and ambushes. The 4th Infantry, strung out between Forts 
Laramie and Fetterman, fought a number of skirmishes. Activity 
around Fort Fetterman consisted mostly of patrols and rumors of 
impending attacks. On August 4 a war party attacked a supply 
train between Forts Reno and Fetterman and was driven off with- 
out loss. The Indians attacked another train in the same area on 
August 15, and a teamster and two Indians were killed. The war 
reached closer to Fort Fetterman on August 22 when a Private 

^Letters Sent, November 6, 1867. 

""Surgeon General's Report, 1870," pp. 350-353. 

i"Fort Fetterman Post Records, Record Group 98, microfilm copies on 
file at the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. Morning 
Report, July 1, 1867. The battalion was composed of companies A, C, H, 
and I, 4th Infantry. 

iiFort Fetterman Post Records, "Remarks Section" to the Consolidated 
Morning Report for August-September 1867. 


Griffen was "found scalped by Indians at La Prele Creek. "^- 
A raiding party attempted to drive off the post cattle herd on 
August 31 and a similar raid took place October 25 when a cattle 
herd being driven from Fort Fetterman to Fort Reno was unsuc- 
cessfully attacked. ^^ But for the most part, life at Fort Fetterman 
was uneventful. The post surgeon wrote in the fall of 1867: 

Nothing much of interest, aside from the usual routine of labor in 
constructing the post, and the frequent arrival and departure of trains 
with supplies for the upper posts. ^^ 

The First Winter 

During the fall, military units in the Department of the Platte 
were reorganized and responsibility for Fort Fetterman fell to the 
18th Infantry. On September 14, six companies of the 18th 
Infantry under Major Henry Walton Wessels, Jr., began to arrive 
at the fort.^"^ He found that none of the buildings were finished. 
Everybody, he reported in November, lived in tents "exposed on a 
bleak plain to violent and almost constant gales and very uncom- 
fortable." To alleviate the housing shortage, Wessels transferred 
one company to Fort Reno and stationed another at the post saw- 
mill for the winter. The adobe buildings were completed but 
lacked roofs and floors due to a lumber shortage. He complained 
that the wood reserve was too far away and that the sawmill's 
capacity was inadequate for the needs of the post.^'' In December 
the first building, the laundress quarters, was completed and the 
officers moved in.^' The other buildings were gradually finished 
as the weather and building supplies improved. 

As might be expected the health of the battalion steadily de- 
clined as the winter progressed. Sixty-three cases of disease and 
gunshot wounds were reported in August out of an average 
strength of 350 men. In September the figure climbed to eighty- 
two cases out of 440 men, and in November, 101 cases including 
two deaths were reported out of 374 men. March 1868 was 
the worst month, in which 121 cases were reported out of 326 

i2Fort Fetterman Post Records, Burial Record 1867-1868. The first 
fatality recorded at the fort was Private Henry Reynolds who died in the 
post hospital August 11, 1867 (cause not stated). The only fatality in 
September was Private William Rust who accidentally shot himself. 

I'^Fort Fetterman Post Records, Post Medical History, August-October 
1867. Hereafter Medical History. The Medical History was an official 
journal kept by the post surgeons. Organization and content varied with 
who was keeping it. 

'^^Medical History, August-October 1867. 

'^'^Ibid. The battalion was composed of companies A, D, F. H, I and K 
plus the headquarters staff and band of the 18th Infantry. 

^^Letters Sent, November 6, 1867. 

^'Medical History, December 1867. 


men. These figures included several cases of scurvy due to a lack 
of fresh vegetables. ^^ 

American Horse's Raid 

Early in February 1868 the Indians renewed their activities in 
the Fort Fetterman area. Small bands of Indians made stock raids 
on ranches near the fort and along Box Elder Creek. Wessels' 
infantry battalion was hard put to counter the fast moving Indians. 
He lamented that the "Infantry can pursue with little chance of 
rescue."^-' To give his command some mobility, he requested "a 
small party of cavalry, 8 or 10 men" to be stationed at the fort. 
When some cattle were run off near La Bonte Creek, the local 
ranchers took matters into their own hands and chased after the 
Indians though without success.-*^ 

March was the most violent month in the history of Fort Fetter- 
man. Indians attacked the mail detail between Forts Reno and 
Fetterman on March 12, without loss to either side. On the same 
day a raiding party captured a team of six mules during a skirmish 
three miles southwest of Fort Fetterman. The next day a war 
party atttacked the post sawmill on Box Elder Creek. Wessels 
dispatched a detachment of infantry to the sawmill with orders to 
destroy any band of Indians found in the area, but noted that 
"having no organized mounted force have little hope of reaching 
them."-^ On March 18, Indians raided a civilian outfit known as 
'Brown's Camp" on Box Elder Creek and ran off sixty head of 
cattle. The next day the Indians made a second raid on the saw- 
mill and attacked a detachment of soldiers loading logs. The 
raiders killed one soldier and ran off twenty-nine mules. A mount- 
ed force set out in pursuit from the mill. They engaged the 
Indians in a "running fight" for three miles, and another soldier 
was killed."^ 

The high point of the month came when Sioux chief American 
Horse led sixty warriors across the Platte on the night of March 20. 
They attacked five ranches in the vicinity of Fort Fetterman and 
burned them to the ground. Six ranchers were killed and four 
wounded in these attacks. Most of the survivors fled to Fort 
Fetterman. All of the remaining ranches in the Platte Valley as 
far as Fort Laramie were abandoned as a consequence of this raid, 
and the ranchers did not begin to filter back into the area until 
1871. The Indians proceeded to burn most of the telegraph sta- 
tions in the area and tore up over ten miles of telegraph line 

^^Ibid., October-December 1867; March 1868. 
^^Letters Sent, March 2, 1868. 
20/Z>W., February 18, 1868. 
21/fejW., March 12 and 14, 1868. 
^^Letters Sent, March 18 and 19, 1868. 


before re-crossing the Platte on March 29. A company of the 2nd 
Cavalry was sent out from Fort Laramie to repair the telegraph 
line and to bury the dead.^^ 

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 

These raids were part of a series of Indian attacks which spread 
across the plains from Fort Bridger to Fort Kearny, Nebraska, and 
constituted the last major skirmishes of the Red Cloud War. A 
new Indian peace commission had succeeded in negotiating a 
treaty by agreeing to abandon the Bozeman Trail. The Fort 
Laramie Treaty of 1868 established a northern Indian reservation 
which encompassed the present day state of South Dakota west of 
the Missouri River. The major flaw in the treaty was Article XVI 
which termed the Powder River country and other traditional 
Indian hunting grounds in northeastern Wyoming "Unceded Terri- 
tories." The Indians could hunt on these lands but not live there 
permanently. The idea was to get the Indians accustomed to living 
in areas closer to the Missouri River while allowing them to roam 
their familiar hunting grounds. Another defect was Article XI 
which granted the Indians the right to hunt along the Republican 
and Smoky Hill Rivers in Kansas and Nebraska ". . . so long as 
the buffalo may range therein in such numbers as to justify the 
chase. "2^ Rather than limit the Indians to a specific reservation, 
the treaty actually allowed them to roam over essentially the same 
lands they had before the Civil War. This put the Indians on a 
collision course with the growing number of settlers moving onto 
the plains. 

Reaction to the treaty varied. General Sherman concluded that 
the newly completed railroads provided a better and more efficient 
route to the gold fields in Montana as well as the West Coast and 
that the Bozeman Trail was no longer needed. Many people felt 
that the treaty left the Indians undefeated and even in a victorious 
mood. General Augur wrote: 

The Indian is unrestrained now by any consideration for the white 
man. He neither loves him nor fears him. Before he can be con- 
trolled he must be made to do one or the other. -^ 

-^This event is mentioned in several sources, with different dates and 
casualties. See George W. Webb, List of Engagemeiits of the Indian Wars. 
(St. Joseph, Mo.: Wing Printing and Publishing Co., 1939), p. 36. Here- 
after Webb, Engagements. Also John Hunton, "Reminiscences," Annals of 
Wyoming, January, 1930, p. 262; Medical History, March 1868; and the 
Post Journal, March 29, 1868. 

-^U. S., Congress, Senate, Report of the Secretary of War. Senate Doc. 
38, 41st Cong., 3rd sess., 1870, p. 43. 

25U. S., Congress, House, Report of the Secretary of War. 40th Cong., 3rd 
sess., 1869 (serial 1367), pp. 3 and 24. 


The view of many westerners was summed up by the Cheyenne 

. . . the giving up of the vast country north of us to the savage is . . . 
an attempt to hold civilization back, and give barbarism a new lease 
on life.-" 

Fort Fetterman had originally been included among the Powder 
River forts to be abandoned, but it was deleted from the final draft 
of the treaty despite objections from Indian leaders.-^ The treaty 
left Fort Fetterman the most northerly and exposed fort in the 
Platte River valley. 

Military Operations - 1868 

The treaty did not immediately end hostilities. Most Indians 
were not ready to be held down by a piece of paper they could not 
read. As soon as Red Cloud's peaceful intentions became known, 
600 warriors left his camp on the Powder River and headed south. 
They attacked a wagon train escorted by sixty soldiers traveling 
between Forts Fetterman and Reno. In the ensuing melee two 
soldiers were killed. The war party continued south and on 
August 28 began a series of raids on the ranches north of 

Prior to these events Ma'or Wessels turned Fort Fetterman over 
to Major Dye and a battalion of the 4th Infantry on May 28. 
Dye sought to increase the security of his command by ordering 
the construction of a stockade around the sawmill on Box Elder 
Creek and by stationing a company at the hay camp on Deer 
Creek. The many requests for cavalry reinforcements were finally 
answered on July 22 with the arrival of "D" Company of the 2nd 
Cavalry. The company arrived with fifty men and twenty horses. 
A detachment of "A" Company, 2nd Cavalry, was also ordered to 
Fort Fetterman. While enroute from Fort Reno, the detachment 
was attacked by Indians and one trooper was killed.-'' 

The renegades from Red Cloud's camp ran off 100 mules and 
horses from ranches near Cheyenne on August 28. Dye was 
ordered to send out all his cavalry, with five days' rations and 100 
rounds of ammunition per man, to intercept the Indians before 
they could re-cross the Platte. Like many similar operations on 
the plains this one failed to make contact with the Indians. Two 

-^Cheyenne Leader, March 16, 1868, p. 1. 

-"James C. Olson, Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem, (Lincoln: Univer- 
sity of Nebraska Press, 1965), pp. 71-72. 

-^C. C. Coutant, History of Wyoming, (New York: Argonaut Press Ltd., 
1966), p. 601. 

^■^Letters Sent, July 22 and August 12, 1868; Post Journal, May 28, 1868. 
The Post Journal was a daily log. Content varied with who was keeping it. 
Hereafter Journal. 


days later Dye was ordered to intercept a war party which had 
run off seventy mules from a government train near Cooper Lake. 
They were thought to be heading toward Laramie Peak. He re- 
plied that he had no mounted forces left for operations and the 
Indians moved unimpeded.-^^' 

Hostile Indians completely isolated Fort Reno in early August. 
Messengers were unable to get through, and some were chased all 
the way back to Fort Fetterman. Dye was ordered to reopen the 
road, but again he pleaded the lack of a mounted force to carry 
out operations. The problem was solved when Fort Reno was 
abandoned later that month. The last raid near Fort Fetterman 
that year occurred October 10 when a war party of Sioux, Chey- 
ennes and Arapahoes led by Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses attacked 
the post hay-cutting detail. The only casualties wers two mules 
killed in action. ^^ 

Due to his troop's lack of success in intercepting raiding bands, 
General Augur decided to try a different means to recover stolen 
stock. On July 30 a band of Indians thought to be from the 
Powder River country ran off 1 20 mules from the Carbon railroad 
station. Augur ordered Dye to try to make contact with the 
raiders and negotiate for the return of the animals. He was to 
offer the Indians $25 for every mule returned to Fort Fetterman. 
The money to pay the bounty was to be taken out of the annuities 
promised to the Indians by the Fort Laramie treaty. Post records 
do not reflect any success in this endeavor.^- 

Traffic to the Powder River posts was heavy during the summer 
of 1868. On June 6 Fort Fetterman supplied an escort for a cattle 
herd bound for Fort Reno, and on June 10 for a government train 
of seventy-one wagons. The largest convoys arrived at Fort 
Fetterman on June 22 when a government train of 146 wagons and 
a contractor's train of 156 wagons stopped by on their way to the 
Bozeman Trail forts. During July, trains totaling 140 wagons 
passed by the fort. Traffic began going the other way as Forts 
Phil Kearny and Reno were abandoned during the summer. The 
soldiers from these forts camped at Fort Fetterman on their way 
to new stations. ^^ 

Indian Relations - 1868 

As the Red Cloud War gradually subsided, Indians began to 
make friendly visits to Fort Fetterman. Forty lodges of Arapahoes 
led by Chief Top Man made the first recorded visit on June 5, 

^^Letters Received, August 28, 1868; Telegrams Sent file. August 30, 

^'^Letters Sent. August 4 and October 10, 1868. 

^-Telegrams Received file, July 31, 1868. Hereafter Telegrams Received. 

^Vonrnal, June 9-22, 1868; Medical History, p. 21. 


1868. On June 10, a band numbering sixty-seven lodges of 
Arapahoes led by Sorrel Horse camped near the post. With these 
visits, six years of almost daily contact with the northern plains 
Indians began. The threats by hostile bands of Sioux to kill any 
Indians they found camped near Forts Laramie and Fetterman no 
doubt discouraged many peaceably incHned Indians from attempt- 
ing to make contact with the white man that year. It was not until 
November that the first band of Cheyennes, led by Little Wolf, 
stopped by Fort Fetterman for a visit. The first band of Sioux 
visited the post on December 1, to talk and trade.-^^ 

Many of these visitors went to the post hospital to seek the aid 
of the white man's medicine. The post surgeon reported that their 
complaints often stemmed from the effects of "the acrid smoke 
within their teepees . . ." On a few occasions Indians were 
vaccinated for small pox.^^ Medical attention did much to build 
good relations with the Indians. Probably the greatest public 
relations boost occurred in 1870 when the post surgeon operated 
on Sioux Chief Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses and removed a musket 
ball from the chief's thigh. The chief had received the wound in 
a battle with some Crow Indians several years earlier, and it had 
caused him much discomfort.'^^ 

The post correspondence of this period was filled with informa- 
tion about the Indians and their activities, plans and opinions. 
One of these early reports, for example, concerned a discussion 
Major Dye had with Medicine Man, a chief of the Arapahoes. He 
informed Dye that he did not want to go to the official Indian 
agency at Fort Randall on the Missouri River because of the great 
distance. The fort was also a Sioux agency, and he did not want 
his band to come under their influence. He also did not want his 
band to be removed to the "Indian Territory" on the southern 
plains, as the government desired, because the war was still raging 
there. He feared that the young men of his band would be 
induced to join in the fight.^^ 

The war continued on the southern plains in spite of the Med- 
icine Lodge Treaty. General Philip H. Sheridan, commander of 
the Department of the Missouri, decided to strike the Indians when 
the weather would restrict their mobility. He organized a winter 
campaign totaling forty-nine companies divided into three columns 
to converge upon the Indians in the western part of the "Indian 
Territory." The strongest of these columns, composed mainly of 
the 7th Cavalry under Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, 

^^Journal, November 22 and December 23, 1868; Medical History, p. 5; 
Telegrams Sent, March 21, 1868. 

^^Medical History, p. 5 and February, 1872. 
^Hbid., December 13, 1870. 
^'^Telegrams Sent, November 30, 1868. 


advanced swiftly and at dawn November 27 made a surprise 
attack on Black Kettle's band of Cheyennes camped on the Wa- 
shita River. Custer's forces attacked from all sides. Over one 
hundred Indians and forty soldiers died in the battle. Custer then 
made a skillful retreat in the face of superior numbers of Indians 
camped further up the river.-^^ 

News of the attack spread rapidly among the plains Indians. 
Major J. W. Carlton, the new commander at Fort Fetterman, 
nervously reported on December 3 that "Five Cheyennes escaped 
from Custer's fight [and] reached the Cheyennes [on the Powder 
River] a few days ago." Eventually forty lodges of Southern 
Cheyennes were reported to have "escaped from South [of the] 
Platte and were camped among the northern tribes. "The fight 
below [i.e. Washita] makes a good deal of talk among th3m," 
and Carlton feared retaliation from the estimated 2000 lodges of 
Sioux and Cheyennes, led by Red Cloud and Little Wolf, camped 
on the Powder River sixty miles northeast of the fort.-^^ Although 
the Indians talked much of the battle, they remained inactive dur- 
ing the rest of the winter. 

Military Operations - 1869 

Mobile operations similar to Custer's offensive in the Indian 
Territory were planned for the northern plains. When Sheridan 
received news of Custer's attack he excitedly telegraphed Major 

Custer has knocked the Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Kiowas all to 
pieces, and all are running . . . 

He added that troops would be available to take on the "Powder 
River Sioux" the following spring.^*' 

The anticipated offensive never materialized because hostilities 
gradually subsided as the Indians accepted the treaty. The north- 
ern plains settled down to six years of uneasy guard duty. Except 
for three forts along the Missouri River, Forts Laramie and Fetter- 
man were the only forts in direct contact with the boundaries of 
the new Indian reservation. By virtue of its location Fort Fetter- 
man was assured of much contact with the Indians. 

General Augur's strategy for maintaining security in his depart- 
ment was twofold: the cavalry units would patrol constantly and 

38Philip H. Sheridan, Record of Engagements with Hostile Indians 1868 
to 1882, (Bellevue, Nebraska: The Old Army Press, 1969), pp. 114-117. 
Hereafter Sheridan, Record. This was the first major post-Civil War cam- 
paign against the Indians. 

^^Telegrams Sent and Received, December 23, 1868 and January 4, 1869. 
From time to time the correspondence files were combined. 

^^Telegrams Sent and Received, December 4, 1868. 


the infantry units would provide guard and escort details. At Fort 
Fetterman this plan was hampered when the garrison was reduced 
to two infantry companies early in 1869. They lacked the strength 
to provide men for guard, fatigue and escort duties as well as 
offensive operations. Likewise, the infantry lacked mobility. Two 
cavalry companies were stationed at Fort Laramie and available 
for use by Fort Fetterman in emergencies.*^ However, the distance 
between the two forts, about eighty miles, greatly increased the 
reaction time. By the time the cavalry could arrive the Indians 
would be long gone. 

Another problem in military operations was communication. 
Before the cavalry could be dispatched, word had to be received 
that they were needed. The most rapid means of communication 
between the two forts was the unreliable telegraph. Animals and 
weather damaged the line often, and it required frequent repair 
details from both forts to keep it operating. These repair details 
occasionally served as targets for roaming war parties. On March 
24, 1869, a typical repair detail, composed of a sergeant and eight 
men, departed from Fort Fetterman to repair several breaks in the 
line. A band of sxity Indians attacked the detail near La Bonte 
Creek on April 6 and killed one soldier.*- A detachment of sixty 
soldiers and five Arapaho Indian scouts set out from Fort Fetter- 
man in search of the Indians. The Arapahoes found signs which 
indicated that another war party was south of the Platte. The 
search operation came to a halt when a snow storm buried the 
Indian trails.*^ 

On April 16 a band of Indians ran off fifty horses and mules 
from Fort Laramie and headed west. A company of cavalry set 
out in pursuit. When the Indians crossed Horseshoe Creek, the 
unofficial boundary between the two forts, Carlton was requested 
to send sixty to seventy-five men east to intercept the Indians from 
the other direction. The was the first of many such "pincer" 
movements made between the two forts. Carlton mounted forty- 
nine soldiers on wagon mules and sent them east. The Indians 
crossed the Platte with their booty near Bridger's Ferry and 
escaped to the north before the two mounted forces could 
close in.** 

Indian raids around Fort Fetterman decreased during the sum- 
mer buffalo season but increased in the fall. During September a 

*^Telegrams Sent, April 13, 1869. 

^-Telegrams Sent, March 24, April 6 and 7, 1869. 

*'^Ibid., April 9, 11, and 22, 1869. This is the first mention of Indians 
aiding the garrison. Major Carlton had actively been recruiting the Indians 
and wrote on April 9: "I think the Arapahos can be induced to join us 
against the Sioux." The Arapahos provided scouts and guides from time to 
time but never joined en masse. 

'^'^Telegrams Sent and Received, April 16-18, 1869. 


"war and stealing party of Indians camped [on the] Tongue 
River" moved south. They swooped down on Fort Fetterman on 
September 8 and ran off twelve head of stock. The war party 
moved on southeast, and enroute to Forts Fetterman and Bridger, 
raided a cattle herd, near the "Fetterman Cut-Off." This attack 
gained the Indians 160 head of cattle. An infantry detachment 
sent out from Fort Fetterman failed to catch the Indians. Another 
war party ambushed a detail of the 4th Infantry near the Fort 
Laramie sawmill at Laramie Peak. One soldier died and another 
was wounded. A war party attacked the Fort Fetterman hay 
detail near Deer Creek on September 18. The soldiers repulsed 
the attack and wounded one Indian.^'"* 

Fort Fetterman's garrison was doubled on October 1 2 with the 
arrival of one company each of infantry and cavalry. Two days 
later the cavalry was ordered to intercept a band of Indians return- 
ing from a raid on Medicine Bow. In his order to Carlton, Gen- 
eral Augur directed, "Attack with vigor and let no grass grow 
under your feet."^*^ This force failed to sight any Indians. 

A war party of thirty Indians attacked a telegraph repair detail 
east of Fort Fetterman on October 29. The repair detail, com- 
posed of one officer and twenty-nine men, repulsed the attack 
without loss. However, three cavalrymen from the repair detail, 
who had gone hunting, were later ambushed by the same war 
party. Two of the troopers were killed, and the other escaped. ^^ 

On November 6, a war party attacked an escort detail traveling 
between Forts Fetterman and Laramie, and two cavalrymen were 
killed in the skirmish. Another incident occurred December 1 
when a band of Sioux and Cheyennes attacked the mail detail 
coming from Fort Fetterman near Horseshoe Creek. One soldier 
was killed and two wounded, and some mules were run off. The 
next day the same war party ambushed the mail detail coming from 
Fort Laramie and killed one soldier. The Indians proceeded to 
tear down the telegraph Mne and then re-crossed the Platte. An- 
other band headed south and raided a ranch north of Cheyenne 
and succeeded in running off a large number of stock. Carlton 
received orders to intercept the Indians before they re-crossed the 
Platte, but he pleaded a lack of mounted troops and bad weather.^"* 

These incidents are typical of the Indian fights around Fort 
Fetterman, and the plains in general from 1867 to 1877 — a series 
of alarms, some stock raids and attacks on isolated detachments. 

"^■'Letters Sent, September 14, 1869; Journal, September 18, 1869; Sheri- 
dan, Record, p. 24. 

■*^^Letters Received, October 14, 1869. 

^''Journal October 29, 1869. 

^^Letters Sent, December 7 and 9, 1869. 


and many fruitless pursuits. Fort Fetterman was often without a 
mounted force and could not keep up with the fast moving Indians. 

Indian Relations - 1869 

Fort Fetterman's contact with the Indians in 1 869 ranged from 
the hostile Sioux to the friendly Arapaho. The Arapahoes readily 
accepted the peace treaty and often camped near Fort Fetterman. 
They became a major source of information about the activities 
of other tribes. Several Arapaho chiefs reported that the trouble 
that year was caused by disgruntled bands of Sioux who were 
"angry with Red Cloud for making peace, and are trying to embroil 
him with the whites." The Arapahoes led by Sorrel Horse and 
Medicine Man, intent upon peace, requested in April that Carlton 
send two white men to stay with their bands for the summer and 
act as observers to prove that they were not sending out raiding 

The hostile Sioux tried to prevent the success of the treaty by 
intimidating those Indians who wanted peace. These Sioux bands 
roamed the hunting lands of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes. By 
avoiding these Sioux, the friendly Indians were faced with food 
shortages.^'" Matters were further complicated when Fort Fetter- 
man was forbidden to trade with the Indians in order to force the 
Indians to develop the habit of traveling to the Missouri River 
agencies for trade. Fort Fetterman was convenient to the Arapa- 
hoes and Cheyennes, and they refused to travel into strange terri- 
tories to trade. ''^ As a result the friendly Indians were cut off from 
all sources of food and supplies. Successive Fort Fetterman com- 
manders felt this would lead to renewed warfare. 

Nevertheless the Indians continued to come to Fort Fetterman, 
and trading existed in varying degrees from 1868 to 1875. Carlton 
reported that one band of Arapahoes came to trade because: 

They claim they are without ammunition and are in danger of being 
attacked by the Sioux for having made peace with the Snakes^s 

He stated that allowing trade with the Indians would resupply 
them and maintain peace. This and many other such reports from 
Fort Fetterman commanders helped to bring about changes in the 
trade policy. The trade was sometimes beneficial to both sides. 

'^^Telegrams Sent, April 8, 20, 21, and October 29, 1869. Two local 
civilians offered to do so at $100 per month and rations. 

^^Ibid., May 9, 1869. 

^^Telegrams Received, December 8, 1868. The post was ordered to 
trade only enough flour and bacon to get the Indians to their agencies. 

^^Telegrams Sent, November 16, 1869. 


In December the garrison traded with the local Arapahoes to 
obtain buffalo robes for the coming winter."'-^ 

Post Construction - 1868-1869 

The Indians were not alone in their desire to see Fort Fetterman 
abandoned. Several times during the winter of 1 867 Major Wes- 
sels recommended abandoning the site and relocating elsewhere. 
He complained that "The post is established on an elevated plateau 
dry, arid and exposed to storms and gales from every quarter." 
He recommended a site on Deer Creek, twenty miles west, as offer- 
ing "greater advantage."''^ In February, 1868, he requested per- 
mission to move the post buildings "to the bottom lands at the base 
of the plateau" because it offered "better shelter from the wind and 
better availability of water. "■'' All requests were denied, and the 
fort was completed on the plateau. 

The severe Wyoming winter hampered construction work. Dur- 
ing January and February, 1868, in particular, the intense cold 
weather "prevented in great measure, the labor necessary to con- 
tinue to build the post."*'*' During the following summer, both 
Wessels and Dye made the completion of the fort their main goal. 
The post surgeon noted that "the building of the post continues 
to be almost the only affair engaging the attention of the officers 
and men."''^ Nonetheless, work progressed slowly because of fre- 
quent demands for escorts and reactions to Indian raids and 
rumors of raids. By November 1868 the two barracks, the adju- 
tant's office, the school room, commissary and several smaller 
buildings were still under construction. The hospital, laundress 
and officers' quarters were the only completed buildings on the 

The two barracks were finished in 1869, and work on a third 
barracks and other structures began. A new sawmill was estab- 
lished near the fort on La Prele Creek, and the Box Elder Creek 
mill turned over to civilians. Work went so well that year that 
luxuries such as a sundial could be contemplated and requested."'" 

A new supply road was built in 1868. A Major Hannig and 
three companies of the 18th Infantry began the construction of a 
road from Fort Fetterman to Medicine Bow on May 26, 1868. 
The famous mountain man Jim Bridger acted as guide and scout 
for the detachment. This was the last of the many services he 

''^Letters Sent, December 7. 1869. 

''^Letters Sent, November 4 and 20, 1867. 

■>^>Ibid., February 28, 1868. 


"'Medical History, May 1868. 

^^Letters Sent, November 4, 1868. 

'^•'Telegrams Sent, February 9 and July 13, 1869. 


performed for the government, as he retired soon after. The road 
was the shortest and most direct route to the raihoad and served 
as the main supply road for the fort in summer. During the winter 
months, the road was usually blocked by heavy snow drifts.*'" 

In 1869 a ferry was established across the Platte at Fort Fetter- 
man. The ferry cable was laid across the Platte on February 11, 
and construction began on related structures."^ The facility con- 
sisted of a flat-bottomed boat pulled from one shore to the other 
by means of a cable secured by posts on either bank. The ferry 
provided a much needed service in the area as the prevalence of 
quicksand and spring floods made the Platte unfordable at most 
locations. After the closing of the Bozeman Trail, the majority of 
customers for the four following years were Indians. 

John Richaud, Jr. 

As the Indian violence subsided, civilians began to trickle into 
the Fort Fetterman area and became a source of trouble. On 
September 8, 1869, John Richaud, Jr. shot and killed a corporal 
in the post sutler's store. Richaud was well known in the area and 
was that year's hay and wood contractor for the fort. He fled the 
post and sought refuge with the local Indians. As he made his 
way north he stirred up the Indians with stories of the aggressive 
intentions of the soldiers who were pursuing him. A cavalry 
company returning from Medicine Bow ran into a band of Chey- 
ennes numbering 350 lodges. Richaud had told the Indians that 
the cavalry was coming to attack them, and the company com- 
mander had to talk fast to avert trouble.*'- Richaud escaped to 
the north and later became a favorite of Red Cloud and served as 
his interpreter. He eventually served as a scout for General George 
Crook and received a pardon from the government in recognition 
of his services. 


The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 reduced 
travel on the Oregon Trail. Sherman estimated that in 1866 the 
Oregon Trail carried ninety percent of the traffic crossing the 
plains. *''^ Commerce shifted to the more efficient railroads, and 
traffic on the Oregon Trail declined to a trickle. For weeks at a 
time no wagon trains were recorded in the Fort Fetterman "Post 

^'^Letters Sent, May 26, 1868; and an unpublished typescript by John 
Hunton titled "Fort Fetterman," dated November 20, 1925, pp. 2-3. On 
file in the Western Research Center, University of Wyoming. 

^'^Journal, February 11, 1869. 

^-Letters Sent, September 14 and October 19, 1869; and Journal, Septem- 
ber 10, 1869. 

''•^Athearn, Sherman, p. 104. 


Journal." Of those wagon trains which did travel the road, half 
were engaged in carrying supplies for the fort. The wagon trains 
themselves shrank, averaging between five and ten wagons. To 
add to the isolation, American Horse's raid the previous year had 
destroyed what few ranches there were in the area. 

Fort Fetterman received a new mission, based upon changes in 
the strategic situation. The fort originally had been established at 
the strategic crossroads of the Oregon and Bozeman Trails. The 
post's mission was to protect traffic on the trails and to support 
military operations in the Powder River country. By late 1869 
Fort Fetterman was an isolated outpost at the dead-end of two 
roads from the south. The post's new mission was to guard the 
southern rim of the Indian reservation and to provide local secur- 
ity. This remained Fort Fetterman's mission for the next five 

FORT FETTERMAN: 1870-1874 

This being one of the most remote and . . . one 
of the most uninhabitable posts in the Depart- 
ment . . . 

— Post Commander, 1873 

The five years from 1870 to 1874 were a time of an uneasy 
truce between two Indian wars. During this period Fort Fetterman 
served both as an isolated outpost guarding the southern boundary 
of the Indian reservation and as an unofficial Indian agency. 
Indian Affairs 

The problems with the Indians arose from the encroaching 
settlement of the white man and from the Fort Laramie Treaty of 
1868. The majority of the Indians apparently never understood 
the distinction the government made between the reservation and 
the Unceded Lands. Many Indians desired to live in the Unceded 
Lands all the time, as they had done for generations. This was a 
violation of the treaty which only permitted them to hunt there. 
Living in the Unceded Lands also kept the Indians away from the 
agencies along the Missouri River. The government refused to 
establish agencies closer to the Powder River country, and there- 
fore the Indians had no way to receive the annuities promised by 
the treaty. These annuities took on an increasing importance as 
game became scarce on the plains. 

The Indians were supposed to go to Fort Laramie to talk over 
any problems arising from the treaty. The braves usually left 
their "lodges and families" camped near Fort Fetterman and jour- 
neyed with their chiefs to Fort Laramie. Soon Red Cloud and 
other Sioux chiefs informed Major Alexander Chambers, com- 
mander at Fort Fetterman, that they had "grown tired of talking 


to subordinates" and demanded to visit President Ulysses S. Grant 
in Washington to settle the problems.*'* 

Red Cloud, accompanied by 500 Sioux, arrived at Fort Fetter- 
man on May 18, 1870, to begin the trip east.*'-"' He met with 
President Grant on June 9, and opened the pow-wow with de- 
mands that Fort Laramie be made the Indian agency and that Fort 
Fetterman be abandoned. President Grant replied: 

As to Fort Fetterman, it is needed, and is very useful to keep whites 
off the Indian reservation and to protect the whites against the Indians 
who are badly disposed. It is also needed as a base of supplies, and 
therefore can not be removed. 66 

The trip brought few accomplishments, and the problems re- 

The Indians were not without supporters among the white men. 
A convention of humanitarians met at New York City's Cooper 
Union in May, 1870, to discuss the phght of the Red Man. Gen- 
eral Sherman had been invited to address the convention, but sent 
a letter instead stating: 

The real questions can only be discussed fairly where the Indians are, 
and if you will adjourn your meeting to Fort Sully, Fort Rice, or Fort 
Feterman, where you can see the Inidans themselves, I will feel 
strongly inclined to attend the meeting.^'i' 

Fort Fetterman was worthy of mention as the place where "you 
can see the Indians themselves" as the post became a popular 
stopping place for roving bands. The "Post Journal" recorded 
almost daily arrivals and departures of different bands of Indians 
from 1870 to 1873. They ranged in size from a few lodges to a 
hundred or more. During the winter many bands camped near 
the post. In November 1870 the "Post Journal" listed as camped 
in the surrounding area: 

Sioux 350 lodges 

Cheyennes 300 lodges 

Arapahoes 150 lodges 

They were described as "friendly with one another and come to 
the post for news and to give news.""^ 

Most of the major Indian leaders from the Powder River country 
visited Fort Fetterman at one time or another. Dull Knife and 
Little Wolf of the Cheyennes became regular visitors as did Med- 

''^Journal, September 16, 1870; and Medical History, April 3, 1870. 
*^-> Medical History, May 18, 1870. 

66U. S., Congress, Senate, Report of the Secretary of War, Senate Doc. 
38, 41st Cong., 3d sess., (1871), Vol. I, p. 42. 
•'■''Athearn, Sherman, p. 247. 
^^ Journal, November 28, 1 870. 


icine Man of the Arapahoes. Before their people moved further 
east, the Sioux chiefs American Horse and Red Dog paid several 
visits to the post. Even the legendary Sioux chief, Crazy Horse, 
came near the fort when he led a stock raid in the area in 1870/'^ 
A pow-wow between the chiefs and the post commander would 
be held whenever a large band camped in the area. These meet- 
ings provided useful information as to what the Indians were think- 
ing and doing. A typical meeting occurred on April 1, 1870, 
when Medicine Man of the Cheyennes "and many chiefs arrived, 
and a council was held, at which they expressed a desire to be at 
peace, and that a trader should be sent among them . . ." Rations 
were passed out and the chiefs departed.^" Another meeting oc- 
curred April 1 1 when Medicine Man and White Hare, described as 
the "principal chiefs of the Northern Cheyennes", came in. Like 
most of the bands in the area they claimed that they were peaceful. 

[they stated] that the young men were kept in their villages and not 
allowed to commit depredations of any kind against the whites nor 
had any been committed for a long time.^^ 

As a sign of peaceful intentions the Indians occasionally re- 
turned stolen property to the fort. On December 20, 1870, the 
Cheyennes brought in ten mules which had been taken during 
summer raids in Kansas. In February, 1872, some Indians re- 
turned several head of cattle which had been captured in the area 
earlier that year.'''^ 

Indian Trade 

The leaders of the Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes requested 
that Fort Fetterman be designated as their agency from which they 
could trade and receive their annuities.'^ The Arapahoes and 
Cheyennes particularly wanted the fort to be their agency because 
it was the closest fort to their lands. The post commander 
reported : 

They have a strong antipathy to being mixed with the Sioux in their 
dealings with the government, and will never willingly be induced to 
resort to a Sioux agency for that purpose. "^ 

The government compromised by locating the first agency near 
Fort Laramie. 

The location at Fort Laramie did not completely satisfy the 

^^Medical History, April 12, 1870. 

mbid., April 1, 1870. 

'^^Letters Sent, April 11, 1870. 

"'-Medical History, December 20, 1870, and February 1872. 

'^^Medical History, May 18, 1870; Letters Sent, May 20, 1872. 

"^ ^Letters Sent, May 20, 1872. Italics in the original. 


Cheyennes and Arapahoes. One Fort Fetterman commander 
reported : 

. . . being few in number and especially the Arapahoes, poor in robes, 
they can not go to Laramie without encountering large numbers of 
Sioux, who rob them of their stock and they come back disappointed 
and in bad temperJ^ 

In 1871 Fort Fetterman received orders not to issue goods or 
trade with the Indians. In response to this trade embargo unli- 
censed traders, dealing in whiskey and guns, among other items, 
flourished between Forts Laramie and Fetterman, and they made 
attempts at controlling trade even harder. Fort Fetterman con- 
tinued to trade with the Indians in varying degrees. The usual 
poHcy was to issue the Indians enough supplies to get them to Fort 
Laramie. The post issued a few rations to every passing group 
of Indians as a goodwill gesture. 

Ration issue became a large enterprise at Fort Fetterman. On 
August 31, 1871, the troops issued ten day's rations to 1250 
Cheyennes and Arapahoes, the largest group of Indians recorded 
as visiting the fort at one time, for the trip to the agency at Fort 
Laramie."^ Rations were often issued to hunting parties to get 
them to their hunting grounds further west. Throughout Septem- 
ber, 1872, Cheyenne and Arapaho bands in the area received 
rations of beef and flour to tide them over for the winter.^' As 
late as September, 1873, Indians traded at the post sutler store. 
In this instance, Cheyennes and Arapahoes traded antelope skins 
for goods. '^^ 

Another exception to the trade embargo was when impoverished 
bands came in. The official policy stated: 

Indians when suffering can exchange a few robes and furs for clothes 
but in each case a special permit shall be obtained. '''^ 

Occasionally more than some cloth was needed to put a band back 
on its collective feet. In December, 1870, Major Chambers re- 
ported the case of a band of Arapahoes numbering 180 lodges 
estimated at "1,000 souls": 

They are in need of provision and clothing and knifes. I will recom- 
mend 1 blanket, 2 shirts, 1 knife, 50 lb. flour or corn, 10 lb. bacon or 
pork, 2 lb. coffee and 5 lb. sugar, 2 tin cups to each lodge and 5 
pieces of blue and red Indian cloth, 30 pieces of cotton and 20 pieces 
Beaticm [sic] to the tribe. 

He closed his report with the comment that "a comparatively small 

''•'Letters Sent, July 7, 1871. 
'(^Medical History, August 31, 1871. 
"Ibid., September 3 and 9, 1872. 
'^Ibid., September 1873. 
''■^Letters Received, July 28, 1870. 


expenditure of money will maintain a permanent peace with these 

Brisk activity in distributing annuities occurred during the winter 
of 1870-1871. A Post Journal entry for February 18, 1871, 
recorded that "several teams arrived with goods for the Arapa- 
hoes." On February 23, 10,000 pounds of flour, 4000 pounds of 
dry goods and cooking utensils were issued to 800 Arapahoes at a 
place "a mile up the La Prele."^^ 

Fort Fetterman acquired a group of "loafers", Indians who lived 
near army forts and depended on handouts, as was common at 
many western forts. The post surgeon noted in March, 1871, that 
although most of the Indians in the area had gone out on hunting 
trips "there are a few 'loafers' still here, all of the time, so that we 
shall not be entirely alone." Often any Indians receiving govern- 
ment goods were called loafers by the soldiers. A February, 1871, 
Post Journal entry reads "Commenced the issue of rations to the 
Indian loafers . . .""- 

The post received authorization in February, 1871, to feed all 
the Indians who stopped by and to issue them "15 pounds of 
powder and lead and percussion caps" for every hundred lodges. 
The supply policy fluctuated with government Indian and fiscal 
policy. In May, 1871, the post commander was ordered not to 
issue any rations to the Indians "except in clearly necessary cases" 
because Congress had reduced the military appropriations. The 
army consequently expected the Indian Bureau to feed and supply 
the Indians.'*-^ 

Occasionally supplies were issued to the Indians to compensate 
for indiscretions by the white man. Major Chambers reported on 
June 8, 1870, that he had talked to four "principal chiefs" of the 
Arapahoes concerning recent raids along the Sweetwater River. 
The chiefs denied taking part in the raids. Nevertheless, an irate 
group of miners attacked the Arapaho camp in retaliation, and the 
Indians lost all of their lodges, supplies, and twenty-six horses. 
Chambers stated that "their condition is pitiful" and requested 
permission to re-supply them.*^^ 

Eventually the white man's slaughter of the plains animals forced 
the Indians to submit to government policy. Trade from all but 
official Indian agencies was forbidden, and the growing scarcity of 
game compelled most of the Indians to travel to the agencies in 
the Dakotas. In 1874 a band of Arapahoes, camped near Fort 
Fetterman, complained to the post commander that "They suffer 

^^^Letters Sent, December 19, 1870. 

^^Medical History, February 23, 1871; Journal, February 18 and 23, 

^-Medical History. February 8, March 18, and May 31, 1871: and 
Journcd, February 23, 1871. 


from want of food." In April, 1874, a hunting party of Cheyennes 
led by little Wolf asked the post commander for rations to help 
them on their summer hunt. When they returned in August, Little 
Wolf reported that they had decided to travel to the agency in 
Nebraska to obtain food for the winter "in consequence of the 
pervading scarcity of game."^^ 

Military Operations 1870-1873 

Fort Fetterman illustrates the conditions under which the army 
operated during the plains Indian wars. By virtue of its location 
and mission, the post was one of the most important forts on the 
frontier. Yet the post records reveal a picture of an isolated and 
under-strength fort. Army strength and priorities were such that 
the post was never able to decisively influence events in the area. 
The fort lacked both the manpower and mobility. Indian war 
parties freely crossed the Platte on either side of the fort and raided 
southward without interference. When pursuit parties were dis- 
patched they usually had only a vague idea of where the Indians 
were and what they were up to. The troopers rarely made contact 
with hostile Indians. 

During the 1870-1873 period, Fort Fetterman's garrison aver- 
aged four companies, for a total of about 200 men. By compari- 
son Fort Laramie averaged 400 men and Fort Russell, far to the 
south, away from the Indians, averaged 300 men. Considering 
Fort Fetterman's strategic and isolated position, successive com- 
manders felt the garrison was not large or mobile enough. In 
April, 1871, a cavalry company was requested to be permanently 
stationed at the fort to "perform escort and other duties incident to 
our position." Department headquarters refused all requests that 
year. In 1872 the post was promised a cavalry company "when 
the grass may permit," but the horsemen never materialized. Most 
of the escort details dispatched from the fort during these years 
rode along in the wagons or were mounted on wagon mules. ®^ 
One post commander lamented in 1872: 

In its present condition, without cavalry, and with no horses on which 
a squad of infantry could be mounted in case of emergency, the 
garrison is practically helpless in case of Indian trouble . . .^7 

Upon his arrival at the fort in 1872, Major George Woodward 
believed that trouble with the Indians was imminent. He gave up 
on obtaining a cavalry unit and requested instead an additional 

^^Telegrams Received, February 2 and May 22, 1871, 
^"^Letters Sent, June 8, 1870. 

^^Medical History, February 6, April 5 and August 21, 1874. 
^^Letters Sent, April 19, 1871; May 13 and June 25, 1872. 
^'Letters Sent, February 20, 1872. 


infantry company, along with twenty-five horses and equipment to 
mount an infantry force for escort and scouting duty. In Septem- 
ber, twenty horses arrived at the post, and he formed a "mounted 
detachment" for use as a mobile reserve. Finally in March 1873, 
C Company of the 3rd Cavalry was stationed permanently at the 
fort. The company arrived short twenty-nine horses.'''' 

Indian raids occurred in the area between Cheyenne and the 
North Platte River from 1868 to 1877 despite the treaty. Wyo- 
ming Territorial Governor John M. Thayer claimed in November, 

1875, that the Indians had stolen $600,000 worth of livestock and 
killed seventy-three whites in the preceding seven years in Wyo- 
ming. In the other hand, he continued, only four Indians guilty of 
stealing horses had been killed in the same period. ''" Almost all of 
these losses were caused by the Powder River Indians. As late as 

1876, a series of raids occurred along Chugwater Creek, one 
hundred miles south of Fort Fetterman. Clearly the stretch of the 
North Platte River guarded by Forts Fetterman and Laramie rep- 
resented a leaky sieve as far as security was concerned. 

Military operations around Fort Fetterman during 1870-1873 
consisted of the usual guard, escort, and scouting details. J. O. 
Ward, a soldier stationed at Fort Fetterman during this period, 
described these activities as follows: 

During these years the cavalry troops were kept busy chasing bands 
of marauding Indians that came across on the south side [of the 
Platte] to kill those unfortunate enough to be unprotected, to steal a 
few ponies and perhaps take a few cattle. By the time news of these 
outbreaks reached the fort and the troops had gathered into the field, 
the Indians were back on the reservation and the troops not allowed 
to follow.90 

Major Woodward believed that the older men and chiefs of the 
various bands were peaceably inclined, and that the problem was 
with "the young bucks, always restive and seeking excitement" and 
who consequently went on raids. "^ 

Around Fort Fetterman the number of raids and skirmishes 
declined in 1870 and 1871 following the end of the Red Cloud 
War. The violence began to increase in 1872 and culminated in 
the outbreaks of 1874 and in the great Indian uprisings of 1876. 
A few examples from the post records illustrate what the Indian 
wars were like during this period. During 1870 small war parties 

»»Ibid., May 5 and September 10, 1872; and March 27, 1873. 

89T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1965), p. 100. 

'■'*^'J. O. Ward, "Fort Fetterman," Annals of Wyoming, January 1927, pp. 
360-361. Ward spent four and one-half years of his five-year enlistment at 
Fort Fetterman. Hereafter Ward, "Fetterman." 

^^'^Letters Sent, February 20, 1872. 


attacked mail details between Forts Fetterman and Laramie, usu- 
ally without loss to either side. An attack on April 12, resulted in 
the death of a dog, and several mules were wounded in an attack 
on April 22. The major activity of the fort in June was the pursuit 
of a trader named Crosby who had given whiskey to the Indians. 
A war party attacked the wood detail on June 28 while enroute 
to the wood reserve and killed one of the lumberjacks. The 
Indians again attacked the wood detail the following month; the 
only casualties were some cattle killed in action. On July 22 a 
party of nine Cheyennes ran off some cattle from the wood camp. 
Other nuisances included an attempt by two Indians to cut the 
ferry rope."- 

In 1870 John Hunton, an early Wyoming pioneer and post 
contractor, operated the old Fort Fetterman sawmill on Box Elder 
Creek. One day several of his employees went out deer hunting, 
and one failed to return. A search party found his body two miles 
from the sawmill. The Indians had killed and scalped him and 
had taken his clothes and rifle. The search party buried him there 
and inscribed "E.E.G. 1870" on his headboard."'^ 

Indian raids declined sharply in the Fort Fetterman area during 
1871. The major raid occurred in December when Red Cloud's 
son and some friends ran off forty horses and mules from the post's 
herd. Red Cloud returned most of the stock in February 1872 
to Fort Laramie. Later that month some Sioux visited the area 
and captured four horses, while another Sioux war party ran off 
the post beef contractor's entire herd. Major Woodward lamented 
that he was unable to pursue because he lacked sufficient horses 
for a pursuit party. When repeated attacks were made upon the 
post wood camp ten days later he dispatched an infantry company 
to the rescue in wagons. A war party attacked the mail detail on 
March 31 and badly wounded one soldier. An attack on another 
mail detail resulted in the death of a sergeant and the capture of a 
government mule by the Indians. The mule was later returned to 
Fort Fetterman by Little Wolf who blamed Old Bear's band of 
Cheyennes for the attack.''^ 

A band of Sioux raided the post stock herd in February, 1873, 
and ran off eight horses. The post's cavalry company pursued the 
Indians across the plains for forty miles before giving up the chase. 
The company commander reported that the Indians' trail led to the 
Powder River. Major Woodward eventually gave up trying to 
recapture stolen stock. When some cattle were driven off in 

^^Telegrams Sent and Received, April 22, 1870; Journal, April 12, June 
27 and July 22, 1870; Medical History, June 28 and July 22, 1870. 

''•^L. C. Bishop, "Address to the American Pioneer Trails Association," 
Annals of Wyoming, January 1948, pp. 86-87. 

■^^ Letters Sent, February 20, March 21, May 5 and 20, 1872. 


March he requested to be compensated from the Indians' annuities 
for the cost of the stock. ^'' The Indians raided the Box Elder 
Creek area and attacked the lumber camp of Malcolm Campbell, 
a post contractor, and killed and scalped one of his men.-*^ 

All of the raids during these years originated from the reserva- 
tion. It was a common complaint of the frontier people that the 
Indian reservations provided a safe base of operations for maraud- 
ing Indians. A soldier stationed at Fort Fetterman echoed this 
complaint when he wrote: 

[The Indians] come in here when it is cold weather and pretend to 
be friendly and when it is warm . . . they go on the warpath . . fi~ 

Life A t Fort Fetterman 

The post records for the years 1870-1875 provide a detailed 
picture of daily life on a frontier fort. A few of the sharpest com- 
ments about Fort Fetterman concern the cHmate and the geog- 
raphy. Major Chambers reported in 1871 that 

The land in this region is of no value for agriculture purposes ... is 
barren hills with a few narrow vallies and a few acres of bottom land 
bordering the Platte River . . . and no person think of settling in this 
neighborhood, except with the view of making money by direct or 
indirect association with the army.^^ 

Malcolm Campbell left this remembrance: 

It was a desolate location, a hot dusty solitude drenched in rippling 
heat waves in the summertime, and in the winter, a post snowed in 
isolation from all outside communications by sub-zero blizzards.^" 

Bill Hooker, a civilian teamster, noted that as late as 1874 
"there wasn't a ranch between Fort Laramie and Fetterman . . . 
a fence or fence post for hundreds of miles in any direction. "^^'^ 
John Hunton estabhshed a small ranch six miles south of the fort 
in 1874, and it constituted the only settlement between the fort 
and Medicine Bow. He wrote that there probably were never 

'*^Ibid., March 5 and May 11, 1873; Journal, February 14 and September 
12, 1873. 

9*>Robert B. David, ed., Malcolm Campbell, Sheriff. (Casper, Wyoming: 
Wyomingana Inc., 1932), p. 50. Hereafter David, Campbell. 

^"Private Charles Lester, "H" Co., 4th Infantry, in a letter dated October 
17, 1869; cited in Don Rickey, Jr., Forty Miles A Day On Beans And Hay, 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966), p. 229. Hereafter Rickey, 
Forty Miles. 

^^Letters Sent, January 9, 1871. 

9»David, Campbell, p. 45. 

i^^OAlbert W. Johnson, "Hooker's Cabin," Annals of Wyoming, January 
1931, p. 416. Hereafter Johnson, "Cabin." 


more than sixty civilians in the vicinity of Fort Fetterman at any 
one time between 1869 and 1875.^"^ 

Official correspondence reflected a low opinion of most civilians 
living near the fort. A post commander opposed the reduction of 
the Fort Fetterman military reservation from sixty to twelve square 
miles because "certain civilians with no visible means of support" 
would move in and build ranches on the boundary of the reserva- 
tion and sell liquor to the soldiers and Indians.^"- Major J. S. 
Mason claimed in 1875 that there were not any settlers in the area 
"except a few half-breeds" who kept busy by selling whiskey to 
the Indians. ^"^'^ 

In 1874 Mason complained that no civilian servants could be 
induced to come to the post because of "the fear of Indians, diffi- 
culty of access, lack of church facilities, and loneliness generally. ^"^^ 
The fort was simply in an unattractive location : 

. . . there are no emigrants passing here, this being an extreme fron- 
tier post, on the immediate confines of the Indians' unceded lands. los 

Isolation had been felt as early as 1869. In April of that year 
Major Dye reported that he had no way to send twenty-one re- 
cently discharged soldiers back to civilization. His transport was 
tied up and "There is no public or private conveyance which men 
could leave the post, and no place at which they could obtain 
lodging or food in the vicinity. "^'^•' 

Even though the post was isolated, the 1870 census reflects the 
cosmopolitan nature of Fort Fetterman. There were 336 people 
listed as living at or near the fort. This figure included thirty-one 
women, thirty -six children, and fifty -five civilian employees. 
Among the civilian employees were: twenty-seven teamsters, eight 
wood-cutters, five servants, three hunter -guides, two telegraph 
operators, two laborers, two clerks, three hunters, two traders and 
one bartender. The "Melting Pot" image of America in the latter 
19th century was reflected at the post: of 336 people, 194 were 
foreign born. The soldiers listed birthplaces which included Can- 
ada, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, the German states, and 
England. There were two couples from Ireland, and a Captain 

I'JiUnpubUshed typescript by John Hunton titled "Fort Fetterman," dated 
November 20, 1925, p. 3. On file at the University of Wyoming, Western 
Research Center. 

^o^Letters Sent, July 9, 1872. 

^mbid., March 1, 1875. 

'^^>'^Letters Sent, August 31, 1874. 

^0^1 bid., March 1, 1875. 

''^"^Ibid., April 6, 1869. He listed the travel times to the nearest inhab- 
ited places as four days to Fort Laramie, six days to Medicine Bow, and 
seven days to Cheyenne. 


Charles Von Herrmann and wife from Prussia. Also listed in the 
1870 census are thirty families and twenty dwellings. ^'^' ' 

By 1870 most of the basic construction work on Fort Fetterman 
had been completed. The fort consisted of a stockade area and 
several outlying buildings and support facilities. Inside of the 
stockade, described as a "high plank fence" in official reports, 
were three barracks, officers' quarters and some offices. The bar- 
racks were 25' x 100' and 14 feet high. Behind them were two 
22' X 120' buildings from Fort Caspar which were used for mess 
halls and kitchens. The officers' quarters consisted of four build- 
ings subdivided into apartments.^"* Outside of the stockade were 
the hospital, storehouses, corrals and other buildings. There were 
stables for fifty horses, and the corral could accommodate fifty 
six-mule wagons and the animals.^"'' All of this construction work 
necessitated the establishment of a second wood reservation, which 
was located thirty-five miles southeast of the fort. The two wood 
reserves contained an estimated 2,500,000 board feet of yellow 

Few adverse official comments about the post are to be found 
in the records. Major Alexander Chambers, upon assuming com- 
mand of the fort in 1873, wrote the only critical letter, aside from 
Major Wessel's early laments, filed in the post correspondence: 

This post, being one of the most remote and, according to the post 
officers, one of the most uninhabitable posts in the Department . . . 
The high winds and low temperatures prevailing during the winter, 
together with the sandy soil, render many of the buildings very un- 
comfortable as it is impossible to prevent the entrance of clouds of 
sand into the buildings. 

He intended this description to reinforce a request for more build- 
ing funds, as "it seems as though anything that can be done to 
reconcile men and officers to service at this post would be a 

The post commander had to submit his request to construct a 
new building or make major repairs, together with plans and 
estimates of materials and costs, to the Quartermaster Department 
in Washington. For example, in his proposal to build a water- 

'^^''Censiis of 1870, Wyoming Territory, photostatic copy compiled by the 
D.A.R., on file at the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, 

'^^^Surgeon General's Report, 1870, p. 351. 

losj. W. Vaughn, The Reynolds Campaign on the Powder River, 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961), p. 20. Hereafter Vaughn, 

unofficial map of Fort Fetterman, by W. S. Stanton (no date but made 
sometime between 1877 and 1880), on file at the Wyoming State Archives 
and Historical Department, Cheyenne. 

^'^'^Letters Sent, December 2, 1873. 


works and new quarters in 1875, the post commander stated that 
adobe brieks could be obtained at $13.50 per thousand and logs 
at $7.50 per thousand. 

I can get a first class mason to make the adobe and lay the wall for 
$30 per thousand, and a stone foundation at $5 per yard.n-' 

Soldiers at the fort did most of the heavy and unskilled work, 
for which they received "extra-duty" pay. The skilled work had to 
be contracted. Wages for skilled workers were high due to a 
scarcity of labor on the frontier. At Fort Fetterman an engineer, 
who operated machinery, could get $90 a month, a wheelwright 
and a blacksmith $80, and a teamster $35. In contrast a private's 
base pay was $13 per month.^^'^ 

The history of the post hospital illustrates some of the admin- 
istrative and maintenance problems found on frontier posts. The 
original building was moved from Fort Caspar in 1867. An offi- 
cial report stated that it "consisted of logs, chinked and plastered" 
around a large ward, forming an "ill arranged building for hospital 
purposes."^ ^^ The building had a fifteen-bed capacity, and serious 
cases were sent to Fort Laramie. Despite repeated requests by 
various post surgeons, no improvements were made in the original 
structure until 1874 and then in a haphazard manner. The Sur- 
geon General's Report for 1874 noted that "both light and snow 
were freely admitted; while the ventilation was more than could 
be desired."^ ^■'' An inspection report for 1877 described the 
building as "A patched up labyrinth, a burlesque on the word 
hospital . . ."^^^ This report stirred up strong criticism from the 
post commander, to which the new post surgeon wrote a letter of 
explanation to the Adjutant General in Washington: 

I have ventured upon this extended resume in the hope of bringing 
forceably to your attention the manner in which hospital buildings 
on the frontier attain onto the full measure of their greatness. Gen- 
erally their origin is most humble and unpretentious ... as numerous 
surgeons assume charge each has his own ideas as to needed improve- 
ments . . . and the building grows. n'^' 

The surgeon estimated that the money spent on the building to date 
was enough "to have erected an elegant and commodious struc- 
ture" if a single plan had been followed. Money for the repairs 
recommended by this surgeon was not approved, so he had the 

^^^-Letters Sent, September 26, 1875. 

'^'^^Incoming Letters, December 31, 1880. A soldier also received room 
and board, such as it was. 

'^^'^Letters Sent, April 4, 1870. 

'^^^'Surgeon General's Report on Army Posts, Circular No. 4, 1874, p. 5. 

'^'^'^Letters Received, September 29, 1877. 

'^'^'^ Medical History, February 1878. 


work "done by an indigent citizen for bread to keep him from 

Despite poor medical facilities the health of the garrison greatly 
improved once the main post buildings were completed. From 
1871 to 1877 the average number of reported sick and injured 
fell to a monthly average of 15. The hospital staff consisted of a 
surgeon, a hospital steward who was senior NCO rank, a cook, 
two male nurses and a matron or two. 

Civilians could be treated at the hospital but only when "neces- 
sary for the preservation of life." Written permission from the 
post commander was required before anyone could be admitted. 
This poUcy resulted from a number of civilian patients refusing to 
pay for any expenses after treatment. This caused a debt in the 
accounts of economy minded commanders. In 1875, for example, 
a civilian required fifty days of hospitalization and then refused 
to pay for any rations or treatment received.""' 

The sutler's store was the main business enterprise at Fort 
Fetterman. Every military post had a licensed sutler who oper- 
ated the equivalent of a modern PX. Sutlers served both military 
and civilians, and occasionally Indians. The store's operating 
hours and prices were regulated by the post Council of Adminis- 
tration composed of officers. The Fort Fetterman sutler business 
suffered from the lack of civilians in the area. The license for 
the business changed in 1870 from the partnership of Wilson and 
Cobb to Coffee and Campbell. Later the license passed to 
Tillotson and Cobb who operated the store for most of the 

The Fort Fetterman sutler store consisted of a large browsing 
area and two bars: 'one for officers and the other for White 
citizens, [soldiers] and bullwhackers" as Bill Hooker remembered. 
This irritated many civilians as an example of snobbery by the 
army officers. Hooker wrote that this particularly irritated the 
men who drove the ox teams to and from the fort: 

. . . the army officer at old Fort Fetterman was as slick as he was 
the day he left West Point didn't care to rub elbows with the bull- 
whackers . . . for there was a great contrast between the men who 
faced the blizzards, forded the streams and ducked under obsidian 
and flint arrows of the Sioux to haul across the plains, and the clean 
shaven officers . . . 

The bullwhackers felt they were harassed unfairly by the army 
officers at the fort. Once when a buUwhacker was thrown into 
the guardhouse by an irate officer the other bullwhackers planned 

^^^Medical History, February 1878. 

^mbid., November 1875. 

'^-^Letters Sent, July 10, 1873; and Journal. July 16. 1870. 


to tar and feather the first officer they could catch, but their 
tempers cooled before any action was taken. ^-^ 

Hooker claimed that part of this friction arose because the 
bullwhackers felt they did just as much fighting as the soldiers: 

... it was generally understood that [the Indians] had no particular 
desire to fool with the bullwhackers at a range short of 10 or 20 
thousand yards . . . therefore, they didn't commit a great many depre- 
dations along La Prele creek. i-- 

The need for education created another problem at Fort Fetter- 
man. All posts were expected to provide a school for dependents. 
Fort Fetterman's school had a spotty history. The first mention 
of a school was in 1871 when a "School for children of the Post" 
commenced January 31, with an enUsted man detailed as the 
teacher. A record book for the school was kept during the 1873- 
1874 term, and it lists fourteen students divided into three classes 
with an enUsted man as instructor. The school closed June 4, 
1874, and apparently never reopened. A request for money to 
operate a school was made in the fall of 1874 but was not 
approved. In 1880 the post commander reported that there was 
no money left in the post allocations to purchase books for the 
school, and the project was dropped.'-'^ 

Life at Fort Fetterman for the soldiers boiled down to monot- 
onous routine punctuated by occasional moments of excitement, 
fear and violence. A veteran of Fort Fetterman wrote in his later 
years that "This Fort was considered by the soldiers who served 
there as one of the dreariest spots in the West."^-^ The post 
surgeon noted that although they were located in hostile territory 

. . . the general duties of the garrison have been guard duty, cutting 
and hauling logs, making adobe bricks, ferrying Indians across the 
Platte and military drill. 125 

The daily routine for the soldiers at Fort Fetterman was closely 
regimented, and followed this schedule: 

10 minutes before sunrise Reveille, 1st Call 

Sunrise Reveille 

Immediately after Reveille Breakfast Call 

7 a.m Sick Call 

7:15 Stable, Water 

and Fatigue Call 
9:00 Guardmount, 1st 


121 Johnson, "Cabin," pp. 41 and 79. 


y^'iMedical History, January 13, 1871; Letters Sent, August 1, 1874; 
Letters Sent and Received, April 6, 1880; an dthe school Record Book. 

124J. o. Ward, "Soldiering at Fetterman," Frontier Times, March 1970, 
p. 7. Hereafter Ward, "Soldiering." 

^-''Surgeon General's Report, Circular No. 4, 1874, p. 7. 


9:10 Guardmount, Assem- 
bly of Details 

9: 15 Adjutants Call 

12:00 1st Sergeants Call 

Recall from Fatigue 
12:15 Dinner Call 

1 p.m Drill Call 

2:00 Recall from Drill, 


2:30 Recall from Drill, 


3:15 Water and Stable 


5:00 Drill call for re- 
cruits and men not 

10 minutes before Sunset Retreat, 1st Call 

Sunset Retreat, under arms 

9:00 ...._ Taps 

Sundays were a day of rest, with the exception of an inspection 
and a full dress parade : 

9:00 a.m Inspection, 1st Call 

9: 15 Assembly 

Guardmount immediately after inspection. 

50 minutes before Sunset Dress Parade, 1st 


5 minutes after 1st Call Assembly 

5 minutes after assembly Adjutants Calli-^ 

Escort and repair details provided a break in the post routine. 
Due to the Indian threat, a soldier noted, "Everything that came 
into or went out of Fetterman was escorted by troops."^-' Civilian 
contractors in the area had to make formal request for escorts to 
the post commander, stating need and length of time an escort 
would be required. Often the provision of escorts was included 
in the contracts with the post. A typical escort for a wood train 
consisted of two soldiers per wagon, under the command of a 
sergeant. ^-^ 

The post's general area of responsibility for escort and main- 
tenance extended east to Horseshoe Creek, south to Laramie Peak 
and the second crossing of the Medicine Bow River, west to old 
Fort Caspar and north along the Platte River. Repair details 
were assigned with the upkeep of the telegraph line and mainte- 
nance of the roads to Fort Laramie and Medicine Bow. 

A number of details took up the time of soldiers remaining at 
the fort. One of the most unpopular was the water wagon detail 

'^"^Medical History, March 1877. 
127 Ward, "Soldiering," p. 7. 
^^^Joiirnal, August 17, 1872. 


during the winter season. The detail was composed of a six-mule 
water wagon and six to eight men. They had to cut holes in the 
ice of the Platte River and then fill the wagon using buckets. One 
officer reported that ". . . the climate is severe during the winter, 
and the water detail is many times covered with ice and nearly 
frozen." The task was usually performed by prisoners under 
sentence at hard labor. Many post commanders requested funds 
to build a reservoir on the plateau beside the fort in order "to 
prevent the water detail hardships and for fire protection. "^^^ 

A water pump was obtained in 1875 in preparation for estab- 
lishing a reservoir. It was then discovered that no one at the post 
knew how to operate the water pump machinery. Questions as to 
the operation of the equipment were written to the manufacturer in 
New York, prefaced with the explanation that "We are beyond the 
reach of pratical mechanics. "^-^'^ 

Another important winter detail was ice cutting. The cutting 
usually began in December or January when the ice on the Platte 
River reached an average thickness of twelve to fourteen inches. 
The post commanders gave top priority to the detail because ice 
was an invaluable commodity during the summer. The blocks of 
ice were hauled up to the fort and stored in a specially constructed 
ice house. The ice supply lasted until August or September. ^^^ 

The post garden provided many summer time details. Western 
forts were expected to be as self-sufficient as possible. In keeping 
with this policy a four-acre plot was laid out along La Prele Creek 
in 1869 to serve as the post garden, and it met with varying 
degrees of success. A Journal entry for 1870 notes: "Bugs de- 
stroyed most of the beets in the garden." The Surgeon General's 
Report for 1870 records that the troops planted radishes, peas, 
lettuce and onions that year. In 1875 the post commander lament- 
ed that ". . . it has been found impossible to raise any vegetables 
owing to the scarcity of water, and grasshoppers." He concluded 
that ". . . it is not practicable to raise an adequate supply of fresh 
vegetables at this post." During good years sufficient quantities of 
peas, onions, beans, and cabbages were produced from the garden. 
Nonetheless, the post had to supplement its harvest every year 
with purchases from the farms around Greeley and Fort Collins, 
Colorado. Post wagon trains dispatched for produce were record- 
ed every year. On October 10, 1870, for example, sixteen wagons 
of potatoes arrived from Fort Russell. Another train consisting of 

^ -^Letters Sent, December 12, 1873; and Ward, "Soldiering," p. 7. 

^^OLetters Sent, July 14, 1875. 

131 Summarized from yearly entries in the Journal. 


five wagons of fruit and vegetables arrived from the Cache la 
Poudre Valley. ^•^- 

These gardens were necessary to supplement the traditional 
army diet of bacon, hardtack, coffee and sugar. At times the 
garrison went without meat for a month, and on other occasions 
scurvy broke out from a lack of fresh vegetables. Upon occasion 
the troops had to undergo cuts in their bread rations as part of 
army-wide economy. ^-^-^ Generally, however, with supplements of 
quartermaster supplies, the soldiers had adequate rations. In 1 872 
the post quartermaster reported that he had on hand, in addition to 
the usual rations, rice, beans, pork, ham, sardines, tomatoes, dried 
beef, flour, pickles, two cans of lobster, and "one large bottle of 
Worcestershire Sauce. "^-^^ The post surgeon noted in 1870 that 
"as nearly every family has a cow, chickens, and pigs, the supply 
of eggs and milk is ample. "^^•"' In 1876 another post surgeon 
reported: "rations good but not adequate. The need of fresh 
vegetables, such as potatoes, is much felt." In 1877 the rations 
were described as "adequate and finely cooked." The report also 
noted: ''Bread - Passable - The quality of flour at present issue 
is very indifferent," and "Meat - Good - Though occasionally 
tougher than desirable. ^^^ 

The medical inspection reports usually describe the general 
living conditions of the post as good. Comments on the common 
soldiers varied. In 1877 the post surgeon concluded: "Habits of 
enhsted men fully equal to the average." On another occasion he 
wrote: "Habits of Enlisted Men - Excellent, doubtless in measure 
due to recent infrequent visits of the Paymaster."^^' This com- 
ment was in reference to paydays which usually occurred every 
two months and provided an occasion for celebration. In 1874 
the post surgeon reported: 

The payday battle results so far are three cases of stabbing, two of 
lacerated wounds of scalp & face, black eyes & minor wounds not 
counted . . . the usual results manifesting themselves soon by drunk- 
enness. i-^s 

The only derogatory report made of the men at Fort Fetterman 
occurred in 1874 when the outgoing post surgeon wrote: 

'^^- Journal, July 9, 1870; Letters Sent, March 1 and May 7, 1875; and 
Surgeon General's Report, 1870, p. 350. 

^^•^Journal, March 1, 1875; Letters and Telegrams Received, April 11, 
1877. The daily bread ration was reduced from 22 oz. to 18 oz. It was 
later restored. 

^^^Letters Sent, May 7, 1872. 

"^"^^^Surgeon General's Report, 1870. p. 351. 

'^•^^Medical History, July 1876, and May and November 1877. 

'^^''Ibid., May and November 1877. 

^^Hbid., March 6 and 7, 1874. 


Many of the recruits look sickly, immature and poorly set up. The 
air in the barracks is heavy. The Cavalry barracks is overcrowd- 
ed .. . Guard house has been crowded during the latter half of the 
month. 139 

Malcolm Campbell recorded this impression of the troops 

In the summer they wore blue shirts, white felt hats, buckskin panta- 
loons and cavalry boots. Their Springfield carbines were always kept 
in bright and efficient condition, and each trooper carried 60 rounds 
of ammunition in his belt. 

The soldiers presented a sharp contrast during the winter months: 

uniforms inadequate in the winter. Men made boots, vests and coats 
out of buffalo hides; blankets were cut up for underclothing; and 
frequently masks were made of the same material to completely 
enclose the head and shoulders. i^o 

Such precautions were necessary on the northern plains. During 
a cold spell in 1875, for example, all non-essential activity was 
cancelled. Only wood and water details were formed up, and 
guard duty "was so arranged as to eliminate exposure for more 
than an hour."^^^ 


With this view of army life on the frontier, it is not hard to 
understand why desertion was the army's biggest problem during 
the 1866-1898 period. The Secretary of War noted in his report 
for 1877: 

The life of the private soldier is a life of dull and monotonous routine, 
of which it is natural, if not inevitable, that men of spirit and ambition 
should weary. 

He recommended improved supplies and reading material as 
remedies. ^^- Whether from disgust or opportunism, many soldiers 
deserted from Fort Fetterman. Campbell made the interesting 
observation that some of the best early settlers in Wyoming began 
their careers by deserting from the army.^^^ 

The first recorded instance of desertion at Fort Fetterman 
occurred August 14, 1867, when two cavalrymen deserted as soon 
as they reached the fort while on escort duty from Fort Reno."* 
From then on the post correspondence is filled with reports and 

'^^^Medical History, January 31, 1874. 

i-i'JDavid, Campbell, pp. 47-48. 

^^^ Journal, January 16, 1875. Temperatures reached a high of —3° 
during the day and fell to — 30° at night. 

'^^~ Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1877 (Washington: GPO, 
1877), Vol. 1, p. vii. Published separately. 

i43David, Campbell, p. 46. 

^■^■^Letters Sent, August 14, 1867. 


descriptions of deserters. Their recapture was difficult in the days 
before fingerprinting, identification photographs and rapid com- 
munication. When a soldier deserted from the fort a patrol would 
be sent out in pursuit, and the man's description telegraphed to the 
nearest inhabited locations including Medicine Bow, Cheyenne and 
Fort Laramie. 

A few examples will illustrate the situation. On the night of 
January 31, 1871, four men deserted from Fort Fetterman. A 
patrol guided by Indian scouts followed the deserters' footprints in 
the snow, and recaptured them at their hide-out in the hills south 
of the fort. Three days later another patrol went out in pursuit of 
deserters believed heading east. They reached Fort Laramie and 
made camp. During the night soldiers deserting from Fort Lara- 
mie stole two of the patrol's mules. ^^^' Ten men deserted from 
Fort Fetterman on July 25, 1871, the largest single group recorded 
as deserting at one time. Lack of horses at the fort prevented 
pursuit. Noting this, two more soldiers deserted the next day. 
On June 27 and 28 eight men deserted from the post and cut the 
telegraph wire at various locations as they traveled. Two soldiers 
deserted on August 17, 1872, reportedly aided by two outlaws. ^^^^ 
Two men deserted on March 16, 1874, from a mail escort. A 
patrol composed of a sergeant, five troopers and an Arapaho scout 
made an unsuccessful pursuit. Deserting from escort details was 
quite easy and frequent. The largest recorded number occurred 
in May, 1874, when seven men out of twenty-three deserted while 
escorting the mail to Fort Laramie. ^^^ 

Deserters would surrender themselves at Fort Fetterman occa- 
sionally. One such man claimed to be a deserter from the navy. 
A recaptured deserter from the 14th Infantry at Fort Fetterman 
"claimed" that he had earlier deserted from the 5th Artillery on 
the east coast. In 1871 Private John Callaghan, recaptured after 
deserting from Fort Fetterman, "claimed" that he had earlier 
deserted from the Marine Corps at Brooklyn Barracks on June 20, 
1869, having enlisted May 13. He enlisted in the army July 26, 
1869, and was sent to Fort Fetterman. He requested that he be 
returned to the Marines. ^^"^ 

The punishment for desertion varied, depending upon the cir- 
cumstances and the deserter. The severest punishment given at 
Fort Fetterman was imprisonment in the federal penitentiary at 
Madison, lowa.^^^ Usually deserters were sentenced to hard labor 

'^^^Medical History, January 31 and February 3, 1871. 
^^'^ Journal, June 28, July 25 and 26, 1871; August 17. 1872. 
^"^"^ Medical History, March 16, 1874; Letters Sent. May 25. 1874. 
^*^Letters Sent, March 1 and 8, 1871, November 23, 1873, and March 5, 


at the fort, which could be arduous. In early 1870 the post com- 
mander cracked down on what he felt was softness on the part of 
the guardhouse detail. He reminded the sergeant of the guard 
that the prisoners were not to be allowed any books, cards or 
tobacco. Prisoners were to be kept in their cells at all times, and 
he complained that "Some prisoners have their own rooms." The 
officer of the day was ordered to make sure that each prisoner had 
his allotted blanket or robe and no more.^''" The prisoners were 
detailed to unpopular and difficult jobs, and to construction work 
without receiving extra-duty pay. When possible the prisoners 
were locked to a ball-and-chain. 

Self-inflicted wounds presented another morale problem. A 
wound requiring amputation could lead to a medical discharge and 
possibly a pension. In 1873 the post surgeon recorded the case 
of Private O'Leary who had shot himself in the right hand. His 
index finger was amputated to the second joint, and then he was 
"returned to duty much to his surprise and disgust." The surgeon 
noted that O'Leary was the fourth case from May to September 
which had required amputation, of which two had led to a dis- 
charge. Other cases included Private Lynch who "Openly boasted 
of having shot the finger off," Private O'Brian who had "shot 
himself in right hand," Private Cummings who shot himself in the 
right hand while returning from target practice, and Private Davis 
who shot himself while on guard duty.^^^ 


The majority of the soldiers stationed at Fort Fetterman obeyed 
their orders and stayed out of major trouble. They found several 
sources of amusement to alleviate the austerity and boredom of 
army life. Drill and baseball games were a common way for post 
commanders to provide activity for the troops during quiet times. 
A drama association was organized in 1870 and gave its first 
performance on July 4 and again on July 1 1 . Two more plays 
were presented in August. A theater building was constructed in 
late 1873 and became the center for social functions held on post. 
A minstrel group formed and gave its first performance January 
15, 1874. A soldier noted in the Post Journal that "It was good. 
The first performance in the building." They gave another per- 
formance two weeks later.^^- In 1870 a race track was laid out 
near the post though it seems to have gotten little use. During 

1-i^ Medical History, November 17, 1873. On this date four men were 
sentenced to the penitentiary for one year. 

'^^^Letters Sent, January 14 and February 9, 1870. 
^^'^Medical History, July-October and December 26, 1873. 
^^yournal, July 4 and 11, August 27, 1870; January 15 and 30, 1874. 


the winter months ice-skating on the Platte was popular, as was 
fishing in the summer. ^^^ 

The Fourth of July was a festive occasion. In 1871 the day 
began at 4:15 a.m. with a twenty-one-gun salute, followed by a 
full-dress parade. The troops then changed uniforms and marched 
two miles up the La Prele and spent the day playing "various 
sports & games, races and target shooting." A sergeant read the 
Declaration of Independence, and another sergeant gave an ora- 
tion. The troops returned at dusk and concluded the day with a 
fireworks display. In 1873 a similar observance was held with a 
baseball game between the infantry and the cavalry added. ^''^ 

More practical amusements were found in hunting parties sent 
out from the post. The main game sought were elk and deer to 
supplement the rations. One such party led by Major Chambers 
in November, 1875, stayed out twenty-three days, although the 
usual duration was only a few days. These excursions could be 
quite social. In 1869 Major Dye telegraphed to the commander at 
Fort Laramie: "We will go on a buffalo hunt in a few days . . . 
can you and Captain Luhn come up?" In case they could not Dye 
added that elk hunting would begin when they returned and that 
they were welcome to come along. In February 1870, Captain 
Wells led twenty-two men on a fishing expedition up Box Elder 
Creek, i-"'-^ 

Frontier Incidents 

Indian scouts had been employed at Fort Fetterman to aid 
patrols from time to time. In 1874 the post commander decided 
to formally enlist some Arapaho Indians for that purpose. Five 
Arapahoes were enlisted March 1, and issued uniforms and equip- 
ment. The hard-nosed commander insisted that since the Indians 
were now part of the army they should appear in full military 
dress and be inspected daily. This did not sit well with the free 
and easy Indians. One morning in July "After payday and a 
bountiful supply of rations, clothing and annuities," Ward remem- 
bered, "they were conspicuous by their absence." However, one 
of the Indians, Little Dog, stayed on faithfully and was discharged 
in September. His discharge certificate stated that he was "a good 
soldier but a poor scout. "^•^*'' 

Throughout the early 1870s the official post guide and scout was 

loi^Medical History, December 4, 1873; Journal. July 1. 1870. 

^^^Medical History, July 4, 1871 and 1873. 

'^^^^ Journal, February 12, 1870; November 5, 1875; Telegrams Sent and 
Received, July 29, 1869. 

ii''*'The story is given in Ward, "Fort Fetterman," p. 361, and differs in 
dates and numbers from the post records. Letters Sent. March 4 and 7. 
1874; and the Journal, July 19 and September 1, 1874 record the event. 


a man named Joe Meriville described as "an old half breed." He 
lived near the post with his family of "squaws, papooses and dogs." 
As to his military abilities, Ward wrote: "The impression pre- 
vailed among the military men that Joe never led the troops to a 
point where there might be danger ..." Meriville established one 
of the few ranches in the area, and it was frequently raided by 
Indians. One day Joe disappeared, presumably moving onto the 
Indian reservation. ^^^ 

Generally there were no conflicts between the soldiers at Fort 
Fetterman and the local Indians. Only some fist fights between 
visiting Indians and the soldiers are recorded. The two fatalities, 
according to J. W. Vaughn, occurred when two soldiers "were 
crossing the river at night to meet some of the Indian women." 
One night "resentful braves" ambushed and killed the two 
soldiers. ^''•'^ 

The post records show little discord between the soldiers and 
civilians in the area. In 1876, however, local outlaws murdered 
a soldier. On March 3, 1876, Black Coal, chief of a band of 
Arapahoes camped near Fort Fetterman, reported to the post 
commander that four of their ponies had been stolen and that the 
trail led toward some ranches south of the fort. The chief re- 
quested that a soldier be sent with the Indians to reclaim the 
ponies. Sergeant Patrick Sullivan, described by the post com- 
mander as "one of the best non-commissioner officers at the post," 
was detailed to go along with the Indians. Three miles south of 
the post they encountered William Chambers, alias Persimmon 
Bill, and a man named Brown, who had three of the ponies with 
them. They shot Sullivan, a successful gambler, and took $300 
from him. The outlaws then took the ponies and fled to the 
mountains south of the fort. The post commander lamented that 
he had "no means at the post to pursue them," and sent out his 
infantry to comb the area on foot. The next night three more 
ponies were stolen from the Indians, who in turn "retaliated by 
stealing six [horses] from a citizen [who] lives about 7 miles from 
the post." The next day a band of civilians went out in pursuit of 
the Indians. Meanwhile Sullivan's killers escaped. ^-^^ 

Outbreak of 1874 

In 1874 a series of events began which culminated in the Indian 
uprisings of 1876. Rumors and reports of Indian war parties 
slipping south of the Platte River abounded in early 1874. Pass- 
ing war parties warned Indian women living with white ranchers 

i57Ward, "Fetterman," p. 361. 

i.'iSVaughn, Campaign, p. 22. 

'^''''* Letters Sent, March 5, 1876. Chambers escaped to Rawlins, Wyoming. 


along Chugwater Creek and other areas to leave "as they intended 
to destroy all the ranches. "^*"^ Indians attacked a wagon train 
enroute from Fort Laramie to the Laramie Peak Sawmill on 
February 9, and killed Lieutenant Levi H. Robinson and a cor- 
poral. In response to this attack the cavalry company at Fort 
Fetterman was dispatched the next day with orders "to scout for 
and kill all Indians found on the south side of the North Platte." 
The troopers swept east and linked up with a cavalry company 
coming from Fort Laramie. Neither unit made contact with the 
Indians. Two days later a detachment of infantry marched up 
La Prele Creek in response to a reported attack on the post wood 
camp and to scout in the general area.^'^^ 

Further east the Indians at the Red Cloud Agency mutinied. 
The Sioux agency had been moved from Fort Laramie in 1873 and 
located on the White River in Nebraska. In 1874, with the 
expiration of the annuities provision of the Treaty of 1 868, the 
government attempted to use the restoration of the rations as a 
lever to pressure the Sioux into moving further east to the Missouri 
River. Instead, on February 12, the Indians rioted, killed the 
Indian agent and set fire to several agency buildings. They seized 
the agency cattle herd and told officials "that they will do their 
own issuing now."^''- 

Troops quickly massed at Fort Laramie and advanced on the 
agency. By February 19, the majority of the Indians, led by Red 
Cloud, had surrendered. The rebels, led by Crazy Horse, fled to 
the Powder River country. ^•'•^ The government established a fort 
at the agency, named in honor of Lieutenant Robinson, to dis- 
courage future mutinies. The government also resumed the issue 
of rations and temporarily suspended plans to move the Indians 
further east. 

Leaders of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes came to Fort Fetter- 
man on February 13 to disclaim any part in the recent troubles. 
At a "Pow-wow with the Cheyennes" held at the fort in April the 
Indians claimed that the troubles stemmed from the Sioux who 
wanted war. The Cheyennes stated that they had separated them- 
selves from the hostile Indians. ^''^ 

General Sheridan was skeptical of such pacifist pronouncements 
and claimed that the uprising had "fired up the blood" of the 
Cheyennes and Arapahoes. During June, war parties of Chey- 
ennes and Arapahoes moved west and began a series of raids upon 
the Shoshoni reservation. To counter this threat, a company of 

-i^^OMedical History, February 10, 1874. 
'^^^Joiirncil, February 10 and 12, 1874. 
''■'^-Cheyenne Leader, February 12, 1874. p. 1. 
^^Mbid., February 19, 1874, p. 1. 
^^^Joiirnal, February 13 and April 5, 1874. 


the 2nd Cavalry and 160 Shoshoni warriors under Captain A. E. 
Bates made a rapid advance from Camp Brown and attacked the 
Cheyenne and Arapaho camp on the Bad Water Fork of the Wind 
River on July 4. The attack scattered the Indians, kiUing twenty- 
six and wounding twenty, along with capturing 230 ponies. The 
army lost four men killed and six wounded.^*''' 

The battered Cheyermes and Arapahoes moved eastward to 
Pumpkin Buttes and sent a delegation to Fort Fetterman to confer 
with the post commander, 

Asking with much bluster whether the troops wanted war. The reply 
was 'Yes' and that they would kill as many Indians as possible unless 
the latter stopped their depredations, and came into their agency. i6<5 

He reported that after the meeting most of the Indians returned to 
the reservation, only with a few bands of Sioux remaining out in 
the Unceded Lands to keep up the hostilities. 

During this period Fort Fetterman's operations consisted of 
scouting and patroling. Sheridan authorized all forces in the 
Department to "attack the hostile Indians wherever found. "^''' The 
post commander told the cavalry commander that ". . . the guilty 
Indians will be pursued and punished wherever found, and the 
reservation lines should be no barrier to such operations. "^^^ 
Such latitude resulted in few contacts with the Indians. As in 
previous years, the Indians eluded the military forces sent out after 

Civilians sometimes took matters into their own hands when the 
army was unable to act. An Indian raiding party ran off nineteen 
cattle belonging to ranchers in the Fort Fetterman area in March. 
The ranchers pursued the Indians to their camp and recaptured the 
cattle. The Indians pursued the ranchers and wounded one of 
them. 169 

Indians attacked the post hay contractor's camp on July 16. 
The post commander dispatched a "Scouting Column" to search 
for the Indians, and all Indians encountered were to be "attacked 
and punished as severely as possible." The column was authorized 
to cross the Platte if the trail led there, but no signs of the raiding 
party were found. Later that month Indians attacked the post 
wood camp on Box Elder Creek and killed and scalped one of the 
lumbermen. 1'*' 

1 •■'-"'Sheridan, Record, pp. 39-40. This was the last battle between the 
Arapahos and the army. After the battle the Arapahos avoided getting 
involved in disputes with the army. 

ifiS/^jV/., p. 40. 

i*''i'U. S., Congress, House, Report of the Secretary of War, House Ex. 
Doc. 1, part 2, 43rd Cong., 2nd sess., 1874, (serial 1635), p. 33. 
^^^Letters Sent, August 14, 1874. 
^^^ Journal, July 11, 16 and 28, 1874. 
^i(^ Journal, July 11, 16, and 28, 1874. 


Civilian casualties increased as they began to move into the area 
in increasing numbers. On July 11 , a civilian named Joel Hamp- 
ton "wounded by Indians July 2," died in the post hospital. ^'^ 
More casualties occurred when the firm of Wolfen and Johnson, 
owners of the Mule Shoe Ranch near Chugwater, moved 3000 
head of cattle to Horseshoe Creek, near the "Fetterman Crossing," 
to graze. Hunton states that three cowboys were killed during 
fights with the Indians while protecting the herd.^^- In September 
a civilian was robbed of three horses and killed near Fort Fetter- 
man. The guilty Indians reportedly returned safely to the Red 
Cloud Agency. The last raid of the year occurred December 21, 
when thirty head of stock belonging to the fort were run off by 
Indians. ^"^ 

Despite the growing number of Indian raids in the Departments 
of the Platte and Dakota, the only military expedition dispatched 
was exploratory in nature. Almost nothing was known of the 
Black Hills area. Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer led a 
scientific expedition into the area to map it and find sites for 
forts. This famous expedition was originally planned to start 
from Fort Laramie, but the Indians in the Fort Laramie - Fort 
Fetterman area was found to be "such that an expedition from 
there would probably provoke hostilities." The expedition's base 
was shifted to Fort Lincoln. ^'^ The expedition confirmed the 
existence of gold in the Black Hills, and thereby set off the last 
of the great continental gold rushes, and the last of the great Indian 
uprisings. ^"^ 

FORT FETTERMAN: 1876-1876 

The quartermaster of this post will supply you 
with anything you may need to put your com- 
mand in shape for field service. 

— Post Commander 

Background to the Indian Uprising 

Westward migration of the white man and the consequent 
infringement upon the Indian territories brought about a final 
showdown in 1875-1877 on the northern plains. During this 
period Fort Fetterman reached the apex of its importance in size 
and mission, serving as an advanced logistics base and as a staging 

^l^Letters Sent, July 18, 1874. 

I'^^L. G. Flannery (ed.), John H union's Diaries. (Lingle, Wyoming: 
Guide-Review, 1958), Vol. II (1874), p. 40. Hereafter Flannery. Diaries. 
^"'^Letters Sent, September 19, 1874; Medical History December 21, 1874. 
i74Sheridan, Record, p. 38. 
^'^Continental being the "lower 48". 



— Wyoming Recreation Commission Photo 
Present Day Reconstruction of Fort Fetterman Ordnance Storehouse 

area for three major campaigns against the Sioux and Cheyennes. 

The immediate cause of the Indian uprising was the discovery 
of gold in the Black Hills and the subsequent flood of miners into 
the Indian lands. Another cause was the continuance of raids by 
the Indians in defiance of the Treaty of 1868. These raids led to 
numerous and growing demands for more protection and stronger 
countermeasures. Army leaders attributed the raids to renegade 
Indians who refused to live on the reservation in Dakota, and who 
resided year round in the Unceded Lands. Sioux chiefs Crazy 
Horse and Sitting Bull were generally assumed to be the principal 
leaders of the renegade bands. While small in number, these 
bands formed a nucleus for continued fighting and provided lead- 
ership for reservation braves who sought adventure. Military 
leaders claimed that successful defiance of the treaty by these 
bands was the cause of unrest among reservation Indians. The 
annual reports of the Platte and Dakota department commanders 
and of General Sheridan contain numerous recommendations for 
strong action against the renegade bands as the only way to bring 
peace to the northern plains. 

In response to the gold discovery a special commission was 
formed to negotiate with the Sioux for the purchase of the Black 
Hills and the Unceded Lands. The commission held negotiations 
in June, 1875, but failed to reach any settlement. Reactions to the 


negotiations varied among the different bands of Indians. Two 
Moons of the Cheyennes and Black Bear of the Arapahoes told the 
Fort Fetterman commander that they were willing to give up the 
Black Hills. Some Arapahoes told the commander that a band of 
over one hundred lodges of Cheyennes were camped near old Fort 
Reno. They told the Arapahoes that they had never been to the 
agency and had no intention of going and that they were getting 
ready to fight rather than submit. ^^^ 

As the storm gathered, newly-promoted Brigadier General 
George S. Crook arrived to take command of the Department of 
the Platte. The first problem which confronted him after his 
arrival in April was the flood of miners into the Black Hills region. 
Until the question of who was to own the hills was settled, Sheridan 
ordered Crook to "arrest anyone attempting to go to the Black 
Hills and destroy all their transport, guns and property." To 
intercept the miners Crook spread out detachments of the 9th 
Infantry between Forts Laramie and Robinson.^ '^ The popular 
routes to the gold fields ran north from Sidney, Nebraska and 
Cheyenne, Wyoming. Although Fort Fetterman was not astride 
the main routes some miners came that way. In March, 1875, 
a detachment of cavalry was sent out to Deer Creek "to intercept 
a party of miners said to be enroute to the Black Hills from 
Rawhns." Another group was reported camped on La Prele 
Creek in June, but by then the government had given up trying to 
stem the tide.^"^ 

During the summer, Sioux and Cheyenne war parties made a 
series of large stock raids on ranches near the Union Pacific 
Railroad. Crook reported five raids; one in April near Rawhns; 
two in April and July "near the ranches in the Popoagie valley"; 
and two in June at "the stock ranches in Rock Creek valley." The 
Indians ran off over 400 horses in these raids. ^'^ 

In response to the June 1 stock raid near Rock Creek, Crook 
ordered the Fort Fetterman commander to "Send out a force to 
intercept them, kill all it can and recover stock; party sent by you 
must follow to the last extremity." A cavalry company was dis- 
patched with six days rations, and it headed west. The troopers 

'^'^^Telegrams Sent and Received, February 24, 1876; Letters Sent, Feb- 
ruary 25, 1875. Because of the trade embargo few Indians came to Fort 
Fetterman that year. Only $20 worth of trade (mostly "a little sugar and 
coffee") occurred in 1875. 

I'^Martin F. Schmitt (ed.). General Crook: His Autobiography, (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma Press, 1946), pp. 188-189. Hereafter 
Schmitt, Crook. 

^'^^Medical History, March 30 and June 27, 1875. 

I'^U. S., Congress, Report of the Secretary of War, (Washington: GPO, 
1875), Vol. I, p. 69. Published as two separate volumes. Hereafter Report 
of the Secretary of War, 1875. 


expected the Indians to cross the Platte between Deer Creek and 
old Fort Caspar. Small patrols were sent out in all directions, but 
they failed to find any signs of the Indians. Later it was learned 
that the Indians had crossed with their booty further west along 
the Sweetwater River. ^^" 

Crook reported that the trails of all the raiding bands led to the 
Sioux reservation. To have followed them with enough troops to 
recapture the stock, he claimed, would have set off a general 
war.i*^^ The failure of the commission to obtain the Black Hills 
and the Unceded Lands resulted in the matter being turned over 
to the army, and the outbreak of the war he had sought to avoid. 

Crook's First Campaign 

The Indian Bureau dispatched runners to the bands remaining 
in the Unceded Lands in November, 1875. They carried orders 
requiring all Indians to return to the reservation before January 
31, 1876. After that date the army intended to sweep the Un- 
ceded Lands and destroy all remaining hostile bands. General 
Sheridan planned to launch a winter offensive to strike the Indians 
while they were immobilized by the weather. A series of "concen- 
tric movements," which had proven so successful in the 1868 and 
the 1875 campaigns on the southern plains, was planned. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Custer would lead a column west from Fort 
Lincoln; Colonel John Gibbon would lead a column east from 
Fort Ellis; and Crook would lead a column north from Fort 
Fetterman. All three columns would converge upon the Powder 
River country and crush the hostile bands between them. 

Lack of information about the number of Indians in the Un- 
ceded Lands plagued the campaigns of 1876. The Indian Bureau 
estimated that there were 500 Indians off the reservation at most. 
General Sherman thought that 800 was a more realistic figure. ^^- 
General Sheridan estimated that there were two main bands in the 
area; Sitting Bull's, "whose immediate following did not exceed 30 
or 40 lodges," and Crazy Horse's, "whose bands composed per- 
haps 120 lodges, numbering 200 warriors. "^^-^ Neither general 
thought there to be significant numbers of Cheyennes with these 
Sioux. With so small a number of Indians it seemed that the 2500 
soldiers massing in the Platte and Dakota departments would be 
more than adequate for the job. 

^^^Letters Sent, June 7 and 9, 1875. 

^^^Report of the Secretary of War, 1875, Vol. I, p. 69. Crook added 
that the stolen stock was "driven north in the direction of Pumpkin Butte 
and thence to the Powder River into the camp of Sitting Bull of the 
North." p. 7. 

182U. S., Congress, Report of the Secretary of War, House Ex. Doc, 
44th Cong., 2nd sess., 1876-1877, (serial 1742), Vol. I, p. 29. 

i83Sheridan, Record, p. 49. 


Crook planned to use Fort Fetterman as his base of operations 
because it was the closest fort in his department to the Powder 
River country. Early in 1876, under orders from Crook, the post 
commander began preparing the post as a logistics base. He was 
ordered to put all available transport in the area under contract 
at two cents per pound, for an estimated 50,000 pounds of stores 
first shipment. He discovered that most of the transportation 
between Fort Fetterman and Cheyenne was taken up in the more 
profitable Black Hills trade. ^^^^ All wagons at the fort were put 
into running condition to help meet the demand. 

Crook assembled ten companies of cavalry at Forts Russell and 
Laramie for the campaign and began the march to Fort Fetterman 
on February 20. Upon his arrival. Lieutenant John G. Bourke, 
aide-de-camp to Crook, made this observation of the fort: 

The buildings had no pretensions to architectural elegance, being a 
single story each, of adobe, fronted by a veranda, but they served 
their purpose, were kept in good repair, were neatly painted and acted 
in a mild kind of way as a Mecca for the first glimpse of which many 
a weary eye had strained its glance across the interminable plains be- 
tween the Laramie and the Big Horn.^'*'' 

On February 27 Crook organized his forces at Fort Fetterman 
and christened them the "Big Horn Expedition." The force in- 
cluded ten companies of cavalry and two infantry companies from 
the Fort Fetterman garrison and totaled 662 men and thirty offi- 
cers. In addition there were 190 scouts, teamsters and other 
support personnel to handle the eighty-six wagons, four ambu- 
lances and 500 pack mules. ^■'**' Forty days' rations, in the form of 
beef-on-the-hoof and bacon for the troops, and 200,000 pounds of 
grain for the livestock were taken along. ^^^ One western historian 
wrote of this expedition: "It was probably the most formidable 
organization of fighting men to set out against the hostile Sioux 
since the Sully campaign of 1864."^^''' The Cheyenne Leader 
enthusiastically reported: 

Our people will rejoice to see our boys in blue march to the front, 
in order to remove the ravaging and murdering savages from a 

^^^Telegrams Sent, February 27, 1876. 

i*'-''John G. Bourke, Mackenzie's Last Fight with the Cheyennes. (Belle- 
vue, Nebraska: The Old Army Press, 1970), p. 3. Hereafter Bourke, 

I'^^'John G. Bourke, On the Bonier with Crook, (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1970), p. 249. Hereafter Bourke. Border. The companies 
were from the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry and the 4th Infantry. 

i87Vaughn, Campaign, p. 27. Grain had to be taken along on expedi- 
tions, regardless of the season, because army hroses could not subsist for 
any length of time on prairie grass. 

issp. E. Bryne, Soldiers of the PUiins, (New York: Minton. Balch & Co., 
1926), p. 38. 


territory destined to be the garden spot and treasure box of the 

On the morning of March 1, "after a heavy fall of snow . . , 
and in the face of a cold wind," the expedition formed up and 
marched out from Fort Fetterman. They crossed the Platte and 
advanced into the Indian territory. Crook's men endured sub-zero 
temperatures every day, and snow fell every day but one. On 
the night of March 3, Indians raided the camp, drove off the 
expedition's cattle herd, about 50 head, and wounded the herder. 
The force reached the site of old Fort Reno on March 5. The 
wagons were parked, and the two infantry companies, under Cap- 
tain E. M. Coats, stayed behind to guard the camp. The cavalry 
companies loaded fifteen days' rations onto the pack mules and 
headed north on March 7. They made their way through snow 
five and six inches deep, "the snow and piercing blasts opposing 
every step forward." They reached the Tongue River on March 
] 1 . Scouts advanced to the Yellowstone River and found no 
signs of Indians, then the force began marching southeast and 
on March 15 discovered an Indian trail. Crook sent Colonel 
Joseph J. Reynolds and six companies to follow the trail, with 
orders to attack any Indian village encountered and "do them as 
much damage as possible."^'"' 

Reynolds made an all night march through intermittent snow 
storms and at dawn came upon an Indian village. He launched a 
three-pronged attack on the village, which numbered 105 Sioux 
and Cheyenne lodges. The Indians were driven from their village 
and fled to the bluffs overlooking the camp. There they rallied 
and counter-attacked. Reynolds ordered a hasty retreat after 
setting fire to the village. The Indians followed along the flanks 
of the force and succeeded in recapturing most of their ponies, 
which the troops had run off. 

The two forces rejoined the next day. Crook was very unhappy 
with Reynolds' abandonment of the captured supplies, sorely need- 
ed by his own command, loss of the captured ponies, and abandon- 
ment of the dead. The entire force was short of supplies and 
suffering from the intense cold, and Crook decided to retrace his 
steps to Fort Fetterman. The expedition arrived at the fort March 
26, and was disbanded March 28 and 29, with the units returned 
to their winter stations. The Cheyenne Leader reported the re- 
turn of the cavalry to Fort Russell: 

Both men and horses are completely worn out by their arduous cam- 
paign and there being no feed at or near Fort Fetterman for the 
horses. i*^*! 

'^^^Cheyenne Leader, February 18, 1876, p. 4. 

^^OTelegrams Sent, March 22, 1876. 

'^'•^'^ Cheyenne Leader, April 8, 1976, p. 4. 


In his official report, telegraphed from Fort Fetterman on March 
22, Crook described the Indian village as "a perfect magazine of 
ammunition, war material, and general supplies." He claimed 
that the village belonged to Crazy Horse's band and that some 
Cheyennes led by Two Moons and Little Wolf had been present. 
He further reported that "probably in all, one-half of the Indians 
[were] off the reservation." Thus the army was not just con- 
fronting a few small bands of renegade Sioux, but a growing 
concentration of Sioux and Cheyennes, with supplies from the 
agencies. ^"- 

Crook's first campaign had ambiguous results. Questions have 
been raised as to which tribe the village belonged. J. W. Vaughn, 
among others, asserts that Crook actually attacked a Cheyenne 
village, which became a prime cause for the Cheyennes joining the 
Sioux the following summer. ^-'-^ Crook's forces suffered heavily 
from the weather. Bourke states that sixty-six soldiers were 
"seriously frostbitten and otherwise incapacitated from the cold." 
Four soldiers were killed and five wounded in the Indian fight. ^'^^ 
At least one civilian was wounded, and another died in the post 
hospital from effects of the campaign.^"'' These casualties amount- 
ed to over ten percent of the total force, quite heavy for the 
Indian wars. 

Support Operations - First Campaign 

While Crook campaigned in the north, he ordered the post 
commander to "keep throughly informed" on the Indians in the 
area and to attack any bands that crossed the Platte. As usual the 
post was left with insufficient forces to carry out such orders. 
During a March 4 raid near the fort a band of Sioux drove off 
twenty-one horses. The post commander reported that he was 
unable to pursue because the Indians had captured all of his 
horses. ^^^ 

Hostile Indians began making raids along Cottonwood Creek 
early in February. In reporting the location of several civilian 
groups in the area the post commander lamented, "I shall be 
unable to protect them, as it is all I can do to protect the Govern- 
ment property with the force left here." The civilians in the area 
were quite aggressive, and required little protection. One group 
raided an Indian camp near Bridger's Ferry on March 6, and 

'^^-Telegrams Sent, March 22, 1876. Needless to say, the Indian Bureau 
disagreed with these conclusions. 

i98Vaughn, Campaign, Chapter 7 is devoted to this question. 

la^Bourke, Border, p. 279. 

^'^■'Medical History, March 26, 1876. 

'^^^Telegrams Sent, March 5, 1876; Telegrams Received. March 11, 1876. 
The garrison consisted of one infantry company. 


captured sixteen Indian ponies. Another group stole six ponies 
from a band of friendly Arapahoes.^'^^ 

As spring came the Indians began raiding into eastern Nebraska 
and in Wyoming as far south as Chugwater Creek and west to the 
Shoshoni reservation. The Cheyenne Leader claimed that there 
were six "raiding bands" operating on the Platte and Laramie 
Rivers "in defiance of troops and settlers." 

[The Indians] openly boast that as soon as the grass grows they 
intend to break out all along the line. They claim to have laid in a 
good supply of arms and ammunition from the agencies to carry on 
their war.i""^ 

Crook reinforced the garrison at Fort Robinson to keep an eye 
on the reservation Indians and began preparations for a second 
expedition. Captain Coats, commander at Fort Fetterman, re- 
ceived orders on March 29 to maintain a beef herd of sixty head 
at the post for a future expedition. He replied that there was 
inadequate grazing at the post for a large herd. On April 22 he 
was ordered to arrange with the local contractors to obtain at least 
200 cattle for any force "that may outfit from Fetterman." Crook 
stockpiled 277,000 pounds of grain at the post by May 30, with 
another 112,000 pounds enroute. He also had 2000 pounds of 
coffee and sugar shipped to the fort.^-**^ 

Crook's Second Campaign 

Crook assembled the forces for his summer expedition at Fort 
Russell and Medicine Bow. The Fort Russell group started north 
on May 20, and marched to Fort Fetterman by way of Fort 
Laramie, where they crossed the swollen Platte on a recently con- 
structed steel bridge. They proceeded to Fort Fetterman and 
camped across the river from "the desolate fort grinning at us 
from the bleak hill on the other side of the Platte," to quote John 
F. Finerty. He was a newspaper correspondent and left this im- 
pression of Fort Fetterman: "It was a hateful post — in summer, 
hell, and in winter Spitzbergen. The whole army dreaded being 
quartered there, but all had to take their turn."^*'*' 

The Medicine Bow group arrived at the fort on May 25. Crook 
titled his new force the "Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition." 
It totaled fifteen companies of cavalry and five companies of in- 

^^~ Telegrams Sent, March 6, 1876. See also Flannery, Diaries, Vol. II 
(1876), p. 58. 

'^^^Cheyenne Leader, March 2, 1876, p. 1. 

'^^^Telegrams Sent, March 29, May 26 and 30, 1876; Incoming Letters, 
April 22, 1876. 

200john F. Finerty, War-Path and Bivouac, (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1970), pp. 47-49. Hereinafter Finerty, War-Path. 


fantry for a total strength of 1050 men and officers.-"^ This con- 
stituted the largest of the three columns which converged upon the 
Powder River country that summer. 

Crook planned to strengthen his force with reinforcements from 
other departments and with the traditional enemies of the Sioux — 
the Shoshoni, Crow and Ute Indians. He sent a telegram to the 
Shoshoni reservation offering Indian volunteers "what they can 
plunder and capture" in fighting the Sioux. "You will tell the 
Indians that we have a large command and will be sure to whip the 
Sioux if we can catch them."-*^- 

It required two days to ferry the cavalry and supplies across the 
Platte. On the first day 60,000 pounds of stores were crossed and 
100,000 pounds the next. The expedition formed up on the north 
bank and marched into the Indian country on May 29. In addi- 
tion to the troops, there were 120 six-mule wagons and a pack 
train of over 1000 mules. -*^'^ Four women, including "Calamity 
Jane," followed along disguised as teamsters. There were also 
five newspaper correspondents and such famous westerners as 
Louis Richard Jr., Frank Grouard, Carl Renshaw, California Joe, 
Baptiste (Big Bat) Pourier, Buckskin Jack, Pete Stager, the Sem- 
inoe Brothers, and Liver Eating Johnson.-"^ 

The expedition stretched out for four miles as it moved north. 
They passed old Fort Reno and on June 8 camped on the Tongue 
River. The Sioux attacked Crook's camp, and he moved south to 
Goose Creek. There 176 Crow and eighty-six Shoshoni Indians, 
led by Chief Washakie, joined the expedition. A party of sixty-five 
prospectors from the Black Hills also joined the force, forming 
what must have been a very cosmopolitan frontier expedition. 
Crook now had 1325 fighting men.-'^'' 

On June 16, Crook moved north from Goose Creek with all his 
mounted forces, leaving behind about one hundred infantry and 
the teamsters to guard the camp. The force reached Rosebud 
Creek the next day and moved along the valley. During a rest 
period over 1200 Sioux and Cheyennes led by Crazy Horse at- 
ticked the troopers. The battle was a see-saw affair lasting several 
hours with neither side able to gain a decisive advantage. Towards 
evening the Indians broke contact and withdrew to the north. 
Crook reported his losses as nine men killed and twenty-one 
wounded with total casualties, including the Indian allies, at fifty- 
seven. Short of supplies and encumbered with many wounded. 

20iBourke, Border, p. 289. The companies were from the 2nd and 3rd 
Cavalry and the 4th and 9th Infantry. 
^o^Telegrams Sent, May 25, 1876. 
203Bourke, Border, p. 292. 
204Ward, "Fort Fetterman," p. 361. 
205Bourke, Border, pp. 292-303. 


Crook marched back to his base camp on Goose Creek and took 
no further action for nearly a month.-"*' 

Farther north General Alfred Terry's column linked up with 
Gibbon's column on the Yellowstone River. The combined force 
moved out after the Indians, and Custer made his famous blunder. 
In that battle Custer's 700 cavalrymen were attacked by 2000 
to 3000 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. The 7th Cavalry lost 
267 men killed and barely avoided being wiped out. Sherman 
wrote that until that moment there had been no reason to expect 
to encounter more than 500 or 800 Indians. He noted lacon- 
ically that "... the campaign had been planned on the wrong 

Support Operations - Second Campaign 

Meanwhile, back at the fort, Captain Coats was inundated with 
problems. Fort Fetterman was Crook's main supply and com- 
munications point. To fulfill these duties, along with providing 
local security. Coats had a garrison of one hundred men and five 

Coats' first problem was maintaining contact with Crook. All 
communications for the expedition came to the fort, and Coats was 
expected to forward the messages to Crook. This proved difficult 
once Crook disappeared into hostile territory. By June 4 a large 
number of letters and telegrams for the general had accumulated, 
and Coats telegraphed department headquarters that he had "no 
means of reaching General Crook except at enormous expense." 
Crook had taken most of the horses from the fort, and Coats had 
to rely on civilians to act as couriers. He reported on June 5 that 
some civilians willing to make the trip wanted $500 for their 

Coats reported that in recruiting messengers he had "sent for 
two half breeds up the creek [who] said they would not go for 
less than $400." In response to Sheridan's order for "more fre- 
quent communication" with Crook, Coats tried to establish a 
regular courier run from the fort to Goose Creek and requested 
to be provided with ten horses. When Louis Richard, Jr| returned 
to the fort from Crook's column Coats induced him to take the 
accumulated telegrams, letters and newspapers back to the column 
for the tidy sum of $150. During the campaign couriers from the 

206//,/^., pp. 314-315. 

2fJ"U. S., Congress, Report of the Secretary of War, House Ex. Doc, 44th 
Cong., 2nd sess., 1876-1877 (serial 1742) Vol. I, pp. 30-35. Terry's column 
consisted of twelve companies of cavalry and six of infantry. Gibbon's 
force totaled ten companies. 

^'^^Telegrams Sent, June 4 and 5, 1876. 


fort usually made the trip to Goose Creek in three days, traveling 
at night.2"» 

Coats coordinated requests and instructions from Crook to 
various bands of Indian auxiliaries being formed. On June 27, 
he received orders from Crook to raise a contingent of Ute Indians 
by making the usual promises of arms, rations and all they could 
capture from the Sioux. A group of sixty-six Ute warriors, accom- 
panied by Lieutenant James H. Spencer, who had arrived at the 
fort on August 16. Coast supplied the force with arms and rations 
and held a huge feast. The next day the Indians participated in a 
big war dance to celebrate the coming battle. The Indians headed 
north on August 18, escorting a wagon train bound for Crook's 
camp. On August 20, thirty-nine of the warriors decided to use 
their new equipment to hunt buffalo instead of Sioux and left the 
wagon train. The train and remaining Indians returned to Fort 

The first southbound traffic began on June 21 with a wagon 
train from Crook's camp carrying the battle casualties along with 
the sick, lame, and "Calamity Jane" back to Fort Fetterman. The 
convoy arrived June 26. A northbound train was assembled from 
the supplies and reinforcements which had been gathering at the 
fort. On June 28, a large supply train arrived from Medicine Bow, 
and four companies of infantry arrived on June 30. They formed 
up and began the march to Goose Creek on July 4.-^^ 

During the remainder of the year and most of the next. Fort 
Fetterman served as a major logistics base: receiving, inspecting, 
storing and forwarding supplies and equipment for operations in 
the Powder River country.-^- Coats reported on September 1, 
that the amounts of supplies and stores received in July and August 
totaled 1,307,435 pounds, with half as much being received earlier, 
for a total of nearly two million pounds. His four officers were 
kept busy on "Boards of Survey" inspecting the stores which 
arrived daily. In answer to requests that his command undertake 
extra duties Coats replied that "[I] have a small garrison and 
need every man to handle the stores coming in."-^^ 

Medicine Bow served as the major railroad depot for Crook's 
summer campaign. Supplies were brought there by railroad and 
then unloaded onto wagons and driven to Fort Fetterman. Be- 
cause of the large amount of supplies being shipped to Medicine 
Bow, four horse teams were transferred there from Camp Carlin 

^'^'•^Letters Sent, June 5 and July 19, 1876. 
-^OTelegrams Sent, June 27, August 16, 17, and 20, 1876. 
2ii/o«r/iG/, June 28 and 30, July 4, 1876. 

2i2Logistics includes the functions of maintenance, transportation, and 
supply (procurement, storage and issue). 

2'^^Letters Sent, September 1, 1876; Telegrams Sent. July 13 and 24, 1876. 


"in order to provide prompt conveyance for troops and supplies 
going to the front." A detachment of the 14th Infantry from Fort 
D. A. Russell was stationed at Medicine Bow to provide guards 
and escorts for the supply trains, which removed some of the 
burden from the Fort Fetterman garrison. -^^ 

The 5th Cavalry, under Colonel Wesley Merritt, had been trans- 
ferred from Kansas to the Department of the Platte to support 
Crook's operations. Crook ordered the unit to gather up all the 
available supplies and equipment from Forts Laramie and Fetter- 
man, and then march to Goose Creek. 

In response to this order Coats informed Merritt that he could 
supply him "with grain, wood and anything else you may need to 
put your command in shape for field service." Troops and 
horses for the 3rd Cavalry and the 4th and 9th Infantry had been 
assembling at Fort Fetterman for several weeks, which Coats 
attached to Merritt's column. In addition to forage and provisions. 
Coats was ordered to procure beef cattle to send along. Eight 
companies of the 5th Cavalry, along with Merritt's scout, "Buffalo 
Bill" Cody, arrived at the fort on July 25. Two more companies 
arrived from Medicine Bow on July 27. The troops, supplies, and 
cattle left the post July 28 after having "stripped it of every bit of 
salt, meat and almost all the can goods. "-^•'* 

Indian raids in the area were reduced from the previous year. 
Coats' main activity regarding the Indians was squelching rumors 
of impending Indian attacks in the area between Forts Fetterman 
and Laramie and Cheyenne. Ranchers along Chugwater Creek 
telegraphed requests for arms. Hunton lamented that "the Terri- 
torial Arsenal is depleted of guns . . . unable to fill any more 
requests. "-^"^ Coats complained of "extravagant rumors regarding 
the Indians," which just made more work for him. In a letter to 
department headquarters he claimed that the newspapers printed 
exaggerated stories which only led to demands for protection being 
placed upon his small garrison.-^" 

Most of the skirmishes in the Fort Fetterman area resulted from 
attacks on logistic-related activities. In July, Coats needed to 
provide the forces in the field with 600 tons of hay. The Deer 
Creek reserve that year could supply only sixty tons of hay of the 
usual 150 tons. To fill the contract the hay party had to comb the 
bottom lands of the Platte east of the fort. Indians attacked the 
party on August 5, without loss to either side. The contractor 
requested an escort, and Coats forwarded the request to Fort 

^'^'^Letters Sent, August 1 and 2, 1876. 

^'^^Telegrams Sent, July 15, 27 and 28, 1876; Letters Sent, July 23 and 
24, 1876. 

2i6Flannery, Diaries, Vol. II (1876), p. 98. 
2^' Letters Sent, July 19, 1876. 


Laramie stating that he had no troops to spare for an escort. 
Haying operations continued unopposed until October 7 when the 
hay party was ambushed near Bridger's Ferry. In the three-hour 
fight which followed one hay cutter was badly wounded and two 
Indians were killed. The hay cutters found it necessary to harvest 
along the north side of the Platte in order to gather enough hay. 
Operations went smoothly until October 13 when Indians raided 
the hay camp and ran off three horses. The following day the 
cutters discovered several large Indian trails, including the trail of 
over 100 cattle which had been run off from between Horseshoe 
and La Bonte Creeks. In view of the large number of Indians 
in the area the hay party thought it prudent to cease operations 
north of the Platte and returned to the Fort Fetterman area.-^'' 

Attacks and threats of attacks on wagon trains between the fort 
and Medicine Bow and Cheyenne occupied much of Coats' atten- 
tion. The most famous of these attacks involved the Throstle 
train. On July 5, Throstle began hiring men to haul government 
freight from Cheyenne to Fort Fetterman. The gold fever had 
lured many of the regular teamsters to the Black Hills. Hence he 
had to "hire all kinds of men from good buUwhackers and Mex- 
icans down to a few long haired Missourians," one of the teamsters 
later wrote. Nine wagons and sixteen men made up the train. 
The men were on constant alert for Indians as soon as they left 
Cheyenne. On August 3, a band of thirty Indians attacked the 
train between Elkhorn and La Bonte Creeks. The Indians cap- 
tured and burned three wagons, and they killed Throstle and 
wounded another teamster. Reports of the attack set off an Indian 
scare in the area. Extra guards were placed around Fort Fetter- 
man, and a mounted detachment was sent out to bring in all 
the trains between the fort and Medicine Bow.-^'^ The Indians 
attacked two more wagon trains bound for Fort Fetterman in 
October. In these attacks one teamster was badly wounded and 
another killed.--" 

Stock raids made up the majority of the Indian activity. Hun- 
ton states that forty-eight horses and some cattle were stolen 
between Horseshoe and Cottonwood Creeks during the year.--^ 
With the Fort Fetterman garrison unable to intervene, the local 
civilians continued to occasionally take matters into their own 
hands. On August 4, a group of civilians described as "stockmen" 

-'^^Telegrams Sent, August 5, October 10 and 14. 1876; Journal. October 
7 and 13, 1976. 

2^^J. C. Shaw, "The Throstle Train," Annals of Wyoming. January, 1926, 
pp. 177-178. See also Telegrams Sent, August 3, 1876. and Journal. August 
3, 1876. 

--^Telegrams Sent. October 24, 1876; and Journal. October 16. 1876. 

22iFlannery, Diaries. Vol. II (1876), p. 132. 


crossed the Platte six miles below Bridger's Ferry and raided an 
Indian camp. They killed one Indian and recaptured fourteen 
stolen horses.^^^ 

A woman living at Fort Fetterman during the Indian scares of 
July and August later wrote that Captain Coats doubted his ability 
to defend the fort. As a consequence he issued orders that in case 
of an attack every woman and child at the post was to be placed 
in the powder magazine. The soldiers were to "blow up the 
building if a massacre were at hand. Better so than to be a captive 
of the savages."---^ 

In September Crook's force moved too far away for supplies 
from Fort Fetterman to reach him. A supply train under a Cap- 
tain Terry had been sent north, and upon learning that Crook had 
moved on, went into camp at old Fort Reno. While waiting for 
further orders his command consumed all of their rations, and the 
horses began to grow weak from a lack of grain. Coats requested 
permission to send a relief train, and Terry was finally ordered to 
return to Fort Fetterman. On the way back they were attacked 
by a band of outlaws who ran off a large number of horses. Coats 
dispatched a pursuit force, and on September 22 they captured 
three of the outlaws and twenty of the horses. The detachment 
commander reported that the outlaws were also part of a plot to 
steal mules from Terry's train which was then between Forts 
Laramie and Fetterman.^-* 

Life at Fort Fetterman was hectic during this period. Usually 
one-third of the garrison was out on escort duty. The remaining 
troops had to take care of the incoming supplies, as well as repair 
wagons and buildings. The post surgeon reported that the policing 
of the post was 

. . . not as thorough as desirable owing to great demands made upon 
the garrison by the Expedition in the field, all supplies for which 
and Cantonment Reno having to be handled here.--^ 

The post hospital was quite busy during this campaign. All 
civilians as well as military casualties were brought there. Nine- 
teen wounded men from the Rosebud battle entered the hospital 
in June. The hospital suffered from a lack of personnel, and when 
one of the soldiers died in September his body was left in the 
hospital for the lack of personnel to carry it out. The surgeon 
noted that it had a "detrimental effect on the other patients. "^^^ 

^^-Telegrams Sent, August 4, 1876. 

^-'^Lillian Hogerson Baker, letter dated August 1942, in the "Fort Fetter- 
man File," Western Research Center, University of Wyoming. 

'^^ijelegrams Sent, September 4 and 22, 1876. 

^-'Letters Sent, July 28, 1876; Medical History, November 1876. 

^^^Telegrams Sent, September 17 and 22, 1876; Medical History, Septem- 
ber 18, 1876. 


A similar incident happened in August. While the post surgeon 
was on a visit to Fort Laramie, several men at the fort became sick 
and were taken to the hospital. Due to overcrowding they were 
placed on the floor. One of the men died "on the floor where the 
wounded men were quartered." Upon his return the surgeon 
ordered the cases to be separated "as it was having a bad effect on 
the sick men." He also ordered the hospital cleaned up, where- 
upon the two matrons employed there said that they did not con- 
sider it their work and refused. He persuaded the post laun- 
dresses to do the work "and in a few hours the hospital was in 
shape." The two matrons were fired.--' 

The Starvation March 

Following the Custer disaster, reinforcements were rushed to 
the Departments of the Platte and Dakota from all parts of the 
country. These included the 5th, 1 1th, and 22nd Infantry and the 
4th Cavalry regiments plus four companies of artillery. By early 
August over 9000 soldiers, representing more than one-third of the 
army, were deployed in the two departments. Forts Fetterman 
and Lincoln served as the major supply points for these forces.--'^ 

Crook remained at his Goose Creek camp for over a month 
waiting for more supphes and reinforcements. He received five 
companies of infantry with the arrival of a return wagon train 
from Fort Fetterman on July 13, which also brought with it "two 
abandoned females disguised as mule drivers," but preferred to 
wait for the arrival of the 5th Cavalry before moving out.--'' 
Crook estimated that he was outnumbered three to one by the local 
Indians, and although confident that he could defeat them, wanted 
to wait for the 5th Cavalry to insure a decisive victory. -^*^ 

With the arrival of the 5th Cavalry on August 3, Crook's com- 
mand totaled thirty-five companies with 1684 soldiers. He ordered 
all non-essential equipment sent back to Fort Fetterman, along 
with the wagons, planning to rely on pack animals to carry the 
supplies.-"^^ Crook moved north on August 5 and made contact 
with Terry's forces on August 8. Terry's command, now titled the 
"Sioux Expedition," totaled 2052 men in 41 companies. The 
combined forces proceeded through the Powder River country 
for sixteen days, greatly slowed by Terry's cumbersome supply 

The hostile Indian bands had separated and were traveling in 

"'^Letters Sent, August 31. 1876. 

228U. S., Congress, Report of the Secretary of War, 44th Cong., 2nd sess., 
1876, Vol. I, p. 37. 

220Finerty, War-Path, p. 220. 
-^^Telegrams Sent, July 12, 1876. 
23iCrook, Autobiography, pp. 220-221. 


two general directions: Sitting Bull and his followers headed north, 
and Crazy Horse's people traveled southeast. The combined 
military force parted on August 24, with Terry going after Sitting 
Bull and Crook proceeding east after Crazy Horse, in what Sher- 
man later described as the "precarious pursuit of a dissolving 
enemy. "-•^- During the march across the barren and rain-drenched 
Dakotas, Crook's command ran out of supplies and subsisted on 
forage and horse meat. Running out of supplies was nothing new 
in the Indian campaigns, but Crook's "Starvation March" set 
something of a record in running out of food at least two weeks 
travel from the nearest supply point. He dispatched a detachment 
of 150 cavalry under Captain Anson Mills to ride ahead to 
Deadwood and obtain supplies. Enroute they stumbled into the 
Sioux village of American Horse at Slim Buttes, and in the ensuing 
skirmish one trooper was killed and seven wounded. Most of the 
Indians escaped, leaving behind five dead. Included among the 
dead was Chief American Horse who had eight years earlier 
terrorized the Platte between Forts Fetterman and Laramie. Mills' 
men succeeded in capturing thirty-seven lodges, 180 ponies and 
Custer's battle flag, along with great quantities of badly needed 
food. Crook's main force came up and skirmished for the next 
two days with Crazy Horse's band, and lost three soldiers killed 
and seven wounded.^^^ 

Crook's worn-out command finally reached Deadwood. The 
expedition was disbanded and the soldiers were sent back to their 
regular duty stations. The expedition sustained about sixty casu- 
alties in a force of 2000 men or about three percent. Crook felt 
that the campaign accomplished little, and wrote that it "failed to 
reach the Indians and only indirectly brought about the disintegra- 
tion of the hostile force. "^^^ 

Crook's Third Campaign 

Crook began immediately to prepare a third expedition. His 
objective remained the Sioux bands following Crazy Horse. Lack- 
ing bases close to the Powder River country, he had to make an- 
other long range drive from Fort Fetterman. His third expedition 
was much better prepared for winter campaigning than the first. 
More supplies were taken along, hundreds of Indian scouts and 
guides were recruited, and regular re-supply by civilian contract 
trains was arranged. 

The expedition was built around Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie's 
4th Cavalry from Texas. The force totaled ten companies of 

232U. S., Congress, Report of the Secretary of War, 44th Cong., 2nd sess., 
1876, Vol. I, p. 61. 
233Sheridan, Record, p. 61. 
-34Crook, Autobiography, p. 201. 


cavalry, eleven companies of infantry and four companies of 
artillery, for a total strength of 1850 men. This force was aug- 
mented by 400 Indian auxiliaries including Bannocks, Arapahos, 
Sioux, and Cheyennes as well as some of Frank North's Pawnee 
Scouts. These forces assembled at Fort Fetterman on November 
9 and lO.^^s 

Crook led his "Powder River Expedition" out from Fort Fetter- 
man on November 14, and they marched over familiar ground to 
Fort Reno. There, 100 Shoshoni Indians joined the expedition. 
The force totaled 2280 men with 168 wagons, 400 pack mules, 
and seven ambulances. Crook marched north on November 19, 
seeking Crazy Horse, who had returned to the Powder River 
country. The Indian scouts located the winter camp of Dull 
Knife's Cheyennes, and Crook sent Mackenzie and the cavalry on 
an all-night march to destroy it. They attacked Dull Knife's 
village of 170 lodges on the morning of November 25. In the 
day-long skirmish which followed, seven soldiers were killed and 
twenty-six wounded. The Cheyennes lost thirty braves, as well 
as their winter lodges, food, supplies and 700 ponies. The Indians 
made a harrowing trek in the middle of winter to Crazy Horse's 
camp in Montana. The weather was so bad, Bourke reported, 
that fourteen babies froze to death during the battle, and that the 
Indians cut horses open so the old people could keep themselves 

Support Operations - Third Campaign 

Fort Fetterman's logistical activity included both supplying 
Crook's expedition and outfitting Fort Reno. Crook ordered the 
re-establishment of Fort or Cantonment Reno in October in order 
to have a supply base closer to the Powder River country, but the 
new fort was not far enough along in its development to support 
Crook's third campaign. A battalion of the 9th Infantry under 
Captain Edwin Pollack was designated to establish the fort. He 
stopped at Fort Fetterman on October 6 for supplies and marched 
north on October 10. After reaching the site on October 14, 
construction was begun with wood supplied from the Fort Fetter- 
man sawmill.-"^" 

235Bourke, Border, p. 389; and Medical History, November 1876. The 
companies were from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Cavalry regiments; the 9th, 
14th, and 23rd Infantry regiments, and the 4th Artillery. The artillerymen 
fought as infantry. 

236Bourke, Mackenzie, pp. 27-28. The village comprised the bands of 
Dull Knife, Little Wolf, Roman Nose, Grey Head, and Old Bear. See also 
Sheridan, Record, pp. 64-65. 

-•^"Robert A. Murray, Military Posts in the Powder River Country of 
Wyoming, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1969), pp. 110-114; 
and Letters Sent, October 16, 1876. 



— Wyoming Recreation Commission Photo 

Restored Double Officers Quarters, as seen across Parade Ground by 1976 
Visitors to Fort Fetterman State Historic Site 

Crook estimated that the expedition would require 26,000 
pounds of forage per day. To meet this requirement 200,000 
pounds of grain were shipped to Fort Reno and 300,000 pounds 
were stored at Fort Fetterman. Humans traveled lighter, requir- 
ing only 51,000 pounds of rations, consisting of bacon, hardtack, 
coffee, flour, beans, and fruit, during the twenty-day period from 
December 4 to December 24.-''^ 

Coats' biggest problem during this campaign came from the 
civilian contractors who were afraid to go north of the Platte River. 
They claimed that they were not required to do so by the contracts. 

-'■^^Letters and Telegrams Received, November 20, December 2, and 
December 24, 1876. 


and even if they were, higher wages would have to be paid. The 
issue traveled back to Washington, and a long letter from the 
Quartermaster Department informed Coats that he had the author- 
ity to order the contractors to travel as far as Fort Reno, although 
just how he was to get them to do so was left up to him.--^-' 

After the battle at Dull Knife's camp. Crook moved his forces 
back to Fort Reno. From there he began a march up the Belle 
Fourche River even though "the thermometer was so far below 
zero that further field operations were considered impractical."^^^ 
He established a base camp near Inyan Kara Peak" on the river 
and wanted the supplies shipped there. Coats later reported 
that he 

. . . had considerable difficulty in inducing the citizen teams to go as 
far as Dry Fork on the Powder River. None of them move as rapidly 
as government teams . . . 

The needed supplies were loaded onto three wagon trains, total- 
ing forty-four wagons. "Kelleher's bull train" was destined for 
Crook's camp, with Morris and a government train bound for Fort 
Reno. Kelleher's train went as far as Fort Reno, unloaded and 
quickly headed back.-^'^ 

Bourke wrote that the quartermaster department planned to 
move 300,000 pounds of grain every two weeks from the railroad 
depots to Fort Fetterman and from there to Crook's forces. By 
December 10, however, snowstorms had blocked the Medicine 
Bow road and severely restricted the road from Cheyenne. Trans- 
port was in short supply and every available wheeled vehicle was 
impressed into service. To alleviate the shortage of draft animals 
the cavalry companies at Fort Fetterman were dismounted and the 
horses used to pull some of the wagons. The effort failed to 
transport enough grain to Crook's camp, and Bourke noted that 
"many of our poor horses were fated to pave with their bones the 
trail we had followed." Although the expedition's horses were put 
on half rations, the troops fared well because of the ample supply 
of rations, supplemented by game, including elk, deer, antelope, 
and porcupines.-^^ 

Logistical and escort duties took up most of the garrison's time 
at Fort Fetterman. No Indian raids occurred near the fort during 
this period, and the only threat came from outlaws. On December 
26, a large escort was sent along with a train bound for Fort Reno 
because of "a rumored intention to rob our mail."-^^ 

-^^Letters Sent, December 12, 1876. 
240Sheridan, Record, p. 65. 

'^^^Record of Events, December 15, 17, and 19, 1876; Letters Sent, 
December 9, 14, and 16, 1876. 
242Bourke, Mackenzie, p. 36. 
-^^Letters and Telegrams Received, December 26, 1876. 


Fort Fetterman's hospital was again swamped. A wagon train 
arrived December 4 with twenty-five wounded men from the Dull 
Knife battle; and on December 6, sixteen sick and frostbite cases 
from the expedition arrived. This sudden influx necessitated the 
erection of a tent ward. The troops at this isolated outpost were 
not entirely forgotten. A package arrived January 16, 1877, con- 
taining books from Mrs. Elizabeth S. Martin of Geneva, New 
York, "for the soldiers of the 4th Cavalry in the hospital at Fort 

Crook's march up the Belle Fourche was cut short when he 
received a dispatch from General Sheridan on December 20, com- 
plaining that Crook's transportation bill was $60,000 per month 
while his allowance was $28,000.-^"'' Crook thereupon retraced 
his steps to Fort Fetterman. The entire force arrived there on 
December 28, having traveled nearly 2000 miles in the dead of 
winter. Crook reported that the horses "of the cavalry are very 
much reduced in strength and worn out," and that many would 
never recover.-^^ His total casualties amounted to about fifty-four 
of a force of over 2000 men. In addition to the relatively small 
number of casualties, his attack on Dull Knife's camp contributed 
heavily to the demoralization and surrender of the Cheyennes the 
next summer. 

Crook disbanded the expedition at Fort Fetterman, with the 
cavalry departing on December 30, the infantry and artillery on 
the 31st. Crook left Fort Fetterman that day also, marking the 
completion of his third and last campaign on the northern plains. 
In all, his three expeditions involved units of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 
5th Cavalry regiments; the 4th, 9th, 14th, and 23rd Infantry 
regiments; and the 4th Artillery regiment. A total of seventy-five 
companies of all arms, numbering over 4000 men, formed the three 
expeditions which set out from Fort Fetterman. 

During Crook's three campaigns Fort Fetterman functioned as a 
major logistics base, serving as a link between the railroad depots 
at Medicine Bow and Cheyenne and Crook's expeditions in the 
field. The garrison received, inspected, stored and forwarded 
hundreds of tons of supplies for Crook's columns. The fort served 
as the assembly point for the military units, Indian auxiliaries, 
reinforcements, and civilian personnel which made up the expedi- 
tions. A courier service was operated by the post to maintain a 
communications link between Crook and the outside world. Post 
commanders coordinated the recruitment and dispatch of Indian 
auxiliaries, the requisition and arrival of supplies, and managed 
the civilian contractors. Local security for the area and the supply 

"^'^Medical History, December 6, 1876, and January 16, 1877. 
245Bourke, Mackenzie, pp. 37-38. 
^■i^Letters Sent, January 3, 1877. 


trains was provided by the garrison. The post hospital was the 
recipient of the wounded and non-combatant casualties of the 
expeditions. The fort later acted as a base for the re-establishment 
of Fort Reno, which included supplying building materials. Fort 
Fetterman thus played a significant role in the military operations 
of 1876, during the last major Indian uprising of the 19th century. 

FORT FETTERMAN: 1877-1882 

. . . having fulfilled the object for which they 
were originally built . . . 

— General Crook 

Final Skirmishes 

The year 1877 marked the first time that Fort Fetterman was 
not directly involved in the northern plains Indian wars. The 
frontier had moved on. The new campaigns against the Sioux, 
Nez Perce, and Bannocks were launched from forts further west 
and north. New treaties moved the Sioux to agencies along the 
Missouri River and the Cheyennes to the Indian Territory. With 
the removal of the Indians from northeastern Wyoming and the 
influx of settlers, Fort Fetterman gradually sank into the back- 
waters of history. 

On January 12, 1877, a cavalry detachment skirmished with 
some Indians on Elkhorn Creek, and three men were wounded.-^' 
The last Indian raid in the Fort Fetterman area occurred January 
27, when a war party attacked two soldiers hunting along Cotton- 
wood Creek and killed one of them.-^'' Several horse stealing raids 
occurred along the Laramie River in February.-^" The last Indian 
raid on Fort Fetterman, according to Malcolm Campbell, resulted 
in the raiders driving off most of the post livestock. Included 
among the animals was an old gray mule which had been kept by 
the soldiers as a pet. When the Indians began to drive the live- 
stock across the Platte, the obstinate old mule headed back toward 
the fort, leading most of the stock with him. The surprised Indians 
did not try to recapture the departing animals because the garrison 
had been fully alerted by the raid.-"'" 

The only Indians still in the area in late 1877 were the Arapa- 
hoes. Nearly 1000 Arapahoes arrived at the fort on November 
13, escorted by fifteen cavalrymen. They planned to hunt buffalo 
in the old Fort Caspar area. Captain Coats issued them twenty 

-^^Sheridan, Record, p. 67. 
-■^^Telegrams Sent. January 27, 1877. 
249Flannery, Diaries, Vol. III. (1876-1877). p. 175. 
250David, Campbell, p. 66. 


carbines as part of their annuities, and issued the remainder when 
the group returned in December. Thirty-five of the Indians em- 
ployed as scouts were paid. The trade and payments were neces- 
sary, the post surgeon noted, because "a large number of them 
were suffering for supplies."-''^ 

The Arapahoes were officially attached to the Red Cloud agen- 
cy. They feared domination by the Sioux and desired to have 
their own reservation, preferably near old Fort Caspar. The gov- 
ernment wanted the tribe to move to the Indian Territory, and the 
Arapahoes reluctantly agreed to do so in 1878. While enroute to 
the Indian Territory the Arapahoes changed their mind and went 
into camp near Fort Fetterman. The government decided to 
compromise and moved the Indians to the Wind River Reserva- 
tion with the Shoshonis.^^- 

The fort's major operations that year were against outlaws. An 
officer and 22 soldiers accompanied a U. S. marshal on February 
27 "to assist him in recovering stolen Government stock and arrest 
the thieves." Coats reported that there were several camps of 
suspected horse thieves "in the hills above the post, between the 
Laramie range and the Platte." Attempts to surprise them in their 
camps were unsuccessful "as they receive warning from their 
friends among the 'Ranch men'."-"^^ 

Support Operations - 1877 

Fort Fetterman's major logistical operation for 1877 was that 
of providing support for Fort McKinney, formerly Fort Reno. 
Supplies for the new fort were shipped to Fort Fetterman, and 
from there it was Coats' responsibility to get them to Fort McKin- 
ney. He wanted the supply trains to go all the way to Fort 
McKinney and informed the department quartermaster that he 
required at least twenty-five horses to move the supplies "and got 
about 20 unservicable ones." He wrote that the horses he had 
were "probably the refuse of [Crook's] expedition." When a 
supply train of eleven wagons was dispatched to Fort McKinney in 
January, twenty-two of the horses either died or had to be aban- 
doned. Two of the wagons also had to be abandoned for the lack 
of horses to pull them. The teams at Fort McKinney were on 
half rations and unable to move. Coats resorted to the common 

-■''^Telegrams Sent, November 16, 1877; Medical History, November 1877 
and January 1878. A large number of the Indians were also suffering from 

-■"'^Virginia Cole Trenholm, The Arapahoes, Our People, (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1970), p. 260. 

-■'■''Letters Sent, March 28, 1877, Medical History, February 27, 1877. 


expediency of loading every detachment going north with suppUes 
for the fort.-"'-* 

The arrival of several government contract teams and teamsters 
greatly aided Coats' efforts. However, new problems began when 
smallpox broke out among the teamsters. Men found to be so 
affected were left along the road. The Fort Fetterman post sur- 
geon offered to vaccinate anyone in the area who so desired and 
asked the post sutler and guides to pass the word along in their 
travels about the area.-''^' 

Whiskey provided another headache for Coats. In June, he 
received word of a man who had crossed the Platte and was bound 
for Fort McKinney, "ostensibly for the purpose of peddling vege- 
tables" but actually to sell whiskey to the thirsty garrison. Coats 
was ordered to intercept all such traffic, especially at the post 
ferry. Detachments posted at the ferry inspected all wagons desir- 
ing to cross, and seized fifty gallons of whiskey in one day.-''^' 

Fort Fetterman commanders continued to complain of troop 
shortages. In June, Coats wrote to General Crook that the four 
companies at Fort McKinney were inactive and could assume some 
of the escort and repair duties assigned to Fort Fetterman. The 
post's garrison stood at two infantry companies and one cavalry 
company, for an average strength of 120 men. By July, police, 
guard, fatigue and escort details absorbed all of the garrison, leav- 
ing no one for the numerous construction projects or for a reserve. 
The cavalry company was down to 24 men and 65 horses, one of 
the few times horses outnumbered men in frontier cavalry units. 
Men had to go on fatigue duty almost immediately after coming 
off guard detail which was a 24-hour affair. Coats stopped all 
construction work and reduced the guard details. As early as 
February he had requested an additional infantry company because 
all of his men were out on duties, leaving "no time for drill, 
instruction or discipline."^'"' 

Final Post Construction 

During this period a series of construction projects turned Fort 
Fetterman into a first class post, as its importance declined. J. O. 
Ward credits Coats with being instrumental in constructing several 
new buildings on the post, getting a stage line to the fort estab- 
lished, building a new supply road to the railroad, constructing a 
reservoir beside the fort, installing a plumbing plant and water 

'■^^■^Telegrams Sent, January 28 and August 25, 1877. 

^mjelegrams Sent, April 21, 1877; Letters Sent. April 20, 1877. 

-^c^Telegrams and Letters Received, May 5. and July 19, 1877; Letters 
Sent, June 18, 1877. 

'■i'^'! Telegrams Sent, July 10, July 11, and September 29, 1877; Letters 
Sent, February 28 and June 10, 1877. 


pipes throughout the post, building a bridge across the Platte, 
and re-establishing the post gardens, describing the produce as 
"the first that was ever grown in the country and the first the 
command had eaten in years. "-''^ In addition, the stockade was 
taken down. 

A steel bridge was built across the Platte River at the site of 
the post ferry in 1879. The order for construction materials was 
placed in July, and the building took place in September and 
October. The only other bridge across the Platte at that time was 
at Fort Laramie.-""^^ 

Earlier that year a new supply road was built from Fort Fetter- 
man to Rock Creek. The road established Rock Creek as the 
main supply depot for Fort Fetterman and the new Powder River 
forts. An exploration and survey of the proposed route was 
undertaken in June and the actual construction began in July. 
The project involved an officer and twenty men, using twenty-eight 
pounds of blasting powder and fifty feet of fuse. A small detach- 
ment from Fort Steele aided in the work by building the road 
northward from Rock Creek.-"" 

The construction of a telegraph line from Fort Fetterman to 
Fort McKinney was also undertaken in 1877. Work began in 
October with a company of infantry setting up the poles, which 
were cut at the Fort Fetterman sawmill and hauled north by John 
Hunton's teams. The men averaged three miles of poles and lines 
per day. They linked up with a similar construction detail working 
south from Fort McKinney in November.^^i 

A sign of the new commerce and settlement which flowed into 
the former Indian territory was the establishment in 1878 of the 
"Rock Creek and Fort Custer Stage Company." The company 
used the Rock Creek-Fort Fetterman road on the first leg of the 
trip to Fort Custer, located on the Little Big Horn in Montana, 
and established a series of stage stations along it. Problems arose 
when the company complained that the military traffic was ruining 
the road after the company had improved it, and requested that 
Fort Fetterman maintain the road. The matter was referred to 
Washington, and finally in 1881 the fort was ordered to maintain 
the road and to render any other assistance required by the com- 
pany to keep the stages running. The company provided daily 
stage service to Fort Fetterman in the summer and buckboard 
service in the winter. The fort was designated a post office 

2.j8Ward, "Fort Fetterman," p. 360. 

^^^Incoming Letters and Telegrams, July 29 and October 30, 1879. 
^^^Letters and Telegrams Received, May 5, 1877; Letters Sent, July 14 
and 29, 1877. 

-(''^Telegrams Sent, October 12, 23, and November 2, 1877. 


because of the service, and it handled both military and civilian 

Settlement and development 

With the removal of the Indian threat Fort Fetterman's isolation 
ended. Between 1877 and 1882 the once lonely outpost became 
surrounded by settlers and cattlemen, and the former domain of 
the Indian became a vast cattle empire. Frank Wolcott, destined 
to become a powerful Wyoming cattle baron, began his career by 
establishing a ranch at Deer Creek, on part of the Fort Fetterman 
hay reserve, in 1877. Wolcott's cattle consumed most of the hay 
in the area. Coats, upon learning of the situation, ordered Wolcott 
to remove his buildings and cattle from the area by October 8, 
under pain of arrest. The matter was referred to Washington, 
where it was decided in Wolcott's favor after he offered to build 
a fence around the government hay reserve. -*^'^ 

In 1876 the first cattle ranches were established on Horseshoe, 
LaBonte, and Wagonhound Creeks, and the first water diversions 
for irrigation in the area were made. The first cattle round-up 
on both sides of the Platte occurred in 1878. Ward wrote that 
"many small stockmen were coming out of the more congested 
ranches of Colorado, and some of the larger outfits, numbering 
their cattle by the thousands," established ranches in the area. 
The "No Man's Land of the West," as many had called north- 
eastern Wyoming, rapidly became crowded with cattle and cattle- 
men. Fort Fetterman became the center of activity because it was 
the only place within ninety miles where supplies and medical 
attention could be obtained. Many civilians ate at the company 
messes because there were no other dining facilities in the area. 
During the round-up, hundreds of cowboys and assorted frontier 
people descended upon the fort. Ward remembered: 

... it was a motley gathering of the flotsam and jetsam of earth — 
a gathering together of the range such as was never seen in this or 
any other country, and its like will never be seen again. -''^ 

All of this progress made inroads on Fort Fetterman's once 
private domain. In 1879, Mrs. Annie Ward requested permission 
to open a boarding house on the post to accommodate the great 

"^Vncoming Letters and Telegrams, May 22 and June 18. 1880 and 
August 10, 1881. The distance from Rock Creek to Fort Custer was 358 

^^^Letters Sent, September 1, 1877; Telegrams and Letters Received, 
September 14, 1877. 

264J. O. Ward, "Soldiering At Fetterman," Frontier Times, March 1970, 
pp. 9-12. Hereafter Ward, "Soldiering." 


number of civilions in the area.-^"" That same year Benjamin, 
Weaver and Co. received permission to graze their cattle on the 
Fort Fetterman miUtary reservation. In 1880 they erected several 
buildings on the post land and moved in. The new post com- 
mander curtly informed them that it was against the law to graze 
on government land, as well as to build private structures. The 
ranchers objected to the commander's decision and petitioned 
Washington. There it was decided that the fort did not need the 
land anymore and opened it for settlement. A similar incident 
occurred the next year at Deer Creek, when the government de- 
cided that the fort no longer needed a hay reserve, and the land 
was opened to the cattlemen.-'"' 

The coming of civilization to the Fort Fetterman area exacer- 
bated some old problems. Where the garrison once struggled to 
keep the telegraph line up and operating in spite of the Indians and 
the weather, they now had to struggle with the cattle herds. In 
] 879, for example, a herd of 5000 cattle grazing along La Bonte 
Creek knocked down most of the telegraph lines in the area. The 
influx of civilians also made desertion easier. It became a com- 
mon complaint of the post commanders that the local ranchers 
aided deserters. In 1878, a detachment from the fort made a 
"night visit" on two local ranches and captured two deserters at 
one of them.-^^ 

Much of the fort's activity during this period was of a public 
relations nature. The post commander was ordered in 1879 to 
supply transport for a party of "four English officers and one lady, 
who desire to go to the Big Horn Mountains," and they were 
accompanied by Colonel George A. Forsyth of Sheridan's staff.-^^ 
Another English visitor to the post was Major Lewis L. Wise. He 
arrived at the fort on October 29, 1880, returning from a hunting 
expedition to the Big Horn Mountains to catch the stagecoach for 
Rock Creek, which usually arrived between 1 1 p.m. and 2 a.m. 
During his stopover he went target shooting with the soldiers and 
dined with the officers, whom he found "very decent fellows . . . 
and very hospitable . . . ." He played billiards and poker the rest 
of the afternoon with the officers.-'"' 

In 1880, Professor J. A. Allen from the Museum of Compara- 
tive Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, stayed at the fort while 
he studied the birds in the surrounding area. He discovered 

-''^'Letters and Telegrams Received, June 17, 1879. Permission was 
denied, but a boarding house was later established at the fort in 1881, and 
it became the scene of occasional brawls and shootings. 

^^^Incoming Letters and Telegrams, September 9 and November 18, 1880. 

'^^'Ihid., September 16, 1878 and June 17, 1879. 

'■^^Hbid., August 16, 1879. 

^''^Howard B. Lott, ed., "Diary of Major Wise," Annals of Wyoming, 
April 1940, p. 116. 


eighty-seven varieties in all. The commander received orders in 
1881 to provide Governor John W. Hoyt "when requested, such 
assistance in his exploration, [of the territory] as may be in your 
power," and set aside one wagon and two saddle horses for the 
governor's use.-"** 

Relations between the civilian employees at the fort and the 
soldiers had generally been good over the years. One of the few 
confrontations occurred in 1878. The post sawmill was operated 
by a man named R. L. DeLay. It was rumored that he was kept 
on despite lackadaisical performance because his pretty wife was 
popular with the officers. A soldier who assisted DeLay warned 
him on June 7 that the saw was in need of repair, to which DeLay 
was said to have replied, "Oh, if it kills anyone it will only be a 
soldier." That afternoon while a company of the 4th Infantry 
sawed its monthly supply of wood the saw broke, and Private Louis 
Bauer was hit "squarely between the eyes, killing him instantly." 
Ward, then the company first sergeant, wrote DeLay an anony- 
mous note warning him to leave the area before trouble started. 
DeLay complained to the post commander that the soldiers had 
threatened him. The next day the men of the company went to 
the pump house, seized DeLay, bound him and placed a noose 
around his neck. After scaring him with further threats, they 
ordered him to leave the area immediately, which he did. The 
sawmill was closed down, and a Board of Officers convened to 
investigate the accident. The department engineer was ordered to 
inspect all of the machinery on the post. Private Bauer's comrades 
buried him in the post cemetery with the inscription, "Killed 
through Criminal Negligence" carved upon his headstone.-'^ 

Closure of Fort Fetterman 

For most of the 1879-1882 period. Fort Fetterman's garrison 
and duties shrank. Logistical battles and petty disputes with other 
commands took the place of confrontation with the Indians. The 
growing settlement of the area provided its own security. The 
once free and fierce Sioux and Cheyennes were disarmed and 
de-horsed on closely watched reservations. The friendly Arap- 
ahoes moved west to the Shoshoni reservation. The pacification 
of the Indians and the spread of the railroads facilitated a new 
strategy of massing army units at a few forts along the railroads, 
from which they could be rapidly deployed in case of emergency. 
This strategy spelled the end for many famous western forts. 

-"^^Incoming Letters and Telegrams, October 6, 1881; Medical History, 
May 1880. 

-■J^iThe story is given in Ward, "Soldiering," pp. 7-8 without dates. Cor- 
respondence concerning the incident is found in Letters Sent and Received. 
July 18, 1878, and in the Medical History, June 7, 1878. 


The long anticipated order to abandon Fort Fetterman came 
May 16, 1882. The last garrison, one infantry company, marched 
out of the fort on May 20. One officer and ten men remained to 
pack and ship the usable government property. The post surgeon, 
the last person to leave the post, closed the Medical Journal on 
June 28.-"- The Cheyenne Leader eulogized: 

The necessity which prompted the estabUshment vanished sometime 
ago, and it goes the way of many other once frontier posts.2'J^3 

Fetterman City 

After the fort was abandoned the local population moved in and 
established the town of Fetterman City. At its height the town 
contained twenty buildings and two stores. It was the center of 
the largest cattle roundup in the Platte River Valley in ISSS.^'^* 
The town doctor was Amos W. Barber, who later served as acting 
governor of Wyoming, from 1890 to 1893. He came to Wyoming 
in 1883 to take charge of the hospital in Fetterman City, which 
was the only medical facility within a hundred-mile radius. -^^ 

The town attracted the usual rough element peculiar to western 
"cowtowns," and developed such problems that Malcolm Campbell 
found new employment as the local sheriff. In 1883, he gained 
fame in arresting Alfred Packer at the former fort's "Hog Ranch," 
which was benefitting from the cattle prosperity. Packer was 
returned to Colorado and convicted of killing and eating five fellow 
prospectors when they became stranded in a blizzard. These and 
other events brought minor fame to the town, and it became the 
prototype for the wild west town of "Drybone" in Owen Wister's 

Fetterman City's fortunes were cut short when the Fremont, 
Elkhorn & Missouri Railroad reached the area in 1886. Fetterman 
City could not be the terminal for the railroad because it was 
located on a military reservation. A new town was founded at a 
river ford several miles southeast of Fetterman and named Douglas 
City. The railroad began the sale of town lots in August, and the 
town soon had a population of 2500.-'' During the fall, most of 
the people and businesses moved from Fetterman to Douglas. 

-"' -Medical History, May-June 1882. The last garrison was "G" Com- 
pany, 4th Infantry, commanded by Captain William H. Powell. 

'■^'^^Cheyenne Leader, May 12, 1882, p. 4. 

2'i'4Charles Ritter, "The Early History of Fort Fetterman," Annals of 
Wyoming, October 1969, p. 223. 

^■'■-■'Harry B. Henderson, "Governors of the State of Wyoming," Annals 
of Wyoming, January 1940, p. 13. 

-''^Soldier and Brave, p. 371. 

^^'''Frank S. Lusk, "My Association with Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming, 
August 15, 1923, p. 17; and Bert Wagner, "Reminiscence of the Early Days 
of Douglas," Annals of Wyoming, April 15, 1925, p. 64. 


Included in the move was the long-Hved Wyoming newspaper, the 
Douglas Budget, which had been founded in 1886 at Fetterman 
City as Bill Barlow's Budget?''^ Fetterman City's buildings were 
salvaged by local ranchers or moved to new locations. The sur- 
rounding area became Converse County in 1887. That same year 
the railroad extended west, and the town of Glenrock was founded 
on Deer Creek, near Fort Fetterman's old hay reserve. The town 
of Casper was laid out near old Fort Caspar and became the 
terminal of the railroad. In less than twenty years a scene of 
buffalo, Indians, and military patrols roaming over a vast virgin 
prairie had been transformed into one of railroads, new towns, 
and cattle empires. 

The Fort Fetterman military reservation was officially opened 
to homesteading in 1890. The Interior Department reported that 
"a greater part of the reserve . . . consists of land which is unfit 
for cultivation and homesteading by reason of a lack of water," 
and required settlers to be allowed 320 acres instead of 160 in 
order to farm successfully.-^'^ The site of Fort Fetterman became 
a sheep ranch, and the remaining structures of the fort became 
farm sheds. 

Concluding Observations 

Fort Fetterman served strategically throughout its history as a 
"link." The fort was estabUshed as a link in the chain of forts 
along the Bozeman and Oregon Trails. From 1869 to 1875 the 
fort was part of the thin chain of forts around the perimeter of the 
Indian Reservation. During Crook's campaigns in 1876, the post 
was a crucial link between the supply depots along the railroad 
and Crook's forces in the field. From 1877 to 1882 the fort was 
part of a second chain of forts in the Powder and Yellowstone 
River areas. 

Fort Fetterman filled several holes during its existence. At dif- 
ferent times the post acted as an unofficial Indian agency, as a 
major logistics base, as a lone outpost and as a center of early 
development of the Wyoming cattle empire. Fort Fetterman 
played a prominent part in the northern plains Indian wars. From 
1867 to 1877 units of ten of the army's forty regiments were either 
stationed at the fort or bivouacked there during campaigns. 

In relation to the stereotypes which have developed around the 
history of the west, Fort Fetterman's history offers some inter- 

278D. C. Cook, "Bill Barlow's Budget Office, 1886," Annals of Wvomino, 
July 1944), p. 166. 

2^9U. S., Congress. House. Report of the Secretary of the Interior, House 
Doc. 1859, 56tii Cong., 1st sess., 1900, p. 69. 


esting contrasts and examples, particularly with respect to the 
Indians, the army, and the settlers. The Indians in contact with 
the fort lived in a state of poverty. Shortages of supplies and later 
of food made them dependent upon the government. The govern- 
ment, in turn, used this dependence as a lever to coerce the Indians 
to conform to Indian Bureau policy. In general, commanders at 
Fort Fetterman took a paternalistic attitude towards the peaceably 
inclined Indians. Several times, commanders made special re- 
quests to supply the bands of Indians who were in great need. 
Official correspondence of the 1870-1874 period is filled with 
reports of the poor conditions of the Indians and criticism of the 
trade policy. Commanders were sympathetic to complaints of the 
Arapahoes and Cheyennes that the established agencies were too 
far away and dominated by the Sioux. The commanders tried to 
have an agency established at Fort Fetterman because it was more 
convenient to the Indians. Post correspondence also emphasized 
the frictions between the Arapahoes and Cheyennes on the one 
hand and the more powerful Sioux on the other. Although the 
three tribes banded together in time of war, their cooperation 
dissipated in time of peace. The reactions of the tribes to the 
presence of the fort varied, ranging from the almost uniformly 
friendly Arapahoes to the almost uniformly hostile Sioux. The 
Cheyennes displayed mixed reactions. 

The army also experienced shortages and privation. Economy- 
minded congresses kept the army as small and as minimally sup- 
plied as possible. At Fort Fetterman there was never an adequate 
or well equipped garrison, in the opinion of many post com- 
manders. The fort was often the passive observer and reporter of 
Indian raids. For the common soldier, the past records reveal that 
duty on the frontier was mostly a monotonous and austere routine 
rather than a romantic adventure. Operations usually consisted of 
endless patrols with perhaps a hasty shot at a fleeting enemy. 
Campaigning on the frontier was a rough affair, often undertaken 
with inadequate food, clothing and supplies, and it was very hard 
on both men and animals. 

The early settlers, prior to 1876, were often described deroga- 
torily by the post commanders. Most civilians not directly em- 
ployed by the army were hangers-on who depended upon the army 
in one way or another for their livelihoods. There was little 
thought of independent ranching or farming concerns or of 
permanent settlement. Many were rough characters who easily 
crossed the line into outlawry, engaging in illegal trade and horse 
stealing among other pursuits. The post-1876 influx of settlers 
were people associated with the cattle industry. Until the arrival 
of the railroad in 1886, the civilian population was mostly male 
and unstable in nature. 


Fort Fetterman Today 

In 1960 the site of Fort Fetterman was purchased by the state 
of Wyoming for development as a historic site. The 1877 set of 
officers' quarters has been made into a museum, with extensive 
restoration planned for the future. Such efforts would certainly 
seem warranted by this fort, one of the most important in the west. 
The history of Fort Fetterman reflects many phases of Old West 
history. In less than a quarter of a century, the post evolved 
from an isolated outpost in hostile territory to the center of settle- 
ment and cattle empires, to a wild west cowtown and finally 
became a ghost town. 


Commanders & Garrisons 

The following are entries from the "Adjutant General's Report" 
portion of the Report of the Secretary of War for the year given. 
These entries represent the return for one day, usually in August, 
of the given year. Numbers in parentheses are the total number 
of men at the post. 





Maj. Wm. McE. Dye 

4th Inf. & 2nd Cav. 




Cpt. H. W. Patterson 

4th Inf. 




Maj. Alex Chambers 

4th Inf. 




Ltc. G. A. Woodward 

14th Inf. 




Ltc. G. A. Woodward 

14th Inf. 




Ltc. Cuvier Grover 

14th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Ltc. J. S. Mason 

4th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Ltc. J. S. Mason 

4th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Cpt. E. M. Coats 

4th Inf. 


( 52) 


Cpt. E. M. Coats 

4th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Cpt. E. M. Coats 

4th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Maj. J. W. Mason 

4th Inf. & 3rd Cav. 




Maj. I. D. DeRussy 

4th Inf. 




Maj. W. T. Gentry 

4th Inf. 


( 69) 


Strengths and Organization of the Army 

The post-Civil War army had both tactical and area organiza- 
tions. The main tactical unit was the regiment, which was sub- 
divided into a number of companies. Infantry regiments had ten 
companies, cavalry and artillery had twelve. Battalions were 
temporary units composed of two or more companies. Artillery 
companies were sometimes referred to as batteries, and cavalry 


companies as troops. In 1869 Congress set the size of the army 
at 25 infantry, 10 cavalry and 5 artillery regiments. The author- 
ized strength of the army steadily declined from 50,000 men in 
1866 to 35,000 in 1870 and then to 25,000 in 1874. The army 
kept the forty-regiment organization, which resulted in shrinking 
unit sizes. Regiments declined from a Civil War standard of 
1,200 men to 640 men for infantry regiments and 840 men for 
cavalry regiments in 1874. 

The United States was divided into four geographical divisions, 
which were further divided into departments and districts. Regi- 
ments were deployed to departments and were under control of 
the department commander. Within the department regiments 
were broken up and scattered about for garrisons. Regimental 
commanders often doubled as district commanders. 

A Centenmal Mistorn of Mtlst 
Actii/ities in Wyoming, 



James H. Nottage 

On March 29, 1890, columns of The Cheyenne Daily Leader, 
were full of exuberant rejoicing and accounts of celebration. A bill 
passed Congress making Wyoming the nation's newest state and 
parades, speeches, parties and a general spirit of revelry dominated 
the scene. Hidden in the same paper was a brief article on the 
well-known European artist, Rosa Bonheur. Some two-and-one- 
half years before "a beautiful untamable broncho" from Wyoming 
had been sent 4,000 miles east for her to paint. The horse was 
given to Buffalo Bill Cody who was ultimately the figure depicted 
by Bonheur on the back of the handsome white Wyoming stallion. 
The Daily Leader noted that "it is the intention of Miss Bonheur 
to execute a great painting of a buffalo hunt and sketches of this 
Wyoming horse retained by her will be used in the production. 
The artist is very anxious to visit this country and especially 
Wyoming and the west." 

The desire expressed by Rosa Bonheur to visit the West as 
exemplified by Wyoming was a wish fulfilled by scores of academic 
and amateur artists in the nineteenth century. Numerous brushes, 
pens and pencils interpreted mountain scenery, Indian life and 
other elements of the untamed wilderness. Later, as the frontier 
vanished, other artists recorded less primitive scenes of daily life 
and scenery in what became the cowboy state in 1890. The 
productions of all these artists now stand as important documents 
of Western history and in many cases as exceptional examples of 
artistic excellence. 

In the early nineteenth century, what is now Wyoming was part 
of a vast, unexplored "wasteland" — the "great American Desert." 
Wild animals, trappers, an occasional missionary, adventurers and 
Indians were the only inhabitants. For those not actively involved 
in exploring, developing or settling the West this was an unknown, 
mysterious and exotic land. The first explorers, through their 



U. P. Depot, Cheyenne 

Ten Minutes at Carbon 
Engravings from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1877 


written reports, did much to foster the desert myth.^ At the same 
time they helped to allay that myth by taking artists along with 
them. By the last half of the century figures such as Albert 
Bierstadt and Thomas Moran were picturing the grandeur of west- 
ern peaks and the subtle beauty of the high plains. It was their 
pictures and those of other artists that showed the far West to be 
more than barren desolation. 

The first artist to paint the Rocky Mountains was Samuel Sey- 
mour, an English-born resident of Philadelphia who traveled west 
with Major Stephen H. Long in 1819 and 1820. It is not likely 
that he entered what we know as Wyoming. An examination of 
his works and a study of expedition records shows that he got only 
as far as northern Colorado before proceeding south and then 
turning east.- 

The second man to paint the Rockies, and apparently the first 
to reach Wyoming, was a young Baltimore artist named Alfred 
Jacob Miller.-^ He traveled west in 1837 after being retained by 
the Scottish adventurer, Captain William Drummond Stewart. 
Accompanying a fur caravan they ventured onto the high plains 
and slowly advanced along portions of what would become the 
Oregon Trail. Within a short six months Miller experienced 
enough of western life to sustain him for the rest of his artistic 
life. Armed with hundreds of sketches made in the field, he went 
to Stewart's Murthly castle in Scotland and there created paintings 
of western scenery such as Independence Rock, Devil's Gate, the 
Wind River Mountains and the Green River. He also produced 
important works illustrating Indian life, camp incidents, and hunt- 
ing and trapping adventures. Among his pictures were a number 
of important views of Fort Laramie as it appeared only three years 
after being founded. Indeed, his pictures comprise "a vivid first- 

iSee for example, Edwin James, Comp., Account of an Expedition from 
Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, Performed in the Years 1819 and '20 
by order of the Hon. J . C . Calhoun, Sec'y of War: Under the Command of 
Major Stephen H. Long . . . (Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea. 1822- 
23). The subject is well treated in. The Great American Desert Then and 
Now, by W. Eugene HoUon, (New York: Oxford University Press. 1966). 

-Ibid; Harold McCracken, Portrait of the Old West. (New York: Mc- 
Graw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1952), pp. 42-43. 

3It has been suggested that the notable interpreter of Western Indians, 
George Catlin, was at Fort Laramie and in the Rockies and at Salt Lake in 
1831 or 1833. In 1871 he claimed that this was so. It has elsewhere been 
shown that he was in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1833. Also, as shown by Dale 
Morgan, Fort Laramie was not founded until 184^3, there are no pictures 
by Catlin of the areas he would have been in or of Indians from those areas, 
and there is no official record of his traveling into these areas. See Harold 
McCracken, George Catlin and the Old Frontier (New York: The Dial 
Press, 1959), pp. 130-131, and Marjorie Catlin Roehm, editor. A Chronicle 
of the American West, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966) 
pp. 55-57. 


hand record of the mountain fur trade in the Central Rockies."^ 
The next artist to venture into some of the areas seen by Miller 
was an untrained painter and Jesuit missionary, Father Nicholas 
Point. His primitive drawings were used to illustrate Pierre Jean 
De Smet's published travel narrative in 1843. Some of the pic- 
tures were based on descriptions provided by De Smet from his 
travels in 1 840. The following year Point went west himself with 
De Smet to help estabhsh a mission among the Flathead Indians 
in the vicinity of Fort Hall. The journey took these men along 
what would soon be a well-traveled route to the West. They 
passed Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, Independence Rock and 
Devil's Gate. Some of these landmarks, drawn in Point's naive 
style, were used to illustrate De Smet's book.-^ 

By 1842 the trail followed by A. J. Miller and the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries had become well worn. As the numbers of travelers in- 
creased, more artists traveled west. In that year the young, 
ambitious explorer, John Charles Fremont, made his first western 
expedition. In preparing for his travels, he purchased a daguerreo- 
type camera. His party visited Fort Laramie and then ventured 
across the plains west of there to the Wind River Mountains where 
Fremont Peak was discovered. Along the way, Fremont attempted 
to become Wyoming's first photographer.^ Unfortunately, he was 
not familiar with the proper use of the camera. On August 1, 
1842, near Independence Rock, he failed to produce an image 
on the polished, silver-plated, copper plates. His cartographer, 
Charles Preuss, acidly commented, "Yesterday afternoon and this 
morning Fremont set up his daguerreotype to photograph the 
rocks; he spoiled five plates that way. Not a thing was to be 
seen on them."^ None of his future pictures came out either and 
later Preuss noted, "Today Fremont again wanted to take pictures. 
But the same as before, nothing was produced. This time it was 
really too bad, because the view was magnificent."^ 

A year after Fremont's discouraging experiences Sir Wilham 
Drummond Stewart made another extended tour to the West. 

^Robert C. Warner, the Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller, (unpub- 
lished Master's Dissertation, University of Wyoming, 1973), p. 30. 

sjohn Francis McDermott, "De Smet's Illustrator: Father Nicolas Point," 
Nebraska History, March, 1952, pp. 35-36; Joseph P. Donnelly, (trans, and 
intro.). Wilderness Kingdom, Indian Life in the Rocky Mountains: 1840- 
1847, The Journals & Paintings of Nicholas Point, S. J., (New York: Holt, 
Rinehart and Winston, 1967), pp. 19-35. 

''Donald Jackson and Mary Lee Spence, (eds.), The Expeditions of John 
Charles Fremont, volume I, Travels from 1838 to 1844, (Urbana: Univer- 
sity of Illinois Press, 1970), pp. 145-146. 

■J^Richard Rudisill, Mirror Image, The Influence of the Daguerreotype on 
American Society, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971), 
p. 101. 

^Ibid, p. 102. 


Prior to leaving, he again asked Miller to join him, but the artist 
had to refuse because of ill health.^ However, Stewart did have 
an artist with him when he returned to Fort Laramie. Monsieur 
P. Pietierre of Paris accompanied the expedition to paint Indians. 
Unfortunately, although he used the more permanent and reliable 
artistic medium of brush and canvas, like Fremont he has left no 
images as a record of his activities. Little is known of Pietierre 
and none of his works have been found. 

Theodore Talbot, a member of Fremont's second party of 1843, 
wrote in his journal on August 5: "... I went down to Sybille & 
Adams' post at the mouth of the Laramie River a mile below Fort 
John. It is called Fort Platte or Bissonette's Fort: it is smaller 
than the Am. Fur Company post but seemingly more active & 
lively. Many Indians round about it, whose portraits Sir W. D. 
Stewart has engaged a painter to remain here and take."^*' 

At the same time, the rest of Stewart's elaborate hunting party 
was witnessing the trapper rendezvous on the Green River. Dur- 
ing the summer they traveled far and wide over the Wind River 
Mountains and western prairies. Two members of the group 
sketched during the trip. Dr. Stedman Richard Tilghman, a 
physician from Baltimore, drew pictures of Devil's Gate and Ayres 
Natural Bridge. Known as "The Prince," George Wilkins Christy, 
from New Orleans, also sketched scenes along the way.^^ These 
men were witnessing and recording a vanishing way of life, as 
the fur trade was dying and artists following them would witness 
life and times of a different kind. 

In the next few years other artists traveled west. In 1849, 
however, a cry of "Gold!" echoed around the world from the 
newly-discovered diggings in California. Suddenly, routes to the 
west coast became crowded with hopeful fortune seekers, including 
James F. Wilkins, who, on April 25, 1849, left St. Louis on an 
overland journey to the West. There was a gleam of gold in his 
eye, but he was not looking for it in the California stream beds. 
\Vilkins' plan was to produce a giant painting or panorama of the 
Oregon Trail which could be shown, much like a more modern 
newsreel, to paying audiences of the East. A four-mile long paint- 
ing of the Mississippi River had reportedly earned another artist 
$20,000 in six weeks and Wilkins was anxious for profits of a 
similar nature. He had previously worked as a portrait and minia- 

^Warner, The Fort Laramie of Alfred Jacob Miller, p. 66. 

it^Warner, pp. 28-30; Kate L. Gregg and John Francis McDermott, (eds.) 
Prairie and Mountain Sketches, by Matthew C. Field, (Norman: University 
of Oklahoma Press. 1957), p. ix; Charles H. Carey, (ed.). The Journals of 
Theodore Talbot, 1843 and 1849-52, (Portland: Metropolitan Press, 1931), 
p. 34. 

iiField, Prairie and Mountain Sketches, pp. xxiv, xliv, liii-Iiv. and facing 
pp. 75 and 139. 


ture painter in New Orleans and St. Louis and had exhibited art 
at the Royal Academy. ^- 

Fifty of Wilkins' watercolor sketches, including a large number 
of Wyoming subjects, are in the collections of the Wisconsin His- 
torical Society. Even though the sketches have an amateur quality, 
they comprise an important document of western history. From 
Fort Leavenworth west, the pictures provide a detailed view of 
the country crossed by the forty-niners.^'^ Great expanses of the 
western prairie became the subject of his brush and details of 
trail travel were recorded with some care. Wilkins sketched Fort 
Laramie on June 24 and three days later drew a wagon train 
fording Laramie Creek. Laramie Peak, the mountain range then 
called the "Black Hills" and various scenes along the Platte and 
Sweetwater Rivers were also recorded. The vast expanses of 
South Pass were observed on July 1 6 and the Green River country, 
once alive with fur trappers and the rendezvous, was passed soon 
thereafter. The log walls of Fort Bridger were drawn on July 25 
and Wilkins continued on west toward California. 

It is not surprising that a number of other artists were on the 
trail in 1849. Colonel William W. Loring and the regiment of 
United States Mounted Riflemen marched from Fort Leavenworth, 
Kansas, to Fort Vancouver, Oregon, in the summer of that year. 
Two artists were with Loring's command. George Gibbs, a civil- 
ian artist and naturalist, was present as was another civilian artist, 
WilHam Henry Tappan. For many years the works of James 
Wilkins^in were attributed to one or the other of these men. All 
three of them traveled the same basic route and saw many of the 
same sights. ^^ 

Another army party traveled on the western trails in 1849, 
under the command of Captain Howard Stansbury, and surveyed 
a route to the Great Salt Lake. Illustrations of Fort Laramie, the 
Platte River, Fort Bridger and other areas accompanied Stans- 
bury's report just as similar views had been included with the 
reports of the Mounted Riflemen.^'' 

Of the artists on the trail in 1849, all but one provided pan- 
oramic pictures and illustrations of general interest and common 
experience. J. Goldsborough Bruff was suffering from gold fever 

i-John Francis McDermott, (ed.), An Artist on the Overland Trail, The 
1849 Diary and Sketches of James F. Wilkins, (San Marino: The Hunting- 
ton Library, 1968), pp. 3-n. 

^^Ibid, pp. 20-24. 

'^^Ibid; see also Raymond W. Settle, (ed.), The March of the Mounted 
Riflemen, (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1940). 

i^Howard Stansbury, Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great 
Salt Lake of Utah, Including a Reconnaissance of a New Route Through the 
Rocky Mountains, (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1852), facing 
pp. 53. 56, 60, and 74. 


when he organized a group of sixty-four men to head for Cahfomia 
in that year. Along the way he kept careful notes and drew 
pictures of daily happenings. His naive sketches have a provoking 
appeal because of his sense of humor and because of the details 
he provides on the difficulty, suspense and danger of trail travel. 
Indeed, his journals and drawings are nuggets comparable in value 
to the gold found by his companions. ^^^ 

The number of travelers and artists on the trail in 1849 did not 
diminish to any significant degree as the decade of the 1850s 
began. People searching for new homes in Oregon, fortunes in 
California, or perhaps salvation with Mormondom in Utah, con- 
tinued to move in masses to points on the western frontier. The 
number of artists, both professional and amateur, who were in the 
Rockies, or the area encompassed by present-day Wyoming, in- 
creased dramatically. A survey of only a few will show that the 
types of artists in the area were not much different than those of 
the previous decade. 

In the spring of 1851, Prince Paul, the Duke of Wurttemberg 
was putting together an expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Like 
the earlier English adventurer. Sir William Drummond Stewart, 
his upbringing was royal and his interests centered around a need 
for adventure, discovery and sport. Prince Paul certainly had a 
more scientific mind than Stewart, but he also appreciated the 
advantage of including an artist with his entourage. He had earlier 
introduced the talented Karl Bodmer to the Upper Missouri in 

In 1851 a young German artist, Heinrich Balduin Mollhausen 
accompanied him on the most dangerous of his American visits. ^^ 
The first part of their trip may have been pleasant. However, 
upon reaching Fort Laramie they found that transportation prob- 
lems and the threat of Indian difficulties forced them to turn 
around and head for civilization. One of their horses died and 
the rest were stolen by Indians. Prince Paul later found space on 
a stagecoach bound for the east, but it was Mollhausen's fate to 
wait for later help. For several months, through the dead of 
winter, he subsisted on wolf meat and a persistent hope for rescue. 
Finally, after a brush with the Pawnee, he was taken by friendly 

i^Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gains, (eds.) Gold Rush, the Journals. 
Drawings, and Other Papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff, (New York : Colum- 
bia University Press, 1944), I, pp. xxx-xxxi, xlv-lxxxviii. 

1' A useful introduction to the western travels of Prince Paul can be found 
in Savoie Lottinville, (ed.) Travels in North America 1822-1824, (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1973), Mollhausen was born in Bonn. Ger- 
many, in 1825, made a total of three trips to the United States, and is best 
known as "the German Cooper" because of his literary productions. He 
died in Germany in 1905. Robert Taft. Artists and Illustrators of the Old 
West, 1850-1900, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953), pp. 22-25. 


Otoe Indians to Bethlehem, Missouri, where he could once again 
enjoy the luxury of a warm fire, good food and human com- 

It is unfortunate that most of Balduin Mollhausen's original 
paintings no longer exist. Lithograph copies of some of his works 
and a few original items, such as those at the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, show him to have been a talented artist. It is assumed 
that a sketchbook of Mollhausen's containin ninety-nine pencil 
sketches and thirty-three watercolors was destroyed during the 
bombing of Beriin.^*^ 

In 1853 another artist traveled west, partially in the footsteps 
of MoUhausen, and found permanence for his work in the publi- 
cation of a book two years later. Frederick Piercy was born in 
Portsmouth, England, in 1830 and died in London in 189 L In 
1853, he was commissioned to make drawings of sites along the 
route taken by members of the Mormon church, headed for Salt 
Lake City. He arrived at New Orleans on March 21, 1853, 
proceeded up the Mississippi and following side trips to points 
along that river, went up the Missouri from St. Louis to Kanesville 
or Council Bluffs, where he joined a Mormon train to Salt Lake. 

Late in December he returned to England where twenty-eight 
of his drawings were published in a book entitled. Route from 
Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley. Since he traveled along the 
Oregon Trail, many of the sites he drew were the same as those 
pictured by other artists. This does not, of course, detract from 
the importance of his work. His own viewpoint was unique, as 
seen, for example, in two drawings of Fort Laramie. One view 
from the south bears the notation, "Partly in ruins, occupied 
by/our company of soldiers." The other provides a rare view of 
the ferry on the Platte river next to the fort.-'' 

Frederick Piercy's visit to the west was one sanctioned by the 
Mormon church. Other artists going across the western plains in 
the 1850s were part of continuing governmental efforts to map 
and explore the territories. Perhaps the most significant efforts 
toward exploration of the West related to the surveys designed to 
locate a route for the Pacific Railroad. Two surveys in conjunction 
with this went into or crossed Wyoming. 

The first was not as significant as the second in terms of the 
artistic works created. Lieutenant Edward G. Beckwith was in 
command of a group which made a survey between Salt Lake 
City and Fort Bridger. This survey was part of the one made 
through Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Its significance 

l^Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 23-24. 
^^Ibid, pp. 25, 280-281. 

20M. & M. Karolik Collection of Water Colors & Drawings, 1800-1875, 
(Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1962) II, pp. 37-39. 


lies in the fact that parts of it ultimately became the route taken 
by the railroad when it was built. With Beckwith was F. W. 
Egloffstein, a topographical engineer who had been with Fremont 
in his last expedition of 1853-1854. He was in Salt Lake City 
in March of 1854 and made the trip to Fort Bridger in the spring 
of that year. No known illustrations by Eggloffstein resulted from 
this portion of the survey.-^ 

In the spring of 1859 Frederick West Lander led his third 
expedition along the emigrant road from Fort Kearny to South 
Pass. His job was to make the route more practicable for emigrant 

With Lander in 1859 went a man who was destined to be the 
premier painter of Western scenery. Albert Bierstadt had sailed 
to Europe and studied in his birthplace of Dusseldorf in 1853. 
By 1857 he had returned to the United States where he exhibited 
canvases already showing his fondness for landscape painting. 
When he ventured onto the high plains two years later he went 
with a Boston artist named F. S. Frost. They arrived at South 
Pass on June 24 and soon left on their own to explore the Wind 
River Mountains where Bierstadt had a particularly good chance 
to sketch the type of scenery that so inspired him. It was this 
experience which resulted in most of his works dealing with Wyo- 
ming related subjects.-^ 

In 1863 Albert Bierstadt made another trip west, this time with 
the eccentric Fitz Hugh Ludlow. They traveled along the Over- 
land Trail, passing through Virginia Dale, along the trail past the 
newly-established Fort Halleck at the base of Elk Mountain and 
on west from there. -^ Their trip, however, was overshadowed by 
the country's preoccupation with civil war. Regular army troops 
stationed in the west were being sent to the eastern theaters of war 
and state volunteer troops were replacing them. It was during this 

2iTaft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 259-264; see also, William H. Goetz- 
mann, Exploration and Empire, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), pp. 
218, 286-288. 

22For a summary of Lander's activities, see, W. Turrentine Jackson, 
Wagon Roads West, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952), pp. 

23Gordon Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt, Painter of the American West, 
(New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. and Amon Carter Museum of Western 
Art, Fort Worth, 1973), pp. 63, 69, 73, 80, and 94. Another member of the 
Lander party also produced illustrations as a result of the trip. Henry 
Hitchings was apparently with Lander's advance party when it proceeded 
along the trail in the spring of 1859. Seven ink and wash and sepia water- 
colors by Hitchings have recently been found. The Sweetwater and the 
Black Hills are included in two of them. The Kennedy Quarterly, June 
1967, p. 117. " ■ 

24Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt, p. 116. 


era in the West that an important contribution was made to Wyo- 
ming's artistic heritage by two primitive artists. ^^ These men were 
the first in a group of military artists to provide a significant and 
enduring record of army posts, military life and events within the 
boundaries of present day Wyoming. 

In the summer of 1863 the second battalion of the Eleventh 
Ohio Volunteer Cavalry was organized at Camps Denison and 
Chase, Ohio, for service along the Oregon and Overland Trails. 
The second lieutenant in Company G, Caspar W. Collins, had 
already spent a year on the plains with his father. Lieutenant 
Colonel William O. Collins, and the first battalion. With the 
younger Collins was his company bugler, a young German farmer 
from Ohio, Charles Frederick Moellman. Together, these two 
men produced at least seventy drawings which comprise a vivid 
first-hand record of almost every military post and telegraph sta- 
tion on the Oregon and Overland Trails between Camp Mitchell, 
Nebraska, and the South Pass. Moellman produced pictures of 
Independence Rock and Devil's Gate and, like Collins, drew pic- 
tures of Indian dances and ceremonies. Detailed pictures of 
stations such as Deer Creek, Horseshoe Creek, St. Mary's, and 
Three Crossings, and forts such as Laramie and Halleck are sup- 
plemented by detailed floor plans drawn of each by Caspar Collins 
and his father.-^ Many of these posts were abandoned shortly 
after the Civil War and the drawings provide a unique record of 
their existence. 

Caspar ColUns is best known for the name he left to a Wyoming 
city after his death at the Battle of Platte Bridge on July 26, 1865. 
At that time the Civil War was over, yet the 11th Ohio was still 
in service and demanding muster out. It would be almost another 
year before these Ohio volunteers were sent home. By that time 
a new string of posts had been established along the Bozeman Trail 
and these forts — Phil Kearny, Reno, and C. F. Smith — had their 
"artistic" interpreters just as had the Civil War posts and stations. 

The Bozeman trail forts were short-lived but the dramatic en- 
counters with Indians at the Fetterman Fight and the Hayfield 
and Wagonbox fights have endeared them to historians. Fort 

25A third naive artist might also be mentioned. The Reverend Franz 
Matter was at Fort Laramie in 1863 and did at least one ornate watercolor 
of the post which is now at the University of Wyoming Archives. Also on 
file at the archives is a typewritten copy of, "Rev. Franz Matter In the 
Service of the Indian Mission 1863-1866," translated by Rev. George J. 
Fritschel, Dubuque, Iowa, 1938. 

26Agnes Wright Spring, Caspar Collins, The Life and Exploits of an 
Indian Fighter of the Sixties, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1927). 
The largest collection of Moellman drawings is at the University of Wyo- 
ming Archives, and Collins drawings and maps can be found at Colorado 
State University in Fort Collins and at the Denver Public Library. 


Reno was drawn by Captain Joseph L. Proctor of the 18th Infan- 
try and by Walter Sies, an enlisted man in Company E of that 
regiment.-' Sies also drew a picture of Fort Phil Kearny as 
did a bugler of the 2d U. S. Cavalry, Antonio Nicolai. Addi- 
tional drawings of the ill-fated post on the Piney have been attrib- 
uted to civilian topographers, Ambrose G. Bierce and Antoine 

Colonel Joseph Basil Girard was another artistically inclined 
officer of the frontier army. In the 1870s he did pencil sketches of 
Forts D. A. Russell, Fetterman, Sanders and Fred Steele, all in 
what was then the territory of Wyoming. Girard later made 
watercolors from these sketches and other Girard drawings.-^ Al- 
though more talented technically than the military picture-makers 
already mentioned, Girard cannot be considered the best of his 
kind to work in the state. That honor should probably go to 
Philippe Regis De Trobriand. 

De Trobriand was a French soldier of fortune, man of letters 
and artist who had fought in the American Civil War, much in 
the tradition of Lafayette. Following the war, he was given a 
commission as colonel in the 31st Infantry. His long, active and 
honorable military career in the West saw him stationed at various 
times in Wyoming territory. During his service he kept not only 
an important historical journal but painted with facility, producing 
both oil paintings and pencil sketches. Besides some Indian por- 
traits he did landscapes and pictures of western forts, including 
at least six views of Fort Fred Steele. '^'^ 

With certain exceptions, military painters were dabblers or 
"Sunday artists" whose works are seldom found on the walls of 
art galleries. Although they were usually not as technically pro- 
ficient as academicians, their work is still part of Wyoming's 
artistic heritage; it also has naive appeal and documentary value. 

Another type of artist which receives little attention when com- 
pared to an academically trained picture maker is the illustrator. 
The illustrated newspapers such as Frank Leslie's Illustrated 
Magazine and Harper's Weekly, all had staff artists who recorded 

-■J^Robert A. Murray, Military Posts in the Powder River Country of 
Wyoming, 1865-1894, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1968), pp. 
16, 19-23; and Robert A. Murray, Military Posts of Wyoming, (Fort Col- 
lins Old Army Press, 1974), pp. 56-58. 

-^Murray, Military Posts in the Powder River Country, pp. 18, 45; 
Schienborn later worked on the 40th parallel survey with F. V. Hayden. 
Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire, pp. 503, 507. 

2f>Don K. Adams, "A Frontier Sketchbook." The Westerners Brand Book, 
Book Nine, (Los Angeles Corrall, 1961), pp. 65-84. 

30Lucile M. Kane, (trans, and ed.). Military Life in Dakota, The Journal 
of Philippe Regis De Trobriand, (St. Paul: Alvord Memorial Commission, 
1951), pp. xv-xxv, 308-382, 


the "wild west" for audiences in the east and, in the case of the 
Illustrated London News, as far away as England. 

The organic act creating Wyoming Territory was approved by 
President Andrew Johnson on July 25, 1868.'^^ At that time the 
Union Pacific Railroad had crossed almost half the expanse of the 
new territory and the continental railroad would soon be com- 
pleted with the meeting of the rails at Promontory Point, Utah, 
in May, 1869. It was public interest in the completion of the 
railroad that prompted the publisher Frank Leslie to send an artist 
west to record events along the road for his illustrated newspaper. 
The man selected was a ten-year veteran on Leslie's staff, Joseph 

An experienced reporter from the battlefields of the Civil War, 
Becker was a self-taught artist and engraver. Attacking his new 
assignment with energy and zeal he produced some forty western 
illustrations during an eighty-one hour train trip from Omaha, 
Nebraska, to San Francisco, California. "Across the Continent" 
was the title chosen for his series, and although the most important 
illustrations deal with the Chinese in California and the Mormons 
in Utah, pictures such as "Early Morning at Laramie" are of 
particular interest in relation to Wyoming. '^-^ 

Becker's fleeting glimpse of the western territories was one 
which strongly reflected the general public's interest in those areas 
beyond the Mississippi River. In the fall of 1873 two artists of 
French birth, Paul Frenzeny and Jules Tavernier, were commis- 
sioned by Harper's Weekly to provide sketches from a coast-to- 
coast tour. Leaving New York City in September, 1873, they 
concluded their trip in San Francisco sometime during the summer 
of 1874. According to the historian Robert Taft, illustrations of 
"towns, Uving conditions, transportation, industries of plain and 
mountain, emigrant life, Indian troubles and affairs, and minor 
but revealing incidents of Western life" were produced by these 
two men.^* 

It was in May and June of 1874 that Frenzeny and Tavernier 
traveled across Wyoming territory on the Union Pacific Railroad. 
Side trips took them to Fort Laramie and the Red Cloud Indian 
Agency. Three illustrations from the Wyoming portion of their 
journey were published in Harper's. Tavernier later based a 
number of paintings on his experiences, including a picture of the 
post trader's store at Fort Laramie and various treatments of 
Indian life in the area. Frenzeny did a number of watercolors. 

31T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1965), p. 64. 

32Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 89-90. 
^^Ibid, pp. 90-93. 
S'^Ibid, p. 95. 



Cavalry near Fort Steele 
Engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1877 

One interesting view shows an artist seated at his easel and sur- 
rounded by curious and inquiring Indians while he painted some 
figures in the distance.-^'' 

In 1877 the publisher Frank Leslie made a trip west. Seldom 
did anyone travel in such style as did Leslie and his party; their 
accommodations on the Union Pacific Railroad were most lux- 
urious. In the group of twelve people were several artists includ- 
ing Walter Yeager, Harry Ogden and Miss G. A. Davis. Along 
the route of the Union Pacific drawings of many towns were made 
and in turn, pictures of Cheyenne, Sherman, Laramie, Carbon, 
Fort Steele, Rawlins, Green River, Milliard and Evanston appeared 
on the pages of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper.'^''' 

One of Leslie's competitors abroad was the Illustrated London 
News. It and other British papers commissioned several artist- 
reporters to visit the frontiers of Canada and the United States. 
Arthur Boyd Houghton has been characterized as a "painter, 
illustrator, caricaturist, and Special Artist." He received his 
training in England and crossed the continental U. S. by rail in 

35/feiW, pp. 110-111; M. & M. Karolik Collection of American Water 
Colors & Drawings, 1800-1875, (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1962). I, 
pp. 164, 167; The Kennedy Quarterly, March 1972, p. 222, Paul A. Rossi 
and David C. Hunt, The Art of the Old West, (New York: Alfred A. 
Knopf, 1973), p. 57. 

•^"Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 149-161; Little in known of Miss 
Davis. Ogden worked for Leslie until 1881 when he became a free-lance 
artist. He became well known for his pictures of costumes and military 
uniforms. George C. Groce, "Henry Alexander Ogden, Painter of Amer- 
ica's Army Uniforms," Military Collector and Historian. April. 1949. pp. 
4-5. Yeager left Leslie in 1880 to work for a lithographing firm and later 
worked as a free-lance artist. 


1869-1870, for the illustrated London Weekly Graphic. Unfor- 
tunately his works are scarce compared to those of other English 
artists such as Valentine Walter Bromley and Richard Caton 
Woodville, Jr.-^' 

Both of these men came from a long line of family artists. 
Bromley accompanied the Earl of Dunraven on his third trip west 
in 1 874. They explored much of Yellowstone Park, but, oddly 
enough, Bromley "seems to have been unimpressed, at least as an 
artist, and as far as is known, he made no attempt to put the 
Yellowstone excursion on paper."'^^ 

Woodville, the son of an American genre painter, did paint 
scenes in Yellowstone and also took part in and recorded a cattle 
roundup and forest fire in the Big Horns. In the later part of 
his 1890 trip for the Illustrated London News he was present at 
Pine Ridge Indian Agency in time to witness the Ghost Dance 

It is hardly possible in a few pages to discuss the number of 
academic artists who were in Wyoming during the last half of 
the nineteenth century. Many continued to travel with scientific 
groups and exploring and military expeditions. In 1866 a Swiss 
artist, Frank Buchser, traveled west as a companion to General 
William T. Sherman. He made topical studies of camps, fords 
and other features on the Platte, at Fort Laramie and at Virginia 
Dale.^" Gilbert Munger accompanied Charles King on the Fortieth 
Parallel survey in 1869 and later worked in the Jackson Hole area 
as evidenced by a painting titled, "Indian Camp in the Tetons."^^ 
The years 1870 and 1871 brought still more important painters 
to the territory of Wyoming. 

In August of 1870 Sanford R. Gifford, a man later identified 
with the Hudson River School, joined Professor F. V. Hayden at 
Camp Carlin near Cheyenne to paint as the group explored 
through the southern half of Wyoming. Gifford quickly formed a 
fast friendship with the expedition's photographer, William H. 
Jackson.^- A year and a half later Jackson, along with Thomas 
Moran and the Hayden expedition's official artist, Henry Wood 

•^"Paul Hogarth, Artists on Horseback, The Old West in Illustrated Jour- 
nalism, 1857-1900, (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1972), pp. 

^^Ibid, pp. 113-114 127, and 281. 

•"-nbid, pp. 208-209, 271, and 284. 

^"Perry T. Rathbone, Westward the Way, (St. Louis: City Art Museum, 
1954), p. 274. Sherman's activities are covered in Robert G. Athearn, 
William Tecumseh Sherman and the Settlement of the West, (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1956), pp. 59-75. 

•^^Goetzmann, Exploration and Empire, p. 449; The Kennedy Quarterly, 
June 1966, pp. 79-81. 

42Mary S. Haverstock, "White Umbrellas in the Rocky Mountains," 
Montana the Magazine of Western History, Summer 1966, pp. 71-73. 


Depot at Green River 
Engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1877 

Elliott, entered into the land of the Yellowstone. It generally is 
conceded that the photographs by Jackson and Moran's paintings 
played an important part in the establishment of the area as a 
national park.^-^ 

In relation to Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran was at least an 
associate dean of the "Rocky Mountain" school of painting. 
Mountain landscapes from the Tetons, the Devils Tower area and 
scenes along the Green River which he painted did a great deal 
to estabUsh his reputation. In 1879 he and his brother Peter 
traveled to the Tetons, an area referred to by Thomas as "the 
finest pictorial range in the United States. "^^ Later he wrote, "I 

^■^The Kennedy Quarterly, June 1967, p. 125; Thurman Wilkins, Thomas 
Moran, Artist of the Mountains, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1966), pp. 57-71; William H. Jackson, Time Exposure. The Autobiography 
of William Henry Jackson, (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1940), pp. 
186-203. Jackson first crossed Wyoming and make sketches in 1866. 
Through the 1930s he was active with the Oregon Trail Historical Asso- 
ciation and produced a large number of historical paintings of sites and 
events on that trail. Clarence S. Jackson, Picture Maker of the Old West. 
William H. Jackson, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947), and 
Clarence S. Jackson, Pageant of the Pioneers. The Veritable Art of William 
H. Jackson, (Minden: The Harold Warp Pioneer Village, 1958). 

■*-*Fritiof Fryxell, (ed.), Thomas Moran. Explorer in Search of Beauty, 
(Long Island: East Hampton Free Library, 1958), p. 10; Wilkins, Thomas 
Moran, pp. 124-130; Moran's visit to Yellowstone, the Bighorns and Devil's 
Tower with William H. Jackson in 1892 is covered, in Amy O. Bassford 
(ed.) Home-Thoughts From After, Letters of Thomas Moran to Mary 
Nimmo Moran, (Long Island: East Hampton Free Library, 1967), pp. 


have wandered over a good part of the Territories and have seen 
much of the varied scenery of the Far West, but that of the 
Yellowstone retains its hold upon my imagination with a vividness 
as of yesterday .... The impression then made upon me by the 
stupendous & remarkable manifestations of nature's forces will 
remain with me as long as memory lasts. "^■'' 

The impact of the Tetons and Yellowstone upon Moran also is 
to be found in the work of a large number of other artists. If 
Colorado was a "mecca for scenic artists of the 19th century," 
so, indeed, were these two areas of Wyoming Territory. ^•^ A num- 
ber of Colorado artists painted in the Tetons, including Charles 
Partridge Adams and Henry Arthur Elkins.^' Thomas Hill, who 
painted the classic picture of the ceremony of the golden spike at 
Promontory Point, Utah, did pictures of the geysers in Yellow- 
stone, and Albert Bierstadt made a trip to the same area in July, 
1881.^^ In later years, some of his Yellowstone pictures decorated 
the White House during the administration of President Chester A. 

In 1882, President Arthur himself entered the park with a select 
group, including Yellowstone's premier photographer, F. Jay 
Haynes. Haynes first came to the area in 1881, and in 1887 he 
made a winter excursion into the park with Charles Graham, an 
illustrator.''" Two years later, James E. Stuart, the grandson of 
Gilbert Stuart, prominent New England artist, painted Old Faithful 
geyser with a group of tourists in the foreground."*^ 

81-123. Peter Moran was another member of the artistically talented 
"Clem Moran." In 1890 he was on the Wind River Indian Reservation as 
an agent for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. His report and some pictures 
can be found in Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the 
United States, at the Eleventh Census, (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1894). See also Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 215-216, 366; 
and The Kennedy Quarterly, May 1965, pp. 188-189. 

45Quoted in Wilkins, Thomas Moran, p. 65. 

^''Excellent comments on artist activity in Colorado can be found in 
Patricia Trenton, Harvey Otis Young, The Lost Genius 1840-1901, (Denver: 
The Denver Art Museum, 1975), pp. 1-15. 

4'i'Dorothy Harmsen, Harmsen's Western Americana, (Flagstaff: North- 
land Press, 1971), p. 10; Edward Eberstadt and Sons, Americana, catalog 
no. 131, New York, 1952, p. 127; and Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 
56-57. 294-295. 

^^Hendrick, Albert Bierstadt, pp. 265-67. 

^'■Ubid, p. 279. Hendricks notes that Bierstadt was never in the Tetons, 
p. 268. 

•'''"Taft, Artists and Illustrators, pp. 176-183, 349; Freeman Tilden, Fol- 
lowing the Frontier, with F. Jay Haynes, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 
1964), pp. 115-139, and 339-356. 

^'^The Kennedy Quarterly, June 1969, p. 61. A brief biography of Stuart 
can be found in Dr. and Mrs. Franz R. Stenzel, An Art Perspective of the 
Historic Pacific Northwest, (Portland: 1963), pp. 25-26. 


— Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department Photo 

Merritt Dana Houghton 

It was not far from Old Faithful that Frederic Remington first 
met Owen Wister on a cold, snowy evening in September, 1893, 
and their association continued for many years. Remington con- 
tinued to visit Wyoming as he had before that eventful night in 
1893. He once wrote to Wister, "Just back from 2 months in 
Montana and Wyoming — trying to paint at the impossible — had 
a good time — as Miss Columbia said to Uncle Sam That was my 
War' — that old cleaning up of the West — that is the war I am 
going to put in the rest of my time at."^'- 

"'^Ben Merchant Vorpahl, My Dear Wister, The Frederic Remington — 
Owen Wister Letters, (Palo Alto: American West Publishing Co., 1972), 
pp. 1, 30. 291; Remington made many trips to Wyoming. It would not do 
to recount all of them here. He was a frequent visitor to the Cody and 
Big Horn Country and at one time R. S. Van Tassell of Cheyenne posed 
as a model for him. Agnes Wright Spring, (ed.). Collected Writings and 
Addresses of William Chapin Deming, (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark 
Co., 1947), IV, pp. 143-144. 


The time Remington put in at "cleaning up the West" was that 
of the recorder and interpreter. In his own way each artist before 
Remington had done the same thing. The people who followed 
him, although they also recorded events and scenes of their own 
time, tended to re-record, interpret and in a sense celebrate the old 
West. Merritt Dana Houghton did this very thing. He first came 
to Wyoming in 1875 and lived in Laramie, Saratoga and Encamp- 
ment. On the basis of personal experience he produced a large 
number of pictures of mines, ranches and landscapes. These pic- 
tures provide us with a rare and valuable record of life in the state 
at the turn of the century. Views of historic events, forts, river 
crossings and towns came as a result of careful research and in 
1897 C. G. Coutant used many of these Houghton pictures to 
illustrate his History of Wyoming. Houghton later wrote and 
illustrated a number of promotional booklets and was a photog- 
rapher as well.-'^'^ 

Merritt Houghton was one of the first resident Wyoming artists. 
His early contemporaries included A. A. Anderson, the first super- 
intendent of a national forest, and resident of the Palette ranch on 
the Greybull River. Anderson studied extensively in Europe and 
first visited Wyoming during a hunting trip in the 1880s. His art 
work assumed less importance in his later career than public ser- 
vice in the interest of game and land management. ^^ 

A comparable man to Anderson was a forest ranger from 
Dubois, Alfred G. Clayton. He frequently exhibited paintings at 
Wyoming art shows in the 1930s. Like Anderson, he was a 
capable writer; unlike Anderson, a picture had to include a horse, 
rider or perhaps an Indian before it interested to him.-^^ 

It is certainly appropriate that the "Cowboy State" should have 
cowboy artists, and Clayton was not the first painter in Wyoming 
to be interested in ranching and cowboys as his major subject 
matter. In the latter part of the nineteenth century grazing as- 
sumed such economic importance in the state that it is not sur- 
prising that painters like Frederic Remington recorded roundups, 
cattle drives and similar events. The romance of the cowboy and 
his daily life was as appealing eighty years ago as it is today. 

s^Sala Purdy Harrell, "Sketch on Merritt D. Houghton and Fannie 
Houghton," copy on file, Historical Research and Publications Division, 
Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department. Two booklets by 
Houghton are Merritt D. Houghton, A Portfolio of Wyoming Views, tlie 
Platte Valley and tlie Grand Encampment Mining District: Saratoga, Pearl, 
Dillon, Battle, Rambler, Rudefeha, (Grand Encampment: Press of the 
Herald Publishing Company, 1903) and Merritt D. Houghton, Views of 
Soutliern Wyoming: Copper Belt edition, (Grand Encampment: Herald 
Publishing Co., 1904). 

•"'^A. A. Anderson, Experiences and Impressions, The Autobiography of 
Colonel A. A. Anderson, (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1933). 

5501ive Wills, "Artists of Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming, 1932, p. 696. 



Frank Tenney Johnson was one of the more important painters 
of the cowboy to work in the state and he frequently spent his 
summers at the Rim Rock Ranch near Cody.'"'" The same area 
of Wyoming drew the young R. Farrington El well who for some 
time worked as manager for Buffalo Bill Cody's TE Ranch. Later 
he became known as "the Arizona Russell."''" Other cowboy 
artists had more fleeting experiences here. Edward Borein, whose 
artistic ties are much closer to California and the southwest, spent 
time in 1925, 1926 and 1927 at the Bradford Brinton Ranch in 
Big Horn.^^ 

— Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department Photo 

EUing WiUiam GoUings 

s^Harold McCracken, The Frank Tenney Johnson Book, A Master Paint- 
er of the Old West, (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1974); see also 
obituary, The Cody Enterprise, January 4, 1939; and Mary Jester Allen, 
"Cody Art," The Cody Enterprise, March 14, 1934. 

•"•■^Frederick A. Merk, "Last of the Old West Artists," Montana the 
Magazine of Western History, Winter 1957, pp. 58-63. 

•'•''Harold G. Davidson, Edward Borein. Cowboy Artist, The Life and 
Works of John Edward Borein 1872-1945, (New York: Doubleday and 
Co., Inc., 1974), pp. 117-118. 


It was in the same area that the most original contribution to 
Wyoming's cowboy art was made. ElHng William GoUings, or 
Bill, as his friends knew him, was a working cowboy who received 
some art training in Chicago. He first arrived in Sheridan during 
the winter of 1902-1903 and spent the next several years working 
on the range. It was "those days along the Wyoming-Montana 
border, hunting, tending cattle and horses, riding with cowboy and 
Indian friends, visiting lonely ranches during the snowbound winter 
months, [which] gave Bill insight into the country and served him 
well in the years to come."^'' He lived and recorded a way of life 
that was vanishing as the fur trade vanished. Unfortunately, rec- 
ognition came late in his Ufe. He died prematurely in 1932 at the 
age of fifty-four, one of Wyoming's most notable resident artists. 

What Gollings did for the cowboy on canvas was matched on 
photographic paper by Charles J., or "Antelope Charlie" Belden. 
Belden made photography an art form whether he was taking pic- 
tures of "cows or cuties," and his views of cowboy life are a 
dramatic record unmatched by lesser artists confined to brush and 
canvas. Indeed, Belden seemed to find no limits in his work 
except for those imposed by nature itself, and all of the outdoors 
could be the subject of the camera as seen by his perceptive and 
sensitive eye.^*^ 

The natural scenery on Belden's Pitchfork Ranch near Mee- 
teetse was frequently the setting for his studies. Wyoming's moun- 
tainous areas, forested hills and gently rolling grasslands were the 
setting for other artists who focused their attention on the wildlife 
which abounded in such areas as Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Big 
Horns, and the Wind Rivers. 

Carl Rungius was born in Germany in 1869 and first came to 
this country in 1894. By the time of his death in 1959 he was 
recognized as an outstanding painter of North American big game 
animals. He made his first trip to Wyoming in 1895 and returned 
frequently in later years. He depicted moose, elk, mountain sheep 
and other wild game in his skillful sculpture and careful painting.^^ 

Other early twentieth century artists also found western wildlife 
to be of special interest. In 1906 James Lippit Clark, a taxider- 
mist and sculptor from the American Museum of Natural History 
in New York City, visited Wyoming. He was dissatisfied with 
having to study animals in eastern cages and wanted to view them 

59James Taylor Forrest, Bill Gollings, Ranahan Artist, (Big Horn: Brad- 
ford Brinton Memorial, 1969), pp. 8-9. 

^^>Casper Times, August 16, 1938; The Cody Enterprise, March 22, 1939; 
Wyoming State Tribune-Eagle, July 22, 1947. 

"iLilian M. Cromelin, "Artists of the Outdoors, Carl Rungius, Huntsman- 
Painter," American Forests, June, 1929; and "Painter hunts for many 
months of the year in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, Denver Times, 
March 25, 1900, p. 22. 



— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 

Charles A. Belden Photograph 
"The Old Fiddler" 

in a natural setting. Notes and sketches he made in the field were 
later used in the creation of habitat groups at his museum. Bronze 
sculptures resulting from his studies were sold at Graham Gallery 
in New York.*^'- 

An officially sanctioned expedition was made to Wyoming in 
1912 by J. D. Figgens for the Colorado Museum of Natural His- 
tory. The object was to collect bear specimens for the museum, 
and with the group went forty-six year-old William R. Leigh, an 
artist from New York who had studied widely in Europe. Fred 
Richards and Ned Frost of Cody were the group's guides. One 
grizzly bear killed on the expedition was painted by Leigh in a 
picture where the bear is shown towering over a fallen guide, 
surrounded by numerous snarling hunting dogs and facing certain 

62Patricia Broder, Bronzes of the West. (New York: Abrams & Co., 
1973), p. 252. 



death at the hands of a rapidly approaching hunter. The picture 
has been described as "one of the greatest hunting scenes in 
American Art."^-^ 

Leigh was well known for his precision in depicting anatomy 
and "Wyoming Bear Hunt" is a good example. He also appre- 
ciated western scenery and is known to have painted landscapes in 
Yellowstone and the Tetons. 

An equal appreciation for the western landscape and for the 
men and animals of that environment is found in the work of Hans 
Kleiber, who spent most of his life in Wyoming. He first came to 
the state in 1907, maintained a home and studio in Dayton and 
died in Sheridan in 1967. Although he worked effectively with 
oils and watercolors, Kleiber was best known for his prints and 

—Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department Photo 

Hans Kleiber 

"•"•Dean Krakel, "Mr. Leigh and his Studio," Montana Magazine of West- 
ern History, July, 1967, pp. 44-45. 


has been referred to as "the Laureate etcher of the Rockies. "*''^ 
Hans Kleiber was one of the most outstanding of Wyoming's resi- 
dent artists and his works were prominent in many of the state's 
early art exhibitions. 

Although Colorado had a formal association of artists''"' as early 
as 1876, Wyoming, by way of contrast, failed to foster any formal 
groups until the days of depression and federal aid to the arts.*'" 
In 1932 the University of Wyoming Art Studio sponsored its first 
annual "Wyoming Artists' Exhibition." Many of the people repre- 
sented had been residents of the state for some time but this was 
one of the first occasions on which their work was assembled for 
a single show. 

University shows continued throughout the 1930s. As early as 
the 1920s, artist colonies were formed in the Tetons and in Cody."^ 
It was the Federal Government, however, which provided the 
greatest boon to artist activity in Wyoming. During the depression 
various relief programs helped provide jobs for artists. In Wyo- 
ming, the projects were relatively small but the creation of art 
galleries around the state provided an important exhibition service 
for painters and sculptors. 

The first of these galleries was opened in 1936 and by 1942 
there were ten in the state located in Laramie, Torrington, New- 
castle, Sheridan, Casper, Riverton, Lander, Rawhns, Rock Springs, 
and Evanston. Other federal programs provided employment for 
artists in the form of commissions to paint murals to decorate 
federal buildings in Kemmerer, Worland, Powell, GreybuU, Riv- 
erton, and Yellowstone Park.''^ 

Thomas Hart Benton once characterized the middle western 
states with "the most complete denial of aesthetic sensibility that 
has probably ever been known. "*''' And, except for the many 
artists who visited Wyoming, this would almost seem to be true. 
However, the present study has excluded the pioneer artisans and 
craftsmen such as saddle makers and metal workers who gave 
aesthetic qualities to many items in everyday use, a discussion of 

64James Taylor Forrest, Hans Kleiber, Artist of the Big Horns, (Big 
Horn: The Bradford Brinton Memorial, 1968); see also obituary in Sher- 
idan Press, December 9, 1967. 

65Pat Trenton, Harvey Otis Young, pp. 6-7. 

66For an introduction to this subject see, H. R. Dieterich and Jacqueline 
Petravage, "New Deal Art in Wyoming: Some Case Studies," Annals of 
Wyoming, Spring 1973, pp. 53-67. 

(iTRock Springs Daily Rocket, April 6, 1940. 

^^Sheridan Press, September 22, 1938 and Cody Enterprise, November 
22, 1938. 

69j_ B Smith, "Art Galleries: Wyoming's small-town educational enter- 
prise," The Clearing House, February, 1942, pp. 351-353; see also. Dieterich 
and Petravage, "New Deal Art in Wyoming . . ." 


ethnographic or Indian art, petroglyphs and pictographs, is not 
included, and only a few photographers have been mentioned.^" 

For a one -hundred -year period from the time Alfred Jacob 
Miller first came to the area that is now Wyoming until the inau- 
guration of New Deal aid to art in the mid 1930s, the state was 
artistically the land of the itinerant. Most painting in the state 
was done by visitors and although many of them made numerous 
trips west, most of their experiences in Wyoming were fleeting. 
Altogether their works provide part of a rich artistic heritage for 
the area and when viewed as a whole they serve as a microcosm of 
Western art and Western history. 

''^OF. Gardner Clough, "Exhibit of Wyoming Art in New York Impres- 
sive," Casper Tribune Herald, June 7, 1936; for biographical information on 
many of Wyoming's artists in the 1930's see, Wills, "Artists of Wyoming." 

100 YEARS AGO 101 

Focus of this issue of Annals of Wyoming is on events of one hundred 
years ago, the period being emphasized in Wyoming during the Bicentennial 
year. The cover photograph is the Seal of the Territory of Wyoming. It 
was in use from 1869 to 1890, when Wyoming became the forty-fourth state 
of the Union, and was the official emblem of the Territory in 1876. The 
photograph was provided by the Wyoming State Archives and Historical 

As is well known, the music on Tuesday, the "Centennial 
Fourth," will be by the now famous Second Cavalry Band. Mr. 
Sullivan has brought this band to a standard, not only higher than 
anything before known in this country, but little less than the best 
known organizations in the East. It may be interesting to know 
the component parts of this small musical brigade. They are as 
follows: One picolo, one E flat clarinet, five B flat clarinets, one 
E flat comet, four 8 flat comets, one E flat trumpet of the most 
improved kind, one solo sax horn in E flat, four accompaniment 
alto homs, three trombones, one baritone, one euphonium, two 
bass tubas, side drum, bass drum, and cymbals. Mr. Sullivan has 
impressed new vitality into the band, and his efforts have received 
the most enthusiastic and hearty support from his officers, with 
dilligent and painstaking attention from the musicians. The band 
will be present during the entire day on the Fourth, and will close 
the festivities with an open air concert in the evening, for which an 
ambitious and varied programme has been prepared. — Laramie 
Daily Sentinel July 2, 1876 

The citizens of Green River City have made the most liberal 
arrangements for the celebration of the Centennial 4th of July, at 
the county seat of Sweetwater County. Invitations have been 
extended to all the people along the line of that county from 
Rawlins to Evanston. 

A fine shady place has been selected on the island near the 
bridge crossing Green River. Prizes for humorous races were 
arranged. It is a picnic free to all. Music and all kinds of amuse- 
ments will lend their enchantments on the occasion. The Declara- 
tion of Independence will be read by Col. Brownson, and an 
oration by J. W. Stillman. Fireworks in the evening, followed by 
a ball, and a supper at the Ward House, will end the festivities of 
the day. 

A full report of the incidents of the day will be forwarded by 
your correspondent if of sufficient interest to your readers. 

Enough at present. Laramie Daily Sentinel July 4, 1876 










.« or ^.m .ore....,-. ..v...rn/' '•....-•. r.,t«r "tH. .e^^E^ 


J, B. LirnxcoTT CO-MrA>-Y 

Captain King's Centennial year 
Cook at 7ort jCaramie, Wyoming 


Paul L. Hedren 

Captain Charles King, the soldier-novehst, left us many valuable 
accounts of 19th century army life. Although most of the nearly 
sixty books he penned were fictional in nature, an identifiable 
thread of fact always was woven into those stories. For example, 
many of King's fictional characters were modeled after real-life 
counterparts. This was especially true in some of his earlier works, 
where Fifth Cavalry friends and associates became the heroes and 
villains that promenaded through story after story. Some of King's 
sketches were autobiographical in nature; he merely substituted 
the fictional Mr. Billings for himself. Nearly all his books had 
settings and scenery patterned after real places. This quality is 
especially apparent in King's "Laramie;" or, The Queen of Bed- 
lam. In this 277-page novel, readers are given an interesting and 
accurately detailed tour of one of the most famous of all frontier 
outposts. Fort Laramie. And what is more, that examination 
comes when Fort Laramie was at its pinnacle of strategic impor- 
tance — the summer of the Centennial Year, 1876. 

Although Charles King was never actually stationed at Fort 
Laramie, he had many opportunities to examine the post. His 
first visit probably was in 1876, the very time he writes about in 
Laramie. During that year he passed through several times with 
the Fifth U. S. Cavalry Regiment as they moved to the field of 
operations against the hostile Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Then 
from late 1876 to mid-1878, he was with the Fifth at its head- 
quarters station. Fort D. A. Russell. King was adjutant of the 
regiment and in this official capacity, he no doubt had many 
opportunities to call at Fort Laramie, either on business or socially. 
King's visits, frequent or infrequent as may be the case, were suf- 
ficient for him to fully examine the post. He certainly walked the 
grounds, and he had to have been in many of the fort's buildings 
because his descriptions of them are so precise. 

(Engraving opposite page) 
— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 
Title Page of First Edition of "Laramie;" or. The Queen of Bedlam 


What follows are samplings of Captain King's look at Fort 
Laramie, including examinations of the buildings, the locality and 
the military situation in 1876. All have been gleaned from the 
1889 first edition of "Laramie;" or, The Queen of Bedlam. For 
reference, pagination has been incorporated into the text and is 
identified with parentheses. 

For those unfamiliar with the setting of Fort Laramie, it is 
situated in the picturesque Laramie River valley of southeastern 
Wyoming, about a mile from the confluence of that stream and the 
North Platte River. King describes the scene in early spring: 

The snow had gone from all the foot-hills and had long since dis- 
appeared in the broad river bottom. It was fast going from the 
neighboring mountains, too — -both the streams told plainly of that, 
for while the Platte rolled along in great, swift surges under the 
Engineer Bridge, i its smaller tributary — the "Larmie," as the soldiers 
called it — came brawling and foaming down its stony bed and sweep- 
ing around the back of the fort with a wild vehemence that made 
some of the denizens of the south end decidedly nervous. The rear 
windows of the commanding officer's house looked out upon a rush- 
ing torrent, and where the surgeon lived, at the south-west angle, the 
waters lashed against the shabby old board fence that had been built 
in by-gone days, partly to keep the children and chickens from tum- 
bling into the stream when the water was high, partly to keep out 
the marauding coyotes (5) when the water was low. South and west 
the bare, gray-brown slopes shut out the horizon and limited the view. 
Eastward lay the broad, open valley beyond the confluence of the 
streams, — bare and level along the crumbling banks, bare and rolling 
along the line of the foot-hills. Northward the same brown ridges 
were tumbling up like a mammoth wave a mile or so beyond the 
river, while between the northen limits of the garrison proper and the 
banks of the larger stream there lay a level "flat," patched here and 
there with underbrush, and streaked by a winding tangle of hoof- and 
wheel-tracks that crossed and re-crossed each other, yet led, one and 
all, to the distant bridge that spanned the stream, and thence bore 
away northward like the tines of a pitchfork, the one to the right 
going over the hills a three days' march to the Indian agencies . . ., 
the other leading more to the west around a rugged shoulder of bluff, 
and then stretching away due north for the headwaters of the Nio- 
brara and the shelter of the jagged flanks of Rawhide Butte. Only in 
shadowy clusters up and down the stream was there any sign of 
timber. Foliage, of course, there was none. Cottonwood and willow 
in favored nooks along the Platte were just beginning to shoot forth 
their tiny pea-green tendrils in answer to the caressing touch of the 
May-day sunshine (6). 

Prominent on the fort's western horizon is the majestic Laramie 
Peak. It rises to 10,274 feet in elevation and is situated in the 
midst of the Laramie Range of mountains, the "Black Hills" to the 
early Oregon and California bound pioneers. Says King: 

iThe "Engineer Bridge" mentioned here is the 1875 army bridge on the 
North Platte River. This bridge has been restored by the National Park 
Service and today is part of Fort Laramie National Historic Site. 



— Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department Photo 

Brigadier General Charles King 

April had been a month of storm and bluster and huge, wanton wastes 
of snow, whirling and drifting down from the bleak range that veiled 
the valley of the Laramie from the rays of the westering sun; and any 
one who chose to stroll to the bluffs on that side . . . could easily see 
the gleaming, glistening sides of the grand old peak, fully forty miles 
away, — all one sheen of frosty white that still defied the melting 
rays (7). 

Fort Laramie was under a peculiar strain in 1876. She had 
become the haven for the many "refugees" of that summer's cam- 
paign. All the army dependents, not only from the original pre- 
campaign Fort Laramie, but also from many of the other units 
called to the scene, had been left behind in the care of a skeleton 
garrison. Says Captain King: 

Every set of officers' quarters, therefore, was crowded to its full 
capacity, and a thing that never before had happened in the chron- 
icles of the old frontier post was now a matter of course. Even 
"Bedlam," the ramshackle, two-story frame rookery, once sacred to 
the bachelor element, had now two families quartered therein . . .(15). 


Further, he reports: 

The compact little post of Fort Laramie looked hardly big enough to 
contain its population .... The little quadrangle, surrounded as its 
was by quarters and houses of every conceivable pattern except that 
which was modern and ornamental, was all alive with romping chil- 
dren and with sauntering groups of ladies chatting with the few cava- 
liers who happened to be available (33). 

The single most recognizable building at Fort Laramie, even 
today, is the bachelor officers quarters, nicknamed "Bedlam." 
This BOQ was the very first building erected by the army after 
they bought the fort site from the American Fur Company in 1849. 
The pet name "Bedlam" originated early in the fort's history. It 
refers to the confusion and uproar that radiated from the building 
when bachelor officers used it. Someone supposedly compared 
such chaos to similar pandemonium which issued from the Beth- 
lehem Hospital in London, England — an insane asylum. In the 
following passages from Queen of Bedlam, disregarded the For- 
rests, the Posts and the other people mentioned. Instead, read one 
of the finest contemporary reports on the building and its use that 
is known to exist. 

. . . the Forrests had moved into "Bedlam" in the same hallway with 
the family of Lieutenant Post, also refugees from Robinson; but while 
the Posts occupied rooms on the lower floor, the Forrests took the 
four chambers overhead. The young cavalry officers were the occu- 
pants up to the outbreak of the campaign, but all their furniture and 
"traps" were summarily moved to the quartermaster's storehouse by 
order of the commanding officer, — and one trip of one wagon did 
the entire job, — for the emergency was one that called for action, 
and Major Miller was a man to meet it. The Forrests and the Posts, 
therefore, were (18) now sole occupants of the south end of "Bed- 
lam," and Lieutenant McLean's two rooms were on the ground-floor 
of the north end. The hall-ways ran entirely through from east to 
west, giving on the west side into court-yards separated from each 
other by a high board fence and completely enclosed by one of similar 
make. On the east side, fronting the roadway, were broad verandas 
on both first and second floors, and these were common property of 
the occupants of both halls. By the rear or west door they could not 
pass from one hall to the other, on account of the intervening fence. 
By the east door the veranda on either story found a convenient 
thoroughfare. The Forrests and Posts . . . had established a dining- 
room in common on the ground-floor of the south end, and the 
temporary kitchen was knocked up in the back yard. The south 
division, therefore, contained a lively colony of women and children; 
the north halls, only empty rooms and two lone bachelors (19). 

From the back, or west side, one looked 

. . . out through the side-Hght upon the unpicturesqueness of the yards, 
the coal- and wood-sheds, the rough, unpainted board fences; the dis- 
mantled gate, propped in most inebriate style against its bark-covered 
post, and clinging thereto with but a single hinge (230). 

It is continually evident in Laramie that Charles King had a fine 
grasp of the physical layout of the old post. His characters 


"tramped about in the deep snow around the laundresses' quar- 
ters;" utiUzed the "clubroom at the store;" "walked past the old 
ordnance storehouse and the lighted windows of the trader's estab- 
lishment;" hid in the "shadows of the quartermaster's warehouse;" 
and viewed and used the countless other structures that comprised 
the fort. 

King, too, had a keen understanding of the dangerous Indian 
situation that existed through 1876. One of Queen of Bedlam's 
principal characters 

. . . had a large cattle-range farther to the south, beyond the Chug- 
water and comparatively removed from the scene of Indian hostility 
and depredation; but such had become the laxity of discipline on the 
part of the bureau officials, or such was their dread of their turbulent 
charges at the reservations, that, from time to time, marauding parties 
of young warriors had been raiding from the agencies during the 
month of April, crossing the Platte River and dashing down on the 
outskirts of the great cattle-herds south of Scott's Bluff and in the 
valleys of Horsehead and Bear Creeks. One party had even dared to 
attack the ranches far up the Chugwater Valley at the crossing of the 
Cheyenne road; another had ridden all around Fort Laramie, fording 
the Platte above and below; and several of them had made away with 
dozens of head of cattle . . .(46). 2 

You have probably wondered just who was the "Queen of 
Bedlam." According to King, she was a winsome young lady, 
falsely accused of stealing large sums of money at Forts Robinson, 
Nebraska, and Laramie. She never was overly worried, however, 
about her predicament. Instead, her concern lay in her changing 
status within the cliques of the garrison. She commented, "It is 
something to be a queen, if it's only the queen of Bedlam (45)." 
Incidentally, she was cleared of all charges. 

"Laramie;" or, The Queen of Bedlam has proven to be one of 
Captain King's most enduring novels. First published in 1889, it 
was reissued by the J. B. Lippincott Company of Philadelphia in 
1890, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1900, 1905 and 1909. If reprinted 
today, no doubt it would again be well accepted by readers. 

One could examine any of King's sixty-odd books and discover 
the same or similar merits demonstrated in Laramie. 

^King's passage here is drawn on fact. Fort Laramie's garrison, most 
notably Company K of the Second Cavalry Regiment, was continually 
chasing hostile Indian raiders south of the North Platte River. A record 
of events for Company K in 1876, can be found in The Fort Laramie 
Cavalry Barracks Furnishings Study, by Don Rickey, Jr. and James W. 
Sheire, (Washington: National Park Service, 1969), pp. 62-63. In this 
regard, 1876 was not an exceptional year. On February 9, 1874, for 
example. Lieutenant Levi H. Robinson, 14th U. S. Infantry, and another 
soldier were killed by Indians near Laramie Peak, located some thirty miles 
south and west of the North Platte. All activity by the Sioux south of the 
North Platte River was in direct violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 


Some historians in this century have been quick to judge King's 
works as little more than romantic Victorian fiction, while others 
consider this evaluation incorrect and unfair. Western historian 
and King biographer Don Russell best sums up the argument in 
favor of King, calling the Captain's contributions not art, but 
photography.'^ "Laramie;" or, the Queen of Bedlam bears this out 
with its vivid picture of Fort Laramie in 1876. 

•'•Don Russell, "Captain Charles King, Chronicler of the Frontier," The 
Westerners Brand Book (Chicago), March, 1952, p. 1. 

;iuHe25, 1876 

In this centennial year of the Battle of the Little Big Horn a great 
deal of Custer material is being published. Some of it already is 
familiar to Western and Custer historians, while some of it, if not 
new, has been seen only rarely. 

It is hoped that the three short Custer articles which follow are 
unique. Although none are being published here for the first time, 
all of them have probably had a fairly limited audience and will be of 
interest to Annals of Wyoming readers. 

"Custer's Last Battle," by Captain Charles King, is republished here 
through the courtesy of Frank Mercatante and Custer Ephemera 
Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan. One thousand copies were 
printed in 1975 as Custer Ephemera Publication Number Eight. 

"General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, June 25, 
1876," by Elizabeth B. Custer, Reprint #1, Custer Ephemera Society, 
limited to 300 copies, bore the original imprint: New-York. Printed, 
Not Published. 1897. It is also used here with Mr. Mercatante's 

A typescript copy of the Sheridan News feature story, "Is General 
Custer Alive Today?" is filed in the WPA manuscript collection at the 
Historical Research and Publications Division of the Wyoming State 
Archives and Historical Department. 

By Captain Charles King, U.S.A. 

Introduction by 
Paul L. Hedren 

"Custer's Last Battle," by Captain Charles King (1844-1933), has gar- 
nered very little attention through the years from the Custer and Charles 
King enthusiasts. And this is surprising considering that no other military 
writer was better respected and had as large a following as did King during 
the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. 

Charles King was a most remarkable man. His military career spanned 
over seventy years. Following graduation from the United States Military 
Academy in 1866, he served first with the 1st Artillery Regiment, and then 
with the 5th U. S. Cavalry. He was wounded in combat against Apaches 
at Sunset Pass, Arizona, in 1874. He campaigned on the Northern Plains 
in 1876, and participated in several engagements, including Slim Buttes, and 
the famous "Starvation March." Recurring problems with his Apache 
wounds, however, forced his retirement from the regular army in 1879. 

Retirement for Charles King did not mean inactivity. By 1880, he had 
embarked upon a three-fold career that included work as a professor at the 
University of Wisconsin, instructor and officer in the Wisconsin State Mili- 
tia, and writer of military history and fiction. Because of his continued 
association with the militia after his retirement from the U. S. Army, at the 
time of his death he had become one of few men entitled to wear American 
service medals from the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish American War. 
Phliippine Insurrection, and the Victory Medal from World War I. 

King's greatest lasting tribute though, comes as a result of his literary 
skill. He penned nearly sixty books and several hundred magazine articles 


during his lifetime. Most all dealt with the "Old Army" of the late 19th 
Century. The quality of his work did vary, but most of it was very good 
and is surprisingly readable yet today. 

The article "Custer's Last Battle" was published in the August, 1890, 
Harper's New Monthly Magazine. In it. Captain King provides readers 
with a good review of the 1870's Indian hostilities. He analyzes briefly the 
inept government Indian policy. He examines the Sioux war culture that 
equated manhood with bloodthirsty killing. Then he discusses the military 
campaign of 1876, with special emphasis, of course, on the Custer move- 
ments and battle. 

Captain King always had good words for the Seventh Cavalry Regiment. 
In his book Campaigning with Crook, for instance, he remarked that there 
was something in their snap and style that identified them at once, without 
need of fluttering guidon or stirring trumpet. He expounds in a similarly 
flattering manner in "Custer's Last Battle." King had little praise for Major 
Reno however, and the implication is apparent that if blame should be 
directed at anyone for the tragedy at the Little Big Horn, most of it should 
go to that officer. This is an observation that carries considerable weight 
with this reviewer, especially when we remember that King taught military 
tactics for many years at such schools as West Point, the University of 
Wisconsin, and at private military academies. 

"Custer's Last Battle" has long deserved a wider circulation. It is an 
interesting examination of America's most famous Indian fight, written by 
a perceptive contemporary. It is a tribute to Frank Mercatante for making 
this reprinting possible. 

It is hard to say how many years ago the Dakotas of the upper 
Mississippi, after a century of warring with the Chippewa nation, 
began to swarm across the Missouri in search of the buffalo, and 
there became embroiled with other tribes claiming the country 
farther west. Dakota was the proper tribal name, but as they 
crossed this Northwestern Rubicon into the territory of unknown 
foemen they bore with them a title given them as far east as the 
banks and bluffs of the Father of Waters. The Chippewas had 
called them for years "the Sioux" (Soo), and by that strange 
un-Indian sounding title is known to this day the most numerous 
and powerful nation of red people - warriors, women, and chil- 
dren - to be found on our continent. 

They were in strong force when they launched out on their 
career of conquest west of the Missouri. The Yellowstone and its 
beautiful and romantic tributaries all belonged to the Absarakas, 
or Crows; the rolling prairies of Nebraska were the homes of the 
Pawnees; the pine-crested heights of the Black Hills were claimed 
as the head-quarters of the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes; the west- 
em slopes of the Big Horn range and the broad valleys between 
them and the Rockies were owned by the Shoshones, or Snakes; 
wild roving bands of Crees swarmed down along the north shore 
of the Missouri itself. 

With each and all of these, with the Chippewas behind them, 
and eventually with the white invaders, the Dakotas waged relent- 
less war. They drove the Pawnees across the Platte far into 
Kansas; they whipped the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes out of the 

JUNE 25, 1876 111 

Arkansas; they fought the Shoshones back into the Wind River 
Valley, with orders never again to cross the "dead line" of the Big 
Horn River; and they sent the Crows "whirling" up the valley 
of the Yellowstone (which they proceeded to call the Elk); and 
when our great war broke out in 1861 they lent valuable aid and 
comfort to the rebellion by swooping down on our settlements in 
Minnesota without the faintest warning, and slaughtering hundreds 
of defenceless women and children, from whom they were begging 
or stealing but the day before. General Sully, with a strong com- 
mand, was sent to give them a severe lesson in payment for their 
outrages, and he marched far into their territory, and fought them 
wherever they would assembly in sufficient force to block his way, 
but it did no lasting good. When '66 came, and our emigrants 
began settling up the West, they found the Sioux more hostile 
and determined than ever. The army was called on to protect the 
settlers, and to escort the surveyors of the transcontinental rail- 
ways. Not a stake was driven, not an acre cleared, except under 
cover of the rifles of the regulars, and while the nation seemed 
rejoicing in unbroken peace and increasing prosperity, its little 
army was having anything but a placid time of it on the frontier. 
In the ten years that immediately preceded the centennial celebra- 
tion at Philadelphia, the cavalry regiments had no rest at all; they 
were on the war-path winter and summer; and during those ten 
years of "peace" more officers of the regular army were killed or 
died of wounds received in action with the Indians than the British 
army lost in the entire Crimean war, with its bloody battles of the 
Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, and the assaults on Sebastopol. The 
Indians were always scientific fighters, but when, in '74 and '75, 
they succeeded in arming themselves with breech-loaders and mag- 
azine rifles, the Sioux of the Northern plains became foemen far 
more to be dreaded than any European cavalry. 

Treaties had been made and broken. A road had been built 
through the heart of the country they loved the best - the north- 
eastern slope and foot-hills from the Big Horn to the Yellowstone; 
and far up in this unsettled region, surrounded by savages, little 
wooden stockaded forts had been placed and garrisoned by piti- 
fully small detachments of cavalry and infantry. From Fort 
Laramie down on the Platte far up to the rich and populous 
Gallatin Valley of Montana only those little forts, Reno, Phil 
Kearny, and C. F, Smith, guarded the way. One day vast hordes 
of Sioux gathered in the ravines and canons around Phil Kearny. 
Machpealota (Red Cloud) was their leader. They sent a small 
party to attack the wood-choppers from the fort, who were working 
with their little escort. Two companies of infantry and one of 
cavalry went out to the rescue. These were quickly surrounded 
and hemmed in, then slowly massacred. After that for ten long 
years the Sioux held undisputed sway in their chosen country. 
Our forts were burned and abandoned. The Indian allies of the 


Black Hills, and down to the head waters of the Kaw and the 
Dakotas joined hands with them, and a powerful nation or con- 
federacy of nearly 60,000 souls ruled the country from the Big 
Horn River on the northwest down to the Union Pacific Railway. 
No longer dared they go south of that. Taking with them the 
Cheyennes and Arrapahoes, who had intermarried with them, the 
Sioux fell back to the North Platte and the territory beyond. From 
there they sent raiding parties in every direction. One Secretary 
of the Interior after another had tried the experiment of feeding, 
clothing, bribing them to be good. Agencies and reservations were 
established at convenient points. Here the old chiefs, the broken- 
down men, and the non-combatant women and children made their 
permanent homes, and here the old and vigorous young chiefs and 
warriors, laughing at the credulity of the Great Father, filled up 
their pouches and parfleches with rations and ammunition, then 
went whooping off on the war path against the whites wherever 
found, and came back scalp-laden to the reservation when they 
needed more cartridges or protection from the pursuing soldiery, 
who could fire on them only when caught outside the lines. 

Two great reservations were established southeast of the Black 
Hills in the valley of the White River. One of these was the 
bailiwick of the hero of the Phil Kearny massacre, old Red Cloud, 
and here were gathered most of his own tribe (the Ogalallas) and 
many of his chiefs; some "good," Uke Old -Man -Afraid -of -his - 
Horses and his worthy son, but most of them crafty, cunning, 
treacherous, and savage, like Red Dog, Little-Big-Man, American 
Horse, and a swarm of various kinds of Bulls and Bears and 
Wolves. Further down the stream, twenty miles away, were the 
head-quarters of the Brules, Spotted Tail's people, and "Old Spot" 
was loyal to the backbone, though powerless to control the move- 
ments of the young men. Other reservations there were along the 
Missouri, and into these reservations the Department of the Inter- 
ior strove to gather all the Sioux nation, in the vague hope of 
keeping them out of mischief. 

But the young Indian takes to mischief of that description as the 
young duck to the water. The traditions of his people tell of no 
case where respect was accorded to him who had not killed his 
man. Only in deeds of blood or battle could he hope to win 
distinction, and the vaccillating policy of the government enabled 
him to sally forth at any time and return at will to the reservations, 
exhibiting to the admiring eyes of friends and relations the dripping 
scalps of his white victims. The fact that the victims were shot 
from ambush, or that the scalps were solely those of helpless 
women and children, detracted in no wise from the value of the 
trophies. The perpetrator had won his spurs according to the 
aboriginal code, and was a "brave" henceforth. 

But there were those who never would come in, and never 
signed a treaty. Herein they were entitled to far more respect 

JUNE 25, 1876 113 

than those who came, saw and conquered - by fraud; and one of 
those who persistently refused, and whose standard was a rallying 
point for the disaffected and treacherous of every tribe, was a 
shrewd "medicine chief" of the Uncapapas, a seer, prophet, states- 
man, but in no sense a war chief, the now celebrated Tatonka-e- 
Yotanka - Sitting Bull. 

Far out in the lovely fertile valleys of the Rosebud, the Tongue, 
the Little Big Horn, and the Powder rivers. Sitting Bull and his 
devoted followers spent their days. Sheltered from storm and 
tempest by the high bluffs through long, hard winters, living in the 
midst of untold thousands of buffalo, elk, mountain sheep, ante- 
lope, and deer, rejoicing in the grandest scenery on the continent, 
and in a chmate that despite its rigor during the midwinter months 
is unparalleled for life-giving qualities, it is no wonder they loved 
and clung to it - their "Indian story land" - as they did to no other. 
But here flocked all the renegades from other tribes. Here came 
the wild and untamable Ogalalla, Brule, Minneconjou, San Arc, 
Uncapapa, Blackfoot; here were all warriors welcomed; and from 
here time and again set forth the expeditions that spread terror to 
settler and emigrant, and checked the survey of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad. 

Eighteen hundred and seventy -five found trouble everywhere. 
White settlers swarmed in the Black Hills in search of gold. 
Ogalallas and Brules stole their stock and killed their herders, 
claiming that the land was theirs and the whites were invaders. 
Sitting Bull's ranks swarmed with recruits from far to the southeast. 
The Interior Department found it useless to temporize. Orders 
were given to the army to bring him in or "snuff him out." Early 
in March, '76, General George Crook, famous for his successes 
with the Indians in Oregon and Arizona, was started up into the 
Sioux country with a strong force of cavalry and infantry. On 
"Patrick's Day in the morning," long before he was anywhere near 
Sitting Bull himself, his advance struck a big Indian village deep in 
the snows of the Powder River. It was 30° below zero; the troops 
were faultily led by the officer to whom he had intrusted the duty, 
and the Sioux developed splendid fighting qualities under a new 
and daring leader, "Choonka-Witko" — Crazy Horse. Crook's 
advance recoiled upon the main body, practically defeated by the 
renegades from the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies. Early in 
May, warned by this lession, three great expeditions pushed for- 
ward into the "Indian story land," where by this time full six 
thousand warriors had rallied around Sitting Bull. From the south 
came General Crook, with nearly twenty-five hundred men. From 
the east marched General Terry, with almost as many infantry and 
cavalry as had Crook, and a few light pieces of artillery. Down the 
Yellowstone from the west General Gibbon led a little band of 
long-trained frontier soldiers, scouting by the way, and definitely 
"locating" the Indians over on the Rosebud before forming his 


junction with General Terry near the mouth of the Tongue. If 
Sitting Bull had been alive to the situation, Gibbon's small force 
could never have finished that perilous advance, though they might 
have stood and defended themselves; but Bull was not a general; 
his talents lay elsewhere. 

Early in June Crook's command was on the northeast slope of 
the Big Horn, and General Sheridan, planning the whole campaign, 
saw with anxiety that vast numbers of Indians were daily leaving 
the reservations south of the Black Hills and hurrying northwest- 
ward around Crook to join Sitting Bull. The Fifth Regiment of 
Cavalry was then sent up by rail from Kansas to Cheyenne, and 
marched rapidly to the Black Hills to cut off these re-enforcements. 
The great mass of the Indians lay uneasily between Crook at the 
head waters of Tongue River and Terry and Gibbon near its 
mouth, watching every move, and utterly cutting off every attempt 
of the commanders to communicate with each other. They wor- 
ried Crook's pickets and trains, and by mid-June he determined to 
pitch in and see what force they had. On June 17th the General 
grappled with the Sioux on the bluffs of the Rosebud. He had 
several hundred Crow allies. The stirring combat lasted much of 
the day; but long before it was half over Crook was fighting on the 
defensive and cooly withdrawing his men. He had found a hornet's 
nest and knew it was no place for so small a command as his. 
Pulling out as best he could, he fell back to the Tongue, sent for 
the entire Fifth Cavalry and all his available infantry, and lay on 
his arms until they could reach him. He had not got within sight 
of the great Indian village — city it should be called — of Sitting 

Meantime Terry and Gibbon sent their scouts up stream. Major 
Reno, with a strong battaUon of the Seventh Cavalry, left camp on 
the Yellowstone to take a look up toward the Cheetish or Wolf 
Mountains. Sitting Bull and his people — men, women, and chil- 
dren — after their successful defence of the approaches to their 
home on the Rosebud on June 17th, seem to have bethought 
themselves of roomier and better quarters over in the broader 
valley of the Little Big Horn, the next stream to the west. Their 
"village" had stretched for six miles down the narrow canon of 
the Rosebud; their thousands of ponies had eaten off all the grass; 
they were victorious, but it was time to go. 

Coming up the Rosebud, Major Reno was confronted by the 
sight of an immense trail turning suddenly west and crossing the 
great divide over toward the setting sun. Experienced Indian 
fighters in his command told him that many thousand Indians had 
passed there within the last few days. Like a sensible man, he 
turned about and trotted back to report his discovery to his com- 
mander. Then it was that the tragedy of the campaign began. 

At the head of Terry's horsemen was the lieutenant-colonel 
commanding the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry, Brevet Major- 

JUNE 25, 1876 115 

General George A. Custer, United States Army, a daring, dashing, 
impetuous trooper, who had won high honors as a division com- 
mander under Sheridan during the great war of the rebellion, who 
had led his gallant regiment against the Kiowas and the Cheyennes 
on the Southern plains, and had twice penetrated the Sioux country 
in recent campaigns. Experience he certainly had, but there were 
those, superiors and subordinates both, who feared that in dealing 
with so wily and skillful a foe Custer lacked judgement. All had 
not been harmonious in his relations with his commanders in the 
Department of Dakota, nor was there entire unanimity of feeling 
toward him in the regiment itself, but all men honored his unques- 
tioned bravery, and when General Terry decided to send his cav- 
alry at once to "scout the trail" reported by Reno, the command of 
the expedition fell naturally to Custer. 

Terry had promptly arrived at the conclusion that the Indians 
had simply moved their villages over into the valley of the Little 
Big Horn, and his plan was to send Custer along the trail to hold 
and hem them from the east, while he, with all his own and Gib- 
bon's command, pushed up the Yellowstone and Big Horn in 
boats; then, disembarking at the junction of the Big and Little Big 
Horn, to march southward until he struck the Indians on that 
flank. His orders to Custer displayed an unusual mingling of 
anxiety and forbearance. He seems to have feared that Custer 
would be rash, yet shrank from issuing a word that might reflect 
upon the discretion or wound the high spirit of his gallant leader 
of horse. He warned him to "feel" well out toward his left as he 
rode westward from the Rosebud, in order to prevent the Indians 
slipping off southeastward between the column and the Big Horn 
Mountains. He would not hamper him with positive orders as to 
what he must or must not do when he came in presence of the 
enemy, but he named the 26th of June as the day on which he and 
Gibbon would reach the valley of the Little Big Horn, an it was 
his hope and expectation that Custer would come up from the east 
about the same time, and between them they would be able to 
soundly thrash the assembled Sioux. 

But Custer disappointed him in an unusual way. He got there 
a day ahead of time, and had ridden night and day to do it. Men 
and horses were wellnigh used up when the Seventh Cavalry 
trotted into sight of the city on the Little Big Horn that cloudless 
Sunday morning of the 25th. When Terry came up the valley on 
the 26th, it was all over with Custer and his pet troops (companies) 
of the regiment. 

He started on the trail with the Seventh Cavalry, and nothing but 
the Seventh. A battalion of the Second was with Gibbon's col- 
umn; but, luckily for the Second, Custer would [have] none of 
them. Two field guns, under Lieutenant Low, were with Terry, 
and Low begged that he and his guns might be sent, but Custer 
wanted only his own people. He rode sixty miles in twenty-four 


hours. He pushed ahead on the trail with feverish impatience, and 
he created an impression that it was his determination to get to 
the spot and have one battle royal with the Indians, in which he 
and the Seventh should be the sole participants on our side, and 
by consequence the sole heroes. The idea of defeat seems never 
to have occurred to him, despite his experience with old "Black 
Kettle's" bands down on the Washita. 

Only thirty miles away on his left, as he spurred ahead with his 
weary men that Sunday morning, over two thousand soldiers under 
Crook were in bivouac on Goose Creek. Had he "felt" any great 
distance out there the scouts would have met, and Crook would 
eagerly have reenforced him, but he wanted nothing of the kind. 
At daybreak his advance, under Lieutenant Varnum, had come 
upon the scaffold sepulchres of two or three warriors slain in the 
fight of the 1 7th, and soon thereafter sent back word that the valley 
of the Little Horn was in sight ahead, and there were "signs" of 
the village. 

Then it was that Custer made the division of his column. Keep- 
ing with himself the five companies whose commanders were his 
chosen friends and adherents, and leaving Captain Macdougall 
with his troops to guard the mule pack train in rear, he divided 
the six remaining companies between Major Reno and Captain 
Benteen, sending the latter some two miles off to the extreme left, 
while Reno moved midway between. In this order of three parallel 
columns the Seventh Cavalry swept rapidly westward over the 

Unlike the Second, Third, or Fifth Regiment when on Indian 
campaign, Custer's men rode into action with something of the 
pomp and panoply of war that distinguished them around their 
camps. Bright guidons fluttered in the breeze; many of the officers 
and men wore the natty undress uniform of the cavalry. Custer 
himself; his brother. Captain Tom Custer; his adjutant. Lieutenant 
Cook; and his old Army of the Potomac comrade. Captain Myles 
Keogh — were all dressed nearly alike in coats of Indian-tanned, 
beaver-trimmed buckskin, with broad-brimmed scouting hats of 
light color, and long riding-boots. Captain Yates seemed to prefer 
his undress uniform, as did most of the lieutenants in Custer's 
column. The two Custers and Captain Keogh rode their beautiful 
Kentucky sorrel horses, and the adjutant was mounted on his long- 
legged gray. The trumpeters were at the heads of columns with 
their chiefs, but the band of the Seventh, for once, was left behind, 
Custer's last charge was sounded without the accompaniment of 
the rollicking Irish fighting tune he loved. There was no "Garry 
Owen" to swell the chorus of the last cheer. 

Following Custer's trail from the Rosebud, one comes in sight 
of the Little Big Horn, winding away northward to its junction 
with the broader stream. South are the bold cliffs and dark 
canons of the mountains, their foot-hills not twenty miles away. 

JUNE 25, 1876 


North, tumbling and rolling toward the Yellowstone in alternate 
"swale" and ridge, the treeless, upland prairie stretches to the 
horizon. Westward, the eye roams over what seems to be a broad 
flat valley beyond the stream; but the stream itself — the fatal 
"Greasy Grass," as the Sioux called it — is hidden from sight under 
the steep bluffs that hem it in. Coming from the mountains, it 
swings into sight far to the left front, comes rippling toward us 
in its fringe of cottonwoods and willows, and suddenly disappears 
under or behind the huge rolling wave of bluff that stretches right 
and left across the path. For nearly six miles of its tortuous course 
it cannot be seen from the point where Custer drew rein to get his 
first view of the village. Neither can its fringing willows be seen, 
and — fatal and momentous fact — neither could hundreds of the 
populous "lodges" that clustered along its western bank. Eagerly 
scanning the distant "tepees" that lay beyond the northern point 

— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 

This Drawing by Gail Mercatante is the Cover Illustration for "Custer's Last 
Battle," Custer Ephemera Publications 


where the bluff dipped to the stream, and swinging his broad- 
brimmed hat about his head in an ecstasy of soldierly anticipation, 
he shouted: "Custer's luck! The biggest Indian village on the 
continent!" And he could not have seen one-third of it. 

But what he saw was enough to fire the blood of any soldier. 
Far to the northwest and west huge clouds of dust rose billowing 
from the broad valley. Far across the hidden stream could be 
seen the swarming herds of ponies in excited movement. Here, 
there, and everywhere tiny dots of horsemen scurrying away could 
be readily distinguished, and down to the right front, sown along 
what could be seen of the village around that shoulder of bluff, all 
was lively turmoil and confusion; lodges were being hurriedly taken 
down, and their occupants were fleeing from the wrath to come. 
We know now that the warriors whom he saw dashing westward 
were mainly the young men hurrying out to "round up" the pony 
herds; we know now that behind those sheltering bluffs were still 
thousands of fierce warriors eager and ready to meet "Long Hair"; 
we know that the signs of panic and retreat were due mainly to the 
rush to get the women and little children out of the way; ponies 
and dogs, hastily hitched to the dust-raising travois, dragged the 
wondering pappooses and frightened squaws far out over the west- 
ward slopes; but seeing the scurry and panic, Custer seems to have 
attached only one meaning to it. They were all in full retreat. 
The whole community would be on the run before he could strike 
them. Quickly he determined on his course, Reno should push 
ahead, get down into the valley, ford the stream, and attack the 
southern end of the village, while he with his pet companies should 
turn into the long winding ravine that ran northwestward to the 
stream, and pitch in with wild charge from the east. To Reno 
these orders were promptly given. A courier was sent to Benteen, 
far off to the left, notifying him of the "find"; and another galloped 
to Macdougall with orders to hurry up with the pack trains where 
the extra ammunition was carried. Custer knew it would be 

Then the daring commander placed himself at the head of his 
own column, plunged down the slope, and, followed by his eager 
men, was soon out of sight, perhaps out of hearing of what might 
be taking place over in the valley behind the bluffs that rose on 
left higher with every furlong trotted. The last that Reno and his 
people ever saw of them alive was the tail of the column disap- 
pearing in a cloud of dust; then the cloud alone was to be seen 
hanging over their trail like a pall. 

Pushing forward, Reno came quickly to a shallow "cooley" 
(frontierism for gully) that led down through the bluff to the 
stream. A brisk trot brought him to the ford; his troopers plunged 
blithely through, and began to clamber the low bank on the west- 
em shore. He expected from the tenor of his orders to find an 
open, unobstructed valley, down which, five miles away at least, 

JUNE 25, 1876 119 

he could see the lodges of the Indian village. It was with surprise, 
not unmixed with grave concern therefore, that, as he urged his 
horse through the willows and up to the level of the low "bench" 
beyond, he suddenly rode into full view of an immense township, 
whose southern outskirts were not two miles away. Far as he 
could see, the dust cloud rose above the excited villages; herds of 
war ponies were being driven in from the west on a mad run; old 
men, squaws, children, draught ponies, and travois were scurrying 
off toward the Big Horn, and Reno realized that he was in front 
of the assembled warriors of the whole Sioux nation. 

What Custer expected of Reno was, is generally believed, a 
bold, dashing charge into the heart of the village — just such a 
charge as he, Custer, had successfully led at the Washita, though 
it cost the life of Captain Hamilton, and eventually of many others. 
But Reno had no dash to speak of, and the sight that burst upon 
his eyes eliminated any that might be latent. He attacked, but the 
attack was nevertheless spiritless and abortive. Dismounting his 
men, he advanced them as skirmishers across the mile or more of 
prairie, firing as soon as he got within range of the village. No 
resistance of any consequence was made as he pushed northward, 
for the sudden appearance of his command was a total surprise to 
the Uncapapas and Blackfeet, whose villages were farthest south. 
Their scouts had signalled Custer's column trotting down the 
ravine, and those who had not rushed for safety to the rear were 
apparently rushing toward the Brule village in the centre as the 
point which Custer would be apt first to strike. Reno could have 
darted to the south end of the village, it is believed, before his 
approach could have been fairly realized. As it was, slowly and on 
foot, he traversed the prairie without losing a man, and was upon 
the lodges when a few shots were fired from the willows along the 
stream, and some mounted Indians could be seen swooping around 
his left flank. He had had no experience in Indian fighting. He 
simply seemed to feel that with his little command of two hundred 
men he could not drive the whole valley full of warriors, and in 
much perturbation and worry he sounded the halt, rally, and 
mount. Then for a few moments, that to his officers and men must 
have seemed hours, he paused irresolute, not knowing what to do. 

The Indians settled it for him. They well interpreted his hesi- 
tation. "The White Chief was scared"; and now was their chance. 
Man and boy they came tearing to the spot. A few well-aimed 
shots knocked a luckless trooper or two out of the saddle. Reno 
hurriedly ordered a movement by the flank toward the high bluffs 
across the stream to his right rear. He never thought to dismount 
a few cool hands to face about and keep off the enemy. He placed 
himself at the new head of column, and led the backward move. 
Out came the Indians, with shots and triumphant yells, in pursuit. 
The rear of the column began to crowd on the head; Reno struck 
a trot; the rear struck a gallop. The Indians came dashing up on 


both flanks and close to the rear; and, then — then the helpless, 
horribly led troopers had no alternative. Discipline and order 
were all forgotten. In one mad rush they tore away for the 
stream, plunged in, sputtered through, and clambered breathlessly 
up the steep bluff on the eastern shore — an ignominious, inex- 
cusable panic, due mainly to the nerveless conduct of the major 

In vain had Donald Mcintosh and "Benny" Hodgson, two of 
the bravest and best loved officers in the regiment, striven to rally, 
face about, and fight with the rear of column. The Indians were 
not in overpowering numbers at the moment, and a bold front 
would have "stood off" double their force; but with the major on 
the run, and foremost in the run, the lieutenants could no noth- 
ing — but lose their own gallant lives. Mcintosh was surrounded, 
dragged from his horse and butchered close to the brink. Hodgson, 
shot out of saddle, was rescued by a faithful comrade, who plunged 
into the stream with him; but close to the farther shore the Indians 
picked him off, a bullet tore through his body, and the gallant little 
fellow, the pet and pride of the whole regiment, rolled dead into 
the muddy waters. 

Once well up the bluffs, Reno's breathless followers faced about 
and took in the situation. The Indians pursued no further, and 
even now were rapidly withdrawing from range. The major fired 
his pistol at the distant foe in paroxysmal defiance of the fellows 
who had stampede him. He was now up some two hundred feet 
above them, and it was safe — as it was harmless. Two of his best 
officers lay dead down there on the banks below; so, too, lay a 
dozen of his men. The Indians, men and even boys, had swarmed 
all around his people, and slaughtered them as they ran. Many 
more were wounded, but, for the present at least, all seemed safe. 
The Indians, except a few, had mysteriously withdrawn from their 
front. What could that mean? And, then, what could have 
become of Custer? Where, too, were Benteen and Macdougall 
with their commands? 

Over toward the villages, which they could now see stretching 
for five miles down the stream, all was shrill uproar and confusion; 
but northward the bluffs rose still higher to a point nearly opposite 
the middle of the villages — a point some two miles from them — 
and beyond that they could see nothing. Thither, however, had 
Custer gone, and suddenly, crashing through the sultry morning air, 
came the sound of fierce and rapid musketry — whole volleys — then 
one continuous rattle and roar. Louder, fiercer, it grew for full 
ten minutes. Some thought they could hear the ringing cheers of 
their comrades, and were ready to cheer in reply; some thought 
they heard the thrilling charge of the trumpets; many were eager 
to mount and rush to join their colonel, and with him to avenge 
Hodgson and Mcintosh, and retrieve the dark fortunes of their own 
battalion. But, almost as suddenly as it began, the heavy volleying 

JUNE 25, 1876 121 

died away; the continuous rattle broke into scattering skirmish fire, 
then into sputtering shots, then only once in a while some distant 
rifle would crack feebly on the breeze, and Reno's men looked 
wonderingly in each other's faces. There stood the villages plain 
enough, and the firing had begun close under the bluffs, close to 
the stream, and had died way far to the north. What could 
it mean? 

Soon, with eager delight, the little commands of Benteen and 
Macdougall were hailed coming up the slopes from the east. 

"Have you seen anything of Custer?" was the first anxious 

Benteen and Weir had galloped to a point of bluff a mile or 
more to the north, had seen swarms of Indians in the valley below, 
but not a sign of Custer's people. They could expect no aid from 
Custer, then, and there was only one thing left - intrench them- 
selves, and hold out as best they could till Terry and Gibbon should 
arrive. Reno had now seven "troops" and the pack train, abun- 
dant ammunition and supplies. The chances were in his favor. 

Now what had become of Custer? For him and his there was 
none left to tell the story except the Crow scout "Curley," who 
managed to slip away in a Sioux blanket during the thick of the 
fight, and our sources of information are solely Indian. The very 
next year a battalion of the Fifth Cavalry passed the battle-ground 
with a number of Sioux scouts who but a twelvemonth previous 
were fighting there the Seventh Cavalry. Half a dozen of them 
told their stories at different times and in different places, and as 
to the general features of the battle, they tallied with singular 
exactness. These fellows were mainly Brules and Ogalallas. 
Afterward we got the stories of the Uncapapas — most interesting 
of all — and from all these sources it was not hard to trace Custer's 
every move. One could almost portray his every emotion. 

Never realizing, as I believe, the fearful odds against him, believ- 
ing that he would find the village "on the run," and that between 
himself and Reno he could "double them up" in short order, Custer 
had jauntily trotted down to his death. It was a long five-mile ride 
from where he sighted the northern end of the village to where he 
struck its centre around that bold point of bluff, and from the 
start to the moment his guidons whirled into view, and his troopers 
came galloping "front into line" down near the ford, he never 
really saw the great village — never dreaming of its depth and 
extent. Rounding the bluff, he suddenly found himself face to 
face with thousands of the boldest and most skillful warriors of the 
prairies. He had hoped to charge at once into the heart of the 
village, to hear the cheers of Reno's men from the south. Instead 
he was greeted with a perfect fury of flame and hissing lead from 
the dense thicket of willow and cottonwood, a fire that had to be 
answered at once. Quickly he dismounted his men and threw them 
forward on the run, each fourth man holding, cavalry fashion, the 


horses of the other three. The Hne seems to have swept in parallel 
very nearly with the general course of the stream, but to no pur- 
pose. The foe was ten to one in their front. Boys and squaws 
were shooting from the willows ("Oh, we had plenty of guns!" 
said our story-tellers); and worse than that, hundreds of young 
warriors had mounted their ponies and swarmed across the stream 
below him, hundreds more were following and circling all about 
him. And then it was that Custer, the hero of a hundred daring 
charges, seems to have realized that he must cut his way out. 
"Mount!" rang the trumpets, and leaving many a poor fellow on 
the ground, the troopers ran for their horses. Instantly from lodge 
and willow Ogalallas and Brules sprang to horse and rushed to the 
ford in mad pursuit. "Make for the heights!" must have been the 
order, for the first rush was eastward; then more to the left, as they 
found their progress barred. Then, as they reached higher ground, 
all they could see, far as they could see, circling, swooping, yelling 
like demons, and all the time keeping up their furious fire, were 
thousands of the mounted Sioux. Hemmed in, cut off, dropping 
fast from their saddles, Custer's men saw that retreat was impos- 
sible. They sprang to the ground, "turned their horses loose," 
said the Indians, and by that time half their number had fallen. 
A skirmish line was thrown out down the slope, and there they 
dropped at five yards' interval; there their comrades found them 
two days after. Every instant the foe rode closer and gained in 
numbers; every instant some poor fellow bit the dust. At last, on 
a mound that stands at the northern end of a httle ridge, Custer, 
with Cook, Yates, and gallant "Brother Tom," and some dozen 
soldiers, all that were left by this time, gathered in the last rally. 
They sold their lives dearly, brave fellows that they were; but they 
were as a dozen to the leaves of a forest at the end of twenty min- 
utes, and in less than twenty-five — all was over. 

Keogh, Calhoun, Crittenden, had died along the skirmish lines; 
Smith, Porter, and Reily were found with their men; so were the 
surgeons. Lord and De Wolf; so, too, were "Boston" Custer and 
the Herald correspondent; but two bodies were never recognized 
among the slain — those of Lieutenants Harrington and "Jack" 
Sturgis. Down a little "cooley" some thirty men had made a rush 
for their lives; the Sioux had simply thronged the banks shooting 
them as they ran. One trooper — an officer, said the Sioux — man- 
aged to break through their circle, the only white man who did, 
and galloped madly eastward. Five warriors started in pursuit — 
two Ogalallas, two Uncapapas, and a Brule, all well mounted. 
Fear lent him wings, and his splendid horse gained on all but an 
Uncapapa, who hung to the chase. At last, when even this one 
was ready to draw rein and let him go, the hunted cavalryman 
glanced over his shoulder, fancied himself, nearly overtaken, and 
placing the muzzle of his revolver at his ear, pulled the trigger, and 
sent his own bullet through his brain. His skeleton was pointed 

JUNE 25, 1876 123 

out to the officers of the Fifth Cavalry the following year by one 
of the pursuers, and so it was discovered for the first time. Was 
it Harrington? Was it Sturgis? Poor "Jack's" watch was restored 
to his father some two years after the battle, having been traded 
off by Sioux who escaped to the British possessions; but no men- 
tion was made by these Indians of a watch thus taken. Three 
years ago there came a story of a new skeleton found still further 
from the scene. Shreds of uniform and the heavy gilding of the 
cavalry buttons lying near, as well as the expensive filling of several 
teeth, seem to indicate that this too may have been an officer. 
If so, all the missing are now accounted for. Of the twelve troops 
of the Seventh Cavalry, Custer led five that hot Sunday into the 
battle of the Little Big Horn, and of his portion of the regiment 
only one living thing escaped the vengeance of the Sioux. Bleeding 
from many wounds, weak and exhausted, with piteous appeal in 
his eyes, there came straggling into the lines some days after the 
fight Myles Keogh's splendid sorrel horse Comanche. Who can 
ever picture his welcome as the soldiers thronged around the 
gallant charger? To this day they guard and cherish him in the 
Seventh. No more duty does Comanche perform; no rider ever 
mounts him. His last great service was rendered that Sunday in 
'76, and now, sole living relic of Custer's last rally, he spends his 
days with the old regiment. 

But I have said that Sitting Bull was not the inspiration of the 
great victory won by the Sioux. With Custer's people slaughtered, 
the Indians left their bodies to the plundering hands of the squaws, 
and once more crowded upon Reno's front. There were two nights 
of wild triumph and rejoicing in the villages, though not one instant 
was the watch on Reno relaxed. All day of the 26th, they kept 
him penned in the rifle pits, but early on the 27th, with great com- 
motion, the lodges were suddenly taken down, and tribe after tribe, 
village after village, six thousand Indians passed before his eyes, 
making toward the mountains. Terry and Gibbon had come; 
Reno's relic of the Seventh was saved. Together they explored the 
field, and hastily buried the mutilated dead; then hurried back to 
the Yellowstone while the Sioux were hiding in the fastnesses of 
of the Big Horn. Of the rest of the summer's campaign no 
extended mention needed here. The Indians were shrewd enough 
to know that now at least the commands of Crook and Terry would 
be heavily re-enforced, and then the hunt would be relentless. 
Soon as their scouts reported the assembly of new and strong 
bodies of troops upon the Yellowstone and Platte, the great con- 
federation quietly dissolved. Sitting Bull, with many chosen fol- 
lowers, made for the Yellowstone, and was driven northward by 
General Miles. Others took refuge across the Little Missouri, 
whither Crook pursued, and by dint of hard marching and fighting 
that fall and winter many bands and many famous chiefs were 
whipped into surrender. Among these, bravest, most brilliant. 


most victorious of all, was the hero of the Powder River fight on 
Patrick's Day, the warrior Crazy Horse. 

The fame of his exploit had reached the Indian camps along the 
Rosebud before this young chief, with his followers, Ogalalla and 
Brule, came to swell the ranks of Sitting Bull. Again, on the 17th 
of June, he had been foremost in the stirring fight with Crook, and 
when the entire band moved over into the valley of the Little Big 
Horn, and the Brulees, Ogalallas, and Sans Arcs pitched their 
tepees in the chosen ground, the very center of the camp, it is safe 
to say that among the best and experienced fighters, the tribes from 
the Wind River and their neighbors the Cheyennes, no chief was 
so honored and believed in as Crazy Horse. 

In pitching the new camp, the Blackfeet were farthest south — up 
stream; next came the Uncapapas, with their renowned medicine- 
man. Sitting Bull; then the Ogalallas, Brules, and Cheyennes, 
covering the whole "bottom" opposite the shoulder of bluff around 
which Custer hove in sight; farthest north were the Minneconjoux; 
and the great village contained at least six thousand aboriginal 

Now up to this time Sitting Bull had no real claims as a war 
chief. Eleven days before the fight there was a "sun dance." His 
own people have since told us these particulars, and the best story- 
teller among them was that bright-faced squaw of Tatonka-he- 
gle-ska — Spotted Horn Bull — who accompanied the party on their 
Eastern trip. She is own cousin to Sitting Bull, and knows whereof 
she speaks. The chief had a trance and a vision. Solemnly he 
assured his people that within a few days they would be attacked 
by a vast force of white soldiers, but that the Sioux should triumph 
over them; and when the Crows and Crook's command appeared 
on the 17th, it was a partial redemption of his promise. 

Wary scouts saw Reno's column turning back down the Rosebud 
after discovering the trail, and nothing, they judged, would come 
from that quarter. All around Crook's camp on Goose Creek the 
indications were that the "Gray Fox" was simply waiting for more 
soldiers before he would again venture forth. Sitting Bull had no 
thought of new attack for days to come, when, early on the morn- 
ing of the 25th, two Cheyenne Indians who had started eastward at 
dawn came dashing back to the bluffs, and waiving their blankets, 
signalled, "White soldiers — heaps — coming quick." Instantly all 
was uproar and confusion. 

Of course women and children had to be hurried away, the great 
herds of ponies gathered in, and the warrior assembled to meet the 
coming foe. Even as the chiefs were hastening to the council lodge 
there came the crash of rapid volleys from the south. It was 
Reno's attack — an attack from a new and utterly unexpected 
quarter — and this, with the news that Long Hair was thundering 
down the ravine across the stream, was too much for Sitting Bull. 
Hurriedly gathering his household about him, he lashed his pony 

JUNE 25, 1876 125 

to the top of his speed, and fled westward for safety. Miles he 
galloped before he dare stop for breath. Behind him he could 
hear the roar of battle, and on he would have sped but for the 
sudden discovery that one of his twin children was missing. Turn- 
ing, he was surprised to find the firing dying away, soon ceasing 
altogether. In half an hour more he managed to get back to camp, 
where the missing child was found, but the battle had been won 
without him. Without him the Blackfeet and Uncapapas had 
repelled Reno and penned him on the bluffs. Without him the 
Ogalallas, Brules, and Cheyennes had turned back Custer's daring 
assault, then rushed forth and completed the death-gripping circle 
in which he was held. Again had Crazy Horse been foremost in 
the fray, riding in and braining the bewildered soldiers with his 
heavy war club. Fully had his vision been realized, but — Sitting 
Bull was not there. 

For a long time it was claimed for him by certain sycophantic 
followers that from the council lodge he directed the battle; but it 
would not do. When the old sinner was finally starved out of her 
Majesty's territory, and came in to accept the terms accorded him, 
even his own people could not keep straight faces when questioned 
as to the cause of the odd names given those twins - "The-One- 
that-was-taken" and "The-One-that-was-left." Finally it all leaked 
out, and now "none so poor to do him reverence." 

Of course it was his role to assume all the airs of a conqueror, 
to be insolent and defiant to the "High Joint Commission," sent 
the following winter to beg him to come home and be good; but 
the claims of Tatonka-e-Yotanka to the leadership in the greatest 
victory his people ever won are mere vaporings, to be classed with 
the boastings of dozens of chiefs who were scattered over the 
Northern reservations during the next few years. Rain-in-the-Face 
used to brag by the hour that he had killed Custer with his own 
hand, but the other Indians laughed at him. Gall, of the Unca- 
papas, Spotted Eagle, Kill Eagle, Lame Deer, Lone Wolf, and all 
the varieties of Bears and Bulls were probably leading spirits in the 
battle, but the man who more than all others seems to have won 
the admiration of his fellows for skill and daring throughout that 
stirring campaign, and especially on that bloody day, is he who so 
soon after met his death in desperate effort to escape from Crook's 
guards, the warrior Crazy Horse. 


By Audrey J. Hazell 

There he stood, the battle over 
Wounded, without his rider. 
His comrades lying all around, 
Commanche, the sole survivor. 

The smell of death was everywhere. 
He waited, sad, forlorn. 
But he'd done his best, stood his ground. 
The battle? Little Big Horn. 

Where's his faithful soldier friend 
Who was Irish, like the banshee? 
They'd served together in the 7th, 
Captain Keogh and Commanche. 

Captain My Ian recognized him first. 
And with no more arrows or squeezed triggers, 
The Captain led the gentle clayback horse 
To the junction of the rivers. 

The steamer Far West bore him home. 
Seven hundred miles to 
Fort Abe Lincoln, North Dakota, 
Went the last of Company L 

Restored to health and draped in black, 
His dignity regaining. 
As second commander of the regiment, 
He escorted it in its campaigning. 

Like other old, old soldiers 
Came his time to fade away. 
At Fort Mead in 1890, 
Commanche had his final day. 

He "still lives" in the town of Lawrence; 
He's standing without his rider 
At the University of Kansas, 
Commanche, the sole survivor. 

JUNE 25, 1876 127 






June 25, 1876 

New York, 342 West 14th Street, 
June 21, 1897. 
Dear Sir: 

I have been repeatedly requested to answer in detail the article 
of Colonel R. P. Hughes which appeared in the "Journal of the 
Military Service Institution," January, 1896, in which General 
Custer is accused of disobeying orders at the battle of the Little 
Big Horn, where he lost his life. 

Believing that such a reply would prolong an unprofitable and 
an inconclusive discussion of many matters which are not pertinent 
to the one central question, I deem it best to submit a portion of a 
letter written me by an officer who held the closest personal and 
official relations with General Custer during the Civil War. 

After indorsing strongly the opinion of a distinguished officer 
that "the key-note of the magazine article was lacking in the fact 
that no order was produced as evidence to sustain his charge," he 
further adds: "It makes no difference what General Custer's rela- 
tions were with the individuals mentioned in the article. These 
and other statements brought forward as arguments have nothing 
to do with the one question at issue. Did General Custer disobey 
General Terry's orders? If he did, where is and what was the 
order he disobeyed? It has not been produced. Its existence has 
never been shown. General Terry never affirmed it. His papers 
have never shown any reference to it. The only known order in 
the case is General Terry's well-known written order of June 22, 
1876. He was sending against an enemy of unknown numbers and 
in an uncertain location a column of troops which for a time must 
be entirely self-sufficient and liable to come in hostile contact 
before support could be had. General Terry himself was to be out 
of reach for instructions in any emergency. He was sending in 
command an officer of the very highest distinction for trained 
ability, professional experience, practised judgment, personal cool- 
ness and bravery, and every soldierly quality, to whom, after ample 
discussion and mutual conference, he gives, as to one possessing 
his entire confidence, the directions necessary to the guidance of 
such an one commanding a column which General Terry must have 
presumed sufficient for whatever he expected it to meet in any 
considered contingency. That was the order of June 22, 1876. 
It developed General Terry's plan, and was the official record of 


his purpose for the guidance of his subordinate, whose responsi- 
bihty was grounded therein and measured thereby. The reputa- 
tions of both men were concerned in the matter. General Terry 
was not only an officer of high rank and distinguished for ability 
and long service, but he was also a trained man of affairs, and he 
knew what was necessary for his own protection in so important a 
movement, and for his subordinate's protection and guidance. 

"It is impossible that there should have been an order contra- 
vening this one in any part, or in any way modifying it, without 
its leaving a clear record. Any suggestion to the contrary is a 
distinct discredit to both the capacity, training, experience, and 
personal character of General Terry. His order of June 22, 1876, 
directs General Custer to take his regiment and pursue the Indians 
up the Rosebud. Then he says: 'It is, of course, impossible to 
give you any definite instructions in regard to this movement, and 
were it not impossible to do so, the department commander places 
too much confidence in your zeal, energy, and abiUty to wish to 
impose upon you precise orders which might hamper your action 
when nearly in contact with the enemy. He will, however, indicate 
to you his own views of what your action should be, and he desires 
that you should conform to them unless you shall see sufficient 
reasons for departing from them.' 

"Then follow his views and plans, the execution of which, as far 
as they may be possible of execution and subject to chances of all 
war, he commits to a man in whose 'zeal, energy, and ability' he 
places too much confidence 'to wish to impose upon him precise 
orders which might hamper his action when nearly in contact with 
the enemy.' These were Custer's orders up to the moment of his 
coming 'nearly in contact with the enemy.' When did he disobey 
them? When he came nearly in such contact all things were at 
his discretion, and unless he failed to play the soldier and the man 
at that moment, there is no longer a question of disobedience of 

Trusting that this letter will be read by the fair-minded in the 
spirit with which it is written, 

I am very truly yours, 

Elizabeth B. Custer. 

JUNE 25, 1876 129 

Taken from Sheridan News, December 8, 1937 




Could General Custer — the most romantic figure in American 
history — have been alive a little over a year ago? That was the 
question the members of the Sheridan Lions Club were seriously 
considering after hearing George Layman, well known local attor- 
ney, give a talk on the "mystery of the battle of the Little Big 
Horn" at their Tuesday luncheon. 

"I am convinced that Mr. R. E. McNally, a brother attorney, 
talked to General Custer a few days before the 1936 Hardin Custer 
celebration after hearing Mr. McNally's story about the meeting," 
Mr. Layman declared as he closed his address. 

Was Custer Here? 

Mr. Layman used historical records and intriguing coincidents 
[sic] to give his story more than a firm foundation. He succeeded 
so well that soon Sheridan will be playing with the interesting con- 
jecture that Custer himself visited McNally in McNally's office 
one evening about 5:30 o'clock a few days before the scheduled 
celebration of which McNally was committee chairman. 

As Layman retold the story to the Lions Club, McNally was 
about to leave his office for home when an old man arrived and 
asked if he was Mr. McNally, and if he was on the Custer celebra- 
tion committee. When answered in the affirmative, the stranger 
introduced hmiself as Mr. Lindsay. 

"Can you tell me whether or not Mrs. Custer is going to be 
there?" he asked. 

He was told that a special representative has been sent to New 
York to extend the invitation to her and it was thought that she 
likely would accept. 

Knows Mrs. Custer 

"Why? Do you known Mrs. Custer?" McNally questioned him. 

"Yes, I know her," was the answer. 

The Sheridan attorney, then greatly interested, offered to take 
the old man with him to the celebration and see that he met Mrs. 

"Oh no! I don't want to meet Mrs. Custer, I only want to 
see her." 

He went on to tell all about a Custer family reunion held just 
before General Custer started on his last campaign against hostile 


tribes. The man named all who were there, gave their nicknames 
and told of individual traits that only an intimate acquaintance 
could know. 

"You must know something about the battle," McNally urged. 

"Yes, I was there just a few days after the battle. There was 
some talk that the soldiers crossed the river but that was not true. 
They went nearly to it and then turned back." 

Lived Near Battle Field 

But when it came to his personal history, even the skilled ques- 
tioner could glean but little information. This much, the attorney 
did learn. Lindsay called no special place his home but had taken 
a squatter's claim about 60 miles from the battlefield a few weeks 
after the massacre. Later he had sold the place to the railroad for 
a right-of-way at which time he went to California. 

Try as McNally might, he could not get his mysterious caller to 
agree to accompany him to the celebration or to meet Mrs. Custer. 
All the stranger would say was "I'll be there." 

Lindsay left McNally's office and that was the last he was ever 
heard of again. McNally questioned many an old timer and dug 
up all the facts he could about the Custer family reunion. No one 
could be located who had ever heard of a man named "Lindsay" 
but every detail as to the Custer reunion as related by the stranger 
was verified. 

The speaker pointed out that there always has been much con- 
jecture as to whether Custer had been killed. By the time the 
other soldiers got to the battlefield, the bodies of the massacred 
Custer troops were in such a state of decomposition and so muti- 
lated by the victory-mad squaws of the hostiles, that it was almost 
an impossibility to establish identification. 

One Soldier Escaped 

The Indians have repeatedly stated that one soldier escaped 
from the battlefield during the melee but always at the end of their 
story in their bravado and egotism say "but our young men chased 
and killed him." 

It is also historical record that an army reconnoitre party came 
upon a dead cavalry horse in a brush patch about 60 miles from 
the battlefield and just about where the stranger told McNally he 
took his squatter claim. The horse had been shot through the 
eyes. On its body, was the regulation army saddle, bridle, blanket 
and carbine. If the Indians had killed the horse and man, they 
certainly would have taken the saddle, bridle and gun. Layman 
pointed out. From the indications the horse had been deliberately 

The speaker also explained that the average cavalry horse was 
much faster then the grass-fed Indian ponies and had the man got 

JUNE 25, 1876 131 

away the Indians would have had a difficult time to ever overtake 

Makes Silence Plausible 

Layman, in developing his brief, explained that if Custer had 
escaped he would have lived in disgrace — if not court martialed — 
for deserting his troops. And acting upon the report that the 
entire command had been wiped out, the government had estab- 
lished a liberal pension for Mrs. Custer. This would have been 
cancelled upon Custer's return. He would bring his beloved wife 
nothing but disgrace and heartache and would have had the scorn 
of the army which was his very life, had he appeared from the 

At this point in his narrative, Layman skillfully brought his 
enraptured listeners to the man in McNally's office. "Lindsay" 
was the same age as Custer would have been if he was living; his 
general build, looks, complexion and his hair tallied with Custer's 
description. Here was a man who was more than eager to see Mrs. 
Custer — who he knew — but who did not want her to see him — as 
might any husband who loved his wife but never could make his 
identity known. His description of the Custer family reunion must 
have been by a man who was present yet none of the Custer family 
or acquaintances had ever heard of a man named "Lindsay." He 
was not a publicity seeker for he was never heard of again. 

Mrs. Custer was unable to attend the celebration and apparently 
Lindsay did not either. 

Could it have been that Custer did visit McNally's? Could it 
be that Custer is alive today? Layman's presentation of the story 
makes it seem not only possible but also highly probable. 


The Centennial Celebration in Cheyenne 

The committee of arrangements announces the following pro- 
gramme for today's celebration: 

The day will be ushered in by the ringing of bells and firing of 
canon. At sunrise a National salute will be fired. 

At 10 a. m. the procession will be formed at the corner of 
Seventeenth and Eddy streets in the following order: 

Third Cavalry Band 

Co. E 23rd U. S. Infanrty 

1st Cheyenne Light Artillery 

Orators and invited guests 

Pioneer Hook and Ladder Co. 

Durant Steam Fire Engine Co. 

Boys' Hose Co. 

Knights of the Red Cross. 

Knights of Pythias. 

The line of march will be as follows: 

Starting at the corner of Seventeenth and Eddy, thence east on 
Seventeenth to Dodge, north to Eighteenth, west on Eighteenth to 
Thomes, south on Thomes to Seventeenth, east on Seventeenth to 
Eddy, south on Eddy to Sixteenth, along Sixteenth to the Lake, 
where the remainder of the festivities will take place. 

The exercises will consist of: 

1. Music. 

2. Prayer by Rev. F. W. Hillard. 

3. Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by Hon. E. P. 


4. Music. 

5. Oration, by Hon. Thos. J. Street. 

6. Music. 

7. Oration, by Hon. Wm. H. Miller. 

8. Music. 

9. Oration, by Hon. J. J. Jenkins. 

10. Music. 

1 1 . Reading of the History of Cheyenne and Wyoming Terri- 

tory, by Hon. J. R. Whitehead. 

— Cheyenne Daily Leader July 4, 1876 

Wyoming State Mistorical Society 

Thermopolis, Wyoming September 5-7, 1975 

Registration for the twenty-second Annual Meeting of the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society began at 7:00 p.m. in the Poolside 
Room of the Holiday Inn in Thermopolis. A reception was held 
from 7:30-9:00 p.m. with music provided by the Dickeson Trio. 
Glenn Sweem presented slides on "Re-discovering the Big Horns." 
All present enjoyed the pleasant evening. 


The meeting was called to order by the president, Henry Jensen, 
in the Holiday Inn. President Jensen appointed three members to 
serve as an auditing committee: Dave Wasden, Wilma Johnson 
and Kathleen Hemry. 

The president introduced staff members of the Archives and 
Historical Department who were present at the meeting. He an- 
nounced that the paintings of Fort Steele, which the Society pur- 
chased, were still at the restorers and we will be unable to see them 
at this time. Transparencies of these two-hundred-year-old paint- 
ings will be shown at the meeting, however. They were painted 
in 1872 by Phillippe Regis deTrobriand. Purchased by the Wyo- 
ming State Historical Society with a matching grant from the 
Wyoming Bicentennial Commission, the paintings are in custory 
of the Wyoming State Art Gallery, and will be available on loan 
to the county chapters and later to public-supported institutions 
throughout Wyoming. 

Edness Kimball Wilkins announced that any one interested in 
history is now eUgible for membership in the Wyoming Pioneer 
Association. The Association sponsors an antique show and sale 
at the State Fair each year. 


Albany County (Dr. T. A. Larson) Forty-three members en- 
joyed a varied and interesting series of programs this year on such 
subjects as the history of Centennial, Wyoming; Overland in Wyo- 
ming; gas companies serving Laramie; barbed wire; irrigation proj- 
ects and line changes of the Union Pacific Railroad through the 
years. They helped collect material for the special edition of The 
Laramie Boomerang and sponsored the annual Albany County 
ranch tour. 

Big Horn County (Jonathan Davis) Charles Gibson, range 
specialist, presented a historic slide show on the Big Horns. An 


unusual meeting was held in Shell where the old timers sat in a line 
facing a line of members and visitors for a question and answer 
session. Many interesting stories resulted from this unique plan. 

Carbon County (Cecil Johnson) Marian Geddes, curator of 
the Rawlins Museum, gave an informative talk on early-day Raw- 
lins. The Chapter hosted a get-together the evening before the 
summer Trek at which Henry Jensen showed the comparative pic- 
tures of the Big Horn Mountains. Many members went on the 
TraU Trek. 

Goshen County (Curtiss Root) A 100% increase in member- 
ship and the discovery of an old map of the one-room schoolhouses 
in the county were among this year's highlights. The Chapter 
heard programs on early-day songs; Mabel Bass' hfe at Yoder from 
1909 to 1919; Dr. R. E. Crawford's journey to the top of Mount 
Ararat in search of Noah's Ark; a trip behind the Iron Curtain; 
a silver bell found in a nearby pasture and Virginia Trenholm's 
history of the Wind River Indians in Wyoming. They also saw a 
sixty-four-year-old film on "Custer's Last Fight," and slides of the 
Overland Trail in Wyoming. 

Hot Springs County (Mable Womack) After two years of work 
a local petroglyph site has been entered in the National Register 
of Historic Places and will be dedicated shortly. The petroglyphs 
are on Cottonwood Creek near Hamilton. The Chapter accepted 
a donation of old dental equipment gathered by Dr. Beals of Cas- 
per through the efforts of the state dental association. Eventually 
part of it wiU be used in their new museum. Members have been 
cleaning and cataloguing the equipment. Some of the equipment 
was assembled on a float which is available to various dentists 
around the state. 

Laramie County (Ellen Mueller) The Chapter held seven meet- 
ings during the year. Programs included the Overland Trail in 
Wyoming slides; the King Brothers' ranching activities in this area; 
old money; a review of Saleratus and Sagebrush; the history of the 
Inter Ocean Hotel and Through the Rockies with a Camera. Plans 
are being made to reprint "Early Cheyenne Homes" and to try to 
save Morton Frewen's home in Cheyenne. 

Lincoln County (Wanda Vasey) Program topics have included 
buffalo jumps; the proposed withdrawal of Oregon Trail land from 
oil and gas leasing; old timers discussing homemaking, ranching, 
school teaching and the operation of an early day hotel; the wagon 
trails; the summer Trek; Wyoming State Historical Foundation; the 
Big Horn National Forest project, and the visit of President Henry 
Jensen. A picnic was held in June on the Green River. 

Natrona County (Kathleen Hemry) Casper hosted the twenty- 
first Annual Meeting of the State Historical Society. The local 
programs included climbing the Andes in Peru; the Buffalo dig- 
gings at the Control Data Plant; the ecology of some Wyoming 
animals; the construction of the Pathfinder Dam, incidents in the 


Wyoming Legislature and the slide show "Re-discovering the Big 
Horns." A portion of the land given to the Chapter was sold to 
the Wyoming Highway Department and the rest, including the site 
of the old bridge across the Platte, was deeded to Fort Caspar. 
Kathleen Hemry completed a series of scrapbooks entitled "Casper 
Boys in World War 11" and placed them in the hbrary. In May, 
a banquet honored President Henry Jensen. A picnic was held in 
June on the Green River. 

Sheridan County (Glenn Sweem) The Chapter has been busy 
with the management of the Trail End Historic Center this past 
year. They are also continuing their work on the Big Horn Forest 
project with Big Horn, Washakie and Johnson Counties. Their 
programs have been on national parks; Egypt and the Holy Land; 
Natchez, Mississippi, ante-bellum homes and old trading posts and 
forts of Wyoming. The group is planning a tea to thank those who 
have donated their time this past year. 

Sweetwater County (Henry Chadey) There are ninety-six mem- 
bers. They met early in the year with legislators to discuss the 
Wyoming Archives and Historical Department budget. A program 
on Bicentennial music was held, they met with the state president 
and participated in many wagon train activities. 

Teton County (Irene Brown) Varied programs marked this 
year in Teton County. Slides of early homesteads have been 
shown; the annual Thanksgiving Christmas dinner was held; a 
"This is Your Life" program honored Dr. Donald G. MacLeod; 
Bicentennial displays have been assembled; the annual food sale 
and sidewalk cookout was profitable and photographs of historic 
value are being duplicated. Work is continuing on finding and 
identifying unmarked graves and interviewing old timers. 

Uinta County (Ralph Stock) This Chapter has spent much time 
on Bicentennial acitvities. They have enjoyed a Chinese New Year 
using a large dragon made in the 1850s; quilt raffles; following the 
old Mormon trail from Bridger Valley to Evanston and improving 
the museum. The Union Pacific has given the depot for museum 
use by the Jolly Roger and Evanston. Thirty tapes of oral history 
have been made this year. 

Washakie County (Ray Pendergraft) Washakie Chapter met 
the last Sunday of each month through June. At one meeting the 
speaker was the step-son of a hanger-on of the Hole-in-the-Wall 
Gang, Joe Glenn. Henry Jensen attended a joint meeting with 
Hot Springs County, a trek was made to the Hole-in-the-Wall 
country and more pictures were taken for the Big Horn Forest 
project. Members searched unsuccessfully for a sandstone cruci- 
fix reported by two people. More younger people have joined this 

Weston County (Katherine Townsend) This Chapter completed 
a number of local histories for Bicentennial exhibits; worked on 
restoring the Cambria cemetery, held a trek to see petroglyphs in 


the Whoop-up Creek area; raffled dolls; restored the Green Moun- 
tain schoolhouse; purchased old newspapers for the museum and 
acquired a locomotive with a gasoline engine which may have been 
used in the Cambria mines. 

Saturday Workshops 

From 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon, workshops were given by 
the State Museum personnel and Historical Research personnel. 
Each hour-long workshop was given twice, so that all Society 
members could attend each one. Many interesting demonstrations 
were held and the exhibits and information were fascinating and 

Foundation Fund 

Ed Bille submitted a financial report of the Wyoming Founda- 
tion Fund showing a balance of $11,071.20. He explained the 
film on Wyoming history which the Society will produce. The film 
will be available to all the schools in the state. Bill Grunkemeyer 
showed slides from which the movie will be made and Bill Bragg 
read the narration which will accompany the slide show. The film 
is entitled "Wyoming from the Beginning." The film will begin 
in 1743 when the first white man visited Wyoming and continue 
to 1 890 — the year Wyoming achieved statehood. 

Business Meeting 

President Jensen announced that the Society finances are in 
better shape since the Archives and Historical Department is pay- 
ing for the A nnals of Wyoming. 

Jeanne Lambertson presented the following amendment to the 
Constitution of the Wyoming State Historical Society: 

Article III, Section 3, of the By-Laws shall be amended to read 
as follows: 

A County Chapter may be organized in each of the counties of 
the State of Wyoming. The County Chapter shall have the right 
to charter branches of the County Chapter in those areas where 
the County Chapter deems it necessary, and upon application to 
the County Chapter by those members living in the applying area. 

Mrs. Lambertson moved acceptance of the amendment and Ray 
Pendergraft seconded the motion. A discussion followed on the 
proposal. Motion defeated. 

Kathleen Hemry moved that the matter of the amendment be 
referred back to the Executive Committee. Motion seconded. Bill 
Williams moved to amend the motion to read, "This proposal for 
a constitutional amendment be sent to a Constitution and By-Laws 
Committee to be appointed by the President." Motion to amend 
the previous motion was seconded and carried. The amended 
motion was also carried. 

Henry Jensen announced that Mrs. Pat Flannery has 2000 cop- 


ies of John Hunton's Diary, volumes 2, 3, 4, and 5. Curtiss Root 
will sell these in Torrington and anyone desiring copies may con- 
tact him. Robert Larson gave a brief background of John Hunton 
who was the last sutler at Fort Laramie and ranched in the area 
in later years. His diaries date from 1873. In accordance with 
Mr. Hunton's wishes, Pat Flannery edited and published the diaries 
twenty-five years after Hunton's death. 

Laura Hayes showed slides of the two Fort Steele paintings 
acquired this year. Not much repair was necessary but the paint- 
ings have been sent to New York for this and for reframing. On 
their return, they will be available for loan and exhibit to County 
Chapters. The paintings measure ]0"xl6V4" and 9y8"xl7%". 

Jane Houston, Secretary-Treasurer, read the following reports. 
Rosalind Bealey moved that they be accepted. The motion was 
seconded and carried. 

Treasurer's Report 
September 7, 1974 - August 31, 1975 
Operating Funds 

Cash on hand, September 7, 1974 $ 1,326.33 

Receipts : 

Dues $ 5,698.00 

From Savings 3,500.00 

Trek 519.00 




Annual Meeting 




$ 200.00 



Junior Awards 


County Awards 





Officers Expense 




Stamps for secretary 


Postage for Annals 



Bond for Secretary 


Incorporation Fee 


Refund on dues 


Printing Sagebrush 


Paintings-Ft. Steel 



$ 7.776.45 

Balance August 31, 1975 $3,266.88 

Invested Funds 

Balance of all funds, September 7, 1974 $14,209.77 


Interest 774.49 

Sales-Sagebrush and Saleratus 900.00 1.674.49 




Big Horn Forest Committee 1,000.00 

Piiblish-Sagebrush & Sal. 1,500.00 

Paintings - Ft. Steele 2,000.00 4,500.00 

Balance. August 31, 1975 $11,384.26 

Membership Report 
August 31, 1975 

601 Single memberships, including 64 life members 
269 Joint memberships, including 12 life members 
100 Institutional memberships 

970 Memberships representing 1,239 people and institutional memberships. 
For 1976 and 1977 we already have ninety-nine memberships repre- 
senting 114 people/institutions 

Committee Reports 

Scholarships Committee During the past year the Society's Ex- 
ecutive Committee has awarded one scholarship for the prepara- 
tion of a county history to Mrs. V. J. ReckHng Bales, Laramie, 
for a history of Niobrara County. 

Mrs. Dorothy Milek will soon complete her history of Hot 
Springs County. We have two other county histories in the works. 
An award was made to Robert A. Murray in 1967 for a history of 
Johnson County and an award was made to Guy L. Peterson in 
1973 for a history of Converse County. Mr. Peterson will com- 
plete Converse County history by November, 1976, but as yet no 
completion date is projected for Mr. Murray. 

Mrs. Mary E. Anderson, who was given a Grant-in-Aid last 
March, is working on a study of the Iowa Center Community in 
Goshen County. We are pleased to report that Michael Lewellyn, 
given a grant in 1969, has completed his study of the "The Political 
Career of John B. Kendrick, 1910-1917." 

Geoffrey R. Hunt, who was given a grant in 1973, has not 
completed his study of small museums and the interpretation of 
Wyoming history. 

President's Report 

President Henry Jensen reported that this has been a year of real 
satisfaction and that many things have been happening. The Big 
Horn Forest Committee has made substantial progress in compiling 
their book and the Historical Foundation film is well on its way 
toward completion. Two unique and important paintings of Fort 
Steele were purchased and the Society has participated in many 
Bicentennial events and has planned for many other Bicentennial 
activities. The President visited as many County Chapters as pos- 
sible. He plans to continue working with the film project during 
the coming year. This has been a rewarding year for him and he 
appreciates the privilege of working with the Historical Society as 


New Business 

The Society was invited by the Laramie County Chapter and the 
staff of the Wyoming Archives and Historical Department to hold 
their twenty-third Annual Meeting in Cheyenne, September, 1976. 

There being no further business, the 1975 business meeting of 
the Wyoming State Historical Society was adjourned. 

Saturday Luncheon 

A lovely outdoor luncheon was held in the Kiwanis Shelter State 
Park. William Malloy directed his student Dixieland Band in a 
delightful concert. Lloyd Dewey, an Arapaho Indian, told his 
grandfather's version of the Bates Battle. 

Saturday Banquet 

Dining tables in the Holiday Inn were attractively and appro- 
priately decorated for the banquet. Etta Payne presided. The 
Lord's Prayer in sign language was presented by Jodie McAdams, 
a Shoshone Indian, accompanied by Vaneta Foster, vocalist. 

Edward Suslar, mayor of Thermopolis, welcomed the Society to 
Thermopolis and President Jensen responded. The president intro- 
duced the many past state presidents in attendance and also the 
Charter members. 

Dr. T. A. Larson, chairman of the nominating committee, pre- 
sented the new officers for 1975-1976: Jay Brazelton, president; 
Ray Pendergraft, first vice president; Mabel Brown, second vice 
president; Ellen Mueller, secretary-treasurer. 

Dr. Larson asked the members to stand for a moment of silence 
in memory of those members who have passed away in the past 

A Bicentennial song, "Our Finest Hour" composed by Ray 
Pendergraft, was sung by Carl Westberg, accompanied by Vaneta 

Etta Payne introduced Edness Kimball Wilkins who gave us a 
delightful glimpse of the colorful and humorous incidents that are 
a part of the history of our Wyoming State Legislature. Her talk 
was entitled, "Now it Can be Told." 

The following awards were presented by Hattie Burnstad: 

Junior Historian Awards: 

Alvin Rutz, Yoder. First Place, Junior High School. "The 
Lyman Farm." 

Julia Green, Yoder. Second Place, Junior High School. "Green 
Family History." 

Teacher Award : 

Dana P. VanBurgh, Jr., Casper. 


Chapter Award: 

Goshen County. A cash award to be used in assisting Mrs. 
Mary Anders to pubHsh her book on "History of a Commu- 
nity, Iowa Center," in Goshen County. 


Virginia C. Trenholm, Editor of the Wyoming Blue Book and 

published by the State Archives Division of the Archives and 

Historical Department, Cheyenne. 
Delia Joan Evans, eighteen years old, author of two articles in 

the Jackson papers in memory of Fanny Grisamer, valley 

Alice Stevens, Laramie. Newspaper Articles (Special Edition) 

The Bicentennial Edition of The Laramie Boomerang, 1975. 

Activities Award: 

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Wheeler, Jolly Roger Museum, Evanston. 
Submitted by Uinta County Chapter. The 1892 Evanston 
Mill and Elevator, in which the Jolly Roger is located, was 
built to be used as mill but it was found that wheat would not 
grow in the area because of extreme cold weather. Instead, 
it was used as a shipping point for farm and ranch products. 

Fine Arts Award 

Ray Pendergraft, Worland. Submitted by Washakie County 
Chapter. The lyrics of the composition, "Our Finest Hour," 
dedicated to the Bicentennial year. 

Grant O. Hagen, Jackson. Submitted by Teton County Chap- 
ter. Painting, "Wyoming, 1776," currently on display at the 
Jackson State Bank. 

Addie Hays, Rawlins. Submitted by Carbon County Chapter. 
Two Paintings, Independence Rock and The Tetons. (Artist 
is over 80 years old) 

Cumulative Contribution Award 

Henry E. Jensen, Casper. His interest in Wyoming history goes 
back to 1927. He has served as president of two County 
Chapters, Fremont and Natrona. He was responsible for 
acquiring for the Wyoming State Museum a sheep wagon and 
supply wagon and a complete set of blacksmith tools. He 
helped with the state treks for several years. Bom along the 
Bridger Road, he has had a long-time interest in that area. 
Jensen is presently secretary-treasurer of the Wyoming Moun- 
tain Men Trails Foundation and serves on the Commission for 
National Historic Sites Register. Another interest is the field 
of Archaeology. He worked for, and with others is respon- 
sible for legislation creating the post of State Archaeologist. 
He served as president of the Archaeological Society. 


President Jensen introduced the new officers and presented the 
gavel to the new president, Jay Brazelton. Jay Brazelton presented 
a Certificate of Appreciation \^ Henry Jensen. 

Sunday Morning 

A tour was scheduled to nearby places of interest. Members 
visited the petrogloyphs on Cottonwood Creek, Hot Springs State 
Park, the Woodruff House, which was the first house built in the 
Big Horn Basin, the Gottsche Rehabilitation Center, the Wyoming 
Dental Association Collection and the Big Horn Basin Children's 

Jane H. Houston 

The Centennial Celebration in Cheyenne 

Through storm and calm the years have led 
Our Nation on from stage to stage, 
A century's space, until we tread 
The threshold of another race. 


A most beautiful morn ushered in the hundredth birthday of the 
United States. Everybody in Cheyenne seemed to have the Cen- 
tennial fever and therefore arose early to prepare for the day's 
festivities, the procession, and the sports arranged in honor of 
the day. 

At 9 o'clock the several artillery companies, the fire companies 
and other civic associations began to assemble, and at 10 the line 
of march was taken up in the order announced in THE LEADER 
of the 4th inst. 

The procession was one of the finest ever seen in Cheyenne; the 
boys in blue, the fire boys and the Knights looked their best and 
all contributed to make the parade one of the most attractive fea- 
tures of the Centennial celebration in Cheyenne. 

The exercises at the Lake, after the procession, were of the 
most interesting nature. Music and orations occupied the time 
until 1 o'clock, when the historian of the day. Judge Whitehead, 
was introduced to the multitude, who received him with cheers. 

— Cheyenne Daily Leader July 6, 1876 

Mook Keviews 

Metal Weapons, Tools, and Ornaments of the Teton Dakota 
Indians. By James Austin Hanson. (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1975) Index. Illus. Bib. 118 pp. $16.50. 

Contrary to popular belief, the Indian trader did not haul junk 
a thousand miles to bilk the Indian of his hard-earned peltry. 
Popular myths have led many to believe that the Indians traded 
away their valuable pelts for cheap, gaudy merchandise. The 
trader provided sturdy utensils which filled the Indians' needs. It 
was after these needs were filled that the trinkets and whiskey 
were brought out to win the remaining furs. Most traders knew 
that the Indians must have good tools to live well and produce the 
furs that made both white and red man prosperous. 

It was these metal weapons and tools of everyday living that 
enabled the Plains Indian to skip over a thousand years of material 
culture evolution in a few short generations. 

Jim Hanson's study is not only a comprehensive guide to the 
identification of typical Teton Dakota metal objects along with 
how and when they were used, but it adds greatly to the under- 
standing of the transition of the Teton Sioux from a Stone Age 
people to a nation almost totally dependent by 1880 on white 
man's goods. 

The Sioux were strategically located and almost every major 
road to the West either ran through their territory or was within 
easy access of their highly mobile bands. Besides this, the Tetons 
were a connecting link between the Southwest, Great Lakes and 
Canadian plains trading areas. 

As a result, a great diversity of metal artifacts, attributable to 
Teton Sioux ownership and use, have been preserved and recorded. 
Hanson examined over ten thousand artifacts in collections 
throughout the United States. In describing and depicting these 
material objects he has correlated information from fur company 
and government records, travelers' observations and other primary 

Teton culture in historic time was largely due to their ready 
acceptance of the white man's trade goods, and their power was 
directly attributable to those goods. 

Destruction of the bison herds, which completely undercut the 
Teton culture and their coincidental defeat by the U. S. Army, 
ended this trade. The federal government could now enforce its 
authority over the Tetons at will. By 1880 the traditional annuity 
goods were completely replaced by agriculture tools, sad irons, 
shoes, wagons, sewing machines and the like. 


Well illustrated and documented, this attractive volume will 
appeal to the western history buff as well as students of American 
commerce and material culture of American Indians. 

Editor of Special Publications Neal L. Blair 

Wyoming Game and Fish Department 


Plains Indian Mythology. By AUce Marriott and Carol K. Rachlin. 
(New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1975). Index. 
Bib. Illus. 194 pp. $7.95. 

In this sequel to American Indian Mythology (Crowell, 1968), 
the authors recount stories that have been handed down from 
generation to generation as oral history. Since we find only one 
Shoshoni, one Crow, and one Sioux tale among the thirty-one 
recorded, we feel that the title would have been more exact had 
it been "Southern Plains Indian Mythology." 

Naturally the two Oklahoma City authors stress the stories told 
by tribes in their area: the Comanche, the Kiowa, the Kiowa- 
Apache, the Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne, the Osage and the 
Pawnee. And yet with the exception of the Osage and Pawnee, 
each of these tribes once lived, if ever so briefly, in Wyoming. 
The Shoshonis and Comanches were as one before the latter 
drifted southward to form their own culture. There is little to 
show for the fact that the Kiowas followed in their footsteps, 
except for a mention of Devils Tower in one of their creation 

The authors' introductory remarks before each story add to an 
appreciation of the tribe to which it is attributed. The myths are 
told with the rare charm that has made Alice Marriott's Kiowa 
tales. The Ten Grandmothers, a classic. The book is highly read- 
able from the introduction, "The People of the Plains," to the 
thought provoking final entry, "How Much Can Be Lost?" 

Miss Marriott tells of having gone to Montana to investigate the 
disappearance of crafts among the Northern Cheyennes. She 
took with her a famous Southern Cheyenne beadworker, Mama 
Inkanish. Together they tried to re-kindle an interest in reviving 
a lost art. The reaction of the Northern Cheyennes was like a 
faint flicker of candlelight. 

This causes us to reflect on how much we in Wyoming have lost. 
Once the Arapahoes excelled in quill work. Even after trade 
beads were introduced, they preferred quills because of the pleas- 
ing colors they could achieve. Now quill work has gone the way 
of the Northern Cheyenne crafts. 

Will beadwork be next? A recent surge of interest in beadwork 
at Wind River seems to have lost its momentum. Gift shops are 


Stocked with turquoise and silver from the Southwest. We ask 
ourselves, "How much can be lost" here in Wyoming? 

The book is divided into four parts: The Beginnings, The Little 
Stories, Horseback Days and Freedom's Ending. All of the tales 
are delightfully told. 

In the epilogue, the authors look toward the future. They con- 
clude by observing: "The new Indian will struggle differently for 
his identity from the way in which his grandfather fought for his. 
But the young Indian will equip himself, not with a lance and a 
war bonnet, but with an education. There will be many Indian 
lawyers in the future, as well as doctors, engineers, businessmen, 
and members of other trades and professions. Indians will once 
again, after more than four centuries, have the know-how for 

"But let us not forget Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, Washington, 
and other future battlegrounds. If Indians, especially Plains 
Indians, are to remain themselves, they must have symbols and 
rallying points, like everyone else. A man in battle used to drive 
his spear into the ground through the trailers of his war bonnet. 
Once he had set his spear, only death or a companion as brave as 
he, could release him. The Plains Indians today, particularly, 
have set their spears, and they may not pull them from the 

Cheyenne Virginia Trenholm 

Territorial Politics and Government in Montana 1864-89. By 
Clark C. Spence. (Urbana, 111.: University of Illinois Press, 
1976). Index. Bib. Illus. 327 pp. $11.50. 

Only the most talented historians expand a relatively narrow 
topic into a broad essay. Here Clark Spence does. More than 
simply a treatment of Montana Territory, this native Montanan's 
latest book is a perceptive and balanced commentary on the inter- 
relationship of territorial and national politics, neither of which 
escaped the merger of business and government that characterized 
the Gilded Age. Spence examines every aspect of politics as he 
traces events from the creation of Montana Territory through the 
protracted fight for statehood and weaves into the narrative con- 
cise explanations of the statutory framework within which officials 

Though Professor Spence carefully recounts the trying adminis- 
trations of Sidney Edgerton, Green Clay Smith, and James M. 
Ashley, he concentrates in greater depth on the three terms of 
Governor Benjamin F. Potts who learned to effectively operate 
in a no-party system. Despite his constant intra-party feud with 
the Fisk brothers and Wilbur F. Sanders and his early attempts 


to establish Republican control, Potts accommodated himself to 
the Democratic majority — and especially to six -term delegate 
Martin Maginnis. Spence's excellent treatment of railroads and 
subsidies illustrates the complexity and controversy of Potts' role 
in dealing with them. 

A bitter squabble over the location of the capital — standard fare 
in territorial politics — and a prolonged wrangle with Secretary 
James E. Callaway dissipated much of Potts' energies. Neverthe- 
less, Spence gives him high marks. "Despite the controversies 
with which he was beset, Benjamin Potts brought a more stable 
economy and a more effective functioning of government than any 
of his predecessors — or probably his successors" (p. 149). Mon- 
tana Territory's last half-dozen years were characterized by "small 
men and small executive government" (p. 180) with the exception 
of Samuel T. Hauser whose considerable power prior to and fol- 
lowing a stint as governor stemmed from his economic clout. 

Though the territorial legislature functioned within certain con- 
gressional constrictions, it exercised considerable independence, 
giving no quarter to administrative or judicial officials. The young, 
inexperienced legislators were generally Democratic lawyers or 
stockmen who were as favorably inclined to special interests (par- 
ticularly mining and ranching) as they were towards fiscal impru- 
dence. But Spence still ranks them at par with their counterparts 
around the country and suggests that their response to influential 
groups was consistent with government during the Gilded Age. 

The author, a research professor at the University of Illinois, 
illustrates a general discussion of the competence of territorial 
officials with a fascinating assortment of background material 
which he sifted primarily from the various appointment files in 
the National Archives. Correspondence also reveals that inade- 
quate pay and slow dispersal contributed substantially to the rapid 
turnover and absenteeism about which residents raised a bipartisan 
cry. Spence examines the perennial "carpetbagger" grievance 
from every conceivable angle before concluding that, rather than 
residence, the most fundamental prerequisite for officers was an 
understanding of the pecuUar problems of the territory. Indeed, 
the so-called non-residents or pilgrims were no less effective politi- 
cally than the homegrown variety. 

Professor Spence correctly pays particular attention to the 
achievements of Justices Decius S. Wade and Hiram N. Knowles 
in his thorough analysis of the role of the judiciary, and his assess- 
ments are well founded. "That some judges were inept or medi- 
ocre is undeniable; what is surprising is that so many were able 
appointees who came to understand the needs of the territory and 
who contributed much to the shaping of the body of jurisprudence 
connected with it" (p. 228). 

The chapter on finances illustrates that history teaches few 
lessons to legislators or their constituents! While the lawmakers 


leaned toward extravagance in their own business, the tax base 
which they created hardly afforded many services to the populace, 
mainly because of exemption to powerful industries such as mining. 
Montanans were as constant in their criticism of Washington as 
they were reluctant to appreciate the considerable federal assis- 
tance. And as is true today, the federal officials more effectively 
collected taxes. However, Spence stresses that, in the area of 
finances, the territory compared favorably on a national scale. 

Territorial citizens, who modestly began their request for state- 
hood in the 1860s, became quite vociferous in the 1880s before 
finally achieving their goal in 1889. But as Spence points out, 
the nature of Montana power structure did not change quickly. 
The same no-party structure, unpinned by an economic and politi- 
cal elite, persisted well into the next century. 

In Territorial Politics and Government in Montana 1864-89, 
Clark Spence demonstrates that meticulous scholarship can be a 
delight to read. Writing with clarity and wit, he laces the text 
with highly illustrative quotations of the hardy, earthy frontiers- 
men. Yet an abundance of documentation appears in carefully 
phrased and sensibly abbreviated notes at the bottom of the pages. 
Indeed, his citations provide a veritable guide to manuscript 
sources from across the country pertaining to Montana Territory, 
and he includes a selective bibliographical essay and a carefully 
prepared index to aid fellow researchers. Colleagues — such as 
your reviewer — who have plowed much of the same archival 
ground will particularly appreciate his exhaustive research and 
judicial use of sources. 

University of Southern Mississippi John D. W. Guice 


Letters from North America. By John Xantus. Translated and 
edited by Theodore Schoenman and Helen Benedek Schoen- 
man. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1975). Index. 
Bib. Illus. 198 pp. $12.95. 

This collection of letters contains a colorful look at America 
and Americans during the years 1852 to 1858. The only problem 
is the letters of Xantus are often laced with exaggerations and 
fabrications. This unfortunate fact is noted by the editors in the 
introduction, and they do their best to correct the failures in foot- 
notes to the letters. 

The lengthy introduction traces the career of Xantus, a remark- 
able fellow whose exploits both in Hungary and America have 
been largely overlooked. According to the editors, and Xantus, he 
"rendered lasting service to the natural history of America. As a 


naturalist and collector of the western frontier from 1856 to 1864 
he was unsurpassed." 

His letters are full of interesting and informative accounts of his 
travels and expeditions, and despite his tendency toward overstate- 
ment, his contributions to scientific Americana are evident. Also 
of value are his interpretations of American life, not only on the 
frontier but in the more established places he visited, notably the 
urban centers. But his special interest was the West. He covers a 
multitude of subjects, including army life, railroad development, 
wildlife, Indian tribes, steamboat travel and river navigation, the 
grandeur of nature, Hungarian "colonies," topographical surveys, 
"haphazard" American habits, and the minutia of life he saw 
around him. One letter, fifty-one pages long, analyzes everything 
from prairie dog life to a pocket Comanche dictionary. 

As for Wyoming, Xantus visited the Fort Laramie area in 
January of 1854. He enjoyed hunting in the countryside and the 
social life at the fort. In a letter to his mother he described the 
"abundance of game" and the "beautiful scenery." He also de- 
clared "the climate healthy and invigorating, and the entire region 
wildly romantic." His sense of geography, however, was confused. 
As the editors note. Fort Laramie "is not on the Kansas River but 
at the confluence of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers in 

A section in the introduction contains a number of statements 
from contemporary authorities which serve to corroborate the 
excellence of Xantus as a naturalist-collector. Especially revealing 
are the comments of the ornithologist Spencer F. Baird, the secre- 
tary of the Smithsonian Institution, who later wrote that Xantus's 
collections "are believed to have been much larger and more com- 
plete than any ever made before in America during the same period 
of time by any one person." The famous naturalists. Professor 
Louis Agassiz and Dr. William Alexander Hammond, also praised 
Xantus for his scientific achievements. 

Xantus was also quite an artist, and his illustrations add much 
to the book. A brief bibliography is included as well as an index. 

Arizona State Unviersity Brad Luckingham 


James Madison A Men. Yankee Artist of the Pacific Coast, 1854- 
1860. By Franz Stenzel, M. D. (Fort Worth: Amon Carter 
Museum, 1975.) Index. Illus. $25. 

At first glance this well illustrated volume appears to be a new 
work of art history. After a closer examination the reader will 
discover he has a sort of historical geography book based on 
locations visited by James Madison Alden and illustrated by him. 


In fact, he was an official artist on the United States Coastal 
Survey and the United States-Canadian Boundary Survey and in 
the brief period of his service (1854-1860) he completed many 
drawings and watercolors of the Pacific Coast from California to 
British Columbia. His works frequently have interesting historical 
and scenic value — but, sadly, one must question the artistic 
worth despite Stenzel's claim that Alden was a "watercolor artist 

Although a New Englander, Alden shows great interest and 
sensitivity for the Pacific Coast. His views of Yosemite, various 
points along the Columbia River, and towns such as Astoria and 
Portland are fine examples of his work as an illustrator and they 
are interesting historical documents as well. 

Dr. Stenzel has obviously researched his subject yet he persists 
all too frequently in using phrases such as "probably" to attribute 
action when the reader can only wonder how the author could 
possibly know. 

There are also some minor factual errors and statements that 
might confuse the reader. For example, he refers to the peaks 
in what is now Glacier National Park as "some of the tallest peaks 
in the Rockies," and he cites a reference to the "old Indian Chief 
Joseph" without clarifying whether or not this was in fact the 
famous Nez Perce Chief Joseph. The date of 1859 leads one to 
believe that this was either some other chief or Joseph's father 
who was known as old Joseph. 

Unfortunately for art historians there is less than four full pages 
devoted to any critical analysis of Alden as artist despite the fact 
that the book contains sixty-two black and white and thirty-six 
color plates. 

Dr. Stenzel has done a good job in preserving the history and 
work of James Madison Alden and we now have a treasure of 
over 320 views of the Pacific Coast as it existed before the full 
encroachment of white man's civilization. 

University of Montana Joel H. Bernstein 


Chronicle of a Congressional Journey. The Doolittle Committee 
in the Southwest, 1865. Editor, Lonnie J. White (Boulder, 
Colo.: Pruett Publishing Company, 1975). Index. Illus. 
85 pp. $9.95. 

The congressional junket, while increasingly complicated and 
expensive, is not new. Nor is the assumption — held by congress- 
men, college presidents and missionaries — that valid understand- 
ing and significant comprehension can be accomphshed by an "on 
sight" visit: knowledge via moccasin osmosis. The Doolittle Com- 


mittee (really a sub-committee of both Houses) whose trip into 
the Southwest is sporadically though interestingly described in this 
small and expensive work, was one such committee. The Doolittle 
Committee was assigned Kansas, Indian Territory, New Mexico, 
Colorado and Utah, though they never made it to Utah. And 
while they met a lot of people, the "important" contribution was 
more related to the statistical circular sent out and attached to 
the report than it was to the report of their journey. Even the 
Doolittle Bill, based on his observation and recommendation, 
failed to pass Congress. 

This Chronicle is not that of the Wisconsin senator who headed 
the Committee; it is the journal of a person called "Burwell" who, 
for reasons known only by himself, wrote under a pseudonym. 
He has been circumstantially identified as Samuel B. Davis, the 
expedition's surgeon. The author, whoever it is, originally pub- 
lished these accounts in the Leavenworth Daily Times. The journal 
is made considerably more readable, informative, and interesting 
by the editor's comments. But more could have been done. One 
might legitimately have expected the author's epilogue to pursue 
the "last important leg of the Committee's trip" (p. 61 ) which he 
identifies and which is well documented. 

This first, and rare, "official trip" into the Southwest attracted 
little attention nationally. It seemed far more impressive to politi- 
cally inclined locals than to either the numerous tribes visited or 
the military investigated. And the interest in this small work 
(85 pages) is in its accounts of people, places and politicians. 
Doolittle's attempts to relieve the monotonous journey by reading 
aloud from La Vie De Jules Caesar recognizes a cultural appre- 
ciation; and the fact that this was abandoned in favor of an "after 
dinner nap" reinforces our appreciation of the Westerner's practi- 
cality. The author's suspicion of Colonel Chivington; "Burwell's" 
interesting look at Lucien Maxwell; his description of bathers at 
Oio Calientes; the account of a "fandango" at Santa Fe are colorful 
and informative insights. One can't help but be amused by the 
calm assertion: "All Mexicans — male and female — are addicted 
to smoking" (p. 51) while, at the same time being impressed with 
the candor: "To the gold seeker, and to the valetudinarian, the 
rich mines and the richer climate of New Mexico have superior 
attractions, but beyond these, the inducements for immigration and 
settlement are few and indifferent" (p. 53). 

But, really, little if anything is said in the work about the mission 
of the Committee. No attempt is made to relate the journey to 
the Doolittle report U.S. Congress, Senate, Condition of the Indian 
Tribes: Report of the Joint Special Committee Appointed under 
Joint Resolution of March 3, 1865, S. Reports. 156, 39 Congress, 
2 Sess, 1867.; no comment is made of the "testing" of the circular 
against fact, nor is any connection made between the Committee's 
investigation and public opinion. So what we have in fact is 


another tale of a trip through the Southwest. As such it is inter- 
esting. But other than that, it seems an awful lot to pay for a 
small, neat, and well-bound volume. 

Graceland College Paul M. Edwards 

Lamoni, Iowa 

To Utah With the Dragoons and Glimpses of Life in Arizona and 
California. Edited by Harald D. Langley. (Salt Lake City: 
University of Utah Press, 1974). Index. Bib. Illus. 230 
pp. $8.50. 

For reasons stated as a patriotic urge to help in the suppression 
of adulterous Mormons in far away Utah, a youthful former news- 
paperman enhsted in the mounted service early in 1858. For 
some private reason, he never associated his name with the series 
of correspondent letters he wrote to the Philadelphia Daily Evening 
Bulletin, from May 28, 1858 to May 23, 1859. It is these letters 
that form the core of this well edited Volume Eleven of the Uni- 
versity of Utah's Publications in the American West. The soldier- 
journalist was not the average immigrant, disadvantaged youth, or 
out-of-work laborer recruit. However, he certainly held a very 
exalted self-view, and his observations on most Army personnel - 
officers and enlisted men - are generally derogatory. "Utah," as 
he signed himself, comes through as something of a highly opinion- 
ated prig, and his comments on his participation in events are 
often self-serving. Still, he writes with some first-hand knowledge 
about life as a recruit on campaign in the 2nd Dragoons, and many 
of his observations provide good information on and about enlisted 
Army life in the late 1850s. He was also a careful reporter of the 
country he traversed, from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to Utah, 
along the Oregon Trail. 

Of special interest to Wyoming readers are letters "Utah" wrote 
from Fort Laramie, the Oregon Trail along the North Platte River, 
camps on the Sweetwater, South Pass, and Fort Bridger. 

Late in 1858, "Utah" finally arrived in the land of the much 
maligned Mormons, and found upon making the acquaintance of 
some that his opinions changed. His opinions of Army life did not 
change though, as he found much of it uncongenial to his own 
inclinations. Before he had served even a year, he was wounded 
in the arm during a brush with Indians and consequently received 
what he said was a medical discharge. 

Finding himself at loose ends in Utah, the ex-soldier journeyed 
to southern California - all the while keeping up his letters to 
Philadelphia. In California he encountered the Mojave Indians, 
whose confrontations with the U. S. Army gave "Utah" an oppor- 
tunity to write his low opinion of Army leadership in general and 


Colonel William H. Hoffman in particular. Complaining of his 
"old wound," "Utah" left off his search for gold in Arizona, and 
wrote his last letter to the Daily Evening Bulletin from Los Angeles 
late in May of 1859. 

Editor Langley recounts his efforts to search out the true identity 
of "Utah" in old Army records of the late 1850s, and seems to 
have done a thorough piece of research on the subject — but with- 
out being able to definitely prove exactly who he was. Anony- 
mous or not, we still owe a debt of sorts to "Utah" for providing 
a first-hand account of life in the 2nd Dragoons' expedition to Utah 
in 1858, and to Mr. Langley for an excellent example of historical 

Historian, Bureau of Land Don Rickey, Jr. 

Management, Denver 

The Plains Indians: Their Origins, Migrations, and Cultural Devel- 
opment. By Francis Haines. (New York: Thomas Y. 
Crowell Company, 1976). Index. Bib. Maps. 213 pp. 

Francis Haines, a retired professor of history and author of such 
books as Horses in America and The Buffalo, wrote The Plains 
Indians with the expressed purpose of re-examining and re-evaluat- 
ing the history and culture of the twenty-seven Plains tribes. His 
book is an overview of the subject, with special emphasis on tribal 
migrations and is geared toward a popular audience. 

The Plains Indian is the prototype of what white Americans 
envision an authentic native American to be. This is due, in the 
main, to the influence of the media and also to other tribes adopt- 
ing Plains Indians' dress and customs such as the wearing of a 
Sioux war bonnet. Yet, the Plains Indians were not a stereotype 
of each other, and Haines discusses the differences as well as the 
similarities among them. For example, although the Plains Indians 
put a great deal of emphasis on the counting of coup, the ways in 
which they acquired the highest honor differed from tribe to tribe. 
Moreover, with white contact, and the eventual dependence of 
Indians on the superior trade items of the whites, especially guns 
and the shells to fire them, the Indians' former ways were drasti- 
cally changed. 

Throughout the book, the author employs his expertise on the 
buffalo and horse and their importance to the Plains Indians. The 
buffalo was their life-line, yet, as Haines points out, there was 
much unwarranted killing of the beasts by Indians. The horse, 
on the other hand, not only aided them in their hunting of the 
buffalo, but made the Plains Indians a formidable foe. An un- 
mounted Comanche warrior was unimpressive, but put on war 


pony, he became one of the best and most feared mounted oppo- 
nents of white and red men alike. 

The Plains Indians is based on secondary materials and is not 
fully documented. Although the book jacket claims that the book 
"presents a dramatically new interpretation of the history of the 
Plains Indians," this reviewer finds little that is new. It does, 
however, contain eight detailed maps depicting tribal migrations 
to the Great Plains. The book is an adequate though selective 
overview of an extremely complex subject. It is well written, and 
the general reader should be satisfied. Those looking for more 
detailed works on the subject can turn to the standard and more 
scholarly accounts by George E. Hyde and Robert H. Lowie. 

University of New Mexico Raymond Wilson 

A Ibuquerque 

A Biography of Ezra Thompson Clark. By Annie Clark Tanner. 
( Salt Lake City : The Tanner Trust Fund, University of Utah 
Library, 1975). Index. lUus. 82 pp. $8.50. 

One of the drawbacks of a biography, especially one written by 
a close relative of an individual, is that the subject is likely to be 
presented as a saint, with no sins apparent. In this brief biography 
by the eldest daughter of his second family, Ezra Thompson Clark 
certainly emerges as a paragon among men (especially business 
men), among husbands and fathers, even among Mormons, where 
the proportion of paragons seems to be greater than in other 

Be that as it may have been, Ezra T. Clark's life, during its 
seventy -seven -year span (1823-1901), was encompassed within 
the history of the Latter Day Saints. He became a member of the 
Mormon brotherhood at the age of twelve, when the Church was 
under the leadership of Joseph Smith, and endured the enforced 
exodus of the Saints from Missouri to Illinois, and eventually 
across the plains to Utah, where he was given thirty-five acres on 
which to settle at Farmington. There, by dint of industry and a 
shrewd business sense, he garnered something of a fortune in land 
and money. A practitioner of polygamy, he married three wives, 
and was as prolific in his production of children as of worldly 
goods, there being eleven children in his first family and ten in the 
second. (His third wife had already raised a family.) He saw 
the demise of the practice of multiple marriage; in fact, spent a 
few months in jail because of his own. A man dedicated to the 
beliefs of his church, he contributed generously to its activities and 
served it in several high-ranking capacities. 

Annie Clark Tanner wrote the biography of her father when she 
was nearing the end of her own seventy-seven-year life, some thirty 


years after her father's death. Therefore, most of Ezra Clark's 
early life is presented in summary fashion, although the author 
drew to some extent from other sources for comments on Mormon 
history, as well as on remembered anecdotes of her father's. Writ- 
ten in a crisp journalistic style, the biography moves rapidly 
through various aspects of Ezra Clark's life, an author's choice that 
results in some backtracking, overlapping, and confusion in chron- 
ology. The author attempts to be as objective as possible toward 
her subject, but inevitably her affection for her father and her own 
deep commitment to the philosophy of Mormonism results in a 
subjectivity that lends warmth to a well-told story. 

Powell, Wyoming Patricia M. Wolsborn 

An Army Wife on the Frontier: The Memoirs of Alice Blackwood 
Baldwin, 1867-1877. Edited by Robert C. and Eleanor R. 
Carriker. (Salt Lake City: Tanner Trust Fund, University 
of Utah Library, 1975). Index. lUus. 118 pp. $8. 

Little is known of army life on the frontier from the woman's 
point of view. These recalled experiences of the wife of a western 
campaigner, written in 1917 and first published in 1929, contribute 
in some small degree to that knowledge. 

Although the title indicates memoirs of a decade in the life of 
the author, Alice Baldwin spent only three or four years with her 
husband, Frank, on the frontier, and it is to those years, 1867- 
1869 and 1877-1878, that she devotes her recollections. From a 
vantage point of half a century, those recollections are all too often 
hazy, generalized, and inaccurate. Fortunately, the extensive re- 
search of the editors, Robert Carriker and his wife Eleanor, into 
their subject has enabled them to fill in some of the gaps in Alice's 
account in an enthusiastic introduction, and to correct errors of 
dates, names, and places in informed footnotes. 

When Alice Baldwin set out in 1867 with her new husband to a 
series of military posts in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, she 
was not entirely a stranger to the rigors of travel in the west. At 
the age of nine (in 1854) she had accompanied her family on a 
long junket by rail, steamboat, and wagon from Michigan to 
California. Several years later, she returned to Michigan, and 
received her education at a "young Ladies' Seminary" in Albion, 
where she met and married the young army officer Frank Baldwin. 

Mrs. Baldwin does not dwell on the hardships of travel. What 
emerges is that the journeys from one fort to another were rela- 
tively adventuresome and exciting, and not unduly uncomfortable, 
since the wagons were apparently quite well appointed, and there 
was the retinue of army personnel to take care of the chores. Any 
complaining tone is reserved more for the inadequacies and dis- 


comforts of the stops along the way, whether in military or civilian 
communities, even though they sometimes provided a welcome 
change in diet and social contacts. 

The author's narrative style is passive rather than active, and 
only occasionally is an episode (especially the humorous) made 
vivid. Alice's recollections of her second stint as an army wife on 
the frontier, when Frank was stationed at Fort Keough during the 
conflict with the Nez Perce Indians under Chief Joseph, are more 
appealing, perhaps because the events were closer to the author in 
time when she put her memories in written form. 

The editors of this new edition of the Baldwin memoirs seem 
to be convinced of its value as history and narrative. Their 
introduction concludes: "Frank and Ahce Baldwin wsre both 
remarkable persons. One was ... a courageous campaigner, and 
dedicated soldier. The other was an intelligent and spunky woman, 
equally dedicated to the Old Army. Singly or together, the Bald- 
wins offer much insight into the frontier army. But of the two, 
Alice gives more information and anecdote from a seldom heard 
corner — the reluctant campaigner, the woman who waits at home." 

Powell, Wyoming Patricia M. Wolsborn 

To Possess the Land: A Biography of Arthur Rochford Manby. 
By Frank Waters. (Chicago: Swallow Press Inc., 1973). 
Index. Illus. 287 pp. 

Frank Waters, a prolific writer of the southwest United States, 
gives us yet another fine book. Set in the territory of New Mexico 
at the turn of the century, this volume tells a story of power, greed, 
glory and finally tragedy. The author skillfully describes a period 
of history in this region when everyone was on the make. 

Arthur Rochford Manby came to New Mexico from his native 
England in 1883 at the age of twenty-four. Ambitious and imbued 
with a feeling of destiny, Manby became obsessed with the idea of 
acquiring an empire in the wilderness. Patterning his kingdom on 
the massive Maxwell Grant nearby, Manby came to acquire over 
60,000 acres in northern New Mexico near Taos. For more than 
twenty years he lied, cheated, stole and bribed to take the huge, old 
Mexican land grant of Antonio Martinez from the poor Chicanos 
and others who rightfully owned it. In what amounts to almost a 
psychological study as well as an historical drama, the author 
shows how Manby finally came to possess this enormous grant 
through his various landholding schemes and how he also began 
losing it. 

Writing to "everyman" Waters demonstrates what can happen 
to a person besieged with one single dream and how that obsession 
can in time destroy him. As Manby ages, the idea haunts him 


as his land slips away that there is a conspiracy to steal his land. 
Retaliating, he organizes a secret society which ultimately comes to 
terrorize whole towns, becoming so powerful that even Manby no 
longer knows all its members and inner workings. 

In July, 1929, Manby's headless body was found near his home. 
Some people said it was murder and others believed the body not 
to be Manby's. Some witnesses reported seeing him alive after the 
body was found. Either a horrible murder or mysterious disap- 
pearance, Waters calls it the "greatest unsolved mystery of the 
West." The investigation of the mystery surrounding Manby's 
death with its international complications halted when the New 
Mexican government checked it. Meanwhile, a web of strange 
clues and more murders brought the story to the national limelight. 

The book exhibits the almost diabolical methods that some 
people used in acquiring the numerous Spanish land grants during 
the post-Mexican War era in this territory. By the Treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848, the United States government agreed to 
insure the rights of the people in the acquired territory. But in the 
name of Manifest Destiny and white supremacy, an assorted col- 
lection of land grabbers and promoters like Manby, as well as 
railroads and corporations, filtered into the area with the purpose 
of stealing the land and its natural resources. 

The volume reads like a Hollywood script; peppered with fan- 
tastic incidents of the old West, it has all the ingredients of a John 
Ford movie. Waters' thorough use of dialogue that Manby might 
have had, detracts from the historical accuracy of the account, but 
makes for a better understanding of the principal subject. This 
book is a fascinating chronicle. 

Kansas State University, Manhattan Dennis Shockley 

Reinterpreting American History. A Critical Look at Our Past. 
By Edward Diener. (New York: Philosophical Library, 
1975.) Index. 217 pp. $11.50. 

Fort Collins Yesterdays. By Evadene Burris Swanson. (Fort 
Collins, Colorado: Author, 1975). Illus. 254 pp. Paper. 

Railroads of the Trans-Mississippi West: A Selected Bibliography 
of Books. Donovan L. Hofsommer, Compiler. (Plainview, 
Texas: The Llano Estacada Museum, 1976). Indexes. 
Illus. 92 pp. Paper. $2.50. 

The Ohio Black History Guide. Sara Fuller, Editor. (Columbus: 
Ohio Historical Society, 1975). 221 pp. 

Union Pacific Country, by Robert G. Athearn. (Lincoln: Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1971). Bison Book. Index. Illus. 
480 pp. $5.95. 


David P. Robrock is presently attending the University of 
Oklahoma working toward a master's degree in library science. 
After completing his undergraduate work in history at the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming he served as a commissioned officer in the mili- 
tary intelligence branch of the U. S. Army until May, 1976. 

James H. Nottage, at present a museum consultant, University 
of Wyoming, holds a B. A. in history from the University, and in 
1975 earned an M. A. in History Museum Studies in the Coopers- 
town Graduate Programs, Cooperstown, New York. He belongs 
to numerous historical societies including the American Associa- 
tion for State and Local History, Western History Association 
and the American Association of Museums. 

Paul L. Hedren, a National Park Service ranger since 1972, 
is currently assigned to Fort Laramie National Historic Site. He 
is a graduate of St. Cloud State College, St. Cloud, Minnesota. 
Hedren is an Editorial Board member for Little Big Horn Asso- 
ciates, and has had historical research published by CAMP, Little 
Big Horn Associates and Company of Military Historians. Fur- 
ther articles are scheduled for publication in South Dakota History, 
Brown County (Minnesota) Heritage and The Journal of Arizona 

The Fourth. 

The gentlemen in charge of our celebration today have spared 
no pains to make the occasion an enjoyable one, and it is be 
hoped that everybody will assist them so far as possible in carrying 
out the programme, at least by preserving good order. 

The parade of ancients, we believe, is to begin at six o'clock in 
the morning, so that they will probably be out before this morn- 
ing's paper reaches its readers. 

General Palmer has very kindly furnished a cannon to assist 
in making a noise, and we anticipate an extensive good time. 
— Laramie Daily Sentinel July 4, 1876 


Adams, Charles Partridge, 92 

Anderson, A. A., 94 

An Army Wife on the Frontier: 
The Memoirs of Alice Blackwood 
Baldwin, 1867-1877, ed. by Rob- 
ert C. and Eleanor R. Carriker, 
review, 153-154 

Augur, General Christopher C, 6, 
7, 15 


Battle of the Little Big Horn, 109, 

110, 127, 128 
Becker, Joseph, 88 
Belden, Charles J., 96 
Benteen, — , 118, 121 
Bernstein, Joel, review of James 

Madison Alden. Yankee Artist 

of the Pacific Coast, 1854-1860, 

Bierce, Ambrose, 87 
Bierstadt, Albert, 79, 85, 91-92 
Big Horn Mountains, 110 
Big Horn River, HI, 112, 115 
A Biography of Ezra Thompson 

Clark, by Annie Clark Tanner, 

review, 152-153 
Blair, Neal L., review of Metal 

Weapons, Tools, and Ornaments 

of the Teton Dakota Indians, 142- 

Black Hills, 111, 114 
Black Hills Gold Rush, 45, 46 
Bodmer, Karl, 83 
Bonheur, Rosa, 77 
Borein, Edward, 95 
Brazelton, Jay, 139, 141 
Bridger, Jim, 19 
Bromley, Valentine Walter, 90 
Bruff, J. Goldsborough, 82 
Buchser, Frank, 90 

Carlton, Major J. W., 15 

Carriker, Robert and Eleanor, ed.. 
An Army Wife on the Frontier: 
The Memoirs of Alice Blackwood 
Baldwin, 1867-1877, review, 153- 

Cavalry near Fort Steele, photo, 89 

"A Centennial History of Artist 
Activities in Wyoming, 1837- 
1937," by James H. Nottage, 77- 

Charles A. Belden Photograph "The 
Old Fiddler," photo, 97 

Cheyenne Daily Leader, 132, 141 

Christy, George Wilkins, 81 

Chronical of a Congressional Jour- 
ney. The Doolittle Committee in 
the Southwest, 1865, ed. by Lon- 
nie J. White, review, 148-150 

Clark, James Lippit, 96 

Clayton, Alfred G., 94 

Coats, Capt. E. M., 50, 54, 55, 56, 

Collins, 2nd Lt. Caspar W., 86 

Collins, Lt. Col. WilHam O., 86 

Comanche, horse, 123 

"Commanche," by Audrey J. Hazell, 
poem, 126 

Cook, — , 122 

Coutant, C. G., 94 

Crook, Brig. Gen. George S., 47, 48, 
49, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61, 64. 113, 
114, 116, 124 

Crittenden, — , 122 

Custer, "Boston," 122 

Custer, Elizabeth B., 109, 128-129. 
130, 131 

Custer, Lt. Col. (Bvt. Maj. Gen.) 
George Armstrong, 14. 15, 45. 
54, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118. 119, 
120, 121, 122. 123. 124. 125. 127, 
128, 129, 131 

Custer, Capt. Tom, 116, 122 

"Custer's Last Battle," by Captain 
Charles King, U.S.A., Introduc- 
tion by Paul L. Hedren. 109-125 

Custer's Last Battle, by Gail Mer- 
catante. photo, 117 

Calhoun, — , 122 

"Captain King's Centennial Year 
Look at Fort Laramie, Wyoming," 
by Paul Hedren, 103-107 


Davis. Miss G. A., 89 
DeLay, R. L., 71 



Depot at Green River, photo, 91 

DeSmet, Pierre Jean, 80 

De Trobriand, Phillippe Regis, 87 

De Wolf, — . 122 

Dye, Major William McE., 6, 12, 13 

Edwards, Paul M., review of Chron- 
ical of a Congressional Journey. 
The Doolittle Committee in the 
Southwest, 1865, 149-150 

Elkins, Henry Arthur, 92 

Elliott, Henry Wood, 91 

Elwell, R. Farrington, 95 

Fetterman City, 72, 73 
Fetterman Cut-Off, 7 

Fetterman, 5-76; photo, 4 

Laramie, 23, 24, 103-107, 111 

Phil Kearny, 111, 112 

Smith (C.F.), 111 

Reno, 13, 111 
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Magazine, 

Fremont, John Charles, 80 
Frenzeny, Paul, 88 


The Hay Field Fight, 8 

Harper's Weekly, 87-88 

Haines, Francis, The Plains Indians: 
Their Origins, Migrations, and 
Cultural Development, review, 

Haynes, F. Jay, 92 

Hamilton, Capt., 119 

Hanson, James Austin, Metal Weap- 
ons, Tools, and Ornaments of the 
Teton Dakota Indians, review, 

Harrington, Lt., 122, 123 

Hazell, Audrey J., "Commanche," 
poem, 126 

Hedren, Paul L., "Captain King's 
Centennial Year Look at Fort 
Laramie, Wyoming," 103-107; 
introd., "Custer's Last Battle," by 
Charles King, 109-110; biog. 156 

Hill, Thomas, 92 

"A History of Fort Fetterman, 
Wyoming, 1867-1882," by David 
P. Robrock, 4-76 

Hodgson, "Benny," 120 

Houghton, Arthur Boyd, 89 

Houghton, Merritt Dana, 94; photo, 

Houston, Jane, 137 

Hughes, Colonel R. P., 127 

Hunton, John, 28, 29 

"General Custer at the Battle of the 
Little Big Horn," by Elizabeth B. 
Custer, 109, 127-128 

Girard, Col. Joseph Basil, 87 

Gifford, Sanford R., 90 

Gibbon, Gen., 113, 114, 115, 121, 

Gibbs, George, 82 

Gollings, Filing William, 96; photo, 

Goose Creek, 116, 124 

Grant, Pres. Ulysses S., 22 

"Greasy Grass." See Little Big 
Horn River 

Guice, John, D. W., review of Ter- 
ritorial Politics in Montana, 1864- 
89, 144-146 


Illustrated London News, 88-90 

Red Cloud, 43 
American Horse, 10, 60, 112 
Choonka-witko. See Crazy 

Crazy Horse, 47, 48, 60, 113, 

124, 125 
Curly, 121 
Gall, 125 
Kill Eagle, 125 
Lame Deer, 125 
Little-Big-Man, 112 
Lone Wolf, 125 
Machpealota. See Red Cloud 
Old-Man- Afraid-of - his - Horses, 

Rain-in-the-Face, 125 



Red Cloud, 22, 111, 112, 113 

Red Dog, 112 

Sitting Bull, 47, 48, 60, 113, 

114, 123, 124, 125 
Spotted Eagle, 125 
Spotted Horn Bull, 124 
Tatonka-e-Yotanka. See Sitting 

Tatonka-he-gle-ska. See Spot- 
ted Horn Bull 

Fort Fetterman, 8, 10, 15, 16, 


Unceded Lands, 48 

Fort Laramie, 1868, 11 

Absarakas, 110 
Arapaho, 18, 24, 41 
Arrapahoes, 110, 112 
Blackfoot, 113, 119, 124, 125 
Brule, 119, 121, 122, 124, 125 
Cheyenne, 15, 110, 112, 115, 

124, 125 
Chippewa, 110 
Crees, 110 
Crow, 124 
Dakotas, 110, 112 
Kaw, 112 

Minneconjou, 113, 124 
Ogalallas, 112, 113, 121, 122, 

124, 125 
San Arc, 113, 124 
Shoshones, 110, 111 
Sioux, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 

110, 111, 119, 121, 122, 123, 

Snakes. See Shoshones 
Uncapapa, 113, 122, 124, 125 
"Is General Custer Alive Today?" 
109, 129-131 


Keogh, Capt. Myles, 116, 122, 123 
King, Captain Charles, "Custer's 

Last Battle," introd. by Paul Hed- 

ren, 109-125; photo, 103 
Kleiber, Hans, 98-99; photo, 98 

Jackson, William H., 90 

James Madison Aid en. Yankee 

Artist of the Pacific Coast, 1854- 

1860, by Franz Stenzel, M. D., 

review. 147-148 
Jensen, Henry, 133, 134, 135, 136, 

138, 140, 141 
Johnson, Frank Tenney, 95 
"June 25, 1876," three short Custer 

articles, 109-131 

Langley, Harald D., ed.. To Utah 
With the Dragoons and Glimpses 
of Life in Arizona and California, 

La Prele Creek, 6 

"Laramie;" or The Queen of Bed- 
lam, by Charles King, 103-108 

Laramie Peak, 104-105 

Layman, George, 129, 131 

Leigh, William R., 97-98 

"Lindsay," Mr., 129, 130, 131 

Little Big Horn River, 113, 114, 
115, 116, 117, 124 

Long, Maj. Stephen H., 79 

Lord, (Surgeon), 122 


Macdougall, — , 118, 121 

Mcintosh, Donald, 120 

McNally, R. E., 129, 130 

Marriott, Alice, and Rachlin, Carol 
K., Plains Indian Mythology, re- 
view, 143-144 

Mercatante, Frank, 109, 110 

Mercatante, Gail, Custer's Last Bat- 
tle, photo, 117 

Metal Weapons, Tools, and Orna- 
ments of the Teton Dakota In- 
dians, by James Austin Hanson, 
review, 142-143 

Miller, Alfred Jacob, 79, 80. 100 

Miles. Gen. Nelson A.. 123 


Eighteenth Infantry, 9. 19 

Fifth Cavalry. 56, 59 

Fourth Cavalry, 60, 61 

Fourth Infantry. 6, 12 

Second Cavalry. 12. 44 

Seventh Cavalry. 14. 54, 114. 115, 

116. 121. 123 
Third Cavalry, 27 

Missouri River, 110 



Moellman, Frederick, 86 
Mollhausen, Heinrich Baldwin, 83, 

Moran, Thomas, 79, 90 
Munger, Gilbert, 90 


Nottage, James H., "A Centennial 
History of Artist Activities in 
Wyoming, 1837-1937," 77-100; 
biog. 156 


Restored Double Officers Quarters 
as seen across Parade Ground by 
1976 Visitors to Fort Fetterman 
State Historic Site, photo, 62 

Reynolds, Col. Joseph J., 50 

Richard, John, Jr., 20 

Rickey, Don, Jr., review of To Utah 
With the Dragoons and Glimpses 
of Life in Arizona and California, 

Robrock, David P., "A History of 
Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, 1867- 
1882," 5-76; biog., 156 

Rock Creek and Fort Custer Stage 
Company, 68 

Rosebud River, 113, 114, 115, 116, 
124, 128 

Rungius, Carl, 96 

Ogden, Harry, 89 

Pendergraft, Ray, 135, 139, 140 

Piercy, Frederick, 84 

Pietierre, Monsieur P., 81 

Plains Indian Mythology, by Alice 
Marriott and Carol K. Rachlin, 
review, 143-144 

The Plains Indians: Their Origins, 
Migrations, and Cultural Devel- 
opments, by Francis Haines, re- 
view, 151-152 

Platte River, 111, 123 

Point, Father Nicholas, 80 

Pollack, Capt. Edwin, 61 

Porter, — , 122 

Powder River, 113, 124 

Powder River Expedition, 61 

Present Day Reconstruction of Fort 
Fetterman Ordnance Storehouse, 
photo, 46 

Proctor, Capt. Joseph, 87 

Schoenborn, Antoine, 87 

Seymour, Samuel, 79 

Sheridan, Gen. Phillip H., 14, 114, 

Sheridan News, 109, 129 

Shockley, Dennis, review of To Pos- 
sess the Land: A Biography of 
Arthur Rochford Manby, 154-155 

Sies, Walter, 87 

Smith, — , 122 

Spence, Clark C, Territorial Politics 
and Government in Montana , 
1864-89, review, 144-146 

Stenzel, Franz, M.D., James Madi- 
son Alden. Yankee Artist of the 
Pacific Coast, 1854-1860, review, 

Stewart, Capt. William Drummond, 
79, 80, 81, 83 

Stuart, James E., 92 

Sturgis, Lt. Jack, 122, 123 

Sullivan Sgt. Patrick, 42 

Switzer, Col. Nelson B., 7 


Rachlin, Carol K., and Marriott, 
Alice, Plains Indian Mythology, 
review, 143-144 

Reily, — , 122 

Remington, Frederic, 93-94 

Reno, Maj. Marcus, 110, 114, 115, 

Tanner, Annie Clark, A Biography 
of Ezra Thompson Clark, review, 

Tappan, William Henry, 82 

Tavernier, Jules, 

118, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125 Ten Minutes at Carbon, photo, 78 



Territorial Politics and Government 
in Montana, 1864-89, by Clark C. 
Spence, review, 144-146 

Terry, Gen., 113, 114, 115, 121, 
123, 127, 128 

Tilghman, Dr. Stedtnan Richard, 81 

Tongue River, 113, 114 

To Possess the Land: A Biography 
of Arthur Rochford Manby, by 
Frank Waters, review, 154-155 

To Utah With the Dragoons and 
Glimpses of Life in Arizona and 
California, ed., by Harald D. 
Langley, review, 150-151 

Trenholm, Virginia, review of Plains 
Indian Mythology, 143-144 


U. P. Depot, Cheyenne, photo, 78 
Union Pacific Railway, 112 

Weir, —,121 

Wessels, Maj. Henry Walton, Jr., 9, 
10, 12, 19 

White, Lonnie J., ed., Chronical of 
a Congressional Journal. The 
Doolittle Committee in the South- 
west, 1865, review, 148-150 

Wilkins, James F., 81 

Wilkins, Edness Kimball, 139 

Wilson, Raymond, review of The 
Plains Indians: Their Origins, 
Migrations, and Cultural Devel- 
opment, 151-152 

Wind River Valley, 1 1 1 

Wolcott, Frank, 69 

Woisborn, Patricia M., review of 
A Biography of Ezra Thompson 
Clark, 152-153; review of An 
Army Wife on the Frontier: The 
Memoirs of Alice Blackwood 
Baldwin, 153-154 

Woodville, Richard Caton, Jr., 90 

"Wyoming Artists' Exhibition," 99 

Varnum, Lt., 116 


Waters, Frank, To Possess the Land: 
A Biography of Arthur Rochford 
Manby, review, 154-155 

Yates, Capt., 116, 122 
Yeager, Walter, 89 
Yellowstone (Elk) River, 111, 114, 
117, 123 


The Wyoming Staie 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 educators. 

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. 

^mals of Wyoming 


• Emphaiically continue efforts for return of 
90'^ of mineral royalties from Federal 

• Work to get two additional sections of Fed- 
eral land in each township to equal four 
sections received by other western sutes. 

• Enlarge the facilities of the Pioneer Home 
at Thermopolis. 

• Continue program of raising standards at 
ttate institutions. 

Born Januar)', 1899 

Reared in Worland. Wyo.. the aon of a proneer phy- 

Was graduated from Worland high scbool in 1917 
and I'niversity of Wyoming in 1934 

Veteran of World War 1 

Taught in Wyoming schooli 

Postmaster at Sheridan 

8 years in state elective offices— Supt. of Public 
Instruction. Secretary of State and Governor. He 
IS the most experienced public official on the 
current political scene 









VoU 1^ .lAC K R. GAGE*^ 

For Governor ■»<** * 


Mil 976, 





Mrs. Donald M. Casey 



Mrs. William Swanson 



Mrs. Frank Emerson 



Mrs. George W. Knepper 



Jerry Rillahan 



Willis Hughes 



William T. Nightingale, Chairman 


Member at Large 

Frank Bowron 



Attorney General V. Frank Mendicino 




William H. Williams Director 

Buck Dawson Director, State Museums 

Mrs. Katherine A. Halverson Director, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Director, 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 

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

Copyright 1976, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 48 Fall, 1976 Number 2 

Katherine a. Halverson 

John C. Paige 

William H. Barton 

Ellen E. Glover 

Editorial Assistants 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 









Member at Large 

Mrs. Donald M. Casey Cheyenne 

Mrs. William Swanson Rawlins 

Mrs. Frank Emerson Evanston 

Mrs. George W. Knepper Buffalo 

Jerry Rillahan Worland 

Willis Hughes Moorcroft 

William T. Nightingale, Chairman Lander 

Frank Bowron Casper 
Attorney General V. Frank Mendicino Cheyenne 



William H. Williams Director 

Buck Dawson Director, State Museums 

Mrs. Katherine A. Halverson Director, Historical Research 

and Publications Division 
Mrs. Julia Yelvington Director, 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 

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

Copyright 1976, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department 

A^mls of Wyoming 

Volume 48 Fall, 1976 Number 2 

Katherine a. Halverson 

John C. Paige 

William H. Barton 

Ellen E. Glover 

Editorial Assistants 

Published biannually by the 


Official Publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society 


OFFICERS 1976-1977 

President, Ray Pendergraft Worland 

First Vice President, Mrs. Mabel Brown Newcastle 

Second Vice President, David J. Wasden Cody 

Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Ellen Mueller 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 

Richard S. Dumbrill, Newcastle 1973-1974 

Henry Jensen, Casper 1974-1975 

Jay Brazelton, Jackson 1975-1976 

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 

Life Membership $100.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and Wife) 150.00 

Annual Membership 5.00 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address) 7.00 

Institutional Membership 10.00 

Send State Membership Dues To: 
Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
Barrett Building 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002 

Zable of Contents 


By Kathleen M. Karpan 167 


By Harmon Mothershead 253 


By Walter R. Jones 265 


By Robert A. Murray 275 



Nelson, Heart Mountain. The History of an American 

Concentration Camp 281 

Papanikolas, The Peoples of Utah 282 

Abbott, Colorado: A History of the Centennial State 284 

Messerschmidt, School District No. 2, Carbon County, Wyoming .. 285 

Katcher, Armies of the American Wars, 1753-1815 286 

Tyler, Red Men and Hat Wearers 288 

Hillier, The German Sections of Vanity Fair and Other Studies 

by John K. Mathison 289 

Messerschmidt, The Grand Encampment 291 

Terrell, The Plains Apache 292 

Hines, An Index of Archived Resources for A Folklife and 

Cultural History of the Inland Pacific Northwest 293 

Hall, Documents of Wyoming Heritage 295 


INDEX 297 


Jack R. Gage Campaign Folder Cover 

Mike Manatos, Governor Jack R. Gage, President John F. 

Kennedy, Senator J. J. Hickey 166 

Casper's Center Street, circa 1917 264 

Headline, Casper Daily Tribune, December 8, 1823 268 

Headline, Casper Daily Tribune, December 22, 1923 271 

Officers in front of quarters. Fort McKinney 275 

Fort McKinney, Summer, 1877 276 

Fort McKinney Buildings under Construction, 1877 277 

Ruins of old Fort Reno 278 

Cover: Front and back pages of a Jack R. Gage campaign folder from the 
files of the Historical Research and Publications Division of the Wyoming 
State Archives and Historical Department. 

A Political Kiograpky 
of^ack K. Qage 


Kathleen M. Karpan 

Jack R. Gage was a public figure in Wyoming for 36 years, from 
his election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1934 
until his death in 1970, when he had achieved recognition as an 
author and humorist. 

All of Gage's private papers, as well as many of his public 
papers, are in the possession of his widow, Mrs. Jack R. Gage, and 
hitherto have not been available to researchers. With the aid of 
these materials, it has been possible to fill in the biographical out- 
line of Jack R. Gage with his own statements on the values ex- 
pressed in his public life. 

The author wishes to convey sincere appreciation to Dr. T. A. 
Larson, who has given generously of his time in directing this 
thesis. Very special appreciation is due Mrs. Jack R. Gage, who 
not only provided complete access to her late husband's private 
papers, but who also shared her recollections. Without her assis- 
tance and moral support, this thesis would not have been possible. 
Her son. Jack R. Gage, II, has also provided helpful insights into 
his father's career. For instilling a love of Wyoming politics, an 
expression of gratitude is due Congressman Teno Roncalio, under 
whose sponsorship the author was able to obtain an education in 
political life. 

^ H: ^ H: 


The Tag End of the Real West 

Jack R. Gage, was, for thirty-six years, a public figure in 
Wyoming. He served in three of the five state elective offices. 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1935-39, Secretary of 
State, 1959-61, and Acting Governor, 1961-63, a distinction he 
shared with few persons in state history.^ 

iJack R. Gage was elected to two state offices, superintendent of public 
instruction, 1934, and secretary of state, 1958. He served, 1961-1963, as 


In a larger sense, his public life encompassed many careers, 
educator, postmaster, author, lecturer, humorist, and "revealer of 
obscure fact."- Of his authorship of six books, he said, "I have 
an unearned reputation as an authority on Western history, but I 
expect that perhaps I have a more generally earned reputation as a 
story teller."^ His continuing source of inspiration was the West, 
and more particularly, Wyoming. His friend, Denver Post col- 
umnist Red Fenwick, said, in 1967: "Jack's somewhat dated — 
like I am. He's part of a generation old enough to have seen the 
tag end of the real West and young enough to appreciate the fact."^ 

His childhood, which until his sixteenth year included residence 
in Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, shaped his frontier philos- 
ophy, expressed in his humor and sturdy conservatism. He was 
the only child of W. V. and La Vaughn Gage. His father, the son 
of Anson F. W. Gage and Lucy Bump, was born August 23, 1868, 
in Hartford, Connecticut.^ 

W. V. Gage's life, commemorated in The Horse-The Buggy- 
The Doctor, began with emotional and and financial obstacles. 
When he was a youngster, his father left his mother, who then 
opened a millinery shop. She remarried, but the stepfather was 
of "short duration," and he left with a good share of Mrs. Gage's 
savings. She was forced to move to another Connecticut city to 
open another millinery shop. Gage enrolled at Rush Medical 
College in Chicago, Illinois, earning his room and board by work- 
ing at the Cook County Hospital kitchen. He graduated first 
in his class. ^^ He moved to Nebraska, where he married La 
Vaughn Phelan, born October 23, 1878, at Eau Clair, Wisconsin, 
the daughter of J. R. Phelan and Adele Moss Bennot.' Phelan, 

acting governor following the appointment of J. J. Hickey to the U. S. 
Senate. Limiting the comparison to state offices, Gage shares service in 
three offices with Everett Copenhaver and C. J. "Doc" Rogers. Other 
public figures, including his contemporaries Lester Hunt and Frank Barrett, 
served in three statewide elected offices, but included service in Congress. 

-Casper Star-Tribune, March 17, 1970, editorial "A Dedicated Public 

'^Ibid., December 18, 1966, editorial "The Story Teller." 

^Jack R. Gage, The Johnson County War, (Cheyenne: Flintlock Publish- 
ing Co., 1967), Notes on the Author by Red Fenwick. 

^State of Colorado, Standard Certificate of Death, Bureau of Vital Statis- 
tics, State File Number 4693, Registrar's Number 131, District 191. Gage 
died March 9, 1946, at Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo, Colo. 

fJJack R. Gage, The Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor, (Cheyenne: Flintlock 
Publishing Co., 1968), pp. 7-15. The source does not identify a date for 
Gage's enrollment, nor do family records. Presumably, it would have been 
in 1886-1890 period. 

""State of Wyoming, Certificate of Death, Department of Public Health, 
Division of Vital Statistics, State File Number 1203. Mrs. Gage separated 
from her husband after his son had left home. She was employed by the 
University of Wyoming for a number of years. She lived with her son and 
his family in Sheridan at the time of her death on June 14, 1957. 


general superintendent of the Burlington Railroad at Alliance, 
Nebraska, helped Edward Gillette bring the railroad to Sheridan, 
Wyoming, in the 1890's.'^ 

There are two versions of the circumstances of John Robert 
Gage's birth, one as it was and the other as he would have pre- 
ferred. '^ According to the popular account, preserved in news- 
paper articles. Gage was born when his father was employed as a 
doctor for the Chicago and North Western Railroad. His father 
was said to have been treating employes who were laying track 
through central Wyoming and to have been living, with his preg- 
nant wife, in a railroad boxcar. When it was time for her delivery. 
Dr. Gage was said to have sent her to be with her family in 
McCook, Nebraska. Jack R. Gage would, years later, cap the 
story with the observation that he would have preferred being born 
in the boxcar. ^'^ If he could not claim birth in Wyoming, he could 
at least claim conception. 

The popular account has elements of fact. At a later point. Dr. 
Gage was employed by the railroad and lived, with his wife and 
son, in a boxcar. However, at the time of Gage's birth on January 
13, 1899, the family was residing in McCook under far more 
affluent circumstances. His father was practicing medicine and 
the Gage's were remembered as a "fashionable family." They 
owned one of the first automobiles in the county and enjoyed 
outings in full motoring regalia. Dr. Gage was described as a 
"dapper man," whose son was "dressed like Little Lord Faunt- 
leroy," an impression photographs of him at that time confirm. ^^ 
For the official record. Gage would later gloss over his Nebraska 
origins, describing himself as the "son of a pioneer physician in 
the Big Horn Basin.''^^ 

Accounts of Gage's first sixteen years are sketchy. His father 
worked for the railroad in the Casper vicinity, at times living in a 

'^Letter from Jack R. Gage to Oscar A. Ganum, Avery, Wis., November 
5, 1956. Undated clippings from the 1934 campaign also mention J. R. 
Phelan's role in bringing the Burlington Railroad to Sheridan. 

^The Pioneer, (edited and published by the students of Worland, Wyo- 
ming, High School, 1918), p. 11. This is the only reference to Gage's 
Christian name "John." He was hereafter known only as "Jack." His son 
was named Jack Gage, II. 

^^Wyoming Eagle, March 17, 1970, p. 1 "Gage Rites to be Held 

^'^ McCook Daily Gazette, March 16, 1970, "Ex-McCookite, Former Wyo- 
ming Governor Dies," p. 9. An interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage supports 
the fact that Gage resided in McCook, Nebr. for the first several years of 
his life, and that his father resided there at the time of his son's birth. A 
photograph of Gage and his father, taken when he was a youngster, con- 
firms the impression he was smartly dressed. This photograph was used 
as the cover for The Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor. 

i2"Biographical Sketch of Jack R. Gage," Gage Collection of papers, 
Governor files. 


boxcar. When Gage was three years old, his father went to 
Vienna, Austria, to study skin diseases. His wife and son, as was 
to be the case periodically in the next few years, lived with her 
family in McCook. Despite his training in skin diseases. Dr. Gage 
did not pursue his specialty. Troubled by asthma, he moved 
several times. For a short period, about the time Gage was 
enrolled in the first grade, the family lived in Denver, Colorado. 
When it was time for young Gage to enter the first grade, his 
father was so ill with an asthma attack that his wife had to remain 
with him. A neighbor was prevailed upon to take young Gage to 
school. He was so uncertain of the arrangement that he insisted 
on taking the neighbor's glove to make sure that she would return 
for him. The family then moved downstate to Primero, where Dr. 
Gage treated employes of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. 
His son's school performance was erratic; one year he withdrew 
entirely and was tutored by his father. Young Gage completed his 
eighth grade there and alarmed the family by working the summer 
in a local coal mine.^^ 

Gage's school record is documented in 1915, when he trans- 
ferred from Alliance, Nebraska, to Worland, Wyoming, High 
School. In his own view. Gage's life began in Worland, where, he 
said, "Fifteen Mile Creek emptied its tired dirty water into the 
Big Horn River and where a ferry crossed the river." In his 
Tensleep and No Rest, Gage affectionately sketched life in Wor- 
land in 1909, six years before his arrival: "It was a town where 
not much happened. The residents had to content themselves with 
the use and re-use of an abundant supply of home-made conjec- 
tures about what might happen in care this or that took place." He 
described story telling as a way of Hfe, with conversations revolving 
around "who got drunk and got into a fight and who got drunk 
and did not get into a fight ... in direct proportion to how many 
times the same individual had done either or both before." It was 
a town where, "Their love for their neighbor or their hate for him 
assumed violent proportions."^** 

Gage's high school performance was recalled, years later, by 
his friend, Ben Gregg, "Jack was not the best student in school, 
nor the worst either; but like him though I did, I was not entitled 
to expect too much." In view of Gage's accompHshments, Gregg 
mused, "I wonder what it was I overlooked in him when we were 

i^Interview with Mrs. Jack R.Gage. In her view. Gage, as a youngster 
was troubled by his father's asthma attacks, which caused the family to 
move several times. She believes that Gage considered his life in Worland 
as the happiest in his childhood. 

i^Jack R. Gage, Tensleep and No Rest, (Casper: Prairie Publishing Co., 
1958), p. 68. 


boys. It must have been there."^^ As would be expected in a 
class with only three men, Gage participated in virtually every 
student activity. He was an athlete, cartoonist for the annual, a 
lead in class plays, and a member of the debate team in a year 
when one of the topics was "Resolved: That the U. S. Should 
Annex Mexico." He had already developed an interest in humor- 
ous stories, dramatics and writing. To his classmater, he was, "A 
tall, shy fellow who plodded on slowly but was sure to win. He 
was our 'Literary Genius' and his stories were very absorbing."^^ 

Making Plans for the Future, Afoot and Horseback 

For two summers, Gage worked with the U. S. Reclamation 
survey of Wyoming lands and spent many hours on horseback. 
He rode out to visit ranches, trying, as he put it, to emulate the 
cowboys. He trapped coyotes in the badlands and thought about 
his future, "I felt that I could have what I wanted in the world if 
I could arouse the courage needed to work for it."^^ His high 
school annual in 1918 was filled with references to the war effort. 
Gage was proud of his patriotism: 

When I was a boy, I had a great desire to be deHnquent, and within 
bounds managed to achieve a certain deUnquency, but somewhere 
along the Hne I learned respect for authority and developed a great 
love of country. When World War I came, every boy in my class, 
three in all, enlisted. i*' 

Gage enhsted in the U. S. Army Coast Artillery Corps on May 23, 
1918, at Fort Logan, Colorado. His record was described as free 
of absences without leave, with "honest and faithful service," 
though he saw no combat action before his discharge on April 8, 
1919.^^ Although his father made much of his service by decorat- 
ing the family walls with photographs of Gage in uniform. Gage 
himself took it none too seriously, observing of his veteran status, 
"I was the only buck private I've met since then."-" 

isjack R. Gage, The Horse-The Buggy -The Doctor, (Cheyenne: Flintlock 
Pubhshing Co., 1968), About the Author notes by Ben Gregg. 

^^The Pioneer, (edited and published by students of Worland, Wyoming, 
High School, 19i8). The conclusions are based on a reading of the entire 
text, with special reference to pages 4, 11 and 15. 

i^Special Edition, Wyoming State Tribune and Wyoming Eagle, July 
24-27, 1962. An interview by Alice Shields, "Acting Governor of Wyoming 
is Hard Working Outdoorsman." 

^^Fort Morgan (Colorado) Times, November 29, 1967. "Ex-Wyoming 
Chief Mixes Criticism, Humor at Rotary Farmers Night." 

^^Certificate of Honorable Discharge from U. S. Army. Washakie Coun- 
ty, State of Wyoming. Filed April 8, 1919. Recorded in Book 1. Discharge 
Records, p. 12. 

"^^Wyoming State Tribune, May 21, 1959, "Highly Colorful Career Leads 
Gage to No. 2 State Office." 


In 1919, Dr. Gage completed a memoir, "To Son From Dad," 
with a bound collection of quotations from his favorite authors, 
including Longfellow, Emerson, Whitman and Holmes, as well as 
his own thoughts. Of the nearly one-third quotations which are 
attributed to Dr. Gage, the majority of them counsel silence in the 
face of adversity, for example : 

Don't argue. If you argue with your mental superior, you are tire- 
some and ridiculous in his eyes. If he is your inferior, mentally, you 
can't gain your point and you will probably lose a friend. 

Saying nothing is magic. It mystifies your enemies, dumbfounds your 
loud-talking traducer, and binds your friends to you past all loosening. 

Most anyone can talk loud and say nothing, but few men know how 
to keep still and say something. 

He also encouraged modesty, "However much you feel the im- 
pulse, never say a word in self praise, for if you have done a big 
thing, people know it and will tell you so. If you tell them about 
it, it someway takes the keen edge off your accomplishment." "To 
Son From Dad" reflected Dr. Gage's appreciation for effective 
language and suggested the kind of values he wished to impart. 
Gage himself was later to abide by certain suggestions of keeping 
his own counsel, particularly in political debate. Gage, however, 
was an independent man, and any similarity in expression or atti- 
tude was as much due to his own experience as to his father's 
counsel. The influence of the memoir, which contains Jack Gage's 
handwritten comments throughout, should, in fact, not be exag- 
gerated, for he was also advised by his father, "I don't know about 
this laughing business. History gives few records of funny men 
who reached the pinnacle of greatness."-^ 

Gage greatly respected his father's career in medicine. In The 
Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor, he recounted an episode where he 
treated a patient in his father's absence. After his graduated from 
the University of Wyoming, Gage considered entering medical 
school, but his academic record and the financial demands dis- 
suaded him.^- In 1961, he confided to a friend, "I would rather 
practice medicine in Connecticut or Tasmania than be governor, 
that really being my secret sorrow."^^ 

2i"To Son from Dad," (a personal memoir, 1919), Gage Collection 
pp. 16, 36, 37. 

-^Interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage, Cheyenne, April, 1975. 

-•'^Letter from Gage to Fred Agee, Jr., M.D., Westhersfield, Connecticut, 
July 24, 1961. The letter cautioned, "Please do not make it public . . . ." 
Mrs. Gage has said that Gage would have preferred a career in medicine. 
As late as 1964, he was delighted to be able to join the "Flying Doctors" 
serving Western Australia for a review of their operations. 


Education, as Student and as Teacher 

Gage enrolled at the University of Wyoming in 1919. He earned 
his way as a janitor in the school's heating plant, the Episcopal 
Church and the post office. During summers, he worked with a 
surveying crew and for the Union Pacific Railroad. After his 
sophomore year, he joined a logging camp in northern British 
Columbia as an ax man with a surveying crew. "The work was 
heavy," he said, "but the outdoors was good." He worked through 
the spring, summer, and fall of 1921, and returned in January to 
complete studies in agriculture.-^ When he was in college, the 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction was Katharine Morton, 
whom he would oppose in the 1934 general election. A future 
political contemporary, Milward Simpson, was yearbook editor 
and a star athlete. Gage pledged Alpha Tau Omego social fra- 
ternity, whose alumni included Tracy S. McCraken, Cheyenne 
newspaper publisher, who as Democratic National Committeeman 
would later counsel Gage. With so many part-time jobs. Gage 
was not especially active in campus social life, though he did 
continue his interest in dramatics.-^ 

Gage married Leona Switzer on September 29, 1922. In a 
collection of profiles on University of Wyoming history. Gage re- 
called, "... the most outstanding event for me in The Good Years 
was that I got married. Too, it has been the longest lasting event." 
He said that in 1922-1923 a sensation was created when "about 
18 or 20" student couples married: 

The State Legislature actually contemplated moving in a manner de- 
signed to remove us from school because we had married. This now 
[1965] seems ironical; since that time, other people have probably 
come close to being removed because they did not get married.26 

Gage said that he had worked his way through school until his 
marriage, and then, "My wife worked our way through school."-^ 

He graduated from the University in 1924 with a B. S. Degree in 
agriculture. He was employed, in the 1924-1925 academic year, 
at Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyoming, where he 
was viewed as "a well-qualified instructor and popular with his 
pupils and other teachers."-^ After a brief, unsuccessful associa- 
tion in a school supply business in Laramie, Gage, in 1929, began 
teaching in Sheridan High School. His son, Jack Robert, was born 

-"^Wyoming State Tribune and Wyoming Eagle, July 24-27, 1962. 

-''The Wyo, (published by University of Wyoming students) Volumes 12, 
13 and 14 for 1920, 1921. 1922. 

-^Those Good Years at Wyoming U, ed. by Ralph E. McWhinnie (Casper: 
Prairie Publishing Co., 1965), pp. 134-35. 

-' Wyoming Eagle, March 17, 1970. 

2SLetter from R. A. Wright, president, Campbell County High School 
Board, Gillette, Wyoming, June 10, 1925, To Whom it May Concern. 


in 1926; and Richard Collier in 1928. In a worsening economy, 
Gage was fortunate to be employed, however meager the salary. 
He and his wife became proficient at economizing. There was 
little to suggest that in a few years he would astound the state with 
his vote-getting abilities. 


On the Campaign Trail, With a Bedroll 

Although Wyoming fared relatively better than most states in 
the Great Depression, the electorate in 1932 endorsed Franklin 
Roosevelt with fifty-six per cent of the vote, compared to fifty- 
seven and four-tenths per cent nationally. The Republicans, who 
had controlled the Legislature since 1893 and monopolized state 
elective offices, were rebuffed when voters elected a conservative 
Democrat, Leslie A. Miller, governor and gave control of the 
House of Representatives to the Democrats. ^'^ The election did 
not signify, however, a dramatic change in the political make-up 
of Wyoming. In a state where two-thirds of the population lived 
on farms, ranches, or communities of less than 2500 persons, 
conservatism was deeply rooted. The stockmen dominated pol- 
itics, exhibiting a deep mistrust of federal intervention and adher- 
ence to economy in government. Miller, with whom Gage would 
campaign and serve, set the tone for frugality. The 1933 Legis- 
lature spent most of its time trying to reduce taxes and appro- 
priations. Participation in the New Deal program was never com- 
pletely enthusiastic, though Roosevelt carried the state in 1936 
and 1940.-^" 

The 1933 Legislature had authorized a study on government 
reorganization as a means of effective savings. Although Gage 
was, at the time, a teacher in Sheridan, the study was to influence 
his attitude on reorganization and on two key figures. 

The first Democratic Speaker of the Wyoming House of Repre- 
sentatives was William M. "Scotty" Jack, who won the post in 
1933. The reorganization study concept had originated with the 
Wyoming Tax League. A delegation of legislators asked Governor 
Miller for the right to conduct the study. He had agreed, and, in 
1933, legislation was approved. According to Governor Miller, 
"Scotty" Jack, who was vice chairman of the legislative commis- 
sion, was its guiding force. Griffenhagen and Associates of Chi- 
cago was hired to research the possibilities. The resulting pro- 
posals were so radical that Miller forwarded them to the Legisla- 

29T. A. Larson, "The New Deal in Wyoming," Pacific Historical Review, 
August, 1969, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 
p. 251. 

30/ZjjW., pp. 249-253. 


ture without recommendation. Included in the package were pro- 
posals to reduce the number of Wyoming counties from twenty- 
three to eleven, to transfer duties of sheriffs to a state police force, 
and to make the state one school district, eliminating the post of 
county superintendent of schools. Most startling, and a direct 
strike at Miller's office, was the proposal to make the governor, in 
effect, a figurehead, appointed by a legislative body of nine or 
twelve members. Administration of the state would be assumed 
by a state manager, hired by the Legislature. The conflict, in 
Miller's view, was a power struggle between the executive and 
legislative branches. He saw Jack as a moving force. For a 
variety of reasons, particularly the proposed loss of county offices, 
the Legislature rejected the study, disgusted that $15,000 had been 
wasted. To Miller's consternation, Jack not only emerged un- 
scathed, but filed, in 1934, for the nomination for state auditor. ^^ 
The episode characterized the difference in philosophy between 
Jack and Miller, and the undercurrent of personal mistrust and 

Prior to filing for the Democratic nomination for State Super- 
intendent of Public Instruction in 1934, Gage had been virtually 
without political experience at any level. He had not been active 
in campus politics at the University of Wyoming. Although there 
is some indication he attended Democratic functions in Sheridan, 
he had held no party office. It was not unusual, at this time, for 
a school teacher to refrain from active participation in politics and 
Mrs. Gage has said that her husband had no special interest in 
that pursuit. There is only one reference to his involvement. The 
1934 convention program of the Young Folks Democratic Clubs 
of Wyoming credited Gage, George Pearson, and C. T. "Doc" 
Holmes of Casper with forming the state's first club, in Sheridan, 
in 1933.32 

Gage apparently was drafted to run in 1934. According to Mrs. 
Gage, the invitation followed a local Democratic meeting where 
Gage at the last moment, was called upon to emcee. His public 
speaking abilities impressed local leaders of the party, who in the 

•"^iLeslie A. Miller personal memorandum, "William M. Scotty Jack and 
the Democratic Party in Wyoming," undated; it is in the Gage collection. 
Miller, in longhand, added a postscript in his copy to Gage, "New title, 
'Jack, a Study in Duplicity.' " The Miller perspective is presented in detail 
because Gage tended to ally with him, and, as late as 1962, relied on him 
for politcial counsel. Miller was co-chairman of the Gage for Governor 
Committee in 1962. 

82Program, First Annual State Convention, Young Folks Democratic 
Clubs of Wyoming, Casper, September 17-18, 1934, p. 4. The program also 
credited Wyoming's U. S. Senator John B. Kendrick with having originated 
the idea of Young Democratic clubs. He was said to have taken the idea 
to Postmaster General James Farley in the early 1930's and the national 
membership, in 1934, was estimated at 2.5 million. 


Spring of 1934 asked him to seek office. -^^ When his candidacy 
was announced, it was not by Gage, but by N. V. Kurtz, chairman 
of the Sheridan County Democratic Central Committee. Gage, in 
fact, seemed to have been caught off guard. His comments, pub- 
lished with those of Kurtz, noted that his candidacy was not his 
idea, but the party's. He said he was pleased to run and would be 
prepared, at a later date, to make a statement in regard to cam- 
paign issues.-^^ 

A school teacher with a family to support and no savings. Gage 
was in no position, financially, to make the race. However, 
through a combination of good luck and imaginative campaigning, 
he made the lack of money an asset. His good luck stemmed 
from the universal conviction the Democrats would make a strong 
race in 1934. The optimism brought five other contestants to the 
race: Maud Sholty, Cheyenne; Gilbert Johnson and Elmer Hal- 
seth, both of Rock Springs; Mrs. Ida Johnson, Newcastle; and 
M. A. Thrasher, Wheatland. Especially fortunate for Gage was 
the well-founded expectation that the two Rock Springs candidates 
would split the crucial primary vote in the Democratic stronghold, 
Sweetwater County. Gage decided to capitahze on his lack of 
financing, making a virtue of a defect. He captured the pubUc's 
imagination with a thrifty campaign that made sense in a depres- 
sion. He left his teaching position at the end of the term. With 
an amount reported variously at $100 and $125, he set out with 
a car, a bedroll, and a wash basin. He slept outside of commu- 
nities and groomed himself in his car before beginning his cam- 
paigning. He said, later, "I chiseled more free meals by appearing 
at someone's house. I became adept at making the wife think he'd 
asked me and the husband that she'd asked me."-^^ He told the 
Cheyenne press that he had traveled some 8000 miles in the ten- 
week primary campaign, without having exhausted his bankroll. 
He said he had spent only one night in a hotel room, "spending 
the remainder of the time under the stars in cowboy fashion."^® 

Gage stressed that he was the first University of Wyoming grad- 
uate to seek state office. He beUeved his school supply business 
experience had afforded many contacts with school officials. He 
spoke of his varied employment and his veteran status. He even 
mentioned his grandfather Phelan's role in bringing the railroad 
through Wyoming. His mother often campaigned with him. At 

^^interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage, Cheyenne, April, 1975. She con- 
cluded, "It was just about that casual." 

^■^Sheridan Press, May 6, 1934, "Head of School System is Goal of 
Local Man." 

■i^jWyoming State Tribune, March 16, 1970, editorial "Candid Observer 
of the Passing Parade." 

•^^Unidentified news clipping marked "Cheyenne," January 8, 1935, Asso- 
ciated Press, Gage scrapbook. 


the time, she was a member of the state board of education and a 
dormitory director at the University of Wyoming's Hoyt Hall. 
Although it did not appear to compromise Gage at the time, his 
mother was serving through appointment by his Republican oppo- 
nent.^''' His first official act, upon election, was to accept his 
mother's resignation from the board. -^^ Humor quickly became a 
feature in his campaign style and it was a potent weapon at a time 
when the rally was a major campaign medium. He delighted in 
beginning his speeches with the admission that he had nearly de- 
cided against running because, "My ears stick out so much I 
almost can't get my picture on a telephone pole."^^ Although 
Gage did not overtly exploit the issue, many in Wyoming thought 
that men should have first preference in employment during the 
depression. Up to that time, the office, with three exceptions, had 
been held by a woman. ^"^ 

The primary fulfilled the Democratic expectations. The com- 
bined vote in the gubernatorial race was the largest vote the party 
had won in state history, while the Republican vote was the small- 
est in a quarter-century.^^ A total of 27,965 votes were cast in 
Gage's race. He took approximately 20 per cent of the vote in a 
six-member race. He made a strong statewide showing, taking 
Albany, Big Horn, Campbell, Hot Spring, Laramie, Sheridan, 
Teton and Washakie counties. His nearest opponent, Maud 
Sholty, took Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Johnson, Lincoln and 
Sublette counties. The other opponents did not draw well outside 
of their home areas.^- 

Governor Miller was nominated to lead the state ticket. He 
was credited, by the party, with having reduced state spending by 
a third, prohibiting overdrafts on state money, passing laws favor- 
able to labor, revising the state banking laws to protect depositors, 
and reducing the cost of automobile license plates by half. He 

^"Clipping marked "Worland," June 14. 1934, "Jack Gage Visits Here," 
Gage Scrapbook. 

38Clipping marked "Cheyenne," January 8, 1935, Associated Press, Gage 

■^^Interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage. 

•^^Wyoming State Tribune and Wyoming Eagle, July 24-27, 1962. Mrs. 
Gage said that Gage was aware of the resentment, during the Great Depres- 
sion, against women holding jobs when men were out of work. In fact, he 
was concerned that the press would disclose that his wife was substitute 
teaching to help meet family expenses. Some press accounts had said Gage 
was the first man to hold the office. This was not true; three men served: 
Stephen H. Farwell, 1891-1895, Thomas T. Tynan, 1899-1907; and Archi- 
bald Cook, 1907-1911. 

■^^Sheridan Press, August 23, 1934, "Gage and Baldwin Forge into Lead," 
p. 1. 

'^^1935 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1934. 
compiled by the Secretary of State. A chart with a breakdown of the pri- 
mary vote by counties is also provided. 


was said to have cooperated with the National Recovery Act.^^ 
The balance of the ticket was equally strong. Senator Joseph C. 
O'Mahoney, Paul Greever, Lester Hunt and "Scotty Jack" were 
all to prove formidable vote-getters. Gage, in his initiation into 
electoral politics, was in relatively exalted company by Democratic 

The expectation of victory was reflected in the attendance at 
rallies, where the press announced, "The Democrats are every- 
where drawing record crowds. "^^ They attracted 500 to a rally in 
Douglas and 300 in Glendo, an astonishing achievement even 
taking into account the prevailing practice of both Democrats and 
Republicans attending ail rallies.*^ The 1934 election was a 
referendum on the New Deal and the party's candidates accord- 
ingly waved the Roosevelt banner enthusiastically. Full-page 
newspaper advertisements urged voters to "keep Wyoming march- 
ing forward to recovery under Democratic leadership." Other ads 
proclaimed that, under the Democrats, "The common man has a 
chance."*^ Pictures of Roosevelt usually accompanied those of 
the candidates. 

In the general. Gage campaigned with Miller and "Scotty" Jack. 
When Gage and Jack stood together on the podium, they were, 
according to the wags, the long and short of it. One account 
described the six-foot Gage as "Tall, he beams with good humor 
and it was not long before he had the crowd smihng back at him." 
He said he was the first University of Wyoming graduate to run 
and the incumbent had already had sixteen years on the job. He 
promised to bring greater efficiency and economy to the post. In 
contrast, the same account described "Scotty" Jack as "a firey 
little fellow," who accused an aide of neglecting to bring his plat- 
form, "forcing Jack to mount a chair so that he might be able to 
see and be seen."*" On the eve of the election. Gage wrote a note 
to U. S. House candidate Greever in which he relived, in a night- 
mare fashion, the 1934 campaign. He spun images of parades, 
posters and confetti and speeches where he heard everything "83 
times." In 1966, he added a handwritten note to his copy of the 
letter to Greever, "What I wrote to Paul 32 years ago had to do 

43Program, Young Folks Democratic Clubs of Wyoming, September 17- 
18, 1934, p. 6. 

'^'^Wyoming Eagle, October 25, 1934. 

4-TUnidentified clipping marked "Douglas," November 1, 1934, Gage 

^^Sheridan Press, October 24, 1934, full page advertisement, "Support the 
President." Similar advertisements, in undated papers, are also available 
in the Gage Scrapbook. 

47Clipping marked "Wheatland," November 1, 1934, "Democratic Rallies 
Bring Out Large, Attentive Crowds Here," Gage Scrapbook. 


with an Old-Fashioned election. No TV, no radio, almost, and a 
lot of rallies. "^*^ 

The general election was a solid Democratic triumph. For the 
first time in state history, the party elected all five state candidates 
and both national candidates.^-' Gage's performance was phe- 
nomenal. Expected to benefit from the landslide, he led it. He 
took twenty-two of twenty-three counties, losing Sublette by four 
votes. His margin of 20,000 votes for 60 per cent of the vote was 
good enough to lead the entire ticket. His showing, the press 
concluded, "must in large measure be looked upon as a personal 
triumph."-''" In a satirical wrap-up in the Casper paper, the 
M-O-M machine was spoofed, referring to Tracy S. McCraken, 
national committeeman, Joseph C. O'Mahoney, and Leslie A. 
Miller. It called Gage "the most surprising player of them all." 
Of "Scotty" Jack it said, "He has been selected the brain truster 
of the team. Even his opponents admit than an oil man must be 
clever to be elected to state office."-''^ 

At a victory dinner in Cheyenne, attended by more than 800 
persons, Senator O'Mahoney credited the win to Roosevelt: 

During this campaign, I have seen scores of men and women who 
are not Democrats, but who would say to me that 'we are trying to 
do something for the people of America and we are going to cooper- 
ate with Roosevelt by giving support to the men who support him.' 

Gage, reported as "bringing gales of laughter from the audience," 
said the Democrats would have to work to assure a similar dinner 
in 1938. Jack praised party unity and Secretary of State-elect 
Lester Hunt pledged "complete harmony and accord with Gover- 
nor Miller."'"'^ 

A Divided Administration 

Gage's personal files contain few references to his tenure as 
State Superintendent of Public Instruction or to his evaluation of 
the New Deal years. Of all his responsibilities, he derived greatest 
satisfaction from serving on the state boards and commissions, 
which he said, "actually amounts to the business of Wyoming."''-* 
In later years, Gage would be accused by "Scotty" Jack, his col- 

■*'^Letter from Jack R. Gage to Paul Greever, November 5, 1934. The 
copy, with Gage's handwritten postscript, is in the Gage Collection. 

^'•^Sheridan Press, November 7, 1934, "Democrats Take State," p. 1. 

■'^'Ibicl., no date available, editorial "At the Head of the Ticket," Gage 

■"'iClipping marked "Casper paper," which appears to be December 4. 
1934, Gage Scrapbook. It appeared in a column signed "L. M. McB." 

^'-Wyoitv'iig Eagle, November 20, 1934, "New Wyoming Officials are 
Speakers at Victory Meet." 

•"■'■^Gage Speech File. "Last List of Things 1 Know," 1958 campaign 


league on the boards, of being more at home in the Republican 
party, and Gage did not agree. He was a conservative, but 
his philosophy had a home in the Democratic party, particularly 
that of Governor Miller's. He viewed the party as having room 
"for all classes of people." Although he did not embrace many 
New Deal programs, largely out of opposition to the vast expen- 
ditures required. Gage did not waver in his personal support for 

His campaign speeches had not offered a specific program, 
beyond an effort to achieve greater economies. Although he 
hesitated to make policy, he recognized the value of innovation: 

The man in public life who is the drone, politically, is the man who 
acts after the event has occurred, while the politician is very apt to 
be the man, who because he has a little get up and go will produce 
events .... By and large, I would say that, year for year, the Demo- 
crats have been responsible for producing far more events than any- 
one else. I would be the first to say that some of those things were 
bad errors, but percentage-wise, that is not true. 55 

By his own definition. Gage was something of a drone in his 1935- 
1939 service. There were no major innovations in the school 
programs. He conducted a study of the costs of operating state 
institutions, but the results were produced without comment or 
recommendation.^*^ The only legislation he was said to have in- 
spired was a bill to require all five state officials to serve on any 
board or commission which required membership of any state 
official. According to Miller, the measure had been advocated to 
force "Scotty" Jack to serve on the Liquor Commission and thus 
blunt his criticism of its operation. The dispute over location of 
the commission warehouse characterized the undercurrents of hos- 
tility within the Miller administration. Casper wanted the facihty 
and businessmen there paid $5 a month to support a "Better 
Wyoming Association" to promote the cause. News bulletins were 
pubhshed that said Miller, as a Cheyenne resident, was showing 
favoritism. Miller beheved that Jack, a resident of Casper, en- 
couraged his critics. ^^ In the 1938 election, the Natrona County 
vote for both Miller and Gage was considerably lower. ^^ 

•''-ilnterview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage. As an illustration, she said that 
Gage strongly supported Roosevelt for a fourth term, although many of his 
own friends disagreed. 

5"'Gage Speech File. Rough notes for a commencement address at 
Sheridan College. 

56A Statistical Study of the Comparative Costs in the Operation of 
Wyoming State Institutions, compiled by Jack R. Gage. The mimeographed, 
undated report lists the costs in comparative charts, but contains no text. 

•"'"Leslie A. Miller memorandum "William M. Scotty Jack and the Demo- 
cratic Party in Wyoming," Gage Collection. 

''^Wyoming Official Directory, Election Returns for 1934, compiled by 


Gage, at a later point in his career, conceded that he was not a 
moving force in the implementation of new ideas in education. He 
said Superintendent Velma Linford, whom he served with, 1959- 
1963 had done a better job. She did "things I knew needed doing, 
but was afraid to tackle. Excusing myself a little, I might say the 
stage for such action was not even picked out, let alone set at that 
time."''^ He apparently played no active role in promoting legis- 
lation for the 1935 Legislature, which approved a two percent sales 
tax which became the principal source of revenue for the state. 
The Legislature provided for a department of public welfare, a 
new state industrial recovery act, a state planning board, old age 
assistance, cooperation with the National Housing Act and a child 
labor law.^^' 

In the 1936 election, Roosevelt obtained sixty and six-tenths per 
cent of the Wyoming vote, compared to sixty and seven-tenths per 
cent nationally. The make-up of the Legsilature was decidedly 
more Democratic. Despite the election triumph, the New Deal 
subject to growing disenchantment, which stemmed from confusion 
over the social experimentation and disapproval of considerable 
federal spending. At one point in 1936, the chairman of the 
Democratic State Central Committee derided social workers as 
"leeches of society in the relief set-ups of every county. "•'^ Gage 
himself, in a statement for the press, attacked "relief roll chiselers." 
As chairman of the Wyoming Board of Welfare and Relief, he 
warned that the relief rolls would be purged of "chiselers" as 
rapidly as possible when the state took over care of the unemploy- 
ables. He foresaw difficulty because of the "large number of 
people who have come to be entirely satisfied with their existence 
as made possible by relief and the additional number of indolent 
individuals who under normal conditions, when a demand for labor 
is great, would voluntarily remain unemployed." He also expected 
difficulty from "those few people who have been employed in the 
distribution of relief whose reaction will be one of reticence in 
seeing the necessity for their employment seriously jeopardized." 
He said the state board was not interested in any type of work 
relief as a state program.^^ 

As the mandate for economic relief eased, Democrats were faced 
with problems within the state administration. A number of 

the Secretary of State. A chart comparing the vote in the counties for 
1934 and 1938 had been provided. 

f>''Gage Speech File, marked "Thermopolis," presumably, from interior 
evidence, prepared for the Democratic state convention there in May, 1960. 

*^"^T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, (University of Nebraska Press, 
1965), pp. 443-444. 

*^iT. A. Larson, "The New Deal in Wyoming," p. 262. 

♦inundated, unidentified clipping, Gage Scrapbook, "To Purge Relief Roll 


disputes had shattered post-election promises of unity. Jack and 
Miller had clashed on a number of issues. Miller's veto of a 
measure on homestead exemption caused such dissension that Mil- 
ler was forced to call a caucus of the Democratic members of the 
Legislature to repair relations. The cost of remodeling the Gov- 
ernor's mansion caused embarrassing headlines. Miller told Gage 
he was convinced that Jack had made a number of travel vouchers 
he questioned available to the Republican press, which used them 
to attack Miller.*^-^ 

A Reverse of Party Fortunes, 1938 

The 1938 campaign thus opened on a note of pessimism. Miller 
was angered because "Scotty" Jack would not endorse him, de- 
spite appeals from Greever and O'Mahoney. It was said that 
Greever, who in 1938 sought re-election to the U. S. House, had 
supported Miller in 1934 with the understanding he would step 
aside in 1938 so that Greever could run.*^^ 

Gage was probably handicapped by his campaigning with Miller, 
who was criticized for his failure to lower gas taxes, the attempt 
to get water rights for the Kendrick project, and the cost of remod- 
eling the governor's mansion. Although the sales tax was a sound 
policy for the state, it was not popular.*''' Gage had problems of 
his own to contend with, stemming from his own office. In 1934 
he had defeated Maud Sholty in the primary. After the election, 
he named Robert Outsen his deputy and declined to employ Sholty. 
She had lost the 1934 primary by only 894 votes and proved an 
antagonist of formidable capacity. She challenged Gage in the 
1938 primary, where he won 65 per cent of the vote, with a 
]0,00d-vote margin. 

The primary vote in 1938 showed the parties fairly evenly 
matched in turnout. In the U. S. House race, Greever received 
31,202 votes, while the Republicans, in selecting Frank Horton 
over Alonzo Clark, cast 30,956. Miller was opposed by Gus 
Engelking who drew 20,333 votes to 23,464 for Miller. The five- 
man primary in the Republican party, where Nels Smith won, drew 
32,055, compared to 33,979 for the Democrats. Lester Hunt and 
"Scotty Jack," the only two incumbents to survive, were unop- 
posed. Pat Flannery was nominated for state treasurer. Gage 

^•''Leslie A. Miller memorandum, "William M. Scotty Jack and the Demo- 
cratic Party in Wyoming," Gage Collection. 

'■"''T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, pp. 466-47. 

''''Ilyid.. p. 467. The conclusion that Gage was handicapped by campaign- 
ing with Miller was a judgment offered himself in a post-election talk with 
the Gage family, according to Mrs. Jack R. Gage. She said neither she nor 
her husband had any reason to fault Miller; he was highly regarded by 
both of them. 


received 21,606 votes to 1 1,406 for Sholty. Esther Anderson was 
nominated to oppose Gage. Gage carried twenty-two counties, 
losing Sweetwater to Sholty, a native of the county though she had 
been residing for a number of years in Cheyenne.*'" 

During the general campaign, Gage was embarrassed by Repub- 
lican attacks on his travel expenses for the State Department of 
Education. Although he protested that the vouchers cited repre- 
sented the total travel by the department, the issue hurt him. He 
also believed that Sholty worked against him with various women's 
club members. His wife was unable to campaign in the fall be- 
cause of the death of her mother, Mrs. Fronia Switzer, on Sep- 
tember 28, 1938.«' 

The general election was as resounding a defeat as 1934 had 
been a triumph. Greever was ousted from Congress by Horton 
and Miller lost to Smith. The Republicans also elected Mart T. 
Christensen treasurer and Esther Anderson superintendent. De- 
spite the enormity of the setback, the Democratic candidates, with 
the exception of Miller, held down the margin of defeat. Paul 
Greever lost by 5,450 votes, Pat Flannery by 3,673, and Gage by 
4,843. Miller, in contrast, lost by 18,787 votes. The Governor 
trailed Jack and Hunt by 12,000 votes. In his loss. Gage carried 
Albany, Laramie, Lincoln, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Uinta and Wash- 
akie counties. He polled 43,606 votes, compared to 55,194 four 
years earlier. His worst setback was in Natrona County where his 
vote dropped from 1,109 in his first race to 3,829. He was next 
to last on the ticket, with 5000 votes more than Miller.*'"' 

The Democrats, who had only four years of control in state 
history, surrendered office, partly because they lacked the cohesion 
for an effective effort by the entire ticket and partly because they 
could not, in the easing of economic difficulties, resist the tradi- 
tional Republican hold on Wyoming voters. It was twenty years 
before the party came as close to controlling the state administra- 
tion again. 


Postmaster, Author, Rotarian 

Following the 1938 election. Gage launched a school supply 
business in Cheyenne. His partners were Edward Moore, Jr., of 
Sheridan, and Robert Outsen, who had been his deputy at the 
state house. The enterprise was unsuccessful. Gage returned 

6*'79J9 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1938. 
A chart giving a breakdown of the county vote has also been provided. 

''■''Interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage. 

'^^WSQ Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1938. 
Compiled by the Secretary of State. 


to Sheridan where he taught for a short time/'^ U. S. Repre- 
sentative John J. Mclntyre wrote Gage in 1942 to ask if he were 
interested in the postmastership at Sheridan. United States Sen- 
ators O'Mahoney and Harry Schwartz were also helpful, and on 
December 15, 1942, Gage was confirmed."'^ He maintained a 
sideline interest in politics. In 1954 he wrote "Scotty" Jack, who 
had been narrowly defeated by Milward Simpson in the guberna- 
torial race. Jack's reply apologized for not having been as 
thoughtful in 1938, concluding, "At that time, relations within our 
political family were somewhat strained, something I have long 
wanted to talk to you about. I am sure I made some mistakes, 
but I am equally sure that I got blamed for things I was not to 
blame for."^^ There is no evidence the discussion Jack suggested 
ever took place. 

In 1956, Gage was elected governor of Rotary District 168, 
with forty-four clubs. Removed from politics and finding the 
postmastership confining. Gage enjoyed the opportunity for travel 
and speaking. In June, 1957, he participated in the Alex Dreier 
Executive Delegation to Moscow, spending several weeks in the 
U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe and obtaining material for a series 
of addresses on the Iron Curtain nations. Gage relished the oppor- 
tunity to make speeches; he once quipped, "The only talks I enjoy 
are the ones I'm giving," but he also believed the club could help 
develop leadership: 

What are some of the things Rotary will do for you? It is going to 
give you a taste of leadership. You may say, and be correct, "All 
of my days I have been in a position of leadership." That may be 
true, but this is different. This will be without monetary compensa- 
tion. You will be paid in satisfaction, and you can be paid just as 
much as you want to be paid. 

Something else that Rotary will do for some of you, not all of you. 
There may be those among you who have always disliked standing on 
your feet and talking. Well, before you are through with your year, 
you will be on the most friendly terms with the butterflies that have a 
conference in your mid-section everytime you stand up. Don't ever 
try to get rid of those butterflies; they are the very best friends you 
have. Just make friends with them. They will give you ideas you 
have never thought of and add emphasis to what you have to say.72 

^'•^Biographical forms completed for the 1961 National Governors Con- 
ference, Gage Collection. Interviews with Mrs. Gage. 

''■•^Interview with Mrs. Gage. The files contain telegrams from Senators 
O'Mahoney and Schwartz to Gage, December 16, 1942. A copy of the 
Postal Bulletin, 1954, shows Gage as president of the Wyoming Postmasters 

''■^Letter from "Scotty" Jack to Gage, December 27, 1954. 
72Undated, untitled notes. Gage Speech File. From the text, it must have 
been written in 1956, when he was District Governor. 


In 1961, he wrote a Rotary club, "If I told the truth, which may be 
a strange practice for a politician, I actually think, as I look back 
over events in recent years, I would have to blame Rotary for the 
fact that I have now assumed additional responsibilities for the 
state of Wyoming."'^ 

During this period. Gage wrote two books. In 1940, he au- 
thored Geography of Wyoming, a textbook for sixth through eighth 
grades. His second book, Tensleep and No Rest, an account of 
the conflict between sheep and cattle raisers, went into a second 
printing and won him a prize from the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Gage found his own publishers, using Wyoming printers 
in Casper and Cheyenne. He was reimbursed for his research and 
received half the profits after all expenses were met. The press 
run varied from 2500 to 3500 and, in any given year, his proceeds 
did not exceed SIOOO.'^"^ 

Tensleep and No Rest, referring to the Big Horn Basin com- 
munity, recounted the trial of men accused of assaulting sheepmen. 
It was described as a tale "that rings with authenticity, smells of 
the clean sagebrush after a morning shower, echoes with the bleat 
of woolies and the 'kahaaafingngng' of rifles and six-shooters."^^ 
It was dedicated to his sons, who he hoped would know "the very 
last of the Wild West riding hell for leather into the setting sun 
and land of legend." Its fourth chapter, "Whiskey in Tin Cups — 
Twins in a Buggy," described Worland in 1909. Although his 
family did not move there until 1915, Gage placed Dr. Gage in 
the account. His mother appears, under her maiden name, as Mrs. 
Phelan. His source material for the trial was made available 
because Milward Simpson's father had saved the transcript.'^^ As 

"^LeUer from Gage to Rawlins Rotary Club, January 7, 1961, a reply to 
a note of congratulations from the membership. 

'^Interviews with Mrs. Gage. There are no records of Gage's federal 
income tax returns and material in the files is sketchy, although there is 
some correspondence. The first run of Wyoming Afoot and Horseback, 
2,500, was exhausted and a second printing was published in January, 1968, 
according to a notice from Flintlock Publishing. In a notice dated January 
11, 1972, the firm had 1,966 copies on hand. Tensleep and No Rest, where 
the press run was apparently 2,500, also went into a second printing, in 
1959. According to a notice of June 30, 1970, the firm then had 2,982 
copies of The Johnson County War, and in a notice from Flintlock Pub- 
lishing Co., by 1972, there were 190 copies on hand. There is no evidence 
on the press run for the other books, though, in 1972, there were 1,030 
copies of The Horse-The Bnggy-The Doctor on hand. As an illustration of 
Gage's earnings, a January 11, 1972, letter indicates his share of sales, 
after expenses, for his books through Flintlock Publishing was $420.13 to 
his estate. 

'^Denver Post, October 5, 1958, Empire Section. Red Fenwick column 
"Riding the Range." 

''^sjack R. Gage, Tensleep and No Rest, (Casper, Wyoming, Prairie Pub- 
lishing Co., 1958), p. 1, also notes in the appendix. 


in politics, Gage was inclined to dismiss his accomplishments and 
even to derive humor at his own expense: 

I'm downright sorry I ever wrote a book. Quite naturally since I 
wrote the book, I have read no other. Decency and loyalty dictate 
that it should be so. I would dislike having the word get around; 
I'm even getting a little tired of it.'^" 

Gage's twenty-year absence from politics was largely based on 
financial considerations. He had two sons to support and he cared 
for his mother until her death in 1957. The postmastership, 
though it did not challenge him, was secure employment, and he 
was reluctant to enter politics until his family could be adequately 
supported. With his sons' graduations from the University of 
Wyoming and his mother's death. Gage, in 1957, gave serious 
thought to running for governor. He consulted National Com- 
mitteeman Tracy McCraken, but there is no evidence of a written 
reply. In September, 1957, Gage heard from State Chairman 
Teno Roncalio, who said a "rump meeting of a few Democrats in 
Cheyenne," including McCraken, had discussed Gage "as a candi- 
date for either secretary of state or governor."'"' Gage interpreted 
this as the encouragement it was meant to be and decided on 
Secretary of state, apparently convinced this met as well with 
McCraken's approval. 


"The Last List of Things I Know" 

The 1958 election offered nearly as much opportunity to Gage 
as the 1934 election had. The Republicans faced the prospect 
of the traditional losses in an off-year election, coupled with a 
troublesome recession. In Wyoming, the incumbent Republican 
Governor Milward Simpson had equally bothersome issues. Al- 
though unemployment approached 7000, the mainstay industries 
of oil, tourism, and livestock-agriculture were in good condition. 
Simpson, however, had angered residents in some northern Wyo- 
ming communities over location of a segment of Interstate High- 
way 90. The decision to take the southern route, touching Buffalo 
before it reached Sheridan, was decried in the affected communi- 
ties. He faced additional problems with the low-rate interest loan 
to the Wheatland Irrigation District which angered those who 
wanted use of the water rights to be purchased. Veterans opposed 
an $800 limit on their bonus.'-' 

■'■"Gage Speech Files, remarks to convention of Outdoor Writers, Jackson, 
Wyoming, no date available. 

^^^Letter from Democratic State Chairman Teno Roncalio to Gage, Sep- 
tember 27, 1957. 

■'■"T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, pp. 525-27. 


With remarkable candor, Gage wrote his reasons for seeking 
office in a personal statement labeled, "The List of Things I 
Know." It identified clearly his perception of his career and what 
he hoped to achieve in the campaign and in office. He said that 
candidates trying to impress people, "drag out imaginary accom- 
plishments and dust them off, exaggerate them as much as they 
dare and toss them out for the people to gnaw on." Of his "much 
exaggerated accomplishments," he stated: 

By profession, I am an educator. I have taught school in Wyoming 
more years than is any of your business. In fact, I have reached the 
place where things are older than I am, but they are not alive; and 
while I still am, I want to get a few things done. 

I am a former State Superintendent of Public Instruction and now 
we have a better one. I am a veteran of the first World War and my 
two sons were in the last go-round. I am a graduate of the Univer- 
sity, but so is my wife and so are my sons. Probably not in the 
history of the University has that institution had a more difficult 
time maintaining its high standards and still allowing people to grad- 
uate as it did before all of us got through. 

I have a political record. I am the only man in the political history 
of Wyoming to carry 22 of 23 counties and I only missed that one 
by 20 votes. 

I have written a couple of books about Wyoming, one a geography, 
another a historical novel just off the press. 

Gage said friends had asked him why he would surrender secure 
employment as a postmaster to seek office and had told him he 
must like politics. He said he had repUed, "/ do not like politics, 
but I do like Wyoming." He said a person was fortunate to have 
children, "When you do, you will want to leave a heritage for them. 
Well, in the Gage outfit, there is no secret that I will not be able 
to leave a heritage of money, so I would like to leave one of 
accomplishment and that is what I have set out to try to do." 
Turning to the accomplishments he might anticipate as secretary 
of state, he wrote: 

The duties of the office are pretty well outlined by law. Blue sky 
laws, what color your license plates will be, etc. Most any one would 
be able to do that. 

But, in order that he be accomplished, he could get that reputation 
on the state boards. That actually amounts to the business of 

I have been on all of these boards before; I have been schooled in 
their functions so that I would not come to them in ignorance. There 
is no one who is not already on them who has had more experience 
with the work and who is running for office. 

Sprinkled throughout Gage's speeches notes and correspondence 
on political matters was the implication he was opposed by a fac- 
tion of the party, which in his 1962 defeat he labeled as "liberals." 
Much larger in his perception of the party was the suspicion that 


he was not regarded as a "real politician." He addressed those 
concerns in the conclusion of his "list:" 

I have been ridiculed because I will not get what some people like to 
refer to as rough, when they are saying that this is a rough game, etc. 
If politics gets nasty, it has to be because someone who is nasty made 
them that way. I refuse to be nastier than I am by nature. 

I told my opponent that if I so much as mentioned his name, in the 
campaign. I hoped one of us would drop dead. That's funny, and he 
did not get it, either. 

Some people in my party are going to try to make medicine out of 
the Sherman Adams event; I am not. And, I am honest in saying 
that I'm sorry that it happened, because all of us, no matter what 
party, have to help live it down.^o 

In contrast to his first two primaries, Gage was unopposed in 
1958. He drew 32,528 votes, compared to 33,027 in the guber- 
natorial race where Joseph J. Hickey was nominated and 37,122 
in the U. S. Senate primary where Gale McGee defeated Hepburn 
T. Armstrong. The Democrats were outvoted by less than 4000, 
an extremely favorable indicator. ^^ 

Although a labor official warned Gage that his opponent, in- 
cumbent Everett Copenhaver, had a "very good labor record," 
his relations with the coalition of interests which support Demo- 
crats appeared to be untroubled.^- Rough notes in his personal 
file, however, indicate that he considered himself "pretty much on 
my own."*^"* His campaign team consisted of his sons Dick and 
Jack, who knocked on doors in every county. They distributed 
materials, noted names, and reported to Gage, who often followed 
up with a personal note. To one family, he apologized, "I am 
enclosing the pamphlets my elder son Jack promised you when he 
called on you at the unheard of hour of 8 a.m. I hope you will 
forgive his exuberance, which I, of course, can hardly condemn. "^^ 
To another voter, he consoled, "They told me that you had an 
unfortunate accident with a load of lumber and I certainly hope 
you are feeling better now." With that in mind, he also enclosed 

■^"Gage Speech Files, undated, titled, "Last List of Things I Know," 1958 
campaign. The Sherman Adams reference is to the executive assistant to 
President Dwight Eisenhower who resigned amidst charges of influence 

^^1959 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1958, 
compiled by the Secretary of State. 

^-Letter from Louis Leichtweis, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, 
Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Gage, August 25, 1958. 

^•"'Gage 1958 campaign files contain a rough draft letter to the post- 
masters and a list of postmasters in the state, but there is no evidence the 
latter was sent. 

"^^Letter from Gage to Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Fitzgerald, Riverton, 
Wyoming, September 8, 1958. 


campaign pamphlets/'^'' The 1958 Gage brochure stressed "exper- 
ience, integrity, abihty and maturity." It listed his teaching career, 
authorship of two books, University affiUation, and former state 
service. For the "working man," he mentioned employment for 
the railroad and house painting work. For the "business man," he 
noted his school supply business and management of KWYO. He 
noted his family background and Rotary experience, concluding, 
"Jack Gage has had years of experience serving on Wyoming state 
boards. "^*^ Gage campaigned with Hickey, and, in Mrs. Gage's 
view, it was a complementary association. In addition to Simpson's 
problems stemming from his administration, there was a third 
party candidate, Louis Carlson of Newcastle, who drew 4979 in a 
race where Hickey defeated Simpson by 2582 votes. The Demo- 
crats enjoyed their greatest electoral victory since 1934, when 
Gage had also been on the ticket. He did not lead it in 1958; 
Velma Linford, superintendent of public instruction, did. Gage 
was third, with 800 more votes than Hickey and 2193 less than 
Gale McGee. McGee, by less than 2000 votes, defeated incum- 
bent Senator Frank Barrett. Keith Thomson defeated Ray Whit- 
aker to retain his seat in Congress. Gage defeated Copenhaver 
55,843 to 54,996 and the third victorious state candidate, Linford, 
won 64,170 to 46,817 for Shirley Boice. The Democrats enjoyed 
a majority of state offices and control of the House of Representa- 
tives, 30 to 26, while the Republicans held the State Senate, 16 
to 11.8" 

"The Studyingest Man in the State Capitol" 

Newly elected Governor Hickey recommended a budget which 
cut requests by $5 milUon. His suggested $30 million budget was 
increased by the Legislature to $32.5 million. No new taxes were 
approved, though the cigarette tax was increased by one cent. The 
Legislature placed restrictions on trading stamps, outlawed, in 
effect, federal aid to education, and passed a bill to require yellow 
markings on interstate highways, which were financed, 93 per cent, 
by the federal government. After a protracted struggle, the federal 
government prevailed and white stripes were used to mark the 
interstate system. A bill to legalize local-option gambling in Teton 
County was defeated, as was a pari-mutuel betting measure. ^'^ 
Gage, who had opened the session, went before the Joint Ways 
and Means Committee to request a budget cut of $10,404.13 in his 

s^Letter from Gage to Ernest Reeves, Smoot. via Afton. Wyoming. 
August 8, 1958. 

^•"'Gage 1958 campaign brochure, Gage Collection. 

^'Official Directory of the State of Wyoming, 1959, and Election Returns 
of 1958, compiled by the Secretary of State. 

-''ST. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, pp. 528-29. 


office appropriation. He said he could achieve the reduction by 
economies in office, but, chiefly, "by not buying a new car that is 
included in the current budget request."*^ 

In January, 1959, Gage received a letter from a county clerk 
suggesting a revision in the state election laws and recommending 
changes."" In April, he wrote county clerks in the five largest 
counties asking them to attend a conference in his office on May 
25-26 to discuss needed changes."^ The proposal appealed to 
Gage. He saw his service on the state boards and commissions 
as a mediator role where he dealt fairly with the interests most 
directly affected by the law. He thought agricultural interests 
should suggest farm loan and state land policy, just as oil interests 
should be consulted on leasing policies. His statements did not 
address the public, as opposed to private, interests, but presumably 
he believed state officials could also meet this responsibility. Of 
practical and political appeal was the fact that Gage could assign 
responsibility for proposals to the consulting groups without mak- 
ing any commitment on his part. The evolution of election law 
reform legislation illustrated this approach. At the May confer- 
ence, attended by the five clerks and representatives of the League 
of Women Voters, Gage asked for discussion, but no draft legis- 
lation, "It is my notion," he said, "the legislators are inclined to 
resent prepared legislation, while at the same time they welcome 
suggestions that prompt them to write their own laws."^- A 
follow-up meeting June 17 was attended by League members and 
twelve county clerks. They endorsed two proposals, providing two 
sets of counters at the polls on election day by enlarging the elec- 
tion board by one member and compihng an election code manual 
for clerks."" The proposals were drafted into law in the 1961 
Legislature, when Gage was acting governor. Despite his sponsor- 
ship of the meetings and his role, as secretary of state and as chief 
election officer. Gage issued no statements of support. When the 
election reform bill cleared both houses, he did not sign it, but 
instead sent it to county clerks and commissioners. He told them 
the objectionable language had been removed, though he admitted 
"not having had an opportunity to analyze the bill." He said his 
chief concern was the cost of implementation and asked for esti- 
mates. He did enclose a letter from the League of Women Voters 
which endorsed the bill as clarifying, simplifying, and improving 

^'■Wyoming Eagle, February 23, 1959, "Gage Asks His Budget Be 

■•"Letter from B. B. Hume to Gage, January 14, 1959. 

'■''^Wyoming Eagle, April, 1959, "Gage Plans Meeting on Wyoming Elec- 
tion Laws," Gage scrapbook. 

■*~Ihid. The article notes the statement was made in the letter to clerks. 

^>^Ihic/., June 18, 1959, "County Clerks Favor Two Sets of Vote 


the statutory arrangement of Wyoming election law.-^^ The bill 
became law, but without Gage's signature. He told reporters his 
failure to sign the law did not signify opposition; he had held up 
action so that objections from others could be transmitted up to 
the last minute.^*'"' 

The second study Gage requested was directed to Wyoming laws 
regulating the sale and issuance of securities, the so-called Blue 
Sky laws. He asked the state bar association to help his office in 
suggesting revision of the laws. He met in June, 1959, with mem- 
bers of the bar association's corporation law committee and asked 
them to hold future meetings, "If that is forthcoming, this office 
will prepare a list of questions to present to them in the hope they 
will deal with them as the county clerks did with the election 

In August, 1959, Gage talked to representatives of the oil indus- 
try about mineral leasing policy. They suggested that state leases 
run ten years instead of two. They also wanted a short waiting 
period after each lease expired and before it was reopened for bids 
or drawings. They said holders of leases had too great an advan- 
tage because they were often the only ones who knew when the 
leases expired. They could, therefore, renew each year without 
competition. Gage said he would make no recommendation to the 
board, though he personally thought it would be a good idea.^" 
Subsequent press accounts reported that Gage made public eight 
suggestions on state mineral leasing policy which the board of land 
commissioners was considering. Several of the suggestions had 
come from his meeting with the oil interests, including a ten- 
day to two-week waiting period before bids or drawings were 
opened. No reference was made to an extended lease period. 
One suggestion, which became an issue in the 1961 aid-to-cities 
debate, was to raise the filing fee on state mineral leases and to 
"retain same to cover the cost of drawing." It was decided that 
a state law was required, which was approved by the 1961 

Gage met in September, 1960, with representatives of the Wyo- 
ming Mining Association to hear their suggestions on regulations. 
Press accounts said the Association's mimeographed suggestions 
would be brought before the state board of land commissioners, 

■'^Wyoming State Tribune, February 24, 1961, "Gage Seeking Informa- 
tion on Election Bill." 

'<^>Wyoming Eagle, March 8, 1961, "Failure to Sign Measures Not Indica- 
tive of Objections: Gage." 

96Gage Scrapbook, unidentified clipping of November, 1959. 

^'^Wyoming Eagle, August 18, 1959, "Oil Industry Recommends 10- Year 

^^Ibid., September 12, 1959, p. 35 "Mineral Leasing Policy Recommen- 
dations Out." 


"essentially the same procedure followed in revising oil and gas 
leasing regulations earlier this year.'"-*^ 

As he had done in the 1930s, Gage, in October, 1959, directed 
a study to compare costs at various state institutions to determine 
where economies could be made. Again, Gage planned to act 
largely as a conduit, not a policy maker or advocate. The results 
of the study were to go to the state board of charities and reform, 
the various state institutions and the communications media. Al- 
most irrelevantly. Gage promised, "The new study will compare 
current costs at the institutions with those of 25 years ago, as well 
as costs in recent years. "^^^ The Republican press ridiculed Gage 
as "probably one of the studyingest men at the state capitol." 
Columnist Meg Hunter, whose sharp criticism stung Gage, said he 
could skip the cost-per-inmate study; the figures had been printed 
in the local press two weeks before Gage announced his plans. 
The real issue, she said was not the cost or the ratio of personnel 
to patients, but "what kind of employes and what kind of care 
they provide." She claimed many of his questions were simplistic 
and could be arrived at by "a little arithmetic." Of his plans for 
disseminating the study. Hunter wrote: 

It is to be hoped the matter will not end there. Distribution of a 
sheaf of statistics — while informative in a vague sort of way — can 
accomplish little. What is needed are specific recommendations from 
the man who compiled them. And, as a member of the board of 
charities and reform, Gage is in an excellent position to institute any 
changes deemed desirable after the facts are in. We shall be watching 
with interest. 101 

Gage was outraged. He wrote two letters to Lew Bates, editor 
of the Wyoming State Tribune, one as a statement to Bates and 
the other a proposed reply for Bates. The response generally 
reflected his approach to press relations: 

If I am going to be in politics, I am sure that I must expect to be 
ridiculed. This sage observation does not carry with it any assurance 
that I shall like it, particularly when, as viewed by me, it is not 

I am, of course, referring to Meg Hunter's beautifully written (and I 
do mean that), caustic, and cynical comments about my efforts. 
I just vv'onder if you notice any inconsistency in having belittled me 
for an incompleted effort on the same page with laudatory comment 
for savings produced by political people more to your liking. 

^^Unidentified clip in Gage Scrapbook, dated September, 1960, "Mining 
Men Propose 27 Changes." 

^'^^'Wyoming Eagle, an October, 1959, undated clipping in Gage Scrap- 
book. The comparison with the 1930 figures would have been irrelevant 
because the value of the tax dollar had been considerably altered by 

loiWyoming State Tribune, November 12, 1959, column by Meg Hunter. 


Even if my efforts were entirely fruitless, and they might well be, they 
do seem to point in the direction for which you cheer. You might 
tell Meg; 1st. I like her; 2nd, she writes extremely well; 3rd. her 
comments about me come close enough to the truth to really look 
like the genuine article, and that is an enviable accomplishment. 

Now, to make this less bothersome to you, I have attached herewith 
your already prepared reply to me that lacks only your signature. 102 

In the prepared reply, Gage recognized the adversary relationship 
with the press, but he was not prepared to like it: 

Your silly and ridiculous letter is at hand, and you might well know 
that such childlike observations are seldom received from mature 
adults. With this in mind, I am compelled to deal with you as you 
are, not as I might wish you to be. 

I expect it is probably too late in your fruitless career to have sound 
advice do you any good, but some of the following is so apropo to 
you that I cannot avoid wasting it. 

First, you should keep your big mouth shut about any intended 
accomplishment until it is fact, not fancy. Second, do not expect the 
newspapers to paint you cleaner than an angel's drawers when you 
know full well that you are not. Third, and most important, do not 
anticipate that the papers are going to credit you with great mental 
ability when there is not so much as a straw to hang such a tale on. 
Fourth, you are grown up now, so act like it.^'^'^ 

Bates drafted his own reply to Gage, gently chiding him: 

When an individual injects himself into the hustings (particularly to 
the degree involved if one is to unseat a Republican), things happen 
to him. You are going through that a second time, and you are, 
therefore, not surprised. You will agree, however, that not all of 
these 'things' are attractive. 

Bates credited Gage, in contrast with most politicians, with having 
retained a sense of humor, "It is the basic reason, not only for your 
success in the last election, but also the foremost pillar in holding 
(up to now at least) popular position as a principal elective offi- 
cial." Hunter's column, clearly identified as political, would con- 
tinue. Bates said, and she would be free to interpret issues as she 
wished, "She is not entitled to corrupt or misinterpret facts. Nor 
am I and neither are you." He assured Gage their friendship was 
unassailable. ^°* 

Gage's difficulties in 1959 were not limited to the Republican 
press. Within his party, understandable wranghng broke out over 
the first real state patronage since the 1930s. Ray Whitaker, 
Congressional candidate in several elections, warned Gage of 

losLetter from Gage to Lew Bates, editor, November 13, 1959. 
lo^Letter of reply which Gage drafted for Bates and enclosed November 
13, 1959. 
I'^^Letter from Lew Bates to Gage, postmarked November 18, 1959. 


"rumblings" in Buffalo over appointments.^"'^ In the same period, 
Governor Hickey was advised that failure "to clean house in the 
agricultural department" was angering Democrats and Republicans 
in Natrona, Niobrara, and Converse counties. The letter was spe- 
cific about one offending official. "Will you kindly," the note 
ended, "remove him from office at once."^'^** Hickey replied that 
the party faced two problems in patronage: 

Number one is the fact that the Republicans had 20 years in which 
to develop their state organization .... 

It is just not possible to step into an organization as large as the state 
government and create a rapid turnover in the personnel without a 
complete disruption of the operation. We have been moving at what 
I think is a good pace in making changes, usually starting at the head 
of a department and moving down through. My appointees to the 
State Board of Agriculture took office April 1 and they subsequently 
changed the head of the department. Number two in the problem 
of personnel changes is the fact that the boards and commissions may 
operate pretty independently if they so desire and this has occurred 
on more than one occasion. In other words, my suggestions may be 
ignored in their meetings. 

Hickey said he was moving toward the changes mandated by the 
election, but warned, "We can create major problems if we become 
impatient."^"^ On one occasion, patronage sparked an angry ex- 
change of letters involving Gage, Velma Linford, and a Big Horn 
County Democratic official. State Committeeman Green Simpson 
wrote Gage in early May, 1959, complaining Linford had "thrown 
a monkey wrench into the Democratic machine" because of delays 
in appointments and insistence that heads of institutions be college 
graduates. He warned it was causing problems with party work- 
ers. ^"^^ Gage drafted a long reply, but thought better of it and sent 
a short note suggesting the matter be discussed in person. In the 
reply which he drafted but did not send. Gage wondered why so 
much importance was attached to "10 or a dozen larger appoint- 
ments," while there were many non-professional and clerical posi- 
tions which could be filled by Democrats. Gage clearly resented 
the pressure, with threats that party workers would balk at sup- 
porting the incumbents. He said his own victory in 1958 had 
helped make the patronage possible. On the compromise of state 
standards, he said, "All things being equal, I wUl appear again 

i«5Letter from Ray Whitaker to Gage, April 30, 1959. 

I'^f'Letter from Elmer Conlogue, Douglas, to Joe Hickey, May 20, 1959. 

lo^Letter from Hickey to Conlogue, May 21, 1959. This may have been 
retained by Gage as a Hickey policy statement on patronage. In his own 
correspondence, Gage urged the party members direct their attention to 
non-professional, but lower paying, state jobs, instead of competing for a 
limited number of well paying positions. He was also inclined to respect 
professionals and exempt them from partisan consideration. 

losLetter from Green Simpson, Greybull, to Gage, May 1, 1959. 


before the public as a candidate. I will then, as I can now and 
always have been able, to look you or anyone else smack in the 
eye with a clear conscience."^"'* Green had sent a copy of his 
letter to State Chairman Roncalio, who had then made it available 
to Linford. Linford told Roncalio she resented third-hand criti- 
cism, that she alone could not make or block appointments, and 
that state standards had to be met, "We cannot afford to place 
unemployable people in jobs that require integrity or ability, nor 
can we change the salary schedule of the capitol." She especially 
resented the implied threat of withholding political support. 
"Green should remember," she told Roncalio, "that I have three 
times run for state office at my own expense. That once, I lost 
an election, but groomed myself to run again. Twice I have led 
the state ticket. This was not done by crying because people did 
not give me a job."^^" Linford sent a copy of the reply to Gage, 
who sourly responded, "I think that perhaps both you and I are 
going to continue to act as honestly as we know how, and such 
letters only serve to detract from both our time and our compo- 
sure."^ There were periodic complaints which Gage alluded to 
in a letter to former Governor Miller. Gage said the state insti- 
tutions had been advised that, "wherever professional services were 
required, no political questions would be asked. To my knowledge, 
they have not." He said the non-professional positions were ex- 
empt from the restriction. Of the grumbling, he concluded, "I 
am inclined to think that the only dissension we have is being 
caused by the people who are talking about it.""- The patronage 
issue was publicized briefly in April and May, 1960, when a num- 
ber of resignations protested the alleged political pressure of the 
Hickey administration in bringing about the resignation of the 
executive secretary of the Wyoming Travel Commission. He was 
replaced by a Sheridan radio man and Gage friend, Jim Sprack- 
len.""^ While the issue of state jobs could create friction or em- 
barrassing headlines, it was more a symptom of Democratic 
disorder than its cause. In the 1958 campaign, the party had 
lacked sufficient organization or financing to claim, to the candi- 
dates' satisfaction, credit for the victory. Gage and Linford re- 
sented the threat that party workers would not produce without 

I'^^Letter from Gage to Simpson, May 7, 1959. The May 4 letter, which 
was apparently not sent, is quoted to show Gage's unwillingness to compro- 
mise on the patronage questions. 

ii"Letter from Velma Linford to Teno Roncalio, May 15. 1959. At the 
top of the carbon copy sent to Gage is a longhand note from Linford. "Jack, 
Teno sent the copy he received from Green. This is my answer." 

iiiLetter from Gage to Linford, May 19. 1959. 

ii-Letter from Gage to Leslie Miller, Cheyenne, September 30, 1959. 

'^^•^Wyoming State Tribune. April 28, 1960, and Wyoming Eagle. May 
21, 1960. 


patronage because each believed his victory had been won, essen- 
tially, without the party. Mutual resentments were possible over 
the question of how responsive the Hickey administration ought to 
have been to county-level party officials. The party, as Hickey 
and Gage often noted, needed time to set up the kind of state 
organization the Republicans had. Additionally, there were Umi- 
tations on how much influence the administration could exert on 
behalf of Democratic job-seekers. The often unrealistic expecta- 
tions of party officials and individuals probably aggravated the 
mutual sense of disappointment. 

"This Gang is Crazy" 

Speculation on the U. S. Senate race in 1960 was based on the 
probability that O'Mahoney would retire. In late 1959, Gage 
saw three Democratic possible candidates. Rock Springs State Sen- 
ator Rudy Anselmi, Hepburn T. Armstrong, who decided later to 
enter the 1960 primary for the U. S. House nomination, and Ray 
Whitaker, who was nominated. Gage was aware that the specula- 
tion took in Hickey and himself, and he was certain Hickey would 
not run. In April, 1960, State Chairman Roncalio predicted the 
Democrats would win at the state and national levels. The Repub- 
licans promised stimulating primaries with former Senator Frank 
Barrett and Congressman Keith Thomson vying for the Senate 
nomination. Kenny Sailors and former Congressman William 
Henry Harrison would compete for the U. S. House nomination. 
Nonetheless, Roncalio insisted, "We look forward with enthusiasm 
to the November election because it will be the test of the new and 
efficient organization in virtually every county in Wyoming."^^^ 
The Republican party, in 1960, seemed to be shifting to a more 
conservative stance. ^^^ Johnson County Republican State Senator 
R. L. Green, considered for a time as a Congressional prospect, 
urged the party to adopt a platform "to go back and support the 
American way of life and to quit trying to be all things to all 
people." He considered fiscal responsibility the chief issue. He 
suggested the party platform call on the federal government to cut 

i^^Letter from Gage to Dick Redburn, Sheridan Press, December 31, 
1959. is the basis for the summary of Gage's view of the 1960 election. 
He was not correct in his predictions, for he thought Frank Barrett would 
win the Senatorial primary and Anselmi the Democratic primary. Anselmi 
did not run. He also thought there would be no difference in the ideologies 
of the Congressional candidates, but Whitaker was a vocal supporter of 
Kennedy and considered himself a liberal, as opposed to the conservative 
Thomson. The Roncalio prediction was carried in the Wyoming Eagle, in 
April. 1960. It was equally unfounded since the party organization did not 
deliver the state for Kennedy or the two Congressional candidates. 

ii^T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, p. 530. 


spending by 5 per cent a year and to limit foreign aid to military 
assistance to allies. ^^^ 

At the Democratic convention, Presidential politics intervened. 
At issue was the unit rule, which would require all fifteen of Wyo- 
ming's votes to be cast for the Presidential candidate favored by 
the majority of the 30 delegates. Roncalio, who had declared 
early for John F. Kennedy, had proposed the rule; he was opposed 
by Senator Gale McGee and National Committeeman McCraken. 
McGee offered a resolution that "delegates not be pledged to any 
specific candidate and shall have individual choice of voting with- 
out restriction." Roncaho insisted the delegates themselves should 
decide the issue. ^^^ McCraken and Roncalio worked out a com- 
promise to permit the unit rule if two-thirds of the delegation so 
voted. Both appeared on the convention floor in Thermopolis to 
support it, but WiUiam M. "Scotty" Jack called for a vote to send 
the delegation uninstructed. The McGee proposal was approved, 
after an amendment by McCraken. The Wyoming delegation 
ultimately voted unanimously at the Los Angeles convention when 
it became clear the state's votes would give Kennedy the total 
needed for nomination. Gage did not participate in the skirmishes; 
perhaps because of his 1938 primary, he was wary of involvement 
at any level. He had earlier received a letter on behalf of Hepburn 
T. Armstrong's race for the U. S. House nomination. The letter 
had begun, "Since you have shown an interest in Hep's candi- 
dacy . . ." Gage replied, ". . . any release that includes a statement 
that I have evidenced interest in your campaign or anyone else's 
in the primary will be quickly and emphatically denied by me."^^^ 

Senator O'Mahoney sent word to the convention that he would 
not seek office in 1960, but at this point Gage ruled his own 
chances of entering the race as "remote. "^^'* Gage did, however, 
have strong sentiments on what the issue in 1960 should be. He 
beUeved public saturation with "elaborate and wasteful spending" 
would make fiscal responsibility the major issue. He anticipated 
that "... both Democrats and Republicans are becoming well 
enough aware of this that the general hue and cry from both camps 
will be for drastic reductions . . . ." He was certain that '"the 
party that comes nearer assuring the people of its sincerity on this 
basis should be entitled to success."^-'' Gage could only have been 
dismayed when the Democratic delegates twice rejected resolutions 
which called for a balanced budget. Even worse, the public record 

iiop^yommg State Tribune, May 6, 1960, "Planks Readied for State GOP 


^^''Ibid., May 20, 1960, "O'Mahoney to Retire: Dems Air Unit Rule." 
ii^Letter from Gage to Hepburn T. Armstrong, Cheyenne, April 7. 1960. 
'^'^^Wyoming State Tribune, May 10, 1962, "O'Mahoney to Step Down." 
i20Letter from Gage to Dick Redburn, Sheridan Press, December 31, 



showed the second vote had been taken after the delegates had 
been warned that rejection would be "politically inexpedient." 
Republican State Chairman John Wold, in a rhetorical excess, 
proclaimed that "This gang is crazy." He accused Democratic 
delegates of "turning their backs on traditions and practices that 
made our state and nation great."^-^ 

In remarks prepared for the Thermopolis convention, Gage 
wrote, "This is Joe Hickey's administration, for which he will or 
does get all the blame or all the credit. This, in turn, reflects 
itself onto the minds of the people in a manner designed to carry 
over for some time to come." He praised Hickey's honesty and 
frugality : 

... I know there are those who say the saving of money is a child- 
like effort; that, really, it is not wanted. This, I contend, is the most 
short-sighted view that we as Democrats can take and the one item 
that can contribute more than anything else to a short duration, 
once-in-20-years Democratic administration. Joe Hickey, if labeled, 
must be labeled as a conservative Democrat, and I want to be labeled 
right along with him in the same way. 

He called for party unity, "It is said over and over again by people 
in office that the trouble they have is with their own party. We 
wouldn't have to be very smart at all to avoid that."^-- 

The party's 1960 campaign was handicapped by financial prob- 
lems, particularly leftover debts from 1958.^-'^ Contributions from 
state employes, begun in April, 1960, helped, but not significantly; 
they made available $2982 to the Democratic State Central Com- 
mittee and $1325 to county chairmen for legislative races. Gage 
was advised that the maximum amount, "if the pressure is really 
put on," would be six to eight thousand dollars a year. However, 
in 1960, no such amount was available. ^-^ 

Whitaker defeated Velma Linford for the U. S. Senate nomina- 
tion in a race where 40,846 Democrats voted; 45,741 Republicans 
voted in a primary where Thomson was nominated. The Gage 
files do not indicate his active participation in the campaign. The 
Democrats tried to exploit economic problems; the Republicans 
countered that the state's economy had never been stronger.^-^ 
Whitaker had to face one of the Republican's most appealing can- 

^-'^Wyotning State Tribune, May 11, 1960, "GOP Chief Rips at Dem 
Fiscal Policies." He went so far as to call the defeat of the resolution "a 
great tragedy for Wyoming," as example of his hyperbole. 

i--Gage Speech File, marked "Thermopolis," 1960. 

1 --^Letter from Teno Roncalio to John Purcell, May 27, 1959. 

i-^Memorandum from Frank Clark, Jr., to Gage, April 3, 1961. There 
is no indication Gage "put the pressure" on and no figures, beyond those 
cited are provided, though memoranda indicate the state employe contri- 
butions were not sizable. 

i-^'T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming, pp. 530-31. 


didates and his strong support for Kennedy didn't help him in a 
state which was wary of "Eastern Hberals" and beheved the oil 
depletion allowance would be in jeopardy in a Democratic admin- 
istration. The three races were lost. Kennedy was defeated by 
Richard Nixon by 14,000 votes; Whitaker by 17,000 and Arm- 
strong by over 6000.^-" 

In a post-election, the U. S. Senate seat was filled by a person 
not on the ballot in 1960, Governor Hickey. Senator-elect Keith 
Thomson, certified the winner by the state board of canvassers on 
December 1, 1960, died three days later. A number of prominent 
Democrats, including Chairman Teno Roncalio, wanted the post, 
but Hickey, on December 22, announced his resignation. He was 
subsequently appointed to the Senate by Acting Governor Gage, 
who succeeded Hickey on January 3, 1961.^-'' The political 
ramifications were enough to handicap, almost beyond redemption, 
any hopes of either Hickey or Gage winning election in 1962.^-'' 
The 1961 Legislature reflected the bitterness associated with the 
maneuver when House Speaker Joseph Budd, Repubhcan from 
Sublette county, introduced a bill to require special elections to 
fill Senate vacancies, with language applying to Thomson's seat. 
The Democrats called it "retroactive and politically vindictive." 
Although the measure passed the House, it was not acted on in 
the State Senate. ^^" Three months after Gage became acting gov- 
ernor, Ray Whitaker went to the press with an attack on Hickey. 
He said that Hickey had endorsed him during the 1960 campaign, 
calling him the "best Democrat for the office," but "When he had 
a chance to accomplish this, he refused to do what he had asked 
the people of Wyoming to do."^"^^ The intra-party conflict over 
the appointment was well publicized, including charges by Whit- 
aker that the certificate of election had not been legally issued. He 
charged Gage with a "cover-up." Gage referred the issue to the 
Attorney General Norman Gray, but no action was taken. ^•■^- The 
Whitaker charges, however, pointed out the awkward position 
acting governor Gage had been placed in by the appointment. 

i2"Letter from Jack Gage to George Scales, Sheridan, November 14. 1960. 

^-^Rocky Mountain News, December 22, 1961, "Governor Hickey to 
Resign for Senate." 

i-"In addition to a Democratic poll in May, 1962, the conclusion that 
the Hickey move to the Senate was a major, if not the chief, reason for 
the Democratic defeats in 1962 is widely held among Democrats. The Gage 
family concurs. 

^•^^Wyoming State Tribune, March 2, 1961, column by Meg Hunter. 

iS^Wyoming Eagle, March 2, 1961, "Whitaker Queries Gage." The 
charges embarrassed Gage and spared the Republicans raising the question 

^^-Ibid., March 4, 1961, "Thomson Declared Senator-Elect Before Death. 
Records Disclose." Rocky Mountain News, March 4, 1961. 


In a Kraft poll commissioned by the Democrats in May, 1962, 
the continuing resentment of Mickey's move to the Senate was 
painfully clear. He was shown trailing in a race against Milward 
Simpson by nine percentage points. With the next election six 
months away, only 15 per cent of those polled were undecided, 
leading the pollsters to conclude, "If Hickey were to pick up two 
out of three undecided voters, he'd still be behind. The very small 
number of undecided indicates a strong pro-Simpson feeling or 
strong anti-Hickey feeMngs, but at best not much room for Hickey 
to move or pick up many votes. He's got to win back some of his 
former supporters."" 

In the poll's voter rating of candidates, the anti-Hickey sentiment 
clearly surfaced. Hickey was rated "excellent" by only four per 
cent; "pretty good" by twenty per cent; and the balance rated him 
as "only fair," "poor," or were undecided. His favorable rating, 
combining the first two categories, was 24 per cent, compared to 
47 per cent for Gage and 49 per cent for Gale McGee. When 
asked by the pollsters to name an individual who had done a dis- 
appointing job, half the respondents answered. Half of them 
named Hickey. The poll noted, "It bears pointing out that in 
other states, this same series of questions has been asked and 
nowhere have we uncovered anything approaching the intensity of 
feeling as is recorded in Wyoming." It added, "Where Hickey is 
concerned, the criticism comes from Democrats and Republicans, 
and 24 out of 25 comments have to do with one thing: the way 
he got into office. "^^^ 


The 1961 Message to the Legislature 

Gage assumed the acting governorship doubly handicapped. He 
was vulnerable through his association in the filling of the Thom- 
son Senate seat; and, despite having served in the State's second 
office for two years, he was unprepared for his new responsibilities. 
The budget, prepared by Hickey, had already been sent to the 
printers when Gage took over. His first challenge, which he met 
alone, was the drafting of a message to the Legislature. His mes- 
sage was apparently written in a political vacuum. Although he 
may have discussed issues informally with friends, he failed to 
consult Zan Lewis, Hickey's administrative assistant, who had been 
retained by Gage. In the view of Gage's son Jack, this omission 

i33"A Study of Candidates and Issues in Wyoming (1962 Elections)," 
conducted by Kraft for the Democratic State Central Committee in May, 
1962, pp. 3, 10, 13, and 14. 


was responsible for several problems associated with the message, 
particularly the comments on reapportionment. ^^^ 

The message was the personal statement of Jack R. Gage, not 
the establishment of policies under a Gage administration. He dis- 
cussed most issues in a philosophical vein, stopping short of rec- 
ommendation. In several matters, he frankly told the Legislature 
to work its will; in others, he was so vague, the Legislature was 
required to act on its own. Some of Gage's thunder was stolen 
when the Republicans in the Legislature, on January 9, 1961, 
issued their own ten-point policy statement. The statement offered 
general goals, but it did call for reapportionment "to comply with 
the State Constitution," opposition to increases in state taxes, 
though it recognized the needs of schools, counties and cities, and, 
finally, a balanced state budget. ^^•'' The Gage message created 
confusion on the first two issues and endorsed the third. 

Gage opened his January 13 message with the judgment that 
the state was in sound financial condition. He said each agency 
could very probably function on the appropriations approved in 
1959, adding, "The fact that reason dictates this to be impossible 
does not detract from its desirability." He stressed the message 
represented his personal philosophy: 

In views that are entirely my own, for which I willingly accept full 
responsibility, I desire to point out this: you and I, each in our sep- 
arate ways, have on many occasions bemoaned, belabored, and com- 
plained about waste in government spending. I do not know that you 
have, but I do know that I have been very vocal in my condemnation 
of the ever-increasing practice of socialism in our democracy. I 
would hope that you would agreed with this thinking, but if you do 
not, it does not detract from the sincerity of my thought. 

He presented a budget of $36,242,998, including over $10 million 
without recommendation, a matter of consternation to the legis- 
lators. Although in a matter of weeks he would be confronting 
a controversy over support for the state institutions. Gage generally 
dismissed the urgency of improving state salaries. He said legis- 
latures had been told, since Territorial times, that if the state did 
not pay well, it would lose its employes. "However," he said, 
"I am confused and confounded by the fact that every time you, 
the Legislature, return, you find more people working for the State 
than when you left." He also rejected the argument that a growing 
state population required greater salary appropriations, "The last 
census points out rather graphically that this is just not true, since 

i34interview with Jack R. Gage, II, who had flown from his home in 
New York to attend the session opening and was familiar with the circum- 
stances surrounding drafting of the message. He said his father was direct 
in his dealings, "just not a politician," in the sense of taking political con- 
siderations in mind when making decisions or drafting speeches. 

^^^Sheridan Press, January 9, 1961. 


in the continental states we happen to number next to the bottom. 
In my own thoughts, this is somewhat of a blessing." 

Under the heading "Departments," Gage inserted a statementt 
on political ethics, promising to admit his own mistakes: 

Innovation though it may be, it is my intention now and later to do 
exactly that when I feel I have erred. I will do this on the assump- 
tion that it would be a welcome relief to the public and completely 
confusing to the press. 

He asked for legislation to increase from $1 to $10 the filing fee 
on land leased from the state, noting, "It hardly seems feasible 
that this would bother the lessee, but it would appreciably help 
defray costs in the Land Office." 

The status-quo orientation of the Gage administration was stated 
forcefully in remarks under the heading "State Officers." He 
noted, in a variation of a theme he often employed, a comparison 
with past messages to the Legislature: 

... all Governors have by pure coincidence delivered their messages 
at the most crucial moment in our history. I know this to be so 
because they have all said as much. 

I would like to by-pass the necessity of saying this by pointing out 
that in all probability there is no such thing as an unimportant time, 
the present being no exception, but with the very same thought in 
mind and because I think we have a good State Government, I am 
moved to comment that we need NO GREAT EARTH-SHAKING 
CHANGES, (sic) 

His rejection of change was based largely on his confidence in the 
cabinet government of Wyoming's boards and commissions, which 
he believed was "in clear range of the voters." 

He surprised legislators by asking them to decide the disposition 
of the Saratoga Inn property and the Wheatland Irrigation District 
loan, the latter a campaign issue which hurt Milward Simpson in 
1958. Settling responsibility on the Legislature might have been 
interpreted as a clever political escape had Gage not bluntly ex- 
plained his justification, ". . . in both instances, a previous Legis- 
lature has directed a previous board to move in a manner that has 
produced problems of undesirable magnitude." In short, the Leg- 
islature had made the problem; and, in the interests of fairness, 
it would have to unmake it. 

The message failed to come to grips with problems Gage knew 
had been developing at the State Hospital in Evanston. In an 
October 13, 1959, letter to Hickey, Gage had mentioned a speech 
given by a man substituting for the Hospital Superintendent Dr. 
WiUiam N. Karn, Jr. The speaker had told a Casper audience the 
state hospital staff was underpaid. Gage told Hickey, "He just 
about had to get that information — false though it may be — ^from 
Dr. Karn," and he cautioned, "I hope you will take it upon yourself 
to houl this young fellow up short or he is going to get us in trouble 


that we won't be able to get out of it."^''" As Secretary of State, 
Gage had commissioned a cost analysis of operations at the state 
institutions, but his message treated the issue in an offhand fashion, 
again resorting to a comparison with previous messages: 

The first message given by each governor when he takes over points 
out clearly that all of, or most all of, our institutions are in pretty 
deplorable condition and much is needed to correct the existent ills. 

Hardly without exception, this same governor in his second message 
reports to you that all of the ills have been corrected, and the insti- 
tutions — each and every one — are better than they have ever been 

A strange transition then takes place. When the message is given by 
a new governor, deplorable as it may seem, all institutions have re- 
verted to their original undesirable status. To me, this makes one 
fact stand out; which fact is that at no time have our institutions been 
really bad. (my emphasis) 

Gage's resistance to change had indirectly ruled out a bold 
reorganization of state government, but he emphasized the point 
in his message, summarizing the Hickey proposal. He said, "In 
one sentence, and a short one, the Re-Organization Plan, as pro- 
posed, amounts to centralized accounting at the outset, with better 
use of which any actual re-organization would later occur and be 
slow in growth." 

Gage's interpretation of Rickey's proposals was later challenged 
and clearly did not accurately convey the contents of a Hickey 
memorandum which Gage had obviously read. The Hickey mem- 
orandum had listed centralized accounting as the first in a four- 
part effort. It also proposed new powers for the governor, includ- 
ing appointment and removal of all department heads. It called 
for estabhshment of appropriate staff agencies to implement new 
administrative standards, the creation of an independent auditor, 
and the elimination, so far as possible, of the use of boards and 
commissions for administrative work. Gage's response to the pro- 
posals may have been influenced by his knowledge of the radical 
Griff enhagen report in the Miller administration. Where the Hick- 
ey memorandum had mentioned the controversial study in 1933, 
Gage had penciled in the comment, "no good."^-^' Gage did not 

i^^Letter from Gage to Governor J. J. Hickey, October 13, 1959. Gage 
Collection. Gage's comments should not be considered as sinister or threat- 
ening; he was convinced that an administration ought not be subjected to 
sniping from its own members. He felt the same way about public criticism 
within the party, stating in letters that he could accept any criticism when 
personally delivered, but would resent it if he read about it in the 

I'^'Mimeographed paper in Gage Collection. "The Reorganization of the 
Central Administrative and Management Functions of the Executive 
Branch," undated but signed by Governor Hickey. The memorandum. 


allude to Hickey's long-range reorganization objectives, and he 
concluded, "The effective date for such changes need not be today 
but in the years ahead; it being highly undesirable to even antici- 
pate immediate and sweeping changes." 

In terms of immediate political impact, Gage's remarks on 
reapportionment were most controversial. The local Republican 
press, on January 12, had anticipated the governor's dilemma by 
asking, "Will Governor Gage Accept This?" 

If Acting Governor Jack Gage, a Democrat, seeks election as gover- 
nor in the 1962 election (and he is indeed expected to do just that), 
critical to his chances will be his showing in Sheridan (his home 
county) and Sweetwater counties. So — will he, as governor, sign a 
reapportionment bill which would take a State Senator away from 
both Sheridan and Sweetwater counties?!-''*^ 

Because Gage's remarks seemed to endorse equal representation 
for counties in the state Senate, his answer could have been inter- 
preted as affirmative. He prefaced his lengthy remarks on reap- 
portionment with a statement he would later employ in his own 
defense: "Not by the greatest stretch of my imagination do I think 
I have a ready answer for you, or for that matter, any answer at 
all." However, legislators were not uncertain about the general 
direction of his beliefs. He traced the evolution of the Senate 
from Roman experience. He said equal representation in one 
house would require an amendment to the Wyoming Constitution, 
adding, "if by a vote of our people such an amendment were 
passed, it would probably also carry with it the intent that any 
variation would be in the House of Representatives, based on 
population, which seems to be the essence of democracy." His 
conclusion was hardly subject to misinterpretation: "Equal repre- 
sentation in one of the legislative bodies seems almost spelled out 
by your conception and my conception of democracy. So much 
for reapportionment." It was not, however, so much, but rather, 
as Democrats later rushed to divorce themselves from his remarks, 
too much. 

The message concluded with Gage's opposition to a merit system 
and his promise to veto unconstitutional measures, class legislation, 
and any increase in taxes. ^^^ 

Response From Both Sides of the Aisle 

The response to the message afforded Gage opportunities to 
make good his pledge to accept blame for mistakes. Press accounts 
said criticism came "from both sides of the aisle." "Most vigorous 

where the Griffenhagen report was mentioned, has a notation, "N.G.," 
which Mrs. Gage said stood for "No Good." 

i^filVyoming State Tribune, January 12, 1961. 

i3-'Message to the Legislature by Acting Governor Jack R. Gage, 1961. 


complaint came from big-city lawmakers, many of them from 
Gage's own Democratic party, about his remarks about a federal 
system of apportioning the State Senate. Other lawmakers differed 
on Gage's stand against tax increases." Senator Albert Harding 
said there weren't enough specifics. Speaker of the House Joseph 
Budd excused Gage as having been governor only a short time, but 
added, "We should also be aware of the fact that he has been our 
number two man in state government for two years. It places a 
burden on the Legislature to carry on or decide on proper pro- 
grams without some expression of opinion from those who will be 
in the executive branch. "^^" 

The message prompted replies by Democratic leaders in the 
Legislature, Minority Leader Pat Scully and his Senate counterpart 
Rudy Anselmi. On January 16 Scully said, "I heartily disagree 
with his proposed conviction on his expectations as to the type of 
reapportionment. This is not up to the governor." Anselmi add- 
ed, "I disagree with this approach to a solution of the reappor- 
tionment problem as I see no similarity between the State Senate 
and the U. S. Senate in arriving at its membership. Our forefa- 
thers who provided the State Senate be apportioned on a popula- 
tion basis evidently saw this, too."^^^ 

The Wyoming Democrat in February, 1961, contained no ref- 
erence to Gage though he might have expected coverage because 
of the legislative session. The issue, however, did contain a front 
page story, "Population Reapportionment Urged by Anselmi and 
Scully," and an inside column favoring reapportionment on the 
basis of population. ^^- The Casper paper said, "The states are 
sovereign in a federal union and except that each be equal of 

The files contain rough notes which further explain the drafting. Gage 
received the entire Hickey budget file, with letters from the various depart- 
ments. The speech went through several draftings. The omission of labor 
was not unintentional, since in one draft, he did have a subheading, "Labor." 
In the printed supplement accompanying the message, on p. 17, labor is 
mentioned, including the need for a new minimum wage law. Highways 
are also mentioned on page 17, although Wold later accused Gage of mak- 
ing no mention. He was also accused of neglecting to mention education, 
but he did make a passing reference, stating he would ask that support be 
given to the extent that need was demonstrated, under the heading "Univer- 
sity and Education," p. 12. The most serious omission was municipal aid. 
This probably stemmed from the fact that the message was a personal 
statement rather than a directive on specific policy. He was also generally 
concerned with existing programs, rather than new proposals. 

i-i^^Wyoming State Tribune. January 13, 1961, "Gage Talk Gets Mixed 

^^'^Sheridan Press, January 16, 1961, editorial "A Split Between Governor 
and Party?" 

'^■^-Wyoniing Democrat, Volume 1, Number 9, February, 1961. issue. 
The reapportionment column was written by a former state president of the 
Young Democrats, Ed Whitehead of Cheyenne. 


another in the Senate, the many could be brought under the dom- 
ination of a few. Counties are merely administrative units of the 
state government. "^^'^ 

The message had been initially well received in some quarters 
for its candor and wit. The local Republican press praised it as 
"the best literary effort seen at the statehouse in a long, long time," 
and found, "His quips had stage quality." A veteran State Sen- 
ator, however, described it as "the best Rotary speech I've ever 
heard. "^^^ Within three days of its delivery, Gage clarified his 
message. In a talk to Chamber of Commerce executives. Gage 
said he had not meant to say he would veto a tax bill to aid cities. 
The message referred, he said, to raising taxes for state government 
operation. He also backed away from endorsing equal represen- 
tation in the State Senate, "Very obviously, I should have repeated 
two or three times what L said only once: 'Not by the greatest 
stretch of my imagination do I think I have a ready answer for you, 
or for that matter, at all.' "^^"^ 

The initial appreciation for the message's wit was short-lived 
as the Republicans stepped up criticism of its content. Senator 
Harding ridiculed the humor the Republican press had found 

If the Governor does not mean what he told the Legislature about 
taxes, and if he does not mean what he told the Legislature about 
reapportionment, we might be excused for wondering what he did 
mean, if anything. 

We all appreciate humor and like to participate in guessing games, 
but in a short session like this we do not have time for 'Masquerade' 
or 'What's My Line?' There are too many people in Wyoming in- 
volved in the more serious business of 'Truth or Consequences.'i^e 

'^^^Casper Tribune-Herald, January 15, 1961, editorial "No Excuse." 

^^^Wyoming State Tribune, January 17, 1961, editorial, 'The Governor's 
Legislative Message." Mrs. Gage believes the comment was made by Sen- 
ator Al Harding. He may not have known of Gage's extensive background 
in Rotary, but he accurately described the Gage speech technique of warm- 
ing an audience up with humor and then delivering a philosophical message. 
The initial reaction to the speech was favorable, as it had been well deliv- 
ered. As Dr. Larson pointed out in his history, it was the delayed reaction 
which caused Democrats to be concerned. I believe the public record 
indicates that Republicans as well were chagrined at his tendency to put 
the burden of responsibility in the hands of the Legislature. 

i4r«/?ocA-y Mountain News, January 16, 1961, "Gage Calls His Critics 
'Charitable.' " He said that would promptly be remedied, and the Repub- 
lican attacks were, in fact, not charitable at all after that point. 

i^i<>Wyo?t2ing State Tribune, January 17, 1961, "Harding Tells Gage: 
Session is Too Short to Play Quiz Games," the quote was carried in the 
daily newspapers and two weeklies, in Powell and Buffalo. Strictly as a 
matter of conjecture, the clever but biting nature of the statement suggests 
it may well have been drafted by Wold or members of the Republican State 
Central Committee. It was clearly designed to mock Gage and aggravate 
his problem of adjustment. 


Some believed that Harding's biting attack might have been 
drafted by Repubhcan party officials. At any rate, he later felt 
compelled to explain to his constituents why he had attacked Gage 
so personally. He said, "It is sometimes necessary to be publicly 
critical of public officers whom we personally like." He said the 
two-party system required it, and that the higher an individual 
rose in government, "the more he exposes himself to public scru- 
tiny and criticism, not as a man, but as a symbol of his political 
party."^'^'' (my italics). The Republican press, which had earlier 
praised Gage's original humor, now felt called upon to insist, "Let's 
suspend the vaudeville. "^^'^ Republican State Chairman John Wold 
termed Gage "unwilling to face up to the responsibilities of his 
new administrative job," charging that the message had neglected 
education, labor and highway operations. ^^'^ 

Gage's remarks on re-organization had irritated those who had 
been encouraged by Hickey's statements on the issue. When his 
hometown newspaper joined the criticism. Gage wrote a reply, not 
for publication, explaining his reluctance to change the elective 
offices : 

First, I doubt seriously if you know the entire scope of both the 
auditor's and the treasurer's offices. I am entitled to this doubt 
because I don't think I know myself. 

Second, if they did no more than function well on the state boards, 
they would earn their keep. 

Third, you and all other Republicans and I are forever bemoaning 
the establishment of additional boards and commissions that do two 
things: first, get away from the control of the voters, and second, 
spend money. You would have to establish some of these if we fol- 
lowed your precept. 

As to State Superintendent, do you have states in which they are 
appointed where you feel they have better schools? If we eliminate 
two or three elective officials, board meetings will be hard to come 
by. They are hard enough now. 

I have not looked it up, but I believe 're-organization' is a broad, 
sweeping term. It can hardly be contended that I am not in accord 
with changes since I have produced quite a few.^-'O 

^^'^Ibid., February 6, 1961, editorial, "Criticism of PubHc Officers," the 
Harding explanation could support the view that the attack did not orig- 
inate with him. The italicized portion indicates the fear of Gage's personal 
popularity, which had to be countered by attacking his most effective 
weapon, his humor. 

^'^^Ibid., January 18, 1961, editorial, "Let's Suspend the Vaudeville." 

^■^^Ibid., January 24, 1961, "Wold Asks Gage to 'Face up' to Duties of 

isoLetter from Gage to Dick Redburn, Sheridan Press, following an 
editorial of January 24. 


The Battle of the Budget 

The legislative message had gotten Gage off to a rocky start, 
and equally troubUng was the Hickey budget, which made recom- 
mendations on only two-thirds of the appropriations. The chair- 
man of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, Senator Dick Jones 
of Park County, said, "I certainly don't mean any criticism of 
Governor Gage, but it seems to me that a continuing governor 
definitely should present a more complete budget. This is going 
to make it difficult for us."^^^ Senator Jones and Gage, however, 
quickly united when budget problems developed over the State 
Hospital at Evanston. 

In November of 1960, Superintendent Karn had told Hickey 
that "substantial cutbacks" had been made in his request. He 
added, "I can neither consent to nor authorize further budget sur- 
gery. To do so would prostitute my professional judgment and be 
inimical to patient welfare."^'"*- When the Hickey budget was 
released, it contained increases, but not enough to prevent Kam's 
resignation. The 1959-1961 appropriations for the Evanston hos- 
pital had totaled $2,091,450; the request for 1961-1963 was 
$3,153,335. There had been no capital outlay in the previous 
biennium, but the 1961-1963 request was $ 183,1 64. ^-'''^ 

Gage's problems were aggravated on February 17, when he 
exercised his first veto against a measure to remove the stigma 
of criminal proceedings from the commitment of the mentally ill. 
Gage said he sympathized with the intent, but the attorney general 
had advised the bill could create "serious legal problems. "^''^ 

The combination of the veto and the budget caused executives 
of the Wyoming Association for Mental Health to charge Gage 
with "an extreme lack of concern for the treatment of the mentally 
ill." They were equally annoyed with the Legislature, which they 
said, "seemed more concerned about [trading] stamps than the 
minds of people. "^^^ Gage replied, "Dr. Karn is probably a fine 
psychiatrist, and Wyoming may be sustaining a loss, but his attack 
on the Ways and Means Committee is unwarranted." Gage said 
the Committee was best equipped to make judgments on budget 
matters : 

Had he [Karn] lived here longer, he might have reahzed that there 
is no better place to get an unbiased, definitely non-partisan cross- 
section of Wyoming thinking than comes from the Ways and Means 

loiUnidentified clipping, marked, "Cheyenne, January, 1961," Gage 

i52Letter from Dr. Karn to Hickey, November 19, 1960. 

is^Message to Legislature by Acting Governor Jack Gage, p. 21. 

i^jiWyoming State Tribune, February 17, 1961, "Gage Vetoes First Bill 
of Session." 

i'>5[Yyoming Eagle, February 18, 1961, "Authorities on Mental Health 
Criticize Gage." 


Committee; and he, like the rest of us, are better off when we heed 
their combined deUberations since in so doing we can feel that we 
are coming very close to complying with the wishes of the people of 
Wyoming. i-"j6 

The defense of the Committee was not a stratagem to place 
blame with the legislators, but rather a genuine reflection of his 
limited use of executive leadership. In a number of issues in his 
message, he had also preferred to let the legislative branch establish 
policy. The statement of support repaired relations with the 
Committee, if, in fact, the need had ever existed. In a joint letter 
signed by all the members, Gage was thanked, "It would have been 
much easier for you to say nothing. Taking the stand that you 
did not publicly certainly makes us feel the time and effort put 
into the Committee deliberations was well worth it."^'"' The issue 
continued to generate headhnes for months, though the Legislature 
was probably under more fire than Gage. Legislators held the 
purse strings and despite the fact Dr. Karn wanted too much mon- 
ey, according to one paper, "He deserved better than he got."^^^ 

In a related area, State Health Director Dr. James Sampson and 
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jones exchanged criticism 
over the apparent "repeal of the section of the statutes which gives 
the board of health policy making power." Jones finally smoothed 
over the issue with an explanatory letter to Sampson. ^-''^ The 
incident, however, illustrated that some fire which might have been 
directed at Gage was drawn by the legislators. By the end of the 
session, they had reason to ally on questions of budget. 

After the legislative session. Dr. Karn announced he would 
reconsider his resignation. Gage told the president of the Wyo- 
ming State Medical Society, "You know, as I am sure Dr. Karn 
does, that he can visit with the Board [of charities and reform] 
anytime he wants to." Gage denied that politics had entered the 
situation, "A better observation might have been that the entire 
situation was and is uncalled for and that no political officer has 
contributed so much as a single word to the creation of and con- 
tinuation of what could have been a routine discussion with the 
Board months ago."^^*^ Karn met with the board, which voted 
unanimously in June, after five months of tension, to retain him. 
Gage said, "Never have I known an instance where greater pres- 

'^^^Sheridan Press, February 17, 1961, "Governor Gage Hits Back at State 
Hospital Head." 

1 •''"Letter from Joint Ways and Means Committee to Gage, February 
18, 1961. 

'^^'^Casper Tribune -Her aid, February 20, 1961. editorial "Missing the 

'^^^Rocky Mountain News, March 7, 1961, "Letter Satisfies Health De- 
partment Head." 

i6f Letter from Gage to Dr. Francis Barrett. May 26, 1961. 


sure has been applied against no resistance. "^*^^ Gage believed 
the institution had, on balance, been fairly treated. He noted that 
from July 1, 1959, to August 30, 1962, expenditures for the hos- 
pital had increased 39 per cent; salaries, 64 per cent; and the 
number of professional staff positions, by ten.^^^ 

Actions of the Legislature 

In terms of publicity, the major legislative issues were reappor- 
tionment, trading stamps, and pari-mutuel betting. Several reap- 
portionment bills were offered, and the Farm Bureau was support- 
ing a measure to allot one Senator to each county. No action was 
taken in an issue which divided along urban-rural, as well as party 
lines. Commenting on the issue at the session's end, the Repub- 
lican leadership noted, "On the final vote in the House, 83 per 
cent of the Republican members were in favor and 81 per cent 
of the Democrats were against the proposal. "^^^ A legal suit was 
filed later, but the matter of reapportionment was pending at the 
time of the 1962 campaign. 

Efforts to remove the ban on trading stamps failed, but a pari- 
mutuel bill passed. At a televised press conference before the 
Wyoming Press Association on January 22, Gage was asked if he 
would veto the bill. He replied, "Many, many people from many, 
many groups have asked me to make promises on things. So far 
my conscience is clear. I have made no promises. I will say 
this — 1 am opposed to gambling. "^"^ A month later, the press 
predicted the governor's office would be "flooded with letters" 
supporting pari-mutuel. Local communities who wanted addi- 
tional income from betting at county fairs and other celebrations, 
as well as the Wyoming Quarterhorse Breeders Association, were 
reported enthusiastic. ^^^ 

On February 24, Gage vetoed the bill, on the basis that it lacked 
adequate safeguards. With the attorney general's advice, he found 
the bill failed to give the boards necessary powers to regulate 
events which were an integral part of the wagering. "Without such 
controls and without other restraints in the Act," he said, "abuse 
could result. The voids found in this Act were not left out of the 

^^'^Casper Tribune-Herald, June 6, 1961, "Gage and Karn Meet for Visit." 
i62Letter from Gage aide Zan Lewis to Willard Roth, Wheatland, October 
23, 1962. 

^^^Wyoining Eagle, February 28, 1961, "Leaders Call Legislature Hard 

T-^iWyoniing State Tribune, January 22, 1961, "Gage Opposes Gambling." 
i65C«.sper Tribune-Herald, February 22, 1961, "Gage May Be Pressured 
on Race Bet Bill." 


measure from which it was for the most part patterned, namely 
the Nebraska Act."i«« 

The president of the Quarterhorse Breeders, Hyde Merritt, ac- 
cused Gage of engineering passage of an amendment to make the 
bill unacceptable, but this was denied by the sponsor of the amend- 
ment in question, Senator Harvey Johnston, Republican from Sher- 
idan County.^*''' Gage's files do not indicate any correspondence 
with legislators or evidence of any actions to influence the lan- 
guage of the bill. It would have been an uncharacteristic intrusion, 
considering his general attitude on legislative prerogatives. State 
Senator Norman Barlow, Republican from Sublette County, 
thought Gage had erred, "I trust the people here in Wyoming, 
and 80 per cent of them are for this bill."^'''^ The furor was short- 
lived, however, and a number of papers believed the veto had only 
delayed legalization. ^"^^ 

The legislature approved the largest budget in state history, 
leaving an unappropriated balance of $3.5 million in the general 
fund. There were slight increases in a few fees, but no tax in- 
creases, despite the drive by the Wyoming Association of Munici- 
palities for a one-cent increase in the sales tax. 

Gage encountered opposition from the Wyoming Retail Mer- 
chants and the Associated General Contractors when he vetoed 
changes in the unemployment benefits program which put a $47 
weekly maximum on benefits and made it easier to disqualify 
participation. Gage, as he did on all legal matters, relied heavily 
on the counsel of the attorney general. His veto message noted 
the bill "had suffered 16 major amendments and 42 minor chang- 
es, plus the striking of all the bill save the title." He believed the 
Legislature had not been satisfied with the bill since a legislative 
research council was assigned a study of Employment Security 
Commission laws. Gage concluded, "The spirit and intent appar- 
ently is lost not only to the Legislature but to the executive 

i66Letter from Gage to Deputy Secretary of State Tom Bogus, Veto 
Message, February 24, 1961. 

'^^'' Laramie Boomerang, February 26, 1961, "Pari-Mutuel Backer Says 
Gage Axed it Deliberately," Casper Tribune-Herald, February 27. 1961. 
"Johnston Says Gage Not Involved in Bill." With his respect for legislative 
prerogatives. Gage was not likely to have engineered an amendment to 
make the bill unacceptable. Mrs. Gage has noted that the issue was hotly 
debated and kept the Legislature going until early in the morning. She has 
said her husband also opposed the bill because he did not believe local 
communities could make pari-mutuel profitable. He was also greatly influ- 
enced in this and all vetoes by his great respect for his attorney general. 
Norman Gray. 

'^^^Casper Tribune-Herald, February 26, 1961. 

'^^^Ibid., February 27, 1961, editorial "Delaying Veto." and Wyoming 
State Tribune, March 1, 1961, editorial, "The Pari-Mutuel Bill Veto." 

^''^Wyoming Eagle, February 28, 1961, "Commissioner Bill Out." 


Critics claimed the veto "would allow chiselers to continue get- 
ting benefits and would make unemployment more attractive than 
working." The head of the Contractors said the state was headed 
toward a disaster in its unemplyoment fund.^'^ The state president 
of the Wyoming State AFL-CIO defended Gage. He said the bUl's 
real purpose was "to make stable employers carry a bigger load of 
payments to the unemployment compensation fund. Naturally the 
contractors are all for it."^^- The Retail Merchants opposed the 
veto for fear that depletion of the fund, which had dropped $4 
million in four years, would cost employers their experience ratings 
and require them to pay the maximum tax.'^^" Representatives of 
labor resented the proposed solution to the fund depletion since it 
meant limiting the number who could qualify for benefits and the 
amount they received. Gage did not participate in the discussion, 
beyond issuing his veto message. The issue did impair relations 
with many businessmen. In June, 1962, a Retail Merchants news- 
letter reminded members that Gage's veto had been hostile to their 
interests. ^"^^ 

Gage also vetoed a bill, which Democrats had fought, to take 
the state labor commissioner off the Emplyoment Security Com- 
mission. He saw no need for change, "since all labor commission- 
ers have served creditably on the Commission. "^^"''' 

One of the most long-lived issues was municipal finance. Gage 
had not spoken out for a sales tax increase. In fact, he had told 
a press conference, "Anything we can do to help them, I want to 
do. The hitch in the deal is going to be that if this [sales] tax is 
passed, they're going to be taxing the country people. "^"^ The 
Legislature did not approve the increase, and Republican Dick 
Green said rural areas should not have been blamed. He said 
thirty-five of fifty-six House members and sixteen of twenty-seven 

'^''^Rocky Mountain News, March 9, 1961. 

^l-Ihid., March 13, 1961, "Labor Leader Defends Gage for Killing Bill." 
^''''Wyoming Eagle, March 2, 1961, "Security Law Veto Rapped by 

i74Newsletter, Wyoming Retail Merchants Association, Casper, June 19, 
1962. The opposition of this interest group and the Contractors should not 
be over-estimated. It is the author's opinion, based on experience in Wyo- 
ming campaigns, that these two groups in particular and others, including 
the Stock Growers and Farm Bureau, can accommodate themselves to a 
Democrat in office. However, when the opportunity presents itself to place 
a Republican in office, the Democratic incumbent is generally bypassed, 
no matter how cooperative he may have been. The problem for the Demo- 
cratic incumbent is not to garner support but to neutrahze opposition. To 
the extent that Gage was attacked publicly by interests that probably did 
not support him privately was, on balance, a net loss, but not a major 
factor in his defeat. 

^'' ^Wyoming Eagle, February 28, 1961, "Commission Bill is Out." 
i'f'Wyoming State Tribune, January 22, 1961, "Gage Opposes Gambling," 
coverage of a press conference. 


in the Senate lived in cities. He added, 'if the cities are to be given 
the financial help they apparently desire, they must convince their 
own representatives in the Legislature that their need is real."^^'' 
The Democratic Wyoming Eagle disagreed, blaming Republicans 
"mostly from rural counties," with failing to act on municipal 
finance, minimum wage, and reapportionment. They were accused 
of harping about federal controls, particularly in education, 
". . . they look upon American democracy with suspicion; they 
consider Uncle Sam some kind of stealthy enemy, ready to move 
in on us the minute our backs are turned." On the major issues 
mentioned in the Democratic column. Gage and the Republicans 
were in apparent accord. Gage, in fact, had signed a bill which 
made Wyoming the only state not participating in the National 
Defense Education Act funds. ^^"^ 

The Legislature approved centralized accounting and relieved 
some strain on municipalities by making the state highway depart- 
ment assume maintenance responsibilties on portions of highways 
within city limits. The Saratoga Springs State Reserve was sold, 
though Gage found the price disappointing. 

Despite a troubled beginning. Gage generally sought to avoid 
conflict with the legislators. More than fifty of his appointments 
were approved by the Senate, and his relations were rated as better 
than a Democratic governor could usually expect. ^"^ Gage later 
boasted to a meeting of Rock Springs Democrats that he hoped his 
debt for the 1958 campaign had been met since eighty-four Sweet- 
water County residents held state jobs.^^" 


Aid to Municipalities 

Within a few months of the session's end, most issues had faded, 
with the major exception of municipal finance. In late January, 
1961, Gage had written a guest editorial for Mayor and Manager 
magazine. He said the tax base of cities was being reviewed 
continually to secure adequate funds. He praised the work of pri- 
vate groups in building recreation facilities. His concluding state- 
ments, which sparked an angry reply from Cheyenne's mayor, 
offered no concrete proposals: 

Standing off to one side and observing the terrific financial problems 
with which our towns both large and small are confronted is of small 

^'''Wyoming Eagle, March 2, 1961, "Green Takes Issue on City 

^"''^Ibid., February 24, 1961. Bernard Horton column. This is virtually 
the only column in the Wyoming press which systematically supports the 
Democratic party; thus it is also described as "the Democratic press" in 
this thesis. 

'^'''^Sherieian Press, February 21, 1961, editorial "Share in the Barrell." 


help, no matter how sympathetically we speak. The yet unanswered 
question is "in what manner we can move to be of real, not vocal 

Mayor Worth Story, then president of the Wyoming Association 
of Municipalities, said the state should aid cities, "not stand off to 
one side to observe it." He said Gage had not helped cities during 
the legislative session, "I don't believe he even referred to our 
problems in his message. If we could have a governor take the 
lead in trying to help solve our financial problems, it would make 
our job easier."^'*- 

The solution which Gage gradually worked out was two-fold. 
He would offer additional income from the increased filing fees for 
state leases, and he would seek greater federal revenues. Gage felt 
as abused in Wyoming's relations with the federal government as 
the cities did toward the state government. Throughout his career, 
he had decried inequities stemming from the state's admission into 
the union. He believed the Homestead Act, which would have 
brought thousands of acres of public land into private ownership, 
had failed. The federal government held nearly 50 per cent of 
the state land and 70 per cent of its mineral rights. Wyoming had 
also received only two sections of land per township when admitted 
to the union, while several other states had received four. Gage 
believed the revenue lost each year from the two sections which 
were lost would equal the annual sales tax collections. Gage also 
resented the federal government's reserving of lands for Indian 
reservations, parks, monuments, national forest and lands inun- 
dated by reservoirs, when the state had not received "in lieu" lands 
for the two additional sections per township. ^^■' The clamoring of 
cities for additional revenue thus dovetailed with his desire to 
redress grievances against the federal government. One issue in 
particular, obtaining 90 per cent return on federal mineral royal- 
ties, became a major plank in his election platform. On balance, 
his efforts here cost him more than they gained. 

iS"/?0(:A Springs Rocket. October 13, 1961, "Individual Dignity U. S. 
Goal, Hickey Tells Democrats." There is no indication how Gage reached 
the figure: it certainly must have been all-inclusive. 

^^^Letter from Zan Lewis, Gage aide, to Frank MacAloon, Mayor and 
Manager. January 26, 1961, enclosing an article, which by its phrasing, 
does appear to have been written by Gage himself. 

i'^-Wyoming State Tribune, April 18, 1961, "State Indifferent to Cities, 
Story Questions Gage Statement." 

^^■^Casper Tribune-Herald, November 5, 1961, "Gage Launches Plan to 
Reclaim State Lands." A Wyoming Eagle clipping of October 9, 1962, 
indicates Gage was able to obtain $82,500 from the Bureau of Reclamation 
for 2,240 acres of state land inundated at Keyhole Dam. Earlier, a settle- 
ment of $138,000 was reached for 6,800 acres flooded in the construction 
of Glendo Dam. These appear to have been his major achievements on 
land issues. 


The linking of causes was made in a June, 1961, address to the 
Wyoming Association of Municipalities where he spoke of his 
efforts in the spring to gain support for a 90 per cent royalty 
return. He saw a parallel in the counties' retaining funds which 
were presently being sent to the state. He called a conference of 
state and city officials to discuss practical recommendations for 
assistance. The conference, held November 16-17, 1961, opened 
with what was termed a "surprise" announcement by Gage. Al- 
though he had originally scheduled the additional income from 
filing fees for use in defraying costs of operating the state land 
office, Gage now proposed to use the estimated $420,000 biennial 
income for the cities. He said the amount was not a new tax but 
a fund which the Legislature could make available. He warned, 
however, "I hope you move to explore this, but don't ask the state 
to figure out how to distribute it." Instead, he suggested a com- 
mittee meet with him.^^'* 

Even the usually sympathetic Wyoming Eagle was not im- 
pressed, noting, "But the question immediately arose: How much 
good would $400,000 do when distributed among all the cities and 
towns of the state? On the basis of figures presented at the con- 
ference, it can be estimated that the total would increase the 
municipalities' income by about 2.5 per cent. That probably isn't 
enough to solve the problem, but certainly it helps. "^*^'^ Another 
feature of Gage's remarks promised more substantial assistance. 
He said the state had been receiving "a very small share" of the 
revenue which federal land earned, adding, "Actually, as I view 
it, if we could lay claim to being a sovereign state, insofar as our 
own property is concerned, we would not need one cent of help 
from anybody, and you folks wouldn't either."^'*" 

His statements rang hollow in the face of two embarrassing 
setbacks earlier in the year when he had attempted to obtain the 
support of fellow governors in seeking the 90 per cent mineral 
royalty return. The crucial failure was at the Western Governor's 
Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, where his resolution was not 
acted upon. His major opposition came from the governors of 
Utah and Colorado, who feared the impact on reclamation proj- 
ects. Gage's proposal, if it had applied only to Wyoming, would 
have meant that the state's existing 52.5 per cent of royalty pay- 
ments would not go to the Reclamation Fund, but would revert 

^^*lVy oming Eagle, November 17, 1961, "Gage Suggests $400,000 Source 
for Wyoming Cities." 

^^^Ibid., November 24, 1961, column by Bernard Horton. 

iS6Governor's Conference on Municipal Finance and Municipal Home 
Rule, 1961, (Proceedings, Nov. 16-17, 1961, on a conference called by 
Governor Gage in cooperation with Adult Education, Community Service 
and Public Services, University of Wyoming, Laramie), p. 76. 


to the state. Gage himself had released figures which indicated 
that Wyoming's total contributions to the Fund were $176 million, 
about 41 per cent of total Fund receipts. i" Although no action 
was taken, the matter was referred to the Economic Development 
Committee, headed by Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield, who had 
opposed the Gage proposal. Later, when the 53rd Governors 
Conference opened in Honolulu, Hawaii, June 27, 1961, Gage 
took a preliminary ballot at a meeting of Western governors. 
Although Utah Governor George Clyde had not supported him in 
Salt Lake, Gage had expected his support in Honolulu. The 
proposal was rejected by one vote, but Gage insisted he had taken 
the proposition farther than anyone else had.^^^ 

During the summer and fall. Gage had been criticized for his 
failure. In July, House Speaker Budd said the Hawaii vote was a 
"faux pas," and that former Senator Frank Barrett and former 
Congressman Keith Thomson had initiated the effort. Budd 

The defeat of his resolution at the Governors Conference has no 
doubt set our cause back several years. With only 10 governors 
voting, Acting Governor Gage should have found out beforehand how 
the vote was going to come out. 

If Gage had done his political homework, Budd said, the vote 
would not have been taken and Wyoming would have been spared 
having the Western governors go on record in opposition. ^"^^ The 
Republican press called Gage a "johnny come lately" on the issue. 
He had, it was claimed, tried to leap on the bandwagon and had 
gotten a few bruises in the process. ^''^' Republican Chairman Wold, 
in October, scornfully announced his party's progress in the min- 
eral royalty return effort. Wold had headed the state delegation 
to the Western Regional Republican Conference in Sun Valley, 
Idaho, where a resolution for 90 per cent return was adopted. He 
said that in contrast to Gage's "repudiation by his colleagues," 
the Republicans had succeeded in obtaining an endorsement for 
the effort. 

''-^''Wyoming Progress Reports, Volume 1, Number 5, August, 1961, p. 2. 
A pamphlet, "Equity for the Western States: A Case for the Return of 90 
Per Cent of Mineral Royalties to the State of Origin," Wyoming Natural 
Resource Board, Cheyenne, contained detailed charts which clearly indi- 
cated that Western states interested in reclamation would oppose the idea 
generally, and specifically for Wyoming. They needed Wyoming's contri- 
butions. Virtually every member of the Wyoming Congressional delegation 
has sponsored legislation of this nature, but none have staked their careers 
to the extent that Gage did. 

'^^^Wyoming Progress Reports, Volume 1, Number 5, August, 1961, p. 2. 

^^^Wyoming Eagle, July 22, 1961, "Gage Made 'Faux Pas' Budd says." 

'^^^Wyoming State Tribune, June 8, 1961, column by Meg Hunter. The 
Republican party and press did not ridicule the idea of greater mineral 
royalty returns, but they did question the effectiveness of Gage's efforts. 


Neither the criticism of the RepubHcans nor the lack of enthu- 
siasm by municipal leaders discouraged Gage in his efforts for the 
royalty return. It was clear he had not realistically assessed his 
prospects of success. If adjoining Western states, in their own 
interests, would oppose loss of the Wyoming contribution to the 
Reclamation Fund, Congress was equally likely to resist the idea. 
The public relations value of the project might also have been 
devalued by the failure with the governors, but Gage was not pur- 
suing increased revenue for political gain, but out of deep, personal 
conviction. ^^^ In the forthcoming campaign, he made the mineral 
royalty effort an issue, with little success. The municipalities had 
to wait for real aid through an increase in the sales tax in a sub- 
sequent administration. 

The State of the Economy 

Although Gage did not succeed in increasing federal revenue for 
Wyoming, the state's general fund condition was one bright area in 
finance. In March, 1961, it reached $8,175,026, the highest level 
since Lester Hunt's administration.^^- By June, it had reached 
$9 million.193 

The state's economy, as a whole, however, was not in a healthy 
condition in 1961, though there were positive trends toward the 
year's end. In July, Gage had to ask federal drought disaster aid 
for four counties. A month later, he asked similar assistance for 
two more counties. ^^^ In the period of mid-September to mid- 
October, 1961, non-farm payroll employment in Wyoming de- 
clined 3.3 per cent, the most in any Mountain State. ^^^ Gage had, 
months earlier, expressed concern about unemployment, but had 
said he felt there was no immediate action he could take. 

In December, Gage went to Washington, D. C, to testify on a 
pipeline application by El Paso Natural Gas. He included a visit 
to New York City to confer with executives of corporations which 
had existing or planned developments in Wyoming. On his return, 
he squelched rumors that Sinclair Oil planned to close its refinery 
outside Rawlins. He also said the executives had expressed con- 

-i-^iWyoming State Tribune, October 5, 1961, "Wold Says GOP Action 
Points Up Gage's Failures." The conclusion that Gage pursued the issue 
out of personal conviction and not political gain is based on the frequency 
with which he comments on the issue, both in the press and in his personzil 
speech files. 

'^^"Wyoming Eagle, April 21, 1961, column by Bernard Horton. 

^^^Ibid., July 14, 1961. column. 

^^■^Rocky Mountain News, July 15, 1961, "Drought Aid Sought for Four 
Counties," Wyoming Eagle, August 31, 1961, "Six Wyo. Counties Set for 
Feed Aid." Gage opposed federal aid to education, but did not hesitate to 
call on the federal government when agriculture was threatened. 

^^^^Wvoming Progress Reports, Volume 1, Number 6, September, 
1961, p' 4. 


cem about Wyoming's high freight rates and the lack of adequate 
industrial water. On January 10, 1962, he announced plans by 
Pacific Power and Light for a chemical process pilot plant at 
Glenrock and a $25 million expansion to the Dave Johnson steam 
plant there. ^^*^ In March, there was hopeful news for Cheyenne, 
with the announcement of a $158 million project to plant Minute- 
men Missiles in the vicinity of Warren Air Force Base. The 
Governor predicted an extremely favorable impact on the local 

During 1962, economic indicators picked up. The oil industry 
had been in excellent condition, with the value of oil and gas 
production increasing steadily. The value of all minerals produced 
in Wyoming in 1961 had reached $471 million, a seven per cent 
increase over 1960.^'-^* Gage announced in September, 1962, that 
tourism in July had grossed more than $80 million, the largest 
month in history. Travel had been 25 to 40 per cent higher on 
state highways. Yellowstone National Park had welcomed its 
millionth visitor at the earliest date in history, July 26.^^^ The 
Unviersity of Wyoming Division of Business and Economic Re- 
search confirmed an upward trend with its report that retail sales 
had hit an all-time high in April-June, 1962. The volume was 5.7 
per cent higher than the same period in 1961, though only 1.3 
per cent above 1960. Construction activity was down; employ- 
ment was off slightly, but so was unemployment. Resources in 
Wyoming banks were $25 million above the previous year. For 
the fourth consecutive year, total personal income in Wyoming was 
increased. Sales tax collections totaled $10.5 million, the highest 
twelve-month period in state history. The economy, the report 
concluded, was in healthy condition.^*^*^ 


Prelude to the Primary 

The Wyoming electorate, according to a poll conducted for the 
Democratic party in May, 1962, disagreed on the state of the 
economy, but many felt a need for more industry. When those 
interviewed were asked to volunteer the most important area of 
concern, 30 per cent said "more industry for Wyoming," which the 
Kraft pollsters said was the highest figure for any single issue which 

i96Gage Press Release File, January 10, 1962, press release. 

'^'•'''Rawlins Daily Times, March 28, 1962, "Gage Pleased Cheyenne is 
Missile Site." 

^^^Wyoming Progress Reports, Vol. 1, Number 12, March, 1962. 

i^^Gage Press Release File, released September 11, 1962. 

^^^Wyoming Eagle, October 6, 1962, editorial "Healthy Economy," citing 
Wyoming Trade Winds, Division of Business and Economic Research, Col- 
lege of Commerce and Industry, University of Wyoming. 


they had encountered in several years of nationwide testing. Wyo- 
ming residents appeared genuinely concerned about out-migration. 
If unemployment had dipped, many reasoned, it was because 
laborers had left the state. The 1960 census had verified the slow 
population growth. The lack of opportunity forced many high 
school and University graduates to seek employment outside the 

The poll, however, showed surprising strength for President 
Kennedy, with a 75 per cent favorable rating, compared to 47 
per cent for Gage and 24 per cent for Hickey. In rating perfor- 
mance, those polled gave Gage a four-to-one positive rating, while 
Hickey's was five-to-one negative. Gage's weakness, however, 
was revealed when those interviewed were asked how public offi- 
cials had performed on attracting new industry. Only 29 per 
cent approved of the actions; 60 per cent disapproved, and, "In 
this context of disapproval, the governor is mentioned most fre- 
quently . . . ." The poll indicated a desire for bold action; many 
were concerned that Wyoming "isn't moving ahead, that it is stand- 
ing still or slipping back."-"^ In the forthcoming campaign, this 
lack of confidence about the economy worked to Gage's disad- 
vantage, though his opponent offered only general promises to 
"get Wyoming moving again." 

A survey on industrial development, commissioned by the state 
government and released in the fall of 1962, pointed out the 
obstacles the Gage administration faced. Three major adverse 
factors were identified. The physical and climatic geography of 
Wyoming had limited its population growth and its industrial 
growth; the state economy had traditionally been oriented toward 
extraction of natural resources; and a lack of adequate industrial 
development promotion had limited growth. The state was advised 
to recruit industries in electronics, tourism, chemicals, wood prod- 
ucts, and research. To achieve growth, the state would have to 
increase approriations for the Natural Resource Board, which, in 
turn, would have to develop interstate and intrastate promotion 

As Gage prepared for the primary he had been expecting for 

2"i^"A Survey of Candidates and Issues in Wyoming," Kraft poll. May, 

-"-"A Summary of Survey for Industrial Development in the State of 
Wyoming," prepared for the Natural Resource Board by Armour Research 
Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology. September, 1962. Gage appar- 
ently did not announce the commissioning of the study, though it would 
have helped him. He did not mention the results in his general election 
campaign. In a memo to Zan Lewis, a Natural Resource Board member, 
Charles Sargent, on August 27, 1962, sent a list of new or expanded indus- 
trial development totaling $160 million for natural resource industries. 
Gage used a round figure of $192 million for all new development. 


months, his public statements gave no inkling of the survey then 
underway and did not reflect the findings of the Democratic poll. 
He did ask the Natural Resource Board to prepare a list of indus- 
tries which had expanded or opened operations in Wyoming since 
1959, but the impressive figures were not used effectively. He did 
not project an image of bold economic leadership nor implement, 
as late as October, the findings of the industrial development sur- 
vey by recommending that the Board of Natural Resources expand 
its activities. Gage declined to make economic growth a key issue 
in his campaign because he was not entirely convinced that the 
state's economy was in trouble. Although he might have been 
justified in this interpretation, he made no more than a token effort 
to assert economic leadership, largely because, as he said, he was 
not sure what he could do immediately to be of assistance. Instead, 
he relied on achieving a greater share of federal revenue for 
the state, accompanied by economies in the operation of state 

The Scope of the Challenge 

In historical perspective. Gage needed to use his incumbency 
and every issue at his disposal effectively. In state history, none 
of the seven acting governors had been elected governor. Three 
did not seek election; two were defeated in party primaries; and 
two won nomination but lost in the general election. In four of 
seven cases, the administration changed hands in the subsequent 
election.-"^ The respective elections had been decided on the basis 
of the elements of the individual campaigns. However, the trend, 
unbroken by Gage, did suggest the difficulties associated with an 
acting governor seeking election in his own right. Although each 
acting governor had won election as secretary of state, the post by 
its very designation, does not carry the recognition which might be 
associated by the term "lieutenant governor." Aside from the 
question of semantics, few if any governors in Wyoming had helped 
make the secretary of state position stand out from the other 
elective offices. Except for the occasional filling of the governor's 
office in his absence, the secretaries of state had a low political 

Gage's own career spelled out some of the problems. Although 

-•^SBased on a reading of election returns and History of Wyoming. The 
acting governors included Amos Barber, November 24, 1890, to January 2, 
1893; Fenimore Chatterton, April 28, 1903, to January 2, 1905; Frank 
Houx, February 26, 1917, to January 6, 1919; Frank E. Lucas, October 2, 
1924, to January 5, 1925; Alonza M. Clark, February 18, 1931, to January 
2, 1933; A. G. Crane, January 3, 1949, to January 1, 1951; and C. J. "Doc" 
Rogers, January 3, 1953, to January 3, 1955. The author believes their 
records do not reflect strong executive leadership as acting governor. 


the second ranking state official, he had no part in drafting the 
Hickey budget. With the exception of the Hickey budget file, 
Gage did not appear to have been provided with helpful informa- 
tion to facilitate the transition. An additional obstacle, especially 
in Gage's case, was the nature of the assumption of office. It had, 
in the past, involved the death of the incumbent or his election to 
the U. S. Senate. In either case, the individual mandated by the 
voters was replaced by an individual chosen for another post. As 
one voter grumbled in a classified ad in 1962, "We had no voice 
in selecting one of our Senators and our present governor, and we 
got gyyped."20'* 

The State of the Party 

Conceding the disadvantages which might accompany acting 
governorship, there clearly were advantages. A secretary of state 
could go on to be elected governor, as Lester Hunt had done. If 
an acting governor could use his limited powers of incumbency 
effectively, election was possible. However, in Gage's case, the 
burdens of the Hickey backlash were aggravated by problems 
within his party. 

Within three months of assuming the governor's post. Gage was 
confronted with the possibility of a primary. State Senator Robert 
J. Murphy, in early April, 1961, had told Gage he was considering 
running for govenor. Equally troubling was the statement of State 
Senator W. A. Norris, Jr., future Democratic national committee- 
man, that Murphy should be recognized for his work in the Legis- 
lature.-*^^ Murphy wrote Gage that he did not intend to criticize 
him, "I feel we can both conduct ourselves as Democratic gentle- 
men without damage to the party." It was not a reassuring mes- 
sage which concluded, "Incidentally, I understand we will have 
additional company in the person of 'Scotty' Jack and possibly 
others, so we should have a real good time."-"*' While attempting 

204Letter from Frank Myers to Gage, February 15, 1962, enclosing a 
Sheridan Press clipping, undated, signed by Claude Byler. Gage replied on 
February 16, "If I remember, the man who put the ad in the paper has 
been committed to Evanston three times. Very obviously, he is correct in 
his assumption since I have never made it once." He also wrote Democratic 
Chairman Allen Hunter on February 16 suggesting a meeting with Byler, 
but there is no evidence it materialized. On February 23. Gage wrote 
Hunter, "I appreciate the time and trouble you have taken to report on Mr. 
Byler. I am afraid he is no too conversant with the laws of the state or he 
would have realized that the people did vote on the possibility of me (sic) 
becoming governor, and it happened." 

-'^^Rocky Mountain News, March 6, 1961, "Conflicts Within Democratic 
Party Shape Up on Two Fronts." 

-OSLetter from Robert Murphy to Gage, April 13, 1961. In a brief note 
on April 14, Gage thanked him and suggested a meeting, but there is no 
evidence it took place. 


to build his constituency, Gage must have been disconcerted by the 
press accounts which early and often mentioned the prospect of a 
primary contest. 

In April, Whitaker's charges of a "cover up" to his questions on 
the Hickey appointment proved embarrassing. As one columnist 
put it, the party had the troubles of the "tacky political fences 
Hickey left behind him," the Whitaker charges, and Gage's own 
intraparty problems, "Acting Governor Jack Gage, who's been 
warbling a serenade to conservative Republicans since taking over 
as head man, is finding that liberals in his party have no fear for 
his tune. They're scouting the field for someone more to their 

The field had to include William M. "Scotty" Jack. Like Gage, 
Jack's birthplace was not well known. He was believed to be a 
native of Scotland, but was born in New York City on March 5, 
1 892. His parents moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, when he was a 
few months old and he lived there until 1910 when he returned to 
America. He moved to Lusk, Wyoming, where he homesteaded 
and was elected twice to the State House of Representatives.-'^^ 
He later moved to Natrona County where he engaged in the oil 
business and was also elected to the House. In 1933, he was 
selected as the first Democratic Speaker of the House. He was 
elected three times as state auditor, in 1934, 1938 and 1942. He 
was appointed by Governor Lester Hunt in 1944 to serve as acting 
secretary of state on the death of Mart T. Christensen.-"-* In 1950, 
Jack had been considered a strong prospect for the governor's 
race, but he disappointed Democrats by accepting, in February, 
a public relations position with the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas 
Association. In his new capacity, he helped Republicans exploit 
the severance tax issue against the Democratic nominee John J. 
Mclntyre, who was defeated. Four years later. Jack was nom- 
inated for governor, but lost the close race to Milward Simpson. 
Simpson subsequently appointed Jack to the Equalization Board 
and Public Service Commission, which was as confining to him as 
the postmastership had been to Gage. In 1961, he was clearly 
determined to re-enter electoral politics. 

In addition to circulating a policy paper which strongly hinted 
he would seek the governor's post. Jack, in 1961, also wrote Dem- 
ocrats to outline his options. He said he faced two gambles. If a 
Republican won in 1962, his appointment was in jeopardy, and if 

-*>' Wyoming State Tribune, April 20, 1961, Meg Hunter column. 

-"^Letter from Zan Lewis to Jack Gage, IL, December 14, 1961, quoting 
Wyoming Historical Blue Book. 

'M\)Wyoming State Tribune, November 20, 1961, "Scotty's Position: Jack- 
Gage Race Appears Likely," and a review of election returns compiled by 
the secretary of state. 


a Democrat won, it was in doubt. He concluded, "If I am going 
to take any political gambles in 1962, in preference to those set 
forth above, I would much rather take the gamble of running for 
high public office and getting elected." He mentioned no specific 
race, but a concerned Democrat forwarded a copy of the letter to 

An Unorthodox Announcement 

Gage wrote former Governor Miller in January, 1962, stating 
his reluctance to declare his candidacy at an early date. He asked 
for Miller's advice, which was to announce immediately, and heed- 
ed it. He told Miller, "I expect I should make some fanfare or 
commotion about it, but I doubt very much if I do since I am not 
given to such things. "-^^ His announcement on February 9, 1969, 
approached the candidacy with his customary contempt for polit- 
ical cliche: 

Down through the years, politicians have almost produced a stereo- 
typed method of announcing that they will run for some political 
office. One way or another, they say, in substance, "I really did not 
want to do it, but so many of my host of friends have begged and 
pleaded that I have finally given way to their pressure." 

I view this as a weak and feeble statement and more often than not 
untrue, so, in announcing that I will be a candidate for the governor- 
ship on the Democratic ticket, I would like to say that I made up my 
own mind, and, too, that I hope my friends like the idea. Also, I 
hope there are many of them. 

Coming to this conclusion has not been particularly hard to do since 
when I assumed this office over a year ago, I reasoned that if I did 
not fall flat on my face, but could feel a fair degree of accomplish- 
ment, it would be logical for me to want to run and for people to 
expect me to do so. Nothing has happened to alter my thinking. 
I do not feel that I am anyone's glowing gift to Wyoming; in fact, 
Wyoming has done much more for me than I can hope to do in 

I do not think I have all the answers, nor have I heard all the ques- 
tions; at the same time, I know that I have my teeth into this job. 
I know what it takes; I like it; and I announce the fact that I will 
run because I want to very much.-^- 

Gage's announcement was hailed by Democratic State Chairman 
Walter Phelan, successor to Teno Roncalio, who had recently been 
appointed to a post in the Kennedy administration. Phelan warned. 

2i<'Letter from Emil Zebre, Democratic chairman, Lincoln County, to 
Gage, June 26, 1961, enclosing a copy of a mimeographed letter sent to 
Judd Witherspoon. Kemmerer. 

2iiLetter from Gage to Leslie Miller, January 30, 1962. Second letter 
on February 5, 1962. 

21-Gage Press Release file, February 9, 1962. 


"Those who oppose Governor Gage have their work cut out for 

Gage then took an action, perhaps unprecedented, that seemed 
to surrender most of the advantages of incumbency. He wrote 
county chairmen and influential Democrats asking them to refrain 
from aiding him in his certain primary. In a letter sent to influ- 
ential individuals, he said that in the event of a primary: 

I will adhere to my belief that I am not entitled to impose upon you 
in your official capacity in the Democratic party until the primary has 
been concluded. 

In a similar vein, he wrote to several county chairmen: 

... no matter how vicious or in error any newspaper or radio attack 
upon me may become, may I ask you to respect my wish never under 
any circumstances to make a reply. I am making the same request 
of all Democrats who might feel at some time called upon to fly to 
my defense.215 

Gage's request was not based on insensitivity to criticism. As he 
confided to a friend in March, 1962, "I would hope it does not get 
under my skin, but it will."-^^ In a letter to his son. Gage said, 
"You know full well, of course, that I am unhappy about a pri- 
mary. 'Scotty' has been hired, but I cannot put my finger on who 
is picking up the tab . . . ." He added, "Although 'Scotty' cannot 
beat me in a primary, the harm he can and will do will carry over 
into the general . . . ."^^'^ Apparently, Gage felt he had to "keep 
his powder" dry during the primary to prevent Jack from ridiculing 
his positions and to avoid prolonged exchanges that would weaken 
him for the general election. 

During the spring. Jack was touring the state to address service 
clubs on what he called the "Battle of the Budget," which in his 
terms was a power struggle between the legislative and executive 
branches. He viewed propoasls for a twelve-member budget com- 

2i3iyyoming State Tribune, February 9, 1962, "Democrats Hail Gage's 

2i4Mimeographed open letter signed "Jack R. Gage," with no reference 
to his official capacity. No mailing list was attached. 

2i5Letter from Gage to George P. Economy, Democratic chairman in 
Carbon county, February 2, 1962. Similar letters on file show he sent 
word to chairmen in Big Horn, Campbell, and Albany counties. Others 
may have been sent the open letter. 

2i6Letter from Gage to Hugh West, Sheridan, March 26, 1962. 

2i7Letter from Gage to his son Jack, II, March 19, 1962. Gage specifi- 
cally mentioned Senator Gale McGee as supporting Jack, "My best reason 
for knowing this is the continuing opposition out of Albany County from 
Young Democrats who get their direction from him." It may also have 
been true that campus Democrats were more liberal, and, thus, less likely 
to support Gage. In any event, Jack Gage, II., in an interview, discounted 
this theory entirely. McGee did not campaign for Gage, because he was 
not asked to, but he did send a letter to Democrats endorsing the ticket. 



mittee and other trends as indications of "an increasing lack of 
confidence in the executive department."^^'^ The confrontation he 
described in some respects reflected his own relationship with 
Governor Miller in 1933. 

The Fears of a Negative Approach 

On April 7, 1962, the Democratic State Central Committee 
reelected Wilter Phelan chairman and Rudy Anselmi vice chair- 
man. Gage's remarks prepared for the meeting are surprisingly 
defensive. He warned: 

There will be no occasion for a negative comment of any kind or a 
negative approach to any facet of what has been accomplished in the 
last four years by a Democratic administration. 

If what I say is true, then what would the Republicans like to have 
us do? They would like to have us conduct our primary campaign 
in such a manner that at its conclusion, no matter who the Democratic 
candidate happened to be, the individual would have been so maligned 
as to leave the Democrats completely ineffectual. 

Between now and the primary election, although I may choke to death 
doing it, I am going to keep my mouth shut. I am not going to be 
sucked into a position of answering questions, no matter what their 
source, designed only to do me or the Democrats harm. I will not 
answer inferred questions produced by a whispering campaign such 
as already has been attempted in one quarter. 

He said he would not ask for emotional or financial support from 
the Central Committee during the primary, because, "If I read the 
rules correctly, during the primary I am supposed to be on my 
own." He concluded: 

I am not full of schemes and deals. I have not trafficked in such 
before and I will not now. Also, I have no secrets. I presume I am 
as easy to understand as a third grade reader and I intend to stay 
that way.219 

In a speech prepared for the 1962 Democratic state convention 
in May, Gage used many of the same phrases, repeating his resolve 
to refrain from negative campaigning. If the delegates had enter- 
tained hopes for bold leadership on developing new issues, Gage 
disposed of them, much as he had in his message to the Legislature. 
He told them some of the thoughts which go through a governor's 

2i8Wyoming State Tribune, March 29, 1961, "Budget Battle Fight for 
Power Scotty Jack Says." 

2i9Gage Speech File. Speech prepared for Democratic State Central 
Committee meeting, April 7, 1962. In his text, where he had mentioned 
"whispering campaign," Gage had originally inserted the charge that he was 
drawing two salaries, as secretary of state and acting governor, but he 
struck over this reference. 


What great and earth-shaking thing will I do for the State of Wyo- 
ming this day that will solve many of its problems, endear me to the 
hearts of the people, make of me a renowned citizen, and give me 
great personal satisfaction? When such a thought goes through your 
mind, you should look about. You are not sitting in the governor's 
chair — you are off on cloud nine. In other words, it just does not 
work that way. You are not going to do anything of earth-shaking 
nature today. If you accomplish anything, it will not be in a day. 

He brought up the charge that "we have no leadership," and 
responded by noting his success in getting the Interstate Oil Com- 
pact Commission to drop a study which Wyoming oil producers 
opposed, his enabling oil and gas interests to "rewrite the rules 
and regulations under which they function," his appointment of 
an Agriculture Advisory Board composed of representatives of the 
chief agricultural associations, the meeting with municipal officials, 
land reclassification, the appointment of a Highway Safety Foun- 
dation, economies in office, and the mineral royalty battle, where, 
"We made more headway than has been made before." His sensi- 
tivity to opposition within the party was evident in his comment 
on financing, "I will not seek money from you, nor will I — or 
have I — asked Republicans to contribute to my campaign. Here 
I ask you to attach any significance you wish to the comment."^^^ 

Another Vacancy in the State House 

The death of State Treasurer C. J. "Doc" Rogers in May, 1962, 
left, in effect, three of the five state elective offices in caretaker 
status. Gage was acting governor; Robert Outsen, as deputy, was 
acting secretary of state, and Rogers' office was to be managed by 
Richard J. Luman, deputy state treasurer. Only Superintendent 
of Public Instruction Velma Linford and State Auditor Minnie 
Mitchell were serving in positions they were elected to fill. 

In his May 23 statement. Gage said the state treasurer post 
would be filled by the electorate "in a short time." He said that 
if he had named an appointee, "who naturally would be a Dem- 
ocrat," there would not be sufficient time to restaff the office. 
He also said anyone he appointed to the post might not be able 
to run for election in 1962 because questions might be raised as 
to the legality of that person succeeding himself.^-^ 

"Scotty" Jack disagreed, terming the action a violation of state 
law. He said Section 22-19 of the Wyoming Statutes of 1957 was 
regarded as mandatory. The statute said state positions should be 
"filled by appointment" if more than forty days would lapse before 
the next election. Jack said, "To act otherwise, in an arbitrary 

^^^Ibid., copy of speech prepared for May 11, 1962, Democratic state 
convention. Many sentences are identical to the speech to the State 

"iGovernor Gage Press Release File, May 23, 1962. 


manner, is flouting of the law and makes a mockery of his consti- 
tutional oath of office to uphold Wyoming law."-^- The Demo- 
cratic press, while concluding that, "the Wyoming pubhc has gen- 
erally accepted the governor's decision," noted, "If there is any 
real basis for disagreement with the governor's decision, it would 
have to be in connection with the hard-headed, realistic, partisan 
politics of the two-party system."--'^ Although Gage's actions did 
irritate some Democrats who thought he should have appointed a 
party member to the post, his action probably was the most pru- 
dent course he could have taken. He was already aware of the 
backlash produced by the Hickey appointment. More pertinent, 
he would have alienated Democrats in one camp or another whom- 
ever he appointed. The appointee would have denied the party 
the choice in a primary and probably would have handicapped the 
prospects of that individual being elected, whether because of legal 
aspects or Republican resentment. 

Primary Campaign Issues 

"Scotty" Jack had vowed to make the primary a forum for 
developing issues, and it became clear that Gage's competence was 
a central theme. Jack claimed the Motor Transportation Depart- 
ment's budget was unconstitutional because it was not appropriated 
by the Legislature. He said the Revenue Department funds were 
partly illegal because they were partly from the general fund and 
partly from revenue, which did not have legislative approval. He 
also questioned the legal status of the Legislative Research Com- 
mittee because the law creating it had been repealed in 1961, and 
there had been no legislative approval for funds. He said Gage 
should not have opposed the Burns Creek hydro-electric power 
project in Idaho because he had earlier refused to support the 
Fryingpan Arkansas Project in Colorado because it was out of his 
state and jurisdiction. Jack also opposed right to work legislation, 
thought he did not comment on Gage's position.--^ 

Gage did not take a position on the issue, nor, apparently, did 
labor officials pressure him to make one. In April, 1962, Arthur 
Biggs, a member of the international board of the United Mine 
Workers of America (UMWA), had counseled Gage: 

It has been brought to the attention of the UMWA that requests have 
been made upon you to declare yourself on the controversial issue 
labeled 'Right to Work' in your forthcoming campaign for re-election 
(sic) to the office of governor of the state of Wyoming. 

In connection therewith, based upon your previous record of per- 
formance, which has been friendly to labor, the UMWA is of the 

^^-Wyoming Eagle, June 1, 1962, "Jack Accuses Governor. 
^^'^Ibid., June 1, 1962, Horton column. 
--^Wyoming State Tribune, June 22, 1962. 


opinion that actions speak louder than words and it's unnecessary that 
you go on record making any pledges that might detrimental in any 
way or might jeopardize your chances .... 

Biggs promised that the union would "do everything possible to 
help and assist."--"' The general chairman of the Sheet Metal 
Workers local in Cheyenne wrote the Gage for Governor Com- 
mittee in July, "You may rest assured that I am happy to be a 
member of the committee, and you may feel free to use my name 
in connection therewith."--'^ Two United Mine Workers of Amer- 
ica districts, 22 and 50, in Rock Springs, endorsed Gage before 
the primary. A surprising departure from tradition, the action 
outraged Jack and his supporters. A Jack supporter, who was a 
representative of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, com- 
plained, "in fairness to both Democratic candidates, now engaged 
in a tight race for this office, your attention is called to the 
favorable record and strong public statements made by candidate 
'Scotty' Jack."--'^ Jack himself wired Arthur Biggs, challenging 
him "to point to and prove any act of Gage's that merits his 
endorsement by your union." He said Gage had made "secret 
promises" adverse to labor, including a pledge to sign the jobless 
benefits bill he had vetoed in 1961.--^ Biggs referred the telegram 
to two State Labor Department officials for reply, adding, "about 
the only thing I would do would be to state that the record of 
Governor Gage speaks for itself. Jack certainly isn't going to tell 
the UMWA how to run its business."--" 

During the summer. Gage did not campaign vigorously, but 
generally followed a non-political speaking schedule including a 
number of high school commencements. In June, he was warned 
that Jack had been campaigning in Lincoln County. He was told 
his opponent "has been working hard on a grass-roots level. He 
has quite a few loyal supporters, particuarly among the older peo- 
ple, a carryover from previous campaigns."-'^" In the following 
month, Gage campaigned in the county, stressing his economies 
in office, "I live in your house; I drive your car; and I spend 
your money, but a heap sight less of it than has ever been done 
before."-'" Jack disagreed, accusing Gage of wasting time and 

--'"'Letter from Arthur Biggs, to Gage, April 17, 1962. 

--^'Letter from Leo P. Grant, Cheyenne, to Gage for Governor Com- 
mittee, July 5, 1962. 

--^Letter from Louis Leichtweis to John Martin, president, Local 13214, 
UMNA, Rock Springs, and to Arthur Biggs, July 11, 1962 

--*^Copy of a telegram from Jack to Arthur Biggs, August 11, 1962. 

--'•'Memorandum from Biggs to Messrs. Condie and Clark, State Labor 
Department, August 11, 1962. 

-■^"Letter from Doyle Child, Afton, to Gage, June 5, 1962, relaying a 
message from chairman Emil Zebre, Kemmerer. 

-'^^Star Valley Independent, July 12, 1962. 


money. He said he would "never, for example, take the time, at 
the expense of the taxpayers, to go to New York and back only to 
squelch a rumor that the refinery at Sinclair was going to close 
when a long-distance telephone call from Cheyenne to the refinery 
at Sinclair would have gotten the same results." He said Gage 
didn't have to travel across the continent to learn that industry 
needed industrial water "when the archives of state government 
are filled with reports and studies on the very problem. "-^- 

Jack characterized the Gage administration as one of "secrecy," 
unrest and dissension," referring to personnel disputes in the State 
Health Department, charges of misconduct by members of the 
Highway Patrol and the question of whether the Highway Com- 
mission and the governor wanted a study on Patrol problems. -■^•* 
The Riverton Ranger asked, "Can Wyoming's witty and whimsical 
governor withstand the vigorous challenge of another old political 
warhorse in the Democratic primary election?" Gage was seen as 
a "creditable, though unspectacular" governor, whose only prob- 
lems with the Legislature were pari-mutuel, an issue which cut both 
ways, and the veto of the jobless pay bill. It added, "Gage's 
biggest crusade — 90 per cent return to Wyoming of state mineral 
royalties — backfired in his face." It said Gage could "pass for a 
Republican" in a race where "clear-cut differences in the govern- 
ment philosophies of the two men" contrasted. As examples, the 
newspaper column stated that Jack, in contrast to Gage, favored 
reapportionment by population and reclamation projects.^^^ 

On August 1, former Governor Leslie Miller urged Democrats 
to give "an overwhelming vote of confidence to Jack Gage," add- 
ing, "I have known both candidates ... for 30 years. For four 
of these, I was closely associated with them and came to know 
them very well indeed, their ideals, their characters, and their 
qualities for trustworthiness."-^"' Jack belittled the Miller endorse- 
ment, describing him as a man of "bitterness and frustration." He 
said, "They deserted Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and 
Harry Truman and the Fair Deal. They find themselves much 
more at home with the elite of the Republican party than they do 
with rank and file Democrats." Jack predicted Gage's election 
would mean "four more years of stagnation for the state of Wyo- 
ming. By his own admission, he is an ultra-conservative; by his 

-■^-Rawlins Daily Times. July 19. 1962, "Scotty Flares Over Waste in 

-•^■^Wyoming State Tribune, July 25. 1962, "Jack Highly Critical of 
Governor Gage." 

-'^■^Riverton Ranger column by Hugh Ellis, as reprinted in the Grexbitll 
Standard, July 26, 1962, "Two Party Line." 

-'■i-^Wyoming Eagle, August 1, 1962, "Ex-Democratic Governor Supports 


own admission, Barry Goldwater is a liberal compared to him."^-^^ 
He accused Miller and Gage of "living back in the 1930s while the 
rest of us are striving valiantly to forge ahead in the 1960s. Surely, 
the people of our state are not going back to 1938 to get a gover- 
nor for 1963."2'" 

An Underwhelming Mandate 

The primary election returns provided small comfort for Gage 
and the Democratic party. He defeated Jack by only 4176 votes. 
Despite Jack's formidable campaign record, he had not been on the 
ballot in eight years, while Gage had spent four years in public 

In the Senatorial primary, Hickey was unopposed and drew 
32,507 votes, compared to 50,507 in the Repubhcan primary 
where Milward Simpson won with 59 per cent. The Democrats, 
in contrast to 1958, had been outvoted in the race by 18,000. 
In the Congressional primary, Lou Mankus defeated two even 
weaker candidates with 32,916 votes cast. Harrison won nomina- 
tion for the Republicans with 62 per cent of the votes in a race 
against Kenny Sailors where 50,354 votes were cast. The Demo- 
crats trailed in this race by over 17,000 votes. The Gage-Jack 
race drew an additional 5,000 Democratic votes. Gage polled 55 
per cent, with 21,051 to 16,875. Jackson rancher Clifford P. 
Hansen defeated Casper attorney Charles Crowell and former 
Cheyenne official R. E. Cheever with 57 per cent of the vote in a 
race where 49,975 votes were cast. In this race, the disparity in 
party turnout was less, with the Republicans ahead by 12,049, 
compared to 18,000 in the Senate race.--^^ 

Gage, who had told Democrats he did not expect their financial 
support, spent $1,636.67, with $1,518.20 in contributions. A 
total of twenty-two persons contributed, with three donors of more 
than $100: Robert Rose, Jr., Casper attorney and co-chairman of 
the Gage for Governor Committee, $250; Attorney General Nor- 
man Gray, $200; and Gage's Administrative Assistant Zan Lewis, 
$150. Four others, including Gage's personal secretary, gave 
$100. There were no expenditures for media advertising with the 
exception of two club magazines. The expenses were primarily for 
printing, postage and telephone bills, Jack reported $3,500 in 

-'■'■^'Rawlins Daily Times, August 3, 1962. Gage had remarked to a Sher- 
idan audience that when it came to spending, Barry Goldwater was a liberal 
compared to himself, but he did not make a broad statement of comparison. 

237Unidentified clipping in Gage Scrapbook, August, 1962, "Jack Raps 
Miller's Support of Governor Gage." 

-^'^1963 Wyoming Official Directory and Election Returns of 1962 com- 
piled by the Secretary of State, p. 56. 


receipts and $8,316.90 in expenditures. Hansen spent $9,5 

Gage felt his lack of finances had hurt, but vowed, "I'm getting 
ready to have at it again, only this time, I will launch a full-scale 
campaign." Although the large Republican turnout was discour- 
aging, the Democratic press pointed to 1954 when the Democrats 
had been outvoted 45,221 to 32,833 in the primary for the U. S. 
Senate race, but had captured the seat.-^" Gage did not share the 
optimism, confiding to a friend, "Unfortunately, the man who was 
hired to run against me has maligned me to such an extent that I 
am afraid some of the poison will stick. We will have to try to 
overcome it."-'^^ A friendly party official concluded, "It was 
simply hard, extensive campaigning over a long period of months 
by the opposition."-^- Former Democratic State Chairman Ron- 
calio, conceding "Scotty" Jack's record at the polls and the pro- 
fessional campaign he had conducted, said of Jack: 

He was opposed by a silent incumbent governor without the money 
for such campaigning who simply ignored his opponent and went 
about his business as governor, armed with a handful of matches. 

This was not a matter of proven formula, not work, as much as it 
was a complete underestimation of the inherent strength of Governor 
Gage of Wyoming.243 


Gage for Governor 

The "full-scale" campaign Gage promised was largely a family 
operation, as his previous efforts had been. His family was 
troubled by the narrow victory over Jack in the primary, the poor 
Democratic turnout, and the potential of Hansen, whose political 
appeal they recognized. Gage's nominal campaign manager was 
his son Jack, who took a leave of absence from employment in 
New York. His son Dick assisted when possible. 

239Statement of Campaign Receipts and Expenditures, filed with the 
Secretary of State, August 21, 1962. Gage Collection. The files indicate 
that Gage himself kept the books; his son Jack filed the report for the 
general.. For the Jack and Hansen figures, Wyoming State Archives, Chey- 
enne, Wyoming, Secretary of State, MA Number 7031 (Campaign Receipts 
and Expenditures) Box 9. The files do not contain the Republican party 
statement which would show how much of the general election expenditures 
went to Hansen's campaign. 

^'^'^Wyoming Eogle, September 21, 1962. column by Horton. 

24iLetter from Gage to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Fitzgerald, Joliet, Illinois. 
August 30, 1962. 

2^2Letter from Bob and Cora Mitchell (he was the Democratic State 
Committeeman for Uinta County) to Gage, August 26, 1962. They said 
Jack had been in the county three times in 90 days. 

243^ocA- Springs Rocket, August 23, 1962. The matches Roncalio refers 
to were the only campaign handouts Gage had in the primary, his "Gage 
for Governor" matchbooks. 


The Gage for Governor Committee was headed by Leslie A. 
Miller and Robert R. Rose, Jr. The committee letterhead listed 
influential Democrats from every section of the state. In the files, 
an undated, mimeographed letter, apparently sent to Democrats 
during the primary, emphasized Gage's economies in office, reclas- 
sification of state land, and mineral royalty efforts. With respect 
to problems, it said, "He has been confronted with some very 
troublesome situations from time to time at some of the state 
institutions. He has met those problems with courage, quiet pa- 
tience, and good common sense, with the best of results. "-^^ The 
campaign files also contained a quantity of unsigned, undated 
memoranda which outline Gage's standing in various counties, the 
attitude of various party officials, and suggestions on issues to be 
stressed during the campaign. Trouble spots, according to these 
notes, were the coolness of Jack supporters in party offices, the 
Health Department personnel disputes, patronage, the Burns Creek 
hydro-electric power project and the need to develop new issues. 
The basic issue was Gage's experience in office. Suggested slogans 
for newspaper advertisements included "There's no substitute for 
experience," "Why change when you're ahead?" and "Controlled 
by no interest, concerned about all." Several proposed radio spots 
took the theme ever farther: "To coin an unoriginal phrase, 'A 
bird in the hand is better than a pig in a poke.' Wyoming now 
has an outstanding governor. Stay with experience. Vote for a 
proven candidate. Jack Gage for governor. "-^■'^ 

The campaign brochure reinforced the theme. Its cover page 
started, "Jack Gage is a good governor. Don't change." It stressed 
his economies in office and noted the jobs generated by $192 
million in new plants and plant expansion in the state. In a 
section titled "For the Future," Gage made four campaign pledges: 

Emphatically continue efforts for return of 90 per cent of mineral 
royalties from federal lands. 

Work to get two additional sections of federal land in each township 
to equal the four sections received by other western states. 

Enlarge the facilities at the Pioneer Home at Thermopolis. 

Continue program of raising standards at state institutions.246 

In personal notes for campaign speeches. Gage stressed separation 
of powers at the national and state levels of government, support 
for collective bargaining, better salaries for state employes and 

-4^Gage for Governor Committee mimeographed letter, undated, signed 
by co-chairmen Leslie A. Miller and Robert R. Rose, Jr., Gage Collection. 

24SGage for Governor campaign files, including radio spots prepared for 
radio station KBBS in Buffalo.. 

246Gage campaign brochure, 1962. 


Strong advocacy of state's rights.-^' The two major themes, pres- 
ent in virtually every advertisement, radio spot, or speech, were 
experience and fiscal responsibility. 

The Political "Novice," Clifford P. Hansen 

Although regarded by most as a novice in politics, Clifford P. 
Hansen equaled, if not exceeded, Gage in familiarity with the 
political process. A native of Jackson, Wyoming, he was a dedi- 
cated party worker, having served ten years as Teton County Re- 
publican State Committeeman after service as county chairman. 
For six years, he had served on the Teton County Board of 
Commissioners. He was a member of the University of Wyoming 
Board of Trustees, having been appointed in 1946 and elected 
chairman in 1955. President of the Wyoming Stock Growers, 
1953-1955, he had been a committeeman and a vice president of 
the American National Cattleman's Association. For the past two 
years, he had been a member of the Secretary of Agriculture's 
National Livestock Research and Marketing Committee. 

He had announced his candidacy in the spring, promising to 
maintain a "favorable economic climate." To some, he gave the 
impression of an eager novice, quick to solicit voter sentiment; to 
others, he gave the impression of being "too good a listener. "-^^ 
He was an attractive, congenial candidate who was well known and 
well liked in Wyoming. He had the additional advantage of an 
aggressive Repubhcan State Chairman in John Wold, an effective 
"political hatchet man." Wold could and did lash out at Gage in 
a manner which could have backfired on Hansen. Wold used 
Gage's humor against him: 

He [Gage] has made the statement that "I don't know anything 
except what I read in the papers or hear on the radio." Then he has 
turned around and said, "I don't read the newspapers and I don't 
hsten to the radio." We will elect a man who doesn't know what's 
going on.--*-' 

Taking the offense against Gage, personally, while Hansen could 
concentrate on positive appeals. Wold termed Gage "one of the 
highest priced court jesters ever."-''" 

In September, when the Wyoming AFL-CIO endorsed Gage, 

-■I'Gage campaign files, memorandum titled "What will Jack Gage do 
if Elected Governor." It was typed on his portable typewriter at home. 

^i^Wyoming State Tribune, March 8, 1962, Meg Hunter column. The 
observation is interesting because it was carried in a column generally 
sympathetic to Republicans and to Hansen. 

-mbid., September 7, 1962. 

-■^^Ibid., September 9, 1962 "Demos Hit Back at GOP Head." Although 
Wold had attacked Gage's humor, there was a division of opinion as to 
whether Gage was hurt by his resort to wit in political speeches. It prob- 
ably cut both ways, and it helped make him popular, personally. 


along with Hickey, Mankus and Secretary of State candidate Frank 
Bowron, Wold called it "dancing to the tune of Washington labor 
bosses. "-^^ Democratic Chairman Walter Phelan replied by offer- 
ing Wold half the contributions the party received from labor for 
half of the Republicans out-of-state contributions.^^^ The AFL- 
CIO state president Paul Shafto called it a "mealy-mouthed" 
attack. He said the Committee on Political Education (COPE) 
at least campaigned openly, in contrast to the "underhanded" cam- 
paign among doctors to defeat Hickey on the medicare issue.-^^ 
Wold belittled Gage's accomplishments. He said the $192 million 
in new industry for the state was the result of groundwork laid 
in Simpson's administration. He conceded the royalty issue was 
sound, "but, we need leadership. "-^'*^ 

General Campaign Issues 

Freed to develop positive themes, Hansen did not differ greatly 
with Gage, although he was probably a more moderate conserva- 
tive than most Republican candidates at the time. Both candidates 
spoke of the need for more industry. Hansen wanted a survey of 
human and natural resources in the state; Gage said prospects 
were good if freight costs and the need for additional power could 
be managed. ^-"^^ 

In a joint appearance before a Casper audience, the candidates 
generally avoided controversy. Gage stressed his cooperation with 
the city and its oil community, mentioning the access he had af- 
forded in rewriting procedures for the state land board and oil and 
gas commission. Gage said economies in state government would 
prevent the general fund from depletion, making a severance tax 
necessary. He said, however, he would oppose such a tax if it 
were proposed. Hansen agreed, but in a reference to Gage's 
economizing, Hansen said, "Sometimes additional expenditures are 
necessary now for additional benefits later. "-"'^ 

As the campaign progressed, Hansen began to draw distinctions 
more clearly. He said the cattle and sheep industries had not 

^^'^Casper Herald-Tribune, September 16, 1962, "Political Puppets Dance 
to COPE Tune, Says Wold." 

"^^^-Wyoming Eagle, September 19, 1962, "Demo Leader Needles GOP 
Chairman Over Attack." 

-■>^Ibid., "Labor Leader Blasts GOP Attack on COPE." According to 
the Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Secretary of State, MA, 
Number 7031 (Campaign Receipts and Expenditures), Box Number 9, the 
"Wyoming Political Action Committee," Dr. Duane Kline, Jr., secretary, 
spent $6,945.18 in the 1962 general election. 

254Cfli-p^/- Tribune-Herald, October 24, 1962, "Wold Hits Gage Claim of 
His Accomplishments." 

^'>'>lbid., October 4, 1962, "Candidates stay Clear of Controversy." 

-^'^Rawlins Daily Times, October 3, 1962, "Gage, Hansen Grilled During 
Casper Forum." 


received "active support" from the governor in resisting foreign 
imports, though he did not disclose what influence a governor 
could exert. Hansen believed a similar threat faced the cattle 
industry. ^^•' When Gage said Wyoming's economy was reviving, 
Hansen disagreed, "There is something radically wrong when this 
decline in personal income takes place and clearly points up that 
the state government simply isn't doing its job in attracting new 
industry. "-"^^ He blamed Gage for the Hickey budget package, 
promising that he would, if elected, make specific recommenda- 
tions for every state department, noting, "Two years ago, Wyo- 
ming's acting governor made recommendations for only about two- 
thirds of the budget, dollar-wise, in his message to the Legisla- 
ture. "--"'" While Gage avoided the reapportionment issue, Hansen 
said that reapportionment "along constitutional lines" would be 
one way "of helping to modernize Wyoming." It was a remark- 
able statement for a resident of Teton County, which had enjoyed, 
proportionately, far greater representation than the most populous 
counties. He said he would recommend apportionment by popula- 
tion, confident the "able legislators will come up with a workable 
plan that is fair and equitable to both rural and urban areas." He 
spoke of outmoded provisions governing municipalities, promising, 
"executive leadership which the state is sadly lacking at this 

Gage had resolved to refrain from personal attack and generally 
succeeded. However, on October 18, he told a press conference 
that Teton County had suffered from lax law enforcement during 
Hansen's service as county commissioner. He said the comment 
as as close as he would come to enjecting personalities into the 
campaign.-^^ He generally opposed personal attack,* and when a 
party official suggested digging into Hansen's background, Gage 
scrawled across the note, "This stuff I do not like."-"- Velma 

-^''Casper Tribune-Herald, October 10, 1962, "Hansen Says Import Ef- 
fects Minimized." 

-^'"^ Wyoming Eagle, October 11, 1962, "Hansen Says Income Down Dur- 
ing 1962." Hansen said Wyoming personal income was down 3.8 percent, 
compared to 1961, for the month of July, 1962. He said the first seven 
months of 1962 showed income down .5 percent, compared to the same 
period in 1961. He did not cite his source. His figures did not correspond 
with the University of Wyoming study cited earlier. 

-•''■^Sheridan Press, October 16, 1962, "Hansen Promises to Study Budget." 

-^^^Rawlins Daily Times, October 30, 1962. 

~^'^ Rocky Mountain News, October 18, 1962, Associated Press account 
of a press conference. 

2<5-Copy of a letter from Phil Baux, Jackson, to Ken Lester, Young 
Democrats president, October 5, 1962. The files do not indicate such an 
investigation was launched; Gage made no further references to Hansen's 
integrity or competence in county office. 


Linford did not always appreciate Gage's restraint and urged him 
to take a more combative approach to the issues in his campaign 
addresses.-"-^ Gage, Linford, and House candidate Lou Mankus 
formed one campaign team. The other consisted of candidates 
Hickey, Bob Adams, treasurer, John Purcell, auditor, and Frank 
Bowron, secretary of state. The ticket proved to be one of the 
weakest the Democrats had ever fielded. There was no help from 
the top of the ticket. Hickey faced a very difficult race with 
Simpson, and Mankus was the weakest candidate on the ticket. 
The Democratic poll had warned that, "Given a strong opponent 
for Harrison, Gage can probably afford to run on a ticket. With 
a weak Harrison opponent and with Simpson opposing Hickey, 
the whole ticket could lose."-*'^ 

Party relations had been somewhat repaired after the primary. 
Although Jack did not publicly endorse Gage or campaign for him, 
he did not work against him. Ray Whitaker, who had criticized 
Gage and Hickey in the aftermath of the appointment, made peace 
with Hickey at a Democratic rally in Casper. Dismissing their 
disagreement as "a typical Democratic brouhaha, which I don't 
think the Republican party allows," Whitaker called Hickey to the 
stage and embraced him, to a standing ovation.-"'' 

The Republicans, in contrast, fielded a strong ticket. Simpson 
had the advantage of four years distance from the controversies of 
his administration and he attacked Hickey for his support of liberal 
Kennedy proposals. William Henry Harrison was certain to over- 
power his opponent. Although Hansen was making his first race, 
he had the benefit of running with Thyra Thomson, widow of the 
man whose seat Hickey had assumed and a certain beneficiary of a 
sympathy vote. Two veteran candidates. Auditor Minnie Mitchell 
and former incumbent Everett Copenhaver, added strength. The 
weakest candidate, who won nonetheless, was newcomer Cecil 
Shaw, opposing Linford. The party was well-organized and fi- 
nanced, and if there were philosophical differences, they did not 
surface in the general. When Hickey suffered a heart attack three 
weeks before the election, observers wrote off Democratic hopes 

Two minor incidents interrupted Gage's schedule. On Sep- 
tember 2, he received a gash on the arm from a wounded antelope 
during the One Shot Antelope Hunt. A week later, he was ad- 
mitted to the hospital with an upper respiratory infection. On 

263interview with Mrs. Jack R. Gage, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
264Kraft poll for Democratic Party, May, 1962, p. IL 
-^^Casper Trihiine-Herald, September 11, 1962, " 'Give 'Em Hell' Oratory 
Launches Democratic Campaign. 


September 14, he interrupted campaigning to fly to Cheyenne for 
another physical.-"*' 

Attendance at Democratic rallies, a rough measure of enthu- 
siasm, was poor to average. A Douglas rally was attended by 140, 
but in the stronghold of Rawlins, only sixty-five persons greeted 
the candidate.-"'' An ominous indicator was the Democratic rally 
in Gage's hometown of Sheridan where only 150 attended.-""* 

Gage accused his opponent of dealing in generalities, "They 
don't say just what they would do." He repeatedly asserted, 
"Wyoming is in fine shape, with the exception of two general 
areas — local government finance and industry." He usually dealt 
with both problems by proposing a greater share of federal revenue 
for the state. 

Hansen did not dispute Gage's claims of economy in govern- 
ment, "Jack is frugal all right, but sometimes you've got to spend 
a httle money to make more." He said not enough had been spent 
on industrial recruitment. He was also concerned about depletion 
of the unemployment compensation fund, which he believed was 
due to payments to transient defense workers in Cheyenne and 
abuses in the system. In Hansen's words, his "big pitch" was for 
"more leadership." He stressed his battle in the Jackson Hole 
National Monument controversy, "If we hadn't wrung those con- 
cessions out of the federal government — and they were the first 
they ever gave — Teton County would have been out of business. 
We can do the same for Wyoming."-"-' Hansen said that in the 
mineral royalty effort, "It's time for action . . . not more talk." 
He stepped up his criticism of Gage's tenure, "It's inconceivable 
that anyone could serve for two full years without a better aware- 
ness of state problems." He promised "constructive alternatives." 
He believed new industry could be attracted by salesmanship and 

~^^Rock Springs Rocket. September 2, 1962, "Dying Antelope Slashes 
Gage, 7 Stitches Taken." Also, Laramie Boomerang. September 5, 1962. 
"Gage Confined to Bed with Flu," Wyoming State Tribune. September 9, 
1962, and Rawlins Daily Times, September 14, 1962, "Gage Trims Trip to 
Call on Doctor." 

-*^'' Rawlins Daily Times, October 25, 1962, "Gage, Linford Speak at 
Democratic Rally," and Douglas Budget, October 10, 1962, "Democratic 
Horses Address Rally Here." 

-*'^SheriiIan Press, September 20, 1962, "Democratic Rally Hears Gage, 
Mankus and Linford." 

-^''■Wyoming State Tribune, October 23, 1962. "500-700 Hear Democratic 
Hopefuls at Barbecue," where Gage made his remarks on problems. The 
Hansen comments were recorded in the Rockv Mountain News. October 
20, 1962. 


hard work, "But we can't go out to sell with dust-covered facts. 
Wyoming can't stand still for the next decade. "-"^^ 

In November, the Wyoming Stockman-Fanner published a poll 
which predicted a Republican landslide, with the exception of 
Linford's race. Although the poll surveyed a predominantly rural- 
Republican constituency, the magnitude of the Republican edge, 
in past years, had proved a fairly reliable indicator of the election's 
outcome. Most distressing, the poll indicated 60 per cent of the 
respondents would vote a straight ticket, which would heavily favor 
RepubUcans. Gage placed fourth among the Democrats in the 
sampling.-'^ In the concluding weeks of the campaign, Hansen 
stated the party position, supporting states rights, protection for 
beef and oil from imports, reduction in government spending, and 
respect for private enterprise. 

Gage continued to rely on his economies in government, exper- 
ience in office and quest for more federal revenue. He could not, 
however, generate the enthusiasm a Democrat needed to win in 
Wyoming. While Hansen could succeed by "radiating energy and 
enthusiasm" and running as a Republican, Gage desperately need- 
ed cutting issues to compensate for his party's relatively poor 
standing in 1962 and its lackluster campaign effort. Although his 
issues could appeal to conservatives, they were inadequate to the 
challenge of 1962. Although he was one of the most original 
politicians in state history, he failed to create issues apart from his 
incumbency, and he had not used that incumbency effectively. 
The frustration of trying to breathe life into battles for frugality or 
increased federal revenue was reflected in the analysis of one 
political columnist: 

There's very little to anger anyone in the way Gage has performed 
his duties for two years as acting governor, though he has been sub- 
jected to the usual large quota of failure and embarrassment that 
awaft most Wyoming governors.272 

There was very little to anger, or to excite. In three elements of 
campaign effectiveness, the candidate, the issues and the party. 
Gage simply could not overcome the advantages his opponent 
naturally enjoyed. If Gage were witty and personable, so was his 
opponent. But Hansen was younger, a fresh political personality 
who conducted a campaign which utilized his assets effectively. 
While Gage had few specific issues working against him, he could 
not escape from a status-quo approach which could alienate voters 

^f^Wyoming Stockman-Farmer, November, 1962. 
-"^Unidentified clipping in Gage Scrapbook, October, 1962. 


of all philosophical persuasions. On the other hand, Hansen, while 
retaining his moderate to conservative constituency, could attract 
Independent and Democratic support by his emphasis on dynamic, 
new leadership. He spoke generally of "constructive alternatives," 
but did not elaborate. Gage, in contrast did not even promise 
anything but a continuation of state business as it had been con- 
ducted. By the close of the campaign, most Democrats conceded 
that the party, handicapped by the backlash from the Hickey 
appointment and a weak ticket, would be surrendering its 1958 
mandate from the voters. 


"I Bumped into a Republican Landslide" 

Republicans delivered on landslide predictions with a sweep of 
all seven state-wide races, none of them close, except for Velma 
Linford's 737-vote loss to Cecil Shaw. The defeat was one of the 
worst in Democratic memory. In the national races, Hickey lost 
by 18,714 and Mankus by 26,504, the worst showing on the ticket. 
Gage was second to Linford in the vote received, holding his loss 
to 12,672 votes. The balance of the ticket lost by 23,494, 21,119, 
and 17,942, respectively. Gage carried his own county, Sheridan, 
and the Union Pacific line strongholds of Carbon, Laramie, and 
Sweetwater counties. -^'^ 

Democrats attributed the defeat to a "Republican year." 
Although the Democratic poll had shown support for John F. 
Kennedy, the sentiment was probably a reflection fo his personal 
popularity. His administration had been bitterly attacked by 
Simpson, and Hickey was in a somewhat awkward position since 
his own conservatism did not always permit enthusiastic endorse- 
ment for the New Frontier. Gage had not specifically exempted 
the Kennedy administration from his general criticism of the fed- 
eral government, though he had appreciated an interview with the 
President in 1961, when he sought 90 per cent return on mineral 
royalties. As early as May, 1961, Gage had implied the national 
Democratic administration was not attuned to Western needs, 
observing, "Would you show interest in regional matters if you 
had your hands full with the Communists?"-"^ At the Western 
Governors Conference in 1961, he had declined to endorse the 

L'7.3/9(5j Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1962. 
compiled by the Secretary of State, p. 58. 

-'■^Sheridan Press, May 17, 1961, Associated Press account. Gage had 
met Kennedy on several occasions, and, according to Mrs. Gage, had great 
personal affection for him. The public record, however, shows that Gage 
did not issue statements of support for the administration, with the excep- 
tion of the Cuban missile crisis. 


Kennedy program on juvenile delinquency.-^"' The political impact 
of the Cuban missile crisis in the last week of the campaign was 
difficult to assess. Gage had issued a release calling for uniting: 

It would become apparent to me at once that Castro and Krushchev 
have overlooked a marvelous factor ever existent in the American 
people, which is their ability to become non-partisan at once. While 
we are engaged in a campaign, all of us are ready to drop what we are 
doing and join hands for our country .-"^ 

Without specifying whether he was addressing the Kennedy 
administration or Wyoming Democrats, Gage, in a post-election 
interview, spoke of the consequences of "liberalism" in a conserva- 
tive state.-'' He believed he had "bumped into a Republican 

Gage may have been hurt by the Democratic party in the sense 
that the incumbent administration traditionally suffers reverses in 
off-year elections, and 1962 was no exception. Probably far more 
significant was the state of the Democratic party in Wyoming. 
Although filling Hickey's seat was a natural appUcation of two- 
party politics, the resignation of an incumbent governor was 
nonetheless resented. Wyoming voters, perhaps, had wearied of 
governors forsaking office in Wyoming for the U. S. Senate. In 
the previous decade, Lester Hunt and Frank Barrett, through the 
election process, had both left the governorship for the Senate. 
Beyond the impact of the appointment on Gage, for his part in it, 
was the rough transition in power. Although he had had no role 
in preparing the budget, he was held accountable in the 1962 
campaign. With little time for preparation and no counsel, he 
had drafted a message to the Legislature which raised more ques- 
tions than it answered and, in sections, alienated Democrats. 

The Gage administration did not succeed in maintaining party 
unity. Urban Democrats were annoyed at his remarks on reappor- 
tionment. Liberals were disappointed with the message and his 
opposition to federal aid to education. Many were disappointed 
by his lack of direction in the session and his generally conservative 
approach to his executive responsibilities. They did not share his 
confidence in the status quo; but they could not accuse him of 
betraying a commitment to vigorous leadership when, in fact, he 
had never made such a commitment. Patronage problems, which 
probably had a minor impact on his support among the rank and 

-''•^Casper Tribune-Herald, May 17, 1961. 

^76Gage Press Release File, release dated October 23, 1962. 

-^"Letter from Gage to John Ellerington, Grantham, Lincolnshire, En- 
gland, December 31, 1962. 

-'''^Wyoming Eagle, November 9, 1962, "Gage Lays Defeat to 
'Liberalism.' " 


file, nonetheless did affect the enthusiasm for office which had 
powered the 1958 campaign. 

Gage generally enjoyed excellent relations with Chairman Phe- 
lan and other party officials, but his personal papers convey a 
sense of mistrust with certain segments of the party who identified 
with Senator Gale McGee and with what Gage termed "liberal- 
ism." Liberalism, in his view, was a minority viewpoint in Wyo- 
ming and alien to his own philosophy of public service. He also 
resented the charge that he was not a "real politician," though it 
was a judgment his son shared.-^-' He was proud of his presence 
on two of the most successful tickets in state Democratic history 
and the fact that he had left secure employment as a postmaster 
to seek office. He did not apologize for his reluctance to "play 
rough," because he found it distasteful and self-defeating. He 
believed he had earned his political credentials, but his preference 
for a weak executive administration deprived him of an oppor- 
tunity to use his office to build a political base. 

Gage had declined the assistance of the party in the primary, 
where he received only $1500 in contributions, chiefly from his 
personal staff and Gage for Governor Committee members. In 
the general election, he received contributions of $8529.33 and 
spent $9261.53. The Democratic party had spent $26,242.85. 
The Republicans, in contrast, had spent $101,148.24, which in- 
cluded all expenditures for Hansen's race. Of Gage's contribu- 
tions, 64 per cent had come from labor, with $5000 from COPE 
and $1500 from the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. The 
other fifty-three contributors were individuals; there is no evidence 
that any fund-raising was conducted.-'*" 

One explanation which has been advanced by Democrats to 
explain the loss was the outmigration of sympathetic voters, but 
it is not convincing. Wyoming's population in 1962 was reported 
as having increased by 6000 in two years, but the voter turnout 
dropped from 142,130 to 122,494 in 1962. Featuring an exciting 
Presidential race, the 1960 election had attracted 75 per cent of 
the voting age population. Only 65 per cent voted in 1962, sug- 
gesting that Democratic votes sufficient to have made a stronger, 
if not successful, race were available. The 1962 turnout was the 
lowest recorded in Wyoming in the 1960-68 period. Only two 
years later, when Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 
the 1964 presidential campaign, Wyoming registered a phenomenal 
77 per cent turnover with 144,166 voting. This total was not 
exceeded until the Nixon-McGovern race in 1972. Democratic 

-■^^Interview with Jack R. Gage. II. 

280Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Secretary of State, 
MA Number 7031 (Campaign Receipts and Expenditures). Box 9. and 
Gage for Governor campaign files. 


hopes generally rested on heavy margins in about 20 per cent of 
the state's precincts. A successful campaign required a maximum 
effort in these areas, but this was not achieved in 1962. From 
all evidence, the Democrats did not mount a well-financed or 
well-organized voter registration and turnout program, and it cost 
them thousands of votes which were thought lost to outmigration. 
The votes sufficient for a strong showing were there, as the 1964 
campaign verified. -^^ 

Although campaign files indicate funds had been made available 
for registration work in Carbon County, there is no suggestion of 
a statewide effort. In the Gage for Governor Committee files, 
which covered a range of issues and proposals, there is not a single 
reference to organizing for voter turnout. The assertion that a 
lack of enthusiasm for the party, the candidates and the issues kept 
voters at home is an inadequate excuse. Concerted voter contact 
efforts are far more necessary when a campaign fails of itself to 
generate necessary enthusiasm. The failure was a serious one, 
more so because Gage had an opportunity, as governor, to sponsor 
such an effort. As he had not appreciated the need, he did not, 
even after the election, appreciate the consequences. 

"No Complaining, Squawking, Bellyaching" 

In the wake of his bruising defeat. Gage refused to indulge in 
recriminations: "I hope that no one will have occasion to say that 
they heard Jack Gage complaining, squawking, bellyaching, or 
anything else you want to call it about losing."-*- He said he had 
adhered more nearly to the conservative than the liberal line, and 
that Wyoming was a conservative state. His personal correspon- 
dence does not detail an explanation of how issues or the state of 
the party affected his candidacy. To a close friend, he wrote: 

It is hard not to cry over spilled milk, but I hope I am not going to 
do that. What's more, spilled milk gets dirt in it and is hardly worth 
gathering up. 

I expect that had I had a hundred thousand dollars to spend, I could 

-■^Uoe Moore, "An Analysis of Wyoming Voter Returns, 1960-1968 and 
their Implications for 1970," an unpublished paper, October 16, 1969. The 
Moore paper was based on official election returns and U. S. Census statis- 
tics. When Senator Gale McGee sought re-election in 1970, his campaign 
placed great emphasis on voter registration and voter turnout. Congress- 
man Teno Roncalio, whose 1966 unsuccessful race for the U. S. Senate was 
also handicapped by a low voter turnout, also emphasized voter contact 
efforts in his successful campaigns of 1972 and 1974. It is the author's 
opinion that intensive voter registration and turnout activities in Democratic 
precincts is an essential ingredient of electoral success, though it does not 
preclude the necessity for developing issues and fielding good candidates. 

^^^Wyoming Eagle, November 9, 1962, "Gage Lays Defeat to 
'Liberalism.' " 


not have changed the outcome of the election. Cliff, the nice guy 
that he is, did not beat me. I was beaten because I was a Democrat, 
and although more conservative than most Republicans, I was still 
marching under the wrong flag.283 

To his running mate, secretary of state candidate Frank Bowron, 
he wrote: 

There seems so little to say . . . and what need to use hindsight as to 
why the election went as it did. Recriminations among our party 
members are useless . . . obviously, the only thing to do is to work 
to rebuild our party for the next campaign.284 

Gage did not regard the election as a referendum on his per- 
formance in office. He said he would leave "with my head high 
and my conscience clear, which is a contrast to having to leave 
because of failure to perform." He said he had tried "to do the 
right thing in every instance where I could figure out what the 
right thing was."^^'^ 

In a letter to another governor who lost in 1962, Steve Mc- 
Nichols of Colorado, Gage made defeat the target of his wit: 

As one of my last official acts, I wish to issue to you one of the most 
sincere invitations I have ever extended to anyone. This is an invita- 
tion to a dinner for just two at which the main dish will be lame duck 
stewed in its own juice. 

There are very few people who can make lame duck palatable, and 
an even smaller number who like the stuff even when properly pre- 
pared. I doubt if you do or I do, or will, want a second helping, but 
the conversation at such a dinner is what makes it a gala and hilarious 

For instance, you can ask me how in the world it happened, and I 
can tell you that I do not know; then I can ask you the same question 
and get the same answer. This alone could go on for hours. You 
will note that there is no date set for this dinner, the reason being that 
I do not want to attend, either .286 

Gage offered to provide every assistance to Hansen in the tran- 
sition, "We are going to review the state budget which will be 
presented to the 37th Legislature, and such other matters as I 
deem necessary to bring to his attention. I would also like to say 
that no action will be taken unless it has Governor-elect Hansen's 
approval."^^^ He was gracious in defeat, and philosophical, refer- 

283Letter from Gage to Jim Bentley, Lingle, November 13, 1962. 

284Letter from Gage to Bowron, November 16, 1962. 

285Letter from Gage to A. A. Slade, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 
28, 1962. 

286Letter from Gage to Governor Steve McNichols, December 31, 1962. 

^^''Wyoming State Tribune, November 19, 1962, "Hansen Begins Briefing 
for State Governorship." Hansen said, "I cannot think how anyone could 
be more generous than Governor Gage has been to me in this situation." 
Later, however, relations cooled when Gage, according to Mrs. Gage, was 
disappointed when he was not appointed to the Board of Equalization and 


ring to his service as governor, "It was a job that is well covered 
with tinsel. The tinsel falls off of it much more rapidly than of 
anything I know."-'*^ 


"A Bom Wit" 

Describing himself as "an involuntarily retired governor," Gage 
appreciated the difficulties of accepting defeat. To an audience 
in Arizona in 1966, he said, "I wonder how many of you people 
have ever been governor and then an ex-governor. There's a 
whale of a difference . . . ."^^'^ Although, at sixty-three, he might 
have considered retirement. Gage arranged for publication of four 
books by Wyoming printers. He authored an updated Geography 
of Wyoming, 1965, Wyoming Afoot and Horseback, 1966, The 
Johnson County War Is/ Ain't a Pack of Lies, 1967, and The 
Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor, 1968, and began a career as a 
professional lecturer. With the exception of his loss in the 1966 
Democratic primary for governor, where five candidates split the 
vote and Ernest Wilkerson was nominated. Gage's final years were 
devoted to marketing his original brand of humor. When he, in 
the words of his friend, columnist Red Fenwick, decided to "lay 
down the political tomahawk" and "hit the long and arduous 
lecture trail which leads through Boiled Potato Valley and past 
Roast Beef Mountain," he was marketing a trait which Fenwick 
had recognized in the 1930s: 

Not until now have I ever been able to summon the courage to tell 
you that I thought you were wasting valuable time speaking to the 
public for free only to win yourself a bunch of political headaches 
you didn't deserve. Pardon the expression, Jack, but you're a char- 
acter. You're funny. You're a born wit, with a rich, expansive and 
original humor. You're a gregarious cuss and a solid thinker, too. 
And, I think you should put these talents to a more universal use.^^o 

Public Service Commission. The appointment went to his former aide, Zan 
Lewis. What especially irritated Gage was Hansen's failure to notify him 
of his decision before the appointment was publicly announced. 

-^^IVyoming Eagle, November 9, 1962, "Gage Lays Defeat to 
'Liberalism.' " 

-^'■*Mesa, Arizona, Tribune, March 24, 1966, p. 2, "Former Wyoming 
Governor Keeps Rotarians Laughing." 

-'•^"Denver Post columnist Red Fenwick letter to Gage, December 14, 
1962. Fenwick's comments were very perceptive. Gage had a remarkable 
wit. which did not receive the exposure it deserved or gain him the earnings 
it might have. There had been discussion of marketing his stories to 
television, but nothing came of it. Had his books been accepted by a major 
publishing firm, with accompanying professional publicity and distribution, 
his reputation would have been advanced. There is no indication that Gage 
sought publication with a major publishing house. 


Freed from the restraints of public office, Gage was able to 
employ his sense of humor more completely. When, in January, 
1963, he was asked to join the head table at a dinner honoring 
Boyd Dowler of Cheyenne and the Green Bay Packers team, Gage 
impressed even the banquet-hardened stars. After Mayor Bill 
Naiton's extended speech presenting keys to the city of Cheyenne, 
Gage told the team to regard the honor dubiously, since, "until 
you boys hit town, we haven't had to lock anything up." To 
another audience, he quipped, "I feel sorry for the man who 
doesn't drink. When he gets up in the morning, he knows he 
feels as good as he's going to all day."-"^ 

The Knife and Fork Circuit 

Gage worked with the Benjamin Franklin Associated Clubs of 
Topeka, Kansas, in his professional lecturing. He was provided 
with a tentative schedule and received from $350 to $500 a speech, 
in addition to his expenses. In 1963, his schedule included the 
Rotary convention in Norton, Kansas, and an appearance at the 
San Antonio Knife and Fork Club, where he spoke about various 
security swindles, sharing anecdotes from his experiences as a 
postmaster and secretary of state. -•'- 

He discovered the speech had limited interest to audiences on 
the lecture circuit, and, in 1964, went to Austraha to research the 
aborigine life for a new program offering. As he described the 

There was an election and I had to have beer to cry in. I couldn't be 
satisfied with second best beer. I could not get the beer to come to 
me, so I came to it. All of which has made crying a pleasure. 

One day, I sat down to work on my numbers, and, much to my sur- 
prise, I announced to Buddy (Mrs. Gage) that we were rich. Not 
until we were halfway across the Pacific did Buddy check my home- 
work, only to find I ain't getting any better at arithmetic, which, by 
the way, may make getting home something of a problem. 

In some political circles, there are people who think Australia is not 
anywhere far enough away for me to go, but they are as bad in their 
geography as I am in arithmetic. They ought to know that if I go any 
farther, I'll start getting closer.^^^^ 

Gage was a well-rehearsed speaker, who spent hours composing 
one-line jokes. He said he was convinced, "There is no such thing 
as an extemporaneous speech."-''^ His lecturing career, which 
began in 1963 and concluded with an address in Roswell, New 

-^^Denver Post, Empire Section, January 27, 1963, p. 12. Column by 

292Gage Speech Files. 

~^'^Denver Post, March 23, 1964, column by Jack Quinn. 

294Gage Speech Files. 


Mexico, in 1969, was not particularly lucrative. His income 
averaged less than $2,000 a year. He continued speaking to 
Rotary Clubs, at a reduced fee. In a 1967 speech to a Colorado 
Rotary Club, he discussed "Civilization is a Terminal Disease," 
comparing Amercia's decline with those of other civilizations. He 
said government functioned in spite of people, not on account of 
them, and saw a breakdown in morality and respect for authority, 
"We have to respect authority, but it seems we don't have enough, 
and some of us, none. We've reached that point with our long- 
haired boys and tousle-haired girls, and I can't abide them."-^° 

The Story Teller 

The inspiration for Gage's 1966 Wyoming Afoot and Horse- 
back, which was subtitled Or History Mostly Ain't True, was a 
suggestion made by Cheyenne sportswriter Larry Birleffi at a 
cocktail party. Birleffi enjoyed Gage's story telling and asked him 
to do a series of fifteen-minute radio programs on the subjects of 
his choice. -^^ Gage chose a series of profiles on trappers and 
settlers in Wyoming in the early 19th century, the basis for the 
chapters in his book. He generally resisted the label of historian, 
and in the first chapter of the book wrote, ". . . we are guilty of 
making pretty thick history out of might thin material, which is 
what historians are apt to do when they are compelled to do a little 
guessing or allowed to do a lot of it." In a rambling fashion with 
frank admissions of his guesswork. Gage described the confronta- 
tion of the Indian and American cultures. His book concluded, 
"No, it does not seem too hard to make a case for the Indian. 
We took everything and offered them our kind of civilization in 
return. Someone else will have to defend civilization. I cannot 
do it."--*' 

Gage was asked to write a book on the Johnson County War, 
which he said had generated more smoke and less fire than any 
other war. He was requested to present the cattle baron per- 
spective, but agreed on the condition that both sides of the conflict 
would be presented. He accordingly divided his book. The John- 
son County War is a Pack of Lies, into two sections. One de- 
fended the operators of large ranches, who believed the "war" 
was a pack of lies; the other section defended the settlers, who 
resented the label "rustlers" and thought the war was a fair 
description of the hiring of gunmen. In his research, Gage played 

2Uofort Morgan, Colorado, Times, November 29, 1967, "Ex-Wyoming 
Chief Mixes Criticism, Humor at Rotary Farmers Ni^t" 

29«Unidentified, undated clipping in Gage Scrapbook, marked, December, 
1966, a United Press International account by Max Jennings. 

-'97 Jack R. Gage, Wyoming Afoot and Horseback, (Cheyenne: Flintlock 
Publishing Co., 1966) pp. 12, 133. 


diplomat for the descendants of the participants by calhng a 
meeting at the Tom Sun ranch on the Sweetwater. It was a har- 
monious gathering, and the Casper paper concluded, "If there had 
been any continuing need to heal the scars that have been left by 
the Johnson County War between homesteaders, this was the final 
practical and symbolic act that closed the breach. "^^^ 

Gage's last book, The Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor, was the 
autobiography he imagined his father would have written. He 
described his father's childhood with humor, even the episode 
when his mother was left to raise her son alone. The major 
emphasis of the book is on Dr. Gage's practice in Worland, which 
is described through a series of humorous incidents. The success 
of his profiles on Wyoming trappers had brought an invitation to 
do a similar series on the Rocky Mountain region. He completed 
the manuscript, but it was not published. 

Gage was briefly associated, in 1968, with the Cannon Aero- 
nautical Center in Cheyenne. He predicted the school would be 
"the biggest shot in the arm Cheyenne has had in half a century," 
but the enterprise later failed.^^^ The University of Wyoming 
awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree in January of 

After a prolonged illness, Gage died in his Cheyenne home on 
March 14, 1970. Flags were flown at half-mast in the state and 
his body lay in rest at the state capitol rotunda before funeral 
services. His political associate of many years, Teno Roncalio, 
said, "Rest at last for the illustrious author of Tensleep and No 
Rest. He was an historian, teacher, philosopher, poUtician, and a 
great friend. Everyone who loves Wyoming will feel loss at his 
passing."^"" The Wyoming State Tribune, whose editorial views 
had often clashed with Gage's, said: 

His nominal claim to a place in the history of our state will probably 
rest chiefly in the holding of public office, with a secondary stake in 
being a humorist; which is unfortunate, because the great asset of this 
man lay in his open-eyed observation of life in general, which made 
him a great philosopher. 

It said his value "was restricted only by the limited exposure of 
his genius to his fellow man, it being confined mostly to our 
immediate environs," concluding, "For what is so rare or unique or 
priceless as an honest man?"^*^^ For Gage who had once re- 

^^^Casper Star-Tribune, March 17, 1970, editorial, "A Dedicated Public 

^^^Wyoming State Tribune, March 28, 1968, "Cannon Lease Signed." 

^mbid., March 16, 1970, p. 1. 

^^^Ibid., March 16, 1970, editorial "Candid Observer of the Passing 


marked, "I'd rather be honest than rich and I ain't got the money 
to prove it," some witty rejoinder was no doubt possible.'^''^ 



If Jack R. Gage's impact on Wyoming history were hmited in 
examination to his eight years in public office, it might not be 
considered significant. He was elected to office in 1934 and 
1958, in two of the most Democratic years in state history, but 
when his party faced difficulties in 1938 and 1962, he could not 
overcome them. He was hopelessly out of the running when he 
tried to obtain the nomination for governor in 1966. 

He inaugurated no significant new programs. Though he tried 
to make the cabinet system of state government more responsive 
to the interests it regulated, he was neither a reformer nor a tool 
of special interests. He did not reflect a belief in strong executive 
leadership and was content to let the Legislature determine policy. 
Although he did not use the word in connection with his career, 
he was inclined to be a mediator on the state boards and com- 
missions, where his frugality and strict honesty was applied uni- 
formly. He had once described his basis for decision-making, 
"It becomes so simple once you have decided what is the right 
thing to do." For Gage, the right thing was often not politically 
expedient, but even the recognition of this fact did not deter him.^**^ 

The two issues most identified with his service in office were 
economy in government and achievement of more federal revenue 
for Wyoming. He had candidly observed that his frugahty might 
appear "child-like" and "not really wanted," but as he had stated, 
"I would hope you would agree with this thinking, but, if you do 
not, it does not detract from the sincerity of my thought."^*^* His 
emphasis on the 90 per cent royalty return was not a bandwagon 
response to a popular concept in Wyoming. Whatever political 
advantage the effort provided was eroded by his failure with the 
governors. Had he analyzed the immense obstacles in obtaining 
Congressional approval, he likewise would have abandoned the 
effort. He persisted, rather, because he sincerely opposed inequi- 
ties in relationships with the federal government and would have 
preferred to finance more state government operations through 
increased revenue from federally held land and mineral rights 
rather than higher taxes. He was not discouraged by the fact that 

^^^Denver Post, Empire Section, January 27, 1963, p. 12, column by 
Red Fenwick. 

303interview with Mrs. Jack Gage, Cheyenne. 

304Gage Speech File, marked "Thermopolis," 1960, and Message of 
Acting Governor Jack R. Gage to the Legislature, 1961, p. 3. 


most Wyoming taxpayers did not accept this as a reasonable pros- 
pect of success. 

He did not offer leadership in recruiting new industry, partly 
because he did not realistically expect success in his efforts and 
partly because he preferred Wyoming as it was. In 1966, he said, 
"Sometime Wyoming is going to find out that one of its greatest 
assets is space without people in it. It is just possible that we have 
already reached that spot and do not know it.""'"'' 

Although he was one of the most original public speakers in the 
state, he used his gift philosophically and did not depart from 
conservative principles nor propose new concepts. He believed 
in fundamental decency and limited governmental interference: 

The people of Wyoming support the concept that government is best 
which governs least and within government itself that there is a dis- 
tinct separation of powers to insure proper balance and the rights of 
the people themselves. 

In Wyoming, we believe that the individual is the keystone of 
society."' f*** 

He believed the relationship of state and federal governments was 
one of imbalance, and he did not want to enlarge the powers of 
state government at the expense of local communities. His great- 
est legacy in public office was his belief in service for its own 
rewards, and his refusal to compromise his integrity. Although 
he received his share of criticism from both Republicans and Dem- 
ocrats, his personal honesty was never questioned. 

His impact on Wyoming life must be valued outside the con- 
fining analysis of his public service career. His humanizing wit 
and his appreciation for the history and traditions of the West 
played a part in all of his endeavors. Although the son of a 
medical doctor whose visits to ranches were incidental to his 
upbringing, he considered himself a part of the passing "real 
West." He assimilated, through his outdoor work and his exten- 
sive library of Western history, a feeling for frontier America. For 
him, the frontier exemplified the values of freedom and honesty, 
but to this he brought a rather contradictory aversion to change, 
which he often phrased as "earthshaking," to dismiss its ambitious 
expectations and its impracticality. His conservative outlook was 
not a handicap in a state which generlaly accepted that outlook. 
The victors in 1962, Milward Simpson, William Henry Harrison 
and Clifford Hansen, also endorsed a conservative philosophy. 
What hampered Gage's political effectiveness was his open-eyed, 
but stubborn application of a conservative philosophy to his public 

^^^'Wyoming State Tribune, August 9, 1966. 

306Letter from Gage to William W. Bodine, Jr., chairman. Philadelphia 
Commission, 175th Anniversary of the Constitution, October 13, 1962, with 
speech, "What the Constitution Means to the State of Wyoming," enclosed. 



service. He fought a holding action for a society whose values he 
saw threatened by changes in every aspect of human hfe. He was 
competing against a party which claimed the allegiance of most 
conservatives, though its claim, in his view, was not exclusive. 

The most successful application of his humor and his conserva- 
tism was not in politics, but in his books and lectures, where he 
celebrated Wyoming's past with few observations on its future. 
He was sensitive to human frailty, most especially his own, but he 
brought to this awareness such warmth and wit that his stories 
brought Wyoming's past aUve for thousands of people. He be- 
lieved that honesty and industry, which he had brought to public 
service, were traditions of Western life which had to be preserved; 
and the bulk of his public statements do not address specific politi- 
cal or social issues, but, rather, a general philosophy of life. He 
was once billed in a lecture appearance as the "Sagebrush Orator 
of the Rocky Mountain Empire."^*^'^ He may have winced at the 
description, but, also, recognized a truth. 















Big Horn 



































Hot Springs 
















































































Sources: Election Returns, 

Compiled by Secretary of State. 

SOT Fort Morgan Times, November 29, 1967, "Ex-Wyoming Chief Mixes 
Criticism, Humor at Rotary Farmers Night." 


















Big Horn 



































Hot Springs 
















































































Sources: Official Election Returns, Compiled by Secretary of State. 


Interviews with Mrs. Jack R. Gage and Jack R. Gage, II. Cheyenne, 

Jack R. Gage. The Johnson County War. Cheyenne: Flintlock Pub- 
lishing Co., 1967. 

. The Horse-The Biiggy-The Doctor. Cheyenne: Flintlock Pub- 
lishing Co., 1968. 

The Pioneer. Edited and published by the students of Worland, Wyoming, 
High School, 1918. 

Jack R. Gage. Tensleep and No Rest. Casper: Prairie Publishing Co., 

Dr. W. V. Gage. "To Son from Dad," Gage Collection. An unpublished, 
personal memoir, 1919. 

The Wyo. Published by University of Wyoming students. Volumes 12, 
13, and 14, 1920, 1921, and 1922. 

Those Good Years at Wyoming U. Edited by Ralph E. McWhinnie. 
Casper: Prairie Publishing Co., 1965. 

T. A. Larson. The New Deal in Wyoming. Pacific Historical Review, 
Volume 38, Number 3, August, 1969. Berkeley and Los Angeles: 
University of California Press. 

Leslie A. Miller. "William M. 'Scotty' Jack and the Democratic Party in 
Wyoming." An unpublished memoir. 

Program, First Annual State Convention. Young Folks Democratic Clubs 
of Wyoming. Casper, Wyoming, September 17-18, 1934. 



1935 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1934. Com- 
piled by the Secretary of State. 

Gage Speech Files. 

"A Statistical Study of the Comparative Costs in the Operation of Wyoming 
State Institutions." Compiled by State Superintendent of Public In- 
struction Jack R. Gage, 1935-1939. Gage Collection. 

T. A. Larson. History of Wyoming. University of Nebraska Press, 1965. 

1939 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1938. Com- 
piled by the Secretary of State. 

Gage Personal Correspondence Files. Gage Collection. 

1959 Official Directory of Wyoming and Election Returns of 1958. Com- 
piled by the Secretary of State. 

Gage 1958 Campaign Files. Gage Collection. 

"A Study of Candidates and Issues in Wyoming (1962 Elections)," Gage 
Collection. Conducted by Kraft for the Democratic State Central 
Committee, May, 1962. 

Message to the Legislature by Acting Governor Jack R. Gage, 1961. 

Newsletter, Wyoming Retail Merchants Association. Casper, Wyoming, 
June 19, 1962. 

Governor's Conference on Municipal Finance and Municipal Home Rule, 
1961. Proceedings, November 16-17, 1961, in a conference called by 
Governor Gage in cooperation with Adult Education, Community 
Service and Public Services, University of Wyoming, Laramie. 

Wyoming Progress Reports. Volume 1, Number 5, August, 1961. 

Wyoming Progress Reports, Volume 1, Number 6, September, 1961. 

Jack R. Gage Press Release File. Gage Collection. 

Wyoming Progress Reports. Volume 1, Number 12, March, 1962. 

"A Summary of Survey for Industrial Development in the State of Wyo- 
ming," prepared for the Natural Resource Board by Armour Research 
Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, September, 1962. 

1963 Wyoming Official Directory and Election Returns of 1962. Compiled 
by the Secretary of State. 

Wyoming State Archives, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Secretary of State, MA 
number 7031 (Campaign Receipts and Expenditures), Box 9. 

Joe Moore. "An Analysis of Wyoming Voter Returns, 1960-1968 and 
Their Implications for 1970." An unpublished paper, October 16, 

Jack R. Gage. Wyoming Afoot and Horseback. Cheyenne: Flintlock 
Publishing Co., 1966. 

John B. Richard. Government and Politics of Wyoming. Third Edition. 
Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 1974. 

Zhe British Investment Public 

and the Swan Cand and Cattle 

Company, jClmlted 


Harmon R. Mothershed 

This essay resulted from work done previously on the Swan 
Land and Cattle Company in which I concluded that a holder of 
common stock in the Company during its sixty some years of busi- 
ness would have had about a 2% annual return on his investment. 
That conclusion leads to two possibilities; either the holders of 
ordinary shares were philanthropists and the Swan Land and Cattle 
Company an eleemosynary institution, or that an analysis of com- 
mon stock holders was not representative of the financial returns 
of the Company. 

A number of competent historians, both British and American, 
have analyzed the British investment public and the status of the 
British economy during the latter half of the 19th century.^ While 
historians seldom agree on details they do occasionally agree on 
certain generalities. The consensus is that as a result of thrift 
there accumulated during the Victorian period (there is disagree- 
ment as to whether they were thrifty because they were Victorians 
or whether they were Victorians because they were thrifty) con- 
siderable wealth, which in turn gave rise to an investment class of 
people; a class whose livlihood was dependent on the income from 
their investments. Their success encouraged others with more 
visible means to invest and thereby insure the success of the inves- 
tor. Politicians, shipowners-builders, merchants, professional men, 
owners and operators of mines, railroads, steamship companies, 
canals, telegraphs and all other typical activities of the day became 
investors. Their motive was profit, they lived by their investments. 

iW. Turrentine Jackson, The Enterprising Scot, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh 
University Press, 1968); A. K. Carincross, Home and Foreign Investment. 
1870-1913, (Cambridge: University Press, 1953); J, D. Chambers. The 
Workshop of the World: 1820-1880, (London: Oxford University Press, 
1961), Paul M. Edwards, "Heuristic History: An Inquiry Into the Idea of 
Invention", unpubHshed Ph.D. dissertation, Universtiy of St. Andrews (Cam- 
bridge) 1971, Part II Ch. 2. 


The improvement of rail service, mining techniques, farm opera- 
tions or breeds of cattle was strictly secondary to profit. 

The Swan Company investor was representative of this group 
and was attracted by a variety of opportunities. Common stock 
was perhaps the least of these. By the same token the holder of 
ordinary shares or "common stock" was neither ordinary nor 

A manuscript tally of share applications beginning March 19, 
1883, and brought up to date almost daily indicates the campaign 
for sales, and that the large purchasers were sought out well in 
advance of the small. The March 19 tally shows Alexander Swan 
as the largest holder of shares (10,500) and one WilUam Dow, 
assistant draper of Aberdeen, as the smallest (one). The average 
number for that date was 200 shares; the average of ninety-five 
holders of 20,389 shares being 214.6. The average decUnes daily 
and by the end of the month the usual purchase was for 40 to 50 


No. of Shares 

No. of Shareholders 


19 March 




2 1 March 




22 March 




24 March 




27 March 




28 March 




29 March 




30 March 




31 March 




In addition to the six shareholders buying 3111 shares on March 
31, Alexander Swan applied for an additional 10,000 and William 
Begg for 100 to bring the total figure to nearly 50,000 (50,052) 
and up the average to 131.3. These last two entries are at the 
end of the list and it appears quite obvious that Swan, the owner 
of the original companies and Begg, a broker dealing in Swan 
shares, subscribed to bring the number to the 5,000 mark.- 

An original list of shareholders with addresses, and occupations 
was printed April 18, 1883. This lists 415 shareholders; a revised 
list of August 7, 1883, showed 445 shareholders. The amounts of 
each shareholder was not listed but distinction was made between 
those holding 100 or more shares and those holding less than that 
amount. Of the 445, 107 held more than 100 shares. This 
included the directors who were required to hold 500 shares. A 
compilation of occupations showed a remarkable variety including 
bankers, sharebrokers, engineers, accountants, sohcitors, farmers, 

-The above data compiled from a manuscript tally dated 19 March 1883 
through 31 March 1883 in "The Swan Land and Cattle Company, Limited", 
Papers, Western Range Cattle Industry Study, State Historical Society of 
Colorado, Denver. Hereafter cited as Swan Collection, WRCIS. 


shipowners, teachers, sailmakers, ironmongers, writers, warehouse- 
men, painters and a draper. Many were professional men, poH- 
ticians and apparently men of considerable wealth and importance 
who were identified by their address rather than their occupation. 
The conclusion only proves the obvious, that a few held the great 
majority of shares and that Swan shareholders were of the same 
variety as those of most any other business venture of this type.^' 

The promoters sent copies of the prospectus to about seventy- 
five selected persons, most of whom became shareholders. How- 
ever, William Stuart Fraser, the interim secretary, thought that the 
large distribution of the prospectus and the unusually few inquiries 
indicated that there was "a want of money among that class of 
the public who go in for investments of this kind."^ Four days 
earlier he had received a telegram from William Anderson of the 
brokerage firm of Kerr, Anderson, Muir and Main that he was 
"much surprised and annoyed — have not one prospectus left and 
many demands for them — Send at once — Only three thousand 
received last night. "^ 

While Fraser agonized over the initial subscription, prospects 
improved rapidly during the spring of 1883. On May 15, 1883, 
the British Linen Company Bank credited to the Swan Company's 
account £10,740 as £2 payment per share. The entries in rank 
order were 


Hogart, Burns and Murdock accredited to Swan £400 for a Miss 
Houldsworth's forty fully paid shares, for R. C. Kirkland a call 
balance on 100 shares, £800. Bank receipts from the British 
Linen Company Bank for the month of May, 1883, amounted to 
£13,911 in addition to the £10,740 above, but it was not indicated 
as to whether the amounts were for shares, calls, or debentures.^ 

In their official announcement of share availability, the Swan 
Company determined that £1 per share was payable on appli- 
cation, £1 per share on allotment, £2 on the 15th of May, and £2 
on the 16th of July or a total of £6 per share. The 50,052 shares 











3"List of Shareholders", (Printed) April 18, 1883 and August 7, 1883. 
Swan Collection, WRCIS. 

^Draft letter, "Wm. Stuart Fraser to Directors", March 19. 1883; "Draft 
List of Persons to Whom Copier of the Prospectus Were to be sent", no 
date; and "List of Shareholders", (Printed) April 18. 1883 and August 7, 
1883. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 

^Telegram, Wm. Anderson to W. Stuart Fraser, March 14, 1883. Swan 
Collection, WRCIS. 

6"May, 1883 Correspondence", Swan Collection, WRCIS. 


applied for by March 31, 1883, at the prescribed £6 per share 
would have totaled £300,312. 

The printed list of shareholders previously mentioned included 
only one person, Alexander H. Swan of Laramie County, Wyo- 
ming Territory, not resident in the British Isles. However it should 
be noted that the trustees, of the three original American com- 
panies, received as a part of their payment 10,500 shares.'^ 

At its first annual meeting the Company raised its capital to 
£750,000 by issuing 15,000 new £ shares on par, and in propor- 
tion to the original shareholders. A 9 per cent dividend had just 
been declared and now seemed a most opportune time to issue 
more common stock. ^ 

These 75,000 shares of common stock remained the limit of 
common stock and constituted the primary mode of capitalization. 
In 1891, just prior to the capital reduction they accounted for all 
but £9600 of the Company's capital. 

In 1886 the Company did raise its capital to £900,000 by the 
creation of 15,000 Preference Shares of £10 each which paid a 
cumulative preferential dividend of 6 per cent annually. Only 
60 per cent of these were issued and these were redeemed at their 
face value, £10 each and the remainder withdrawn, the entire issue 
cancelled and replaced by the issuance of 5 per cent shares in 
1898. These same 5 per cent shares were cancelled in 1917, and 
replaced by 6 per cent debentures.^ 

For the first three years, 1883-1885, a total of 25 per cent was 
paid on the called up portion of the ordinary shares, an average of 
about 8 per cent per year. No dividend was paid during the next 
eleven years, 1886-1896. From 1897-1910, a fourteen-year per- 
iod, a total of 65.25 per cent was paid, or about 5 1/3 per cent 
per year. This however was on a £2 share as the 75,000 ordinary 
shares, all fully paid, were reduced from £10 to £2 in 1892 by 
cancelling £6 per share as unrepresented by assets. At that time 
the loan capital of the company was limited to £75,000. No 
dividend was paid from 1911-1925. Capital was increased to 
£400,000 in February, 1898, by creating 10,000 Preference Shares 
of £ 1 each and bearing 5 per cent annual interest, A month later 

"Amasa R. Converse held 2517 shares, Godfrey Snydacker 2569, and 
Joseph Frank 2287. Frank became the largest American shareholder, hold- 
ing 5813 shares in 1891. Alexander Swan relinquished to Scottish holders 
5200 of the 10,000 shares he had subscribed to. Joseph Frank eventually 
bought 2484 and C. E. Anthony 1000 of the remaining 4800 leaving Swan 
only a minority stockholder in the Company. "Abstract from Allotment of 
Shares and Stock Registers", 1883-1887. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 

^^"Extraordinary General Meeting, Swan Land and Cattle Company, Lim- 
ited", April 2, 1884. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 

'-^"Scheme of Arrangement Between the Company and the Preference and 
Ordinary Shareholders", December 21, 1917. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 


capital was reduced to £250,000. The purpose of the increase 
and subsequent reduction was to substitute the 5 per cent shares 
for the 6 per cent shares. 

Following the disastrous years of 1886-1887, the Company 
passed a series of resolutions which gave the Directors virtually 
arbitrary power over the shares in arrears. ^'^ These could be can- 
celled and reissued without compensation to the orignial holder. 
The Company also obtained first lien upon all shares and could 
enforce the lien by the sale of shares and return the holder any 
amount in excess of his debt to the Company. As late as 1892, 
they still complained of the loss caused from forfeited shares, and 
proposed (later approved) a debenture loan to reUeve the Com- 
pany of its indebtedness from the forfeited shares, debenture inter- 
est and a bank overdraft. This loan was limited to £75,000 of 
which they needed only £60,000 or 25 per cent of the valuation 
of their property. The chairman of the board "thought it reason- 
able to ask the Shareholders to contribute the £35,000 which re- 
mained of the £60,000, over and above the subscriptions made by 
the Directors and Manager." All but £800 had been issued by the 
tenth annual meeting in 1893.^^ 

The indication of these resolutions is that a number of share- 
holders were in arrears and action had to be taken to regain and 
to reissue the shares. The large shareholder could not afford to 
invest more money in a situation where dividends were unlikely in 
the near future. To him the forfeiture of his share was the more 
sufferable remedy. The large shareholder who was also a large 
debenture holder was guaranteed his 5 per cent and almost certain 
to redeem his debenture investment even if the company was 
liquidated. Thus the small shareholder was forced out and the 
large shareholder more firmly established. 

There were two other types of investors who were concerned 
with the financial arrangements of the Company, the preference 
shareholder and the debenture holder. Preference shares were 
offered twice, once in 1886 and again in 1898. The 1886 prefer- 
ence share had a "right to a preference for the paid-up amount of 
the shares with unpaid dividends in the distribution of the Assets 
of the Company, in the event of its being wound up, over the paid- 
up amount of the Ordinary Shares of the Company." The 1898 
preference shares however had only the "right to rank in the 
respect of such preference shares, both as regards Capital and 
Dividend, but with no further right to participate in profits or 

iO"Extraordinary General Meeting", March 12, 1886; March 4, 1892; 
February 22, 1898; and March 15, 1898. Swan Collection. WRCIS. 

ii"Extraordinary General Meeting", December 20, 1887; January 20, 
1888; "Ninth Annual Meeting", March 22, 1892; and 'Tenth Annual Meet- 
ing", March 21, 1893. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 


surplus assets." This was further emphasized at the 1917 meeting 
when the directors explained to the holders of preference shares 
that dividends could be paid only out of profits earned and not out 
of income from the sale of land — nor from liquidation. This is the 
obvious reason for the 1917 Scheme of Arrangement. ^^ No divi- 
dend was paid on preference shares between 1911 and 1917 when 
they were cancelled. Preference shareholders had the right to vote 
in the Company's business in proportion to the amount of shares 

Debenture borrowing is not as difficult to understand as it is to 
explain. The debenture is a loan, usually in the form of a certifi- 
cate to the company, with a fixed interest rate and a specified 
tenure. Generally it could be redeemed at any time upon suffi- 
cient notice as specified in the debenture contract. Since it was in 
the nature of a loan to the company the investor stood little chance 
of losing his investment. Even if the company was liquidated his 
was one of the premier debts. After 1892, the loan capital never 
exceeded the stock capital of the company so there was practically 
no chance of loss. Debenture holders, however, could not partici- 
pate in the business of the company. 

The available records do not give a complete accounting of 
Debenture borrowing. But at no time previous to the first reduc- 
tion of capital was the Company capitalized fully by shares. Loan 
capital of the Company was limited to £75,000 in 1892 although 
the capital of the Company was £300,000. That sum remained 
the loan capital until 1918 when it was raised to £100,000 by 
amending the Articles of Association. In short, after 1892, the 
debenture debt could never exceed £75,000 and apparently never 
exceeded £60,000 or perhaps £58,200. However, between 1883 
and 1887 the debenture debt could be, and was high. Before the 
first annual meeting the debenture debt was actually £225,666 but 
could have been £240,000, the amount of uncalled share capital. 
At the first meeting the Company issued 5 percent, £100 deben- 
tures and multiples thereof of £50 for three, four and five years. 
The debenture debt reached a high of £291,540 in 1886 and at 
the end of 1887 debentures totaled £261,390. This amount should 
have been redeemed by 1889 but apparently not fully redeemed 
until 1891. In 1892, £60,000 in debentures was authorized and 
£58,200 taken up within the year, the debt remaining at £52,200 
in 1896.^^ Two years later the entire loan was fully redeemed, 
£24,000 re-paid in December, 1897, and the remainder in six 
months; at the same time the preference shares were redeemed. ^^ 

i2"Thirty-Fourth Annual General Meeting", April 30, 1917. Swan Col- 
lection, WRCIS. 

i3"Ninth Annual Meeting", March 22, 1892, "Tenth Annual Meeting", 
March 21, 1893; and "Swan Land and Cattle Company Limited Notice to 
Preference Shareholders", December 30, 1897. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 


There was no debenture borrowing from 1898 to 1917. Deben- 
tures were issued in both the 1917 and 1923-1924 Schemes of 
Arrangement. In 1917 the preference shares were redeemed and 
replaced with a debentur loan of £100,000 but it appears that only 
£50,000 was subscribed to. One-half of this amount was redeemed 
in 1919, the other half in 1920. The 1923-1924 Scheme of 
Arrangement replaced £142,500 of share capital with debenture 
stock and raised the borrowing power to £200,000. Within a 
year, 24 per cent was redeemed. ^^ The only difference between 
the two schemes was that the 1917 debentures were offered to the 
preference shareholders but in the 1924 scheme they were required 
by the courts to accept them.^^ When the British Company was 
liquidated and transferred to Delaware in 1926 the remaining 
debenture issue was replaced by $544,585 in Series A deferred 
bonds upon which no interest could be paid until December 31, 

Why or how, did the Swan Land and Cattle Company, Limited, 
stay in business? The conduct of affairs was in the hands of those 
who held 75,000 shares of common stock from 1874 to 1926 and 
1 0,000 shares of preference stock — only 60 per cent of which were 
issued — from 1886 to 1917. The ordinary shareholders through 
their directors ran the business of the Company. There were no 
small shareholders after 1886-1887. The record clearly indicates 
that the directors, who were among the largest shareholders, were 
the first to subscribe to debenture issues, or sign personal notes 
when borrowing was necessary. It is also clear that they were 
earning 5 and 6 per cent on their loans, or more properly they 
were making 5 per cent on about one-third of their investment but 
none on the remainders. 

This was not the high return on investment that everyone hoped 
for, nor which had been received in the early years. But after the 
share reduction in 1892, the Company's assets in land, cattle and 
improvements were always in excess of their capital and generally 
double or triple their loan capital. W. B. Dunlop, who was nom- 
inated for the Board and unanimously elected at the 1916 meeting 
stated that: 

With regard to the future of the Company, personally he was not 
sanguine that it would return to a regular dividend paying basis on 
the ordinary shares. He was an ordinary Shareholder, holding 700 
shares, and personally took the view that they must look to the land 
eventually to bring the ordinary Shareholders their profit .... He 

i4"Notice to Shareholders", December 30, 1897; "Thirty-Seventh Annual 
General Meeting", May 20, 1920; and Forty-Second Annual General Meet- 
ing," April 22, 1925. Swan Collection, WRCIS. 

i5"Petition of the Swan Land and Cattle Company, Limited, to the Lords 
of Council and Session, Second Division", January 19, 1926. Swan Collec- 
tion, WRCIS. 


believed that all that was wanted was patience to secure a satisfactory 
outcome and that the Shareholders must look on their shares as a 
lock-up for a considerable period. i^ 

There seems little doubt that the shareholders could get their £2 
per share back anytime they wanted to liquidate. That was a 
small investment. Dunlop's investment was only £1400 or $7000, 
an amount that would not make or break anyone in the investment 
class. The 1917 and the 1923-1924 stock reductions were under- 
taken in order to redeem capital investment over a reasonable 
period of time without court action, as such action was required 
for any and every capital reduction. 

There is one additional situation which must be considered in 
evaluating the profit of the Company. Due to increased taxes fol- 
lowing World War I, the British Company was paying thirty-four 
cents tax on each dollar of profit by 1925. This is the motive for 
transfering the Company to Delaware. In spite of that they were 
redeeming capital at the rate of about 25 per cent per year. 

The holder of the ordinary share of the Company was eventually 
entitled not only to the return of his investment but about 5 per 
cent interest per year on that investment, partly through the device 
of the debenture but primarily through the redemption of capital. 

The British shareholder in the Swan Company held large blocks 
of shares, controlled the Company's business, and had additional 
means of income either from other business ventures or from the 
occupations and professions. His tenacity in Swan shares was not 
the interest he made but rather the value of his property. This he 
eventually realized but could have nearly doubled had the lands 
been disposed of in the 1950s rather than the 1940s. In order to 
hold that land it became necessary to improve the techniques of 
the ranching operation, to upgrade the quality of cattle and sheep, 
to provide winter feed and shelter, establish hay ranches, to lease 
land out and in general to create as efficient and productive a 
ranch operation as possible. The Swan ranch became one of the 
most durable and prominent foreign companies in America be- 
cause the economics of the time demanded it to do so. They 
invested and improved because they had to, not because they 
preferred to. They had a tiger — or perhaps a wild bull — by the 
tail and couldn't let go until they found someone willing to take 
their place, or until the beast gentled. 

^c'Thirty-Third Annual General Meeting", March 31, 1916. Swan Col- 
lection, WRCIS. 
















— r- 


H^ <-M 


On — 
fN \D 








<-H <+( t+(t^ 

OO r-^ V-l >r^ 





















lO "O o 

00 r-^ O 
O ON <N 


(^ vO 

•• O 
VO — 

<N r- 

•• O 

ro \0 





































































00 — 


E 6 

a s 


















— ' fN r^ 

:^ Qj 




























E e ^ 

<N (N <N -t ■^ 

OS ON 0^ ON GTn 

C8 r-l 

xr ov 
en « 

4> — 

S «= 

93 3 




"*< .t; OB 

— J=-£ 

at; u 
(u o. 

M X 

c <u 

« . . 


•ac/5 o 

or- , 

o — t 
UO\ O 
CO — U. 

Casper's Prohibition years 


Walter R. Jones 

Casper greeted the dawning of Prohibition with a quietude that 
belied fourteen troubled years ahead. At midnight, June 30, 1919, 
the nine saloons operating legitimately along Center street either 
closed their doors or turned into soft drink parlors, and the newly- 
opened brewery of which Casper's citizens were so proud shut 
down its operations.^ But beneath the calm a dark force was 
fermenting to give shape to the history of Prohibition in Casper. 
A. J. Mokler, Natrona County pioneer newsman and historian, 

For several months previous to the closing of the saloons a thriving 
business in the liquor traffic was done, many truck loads of whiskey, 
wine, and beer being hauled to the residences of those who desired 
to lay in a supply .2 

Casper did not want Prohibition, and for its refusing to accept the 
law, it suffered as deeply the ills of lawlessness as did any city in 
the United States. 

The liquor supplies "laid in" were first tapped by local author- 
ities when members of the city police department raided a house 
on the Sandbar and found a closet full of whiskey and beer.^ 
Bootlegging on the Sandbar was soon to become as commonplace 
to that locale as was prostitution and gambling. When firemen 
arrived at a blaze spreading through several Sandbar shacks one 
afternoon, they discovered the source of the fire to be an over- 
heated still. The still's owner could not be found, so the firemen 
turned the moonshine equipment over to the police department.^ 
It is not recorded that anyone visited the police in an effort to 
retrieve the apparatus. 

The fine for selling or manufacturing bootleg liquor was set at 
$100, a sum not sufficient to discourage many of the Sandbar 
bootleggers. One individual, proprietor of a notorious dive called 

^The saloons along the west side of Center street were as follows: Mid- 
west Bar, Grand Central Bar, The Wyoming, The Buffet. Stock Exchange, 
Elkhorn, The Inn, Parlor Car, and Burke's Place. Alfred James Mokler, 
History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922. pp. 187-188. The brew- 
ery was located east of town, and, in 1975 it housed the Cook's Potato 
Flake Company. 

SMokler, History, p. 188. 

^The Casper Daily Tribune, July 22, 1919, p. 1. 

^Ibid., March 10,' 1921, p. 1. 


the Texas Lunch, having been fined the customary $100, returned 
to his business establishment and continued selling moonshine in 
hopes of quickly making up his loss of revenue. But, as The 
Casper Daily Tribune announced, the bootlegger "figured without 
the poUce, however. A watch was kept on his place last night, 
and with the appearance of the goods, (he) was placed under 
arrest."'^ Feeling the sting of a second $100 fine, he stated, "Me 
no do it no more,"*^ which was not really the truth because he went 
on to compile a case history of liquor violations. 

Another Sandbar bootlegger ran a second-story "coffee house" 
called the Saddle Rock Tavern. Being arrested for bootlegging, he 
claimed he was merely making "Sacrificial wine." The Judge 
looked down at the defendant and asked, "600 gallons of sacrificial 
wine?" The bootlegger replied, "Well, I ship it to Rock Springs, 
Cheyenne, and Sheridan." The Judge, "with a wry humor, fined 
the wine-maker $100 and confiscated the sacrificial wine-making 

Many of the prostitutes on the Sandbar sold whiskey in their 
cribs or parlor houses for fifty cents a shot or seventy-five cents 
mixed. Red Fen wick, a reporter for The Denver Post, stated that 
"in a few cheaper places, a 'shot and ditch' could be had for 25 
cents — take your own chances."^ 

Bootlegging was too profitable and popular to remain confined 
to the Sandbar for very long. Annoyed by the spreading of moon- 
shine joints to the heart of Casper's business district, county offi- 
cials launched a major raid in November, 1921. The results were 
that "twelve Casper business institutions said to be involved in 
traffic in bootleg whiskey, violation of the state liquor and drug 
laws, and illicit gambling, are defendants to the charges." The list 
of businesses, while it contained some found on the Sandbar, read 
much like a directory of businesses located along the west side of 
Center street. The newspaper quoted the county attorney as stat- 
ing he desired to extend the raids to every part of Casper where 
bootlegging and gambling existed.^ 

City and county law enforcement agencies both extended their 
policing up Prohibition violators, but such activities were of little 
consequence in a city where bootlegging was so thoroughly accept- 
ed. Robert David, a prominent Casperite who left his memoirs 
to Casper College, once told of his making the rounds with a 
Casper bootleg delivery boy during the 1920s. 

Working through a friend, I was invited one night to accompany a 

^^Ihid., October 21, 1921, p. 1. 

^>lbid., October 23, 1921, p. 8. 

"'Casper Star-Tribune, April 26, 1969, p. 8a. 

^The Denver Post, December 16, 1973, p. 64. 

■>The Casper Daily Tribune, November 9, 1921, pp. 1 & 2. 


bootlegger's distributor. I met him in the dark of a downtown alley. 
He was in the driver's seat of a big, gray Cole 8 coupe whose trunk 
contained piled boxes of bottled booze. 

We drove up to the south part of town where the bigger and richer 
houses stood, then went up the alleys. We would stop behind a big 
garage behind a fine, respectable home, and stop. The garage door 
would open six inches. The distributor would get out, find a bottle 
inside the truck, then take it over to pass it through the crack in the 
door. A moment later, and a white hand would pass out a bill, the 
door would close silently, and the 'legger would come back, to drive 
on to another door.i" 

So pervasively was bootlegging woven into Casper's life style 
that even youngsters made a profit from it. More than one person 
has remarked that when he was young, he would go to one or 
another of the city's dance halls and pick up the whiskey bottles 
there to sell back to some bootlegger. ^^ 

Violation Prohibition in Casper had its price in more ways than 
just court fines handed down by a witty judge. One consequential 
risk related to the crime was that of physical danger to the violator. 
In. his memoirs, Robert David told of an evening in which he had 
accompanied a pohce officer to a brick apartment building on the 
Sandbar. From one of the apartments came 

the sound of shuffling, and complaint. Then the door opened and I 
beheld two of the most pitiful men I had ever seen. Reeling from 
the effects of drinking Sterno (a heating paste, composed largely of 
alcohol), their eyes were wide-open and staring into the bright lights 
from the prowl car without blinking. They were totally blinded by 
the effects of drinking Sterno. i- 

Sometimes the innocent paid the price of Prohibition. In early 
November, 1919, a squad of sheriff's deputies surprised several 
alleged bootleggers at a plumber's shop on the east side of town.^^ 
Calling for the suspects to surrender, the sheriff's squad received 
a volley of gunfire that killed a deputy. One of the remaining 
officers then rushed into the plumber's shop and proceeded to beat 
two of the suspects. The events relating to this raid that followed 
during the next several months left many Casperites with a bitter 
feeling that justice had not been served in the affair. 

To begin, the sheriff and one of his deputies were arrested after 
the raid for having beaten two of the alleged bootleggers. Even 
though the two officers were soon acquitted, public opinion was 
strong against the county attorney for having filed the charges in 

it'Robert David, Narrative, (Casper College Collection), Vol. 22. pp. 

^Conversations with Bill Jones of Bustard Mortuary, June 24, 1974, 
and Norman Murphy of CY Barber Shop, February 28, 1975. 

i-David, Narrative, Vol. 22, p. 1111. 

^'■^The Casper Daily Tribune, November 3, 1919, p. 1. 



MnnHI PflllUrn Nocturnal Festivities at Sagebrush Palace North of the City 
inUUil rUUnLU Dashed by Prosecutor and Sheriffs Forces; Taxi 

fl WN ^PWPR ^"''^'' ^^"^ Cad'llac In Melee 

i'or«d, one ffail"n ul liqu')r mnnn-'ninf. ihr 
Nested Cadillac car. The bondtil Ii'iaur m< 
'!» ffood. Suapicion point* to it h*\.ng beei 

— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 

Headlines such as this one from the Casper Daily Tribune for December 8, 
1923, were fairly common during the Prohibition era. 

the first place. Following the officers' release, the county attorney 
was forced to resign his post. 

Then, when one of the alleged bootleggers was arraigned on a 
charge of murder, the case was quickly moved to Douglas, where 
the defendant was found not guilty. Of this verdict, A. J. Mokler 

There was no question in the minds of the people of Casper but a 
conviction would be had, and if ever a man deserved hanging it was 
the defendant, but be it said to the everlasting shame of the jurymen, 
some of the witnesses who gave perjured testimony, and others con- 
nected with the trial, a verdict of not guilty was returned by the jury, 
and once more the people of Natrona (County) were compelled to 
witness a travesty of justice and the rights of good citizenship flung 
to the four winds. i^ 

Before the news of the verdict had faded, people in Casper 
began looking for scapegoats. The most accessible were the sheriff 
and the deputy who had beaten the two suspected bootleggers. 
Questioning the officers' competence. The Casper Daily Tribune 
called the two men "small town boys playing Indian," and accused 
them of having bungled the case from "start to finish. "^^ This 
affair was the first major controversy created by the presence of 
Prohibition, but it was not the last: Casper was just beginning to 
pay the price of its defiance. 

i^Mokler, History, p. 299. 

^^'The Casper Daily Tribune, April 20, 1920, p. 1. 


Corruption and suspected corruption within city and county 
government organizations were other consequences of Prohibition 
in Casper. Early in 1923, the sheriff's department raided a house 
on south Walnut street.^*' The occupants of the house, a man and 
his wife, were arrested for possessing several gallons of Hquor, but 
were released when a city councilman signed the bonds for their 
release. The next evening at a city council meeting, this signing 
was criticized by another councilman who felt that city affairs 
should not be conducted by councilmen who have clouds of sus- 
picion over them. To this, the councilman in question replied that 
he could sign anybody's bonds he wanted to. Much to this alder- 
man's distress, however, history would not be satisfied with so 
cheap an answer. Several months later, the sheriff's men uncov- 
ered a large cache of booze in a warehouse belonging to the very 
city councilman who felt he could sign anyone's bonds he wanted 
to. Convicted of four counts of violating state liquor laws, the 
councilman was fined $400 and sentenced to four months in the 
county jail. Following the conviction, a group of irate Casper 
citizens appeared before the city council, and requested that the 
convicted member of their organization be barred from member- 
ship. Presenting a petition to the city fathers, the inflamed Cas- 
perites stated 

Whereas, (the councilman in question) has been found guihy of ille- 
gal possession of intoxicating liquor and of maintaining a nuisance 
which also is a violation of the drug ordinance of the city of Casper, 
we, the undersigned, residents of the city of Casper, respectfully peti- 
tion Ion to remove (the alderman in question) from the office of 

The defendant's attorney appealed the petition to the courts on 
constitutional grounds, but the appeal was dismissed, and the 
councilman was forced to resign his seat on the council. 

The city councilman's case was only the start of Casper's graft 
and corruption troubles. In late November, 1923, local law en- 
forcement officers raided a house on west F street where they 
found a set of loose-leaf notebooks that bore record to "protection 
payments" a group of bootleggers had been making to members of 
the city's police department for several months.^' Implicated by 
the notebooks' detailed columns was a police captain who was said 
to be "the brains, treasurer and payoff man of the most elaborately 
protected bootlegging ring that ever operated in Casper." Along 
with the captain, a collection man and two henchmen — a motor- 

i^Information on the councilman's affair abstracted from the following: 
Casper Daily Tribune, February 19, 20, November 28. 1923; March 30, 
April 20, 28"; June 17, 1924. 

^'''Information on the graft case abstracted from the following: Casper 
Daily Tribune, February 13, 14, 1924. 


cycle policeman and a plain clothesman — were allegedly involved 
in the ring. Before the county attorney could bring a case to court, 
the police captain "quietly" left town. Then when the case was 
brought before a judge, it was dismissed promptly because the 
evidence, the loose-leaf notebooks, had been seized without a 
search warrant. In reporting the court's decision, The Casper 
Daily Tribune commented that the notebooks would have made 
"interesting reading" because they listed a number of "well known 
persons in Casper's business and social life." As a footnote to the 
whole affair, the plain clothes officer implicated by the notebooks 
was shortly dismissed from the police force since it seemed he had 
made the mistake of "dropping in for a social call at a well-known 
bootlegging establishment while the police were staging a raid." 

The above examples of corruption seemed to be nothing more 
than a prelude, however, in comparison to the climactic events 
that closed out Prohibition in Casper. Amid announcements that 
the Volstead Act was being repealed and that legal beer would 
once again be transported to Casper, there came news that a 
federal grand jury wished to investigate charges that forty Casper 
citizens had conspired to violate national Prohibition laws. Among 
the alleged conspirators were Casper's mayor, chief of police and 
county sheriff. ^'^ Convening in Cheyenne in May, 1933, the grand 
jury heard evidence charging thirty-three Casperites with having 
generally conspired to manufacture, sell and transport liquor, while 
seven other men were accused of having operated a brewery in 
Casper. The evidence against these men was gathered during "the 
most gigantic investigation ever conducted by federal agents in 
Wyoming." The grand jury decided that the testimony it had 
heard was good enough to try thirty-six of the forty Casperites. 
A trial date of July 17, 1933, was set, and the list of defendants 
included the mayor, police chief and sheriff. 

The trial began with the government attorneys opening the fed- 
eral case by stating that they would prove a conspiracy to violate 
federal liquor laws did exist, and had dated back to 1929 when the 
mayor's intention from the beginning to form a conspiracy whereby 
protection money would be wrung from both bootleg manufac- 
turers and retail dealers. At first, the attorneys charged, one large- 
scale manufacturer was allowed to operate in Casper, the fee for 
such a privilege being an initial "protection payment" of $1000, 
and monthly payments of $750 thereafter. Soon, however, a sec- 
ond manufacturer was allowed to participate in the bootleg busi- 
ness. Then in 1930, it was further charged, the mayor decided 
to let the sheriff in on the conspiracy scheme. Retail dealers were 

I'^Information on the conspiracy case abstracted from the following: The 
Casper Trihune-Herald, May 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 13, 14, July 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 
23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 1933. 


permitted to stay in business for a monthly fee of from $25 to 

To substantiate the charges, the federal attorneys produced as 
their "star witness" a former state legislator who testified that he 
had been the "collector" for the mayor. He claimed that he had 
collected from $25 to $500 a month from various bootleggers, 
and that over $50,000 had been garnered during 1931. 

The next government witness was a former undersheriff for 
Natrona County. Testifying that he had been the sheriff's "go- 
between" in collecting money from Casper's whiskey ring, he stated 
that the sheriff had once given him a list of addresses labelled as 
those of members of the conspiracy. He further stated that before 


Guests ScrambU to Destroy Evidence In 

Glass Breaking Contest When 

Raid*n EmUr; Several Held 

The gnatmtt aimm bfwakinc cshibjlion alAffrd iii I u>- 
p«r ID r«c«Bt>a«n«aA pal on at 2:30 thin mominf at thr 
AlroTa raadkoMa. «ra miln waat on the Alroti mad 
dsrlM a mid br tba ikwtfra oflica. Whan thr raiding 
party arrlvad tbara war* appraxlBstaly ar, m<>n anri 
woman indoJclaff fai pn fcal i day aaaaon rayctr. The rn- 

— Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department Photo 
Casper Daily Tribune, December 22, 1923 

he resigned from the sheriff's department, the sheriff told him to 
warn the members of the ring that federal agents were in town. 
The former undersheriff claimed that after his resignation, the 
sheriff visited him and asked if he would like to go for a ride. 
The former undersheriff stated to the court that while he was not 
afraid of the sheriff, the sheriff's remark caused him to recall the 
death of a Casper bootlegger who had tried to hi'ack some of the 
whiskey ring's liquor. ^^ 

In developing the fine points of their case, the U. S. attorneys 
produced a line of witnesses who testified to one or another aspect 
of the alleged conspiracy ring's operations. One witness, an al- 

i^The alleged hijacker was taken for a ride west of Casper and was slain 
gangland style. Some people felt that the sheriff on trial for conspiracy 
also had something to do with the murder, or at least had intimate knowl- 
edge concerning it. The Casper Tribune-Herald. October 23, 1932. p. 1, 
and David, Narrative, Vol. 22, pp. 1112-1113. 


leged bootlegger, testified that he had paid the "star witness" a 
sum of $100 a month during the year 1931. Another witness, a 
brother of an alleged bootlegger, claimed that his brother had 
originally been paying $25 a month for protection, but when told 
the payments would be increased to $100 a month, he refused to 
make any further donation. After this, according to testimony, 
the brother's bootleg joint was raided. Other witnesses testified 
to having purchased whiskey from one or the other of Casper's 
two large-scale whiskey manufacturers. 

The defendants' attorneys first tactic of defense was to discredit 
the government witnesses' testimony by questioning the integrity 
of the witnesses themselves. The state's "star witness" was proved 
to be an ex-convict from Nebraska, and the former undersheriff 
was claimed to have been bitter about the sheriff's dismissing him. 
Further, the defense attorneys produced evidence to the effect that 
one of the federal agents had been drunk while conducting his 

Following the assault on the government witnesses, the defense 
attorneys then brought forth their own witnesses. The first to 
testify was Casper's mayor who denied having ever received a 
penny of the supposed protection money. He claimed that he had 
made every effort to clean up Casper, and that he had never made 
any form of agreement to allow vice to find protection within the 
shelter of his office. He further denied having ever made an 
agreement with sheriff. 

One after another, the defendants took the stand and denied 
participating in any sort of a liquor conspiracy. Summing up their 
case, the defense attorneys stated that the prosecution had not 
proved that a conspiracy had in fact existed in Casper, and that 
not as much as one defendant had admitted making protection 
payments. The accused officials, the attorneys claimed, had made 
every effort to uphold the law faithfully. "The whole case," one 
attorney for the defense charged, "smacks of the graveyard. Let 
the dead past bury its dead." 

After eight days of testimony and two days of dehberation, 
the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of each and 
every defendant. Announcing the verdict to its readers, The 
Casper Tribune-Herald quoted the sheriff as having stated that 
he was "glad the case had come to trial because it will quiet the 
rumors that have been in circulation since the federal investigation 

Thus the conspiracy case fizzled while, in hke manner. Prohi- 
bition went down the drain. But in no way did the passing these 
two events bring an end to corruption and bootlegging in Casper. 
It was not until 1950 that the true winds of reform were felt in 
the city. In June, 1950, two rookie policemen and a pair of 
veterans, one of whom had been on the police force since 1926, 


conducted a liquor raid on a "rooming house" on the Sandbar.^'^ 
The victims, surprised by the policemen's ability to catch them 
with their moonshine, readily admitted producing the booze at a 
still west of Casper. This time there would be no protection money 
involved, and no ring of grafters to intercede for the bootleggers 
because Casper had a new mayor: a young attorney who, promis- 
ing civil reform, announced 

We in our city have lived on the fringes of gambhng and slipshod 
law enforcement most of our lives - we have condoned and encour- 
aged illegal income through our police court and other devious chan- 
nels .... I feel I express the will of the people when I say that 
orders from the mayor's office to the chief of police and members of 
Casper's police department are that all gambling and illegal endeavor 
must now stop ... .21 

While these words eloquently bespoke the awakening of a new 
order of affairs for Casper, they could not erase the fact that the 
history of Prohibition in Casper was a history of lawlessness and 
its resultant companion, corruption. During the years 1919 to 
1933, government within the city fell under suspicion and drew 
criticism from citizens who were already feeling the weight of 
lawlessness bear down on them as a result of the 1917 oil boom. 
In dealing with the added burden of Prohibition, few honors were 
won by those chosen to serve the city and county. Prohibition, in 
short, was not Casper's finest hour. 

2or/ze Casper Morning Star, June 13, 1950, p. 24. 
^'^The Casper Tribune-Herald, January 4, 1950, p. 2. 



It is often heard said, by those who are little informed, that the 
west is becoming too crowded, that the chance for the home seeker 
is becoming smaller and smaller, year by year. There may be 
some truth in this, as emigration to the western country and the 
taking up of desirable lands has been rapid; yet there is room for 
millions more. 

The great state of Wyoming with its area of 97,890 square 
miles, and with its population of less than 130,000, contains 
sufficient arable land to sustain twenty times its present number 
of people. Work of the government reclamation service means 
thousands more homes and wealth producing farms. And secon- 
dary should be considered the efforts of private irrigation com- 
panies, that are now investing vast amounts in building reservoirs 
and canals for the reclamation of lands. 

In Sweet Water County, Wyoming, is located the great Eden 
valley. Recently there has been opened for settlement under the 
Carey act, 30,000 acres of as rich land as can be found in any 
part of the west. Here is one of the greatest opportunities of a 
life time offered to the home seeker and to the investor. The sun 
shines on an average of 300 days in the year upon this valley, and 
there the climate is ideal, most healthful and invigorating. The 
soil is a rich alluvial deposit, averaging from 5 to 1 5 feet in depth, 
and free from alkali and stones. Here grow mammoth crops of 
various grains and grasses, and all kinds of vegetables, as well as 
the hardy classes of fruits. Altogether in this valley there is about 
100,000 acres of land that can be easily irrigated. This land, 
which is now on the market at a total cost, including a perpetual 
water right, of $30.50 an acre, within a few short years will be 
worth as much as land in the irrigated districts of Colorado or 
Utah, where prices range now $100 to $200 per acre. 

The Eden Irrigation Company, which has built extensive irri- 
gation systems, and which has this land for sale under the Carey 
Act, has well carried out the work undertaken. The system com- 
pleted by this company includes two large reservoirs, one at the 
foothills of the Hay den Glacier with a capacity of 105 acre feet, 
and the other situated at the northeast corner of the tract, with 
almost equal capacity. There is a never-failing supply of water 
from the Big Sandy and Little Sandy rivers, which drain a water- 
shed of 1,200 square miles. 

There is an unusual opportunity here for the one who would 
secure a valuable farm at a fraction of its value. Each settler is 
eligible to enter a claim of 160 acres .... 

— Wyoming Industrial Journal. 

Reprinted from The Winning West, 
Vol. 1, No. 4, November, 1907. 

J^o. 1-J^ew Views of M 
Old Wyoming Ai^my Post 


Robert A. Murray 

For fourteen years now, I have intermittently wrestled with the 
history of one of Wyoming's more elusive military posts. This is 
Cantonment Reno on Powder River, named initially like many 
others of this name, for General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed 
in the battle of South Mountain during the Civil War. Subse- 
quently it was renamed Fort McKinney, to honor Lt. J. A. Mc- 
Kinney, who was killed not many miles away in the well-known 

— From John G. Bourke Diaries 

Courtesy of Library, U. S. Military Academy, West Point 

Group of officers in front of quarters at Fort McKinney # 1 in the spring 
or summer of 1877. The bearded man in front of the window, near the 
center of the picture, is Captain Edwin Pollock, the post commander. The 
man wearing the white jacket may be the civilian post surgeon, or perhaps 
a visitor. Others in the picture are not identified. 



— From John G. Bourke Diaries 

Courtesy of Library, U. S. Military Academy, West Point 

Fort McKinney #1 viewed from the southeast, summer, 1877 

fight between Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's troops and the Cheyenne 
warriors of the Dull Knife faction on November 25, 1876. 

Loaned as a consultant to the Bureau of Land Management to 
examine a "mystery site" on a small tract of federal land, I first 
looked at the place in October of 1962. Cryptically labeled 
"Depot McKinney Military Reservation" on the U. S. Geological 
Survey maps of the area, this site led me deep into the intricacies 
of the army in the closing years of active Indian campaigning in 
the region. 

An on-site examination of surface evidence quickly disproved 
the assertions of a few local informants that this was "Fort 
Connor," of 1865. Subsequent research proved that troublesome 
site to be one and the same with the 1865-68 Fort Reno, some 
three miles downstream. A bit more research turned up the 
identity of this post as the first site of Fort McKinney, best known 
at its later site west of Buffalo. 

Subsequently a highly detailed set of post records was obtained 
from the National Archives. Two successive studies led to still 
more research on other related posts and earlier posts, and indi- 
rectly to two books and a number of articles. But through all of 
this work, no photographs, no contemporary ground plans, and no 
artist's sketches of this post came to hght. Surface evidence gave 
some idea of the conformation of the post. Descriptions of struc- 



tures in the post records helped a great deal. All in all, though 
the whole process was a lot like corresponding with a friend in 
some distant country about his farm or home or factory! 

Early in the spring of 1976, I was going through a microfilm 
of portions of the diaries of Lt. John G. Bourke, well-known and 
long time aide-de-camp to Brigadier General George Crook. As 
the negative film slipped by in the reader, I reached a point where 
the day-to-day narrative ended and the pages were filled with 
photos, pasted in. I moved past a number of familiar faces and 
commercial views, and on until I hit some pages labeled "Fort 
McKinney". Even in the negatives the details were clear enough 
to raise my hopes. I hit the button of the reader-printer, ran out 
prints, adjusted it for better contrast and ran more prints. Exam- 
ination of these under a glass proved the pictures to be views of 
Fort McKinney 4^1! This experience was somewhat analogous 
to meeting a long-term correspondent for the first time. There 
was much that was familiar, and yet much to be learned. 

The owner of the originals, the U. S. Military Academy at West 
Point, kindly provided large glossy prints of these pictures, which 
are reproduced here. 

— ^From John G. Bourke Diaries 

Courtesy of Library, U. S. Military Academy, West Point 

Left to right these buildings are probably a kitchen, mess hall and barrack 
under construction in the late summer, 1877, at Fort McKinney. Construc- 
tion details and logs in use, along with the presence of civilian workmen, 
all agree with data in post records for the period. 



>3.x<S^^ ^aJs.**/^^- iiSiJ^ , 

— From John G. Bourke Diaries 

Courtesy of Library, U. S. Military Academy, West Point 

Ruins of old Fort Reno. Picture was taken in 1877, nine years after the 
fort was abandoned. 

The three pictures were clearly not all taken at the same time. 
The view of the officers quarters is that of the earliest type of these, 
built late in the fall of 1876, and occupied to some point late in 
1877. The full view of the post appears to be at some point in 
July or August of 1877, before new barracks were constructed on 
the southwest side of the parade ground to replace the row of 
shacks shown in the view. The barrack, mess-hall and kitchen 
shown under construction are one group of three such sets of 
structures built in the early fall of 1877 for occupancy by the 
companies of the 5th Cavalry Regiment that wintered at the post 
in 1877-78. Originals are sufficiently detailed to provide much 
useful information for a historian or archeologist studying the site. 

In 1962, the site and its surrounding region were remote and 
seldom visited, and the travel patterns of tourism and of Wyoming 
residents made it seem likely it would remain that way. Now the 
prospects of intensive development and an expanding industrial 
population in the Powder River Basin have also changed the 
prospects of a site such as this. Heavy country road traffic passes 
within about a mile of the site. Ultimately a hundred thousand 
persons may live in the belt of country from Gillette to Douglas. 


Sites with some viable combination of historical interest and rec- 
reational potential may become prime public use sites for the 
day-use and week-end visitor. Today, part of the Fort McKinney 
4^ 1 site is still owned by the Federal Government, and the balance 
is owned by the State of Wyoming. Possibly there is a chance 
that this little known site may one day host a multitude of visitors 
and help them gain some roots in Wyoming's historic heritage! 

For more details on the Cantonment Reno/Fort McKinney d+ 1 
sequence, the reader is referred to the following items: 

Robert A. Murray, Military Posts in the Powder River Country of 
Wyoming, 1865-1894, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 
Lincoln, 1968). This is a detailed, fully footnoted examination of 
the post's history, based on examination of a full set of post rec- 
ords, plus those of Fort McKinney #2 and Fort Fetterman, as 
well as the records of the Headquarters, Department of the Platte 
and other sources. More general coverage will be found in Robert 
A. Murray, Military Posts of Wyoming, Fort Collins, Colo.: Old 
Army Press, 1974). 

Cctter to the Editor 

To the Editor of Annals of Wyoming 

I wish to refer to the article on the History of Fort Fetterman 
by David P. Robrock which recently appeared in the Spring 1976 
issue of the Annals of Wyoming. Although I thoroughly enjoyed 
the paper there are a couple of points concerning John Richard 
(Richaud) Jr. that I feel I must comment on before they become 
firmly established as historical facts. 

Firstly Richard, who shot a soldier at Fort Fetterman on 9 
September 1869, never served as a scout under General Crook, 
as he was killed in the summer of 1872 and had been dead for 
almost four years before Crook began his campaign against the 

Secondly it is an oft repeated but incorrect statement that Rich- 
ard received a pardon from the government for the Fetterman 
killing. As I stated in my article which appeared in the Fall 1971 
issue of your magazine, Richard was never tried or convicted for 
this crime, and therefore could not be pardoned. Instead a nolle 
prosequi was entered upon the murder indictment .... 

Brian Jones 

176 Portsmouth Walk 

Basingstoke, Hants. RG22 6HE 

Mook Keviews 

Heart Mountain. The History of an American Concentration 
Camp. By Douglas W. Nelson. (Madison: The State His- 
torical Society of Wisconsin for the Department of History, 
University of Wisconsin, 1976.) Index. Bib. Illus. 183 
pp. $12.50. 

Wartime insanity and the California syndrome notwithstanding, 
Wyoming's native racial and cultural prejudice made Heart Moun- 
tain Relocation Center a guard tower barbed wire concentration 

Such thesis will trouble us native sons but Douglas Nelson's 
formidably documented socio-psychological history of the camp 
is hard to challenge. 

Author Nelson dusted off a 1970 University of Wyoming Master 
Degree thesis, removed a lot of adjectives and adverbs — unhappily 
not a single one of its 500 footnotes — and submitted it to the 
University of Wisconsin History Department for its Logmark prize 
publication. Such limited address makes the book expensive 
($12.50 at a Billings bookstore) but it is worth it. Read with 
Daisuke Kitagawa's Issei and Nesei it is a haunting course in social 
psychology as well as being an adequate, narrative history of the 
Heart Mountain Relocation Center. "Throughout its history," 
Nelson asserts, "Heart Mountain was the scene of almost constant 
unrest, conflict, and despair." 

Nelson says that WRA Director Milton Eisenhower's hope that 
non-coastal western states would be wiUing receptors of coastal 
Japanese for resettlement processing was dashed even before his 
so-called "receptor states" had been designated. Wyoming's Gov- 
ernor Nels Smith told him in Salt Lake, April 7, 1942, that 
"People in (my) state have a dislike of any Orientals." And, 
further, if evacuees were allowed to travel freely and settle there 
would be "Japs hanging from every Pine tree." He insisted that 
if any were brought into Wyoming they must be "kept in concen- 
tration camps" and worked under armed guard. While Governor 
Smith's stand was a little more savage than most, it was repre- 
sentative of most public officers as well as the press; albeit among 
the latter there were some reluctant fellow travellers, even one, 
Ted Huntington and his Lovell Chronicle, who saw the whole busi- 
ness for the aberration it was. 

Against such hostility "resettlement" had to be quickly rational- 
ized as "protective custody", and alien and native American alike 
coralled under guard. Once done the whole charade created a 
nightmare of paradox which description and examination is the 
principal concern of Nelson's book. He does it in a narrative sort 


of way under the following nine chapter headings: A Concentra- 
tion Camp in the Equality State, Life as Pantomime, Meeting the 
Japanese, An Uneven Beginning, Heart Mountain Under Fire, 
Resistance, Conflict and Faction; Registration and Segregation, 
the Movement Against the Draft, A Continuing Prejudice and 

Of the multitude of social and psychological conflicts and ten- 
sions created or exacerbated by such wholesale confinement none 
were more cruel and traumatic than those between the young and 
the old, which by virtue of our Oriental Exclusion Act were almost 
invariably also differences between Issei and Nisei, "First genera- 
tion," hence ahen and "second generation," hence native born 
citizen. A single excerpt must suffice. From "Resistance Conflict 
and Faction" : 

. . . The war, however, vastly increased the distance [Issei-Nisei, 
parent-child]. After 1941, the Issei's language and customs became 
more than lingering ties with the 'old Country', they became damning 
connection with the present enemy. Irrationally but irresistably, 
many Nisei came to see their unacculturated parents as the source of 
their predicament — the stigma that barred them not only from free- 
dom, but from a long sought after acceptance and participation in 
American life. 

The author gives us a poignant footnote to this generalization, 
a poem "Evacuee" from the Heart Mountain Sentinel: 

Father, you have wronged me grievously 

I know not why you punish me 
For sins not done nor reasons known 

You have caused me misery 
But through this all I look on you 

As a child would look on parents true 
With tenderness comingling in 

The anguishment and bitter tears; 
My heart still beats with loyalty 

For you are my father 
I know no other. 

Whether or not this unknown girl might be considered a cousin 
once removed from Ivan Denisovich as Nelson's thesis director, 
Roger Daniels, suggests in his foreword, her situation haunted this 
reviewer with visions of cattle cars, gas chambers and ovens. And 
the horrifying suspicion that "Yes, it could happen here!" 

Northwest Community College, Powell John T. Hinckley 

The Peoples of Utah. Helen Z. Papanikolas, ed. (Salt Lake City: 
Utah State Historical Society, 1976). Index. lUus. 499 
pp. $7.50. 

In order to understand the operation of a mechanical device one 
should, perhaps, study each component of that device. So, too 


with a state's history. The component parts, poUtical, economic, 
geographic, rehgious, social, and cultural, must be stludied and 
understood in order to learn as much as possible about a state. 
When examining the social and cultural development of a state, 
the identification of the important ethnic groups and the study of 
their contributions is crucial. As a part of the Bicentennial effort 
in Utah, this study of the major ethnic groups which have con- 
tributed to Utah's social, cultural, and economic development has 
been prepared. 

Helen Z. Papanikolas has brought together fourteen essays, by 
eighteen authors, which deal with Utah's multi-ethnic heritage. 
Essays on the "traditional" ethnic groups, Native-American, Black, 
and Mexican -American, appear alongside essays deahng with, 
among others, Greeks, Japanese, and Scandinavians. The authors 
have studied their individual ethnic groups to determine their roles 
in Utah's history. The immigrants' reasons for departing their 
native lands, their hopes and dreams for the new world, the diffi- 
culties they encountered when trying to fulfill their expectations, 
and the cultural baggage they carried to Utah society, all receive 
the attention of the several authors. The results represent a sig- 
nificant addition to the literature on Utah's history and society. 

Each of the authors has investigated his sources completely. 
The footnote documentation indicates that the authors researched 
the secondary literature as well as newspapers, journals, diaries, 
reminiscences, and memoirs. Extensive use of oral interviews 
greatly enhances the quality of the chapters. The research results 
are presented in uniformly well-written essays which provide more 
than adequate introductory surveys of the history and contribu- 
tions of several ethnic groups in Utah. However, the inclusion of 
brief bibliographic essays following the chapters would have been 
beneficial for the reader. 

A short, nine-page introduction in which Papanikolas gives a 
brief overview to immigration to Utah precedes the individual 
essays. While the introduction sets the stage for the remainder 
of the book, a chapter-length analysis of the fourteen essays would 
have been useful to the reader. The general themes which evolve 
through the several essays, such as the similarities between the 
immigrant experience in Utah and other parts of the United States 
and the similarities of experience between immigrant groups in 
Utah, could have been elaborated upon in such a summary chap- 
ter. The reader would then be able to place the Utah immigrants' 
experiences into proper nationwide perspective more easily. 

The entire book is excellently produced, scholarly in its ap- 
proach, and an outstanding value for the money. The choice of 
authors was excellent and they have carefully and thoroughly 
prepared their sections of the book. Others might consider similar 
treatments of the ethnic histories of their states. When other 
studies of the social composition of the western states have been 


prepared, we will be able better to understand the many forces 
which have made the West what it is today. 

University of Wyoming Gordon O. Hendrickson 

Colorado: A History of the Centennial State. By Carl Abbott. 
(Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, 1976). 
Index. Bib. Maps. Illus. 324 pp. $12.50. 

Three single-volume histories of the Centennial State have ap- 
peared in the course of its centennial year: a fourth edition of the 
standard Colorado History by Ubbelohde, Benson and Smith; a 
slim Bicentennial Series product from the pen of Marshall Sprague 
(perfect for the cursory beginner); and finally the object of this 
review, which is neither standard nor for the neophyte. It is, in 
fact, refreshingly out of the ordinary. 

A feature of this book is the unusual character of the material 
which the author has chosen to emphasize. Though he does not 
forget that history is by nature chronological, his approach is 
chiefly topical, and the facts, opinions and nuances which he pre- 
sents are often of a kind seldom found in a work of this nature. 
To be sure, he sets the usual geographic stage, and there is a 
well-balanced introduction to the aboriginal inhabitants. But the 
stress upon Colorado's Hispanic frontier is an innovation — as unex- 
pected as it is instructive. Other variations from the normal follow 
with increasing rapidity. The treatment of the earlier mining 
rushes is perhaps conventional, but the chapters upon boosters, 
early corporate capitalism and the rise of mining labor reflect 
distinctively original techniques. They fairly startle. 

Twentieth century Colorado is treated almost exclusively in a 
topical fashion. There is a chapter on farming and ranching which 
provides a particularly perceptive discussion of the problems inher- 
ent in an arid environment. "Plains farmers," notes the author, 
"for the last century have assumed that the wet years are normal 
and the dry years abnormal, not that both are parts of a regular 
cyclical pattern." (Right! And the reader also gets the impres- 
sion that Professor Abbott has actually experienced farms and 
ranches, despite his quintessentially eastern training at Swarth- 
more.) There is an essay upon tourism, which comments upon 
former attitudes toward wilderness scenery. There is a capsule 
history of Denver; a discussion of old fashioned Americanism, 
with evaluations of Colorado's role in World War I and of the role 
of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado; a treatise upon the Great De- 
pression, emphasizing the thesis (not whoUy original with the 
author) that the state was depressed during the 1920s as well as 
the 1930s; and an entire chapter devoted to the more recent 
problems of racial and ethnic minorities. 


This is, in short, an intriguing book, especially to be recom- 
mended to the reader who knows his Colorado rather well already. 
There are, however, some weaknesses. Professor Abbott's liberal 
biases occasionally upset his balance: corporations and tycoons 
are almost invariably untrustworthy; old-fashioned notions are 
seldom viable; and though the author refrains from endowing 
organized labor with perfection, he constantly implies its moral 
superiority. Majorities, when they are conservative, are mis- 
guided; minorities, when poor, are deserving. Furthermore, one 
would wish for a more complete "scholarly apparatus." The chap- 
ter notes are sparse, and neither they, nor the bibliographic essay, 
suggest extensive research in the unprinted sources. 

Physically, this is a handsome volume. The maps are carefully 
drawn and easy to read. The illustrations (the majority are photo- 
graphs) have been most thoughtfully chosen; many of them seem 
not to have been reproduced before. The editing is brisk, the 
proofreading accurate. Best of all is the author's obvious love 
for his subject: he is enchanted with Colorado. One hopes that 
he may emerge again from the east to contemplate, with Clio, his 
favorite corner of the world. 

Colorado Women's College Robert C. Black III 

School District No. 2, Carbon County, Wyoming. By Donald A. 
Messerschmidt with Marilyn C. Richen. (Cambridge, Mass. : 
Abt Associates Inc., 1975) References. Illus. 183 pp. 

Under contract with the National Institute of Education Experi- 
mental Schools Program, Washington, D. C, Abt Associates, Inc. 
has published the histories of ten school districts in ten states, of 
which this is one. The title of the total work is Rural America; 
A Social and Educational History of Ten Communities. Unified 
School District No. 2 includes the eastern half of Carbon County, 
Wyoming, in which there are eight elementary schools and four 
high schools. The schools vary in size from one pupil in the Beer 
Mug School on Difficulty Creek to 276 pupils in Saratoga Elemen- 
tary. The temporary situation may be contrasted with that of 
earlier days, when, although the population was smaller, there 
were eighty-six separate schools and many independent districts 
in the County, 

This is no doubt the most thorough, if not the only, history of a 
Wyoming school district ever published in book form. The district 
and its people, past and present, receive comprehensive scrutiny. 
Appropriate attention is given to geography, geology and ecology; 
to the mountain men and early transients; to the Union Pacific; 
to cattle and sheep; to mining; to the changing economic, social 


and political conditions; and to school organization, reorganization 
and consolidation. 

Following the Wyoming School District Organization Law of 
1969, District No. 2 was organized in January 1972, with its 
central office at Saratoga and with five subordinate administrative 
areas. The History includes details of organization, policies, pro- 
cedures, administration and financing. 

Federal aid has been quite important in Carbon County, both 
before and after unification, despite the fact that ranchers (reputed 
to be hostile to federal aid) have usually been dominant on the 
school boards. Three small districts — McFadden, Medicine Bow 
and Encampment — had been for years more reluctant than Sara- 
toga and Hanna-Elk Mountain to seek state and federal aid. In 
March 1972 Superintendent John Tynon of the Unified district, 
with the approval of seven of the nine members of the board of 
trustees, applied to the U. S. Office of Education for an Experi- 
mental Small Schools Project for comprehensive change in rural 
schools. In June, 1972, a $46,500 planning grant was announced. 
Full funding followed. Most of the administrators and board 
members apparently hoped that if they could come up with a 
comprehensive new program, it would help to complete and to 
popularize the unification. 

The History of District No. 2 ends at the point at which the 
experimental project began. Other evidence, however, suggests 
that the experimental project is proving to be successful. For 
example, a central media center and the open space concept have 
been adopted; and generally early reports have been favorable. 

This is a valuable addition to the growing shelf of important 
books about Wyoming. It contains many perceptive observations 
Although it is an "in-house" publication, not designed for public 
sale, a small number of copies may be purchased from the Central 
Office, School District No. 2, Saratoga, Wyoming, for $12 per 
copy plus mailing expense. Also, copies have been donated to the 
State Archives and Historical Department Library, Cheyenne; the 
State Department of Education, Cheyenne; the University of Wyo- 
ming Library, Laramie; the Carbon County Library, Rawlins; and 
the high school libraries in School District No. 2, Carbon County. 

Laramie T. A. Larson 

Annies of the American Wars, 1753-1815. By Philip Katcher. 
(New York: Hastings House, Inc. 1975). 160 pp. Index. 
Bib. Illus. 160 pp. $12.95. 

Armies of the American Wars is a mixture of popular history 
and popular material culture dealing with both sides in the French 
and Indian War (known in Europe as the Seven Years War), 


1754-1763, the American Revolution, 1775-1783, and the War 
of 1812 (1812-1815). But it is not a study of battles or politics. 
Its focus is on the organization, personnel, tactics, uniforms ( insig- 
nia, equipment, weapons, drills, etc. The book is organized into 
chapters dealing with the various armed forces involved in these 
wars: the French, British, German, American Loyalist or "Tory", 
and American armies. Furthermore, it deals with developments 
in some of these standing armies between these wars. 

The book is based in part on a series of paperback publications 
produced in England by Osprey and in the United States by 
Hippocrene, designed largely for hobbyists whose interests are in 
military uniforms and equipments, "living history" activities and 
military miniatures. These paperbacks have very limited circula- 
tion, and much of the useful data they contain is restricted there- 
fore to an obscure source. Publication of this hard cover volume 
with hopefully wider circulation is therefore a worthy enterprise. 

Among its merits is the use of a liberal amount of color illustra- 
tion, possible perhaps because it is printed in England rather than 
the United States; American books in this field of military material 
culture frequently lack adequate use of color illustration. But the 
color plates here are of mixed quality; those of G. A. Embleton 
and Michael Youens being generally more satisfactory than those 
of Michael Roffe. In addition to these plates of soldiers in period 
uniform there are reproduced in black and white contemporary 
drawings and paintings of soldiers and officers in uniform, as well 
as photographs of many speciments of insignia, flags, weapons and 
items of uniforms. 

The book is generally well written, although one finds somewhat 
jarring a reference to "neon" green in an early sentence which is 
intended to evoke an environment of virgin forest — a more har- 
monious term than "neon" should have been used. 

More precision might have been employed in dating the use of 
uniforms illustrated in color, difficult as that research is. It is an 
annoying trait of English and European military uniforms re- 
searchers to illustrate a particular uniform as of a single year, 
without attempting to indicate when that particular style was 
adopted and when discontinued. In contrast, American military 
uniforms researchers — from the pioneering Henry Alexander 
Ogden in the 1880-1910 era to the contributors to the excellent 
series of military prints published sixteen a year since 1949 by 
the Company of Military Historians — have generally attempted to 
provide the two terminal dates for use of any unform depicted. 
But this factor is somewhat mitigated by information contained in 
the narrative which is, after all, by an American. 

While not definitive, this book is a wholly worthwhile contri- 
bution to the field, especially in making such information available 
to a general public which does not have access to the specialized 
journals in the field. It is attractive, well illustrated, moderately 


well written, and in a day of outrageous pricing of books, quite 
reasonable in cost in view of the quantity of color illustration 
contained within. 

National Park Service, San Francisco Gordon Chappell 

Red Men and Hat Wearers. Viewpoints in Indian History. Daniel 
Tyler, ed. (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Company, 1976). 
Index. Illus. 171 pp. $5.95. Paper. 

The proUferating field of Indian history has another entry in this 
slim but important collection of essays presented at the 1974 Con- 
ference on Viewpoints in Indian History. The Conference theme 
grew out of a controversial paper delivered two years earlier by 
Clyde D. Dollar, who contended that Indian people of the High 
Plains view history as a didactic tool for the perpetuation of cul- 
tural values and traditions, not as an analytical method in the 
search for truth. Myths and legends that establish and reinforce 
tribal values are therefore more important in the Indian world view 
than historical fact. 

The Dollar thesis at first glance may sound familiar, for history 
increasingly has been enUsted in the civil right struggle and in other 
poUtical, economic and social causes. It is also suggestive of the 
ethnocentric approach in much of recent American historiography. 
But Dollar's emphasis is on function and method, not interpreta- 
tion and use. Neither does he suggest that non-Indians are inca- 
pable of interpreting the Indian experience adequately, although 
that argument apparently was made by others at the conference. 
However, he insists that non-Indian historians cannot understand 
modern Indian thinking unless they step through the cultural look- 
ing glass to observe the Indian perspective from the other side. 
This is an intriguing concept, and the 1974 Conference provided a 
forum for both Indian and non-Indian to explore it further. 

Most of the historiographical content of the 1974 Conference 
was omitted in this pubUcation, and aside from the editor's two 
introductory essays the Dollar thesis is scarcely mentioned. Rather 
than publish Conference discussions which probed the theory, the 
editor tried to demonstrate its applicability by juxtaposing exam- 
ples of Indian and non-Indian scholarship. However, the evidence 
presented does not entirely prove Dollar's point. Methodologically 
there are no striking differences; both sides used the standard 
sources, most of which are of white origin. Despite the organiza- 
tional rubric, the two parts of the book are unrelated, and the two 
articles in the "Indian Response" section are not responses to the 
six essays by non-Indians in Part I which primarily deal with 19th 
century Indian- white attitudes and relations. 

The most useful articles by non-Indians are John C. Ewer's 


interpretation of "Indian Views of the White Man Prior to 1 850," 
Robert L. Munkres' analysis of the cultural confrontations inherent 
in Indian-white relations, Joseph H. Cash's observations on the 
attitudes of Reservation Indians toward whites, and W. David 
Baird's discussion of white prejudice on the frontier. Donald 
Berthrong's criticism of Army post towns and white callousness 
seems one-sided, and David Miller's examination of the views of 
fur traders adds little to the topic covered more fully in Lewis 
Saum's Fur Trader and the Indian. On the Indian side, the article 
by R. David Edmunds on Indian humor is a refreshingly new 
approach that demolishes the stereotype of the wooden-faced noble 
savage. Vine Deloria Jr. concludes the book with a perceptive 
article which blames the obsession of white historians with 19th 
century Indian wars for the paucity of research in modern Indian 
history. His essay echoes Santayana in underlining the need for 
Indians to know their own recent history: "People unable to 
remember the past are incapable of understanding the real alter- 
natives that face them in the present." What is required, argues 
Deloria, is not necessarily more Indian historians, but more his- 
torians concentrating on Indian history since the Dawes Act. Paul 
Prucha and others have voiced similar complaints, but if this book 
is any indication of the current state of Indian historiography, 
white scholars still haven't got the message. 

University of the Pacific Ronald H. Limbaugh 

The German Sections of Vanity Fair and Other Studies by John 
K. Mathison. Richard L. Hilliar, ed. (Laramie: The De- 
partment of English, University of Wyoming, 1975). 86 pp. 
Given to contributors to the Mathison Memorial Fund. 

The scholarly writings of John K. Mathison (1916-1974) should 
be of interest in Wyoming as well as in academic circles elsewhere. 
The author was an unusually gifted and respected member of the 
University's Department of English for some twenty-five years. 
As man and intellect, his influence on students, as well as on his 
colleagues, was remarkable for its breadth and intensity. Beyond 
this, the five essays collected here in an attractive volume edited by 
Professor Richard Hillier are excellent pieces of scholarship: In- 
telligent and carefully developed, well-supported, and written with 
wit and style. They appeared originally in solid publications such 
as Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Philological Quarterly, and ELH, 
A Journal of English Literary History; their content and quality 
indicate how fortunate the state university has been in having 
a John Mathison — and others of unusual talent — as faculty 

In addition to four commemorative poems, the collection in- 
cludes three book reviews, two essays dealing with poetry ("The 


Poetic Theory of Gerard Manley Hopkins" and "Wordsworth's 
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early 
Childhood"), and three focused upon long fiction. In the two 
essays on the work of 19th-century British poets, John Mathison 
is concerned with assembling and examining a theory of poetry 
from Hopkins' scattered comments and, in the treatment of Words- 
worth's Ode, with "the problem of the pleasure given by the poem 
contrasted with the unwillingness on the part of many readers to 
accept one of its most memorable ideals, that of the pre-existence 
of the soul." Aside from their sound insights on the immediate 
subjects under consideration, the essays thoughtfully touch on 
crucial questions regarding the way poetry should be read and the 
nature of poetic art. 

The three remaining essays are concerned with the EngUsh novel 
and thus represent a central aspect of John Mathison's scholarship 
and teaching. "The German Sections of Vanity Fair" deals with 
a late portion of the novel where, through exposure of several 
important characters to German experience, Thackeray clarifies 
key elements of characterization and theme. Mathison's explora- 
tion of music, literature, and culture to support his study is one 
delight here, but equal pleasure is to be found in a keen intellect 
examining Amelia's character and Thackeray's subtle utilization of 
German travel in concluding his novel. ''Northanger Abbey and 
Jane Austen's Conception of the Value of Fiction" concerns not 
only the way reading Gothic novels helps Catherine Morland 
achieve maturity, but also the way Austen has "shown what a good 
novel can and should be, by giving us a specimen of one in sharp- 
est contrast to the foolish popular fiction of her (or any) time." 
One of the most interesting of the essays, and a piece which has 
been reprinted in collections of Emily Bronte criticism, is "Nelly 
Dean and the Power of Wuthering Heights.'" The discussion of 
Nelly Dean's role as narrator is an excellent consideration of point- 
of-view which, without blurring its focus, brings forth incisive, 
sophisticated commentary on characterization and tone throughout 
the novel. 

Certainly, as all five of these essays indicate, John Mathison was 
an exceptional scholar. And as the editorial foreword for the 
volume points out, he undoubtedly would have published much 
more during his lifetime were it not for his other capabilities as 
department chairman and highly respected member of the aca- 
demic and Laramie communities, as well as his being friend and 
adviser to students and colleagues of all ages and interests. For 
here was an intelligent, dedicated, human teacher whose brilliance 
could be displayed day after day in his classes — even in casual 
conversation — and in this sense his influence extended far beyond 
the limits of his fine scholarly writing collected in this memorial 

University of Wyoming Robert A. Roripaugh 


The Grand Encampment. Donald A. Messerschmidt, ed. (En- 
campment, Wyo.: The Grand Encampment Museum, 1976). 
Maps. lUus. 44 pp. 

One has only to travel the roads of the ghost towns of the Grand 
Encampment region to experience some of the spirit felt in the 
decade of the copper boom in that area — 1898-1908. The melt- 
ing snows carry traces of that treasure from the hills and mix it in 
the stream beds to form a coat of blue on all the rocks. To view 
the mighty weatherbeaten timbers of the deserted tramway, or to 
peer at the leaning structures of the one proud Ferris-Haggarty 
mine somehow arouses a longing for the more prosperous times 
when the copper boom was in swing. 

In the first decade of 1900 there was a great demand for copper 
because of the beginning of the electrical age. It was in this 
climate that Ed Haggarty made his find atop the Sierra Madre 
mountains. Investors George Ferris and James Rumsey staked 
this man, and the mine became known as the "Rudefeha", and 
later as the Ferris-Haggarty. Hopes ran high for prosperity in 
this area — promotions were many for various enterprises — towns 
were built. Eventually a smelter was erected in Encampment and 
a remarkable aerial tramway to transport ore from mine to smelter. 

Mr. Messerschmidt has chosen an analytical approach to study 
the significance of the Ferris-Haggarty and other mines in the 
Grand Encampment area. He attempts to place the mineral 
wealth present there in proper perspective, and to illustrate the 
economic and social significance this had in the rise and decline 
of a Rocky Mountain mining region. He gives a physical descrip- 
tion of the area, a history of its inhabitants, of prospecting, ranch- 
ing and of the railroad. Credit is given to Willis George Emerson 
for his part in promoting and building the area. Glimpses of the 
ghost towns and life in that era are furnished by some very good 
photographs, and there are some amusing anecdotes about the 
pastimes of the miners on a cold winter night. 

Comparisons of the output of the Ferris-Haggarty with that of 
other copper mines and prices of copper over a range of years are 
related. The demise of this industry in the Grand Encampment 
region is attributed to overcapitalization, control by eastern mag- 
nates, transportation inadequacies, and fallen prices for copper. 
In addition, two fires struck the operations, and insurance was 
inadequate. A short time after the Ferris-Haggarty quit operating, 
the towns in that area declined. 

Surprise is expressed at not only how quickly the boom faded, 
but that the boom should end during a period when, nationally, 
the price of copper was so high. 

Mention is made of the "normal" hardships endured in connec- 
tion with copper mining in that area. Judging from the pictures 
included in this book, one would have to have much stamina to 


remain atop those mountains during the winter and keep the ore 
wagons going. Much respect comes from these quarters for the 
men and women who estabUshed homes there. 

This summary of the Grand Encampment should give a good 
overall picture to all interested in the area. 

Cheyenne Maxine McGonigle 

The Plains Apache. By John Upton Terrell. (New York: Thom- 
as Y. Crowell Company, 1975.) Maps. Notes. Bib. Index. 
244 pp. $7.95. 

In this rather sketchy work John Upton Terrell surveys the 
history of the Plains Apache from the time of their discovery in 
the 1530s by the Spanish wanderer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca 
to the late eighteenth century. The Plains Apache were the east- 
ern division of the Athabascan language tribe that moved from the 
north into the American Southwest several centuries before the 
Spanish invasion of the region. Occupying the high plains east of 
the Rio Grande from southern Texas and southeastern New Mex- 
ico to western Nebraska the Plains Apache in the early Spanish 
period encompassed twenty-two tribes of similar language and 
culture, but without intertribal political organization. 

Like other Indians of the region the Apache were roving buffalo 
hunters whose lives were revolutionized by the introduction of the 
horse and the gun. But unlike many neighboring tribes the Plains 
Apache fiercely resisted the conquistadores and missionaries of 
New Spain. It was the Spaniards who popularized the name 
"Apache," the Zuni Indian word for enemy. The name also meant 
that to the Spaniards because it was primarily due to the Apache 
that the Spanish advance which began auspiciously with Don Juan 
de Onate's conquest of New Mexico in the early seventeenth cen- 
tury was stalemated on the Rio Grande for nearly two centuries. 
By the time Spanish might prevailed the Plains Apache had been 
seriously weakened. Raiding Comanches, Utes and Caddoans 
wreaked havoc among the Apache villages on the upper Rio 
Grande to the point where some of the smallest tribes were extinct 
by the early 1700s. 

Fortunately, the author had a modest end in mind in writing 
this book. He makes no claim that it is the last or only word on 
the subject, but rather seems to have written it because in his 
research he had "not found another work devoted entirely to the 
Plains Apache." (p. vii) However, this book is not reaUy a 
tribal history. It is, instead, more of a history of Spanish contacts 
with the Plains Apache. Understandably any historian writing 
about the Indians after their contacts with Europeans must rely 
primarily on the records of the Europeans since the Indians did 


not leave written records. But in order to use such materials 
effectively in the writing of Indian history, that historian must 
reserach exhaustively, analyze carefully and synthesize critically in 
order to avoid diminishing the role of the Indian. This Mr. Terrell 
did not do. Instead he merely quoted at length the impressions 
of the Spanish chroniclers. 

The research for this book was done entirely in published 
sources. Several of these are quoted from directly and extensively 
and although there are reference notes, they are of little value 
because they do not include page numbers. The book, as a whole, 
is poorly organized. The text, though clear, is at times very 
repetitious and the use of twenty-seven chapters, some only several 
pages long, makes the work somewhat disjointed. 

Scholars will find more detailed and corroborated information in 
books such as Apache, Navaho and Spaniard by Jack D. Forbes, 
Indians of the High Plains: From the Prehistoric Period to the 
Coming of Europeans by George E. Hyde and The Apache Fron- 
tier: Jacobo Ugarte and Spanish-Indian Relations in Northern 
New Spain, 1769-1791 by Max L. Moorhead, but the beginning 
reader in the history of the American Southwest might find The 
Plains Apache an interesting general summary. 

Mankato State University William E. Lass 

An Index of Archived Resources for a Folklije and Cultural His- 
tory of the Inland Pacific Northwest. By Donald M. Hines. 
(Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1976). 191pp. $12.95. 
Published upon demand. 

Among the projects that have received special emphasis from 
the Bicentennial is the compilation and publication, both privately 
and publicly, of an increasing number of archive catalogs and 
guides. Archivists and historians, alike, have for years recognized 
the inability of repositories to adequately inform researchers of 
their collections. Therefore, the addition of any individual, re- 
gional, or topical catalog of manuscript collections is extremely 
important to historical research at all levels and for all interests. 

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and 
sponsored by the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, 
Donald M. Hines has catalogued the archival and museum re- 
sources of and for "the vast area lying between the Cascades and 
Bitterroot Mountains" (i), eastern Washington and Oregon and 
northern Idaho. The first one hundred five pages describe the 
relevant holdings of the three major repositories in the region, the 
University of Idaho, Washington State University, and the Eastern 
Washington State Historical Society, The collections pertaining 
to the socio-cultural development of the region to 1900 are entered 


alphabetically by title or name and given a catalogue entry number. 
Numerical "descriptors" then identify the internal content of the 
entry by a decimal cross-reference system of eleven major categor- 
ies, each with as few as none and as many as thirteen subclassifica- 
tions. The section on "Descriptors" identifies the catalog entry 
numbers that contain information relevant to each descriptor, or 
cross-reference classification. This complicated cross-reference 
system, however, is not applied to the next two sections, "Relevant 
Manuscript Holdings in Other Repositories" and "Inland Empire 
Museums and their Artifact and Document Holdings." 

Hines discusses collections from fifty-seven repositories in thirty- 
three states and Canada that pertain to the Inland Pacific North- 
west. Unfortunately, he relies entirely on previously published 
guides, many products of the New Deal, and often refers to the 
guides, themselves, thus defeating the purpose of his index. The 
section on museums includes eighty museums in seventy -four 
towns and identifies the address, personnel, governing authority, 
type of museum, collections, research fields, facilities, activities, 
hours, and admission fees of each. However, it is organized inde- 
pendently and differently than the previous sections and desper- 
ately needs an index. 

Hines should be complimented for his broad view of "archival" 
sources, shunning traditional strictures and including reproduc- 
tions, photographs, scrapbooks, transcripts, various iconographic 
materials, and newspaper clippings as legitimate archival research 
materials. However, in limiting himself to the socio-cultural man- 
scripts on the region, he categorically eliminates sources, such as 
"political" collections, that could contribute a great deal to under- 
standing socio-cultural developments. (The letterbooks of Senator 
Frances E. Warren, for instance, provide a most meticulous, vi- 
brant, and complete picture of street and social life for the first 
seventy years of Cheyenne, Wyoming.) The most serious fault 
of this volume, however, is its overly sophisticated and artificial 
organization. The three major sections — Inland Empire collec- 
tions, supplemental Canadian and American collection, and mu- 
seum holdings — should be combined into one comprehensive list. 
The supplemental collections should be described individually, 
rather than referring to other indexes. The descriptors, which 
have genuine merit, could be expanded into a comprehensive gen- 
eral index. Then this book, which is extremely thorough and 
obviously a labor of years, would provide its full value without 
an equal amount of labor by the researcher. 

University of Wyoming David Crosson 


Documents of Wyoming Heritage. Charles "Pat" Hall, author, 
editor. (Cheyenne: Wyoming Bicentennial Commission, 
1976.) lUus. Bib. 142 pp. $9.95. Paper, $3.95. 

Documents of Wyoming Heritage pubhshed this month by the 
Wyoming Bicentennial Commission and edited by Charles "Pat" 
Hall is a beautiful book. It is the selection of documents, each 
of them reproduced on a page, which tell the story of our very 
young state from life on the frontier to the problems involved in 
growing up. 

This selection of documents lends itself to subdivisions, such as 
The Military in Wyoming, Laws and Proclamations, Women of 
Wyoming, Outlaws, and Early Publications. 

From the Johnson County War to the document by which Gov- 
ernor John E. Osborne proclaimed himself governor and took over 
the office, many events and people are here. It is well annotated 
with only now and then a sly editorial comment which in most 
cases seem justified by the content of the document printed above 
the footnote. How complete it is only a scholarly study could 
determine, but those documents which have been selected and 
annotated are very well done. 

This reviewer finds the quarto size of the book awkward, but 
realizes smaller pages would make the documents exceedingly hard 
to read. 

The Bicentennial committee, Judge J. Reuel Armstrong, Mabel 
Brown, Dr. T. A. Larson, Darwin St Clair, and BiU Williams, with 
their chairman, Peggy Simson Curry, who wrote a delightful intro- 
duction, and their editor, Pat Hall, are to be commended for hav- 
ing added another very fine facet to Wyoming literature. 

Cheyenne Louise Underhill 



Kathleen M. Karpan is presently enrolled in the law school 
of the University of Oregon at Eugene. After receiving an M.A. 
degree from the University of Wyoming she spent five years on the 
staff of Teno Roncalio, Wyoming's member of the U. S. House 
of Representatives, first as press assistant and later as Congress- 
man Roncalio's administrative assistant. Her study of Jack Gage's 
pohtical career was written as her master's thesis at the University 
of Wyoming. Miss Karpan is a native of Wyoming, and grew up 
in Rawlins. 

Harmon Mothershead's article on British investors and the 
Swan Company was written for presentation in 1975 before the 
Rocky Mountain Conference on British Studies/in Tucson, as a 
footnote to his book, The Swan Land and Cattle Company, Ltd., 
pubhshed in 1971 by the University of Oklahoma Press. Mothers- 
head, contributor to numerous historical journals, and frequent 
reviewer for Annals of Wyoming, is a professor of history at 
Northwest Missouri State University at Maryville. 

Walter R. Jones is director of the Uinta County Library in 
Evanston, Wyoming. He is a native of Casper and attended the 
University of Wyoming and Brigham Young University. From 
1967 to 1971 he served with the U. S. Army Military Intelligence 
and was trained as a Korean translator. His hobbies include his- 
torical research and short story writing. 

Robert A. Murray is a resident of Sheridan, where he is pres- 
ident of Western Interpretive Services, Inc., a private consulting 
service for historical projects which he established in 1968. He 
previously served with the National Park Service at Fort Laramie 
National Historic Site as museum curator and as supervisory his- 
torian. He is the author of a dozen books and monographs and 
numerous scholarly articles. 


Abbott, Carl, Colorado: A History 

of the Centennial State, review, 

Adams, Bob, 236 
Albany County, 177, 183 
Alliance, Nebr., 169, 170 
Anderson, Esther, 183 
Anderson, William, 255 
Anselmi, Rudy, 196, 205, 225 
Armies of the American Wars, 1753- 

1815, Philip Katcher, review, 286- 

Armstrong, Hepburn T., 188, 196, 



Barlow, Norman, 211 

Barrett, Sen. Frank, 189, 196, 216, 

Bates, Lew, 192, 193 

Begg. William, 254 

'"Better Wyoming Association," 180 

Biggs, Arthur, 227, 228 

Big Horn Basin, 185 

Big Horn County, 177 

Big Horn River, 170 

Birleffi. Larry, 246 

Black, Robert C. Ill, review of 
Colorado: A History of the Cen- 
tennial State, 284-285 

Blue Sky Laws, 191 

Boice, Shirley, 189 

Bourke, Lt. John G., 277 

Bowron. Frank, 234, 236, 243 

"The British Investment Public and 
the Swan Land and Cattle Com- 
pany," by Harmon Mothershead. 

Budd, Joseph, 199, 205 

Buffalo, 186, 194, 276 

Bureau of Land Management, 276 

Burlington Railroad, 169 

Campbell County, 177 

Campbell County High School, 173 

Cannon Aeronautical Center, 247 

"Cantonment Reno/Fort McKinney 
No. 1, New Views of an Old Wyo- 
ming Post," by Robert A. Murray, 


Carbon County, 177, 239, 242 

Carlson, Louis, 189 

Casper, 169, 175, 179, 180, 185, 
265-273; photo, 264 

Casper College, 266 

Casper Daily Tribune, 266, 268, 270 

Casper's Center Street, photo, 264 

"Casper's Prohibition Years," by 
Walter R. Jones, 265-274 

Casper Tribune-Herald, 272 

Chappell, Gordon, review of Armies 
of the American Wars, 1753-1815, 

Cheever. R. E., 230 

Cheyenne, 176, 180. 185, 186, 213, 
218, 237, 266, 270 

Chicago and North Western Rail- 
road. 169 

Christensen, Mart T., 183. 222 

Clark. Alonzo, 182 

Colorado: A History of the Cen- 
tennial State, by Carl Abbot, re- 
view. 284-285 

Committee on Political Education 
(COPE), 234. 241 

Converse County. 177, 194 

Copenhaver, Everett. 188. 189, 236 

Crook. Brig. Gen. George, 277 

Crosson. David, review of An Index 
of Archived Resources for a Folk- 
life and Cultural History of the 
Inland Pacific Northu-est', 293-294 

Crowell, Charles. 230 


David. Robert. 266. 267 
Denver Post. 168. 266 
"Depot McKinney Military Reser- 
vation." 276 

Documents of Wyoming Heritage, 
by Charles "Pat" Hall, review, 

Douglas. 237. 278 

Dow. William. 254 

Dull Knife. 276 

Dunlop. W. B.. 259, 260 



Employment Security Commission, 

211, 212 
Engleking, Gus, 182 

Fenwick, Red, 168, 244, 266 

Fifth Cavalry Regiment, 278 

Flannery, Pat, 182, 183 

"Fort Connor," 276 

Fort McKinney Buildings under 

Construction, 1877, photo, 277 
Fort McKinney, Summer, 1877, 

photo, 276 
Fort Reno, ruins, photo, 278 
Fraser, William Stuart, 255 
Fremont County, 177 

Gage, Anson F. W., 168 

Gage, Jack R., Sr. (John Robert), 

167-252; photo, 166; campaign 

folder, photo, cover 
Gage, Jack Jr., (II), 167, 173, 188, 

200, 224, 231 
Gage, Lavaugh Phelan, 168, 176, 

177, 185 
Gage, Leona "Buddy" Switzer (Mrs. 

Jack R.), 167, 173, 175 
Gage, Lucy Bump, 168 
Gage, Richard CoUier (Dick), 174, 

1 88 23 1 
Gage,' Dr. W. V., 168, 169, 170, 

171, 185 
Gage For Governor Committee, 242 
General Election Returns, tables, 

1934-1938, 250; 1958-1962, 251 
Geography of Wyoming, 185, 244 
The German Sections of Vanity Fair 

and Other Studies by John K. 

Mathison, ed. by Richard L. Hil- 

har, review, 289-290 
Gillette, 173, 278 
Glenrock, 218 
The Grand Encampment, ed. by 

Donald A. Messerschmidt, review, 

Gray, Attorney General Norman, 

199, 230 
Green, R. L. (Dick), 196, 212, 213 
Gregg, Ben, 170 
Greever, Paul, 182, 183 


Hall, Charles, "Pat", author, ed., 
Documents of Wyoming Heritage, 
review, 295 

Hansen, Clifford P., 230, 231, 233, 
234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 243, 

Harding, Albert, 205, 206, 207 

Harrison, William Henry, 196, 230, 
236, 249 

Heart Mountain. The History of an 
American Concentration Camp, 
by Douglas W. Nelson, review, 

Hendrickson, Gordon O., review of 
The Peoples of Utah, 282-284 

Hickey, Joseph J., 188, 189, 194, 
195, 196, 198, 199, 200, 202, 203, 
207, 219, 221, 227, 230, 234, 235, 
236, 239, 240, photo, 166 

Hilliar, Richard, ed.. The German 
Sections of Vanity Fair and Other 
Studies by John K. Mathison, re- 
view, 289-290 

Hinckley, John T., review of Heart 
Mountain. The Story of an Amer- 
ican Concentration Camp, 281- 

Hines, Donald M., An Index of Ar- 
chived Resources for a Folklife 
and Cultural History of the In- 
land Pacific Northwest, review, 

Holmes, C. T. "Doc", 175 

Homestead Act, 214 

The Horse-The Buggy-The Doctor, 

168, 172, 244, 247 
Horton, Frank, 182, 183 
Hot Springs County, 177 
Hunt, Lester, 179, 182, 183, 217, 

221, 222, 240 
Hunter, Meg, 192 

An Index of Archived Resources for 
a Folklife and Cultural History of 
the Inland Pacific Northwest, by 
Donald M. Hines, review, 293- 

Interstate Oil Compact Commission, 



Jack, William M. "Scotty", 174, 175, 
179, 180, 182, 183, 184, 197, 221, 
222, 224, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 
231, 232, 236 

Jackson, 233 

Jackson Hole National Monument, 

Johnson County, 177, 196 

Johnson County War, 246, 247 

The Johnson County War Is/Ain't a 
Pack of Lies, 244, 246 

Johnson, Gilbert, 176 

Johnson, Ida, 176 

Johnston, Harvey, 211 

Jones, Brian, Letter to the Editor, 

Jones, Dick, 208 

Jones, Walter R., "Casper's Prohibi- 
tion Years," 265-274; biog., 296 


Karn, Dr. William N., 202, 208, 209 

Karpan, Kathleen M., "A Political 
History of Jack R. Gage," 167- 
252; biog., 296 

Katcher, Philip, Armies of the Amer- 
ican Wars, 1753-1815, Review, 

Kennedy, John F., 197, 236, 239, 
240; photo, 166 

Kirkland, R. C, 255 

Kurtz, N. v., 176 

Laramie County, 177, 183, 239 

Larson, T. A., 167, review of School 
District No. 2, Carbon County, 
Wyoming, 285-286 

Lass, William E., review of The 
Plains Apache, 292-293 

Lewis, Zan, 200, 230 

Limbaugh, Ronald H., review of 
Red Men and Hat Wearers, View- 
points in Indian History, 288-289 

Lincoln County, 177, 183, 228 

Linford, Velma, 181, 189, 194, 195, 
198, 226, 235, 236, 238, 239 

Luman, Richard J., 226 

Lusk, 222 


M-O-M machine, 179 
McCook, Nebr., 169, 170 

McCraken, Tracy S.. 173, 179, 186, 

McGee, Sen. Gale, 188. 189, 197. 

200, 241 
McGonigle, Maxine, review of The 

Grand Encampment, 291-292 
Mclntyre, John J., 184, 222 
McKinney, Lt. J. A., 275 
Mackenzie, Ranald S., 276 
Manatos, Mike, photo, 166 
Mankus, Lou, 230, 234, 236, 239 
Messerschmidt, Donald A., School 

District No. 2, Carbon County, 

Wyoming, review, 285-286; The 

Grand Encampment, review, 291- 

Miller, Gov. Leslie A., 174, 175, 

177, 179, 180, 182, 183, 195, 223, 

225, 229, 230, 232 
Mitchell, State Auditor Minnie, 226, 

Mokler, A. J., 265, 268 
Moore, Edward, Jr., 183 
Morton, Katherine, 173 
Mothershead, Harmon, "The British 

Investment Public and the Swan 

Land and Cattle Company," 253- 

264; biog., 296 
Murray, Robert A., "Cantonment 

Reno/Fort McKinney No. 1, New 

Views of an Old Wyoming Army 

Post," 275-279; biog., 296 
Murphy, State Sen. Robert J., 221 


Nation, Mayor Bill, 245 

National Defense Education Act 
fund, 213 

Natrona County, 180. 183. 194.222, 

Natural Resource Board. 219, 220 

Nelson, Douglas W., Heart Moun- 
tain. The History of an Amer- 
ican Concentration Camp, review, 

Newcastle. 176 

New Deal, 179. 180. 181. 229 

Niobrara County. 194 

Norris. State Sen. W. A., Jr., 221 


Officers in front of quarters. Fort 

McKinney. photo. 275 
O'Mahoney. Joseph C. 179. 182. 

184. 196. 197 
Outsen, Robert, 182, 183, 226 



Papanikolas, Helen Z., The Peoples 

of Utah, review, 282-284 
Pearson, George, 175 
The Peoples of Utah, by Helen Z. 

Papanikolas, review, 282-284 
Phelan, Adele Moss Bennot, 168 
Phelan. J. R., 168, 176 
Phelan, Walter A., 223, 225, 234, 

The Plains Apache, by John Upton 

Terrell, review, 292, 293 
"A Political History of Jack R. 

Gage," by Kathleen M. Karpan, 

Pollock, Captain Edwin, 275 
Powder River, 275 
Powder River Basin, 278 
Purcell, John, 236 


RawHns, 217, 237 

Red Men and Hat Wearers: View- 
points in Indian History, Daniel 
Tyler, ed., review, 288-289 

Reno, Gen. Jesse L., 275 

Richard, (Richaud) John, 280 

Richen, Marilyn C., School District 
No. 2, Carbon County, Wyoming, 
review, 285-286 

Riverton Ranger, 229 

Rock Springs, 176, 213, 228, 266 

Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Asso- 
ciation, 222 

Rogers, C. J. "Doc", 226 

Roncalio, Teno, 167, 186, 195, 196, 
197, 223, 231, 247 

Rooseveh, Franklin, 174, 179, 180, 

181, 229 
Roripaugh, Robert A., review of The 

German Sections of Vanity Fair 

and Other Studies by John K. 

Mathison, 289-290 
Rose, Robert, Jr., 230, 232 
Ruins of old Fort Reno, photo, 278 

Saddle Rock Tavern, 266 
Sailors, Kenny, 196, 230 
Sandbar, 265, 266, 267 
Saratoga Springs State Reserve, 213 

School District No. 2, Carbon Coun- 
ty, Wyoming, by Donald A. Mes- 
serschmidt with Marilyn C. Rich- 
en, review, 285-286 

Scully, Pat, 205 

Schwartz, Sen. Harry, 184 

Shafto, Paul, 234 

Shaw, Cecil, 236, 239 

Sheridan, 169. 174, 175, 184, 186, 
237, 266 

Sheridan County, 177, 183, 239 

Sheridan County Democratic Cen- 
tral Committee, 176 

Sholty, Maud, 176, 177, 182, 183 

Simpson, Green, 194, 195 

Simpson, Milward, 173, 184, 185, 
186, 189, 200, 202, 222, 230, 236, 
239, 249 

Smith, Nels, 182 

Spracklen, Jim, 195 

Sublette County, 177, 199 

Swan, Alexander H., 254, 256 

Swan Land and Cattle Company, 
253-260; Investment Tables, 261, 
262, 263 

Sweetwater County, 176, 183, 213, 

Switzer, Mrs. Fronia, 183 

Tensleep and No Rest, 170, 185, 247 

Terrell, John Upton, The Plains 
Apache, review, 292, 293 

Teton County, 177, 189, 233, 235, 

Texas Lunch (Restaurant), 266 

Thermopolis, 197, 198 

Thomson, Keith, 189, 196, 198, 199, 

Thomson, Thyra, 236 

Thrasher, M. A., 176 

Tom Sun ranch, 247 

Tyler, Daniel, ed.. Red Men and 
Hat Wearers: Viewpoints in In- 
dian History, review, 288-289 


Uinta County, 183 
Underbill, Louise, review of Docu- 
ments of Wyoming Heritage, 295 
Union Pacific Railroad, 173, 239 

United Mine Workers of America, 

227, 228 



U. S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, 

U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 

U. S. Reclamation Survey, 171 
University of Wyoming, 173, 176, 

177, 185, 186, 218, 219, 247; 

Board of Trustees, 233 

Volstead Act, 270 

Wheatland Irrigation District, 186, 

Whitaker, Ray, 189, 193, 196, 198, 

199, 222, 236 
Wilkerson, Ernest, 244 
Wold, lohn, 198, 207, 216, 233, 234 
Worland, 170, 247 
Wyoming, Afoot and Horseback or 

History Mostly Ain't True, 244, 


Wyoming Association of Municipal- 
ities, 211, 214, 215 


Washakie County, 177, 183 
Wheatland, 176 

Yellowstone National Park, 218 
Young Folks Democratic Clubs of 
Wyoming, 175 


"^'^: "3 


J ' ■ 





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 educators. 

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.